Friday, March 25, 2011

Shed that Winter Coat!

Now that spring has officially sprung, (though it might not seem like it!) it's time to invest in some spring cleaning…for your pet that is!

With spring, we get the good and the bad: more sunlight and blossoms come with allergy attacks, muddy shoes, and if you are the owner of a fuzzy friend, more hair everywhere.

The Shedding Situation
For many people who own dogs that have a double coat (which includes a top coat and an undercoat) like Newfoundlands, Samoyeds, and Shelties or have long haired cats like Himalayans and Persians, excess hair floating around your house is as natural as dust mites. While this is not harmful, hair trapped in the coat is unsightly and uncomfortable for your pet. For cats, it can also cause an increase in hairballs.

For some dog owners, shedding appears to be a year-round occurrence. In fact, it probably is, according to Since most of our pets spend their time indoors in heated houses during the winter and then go outside into the cold for walks, it fools your dog’s body into thinking the seasons are changing.

Dogs without two coats, like Poodles, Bichon Frises, and Tibetan Terriers, must still take extra care to brush their dog’s coats regularly. Since these breeds don’t lose hair as naturally, their hair tends to get matted if not brushed properly and frequently.

How to Cope with Shedding
As your dog’s winter hair shakes loose to make room for a new spring coat it is important to brush, brush, brush! The appropriate shedding tools will help remove loose hair from the undercoat and a slicker brush will knock hair from the top coat. Catching the fuzz between the bristles of a brush will prevent them from finding their way to your floor, your furniture or your clothing.

If you have trouble keeping up the rigorous brushing routine on top of all your other spring cleaning, simply bring your dog and all that fuzz to Morris Animal Inn. Our groomers will happily take on the challenge! Our effective shedding tools combined with regular grooming appointments will do wonders to help our fuzz-emitting friends, both canine and feline. If you feel your pet needs extra help in this area, we offer the Shed-Less procedure, performed right in our state-of-the art spa. This process is a multi-step procedure that utilizes a shampoo and conditioner, a pre and post bath blowout, special shedding tools, and a finishing spray, all of which are designed to eliminate excess hair but without hindering the natural shedding process.  The process is best if scheduled once every six weeks.

Honor your pets and your home this spring by keeping their shedding to a minimum…your couch will thank you!

                Dog Breed Info Center

Friday, March 11, 2011

Everybody in the Pool!

We all know swimming is a wonderful way for people to get fit and stay active and healthy. It turns out the same perks of splashing in water apply to our furry companions. Even if your dog is not a water loving breed   s/he can reap the advantages of swimming!

Swimming is an excellent source of canine exercise that adds some spice to your pet’s fitness routine. It is particularly beneficial to older dogs that suffer from joint problems or hip dysplasia. Consider this the low-impact version of a canine workout. The buoyancy of the water can  also alleviate stiffness and soothe weak muscles or joints. Despite the gentle nature of an aqua workout, propelling themselves through the water provides an excellent cardio routine for dogs.

Other dogs are better suited for an aqua massage, especially if they suffer from hip dysplasia or arthritis. Soothing warm water and strategically placed jets work in harmony to relax muscles, ease tension, and increase flexibility. 

Fortunately for your dog, the neighborhood doggie swimming hole and aqua massage tub is close by--at Morris Animal Inn! Whether your dog prefers to swim laps solo or practice their retrieving skills with pals and our great selection of pool toys, s/he is sure to have an action packed session at the Morris Animal Inn Aqua Center. To ensure your dog's safety, our vigilant staff members monitor all dogs in the pool area and use canine life vests for those who are new to the pool. If your dog wants a new workout or a spa-like day of relaxation, let them opportunity to make some waves in our state of the art aqua center. No matter which activity you choose for your dog or what time of year, they will return to you blow-dried, invigorated and ready for more!

See Bear and his friend Beckett enjoying our pool in this great video clip (the aqua massage tub can be viewed in the background):

Has your dog enjoyed the benefits of our pool or aqua massage services? 


Friday, March 4, 2011

Tricks for Treating Thunder Phobia

As March rolls in like a lion, with it comes the ensuing rain, grey overcast days, and the occasional claps of thunder that send Fido and Fluffy running with tails between their legs. Since we can’t avoid stormy weather, we’ve collected some tricks to help you treat the thunder phobia plaguing your furry friends so that you and Fido can weather it fearlessly together the next time March’s lion begins to roar.

When it beings to rain and thunder booms overhead, give your pet one of their favorite treats. It must be a truly delectable treat that will entice them even in the midst of the loud noise. This might be the time you pull out strips of turkey or chicken. Whenever you hear a loud thunder clap, feed your dog or cat a delicious treat. Alas, they will begin to associate thunder with food which will transform the storm from a negative experience to a positive one. This concept mimics clicker training in which a noise or click precedes a reward.

Safe House
If “thunder treats” don’t quite get your fuzzy pals salivating, try creating a safe house for your dog or cat to cuddle up in and hopefully rest or sleep. This can simply be their crate or a private nook in your house that your pet likes to relax in. Make sure it is comfortable, padded with soft blankets, and keep their favorite toys nearby as an added comfort.

Music Therapy
A stellar conglomeration of research between Joshua Leeds, psychoacoustic expert, and Susan Wagner, veterinary neurologist, culminated in the body of work, Through a Dog’s Ear, a book outlining their scientific research and a collection of CDs designed to calm and soothe your dog in any anxiety-inducing situation. Their work studies the effects of the environment and its soundscape on our canine companions and develops simple solutions that highlight the importance of classical music. 

Dog Appeasing Pheromone Therapy utilizes a replication of a pheromone produced in the mammary glands of a lactating female dog. The pheromone is supposed to promote a calm sense of security in dogs. It is extremely simple. Just buy it in diffuser form and plug it in to an outlet!

If all else fails and your pet continues to exhibit signs of stress from the sound of thunder, consider talking with your vet about medication that might include anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds to ease them in these times.

Don’t let stormy weather get the best of you and your pets! Use these techniques to help them have sweet dreams!