Fall and your Furry Friends

Barbie-Walking-in-Park-150x150Fall is a wonderful time of year for you and your pets. You can get outdoors to enjoy the beautiful changing leaves and crisp autumn air. The holidays are just on the horizon, and change seems to be ringing in the air. But with all the change of leaves and seasons, it’s important to remember that things are changing in your pet’s environment as well. Here are some good things to keep in mind as we move in to the fall season.

Antifreeze:

As more people winterize their cars, there will be a lot more antifreeze around. This chemical is toxic to animals if ingested. Unfortunately, antifreeze comes with a sweet aroma that tends to attract pets with inquisitive noses and tongues. Protect your pet by keeping antifreeze tightly sealed and wiped down. Clean up any spills, and do not dispose of antifreeze by pouring it outside in the yard, gutter, or street.

Rodent poison:

Rat and other rodent poison becomes a more common threat in the fall. As the weather turns colder, more critters seek out warm places to hide in garages and houses, so homeowners are more likely to put out rodent poison. This poison is equally toxic to pets and, because it’s designed to be attractive to rodents, it also ends up being palatable and attractive to pets as well.

If you have a rodent problem, you may consider using an alternative to poison, simply to protect your pet. Even enclosed poison dispensers are not completely pet-proof.

Communicate with your neighbors about whether they are using a rodent pesticide. If you know that a neighbor is using rodent poison, you can take greater care to keep your pet out of that yard. Additionally, you can monitor your pet and watch for signs of possible poisoning, whether primary or secondary. Primary means your pet ingested the poison directly. Secondary means that your pet has ingested a rodent that has been poisoned.

Shedding:

Fall mean your pet will be shedding his or her summer coat in order to make way for a thicker winter coat. Keep this in mind in your grooming habits for your pet. You can brush and comb your pet more often in the shedding months. This will encourage a healthy winter coat and will help to keep the hair in the brush and not on the couch, carpet, floor, clothes, and everywhere else!

Warm Car Engines:

Your car engine becomes a little haven of warmth in the fall and winter months. Even a short trip can warm it up enough to be enticing to animals that are looking for a nice bit of shelter.

Last winter my husband and I were surprised to come out and hear the car engine meowing. A little kitten had crawled up into the undercarriage and was huddled against the engine block. It took an hour and a lot of coaxing to get her out. We’re just glad that she was meowing up a storm, otherwise we wouldn’t have known she was there and could have taken her on a scary ride, or worse.

If you have a cat, it’s a good idea to know where she’s at before you fire up the car engine. In general, it could be good to give your hood a thump or honk the car horn before starting your engine, especially if your engine is still warm from a previous trip. That way you will hopefully clear out any accidental stowaways.

As a side note, clothing dryers can also be a hiding spot for warmth-seeking pets. Check your dryer before loading and running it.

Mushrooms:

You may start to see more mushrooms in the fall and spring months. Protect your pet from accidental mushroom poisoning by making sure your pet is not in areas where mushrooms are very common. Clear out any mushrooms you see growing in your yard.

Hibernating Snakes:

As it gets colder, snakes will begin to find places to hibernate. Some of these spots will be in locations that your pet can access. A curious pet and a lethargic snake are not a good mix. Your pet may poke and prod the snake until, rather than fleeing as it would if it had more energy, the snake may strike out and bite.

Allergies:

Fall is a time for seasonal allergies to strike humans and pets alike. Your pet may show signs of skin irritation as well as respiratory or ear and eye allergies. If you notice that your pet scratches and bites her skin, develops red patches, hair loss, or scabs on the skin, she may be having seasonal skin allergies. Additionally, certain allergens may affect your pet’s ears, nose, eyes, or mouth. Watch for redness, irritation, watering, coughing, or sneezing. Consult your veterinarian to determine the cause of your pet’s allergies and the proper treatment.

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Races to Run with your Dog in Georgia

So we’ve been talking a lot about New Year’s goals and, in particular, the goal of getting fit. When you’re a dog owner, you have the added motivation to get fit with your pet so you can both stay happy and healthy. It’s also great to have a workout partner who is always ready to go on a good jog.

While dogs will often run just for the joy of it, their human counterparts might need more incentive to lace up their shoes and hit the pavement. A great way to add focus and direction to your running regimen is to sign up for a race. The good news is there is a race to fit everyone, no matter what level runner you might be. Even better, there are races that welcome runners of both the two-legged and four-legged types. Here in Georgia there are plenty of races throughout the year to run with your dog.

