Arlington, VA

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

In just a few weeks, the skies will fill with fireworks and backyards will fill with barbecues as people across the country celebrate the Fourth of July.

It’s a night of summer fun, but for our furry friends, it can also include dangers and stress. Here are a few tips to make sure your dogs enjoy the holiday as much as you do!

Do keep them away from fireworks

Of course, the biggest danger to pets is fireworks. Lit fireworks can burn dogs’ face, fur and paws. Even unlit fireworks can pose a hazard — they’re typically full of potentially toxic substances that a dog might ingest if they decide to chew on one. Keep all unused fireworks out of reach of curious pups, and have your dog on a leash or in a different, closed-off area if fireworks are going to be set off near you.

Don’t let them near glowsticks

Glow sticks and glow jewelry are a classic part of July 4th festivities, but if a dog gets a hold of one, it won’t be pretty. Besides making a mess, the luminescent substance can irritate your dog’s digestive system and swallowing the pieces of plastic can cause blockage. While the glowing goo isn’t especially toxic, it’s still best to save them for your human friends!

Do know how to deal with anxiety

Loud noises like fireworks are often frightening for many dogs, so it’s important to have a few tactics ready to soothe them. Create a safe space in a room that your dog won’t be able to escape from.

Turn on the TV or some music to help distract from the sounds outside, and close the blinds of the windows. Make sure they have a bed and toys, plus plenty of water — some dogs drink more when they’re anxious, so they might need more than you think.

If your dog is extra insecure, you might want to purchase an anti-anxiety wrap that hugs their body closely, which has a calming effect. There are also anti-anxiety collars and over the counter supplements you can try. If you know your dog hates loud noises, talk to your vet about a prescription for medicine that can help them relax during the holiday.

Don’t leave doors and gates open

With all the excitement, it can be easy for front doors or backyard gates to be left open. When there’s a dog involved, that means it’s a prime opportunity to escape.

Be sure that your family and any guests are aware of the need to close all doors firmly behind you, and let them know if there are any tricks they should be aware of, whether it’s that one hinge that sticks or how your pup likes to hide out in the bushes, just waiting to make a run for it. If your dog is a known flight risk, it might be better to put them in their crate or have them on a long leash outside to make sure they don’t get loose.

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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

Each year in the U.S., between 4.5 and 5 million people are bitten by dogs.

While most of these bites are not serious, they are almost all preventable, either from the pet owner training their dog better or from people knowing how to recognize the warning signs. Whether you’re a dog owner or just someone who might like to pet a dog every now and then, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent dog bites.

Tips For Dog Owners

Socialize your dog — Socializing your dog, especially when they’re young, helps them to feel more comfortable in different situations. Dogs bite because they are scared and feel the need to defend themselves, so introducing them to a variety of people, animals and places when they’re a puppy helps teach them they don’t need to protect themselves.

Always use a leash — If you’re in a public space, always keep your dog on a leash so that you can have control over them. This isn’t mean, but rather a precaution to make sure everyone stays safe. Teaching your dog basic commands like sit, stay, no and come can also help you manage your dog in situations that might cause them to disobey.

Give your dog enough exercise — Dogs that have pent up energy are tense and anxious, and this can make them more likely to bite. Making sure they have plenty of time to play and release this energy in a different way will alleviate this problem.

Talk to your vet about spaying or neutering — Often, intact dogs are more aggressive than those that have been neutered or spayed. The timing of this procedure varies for each dog, so be sure to talk with your vet about when is best to go forward, and mention any aggressive tendencies you may have noticed in your dog.

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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.

When it’s time to head out for your summer getaway, you have two choices: take the entire family or leave man’s best friend out of the loop.

If you’d rather have Spot by your side, keep reading. It’s not always easy to travel with a dog, but it’s possible. These tips can help you make the most of your adventures with your four-legged traveling companion.

Health and Safety

Any time you’re heading away from home, you should first discuss the trip with your veterinarian. This is especially important if you will be traveling across state lines or via airplane.

