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How to Love Your Dog: Tips, Tricks and Must-Knows

There’s really nothing better than a dog. A true friend and companion, a trickster, a playmate, and often the life of the party, what would our lives be without our four-legged friends? The famous humorist Will Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Dogs live to love us, so here’s a few ways to return that love and show your best friend how much they mean to you.
Hanging Out with Your Buddy – Every day you have your routine, and it undoubtedly includes time spent away from home – at work, running errands or just living your life. But don’t forget that you have a buddy at home whose whole life revolves around you. Of course you can’t be with your dog all day, but it’s important to make time to hang out with your dog every day.
Walks and Runs: Every dog breed needs daily exercise, but do a little research on your pooch and make sure he is getting enough physical fitness every day. You’re not only assuring your dog’s health, but you’re showing him that he’s important enough to show off. And remember that it’s his time to enjoy the outdoors, so be patient when he stops to smell the flowers.
Dog-friendly Outings : Pet-friendly activities are popping up all over, so take a little time to research dog-friendly spots in your neighborhood and town. Many outdoor restaurants and more shops than ever are not only allowing you, but inviting you to bring your dog along for the fun. Call ahead to make sure, or check out Bring Fido, a great online search tool that highlights the best in dog-friendly spots, complete with user reviews and pictures.
At Home: Long day at work or just feeling like keeping it local? Don’t forget that even if you’ve had a busy day, your dog has been busy waiting for you to come home, so don’t forget to give him some attention. Throw a favorite toy (back and forth a few thousand times), play a game of hide and seek, or set up a doggy treat hunt in your home.
Taking Care – You watch what you eat, have good hygiene and have regular checkups with your doctor, so why wouldn’t you want the same for your dog? One of the best ways to love your dog? Making responsible choices when it comes to their everyday health.
Food : Your dog’s diet can determine not only the longevity of his life, but also the quality. Dog’s don’t judge their food in calories or health benefits, so it’s up to you  to make good choices with what to put in his bowl. Read the bag, check the ingredients, do your homework, because don’t you want to have your best friend around as long as you can? You want a food that has real meat, fruits and vegetables, not fillers, and the artificial flavors or colors have to go. Choose a diet suitable for your dog’s breed and stage of life; Wellness Pet Food makes it easy to make the right choice for your dog.
Grooming : Can you imagine what your hair would look like if you didn’t brush it for months and you only got a haircut every couple of years? Or what if you never trimmed your fingernails or brushed your teeth? If you wouldn’t neglect your own hygiene, why would you neglect your dogs? Not only does poor grooming cause your pet discomfort, but some factors, like not regular teeth-brushing, can pose serious risks to his health.
Vet Care – Regular veterinary care for your dog is part of being a responsible owner, and this includes two exams a year at the minimum. Stay up to date on vaccinations (most importantly for distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies) and visit the vet if your buddy is injured or shows lingering signs of sickness.
The Special Treatment – Hopefully you have lots of opportunities to show your dog a special reward; he didn’t chase the mailman at lunch, or you left your brand new shoes out all night and not a chew mark to be seen, or maybe it’s your dog’s birthday. Whatever the reason for celebration, here are some ways to give your buddy the special treatment.
Dog Massage – Sure, that can sound a little strange at first, but dogs, especially dogs with more than a few years under their collars, can reap the benefits of a good massage. Massage can be calming in times of anxiety, relieve joint stiffness in arthritic dogs, or even provide a warm-up for athletic dogs before play. This article in Modern Dog Magazine has some great tips on how to give the right kind of massage for your dog’s health.
Treats – Treats are often the go-to choice for rewarding your dog, but if you truly love your pooch, you will only give treats with the right ingredients and offer these kind of tasty rewards in moderation. Choose the right dog treats, tailored to your buddy’s diet and health needs, and save treats for times of excellent behavior, not to be given as a ‘guilt treat’ for when you have to leave the house.

There’s really nothing better than a dog. A true friend and companion, a trickster, a playmate, and often the life of the party, what would our lives be without our four-legged friends? The famous humorist Will Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Dogs live to love us, so here’s a few ways to return that love and show your best friend how much they mean to you.

