Category Archives: Abingdon Dog Walker

Give Back to the Shelter pets this season

Ways to give back during the holidays

 

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are quickly approaching! Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? This time of year is such a great time to give back. Here is a list of ideas on ways to give back to the community:

-Volunteer at a local animal shelter- Shelters are always in need of extra hands with many tasks that need to be done.  This is especially true around the Holidays.

– Check out events the local animal shelters are doing during the holiday season. They always have ways to give back such as a Pet Photo with Santa at the Baltimore Humane Society. Money raised will go back to the shelters.

– Buy some extra pet food- When you are shopping for your own pet, buy some extra and donate to the local animal shelter for the pets in need. You can also donate items such as blankets, peanut butter, kongs, etc. You could also organize your own pet food drive in your community and donate a huge amount of items to the shelter.

– Become a foster parent- when you foster one animal you are actually saving two because the one you are fostering now has an open cage at the shelter for another animal. This is one of the best things you can do to give back. Many people say they could never foster because it’s so hard to say bye but you have to remember the impact you are making and all of the pets you are saving.

– Some shelters offer a program called Shelter Buddies Reading Program. You can take your child and they can read to the shelter animals. This helps but the child and the dogs. It calms the pets and your child gets to practice their reading skills.

– Adopt- what’s a better than giving a shelter animal a forever home?

 

We would love to hear of any ways that you like to give back during the holiday season!

Preparing dog for baby

Preparing Dog for Baby

 

Canine Urinary Diseases

Some of you may know that Scott and I are expecting our first little one in November…coming down the home stretch now! One of the first things we did when we found out we were pregnant was start the process of preparing our first kids (our pups) for this big change in our lives. Preparation is the best way to make the transition as smooth as possible- babies come with all sorts of new things- sounds, machines that move (rock n plays), tiredness, and change in schedule.

A great resource to learn how to welcome baby into the home with your pups is Family Paws. They have a great online class that you can take which we found super helpful. They also have a hotline where you can call with any of your questions. It is also good to talk to your vet and see what they recommend on ways to prepare. Here are some of the things we have done that have been recommended:

  • Carry around a baby doll- yes this might seem weird and believe me it did for us at first but we will do anything to keep our pups safe, happy, and comfortable. Doing this teaches the pups respect of your space and gets them used to you carrying around something because when do we walk around the house just carrying something?
  • Set up all the baby things- baby machines can be strange to dogs- have they ever seen a Rock n Play before? Bring the car seat in and out of the house so the dogs can get used to seeing it and teach them to give you space when coming in and out. Have they ever seen a stroller? Bringing all of these things out before will get them prepared.
  • Play crying baby sounds- condition your pups to the noise and give them treats during so it is a positive. As the dog gets more comfortable increase the volume the next time.
  • Teach them commands- “Lay down” is one that we have made sure our dogs know so that when they are getting to be a little too much we can say “lay down” and they will go to their dog beds for calm time.

Even if you think your dog is going to be a rockstar with meeting your baby it is always best to set them up for success and preparing them! And remember that just because your dog is doing great with the baby stage, toddlers are a whole different thing since they are mobile so we have to prepare for all stages of children.

 

Indoor games for your pup

Indoor Games for your pup

Indoor games

With these hot and humid days, our pups are probably getting a little bit stir crazy because their walks are shortened! Even though the weather isn’t ideal for a nice walk outside,    you can still burn some of your pups energy while inside with these games.

Tossing around a toy is a oldie but goodie. If your dog likes to fetch outdoors he will probably like to do the same inside. Pick a room that is large enough and remove any clutter that might get in the way of play time. If your dog doesn’t have the best manners when dropping a toy you can practice that command during this play time as well. Have fun playing until your pup gets tired.

