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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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Separation Anxiety – Please Don’t Leave Me Alone!

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Back-to-school season is a time of transition for the whole family, as parents and children begin to adjust to a new routine. It’s also a difficult time for pets, who have grown accustomed to some extra attention during summer vacation. Dogs are social pack animals – they normally prefer being with others. Usually dogs learn to be alone for periods of time without a problem, but for some, being alone is unacceptable. Separation anxiety in dogs is much like a panic attack in a person. Symptoms usually start within 20-40 minutes after the pet parent leaves the home.

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The Dog Gurus: Charter Member

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From The Dog Gurus:

As part of our 4th Anniversary of The Dog Gurus membership, we wanted to highlight a couple of our charter members. Charter members were facilities who joined The Dog Gurus as soon as we launched and have been with us ever since. We are thankful for their support and hope they have loved being a member as much as we love having them! For this post, we interviewed Konrad Gastony from Paws and Pals Pet Resort in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

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Pet Owner Survey Says…

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IBPSA Member

Why do pet owners make certain pet care decisions? The National Pet Owner Preferences Study, released in April by the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA), reveals why “pet parents” spend their money on pet boarding, pet sitting services and apps, and veterinary services. The professional trade association teamed with Merck Animal Health to commission the study of 652 pet owners to go beyond  the usual “how much” did pet owners spend to get to the “why” they make certain spending decisions.  The study revealed that reputation, recommendation, and certification all play key roles in pet care decisions.

“Understanding why pet owners make certain decisions provides invaluable insight for pet care business owners,” said Carmen Rustenbeck, Founder & CEO of IBPSA. “This survey reveals what the pet owner thinks.”

The 100+ page study, based on independent research conducted by Researchscape International, includes detailed analysis of the survey results. The following are just a few of the study highlights:
• The top considerations for selecting a boarding facility were safety and security and overall reputation
• Before deciding on a boarding facility or pet sitter, half of the respondents determined if the facility or sitter was certified and trained in caring for pets, including in emergency situations
• Eight out of ten survey respondents put very to extremely important value on vaccination requirements at boarding facilities
• Most pet owners surveyed discovered their pet sitter by recommendation of a family member, friend or neighbor, while the least common way was online

“Even as finding pet care becomes easier thanks to technology and growing competition, this study reinforces the importance to ‘pet parents’ of providing high-quality, professional pet care,” said Rustenbeck. Paws & Pals is proud to be a charter member of the IBPSA. All of our staff have completed the IBPSA educational programs and most have achieved their Advanced canine care certifications. We will continue to invest in our staff so that your pet receives the best care possible at Paws & Pals!

 

Top Summer Safety Tips

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Our pets love summer just as much as we do! For many, it’s the best time of year to be out, about, and enjoying all that the season has to offer. 

While there is certainly nothing wrong with taking your pet out for hikes, swimming, or running, keep in mind that warm weather can be dangerous. It’s hard for pets to keep cool when the sun is beating down, and animals don’t sweat like people do. Dogs do sweat, but not very much, and it does little to cool them off. As you probably know, dogs more commonly cool themselves down through panting. When there is only hot air for a dog to breathe, it’s a lot harder for that dog to keep cool. Read on to learn some important summer safety tips for dogs:

1. Never, ever, EVER leave your dog in a hot car 

Okay, you’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s so important that we still decided to list it first. It can take minutes – yes, MINUTES – for a pet to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. Most people don’t realize how hot it gets in parked cars. On a 78 degree day, for instance, temperatures in a car can reach 90 degrees in the shade and top 160 degrees if parked directly in the sun! Your best bet is to leave your dog home on warm days. If you’re driving around with your dog in the car, bring water and a water dish and take your dog with you when you leave the car.

2. Make sure your dog is protected from parasites like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes

If not protected, your dog is at risk for heartworm, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a host of other nasty and dangerous conditions. And don’t forget, many of these diseases can be caught by people too!

3. Keep your dog’s paws cool

When the sun is blazing, surfaces like asphalt or metal can get really hot! Try to keep your pet off of hot asphalt; not only can it burn paws, but it can also increase body temperature and lead to overheating. It’s also not a good idea to drive around with your dog in the bed of a truck – the hot metal can burn paws quickly (and they can fall out to be injured or killed in an accident).

4. Your dog should always have access to fresh drinking water and shade

Our dogs get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down. Keep your pet in the shade as often as possible. While dogs and cats like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them (especially dogs) and can cause heat exhaustion or stroke.

5. Give your dog his very own “kiddy pool”

Dogs who love the water, naturally love it even more during the hot months, and getting wet keeps them cool. Providing a small, kid-sized pool will go over big.

6. Don’t assume your dog can swim well

Just because dogs instinctively know how to swim, doesn’t mean they’re good swimmers. And if your dog jumps in your swimming pool, he might not be able to get out without help and could easily drown. Make sure your dog can’t get into your swimming pool without you around.

7. Dogs get sunburns too!

Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats. And just like with people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your dog (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog).

Perhaps the most important tip is to pay attention to your dog – you’ll know when he seems uncomfortable. Summer can be a great time to spend with your dog, but it’s important to keep these tips in mind!

Source of content: The Pet Health Network

Your Pets are in Qualified Hands at Paws & Pals!

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We know, more than ever, pets are considered part of the family and their “parents” want assurances they’re getting the very best care. Therefore we’re very proud to be the first pet care company in Minnesota to have staff achieve certification from the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC)! We’re also an early sponsor and active member. These credentials help clearly identify those professionals who are committed to and can provide excellent pet care.

What is PACCC and why should pet parents care?
The fact is, there is virtually no regulation or education required to open a pet care services business. PACCC was created to turn the tide! The Professional Animal Care Certification Council is dedicated to independent certification to help you identify premier animal care providers.

What does the independent certification mean to you?
Pet care business owners, management teams and individuals with this certification are qualified, knowledgeable, and committed professionals. They understand animal health and prioritize safe care practices. If your pet care team is certified through PACCC, you can rest easy knowing your furry family is in good hands.

What can you do to help?
As a pet parent, you can help us raise the standards for entry into the pet care industry by choosing pet care professionals that hold PACCC certification.

Where can you learn more?
Check out www.paccert.org to learn more about PACCC’s efforts to recognize high quality providers in the pet care industry.

 

CPACP Certification: Congratulations Jenna!

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CPACP Certification: Congratulations Jenna!

Congratulations to Jenna for being the first person in Minnesota to achieve certification from the Professional Animal Certification Council (PACCC)!

The CPACP exam is for those in charge of the daily handling of the animals of a professional pet care business, overseeing every aspect of an animal’s well-being while in their care. To initially qualify to take the CPACP exam, the applicant must meet minimum education requirements, have a minimum of 500 hours of experience, and provide letters of reference from veterinarians and other pet care industry professionals.

The in-depth examination covers animal care topics including health, nutrition, dog fight and bite protocol, on-leash and off-leash interaction, sanitation, dog behavior and temperament, dog body language, dog training, animal and handler safety, vaccination protocol, workflow management, pathogen control, emergency and quarantine protocols, air quality standards, staff management expectations, and much more.

We know, more than ever, pets are considered part of the family and their “parents” want assurances they’re getting the very best care. CPACP credentials help clearly identify those professionals who can provide it. We’re proud to have Jenna on our team!

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