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The Chew: Holiday Survival Guide

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for us humans, but when some of our favorite holiday decorations and traditions can be dangerous or even deadly for pets, it’s important to be vigilant about ways in which you can keep your dog or cat safe.

To help, we’ve got a handy holiday survival guide so your Christmas festivities don’t include an emergency trip to the vet!

O Christmas Tree

Be sure to anchor your tree securely so it doesn’t fall on your pet (or your family!).

If you’re buying a live tree, don’t allow your pet to drink the water in the tree stand. Additives like fertilizer, sugar, aspirin and others can be toxic for pets, and the stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause your pet to get sick.

Pine needles can also injure your animal’s digestive tract if consumed, so be sure to vacuum the area around your tree regularly. Stay away from edible decorations like popcorn chains or cookie ornaments, as these will likely prove too enticing for your pet to ignore.

When you’re not around, unplug the lights, as many dogs and cats like to chew on these wires, and, if turned on, this can cause burns or even electric shocks.

To help prevent ornaments from breaking, set up your Christmas tree but wait to decorate it for a few days. This will help your pet adjust to the strange new object in the house, so, hopefully, by the time you add ornaments their curiosity will have worn off.

If you have a particularly determined cat, place aluminum foil on the floor around the tree to give you warning of a potential disaster.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Other holiday decorations can be harmful for your pet as well. Tinsel can add some shimmer to your holidays, but if ingested by a pet it will often lead to a blockage in the digestive tract, which often requires surgical intervention.

Plants like mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are toxic for pets to consume. Keep these well out of reach, or consider buying artificial alternatives to be on the safe side.

Candles, whether they’re holiday-scented or atop a menorah, require extra supervision with pets around. Never leave them unattended and always place them far out of reach of any curious paws or wagging tails. This will prevent your pet from being burned, or even causing a fire.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

If you have guests coming over for the holidays or if you’re traveling yourself, it’s important to ensure your pet stays safe and comfortable.

If you’re playing host to guests, be sure your furry friend has a quiet place to retreat to if they get overwhelmed. Make sure your pet has updated information on their collar or microchip and that they’re wearing the collar at all times, since the opportunities for them to escape increase with extra people coming and going.

If any guests ask to bring pets of their own that you don’t already know will get along with your pet, either respectfully decline or arrange to spend some time together before the holidays allowing your pets to get to know each other.

If you’re traveling, be sure to know how to keep your pet safe and cared for, whether you’re bringing them on a road trip or on an airplane. If you don’t want to travel with your pet or want to make sure they’re out of harm’s way when you have people over, bringing them to a safe and secure boarding facility is a great way to make sure they stay safe, have fun and save you from stress.

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

If the unexpected and unthinkable happens, make sure you’re prepared to get your pet the help they need. Talk to your vet ahead of time to know where you will need to take your pet in case of an emergency, and know your travel route to get there so you’re not trying to navigate while stressed.

It’s important to have your vet’s clinic phone number, a 24/7 emergency vet number (if different), and the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (1-888-426-4435, a fee may apply) handy in case you need them.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website.

Click here to check out our short video about this article

Mention this article for a free evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: 7 Perfect Items for Any Dog Lover’s Holiday Wish List

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Cindy Aldridge

Admit it, you care more about getting your dog the perfect holiday gift than you do about getting yourself anything nice.

That’s okay, we love our dogs. This holiday season, don’t settle for a bag of bones and a new dog bowl. Think big. Here’s how you can stock your wish list with some truly useful items to help you, as the dog owner, as well as make your pooch happier, safer and more comfortable.

A dog-monitoring camera

Most of us work and therefore cannot spend all day with our dogs, however painful that reality may be. If you have to leave your dog home alone for long periods of time or you travel a lot, you can give yourself some extra peace of mind if you know that your dog is happy and safe at home (or at the sitter’s).

One of the best ways to do this is with a dog-monitoring camera. The tech for this has really improved over the past few years, with most new doggie camera models linking directly to your smartphone for 24/7 viewing.

A GPS tracking device

In the same vein as a monitoring camera, a dog-tracking device that uses GPS and links up with your smartphone will allow you to locate your beloved canine in the horrific event that they run away, go missing or even worse — get stolen. You don’t need to implant a tracker under your dog’s skin or anything. Modern trackers can be affixed gently to your dog’s collar.

A Thundershirt

Many dogs suffer from anxiety, are quick to frighten during loud events like parties and thunderstorms, and suffer from a variety of behavioral issues. Many vets and pet experts recommend a tight-fitting shirt, branded as a Thundershirt, to help with this. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence out there that it works, too. Many dog owners swear by them. At under $30, they are worth a spot on your holiday wish list.

A puzzle toy

Sure, plenty of dogs enjoy your classic tennis ball or frisbee. But some dogs require a little more of a mental workout. Puzzle toys are great, inexpensive items to add to your wish list. These toys are highly varied but most require dogs to use problem-solving skills to access treats or food.

A new dog bed

If someone got you a brand-new, comfortable bed for the holidays, would you be happy? You bet. Your dog will be too. Dogs spend a lot of their time sleeping, so a nice bed is crucial to their happiness. Bed sizes vary, and there are options available for both large and small breeds.

A year’s supply of dental bones

Dental bones are great ways to kill two birds with one stone – they give your dog something to eat and they help with their dental care in the process. There are dental bones out there that help remove plaque, freshen your dog’s breath, and prevent the buildup of biofilm on your dog’s teeth.

An automatic ball thrower

Ok, you’re allowed one sort-of silly item. It is the holidays after all.

Does your arm get tired throwing that tennis ball hundreds of times? Would you like to sit and read and book but also give your dog a workout? Automatic ball throwers may not seem like a worthwhile expense any other time of the year. Now’s your chance.

