Memorial Day Weekend is a great time for you and your furry friend to kick back in the sun. This long weekend is the kick off to summer fun! Hot weather, traveling, barbeques, and swimming all sound like a lot of fun, but these enjoyable activities could present many dangers to your canine companion. Here are a few tips to ensure your fur baby has a safe and fun holiday weekend!
• Keep your pooch hydrated: When exposed to hot weather, even the healthiest dog can get dehydrated, sunburn, or heat stroke. Make sure your pet has fresh water at all times. Our Handi-Drinks for dogs are an awesome portable water bowl!
• Only use dog friendly products: Buy sunscreen and insect repellent formulated specifically for dogs. If your pet ingests products made from humans (by licking themselves) it can make them sick!
• Never leave your dog unattended in the car: Even with the windows rolled down a bit, the temperature inside a parked car can skyrocket to deadly levels in just minutes. Even at just 70 degrees, a parked car is over 100 degrees inside with the windows rolled up.
• Supervise your dog at all times around water: Whether you are in the pool or boating on a lake, never leave your pooch unsupervised around water. Contrary to popular belief, no all dogs know how to swim! A dog life preserver can help keep your pooch above water.
• Keep fire starting materials out of your pet’s reach: Candles, matches, and lighter fluid can harm your dog’s stomach, lungs, and nervous system if eaten.
• Watch what your pup eats: If you’re having a barbeque, your guests might want to treat your dog to some of their off limits people food. Any delectable treats left laying in your pooches reach can tempt him to dig in. These new foods can upset your fur baby’s stomach. Some are even toxic! Alcohol is also harmful to dogs. Keep it out of reach! Reward your deserving dog with a dog treat or bone and he will be more likely to leave your food alone!
• Give your dog a quiet, cool place to rest: Keeping up with all the action can be exhausting to your furry friend. Make sure they have a comfy place to lay down in the shade to rest and relax. Our Cool Pup Dog Beds are a great way to cool off your pet!
Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend!
This month the ASPCA launched their National Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. There are countless innocent animals abused or neglected by their owners every year. This month is a great time to spread awareness and help pets in need. There are many simple things you can do to crack down on animal cruelty in your community. Knowing who to report to is key. Each town is different; some rely on the police department for taking action in animal cruelty cases and some rely on the local animal control agency. If you suspect a case of animal cruelty, be sure to call and provide as much information about the incident as possible including type of cruelty, who was involved, dates, times, and where it took place. Be sure to observe pets in your neighborhood. If you familiarize yourself with the animals around you, you’ll notice if an animal has lost a lot of weight or changed their demeanor. Here are some additional signs and symptoms of animal abuse:
• Tick or flea infestation
• Wounds on the body
• Patches of missing fur
• Extremely thin
• Repeatedly left alone without food or water
• Left outdoors in extreme weather
• Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when owners approach
• Dogs who need medical attention and aren’t taken to the vet
• Pets housed with too many other animals
• Overgrown nails, matted fur, filthy
• Weakness, drowsiness, confusion
If you notice any animals displaying these symptoms, or if you witness physical abuse such as hitting or kicking firsthand, be sure to alert authorities immediately. If you don’t want to give your name, you can always call anonymously. Animals depend on their owners to provide them with food, water, shelter, and kindness. Pets are innocent creatures and need you to step in if they are suffering.
Spring has sprung! Or, it’s starting to anyway… Temperatures are slowly rising above freezing and us humans aren’t the only ones delighted about the warmer weather! Our furry friends suffer just as much as we do during the long cold months. As the days get longer, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning. While most homes do household spring cleaning, dog owners have more on their plate. Here are a few tasks you might want to consider adding to your spring cleaning to-do list this year:
1. Clean out your dog’s toy box – Throw away any damaged toys. Set aside any toys your pup doesn’t play with and donate them to a local shelter. Give any keepers a good cleaning – Throw plush toys in the washer and wipe down any rubber toys with a pet-safe cleaning product, such as a mixture of vinegar and water.
2. Go through treats and medication – Check expiration dates and discard expired ones. Check prescriptions to see if any are expiring soon and if so, make a note to call your vet to set up an appointment.
3. Clean your dog’s bed – Wash any bedding your pup sleeps on. If your dog bed has reached the end of its life, now is a great time to buy a new one.
4. Have your floors and upholstery professionally cleaned – Vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping can only do so much. Our fur babies leave a build up of fur, dander, dirt every where they go. Having your carpet and upholstery cleaned yearly will prolong its life and make your home that much cleaner. If having it done professionally is not in your budget, many places rent out professional equipment by the hour, which works much better than any regular home appliance when it comes to removing dirt and dander.
