This Saturday, April 26, marks National Kids and Pets Day, a chance to commemorate the incredible role pets and children can have in one another’s lives. For pets, children teach tolerance, responsibility and protecting something seemingly helpless. For children, pets teach responsibility, gentleness, and how to relate and empathize with another species. In addition to growing together both physically and mentally, pets and children make each other more well-rounded individuals. In fact, children who are raised around pets tend to work better in groups, have higher self-esteem, and better nurturing skills than children who don’t.
It’s important to teach your children the proper way to approach and interact with unfamiliar animals. Kids should always ask for permission from the owner prior to engaging. If permitted, children should extend a low, closed fist and slowly approach. If the animal sniffs their hand and shows noticeable interest, children can softly pet and play – remind them that animals don’t react well to quick movements or loud noises.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a goldfish, cat, horse, lizard, ferret or hermit crab, pets offer so much more than entertainment, they teach children a new way to love and care for things around them. Whether they’re their favorite secret keeper, best friend, or daily protector, all children can benefit from the companionship that a pet offers!
Now that the weather is starting to warm up, we hope you’re taking the opportunity to breathe in some fresh air with your pooch while it’s still crisp before the dog days of summer. Your dog knows the days are getting warmer and longer, and they get tired of being cooped up too. After a long day’s work, walking the dog can seem like just another chore, but a brisk 20-or 30-minute walk after work is an amazing way for you to decompress. It’s a great way to get some circulation in your legs, fresh air in your lungs, and focus on you. And guess what? Same goes for Fido.
Not only is walking beneficial to both of your health, but it’s a great bonding experience for pet and owner. We like to think our dogs don’t just look forward to their walks because of the smells and exercise but because it’s good quality time doing something we don’t always do. Furthermore, leash training your dog can be a huge peace of mind – it’s simply another building block in Fido’s confidence when approaching new situations in addition to making your outings together a bit more hassle free.
But leash training isn’t always a ‘walk in the park.’ Walks are full of distractions that can cause unwanted pulling and excitement on the end of the leash, but try not to get frustrated. There are many different types of walking aids that can help you gain control – just remember to be patient and consistent. Your dog WILL eventually get it! It may help to start with short, 10-minute walks to ease your frustration and help Fido gain some momentum for the experience. We hope you and your dogs go out and enjoy these calming spring days, but if you need a bit more guidance, further tips for conquering leash training can be found from the ASPCA here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/teaching-your-dog-not-pull-leash
Happy April! While you may have endured some fallacies and trickery in light of April Fools’ Day, we’re here to administer a dose of truth: we legitimately care about your pets’ health and nutrition. All of our food and treats are grain, gluten, preservative, and additive free and are made with human-grade proteins in a USDA inspected facility. All of our ingredients are sourced in the United States (with the exception of our lamb, which comes from New Zealand) so you know your dog’s nutrition is comprised of the absolute best. We are constantly thinking of new flavors and ways to treat your best friend, like our frozen Healthy Licks (a summertime favorite) or the nutritious freeze-dried Pro Treats (now available in over seven protein options).
While other brands might try to trick you with over-the-top packaging or a beautiful purebred pooch on the label, we are proud to provide wholesome nutrition without questions – just look for the Stewart logo!
This Sunday is National Puppy Day, a chance to celebrate the unconditional love dogs innately show from birth and an opportunity to stand against puppy mills and puppies in pet stores. There are a number of ways to celebrate and participate in National Puppy Day, our favorite being adopting a puppy from a shelter or breed rescue. If you’ve already got a furry love, buy them a new treat or toy to let them know how much you love them. Go on a special outing, like a hike, trip to the beach, or even the dog park. But most importantly, our doting dog owners, make a vow to exhibit patience at all times with your puppy, because all they do is love, love, love you.
From the beginning, puppies earn vital knowledge through the world around them. In fact, studies have shown that a puppy’s experiences in his first three months of life are the most influential in what kind of companion he’ll be. Much like with children, the most important reason to socialize is to give your pet the confidence he needs to assess new people and situations. But what exactly is proper socialization? According to the American Kennel Club, it’s the process of exposing pets to a wide variety of situations, animals, and environments as safely as you can without causing trauma. The best time to do this is within the first twelve weeks of their life because, again much like children, they are more fearless and receptive to new situations. If you’re purchasing your pet, it’s crucial to get a feel for their breeders – were the puppies raised in the home with lots of human interaction or outside where they mainly learned among themselves? When adopting, we recognize that it’s impossible to know what a pet’s endured in their first 12 weeks but it doesn’t mean you can’t get them to have new associations with things that evoke an ill response. When exposing pets to new situations, always try to stay calm and use friendly, energetic tones to provoke further engagement. Make sure they know you’re their support system through these new times by staying present, encouraging them, and remove them from the situation if necessary. More detailed information and tips on socialization can be found here: http://classic.akc.org/enewsletter/yourakc/2009/march/puppy.cfm
February is Dental Health Month for pets, which we consider to be a very important awareness ‘holiday’ because there is a direct correlation between a pet’s dental health and their overall wellbeing. Think about it, a dog’s teeth serve as a sense of security – for them, healthy teeth means being able to eat, chew for leisure (a natural instinct), as well as protecting themselves if necessary. If a pet’s oral hygiene is lacking, not only will their owners be experiencing bad breath (which can effect their wanting to engage with their dog), but it can also be incredibly painful and lead to other, much more serious ailments like cardiovascular disease. Infections in the gum line seep into the blood stream and can cause serious issues.
