How to Wrangle a Dog on the Loose!

Catch me if you can!

You’re on your way home from work, and you see a dog running down the street, zig-zagging through traffic. Your heart skips a beat. You have to save it! Your instinct is to pull over and run after it. Make kissing noises, whistle, talk in your baby voice, you know. That’s what all of us would immediately think to do! But, how often has this worked for you? Think about it…

The more you chase a dog, the more likely they are to run away from you!

Here are some other options:

(Keep in mind, before you try any of these alternatives, assess the situation:  Does the dog seem aggressive?  Is the dog acting sick (maybe rabid)?  Don’t put yourself in a risky situation!)

  • Display non-threatening behavior, such as not making eye contact, yawning, or pretending to eat.  If the dog doesn’t feel threatened by you, it is more likely to come willingly to you.  Try not to call them to you, or pat your legs to get them to come.  Those noises could be interpreted as threats.
  • Ask the dog if they want to go for a ride!  The dog might love taking rides in the car, and get excited and jump right in!  And then you may have the opportunity to check their tags, get them to a vet to see if they have a chip, things like that.
  • Lie down!  Get on your hands and knees, lay down completely, or even curl into a ball.  The dog may be curious at your odd behavior, and will most likely view this as non-threatening.  They will be more likely to come up to you, sniff you, get comfortable with being close to you.
  • Run in the opposite direction!  The dog may think you’re playing and start running after you!  This will possibly build comfort as well!

While these are suggestions for a dog you don’t know, it’s worth trying for your dog as well!  You know that look your dog gives you?  When they freeze and look at you, and you say to them, “Don’t!”  And the second you say that, they bolt!  Then you run after them, screaming their name, and embarrassing yourself in front of your neighbors, apologizing to them as you sprint past.  Try these!

Have you already tried any of these suggestions? If so, share your experiences with us! How did it go? Did they work? Not work? Do you have any other things you’ve tried that worked? Let us know!

Good luck!  And happy hunting!

Hiking With Your Dog

It’s that time of year when the leaves start changing, the temperature starts dropping, and people want to get out there and enjoy! There’s no better time of the year to hike some of these wonderful trails and mountains that NC has to offer.  Have you brought your dog along before?  Are you thinking about bringing your dog with you for the first time?  Here are some things to think about:

  • Look for places that will be “easy on the paws,” so to speak.  Think about the ground temperature.  The ideal trail will be shady and soft.  It’s best to avoid sharp rocks and steep drops.  Remember, you have strong and sturdy shoes on.  Your dog’s pads are completely exposed to the elements.
  • Whether you use a collar or a harness, make sure that they are snug enough that it won’t cause chafing.  Have you heard of the two-finger rule?  If you can’t fit two fingers in between the collar/harness and your dog’s skin, it is TOO TIGHT.  But, the collar/harness being too loose can be just as problematic.

  • Make sure you pack food and water for your dog, and bring two separate bowls for them to eat and drink out of.  Keep in mind, you may have to increase their food during the hike by up to 50%, depending on how strenuous the hike is.  It’s also a good idea to start with a small serving of food BEFORE the hike to get the energy level up and moving beforehand.  Same as if you had a protein bar before. It’s a good rule of thumb to say that whenever you’re thirsty, they’re thirsty.  Are you taking a sip of water every 15-20 minutes?  Your dog is probably thirsty, too.  Also, try to limit drinking from lakes or streams.
  • Make sure you bring specific animal-approved first aid products.  Maybe a pair of tweezers for tick removal?  Maybe some anti-biotic cream for scrapes?  Things like that.

  • ALWAYS keep your dog leashed!  Around people, and if you’re alone as well.  They could run off.  They could slip and fall.  Just make sure to always have control of them, regardless.
  • When your dog goes #2, don’t leave it.  The two best options are double-bagging it and throwing it away at an approved waste station, or burying it away from trail and water sources.  Leaving it could attract unwanted animals, could inconvenience other hikers… plus, it’s just yucky!

  • If your dog is a first-timer, or has only hiked with you just a couple of times, be sure to start with shorter hikes.  Don’t overstrain yourself, and especially your pet.
  • Most importantly, have fun!!!  And take lots of pictures!  And send them to us so we can enjoy them, too!

