Walking Your Dog Saves Lives

You want to keep your dog healthy and happy, and one of the best ways to do that is through exercise. Young dogs especially need to run around, stay fit and get rid of their excess energy. Technology is not only helping to motivate pet owners to exercise their dogs regularly but is providing information and resources for animals in need. Smartphones and apps are tools for positive changes in your community that can have an instant impact. Here are a few pet-friendly apps to consider:

Why You Should Walk

Even if you don’t think you have the time, make some. Even a ten minute walk will revitalize you and your pup. It will increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping. Plus, walking will mentally stimulate your dog, which may help to prevent bad behaviors caused by boredom, anxiety and youthful energy.

If hiking sounds more interesting than just walking, use BringFido to find trails across the globe that are friendly to dogs. You can search by location to find pet-friendly restaurants, dog parks, dog beaches, hiking trails and tours so you can take your dog with you anywhere. Find new adventures, and take your dog on an exciting hiking trail. You both will get exercise and see a brand new place.

How Walking Can Help

An app that will do great things for your dogs and others is Wooftrax. This app donates money to animal shelters every time you walk your dog. It doesn’t matter how far you walk; both a block and a mile contribute to the overall score that gives credit to your shelter. And, the more walks you go on, the more your shelter benefits. Once you download the app, click “Start walking for . . . ” and then choose the shelter you want to donate to. Then, once your walk is complete, the app credits the shelter you selected.

Don’t worry, all the donations are not coming out of your pocket. Wooftrax is able to make the donations through sponsorship, advertising and investors. All you have to do is log your time, and shelters will receive support. Another great features of the app is that you can do it without a dog! You can walk for yourself and still raise money for a shelter. There is even a create your own dream dog feature to give you a virtual furry companion to take on the walk with you. It is an app every dog owner or animal advocate should have!

Why Animal Shelters Matter

Whether large or small operations, animal shelters are key in providing care for animals that are neglected, abandoned and without a safe place to call home. They are often adoption rehabilitation centers for animals others would normally give up on, explains LearningToGive.

The Petfinder Foundation is an organization that connects with shelters across the United States to help homeless pets find homes. They have made a new app called Touch To Give, where you can donate to local animal shelters. It is an easy way to help animals in need.

So, what are you waiting for? Save lives, make your pet happy, keep yourself healthy and get walking.

Safety Tips For Your Sailor Dog Companion

Safety Tips For Your Sailor Dog Companion | A Letter to My Dog

If you plan to go out to sea and take your dog along, keep in mind pets are just as vulnerable as young children. They are susceptible to sea sickness, sunburn, the effects of sun exposure including sunburn and heat stroke, and falling overboard and drowning. Think safety first if you’re bringing your dog along.

Plan for Comfort

Gayle Martz and Delilah Smittle, authors of “No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide to Traveling with Your Best Friend,” recommend you think about your dog’s comfort when boating. They suggest bringing items such as a towel for the dog, a dog-sized shirt or jacket that’s water-resistant, lots of bottled water, and a pooper scooper or potty pads for extended trips when you’ll be on the water longer than the time between your dog’s normal potty breaks. Also bring medicine from the vet for seasickness.

Gordon Wilson, writing for Modern Dog Magazine, says that if your dog is new to boating or if you’re on a different boat than the dog’s been on before, plan a very short trip before going on longer trips to see how the dog responds to new noises and movements of the moving boat.

Plan for Safety

Plan what you can do in case of an emergency before your boat leaves the dock. Lorie Huston, DVM and Certified Veterinary Journalist, recommends discussing your dog’s safety and emergency plans with other passengers. If the dog were to go overboard, make sure to keep your eyes on the dog and get to it when the water calms, and call to the dog from the boat that’s been brought to a standstill if it knows how to swim or is wearing a life jacket.

Huston also recommends creating an ID tag for your dog to wear while boating that has the marina’s contact information, your boat slip number, and your contact information. She says to bring first aid supplies, pet first aid book, any medicine the dog is currently taking, medicine for motion sickness (if your dog has had that condition previously), and supplies to stanch bleeding like Petclot and gauze pads and medical tape. She also recommends using life jackets designed for dogs, as does Wilson.

She also suggests following local laws where you’ll be on the water. Make sure you comply with regulations about boats, boating safety, and dogs, and check if you must pass a boater’s safety exam.

What Can Happen on a Boat

Wilson of Modern Dog Magazine tells the story of a woman whose pet schnauzer was discovered missing from their boat after having last seen him four hours earlier. Going overboard, either unseen or while in sight, is just one of the things dogs are vulnerable to while boating.

Other things that can happen when you take a dog boating include seasickness, sunburn, windburn, and heatstroke. Make sure you bring medicine for sea sickness, pet sunscreen, shade for the animal, and cold water and ice in case of overheating.

 

5 Dog-Friendly Plants to Add to Your Garden

Dogs experience the world with their mouths, chewing and gnawing on things of interest. But have you considered all of the possible risks just outside your front door? Many common plants, like geraniums, begonias and daffodils, are poisonous to dogs. Keep your beloved pup out of garden danger by overhauling your landscaping to be as safe as possible. Include some of these canine-friendly plant elements to your garden.

Bare-Root Bamboo

Bamboo is a great, hardy plant that can thrive without a ton of attention. Though it’s garnered a reputation for being invasive and taking over yards quickly, you can avoid this issue by choosing a clumping bamboo plant instead of the typical running type. This type of bamboo is ideal for creating a green privacy screen around a seating area in your yard. It requires regular watering and pruning for the first two years to help it thrive.

Roses

Your go-to gift for your loved ones is safe for your dog too. While ingestion of roses can cause some mild stomach issues in certain dogs, the perennial flower favorite has many holistic benefits for dogs as well, according to the Whole Dog Journal. For instance, rose vinegar, made by infusing vinegar with fresh petals, is an all-natural pet deodorizer and skin treatment. To minimize the risk to your dog while maximizing the benefits, keep your roses pruned so that they’re out of your dog’s reach.

Blue Echeveria

This beautiful succulent is the perfect pet-friendly addition to your garden if you live in a mild climate. Blue Echeveria thrives in sunny environments like its native Central America, requiring full sun. It will not tolerate freezing temperatures. Blue echeveria does not require much water. However, it is not drought-resistant so you do need to develop a watering routine to help the plant thrive.

Hens and Chicks

If you live in a dry climate and are looking for a hardy succulent, hens and chicks is the ideal plant. It’s drought-tolerant and requires minimal care, so you can spend more time playing with your dog and less time worrying about landscaping care. Better Homes and Gardens notes this type of plant also works well in small spaces, including between pavers and as a border along walkways.

Scarborough Lily

The ASPCA notes that the Scarborough lily is safe for dogs and this beautiful plant also is an ideal pot plant to add to your garden. Potting it in a tall pot will help contain it and also keep your dog from getting into it. Scarborough lilies grow best with some shade and require diligent watering to thrive.

Ponytail Palm

This hardy, sun-loving plant creates a lovely focal point in any landscape with its long foliage that resembles long grass. Allow a ponytail palm plenty of room to grow. Aim to keep it around 15 feet from any other plants when planting. It doesn’t need much water and should only be watered during high temperatures (over 90 degrees Fahrenheit) or if you’ve had minimal rainfall in recent weeks.