According to the ADA:
"A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability".
Our dogs can mean a lot to us. They provide us with limitless loyalty and unconditional affection. No matter what way our pets come into our lives, or what roles they play, dogs are forever man's best friend. Sometimes they are also man's best helper. With heightened senses and astounding alertness, it's no wonder our companions have turned into 'dogs with jobs'.
On the outside, service dogs seem to be surrounded in mystery and confusion. These working dogs are an important part of our communities and for people with disabilities. To bring light to these paramount puppers, we hope to share information on service dogs, the United States laws on service dogs, and proper etiquette when encountering a service dog team.
There is no law for registering service animals, though there are many fake registries online. One may also purchase service dog 'gear' such as harnesses or leashes, but to identify a real service animal, businesses are allowed to ask only two questions:
No registration or I.D. is required for a service animal.
Training a service dog is a lasting commitment for handlers and trainers. A service dog is never aggressive towards other people or animals, and must tolerate any environment. Service dogs may be obtained through reputable breeders or rescues which produce dogs with outstanding temperaments. There are also programs such as The Seeing Eye, which educates handlers and raises puppies to become Seeing Eye Dogs for the blind, and Warrior Canine Connection, which trains dogs as service animals for wounded warriors.
When working, service dogs should never be disturbed from performing their job. Always ask permission from the handler to pet the service dog, but chances are the dog is working and unable to interact with the public. But just like any other dog, service dogs are also an important part of their family and receive plenty of love from their handlers.
The best way to help our service dog communities is to respect the dogs and their handlers, and to continue educating others about the laws and requirements for service animals. For more information, we encourage you to visit the ADA website, and the Mass.gov page on service animals.
Every season is puppy season! At Buddies we welcome pups all year round, and we encourage introductory grooming visits for all breeds in addition to these helpful socialization tips.
Loud and unfamiliar sounds are some of the most startling for dogs throughout their lifetime. Puppies should be introduced to different sounds from birth and through the early socialization window (to about 12-16 weeks, depending on the breed). With positive experiences, puppies should learn to recover quickly from being startled. Some noises puppies may hear in everyday life include:
A pup learns to love you and your family, but it is also important they interact with as many different types of people as possible. One example is dogs are more frequently greeted by women, and so they commonly develop shyness around men. Bringing your pup into a public environment where different people may calmly approach or feed treats to Fido is one way to combat future reactivity to humans other than your family. Think of the people your pup is already used to, and what they haven't seen:
Is your puppy an only child, or a younger sibling to another pet? A shared bond with a furry family member is a wonderful relationship, but young dogs also need to learn the social cues of other canines and animals. They should learn to be polite with their fellow species, in addition to unafraid of new or strange critters. Some animals may be easier to introduce to your puppy than others, depending on your location:
Objects can be the most tricky, since this subject is a bit vague and simply consists of things. The things your puppy encounters, uses, or observes everyday in your home, outside, or in various environments can be just about anything to everything. Some objects are situational, while others are an everyday occurrence. For a plan of attack, objects can be categorized:
Everything your puppy experiences is absorbed like a sponge - they will grow into their own little personalities and understand the world based on the outcome of encounters throughout their socialization. We encourage puppies to visit Buddies and schedule an introductory grooming session or our Puppy Package to set up successful and positive grooming for your puppy's future!
Groomers hear a common phrase at this time of the year, and that's "What can I do for my pet in the summer?" Sometimes this means a haircut, sometimes, but more often than not pets rely on other significant factors to stay comfortable in the summer heat.
Double Coated breeds, whether dog or cat, have an undercoat which insulates them to stay cool in the summer or warm in the winter. Layers of fur also provide critical protection from the sun and other elements. Trimming or buzzing away a double coat is not recommended, unless in severe cases such as for medical reasons or if the pet lives in an extreme climate.
Other breeds which may require regular grooming maintenance and receive haircuts year-round also do not necessarily benefit in the heat. For cooling purposes, most pets need...
