Your pooch is your best friend, and you always want your best friend along on your adventures. If you ever wondered what it would take to take him along on a camping trip, we’ve compiled a list of things to be aware of when packing. Know what safety precautions to take before venturing into the great outdoors.
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Anyone with a pet will tell you that their companion animal is a member of the family. We love them like our own children and appreciate the laughter and love they bring to our lives. For people with mental illness or addiction issues, a pet can be life-changing -- for the better. Having a pet can make a huge difference in the lives and wellness of people who struggle with mental illnesses.
The difference pets can make is huge. One study found that, “pets constituted a valuable source of illness work in managing feelings through distraction from symptoms and upsetting experiences, and provided a form of encouragement for activity.” One study participant was quoted in an article on NPR: "When I'm feeling really low they are wonderful because they won't leave my side for two days. They just stay with me until I am ready to come out of it."
In the study, 60 percent of the people who considered pets to be a part of their social networks placed them their most important circle, the same place many people put close family. That shows the importance people put on their pets. "The routine these pets provide is really important for people," says Helen Brooks, the study’s author to NPR. "Getting up in the morning to feed them and groom them and walk them, giving them structure and a sense of purpose that they won't otherwise have."
Pets, especially dogs, can have a motivational effect on people with mental issues. Having a dog forces you to get out of bed and take him for a walk, which will also leads to socializing with other dog owners. The social benefits are good, especially for people with depression and anxiety. For people who struggle to make friends, pets serve as a point of connection for many.
Another way that pets can help is through exercise. Exercise has been shown to help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as help those in addiction recovery stay sober. Having a dog itching to go on a walk is a good motivator toward exercise. Once you’ve walked, you feel better, and your dog is nice and tired, and ready to cuddle. Bonus!
For people with addiction issues, pets can also be a motivator to get through the tough times. If a person is depressed or feels like their life doesn’t matter, a pet who loves that person unconditionally will show that it does. Our pets give us love no matter how badly we’ve behaved in the past.
Often, people with severe mental illness or addiction find themselves isolated from family and friends, so having a pet can ward off the loneliness and sense of isolation they feel. For people with suicidal thoughts, pets can give them a reason to keep going, if only to care for their pets. Sometimes, it takes a pet to remind us that we are people who deserve affection and caring.
Just taking care of a pet can give a person with substance abuse disorder or mental illness a feeling of accomplishment, which helps boost self-esteem. For people with serious self-esteem issues, that little boost can make a world of difference.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness or addiction recovery, a pet can help you get through it. Just beware that getting a pet is a serious commitment and isn’t always easy at first. But once you have a pet that is a permanent part of your life, the joy and love you get from him will all be worth it.
The people who know you best understand that when your dog is happy, you’re happy. Christmas is a perfect time for them to do something nice for both of you by giving gifts that’ll delight your pooch and maybe even make you a better friend and owner. You know your pet better than anyone, so when you give friends and family your Christmas wish list this year, be sure to include some carefully selected items for your dog. It doesn’t have to be a chew toy or a new box of Milk Bones. It could be something that helps keep your canine companion safe, or something like a stretch leash that makes your daily walks more comfortable for both of you. The best gift is one that benefits both of you!
Dogs like to have fun too
It’s hard to imagine there’s ever been a dog that didn’t like a toy. Most really enjoy playing with stuffed animals, or some kind of chew toy that squeaks. If your dog enjoys playing a good game of tug of war, ask for a piece of toy rope (most pet stores will have one) or something they can pull on. Muscular dogs with a strong jaw can chew through a toy pretty quickly, so specify one that’s made of hard rubber or some synthetic material that’ll last. If your pet likes to play fetch, add a frisbee to your list instead of more tennis balls. Frisbees are fun and it’s a good workout for both of you.
Squeak toys are popular enough that there’s a new variation every year about this time. This year, the Kong Cozy Dog squeaky toy promises to be a top seller. It’s a little trendy but it’s squeaky, so who cares? The Chuck-It ball is a fetch toy on steroids, featuring an extra-high bounce and bright colors, so it’s easy to keep track of.
Your dog may sleep under the dining room table or on a pile of dirty clothes, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a doggie bed. There are some especially comfy ones to choose from. For example, the Orvis Fleecelock Bolster Futon bed which is lined with fleece and suede, and is plenty big enough to accommodate mega-dogs. Read reviews to decide on the best one for your pup.
