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How to Keep Your Pet Healthy and Happy

How to Keep Your Pet Healthy and Happy

Caring for pets involves more than making sure they have the basics, such as food, water and shelter. It’s also important for you to ensure that your dogs are as happy as possible. What does it take to provide pets with a happy and healthy life? Keep the following tips in mind. 

Regular Exercise

Dogs might spend a lot of time lying around your home, but they do need exercise on a regular basis. Getting physical activity every day helps prevent dogs from becoming overweight, which can raise their risk of health problems. Exercise is also an important part of keeping dogs from getting restless, especially if they are at home by themselves all day. 

Take your dogs for long walks, let them run around your enclosed yard or consider visiting a local dog park. If the weather isn’t pleasant out, you can help your pets get exercise indoors by playing fetch or other games with them. 

Mental Stimulation

Dogs need mental stimulation just as much as they need physical activity to keep their body in shape. Keeping a dog’s brain busy helps prevent boredom, which lowers the risk of having them get frustrated and chew up furniture or bark excessively. Being mentally stimulated also helps them challenge their brain in fun ways that can boost their happiness. 

Use puzzle toys and other games to give your dogs some regular mental stimulation. For example, fill puzzle toys with treats that they have to figure out how to get to. You can also hide a favorite toy, and have them search around your home for it. 

Routine Grooming and Vet Care

Health problems can have a negative impact on your pets’ happiness. Bring your dogs to the vet for regular exams or anytime that you have concerns about their health. Discomfort can cause dogs to act up or even become depressed. Ensuring that your pets are in good health or being treated for health problems can help improve their emotional well-being.

Routine grooming is also important for your pets’ quality of life. You should brush their coat, clean their teeth, trim their nails and bathe them on a regular basis. Skipping grooming can cause issues that make your pets unhappy, such as long nails that are uncomfortable when walking or dental problems that make it painful for them to eat. 

Spring Fragrances are Back for a Limited Time

Spring Fragrances are Back for a Limited Time

While we can't make spring arrive as soon as we'd like, we are pleased to announce the return of some of our popular Pet House spring fragrances: Fresh Cut Roses, Wildflowers and Ruby Red Grapefruit.

Pet House spring fragrances make a great Valentine's Day gift and are also perfect for anyone trying to think warm and happy thoughts during this cold winter.

All three fragrances are available in full-size candles, mini-candles and wax melts. Ruby Red Grapefruit is also available in car air fresheners. Make your home smell great with these 100% natural soy wax, odor-neutralizing candles that are hand-poured in the USA. And of course, they're all non-toxic and allergen-free.

Why It's Important to Trim Your Dog's Nails

Why It's Important to Trim Your Dog's Nails

Trimming your dog’s nails is an important grooming task that helps her stay happy and healthy. When you don’t clip your dog’s nails, they can end up growing too long, which can cause problems. Find out more about why you should make sure your dog’s nails are well-trimmed at all times.

Reasons to Trim Dog Nails

Dogs that run around on concrete, blacktop or other hard surfaces often are able to wear down their nails. However, many dogs either spend most of their time indoors or running around on grassy surfaces. This means that their nail tips aren’t worn down regularly, which can lead to overly long nails. 

Nails that are too long are at risk of being torn off, such as if your dog’s nail gets caught on a piece of carpeting or furniture. This can result in an injury that might require veterinary care if it’s serious enough. Longer dog nails also make it harder for dogs to walk around comfortably. When your dog’s nails hit the floor constantly as she walks, this can put more pressure on the nail bed. This pressure can cause discomfort that forces your dog to distribute her weight differently while she walks, which can affect the way her toe and paw joints are aligned.

Trimming Tips

If your dog isn’t used to having her nails trimmed, you might need to work on ensuring that she feels comfortable with this task. You can do this by gradually introducing her to the clippers and getting her used to having her paws handled. Form positive associations with this by rewarding her with treats and praise until she allows you to clip her nails without getting nervous.

When you trim your dog’s nails, hold the clippers at a 45-degree angle. Clip each nail carefully so that you don’t accidentally cut into the quick, which is the live part of the nail. This means stopping before you reach the pink part if your dog has white nails. For black nails, stop clipping when you no longer see a whitish interior.

How often should you trim your dog’s nails? Ideally, you should aim to clip them when they are long enough to reach the floor. You can visually check your dog’s nail to determine this, or listen for the sound of her nail tips hitting the floor as she walks. 

