Tips for Maintaining a Healthy and Happy Pet

Here are 10 tips for maintaining a healthy, happy pet –

#1: Proper Diet – Feeding raw and fresh foods along with a good quality commercial diet is an excellent way to find a balance for your pet’s nutritional needs. Speak with your veterinarian about recommendations.

#2: Proper Exercise – Just as humans need exercise for increasing circulation, maintaining muscle balance, flushing waste and general happiness, so do your pets. Keep them active, healthy and happy through playing, running or whatever activity you enjoy doing together.

#3: Maintain Proper Weight – Obese pets die at a younger age; it’s a fact. Canine obesity is one of the fastest growing health issues among dogs today. Extra weight overloads organs, making it hard for your pets’ body to function correctly. If you’re having a hard time maintaining your pets’ weight, be sure to speak with your veterinarian. He/she can help you determine the correct amount of food that needs to be given.

#4: Have Your Pet Examined Yearly – Get a complete physical examination done by a veterinarian each year. They will check for parasites, dental disease, update any vaccinations they may need, and go over the correct diet plan for your pet. It’s also a great time to talk to them about any concerns you may have.

#5: Give Your Pet a Purpose – Spend more time with them! Not only is it good for their health, but it’s a proven fact, that it’s good for yours as well. 😉  A bored pet can become lazy and lethargic, which can ultimately cause weight issues, and in some cases, depression.

#6: Use Flea and Tick Control (Sensibly) – Fleas and ticks bring all sorts of diseases. Check with your veterinarian to find out the ideal times to use flea & tick control.

#7: Spay and Neuter Your Pet – According to the Humane Society of the U.S. “There are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. About half of these animals are adopted, and tragically, the other half are euthanized.”
Still, many people are reluctant to spay or neuter their pets. The fact is, spaying and neutering is actually a healthy choice for your pet. It reduces the risk of breast cancer in females and testicular cancer in males. Neutered males are also less likely to run away from home, mark their territory, or exhibit aggressive behaviors.

#8: Socializing Your Pet – If you get a puppy or kitten, it is important to provide them with positive human interaction during their first seven weeks of life. This will help them develop trust and respect, and give them a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong.

#9: Do Not Leave Your Pets Alone For Too Long – Spending 8-10 hours alone in a crate, tiny laundry closet, or even outdoors is too much for most dogs, and in some cases, cats. It can lead to separation anxiety, depression, and destructive behaviors including chewing, soiling, digging, and nonstop barking or howling. If you plan to be away for long periods of time, be sure to find arrangements for your pet, whether it’s hiring a dog walker or pet sitter or perhaps asking a family member or neighbor to help out.

#10: Do Not Scold Your Pet(s) For Any Reason, Including “Accidents” – Don’t scold your pet during or after an accident. Reaction is still attention in their eyes, whether a good or bad reaction. The situation took place in the past, and your dog or cat won’t understand why you’re yelling. A better strategy is to praise your pets immediately when they do their business where they are supposed to.
Got any other tips on maintaining a healthy, happy pet?!? We would love to hear them!

Tips on Hiking with Your Dog(s)

Ahh.. Spring and Summer, my two favorite season’s of the year! It’s the time for fresh blooms, warmer weather, outdoor events, landscaping, sunshine, and perhaps… a hike with your pup?!

Here are some quick tips for you to know before heading out the door and up the big hill –

1. Every dogs capabilities are different. If you walk or run your pup regularly, then they’re probably in decent shape. Be sure to do research ahead of time though, and head for a mountain that’s a good fit for your dog. Keep the hike short if your dog isn’t normally active.

2. Hike only dog-friendly areas. Check out this site for local hikes: Explorer Dog! Day Hikes

3. Make sure your dog has up-to-date tags, which includes their identification, your contact information, as well as your vet’s contact info.

4. Bring necessary supplies and information –

  • Carry 8 ounces of water for every hour of planned hiking. This is extremely important on those hot summer days!
  • Bring some treats and food. The amount will depend on the length of the hike.
  • A basic first aid kit
  • An extra collar or leash
  • Poop bags
  • A current picture of your dog (in case he or she gets lost)
  • Your vets phone number, as well as contact information to the closest emergency vet.
5. In any extreme weather conditions, I would probably just skip the hike. There’s no reason a dog should be hiking in those conditions. Too much can go wrong.

Quick tips for during the hike – 

1. Watch your dog(s) carefully, as they’re good at getting into all kinds of trouble! There’s a lot of wildlife out there, including; skunks, snakes, porcupines, etc. Take them immediately to the emergency clinic if he or she has encountered something dangerous or is acting unusual!

2. Though many people feel comfortable leaving their dogs off-leash, I, personally, would much rather keep mine on a leash. It’s safer, you know where they went potty, so you can clean it up, and they won’t bother other people or dogs. Simply put, there’s much less to worry about. When I’m hiking, I want to enjoy my time, NOT spend my time worrying about my dog.

Quick tips for after the hike – 

1. Though dogs are not affected by poison ivy, they can actually transfer it to your skin.  No matter what, at the end of your hike, check your dog thoroughly (for ticks, wounds, bites, skin rashes…) and definitely give ’em a good scrub in the bath when you return home.

2. Lastly, make sure they have fresh, cool water and plenty of food. Aren’t you starving after a long workout?

Got any more advice?? Don’t hesitate to post!

Happy Trails!

Mother’s Day & Upcoming Pet Events in the Seattle Area

Hi Folks!

Welcome to May! My goodness, time goes by fast, doesn’t it??

First off, just wanted to remind you Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 8th! Just around the corner! If she happens to be an animal lover, you can find a lot of great gifts on the Animal Rescue Site. The great thing about this site is that every purchase made, funds food and care for rescued animals. Now that’s a great gift in itself!

Secondly, I wanted to point out all of the pet events and fundraiser’s that are coming up in the Seattle area. There are a ton of them! I love the summer time, as it brings out the social and giving bug in all of us! Attending and volunteering at these events are a great way to give back to the community and meet some wonderful people!

Be sure to check out my Washington State Pet Events and Fundraiser’s page for an updated list!