Though we might not be completely away from the hot temps, it’s definitely starting to feel like fall in Atlanta and we’re so excited! It’s sweater weather, the pumpkin drinks are flowing, and some people have already put their Halloween decor out. Since we’re still not back to “normal” and activities are still relatively restricted, why not take advantage of the cooler temps and take Fido for a nice hike near the city?!
This week on the blog, we’ve gathered a list of 5 great hiking spots that are pup-friendly and within driving distance of Atlanta. Do you know of secret hiking spots we left out? Don’t keep them to yourself! Share in the comments below :)
Now that we’re 6 months into this quarantine thing, you've probably adjusted to the “new normal” of working from home. People have upgraded their home offices, revamped their home workout routines, and changed their work wardrobe, so why not adjust your pup’s routine to match your new lifestyle as well!?
This week we’ve gathered 5 of the best tips for working from home with Fido nearby.
If you have other hints, please share them in the comments. We’re all in this together and any pawsitive ideas for making this experience easier are much appreciated!
Share your success stories (or funny mishaps!) below. We’ll get through this together, sooner or later.
If you’ve had a cat, chances are you’ve struggled with this once or twice. Cats are more difficult to “read” than dogs and it’s not quite as easy to train them to tell you what they need. A common way for cats to act out is to pee out of the litter box, but depending on the cat, it can mean a variety of different things.
Note: the list below highlights some of the most common reasons kitty companions urinate outside the litter box, but if you notice a change in your cat’s behavior, we recommend a trip to the vet to make sure there are not hidden health issues going on.
While you’re trying to identify the reason your kitty cat is urinating outside the box, considering buying an enzyme-clearing cleaning product to clean areas they’ve peed and consider using an attractant spray to encourage them to begin using the litter box again. Your goal should be to make the litter box the most desirable place while removing traces of urine from all other areas of the house.
Kitties can be hard to figure out sometimes, but paying attention to changes in behavior and routine can make all the difference and we promise, they’re so worth it! :)
The decision to get a dog can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. It’s a huge decision that will change your life for many years, so it’s important to take the time to really think about the breed, size, energy level, and personality that would be the best fit for your family. Of course our team always recommends considering adoption whenever possible, but we still recommend putting lots of thought into the breed - or combination of breeds - that would fit into your home and lifestyle.
Some important questions to consider when looking into dog breeds are below, but remember: each dog has its own unique personality. Also, keep in mind that dogs require a huge amount of time and attention; the best, most well-behaved dogs are those whose families give them lots of attention, training, and exercise.
Should I purchase from a breeder or adopt from a rescue/shelter?
Breeders usually sell purebred dogs who are known to be more predictable, at least in terms of temperament and appearance, whereas you can’t always be certain what breed(s) a rescue dog might be. While there is some breed uncertainty with rescue dogs, they tend to be less susceptible to genetic conditions because of crossbreeding.
Do I want a puppy or an adult dog?
While puppies are adorable, they require a lot of energy. They need to be taken out to potty very regularly and need to be trained to be respectful members of the family. For many families, adopting an adult dog might be an easier option. Adult dogs also tend to have a harder time being adopted than cute, tiny puppies do. When thinking about the age of pup you’d like to adopt, there are several important things to consider:
Which breed is right for me?
There are lots of stereotypes about dog breeds, but some are grounded in semi-truths. Visit these websites for lots of detailed breed-specific information:
When considering breeds, thing about the following:
We could go on, and on, and on discussing dog breeds because let’s face it, dogs rule our world! But the first and most important question you should ask is: do I really have time to devote to a dog? Then, you should consider your home and lifestyle; are you really able to give a new dog the physical space and training it needs to be a respectful family member?
If the answer to both of these questions is yes, talk to your friends who have dogs and do lots of research before taking the leap. When it comes to adding a new fur baby to your family, no amount of preparation and research is too much. Ask questions, read, and do your due diligence. We promise, you won’t regret it!
As human interest in the health benefits of CBD products grows, so does interest in the potential benefits to our fur babies. This week we’re taking a dive into the world of CBD products for dogs but as always, we want to stress that we are not veterinarians and each family should seek the advice of a trained medical expert before trying any of the products mentioned below. Additionally, there is no definitive scientific data about the efficacy of CBD in treating canine health concerns, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from dog owners around the world.
How does CBD affect dogs and what can it treat?
CBD is the shorthand name for cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Notably, it usually doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. Dr. Klein, the AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, says that usually CBD comes from hemp, rather than marijuana.
Dog owners, and some doctors, suggest that CBD can help with a range of health concerns including nausea, appetite, stress and anxiety, seizures, cancer, and cardiovascular problems. Again, while there is no scientific data to back these claims, many dog owners swear by CBD and say that it has been transformative for their fur balls. The Canine Health Foundation recently launched a study to test the efficacy of CBD in the treatment of canine epilepsy, so we’ll standby for additional scientific data to support (or refute) these claims.
What CBD products are available for dogs?
The most commonly used CBD product for dogs is CBD oil which can be administered by putting a small amount of oil just inside their gums. It can also be added to treats/food for finicky pets. There are also several varieties of chews that contain varying amounts of CBD but we highly recommend reading the packaging thoroughly before purchasing these.
What risks does CBD pose to dogs?
