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Understanding the nutrition label on your pet’s food

 

Are you a label reader? Do you read the label on the things that you eat, drink and put in your body?

I’m a label reader. I have been every since I became a mom. As a young adult I honestly didn’t give much thought to the things I put in my body. I didn’t check the sodium, carbohydrates or how many grams of sugar was in the things I ate or drank. A lot of that has to do with why I’m overweight now.

When I became a mom I took the time to read and understand what was on the nutrition label of the foods and beverages I served my family. I wanted to make sure I fed them good, quality foods.

Are you a pet parent? I am. We currently have five cats and a ginormous Goldfish. We used to have a dog but we had to put him to sleep earlier this year.

Do you ever read the nutrition labels on your pet’s foods?

Admittedly I never did until our dog became sick (he had a fatal liver disease). I just assumed that pet foods were pretty much all the same. I honestly thought that you paid more for some food then others because of the brand name alone and not for the quality of the food it’s self.

Our beloved Espn before he got sick.

Was I ever WRONG. Not all pet foods are alike. There IS a notable difference between brands. And yes, the pricier foods ARE often better for your pet.

When our dog became sick I started to read and compare nutrition labels on a variety of pet foods. I compared the inexpensive grocery store brands to the super expensive foods sold at pet food stores. I DID notice a difference in not only the ingredients, but also how the food looked visually. Some of the less expensive foods looked like “slop” – stuff I wouldn’t even to a pig. Other foods looked so good that it would be appealing to people (although I would NEVER try it – that would be gross).

There are even suggested serving sizes listed on all pet foods. Many people don’t take those serving sizes into account, which is why there is a growing trend of obese dogs and cats. Two of our cats are obese, even though we try and watch what they eat (they must be sneaking food some how).

Our cat Anakin is overweight. We have no clue why this is. We DO watch what he eats.

Most pet parents want what is best for their pet, but understanding the information found on pet food labels might be a bit confusing. To make it easier, here’s a quick and easy breakdown of the five main components of a nutrition label and what it means for you and your dog, compliments of Petcurean.

Ingredients Panel:

  • The ingredients list is probably the most recognizable portion of the nutrition panel. What some pet owners may not know however is that the ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, which means the first ingredient is the largest quantity and the last ingredient is the smallest.
  • Tip: Buying economy brands of pet food is not always a money saver. Some economy brands use inexpensive ingredients that aren’t highly digestible. This means you must feed your dog more portions of the food just to ensure they’re meeting their nutritional requirements. In the long run, the cost per serving for a lower quality food is much higher than that of a premium food where your pet can get all of their nutrients from one serving.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • This section provides information about the nutrient content of the food. It should include the minimums for Crude protein and Crude fat, as well as the maximum Crude Fiber and Moisture. Additionally, any nutrients highlighted on the packaging must be included in the guaranteed analysis.
  • Tip: You can find the guaranteed analysis of a pet food product on a company’s website or by contacting the company. Here’s an example for Petcurean’s GO! Sensitivity + Shine LID Venison Recipe For Dogs.

Feeding Guidelines:

  • The feeding guidelines should only serve as a starting point for deciding how much to feed your pet, as it heavily depends on your pet’s size, age, and activity level.
  • Tip: The best way to assess proper feeding is by calculating your pet’s body condition score. You can find that out here.

Nutritional Adequacy Statement:

  • This statement tells you if the food is complete and balanced, meaning it meets all of your pet’s nutritional requirements. It will also tell you if the product should be used only for intermittent feeding or as a treat.
  • Tip: Pay attention to what stage of life this section recommends for feeding. It should be labeled for all life stages or for one stage in particular.

