Category Archives: pet care

Take Your Dog to Work Day June 26

image004June 26th is Take Your Dog to Work Day! It’s a day when offices allow workers to bring their pets with them to work. Personally we wish everyday included that, and at Petplan, headquarters they do!

image003After sharing their office with pets for 10 years, they have learned a few things along the way – consider it an expert list of do’s and don’ts for successfully working alongside dogs (and cats and snakes and lizards!) Petplan’s Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Dr. Jules Benson, shares his top three tips for a pet-safe office:

A Wheel Nightmare: “Rolling office chairs can be a real problem,” says Benson. “Tails and paws are often easily run over if people aren’t careful. If pets are in the office, get in the habit of looking around your chair before rolling away from your desk.”

image002Don’t Share Your Lunch: Benson also recommends keeping human food away from dogs to prevent accidental ingestion of onions, avocados, grapes and other foods that are poisonous to pets, adding, “If you have ‘human’ treats in the office like we do, be extra careful about pets getting access to chocolate, which can be very toxic.”

It’s also important to keep trash cans out of paw’s reach. Investing in ones with pet-proof lids is great or simply remove waste baskets from the floor for the day.

ID is Key: “Our office policy is that all pets must have a collar ID and be microchipped,” says Dr. Benson. “One of Petplan’s feline friends, Milo, actually escaped from the office during one of his visits and a police officer found him (at the grocery store down the street!) Thankfully he was wearing proper identification and was safely returned to us.”

image001Taking these few steps to create a pet-friendly space can help pet parents and dogs alike can enjoy a pleasant day at the office on June 26. Thank you Petplan for the great tips!

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Pet Travel Tips

Pet Travel TipsTraveling with your pet can be fun for everyone with a little planning. It’s important to understand the rules before you go so your trip can be as smooth as possible.

I love this little antidote about a man who wanted to travel with his dog (author unknown).

A man wrote a letter to a hotel: “I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me?”

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, “I’ve been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I’ve never had a dog steal towels, linens, silverware or pictures off the walls. I’ve never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. We’ve never had a dog that smoked in bed and set fire to the blankets. We’ve never had a dog who played the TV too loud or had a fight with his traveling companion. So, if your dog can vouch for you, you’re welcome, too!”

Here are a few tips to make your travels with pets a bit easier.

Call Ahead

The hotel website might say it allows pets, but be sure to call ahead anyway. Sometimes a policy change takes place but a website update doesn’t. The last thing you want is to show up only to be told that a particular hotel doesn’t follow the chain policy for pets.

Weight Limits

Many hotels have weight limits and even pet type restrictions. This policy seems to be in place to discourage very large dogs, as most weight limits seem to hover around 25 pounds. It’s unlikely they will actually ask to weigh your dog at check in, but if you know your pooch goes over the limit be sure to get permission in place before hand.

It can help to speak directly to a manger, especially if you explain that your dog is well behaved and won’t be left alone in the hotel room.

Barking

No one would enjoy a vacation if they heard a dog barking at all hours. Goodness, even people can be loud and annoying with their behaviors in hotels, so being considerate is rule number one.

If you know your dog is prone to bark, especially when left alone, make sure you don’t leave them alone in the room. Even well trained dogs can bark in new environments, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Do your best to minimize barking though, even if a hotel is pet friendly they can still ask guests to leave for any reason.

Fees

There are usually extra fees involved in having your pet stay at a hotel. Make sure you ask if the fee is one time (at the end of the stay), or if it is an added nightly fee. This fee will vary depending on the hotel.

You may also be asked for a deposit. The deposit is there to protect the hotel from damage that a pet may cause to the room. The deposit is given back to you at checkout if all is well.

Be courteous.

Nothing is worse for other pet owners than those who want to ruin it for everyone. Be courteous and clean up after your pet. Follow the rules of the hotel. Help pet travelers gain a reputation for being guests hotels want to have.

Have fun, and safe travels!

Posted in cats, dogs, pet care | 2 Comments

Can dogs eat chocolate?

chocolate candy

Oh how humans love chocolate! While it may be a wonderful treat for us, you should never share it with your dog. While there are many “human foods” that are fine to share with our furry friends, chocolate is on the do not feed list. Chocolate, even in small amounts, can lead to illness and even death in dogs.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate, don’t wait for signs before taking them to see your veterinarian. Warning signs of poisoning can take 6 to 12 hours to manifest. Symptoms include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Diarrhea
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Shaking
  • Seizures

Early treatment is important, so be sure to see your vet right away if your dog eats chocolate. Make sure to tell your vet how much chocolate you think your dog ate, and what kind it was. Also be sure to alert them of any changes in behavior, and if your dog vomited.

A dog will usually vomit on their own, but if not your vet may recommend ways to induce vomiting to get the chocolate out of their system. Because stimulants in chocolate stay in the body for a long time, symptoms can last up to 72 hours in severe cases.

Keep all chocolate in a place where it is out of reach for dogs, and be extra careful when eating it so you don’t drop any. Dogs can be quick when they see something they want to eat!

As always, if you have concerns about your pet consult with your veterinarian.

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Overcoming Pet Winter Woes

Dog and grey cat on the windowLike humans, pets can experience winder doldrums. Even those living in warmer weather regions are still affected by seasonal changes, which can be especially tough on dogs and cats–particularly those that are used to spending time outdoors.

