The Benefits of Canine Massage

Benefits of Canine Massge

A happy, healthy dog is in balance. That is wellness from the perspective of massage therapy. Dogs move out of balance when they are injured, sick, tired, out of condition, overweight, confused, disoriented (such as when they are adopted and learning to live in a new environment), grieving the loss of a family member, and aging.

Touch is a basic need … as important as food, water, and shelter.

Canine massage assists dogs to rediscover harmony when their bodies and minds are in chaos. Canine massage is effective in helping dogs at every stage of life, and in every stressful situation.

The benefits for dogs are:

  • Increases circulation
  • Helps relieve the effects of stiffness and joint discomfort
  • Develops and maintains muscle tone
  • Helps dogs rehabilitate after surgeries and other trauma
  • Enhances bonding in adopted dogs
  • Helps dogs and their owners with end of life care, “Transitions”


Benefits for  Pet Owners / Pet Parents

Dogs are our children. They depend on us for everything. Their quality of life is something we think about all the time. When our dogs are unhappy and out of sorts, we are unhappy. We are concerned. Confused. Their issues may not be the ones your veterinarian is able to, or trained to treat. Medication is not always the solution, especially if the problem is neuromuscular, psychosocial, or emotional. What if your dog is suffering from the normal aches and pains that come with aging? Sometimes, the things that are your dog’s stressors are best treated with massage and bodywork.

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10 Tips to Ensure You Never Lose a Pet

One of a dog owner’s biggest fears will always be losing their pet. Losing a pet is like losing a child and is an experience no one should ever have to go through. July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month and serves as an important reminder to make sure your pet stays safe and does not get lost. Even if you believe you are the safest pet owner, it’s always smart to make sure you have a checklist in case something happens. Here are ten vital tips to insure you will never lose your precious pup.

  1. Microchip

In today’s technological world, tracking your missing dog has never been easier. Thanks to the technology of microchips, more people have been reunited with their lost dogs. If your dog loses its collar and ends up lost, a vet or shelter can scan for the microchip, which will contain their name, the owner’s contact information, and their primary vet or shelter information. It is completely painless and your dog will have no idea it even has a microchip. Only about the size of a grain of rice, a vet will inject the microchip under your dog’s skin and it will stay there for his or her entire life. It’s also important because if someone else claims your dog; legally, by looking at the microchip, you can prove the dog is yours.

  1. Collar With Dog Tags

While it may seem obvious, some people forget how extremely vital it is for your dog to not only have a secure collar, but also have a dog tag. Loose collars can fall off and, over time, become torn and wear down. It is important that you check your dog’s collar to make sure it is still in proper shape. Also, you don’t want to choke your dog, so be sure to find an even balance between secure and comfortable. While most people use collars, many forget how important dog tags are. You should definitely consider a dog tag because they make it very easy for someone to identify your dog and their contact information immediately on sight. You can make custom dog tags at your local pet store for an affordable price. You can also write your phone number on the collar itself as a precaution.

  1. Teach ‘Come’ And Stay’

Two essential commands your dog must know are ‘Come’ and ‘Stay.’ With these two commands, the probability of your dog getting lost is less likely. Whether you are taking your dog for a walk, are at the park, or going for a drive, there is a chance your dog could see something they find exciting or interesting and take off. If your dog knows these commands and recognizes you as their leader, they will stop. Knowing these commands not only can keep your dog from getting lost, but they could even save your dog’s life–for example, stopping them from running into a street of cars. It is important to teach your dogs these commands starting from when they are puppies.

  1. Leash

If you own a dog, that means you must own a dog leash. Having a leash is a fundamental part of having a dog. There a variety type of leashes for different types of dogs and different environments, so make sure you find the right fit for both you and your dog. If you are in an open area but still want access to your dog from a distance, you can get a retractable leash or a long leash. These provide the dog more freedom while still keeping them safely attached to you. However, if you are going for a walk in the park where other dogs might be present, you should have a shorter leash with more control so you can regulate your dog with more ease if for example they try to go after another dog.

  1. Secure Yard And Home

One of the most common ways a dog gets lost is when they escape your yard. There have been plenty of times people will find dogs wandering their neighborhood and mistake them for strays, when really they accidentally just got out of their own property. If you let your dog in the yard, make sure you have double checked the fencing around your property. You want the right height fence depending on the size of your dog so they can’t jump over it. And even if they can’t jump the fence, your dog still might be able to dig its way out. A good way to prevent this is with rocks or chicken wire lining the bottom of the fence. Also, to prevent your dog from squeezing through the fence, check for any lose panels that your dog can fit through.

  1. Spaying Or Neutering

Not only is spaying and neutering important to prevent overpopulation and keep more dogs from ending up in shelters, but it’s also key to keeping your pets from wandering off and getting lost. When male dogs are not neutered, they have a higher tendency to seek out females because of natural sexual behavior. This means that an unneutered dog is more likely to wander off from your home and get lost trying to seek out female dogs, leading to more risk of getting hit by cars. Neutering your dog takes away this instinct, making your dog calmer and more reliable, preventing further behavioral problems. Your dog will also be a better protection dog because they are not worried about roaming the streets to mate.

