human hand holding dog paw

A Message from Best Friends Pet Hotel CEO Jared Pinsker to our Pet Parents:

The past few weeks have been challenging and evolving for all as we learn more about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). As leaders in the pet care industry, we care deeply about your family and take the responsibility of caring for your pets very seriously.

Guided by Best Friends veterinarian consultant Dr. Sharon Davis, DVM, we are focused on ensuring the wellness of our pets and people by taking the following actions:

  • Monitoring: We know this situation is challenging for all involved. We are vigilantly monitoring and acting upon advice from top experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Pet parents are understandably concerned about respiratory virus transmission. As of today, the nation’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received zero reports of pets or other animals showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, nor does the CDC believe that animals can spread this disease to people.
  • The CDC strongly advises sick people and pets to self-quarantine, to wash hands thoroughly, and use a “social distancing” strategy to keep pets and people well.
  • Mitigation: Wellness and cleanliness are part of our company’s culture. As of this writing, we have not received any reports of Best Friends Pet Hotel employees showing signs or symptoms of the virus and are enforcing all health and safety protocols already in place, such as increasing the frequency of our cleanings and making sure our teams are supported with all the supplies and information they need – and anyone who is not feeling well knows we will support them in their decision to stay home. In our grooming areas, play areas, and boarding areas, we will continue our stringent cleaning practices and use a disinfectant formulated to kill the coronavirus (and other viruses).

As an employee-owned company, our wonderful team of caregivers at 31 Best Friends Pet Hotel centers nationwide agree that our first priority is to both people and pets. We ask that you partner with us to closely monitor your own health – and the health of your pet and the pets in your care.

Working together, our team is taking all the health and safety precautions needed to ensure that we maintain our clean and safe pet care and the industry’s highest level of client satisfaction. Our collaboration in our collective health will make us stronger as move through this ever-changing situation. Please watch for updates on our website and thank you for your continued trust in Best Friends as your partner in pet care.

Best regards,
Jared Pinsker, CEO
Best Friends Pet Hotels


Dr. Sharon Davis | Vet

Best Friends Pet Hotel is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Sharon Davis DVM as an experienced veterinarian consultant to the company’s leadership team to support pet parents and associates. Staffed by pet-loving Best Friends Pet Hotel employees, the company will tap into Dr. Davis’ expertise to assist with a wide range of preventative medical and wellness issue and company policies and procedures. She will also look at cleaning products and chemical use at the Best Friends facilities, and assist in updating the company’s approved/not-approved medication list. As the company upgrades and opens new facilities, she will be on hand when new wellness issues arise.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Dr. Davis to the Best Friends Pet Hotel family,” said Darryl Sampson, Vice President, Operations and Growth. “A Massachusetts native, Dr. Davis has an excellent reputation as a medical professional and a caring individual. We are proud to add her expertise to our leadership team, our employee-owned organization and our pet parents at 31 locations nationwide.”

Sharon L. Davis, D.V.M. was born in Kingston, Mass. and received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in biochemistry from Bridgewater State College. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with a concentration in mixed animal medicine and surgery from Purdue University. After graduating from Purdue, she worked for a small animal practice in Indiana before returning home to Massachusetts. For the past 23 years, she has worked at a leading Massachusetts animal hospital caring for dogs, cats and pocket pets.

In addition to being a mother, Dr. Davis has a home filled with rescued animals including dogs, cats, chinchillas, and chickens. She also volunteers at an assisted living facility where she presents a program called Animal Tales to the residents on a monthly basis. In her free time, Dr. Davis also enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, gardening, beekeeping, reading, and new adventures.

With 31 locations, including one at Walt Disney World, Best Friends Pet Hotel is an all-breed pet care provider with a warm, friendly, clean and comfortable atmosphere. The details make the difference at Best Friends Pet Hotel. Best Friends Pet Hotel offers overnight standard and luxury suites for boarding dogs, cats and pocket pets as well as high-quality doggy day camp, training, and grooming services All pet͛s’ special needs are considered, and each guest is monitored closely. All pets are required to provide proof of vaccinations.

For more information, call 978-443-2351 or visit


About Best Friends Pet Hotel: Founded in 1995 and currently employee-owned, Best Friends Pet Hotel has enjoyed “leader of the pack” status for nearly 25 years. With 31 locations, including Walt Disney World, we strive to provide customers with the absolute best pet care in a convenient and friendly atmosphere where safety, comfort, and fun are at the core of what we do. We offer boarding, Doggy Day Camp, grooming, and training services with full transparency, great communication with pet parents, the latest advances in safety, and a caring staff that loves your pet as much as they love their own. Many hotels offer outside and inside play areas designed with the latest advances in materials and safety. Learn more at

Media Contact: Julie Dennehy, 508-479-9848,


Feline Foods: 4 Tips To Fuel

Feline Foods: 4 Tips To Fuel

cat eating food out of bowl

Feline Foods: 4 Tips To Fuel
By Christine A. Bournias


Fuel. Food. And Felines.

