Have you been thinking about creating an outdoor catio space for your cat? A catio, an outdoor enclosed patio designed for cats, are great for your cat to hang out in and take in the outdoors. Before jumping into a big project like this, here are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Ensuring Your Pet’s Safety
Safety first! Even if the catio you purchase or design seems to be 100% safe, you’ll always need to keep an eye on your feline friend. To make your catio a positive and safe space, we suggest you include the following features: an entry door or window, ramps, catwalks, hiding places, beds or pillows for resting, fresh drinking water, shady spaces , predator-proof screening (on the bottom as well as the sides), and a roof or covering for mild weather protection. Even in a catio, it’s crucial to never leave your pet unattended. At the end of the day, you are 100% responsible for your pet’s safety and ensuring your catio is a secure space!
Although your cat may not embrace the outdoors like a dog would, there are many advantages to spending time outside. The first and potentially the most important benefit pertains to the mental stimulation and enrichment for cats. The sounds and smells of nature, along with the ledges and climbing areas help channel your cat’s inner-adventurer. Another perk includes decreased conflict in multi-cat homes. If you have two cats or more, conflict may arise; however, a catio can give each cat an opportunity to explore and thrive individually. With multiple cats, be sure to provide multiple entrances and exits so no one gets cornered or let them enjoy the catio independently. Other benefits include exercise, wildlife protection (those song birds will be safe on the other side of the screen), and protection for your cat from other wildlife (be sure the material you use can withstand a predator trying to get inside from the top, sides, and bottom).
You can choose to purchase a ready made catio or build one from scratch. If purchasing, make sure to read all of the information provided and do a thorough comparison. More often than not, catios are on the pricier side which is why it’s important to do a thorough evaluation before making a purchase!
For our creative folks, diy catios are a great option. A diy catio enables you to meticulously control design, materials, and cost! With a self build you can be creative and cator (did you see what we did there) toward the specific needs and personality of your pet! The resources below will help you get started mapping out your catio from scratch.
Written by Gracie Butler
Are you in need of a last minute gift? You can support ACF and get an e-gift card at the same time! We have partnered with RaiseRight to fundraise year round.
How RaiseRight works: Once a supporter creates an account they can search gift cards from 750+ top brands. You pay face value for the card just like you would if buying directly from the brand. The brand has agreed to provide a 3%-20% rebate to the Animal Care Foundation for each card sold to a supporter. You get your card and help us at the same time! Support us today and in the future when purchasing gift cards!
Step 1: Go to www.raiseright.com and click "Join a Program."
Step 2: Enter D13AD46L68657 as your enrollment code.
Step 3: Follow the directions to finish creating your profile.
Step 4: Search or browse top brands! (Be sure you choose an e-gift card or physical gift card depending on your preference. Physical gift cards will take approximately 1 month to get to you.)
Step 5: Complete your purchase.
Step 6: Gift or use your gift cards!
With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, one unlikely pet came to the spotlight, chicks. The rise of chicks as pets has provided an unexpected outlet of emotional support for Americans in need of some light in their lives. Social media began to explode with postings of people with their new baby chicks, and then the hype died down almost as quickly as it started. You may have wondered, where are the baby chicks now and what happens when they grow up?
It’s hard to dispute, baby chicks are adorable creatures, but these delightful little animals tend to become more work as they get older. Most of the adopted chicks in 2021 were abandoned, died from improper care, or were surrendered. Baby chicks require specific needs to thrive, and adult chicken ownership is regulated in most cities. Some of the adopters of these chicks did plan ahead; those lucky chicks now have a new home in a backyard chicken coop!
It’s important to consider how your animal may change as they grow up and remember pets are cute, loving creatures who deserve to be treated well. Whether it’s a dog, cat, or baby chick, getting an animal is a commitment! If you are thinking about getting a baby chick this spring, here are some resources to help you decide if you’re ready for the commitment.
Are you looking for a Volunteer Opportunity?
