Best of Alameda Nomination

Alameda Magazine’s annual Best of Alameda contest continues this month through May 31st. We’re deeply honored to be on the ballot this yeai-pVW5nzB-XLr as the only independent and family-owned store in the Best Pet Store category. Please vote!!!


Adopt-a-Rescued-Guinea Pig Month

Guinea_pigs.3The ASPCA started National Adopt-A-Rescued-Guinea Pig Month back in 2002 to help raise awareness about guinea pigs in shelters and about pet cavies in general. Guinea pigs are rewarding pets when cared for properly. Many can be found in rescues and shelters around the world, waiting for their forever home. They are are social animals and should be kept in pairs. Learn more at the ASPCA’s page on Guinea Pigs.

February is Adopt-a-Rescued-Rabbit Month

We’re big fans of Rabbits here at the store and are positively delighted to see that they’ve earned their own special month on the calendarRabbit Supplies that is NOT related to Easter. Look for bunny-related posts from us throughout February.

Holiday Safety Hazards for Pets

The holidays are fun, even for pets, but the season brings added risks for our four-legged family members. Learn to recognize and manage holiday hazards to keep your pet safe throughout the festivities.


Tinsel is attractive, especially to cats. Tinsel is not toxic but consuming tinsel can cause serious harm to your pet’s digestive system. The long, tough strands can actually cut through the intestine and cause peritonitis.


Pets love to play with bright, colorful ornaments, but may end up breaking or even chewing and swallowing these fragile decorations. Sharp, broken pieces can lacerate the animal’s mouth,christmas-pet-safety-tips throat, and digestive tract. Larger pieces can cause an obstruction and emergency surgery may be needed.

Christmas Trees

Cats love to climb trees, especially when the tree is indoors and loaded with ornaments and other decorations that look a lot like cat toys. A climbing cat can pull a fully decorated Christmas tree crashing to the ground, potentially injuring the animal. Tree water may contain dangerous fertilizers and stagnant tree water may contain unhealthy bacteria, which is dangerous to both dogs and cats.

Mistletoe and Holly

Consuming holly may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eating mistletoe can result in stomach upset and even heart problems. A cat may suffer kidney failure after ingesting some types of lilies.


A dog or cat that eats chocolate may experience vomiting and diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and, in severe cases, even death. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic compounds it contains.


Consuming raw bread dough is dangerous for pets, as heat from the animal’s body causes the dough to rise inside its stomach. The pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating.

I Think My Pet Ate It! Now What?

If your pet has encountered or ingested one of these holiday hazards, contact your veterinarian without delay. Make this holiday season merry for everyone by keeping your animal companions safe from these potential holiday hazards.


ASPCA, “Holiday Safety Tips.” 2014.

Pet Poison HelpLine, “Winter Holiday Pet Poison Tips.” 2014




Holiday Photos to Benefit FAAS – Saturday, 12/6

It’s time for Santa Paws at Alameda See Spot Run on Saturday, December 6th from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Photos of your pet with Santa for only $30. All proceeds benefit Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS).

Contact 510-337-8575 or to schedule your photo sitting.

Join Us for Yappy Hour Every Thurs & Fri Eve in September

In celebration of our expanded evening hours and three years in business,  we’re hosting “Yappy Hour” every Thursday and Friday eve in September from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Stop by the store with your on-leash companion to enjoy a complimentary beverage while your dog dines on a free raw food dinner. Can’t bring your dog with you? No problem. Stop by anyways and we’ll send you home with the ultimate “doggie bag” for your pooch.

As always, there’s free parking available in back of store. Contact us with any questions.

Phone: (510) 523-SPOT


Join Us for Yappy Hour!

My Secret Escape: Hanging Out With The Pet Ambassadors

I  have a secret escape that I look forward to on a designated Saturday each month. It’s a brief respite from long days and endless to-do lists, and it always brings a smile to my face. It’s the hour I spend with the amazing  kids and parents who attend our Pet Ambassadors Club that we sponsor with Hopalong & Second Chance Rescue.

