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.

 

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)

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 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.

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!

New Year’s Resolutions for Fido

At the beginning of every year, we make a pact with ourselves to make the next year better than the last. We pick a resolution and vow to stick to it in order to make a positive change in our life – but, what about your furry companions? Believe it or not, your pup probably has a very similar list of things that they would like to change about their lives (even if they don’t know it!), so when making your New Year’s Resolution for 2012, be sure to include one for your dog as well. By helping your pet improve their life, you may also be completing your goal as well!

Resolution #1: Learn a new skill

Dogs crave mental stimulation, and what better way to give their brain some exercise than to teach them some new commands? Is your pup pulling on leash? Jumping all over your guests? Peeing in the house? Then you will be getting a two-for-one special when you teach your dog a fun “trick” (because that is what all dog training commands basically are!) that will not only give him a way to release some mental energy, but also improve your relationship. A good mannered dog means less stress not only for you, but for Fido as well.

Resolution #2: Spend more time with friends & family

Dogs are social animals that crave companionship not only with people, but with their fellow dogs as well. Making sure that Fido has regular play dates with his doggie pals will not only tire him out, but also give him to opportunity to be a “real” dog. Keeping dogs socialized, especially from a young age, lessens the likelihood of dog-to-dog issues. Also, studies have shown that having a dog lengthens your life, so grab Fido’s favorite toy and have a ball!

Resolution #3: Get healthy

Like humans, dogs need a balanced diet and regular exercise to stay in the best shape possible and live a happy life. Take a look at the ingredients in your dog’s food and make sure that the first thing on the list is an actual protein (“byproducts” don’t count!), and cut out all but the occasional table scrap. Daily walks, runs, or fetch sessions will keep your pup in tip-top shape, give them more energy, and let them live longer lives. Keeping a healthy pet requires a little more time on your part, but your wallet will thank you when you don’t have to make quarterly visits to the vet!

Resolution #4: Help others

It is always rewarding to give back to those that are less fortunate than ourselves, and dogs feel the same way! Don’t keep those big brown eyes and sweet personality all to yourself – sign Fido up to visit your local hospital, special needs school, or assisted living facility to brighten someone’s day. Having a doggie companion while undergoing or recovering from a procedure  can serve as a distraction and make pain more bearable, or help a shy child feel confident enough to read out-loud. To your dog, giving is just as fun as receiving!

Resolution #5: Lose weight

Obesity is a growing and serious problem among dogs, just as it is with people. Overweight dogs have shorter lives, less energy, and are more prone to arthritis. Losing weight is the number one resolution among humans, so take Fido with you on your morning walk or jog and you’ll be fulfilling not one, but two goals! Getting back into shape is always easier with a partner to keep you company and occasionally drag you out of bed on those cold mornings! Getting fit with your dog will not only help your figure, but strengthen your relationship with Fido as well.

Whichever New Year’s resolution (or resolutions!) you choose, we wish you the best success! Even if your resolution isn’t on this list, we hope that your positive change in Fido’s life lasts beyond the upcoming twelve months and transforms into a healthy and happy habit. Make 2012 the year that you and Fido work not only on yourselves, but also on your bond with each other as well. Happy New Year!

Satisify Your Pup’s Tummy While Supporting a Great Cause!

Starting February 7th through February 14th, Fit ‘n’ Furry Pet Resort will be selling PUPcakes for those pooches that feel left out on all the treats on Valentine’s Day. Fit ‘n’ Furry will be joining forces with Ma Snax Superior Dog Treats to provide PUPcakes especially formulated for doggie tummies. PUPcakes will be on sale at Fit ‘N’ Furry Pet Resort at 860 Lindberg Lane, Petaluma, CA, 94952, at the Sonoma Humane Society at 5345 Hwy 12 W, Santa Rosa, or at Brocco’s Old Barn at 19660 Arnold Drive, Sonoma.

Not only will these PUPcakes make your dogs happy, but you will be making a difference for countless dogs who have yet to find their forever homes at the Sonoma County Humane Society as all the proceeds from the PUPcake sales will go directly to this organization. Small PUPcakes will sell for $2.50 each, large PUPcakes for $5.00, or 3 small PUPcakes for $6.00.

Does your pup have a sensitive stomach or is already too ‘spoiled’? Make a donation or purchase PUPcakes for the less fortunate dogs at the Humane Society and become a special PUPpy Valentine to a deserving pet! Or maybe you are feeling extra loving on Valentine’s Day? Help your dog’s love life by purchasing and sending a PUPcake to the pretty pooch they secretly admire! Grateful licks and kisses will be handed out generously!

Fit ‘n’ Furry Pet Resort will also be holding a party on Valentine’s Day from 1:00-3:00PM for all those who wish to attend! Attendance is only $5.00 per pet and will include a festive bandana; pictures will be taken a placed on Fit ‘n’ Furry’s facebook page for owners to show off! Not currently a client at Fit ‘n’ Furry? Just bring a copy of your doggie’s current shot records (Rabies, DHLP, & Bordetella) and they can join in on the fun. Remember dogs over 6 months of age must be spayed or neutered to participate in group play.

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!

Canine’s and Leadership According to Fit ‘N’ Furry

Whether you’re looking to train your new pup or teach your old dog new tricks, it’s never an easy task. It’s always a good idea to start training right away with a new pooch, they learn to take direction and understand that you’re the pack leader. Socialization is also key when acclimating a new puppy. Basic and foundation commands should be established between you and your dog. Dogs sense of hearing tend to be much better than humans, so when giving commands, you don’t need to yell, just use a very “mater-of-fact” tone.

We tend to humanize our pets with lots of affection and not enough discipline. Because of this, many of us find it difficult to scold our pets or provide consequences in regards to behavior.  It is important for us to find a balance between affection and discipline. The most important thing to remember is to not expect results immediately, especially with an older dog. A dog’s behavior might take weeks to break, but consistency is of the utmost importance.

Many trainers use different techniques when training. When looking for a trainer, keep in mind the necessary tasks that may need to be incorporated into your pet’s home life, for example: new commands, feeding habits, new accessories, etc. Be sure to ask your trainer questions and follow up on their recommendations. Many trainers can customize training sessions for the specific needs of you and your dog. Call around to local trainers in your area for more information on the kind of training they provide. Like children, dogs crave structure, discipline and leadership. Remember to be patient, calm, and balanced, but also have fun when working with your pet!