National Adopt A Senior Pet Month

National Adopt A Senior Pet Month

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, which is an important reminder that there are many senior dogs and cats in shelters and with rescue groups that are waiting for a good home. People looking to adopt a pet often choose younger ones while passing the older ones by. However, adopting a senior pet comes with some wonderful benefits.

Already Trained

Senior pets are more likely to have gone through obedience training and house training earlier in life. This means that you could be bringing home a cat that already knows how to use the litter box or a dog that knows how to obey verbal commands. Instead of having to spend time and effort training your new pet, you can enjoy each other’s company.

Calmer and More Relaxed

If you’re looking for a pet with a lower energy level, senior pets are a great option. Younger dogs and cats are typically full of energy, which can make them hard to deal with at times. Rather than having to clean up after a mischievous kitten or chase after a curious and clumsy puppy, you can relax with your new senior pet at your side or on your lap.

Plenty of Affection and Appreciation

Senior pets tend to get passed over in favor of younger pets. When someone comes along and offers them a loving home, these older pets seem to know how fortunate they are. Senior pets are known for being highly affectionate and grateful toward people who adopt them, making them perfect pet companions.

No Big Surprises

In terms of size and temperament, what you see is what you get when it comes to senior pets. When you adopt an older pet, they’re already fully grown and their temperament is steady and predictable. That means you don’t have to worry about adopting a small puppy that turns into a much bigger dog than you expected or bringing home a friendly kitten that ends up being more aloof as an adult cat.

If you plan to adopt a senior pet, keep an open mind. Senior pets end up in shelters for many reasons through no fault of their own, such as when their family moves or an elderly owner can no longer care for them. When you adopt an older pet, you’re choosing a devoted companion with a lot of affection to offer.

Include Your Pets in Your Emergency Plans

Include Your Pets in Your Emergency Plans

When hurricanes or other disasters strike, it’s important to have a plan in place that includes your pets. While wind or water damage can vary, there’s a good chance that your home will be without power. You also might not be able to leave your home if road conditions are bad. Coming up with a plan ahead of time ensures that your pets will have everything they need during this time. 

Pet Supplies

You should have supplies that will last for at least a week in case you’re unable to leave your home or have no power. Make sure that you have plenty of food and water for your pets. If you normally give them raw food, keep freeze-dried or dehydrated food around as a backup. If you have pets that take medication, plan ahead to ensure that they won’t run out. 

Calming Remedies

Some pets can get nervous during rough weather. Using natural calming remedies can help ease your pets’ anxiety and help them stay calm during hurricanes or other disasters. There are a number of natural calming products available as well as prescription medication.  Just make sure that you talk to your vet before using any medication. 

Toys and Chews

Mental stimulation is also important for pets, so that they don’t get bored while they’re cooped up. Keeping them occupied can also relieve anxiety. Have plenty of toys and chews available for your pets to play with or chew on. 

Indoor Exercise

Since your pets won’t be able to run around your yard or go for walks during a disaster, plan on having them exercise indoors. Dogs can burn off energy running around your home playing, while cats can get exercise by climbing on cat trees or playing with toys.

Pet-Friendly Shelters or Hotels

Make a list of emergency shelters, hotels and motels that are pet-friendly, so you’ll know where to go if you need to leave your area and don’t have family or friends to stay with. Keep in mind that hotels that normally don't allow pets are not legally required to accommodate them for evacuees. In some cases, local animal shelters and rescue groups offer temporary foster homes for evacuees who can't find a place to stay with their pets. 

Local Pet Stores and Vets

If you’re going to another area, make a list of local pet stores that carry your pets’ food. You should also keep a list of local veterinarians handy in case of illness or injuries. Bring your pets’ medical records with you when you leave, and make sure that your pets' microchip information is up-to-date. 

Identification

You should always make sure your contact information is visible on your pet's ID tag.  Also, you should make sure that your pet has an active microchip.  It's a good idea to check your pet's microchip when you go to your vet's office.  ID tags and microchips will help get your back to you in the event they are lost during an emergency situation.

