Pet Parenting 101: The perfect dog bed — does it exist?

Pet Parenting 101: The perfect dog bed — does it exist?

Being a new pet parent, I’m always on edge when my 5-month-old pitador — or labrabull as my boyfriend prefers to say — is sleeping.

Among the helicopter pet mom questions rumbling through my head: Is it weird that her left paw flinches every once in a while? Should I be worried about her heavy snoring? Is she too cold? Or even more scary, is she too hot?

I’m waiting — praying, really — for the night my maternal instincts shutdown, and I can get a good nights sleep resting in the acceptance that dogs…well, dogs can sometimes be just plain strange.

However, like humans, restful sleep is important to a dog’s overall health, and investing dedicated research into finding the best bed for your pup isn’t obsessive pet parenting. It’s dog gone good dog ownership!

When you’re on-the-go, or simply want to keep clean

Mats are a great form of wash-and-wear bedding for dogs lucky enough to travel with their owners. While this form of bedding offers only a small amount of protection from hard surfaces such as tile flooring or crate bottoms, it can do wonders in saving your upholstery and bedding from damage.

On the flip side, mats can also be used between pet bed washing, allowing for frequent change-outs if your dog suffers from allergies or an approach to pest control.

Hammock-type beds are a second great solution for easy care and easy clean.

These elevated beds are commonly used in shelters and boarding kennels (including those at Camp Bow Wow) because lifts our sweet pups off the cold, hard floor. While this style of bed doesn’t offer much padding, it is highly durable and will last for years. It works great for dogs living in warmer climates and young dogs who are more comfortable off the floor.

When you’re trying to get your dog just a little bit more comfortable

Loose-fill beds are soft, comfy pillow-style beds that need more attention than other types because the fillers my bunch up or break down over time, especially if you opt for the more “cost-effective” brands. These beds are most often filled with polyester fiber but are also available in cotton batting (including organic), foam beads (think bean-bag chair) or even shredded cedar. Washing these style beds are little difficult to clean because it often expedites the clumping and deterioration of the filling material — making the bed lumpy. One trick to possibly avoid lumpiness is to purchase additional filler online or from a local craft store that can be use to “refill” the bed. If you can, try to get a bed with inner baffles that will hep prevent clumping as well. This style is great for more seasoned dogs!

Foam- and mattress-style beds sturdy resting options that can get pricey if you let’em. This style of bed is easy to find at large pet retailers, and are great for large dogs! Or if you’re looking to invest in a memory foam bed, it great for older dogs with orthopedic needs.But beware! The biggest concern about any foam bedding is the presence of potentially harmful chemicals, especially because dogs clock in a lot of time sleeping.

This style of bed is also a great choice for short-haired or dogs with thin body types who may need something that will help maintain the dog’s body heat.

 

Of course, at the end of the day my pitador seems to prefer the coolest spot on our living room carpet at least six out of seven nights a week. So be sure to consider your dogs needs — is your dog older and in need of orthopedic support? Is your do allergic to any fabrics? Etc.

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Have you found your dog’s dream bed? We want to hear about your dog bed shopping experience. Share your story with us in the comment section below or on Facebook.

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Pet Parenting 101: Keeping your dog groomed between groomings

Pet Parenting 101: Keeping your dog groomed between groomings

Don’t you just love when your pet has the glow of a fresh, shinny coat after a visit with the groomer. It can be tough keeping those nails fresh and that breath smelling minty in the weeks that follow.

We have some recommendations that you can do to maintain your pet’s beauty.

Brushing:

Regardless if your pup has long or short hair, you should always brush their coats once or twice a week to prevent tangling and ease shedding. A great recommendation for long and short hair breeds with heavy shedding are the FURminator and a pin bristle brush.   

Regular brushing helps prevent matting, tangling and clumping, which may lead to a painful grooming session for your pet.

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You should brush your pets’ teeth with a tooth brush to prevent tarter build-up, which can become increasingly harmful to dogs as they get older. Keep in mind tarter build-up means bacterial build-up, otherwise known as gum disease or gingivitis, according to animal lovers with the Pet Health Network.

Also, you can combat stinky breath by using dog mints as a treat or a mint spray.

Trims and nail care:

Consider buying  a pair of grooming sheers. Trimming the hair around your pet’s mouth, eyes and tail will help maintain their trim, while also keeping hair out of their eyes.

Be sure to get sheers that have a round tip for safety purposes if you’re not a professional.

When the touch ups just aren’t doing the job or it’s coming near your pup’s next appointment, visit our grooming salon where we provide several luxurious grooming options such as yummy blueberry facials.

To set up an appointment, give us a call at 832-482-2299.

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Have you ever had to rescue a pet from a hot car? Share your story  with us in the comment section below or on Facebook.

 

Is the change in season making your dog irritable?

Is the change in season making your dog irritable?

Our brief moment of winter has come to an end in The Woodlands — spring time is officially here! After a week of lagging following Daylight Saving Time, you may be eager to spring forward and switch gears.

