Tuesday, December 22, 2015

5 Ways to Spend Quality Time With Your Pet During the Holidays

Quality Time With Pet

It can be pretty difficult to slow down once things start piling up, either at work or home. This can get even worse during the holiday season when there is just too much to do! We have all felt it! Most importantly, your pet is also feeling it. Even if you have an independent cat, you can bet they are noticing your absence. Remember that when you take on the responsibility of another creature's well-being, that means that you are always responsible, even when it isn't convenient or easy. 

So we decided to help you and compile a list of small and easy things you can do to tell your pet that you still care about them, even when you are busy.

1. Get Outside: This one's admittedly mostly for dogs. There's a whole new winter-y world out there for them to explore and burrow into! Just make sure their feet are protected and it's not too cold for them!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Pet Safety Tips

Winter Pet Safety

Every year, winter comes, and here in Minnesota it is especially cold! While you might think you know how to keep your pet warm every year (you might have been doing it for years!), it's always good to refresh your memory and maybe learn something new! We have compiled a list of winter pet safety tips to keep your dogs and cats safe this season!

For Dogs or Outdoor Cats:

1. If your dog likes to romp in the snow, keep him close during a storm. In a windy snowfall it's easy for your dog to become disoriented and lose his way.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Pets: What You Are Really Giving (or Getting)

pets as presents
Imagine this: Your loved one wakes up on Christmas morning with an extra bounce in their step. They throw off the covers and run down the hall, skidding to a stop in front of the tree – and what’s this? The most fluffy little furball anyone has ever seen! A puppy?!? Best gift ever! You instantly win parent/spouse/sibling of the year, right? WRONG!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pet-Proofing Christmas Tips

Pet-Proof Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner, and many people are starting to put up their holiday decorations!
It is also time to think about making sure your decorations (both your tree and your home) are "pet-proof" for either your dog or cat!

The Tree:

  • Get an Artificial Tree: We all love the smell of a real tree, but unfortunately, your pet loves it too! The pine needles are sharp and might injure your dog or cat, and the needles are mildly toxic if your pet chews on them. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why Does My Cat Eat Plants?

Cat Eating Plants

Some cats don't even seem to be aware of the potted plants you might have while others might seem like they are addicted to chewing on them. So what gives? Cats don't eat the plants, they just seem to chew on them. So why the fascination?

In case you didn't know, cats are obligate, or true carnivores. This means that they do not need any nutrition from plants or greens. Ever. And they absolutely cannot be made to be vegetarian. Their bodies cannot get the nutrients they need from meat substitutes or plants.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

All of us are of course beyond thankful for the pets in our life, past, present, and future. However we also need to make sure they are safe and stress free over the Thanksgiving holiday! 


Make sure your guests and any children know that although sometimes Bailey gets table scraps, these are an absolute no-no. They should also take care to not leave these items lying around where she can get to them!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Boarding A Special Needs Pet

Special Needs Pet Boarding

We started boarding Hobbes, a Wheaton Terrier, three years ago. He was easy to care for because his owner was great about telling us everything we needed to know. Then earlier this year he injured his ACL! Ouch! After surgery and careful treatment, his owners were planning a trip but poor Hobbes needed someone to give him special attention while he was recovering. His owner remembered Pets Are Inn had already done such a great job of looking after Hobbes, and all she needed to do was give us special instructions for his new needs and limitations.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Boarding Kennel Stress: What You Should Do

Boarding Kennel Stress

The first thing you should know is that boarding kennel stress is most definitely real!  If you own a dog (or a cat), you know that animals can become stressed just like people do. 

Think about it, imagine taking a young child to a new place with new people and then leaving them there for a few days. How would they feel? Of course they might spend the whole time crying and lose their appetite. That can, and does, happen to many dogs.

Even steady, adaptable dogs can become stressed at a change of surroundings, diet, and routine. Not to mention the smells and other stressed dogs who might be barking and whining.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Why Should I Be A Pet Sitter?

pet sitter

Interested in pet sitting jobs or just animal jobs in general? Are you thinking about becoming a pet sitter?

When we look for people to be hosts for our customer’s pets, there are a few things that we take into consideration.

