The World According to Cooper

RSS

By Stacie Greene, PetSafe Supply Chain Specialist

That's me, Cooper. I'd rather stay inside when the weather gets crazy!

That’s me, Cooper. I’d rather stay inside when the weather gets crazy!

I’m SNO-VER IT!!

Hey everybody!  I don’t know about everyone else, but I am sooo over the snow.  At first I loved it.  It’s fun to run and play in and chase snow balls.  We have had a lot of snow in the south this year. I think I reached my breaking point with snow when we got 6 inches last week, and my mom had to dig a path out for me to go potty.  How embarrassing!!  I hate to admit it, but 6 inches of snow is too tall for me to do anything in, if ya know what I mean.

I’m ready for spring.  I want warm weather, long days and more time to play outside and go to the park.  I can’t wait for fresh cut grass instead of the mushy wet cold ground that we have right now.  It’s time to get spring fever and kick up my heels.  Doesn’t that sound like the absolute best?

One of my best buddies here at work, Bruiser, was snowed in up in Indiana for the entire month of January and the first half of February.  He is my pal and I really missed him.  He is back in Tennessee now and back to work.  We can start our cookie games again!

One other thing that I will not miss about snow is not coming to work.  I know my mom likes to work from home now and then, but I hate it.  I want to come to work and see my friends, and play and eat as many cookies as we can find people to hand them out.

So I am SNO-VER it and ready get Spring fever!  How about you?

Talk to you soon,

Cooper

Leave Comment

Dog Dental Health Tips

RSS

By Toni Gibson-Mark, KPA-CTP

Sadie, a Petsafe “employee” is all smiles!

Sadie, a Petsafe “employee” is all smiles!

February is National Pet Dental Month, and what an important month that is!  You might have seen lots of articles about how to brush your dog’s teeth and veterinarians running specials on dental cleanings.  The reason why all of this happens is because, unfortunately, doggy teeth rarely get enough attention from their owners.  Owners are left with the myths that dogs clean their own teeth with their kibble, or that dog teeth don’t need to be cleaned at all.  But beliefs like that often lead to neglected teeth, major tartar build-up, and potentially life-threatening infection.

There are hundreds of articles out there this month that emphasize the importance of taking care of your dog’s teeth.  To avoid repeating, I’ll focus on a few things that those articles might not have covered.  These factors can play a tremendous role in cleaning your dog’s teeth.

Doggy dental toys- are a terrific addition to your “Doggy Dental toolkit!”  There are several different types of dental toys.  The two most popular are rubber toys and nylon toys.  Rubber toys usually have little rubber ridges or nobs to scrape against the teeth and massage the gums.  Nylon toys are a much harder material and as the dog chews, the toy scrapes the teeth.  Both of these types of toys may come with a dental treat or some sort of toothpaste that encourage the dog to play and chew on the toy.

Both of these toys have advantages and disadvantages, which means there is one very important rule of thumb—SUPERVISION!  While nylon toys do a great job scraping the teeth, they are also very hard and can potentially break teeth if a dog chews too hard.  Unfortunately, many broken teeth need to be removed due to the risk of infection.  That surgery can be very expensive!  To avoid this problem, supervise your dog with nylon toys.  If they seem to get a really good grip on a toy and chew very hard, take away the toy for a little while.  Also, you might want to consider finding nylon toys that a dog cannot fit in the back of his mouth as easily so he can’t bite down as hard.

The Busy Buddy Nobbly Nubbly is a great option because the ends are much thicker/wider and dogs have a harder time getting them in their back molars.

The Busy Buddy Nobbly Nubbly is a great option because the ends are much thicker/wider and dogs have a harder time getting them in their back molars.

Rubber toys also pose risks.  Because rubber is not as durable as nylon, it is possible for rubber to be chewed up.  Chewed up pieces can be ingested and may not pass through a dog’s digestive system.  This can also lead to very expensive surgery.  When your dog is chewing on a rubber toy, it’s important to supervise so that you can remove any damaged or chewed up pieces.

 

The indigo Triple Chew treats are a great long-lasting dental option for dogs!

The indigo Triple Chew treats are a great long-lasting dental option for dogs!

Dental treats- are also great additions to a “Doggy Dental Toolkit”.  There are several treats on the market that are good for dog teeth, such as bully sticks or pig ears.  Several of them require the dog to chew them for a while, which scrapes the tartar off of the teeth.  However, this lengthy chew time might mean that you need to pick up the treat from your dog to give him a break or so he can finish it later.  For some dogs, this might not go over very well.

