Dog Bite Prevention: Pet Safety is Important.

Dog Bite Prevention Week

Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Dear Fellow Animal Lovers & Pet Parents,

Dog bites can pose a serious health risk to our communities. More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. More than 800,000 receive medical attention for their dog bite, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At least half of those bitten are children. 

There are many things that can be done at home and within the community to help prevent a dog from biting someone. National Dog Bite Prevention Week® is celebrated the second full week of April each year. This year, the dates are April 8-14. During this time, we would like to remind pet owners & the public that the majority of dog bites are preventable.Turner Animal Hospital for Dog Bite TreatmentWhy do dogs bite?

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons, but bites occur most commonly as a reaction to something. It is important to remember that any dog can bite; big or small, male or female, young or old. Even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pet can bite, if provoked. It is not a dog’s breed that determines whether it will bite, but rather the dog’s individual history and behavior. It is important to remember responsible pet ownership to avoid your dog biting others.

How to Prevent Dog Bites:

  • Socialization is a good way to help prevent your dog from biting. Introducing your dog to other animals and people while it’s still a puppy will help your pet feel more comfortable in different situations. As it gets older, your dog will feel comfortable around others.
  • Responsible pet ownership builds a solid foundation for dog bite prevention. Basics of responsible dog ownership can help reduce the risk of dog bites. Carefully selecting the dog that’s right for your family is very important. Do you research before adopting a new pet. Proper training, regular exercise, and neutering or spaying your pet are also responsible habits for pet owners. It’s also recommended to use a leash in public to make sure that you are able to control your dog.
  • Educate yourself and your children about how – or whether – to approach a dog. This includes avoiding risky situations and understanding when you should certainly not interact with a dog. Instances where dogs should be left alone include: if it is not with its owner, if it is sleeping, or if it is growling or barking. (to name just a few scenarios)
  • Reading a dog’s body language can also be helpful. Just like people, dogs rely on body language, posture and vocalizations to express themselves. While we can’t always read a dog’s body language accurately, it can give us helpful clues as to whether a dog is feeling stressed, frightened, or threatened.

But, how can you be sure your pet is happy, healthy, and safe?

Get peace of mind about your pet’s environment & health with Turner Animal hospital. You don’t need to be a pet expert. Their amazing staff is here for you!

Veterinarians play a key role in educating and guiding the community about dog bites and other pet health prevention strategies. Contact your veterinarian for more information or visit Turner Animal Hospital on Facebook for more Dog Bite Prevention Tips and Info.

Sincerely,

Eric McConkey, DVM and Tara McConkey, CVPM

Co- Owners, Turner Animal Hospital

Meet Eric, Tara, and the loving Turner Animal Hospital staff! They are here to help your pets

Want to reserve your appointment now? You can book an appointment online. 🙂

 

Kansas City Pets Scoop

BIO-NIHILATOR Pet Stain Cleaners: Get Rid of Pet Messes!

Pet stains happen all the time, but we still love our pets. 🙂 Don’t let smelly stains stink up your house. BIO-NIHILATOR™ is here to clean up your pet stains for good.

Their carpet and hardwood floor cleaners are specially formulated by carpet cleaners to effectively get rid of your pets’ (and family’s…) stains. BIO-NIHILATOR™ cleaning products are environmentally safe, so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your pets. Clean and go!

Need it now? You can purchase BIO-NIHILATOR™ online or find a local, authorized retailer in Kansas City.

 

 

Get Rid of Pet Stains…For Good.

BIO-NIHILATOR™ products are bio based, environmentally safe cleaning products that effectively clean fecal matter, urine and vomit stains, while offering a natural and pleasant fragrance. There are no strong smells or odors either. Get rid of smelly pet stains for good.

BIO-NIHILATOR™ offers both carpet cleaners and hardwood floor cleaners to tackle different kinds of stains & surfaces. It works great to clean pet stains, but cleans other kinds of stains too!

Local, KC Company

We love KC companies! Give them some local love.

BIO-NIHILATOR cleaning products are locally created and support people in OUR community. Support our community & clean your pesky pet stains in the process. 🙂 You can find their products around KC at many different stores.

Environmentally Safe & Effective Pet Cleaners

Get rid of pet stains with professional strength cleaning products that are also ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE. It’s critical to keep our pet safe and BIO-NIHILATOR™  does just that. While cleaning your stains!