Beyond the obvious challenge of pets getting less exercise during the winter months, dogs and cats often experience less emotional stimulation during this period and can suffer a variety of adversities, including excessive weight gain, irritability, anxiety and even clinical depression. This can lead to a variety of unsavory behaviors and dissatisfaction for all involved. The more outdoor-oriented the pet, the higher probability that these and other problems will present and persist through the season.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things pet owners can do to physically engage and psychologically stimulate their pets and make everyone happier during the long, cold winter months. FETCH! Pet Care CEO, Paul Mann, offers these suggestions:

Indoor & Outdoor Exercise

Most dog breeds need to go outside 2-3 times a day, not only to relieve themselves, but also to get some form of exercise and sensory stimulation.  Dogs are more likely to go outside in nearly any kind of weather and often love a romp in the snow.  Taking your dog outdoors will trigger its natural play instincts. Running, jumping and chasing are natural ways to energize your pet, burn calories and boost metabolism.  If you’re not up to the task amid Mother Nature, consider hiring a professional dog walker to happily take on the duty.  Indoors, tried-and-true games like fetch, tug-of-war and wrestling can also serve as a great workout that also stimulates a pet’s appetite.

Cats also love to pounce and play, and if they’re stuck in the house you can easily brighten their day with 10-15 minutes of play each day. String, laser pointers, objects on strings and other enticing toys dragged around get your cat into chase mode, keep her busy and burning energy. Find or install a perch by a window where your cat can watch the birds. For those cats that pine to be outdoors, the marketplace has an abundance of outdoor enclosures that also allows cats to run, roam and prance freely in the invigorating fresh air. Of course, moderate the time spent in these enclosures based on the winter weather conditions.

For both dogs and cats, keep a set of toys and laser pointer handy for an energized and sustained play session, either indoors or out, at least once daily. When outdoor play just isn’t an option, there are a number of motorized animal treadmills on the market today that are entirely enjoyable and effective for exercising both Fido and Felix.

Counting Calories

If your dog or cat doesn’t get outdoors as much in the winter as they normally do, it likely doesn’t need to eat as much food. Reducing food and calorie intake generally means less weight gain and more energy.  If you often give your pets treats, consider hiding them inside toys, such as freezing kibble inside a “Kong,” to give them prolonged busy work.

As with humans, weight maintenance is all about portion control. Feed your pet using a designated measuring cup so that you know exactly how much food they’re consuming each day. If you still aren’t getting the desired results, call the pet food company for dietary recommendations to ensure you aren’t over-feeding—especially as seasonal dietary requirements change when a pet becomes less active. Automated pet feeding systems are also helpful. These tech tools utilize a wireless tag attached to a pet’s collar to regulate and monitor one or more pet’s food intake to ensure the pet isn’t eating too much or too little at once or throughout the day—also keeping multiple pets away from each other’s food.

Let There Be Light

Pets react to illumination just like humans do.  Their energy level increases when the light is brighter. According to Animal Behavior College, “The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals found that approximately 40 percent of dog owners saw a considerable downturn in their pet’s moods during the winter months” and that related symptoms in pets “typically manifest as behavioral changes such as inappropriate soiling, aggression, lethargy and separation anxiety.” The report notes that “Light is intimately tied to the functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands, and can stimulate the body to release hormones that have an uplifting effect on mood.” If it’s too cold to go out, simply open the drapes and let the natural light in, turn up your indoor lights, and consider replacing bulbs with the full spectrum or daylight variety to better simulate a daytime environment. A company called Pawsitive Lighting, has even developed a light box to help conquer those wintertime blues.

Animal-Rousing Aromas

Scented toys can really engage an animal’s interests and natural stalking instincts, also keeping them occupied and mentally focused as they try to find the source of the smell.  Luckily dogs respond to a variety of smells and there are seemingly infinite availability of toys that engage canine olfaction—alone and in combination with other senses that can be concurrently engaged.  A game of hide and seek can go a long way with your pooch!

For cats that respond well to catnip, there are catnip and other “play sprays” that can be squirted onto indoor climbing structures, cardboard boxes, and scratching posts.  A multi-story cat climber or “tree” with strategically placed low-cal treats or scented play toys can readily get kitty jumping from level to level and its heart pumping in kind.

With just a little planning, you can help ensure your pet’s winter season remains happy and healthy, with a great quality of life for everyone in the household.

Paul Mann is the Founder and CEO of Fetch! Pet Care—the nation’s largest and most trusted franchisor for professional pet sitting, dog walking, and pet fitness/exercise services—serving thousands of pets and pet parents throughout the United States from coast to coast. He may be reached online at: www.FetchPetCare.com.

Source:
http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/blog/does-wintertime-blues-effect-your-pet/

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#DogProblems giveaway!

Farted And I Cant Blame Anyone

The team at Purina Veterinary Diets is igniting a conversation around common #DogProblems, like gas (oh, dog gas can be almost deadly, can’t it?!).  The hope is to get concerned owners to talk to their vet about pet food allergies – they even created a Symptom Checker for people to learn more about the topic. They are also taking a humorous approach, creating some funny dog memes about common dog problems.

So This Is Great But I Really Gotta GoAlso, they have created a new hypoallergenic diet, Purina Veterinary Diets® HA Hydrolyzed™ Canine Chicken Flavor Formula. You can find out more about it here.

We want to see your meme! Create a funny dog meme staring your dog, and email it to us. We will post all the entries here, and pick a random winner after the giveaway ends.  The winner will get: Purina-branded medium Wash’n Zip pet bed (the Oatmeal Sherpa) and Purina pet water bowl – an approximate value of over $70. USA only.

The giveaway will end on December 7th, 2014! We can’t wait to see your memes!

This giveaway is now over. Thanks to all who entered. Congrats to lucky number 3!

Screen shot 2014-12-09 at 12.04.17 PMezxug

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