5 Fantastic Pet-Friendly Communities in and Near Charlotte

pet-friendly communities charlotte couple with dog

Known for its Southern charm, you already know that Charlotte is a rapidly-growing, bustling city. But did you know the city is also becoming incredibly dog-friendly? If you are looking for a place to live in Charlotte, consider one of these pet-friendly communities. Those with children often look at factors like school districts when selecting a home, so why wouldn’t you do the same for the furry member of your family? Amenities ranging from nearby dog parks to pet groomers have a major impact on your four-legged friend’s quality of life. Check out these top five pet-friendly communities in Charlotte and the surrounding area:

Ballantyne

This neighborhood south of Charlotte is a spectacular place to live for those with pets. The nearby William R. Davie Park contains Davie Dog Park. There are two separate fenced-in, off-leash areas for large and small dogs. Check out the full list of dog parks in Mecklenburg County for additional information and rules. Bring your dog to dinner at a dog-friendly eatery, such as Burger 21 or Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant. If your pooch needs a new ‘do, check out Pampered Paws at The Fountains. In addition to major chains like Petco and PetSmart, you can shop at Pawtique Holistic Pet Shoppe for your dog’s everyday needs. Remember to take your pet for his or her annual checkup at the Ballantyne Veterinary Clinic.

Cornelius/Lake Norman

This area to the north of Charlotte provides a number of fantastic services for your pet. Swaney Pointe K-9 Park at Ramsey Creek Park provides four acres of fenced-in, off-leash space. Tuesdays are Beer and Bath Night at the Lucky Dog Bark & Brew. Kick back with a beer while your pet gets a bath for only 15 dollars.

There are a number of groomers to choose from, including Impeccable Paws, Tazzy & Boo Pet Foods & GroomingLake Norman Pet Grooming, and Puppy Luv Dog Grooming. Whether you’re feeling like a curry at Sangam Indian Cuisine or BBQ at Mac’s Speed Shop, there are multiple dining options to choose from that allow pets. Concerned about the health of your pet? Take him or her to one of the nearby animal hospitals, including Main Street Veterinary HospitalNorth Mecklenburg Animal Hospital, and Animal Hospital of Cornelius.

Dilworth/South End

With a number of amenities for both dogs and people, Dilworth seems like an obvious place to live. Close to both Latta and Sedgefield Park, Dilworth will make you forget that you are just over two miles from the center of Charlotte. Need a birthday cake for your dog? Check out the Canine Café where you can pick up a number of supplies for your pooch. K9 Playland Dog Training will help you make sure your dog is well-trained and ready to hit the town. Choose from nearby veterinary clinics such as Dilworth Animal HospitalSouth End Veterinary Clinic, and Long Animal Hospital to take care of your dog. When the sad day comes when you have to say goodbye to your furry friend, Paws, Whiskers & Wags offers compassionate cremation services.

NoDa

Known for its art, this neighborhood also boasts numerous pet amenities. Visit a hiking trail or throw a frisbee on the field in North Charlotte Park. Looking for a place to relax with your pup? Grab a beer at The Dog Bar where well-behaved dogs can be off-leash inside a fenced-in area. Other establishments that allow pets include JackBeagle’s and NoDa Brewing Company. Stop by Four Dogs Pet Supplies and be sure to visit the art gallery when picking up some premium food and other doggie gear. Whether you are taking your pup in for an annual or sick visit, Uptown Veterinary Hospital and Stand For Animals Veterinary Clinic are nearby and ready to help.

South Park

Don’t confuse this location with the cartoon. South Park is a great area for pet owners. Visit nearby Ray’s Fetching Meadow, which is a one acre, off-leash dog park located at McAlpine Creek Community Park. Stores like Pet Supplies Plus and Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming have everything that you need for your pup. Whether you are looking for a simple Bath & Brush or a Fancy Hair Cut, Canine Carousel Of South Park will deliver the grooming your pet needs.

From chains like California Pizza Kitchen to local spots like Sushi Guru, there are a number of dining establishments that allow well-behaved dogs. Choose between four nearby veterinary clinics for your pet’s health needs: South Park Animal HospitalAAA Pet ServicesBanfield Pet Hospital, and Cotswold Animal Hospital.

No matter where you decide to live, be on the lookout for amenities that your four-legged friend can enjoy. If you are looking for pet sitting services, consider us at Little Friends Pet Sitting & Dog Walking. We service all of the locations listed here and many more in Charlotte and the surrounding area. Contact us today for more information about our services, which include Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Home Care, Pet Taxi, Errand Service, and Key Pick Up/Drop Off for your convenience.

Raw Food Diet For Pets

iStock_000013572263_SmallLately, I’ve been hearing a lot about “raw food” diets for pets. It’s something that I didn’t really know very much about, but found some really helpful information here and here.

Raw dog food diets have become widely popular, and the interest in them is increasing. They emphasize raw meat, bones, fruits and vegetables as the staples of a dog’s diet. These diets are based on the “fact” that dogs and cats evolved as carnivores eating raw foods.

A raw dog food diet would typically consist of:

  • Muscle meat, many times still on the bone
  • Bones, whole or ground
  • Organ meat, like livers or kidneys
  • Raw eggs
  • Vegetables, like broccoli, spinach and celery
  • Apples, other fruits
  • Dairy, such as yogurt

The potential benefits of such a diet include:

  • Shinier coat
  • Healthier skin
  • Cleaner teeth
  • Higher energy
  • Smaller stool

The potential risks of such a diet are:

  • Exposure to bacteria in raw meat for human and dog health
  • Unbalanced diet that may harm the health of dogs if given for an extended period
  • Possibility of bones to choke an animal, break teeth or cause an internal puncture

Have you ever tried, or would you try a raw food diet? If you have tried one, what was your experience? Would you recommend it?

