Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe from the Dangerously Hot Temperatures

Summer is here and it is important to remember how hot it gets for your pets. Sometimes we tend to overlook things without thinking about the temperatures outside.

Here are some summer tips to help your pets have a safe and happy summer!

For those of you who like to take your animals for a ride in the car, it is important to never leave them in a parked car. Studies have been conducted that show temperatures inside a parked car can reach more than 160 degrees in five minutes. Never leave your pet in the car for even one minute. You may think that leaving the window cracked in the shade will protect your loyal companion, but this is not the case. Doing this will not keep the rising temperatures from inside that car.

Remember your dog’s paws can be susceptible to blisters and burns from hot pavement and sand. To help prevent burns and blisters, schedule your walks for the morning or evening. Sidewalks are cooler. You can even purchase boots designed just for dogs.

Water is imperative to a dog or cat in the summer months. Always provide your pet with fresh, clean water on a daily basis. In the really hot temperatures, you may need to fill up their water bowl more than once a day. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to your loved one. Don’t forget this important step.

If you are traveling, you need to bring along a drinking container and water. Don’t forget to pack a cooler.

The best place for your dog to cool down in the hot summer heat is in the shade on a grassy area in the yard. The reason this is the best place is because grass releases moisture and keeps you dog cooler than concrete, dirt or gravel. You can even purchase a raised bed that will increase the flow of cooler air underneath the bed mat.

Be sure to have your dog groomed regularly to help protect him from the sun. Dogs can actually get a sunburn, as well as skin cancer. You can actually apply sunscreen where the hair is thin and where skin lacks pigment, such as the nose, ears and sensitive areas. Do this every single day your dog is outside.

Consider a cooling bandana for your dog. The bandana actually absorbs water to keep your dog cool for hours.

Purchase some sun glasses! Your dog’s eyes are just as susceptible to damage from wind and debris or UV light as you are. There are some really neat products available made specifically for dogs.

Life jackets are a necessity for your dog. Do not take for granted that your dog is a good swimmer. When you take trips to the lake or rides on the boat, be sure your dog is wearing a life jacket. He could fall in and get tired very easily. This would be devastating.

Your dog is a loyal companion that needs your protection through these hot summer months. Don’t take for granted that just because it is a dog that the heat does not affect them. Dangerous heat can affect any dog. Even the ones that are used to hot and cold weather need to be protected.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pet Advice for May

How much exercise is the “right” amount for my dog?

It really depends on the size, age and breed of your dog as to how much exercise is the “right” amount of exercise for your dog. If you have a larger dog, he will need more activity than a smaller dog. Some dogs that are the same size but a different breed need more exercise. If you notice that your dog is gaining weight, you could be feeding him too much and/or he may not be getting enough exercise.

Exercise is important in keeping your dog’s muscles tone, joint and mind healthy. At the very least, your dog should have some type of exercise at least three times each day for 15 minutes at a time. Never exercise your dog right after he eats. If your dog is overweight or simply out of shape, you will need to start an exercise program slowly. This will allow him to build up on time and intensity at a good even pace.

Dog’s exercise routines do not have to be boring and dreadful. You can incorporate exercise during playtime. You will likely benefit from exercising your dog, as well! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started thinking of some ideas to exercise your loyal companion.

Fetch – This is a tried and true traditional game that has been around for years and years. The great thing about this game is that it is very effective for exercise and only requires something to throw and your time. There are a number of products you can purchase for fetch, or you can go outside and pick up a thick stick and throw. That is my dog’s favorite fetch “toy”. It would be beneficial to you and your dog to do some simple training. Make your dog sit. Throw the stick or whatever you choose, and say fetch. Once your dog retrieves the stick, say “come” and point to your feet. Once they are at your feet, say “leave it” or “out” and start over. Don’t go running after your dog. This can be frustrating for both you and your dog. This is excellent exercise for you dog.

Jogging- This is obviously a great exercise for both you and your dog. Your dog would need to be trained to heel and run next to you for his own safety. But, this is something you and your dog can do together, and he will love it.

Walks – This is an entertaining form of exercise for you and your dog. You can go for walks in the park or down the street or on a mountain trail. Whatever you decide, if you include your dog, he will not only be healthy, but extremely happy. Don’t forget if it is cold outside to get him a coat to keep his muscles warm.

After that exercise routine, your dog will like be ready for a good nap. He will likely be ready for a long nap on his pet bed.

