shedding

5 Ways To Stop The Dog From Shedding In The Spring

I’m going to be honest. The truth is you can’t keep your dog from shedding. Shedding is a natural body process for dogs just like sweating is for humans. But, there are a couple ways you make Allergy Season a little easier on both you and your pup.

Dogs need  to lose their winter coat for the warm summer months, and that’s what they do in the Spring. (Fun fact: It is the length of days that causes this, not the seasonal temperature change.) However, you can make it less messy all around with these simple tips.

5 Ways To Stop The Dog From Shedding In The Spring

shedding

#1 – Take A Trip To A Groomer

If you regularly take your dog to a groomer, consider upping the frequency of visits in the Spring. It will not only keep him cleaner, but the extra brushing will cut down on the amount of fur in your house.

#2 – Consider Adding Some Extra Brushing Sessions At Home

In addition to the extra grooming, you can brush your dog at home an extra time or two per week to keep better control over the shedding. Plus your dog will love getting to feel extra pampered!

Before you run out and buy a doggie brush or grooming kit, keep in mind that there are any different types and textures of dog hair (all with a specific brush to maximize results). To make it easier on you, I’ve compiled a list of the different types here for your quick reference:

  1. Boar Bristle: Good for all fur types, and it helps circulate oil from the skin.
  2. Shedding Blade: Used for pulling out feathery undercoats.
  3. Slicker Brush: Used for mats and tangles in long-haired breeds.
  4. Rubber Curry Brush: Used for short-haired breeds and undercoats. Also helps stimulate circulation
  5. Wire Pin: Used for longer fur, and thick, several-layer coats

Pro Tip: It is recommended that you brush against the grain to pull out the undercoat, brush with the grain to smooth out the overcoat.

#3 – Invest In A Fabric Cover For Your Pup’s Doggie Bed

If your dog has a bed of his own, putting a fabric cover on it can be helpful with the shedding process. Plus, you can wash and dry the cover, which will eliminate much of the fur. Using a pet safe dryer sheet to eliminate static will also help keep fur from settling in.

#4 – Baths, Baths, & More Baths

In between baths (which should be given once or twice a week), consider using bath wipes to keep Fido free of dirt and debris. It won’t stop the shedding but the fur that is there will be cleaner and less likely to smell.

There are a variety of wipes available, from hypo-allergenic to moisturizing, as well as those that help remove dander.

#5 – Get A Jump Start On Spring Cleaning

Regular vacuuming of areas where your dog hangs out is also a good way to manage the shedding. Air filters and air fresheners will help to alleviate odors.

Once the Spring shedding slows down, keep your pooch fresh in the hot summer with regular baths, and using the pet wipes in between. Plus, you’ll be able to bathe your dog more often outdoors in the warming weather, meaning less cleanup for you 🙂

Your furry friend will thank you, and your house will be cleaner too!

celebrate easter

Fun Ways To Celebrate Easter With Your Dog

With Easter soon approaching, you may be wondering what you can do to celebrate and include your dog in the festivities. While we need to be cautious with our canines around the sweet treats, plastic eggs and plastic grass, there are still plenty of ways to include your pooch in the fun.

Fun Ways To Celebrate Easter With Your Dog

celebrate easter

#1 -Dress Your Dog Up!

We’ve all seen those adorable pictures with furry friends wearing costumes, right?  This is a great way to include your dog in the Easter fun, if he will tolerate being dressed up. You can outfit him in a full costume, like an Easter bunny, a baby chick ,or maybe just a head piece.

You could even put a little necktie scarf or bow tie on him. The choices really are endless! If that isn’t working for him, how about a fun collar or bow attached in Easter colors or styles?

#2 – Yummy Dog-Friendly Easter Treats

This is where you need to be careful, but of course there are plenty of Easter treats fit for your dog. You can give him any of his regular treats, but make it special by feeding him from a pet-safe Easter basket.

Safe means no plastic grass, plastic eggs, or chocolate.