Certifications:

  • Organic: An organic certification means that the production methods comply with organic farming standards. The primary goal of organic production is to use farming practices that are sustainable and harmonious with the environment.
  • MSC: The Marine Stewardship Council is an independent international non-profit certification organization that promotes sustainable fishing practices. An MSC certification is based upon three principles: sustainable fish stocks, minimizing environmental impacts, and effective management.
  • Vegan: The primary criteria for a product to receive the Certified Vegan logo is that the producer must prove that no ingredients were sourced from animals, no animal testing was permitted, adequate segregation of vegan and non-vegan ingredients was ensured and adequate clean out procedures were followed in facilities that produce vegan and non-vegan products.

GATHER™ dog and cat recipes have received three different food certifications, Vegan, MSC certified, and Organic, to provide transparency about the ingredients that have been carefully selected for these diets.

I actually read this information over a few times to make sure that I fully understood it. It’s a lot to take in. I think it’s a littler harder to understand pet food nutrition labels because it’s a bit different than human food labels. We also hear about nutrition labels all the time on the news, in magazines and on television. We don’t hear the same type of information about reading and understanding pet food nutrition labels. I think more should be done to educate pet parents about this, don’t you agree? Maybe legitimate breeders, animal shelters and/or pet food stores should offer a little informational packet about reading and understanding pet food nutrition labels. I think that would be a great idea.

The next time you go shopping for your pet’s food, take a few moments to pick up several pet foods (different brands, different types) and compare the labels. Do they make sense to you now? Can you notice a clear difference between quality brands and inexpensive store brands?

I appreciate that Petcurean shared this information with me so I could pass it along to my readers.

For more information about Petcurean foods visit Petcurean.com. There is also a store locator on the website to help you find a Petcurean retailer near you.

Do YOU read the labels on your pet’s food? Do you understand what you are reading? After reading this post are you going to take the time to read about what you are feeding to your pet? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Petcurean to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are that of my own and not influenced in any way.

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Top 7 Tips for Choosing the Right Dog for You

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

You’ve been thinking about getting a dog for a long time and have finally made the decision that now is as good a time as any – congratulations!  You are sure that you have enough resources, space and time to bring a new pet into your home, now all that’s left is to find the perfect dog that’s right for you and potentially the others in your home.

It is really important to think about what dog is right to make sure that you choose the type that would be a good fit for your lifestyle as it sets you up (and the others in your home) to be successful dog owners.  Many times people who chose the wrong dog for them end up having to put them back into the adoption cycle with friends or family, or worse, sending them to a shelter.  This is a new life that’s in your hands so it has to be looked at as a commitment for that animal’s life time, and with a little homework you can make sure you choose wisely.

Here are the top tips to set you up for success:

Adopt a dog or buy from a breeder

Adopting saves pet’s lives, and that’s an important factor to consider. As you probably know, adopting a dog has become very popular in the United States as there are so many rescues and shelters doing amazing work and so many incredible animals who need homes. According to the ASPCA, the number of adoptions have gone up every year and the number of animals being surrendered to shelters has gone down. That’s mostly because of the awareness the general public has now of the benefits of adoption. In addition, the revelation of the conditions of many puppy mills who supply pet stores and online distributors that sell puppies has made it a bad choice for people looking to get a puppy.  Remember, if you seek a specific type of breed there are rescue groups based on breed. Buying from a breeder: there are plenty of reputable breeders around the country and if you do want to buy a dog, do your research carefully and certainly look for referrals to find the best breeders so that you know what you’re getting (the environment they are in day-to-day, get references from other buyers from that breeder, etc.)

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Age

Perhaps one of the most important decisions you need to make when considering a dog is whether to get a puppy, an adult dog or even a senior dog.  All age groups need a home, and the impact of that age on resources needed vary. With a puppy you will know the dog their entire life and be able to train them from the start, but they take a lot of work (from feeding them more often, taking them out more often, potty training them, etc.) Remember, with a puppy you have the power to prevent unwanted behaviors before they start, but you also have the ability to inadvertently teach them bad ones as well. With an adult and senior aged dog you will likely have less training to do and the dog will probably be past their voracious chewing phase.  These age groups make can amazing companions. One thing to to take into consideration with senior pets are medical issues and possibly behavior issues. But your rescue group should be able to present you with those before adopting.

