Bark for Your Park Best Moments

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Along the way, the PetSafe® team has seen some pretty great response from each city in the contest, and now that the voting has closed, we thought we’d share our favorite moment from each community.

Tehachapi, CA – Our winners of “Album of the Year” superlative had some awesome photos to share of the pets in their community. There were so many great pictures that it was hard to choose just one to share, but we loved this one:

tehachapi

 

 

 

Springfield, IL – Home of honest Abe, we loved watching their PSA. It had an appearance from Abe Lincoln himself. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you can see it here. Great job!

Taylor, MI – This community had some great discussions on their Bark for Your Park page. They knew a great way to gain community support was through their discussion board. Smart move, Taylor!

Enfield, NH – This small town was certainly mighty in their barking efforts. They also used their discussion board to rally support, and uploaded some great photos to their page!

Manassas Park, VA – This community did a great job uploading the media documents. Check out one of the PAWsome news stories here!

Hattiesburg, MS- The winner of the “Best Picture Award,” for its super fun concept. Oh, yeah, and they had a special appearance from a little known athlete, Brett Favre. You can see their video below.

Auburn, NY- This community was quick to upload their documents, and had continued support from members of the city throughout the contest. Great job, Auburn!

East Hartford, CT- This community won the “Old Dog New Tricks” superlative for being in the competition before, and coming back with a strong BARK! We have to give a shout out to HANZ, too, for being such a great barker!

Waverly, IA – Winners of our “Social Spirit” superlative, this community did a great job of posting fun and inviting posts via social media during the contest. One of our favorite things to see was their local Dairy Queen® employees getting in on the action!

Wav

 

 

Beckley, WV- This city’s Pet Supplies Plus store did a great job of spreading the word throughout the community about the contest. They were able to be nominated, and then strengthen their BARKs throughout the contest!

Port Chester, NY – Port Chester’s residents had a great social media presence. They were amazing in their efforts of creating community events to talk about the contest! Great job, PCDP supporters!

Sulphur Springs, TX- These community members had a booming discussion board via their Bark for Your Park page, and even had support from other cities throughout the state of Texas. Support even came from Texarkana!

Sanford, NC- Sanford was another community that posted some pretty great pictures throughout the contest. This one was our favorites!

sanf

 

 

 

 

Potsdam, NY- Winners of our “Shelter Supporter” superlative, the community of Potsdam made it clear from the beginning how a park would help the Potsdam Humane Society. They wanted to make sure a park would have a section specifically for shelter dogs!

Carrollton, TX- And last, but certainly not least, Carrollton, TX. The community supporters had some wonderful stories to share on their discussion board, and did a good job of encouraging others to get involved in the contest.

Congrats to all of these B4YP communities! Which community do you think will win?

 

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Pet Hydration Awareness Month, Why Now?

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By Robin Rhea, Senior Brand Manager

Every day we are bombarded with information about our health. It can be overwhelming but the repetition of key health information helps make the message stick. Eventually, the information sinks in and helps us make better choices that support our longevity.

For as much as we know about human health, pet health education doesn’t always get the same amount of press coverage. Yet, we see more and more research and learnings that benefit both human and pet health. Universally healthy habits can be easier to adopt for our whole family yet, many of these are not discussed in parallel.

We found this to be true with hydration and daily water in-take for pets and people. As we have learned about how filtered water affects pet health, we saw similarities in human hydration needs. Proper hydration is critical and dehydration has serious and immediate Capturehealth risks in humans and pets. However, most pet owners are unaware that their pet’s bodies are made up of a higher water percentage than their own human bodies.

Keeping pets hydrated is a simple habit that if can be an after-thought for many of us. Our pets need 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. Most pets don’t get enough water especially during extreme temperatures. This led us to declare July as National Pet Hydration Awareness Month.

We are working hard to get the word out to pet owners everywhere to be aware of their pet’s water in-take and limit their exposure to extreme temperatures especially in what is usually the hottest month across the US. Be aware of the signs of dehydration. Keep freshly-filtered water available to your pets at all times so they are enticed to drink the proper amount of water. Each time you reach for your bottle of water so you are keeping yourself healthy and hydrated, think of your pet. These furry guys depend on us for access to fresh water. This July, join PetSafe in our quest to bring more awareness to Pet Hydration.

