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What is 1 Good Reason to Exercise Your Dog?

Pet Exercise

Walkies!

Summer boredom impacts not only your two-legged kids but your four-legged kids as well. Bored kids and dogs spell “t-r-o-u-b-l-e”! One way to address summer boredom is by keeping your dogs exercised and plumb wore out! All kidding aside, did you know that exercising your dog is important ALL year long – not just during the summer?  It’s true.  Exercise promotes good health and reduces problem behaviors in your dog.

We all want our dog to be healthy, right?  Well, a good daily dose of exercise will definitely promote good health. Exercise builds strong bones and muscles in dogs just like it does in you! Strong bones and muscles are essential building blocks for good health.  They keep your dog protected against illness and injury.  Those long lean muscles will keep your dog flexible and mobile so he can continue to run, jump and play.  Exercise also prevents diseases that can plague aging dogs.  Cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer and obesity are three such diseases that can result from poor exercise habits.  Starting good habits now will last your dog a lifetime, literally. Exercise your dog today! First start with a trip to the vet for an exam to make sure your pup is healthy enough to increase physical activity. Then you can adjust the intensity and duration according to your dog’s level of fitness.

What happens when your kids get bored?  If they’re like most kids, they’ll either nag you or get into mischief! A dog will do the same if he is bored!  Destructive and problematic behaviors are often times a direct result of a bored, unexercised dog.  A dog is an inquisitive creature, by nature.  He is always up for some type of challenge whether it is physical or mental – and believe me, if you don’t provide the challenge, he’ll create his own.  Your dog’s predatory instincts demand that he explore the world in which he lives.  A nice long walk or romp at the dog park will fulfill those demands. Say good bye to problem behaviors such as jumping on people, chewing your favorite shoes and even aggressive behavior.  Again, poor behaviors are often masking a deeper issue and we can often point to boredom and lack of exercise. Exercising is imperative to keep your dog healthy and quite frankly, out of trouble. When exercising in the heat always take precautions and look for these signs of your pet overheating.

Remember to be safe, healthy and have a happy Summer!

Next Article: Invisible Fencing Can Keep Your Pets Safe

Reliable Pet Sitter Wanted?

If you have a reliable pet sitter, you probably did some of the following things to make sure you found one who is reliable and honest. Having the neighbor’s kid watch your pets and home is not good enough, you want a professional. For those who are in the market for a pet sitter, here are a few tips to help you pick the right one, a reliable professional.

First, and most importantly, is the reason to hire a reliable pet sitter. Professional pet sitting goes way beyond tending to your pets needs. The person in charge of taking care of your fur kids is also in charge of your home and every worldly possession you have. The average vacation is about 7 to 10 days long, that’s a week or  more of your home being mostly unattended. Unforeseen disasters can and do happen at any time, things like the electricity going out, pipes bursting, a fire, a break in… just to name a few. Professional pet sitters are equipped to deal with emergencies of all types, it’s essential to being reliable.

The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) has created a thorough check list to help you pick the right pet sitter:

“Hiring a pet sitter is a serious process.  Make sure the person you choose is trained and professional.  He/she will not only be responsible for your pet, but also will have regular access to your home.” (read more)

The care of your pets involves working with your sitter as a team. Providing specific information about your pets and home will help the sit go smoothly. NAPPS provides a guideline to get the most out of your sitter.

“Once you’ve decided to hire a pet sitter, you’ll want to maximize the experience for you and your pet. The following pages list some simple guidelines that will ensure that that your get the most out of the relationship… Provide background on your pet’s history and habits…” (read more)

Part of a pet sitter’s job is to provide you with peace of mind while you are away. It’s worth the time to find the right one.

Next Article: Pet Dander

Reliable Pet Sitter

Walks are my favorite!

July 4th, Anxiety and Our Pets

  • My husband’s birthday is July 4th but having been born in Mexico, it has little significance for him. Mexico has an independence day too of course and Jose grew up in the states, so he does appreciate the meaning of the holiday. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a good fireworks show on the 4th of July? When it comes to pets however, fireworks are not such a great thing. Loud noises that seem to come from nowhere can be very frightening. Plus the noise is a little more intense for our furry kids than it is for us because they have a more sensitive auditory system. Not all pets have a fear of loud noises and thunderstorms, my parents’ dog Sandy has no problem snoozing through the ruckus. (Halloween is another issue however as I describe here.) Cats are less likely to be stressed by July 4th fireworks unless the source of the noise is in their immediate area. Still, a big bang or popping noise from the sky can send kitty to a hiding place until it’s “safe” to come out.There are several drug free options available to make our noise phobic pets more comfortable during a fireworks show or thunderstorm. A TV or radio at a moderately loud volume may drown out the bangs and pops but not too loud as to be disturbing itself. There are even music CDs specifically made to reduce pet anxiety. Provide a quieter, out of the way place for hiding, like a closet, bathroom or some other smaller enclosed area. Open rooms where pups usually hang out with us aren’t comfortable for the time being. (Pets need a little space of their own to get some alone time as we all do!) Having a radio on in their safe place may be a good idea if background noise is the daily norm. Otherwise it can be annoying.The Thundershirt is a product that came out in 2009 which seems to be pretty successful in reducing anxiety. It’s available in different sizes and there’s even one for cats. As with anything, it doesn’t work for all pets so try adding one or two other relaxing methods to see if results improve. For instance, Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P.) is commercially available and comes in a spray or plug in diffuser. The feline equivalent is Feliway which is “…a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.” Holistic aids such as Rescue Remedy contain herbs, oils, flowers and root extracts providing a natural alternative to treating anxiety. Many of these herbs and tinctures have the same effect on humans. A laid back companion is a must for maintaining a chaos free environment, nobody likes to hang out with a spaz!If your pet has loud noise phobia, start with one or two of the things listed above. Then add, remove or switch out methods to find what works for you. Happy pets make happy homes so cheers to happiness! Have a safe and fun 4th of July!July 4th

Next Topic: Can pets detect diseases?

Summer Time Pet Safety, How cool are you?

Flare from the sun

Sun Flare

Summer time means lots of outdoor fun and just like you, your pets need protection from the heat and sun. Pets can’t wear sunscreen of course and they don’t sweat through their skin like we do. Dogs regulate their body heat primarily by panting, as well as through the pads of their feet and their nose. If they are unable to expel heat quickly enough, they can suffer a heat stroke. Recognizing the following signs of heat stroke and can enable you to act quickly and help prevent an avoidable disaster:

  • Increased rectal temperature (over 104° requires action, over 106° is a dire emergency)
  • Vigorous panting
  • Dark red gums
  • Tacky or dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)
  • Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up
  • Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
  • Thick saliva
  • Dizziness or disorientation

If the dog continues to overheat, breathing efforts become slowed or absent, and finally, seizures or coma can occur. ASPCA expertssay taking simple precautions will help prevent your pet from overheating. Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water and shade while outside. Keep them indoors when it’s too hot and limit exercise in extreme summer temperatures. You should never leave any pet unattended in a car at any time. According to the Humane Society of the United States, on a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85 degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die. If you see an animal in distress in a parked car, contact the nearest animal shelter or police. You can also spread the word about the dangers of pets in hot cars by downloading fliers and posters at MyDogIsCool.com to distribute in your community.

Growing up in Texas I endured many a hot summer and have some of the best memories of time spent with my family and pets back then. Practice warm weather safety so you can have tons on fun in the sun with your pets too!

Happy Summer and stay cool!

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