So, what are you waiting for? Starting building that dog-centric holiday wish list today!

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The Chew: Thanksgiving With Pets

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

A table full of food and a house full of people to pet them — Thanksgiving seems like every pets dream! Before letting your dog or cat join in on the fun, it’s important to know which Thanksgiving favorites can be dangerous.

To make sure your furry friends have a safe holiday, check out this guide to what holiday treats you should and shouldn’t feed your pet.

Keep the Feast Fat-Free

Fatty or rich foods, like beef fat, poultry skin and gravy can cause severe gastrointestinal issues for animals. These include vomiting, diarrhea and excessive gas, but can also lead to more serious conditions like pancreatitis, which can be fatal.

Save the Sweets for Humans

Most desserts will be harmful to your dog’s digestive system. Chocolate is highly dangerous for dogs and can be fatal if too much is consumed.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in many candies, low-sugar desserts and sometimes even peanut butter. Just a small amount of it can cause a drastic drop in blood pressure for dogs and lead to liver damage.

While many vets recommend feeding plain pumpkin to help dogs with bowel and stomach issues, pumpkin pie is not okay for dogs to consume. Not only does it have a variety of spices that can be problematic for canines, too much pumpkin for dogs will only lead to a mess you don’t want.

Say Bye to Bones

While we often associate dogs with chewing on a nice bone, tossing them the leftovers from your Thanksgiving meal will almost certainly do more harm than good.

At the very least, swallowing the bones can cause an upset stomach, but frequently the bones splinter and cause serious damage to the intestines that can quickly become fatal.

Pick up a dog-friendly bone from the pet store if you want your pup to have something safe to chew on.

Clean Up Quickly

The trash is tempting enough to most dogs on a normal day, but with the remains of a Thanksgiving feast in there, it becomes just about irresistible.

Make sure the trash can is in a place the dog doesn’t have access to and be sure any visitors in the house know to keep the dog out. Don’t leave leftovers on the table or counter where a daring dog might attempt to reach them and don’t forget to put leftovers in the fridge quickly.

Packaging around the turkey such as string, plastic holders and bags may smell like meat and convince some dogs to chew on them. These foreign objects can cause dangerous blockage in your dog’s digestive system if swallowed. If you choose to brine your turkey, make sure your dog doesn’t drink the brine afterwards, as the excessive salt can lead to salt toxicosis.

Be Aware of Decorations

The danger for pets isn’t just found on the table — many popular seasonal plants can pose a problem too.

Amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, hydrangeas, Poinsettias and more can be toxic to dogs and cats when chewed or eaten. It’s best to keep any plants out of reach to make sure your pet doesn’t get into something they shouldn’t.

What’s OK to Share?

There are some Thanksgiving favorites that are okay to give your pooch.

Turkey is fine as long as it doesn’t have any bones or skin. Plain, undressed mashed potatoes are okay to share, but once you add butter or other toppings, it’s best to keep them to yourself.

Plain green beans and carrots are a great snack to share with dogs even when it’s not the holidays. Of course, to be on the safe side, it’s usually best to pick up some doggie treats from the store before the holiday to make sure your pup can have fun and be safe.

If you believe your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t, acting quickly is key. Call your veterinarian or local animal emergency hospital. You can also call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435.

Sometimes it’s best for you, your guests and your pet if your furry friend has a safe place to play and enjoy the holiday away from home. Whether you’re traveling or just want peace of mind for Thanksgiving, boarding or daycare are great, safe options for your pup.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website.

Click here to check out our short video about this article

Mention this article for a free evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Separation Anxiety in Dogs

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Getting a new dog can be exciting but what do you do if you realize your new pooch hates being home alone? Howling, destructive behaviors and urinating in the house are all habits no one wants in their pet, but there can be a simple explanation: separation anxiety.

Being aware of this common trait in dogs can help you identify the signs and get the help your pet needs so that you can both feel relaxed whenever you leave home.

There is no single defined cause of separation anxiety, which can make it hard to diagnose. Potential causes usually stem from a major life change, such as a new owner, moving to a new residence, a shift in their regular schedule or a missing household member, perhaps due to death or moving away.

Separation anxiety in dogs can manifest in a variety of ways. Common signs include excessive barking or howling, destructive acts like chewing furniture or scratching at doors and urinating in the house. Sometimes the signs aren’t as obvious, like intense pacing or excessive drooling, panting or salivation. If the dog is confined, separation anxiety may also cause him or her to try and escape, whether by digging if outdoors or clawing at their cage.

If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms, it’s important to first rule out some other potential causes. Incontinence might be a result of a number of medical problems, old age or lack of training. Boredom can also be a cause of destructive behavior.

Be sure your pup has plenty of toys left out for them to play with when you leave, so that they always have something to do. Try using interactive toys that allow you to hide a treat inside for the dog to find to keep them occupied.

Howling or barking can be caused by triggers in the environment, like a new sound or something they see through the window. If this is the cause, it will often happen whether or not the owner is home.

If you determine that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, there are several measures you can take to help. Ensure that your dog has had the opportunity to expel some energy prior to leaving. When you do leave, don’t make a big deal out of it, if you act as if leaving is normal it helps your dog get the message that it’s all part of a standard routine.

If this doesn’t work, you can also mix up your ‘going away’ signals. Use a different door, put on your coat and shoes but don’t leave immediately, or keep your keys, purse or shoes in a new location. The goal is to change the fact that your dog associates these behaviors with leaving, causing them to get anxious before you even step out the door.

