The seasons have changed, and with the mercury is dropping, we have to make some changes – longer shirts, pants, light jackets. We thought it was time to go over some tips for our pets, from the common sense to a few things you may never thought of (and not just for dogs, too).
Dogs: No pet should stay outside indefinitely. For dogs that spend time outside, provide plenty of water and a shelter where they can get out of the wind.
As we prepare our cars for the cooler weather, be very careful to not leave any antifreeze accessible to the dog. It is both very delicious and very toxic.
It’s getting darker earlier, so don’t forget to wear something reflective when taking Foxie for a walk.
Since autumn is the time when many people make home repairs and preparations for winter, it’s a good time to go over your dog’s equipment. Check their leashes, collars, and harnesses for wear and tear, replacing anything worn or broken. Check all fences and runs for loose spots or holes, before Wrigley gets out in really bad weather.
Fleas and ticks can be most active in the fall months, as they look for hosts to get them through the winter. Be sure to keep up your spot treatment, check for ticks after long walks, and wash bedding and vacuum pet areas frequently to stop them from wintering inside your house.
One of the biggest changes for your dog, and a big challenge for you, is their new winter coat (and not a mink one). This is a time for shedding, as their summer coat falls out. They also tend to shed some of the winter coat, since their bodies don’t need the insulation inside. Keep up the fiber and enzyme supplements to help prevent hair impaction, and brush frequently with a de-grooming brush such as the FURminator to remove loose hair. The new season can be harsh on their skin and coats; Salmon oil, like Grizzly Salmon Oil is your best friend, as it helps sooth dry, irritated skin, and those Omega-3 fatty acids make their new coat beautiful. Let their short summer coat grow out, and, if they have really short hair to begin with, when it gets colder get them a great sweater to stay warm.
Dogs are not the only animal friend sharing our lives. Here are some tips for the rest of our friends:
Cats: Outdoor cats will often climb into the motors of cars to stay warm. If cats tend to roam your neighborhood, bang on the hood or honk the horn before starting your car.
Bettas: While your little betta buddy has been doing great all summer, you may start to notice him slowing down and getting lazy. Adding a small, shatter proof heater to his bowl will help keep him warm and active.
Rabbits: If you keep your rabbit in a hutch outside, be ready to being them into a sheltered space, like a garage, when the weather turns bitterly cold. Provide plenty of hay and bedding for them to burrow into to stay warm. If you have a rabbit or guinea pig, be eco friendly by using their soiled bedding as mulch and compost. Wood beddings such as shredded aspen can be used as mulch, protecting plant’s roots. Paper beddings can be used as mulch or composted; rototilling it into the ground next year gives you great soil. You can soak soiled bedding in water overnight, strain, and then use to give plants their fall feeding of fertilizer, loaded with nitrates and ammonia. It’s great for indoor plants, too.
Reptiles: This time of year many reptiles may slow down, eat very little, and sleep all the time. Reptiles can respond to the decrease in the amount and intensity of light by bromating, a form of hibernation. Make sure that they have been eating well and defecating normally. You can perk them up and keep them active by increasing the wattage of their heat bulbs.
Birds and parrots: For a lot of parrots, fall can trigger a molt, where new feathers grow and push out old ones. This is the time of year we hear how surprised Polly’s parents were when she flew right off their shoulders! Bring them in for a wing (and nail) trim before you get a surprise, too. Help reduce the irritation the pin feathers cause by misting your bird, and add some vitamins to seed-only diets. It’s especially important to be sure their cage is out of any cold drafts.
The decrease in sunlight at this time of the year can be a downer for us, but imagine what it’s like for your tropical bird! Adding on a UV bulb in a dome can help regulate your bird’s mood and feeding schedule. It can help alleviate depression and regulate their mood, so if Nacho is not playing with her toys, consider bringing the sun inside. Placing the light on a simple timer is an easy way to make sure your bird gets plenty of those needed rays.
With a few special considerations, you and all your pets can safely enjoy what some feel is the best time of the year!
With the holidays arriving, it’s time to plan for your trips. Part of the planning is care for your favorite pet.
We’re honored to board small animals, reptiles, and birds. Spots do fill fast, so book as early as possible. Want to save some time? Download the new boarding form here and fill it out at your leisure and bring it in with you. For the owners of all birds boarding here (except for finches), we must have a valid psittacosis test from your vet on file before boarding (these take two weeks to get , so call your vet early). Call us for more information or to book your reservation.
The greyhounds will be here this Saturday. These stunning, elegant dogs are going to be by visiting from 11 – 3; stop by and say hi.
Wilmette Pet Center will be closed this Thursday, November 24th, for Thanksgiving. And keep an eye out for Sheila and her little elf helpers in the Wilmette Holiday Parade this Saturday!
