If your pup is looking for some playtime, chances are they're familiar with the local dog park. Dog parks provide an essential environment for pets in urban and suburban neighborhoods. They offer great opportunities for your dog to socialize and release their energy. While every dog enjoys their free time, there is an etiquette to be followed when sharing space with others. By monitoring your dog's social activity, you can help keep our parks safe.
Dog Park Etiquette Tips:
Respecting all pets and park-goers will allow you and your dog to make the most out of your park experience. A friendly, healthy, and trained pup means a happier dog park. Check out the video below for more dog park etiquette, and above all else, have fun with your pets!
Furry family members share more than just the love of their pet parents, they experience a place of play, nourishment, and sanctuary under one roof. But do they tolerate one another?
Often in our culture we place cats and dogs opposite one another - a myth of natural-born enemies which has passed down generation to generation. Though as species of domesticated pets commonly and historically kept within the same vicinity of each other, conflicts are bound to occur. Dogs are relatively larger than cats, and have a tendency called a prey drive that leads them to chase smaller animals - especially if these smaller animals are running away from them. In turn, many cats will respond to a large, unfamiliar dog by choosing a flight response.
Behavior and personality also affect the balance between both species. A cat will hold their tail up high in a curious, friendly approach, while a dog will hold up their tail in a challenge. Dogs will wag their tails if they're feeling playful, and cat swish their tails in warning. A submissive pup will roll over to show their belly, but for a cat rolling over signals a defensive position. These different types of behavioral cues can make or break a first meeting between the two. So what do cats and dogs have in common?
A friendly match-up depends on the individuality of each pet, along with shared social habits such as grooming and playing. Knowing your pets' personalities best will assure the right decisions when allowing them to interact. Cats enjoy high spaces and some time to themselves, so the use of cat perches in their environment allows them the chance to relax, observe, and feel secure instead of overly defensive. Certain breeds of dogs also have less of a prey drive and are therefore less likely to chase cats in their home. Just like with people, different personalities and circumstances will cause your pets to feel either like miserable roommates, or a happy family.
The key to a harmonious household may rely on first impressions! Raising a kitten and puppy together is one way to potentially allow your pets to build a bond, but when it comes to introducing a cat and dog, there are a few steps to follow. You can read on bestfriends.org an in-depth discussion on introducing cats and dogs , the most important variable being patience! Essentially, taking things slowly allows your pets to feel more comfortable, and associate a sense of familiarity with each other.
While many cats and dogs prefer to amicably respect the other, certainly there exists closely bonded friendships as well. So whether your cat and dog are well acquainted, or coming together for the first time, know that the potential for a furever friendship awaits!
According to the Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) , each year we celebrate National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week during the first full week of November, as a way to honor animal shelters and the dedicated people who work to protect animals. Animal shelters are vital resources for their communities and safe havens for animals. Shelters are also a great place to adopt a new family pet!
Shelters provide critical services such as investigating cruelty and neglect, reuniting lost pets with their families and teaching kids to care about animals. There are approximately 3,500 animal shelters across the United States, available to serve the estimated 6–8 million homeless animals that seek refuge each year, but only about half are adopted. While 63 percent of American households include pets, fewer than 20 percent of them were adopted from shelters. National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is a perfect opportunity for you, your family, and your community to become acquainted with their local shelter and to help homeless pets. Our Zoomin Groomin team is constantly involved in promoting, donating and fundraising for our local shelters - that is a FUN and rewarding part of our jobs! Check out how you can get involved with your local shelter and community, click here >>
There are many reasons why opening your home to a foster pet enriches your life and saves the lives of shelter animals. Rescue organizations rely on fosters to provide homeless pets with a nourishing environment that they may otherwise not have a chance to receive due to limited shelter resources. Fostering is also a great way to learn if the lifestyle of a pet is right for you, or to help your community and local rescues. Becoming a great foster pet parent necessitates caring, compassion, and commitment.
While each individual shelter or rescue group may have their own unique set of requirements for fostership, here are a few steps to help you understand the world of fostering.
Fostering a pet requires responsibility, including an appropriate amount of space, security, patience, and traveling. Permission from a landlord is usually necessary if you live in an apartment or rental, or proof of ownership if you are a homeowner. Some programs will request fosters live within a certain distance to ensure efficient travel for orientations, events, and emergencies. Rescues may also perform home visits to guarantee your home is established as a secure environment for potential foster pets.
Volunteering as a foster includes both housing a pet and promoting the adoption process. Often times potential adopters will have direct contact with fosters or meet face-to-face at adoption events. Fosters know their pets best, and therefore play an active role in finding them forever homes. Social PR and ambassador work will be necessary to give your foster pet the life they deserve!