Below are some of the fun options in areas near you. These races specifically invite owners to bring along their canine companions as running partners. The wonderful thing about running in pet-friendly races is that the proceeds of the race often go to pet-related causes, so you’re not only having a great time with your pet but you’re also giving to cause that will mean a lot to you as an animal lover. Check out additional information on the races’ respective websites to find out about registration, locations and directions, and how to qualify for a race by meeting special requirements for dogs and owners.

Run with the Dogs: Frostbite 5K
Date: January 10, 2015
Location: Decatur
Time: 9:00 AM
More information: http://www.rungeorgia.com/runwiththedogs.html

Come out to support the local high school and middle school. This family-friendly 5K invites all family members, furry and otherwise, to come out and brave the cold for either a run or brisk walk. Proceeds support the sports programs at Decatur High School and Renfroe Middle School.

5th Annual Dog Gone Cold 5K run/walk
Date: January 31, 2015
Location: Augusta
Time: 9:30 AM for the 1 mile fun run
10:00 AM for the 5K
More information: hopefulhounds/org/DogGoneCold5k.html

Sponsored by Hopeful Hounds, Inc., a local non-profit focused on improving pet wellbeing and care, this wintry run invites owners and dogs alike to run for a good cause.
2015 Georgia SPCA Run for the Rescues
Date: March 28, 2015
Location: Suwanee Town Center
Time: 8:30 AM for the Fun Run
9:15 AM for the 5K
More information: run4rescues.georgiaspca.org

In March the Georgia SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) will hold their 4th annual Run for the Rescues 5K, fun run, and festival. This event raises awareness and funds to benefit homeless pets. Come ready for lots of fun. In addition to the run there will be contests (pet/owner look-alikes, longest tail, tallest, shortest, best tricks, etc.), prizes, and lots of entertainment for everyone.

2015 Atlanta Dog Jog
Date: May 2, 2015
Location: Piedmont Park, Atlanta
Time: 9:00 AM for the one mile walk/run
9:30 AM for the 5K walk/run
More information: atlantadogjog.org

This event is presented by VetHeart of Georgia (formerly the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Foundation). The organization opens up the proceeds of the run to worthy beneficiaries. In 2014, benefits from the race went to Canine Assistants, a non-profit group that serves both children and adults with disabilities by raising, breeding, and training dogs to assist them.
Run Your Happy Tails Off!
Date: October 2015
Location: TBD
Time: TBD
More information: Check the website in spring 2015 for information about the 2015 race. Website: runyourhappytailsoff.com.

This dog-friendly 5K and fun run kicked off its very first event in October of 2014. The proceeds of the event were used to support the organization Happy Trails Pet Therapy. This group is made up of volunteers and their pets who make therapy visits to those in need of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive healing and assistance. The 2014 event went so well that the race looks to be back on track for 2015. Dates and times for the next race will be posted on the website in spring of 2015.

This is just a handful of the possibilities. Check out the listings in your area and find out if there is a pet-friendly race near you. You can also check the rules for other races to find out if dogs are welcome.

So as you’re setting your resolutions for this year, why not set a goal to run a race with your dog? You might like it so much that you’ll do it again before the year is through!

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My Dog and Chocolate: Some Preventative Ideas

Like us, some dogs seem to be irresistibly drawn to chocolate. If Fido finds a stray candy bar or noses his way into the chocolate chips in the pantry, he can’t seem to help consuming as much of that chocolaty goodness as possible. However, unlike our chocolate binges, which might result in a guilt trip or a renewed dieting plan, a dog’s chocolate binges can end up in the pet ER.

Dog Proofing and Protection

We can do a lot to keep our pets from consuming chocolate. Dog-proof your kitchen by storing chocolate chips and other ingredients in sealed containers and keeping them on high shelves. Practice extra-awareness when you have chocolate treats out on the counters and tables. Something as simple as placing the brownies at the center of the table instead of on the edge can make a difference. Store the chocolate cake or other chocolate goods in the refrigerator instead of on the counter where they could be more accessible. Remind visitors that your pet should not have chocolate, especially if your pet has a penchant for begging for food from unsuspecting guests. In the end, the best insurance is to have someone around who can check on your dog. If you are at home throughout the day, you can be aware of what your pet is getting into. If you are not able to supervise your pet regularly, make sure he doesn’t have free reign in an area where chocolate (or other hazards) are readily available. Finally, if you have a pet sitter who visits during the day, show them around your house so they can also be aware of where the hazards are. If they find Fido in the kitchen looking guilty, they’ll be able to pinpoint the problem faster if they know what was in the ransacked cupboard.

Holidays

Remember that chocolate abounds around the holidays, and these days, chocolate-celebrated holidays come around just about every month. From Halloween to New Years there seems to be chocolate everywhere. Easter is also a hot time for chocolate consumption, for humans and animals alike, since there’s a higher likelihood of your pet coming across a candy egg in the neighborhood. Do your best to pinpoint chocolate and put it out of the reach of your pets. This could mean some present sniffing and shaking for any packages you receive from friends and family. If something could be food, its best to put it high up and out of reach. If you have small children with Halloween stashes, for their sake and your dog’s, ask your kiddos to put their candy out of Fido’s reach. No one wants a kid with a pillaged Halloween stash and a dog with a serious chocolate and candy wrapper condition.

Sources of Chocolate

As mentioned above, your house will probably see an influx of chocolate around the holidays. Sweets like chocolate bunnies or chocolate hearts pose one type of threat since they also come in plastic, cardboard, or foil packages, all of which your dog might ingest. Halloween candy can also fit under this category. Another common source of chocolate is baking and food ingredients: chocolate chips, baking chocolate (normally sold in large blocks), cocoa powder, chocolate liqueur, etc. Finally, an unusual source of chocolate or chocolate products is cocoa shell-based mulches in landscaping. This type of mulch may be popular in your area (after all, who doesn’t want a yard that smells like chocolate?), so be prepared for the possibility of encountering it on your walks. While your dog probably won’t be too inclined to eat mulch, it’s best to be aware. If you are doing landscaping of your own, you may find pet-friendly cocoa bean shell mulch in your store. Most likely this mulch has been treated to remove or neutralize the chemical theobromine, which is the caffeine-like chemical in chocolate that is harmful to your dog. Or you could always opt for a non-cocoa bean mulch.

Planning

While you hope that it will never happen, it’s always best to plan for the worst. Despite all your best efforts, sometimes your pet will still find his way to an alluring piece of chocolate. If this happens, it is always best to plan ahead and have all the information you need to get your pet set with timely an appropriate treatment. Read the next post “My Dog Ate Chocolate. Now What Do I Do?” to learn more about how to respond in a chocolate poisoning situation.

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Dog Tips: Keeping Cool When It Gets Hot

party-3-300x200“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

If you’re human, this wise advice is actually hard to follow since our bodies are made to sweat. We get rid of body heat by the process of evaporation. We pretty much have a built-in AC system. However, if you’re canine, you’re really great at not sweating things because, hey, you actually can’t sweat that well at all!

While we are equipped with sweat glands all over our bodies, dogs actually only have a few sweat glands in their paws. Their main method for keeping cool is to pant. Dogs use their lungs for evaporative cooling. Body heat is drawn into the air in the lungs and then is expelled when the dog breathes out. This cooling process is helped along by saliva in the mouth, which cools down as air passes over it. This cooling process isn’t as efficient as ours since the evaporative surface area of our skin is so much bigger than the evaporative surface area in our dogs’ lungs. Canines with short snouts, or those who are overweight or old, have an even harder time keeping cool since their panting can be obstructed or limited.

So this summer, as the temperatures start to climb, lend your dog a paw in keeping safe and cool by following these tips and reminders.

Water, water, water.

Hydration is very important for your pet. All that panting will dry them out. Cool water will also help lower your dog’s interior temperature.

Avoid the heat of the day.

If you’re going on walks with your dog, or if you’re going out to play, try to go early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not so direct.

Avoid high-heat areas.

A dog absorbs heat in the pads of the feet, the legs, and the underbelly. Your dog is also closer to the ground than you are and so he’s likely to experience the brunt of the heat radiating from the ground. On your walks, try to avoid the surfaces that radiate the most heat, like dark asphalt. This applies even after the hottest part of the day has past, since asphalt can stay warm all the way in to the evening.

Watch out for humid days.

High humidity makes it even harder for dogs to cool down since it limits the evaporation process. If a dog is panting in hot and humid air, it won’t pull out the dog’s body heat through the lungs. Monitor your dog’s temperature on particularly humid days.

Don’t leave you pet in the car.

When it gets really hot outside, it’s not enough to simply crack a window to keep the car cool while you’re in the store. If you wouldn’t be happy sitting in the car with the AC off, then you can be sure your dog won’t like it either.

Make some shade.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure he always has access to shade. Check your yard throughout the day to see how trees and structures cast shadows in your area. If you don’t have sufficient shade, a doghouse or constructed awning can help. It may be useful to know that one reason dogs dig holes is so they can have a cool place to be. If your dog is digging, that might be a sign that he’s feeling too hot.

Stay trim but don’t shave.

Although they seem hot (and they probably are) dogs’ coats are also a protection against sunburn and scorching. A well-groomed and trimmed coat will allow air to circulate across the skin, but a matted coat will trap heat close to the body.

