Wagging Tails


Due to vacations, other activities and the excessive heat, we tend to get away from a regular exercise routine during the summer.

Your pet may be lethargic or exhibit destructive behavior like chewing, digging, scratching when they shouldn't.  If you have ruled out illness, getting back into daily walks and exercise will alleviate that restlessness and bring back a calm and happy pooch.

Healthy walks keep limbs agile and help maintain a healthy digestive system. Walks can also boost flagging appetites as well.

If your dog needs to be coaxed into walking, just try a short stroll.  Try to steer clear of things that might intimidate and walk in off-hours to keep your pet from holding back. Make it fun!  If you’re excited, they will be. Building trust will strengthen your bond with your pet.

Exercise is beneficial to everyone.  Not only will we feel better, but your furry friend will be happier and tired. Now it's time for a good snuggle.

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Outings with Pets

Tips to keep them Safe, Fun and Stress-free  


Family outings are the most fun with the dog along, and it’s the little things that often make a big difference.  Make this your (and their)  best summer ever with these helpful tips.

It’s all in the PREP.  Think ahead — will there be other people or dogs where you’re headed?  Tempting debris?  Squirrels or animals begging to be chased?  Water or sheer ledges?  Consider any potential hazards.  One of the simplest, most effective safety measures is a tried and true leash . . . and some tasty treats to get their attention quickly!

The RIGHT LEASH.  There are many types, so find the one that’s Just Right for you and your dog’s lifestyle.  Short leashes are ideal for keeping your best friend close in new or crowded settings, or onboard at the dock.  A long lead allows the pup to explore safely while you picnic.  Check out all the available styles for a Just Right fit for your next adventure.

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Fireworks and Pets = Bad combination


People may love ‘em, but many pets are terrified of fireworks. In fact, it’s the biggest day of the year for new arrivals at animal shelters. Fearful dogs do everything from shake and cower to breaking through windows or screens and running blindly in an attempt to escape the perceived threat. Fireworks start before the 4th, so preventive care should, too.  Around the holiday, keep pets indoors, close windows and shades, and keep music or TVs running low – any distractions can help.  Medicinal remedies can help take the edge off before, during and after the 4th – ask your vet or your friendly Bi-Mart pharmacist.

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Fur, Fur Everywhere!


Our kitties love spring and sunny spots for napping.  At home this can be tricky, since our feline friends are now shedding their winter coats. Because they tend to lick themselves more when shedding, this can cause matting.  Regular brushing is more important than ever now, and long-haired beauties may need an assist from a groomer.  Fortunately there are many types of combs and brushes available, and daily use helps a lot.

Hairballs may also be an issue, so you may want to add a hairball remedy to your beloved’s routine. Like grooming tools, quality options are available. 

For many cats, brushing is helpful year round.  Most kitties enjoy it, and starting during kittenhood can train your feisty friend to sit still for it.  A loving touch, kind words, and little rewards like treats or playtime help make the routine more enjoyable. 

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The (wet) wonders of Spring


Balmy days are beckoning with outdoor activities for people and pets.  Longer walks and fresh air feel great, and they’re good for us all — mentally and physically!

A quick reminder:  

On walks steer clear of puddles and standing water. Don't let your pet drink from them. They can contain all sorts of bacteria that can make your pet ill.  Empty containers like standing flower pots, as they’re likely filled with dirty rainwater, algae and debris.  Clean your yard and always provide your pet with fresh, clean water.

If you haven't already, give your birdbaths a good scrubbing, and keep them filled with fresh water for feathered friends — not only do they love to bathe here (a joy to watch), they also look to this source for hydration.

Little things go a long way in helping our pets and outdoor creatures thrive!

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Welcome Spring!

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Longer, warmer days bring happy hearts — including our pets’!

A few to-do’s will have you spring ready before the season gets underway:

Be sure your pet’s license and vaccines are current. If he or she is not microchipped, it’s a great time to do it. Many veterinary practices offer microchips with free lifetime registration.

This is also a good time to start flea prevention if not already in place, and because they’ll be outside more, worm prevention is also a good idea.

Spring cleaning should include thorough carpet vacuuming and shampooing, as flea eggs lie dormant in carpets and upholstery, waiting to hatch. Pet beds should always be laundered often. You may find those missing socks your pup or kitty has been hiding!

Springtime calls!  Enjoy a drive, stake out a new park, or catch a sunset with your best friend! 