If your back yard isn’t fenced in, you’re probably pretty restricted when it comes time for your pet to relieve himself out back. There’s no opening the back door without a worry. Installing a new fence can cost quite a bit, so consider asking for a hefty donation this Christmas from a generous relative. There are lots of materials to choose from, including chain link, vinyl, wood, iron and aluminum. If you have a big dog who likes to jump, chew and dig, you might consider going with iron or some other strong material.
The internet has made it easy to subscribe to services that wouldn’t have been possible years ago. And there are quite a few dog-oriented services that are pretty cool. Most dogs are partial to dog treats, so consider asking for a subscription to Barkbox or Pawpack, delivery services that deliver a new treat or doggie delicacy every month. There are also services that’ll walk your dog on a regular schedule, which can come in very handy in bad weather or when you’re just too busy. Dog gifts can add a fun twist to holiday gift giving. Don’t just think practical, get creative when you draw up your wish list.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.
Aurora believes there are no bad dogs. She created DogEtiquette.info to share her dog training tips and advice to dog owners everywhere.
Okay, well not all bad. However, they are a bad idea when given as an impulse gift to a child for Easter. Rabbits are a lot of work and have special dietary needs that many people don’t realize. It’s not just pellets folks! They require a steady amount of fresh vegetables and hay. Hay! When was the last time you saw hay for sale at your local grocery store? Their special diet can add up fast, making them more expensive than most apartment size dogs.
When you envision giving your child a pet, you probably are thinking of the time they will spend playing, holding and cuddling the future pet. Be aware, rabbits aren’t always fans of this type of attention. They are prey animals and prefer a quick exit, which often means staying close to the ground at all costs. Is your child old enough to understand that in order for their rabbit to be happy, they have to do what’s best for the rabbit?
What children and rabbits have in common is energy, both need plenty of exercise and stimulation. For rabbits, this means time spent outside of their cage. Rabbits love to chew almost as much as they love carrots; wires, baseboards, edges of furniture are all at risk when your rabbit is burning of energy. Be prepared and bunny proof your home.
So do I recommend you bring home Floppy as a present for your little one this Easter? Maybe! As long as you do your research and line up a hay supplier (lol) a rabbit can be a fantastic pet for a child. Pets teach our children responsibility, and thinking about the welfare of someone other than ourselves. Only introduce a new pet to the household if you have pet proofed your home and have all of the supplies in place.
So the day finally came and we were able to officially celebrate our win as “Best of the Boro” for pet sitting and dog training! We arrived early to set up our table and ended up with some fantastic neighbors, Aigner Chocolates, who were nice enough to share some of their samples with us. Yum!
We met with pet owners, pet lovers, and others in our field. Not to mention Mr. Met! It was a night to also chat with one another. We work outside and independently, so chances to really talk with one another usually happens via text. Our trainer, Kate, lives just outside of Queens, so we rarely get to see one another in person. It was her first time meeting some of my staff as well; they were especially excited to meet her since she has helped them indirectly by training the dog’s that they walk.
It was an honor to be nominated and truly humbling to win. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to vote, not just once, but daily. My staff and I appreciate the recognition and strive to deliver the best service possible to all of our loyal clients.
After Jack’s recent health scare, we really started to pay attention to the ingredients in his food and treats. We switched to a senior blend with limited ingredients (there are actual peas and carrots in his food!), and limited treats to Greenies only. Thankfully Jack loved his new food, so there were no issues making the switch, but we noticed him starting to puke again. After a little research we added a gentle probiotic to his diet (treat form). Jack is obsessed with them, so adding them to his diet was easy. And you know what? He no longer pukes!
We were guilty of giving him human food, he has stolen broccoli from my plate, we have now stopped so we can get his ibd under control. Sometimes spoiling your pet is actually doing more harm than good. So how do we safely reward our pets without causing any problems down the road?
So whatever your favorite way to spoil your pet is, be sure to set aside a little time this Valentine’s Day to show your pet how much you love them.
Did you know that January 8th is National Bubble Bath day? I love a good bubble bath. It can be a relaxing way to unwind at the end of a long day. Wouldn’t you like for your dog to have the same experience? Here are 5 tips to help your pet enjoy “spa day” as much as you do.
1) Supplies: Keep yourself sane by gathering everything you need to properly clean your dog before you get your dog in the tub. That means shampoo, a bucket, cotton balls* (more on this later), and a few towels.
2) Temperature Check: While you might enjoy slowly roasting in a toasty bath, your dog would prefer something closer to room temperature.
3) Keep it Safe: Did you know placing a towel at the bottom of the tub or shower will keep your pet from slipping? This is because it will give them more traction than standing on slippery tiles. Make sure to wet it thoroughly before having your dog step on it.
