Posts Categorized: Pet Care

Best Pet Boarding Places in Windermere

This article will discuss some of the different options for pet care available to you, how you can go about choosing the right options for you, and some of the best pet boarding in Windermere.

Many times, when people are planning to go out of town, they are unsure as to what options they have for pet care. Many people rely on friends, relatives, or neighbors to help out when they have to be away, but some have found that this is not always the best option for them. Some feel that they do not want to bother their friends and put a strain on the relationship. These people may be at a loss as to what to do. Sometimes, clients tell us that, before they found out about our pet sitting services, they would never go out of town because they just could not leave their pet.

Pet Care Options in Windermere

There are many pet care options available to pet parents in the Windermere area. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Pet Sitting in Windermere

One of the options many people use when they go out of town is pet sitting.

How do you decide if pet sitting is a good option for you? Consider a few questions you can ask yourself:

Does my pet prefer to stay at home?

Pet sitting is an excellent option for pets who prefer to stay at home. Many pets are shy by nature and all pets are creatures of habit. Therefore, for a lot of pets, staying at home is a preferred choice. They enjoy the comfort and security of being in their home environment and of keeping up with their favorite daily routines. Cats, especially, typically hate to leave home and do very well with daily visits for feeding, love, and attention.

Do I have time to plan pick-up and drop-off at a boarding facility?

If your schedule is tight and you do not want to add drop-off and pick-up times to your already busy schedule, pet sitting is also a good option because all you have to do is schedule the visits (once you have registered with a company), and your pet sitting can begin. No need to pack supplies and transport your pet. If you do prefer to have your pet boarded but do not have time for pick-up and drop-off, contact us for more information on our pet taxi services.

Do I have someone to check on my house, pick up mail, newspaper, etc?

If you do not already have someone who can come over and do those things for you, pet sitting may be a good option for you. In addition to caring for your pet, a pet sitting service will pick up mail, rotate lights, open and close blinds, and give the house an appearance of being occupied while you are away. Having someone come daily or even several times per day can be a crime deterrent.

Pet Boarding in Windermere

Another option for pet care in the Windermere area is pet boarding. How do you decide if pet boarding is a good option for you and your pet? Consider some questions you can ask yourself:

Does my dog come to the boarding facility for daycare on a consistent basis?

If your dog is used to coming to the boarding facility for daycare on a consistent basis, using pet boarding is very likely a great option for your dog. He is already familiar with the environment and associates it with playtime and fun. He knows that, once he is dropped off there, he will be picked up again, so it is not traumatic for him. It gets to be his vacation while you are on vacation.

Does my pet need veterinary care while I am away?

While a lot of pet sitting companies and boarding facilities can and do administer medications with client instruction while clients are away, sometimes it is best to board your pet under the supervision of a vet, at a veterinary clinic boarding facility.

Best Pet Boarding Places in Windermere

As a pet sitting service in the Windermere area, we know that we, unfortunately, cannot be a fit for everyone. However, our ultimate goal is to help all pet parents, be it through our services, or by helping with the process of finding the perfect place to care for their pets.

With that in mind, we have done a Google search and compiled a list of pet boarding places in the Windermere area. The Google ratings are as of the writing of this article.

Pawsh Pet Resort and Spa

(I have personally taken client’s pets here as part of our pet taxi service and can testify that the staff was always very friendly and the dogs were always very happy to go there for doggie daycare)

300 Countyline Ct, Oakland, FL 34787

(407) 654-7297

They have a 4.8 Star rating on Google

Best Friends Pet Care

2510 Bonnet Creek Pkwy, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

(407) 209-3126

They have a 4.3 Star rating on Google

Paws and Play

11790 W Colonial Dr, Ocoee, FL 34761

(407) 656-7529

They have a 4.5 Star rating on Google

Fur and Feathers Pet Resort

1230 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Winter Garden, FL 34787

(407) 905-6088

They have a 3.9 Star rating on Google

Best Vet Boarding Places in Windermere

If you have a pet that is ill and needs medical supervision by a vet, boarding at a vet clinic is probably your best option. Here is a list of vet clinic boarding places in the Windermere area:

Luv-n-Care Animal Hospital of Windermere

8940 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL 32835

(407) 217-7700

They have a 5 Star rating on Google

Windermere Vet Services

Lake Burden Shops, 7315 Winter Garden Vineland Rd #109, Windermere, FL 34786

(407) 217-7635

They have a 4.8 Star rating on Google

Windermere Animal Clinic

1909 Maguire Rd, Windermere, FL 34786

(407) 876-3676

They have a 4.7 Star rating on Google

How Can We Help You?

