7 Ways You Can Keep Your Pets Healthy and Safe this Winter

By guest blogger, Ryan Goodchild of A Pupper’s Love

Photo by ModCatShop on Unsplash

Now that the cold weather has arrived, you need to make sure your pet has the essentials to stay healthy and happy all season long. Not sure where to start? Then check out these top health and safety tips for taking care of your furkids.

Find Allergy Relief for Your Pets

Itchy pets may be suffering from allergies. Pet allergies are pretty common for cats and dogs, and can be the result of dust, pollen or even certain foods. All of the scratching can lead to hair loss and infections, so schedule a checkup for your pets if you suspect environmental or food allergies. You can also try switching your kitty to an allergen-free food to see if that helps with symptoms.

Address Your Pet’s Behavior Issues

Winter weather can mean more indoor gatherings with family and friends. If you plan on bringing your pets along you should make sure they have at least some basic manners. This can also be helpful if you want to sip your favorite fall lattes on local dog-friendly patios. If you need help with training your dog, consider reaching out to a local, qualified trainer for a consultation.

Be Aware of Signs of Pain in Your Pet

Colder weather can make your pet extra achy. Arthritis is another common health concern that tends to come in during colder seasons, and aches and pains can be particularly common for senior pets. Lifestyle changes can reduce pain and inflammation for your pet, including keeping your pet active and investing in quality beds.

Pain from inflammation, nausea and vomiting from cats with sensitive stomachs is another thing to look out for. In this case, switch your kitty over to food that is specially produced for such ailments. Ingredients in sensitive stomach cat food — such as prebiotics, highly digestible ingredients, and fatty acids like fish oil — are geared towards soothing cats’ digestive systems.

Make Sure Your Pets are Microchipped

It’s always a good idea to microchip your pet. If your pet gets away from you during a hike, a walk, or a holiday vacation, having a microchip will increase the chances of being reunited with you. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure that can be priceless when it comes to protecting your furry family members.

Protect Your Pet’s Paws and Nose

You know how your lips and hands can get dry and chapped during the winter? Well, the same thing can happen to your pet’s paws and nose. If you notice dry skin or cracks on their skin, consider mixing up a protective balm. You can also add a layer of balm to help safeguard your dog’s paws against salt and other chemicals used to prevent ice on sidewalks.

Protect Your Pet From Holiday Hazards

Finally, before you enjoy any holiday celebrations with your pets, you should be aware of some of the most common holiday pet hazards. Human food may be the first thing that comes to mind, and keeping fatty meats, herbs and other risky treats away from your pets can be crucial for keeping them healthy. But holiday decor, including poinsettias, mistletoe and tinsel, can also present poisoning and choking hazards.

Ensuring a safe and healthy season for your pets is all about preparation and planning. So even if the temperatures are still hot and sticky in your area, start making appointments and stocking up on supplies as soon as possible. Then you can rest assured that your pets are healthy enough to enjoy all the fall fun ahead.

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Thank you, Ryan, for all the great info. For inspiring stories about man’s best friend, check out Ryan’s website, A Pupper’s Love.

Handy Resources for Moving with Pets – Sans Stress

By guest blogger, Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends

Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

Moving can be ruff, especially for pet parents. You may be worried about keeping your furkids safe and happy, all while trying to find the purr-fect home and plan a stress-free move. I’m here to let you in on a few secrets that will set your mind at ease and help you keep your move organized from start to happy tails. Let’s dive in!

You Need a New Home

 Obviously, this is going to be the first step you take. The good news is that finding a home with pets in mind isn’t that different than doing so without. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Even in the pandemic, buying a home can be safe and as low stress as possible.
  • The upside to using virtual tools to tour homes is that your furkids can take a look, too!
  • Any home that makes you and your budget happy will be perfect for your pets, as well.
  • If you have aging pets, you may want to buy a new home that doesn’t have stairs.

You Need to Start Packing and Planning

Hopefully, that first step was simple enough. Next, you will want to begin packing your belongings and planning out your move. Keep these tips in mind to keep your pets calm:

  • Feline family members can be sensitive to change, including packing.
  • Your pups will also need some reassurance and planning to avoid anxiety.
  • For all pets, pack their essentials last and unpack them with your day-of box.
  • Your kitties are also going to need some basics to stay healthy on the road.
  • Although many hotels are pet-friendly, confirm their policies before you book.

