Tag: dog walker

Organize You & Your Pet’s Life This Spring!

Somewhere along the line pet ownership got complicated. Between grooming equipment, travel items, medicine, and toys a pet-friendly home can get pretty cluttered! Don’t waste that valuable time allotted for the dog park trying to find the leash! Check out our top tips to organize your pet-friendly lifestyle this Spring!

Organize Now!

Accessorize – I know, you’re thinking “the last thing I need is more pet stuff!”, but hear me out! When it comes to grooming your pet you’ve got a brush, nail clippers, and shampoo – if you’re a bare minimalist! Maybe you have a moisturizing winter shampoo and a flea & tick summer shampoo? What about a toothbrush? Ear swabs? Conditioner/lotion? Things can add up fast. Instead of cluttering these things up in your bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen, why not consider a pet grooming caddy? This handy little one below from Everything Mary is under $30 and has room enough to accommodate and organize all your pets grooming needs and more!

Health Needs? Even a healthy pet may need to take medicine from time to time, or even a vitamin. You’ve seen those day-of-the-week pill organizers? Check out this cute pet version from ForgettingthePill.com!

This keeps pills organized, is great for travel and easy to slip into a grooming caddy, first aid or emergency kit, or a medicine drawer or bag.

Have a Car Kit! Don’t waste time looking for the leash, water bowl, or any other travel accessories your pet may need – keep an extra in a travel kit for your pet! Travel kits that are kept in your vehicle are a great idea for quick trips to the dog park, road trips, or to double as an overnight bag if your and/or your pet are staying away from home. You can include a few treats, food, fresh bottled water, toy, leash, and anything else specific to your pets needs!

Consider a Toy Box! Always stepping on a squeaky toy, or even worse, a spiky toy? You put them “away” in whatever area of the home your dog “owns” yet they always get drug back out? Consider a toy box! Adorable and functional for that pet that has everything!

Prep Your Pet – Spring Into Action Now!

That time of year we’ve all been eagerly waiting for – Spring! Throw those windows up and welcome the fresh air! As we roll back into motion after winter there is so much to do. Twice as much if you’re a proud pet parent! In addition to thinking about your tan and planning summer fun, there are important steps you need to take to prep your pet for the return of warm weather!

Spring Pet Prep

  • Vaccinations – Is your pet up to date? Warm weather can bring your pet into contact with risks you need strong vaccinations against. Digging in the dirt? Contact with wildlife? Ask your vet to ensure your pets rabies, parvo, and other vaccinations are all up to date!
  • Collar with Contact Info – Lost pet numbers always rise with the temperatures. Even if your pet is microchipped make sure they have a secure collar with your contact details clearly listed on it!
  • Heartworm Prevention – Prep your pet for the incoming mosquito season before it arrives! Whether you treat with oral medication or a shot, make sure your pet stays healthy by administering their spring dose!
  • Fleas and Ticks – These buggers always make it out earlier than you expect and then before you know it, you’re fighting an infestation instead of doing simple Spring Prep! Many pet owners keep up flea and tick prevention year round, but if you’re a pet parent that lets it lapse over the winter, prep now! If you’ve got a new puppy or kitten check with your vet first to determine dosing for their size and age!

Whew! Now take them for a treat after all those shots and medicine and make sure this spring they hit a few mud puddles with you! Happy Spring!

photo credit: The_Little_GSP 0230 Happy Spring Puppy via photopin (license)

Car Sickness & Your Dog – How You Can Help!

Some dogs hear those car keys and come running – nothing better than a trip! For those who suffer from car sickness though a ride is no treat and your interior may pay the price… To understand car sickness in dogs it’s important to understand the root cause. Just like children

To understand car sickness in dogs it’s important to understand the root cause. Just like children, young pups are more likely to experience it because the structure of the inner ear that helps us establish balance isn’t fully formed yet. As a result, many pups will outgrow it. What if it’s still a problem for your grown dog, though? Let us help!