The number one thing we look for in our pet hosts is that they truly love animals. Sure, we give them a small stipend for dog sitting, but they aren’t going to be buying a new car with it. We are so lucky because most of our hosts do what they do because they love caring for pets, and they view the pay as an added bonus. Our hosts give our customers’ pets the best care they can, and that is what makes our customers so satisfied with our business! We couldn’t do it without them!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

RECIPE: Grain-Free Ginger Apple Dog Treats

Grain-Free DIY Dog treats

Today we bring you a sweet and special (Grain-Free!) recipe to give your pup some home made, fall-themed treats! You know you always wanted your pooch to know the joy of ginger and apples in treat form!

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Preparing Your Pet For Boarding: 5 Steps to Ensure a Fantastic Stay!

Pet Boarding

Once the interview process is over with a new client, I often get asked, “So... what do I do now?”

There are a few steps that you should take to prepare your pet for their first stay with Pets Are Inn. No worries, it’s nothing too difficult and some of it might be fun!

Step One: Tell your pet! They are going to be going to a new place with a new person! It’s only polite to let them know in a gentle and calm voice that they are going to be going on a special vacation soon. Maybe throw in a belly rub to make them feel special!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Boarding A Senior Pet

Senior Pet Boarding

It can be hard to watch a beloved pet slowly age. It seems like all of a sudden they can't do stairs as well, they need a boost to jump up on the couch, and they don't enjoy the longer walks as much. Our senior pets give us so much and we want to make sure they are comfortable and get the best care. 

Senior pets need someone who will look after them carefully, make sure they are comfortable and not being bothered by children or other dogs. They need quiet places to rest and some need regular medications. Some kennels do offer special services for senior pets, but they can be costly and restricted, and even then you probably don’t want your pet sitting alone in a kennel all day.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Why Did My Cat Pee on My Bed?

Cat peeing on bed

There may be various reasons your cat is peeing on your bed.

When a cat urinates anywhere other than in his litterbox, the first step the owner should take is to have a veterinarian do a physical exam and relevant diagnostic tests, including urinalysis to be sure he does not have an underlying medical problem.

When he has a bladder infection, for example, your cat may associate pain or discomfort with the litterbox. The cat may then choose another location. If the examination, urinalysis and other diagnostic tests are normal, then we need to determine why the cat is choosing the owner’s bed.

Anxiety Is Often the Culprit
Most often when a client consults with a vet regarding her cat’s inappropriate urination on her bed, they can usually identify an anxiety-related issue. They try to identify the stressors that are contributing to the cat’s inappropriate behavior. Is there an issue related to the litterbox, location of the box or substrate (type of litter) that is causing the cat to stray away from the designated toileting area? Or are they dealing with a social issue — either tension in the relationship with the owner or with another cat, family member or pet in the household?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Senior Pets Exercises for Aging Bodies

Senior Pet Exercises

There are three specific kinds of exercises that help senior pets' aging bodies: 1) passive range-of-motion (PROM) exercises, 2) exercises that maintain balance and fluid movement and 3) exercises that target the big, body-supporting muscles like the hamstrings and gluteals.

Here are some ways that you can help keep your aging pet strong.

1. Passive Range of Motion Exercises

Lay your pet comfortably on their side. Gently flex and extend each limb, one at a time, holding each position for about ten seconds
It's important to keep the leg's position parallel to the body wall to avoid torque on the joints. It's also important not to hyperextend the wrists or ankles.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Dog and Cat Claws

pet claws

Consider this is a friendly infomercial on the subject of pet claw health — because even the most pedestrian claw is a crucial body part. I'm offering you this collection of things you may not know about claws.

1. Unlike fingernails, claws contain nerves and blood vessels. Hence, the heightened sensitivity surrounding their manipulation and the reluctance most pets display when their paws are touched, irrespective of whether they've had a bad experience with toenail trims.

2. Claws are integrally attached to bone. The body works hard to ensure that the connection between claw and bone is as seamless as possible. That means that damage to the claw can impact the adjacent bony structures. Ouch!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 Tips For a Happier Pet

pet happiness

Everyone needs appropriate opportunities to release stress, expend energy and give boredom the boot. That includes people, dogs, cats and, yes, even rabbits and ferrets. Such actions offer physical and mental enrichment while helping to keep unwanted behaviors at bay. Pet happiness should be important for any pet owner!

