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How To Keep Your Pet Safe In Cold Weather

Cold Weather Pet Safetyice storm and blizzard Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming

You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
Winter wellness: Has your pet had his/her preventive care exam (wellness exam) yet?  Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
Know the limits:  Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.

Provide choices: Just like you, pets prefer comfortable sleeping places and may change their location based on their need for more or less warmth. Give them some safe options to allow them to vary their sleeping place to adjust to their needs.

Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.
Make some noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.
Play dress-up: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog’s feet; if you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly.
Wipe down: During walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic. When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur. Consider using pet-safe deicers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighborhood.
Collar and chip: Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his/her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information. A microchip is a more permanent means of identification, but it’s critical that you keep the registration up to date.
Stay home: Hot cars are a known threat to pets, but cold cars also pose significant risk to your pet’s health. You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather; it becomes like a refrigerator, and can rapidly chill your pet. Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold environments and should never be left in cold cars. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.
Prevent poisoning: Clean up any antifreeze spills quickly, as even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly. Make sure your pets don’t have access to medication bottles, household chemicals, potentially toxic foods such as onions, xylitol (a sugar substitute) and chocolate.
Protect family: Odds are your pet will be spending more time inside during the winter, so it’s a good time to make sure your house is properly pet-proofed. Use space heaters with caution around pets, because they can burn or they can be knocked over, potentially starting a fire. Check your furnace before the cold weather sets in to make sure it’s working efficiently, and install carbon monoxide detectors to keep your entire family safe from harm. If you have a pet bird, make sure its cage is away from drafts.
Avoid ice: When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice it could be deadly. And if this happens and you instinctively try to save your dog, both of your lives could be in jeopardy.
Provide shelter: We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of the risk of burns or fire. Heated pet mats should also be used with caution because they are still capable of causing burns.
Recognize problems: If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is harder to detect, and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.
Feed well: Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. Some pet owners feel that a little extra weight gives their pet some extra protection from cold, but the health risks associated with that extra weight don’t make it worth doing. Watch your pet’s body condition and keep them in the healthy range. Outdoor pets will require more calories in the winter to generate enough body heat and energy to keep them warm – talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs during cold weather.
This article provided by the AVMA and shared by Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service LLC

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socmed&utm_campaign=gen

Halloween Candy Is NOT Safe For Your Pet

josie-costume-wagging-tails-pet-sitting-mobile-groomingHalloween Candy Can Kill Your Pet!

For millions of families, the celebration of Halloween includes every sugary, sweet, gooey treat imaginable. As parents, we often warn our children “Now don’t eat too much or you’ll make yourself sick.” At worst, a child who stuffs him or herself with chocolate may develop nausea and a stomachache.
But for our furry friends who get into the Halloween goodies, “getting sick” may be the least of it. Many of the sweet treats distributed for Halloween  can actually be fatal to dogs, cats and other small animals (such as ferrets.)
As responsible pet owners, it’s our job to protect our pets from harm. And though pet owners routinely give their companion animals human food, this is almost always a mistake.
Yes, many pets prefer to eat what we eat. Yes, household pets (especially dogs) really like sweet, sugary foods. And yes, it feels good to pamper Fido or Fluffy by giving them “just a little taste” of what we’re having for su pper. But many of the foods that humans enjoy can not only cause illness for your beloved dog or cat, they can even be fatal. And given how small a cat or dog is compared to a human, sometimes it doesn’t take much.

Chocolate is one of the most deadly foods for pets

(both cats and dogs; dark chocolate is worst, white chocolate has the lowest risk). It’s not only high in fat (pets don’t need lots of fat any more than humans do), it contains two nervous system stimulants, caffeine and theobromine. The fat can make your pet vomit or cause diarrhea — unpleasant, but usually not fatal.
ill-do-a-trick-for-a-treat-1But it’s the stimulants that sometimes cause death. Theobromine is both a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. A dog that ingests an overdose of chocolate may be fine at first, but will probably become excited and hyperactive within a few hours. It may pass large quantities of urine and become unusually thirsty. The theobromine will cause your pet’s heart rate to accelerate or beat irregularly, either of which can cause death (especially with exercise.)
But it’s not just chocolate that’s the problem. All sugary foods can cause dental problems, lead to obesity, and contribute to diabetes in pets, too. So be sure to keep your stash of chocolate securely out of your pet’s reach.
Children are notorious for sorting and trading candy, so make sure they don’t leave candy laying around (or candy wrappers, either, which can cause choking) And don’t forget how flexible and persistent a pet can be when it smells something yummy in a trash bin or garbage, either.
If you do have reason to think that your pet has gotten into the candy, call your vet and describe their symptoms. (Symptoms of chocolate toxicity are nervousness, vomiting, shaking, and overreacting to noises, touch, lights, et cetera.) If your vet is closed, call an emergency vet center. If you don’t have one of those in your area you can call one of the national animal poison control lines such as the Pet Poison Helpline: 1-800-213-6680. (There is usually a fee for this service.)
It is up to you to make sure that Halloween candy and other dangerous foods are kept securely out of the reach of your household pets — so your whole family can enjoy the holiday!  www.waggingtails.com

Happy Halloween from Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service in Connecticut!Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service

Dog Training Using Positive Reinforcement And Rewards

husky tennis ball Wagging Tails Pet Sitting Mobile Grooming Farmington, Southington ConnecticutTraining your own dog CAN be a positive and fun experience for both of you!

Training dogs using positive reinforcement and reward training has long been recognized as both highly effective for the owner and a positive experience for the dog.  Positive reinforcement training is so important that it is the only method used to train dangerous animals like lions and tigers for work in circuses and in the movie and television industry.
Professional Pet Sitters, Dog Walkers and Mobile Groomers, such as the team at Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming in Connecticut, utilize Positive Reinforcement and Reward Dog Training each and every day, on each and every visit.
Proponents of positive reinforcement swear by the effectiveness of their techniques, and it is true that the vast majority of dogs respond well to these training methods.
One reason that positive reinforcement training is so effective is that is uses rewards to teach the dog what is expected of it.  When the dog performs the desired behavior, he is provided with a reward, most often in the form of a food treat, but it could be a scratch behind the ears, a rub under the chin or a pat on the head as well.  The important thing is that the dog is rewarded consistently for doing the right thing.

Reward Dog Training

Reward training has become increasingly popular in recent years, but chances are some sort of reward training between humans and dogs has been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years.
When understanding what makes reward training so effective, some knowledge of the history of humans and dogs is very helpful.  The earliest dogs were probably wolf pups that were tamed and used by early humans for protection from predators, as alarm systems and later for guarding and herding livestock.Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service
It is possible that the wolf pups that made the best companions were the most easily trained, or it is possible that these early dogs were orphaned or abandoned wolf pups.  Whatever their origin, there is little doubt today that the vast variety of dogs we see today have their origin in the humble wolf.
Wolf packs, like packs of wild dogs, operate on a strict pack hierarchy. Since wolf and dog packs hunt as a group, this type of hierarchy, and the cooperation it brings, is essential to the survival of the species.  Every dog in the pack knows his or her place in the pack, and except in the event of death or injury, the hierarchy, once established, rarely changes.
Every dog, therefore, is hard wired by nature to look to the pack leader for guidance.  The basis of all good dog training, including reward based training, is for the handler to set him or herself up as the pack leader.  The pack leader is more than just the dominant dog, or the one who tells all the subordinates what to do.  More importantly, the pack leader provides leadership and protection, and his or her leadership is vital to the success and survival of the pack.
It is important for the dog to see itself as part of a pack, to recognize the human as the leader of that pack, and to respect his or her authority.  Some dogs are much easier to dominate than others.  If you watch a group of puppies playing for a little while, you will quickly recognize the dominant and submissive personalities.
A dog with a more submissive personality will generally be easier to train using positive reinforcement, since he or she will not want to challenge the handler for leadership.  Even dominant dogs, however, respond very well to positive reinforcement.  There are, in fact, few dogs that do not respond well to positive reinforcement, also known as reward training.
Positive reinforcement is also the best way to retrain a dog that has behavior problems, especially one that has been abused in the past. Getting the respect and trust of an abused dog can be very difficult, and positive reinforcement is better than any other training method at creating this important bond.
No matter what type of dog you are working with, chances are it can be helped with positive reinforcement training methods. Based training methods on respect and trust, rather than on intimidation and fear, is the best way to get the most from any dog.
Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service is a Professional Pet Care Company of 21 years. Founded in CT in 1995, we’ve cared for thousands of pets over the years…a labor of love! www.waggingtails.com    mulitple dogs at home
 Wagging Tails Mobile Grooming in CT

How To Detect And Treat Whipworm In Your Dog

Could your dog have worms?

When it comes to keeping your canine companion healthy both inside and out, it’s important for owners to know which parasites see your dog as the perfect host.

 Whipworms – what are they?