A common question is "How long will I have to foster a pet?". Foster periods generally last until a pet is adopted. Animals placed in foster care often come from backgrounds where they were homeless, abandoned, and do not take well to shelter environments. They may need specific medical care or rehabilitation. Each pet is an individual and will heal and adjust differently. The type of pet, breed, gender, or age may also influence the adoption process. The shelter or rescue group will work with you to match a pet that will best adapt and benefit from your home environment.
Many shelter and rescue foster programs provide all supplies such as food, bowls, leashes, collars, litters, and medications. Beds and toys may also be included, many of which are provided by donations. Healthcare treatment and costs are also usually provided by these organizations. Beyond working with your shelter or rescue, fosters benefit from a tight-knit community of volunteers and pet lovers. Sharing these experiences means that other fosters, trainers, groomers, and animal aficionados are willing to offer support. The costs of fostership are minimal when you strengthen relationships in your community and save the lives of animals in need.
Sometimes the first step appears the hardest of all! Whether you are referred to a foster program or still researching local rescues to partner with, keep in mind what kind of animal or specific breed you want to bring into your home. Here is a list of some shelters seeking fosters on the South Shore in MA, as well as specific rescues nearby:
Scituate Animal Shelter
Marshfield Animal Shelter
Massachusetts Humane Society
Great Dog Rescue New England
Last Hope K9 Rescue
Or visit https://www.petfinder.com/animal-shelters-and-rescues/search/?location=02066&shelter_name=
Remember to evaluate applications and have all necessary information ready for the organization you choose. We thank you for choosing to foster, encouraging our community, and spreading the love!
What exactly is the difference between small and large breed dogs? And no, we're not just talking about size! Believe it or not, we calculate many separate factors for a dog based on their breed, lifestyle, and nutritional differences. To start, there are actually four classes of doggie size ranges: small, medium, large, and giant.
What size breed will suit my lifestyle?
While temperament, training, grooming maintenance, and athletic ability differs across all shapes and sizes of dogs, there are certain times when you must take size into account. Do you live in a house with a yard, or an apartment or condo complex? Most larger breeds will not be able to adapt to small living spaces if not exercised properly. They need the extra wiggle room to keep them happy and healthy (both mentally and physically), but depending on your activity level, high-energy breeds can live the city life if exercised appropriately everyday. Life expectancy and medical conditions are also correlated differently depending on breed and size, for further insight please read PetMD's article, How Long Do Dogs Live?, and Cesar's Way article Dog size and life span: When bigger isn't better.
What are the nutritional differences for small and large breeds?
While we covered that there are more than just two size classes for dogs, you may have noticed that many dog food brands will label their products either 'small breed' or 'large breed'. What then? And what is the difference? First, smaller dogs have a higher metabolic rate than larger dogs, and they burn through calories much quicker. Small breed puppies should especially be fed a calorie-dense food to prevent hypoglycemia, lethargy, and even more serious health conditions. Large breed dogs can be similar to small breeds, but have different requirements. Large breeds puppies require diets with lower levels of calcium and phosphorus to reduce the rate of developmental diseases such as hip dysplasia. High levels of dietary antioxidants are also necessary for small breeds that live a long time, compared to large breeds who are more apt to suffer from arthritis in old age and require ingredients like glucosamine. Learn more on how to choose the best food for your pet with sites like DogFoodAdvisor, or watch the documentary Pet Fooled on Netflix.
How does size affect grooming?
While coat maintenance is based on breed and not necessarily size, the amount of dog being groomed will definitely affect the time spent in the grooming room! A Toy Poodle may need less time for a trim compared to a Standard Poodle, and both need different preparation, tools, and materials used to conduct a good grooming. Here at Buddies it is important that we schedule our appointments ahead of time so that we may adapt our schedule to different size dogs. This allows time for our groomers to prep the right tools and products for the breed. We make the most out of every minute spent with your buddy, no matter big or small!
Whether you are deciding to bring a new pet into your home, or searching for the best brand of food, recognize that research is the best way to empower your best buddy's health and happiness. Reach out to other pet parents, groomers, or veterinarians to discuss health and nutritional options. We encourage everyone to go beyond the basics, and respect the differences of every breed!
June has officially arrived, Cape traffic begins, and the beaches are soon to start buzzing. Summer is here, and need we say more? No dilly dallying this time (we've already waited a whole winter, after all), so without further ado, here are our tips for getting the most out of some Summer waggin', lickin', and lovin'!
We sit on the couch, at our desks, in the kitchen, and on the bed; wherever our eyes may peacefully binge watch our favorite movies and TV without interruption. Accompanying our couch potato journey is the family dog, our trusty (albeit also lazy) sidekick. They may just snuggle and snooze, perhaps boof in their sleep, but sometimes you look over and find their ears alert, eyes staring in the direction of the screen, and...could it be? Is Fido hooked on that cliff-hanger or are you just imagining it?
In an alternate universe I'm sure a modern dog utopia exists - where canines stream videos on 'Barkflix', argue about the 'Old Yeller Cinematic Universe', and tune in to 'Live Viewer Treats'. But in our reality, the real reasoning behind your terrier's interest in the telly may simply be based on personality and breed characteristics.