While hard boiled eggs won’t hurt him, be careful not to give him too many. Also make sure they are fresh and haven’t been sitting out too long. Doggies can have sensitive digestive tracts when it comes to “people” food.

There are plenty of veggies you can feed your dog too. Potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers. Fruits are okay too, such as watermelon, strawberries, oranges and blueberries. Fruits with pits should be avoided.

As with any treats, we don’t want to overfeed Fido, but he can enjoy a moderate amount safely.

#3 – Have A Dog-Friendly Easter Egg Hunt

Including your dog in an Easter egg hunt is perfectly fine if you follow a few safety precautions:

  • Keep him away from plastic grass
  • Keep him away from chocolate
  • Don’t let him chew on any plastic eggs, only hardboiled and only when fresh
  • Any fabric-stuffed chew toys should be pet safe
  • Don’t overfeed veggies or fruit, but he can enjoy in moderation
  • Count the number of eggs you have hidden so you know none are left to rot or to be found by Fido after Easter
  • Be careful of small plastic toys, you don’t want doggie to eat anything that might hurt his insides

One way to look at safety for your dog at Easter time is to think of him like a toddler. You wouldn’t want to give your toddler anything unsafe to eat or chew, or in excess amounts.

With these ideas in mind, you can have a safe and pleasant Easter with your dog and family.

Plus, be sure to take pictures of your dog in that Easter costume – We want to see them! It will be a fun memory for you and the kids year after year.

dog to eat grass

Is It Safe For My Dog To Eat Grass?

Is It Safe For My Dog To Eat Grass?

dog to eat grass

Dogs are no-doubt adventurous creatures. Think about the last time you took your dog on a walk – did they stop and sniff almost everything in sight? I bet they did!

But what happens when dogs start to EAT some of their outdoor findings – namely grass? Today we’re going answer this burning question. Let’s break down why dogs eat grass, and if it’s safe for them to do so.

First Thing’s First – Why Do Dog’s Eat Grass?

Like humans, dogs can be mysterious. There might not always be a clear rhyme or reason for their behavior. There’s a number of possible causes to why dogs eat grass, and it really comes down to a case-by-case basis. Some of the common reasons why dogs eat grass are:

  • They’re bored
  • They have a nutrition deficiency – possibly fiber
  • To make themselves throw up if they aren’t feeling well (This one is debated)
  • To improve digestion or treat intestinal worms
  • They just really like the taste and feel or grass

As you can see, there a number of possible causes to why your dog eats grass. If you’re concerned that your dog may have a nutrition deficiency or digestive problems, make sure you talk to your veterinarian to get to the bottom of the problem.

Will My Dog Get Sick From Eating Grass?

It’s possible, but uncommon. In fact, there was a recent study done showing that less than 25% of dogs will vomit after grazing. For the most part, veterinarians consider grass-eating a normal behavior in dogs. While there are a number of harmful plants that dogs really CAN get sick off of eating, grass isn’t really one of them.

What can make grass dangerous, however, is dangerous herbicides and chemicals that the grass may be treated with. These can be harmful and even fatal at times.

There are a number of lists online that detail what is and isn’t an “okay” chemical for your dog to ingest. If you suspect your dog has ingested something they shouldn’t have, don’t be afraid to call the Animal Poison Control Hotline.

Overall, grass really with neither hurt nor harm your pet (assuming there are no harmful herbicides or pesticides that the grass is treated with!). But as always, we recommend that if you’re ever worried about any strange behavior your dog is showing to consult with your veterinarian.

dog to have allergies

Is It Possible For My Dog To Have Allergies?

Is It Possible For My Dog To Have Allergies?

dog to have allergies

Spring time is almost here! And that means the outdoors will start to come alive again with blossoming flowers and trees and pollen circulating in the air. Unfortunately, with all of the beautiful foliage comes allergies – yuck! Sneezing, coughing and watery eyes are no fun. But, have you ever stopped to think whether or not your DOG gets spring time allergies too? Today we’re going to provide you with everything you need to know about dogs and allergy season.

