Saturday, July 30, 2016

The dog days of summer

Summer days are getting a bit shorter, and school season is approaching fast.  Here is a list of 5 things to do with your dog before this summer is gone for good

       1. Swim at the dog beach
The dog beach is north in Chicago, along the lake front, but if you have an avid swimming canine friend, you will have all the feels when you watch him romp with 100 of his new friends at this dog friendly location.

     2. Hunt pokemon
If you are out walking to hatch that egg, or you are hunting the elusive Pikachu, bring your dog along too.  I am sure he’d love to take some of those dog selfies with a bulbasaur.  Just remember to check if the sidewalk or asphalt is ok to walk on, or stay on the grass.

      3. Meet a friend at the Dog park
Urbana and Champaign both have dog parks, and 
if your canine friend hasn’t been, they’ll be 
excited to take advantage of the large running s
pace for a game of ball, or chase.  
You pet may enjoy it so much, you can 
continue the fun into fall, and mild winter days.  Make sure your pet is up to date on vaccines 
and preventatives prior to your visit, and both 
parks do have membership requirements when 
you sign up.

     4. Go on a road trip
Some dogs just love to ride through those country roads with the wind in their face, and a summer drive is relaxing and enjoyable for all.  Take in a road side oddity like the world’s largest Lincoln statue (in Asmore), or the giant ball of string (Lincoln).


      5. Sign up for a new pup and me activity to 
           keep the fun times going into fall. 
      The Dog Training Club of Champaign-Urbana 
       offers classes from obedience to fly ball to 
       agility; for fun or for competition.  
       There are also many private individual trainers 
        in our area as well.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Fourth of July Safety for your pets.

Whether your pet is more mildly affected by the booms and crackles of the celebration weekend, or your pet experiences sheer terror and thinks the world will end, Fourth of July is a difficult time for most of our furry family members.  There are many tips and tricks that might help soothe a scared or anxious pet, but the most important thing to remember is to keep your frightened pets secured. Anxious and terrified pets are more likely to get loose and lost during the celebration weekend. 

Please keep your pets secured in a safe area of your home if you will be away at parties and festivities, and if you have pets that can harm themselves or the household, it might be best to secure then in a crate or carrier to keep them safe. 
If you are home, make sure your pet is not in the yard unsupervised.  If you are leash walking, have a good handle on the lead.  Scared pets may forget their manners and training, and may act differently than they typically do on a normal walk.  They could suddenly take off, pull hard, and get away if a firm grip and a full awareness during walks is not used.
There are several adjustments you can make to the household to try to help your pet cope with any noise phobia associated with the holiday.  Keeping windows covered during firework and firecracker displays helps minimize any visuals of the celebration.  Turning the radio on and up moderately loud, or having the TV playing with a good amount of volume can help drown out some of the booms and loud explosions.  There are over the counter products of varying types, from soothing scents to soothing clothing that can sometimes help individuals cope with their anxiety.  Allowing your pet to find a safe spot, and hide, without a lot of emotional reassurance, can sometimes help your pet cope (like a closet, a crate, or a favored bed in a more secluded spot in the home).  Sometimes, these smaller measures are not enough to help your pet cope.  If your pet is likely to harm himself or harm the environment due to his stress and anxiety, that it is best to speak to your veterinarian about an individualized plan that may include a combination of environmental changes, over the counter products and  medications that can help ease his anxiety, and fear. 

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.