Top 5 dog-friendly cities in 2014

The capital of Texas takes the 2014 DogTown USA Dog Fancy title this year!  Austinites pride themselves on their live music scene but also having Fido by their side.  We personally have not been to Austin but hear it is AWESOME, they are also the nation’s largest no kill city.  Meaning no animal is killed just because they do not have a home, no wonder Austin got the award for the nation’s dog-friendliest city!  For three years, a nonprofit organization called “Austin Pets Alive!”  has lead them to obtain this goal.  Austin has a

austin2                                                                                                                                    courtesy of dogfancy.com

Austin has record high numbers when it comes to locals who volunteer to keep their homeless animals safe.  Austin also has twelve off-leash dog parks, these parks continue to encourage human activity with canine companionship.  Austin has plenty of dog-friendly restaurants, including stores and lodging for travelers.  In 2013, shelter dogs went on almost 4,000 runs, averaging 330 a month!  Residents even can have their animals micro chipped and tagged for free by their city’s Animal Center….talk about jealous!  Not to mention, the winning city gets a check for $5,000, Austin is donating all the proceeds to Austin Pets Alive!

These four cities finished second to Austin: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Charleston, SC, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Austin, Texas sets the bar high, they are an inspiration to everyone!  For the love of our animals, ets get Charlotte, NC on this list next year!  For more information you can go to  http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-news/2014/07/dog-fancy-names-austin-texas-2014-dogtown-usa.aspx

“PAWSitively Matthews” coming this Fall!

We know everyone enjoys dog-friendly events, I know we do!  Well Matthews has it going on, introducing “PAWSitively Matthews,” a pet-friendly event for people of any age with music, activities and lots of vendors!  PAWSitively Matthews will be on Saturday, November 15th from 10-4 pm in Stumptown Park (downtown Matthews).  This is a first for the town of Matthews Parks & Recreation Department  to host the event!

dog

 

There will be a Zoom Room obstacle course, an adoptable dog parade on stage, local food trucks, and a DJ!  This is a good day to come check out vendors, as they will be scattered around Stumptown Park.  This is a rare event, as this is one of the first events to allow dogs for the entire day!  Even a possible beer or wine garden from a local craft brewery…how refreshing!  If you love pets, have pets or just want to come out to see services offered by all the wonderful vendors, Little Friends will be there!  Fall is quickly approaching, so mark your calendars.  Check out more information about PAWSitively Matthews, parking and updates at www.matthewsnc.gov.  Make sure to come  by our tent, we look forward to meeting you and your fur babies!  Happy Monday!

 

 

Charlotte is Dog Friend “lier!”

I have some good news for all of you dog lovers out there!  Charlotte is becoming even more of a purrrfect city to reside in due to their love of animals.  Now you can bring your favorite companions almost anywhere you go when running errands.  There are a lot of places you would not think of that are on this list!  This is very exciting and will make your errands more eventful for sure, who likes leaving home without their fur babies anyway?

I recently moved to a new house and you know what that means…, decorating, painting & PROJECTS galore!  Needless to say, Lowe’s and Home Depot are now my husband and I’s new bff’s.  We are in and out of Home Depot these days like it is our job, it is fun!  On our most recent trip to Home Depot, we took one of our dogs with us to get some paint.  Cejka, our Vizsla had a ball and you will too next time you bring your fur baby along!

lowes

 More dog friendly stores include some of the obvious but not limited to, Michaels, JoAnns, Petco, Petsmart, Home Goods, T J Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond, and lots of local pubs/restaurants!   If they have a patio outside, most likely they will allow you to bring your dogs in on a leash, just call ahead and ask if you are not sure.  Some local hot spots that you may not be aware of are BullDog Beer & Wine, FABO, Zoes, Zada Janes, The Wine Shop, The Liberty, and the Wine Vault.  Most of you already know that you can bring your pups to Hawthorne’s Pizza, Kennedys, Philosophers Stone, Thomas Street, Triple C, NoDa Brewery and OMB.  To find out more information about local hangouts and retail chains that are dog friendly go to www.barkpost.com.  Also check out www.bringfido.com, this website will let you browse pet friendly destinations worldwide!  Yay for never having to leave home again without your fur baby and seeing that pitiful face stare back at you when you go to lock the front door:)

bark post pic at rest.                                                                                                                                   courtesy of barkpost.com

 

 

 

Buy local at 4 Paws Holistic!

