December 06, 2016

The Season of Giving

It's December and you know what that means... it's the season of giving! With so many holidays coming up, you'll be in the holly jolly mood (hopefully). If you're looking for something heartwarming to do and you love dogs, why don't you combine those two things? Here are some great doggy charities that you can donate to this holiday season. 

Animal Welfare Institute

The Animal Welfare Institute doesn't only help dogs or pets, it helps all kinds of animals! They have strong commitment to stopping whaling, banning cruel traps, and improving life for lab animals. Basically any cause having to do with animals, they're there to help. 

Warrior Canine Connection

War veterans more often than not find adjusting to life back home to be very difficult. For soldiers with injuries or PTSD, life can be that much more difficult. That's why Warrior Canine Connection provides veterans with dogs that are trained to help them emotionally and physically. You can donate or volunteer. 

Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation

This charity is committed to rescuing abandoned or displaced cats and dogs. They will remove them from kill shelters in order to save them from euthanasia and then place them into loving homes. Basically, it's a "second-chance" shelter for loving cats and dogs without homes. You can give to them with money or by adopting!

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

This organization helps dogs and humans! It gives pups a purpose by training them and using them for disaster relief. When disaster strikes, the Disaster Search Dog Foundation pairs dogs with firefighters and other rescuers to help people in need. Specifically, dogs are trained to help find people who have been buried or are stuck in wreckage from disasters. 

Friends of Animals

This charity is all about promoting healthy breeding and spaying/neutering your pets. Above that, they advocate for overall kindness to and respect of animals. Their goal is to ultimately free animals from cruelty and exploitation. 

Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue

This organization helps greyhounds find their home after their career. Since greyhounds often spend the first couple years of their life (but only this long) racing, they then find themselves without homes when they get "too old". This charity also matches senior citizens with senior dogs, a perfect and adorable pairing. 

Bald is Beautiful Dog Rescue

Love small dogs? What about hairless ones? This charity is all about finding homes for small dogs (particularly the hairless variety). They provide rescue and rehabilitation for dogs in need and make sure to find great homes for dogs that are abandoned. 

You can find a whole list of charities here. So get out there and give to your favorite one (or more)! 

 

November 30, 2016

Keeping Dogs Warm

Winter is just around the corner! For those of us in the warmer climates, the cold isn't so much of a concern. However, it's something to think about if you're visiting somewhere colder for the holiday, or if you live somewhere cold. Humans aren't the only ones that shiver in the cold. Your dogs might, too! Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe and warm in the winter.

Cut Down on the Grooming

While many dogs need grooming, especially haircuts, avoid this in the winter. Still brush your dog's hair and trim if it's dragging the floor, but don't shave like you might in the summer. Your dog needs their full winter coat just like we need our winter coats!

Dry Dog, Warm Dog

When you wash your dog, make sure that you dry them off completely before they go outside. If you've ever gone outside with wet hair, you'll know why that matters!

Winter Coat

Obviously your dog has fur, but you can keep them even warmer with a winter coat. This is a good idea if you still want to groom your dog but also keep them warm. Plus, they look super cute. Just make sure they don't wear them too long indoors or they'll get overheated. 

Insulated Dog House

If you, for some reason, have to have your dog outside, make sure to give them somewhere warm to hang out. Carefully insulate their dog house and line it with carpet to keep them warm. 

More Padding

If your dog has a bed that they lie in that's on hardwood or tile, move it to the carpet for winter or put extra blankets underneath it so that they won't lie directly on the cold floor. If your house is all tile or hardwood and your dog loves lying on the floor, provide some carpet for them to stay warm on.

 

Now it's time to get out and brave that cold. Stay warm!

November 29, 2016

Dogs & Memories

We all have those fond memories of our dogs, whether they're dogs from our past or a present. You remember the small moments, maybe when they did something funny or something plain adorable. Well, you're not the only one reminiscing. New studies show that your dog has the same type of memories!