Watching these kids learn how to interact carefully and respectfully with animals gives me real joy; and hearing the thoughtful questions from their parents reminds me of the pet evolution that’s occurred in my own family for years. I especially love the time we spend doing pet-themed crafts. There’s nothing like hanging out with a bunch of creative youngsters and an assortment of art supplies to put your world in perspective…at least for an hour. Then it’s back to reality, but with a freshly charged battery.

My thanks go out to all the kids and parents who join us each month. I’m also deeply grateful to Katie Carney from Hopalong & Second Chance, who shares her gifts in teaching kids about animals and helps make the club my favorite place to be for a special hour every month.

craft time 1

The Cat Chat – Thursday 6/19, 6:30 to 7:30pm

Join us for a summer evening discussion about feline behavior and all things cat-related on Thursday 6/19 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This FREE event will be moderated by Hopalong & Second Chance Rescue’s in-house cat expert, Katie Carney and is part of our ongoing education series. Space is limited, so please contact us to reserve yours: (510) 523-SPOT or email Free parking is available in back of the store.

Kat with Ambassadors


Alameda Backyard Chicken Coop Tour

Sunday, May 11, 2:00-5:00pm

PictureEver wonder what it’s like to keep a few backyard chickens…in Alameda? The Island City’s urban chicken coops range from humble to huge, and every year the Alameda Backyard Chicken group invites the public to come take a closer look, learn a little about raising backyard chickens (and maybe bees and vegetable plots), and just bask in the glory of our avian friends. People are strongly encouraged to bicycle or walk to as few or as many coops as they would like.

This event is Free and open to the public. Alameda See Spot Run is the official restroom and recharge stop for the Tour.
For a full Map of the Coop Tour locations, and to answer all questions, please visit


  • Visit as few or as many stops as you would like, in any order. Bicycling or walking is strongly encouraged.
  • Please do not arrive at any stops before 2pm or after 5pm.
  • Obey all traffic laws. Bicyclists are subject to the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle drivers.
  • Bathrooms at private residences are not open to the public.
  • Bring your own water bottle (and spare change for lemonade and cookie stands!)
  • Be respectful by not picking any fruit or vegetables in the gardens of the tour hosts.

Everyday Cat Enrichment

We have two store kitties, Sailor and Griffen, pictured here with their heads poking through the opening in their cat tree. These boys enjoy a fantastic lives as indoor cats. It does help that they have each other for company.

cat enrichment

Our two store cats getting into two-headed mischief on their cat tree.

I wanted cats my entire life, but I’m allergic and can’t have them at home (I actually tried to make it work twice!). I saw these two cats on Craigslist and thought they would be perfect store companions for several reasons: they were mature at 4 1/2 years old, so no kitten energy; they were neutered brothers from the same litter; they had never been outside, giving us a better chance of keeping them inside; and they needed a new home. Plus, they came with their own cat tree, litter box, and everything else I needed—all for free!

We had a couple rough months early on with the cats not wanting to be hugged. Griff actually scratched several kids who pushed him too far. I did some research and quickly realized that they needed more “cat enrichment” such as high perches to retreat to, plus better managed social contact.

Sailor and Griffen have quite a following and many people stop in just to see them and pet them.  The boys sleep in the pet room with the rabbit, the guinea pig, and the birds. Yes, I said ‘birds’. I think that keeps everyone on their toes. No one has been injured, or even close to it.

We get a lot of questions from customers about cat behavior and why our store cats seem so easygoing. Based on the behavior work of experts like Pam Johnson-Bennett, we know that many so-called problems are often due to a lack of cat enrichment, which is a fancy way of saying everyday entertainment that uses their natural skills. This can come in the form of food puzzle toys, interactive toys, vertical space, hideaways, and all kinds of scratching objects.

The key is to find the activity or toy that suits your kitty’s preferences. For some cats, it’s a good round of chase with the cat dancer; for others it’s as simple as providing them a comfy window seat so they can enjoy “Cat TV” every day.

Sailor and Griff are quite lucky because our store provides them with a lot of daily stimulation. But even they can be naughty: they have mastered the art of breaking open boxes of dog/cat food samples that have been taped shut with packing tape and they are not picky. Despite this, we love these boys and wouldn’t trade them for anything. They enrich many lives, especially ours.

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