Introducing...Canine Companions!

Introducing...Canine Companions!

As we’re coming to a close on International Assistance Dog Week, we wanted to shine a special spotlight on one of our local nonprofit pals, Canine Companions!

Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry so their clients and their dogs can live with greater independence. They provide service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings. Since their founding in 1975, Canine Companions’ dogs and all follow-up services are provided at no cost to their clients! That’s right, totally FREE!

Formed in 2018, the Gulf Coast Volunteer Chapter is composed of volunteers, puppy raisers and graduate teams serving Houston and the surrounding areas. Gulf Coast Volunteer Chapter members actively support Canine Companions through community awareness, outreach activities and fundraising. Pampered Pet Resorts is proud to host Canine Companions at Pampered Pet Recreation Center for their puppy classes and graduate play dates! 

Interested in Volunteering or Puppy Raising?

Canine Companions Gulf Coast Chapter always needs puppy raisers and advocates for the organization! In fact, they’re in need of puppy raisers right now. The more puppy raisers they have, the more puppies they can place to serve even more people in need. If you can't commit to full time puppy raising, they have short-term puppy sitting and even support of the local puppy raising program with the women's prison in Bryan, TX.

If you’re interested in getting involved as a puppy raiser, click here: https://canine.org/get-involved/ways-to-volunteer/become-a-volunteer-puppy-raiser/ 

If you’re interested in volunteering other ways, click here: https://canine.org/get-involved/ways-to-volunteer/

If you have any further questions or would like to learn more about getting involved, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Interested in a Service Dog?

Start here: https://canine.org/service-dogs/is-a-dog-right-for-you/

This page will walk you through a bunch of really good questions and information about Canine Companions dogs. Then, at the bottom of the page, is a link to start the application. Once you fill out the application, client services staff from our region, South Central in Irving, TX, will follow up and be able to answer any questions you may have. 

"Canine Companions is a wonderful organization with an incredible mission. Whether you are a volunteer, puppy raiser, graduate or supporter, you aren't just a name to them, you are part of the family. The work that we get to do each day is not just fun, it's magical. Our service dogs love their jobs and light up with a wagging tail when you need their help. Puppy raisers wear their hearts on their sleeves and pour so much love, attention, and patience to ensure these dogs have the best start possible before they set off to find their purpose. I am honored to be the president of the Gulf Coast Volunteer Chapter. Volunteers are the heart and soul of Canine Companions, and I love that I get to be part of this family every day. The Gulf Coast Chapter is growing and really trying to continue to build and expand our community supporting this incredible work. I can't wait to see all the exciting things on the horizon for our chapter. Thank you, Pampered Pet, for supporting our mission and giving us space for our dogs to learn, grow and play!" - Sam, Gulf Coast Volunteer Chapter President

The Pet Car Safety Essentials

The Pet Car Safety Essentials

Car journeys often mean one of two things for pets – a trip to the vet or a far more appealing trip for playtime. Whatever the final destination, it’s crucial that you take all the necessary precautions for the journey there to ensure both you and your pet can arrive safely and relatively stress free.

There are so many extra things to consider and prepare for when traveling with a pet passenger, particularly for long journeys. In this article, we’ll run through some of the key safety essentials you should be aware of when carrying an animal companion in tow.

Avoiding distractions

One of the most prevalent safety risks associated with traveling with a pet is the increased likelihood of the driver becoming distracted. This is one area you’ll have to pay particular attention to, since being distracted while driving can be dangerous for everyone sharing the road.

There are lots of ways you can avoid becoming distracted by a pet. The simplest way is to keep them in the back, rather than upfront in the passenger seat – however tempting it may be. You’ll probably to want to play with them or glance across when your pet is sitting next to you, so be sure to avoid this whenever possible.

Another effective solution is to keep your pet in a carrier while traveling. It may be difficult to find one big enough for larger dogs, but most canines and cats will fit comfortably in standard carriers, giving you peace of mind during the drive.

Keep the windows up

While all other drivers will no doubt share in your glee at seeing a dog hang their head out the window as you drive along, this presents lots of obvious and easily avoidable safety risks. Firstly, it goes back to the previous point of avoiding distractions. It’ll be easy for you and other drivers to become distracted by the sight of a cute dog delighting in the wind blowing in its face, but this can draw eyes away from the road.

