Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer is finally here and you and your pup are ready to hit the water together for some quality fun in the sun time! But before you and Fido dive in – there’s a few things you need to know to keep your pup safe this summer.

shutterstock_193662557Don’t forget the sunscreen!

This may surprise you, but dogs are vulnerable to getting sunburns, too! Especially those with lighter colored coats. There are even some amazing sunblock brands out there that are made specifically for dogs! So remember to throw a bottle in your bag before you head out the door.

Are you sure your dog can swim?

Before you even venture out into the water, it’s pretty important to know whether or not your dog can even swim. Some breeds flourish in the water. Other breeds not only don’t enjoy being in the water, but really struggle to swim well at all. So before you take your pooch for dip, let him explore some shallow areas first to see if it’s something he’ll enjoy or not.

Invest in a life vest

Whether your dog is a seasoned swimmer or a little nervous to even be near the water, a life vest is a smart item to purchase. No matter if you’re taking your dog out on a boat, or going to play fetch in the nearby river, a vest can be a valuable safety tool to keep your four legged swimmer safe no matter what happens. Just make sure that you measure him and pick out a vest that will fit him appropriately.

shutterstock_533592607Don’t forget that dog’s are not allowed everywhere

As much as we adore our little fur babys, they’re not always allowed everywhere we go. Some places are just not safe places for dogs to play. So be sure to check before you head out with your dog.

shutterstock_594205211Be on the lookout for blue-green algae

You may have heard about it on the news. There is a bacteria known as cyanobacteria that’s usually found in still waters like ponds and lakes. Although it’s not always easy to spot, you can often see it as a blue or green film sitting on the water. Sometimes it will look like brown or green flakes sitting on the shore. Unfortunately this bacteria is often fatal to dogs, so if you see anything unusual in the water, keep your dog away.

Bring fresh water for your pooch to drink

Although your pooch may be tempted to drink from the water he’s playing in, it’s not always a good idea. If it’s fresh water, it’s probably fine, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring some bottles of water along for the trip just in case you encounter some water that looks a little less than safe. And if you’ll be hanging out around the ocean, you’ll most definitely want to bring water as drinking ocean water can make your dog very sick. Don’t forget the collapsable bowls!

Don’t forget to rinse!

After your dog is all finished playing in the water, don’t forget to give him a good rinse to get any bacteria, chlorine, or debris out of his coat. If he decides to groom himself, you don’t want him to ingest anything harmful off his skin and coat. Giving your dog a wash will also help keep his skin from feeling irritated from the water, sand, and debris he may have encountered. And don’t forget to clean his ears – especially those breeds with floppy ears!

Have fun this summer and be safe!

Why Taking Your Dog to Work is Awesome

You may have heard of Take Your Child to Work Day, but how about Take Your Dog to Work Day? These days, more and more employers are allowing dogs to be brought to the workplace. What a great way to boost morale at your job! Best. Lunchbreak. Ever.

 

Here are only a few of the reasons why bringing your dog to work is awesome.

Destressing

It’s no secret that dogs do a fantastic job of reducing our stress. In fact, there have been studies done about just that. You see therapy dogs in hospitals helping those who are dealing with illnesses, and even support dogs assisting their humans who suffer from PTSD. The benefits of having a furry friend in our lives seem to be just endless. And if dogs are just that brilliant at helping us reduce our stress levels, then imagine how beneficial they would be hanging out with us at the office!

Getting to know coworkers

Have trouble breaking the ice with your officemates? Have no fear. A sweet and fluffy dog is sure to bring you and your cubicle neighbor together in no time! I mean, who can resist stopping to scratch the ear of any adorable canine? Bringing your dog with you to work is a great way to get to know some of the other people you work alongside every day! How about organizing a doggy meet and greet?

Get your body moving during your workday

For those of us who have jobs that entail sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen hour after hour, a dog in our office may be just the ticket to get our bodies moving! It’s tempting to spend our lunch hour sitting and eating at our desk, but what better motivation could there be to get up and walk, than a dog? Take an easy and healthy lunch with you and go outside with your pooch. Go take a little walk and find a quiet bench to spend some quality pup time together (just make sure you find a spot where dogs are allowed!). Maybe invite some coworkers to do the same!