Two years ago my husband discovered an awesome pet nutritional store in Myers Park, called 4 Paws Holistic.   The store offers a wide variety of Grain Free and Raw dog and cat food, as well as supplies, toys, local made treats and much more for your pet!  The owner, Bruce Nemeth and store manager, Victoria are very helpful and knowledgeable.

The store is nestled in the heart of Myers Park, on Selwyn Avenue across from Edible Art Bakery.  Not only are the staff friendly, they even carry out those giant bags of dog food that you purchase to your car!  Some of the brands they carry are Acana, Blue Buffalo, and Hi Tek Naturals.  Anything from antlers to raw marrow bones to supplements, 4 Paws carries it all.  Our dog’s personal favorite are the antlers, they love to gnaw on them and carry them around everywhere they go!  Our dogs favorite dry food is Acana, in the Lamb and Apple flavor.  Acana offers different flavors of their grain free dry food and my husband and I have tried the Duck flavor, but, Lamb and Apple is number one at our house!  4 Paws even has birthday cookies and treats from Positively Gourmet at the checkout counter for your fur babies birthday.  Make sure to check out their selection of toys, leashes and gluten free dental chews as well!

4Paws MAIN logo w type 72 dpi

Next time you are in the area, stop in to see what 4 Paws has to offer and I am 110 percent positive you will become a regular.  Be sure to check them out online, after they are done re-vamping  their website at http://www.4pawsholistic.com/.  Their hours are:

Mon – Fri10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sun1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Make sure to bring your pets with you, as Bruce will take photos and upload them to their Facebook page!  Hope you enjoy your visit as much as we do.  Here is a picture from our last visit, as you can tell our dogs love going!
4 MCU 9565 (1)

PawTree – Customized Pet Nutrition

hungry dog food bowlPet nutrition can be a confusing sea of varieties and options: grain free, raw diet, avoiding a type of protein, etc. As a pet parent, it can be overwhelming to decide what the best option is for your pet. A service, called PawTree helps ensure that your pet gets the nutrition they need, whether they are a senior pet, a young active dog, or small indoor pet.

PawTree explains that the process is user friendly and easy! “Simply tell us about your pet by completing your pet’s profile. Based on the information you provide, we will recommend a customized nutrition plan unique to your dog’s specific needs. This plan will consist of one of our proprietary pet food recipes and other supplements that work synergistically to optimize your dog’s health based on his unique needs. Our recommendation is created from an algorithm developed by our experienced Veterinarians and Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition, and is designed to generate customized recommendations based on your pet’s profile.”

One of the benefits of PawTree is that beyond providing quality pet food, they educate and empower pet parents so they can make informed decisions. Not only do they want to change your pet’s life, making them happier and healthier, but change your life as a pet parent! Check out their website here, to see products, get further information on pet nutrition, and find out about specials and promotions!

What do you think of customized pet nutrition? Would this be something you would be interested in trying?

Becoming a Foster…

The work that is accomplished through the Humane Society and other rescue organizations is supplemented by the assistance of people who can foster needy pets. Fosters are assets to these groups. The Humane Society of Charlotte brings out that “fostering is vital to our mission. The work of foster homes makes young, shy, or ill animals adoptable.”

We can all have a share in helping needy animals, through donations, adoptions and fostering. Have you ever considered becoming a foster home? The Humane Society has provided helpful information here, which describes briefly what fostering involves.