Your dog will need to be up to date on vaccinations, and you may be required to present a health certificate at the airport. Find the number of the closest emergency veterinarian at your destination, and program your telephone with their contact information.

To lessen the chances of your dog getting sick on your trip, bring enough of his regular food to last while you are away, or confirm that your usual brand is available locally. Depending on where you’re going, you may also need extra travel gear. Pack a life jacket or hiking vest if you’ll be at the beach or mountains, and always bring a leash, collar and ID/rabies tags.

Nervousness

If your dog has never traveled before or shows signs of anxiety when he’s in the car, you can ease his nerves by bringing along a few familiar items. It will also help to get him used to short trips in the weeks leading up to a long journey. You might also wish to consult with your veterinarian on supplements that will help keep your dog calm on the road, on the railway, or in the air.

CBD oil is one option, and many pet owners have reported using quality CBD oil to treat phobias and anxiety. Keep in mind, however, that despite hemp and cannabis being well known, CBD oil is a relatively recent addition to commercially-available home treatments.

Practical Matters

There is no denying that traveling with your dog takes preparation. You may also find that you need to pad your schedule to account for bathroom breaks and exercise time. The American Kennel Club recommends teaching your dog to “go” on surfaces other than grass.

You never know when you will have a chance to stop. The last thing you want is for your dog to avoid eliminating his bladder or bowels until it’s too late and you have a mess in the back seat.

Something else that’s easy to overlook is whether or not your dog will actually be allowed at your preferred vacation accommodation. Keep in mind that hotels only have limited rooms available for guests traveling with pets, so book early. If you are not sure yet where you’d like to go, TripsToDiscover.com list more than a dozen pet-friendly resorts that happily say hello to your holiday-bound hound.

Visit a few local dog parks before your trip to get Ace acclimated to other animals if his social manners need refining; hotels can and will ask you to leave if your pet can’t behave.

The most important step in traveling with your dog is to prepare according to your destination. This means consulting with your veterinarian regarding your dog’s health, confirming his accommodations and getting him ready for the road.

It is extra work, but considering that your dog is an important part of your family, it’s a labor of love that will only strengthen your bond and give you memories to hold onto for the rest of your life.

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 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

Nothing says summer like enjoying a sweet frozen treat like ice cream or a snow cone.

While you might be inclined to let your dog have a lick, many desserts are artificially sweetened with Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. So instead of sharing your summer dessert, try one of these easy pet-friendly treats to beat the heat.

Frozen Fresh Breath Treats 

  • 1 cup of plain or Greek yogurt
  • Small handful of fresh parsley leaves
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves

Blend all the ingredients until the herbs are evenly disbursed. If you’d like the consistency to be a little thinner, add a splash of water. Pour into an ice tray and freeze. The parsley and mint will help freshen your dog’s breath, while also providing other health benefits.

Parsley can reduce inflammation and aid digestion, while mint is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral to help prevent bacteria growing in your dog’s mouth.

Doggie S’mores

  • Dog biscuits
  • 1 cup of carob chips or 1 tablespoon of carob powder
  • 1 cup of plain or Greek yoghurt

Put carob chips in a bowl and melt over boiled water. Once melted, mix with the yogurt. For carob powder, mix it directly into the yogurt. Dip the top of the dog biscuit into the mixture, then place another biscuit on top to create a sandwich. Line a tray with as many s’mores as you want, then freeze.

Since chocolate is toxic for dogs, regular s’mores aren’t an option, but carob has a similar taste and texture to chocolate, and also contains healthy nutrients to help flush toxins from your dog’s body.

Bark + Boarding Ice Cream

  • Equal parts plain yogurt
  • Peanut butter, pumpkin puree or chicken stock

Blend ingredients together. Pour into ice trays, then freeze until solid. Here at Bark + Boarding, our doggie-friendly ice cream is always a hit! Using the pumpkin puree has the added benefit of aiding your dog’s digestive health. If you go with peanut butter, make sure you get a naturally sweetened brand without Xylitol.