One of the lesser-known parasites that pose a danger to dogs is the whipworm. Whipwhipwormworms, like most parasites, are resilient. In egg form, their hard shells allow them to survive outdoors in the soil for years in the time. In many ways, whipworms are like hookworms, but instead of ending in a hook shape, one end of this worm tapers to a narrow, whip-like point.
Unlike hookworms, whipworms can’t enter the body through the skin. The only way for your dog to contract them is by eating the eggs. Whipworms exist throughout North America, and transmission is easy if your dog has any contact with other dogs. The long-lived eggs can show up in the soil, dog toys, discarded bones and water dishes. Once eaten, whipworms then grow to maturity inside your dog’s digestive system.
 golden retriever digging
When they reach maturity, the adult worms fasten themselves to the large intestine and the cecum, a transitional pouch between the large and small intestine. Here, these nasty little parasites slash and puncture the intestinal walls in order to feed. The female starts to lay her eggs, which the dog excretes through the feces.
Symptoms for whipworm resemble those for other worms, such as hookworm. Many dogs can carry a certain number of whipworms without showing distress, but past a certain point, your dog may begin to exhibit signs such as a dull coat, anemia, rapid weight loss, and a loose and bloody stool. He may also begin vomiting up a yellow-green substance. In very severe cases, the worms may begin to puncture the intestinal wall, to the degree that the intestine begins to stick to the body wall. In this case, you might see your dog licking and worrying his right flank.
When you take your dog to the vet, it may take some time to diagnose him with whipworm. Whipworms lay eggs only intermittently, and even when they’re actively releasing eggs, any diarrhea in your dog can make the eggs hard to find. Typically, vets will perform four stool samples over four days before ruling out whipworm.dog with id
If your vet finds whipworm eggs, she’ll administer a potent dewormer. But most whipworm dewormers on the market are only effective against worms in their adult form. As a result, you’ll probably need to re-treat your dog.
There are no simple and effective ways of removing whipworm eggs from the soil around your house. However, a contaminated environment can infect your dog over and over again. The best way to combat reinfestation is to make sure your dog’s quarters are sunny and dry, since whipworm eggs require moisture. Try to place him in an area of fresh new gravel, pavement or soil.Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service
Be sure to visit your veterinarian and discuss with them any health concerns you may have about your pet.
Our team of Professional Pet Sitters, Dog Walkers, Mobile Groomers here in Connecticut consist of veterinary technicians, dog trainers, and experience pet caregivers. When you are planning a vacation, a staycation, traveling for work, or have to work a long day away from your pet, hire Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming to love your pet when you can’t be there!

Why Dog Grooming Is Very Important For Your Dog’s Health

The phrase “dog grooming” conjures up an image of expensive salons for pets. It’s true that most pets do not need fancy haircuts, expensive baths or oil treatments. But shunning away the idea of dog grooming is akin to handling your pet with shortsightedness. Your pet’s appearance is a mirror to its overall health and wellbeing. Lack of grooming may lead to major health problems. Dog groomers ensure that your dog not only looks good but feels good as well.

Professional Pet Groomers Suggest:shedding shepard

Professional dog groomers suggest basic grooming for eyes, ears, teeth, face, tummy, skin, feet and nails, and coat should be done regularly.

Appropriate eye care entails regular cleansing. Your dog’s eyes should be bright, lustrous and clean. You must ensure that there are no signs of redness or excessive discharge. There is likely to be periodic buildup in the dog’s eye, which must be wiped out with a clean, damp cloth. However, if the discharge is thick or mucous-like, you must consult a veterinarian.

Ear care is also an important aspect of dog grooming. Moisture and dirt buildup inside the pet’s ear is a breeding ground for bacteria. You should trim ear hair and wipe with a clean cloth, thereby ensuring that the ear is kept dry. Any buildup of wax in the ear must be treated immediately, lest an infection sets in. The veterinarian would typically employ a solution to dissolve the ear wax and then cleanse it using a cloth or Q-tip.

Dental hygiene is equally important for your dog as it is for you. Plaque and tartar buildup causes gum disease. It is a common misconception that a balanced diet can prevent gum diseases or other teeth related problems. Cleaning the teeth and gums is highly essential for proper dental care. Dog groomers clean a pet’s teeth and gums in order to prevent unnecessary plaque buildup.

Mobile Pet Groomers conveniently come to you!van

Dog groomers stress on brushing a dog’s coat on a weekly basis. A thick and matted coat encourages bacterial infection and other diseases of the skin, and hence it is all more necessary to keep your dog’s coat clean. Stroking with a soft brush gets rid of dead hair, dander and dirt.

As every dog groomer would suggest, trim your dog’s nails at least once a month. It is a misconception that long hair between the toes would keep your dog’s feet warm in winters. Instead it would collect dirt and grime, and may encourage infection. Therefore, keep the hair trimmed at all times. Consult with your Veterinarian and Professional Pet Groomer for breed specific clips, ailments and treatment suggestions.

Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming Service comes to you in Connecticut! Award winning, state of the art, modern, fully equipped groom salon on wheels for dogs and cats too! Voted THE BEST in Central CT for 10 consecutive years!  www.waggingtails.com  (860) 621-7387 (Pets)wagging tails pet sitter in ct20th anni transparent