 

 

Reference:  backpacker.com

Pics From:  rei.com, pinterest.com, wilderness.org, backpackerverse.com

Prepping your pets for a Baby?

Before we have our human babies, our fur babies are our children…and always will be our first babies.  A lot of people wonder (including myself) what is the best way to introduce a newborn to your pets when that time comes for your family?  My husband and I will be having our first child in January and do not know the first thing on how to introduce our pets to our son properly:) So here I am, researching and updating you guys! This will also be my last blog as my last day with Little Friends is Halloween….I will be taking on my new full time role as a Mom.  I will miss all of you dearly! xoxo

I have researched a couple of good sites and this is the one I liked best:

First step, when you find out you are expecting..ask yourself , “Are there things that your pets do that are annoying habits to you and your spouse?” If so, consider signing them up for some classes to help with obedience issues, now.

“Many dogs have never been around children before.  Little people do unpredictable things that adults do not, for example: make sudden movements, shriek, and get in dogs’ faces. To give your pet exposure to tots, take him to the park to see how he reacts to babies from a distance, Stilwell suggests. Ask mom friends if you may walk near them when they have their kiddo in a stroller—or, if things go well, even alongside them. These tactics will gradually acclimate your dog to the sight and sound of children.”  http://www.parents.com/parenting/pets/babies/preparing-for-baby/

Three months before your due date—- Actively prep your pets for their new sibling, they suggest buying a doll and carrying it around with you, like you would your infant.  You can put the doll in the swing, bassinet or crib.  “You want the dog to become familiar with these items now, not when your baby is in them,” says Betsy Saul, cofounder of PetFinder.com, an online pet-search site.  Let your hound investigate everything the way he does best—by sniffing.  “And introduce him to smells like baby lotion and powder,” Saul says.

One month before your due date–Do you know who will be feeding and walking your dogs while you and your spouse are at the hospital?  Start to get some friends or sitters lined up for when you are at the hospital during delivery:)  Keep in mind you will be away from home for a couple of days!

Two weeks before delivery date—Have your dog’s ducks in a row, because unless you have a scheduled cesarean, your due date is anyone’s guess!   “Divide your pet’s food into individual servings, jot down pertinent phone numbers for your sitter, and keep the leash in a visible place. This way, if you have to head to the hospital suddenly, your pooch’s caregiver can find everything in a flash.”

Put some goodies away just in case, as your pet will most likely be confused with the abrupt change in schedule.  “Keeping him busy is crucial for his well-being and decreases the chance of behavioral problems,” says VetStreet.com dog trainer Mikkel Becker, who suggests Kong toys (rubber toys you fill with food). “They keep a dog focused on a productive outlet that releases energy in an acceptable way.”

One week before your due date–You most likely have a million emotions going on in your head right now and your pet is probably picking up on those feelings, and may act out. “Take a leisurely stroll if you’re up for it, or cuddle with your pets on the couch. The TLC will calm your canines and help you feel more relaxed and ready for the impending life shake-up too.”

While you are in the hospital—have Daddy or Grandma take home one of your baby’s first bodysuits or blankets so your dog can get used to your child’s smell, Saul says. By the time Baby comes home, your pooch will recognize and accept the strange new scent. “There’s quite a difference between the initial sniff-down and a friendly recheck,” Saul say

Coming home—Brace for lots of licks! Your pooch is going to be overjoyed to reunite with you. “Let your husband hold the baby when you walk into your house,” Stilwell says. “Greet the dog first, since he’s missed you and will probably give you an enthusiastic hello. Then, after he’s chilled out, sit down with your baby and let your dog sniff him to get acquainted.” The first few times you nurse or give your baby a bottle, ask your husband or mother to dole out a handful of small, treats, to your pet. “Dogs sense that nursing is intimate,” Saul says. “If they learn they get rewarded for being tranquil, they’ll associate feedings with positive times.”

In the midst of all the newborn’s demands, don’t forget that exercise is your pup’s happy pill. If he’s not getting enough, he’ll find a way to burn off his energy—even if it means raiding the garbage! Have your partner (or a visitor) take your dog for a long walk each day. It will allow you QT with your munchkin and help Fido settle down. He may curl up for a nap as soon as he comes home!