Energy Level

No matter the dog’s age, breeds will have different energy levels and you need to find a dog that will match what’s going on in your home. Make sure you choose wisely as a dog that has a lot of energy will not be happy if you just want them to sit next to you on the couch. You need to ask yourself:

  • What kind of companion do I want? For instance, are you looking for a hunting dog, a dog to provide protection for your home, a family playmate, a running companion or a lap dog.
  • What time do I have to commit to exercise daily?
  • Do I have the resources to get a dog walker to help if necessary?
  • Do I have access to the type of yard/dog park, etc. that will supply enough spots for me to exercise the dog properly?
  • Does my day-to-day schedule allow for me to be with them enough to make them happy to run around, play, etc.?

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Size

It’s important to look at sizes as well. How much space you have and access to exercise helps you get to this answer. Many people who think they want a large dog have to come to terms with the fact that you and an 80 pound Setter might not make the best roommates in a smaller home (small apartment, for example).  The good news is that size doesn’t always equal energy level.  Some larger breeds may actually sleep 16-18 hours a day whereas a tiny Yorkie may run a million miles an hour all day long.  But their size will impact how compatible you will be and how happy the dog will be (how you can get them to the vet, etc. plays a role, too).  The space that they have available to them, especially during the day when they may need to be confined to one area of the house, will impact the dog’s level of comfort.

Grooming and Shedding

Some dogs shed way more than other breeds. The dogs that tend to shed more are breeds/mixes such as Corgis, German Shepherds, and Labradors/Retrievers. Dogs that tend to shed a lot let less are breeds/mixes like Bijon Frise, Poodles and some Terriers.  If you are averse to having dog hair become a major issue in your home or if someone has allergies, be sure to look for a dog that will have less of a shedding issue and are actually hypoallergenic. This also comes into play in terms of grooming required on a monthly (or more infrequent) basis.

Training

Just as every person is different, so is every dog.  If you’re seeking a full breed (not a mix) puppy, you should give some thought as to how easy/difficult a specific type of dog is to train, and also look at how capable you feel in providing training for the dog.  Are you someone who is patient, positive and willing to work towards a strong relationship with your dog? Or,  are you a little more impatient and don’t have the time to commit to training? Either way, you can consider getting a trainer to help you get on a training course 1:1 or do a group class. Some breeds tend to take more easily to training than others such as Border Collies, German Shepherds, Boxers and Labs.  On the other hand, dogs that show less aptitude to picking things up quickly or are a little more on the stubborn side would be Dalmatians, Basset Hounds and Beagles. Remember, both you and the dog are factors here so include both in this calculation.  When choosing a trainer, make sure you select one that uses positive reinforcement as their method of choice!

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Children

Every dog is unique and how they are/were treated by humans will determine much of their personality.  If a dog that you are bringing home is going to be around small children you will need to give some thought to not only the dog’s natural characteristics but also the level of energy that the children can display.  At all times, until you know a dog inside and out use caution. When you start with a puppy, you do have the ability to help develop the dog’s personality from a young age so they’re adapted to children from the onset.  But, if you’re not going the puppy route you won’t always know exactly what an older dog has been through. Though a good shelter will generally evaluate a dog for even the slightest aggressive tendencies, teach your children to behave appropriately around them as it’s humans who have to respect the dog’s natural tendencies.

Before you make your final decision about the type of dog to bring home, be sure to evaluate each of these things above as it will really help you narrow down your options. Doing plenty of research upfront will help you find the right dog and then create a strong bond with the furry family member from the beginning.

