Stay Cool in the Pool with your Pooch!
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We’re reaching high temperatures this summer and we want you and your dog to stay cool! One of the best ways is to go swimming with your pooch, whether it is at the lake, your backyard pool, or dog beach.

Before you go, here are several precautions you should take note of when swimming with your dog.

  1. Purchase a life vest for your dog. This will ensure that your dog will stay afloat! It is recommended to have your dog wear a brightly colored life vest with reflective straps to help them stay visible in the water. These will come in handy, especially if you’re going out to the outdoors.
  2. Take it slow! Every dog is different, some will learn to love the water, and some will hate it. Do not force your dog to stay in the water if they obviously do not enjoy it. Let them decide themselves if they want to be in the water or not. Practice in shallow water first and let your pooch get comfortable in water, especially if they have not yet been introduced to swimming.
  3. Bring toys that float. These are always fun, especially if your dog loves to fetch. If your dog loves to fetch, try tossing some water toys into the water! This would be a fun activity for both of you and your dog. Always remember safety first.
  4. Never leave your dog unattended. This is an obvious, but important one! As we’re out there having fun, always keep an eye out for your pup. If you’re taking your dogs to a public area such as a lake or beach, be sure to be comfortable with your dog off leash before letting them roam free. It is important that you know where your dog is at all times for his or her safety.
  5. Learn how to perform CPR on your dog. CPR can be performed on not only humans, but dogs too! In case of any emergency, knowing how to do this can save your dog’s life. This skill can be potentially helpful in the future, so take a class if you’re able to!  
  6. Bring a separate towel for them. When you’re all done swimming, dry off their fur to keep them warm and maintain their body temperature. Wet fur will keep them cold.
  7. Do not let them drink water from pools, the ocean, and lakes. Pool water will most likely contain chlorine, which is not good for your dog to consume. Drinking sea water can cause salt water poisoning for your dog. Lake and river water is not always safe or sanitary for your dogs to drink out of. Always provide a fresh bowl of water nearby for them to stay hydrated with clean water.

Be sure that there is always an exit available to them in the body of water. This way, they can come in and out of the water whenever they like. Pay attention to your dog and know when they have had enough. As long as you and your dog had fun in the water, you know it was a successful day!

Stay cool and have fun in the sun this summer! Check out our previous blog post on summer activities you can enjoy with your pup here.

 

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Prevent Your Cats from Destructive Scratching 
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All cats scratch, and it is almost impossible to prevent them from doing so. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats and there are several reasons on why they do. They scratch to clean out their claws and remove any dead layer or skin that is found between their claws. They scratch to mark their territory and leave their scent behind. They scratch while doing their morning stretches. 

However, when cats are scratching items such as your couch or table, that’s when it becomes a problem. Here are several ways to prevent your cat from destructive scratching. 

1. Provide scratching posts around the house! Scratching is a behavior that all cats instinctively do. Scratching posts are essential in any home. They’ll have to scratch something in the house. Buy additional posts if necessary. 

2. Add catnip to make the scratching posts more enticing. This can work If you have a cat who goes crazy over catnip. Sprinkle some dried catnip to the cat scratcher to direct their attention to the scratcher instead of household items. 

3. Discover which kind of scratching posts they like. There are a variety of scratching posts to choose from at the pet store. Would they prefer a carpeted cat perch or a cardboard scratcher? You might have to play around to see what their favorites are.

4. Location is key. Strategically place the scratchers in areas where scratching commonly occurs. Your cat scratches after naps or when you come home? Place one next their sleeping area and one near the front door. When the cats instinctively want to scratch, the scratcher will conveniently be right next to them! 

5. Your cat loves scratching that one particular couch? Wrap it up with double-sided tape or aluminum foil. Cats hate the feeling of sticky surfaces. This will discourage them to scratch and drive less attention to that area. Deterrent sprays can also be used on furniture to leave an unpleasant smell for the cat. 

6. Trim your cat’s claws regularly. The sharper your cats claws are, the more damage they can do on your furniture. Keep them dull and trim them every few weeks. Read here on how to properly trim your cat’s claws.  

7. Use positive reinforcement. When you see your cat scratching in areas where they are supposed to, simply praise them for doing so. Acknowledging correct behavior can encourage them to repeat the action.

Remember, scratching is one of their natural, instinctive behaviors! As much as you dislike your cat’s destructive scratching, please be patient with them and find a solution that works for both you and your cat. Do not declaw your cat. Cats need their claws to help them safely land on the floor, to climb and jump, and to play. They are essential for your cat to live a healthy, normal life.

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10 Tips You Should Know Before Taking Your Dog Out on a Hike
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Summer months are approaching, which means more outdoor activities! Don’t leave Sparky behind at home, she’d love to tag along to get a breath of fresh air. Hiking is great way to bond with your dog and to experience something new for a change.