When the weather is hot, dehydration can happen quickly. If your pet is active or traveling in the summer, remember to pack water for some slurping on the go. Pets at home should have their water bowls accessible throughout the day.
Many pets enjoy snoozing in the shade or inside on the cool floors of their home. Providing protection away from the sun, either indoors or out, helps your pet relax in the heat.
A fresh breeze from an open window, a fan, or AC works to keep everyone refreshed in a home. Placing a fan at floor level, or raising your pet's bed is best to ensure they're able to feel the wind in their fur. If your pet has a particularly thick coat, brushing daily or weekly to remove dead hairs stimulates better air circulation from their coat down to the skin.
Pets should stay at home when the temperature is rising. Walks and activities are best for cooler parts of the day, in mornings or evenings. Leaving a pet in a car on a hot day is also a recipe for distress and disaster, so let fido stay safe at home.
Ice cubes are a great way to encourage your pet to keep cool. Ice can be used in place of treats for puzzle toys, so your pet can still play even in the dog days of summer. If you're away all day, try supplying ice in water bowls before your leave the house.
If you suspect your pet is overheated, signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, lethargy, drooling, vomiting, and seizures. Please call a veterinarian to assist you if these symptoms arise.
We hope all pets and pet parents stay happy, healthy, and cool this summer!
If you have a dog, chances are you've witnessed the zoomies. What are zoomies? Well, it's the equivalent to running around like a goofball as if you've never experienced running before. It's "release the hounds" in all its splendor, and one way our pups prefer to prompt us in play. There is nothing quite like the joy of witnessing the jowly expression of a dog in their element. The benefits of both mental and physical exercise equal a happy and healthy companion, and with the summer season soon upon us, there are possibilities abound!
While it may seem the most simple, sometimes it's hard enough to fit in our own workout routines, and dogs need 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise a day. Depending on size, age, and breed, activities should compliment your pet's energy level. Favorite pastimes include fetch or frisbee, but fun sports such as agility or canicross also allow pet parents to participate in the action.
Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks? Training is an ongoing process, and stimulating the mind is a great way to challenge your pup's natural abilities. Teaching new tricks, or simply going over the basics such as 'paw' or 'place' in a new setting, strengthens a dog's working instincts. Change up old routines to prevent boredom with interesting toys or treats, and encourage your dog to have fun with their interests.
3. Dog Walkers / Daycare
Pet parents want to know their buddies are happy while at work or on vacation. Some dogs are content to sleep in, but other individuals will be ready to burn energy at the first crack of dawn. The saying 'It Takes a Village' applies when we are lucky enough to have a local pet-friendly community ready to help. Whether through a friend, neighbor, or professional, your dog can play, socialize, and fit in a few extra zoomies while you are away.
4. Indoors / Outdoors
Dogs rely on routines just like we do, so making sure there's something to focus energy on no matter the environment is essential. For all seasons and weather, a healthy balance of activity inside and out will guide your pet to success. Use soft toys indoors to instigate play, or puzzle feeders to motivate your dog's mind. And when the weather is nice, spending a day hiking or at the beach is always great fun!
Dogs teach and learn important behaviors from one another. Socialization is especially important for young puppies. Exposing dogs to new people, animals, sights, and sounds builds a foundation for your pet to enjoy interacting with the world around them. Scheduling play dates for dogs, or allowing your pup to accompany you on daily trips or outings means they can absorb new senses and keep their mind and body happy.
Without our pets, some of us may never have the inspiration to stay active or explore. We're thankful for each day we see a lolling tongue or bushy tail. From silly zoomies to talented tricks, active dogs are happy dogs!
