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Fun with Your Dog in Fort Collins this Labor Day Weekend

 

Looking for some Fort Collins fun with your dog this Labor Day Weekend? After all, it is the perfect time to spend an extra day off with our loved ones, furry friends included! Here are some of the great events we’ve found in and around Fort Collins you should check out this Labor Day Weekend.

 


Spring Canyon Community Park

labor day weekend

Your entire family, dog included, can enjoy a fun filled day at the Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins.  They have a playground, tennis courts, trails and one of the biggest and best dog parks around. Plus, if your dog loves to swim there is a pond inside the dog park for them to enjoy.


Take a Hike

labor day weekend

Hit the trails and get some fresh air with your dog in one of Fort Collins’ many awesome trails. It’s never a bad idea to unplug and connect with nature. Check out the Wet Noses Pet Sitting Top Trails to find one perfect for you and your dog. And don’t forget to read up on these Important Item to Bring Hiking as well.


Grab a Bite to Eat

labor day weekend

Go out for lunch, but pick a place where your dog can tag along. Fort Collins has a ton of pet-friendly patios where your dog is welcome. Don’t forget to check out our Top 5 Pet-Friendly Restaurants for some ideas. Just make sure to call ahead and see if the patio is open for dogs that day. If they are then usually they will bring your dog a water and sometimes even have treats on the menu for them.


 

Do you have Labor Day plans with your dog? Let us know what your plans are and don’t forget to book services in case you’re out of town!

The History of Cartoon Dogs

 

America loves dogs in films and on television. We also seem to love dogs in the pages of the Sunday funnies and in animation. We can’t list all of the cartoon dogs that have made some kind of impact on American pop culture. Because that could fill an entire book. Here, however, is a small who’s who list of cartoon dogs that have been popular in cartoons over the years.

36216541924 – Sandy

Fans of Harold Gray’s comic strip Little Orphan Annie fondly remember Annie’s dog Sandy. Although Sandy never had much to say except the occasional panel-ending “ARF!” she was loved nonetheless. And often she was able to help Annie out of tough scrapes when fighting Nazis or investigating haunted houses.

1207701950 – Snoopy

Easily the most recognizable cartoon dog in American history is Snoopy. The real star of Charles Schultz’s Peanuts is an American icon.  Snoopy stole the show in every Peanuts strip he appeared in.  He fought the Red Baron from the top of his dog house. And he was the proud owner of original paintings by both Vincent Van Gogh and an Andrew Wyeth (the Van Gogh was sadly destroyed by fire), never quite finished his novel but typed the opening line “it was a dark and stormy night” countless times, and had a twin brother named Spike who lived in the desert outside Needles, California. Not bad for a Beagle.

8630261980’s – Odie

It is nearly impossible not to love Odie, the relatively stupid, completely mute (he doesn’t even think in words), and incessantly slobbering canine companion of Garfield the cat in the Jim Davis strip Garfield. Odie was there simply to be abused by Garfield, no doubt about it, but there are plenty of times in the history of the comic that we get to see just how important the little dog is to the titular chubby cat.

54260601990 – Santa’s Little Helper

What better pet for the misfit Simpson family than Santa’s Little Helper, a weary greyhound that couldn’t win a race if his life depended on it? From the Christmas themed pilot episode of The Simpsons to the episodes airing today (as of this writing the show is in its 16th season), SLH has been a fixture in the constantly expanding Simpsons universe. Who can forget SLH destroying Homer’s prized giant cookie, learning to talk in an effort to distract the family’s attention away from their “new” dog Laddie, and being trained as an attack hound by Mr. Burns and the not quite in the closet Waylon Smithers? Santa’s Little Helper is everything the Simpson family dog should be and more. Watch for his Snoopy imitation at the end of one of the series’ famous Treehouse of Horror Halloween episodes.

Travel Safely With Your Pet

 

After the recent winter storm surge, you’re probably ready to get out of the house and into the sunshine. That means it’s a perfect time for a road trip. And one of the best parts of a good road trip is that the whole family can have fun, Fido included. Of course it takes a little extra planning to make sure they are safe, but it is worth it.  So, if you’re going to travel with your pet this summer take some of these safety tips along with you.