You can also help relieve separation anxiety by giving them a distraction. Leaving them with a toy, particularly something like a Kong with peanut butter, helps them not notice you leaving. You can also leave a radio or TV playing while you’re gone. The sound of human voices has often been shown to help calm down anxious dogs while their owners are away.

If you’ve tried working with your pup and are still seeing signs of separation anxiety there are many over-the-counter, prescription or all natural supplements that may help. Pheromone collars and/or diffusers, like Adaptil, send calming messages to your dog helping them relax in stressful situations.

Supplements, like NaturVet’s Quiet Moments Calming Aid, use all-natural ingredients like tryptophan & melatonin to help your pup in times of stress. Many vets now recommend CBD oil, which can be put directly in the dog’s mouth or come in treat form to help relieve anxiety.

If all else fails, talk to your vet about starting your dog on an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant.  Remember that none of these are a magic fix and should be combined with training to ensure the best possible results.

If your dog is struggling to overcome separation anxiety, bringing them to doggy daycare is also a good solution. At daycare your dog spends time with other dogs and humans all day long, keeping them far too busy to experience separation anxiety.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website.

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a free evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Fun Fall Outings for Fido

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

As the weather cools off, there are plenty of fun activities for us humans to enjoy to celebrate fall. But there’s no reason to leave your dog at home to miss out on the fun! From pumpkin patches to trick-or-treating, local venues allow you to bring along your dog to enjoy the fall festivities too.

Bark or Treat
October 26
6:30-8 p.m.
Alexandria City Marina
105 North Union Street, Alexandria

Bring your dog on a cruise of the Potomac River and enjoy the fresh air, changing leaves and fall fun! The cruise takes you on a sightseeing tour of Alexandria’s Seaport, and on October 26th, you and your dog are welcome to wear costumes and get into the Halloween spirit.

Wine Down Wednesdays
October 17
5:30-8 p.m.
1575 Keswick Winery Drive, Keswick

Fall can be a busy season, so why not spend an evening chilling out with a glass of wine at the Keswick Winery? Live music will be performed by Chamomile & Whiskey and food is provided by Spice Sea Gourmet. Of course, your pooch is invited!

Howl-o-ween Parties

A popular fall tradition are “howl-o-ween” parties hosted by local pet stores. These often include games, prizes, pet-safe fall treats and more. Check with a pet store near you to see if they have any events going on this season!

Scenic View Orchards

Nothing says fall like visiting an apple orchard! Enjoy the cool weather and some favorite fall treats when you stop by Scenic View Orchards. Pick your own apples, visit their farmer’s market and explore the outdoors with your pup.

Saints Row Brewing Company

Saints Row is a family-owned nano-brewery that is new to the area, but sure to quickly become a favorite. Your leashed dog is welcome to keep you company while you tour the facility and sample some of the beers they have on tap. You can also bring in outside food, so enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the other dogs!

Montpelier Farms Family Park

Just about every activity you want to do during fall is available at Montpelier Farms. They have a pumpkin patch, corn maze and even a fall festival open until November 4th. Your dog can join you in wandering the grounds of the farm, and even accompany you through the corn maze.

Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market

Even though this market is open year-round, something about fall makes farmer’s markets seem even more special. Bring your dog and support local farmers while getting fresh food such as fruits and vegetables, pastured meat, poultry and eggs, farmstead and artisan cheeses, sweet and savory baked goods (including gluten free options), jams and jellies plus home goods such as potted plants, soaps, cut flowers and more.

For any of the fun fall activities where dogs are not invited, daycare is a great alternative to ensure your pup is safe and having fun while you are doing the same!

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Pet Ownership 101 — Adopting a New Pet

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Jessica Brody

Thinking of getting a pet? You’re not alone! Half of all Americans own a dog and nearly a third own a cat. Pets often become our faithful friends, constant companions and four-legged family members. If you’re new to pet ownership, you may feel overwhelmed or uncertain of what to expect. Take a deep breath — we’re here to help. Here are some of our favorite tips and advice for new pet owners:

Choosing the Purrfect Pet

If you’ve never owned a pet before, try to resist the urge to bring home the first cute face you see. There’s a lot that goes owning a pet. Just like humans, each pet has a unique personality and temperament.

Before adopting a pet, you’ll want to do some research to determine the kind of animal and the breed that will be the best fit for you. But if you’ve never owned a pet, how will you know which pet is right for you? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How large is your home?
  • Do you have a yard? Is it fenced?
  • Do you have time to regularly walk a dog?
  • Does anyone in the family have allergies?

These questions can point you in the right direction when choosing a pet.

Bringing Your Pet Home 

Prior to bringing your pet home, you’ll want to prepare. You can start by purchasing the basics such as bedding, food and water bowls and toys. When purchasing items for your new pet, you might also consider how to help your new pet acclimate to your home. For pets that might be nervous or fearful at first, you might buy some natural anxiety remedies or calming and stress-reducing pet care products.

You’ll want to be prepared for cleaning up after your new animal. One option is to invest in a new vacuum to pick up hair and dander. You’ll also want to have a plan for your pet in case of emergency. Make sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations and has proper identification.

Bonding

There are many ways to bond with your new pet. For dog owners, one of the best ways to bond is through games like fetch, taking walks together, or obedience training. Lack of obedience training is one of the top mistakes made by pet owners each year. All dog owners should enroll their dogs in obedience training soon after bringing them home because you’ll learn to communicate while building trust and rapport.

Food

Your dog’s food matters more than you might think. When you give your dog healthy foods, you give their body the energy it needs to play and protect you and your family. But you have to feed them the right food. Many store-bought kibbles are made of mostly grain and inert fillers and don’t provide your dog the nutrients he needs. Most veterinarians advocate a diet of lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats. Your veterinarian can help you determine the right type of food and feeding schedule for your dog.

