Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tips for the Dog Days of Summer

Photo Courtesy of jared
Summertime and the livin’ is easy. While you may be ready to fire up the barbeque, fill up the pool, and bring out the popsicles, some extra safety precautions should be taken into consideration regarding your dog in the warmer months. Enjoy the sudden change in temperatures and the rise in sunny days but keep Fido safe and cool. Read on for some quick and easy tips to get the most out of this summer with your dog.

Beat the Heat
Avoid possible heat stroke by keeping your dog cool during the hottest parts of the day. Move your walks from the middle of the day to early morning or early evening when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky. Both you and your pooch will be happier for it. Before taking your dog for a walk, try this tip from Andrea Arden, pet expert. Soak a bandanna in water and freeze it then wrap it around your dog’s neck before taking him or her on a walk. It is also important to remember that you should never, ever leave your dog alone in the car. Even cracking a window is not sufficient. In the summer, even cars that are parked in the shade can quickly rise in temperature.. According to the Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, in a time lapse of 60 minutes, a parked car can reach up to 123 degrees Fahrenheit even if the temperature outside is only as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun’s shortwave radiation quickly heats dark objects like seats and the dashboard. These hot objects then warm the car’s internal air, creating a dangerous hotbox.

Paw Protection
You know what it feels like when you run barefoot across hot pavement or sand? It hurts, right? If it’s uncomfortable for you, chances are it will bother your dog’s paws too. Be conscious of your canine’s paw-pads and walk at the coolest times of day or invest in a pair of dog booties to protect their little feet.

Lifeguard on Duty
A great way to ensure your furry friend stays cool is to fill a baby wading pool with water in your backyard. This way, when Fido marches out into the heat of your backyard, a cool-off is only a few feet away. All of these aquatic activities are part of what makes summer truly wonderful, but remember to always keep an eye on your pal no matter how good a swimmer he or she is and no matter how deep the water is. If you have an in-ground pool that your dog loves to jump in, consider putting a lifejacket on your dog when frolicking outside or purchase a pet ramp to make it easy for them to get out.

Don’t let your dog get parched this summer. Provide fun, refreshing treats like ice cubes, keep cool fresh water on hand at all times, and try this trick from freeze canned dog food in a Kong to introduce more moisture into their diet.

Don't forget, Morris Animal Inn is an excellent place for dogs in the summer! With an indoor pool, outdoor wading pools, air conditioning, fun, and lots of fresh water for your pup, what more could you want?

Here comes the sun! Armed with these tips, you and your dog are ready to face anything the summer brings your way!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Break

It’s that time of year again! The days are longer and the nights are shorter. Flip flops become required footwear, hammocks become beds, and the kids and the dog are at summer camp. Wait, the dog? Yup, that’s right! Summer camp has long since surpassed the domain of sun-burned pre-teens. In fact, it is becoming more and more mainstream to see the furriest member of your family enjoying summer camp and all its benefits the same way your kids do. Your dog doesn't want to spend the whole summer cooped up inside watching the warm weather slip by any more than children home from school do. If your pup wants to have a wild and crazy summer, then Morris Animal Inn is the place to be.
With eight weeks of fun-filled summer camps lined up, there is a lot for you and your wet-nosed family member to choose from. We'll break it down for you!

Fit and Fun
This is the first official week of the Morris Animal Inn Summer Camps and it started off with leaps and bounds. With furry muscles marching on, our dogs of summer are moving it and shaking it in an effort to stay in top form and achieve their healthiest weight possible. Daily field trips to the outdoor lawns with engaging activities like "Mighty Dog Obstacle Course" and "Fido's Freestyle Fun" keep the exercise going, while aquatic workouts in our indoor pool and treadmill trots on our canine treadmill ensure your dog enjoys a day of fat busting activity. A healthy snack of fruity granola parfait keeps hunger at bay without packing on the pounds. If your dog missed the first round of the Fit and Fun camp, never fear! This camp returns on 7/18-7/21!