Less time worrying about Fido

Like so many of us, you probably spend a good chunk of your day worrying about how your dog is doing all alone at home. So why not take that stress off your shoulders by having him right there by your side all day? And imagine how much happier he is having you in his sights? You’ll both be so much happier knowing exactly what the other one is doing at all times during the workday.

Way more fun meetings

I mean, come on. Let’s not kid ourselves here. How much more fun would those board meetings be if they were full of dogs? Discussing next quarter projections would be so much better if they included ears to scratch and bellies to rub! You’d never feel put out to attend another meeting ever again. Just as we mentioned before, dogs are fantastic at reducing our stress, so this is perfect! Having our pups with us at work is simply a must!

House Training Your New Puppy

A new puppy in the house is an exciting time! Full of wiggles and squishy puppy goodness. But it also can be a bit of a challenging time for new owners as they navigate the first training phases. One of the toughest and time consuming is the house training step. But don’t worry, as long as you’re consistent and patient, most dogs can be easily house trained.

Remember That It Takes Time

One of the first things to keep in mind as you begin the house training process is that it takes time, so be patient! Some puppies can be trained within 4-6 months, but others can take up to a year. The key is to never, ever give up and always be consistent! The more you stick to your routine, the faster your puppy will become trained to only go potty outside. If it feels like it’s taking forever, or that he just doesn’t seem to be learning fast enough, don’t fret. Every pup is different and he will get there!

The Nights Will Be Long At First

Be prepared to get up at least a couple times a night for the first few weeks. Typically, by 16 weeks, your puppy should be sleeping through the night. But this can vary by puppy. Some begin sleeping through the night much earlier. No matter how long it takes, it’s important to get up and let him go outside to go potty when he needs to. This will help reinforce the house training. However, be sure to very simply get up, take him outside, let him potty, and then bring him right back inside again and put him back to bed. If you’re crate training, take him directly back to his crate and put him back away. It’s important not to pet him or play with him or do anything that might make him want to get up during the night for anything other than going to the bathroom. You want to teach him that if he whines during the night, he will only be let outside to go potty, and that is it. This will encourage him to sleep.

Watch Him Closely During the Day

Keep a close eye on him at all times as he’s hanging out around the house. Take him outside every little bit and give him a command like, “Let’s go potty!” or “Outside!” or “Potty!”. Right at first, you might have to take him outside as often as every 15 minutes. Then every 20 minutes. Then every 30 minutes. As your pup gets the hang of it, you’ll be able to stretch it further and further out. But be sure to follow his cues and if it looks like he’s sniffing for a place to go to the bathroom, take him outside right away. And don’t forget to praise him each and every time he goes to the bathroom outside!

If You’re Crate Training

If you’re going to train your new pup to sleep in a crate, use this as a potty training tool. Keep him in his crate at night and only take him out of it when he needs to use the bathroom. Work on training him to go to his crate when you say “crate” or “kennel” or “go to your bed”. Give him a treat every time he goes to his crate and praise him. It can take some time for him to get used to using their crate so stick with it and work on keeping it a positive experience for him. Also, keeping him in his crate when you’re not able to keep an eye on him will really help with house training. He won’t want to go potty where he sleeps, so it’s a great tool for teaching him to hold it until he goes outside!

When You’re Ready to Use a Pet Door

As soon as you feel like your pup is ready to start learning how to use the pet door, just as you did with the other steps, be patient and go at your dog’s pace. Hold the flaps open at first so that he can get used to using the pet door before the flaps actually rest on his back. Reward him with a treat and lots of praise every time he goes through it. Don’t forget to use commands with the pet door as well so that he can associate it with going outside to use the restroom. Say this like, “Outside,” “Potty,” or “Tinkle,”

With a little time and patience, your pup is going to be house trained in no time! Remember, this stage won’t last forever so take your time getting Fido trained to use the bathroom outside, and you’ll be really glad you took the extra time to get it right.