Do you have questions about the difference between pet sitting and pet boarding? Want to learn more about the pet sitting services we offer and get a tailor-made service for your pet? Contact us now! We would love to help!

Whom do you rely on for pet care when you go out of town?


The Orlando Cat Cafe

The Orlando area has its very own cat café, the Orlando Cat Café! It is the only cat café in all of the state of Florida as of the writing of this blog. Cats and coffee, along with a dash of caring, can you get any better than that?

I contacted the founder of the Orlando Cat Café, Sandra Cagan, to get more details on how the whole thing started. Read on to learn the story of this charming café.

What is a Cat Café?

First off, you may be wondering what a cat café is.

A cat café is the fusion of a coffee bar and a place where you can go to get your kitty fix. In addition, in the case of the Orlando Cat Café, the cats that you see there are all available for adoption. This is a wonderful way to find a perfect cat to adopt.

What is the Orlando Cat Cafe?

“The Orlando Cat Café is a collaborative project between The Animal League, Axum Coffee, and Cagan Management Group,” says Cagan. “It is a cozy coffeehouse with comfortable furniture, premium coffee, delicious sandwiches, and pastries where you can enjoy the company of cats and kittens all of which are available for adoption.  This concept comes from Japan where it is very popular.  Like all good things, it spread throughout Europe before eventually coming to the United States.  The Orlando Cat Café is the first and only Cat Café in the state of Florida!”

I just love the idea that these cats in need are getting help and a chance at adoption.

According to the ASPCA1.4 million cats are euthanized each year. Forty-one percent of cats that enter shelters are euthanized. It is a staggering number and a very sad statistic. A place like the Orlando Cat Café can do a lot to help cats in need. They give cats a chance at adoption and help to save them from euthanasia.

“We are really blessed to have such good partners in this venture,” says Cagan. “Axum Coffee not only provides delicious coffee, sandwiches, and food, but they are extremely philanthropic in their own right.  They were the perfect match and we could not have done this without them.  The Animal League has also been nothing short of fantastic.  It is a pleasure dealing with such a professional organization that also wants to do good in the world.”

Cagan with two of the kittens from the Orlando Cat Café

How the Orlando Cat Café Got Its Start

Cagan tells the story or the start of the idea for the Orlando Cat Café:

“On December 31, 2014, NBC Nightly News did a story on a Cat Café that opened in New York City.  The story stayed with me for several days and a few days into the New Year I sent an email to Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks outlining my idea to start a Cat Café.  I started my email with the words “you’re going to think I am crazy…”  Commissioner Parks responded within the hour and thought it was a great idea and helped get the ball (of yarn) rolling by introducing me to Doreen Barker, Executive Director and Jessica Whitehouse, Director of Development for the Animal League (formerly the Southlake Animal League).  2015 was an important year for me as I was turning 50 (gasp!) and looking for a way to “give back” to the community.  I can’t do anything about the situation in Syria or Darfur or stop global warming, but with my lifelong love of cats and my 20+ years in property management, helping homeless cats was something that I could do.”

Cats, cats, and more cats!

About Cat Adoption

I asked Cagan what the most important things someone should consider when choosing a cat to adopt. She mentioned that it is vital to remember that, when adopting, you are making a commitment for the life of the cat.

“Kittens are very cute, but kittens eventually become cats and as cats become older there are sometimes medical issues that arise,” says Cagan. She continues, “Pets are a wonderful addition to a family but a long and sometimes costly commitment.”

Adopting a cat (or any other pet, for that matter), is not something that should be done on impulse. It is a serious decision and the proper amount of time and thought must go into making it. That is the beauty of a place like the Orlando Cat Café. You are able to interact with different cats several times, as often as you wish. This will allow you to have the time to think through the decision. In that way, you can make sure it is the right decision for you.

