8 Ways to Keep Your Dog Hydrated this Summer

dog hydrated tips puppies drinking

Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy family and friends. Not only for you but for your furry family as well. Dogs enjoy getting out playing with other dogs and just having the freedom to roam and explore their surroundings. However, the summer months in the South can be detrimental to the health of your pet. It is important to learn how to keep your dog hydrated and safe during these hot months.

Recognize Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Help your pet by learning the signs of dehydration. Signs of dehydration include loss of energy, excessive panting, and your dog’s eyes might appear sunken. Your dog might also have dry and sticky gums. If dehydration has reached this level in your dog, call your veterinarian immediately. Your pet will need to have their fluids replenished and be monitored to avoid their condition deteriorating.

Know Daily Water Recommendations

Your dog needs one ounce of water for each pound they weigh. If your pet weighs 30 pounds they will need 30 ounces of water a day. It does not hurt them to take more water in during hot months. Keep a close eye on how much your pet is drinking each day. It is a great idea to measure out their water to ensure they are getting the proper amount. Check your pet’s water bowl a few times during the day and refill it with fresh water as needed.

Provide Shade for Your Pet

Furry pets need a lot of shade in the South during hot months.  If you are relaxing in the shade or air conditioner, your pet should have a cool spot they can retreat to as well. At times, you might have to encourage your pet to go to their shaded area and relax.

Add Water to Dog Food

Consider offering your dog more wet food during summer months. If your dog is not drinking enough water on its own, you might also consider adding a little water to their dry food. Dry food is not high in water, so adding a little is a genius way to get more water into your furry friend.

Keep Water on Hand

Since summers in the South are extremely hot, most people keep cool bottles of water on hand. When planning a trip outside the home, always take extra bottles along for your pets. Just as easy people become overheated riding in a car with no air condition, so can your pet. If your pet does become overheated or slightly dehydrated, with bottles of water on hand, you can act quickly.

Provide Frozen Treats for Your Pet

Everyone loves frozen treats whether its ice cream or popsicles. Your dog will love them too. You can purchase these treats in just about any store that sells dog food. Also, consider making your own frozen treats for your pet. Frozen broth is a great treat for dogs. It is a great way to give your pet something tasty and keep them cool and hydrated.

Keep Your Dog Groomed

Keep your dog well-groomed during the hot months. Not only will they look better, but they will feel better too. Your dog’s undercoat is actually part of their natural cooling system, but if not properly maintained it can become matted and prevent the necessary air flow across your pet’s skin.

Purchase a Kiddie Pool

Set up a kiddie pool in a cool and shaded area for your dog. Fill it with water so that your pet can take a cool dip when needed. If your dog has no problem with being in water, it will appreciate you showing love with this quick and convenient way for them to splash around and cool down.

To find out more about keeping your dog happy, safe, and healthy in the hot South this summer visit us.

 

Fireworks and Pets: Your 5-Step Guide to Enjoying the 4th of July

4th of july boy dog

As the 4th of July approaches, you may be looking forward to attending one of the many multi-day fireworks celebrations held across the state. Or maybe you’re hosting your own laidback get-together at home. Whether you are planning to attend a festival or host your own event, it’s important to ensure that your pets receive the proper care during fireworks. Below is your 5-step guide to safely enjoying the 4th of July fireworks with your pet without worries:

1) Plan in advance to keep pets indoors 

The single most important step you can take to keep your pet safe during 4th of July fireworks is to plan to keep your pets inside your home or apartment. If you are planning to entertain at your home, you may even want to designate a special room or level of your home for your pet. This measure will help prevent your pet from venturing outside if a guest inadvertently leaves the door open.

2) Secure trusted pet care if you plan to be out of town

It can be challenging to secure reliable pet care on a busy holiday weekend. So make sure you make a reservation with a boarding facility or pet-sitting service as soon as you confirm your travel plans. As you compare options, look for trusted providers like Little Friends.

3) Consider a pressure wrap or medication for anxiety-prone pets

“Pressure wraps like the Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap may help calm some pets. While we do not know the exact mechanism for how they work, some suggest that the light pressure they produce on the body may lead to an endorphin release that could have a calming effect.”

