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Safety Tips for Your Pets on Halloween

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Safety Tips for Your Pets on Halloween
Halloween can be a ton of fun for your kids and the family, but when it comes to our pets, it can be a very dangerous holiday! Here are 5 tips to keep your pet safe this Halloween.
1. TRICK-OR-TREAT candies are NOT for your pets! Chocolate, baking chocolate and artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be very dangerous for your pets and even lethal. Symptoms of poisoning can be vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and seizures. If you think your pet may have consumed candy, get them to the vet ASAP!
2. KEEP PETS CONFINED on Halloween night. With kids coming to the door every few minutes this is an opportunity for your pet to get out and get lost in the neighborhood. Additionally, people dressed in costumes and loud kids can be very scary and stressful for your pets. Keeping them confined during Halloween can make a much safer and more pleasant night for them. Also remember to double check that they have their ID tags on their collars just in case.
3. BRING OUTDOOR CATS inside for several days before and after Halloween. Black cats especially, are at risk for pranks and cruelty-related incidents during this holiday, so keep them inside to keep them safe.
4. COSTUMES. If you plan to dress up your pet for the festivities have them wear the costume a few times before the big night so that they can get used to it. Make sure the costume isn’t too tight, doesn’t restrict movement or the ability to breathe easily or see. If the costume bothers your pet, festive bandannas will work too!

5. KEEP LIT PUMPKINS out of reach. To avoid an accidental burn or even a candle getting knocked over and causing a fire, make sure that lit pumpkins are not easily accessible to your pets.

We hope you have a fun and safe holiday!

Does Your Cat Have Food Allergies?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Does Your Cat Have Food Allergies?

Food allergies are shown to be the third most common type of allergy  and if you think your cat might be having an allergic reaction, it’s important that you address the possible issue as soon as possible as it can lead to severe medical issues and even death.

Typical symptoms of food allergies is the presence of fluid-filled lumps, usually around the head and neck area. These itchy eruptions can lead to further issues if not treated appropriately. A smaller percentage of cats with food allergies experience vomiting and diarrhea.

These issues can lead to hair loss, lesions and other symptoms that become more evident and intensify over time. Cats at any age can develop allergies, even those who have eaten the same food for years. When signs appear, a visit to the veterinarian for care should happen as soon as possible.

A veterinarian can help you identify the specific allergy so that you can remove it from their diet. This process may involve some trial and error and patience but as a result you’ll have a healthier and happier pet.

5 Tips for Your First Visit to the Dog Park

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

5 Tips for Your First Visit to the Dog Park

Off leash dog parks can be so much fun and a great way to socialize your dog, if you do it right. Nothing is worse than fights at the dog park or dogs that ‘bully’ other dogs just trying to have fun, especially if your dog is the instigator. Here are a few tips that will make your time and your pups’ time much more enjoyable and SAFE for everyone.

 

