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How Service Dogs Help Ease PTSD, Depression and Anxiety Symptoms

Service dogs are often thought of as companion animals for the visually-impaired. In reality, these amazing canines can do so much more. Trained service dogs have the power to provide life-saving benefits to people with physical and emotional disabilities, including conditions such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Benefits of Pet Ownership on Human Health

Dogs make wonderful companions for adults and children of nearly all ages. According to the CDC, the bond between humans and their pets can boost fitness, lower stress, and bring joy to pet owners. Having pets have also been found to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and loneliness.

Dogs can even help boost your mood on a chemical level. Playing with your pup can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, according to HelpGuide.org, which can induce a calming effect in humans.

Woman With Dog in Nature

Pets for Vets, Paws for Veterans & Similar Organizations

The ADA defines a service animal is any dog that is professional trained to perform tasks that help people with certain disabilities, including sensory, intellectual, physical, psychiatric, or other mental disabilities. There are many incredible organizations dedicated to helping military veterans suffering from PTSD, such as Pets for Vets, Paws for Veterans, and K9s for Warriors.

According to Pets for Patriots, a non-profit organization that connects veterans with pets through a companion animal adoption program, veterans suffering from severe symptoms of PTSD are often prescribed a psychiatric service animal. Many veterans do not need to qualify for a service animal to reap the benefits of a companion pet.
Service Dog with Solder

Finding the Right Pet for You

In a recent survey published by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute, approximately 74 percent of pet owners said that having a pet improved their mental state. However, choosing the right pet for you isn’t always easy. Good service dogs have been well-trained, socialized, and have undergone extensive medical testing to ensure that they’re up for the job.

You’ll also want to consider the traits necessary to be a successful service dog, such as a calm demeanor, friendly and focused, and the ability to perform the same tasks day in and day out without getting bored.

Service Animals and How to Get One

According to Mental Health America, to qualify for a service animal you will need written documentation from your healthcare provider that you are being treated for a psychiatric or emotional disorder or disability and require the support of an animal. Service dogs are trained to meet a person’s particular needs before being placed in their home. Know that most dogs that have already served as pets cannot be later trained as service dogs.

People who have non-debilitating anxiety may not require a service dog but could benefit from an emotional support animal. Not just limited to dogs, emotional support animals can include cats and other domestic pets intended to provide comfort and companionship.

Woman and Cat

Other Resources

Contact Us

Please reach out to us if you have questions about adopting a dog in Northern California. Submit our website contact form below or call our Santa Rosa location at 707-595-3834 or our Rohnert Park location at 707-206-9000.

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Thanksgiving Food Safety for Dogs: What’s Safe (and Not Safe)

Thanksgiving feasts bring the whole family together, including your dog. While it may be tempting to slip Fido some pumpkin pie or a turkey bone, you’ll want to use caution. As you may already know, certain “human” foods are unhealthy for dogs to ingest. Others are even toxic, like grapes and chocolate. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), there were approximately 21,648 cases of human food-related poisoning in pets in 2017 alone. This holiday season keep your four-legged friend safe by only offering pet-safe foods.

Safe Thanksgiving Foods

Seasoned Thanksgiving dishes and dogs don’t often mix. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to completely exclude your pup from this year’s festivities. Most dogs can enjoy dishes that are in raw or unseasoned form. Some examples include:

  • Turkey: The ASPCA suggests only feeding your dog turkey that is well-cooked and boneless. Never give your pet raw or undercooked turkey, or the leftover carcass or bones which can cause digestive problems.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Save the sweet potato pie topped with marshmallows for your human guests. Serve your dog raw or dried pieces of fresh sweet potato which are high in nutrients.
  • Green Beans: Green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving staple for many families. High in fiber and vitamins C and K, raw green beans can be a great treat for your pet. Sneak your dog a few veggies before adding seasoning or other common additions like onions or mushrooms.
  • Pumpkin: From pumpkin pie to pumpkin muffins, there’s nothing quite like the mild taste of pumpkin highlighted by nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. When treating your dog, skip the spices and keep it clean and simple. According to Purina, plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) is low-calorie, an excellent source of fiber, and can help with stomach upset.
  • Apples: Speaking of pie, apple is another holiday favorite. However, the added sugar is not good for our pets. After slicing the apples for the pie, leave a few to the side for your pup to enjoy.

Risky Thanksgiving Foods

Certain human foods can put your dog at risk for digestive upset. Foods considered toxic to pets can result in more serious symptoms, such as vomiting, lethargy, coordination problems, and seizures. This Thanksgiving, do not feed your dog the following foods:

  • Ham: While small amounts of turkey are generally safe for dogs, ham and other pork products are not. Pork is more likely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs than other meats, according to the American Kennel Club. The rich fat in pork can also cause indigestion and pancreatitis.
  • Mashed Potatoes: While potatoes on their own are generally safe for pets to eat, the added milk and butter can cause digestive issues in lactose intolerant dogs.
  • Chocolate Desserts: Chocolate contains theobromine which is considered toxic to dogs, according to Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Keep all dishes and desserts containing chocolate away from your pet on Thanksgiving.

Hungry Dog

Thanksgiving Dinner Recipe for Dogs

Prepare dinner for your pup this Thanksgiving with healthy ingredients. For a moderate-carb meal for healthy adult dogs, The Bark suggests combining 3 lbs. turkey with 1 lb. sweet potatoes, 1 cup cooked oatmeal, 4 tbsp. turkey gravy, and 2 tbsp cranberry sauce. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s best to remove the skin and omit any seasonings.

As a member of your family, it’s natural to want to feed your dog delicious Thanksgiving foods. However, for his or her health, it’s best to refrain from serving certain types of foods that could be harmful. Instead, prep and serve a pet-approved Thanksgiving dinner.

Other Resources

Contact Us

Please reach out to us if you have questions about foods that are safe for your pets. Submit our website contact form below or call our Santa Rosa location at 707-595-3834 or our Rohnert Park location at 707-206-9000.

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What Should You Do When Your Pet Dies?

A pet is more than a friend. They are devoted companions who become part of your family. Just as it is with the death of anyone close to you, losing a beloved pet can be a heart wrenching and difficult experience.

Why does losing a pet hurt so much?

Pets become a central part of your life. Playing fetch with your dog or snuggling up with your cat on the couch is as much part of your daily routine as eating meals or showering. It can feel traumatic and leave a profound emptiness in your heart once they are no longer there.

The death of a pet can hurt as much as losing a spouse, parent, child, or sibling. Animals show unconditional love. Their companionship can offer emotional support on bad days. Some pet parents will do everything from celebrate their pets’ birthdays to carry pictures of their furry companions in their wallets.

Forming such a strong bond makes it feel painful when they’re no longer there. It’s perfectly natural and normal to mourn the loss of a beloved pet.
Old Dog

Going through the grieving process with a pet

People who have never had a pet may not understand the bond shared between a pet parent and their pets. They may suggest it is only a cat or dog and to just go buy a new one. Remember that it is normal and healthy to grieve the lost of a beloved pet.

Pet parents go through the five stages of grief:

  1. denial
  2. anger
  3. bargaining
  4. depression
  5. acceptance

Grieving is different for everyone and has no set time limit or boundary. Talking about your pet and sharing stories is one way to help you cope while going through the stages of grief and eventually heal. Encourage children, teens and seniors alike to record their memories in a journal or through a poem or story or song. Let them know it’s okay to remember and work through the grief.

End of life care

When your pet nears the end of their life, it is important to make them feel comfortable. This can include things like surrounding them with a warm blanket or giving them a special toy.

Hospice care for pets is one option. Your veterinarian will offer guidance on how to care for an individual pet — that is tailored to their needs — as they near the end.

Euthanasia is sometimes necessary when a pet’s pain becomes too great. It minimizes suffering and allows them to die in peace if they are beyond the point of recovery.

What do you do if a pet dies at home

If your pet dies at home, you may want to bury them or cremate them and hold a funeral. This means you may have to hang onto the body for a few hours until arrangements can be made.

In these situations, it is important to keep the body cool for as long as possible. Store it in a cool place that will draw heat away from the body and preserve it for a short time, until you’re ready to bury or cremate.

Getting a new pet

Take time before looking for a new pet to replace the one you lost. Wait until you have had sufficient time to grieve. Pay attention to your feelings and only adopt a new pet once you’re emotionally ready.

Pet adoption resources

Once you decide to bring a new pet into your home, we can help. We are always on the lookout for loving homes for pets. Sometimes they are pets in our care at Paradise Pet Resorts, and sometimes we work with local pet adoption agencies like the Sonoma Humane Society.

5 Ways to Ease Your Pet’s Back-to-School Blues

For many families, the summer months seem to end just as quickly as they begin and before you know it, everyone is preparing to head back-to-school. But your kids aren’t the only family members who can get the back-to-school blues. In fact, it’s highly likely that your furry family members will struggle with the big changes that happen in your home each fall.
Girl and Her Dog
As everyone in your home heads back into their normal routine away from home, your pets could be left to deal with separation anxiety. When some pets are suddenly left alone after a summer full of activity, they can experience a great deal of boredom, stress and even sadness. Additionally, they may begin to act out and cause trouble around the house or begin to harm themselves if their separation anxiety isn’t addressed properly. Luckily, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can help to relieve your pets worries and make a smooth transition back into school for everyone in your family.

1. Recognize When They’re Stressed

Some common ways to tell if your pet is stressed about being left behind include changes in appetite, following family out of the door, accidents in the house and destructive behaviors. In fact, some pets will go out of their way to grab your attention with naughty actions. If you notice any of these warning signs, take action and discuss how to avoid extra stress with your veterinarian.

  • Diarrhea, Constipation, or other Digestive Issue
  • Decrease in Appetite
  • Isolation
  • Increased Sleeping
  • Aggression Toward People or Other Animals

2. Avoid Sudden Changes

One of the best ways to get your pet used to the idea that things are changing around the house is to slowly ease them into the new routine. Start by making changes about 1 to 2 weeks before school starts. By introducing your pet to short periods of separation at first and slowly increasing the time that you’re away, they’ll have time to adjust.

3. Keep Them Calm

There are certain calming products available over-the-counter that may be helpful in reducing your pet’s separation anxiety. Thundershirt’s are one option; they apply a gentle, constant pressure that can be effective at reducing anxiety in both cats and dogs. Calming pheromone chews and collars work to mimic the pheromones that mother dogs and cats release to their babies, creating a sense of calm and relaxation.

4. Play Before You Go

Some pets can feel particularly anxious if they already have lots of pent-up energy fueling their fear of separation. If possible, try playing with your pets for at least 15 to 20 minutes before everyone leaves for the day. A good game of fetch can quickly result in the need to eat some breakfast and nap for a few hours. Additionally, investing in other toys that will keep your pet occupied while you’re away is always a good idea.

5. Research Pet Day Care

If your pet has special needs or simply requires a bit more attention while you’re away from home, daycare is another great solution. With pet daycare, they have access to food, friends, play, snuggles and trained staff who can handle their medical needs.

Boy Petting Cat

Contact Paradise Pet Resorts Today

Want to learn more about preventing separation anxiety and keeping your beloved family pets safe while you’re away from home? Contact our friendly team today for more information on the daycare and boarding services we offer!

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Taking Your Dog or Cat Camping or Hiking

Before you head out on that camping trip with your dog or cat, make sure to do a little extra planning. If your dog or cat is used to camping, you already have half the battle conquered. Otherwise, you’ll have to figure out what kind of camping trip is best for your furry friend.

Car Camping or Back Country Camping

Car camping is a good place to start for a cat or dog who has never been camping. The campgrounds are not quite so wooded and feel more like a home setting because of noise from other campers. Back country camping may be a little different since you might be the only person and dog or cat camping out in a tent in the pitch black woods.

It’s important to check to see if your pets are allowed and whether they need to be on a leash. In most cases, you’ll want to keep your furry friend on a leash due to leash laws. However, if the area does allow off-leash pets, you must know your pet and how it reacts to other pets and wild animals. Yes, don’t forget the wildlife. Your dog could chase after it through the next state or could be injured or killed. Your cat could be injured or killed by wildlife.
Cat on a Leash in a Field

Always check with the area you are going to make sure your pet is welcome. Some places may welcome pets but could have areas where pets are not allowed. Either way, call the location or research it online to find out where your pet is allowed.

Is Your Pet Comfortable in an Outdoor Setting?

Your pet may not be comfortable in an outdoor setting. Before you leave for your trip, it’s a good idea to acclimate your pet to sleeping in a tent or an RV and to get familiar with the woods, beach or other areas you will be camping. If not, and you aren’t able to make day visits to get your pet used to the different environment, you should keep your pet leashed. If your pet enjoys chasing other animals, they should be kept on a leash, even if there isn’t a leash law.

Man Hiking With 2 Dogs

Keep in mind that a tent is very different than an RV when it comes to your pet. Even the smells in the RV are different than the smells in your home. Make your pets feel at home by bringing a favorite toy, blanket or your pet’s bed with you. If your pet is used to a crate, you might wish to bring your their create so it can feel secure. It’s also a good idea to have your pet crated while you are traveling – this is for your pet’s safety.

8 Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe and Happy While Camping

Keeping your dog or cat safe means keeping an eye on them at all times. Some things to watch out for or to teach your pets include:

  1. Know which plants are poisonous to your pets – or don’t let them eat plants at all. It is normal for your cat and dog to be curious and eat grass and other plants. The ASPCA has lists of poisonous plants for cats and dogs.
  2. Teach your pets to have a strong recall.
  3. Know what to do if your pet runs away or gets lost.
  4. Always keep your dog or cat with you – don’t leave them alone in camp.
  5. Know how to administer basic first aid for your pet.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather, including the temperature of any asphalt, concrete, or dirt trail. Remember, your pets are barefoot!
  7. Bring plenty of water for your pets to ensure they stay hydrated, especially if your pets are hiking with you.
  8. When you keep your pets safe and plan your trip ahead of time, you could have some of the best fun you’ve ever had when you take Fido or Kitty camping with you.

Woman Camping

Additional Resources

Camping with your pets is a great way to strengthen your bond with them, while you both relax and enjoy some fresh air, exercise and beautiful scenery. We hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare to camp with your furry family members. If you prefer to rest assured knowing that your animal is safe and well-cared while you travel solo, call our team at Paradise Pet Resorts or submit our website form below to make a pet boarding reservation.

Understanding How to Feed Your Dog from Puppyhood Through the Senior Years

Dogs offer unconditional love without asking for much in return – except the finest foods and treats, that is. To give back to your dog, you can offer the most nutritious and delicious foods designed to meet the requirements of each life stage. By providing a balanced diet each day, you help protect your dog from obesity, malnutrition and other serious health problems. You can improve your dog’s meal plan by understanding the best feeding practices, including ideal daily intake amounts, for large and small canines alike. Use our guide to get started on your journey toward improved wellness for your furry friend.

Best Practices For Feeding Dogs Through Every Life Stage

From puppyhood to the senior years, dogs have changing dietary needs to best support their growth and wellness. Your dog will benefit from eating the right dog food formulas in the correct quantities.

Puppies

Puppies go through many growth spurts to reach their adult size in one to three years, depending on the breed. The rapid rate of growth demands extra energy, which is fueled by the food you choose and amount you feed. To support the growth of your pup, you should choose the highest quality puppy food your budget will allow. The food should have meat products as the first ingredients and preferably be free of all grains.

Adult Dogs

The switch from puppy food to adult food should occur once your dog reaches one year of age. Adult dog food formulas have fewer calories and less protein to provide the right balance of nutrients for this life stage. You can give extra treats as you deem fit to compensate for high activity levels, such as while completing obedience or agility routines. If you have a picky eater, consider mixing kibble with wet food to encourage healthy eating patterns.

Seniors

The health and activity levels of your senior dog will play a role in determining the best food to provide each day. If your dog has dental or gastric health issues, for example, you may need to make the switch from kibble to wet food. Purchase senior formula foods to account for the difference in nutrient requirements for this life stage. Do not overfeed your senior dogs or give too many treats, as decreased activity levels increase the risk of obesity.

How to Determine Ideal Daily Food Intake for Your Dog

You will need to consider the age and activity level of your dog to determine the correct amount to feed each day. Through their growth spurts, puppies eat up to three times the amount needed to maintain their weight. Adult dogs, on the other hand, should eat enough calories to maintain their weight at their current activity levels. Senior dogs may show varied daily food intake amounts, depending on their health and energy expenditure levels.

As activity levels change, so should the amount you feed your dog. Working dogs, in particular, need to receive extra food to accommodate for the extra energy used to complete their required tasks. An emotional support animal, for example, works hard all day to help stabilize and protect their owners suffering from symptoms caused by mental health disorders. Therefore, these dogs could use an increase in food or treats during particularly demanding workdays.

Small Versus Large Breed Dog Dietary Considerations

Since small and large breed dogs grow at different rates through puppyhood, their dietary needs differ considerably. Large breed dogs often require a specialized puppy food that is lower in calories and protein than ordinary formulas. The decreased nutrient levels keep growth rates in check to prevent bone and joint issues in the future. Small breed dogs can usually eat a normal puppy formula, though you should pay close attention to kibble size to prevent intake issues.

Preparing Your Dog’s Daily Meal Plan for Home, Daycare and Boarding

Once you have a good grasp on the dietary needs of your dog, you can use the information to create a comprehensive daily meal plan for home, daycare and boarding. Remember to either reward from the bowl with hand feeding practices or replace regular food with treats to keep your dog’s calorie intake in the correct range. You can provide your detailed meal plan to Paradise Pet Resorts when boarding your dog to ensure your pet receives adequate nutrients while you are away.

Summer Safety Tips for Pets: Fireworks, Barbecue and Water Safety

Although summer doesn’t start until closer to the end of June, those in Northern California usually start summer activities around Memorial Day – sometimes sooner. This is the time to be especially aware of your pet’s safety, including around fireworks, water and barbecues. It’s easy to lose track of a pet who is scared of loud noises, can’t swim or has a habit of putting everything in its mouth.

Pets and Firework Safety

If your pet is scared by loud noises, fireworks can cause some problems. More dogs escape during 4th of July events than at any other time. The best solution is to keep your dog away from the festivities: bring it to a boarding facility, crate the dog at home or put it in a secure room with no windows.

Turn on soft music to help soothe your pet and speak to it quietly. In some cases, a thunder shirt or a tight t-shirt wrapped around your dog will help calm it.

If you have guests, be sure they understand that doors must be firmly latched so that your pets don’t escape. It’s better to crate your pets, but if you can’t, it would help keep your dog safe by posting a reminder note on doors leading outside.

“It is natural for dogs to be afraid of loud noises. The sounds trigger their nervous systems, and they can become anxious or afraid. Running away from the noise is a survival instinct. Remember, to your dog, the experience of fireworks is different than other natural loud noises, like thunder. Fireworks are closer to the ground, more vibrant, and are accompanied by sudden booms, flashes and burning smells. Dogs experience the world through their senses — nose, eyes, ears.”

Also, if you light fireworks in your own yard, be sure you pick everything up before letting your pets outside. Fireworks contain toxic chemicals and are not good for a pet to eat.

Outdoor Party Hazards

During the summer, outdoor party hazards are rampant. Things that you might not think twice about could land your pet at the emergency vet. Citronella, alcohol, sunscreen, fly traps, lighter fluid and insect repellent are all things that could make your pet sick.

In addition to chemicals, other dangers such as the heat, cooked bones, hot grills and corn cobs pose dangers for your pets. Corn cobs do not digest well and could cause a blockage. Cooked bones could splinter and cause internal damage.

Hot grills are a serious temptation for pets because of the smell of cooked food or because of food that is cooking. Keep your pets away to keep them from jumping up on the grill. Also, pets can get overheated just like we do. Make sure your pets have plenty of water if they’re outside with you.

Water Safety

No matter where you take your dog swimming, dangers are everywhere. Some dogs don’t know how to swim and some never learn to swim well. Even if your dog is a great swimmer, it should wear a life jacket when in the water, especially while boating. Keep your dog safe around water by following these simple tips:

  • Don’t let your dog drink salt water if you’re at the ocean. Be sure to bring plenty of fresh water for it and make sure it stays hydrated.
  • Fence the pool in your backyard. If your dog can jump the fence, be sure there’s a cover on the pool. At a minimum, be sure there are steps or a ladder and your dog knows how to get out of the pool and is able to get out.
  • Don’t let your dog swim in fresh water that has blue-green algae in it. It could make your dog sick.
  • Watch the water temperature. Your dog may not be able to handle ice cold water.

By keeping an eye on your pet during any type of summer activity, you’ll keep your pet safe and avoid an expensive trip to the vet.

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Smart Tips for Safe Travels with Your Pet

Whether you plan to travel by plane, train or automobile, you will need to appropriately accommodate for your cat, dog or small animal to ensure your trip goes to plan. Your pet depends on you to ensure that all the accommodations you make allow for their complete comfort and safety. You can make the most of your travels by following the tips below to plan your trip and head out without any worries.

Assess Your Pet’s Health and Temperament

To ensure your pet can withstand the stress of traveling across long distances, you can schedule a visit to the vet to receive a clean bill of health. For many major airlines, you can also use the health certificate to secure your pet a place in the cabin of the aircraft instead of in the cargo area. You should also aim to minimize stress by taking a serious look at your pet’s temperament for signs of overt nervousness or aggression. Your vet can help you determine if your pet will tolerate the trip well or if you should board your animal at a pet resort while you are away.

Always Use an Approved Carrier

No matter what transportation option you choose, you should always transport your pet using an approved carrier. Give your pet time to become familiar with the carrier you select well before the date of your planned trip. Use positive reinforcement techniques to help your pet accept the space as a safe den. Verify that the carrier you select abides by the train or airline’s regulations to avoid any surprises at the loading gate. Make sure that the carrier will fit within the area you have available for your pet’s use during your travels.

Provide Identifying Information for Your Pet

Your pet needs to have identifying information firmly attached to a collar and the carrier to avoid getting lost while out of your sight. The information tags should include a name, address and telephone number for you, your vet and an emergency contact. Attach copies of your pet’s vaccination records and health certificate to the carrier in case questions arise during your trip. Take a picture of your pet using your cellphone or tuck a hardcopy in your bag to use for identification if you get separated.

Familiarize Yourself with Service Animal Regulations

The rules and regulations for service dogs and emotional support animals varies across all airlines and train companies. Although they fulfill similar roles, an emotional support animal may not qualify for the special permissions given to service animals due to the absence of hours of guided training and official certification. If your animal does qualify as an official service animal, make sure your accommodations accurately reflect the standards established by your transportation provider.

If you utilize these tips and tricks to prepare for travels with your pet, you will likely breeze through the process without any problems. If you would prefer to rest assured that your animal is safe and well-cared for in your absence, call our team at Paradise Pet Resorts or submit our website form below to make a pet boarding reservation.

Teach Your Children How to Handle Pets Safely

Almost everyone has seen adorable videos of children and animals interacting together. And just as many have heard stories of times when either a pet or a child has been hurt when an interaction didn’t go the right way. It is up to both human and pet parents to help children as well as pets learn the necessary skills to keep relationships between animals and the children in their lives as positive as possible.
Boy and Puppy

Preparing Your Pet to Live With Children

In many cases people have pets in their home before they have children and they bring their new baby home to a place where a pet has already been there for a while. Because newborns are vulnerable, and pets, especially dogs, can be territorial, your pet will need some schooling in order to understand how to be gentle with a baby and play safely as the baby grows.

It can be hard for a pet to adjust to a new family member, so it is important to allow them to acclimate as gradually as possible. If your pet is not trained in basic obedience skills, it is important to enroll them in any necessary courses as soon as possible. Be sure that they know and respond to commands such as sit, stay, and down. Make sure they have a safe place they can access that will give them a much needed break from the children and adult humans in the house when they need it.

Before the baby comes home, allow your pet to smell an article of clothing, such as a hat, that the baby has worn. They will then recognize the baby as a member of the family that belongs rather than an intruder. Keep in mind, however, that regardless of how much effort you put in to preparing your pet, proper supervision is always necessary between babies or young children and pets to protect both from any behavioral slips.

Preparing Your Child for a New Pet

As many children start to get old enough to express their own opinions, they may indicate that they want a pet of their own. Whether that pet is a dog, a cat, or another animal, it is important that they are able to understand their pet’s limitations and their role in making sure that pet is properly cared for. Although the ultimate responsibility for caring for a pet lies with their adult owner, giving a child age appropriate supervised, pet responsibilities will help him in to feel like a part of your family’s pet experience. It will also help your pet, especially a dog, see your child as one of his masters, rather than a rival.

Child holding budgie

Observing Animals Together

Even if you do not choose to have a pet in your home, it is important that children learn to respect animals in their surroundings and appreciate them. You can take the first steps by just watching the animals that are in your own yard, a local park, or a humane zoo or rescue center. Even if you don’t have a lot of opportunity for first hand interactions, watching movies or other videos that show interactions between humans and animals is helpful. Making and filling outdoor bird feeders or watching rabbits or squirrels run through your yard can help your children learn that animals are an important part of the world, just like they are.
Girl and cat

The Positive Side of Kids and Pets

There are times when kids who are not properly educated about pets may be too rough with a pet, hugging it too tight, or pulling ears, or some other similar treatment. But when both children and pets are taught to respect one another and any necessary boundaries, the results can be very positive. Children raised with pets are often more cooperative and willing to share, and are stronger overall emotionally, including having a positive self image. Pets too learn to be gentle and protective of children in their lives.
Child Petting Dog

Contact Us

If you have questions about how to care for your pet, submit our website contact form below or call our Santa Rosa location at 707-595-3834 or our Rohnert Park location at 707-206-9000.

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Spring Holiday Do’s and Don’ts for Your Pet

With all of the spring holidays coming up, finding ways to protect your pet from dangers and ensure they are healthy is important, just as it is any other time of the year. In order to provide your pet with the quality care they deserve and to protect their overall health and well-being, there are a few simple tips you should follow.

Make a Vet Appointment

If you will be traveling this spring, whether for a holiday celebration or for spring break, it’s important to have your pet checked by a veterinarian. This is true whether you plan to take your pet along for the ride or you will be boarding him. The veterinarian will ensure your pet is in good health and is up-to-date on vaccinations. They will also provide proper flea and tick prevention treatment to protect your pet outdoors.

Many dog boarding facilities require dogs receive the canine flu vaccine to protect against the spread of the highly contagious “dog flu”.  While new in the San Francisco Bay Area, an increasing number of cases are being reported. While symptoms vary, they are generally respiratory and afflicted animals can become severely ill. Learn more here.

Don’t Feed Them Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the deadliest things your pet can eat. When it comes to holidays like Valentine’s Day and Easter, chocolate is often at the top of the list of treats. While it is a wonderful choice for people, it can be sickening or even deadly for pets, both cats and dogs. Be sure to keep chocolate well out of their reach and seek help from your veterinarian if it is ingested.

Prepare Your Pet for Boarding

If you are unable to take your pet with you on a spring holiday trip, you will need to board them. Before you reach this point, it’s important to prepare your pet. Not only do you need to make sure they have the right vaccinations, but you will also have to acclimate your pet to being away from you. Touring the facility and leaving your pet with a friend or relative for a few hours can be a great way to test this, especially if they have pets of their own.

Research Before Buying Small Pets

Especially at Easter, parents are often tempted to buy small pets for their children as a gift. However, these pets are often treated as a novelty and begin to suffer from a lack of care after a short period of time when the child becomes bored with them. This is why it’s important to do your research and really think about buying a small animal as a gift before you take the decision lightly.

Monitor Your Pets Outside

As spring arrives, there are additional dangers outside you need to watch for with your pet. For instance, many people use spring as the ideal time to fertilize their lawns and use weed killers and other chemicals. These chemicals can be extremely dangerous to your pets. Consider bathing them often during this time of year to keep them from ingesting these chemicals. You should also keep an eye on them outside to save them from predators in the wild, especially if you have a small dog or cat.

Don’t Dye Their Fur

Turning your dog pink for Valentine’s day or a fun pastel color for Easter may sound like a great idea, but it can actually be harmful for your pet. The harsh chemicals used in dyes can dry out your pet’s skin and cause their fur to become brittle and dry. The dye can also enter their bodies through their skin, which can cause serious reactions that can actually be fatal. For this reason, it’s best to leave your pet the way he is, even for the holidays.

Contact Us

If you have questions about how to care for your pet, submit our website contact form below or call our Santa Rosa location at 707-595-3834 or our Rohnert Park location at 707-206-9000.

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