The Heat and Your Pet

The Heat and Your Pet

 

With summer just starting and the heat not giving up you don’t want to spend your days on the hot pavement in the sweltering sun, right? Of course not and neither does your pet. Here are some tips to keeping your pet cool when the temps are up.

 

  1. Check the pavement. When you first go outside to walk your pooch, feel the pavement. If you wouldn’t go barefoot because the blacktop is too hot, your dog shouldn’t either. Try to keep the blacktop/concrete in a minimum and stick to grassy areas.
  2. Make sure your cooling your pet inside and out. If your pet likes water, perhaps invest in a kiddy pool for him to lounge in outdoors. Also, you can whip up some delicious popsicles made with peanut butter or another favorite treat.
  3. Don’t keep your pet in a hot car. This goes without saying, but even a few minutes could be harmful. On an 85 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 102 within 10 minutes.
  4. Watch for heatstroke. Signs of heatstroke include glazed eyes, fast heartbeat, excessive thirst, fever, lethargy, vomiting, dark red or purple tongue, heavy panting, seizure, & unconsciousness.

 

This summer is shaping up to be a hot one! Make sure your pet is happy and comfortable!

Written by: Samantha Roberts

The Boston Terrier

Are you looking for a big dog in a small dog’s body?  The boston terrier may be your pick.  Originating in the United States, the breed is nicknamed the “American Gentleman” for its tuxedo patterned coloring and its refined and pleasant personality.  He is a compact little guy, with erect ears and a slick coat and short tail weighing between 15 and 25 pounds.  They are generally happy-go-lucky and eager to please, given a patient owner.  They can be protective which can lead to aggression towards people and other animals, if not properly socialized.  They require very minimal grooming.  Many bostons cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold temperatures due to their very short snout, known as Brachycephalic dogs.  This characteristic makes them more prone to snoring and reverse sneezing.  Boston terriers are usually rather quiet dogs and only bark when necessary.  This makes them perfect for apartment dwellers.  They typically enjoy being around people and are usually good with children, elderly, and other pets.  Some common health problems are cataracts and other eye problems, luxating patella in their legs, deafness, heart murmurs, and tumors.  I can personally vouch for the breed because I have owned one myself for six years now.  My beloved Higgins is a wonderful family dog and the whole family adores him.  I highly recommend the breed to anyone that wants a tough little dog that can run with the big boys!

A Common Saying…

I am sure you have seen posted far and wide the saying, “All you need is love…and a dog.”  From Facebook to Twitter to wall signs…I have seen it just about everywhere.  Why is it seen from coffee mugs to t-shirts?  Because it is the universal truth.  Our dogs keep us healthy and happy.  Literally.  The American Heart Association found that pet owners lowered their risk of heart attack. And people who have heart disease and who own a pet are more likely to survive a heart attack.  Even the CDC has a “Healthy Pets, Healthy People” portal on their website dedicated completely to pet owners.  No doubt, pets are a huge part of our lives.  Reading and watching all of the scary things that go on in our world, our pets keep the innocence and sanity in our homes for us.  Whether they are licking your face, curling up next to you, or wagging their whole body when they greet you when you are coming home from work, all you need is love…and a dog!

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is the number one cause of behavioral problems in pets.  Have you ever wondered why your pet gets agitated or even destructive when you leave the house to go to work or run some errands?   You may have a pet with separation anxiety.  In the wild, dogs are social animals that roam, hunt, and sleep as a pack.  In your household, they see you as the pack leader and feel lonely when you are not there.  Some symptoms of separation anxiety are following you around the house and getting upset if they do not have access to you, whining and pacing when you are preparing to leave the house, destroying furniture and other items when you are away, scratching at the door when you leave, and using the bathroom in the house when they are potty trained.  Some tips to alleviate separation anxiety are feeding your pet before you leave so that they may be full and happy, leave plenty of bones and toys to keep them busy when you are away, or making them exercise before you go, such as taking them on a run or walk.  If none of these things seem to be working for your pet, then you may need to consult your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.

A Natural Diet

People use herbal remedies everyday, but can the same apply to our pets?  Here are a list of herbs that I researched that can actually add some healthy qualities to their diet.

1. Oregano: This non-toxic herb has been used to help with digestive problems, diarrhea, and gas. Research using oil of oregano has also shown antifungal properties.

2. Rosemary: This good-for-dogs herb is high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. Rosemary has also been shown to act as an antioxidant.

3. Peppermint: This aromatic herb has historically been used to help soothe upset stomachs, reduce gas, reduce nausea, and help with travel sickness. In addition, research is being done which shows that it may have radioprotective effects and can be used to reduce radiation-induced sickness and mortality in animals undergoing chemotherapy. There is no reported toxicity for dogs although very high doses may result in liver or kidney problems.

4. Basil: This dog-approved leafy herb, well-known for its delicious role in pesto, has antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. The next time you’re cooking with fresh basil, sprinkle a pinch of the chopped herb atop your dog’s dinner.