Car Sickness in Dogs

  1. Car sickness in a grown dog can sometimes be caused by stress. Does your pet only go for a ride when you’re headed to the vet? Dogs are all about cause and effect. If everytime they get in the car it ends at the vets office they’re not going to be happy riders. If sometimes it ends at the dog park, river, or other fun destination then you’ve replaced that guaranteed stress with excitement!
  2. Help build up their tolerance! Don’t toss them in the car for the first time on a long road trip! Let them have a chance to get their “car legs” by taking quick 10 minute trips at a time to fun destinations. This helps them learn how to deal with the motion and that car rides end in fun! (see point 1)
  3. Roll that window down! …do it safely though! Be careful that it’s not so low that your pet can easily jump out. The fresh air can help alleviate symptoms of car sickness.
  4. Take them on an empty stomach. Try to time your dogs feeding schedule so that they haven’t just eaten when you go for car rides. This will help keep them from getting queasy and save you a mess!
  5. Consider bringing their crate for them to ride in. Being in a safe, familiar environment can help pets prone to nervousness. Toss in a favorite toy or two as well!

photo credit: cheesy42 366-163 Looking out the window via photopin (license)

Diet Changes For Your Pet? Read This First!

For most people feeding your dog is simply a matter of grabbing the dry kibble, putting some water in the bowl and hope that your pup loves it.

There is, however, a new movement of feeding dogs a raw diet or supplementing their diets with fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. Of course, dogs evolved from wolves, and therefore they enjoy a diet high in protein, specifically meat based products.

For many of us, knowing what human food to feed a dog can be a challenge. A diet that’s high in fat, sugar, and fillers is bad for dogs – and us, so why should we feed them unhealthy food? Luckily Pet Gear Lab has produced a super handy chart which you can download, print out and stick on your fridge. It lists all the common foods which you can freely feed your pup and those which you should feed moderately, or avoid altogether. It’s handy for kids, elderly parents or even a pet nanny to refer to when they feel like giving your pets tit bits.

This is what it looks like:

Head on over to Pet Gear Lab to grab the download and let us know how you’re getting on with introducing human food into your dog’s diet!

Don’t Overlook Your Pet This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away, we are officially in the Holiday Season! If you’re like most people the holidays are a combination of enjoyment and stress. Unfortunately sometimes our furry friends are the ones who take the brunt of our stresses. As we travel to be with family, host parties or are away more frequently on family outings or shopping trips, our pets often get neglected and their needs can be overlooked.

  • If you’re the host – Make sure that your pets have a human-free environment set up just for them. Family gatherings and parties can be overstimulating to a social pet, and downright terrifying to the shy ones. Leaving a pet to mingle with the crowd sets them up for anxiety, being tripped over, or even getting into unhealthy foods or unsafe items. Set aside an area in a bedroom, laundry room, or master bathroom with your pets bed, food, water, and toys to give them their own quiet space away from all the hubbub.
  • If you’re travelling – Do your research before hand. Unless you’ve made plans with a trusty friend whom you can always call on to pet co-parent, plan. Since the holiday season is a popular time for travel, kennels and pet nanny’s may fill up quickly. It’s important for you to plan your pets care as far in advance as you can. Booking a pet sitter or kennel isn’t all their is too it either – you need be sure to pack things they need and leave notes about any special care. Don’t make your pets an afterthought!
  • If you’re away more often than usual – You don’t have to be travelling for your pet to get to missing you. If your social obligations are keeping you from home most of the day and evening, your pets are going to get lonely. Make time for your pet, and if you just can’t swing it, consider hiring a dog walker or pet nanny to temporarily fill your role.

We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season – and that your pets do too!

photo credit: dangaken Christmas Tree via photopin (license)

Spay or Neuter Your Pet – The In’s and Out’s!

Spaying or neutering your pet is a very important aspect of pet ownership. Doing so helps to keep your pet healthy and keeps the population down at animal shelters. Here are a few bits of spay or neuter information you need!

Age

While there is some variation on what the best age to spay or neuter a pet is, the average seems to be about four months. Some vets advocate two months as being old enough and encourage this since younger animals can heal faster, while others think one should wait until six months. Both cats and dogs can become capable of reproduction around five months. It’s important to be aware of this if you plan on waiting till the six-month mark.

Can I spay if my pet just had babies?

You should not spay or neuter you pet while they are nursing. They can become pregnant again during this time though. It is important for you to keep your pet away from unneutered males until their babies are weaned. This can be 5-6 weeks for kittens 4-5 for puppies.

