Pet Education

  • 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

  • Why Do Dogs Chew, Lick or Scratch Repeatedly and Compulsively?

    A visitor to our facebook page asked us recently about dogs licking his/her paws in the evening. This could be for a number of reasons. A veterinarian once told us about our own dog that it can be a sign of arthritis pain, so definitely something you’d want to look into with your dog. Pet and dog experts also point to other reasons, like allergies, boredom, even obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s especially a concern when a dog is licking a paw or any area nonstop. In part because it can be awfully distracting to observe, but it also might mean your dog is very uncomfortable or in pain and that’s never an acceptable situation.

    For those of you who have had at least one dog in your life, let alone numerous dogs, you have probably experienced some chewing, licking and scratching behaviors and know they can be quite common in dogs. The harder part is getting to the cause, as there can be a variety of causes. Sometimes you can notice what looks like a raw spot that might be red and irritated. This is usually a result of licking. Some diagnoses can include dermatitis. Again, there can be a number of reasons dogs chew, lick or scratch repeatedly and compulsively.

    Taking dog for walk

    Here are some possible reasons:

    Allergies

    This could mean food allergies or environmental triggers like including mold and pollen.  Dogs can develop contact dermatitis from encountering irritants in pesticides or soap.

    Anxiety & Boredom

    Just as people get bored and chew their nails or cuticles or pull at their hair, dogs can have similar responses to their life situation, especially when the home situation is in an upheaval with the humans in their lives.  Becoming obsessive and compulsive in response to something that is out of their control can result in chewing, licking and scratching behaviors that can cause severe damage.

    Pain

    This is something we never want to think and see in our pets and where we need to do everything we can to identify if a dog is in pain; if so, what is the cause; and what is the treatment? There could be an acute issue, like something stepped on, a bee sting or spider bite, or arthritis or joint problem.

    Skin Issues

    Many common factors like climate and diet can cause skin issues in dogs that then result in discomfort for your dog that causes chewing, licking or scratching repeatedly. Besides a skin issue, the dog could have been affected by fleas, mites or ticks and that must be addressed with a professional to be sure to eradicate the situation as quickly as possible for your dog’s sake and yours.

     We all make a promise to our dogs when we take them in to our lives, so be sure to honor that commitment along with the bond and dedication from your dog by making sure he or she is always well cared for and sees a veterinarian regularly as well as when needed. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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