Hanging Out with Your Buddy – Every day you have your routine, and it undoubtedly includes time spent away from home – at work, running errands or just living your life. But don’t forget that you have a buddy at home whose whole life revolves around you. Of course you can’t be with your dog all day, but it’s important to make time to hang out with your dog every day.

  • Walks and Runs: Every dog breed needs daily exercise, but do a little research on your pooch and make sure he is getting enough physical fitness every day. You’re not only assuring your dog’s health, but you’re showing him that he’s important enough to show off. And remember that it’s his time to enjoy the outdoors, so be patient when he stops to smell the flowers.
  • Dog-friendly Outings: Pet-friendly activities are popping up all over, so take a little time to research dog-friendly spots in your neighborhood and town. Many outdoor restaurants and more shops than ever are not only allowing you, but inviting you to bring your dog along for the fun. Call ahead to make sure, or check out Bring Fido, a great online search tool that highlights the best in dog-friendly spots, complete with user reviews and pictures.
  • At Home: Long day at work or just feeling like keeping it local? Don’t forget that even if you’ve had a busy day, your dog has been busy waiting for you to come home, so don’t forget to give him some attention. Throw a favorite toy, play a game of hide and seek, or set up a doggy treat hunt in your home.

Taking Care – You watch what you eat, have good hygiene and have regular checkups with your doctor, so why wouldn’t you want the same for your dog? One of the best ways to love your dog? Making responsible choices when it comes to their everyday health.

  • Food: Your dog’s diet can determine not only the longevity of his life, but also the quality. Dogs don’t judge their food in calories or health benefits, so it’s up to you  to make good choices with what to put in his bowl. Read the bag, check the ingredients, do your homework, because don’t you want to have your best friend around as long as you can? You want a food that has real meat, fruits and vegetables; not fillers, and the artificial flavors or colors have to go. Choose a diet suitable for your dog’s breed and stage of life; Wellness Pet Food makes it easy to make the right choice for your dog.
  • Grooming: Can you imagine what your hair would look like if you didn’t brush it for months and you only got a haircut every couple of years? Or what if you never trimmed your fingernails or brushed your teeth? If you wouldn’t neglect your own hygiene, why would you neglect your dogs? Not only does poor grooming cause your pet discomfort, but some factors, like not regular teeth-brushing, can pose serious risks to his health.
  • Vet Care: Regular veterinary care for your dog is part of being a responsible owner, and this includes two exams a year at the minimum. Stay up to date on vaccinations (most importantly for distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies) and visit the vet if your buddy is injured or shows lingering signs of sickness.

The Special Treatment - Hopefully you have lots of opportunities to show your dog a special reward; he didn’t chase the mailman at lunch, or you left your brand new shoes out all night and not a chew mark to be seen, or maybe it’s your dog’s birthday. Whatever the reason for celebration, here are some ways to give your buddy the special treatment.

  • Dog Massage: Sure, that can sound a little strange at first, but dogs, especially dogs with more than a few years under their collars, can reap the benefits of a good massage. Massage can be calming in times of anxiety, relieve joint stiffness in arthritic dogs, or even provide a warm-up for athletic dogs before play. This article in Modern Dog Magazine has some great tips on how to give the right kind of massage for your dog’s health.
  • Treats: Treats are often the go-to choice for rewarding your dog, but if you truly love your pooch, you will only give treats with the right ingredients and offer these kind of tasty rewards in moderation. Choose the right dog treats, tailored to your buddy’s diet and health needs, and save treats for times of excellent behavior, not to be given as a ‘guilt treat’ for when you have to leave the house.

There’s a saying that goes, “Dogs may not be our whole lives, but they do make our lives whole.” Dogs spend their waking moments vying for our attention and hoping to show us how much we are loved. Take time for your dog today and show him just how lucky you feel to have him in your life. Make your pet be happy, healthy and well.

10 Summer Fun Ideas for You and Your Dog

Ah, the lazy days of summer are here. Why not make some fun summer memories with your pooch?

Here are 10 fun ideas for you.

1— Go for a long walk early – Whether you like to hike or simply stroll the city streets with your pet, take him or her out for an extra-long walk.  Just make sure you do it early before it gets too hot. You’ll both benefit from the increased exercise.