Another plus of the Orlando Cat Café is that all of the cats and kittens are spayed/neutered, microchipped and up to date on all vaccinations.

Since the Café opened on September 8th, 2016, 47 cats have been adopted! Two of the cats even traveled out of state – one to New York and one to Minnesota.

For those kitties, life has forever been changed for the better! “Every time I see that one of our cats has found their “forever” home, it makes me want to cry (tears of joy),” says Cagan. “I have had the pleasure of seeing many families find their perfect cat or in some cases, the cat chooses the perfect family and it is really a joy to behold.  I have had cats for 37 of my 51 years on the planet and so I know firsthand how much joy a cat brings a family.  It is a privilege to play a tiny role in that process.”

One of the cuties at the Orlando Cat Café

The adoption process at the Orlando Cat Café

The Animal League handles the adoptions at the Orlando Cat Café. I love their mantra for adopting out cats: “Our adoptions are NOT first come, but FIRST BEST MATCH.” The goal is to create the perfect match by pairing the cat’s personality and needs with the adopter’s needs and lifestyle.  Doing so goes a long way to ensuring a strong bond between the cat and its new family, thus fostering a wonderful, lifetime relationship.

The safety and well-being of the cats are of primary concern at the Orlando Cat Café. Therefore, there is an application process and reference check, among other things. You can read more about the adoption process here: http://orlandocatcafe.com/adopt-a-cat/

Volunteer Opportunities at the Orlando Cat Café

“We are always looking for volunteers,” says Cagan. “Simply go to www.theanimalleague.org  and  click on “Help” on the top of the page, and then Volunteer and then check the box for Cat Café.”

What is your favorite thing about the Orlando Cat Café?


Top Dog and Cat Names in 2016

Wondering what were the top dog and cat names in 2016? Scroll down to find out; but first, a little about how to find the perfect name for YOUR pet.

Finding the Perfect Name for Your Pet

It can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect name for your pet. I remember when we rescued a dog that was being called Saturn. My husband works with different car dealerships in Orlando and Saturn was found wandering around a – you guessed it! – Saturn dealership. They were not able to keep him so my husband brought him home as a gift to me. He was the first of many rescues in the past 13 years of our marriage.

However, when we brought “Saturn” home, we tried calling him by his then given name and he would not answer to it. So, I searched for a list of dog names on the Internet and started trying the ones I liked, one by one. He did not respond to any of them until I tried the name Bogart. His ears perked right up and he looked at me as if to say, “Finally, you figured it out!”

Bogart answered to his name for the next 9 years, tail wagging, eyes bright and alert. He loved his name. With his help, we had found the perfect name for him.

Factors You Can Take into Consideration When Picking a Name for Your Pet

In our case, Bogart let us know what name he wanted us to use, so we knew that, for him, that was the perfect name. However, the search may not always be so clear-cut.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when deciding what to call your pet:

  • Keep it simple

You want a name that is easy to say, especially if you have children.

  • Don’t rush into it

Don’t rush into naming your dog as soon as you get him. These things can take time and you want to select a name that suits your pet. You will want to study his personality to find the perfect name for him. Once you have named your pet, it will be difficult to change his name after too much time has passed. Our pets get attached to their names.

  • Proceed carefully if using a human name

If you decide to use a human name for your pet, make sure none of your relatives or good friends have the same name. They may be offended if you use their name for your pet.

  • Avoid confusion

If choosing a name for a dog, you will want to avoid confusion with a command that your dog will be learning. Also, if you already have another pet, avoid names that sound similar so that you do not confuse them because they cannot tell the difference. For instance, don’t have a Mike and a Spike in the same household as it may lead to both coming to you when you call either one.

  • Keep in mind that you may be shouting this name while running down the street

Be aware of what name you choose for your pet because, on occasion, you may have to shout this name as you run down the street in your pajamas.

What Were the Top Dog and Cat Names in 2016?

Here are the top dog and cat names in 2016, separated by gender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your pet’s name on the list?


What is pancreatitis in dogs?


what is pancreatitis in dogs

What is pancreatitis in dogs? Do you know what symptoms to look for?

What is Pancreatitis?

Simply put, pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas.