Spay or Neuter Cost

Spaying and neutering isn’t’ free so it’s important that you factor this into pet costs before you commit to bringing one home. Prices will vary from place to place. Because this procedure is so important many areas offer low-cost clinics. Check out the ASPCA website here to find a low-cost clinic near you!

Other reasons for spaying and neutering

This procedure can help with several territorial issues pet owners may deal with. Territorial behaviours can be as unpleasant as spraying to mark turf, or as dangerous as aggression toward both you and other animals. Spaying or neutering can also help to keep your pet from wandering. The term “catting around” is based on the likeliness of male cats roaming far from home while looking for mates.

What is the recovery time?

Fourteen weeks seems to be about average. This may vary based on your pet’s age and other variables specific to them. It’s important to follow all your vet’s instructions post surgery!

 

 

Pokemon Go With Your Dog? You Bet!

With the new Pokemon Go craze sweeping the nation, more people than ever are wandering around outdoors! That’s a good thing! An even better thing if you take the new game as an opportunity to let your pet tag along. Here are some tips to get you and your fuzzy friend started!

Tips For Hunting Pokemon with Your Dog

  • Caution! – The essence of Pokemon Go means you’re likely to have your phone in front of your face which can be hazardous walking around outside. Doubly hazardous if you have a pet in tow. It may be a fun game, but don’t let it take priority over your safety and that of your pet. What for traffic, snakes, and steps!
  • Follow Leash Laws (even if there aren’t any) – Make sure your pet is on a leash and comfortable with it. Pokemon Go has become so popular, you and your dog are likely to encounter a lot of fellow hunters – and maybe their pets too!
  • Watch the Weather – Just like a normal walk, be mindful of when you go and if there are any storms in the area. With the summer heat, grab the sunblock and aim for early morning or evening. Take water for you and your pet, and be sure to check the radar so you’re not caught in a lightening storm!
  • Mind Your Pets Stamina – Maybe you’re okay with walking a couple miles, zig-zagging around, but your dog may not be. If you’ve acclimatized them to shorter walks be sure to not over-stress them. Take frequent breaks and stay in-tune to the signals your pet’s giving you!

As a bonus, some animal shelters are asking hunters to swing by and pick up a dog to take along. This increase in volunteering helps the shelters and helps leash-trained dogs get some exercise! Ask at your local shelter if they have “Pokemon Dogs”!

Leash Training Your Dog 101

Using a leash with your dog may seem pretty intuitive. Clip it onto their collar or harness and you’re ready to go, right? Sure, that gets the job done, but did you know there are lots of tips and tricks you can use to leash train your dog? Holding it correctly to prevent injury and teaching your dog to stop pulling are two great benefits of  training!

Leash Training 101

  • The right collar. If you’re starting your leash training with a puppy, it’s pertinent to get a collar that fits. Since puppies grow, be aware that you need to check the collar sizing regularly and upgrade as needed. Check out this link for tips on measuring your dog’s collar size!
  • Learn how to hold the leash. Here is where some human training comes in. Knowing how to hold the leash properly will help you keep steady control of your pet, without risking injury to yourself. This is particularly important during the training process when your pet will be pulling and jerking the most. Proper technique, as described by Wikihow:

    “Slip your thumb through the loop at the end of the leash. If you hold your hand upwards in front of you (like you’re giving someone a high five), the leash should dangle off your thumb. Then close your hand around the loop. The rest of the leash should come out the bottom of your fist, beside your pinky finger.”

  • Start with a short range. Keeping your dog close to you can help them learn which side they should walk on and what an acceptable pace is. This also allows you more immediate, easier control during the early stages.

  • Trial and error. Now comes the training part! With a pocket full of treats head out the door! As your pet walks calmly beside you, praise them and offer a treat. If they pull or dart about erratically exercise patience and reward them when they stop this behavior and return to polite walking. If they remain walking with you, stop and reward them every so often.
  • Deal with pulling. If your dog is trying to pull you toward a goal, stop. Wait until your pet stops tugging and then slowly walk toward the object of their interest, rewarding them if they walk calmly with you. Your dog needs to understand that misbehaving will produce the opposite result of what they want. If their behavior persists, calmly walk away from their goal. Don’t ever jerk the leash, just apply enough steady pressure that they must follow you. And again with the training mantra, once he stops and begins following you at a normal pace, reward him!