Cats are self sufficient, but they still rely on us to feed them well. For good health, our feline friends need food that fuels them for stamina and contentment. These companions are primarily carnivores and need animal-based proteins that contain essential amino acids.

cat on woman's shoulder hugging


Taurine is an amino acid found in protein and is an essential nutrient for cats. Most other mammals can manufacture enough taurine from other amino acid sources to meet their nutritional requirements.

Not cats. They need essential nutrients in their diet.

Taurine isn’t stored in large quantities in their body, but it must be consumed by cats on a regular basis. Cat food must contain animal-based proteins with this amino acid.


“Taurine is a type of amino acid, which are the building blocks of all proteins.Taurine is exclusively found in animal-based proteins. It is critical for normal vision, digestion, heart muscle function, to maintain normal pregnancy and fetal development, and to maintain a healthy immune system. Taurine is an essential amino acid in the cat.” VCA


With the vast majority of dry pet foods that contain little or no real meat, cats suffer from cheaper substitutes like meat by-products, bone meal, and grain proteins such corn gluten, wheat gluten, or soy protein.

There just isn’t enough real meat in pet foods.

Cats have limited ability to manufacture taurine but can be supplemented by a healthy diet.

Pets Deserve Proper Fuel

1. Nutritional Value

Look for quality pet food by reading the first three (3) to five (5) ingredients on the label. Manufacturers often change their size bags and their contents. Therefore, it’s advised to cut the ingredient label, write the date on it, and place it safe in a drawer. Six (6) months later, revisit the ingredients in the new bag of food to assure that key ingredients don’t make a drastic change.


“With a fur family of multiple cats, I look closely at what I feed all of them. Until I found food with quality ingredients that work for all stages of my cat’s life, I used to have to feed them all different foods—all different times. I actually found dry cat food for every stage of my cat’s life! There really are many high quality options available.” —Eric D., Store Team Leader Pet Supplies Plus


Find pet food with meat as the number one ingredient. A pet food brand that’s free or limited in corn, soy, or wheat is ideal. Several brands will promote food for all life stages and will support brain development with DHA. Look for foods that are made in the United States and/or those that are responsibly sourced by USA imported ingredients.

cats sharing food


2. Feed Cats Like Family

Your cat is an integral part of the family, but that doesn’t mean that they should consume table scraps from humans. Make sure that any and all food and treats are safe for your pet.

Human Foods To Avoid 

  • Alcohol
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee, Energy Drinks, Tea
  • Garlic
  • Grapes or Raisins
  • Onions
  • Table Scraps (fat trimmings, raw meat, eggs or fish)
  • Xylitol

happy relaxed gray cat pet


PurrRRRrfect Foods

Cat friendly foods with a variety of wholesome ingredients, like cheese, salmon, tuna—and yes, catnip. These food items are terrific for your cat.

Plenty of fresh water served in clean bowls is crucial too. In fact, cats need to have a lot of moisture in meat-based food and treats. Grain-based foods aren’t ideal for a cat’s primal needs and optimum health.

“It’s tempting to give your cats human treats. Avoid overdoing snack consumption.” —Genia P.

Even though cats aren’t as excited for treats as dogs are, it’s nice to have feline treats in your arsenal for special occasions—or for those times when a stubborn cat needs motivation. But, it’s important to understand your cat’s favorite eats before you start cooking up treats.


Homemade Cat Treats


1 can tuna in oil, drained
1 egg
1 1/4 cups of flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup water
dash of parsley (or dried catnip)
Bottle cap (or favorite holiday, fun shaped cookie cutter)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a food processor mix tuna, egg, flour, water and parsley until a dough forms. (If dough looks too sticky, add a bit more flour.)
  3. Dust a surface with flour and roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick
  4. Use a bottle cap (or cookie cutter) to cut out treats from the dough
  5. Bake for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  6. Let cool and serve your cat!

Cat treats will keep for a few weeks in a sealed container or mason jar.

Recipe by: Mess For Less

cat playing on back


3. Dog Food Is Not Cat Food

While both species love the same kind of food, it’s vital that your cat eats their own food.

Cat food is much higher in meat-based protein than dog food, making cat food appealing to dogs. The meat smell and flavor are strong. Dogs crave it, but shouldn’t eat it.

Cats must eat meat as a biological necessity. It’s their primal instinct. In contrast, dogs are omnivores, meaning they can eat meat and vegetables. Your canine companions need this varied diet in order to meet their nutritional requirements.

cat and dog eating food out of bowls


Did You Know?