– Amanda E. Florsheim, DVM, CBCC-KA 

46% of dogs and cats are fearful of fireworks. No one likes to see their beloved pets afraid. Some pet owners find that crating their pets helps to alleviate anxiety. Owners of pets with more serious cases of fireworks anxiety find that pressure wraps like Thunder Shirts and medications help to alleviate stress for their pets. Always consult with a licensed veterinarian before introducing an anti-stress medication.

4) Keep your pet occupied

Keeping your pet occupied is a great way to help lessen any minor anxieties your pet might have about fireworks. Here are a few ways to help you keep your pet busy while fireworks are in action:

  • Give your pet a new toy on the 4th of July
  • Play music or a sound machine to help counteract the noise of the fireworks
  • Consider using a pet-sitting service to keep your dog occupied

5) Thoroughly clean up all debris if you are celebrating at home

Pieces of burned wrapper and gunpowder can be harmful to pets and small children if they are ingested.  Before you allow your pet to re-enter your yard, make sure that you have thoroughly scanned your yard and collected all leftover debris. Finally, make sure that you give debris time to cool down before attempting removal or disposal.

The Bottom Line

By following the tips above, you can enjoy the 4th of July fireworks while keeping your pets happy and comfortable. For more tips on enjoying a safe summer with your pets or to learn more about our services, contact us anytime.

Win the War on Fleas in the South!

When spring blows in, especially in the warm southern states, not only do we get warmer, sunnier weather, but we also get armies of pesky, biting, and jumping fleas! Some seasons are worse than others when it comes to fleas, but those fleas will move into to your yard by the truckloads it seems.

Before you know it, here you go again with keeping your dog or dogs flea-free. It’s a never-ending battle, but if you stay one step ahead of the game, it makes things a lot easier for both you and your dog!

What to Know About Fleas

There’s a lot of things to keep in mind when your battling fleas. One thing in particular, is that some dogs are affected more by fleas than others. It’s just like, for example, humans and poison ivy. Some people can wade through piles of it and never get affected, while others can have the wind merely blow some micro-fragments of a poison ivy plant on them and they break out in welts from head to toe. Dogs are the same way with fleas! So, just because you’re dog isn’t scratching like crazy doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t have a flea nest riding around on them. Fleas on a dog can be carried into the house, where they can jump on to other things and multiply.

Give Your Pup Extra Baths

A second thing to keep in mind is the importance of frequent bathing during flea season. If you’re using a flea shampoo, another preventative and inexpensive soap to use in-between flea soap baths is Dawn dishwashing liquid. This dish soap is not a long lasting repellent, but if you lather your dog up with this particular soap and let it sit for 5 or so minutes, those fleas will drop dead right before your eyes! For whatever reason, Dawn kills fleas like no other dish soap. It’s just a little tip to remember if you need to give a bath in a hurry.

Keep Dog Bedding Clean

When you are taking part in that war against fleas, you have to pay attention to their bedding, both inside and out. Dog beds need to be washed and cleaned. You could even get a safe insecticide spray to use on them, let it dry, and then wash the beds. If you can afford to get brand new beds and throw the old ones away, well that’s even better. Spring cleaning your dog’s favorite outdoor spots to lounge, like the patio or porch, is also a good habit to get into.

Additional Flea Tips

Monthly flea preventative drops are always helpful. They can be expensive, but adding them into your budget helps everyone out in the long run! These drops, however, are not always a 100% guarantee! Over the years, fleas have evolved and developed a resistance to many of the chemicals, especially in certain parts of the country. Whether the active ingredient is Imidacloprid, or any of the pyrethroid-based products, fleas can sometime tolerate these products and they aren’t as affected as they should be. Additionally, many people prefer to use natural remedies as much as possible, as opposed to chemicals.

When it comes to natural flea repellents, there are a variety of ideas online worth checking out. Make your own DIY flea repellent for dogs using essential oils like peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, or citronella oil. Now you can take these inexpensive oils and make a spray that not only repels fleas, but smells good too! Simply add 15 to 20 drops to a spray bottle filled with water and you have a natural flea spray.

Keep in mind that different natural remedies are needed for cats, as many natural oils are harmful or even fatal for feline friends. One simple flea repellent that’s safe for cats and dogs is apple cider vinegar.