Dogs are able to recognize visuals of other dogs, even among images of humans or other animals, according to a 2013 study published in Animal Cognition. They also process imagery faster than we do, meaning older television sets showing less frames per second would appear "to be flickering like a '1920's movie'", according to Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist from Tufts University. This is why HDTV channels like DogTV are designed for dogs, since the higher framerate and altered colors allows them to have a viewing experience similar to our own.
So you may think your pet is just as absorbed in that favorite Soap Opera as you are, but ultimately dogs are simply watching the visuals pass by, and do not actually know that Sally knows that Brian knows that Sally knows that Brian knows. However, they do recognize what naturally attracts their attention, such as other dogs, animals, and sounds.
Sometimes it also just boils down to the individual. Just like with people, some dogs just can't be bothered with TV, and others jump off the walls when they see animals on screen. This can vary breed to breed, such as that Hounds are scent oriented and tend to concentrate less on visuals, while Herding dogs are more attentive to what they see.
There may be a fair compromise yet for you and your binge watching companion, as long as it involves recognizable animals, and airs in sweet, sweet HD. So put down the leash and pick up the remote
We say 'walking' but really we know it's actually 'skating' or 'slipping' or 'pretending you walked the dog in the snow when you sat by a fire with some hot chocolate instead.' But how long can you resist those pleading eyes? Dogs need their exercise, and a daily walk means a daily walk, snow or no snow. So here are some tactics to aid in the preparation of a good winter's walk:
As New Englanders we know snow, and we also know there are proper ways to make our winter experience at least a little more pleasant. For us pet parents, this might mean dedication spent waiting in the cold until Fido does their business, but it also means time spent frolicking in a winter wonderland.
And we can't deny that our pets provide excellent snowy entertainment!
February is National Pet Dental Health Month, which we know sounds just as exciting as you might think it sounds, but the truth is anytime is a good time to get rid of bad breath, and promote a healthy dog-slobber environment!
Dogs and cats use their mouths differently than us humans, they explore the world by sniffing, licking, and taste-testing earth's natural (and unnatural) wonders. What enters their mouth stays there in the form of bacteria, so always be aware of what your pet decides to deem edible. Dogs and cats both have natural bacteria contained in their mouths, usually species-specific, which is not transmissible to people, just like we cannot transfer our colds or sickness to them. However, it is a myth that dog's mouths are cleaner.
So what is the best way to ensure your pet has a healthy dental environment?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommend daily tooth brushing and annual dental cleanings. Chew toys designed to interact with teeth and gums, or natural chews like antlers, also assist in strengthening and cleaning.
What are the signs of a dental problem? Just like with people, tooth and mouth complications can be unpleasant for our furry friends, and bad breath especially can signal underlying health issues. For questioning bad odor, see our other post Why Does My Dog Stink? Also look out for excessive drooling, loss of teeth, or visual changes, such as spots or cysts on the tongue.
Why does my pet need a dental cleaning under anesthesia? Veterinary professionals can perform oral checkups during a regular exam, but dental cleaning procedures are done under anesthesia. This is often necessary in order for pets to stay still and tolerate dental work, as well as to prevent fear and pain. Certain breeds and older dogs are more likely to require tooth extractions, but always discuss with a medical professional the use and monitoring of anesthesia for pets. For more discussion on anesthesia, check out PetMD, Pet Health Network, and, Veterinary Practice News.
As a part of National Pet Dental Health Month we hope this information proves useful and helpful to the pets and pet parents we interact with everyday. Rest easy knowing your pet won't wake you in the morning with bad breath, invest in chews toys and simple daily tooth brushing to ensure their comfort, health, and happiness. We always appreciate bright, clean smiles from people and pets!
Does your dog need a massage? Or how about a chiropractor?
Admittedly this is probably not the question on everyone's mind coming into the new year, but as 2017 begins, we look forward to our #1 goal of promoting pet health. While a groomer's domain is the skin, pet parents are always welcome to bring up health concerns to groomers. It is important for us to know whether a pet has a serious health condition or has recently undergone surgery. Other conerns we hear often may include 'My pet is limping', 'My pet is constantly licking their paws/licking off their fur', 'My pet is older and cannot stand or sit comfortably', or 'My pet is sensitive in a specific area'. Our groomers will take everything into account and analyze sensitive areas if need be, but beyond fur and skin, we will recommend a visit to the vet if necessary.
Other benefits include:
Want to learn more about pet massage or how to massage your own dog? Try Cesar's Guide on Dog Massage, How to Massage Your Own Dog by Modern Dog Magazine, or learn more through the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, MA. And yes, massage is also great for cats!
Also check out the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Canine Journal, or The Conscious Cat to learn how pet chiropractic works.
ZG pro team