Monday, October 10, 2016

The Age of Pet Adoration

It isn't exactly a newsflash or breaking story that pets have become an increasingly important and meaningful part of human lives. For the past two decades in particular, those of us living in the developed world have seen the status of pets rise to levels never seen in modern history. 

Experts who observe these trends attribute the humanization of pets to a variety of factors; most
My rescue pup Ellie
notably generational shifts, aging populations, and the delayed ages of marriage and having children among the Generations X, Y and Z. Regardless of the reason, there is no doubt that many dogs and cats, now enjoy the highest quality of life in history. Pets are living longer, benefiting from better quality nutrition, higher levels of awareness of pet health needs and generally safer living environments at home.

Despite all the good news for dogs and cats, there is a staggering level of animal euthanasia that occurs every day-- right here in the United States. In fact, every week, more than 80,000 dogs and cats are put down due in shelters due to overpopulation. Americans in particular are especially generous toward animal welfare issues, yet the needs of animals is far greater than the rates of adoption and rescue from shelters. 

If you have never been to your local animal shelter, consider visiting one to learn about the needs in your own community. Regardless of whether you personally have the ability to adopt a pet, you can make a difference by visiting your shelter. Make a donation, volunteer some time, foster a pet, or even just assist with local adoption days. Many pet stores offer onsite adoption days, by partnering with local shelters. Those groups need volunteers to staff the adoption weekends, or need basic supplies to help facilitate the adoptions.

Hopefully you will consider adopting a pet. There are numerous studies that show the health benefits of pets in our lives. Children, adults, seniors, single, married, whatever-- humans are enriched by pets. HABRI, the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative has set out to demonstrate this point, and has funded numerous grants and projects to further study the role pets play in human life. Never before have pets ascended so high in the level of love and adoration from humans. This truly is what I call The Age of Pet Adoration.

More than 20 years ago I ventured into the pet industry and never strayed. I've had a front seat as an active participant in programs, projects and products all dedicated and focused on improving the lives of pets. I'm proud to have had leadership roles in some of the "best of the best" in the pet industry; from guide dog organizations, non-profit animal charities, rescues, pet products manufacturing, marketing and retailing. I'm especially proud of Lucy Pet Products, because we designate part of our net profits (after taxes & expenses) to help animals through the Lucy Pet Foundation.

Today's pet parent consumers have so many choices in what they buy for their fur-children. People often ask me what I advice is to always buy the best you can afford. Feed the best quality nutrition, be vigilant to maintain their healthy weight, give them exercise and plenty of toys for mental stimulation. Educate yourself about maintaining a healthy living environment for your dog or cat, as you might do for human children. People forget about things like household cleaners, detergents, room fresheners, pesticides, etc that are used in the home and yard. Your pet can be exposed to potentially harmful environmental hazards you unknowingly use. 

I hadn't really thought much about my cat's health until recently. In developing our new Cats Incredible cat litter, we learned all about the dangers of ammonia exposure in cats from the litter box. It turns out that this very normal biological impact of cats urinating turns into very dangerous and toxic levels of ammonia. For some reason, no one ever thought to fix that. We did. 

In working with leading scientists, Lucy Pet developed the first cat litter that actually stops ammonia from forming in the litter box. So now, we are proud to make this technology available to cat owners so they can provide their cat with a safer, healthier cat litter box. Just a few years ago, no one ever thought about the dangers of ammonia to cats. Lucy Pet understands and embraces the Age of Pet Adoration. Its products like our Cats Incredible that embody this ever-evolving era where our pets are at the top of the family. And rightly so.

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