For the dog itself, there’s the obvious risk of it either falling or jumping out through an open window. There’s also the chance of something hitting the dog if it’s unable to react in time to a building, sign or anything else that comes close to the side of the car. A final thing you may not have considered is that dogs are more prone to contract diseases or infections when hanging their head out the window, with dirt and dust more likely to enter their eyes or mouth.

Make sure you have the necessary accessories

There are so many accessories on the market that make traveling with a pet safer and easier for everyone involved, but you also need to remember to pack the essential items. It can be handy to devise a pet owner’s equipment checklist for long car journeys. The list will include basic items such as water, medication and toys, along with anything that could help protect your car or pet, such as seat covers and anti-anxiety remedies.

By having this list in place, you can be sure that you have everything your pet needs, every time.

 

At Pampered Pet Resorts, we're dedicated to the comfort and safety of every pampered pet, and adopting proper car safety is just one way of protecting them from harm. Check out our article, "Are You Prepared for Pet Medical Emergencies?" for more pet safety tips!

 

Original article provided by Colin Peirce Consulting.

Which Training Method is Right for Your New Dog?

A new dog is a big responsibility. Whether it’s a puppy or a rescue, a lot goes into welcoming the canine into the family. One aspect calling for careful consideration — and maybe even extensive research — is training.

Just like humans, each dog learns differently. The keys to success are often patience, consistency and persistence. It’s essential to choose a training method and stick to it. Here is a brief look into two training approaches to help your furry best friend behave.

Getting right to training is best with a new dog — no matter the age. Not only to instill good manners, but to help ensure the owner has control before socializing or exploring new situations. There are many approaches from which to choose, and even more opinions on which is best. Several techniques have proven to be effective and many overlap or are used in tandem. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and what you believe to be ethical and best for the dog.

One popular method is clicker training. This approach is based on operant conditioning and relies greatly on positive reinforcement principles. How is it done? Essentially, a device is used to make a quick noise, such as a click or whistle, to signal to the dog and create an association between an action and a reward.

For this to be successful, the dog needs to first understand a click means a reward is coming. Once this has been established, a behavior is introduced with the signal being used at the exact moment the desired behavior is accomplished followed swiftly by a reward. Later, a verbal command can be added to create the association between the command and the action.

Clicker training is used by many professional trainers, as it can help shape simple commands into more complicated tricks or tasks. However, it isn’t necessarily well-suited for energetic or rambunctious pups or for curbing unwanted behaviors.

Another method is mirror or model/rival training. Dogs are highly observational and learn by example. This approach uses an owner or well-behaved pooch as a model for good and bad behaviors. It relies on the dog in training to watch and copy the desired action followed by a reward.

A downside to this style is that some breeds may not be as prone to success as others. For instance, border collies are intelligent and can form bonds quickly, which leads them to excel in this technique. Another hurdle is it calls for a distraction-free environment so the dog can focus.

When instructing a new canine companion, it’s crucial to remain patient and to avoid harsh physical punishments or mean-spirited corrections. If teaching the pup becomes too difficult, enrolling in obedience classes or turning to local trainers can help. For further examples of training methods, please see the accompanying resource.

UnleashFido v1 2

Original article titled, "Selecting The Right Training Method For Your New Dog," provided by Unleash Fido.

Are Your Prepared For Pet Medical Emergencies?

Are Your Prepared For Pet Medical Emergencies?

It's not always easy to know when a dog is in need of emergency treatment. Take the following two scenarios:

  • Not long after gulping down dinner, a German Shepherd begins retching and pacing. The dog's owner calls a friend, who suggests that the best course of action is to just let the German Shepherd rest overnight. But the pet parent decides to take the dog to the veterinarian instead. Once in the vet's office, the dog is immediately taken back for treatment for a life-threatening condition known as bloat.
  • A pug is out for a walk on a warm, but not hot day. Suddenly, the canine becomes disoriented and starts to pant loudly. Concerned, the pet parent takes the pug to the veterinarian, where it is treated for hyperthermia (overheating). The owner learns that flat-faced dogs, such as pugs and boxers, can easily overheat when exercising in temperatures exceeding 75 degrees.

