Posts in Guest Post

Don’t let your puppy feel left out while you bake. Try this ‘Pupcake’ recipe!

Have you ever been baking, and out of the corner of your eye see an interested puppy’s nose getting a little too close to the goods? Our pets love being with us, and they also love food! So it only makes sense that they’d want to be involved when you’re getting your sweets on in the kitchen. To keep them away from your baked goods, we have a great solution: make them their own, specialty, ‘pupcakes’! These are little treats, similar to the more traditional cupcakes, which are specifically made with ingredients that will not harm your pet, and that they’ll enjoy. We’ve broken it all down for you so you can quickly and easily make pet-safe cupcakes for your furry friends.

Pup getting too close to your treats?

Pup getting too close to your treats?

Make a special treat for your pet so they don't feel left out

Make a special treat for your pet so they don’t feel left out

“Pupcakes” recipe
Ingredients:
2-3/4 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup dried apple pieces (you can also use fresh fruit)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg beaten
4 tablespoons honey
Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350C. Spray cupcake tin with cooking spray. Mix wet ingredients thoroughly.
• Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
• Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients slowly, scraping well to make sure no dry mixture is left.
• Pour into cupcake tins.
• Bake for 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the centre and if it comes out dry, they are done.
• Cool completely and serve. Store in a sealed container. Makes 12-14 pupcakes.

These are edible for humans, but designed for a dog’s palate, so don’t plan on serving them to your human friends. If your ‘pupcakes’ get you into a baking mood, consider hosting a Cupcake Day party during February to raise money for your local SPCA or Humane Society.
National Cupcake Day™ is a coordinated Canadian event to support local shelters, SPCAs, and Humane Societies. In 2015, animal lovers across Canada raised over $550,000 in support of their favourite societies.

Here’s all you need to do: register for National Cupcake Day, and host a party where you bake for your co-workers, friends and family. In exchange for a cupcake, your guests donate to the participating animal welfare charity of your choice. This simple, fun, event raises critically-needed funds for animals that are abused, abandoned, neglected or no longer wanted. Your Cupcake Day party can be held at your workplace, home, school or local community centre – anywhere you think people will enjoy a treat!

National Cupcake Day is Monday, February 29, 2016, but you can hold your Cupcake Day party on whatever day works best for you in February. The event is supported by the Ontario SPCA and BC SPCA on behalf of participating local shelters, SPCAs, and Humane Societies.
Get baking today, and make a difference in the lives of needy animals!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

7 Tips to get your pet through the winter

The winter months are full of perils for our furry friends, and it’s our responsibility to protect them! There are a number of things you need to be aware of as a pet parent, so here are six great tips to keeping your pet comfortable and happy through the winter months.

Help your pets enjoy winter  with these 7 tips

1. Reflective gear: The days are shorter during the winter, but that doesn’t mean your dog wants to take shorter walks! Consider purchasing some reflective gear for you and your dog so you can be seen and safe on your wintery strolls.
2. Clean your pet’s paws: After those lovely walks, make sure you carefully clean your pet’s paws to remove ice and salt, both of which can irritate their paws and cause them pain. Use warm water and a towel to gently clean any of these substances off the paws.
3. Dog boots: To help keep your pet comfortable on winter walks, purchase some dog boots. For all sizes and breeds of dogs, boots help minimize the contact between your dog’s feet and harmful chemicals. Not only that, but they prevent painful ice balls from forming on the paws of dogs with particularly hairy paws.
4. Proper doghouse: If your dog spends any extended period of time outside, they need a proper and suitable doghouse according to the Ontario SPCA Act, all year round. If dogs are tethered in any way outside they need ready access to a shelter so they can get out of the wind and cold.

Help your pets enjoy winter  with these 7 tips

5. Avoid Antifreeze: If you can, avoid using antifreeze on your car. To animals, the poisonous substance tastes sweet but if ingested they only need a small amount to permanently damage their kidney. Do some research and purchase the pet-friendly substitute to antifreeze instead. If you have to to change your car’s antifreeze, be very careful not to spill any around your car, and if it does spill, clean it thoroughly with detergent.
6. Check your car’s hot spots: Before starting your car in the winter, check your car hood and wheel wells for stray cats, or other wildlife. Animals may hide in those places to keep out of the cold, so it’s important to be aware.
7. No pets in cars! : In the winter your car can reach dangerously cold temperatures very fast. Whether it’s a quick coffee break, or a trip to the shopping mall, do not leave your pet alone in your car. Leave them at home where they are safe and warm, or stay in the car with them. To report a dog or cat in a car, call 310-SPCA in Ontario (for other provinces, contact your local SPCA or Humane Society, they will direct you to the appropriate help).
Help your pets enjoy winter  with these 7 tips

There you have it! Some tips to keep your pets safe through the wintery months. Enjoy them as best as you can!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

It’s Raining Feral Cats!