2- Pack a picnic (for both of you) - Take your dog to a relaxing outdoor setting and enjoy a meal together.

3Freeze a bandanna—Soak a bandanna in cold water and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. On really hot days, you can tie it around your dog’s neck to help him cool down. This can help keep your pet safe on stifling summer days.

4— Hold a photo session—Whether it’s in your backyard or at a local park, get your pup posing for fun memories. If you really want to take it up a notch, hire a professional pet photographer.

5—Take your pet to the pet store—Let her pick out a new toy. Does your dog prefer chasing balls or destroying stuffed animals? Show her a couple of toys and let her choose.

6—Take your dog on vacation – Beach or mountains? No matter which you prefer, there are tons of pet-friendly options to choose from these days. Just make sure to make a reservation since it’s a busy time of year.

7— Try a dog activity you’ve never done – Dog Agility Courses or Canine Freestyle (dancing with your dog) are fun options.  Who knows, you might find a new hobby!

8–  Hunt for buried treasure –Geocaching is a fun activity where you use a GPS to locate hidden treasures near you.

9-Sprinkler fun – Set up a sprinkler on a hot day and watch your dog go wild with excitement.

10- Host a backyard pawty. Do you have a fenced in yard? If so, invite a few friends and their canine pals. Plan a few games like “Find the Treat” where you hide treats around the yard. You could even set up a simple obstacle course with a few cement blocks and boards for something to jump over. Add a wading pool at the end for water-loving pooches to cool off.

So there you, 10 fun ideas for you and your dog.  Which will you do this summer?

How to Prepare for Take Your Dog to Work Day- June 20th

Some workplaces are doggie-friendly year round while others wait for the annual event to make pooches welcome in the office. Here at Wellness, we’re lucky enough to get to bring our dogs to the office once a month. But one of our favorite office holidays is National Take Your Dog to Work Day which takes place this year on Friday, June 20. On this day, we offer special services for spoiled pooches such as doggie massage and grooming. Plus, if the weather is nice we spend plenty of time outside with our pups, letting them meet and greet with each other, play fetch, and explore the lovely office grounds.

If you’d like your pooch to participate in Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 20st, these are some things to consider:

1)      Make sure your workplace is participating. Talk with your supervisor and co-workers to make sure everyone’s onboard before you show up with Max. Some offices will want to see proof of vaccinations or may have other paperwork for you to fill out ahead of time.

2)      The temperament of your pet. Some dogs (and workplaces) are better-suited than others. For example, if your dog is aggressive toward strangers, or gets intimidated and overwhelmed by other dogs, you may want to leave him at home. On the other hand, if your dog likes meeting new people and dogs it should be a good match. What about your dog’s energy level? Depending on what type of workload you have, it may not be best to bring your pup into the office if he’ll be pacing all day and yearning to get outside.

Once you have the OK:

3)      Doggie-proof your workspace. Your dog might want to chew on hanging cords or mistake that stack of files for a bathroom location. Spend a few minutes relocating plants and cleaning up books, papers, stray markers and anything else that may look tempting. It’s also a great idea to bring a baby or pet gate along with you to keep at the entrance of your office/cube while your pup is there.

4)      Give your dog a bath or have him groomed a day or two beforehand. A clean dog is always appreciated, and will look extra charming in those office photos!

5)      Bring bowls, food and treats. Your dog will get hungry, just like you. Plus, treats can be a good motivator to reclaim your pet’s attention if he’s excited.

6)      Bring a towel or your pet’s favorite dog bed. This will cue her to settle in and relax.

Allow a few extra minutes at the start of the work day to allow your dog to smell the surroundings and get comfortable with the environment. Put out a bowl of fresh water, arrange your dog bed and let your co-workers greet your pet. Once the initial excitement is over and everyone settles down, your dog should too.

Studies show dog-friendly workplaces can reduce stress, enhance employee interactions and boost morale.