Well, the Animal Care Foundation needs help at our Annual Spring Seminar. This is our oldest fundraising activity! It is a continuing education event for veterinary professionals in need of credits for renewing their licenses. We are looking for help two weeks before the event as well as during the event itself. Details are below. If you are interested in helping out please contact Heather at email@example.com or send her a message through FB or Instagram.
Volunteer Before the Event:
Where: Community location TBD
When: Sometime the the week of May 2nd (we can schedule this with interested volunteers)
What: Putting together folders for registrants, folding tent cards, assembling gift baskets, and organizing registration
Volunteer at the Event:
Where: Minnetonka Community Center
14600 Minnetonka Blvd
Minnetonka, MN 55345
When: Thursday May 19th, 2022
8:00 am - 9:15 am (Setting up for the event and helping with checking attendees in)
11:00 am - 12:45 pm (Serving and cleaning up boxed lunch from Panera)
5:15 pm - 6:30 pm (Tearing down, packing up, and loading cars)
Spring and summer are finally within reach, and with the temperatures rising you may be looking for some activities to make the warm seasons cool. Here are a few ways to make the most of your Spring and Summer with your pup.
Go For a Stroll, Hike, or Run
Activity Intensity Rating: 3/10 - 9/10
We all know how much dogs love to embrace the outdoors! Whether it’s through a walk, hike or run, such activities are possible nearly everywhere anytime! Some great trails your dog will love in Minneapolis and St. Paul are the Minnehaha Fall Lower Glen Trail, the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park, and Winchell Trail. You can Google “hiking trails'' for a list in your area. Whether you head for a wooded trail or walk around your neighborhood, spending time outdoors is a great way to get some exercise and have quality time with your dog.
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10
Outdoor dining in the Spring and Summer are great, bringing your dog along with you to your favorite patio is even better! Two great options with dog-friendly patios in Minneapolis and St. Paul are Eagle Street Grill and Aster Café. If you’re looking to feed you and your dog head over to The Howe Daily Kitchen and Bar where dogs are welcome on the “pawtio” and have their own doggy menu; yappy-hour is from 3:00pm-6:00pm!
Take a Swim
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10 - 5/10
Splish, splash, or take a bath! In the land of 10,000 lakes finding a body of water for your pup to splash around in is hardly a problem. Whether you’re wanting to play with your dog or just enjoy watching them, taking advantage of the water is a great way to cool off on those warmer days. Make sure you check for postings about sewage leaks, algae blooms, or other contamination that would make the water unsafe for your dog before letting them swim.
Enjoy a Treat
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10
Whether it be a pup cup, lick of ice cream, or homemade dog dessert, your dog will love a sweet treat to enjoy on beautiful Spring and Summer days. Pup cups can either entail a small cup of custard or whip sold at numerous fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and Starbucks. If you’re looking for a DIY activity, countless dog dessert recipes can be found on Pinterest. What better way to show your dog how much you love them than by treating them with sweetness! If your dog has never consumed these treats make sure to offer them in moderation. Dogs are lactose intolerant and if they eat too much of these delicious treats, their tummies may not be too happy! Offering them ice cubes or other hard frozen treats can cause cracked teeth that then need to be addressed by a veterinarian, softer options are better. Some dogs are very sensitive to dietary changes, checking with your vet before trying these treats would be a good choice.
Yard and Outdoor Relaxation
Activity Intensity Rating: 1/10
Sometimes the best ways to spend time with your dog are more peaceful and laid-back activities. For this activity all you really need is a cozy spot in your yard or local park! Hot days are inevitable this summer, make sure your dog takes breaks from play and has access to plenty of water and shade to avoid heat exhaustion and potentially life threatening reactions.
Written By: Grace Butler
Marceau is a young dog who injured his knee and needed surgery to fix it. He had a luxated patella. Marceau loves to run, jump, and explore, like most young dogs. Unfortunately, due to his injury he had to wear a knee brace for several months and was not allowed to jump up on the couch or the look out station in his mom’s home. Barb did find a ramp eventually to allow him access to his favorite look out point!