How are you remembering to keep your pet’s hydrated this summer?

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Protect Your Pets from the Summer Heat

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Jim poses for a picture with his dog, Henry.

Jim poses for a picture with his dog, Henry.

By Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances

There has been no way to avoid the tragic news reports of children being left in hot cars this summer. In some instances, concerned passersby have noticed kids in crisis before it was too late. Sadly, in other instances, children have suffered in unspeakable ways and have lost their lives. Hopefully these incidents will be few and far between, but as lives get busier and priorities get skewed, I fear we will hear about even more such cases.

Sadly, every summer for years we have heard about similar situations involving family pets. Far too often pet owners choose to take their pets along when running “quick” errands. Sadly, it takes only moments for the inside of a car, even one with the windows cracked, to turn into an oven of sorts. Temperatures rise to life-threatening levels very, very quickly. Since dogs don’t perspire, they rely on panting to help regulate their body temperature. The hot air in the confines of a car affords no relief and heat-related injury or death can occur almost immediately.

We hear it over and over again: “but, Jake loves to ride in the car! I’ll just run into the store for a minute.” Pet owners think they’re giving their dogs a treat by taking them along for that ride in the car. But, at best they are subjecting their best friends to unnecessary risk. And, at worst, they are driving them to a painful, untimely death.

The best rule of thumb here is to leave your pet at home! Even if your errands are quick, unless you can take Fido or FiFi inside with you, they are better off at home. Be strong and avoid those big, brown eyes staring pitifully at you as you collect your keys!

The new Ceramic Porcelain Avalon Fountain continuously recirculates and filters your pet’s water, keeping it cleaner and fresher than a normal water bowl.

The new Ceramic Porcelain Avalon Fountain continuously recirculates and filters your pet’s water, keeping it cleaner and fresher than a normal water bowl.

There are lots of other things for pet owners to consider as temperatures rise. On the Paw Print blog in recent months, we have posted numerous articles about the importance of proper hydration for our pets. An ample supply of fresh, cool water is an absolute must to keep our pets healthy, safe and comfortable during warm weather months. Whether you use PetSafe® Drinkwell® fountains or still water bowls, make sure that water containers are kept clean and filled.

We always encourage exercise for pets AND pet owners! But, in the summer time it may be necessary to adjust schedules or exercise routines. If you like to walk or run with your dogs, do so early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are less likely to hit extreme highs. Not only can you and your pets overheat, but hot pavement can cause severe burns on the pads of a dogs paws.

If your dog likes to swim, make sure to take him to water that is clean and free of hazards. And be sure to check his ears after he’s taken a dip. Water in the ears can lead to painful infections. Monitor your dog while he’s in the water to make sure he doesn’t over exert himself. Dogs are usually good swimmers, but sometimes they don’t quite know their limits!

Our pets are good for us. We’ve all heard studies quoted telling us that contact with pets makes us happy, lowers our blood pressure, makes us exercise more and keeps us generally healthy—both mentally and physically. So, go out and enjoy the summer with your pets…just remember they count on us to make wise decisions and take care. It’s our job to Protect.Teach.Love.™

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Celebrate National Mutt Day!

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By Sarah Folmar, Brand Communications Specialist

Tyson made it into one of our photo shoots!

Tyson made it into one of our photo shoots!

