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Dear Santa: Words of Wisdom From Becker College Veterinarian

Vlad Poptamas



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Reading Time: 3 minutes


Dear Santa:

I’m writing to you as the mom of three boys who would absolutely love a puppy for Christmas. Oh, the joy a puppy would bring on Christmas morning. It would be priceless! Our dog, Biscuit, an 8-year-old beagle mix, is a celebrity in our house, outranking mom and dad on a regular basis. Santa, the boys have been so good this year, and I say that with a forgiving heart and not the heart of a mom who just last weekend reminded the little one that throwing snowballs inside the house is a violation of the rules.

But here’s the thing, Santa. While it would make for an epic – and yes, that’s the word the boys would use – Christmas to see the joy that would erupt when a furry little puppy with a big red bow emerges from under the tree, it simply should not be. Now I know I sound more like Ebenezer Scrooge than a kind, loving mother. But it simply can’t happen this way in our house, Santa. Just as a stork didn’t swoop down and bestow three boys on us unexpectedly one night, you should not deliver a new four-legged family member to us as a “gift”.

A new pet is a new family member and should not be put in the same category as a toy car or the latest video game, which after a few hours of playtime end up in the Toy Room Hall of Fame or lost under a bed. You see, Santa, my boys are the lucky—or unlucky—children of a veterinarian.

If and when we do bring a new pet into our home, there will be dozens of teachable moments that will last a lifetime. Before we decide on a pet and where we will get it, we will talk about sizes and breeds that will suit our family. We’ll talk about puppy versus dog, ultimately settling on a dog because this vet mom feels better taking in an adult dog in need of a home than a puppy who still has that adoptability advantage based on its cuteness. As a family we will make sure the house and yard are ready to safely contain our new pet, discussing hazards the puppy may take an interest in, like electrical cords and toxic foods such as grapes, raisins, chocolate, and gum containing Xylitol. Getting Chinese food is certainly a treat in our house. But a wooden teriyaki skewer tops this vet mom’s list of hazards because they are harmful if swallowed and cannot be seen on an X-ray. Preparation will include a discussion about costs: adoption fees, food, supplies, flea, tick, and other preventions. That’s on top of vaccinations and unplanned veterinary costs, including surgical and emergency care. We will consider pet insurance, the benefits, the drawbacks, and how it will add to our monthly bills. We will discuss how we hope this new dog will have the same calming presence that Biscuit has, assisting with moments of anxiety rampant in our house. But we’ll be realistic and understand that every dog is different. We could end up with a nervous, loud, or destructive dog, and while training can help, there may be challenges. Finally, we will discuss the hard realities of life; some animals encounter unexpected illness or accidents and, even when all goes well, there is still the inevitable aging process and the short lifespan of pets.

So yes, Santa, a puppy tops their list, but please ignore it. I’ll take the fall for you, letting them know mom asked this wish go unanswered. The joy of bringing a new pet into our home comes with big lessons about commitment, responsibility, love, life, and loss.

Thank you, Santa.

Julie Bailey

Julie Bailey, DVM, is Dean of Becker College’s School of Animal Studies and Natural Sciences and Allerton Chair of Animal Health Sciences who spent the past 15 years as a veterinarian, working in emergency medicine and surgery. Becker College, located in Worcester and Leicester, Mass., is an undergraduate and graduate, career-focused private college, with distinctive programs in animal studies, game design, nursing, and more.

SOURCE Becker College

Editor - With a passion photo photography, webdesign and content, it made sense for me to also integrate news editing and press release publishing. I am also passionate about the car industry, so you will surely find some exciting news reporting from my side about the automotive industry.



v-dog Selects Orange Orchard as Global PR Agency of Record

Betty Tűndik



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Reading Time: 2 minutes


Vegan dog food company partners with animal friendly and environmentally conscious public relations agency to promote healthy, plant-powered, cruelty-free dog food and treats

V-dog, a San Francisco-based vegan owned and operated dog food company, has selected Orange Orchard, a global public relations agency specializing in animal-friendly and environmentally conscious brands, to promote its vegan and cruelty-free dog food and treats.

“We were in search of an agency that could not only help us promote our vegan dog food, but also cared about a compassionate, healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle,” said Lindsay Rubin, vice president at v-dog. “Heather and her team at Orange Orchard not only had the same values we look for in our business partners, but also demonstrated to us their industry and public relations expertise to bring v-dog to the forefront of dog lovers around the world.”

Orange Orchard is a division of Ripley PR and was established to promote animal-friendly, planet-friendly, vegan and plant-based products, brands and initiatives. The team’s knowledge and experience in building global brands will help forward-thinking, socially and environmentally conscious businesses and nonprofit foundations create a cleaner, healthier and more compassionate world.

“The vegan and plant-based movement has been gaining global momentum over the past few years, and v-dog has been at the forefront of plant-based, cruelty-free dog food since 2005,” said Heather Ripley, CEO of Orange Orchard. “We look forward to helping v-dog promote its vegan and cruelty-free dog food to pet lovers around the world.”

About v-dog
Since 2005, v-dog has seen dogs of all shapes and sizes thrive on our nutritionally complete plant-based kibble. We are a vegan owned and operated family business with high quality standards and zero product recalls to date. Based in beautiful San Francisco, our team is made up of animal lovers, most of us with fur babies of our own. We work each day to ensure you and your dogs are happy and that our products are providing them with the ultimate source of nutrition and joy. For more information about v-dog in the U.S., visit or call 888-280-8364. For more information about international distribution, visit

About Orange Orchard
Orange Orchard is a division of Ripley PR, a global public relations agency using a blend of strategic business accounting and creative public relations branding to deliver measurable results. Orange Orchard works with environmentally friendly, animal welfare, vegan and plant-based brands that aim to make the world a kinder place to live.