5. Make sure your pup is up to date – Check your dog’s tags and make sure that the information is correct. If you’ve moved or changed your phone number, it’s time to get a new tag. Also check that the information is still readable – Tags get scratched and become illegible. That’s the last thing you want if your pet gets lost!
And lastly and most importantly: Enjoy the beautiful weather! Spend some long awaited time outdoors with your pup! Go on a long walk, play fetch, take a trip to the dog park… The possibilities are endless. You and your canine companions have been cooped up for months. April is a perfect time to stretch your legs and spend some time in the sun!
St. Patrick’s Day is only a few days away! This delightfully fun day is renowned for drinking green beer and eating traditional Irish foods, like cabbage and corned beef. These two party ingredients might taste great to you but they are both unlucky for your pup! Alcohol can easily poison your pet. Make sure you keep alcoholic beverages out of your pooch’s reach! Typical St. Patrick’s day food – especially corned beef – is high in salt, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea for your furry friend. If you want to give your canine companion a special St. Paddy’s Day dog treat, stick to something dog friendly, like our Shamrock Dog Treats.
If you are having an Irish shindig at your house, make sure there is a quiet place away from the party where your pets can rest. Strange people coming and going can make your pup nervous. People who have been drinking can become loud and animated and this can scare your pets. If you decide to take your dog to a parade or other outdoor festival, watch out for drunk drivers and make sure your pooch is on a leash and has a light up or reflective dog collar after dark.
Decking our pets out in green for St. Patty’s Day can be a lot of fun. Make sure any clothing or accessories fit properly and don’t hinder movement or breathing. If your pet is just not happy with their outfit, don’t stress them out by forcing them to wear it. If you choose to dye your dog’s fur, only use something specifically formulated for pets, like our Dye Gel for Dogs or our PetPaint Color Spray.
Have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!
March is National Poison Prevention Month and now is a great time to take a look at your home and stop any potential dangers in their tracks. There are many common household items that are harmful, if not deadly, to our precious pets. According to reports from Poison Control Centers, over 90% of the toxic substances our pets ingest come from inside our own homes. Here is a list of the top toxic substances our pets accidentally ingest:
1. Human medications – When pills are dropped on the floor, our pets will find them and in many cases, eat them. The top medications animals are exposed to unknowingly are heart medications, antidepressants, and pain medications. If you drop a pill, make sure you pick it up right away so that your pup doesn’t mistake it for a snack.
2. Insecticides – We use these on our animals, in our home, and in our yards. Improper use of these substances can cause seizures and skin issues for our pets, especially cats.
3. Pet medication – Most pet medication is flavored with an irresistible taste to make it easier to administer. This same yummy taste could convince them to eat the entire bottle if give the chance.
4. Household items – Paint, drain cleaners, and other cleaning products should be kept away from pets. Pets’ curious nature could lead them to trouble if these are ingested!
5. People food – Many seemingly harmless treats such as raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, and garlic can cause severe issues in our pets ranging from upset stomach to death. Be aware of what foods are poisonous to dogs and keep those far away from your pooch.
6. Chocolate - Chocolate is the number one toxic people food dogs ingest. While poisonous to all dogs, it affects each one differently in different doses. Symptoms can range from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and in some, death.
7. Plants – There is a long list of household plants that are poisonous to pets. Take care to either not display these plants in your home or to put them far out of reach of your pets. Even a leaf that has fallen in the floor is sometimes enough to poison your pet.
8. Rat poison – When you put out rat poison, never underestimate how clever your pooch is. If they find the poison and eat it can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure, or seizures.
9. Lawn care and garden products - Fertilizers are made of dried blood, manure, and bone meal, making them very attractive to our furry friends. Try to only buy pet friendly products for your lawn and garden.
10. Automotive products - Gas, oil, and especially antifreeze should be kept out of reach. Less than one tablespoon of antifreeze – which has a sweet taste pets have a hard time resisting – can kill a 20lb dog.
Inspect your home and make sure any of these products are out of reach and put where your pet does not have access to them. If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, time is of the essence. Steer clear of online forums and don’t waste time doing internet research – The sooner you see your veterinarian the better chance your pet has for a full recovery.
Happy Love Your Pet Day! We love our furry friends every day of the year and don’t really need a special day set aside for it but today is a nice opportunity to give your fur baby a little extra time and attention. Here are a few ways you can show your precious pooch you care:
1. Take them for an extra walk
2. Give them a special treat
3. Buy or make them a new dog toy
4. Give them a bath or extra grooming time
5. Make them a home cooked meal instead of their regular food
Our pups love us unconditionally and appreciate everything we do for them, big and small. We all have busy lives and can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of work, chores, family, etc. Let go of a few tasks today and shower your pets with some extra attention they deserve.