Cats and Medication

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Anyone have a cat that “LIKES” to take their medication? Yeah, I know, cats love taking pills about as much as they like taking bubble baths. I cannot tell you how often we have someone ask if we have any tricks for getting a kitty to take their medication. Between experience and some research we have a few tips for you!

Pill Pockets – these are treats with a built-in pouch to easily hide pills! That’s right, your kitty probably won’t even realize they are taking their meds! So instead of making pill time a stressful occurrence, it can be a treat time for your kitty.

Canned Food “Meatballs” – canned food can be a great treat for a kitty and can disguise a pill much in the same way a pill pocket does. Making up a tiny “meatball” and give the kitty one or two undoctored meatball treats, followed by one with the pill and then one more un-doctored. This method works since the cat will continue to take the treats even if there is a small taste of the medicine.

*These methods only work if the medication can be taken with food, so be sure to check with your veterinarian before using these methods.

Pet Supply stores often have in stock pill shooters. They are somewhat like a syringe. At the end of the syringe is a soft, rubber, pill holder, which will allow you to gently press the plunger of the syringe. It then shoots the pill into the animals mouth.hqdefault

Keep calm! Kitties are sensitive to nervousness. Never try to medicate a cat that is excited or nervous.

To Insert The Pill – 1) Apply gentle pressure in the space between the teeth to open the mouth. OR place your thumb and middle finger at the hinge of the jaw and gently pry open the mouth. 2) As the cat’s mouth opens, press down on the lower jaw and deposit the pill well to the back of the tongue. 3) Close the mouth and massage or rub the throat until the cat swallows. Tip! Blowing softly into the cat’s nose or face will also cause many cats to gulp or swallow. If the kitty licks his nose, it is likely the pill has been swallowed.

Important! Avoid breaking up pills, when broken the powder may have an unpleasant taste that is usually poorly accepted. Many pills have a protective coating that is important, as they aid in a delayed reaction in the intestinal tract.

Do you have any tips or tricks to get your kitty to take a pill? What methods have you found to have success?

Love our new site?

Love our new site?? Bellaworks, located here in Charlotte, helped us design our amazing website. They are great to work with! Check out their website and view the other wonderful websites they have developed.

We are so happy to be working with them, and hope you enjoy our site as not only a place to schedule services, but also as a resource tool on learning about pet health, animals events, and how to stay involved with the latest new trends regarding pets!

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Reflections By Rhiannon

Reflections by Rhiannon does an amazing job on any kind of portraits you may need. From announcements to pet portraits, no job is too big.

She has a beautiful studio with many set up props and even does off site photography as well. She supports the Humane Society often and many times she does discounted pet portraits for the holidays – all to benefit the HSC. Just donate to the Humane Society or bring in a bag of dog food and you will receive a discounted rate.

Rhiannon, we cannot wait to work with you again. It was a pleasure! We love your work and will continue to refer you as a great pet photographer! Thank you from Little Friends Pet Sitting and all the pups who enjoyed their “Glamour Shot” moments!

For more information about Rhiannon and her Portrait Boutique, please visit her website.

Reflections by Rhiannon
307 Atherton Street
Charlotte, NC 28203

Pet Allergies and How to Help!

Puppy Scratching fleas

I read this wonderful article on CNN.com. While we (humans) suffer with allergies, we have many medications and supplements that can help ease our suffering. The poor pet family members are not as lucky as us. It’s hard for them to avoid these elements.

Some great tips and pointers from this article:

  • Symptoms include excessive itching, licking, hair loss, or hot spots
  • Dogs suffer from allergies more than cats
  • Cats, if suffering, show signs of hair loss or open sores
  • Wipe paws off if you’ve been outside with your pet
  • Remove your human shoes at the door 😉
  • House dust mites and house dust is the most common allergen. So, keep your home clean and dust free.
  • Benadryl works for the pups!
  • Allergy tests on your pet can be performed, however, are costly.
  • Keep is flea free
  • Limit pet’s intake to lots of protein and vegetables and see if there is a change- it’s a great first step!

Does your pet have allergies? Have to taken any steps to help with this? If so, what?

What is Grain Free Pet Food, Really?

grain free pet food diet

After noticing a rash on one of my dog’s tummy, I contacted my vet. I scheduled an appointment, when asked what food I fed my pup, I told the vet Blue Buffalo. The vet then asked if I had ever considered going Grain Free to see if this was the issue. To be honest, what does grain free food really mean? So I decided to first start looking into online resources about the actual definition of grain free.

I read this article on petmd.com and it has really helped with my introductory knowledge of pets being on a grain free diet. Here are some highlights of the knowledge that I gained while doing research:

  • Grain free diets came about more for the consumer preference then what your pet really needs. It is true however, that many pets do great with this diet change.
  • Just like no one pet is the same, no one diet works for every pet. I like how the article stated “no pet food is a one-size-fits –all nutritional solution
  • Grain free does not mean carb free. Potatoes (“sweet potatoes” preferred by my pups) are often used in grain free diets.
  • Grain free is not more natural. Our pets have evolved and are able to digest grains and carbohydrates.
  • Grain Free doesn’t necessarily mean is will help with food allergies. Corn is one of the least likely sources of food allergies. Beef is the highest.

Nonetheless, I have switched over to a grain free diet for my pups. They seem to enjoy it the same. I also give them Nupro, a great all natural supplement, and they enjoy their roasted sweet potato, dry food and broth mixture topped with a little cheese J for dinner every night! My pup’s rash is not all the way better, but the severity of it has decreased greatly.

Have you tried the grain free diet? Do you like the idea of it? What are your questions or concerns about it?