Here are some ways you can enrich your pet's life and help prevent him from acting destructive because he's bored.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Does My Pet Get Bored?

pet boredom

We don’t know if cats and dogs truly perceive boredom like humans do. Instead, when talking about pets, it's better to use the phrase “insufficient mental stimulation.” Have you ever seen your cat literally try to climb a wall, repeatedly jump on your shelves to knock items off or leap onto the chandelier? Or has your dog ever tried to dig up your wall-to-wall carpeting or decided that it’s fun to play tug-of-war with the curtains? 

These could all be signs that your pet is not getting enough mental stimulation.

The Work/School Dilemma
Often pets are left at home when owners go to work or spend a great deal of time outside of the home due to other demands, such as school or family commitments. Many times, these pets suffer from insufficient physical and mental stimulation. In the absence of adequate outlets, our pets may engage in activities of their own making.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What's In a Name: Birman

The Birman is also called the "Sacred Cat of Burma". The Birman is a long-haired, colorpointed cat distinguished by a silky coat, deep blue eyes and contrasting white "gloves" or "socks" on each paw.

The breed name is derived from Birmanie, the French form of Burma. There is no clear record of the breed's origin. They are most often claimed to have originated as the companions of temple priests in Northern Burma.

Interestingly, Birmans were almost wiped out as a breed during World War II. Only two cats were alive in Europe at the end of the war, a pair named Orloff and Xenia de Kaabaa, both belonging to Baudoin-Crevoisier. They had to be heavily outcrossed with long-hair breeds such as Persian and Siamese to rebuild the Birman breed. By the early 1950s, pure Birman litters were once again being produced.
Birmans have also been used in the development of new breeds, notably including the Ragdoll.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What's In a Name: Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is a cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct colorpoint coat. It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat.Developed by American breeder Ann Baker, it is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. The name "Ragdoll" is derived from the tendency of individuals from the original breeding stock to go limp and relaxed when picked up.

Particularly popular in both the United Kingdom and the breeds' native United States, ragdoll cats often are known as "dog-like cats" or "puppy-like cats" due to behaviors such as their tendency to follow people around, their ease at being physically handled, and their relative lack of aggression toward other pets

Friday, October 2, 2015

Are Cats Fully Domesticated?

Apparently there's a raging controversy among various scientists and biologists about whether domesticated cats are actually domestic. I get the confusion, and you probably do, too, if you share your life with a kitty. There's a certain wild vibe about our feline companions – even tiny kittens – no matter how long they've shared our homes or snuggled on our laps.

Cats are the most popular pet worldwide, and have lived with humans for 10,000 years or so. But despite their long and close association with us, cats turn feral without human contact, and it's often difficult to "tame" a feral kitten once it reaches a certain age.

Another sign of Fluffy's wild side: it's unlikely she'll starve to death if she escapes into the great outdoors, since her instinct to hunt never diminishes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tailgating Tips for Dog Owners

Football season can be a lot of fun, especially when you include your dog! This year, make sure you and your dog are tailgating right.

1. Make sure dogs are allowed.

Some tailgating areas don’t allow dogs (lame). Before you get your dogs ready for the game, double check that they are welcome to come along!

2. Have a treat area with dog safe food.
It’s a cute and fun way to help tailgaters know what food is safe to feed your dog. 

3. Remind guests of common tailgate foods that are toxic to dogs.
  • Chicken Wings
  • Alcohol
  • Onions & Garlic (salsa, etc.)
  • Avocados (guacamole, etc.) 
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate

4. Incorporate dog toys into your game area.
If you’re tailgating all day, your pup will definitely need some toys to stay entertained!

5. Show your pride with a bandanna!
Everyone loves a cute bandanna, especially one that represents their school! This Etsy shop has collar-slip bandannas for all the SEC and Big 12 schools!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What to Do if You Find a Stray Bird, Squirrel, or Rabbit (Twin Cities)

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center MN
If you come across a stray or lost dog or cat in your area, it’s best to take the animal to your local shelter as soon as possible. But, what should you do if you find an orphaned or injured bird, squirrel or rabbit? It’s natural to feel compelled to help in these situations, but your local shelter may not have wildlife rehabilitators on staff.