About the author:

Travis Brorsen is one of the most sought-after dog trainers in America today. Travis is Founder and CEO of Greatest American Dog Trainers, and is Animal Planet’s pet expert and dog trainer, hosting their new show, My Big Fat Pet Makeover, which premiers Fall 2017.  He is a regular contributor to both Dogster.com and DogingtonPost.com

For more information please go to www.greatestamericandogtrainers.com.

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Is your pet getting enough protein in their diet?

 

Do you have a dog or cat? Do you read the label on the foods you are feeding your beloved pet?

I have to admit that we used to buy whatever pet food was on sale. We never really gave the ingredients much of a thought. We figured all pet foods were pretty much the same. We couldn’t be any further from the truth. Not all pet foods are made the same way. Cheap pet food is made with cheap, low grade ingredients. Sure, it saves you money in the long run, but is saving a few dollars here and there worth risking your pet’s health?

We had to put our dog Espn to sleep back in March. He had an incurable liver disease. He was given 2-3 months to live. We were able to keep him with us for 8 months.

Espn (pronounced Es-pin) has always had a sensitive stomach. He would throw up and/or have diarrhea often. The vet said he needed a limited ingredient diet. That is when I started to read the labels on the food we were feeding our dog and cats. I was mortified at how much NON-FOOD ingredients were in the food we were feeding our pets.

One thing I have noticed with the “cheap” pet food is that they don’t contain any good sources of protein. Just like people, pets needs protein too.

Protein consists of long chains of amino acids that can be found in both meat and plant sources. It works to ensure proper growth, development, body tissue repair, and a healthy immune system. While there are 10 amino acids that cats and dogs must get from their food, a cat’s diet must also include taurine as their body is unable to naturally produce it.

To help you decide what protein source is best for your pet, here’s a quick guide from Petcurean.

Some people (myself included) used to think that you can only get protein from red meat. Did you know you can get protein from plants? Here are some great sources.  

Plant-based Proteins:

  • Peas: A good source of beta-carotene, niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus, and copper. It’s also packed with dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, thiamin and manganese.
  • Organic flaxseed and sunflower oil: Both contain omega-6 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and a radiant coat. Flaxseed also boasts omega-3 fatty acids which are important for normal metabolism and optimal health.
  • Lentils and Chickpeas: Both are low glycemic carbohydrates that also provide a good source of protein, iron, phosphorus and copper.

I knew that poultry was also a good source for protein.

Poultry:

  • Chicken Meal: A concentrated source of protein containing meat, bones, and cartilage that is dried and preserved naturally. It should never include feathers, heads, feet, or entrails.
  • Chicken Fat: Although human diets try to avoid fats, animal fat is good for your pet. Chicken fat is a great source of omega-6 which is considered the most important essential fatty acid for dogs and cats.
  • Eggshell Meal: A natural source of calcium to promote bone strength. Eggshell membrane is an added plus!

Pro-Tip: As obligate carnivores, cats must get their protein from animal tissue. For a protein-packed meal and a meaty flavor they’ll love, try out Now Fresh Grain Free.

I didn’t know that fish was also a good source of protein. I knew it was healthy for you (people) but it’s also really good for your pet.

Fish:

  • Cod: A good source of high quality protein, phosphorous, niacin, and Vitamin B-12.
  • Dehydrated Cod: A concentrated source of protein that uses the entire raw material. The benefit of dehydrated product is the removal of water, but not the fat.
  • Krill: As the “superfood of the sea,” krill is growing in popularity as a protein source. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin, krill is also virtually free of pollutants and heavy metals.

Pro-Tip: Want to try a fish-based kibble? GATHER Wild Ocean features line-caught Alaskan cod and sustainably harvested krill to create a delicious and healthy meal for your dog.

Whole Meats:

  • Deboned Venison, Pork, and Lamb: All are great sources of protein that come from the animal’s clean and de-boned flesh.
  • Novelty Proteins: This classification consists of proteins your pet may not have eaten before such as venison, salmon, or duck. Novelty proteins can sometimes help alleviate the symptoms of dietary sensitivities.

