10 Spring Safety Tips for Pets

March is the perfect time to start thinking about spring safety tips for your pets. It’s a great idea to get ahead of any issues that might rear their ugly heads in the upcoming months. Are you prepared for the warmer months? These quick tips should help.

For more suggestions and conversations about spring, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/21stessentialpet. Join in the fun! We hope you have a lovely spring. Have fun and stay safe.

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Ways to Keep Your Pet Happy

The first thing to remember is that not all pets are created equally. Like most humans, some pets have good and bad days. Some pets also have different needs than others. You have to keep these things in mind when exploring ways to keep your pet happy. Understanding and acknowledging your pet’s needs and wants will help you to achieve this goal. The fact that you are even reading this post is a good sign that your pet is probably already living a pretty wonderful life. Keep up the good work!

5 Things to keep in mind if your pet seems unhappy   

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15 Reasons Why Pets Make Great Co-Workers

Not everyone has a traditional 9-to-5 job. Some people work from home completely, while others visit the office only a few days a week. Many people are in sales and work strictly from home or from the road. Whatever type of work you do and where, having a pet accompany you might not be that bad of an idea.

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What 21st Century Products are in Your Home?

valentine-petsThe Paw Print Blog is a proud sponsor of 21st Century AnimalHealthcare, a business located in Tempe, Arizona. 21st Century AnimalHealthcare has had Essential Pet products available in PetSmart stores for over 15 years. Over the years, some of our products have inevitably changed and some have remained the same. We have our favorites, as we discussed in a previous blog post, and we have new products being announced very soon. We love what we do and are proud to be pet owners ourselves. It’s wonderful that we can work in a business that truly believes in the health and well-being of dogs and cats!

With that being said, are you a user of Essential Pet products? Do you have any favorites? We often get feedback on our Facebook page from fans that have positive comments or questions, and it really helps us determine and evaluate what is working and what is not. What Essential Pet products do you have in your home?

Whether you have a dog or a cat, we have several products to meet the needs of many furry companions. Does your dog need a hip & joint care supplement or something to help his or her coat look healthier and shinier? We’ve got you covered! By clicking on the top of this page where it reads PET PRODUCTS (or click on this link) you can find a full list of our trusted pet care products available exclusively at PetSmart sores.

If you are new to our blog and want to find out more about Essential Pet products, here is a quick list of a few posts where we talk in more detail about what products we think you might need in your home:

If you have any questions about our products or company, please feel free to contact us any time. We are here to help! We have a wide range of trusted pet care solutions. If you are looking for anything specific, send us a message on our Facebook page and we’ll let you know if we have what you are looking for. Thank you for having Essential Pet products in your home and for following our blog. We really appreciate it.

Do you look like your pet?

Girl with white poodle playing on the green carpet

You’ve seen it in pictures and perhaps in your home. Do you have a pet that looks or acts like you or a friend that resembles their pup? When did these similarities start? It’s a wonder whether people unintentionally purchase a pet that they can relate to or if the comparisons intensify as the bond progresses throughout the years.

Do you think it’s true or just something people think they see?

According to a 2003 study by Michael Roy at the University of California, San Diego about whether dogs look like their owners, it was concluded that it does appear people want a creature like themselves (just as in the case of selecting a spouse (Berscheid & Reis, 1998)). In this particular study, they went to three nearby dog parks, photographed the dogs and the owners separately, and then asked a group of participants to try to match them up. Despite no additional cues, he found that they were able to work out who lived with whom with reasonable accuracy. The result has since been repeated many times.

Whether it’s personality or looks, do you have a pet that resembles you? Share a look alike picture with us on our Facebook page. Message or email us at welovepets@21stcenturyahc.com with a picture and we’ll let our fans decide if the theory holds to be true. What types of personality traits do you think your pet has picked up from you or vice versa? We hope to hear from you soon.

Our Top 10 Favorite Pet Movies

Pet movie starWhat would we do without movies? What would we do without our furry friends? Put the two together and you get a perfect combination of fun and adorable.

In anticipation for The Secret Life of Pets, we decided to put together a list of our all-time favorite pet movies. What are your favorite movies that incorporate the life of a pet? Tell us more on our Facebook page here: Facebook.com/21stcenturypet.

Let’s start with number 10 and work our way up to our most favorite pet-lovin’ movie of all.



  1. Shiloh – Haven’t seen this one? It’s a classic with a sweet and sad ending. A must-watch for sure.


  1. All Dogs go to Heaven – You knew this one would make the list! This is a memorable and impactful movie that will teach you a great lesson about love and revenge.


  1. The Fox and the Hound – This is an outstanding movie about friendship, loyalty and coming together when you need to the most.


  1. Marley & Me – Grab a box of tissues and get ready for a lot of laughs and some unavoidable tears.


  1. Beethoven – You must see this loveable classic movie about a large dog that makes a big impact on a family not prepared to take in this type of canine.


  1. Lady and the Tramp – This is one of America’s favorites. It had to make the list. Who could forget the spaghetti scene?


  1. Where the Red Fern Grows – This is as wonderful as it is adventurous. Watch this movie for a feel good family flick. You might even learn a few valuable things about life!


  1. Milo and Otis – A true adventure movie with a wonderful theme. It will keep you on the pads of your paws.


  1. My Dog Skip – A newer pet-related movie about a boy learning valuable lessons about life, with the help of his dog Skip.


  1. Homeward Bound – Anyone will fall in love with this truly daring movie. All three characters are wonderful and lovable in their own way.


Whether it’s My Dog Skip or Marley & Me, we love watching movies that incorporate pets in them because they are such a large part of our lives. Do you have a favorite? Don’t forget to share it with us! Stay tuned for a review of the upcoming movie: The Secret Life of Pets. We can’t wait to see it.

Hairballs 101 with Simon

IMG_0114By Simon

Have you ever heard anyone say anything good about hairballs? No, probably not! In this blog post, I am going to cover the important and obnoxious topic of hairballs. What are they? Who gets them and how can they be avoided or minimized? And I’d say I’m probably the purrrfect blogger to be writing about this – being a furry feline myself for the past seven years.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am Simon and I am a cat. I’m one of two four-legged representatives for Essential Pet Products sold at PetSmart stores and manufactured by 21st Century AnimalHealthcare. I started working with 21st about two months ago and it’s been quite the adventure. I’ve tried great products and learned a lot over that last couple months. I’ve even learned a ton about how to work with a dog that’s totally and completely my opposite in every way (sounds like a future blog post idea!). Like I said – it’s been fun! But I digress…

Let’s chat about hairballs:

What causes hairballs?

Hairballs are caused exactly how you think they are. When grooming themselves, small pieces of hair will attach to the hooks of the tongue and get swallowed. Most of the hair that is swallowed gets digested, but some of it stays in the stomach to form a hairball. Hairballs can cause hacking, vomiting, lack of appetite, constipation and diarrhea. It’s not fun hacking up one of those gross hairballs! They can also be caused by a moisture-deficient diet or a problem in the GI tract. If you see that your pet is having excessive hairballs, a visit to the veterinarian might be in order.

Are hairballs harmful to cats?

Have you ever seen a cat vomiting and appearing uncomfortably ill only to find a yucky pile of hair (and liquid) on your dining room floor? Yes, that’s how it happens. The cat’s body is smart enough to try to eliminate this unwanted hair from the body, but in some cases it’s not a pretty or pleasant experience for anyone. In most situations hairballs are not a huge issue. For cats that groom very frequently or have long hair there could be cause for alarm if the hairballs become too big for the cat’s digestive track. This can cause a blockage that could become life-threatening.

Can hairballs be eliminated?

There are a few things you can do to support and lubricate your cat’s digestive tract. To promote your cat’s healthy ability to pass ingested hair use a product like Essential Pet Hairball Paste for Cats. This product is incredibly easy to administer and has positive results. You can also help by grooming your cat on a regular basis. This is especially helpful for long-haired breeds and cats that groom often. Use a grooming brush to help eliminate loose hairs. If you know that your pet excessively grooms him or herself, intermittent use of a hairball paste and help with grooming should definitely do the trick.

We hope you learned a lot about hairballs. They are not fun to see and certainly not fun for your cat to deal with – I should know! Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. If you ever have any questions, please visit us on our Facebook page where you can find other great tips and fun!

And don’t forget that for the entire month of May you can BOGO 1/2 OFF our products at PetSmart stores!

Purrring Out, Simon

– Other posts from Simon include: Meet Simon the Smarty Cat

Top 10 Reasons Pets are Great for Kids, Part 2

pets and kidsIf you haven’t read the first part to this post, please do here: Top 10 Reasons, Part 1. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! Enjoy!


Therapy pets can be an important part of a child’s life. Therapy pets are mostly dogs, but can also include cats, rabbits, horses and even birds. Therapy pets can be life savers for children with diseases and allergies. For instance, a therapy pet can calm a child with autism or detect a life threatening allergy to a child with anaphylaxis. These amazing animals can help the disabled child perform everyday tasks that they would not normally be able to do. This gives them a feeling of freedom ad companion they feel understands them.

Enhance Literacy Skills

It goes without saying that pets are great listeners. This provides a great opportunity for children to practice reading without feeling pressured or embarrassed. The more they read to their pet, the more their reading skills improve. This makes them more confident when having to read at school. The more their reading improves, the more they will want to progress to different levels of reading. Also, with their pet involved it makes reading more fun for the child. It makes them feel like they are the teacher, which keeps their interest. The better they do, the more they will want to read.

Provide Comfort

Pets can provide love and comfort during the hard times that life inevitably throws at us no matter our age. Anyone who owns a pet knows, they are truly amazing at calming and caring about their owners. This being so, when something traumatic happens in a child’s life, instead of acting out in a negative way, they will turn to their furry friend for love and support, which the pet will be happy to provide.

Compassion and Patience

When the pet does something wrong, the child can be taught how to properly handle the situation. When learning to train their pet, the child has no choice, but to learn patience. Besides, in training a pet, the human is being trained as well in how handle the animal. When the pet does something wrong, the child will know how to properly know how to handle the situation instead of reacting violently. This overlays into a child’s relationships with other humans. The child learns that the pet is more than just a cuddly toy. It is a living being with needs. After learning this, the child will likely strive to meet the needs of the animal to make sure it is well taken care of and happy.

Happiness and Friendship

Pets offer a friendship like no other. The type of friendship that once the bond is formed it will never be broken. Pets act as playmates and adventures to children. Whether it’s going to the park or fighting dragons in the backyard, a pet, no matter how big or small, is always willing to lend a paw. Pets can even act as caretakers themselves, offering a child true unconditional love. That in itself is one of the greatest aspects of a child and their pet.

All of these aspects and more are benefits of a child having a pet. To prepare the child parents can give them extra chores to see if they can handle the extra responsibility. Parents can even write up a “contract” for the child to sign to make the child feel that they are making an adult decision and therefore, must uphold their agreement. These simple teachings before and after getting a pet can have a great impact on the rest of the child’s life.

Do you have any other great reasons why pets are wonderful for kids? Share them with us!


Got kitty fever? Be sure to do your research before you bring home that cute ball of fur.

Are you hoping to bring a new kitty into your life? Getting a new cat, whether it’s your first kitty, an addition to the family, or a rescue, it makes sense to do a little research so that you don’t regret your decision later.

Choosing a Cat
Should I get a cat from a shelter or a breeder? Choosing the right cat for you is the smartest way to choose a cat. Many of us believe that by choosing a cat from a specific breed we will be assured of a cat with specific personality type. Although it is true that most cat breeds are known to have certain traits, cats are very much individuals and a cat of a breed noted for its independence could be in fact very dependent.

Modern Siamese cats, for example are known to be very vocal, but that does not mean they all are and the feline that you select may be very quiet. Ragdolls are known as the gentle giants of the cat world and generally they are, but the odd one may be far from amiable. A cat’s personality does not depend just on the breed but also upon the personalities of the parents and the social order it was introduced to as a kitten. However, many people choose a pedigree kitten because they know what size, weight, coat pattern and appearance the cat is likely to have as an adult.

Choosing a Cat – Non Pedigree
The vast majority of cats are not purebred, pedigree cats but non-pedigree domestic cats often referred to as moggies. Non-pedigree cats may not have a verifiable lineage, but can be very lovable cats, as can any pedigree, and every bit as beautiful as well. Non-pedigree cats and kittens are almost always available from animal shelters, and these may be the best places from which to choose the right cat for you. Not only are they likely to have a selection of fabulous kittens but adult cats too. Choosing a cat from an animal rescue center (shelter) makes the best sense because sadly, far too many good healthy cats are destroyed each year due to overpopulation

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the cats in animal shelters were given up by their owners because they were bad pets. In the main, these cats are there through changed circumstances of their owners, a family tragedy perhaps or the owner took on the cat without understanding the responsibility and care a pet needs. The cats are not there because they themselves are defective. Many animal shelters go to a lot of trouble to match you up with the right cat for your family. They will often follow up with you after you have chosen your cat to ensure that all is well with you and your new pet.

Kitten or Adult?
Kittens are irresistibly cute, no doubt about that, but are not always the best choice for adoption. Kittens demand a lot of attention, time and care. A kitten will need litter box training and will require feeding several times a day. Kitties are full of curiosity and into everything, they learn about life by investigating things. Be prepared for a little damage to your treasured possessions during these investigations. An adult cat on the other hand will often settle in right away and prefer to observe his or her new domain from their favorite spot.

Children love kittens and love to play with them. Kittens love playing too, but don’t know yet how to control their sharp claws and teeth. Also children can unknowingly be a little rough with a kitten and may cause it harm. Adult cats that have been used to family life will often be unruffled by youngsters and will just slink away when play gets out of hand.

Choosing a Cat: Decision Time
You have an idea of the sort of cat that you want, you have decided between an adult cat or a kitten, and you have arranged for a viewing at your local animal shelter. Ask the staff for help with choosing the right cat for you. They will be pleased to tell you about the behavior of individual cats and kittens. Remember that a kitten that is shy of humans will likely make an aloof cat. Likewise a cat that is eager to greet you will most probably always be demanding for attention.

You may have a preference for a particular coat pattern. You may have your thoughts on a flaming orange cat, or maybe a mysterious black cat. But you just may be shown a captivating tiger tabby that steals your heart clean away. Cats may have a little say in choosing us as well as us choosing them.