The month of February is designated National Spay and Neuter Your Pet Month, with the 26th of the month being World Spay and Neuter Day. It’s hard to believe that in this age of knowledge and technology there are still so many people who are not aware of the benefits of spaying and neutering. Every year 3.5 million cats and dogs are euthanized because of pet overpopulation, yet so many pet owners allow their pets to have unwanted litters. There are many misconceptions about spaying and neutering that people use to justify their decision to leave their pets intact but the reality is that this operation allows your pets to live much happier, healthier lives as your companion, in addition to helping to reduce the pet population. How could we not want that for our fur babies?
Spaying eliminates heat cycles, which keeps males from being attracted. The risk of mammary gland tumors and ovarian/uterine cancers are eliminated if the procedure is done before the first heat cycle. Neutering reduces or eliminates the need for males to spray and mark. The risk for testicular cancer is eliminated and the risk of prostate disease is greatly decreased. Both spaying and neutering help your pets live longer lives, gets rid of unwanted litters, decreases aggressive behavior, and leaves them with less desire to roam.
There are many misconceptions about spaying and neutering. It will not make your pet fat- Lack of exercise and overfeeding are what cause your pet to put on extra pounds. Some pet owners think that spaying and neutering leaves their pet sexually frustrated or they believe that they are harming their pet by depriving them the right to reproduce. Some think that they need to allow their dog to have one litter before fixing them. All of these ideas are preposterous. Animals only breed because their hormones tell them to. If you eliminate that hormonal push, the desire to breed completely goes away. Allowing your pet to have a litter before spaying greatly increases her chance to get cancer. Even if you manage to find homes for every puppy/kitten in a litter, you are handing a death sentence to a dog or cat in an animal shelter. Financially speaking, getting your pet spayed or neutered is far less expensive than not. The cost of caring for an unwanted litter is much more costly, not to mention that there could be complications from the birth that require surgery or hospitalization. If you cannot afford to pay full price at a vet’s office, there are many free or low cost clinics that will spay/neuter your pets.
In addition to benefiting you and your pet, spaying and neutering benefits your community as well. Shelters are over run and are forced to euthanize otherwise healthy and lovable pets. Stray animals cause disturbances and spread sickness and disease, cause automobile accidents, and destroy property. There are no reasonable excuses not to spay or neuter your pet. If you have an unaltered furry friend, be kind to them and give them (and all their four legged peers in animal shelters) the gift of a longer and happier life on World Spay and Neuter Day!
Super Bowl Sunday is only a couple days away and for many people, a party is in the works. While Super Bowl parties are lots of fun for us humans, all the company, noise, and festivities can seem a little scary to our furry friends. Here are a few tips to keep your canine companion comfortable and safe this Sunday:
1. Make sure to keep anxious pets crated or secured in a comfy spot. Football games mean cheering and raised voices, arm waving, and if you’re having a party, strange people. Shy or fearful pups will be much happier away from the action in a secluded spot. This can also prevent pets from escaping when guests are coming and going.
2. If you choose to let your pets join in on the fun, be sure guests don’t give them food they aren’t allowed to have. Alcohol, chocolate, raisins, and onions – among others- are toxic to your pet.
3. Buffalo wings are a popular party food. If you serve wings, make sure your pooch doesn’t get a hold of the bones! Chicken bones can splinter and damage your dog’s intestines and stomach and they can also get lodged in your dog’s throat and choke him.
4. Designate one person to be the dog watcher, so that someone is keeping an eye on your pet throughout the party. If a dog is being secluded, make sure he is checked on and isn’t forgotten.
5. Give your canine companion something to occupy his attention, such as a dog treat or dog bone, or a dog toy you can stuff with peanut butter or yogurt. Chewing and licking are calming activities for your pup.
With just a little preparation before the big game you can score a touchdown for your Super Bowl party with canine safety!
With the arrival of a new year come New Year’s resolutions. Vows to lose weight, get in shape, and quit smoking are among the most common. We’re almost through the first month and many people have already fallen off the wagon. How are you holding up? We make these resolutions in an attempt to make our lives better and healthier. But what about our pets? Our doting dogs deserve the best lives we can give them and just a few small changes can really enhance their lives. Here are a handful of resolutions that can really improve your canine companion’s life this year:
1. Regular vet visits afford your vet the opportunity to notice any developing problems before they get out of hand. Yearly shots, heartworm, and flea and tick prevention are a must. If it’s been a year since your pup’s been to the vet, make an appointment!