Dental treats can be some of the tastiest treats or food your dog will get.  When you try to take it away, the dog might get frustrated or even aggressive.  Of course they don’t want you to take away their treat!  Consider your dog’s perspective—what if you had the perfect, tastiest, most wonderful cupcake—and then someone snatched it away before you could finish?  You’d be upset too!

This is when safety should be your number one concern.  If you don’t have a reliable “Drop it” on cue, you’ll need a safe way to take the treat away from your dog.  You should always offer a “trade” for the dental treat.  You don’t want the dog to make the association that when people come around, their favorite things get removed and they’re left with nothing.  Instead, you want to make the association that when people come around, they might offer something absolutely wonderful.  When you are ready to take the dental treat away from your dog, offer the dog a few really tasty treats, such as pieces of cheese or hot dog.  When the dog drops the dental treat and is focused on getting the other tasty treats, take the dental treat away.  Put the dental treat away and reward your dog again with a few more tasty treats for a job well done.

If your dog growls at you for trying to remove the dental treat, do not take it away.  Your dog is growling as a warning- he is asking you to leave his treat alone.  If you take his treat anyway, he could learn that you disregard his warnings and you can’t be trusted.  This could mean that he won’t give you a warning next time- perhaps he’ll escalate right to a bite.

At first, some dogs might be uncomfortable with you handling their mouth and teeth.  Be sure to slowly acclimate your dog to the brushing so that it stays a safe process that you can do again and again.

At first, some dogs might be uncomfortable with you handling their mouth and teeth. Be sure to slowly acclimate your dog to the brushing so that it stays a safe process that you can do again and again.

Instead, find something that is equally rewarding and do the “trade” with your dog.  Having a stress-free interaction as you take away his dental treat will teach your dog that he can trust you.

Don’t ever yell or try to “dominate” your dog over a dental treat.  This is a sure-fire way to escalate your dog’s stress, ensuring that he definitely won’t trust you next time he has a dental treat.  Keep the situation calm, relaxed, and quiet.  You want it to be “no big deal” that you took the dental treat.

Brushing your dog’s teeth- is one of the best things you can do to ensure doggy dental health.  However, this can be stressful for both you and your dog if you aren’t used to it.  Dogs aren’t used to having a toothbrush or a finger brush rubbing around in their mouth, and most likely, all they really want is for you to leave them alone so they can lick the toothpaste.

There are several different types of toothbrushes, finger brushes and toothpastes on the market.  Regardless of which types you use, you’ll want to slowly acclimate your dog to getting his teeth brushed.  First, introduce your dog to the toothbrush or finger brush by putting something tasty on the brush and letting your dog lick it off.  When your dog seems comfortable, you can begin brushing his teeth.  Don’t do your entire dog’s mouth in one session—as your dog is getting acclimated to the brushing, do only a few teeth at a time and then give your dog a  break.

The more often you work with your dog, the quicker he’ll get comfortable with getting his teeth brushed.  Many veterinarians recommend brushing your dog’s teeth a few times per week, but you can actually brush them every day if you’d like.  With practice, you’ll soon be able to brush your dog’s entire mouth in one sitting.

As your dog is getting used to having his teeth brushed, pay very careful attention to his body language.  Does he seem stressed out?  If so, stop and slow down the process.  Brushing a dog’s teeth requires a person to be pretty close to a dog’s face and obviously very involved in the mouth.  If your dog seems stressed, this can quickly escalate to growling or even a bite.  Taking the training process as slowly as your dog requires is important to having a successful future with getting his teeth brushed.

Some puppies are extremely excitable and will think that brushing their teeth is a fun game.  Make sure to keep them calm so you can avoid unnecessary playful puppy bites to your fingers.

Some puppies are extremely excitable and will think that brushing their teeth is a fun game. Make sure to keep them calm so you can avoid unnecessary playful puppy bites to your fingers.

If you’re starting your puppy off right, you might begin by brushing their teeth during their socialization period.  (Even though puppies will lose their baby teeth, it’s a great idea to brush them anyway- it gets them used to you doing it, so when their adult teeth come in, it won’t be an issue!)  This is great!  However, some puppies might get overly excited by you brushing their teeth—they love your hands in/near their mouths!  Consider brushing their teeth during a calm period, such as when they’re sleepy or after a long walk.  If they start to chew on your fingers or brush playfully, stop brushing their teeth and walk away.  When they do a great job, give them verbal praise and/or a tasty treat to let them know they got it right!  Don’t yell or punish your puppy—it will just confuse them.  They assume that you put the brush or hands there for them to play with, and we can’t blame them for thinking that!  The best thing we can do is reward them for a good job and ignore the bad behavior.