BIO-NIHILATOR™ was developed by carpet cleaners when an effective solution couldn’t be found. For years they used professional strength enzymes already on the market with mixed results from clients. They had enough. Their carpet cleaning company, AFC Cleaning & Restoration, found many house calls were to clean tough pet stain and odor issues, so they had to find a solution.

They began experimenting to create their own unique cleaning solutions, which turned out to be more effective.  BIO-NIHILATOR™ was born!

BIO-NIHILATOR™ wants to spread the pet stain hack of their cleaning products with the world. Their special solution  was created just for you and your furry fam. 🙂

Tackle any stain your pets and family throw your way with their carpet cleaner or hardwood floor cleaner. Both work great! (I should know….we have too many pet accidents in this house.) You can purchase BIO-NIHILATOR™ from their website or find a local retailer near you. Their products are tested and backed by the iPetsKC team. We love their products for the many messes in our home – pets & kids!

We hope this solution helps you clean messes a little faster, so you can get back to hangin’ with your furry fam.

82 Pet-friendly Places to Shop in Kansas City

Pet friendly shopping is our favorite! Every pet parent & pet lover wants to spend as much time as possible with their furry friends, but what pet-friendly stores can you shop at together? iPetsKC  to the rescue!  Kansas City is FULL of pet-friendly shopping. Explore the 82 pet-friendly places to take your dog in Kansas City in our list below.

 

shop with your pet

 

Find stores at Zona Rosa in Kansas City or shops at Town Center Plaza in Leawood. Discover the dog-friendly Country Club Plaza in downtown Kansas City too! (Many stores at the Plaza put water bowls out in the summer for your pets to enjoy a refreshing drink) Bring your dog on shopping adventures and spend the day exploring Kansas City Metro places to shop with your dog.

Grab your furry fam and let’s go shopping!
  1. Academy Sports
  2. Ace Hardware Stores (must be on leash)
  3. Alter’d State
  4. Apple Store*
  5. Animal Crackers Feed Store & Pet Supply
  6. Ann Taylor & Ann Taylor Loft (must be friendly)
  7. Anthropologie
  8. Athleta
  9. Banana Republic*
  10. Barkville Pet Boutique
  11. Barnes & Noble
  12. Bass Pro Shops
  13. Bath & Body Works* (as long as controlled)
  14. Bebe*
  15. Blue Parkway Bait & Pet Supplies (must be on a leash)
  16. Buckle*
  17. Cabella’s
  18. Charlie Hustle
  19. Chico’s*
  20. Clark’s*
  21. Dick’s Sporting Goods
  22. Doggie Style Bowtique
  23. Eddie Bauer
  24. Express* (on the plaza)
  25. Feldman’s Farm & Home (must be on a leash)
  26. Foot Locker*
  27. Forever 21*
  28. Free People
  29. Gap*
  30. Half Price Books
  31. Hallmark (allow, but some franchises so have their own rules)
  32. Helzberg Diamonds*
  33. Hobby Lobby
  34. Home Depot (must be on a leash)
  35. J.Crew* (on the plaza)
  36. Land of Paws (must be on leash)
  37. The Learning Tree*
  38. LOFT* (MUST be on a leash & not impacting experience of customers)
  39. Lowe’s
  40. Lucky Brand Store
  41. Lulu Lemon
  42. LUSH Cosmetics*
  43. Madewell
  44. Marshall’s
  45. Maurice’s*
  46. Moosejaw
  47. Nordstrom*
  48. North Face Store
  49. Old Navy
  50. Orvis
  51. PetsMart
  52. PetCo
  53. Pet-topia
  54. Planters Seed & Spice Co.
  55. Pottery Barn
  56. Rally House
  57. Restoration Hardware
  58. Ross
  59. Rue21*
  60. Scheels – Check out their PET SECTION!
  61. Sephora*
  62. Sports Nutz
  63. Sutherlands
  64. Three Dogs Bakery
  65. Tiffany & Co.* (must be on a leash)
  66. Tilly’s- Town Center
  67. TJ Maxx (on a leash)
  68. Tommy Bahamas
  69. Torrid*
  70. Tractor Supply Co.
  71. Urban Outfitters
  72. Under Armour Factory House (Legends)
  73. Vans
  74. Victoria’s Secret* (on the plaza)
  75. Vineyard Vines
  76. Waldo Grain Co. (must be on leash)
  77. Waldo Hardware
  78. The Walking Company
  79. Warby Parker (Exam Room- ONLY service dogs allowed)
  80. West Elm*
  81. White House Black Market*
  82. Zumiez*

 

*Shopping Centers:

Country Club Plaza welcomes dogs to walk around the shopping center. The Plaza is a very dog-friendly place to hang out; many dog-friendly places in KC have a location at the Plaza. Several stores put water bowls out in the summer for your pets to enjoy a refreshing drink

Zona Rosa allows dogs on a leash if they are friendly and maintained.