You Need to Help Pets Feel at Home, Too

All of the stressful parts of your move are done. Well, stressful for you anyhow because moving to a new home can also be stressful for your pets. You can soothe their stress by:

  • De-stressing yourself — because your pets will pick up on your moods and anxieties.
  • Maybe make yourself a big and tasty pancake as a treat for surviving the move.
  • You can even share with your pets but remember that some human foods are toxic.
  • Upon arrival, start by allowing your pets to explore one room and then go from there.
  • If your pets still seem anxious after a few weeks, it may be time to talk with a vet.

These are all of the resources and tips you need to ensure a smooth and low-stress move with your pets. As a fellow pet parent, I can say that the most important things to keep in mind are that change can be hard for animals, but patience can go a long way. Pair that patience with positivity and planning to give your pets everything they need.

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Thank you, Jessica, for all the great info. For resources, stories and some cute animal pics, you can visit Jessica’s website, Our Best Friends.

For another great resource on moving with dogs, check out this post on Fluent Woof!

Pampering Your Good Old Buddy: Tips for Friends of Senior Dogs

By guest blogger, Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends.

Photo by Jean Alves from Pexels

Playtime, pampering, and plenty of snuggles should only grow more important as your dog ages. Your best friend deserves the best treats and attention as she enters her twilight years, and, of course, you’re the one she turns to when she needs tender care. Ensuring your good old buddy is as happy and healthy as possible is easy with a few adjustments.

It’s playtime!

Playtime is still an important part of your dog’s life, even as she ages. Conditions such as arthritis, decreased stamina, and dental issues are common in older dogs, but that doesn’t mean you should cease healthy activity. A simple change in pace for how you approach playtime could make all the difference.

Low-impact games are a great activity to keep your dog’s senses tuned and her mind sharp. A good game of tug will help her rekindle her youth and prey drive (just be sure to take any dental issues into account before beginning), and keep her happy by letting her win.

Other activities like leisurely walking, short games of backyard fetch, and hide and seek are all ways to keep your pup happy and healthy into her gray years.

Treat yourself (and your dog)

Is your dog a good dog? Of course, she is. One way to pamper your pup and keep her spoiled into old age is through healthy, easy-to-enjoy treats. When choosing a dog treat for an older dog, there are several things to consider. Does your dog have dietary restrictions, or does she have dental issues that would make harder treats more difficult to eat? What kinds of ingredients does this company use? What do the reviews from other pet owners say?

There are plenty of options that especially support the health of senior dogs. And, just like with human vitamins and supplements, you can find treats to help with any number of ailments, including poor eyesight or arthritis. You can also make your own treats! Just be sure to use healthy ingredients and steer clear of any allergens. According to the American Kennel Club, however, your dog’s caloric requirement may drop with age, so pay attention to that and to any advice your vet has to offer.

Medication and veterinary bills don’t have to be stressful

No doubt as your pet gets older, she will need some form of medication, be it vitamins for her bones or pills for arthritis. She’ll also need semi-annual visits to the veterinarian. Both of these can prove a bit challenging.

One thing is for certain: You need to be sure to be gentle when you administer her medication. Some methods for giving your fussy friend the pills she needs (even when she refuses) include cutting the pills up into smaller doses, using pill pockets, and mixing the medication in with her meals. You should also wash your hands (to get rid of the scent of the medication) and open the pill bottle when she’s not paying attention so she can’t associate the noise with the experience.

Paying for quality veterinary care doesn’t have to be a hassle. When you foresee more vet bills in your future, a great way to offset costs is through pet insurance. And it’s actually easy to find a policy that has no or limited age restrictions. A basic policy can cover the vet visit, medications and even procedures, leaving you with only a small deductible.

Remember . . .

Taking care of your older pup is easy as long as you remember the most important thing: This is your best friend, your partner in crime, and she is always worth the extra effort.

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Thank you, Jessica, for all the great info. For resources, stories and some cute animal pics, you can visit Jessica’s website, Our Best Friends.

For a detailed guide on pet insurance, with comparisons, quotes, details and all-around good advice, click here.