You may know Pharrell Williams. Probably Will Ferrell too. But have you heard the term “feral cats” before? If you aren’t quite sure what a feral cat is, don’t worry, you aren’t alone!

A “feral” cat is a cat who has reverted in some form or another to a wild state. Feral cats originate from former domestic cats who were lost or abandoned and then learned to live outdoors or in environments involving little human contact. In the Greater Toronto Area alone there are estimated to be over 100,000 feral cats roaming the streets. Now that’s a lot of cats!

Luckily, the Ontario SPCA has created three innovative programs to help the kind people that care for the feral cats of our communities rain or shine! The first is a Feral Cat Trap Depot Program where the Society loans out cat traps to feral cat caretakers at no charge. The hope is that these cats will undergo the TNR program (Trap, Neuter and Return) and will rejoin the stray cat population without the possibility of having more babies.

The second is a Free Feral Food Bank which provides a steady support of food to help out the feral cat caretakers. Without this program, the dedicated caretakers use their own money to personally care for these cats that have unfortunately been abandoned by our society.

And last but not least, the Ontario SPCA and their volunteers build feral cat shelters for feral cat caretakers so that they can provide a safe, warm place for feral cats during our cold, harsh winters. We know how cold it can be for us (who have warm houses to deal with the extreme temperatures), so you can understand why the need for these cats to have a warm place to call their own is so important. No one wants to be stuck out in a blizzard with no where to take shelter!

So why are the numbers of feral cats so high? We think it’s from a lack of spaying and neutering. To give you some perspective, in seven years, just one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 80,000 kittens!

Shelters across the country are constantly taking in animals that are unfixed. According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, 25,000 cats and over 8,500 dogs were spayed or neutered while at shelters in 2013 (please note: this does not include statistics from the Ontario SPCA).

It’s been proven over the years that spaying and neutering pets can really make a difference in the number of homeless pets on our streets. For example, since the Ontario SPCA Marion Vernon Memorial Animal Clinic opened in Barrie in 2009, the Ontario SPCA Barrie Branch has seen shelter cat intake reduce by 53%! In six years, that’s definitely a lot less homeless pets on the streets! Overall at Ontario SPCA Branches across the province, shelter intake has reduced by 27%.

Doing your part to help manage the current pet overpopulation crisis makes such a large impact that it can be seen in communities across Ontario. Imagine what we could accomplish if everyone spayed and neutered their pets?

Want to learn more about the importance of fixing your pet? Visit fixyourpet.ca – it’s the kindest thing you can do!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Kijiji Hunter: 5 Easy Methods to Consistently Find Good Deals

For some people, home is a place where you can take your socks off, kick back and just relax. For me, home is a yellow banner with six blue letters and a seemingly endless assortment of everything I could ever dream of.

Kijiji has become an incredible resource for me. I find all sorts of unique and inexpensive things that I probably wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. My house, job, dogs, car, appliances, electronics – honestly just about everything in my life has come from Kijiji.

Often I share my treasures with my friends on Facebook and so many of them seem amazed by what I’m able to find and bring home. To me, I don’t do anything out of the ordinary, but I thought I’d share a few of my search habits that help me to discover those hidden gems on my favourite classified site.

1. Call it Something Else

Think outside of yourself. If you’re looking for a couch, try words like ‘sofa’ or ‘sectional’ to find other items that you might not find by just searching for the word ‘couch’. Sometimes people label things differently than you might, so knowing which words to search for can help you to find hidden gems on Kijiji.

Using the example of the couch still, you can narrow it down by the colour, type of material, etc. If you want a leather sectional, why bother going through hundreds of couches that aren’t what you’re really looking for? Read other ads and see if they use other words that you didn’t think of.

2. Broaden Your Search

Once you feel like you’ve gone through all of the obvious words that the item could be called, start thinking outside the category. Just as people might not name things the same as you, sometimes they’ll list an item in a category that you wouldn’t normally expect to find it.

Broaden your search to all of Kijiji and type in ‘leather sectional’. Maybe that couch you’re looking for is hidden away in a not so obvious place you might otherwise miss if you only search in the ‘couches, futons’ category on Kijiji.

3. How Much Do You Want to Pay?

I find a lot of things because I also narrow my searches by price. If I want to pay $100 for something, I might start with a maximum price of $60 and see what comes up. If I don’t find anything, I’ll do another search between $61-80 and so on. It can help to narrow down a big list of results and also give you an idea of what a good deal is in that category.

