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Getting a Dog – Complete Checklist for New Dog Owners

 

Bringing a new dog into the family is a very exciting time. Becoming a pet parent is rewarding, but also full of responsibility. The best way to prepare for your new dog is to have a checklist to lay the groundwork for your new addition.

 

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

Four Important Considerations:

1. Time: It is very important to think about how much time you’ll honestly be able to give your new pet.

  • At the very least dogs need to be fed 2-3 times a day and walked at least once a day.
  • Dogs with more energy may need even more time for proper exercise and stimulation.
  • Healthy pets should get at least an hour or day of direct attention, even if it’s just cuddling.
  • Don’t forget to add in time for grooming, hygiene, and appointments.

2. Costs: You want to make sure that you can always care for your vet. The best way is to create a budget for a new dog before you bring them home.

  • Does your new pet need to be spayed or neutered?
  • Is there an adoption fee that needs to be paid?
  • Monthly expenses such as food, pet sitting or new supplies
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Microchipping
  • Grooming equipment and supplies
  • Will you want to sign them up for training classes?
  • Beds and toys
  • Spare supplies

3. Age & Size: These are also two important factors in getting a new dog.

  • Puppies take far more time and training
  • Is your home accommodating to a large dog or would it be better suited for a small dog?
  • Do you have another pet to consider when deciding on what type of dog to get?
  • Can a large pet travel with you comfortably?

4. Lifestyle and relationship: Another big consideration is how your lifestyles will blend and the relationship you want to to have with your new canine companion. 

  • Are you active and want to bring your dog on hikes and camping trips?
  • Will your work and social life affect your ability to spend time and care for your pet?
  • Do you want a pet that will travel with you?
  • Do you have children that need a reliable and safe dog?
  • Is your new dog going to be your best friend or more of an independent roommate?

 

Shopping Checklist:

  • Age appropriate food
  • Water and food bowls
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • ID tags (make sure your phone number is on it)
  • Dog carrier or crate
  • Doggy shampoo and brush
  • Super absorbent paper towels
  • Various types of toys
  • Blanket
  • Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Plastic baggies for waste

 

Getting a new dog awesome. Once you have considered all the important factors and gotten their supplies, the only thing left to do is have fun with your new family member!

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

Why Does My Dog Not Like Walking In The Rain?

 

My three year old loves playing in the rain and jumping in puddles. But do you know who doesn’t love being in the rain? Our dog Rigsby. He hates going out in the rain, even to potty; that means taking a walk in the rain is absolutely out of the question.

So, why do so many dogs hate walking in the rain? We’ve compiled a few reasons why and ways to help get them out during rainy days.

 

  • Pelted Coats & Soggy Paws

Sometimes the reason is as simple as your dog doesn’t like the damp outdoors. Dogs coats are very sensitive. If you notice a dog getting rained on you can see their fur twitching, which has to be pretty annoying for them. Same goes for your dog’s paws. I mean, do you like walking on the wet ground in bare feet? I didn’t think so. Between the rain on their backs and the water on the ground, walking in the rain can be a pretty miserable experience for your dog.

 

  • Thunderstorm Phobias

A lot of times rain mean thunder and lightning. Animals have the knack for sensing storms before we even know they are coming. When dogs with storm phobias sense the change in the air and barometric pressure, the anxiety starts to creep up. A dog with storm phobia shouldn’t be forced to go outside because it may make it worse. Some dogs have a natural predisposition to have anxiety, others have had traumatic experiences with loud noises. But for the most part, there is no telling why your dog has thunderstorm phobias. All you can do is work with them and help them through it. 

 

  • How You Can Help

Rain happens and sometimes for days at a time. Your dog will still need to get out and use the potty at some point. Luckily there are some great products out there to help your dog through the distaste and fear of the rain.

Doggy Anti-Anxiety Stress Reducing Jacket 

Image from Amazon

Help your dog stay calm with this stress-reducing jacket. Similar to swaddling a baby, this jacket helps comfort your dog when they are feeling anxious.