In both of these potentially deadly situations, it would have been easy for an owner to dismiss the pet's symptoms as not a big deal. And that is why responsible pet parents should do the following:

Be prepared for an emergency with these items

You'll want to keep the following items in a place where you can easily access them if your dog should get sick or injured:

  • A first-aid kit for canines. Some of the items that should be included in this kit are gauze, non-stick bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic lotion, a digital thermometer, a syringe and hydrogen peroxide.
  • The phone number for Animal Poison Control Center: 888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435).
  • Your veterinarian's phone number, as well as the number of the closest emergency veterinarian hospital.

Understand your dog's breed

Some breeds are more susceptible to certain health issues. For example, it is believed that dogs with deep chests, such as Great Danes and German Shepherds, are more likely to bloat than other breeds. Some terriers are also more inclined to get pancreatitis. Understanding what types of emergencies could affect your dog can help you decide whether your pet's symptoms are mild or if it needs to be taken to the veterinarian's office immediately.

Consider getting pet insurance

You love your pet and want only what is best for it. But sometimes what is best can cost you far more than you're financially prepared to pay out. For example, it can cost between $1,500 and $3,500 or more to treat a dog for parvo, according to Preventive Vet. If you're concerned that you might not have enough money to cover emergency treatment for your dog, consider purchasing pet insurance, which could help you pay for a substantial chunk of your veterinarian bills.

Keep this emergency medical guide on hand

Knowledge is power. And the more you know about common emergency situations that could affect your pup, the better you'll be able to help your beloved fur baby. So, take the time to read this Dog Medical Emergency Guide. It's also a good idea to print it out and leave it by your doggy first-aid kit.

Author bio: Lizz Caputo is Content Strategist at Figo Pet Insurance — provider of the industry’s best pet insurance plans. She is an animal enthusiast and owner of a rescued senior American bully.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a New Dog

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a New Dog

Dogs are amazing creatures, and many people enjoy having them as pets. If you're thinking about adding a new dog to your family, there are some things you need to ask yourself first. This article will help you figure out if you're ready for all the responsibilities that come with dog ownership. So if you're curious about whether or not a new dog is right for you, keep reading.

1. Can I afford a dog?

Dogs require a lot of care and attention, and they can be expensive, too. The average pet owner spends between $500 and $1,000 per year on their dog.

Start by considering the costs of food, vet care, dog toys, supplies, and other miscellaneous expenses, and don’t forget pet insurance. You’ll also need someone to dogsit when you go on vacation – that’s where lodging at Pampered Pet Inn comes in!

If the prices are looking a little high, there are a few things you can do to ease the financial burden without having to sacrifice your dream of pet ownership. For example, you might consider adopting an older dog from a shelter, which typically costs less than buying a puppy from a breeder.

Or, if you have room in your home, you could foster a dog for a local rescue organization. Fostering is a great way to provide love and care for a dog in need while also saving money, as long as you’re able to return them once they find a permanent owner.

2. Will I have enough time for a dog?

Most dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, with some more energetic breeds requiring up to an hour. This is in addition to feeding, grooming, and training time.

They also need plenty of time with their humans. If you work long hours away from home or travel frequently, it may not be possible for you to give a dog the attention and care it needs. Although some can be left alone for a little while, it’s not fair to leave a dog alone for long periods of time. Dogs are social creatures and can become anxious and bored without human attention, leading to bad behavior. They can also only hold their bladders for six to eight hours.

Doggie daycare is a great way to help them get the exercise, attention, and stimulation they need, but daycare can’t replace quality time with you.

3. What kind of dog do I want?

There are so many different breeds of dogs, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. So it’s important to do your research and figure out which breed would best suit you and your lifestyle.

Some questions to ask:

  • Do you have enough space for the breed?
  • Do you have time to spend on regular grooming?
  • Do you want a dog who needs a lot of exercise and attention? Or would you be happy with a more chilled out pup?
  • Do you want a dog who likes to be around people? Are you looking for a dog who’ll guard your home?
  • Do you have young children? Helping to take care of a family pet can build deeper family bonds and provide comfort for children. But not all breeds are suited to families with children.

Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to do your research and make sure you're prepared to provide a loving home for your new furry friend.

Article provided by Colin Peirce Consulting.