For more information visit or call 865-977-1973.

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Animal Welfare

PetSafe® Honored with Two Industry Recognition Awards from Pet Business

Vlad Poptamas



Reading Time: 2 minutes


PetSafe® brand, a global leader in the manufacturing of pet product solutions, was recently honored with two 2018 Industry Recognition Awards by Pet Business, which is recognizing this year’s most groundbreaking pet products. PetSafe® won awards in the Dog Bowl Category for its PetSafe® Drinkwell® 2 Gallon Pet Fountain and the Dog Training Category for its PetSafe® Remote Trainers product line.

In its 17th year, Pet Business’ Industry Recognition Awards highlights the most innovative, functional pet products advancing the industry. Editors at Pet Business, regarded as one of the most trusted publications in the pet industry, carefully select winners after sourcing the most exciting, cutting-edge products from a wide variety of categories throughout the year.

“Improving the relationship between pets and their parents is the focus of each of our product innovations,” said Celeste Vlok, marketing manager for the PetSafe® brand. “This recognition from Pet Business showcases the value our products are offering. We are excited to share more product solutions in 2019 to help pets and their owners live happy together.”

The PetSafe® Drinkwell® 2 Gallon Pet Fountain, an automatic water fountain, took the prize in the Dog Bowl Category. Not your ordinary water bowl, the Drinkwell® 2 Gallon Pet Fountain encourages hydration with a free-falling stream with customizable water flow. This fountain, tailored for big dogs and/or households with multiple pets, features fresh, filtered water and an easy-to-clean design.

PetSafe®’s Remote Trainers line received the honor in the Dog Training Category. The remote trainers line features an electronic collar that promotes safe, effective obedience training through a stimulation, tone, or vibration activated by a remote control that reaches up to 1,000 yards. Creating easy communication between owners and their dogs, remote trainers help teach basic commands and discourage nuisance behaviors.

The PetSafe® Drinkwell® 2 Gallon Pet Fountain and PetSafe® Remote Trainers are available for purchase at and major pet retailers across the U.S.

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Petco Shares Tips and Advice for a Safe, Joyful Holiday Season with Pets

Vlad Poptamas



With the holidays in full-swing, Petco is sharing important tips and advice to help keep furry and four-legged family members safe and healthy while creating lasting memories during one of the busiest times of the year.
Reading Time: 3 minutes


The holiday season is all about making special, joyful memories with loved ones – including our pets! With the holidays in full-swing, Petco is sharing important tips and advice to help keep furry and four-legged family members safe and healthy while creating lasting memories during one of the busiest times of the year.

When it comes to holiday travel, seasonal décor, and festive gatherings that revolve around food, simple preparation is the key to minimizing potential health and safety hazards for pets.

Petco offers the following tips for pet parents – or anyone hosting pet guests during the holidays – to ensure a joyful and safe season ahead:

  • Festive décor: Decorate your tree with pet safety in mind – decorations like glass ornaments, ribbons and tinsel can be harmful to pets if broken or ingested. For lights, be sure to cover electrical cords to prevent possible shock or electrocution.
  • Artificial and live plants: Holiday plants and décor certainly lend a festive atmosphere to the home, whether for a party or just for the family to enjoy. However, things like pine needles are sharp and difficult to digest if consumed by a pet. Other harmful plants that should be placed out of pets’ reach include mistletoe, holly, lilies and poinsettias.
  • Holiday food: The holidays are often synonymous with parties, which also means tasty food and a lot of guests. Avoid feeding pets table scraps and human treats like chocolate, turkey skin, grapes and raisins, caffeine, bones, onions, sweets and spices. If you suspect your pets have accidently ingested any of these foods, contact your veterinarian, PetCoach or pet poison helpline immediately. PetCoach is a trusted website that offers pet care information, as well as 24/7 online health and wellness consultation from trusted veterinarians in real time.
  • Holiday festivities: Remember pets may not be familiar with all of your guests and the noise can be stressful to them. You may find it best to keep pets in a quiet place, away from the holiday party, people and food. All the wonderful aromas from the kitchen can attract your pet, but holiday food spreads can pose a significant risk for curious pets.
  • Holiday travel: For pet parents, the first step in holiday travel planning is to decide if family pets will stay home or come along. If your pet is comfortable traveling and enjoys being along for the ride, pet parents should plan ahead for the road trip or flight to ensure it’s a safe and stress-free experience. Don’t forget to pack the pet’s necessities when traveling, including food, water, treats, favorite toys, leash, collar and I.D. tag, litter and disposable litter box, and clean-up products.
  • Find a responsible pet sitter: For pets comfortable staying at home, pet parents should find a responsible pet sitter and make arrangements early to avoid last-minute stress. Whether they are pet-sitting in your home or theirs, provide your sitter with a detailed checklist, including feeding and treating schedules, habitat cleaning instructions, emergency contacts and general care and maintenance information for each animal to help them take the best care of your pets.

Once you have pet proofed your home for the holidays, it’s time to bond with your pet and create some special memories. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

  • Interactive play: Use your pets’ favorite toy to encourage play time, which not only stimulates them mentally, but also provides some much-needed exercise. Pick out a new, fun toy from the Holiday Tails collection to get in the spirit.
  • Photos with Santa: Capture the perfect photo with your pet for your holiday card at Petco’s annual Photos with Santa in-store event on Saturday, Dec. 8 and 15. All proceeds from this charming keepsake are donated to the Petco Foundation to help animals in need.

For more holiday tips and ideas, visit and You can also connect with Petco year-round at and on all social media channels by searching Petco.

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