Storm Stress Relaxing Drops for Dogs

 

Stress from storms, hurricanes or even strong wind can be reduced with these drops.

 

Dog Boots 

Keep their paws dry during the storm and even in the snow with these cute little dog boots.

Transparent Umbrella with Leash

Avoid the pelting rain with this cute leash umbrella combo. Perfect for the rainy and snowy days.

 

Waking in the rain doesn’t have to be a terrible experience for you and your dog. With a better understanding and a few good tools, there is sunshine at the end of the storm!

Why Does My Dog Not Like New Year’s Eve?

If you are asking yourself this question, then you’ve probably had a traumatizing experience with Fido while watching the Times Square ball drop at midnight. If you’re like most people, New Year’s Eve is a night filled with lots of family, friends, fun, and noise. LOTS of noise. Though the noise may not bother you, your dog’s hearing is four times better than yours. Their natural instinct is to RUN.

One minute you’re cuddling with Fido and the next he is nowhere to be found. He most likely ran outside or hid under the bed, searching for a secure place to hide. While you’re frantically running around looking for your precious pooch, you get a knock on the door from your neighbor saying they found him wandering in their front yard. You think to yourself, “I’m so lucky I found you”.

If you can relate to this scenario, your dog most likely does not like New Year’s Eve.

A few reasons your dog doesn’t like New Year’s Eve

  • Decorations

See those streamers, balloons and party hats? They may be fun for you, but for Fido? Not so much. He may be scared and not recognize you. This may lead to a change in behavior and his reactivity to you. If he shows signs of fear, take the hat off and reassure your pup that everything will be okay.

  • Loud Noises

Noise makers, cheering and laughter are all part of the New Year’s Eve festivities. These are all scary noises for Fido. You may find him trembling and whining in fear. Ask your guests to bring the noise down a notch, and put your dog in a separate room with the TV or radio on.

  • Crowds

Is it your turn to host the annual New Year’s Eve party? Whether you are hosting a huge party, or it’s a group of your closest friends, these people are getting in your dog’s personal space. Large crowds are scary and Fido may react adversely. If your dog is not a social creature, spare him the anxiety and put him in a separate room.

  • Fireworks

Are your neighbors the type to set off fireworks in the middle of the street and make a huge commotion? If you answered yes, this may be why Fido is shaking uncontrollably while you “ooh” and “ah” at the light show. Fireworks are some of the scariest, loudest noises for dogs. Turn up the TV and keep your furry friend in a secure kennel or bedroom. If you have the opportunity to, try to stroke his back while you reassuringly hold him.

The reasons mentioned above may just be the tip of the iceberg to why your dog does not like New Year’s Eve. Just remember, while you’re excited and ready to ring in the New Year, keep your furry friend in mind!

 

Important Items to Bring When Hiking with Your Dog

I don’t know about you, but disconnecting from the world and getting out into nature is one of my favorite things. However much fun it can be, it does have the potential to be dangerous if you’re not prepared. This is even more true if you decided to bring your canine companion with you. Luckily, with a few important items hiking with your dog can be one of the best ways to spend the day.

 

Doggy Backpack

Image result for dog backpack

Hiking with your dog does mean extra supplies, so make them carry their own backpack with an extra leash and other supplies. Make sure not to overload it, the general rule is for the pack to weigh one pound to every 20 lbs of pup.

Collapsible Food and Water Bowls

Image from Amazon

A perfect item for you dog’s backpack is a collapsible bowl set for their food and water. This way no matter where on the trail you are, both of you can take a break for hydration and trail mix.

Paw Protecting Dog Booties

Image from Amazon

If you’re navigating particularly rocky terrain or if your dog is somewhat new to being outside on rough ground you may want to pack a pair of these puppy paw protecting boots. These are also perfect for hot pavement or sand.

 

Heavy Duty Waste Bags

Image from Amazon

The rule of the trail is what you pack in, you pack out. This is the same for waste unless your on a trail that allows you to scoop and bury someone off the main path. Either way packing heavy duty scent eliminating bags is essential. You may also want to bring a compact bag dispenser for them as well.