Got a spring idea or a great photo?  Like Spot on Facebook, post a pic, and tell us your tips!

Seasonal Stirrings


In the animal kingdom signs of spring are everywhere! Birdfeeders are busy, the squirrels are active, and soon there will be babies. This also means that soon there will be puppies and kittens in area shelters in need of forever loving homes.

Considering a new addition?

Please consider adopting. There are many great shelters, skilled at matchmaking to ensure your new pet fits your family and lifestyle. They will also help make sure you’re prepared for your new arrival, with items such as:

  • A suitable carrier
  • The right food
  • Food and water bowls
  • A comfy bed
  • Scratching post
  • Leash, harness and other gear
  • Litterbox or potty pads
  • Toys!

Once home, a veterinary exam and any needed booster shots will get your little one off on the right paw, and licensing, a microchip and spay/neuter will support their lifelong wellness and safety.

Enjoy your new “baby”! Giving plenty of attention, love, and teaching helps build a great pet for life, who’ll return your love in abundance and be a happy, confident member of the family.

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A Golden Age

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We love our dogs and the adventures we share.  Time passes quickly and soon it shows: frosted noses, slowing gait, and sometimes a limp. Our rambunctious pups mellow with age.

There are many ways to help keep our pups healthy and happy through the years. Here are just a few:

Make exercise a top priority. While they may sleep more, regular play is still important for mental acuity and well-being. Shorter walks are a good idea, and many therapies are available to support aging joints and bones. 

Diet. Check out foods for older dogs, as needs change over the years.

Comfortable Bed. Support those old bones and keep them warm. Some pups do well with heated beds, which can soothe achy joints.

Regular checkups. The vet is an important partner as your dog ages; s/he will help watch for signs of concern. As with people, the best prevention is early detection and treatment when needed.

Grooming. Regular bathing, brushing, and nail trims keep pups feeling and looking good, and help you keep a close eye for any physical changes.

Tender touching and hugs. Love them well. This is a special time for both of you. Enjoy each day with grace and love.

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'Tis the Season


Holiday preparations can be stressful. A quick break for petting, playing with, or just snuggling your pet can be really restorative! 

It's fun to shop for them, too. There is such a variety of toys available for cats, dogs, birds and small animals. For those who like to get creative, baking dog treats, making stuffed catnip toys, and even spreading peanut butter on a pine cone, rolling it in birdseed and hanging it in the yard for feathered friends will delight the critters and boost your holiday spirits.

Dogs really enjoy tearing into wrapped gifts, and of course kitties are some of the best gift-wrapping assistants we know!

In addition to presents, everyday gifts abound. Strolling with the pup to see neighborhood holiday displays will give you both a breath of fresh air and a welcome energy boost, nicely breaking up the most frenzied days of holiday preparations.

If you’ll be away for a few hours some days, give the dog a walk so she’ll be happy to nap while you’re away. Then when you return, you both can snuggle into that new throw, reveling in knowing the true meaning of “comfort and joy.”

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A Grateful Time

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That time of year is here when we give thanks for all we have and certainly our pets deserve our special thanks for giving us laughs and affection daily.  Their carefree spirits make every day fun and they us from taking ourselves too seriously.

Are they included in an event for Thanksgiving?  Sometimes they may feel left out after smelling something luscious. While it may be tempting to feed them a scrap or two, rich foods or anything out of the ordinary can cause stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse - an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. It’s best to keep pets on their regular diet during the holiday season.

Absolutely, never, ever, under any circumstance feed them bones.

Better ideas to include them and make them feel special:

  • Fill a Kong with some extra kibble mixed with peanut butter (check out these ultimate Kong stuffing recipes: buff.ly/2hIV98F via Rover.com)
  • Mix steamed green beans or carrots in with their regular kibble
  • Take them to visit a friend or relative who may need the company
  • Engage in a long play session
  • Give them a good brushing
  • Snuggle under a blankie together

Sunny autumn days are great to get outside and exercise with your pup.  Jump in a pile of leaves, throw a ball or frisbee.  Walk slowly so they can sniff more.  Even a rainy day can be fun!  Jump in puddles and get all soaking wet so when you get home, a long, you can get a long, inviting rubdown awaits.

There are numerous ways to make them feel included and say a special thank you for being such loyal companions.

How do you show your pet you are thankful for them?

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To Crate or Not


Just as a child views their bedroom as a private and safe haven, a crate for a dog can give them a sense of security.  Dogs have a natural instinct to be in a den and if properly trained, they will find their crate is the perfect destination to go if they are tired and don’t want to be bothered or are feeling nervous. 