Yes – Dogs CAN Get Allergies

Dogs are really not so different than humans in this regard. Dogs can absolutely get allergies, which occurs when their immune systems start to think that natural substances are harmful to their bodies. These substances are not harmful, but your dog may have a reaction to them when ingested, inhaled, or when they come in contact with the skin.

 

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Allergies?

There are many tell-tale signs of an allergic reaction in dogs. Here’s some of the most common ones to watch out for:

  • Itchy, red skin/eyes/back/base of tail/ears
  • Sneezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constant licking
  • Paw chewing
  • Snoring
  • Ear Infections

Any of these symptoms MAY indicate that your dog is having an allergic reaction. If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, make sure you contact your veterinarian to discuss your options.

 

What Can Dogs Be Allergic To?

Dogs (and people) can have allergic reactions to almost anything. But, there are a number of substances that are identified as the “most common” allergens. Here’s a list of the most common allergens for dogs.

  • Trees, grass, pollen, & weeds
  • Dust
  • Feathers
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Fleas
  • Perfumes & Shampoos
  • Cleaning Products
  • Food ingredients such as beef/pork/chicken/wheat/soy/corn

If you’re finding that your dog may be allergic to their food, the tough part is determining what exact ingredient is causing the reaction. Food allergies in dogs can show up any time from puppies to elderly dogs. You may have to experiment a little by feeding them different things to try to narrow down what the ingredient is. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, be sure to contact your veterinarian for help.

 

How Can I Help My Dog’s Allergies?

There’s a number of different allergy treatments that you can use, depending on what your dog is allergic to. Step number one is to visit your veterinarian to get a better sense of what your dog is allergic to and what the best treatment methods are.

For example, if your dog is allergic to plants or trees, frequent bathing may help to relieve them. Trying to be conscious of dust around the house by cleaning more frequently may help a dog a with dust allergies. Dogs with food allergies can be placed on special prescription diets by your veterinarian to help to determine what the allergen is and what food they should eat from now on.

Overall, it’s important to provide your dog with the best care by consulting with the professionals. While the Internet definitely provides a lot of helpful resources, the best way to get the facts on dog allergies is to chat with your veterinarian. They are here to look out for you and your dog – so don’t be afraid to take advantage of them. They are the best resource!

prepare home for pet sitter

6 Ways To Prepare Your Home For A Pet Sitter:

You’ve hired a pet sitter, your bags are packed and you’re ready to run off on your vacation.  Sounds good, right? Not so fast!  Have you prepared your home and pet for the pet sitter, yet? Leaving your home and pet in the care of the pet sitter does take a little prep work in advance.  You must get your home and pet ready so your pet sitter can do the BEST job!

 

prepare home for pet sitter

 

Meet and Greet/Trial Run through

If you’ve already schedule your pet sit visits, hopefully your pet sitter has already met your pet!  If not, don’t do anything else until you’ve done this.  It’s so important to make sure your pet is comfortable with the pet sitter.  In fact, it is in your pet’s best interest to do a trial pet sit before you leave for vacation. The trial pet sit should occur while you are not home.  This will let you and your pet sitter know exactly how your pet may respond while you are not home.  Your pet may think it’s all fun and games while you are there but once you’re out of the picture, it may be a different story. You’d be surprised how differently pets can act without the presence of their pet parent.

 

Pet Schedule and Supplies

Anything your pet sitter needs to care for your pets should be made easily available to him/her.  For starters, leave a schedule.  This schedule should include any routines or rituals involved in your pet’s care.  What time does your pet usually eat?  What time does your pet go out for a potty break or walk?  Does your pet take medication?  If so, when and at what dosage?  Leave food and treats out with instructions on how much your pet eats as well as frequency of meals.  Also leave out leashes and harnesses or put in writing exactly where those items are stored.  Cleaning supplies are important, too.  Paper towels, carpet cleaner and other pet friendly cleaning supplies to help clean up any messes.  Your pet may have an accident while you are away and your pet sitter should not have to go searching for any of these items or other items they may need.  