What we did already know about dogs and memories is that they have simple memories like the appearance of your dad's car or the sound of their food bag. But it turns out that these simplistic memories are not the only ones your dog possesses. In fact, these new studies show that some memories dogs have are more human than dog.

This human-type memory that dogs seem to possess is called an "episodic memory." This is different from the type of memory that most animals have, "semantic memory." Semantic memory is when animals are consciously learning and retaining information, which can be seen in chimpanzees when they learn sign language or in your dog when "sit" for treats.

Episodic memory, however, is different. This type of memory shows self-awareness. How? Episodic memory requires your brain to recall specific events of the past. When you see a child playing the piano, for example, you might think back to your cousin teaching you to play the piano when you were a child. Episodic memories require you to "imagine yourself in the past." 

While humans display their episodic memory almost daily, this memory in dogs is harder to study. However, psychologist Claudia Fugazza managed to do it. 

The study started by asking dogs to perform an action their owner performed, called "Do As I Do." The purpose of this was to create an expectation for the dogs. After doing these exercises, like one involving touching an umbrella, the owners then changed track. When the owners touched the umbrella, they now simply commanded their dog to lie down. They repeated this action many times. After a while, the owners then touched the umbrella and suddenly made the command for their dog to imitate them. Would the dog remember this even though they had just learned something else?

Well, the dogs did remember! Most dogs were able to recall the action and correctly imitate it even though they hadn't done it in over an hour. This shows that dogs are able to recall certain memories.

So next time, when you're thinking about that time Fido ran onto that outdoor stage alongside the actors, look at him and say, "Do you remember that?" He just might!

 

November 27, 2016

The Winner of the Dog Show Is...

Right after the infamous Macy's Day Parade on Thanksgiving Day, the National Dog Show airs so that you can watch adorable dogs while you cook. Of course, Thanksgiving Day can be very busy for some. So if you missed, out, don't worry! We're here to catch you up on the results of the 2016 National Dog Show. 

Over 2,000 dogs competed this year in the show, but not all of them could be winners. The final dogs who took home the awards are below:

Sporting Group

Winner: Timmy

Breed: English Springer Spaniel

Timmy the Springer Spaniel impressed the judges with his sleek, beautiful coat and adorable face. 

Hound Group

Winner: Gia

Breed: Greyhound

Gia had the perfect combination of spunk and elegance that not only made her look regal, but also stole the judges' hearts! 

Working Group

Winner: Ty

Breed: Giant Schnauzer

What's even cuter than a Schnauzer? A Giant Schanuzer! Ty had that perfectly-curled coat that gives off that distinct look his breed is known for. Plus, he had a handsomely groomed mug. 

Terrier Group

Winner: Rondo

Breed:West Highland White Terrier

Rondo was just too cute for the judges to pass up. They gave him the win for his superior attitude and maybe even his little wagging tail. 

Toy Group

Winner: Chuck

Breed: Pekingese

Pekingnese have those little smushy faces that we can't help but love. Chuck (a big name for such a little guy) led the Toy Group with his adorable face and tiny legs. 

Non-Sporting Group

Winner: Clue

Breed: Tibetan Terrier

Clue may be a Tibetan Terrier, but he's actually not in the Terrier Group! Big and furry, Clue made the judges smile with his eagerness and his adorably big-looking paws. 

Herding Group

Winner: Slick

Breed: Border Collie

How could the judges not fall in love with Slick? He was a gorgeous Border Collie whose coat shined (slick) under the lights and bounced as he walked. 

 

And the winner was... Gia the Greyound from the Sporting Group. It wasn't Gia's first win, though. It is her 44th Best in Show so far! The four-year-old is impressive and the judge acknowledged how she held her head and walked with poise and grace. Gia will retire in February after the Westminster show. Good luck, Gia!

 

November 23, 2016

The "Yeses" and "Nos" of Thanksgiving Table Scraps

Thanksgiving is finally here! For humans, it's a holiday full of love, family, and food. For animals, it might be a little chaotic. If your pup is celebrating Thanksgiving with you, it could be hard to stop Uncle Joe or little Chloe from sneaking your dog the occasional table scrap. And heck, it can be pretty hard for you to resist your dog's eyes. So if you don't want to say "no" to your dog all day, here are some tips for what they can and cannot have at Thanksgiving.

Turkey is Okay

Since turkey is a lean protein, it's actually not bad for your dog! But only in moderation. Stop your guests if they seem to be giving your dog a whole meal. Also remind them that turkey is only okay for your dog without the skin, fat, or bones. 

No OGLS

That stands for "onions, garlic, leeks, scallions." These all contain alliums, which can actually cause anemia in your pet. Avoid these getting anywhere near your dog. 

Light Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are okay, but only if they're light on butter, salt, and other seasonings. Any of those extra, saturated ingredients can be a little too much for your pet. 

No Desserts

Sorry, but your pup can't have it all. Even desserts that don't seem to be too sweet still have plenty of sugar, which isn't good for dogs. Beware of fruits, too, which aren't easily digestible by dogs. If you really want to give them something sweet, just give them a very minimal amount of cranberry sauce.

Vegetables - Yay!

Fresh vegetables are both yummy and good for your dog! Feel free to give your dog a small handful of green beans, which are one of the best vegetables to give to them. Fresh is better, but cooked green beans are okay, too, as long as it's not a green bean casserole.

Extra Tip - Dog Treats

Your family won't feel so guilty about your begging pup if they can give them something that's meant for them. Have some doggy treats handy around the dinner table so that if your dog is begging, then your guests can give them a doggy treat instead of their own food. 

Oh, and P.S. - absolutely no alcohol. That may be obvious, but some people still seem to think it's funny to give their dogs beer. Any amount of alcohol can be toxic to your pet. 

Now get ready to have a happy Thanksgiving! Remember to thank your dog for all the joy they give you. 

 

November 15, 2016

Best City Dogs

You love the city and you love dogs. So who says you can't have both? Thanks to Fresh Patch, having a dog when you're busy can be a bit easier. But what about if you're busy in the city? Here are some dog breeds that will be happy and healthy in living in a city. 

Pug

Pugs are adorable and fun-sized. That's what makes them perfect for the city! Even if you're in a studio apartment, they'll have plenty of room because of their size. Plus, they don't need a ton of exercise.

English Bulldog

The great thing with this breed is that they tend not to be barkers. Your neighbors in the city will surely love that! Not only this, but they don't need a lot of exercise. Do make sure you get them out enough, though, because they tend to gain weight easily.

Greyhound

Call us crazy, but a Greyhound is actually perfect for the city! While they have a reputation as racing dogs, they actually don't need long periods of exercise. They just like to run really fast. And if you let them run around in the dog park once in a while, they'll be a big ol' couch potato once you get home. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These toy breeds are tiny and cute. You might know Elizabeth Taylor, Charlotte York's King Charles Spaniel on Sex in the City. Well, there's a reason Charlotte had her! These pups are great for cities, because of their small stature and their love for hanging out on the couch.

Shih-Tzu

Shih-Tzus are tiny and loveable! That's what makes them perfect for cities. They don't need much activity at all but they do love being pampered. So be prepared to cuddle with them when you get home. 

Labrador Retriever

If you love a big city and big dogs, then choose the Lab! Even with their size, they'll be happy in the city as long as you have room for them in your apartment. They're sweet and calm, but are slightly more active than other dogs on this list. That means that you'll need to exercise them just a bit more. 

So get out there and find your perfect city dog!

 

November 13, 2016

Doggy Photography Tips

Now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, you can't deny that Christmas is next! And that means that you'll need to get your Christmas cards in order. It's hard enough getting the whole family organized for a Christmas card, so what about when you add dogs? It doesn't have to be hard! Whether you're a photographer, going to a photographer, or just setting up your camera on a timer, here are some tips to help you make your doggy photography a little easier.

Use That Leash

In order to get your dogs, well, in order, you'll need a leash! It's how you can get them to sit where you want them to and ensures a smoother process. Don't ask photographers to go "off-leash" just because you don't want it in the picture. It's possible to photoshop a leash out so that you get the perfect picture and a well-behaving dog. 

Have Patience

You might not get the perfect shot right away. Make sure you have patience, because you don't want to lose your frustration and take it out on your dog. If there's multiple dogs, it can take even longer to get a good shot. Just keep in mind that the calmer you stay, the calmer the dogs will stay. Patience really is well worth its rewards. 

Clear the Area

If you're taking pictures indoors, make sure that you get clutter out of the way and clear the area. That way, no matter how much a dog might move around, you'll be sure to get a good shot that's free of anything you don't want in it. Make sure you check when you're outside, too. 

Get On Their Level

If you get down to the level that your dog is on, you'll see pictures that come to life. That's because with a picture from their point of view, it really feels like the photo is a glimpse into your pup's world - a picture through their eyes!

Reward Your Pup

Make sure that your dog is getting rewards for all this hard work! They don't really know what's going on, only that you're tossing commands at them. So if you reward your dog with a little treat after you take a picture, they'll be happy and even look at you (adorably) for me. Offer them toys, too, because getting some pictures of them chewing on their favorite toy could be adorable. 

Minimize Commands & Stay Still

Try to only command your dog when you need them to move. The more you talk, the more excited they get. This can sometimes get them a little too hyperactive. It's the same way with movement - just move when you can so they're not trying to move all the time with you. 

Good luck and make sure to share those pictures once you get them!

November 06, 2016

Celebrate November the Dog Way

November is a lot of people's favorite month for most likely one reason... Thanksgiving! But there are also plenty of other reasons to love November, especially when it comes to dogs. There are plenty of dog holidays to celebrate throughout the month. Here are some days that will let you celebrate November the dog way. 

National Senior Pet Month 

Have an old pup that's always been by your side? Celebrate them with National Senior Pet Month! This month is dedicated to celebrating pets that have been with us for a very long time. What are some ways you can celebrate? Well, if you have a dog that's 8 or older, you can take them to the vet for a check-up. It's important to take senior dogs to the vet more often so their health can be monitored. 

You can also celebrate by taking part in Adopt a Senior Pet Monthpart of National Senior Pet Month and started by the ASPCA. Adopting a senior pet can make the difference between them living the last part of their life in a happy and comfy home or in a shelter. 

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer sucks. That, we can all agree on. That's why there are months devoted to spreading awareness about different types of cancer. Part of what November spreads awareness of is pet cancer. That's why it's deemed to be Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Companies like Nationwide Insurance and Blue Buffalo help fight against pet cancer in November. Getting news that your pup has cancer can be devastating, but with help, you can fight it. That's why the Animal Cancer Foundation exists, to help eliminate pet cancer so you won't have to fight it. Honor this occasion by educating yourself on cancer symptoms so you can always be a step ahead. You can also donate directly to the Animal Cancer Foundation. 

Pet Diabetes Month

For humans, November can be full of yummy food. Especially on Thanksgiving. For those with diabetes, though, there's the extra challenge of managing their blood sugar while also enjoying the feast.. Diabetes is a serious illness and affects humans and pets alike. That's why November is Pet Diabetes Month. Increase your awareness of pet diabetes by making yourself familiar with it. What signs will your dog show if they have diabetes? They might be lethargic, drink lots of water, or urinate often. These are all signs that could mean they have diabetes. Don't worry, though, cats and dogs can have happy and healthy lives despite their diabetes. It's just about getting it in control. If you suspect your dog could have diabetes, take them to the vet for a "just in case" visit. 

You can also celebrate November by watching the dog show on Thanksgiving! We'll have more on that to come. 

 

October 31, 2016

How Often Should Your Pup Visit the Vet?

We all know the importance of vet visits for our dog. But do you know exactly why and how often you should take Fido on a vet visit? If you don't, or even if you think you do, we're here to help! 

 First, we'll start with when your dog is a puppy. Up until one year, your dog will need more frequent pet visits than later in their life. Your pup should go in for vaccines once every month until he's four months old. Shots at this time should include rabies, distemper, kennel cough, influenza, and Lyme disease. 

At four months old, your vet will then give you heartworm and fleat/tick prevention. Your pup will get a full examination to make they're growing properly. After that, you should bring them in at six months old so they can get spayed or neutered. 

Things go a little differently when your dog is one to seven years old. When you dog is between those ages, they should have a yearly checkup, just like you do when you're a human. They'll do a head-to-toe physical every year on your pup to make sure they are happy and healthy. 

Another round of distemper/rabies should be done at one year old. After that, you should take them back every 3 years to get another round of shots and make sure that they're protected! With every checkup, it's also helpful to bring a stool sample from your pup so that the vet can check for any intestinal parasites. 

When you dog is older than 7, their vet visits should be more often. Depending on the average lifespan of your dog's breed, you could start this process earlier or later than age 7. When they're officially "seniors", dogs will need to have pet visits more often to monitor their health. They should have two pet visits a year, one every six months Here, your vet will perform a physical along with tests that address common old-age issues. 

When they start to get older, you should keep an eye on your dog as you might see some changes that could signal something more serious. If your dog has trouble walking or drinking more water than usual, you'll want to take them in for the precautionary vet visit. 

You can always ask your vet more questions are clarify with them how often they should see you. They'll always help you keep your pup looking and feeling their best. 

October 30, 2016

Retirement Home for Dogs

Us humans go to retirement homes, so why not dogs? Now, they can! Thanks to a farm in New York, senior dogs can now live their last months or years in the lap of luxury. 

 Silver Streak Kennels in upstate New York is the ultimate dog retirement home. We've all heard the tragic joke of "Fido went to a big farm upstate", but now, that can be a truth! 

Many people are unsure of what to do with their senior dogs if they suddenly have to find them a new home. Shelter life isn't great for older dogs because many people don't want to adopt them. This can lead to senior dogs spending the rest of their life in a shelter instead of a happy home. 

Silver Streak Kennels also serves as a nicer "last resort" place for older dogs. When dogs become older and have health issues, it can be hard for them to move around. This has owners who live in cities or somewhere with lots of stairs feeling like they're not doing what they can for their dog. For other owners, they might suddenly have to move far away and aren't able to take their older dog with them. Silver Streak is a much better alternative to shelters, and assures that your dog will have a peaceful and happy life.

Silver Streak kennels typically charges long-term housing rates of $200 - $250 per month, which can be well worth it for owners who want their pup to have the best. All dogs are seen by a local veterinarian and get to hang out with their best furry friends every day. 

Unlike shelters, Silver Streak gives pups the chance to live out the rest of the life happy and surrounded by love. Keep in mind it's not a shelter. These dogs are truly loved and taken care of by Silver Streak employees. They get to play outside and wander the large farm instead of being stuck in a cage 24/7. 

Silver Streak will also always keep the owner in the loop. If you are being deployed, for example, you still have the possibility of getting your senior pup back when you return. Silver Streak is always looking out for the dog's best interest. 

It sounds to me like we need more homes like Silver Streak out there. What do you think?

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On July 6, 2010, the Fresh Patch Company began operating from its headquarters in Florida. Its flagship product is a disposable pet commode consisting of hydroponically grown grass within a cardboard container. On September 3, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent for the construction and continuous delivery/replacement method of the product (U.S. Patent No. 8,522,719).

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