Exercise

Dog owners should consider how they will ensure their pet gets enough exercise as it’s crucial for dogs to move throughout the day. Exercise isn’t just good for your dog; it’s also good for those who are trying to lose weight or recovering from addiction. A little fresh air and sunshine can go a long way toward helping you accomplish your goals.

If you have a busy work schedule or work long hours you may consider hiring a dog walker. That way, you’ll get caught up on work while Fido burns off some extra energy, gets some exercise and enjoys some outdoor relief.

Become the Purrfect Pet Parent

Although you might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself to be a “perfect” pet owner, there’s really no such thing. If you’ve taken the steps listed above to find the right pet and prepare your home for pet ownership, you’ll be on the right track. Just prioritize your pet’s health, happiness and needs and you’ll be on your way to a happy and fulfilling relationship with your new pet.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Fall Treats for Your Furry Friends

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

For us humans, the coming of fall means sweet treats like pumpkin spice everything and Halloween candy. But our pets shouldn’t miss out on the fun! We’ve rounded up a couple fall treats for your furry friends that are tasty and healthy.

Pumpkin Apple Dog Treats

Nothing says fall like going to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Try this recipe that uses both of these favorite fall flavors. Not only will your dog love the taste, it’s also good for them. Pumpkin can be used to settle an upset stomach, and apples are a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.

Ingredients:

4-4.5 cups oats plus additional
1 medium apple
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
Cookie cutter in the shape of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Grind oats in a food processor or blender. Transfer to mixing bowl.
  3. Core apple, being sure to remove all of the seeds. Grate apple, and add to bowl with oatmeal.
  4. Add egg and canned pumpkin to bowl and mix well. The mixture will be thick and slightly sticky.
  5. On a surface dusted with oats roll the dough out to approximately 1/2″ thick. Cut with cookie cutter and transfer to a lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Of course, dogs shouldn’t be the only ones to enjoy some homemade treats. Try out this simple and healthy recipe for your cat as well!

Salmon Cat Treats

These treats use only three ingredients and are super easy to make, while also being packed full of protein to keep your kitty full, healthy and happy.

Ingredients:

10 oz canned salmon, undrained (can substitute canned chicken or tuna)
1 egg beaten
2 cups whole wheat flour
Cookie cutters in the shape of your choice!

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Pulse 10 oz. canned salmon (undrained) in a food processor or chop as finely as possible.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine salmon, 1 egg (beaten) and 2 cups whole wheat flour until dough forms. If dough is too dry, add up to 1/3 cup water. If dough is too wet or sticky, add a bit more flour. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  3. Roll out dough on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Use the cookie cutter to create shapes like pumpkins and leaves, if you want to keep them fall themed.
  4. Place treats on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes. When they’re slightly browned and crunchy, they’re done.
  5. Allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Dos and Don’ts of Introducing Your Pets to Each Other — Part 2

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

For Part I of this article, click here.

We’ve all seen the cute videos and photos of dogs and cats cuddling together on the internet. But how can you make sure your pets become the best of pals? While some animals are just made for the single-pet life, others can live well with and even become friends with other animals, but it largely depends on having a proper introduction.

Here are some tips of what you should and shouldn’t do when introducing a new animal to your pet.

Don’t be panicky, anxious or overbearing.

Animals pick up on how their humans are feeling, so the tone of the meeting between pets can be impacted by how the owners behave.

When handling a dog, keep the lead loose (though it shouldn’t be an extendable leash). If the person is anxious or the leash is tight, the dog will react accordingly and feel threatened and fearful. In many meetings, a calming voice is enough to diffuse tension. You should only physically separate the animals if they become overly aggressive.

Reacting too hastily on your part can reinforce to the dogs that this is a threatening situation. As the pets meet, you may feel the need to micromanage the situation, but it is often best to let them figure out the interaction on their own, only stepping in if it becomes clear a fight is looming or one of the animals is overly excited.

Do separate them while you’re gone.

After the animals have met while on a leash or partially separated without conflict, you can allow them to interact in an enclosed environment while you are present. For dogs, this should still be a neutral territory at first. For cats, it can be in a room where each has access to a safe space.

Even if these times go well, you should still separate them when you aren’t available to watch them. This can mean while you’re out of the house, or even if you are just going to be busy and unable to give them the supervision they need.

It only takes a second for a fight to break out and someone to get hurt. Only after several months of conflict-free interactions should you consider allowing them to roam freely together without your supervision.

Don’t force it.

In some cases, you might be able to make a pet situation work. Cats may require separate litter boxes, or dogs may need to be fed separately if they get possessive of food.

For some animals that seem aggressive, you may need to call upon a trainer or a behavioral specialist to see if the situation can be worked out. But there will be times when it simply won’t happen. Some animals are made for the single-pet life, and it would be detrimental to both pets (and you!) to try and force it.

Having multiple animals can prevent loneliness and stress for your pets while you’re gone, and thus keep them from destructive behaviors. But it’s important to be prepared going into the introductions so that everyone gets off on the right foot–er, paw.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Dos and Don’ts of Introducing Your Pets to Each Other — Part 1

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Having multiple pets can be fun for the owner and keep the animals from getting lonely, but can also present problems. The best way to avoid these problems is introduce the animals to each other slowly and give them time to adjust to this change.

Do get to know your animals individually beforehand.

You may think your dog is friendly, but if they’ve only ever interacted with a couple of dogs, they may not be as social as you think.

Likewise, some cats are just more social than others. Make sure you choose animals with matching personalities. A rambunctious, playful dog may overpower a shy cat or possibly even injure an older cat unknowingly.