Just a little under a week from now, I will be celebrating a pet holiday that is near and dear to my heart. National Mutt Day takes place on July 31st, and having the best mutt out there (in my opinion), I love to celebrate having him. Here’s a little bit about Tyson, Mr. T, or Ty$on as my pop culture loving friends like to spell it:
I was working in an animal hospital when an elderly couple brought in this stray hound mix with a potential gunshot wound. They really wanted to make sure he was stitched up and presentable before they took him to a local shelter. It was kind to take him in off the streets, and try to get him ready to go to the shelter as they were not able to take in a large dog. This sad-looking but strangely optimistic young dog broke my heart. I knew that some shelters would euthanize him right away with an injury like this, so I couldn’t just let him go. That’s the day I decided to foster dogs. That’s also the night that I became a foster failure. 4 years later… Tyson is still ours!
If you have just adopted a mutt (or purebred pooch), or one came into your life out of the blue (like Mr. T…), PetSafe® products can help! Sometimes you won’t know a dog’s history when you take him in, and there are plenty of products that can help make the transition go well.
If you are wanting to give your new dog a great space to, well, be a dog, check out some of the in-ground and wireless fence options. This will give your dog freedom in his new yard, without you needing to install a physical fence.
You’ll want to make sure he’s happy and has something to keep himself entertained. When we first got Tyson, he managed to chew up just about everything that we had left out. We weren’t giving him great chew toys at the time, and now we make sure he’s always got something to keep himself busy. The PetSafe brand has a variety of toys for strong chewers, as well as treat-dispensing toys that reward your dog for playing! What could be better?

pww00-13705_a2_4And last, but certainly not least, you’ll want to make sure your new dog stays properly hydrated. July is National Pet Hydration Awareness Month, and this is a great time to educate yourself and create a healthier lifestyle for your pet by making sure he has the proper amount of water each day. Tyson needs close to 65 ounces of water a day, but I don’t have to constantly fill up a dirty water dish with our Drinkwell® 360 Stainless Steel Fountain. This is honestly my favorite product, and Tyson loves it too! It freshly filters your pet’s water, and is veterinarian recommended.

So celebrate on July 31 with National Mutt Day by giving your dog a thank you for being awesome. Or throw in a new PetSafe product for fun!

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Last week to Bark For Your Park – 15 Ideas to Boost Your Barks

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By Robin Rhea, Senior Brand Manager

B4YP1As we head into the last week of the finals of Bark For Your Park, the barking can get even more intense. It’s a critical time to step up your communities’ game and bark like you have never barked before. We wanted to share some last minute ideas to put your votes on steroids.

 

 

  1. Coordinate a dog-walk to get all your community’s dog-lovers together and remind everyone you see to bark.
  2. Print out reminders on sheets of paper and provide these to food delivery services.
  3. Change up the location of your yard signs to capture new audiences.
  4. Hang a banner from bridges and overpasses so that people passing through your community will be asked to vote too.
  5. Ask local businesses to post a Bark For Your park reminder on their marques.
  6. Ask your local broadcast media to remind their viewers to vote as a part of their local news updates.
  7. Ask your local movie theater to run your .30 public service announcement.
  8. Ask your local celebrities to share the contest with their fans.
  9. Reach out to your community’s musicians and ask them to mention the contest at events where they perform.
  10. Write Bark For Your Park on your car windows with window chalk.
  11. Post a banner at nearby baseball fields.
  12. Identify community message boards around town and place posters there.
  13. Hold a pet adoption event in coordination with your local shelter.
  14. Remind your civic leaders to mention the contest to their supporters.
  15. Call on creative people within your community who can help generate even more ideas that are specific to your town.

Most of all let your love for your community’s dogs shine and just keep the passion for your dog park alive. We can’t wait to find out where the next generation of PetSafe Dog Parks will be popping up, hopefully in a neighborhood near you. Good luck to all our finalists.

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The World According to Cooper: Humans Can be Hard to Train!

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By Stacie Greene, Supply Chain Cost Manager

CooperHello everyone, I need to get some stuff off my chest, so this month I’m going to use my blog to clear my mind. I think that I have made it perfectly clear over the years how much I love my mom. She really is great. She knows me like the back of her hand. She knows when I want cookies, or to play or to go outside or when I just need a good belly rub and a nap. With respect to those things I have trained her well. I’ve also trained my human co-workers well too when it comes to scratching my ears or giving me cookies. So with respect to things like cookies and love, humans can be really easy to train.

As much as I love humans, this is where you all fall short. We dogs live in the moment. We are generally happy-go-lucky individuals that take every experience of every day as a gift. Lately, it feels like all my mom does is work. She’s always on the go, always thinking about what is next on the to-do list, where we need to be, what needs to get done, how long it will take, what comes after that, and after that and, and, and…. I’m exhausted just telling you about it, much less having to live with it and keep up with it. If that is not bad enough, if she thinks that she has neglected me and I’ve not gotten enough play time then she starts to worry and we start a whole new frenzy of activity. I am trying everything that I know how to do to get my mom to live in the moment, to find joy in the small things. I am not making the kind of progress that I did in training her to rub my belly. Humans seem to be good with routine tasks, but letting go of your worries is not something that you excel at.

So here are my words of wisdom for all of my human readers out there, your furry children already know this. Life is short, none of us will ever know how short. Dogs know this from the beginning, which is why we treasure every moment and every experience. We see things for what they are and appreciate every moment that we spend with the people that we love. So slow down and live in the moment with your furry child. Watch and learn, we have things to teach you that will make your life fuller.

Wow, I feel much better after getting that off my chest. Thanks for reading!

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Find Your Lost Pet with a Microchip

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By Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD

IF_Boy with Leash 5Lost pets show up at vets and shelters every day. If your pet goes missing, how will you be reunited? Properly identifying pets is an issue I’m very passionate about as a clinical practice veterinarian. I’ve helped lost pets reunite with their owners on innumerable occasions after good Samaritans brought in misplaced cats or dogs. In nearly every circumstance, these stray pets lacked tags and a collar. Fortunately this doesn’t mean the pet will be lost forever. An implanted microchip makes it more likely that your pet will be safely returned to you.

How do microchips work?

A microchip is about 12 mm long, approximately the size of a grain of rice. A thin layer of biocompatible glass coats the microchip, which significantly reduces the likelihood that your pet’s body will react with an inflammatory response such as swelling, pain, or itchiness.

The microchip does not let off a detectable signal, but instead uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. The microchip stores data that is interpreted by a microchip reader when placed within a few centimeters of the chip.

If your pet gets lost and is found by a good Samaritan, he will likely be taken to a vet or animal shelter where the microchip will be scanned and a code is revealed. Once the code is known, the vet or shelter will contact the microchip. The manufacturer keeps a database with the pet owner’s personal information.

How are microchips implanted?

Microchip_rfid_riceA microchip is implanted in the subcutaneous (fat) space between the shoulder blades for both cats and dogs. The process of administering a microchip is similar to giving a vaccination, but a larger 12-gauge needle is used. This causes some discomfort for the pet, which is why some veterinarians prefer to implant the microchip while the pet is under anesthesia for a surgical procedure like a spay or neuter.

If your pet has already been fixed, plan for a microchipping procedure as soon as possible. With my clients, I suggest microchip implantation during the initial veterinary wellness exam. I recommend asking your vet to complete the registration process so the chip is appropriately registered. Tell your vet if you need to update your contact info with the microchip manufacturer.

Many chips are equipped with anti-migration technology that helps prevent them from moving around the subcutaneous space to another part of the body. Although microchips are not supposed to migrate, sometimes they still do. The person scanning for a chip first checks between the shoulder blades. If there’s no chip detected between the shoulder, they’ll keep scanning other body parts including the front limbs, flanks, neck, and back of the skull.

Which microchip should my pet have?

mary_drinkwell_dogIt’s important to discuss your pet’s lifestyle with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate chip for implantation.

Do you plan to keep your pet in the US or travel internationally with your pet? The International Standards Institute (ISO) chip would be better for globe-trotting pets. Common manufacturers of microchips include AVID and Home Again. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association gives helpful information about the specifics of ISO chips in their Microchip FAQs page.

Pets should always be thoroughly scanned for a microchip before one is implanted. There’s no need for a pet to have more than one microchip unless less there is an issue with international travel requiring an ISO chip in the face of the previous chip being a non-ISO format.

Do microchips really help reunite pets with their owners?

Yes, according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) article
Characterization of animals with microchips entering animal shelters (July 15, 2009, Vol. 235, No. 2, Pages 160-167):

The high rate for return of microchipped dogs and cats to their owners supported microchipping as a valuable permanent pet identification modality; however, issues related to registration undermined its overall potential. Bundling of microchip implantation and registration, point-of-implantation data registration, use of annual compliance and update reminders, and providing access to all registries are potential solutions.

Provided your information has been kept up to date, you can be contacted and reunited with your lost pet. Sometimes the microchip manufacturer doesn’t have the most current contact information for each pet, so the pet’s owner can’t be contacted. The pet’s owner will have to use the traditional means of finding the pet, including checking lost posters and calling local shelters and vets. A microchip is only helpful as long as your contact info is current.

Should I microchip my pet?

The best way for your lost pet to be returned to you is to give your pet as many forms of ID as you can. Make sure your pet has a microchip and wears a collar and tags with at all times. You can even embroider your pet’s name and phone number on the collar in case the tags fall off. Your pet’s tags and microchip should both have current contact info.

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Unexpected Fountain Tips

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By Jessie McDowell, Content Marketing Specialist

Jessie with her German Shepherd, Moose.

Jessie with her German Shepherd, Moose.

Our pets are 80% water. That fact really struck me as I looked out at my 100 lb. dog gulping water out of his dish outside. I looked a little closer at his bowl and saw ants on the edge and pieces of leaves and dirt floating at the top and started to feel bad. I drink bottled water, strongly brewed coffee and the occasional soda each day, and I can’t even remember to clean his bowl and fill it up. The worst is when I’m not home all day and come back to see an empty bowl, licked dry by my two large dogs.

I decided to make a change. I purchased two fountains, the Drinkwell® Outdoor Dog Fountain for during the day outside and the Drinkwell® Zen Fountain for inside at night. I filled it up with fresh water and vowed to commit to cleaning them each week. Getting fountains for Trigger and Moose ending up being the perfect move, but I learned a few odd things along the way.

1. It may take a second for your dogs to get used to it.

I expected them to immediately be taken with the fountain and give me a look of “thank you, mom, you’re the best,” but really, they were suspicious at first. For two dogs that (I am ashamed to say) drink out of the toilet more than they do their bowl, this was a big step. After calling to them to drink out of the bowl and treating them after they do, they were hooked.

2. Find a protected area for the fountains.

If you have a nervous chewer like me, you might want to place your fountain in a secure environment. Moose ate one of the reservoirs to the Outdoor fountain the first day. I remedied this by creating a small ledge out of wood to slide the fountain under. Now I can slide the fountain out for refills and he can’t grab the reservoirs for a snack. Also find an area where less leaves and flowers can blow into the water. You don’t want to clean that all the time.

3. You will need power for these fountains.

I know this should go without saying, but I just assumed I had power where the fountains needed to be. I didn’t. So scope out the place you would like the fountain and make sure there is a power supply near. Outside at the back of my house I had to run an extension cord, so be aware.

4. Don’t forget to clean them.

Just because you can clean these fountains less often, doesn’t mean you don’t have to at all. Luckily, the parts are top shelf dishwasher safe, so I just take them apart and run a cycle. It is awesome!

5. Keep track of your pet’s hydration.

Now that I am more aware of what and how much my dogs should be drinking. I try to keep it in mind no matter where I go. It is shaping up to be a hot summer, so whether we are at the dog park or visiting family for a cookout, I always bring extra water for the pups. The fountains are great for home, but pet hydration should be important no matter where you travel.

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ScoopFree® Ultra Litter Box Review

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By Roslyn McKenna, PetSafe Web Content Specialist

“I have too many cats,” I think to myself as I’m digging through clay to scoop my cats’ litter box. I swear their pee becomes glue the second it hits the litter. The kitties have 5 litter boxes to choose from, 3 of which are automatic. The weekly scooping of the 2 regular boxes reminds me of why I love my automatic litter boxes. The ScoopFree Ultra Litter Box is the newest addition to the cats’ bathrooms in the hallways closets. It’s great for keeping the cats happy without having to scoop their boxes as often.