Crates provide training and safety benefits for dog and owner alike.  Crating on a humane schedule teaches puppies bladder and bowel control and limits teething to his/her own property. A dog crated in a car has a better chance of surviving and auto accident and little chance of causing one.

The type of crate should be large enough for your pup to stretch out, turn around and stand up. Provide a soft mat and a chew toy inside. Remove the collar if there is metal grating that may catch.  Place the kennel in a quiet area, preferably in the bedroom.

To acclimate your dog to the crate leave it open so they can go inside anytime. Don't ever use it for discipline so your dog doesn’t associate it with something bad.  

Dependent on age and breed every dog has different needs. If you must keep them inside while you are away at work, have someone give them potty breaks, playtime and food or water. You should never crate for lengthy periods of time as your pup will begin to negatively associate the crate with being left alone. Ideally, you will not have to crate your dog except for travel and vet visits. Always strive to make it a cozy experience.

With Halloween soon be here, a crate is an idyllic place for a dog during trick or treat time. They won't be frightened and stay safe from escaping through open doors.

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Summer has flown by!  School is back in, changing daily routines and schedules — for family members and pets!

Our fur family needs time to adjust to more time alone, which sometimes can bring on separation anxiety and/or acting out.

Tips for coping:

  • Provide interactive toys, chews when they’re alone to ease boredom.
  • Take the dog along for kid drop-offs and pickups. The routine, and knowing they’ll return can help.
  • If possible, try and ease your pet into the new schedule before it actually happens.
  • Be sure all gates and fences are secure.
  • TV or music on low provides a little background "noise" that can help them relax.
  • Keep small objects like crayons, scissors, markers and glue out of reach to prevent chewing, choking or ingestion.
  • Morning exercise can tire a pup, leaving him calm and relaxed. 

Fall is a magical time.  We hope these tips help make it great for everyone in the family!

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Beat the Heat!

Our concerns this month should definitely include our furry friends when the temps are reaching triple digits and it's just plain hot!

  • Keep your dogs and cats indoors during the heat of the day.
  • Run your AC or at least keep air circling with fans. 
  • Always keep fresh water handy and change it frequently adding a few ice cubes. 
  • If, for any reason, your dog must remain outside during the day always make sure he is in a shady area with plenty of water to drink. Place a kiddie pool nearby in case he wants to take a dip to cool off. 
  • If you let your children run under the sprinkler, let your dog join them!  It's best not to do this during the hottest part of day.
  • NEVER leave a pet in a car even if parked in the shade with the windows down when the outside temperature is anything over 70 degrees. 

The Humane Society of the United States advises being aware of stressful signs like heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, lethargy, lack of coordination and seizures indicating severe dehydration and heatstroke.  Move your pet to a shady area or air-conditioned area. Apply a cold wet towel to their head, neck or chest or run cool (not cold) water over their body.  Offer a small amount of water or lick ice cubes and keep them calm. Take directly to your veterinarian.

Walking your dog should only be done in early morning or late evening and be sure to carry water with you.  Walk on grass if possible. Concrete areas can burn your dog’s pads severely.

Be mindful of other animals too. Birds need fresh water daily.  Remember the homeless animals and keep a bowl of water under a bush or the edge of your property.

Got a tip or great photo of your pet beating the heat?  Like Spot on Facebook, post a photo, and tell us your tips!

Safe Hiking = Happy T(r)ails!

Hiking with your dog is a great way to spend a sunny day.  Getting out, a little exercise and fresh air is even more fun with your best friend.

Before you go:

  • Is your dog’s fitness level suitable for the hike ahead?
  • What are the weather conditions?
  • Is your dog well-behaved and socialized around other people and dogs?

Gear up!

It’s important to bring the right gear. 

  • A strong leash is very important.  Dogs are lost each year after chasing critters, and many have fallen over cliffs. Keep him/her on a leash at all times.
  • A well-fitting collar with tags containing all vital info in case of emergency. 
  • Water – a quart for every 3 miles is recommended.
  • Collapsible water dish, snacks, poop bags, and a doggie first aid kit.
  • A whistle in case you are out of cell range.

Be prepared for the unexpected and let someone know when you will be back. Most of all enjoy!!

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The great American holiday, July 4, is coming up fast.  It's great for family picnics and BBQ's.  

