Update on Crate-Escape Renovation
For new readers, our flag-ship, big dog facility, Crate-Escape, is renovating and expanding the front of the house and pen space to better serve our (your) dogs. The last week of 2010 a new fence appeared between the desk area and the entrance to the pens, ultimately providing more doggie space. No need to visualize, we’ll keep you up to date!
Big Woof from Raining Cats and Dogs
Thank you for taking advantage of our wonderful holiday toys, treats and leashes/collars this past month. We appreciate contributing to your pooch’s celebration (oops, that sounds like it was free- thanks for your business!) Raining is just looking better and better! Jenny is working her MM (manager magic) to make our beautiful store shine! Check into our PAWZ rubber booties to increase your dogs traction in the snow/ice and to prevent salt from getting up into their pads.
Bark in the New Year!
If you could do one thing to improve your relationship with your dog, to improve her health, or change his routine, what would it be? The fact that you bring your dog to daycare indicates an awareness and caring of your pet’s needs already. Please know that we are happy to discuss any topics that come up around your pet; if we can not answer your question, we can certainly point you in the best direction. Many of our employees have changed their dog’s lifestyle since working with us. They hear the food and health recommendations we give and more importantly, why? it is important to pay attention to this stuff. Just a hint- pizza crusts and steak fat can cause stomach and gastro problems.
New Years Resolutions, from Aria L. Henderson at the Newtown Patch, 12/30/2010 .
New Year, there’s one member of your family that really can’t let you know if some changes are needed. It’s that adorable furry face curled up next to you. He’s completely dependent on you for all his needs.
I know there’s hardly enough time to get to your own list, so here’s some help in planning some New Years resolutions for your dog:
1. Healthy Treats: Take a good look at your pet. Did he put on lots of extra pounds this years imbibing in high-carb, fatty treats? A fat dog is not a healthy dog. One of the easiest ways to take some of those pounds off besides cutting down on the heaping bowl of food left out all the time, is to limit your pet to rationed healthy treats. Raw baby carrots and cored, sliced apples are great alternatives to the high calorie, soft treats made up mostly of sugar. If your pet won’t eat carrots or apples try smearing a little natural peanut butter on them. Messy, but it works. Or, try the natural chicken or turkey jerky. It has very few calories and very little fat.
2. Exercise: Most dogs need more exercise. Families with electric fences become very complacent and just let the dog out and then back in. Not only can’t you watch for digestive upsets, but unless your dog runs around the yard at warp speed for 15 minutes, he’s probably not getting enough exercise. (Daycare is the ideal solution, but on your off days*)Plan to walk your dog – on a leash – working up to at least ½ mile every day. This will help take the pounds off your dog, as well as giving you and your dog some one-on-one time. Don’t forget to always walk your dog on the inside side of the street. There’s nothing more frightening than to find a car barreling up the street and your dog is hugging the center line. Keep him on the inside at all times with you in control of the leash. Letting your dog have all 15 feet on a flexi-leash does not give you enough time to get him back to you in case of speeding vehicle. (AND OF COURSE, DAYCARE!*)
3. Training: How many times have you thought about getting some help to keep Murphy from jumping, barking and generally being overly friendly every time someone enters your house? This is a good time to set up an appointment with an experienced trainer. Not only will training make Murphy a better pet, but how cool would it be to not run around the house trying to catch Murphy every time the door bell rings?
5. Toys: It’s definitely time to go through that pile of dirty, chewed and smelly toys that takes up one whole corner of the family room. Murphy hardly touches most of them — probably because they’re dirty, chewed and smelly. Throw out all the old, unused ones and replace them with some new, safe toys. It’s probably time to replace that ratty, old dog bed, too. Well, at least get a new cover for it. What color was it when it was new? How about a good soaking of those plastic dog water bowls that have taken on a greenish cast?
6. Vet Care: Put together – in one file- all your dog’s medial records. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all required vet care. Rabies shots are required every three years and yearly heartworm medication is essential. It’s up to you and your vet to decide if any other inoculations are needed. Perhaps just a titer is all that’s required each year rather than another whole set of inoculations.
7. One–on-One Time: I know we all have crazy, hectic daily schedules but do try to set aside some quality time for your pet with the family. The unconditional love your pet gives you on a daily basis should be enough to reward him with at least a half-hour every day of quality time with him. It can be as simple as getting the family involved in game of fetch or Frisbee. If your dog had some obedience training, a ½ hour refresher lesson with you will stimulate Murphy and give him that special time with you and the family. The ½ hour leash-walk every day qualifies as well.
8. Donate: This is the perfect time of year to check your basement and attic for unused and outgrown crates, bowls, toys, etc., to donate to local pounds and rescue groups. You know Murphy doesn’t need all the new toys he received for Christmas. The homeless pets in your local pound didn’t get to have Christmas with a family this year. They would really appreciate some good-condition used or new toys to cheer them up.
9: Pre-Plan Your Vacation: You probably know when you’re planning an extended vacation this year. Reserve your pet sitter or kennel well ahead of time instead of scrambling around at the last-minute only to find that’s nothing available. Trying to find relative or fiend to cover at the last minute is not the best way to handle the problem. Remember last year when you ended up letting you neighbor’s kids watch Murphy when you couldn’t find a reliable sitter or kennel for him? Bet you didn’t relax on that vacation wondering if all was going well at the house? Make your reservation early.
10. Rescue a Friend: After the holidays is the perfect time to think about bringing home a special, rescued friend for your dog or cat. Not only will it make your pet happy to finally have an in-house playmate but it will give a homeless dog or cat a very special New Years in a forever home. (You can check on www.petfinder.com to find your next companion.*)