ScoopFree Litter Box Highlights

Ultra fullsize-          Super quiet & fast cleaning cycle 5 minutes after each use

-          Crystal litter tray lasts 1 month

-          See-through hood stops litter box bullying

-          Health counter tells you how many times cats use the box

 

Quiet All Night

The tricky part about automatic litter boxes is finding a place to put them in your home. You need a big enough spot with access to a plug. My bedroom closet is the last closet without an automatic box. At first I was worried the noise and smell would be a problem. One week later and I had forgotten it was even there. I thought maybe the box was broken until I heard it go off one night before bed. It was so quiet I could barely hear it working!

Instantly Clean & Fresh

scoopfree with catThe dirty litter and waste is raked into a covered area of the tray. The Ultra litter box has a “delayed flush” setting so it will sweep the box 5, 10, or 20 minutes after your cat uses it. The timer plus the hood are the ultimate anti-dog features. My dog Doc can’t enjoy the “buffet” after the cats have used it. The crystal litter still looks pristine after over a month, though the cats have definitely been using it. The old traditional litter box that had been in the closet started to stink after a few days of not cleaning it.

My cats like to pee outside the box if it’s not clean enough for them, especially if there’s a pile of scooped-out litter next to the box. The closet has been pee-free since we got the ScoopFree box because it’s always clean and the hood and high sides make it harder for the cats to scoop litter outside the box.

Swap Out the Litter

scoopfree litter tray

ScoopFree litter boxes use a special crystal litter tray. When the litter’s done, it’s time to trade out the tray for a new one. I signed up for the litter auto-ship subscription program. With the subscription, you get to pick how many trays you need and how often you need them. You also get free shipping and a 10% discount as an added perk. The first tray has lasted over a month, which is pretty impressive with 4 cats. I’ll probably need a new tray about once a month, so I’d get 6 trays shipped to my house every 6 months. I just stack the extra trays on top of the litter box since the hood is nice and wide.

Less Bullying

Hi, my name is Ichigo, and I’m a litter box bully.

Hi, my name is Ichigo, and I’m a litter box bully.

With multi-cat homes, litter box bullying is very common. Lily and Ichigo stalk the other cats when they head for the litter box closet. The semi-transparent hood lets the cats see if the bullies are coming, so they’re not surprised by the attack. The closed sides also help the cats feel safer, since there’s only one place the bullies can come from.

 

 

Training & Health Counter

The ScoopFree Ultra comes with a health counter that tells you how many times your cats enter the box. You can reset it every day or however often you’d like. I love the usage counter for 2 reasons.

1)      It’s an easy way to tell if your cats are used to the new box. The cats became comfortable with the box in a few days. The 1st day I set up the box, the counter said the cats had been in the box 3 times, though they didn’t do any business. I reset the timer and checked it again on the 2nd day. The cats used it 7 times that day without leaving any presents. The 3rd day I finally saw some results in the box plus 10 entrances that day. The cats continued to enter and use the box more frequently over the following days.

2)      You can gauge how often your cats use the bathroom to monitor for health issues. Renji eats a special urinary food to prevent urinary crystals. Let’s say my cats enter the box 20 times a day normally. If that number increases to 30 or 40 times a day, I’d start to watch Renji closely to make sure he’s not showing any symptoms of a urinary blockage. If the cats are only using the box 10 times a day, it might be time for a cleaning.

The ScoopFree Ultra is the easiest automatic litter box I’ve used. I highly recommend it for multi-cat homes.

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Bark for Your Park PSAs

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By Sarah Folmar, Brand Communications Specialist

We just wanted to make sure you all got to see the PAWsome PSAs that were submitted by Bark for Your Park finalist communities. Which one is your favorite?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM1NeV3pWww

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a-1o2iKtDE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOIibLN8HGw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xRPnhbH33E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoONcS5OslU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4wOVv7FGMg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMAcnSUpjhM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diX4ReMNgHQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1sPErezlS4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdss64gye-Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFbh1gdBiIU

 

Share your favorite city’s Bark For Your Park public service announcement to remind everyone to vote  2x per day, now – July 31st on petsafe.net & Facebook. Reminder: Video views DO NOT count as votes for your city.

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