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“Back To School” Means Things Change for Your Pet, Too!

September 15, 2010 | General

As the new school year begins, schedules will affect everyone in the family, including dogs. Changes in routine can create separation anxiety, and cause changes in behavior patterns. Here are some tips to keep your dog on track.

Dogs love routine. Try to feed him and walk him at about the same time each day, and spend a few minutes a day on training. This is the kind of interaction your dog craves, and will make him feel useful and important.

Exercise your dog before leaving the house. A leash walk early in the morning is very satisfying for your dog and has health benefits for human and canine alike. Once you return home, your dog is ready to relax while you are away.

Consider a confinement system to keep your dog from chewing furniture when he’s bored. A roomy crate or gated area gives your dog his own space. Use the confined area for fifteen minutes or so when you are home, and toss in treats and toys so he learns accept it when you are away.

Be fair about leaving your dog alone. More than four hours for a puppy or six to seven hours for an adult dog is pushing the limit. To battle separation anxiety, keep your good-byes low-key, and the same when you return.

Try a job chart so the dog isn’t forgotten on a busy day. Just like schedules for school and sports, you can schedule feeding, walking and playtime for your dog. Divide age-appropriate jobs among the kids, and parents should participate as well. Once the jobs are all checked off for the week, parents can choose to reward their kids.

After a family dinner, try establishing a new family tradition. Ditch the cell phones and take a family walk together. Kids talk about their day, parents enjoy a stroll, and the dog loves being part of this bonding experience.

We hope these tips help the entire family ease back into the fall schedule.

Source for tips: Amy Robinson, dog trainer and creator of the ‘Drool School’ DVD.

Keep your pal cool when you take off to school!

If the weatherman is right, we’ll be experiencing warm weather deep into the fall season this year. Dog’s don’t sweat and can’t cool off the same way you and I do. When you see Bowser panting, that’s his way of trying to cool down. It works great in normal climates and during weather that isn’t too warm. But when the temperature starts rising, it’s time to start taking measures to keep your pet cool. All the panting in the world won’t make him comfortable in the kind of heat we can experience during a Southern California Indian Summer.

Here are tips on how to help your pooch beat the heat:

  • Baby Pools are a great way to cool off your dog and fun for everyone involved!
  • Fill one up and watch how fast they’ll get the idea. If you have a small dog, a basin will do. Just make sure it’s something the dog is big enough to climb out of easily and keep the water only chest high to make ‘em comfortable.
  • Crushed ice is great, too. Many dogs love to crunch on it. Toss Bowser a few and see how fast they disappear! As a bonus tip, they also work wonders during the teething stage!
  • Never leave your dog outside all day in the summer. You know how you feel after a few hours in 100 degree heat? If you want to leave your pet out for long periods of time, do it in the morning or evening and avoid mid-day temperatures
  • If your dog is going to be outside for awhile, make sure there is some kind of shelter from the sun. Trees, a picnic table, a covered patio – something that creates a shadow they can retreat to is very important. Dogs know what shade is, and they will find it if it exists. But it needs to exist all day. Be aware, if you have one big tree that creates shade in the morning, it might not create shade a few hours later. Make sure you know there will be shade the entire time your pal is outside.
  • Always be sure your dog has a cold source of fresh water the entire time he is outside. Make sure there’s enough water to last, if you leave him out for a long time. In the heat, it’s usually more than a large bowl and it’s best to leave it in the shade. Take precaution to use a large container that’s not easily spilled over.
  • Your parked car is NOT the place for your dog (sorry but we still need to cover this one).
  • Sunscreen is another consideration for many dogs. If your dog has a pink nose slather on some sunscreen. White dogs especially are susceptible to burning if their coat is thin. Apply sunscreen deep into the coat to reach the skin. Dogs with short coats like Boxers, Weimaraners, and Pit Bulls can also burn easily.