First weeks—Your dog probably doesn’t entirely grasp why the home life he knew is changing. With all the additional stimulation, he may get into more trouble than usual. Stilwell advises: “Rather than scold him and say, ‘no, no, no,’ all the time, teach him another choice. Redirect his behavior toward something that will make him happy.” He’s jumping on well-wishers? Remind him he has a new chew toy.

“Include your dog in baby-related activities,” Becker says. Let him sit nearby when you’re changing a diaper, and talk to both of your “babies” while you’re at it. You’ll give your pups attention and build Baby’s language skills too. Eventually, your infant will go from being the stranger your dog is uncertain about to his favorite playmate and lifelong pal! (see below)


Keeping the peace between your dogs & baby— Your pups and baby will live happily ever after, just like you and your prince charming.  Just will be an small adjustment period:)  Here are a few tips from Heidi Ganahl and Dacia Henshaw, of Camp Bow Wow, in Boulder, Colorado.

1.  Zone Out: Install safety gates/put up baby gates to designate rooms that are off-limits to your pooch (if any).  This way, baby can perfect his/her rolling and crawling in peace.

2. Stock Up on Playthings: If your pup has his own toys, he’s less likely to chew on any cute baby toys you received as gifts.  Basically, if your pup is low on toys, get some extra toys now:)

3. Avoid Food Fights: Keep your dog’s bowls on the counter when it’s not mealtime. Once your child is mobile, she/he can create a mess of sloshed water (which also poses a drowning risk) or may sample the kibble (choking hazard). Plus, some dogs get territorial around chow.

4. Teach Your Baby to Be Gentle: As your tot begins exploring with their hands, she might grab Fido’s fur (just like the first photo at the beginning of the article)…Show her/him how to pet nicely.  They will mimic Mommy—and your pups will thank you.

5. Always Supervise: Never, ever leave your child alone with your pet. Infant behavior (squealing, a quick maneuver) could unexpectedly irritate your pets.  Watch for pacing or unusual eye contact, which could indicate your pups are not comfortable with baby.  But who are we kidding?  All of our fur babies are perfect…right? Hehe.

 

 

 

 

Teeth Scaling in the QC and all you need to know about it!

You know how we take care of our teeth daily and go to the dentist twice a year?  Dental care is equally important for our pets!  Every pet is said to need their teeth cleaned yearly (also as responsible pet owners, we are supposed to be brushing our pet’s teeth daily as well).  If you do not know how to clean your pet’s teeth, read this awesome article from Casar,  https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dental-care/7-tips-for-doggie-dental-care 

Some breeds are more or less prone to plaque & bad teeth due to hereditary traits.  In turn, resulting in some pets needing teeth scaling more frequently or less than the next.  Every animal is different, just like humans!  Some humans have better teeth than others:)

Recently I did a lot of research for teeth scaling around Charlotte for one of my pups (my Vizsla is 5 years old and he needed it badly) & I was determined to find the best place with the best service, care and prices!  Behold the best non-profit in Charlotte, Charlotte Spay & Neuter, they have 3 non-profit clinics around town.  They have been in business forever and have serviced thousands of clients and their fur families, and counting!  Here are some pictures of their newest Charlotte facility–it is awesome may I add.

I got the pricing for teeth scaling from numerous local vets and clinics and CSN had the best price for my pup.  They also are centrally located, right outside of downtown.  We paid $200 total and it included pre-op blood-work, anesthesia, post-op if necessary, pain medication, etc.  Other local Veterinary clinics were quoting me anywhere from $450-500 per pet.

Plus, we supported a local non-profit…does not get better than that in my opinion!:)  Oh and the Dr. called us after the cleaning with an update right away, to let us know our baby boy did great and was waking up.  Now that is excellent client & customer service!  Here is their website for more information or to schedule your pup’s teeth scaling, http://www.spayneutercharlotte.org/locations/charlotte-clinic/


Now, lets compare some veterinary prices around town:

Animal Medical Hospital (& 24 hour hospital) is an amazing 24 hour vet.  I know first hand, as this was my husband and I’s first choice when we first got our pups.  We also have a large amount of client’s that take their pets here.  Having a puppy and belonging to a 24 hour vet provided us peace of mind (we all know puppy’s have tons of accidents, they are curious and get into almost everything).  The staff is amazing, caring , knowledgeable and very communicative (they always will discuss prices with you before you check out.  I know a lot of places that just slap a big bill at you in the end and that is not cool).  We went to AMH for the first couple years of our V’s life, until we were comfortable with switching to a clinic that was not 24 hours.

