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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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)

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.

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!

Fit ‘N’ Furry wants you to find what leash and collar works best for you and your dog….

There are many different types of collars and leashes and it can beEmbed from Getty Images
hard to choose what is right for you and your pet. Since each dog is unique, there are a few products that we love to recommend here at Fit N Furry! Before going out the choosing a new collar from the pet store, the best way to be sure if something is going to safe for your pet is to consult your veterinarian first.

One of our favorite collars to use at Fit ‘N’ Furry is a Martingale collar. Once originally used for greyhounds, the martingales popularity has grown in the past few years as a great alternative to chain collars or pinch collars. Once property sized and adjusted, you can take the collar on and off with ease without worrying about making sure the buckle is properly latched. While walking your pet on a martingale, if your pet is not pulling, the collar with remain loose around your pets’ neck. If your pet pulls, the collar instantly becomes tight and prevents your dog from backing out of the collar.

Another great item we use is a front lead harness. This type of harness is perfect for dogs with trachea problems or dogs that pull. There is a ring that sits on the front of your dogs’ chest and when properly used can help redirect the pulling motion without choking. These harnesses are the ones our trainer prefers to use.

If you’re having issues with a pet that is pulling and nothing has seemed to help stop the problem, you may want to look into a Gentle Leader or a Halti.Both of these sit on the bridge of your dogs’ nose and wrap around the back of the head helping guide your dog in the direction you want to go in. In a sense, it works exactly the same as a halter for a horse, keeping the pet close and under control.

There are many different leashes available, ranging from material type to length. Leashes between 4 and 6 feet in length are the most common and ideal for keeping your dog safe and keeping you in control. The majority of leashes can be found in Nylon, Cotton or Leather. Most recently we’ve noticed some pet parents starting to lean towards a bungee or shock absorbing leash. This helps take the strain off of the walker. Any leash is a good leash as long as it’s well made and has a strong clasp.

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These are just some of the helpful tools you can use with your pet, but there is much more out there in the pet industry worth exploring.

What’s Up With Wade? Guest Post by Devan of Fit ‘n’ Furry: Week 2 With Wade

Here I am in my second week of puppy ownership.

Wade has been getting better about his social skills. I’ve been physically presenting dogs to him, booty-first, in an attempt to teach him how he should properly greet another dog. So far, so good. He definitely prefers big dogs, and tries to play with little dogs, (unfortunately, the little dogs are usually older and don’t want to play anymore).

IMG_1969We’re working on some trick training, along with his basic obedience. He knows sit VERY well, he’s got a down, shake, high-five, drop it, and “hup!” over a broom handle. Detailed post to follow.

Wade’s new favorite things are his toys. We cracked and bought him some stuffed animal toys… He LOVES them!

Using the toys as rewards is perfect as well. That’s how he learned “hup!”

Mostly, I just wanted to post this adorable picture of him…