 

Me & My Dog Medical Kit

Image from Amazon

Bring a first aid kit is a hiking must, but having one made for both you and your dog is helpful and saves space of bringing extra doggy necessities on top of your own first aid kit.

 

Other things to consider

  • Make sure your dog is trained well enough to obey commands while hiking
  • Bring bug spray and sunscreen for both of you (baby/kid friendly products work well for dogs)
  • Update ID’s and/or microchip and bring an extra set of tags if you can
  • Snap a picture of your dog before you head out
  • Make sure their shots are up to date

 

Hiking is blast. But it is more than just fun in the woods, being prepared is key to a successful trip.

What trails do you like to take with your dog? Let us know your favorite trails and hiking with your dog tips!

 

5 Questions to Ask Your Vet at Your Next Visit

 

When you’re getting ready for your yearly physical, you probably have a few questions prepared for your doctor. And it’s smart to have them prepared ahead of time. Because if you’re like me, by time you’re in the back room, chances are you’ll forget to ask at least one thing you were concerned about.

The same should go for your pet at their regular wellness checks as well. There are just as many, if not more distractions at the vet. Sometimes that leaves you floundering for words and just hoping to get out unscathed.

Having a few good questions jotted down for easy reference will go a long way in making you get the most out of your pet’s vet visit.

1. Is my pet overweight?

Being on top of your pet’s weight is important. According to the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention, more than half of the dogs and cats are overweight in the U.S. Even though we are almost conditioned to think “a fat pet is a happy pet,” that’s not true. Obesity sets them up for a whole slew of complications such as, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and more.

2. What is the best food for my pet?

This question almost goes hand in hand with the weight question, but it is still beneficial for average weight pets as well. Not all pet food is created equal and some foods have fatty fillers and sub-par ingredients. Tell your vet what food you regularly feed your pet. Also, as they age dietary needs can change. Ask them what they feel is an appropriate diet for them considering their age and weight.

3. Do you have any recommendations for flea/tick meds?

Flea and ticks are not just a problem for the spring and summer. They can actually be a threat all year round. More than just a nuisance, they can transmit deadly diseases too. Depending on the time of year and your pet’s health in general, your vet may have a better way of protecting your pet.

4.Does my pet need a dental cleaning?

Often forgotten, but still very important is dental health. Recent surveys state that an estimated 80% of adult dogs and 70% of adult cats suffer from a least some degree of periodontal disease. If dental hygiene is ignored too long, it can result serious health issues with the liver, kidney, heart. Your vet should have some easy and painless ways to help.

5. Is this normal?

This is the general behavior or health question to ask your vet. It’s whatever may concern you about your pet. Like do they have a quirky behavior, a weird eating/sleeping habit? Or you may be worried about lumps or bumps on their skin. Reserve this question to fit what concerns you about your pet specifically.


A little bit of planning goes a long way in making sure you get all the answers you need. Doctors and vet visits are stressful enough as it is, no need to add stress to it by being unprepared.

Do you have any additional questions you like to ask your vet? Let us know in the comments!

Anesthesia Free Dental Cleaning – Advice from Wet Noses Pet Sitting

 

You may have heard about a new service being offered to pets- anesthesia free dental cleanings. It is being advertised as a cheaper and safer option to anesthetize cleanings offered from a veterinarian. But is it really safer and worth the money?

Traditional dental cleaning for you dog is similar to what people get done a few times per year. Teeth are scaled and polished, including under the gums, and infected or injured teeth are removed. This is done while the dog is sedated to allow for a more thorough cleaning. It is also less stress for the animal and safety for the vet. These cleanings are done under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian who knows what to do if something goes wrong.

The difference in anesthesia free dental cleaning:

Anesthesia free dental cleanings try to offer a similar service, but with key major differences.