Get them ready for the trip

If your dog isn’t acclimated to car trips, it’s a good idea to slowly get them used to it. Take them out in the car either in the crate or harness.  Start with little trips at first, then gradually increase the length of the trip.  This gets them used to their carrier and the car ride as well.  

Keep them safe in the car

Make sure that they have their own proper secure spot.  There are a few options you can choose from when it comes to car seat safety.  You can put them in a well ventilated crate or carrier if they get anxious or car sick, or just like to feel safely confined.  They need to have enough room to turn around and stand up in, plus it needs to be secured with a seat belt or strap. You can also use a harness and belt them in the back seat.  We like to put our dog on little booster bed with a harness that is belted into the seat.  This way he can be part of the action, but is still safe.

Pack a travel kit

Create a kit that  includes their papers (especially if you’re going over state lines), extra food, water, a travel bowl or two, grooming supplies, medicine, and waste supplies. Pack their favorite toy and blanket as well to give them a sense of home.

Update ID’s and/or microchips

Any time your pet is going out and about. It’s also a good idea to pack a spare collar with ID’s just in case they lose it while romping around outside of the car.  Take a recent pick of them and save it on your phone just in case.

Never leave them alone in a car

No matter how long or if the windows are open, don’t leave them alone.  It only takes a few minutes for a car to reach scorching temps which could cause heat stroke. Do not let them ride with their head out of the window, it may seem fun and carefree, but it could turn deadly if they get hit from debris on that can fly up off the road.

 

There is nothing quite like a road trip with your favorite four-legged family member, keeping their safety and comfort in mind will make sure everyone has a great time while traveling.

Looking for a great road trip this summer? Check out these 10 Unforgettable Road Trips in Colorado!

How Late Can I Cancel a Dog Walk?

 

 

When can I cancel a dog walk?

If you are a client of Wet Noses Pet Sitting then you will want to know how to cancel a dog walking appointment. Everyone has to do it at some point, due to weather, illness, or a just a change of plans.

  • To get credit for the walk, or not be charged – cancel by 9am the day of the dog walk.
  • After 9am, you will be charged for the dog walking appointment. At that point the sitter has set aside the time for your visit and we are not able to fill the spot.
  • You are never charged if you cancel a dog walk due to an “Act of God” such as extreme weather or government shutdown.

How do I cancel a dog walk?

  • If you are cancelling more than 4 days in advance, you can cancel a scheduled dog walking appointment by logging into your account and just cancelling the appointment.
  • If you are cancelling within 4 days, contact us directly to cancel a dog walk. That way we can notify the sitter directly of the change.

Wet Noses Pet Sitting strives on making our clients happy, but our schedules can be tight. That’s why we ask that you use consideration and cancel an appointment for a walk as soon as possible. This allows us to fill the spot for your sitter and adjust schedules as needed. Although we understand that unexpected situations arise that change plans!

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

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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!

 

Will You Watch My Dog if She is in Heat?

 

We often have clients ask, will we watch your dog when she is in heat? Well, the short answer is yes. The long answer is that there are a lot of stipulations we require in order to make this safe. We will try to cover all of the details here and definitely feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

Our primary concerns with dogs in heat are safety and time.

At Wet Noses Pet Sitting we want to be overly safe. We make sure we do not run into any problems, so we have put together these rules:

  1. Dogs that are in heat will only be exercised under supervision within their own yard.  This means that they will not be taken on walks.  If there is not a fence, we will walk your dog in the immediate vicinity around your home.
  2. When the fence is not found to be sufficient (too short, dog is able to climb it, holes, etc) the dog will be kept on leash even when in your own yard.
  3. If there are intact males in the house then there must be a foolproof way to keep them separate.  Solid walls, preferable two, will need to separate them at all times!
  4. We will change diapers as long as the female is agreeable, which must be determined by our sitter before the trip.
  5. Any messes must be contained to hard floors, we will not clean up blood messes on carpet or in crates. We will change out blankets when needed.
  6. Appropriate time must be scheduled taking all of the concerns in consideration. We do require 30 minutes for dogs, but if your dogs cannot be together then we might require a 45 minute or hour long visit in order to make sure they all get enough attention and activity. We also need to factor in any cleaning time that might be needed.