If you're in the Twin Cities, call the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota at 651-486-9453

If you come across a baby squirrel, it is best to leave him alone unless he looks malnourished, dehydrated or covered in fleas. Those are usually signs the baby has been away from his mother for an extended time period. If the squirrel looks healthy, it's probably just going through its curious juvenile stage. However, if that squirrel isn't quite as perky the next time you see it, please bring it to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. It needs help if it starts becoming lethargic.

In the fall, migration is underway and that means many new birds are visiting your yard. They are not as familiar with your house, and windows, as your resident chickadees, cardinals, etc. If a bird hits your window, read through this information before you bring it in (unless it's bleeding or its wing is bent back in which case you should just bring it in). This information might save you a trip.

Found a pigeon with colored leg bands hanging out in your yard? It's someone's pet. Because of that the center cannot admit it. If the bird is still there after several days, and you can capture the bird, write down the series of letters and numbers off the band(s). Call the Wildlife Center with that information and they can give you the contact info for the owner's club.

The main thing to remember when you uncover a nest of bunnies is leave them be. For just a few weeks re-arrange your activities to give them a chance to grow and leave the area. Once they've left you can fill in the slight depression the mother digs for the nest.

Also remember that you most likely will not see the mother rabbit on the nest with the young kits. To protect the location of the nest, she avoids the area; coming back only to briefly nurse the young at dawn and dusk.

If you have more questions, please visit the WRC's FAQ website here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Do's and Don'ts of House Training Your Dog or Puppy

You’ve brought a new dog into your home—congratulations! Now comes your first dog-training challenge: house training.

House training is not an exact science—there’s no sure-fire formula or timetable that will work for every dog. The important thing is to make it a positive experience. Here are a few tips to help you through it.

Do: Supervise your dog. Limit the dog’s run of the house to the one or two rooms where you are able to see her at all times. Dogs usually show “pre-pottying” behavior such as sniffing, circling and walking with stiff back legs; all signs that you should get her to the potty area ASAP! As the training begins to take hold, you can slowly enlarge her territory.

Don’t: Yell at a dog for a mess she made earlier. If you catch her in the act, it’s okay to startle her by clapping or making a noise (hopefully this will stop her long enough for you to whisk her outside). But a dog will not learn anything by being scolded for a past accident, even one a few minutes old. Just clean it up and soldier on.

Do: Offer big praise when she gets it right. Whether your goal is for your dog to eliminate on pee pads indoors or to do it outside, you have to really throw a party for her when she succeeds. Lavish her with praise, affection and some yummy treats!

Don’t: Rub her face in it. In addition to this action making your dog fear you, she’s incapable of making the connection that it’s the act of soiling indoors you object to—to her, you just really hate pee and poop. If she thinks that the waste itself is what you dislike, she’ll only get sneakier about hiding it from you.

Source: ASPCA

Monday, September 28, 2015

7 Home Renovation Hazards for Pets

Home repair is primarily done in the spring, but many home and apartment dwellers are constantly trying to spruce up their abodes with a little project or two. While you are measuring, taping and scraping, however, don’t forget to protect your pets. Home repair is stressful enough without your pets “helping!”

One of the best precautions is simply to keep your pets away from the work area. You may need to  close a door or use a crate or baby gate to separate your pet. If you can’t isolate the area, boarding your pet at a kennel or with a friend or family member for a few days may be the best option. Here are a few other safety precautions to keep in mind:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What's In A Name: Azawakh

The Azawakh is a loyal sighthound known to have a protective streak. It originated in the Sahel region of Africa, a desert area that includes parts of Mali and Niger, and a region called the Azawakh Valley, from where its name comes from. There, the Azawakh protected the nomadic Touareg people and guarded their tents, along with assisting them in hunting hare, antelope, and wild boar.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What's In A Name: Chinook

Bred as a versatile sled dog, the friendly Chinook is best known for his love of children.  "Chinook" is Inuit for "warm winter winds", and the breed lives up to it. He excels at mushing, hiking, sledding, and skijoring (a person on skis  is pulled by dogs). He is equally good at being a family dog. The breed has a think, tawny colored double coat that sheds lightly every day.  It came about when musher Arthur Treadwell Walden bred a farm dog with a "northern" husky and produced a littler of puppies, one of whom became the father of the breed.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tips to Socialize a Shy Cat

Shy Cats

Reward-based training is a simple and effective way to boost your cat’s confidence and strengthen her bond with you. For a shy or cautious cat, though, the benefits of training may be even greater.