  1. While you can’t control how other dogs behave at the dog park, you CAN control your own dog and they should have a firm grasp of the “come” command. If your dog doesn’t come when called, then a trip to the dog park could turn scary very quickly, especially during those busy hours when there a lots of strange dogs and people in the enclosed area. If your dog needs practice consider hiring a trainer or going to the park when there are NO dogs around to test the waters.
  2. Do your research. Not all dog parks are well maintained and some pose hidden dangers or just annoying hassles like mud pits; who wants to put a muddy dog back in their car? Ask friends and neighbors for local dog parks that they really enjoy and then go scope it out. Are there overgrown weeds? Bits of toys and dog poop everywhere? If there is a water feature for the dogs to play in, is it in another fenced area should you want to keep your dog dry?
  3. Small dog areas/parks are for SMALL dogs. Many dog parks have a separate enclosed area or special hours for small dogs only and it keeps them safe. If you have a small dog, then go to the small dog area for the first visit and see how they do before letting them loose with the big guys. Large dogs tend to play a little rough, lunge and can roll the smaller dogs. If you have a large dog and want to test it out, you could go into the small dog area to acclimate them ONLY if no one else is using it.
  4. Remove their leash right when you cross into the enclosed area or right before. This may seem obvious to some but new dog owners are really nervous about doing this. Keeping the leash on them will not only make them feel more stressed about this new situation (because you’re going to be tugging on the leash and making them feel restrained), it could also cause an injury if your dog or another dog or even you get wrapped up in the leash. If your dog responds well to “come” which he should or you shouldn’t be there, then you shouldn’t worry about leaving in a hurry if need be.
  5. Enjoy yourself and don’t stress too much about that first visit! Keep an eye on your dog’s body language and those he/she is playing with. If butts are being sniffed, tails are wagging and they are having fun and wrestling then you should relax. If another dogs bares it’s teeth, growls (keep in mind some dogs are very vocal when they play), or shows any other body language that is cause for alarm, then quickly give your dog the “come” command and move to another area of the park where they can play with another dog. Not all dogs will get along and they can quickly become over-stimulated.

When you take your pup for the first time, try and go during an afternoon on a weekday so that you don’t overwhelm them that first time. Dog parks are usually really busy in the evening and on the weekends. It can be a very scary experience for a new dog when they are rushed by all these new friends and trust me, when you go up to that gate, ALL those dogs are going to run up to say ‘hello’ and meet their new friend. Try it out with shorter visits at first and gradually increase your visits if they do well. Also remember to occasionally call your dog over to remind them that you’re there and that you’re in control.

5 Pawsome Pet Birthday Ideas

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

5 Pawsome Pet Birthday Ideas

#1: For a really pawsome time, host a birthday party at your house or the local dog park! If it’s summer, a pool party would cool everyone off and be a great time. You can even provide yummy snacks, treats and even bake or order a cake made just for your furbaby and their pals. Don’t forget to include some fun games like a talent show, find the treats (like an Easter egg hunt) and a fetching competition! Send home a goody bag with extra treats and a toy or two for all the four-legged guests.

#2: If your dog isn’t the social type, take them out for a day of fun, doggy style. Does your dog LOVE to swim? Love to hike? Love to play fetch? Set aside a special time to do something they really enjoy. Don’t forget to have a gift or two waiting for them when you get home.

#3: Bake a cake or cupcakes for your birthday pal and your pack. You can find lots of fun and pet safe recipes on Pinterest. Most consist of peanut butter, eggs and flour. If you really want to go all out, make a pet safe frosting and decorate the top with treats and pieces of kibble. Don’t forget to take pictures before they scarf it up!

#4: Take them to the pet store and let them pick out some new toys! You can also stop by the collars and pick out a new one to honor their special day.

#5: Does your pet love to rip into presents? Grab some new toys from the pet store, wrap them up and let them have at it. It’s always a good idea to monitor this activity and get some great pictures!

Happy Birthday to your pets! If you celebrate their special day, please post your pictures on our Facebook page, we’d love to see them and wish them Happy Birthday too!

– Brenda

4 Ways to Prepare for Fostering Animals

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

4 Ways to Prepare for Fostering Animals

Fostering homeless pets will make a huge difference in the welfare of animals in your area. Most shelters and rescues are overrun and many rescues don’t have an actual shelter to house abandoned animals. They often rely on foster homes to care for their animals until they are placed in forever homes.

If you’ve never fostered, there are a few things you need to consider and prepare for so that you can do it successfully.