Try other things to keep cool.

Fill a kiddie pool with water and let your dog go wild. If you’re in a park with a lake that your dog can play in, let ‘em at it.

Soak a towel in cold water and let your dog lie on it. This will get the cool temperature to your dog’s skin faster and better than putting a towel over your dog’s back, where their fur is the thickest.

Signs of an overheated dog.

An overheated dog will pant and drool excessively and may show difficulty in breathing. He might seem weak, dizzy, or lethargic and will be slow to respond to commands. More severe signs of heatstroke will include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and collapse. Take your dog to the vet immediately if this occurs.

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Perfect Road Trip with your Pet

It is summer! The sun is out, the beach is beckoning, and the open road is calling you. Whether you’re taking advantage of summer vacation to go out and make some memories, or you’re taking a cross-country trip or move, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your trip a success for you and your pet.

Consider the options

Before taking your pet with you on a trip, consider your options and know your own pet’s behavior and preferences. Is your pet prone to severe carsickness? Does your pet have a difficult time coping with change? Is your destination pet-safe and pet-friendly? Although it is wonderful to have man’s best friend along for the trip, if it isn’t necessary for your pet to come along, consider setting up an alternative solution, such as a kennel (where your dog can get the socialization and attention he needs), or a pet sitter (so your dog, cat, or other pet can remain in the familiar comfort of home while still getting one-on-one play time and care from a friend).

If you know you do want your pet along for the ride (you’re going for a weekend to the beach or the lake, or perhaps you’re moving from one state to the next, or even across the country) these tips will help you stay safe and happy for the ride.

Before the Trip

Prepare a home away from home.

Everyone feels comforted by some familiarity. Bring along your pet’s favorite toys, your pet’s bedding, and something that smells like home (a blanket or a shirt or sweater you’ve recently worn). Set these items up in a special pet spot that is designated specifically for your pet. Remember, pets like to have their own space too!

Consider crate training

Another step toward making a comfy zone for your pet is to get them a crate. Crates are great for traveling pets because it gives them the security of an enclosed, safe place. Crates are also great for you because they create a barrier between you and your pet, allowing you to drive without so much distraction. Prior to a trip, take the time to crate train your pet. Put the crate in your car and introduce your pet to it. Let them explore and sniff it out. Spend time every day in the crate, working up to the point where your pet willingly enters the crate and lets you close the door and walk away without putting up a fuss. Start to take short car trips with your pet in their crate. This will help them transition to a much longer car trip. When crate training, remember that attitude is key. If you don’t treat the crate like a prison, your pet will be less likely to see it that way.

Plan your packing

Plan carefully for the items that you’ll need to bring for your pet. Bring more than enough food to cover the length of your trip (don’t get caught without your pet’s specific preferred brand of food away from home. Remember, brands can change as you travel across the country). Also bring a good supply of treats. Remember any medications your pet needs (especially those he may take on a monthly basis, such as topical flea treatments and others). If your pet is sensitive to change, bring bottled water from home for drinking and gradually mix in greater proportions of the water in your new location. Invest in a spill-proof bowl and other items that will help your car to stay clean (such as a back seat cover and extra bags to dispose of waste at rest stops). Be sure in your choice of toys that if you bring a noise-making toy that you’ll be ready to listen to it for much of the trip.

Pet-friendly?

Double check that the accommodations you’ve arranged are pet friendly. Call before you reserve if you’re not sure
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On the trip

Burning off the energy.
Right before you go, and right after you arrive at your destination, be ready to help your pet burn off energy. A brisk walk or run before a trip will get your dog’s energy out and it can also help you to clear your head and stay more alert on the road. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, remember that while you may be tired, your dog probably won’t be after keeping still for so long. Be prepared with a game, find a park nearby, or take another walk to keep your dog happy.

Take a break!

Give your pet and yourself the luxury of lots of breaks. For an extended trip, try to stop at least every two hours. This will keep everyone comfortable and will give your pet chances to relieve himself.

Where to eat?

Many establishments will not allow you to bring your pet inside. Plan ahead for meals by bringing food or getting take-out food that you can eat outdoors, maybe in a nearby park. This will prevent you from having to leave your pet alone in the car, which is not recommended, especially in warm areas.

A timely snack

If you’re looking for ways to keep your dog or cat occupied on a car trip, try giving him a toy that combines food and a puzzle. One of the most popular toys of this variety is the Kong toy, which is a hollow, rounded toy made of hard, pliable material. You stash food and treats inside and then let your pet try to figure out how to get the food out again.