Tips for Hiking with your Dog

With spring quickly approaching or already here in some areas, hiking season is right around the corner! And whether you’re planning just a quick day trip, or you’re looking at doing some serious backpacking, there are a few things to consider if you’re going to bring your pooch along. 

First, make sure you bring all the necessary supplies:

-Plenty of fresh water/portable filtration system
-Collapsible food and water bowls
-More than enough dog food and treats for the duration of your hike
-First aid kit
-Baggies for dog waste
-Blanket(s)
-Dog booties
-Unscented gentle baby wipes
-Towel
-Leash/lead

When you’re on your walk, be mindful to be constantly monitoring your dog’s behavior to ensure he’s not becoming taxed. Don’t rush and take plenty of breaks, especially if your dog is not as experienced hiking. If it’s warm out, try to find shady places to take breaks and allow your dog to get some water. If they’re barefoot, make sure the ground is not too hot for their paws. If it is, consider the dog booties. 

Avoid feeding your dog too much food before or during the hike, which might make their stomach upset. Instead, give them little snacks and treats along the way. This both gives him the motivation to keep going on the journey, but also gives him little energy boosts as well!

Keep a close watch on your surroundings during the hike. Watch for poisonous plants that your dog could get into, as well as wild animals that may not be too pleased to be messed with. Little critters like porcupines and snakes love to camouflage themselves, so it’s good to be aware. Your dog will alert you immediately if he spots something or catches a whiff, so he’ll give you the heads up. Keeping a leash on your dog is an extra bit of assurance that you can keep control over him should he become too interested in something.

If your dog is accustomed to a dog hiking pack, this can be a great way to distribute the weight carried. You can put their food and accessories in their pack, leaving yourself a bit more room in your own pack.

Remember to take your time during your hike and don’t allow yourself or your dog to become overexerted. Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day and to take plenty of nice long breaks as you go. A lot of dogs absolutely love getting to explore the outdoors with their owners on hikes through the wilderness, and with a little planning and preparedness, it’s a doable outing!

Have fun and happy hiking!

Manufacturing Reopening

Due to COVID-19, our factory operations were temporarily interrupted. The Governor of Colorado has issued a new Safer at Home Order so Hale Pet Door’s manufacturing facility is reopening 4/27/2020 with extended hours and producing all orders from oldest to newest. We are implementing new on-site guidelines to conform with social distancing and other safety and best practices to keep both our employees and customers safe and healthy.  Some of our staff will still be working from home responding to customers and supporting our team.  Your order will be processed as quickly as possible in the order it is received. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to manufacture and ship out the backlog of orders.

Take care and stay healthy,

Hale Pet Door

Temporary Factory Closure for COVID-19 Safety

shutterstock_1663374028

ALERT – In the interest of public health and pursuant to the Executive Order #D2020017 by the Governor of Colorado for a statewide Stay At Home Order, Hale Pet Door’s manufacturing plant is closed until April 27, 2020.

shutterstock_1118254217Our customer service staff is working from home and answering emails as quickly as possible. We do have some limited ability to answer phone calls but if you cannot get through right away, please be patient. For the best way to contact us, please email info@halepetdoor.com and we will respond to you as promptly as possible

If you are placing an order, the office will process it promptly and fulfill them in the order we received them when the factory returns to work.

Stay safe & healthy,
Hale Pet Door

Pet Poison Awareness Month

Did you know that March is Pet Poison Awareness Month? It may not always be obvious, but potentially harmful, even fatal, poisons could be lurking around your home or yard without you even realizing it. It only takes one accident for a tragic outcome. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common, but not always thought of, poisons that could be in or around your home.

