Pet Emergency Prepardness

I know we all have a golden retriever dog holding an umbrellaplan for when a big emergency hits so that we can just up and go. However, very few people have one for their pets. There are somethings that you should have on hand for an emergency. Here’s a quick list to reference to:

  •  A durable bag with collar and leashes that will last with constant use. Food in an airtight container, bottles of water, and thick blankets.
  • Make sure that your collars have some form of identification on them in case your pet gets away. You can get a collar with your pets name and number stitched on it if your worried about the tags falling off. Hund mit Erste Hilfe Set
  • Keep a copy of your pets current vaccinations, a list of local vets and shelters in your area and have a current photo of your pet in case you can’t find them.
  • A pet first aid kit; just like us our pets can get injured.
  • A carrier large and durable enough for your pet.
  • Lastly something that’s always good to do is microchipping, this allows any shelter or vet to scan your pet, get all your contact information, and contact you if they are found.

Things you might want to consider having:

  • A back up plan with friend, neighbor, or relative in case you can’t get to your pet.
  • A list of pet friendly hotels/motels in your area.

Pet Friendly Sign

Try these website to find pet friendly hotel/motels:

www.1clickpethotel.com

www.dogfriendly.com

www.bringfido.com

www.doginmysuitecase.com

www.tripswithpets.com

www.pet-friendly-hotels.net

www.letsgopets.com

www.pets-allowed-hotels.com

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How often should your pet be groomed?

You’re thinking about getting a new addition but you’re not sure how often it will need to be groomed or even if it needs to be groom. You should first talk to the breederP1040851, a vet,  the animal shelter, or a groomer.  Now that you have an idea of whether it needs a haircut or just a bath more questions have popped up. Like how often should my dogs hair be cut? How often does it need a bath? Should I cut it’s nails? What do I do in between my dogs appointments?

You just picked up your new dog and it is in desperate need of a haircut but you have no idea how often to get it cut. Make sure to do your research and call around to different grooming shops to find the best one for you. But how do you know if it is a good place for you and your pet? In most shops the groomer will come and talk with you directly on how they will groom your pet and what style of cut you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want, you want to make sure that you are completely comfortable leaving your pet with the groomer. P1040856Find someone who will work with your pet if they are a little bit scared or if you want a particular style.

You just got back from the groomer with your pet all sweet smelling and clean but how often do you need to bring Fluffy back for a haircut? Most groomers recommend every 6 to 8 weeks depending on your lifestyle and how long you keep Fluffy’s hair. If you like Fluffy to have a nice short haircut that won’t take a lot of up keep then you might want to try every 8 weeks to get it cut but if you like a more full look with long sweeping hair then you should consider getting Fluffy groomed every 6 weeks. Please remember this all depend on you and your pet.  A key factor to remember is to thoroughly brush out Fluffy in between grooms (make ure you have all the proper tools first)  you want to be able to run a comb from the top to bottom without any snags.

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Another method to traditional bathing is using a hydrosurge

If you decide you just want to get a bath done, just make sure to do it no more than once a month anything more than that and you’ll start stripping the natural oils from its skin. Why is this bad you ask? No oils on the skin causes dry skin, dry skin causes itching, and itching can cause hot spots which are painful and irritating to pets. A good way to eliminate the need for frequent baths is brushing on a regular schedule. A good brushing helps remove loose hair and the dead skin plus you can always opt for a waterless bath if your pet is just too stinky.

Nail trims are another service that sometimes need to be done in between a bath or their haircuts. Dogs have a vein called a quick in their nail which over time can be forced to recede with fP1040840requent nail trims. If the quicks are too long, the best way to get them back is to get a nail trim every 2 to 3 weeks. Some groomers offer two different ways to cut your pet’s nails: there’s the more traditional way of using just a pair of nail clippers and the other alternative is dremmeling the; more groomers are leaning towards this method. Both ways are effective.

 

With a bit of research and help from your groomer you can find the best game plan at making sure your pup is happy, healthy, and all clean.

 

Things to Consider when Coloring your Pet

I’m sure you’ve heard of clothing for pets but here in the pet fashion world they have step up individuality Chanella bunch by introducing pet dye. Personally I love that there is an option to spice up my dogs coat. But there are some pro and cons with dyeing your pet, you first must make sure that it is pet safe dye that you are using. Some people think that dying your pet is awesome and some people think its cruel, the most important thing to remember is the safety of your pet if you decide to add some color.

Some of the pros for pet dye are:

  • freaking awesome looking hair
  • life of the party
  • complements from strangers
  • ability to express your pets personality
  • match your outfits with your dog

Some of the cons for pet dye is that it can cause:

  • Rashes
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin burns
  • Unsafe chemicals that pets can possible ingest

 

There are multiple ways to dye your pet some more permanent than other s. Most commondipper way is to use Manic Panic or Kool- Aid, I’ve used dog friendly blow pens, chalk, Manic Panic, and gel. While personally I prefer the blow pens since they only last about a week or so, Manic Panic is more permanent choice which usually lasts about 2 weeks. My boys are used for events for my work all the time, Dipper my Boston Terrier loves being dyed and will strut his stuff for anyone watching as long as he has a little more color in his coat.

dye

The awesome thing about blow pens is the possibility to use stencils and create customs designs. The grooming industry has boomed with the idea of fur dyeing and making dogs look exotic.

photo 1 (7)Nowadays you’ll see dogs looking like tigers, pandas, people chose certain themes just like we put a bunch of hearts on my co-workers dog.

 

While adding a splash of color might be super fun please remember to dye responsibly.

 

Homemade Dog Treats

photo 5 (5)I like to think that I’m a pretty experienced baker but have never tried making treats for my dogs. I found a couple of good, healthy, and potentially grain free recipes to try out.  So for this trial round I’m going to try a peanut butter sweet potato treat that makes roughly 2 dozen cookies.

Peanut butter sweet POTATO

With this recipe takes about 30-40 minutes to cook and about a 10 min prep time.  The ingredients you are going to need are:

photo 1 (5)3 sweet potatoes (you can use canned if you don’t want to bake some potatoes)

2 eggs

1 2/3 cups of whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten free flour

1/2-2/3 cups of peanut butterphoto 2 (6)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then while your oven is preheating take your sweet potatoes and with a fork poke a bunch of holes in them. I microwaved mine for about 1 1/2 mins (basically you want to microwave them till they are soft). While the potatoes are in the microwave, grab a small- medium mixing bowl throw in your flour, eggs, and peanut butter.

Once the potatoes are done, I decided to cut mine in half and scooped out the insides just to make it easier on myself. Then mix in into the bowl with all your other ingredients. Now its time to combine! I just used my hand but if you don’t want to get dirty then you can use a stand mixer, hand mixer, spoon, whisk, etc. photo 3 (4)

Put the dough on to a heavily floured surface and roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Then using any cookie cutter shape, cut out the dough and place onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 30-35 minute and out on a cooling rack. The cookies will come out soft but they do harden as they cool. Please note these cookies will not be your traditional hard cookies, they come out softer.

My boys loved these treats! Plus they were super easy to make. Definitely a great recipe to try if it’s your first time trying your hand at making dog cookies.
photo 4 (5)

Matting prevention

 

How Mats Happen

photo (9)A mat is a tangled mass of fur, held together and interwoven with dirt, debris, fibers & more hair. A dog’s hair shafts actually resemble a briar bush – a single strand can have many small “barbs” – though some types of coats can be rougher or smoother, depending on the breed. Other factors in creation of a mat are dirt, static, moisture, & friction.

Particularly common areas for mats to occur are on areas where friction is present: behind the ears, inner thighs, the rear, under the legs, chest and around the collar/harness area.

Mats occur due to a lack of brushing. Depending on your dog’s breed and coat type, some need to be brushed on a daily basis. As the tangle starts to form, it is joined by dirt, dust, and other debris, which, if not taken care of immediately, will grow in size & density and cause discomfort to your dog.

Mats & Moisture

IMG_0009If your pet is already starting to tangle, the slightest amount of moisture can make it almost impossible to remove, especially with certain coat types.

If a coat that is tangled is then damped and allowed to dry without brushing or blow-drying (i.e., air dried), the mat will act like your favorite wool sweater in the dryer – the fibers & hair holding the tangle together will shrink & become extremely tight. At this point, combing out the mat will be extremely uncomfortable on your pet, and potentially cause them pain. Your only alternative, at this point, is to shave out the offenders and start over. If the matting becomes too tight, it can start to pull the fur out of the skin, creating a very painful bald spot.

Brushing & De-Matting

199Always use a comb when brushing out your dog, as a brush-style will only take care of the top part of your dog’s coat. Make sure that you comb all the way to the base of your dog’s coat as mats can be hidden from view by the top portion of fur.

To lessen any pulling of the skin, use a slicker brush & comb with a “picking” motion, starting at the top of the mat (not at the base near the skin). In tiny strokes, flick your comb upwards, breaking apart clumps of the tangle and gradually moving downwards as the mat loosens. Hold the mat at the base, near the skin, to reduce discomfort to your pet by all the pulling.

“Dreadlock” type mats should be clipped out, rather than being brushed & de-matted, in order to lessen discomfort & pain in your pet. Keep in mind that dogs, if equated to humans, have the mentality of a two-year-old, and will react as such when confronted with a painful experience. Daily brush outs will be extremely helpful in keeping tangles from becoming full-blown mats. Condition your dog to like brushing by using encouragement & treats!

Good? Bad? Understanding ingredients in pet food


We here at Fit N Furry are really concerned with what is going into pet food these days. I know we’ve all heard that wheat gluten is bad for your dogs but there are many more ingredients you might want to avoid.

Additives and fillers

Additives are substances added to something in small quantities, typically to improve or preserve it. And fillers are ingredients added to provide dietary fiber, bulk or some other non-nutritive purpose. One ingredient you might not think is bad would be sugar, also known as sucrose, cane sugar, caramel, and corn syrup. Sugars or sweeteners aren’t necessarily a dangerous item to have in food but if not carefully monitored if can cause a multitude of health

The most recent one that has gain the most popularity is Gluten. Whether it be wheat gluten, corn gluten, or soy gluten neither of them are good. Mainly used as a filler or binder in your pets’ food, it really doesn’t serve any nutritional value. Gluten allergies are becoming increasingly more common to find and gluten should be avoided in order to prevent your pet from becoming sick.

Preservatives

 Preservatives are a substance used to preserve food, wood, or other materials against decay. 

Preservatives are a little scarier to find in your pets food. BHA is most the most common preservative to find and is actually banned from human use but is still permitted in the U.S.  Another commonly used preservative is Ethoxyquin, originally created as a stabilizer for rubber it is also used as pesticide for fruit and a color preservative for spices. Fortunately right now there are studies being done to prove whether or not it is safe for consumption but until they complete those studies we recommend avoiding both BHA and Ethoxyquin.

Artificial colorings and dyes

Coloring and dyes are any dye, pigment or substance that imparts color when it is added to food or drink. Do you ever wonder why some of your pets’ food is different colors than the other pieces? Most of us would think that it’s the organic ingredients that make up the color, while the truth is it’s artificial colors and dyes. Artificial colors, which are safe for human consumption, are not for your pets. Colors like Yellow 6 and Red 40 are commonly found and are linked to  multitude of problems.


Meat meals and By-Products

Meat Meals by-products are what’s left of a slaughtered animal after the edible parts have been removed. They include the meat not intended for human consumption. The unfortunate thing with Meat meal is that any kind of animal in any condition can be mixed in, including disabled, diseased, or dying prior to slaughter. The type of animal can vary from horse to goat to rats and can also have pus, rotting tissue, and possibly cancerous tissue. By-Products can contain basically anything from an animal that means parts like bones, heads, feet, etc. 

We here at Fit N Furry hope that understanding the ingredients that make up your pets food will help the decision buying process easier.


To Shave or Not To Shave…Your Double Coated Dog


When the sun begins to sneak out after winter, people start to shed their layers in favor of dresses and shorts. Often, when we switch out our winter wardrobe for our summer wardrobe, we think Hm! I should probably do the same for my German Shepherd! You then take him to the groomers and request that he get shaved and the stylist informs you that this would not be a good idea considering your dog has a double-coat.

You look at her quizzically and ask, “What is a double coat?”


Dogs with a double coat have – you guessed it! – two coats; a top, tougher coat often referred to as  “guard hairs“, and a soft, downy undercoat beneath the top this. The undercoat consists of finer hairs that act as insulation for your dog and are the ones that thicken up in the winter and shed in the summer, while the guard hairs act as a shield from the sun and other environmental elements and typically do not shed. While they don’t typically shed, they will release the under coat around the summer and can become one hairy mess.

With some double coat breeds once they get shave their coat will not grown back in correctly. Some of the time it will grow in too thick or in patches.  It is definitely a great idea to get regular grooming with your double coated pooch. Once that under coat starts to come out,  brushing will become key. Unfortunately with double coats, matting is easily hidden in the under coat. We use the Furmimator products here and have noticed a huge decrease in shedding. 


There are many grooming options out there for double coated pets. We hope this will help you make the right grooming decision for you and your pet.