One of the busiest times of the year for most animal shelters is around the Fourth of July holiday. While many people celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, most do not realize the effect th…
To make sure your furry hiking companion is prepared and stays safe on the trail, check out the quick list of pointers below.
Before Your Hike
Your dog should be fit and healthy so he or she can enjoy the outing.
Ask your vet if you have any concerns about your pup’s health.
Begin with shorter hikes and gradually increase the distance as your dog becomes more conditioned.
Research the areas you’re visiting to be sure that dogs are allowed on the trails.
Ensure your dog is wearing his or her ID tags, and that the information on them is current.
Be sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and toenails are trimmed.
Don’t feed your dog right before (or during) a hike to avoid an upset stomach. A few treats are fine.
Make sure the weather is mild so your dog won’t get overheated in particularly sunny or humid weather.
Pack plenty of water, a bowl from which your dog can drink, poop bags and a dog first-aid kit (see what to include in the first aid kit).
On the Trail
Keep your dog on a leash to keep him or her safe and away from other hikers.
Watch the terrain to be sure it’s not too rocky or rough so your pup’s footpads aren’t injured.
Provide water for your dog often so he or she stays hydrated and maintains energy.
After the hike, check your dog for ticks, fleas and fox tails.
Search listings of over 2,000 state parks, national forests and other areas in the U.S. and Canada that welcome dogs.
You’ll find out what you can do to protect dogs from the dangers of hot cars. You can find out how quickly cars heat up in warm weather, whether it’s too hot to take your dog along for the day, and how to get the word out that it’s just not cool to leave a dog in a hot car, even for just a minute of time. Let me know what you think.
With dogs, it’s all about the power of the nose.
Stories detailing the amazing capabilities of a dog’s sense of smell continually appear in the news. Detection of various cancers? Check. Detection of bombs and explosives? Check. Detection of toxic mold and bed bugs? Check. Detection of wildlife ‘scat’ to aid wildlife conservation? Check. Detection of a can of cat food being opened while napping? Check!
But how about a dog’s sense of taste? Given the unusual and downright unappetizing things you’ve probably seen your dog eat (doggie ‘business’ and grass sandwiches, anyone?), you probably already know a dog’s sense of taste is not well developed.
And it comes as no surprise. After all, a dog’s sense of smell is extraordinary, and a dog’s sense of hearing is excellent, so it would seem unusual that all of the senses of one particular species would be so highly developed.
Read on for interesting facts about your best friend’s sense of taste.
* Dogs have about 1,700 taste buds in their mouths, while humans have about 9,000 and our feline friends, only around 470.
* Although a dog’s sense of taste is the least developed of their senses, dogs are capable of detecting bitter, sweet, salty, and sour tastes.
* Humans and cats detect the same four, although it was previously believed cats could not taste sweets. In humans, a fifth taste called umami or ‘savory’ was recently recognized in the West as a basic taste, and a 1991 research study determined that dogs showed taste responses to “umami substances.”
* A dog’s sense of taste and smell are considered to be closely linked, with dogs likely gathering more information about the food they eat from its smell versus taste.
* Most of a dog’s taste buds are centered around the tip of the tongue.
* Studies show a dog will avoid eating a particular food that has caused sickness in the past for a certain amount of time; it’s an instinctive protective mechanism.
* Along with touch, taste is the only sense developed in dogs at birth.
* The most abundant taste buds in dogs are those that respond to sugars or sweet tastes.
Source: Woofreport.com, 2/24/11 weekly issue.
This article was recently published on the Woof Report.
Published: Feb. 16, 2011
Subject: Time Tested
Category: More Bones to Chew On
Woof Report answered the question of how dogs perceive time in a past tip, and now there are new findings on the topic.
Let’s start with the general consensus on how a dog perceives time. An article from Jane McGrath on the Discovery Communications’ site, HowStuffWorks.com points to research on animals, such as rodents, birds and primates, which shows “animals are ‘stuck in time’ because they can’t mentally ‘time travel’ backward and forward.” In other words, they can’t think back to past events and anticipate future ones as we do.
And how about your dog’s precise ability to know exactly when it’s time for a morning walk? McGrath cites researcher William Roberts’ studies on “internal biological rhythms,” and suggests your dog’s daily fluctuations of hormones, body temperature and neural activity cue his expectations for food, a trip to the park, or your arrival home.
