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.

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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.

 

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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.Embed from Getty Images

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. Embed from Getty Images

To Shave or Not To Shave…Your Double Coated Dog

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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?” Embed from Getty Images
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. Embed from Getty Images
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.

Picking the right breed of cat for you

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Before deciding which furry friend is going to be your next family member, you need to consider a few important things. Something to realize is cats are living beings and will need you throughout their whole life. Next, Kittens grow up and become cats. Kittens grow up and live anywhere from 12 to 20 years. Kittens, like any baby animal, require training, attention and patience. If you do not have time to train a kitten to use a litter box, to not climb on the curtains and hide in certain places, you may want to adopt a full grown cat. Many full grown cats need homes and aren’t as popular in shelters or from breeders as kittens, but need love as well.

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Now that you have thought about the responsibility of owning a cat or kitten, you need to decide if you’d like a long-haired, medium-haired or short-haired cat. The reason this is important is the cost of maintaining the cat’s coat and the look of the cat. Some long-haired cats should not be shaved down due to sensitive skin. Cat’s hair will protect the skin from allergies and from the sun. Maintaining a cat with longer hair will require more frequent brushing and bathing. Here, at Fit ‘N’ Furry, we have wonderful groomers who are aware of the time it takes to bathe a cat and keep up with the flea treatments. You may want to find a groomer to assist you with the upkeep.

Once you have looked into the cost and responsibility of owning a certain cat, you must look into the cat’s personality. If you are looking into a pure bred, call a breeder and be sure that the cat has the personality you desire. If you would like a shelter or rescue cat, then be sure you talk with the staff and hold the cat to gauge how much of a lap cat or an active cat he or she may be. If you have kids, make sure the cat isn’t too afraid of people or had too much of a traumatic past. If you are a nurturing person who needs company, you may be the right person to rehabilitate a cat with special needs.

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Once you know exactly the cat that is right for you, make sure you pick a vet and keep up with your new cat’s health. If you already have pets at home, be sure to keep hamsters, rats, birds or any smaller pet away from your cat. The new cat is not only adorable, but a hunter by nature. With larger pets, be sure to read up on introducing the cat into their new environment. Cats can get along with dogs and other cats, but are a bit territorial. Making sure your home is the right home takes time, but with love, anything is possible.

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Fit N Furry likes to keep warm in the cold, How about you?

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Now that the weather is getting colder and some of us are heading up to the snow, we here at Fit N Furry have a couple of tips to help keep your pets happy, healthy, and warm during the winter. There are many key elements that can help keep your pets safe that are easy to do.

One of these elements is having proper housing if your pet stays outside for long periods of time. Having dog houses with sloped roofs with insulation will help keep rain, snow, and wind out as well as keeping the heat in. Putting blankets in with your pet is ideal, it doesn’t necessarily matter if they are new blankets or old clothes, even straw is great for insulating body heat. Very young dogs and elderly dog should not be kept outside for long in order keep them healthy. Remember that wind chill will make your pet colder than the actual temperature outside.

Another great way to keep your pets warm is clothing. Pet stores today have everything from sweaters, shoes, beanies, or pajamas in all types of material and sizes. Sweaters and shirt will insulate your pets’ body temperature while shoes or booties are ideal when walking your pet during the cold or in the snow; salt, magnesium, and snow can all get in between your pets toes causing irritation.Embed from Getty Images
We all know exercise is important but during the cold weather it is better to have limited time outside.  Shorter walks and time outside helps prevent hypothermia and frostbite which can be fatal if not treated in time.

We all know that humans can get hypothermia and frostbite in the cold but did you know animals can too?  Not everyone knows the symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite so to help keep everyone safe here are the signs and treatment methods for both.

 Hypothermia is when the body’s temperature falls below normal levels, so it’s sort of like the opposite of a fever. A dog’s normal body temperaturshould be 100-101 degrees and cat’s normal body temperature should be 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. The most obvious symptom is low body temperature or shivering, others you might not be aware of are lethargy, muscle stiffness, dilated pupils, slow reactions, slow movements, lack of co-ordination, shallow breathing, and unconsciousness. Use thick warm blankets and warm water bottles (Place on abdomen) to help raise your pets body temperature. If you don’t have any blankets or warm water bottles available, you can use jackets. Remember to immediately call your vet or an emergency clinic.


 Frostbite is tissue damage that is caused by exposure to extreme cold conditions. Symptoms for frostbitten tissue usually will appear pale or gray and as the area thaws it will turn red. In severe cases the tissue will eventually turn black and may disconnect from the rest of the body. The important thing to remember if your pet gets frostbite is to never massage the injured areas for it is extremely painful and can make the injury worse. The frostbitten areas need to quickly warmed and to seek immediate vet attention.