To get back to full enjoyment of dog life, Marceau needed surgery. So, Barb contacted us at the Animal Care Foundation. Working with her and her existing clinic we were able to secure a donation from the clinic of some of the care pro bono, as well as provide $1,100 of funds to help with the cost of the surgery. Unfortunately, due to the cost being over $2,600 (not including after care) these funds were still not enough to bring the surgery cost into a range that Barb could afford.
So, Barb applied for assistance from the Human Society. With this added help, the surgery could go forward! Marceau had surgery in late December and has been recovering for the past month! He is making good strides in his physical therapy and should make a full recovery!
Thank you to the donors and our supporters who made this care possible!
Welcome back to our January series on keeping your pet safe on cold weather walks! In this post, we will be looking at warmth! While your dog does come with a built in coat, of varying warmth levels depending on the breed, you can’t assume this is enough in our cold climates!
Listen to your dog. When walking your dog this winter, don’t forget to watch for signs that your dog may be too cold such as whining, shivering, and lifting its paws or holding one up as they walk. If you notice these signs, get them somewhere to warm up as quickly as possible.
Cut back on walks on very cold days. On colder days limit the duration and the number of walks to protect your dog from frostbite and hypothermia. If you must go out for longer times, consider getting or making them a jacket or sweater for extra warmth.
Protect their paws. Make sure your dog’s toe hair is trimmed so that ice and salt don’t get caught in it. An alternative to doing this (is you pup a drama queen/king about you touching their paws?) is to buy your dog winter water-resistant boots.
Don’t allow your dog to eat snow. Eating snow dangerously lowers your dog’s body temperature which makes them more susceptible to cold related injury. Additionally, there could be chemicals or hidden objects buried in the snow that could be very harmful to them.
With these simple shifts, you and your dog can continue to enjoy the benefits of your daily walks even in cold months! Happy walking!
It is so important to ensure that your dog continues to get exercise, even in the winter months. But with the colder temps, there are new safety concerns that need to be taken into account. Over the rest of the month, we will be sharing tips and tricks to keep your doggo safe from cold weather hazards as you both get outside for a bit of exercise!
First up, how to keep them safe from all the salt that is put down on sidewalks and roads to act as a deicer! These chemicals can cause irritation in their paws after walking on walkways and internal medical issues if ingested. To keep your canine friend safe, take the following precautions when you go out for a walk:
Check out our post on January 19th for more tips on keeping your dog warm on your winter excursions!
Got a super cute fur friend? Start snapping some photos now and get ready to enter them in the Animal Care Foundation’s First Annual March Madness Cutest Pet Match-up!
Starting March 1st, photos will be matched up against another entry and the winner will go on to the next bracket until we have the 2022 Cutest Pet winner! Voting will be done on Facebook, but you don’t need a Facebook account to enter. The winning pet will be featured in a blog post and their human will earn a $10 Caribou Coffee gift card along with bragging rights!
1. Send your photo to us by February 20th, 2022 via:
a. Facebook messenger @AnimalCareFoundationMN
b. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Be sure to include your pet’s name and your name.
You may share the event and ask your friends to vote on Facebook. You’ll get an email or Facebook messenger with the schedule of the matchups for each round so you’ll know when voting for your pet will occur.
We can’t wait to see all the adorableness! Good Luck!
Have you ever wondered exactly how the Animal Care Foundation works? Here is your chance! The logistics, qualifications, and support we offer are described below!
The Animal Care Foundation is a 501.c.3 nonprofit that works to ensure that our Minnesotan neighbors who are disabled or elderly can access necessary veterinary care for their family pet even if they cannot afford it. Our clients must be:
If an applicant qualifies, they are then matched to one of our generous member clinics and can access financial support for any necessary veterinary care their pet needs. The support offered is: