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Puppy’s First Grooming – Groomer’s Corner

Please welcome guest writer and in store Groomer, Nicole Lutz from That Groom Room, to the Petblog!

 

Here in That Groom Room, we often get a lot of questions regarding when is a good age to start grooming a puppy? Now that Christmas is over and many puppies were given as gifts I thought that it would be a good place to start.

 

At What Age Can I Start Getting My Puppy Groomed?

Officially it is best to wait until your new puppy is 8 weeks old, and can leave their mother before you consider getting them groomed. Once the puppy has been introduced to its new home and has established relations with the new owner they can think about getting the puppy groomed. That Groom Room recommends starting at 12 weeks of age. The very first grooming appointment is an introduction to the puppy and the owner to the world of grooming. The puppy with be introduced to a bath, blow drying, nail clipping, and slight trimming. We do not recommend having a puppy be given a full hair cut the first time being groomed. The reason behind this is you are forcing the puppy to stand still and be handled for 1.5 hours. This is a lot to ask of a puppy. It would be like asking a one year old child to sit without moving, going to the bathroom, or play with any toys for 45 minutes. That is why we only do the basics for puppies first groom. We bathe them, slowly dry them, trim the nails, trim the fur from around their eyes, pads, and around the sanitary area. This is about all they can handle. The puppy will be introduced to having scissors around the face, having to hold still while the pads on their feet are trimmed. Depending on how the puppy reacts to the first grooming we may recommend doing this type of trimming one more time before the full haircut. The more comfortable the puppy becomes with being handled by the groomer and being on a table, and in the tub the better the puppy will become as they grow up.

 

What Can You Do to Help?

It becomes more difficult to groom a puppy that is 6 months old for the first time than a 12-week-old puppy. The 6-month-old has already established fears and aggression. For example, it would be like taking a 5-year-old child and putting them in kindergarten without any discipline and experience of a pre-school and making them sit still and raise their hand when called on by the teacher. At this point in a puppy’s life if the owner has not prepped the puppy with any type of grooming; brushing, combing, or nail trimming. It makes the groomers job nearly impossible to have the puppy trust them and enjoy grooming.

 

All About the Training

At home grooming is also extremely essential to having a puppy become used to grooming, and to enjoy their experience at the groomers. Different types of fur require different tools. Our groomers are very willing to answer questions and show you tools that are appropriate for your puppy. One of the biggest misconceptions about puppies and grooming is when they will change from puppy coat to adult coat. This time in a puppy’s life is essential to maintain so the coat does not mat. Usually puppies get their adult coat around six months of age. The puppy coat on some breeds will not shed and becomes tangled in the adult coat if not brushed on a regular basis. Please ask one of our groomers if your puppy has started this stage in life or when this may occur in order to make the transition more comfortable.

 

Thank you for reading, and if you are ready for us to help you and your new puppy contact us today!  You can reach us at (717) 484-9758 or by emailing us at grooming@thatpetplace.com.

Cookouts, Food and Pet Safety

Summer is finally here! And for a lot of us that means getting outdoors and enjoying cookouts with family, friends — and pets!

It’s a great time to sit back and relax, drink a beer or two and maybe set the family record for the number of hot dogs you can eat. But don’t rest too easy, there is some responsibility you shouldn’t ignore — especially if you have pets!

cook-on-bbqWhile we are enjoying our favorite summer foods, it’s worth keeping in mind that a lot of these tasty treats are not so good for our furry friends.  Even simple things that you might not think of, like onions and guacamole, can be dangerous.  These kinds of foods are typically left out on a table well within reach of any curious dog or cat, so let’s look at some of the more harmful culprits we should keep an eye on.

 

Foods Your Pet Should Avoid

Hot Dogs

While tasty, hot dogs are not the healthiest food for us humans, and they are even worse for pets. Hot dogs are packed with tons of salt and preservatives, both in levels that dogs are just not used to. Excessive amounts can lead to diarrhea and indigestion. It’s our recommendation to avoid them altogether, but if you must must must give in to temptation and treat your dog, please exercise moderation. Also, it’s helpful to cut them into bite-size pieces to avoid choking hazards.

Snack Foods

Chips are pretzels are also full of salt that can cause excessive thirst and urination.  And who wants a dog peeing everywhere!?  In all seriousness, snack foods are just as unhealthy for dogs as they can be for us and we should exercise caution.  If your dog gets too many snacks it can lead to sodium ion poisoning, the effects of which can include vomiting, diarrhea, fevers and even death.

Bones

The leftover remains from ribs, steaks or chicken wings can be dangerous in the mouth of your dog.  Bones can splinter easily  and if they are digested they can cause puncture wounds in your dogs mouth, stomach or digestive tract.  They can also lead to obstructions and other health hazards.  For your dog’s safety, make sure everyone knows where they can safely dispose of their food.

Fruits and Desserts

Fruits in general are high in sugar and can lead to blood glucose issues, but the main culprits to watch out for are grapes and raisins.  They have been shown to cause serious kidney issues and even death when consumed by dogs.  Desserts that include chocolate or Xylitol are no-nos for dogs, as they can prove fatal quickly.

Choking Hazards

Many cookout foods are also choking hazards.  Hot dogs, bones, and corn cobs can get lodged in your dog’s airway.  Keep an eye out for anything that is larger than bite size.

Alcohol

An ice cold beer or mixed drink might be the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day, but it is not going to have the same effect on your pet.  Even a small amount, just a few licks or laps, can be dangerous or even fatal.  In a festive environment, once drinks start pouring it’s not uncommon for a few glasses to get abandoned here and there, so make sure you clean up after your forgetful friends.

 

Foods Your Pet Should Enjoy

Okay, cookouts are all about fun and food.  If we enjoy these things, why shouldn’t our pets?  They can have fun too, as long as we are responsible and make it safe for them!

thThe good folks at the DogVacay blog have come up with some tasty, pet safe recipes that you can prepare for your pet and bring to your next cookout.  The recipes include a tasty Bacon Swiss Burger, a delectable Turkey Burger and Peanut Butter Treats!

As mentioned earlier, you can give in and treat your pet to normal cookout fare but it is important that you remember what is poisonous, what can be a choking hazard and what you should feed in moderation.  If your pet is just too far determined to get into the entire spread, it might be a good idea to take them indoors or to another part of the yard where they can stay out of harm’s way.

Have fun this summer, but be safe — even if your pet whines just a bit because they can enjoy the buffet, they will appreciate your mindful discretion in the long run!

 

14 Foods You Can Share with Your Dog

As pet owners, we are often warned about what foods not to share with our pups but sometimes it is hard to resist those puppy dog eyes. Here are 14 foods you can share with your dog!

Keep in mind that all dogs are different and just like people some dogs could be allergic to certain foods. Always try new foods in small amounts and watch for any side effects.

  1. Oatmeal
  2. Peanut butterLicking dog
  3. Chicken
  4. Yogurt
  5. Carrots
  6. Broccoli
  7. Green beans
  8. Pumpkin
  9. Eggs
  10. Salmon
  11. Cottage Cheese
  12. Apple slices
  13. Cheese
  14. Sweet Potatoes

You can make your own dog treats with these ingredients and more. Check out our DIY Dog Treats board on Pinterest for recipes!

Enjoy these treats with your dogs this summer and remember to always treat in moderation.

How to Greet a Dog

You know that feeling you get every time you see a new dog? That somewhat uncontrollable urge to run over scoop that pup up and snuggle it for hours. As tempting as it may be, think about it from the dog’s point of view, scary right? If a dog sees you as a threat they may feel like they have no choice other than to bite. Here are some tips on how to greet dogs in a non-threatening manner.

  • Always ask the dog’s owner
  • Do not make direct eye contact
  • Approach the dog slowly
  • Get down on his level
  • Wait for him to approach you
  • Pet gently
  • Pay attention to his body languagegreeting-a-dog

How to Prevent Diabetes in Your Cat by Learning from My Mistakes

Growing up I watched as my father tested his blood before meals, and I remember sitting there watching, and jumping right as the needle “snapped” into his finger to test his glucose levels. I grew up thinking that diabetes was just a dad disease. I was too young to understand what the disease meant, how people can get it, and how it can (in some cases) be prevented.  It wasn’t until our cat Roo turned 6, that we found out that she had diabetes. While some pets may be predisposed to the disease, it was by our actions that caused our cat to get the disease that eventually took her life.

Roo the Cat

We got Roo from a sweet lady up the street. All of the neighbor kids would stop by Patty’s house on the way home from the bus stop for milk and cookies. One day, we were beyond ecstatic to discover the kittens her cat had birthed a few months earlier. My sister and I immediately ran home, grabbed my mother’s hand, and ran back to Patty’s house. It took some foot stomping and crying between my sister and I, but we finally convinced my mother to allow us to take Roo home. My sister and I agreed on the name, because of the way she pounced around on her little kitty feet. Looking back on it now, we definitely were not ready for a pet of our own.

How it Started

It started with just a friendly gesture of “here Roo, would you like to try some?” to setting our dinnerware on the ground to allow Roo to lick it clean. We thought it was hilarious watching her lick the plates and bowls. We let her have anything from tastes of our food, to small bowls of ice cream, and shared licks of our popsicles.  Sugar in itself is not toxic to cats, though it is never recommended to allow your cats to have sugars as it leads to obesity and diabetes. We never knew we were doing so much harm. Our cat had Insulin-dependent-Diabetes-Mellitu (IDDM), and it was our fault.

We first noticed the heavy increase of dander by her tail.  We brushed Roo daily, but due to her increase in size and lethargy, she just couldn’t clean herself as well.  After awhile we noticed that the once a day water bowl fill wasn’t cutting it, and we were filling the bowl 2-3 times a day.  My mother who is now a retired RN, knew right away that something wasn’t right.  She called and made an appointment for for Roo the very next day.

Becoming Better Pet Owners

As soon as we received confirmation from the blood tests, we all began to make a plan of attack.  My mother made the decision to do the insulin injections herself, to which I didn’t have any issue with, and neither did my sister.  In case of emergency we watched, and learned how to inject the insulin ourselves.

We habitually ate in the living room so that we could watch television.  We tried to eat more at the kitchen table, but that unfortunately didn’t last very long.  If we ate in the living room we made sure that we took our plates to the kitchen when finished instead of leaving them lie. Roo was put on a weight management formula food, and her feeding instructions were held to a tee.

My best advice to everyone is take care of your pets by feeding them the proper foods, and in the correct serving proportions.  Our cat had to trust an 8 year old and an 11 year old, she didn’t have a choice.  Our pets look to us for love, compassion, and companionship.  They deserve to be taken care of.

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

If you would like more information regarding feline diabetes, please check out these educational resources:

 

What does a Veterinary Technician do?

In honor of National Veterinary Technician Week, we wanted to take the opportunity to get to know a local Veterinary Technician and answer a few questions that we all had. Erica VMC graduated from Wilson College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Medical Technology, and has been happily employed with Veterinary Medical Center of Lebanon, Inc. since November of 2003.

What is the difference between a vet and a vet tech? The difference between a vet and a vet tech is that a vet goes to school for longer than a vet tech and a vet can diagnose, prescribe medications, and perform surgery, which a vet tech cannot do.

What was schooling like? What can others expect if they want to become a vet tech? When I went to school I had to take a 4 year program to be able to take the boards to become a certified vet tech. Now there are a lot more programs available where you can go to school for a lot less time and still be able to take the test to become certified. I went to Wilson College, which did offer a lot of hands on learning. I would definitely recommend a program that offers a lot of hands on experiences because a book can only teach you so much.

Why did you want to become a vet tech? Besides that you love animals? I’ve always had an interest in medicine and was always drawn to animal medicine. At first I thought about being a veterinarian but then found that a vet tech seemed to be more hands on with the animals.

What is one piece of advice that you would like to offer others who may be looking to become a vet tech? I would recommend shadowing at a vet clinic to see what exactly vet tech’s do.

Tell me about any training you’ve had in a clinic? In the clinic that I work at I’ve been trained to work the front desk, assist the vet with exams, assist with anesthesia and monitoring during surgery, and perform doctor assigned treatments on hospitalized patients. Every clinic is different, so not all clinics may have their technicians do as much.

Tell me about the animals you cared for and rose in your life? Growing up, my family had dogs. We had a husky mix, then a german shepherd than a shepherd mix. Now I currently have 3 cats, 2 of which I rescued.

erica skunk

What if a client comes in to euthanize a perfectly healthy animal? This question is a hard one. We typically won’t euthanize a healthy animal. Of course there can be exceptions such as if an animal has gotten severely aggressive and all resolutions have been exhausted (medication, working with a behaviorist, possibly re-homing if the issue is just aggression with other pets, etc.) then euthanasia may become an option but we really don’t want it to come to that if at all possible.