2. Pet obesity is a grave problem in our country and leads to very serious to fatal health problems for our furry friends. Our dogs depend on us to regulate their feeding. Vow to cut down on snacks and table scraps this year and offer your pooch a new lease on life. If you can’t feel your dog’s ribs easily, he is most likely overweight. Talk to your vet about weight loss guidance.
3. When you look good, you feel good. The same goes for our canine companions. Regular grooming appointments, whether at home or at a professional shop, can improve your dog’s quality of life. Matted fur, parasites, overgrown nails, dirty ears, and hot spots all make our pets miserable and can cause serious health problems. Regular nail trims, hair brushing, and baths can go a long way in making our dogs happy.
4. We could all use more movement in our lives. The more sedentary we become, the less exercise our pets get as well. The average healthy adult dog needs 30 minutes of aerobic exercise two times a day. Walks, jogging, and playing fetch are all great choices. Taking your dog out for a stroll once or twice daily can also help you keep your own personal resolution to lose weight and exercise!
5. Does your pup have ‘dog breath’? If so, your pooch may need dental care. Over time, plaque builds up on our pets’ teeth and needs to be removed or it can cause decay, bad breath, and infection. Make sure to ask your vet how you can help prevent dental disease in your pets.
6. The thought of one of your pets being lost is terrifying. Be prepared for the worst by having ID tags for all your pets – even the indoor ones. Microchips are also a great idea but make sure to update the information if you move or change your telephone number!
7. Keep in mind that not all dogs are as fortunate as our pets – Regular meals, a comfy bed, a home, and a family who loves them is every dog’s dream. Offering your time, a donation, or becoming a foster parent are all ways you can help that dream come true for less fortunate dogs.
8. Nutritious food doesn’t just taste good, it can lengthen your dog’s life and improve his health! Take time to research dog food ingredients and make sure that you are giving your furry friend a healthy food with high quality ingredients.
9. Your fur baby faithfully worships the ground you walk on and trusts you to be in charge. Continuing to improve your knowledge of dogs, training, health and well being, and issues specific to your pooch and his breed will make you a better owner and will in turn enrich your pet’s life.
10. The easiest way we can make our dogs’ lives a better place is to spend as much time with them as possible and let them know they are loved, cared for, and safe. An extra game of fetch, special treats after good behavior, an extra privilege just because… Our dogs appreciate these gestures and will only fall more in love with us because of them.
When temperatures drop and inclement weather presents itself, our pups are less than pleased. The winter months can be very hard on our pets. Keeping your furry friend warm through this season is important to not only making our pets happy, but also to maintaining their health. Here are a few tips to keep your canine companion from getting frosty paws this winter:
1. Familiarize yourself with your dog’s breed and their susceptibility: There are some dog breeds that are more affected by cold weather than others, such as toy dogs, hairless and shorthaired dogs, senior pets, and any dog that has had its fur shaved or clipped very short. Some breeds, such as Huskies, Chows, Malamutes, and Samoyeds thrive in cold weather.
2. Ensure your pooch has adequate shelter: Ideally, indoors is the place for dogs during the winter with quick trips out to play and potty. However some dogs just do not like to sleep inside. If you have a dog sleeping outdoors, make sure your pup has shelter from the cold, such as a dog house with bedding inside for warmth. Straw can provide insulation against the cold and holds in your dog’s body heat.
3. Get your pup a dog coat, dog boots, and dog sweaters: Dog clothes can help keep your furry friend toasty during the cold season. Small dogs, short haired dogs, senior dogs, and sick dogs get colder more quickly than others. A dog sweater indoors and a dog coat outdoors can help retain their body heat and keep them warm. Dog boots protect against snow and salt. Salt irritates dogs’ paws and can leave sores and should be avoided. Dogs are not used to wearing things on their feet, so it may take a little work to get your pup to accept the boots. Positive reinforcement training can work very well.
4. Be careful of grooming: Avoid shaving or excessively trimming your dog’s hair. Their full coat is needed during winter for warmth. Maintain a regular grooming schedule to avoid matted hair; it is less effective at keeping out rain and snow. Only bathe your dog indoors and make sure he is completely dry before letting him out. Keep the fur on paws well trimmed. Snow and ice can get trapped in paw fur.
5. Guard your dog against winter illness: Just like humans, dogs are more susceptible to illness during cold months. Keeping your dog warm and dry will guard against respiratory infections, like kennel cough. Frostbite can be a threat to some dogs, especially hairless or short-haired breeds. The ear and tail tips are the most vulnerable, so make sure to check those areas after time outdoors. Arthritic dogs and those with osteoarthritis may suffer more in the winter time. Talk to your vet about medication and treatment options.