Prepare your home: Animal-proof your entire house if you haven’t already for the pets you do have. Never expect a foster cat or dog to have any training and that includes potty training. Just like bringing home a new puppy, you need to make sure that what you don’t want ruined, isn’t within reach. You may also need to designate an area in your home and/or yard specifically for foster pets if you already have several animals or if the foster pet isn’t socialized yet; this is for both their safety and the safety of your own animals. It’s always a good idea to have a designated sleeping area or place to house the animal when you aren’t home as well. Keep in mind that their future adopter may not want the dog or cat on furniture or in bed with them, so it’s wise not to give them any new habits that will require training later.
Prepare your yard: Is your fence high enough to keep in jumpers? Are there any holes or areas that they could squeeze out? Make sure that your yard is escape proof; the last thing you want is to bring home an abandoned pet only to lose them when they go outside for a potty break.
Prepare your pets: Make sure your own pets are socialized and trained to make life easier for you and to avoid any fights between them and the foster pet. If this is a concern of yours, consider kennel training all animals and keeping them separated until the foster is placed in a forever home.
Prepare your car: Do you have a reliable car that you don’t mind transporting an animal in? Many times foster dogs need vet care for various things and most need to be spayed or neutered. It is usually your responsibility to take the foster animal to and from the vet (even though the rescue will be covering the costs of vet care).

As long as you, your pets and your home are prepared to take in a foster animal it will be a good experience and something to learn from! Thousands of animals need a temporary home to recover from medical issues, spay/neuter and abuse before finding the perfect forever home. Becoming a foster parent will be very rewarding and it’s a great way to give back to the community.

5 Reasons You Should Foster Homeless Pets

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

5 Reasons You Should Foster Homeless Pets
  • You’ll increase the chances that a homeless pet will find a forever home! Foster families are the first step of recovery for abused and abandoned animals. As a foster parent you’ll help the pet with any training they might need, help them recover from any health issues they may have from being abused and/or neglected, you’ll learn their personality which will help the rescue find the right home for them and most important – you’ll give that pet the love and care they may have never had before!
  • Fostering keeps animals out of shelters and saves lives! This is so important because throughout the United States animal shelters are overrun with abandoned animals and many are euthanized for lack of space. By you giving a pet a temporary home, you are not only saving that pet’s life, but you are allowing space in shelters to save more lives too!
  • You can be specific about how you want to foster and what you want to foster. Only want to foster adult dogs? Only want to foster litters of kittens? Want to foster a specific breed? Are you only available to foster a few months a year? That’s all okay! Most rescues and shelters are willing to work with your requests and there are plenty of pets that need foster homes!
  • By fostering a pet you’ll give your own pets better social skills and it’s an opportunity to see if you’re ready for another pet. Foster Failure anyone? Sometimes you’ll foster an animal and just fall in love; some fosters end up adopting in the end.
  • Animal rescues and shelters will cover the cost of medical expenses for foster pets and even help with or provide pet food so it won’t impact your own personal budget!

If you would like to foster an abandoned pet, reach out to your favorite local shelter or animal rescue and fill out an application to get started! Our next blog post will be about how to prepare yourself and your home for fostering pets. Stay tuned…

Selecting the Right Collar for your Dog

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Selecting the Right Collar for your Dog

Unless you take your dog to doggy day care, you may not realize that quick release or breakaway collars are the best option for your dogs. Many of us grew up with the buckle type collars but these can be very dangerous and doggy day care will require quick release collars for this reason.

Buckle type collars have caused many preventable deaths from choking. Dogs can become entangled with one another as they play and dogs can even hang themselves on a fence if they are jumpers. With a quick release collar you don’t have to worry about finding a pair of scissors to cut the collar before they choke to death. If the dog happens to get caught up on the fence, their weight will hopefully cause the collar to break open and release them.

You might be worried about those strong dogs and pullers when walking with a quick release collar. You must think of their collar as the way to be identified with an I.D. tag and for no other use. Dogs should be walked on harnesses, not with collars, as any type of collar can cause injury to a pet if they suddenly or consistently pull. Look into the variety of harnesses available at your local pet store, we suggest using a harness that has the leash attachment at the chest to make walking more manageable.

For questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

– Brenda

10 Signs You Need to Hire a Pet Sitter:

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

10 Signs You Need to Hire a Pet Sitter:

Hiring a pet sitter might seem a little scary at first, letting someone into your home to care for and snuggle your pet, but really, it makes your life easier and makes your pet happier. Here are ten signs you need to hire a pet sitter, do any of them sound familiar?

Every time you see your neighbor they politely say, ‘is your dog okay? Whenever you’re gone at work it sounds like something is wrong.’ In other words – your dog is bored and barking all day.

  1. As you pull into the driveway you wonder what part of the couch your dog chewed up today and how big of a stuffing massacre you’ll be dealing with. Yup, your dog is bored and needs some attention.
  2. While your cat welcomes you at the door you glance around to see how many presents he left for you while you were gone. Yeah it’s a cat thing, but I’d be stopping by earlier in the day to give him some love and clean up any messes.
  3. By the time you’ve helped the kids with their homework, made dinner, cleaned up and put the kids to bed, Fido is still standing by the door holding his leash and you are ready to collapse. This is a great opportunity for me to come by during the day and take him for his daily walk.
  4. Every time you take your pet to the vet the doctor reminds you that your pet needs to lose some weight, and most recently he stressed the REALLY part. I’ll come by a few times a week or even Monday through Friday and make sure they get their exercise!
  5. You have 2+ dogs and can’t handle walking them all at once and don’t have the time to take them for individual walks. I can come by and give each one a walk every afternoon!
  6. Your boss is making you stay late but you can’t concentrate on work because all you can think about is your dog starving to death, making a mess and otherwise feeling really neglected. Shoot me a text and I’ll drop by and take care of your pet.
  7. You keep using the excuse that you have your pets to take care of every time your mom asks you to visit her or your friends invite you away for the weekend. I’ll take care of your pets – go enjoy some time away! You know your mom has offered to pay for plane tickets like 10 times!
  8. You keep taking staycations with your spouse/partner because you’re so worried about what you would do with your pets and your house! See solution from #8 – that’s my job!
  9. Really your pet could use some love, attention and exercise during the day – need I say more?

I offer FREE initial consultations, which gives us a great opportunity to meet, for you to introduce me to your pet and talk about expectations. Give me a call, shoot me a text or email me to set up your FREE consultation.

Brenda French

303-910-0013

pawtenders@comcast.net

Pet Food Quality

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Pet Food Quality

With so many lawsuits, recalls and sick or dead dogs from pet food over the last few years, I think it is important to talk a little about pet food quality. Just like selecting quality products for yourself and using the appropriate gas to fuel your car so that you don’t have issues later on, choosing quality pet food is very important for the health and lifespan of your pet.

I won’t suggest specific brands, but will give you some tips about finding the right one to fit the needs of your pet and hopefully your budget. The main thing to be selective about, are the top ingredients in any pet food. Those first ingredients listed will always be what the food mainly consists of. The ingredients listed at the end are very minimal and aren’t going to benefit your pet all that much, except with regards to vitamins and minerals.

The first thing to look for is a high-quality protein in the first few listed ingredients.  According to The Dog Food Project, consumers should consider ‘all the initial ingredients up to and including the first added fat be considered “the main ingredients”.’ If an easily digestible protein isn’t a main ingredient and corn or soy fillers or byproduct meals are, then you don’t want that product.

After you find a few brands that look like they provide quality food, do some research on the manufacturers.  Check out their websites, any marketing materials and studies of their food. Be sure to get some outside opinions as well with studies from other sources. Check for a guaranteed analysis of their product and relevant ingredient information – all of which shouldn’t be difficult to find.

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a food you really like, buy a bag and give it a trial run with your pet. See if they consistently like it, if it makes them sick or not and be sure to give it 2-4 weeks as issues can take some time to come up.

For more important information about finding the right quality dog food for your pet and for pet food recalls, visit The Dog Food Project. Click here.

http://www.dogfoodproject.com/