For most parents, having the kids back in school is kind of exciting (it’s okay to admit it) – you’re getting your house back! But for pets, it’s a strange change in schedules that may cause confusion and possible anxiety. If your dog has back to school anxiety, you may want to buy them some new toys and or treats. Stuffed toys are a great way to keep your dog stimulated and entertained when everyone leaves the house and, eventually, will start to be the signifier to your dog that he’ll be alone for a little while. You can also leave the television or radio on for background noise and added stimulation. Puzzle toys are also a great way to keep them busy, but not all dogs stay engaged with those kinds of toys. Also consider our Raw Frozen Ground Bones, as a reward, once you return home. They’re a great treat that you can feel good about giving your dog – they’re good for oral health and maintain all the nutrition and flavor of beef bones with marrow!
Fido. Fluffy. Max. Molly. When it comes to naming your pet, it’s kind of a big deal. Not only will this be what you’re yelling at the dog park and how you introduce your friends to your new furry family member, but it will also be the foundation for all of those crazy nicknames pet parents inevitably come up with. When adopting, you may find a pet who already answers to their name and, regardless of how you feel about the name, it’s best to leave it to avoid confusion. Here are some fun tips on finding the best name for your new pooch!
- Resemblance – Does your new dog remind you of a snuggly teddy bear or your favorite food? It doesn’t matter why he reminds you of these things, just roll with it! We’re sure Bear and Waffles won’t mind even a little bit.
- Get to Know Them – There’s no rule you have to name your dog as soon as you get him, so give it some time. Is he awily little Rascal? An inquisitive Sherlock? Does he get excited right along with you when Posey hits the ball out of the park? Take note of these little character traits, as they may yield your pups forever identity.
- NO Dedications – It comes recommended not to name your pup after someone, be it your favorite uncle or late grandmother. While you may see a positive association with naming your new love after someone, some may see it as offensive and you may eventually get tired of having your pet remind you of Uncle Ted.
- Pick a Name YOU Like – If you’ve always been a fan of the name Lucky then, by all means, name that new pooch Lucky. If you’ve always wanted a dog named Ravioli, then have at it. Just try to avoid names that may sound like other pets or family members in the house, as it can cause confusion and eventually a big ol’ headache. We hope you find the perfect way to dub your new dog!
Ah, the open road – sometimes it’s just what you need when you’re feeling a little restrained. And what could be better than looking in the rearview and seeing your best furry friend beaming in the backseat? Most dogs LOVE road trips – they’re new! They’re exciting! Things go so fast! All the foreign smells! But it’s important to be safe when traveling with pets, which means being prepared. If you’re like us and enjoy bringing the whole family along for some roadside sightseeing, we hope these road tips can be of use for you this summer!
- Buckle Up –There are a multitude of products out there to help minimize doggy distractions while driving, including harnesses that can clip right onto your vehicle’s seatbelt. It’s up to you to decide which product suits your pup’s travel style best, but it’s important to keep them safely in the backseat where they can’t jump into the front or become a projectile in the event of a short stop.
- Be Prepared – Make sure you have everything your dog needs for a couple nights away from home – food, water, bowls, treats, their leash, some chew toys, medicines (if applicable), and maybe even their bed if you have room. The more things your pet recognizes from home the more likely they’ll be able to comfortably relax while you navigate the roads.
- Plan Ahead – It doesn’t hurt to look up a few emergency clinics between points A and Z, just to be on the safe side. A first aid kit is also a small something that could make a big difference if a minor injury occurs and you don’t have cell service or a veterinarian in sight.
- I.D. – Make sure all information on your pup’s tags and microchips are up-to-date, as it could be the determining factor in you getting your pooch back in the event they wander away.
- Have fun! – This is wonderful bonding time for you and your pet, and seeing them next to you in the midst of unknown faces and places is a really heart-warming feeling. Let it be a reminder that they’re by your side anytime, anywhere.
The benefits of having a pet extend well beyond companionship, and sometimes our furry friends don’t receive the credit that’s due. Pets are a shoulder to cry on, alarm clock, exercise partner, and a true member of the family. There is over 25 years’ worth of research that show living with pets provides a bounty of health benefits! Learn more by checking out this news article: http://wqad.com/2014/06/20/how-pets-can-make-you-healthier/
The Fourth of July is a holiday many look forward to because, for some, it marks the true onset of summer fun – and it comes complete with delicious BBQs and fireworks! For others it marks an incredibly important time in our country’s history, which is still a cause for celebration. For our pets, however, Fourth of July may be a confusing hodgepodge of company and loud noises that they simply don’t understand. It’s important to take the proper precautions to ensure everyone has a blast this Independence Day. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Proper Identification – Fourth of July is one of the most popular days for pets to go missing, as it’s assumed they’re either trying to escape the loud noises or find you amid the chaos. Make sure they are wearing proper identification and their microchips and tags have the most up-to-date contact information!