The next indoor game you can play is hide and seek. Dogs love searching for treats and it is a great stimulation. Once they find the food they are confident and a sense of accomplishment. Tell your dog to sit and stay and then you walk around the room hiding a treat. When it is time for him to search say “find it.” The excitement you will see on your pups face will be priceless. Some good hiding spots are under tables, behind doors, and next to furniture. If your dog is not used to the “find it” game you might have to start out with leading him to the treats until he learns the command. Once your pup consistently finds the treats then move to new spots to keep him stimulated and so he continues to have fun.


Next up is the shell game. Many pups enjoy this game because they have to really use their brain and they get treats! You will need three solo cups and treats. Show your pup the treat and then place the treat under one of the cups. When your pup moves the cup lift it up and let him have the treat and praise him. If your pup is not getting the hang of the game at first you can use a clear cup. Now do two cups on the floor and place a treat under one cup. Move the cups around a couple of times. When he shows you where the treat is, give it to him and praise. Once he gets the hang of it use three cups and watch him have a blast.


Hope you all enjoy these fun indoor games with your pups!

Create the best play date!

Create the best play date

Does your dog need some enrichment? A play date might be in order then- It will provide physical exercise and mental stimulation which will give you a happy and tired pup! Creating a safe play date is important as it will be a positive experience for your pup and he will want to continue to enjoy them if its a positive experience.

 

Now before you schedule a play date with any dog, it is best to prepare. You will need to evaluate if your dog likes to interact with other dogs. There are some dogs that do not do well with others and that’s fine….they just won’t be having a play date…take them on a nice hike instead!  The next thing you will have to ask yourself is how confident is your dog with new dogs and people? The next important question is, does your dog do any resource guarding of things around other dogs? If so, take away toys and food and water bowls. If you have no doubts with any of these precautions, you can proceed with setting up a play date. Once you find your play date partner, begin to introduce them outside of a home by walking on leash and then you can bring them into the home or yard. This will help with any territorial issues and to make sure they are comfortable. The most important reminder is to take it slow. Keep an eye out on the dog’s body language.  If they are stiff they are not comfortable in the environment and its time to get them out of the area. Your dog might not like every single dog they meet and that’s ok, just time to find another pup for another time.

 

Play dates can be a great enrichment for your pup when they are done safely. It builds their confidence and helps build their social skills with other dogs and people too! Have fun!

Spring Fun

Spring Fun!

Dreaming of warmer weather!

                                                                                                          Dreaming of warmer weather!

Less than one month til spring and boy are we ready over here! We love walking all the pups, but it is way better when it is warmer out! Here are some ideas to look into to get rid of that cabin fever… an added bonus…a tired pup is a happy pup and after some of these activities they will be one happy dog!

 

Hiking- Around us we have some awesome trails. Nothing better than getting outside in the fresh air with your pups. They will love walking the trails with all the new scents. Going up hills is also a great leg workout. If you are doing some hiking near some water like a pond or lake and its safe let your pup play in the water or even swim.  When planning a hike, make sure you have all your supplies like a non- retractable leash, water, collapsible bowl, treats, poop bags, and a small first- aid kit.

 

Standup Paddleboarding- I love SUP and it would be even better if I could do it with my pups but neither are big fans of the water. It’s still too chilly in Maryland for playing in the water but now is the time to get your pup acclimated with the board. Your pup can take a break too and go swimming. To get your four-legged pal ready to SUP practice on flat ground first. It is best to use positive reinforcement and some treats to get him comfortable. Once he is comfortable then you can move on to shallow water and do a short paddle. Then you build up from there. Always make sure he has a floatation device no matter how good of a swimmer Fido is. Equipment that you will need are 6 foot retractable leash, personal flotation device for your pup, sunscreen- dog and human, and cell phone cover so your phone is safe.

 

Agility or Boot camp- These classes are becoming quite popular. Its an awesome way to get Fido to release some of that extra energy. Find a class with near you that has a good reputation. If you have a short snouted dog like a French Bulldog this might be the best class. For smaller dogs try Doga Yoga! Equipment needed are a 6-foot leash, harness, treats, and water.

 

Have fun and take your time easing into the new activity!

