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Obesity in Dogs

overweight dogIs Your Dog Overweight?

Many pet parents admit that they don’t pay too much attention to their dog’s weight.  The lack of knowledge regarding obesity in dogs can result in serious long term and lifelong effects. In fact, neglecting to help your dog maintain a healthy weight can cause major health issues as well as reduce a dog’s lifespan.

What causes obesity in dogs?

Obesity in dogs can be linked to a few different factors and health conditions.  Extra weight in dogs is often caused by over-consumption or eating too much.  If what a dog is eating is not in proper balance with the amount of energy he expends, then the likely result is weight gain. Furthermore, if a dog regularly consumes a diet that is high in calories or an overabundance of table scraps or treats, that will also cause obesity.  Obesity has also been linked to health issues such as pancreatic cancer, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. [Read more…]

Tips for Finding a Lost Dog or Cat

Lost Dog Poster from local pet sitters in raleigh

As a pet owner, as well as a local pet sitter, I can’t think of anything more frightening than the thought of a lost cat or dog.  The fact is that 15% of pet owners report having lost a cat or dog sometime in the past 5 years.  Of those pets, about 93% of dogs and 74% of cats eventually find their way home safely.  Taking a few precautionary steps early on and also getting an immediate start once something happens can help to increase these odds.

An Ounce of Prevention

All dogs (& most cats) should have a collar with their name and contact information, either on a tag or printed on the buckle or stitched into the collar.  About 15% of found dogs were returned home just because of this very simple and inexpensive step.  Microchips are another very useful tool, but a dog (or cat) must be at a shelter or a veterinarian’s office in order to be scanned.  A collar with their name on it is the fastest way for someone to get in contact with you. [Read more…]

A New Puppy for Christmas

a new puppy for Christmas

Havanese puppy, Bailey

While pet experts agree that a new puppy for Christmas isn’t usually ideal, the fact remains that a new dog or cat often tops the Christmas list for children and adults.

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten can be an exciting time, but having a pet is a commitment that requires research, preparation, and consideration not just of the humans in your household, but your other pets as well.

The New Dog
Step 1: Research

This begins with research. Breed choice matters, even if you are adopting from a shelter instead of buying from what we hope will be a reputable breeder if you go that route.

Dogs are loveable, but they are not all alike. They are bred to exhibit certain traits and behaviors, and prospective owners should not go by looks alone. The beautiful Border Collie you see on television is intelligent and good at tricks, but as a herding breed, it will also be a high energy dog with a high prey drive. Those pugs you like are adorable with their expressive, smushed in faces, but if you enjoy hiking in the summer, that flat face will make it more prone to hyperventilation in the heat. [Read more…]

Raleigh Dog Parks

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 are at least one or more Raleigh dog parks for you and your pups to enjoy. 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…]

Raleigh Dog Parks – What to Look Out For on Your Next Trip

Raleigh dog parks

Millbrook Exchange Dog Park

With a recent article on WRAL detailing plans from city officials to increase the number of Raleigh dog parks, 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 area 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.

[Read more…]

Dog Training: 5 Steps to Stop Leash Pullers in Their Tracks

Dog pulling his owner during walk

It’s a classic story: a dog goes on a 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.  

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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. 

[Read more…]

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?!

[Read more…]

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