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Dog Parks in Raleigh, NC

Two dogs at North Hills Dog Park in Raleigh, NCWhether you are looking for a quiet spot to read a book while your pooch runs around, or you are searching for a thriving canine community to commiserate with, there is a Raleigh dog park for you. While Raleigh has four major dog parks in the city limits, not all are created equal. This is why we’ve put together a handy list of our six favorite dog parks in the Raleigh area.  All are off-leash, for your convenience.

Check them out and let us know what you think: [Read more…]

What to Look Out for On Your Next Dog Park Trip

Dog parks in Wake County, NC

Millbrook Exchange Dog Park

With a recent article on WRAL detailing plans from city officials to increase the number of dog parks in Raleigh, it might be a good time to check out what the city already has on offer.  Raleigh is well-known for its human-friendly green areas.  From William B. Umstead State Park to the inner-beltline Lions Park, it has relatively few spaces dedicated for the largest grown demographic of the city; our canine friends.

While new dog-friendly pop-up parks might be on the way soon, there are plenty of Raleigh dog parks to enjoy in the meantime.  Here is what you should know before grabbing your leash and taking Fido on a field trip. As a bonus, we include a list of our favorite dog parks in the Raleigh (and surrounding) areas.

Benefits of Dog Parks

Have you ever tried to maintain a routine of going straight from work to home and back again with no breaks for excitement or entertainment? Of course not! Life is about enjoying new environments and getting together with friends to relax and have fun.  Your dog feels the exact same way, except they don’t want to go to parties or concerts to have fun.  They want to get out and run around with you and other furry friends.  That’s why dog parks are so important for your dog’s routine.  Dogs who stay home with just the occasional trip around the block can become depressed and anxious.

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Why Hire a Professional Pet Sitter?

PSI Pet Sitters InternationalWhy Hire a Professional Pet Care Service?

If you are in the market for a pet care provider in the Raleigh area, you probably already know all the options available to you, from your Aunt Susan to the boarding facility over in North Hills. With online apps popping up full of strangers looking to care for your pooch for just a few bucks, it can get tempting to cave and hire that hobby sitter over the trained professional.

What many pet parents don’t know, though, is all the benefits that come with hiring a pet sitting and walking service over the casual sitters available online. From continuing education to best care for all your pets to minimizing the stress your absence creates, professional pet sitters are worth their weight in gold. Here is why you should consider them over their more temporary alternatives:

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5 Steps to Stop Leash Pullers in Their Tracks

Dog pulling his owner during walk

Dog pulling hard on his leash

It’s a classic story: dog goes on walk, dog hauls owner all over the sidewalk.  By the time you get back home, your shoulder is sore and you are contemplating getting a gerbil instead.  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like this.  

Whether you are just starting your journey of reforming a chronic puller or you have a long relationship with a dog who hauls you around the neighborhood, there are several steps you can take to convince them to cut it out.  Here are five steps you can take to help your dog improve their leash manners and stop running you ragged on walks:

Change Their Collar to a Harness

Unfortunately, the traditional buckle collar for pups is one that is most comfortable to pull against.  Switch your tug-happy dog to a chest harness, like this one, to discourage pulling.  Harnesses apply pressure to the front of the chest when the dog pulls, and, if you attach the leash to the front clip of the harness, pulls the dog to one side.  Your dog will dislike the feeling when they pull and will self-correct with time.  

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Well-Behaved Dogs: Observing Good Dog Etiquette

Every neighborhood has that one house with a dog that won’t stop barking. The one whose owners are apparently deaf to the sound and certainly deaf to the complaints and shouts of neighbors who are tired of having their sleep disrupted. The erosion of dog etiquette is surely an indication that common courtesy is not what it once was. Excessive barking, leaving a dog’s feces on a neighbor’s lawn, and failing to prevent a dog from inappropriately sniffing a visitor are some of the common etiquette transgressions that dog owners either ignore or assume that others won’t mind. One of the most distressing things about breaches of dog etiquette is that so much of it comes down to common courtesy. No one expects a dog to be perfectly behaved, but it’s certainly reasonable to expect that dog owners would intervene and correct their pet’s behavior when their furry friend gets too ornery.