The pancreas is an organ in the body that performs two main functions:

  • Regulation of blood sugar level through the production of insulin
  • Digestion of nutrients through the production of pancreatic enzymes which include amylase, lipase, and protease.

An inflammation of the pancreas causes it to cease to perform these functions as it should. Also, certain digestive enzymes that should only be active in the small intestine, become active in the pancreas. This causes swelling and pain.

There can be pain as a result of the pancreas beginning to digest itself slowly.

A sudden and rapid onset of inflammation is termed Acute Pancreatitis while Chronic Pancreatitis results when the symptoms of pancreatitis worsens increasingly over time.

Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

There are no exact known causes for the irritation and subsequent inflammation of the pancreas. However, there are a few possible causes including:

  • Genetics: some species of dogs appear to be more prone to pancreatitis than others. For example, some breeds that are more susceptible to the condition are Dachshunds, Silky terriers and Skye terriers, Yorkshire terriers and Schnauzers
  • Metabolic disorders such as high amounts of calcium and lipids in the blood can also lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
  • As dogs get older, they are more predisposed to the condition. Also, overweight and obese dogs are more at risk.
  • Acute pancreatitis can occur as a result of reactions to a drug or after abdominal surgery, and this is usually triggered by the intake of greasy or fatty food.
  • Previous pancreatitis. In most cases, it has been observed that dogs that have had pancreatitis once usually have it again.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs

For Acute pancreatitis, the commonly observed symptoms include

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Mild to severe abdominal pain (may become more sever after eating)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty in breathing

Chronic pancreatitis often appears with no symptoms. The only sign of it is usually a slight elevation of pancreatic enzymes especially the amylase, lipase, and protease.

How to Diagnose Pancreatitis in Dogs

If you observe any of the above symptoms in your dog, it is best that you visit your veterinarian who will perform a thorough physical exam. Your vet will perform diagnostic tests to ascertain if your dog has acute pancreatitis. Some of such tests may include:

  • Chemical tests to assess kidney, liver, and pancreatic disease or dysfunction, as well as blood sugar levels
  • A total blood count to investigate for infection, inflammation, or anemia and other blood-related conditions.
  • Electrolyte tests to make sure your dog is not dehydrated or experiencing pain due to an electrolyte imbalance
  • Pancreas-specific tests (testing for enzyme levels) to help diagnose or rule out the disease itself
  • Radiography (x-rays) and ultrasound can also be used to make the right diagnosis.
  • A biopsy can be carried out in order to get a conclusive diagnosis, but is not commonly performed. 

Taking your dog for regular veterinary examinations is the best way to ensure early detection and treatment of other predisposing illnesses as well as the prevention of secondary pancreatitis. Don’t take any chances; your canine friend is counting on you.

Has your dog had pancreatitis? 


Why is my cat sneezing?

Why is my cat sneezing? What’s in a sneeze?Cat Sneezing

Why do cat’s sneeze? A cat’s sneeze is nothing to ‘sneeze at’ as it could potentially signal that something is seriously wrong.  More often than not, an occasional sneezing spell is nothing to worry about unless it persists and is accompanied by other symptoms. It is natural for animals and humans alike to sneeze to clear nasal passages.

So, what exactly is a sneeze, anyway? The medical term for chronic sneezing is called, stemutation. It’s the result of an uncontrolled expulsion of air through the mouth and nose that causes irritation to the mucus membranes of the nose.

If your cat seems to be sneezing more often than normal it could be due to one of the following:

  • Allergies
  • Irritants
  • Dental issues
  • Upper Respiratory infection
  • Foreign Objects
  • Nasal cancer
  • Fungal infection
  • Feline herpes

Sneezing that is consistent and abnormal for your pet should prompt you to take him to a veterinarian. Your vet will examine your cat checking for different types of discharge, which help him figure out what type of infection is present.