Here are some fond memories of past Take Your Dog to Work Days at WellPet—enjoy!:

5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween offers lots of opportunity for fun with your pet. Evening strolls, decorations and costumes can all add to the fun. However, all pets aren’t the same and what’s fun for one is terrifying for another. Here are a few guidelines for Halloween fun and safety.Halloween Dogs

1-Pets in Costume – Who doesn’t love a dog (or cat) in costume? Sometimes, it’s the dog or cat. Try the angel costume on your Yorkie but if she seems stressed by it, don’t force the issue. Even if your pet seems happy to entertain you by wearing this year’s ensemble, don’t leave him or her unattended. Pets could hurt themselves trying to tear off headgear, cloaks, etc.

2-Trick or Treating with Your Dog – Does your dog love socializing with other dogs and people of all sizes? If so, you may have a prime candidate for canine trick-or-treating. Dress your pooch as a pumpkin and stroll the neighborhood looking for a bone-a-fied good time. Just make sure to keep your pet leashed and visible with a lighted harness or glow stick. Halloween can be full of surprises.

3-Keep Track of Your Pets – Halloween offers the opportunity for lots of fun and scary times. Most cats and some dogs may be happiest spending the evening behind closed doors safely removed from human trick-or-treaters. Consider your pet’s temperament.

4–Keep Pets Away From Treats – Chocolate can be deadly to dogs. So can xylitol (an ingredient in many sugar free candies and gums). As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep sugar away from your pets. Wellness brand treats like Yogurt, Apples, Bananas yogurt bars are pet-friendly and delicious!

5Decorations—Candles, cords and paper or plastic decorations can all be harmful to your pets. Curious kittens and puppies can chew on things they shouldn’t or knock things over. If the flickering of a jack o’lantern or plastic decorations seem interesting to your pet, be especially vigilant.

Does your pet enjoy Halloween? We’d love to hear about it on our Facebook page. Pictures are welcome!

5 Must Have Travel Accessories for Dogs and Cats

If you plan a summer or fall road trip with your pets, you know you need to do more to ready your pet than simply toss Max or Fluffy into the backseat. It takes a little preparation.

First, you’ll want to establish that your destination is pet-friendlythere’s nothing like showing up at your hotel 7 hours later with Max in tow to be told there are no more pet friendly rooms.

Cat car travel

Of course, you’ll also need a few other items as well. Here’s a list of travel necessities:

1—Restraint – Just as you use your seat belt when in the car, your pets should be secured. This prevents them from becoming projectiles if you are in an accident.

There are many options available today from harnesses that work similar to seat belts to traditional pet carriers. Which is best for your pet?  It’ll depend on factors like your pet’s temperament and comfort level with riding in the car—and, how much space you have. If your car will be full of kids and luggage, putting Fluffy in a carrier may be your best option.

2—Food/Water/Dishes – Be sure to pack enough food for the trip and bring a water supply for your pet. You’ll need dishes too. If you make a pit stop and realize you don’t have a water bowl, it can make for a little unnecessary complexity. Collapsible travel bowls pack well.

3—Comforting Items – Even if your pets are good travelers, they will feel more content with familiar items such as their favorite toy, or an old towel or shirt that smells like home.

dog-travel-car


4—Cleaning Supplies/Alternate Carrier
– Some pets are nervous travelers and may have an accident in their carrier. If this happens, you can minimize your pet’s discomfort by pulling over and cleaning out the carrier or swapping it for an alternate one.


5—Favorite Treats
–Your pets already appreciate their favorite treats. They’ll be very happy that you remembered to bring them!

Enjoy your travels!

Click It or Ticket Extends to Pets

CA and NJ are now requiring pets “buckle up” when riding in the car and other states are likely to follow in the near future.   The reason is unrestrained animals pose hazards.  Whether they want to climb in the driver’s lap because they’re nervous or they’re roaming all over the car pets can create a serious distraction for the driver.

Even if your dog loves to ride and always sits nicely in the back seat, your pet can be seriously hurt in an accident if they’re not restrained.    Imagine getting rear-ended and your pet being hurled into the windshield.

If you don’t want to use a crate to transport your dog, you can stay safe on the road with doggie seat belts.

Here are 3 Types of Dog Seat Belts:

Harness:

Many of the restraints are harnesses.  You slip your dog’s front legs into the opening and it attaches at the back like a walking harness.  They have clips that clip into the seat existing seat belt buckle to secure them similar to the way a person is strapped in.