Teeth cleaning at AMH is about $400 per pet, this includes a pre-dental exam, anesthesia, and pain medications.  Not too shabby!  Check them out at http://www.animalmedical.net/veterinary-services/pet-dental-care.html

Long Animal Hospital is another awesome vet, if you do not know much about them.  Our general manager takes her pups here and we have numerous clients who take their animals here also!  Long actually has 24 hour care available, if needed.  Teeth cleaning here runs about $350-400 per pet, this includes pre-dental exam, anesthesia and pain medications.  I asked Lauren to describe her vet in once sentence, she said “It is very clean, up to date and super professional!”  Learn more about them at http://www.longanimal.com/contact-us/

Banfield Veterinary Hospital (specifically Cotswold) is also a great local vet, one of my coworkers takes her pup here.  They even have a pet plan you can purchase (if you are a client, you can sign up for it) and it covers all of your pet’s yearly vaccinations, any shots they may need or if anything unexpected/emergency wise happens to them throughout the year.  You end up saving a lot of money if you purchase one of these and they have 3 package different options.  One for a puppy, one for general wellness and one for elderly pets.  If you do purchase one of these package, a dental cleaning is free each year for your pet! I asked my co-worker to describe her vet in once sentence, she said “They are innovative, caring & very friendly.”

They charge $300 per dog for teeth cleaning if you do not have the yearly plan, this includes a pre-dental exam, pain medication and anesthesia.  https://www.banfield.com/veterinarians/nc/charlotte/chp

Birkdale Veterinary Clinic  is a vet in Huntersville that one of our co-workers goes to as well.  The floor plan as you can see below is very open, nothing to hide & pet friendly.  If you go to their website, you can view photos of each and every room at their facility.  I have always wondered what goes on behind those doors, dont you?  There are no secrets here:)

Teeth cleaning here, will run you about $318 per pet and this includes pre-op blood work, anesthesia & pain medication.  http://birkdaleanimalhospital.com/

 

Dixon Animal Hospital is a veterinary hospital that is in Gastonia.  A friend of ours takes her pups here and has for years.  DAH was founded in 1960 and is owned by two doctors, Dr. Rick Hovis (pictured below in the middle) & Dr. A. M. Spencer III (pictured below to the right).  They have 10 staff members that all have been with them for 10 years.  I have heard great things about this vet and that they are very hands on, can offer one-on-one attention to each and every pet and they even offer laser therapy now.

$200 per pet is what Dixon Animal Hospital charges for a teeth cleaning.  This service included anesthesia, but no pain medications or antibiotics if needed.  Pre-op appointments are recommended only for pets over the age of 7 and are not included with this price.

Check them out at http://www.dicksonanimalclinic.com/

Happy Teeth Cleaning:)  Also February is dental cleaning awareness month so look out for monthly specials around then, as I have noticed some veterinary clinics will run teeth cleaning promotions!

Top 10 Vets Our Clients Use

 

Top 10 Vets That Our Clients Use

1. Dilworth Animal Hospital

https://www.dilworthanimalhospital.com

814 East Blvd Charlotte, NC 28203

(704) 808-PETS  or  (704) 808-7387
Contact Us at:   ContactUs@DilworthAnimalHospital.com

Hours: M-F 7:30a-6pm, Sat 8a-12p, Sun Closed

2. Long Animal Hospital

http://www.longanimal.com

2523 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

(704) 523-2996

Hours: Monday- Sunday 24/7 👏🏽

3. Animal Medical Hospital

http://www.animalmedical.net

3832 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28205

(704) 334-4684

Hours: Monday- Sunday 24/7 👏🏽

4. Commonwealth Animal Hospital

http://www.commonwealthah.com

1909 Commonwealth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205

(704) 370-0767

Hours: M-F 7:30a-6pm, Sat 8a-12p, Sun Closed

 

5. Banfield Pet Hospitals (Mostly in or attached to PetSmart) 

https://www.banfield.com

Over 20+ locations in Charlotte and surrounding areas.