Pro-Tip: If your cat or dog has more challenging sensitivities, Petcurean’s GO! offers a wide variety of options that were specifically created for picky eaters, those who need a grain free or higher protein diet, and for those requiring a recipe with unique proteins or a limited number of ingredients.

Our dog did best with limited ingredient foods. I also tried to give him food free of grains. After all, in the wild dogs don’t normally eat grains. I think the same would apply to cats.

As you can see, there are different varieties of sources for your pet’s daily dose of protein. If you would like help in navigating your pet’s diet, Petcurean offers a useful Petfood finder that will tailor the perfect diet to your fluffy companion, no matter their needs.

For more information about Petcurean foods visit Petcurean.com. The brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website. There is also a store locator on their website as well, so that you can find a Petcurean retailer near you.

What do you feed your pet? Do you ALWAYS look at the label? Do you know what is in the food you are feeding your furry friend?

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Pecurean to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

** Photos sourced from Dreamstime.com.

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Keep your pet happy and healthy all summer long

 

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Now that summer is almost officially here (June 21, 2017), many families are anxiously waiting to go on summer vacation as well as do things typically enjoyed during the summer months such as trips to the beach, lazy summer days hanging out by the pool and backyard barbecues with family and friends.

Summer time can also be a fun time for your dog. At the same time the hot summer months can also be very dangerous for your four legged friend.

Here are some great tips to keep in mind all summer long when it comes to your beloved pet.

NEVER, EVER leave your pet in a car. I cannot stress that enough.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A CAR!!!!!!

It can take minutes – literally minutes – for your dog to develop heat stroke and/or suffocate in a car. Do you really want your best friend to SUFFER like that? If you love your pet then you will leave your pet at home.

To give you a gruesome example, on a 78 degree day the interior of your car, parked in the shade, can quickly escalate to 90 degrees. If your car is not parked in the shade the temperature in your car can reach a deadly 168 degrees within minutes. Would YOU want to sit in a hot car that feels like it’s 168 degrees? I don’t think so. Why would you put your dog through that?

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Keep your pet hydrated

There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a cold glass of refreshing water. Most people are aware that they need to keep themselves properly hydrated at all times, most especially in the hot summer months. The same holds true for your pets.

Dogs and cats (and other animals) should have access to fresh water at all times, this is even more critical in the summer months when dehydration can happen rapidly due to the hotter temperatures.

Be sure to pack water and a collapsible water bowl when out on the trails, and have fresh water available whether at the beach or playing in the yard.

When my family and I were going to be away from home for a while I would freeze large chunk of ice and place them in a clean bowl with fresh water. The ice helps to keep the water cold and the melting ice keeps the water supply from being depleted. Our cats especially love it when only small chunk of ice are left in the bowl. They like to hit the ice chunk/chunks around with their paws and make a game out of it.

Hot Weather Safety

Did you know that dogs can get sunburned just like people can. White, light-colored, and thinly coated dogs are particularly prone to sunburn, so be sure to regularly apply a waterproof sunscreen formulated for babies or pets.

Find a shady spot to place a cool mat for your dog whether in your yard, at the beach, or during trail breaks.

In addition you should keep in mind that outside surfaces can heat up quickly in the summer sun and can burn your dog’s footpads. Walk your dog in the morning or evening, or in shaded areas or test surfaces before venturing outside by pressing your hand to the surface for 30 seconds. If it is painful for you, it will also be painful for your dog. Personally, we’d try and keep our dog in the grass as much as possible. We live in a condo complex with only a huge parking lot to walk around. Instead of putting our dog as risk we’d walk him around the condo buildings in the grass.

I love the tip about placing your hand on the concrete to check for hotness. I would have never thought to do that. Great idea!

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Road Trips

When you are taking a road trip with your family and furry friend, make sure to plan out what you are going to feed your pet BEFORE you leave home.