Despite what many people think, you can’t roll down the windows enough to get real airflow in there, because Bowser could escape. I’m sure some of this sounds like common sense, but the reality is a lot of dog owners don’t consider these things when they put their dog outdoors. They think he’ll be fine out there all day, not realizing he’s susceptible to the elements just like people are. Perhaps more so, because Bowser doesn’t sweat. So remember as schedules change and the heat presses on, it’s up to you to provide your pal with the tools to stay cool while everyone else is off to school!

Health Bulletin – Dogs & Cancer

At least 1 in 4 dogs get cancer

What is cancer? Cancer (also called neoplasia) is a transformation of normal healthy cells into abnormal malignant cells. Cancer can take many forms.

Some types of cancer involve solid masses, or tumors, while others like leukemia involve the blood or bone marrow. Cancer can develop in virtually any organ or body system.

In addition, some cancers spread or metastasize to other areas of the body. They can spread to nearby tissues, or invade the blood stream or lymphatic system. The exact symptoms, treatment and prognosis vary with the specific tumor type and situation. Cancer treatment has become very advanced. There are some cancers that are nearly curable in pets and some that have some very good treatment options. These can be expensive. The goal of cancer therapy in dogs is to treat the cancer while still maintaining a good quality of life.

Make sure you feed your dog a healthy balanced diet. When selecting foods make sure that protein is one of the first 2 ingredients and that it contains no “by-products”. Ask any of our managers about the quality nutritional foods that we feed in our facilities and sell in our retail section.

What Your Pet Can Teach You!

As everyone heads off to school it’s easy to focus on new classes, curriculum and teachers. But learning comes from many places and our own pets are a great source.

Here are some insightful tips shared by Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer* that we can all benefit from. It’s amazing how much we can learn from our own dog:

Live in the moment

People often wonder how I get such quick results with the dogs I rehabilitate. The answer is simple: Dogs live in the moment. They don’t regret the past or worry about the future. If we can learn to appreciate and focus on what’s happening in the here and now, we’ll experience a richness of living that other members of the animal kingdom enjoy.

Nurture a balanced life

I tell my clients to follow this simple rule with their dogs: Offer exercise, discipline, and affection every day. Do the same for yourself. We humans are happier if our routines include physical activity, a sense of structure, and the opportunity to give and receive love on a daily basis.

Live with purpose

When dogs are bored, they develop issues ranging from anxiety to aggression. But when given a job and a way to contribute to the pack’s well-being, they turn around almost immediately. All animals—including humans—have an inborn need to work for food and water. Ask yourself how you can contribute more to your job, your family, and the world around you. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you earn your food and water, too.

Celebrate every day

For a dog, every morning is Christmas morning. Every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal, every game is the best game. We can learn so much by observing the way our pets rejoice in life’s simplest moments. Take time every day to celebrate the many gifts that are hidden in the ordinary events of your own life.

*Cesar Millan is the author of “A Member of the Family” and star of the National Geographic Channel’s “Dog Whisperer

New Product News!

There are a lot of problems with pet stains. You need to treat them as quickly as possible before they “set” or discolor the area. And if you don’t get the odor out too, your dog may come back and soil the same area again. Finally, you’ve got to consider your pet’s safety. The cleaner you use must be non-toxic and pet safe so your dog will not be poisoned by licking his paws after walking on the spot.

We learned about an award-winning pet stain remover called Fizzion that industry experts were just raving about. Pet Product News gave this product its top honor—the 2009 Editors’ Choice Award. And Modern Dog magazine named it the Best New Product in their “Under $20” category. Fizzion treats stains and odors in a revolutionary new way—removing all traces of stain and odor. Look for it in our retail section coming soon.

Encinitas gets a new greeting!

Quick drop off and pick up is all the rage for campers! We know your work commute can be hectic. Our Encinitas location will have a greeter meet you out front of the facility during peak drop-off and pick-up hours, making it easier than ever to leave Fido for a day of fun!

Must have a valid punch card to utilize this service.