I based this info on the closest location near me:

206 S Sharon Amity Rd Charlotte, NC 28211

(704)364-4171

6. Steele Creek Animal Hospital

http://keepingpetshealthy.com

9729 S. Tryon Charlotte, NC 28273

(704) 588-4400

Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30a- 7p; Sat 7:30a-12p; Sun Closed

7. Plantation Animal Hospital

http://www.plantationah.com

135 W. John St  Matthews, NC 28105

(704)841-2225

Hours: M-F 7:30a-6p; Sat 7:30a-12p; Sun Closed

8. Mallard Creek Animal Hospital

http://www.mallardcreekvet.com

2110 Ben Craig Dr Charlotte, NC 28262

(704)625-1496

Hours: M-F 7a-6p; Sat 8a-12p; Sun Closed

9.Veterinary Hospital of Davidson

http://www.davidsonvet.com

445 S Main St Davidson, NC 28036

(704) 765-1171

Hours: M-F 7a-6p, Sat & Sun Closed

10. Southpark Animal Hospital

http://www.southparkvet.net

5240 Park Road Charlotte, NC 28209

(704)523-3457

Hours: M-F 7:30a-5:30p; Sat 8a-12p; Sun Closed

How to keep your Cat’s happy & healthy!

What is there to know about cat toys  & the link to a cat’s happiness, you say?  A LOT!  “Cats are athletic creatures with amazing strength and agility.  Nature made them into perfect machines for leaping, jumping and dashing.  Just because your house kitty doesn’t have real prey to chase doesn’t mean she can’t act out her inner predator. Play gives them an outlet for their energy, mental and physical stimulation, the opportunity to satisfy their instinctual hunting drive and a chance to bond with you.” (http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/cat_toys.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/)

Cat toys today are on a whole new level…they even have cat boxes delivered to your door step (like Barkbox, but for your kitties)!  See below for the link to become a monthly subscriber:)

There are all kinds of ways to spoil your cats and we all know every cat needs a toy or two.  And yes, the free way of entertaining your cats still exists–using the good old empty cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels, will always work.

“There are several toys that can help keep them occupied, while stimulating and challenging their curiosity and intelligence. The exercise certainly helps, too.” *(https://www.thespruce.com/toys-for-cats-home-alone-554647)


Here are some toys to keep your cat stimulated and entertained while you are away:

  1. Interactive Bird DVD’s
  2. Peek A Prize Toy Prize
  3. Catnip Cigars
  4. Interactive and automatic cat balls (catnip optional)
  5. Mylar Balls (think shiny!)
  6. Paper Shopping Bags
  7. Cardboard boxes
  8. Rubber bands

If you are the type that likes to get creative and DIY, here are some cool options as well (for more info. & instructions for the following toys, please go to https://www.worldsbestcatlitter.com/clearing-the-air/2014/03/the-10-best-homemade-cat-toys/ :

1. HOMEMADE CATNIP YARN BALLS: Transform glue, catnip, yarn, and Styrofoam balls into irresistible homemade cat toys.

2. HOMEMADE TOILET PAPER ROLL CAT TOY: Save the tubes from your toilet paper rolls, and you can make anything from a cool sphere to a treat rattle.

3. FEATHER CAT POUNCE TOY: We love these felt “feathers”—and the little bell is music to our ears.

4. CAT TRANSIT SYSTEM: For DIYers with serious metalworking skills, here’s an outrageous way to route cat traffic in your home.

5. HOMEMADE CAT TOYS MADE FROM SOCKS: Finally, a use for all those lone socks who’ve lost their mates.

6. CARDBOARD CAT PALACE: Take your cat’s love of a good cardboard box to the next level.

7. PRACTICALLY FREE HOMEMADE MOUSE TOY: Download an adorable mouse template, break out the cardboard and scissors, and voila! Hours of feline entertainment.

8. SUPER SIMPLE PIPE CLEANER CAT TOY: This one’s so easy, your kids can make it! All you need are a few pipe cleaners—the shinier the better.

9. COMPUTER MOUSE CAT TOY: Rummage through your old computer junk to make this super-cute homemade cat toy.

10. MENSWEAR MICE: Have you been meaning to weed out your closet? Here’s a use for all those old shirts and suit jackets that don’t fit anymore!


