Every year around this time, many of us make a few New Year’s resolutions. Some of the most popular include: to eat better, lose weight, become more organized, save money, pay off debt, and get a better job. Resolutions are good to make because they keep us focused on making positive changes.
As responsible pet owners, we can also make New Year’s resolutions for the sake of our four legged friends. Here are a few:
I resolve to play with my pet more often. While your dog or cat might love special treats or toys, more than anything they probably just love spending quality time with you. Resolve to set aside time each day to play with your pet.
I resolve to learn from my pet. They can teach us valuable lessons about living well, being better humans, and enjoying every aspect of our lives. Julia Williams wrote a great article about lessons learned from cats.
I resolve to slow down. Just as we learn so much from our pets, we also need to learn the importance of slowing down. We hurry through our lives, rushing to get through one day and on to the next. Slowing down and savoring each unique day is a great way to live life; you’ll be happier and less stressed overall, which benefits your pet too.
By Julia Williams
We live in interesting times. It’s true that every generation has it decidedly different than the one before, but the disparity seems to get wider with every decade. One reason for this is the internet. I used to get answers to all my burning questions by phoning the library reference desk. If the librarian didn’t know the answer, she always knew where to find it… in those archaic things called books. Remember those? LOL. Now, I can find the answers online in less time than it takes to pick up the phone.
It’s easier than ever to be an informed pet owner nowadays, provided you know how to tell the difference between reputable websites providing accurate information, and sites looking to make a quick buck with keyword-stuffed content. Just because you see the same info on many websites doesn’t mean it’s correct; online information tends to multiply like rabbits, and the “daddy” site that everyone else copied from could be erroneous.
So I always approach my online research with a healthy dose of caution, especially if it concerns my pets’ health or my own. I also do not attempt to self diagnose, and I never substitute the opinion of my trusted vet with information gleaned from a website. That being said, the internet can complement veterinary care because it allows you to ask your vet more questions and gives you the opportunity to learn and become a more informed pet owner.
I always thoroughly research anything my own doctor recommends or prescribes for me, and I do the same for my cats. I have a wonderful vet; she doesn’t roll her eyes when she seems me getting out my “list” of symptoms or things I want to ask her about. (I can’t say the same about my M.D.). My vet always takes the time to discuss all medications, treatments and options with me so I’m confident in the decisions we make together about my cats’ care. I trust her expertise completely, but I still believe a responsible pet owner has a duty to be as informed as possible about the various options.
By Tamara McRill
Anyone with a high-energy dog knows there are few experiences more treasured than a shared adventure, and fishing together rates high up on that list. I can’t wait to get my chocolate Labrador, Wuppy Teddy Bear, out on the bank, but there are some precautions I need to take to ensure his safety during the trip. The list includes precautionary prep, some essential packing and an end-of-trip to-do list, but it is all totally worth it to share some quality bonding time. You can use this list yourself to make sure you and your dog have a safe fishing trip.
A dog’s nail length is important to how much they will enjoy the trip. Nails that are too short won’t have enough traction, and too long of a length will be painful to your pet. Medium length nails are best for outdoor excursions. Also check for cracked or sore foot pads. No one wants to run around for very long on painful feet.
Not Too Far
How far you can take your dog in search of the perfect fishing hole will depend mostly on their endurance. If your animal isn’t conditioned to walk across fields or other long distances, then leave them at home or pick a location with easier access. Be especially wary in heat or humidity, to prevent heatstroke.
Some dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, are prone to Exercise Induced Collapse, since they are unaware that they have passed their endurance limit. So, even if you have a high-energy pooch, keep them walking by your side.
Know the Fish
It is a bad idea in general to let your dog eat raw fish, as they can contain bacteria that cause food poisoning. Not only that, but there are certain fish, such as salmon and rainbow trout, that can contain a parasite which can be fatal to dogs. Always check fishing guides to see if these fish are prevalent where you will be going. If so, you may want to reconsider letting any dog that is a fetcher go for a swim.