Human Foods

Most of us are probably guilty of occasionally sneaking a little treat of human food to our pets. We all know that it’s really not that great of a thing to do, but darn it, sometimes it’s hard to resist those big eyes! And while, yes, human food is really not that great for the waistline of our dogs and cats, sometimes it can truly be dangerous. Chocolate is famously dangerous for dogs and it can easily be fatal. It contains something called theobromine, which is related to caffeine. But have you heard of how deadly Xylitol is? It’s a sugar substitute that is in lots of things. This is seriously one you need to watch out for. It’s found in gums, drinks, candies, snack foods, and plenty of other prepacked foods. Not to mention a lot of us keep bags of the stuff in the pantry to use in our baking. So, make sure to check your cupboards and if you find anything containing this sweetener, please keep it well out of reach of your pooch! There are also produce items that can be harmful such as onions, and garlic, that can cause anemia in both dogs and cats. So before you decide to make any homemade foods for your dog or cat, please research the ingredients to ensure that they are healthy for them.

Rodenticides

We cannot stress enough how much we recommend using a different method to control rodents than rodenticide. Obviously, most users would be very responsible in keeping this stuff well out of reach of both pets and children, but it doesn’t end there. Have you ever considered what happens to the target animal after it ingests the poison? Sometimes they wander away and end up dying somewhere where your dog, cat, or even a wild animal such as a hawk, can find it. Unfortunately, when an animal eats another animal that has ingested rodenticide, it can very easily become quite severe, even fatal. This type of poison causes internal bleeding, kidney failure, and seizures. It is truly nasty stuff and for the sake of your pets, the pets living near your home, and the wildlife, we strongly suggest using other methods to control the population of rodents if you’re having issues with them.

Human Medications

This is one of those ones that a lot of people may not immediately think of! But just as you keep medications out of reach of kids, you’re definitely going to want to keep them out of reach of pets, too. There are tons of different medications that can have various harmful effects on both dogs and cats, even over the counter medications, so just don’t risk it by keeping anything out in reach. Always keep them locked up in a medicine cabinet, or you can purchase a small medication lockbox in many pharmacies and online.

Household Plants

Many houseplants are perfectly safe for cats and dogs, but there are a few that you need to look out for. Some common plants are Lillies, Aloe, Elephant Ears, Asparagus Fern, and Sago Palm, just to name a few. Before you purchase your plant from the nursery, look it up and double-check to make sure it is safe to have in your home. And remember, often times the tag from the nursery will not say if it is poisonous or not, but typically a quick internet search will help you determine it.

This list was just a few possibilities of poisonous items you could have around your home. If you’re ever questioning, it’s always best to double-check! And if you’re concerned that your pet has ingested something poisonous, don’t wait! Call the Animal Poison Helpline right away at (855) 764-7661 (FYI, there is usually a fee involved for consultations), or contact your veterinarian. Remember, when it comes to poison, time is of the essence and it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.

Professional Pet Sitters Week – March 1-8

Here’s a dilemma you’ve probably faced before: You have an event out of town that you’re going to, but you can’t take your pet with you. What to do? Do you leave them at a kennel? That isn’t always appealing to everyone. So, what other options are there? Whether you’re going to be gone for one day or ten, you’ll need someone to care for your precious fur babies while you’re away. A professional pet sitter might just be the perfect solution for you!

But how do you find a great pet sitter? You don’t want just anyone watching your pooch. Not only will this person be looking after your pet while you’re away, but they’ll be in your home. So you will want to make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable and safe with. You’ll want to make sure their schedule is compatible with yours and that they can meet all your pet’s needs. Some pet sitters will even take on a few other jobs while they’re at it, like watering your plants.

A good place to start when searching for a pet sitter is word of mouth. Talk to your friends and neighbors and find out who they use! This is really one of the best ways to find some of the best pet sitters. You’ll be ahead of the game by finding out who your friends trust, just like if you were looking for a babysitter. If your neighborhood has a social media page or group, you could also find someone local that way. There might even be a neighbor nearby with an older child that would love to earn some extra cash! So don’t hesitate to ask around!

Another place to check is with your veterinarian’s office. A lot of great pet sitters network with veterinarian offices, so they’ll probably have a list of great providers to try!

You can also try an online pet sitter service. There are many to choose from such as Rover.com and Care.com and they make searching for pet sitters fun and easy. After just a few clicks, you’ll soon have a substantial list of pet sitters in your area. And one of the best parts is that the sitters are rated by their customers so you’ll know right away if you’re picking a great one!

No matter which way you choose to find your pet sitter, just make sure you ask lots of questions and get to know them so that you’re confident that they’re the right fit for your family. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and get as much information from them as you’d like – they’re there to sell their services to you! They should be more than willing to do what they can to make you feel comfortable.

Happy searching!

February is National Cat Health Month

Cats. Such self-sufficient little creatures that like to pretend like our presence in their lives is not really that necessary. That we’re really only there when they are feeling particularly generous. Solitary hunters, cats enjoy a friendship with us that is loving, yet aloof. But the truth is, they of course, really do need us! Whether those kitties like to admit it or not, they depend on us for food, shelter, and all of their medical needs. Since February is National Cat Health Month, we thought it was the perfect time to talk about some of your cat’s basic needs to keep him happy and healthy!

Litter Boxes

A good general rule of thumb for litter boxes is one per cat. It’s important to stay on top of keeping their box clean. Depending on how many cats you have, it may even need to be scooped more than once a day! Leaving a cat box dirty for too long invites some very unwelcome health issues for kitty, so be sure to keep it clean for him! There are tons of different litters out on the market, so you’re sure to be able to find one that fits your needs. Some are made for multiple cats, some are made out of cedar or pine pellets, some are even made out of recycled newspapers! My personal favorite is the kind that easily slides out of pans and into the trash when it’s time to dump it.

Water Bowl

Now, this may go without saying, but it’s always good to have a reminder about water. Access to clean water is, of course, a vital part of your cat’s health, so please don’t neglect it! Washing his water bowl regularly is a great way to keep it free of harmful bacteria. It’s also probably a good time to point out that cats can be pretty darn picky about their water. Some do just fine with a regular old water dish, others prefer to drink out of a tall glass so that they don’t have to bend over so much. Some felines refuse to drink from anything but a water fountain (cats totally dig moving water!). So, if your kitty appears to not be drinking water, it might be time to mix things up and try another way to offer it.

Grooming

Grooming your cat may not seem necessary to you, especially if you have a kitty with a short coat. But it really is. Regular brushing will not only help keep their coat in good shape, but it will strengthen your bond. Cats groom each other, so if you take part in grooming your cat, you’ll really start feeling like best beds. Not only that but if any bumps or other irregularities pop up on his skin, you’ll notice it much sooner and be able to get it checked out by a vet.

Urinating Outside the Box

Just like we mentioned above, it’s so important to keep your cat’s litter box clean. One of the many reasons to do so is that if it gets too yucky, your cat will begin to go somewhere else. Yuck! Nobody wants that! But, should your cat ever begin to urinate outside of his box, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your vet to get checked out before you blame it on a dirty litter box. Urinating in strange places could mean serious health conditions, so please rule that out just in case.

Keep Those Chompers Clean

Just like with dogs, it’s also important to keep your cat’s teeth in healthy working order. There are special toothbrushes and toothpaste made just for cats, so don’t try to use anything made for humans. If you work with your cat regularly, it’s likely that you’ll be able to get him used to an occasional brushing. But do talk to your veterinarian as well about scheduling annual teeth cleanings for kitty to really keep that tartar away!

Spay or Neuter!

Don’t forget to do the right thing by getting your cat fixed! You’ll not only help the overpopulation epidemic facing cats in our country, but you’ll also help your kitty avoid health issues in the future. Spaying and neutering help prevent many reproductive cancers and other illnesses in both male and female cats. Not only that, but it can help ease your male cat’s urges to roam or spray to mark territory.

Dog Ownership and Cardiovascular Health: Wagging Tails and Happy Hearts

February is American Heart Month, a time for raising our awareness of issues that can prevent cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. It is a good time to check in with how well you are taking care of your heart with a healthy diet, adequate exercise, and your stress management strategies. These important lifestyle factors can have a major impact on your risks for cardiovascular disease.

One lifestyle change that you might find surprising may be to consider dog ownership. In fact, there have been a great number of scientific studies showing various ways that dogs may improve our health (check out Wileypup.com’s comprehensive guide), perhaps most notably, our heart health. Let’s take a closer look:

Improved Heart Rates and Blood Pressure

As we all know, heart rate and blood pressure are key indicators of our cardiovascular health. A less known fact is that our furry friends may actually have a direct impact on both. There just seems to be something about spending time with a loyal dog that helps to soothe the heart. And, the effect is more than just emotional, in fact, it is physiological as well.

And, you don’t have to actually have a dog of your own to experience these benefits. In fact, spending time with dogs at a rescue or by offering to pet sit a friend’s pooch may be another way to experience the heart calming presence of pets without the vet bills, food costs, and additional long-term responsibilities.

Increased Activity Levels

We all know we need to be getting up and active every day to promote a strong and healthy heart as well as maintain circulation, muscle tone, and bone density. However, sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated to take the best care of ourselves. Studies have shown that dog owners do get more exercise than their non-dog owning counterparts.

Perhaps this effect is because sometimes when we can’t do for ourselves, we find a way to do for those we love. Dogs depend on us to make sure their daily exercise needs are met, reminding us of the joys and importance of an active lifestyle.

Walk time! There are very few gyms or personal trainers that can motivate us to keep moving as much as those big hopeful eyes and wagging tail at the front door. For older dogs, sometimes it’s you that needs to motivate them but you’re invested in doing so which has reciprocal rewards.

Studies have shown that higher activity levels reduce obesity levels, another major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. By getting us off the couch, our canine companions offer multiple benefits when it comes to a healthy heart.

If you are interested in dog ownership but worry that you will not be able to provide for a high energy young dog, consider adopting an older dog. Many such pooches end up in rescue shelters each year, often due to unforeseen tragedies such as a death in the family, move, or illness of the owners. Senior dogs offer a lot of benefits. They tend to have lower exercise needs, are less demanding in terms of training and socialization, and tend to be a less labor-intensive investment with the same benefits of loyal companionship.

Improved Stress Management

How we manage stress in our daily lives plays a critical role in heart health, according to the American Heart Association. Those who have loved a dog already know that we tend to turn to them in times of emotional stress for that feeling of comfort, acceptance, and sense that everything is going to be okay. Turns out, research has shown that this is more than just a “feeling” and is actually a physiological response to spending time with dogs.

The human-dog bond promotes stress-relieving hormones such as oxytocin while reducing stress-related hormones such as cortisol. Research has shown that this hormonal response goes both ways. When we spend time petting a dog, both the human and canine hormone levels change for the better. What a win-win!

Better Recovery Rates After a Coronary Event

Finally, if you or someone you know has recently suffered from a cardiovascular event and is currently in recovery, some time with a dog may actually improve recovery outcomes.

Research has posited two main theories for why outcomes such as health indicators and even survival outcomes improve for dog owners. One is that dog owners seem to be better at sticking to a recovery protocol after a coronary event. The other may be a combination of the other heart-healthy benefits already mentioned in this article.

Either way, spending time with a dog may not only brighten your day, it may even improve your heart health. Just one more great excuse to enjoy the company of a dog.

Not Sure if Dog Ownership Is Right for You?

It is important to realize that dog ownership can come with its own stressors and is certainly not right for everyone. Before you adopt, be sure you have the time, budget, and space to bring a dog into your life.

And, you don’t have to own a dog in order to experience the benefits. Here are a few ways to bring dogs into your life without the commitment of dog ownership:

· Offer to pet-sit a friend or family member’s dog for the weekend.

· Get involved with animal rescue organizations to spend time with dogs who can really use your moral support and attention.

· Consider fostering a dog on a temporary basis if you want to give dog ownership a try before making up your mind.

· Contact a therapy dog group in your area to see if you can arrange a weekly visit with a volunteer pooch who has a great temperament for some quiet cuddles and lap time.

Author Bio: Sharon is a professional writer and received her M.S. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech and has worked as a professional dog trainer for over 10 years.