 

Woman Playing with Pet

The Realities of Being a Foster:

  • Foster animals and your own animals should be separated for a trial period and when you are not home, to make sure everyone gets along.
  • Foster pets require significant amounts of time and may require multiple trips back to the shelter, for checkups, etc.
  • Their health must be monitored, to spot signs of illness, or worsening symptoms.
  • The day will come when the pet you have become attached to will return back to the shelter, but they were able to find their permanent home because you opened your home to them!

Fostering can be a very rewarding experience, helping needy animals!

Young Affiliated Professionals – Humane Society of Charlotte

The Humane Society of Charlotte’s Young Affiliated Professionals (HSC-YAP) brings together people interested in animal wellbeing, and while doing so, they get to know like-minded individuals through activities, including social events, networking and fundraisers.

Opportunity to join this program is open to individuals ages 25-45 and requires filling a membership form. A donation is requested, $180 a year for an individual, or $300 for a couple. The membership donation is tax deductible and makes a difference in helping needy animals.

woman working in animal shelter

An individual membership donation of $180, ensures that four puppies will get their required vaccines, and provides one spay or neuter surgery, which leads to fewer unwanted offspring.

A couples membership donation of $300, gives 30 animals a clean, safe kennel and a few pet beds to make the shelter pets more comfortable.

Find more information about the HSC Young Affiliate Professionals Program here.

 

Slim Down a Fat Cat

Fat British Shorthair, 2.5 years old, sitting and looking at the camera in front of white backgroundI have a confession to make, I have a fat cat. Okay, maybe she isn’t “fat” but she certainly is pleasantly plump, and could stand to lose a few pounds. Overweight and obese kitties have added stresses on their bodies, including an increased risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain. So as a concerned kitty mom, I decided it was time to do some research and this is what I found to be helpful:

  • Instead of “free choice” feeding, give your cat(s) two to four portions daily and control the amounts fed. Interestingly, we need to stop thinking in terms of “cups of food” and start thinking in terms of ounces of food. So for a seven-pound cat, a portion should come out between 0.6 and 1.0 ounce of food.
  • Switch to low-carb food, think of getting your kitty on “Catkins.” Cats are naturally carnivores and carbohydrates can cause obesity, diabetes and other health problems. Find food with the predominant ingredients being protein.
  • Add a little warm water to wet or raw foods to increase volume of the food to fill the stomach and help hydrate your kitty.
  • Cats are built to be active hunters, getting their food should require some motion. Placing the food bowl “out of the way” so they have to actively get up, go up the stairs, or search out their food. Of course, this will differ if you have a kitty that has physical challenges, the food should be accessible.
  • Play games with your cat! A good toy or game can get your kitty moving. Some cats that are food-motivated will chase a piece of kibble. The urge to hunt and play is natural for cats, which is why laser pointers are a great play toy!

For further information on helping your kitty lose weight, this article had some great information. Do you have any tips and tricks? Have you had success with your kitty losing some weight?

Head Pressing in Dogs

Have you heard of head pressing? Just recently I saw a few articles on the web about it, and wanted to get more information and learn exactly what it was all about. Head pressing is a condition with the compulsive act of pressing the head against a wall or other object for no apparent reason. This action is usually indicates damage to the nervous system and can affect dogs of any breed or age-range.

sick puppy

 

Other Symptoms:

  • Compulsive pacing and circling
  • Changes in trained behavior
  • Seizures
  • Damaged relexes
  • Visual problems

Causes:

  • Metabolic disorders, like hyper or hyponatremia (too much, or too little sodium in the body’s blood plasma)
  • Tumor, located in the brain or other spot in the body
  • Infection of the nervous system (rabies or fungal infection)
  • Head trauma (like from a car accident)
  • Exposure to toxins (such as lead)

Diagnosing:

  • Blood pressure measurements
  • CT or MRI scans
  • Urine analysis
  • Blood tests

Treatment will be dependent on the diagnosis your veterinarian settles on. Severe cases will require hospitalization and immediate treatment. Naturally different causes will require different treatments, and until a diagnosis has been reached no drugs or therapies should be administered.