Now, more on those pawsome monthly cat boxes sent to your door—–they are called KitNipBox and the boxes contain high-quality cat toys, all-natural treats, and other fun, healthy cat products.  Click on the following link for examples of what you can find in your cat’s box: https://s3.amazonaws.com/KitNipBox/Emails/Sample+Product+Insert+for+Website.pdf

https://www.kitnipbox.com/?wm_crID=53856589&wm_lpID=179787508&wm_ctID=549&wm_kwID=112341206&wm_m_crID=81913628104636&wm_m_kwID=134167196409&wm_m_qs=cat+toys&wm_m_mt=e&wm_m_device=c&wm_m_phyloc=&wm_m_intloc=&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=General%20-%20Cat%20-%20Exact&utm_term=cat%20toys&utm_content=Cat%20Toy&gclid=CICLhq-e_dUCFQnRgQodvdwDqA&gclsrc=ds&wm_kw=cat+toys&wm_sd=1#how

Lastly, any cat can get bored of their toys…to ensure they do not get bored–rotate them out each week or month.  Of course, interactive toys are the best as they strengthen the bond between you and your cat. Found toys are often more popular than introduced toys.  Cats also love “hide & seek” of course.  Just plain old human interaction, a little love and TLC.

Best Supplements for Dogs

8 Best Supplements for Your Senior Pup

Recently, my dog’s age has been coming to my mind. A LOT. Can she REALLLLLLLY be 10 years old? All of a sudden? Is she walking slow? Nah…?! C’mon Mollie?!…

thinking to myself ::poor girl::

She is getting old.

My best friend is a senior. A 70 year old furry lady at that.

Adjusting well into my 30’s and adult life, I have started to eat better and exercise more. I walk my dogs on average about 2 miles a day.

Here are the stats:

Me: eating healthy (check) , exercising (check), taking supplements (check)

My dogs: exercising (check), eating healthy (check), taking supplements (uncheckkkkk 😳)

YIKKKKESS.

No worries though, I have done a lot of digging.

With some time and research, I truly found 8 great supplements to give your old(er) best friend:


Milk Thistle 

Milk Thistle is used to cleanse the liver, it is not meant to be given as a supplement “preventative”

  • helps treat and prevent liver damage
  • If your pup has experienced kidney disease, this will help aid back to recovery
  • If your pup has pancreatitis, this will help calm the symptoms
  • supposedly if you have to give your pup insulin, milk thistle makes it so that you do not have to administer as much

Info from dogsnaturallymagazine.com


Turmeric

*The spice in curries and mustards*

  • an anti-inflammatory
  • can help treat and prevent cancer
  • relieves arthritis pain
  • help aid gastrointestinal diseases
  • can replace steroids
  • most beneficial if eaten throughout the day because it leaves the body quickly

I got a lot of knowledge and benefits from http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/turmeric-dogs/

Create this paste and start with 1/4 teaspoon 2-3 times a day – gradually start

Thank you to http://turmericlife.com.au/turmeric-for-dogs/how-to-feed-turmeric-for-dogs/ for the info!


Olive Oil

  • helps their brain and memory function
  • 1-2 teaspoons daily in food
  • adds shine to coat
  • prevents skin from itching and flaking

Coconut Oil

Shocked!!! I found this info graph on pinterest and then started digging around.

This is definitely something our family is starting. Look at all the amazing benefits.

Thank you www.sitstay.com for the image 🙂

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

  • great for pets that suffer from Hip Dyplasia and arthritis
  • reduces joint swelling
  • reduces pain
  • The dosage for the dogs will differ; the dog’s weight should be considered. A dog that has 70 pounds may get between 1000 and 1500 mg of glucosamine per day, but a smaller dog will require a reduced dose.

Thanks www.vetinfo.com for the “info”


Vitamin C

  • immune booster
  • enhances white blood cell function
  • increases antibodies
  • increases blood levels and interferon

Raw Local honey

  • LOCAL- is the keyword
  • contains small amounts of local pollen strengthening your pups immune system
  • Wildflower local honey is the best to get
  • great for kennel cough situations
  • boosts energy level
  • 1 Tbsp for large dogs 🙂

Info from yourolddog.com

Are you going to try any? I may be buying some Glucosamine and Tumeric. I already have coconut oil, local honey, and olive oil!