  • If the discharge is a mucoid discharge or ocular discharge and the cat has a fever, no appetite, eye leakage, lesions in the mouth an upper respiratory infection will most likely be the diagnosis.
  • After the age of 3, consistent sneezing with bad breath most likely means dental issues.
  • If your cat is shaking his head and rubbing his nose, a foreign body may be stuck in his nose.
  • Allergies may be the culprit if he seems to be itching or pawing at his face. If you notice the sneezing at a certain time of year, it could be seasonal allergies.
  • Intermittent sneezing could be a sign of a nasal irritation. Try removing your pet from his environment for a day or so to see if the symptoms subside.
  • If sneezing is accompanied by blood this could be a sign of nasal cancer or fungal infection.
  • Habitual sneezing with mucous present around the nose and eyes could signal Feline herpes. Which sounds pretty bad, but not to worry… humans cannot contract herpes from cats. Since herpes is a viral infection the cat will eventually get over it but will be a carrier forever.

You should always be on the alert for health concerns and notify your veterinarian if there’s anything out of the ordinary going on with any of your pets. Stay on top of routine examinations so that any issue may be detected sooner rather than later.

 


how to repel ticks naturally

Natural Tick Repellents for Dogs

 

natural tick repellents

There are many products on the market that repel ticks but before you jump right in and make that purchase, consider the product’s ingredients.  Unfortunately, many products that exist on the market today are quite dangerous to our dogs. Those conventional methods of treatment such as sprays, ointments, and collars are essentially chemicals, pesticides. Pesticides can keep the ticks away but they are not always the safest option for your pet.

Some Natural Tick Repellents

There are natural tick repellents out there and it’s really worth it to give them a try.  Natural remedies such as essential oils and even herbs are known to keep those pesky ticks at bay.  Here’s a remedy we found on Natural Dog Health Remedies, which was adapted directly from The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care written by C.J. Puotinen.

Geranium/Bay/Lavender Oil Blend

Ticks will shy away from geranium, lavender, and bay, which are the ingredients of this amazing tick repellent.  It’s safe and natural way to keep the ticks away.

Ingredients:

  • 20 drops of geranium, or a combination of geranium and rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
  • 7 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Bay (Pimenta racemosa)
  • 3 drops Citronella
  • Vodka, or neem tincture
  • 1 cup of Distilled water
  1. Dissolve the oils completely in 2 tablespoons of vodka or tincture.
  2. Once there is no longer evidence of a thin film across the top of the mixture, add a cup of distilled water.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Apply the mixture, as needed, to your dog’s back, chest, neck, legs and tail.

Please note: Never apply undiluted oils to your pet’s skin or coat.

how to repel ticks naturally

For an easy to apply, herbal powder, try this:

Eucalyptus Herbal Powder

By mixing equal parts of the following dried herbs, you can keep ticks and fleas at bay.  Once you combine the ingredients, just put them in a shaker jar and apply as needed.

  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Fennel
  • Yellow Dock

While a natural, holistic approach is always preferred, don’t feel guilty if you need to combine conventional methods along with holistic methods when attempting to keep ticks at bay.  We can all agree that the goal is to keep our pets free from the diseases associated with ticks, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Have you tried any natural tick repellents? Sound off below!


What Treats Should I Give My Dog?

shutterstock_dog with treatsTreats. Cookies. Biscuits. Scooby Snacks.  Every day, all across the world, pet parents are rewarding their canine companions with some sort of treat or another.  However, we advise all pet parents to exercise caution in doing so!  It’s imperative that you only supply your dogs (and cats) with high quality, all natural treats.  All treats are not made equal! It’s up to you, as a good steward of your pet’s health, to pick the best treats for furry companion.  So, “what treat should I give my dog?” We’re so glad you asked!

It’s as simple as this: Know thy treats.  You’re probably thinking “Huh?”  Yes, armed with a few tips, you will be masters of reading treat labels! As you read the ingredients on dog treat labels, you should avoid treats that list the following ingredients – especially if they list these as one of the top three ingredients.

Sugar. Just like you, your dog has a sweet tooth and so pet treat makers produce treats that are laden with sugar.  Sugar is the enemy.  Watch out for sugar hiding under the labels corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, or dextrose.  It’s all sugar and extremely bad for your pet’s health.

Meat By-Products.  Your dog should only by eating high-quality human-grade meat – the kind you eat.  Meat by-products offer little or no nutritional value and well, they’re just gross.  Essentially, they’re parts of the animal that are deemed unfit for humans to eat so why feed them to your dogs?