Zipline:

These restraints have a harness with a strap that goes across your car ceiling to create a zip line.  If your dog is nervous in the car, this gives him the ability to roam from window to window but he’s relegated to the back seat or back cab of an SUV.

Car Seat Lookout:

Small dogs will enjoy a car seat lookout.  This seat is raised so small pets can look out the window as you cruise down the road.  Some are a plush lined box for your pet while others can double as a soft-sided crate with a lid you can zip up if you need to carry your dog into the vet or onto a plane.

Have you used any of these with your pet?  We’d love to hear about your experience on our Facebook Page.

3 Dog Friendly Winter Getaways

Over the past few years, there has has been a significant increase in the number of dog friendly accommodations and trails at top ski areas around the country. From Mammoth Lakes, CA to Maine, you can bring your dog to join in the winter fun.

Here are 3 dog friendly winter getaways for you and your family:

1. Mammoth Mountain at Mammoth Lakes, CA is a renowned ski resort with a pet clientele. The Westin Monache — http://www.westinmammoth.com at the base of the mountain caters to canines with a variety of luxury pet amenities, including plush beds to crash down on after a day romping in the great outdoors. With several dog bakeries in the area to ensure your furry friend gets a special treat, along with a dog wash, he’ll be ready for the long trip home.

2. The Gunflint Lodge in Grand Marais, MN – http://www.gunflint.com/ offers a pooch paradise with dog themed weekends. In addition to hiking, skiing and snowshoeing, there are seminars on dog massages, pet communication and health, led by veterinarians and dog handlers. Additionally, there are K-9 Olympics and doggie socials. It’s a dog’s life indeed!

Here are the dates for the dog lover’s weekends for 2013.

March 14-17- Bow Wow Pow Wow

April 18-21- Pawloosa

October 10-13 Wag a lot

3. The Pawhouse Inn in West Rutland, VT– http://www.pawhouseinn.com/accomodations.html. With a tagline reading, “No dog left behind”, Jen and Mitch Frankenberg love dogs and it shows.  The Pawhouse Inn is close to 120 miles of trails where you can take Fido cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and they have an outdoor dog park with a semi-permanent agility course.

Of course, if you and your furry friend would rather curl up in front of the fire and read a book, you’re welcome to do that too.  They also include 9-5 dog care as part of the rate in case you feel like hitting the slopes of nearby Killington.

Pets on a Plane: Air Travel with Your Pet

One of the trickier aspects of air travel is how to get our pets from point A to point B. There are many guidelines and restrictions when it comes to pet air travel that you will need to be aware of before planning your trip.

* Unless your pet’s carrier can fit under your seat they will need to be checked as cargo.
* Pets should be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned.
* Sedating your pet is not recommended, as it may cause difficulty breathing at high altitudes.
* The travel crate must be large enough for your pet to lie down, turn around and stand comfortably.
* The door of the crate must be metal that is thick enough to prevent the animal from bending or distorting it.
* Mark the crate with the words “Live Animal” and “This Side Up” along with your name, address and phone number.
* Many airlines stop shipping pets as checked baggage during extreme hot or cold weather. However, many have special programs that allow you to ship pets as cargo during times of day when the temperature is more comfortable.
* Make your pet as comfortable as possible in the crate with a blanket or towel and toys.
* Do not feed your pet prior to air travel, as this may cause them to have an upset stomach during the flight.
* Give your pet frozen water or ice cubes that will melt slowly during the flight.
* Book a direct flight whenever possible to avoid your pet having to be handled more than necessary on the tarmac.

Keep in mind that not all airlines allow pets to travel in the cabin or as cargo. Each airline will have their own restrictions and policies regarding pet air travel. It is best to check the airline’s website for their policy regarding pet travel before booking your flight.

Traveling with Fido: Tips for Trip Success

Traveling with your pet is one of the most rewarding experiences that a pet guardian can have. By taking very little effort, you can make a checklist of things to accomplish before leaving for your destination.
No matter the length of your trip, you should always keep in mind the safety and comfort for your child with fur.

Fido Friendly Magazine, the Travel Magazine for You and Your Dog, presents a few reminders to make your trip a success. Read the rest of this entry »