Spring has officially sprung, whether or not the snow keeps falling! Someday soon the cold will pass, the ice will melt, and the sun will brighten our days. Buddies is looking forward to a fun and glamorous Spring and Summer season. We will be ready to welcome fur and fluff as Spring Grooming time arrives. To prepare for your pup's next spa day, here are our Spring tips:
Furry family members share more than just the love of their pet parents, they experience a place of play, nourishment, and sanctuary under one roof. But do they tolerate one another?
Often in our culture we place cats and dogs opposite one another - a myth of natural-born enemies which has passed down generation to generation. Though as species of domesticated pets commonly and historically kept within the same vicinity of each other, conflicts are bound to occur. Dogs are relatively larger than cats, and have a tendency called a prey drive that leads them to chase smaller animals - especially if these smaller animals are running away from them. In turn, many cats will respond to a large, unfamiliar dog by choosing a flight response.
A friendly match-up depends on the individuality of each pet, along with shared social habits such as grooming and playing. Knowing your pets' personalities best will assure the right decisions when allowing them to interact. Cats enjoy high spaces and some time to themselves, so the use of cat perches in their environment allows them the chance to relax, observe, and feel secure instead of overly defensive. Certain breeds of dogs also have less of a prey drive and are therefore less likely to chase cats in their home. Just like with people, different personalities and circumstances will cause your pets to feel either like miserable roommates, or a happy family.
While many cats and dogs prefer to amicably respect the other, certainly there exists closely bonded friendships as well. So whether your cat and dog are well acquainted, or coming together for the first time, know that the potential for a furever friendship awaits!
There are many reasons why opening your home to a foster pet enriches your life and saves the lives of shelter animals. Rescue organizations rely on fosters to provide homeless pets with a nourishing environment that they may otherwise not have a chance to receive due to limited shelter resources. Fostering is also a great way to learn if the lifestyle of a pet is right for you, or to help your community and local rescues. Becoming a great foster pet parent necessitates caring, compassion, and commitment.
While each individual shelter or rescue group may have their own unique set of requirements for fostership, here are a few steps to help you understand the world of fostering.
A common question is "How long will I have to foster a pet?". Foster periods generally last until a pet is adopted. Animals placed in foster care often come from backgrounds where they were homeless, abandoned, and do not take well to shelter environments. They may need specific medical care or rehabilitation. Each pet is an individual and will heal and adjust differently. The type of pet, breed, gender, or age may also influence the adoption process. The shelter or rescue group will work with you to match a pet that will best adapt and benefit from your home environment.
Many shelter and rescue foster programs provide all supplies such as food, bowls, leashes, collars, litters, and medications. Beds and toys may also be included, many of which are provided by donations. Healthcare treatment and costs are also usually provided by these organizations. Beyond working with your shelter or rescue, fosters benefit from a tight-knit community of volunteers and pet lovers. Sharing these experiences means that other fosters, trainers, groomers, and animal aficionados are willing to offer support. The costs of fostership are minimal when you strengthen relationships in your community and save the lives of animals in need.
If your pup is looking for some playtime, chances are they're familiar with the local dog park. Dog parks provide an essential environment for pets in urban and suburban neighborhoods. With two local dog parks in development - a Plymouth Dog Park, and a Scituate Dog Park - there will be plenty of options for dogs on the South Shore. While every dog enjoys their free time, there is an etiquette to be followed when sharing space with others. By monitoring your dog's social activity, you can help keep our parks safe.
Dog Park Etiquette Tips:
Respecting all pets and park-goers will allow you and your dog to make the most out of your park experience. A friendly, healthy, and trained pup means a happier dog park. Check out the video below for more dog park etiquette, and above all else, have fun with your pets!
June has officially arrived, Cape traffic begins, and the beaches are soon to start buzzing. Summer is here, and need we say more? No dilly dallying this time (we've already waited a whole winter, after all), so without further ado, here are our tips for getting the most out of some Summer waggin', lickin', and lovin'!