I myself have had intact dogs so I understand the concerns that go into their care. At Wet Noses Pet Sitting we want to be sure that your dogs receive the best possible care is the safest fashion whether you dog is in heat, or not. Feel free to contact us with any questions!

4 Tips to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging

 

Have you been working hard on your garden and lawn? Then end up to find with it full of craters like the moon? It’s no secret that dogs love to dig holes, so if this is you, you’re definitely not the only one. We often wonder exactly why dogs love to do this, and more importantly, how we get them to stop digging?  Well, we have some answers for you that will hopefully save your soil and your sanity.Stop Digging

 

Hunting prey

More often than we know, there are burrowing animals and insects in our yards. Your dog is often just trying to root them out. If this is the case, you see holes in one single area, around the roots of plants and trees or in a path. Try to use safe methods to fence and force them out. Never use toxins that can end up hurting your pet too.

Entertainment

A lot of times your dog is simply digging to entertain themselves. When they dig at roots and soil they think it “plays back” when it sinks back down into the ground. These holes are often scattered around and happen when the dog is somewhat isolated from playmates and family. Active dogs and certain breeds are more prone to this behavior. So if this is your case, make sure to walk or have them walked twice a day to tire them out. And make sure to play with them using balls, disks and other active toys. It helps to stimulate them in other ways to prevent them from digging.

Attention

Sometimes there is nothing a dog won’t do for attention. And digging holes is one of those things. This would especially be your case if your dog digs in front of you or do it to interfere with whatever is grabbing your attention (like that shrub over there). All you have to do is make sure to spend time with them outside of the yard activities and ignore their attention-seeking behavior. Then make sure to praise their “good dog” behavior as much as you can.

Create a digging zone:

Some dogs just love to dig. They can’t get enough of it no matter what you do. That’s why it can be a great idea to give your dog his own little digging area. Not unlike a sand pit or play ground for a child. And it’s not too hard to create either!  We found these awesome instructions from The Humane Society on how to build your own Doggy Digging Zone:

 

  • Cover the digging zone with loose soil or sand. Or use a child-size sandbox.
  • Make the digging zone attractive by burying safe items (such as toys) for them to discover.
  • When they dig in the digging zone, reward them with praise.
  • If you catch your dog digging in an unacceptable area, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise and firmly say, “No dig.” Then immediately take them to the digging zone.
  • Make the unacceptable digging spots unattractive (at least temporarily) by placing rocks or chicken wire over them.

 

Does your dog dig? We’d love to hear some of your funny stories and ways you saved your yard from the paws of fury! Let’s us know your tale in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And of course, if you need help getting some of your dog’s energy out during the day don’t hesitate to call us! Our sitters would love to come walk and play with them.

 

6 Causes of a Fearful Dog

 

With the prospect of warmer weather, we often find ourselves getting out of the house more for a nice day at the park or on the town.  And that also means a lot of times our dogs are doing more socializing as well. Thinking about sunny day jaunts with your happily prancing dog can help you get through any day or week.fearful dog

But it’s not always so picturesque. Sometimes you wonder, “do I have a fearful dog?” and even more so, “how do I help my fearful dog?” Have you been trying to implement a behavior plan to put your dog on the path to become a happier, more confident dog?

The first step to implementing a successful plan is to try to determine the root cause for your fearful dog as well as trying to figure out where your dog is on the spectrum of fear.

In Nicole Wilde’s book “Help for Your Fearful Dog”, she discusses the degrees of fear and six causes of those fears. She explains that the first degree of fear as anxiety. So anxiety would be characterized as low level fear. At the other, more extreme end, is phobias. In between those two levels she labels fears as mild, moderate, and intense fears. So it goes like this: anxiety, mild fear, moderate fear, intense fear, and phobias in that order.

The causes of “fear” on the spectrum vary. Nicole Wilde discusses the six fears in her book as the following:

1. Genetics:

A dog’s genetic code along with prenatal and post natal experience can affect a dog’s disposition. Sometimes this cause is difficult to pinpoint unless you have background information on the parents of the dog. Some breeds are just predisposed to certain behaviors and that’s why it’s important to research a breed before purchasing one. These types of fears are not easy to overcome and sometimes may never be completely overcome.

