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Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership

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Owning a pet is a privilege and should result in a mutually beneficial relationship. The benefits of pet ownership come with responsibilities.

These include:

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How Much Exercise is Right?

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Exercise does more than help keep your dog’s weight where it should be, maintain his cardiovascular fitness, and forestall the frailty that often comes with creeping age by staving off much of the muscle loss that accompanies advancing years and weakens the body. Exercise also contributes to a dog’s good mood, just like it does for people, by releasing serotonin in the brain.
Better still, it strengthens your bond with your pet and makes him more well behaved. That’s because when you’re engaging your dog in physical activity, you’re right there with him — paying attention to him, bonding with him, and keeping him from becoming bored. That makes him feel more in sync with you and more ready and willing to do what you ask of him and thereby stay out of trouble. Dogs are nothing if not social animals — getting along with you is much of their raison d’etre. And when you spend time using your bodies together, it only makes them happier to follow your cues in general.
But just how much physical activity is your dog supposed to engage in? Assuming he’s in good health, it depends on his time of life and his breed.

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5 Summer Road Trip Tips

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Keep safety in mind when you travel with your canine pal this summer.

1. Refresh your training. Before hitting the road, practice life-saving commands, especially “Come” and “Stay”, so that your dog doesn’t get lost in an unfamiliar place.

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Pet Cancer Signs and Symptoms

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Cancer is the #1 medical concern of our precious pets. One in four dogs and one in five cats will get cancer. As their bodies age, they become more vulnerable to disease. The reality is that 50% of dogs over age 10 will develop a form of cancer. That’s why providing a wholesome diet, age-appropriate exercise, and mental stimulation like interesting puzzle toys and new experiences are so important to the long-term health of your dog. Furthermore, knowing the following warning signs of cancer will help pet parents take the first steps toward protecting their furry family members.

Swollen Lymph Nodes
These “glands” are located throughout the body but are most easily detected behind the jaw or behind the knee. When these lymph nodes are enlarged they can suggest a common form of cancer called lymphoma. A biopsy or cytology of these enlarged lymph nodes can aid in the diagnosis. 

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Finding the Right Pet Care Provider

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Whether a pet resort such as Paws & Pals or a pet sitter, make sure you know who is caring for your family member. Here are a series of questions to ask when interviewing a potential pet care provider. Are there quite a few questions? You bet! But better to have asked too many rather than too few when it comes to your pet’s safety and well-being. As a charter and leading member of the International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IBPSA), we’re committed to providing pet parents conscientious care, dealing with you honestly and fairly, to continuously learn more and improve our services, and operate our business honorably.

What Questions Should You Ask When Choosing a Pet Care Provider?

  • Is the pet care services provider a member of a professional trade association like IBPSA? How long has the provider been in business?
  • If the provider is “away care”, that is a service not in your home such as a pet boarding or day care facility, pet salon, or a pet sitter’s own home, have you toured the premises to see if it is clean, sanitary, and secure?

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DayCare Games National Recognition in 2018

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DayCare Games Participant 2018The Daycare Games is an annual competition of off-leash dog play attendants and pet centers. Through the competition, individuals demonstrate their dog leadership skills that make their off-leash dog playgroups safe and fun! Competition is open to all members of The Dog Gurus online community that currently offer off-leash dog playgroups; Paws & Pals recently celebrated our 5th Anniversary with The Dog Gurus. Facilities are grouped into small, medium, and large class sizes, and each employee is categorized based on their level of experience.

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All About Shedding

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Shedding is natural; “non-shedding” is a misconception

Shedding hair and skin is natural and all dogs shed to some extent; non-shedding is a misconception. A dog’s fur helps control his body temperature and protects his skin against the sun and other environmental elements. When a dog’s hair stops growing, he will naturally lose it by shedding. The amount and frequency will depend on several things, including the dog’s health condition, breed and sometimes the season and environment. With most dogs now living indoors as pets versus working and living outside, shedding tends to happen year round.

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Winter Pet Care Tips

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Pets should be brought inside when the temperature drops. If that is not possible, then shelter—a dog house, shed or barn—should be used to protect your pet from the wind, low temperatures, and inclement weather. Supply warm bedding material and make sure the doorway has at least a flap covering to keep out the wind.

Make sure pets have a clean and ice-free supply of water outside. Eating snow can cause diarrhea, so you want to have fresh water available. Just like people, dogs lose moisture when breathing in cold air—they can see their breath, too!—and although dehydration is more common during summer months, it can happen in cold weather as well.

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Clues to Winter Blues

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Clues to Winter Blues

Learn signs and tips for helping alleviate your pet’s winter blues

With fall drawing to a close, many of us are looking at the approach of cold, inclement weather, earlier nightfall and limited outdoor time. Regardless of where we live, the busier schedules of work and school, holidays and other commitments often leave us with less time to spend at home and outdoors, and less time to spend with our pets.

The sudden change in schedule can limit time for company, play and attention. These reduced opportunities for exercise can sometimes leave pets bored, stressed and even depressed.

How can I tell if my pet has the blues?

Not all pets will have the blues when winter rolls around. But there are some signs to look for to make sure your pet is just hunkered down, and not in distress or struggling. Find these signs and symptoms listed below.

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Understanding Fear in Dogs

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Every dog or animal with a reasonably developed central nervous system has fear. Fear is one of the basic drives, along with hunger, thirst, sleep, sex, and sociality. Out-of-control fear is as much of a problem as any other drive that is out-of-control. But fear in the normal amount is essential, as it helps to keep a dog out of harm’s way. However, like people, dogs are not born with fear.

In dogs, fear responses begin between 6 and 8 weeks of age. By three weeks after its onset, fear plateaus at a level normal for pups and for the specific genetic complement they have. There are three factors which alone or in combination act to determine the level of fear any given dog shows.

The first of these is genetic. The dog inherits a predisposition for a high level of fear. Thus, what would cause a mild startle response in a dog with a normal fear level will drive the over-reactive dog ballistic.

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