An older, relaxed cat might get annoyed by a kitten who insists on playing, and while they might grow out of this stage, it could be stressful for the older cat and lead to fights. Some dogs or cats just may not have the right personality to put up with the other one and should be single pets.

Don’t forget that scent is very important.

When introducing one dog to another, walk the dogs going the same direction with a safe distance apart, but still within eyesight of each other. Then allow each dog to smell where the other dog has walked. If either of them snarls or lunges toward the other consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behavioral specialist before having the dogs meet.

For cats, begin by feeding both cats on either side of a door. Start with each bowl a couple feet away from the door, and slowly decrease the distance until they are eating directly on opposite sides of the door without reacting.

Next, take a blanket that each cat has used and give it to the opposite cat, again, allowing him or her to become more familiar with the other one’s scent. From there, allow the newcomer cat to explore outside of their room while confining the resident cat to the newcomer’s room.

Use a similar approach when introducing dogs to cats. Give the newcomer a room of their own to adjust to their new situation. Then begin feeding the animals on opposite sides of the door.

If your dog obsessively digs or barks at the barrier for more than a day or two, you may want to consult a behavior specialist before allowing them to meet face to face. If both animals seem comfortable, allow them to switch spaces, giving the newcomer time to explore the house and the resident to get used to the new scent.

Do have the animals meet in a controlled setting.

For dogs meeting dogs, it should occur on neutral ground, like a park or pet supply store. Both dogs should be on a leash as they are introduced and allowed to sniff each other.

The first interaction between cats can occur by partially propping open the door to the room where the new cat has been staying. It should be wide enough so the cats can see each other, but without being able to really interact or claw at each other if things go poorly.

When introducing dogs and cats to each other, keep the dog on a leash. The cat should be able to leave the room if they wish. Eventually, your dog should be able to ignore the cat and stay calm, and the cat should be able to eat and use the litter box regularly even with the dog nearby.

Check back in two weeks for 3 more tips on introducing your new pets!

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Protect Your Pet From These Three Risks This Summer

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

For many pets and their owners, summertime offers a chance to be outdoors, spend more time playing and enjoying the great weather.

Unfortunately, there are also several dangers that summer can bring with it. With some preparation and knowledge you can keep your pet safe and make sure summer stays fun. To help you, we’ve gathered the top three risks that face your pet and how you can prevent and recognize them.

  1. Ticks

One of the top concerns as pets spend more time outside is tick-borne diseases. While outdoors avoid places ticks hide, such as long grass and thick underbrush. Once inside check your dog for ticks and remove any that you see. Your dog should also be on flea and tick preventative to kill anything they may pick up.

Lyme disease is transmitted through deer ticks. While it is more prevalent in the New England area, it can be found all over.

Symptoms: Joint pain, lethargy, decreased appetite and fever. Typically takes several months for symptoms to appear.

Ehrlichiosis is one of the most common tick-borne diseases.

Symptoms: Fever, decreased appetite and weight loss, depression, runny nose, watery eyes, frequent bloody noses and enlarged lymph nodes or limbs. Takes several months for symptoms to appear.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, despite its name, this disease is not restricted to the Rocky Mountain area but can be found throughout North and South America.

Symptoms: Fever, joint or muscle pain, anemia, skin lesions, and vomiting. Signs typically appear within a few days.

  1. Dehydration and heatstroke

With higher temperatures comes an increased risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Short-nosed breeds are especially prone to heatstroke, as are animals that are overweight or have thick coats.

Bring water with you when you go on walks and stay in the shade as much as possible. If you’re walking in a paved area, be aware of how much hotter concrete and asphalt can be for your dog. If it is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.

Instead try a grassy area for a walk or purchase a set of booties or paw protection wax to protect their feet. Try to take your walks in the morning or in the evening to avoid the hottest hours of the day. You can also take advantage of an air-conditioned dog daycare during those extremely hot days of summer.

Symptoms: Excessive lethargy, decreased urination, dry gums, refusing to eat and sunken eyes.

  1. Common infections

Infections, particularly those caused by parasites, tend to increase in the summer as the temperatures allow them to thrive and your pup spends more time outdoors.

Coccidiosis

Cause: Coccidiosis can be found in cats and dogs, and is typically transmitted through infected feces, or through consuming a smaller animal that carries it, such as a mouse, rabbit or bird.

Symptoms: watery, mucus-like diarrhea which can progress to bloody diarrhea.

Giardia

Cause: The Giardia infection can be contracted by playing in or ingesting contaminated soil or water. Remove any standing water in your backyard and keep your dog from drinking from unknown water sources.

Symptoms: Diarrhea, gas, abdominal discomfort, dehydration, listlessness and a poor-looking coat.

While summer can be a time of great fun for pets and owners alike, it is important to know the dangers so that you can protect your pet. By arming yourself with this knowledge, summer can stay fun for you and your furry friend.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Training Your Dog

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Having a dog can be a fun and rewarding experience, but without proper training, any dog can be a handful. Taking your dog to a training class and reinforcing these lessons at home is a key part of making sure your dog stays safe and you both stay happy!

Not all types of training are created equal. Rather than using fear and domination to punish unwanted behaviors, training with positive reinforcement gives your dog positive motivation to repeat desired behaviors and results in a stronger bond based on trust between dog and owner.

Sometimes called reward-based training, this style focuses on rewarding behaviors you want your dog to have, like sitting and fetching, and ignoring and withholding rewards for unwanted behaviors, like jumping on people. Rewards typically take the form of a small treat, verbal praise or even a favorite toy.

There are several things to know about training with positive reinforcement. The first is that timing is key. The reward must occur immediately after the desired behavior, within a few seconds, or the dog won’t associate it with the behavior.