Oak Park Mall does NOT allow pets, even if a store DOES; Only service dogs.

Crown Center only allows service dogs inside the shopping center.

Independence Center does NOT allow dogs inside, even if a store DOES; Only service dogs.

Legends Shopping Center allows pets on a leash to walk around. Stores at the Legends Outlets are not necessarily pet-friendly. Check the list above.

Summit Fair allows dogs on leashes in the common grounds. Stores in Summit Fair are not necessarily pet-friendly. Check the list above.

Town Center Plaza & Park Place allow dogs on a leash to walk around. Stores at Town Center Leawood and Park Place are not necessarily pet-friendly. Check the list above.

 

Missing a dog-friendly place in Kansas City? Email us to add your favorite place to shop with your dog!

Are you looking for Dog Events in Kansas City? Searching for a pet-friendly hotel? Check out our other Pet Resources! 😊

What to do When Your Pet Dies Unexpectedly

A good friend is hard to find, but each animal finds a special place in our heart. While the beginning chapters of Lady’s remain a mystery, we wanted to give her a well-deserved rest in peace. Lady wandered the streets until strangers picked her up as a stray and brought her to the local shelter where she lived long-term until my family adopted her in the Spring of 2017. That is where the final chapter of her tale begins…

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Lady: The Final Chapter

We weren’t in a rush to bring another creature into our pack, but on Mother’s Day, Charlotte (my six-year-old daughter) and I took a trip to the local animal shelter. We previously discussed the possibility of adopting another dog when the ‘right one’ came along. We’d visited local shelters like Wayside Waiffs and Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, but hadn’t found the right fit for our family- until that day.

Lady hobbled inside from a walk with a volunteer when we met her- at that moment we knew she was special. There was a sweetness about her. A kindness in her eyes that instantly drew our hearts in. We knew we may only have a couple years together due to her age, but the instant connection made our hesitation disappear. Lady deserved a loving home and we were going to give it to her. After a few more visits and a meet-and-greet with Winnie, our 11-year old dog, we welcomed Lady into our wolf pack.

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Given Lady’s condition (she had trouble walking & bad arthritis), we knew the transition into a new household would take time. But hope is a seemingly magical thing which made Lady’s transition much smoother than we anticipated.

What to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

The day we adopted Lady, she had limited movement. Even navigating stairs seemed like an impossible task. Each day I carried her up and down our stairs so she could relieve herself and enjoy time in our backyard with Winnie. I came to terms with the fact that Lady was going to need extra care– but she surprised me.

Within a couple of weeks, the dog that could barely walk was running (literally running) around the backyard and climbing the stairs on her own. I truly believe that Lady needed the hope, love, and encouragement that only a loving family can bring. Lady found her forever home and we found a piece of our hearts that we didn’t know was missing – and summertime was wonderful.

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Summertime brought freedom for our dogs to explore outdoors and relax on the lawn. Together, they spent a few hours a day taking in the fresh air. When I opened the door to call them in, both would come running as fast as they could to greet us. Lady wasn’t just a cared for member of our pack, she became my friend.

I found myself looking forward to my favorite parts of the day, when Winnie and Lady would run towards the house. I never envisioned the possibility of Lady being active when we’d first met, but little did the dogs know that I cherished those joyful moments just as much as they did.

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Over the span of a few months, Lady became an important part of our pack- part of our family. Fast forward to the night of October 21st, 2017.

As it started raining, I rushed to the backdoor to call the dogs in – expecting to see them both run in, excited to come inside. That didn’t happen. Lady got up to come towards me, but collapsed suddenly on the lawn. I ran down the yard and helped Lady get back to her feet. As we tried to get up the stairs, Lady collapsed again and that’s when it hit me – Lady was going to die.

I honestly can’t tell you how I knew, but I could sense it. I knew what to do. My job was to make sure that Lady, my friend, was comfortable and loved in her final moments. The progression happened so quickly, there wasn’t time to think much about keeping her comfortable. By the time we got inside, her back legs had stopped working all together and her body was shutting down.

I brought her inside my bedroom and we said our goodbyes. As I petted  and soothed her, Lady kept trying to inch closer to me – all she wanted was love. I finally moved her on top of me as I laid with my back on the floor. Nothing prepares you for having someone that you love die in your arms. It’s one of the most difficult things I have experienced but it was exactly as it was supposed to be.