Make sure you have ample food and treats if you are travelling for only a few days. Petcurean’s SPIKE treats are a great on-the-go treat for your dog. You don’t want to cause any digestion issues.

If you’re planning to be traveling for days, weeks or months, you may need to purchase dog food while you are away – many pet food brands offer store locators on their website so that you can plan where to get your dog’s next meal.

Pet Sitters

Sometimes it’s not feasible to bring our pet on vacation with us. If you are lucky you can have a friend, family member or neighbor come in and take care of your pet in your absence. If that is not possible a kennel or professional pet sitter are viable options. Personally I prefer a pet sitter over a kennel. I think it’s better for your pet to be in their own home environment with their own things (bowls, bedding, toys…) then going to a kennel.

Pet sitter are also great for when you have other pets like fish, reptiles and birds.

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Here are two great articles worth reading in regards to choosing and hiring a pet sitter.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pet Sitter

A Guide to Hiring a Pet Sitter

Pet Friendly Vacation

I have noticed that more and more hotels are becoming “pet friendly.” I think that is wonderful. That means that more pets can join their family on a fun vacation.

When choosing a hotel, campground or RV location be sure to find out their rules for pets. Some have limits to the pets size/weight. Other places might have limits on the number of pets you can have.

Here is a useful article to help you plan your next vacation with your pet – Summer Vacations Can Include the Family Pet.

Do YOU have any great tips when it comes to your pet/pets and the “dog days” of summer (no pun intended… OK… maybe a little. LOL!)? Feel free to tell me about them in the comment section of this post.

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Petcurean to bring you these great tips. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted and not influenced in any way. 

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Tips for the Dog Days of Summer

 

For most of the United States, the weather is still approaching the hottest time of the year.  So it’s a great time to get outside and have some fun in the sun – and if you are lucky that means pools, beaches and travelling.  Hopefully you get to bring along your four-legged best friend to add to the frolicking – but keep in mind, our fur babies have special considerations that are important for keeping them safe.

Every Summer we are reminded of important steps to keep our pups cool as the temperature rises, but even more than keeping them cool we have to keep them safe around circumstances that they are not necessary familiar with.  And just because dogs are natural swimmers, there are steps you need to take if you are going to have them in and around water that you might not be aware of.

Here are some of important items to think about to ensure your pup is safe as you embark on Summer fun.

 

Pups in Pools

Some dogs will jump right into a pool with reckless abandon.  However, others may be more timid and need some time to get used to the idea.  Make sure you take the time to acclimate your dog to the idea of a swimming pool which can take up to two weeks.  Here are some tips for making it a better experience for everyone:

  • Introduce your dog to the area around the pool.
  • Never force your dog into the pool.
  • Use treats to lure and encouragement to make it a fun experience.
  • Once your dog is comfortable around the pool, try to lure them onto the first step using a high value treat or favorite toy.
  • The best situation is that your dog makes the decision to come into the pool on their own
  • Allow them to come in and out of the pool on their own accord.
  • Make it FUN & cheer them on!
  • Once your dog is OK in the water, encourage them in further with the high value treat.
  • Be positive and upbeat so they think it’s a game.
  • Make sure you take them in and out where the steps are numerous times so they learn where the exit is.

 

Buddies at the Beach

There’s nothing better than the idea of taking a leisurely stroll along the beach (or running if you are that ambitious) with your dog at your side. But the beach can actually be a little overwhelming for dogs at first and can certainly be laden with some safety concerns.  Here are some of the ways you can have a successful visit to the sand:

  • Keep initial visits to the beach short until they get used to the sand
  • Pay attention to beach dog rules and follow them at all times
  • Keep your dog on a leash for safety and use a favorite toy or high value treat.
  • As soon as those paws hit the sand, deliver the treat to give them that first good impression.
  • Play with them and keep them busy – perhaps a game of fetch. If you don’t give them something to chase they will find something…like birds.
  • As always, remember to cheer them on.