Second, keep your commands short and clear. Saying something like “Max, be a good boy and sit down for me” won’t make any sense to your dog. Instead, use one to two words commands like “stay” or “leave it.” Being consistent in what commands you use is also important.

Make sure everyone who will be frequently interacting with the dog, such as other family members or a dog walker, know which commands to use and to always reward good behavior while ignoring bad behavior.

When training your dog, don’t spend long stretches of time working on it. Spend ten to fifteen minute bursts working on a command, otherwise your dog will get bored or tired and not respond as well.

One of the most important things to realize about positive reinforcement is that it can happen accidentally — and not in a good way. If your dog barks at noises in the backyard and you always let him out, you’re training him that barking gives him a reward.

Even what you might consider negative attention can have unintended results. Yelling and pushing at your dog when she jumps up on you seems like a clear “no” to you, but she might still perceive it as attention, and therefore continue to do it.

Instead, don’t reward these behaviors. Ignore your dog barking, and when your dog jumps up, simply turn around and act as if they aren’t there. When they calm down and greet you in the way you want, then you can pet them and give them your attention as a reward.

Another important but often forgotten aspect of training is crate training. Sometimes dismissed as cruel, crate training your dog has numerous benefits for both you and your pet.

If your dog is trained to stay in a crate without being disruptive or destructive, it gives you peace of mind while away, makes it easier to house-train your dog, and ensures that your pet has a safe place to go when they need to be out of the way, such as when a repairman is needed or guests are over.

For your dog, having a crate means they have a safe den to retreat to when they’re feeling tired, scared or sick. It also allows them to still be a part of the family even when they can’t be out wandering the house.

Dogs are social animals, and so keeping them outside by themselves for long stretches of time will cause them stress and often result in unwanted behaviors such as digging, barking and chewing.

Crates also make traveling easier. A crated dog in a car has a much better chance at surviving a car crash, and having a familiar space even when staying in a hotel or elsewhere will help reduce anxiety your pet may have from traveling.

Properly training your dog can be a big task, and so attending a class with your new dog can be a great way to make sure they get the training they need while strengthening your bond as you learn together. Attending a class ensures that you aren’t making any mistakes without realizing it, provides accountability so that you stay consistent with your training and gives your new pup the opportunity to socialize with other dogs and humans.

Bark+ Boarding offers three levels of classes based on age and skill level so that whatever your dog needs, we can help. And of course, all our classes use positive reinforcement so dogs and their owners have the best experience possible.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: 3 Principles for Preventing Dog-Related Disasters

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

Written by Tyler Evans, Animal Enthusiast from dogzasters.com

If you have a dog, you know that accidents are bound to happen. From torn-up furniture to potty accidents, these are a part of owning a dog that we could all live without. Prevention is always the best medicine, especially when it comes to a canine’s behavior.

Luckily, there are a number of ways you can avoid these unpleasant situations and clean-ups. To prevent your pooch from misbehaving, follow these three prevention principles.

Activity

Activity is a necessity of all dogs, no matter their age or breed. Some dogs though, do need more exercise than others. According to the Business Insider, the Belgian Malinois and German Pointer are the most active dogs in the world, needing over an hour and a half of intense exercise every day.

While most dogs do not need this much exercise, they still do need to get out and be active. Dogs who do not burn off their energy can easily become bored, which may cause them to turn their eyes towards a destructive game.

One of the easiest ways you can prevent doggie disasters is by providing your canine with a constructive, appropriate way to burn off their energy. The easiest way to do this is by taking them on frequent walks, preferably a couple of times a day.

For most people, this can be done before and after work. If you’re very busy, however, it might be in your best interest to hire a dog walker or a dog sitter to stop by once or twice a day to take your pooch on a walk. Though this service does cost money, it is a far better alternative than coming home to a ruined house.

Training

The second most common reason dogs misbehave is simply because they don’t know any better. If your dog has an accident on your carpet, it might not be that they were misbehaving just because they could, but that they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to.

We recommend training your pooch early and often. House training is essential to keeping your pooch in your house, but other types of training can be extremely useful too. For example, if your dog barks consistently, you can train them to not bark.

If you have a puppy, we highly recommend that you get them enrolled in a doggie training class. Puppy training classes are just as useful for you as they are your dog. Even if you’ve previously owned a puppy, each dog breed is different and responds to training techniques differently.

Attending one of these classes can inform you on what techniques would work best for your puppy. Furthermore, puppy training classes also socialize your dog with other people and canines. According to the AKC, proper socialization is a great way to prevent unnecessary aggression and fear as your dog gets older.

Enrichment

Another common reason dogs misbehave is because they’re bored.

While activity can go a long way to curb this boredom, for some dogs it is not enough, especially if they are a member of an intelligent breed. For many dogs, their minds need to be exercised just like their bodies.

This can be done easily through play if you are at home and have the time. If not, you can purchase your canine a couple of puzzle toys to leave around the house while you’re gone. This will give your pooch something to do while you’re gone and prevent them from getting into things in an attempt to find their fun.

If that doesn’t work, doggy daycare is always a great alternative to get your pup out of house and enjoy play time and enrichment with other dogs in a safe and supervised environment.

Doggie disasters are an inevitable part of owning a canine. However, by following these three principles, you can prevent many of these disasters from occurring.

At Bark + Boarding, we offer a unique boarding structure that gives your pet their own room for their bedding and toys, supervised play and regular meals and bathroom breaks in our outdoor run. This means less stress for your pet, and for you!

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Tips for Summer Travel with Pets

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Bark + Boarding Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Summertime means vacations, and many of us want don’t want our pets to miss out on the fun! If you’re planning on traveling with your pet or looking for pet-friendly destination, we’ve got you covered.