However, the change in your behavior could be making your pet a little agitated.

According to LiveScience.com, pets may perceive their owner is acting strangely when their pet parent changes their schedule for Daylight Saving Time. Household animals can become irritable when they show up to an empty bowl at their normal dinner time, or pets can become anxious waiting an extra hour for their owner to come home.

The Pet Health Network says the shift in scheduled rituals can be abrupt and unexpected for most dogs since humans set the routine for the animals living with them.

Some pets are so tuned in with their owners’ schedules that a one-hour time difference can cause psychological and physical stress in pets. PetTime.com says nervousness can lead to various unwanted behavior including potty accidents and destruction of items inside the home.

Also similar to humans, all animals have an internal clock — which doctors call a circadian rhythm — that tells the animal when to eat, sleep and wake up. This biological timekeeper is controlled by natural sunlight, which is why most dogs tend to wake when the sun rises and sleep after sunset. Brighter mornings and longer days could throw this clock off for a few days.

Some dogs operate like clockwork — napping, eating and going to the restroom at the same time every day. Since dogs have to depend on an internal clock versus a face clock like their owners, the shift can appear unwarranted to dogs.

Many dogs make the adjustment with little to no problems — while others not so much. If your pet is still struggling to sleep or is extremely sensitive to time changes there several methods available that may help.

Ask a veterinarian about using nutritional supplement such as melatonin or relaxing scents.

Increase your dog’s physical activity with longer walks or playtime. Camp Bow Wow offers a great dog day care program that can make adding more playtime easier if you have a busy schedule.

It also helps to serve your pet meals around the same time each day throughout the year.

PetTime.com says be sure to pay extra attention to your pet’s needs during this transition, offering him or her extra comfort if they show signs of anxiety. One way is two reward your dog with small treats as they make positive changes toward the new schedule.

Remember all animals are creatures of habit. If your dog is sleeping in pass his normal schedule — Dogster Magazine says let him sleep!

The switch to spring weather should be a great experience for you dog above all. It could mean more playtime, warmer naps and extra time with you.

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We want your feedback! Let us know if you have any tricks to help pets with seasonal adjustment anxiety or about other topics you would like to see on the blog. You can reach us through email at ntwa.scout@campbowwowusa.com or message us on Facebook.

6 Tips: Keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms

6 Tips: Keeping dogs calm during thunderstorms

Hurricane season begins in June — so you know what that means? Thunderstorms!

Experts say up to 30 percent of dogs experience storm anxiety (also known as astraphobia) with symptoms ranging from nervous moaning to destructive behavior. Here are some great tips for keeping your furniture in one piece and your dog calm during a storm.

1. Don’t comfort your dog when he acts afraid

According to Pedigree, giving your dog hugs or special attention can actually reinforce his fearful behavior. They suggest focusing more on speaking to your pet in a happy, playful voice to give him confidence. And remember: Never punish fearful behavior. If you can get your dog to play with you during a storm — that’s all the better, Pedigree said.

2. However, do make your dog comfortable

Petful.com recommends finding a comfortable place — a ridiculously plush dog bed, a rug, a crate or space under a bed, even in the bathtub — that the pet thinks of as a safe haven. Offer a few reassuring words. You might want to remind your pet that a cherished toy is still here, just waiting to be played with. While you’re trying to cuddle your dog, you are trying to keep them happy.

3. Bring your dog inside

PetHealth.com says the best place for your dog is the most sound-proof area of your house. Dogs left outside during a thunderstorm are affected more than dogs that are inside, according to PetHealth.com. Some dogs will attempt to escape from your yard or fight to get into your home. While damage to your property can be extreme and costly, it’s the damage your dog could do to itself that is dangerous – or deadly.

4. Turn down the noise, Turn up the music

Multiple sources recommend playing calming, soothing music for your dog during a thunderstorm. It’s a common form of pet therapy that is has proven to be highly effective. Another common approach that utilizes sound is desensitizing your dog — especially you ones— by playing a thunderstorm soundtrack when it’s not so gloomy outside.

Several websites provide thunderstorm soundtracks to help dogs with astraphobia. Of course, nothing is better than free in this case. YouTube has hundreds of soundtracks available for free use, some of which go for as long as 10 hours.

5. Don’t lock your dog up

The Human Society strongly suggests to not put your dog in a crate to prevent her from being destructive during a thunderstorm. Your pet will still be fearful when she’s in the crate and is likely to injure herself, perhaps even severely, while attempting to get out of the crate.

6. Go space age with electromagnetism

PetMD.com said your dog can become sensitized to the electromagnetic radiation caused by lightning strikes. One great way to shield your dog from these potentially fear-provoking waves is to cover their crate with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

In the end, if your dog has severe astraphobia and you’re unable to achieve success with the tips we’ve outlined here, we strongly recommend consulting a veterinarian.

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We want your feedback! Share your dog daycare experiences with us or recommend new topics you would like to see on the blog. You can reach us through email at ntwa.scout@campbowwowusa.com or message us directly on Facebook.