 

Pet Proofing

Be sure to close off or secure any rooms, cabinets or closets that you don’t want your pet to get into.  Scan the floors and be sure to pick up shoes and other items that your pet may be tempted to pick up.  Your pet may be a little stressed when you leave and during times of stress, dogs chew as a means of coping.  Your pet may act out during times of uncertainty so think of the worst possible scenario and do your best to put in place measures to prevent those things from happening.



Clean Up Your Home

We all know that your home is your sanctuary, but if you leave dirty messes that harden, get sticky, have an odor, or just are left out, those all can become extreme hazards to your pet who might feel like exploring more than he might normally when you are in town. Be sure to pick up and clean up your home. Especially if you are hiring a pet sitter to sleep in your bed. Your pet and pet sitter will love you for it!

 

Securing Your Home

Be sure to lock and secure your home before you leave.  All external doors and gates should be locked.   If at all possible, set your internal and external lights on timers so your home looks inhabited at all times.  What areas are off limits to your pets and pet sitter?  Make your pet sitter aware.  What steps do you take when there’s a power outage or storm? Make your pet sitter aware of the location of the circuit box.  Leave a flash light as well as a few night lights on throughout your home.  If you have an alarm system, let your pet sitter know who the access code is as well as the name and number of your alarm company. In the event that the alarm gets set off, what steps should your pet sitter take?

Advise a trusted neighbor or friend in your community of your departure.  Leave their phone number with the pet sitter. It’s also advisable to have your friend your pass your friend as they are in route to work or errands throughout your absence.  The more eyes on your property, the better.  If this friend, neighbor or anyone else has access to your home, please make your pet sitter aware and vice versa.  There should be no surprise visitors or people coming and going while you are leaving your home and pets in the hands of a pet sitter.  

 

Communication

Fill out any and all paperwork that your pet sitter requests.  Leave your pet sitter with your contact information as well as where you will be taking your vacation to.  Information that may seem trivial at the moment, can become really important should an emergency arise.  Tell your pet sitter who you want contacted in the event that you not reachable.  Also, let your pet sitter know how to proceed if your pet has a medical emergency.  This is all information that is ordinarily addressed in your pet sitter’s paper work but should you choose to hire an independent contractor or someone else to sit for your pets, all of this information needs to be divulged. Don’t forget to carry your pet sitter’s phone number with you so you can easily reach out if you want to check in on your pet or have any questions or concerns while you are away.

Whew!  That was a lot of information, wasn’t it?  Being prepared will only serve to allow you and your pet to have the best vacation ever.  Isn’t that what a vacation is all about? A little peace and a whole lot of peace of mind!  Remember what Ben Franklin said, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Happy Planning!

 

dogs teeth clean

Tricks To Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean Without Using A Toothbrush

February is a great month for so many reasons – Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and we’re in the homestretch towards Spring time. But there’s one more reason that makes February a great month for dogs – it’s National Pet Dental Health Month! In celebration of the importance of your pooch’s pearly whites, today we’re going to talk about the various ways you can ensure your dog’s teeth stay healthy and clean.

dogs teeth clean

Pay Attention To What You’re Feeding Your Dog

There are TONS of choices of dog food you can buy. Just like with anything, some are much better with others. The best types of dog foods are made only with whole foods, rather than by-products. Whole foods will strengthen your dog’s body, heart, and ultimately teeth.

Dog food made from cereal grains or meals are a bad choice because they are much more prone to stick to your dog’s teeth – which can cause plaque and buildup. Instead, opt for quality dog foods made with veggies, fruits, and meats. Your dog’s teeth will thank you for it!

