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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Five Ways Puppy Dogs Makes Everything Better (Including You)

puppy play

It’s National Puppy Day! Puppies are like little balls of furry therapy for the soul. They’re cute and cuddly, but they’re also mischievous and sometimes destructive as they go about learning the ways of the world. Good training, good nutrition, lots of exercise and playtime with not only help turn your puppy into a great dog, but can also help you become healthier and happier!

Puppy dogs are good for your mood
Research shows that petting your puppy dog for just 15 minutes a day spurs your brain to release “feel good” hormones like serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, while reducing stress hormones like cortisol, which controls appetite and can cause cravings for carbohydrates. Another great side effect? Lower blood pressure!

Puppy dogs are good for your health
Getting out and about with your pup is good for you both. Walking your puppy dog or going to the dog park are fun activities that can help you get regular exercise, lose weight and become more social.

Puppy dogs can help reduce your risk for diabetes
People who get up, get outside and take a walk regularly with their pooches have one-third the risk of diabetes than people who don’t own and walk a dog.

Puppy dogs are good for children and teens, too
Children with experience caring for a dog have higher levels of empathy and self-esteem than children without pet dogs. In addition, Swedish researchers determined that children who are exposed to pets during their first year of life have fewer allergies and less asthma than those from non-pet owning families. A University of Virginia study also found that teens from dog-owning families are more physically active than those whose families don’t own a pet dog.

Older dog owners require fewer trips to the doctor
While raising and training a puppy can be too much of a handful for some older folks, dogs make wonderful companions for the elderly, and can help ease their feelings of loneliness and isolation while improving their overall health. According to a UCLA study among the elderly population, dog owners require 20 percent less medical care than non-dog owners.

Easter is Coming – Why Chicks, Ducklings & Bunnies Are NOT Good Gifts

Ah, springtime. Warmer weather, blooms bursting forth from the ground and trees – it’s earth’s ways of celebrating new life. Springtime also brings traditional Easter celebrations. Sadly, a few weeks later, shelters are left to deal with thousands upon thousands of abandoned animals.

How does this happen? In addition to spring litters from unaltered cats and dogs crowding animal shelters, too many ill-informed people make the decision that the baby chick, duckling or bunny will make the cutest Easter gift EVER.

While bringing an animal into your family can be a wonderful thing, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly – and no matter how cute, baby animals are not meant to be living Easter displays – something many quickly find out after the fact. Sadly, most of these Easter animals will end up abandoned after a few weeks. In fact, around 80 percent of rabbits found in shelters were Easter gifts. Most will end up being euthanized. Not a very good message to send, is it?

While rabbits can be wonderful pets, they require mature, responsible owners. They are NOT good with children, and they require almost as much work as a dog. They must be housetrained. Rabbits love to chew things, so the house must also be bunny-proofed or they will chew through electrical cords, furniture, baseboards, books, rugs and other items. They must also be spayed or neutered lest they mark the house with urine and feces, or worse – give birth to another litter of little ones. Chicks and ducklings also grow quickly and require a lot of care.

If you are certain you want and can care for a new pet bunny, chicken or duck, that’s wonderful – but please, please, wait until after Easter – remember, there is never a shortage of adoptable pets. In the meantime, go for the stuffed variety.

March 14 blog

Reducing Stress of Visits to the Vet – Canine Edition

at the vetRegular wellness check-ups are important to keeping our furry friends healthier longer, but it’s well known that visiting the vet can be a stressful event. With a bit of knowledge and preparation, there are many things you can do to help make these trips to the vet easier for everyone – especially your pooch.

• Make social trips to the vet’s office to get your pup used to the people and the place – but remember to call ahead to see if they have the time for a quick visit!

• If your dog is smaller and uses a carrier in the car, be sure to incorporate it into their daily life – don’t save it solely for trips to the vet or they’ll have a bad association.

• Make sure your dog can stand, sit, and turn around comfortably inside their carrier – you wouldn’t want to feel like you’re being restrained, would you?

• Include a favorite blanket or towel from home inside their carrier – the familiar smell of home can help calm your pet.

• Look for calming pheromone-based scent sprays for animals that you can use in the carrier and around your home during stressful times.

• Give your dog a regular head to toe examination at home along with plenty of loving words and treats as you go along – it helps them get used to being touched and handled, and gives you a chance to catch any changes early.

• While smaller dogs are used to being picked up and carried, most large dogs are only lifted at vet visits, which can make it stressful for them. Get your dog used to being picked up, leaned over or held onto by incorporating it into play, grooming and petting.

• Take your dog along on short car rides that DON’T end at the vet’s office – getting them used to being in the car can make a world of difference in their behavior.

• Animals can pick up on your moods and anxiety so remember to remain calm, and speak to your dog in soothing tones. You can also play soothing music during car rides.

• If your dog is especially nervous, fearful or injured, consider using a muzzle to keep them from snapping or biting the vet. Even the gentlest of animals can bite if they are hurt, scared or in pain.

• Despite best efforts, some animals will never get used to going to the vet. In these cases, speak to your vet about a gentle sedative you can give your dog before visits.

So when is the last time your dog got a health check up? If the answer isn’t within the last six months, then it’s time to give us a call. We promise your pet will be treated like our own.

Three Fun Reasons to Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig

Guinea pig is a name that doesn’t really match the animal – it’s neither a member of the pig family, nor is it from Guinea. Also known as “cavies”, guinea pigs are short-tailed South American rodents from the Caviidae family. According to the American Cavy Breeders Association, there are 13 breeds and 10 basic colors, with coats ranging from short coats to luxuriously long locks to hairless.
Since March is Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month, we’d like to share reasons why you should consider adopting a rescued guinea pig.

Guinea pigs make great pets for people of all ages. These adorable little guys are friendly and fairly hardy, especially when they get regular preventive care. Guinea pigs make perfect indoor pets, and don’t require a lot of maintenance, so they’re a good option for those who aren’t ready for/cannot keep a larger animal like a cat or dog. (Hint: they’re the ideal first pet for little folks.)

Guinea pigs are hardy animals that live around 5-7 years. There’s good reason why guinea pigs are so often elementary school class pets – when they’re cared for properly and fed the right foods, they tend to be very healthy and don’t require a lot of maintenance. They’re not nearly as fragile as rabbits, and far less skittish than hamsters and gerbils, and they’re fun to watch as they run around!

Guinea pigs really like their people! Believe it or not, these little guys will bond with their owners and learn to recognize them, often running to the edge of the cage to greet their owner with a squeal of delight and recognition. When excited, young guinea pigs may also “pop” – jumping up into the air over and over, or running back and forth while squealing and kicking their legs. Pick them up and give them a cuddle – they might even purr!

Ready to adopt a guinea pig? To find a rescue location near you, please visit