Before you go, here are several precautions you should take note of when hiking with your pup:

  1. Is the hike dog friendly? A general rule of thumb is to check whether or not the hiking trail allow dogs. Do your research on which hiking trails are dog friendly. You always want to ensure your dog’s safety and the safety of other hikers as well.
  2. Is your dog up to date on vaccinations? On flea or tick treatment? This is so important! You don’t want your dog to contract any diseases on hikes from other dogs. You don’t want Sparky to be carrying any pests home either! If you spot any ticks on your dog, immediately remove them. Learn how to safely remove them with tweezers here.
  3. Check the weather! If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. When the temperature is in the high 90’s or below freezing, your best bet is to keep your dog at home and choose another day when the weather is nice out. This will be more comfortable for you and your dog.
  4. Give your dog breaks. Just like us, they get tired too. Take frequent stops for breaks when hiking with a dog. Find shady areas to keep cool. If there's a river or creek on the hike, let your dog play in the water to cool off. 
  5. This is an obvious one, but bring extra water! You’re not the only one who will get thirsty. Portable water bowls or collapsible dishes come in handy for hikes and are very convenient for your dog to drink out of.
  6. Do not allow them to drink open water. River water might not be the cleanest option for your dog to drink. They can possibly contract Giardia, which is a parasite which can be found in contaminated water that can lead to intestinal infections.
  7. Look out for signs of dehydration or heat stroke. Excessive panting, dry noses, pale gums and slow movements are all signs of dehydration. Read more about dehydration symptoms and treatments here.
  8. If necessary, wear dog booties. Dog booties are worn to protect your dog’s paw pads especially on long hikes. Rough terrain and hot surfaces can damage your dog’s paws pads and wear them out. These are not always necessary, but they can also be helpful in extreme weather conditions, such as snow or hot temperatures.
  9. Bring poop bags. Always, always clean after your pet when they make a mess.
  10. Know how much your dog can handle. Don’t push your dog to go further if you know they are slowing down. Larger dogs have more stamina compared to smaller dogs, and age plays a huge factor as well. Don’t expect your 12 year old pooch to complete an 8 mile hike. Listen to your dog when they are tired or not feeling well.

Enjoy your hike and stay safe! Always keep your pet in mind- your pet’s safety should be the first priority.

 

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Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Pit Bull
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Did you know that pit bulls are one of the top breeds that end up in shelters? According to Save a Bull Rescue, research has shown that 93% of pit bulls will be euthanized before being put on adoption, which means that only 1 out of 600 pit bulls will find their forever home. This breed is often overlooked due to their reputation of being aggressive, attacking others, and overall having a tough stature. Because so many of them end up at shelters, a high percentage of them get euthanized due to shortage of space in animal shelters and having a lower adoption rate than other breeds.

Despite the negative stereotypes they carry, pit bulls are well deserving of second chances at life. In fact, with the right training and care, pit bulls can be the friendliest and most gentle pets! Here are several reasons why you should consider adopting a pit bull:

  1. They are athletic! Need a buddy to go hiking with? Pit bulls are energetic dogs who love to explore the outdoors. Bring your pit on a hike, to the dog beach, out for a run, or bike riding. This might encourage you to get out there and get some fresh air with your new furry friend.
  2. Intelligent dogs. Don’t be fooled, pit bulls are intelligent breeds! With proper training, pit bulls are just as obedient as any other dogs. Show off some tricks that you can do with your pit and people will be entertained! Pit bulls are highly food motivated and easy to train.
  3. They make the best cuddle buddies. Pit bulls love spending time with people and showing affection towards them. They might take up some room, but now you’ll have a buddy to be a couch potato with on a Sunday afternoon.
  4. Low maintenance. Don’t worry about grooming all the time! With their short fur, pit bulls don’t require much grooming unlike dogs with long fur.
  5. Take advantage of specials. Because pit bulls have such high breeding rates and low adopting rates, some shelters will offer deals to pit bulls and pit bull mixes such as free spay & neuter or reduced vaccination rates.
  6. Educate others on why pit bulls make fantastic pets. To steer away from the negative stereotype, you can always show others that pit bulls can be just as friendly and gentle as other breeds. Help change the perception of pit bulls!
  7. You’ll be saving a life. This is an obvious one, but there are thousands of homeless pit bulls who are looking for their forever family to love and care for them. With pit bulls being one of the top breeds who end up at shelters, your new dog will thank you for choosing them.

Adopt your new best friend today. Remember to check rescue organizations before going elsewhere, such as Angel City Pit Bulls, who focus on rehoming pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Please do your research first and be sure you have all the resources before bringing a new dog home.

Read more about the history and statistics of pits in the articles below:

 

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