Love Your Pets

  • Winterproof Your Pets Paws!

    Winterproof Your Pets Paws!

    Did your mother remind you to wear your boots when you were a child and you were headed outside into the snow and rain?

    Just as wearing your boots will protect your feet and keep you warm, boots for dogs can do the same and prevent injury to your dog’s feet. The list of potential dangers include salt, ice, de-icers and any other debris that can go unnoticed by you and your dog ahead of time ... and can even be toxic to our best friends.

    Another possible way to protect your pet’s paws is with a protective balm, something that gets an endorsement from experts like Cesar Milan.

    If nothing else, there’s always a cape (see Brutus in his cape).

    Freezing temperatures and freezing pavement and paths can also cause injury. An easy thing to do is remember to take a towel along when you go for a walk to clean off paws. Another good habit is to wash and dry paws to remove irritants when you come in. Plus, it gives you a chance to check for trouble.

    Paw problems can cause a lot of discomfort for dogs. Be sure to have your vet check your dog’s paws when you visit the vet and get as much advice about prevention and care you can. Dogs depend on us to take care of them in so many ways!

  • Dogs in Cars, Without the Coffee

    Dogs in Cars, Without the Coffee

    Jerry Seinfeld’s popular Netflix series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, led to a play on words for the title of this blog post about dogs in cars. Of course, dogs and cars go together, just like coffee and cars go together. Both dogs and coffee can make life so much more enjoyable! BTW, the dog you see pictured in the MINI driver’s seat was in a parked car with car owner right outside the car.

    Dogs in cars is a well-known way for dogs to travel, but not all dogs like to ride in cars and there are many precautions to take when a dog travels by car. Here are some basic thoughts if you have a dog that likes to ride along in the car. Even if your dog does not like to travel by car, there are times it becomes necessary to get to the vet’s office or to something fun, like the dog park, so be thoughtful about your dog’s safety and comfort on the way there.

    Also, be extremely mindful of distracted driving and be sure your dog in the car is not a distraction to you while driving. That’s why preparation, common sense, plus a few practical measures can minimize or eliminate any distractions while driving.

    Dogs Should Not Ride in Front Seats
    Many dogs we have known have immediately tried to get in the front seat, sometimes with its head out the window, licking the air. This can pose a number of safety problems and, while we love the sight, it is best to protect your dog by being in the back seat—away from the frontal airbag and use a dog restraint or harness.

    Of course, airbags are a safety feature for passengers restrained by seatbelts. However, if the frontal airbag deploys, the front seat passenger may be injured and even killed if not properly restrained and makes contact with the deploying airbag.

    Dog Harnesses and Containers Can Provide Protection
    Dog harnesses are an excellent safety option, especially for larger dogs. Those available can be comfortable while providing safety and even connecting to the existing safety belt in the vehicle.

    There are some bed-like products with harnesses that can keep a dog safe and contained while in the car. A harness may be helpful for dogs that get queasy with motion, because the straps make them at least feel more secure.

    SUVs
    For cross-over, SUVs or wagons, there can also be a dog guard or gate between the back seat and the storage bay area. This can allow for a dog or multiple dogs to be comfortable in a somewhat open area.

    Reminders About Water and Air Flow
    Don’t forget to make water available, keep a towel available, and a waterproof liner if needed. And keeping the air conditioning available or at least crack the windows to keep airflow for the dog.

    Other Suggestions
    Always give a dog a chance to get familiar with the car, get in, sniff around and adjust to the car. Try for short trips at first, then plan for longer once you believe your dog is safe and comfortable.

    Having some food in the stomach can help ease motion sickness and treats or snacks can always come in handy.

    Talk to your veterinarian about the pros and cons about medication, if needed.

    There is much said about not leaving dogs alone in a car, where they cannot fend for themselves and where the interior temperature can soar and cause immediate harm and death. Cold temperatures can also do harm and should be considered as well as causing harm to a dog left in the car.

    dog in parked MINI
  • How to Rid Your Home of Pet Odors, Without Getting Rid of Your Beloved Pet

    How harmful can fragrance in the home (or car) be to your pet? What other ways can you freshen up your home when the cause of the odor is your beloved dog or cat?

    There have been many posts popping up on Facebook lately about essential oil diffusers being harmful and possibly toxic to dogs and cats. Some people seem to be using them to cover up pet odors, but they might be actually causing more harm than they people realize.

    While some people are not affected by pet odors and some people do find that it bothers them, pet owners should be careful and aware of what works best and does not cause harm to humans or pets.
    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides assistance and guides to help keep dogs and cats safe in society, safe in homes and outdoors.