Have you had any terrifying experiences with animals? Yes, in the past I have been bitten severely enough to need stitches.

Out of your vet tech experience, what do you enjoy the most? I think I enjoy the fact that every day is different. You never know what exactly you’re going to get each day so it never gets boring.

Tell us about a particular animal’s case that stuck with you? It’s hard to pick one, I would have to say it would have to be a C-section case where the dog had been in labor for hours and we weren’t sure if any of the puppies were still alive but we were able to save mom and all the pups. That was a really awesome feeling when all the pups were nursing off of mom and everyone was okay.

Thank you Erica for taking the time to answer all of our questions. If you would like to know more, feel free to reach out.

National Walk Your Dog Week: 5 Free iPhone Apps to Try

In honor of National Walk Your Dog Week we have put together a list of 5 free apps to help keep you and your pup on a walking schedule.

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MapMyDogWalk
Brought to you by Subaru. Dog tested. Dog approved.™

MapMyDogWalk

  • Calorie tracking can also help with your personal fitness goals.
  • Tracks and measures time, distance, pace, speed and elevation
  • Synchronizes with MapMyWalk.com
  • GPS tracking that allows you to view your location and where you have traveled
  • Tweet your walk data to your followers
  • Ability to select and control your music while the app is running
  • Photo Geo-tagging automatically uploads photos taken during your walk to MapMyWalk.com

 

Dog Walk – Track Your Dog’s Walks!
By Tractive

Dog Walk

  • Shows you the exact duration and distance of your walk and you current position on the map
  • Track where your dog is doing its business
  • Take pictures along your walk while the app keeps tracking
  • Apple Watch compatible

WalkForADog
By WoofTrax, Inc.

W4Adog

  • Don’t just take your dog for a walk … Take your Walk for a Dog
  • This app donates to the animal shelter or rescue of your choice every time you take your dog for a walk
  • The amount donated varies depending on how many people are walking for the same organization

 

BarkByte
By Kentshire Software, LLC

BarkByte

  • Use your phones GPS to track the route, duration and date/time of your walks
  • Record the location of when and where your dog is taking care of business
  • Record feeding and set up feeding notifications
  • Share your favorite route with your fallowers on Facebook and twitter
  • This app can notify your pooch’s other caretakers when records are made so everyone can stay up to date

Family Dog
By Cooply Apps

FamilyDog

  • GPS track your walk route, time and distance
  • Connect and compete with friends and family
  • Integrates with social media for easy sharing

Walking your dog regularly is great for your dog and you! Regular walks can help you get in shape or stay fit check out this blog post, Walking the Dog – How Exercising with Your Pets Can Motivate You to Stay Fit, for some tips on getting started.

 

8 ways to exercise your dog indoors

Just like us our pets can pack on a few extra pounds over the cold months. Here are some tips to help keep your dogs active as the temperatures drop.

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  1. Hide some of your dogs favorite treats around the house and put his natural instincts to work sniffing them out.
  2. Visit your local pet store for some socialization and a long walk through the aisles.
  3. Most human treadmills can be utilized for K-9 family members too. Make sure to take time to train you dog safely to use a treadmill, and never leash your pet to the treadmill.
  4. Play fetch with an indoor safe toy like the Chuck-It indoor roller. Add a little extra to the work out by throwing the ball up the steps!
  5. Make meal time more fun and stimulating with some interactive puzzle toys!
  6. Create an indoor agility course for your pup out of things around your house.
  7. Have a play date with one of your dogs 4legged buddies.
  8. Rotate your dogs toys so he stays interested and doesn’t get bored.

Water Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Summertime is full of opportunities for most of us to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. But as we all know, that searing summer sun can be intense and in the search for some reprieve we often find ourselves poolside, in local stream, river, lake, or on the beach. If you’re like me, you likely have your pet along too. My pup is a water-lover; if there is a way for her to get wet she will be. While it’s always fun having her along to play or go for a swim, it’s also important to keep any pet’s safety in mind while on, in, or near water.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you splash through summer with your favorite four-legged companion.

 

Does Your Pet Like The Water?