Cats can eat green beans! If your pet is overweight, then you may want to consider more vegetable treats, like green beans. Green beans provide fiber, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, and calcium. They have plenty of protein and help strengthen their immune systems. While it’s ideal for your pet to get essential nutrients they need from their food, the vitamins in green beans are helpful if they need more strength or need to lose a little weight.

hungry cat with empty food bowl

Cats And Dogs: Different Dietary Needs

Most dogs won’t be harmed if they sneak your cat’s supper every once and awhile. But, it isn’t something you should give him on a consistent basis. When it comes to pet fuel, it’s all about long-term nutritional requirements.

Unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise, the best food for your dog is dog food, not cat food. Cat food may work in a pinch, but it’s not recommended to mix the two.

If your dog consumes cat food on a regular basis, complications may arise. Cat food doesn’t have the correct balance of protein, fiber, and nutrients dogs need to stay healthy.


“Percy Prince—and my entire feline team—are particular with their food, but I don’t mind finding healthy treats that are ideal for cats. They’re all worth it.” —Suzi K., Publisher/Editor American Pet Magazine


Nutrient imbalance can lead to gastrointestinal upset, obesity, or worse—pancreatitis. Symptoms are appetite loss, vomiting, lethargy, distended abdomen or diarrhea. Seek medical advice immediately. Even if your dog suffers no obvious ill systems, high levels of protein can overtax a dog’s organs. Studies reveal that excessive protein can lead to kidney disease and too much taurine can negate any benefits it does for both your cat or dog’s ticker.

Ask your trusted Veterinarian what food is best for your own pet’s optimal health.


4. Keep It Fresh

Your cat craves fresh food and they’re selective with what they eat.

Cats have specific nutritional needs including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. Amino acids must come from unprocessed animal meat sources and not a vegetarian diet.

vegetables on wood surface


Many “natural” cat foods will contain vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients. However, there are some grocery grade brands that spray their foods with artificial nutrients. Cats are at risk of getting diseases like kidney failure and can develop unwanted mineral crystals in their system.


“Clean, fresh water is vital for both cats and dogs. Washing your pet’s water bowl daily and keeping your pet’s food in an air-tight, pet-safe food container will avoid fats in the food from going rancid. Your pets deserve to be both hydrated and fed well.” —Mike P., Owner, Premier Pet Supply 


Pet foods that contain carrageenans (preservatives) don’t have long shelf life, but will be healthier for your cat—or dog.


Did You Know?

Blueberries are safe and provide antioxidants for both cats and dogs. Blueberries are high in fiber and low in fat and calories, making them a health conscious, fuel source for pets. Loaded with vitamins and minerals, they are known for their antioxidants (substances that prevent or delay some types of cell damage) qualities.

dog nose mouth peeking through blueberries

A type of flavonoid called anthocyanin is responsible for a blueberry’s blue color and name. Flavonoids are plant compounds that offer health benefits and powerful antioxidant effects. Depending upon where they’re grown, fresh blueberries are available year round.


While certain fruits and vegetables are good for both dogs and cats, you should be aware of some greens and plants. While green beans and catnip is safe for your cat, many plant husks are a big “no-no” and can be poisonous for your cat or dangerous for your dog.

cats eating a plant


Love Your Cat. Fuel Their Souls.

Most cats are self sufficient, but why not give them an opportunity to explore other places and people to fuel their soul? While cats tend to keep themselves occupied, they enjoy being entertained by new stimuli. Cats may appreciate a different environment to play in.

cat playing on rope wrapped pole with rope toy


Find a safe place that accommodates cats. Luxury kitty condos help keep things fresh. Look for a place that provides a clean environment and hands-on supervision. A responsible pet hotel will conduct behavioral screening and require proper feline vaccinations prior to boarding.

Seek out convenient cat boarding available in your area. Stop in, ask for a tour, and schedule your evaluation for your cat.

cat sleeping on bed pillow


Refuel: Cats Welcome

As their #1 priority, reputable cat friendly pet hotels are dedicated to keeping your pet safe and sound.

These pet hotels feed your cat at your desired times and with your preferred, healthy food. Select pet hotels cater to feline families—including grooming services and pet toys and treats available in their retail collection. So, while your cat stays in a comfy kitty condo, you can pick up something special for your dog to chew on too!


Your Cat’s ‘Best Things’—With Love, From Our Cat People:

  • Attitude
  • Beautiful Coloring
  • Cuddles
  • Easy Travel Arrangements
  • Low maintenance
  • Love
  • Self Sufficient

For more cat information and other fur family fun, call or visit your local Best Friends Pet Hotel.


About The Author:
Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.