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.

 

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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)

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.

Proper Pet Nail Care

We all know that keeping dog’s nails short is a part of keeping them healthy and happy, but without experience this task can turn into a struggle. While nail trims done improperly will leave a dog dreading the event, long nails could cause deformities in the foot, gait, and eventually spine. This makes asking pet grooming professionals, like those at Fit ‘n’ Furry , about proper nail maintenance critical. Owners are at times surprised to learn the anatomy of dogs’ nails requires them to be proactive in their pet’s nail maintenance.

 

Dog nails serve similar functions of human nails (protecting carpal bone tips with tough dead keratin cells), but the anatomy is quite different. The nail of your pooch is a cap over a system of blood vessels and nerve endings, called the kwik. This explains why bleeding and pain result when nails are cut too short, however regular nail trims will keep the kwik and nails short.

While the structures are more visible in dogs with white nails, darker nails can make it impossible to see where these blood vessels begin. Because memories of painful nail trims can cause dogs to become resistant to future trims, it is advised to see professional groomers every three weeks for this service. With positive reinforcements during the whole experience, dogs will learn to look forward to their pawdicure!

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!

It’s a dog’s life! Frolicking with friends at the local daycare, chasing squirrels in the back yard, sitting on laps, and eating yummy kibble everyday … life can be SO hard sometimes! With our pet’s tough schedules, there is always time for a spa day and pampering can not only be pleasing to the eye but also beneficial for a pet’s inner workings which include the not so delightful subject: anal sacs or “scent glands”.

ImageNot too many are familiar with anal sacs or how issues with them are caused. If you have found Fido lately to be doing a sort of “scooting” maneuver, licking more than usual in the hind area, or any look of discomfort while laying down, there is a chance he may be in need of a little TLC “down there”.

All animals have anal sacs. They just use them differently. Wild animals such as skunks use them as a defense mechanism, while domestic furry friends  use them more as territorial markings and a way to greet other canines.

These sacs are located within the anus of the dog and typically empty (or “express”) its potent, liquid substance whenever the dog defecates. However, it is possible for the glands to not exert enough pressure to release which could lead to discomfort and pain. If not expressed often, bacteria and other infections could form and could potentially lead to pricey veterinary visits and, worst of all, an irritated, swollen bum for little Fido.

Pet Stylists have the chance to bathe, trim, as well as examine the anal glands. Upon inspection, the groomer will squeeze the sacs to ease any tension that may have been built up over time. This prevents possible future anal gland challenges. In case of an infection or abnormality, it’s best to have a medical professional look and handle these types of ailments rather than attempting to remedy the situation yourself which could further injure your furry family member. The groomer will tell you if Fido needs to visit the veterinarian.

The importance of clean hygiene could not be  “expressed” more. Make an appointment with a recommended pet bather and/or groomer . Ask if anal gland expression is a part of their routine. Your pet can then enjoy a spa treatment that is not only aesthetically pleasing but is a major health benefit, too!

Fit ‘n’ Furry’s Guidelines for Introducing a New Dog into Your Family

Are you contemplating adding a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th furry addition to your family? In order to make the transition smoother for the new dog, the existing dogs, and you, following are some guidelines for not only choosing which dog to bring into your family, but how to introduce them to your existing “pack”.

Choosing Your New Dog

When choosing which new dog to bring into your family, there are some basic ground rules to follow to help ensure that the new dog will get along with your resident dog(s).

  1. Does your current dog have any doggie friends? If your resident dog is selective with their friends or generally tends to not get along with other dogs, then adding a new addition may not be the best idea.
  2. Do your best to select a dog that has the opposite personality of your current dog. If your current dog is more dominant, choose a dog that is more submissive.
  3. In general, it would also be a good idea to choose a dog of the opposite sex, or if your current dog is male get another male. Sometimes females have more troubles with same-sex dogs.

Guidelines for Your Resident Dog(s)

Make sure that the structure and leadership in your household is well established and that your current dog(s) is under good voice control and knows their basic obedience commands. If your resident dog has trouble following basic rules and commands, it will be difficult for them to listen to you if a problem arises between the two dogs. Set up your home beforehand and ensure that you have enough resources for both dogs (bowls, beds, crates, toys) so that neither dog will feel the need to have to guard these things from the other.

The Meeting

Exercise both dogs separately before the meeting, but do not exhaust them! Tired dogs, like children, can become grumpy. Do NOT introduce the dogs in or around your home; dogs tend to be territorial, so take them to a neutral place so that your current dog does not feel that he has to protect their home from an intruder. Choose a fenced area that is relatively free from distractions and other dogs, like an empty school yard, but not a dog park.

With both dogs on leash, have one person to handle each and casually walk them past each other a few times. When you feel comfortable, drop the leashes (but keep them attached!) and let the dogs greet each other. If you witness signs of stress or aggression (i.e., baring teeth, growling, freezing, etc.), pick up the leashes and do a few more walk-bys and try again. This procedure may take a few attempts before the dogs are comfortable with each other.

At the Home Front

Once your new dog has been properly introduced to your resident dog(s), it is time to bring them home. We would suggest restricting the dogs’ area of free roaming by utilizing baby gates and closing all doors to bedrooms and bathrooms so that you can keep an eye on them at all times. If you use crates, be sure to have one for each dog in the event that they need to be separated or one or both need a break to recharge.

Take the dogs on a walk together before entering the home. Walking together is a great way for dogs to get accustomed to each other in a neutral and fun way. During meal times, feed the dogs from separate bowls. If either dog is known to be food possessive, feed them in separate rooms as well. If you are unsure whether the dogs will guard their food from the other, feed them on opposite sides of the room while you supervise. Immediately move one dog to another room if you see any signs of possessiveness.

Do your best to avoid preferential treatment; if you give one dog a treat, give the other(s) a treat from the other hand. Give each dog equal amounts of affection. In the event that the dogs get into a tussle, act like both dogs are at fault – do not correct one and not the other – expect good behavior from both. Give each dog individual training sessions and walks.

Proper introductions and a structured household with defined leadership roles will lessen the likelihood of complications now and in the future.