Cheap Grains. More fillers that have zero value as far as nutrition goes.  The only grains your pet should ingest are whole grains such as oat, barley and brown rice. And even there, you must exercise caution as many dogs are allergic to grains.

Gluten.  Again, why give your dog something with little or no value?  Corn and wheat glutens often cause allergies in dogs so, just say no.

You should also avoid:

Artificial Flavors. Why use artificial flavors when dogs love the flavor of natural foods?  In fact, artificial flavors are often used to hide the bitter taste and scent of the chemicals laced in the treats.  It’s an awful way to entice your dog to eat something that is so bad for his health.

Chemical Preservatives.  Chemical preservatives are harmful, even toxic.  Natural preservatives such as vitamin C, Vitamin E, or sage and rosemary extracts are the only preservatives that you should consider acceptable for your dog’s treats.

Artificial Colors.  Does color really matter? Nope.  Coloring is made of coal tar.  Do you really want your dog ingesting that?

Remember, you are responsible for what you put in your dog’s tummy!  If you want your dog to live a long, healthy life then make strong, sound decisions when searching for good, wholesome treats!  Reading labels, is a lot easier than having to bake your dog’s treats at home – although, I’m sure he’d love that too!

What treats do you feed your dog? Sound off below.


How to Choose a Shelter Dog – Choosing the Right Dog for You

shelter dog

Choosing the right shelter dog for you

Choosing an adult dog from a shelter may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. First, please note that choosing an adult dog from a shelter is a good fit for many families, contrary to popular belief. Why? Choosing an adult dog means that you are most likely saving a dog from death or worse.  Many shelter dogs are already trained in basic commands and may be housebroken too.  If the dog you’re looking at isn’t trained, don’t fret as you can train adult dog! Also contrary to popular belief, most dogs are not deposited at the shelter due to behavioral problems.  Now that you’re on your way to saving a life, here’s how’s to select an adult dog at the shelter using a basic temperament test.

  1. Look at the dog.

Fearful: The dog will back away from you.

Moderate: The dog may approach you wagging his tail with his head slightly lowered.

Dominant: The dog will stand at attention with a stiff body and a watchful eye on you.

  1. Pet the dog along his back.

Fearful: The dog will cower as you try to pet him.

Moderate: The dog will wag his tail and welcome the attention.

Dominant: The dog will move away and avoid your touch.

  1. Put a collar on the dog and attach a leash to it. Does the dog follow you?

Fearful: The dog will stiffen his body and refuse to move.

Moderate: The dog will follow you either on his own will or when called by you.

Dominant: The dog will bark, growl and/or lunge or pull on the leash.

  1. Make a sudden loud nose.  How does the dog respond?

Fearful: The dog will attempt to flee or cower.

Moderate: The dog will initially be afraid but then look towards the noise to see what it might have been.  He might even look to you for reassurance or gauge your response to the noise.

Dominant: The dog will bark aggressively.

  1. As you pet the dog, run your hand along his legs and feet. Gently rub his neck and ears.  What is his reaction?

Fearful: The dog will flinch or or jump.

Moderate: The dog allows you to pet him with little or no apprehension.

Dominant: The dog will growl or try to get away.

  1. Put some food down in front of him on the floor.  Let him smell the food before sliding the dish away from him. (Use a long stick or broom handle as you don’t know how the dog will react.)

Fearful: The dog will retreat or cower.

Moderate: The dog will follow the bowl and attempt to eat.

Dominant: The dog will bark loudly, growl or attempt to attack the stick.

  1. Take the dog for a walk.

Fearful: The dog is fearful or jittery.

Moderate: The dog is happy and eager to walk with you.

Dominant: The dog barks, growls or attacks the leash.

As you interact with the dogs at the shelter, keep in mind that your goal is to select a dog that will be friendly and trainable.  A dog that displays aggression should not be chosen, especially if you have children.  Have extensive conversations with the shelter staff and it wouldn’t hurt to take along an experienced dog handler with you. We hope that these tips will help you on your way to selecting your shelter dog.  You can plan to look forward to many years of love and loyalty in return for saving the dog’s life.  Believe it or not, he knows exactly what you’ve done and will be eternally grateful.

Have you rescued a shelter dog? What was your experience? Don’t hesitate to share below!