 

Ways to give back

Volunteering, a way to give back

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With us almost into February you might be looking over your resolutions and noticing that you have written down that you want to give back and volunteer your time but are not sure where to begin. February is also a time to spread love for Valentines Day and what better way to spread love than by walking precious dogs at your local shelter?

 

A great volunteer opportunity is to become a dog walker at BARCS- Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter which is located in Baltimore city. The volunteer hours are nice because you can start volunteering as early as 8:30 AM. The 10-15 minutes that you are walking that dog might be the only highlight of the day- getting out into the fresh air, smelling the new scents, and getting some belly rubs too! If you are not interested in dog walking, they have countless other ways to volunteer, such as being a transporter, greeter, matchmaker, doing laundry, or working at events.

 

If you are interested in volunteering with your pet included, you should look into Pets On Wheels. Once your pet is approved in the program you can start making visits to assigned  places like assisted living, schools, libraries etc. each month.

 

Another local place to volunteer is the Harford Humane Society. They have similar volunteer opportunities like BARCS where you can walk dogs. You can also socialize the cats where you visit with at the shelter to make them feel more comfortable. You could also be a matchmaker where you help possible adopters successfully match with a animal in need of a home.


If your schedule doesn’t allow for you to volunteer you can always download the “Walk the Dog” app and for miles walked they will donate to the shelter of your choice. You can do two awesome things at once- walk your pup while giving back!


Volunteering not only helps out the animals but it also makes you feel great too! Have fun with it!

Weekend Getaway with your pups!

Weekend Getaway with your pups

Its official, its winter time, and its cold! Who else is counting down the days til spring? I know we are! To keep from getting cabin fever it might be a good time to plan a weekend getaway for you and your pup! Virginia might be the perfect place to visit with many awesome destinations like Alexandria, Virginia Beach, and Richmond.

 

Alexandria has great places to explore.  When you want to take Fido for a walk to release some energy, check out Founders Park, which offers views of the Potomac River. For a dog- friendly hotel option, you can stay at the Kimpton Lorien Hotel and Spa. They have dog pillows, a dog bed, and bowls. For a bite to eat, check out Lost Dog cafe for some good food.

 

Virginia Beach is another great spot. One of the best parts is that the beach is dog friendly during all of the seasons except the summer. A dog friendly hotel is The Founders Inn and Spa. They have rooms that are dog- friendly located next to a on-site dog park. For shopping, check out Mrs. Bones Bowtique for some special goodies for your pets. If your pup isn’t a fan of the beach you can make a stop at Woodstock Dog Park or Bayville Farms Park.

 

The third destination is Richmond. To get some exercise you will want to check out James River. When you need to relax you will want to stay at Quirk hotel that allows dog up to 70 lbs. When you check in with your pup they will get a doggy bag with treats, and waste bags. You can also request a dog bed for them. There is also a park about 2 blocks away so Fido can stretch his legs! After your burn some energy treat your pup to a doggie cookie at Abbella cakes Dog Bakery.


If you do a weekend getaway we would love to see a picture of your pup enjoying themselves!

Holiday Gift Guide

Its the most wonderful time of the year!

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are here! I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year! I especially love getting gifts for my fur babies! There’s already a few gifts under the tree and our pup Kooper keeps going over and sniffing out his gift! Here is our annual list of gift ideas.

 

For your Pup

  • A dog bed- perfect for those cold winter days where they can snuggle up in and be nice and cozy
  • Crumps dog treats- Our dogs love the Sweet Potato Chews so much they do zoomies when they sniff them out in the Amazon box.
  • KONG- this is one of my favorites- fill it up with some peanut butter and banana and it will keep your pups distracted and stimulated
  • Barkbox- this box usually includes a toy, treats, and a chew
  • A new collar- is your pups collar looking a little shaggy? Find some cute ones on Etsy.