For many pets and their owners it’s also a stressful time.  Fireworks begin days before, making anxious pets miserable.

Tips to help:

  • Keep pets indoors, especially in the evening.  Close windows, turn the TV on low or put on some soothing music to buffer the concussions.
  • Distract them with a new game that involves treats.
  • Snuggle in.  Being with their beloved person is the best antidote during this scary time.

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Zap the Buggers!

We welcome spring with warmer weather and sunshine.  Sometimes, it is not so good for our furry friends because flea and tick season is here too.

If your pet is restless/anxious and scratches and chews a lot, check for fleas.  It's easy to spot them with a flea comb. Or part the fur on their back and if there are black specks that look like dirt – it’s fleas. Use a flea preventative along with regular bathing and grooming to fend off these pesky critters.  

If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, make it a habit to check for ticks. Run your hands down your dog’s back, between legs and toes, behind ears and tail area.  If you feel a bump the size of a small pea you may see a tick has attached itself.  Remove the entire tick gently with a tweezers and completely disinfect the area.

A lot of treatment options on the market are for both fleas and ticks. Ask your veterinarian.

These parasites can cause many and serious problems and illness. Do all you can to keep your best friends happy and free from those "buggers."

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Tweet Tweet!

Robin redbreast digging for worms in your lawn and new songs and birds at your feeders are a happy sign that our crazy winter is over.

Be sure to take down the old feeders and give them a good scrubbing in soap and warm water.  It may be time to get a new one to help brighten your yard too.

If you have a bird bath it needs a cleaning too to be sure it is algae free.  Otherwise, always keep a bowl of fresh water near the feeders for the birds to drink.

Now is the time birds will be building nests.  They'll think you're tops if you provide them with straw, grass clippings, even dog and cat fur for building material and will sing their little hearts out to thank you.

Keep cats indoors for their safety and the safety of wild birds - especially this time of year when baby birds are being born.

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Happy Easter!

Easter is a time of family, fun, goodies and egg hunts.  Pets love the fun too, but some Easter goodies can be harmful.  These quick tips can keep pets happy and healthy during the celebration. 

Chocolate is harmful to dogs and cats.  While some pet owners report their dog ingesting it without ill effect, its toxicity is cumulative – so while an incident may not cause apparent harm, it can cause damage over time or heighten the risk should your pet get into chocolate again. 

Shiny Easter grass, especially appealing to cats, can cause choking and intestinal obstruction.  And what would Easter be without an egg hunt?  Keep count of any PLASTIC EGGS you hide to ensure they're all collected.  Broken plastic can be harmful when chewed. 

Just like children, our pets need supervision.  Take care and enjoy a very happy holiday!

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Happy Cat - Happy You

When our kitty cats exhibit behavior that isn't normal we are naturally concerned. If your cat is usually friendly and playful but suddenly not, she may just be bored, but most likely it's a sign of illness or stress.

Cats are creatures of routine.  Is there a change in the household that could be a cause? 

Urinating outside the litter box or elsewhere is a sign of trouble.

Excessive grooming and scratching may also be a sign of stress.  If you have ruled out fleas, your kitty could be suffering from seasonal allergies.

If he/she has always been a sweet and passive cat but is exhibiting aggression toward other animals or humans – definitely a red flag something is wrong.

Hiding, being lethargic and sleeping more are all signs to be aware that all is not right in kitty’s world.

Don't ignore the problem.  A visit to the vet should be made to rule out illness.  Do all you can to have your sweet fur baby back to normal.

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Special Treats

Just as we feed our family, we use top quality dog food for our best furry friends to keep them healthy. 

Including a little something to the kibble bowl adds variety and livens things up. Treats don’t have to be of the unhealthy type. There are lots of natural, "people" foods that are actually good to share with your pet occasionally. 

  1. Cooked oatmeal (no added sweetener) is great for fiber in the diet. 
  2. Soft boiled eggs are easy on the tummy and have protein.
  3. Unseasoned, plain cooked white or brown rice eases upset tummies and is especially good for older dogs.
  4. A spoon of peanut butter is healthy and dogs love it added to home baked pet biscuits.
  5. Raw carrots are great for fur and nails.
  6. A slice of pineapple or apple (no seeds!) is a good source of potassium.
  7. Canned, unseasoned pumpkin added to wet food will be gobbled up and is good for digestive issues. 

Always stick to your dog's regular diet.  Use these foods as special treats so they don't become habit forming.

Your fur baby will be lovin' you all the more!

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