We know brushing your dog’s teeth daily can be a hassle, but it’s important to try periodically because nothing will remove plaque quite like consistent brushing. There are also other preventative measures you can take to help keep Fido’s mouth healthy like administering an oral gel once a day, which is much easier and has proven to work, as well as their diet (a raw diet is one of the healthiest for oral health), and the chews you allow them to have. Our Raw Frozen Ground Bones are durable enough to scrape against teeth, are made with beef marrow, and don’t dangerously splinter like other bones or chews. And, best of all, they come in a dental formula that boasts mint and parsley to help prevent bad breath and maintain proper oral health. More information here: http://stewartpet.com/our-products/treats/stewart-raw-ground-frozen-bones/
We are excited to announce that we have been honored with an Industry Recognition Award from Pet Business magazine for our Freeze Dried Ferret Treats! Every year, Pet Business seeks out innovative products and the companies behind them to recognize the integral role we play in pet owners being able to truly care for their pets, which is exactly why we do what we do. Animal nutrition is so important to us and are very excited to receive this recognition! If you or someone you know is a ferret lover we hope you refer them to our treats for a 100% natural and delicious reward. Made with pure chicken or turkey liver as its only ingredient, our treats are always gluten, additive, and preservative free. To find where to buy near you, head here: http://stewartpet.com/where-to-buy/
While we all enjoy a dog that doesn’t smell, grooming isn’t just about aesthetics. Regular maintenance of the coat, nails, ears, and teeth can play an integral role in your pet’s well being.
Coat: Not only does it reduce shedding, but regular brushing of your pet’s coat evenly distributes their natural oils, leaving coats lustrous and healthy. Furthermore, having an ‘organized’ coat allows owners to see their pet’s skin easier which can be a huge tool if you think your pet may have a tick or other skin irritation.
Nails: Trim nails don’t just look better, it’s a matter of safety. Long nails are uncomfortable to walk on and have a higher risk of breaking, which can be painful and cause infection. For most breeds, a run around the backyard or elsewhere is enough to keep nails naturally trim, but if your pooch isn’t much of a runner, regularly check on their nail length and trim as necessary!
Ears: Some dogs are more prone to ear infections than others, but it’s important to know what to look for. If you see your pet digging in their ear, look inside to see if there’s buildup or if you notice a smell. If one or both of those are present, dampen a cotton ball with an ear cleaning solution recommended by your vet and gently swipe; do NOT dig in the ear or take a q-tip to it, as this can dangerously push the buildup further into the ear. Healthy ears should be pale in color, cool to the touch, and odor free. If left untreated, ear infections can start affecting the inner workings of the ear and can even rupture the eardrum.
Teeth: Think of your pet’s teeth as little tiny icebergs, what you see is just the beginning. Improper care of your pet’s teeth can cause all types of infections that can creep into your pet’s bloodstream and can even lead to organ failure. Furthermore, it becomes painful to enjoy eating and chewing, two of your dog’s favorite things. The good news is it’s totally preventable, just make sure your pet has plenty of bones to chew (a natural plaque scraper), and consider brushing their teeth or administering an oral hygiene gel regularly!
We admit that some New Year’s resolutions might be a little overplayed, but when it comes to pet health we’ll spin it any way we can. This year, we hope you resolve for a healthier pet (which can also yield a healthier you).
Make it a goal to measure their food every time you feed them. Feeding guidelines are always on the side of your pet’s food bag; keep in mind that older and neutered pets are usually a little less energetic and, thus, require fewer calories than young or intact pets. Use an eight ounce measuring cup and place a mark at their normal feeding level to insure everyone who feeds your pet is doing it correctly. (Hint: When someone else is watching our pet, we like to measure individual bags of food just to be extra sure the dogsitter isn’t trying to score more points via bigger portions). If you’re unsure of the proper amount of food you should be feeding Fido, never hesitate to contact your vet. We’re also pleased to provide you with a Personal Feeding Guide to help calculate proper proportions based on your dog’s unique information, which can be found here: http://stewartpet.com/personal-feeding-guide/.
Try a new activity with your pet, or make a goal for (x) amount of walks per week. Trying something new is an exciting and motivating way to become active and bringing your dog along is total extra credit. Even a short 30-minute workout can significantly improve both of your health and it’s also a great way to bond with your dog.
Lastly, dental health is vastly underestimated. Make it a goal to either brush your pet’s teeth (if they’ll let you) or administer a plaque reducing treat or gel consistently throughout the year. Not only will this greatly improve their health, staying on top of it can potentially save you a load of money in the long run!
The holidays are a time of togetherness which, for us, includes our dogs. If you plan on hosting this holiday, taking a few small steps to insure Fido’s comfort can mean making great memories with the whole family. If your pet becomes anxious when the door opens, try confining him to a safe place or behind a baby gate until the commotion dissipates and all the guests have arrived. It also helps to maintain his regular feeding and exercise routine, regardless of if your guests are staying with you for a few days. We’re sure you’ve seen plenty of safety tips regarding decorations, but remember to secure your tree if you have a curious pup on your hands (a fallen tree can be a dangerous disaster) and keep any chocolates, poinsettias, and candles out of pets’ reach for safety. Other than that, we just ask that you keep your loved ones close and tell them how much they mean to you during this special time of year. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday full of food, fun, and fur!