Behind the Scenes: PetSafe® Fountains

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July is Pet Hydration Month presented by the the PetSafe® Brand. We wanted to make sure all pets are properly hydrated, since so many dogs and cats out there really aren’t getting enough water. As part of this campaign, the team started to make sure our customers knew about our freshly-filtered water options from our great line of pet fountains. Early this year, a commercial was shot starring some wonderful dogs and cats, and we wanted to share the fun and informational behind the scenes footage.

PetSafe fountains have a great variety of health benefits for pets, and we did a video to feature some of these:

They also bring a stylish accent to any home, and one interior designer gave us her opinion in another great behind the scenes moment:

Some members of the team also wanted to talk about why PetSafe fountains are so great for pets, and this footage can be seen here!

Do you have a PetSafe fountain? What does your pet think about it? Comment below to let us know!

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How to Keep Your Pet Hydrated!

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By Toni Gibson-Mark, KPA-CTP

pic1

Hi there, puppy! You’re looking parched!

We’re in the middle of the summer and there is no better time to be concerned with our pet’s hydration than now. It’s hot and humid in many places around the country and our pups are wishing that they could shed layers as easily as we can take off our winter clothes. Not to mention many of them are spending more and more time at the water bowl!
It goes without saying that water intake is extremely important for our pets. Just like us, their bodies consist mostly of water and when they aren’t drinking water, they get dehydrated. Dehydration in our pets can be very dangerous.
Although it’s important for people to drink water, we get a lot of water from the food we consume. This is not necessarily the case for our pets. Kibble and other dry foods have very little moisture levels. If your pet doesn’t drink a lot from the water bowl, consider adding a wet food or a food that gets re-hydrated by adding water to his diet. You can also just add water to the kibble too—sometimes that makes the food even more appealing to the pet!

 

Definitely have fresh water available during pool days!  Don’t count on the pool water—it’s chlorinated and not good for your pet.  Have fresh water available instead.

Definitely have fresh water available during pool days! Don’t count on the pool water—it’s chlorinated and not good for your pet. Have fresh water available instead.

Our pets need a constant supply of fresh water. That means even when “on-the-go”! If you’re taking a long road trip, pull over a few times and offer water to your pet. You should definitely bring water for your pet if you’re engaging in any outdoor activities (i.e. hiking) together. Our pets need water during indoor activities too—if you’re taking training classes or visiting a friend, make sure your pet has access to a fresh bowl of water.
Some pets are finicky about their water. For example, my dog won’t drink water if there is anything in it—even a little piece of grass! This means she needs a refreshed bowl of water several times a day. Some pets only prefer moving water (i.e. the cats that drink from the faucet). Consider purchasing a fountain that will keep the water moving. Our Drinkwell® line contains many different types of fountains in all sorts of colors and styles!

 

The new Ceramic Porcelain Avalon Fountain continuously recirculates and filters your pet’s water, keeping it cleaner and fresher than a normal water bowl.

The new Ceramic Porcelain Avalon Fountain continuously recirculates and filters your pet’s water, keeping it cleaner and fresher than a normal water bowl.

Although it might seem silly to cater to your pet’s water-drinking preferences, it’s important to do it. After all, we prefer certain types of drinks over others—it’s only fair that our pets can have preferences too!

One tip that is not discussed enough is washing your pet’s water bowls daily. Just like any pool of moisture, bacteria can grow. Leaving your dog’s bowl unwashed for several days or weeks can contribute to bacteria growth, which can make your pet more finicky about their water and/or could make them sick! Make it a habit to wash their water bowl every time you feed them their breakfast and/or dinner. You’re already touching the bowls anyway!

 

Sadie says, “Will you please get me some fresh water? No, I mean fresher than this.”

Sadie says, “Will you please get me some fresh water? No, I mean fresher than this.”

You shouldn’t ever remove your pet’s access to water. Many people think that you should only provide little bits of water to your puppy at a time while you’re house-training. However, to the contrary, very active puppies need lots of water to stay healthy and to grow! Instead of restricting access, make sure you are very quick to take your puppy out after drinking the water and reward the puppy for going potty outside.
Hydration is so important for our pets and it’s often a health concern that is not addressed enough. Try to spend a few days monitoring your pet’s water intake, and if you feel he’s not getting enough water, add some to his food or provide a wet food as well. He’ll be sure to thank you with a wet slobbery kiss!

