Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let's Get Physical!

While we humans may grumble and moan at the thought of getting off the couch to exercise, many dogs will jump at the mere suggestion of physical activity. This is fortunate since canine fitness is essential to the health of our wet-nosed friends. Dogs that exercise are more likely to maintain good body weight, less likely to develop heart problems, arthritis or diabetes, and often stave off boredom and depression associated with a sedentary lifestyle. If your playful pooch could use some more activity, read on about Morris Animal Inn's fitness offerings.
Fido’s Fit and Spaw Retreat
After the turkey scraps have been gobbled up and the eggnog has been licked off the floor, Morris Animal Inn starts your dog’s new year off right by nudging them back into shape. A week of nature hikes on our pastoral trail, daily swim sessions in our aqua center, treadmill walks and runs, and “doga” and “pawlates” in our play suites all work to stretch your dog’s ligaments and burn calories.

Although the fit retreat focused on activities and exercise, the group overall averaged a weight loss of 2% of their overall body weight in just one week! This is pretty impressive considering the fact that Weight Watchers encourages its customers to lose 10% of their body weight over the course of several months.

Take a look at this video clip of Fido's Fit & Spaw Retreat:

Summertime 'Fit and Fun' 
Due to the success of this year's Fit and Spaw Retreat and the growing demand for canine fitness programs in light of growing pet obesity, Morris Animal Inn will hold 2 weeks of 'Fit and Fun Camp' (June 20-25 and July 18-22) as part of our annual Summer Camps series!

These two weeks will be specifically tailored to canine fitness, all while having fun in the sun! Our canine companions can splash in the pool, walk on our shaded trails, burn calories on the treadmill, and race around our fenced in outdoor play yards with their other fuzzy friends! There will even be some fun sports-themed activities. Summer’s just around the corner and while your dog may not be losing weight to fit in a teeny weenie bikini, their overall health will benefit from the exercise and their minds will love the activity. Who wants to spend summer sitting in an air conditioned room anyway? Allow your pooch to get out and play!

Even if your pet can't make it to our fitness programs, or you have a cat who prefers working out solo, you can always add any of our canine or feline activities to your pet's lodging reservation with us. Join us in helping to keep our pets fit and healthy all year long!

Sources: vetinfo.com

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pet Preparedness

At Morris Animal Inn, we believe that preparing for unpleasant situations can result in much more positive outcomes, so add pet preparedness to your to-do list for spring cleaning this year. Here are some tips to ensure the safety of the furriest members of your family no matter what comes your way.

A Home Away from Home
Before disaster strikes, have a game plan. Figure out ahead of time where you and your family can go with pets in tow. Have a list of potential places where your pet is welcome to stay, such as Morris Animal Inn or if necessary, the homes of friends and family who live outside the area. Be sure to ask ahead how last-minute reservations or drop-ins will be handled so there are no surprises.

Even if you're faced with a routine power outage, you can count on Morris Animal Inn to keep your pet comfortable with our back-up generators!

Stock up on Supplies
Once you have devised a back-up lodging plan, its important to have the necessary provisions and tools ready to go so you can get going quickly. Create and store your own Pet Emergency Kit containing Fluffy and Fido's essentials for up to two weeks:

  • Ample supply of dry and wet food in air tight containers. (Switch the food out every month or so to make sure it doesn't spoil.)
  • An extra leash, collar, and stash of poop bags 
  • A small water and food bowl
  • Medicines (Again, switch it out every month to ensure it doesn't go bad.)
  • A box of kitty litter and an aluminum tray
  • A handful of extra toys 
  • A carrier for each of your pets padded with an extra bed, towels, or a soft blanket that smells of home
  • Bottled water
  • A basic first aid kit
  • Vet records (Store in the same safe secure place that you keep important family documents like passports.)
Keep these necessities in a spot that’s high off the ground and close to a door or in the garage so they’re readily accessible when you need them.

magicmonkey via flickr
Identification Safeguards
It is important to keep identification on your pets at all time, and your options go beyond an ID tag on the collar. Microchipping is a simple procedure performed by your vet that’s similar to receiving a shot. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under your pet’s skin between the shoulders. You might also consider tying a small bell to your pet’s collar to make it easier to find Fluffy or Fido when time is of the essence. Additionally, placing a pet fire safety decal in the window of the room your pets favor will alert rescuers of their presence in an unfavorable situation. If you’d like a free fire rescue sticker for your pet, please just stop by the front desk and mention you read this week’s post!

For detailed information and additional tips for preparing your pet for a disaster, take a look at this video from Ready.gov:

Though it is difficult to imagine how we would handle an emergency situation, taking the time to create a smart and safe back-up plan will always pay off with the protection of your beloved pet.