What are some kinds of exercises to keep my cat healthy and not so “fat”?

Cats actually have the ability to play, too. In fact, many times they will amuse themselves for quite some time. You could encourage your cat to play by incorporating some of these games or ideas into their everyday routine.

Consider a multi-tiered cat tree. They will be able to jump up and down on the different tiers, which will not only give them a good workout, but it will help improve balance and coordination.
A cat exercise wheel is pretty cool. It will help their heart and it is simply just so much fun watching them get on and running.

Throwing down a milk ring is popular among cat owners. Your cat will entertain himself by throwing it up in the air and chasing after it.

Slithering a snake or yarn is another way to get your cat up and moving. Their nature is to pounce. They love to chase after and pounce on small moving items. It is so much fun to watch. They are so cute and really enjoy playing.

After playing with your cat, you can put her in a cat stroller and take her out for a walk to get some fresh air. Or, your cat may likely take a long nap after all of that playtime!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Furry Friends Tidbits

Enjoy our monthly little tidbits on your furry friends. Here you will find interesting fun facts on dogs and cats or any other little tidbits of information from delicious pet recipes to fun facts to fun games to play with your pet. You never know what you will find, so join us each month for some fun and exciting tidbits!

Five Fun Facts

Almost 94% of people who own pets say that their pet makes them smile more than once a day.

The basic patron of dogs is St. Anthony.

In 1957, Laika was a female husky that Russian scientists rocketed into space. In fact Laika was actually the world’s first space traveler.

Cats can hear up to 50,000 cycles per second. This is more than twice then that of a human.

Cats usually have 12 whiskers on each side of their face. That is 24 in all!

Popular and Unique Names for your Pets

Dog Names

Cat Names

Games to Play with your Pets
Hide and Seek with your Dog – This game can be so much fun to play with your dog. It takes two people to play this one with your dog. One of you either holds your hands over your dog’s eyes or stays in the house with the dog. The other person runs outside and hides. After the count of twenty, the dog is let out and runs and finds you.

Hunting for the burrowing mice – This is a game for you and your cat. It is a classic that has been around for quite some time now. All you do is run your hand underneath a blanket and your cat will pounce on it!

Pet Products
Pet strollers are a great way to take your dog or cat out for a walk or to give them a break on the way back from a long playtime in the park.

Pet beds are wonderful to have for your pets to have a special place to sleep after that long walk or playtime in the park!

Pet costumes or clothes are great for cold weather or simply for fun. Check out all of the cute costumes and coats available these days!

Dog Recipes – Warning these can be too tempting for humans!

This section is dedicated to all of those who like to make your own natural dog food or treats.

Apple Cinnamon Delights
1 large apple 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup of water 1/2 tsp cinnamon1 cup oatmeal 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Core, slice and mince apple. In a large bowl, combine the minced apple, honey, water, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Gradually blend in the wheat flour, add in enough to form dough that is stiff.

In a small bowl, add 1/8 cup wheat flour. Spoon the dough by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in the wheat flour (to prevent sticking), flatten each spoonful of dough into a circle.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each cookie to brown evenly on both sides.

Reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool overnight.

Makes about 3 dozen crunchy cookies, depending on cookie size

Your furry little friend will love these delicious and homemade treats made from the heart!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Pet Tips for May

Tips For Choosing A Healthy Dog Food

Your dog’s nutrition is critical for leading a long, healthy and happy life. There are so many different types of dog foods available to you that it is sometimes difficult to determine which one is the right one for your dog. Just because a dog food is expensive, does not always mean it is the best food for your dog.

IMPORTANT – One thing that is critical to the health of your dog is to know what NEVER to feed him. Some foods that humans can eat can be hazardous or even fatal to dogs. Some of these foods you need to avoid are: alcohol, baby food that contains onion powder, bones from fish, cat food (too high in protein), chocolate, coffee or tea, grapes or raisons, citrus oil extracts, onions, garlic, table scraps, mushrooms and more. Some of these are toxic and could cause death, whereas some will cause less severe health issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

There are quite a few more human foods that dogs should not eat. Research any food you plan to hand over to your dog. Trying to satisfy your dog’s desires, could be a devastating result. In fact, chocolate is lethal for your dog, especially dark chocolate. The ingredients in chocolate are digested and excreted by a human in as little as three hours, but the same amount of chocolate in a dog can take up to 18 hours to leave a dog’s body. Here are some of the symptoms of dog chocolate poisoning: vomiting, excessive urination, hyper, diarrhea, seizure, coma or death.
Read the labels of their dog food. Dogs’ diets should be rich in meat protein.