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Let’s Celebrate Independence!

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By Michelle Mullins, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP

“Oh say can you see….me?” Hello? Helloooo! Ever have a dog that seems aloof, selective in their hearing, just not so into you? An independent type of dog who doesn’t follow you from room to room gazing at you with adoration? I have that dog. His name is Jinks and he is the only dog I’ve ever had that never piles up in my bed to snuggle.

pic 1According to Dictionary.com, independent is defined as not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc. What does it mean when we say a dog is independent? Every pet is dependent on us for food, water, and care so they aren’t truly independent. I don’t like to label pets, as that can lead to interactions with them being based on the label instead of the behavior.

When I adopted Jinks I thought maybe we just hadn’t bonded yet. To say he was aloof was an understatement. As a trainer I was puzzled, as a dog lover I was heartbroken. How could this fabulous hound not think I was the best thing since sliced bread? I rescued him, I love him, I work for a company that makes dog toys, what more could he desire? He would play or train with me if I initiated it, but never searched me out for interaction. He was smart and learned quickly when he wanted to train, which was rare.

Pic2So I started observing Jinks to understand what behaviors pushed me to label him Mr. Independent and rethink how I felt about these behaviors. He was not an attention seeker like I was used to having. He enjoyed being head down, sniffing EVERYTHING! He took time to consider situations before reacting. He didn’t automatically look to me for direction. He preferred to control his interactions with others. What manner of dog was this? A happy, confident, independent dog! That’s when I realized what I had. I just needed to figure out what motivated him.

When I am training dogs, I tend to keep my training sessions short and very focused. The dogs have fun but I don’t let them get overly excited. Jinks seemed to thrive on fast paced fun, lots of crazy running around and general silliness. So I switched up my game. I had to remind myself that the rewards have to be rewarding to the dog.

Soon he was approaching me excited and then offering a down to “ask” for some training time! He loved to sniff out a trail on walks, so a block of loose leash walking earned him free time to sniff every blade of grass for the next 30 feet! Jinks loves shaping games, he gets to make choices that can earn him rewards and having that little bit of control works for dogs.

I love having a dog with an independent nature. I had to work a little harder to figure him out but I love that he is a confident boy. He excels at having some alone time and rarely shows anxiety about anything. He even snuggles on the bed for a few minutes each night then heads for his crate which means I don’t have to worry about him stealing the blanket! These are the perks of a more independent dog.

My tips for working with independent dogs:

  • Find what motivates them. Try different treats, play, life rewards like sniffing, etc.
  • Don’t force affection. Your pet may not like snuggling and hugs.
  • Keep training sessions short and playful.
  • Use clicker training to shape behaviors. Dogs love to choose and this training allows them to do just that. www.clickertraining.com

While some breeds, like hounds and huskies, tend toward an independent nature, any dog may have this personality. It doesn’t mean they are stubborn or less trainable. They just need us to be patient and figure out what motivates them. Your independent pup make never be your constant snuggle bunny. Just appreciate him for what he is! You don’t have to be their everything, to be their best friend.

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Bark for Your Park Tips

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By Sarah Folmar, Brand Communications Specialist

There is just over a month of voting time left in the 2014 Bark for Your Park contest, and we are continuing to be amazed at the PAWsome efforts from the different finalist communities. The 15 finalist communities have proven to include a lot of incredible participants who have worked day and night to help the community to win a dog park. Wherever your community ranks on the Bark for Your Park leader runboard, know that the contest can shift at any moment. Here are some ways to help your community become Top Dog in the contest:

7-Vote Sniff Outs

We will post a clue every Friday through July 25th that will give each voter a change to win SEVEN extra votes in the competition that week. Yes, you read that right. SEVEN extra votes! You will simply go to the Bark for Your Park website and make sure you are logged-in on the Friday of the sniff out. Once you are logged-in you will then go to PetSafe.net for the clue that will pop-up. Follow the clue to the page with your answers, and then we’ll give you a little quiz. Once you answer correctly, BAM! 7 extra votes are all yours. You’ll even have the option to sign-up for a chance to win one of 15 of that week’s products. How easy is that?!