  • Instead of the animal being sedated, the animal is simply restrained. In some cases given a light natural sedative. This is similar to taking your toddler to the dentist and holding him down so that the dentist can clean his teeth. This is really scary and stressful to your pet because they have no idea what is going on. Many pet owners choose anesthesia free dental cleaning because they feel that their animal is too sick or old to get put under, however simply restraining the pet is more stressful and potentially more harmful.
  • Another major issue is that the cleaning is not as thorough. Because the pet is awake, the cleaner cannot reach all the portions of the mouth to do a thorough exam or clean in the back of the mouth or below the gum line. These are the important parts of the teeth to clean since we as pet owners cannot brush them.
  • The third red flag is that the people who preform it are frequently not licensed veterinarians or even vet technicians. This means that if anything goes wrong medically during the procedure, the person preforming it may have no idea what to do or how to save your pet.

dental cleaning

Overall, this procedure is a step in the right direction. It’s important be more aware about pet dental health. However, I feel that the risks of the procedure and the stress it would put on my animals is too great. If you are interested in pursuing the anesthesia free dental cleaning option I encourage you to talk to your vet. Ask them about details to see if your pet is healthy enough or needs the procedure.

Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day

 

 

When we think of Valentine’s day, we think of a day of love that is filled with chocolate and flowers. And there is no reason not to include your canine companion with these dog treats for Valentine’s Day. After all, they have a piece of your heart too.

Remember to always keep your dogs away from candy, but making them there own special dog-friendly treats is a great way to include them.  Check out these easy to make recipes for your dog this year!

 

Heart Shapped Pup-cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots or chopped broccoli
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • Cream cheese as frosting
  • Strawberry (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit  and grease your cupcake pan with butter or vegetable oil
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Add the oil, peanut butter, and honey to the flour mixture
  4. Add the buttermilk in a small amount at a time and mix
  5. Add in the carrots or broccoli
  6. Place the mixture into the cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cupcake
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 20 minutes and remove them from the pan
  8. After the cupcakes are cooled mix up your frosting

For frosting:

  1. Apply softened cream cheese to ice the cupcake
  2. Optional: cut up strawberries and mix them into the cream cheese
  3. Spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cupcakes

No- Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (make sure there are no dog toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (dog safe)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter to make a paste
  2. Add oats 1/4 a cup at a time and fully mix all the oats with the wet ingredients
  3. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and roll it into balls
  4. Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour

These treats can be stored for 7-9 days if kept in the refrigerator.


It’s true that many Valentine’s Day presents are chocolaty hazards to your dog. But, these delicious homemade treats are the perfect way to share the sweetness with your dog.

 

 

 

Fun Things to Do with Your Dog in the Snow

 

It may seem like winter weather has to limit you and your dog’s activities, but there are lots of fun activities for you and Fido when it’s snowing. Many dogs love playing in the snow so here are some activities to try.

Snowball Fights

Snowballs are a dog’s dream! They are edible balls that can be chased and caught. After a fresh snow, go outside with you dog and start throwing snowballs. Many dogs will try and catch them in their mouth, while others will simply chase the snowball. You can also try throwing a tennis ball or another brightly colored ball around the snow. Be sure to keep an eye on your ball or it will get lost in the snow.

Search and Rescue 

We have all heard about the amazing dogs that find and rescue people after avalanches, your dog can do (almost) the same thing. Start by burying your dog’s favorite toy or treats in the snow. The first few times let your dog watch you bury the object so that he gets the idea. Do not bury the toy too deep, just so it is barely covered by the snow. Then let your dog loose to find the the toy or treats. When your dog catches on to the game, bury the objects a little deeper in the snow.

Snowshoeing

When there is a lot of snow on the ground, snowshoeing with your dog is a fun activity for both of you. Leash your dog up and hit the trails. I would recommend using  a long leash (if in an open area) so that your dog is free to bound ahead or explore a bit more. Keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife or other hazards to your dog.

Sledding

There are many forms of sledding you can do with your dog. There is of course what we think of as dog sledding, seven dogs tied to a sled running through Alaska, and the more relaxed version you can do at home. For the less serious version of dog sledding find a small, lightweight sled and a harness for your dog. Attach a leash to the harness and the leash to the sled. Most dogs will not move on their own so I would bait your dog with food or get him to follow you. You can leave the sled empty or put a light child or object in the sled.