2. Lack of Socialization:

Many dogs that fear people, other dogs or new situations have not had proper socialization as puppies or young dogs. Puppies need to be exposed to other animals, people, different environments and the like early on in life to avoid a fear response when exposed to those very things. The best period for proper socialization begins at four weeks of age and ends at 12 weeks of age. After that point, it becomes more difficult to address those fears.

3. Abuse:

Some dogs have that are rooted in abusive situations. This type of fear is addressed with behavior modification exercises as well as the development of a bond and trust with the pet parent/owner. Once trust has been established, the behavior is alleviated or eliminated entirely.

4. Traumatic Experience:

Think post-traumatic stress syndrome. Yes, Dogs can be plagued with this too. A bad grooming experience or being attacked by another dog would both be considered traumatic experiences just as a car accident is for a human or a war experience. These types of fears, albeit intense and often requiring a lengthy behavior modification plan can be alleviated and or eliminated entirely as well.

5. Learned Fears:

Dogs create associations very quickly. For example, your dog may learn to associate car rides with vet or grooming visits that may have been undesirable so then he may resist car rides and become fearful of them because he associates the car ride with the said vet or grooming visit. Make sense? The key to resolving learned fears is being able to discover the initial cause is. That can be tricky sometimes as the owner may or may not have been present to witness the triggering event.

6. Pain/Illness:

Some dogs develop fears during a bout with pain or illness. For example, if a dog had a bad ear infection that caused him pain, he may develop a fear of having his ears touched. Now, these fears can sometimes easily be resolved by treating the illness that is causing the pain. However, some illnesses or conditions may be lifelong. Let me explain. If a dog is going blind due to cataracts and surgery is not advisable, this dog may become apprehensive in new environments or with sudden movements due to not being able to see properly. This situation would require making the dog feel as safe as possible, providing comfort and treatment when applicable and keeping the environment predictable.

 

The most important take away is that if you have a fearful dog, use patience and understanding. Reach out to your local vets and trainers, their wealth of knowledge is there to help!

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!

Socializing Your Adult Dog

 

Most pet parents know it is best to socialize your pooch at a young age. Ideally when they are the most sensitive, between three and 20 weeks of age. As they age, it is increasingly difficult for a puppy to accept anything new and unfamiliar. But what if you’ve recently adopted an adult dog companion, or you weren’t able to acclimate your pup to social situations due to illness or lack of time? Whatever the reason may be, it doesn’t mean he has to settle for a life void of pet friends and social interaction.

adult dogs

Dog-to-dog socialization

This is usually pretty simple with pups; they can be let loose together to learn how to interact and play. However, the same scenario can be catastrophic with adult dogs. Mature dogs, typically between the ages of 1-3 years, do not necessarily enjoy being in large groups of unfamiliar dogs. Your Fido may attempt to avoid the other dogs, stand closely by your side, or even snap and growl. Rather than putting your furry friend in a stressful situation, try these tips.

Start with daily walks

and introduce him to other pets and people as the opportunity arises. Walks are wonderful for socializing dogs as they’ll have less pent-up energy resulting from exercise, making them calmer and more submissive. During your daily walks, maintain a calm yet assertive energy; avoid pulling back on his leash or yelling if he barks or acts up as doing so will only increase his level of excitement and create a negative experience. Practice using a quick sideways tug on the leash or a simple touch to distract him as needed.

Introductions to other pets and people should be gradual. Invite a friend with a gentle, easy-going dog to join you on a walk. Keep a polite distance between the two pooches while they get to know one another. If both appear at ease, allow them to sniff each other, keeping their leashes loose and their interaction brief. However, if either dog appears to stiffen up, call your dog to you with a soft, relaxed voice; and if they wag their tails and remain at ease, consider an off-leash playdate in a fenced area, using the same brief sessions and positive reinforcement.

Don’t rush things

Try to introduce your adult dog to one new activity per week. For example, take him to the local dog park, but rather than throwing him into the mix and hoping for the best, start by exposing him to the scene with a leashed walk around the outside of the fence, allowing him to see the other dogs playing and having fun.

Socialization of any kind is beneficial and enjoyable for your furry buddy. Be patient, gentle and kind, and remember, making new friends can be taxing, for dogs and people alike!