This information leads us to believe dogs live in the moment (something we could learn from them) and are less attuned to the passing of time. However, if you share your life with a dog, you’ll agree it seems unlikely our pup’s perception of time is so different than our own.
And thanks to a recent research study from Therese Rehn and Linda J. Keeling, “The effect of time left alone at home on dog welfare,” we now have new insight. The study, published in the January 2011 issue of Applied Animal Behaviour Science, investigated the effect of time left alone on dog behavior and cardiac activity. To conduct the research, twelve dogs were videotaped when left alone in their homes for periods of 30 minutes, 2 hours and 4 hours. The dogs in the study were privately owned and none had a history of separation related behavior problems.
Results from the study showed the key differences in behavior were observed when the dogs were reunited with their owners after being left alone for the 2- and 4-hour time periods. In these instances, dogs displayed more intense greeting behavior toward their owners compared with the 30-minute separation, and they also showed more tail wagging, increased interaction with their owners, and higher frequencies of lip licking and body shaking. In addition, the dogs displayed a tendency for a higher heart rate during the first and second minute after the reunion in the two-hour separation compared to the 30-minute separation.
The researchers explain the study “cannot distinguish between whether dogs were aware of the length of time they were alone (but did not signal it) or whether they were unaware until reminded of it by the return of their owner,” but they add it does confirm dogs are affected by the duration of time they are left home alone.
The study certainly adds a new facet to what’s believed about a dog’s perception of time, and it will also serve as a reminder: your dog can’t wait to see you when you come home (but you already knew that)!
See Woof Report’s past tip,”How Dogs Perceive Time”
Thank you to tlillis4 on flickr for the photo of Henry.
“Pet theft is a nationwide crisis, and a pet parent’s worst nightmare,” said John D’Ariano, President of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. “While the circumstances are tragic and heartbreaking, NAPPS remains hopeful that thefts can be minimized with increased awareness and safety measures.”
One of the most effective measures a pet parent can take in increasing the chances of a happy reunion is to have their pet microchipped. A microchip is a tiny transponder that uses radio frequency waves to transmit information about the pet. Should a lost or stolen pet arrive at a shelter, the presence of a microchip will ensure that the pet’s family is contacted immediately.
NAPPS has prepared the following prevention tactics and steps to follow in the event of a lost or stolen pet:
* Never leave your pet unattended in a yard, public area or car.
* When placing your pet in the care of a friend or family member, always make sure they are aware of safety precautions for your pet.
* In addition to an implanted microchip, ensure your pet always wears proper identification.
* Always maintain an accurate identification file for your pet, including a detailed description and several photos.
* If you believe your pet is stolen, call or visit your local animal shelter and government agency immediately, and continue contacting these organizations daily.
* Search everywhere. Explore any potential hiding spots, and check with all family members.
* File a police report with your local law enforcement agency. If there has been a string of pet thefts in your region, this information will assist in fully investigating the crimes.
* Canvas the neighborhood. Distribute flyers with your pet’s photo, talk with neighbors, and ask delivery individuals if they have seen your pet or spotted any unusual activity. Call your pet’s name over and over.
* Create and post signs with a clear photo of your pet and detailed descriptions.
* Register your pet with Amber Alert For Pets, a nationwide network of pet parents committed to seeing lost pets safely returned home.
As a pet owner, you must be conscious of your pet’s health because you are your beloved pet’s primary caregiver. Since your pets provide so much for you, it is only normal that you would want to provide them with the most comfortable environment possible.
Here are some ways to ensure that your cat, dog or other type of pet is in the best environment possible.
1. Pet Boarding. Pet boarding services are suitable for pets whose owners are unavailable to take care of them for a certain length of time. In general, the duration of the pet boarding can vary from one night to a few month’s time. This service can be offered to a variety of pets, ranging anywhere from horses to hamsters. Pet boarding services usually include feeding, playing with the pets, training and other activities. With today’s technology, some boarding/day care centers have even installed web cameras so that you can watch your pet live on your computer while you are away to ensure that they are in the best hands. Pet boarding is a great option to consider.
2. Pet Daycare. Pet daycare is something quite different from pet boarding. Unlike with pet boarding, pet daycare services usually deal with taking care of the pets while the owners are at work or out for the day. At the end of the workday, the pet owners will pick their pets up from the pet daycare provider. Pet daycare services are often offered to dogs but can involve other animals as well. At pet daycare, the pets usually have everything they need from food bowls to toys and more. It is a great way for the dog or other animal to receive care and get to interact with other pets during the day.