- Give them a Safe Place – Whether it’s a bedroom or the whole house, give your pet a place where they can retreat and escape too many party guests, and loud booms and bangs! If your pet is showing severe anxiety, consider staying in with them or look into an anti-anxiety compression vest.
- Only Use Pet-Friendly Sprays – If you’re camping with your pet in tow, make sure any sunscreens or bug sprays are pet-specific, as the chemicals in those intended for humans can be toxic to canines.
Last Saturday, June 21, marked the first official day of summer and we couldn’t be happier! For us, winter is a time of reflection – being grateful for our warm homes and four-wheel drive. Summer, on the other hand, is a time to BBQ, hike, and splash the days away. Whether the whole family is in tow or just your furry friend, safely exploring the outdoors where you live is a great way to pass the time and enjoy the warm weather. Before you hit the trails, make sure you and your pets have plenty of fresh, clean water and that you take the proper steps for sun protection. Here’s a list of the Top Ten dog-friendly trails from across the country, http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/top-10-dog-friendly-hiking-trails.htm, but if you’re looking for a specific area, a quick Internet search should turn up some closer results. And when you grab yourself a cool treat when you get home, keep Fido included with our wholesome, delicious, frozen Healthy Licks!
This Friday, June 20, is Take Your Dog to Work Day, which is actually a lot of fun. Granted, not all pets are office ready (and it’s up to you to decide if your pooch has the proper office etiquette), but here are the top three ways bringing your pooch to the office benefits you and your colleagues.
Reducing stress. Coinciding with existing research showing pets’ effect on cardiovascular health, stress, and blood pressure, having a dog or cat at the office also reduces stress. Whether it’s just seeing their face or having them on your lap, your mind is a bit more at ease with a furry friend in tow.
They force you to take a breather. Sometimes the day can get lost amid phone calls, emails, and everything else your job demands. But research shows that taking frequent short breaks actually increases productivity – and Fido will make sure you know when he needs a break. Whether you look away from the computer for five minutes to pet them or take them outside, pets prompt healthy pauses from the chaos of your day.
Everyone’s friendlier. It’s true! According to an article by the Huffington Post, employees in pet-friendly workplaces reported feeling friendlier to one another in addition to finding that customers had a more positive impression of the company.
Whether it’s their wagging tails or the relief petting an animal can have, it seems like pets in the work place is a win/win so consider bringing your four-legged love along this Friday!
June is also National Pet Preparedness Month, intended to make pet owners aware of the importance of having what’s needed to be a responsible pet owner. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to being prepared with pets:
Stock enough food and water for at least three days. Should any long-lasting adverse weather occur, it’s important to make sure your pets’ needs are considered when preparing and including any medicines or supplements your pet may take. You know the weather in your area best, so if you need to prep for longer then do so.
Keep a floatation device handy for your pet. Whether it’s a life vest or raft, make sure there’s something around that will keep your dog or cat afloat and visible in the event of a hurricane or flood.
First Aid. Just like with humans, having a basic first aid kit can be a world of help when needed. There are kits specified for pets, but as long as there are [fur-friendly] bandages, antiseptic, tweezers, and materials for a splint – you should have your bases covered. Keep this kit handy anytime you’re adventuring together, not stowed in the basement “just in case.”
Identification! Should you need to evacuate your area or if a pet wanders (especially during a high-stress time), it’s imperative that they have proper up-to-date identification. Register your pet’s microchip, or update any outdated information, and make sure tags are secure along with leashes and collars if needed.
As you know by now, we love awareness holidays around here, especially ones that focus on helping pets who need it. June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month and while it may seem we focus more on dogs here at Stewart headquarters, we adore cats just as much. Cats are bounding with personalities ranging from playful and inquisitive to lounging and lazy, and sadly many shelters have tons of eligible companions just waiting for their lifetime of love to walk through the door. Whether you travel consistently, have a family of four with plenty of land, or live alone in a condo, felines are fantastic companions for any lifestyle because of their personalities. Our cats have given us so many laughs and warm feelings throughout the years that we really hope you consider adopting one into your life. One tip – check with your local shelter to see if they’re giving a discounted rate on cat adoptions. For more information on how to welcome a cat into your home, head here: https://www.petfinder.com/cats/bringing-a-cat-home/tips-for-first-30-days-cat/
You were really, truly present? Think about it – with work, kids, cell phones, the Internet, and everything in between, you are probably pulled in a million different directions at any given time. We think it’s important for everyone to take time for themselves – which we recognize is easier said than done – but using your dog as an example might help. Make an effort to live like your pooch every now and then, even if it means lying on your back in the grass for a few minutes to unwind. Another great way to de-stress and focus on you is to hit the pavement sans cell phone (but with Fido of course!) and enjoy a nice long walk or run to revamp and welcome the warmer weather!