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We hope these tip will help keep everyone happy, safe, and warm this winter!

We’re All Smiles at Fit’n’Furry Pet Resort!

We all see the commercials. Those perfect, well groomed canine specimens lying on the white carpet calmly nibbling on their new treats mom or dad just bought at the local store. But wait! There’s more! These yummy treats help clean teeth and prevent tartar as well as fight gum disease! Hurry to your closest pet store to grab your bag today! But are these “dental sticks” and treats really all that they’re hyped up to be? Fit’n’Furry is on the case getting down to the “root” of the question: Are these products truly an effective way to keep your pet’s teeth clean?

First of all, to help prevent tooth and gum issues, make sure you are feeding Fido an appropriate diet of dry, crunchy kibble. Soft, wet food and people snacks gets stuck along the gum line much more easily. This contributes to plaque buildup which then leads to tartar that will devastate the gum line. According to dogdentalcare.net, once the gum line has been destroyed and/or diseased, the dog can lose teeth, ensuring the need for professional dental care. Bacteria from the diseased gums can also infect organs via the pet’s bloodstream.

If you’re able to, frequent brushing of Fido’s teeth is a great way to avoid dental (as well as internal) complications. Many grooming facilities offer teeth brushing with their services if you’re not able to at home. Natural bones and even Nylabones (make sure the product is toxin-free) are easy and entertaining ways to scrub and scrape away plaque but not as effective as brushing. When giving natural bones, be mindful that Fido doesn’t snap off a piece and swallow. Natural bones can also cause tooth fracture.

So, are those wonderfully marketed “dental treats” as effective as frequent teeth brushing? No. But they still benefit Fido’s dental health!  Fit’n’Furry found on pets.webmd.com that coating treats with a substance called polyphosphate reduces tartar by 55% (Some treats claim to reduce tartar buildup by 80%!). The coating prevents plaque from turning into tartar by isolating calcium on teeth. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) is an organization that evaluates pet products to see if they meet standards for reducing plaque or tartar. Only purchase treats that have been approved by the VOHC and adhere to your pet’s breed and dietary needs. For a list, please visit: www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm .

The m-“oral” (Or perhaps, the “molar”) of the story is, don’t rely on dental treats alone for Fido’s teeth and gums’ well-being. Learn how to brush your pet’s teeth, take him to a groomer or visit a pet dentist regularly (just like we would make a dental appointment ourselves). But to keep up the good work in between appointments, these popular dental treats are delectable, amusing and are a great purchase. Don’t forget, good oral hygiene can add years to your pet’s life span!

Share the Love – Own a Pet!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it made us all here at Fit’n’Furry Pet Resort think of how much we love our pets; and how much they love us back! Although a box of chocolates might not be the best gift for our furry friends on February 14th, the real gift shared on this day is what our furry family companions have done for us! They deserve many hugs and much love for what they do for our mind and body.

It is widely known that owning a pet has many benefits for our well-being, mentally and physically. According to researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,  a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals”, whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals, will have less risk of allergies and asthma (contrary to popular belief).  Children will also be less likely to suffer from eczema and will have higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system! “Dogs are dirty animals, and this suggests that babies who have greater exposure to dirt and allergens have a stronger immune system,” Gern says.

Ever notice when you’re walking Fido at the park many a passer-by exclaims, “Awww! What a cute dog! What’s his name?”? Dogs are natural conversation starters which, in turn, is a wonderful way to make friends as well as love connections. Thank you Fido for helping us get dates!

Cats and dogs also make wonderful companions for senior citizens, as long as the pet is manageable. “Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “Their caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet, particularly if it is a cat, which generally requires less care than a dog,” says Hart. Walking a dog provides fun and relaxing exercise for the elderly and the caring needed for a pet is perfect for companionship.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Our pets greatly help with our heart health. Of course, keep eating your bowl of Cheerios every morning but in one study, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did people without pets. Any fun activity with your pet elevates levels of serotonin and dopamine which reduces stress and depression which then assists in a strong immune system. In turn, heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies.

After a long, hard day at work, it’s always nice to come home to a smiling face from your dog or sit down and have your kitty jump on your lap to let you know, somehow, in their own special way, that everything is going to be alright. We often are concerned with how our pets are doing everyday but perhaps they are just as worried about us! Pets are beyond wonderful for every age and help more than we may have believed.

This February, share the love. At Fit’n’Furry Pet Resort, Petaluma, CA, through February 14th, we are selling PupCakes (dog-friendly ingredient cupcakes made by Ma Snax ) to benefit the Sonoma Humane Society . All proceeds help future human-health-helpers!