Doggy dental health is extremely important.  If a dog’s teeth are neglected, it can cost hundreds of dollars to fix them.  Bad breath, dental cleanings and surgery to remove broken or rotten teeth can be avoided if an owner takes proper care of their dog’s teeth.  Just as important, rotten teeth and tartar build-up can lead to a lot of health related problems, so taking care of your dog’s teeth is important for a dog’s health and well-being.

Having an expansive “Doggy Dental Toolkit” equipped with dental toys, treats and brushing supplies can be the first step in maintaining great dental health.  You’ll also want to make sure that you discuss your dog’s teeth at every vet visit.  This might include conversations about how to prevent problems and how to deal with any potential problems that might already exist, such as tartar build-up or broken teeth.

Happy smiling!

1 Comment

WORLD SPAY DAY – an OUNCE of PREVENTION

RSS

By Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances

Jim with adopted dogs Bodie and Sam.

Jim with adopted dogs Bodie and Sam.

I’ll bet most of you didn’t know that we’re rapidly approaching one of the most important days of the year when it comes to the health and well-being of dogs, cats and other companion animals. In terms of saving lives, the last Tuesday in February is like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July all combined into one very special day.

I refer, of course, to World Spay Day which, this year, we celebrate on February 25, 2014.  This annual event, established by The Humane Society of the United States and other national/international animal protection organizations, brings attention to the importance of spaying or neutering our pets as a means of saving lives.

While major progress has been made in reducing pet overpopulation, there are still many places in the United States and beyond dealing with far more unwanted dogs, cats, puppies and kittens than can possibly be placed into loving permanent homes.  It is hard to imagine in this day and age, when we have such a clear understanding of how to combat pet overpopulation, that hundreds of thousands of animals continue to lose their lives in shelters and on the streets.

An estimated 6-8 million homeless pets enter shelters in the US every year.  Over 2.5 million are euthanized simply for lack of available homes.  Most of them are healthy, well-adjusted pets who just needed a second chance – a second chance that did not exist.  And, most of these discarded pets were not the result of strays or street-dogs, most were the result of irresponsible pet owners who allowed their pets’ breeding to go unchecked.

World Spay Day provides an opportunity to remember those animals who have fallen through the cracks of society, and to recommit the energy needed to finally put an end to the unwanted birth and needless death of our closest animal companions.  If dogs (and cats) really are our “best friends,” it is time for society to prove it.  A simple surgical procedure keeps our pets happier and healthier, and brings the cycle of pet overpopulation to an end once and for all.

Get in touch with your humane society, SPCA or animal care and control agency to find out what events have been planned for your community and find out how you can best help in the effort.  Worldwide events include low-cost (or free) spay/neuter clinics, preventative veterinary services for low-income families, fundraising events to benefit spay/neuter clinics or programs and educational campaigns to bring awareness to communities of the importance of responsible pet ownership including surgical sterilization.

If you can’t find an event in your area, start one!  Recruit your friends, family and neighbors to participate.  For more information, visit https://worldspayday.org/.  Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Nowhere in modern society is that statement more applicable than in reference to pet overpopulation.  Especially when one considers that a simple surgical procedure is the “ounce of prevention”.  This is a far better option than the tragic loss of life still used as the “pound of cure” in much of the world.

Leave Comment

Improve Your Pet’s Dental Health: Prevention, Diagnosis & Treatment of Periodontal Disease

RSS

By Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD

A healthy smile starts with great pet dental health!

A healthy smile starts with great pet dental health!

Although February is Pet Dental Health Month, you shouldn’t wait until this wintery month rolls around to promote your pets’ dental health. Keep your pet’s mouth healthy all year long by taking good care of your  pet’s teeth through a combination of professional and home dental care.

Facts About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is one of most common we veterinarians diagnose. Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) estimates that more than 80% of pets in the U.S. experience gum disease by age three. Like obesity, it is a preventable condition causing potentially irreversible and life-threatening health problems.