Lady passed away in the comfort of my arms, surrounded by the love she experienced in her final months on Earth. I am grateful we were a part of her journey, no matter how difficult it was to lose her. I don’t know how her story started or what adventures her early chapters brought, but I know her final chapter was beautiful, and I’ll never forget her presence in our lives.

The aftermath of losing Lady was challenging because it’s something that I have never been through before. However, the experience is something I want to share with your family if you find yourself in a similar situation.

What to do When Your Pet Dies Unexpectedly

After Lady passed away, I knew we needed to have a plan of action in place. Given the fact that it was late at night and on a weekend, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the situation. When your pet dies unexpectedly, like ours did, here are some helpful steps:

-Evaluate the situation. Try to feel your dog’s heartbeat asses if they have passed. CPR on animals can revive them in instances where you are unsure.

-Call for help. This is not a situation you want to handle on your own. Call a friend or family member if you are alone- we all need support.

-Be Quick. It’s not fun to think about, but Rigor Mortius sets in 10 minutes to 3 hours after death. Taking the necessary steps as soon as possible is important.

-Wrap your pet up in a blanket, towel, or some type of cloth.

-If you have plastic bags to wrap around the bottom half of your pet, do it. They will sometimes release some of their bodily fluids after passing away.

-Place your pet in a box or container to transport them.

-Know your options. We utilized Pet Cremation Services, out of Martin City, who were wonderful to work with. We called early Sunday morning and brought Lady to their facility Sunday afternoon. Pet Cremation Services reviewed several options for our family and handled our delicate situation with special care. From group cremation, where they spread the ashes in their memorial garden, to options where you can keep your pet’s ashes after their gone, Pet Cremation will help your family find the right option for you. Your family can find details online or call 816-941-2009. Pet Cremation Services handled it amazingly- so gentle and kind. I cannot begin to tell you how comforting their support was in the aftermath of Lady’s passing.

My biggest piece of advice is to understand WHAT to do if this ever happens to you. It’s hard enough losing a beloved pet unexpectedly. Knowing the next steps will make it easier for you in moment. Knowing what I know now, would I decide to welcome Lady into our family again?! Absolutely.

Lady’s presence in our lives wasn’t just a gift to her, it was a gift to our family as well. She was a gentle, sweet, and kind soul that we are lucky to have known. Not only was she our family pet, but Lady was also our friend. We miss her every day. When you have the chance to love others, both people and pets, do it. You’ll never regret spreading kindness and love.

From my family to yours,

Holli

Halloween Safety Tips for your Furry Friends

Pet Halloween Safety
Great reminders & tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween.

Dress up Pup?

We all know that costumes for our pets are quite popular and absolutely adorable.  However, make sure that the costume is correctly sized and comfortable for Fido.  Avoid any pieces that may fall off and/or can be chewed on.  Small hair bows, clips, and hats can easily be taken off by their lonesome and often are small enough to become dangerous.  Attempt to make your pet familiar with the costume by having them wear it for a period of time before Halloween.  If it is obvious your pet is less than thrilled to be in a costume, it is best to call it quits on dressing up.  Never leave your pet unsupervised while her or she is dressed up for festivities.

Keep your fur-baby inside!

Dogs and (some) cats alike enjoy the fresh air of the great outdoors.  Once night falls and trick-or-treaters come out for candy, do not let your pup outside unsupervised.  Between the trick or treaters that may be cutting through backyards and the sidewalks being overrun with excited kiddos, opt to only take pets outside on leash with an adult for the night of the 31st.  We wouldn’t want any pets to be scared or uncomfortable when around some unfamiliar faces.  Always keep a collar and identification tag on your pets in case they do get out without an owner.

The front door: out of sight, out of mind

When it comes to the doorbell and lots of Halloween visitors, it is best to keep pets out of reach from the door where you’re handing out candy.  Put them in a room where they are comfortable and turn on the TV or radio to drown out at least some of the commotion for the few hours of trick-or-treating.  It is best to prevent the dog jumping on trick-or-treaters, or the kitty slipping out the door by having he or she entertained with a treat or toy in their secluded area.

Chocolate Labs can’t eat chocolate

In fact, it isn’t recommended for any dog to eat chocolate.  Do not share chocolate treats with any of your furry friends, and make sure your kiddos understand this too.  These sweet treats children are destined for on Halloween can be toxic to both dogs and cats and should never be in reach of their paws.  Keep candy on a high surface, and cover with a lid to minimize the smell.