One Fur All supports Brother Wolf Animal Rescue to Help Hurricane Victims

One Fur All supports Brother Wolf Animal Rescue to Help Hurricane Victims

North Carolina has been devastated by Hurricane Florence. One Fur All, creator of Pet House Candles, wants to give back to the four-legged victims of Hurricane Florence. Beginning September 24th and running through October 1st, One Fur All will be donating 10% of all online sales from their website (www.onefurallpets.com), directly to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. These donations will help with medical expenses and transportation costs associated with rescuing pets that have been impacted by the hurricane in North Carolina.

The severe flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Florence has caused many pets to be injured and displaced.  Rescue organizations like Brother Wolf are doing their part to help animals in need.  Through the One Fur All Rescue Fundraising Program, 10% of all online sales made during this week duration will go directly to Brother Wolf.  You can also donate directly to Brother Wolf's Rapid Response Fund.

What's the Difference Between Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs?

What's the Difference Between Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs?

Service dogs and emotional support dogs both play an important role in the lives of those with physical disabilities, serious health problems or psychological disorders. However, they have different “jobs” to do, and the laws surrounding both are not the same.

What Are Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs?

Service dogs are dogs that are trained to perform specific tasks to help owners who have a disability or serious health problem. For example, seeing eye dogs assist individuals who are blind, such as by helping them cross streets safely. Service dogs for owners with epilepsy are trained to alert them that a seizure is about to happen. Those who are around service dogs should avoid approaching them or distracting them when they are assisting their owner.

Emotional support dogs do not have specialized training in performing certain tasks for their owners. Instead, their presence provides a source of comfort and stress relief for those who suffer from psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic disorder, bipolar disorder or anxiety. These dogs are generally safe to interact with as long as the owner is ok with it.

Requirements for Certification

While there are many places that offer certification programs for service dogs and emotional support dogs, these programs are not required by law. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not legally require service dogs or emotional support dogs to have any specific certification or even undergo professional training. The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners does offer recommended standards that service dogs and emotional support dogs should go through in order to ensure that they are well-mannered in public places.

Laws for Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs

Service dogs are generally allowed access to public places and businesses, including restaurants and stores, under the ADA. There are exceptions to this if the presence of a service dog would cause potential harm or disruption, such as at a zoo near certain exhibits.

Emotional support dogs do not have the same legal rights as service dogs under the ADA. However, the Fair Housing Act does provide a right to housing for those with an emotional support dog.

When it comes to flying, the Air Carrier Access Act generally allows service and emotional support dogs in the cabin. However, there are exceptions, and each airline has its own specific policies for service and emotional support dogs. For example, dogs that are too large might not be allowed in the cabin due to safety concerns.

Is it Safe to Shave Your Dog?

Is it Safe to Shave Your Dog?

Some pet owners resort to shaving their dogs in order to help them stay cooler in summer. However, this practice isn’t a good idea for some dogs due to the type of coat they have. Find out which dogs have coats that are safe to shave and which dogs have coats that should be left alone in summer.

Short-Haired Dogs

Dogs with short hair, such as Beagles, Chihuahuas, Greyhounds and Rottweilers, should not be shaved during summer. Shaving these dogs doesn’t help cool them off more than their short coat, and it makes them more vulnerable to sunburn. They’re also at a higher risk of being bitten or stung by mosquitoes and other bugs.

Dogs with a Single Coat of Medium or Long, Thick Hair

Dogs that have a single coat of hair that is medium or long and thick, such as Afghan hounds, Poodles and Silky Terriers, can be shaved in order to help them stay cooler in the heat. However, they should never be shaved close to the skin. Instead, you should leave at least an inch of fur on them to lower their risk of sunburn, bug bites and other summer dangers. Shaving too close to the skin also makes it harder for new hairs to grow properly.

Double-Coated Dogs

Dogs with double coats, such as Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Golden Retrievers and Border Collies, should also not be shaved when it’s hot out. These dogs have an undercoat that they shed during summer and longer guard hairs that protect their skin. Losing their undercoat helps them stay cool in the heat, while the outer layer of guard hairs shields their skin from the sun’s rays. Their outer layer also keeps them safe from mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs that sting or bite. When these dogs are shaved, the undercoat grows back first, which won’t keep them as cool in the heat.

Keeping Dogs Cool

If you have dogs that can’t be safely shaved, you should take other steps to keep them cool during summer, such as:

  • Limit their time outside, especially during the hottest part of the day
  • Make sure they have shady areas to stay in when they’re outdoors
  • Consider setting up a small inflatable pool for your dogs to use outside, as long as you supervise them
  • Give them a cool place to sleep inside, such as an air conditioned room or a room with a ceiling fan

No matter what kind of coat your dogs have, make sure that they have access to cool, fresh water at all times during summer. This helps keep them hydrated and reduces the risk of heat stroke.  Keep your pets safe.