What other preventative measures have you devised to ensure your pets’ safety?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Put Some Spring in That Paw!

Spring has sprung, leading many of us to turn our thoughts to Easter celebrations, spring cleaning and home improvement projects. But the change of season can be precarious for curious pets or their unknowing owners. Before you launch into your decorating regimen, seasonal projects or outdoor ventures, take a moment to learn about the most common springtime hazards for your furry friend.

Easter Treats and Decorations
Keep Easter lilies and candy bunnies in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to dogs and cats, and lilies can be fatal if ingested. Kitties also love to nibble on colorful plastic grass, which can lead to digestive woes.
                                         Window Screens
Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows, unknowingly put their pets at risk. This is especially true of cats, who are likely to jump or fall through unscreened windows. Be sure your all of your screens are sturdy and safe before allowing your pets to take in the warm breezes.

Car Travel  
We all know dogs love to feel the wind on their furry faces, but the bed of a pick-up truck or the window of a moving-car is a dangerous spot for your pup. Flying debris and abrupt stops or turns can cause unwanted injury or infection. Pets in cars should always be secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness designed especially for them.

Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning can be a great way to get rid of some common household dangers like poisonous bugs and debris your pet could ingest, but be sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of their reach. Almost all commercially sold cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. Be sure to read and follow directions for proper use and storage of these products.

                                              Home Improvement
Paints, mineral spirits and solvents can be toxic to your pets. Read all labels thoroughly to see if a product is safe to use around your furry friends. Also, be cautious of physical hazards like nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools. It’s usually best to confine your dog or cat to a room during home improvement projects, just make sure they have plenty of food, water and stimulation to keep them happy!

Yard Work
Fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides keep our plants and lawns healthy and green, but their ingredients aren't meant for canine or feline consumption. Always store these products in inaccessible places and follow label instructions carefully. The ASPCA has a full list of garden tips.

Poisonous Plants
Growth is a sure sign of spring but beware, many popular springtime plants (Easter lilies, rhododendron and azaleas) are highly toxic to pets. The ASPCA also has a comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants for your home and garden.

Pets can be allergic to foods, dust, plants and pollens, too. Allergic symptoms in dogs and cats can range from sniffling and sneezing to serious reactions. If you suspect your pet has a springtime allergy, make a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Showers bring flowers, but flowers bring bugs! Make sure your pet is on year-round heartworm preventive medication and a flea and tick control program to combat the dangers of insects. Your veterinarian can recommend a plan designed specifically for your pet, and Morris Animal Inn can assist with Frontline applications.

The Outdoors
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and an increased risk of pet wandering. Make sure your dog or cat has been microchipped for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address, cell phone and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat (not choke) collars and sturdy leashes with the ability to extend for your pet’s enjoyment, and reign in when necessary. Come take a look at the spring collection of UpCountry collars in our lobby boutique!
By following these tips and allowing us to care for your pet while you can't, you and your pet are sure to fully enjoy the spring season!

Source: www.aspca.org

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dogs Just Want to Have Fun!

It turns out we're not the only ones who benefit from social events and activities, so do dogs! Visiting a local dog park or attending a Morris Animal Inn dog daycare party provides a good opportunity for canines to meet and greet, a vital step in their social development.

At Morris Animal Inn, fun is one of our top priorities, and this is exactly where our doggie daycare events begin! Frequent parties allow your dog to engage in a variety of entertaining activities related to the theme of the day, whether they're marching in their own St. Patrick’s Day Parade or jumping over “Steal My Heart Hurdles”! Designed with your pup in mind, these events help dogs celebrate the special times of the year in their own unique way.

In addition to having fun, dogs enjoy running, playing, and socializing with other dogs, providing both physical and mental stimulation. Nap time and a delectable treat allow for rest and rejuvenation in between, but by the end of the day, your pooch will be happily tired from a full day of play. And to ensure you and your dog remember these special days, we diligently document all the canine antics via camera and video and post the very best on our Facebook and Shutterfly pages for you to see.

A few special times of the year, participation in Morris Animal Inn daycare events even allows dogs to make a difference in our community! For example, each May your dog is invited to attend our exciting Puppy Prom that supports a charitable cause. This May 4th, our Puppy Prom, “Pooches In Pink”, will benefit Susan G. Komen For the Cure of North Jersey. While the dogs party down, we will be busy assembling care packages for women in our area battling cancer and collecting donations that support Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

We hope your dog will attend our Pooches In Pink Prom event this May and the many other fun and innovative activities offered at Morris Animal Inn throughout the year.

We want to know...what's your dog's favorite Morris Animal Inn doggie daycare event?