Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Photo Courtesy of Adactio
As dog lovers, most of us have trouble containing our enthusiasm when a dog is in our vicinity, even for those of us who work with dogs on a daily basis. One would think we'd never seen a dog before or that we were obsessed with them, (oh yeah, that's right, we are.) Whether we are driving in the car, mowing the lawn or taking out the trash seeing a dog stops us in our tracks, generally making squeals and high-pitched tones we didn't know we could make, to erupt. This goes for men and women! Those of us with less self-control race over as though pulled by electromagnetic energy to introduce ourselves to the owner just so we can become best friends with their dog! There are some instances when this is not appropriate and that is when you come across a guide dog. Though it is the very tail end of September (pun definitely intended) it is still important to note that this month is National Guide Dog Month. In light of that, we would like to take some time to explain guide dog etiquette. Here are some helpful tips.

Photo Courtesy of midiman
-It is very crucial to keep your zealous doggie love under control. Guide dogs should not be touched or petted as it is distracting for them. Always remember they are on the job and need to maintain focus.

- Do not call out, whistle or direct other distracting noises at the guide dog. 

- Even when a guide dog is sitting or lying down, they are still working so do not approach the guide dog.

Photo Courtesy of WagsomeDog
- Always remember that a guide dog and their handler have the right of way!

- Do not feed a guide dog. According to Guide Dogs of America, "Diet and feeding times are strictly monitored to maintain good health and reliable relieving schedules."

- If you think a guide dog team needs help or assistance, ask the owner first. Don't grab the leash, harness or the person and start directing them without asking first, unless they are in immediate danger; doing so can disorient and frighten both the dog and handler.

- Fortunately, due to the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act and State Laws, guide dogs and their owners are allowed everywhere the general public is allowed.

- Some guide dog owners do not mind you petting their canine. However, you should always ask them first. If they decline, respect their request.

- If you have ever considered raising a guide dog puppy, it is a great way to give back to the community. Though this is a very popular way to get involved, it is not the only way. Volunteers are needed for a myriad of other jobs and activities. Visit the volunteer section of  The Seeing Eye organization, locally situated in Morristown, NJ to discover more ways to help.
Sources: Guide Dogs of America

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autumnal Events for the Dog Lover

Autumn officially begins this Friday the 23rd. We have already felt its upcoming arrival with temperatures this week and last week dipping into the low 50s. But we truly know fall is upon us when the flannel sheets are taken out to keep us warm at night, pumpkin lattes become the beverage of choice, and leaves and acorns crunch under our feet. Though fall can turn the landscape into a scenic painting, the colder weather can cause some of us to begin our hibernation early, holing up in our warm houses with mugs of apple cider. There’s nothing wrong with that, it happens to be one of the best features of fall. But what about Fido? How can you keep the carefree nature of summer that your pets enjoyed so much going into the cooler months? Not a problem! There are a slew of fall-themed dog events happening this season and we’ve got the low-down!

Fall wouldn’t be the same without this popular canine event! Now in its seventh year, this Eleventh Hour Rescue event has become an autumnal staple of the season. Originally created as a reunion for the shelter’s adopters, it has grown into something much more! This year’s fest will include fun activities, food, music, entertainment, and of course dogs, dogs and more dogs! Additionally, Puptoberfest will feature a bevy of animal friendly vendors including our sister company Morris K9 Campus! Stop by and say hi!
When: 9/24/11  11:00AM-5:00PM
Where: Craigmeur Recreation Complex, Rockaway, NJ

Strong Dogs Day
This is the Somerset Hills YMCA's second year hosting this event which they hope encourages people to get outside and exercise with their dog. There will be a blessing of the dogs at 11:00AM followed by a community dog walk. Games, contests, and prizes will keep the fun going for hours! Stop by Morris Animal Inn's table for free gifts!
When: 9/24/11 10:00AM-1:00PM
Where: Somerset Hills YMCA 140 Mt. Airy Rd Basking Ridge, NJ