Shy cats tend to keep to themselves, particularly in uncomfortable situations — which can include everything from friends visiting your home to a trip to the vet’s office. One downside of this is that when your cat is prone to hiding, it can be difficult to spot the small changes in behavior that may signal a health problem. Your shy cat may also aggress when she feels threatened, and this behavior can make even routine vet visits difficult.

Luckily, a cat doesn’t need to be born bold to become a confident kitty. I have seen shy adult cats learn to be more relaxed around people. Reward-based training can help your cat feel more comfortable around humans, both those she sees often, like your friends, and those who are new to her, like the staff at the vet’s office. Training doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming; rewarding everyday behaviors can help foster communication and trust between you and your cat.

Your cat may never become the life of the party, but these simple training strategies may help her to be more comfortable in social situations.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tear Staining In Dogs

Tear staining is a common problem for dogs. The pesky brown streaks creeping down from their dog’s inner eye corners drive pet owners everywhere crazy - but what are they? Below is information on what is tear staining as well as how to treat it in dogs.

What is Tear Staining and Why Does it Occur in Dogs? 
Tear staining refers to the browning of hairs near the inner corner of the eye. We see tear staining most often in white and light-colored dogs. Most of the time tear staining is normal and not of concern (other than perhaps making the dog appear “less cute” to his owner). 

Tear staining occurs when a chemical called porphyrin, a breakdown product of blood in the tears, interacts with the light and is oxidized. This causes a brownish stain of the hair at the inner aspect of the eye. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

8 Items That Can Help Make Life Easier for Senior Pets

Let's face it, getting old stinks! It's not fun for anyone — and that includes our four-legged friends. But, there are things that we can do to make growing older a little easier for our pets. These eight easy-to-use products can help keep elderly pets feeling young at heart.

1. Dog Shoes
Some lightweight shoes can help your senior dog cope with the elements. They should have traction to help your senior dog on slippery surfaces. These little shoes will help protect paws from extreme temperatures and abrasive surfaces. Check out these Summit Trex

2. Lifting Harness
If your dog has trouble climbing stairs or getting in and out of the car, a front-lift harness offers a real mobility boost. You can also get a back-lift version for dogs who have trouble with their rear legs. Check out Lift 'Em Up

3. Washable Doggy Diapers/ Pee Bands
As your pet gets older, she may have urinary accidents. Washable diapers can help make your pet's incontinence more manageable for her and for you. But, be sure to change them as soon as they get damp to avoid skin irritation. Check out Doggie Dungarees

4. Orthopedic Dog Bed
Made with durable foam, an orthopedic bed is designed to help senior dogs feel more comfortable while getting rest. Get one that is water-resistant and has a machine washable cover in case there are any accidents due to your pet's older age! Check out Happy Hounds

5. A Ramped Litter Box
Having an elevated ramp on your litter box can help a senior cat have easy access to their litter. Make sure that any litter box you choose is 1.5 times the length of your cat. Check out Booda Dome

6. Pet Stairs
Make it easier for your dog or cat to get on the sofa or bed with wide, rubber-gripped steps. You can also get some with removable tread for easy cleaning. Check out Pet Gear Easy Step

7. Stroller
Even if your senior pet can't go for long walks like he used to, he can still enjoy a stroll through the park in a stroller. Get one that is easy to handle and has shock absorbers to make the ride more comfortable! Check out Next Gen All-Terrain Stroller

8. Field Coat
As some dogs get older, they become more sensitive to cold air. Help keep your dog warm all winter long with a protective coat. Check out Field Coat for Dogs

Source: Vet Street

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

9 Matriarchal Species in the Animal Kingdom

In the animal kingdom there are many species in which the females rule the roost. This might seem unusual in that the males are typically thought of as the protectors, but oftentimes the females have unique advantages or skills that make them uniquely suited to protecting their species’ survival.

1. Honeybees

The female queen is the ruler of the honeybee hive. She’s larger in size than her workers and lives for one to two years, compared to six or seven weeks for workers. The queen’s specialty is reproduction, which ensures the survival of the hive.