 

 

 

Entertaining Your Pets with Music & TV!

I’m sure that you or someone you know will turn on the radio or the TV when they are leaving a pet alone in the house.  I bet you’ve also wondered if this is really effective, or if we, as humans, do it because it gives us a little peace of mind.

But are our pets really entertained?

Image from Huffington Post

Research shows that it CAN be effective!

Music, depending on the genre, can help relieve stress and anxiety in pets.  Different types of music can garner different types of reactions.  Classical music, for example, can calm and relax your pet, whereas rock music may cause hyper or even aggressive behavior.  Playing some soft, calm music can help your pet rest, relax, and go to sleep.  Researchers also say that it’s best not to play music around the clock, just at strategic times during the day, like meal time, bed time, or when you know you will be leaving the house.  It becomes less effective if played 24/7. There are many apps you can download, for cats and dogs, that offer different types of music for different situations.

Image from National Geographic
Pets LOVE watching TV!

Having the TV on helps alleviate separation anxiety, improving your pet’s state of mind when they are home alone.  TV seems to be more effective with dogs than cats.  According to the Alpha Dog Blog, dogs prefer watching other dogs on TV.  They also respond positively to sounds of praise, happy human voices, and squeaking toys.  There is now a TV channel with 24/7 programming called DogTV!  And for our feline friends, there are interactive videos and DVDs for cats called “Meowvies” that can be found all over the internet!

Pet shelters have been using music and video to help calm and relieve anxiety in their furry residents.

The ASPCA has said in their blog recently that it has helped tremendously. The shelters play music for a couple of hours, and not every day.  And by doing that, and avoiding overexposure, they feel it has made the biggest impact.

Please keep in mind that while music and TV are great to use to help us take care of our pets, they should not be used as substitutes for other important activities, such as play time or cuddle time.

TV and music can be a wonderful addition to your pet’s healthy, well-balanced life!

Share with us!!

Have you tried this with your pet? Do you have a specific radio station or CD you play?  Does your pet react to a specific TV channel? Do they not react at all?  Have you had any negative experiences with music or video in regards to your pet?  Let us know, we want to hear from you!

References:
The Alpha Dog Blog, NY Times Blog, Huffington Post,
thebark.com, petspyjamas.com, aspcapro.org

The Raw Truth: Raw Food Diets for Pets

 

We love our fur children. We want the best for them as pet parents and the healthiest lifestyle we can provide. We emphasize giving them plenty of exercise, socialization with other humans and animals, vitamins and supplements, and, of course, the best nutrition and food diet(s) as possible. Throughout the years, numerous “trends” have evolved for our pets that, as their parents, we jump on to ensure our beloved babies have the healthiest life we can give to them.

Recently, a newer and popular trend is switching our pets to a raw food diet. But, what exactly is a raw food diet? Is it the best option for my pet(s)? Is it safe? Is it time consuming to prepare? Is it expensive? When should I make the switch? How should I switch them? And, the questions keep going…until now. Here is the low down and what you need to know.

 

A good diet can contribute to a long and healthy life and even psychological well-being for our pets.

 

Most of us give our pets the traditional dry and/or canned food as their meal. When the organic versions of these foods released, you may have started giving your pet this “healthier” option. Lately, there has been a newer option available- Raw Food. A raw diet is a more “natural” diet for our pets. There are two major types of raw diets: commercial and home-prepared. Commercial raw diets, which may be fresh or frozen, supply all of the dog’s requirements and are typically in a meat patty form.

 

Home-prepared raw diets usually consist of raw meat and bones, with veggies, fruits, supplements, and added grains. These diets may not be balanced each day but, if designed properly, should meet the dog’s requirements over the long term.

 

A raw food diet for our pets is controversial, however, the popularity is rising amongst pet owners. Raw food diets consists of raw meat, bones, fruits & vegetables. There are positive benefits like shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, smaller stools and higher energy levels.

 

A raw food diet typically consists of muscle meat (often still on the bone), organ meats such as livers and kidneys, bones (whole or ground), raw eggs, vegetables like broccoli, spinach & celery, apples and other fruits, and some dairy such as yogurt and cottage cheese.