Final Flea Thoughts

Before we wrap up, let’s review a few more things. Certain dog flea products simply repel fleas, while others you kill the larvae and prevent them from hatching. Some flea products are waterproof formulas and others are not. They’re all different, depending on which ones you buy, so make sure to read the labels carefully.

Lastly, focus on tiny proactive steps such as vacuuming your carpets daily. Flea collars are great for added protection. It’s best to keep dogs that are hyper-affected by fleas out of the sand and grass until you get a handle on things.

Remember, staying one step ahead of the fleas and tackling the problem from all directions will get your flea problem minimized in no time! Please remember to read your labels and do not use “dog only” products on your cat. For dog walking or pet sitting by reliable pros in the Charlotte area, contact Little Friends today.

 

 

 

 

Summertime Safety Tips for Dogs in Charlotte

Summer heat in the south can be a scorcher, especially in July and August. Humidity levels can reach 90% and temperatures get well into the high 90s. It’s hot for those of us who grew up in this weather, and even hotter for those who didn’t! Humans and pets need to be mindful of the summer heat- it can zap you before you even realize it.

Often times, transplants from other states aren’t accustomed to the North Carolina heat and humidity. Newcomers to Charlotte need to take precaution when summer rolls around, not just for themselves, but for their pets! Pets that aren’t used to high temperatures and humidity need extra attention during the hot summer months.

So here are just a few helpful tips to get your dogs through a blistering summer weather season:

Don’t Ever Leave Your Pet in a Car, Even With Windows Cracked!

It’s never a good idea to leave your dog in your car, even if you have the windows cracked. In a matter of minutes the temperature can skyrocket to dangerous temperatures. A pet or a human sitting in a car on a hot day with no air conditioning, is like having a belt of steel wrapped around them. And that same car, sitting on asphalt or concrete, gets even hotter. Dogs have a hard time keeping themselves cool- even with windows cracked, they can overheat and dehydrate in no time. Those of you that are new to Charlotte: you may have been able to do this in your cooler and less humid home states, but this is not something that you can do in the south! Please be mindful and help spread the word.

Plan Your Dog Walks in Early Mornings or Late Evenings

If you’re new to Charlotte, you’ll soon learn that you’ll hear a lot of summer weather reports regarding the daily temperature, the humidity level, and the heat index. For lack of better words, the heat index is basically the “feels like” temperature. For example, the temperature may be 95 degrees, which is already hot!…but with the humidity level factored in, the Heat Index, or “feels like” temperature may be 105 degrees! On these super hot days, it’s best to walk your dog in the early mornings or the late evenings. When you and your pet start walking down a concrete sidewalk or an asphalt road, that’s going to make that hot summer weather even hotter on delicate paws! So stay inside as much as you can, especially on those ultra-hot days. Save the dog walking activities for the cooler parts of the day.

Keep a Dog Travel Bag Packed

If you’re the type that frequently brings your dog around town on shopping trips or to one of the many beer gardens in Charlotte, it’s a good idea to have a dog travel bag with you. With all the pet-friendly stores and restaurants that welcome pets these days, it’s nice to be able to bring you best fur friend with you on those little excursions. But when you do, make sure you bring their personal supplies, such as a bowl for drinking, a bottle of water, and maybe a washcloth for cooling down their face.

It’s better to be safe than sorry! If you’re always prepared with your dog’s travel bag then you never have to waste time improvising; we all know what it’s like to have to scramble around and pinch off the top of a Styrofoam cup so your dog can have something to drink out of when you’re away from home. So be prepared with your dog travel bag!

Have Multiple Water Bowls

If you live in a house with a fenced yard, and your dog is primarily an outside dog, it’s also a good idea to have multiple water buckets in areas that stay shaded. One drinking bowl for your dog is never the safest or smartest thing to do; it could always get knocked over, or your dog could drink all the water. So having several big buckets of water in strategic places is the best route to go. The more water the better! Don’t forget to check those water bowls daily! If your dogs stay in at night but romp around in the yard all day, check those water bowls! Make sure they have clean, fresh drinking water. Dogs can spend a day without lunch, but it’s not the same for water, especially in the summer heat.