Tennis Ball Surprise

Combine two of your dog’s favorite things: tennis balls and treats! Carefully cut a slit into a tennis ball, revealing the hollow center. Fill it with treats, then give it a toss. This is sure to liven up any game of fetch, and will also give your active dog something to keep busy as they snuff out the treats.

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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

Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors during summertime, and bringing along your furry friend makes it even better. Before you load up the tent and head off into the wilderness, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared so that everyone is safe and has fun.

Give Your Dog Time to Adjust

If your dog has never been camping with you before, help your dog prepare for anything new they might encounter. Set up your tent in the backyard and let your dog sniff and explore, giving them treats so that they associate it with good things. Use a flashlight or headlamp on an evening walk so your dog can get used to that as well.

Make Sure the Details Are in Order

Before you bring your dog camping, be sure to stop by the vet first to ensure your dog is healthy enough for camping. It’s also important that their ID tag or microchip has all the correct information, and that you bring any papers you’ll need to verify current vaccinations.

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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.

Spring is here, and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. We’ve rounded up some of the best local events that are dog-friendly, so you and your furry pal can make the most of the season.

Easter Eggstravaganza

April 20, 12-3 p.m.
Cost: $5/family
1601 Nicodemus Road
Reisterstown, Maryland 21136

Your pup doesn’t have to miss out on all the Easter fun! Celebrate with a traditional egg hunt, and get your picture with the Easter bunny. If you’re hungry, Flash Crab’s food truck will be there with tasty food to purchase. The event is hosted by the Baltimore Humane Society.

Pooch Palooza

April 27 at 9-4 p.m. and April 28 11-4 p.m.
Cost: $12 for single day ticket, $20 for weekend pass, $2 per add-on dog
8428 Stephen Decatur Highway
Berlin, Maryland 21811

Give your dog the time of their life as they get to participate in a day full of fun designed just for them! Events include lure chasing, pie eating, the Fast Fetch Cup and Qualifier, and the Helio ball drop. There is also a costume contest and canine photobooth. Owners will have plenty to do as well — the event includes seminars to help you learn how to be an even better dog owner.

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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.

Exploring the outdoors is always better with a furry friend, but that doesn’t have to only include dogs.

For many cats, learning to walk on a leash and getting to spend time outside is a fun adventure, and a rewarding experience for the owner. Teaching your cat to walk on a leash may take some practice, but it can be fun for both you and your cat.

Find the Right Harness

It’s important to buy a harness to use for walking your cat. Cats are less likely to wriggle out of a harness than a collar while out and about. There are harnesses specifically designed for walking cats, but even within this category there are a variety of options.

You may need to try several before you find one that your cat likes. Make sure you find the right fit; you should be able to fit one or two fingers underneath the harness, but no more than that.

Introduce Your Cat to the Idea

Once you’ve purchased a harness, you need to give your cat time to warm up to it. Begin by letting them smell and play with the harness so it doesn’t seem so foreign. Help them make good associations with it by giving them treats as they investigate it and keep it near their food bowl when you feed them.

Unexpected noises may startle your cat, so also practice clicking and unclicking the harness. Once they seem comfortable with it, try putting it on. Continue giving them treats as they wear it so they have a positive association. When you first put it on, don’t buckle it. As they get used to wearing it loose, buckle it and resize it as necessary.

It will likely take several tries for them to adjust, but if after a few attempts they still seem to hate wearing it and any other harness you try, your cat may just not be made for leash walking.

Bring Out the Leash

Now that your cat is comfortable wearing a harness, it’s time to attach the leash. Even if you’re itching to get outside, patience is your friend when teaching your cat to walk on a leash. Attach the leash to the harness and stay inside as you let them explore.

At first, don’t try to lead them at all — just follow them as they walk around the house. As they adjust to this, you can start giving them gentle guidance. You should never be yanking on the leash or pulling them along.

Head Outside

If your cat doesn’t show any resistance or discomfort walking around inside with the harness and leash attached, you can bring them outdoors. Put on the harness and leash indoors, then carry them out the door to a safe, fenced-in area.

It’s important to always carry your cat outside rather than letting them walk out on their own. If they get used to the idea of walking outside on their own, they’re more likely to do it when they don’t have their leash on.