It’s not just your pet’s teeth that affect oral health. Your pet’s teeth, gums and supportive structures including periodontal ligament and alveolar bone can all be affected by poor oral hygiene. Periodontal disease starts with bacteria that form a thin layer called plaque on tooth surfaces above and below the gumline. Over time, plaque accumulates and forms tooth-staining tartar, which appears yellow to brown. Tartar then mineralizes into calculus, which is a thick, shell-like covering.

This process isn’t something that takes years to develop either. Carbohydrate residues create a prime medium on tooth and gum surfaces on which bacteria can thrive within the dark, warm, and moist environment of the mouth within hours of eating.

Negative Effects of Poor Oral Health

Mild tartar gingivitis can build-up without proper dental health care.

Mild tartar gingivitis can build-up without proper dental health care.

The old wives’ tale of dog and cat mouths being cleaner than human mouths is not true. Dog and cat mouths are quite unsanitary and house plenty of bacteria that could harm their internal organs or people who are bitten by a pet.

The multiple facets of periodontal disease permits bacteria to move from the mouth into the blood and cause damage to the heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and other body systems. Bacteria can also be inhaled into the respiratory tract and contribute to breathing problems including coughing, snoring, sneezing, wheezing, tracheal collapse and pneumonia.

Inflammation created by periodontal disease also negatively affects the immune system. White blood cells and inflammatory mediators that could otherwise be used to manage infection and inflammation in other body parts are targeted toward the mouth to keep bacteria from entering the blood. Poor oral health also causes unnecessary immune system stimulation and can contribute to autoimmune diseases including IMHA and IMTP.

Periodontal Diagnosis & Treatment

The good news for pet owners is that there are many ways that periodontal disease can be treated in our canine and feline companions, including brushing, water additives, and dental cleanings either with or without anesthesia. In the veterinary world, there is some controversy about these procedures, as they vastly differ in their abilities to promote the best states of periodontal health.

The most thorough dental is performed under anesthesia. When a pet has been immobilized by an anesthetic, all tooth surfaces can be thoroughly evaluated both visually and via dental x-rays and then cleaned and polished. As a significant degree of periodontal disease occurs under the gumline, x-rays are vital to diagnosis and addressing problems that are otherwise unseen to the naked eye. Scaling under the gumline, extracting teeth, and thoroughly polishing tooth surfaces is nearly impossible with an awake or less than cooperative patient.An endotracheal tube also prevents aerosolized bacteria, chunks of tartar and calculus, and oral cavity fluids from entering the respiratory tract via the trachea.

An anesthesia-free dental can still help improve oral cavity health in the face of periodontal disease, but it will not be as thorough. American Veterinary Dental Society fellow Dr. Brett Beckman weighs in on non-anesthetic dentistry, stating that “most non-professional dental cleanings are done using some sort of hand curette. These tools cause scarring and micro-pitting of the enamel surface and this can actually accelerate plaque retention and tartar build-up!” Essential in the dental care process is the step of polishing the tooth to smooth out enamel surfaces to reduce bacterial attachment, which is ineffectively performed without anesthesia.

There are some cases where an anesthesia-free dental cleaning is a good option. Cooperative pets with mild dental disease who have health concerns that put them at risk for anesthetic complications (heart, lung, kidney, and liver diseases, etc.) are appropriate candidates for dental cleaning without anesthesia. In such cases, veterinary practitioners need to be flexible and offer the dental procedure that fits the patient’s needs even if it is not the best dental strategy available.

Preventing Periodontal Disease

Give your dogs an indigo dental treat from PetSafe!

Give your dogs an indigo dental treat from PetSafe!

The best practice is to prevent periodontal disease from happening instead of addressing it once bad breath or another associated health issues affect your pet. This takes dedication and consistency from you.

When raising a child, parents brush their kid’s teeth until the child is able to do so on his own. Our dogs and cats never mature to the life stage where they are fully capable of addressing their dental health without at least some human assistance. Promoting pet periodontal health is a lifelong concern.

Although most pet owners like to think that their pet’s dry food and chewing habits sufficiently promote optimal dental health, this is far from the truth. Dry food (kibble) shatters when the pet’s tooth penetrates the surface and provides no cleansing effect unless a veterinary prescription dental diet is fed. Instead of being thoroughly chewed, kibble is often gulped down whole and provides no teeth-cleaning effect, leading to excessive calorie consumption and inefficient digestion of food.

Pets who like to chew toys, bones or dental treats can help to improve their own periodontal health. This is a great step but an incomplete one. Overzealous chewing of hard materials can lead to dental fractures and gingival bleeding, so watch your pet’s chewing habits.

Not all tooth surfaces or mouth parts are cleaned by the chewing process. You’ll still need to clean your pet’s teeth on a daily basis with a moistened toothbrush or dental wipe and a pet-friendly toothpaste. Start daily cleaning early in your pet’s life so your pet can get used to the process. Your pet will thank you for your dental health promoting efforts.

Leave Comment

What Is Your Cat Trying to Tell You?

RSS

By Roslyn McKenna, PetSafe Web Content Specialist

Cats seem to have a million different meows, including “Feed me,” “Stop typing and pet me,” “I hate the dog,” and “Please let me out so I can murder that squirrel by the window.” And cats don’t just use meows to communicate with you either. Your cat’s body language is the best way to understand what your cat is trying to tell you. Learn what your cat is saying with meows and body language, and teach your cat a few words to improve your communication skills.

Cat Body Language

Kneading, slow blinks, headbutts, licking and purring are all signs that your cat is content.

Lily is very comfy on my lap. She’s kneading, purring, and giving slow blinks.

Lily is very comfy on my lap. She’s kneading, purring, and giving slow blinks.

When your cat looks at you and slowly opens and closes her eyes, she’s telling you she’s happy and comfortable. She might look like she’s sleepy, but she’s really saying she loves you. You can try to communicate back by doing the same thing. When my cat’s cuddling on my lap and giving me slow blinks, I give her the same look back. She often responds by giving me a headbutt or licking my chin.

Purring usually means your cat’s relaxed, but sometimes cats purr when they’re nervous. If you’ve ever been to the vet and wondered why your cat was purring, it’s because she was feeling anxious. Cats purr to comfort themselves when they’re stressed.

Your cat’s tail can tell you a lot about her mood. If your cat’s tail is slightly curved or straight and quivering, she’s happy. A puffed-up tail means she’s angry or scared. If her tail’s swishing back and forth, she’s excited or upset.

Teaching Your Cat Your Language

Is it shower time?

Is it shower time?

Teaching your cat to speak human is pretty easy too. You’ve probably already trained your cat something, even if you don’t realize it. Does your cat come when she hears the can opener, expecting some tuna juice or wet food? Does she always know when it’s time for snuggling in bed? Do you have a special signal for your cat to come to you, like a crooked finger or a “kitty, kitty, kitty?” Many cats learn patterns and routines like these easily.

You can also deliberately teach your cat. For example, if you want your cat to learn to come when you say the word “treat,” say “treat” repeatedly while shaking the treat bag and giving your cat treats. Or if you want your cat to cuddle in bed with you, say “bedtime” or “sleep” repeatedly as you turn out the lights in the house and go into the bedroom (or whatever your nightly routine is). Clicker training is another option for training your cat.

Cats can learn commands just like dogs can. If you catch your cat on the kitchen counter, say “Down” or “No” in a loud, firm voice. You can also try a short hiss or spit instead, which means “Stop that!” in cat. When your cat does something good, praise or reward her. If you see her using her scratching post, pet her or give her a treat and say “Good kitty!” in a soft, happy voice.

More Cat Translations

http://www.wikihow.com/Communicate-with-Your-Cat

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/cat_communication.html

http://www.catster.com/cat-behavior/how-to-talk-to-your-cat

How do you communicate with your cat?

Leave Comment

Roses are Red, Pet Dental Health is indigo™

RSS

By Sarah Folmar, Brand Communications Specialist

Remember the video to “Thriller,” with the zombies wreaking havoc on the town? They were pretty intimidating other than the whole stopping to do a dance number thing. Zombies chasing me? I run. Dancing zombies chasing me? I laugh. Anyway, the part where you see them coming out of the dirt and having nasty teeth is the part that always scared me as a kid. I wondered what their breath smelled like. Well, once I got a dog I had a pretty realistic interpretation of this.

Sheeba is a beautiful Shiba Inu, but her breath was not so pretty at first. I finally learned about pet dental health, and realized I should be brushing her teeth or doing more to help keep her teeth nice and healthy. If you’ve ever had a control freak in the form of a 30-pound dog, you can easily understand my frustrations with this task. Sheeba hated when I would brush her teeth. I don’t mean she scoffed and waltzed away dramatically when I’d try; I mean she managed to flail about like a dolphin trying to catch fish. How can you keep your pet’s teeth healthy while keeping your own sanity? Try our line of indigo™ Fresh Dental Treats!

indigo™ Fresh Dental Sticks are a daily treat and dental benefit!

indigo™ Fresh Dental Sticks are a daily treat and dental benefit!

indigo™ Fresh Dental Sticks give your dog a better smile without all the hassle of a toothbrush. These low-calorie treats are crunchy, which help remove the plaque and tartar buildup that can become a stinky and unhealthy problem with time. Dental visits to your vet can be expensive, and these treats can help prevent a lengthy cleaning. Each stick has a pleasant minty smell as well, so your dogs won’t  walk around smelling like stale dog food. It is recommended that you give these daily as a regular dental routine for your dogs, and they are intended for dogs who are 6 months and older. What should you do if your dog is much smaller, or possibly older and not able to chew something crunchy? We’ve got you covered.

indigo™ Fresh Dental Sauce can be added to your dog’s food for a great dental cleaning with each meal! They come in Hint of Mint and Sweet Potato flavors, and are a softer alternative for older dogs who aren’t able to crunch down like their younger buddies. Check out the sauce and the other great indigo™ Dental Treats below:

indigo Fresh Floss Bones are a sweet and savory dental treat for your dog!

indigo Fresh Floss Bones are a sweet and savory dental treat for your dog!

If you are looking for a great long-lasting chew for your dogs, give them a tasty dental treat with indigo™ Fresh Floss Bones. I think the design kind of looks like a small dumbbell, and I always think of my dogs as strengthening their teeth when they chew on these. The ridges in these treats allow dogs to chew while the treat works its magic along the teeth and gums. These have a natural chicken and blueberry treat, so make sure you don’t get jealous when your dog is getting his sweet and savory fix for the day. This great dental chew, and the rest of the indigo™ line of treats, are all MADE IN THE USA! The ingredients on the bag support your dog’s dental health, and this even includes Hexametaphosphate. Yeah, it’s a lengthy word, but it means a compound proven to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so why not reward your dog with a tasty little dental snack?

1 Comment

23 Years of Success to Celebrate!

RSS

CaptureBy Robin Rhea, Senior Brand Manager

Radio Systems Corporation began its journey to build a pet brand trusted above all others 23 years ago today! It was 1991 when our little corporation opened the doors to its office, then a one-room trailer.  With a Dodge Maxi Van (with no air conditioning) and a few passionate and innovative pet lovers, they set out destined to make the world a better place for people and their pets.

It’s exciting that our history continues to be just as rich with purpose as it has always been. Our Radio Systems fore fathers and mothers held a vision in their minds that our 600+ associates worldwide live today.  We continue to build on the principles, training methodologies, intellectual property and a wealth of learnings about the human-animal bond that they pioneered two decades ago.  They started with one product. Today, our catalog has grown to include over 4,000 products and 3 major international pet brands. Sadly, some of these folks have passed away, but they remain in our hearts and their legacy lives on.

Some things remain the same. Our commitment to customer service has been a critical piece of our success. We’ve never outsourced our service because we love connecting with our consumers and learning from them how we can make our products even better. We also have not strayed from our values and our culture. Often times when companies experience great growth, their culture shifts and changes. At RSC, we are so committed to our culture that we continue to drive it through all that we do every day. We also have never strayed from doing everything we can to positively impact the pet community, especially homeless pets and reducing euthanasia. We will continue to chip away at these issues until they are no longer a part of our pet care vocabulary – a lofty goal, but one that keeps us inspired for all the right reasons.

Perhaps the best part of RSC is that we are part of something bigger than we could ever be by ourselves. It extends so far beyond the walls of Radio Systems to the homes of pet owners in the 16 countries where we offer our products, the animal shelters and rescues that we support, to the PetSafe dog parks we build and to every pet that brings joy to a person or family that loves them. Just like our days with our pets, our days on this earth are numbered.  This fact demands that we make our days full of impact, and rich with joy and contribution. Radio Systems has and will continue to be our conduit for making the world an even better place for ourselves, our customers and the pets we love so much.

Happy Anniversary Radio Systems and PetSafe!

Leave Comment

How SocialPet Helped a Working Pet Parent

RSS

By Taylor Smith, Marketing Research Specialist

Taylor with her puppy, Dudley.

Taylor with her puppy, Dudley.

Do you ever feel guilty leaving your pet at home while at work? If so, I can relate. Over 50% of pet owners have to leave their pets at home each day while they work. As much as we would like to bring them with us, it is just not possible in most cases.