 

For you Cat

  • A new cat bed- upgrade your cats bed so they have a nice place to relax
  • Kitty treats – nothing better than a special treat
  • A Bergan Turbo Cat Scratcher toy- this durable toy will keep your cat active and will provide fun for your companion

 

For your Pet lover friends and family

  • Pop Your Pup shirt- Nothing says ultimate dog mom like one of these shirts! All you have to do is send in a picture of your pet you want to use and pick the cool background
  • Personalized ornament with their pets name on it
  • Dogist Book– this would be the perfect book for the coffee table
  • The Book: A Dog’s Purpose – this book is good! All dog lovers will appreciate this read
  • A gift certificate for an Agility class with Fido
  • Apparel- How cute is this shirt at Life is Good?

 

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

 

Canine Urinary Diseases

Canine Urinary Diseases

 

Canine Urinary Diseases

 

We all want to keep our pups happy and healthy. Our pups can get diseases just like humans and it’s important to notify your veterinarian of any unusual changes. Catching conditions early can lessen the severity of the disease. Here are some of the top urinary diseases dogs can have and the symptoms that come with each disease:

 

Kidney Infection– This can be caused by bacteria and having a weakened immune system can make your pet more susceptible to bacterial infections. Common symptoms are changes in the amount of urine,  vomiting, weight loss, bloody urine, lethargy, pale gums, bad breath, and reduced appetite.

 

– Kidney and/ or bladder stones– There are many causes for stones but one of the biggest ones in high levels of calcium. Some dog breeds are more prone to kidney stones than others such as Shih Tzus. Symptoms to look for are discolored urine, straining to urinate,  and frequent times to pee.

 

Cushing’s Disease– this condition is caused from an high production of cortisol released by the adrenal glands. Older pups are at a higher risk of getting this disease. Symptoms to look for are excessive urination, increased hunger and thirst, infections, and loss of muscle and bone mass.

 

Urinary Tract Infection– Common causes are from bacterial infections like Streptococcus and Escherichia coli. Upper urinary tract infections affect the kidneys and ureters and a lower urinary tract infections affects the bladder and urethra. Likely symptoms are inability to pee, straining when trying to urinate, increased amount and frequency to pee, vomiting, back pain, obsessive licking of the genital area, and bloody and cloudy urine.

 

Diabetes– This is a chronic metabolism disorder which affects the glucose-insulin connection. Early symptoms are weight loss, increased appetite, and increased urination. If the disease has progressed it could bring on loss of appetite, vomiting, low energy and eventually can bring on kidney failure, cataracts, and UTI’s.

 

As always, if you notice any changes in your dogs everyday routine or behavior contact your vet to make sure Fido is healthy.

A Doggone problem- pee in the house

A Doggone problem- pee accidents in the house

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Do you have a pup that has accidents in the house? There are a few reasons why Fido is peeing in the house. Understanding why will help to stop the bad habit- here are four major reasons why- your pup is not house trained, he is sick or a senior, he is dealing with anxiety, or your dog is marking.

 

When it comes to house training your pup it is so important to use positive reinforcement. Look into trainers in your area that use positive reinforcement techniques. You could also look into doggie daycare or a professional dog walker that could help him engage in healthy activity. If he is having accidents when you are gone it could be caused from separation anxiety. If peeing in the house is something new that your pup is doing it is best to check in with your vet. It could be a health issue that is causing the accidents in the house.  If he is marking it is best to  clean up the spot right away, keep new things out of sight, get your pups spayed and neutered.

 

What to do if he has had an accident – pee cleaning techniques- the faster you clean it up the less likely the smell will linger, place a paper towel on top of the area and blot up the mess. You do not want to rub until all the moisture is removed. Then blot that area with clean water.

 

If you didn’t get to the spot before it dried you will want to use a pet odor neutralizer or try a more natural way with covering with baking soda overnight and blotting with a vinegar/water solution in the morning. If this doesn’t work for all of the spots then try hydrogen peroxide for the pesky spots but before you do this test a spot first. You do not want to use a steam cleaner because the heat will  recharge the smell and make it a lot worse. If the smell and stain are still there call in the professionals!