“Drones usually die upon mating or are expelled from the hive before winter sets in.”

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What's In A Name: Abyssinian

The Abyssinians a breed of domestic shorthaired cat with a distinctive "ticked" tabby coat, in which individual hairs are banded with different colors.

It is named after Abyssinia (now called Ethiopia) the country from which it was first thought to have originated; more recent research now places its origins somewhere near the Egyptian coast. The Abyssinian has since become one of the most popular breeds of shorthair cat in the USA.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

What's In A Name: Ocicat

The Ocicat is named for it's resemblance to an ocelot...can you see it (image below)? It's known for being a completely domestic cat, but it resembles a wildcat. They are friendly and social, despite their "wildcat" appearance, and are bred from Siamese, Abyssinian, and Domestic Shorthair.

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Safely Collar, Tag and ID Your Cat

Cat Collars

Anyone working in an animal shelter will tell you: It is far more likely that your cat will be lost and never returned home than it is that he will be harmed by his collar. That’s why we recommend that you keep a collar and ID tag (and license, if cats are required to be licensed in your municipality) on your cat at all times. It’s important even if your cat lives entirely indoors, because you can’t guarantee there will never be an escape.

Choose a Cat-Safe Collar
Because cats do climb trees and scale fences, they are at some risk for getting their collars caught, but many collars designed for cats have the situation covered. That’s because they’re made to give way under pressure when caught, either by being made of stretchy material (like Beastie Bands) or having a breakaway clasp (like Safe Cat). Because hanging-down tags are more likely to be caught, you could also check into a slide-on collar tag, such as those from Boomerang Tags.

Note that if you want to walk your cat, you will need to attach the leash to a halter not a cat collar, because any pressure will release your cat from the collar.

Add a Microchip for Extra Safety
Cat CollarsWhile we do recommend you keep a safe collar and ID on your cat at all times, having a collar that allows your cat to slip free means that your pet may quickly shed his life-saving ID when he's on the lam. That’s why you need to have a microchip as well as a collar and ID.

Microchips have reunited pets and their families hundreds of miles and many years apart. Your veterinarian can insert a chip in your cat in a swift procedure that some animals barely notice. Just make sure you keep your contact information current with your microchip registry — and on your cat's ID tag as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

5 Must-Know Obedience Commands for Dogs

Dog Obedience Commands

There are five obedience commands that every dog owner can benefit from teaching their dog. Having a dog that listens will make life easier and less stressful for you. It also makes life safer for your dog and ultimately provides them more freedom and the ability to partake in your daily life/activities.

Place: The goal of the “Place” command is for your dog to be sent to a specific location: dog bed, folded blanket, area of carpet, etc. (any spot that is distinguishable from the rest of the flooring around you) and to remain on their regardless of what is going on around them. Your dog can stand up, sit, lay down, etc., their only responsibility is to not leave the “Place”.

“Place” is a great household management command which enables you to mitigate many problematic issues such as begging for food at the table or jumping on guests. A dog who is in “Place” can relax and will not jump, run around, or be bothersome during important daily activities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

7 Tips for a Fearful Dog

Fearful Dogs

Every now and then you might meet a new dog who runs away at the sight of you and won't let you show any affection, even if it's a delicious treat. These are dogs that lack socialization and confidence. There are a few ways to help young dogs overcome their fearfulness, like proper socialization and obedience training. 

Any internet search will bring up a lot of information on this topic, but what we have done here is find 7 ways to properly interact with fearful dogs, so the next time you visit your friend's or relative's with a fearful dog, you don't make things worse for the poor thing.

There is an important distinction between a fearful dog and a fear aggressive dog.  If your dog displays any signs of aggression or you feel uncomfortable interacting with your dog in anyway, contact a qualified professional who can help you in person.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Dogs Smell Other Dog Butts

You know the scene: you're out with your dog when you come across another friendly canine. There's the initial sniff, and a circle around. Now, another moment and another sniff, right on the rear end. Then it's time for another loop around and yet another butt sniff. Why do dogs do this? 

As a pet owner, the natural thing is to want to pull your dog away from the other dog when they are performing this ritual. After all, it is a little embarrassing when your dog starts smelling the butt of a friend or neighbor's dog while you are having a conversation.