I became a bulldog mom a little over a year ago. I was a graduate student at the time, and most of my spare time outside of class was spent training and playing with my new puppy, Dudley. He was rarely left alone, and I would bring him everywhere I could.

While still in school I had plenty of time to spend with Dudley, but after several months I entered the real world and started my first job out of college. Although I love my job, leaving Dudley at home was hard for me at first. I felt bad leaving him at home all day with no one to check on him.

Sometimes he just stares at the camera.

Sometimes he just stares at the camera.

Over the summer, I found a solution to the anxiety and guilt I felt from leaving Dudley at home alone: The Social Pet System. The Social Pet camera and treat dispenser give me a way to interact with Dudley without physically being with him. I can check on Dudley from work and take pictures of him to share with friends and family on Facebook. I can also give him treats via the treat dispenser so he can have a little snack during the day. It has been so fun for me to see what Dudley does while I am away.

I love being able to watch Dudley while I’m away from home. I have also given some of my friends and family permission to interact with Dudley on the Social Pet System so they can take photos and give him treats. It’s a great way for me to still feel connected to Dudley and make sure he is okay, and my friends love to check in on him too!

Other times he waits patiently for a treat from the treat dispenser

Other times he waits patiently for a treat from the treat dispenser

Being a working pet parent is tough, but with Social Pet I can feel a little better about leaving my pup at home.

2 Comments

Loving Your Furry Family Members

RSS

By Sarah Folmar, Brand Communications Specialist

Starting a family is, well, let’s say an interesting process. Your priorities change. Your values begin to become more concrete. Everything you used to do as a routine becomes old news, as a new family member takes the top spot, always. Finding enough time to manage it all can be tricky, especially if you already had pets in the household. Many people asked me what I planned to do with the dogs once the baby entered this world. What did they mean? Getting rid of my canine companions never crossed my mind, as they are part of the family, but I did wonder what to do to make sure they knew they were still important.

When you bring a child into your household, your pets are probably going to get a little jealous. So a great way to give them some attention, especially if you are a bit pressed for time, is to give them some toys. PetSafe toys are a fantastic present to show your furry family members how much you care, especially if you’re looking for a fun little gift for Valentine’s Day!

Here are my recommendations for best interactive toys for your dogs:

The Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude is a great toy for strong chewers!

The Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude is a great toy for strong chewers!

3. Busy Buddy® Squirrel Dude™

I had to get a picture that made this toy look like a very dramatic rodent staring at our fans. In all seriousness, this toy is a fantastic choice if your dogs begin to get bored and are looking for something to chew on. My dogs love to chew on this, especially when I fill it with some peanut butter or our Busy Buddy® Buddy-Berries™. The bottom of this toy will allow treats to fall out as your dog flings it across the room, like mine so often do. With any toy, it is always recommended to have supervised play time to ensure your dogs are not chewing too hard where they could break anything off of the toy. To keep your dogs really entertained, trade out that tennis ball for this purple play toy. It’s fun to watch it bounce all over the place with a good throw, but don’t throw it too hard or the treats could scatter, taking all of the fun out of it for your dogs!

2. Busy Buddy® Magic Mushroom™

The Magic Mushroom is a toy that spins, rolls, and dispenses treats during playtime!

The Magic Mushroom is a toy that spins, rolls, and dispenses treats during playtime!

It may sound ridiculous to some, but there are dogs out there that can get a bit depressed without proper attention. Dogs that have been the center of your family for years may get a little jealous or timid when you bring home a new family member, and sometimes they develop an issue with eating. For dogs that either overeat, or dogs that need to be enticed a little, this toy is a great solve. You can adjust the windows inside of the mushroom to open as much as needed, and dispense as much kibble as you feel is necessary. If you want your over-eater to work a bit for the kibble, close the window a little more to make it a bit more difficult, which will slow down that busy mouth a bit. If you want it to be easy and fun, just open the window more to make sure the kibble falls out easily. You can also fill this with small treats that can fall out as your dog plays with this durable toy. Its hard plastic material is great for food dispensing fun, but make sure not to throw this across your house during playtime!

And my number one recommendation for fun and interactive toys for your dogs… Drum roll please….

BOLT is an interactive laser toy that provides hours of fun for you and your cat or dog.

BOLT is an interactive laser toy that provides hours of fun for you and your cat or dog.