3. Pet Spas. The current trend in pet care is pet spas. The main focus of pet spas is small animals like dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits. At pet spas, the pets are often trained, exercised, pampered and groomed. There are oftentimes do-it-yourself pet spas where the owners have to train and groom their own pets in order to improve the bond between them but the spa will provide the necessary space and grooming equipment such as the wash basin, shampoo and nail clippers. Whichever type of pet spa you choose, your pet is sure to love the pampering aspect to it.
If you are looking for pet care services, keep these previously mentioned services in mind and provide your pet with the best care possible.
About the Author: Petsitting.com is an innovative website connecting pet owners with professional pet service providers. This site allows pet owners to search for pet care providers close to where they live, and is 100% free for the consumer. Services currently offered include: dog walking, pet sitting, pet boarding, pet grooming, doggie daycare, pet waste removal, dog training and pet insurance.
Hiring a dog walker is a lot like finding a baby-sitter. When you’re away, working long hours or at a social occasion, you want to be sure that your dog is in good hands. Luckily for dog owners, dog-walking has become highly popular and you don’t have to feel like you’ve run out of choice if you don’t find someone you like, right away.
There are 7 questions you must ask when hiring a dog walker however, that will ensure that you needn’t worry about your dog when away and come back home to a happy dog that’s been taken good care of.
1. Are you an independent dog-walker or part of a company? This is probably the first of the 7 questions you must ask when hiring a dog walker. There are pro and cons on both sides as you will see – big companies always have someone to walk your dog, so you don’t have to worry about not finding help whereas, individual walkers may fall ill or go away on vacations, leaving you in the lurch. But remember that going for a large company may mean different people showing up every day to walk your dog and this might cause confusion and anxiety in your pet unless every one of the dog walkers is extremely good at what he does. Think about it and make an informed choice!
2.What happens during a pet visit? Will your dog walker simply walk your dog and leave him back?
3. Will he give him his food, give him some play time and reinforce any training commands that you’ve already taught him? Find out.
4. How many dogs do you walk at a time? Many dog walkers walk multiple dogs at a time and there are some that do a one-on-one. This is an important question you must ask while hiring a dog walker as you have to decide which method suits your dog better. If he’s a friendly, playful dog, he might actually enjoy the company. But if he’s a ferocious, watchdog that likes to be left alone, you might want to opt for the one-on-one walkers.
5. Do you ever take the dogs off leash? Some dog walkers tend to take the dogs off leash when in parks. This is one of the questions you need to ask when hiring a dog walker, so you can let him know if this is alright with you or not. If your dog hasn’t been trained to behave when he’s off leash or tends to get easily distracted, this may not be a good idea and you’ll have to let the dog walker know that in advance.
6. How long have you had experience working with dogs as a professional? This is a necessary question to ask when hiring a dog walker, as there are plenty of people who think that simply liking dogs makes them qualified to take on the task. Such people often have no clue how to handle emergency situations as well as dogs with behaviour problems. So make sure you ask and hire someone with professional hands-on experience in dog-walking or training.
7. Can you provide references? Last but one of the most important questions you must ask when hiring a walker is if they can give you references of existing clients that you can speak with. Speak to them and find out if they are happy with their experience and finally go with your gut. If your dog walker cannot give you references, move on.
Remember that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to asking questions when hiring a dog walker. The important thing is to see what suits you and find out if you and your walker are on the same page with regards to your pet. Go with your instincts.
Are you swamped at work all day? Do you have a last minute business trip? Do you need someone to walk your dog so they get their daily exercise? WalkForDogs has you AND your best friend covered. If you’re looking for dependable AND affordable dog walking services, visit WalkForDogs at
WalkForDogs provides dependable and affordable dog walking services for busy dog owners in Overland Park, KS and surrounding areas. Walking dogs is our specialty and passion. We always make sure your best friend is our TOP priority. Whether your dog is large or small, we welcome ALL friendly dogs.
Our dog walking experts have perfected dog walking to both physically and mentally exercise your four-legged family members for as long as you would like, and as often as you would like. We offer a variety of visit lengths: 30-minute, 45-minute, 1-hour, and extended visits. All are designed for your budget and their energy level. This ensures they have time to play, relieve themselves, run, socialize, and learn the skills they need to be happy and balanced. When you come home, you will have a relaxed and happy dog to greet you.
Take advantage of our monthly dog walking specials and package deals at
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