And with the holidays arriving, it’s time to plan for your trips. Part of the planning is care for your favorite pet. We’re honored to board small animals, reptiles, and birds. Spots do fill fast, so book as early as possible. Want to save some time? Download the new boarding form here and fill it out at your leisure and bring it in with you. For the owners of all birds boarding here (except for finches), we must have a valid psittacosis test from your vet on file before boarding (these take two weeks to get , so call your vet early). Call us for more information or to book your reservation.
The weather has changed and we’re all breaking out of our winter doldrums and getting outside! But with the heat comes some special considerations for our pets. Keep these tips in mind:
Walk your dog in the early morning and evening, when the temperature is cooler.
Provide plenty of shade and fresh water for dogs outside, and consider bringing them in when the
weather gets really hot.
To help cool down a dog, splash their paws with water. Take alcohol wipes on walks and wipe pads. This
will help them shed excess heat.
Give your dog a new do! A shorter haircut right now will do a lot to help keep them cool.
Never leave your dog in a parked car. Even with windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can
reach fatal levels quickly (in many states, it’s illegal to leave a dog in a car, and in some people can break
windows to rescue distressed animals.)
Some dogs get very frightened during these big thunderstorms we have, or during firework displays on
the 4th of July. Consider trying the Thundershirt. The Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has been
shown to help calm dogs that are fearful, anxious, or over excited.
With a little care and forethought, you can keep your dog both safe and happy during the great summer months.
Thanks to the folks at Wilmette Pet Center, and the great work they do with Adopt-A-Pet Illinois. Because of them we now have Cody (formerly Quimby) in our lives. Here he is, day two, napping hard after a rigorous hour of play. Cody is amazing and immediately one of the family. Thank you!
–John, Krista, Jake, Wade, Kurt and Mack, and now Cody
We all love our iced lattes, coffees, and teas during the hot summer months. But did you know that frozen treats are a great way to help keep your dog cool and occupied, too? Here are some of the coolest ideas and products we have for your pup.
Many people are familiar with peanut butter in a Kong, but there are so many more ideas! Try filling it with mashed potatoes and frozen peas, then freeze.
Combine some plain yogurt, canned pumpkin, and cooked brown rice in a small baggie. Mix well inside the bag, then snip off a corner of the bag and squeeze it into the Kong toy, then freeze.
Soak some of your dog’s regular food in water (or chicken broth) for a brief time before placing it inside a Kong, then freeze.
Try a “Cheesy Elvis”: Combine a ripe banana, 3 spoonfuls of peanut butter, and a slice of cheese (melt slightly in microwave to make mixing easier). Mix until blended well, fill the Kong and freeze.
Want something meatier for your carnivore? Try a doggy omelet: combine a scrambled egg, some beef, yogurt, melted cheese and mashed potatoes all together in a Kong and freeze.
Mix tuna or your favorite freeze dried meat treat, like Stella and Chewey’s or Whole Life, with some yogurt and freeze in the Kong.
For fillings that are very wet, use a chewy treat or food piece to fill the small hole in the end to make filling easier.
Is your dog a big chewer? Fill the Kong completely to make getting the goodies out more difficult. You can also fill the Kong, then place it in a dish and cover with broth. Freeze the whole thing, then give the entire block to your dog so they have to work through the ice to get to the Kong!
Also try running a rope through the Kong, fill and freeze, then hang from a branch in a shady spot for a fun doggy piñata.
Try these fun and healthy do-it-yourself treats. Mix all the ingredients and freeze them in ice cubes for small dogs, Dixie cups for medium dogs, and large paper cups or popsicle trays for larger dogs. They can also be frozen in a Kong for big chewers.
Fresh and fruity Pupsicles:
Two mashed bananas
One cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
One cup organic apple juice or sugar free applesauce
Two cups yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Frozen peanut butter yogurt treats:
32oz. container of vanilla yogurt
1 cup of peanut butter
32oz. vanilla yogurt
1 Large can pure mashed pumpkin (TIP – Remember to use pure pumpkin and NOT the spiced pie filling!)
Frozen bones, like those by Primal, are one of the most popular coolers for your dog, and the most natural. Available in a variety of sizes and types – such as bison, venison, and beef – these are a great way to keep your dog happy on the porch all day, and a great for their jaws and teeth. Frozen bones can be fed two ways:
Allow your dog to chew on it for a couple of hours, then take it away, rinse it off, and refreeze it. You can repeat this three or four times.
Give your dog the frozen bone all day long, taking it away at the end. If your dog manages to remove all the meat and marrow, you can allow them to chew on the bone for as long as it lasts (taking it away when it is too small). If there is still some meat or marrow left at the end, throw the bone away. As always, treat frozen bones as raw meat and be sure to sanitize your hands and their play area afterward.
You should also always monitor your pup’s play time, and, as these frozen treats can be messy. Feed them outside, on the porch, or some place that is easy to clean.