Popular Pet Products That Could Be Dangerous

Popular Pet Products That Could Be Dangerous

Making sure that your pets are safe is among the most important parts of caring for them. You might not realize that some pet products could be dangerous for your pets, especially under certain circumstances. Find out more about which products you should either avoid or be cautious about using.

Flexi Leashes

Flexible or retractable leashes provide convenience when you walk your dogs, since you can adjust the length as needed. However, these leashes can be dangerous to use in some situations. A flexi leash can become tangled around your dog’s legs or even cause injuries to your dog’s neck if you have to suddenly and quickly retract it, such as if your dog is running toward a busy street.

Plastic Food and Water Bowls and Dishes

Plastic bowls and dishes for pets can easily become scratched with use. This allows bacteria to build up on these items, which can make your pets sick. Some plastic bowls and dishes might also contain questionable chemicals, such as bisphenol A, that you might want to avoid exposing your pets to. Choose stainless steel pet bowls and dishes instead, which are more durable and generally safer.

Rawhide Bones

Rawhide is a common treat given to dogs, since it gives them an opportunity to do plenty of chewing. However, rawhide is hazardous for pets for a few reasons. It can turn into a choking hazard when it breaks into large chunks, and some dogs have a hard time digesting it when they do swallow it. There are also concerns about the ingredients that are found in rawhide.

Bully Sticks and Chews

Bully sticks and chews also provide dogs with something to chew on. Although they are safe compared to rawhide, it’s still important to supervise dogs when you give them any type of chew treats. Dogs can choke on chews or bully sticks if they bite off larger chunks.

Training Collars

Certain types of collars, such as prong or choke collars, can be dangerous when they’re left on after training. These types of collars are designed for training purposes only and should not be used as a primary collar for your dog's tags.  Dogs can end up being injured if these collars are still on when they’re running around or playing with other dogs. Always remove these collars and replace them with regular ones if you use them for training.

Toys

Pet toys that have squeakers or stuffing inside them should only be given to pets when they’re supervised. Squeakers can be a choking hazard, while stuffing can cause intestinal blockages if it’s swallowed. If your pets tend to play rough, make sure you’re watching them when you give them these types of toys.

Celebrate National Adopt a Cat Month

Celebrate National Adopt a Cat Month

June is National Adopt a Cat Month. If you’ve been thinking of getting a cat or know someone who wants to, this is a great month to consider adopting one. Learn more about National Adopt a Cat Month, including how you can get involved and why it’s so important.

Reasons for National Adopt a Cat Month

Animal shelters are filled with pets that are in need of good homes, and cats make up much of this population. In fact, American Humane estimates that millions of kittens are born this time of year. During the summer months, animal shelters typically end up with more kittens than usual. Pet owners with cats that give birth aren’t always able to find homes for all of the kittens, so they’re often given to shelters. June is one of the busiest months for animal shelters when all of these cats and kittens are brought in. Being able to find homes for them can be challenging, but National Adopt a Cat Month helps raise awareness of this problem.

How to Get Involved

There are many ways for you to get involved with National Adopt a Cat Month. You can be part of this important awareness campaign in the following ways:

  • Adopt a cat or kitten: If you’ve been thinking of getting a cat for a pet, visit your local animal shelter or get in touch with a local rescue group. Avoid buying a cat from a pet store or purchasing one online. There are plenty of cats and kittens in animal shelters and rescue groups who need a good home.
  • Encourage others to adopt: If you have friends, family, neighbors or co-workers who want to get a cat, encourage them to adopt one instead of buying one. Let them know about the pet overpopulation problem with cats and kittens in shelters, and remind them that these animals are waiting for someone to adopt them.
  • Use social media to raise awareness: Make or share posts about National Adopt a Cat Month in order to raise awareness about it. Social media provides you with a way to reach a wider range of people, so that you can let them know how important this campaign is.
  • Foster a cat, volunteer or donate: If possible, consider fostering a cat who needs a good home. This helps out local rescue groups who are trying to get these pest adopted. You can also volunteer to help out local animal shelters by caring for cats and kittens who are waiting to be adopted. Making a monetary donation or donating supplies also helps support animal shelters.

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