Road Trips

When bringing your pet on a car ride, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared so that you and your pet have the best experience.

Before you leave for the trip, make sure your pet is familiar with riding in a car by taking them on drives, slowly building up the amount of time they stay in the car and rewarding them with treats.

When it’s time to leave for your trip, be sure to secure your pet. They may seem completely comfortable roaming free in the car, but you never know how they might react to the many loud noises that can happen on the road, and securing your pet will make sure they aren’t injured in case of any sudden stops.

Preferably, use a crate that the animal is able to sit, stand up, and lie down in and secure the crate within the car. If you decide not to use a crate for your dog, there are “doggy seatbelts” available, which are typically harnesses that can buckle into a seatbelt.

Be sure to bring lots of water and food for your pet, even more than you might think you’ll need, since traffic, car troubles or any other unexpected delays may extend your travel time. Make regular stops to let your dog use the bathroom or to clean out kitty litter, and ensure they are drinking enough water.

Never leave your pet unattended in the car, even if you have the windows rolled down or A/C running.

Air Travel

Flying with your pet may seem like a stressful situation, but with preparation and diligence it doesn’t have to be.

If possible, book a direct flight to your destination to minimize travel time for the pet and decrease chances of them having to sit out on the tarmac while luggage is relocated.

Buy a USDA-approved crate big enough for your pet to sit, stand and lie down comfortably in, and line it with bedding such as shredded towels that can absorb any accidents.

You can tape a small pouch of food on the outside of the crate for the airline staff to feed your pet if the travel time increases unexpectedly. For water, fill a bowl that can attach to the crate door and freeze it the night before. This way, it won’t spill during loading but will melt for your pet to drink as they get thirsty.

Be sure your pet has proper identification, and consider having your pet microchipped for extra security. Mark the crate with “Live Animal” and include your name, cell phone and destination number, and a photo of your pet, just in case they escape. You should also keep a photo of your pet on your person.

Don’t be afraid to be assertive when it comes to your pet’s well-being. Tell airline employees you talk to, whether on the ground or in the air, that you are traveling with a pet in the cargo hold, so that if there is a delay they’re aware and you can decide the best course of action, even if that means removing your pet from the cargo hold and deplaning.

If your dog meets certain size and weight requirements you may be lucky enough to bring your pet into the cabin of the plane with you! Check with your airline first and always be sure you have an airline approved travel bag where your pet can rest comfortably under the seat in front of you.

Before traveling whether by car or by plane, check with your vet first. Make sure your pet is in good health and up to date on their shots. If you’re concerned, you can ask about ways to relax your pet. Don’t try to sedate your pet without consulting with your vet first.

Now that you know how you’re getting there, where are some of the best places to visit with your pet?

Pet Friendly Destinations

Many cities across the U.S. know that pet owners don’t want to leave their furry friends behind on vacation, so they’ve become pet-friendly travel spots.

Visit the Red Bud Isle peninsula in Austin, Texas for lots of off-leash adventures and water to play in, and even pick up some doggy treats at the Groovy Dog Bakery.

Asheville, North Carolina boasts 220 acres of pet-friendly grounds at the Biltmore Estate, as well as the French Broad River Dog Park with a fenced-off, wood-chipped acre for pups to play in and a river to splash around in, too.

Keywest, Florida is always a popular vacation spot, and now your dog can join in on the fun, whether it’s running around on the Key West Dog Beach or getting out on the water with Lazy Dog Kayak.

If you’re looking for a more unique destination, check out Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho. A local couple who have spent decades as woodworking artists built the bed and breakfast to look like a giant beagle, which sleeps four people plus any furry companions!

If your dog loves socializing, check out Woofstock in Toronto. The largest outdoor festival for dogs in North America, Woofstock attracts hundreds of thousands of dogs and their owners each year to celebrate dogs and participate in wacky events, such as dog speed dating, Mr. and Mrs. Canine Canada, and the Running of the Pugs.

If traveling with your pets isn’t an option, boarding them is a great way to make sure they receive the care and love they deserve while you’re out of town.

At Bark + Boarding, we offer a unique boarding structure that gives your pet their own room for their bedding and toys, supervised play and regular meals and bathroom breaks in our outdoor run. This means less stress for your pet, and for you!

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: Hot Weather Safety Tips for Pets

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Chelsea Pennington, Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Summer weather can be great for swimming, hikes, and other outdoor adventures, but the heat can be especially hard on pets, so make sure you know the best way to keep your furry friend safe this season.

Overheating is the biggest danger in warm weather, so it is important to know the signs and keep an eye on your pet when they’re outdoors or in any warm location.

Symptoms include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased respiratory or heart rate, drooling more than usual, mild weakness, lethargy or even collapsing. More severe reactions can occur when a pet’s body temperature reaches over 104 degrees, such as seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

Pets that are very young, very old, overweight, not used to prolonged exercise or have previous heart or respiratory disease are more susceptible to overheating. Certain breeds are also more prone, especially flat-faced animals such as pugs and Persian cats, since they have trouble releasing heat by panting.

If your pet does become overheated, knowing what to do and acting quickly can prevent it from getting any worse. Move your pet into shade or an air-conditioned area if possible. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest, or run cool (not cold) water over them.

Drinking too much water at this point could be dangerous, so allow them to drink small amounts of water or lick ice cubes. If you suspect your pet may be overheating it’s always a good idea to call your veterinarian or take them in to be seen.

Of course, the best way to deal with heatstroke is to prevent it! One of the most important and easiest things you can do is make sure your pet is hydrated. Always keep a bowl of fresh, clean water available for your pets indoors and outdoors. When they’re outside, make sure they have access to shade.