Circus Camp
Dogs love to clown around and we like giving them an excuse to do so! Back by popular demand, our Circus Camp will occur from 6/27-6/30 and 7/25-7/28. This camp includes specially designed outdoor activities that incorporate "Ball Juggling, Clown Relays, and Hound Hurdles" to name a few. Circus style fun in the pool keeps things far from monotonous with “Ringmaster Ring Toss and High Diving Horses”! Top each day of the week off with a Frozen Fruity Sno-Cone for a delectable cool-down.

Cowboy Camp
Howdy partner! It’s time to saddle up for our rodeo style camp that proves our Northeastern dogs can get Western when they want. From 7/11-7/14 and 8/8-8/11, our line-up of rodeo themed activities will have your dogs moving and having fun. From “Barrel Racing” to our “Cattle Drive to the OK Corral” in our spacious front yard, your dogs will be ready to giddy-up! No day of camp is complete without some splish splashing in the ole’ watering hole. Pool fun includes “Rodeo Relays and Diving to Dodge.” A light snack around the "campfire" peacefully ends each fun-packed day.

Jersey Shore
While Snooki will not appear as a surprise guest, our camp makes sure to celebrate Jersey Pride and all that our sandy beaches and miles of boardwalk offer! This camp occurs from 7/5-7/8 and 8/1-8/4.

Don’t let your dog spend the summer in a hot house! Provide them with weeks of fun outdoor activities and pool sessions. Our air-conditioned suites, indoor pool, outdoor kiddie pools, and bowls of fresh water with an afternoon snack will ensure your dog is cool and content. This summer, send all your kids to camp, including your furry ones!

What themed camps would you love to see for next year?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Treat Tips

Some dogs do not adhere to the 24 hour clock we humans base our days on, but rather an internal clock with a milk-bone or juicy kibble bits representing each pivotal hour of the day. Like clockwork, you may notice your significant fuzzy-buddy sidling up to the treat stash or you may watch your dog morph from a slumbering angel to a slobbering and very vocal canine in a matter of minutes when that special time rolls around. Treats, whether you use bones, biscuits, or chicken strips, have become an intrinsic addition to the canine diet. Unfortunately, treats have also become the leading cause of canine obesity, transforming slender dogs into generously proportioned chubsters. To help keep your adorable pet as healthy and fit as possible, we’ve outlined some tips to help you tackle the tricky treat quandary.

All dogs should enjoy an indulgence from time to time. That said it should be done so in moderation. It is often a good idea to break the treat into small pieces. Your dog will still savor each of those small bits and you can save money on treats by using less!

Count Calories
It is a good idea to check the packaging on your dog’s treats to find the calorie content in each treat. You might be surprised by what you find. The Woof Report suggests that treats should only take up 10% of your dog’s daily calorie count.

Healthy Alternatives
We often think our dog will only be attracted to juicy hunks of meat, but many dogs salivate over carrots, little slices of apple, and green beans. However, remember to steer clear of grapes or raisins, which can be poisonous to dogs. Try substituting these healthy, low-fat alternatives into your dog’s diet. Now that it's summer, try a small seedless slice of watermelon or even some crunchy ice cubes that will cool your dog off and keep him or her happily occupied.
There is no doubt that treats make our dogs happy, so there is no need to deny your precious pooch tasty treats. Just remember that in order to keep your dog healthy and happy, opt for low calorie, low fat options, and use your treats sparingly. Most importantly, get the whole family on board. It won’t work if Grandma is sneaking extra bacon under the table! It takes all hands on deck to provide the best quality of life for our special four-legged friends.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Cat Crusade

At the same time of year when the world shrugs off its brown muddy leaves and dons the lush, verdant cape of spring and summer, an audible mewing sound joins the melody of nature’s song. It’s kitten season! Kitten season begins in early spring and continues through late summer. During this time, unfixed female cats can go into heat several times a week and can give birth multiple times. It’s a busy season for outdoor cats and while an influx of kittens might seem like the cutest thing next to a basket of puppies, shelters must often deal with the repercussions, seeing their numbers of cats skyrocket in a short period of time.