For your cat’s first outdoor experience, go to an enclosed area away from loud noises or other animals. This removes stress for both you and your cat, so you both have a positive first outdoor adventure. Be sure to keep treats on hand so your cat continues to have good associations with the walk.

You’ll need to be prepared in case your cat becomes extremely frightened. Carry a heavy towel with you so if they get startled or become panicked, you can wrap them up in the towel and bring them inside without being scratched or bitten. To help prevent this, keep your first several walks near an open door so that your cat will feel more secure knowing they have the option to return inside.

Slowly Increase Your Walks

As your cat gets more comfortable outside, gradually increase the time and distance you go outdoors. They won’t be able to handle long distances like a dog, but if they’re enjoying their adventure then you might be surprised at how long they’ll be willing to stay outside. Follow your cat’s lead and enjoy a more leisurely stroll as your cat explores new smells and chases bugs.

Teaching your cat to walk on a leash takes time, but with a little bit of patience (and lots of treats!) you could be having outdoor adventures with your cat before you know it.

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 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.

As the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time to have some new outdoor adventures with your dog. To help you find the perfect spot to enjoy nature with your pup, we’ve rounded up some of the best trails to walk or run in the area.

Theodore Roosevelt Island
Washington, D.C.

  • Two and a half miles of low intensity trails
  • Most of the trails are wooded, providing shade during the warmer months
  • No fees
  • If your dog is adventurous and water-loving, canoeing and kayaking are available

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
7400 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22102

  • Over 300 acres of trails leading to scenic spots like Scott’s Run Waterfall and overlooks of the Potomac River
  • Variety of trail types, including shaded wooded areas and more intense rocky climbs
  • Some trails cover rocky bluffs that are unsafe for dogs

Washington And Old Dominion Trail
21293 Smiths Switch Road
Ashburn, VA 20147

  • Sixty-five miles of trails
  • Trails are mostly paved or gravel, making them easier for beginners
  • This former railroad trail is open year-round

Great Falls
9200 Old Dominion Drive
McLean, VA 22102

  • Fifteen miles of trails
  • Variety of trails, from the Swamp Trail through lowland forest to the more challenging Billy Goat Trail perfect for high-energy dogs
  • Most of the trails are wider, multi-use paths, so if your dog is uncomfortable around bikes and horses, consider a different trail

Rock Creek Park
5200 Glover Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20015

  • Thirty-two miles of trails
  • Both rustic and paved paths
  • During the weekend, parts of Beach Drive are closed to cars so you can feel free to walk your dog down the road
  • There is a horse center in the middle of the park, and deer are common, so the trails are best suited for dogs who are already familiar with these animals

Catoctin Mountain Park
6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788

  • Twenty-five miles of trails
  • Location of Camp David, the presidential retreat
  • Dogs must be leashed
  • Variety of trail difficulties to match all abilities

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East
Luray, VA 22835

  • Nearly 500 miles of dog-friendly trails
  • One of the few national parks that allows dogs on their trails
  • Keep dogs leashed, as bear sightings are common

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 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

Going for a run is a great way for both dogs and their owners to stay in shape.

Bringing your pup on a run has a unique set of challenges to overcome, but with a few tips, you and your furry friend will be up and running in no time!

Do talk to your vet first

Before you start running with your dog, take them to have a check-up with your vet. Let them know you plan on starting to exercise your dog more, so they can pay extra attention to your pet’s heart, lungs and joints. This ensures you don’t do more harm than good by encouraging your pet to run if they aren’t physically fit enough.

Don’t start off too hard

Just like humans, dogs need time to build up their stamina and energy, so beginning your new routine with a ten mile run isn’t a good idea. Start slowly with short distances, and alternate between running and walking. Dogs’ paws are also sensitive, and need to grow tougher gradually as you increase the distance.

Do teach them good leash behavior

Give the leash gentle tugs to keep your dog focused on moving forward and not constantly stopping to pee or sniff something. You want them running at your side within a few feet of you, and a three-to six-foot leash is usually the right length for running with a dog. Reinforce good behavior with a small treat.