5. Parsley: Another leafy herb commonly seen as a garnish on our plates is a source of flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins. It also contains lycopene and carotenes. Often added to dog treats as a breath freshener or used to soothe the stomach, parsley has a long history of use with dogs.

Herbs can be fresh or dry.  You can put them on their food or bake the into homemade doggie cookies.

Bogan Park in Buford

Has anyone ever been to Bogan Park in Buford?  It is located off North Bogan Road and has easy access from Hamilton Mill Road.  The park is 83 acres of pet friendly walking trails and a huge indoor aquatic center.  There are multiple playgrounds, outdoor basketball courts, a seven field baseball/softball complex, and a football field.  They also have sand volleyball courts and some outdoor pavilions available to reserve.  The two miles of walking trails are beautiful and are situated in a wooded area surrounding a small body of water.  You will always see multiple dogs getting walked on the trails or hanging out under the pavilions during family get togethers or events.   The park is very shaded, so even in the hot summer, it is comfortable to walk your pet.  I have not seen an off leash dog park at this facility, so that is something that they can look in to adding in the future.  I have taken my dogs to this park before and they really enjoyed the atmosphere and there is no shortage of people to interact with on days with nice weather.  Plus, if you have children, there are many activities for them to partake in, so you will have entertainment for your two legged and four legged children.  I give this park four out of five paws up!

Spring Break is Around the Corner!

With the year going by so fast, spring break is just around the corner.  Have you made your plans yet?  If not, now is the time.  Maybe your pooch will be lucky enough to be taken to a pet friendly destination.  For most of us, that is not an option so that’s why Gwinnett Pet Watchers is always here to take great care of your pets while you are away.  In fact, our care is so good that your pet may not even know that you are out of town.  Well, they may miss you a little bit.  With our combination of services, we provide quality care and loving, caring pet sitters for all of Gwinnett County.  So, treat yourself to a wonderful vacation while we take care of the rest.  Whether you will be gone for the weekend or the month, we provide services to accommodate any length of time.  With our picture updates and text messages, you will feel like you haven’t missed a beat of your pet’s daily activities.  Plan your vacation today!

Scoop that Poop at the Dog Park!

With the bipolar weather in Georgia, we have to take advantage of the nice days for our pooches and venture out to the dog park when the weather permits.  I have noticed that, despite signs, a doggy clean up station, and free disposal bags, not everyone thinks that they should have to clean up after their dog.  This is not okay!  Some dogs may carry contagious bacteria in their feces.  This may spread to other dogs and cause an unnecessary trip to the vet where money must be spent, again, unnecessarily. Also, I do not want to step in poop and neither do my dogs!  Some people may see someone else not pick up their dog’s waste, and assume that it is okay for them not to do it as well.  Let’s all set a good example and prevent unneeded catastrophe at the dog park.  Please clean up after your pooch!

Kyjen Invicibles Dog Toy

Kyjen is a major manufacturer in the pet industry, with cool, innovative products.  It seems they’re always trying to come up with fresh new ideas, and ways to make the old toys better.  How tough can a plush toy get? Some dogs can’t have plush toys. Ever. I’ve had those dogs. Others need a tough one, and those are the dogs that these toys are made for.  The newest versions of Invincibles contain reinforced, double-layered seams and Dura Tuff lining material. On the inside, the toys are stuffing-less, filled only with their patented squeakers that continue to squeak even after being punctured. Sure, no toy is tough enough to endure the most aggressive chewer. Some dogs just can’t have plush toys. But some dogs can have Invincibles, even if they can’t have regular plush toys. And that’s good news for enthusiastic or big dogs.  Even when dogs manage to tear through the double-layered seams and Dura-Tuff™ liner, the mess is minimal thanks to their stuffing-free design. Invincibles® squeakers are specially designed to continue to squeak even after being punctured—a feature that prolongs the fun for furry friends. They are available in a variety of snake and gecko characters, and range in size from two to six squeakers.  Kyjen’s line of Invincibles retails between $10 and $20. Not cheap for a dog toy. But not expensive, either, especially when you consider how long they last.  After researching this product, I cannot wait to try it out on my own dogs.  Update on that coming soon!

Pet Boutique and Bakery in Suwanee

Has anyone been to Pooch N Paws Pet Boutique and Bakery in the Suwanee?  It is located in the Suwanee Town Center Square.  It is a fun place for pets and their owners to shop that is personalized and unique while supporting and giving back to the community.  They have a wide variety of premium pet food and treats.  I have shopped there before and they have a huge selection of bakery items that all of my dogs thoroughly enjoyed.  They also offer spa services including baths, haircuts, nail trimming, and polish.  Another cool feature of this place is that they have a self serve dog wash where you can bring your dog in and do it yourself, without the clean up.  They are also dog friendly, of course, so you can bring your pooch shopping with you so they can pick out their own treats!  It is a family owned business that has been open since 2010, so they are very knowledgeable and well established.  I highly recommend checking this place out.  I give it four paws up!!!