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)

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!

Attitude is Everything at Fit ‘N’ Furry

“Attitude is everything,” especially when it comes to training your dog!

Keeping a positive attitude and perspective is critical for the success of your dog’s training. A proper attitude and mindset should be considered the prerequisite to training your dog.  Your outlook and disposition towards training are even more important than the tools purchased, system used, or even the breed of dog.  Owners with a negative outlook on the training process can prove detrimental to the prospect of effective training.

Developing a solid bond between owner and dog is the key to creating a successful foundation for training.  It is a dog’s nature to reflect the personal temperament of their owners.  A pleasant owner who maintains a calm, confident, friendly disposition while training will see results in a pleasant dog.  Using positive reinforcements such as: compliments, encouragement, and praise will motivate your dog to perform well and eliminate the need to rely on treats or other methods.

As a trainer you need to manage firm and friendly control, but remember to make it fun for both you and your dog.  Trainers who keep a solid positive attitude are guaranteed a successful outcome. Owners with negative tendencies will come to find the training process an undesirable chore.  Their dog will sense this negative attitude, pick-up on it, and start to mirror their owner’s behaviors.  The training progress is then sidelined, causing frustration and undermining the process.

Canines, by nature, are routine oriented and naturally crave a balanced, structured lifestyle.  Maintaining a productive behavioral routine is your job as an owner/trainer to provide consistency throughout your dog’s training. Make training a treat with continued exemplary actions and nurtured reinforcements.

Positive-Proven-Effective

Holiday Safety Tips by Fit ‘N’ Furry

With Christmas and New Year’s just right around the corner we want to make sure that both you and your four-legged companions enjoy this festive season safely.  It’s best to keep-up your pets eating and exercise routine as much as possible. During this busy time we often get distracted and tend to break away from our normal daily activities, and since pets, dogs especially, are so routine based, they too can pick up on our bad behavior and start acting up. Here are a few tips to keep in mind this holiday:

  • NO TABLE SCRAPS – We know it’s tempting to give your furry pals a treat from the dinner table, but holiday foods tend to be richer than what they are used to eating and can cause severe diarrhea and stomach upset.  Bones are really bad idea because they can be swallowed and get stuck in the digestive tract, causing painful stomach cramps for your pooch and painful cramps in your wallet from the visit to the vet.  Avoid the passing of human foods and opt for a pet-friendly treat, you’ll be thankful when you’re not stuck cleaning up a dog mess right before the friends and relatives arrive.
  • NO TINSEL – These shiny, light reflecting strands are very attractive to kitties. They love batting it around and getting all tangled up in it, but whats even worse is when they start biting on these little strands. If swallowed your cat may suffer from severe vomiting, dehydration, and an obstructed digestive tract, which could require expensive surgery.
  • NO HOLLY or MISTLETOE – When ingested by four-legged pals gastrointestinal and cardiovascular problems may occur. Try artificial plants. Contrary to popular belief Poinsettias, also known as the Christmas Star plant, are not poisonous to you or your pets.  Also be sure your Christmas tree is safely secured to prevent it tipping over and possibly injuring a pet, family member, or guest.
  • NO WIRES – Be sure to keep wires such as tree lights or electronics up off the floor and out of reach from your pets. They could get a severe shock if they took a nibble on those wires.  Be especially aware of new puppies, we all know they find everything to get into.

If you are traveling this season keep your pets in mind.  Ask yourself,  “Who’s going to take care of Sparky and Garfield?”  Check out local pet care facilities and ask the right questions.

  • Are they able to provide the care and attention you give at home? Remember, pets are very routine-based, they probably let you know when it’s time to eat or go to the bathroom, right?
  • Are the pets indoors or outdoors for most of their visit? Keep in mind the weather temperatures and climate of your area or the area you are traveling to.
  • What vaccinations are required for your pets?
  • Will the facility need to meet your pets before they come to visit?
  • What kind of pet food they serve?  Can you bring your own?
  • Can they administer medication for pets who need extra-special care?

These are all important things to know before checking your pets in for a holiday.  Hope everyone and their beloved furry, four-legged friends have a Happy Holiday and a Merry New Year!