Don’t start too young

Puppies’ joints are more prone to injury, so they shouldn’t be taken on long runs until their bones have stopped growing, about 9 months in small dogs and up to 16 months for larger dogs. Until then, keep them fit by going on short walks and playing in the backyard or dog park.

Do pay attention to paws

While you may have sturdy shoes to run in, your dog doesn’t. Pay attention to the type of surface you’re leading your dog over. During hot months, blacktop and concrete heat up quickly, while jagged ice in the winter can also pose a threat. Keep an eye out for glass and other roadside debris.

Inspect your dog’s paws for any cuts before and after your workout, and wipe down their paws with a warm, soapy rag afterward to clean out salt, dirt and any other irritants.

Don’t underestimate staying hydrated

For both you and your dog, be sure you drink enough water! Hydrate before and after the run, and if it’s going to be a longer distance it’s important to bring water with you. When your pup gets thirsty, they’ll likely try to drink from puddles and other sources of standing water. Don’t let your dog do this, as they’re often contaminated and can make your dog sick.

Do listen to your dog

Your dog can’t speak up when they don’t feel good, but you can still listen to them. Signs that your dog needs a break include foaming at the mouth, heavy panting, glazed eyes and slowing down. If your dog starts to limp or lick the pads of its paw, you should stop the run immediately and return home.

If your dog doesn’t seem to be cooling down, place ice bags or cool cloths in their “arm pits” where their legs connect to the rest of their body, and take them to the vet or an emergency clinic, as they might be overheating.

Don’t forget the right equipment

The number one thing you need on a run is doggy bags! Just because you’re moving faster than your normal walk doesn’t mean you don’t need to pick up after your dog. If you’re running longer distances, a collapsible bowl to pour water into can be a good investment. There are a variety of hands-free leashes that clip around your waist, so you don’t have to worry about holding onto the leash.

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 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

If you’ve ever had a dog that gets nervous around thunderstorms or a cat struggling with arthritis, you know that pets often have problems that we want to fix, but they seem unsolvable.

As owners, it is hard to see your pet suffering and feel powerless to help. For some health troubles, however, there may be a new solution: CBD.

What, exactly, is CBD? Its longer name is cannabidiol, and it is a compound found in the cannabis plant, which, yes, is primarily associated with marijuana. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that CBD won’t get your pet high. Cannabis has another compound, called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

It is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and what leads to the high for humans. Even though it comes from the same plant, CBD does not have psychoactive effects on humans or animals, and it is becoming used more frequently for health issues in humans. Recently, vets have begun realizing it can be helpful for animals as well.

CBD Can Help Reduce Anxiety

If your dog barks excessively, exhibits destructive behavior, or seems overly restless whenever you leave the house, there is a high chance they’re suffering from separation anxiety.

Just like in humans, CBD can help relieve anxiety so your dog can be calmer when you’re not home. It can also help reduce anxiety associated with noise phobias, so that your dog won’t cower every time there’s a thunderstorm or fireworks nearby.

CBD Can Treat Seizures and Epilepsy

This is a common use for CBD in humans, but pets can also suffer from seizures, and CBD can help. There are other medicines often prescribed to help animals with seizure activity, but these can be harmful to their liver and may not always work.

CBD Relieves Pain

It is well-reported that CBD has been effective against various types of pain, including inflammation and nerve-related pain. It can also help alleviate the effects of arthritis, helping with joint and mobility pain.

CBD Can Help with Appetite and Nausea

Although humans often report getting the “munchies” during or after consuming marijuana, your pet doesn’t have to get high to feel this effect. If your furry friend isn’t showing much appetite, CBD can help get them to eat. It’s also been shown to help with vomiting and nausea, even when toxins or drugs cause these symptoms.

CBD Might Help Fight Cancer

Preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence have suggested that CBD can have an anti-tumor effect, stopping cancerous cells from growing and increasing tumor cell death by blocking their ability to produce energy.