Because CBD as a health supplement is a relatively new phenomenon, there is no official information about the risks and hazards associated with its use. The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD and as a result, there is no official dosing information available either. That being said, as with any supplement or medication, it’s important to administer the correct amount recommended on the packaging because too much is far worse than too little. Additionally, in consultation with your vet, we recommend starting small and monitoring Fido’s reaction before you progress to larger doses.
We always recommend during thorough research and consulting your veterinarian before giving your pet medications or supplements - especially those that haven’t been rigorously studied. The American Kennel Club is a great place to begin your CBD research.
Do you give our pups CBD oil? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!
It’s been hot, very very hot, these last few months. The heat coupled with prolonged quarantine and social distancing measures has people feeling cooped up and restless. If you want to get out and about, that’s great, but we highly recommend leaving your dog at home while the temperatures are in the upper 80s, 90s and beyond.
Most people know that leaving your dog in a hot car is dangerous, but some believe that Fido will be fine if the windows are cracked. This thought process is incorrect and can put your pets in grave danger. According to the American Kennel Club, “It doesn’t have to be super hot outside for your car to heat up. The inside of a vehicle parked in 70-degree weather can reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes. On very hot days, temperatures inside parked cars can climb to 140 degrees Fahrenheit in less than one hour.” Moreover, a parked car with the windows cracked heats up at almost the exact same rate as one with the windows up. In short, cracked windows are not a viable solution.
You might be wondering what to do if you see a dog in a hot car and feel it might be in danger. While breaking into a car to save a dog from health concerns associated with heat is not legal in the state of Georgia, there are still steps you can take to save a dog that’s locked in a hot car.
If you’d like to advocate for this issue on a larger scale, visit the Humane Society’s website to download flyers to post in your community. There are also several types of car decals online for purchase too.
Today’s take away: be informed, be cautious, and don’t lock your dog in a hot car!
Some companies are beginning to return to “normal” operations and requiring people to return to their previous in-person work schedules. After a multi-month staycation at home, some of you might be worried about leaving your fur babies for long periods of time during the day. We’ve got three important tips and tricks to help your fur ball (and yourselves) overcome the impending separation anxiety you might be worried about.
There’s no doubt COVID has impacted us all in so many unexpected ways, and it makes sense that our fur babies are feeling some of those effects too. As with yourselves and your human family members, we recommend lots of patience and grace as your pet adjusts, once again, to a new normal. That said, if your pup seems to be suffering from severe separation anxiety, we recommend seeking professional advice from your veterinarian.
Wishing you the best of luck for a smooth post-COVID transition! Don’t forget, you can always call on The Village Pets to provide drop-in visits, dog walks, and doggy daycare to keep your pup busy while you’re away! :)
It’s July 4th weekend, a time for cookouts, vacations, and FIREWORKS. Families near us have been setting off fireworks for a while already this year, but we suspect that the next few nights will be even fuller of lights and sounds, so we want to make a few suggestions to keep your fur babies safe during this July 4th holiday weekend.
Tips for keeping your pets safe in the time of fireworks:
In general, we recommend staying calm, turning on distracting noises, and creating a comfortable environment where your pet can feel as safe as possible. With proper planning, we will get through this together!
Happy long weekend everyone, stay safe and healthy!
We had the pleasure of caring for Greg and Rick, two D’argent rats, last week and it was a blast. Greg and Rick live in a beautiful rat paradise with lots of fun toys and furniture to keep them busy and stimulated. They drink lots of water, nibble on their small rodent kibble, and a munch on special rat treats here and there. Because we had so much fun with them, we want to share some photos and tell our lovely followers why y’all too should consider adding a pet rat to the family!
1. They’re brilliant. Rats are smart and trainable; one veterinarian wrote that she trained her pet rat to kill bugs on command. Wouldn’t that be a huge bonus?! They can also be litter box trained like rabbits and cats.
2. They’re surprisingly clean. Despite their infamy for being dirty street pests, rats like to keep themselves and their surroundings very clean. They clean themselves in the same way cats do and their waste has a relatively mild odor. Some can have the typical “musky” rodent smell, but it’s not nearly as strong as it is with other animals like ferrets.
3. They’re playful, friendly, and fun. Rats are social creatures - in fact many people recommend keeping them in pairs - and they love to play. Greg and Rick seemed to love keeping each other company but they also had a lot of play equipment to keep them entertained. Because they’re so friendly, they make great family companions much like a dog or cat.
Have we convinced you to consider getting a pet rat? Before adopting a new furry friend, be sure to consider the time and cost investments that are involved in owning pets of any kind. Though smaller, pet rats need routine veterinary care, a safe, clean habitat, and specialized rodent food. They are well-suited to families who have the ability to give them affection and entertainment on a consistent basis as well.
For more information about adopting a pet rat, visit the VCA’s pet rat page and checkout the ASPCA’s rat care handout too.
Humans and cats have one big thing in common: diet and nutrition are key for both to live long, healthy lives. Choosing cat food can be just as daunting as trying to sort through the millions of healthy human food options these days so we’ve decided to share a few key tips and tricks to keep in mind when you’re shopping for your fur baby’s next meal.
The pet food industry has lots of players who range in size and scope. As always, we recommend discussing your pet’s individual dietary needs with your veterinarian to ensure they are as healthy and strong as they possibly can be.
Trusted sources of dietary and nutritional info for domestic cats:
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Association of American Feed Control Officials
To help your relationship with your pet to thrive, we love offering tips & tricks to help owners get the most out of our services.