Why Are So Many Cats Crowding Shelters?
The reason is two-fold. Many adult cats are not neutered or spayed and far too many cats are let outside to become outdoor cats where the world becomes their playground. This outdoor lifestyle allows them to reproduce fast and as often as they want since they have the opportunity to meet many other eligible unfixed male and female cats. Currently, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, located in Madison, NJ has 188 cats, and they aren’t alone. Animal shelters all over New Jersey and the U.S are inundated with an overwhelming number of homeless cats and kittens every year.

What’s being done to curtail this dilemma? St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ is offering low-cost vouchers for areas in Northern New Jersey that suffer the most from an over-population of cats. These vouchers allow kind care-givers of stray cats the opportunity to spay or neuter these cats for a minimal fee. The vouchers micro-chip and even provide vaccinations for the strays.

How Can You Help?
If you have a cat, make sure you spay or neuter your frisky friend. If it can be avoided, keep your cat indoors, it is much safer and will in all likelihood increase the longevity of your feline. Make sure to adopt your cat. Shelters are over-run with felines and need your help in caring for these graceful creatures. Right now, if you adopt a cat at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, you can receive a gift certificate for use at Morris Animal Inn. June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, so what better time?! If you are not ready to make the jump, foster a cat until the shelter is able to place it in a forever home. St. Hubert’s rescues a number of kittens during this season and could also use item donations to help nurture the kittens. Morris Animal Inn will be a drop-off location for these items. The items on their wish list are:
-Kitten milk replacer (KMR)
-Canned kitten food (no fish flavors)
-Baby wipes
-Baby food (no onions or onion powder)
-Soft blankets
-Heating pads

Join the cat crusade and help our whiskered friends find homes, comfort, and the warmth of love!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Social Kitty

June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month, so if you have always wanted a spunky whiskered creature in your life, now is the perfect time to grant that wish! Cats are filling up shelters, but they all want their forever homes. If you already have a cat, are worried about socializing an older cat, or incorporating a new kitty into your life in general, read on for some tips to help seamlessly socialize your feline.

 Importance of Touch
All living things must be touched in order to feel loved, and in turn happy. This includes your iridescent eyed cat. However, it is important to remember that some cats love to be touched while others like it in small doses. Do not force it. Spend a little time each day, stroking and petting your cat in his or her favorite spots. Give kitty a little treat or some tuna after each petting session to reinforce it as a positive experience. If your cat lashes out, reprimand him or her by saying firmly, "No!"

Playtime and Activity
Cats are young at heart and love to engage in short bursts of activity. Nurture the spirited frisky side of your cat with a scheduled playtime several times a day, which can help strengthen your bond with your cat. If your cat is staying at Morris Animal Inn, we have numerous activities to choose from that will engage your cat. Our Pampered Pet Sessions provide your cat with the hands-on attention he or she receives at home with time for petting, lap time on a rocking chair, and opportunities to view our fish tank. Teaser Play Sessions are less hands on and are fun for any cat. Teaser sessions include teasing with a peacock feather, a mouse, laser light, and a variety of other toys. The Kitty Play Room is ideal for cats desiring more freedom. Allow your cat the chance to explore the fun of our play room that includes climbing and scratching posts, skylights with outside views, toys, catnip, and comfortable furniture.

Strangers=No Danger
Exposing your cat to visitors can be highly beneficial as it forces your feline to adjust to the concept of strange people moving in and around your house, i.e your cat's space. However, do not force people upon your cat. If Fluffy runs and hides that's ok. When your cat grows comfortable with the situation, he or she will eventually emerge to further investigate, which should be encouraged. Urge visitors to speak in low, soft voices and allow your cat to approach them first. Even a visit and overnight stay at Morris Animal Inn can aid in this process as your cat must adapt to new sights, smells, and people. Our staff members are trained to interact with cats and know how to make them comfortable in their new environs.

Though cats can be inherently anti-social, you can help shape your cat’s personality by the way you raise your special kitty!