It’s important to remember that the effects of CBD are still being studied, particularly as they relate to animals. Not every company that offers CBD for pets is trustworthy, so always be sure to do your research before buying a product for your pet. Since CBD is still not legal at the federal level, in most states veterinarians aren’t allowed to bring up the topic with their patients.

But if you think CBD might be helpful to your pet, don’t be afraid to talk to your vet about it. If you do decide to try CBD, it’s crucial to purchase products specifically made for animals. Human CBD products often still contain small amounts of THC.

While this compound produces a high for humans, for animals it can be toxic, even in the small doses found in human CBD products. CBD may not turn out to be the magic cure-all for every problem our pets have, but for many owners, it offers them another way to help their furry best friends.

CBD can be easily administered to your pet in treat or liquid form. Treats are a more appetizing option, however, the liquid drops option can provide easier ways to administer various dosages. Come in to Bark + Boarding and mention this article for 15% off Suzie’s CBD Treats or Drops.

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.

0 Comments

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.

Winter brings below-freezing temperatures and icy or snowy conditions, and for stray cats this can pose a potentially deadly problem.

Cats’ fur can only keep them so warm, but there are plenty of ways you can help. If you’ve seen a stray cat hanging out in your neighborhood, don’t assume it is able to take care of itself or that someone else will help it. There are a few simple steps you can take to help these animals.

Provide Food and Water

Leaving out food and water for cats is helpful for several reasons. Besides the obvious of keeping the cats fed, it also keeps them from consuming scavenged food or water that might make them sick.

It also means they don’t have to roam as far looking for food, which can lead to them getting hurt by a cars, predators or other dangers. Wet food requires less energy to digest, leaving more energy to keep warm, but it is also in danger of freezing.

Serve it in a plastic bowl and warm up the food before putting it out to help prevent this. If it keeps freezing, switching to dry food is always better than nothing.

If you put food out at the same time each day, you create a schedule that the cats can come to expect, meaning that both the food and the animals spend less time in the cold.

To keep water from freezing, use bowls that are deep rather than wide, and place it in sunlight. Avoid using a metal bowl, and adding a pinch of sugar lowers the freezing point of water, ensuring it stays liquid longer.

To take extra caution, you can spray insulation foam into the underside of plastic feeding dishes and water bowls. Another solution is to place a microwaveable heating pad under the bowls, and you can even make your own heating pad using a sock filled with rice.

Make a Shelter

Creating a shelter doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. A few modifications to something as simple as a heavy cardboard box make a perfect place for cats to sleep.

Raise the bottom of the box a couple inches above the ground so it doesn’t get soggy, and cover the top with plastic, such as a garbage bag, to protect from the elements. Cutting a hole in a plastic storage bin is also an easy way to create a shelter. Generally, a good size is about two feet by three feet, and 18 inches tall.

Smaller spaces keep the heat close and allow the cats to lay next to and on top of each other to share heat. The door should only be large enough for a cat, about six to eight inches. Adding a flap is a good way to keep out ice and rain and keep in heat.

Straw is by far the best choice for bedding in a shelter. Blankets, towels and even hay will absorb moisture and then potentially freeze, providing no help at all. Straw will help insulate the cats while staying dry.

Be sure to shovel snow away from the entrance so it doesn’t pile up too high and prevent the cat from entering or exiting.

Practice Winter Safety

There are a few things you can do around your house to help keep stray cats safe. One is to check under your car before starting it and driving away. Animals are often drawn to the heat emanating from the car, and may be curled up underneath to stay warm.

Don’t use antifreeze in areas that are accessible to cats, as consuming it can be lethal. Similarly, be sure to use a pet friendly ice melt to melt snow.

Trap-Neuter-Release

Possibly the best thing you can do for the feral cats in your area is something often referred to as TNR: trap, neuter, release. Trapping cats and giving them to an animal shelter may just add to an already overcrowded shelter, and, depending on where you live, may just lead them to be euthanized.

Neutering or spaying the cats and then releasing them allows them to continue to live as they like, while also limiting the population. Spaying and neutering also improves cats’ overall health.

Contact your local shelter for more information on how best to do this in your area.

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