While winter is a great time to curl up next to the fireplace with your dog, it is also a fun time to get outside. Be sure to take proper precautions while playing outside. Do not stay outside for extended periods of time when it is very cold and keep your dog hydrated. 

 

 

 

The Problems with Dog Kennels

 

Dog kennels can be a great place to make sure your dog stays safe while you are away on vacation or a business trip. However, there can be some serious dangers when it comes to kennels. There can be exposure to sickness, behavioral problems, and even trauma for dogs who spend too much time in a kennel.

 

Sickness found in Kennels 

Dogs in kennels are at risk for contracting a whole host of diseases and parasites. Respiratory conditions like Kennel Cough, and Canine Distemper, as well as parasites, fleas, ticks and mange, can easily be passed from dog to dog.

 

Behavioral Problems

There is a whole of of stress put on a dog while being kept in a kennel. The strange cage, loud noises, weird smalls can be a lot to take in. Dogs that have been in a shelter for long periods of time exhibit more problems. They can show signs of destructiveness, fearfulness, and tendency to flee. Of course the shorter the dog is in a kennel the less detrimental the effects, but most dogs experience stress on some level when in a kennel.

Kennel Syndrome

When dogs are left in a kennel or a shelter too long,  can actually experience periods of insanity. There was a study done at University of Bristol’s Anthrozoology Institute. It included videotapes of 30 police-trained German shepherds in their kennels after work. They found that the dogs showed definite signs of stress and even temporary mental illness. Keep in mind this is for dogs with jobs and a lot of interaction throughout the day. Imagine how bad it is for dogs that hardly ever get to leave their cages.

It’s likely that short trip to the kennel will not traumatize your dog. However, it’s important to check out a kennel before hand. Also, make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. Lastly, if you’re adopting a dog in from a shelter, be kind and patient as they learn the ropes of life outside of the cage.

5 Tips to Picking a Veterinarian You Love!

 

Adding a new pet to your family is very exciting. It’s important to find a good vet and start their care as soon as possible. But it is likely that you feel a little overwhelmed when you see the long list of vets in the directory. It’s not too hard to narrow down the search if you know what to consider when choosing a vet.

1. What kind of accreditation do they have?

The best veterinary hospitals are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). They regularly evaluate the practices on about 900 different standards of excellence, which means the level of care is the best in the industry. Visit their website to find an AAHA accredited vet near you.

Many clinics are also starting to offer a Fear Free certification. This is a course that teaches veterinarians to work with animals in such a way as to minimize the fear and stress involve in a vet visit. Find a Fear Free certified veterinarian near you.

2. How convenient are their hours and location?

There’s no doubt that we are busy people. That is why it is important to have a veterinarian office that is located near your home or on your daily commute. Moreover, make sure that they have the hours that fit your daily schedule. If you work long days, find a location with evening or weekend hours.

3. What type of emergency care do they offer?

Accidents and sickness happens. We can’t plan for them and unfortunately they also can happen at all hours of the night. Make sure to have a plan in place for emergency care. If the vet you choose has AAHA accreditation, there is a good chance they have 24 hour emergency services.

4. Do they in house medical equipment and lab testing?

The best offices have in house testing and equipment. If your pet needs lab work or x-rays, the results will be faster; meaning you will know what is wrong and how to treat it as soon as possible.

5. Are there good online reviews and testimonials?

Nothing beats a face to face encounter to tell how much (or how little) you are going to like any particular office. However, in the great day and age of the internet, we have sites like Yelp.com that help shine the light behind the doors. Read reviews on community sites as well as testimonials on their website as well. This will help you get an idea if the practice is a good fit for you family.

 

After you’ve picked a vet, go for a regular check to assess the level of care. If they are a perfect, then great! If not, try again until you find the one that is just right for you.

Do you have any recommendations for veterinarian offices in the Fort Collins or Loveland area? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!