Howl-o-ween Décor

It’s part of the fun to deck the house out in spider webs, pumpkins, and ghosts, oh my! But, be wary of decorations that include candles, long power cords, or glow-in-the-dark substances.  Candles and jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween tradition, however, keep them out of reach from wagging tails, sniffing noses, and stretching paws.  Avoid making the night even scarier by securing long power cords to avoid flying items and tripped pets.  Chemicals in glow sticks are poisonous to both humans and animals, so make sure they can’t be chewed on.

Happy Howl-o-ween! Enjoy and stay safe!

Brought to you by Isabelle Allen, iPetsKC team

My Experience As A KC Pet Project Volunteer

Bridgette and her family’s search for a pet of their own led them to volunteering with the KC Pet Project.  Here, Bridgette tells us all about their experience!

My KC Pet Project Experience

Over the past several months, it seems like the only thing my family talks about is puppies or getting a pet.  So, it wasn’t a shock to me when my husband agreed that we would start looking for a dog that we can welcome into our family! I knew that having a pet was sort of a rite of passage for a child so this was something that I have been preparing myself to deal with.

When we first got married, my husband and I had a young dog and a puppy, and they were amazing, but we had to give them away when we moved to a new state. But as I got older and had kids, a dog seemed to drop lower and lower on my list of wants and needs. It just didn’t seem that important anymore.

Well, last weekend, we decided to start our search for a family dog and after a lot of talking and research, we found out that my husband and I could volunteer at the pound (KCPP) and even bring our children along too. This would give us and our kids time to practice walking the dogs and really just being around them so they could start to feel at ease. But when we walked in the KC Pet Project, my whole entire outlook changed. We NEEDED a dog! Not just for my kids’ sake or my husbands, but for theirs as well.

As we walked through the aisles of a wide variety of dogs, my heart was of two minds. It started to ache because there were so many abandoned, abused and lost dogs. It also started to fill with joy when I saw how anxious they were to interact with us. I wanted to take all of them right then and there! Fighting back the tears of overwhelming emotions, I knew that this was something we had to do!

The KC Pet Project is an amazing organization. They are a no kill organization and they are paving the way in Kansas City to create a No- Kill Kansas City. They are striving to care for all healthy and treatable pets that have been abandoned, lost or abused.

Seeing all of those dogs so sad in their cages really made me think about what it would mean to adopt them. An animal is an innocent living creature and they have no control where they end up or how they get treated, so adopting one and saving its life is now one of the most important things my family could do. Showing concern, compassion and genuine love for these amazing animals is sure to have a major positive impact on all our lives!

While we continue our search for the right pet and begin to make room, we will proudly be volunteering to help make these animals feel the love and comfort they need and deserve.

If you are looking for a pet, I strongly urge you to check out https://kcpetproject.org/ for more information as well as www.KCPets.com for resources on adoption and other valuable information.

How do you know if your pet needs chiropractic care?

How do you know if your pet needs chiropractic care?

 

How do you know if your pet needs chiropractic care?

 

Published on April 10, 2017

Dr. Kimberly Hunt

Animal Chiropractor & Rehab Specialist

www.chiro4paws.com

A dog (Bronx) was brought into my office with low back pain, worse when getting up from laying down. The history of this 8-year-old boxer mix included 2 major falls, several years back. One fall was from a second story window. The other was from a moving vehicle. After each incident, the dog recovered quickly, without medical intervention, and appeared to be fine. Fast forward several years, and those same injuries are rearing their ugly heads as Bronx cries out in pain.

To both their benefit, and their detriment, animals are amazingly resilient. Or at least they appear to be. The truth is, animals hide their injuries through a process called “compensation”. This means they shift weight and walk or sit differently to avoid pain. It’s a built-in survival mechanism since showing pain or weakness can prove fatal in the wild. Unfortunately, animals can compensate for only so long before their body breaks down. Eventually, Bronx was no longer able to compensate and started showing symptoms including difficulty getting up from a seated or laying position, and severe pain with certain movements. His x-rays showed spinal spondylosis at multiple levels (essentially severe arthritis of the spine) and narrowing of the intervertebral foramen which compressed and irritated his spinal nerves (ie: pinched nerves).

Fortunately, with several chiropractic treatments over a couple months, plus home rehab stretches, Bronx made a full recovery. He is now on wellness care with chiropractic visits 3 or 4 times per year to help him maintain his optimal health.