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February is National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health Month so we thought we’d spend a little time this week talking about what you can do to help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.

Neglecting your dog’s teeth can lead to many serious health problems, the least of which is bad breath.  

The most commonly known to most people is heart disease and infection in the heart valves.  Bacteria from your dog’s mouth travels to the heart where it can cause bacterial endocarditis, causing permanent damage to the cardiac tissue and lead to heart disease and failure.  Other serious issues could be liver abscesses and sepsis, where bacteria enters the blood stream.  Both can be treated but it’s very expensive and often not successful.  Because of painful teeth and difficulty eating, many dogs will develop poor appetites which can lead to even more problems.  And lastly, osteomyelitis, a painful bone infection can lead to a broken jaw that is very difficult to heal.

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Preparing Your Puppy for Grooming

If you’ve just brought home a new puppy and you believe that you’ll be needing to have him professionally groomed as he grows, the sooner you introduce him to this process the better.  Once they’ve completed their vaccinations, usually around twelve weeks, is a perfect time.

As soon as you bring him home you can begin this.  Gently brush his coat when you can and play with his feet and ears.  Get him used to being touched all over.  This may seem obvious but taking a little extra time to do this will go a long way in helping him stay relaxed when the big day comes. 

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Pumpkin Dog Cookies w/ a Peanut Butter & Bacon Glaze

If you’re like me, you probably love spoiling your pups.  I’m not a big cooker but I do enjoy making things for Bailey.  He absolutely loves these cookies & I bet your dogs will too!  Made with pumpkin & drizzled with a mixture of bacon & peanut butter…what dog wouldn’t?!

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A Pet for Christmas?

Pros, cons, and tips for those who insist on putting a new family member under the tree. 

The image of a smiling child lifting a wiggly puppy from a box on Christmas morning is an iconic one. Those of us who love animals know that nothing can bring greater joy than an adorable kitten or puppy, but experts agree that Christmas morning may be the worst time to introduce a new pet. 

For one thing, a pet under the tree will have a lot of competition. It’s not likely that the child will just get that new pet, after all. The adorable puppy and kitten may have to complete with a video game system or a bike. And even if the new pet is the child’s favorite gift, a trip to grandma’s house later in the day may find the new addition left alone in a crate or a dark room, lonely, confused, and afraid. 

A far better option is a bowl, a leash, and a picture of the pet still safe and sound at the home of the responsible breeder holding it until after Christmas when things calm down and the family has time to prepare to bring it home to a pet-proofed home.  This also gives parents time to talk to kids about the responsibilities of having a pet, what their role in cleaning up after and feeding their new playmate.

Of course, not everyone will wait. And whether you bring your new friend home on Christmas morning or afterward, these tips can make the new arrival easier.

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A Safe and Happy Christmas: Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Merry Christmas from Dickens!

Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Unless, of course, you end up rushing your beloved pet to the vet due to an avoidable emergency. 

For humans, the holidays bring twinkling lights, gaily wrapped packages, rich foods, and adult beverages served by the fire in the company of friends and family who come to call. And while we don’t want to sound like the Grinch, each one of these things presents a possible hazard.

Here’s how to avoid them so your pet can enjoy a safe, happy holiday. 

Trees and Decorations

Christmas trees are irresistible, especially to a cat. “Why bring a tree in the house if you don’t mean for me to climb it?” your kitten may ask, and if you have a cat or kitten, you may spend a good deal of the time shooing her away from the tree or fishing her out of it. Climbing within itself isn’t usually a danger, but make sure the tree is secure since a falling tree can hurt your cat, especially if it gets tangled in the lights.

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