It seems pretty weird, especially considering how humans communicate, but it's actually an important part of canine behavior. Here's why.

Butt sniffing is a very natural, instinctual, and basic form of dog-to-dog communication. Strangely enough, it is how dogs greet and get to know each other. Even dogs that know each other will sniff butts to “see what's new” and reinforce their bond and communication.

The dog butt sniff is the canine equivalent of “hello, how do you do?” and similar to how humans use a handshake when meeting and being introduced to someone. Dogs communicate with each other using their strong sense of smell and detect signals in the chemicals in smelly oil from the anal glands.

Monday, September 14, 2015

How to Feed A Puppy (Large or Small Breeds)

If you've ever had a puppy, you know they grow up quickly — but their rate of growth and the amount you should feed them depends on the size of their breed when full grown. A newborn toy puppy may increase his birth weight by a factor of 10 to 20, while a newborn giant-breed puppy may increase his birth weight by a factor of 50 or more. All puppies grow fastest when they're very young, but the period of rapid growth lasts much longer — up to about 12 months of age — for the largest dogs. Because of this difference, large-breed and small-breed dogs have different feeding requirements as they grow. Here's what you need to know to make sure you're feeding your puppy the right nutrients in the proper amount.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

What's In A Name: Nebelung

The name Nebelung — apparently a portmanteau of the German word Nebel for "Mist" or "Fog" and a medieval Germanic saga, Nibelungenlied — is perhaps derived from the cat's distinctive silky blue-grey coat and from the breed's progenitors, who were named after the two major figures in the Nibelungenlied, the German warrior Siegfried and the Icelandic queen Brunhilde.

The Nebelung is a rare breed and is relatively recent (1985). The goal of the breeding program was to produce a blue cat with the same type as those early Russian imports and to combine this type with a thick shimmering coat of medium length.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What's In A Name: Devon Rex

The Devon Rex was discovered, as you may have guessed, in Devon, UK in 1960 among a litter of kittens near a disused tin mine. The breed was initially thought to be linked with the Cornish Rex; however, test mating proved otherwise. Cats have three types of hair: guard hair, awn hair, and down hair. The Devon Rex's coat is unusual because there is little guard hair.  This also results in the Devon Rex shedding less, which in turn has earned it a reputation for being hypoallergenic (although not completely).

Now for the second half of the name: As some of you may or may not know, any breed name that contains the word "Rex" refers to a genetic mutation in various animal species that results in soft, curly fur. The Rexed coats are unusual but occur (and have been preserved) in cats, rabbits, horses, and dogs.

Friday, September 11, 2015

11 Easy-to-Miss Signs That Your Cat is Sick

Though it might not seem that way to feline aficionados, the veterinary establishment considers cats to be subtle creatures. Indeed, when it comes to displaying signs of sickness, cats are masters of obfuscation and disguise. They simply do not want news of their diminished physical state disseminated.

It’s been postulated that cats unconsciously behave this way so as not to inform predators and competitors of their current weakness. If their true condition was known, their instincts tell them, they’d lose status in their colonies or worse — they might succumb to predators.

The Feline Enigma
Veterinarians are all too aware of this phenomenon. After all, not a clinical day goes by that we’re not treated to the case of a patient whose illness mysteriously managed to avoid detection.

That’s why it’s important to be on the lookout for subtle changes in your cat’s behavior that might indicate negative alterations in their health status. In-the-know cat owners are well acquainted with these. Are you? Check these out:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why Does My Dog Bury Things?

Have you ever wondered why your dog likes to bury his bones? Sometimes this behavior can be annoying, especially when his hiding places happen to be a flower garden or under your couch cushions. But there is likely a method to his "madness."

Many species of animals exhibit caching — or burying — behavior in regards to food items. Certain species of birds and squirrels, for example, are renowned for their amazing memory and ability to retrieve hidden items. In these species, it is important for the bird or squirrel to bury his food in the warmer months of the year so he can dig up his supplies in leaner, winter months when food is scarce.