If I mentally agree that $100 is my maximum price, I would search all the way up to $150. Remember that Kijiji is great for bartering. No matter what I inquire about, I always ask what the seller’s best price is. Sometimes they’ll say the price listed is their best price, but many times the person will drop their asking price by a few dollars if you agree to pick up the item sooner than later.

4. Search Away from Home

It’s great when you can find something and it’s close to home. By venturing outside of your area code, you open up a whole new world of opportunities. Driving a little further can be completely worth it if the price is right or if there’s something you want that you haven’t been able to find nearer to where you live.

I usually keep a wish list of things that would be great to have. If I’m planning to go away for the day or on a weekend roadtrip, I do a quick Kijiji search to see if any of those items will be on my route or near my destination. I’ve found lots of things away from home. Sometimes they’re a little too far to drive for just that, but because I was planning to go there already, it was totally worth it.

5. Patience

Every once in a while you get lucky and find just what you want exactly when you want it. Other times, patience is the key. As I mentioned, I keep a list of things that I need or would like to have either just in my head, or in a word processor.

To some, it might seem like I’m finding things all the time, but in reality it can just be that the timing is right. Other times, I’ve been searching for something for a few months and it’s just happened to come up now. Setting up Kijiji email alerts is a really easy way to find what you want, if you don’t check the website as often as I do.

So that’s it. No rocket science, just simple tips to help you find awesome things on Kijiji.

Happy Hunting!

This post was contributed by Greg Lehman, who considers himself to be a hippie in a business suit. When he’s not busy working or taking hunting for great deals on Kijiji, you’ll find him lost in the forest with his dogs Dakota & Casey. He also enjoys cooking, travelling and writing about himself in third person. Connect with him here at about.me/GregLehman.

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Tips

‘Tis the Season to Keep Pets Safe! Remember Fido When Planning Your Holiday Celebrations

Can you believe the holidays are already upon us?! Time to start ticking names off that holiday shopping list and gathering all the yummy ingredients for your holiday meal. It’s an exciting time, but when it comes to our pets, let’s not forget the dangers that come along with all the festivities. So many new scents, visitors coming and going, treats, candy and so much more. Our furry friends become vulnerable to many new dangers at this time of year. It’s important to keep them safe because let’s face it – the holidays would be missing something special if our pets were injured or sick because they got into something they shouldn’t have!

Christmas Cat Says Stay Safe

What can you do to make sure Fido and Whiskers are safe this holiday season?

Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit more than getting out our favourite holiday decorations and putting them in the perfect spots throughout our home. Tinsel is one of those things that comes to mind when we think of holiday decorating. It is fun to play with and hang on the Christmas tree, but cats and dogs are attracted to tinsel and if swallowed, it could cause serious harm. If tinsel is a holiday staple in your apartment or house, make sure it’s out of pet’s reach.

Our furry friends are always quite curious, so putting up a decorated tree will definitely peak their curiosity! To prevent your tree from falling on your pet, we recommend securing it to the wall. You wouldn’t want it to fall over when your pup goes by to sniff your new masterpiece!

Beware of pets around open flames on candles as this may also peak their curiosity. If they get too close, they may knock them over and accidently injure themselves or start a fire.

We all know how much our pets love to chew. When they see wires, batteries, glass and plastic ornaments, they probably wouldn’t think twice about chowing down! The simple solution is to hang your ornaments higher up on the tree, and hide any kind of wires as much as possible.

Holiday plants and flowers add lots of atmosphere to any home. But did you know, Holly can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea? Mistletoe and poinsettia can also cause stomach upset. It’s best to choose some other festive item (like fake flowers and plants) when decorating your home to make sure it stays pet-friendly.

Do you include your pets in your holiday gift-giving? Do they have their own special stocking hanging next to mom and dad’s? If you’re giving gifts to your pets, choose gifts that are safe for them. Some pets like to eat the stuffing found in toys. If this sounds like your pet, it’s best to avoid these types of toys.

We bet your holiday meal smells delicious! Remember: it also smells delicious to your pets! They may be tempted to sneak a bite or two of their own so it might be a good idea to keep them in a separate and comfortable room while serving and eating your holiday meal. If you’re serving alcohol, like human food and chocolate, alcoholic beverages are not meant for pets.

Using these tips won’t take up too much of your time, but they’ll definitely help keep the feline and canine members of your family out of trouble! So when you’re drinking your eggnog, playing some festive holiday music and celebrating with your loved ones, you can rest assured that your pets’ safety has been taken care of. Wishing everyone and their pets a very happy-and safe-holiday!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets