The Dawg Days of Summer

The Dawg Days of Summer

If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet!

The most intense heat of the summer is upon us, and it’s more important than ever to protect your pet against overheating and heat exhaustion. Dogs’ natural body temperature is about 101°. At around 104°, heat exhaustion begins to set in, and heatstroke becomes more likely as their temperature rises. The goal is to intervene before this point, but it’s also important to know what to do in the off chance that your pet does reach that threshold.

The most important thing is to know the signs of overheating:

  1. Excessive Panting
  2. Excessive Drooling
  3. Elevated Heart Rate
  4. Disorientation
  5. Tongue and Gums Turning Red or Blue
  6. Vomiting/Diarrhea
  7. Stumbling/Fainting
  8. Convulsions

Symptoms of heat exhaustion are relatively easy to prevent. Avoid leaving your pet in a car or other extremely hot spaces, and leave water in places that are easily accessible. Try to take walks or potty breaks in the morning or afternoon, not during the heat of the day. Not only does this protect your pet from overheating, but hot asphalt and concrete can burn their paws. Lastly, keep your pet in a well-ventilated, cool area, whether that be indoors in the air conditioning or outdoors in a shady spot. Additionally, it is important to know if your pet’s breed has any notable risk factors. For example, flat-faced breeds like pugs and bulldogs are extremely susceptible to overheating, and must be monitored in elevated temperatures. 

Should your pet experience overheating or heat exhaustion, it’s imperative to know how to get their body temperature down, and what circumstances require a veterinarian’s attention. In extreme cases, overheated pets should be directly transported to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Heatstroke can be fatal if left untreated. However, most cases are very treatable, and can be remedied in a few simple ways:

  1. Immediately get the pet to a cooler area. Indoors is best, but placing them in cool water - not cold, as rapid cooling can do just as much harm as overheating - will help to lower the body temperature.
  2. Offer them cool - again, not cold - water to drink.
  3. Check their temperature, if possible, and monitor it until it is at a normal level.
  4. Contact their veterinarian if their symptoms continue or they show persistent signs of lethargy. 

Fifty-four companion animals died of heat-related causes in 2020. If every pet parent worked towards responsibly monitoring their animals for overheating, that number could be brought down exponentially. At Pampered Pet Inn, our goal is to encourage responsible pet ownership, and to prevent these kinds of incidents. A great phrase to remember this summer is, “If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet!”

 

Matted No More! 6 Tips For Tangle-Free Fur

Matted No More! 6 Tips For Tangle-Free Fur

Want to make grooming like a walk in the park? Check out our tips for a purrrfect coat!

Sometimes, coat maintenance can be the difference between grooming trips being a breeze or a nightmare. Matting happens when hair twists together to form clumps that can be impossible to remove with a comb alone. While different coats require different care, mat prevention is a huge part of making sure that your pet is happy and healthy. Regular coat maintenance and grooming is the key to preventing severe matting, which can cause your pet extreme discomfort. We’ve put together our best tips for keeping your pet’s coat in great condition. 

1. Brush your pet at least two to three times per week.

It really is that easy! A simple weekly brush out that goes all the way through the coat to the skin can prevent mats from forming, exfoliate your pet’s skin, and guarantee your pet’s comfort as their fur grows out between grooms.

2. Bathe your pet regularly.

Regular baths also help to exfoliate your pet’s skin and prevent any dirt or oil build-up that contributes to heavy matting. As an added bonus, they smell amazing!

3. Use the right tools.

Every project requires the appropriate tools, and maintaining your pet’s coat is no different. There are seven types of brushes for pet grooming: slicker brush, pin brush, bristle brush, shedding blade, undercoat rake, dematting rake, and the furminator deshedder. 

  • Slicker brushes are great for all coat types, and have thin pins that help to remove loose fur and detangle mats. It is important to remember to always be gentle when using a slicker brush. The fine, tightly-spaced wires can cause your dog discomfort if too much pressure is used or the brush is pulled while caught on a matted or tangled area.
  • Pin brushes are similar to human hair brushes. They generally have long, plastic-tipped pins that are great for getting through longer coats. These are best to finish off a groom, and aren’t recommended for the dematting or detangling process.
  • Bristle brushes are best for shorter coats, and act as a means of removing excess fur from the coat and stimulating the skin. These are not great for detangling, as they usually can’t get down to the undercoat on dogs with longer fur. 
  • Shedding blades are great for removing built-up fur as well. These are best for shorter to medium-length coats, and help to scrape out excess shed from the short undercoat. 
  • Undercoat rakes are best for medium to long hair pets, and they get deep into the undercoat to remove fur build-up. Rakes are amazing tools for preventing matting in a longer-haired or double-coated animal. 
  • Dematting rakes have their purpose in the name: they demat! This tool has special curved blades specifically made to get through long double-coats without pulling or hurting the skin. Even without mats, it gets down into the undercoat and does an amazing job of removing fur build-up or tangling. This tool should not be used on pets with thinner coats, as it may cause skin irritation. 
  • Furminators are a pet owner’s best friend (other than their pet, of course)! This brush claims to reduce shedding by up to 90% by removing loose fur from below the top coat, and has a button to release collected fur. It’s perfect for everyday maintenance, and is a favorite among pet owners.

4. Use the right products.

If a pet has difficult fur and brushing regularly becomes a dematting session, pet safe detangling sprays or conditioners can be a life saver! Additionally, daily fish oil supplements support your pet's heart health, promote a silky coat, reduce itchy and flaky skin, and can help relieve allergies and joint pain. However, be sure to ask your veterinarian before starting your pet on any new vitamins or supplements to make sure that it’s right for them. 

5. Distraction is key.

Use licking mats, peanut butter Kongs, or other time-consuming treats to distract your pet during the brushing process. When they’re focused on something else, they’re less likely to experience discomfort during coat maintenance. 

6. Get pets groomed professionally regularly.

The most important thing you can do to maintain your pet’s coat is to get them groomed regularly by a professional. Best practice is to start pets off with grooming early on so that they get used to the sensation, especially the feeling of someone touching their face and feet. At PPI, we offer contact appointments specifically for young pets to help condition them to the feeling of being groomed. We also have the option of scheduling standing appointments for pets every 4-6 weeks. A regular grooming schedule is an amazing way to keep your pet’s coat under control with the least amount of stress!

 My pet's coat is matted, now what?

When pets’ coats aren’t properly cared for, owners face a new issue: dematting. The solution varies depending on the severity of the mats. For smaller mats, a brush can be used to gently detangle the spots using small strokes. You should never try to cut out mats with scissors, as you may cut your pet’s skin in the process. Instead, if a mat can’t be removed by gentle brushing, a professional groomer should be seen to discuss shaving them out. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that the length of a pet’s fur can’t be saved. 

Extreme matting is referred to as pelting. This happens when large mats merge together into a solid mass covering a large area of a pet’s skin. When this happens, pets can experience extreme discomfort, loss of mobility, and circulatory issues. A veterinarian is required to fully sedate and shave an animal in this situation. Animals in this condition are usually victims of severe neglect, and have been left ungroomed for months at a time. 

Matting and pelting is completely preventable through regular coat maintenance. All of us at Pampered Pet Inn are committed to the health and proper care of our guests’ pets, and we are happy to provide more information about coat maintenance upon request. Most of the time, though, it’s as easy as regular brush outs!

Live From PPI: E-Postcards!

Live From PPI: E-Postcards!

Never wonder what they’re up to again. Get updates on your pet from Pampered Pet Inn!

Have you ever dropped your pet off at the Inn to enjoy their day camp or lodging stay, but later wondered how they were doing? Has your pet ever been a little nervous at the start of the day, and you just wanted to know if they were feeling better? Have you tried calling the shop for updates, but still wanted more solid reassurance that your pet is happy, healthy, and safe? It’s perfectly normal to worry about your pet when you’ve left them in the care of someone else. Pampered Pet Inn offers E-Postcards to help!

Your pet is your best friend. They’re a member of the family. And just like any human member of the family, you want your pet to be well cared for, comfortable, safe, and happy. All of our enrichment package add-ons are meant to calm their nervousness and guarantee that your pet is getting a little extra TLC; but what’s better to calm your nerves than photo updates of your pet, and a short message telling you all about their time so far?

On our a-la-carte enrichment menu, parents can find all of our fantastic enrichment packages. Our special E-Postcard package shows parents a behind-the-scenes look at their pet’s time at PPI, and qualms any anxieties around their pet’s behavior or experience. E-Postcards come with a handful of photos of pets during their day, and a message that details any notable behaviors and awesome experiences. As an added bonus, Inn-The-Pack members qualify for a complimentary E-Postcard every time their pet stays with us!

Remember to ask about our E-Postcard add-on, as well as other a-la-carte menu items, the next time you reserve your pet’s visit to Pampered Pet Inn. Don’t forget to check out our Inn-The-Pack membership options for other awesome benefits as well!

Protect Your Pet Without Missing the Fun!

Protect Your Pet Without Missing the Fun!

How to keep firework anxiety at bay this 4th of July season

 

People love fireworks! They’re the perfect way to celebrate the 4th of July and New Year’s, and they always, “Wow!” a crowd. Dogs, on the other hand, usually don’t mix well with fireworks. 

It makes sense that dogs would find fireworks stress-inducing. They are evolutionarily inclined toward being fearful of loud, unpredictable sounds. In a wild setting, a dog would use this instinct to sense potential dangers. In a domestic setting, it still triggers a dog’s fight or flight response, but instead of being able to defend themselves from a perceived danger, dogs feel trapped and terrified. 

Dogs' reactions to fireworks lead to visible signs of extreme stress and, in some cases, lead to dogs running away. To keep dogs safe and calm this year, Pampered Pet Inn has put together a list of tips for pet owners to minimize stress, anxiety, and the possibility of losing a pet.

 

  1. Update your pet’s microchip, tags, etc. before the holiday season in the case of your dog escaping and getting lost.
  2. Make sure your pet gets lots of exercise before sundown. This will release any extra energy that could potentially increase their stress response.
  3. Make sure your pet stays indoors, away from the display. It’s best practice to leave pets at home in an environment that is familiar and comfortable to them. Be sure to check for holes in fences or enclosed outdoor spaces to prevent runaways on potty-breaks.
  4. Create a safe space for them. Most dogs already have a designated safe space: their crate. Add fluffy blankets, toys, or other treats. Muffle the noise of the fireworks in the home with curtains, and use blankets on the top and sides of the crate as well. Playing white noise or calming music helps to drown out the booms as well. If the dog doesn’t have a crate space, any enclosed space (like a bathroom) that muffles the noise will work. This gives your pet a home base and somewhere to go when they feel trapped, to “escape.”
  5. Distract your dog as much as possible. We recommend puzzle toys that release treats, kongs with frozen peanut butter inside, reassuring contact, one-on-one play, or any activity that keeps your dog occupied. 
  6. Invest in a Thundershirt or other anti-anxiety wrap. Anti-anxiety wraps have been shown to greatly reduce dogs’ physical stress response and to have a calming effect on dogs during stressful situations.
  7. Desensitize your dog to firework sounds. The best results for this tip are usually found during your dog’s “socialization window” that takes place in the first 2-12 weeks of their life. Over time, play video recordings of fireworks at a gradually increasing volume and length. Dogs will slowly become accustomed to the sounds, and be much less likely to experience any extreme stress when the real thing happens. 
  8. In truly extreme circumstances, you should contact your veterinarian for advice on CBD supplements or other medicinal options for your pet. Sometimes a dog’s anxiety is so extreme that it starts to affect them negatively in the long-term. These cases may require special management that only a veterinarian can provide. 

At Pampered Pet Inn, pet safety is our number one priority, and we hope that these tips will help keep our fuzzy friends safe this 4th of July!

Dog Experts Agree: Grooming Makes All the Difference

Dog Experts Agree: Grooming Makes All the Difference

The benefits of regular grooming for your pet

 

Grooming is a struggle that every pet owner has to deal with. Having so many different elements, it can be hard to determine what exactly a pet really needs. Not all cats and dogs need the works (bath, brushing out, blow dry, nail trim, teeth cleaning, anal gland expression) every time, but one thing is for sure: every pet needs to be regularly groomed in a way that fits their breed, temperament, and coat type. 

Whether one has a cat or dog, they may find themselves wondering, “Is getting my pet groomed professionally really necessary? I can bathe and brush my pet myself.” Some short-haired pets can be maintained at home, but longer or thicker coats require the care of an expert. Difficult pets may feel impossible for an untrained parent to deal with, and some services, such as anal gland expression, should only be performed by a trained professional. Groomers are exactly that: trained professionals. They can determine pets’ needs, meet them, and relieve parents’ anxieties that their fur baby isn’t getting the care they deserve. 

Regular grooming has a long list of benefits. It removes dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from pets’ coats, improving their smell and hygiene. It can lessen shedding and prevent or remove matts in their fur. Regular ear cleaning reduces the risk of developing ear infections, and regular nail trimming reduces the risk of a pet having bad posture or bone deformation. Most importantly, a groomer scans over every inch of a pet and can notify pet parents of fleas, skin conditions, or other health issues that one may miss on a day-to-day basis. 

Pampered Pet Inn is proud of the award-winning grooming services that we offer. Make your pet’s spa appointment today!