Some dogs also exhibit this same behavior — burying favored treats where they are likely to find them again. This behavior may have developed due to strong survival instincts inherited from their wild ancestors. Dogs, as you know, have evolved from wolves, which live in packs and work together to hunt larger prey animals. In times of plenty, when they are able to bring down a large animal, such as a moose or elk, wolves tend to gorge themselves. When there is plenty of food to go around, wolves may feast for several days. Once the prey animal has been consumed, however, wolves may go days without eating a substantial meal. As individuals, they may hunt smaller prey animals, such as rabbits, but often these meals may not provide enough nourishment to replace the energy needed to hunt and chase the prey down, especially if the prey animal is lean or small. The behavior of burying valued food items may have developed from the need of these ancestral wild canines to store energy-rich food for later consumption. A wolf who could remember where it buried food items could dig them up and later ingest those items and probably survive the winter.

This behavior may persist in our domestic dogs. And though you should never feed your dog real bones, because they can splinter and cause injuries, many dogs enjoy rawhide or other bone-like chew toys. They may sometimes bury these "bones" or any other items they may perceive as "high value," such as certain toys or maybe their owner's shoes or clothing items. They may think that these interesting items are worth saving in case they never get those items again. So, this may explain why your dog buries bones, toys or other unusual but "treasured" items in your flower bed or couch.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

De-Skunking Your Dog

Skunks are everywhere—in the country and in the city. If your dog gets sprayed, there are ways you can rid him of the scent without using your entire ketchup (or tomato juice) supply to do it.

Over-the-counter products such as Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover, which is available at most specialty pet retailers, are a quick fix, but if you don't have that on hand, try the following:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking

Here's a list of six techniques that can help stop your dog from barking. While all of them can be very successful, you shouldn't expect miraculous results overnight. The longer your dog has been practicing the barking behavior, the longer it will take for him to change his ways.

Some of these training techniques require you to have an idea as to why your dog barks. We can help you get some insight into what is behind the bark.

Always remember to keep these tips in mind while training:

  • Don't yell at your dog to be quiet—it just sounds like you're barking along with him.
  • Keep your training sessions positive and upbeat.
  • Be consistent so you don't confuse your dog. Everyone in your family must apply the training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. You can't let your dog get away with inappropriate barking some times and not others.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Dogs and Motion Sickness During Car Rides

Car Sickness in Dogs

A good way to socialize your dog (and tune up his social skills throughout his life) is to take him in the car with you. And if he’s a good traveling companion, it can be a wonderful experience for everyone.
Unfortunately, not all dogs do well in a moving vehicle. Their humans usually make this unpleasant discovery the first time little Buddy tosses his cookies either during the ride, or shortly after arrival.

Motion sickness is as real for dogs as it is for people, and it can happen during even a short 5-minute drive to the vet’s office or dog park. Just as children are more likely to get car sick than adults, puppies and younger dogs are also more susceptible. This is probably because the structure inside the ears responsible for balance isn’t yet fully developed. However, some dogs don’t outgrow motion sickness even as adults.

If your dog became sick on her very first car ride with you, it may be strictly motion-related, and she may not outgrow it. However, for many dogs, carsickness is triggered by stress. If the only time your dog sees the inside of your vehicle is on trips to the vet’s office and she vomits each time, stress may very well be the culprit.

Red Flags for Motion Sickness

Some symptoms of carsickness, like vomiting, are obvious, while others are more subtle. These are the danger signs to watch for when you travel with your canine companion:

  • Constant yawning
  • Excessive drooling
  • Non-stop whining
  • Uneasiness
  • Listlessness, inactivity
  • Vomiting

Sunday, September 6, 2015

What's In A Name: Xoloitzcuintli

The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced Sho-lo-eets-quint-lee , although it's sometimes called "Mexican hairless" or just shortened to "Xolo") is a hairless Mexican dog that is so primitive that it was actually worshiped by the Aztecs. According to the mythology, the god Xolotl made the dogs from a sliver of the Bone of Life, which was also used to create all of mankind. Xolotl gave the dog to man, asking him to guard it with his life. In exchange, the dog would guide man through the world of death.

Because the breed is not well-known in the US, the Xolo has been mistaken for the mythological Chupacabra in US border states such as Arizona and Texas.

The Xolos are mellow and loyal dogs once they reach adulthood, but up until they become emotionally mature at age two, they are still highly noisy, chewy and high-energy. The breed was not inbred like many other purebred animals, so they are incredibly healthy, but they do require moisturizer, sunscreen and baths to prevent sunburn, acne and blackheads.