1. FroliCat™ BOLT™

This toy is even great for cats! Simply place 4 AA batteries into the base, press a button, and allow for hours of fun for your pets. This will shut off the light after 15 minutes, but you can press the button as often as you’d like. The automatic mode allows the laser to move in many different directions, which will allow a good amount of space for your pets to chase it. I would recommend a good open space in your home to place this, that way your pet does not get bored in a small room while chasing this around. Before you buy this (or any) toy, make sure you know your pets. One dog of mine will chase this like it is his one job in the world, while the other thinks she is above anything this fun. I think a lot of people expect a toy to just immediately be the greatest thing their pets have ever seen, but every dog is different, just as every human is different.

From all of us at PetSafe, we hope that you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. If you feel like treating your pets to some fun and interactive toys, check out the many different options we have to offer!

Leave Comment

Indoor Training Tips for Winter

RSS

By Michelle Mullins, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP

Brrrrr! It’s winter here in Virginia, and the coldest one we have had in quite some time. If you’re like us, you are in a deep freeze that keeps everyone stuck indoors watching movies, playing board games and growing ever more bored with indoor activities I’ll bet you could use a change of pace! Training your pet can be just the thing you need. Training strengthens your relationship and is fun for everyone.

I always think the winter months are the best time to train your dog or cat. Whether basic manners or cute tricks, learning any behaviors is mentally and physically stimulating, which is just what you both need to ward off the winter blues.

Tips and Ideas for Indoor Trainingpic 1

Plenty of time – You tend to spend more time at home and indoors when it’s cold. Use the time to polish up your dog’s “Come” and develop a solid “Stay.” I always say, “Train, don’t complain.” If your pet has a behavior you really don’t like, now is a great opportunity to teach him something else. For example, have a pup that loves to jump up on people? Train him to sit when people approach instead.

Boredom buster! – Training is fun and keeps both you and Fido from getting bored. Everyone needs something to do, so why not teach a fun new trick? Could your kitty learn to lift a paw or “Shake?” Would Fido fetch your sweetheart a Valentine’s card? My boy was working on, “Touchdown” for the big game!

pic 2Not enough space? – Being stuck indoors to avoid Jack Frost can make for tight quarters but you don’t need much space for training. So many behaviors can be taught in one spot, like lay down, spin, shake and “Bow.”

Get Moving – I love to work on loose leash walking, off lead heeling, come when called and fetch. With fewer distractions you can strengthen these behaviors before you move them back outdoors in the spring.

There are so many great things you can teach indoors. Here are a couple of my favorites to train and practice indoors.

 Tip – For all of these training sessions start with some very small, tasty treats or use a small handful of your pet’s kibble. By using part of their dinner and training before they eat you limit calories and have an attentive animal.

Heeling – Walking beside you, off lead

Try a game called Find the Sweet Spot. The sweet spot or “heel” is the space right next to you with the dog close to your side. The left side is common but use whichever you prefer, just always be consistent.

  • Walk around the room at a normal pace and let the dog do the same. When he decides to come close and gets near the “Heel” position say “Yes” and give him a treat.
  • Don’t stop walking. Each time the dog finds the spot say “Yes” and treat him. Soon he will choose to walk near you because that is best place to be!
  • Practice for a few minutes and then take a break.  Several short sessions each day will keep him excited about training.
  • After you have practiced this a few days and he is immediately starting to walk at your side, you can add a cue like “Heel” or “Side.” To add the cue say the cue you choose as he approaches your side and reward him as before. If he is staying beside you turn and walk the other direction or sit down and then stand back up so you have the chance to cue him again.

 Touch a Target

Teaching your pet to touch a target is a very valuable behavior. Once he will touch the target you can use this to position the pet for grooming, move him to another spot, come to you and much more. The goal is to teach your pet to touch your hand with his nose.

  • Grab a handful of small treats or kibble. Don’t hold these in your hand, use a pocket or treat pouch.
  • Present your hand a few inches from your pet’s nose.
  • When he touches your hand with his nose say “Yes” and give a treat.
  • Repeat this several times. Removing your hand each time so you can then represent it.
  • Once he is consistently touching your hand begin presenting the hand target slightly farther away, a few inches right or left or above and below his nose. You will quickly see how targeting can be used to get other behaviors.

Click with your pet

Now is a great time to learn clicker training with your pet.  Clicker training is a fun, effective way to train anything.

Check out these resources to get you started:

Get started with the basics of clicker training: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=F36KmqPzxvc

How do you plan to stay warm and chase away the winter with your training? I’d love to hear from you!

2 Comments