Now, that we’ve talked about what types of dog foods to buy, let’s talk about what kinds of treats you should have in your pantry. Treats that contain sugars or grains will also stick to your dog’s teeth, resulting in poor dental health. Instead, opt for veggies or fruits for snacks like baby carrots or celery sticks. These will reduce your dog’s calorie intake, and will actually help them scrape plaque off their teeth as they chew them! Cool, huh?

 

Choose Toys That Will Help Your Dog’s Teeth

Just like dog food and treats, there are hundreds if not thousands of dog toys that you can buy. The pet industry is HUGE, am I right? Let’s talk about some toys that your dog will enjoy, and will also help them keep their teeth in tip top shape.

Rubber or nylon chew toys are great for dog’s teeth. Just like vegetables, these actually allow your dog to scrape plaque off their teeth while they chew them. Experts recommend that after each meal that you give your dog one of these good chew toys. It’s kind of the same idea of humans chewing gum after meals. It helps remove plaque!

Dry, raw, bones are also great chew treats for your dog’s dental health. These type of bones are usually from cows, and are large and uncooked. It’s important that you don’t get bones made of starches, because these tend to, again, stick to your dog’s teeth. These types of bones will hinder rather than help your dog’s teeth. If you’re still unsure about what type of bones to buy, don’t be afraid to ask your Veterinarian – they are here to help!

 

For More Suggestions, Talk To Your Veterinarian

If you’re still unsure about whether or not the dog food, treats, or toys you’re buying for your pooch is helping your teeth, make sure you reach out to your local veterinarian. They’ll be able to help educate you on the topic, and recommend products as well.

It can definitely be challenging to decipher which dog products to buy over others. I know they don’t make it easy. For this reason, it may be beneficial to start a teeth-cleaning routine with your dog. If you can’t dedicate yourself to a teeth-cleaning after every meal, try for once a day, or once every other day. And what better time to start than National Pet Dental Health Month?

Overall, clean teeth will help your dog live longer, and be happier! So whether you choose to invest in new dog food, treats, or talk to your Vet – working towards the goal of clean teeth is always a good idea.

too cold for your dog

When Is It Too Cold For Your Dog?

January may not be the friendliest of months weather-wise, but I guarantee that’s not going to stop your pup from wanting to hit the pavement. Dogs love their exercise and a lot of the time they’re willing to walk, even in harsh conditions. It’s our job, as pet parents, topay special attention to how long is too long to be out in the snow and freezing cold with our dogs. Let’s take a look at a few tell-tale signs that it’s too cold for your dog to be outside.

Symptoms That It’s Too Cold For Your Dog

Dogs are smart, and they know how to communicate with their owners to some degree. So if you’re out on a walk and your dog starts exhibiting signs of discomfort such as whining or shivering, it’s time to head back in.

Other important things to look out for is signs of weakness, like if your pup starts walking more slowly or stops walking entirely. Showing signs of anxiety is another key symptom that your dog is uncomfortable and needs to warm up.

It’s really important not to ignore these symptoms, because just like humans, dogs can develop conditions such as hypothermia or frostbite from staying out in the cold too long.

too cold for your dog

Keep A Good Eye On Their Paws

While dogs are able to let you how they feel through their behavior, you can also tell if it’s too cold for your dog through their physical state. Dogs’ paws are some of the easiest, tell-tale signs that they need to warm up and get out of the cold.

If your dog’s paws seem to be cracking or bleeding, this could definitely be a sign of cold-weather injury. Your dog also might start to slow down or stop walking if they have accumulated too much ice in between their toes.

If your dog shows any of these signs, it’s probably a good idea to get them inside so you can take a closer look. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

Know You And Your Dog’s Limits

Humans and animals alike all have their tolerances to cold weather. Just like humans, some dogs do quite well in the cold weather, while others don’t. Usually this can be attributed to the thickness of your dog’s coat, but not always.

So, when you’re walking your dog in the snow, consider factors such as their coat thickness, age, and general health.