Here’s the unfortunate part of this story…Bronx had to become severely painful and physically compromised before his owners knew he needed help. So how do we avoid this?

  1. Have your pets checked by a certified animal chiropractor at least 2x per year when they are young, and up to 4x per year for older pets, and those pets doing a sport (exp: agility dog, Frisbee dog) or physical job (exp: cattle dog, hunting dog). The chiropractor can find, and fix, structural issues before they become debilitating.
  2. When you see an injury occur, even if your pet seems fine, schedule a chiropractic exam.
  3. If you see any of the following signs or symptoms, get your pet into the chiropractor immediately. Remember, by the time you see symptoms, your pet has likely been compensating for awhile.

*Hesitation to do normal activities such as climbing, jumping up, jumping down, laying down, etc.

*Limping. Limb weakness or inability to walk.

*Difficulty with certain movements such as turning head, lifting head, walking, trotting, running, climbing stairs, jumping, changing positions, getting up from a seated or lying position, slipping on slick floors, squatting, lifting leg, etc.

*Heavy and unusual panting, whining, or crying with certain movements or when being picked up.

*Change in behavior – grumpy, no desire to play, doesn’t want to cuddle, pulls away when you try to touch certain parts of the body.

*Signs of compensation – head held low and/or to one side, shifting weight from back legs to front legs, or from one side to the other, refusing to bear weight on a limb, laying only on one side of the body, arching back up, sitting crooked, etc.

If you have specific questions about this topic, you are welcome to email them: drhunt@chiro4paws.com. Please allow up to 24 hours for a response.

 

Disclaimer: This article, and any information provided by Dr. Hunt via website or email correspondence, is not an attempt to diagnose or treat animals. All information and/or comments are based solely on the experience, education, insight and opinion of Dr. Hunt. You should always consult at licensed veterinarian on matters of animal health.

What to Do When the Puppy Comes Home

The best way to prepare for the unknown is to get advice from those who have braved through the experience. Sarah will share tidbits of her family’s experience bringing home a puppy, hopefully her tips & tricks help you!

What to Do When: You Bring Your Puppy Home (And After..)

pet adoption

Learn from Our Family’s Experience!

Ammo, our silver lab, is now 6 months old. Getting to this point was a journey. When we brought our puppy home, my girls instantly fell in love. The girls wanted a puppy for years and finally, my husband and I decided pet adoption fit our family. We thought we were prepped and ready to go- but the process moved quicker than we anticipated.

I did preparation around the house, but I couldn’t do many important preparation steps because we kept the puppy adoption a secret from the girls. My normal introduction plan- talking to my girls about pet responsibility and how we will treat our new pet- happened after the euphoria of bringing him home. First thing my kids want to do is hold Ammo and love on him; first thing Ammo wanted to do was run away!

As they cornered the puppy in the kitchen, I heard the familiar, painful scream from my youngest. Yep! Those puppy teeth chomped a little too hard- and both parties were confused. Our little girl didn’t understand why the puppy she loved bit her, and Ammo didn’t understand what he did. It’s hard for kids to understand this little puppy is fragile. The girls are familiar with their grandparents’ dog—a big Labrador that lets them run, play, and lay on him. So, what did I do as the concerned I-am-going-to-use-this-as-a-teaching-moment Mom? I sat her down and explained that the puppy is just playing, and he only knows how to play with other puppies. I thought we were prepared—then came the Tinkerbelle Incident.

I was cooking dinner when I heard a scream. My oldest came running up the stairs with tears in her eyes and her Tinkerbell doll—correction, I think it was her Tinkerbell doll, in hand. You see, Tink was now an armless, one leg, one-wing shell of herself. We had a nice memorial service for her and then buried her in the only fitting place—the garage trashcan—so the carnage wouldn’t be a constant reminder. I sat my daughter down and I tried another teaching moment. All I heard was, “I want to get another dog that wouldn’t chew up my toys.”

You know what I learned—you can’t teach anything about puppy basics to a 2 year-old! It was in this moment I knew my “Hallmark” moment of everything going perfect with our new puppy was falling apart. Here are the pet tips and tricks our family learned along the journey, hopefully they help your pet family avoid a few of the puppy accidents we encountered.

  • DO YOUR RESEARCH. Pick a dog breed that matches your personality, needs, and daily life style. Talk to staff at local shelters like Prairie Paws Animal Shelter or Wayside Waifs. Their staff are a great resource to determine what dog breeds fit you! Do you have an open yard? Some dog breeds require more space & exercise. Do you work 8-5? Some breeds require greater attention.