Make Use of Plastic Kiddie Pools and Shade

You can never go wrong with a hard plastic kiddie pool. When summer rolls around you can find these pools at most big box stores. Putting one of these little pools under a shade tree just gives your dog yet another way to stay cool during the summer heat. Little dogs aren’t always the fastest to jump in a pool, but the bigger breeds love them! For $10 bucks, you can’t go wrong! And in an emergency, it’s yet another drinking source for your dog.

Look for Pet Products Designed For Summer Weather

There are all sorts of specialty products designed for your pets to help tackle the summer heat. One product in particular is the Kool Collar. These cooling collars are filled with ice cubes. Another product that you can buy to help tackle summer humidity and heat is the Cooling Dog Collar Bandana. Remember though, none of this specialty dog cooling gear is intended to take the place of common sense and drinking water. They’re just a little something extra to help take the edge off on the super hot days.

Here at Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking, we wish you and your pet a safe and cool summer. We cannot stress enough to keep up with the daily summer weather forecast and have plenty of water available for your pets. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns and keep us in mind for any of your pet sitting or dog walking needs.

 

 

 

 

 

Millennial Dog Owners Love Charlotte!

There’s a lot of reasons why millennials are flocking to Charlotte, especially those millennial dog owners! Charlotte is one of the fastest growing big cities in America for millennials, and it has so much to offer, from affordable housing to fabulous pet-friendly restaurants, patio bars, parks and much more. Charlotte is also home to a lot of big job-makers in the financial and banking industry. So whatever brought you and your pet to Charlotte, we’re certainly glad you’re here. We’re going to share with you a few favorite restaurants, shops, and entertainment locations in Charlotte that welcome both you and your dog!

Dog-Friendly Bars and Restaurants

The first few stops on our list are some of our favorite dog-friendly breweries in Charlotte. There are so many dog-friendly pubs and breweries in our city, you could visit a different one every day of the week! The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is a German-style brewery, pub and spacious 8-acre beer garden where you and your dog are both welcome. There’s plenty of outdoor seating and umbrellas for shade. Their menu is loaded with delicious German style food and beer favorites!

Another hometown favorite is the Noda Brewing Company where your pet is welcome both inside and out. Their tap-room has a long list of beers that you’ll enjoy trying, so make sure you and your fur friend stop by and check out Noda’s when you need some relaxation time!

A third pet-friendly brewery to visit in Charlotte is the Triple C Brewing Company. Here you and your pet can also enjoy outdoor seating and umbrella-covered tables, endless choices in year-round beers, and free pretzels and dipping mustard!

If you’re in the mood for authentic Latin-style food, Sabor Latin Street Grill is definitely worth checking out. Their tables under the front awning are dog-friendly. With eight locations in Charlotte that welcome both you and your pet, this unique restaurant specializes in dishes from El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia. From street food, to tacos, to burritos, they’ve got something for everyone! Don’t forget to try one of their specialty margaritas or mojitos.

For those of you that love pizza, both you and your fur friend are welcome to dine in the outdoor seating area at Pure Pizza. This particular style of pizza is made with the health-conscious person in mind! These self-described “Farm Lovin Pizza Freaks” proudly use organic vegetables and flour to create their healthy pizza pies. So if you’re wanting to try an organically focused pizza restaurant with your pet, you’ll want to try a slice at Pure Pizza. You can get a glass of wine or a pitcher of beer to go with you meal here too!

Dog-Friendly Shopping

And after you and your fur friend have enjoyed a great meal and beer, you can walk the calories off at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. The location in Charlotte has over 50,000 square feet full of antiques, vintage, and unique home decor. Your leashed pet is welcome and you two can spend the whole day wandering their aisles! You might not have anything in mind that you really need, but in a place of this size, and with so much retro variety, we’re sure you and your buddy can find something that catches your eye!

In the market for a new book or a unique gift? The Paper Skyscraper welcomes dogs! For more than 25 years, this now 5000 square foot neighborhood shop specializes in cards, books, gifts, and much more. They’ve got great selections of notebooks and paper, in addition to old-school games and a variety of eclectic items.