4) Suds them up!: So where to start? Begin at the head and work your way back to the tail. If your dog is prone to ear infections or has pendulous ears, place cotton balls in their ears to help keep the water out. Pay special attention to the major areas prone to the most dirt like legs and belly.
5) Time for the fluff dry: This may take multiple towels if you have a large dog. If it’s cold out, you can also use a hair dryer (on it’s lowest setting) to speed up the process.
So now that you have your dog looking his best, it’s your turn! I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy National Bubble Bath day!
Our cat Jack has been dealing with some medical issues and it's reminded me that, as pet owners, we know our pets better than anyone else. Jack is 12 years old and is famous for his love of food, high play drive and ability to High 5 for a treat. Our rambunctious senior kitty does not act his age and is constantly keeping us on our toes.
Lately, however, we’ve been waking up to puke. Puking has never been an issue with Jack. This raised a bright red flag for me, so I made a vet appointment. Jack had no temperature, gave the entire staff a work out trying to keep him on the table, and left with a shot to treat the nausea. 3 days later, he’s puking again. Another trip to the vet resulted in a cracked nail bed and a tuft of fur ripped out during Jack’s vigorous attempts to escape. The vet did manage to take a blood sample despite Jack’s efforts.
Blood work showed a healthy cat. Jack continued to eat and beg for treats, drinking water, playing and generally acting normal. We had changed his food, just in case, and the puking came to a stop. Our vet suggested we give him some time and see if that solved the problem. We were game.
On Friday night we were introduced to THE Puke. This was seriously the most foul smelling, disgusting puke I’ve ever seen. It was open the windows and air out the house bad. So now our vet is on board that there’s something wrong and we’re scheduled for an ultrasound, additional blood work and a urinalysis.
While we wait for answers I pet Jack and wonder if he’s feeling okay. His coat is shiny, he’s eating well, and chasing after his treats when tossed around the house. So while he seems healthy, we know that something is wrong and will find out soon how to make him well again. I no longer feel foolish for rushing him to the vet for puking daily or when the test results came back negative. I know my cat better than anyone, even his vet, and when my gut tells me something is wrong, I trust it.
If you notice a change in your pet, let your vet know. Your pet won’t complain and often the symptoms won’t be obvious. Changes in eating habits and water intake to activity level and behavior changes can often be signs that something’s not right. Please check out this page: http://www.vetstreet.com to learn more about identifying the signs your cat is unwell.
With all those delicious smells coming from the kitchen on Thanksgiving, you can’t really blame your pet when they want to spend all of their time in there with you. Counter surfing, getting into the garbage, and well-meaning friends, can be the difference between a lovely dinner or inducing vomiting in your pet just before dessert.
So how do we avoid this? Make sure your pets are unable to get into the kitchen, either crate or restrict them to a certain room or floor of your home. Garbage should be made inaccessible and/or removed from the home in a timely manner. Talk to your guests and their children in advance to make sure they understand that table scraps are not allowed.
If you have family/friends coming who love animals, but maybe don’t know which foods are dangerous for your pet, take the time to explain to them the true dangers of sharing a goodie with your pet. Here’s a rundown of some of the most dangerous foods that make an appearance on Thanksgiving.
If you think your dog or cat ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving care, right away. When it comes to any poisoning situation, the sooner you diagnose it, the easier it is to potentially treat, less invasive it is to your pet, and the less expensive it is for you. Now, that’s something to be grateful for.
The past several months we’ve had to say a lot of good byes. Some were pets that have been in our care for years, others were more recent. The good byes were different with each pet; whether they had passed from old age/illness, or simply moved far away, I felt the loss of their presence. After 6 years I still cry on the last day of walks before a client moves or when I hear of a pet passing away. It makes me question whether I’m too attached, but then I receive an email from a new client. They have a puppy and want to build a relationship. Before I can finish grieving, the cycle begins again.
As a pet parent, this is something we go through several times throughout our lives. As Agnes Sligh Turnbull said, “Dog’s lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” This can be applied to all pets. They rarely outlive us, which makes it our responsibility to make the time they have with us the best it can be.
So how do we do that? It means putting away your phone on walks, setting aside some time to play, and exposing your pet to as many different experiences as possible. Be present when spending time with your pet. Remember, they might be just a part of your life. But you’re their whole life.
My name is Jamie and I am the proud owner of Happy Pets. I am the lead walker/pet sitter, as well as a certified obedience instructor.