Dog paws are perfect in all the right ways. Squishy, soft, and full of beans. Also rough and battle ready at a moment's notice! Paws protect their furry pilots, but what can we do to protect the paws?
Paw pads serve as a barrier between fido and the elements. A stroll through nature is a breeze, but urban environments designed for human travel isn't quite what paws were made for. Surfaces like asphalt and concrete can burn a pup's paws in extreme heat. A good rule is to touch your own hand to the surface for 5 to 10 seconds. If you can't hold your hand there that long, then it's too hot to walk your dog. In summer weather it's best to beat the heat by staying on the grass during walks.
Watch the weather. If the temperatures are soaring, it's best to wait for cooler walks at night or first thing in the morning. We know our pets are our family, so we bring them on vacation and to other daily outings. However, check the weather conditions of the day before any plans are set in stone. Aside from hot paws, severe heat can cause serious health risks. If your pet is exhibiting symptoms of heat stroke such as excessive panting and drooling, a wobbly gait, reddened gums, rapid or irregular heart rate, vomiting, or muscle tremors, please seek emergency help from a vet.
Keeps paws well moisturized. Just as our own skin can peel and crack in dry weather, a dog's paws can too. Cracked paw pads become easily susceptible to burns or other injuries. Use a pet-friendly balm daily to help prevent dry or sore pads. At Buddies we carry Shake Organic Pet products with 100% organic ingredients. Shake paw cream and nose balm helps relieve dryness and bacterial infections.
It's almost National Puppy Day, and we feel blessed to welcome the newest additions to our Buddies furry family. Our excitement for stinky puppy breath or silky soft puppy fur cannot be outmatched. Each season puppies graduate from their grooming sessions, and each time we learn a little more about puppy love!
As we start to say au revoir to the Year of the Dog, we remember that 2019 will still be a year of paw-paloozas at Buddies! Often the fresh start of January brings in new faces and young pups to our little groomer family. Those returning to us may also be another year older, but as we like to look at the waterbowl half full, that means it's time for the fur festivities to begin!
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.
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