 

  • Hold a family meeting- or at least run the idea by your husband or wife.

 

  • Buy your pet accessories before you pick up your puppy. Make sure you have a collar, leash, water & food bowls, FOOD, chew toys, and a crate/kennel so you aren’t running around last minute. A reliable pet stain & odor cleaner (like Bionihilator) is also a must. You don’t want your home smelling!

 

  • Create a gated-off area for your puppy’s temporary home. After being adopted, it can take pets some time to get acclimated to their new surroundings. You want an area they can be messy in, with hardwood or laminate floors to make pee clean-up easier.

 

  • Bring a helper to get your puppy! Having a helping hand will make the entire process less stressful. Most puppies aren’t used to kennels, so holding them in your lap allows you to soothe the puppy while your helper drives. When you bring your puppy home, make sure you bring the collar, leash, and kennel (if they are used to).

 

  • Keep important or small items out of reach. Pick up shoes, chargers, medicine, toys, (anything you don’t want chewed on) off the ground. Puppies don’t understand they can’t play with or chew up the things on the ground.

 

 

 

  • Get your dog license– It’s legally required to get your dog license and will help keep your puppy safe if they ever run off. You can get your dog license at the Animal Shelter, Veterinarian’s office/Pet Shop (if authorized to process licenses), or online with Pet Data.

 

  • Be friendly, but relaxed when you bring your puppy home the first time. This is an exciting time for everyone, but your puppy is experiencing so many new things right now. It’s important to not overwhelm them in their new environment.

 

  • Train your puppy! Finding a qualified dog trainer to set you on the right path of communication and obedience is essential. KISS Dog Training offers special classes geared towards different family needs, or check out Pure Dog Listeners for an approach built on the bond between you and your puppy.

 

  • Set a routine for your puppy. Try to feed, let out, or walk the puppy on a routine to establish consistency and habits for your pup. Having a set routine will help your puppy become potty trained and understand the flow of the day.

 

  • Pro Tip: Splurge and go for the monthly pooper-scooper. I saw the poop-scooper sign for $20 a month and thought, “I don’t need that..” Wrong. Your puppy will track poop in the house ONCE before you change your mind.

Would I get the dog again? Of course! Our house feels complete and Ammo is a great protector for our family. My girls love Ammo, even with a few dismemberments of their dolls. Ammo sleeps with the girls and I find they sleep better with him (meaning I sleep better). My youngest loves to help with feeding him and my oldest is waiting when she can take him on a walk instead of the other way around. So although we hit a few snags, it was worth it to remember those smiles on their faces when we first brought him home! Hold tight to those Hallmark moments—they make the trying times so much easier!

How to Pick the Best Food for Your Pet

Today, we have a great (sponsored) post from Shelby with Acana Pet Food. Picking the right food for your pet can be difficult, but with these tips, you’ll be able to know the best route for your pet. Check it out!

How to Pick the Best Food for Your Pet

How to Pick the Best Food for Your Pet

Pet food has really started to make an appearance on advertisements all around us. What is the best food? What do I need to avoid? Where should I purchase my pet food? Dogs are meat eaters, and we know these based on their anatomy. A dog is a descendent of the wolf and their bodies still mirror their ancestors:

– Sharp, pointy teeth – designed to tear flesh and crunch raw bone and cartilage.
– Short digestive tract – their digestive tract is designed to absorb nutrients quickly, so quality of food is important!
– No amylase – This enzyme is found in humans and other omnivores and herbivores, but not in the dog or cat. This enzyme is for pre-digesting carbohydrates. Dogs and cats do not need large amounts of carbs in their diet.

High meat content, organs, bone and cartilage along with nutritious fruits, vegetables and botanicals can all be utilized in today’s canine. These ingredients help dogs and cats live a healthy life without the worry of illnesses or conditions caused by a poor, unfit diet. Of course, there can always be underlying genetic or environmental conditions that can still cause pets to become ill even on a biologically appropriate diet. The chances of a beloved pet to become ill when fed a nutritious diet will definitely decrease, especially when starting off that puppy or kitten off on the right diet from the start.

Dogs and cats are both meat eaters and do not require carbohydrates like their human parents do. As humans, we have the characteristics of being omnivores or herbivores and we are able to digest and utilize carbohydrates for energy.