Some of Our Favorite Dog Parks

There are so many dog parks in Charlotte. Here are just a few to check out:

  • Frazier Park – 16.5 acres with clean drinking water available for the dogs. A very clean and beautiful park. It’s a great place to walk your dog.
  • McAlpine Creek Park – 114 acres that has a dog park. Nice paths, creeks, and bridges can be found at this park. A dog-friendly park with clean paths and trails.
  • Freedom Park – 98 acres of pet-friendly area which includes trails, ponds, water fountains, and walking paths and trails, in addition to, 5 outdoor shelters with grills.

A Few Closing Thoughts

Currently, Charlotte is ranked the #1 city in America where millennials are moving to. There’s enormous opportunity in Charlotte, and many great places for both you and your dog to visit once you get here! It’s a growing city that’s filled with great places to eat, drink, shop and have fun. Best of all, such a large percentage of these establishments welcome pets! Charlotte really is the ideal city for millennial dog owners.

And for those of you that are new to Charlotte, you and your fur friend will have to make it a point to come meet Terry Richardson, owner of Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking. Terry, a true animal lover and parent to five dogs, opened up Little Friends in 2009. She now employs over 60 pet sitters and the business services over 1000 pet clients. Little Friends has numerous locations throughout Charlotte and they offer a variety of services to help serve as a substitute parent for your best fur friend, when you’re unable to. Their services include pet sitting, pet walking, pet taxi, errand service and many more! Feel free to contact them today with any of your pet related questions that you may have. They look forward to walking your dog and making a new fur friend!

 

 

 

 

Living and Working in Pet-Friendly Charlotte

In beautiful Charlotte, companies in all industries are interviewing and hiring personnel, and people continue to move here from all over the country. As these new Charlottetonians find a place, put down roots and embrace the area they build a life. Single folks with or without children, married couples, those with partners and entire traditional families, are all flocking to Charlotte. Most of these are young movers and shakers who dive headfirst into both active work and social lives.

A huge consideration when moving is how short can I make my commute? Another major concern is will it be pet-friendly? Many transplants bring along their best four-legged friends, and many others will be adopting a fur friend in the near future.  Luckily, Charlotte is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the nation with 6 off-leash dog parks and a general trend of being very welcoming for pets and their owners.

Dog Parks in Pet-Friendly Charlotte 

  • William Davies Park
  • Barkingham Park as Ready Creek Park
  • Frazier Dog Park
  • Fetching Meadow at McAlpine Creek Park
  • Shuffletown Park
  • Mallard and Clark’s Creek Greenway

We love to take our pups of all ages to play in the open air, socialize with other dogs and exercise their hearts by running their little legs off. As the old saying goes “a tired puppy is a happy puppy.”

Why Hire a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter?

The problem is, we moved here to work and have jobs we like, but this can be demanding. Our best friend is home alone while we are gone 8 to 10 hours each day. The guilt weighs on us. Maybe a neighbor can be persuaded to take your buddy on a walk in the afternoon, though that can create a lot of other issues. Are they reliable? Will they treat your pal right? Do you trust them with someone you love?

Perhaps you are a cat lover. Your little meow mix may not require quite as much attention as a dog, but cats need ear and chin scratches too. If you are only home to sleep because you are burning day and night hours in order to meet a deadline or have to go out of town, who is giving your little whiskered one attention?

Little Friends is the Ideal Solution

Thankfully Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has an experienced staff to take up the slack when you just can’t. You can schedule your pet sitting times so that your fur buddies receive one on one attention in increments of 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. The longer the visit, the more the sitter can do. Of course your baby gets more attention, but they will also do things like get your mail, rotate blinds and  water your plants.

Dog walking has the same increments of 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes including a potty break, fresh water and snack you have provided.  The staff and sitters are all insured and bonded and all have been through a thorough interview process and background check. All pet sitters must love pets, and also have to prove a history with pets. All of the sitters have either owned pets, previously sat for them, worked with animal rescue groups or even worked in a veterinary clinic. With over 70 sitters providing services to over 1000 clients, the reputation of Little Pets speaks for itself. Here is a guide to the sitters who will love and take care of your pets.

Little Friends has a big footprint covering a lot of real estate. In fact, if you find they don’t already cover your location you are invited to call them to see if your location can be added to their coverage area. Established in 2009, Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has long been serving Charlotte’s pet needs with excellent service and has gained a great reputation. They truly do make your pet a priority when you are unable to.

 

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!

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!