A dog house is not a good solution since it doesn’t allow air flow; instead, rely on a tree or set up a tarp or tent to provide shade.

Take your dog on walks in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside, and avoid having your dog walk on asphalt for extended periods. Asphalt can get very hot and potentially burn your pup’s paws, and since they’re closer to the ground the heat radiating off the surface can cause them to warm up even more quickly.

Bring water on walks to keep your dog hydrated, and consider investing in a cooling mat or vest that you can bring along to lower your dog’s body temperature.

Some solutions that seem like they would help humans in the heat can be unhelpful or even harmful to pets.

While it’s okay to shave down some dogs, many breeds should never be shaved. Many double-coated dogs, like Huskies, have a special coat that keeps them both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

For cats, brushing more frequently than usual can help prevent problems caused by heat. If you decide to use sunscreen or insect repellant for your pet, be sure to use a product labeled specifically for use on animals, not just the bottle of sunscreen you have lying around from last summer.

One of the most important things to remember in hot weather is to never leave your pet unattended in the car. Temperatures inside a car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes, even when the windows are left cracked.

For example, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with cracked windows can reach 102 degrees in ten minutes, and after thirty minutes it can climb to 120 degrees. Your pet can suffer from irreversible organ damage, or even die.

Leaving a pet unattended in a car is illegal in many states, and be sure to know what your state’s policy is so you know how to react if you see a pet left in a car.

If it’s just too hot outside for exercise but your dog needs to burn some energy, Bark + Boarding’s Doggie Daycare is a great option. They are able divide their play space into different sized play zones that can be joined or separated to accommodate dogs in need of a calm break or those who require some extra enrichment activities.

Your dog will receive outdoor playtime and bathroom breaks and constant, professional supervision while they play. Just because it’s heating up outside doesn’t mean your dog can’t have fun!

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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The Chew: How to Make Your Dog a Better Neighbor

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark & Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

Article provided by Tamara Gilmore at pupjobs.com

You adore your dog, but how do your neighbors feel about your pet?

If you’re not practicing good pet-owner etiquette, you could be unwittingly making enemies of your neighbors. For a more harmonious relationship between canines and humans, follow these dog etiquette tips.

At Home

Your house is your dog’s home too, but that doesn’t mean giving your pet free reign is always the appropriate choice.

When hosting guests, consider their comfort level around dogs. It’s good etiquette to let first-time guests know you have a dog before they come over. Ask if guests prefer that you close your dog in a room before their visit; Fido won’t mind a couple hours of solitude and it could do wonders to comfort a dog-fearing guest.

If your dog tends to jump on visitors, leash him before they arrive. That way, you can control the introductions and let your dog off leash once the initial excitement has waned.

If at any time your dog appears anxious or overstimulated while you’re hosting guests, shut your pet in a quiet room. Just because your dog is sweet and gentle with you doesn’t mean it will behave the same way around small children, big bearded men or another type of person it’s unfamiliar with.

If you’re unsure how to tell if your dog is feeling anxious, refer to this list from Doggone Safe. You can also use daycare as a great alternative to tire your dog out before guests arrive or boarding to keep your pup out of the home during extended visits.

In the Yard

A fence is essential for good canine-neighbor relations. A good fence not only keeps your dog contained, it also stops your dog from barking at passersby and keeps children and other animals out of your yard.

While chain link fencing may be economical, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing choice. In addition, some dogs can climb the links to escape. Consider a wood fence instead.

While it’s more costly — Arlington, VA, homeowners pay an average of $1,700 to $3,833 to install a wood fence — it’s an attractive solution that will last for years to come. Wood fences are also easier to modify than other styles, so you can add a peekaboo window or other fence features that ease anxiety and reduce escape attempts.

While a fence is important, it doesn’t give homeowners carte blanche to leave their pets unattended in the yard.

A bored dog in the backyard is prone to tear up your landscaping, bark for no reason and experiment with new methods for escape. Keep an eye on your pet when it’s outside and always bring dogs in when they start to bark.

On the Go

Walks around the neighborhood are a great opportunity for your pup to mingle with the neighborhood dogs and make a good impression on their owners. But if it goes poorly, it could leave your neighbors crossing the street when you approach.

Maintain your neighborly etiquette on the go by always following local leash laws and picking up your dog’s waste on walks. Try not to let your dog urinate on neighbor’s yards. Instead, aim for parks and strips of grass between the sidewalk and road.

Always ask before letting your pet approach another dog. Even if your dog is the friendliest canine on the planet, other dogs may have aggression or anxiety issues. Asking first keeps everyone safe and prevents unnecessary stress.

If you have a dog who needs space while on walks you should consider joining The Yellow Dog Project.

The local dog park is a great place to let your pet romp with other dogs. However, dog parks aren’t suitable for dogs in heat, sick dogs or dogs who play rough with others.

While it’s fun to chat with other dog owners at the park, ensure you’re always keeping watch over your dog. If your pet is exhibiting bullying behavior or being bothered by another dog, leave and try again another day. The Atlanta Humane Society offers helpful tips for identifying and correcting bullying behavior in dogs.

If you’ve followed this advice and your pet is still causing problems with the neighbors, it’s time to seek professional solutions. Your dog may benefit from obedience training or working with a canine behaviorist, or he may simply need a dog walker to increase his daily exercise.

By finding the right solutions for your pet, you can enjoy a happier dog, happier neighbors and a happier you.

Looking for more tips, interested in adorable pet pics or just want to get more information on what we do? Stay connected with Bark + Boarding on FacebookInstagram and our website!

Click here to check out our short video about this article!

Mention this article for a FREE evaluation and click here to sign up for one today. If you have a question about your pet, feel free to come in, or email [email protected] any time.

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