See more at – https://www.2pawsupinc.com

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In Snellville Georgia Don’t Let Your Dog Become A Statistic Be Prepared Before Your Dog Is Lost

The Statistics Of Lost Pets

Our-Service-Area-1-768x512Did you know that a family pet is lost every 2 seconds, only 1 in 10pets are found, and 10 million plus pets are lost each year?

These statistics are sobering. It’s easy to understand why our shelters continue to be full of so many missing pets. Each day in my Facebook feed I see all the posts of lost dogs. I find this very troubling. Recently, on Nextdoor a pet was lost, and a few days later it was reported found. However, it was not a happy ending. It’s was comforting to know how loving we all are. So many people commented how sorry they were for their loss. When we lose a pet, it’s just as traumatic as losing a relative or friend, and sometimes even more so.

Lost Dog and How It Happens

How It Happens

There are a variety of ways a dog becomes lost or missing.

  • Theft of an unattended dog in your yard,  in your car, or outside of a store.
  • Loud and sudden noises can frighten dogs to run, hide, jump or dig out of a fence.
  • Getting separated from their owner or caretaker during their walk.
  • A broken or too-low a fence, an open or unattended door or unlocked gate.
  • Traveling or vacationing in an unknown area and they wander off. Dogs can cover miles in a short amount of time.
  • Intentionally displaced or released.

Lost Dog Prevention

Lost Dog Prevention

How can you keep your dog safe and protected if they get lost?

  • Crate the dog or place them in a secure room, so they won’t run out the door if you are having a party or family gatherings or during fireworks.
  • Use a properly fitted collar with current identification.
  • Microchip and keep the pets information current and updated. An idea would be to list your pet sitter or dog walker as another contact person to notify.
  • If you have a dog, who loves to dig or a great jumper of fences you might want to use a tracking device.
  • Employ a dog trainer or dog behaviorist for recall response.
  • Use DNA Genotyping: a unique “paw print” of your pet’s identity.

2 Paws Up Inc Pet SittingDog Walking, and Dog Training would be happy to talk more with you about this topic. We would also like to hear your story about your lost dog, and how you were reunited with your dog.

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Snellville Dog Trainer: Can I Teach My Dog Not To Jump On People?

Is this your dog when visitors come to your home? They perform the happy dance, leaping and jumping. Does this happen all the time, and do you find it escalating?  If so then read more…

How To Teach Your Dog Not To Jump On People

Depositphotos_1508646_s-2015-Dog-Jumping-Up.jpg

  1. Start by teaching your dog how to greet you when you come home. Give your pup the sit and stay command. A great idea would be to place a small mat near the front door. Your dog will learn that this is the mat where they sit to greet your visitors.
  2. Once your dog is sitting and behaving politely, you can greet the dog with gentle petting, and speak in a calm voice. The idea is to teach your dog how to greet you, then teach your dog how to behave when anyone comes to the door. Training requires consistent daily practice for your dog to learn it. It will become easier as long as you consistently practice.
  3. You can practice this many times by going out and coming back inside. This will help to reinforce what you are teaching your dog. Dogs learn in short increments. Most dogs love to be trained and love the attention.
  4. If you have a dog that spends most of the day in the yard, you can still teach them to do this when they enter the house. Place the mat by the door they use to enter the home. Be sure to wait until they sit on the mat to be greeted or given the command to come in and make themselves at home.
  5. You will need to be patient and stick with the training every time the dog comes in. This training might be harder with a dog who has a lot of energy. It may feel like a lesson in patience. Be patient; good things come to those that wait.
  6. Over time your dog will learn to enter the house in a calm and civilized manner. Your dog will learn that when you come home, they are to greet you by sitting at the door patiently, and not doing the happy dance, or jumping up.
  7. Now, you can start with one to two people coming over. Have your friends give a friendly knock on the door or ring the doorbell, then get your dog to sit on the mat in a greeting position near the door. Do not open the door until your dog is calm and in the sitting position. No matter how long it takes, it more important that they do it right. Be sure to praise your dog when he or she gets it right.
  8. As your friends enter the home, the dog must remain in a calm sit position. Once the dog is calmly sitting, you may have your friend pet your dog and talk with a calm, soothing voice. Let your dog sniff your guest; then your friend can have a seat. At this point, your dog can join you in the living room with your guest. You may want to try this first with your patient, loving dog friends!

The Key Is Patience And Consistent

Whatever you do, please be patient and consistent with your dog until it becomes conditioned with them. If you would like additional help, 2 Paws Up Inc Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, and Dog Training have a dog trainer on staff who has 16 plus years of experience in dog training and behavioral dog training.

Questions? Leave them in the comments below or call 770-695-3096!

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