Travelling in the Summer

 

Pooches on Planes

If you happen to be flying this summer and taking your dog along for the ride, make sure to follow these travel tips before your flight:

  • Try to travel in the morning
  • No food or water four hours before departing
  • Multiple potty breaks before getting to the airport
  • Keep the dog on the floor or in a crate safely in the cabin and/or with a seat belt harness

 

Dogs on Boats

If you will be heading out on the water, it’s important to treat your dog just like any other passenger on a boat.  Make sure to keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Use a life jacket for safety, even if your dog knows how to swim
  • Make sure you get them to land to stretch their legs often
  • Have plenty of water available at all times. Fresh water, not lake or ocean water!

 

Canines in Cars

If you are simply taking a road trip, never ever leave your dog in a parked car. It doesn’t matter if it’s just for a few minutes or even parked in a shady area. The temperature in a car can exceed 160 degrees within minutes which is the equivalent of putting your dog in a microwave. When in doubt, leave your loveable pooch at home in the AC. Here is what you should do if you happen to see a dog in a hot car:

  • Take down the car’s make, model and license-plate number.
  • If you can, notify local business or call 311 in NYC
  • Monitor the dog until help arrives

Other Summer Tips

Here are some other quick reminders that will help keep your dog safe in the Summer heat.

 

Keep them Hydrated

Always make sure that your dog has plenty of cool, fresh water available.  If your dog doesn’t stay hydrated they can suffer from heat and kidney damage along with many other health problems. Signs of dehydration:

  • Lethargy
  • Dry gums
  • Sunken, darkened eyes

 

Avoid Fleas and Ticks

Call your vet months before you travel to make sure you’re taking all the preventative measures against fleas and ticks. Prevention is a fraction of the cost of intervention.

Three most common diseases from ticks:

  • Lyme Disease
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Ehrlichiosis

Three most common diseases from fleas

  • Tapeworm
  • Plague
  • Haemobartonellosis

Remember, our dog is as much part of our family as anyone else and deserves the proper care and consideration.  Taking them along on any outing can add to the fun unless you neglect to take the proper steps.

For more information and helpful tips visit www.greatestamericandogtrainers.com.

About the author:

Travis Brorsen is one of the most sought after dog trainers in America today. Travis is Founder and CEO of Greatest American Dog Trainers, and is host of the new Animal Planet show, MY FAT PET, which premiers in Fall 2017.  He is a regular contributor to both Dogster.com and DogingtonPost.com. Travis and his team of trainers at Greatest American Dog Trainers not only provide hands-on training and dog walking to their canine clients and their humans, but are also focused on helping pets become more holistically healthy, fit and happy. In 2008, Travis and his 14-month old, highly energetic and untrained boxer, Presley, won the grueling 12 week CBS’ national dog training competition, Greatest American Dog. As a result of the show, Travis discovered he had a passion to help other dogs and their owners create similar positive learning and relationship building experiences. Today, Travis and his Greatest American Dog Trainers team specializes in basic and advanced obedience, dog health and fitness training, as well as behavioral issues.

 

 

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What is YOUR state’s favorite pet?

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Are you a pet owner? Is your home filled with four legged, furry family members? Or do you prefer things that slither around or fly around on wings?

I can honestly say that I know very few people that don’t own a pet. I think I can count on one hand – with fingers left over – of all the people I know personally who don’t have a pet.

I grew up with pets. At one point we had a horse, two dogs, two cats, two birds, seven hamster and a tank full of fish. That’s a lot of pets. In my adult years the most we had at one time was a dog, five cats and and two huge Goldfish. Currently we just have the five cats and one Goldfish. We plan on getting a Crested Gecko soon.

I cannot imagine a life without our pets. They are an important part of our family. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come home from a rough day at work and needed some “fuzz therapy” (playing or petting our pets). Stroking a cat or playing a good old fashioned game of ball toss with a dog are very therapeutic and a great stress reliever.