Howl N' Hike
Help Noah’s Ark raise funds for their animal shelter this October! Sign up to walk around scenic Horseshoe Lake with your furry companion and other dog owners. Make sure to raise funds ahead of time by collecting pledges from family members, friends, co-workers and anyone who wants to support a good cause. Turn in your pledges the day of the event. The top three people to gather the most pledges, will win awesome prizes! Other activities will include a canine athletics demo, Pet Costume Parade, Jack-O-Lantern Carving Contest, Microchip Clinic, and Adoption Alley that will put adorable pets looking for their forever homes on display!
When: 10/16/11   12:00PM-4:00PM
Where: Horseshoe Lake, Succasunna NJ

Morris K9 Campus Fall Festival: Tips, Tricks and Tails
This exciting event will be held by our sister company, Morris K9 Campus. Festivities will feature flying disc demos, agility demos, doggie dancing, a K9 Costume Parade, “Ask the Trainer” and more! There will be refreshments for dogs and people, prizes, and amazing giveaways! Pick up a key at Morris K9 Campus to see if you can unlock the prizes inside the Haunted Treasure Chest. You just might win a $100 mall gift certificate or a Kindle, among other prizes! Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation of unopened dog or cat food to help feed shelter animals in the area. There will also be on-site dog and cat adoptions from local area shelters such as Eleventh Hour Rescue, Noah’s Ark, and the Randolph Pound.
When: 10/23/11 12:00PM-4:00PM
Where: Morris K9 Campus 1 Aspen Drive, Randolph, NJ

The weather might be getting cooler but dog festivals are just beginning to heat up! So go ahead and sip that cider but don’t forget to take advantage of the temperature dip. This type of weather makes outdoor activities easier on your pet. So make sure to attend these events with Fido in tow!

Other Fall Events (Not Dog Specific)
Morristown Festival on the Green
When: 10/2/11  12:00AM-5:00PM
Where: The Morristown Green and surrounding area

Bernardsville Unity Day
When: 10/1/11  11:00AM-5:00PM
Where: Nervine Memorial Park, Bernardsville, NJ
Morris Animal Inn will have a table at these events! Please stop by, say hello, and win a free giveaway. We would love to see you!

Friday, September 16, 2011


They click on the floor announcing their arrival. They chase after squirrels in the backyard and move faster than you ever thought possible when you fill their food bowl. It's your dog's paws! Your dog’s paws are incredibly important, so we think it is time to pause for the paws and understand a little better how these fascinating parts work and what we as dog owners can do to take care of them.

Most dogs are quadruped which is a fancy, scientific way of saying your dog walks and runs on four feet! According to CanisMajor, dogs walk on their toes like a horse, not on their soles like humans. The four pads on a dog’s feet are essential for absorbing the shock of walking everyday on hard floors and cement sidewalks. They provide an element of traction so that Fido doesn’t slip and slide everywhere (though some slick man-made floors are too much for Mother Nature’s natural non-slip socks). Most dogs have dew claws (an extra nail, higher up on the leg) on the insides of their two front legs, a smaller percentage have dew claws on their hind legs and an even smaller percentage have two dew claws on their back legs. Because dew claws no longer serve a purpose, they are considered vestigial digits, though they can sometimes be helpful for holding a bone between the paws. Since dew claws are placed higher up on the leg, they do not come into contact with the ground. But it is important to remember to trim these nails as they can grow quite long and become uncomfortable for your dog. Because of the dew claws location on the leg, they are sometimes forgotten.

When extreme weather conditions plague us, they also plague your dog’s paws. Very hot temperatures can make pavement scalding to the touch and burn the pads of their paws. As a result, it is crucial to avoid walking your dog during the hottest times of day. Stick to early morning walks or late evening walks as the sun is setting. Likewise, the bitter cold of winter with the salt used on icy sidewalks, can all irritate your pup’s paws, not to mention upset their stomach if licked off their paws. When walking your dog in the winter, make sure to wash their paws after your walk with lukewarm water.