By Langley Cornwell
It is cold today, bundle-up-tight cold. I just got back from the grocery store and have not completely thawed out. While I was in the grocery parking lot, the only available space was beside a car with a small dog locked inside. As I stood between the cars planning my next move, an elderly woman approached. I started a friendly chat with her and subtly mentioned the dangers of leaving a small dog alone in a car during the cold winter months. I gently explained how a car can function much like a refrigerator, trapping the cold air inside and harmfully lowering the dog’s body temperature. She seemed grateful for the conversation, and went on to tell me how much she loved her ‘Sassy’ and would do anything for that dog.
Those circumstances compel me to write about a topic that has been well-covered but may serve as an important refresher this time of year. Here are a few important tips to help protect your cats and dogs during the winter months:
Be careful with chemicals. Many people use chemical products to melt the sleet, snow and ice from their sidewalks and driveways. If you live in an area where these types of products are needed, look for pet safe options. Of course, the salt or chemicals your neighbor and the local highway department uses may not be safe for pets. These potentially toxic products can cause a host of problems including chemical burns to your dog or cat’s pads, tongue and throat. Additionally, salt, antifreeze and other chemicals can cause a variety of illnesses when ingested.
If possible, train your pet to wear booties. If protective footwear is not an option, there are paw wax products available to help keep your dog safe on winter outings. Review these winter paw-care tips and always clean your pet’s chest, stomach, legs and feet with warm water when he comes in out of the ice, sleet or snow.
By Linda Cole
Pets give us unconditional love from the moment we form a bond with them, or for some pets, from the moment they enter our home. In return, we shower our pets with toys, good food, great treats like CANIDAE TidNips™, and all the love they deserve. But is there such a thing as giving your pet too much love?
Suzanne Alicie wrote a fun article recently on “The World’s Most Expensive Dog Accessories,” and it made me giggle. I looked at one of my dogs sleeping peacefully on an old blanket that has seen better days. It reminded me of when two of my dogs were puppies. They had a disagreement one night over who would get the blanket – the poor blanket was caught in the middle and ended up with a few holes in the middle. Once they finally settled their disagreement, they laid down together on their prize, each one sure they had won the argument. The dogs don’t care if it’s a ratty old blanket or an expensive throw; as long as it’s where I am, everything is right in their world. I love who my pets are as individuals. I love how they want to be with me all the time, and if that’s loving them too much – then I’m guilty.
My pets aren’t children in fur, but they are my furry kids. I worry about them when they’re home alone, I want to keep them safe during a storm and if one gets sick, I fret over them until they’re better. If it’s chilly, I throw down the tattered blanket because it has comfortable smells on it they love. I enjoy working from home so I can be here to make sure they’re alright. When one of the cats wants to spend some time chatting about nothing, I’ll stop what I’m doing to listen to them. I like knowing my dogs can roam freely in their dog pen and don’t have to be tied up when they’re outside, and they all know basic commands and what I expect from them. They aren’t perfect, and I don’t want them to be perfect. I’m not, and they still love me!
By Bear (Canine Guest Blogger)
I just love summer, don’t you? There’s swimming and running around, playing ball and of course, lots of cookouts and people to play with. Yep, it’s a dog’s life that’s for sure! Today I’m taking a break from the social whirl to talk to everyone about some safety rules to keep us doggies healthy and happy through the summer. Summer get-togethers can be dangerous for dogs, so we count on our people to keep us safe.
I’m a good dog; I love the kids at our house and I like to play with them because they don’t get too rough and don’t treat me like I’m a pony. I may be a little on the heavy side but I’m definitely not a horse! My mommy knows that I don’t have a lot of patience and may get snappy if a little kid pulls my hair or climbs on me, so she makes sure to let everyone who has small children know that I’m off limits. If there are going to be a lot of little kids around, my mom will put me on a run in my own area or keep me in the house so I can get a little peace! My mom definitely doesn’t want me to bite someone’s child, so she makes sure that I’m kept at a safe distance from small children who probably don’t want to hurt me, but might by accident. You might also want to read our article “Teaching Kids How to Approach an Unfamiliar Dog.”