The first thing to think about (especially if this is the firstdoesyourpetlikewaterseason you’ll be taking your pet in or near water) is that not all pets can swim, swim well, or want to swim. While some dogs seem like they were born to swim and take to it immediately, others struggle with fear of the water, panic in the water, or even find themselves in peril due to their own physiology. In my experience, toy breeds tend to be less than enthusiastic about water. I’m sure there are exceptions to my observations, but in general they have no interest and may even tremble at the sight. Likewise, breeds and mixes with thick bodies, short legs, cropped/short tails, and short snouts are prone to being terrible swimmers. Though they may be interested in swimming, you may find that it just doesn’t work out for them without a little help and constant supervision. You may consider purchasing a life vest to help to keep your pet afloat. Never force your dog into the water. Allow them to approach and investigate on their own under close supervision. If he or she seems anxious or scared, water play may not be for your pet, and taking them into the water may only increase that fear or anxiety.  Some pets like to take a quick dip, others may stay in the water all day if you let them. You can usually tell when it’s time to take a rest just by the way your pet is holding himself. Know when it’s time to wrap up play time, especially when the temperatures soar to avoid over exertion.

Other conditions may also make it hard for pets to partake in water activities. Small dogs and dogs with little or no fur can become cold quickly, even in warmer water. Older dogs and dogs with pre-existing heart, joint, ear or skin conditions could have flare-up after going for a swim.
 

Check Your Surroundings

My pet and I tend to seek out freshwater rivers, streams,checksurroundings and lakes to cool off. When you take your pet somewhere
to swim (no matter where) be sure to look around the area.  Posted signs such as “no swimming” signs should not just apply to you, but to your pet as well as there may be unseen safety hazards.  Avoid bodies of water that smell bad or may be prone to farm waste, roadway runoff or other contaminants that may be harmful to you or your pet.  Also be aware of potential hazards in the shallows or on the shore such as broken glass, fishing line/hooks, sharp rocks or branches, and other potential hazards.  Be sure the area you choose has slow current and areas where he or she can reach the bottom or the shore easily to take a breather.
 
 
If you live near the coast, you may be lucky enough to take your dog to the beach for playtime. It’s particularly important to pay attention to wildlife and water condition warnings at these locations. Strong tides, waves and undercurrents can pull your pet under or carry them out into deeper water. Jellyfish and other sea life (such as toxic pufferfish), alive or dead, may be washed onto the shore and can make a pet sick or inflict other injuries.
 

Boat Safety

Some pet owners even take their pets boating. Pets should boatsafety
be acclimated to traveling on watercraft before you embark.
The motion of the water rocking the boat may cause them to feel unstable and nauseated and it may cause nervousness and anxiety. The sound of the boat motor may also frighten some pets, so make sure your pet isn’t alarmed when the motor is started or changes pitch. Once they’re accustomed to the new sounds and sensations, be sure to observe the same boat safety for your dog as you do for yourself and other passengers. Invest in a pet life jacket in case your pet jumps or falls overboard.  Keep tackle and other potentially harmful objects and materials out of the dog’s reach to avoid injury or ingestion. Provide plenty of fresh cool water and a place for your pet to get out of the direct sun. Sunscreen for pets and eye protection such as doggles or a doggie visor are also recommended supplies,
especially for repeated or longer trips.
 

Pool Precautions

Some of you may have a pool in the backyard. If you allowpoolprecautions your dog to take a dip on hot days, teach him how to get out of the pool on his own by helping him up the stairs or ladder a few times. Make sure he knows where the way out is and that he can get out on his own!  Keep fresh-chlorine free water near the pool on the deck or patio so he doesn’t take to drinking to pool water. The chlorine and other chemicals that keep the pool crystal clear can give your pet quite a tummy ache.
 
 
 
 
 
 

When Playtime is Done

When your day of fun is done, rinse or shampoo your dog toplaytimedone remove pool chemicals, salt and other residue from his skin and coat.  Take care to clean and dry his ears to avoid ear infections. Even a well-conditioned swimmer will be sure to sleep well after a day in the water, your pet may even be a little stiff and sore if he doesn’t have a workout like that often. Rest assured that in a day or two he’ll be ready for his next swim session!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Common Pet Parasites and Pests – Warm Weather Worries

Parasites can afflict pets any time of the year, however during the spring and summer months, they tend to be more prevalent. Our pets spend a lot more time outside when the weather is warm, and parasites breed more readily. Even if your pets spend all or most of their time indoors, it is possible for parasites to find them whether carried in on our clothes or by crawling through our screen doors. Here are some common parasites to look out for and ways to combat them this summer. Read More »

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