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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Let’s go for a ride!

“Let’s go for a ride, Lucky?” Are these words music to your dog’s ears? Or does the thought of getting in the car frighten your pooch? Some dogs only experience a car ride to go to the vet, so they may associate the car ride with something scary instead of something exciting. If you are planning to take a road trip with your canine friend, there are a few things you can do to guarantee your dog enjoys a stress-free ride.

Before the road trip, it is important to start getting your new rider or anxious dog used to the car. First off, simply let your dog get in and out of the car while it’s parked. Reward him with treats for his attempts. Once he is comfortable with just being in the car, turn on the engine and let him continue to get in and out until he is at ease. Then take him for a short ride. You may want to introduce a doggie seat or seat belt system at this time. This could make him feel secure, but also will make sure he is still and isn’t free to roam the car and cause any distractions. The seat would also protect him if you are in a car accident. You may even want to consider a carrier or crate. Once he is alright with the short ride, take him for a ride to a place he will enjoy like the dog park or pet store. He will now associate positive experiences with the car ride.

Even if your dog loves car rides, you will want to keep a few other things in mind for all dogs. Never leave your dog unattended in the car for a long period of time; and if you do leave them in the car for a few minutes, be sure to leave the windows cracked. Make sure your dog is wearing his identification. Refrain from feeding your dog or allowing them to drink excessively before the onset of your trip, at least for a couple of hours to be safe. Some dogs can begin to feel sick from a car ride. Sometime simply cracking the car window will begin to circulate the air and prevent your dog from feeling ill. If you notice your dog is frequently experiencing motion sickness, you may want to contact your veterinarian for possible remedies. Also, be sure to have your dog go to the bathroom before loading into the car and stop for breaks often on long rides so he can relieve himself and stretch out a bit. You may want to research the pet-friendly stops available on your route.

Whether your dog is the anxious type or loves the car, keeping these few things in mind, along with a little preparation prior to taking that road trip together, will ensure that you both experience a wonderful vacation.

Thinking about your first exotic pet?

Thinking about buying or adopting your first exotic pet? There are many types of exotic pets, each kind having their individual needs; so it’s important to do your homework before you take on the commitment.

Where to start

First and foremost, check your state laws pertaining to buying or keeping the exotic animals. Once you know which exotic animals are allowed to be pets, it’s time to start looking for your new friend. Check with your local animal shelter and humane society to see what pets need a new home. You can also check with pet stores and breeders.

Is this the right pet for you?

Don’t get an animal on an impulse. Be sure to research which pet fits your current, and long-term, living situation. Bearded dragons, guinea pigs, leopard geckos, rabbits, rats are exotic pets that may be appropriate for homes with children. Whatever pet you choose, you need to make sure you are prepared to provide appropriate environmental conditions, housing and diet for an exotic animal.

Caring for your pet

Be sure there is a veterinary facility in your area that specializes in treating your new pet. Also, remember that medical treatment for an exotic animal may be significantly higher than for a more conventional pet. To make sure the pet’s transition into your home is as smooth as possible, have all housing and feeding supplies ready before you bring the pet home.

Being well informed will help you to choose the right pet for you and being well prepared will help your new pet enjoy its new home.

upset tummy :(

Has your dog been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea for a few days? If it has only happened for a day or two, it most likely means that your pet ate spoiled food or something he isn’t use to eating, but it could also be a sign of an infection. On the other hand, long lasting and frequent vomiting episodes may be caused by long-term exposure to foods or other irritants, but it could possibly indicate something serious like a disease or problems with internal organs.

On the look out

It’s time to try to pinpoint the problem. Try to recall if you fed your dog something new recently. Check around the house to see if you notice if he has taken any bites out of house plants. Take notice if your dog vomits right after eating. Look for other signs of illness in addition to the upset stomach, such as a fever of 102 or higher, weight loss, pain, or acting lethargic.

What to do

First and foremost you will want to keep your dog hydrated with liquids containing electrolytes and vitamins. If you have come to the conclusion that it wasn’t a new food that caused the upset stomach and it is on-going, you will want to contact your veterinarian so that he may suggest a home remedy or have you come into the office so that he can determine the underlying cause of the vomiting and a treatment plan. He may suggest you give your dog an antidiarrheal or antacid. Or for a more natural remedy eating grass from the yard may be suggested to make your pet throw up whatever may be making them ill. Another suggestion may be feeding you dog rice or banana baby food. The vet may suggest you refrain from feeding your dog and simply keeping him hydrated with until he can be seen within 24 hours.

No one likes feel under the weather, including your pet. Vomiting and/or diarrhea could be a sign of a food change or something much worse. Any signs of an upset stomach will send you on a hunt to find the problem, which may require assistance from your pet’s vet, and provide treatment to help him to a speedy recovery.

pool party

Your neighbor is having a pool party and has invited the whole family, including the family dog. Not all dogs like the water, but there are a few safety precautions to take if you have a pool or will be taking your pet around one.

  • If it’s your pet’s use of a pool, you may want to ease them into the pool by holding him tightly as you use the steps to walk into the pool and then wade through the water getting him wet a little at a time. Your pet will automatically start “doggie paddling” once in the water. It will be important to show him to use his back legs as well so that he doesn’t become tired too fast. Then it would be best to let him try to swim to the exit. Do this until you feel the dog is comfortable in the water.
  • It is important to show your pet where the steps are located before he gets in. lt is wise to mark the steps with a tall plant or umbrella to help him easily spot the area. Your dog may panic once he finds himself in the middle of the pool alone and you may need to remind him where the steps; but you may need to throw in a safety floatation device to climb onto or grab onto to help make them feel safe. If the pool does not have steps, you may want to purchase a ramp.
  • It is important that you never leave your pet unsupervised around water. Train your dog to “wait” or “stay” at the pool steps until they have permission to enter. Since many people may be in the pool at one time, teaching you dog to wait will ensure that he doesn’t put himself or others in danger when entering the pool.
  • The pool deck may be hard and hot on your dog’s paws. You may want to place water shoes on your dog’s paws to protect them.
  • Keep plenty of fresh water available for your dog to drink to discourage him from drinking too much pool water. Ingesting too much chlorine can be harmful. The pool chemicals can also be harmful to their skin and coat, so it important to bathe or rinse your dog after swimming.
  • Frequent “potty breaks” will also be important to ensure that your dog doesn’t relieve himself in the pool. Pool guests will surely appreciate this.

With a little training and a few safety precautions your dog will have a fun and safe time at the pool party.