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.


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.


Picking the right breed of cat for you


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.


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.

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?


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.


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.


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

Fit ‘N’ Furry’s Paw-by-Paw Guide: How to Paint Paw-Print Nails!

We all love our furry friends, and we all show it in different ways; some more prominently than others! If you are one of those that prefers to display your love of the four-legged variety (like we are!), then read ahead on how to paint some puppy or kitty paw prints on your nails.

Supplies:

  • Clear base & top coat polish
  • 2 or 3 colored nail polishes (it is best to use a lighter color on the base, and darker color for the paw prints)
  • Nail kit including: nail trimmers, emery board, & cuticle nipper (if desired)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tips
  • Manicure stick, nail art brush, nail art dotter, or toothpick
  • Tinfoil

Instructions:

Gather all of your supplies and choose your desired nail polish colors. As noted above, the paw prints will show better if you select a lighter color for the bottom coat and a darker color for the paw prints, but choose whatever fits your mood at the time and play around with it!

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Start by prepping your nails; remove any previous polish, trim and file nails, soak if wanted and trim cuticles. I decided to paint my toenails since this was my first time trying this out and wanted to make sure I had my dominant hand to do the art with! For you more adventurous or steady-handed types, you can obviously apply all these same techniques to your hands.

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Once clean and pretty, apply clear base coat to all nails.

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Paint nails your chosen color for the background. I would recommend doing 2 coats, especially, if like me, you chose a super light nude color. I also went with a design for the background on my toes, just to try out my nail-art-applying skills. These, as you can see, are not really up to par just yet.

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 I used a piece of tinfoil as my palate. Just place a couple drops of the nail polish you will be using for the paw prints on this and use a toothpick, wooden stick, or more professional nail art device to apply.

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 Start with the the largest part of the paw first – the pad. Paint one larger circle in your chosen color for the paws.

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Next, I painted 3 smaller circles arching around the top of the ‘pad’ circle. Technically dogs (and most cats) have 4 toes, but I went with 3 for simplicity’s sake.

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Paint remaining paw prints on other nails and, Voila! You have pet-inspired, and oh-so-cute, paw print nails to show off to all your two-legged friends!

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See? Not too difficult at all! Switch up the designs to what suits you; multiple tiny paws, one on each nail, etc. Nail art can also be done on the tolerant dog, and could look something like this: Image

 Happy painting!

Fit’n’Furry Investigates: What Pet is Right for My Child?

“Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaassssse?! He’s so cute! I promise I’ll look after him! I’ll do everything for him. He’ll be mine! You won’t have to do a thing! Please can we get him, Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaassssse?!”  A familiar sound at shelters, pet stores and adoption events, a child’s plea for a pet is cute (unless it’s a shrill cry) but as a parent you may be wondering – when is the right age for your young one to take care of an animal. What pet is right for him? Is he an appropriate age? Is he responsible enough? How much of the work am I going to end up with? Each child and family is different, but here are some guidelines to keep in mind before taking your little bi-ped to adopt a new quadruped family member. 200155493-001

The ASPCA recommends different animals for different ages for first time little pet owners. Between the ages of three and five, your child is learning about contact and empathy. ASPCA experts recommend a guinea pig for a pet. “Guinea pigs like to be held, seldom bite and will whistle when excited or happy, to the delight of most kids. Your child can also help with responsibilities by filling the water bottle and food dish.” Of course, mom or dad will need to supervise playtime and make sure that the cage is washed properly.

goldfishinbowlFor five to ten year olds, small pets such as gerbils, rats, hamsters and fish are recommended for learning proper care and pet hygiene. This keeps the parent’s involvement (aka: work) to a minimum.  Children at this age tend to have a short attention span. Keep watch that your child is giving clean water and is feeding the appropriate amount of food. They can help with chores such as cleaning the cage, washing the toys and measuring the food. These steps are vital before adopting larger pets that require more dedication. During this time of learning, your child is gaining confidence and a sense of responsibility which will bring them to the next step, if wanted.

Tweens are generally known to teens_walking_dog_in_parkhave the greatest interest in owning a dog or cat. They are mature enough to clean the litter box, and keep them watered and fed properly. For walking, they should not do so independently until they are typically over the age of 15. This is because kids under this age may not know how or be physically able to handle dangerous situations that may arise,  such as unleashed dogs. Kids of this age group can also attend training classes for Pooch; a wonderful learning opportunity! This is an age of reliance but parents should still keep tabs on how the pet is doing in terms of hygiene and diet.

Once your child reaches teenage-dom, they tend to become very busy with extracurricular activities, friends, school, and more. The ASPCA mentions birds or fish for first-time-teen pet owners. Your rapidly growing and maturing “little ones” will soon find themselves going to college and leaving their nest. So, remember that any pet is a FOREVER pet and the parent may end up with Fido or Fluffy for a very long amount of time.

It is up to the parent to create and keep guidelines for their child. Sure, they may make the promises to feed, water, clean, play and care with those cute little faces at the shelter. However, the situation may turn into the parent taking all the responsibility once the child finds out that it’s not all fun and games to own a pet. A great way to build trust that your child will take care of their pet is for them to use their allowance money to purchase treats, beds and toys. GlobalAnimal.org says that immediate positive reinforcement is a perfect and productive way to praise your child for a job well done; more confidence boosting and a feeling of responsibility. An outline to read with your child can be found here. No matter what and when your child decides to take on a new pet, it is the family’s duty to make sure that the pet is well looked after; it’s just a matter of how much time and effort everyone is willing to dedicate.

Flea & Tick Prevention For Your Pets!

They may be small enough to fit on the head of a pin, but  we all know that fleas and ticks can be the cause of major problems for both dogs and their owners. In one day, a flea can attack you cat or dog by biting them more than 400 times, consuming more than its body weight of your pets blood. And before its finished, a female flea can lay hundreds of eggs on your unsuspecting furry friend, making him the unsuspecting host of many future flea generations! As a result, itching and scratching from flea bites can lead to skin irritations, open sores and even fur loss. And let’s not forget about ticks! Tick bites aren’t just irritating; they may cause allergic reactions as well as transmit disease such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. And ticks can give the same infections to you!

Here are a few tips to help prevent flea and tick infestations on your furry friends:

  • Keep dogs on a leash when walking or hiking;
  • Comb your pet with a flea comb regularly;
  • Vacuum often and dispose of bags immediately after use;
  • Mow areas of the lawn where your dog spends time;
  • Wash pet bedding weekly and bathe your pet with a pet shampoo recommended by your veterinarian;
  • If your dog spends time in wooded areas, hand-check for ticks often;
  • Mark your calendars for regular application of flea and tick treatments;
  • Also, flea and tick collars provide long-lasting protection against fleas and ticks with no mess and no fuss!

Natural Remedies for Flea and Tick Prevention:

  • Add a teaspoon of Grapefruit Seed Oil to your pets water once a week;
  • Brewer’s yeast is also a common natural remedy for dogs with fleas. Holistic veterinarian Richard Pitcairn recommends it for that purpose. It is thought to work against fleas because it contains sulfur compounds that make your dog less palatable to fleas;
  • Add no more than 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar into a large bowl of water. Or Make a spray of 50% ACV and 50% water and spray onto your dogs coat. Make sure to avoid their eyes!
  • And Red Cedar shavings and bedding help prevent fleas and ticks as well. The aroma of Cedar oil overwhelms the breathing system of fleas and ticks and causes them to die almost immediately!

Keep in mind that regular bathing and grooming is also key for a healthy pet!