    Do you know which cleaning products, human medications and cosmetic items to keep out of your pet’s reach? If you suspect your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances, contact your veterinarian or call APCC’s hotline at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

    Unfortunately, products that pet owners and homeowners think makes the air in their home (or car) smell better can possibly pollute the air with chemicals that are dangerous to your pets. According to experts, a large percentage of U.S. households use a variety of these products. Studies have found harmful chemicals in air fresheners (all types), scented candles and incense. Most of the effects of these products aren’t immediately obvious and may not even manifest as respiratory issues.

    There are safe, natural alternatives that can freshen the air in your home – these include pet-safe indoor plants, an air purifier and diffusing diluted pet-safe essential oils. The products you should consider not using due to the health-related issues include air freshener sprays, upholstery sprays, plug-ins, gels, candles and incense. Some of the reasons this can be related to the size of pets. Also, both dogs and cats tend to spend a lot of time near the floor where all indoor air pollutants eventually wind up. Then they groom themselves and sometimes each other, ingesting the harmful particles that have accumulated on their fur and in the environment.

    In air fresheners in the form of both aerosol sprays and plug-ins, there are a number of toxic chemicals that can be dangerous to your pet's health as well as yours.

    Here are some ideas on natural alternatives to keep your home smelling fresh. Besides opening up your windows when weather allows, consider adding some pet-safe indoor house plants that can clean the air.

    To make your own deodorizers:
    • Fill a spray bottle with plain vinegar, then add five to 10 drops of essential oils if you like, such as lemon, lavender, or vanilla. Spray the vinegar around the house.
    • Add one-quarter cup of baking soda to a spray bottle and fill it with water. Shake well and spray liberally.

    Other ways to add natural scents to your home are to simmer some mint tea or cinnamon in water or grind up a fresh orange.

    Most of all, enjoy your best friends company--dogs and cats--at home or your car, without overdoing it on the air fresheners. Woof, woof & meow!

  • 5 Dog Sitting Choices To Consider If You’re Planning Holiday Travel

    Whatever the occasion, but especially at joyous and stressful times like the holidays in December and New Year’s, there are plenty of good options to consider if you need someone to care for your dog while you are away. The key is to explore the options available to you and your dog and then pick the one that will give you and your best friend a chance to be apart but be comfortable at the same time. Knowing your dog is well taken care of while you’re gone requires some research and planning.

    5 Dog Sitting Choices To Consider If You’re Planning Holiday Travel

    Holidays Can Present Challenges For You And Your Pet

    If you are traveling and traveling with your beloved dog presents more issues than it solves, then consider this short list. The 5 choices include 1) a pet sitter at your home 2) a pet sitter at their home, 3) a local pet hotel nearby, 4) a boarding facility in the country, or 5) a veterinarian’s office that offers boarding as well. Prices can vary anywhere from $15 an hour to $40 a day per dog at a facility. Costs also vary if you have more than one dog or even a cat or two!

    A Pet Sitter at Your Home

    If you already know a pet sitter and are comfortable having that pet sitter stay in your home, that’s the best scenario for your dog. It allows your dog to keep a familiar routine in a familiar place. If you don’t know the pet sitter personally but feel comfortable hiring one from a company, be sure to get recommendations and check out the reviews.

    A Pet Sitter at Their Home

    If you know the pet sitter and are comfortable with him or her, and are comfortable with your dog being at the pet sitter’s home, that’s great. It will take your dog out of usual surroundings and routine, so be sure the pet sitter and surroundings are going to work. You’ll need to check it out together with your dog ahead of time and provide some familiar things for your dog to have during the stay. Find out about other pets that will be present. Again, be sure to ask for references and check out the reviews.

    A Local Pet Hotel Nearby

    A number of pet stores have added what they refer to as a pet “hotel” that is part of the pet store, usually off to the side or back of the store where the pets are able to be on their own without too many distractions. Again, it will be unfamiliar and out of routine, so you should check it out together with your dog ahead of time, get a feel for the demeanor of the staff and surroundings and provide some familiar things for your dog to have during the stay. Also be sure to check out references and reviews.

    A Kennel or Boarding Facility in the Country

    While a kennel or boarding facility can be anywhere, there tend to be facilities in the countryside where dogs can stay in a natural environment and get a chance to run and explore more than in the pet hotels or veterinarian offices that also provide boarding. As with the local pet hotel, it will be unfamiliar and out of routine, so you should check it out together with your dog ahead of time, get a feel for the demeanor of the staff and surroundings and provide some familiar things for your dog to have during the stay. Also be sure to check out references and reviews.

    A Veterinarian’s Office With Overnight Stay

    This is an option if your dog is elderly or has medical issues that need some monitoring from a professional. If it is your veterinarian’s office and they know you and your dog, even better. All the precautions of the first four choices apply here to some extent, so be sure to check it out, ask for references and recommendations, and look at the reviews.

    Definitely ask around, your friends and family will definitely have suggestions. Check out the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, which also offers a certification program.

    We love our pets and owe it to them and ourselves to never let any harm come to them on our watch.

    Happy Holidays!

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