7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

dog jumping into pool
7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer
How do you keep your dog cool? The dog days of summer are just around the corner! There’s no time better than now to start thinking about the best ways to keep your dog cool this summer.  Why not try these “cool” options?

  • Barksmith’s Cool Treats are an all natural healthy way to cool your dog off. These smoothies are made with human food-grade ingredients in an FDA approved facility.  These irresistible treats come in three flavors and are delivered directly to your door.  Just freeze and enjoy!
  • Why not make your own doggie ice cream? Many store bought options are full of sugar.  Blend together: one banana, 8 ounces of plain yogurt and one table spoon of peanut butter and freeze for a healthy dog friendly ice cream treat.
  • Place a gel mat on top of your dog’s bed. This provides a place where your dog can quickly reduce his own body temperature when needed.  There are many options out there but this one is a great option.  It comes in a few different sizes and is puncture resistant.
  • Cooling coats are another great way to cool your dog down. They allow you to walk your dog and play outdoors for a little longer as the cooling coat makes the heat a little more tolerable.  They are offered in many sizes and are easy to use.  Simply wet the coat, squeeze out excess water and put it on your dog.  This one cools your dog via evaporation.  How “cool” is that?
  • Cots and canopies are just another way to keep your dog cool while he enjoys the great outdoors. The options are endless, really.  It’s very important to provide your dog with a refuge from the direct sunlight especially between the hours of 10 and 2pm.
  • Keep your dog’s water cool for 8 hours! The Frobo is a bowl with a freezable core. Simply freeze the core, put it in the bowl and pour water into the bowl.  Not only does it keep your dog’s water cool but it prevents the warm water from growing bacteria. Win-win! It can be used inside and outside and provides you with the option of buying a replacement core so you always have one on hand.
  • Dogs love to play in the water just like your human kids. Why not invest in a kiddie pool.  Your dog will have another option to self-regulate his body heat while playing at the same time!

Help keep your dog cool this summer with these or other great cooling products.  What’s your dog’s favorite ways to keep cool during the dog days of summer?


5 Signs of Illness in Your Pet

signs of illness in your pet

Do you know the signs of illness in your pet?  You may be very in tune with our dog’s mannerisms and behaviors but do you think you would know if he was sick?  Often times pet parents overlook symptoms of illness in their pets or try to rationalize the ones they do not understand.  Armed with a few key pointers, you will be adequately equipped to identify the signs of illness in your pet.  Ready? 

Signs of Illness in Your Pet

Change in eating habits.  If your pet has lost his appetite, he may be suffering from an underlying illness or be in pain.  A lack of, or an increase of, appetite should be cause for alarm.  Just like us, pets will stop eating if they are not feeling well. On the other hand, they may eat more to help ease their pain – sort of like self-medicating.

Change in weight.  If your pet has lost weight or gained weight suddenly, you should make a beeline for the vet’s office.  While any weight change should be cause for concern, a sudden change means something is just not right.  Weight changes are a symptom of many underlying diseases.  Prompt attention could very well save your pet’s life or at least brighten the prognosis.

Change in social habits.  If your pet is interacting less with you or isolating himself, he is probably not feeling well.  A pet that is sick or in pain will shy away from human touch and may even show signs of aggression.  You should not ignore these signs.  Like any other change in behavior, there is more than likely reason for it.

Change in sleeping patterns.  While dogs are known to sleep a lot, any significant increase in sleep should be duly noted.  On the other hand, a dog that sleeps less or paces extensively during the night instead of sleeping may be unable to get comfortable due to pain.  It could be the result of illness or injury.

Change in potty habits. If your dog is housebroken yet begins to have accidents inside the house, there might be something going on.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that he is paying you back for something or that he is mad at you. He may, instead, be sick.  Many illnesses go hand in hand with bladder control issues, so address the issue right away.  Additionally, excessive urination and repeated bouts of constipation or diarrhea should be looked into because they can signify health issues. 

What Should You Do?

If your pet is exhibiting any of these or any other changes, take a trip to the vet.  Remember, being weak in the wild makes animals susceptible to their predators, so pets often mask their pain or illness. Detecting it in your pet may not always be simple.  Be aware of any changes.