A dog with a thick fur coat is most likely going to be more cold weather resistant, and won’t feel the sting of the wind as fast as a dog with a light coat. A dog with a shorter coat will most likely feel the cold faster, and will not be able to be out as long.

Another example is that an elderly dog is probably not going to do as well walking in the snow as a young pup. Your elderly dog could be more prone to slipping, falling, or skidding on ice and snow.

And, if your dog has arthritis, diabetes, or some other condition, they may have more trouble dealing with the cold weather. This is because they might have more difficulty regulating their body temperature, so they can’t adjust to the cold weather as well.

Taking individual factors of your dog into account when out in the cold is crucial. No two dogs are alike. So, if you’re concerned on the appropriate time to stay out in the cold with your dog, make sure you consult your veterinarian.

 

Don’t Forget To Worry About Yourself

What do I mean by this? Well, as most pet owners are, it’s easy to get caught up on what’s best for your dog, and forget about yourself in the process.

So, even if your dog seems to be doing great in the snow, but you feel like your fingers are about to freeze – don’t feel bad about heading back inside. It’s important to be conscientious of your own health and tolerance to the cold.

Your dog’s health is no doubt important, but so is your own! Try to pay attention to both your dog and you own signs of tolerance for the cold. Try to find a happy medium for the two of you, and I guarantee you both will be able to take on the cold like nobody’s business.

 

Fun Ways to Exercise With Your Dog In Cold Weather

Just like humans, dogs need lots of exercise to live a healthy and happy life. In fact, owning a dog is a great way to motivate yourself to go out and get some exercise. Even when the temps are freezing there are still ways to exercise with your dog in cold weather and still keep the blood flowing!

Let’s talk about some creative ways that you and your dog can still get some quality exercise despite cold temperatures.

exercise dog.

Wait to Walk Until the Sun Comes Out To Exercise With Your Dog!

A lot of dog owners like to get up bright and early to take a walk with their pup. But in the Winter time this may not be the best idea, because it’s usually colder in the mornings than the afternoon.

In the winter time, why not wait until the afternoon to take that jog around the block or trip to the park? It will still be cold, but the sun is your friend! It’ll be a little warmer, and easier to see what’s going on outside. Plus, it will make it that much warmer!

You also won’t have to worry about busting out your flashlight in order to see where you’re walking if you exercise your dog at night. Remember that it’s important to be safe while exercising with your dog. Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your pets.

 

Substitute Regular Backyard Playtime for A Trip Around Town!

Although your dog may be totally content with backyard play time and let outs, everyone likes a change in scenery. Why not take your pooch to somewhere fun around town?

This could be a dog park or a hiking trail. Dog parks are great because both you and your dog get to socialize – taking your mind off of the biting cold! Before you know it your dog will be tuckered out after all the running around and games of fetch.

Hiking trails are also awesome exercise opportunities for you and your dog. You’ll get to take in some stunning outdoor scenery while you and your dog build up a sweat. Invite along some friends and their dogs to make this an even more fun-filled event. You would be suprised how many of your friends already exercise with their dog!

 

Snow is GREAT for Hide-N-Seek

We all know that dogs have impeccable noses, so why not use this to get them a work out? Head outside bringing along your dog’s favorite toy, or maybe some treats. Scatter the toys and treats in the snow and let your dog see you do it. Then you can tell your pooch to go and find them!

This a great way to stimulate your dog’s nose while getting them a great workout. Once they bring the toys back to you, you could even turn it into a game of fetch. Your dog will love running after their favorite toy and having to bury their head in the snow to get it.

The possibilities are endless!

Don’t Skip On Exercise, But Know Your Limits

Overall, there are a ton of entertaining ways to get some exercise with your dog in the Winter time in addition to what we listed here.

But it’s important to remember that if the temperature feels too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog. Their fluffy fur coat has its limits as well!

So while you should still try to give your dog as much exercise as possible in the Winter time, keep in mind your own and your dog’s limits. Safety is always #1 priority above everything!