 

Over the past couple of years, there have been a number of pet food recalls. When preparing your dog’s food at home, you have total control of what you include in your dog’s food and where those ingredients are from.

 

Raw diets (especially home-made diets) allow you to meet your dog’s specific needs. Raw diets can be prepared to avoid foods that your dog is allergic to and can be made to meet your dog’s specific nutrient requirements. The high water content present in raw food may allow you to feed more while still keeping the calories low for your pet.

Processed foods often have added preservatives that enhance product shelf life. Food that has been freshly prepared and has not been processed or had preservatives added is commonly considered a healthier choice. Commercial raw diets are usually frozen, which means they don’t require added preservatives.

 

The bones that are part of the raw diet are anecdotally considered to be good for dental hygiene, which can be good for overall health.

Feeding a raw diet may provide your dog with a natural outlet for their chewing tendencies; this may help to improve her overall behavior.

 

Some pet owners prefer to purchase these items and make their own meals for their pets. Whereas, others may prefer to purchase commercially processed raw food diets that are frozen or freeze-dried and/or combination diets that use blends of grains, vegetables, and vitamins that are mixed with raw meat purchased by the owner at the grocery store. For most pets, it is more beneficial than processed foods.

 

Feeding raw food is expensive and time consuming. The cost of a raw dog food diet varies with the ingredients used and how it is prepared. For a 30-pound dog, a one-day supply of one variety of a frozen, commercially available raw chicken diet costs about $2.50; others may range up to $5 a day. A super-premium, commercial dry dog food costs about $1.

 

The preparation of balanced meals for your dog every day can be a challenge to fit into a busy lifestyle. As a rule of thumb, if you are eating out more than three meals a week, you are likely too busy to properly prepare meals for your dog, so a homemade raw diet may not be the best choice for your life schedule.

 

However, there are some risk factors associated with feeding a raw diet to your pet.  

Raw diets have been found to contain Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Clostridium botulinium, and Staphylococcus aureus, all of which are known human and canine pathogens. These bacteria are shed in dog stools and may be transferred to carpets and furniture as the dog moves around the house. These pathogens usually only pose a serious human risk to the immuno-compromised, the elderly, and young children; however, this is a very important consideration if you are feeding a raw diet and have people in these risk groups living in your home.

 

In addition, there is a potential risk to dogs from certain pathogens found in raw foods, such as Neospora caninum, found in raw beef, Nanophyetus salmincola, found in raw salmon, and Trichinella spiralis, which  is found in raw pork and wild game such as deer, elk, and moose. All of these pathogens can make your dog sick and are potentially fatal.

 

Feeding bones can cause choking, intestinal blockage or perforations, and chipped or broken teeth.

Because it can be difficult and time consuming to adequately balance a raw diet, nutritional deficiencies, especially in vitamins and minerals, are a significant possibility. To complicate the matter even further, some nutritional deficiencies take many months to show up and you may not see the problems with feeding a particular diet until the animal has been eating it for months or years.

 

Raw vegetables are often poorly digested by dogs. Most of the nutrients in raw vegetables are rendered more available when they are lightly cooked and then ground.

 

Much of the existing research on raw diets surrounds the microbial risks of raw meats and is very important to take into consideration. Also, a raw diet is not beneficial with puppies or kittens and more for the “older” pet. If you don’t get the calcium and phosphorous ratio right, you can have bone deformities and growth issues.

 

Needless to say, if you are on the fence about switching your pet(s) to a raw food diet, or you know you are ready to do so, it is best to discuss with your veterinarian FIRST before taking the plunge. Your vet knows your pet’s health the best and will be able to advise if the switch would be beneficial and safe for them. They will also give instruction on how to safely make the switch for your pets and will educate you on this type of diet geared for your fur baby.

 

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/raw-dog-food-dietary-concerns-benefits-and-risks

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/95490454576181637/

     

Your Comments are Crucial to our Company!

One of the many things that Little Friends Pet Sitting has benefited from are the reviews we get from our clients.  The rave reviews about how wonderful their sitter is are always nice.  But, we also like to get feedback on what we can do to improve service are helpful as well.  Truth is essential, in business and in life.  Our goal is to have our client rely on us completely, and to receive the service they expect and deserve.

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