Benefits of Acana –
– All ingredients are locally sourced from family-owned farms with humane and sustainable animals.
– Frequent Buyer Program, Buy 12 Get 1 FREE – shop at your local independent retailer – ask for a Frequent Buyer Card Envelope at your local store.
– 11 different varieties for recommended rotation.
– 4 limited ingredient diets available.
– Feed less food because of denser nutrient content than most other commercial pet foods.
– Shinier coat and overall health increases.

Find your local retailer today at (Your website link) and ask which Acana formula your pet should try!

My Dog Hates Going to the Groomer: What do I do!?

Today we’ve got a guest blog post from our friend Mike over at K.I.S.S Dog Training. Mike is a leading expert in the field and offers classes and workshops for pet owners to more effectively work with their canine companions. Take a look…

Ah, the dreaded groomer. Many dogs have all sorts of anxieties when it comes to going to the vet or groomer. We’ve got some great tips for you on how to combat (or prevent) those anxieties and make visits more enjoyable for everyone. Take a look…

 

My Dog Hates Going to the Groomer: What do I do!?

My Dog Hates Going to the Groomer: What do I do!?

 

Ok, so your dog doesn’t like his or her nails trimmed, mouth touched or tail messed with He or she hates the hair dryer and could live life happily ever after for the rest of his/her life without another bath. You know it and now so does your groomer…You my friend are reading this because both your groomer and I want Fido to accept, if not like, his trips to the beauty salon. So, with a little work on your end and some patience on the part of your wonderful groomer, I bet we can improve this situation in no time at all. But where do you start? Well first thing print off this article and give a copy to your groomer. After all we want him or her on the same page, right? The Next step is up to you…

Cradle & Massage

I call it “Cradle and Massage” and it is something every dog owner should do with their pups! The earlier we start, the faster we get Fido to like his visits to the groomer (or vet for that matter). Don’t freak out if your dog is 3 or 4 years old; we can still improve the situation, making the visit safer and more pleasant for everyone involved. So, just what is “Cradle and Massage”? It is a simple but effective desensitization program for dogs of all ages in regards to the common “hot spots” most dogs just plain don’t like having messed with, the feet, mouth, tail and ears. Ironically the same spots our unfortunate groomers must touch every time.

This technique will need to be done 3-5 times a week for 10-15 minutes. I want you to get on the floor with your dog, even while watching TV, and simply cradle the dog between your legs and massage each of the above-mentioned body parts, followed by a treat after each part! The goal here is to convince Fido that touch is good (rewarding) and relaxing (kind, gentle touching).

By the time, you get this perfect, your dog should be comfortable lying on their back, being touched and will be totally relaxed. Don’t be upset if you can’t even get close to this description the first time you try this. Take it slow and progress in baby steps. Consistency and being gentle will pay off in the end!

Trainers Tip

 If your dog struggles to get away at any point during this process… Simply let the dog go and reset the process and try again. As the dog gets comfortable this will get easier, but if you hold on, trying to get the dog to submit to you… You are going to simply give Fido another reason to not enjoy or trust this kind of touch….

Take “field trips”

The other thing that needs to be done immediately is to change your dog’s view of being at the groomer (or vet). I want you to commit to taking field trips to the groomer’s or the vet’s at least once a week, (2-3 times a week starting off is even better) and just go in sit in, the lounge and give Fido some treats. Let the staff know what you are doing and ask them to give treats to your pooch as well. After 5-10 minutes or so, just get up, get in your car and go home! The reason for all this subterfuge is simple, the only time you ever take your dog to the groomer (or vet) it is an unpleasant situation (at least in the dog’s mind). By adding these short trips full of treats and rewards, your dog starts to associate the visits as being more positive and less negative.

Treats are Your Best Friend

Last thing, ask your groomer or vet to attempt to give your pooch a treat at beginning and the end of the groom or examination and report back to you whether the dog took the treat. Ironically, one of the best ways to determine a dog’s level of stress or fear (leading cause of snarkiness) is to see if they are comfortable enough to eat. This litmus test is a great way to gauge your progress, not to mention a vet or groomer that gives gifts (treats/rewards) isn’t all that scary anyways. The goal here is not to label, categorize or belittle your dog, but rather to help you his Mommy or Daddy, make his or her visit less scary and hopefully more fun!

I need to be clear though, if you do not put in the work both consistently and frequently, this problem will never get any better and your dog will continue to be fearful and dislike his visits to the groomer or vet. It is up to you, to help, Fido understand the world is a safe and accommodating, and trust me rewards are, in my opinion, the fastest way to get that point across.