  1. Pay Attention

The simple yet vital act of paying attention to your dog is the easiest way to prevent your dog from getting lost. There are plenty of times when you’ll take your dog out, whether it’s the park, for a walk, to a restaurant, to a friend’s house, and more. It is important that wherever you take your dog, pay attention to them and their surroundings, especially in unfamiliar locations. Also, be sure to never leave your dogs tied to bike racks, parking meters, or fences, while you go into a store. Your dog could easily slip out of its collar and get lost. It is essential your dogs are always in eyesight of you. Even when your dog goes in your own backyard you should know exactly where they are. You wouldn’t leave your child unsupervised, so why should you leave your dog unsupervised?

  1. Car Safety

An easy time for dogs to escape is when they’re in the car. Your dog could easily run off when you open the car door. Some dogs could even escape if you open the window too far. Be aware of your dog’s typical behavior and figure out what works best. If your dog has a tendency to stick its whole body out the window, be sure to only open the window half way or three quarters. Similarly, if your dog gets easily excited when you open the door, make sure you leave their leash on. That way you can prevent the problem before it even happens. Doggie harness seatbelts are also helpful in making sure your dog is safe and secure. Finally, do not leave your dog by itself in the car under any circumstance. Not only could your dog could die from heat stroke on a hot day, but someone could actually break into your car just to steal your dog.

  1. Documentation

You should have all of your dog’s documents and papers organized in one area with easy access. If your dog were to get lost, the fastest way to quicken the process of finding them is having all your information together. Proof of ownership such as vet documents, shelter information, photos, vaccination records, and more can make it easier to not only prove you are your dog’s owner, but also make it easier for those who might have found your dog such as shelters or rescue groups. You should keep handy your local shelter’s address and phone number along with a recent photo so you can put up flyers with what your dog looks like at the current moment.

  1. Inside Safety

It is perfectly healthy and normal to let your dog go in the yard for outside time, to use the bathroom, and to play, but when you are not home, they should be indoors. It’s important to make sure you keep your dog inside when you’re not home so your dog doesn’t get loose by mistake. A common problem is people thinking dogs are strays when really they’ve just escaped from their house and can’t get back inside because no one is home. Also, if you have small dogs be extra aware, especially at night, because of predators like coyotes, hawks, and mountain lions. Lastly, don’t leave dogs outside alone while you are sleeping. When it’s time for bed, everyone should come inside.

-from By 

Hot Weather Safety Tips

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger. To prevent your pet from overheating, take these simple precautions provided by ASPCA experts:

  • Visit the vet for a spring or early-summer checkup. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication.
  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
  • Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
  • Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
  • Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centerat (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.
  • Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbeques can be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol.
  • Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma, and even unused fireworks can contain hazardous materials. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area of your home. Be prepared in the event that your pet does escape by downloading the ASPCA Mobile App. You’ll receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.

-from the ASPCA website

Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

Five ways to prevent your dog from suffering heatstroke, even when it’s really hot.

Dogs can suffer from heat stress in just a few short minutes, even when the temperature doesn’t seem that hot to us. How will you know if a dog is at risk for overheating? There is not an exact answer to this question; it depends on the dog and the situation.

All dogs are at risk in extreme temperatures. But a dog who is accustomed to 90° weather may have less risk on a very hot day than a Seattle pup vacationing in the Arizona desert. Also, the air temperature is only one consideration; humidity, sun exposure (or lack of shade), amount of time in the heat, level of exertion, and availability of water can all affect how well a dog tolerates heat. Be alert for signs of heat distress, such as excessive panting or drooling, reddened gums, listlessness, or rapid heartbeat.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help prevent your dog from getting so overheated that he suffers heat stress or heatstroke.

1. Avoid exposing your dog unduly to extraordinary heat. Again, this is a relative recommendation; a dog who is acclimated to a fairly hot environment can tolerate more than a dog who is not. But when temperatures rise beyond what are average, give your dog greater respite from the heat. Leave him home! And if left at home, make sure he’s got ample methods for staying cool: shade; lots of fresh, cool water to drink; and perhaps the cooling breeze of a fan. If you must take him out, try to keep him out of the sun – and make sure he has constant access to cool drinking water.

2. Modify your dog’s exercise routine in hot weather. Walk him after dark or before dawn. Find a pond, creek, or beach where dogs are safe and welcome, and incorporate swimming or water play into his usual game of fetch. During severe heat waves, he can forego any sort of rigorous exercise for a few days.

3. Get him wet. Hose him down, put him in the tub, mist him with a spray bottle, or wipe his coat with a sopping wet towel. In a dry climate, the evaporation will help lower his body temperature; in a humid environment, you’ll need to get some extra air flowing over him for a wet coat to help him cool down. Ceiling fans are terrific; battery-powered fans that attach to your dog’s crate or x-pen work well, too.

4. Provide ample water. Make sure your dog has lots of fresh, cool water – preferably from more than one source. Dogs always seem to drink more when they have options.
If you’re out with the dog, offer water frequently. Stop in a shady spot, and really encourage him to relax and drink. Some dogs get distracted by their environment and pass up the chance to drink in favor of gawking. Make it clear that you’re not going on until they take at least one quick drink.

-from Whole Dog Journal

Must Read Book for All Dog Owners

For the Love of a Dog by Patricia McConnell is a must read book for all dog owners, both new and seasoned.  As a professional pet sitter, I want to learn all I can about animal behavior and this book is outstanding.

As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable new book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.

If you don’t have this book in your library, run out now and get it!  You won’t be book