Fido’s nails get naturally filed down from walking on hard floors and cement but some dog’s nails seem to grow faster than others. The longer the nails, the more likely they are to scratch your hardwood floors, your bare legs, or even your face during playtime. Long nails are also uncomfortable for your pet. To keep your pooch comfortable and to protect your skin and the furniture, make sure your dog gets regular nail trims. Trimming your dog’s nails can be tricky especially if you have a dog that despises the procedure, (most dogs do). It is important to be careful not to cut the quick of the nail which is the vein. In clear nails, the quick looks like a darkish line but in black nails it is very difficult to see. To save you the trouble, stop by Morris Animal Inn for a nail trim and a filing.

Photo Courtesy of luluemon athletica
This issue can easily become every dog owner’s worst nightmare. What starts as a seemingly innocuous habit done out of boredom can quickly turn into an obsessive routine that can turn your pup’s paw red and raw. Unfortunately, the cause of this habit can be attributed to many factors including boredom, irritation, allergies, and stress. If your dog is in an incessant paw-licker, consult your veterinarian to determine the cause.

If you follow some of these paw tips you will keep Fido pawsitively healthy and walking proud!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe Outside

Irene came and went. In her wake, she left a path of destruction: downed power lines, uprooted trees, and rivers where streets once were. If your backyard was ruined, here are some things to consider when rebuidling your yard in order to keep your canine safe from certain hazards.

Fence In Your Yard
Photo of Courtesy Nash
Dogs are natural born explorers with little regard for a map or compass, relying solely on their olfactory senses and stellar hearing capabilities. They can hear and smell interesting stimuli that is outside the perimeter of your yard. Unfortunately, these senses may not always be enough to lead them back to home sweet home. Because there is nothing more upsetting than a lost dog, it is highly important your yard is fully fenced in to prevent this from happening. If your dog is a jumper or a large breed dog, make sure to install a tall fence that is sturdy, strong, and can resist the repeated pressure of your dog jumping against it. If your dog likes to dig, it is crucial to reinforce the fence in order to deter your pooch from recreating a scene out of The Great Escape and tunneling to the other side. Make sure the fence is placed deep in the ground so this scenario cannot happen. Do not place objects like garbage cans near a fence that your canine can jump on and use as a trampoline to hop over the fence. Remember, if you are an owner that leaves your dog chained to a tree in the yard, it is not the safest option if you are not there to monitor and there is no fence. The rope or chain can easily break and your dog can get loose.

Lawn Maintenance
Before applying fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides, remove any water bowls or dog toys from the yard. Wait until chemicals have completely dried up. Some sources suggest waiting up to four days before allowing your dog to go out in the yard. Consider applying the chemicals in shifts and monitor your pup when outside to ensure he or she steers clear of the infected area for the suggested time frame. Keep chemicals in its original packaging and store them in a spot your pet cannot access. According to the ASPCA Poison Control Center, cocoa mulch, if heavily ingested can have a similar effect on dogs as chocolate causing vomiting and diarrhea, so steer clear of this mulch. The most poisonous pesticides for dogs are slug and snail bait, gopher and rat poison, fly bait and systemic insecticides. For the safety of your precious pooch, it is best to invest in natural, organic, and chemical-free lawn substances to avoid this situation all together.

Photo Courtesy of tar0
The potholes that continue to plague your driveway every year after winter may make you crazy but you should also turn your attention to the divets and holes dotting your grassy yard. If your dog takes off after a squirrel or rabbit and their paw happens to land in a hole, your pooch is liable to strain a muscle or sprain an ankle. Patch up holes with topsoil and replant grass in these areas. Enlist the help of a landscaper if lawn maintenance is not your speciality.

Letting your dog out in the backyard should be an easy way for your pooch to enjoy the outdoors. If you follow these simple steps to safeguard your yard for Fido, it can be a walk in the park.