When you look around at your neighbors, what pets do they own? Does it seem like many people own the same breed of dog or cat? Do you have a lot of friends who have reptiles?

Trusted Housesitters recently conducted research to discover America’s favorite pets on social media, according to state.

It’s true! America Loves Pets, and certain breeds/varieties seem to be more prevalent in different states than others.

Take for example New York, where I live.

I was surprised to find that Bulldogs are the most popular breed. I would have thought it would have been Pitt Bulls or Rottweilers. The Persian cat as the most popular feline breed also came as a surprise to me.

I checked out a few more states to see how they compared to New York and I was surprised by the results. Here are just a few examples.

I wasn’t surprised that the Chihuahua was the popular dog breed in California. I was very surprised that the Sphynx and Siamese were popular cat breeds in Montana and North Dakota. I was also surprised to see the Corgi as the most popular breed in North Dakota. I would think a more “outdoorsy” dog like a Labrador or Terrier would have been more popular.

I’d love for you to take a moment and think about the state YOU live in. What do you think is the most popular breed of dog and/or cat in your state? What other animals do you think would be popular. Next, visit the this post – Take a trip across the country and discover how much America Loves Pets! – and click on your state to see if your guesses were correct. If not, where you surprised by what you learned? Leave a comment below and let me know if you guessed correctly and/or if you were surprised by the results?

Trusted Housesitters connects people with house sitters and pet sitters across the country. Some people will even sit for FREE!

Trusted Housesitters can help home and pet owners find the right person to watch after their home and/or pet in their area.

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Working with Trusted Housesitters benefits consumers.

  • Find 5-star rated members who will sit for FREE
  • Pets stay happy at home, in their own beds
  • Enjoy peace of mind and save thousands in costs
  • I.D. verification & criminal background checks on sitters

The #1 reason why we never go on vacation (aside from lack of funds) is our pets. When we had our dog Espn we needed someone who was available to take him out to do his “business” and for exercise several times per day. Our neighbors who volunteered to look after our pets were only available to walk our dog twice per day (once in the AM and once in the evening). That was no good enough. He needed to go out several times per day. In addition, with five cats we needed the litter box cleaned out numerous times per day too. When the litter box is not cleaned out one of our cats will take to urinating on the outside of the box.

Leaving our pets at a kennel was never an option. First and foremost the cost would be outrageous. The cheapest place local to us wanted $50 per pet per day. With five cats and a dog that was $300 PER DAY! Not only that, our eldest cat, Velcro, could not handle being in a situation like that. I think it would literally kill him if he had to be put in a cage away from our other cats. In fact, none of our cats would be happy being caged. I’m sure all pets would be better off being in their own home.

Our pets with the exception of our dog Espn who passed away earlier this year. Also not pictured out Goldfish, Fishy.

I know there are plenty of pet sitters available, but I didn’t want to pick out some random name in the phone book to come into my home and care for our pets. I want someone who is reliable, trustworthy and won’t steal from us. I like that Trusted Housesitters does I.D. verification and criminal background checks. I would feel much better leaving our pets in the care of someone who we can trust.

I visited the Trusted Housesitters website and I was surprised to find several available in my area. In fact, I read the profiles and reviews for a few of them and found a lady that I think might work well for us in the future.

I love that the site allows clients to post reviews for each sitter. It’s nice to hear what others have to say. It helps to narrow down choices and find the perfect sitter for you.

If you are interested in finding a pet sitter near you, or perhaps someone to look after your home when you are away, visit TrustedHousesitters.com. If you are interested in becoming a pet or house sitter you can look for interested people near you on the same website.

TrustedHousesitters is also found on social media. You can find all of their links at the bottom of their website.

TrustedHousesitters is also available in other countries (internationally).

What do you think about Trusted Housesitters? Does it sound like a service you need in your life? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Trusted Housesiters to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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