Remember to always be patient and gentle with your dog. Use your stubbornness and leadership to command your pet. Dogs are smart and most pick up on leash training fast!

photo credit: Comfort via photopin (license)

April Is Pet First Aid Awareness Month!

Would you know how to administer first aid to your pet in an emergency? Do you even have emergency numbers quickly accessible? You don’t need to have an accident prone pet to realize it’s just good policy to make sure that you’ve got an action plan in case of an emergency! This April, take some time to brush up on what you need to have and know – your pet’s counting on you!

Pet First Aid Refresher Tips

  • Get the App! Did you know that the American Red Cross has a First Aid app just for pets? It provides helpful information for both dog and cat owners in emergency and disaster situations!
  • Update your Pet First Aid Kit! Don’t have one? Get/Make one now! You should check your pet first aid kit annually to ensure that all the supplies are still properly packaged, any medications are not out of date, and nothing has leaked. If you don’t have one, this needs to be on your must list! There are a wide array of pre-packaged kits out there for sale. Bump those store bought ones up against this list from the Humane Society to make sure it includes everything you need. Or, use that list to make your own! Be sure to include comfort items for your pet too!
  • Know the basics! It’s apt that April is pet first aid month since Spring means more time outdoors for everyone! It also means that pets are at a higher risk for being victims of the native flora and fauna. Know what plants to keep your pets away from, and what to do in case of snake bites, bee stings, etc.
  • Vaccinations! Check your vet records to ensure your pets vaccinations are all up to date! This includes wormers, flea and tick prevention, dog flu, and rabies!
  • Check those emergency numbers!  Maybe you’ve changed vets? Or moved to a new location? Make sure that the numbers for both your regular vet and the nearest animal hospital are still accurate and quickly accessible for the whole family!

Don’t forget to share your emergency contacts and details about your first aid kit with any pet sitters you hire!
photo credit: Link’s Check-Up via photopin (license)

 

 

Spoiled Rotten Dog: Are You Guilty?

Dogs are just like to children to many people, and like children, they can be at risk for being spoiled… “What’s the harm?”, you may ask yourself. Extra treats, lots of toys, and lax rules are just how you show your love right? The problem is, just like with children, a spoiled dog can lead to problems as they get older. They can be aggressive toward you or others who try to impose rules on them, a nuisance to neighbors or company, and difficult for veterinarians to provide proper care for. So, what are some of the common errors and signs of a spoiled dog?

Spoiled Dog Syndrome

  • Does your dog routinely ignore commands they were once prompt to obey?
    Do they sneak around to do things they know are no-no’s? (i.e stealing food, chewing on shoes, etc.) Are they rude to your company by growling or jumping up on them?
  • Make time for your pet instead of buying extra toys. Time in your company as your companion is the best “toy” you can give. Walks, trips to the park, or even a movie and a snuggle will help enhance your bond and make your pet desire your approval.
  • Alternatively, consider crate training to teach your pet how to spend time alone too. Most people can’t spoil their pets (or themselves) to the extent of being “attached at the hip” and you will be required to leave your pet alone at times. To ensure they don’t either suffer anxiety or see these as moments to partake in all the no-no’s of life, make sure they are comfortable spending time alone.
  • Don’t send mixed signals. We know puppy dog eyes are pretty hard to resist, but it’s important that you send a consistent and clear message about what’s okay and what’s not, AT ALL TIMES. This means no exceptions for being too tired to shoo them off the bed for the tenth time, or as “okay on special occasions”. A no-no is a no-no. The better your pet sees this, the less likely they should be to beg.
  • Keep treats for good behavior, but not ALL good behavior. Overfeeding your pet treats isn’t just bad for their behavior, it’s bad for their waistlines too! While treats can be a great way to help train a dog for all sorts of behaviors, they shouldn’t become a permanent reward. This doesn’t mean that you can’t treat them for coming when called, or sitting when told too, just do it less than 50% of the time.

photo credit: Fußball Bundesliga… via photopin (license)

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