If you choose to have canned dog food, look for chicken, turkey meat or pork because they will help keep your dog’s coat smooth and healthy. Give the foods that have a high vegetable protein level because these foods are more easily digested and give the dogs energy. They should also receive an adequate amount of carbohydrates, such as rice, corn, oatmeal and wheat.
Don’t give your dog a bone! Once bones are gnawed to where they are soft enough to eat, they will feel like splinters inside a dog’s throat and this could cause them to choke.

A natural dog food diet is a great way to increase your dog’s overall health. People who have tried the natural dog food diet have been very happy with the outcome. They report that their dogs have shinier coats, their eyes are brighter, they have more energy and their breath is better. The idea of a natural dog food diet is to feed your dog “quality” human food, not just your leftovers. If you do not take care in what type of human food you feed your dog, than instead of making him healthier, you could be leading him down the path of degenerative diseases or diabetes. Many people are beginning to give their dogs more natural dog food diets.

Some people are making the meals right in their kitchen. However, the dog food industry has recognized that owners want to give their “babies” a variety of healthier foods, so you can find more natural dog food manufacturers on the internet. If you do choose to make your own food, be prepared to spend a little time in the kitchen. Prepare the food ahead of time, so that you are not tempted to give in to their desires of your leftovers. This can happen if you are simply too tired to get up and make your dog’s meal after spending all that time making your own meal!
There are many different dog foods available. Be sure you are choosing a dog food that is high in meat protein. Before you prepare any meals for your dog from quality human food, check to be sure that the food is not toxic to your pet.

After feeding your dog his meal, take him on a walk. This will help to ensure a healthy lifestyle for you and your dog. Bring along the pet stroller so that he can have a relaxing ride back from the park after all of the playing. He will likely be ready for a nice long nap in his dog bed after his big meal and playtime!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pet’s How to Column for May

How to Give Your Dog a Bath without the Drench

Your dog can really get into the craziest things. They tend to bring home the dirt, or whatever they can get their paws on. Therefore, you need to be prepared to give your dog a bath. Of course, anyone can give a dog a bath, but there are some ways to give your dog a bath that will leave your bathroom not such a huge mess! Believe it or not, there is a way to give your dog a bath without getting completely drenched and soaking the entire bathroom!

Make sure you have all the supplies you need before you get started. This will help reduce the water mess! You will need the following supplies.

· Beach towels that is large enough for the larger dogs.
· Some type of dog soap. Preferably some type of natural dog soap.
· A detachable showerhead
· A rubber mat
· Hair dryer
· Portable Dog Bath, which is optional.

Step One- Brush your dog’s hair to remove tangles, mats or loose hair. If you are using a bathtub, prevent drain clogging by using a removable hair strainer.

Step Two- Put the bathmat or a towel in the tub. This will help your dog feel more secure, so he doesn’t slide around. Sliding scares them and will cause them to try and jump out. What a mess!
Step Three-A detachable showerhead is way more convenient than the faucet. Dogs tend to be afraid of the water running from a faucet.

Step Four-Use shampoo specifically for the dog. Human shampoo does not have the right pH balance for a dog. Use oatmeal based or medicated pet soap to soothe their skin.

Step Five-Protect your dog’s ears to prevent water from getting in by moistening cotton balls and then putting them in the ear. Don’t forget to take them out when the bath is over!

Step Six-Make sure you rinse the shampoo. Residue can cause itching, which can lead to skin infections.

Step Seven-Minimize their stress. Although bathing is a normal activity for humans, dogs are usually very uncomfortable and sometimes even scared to death of the bathtub. Try to get in and out of the tub as soon as possible.

Step Eight-When the bath is done, close the shower curtains and let your dog shake. Then put the big towels around her to dry her off. You can dry them with a hair dryer, but keep it away from their face and eyes.

Dogs tend to get into to things and have other issues through out their life, such as allergies, skin infections or “bugs”. Remember to completely rinse the soap, so that you can avoid health issues later. You should start bathing your dog when it is a puppy to get him used to baths. You can add fatty acid supplements to your pet’s diet to help him maintain a healthy hair coat and skin. Daily brushing, regular baths and supplements will help to ensure a healthy coat, which in turn will lead to a healthier dog.

Your dog will likely be ready for a nap, make sure you have cleaned his dog bed before he gets in!