It's no secret that New England weather can escalate quickly, so always check the temperature outside. Most dogs are fine to lounge around at home or in the yard, as long as shade is available, but best not to bring your buddy out and about if the temp rises above 85F. Increased activity in hot weather puts your pup at risk of heat stroke, dehydration, and even sunburn if exposed outside without shelter or protection. We also advise against leaving your dog in a hot car, read more about How to Help Dogs Trapped in Hot Cars.
For staying cool, try wetting a bandanna and popping it in the freezer for a few minutes - then tie around your dog's neck for a quick cool down. Alternatively, toys like a Chilly Bone can also be frozen then munched on as a nice cool treat!
Of course aside from the dog days of Summer - when the weather is perfect it's time to go out and play! Monitor activity in the heat, and be aware of your dog's limitations. Breeds with thicker coats, like a Husky or Bernese Mountain Dog, may overheat more easily, as well as breeds with shorter snouts like Pugs may have trouble breathing on hot days.
Remember to hydrate along the way, many stores will put out water bowls for furry friends, but collapsible travel bowls or dog canteens are also an option for an active pet. For the local ocean-obsessed sea dogs, stay safe with a doggie life vest that fits comfortably and securely.
Before a walk, run, or stroll, test the temperature of the pavement. Hold your hand to the ground, and if it is cool enough that you can leave it there for more than a few seconds, then it should be safe for your pet. However, if it is too hot and you must rapidly pull your hand away, it is too hot for your dog's paws. While we wear sandals, sneakers, or socks, dogs only have their paw pads to protect them. Should you notice your dog's paws are dry, rough, or cracked, or if they have been over-exposed to hot asphalt, try a soothing paw cream, balm, or ointment.
Adventure awaits! Keep an eye on your pup, whether at a neighborhood party or simply on the go, new sensations, noises, or distractions can cause a dog to bolt. Take care to know your dog is wearing their tags, or microchipped should an accident happen. Stay watchful around the grill or campfire as well, it's always a possibility for Fido to pick up a burning stick, or a piece of food they shouldn't eat.
When traveling, be prepared with the essentials, such as food, water, and other safety items such as doggie sunscreen, or portable tents to provide shelter. Road trip adventurers may need to consider a seat belt and safety restraint harness for their companion, find out more in our Safe Transportation of Pets blog post.
Just like us, our dogs have awaited the season of good vibes and good times. Nothing beats a game of fetch or frisbee on the beach! By taking care to notice when your dog is tired, thirsty, or anxious over their surroundings, you learn to respond promptly and accordingly. Sometimes Summer fun for us, like fireworks or crowded events, may not be the best entertainment for your pet. Before making plans to bring Fido along, consider that they may prefer the comfort of their bed at home.
Whether your pet is happiest outside or enjoying A/C, we encourage everyone and their best buddy to safely enjoy this Summer season!
We sit on the couch, at our desks, in the kitchen, and on the bed; wherever our eyes may peacefully binge watch our favorite movies and TV without interruption. Accompanying our couch potato journey is the family dog, our trusty (albeit also lazy) sidekick. They may just snuggle and snooze, perhaps boof in their sleep, but sometimes you look over and find their ears alert, eyes staring in the direction of the screen, and...could it be? Is Fido hooked on that cliff-hanger or are you just imagining it?
In an alternate universe I'm sure a modern dog utopia exists - where canines stream videos on 'Barkflix', argue about the 'Old Yeller Cinematic Universe', and tune in to 'Live Viewer Treats'. But in our reality, the real reasoning behind your terrier's interest in the telly may simply be based on personality and breed characteristics.
Dogs are able to recognize visuals of other dogs, even among images of humans or other animals, according to a 2013 study published in Animal Cognition. They also process imagery faster than we do, meaning older television sets showing less frames per second would appear "to be flickering like a '1920's movie'", according to Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist from Tufts University. This is why HDTV channels like DogTV are designed for dogs, since the higher framerate and altered colors allows them to have a viewing experience similar to our own.
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