Rally the Troops!

Have you spread the word about Bark for Your Park? Don’t assume that everyone in your community knows about the contest. Find neighbors, family members and friends and let them know how to sign-up and start voting. Voters do not have to live in your community, either. Does your mom bring her dog to your house when she comes for a visit? Tell her to help your community win and dog park and have her sign-up! Getting more people to vote can be as easy as just asking a simple question: Have you barked for our park?

B4YP1Share, Share, Share!

Are you on Facebook and/or Twitter? What is stopping you from sharing our Bark for Your Park status updates, or from creating your own reminders? A simple one you can always share is, “Bark for Our Park!” with a link to the contest included. Getting the word out can be as simple as a few words and the click of a button. Show pictures of your dogs to others and ask for the support in getting your park. People love pictures of dogs… we would know! We share them all the time.

Host an Event

Now who wouldn’t want to throw a party? Get to know your neighbors and host a block party. Get your neighbors to sign-up and vote while you’re enjoying some BBQ and not-so dog-friendly concoctions. Talking about the contest is a great ice-breaker. You can also check with your local pet supply retailers to see if you can hand out fliers, host voting stations or hand out your nifty tear sheets that were included in your city’s finalist kits.

We are so excited to see the enthusiasm and participation in this year’s contest. What has your community done to get more participation? Share your stories in the comment section below!

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The World According to Cooper

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By Stacie Greene, PetSafe Supply Chain Specialist 

Summertime Fun…

Dog parks are so much fun!

Dog parks are so much fun!

It is definitely summertime in Tennessee. Folks it is HOT!! But not too hot to play and hang out with my friends at any one of the local PetSafe® dog parks. We run, we wrestle all while our parents stand around and watch and talk about us. I get to meet some really interesting individuals at the dog park. I get so wound up playing and barking at the top of my lungs that sometimes I forget that I have come back inside and need to use my inside voice. My mom says it takes hours to get me to calm down from all that fun.

Stacie and CooperI have to remember to listen to my mom when it gets this hot outside. It is in the 90s here in Tennessee right now. If I am out playing she always makes sure that I not only have a bowl of fresh cold water, but she puts ice cubes in it for me too. I love to fish for ice cubes. That is so much fun on a hot day, just like running through the water sprinkler. But I always listen to my mom when she tells me that is time to come in and take a break from the heat. I know we’ll be back outside soon.

So if any of you have the opportunity to get out to your local dog parks this summer you should definitely go for it. You’ll make so many new friends and have so much fun. Just try and stay cool, find a pool, sprinkler, pond or lake and jump in. A bowl of ice cubes works nicely also!!

 

Talk to you soon,

Cooper

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Ask A Vet: Flea & Tick Control FAQs

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tickupunctureBy Dr. Patrick Mahaney, VMD

Fleas, ticks and other insects aren’t just nuisances for both pets and owners alike, they can also spread mild to fatal diseases. All pet owners must strive to prevent their canine and feline companions from contracting infectious diseases transmitted by fleas and ticks with lifestyle management and appropriate anti-parasitic medication.

Here are some of the most common questions I field from pet owners about flea and tick prevention.

How do flea and tick preventatives work?

To best understand how such products work, we have to recognize that there are multiple stages of the flea and tick lifecycle that can be targeted to prevent infestations on our pets and in our homes.

Flea eggs are laid on pets, then fall off into our environment, where they mature into larvae, pupae, and finally become adults. Tick eggs are laid in densely wooded areas, hatch into larvae and then become nymphs. These adolescent nymphs require a blood meal to mature into adults.

Many products are neurotoxic insecticides that work on specific nervous receptors which adult fleas, ticks, and other insects have in greater quantity than mammals like cats, dogs, and people. As a result, the insect is paralyzed and killed by the insecticide, but your pet isn’t affected by the preventative.

Other products include insect growth regulators (IGR), which stop the proper maturation of flea eggs into larvae. Flea and tick eggs are typically resistant to adulticides, so IGRs fit the bill in disrupting the life cycle before maturation occurs.

Which product is best for my pets?doodle with squeeze meeze

The best product to use for your pet is one that will provide sufficient protection for the types of parasites in your region and for your pet’s lifestyle.

Most dogs spend time inside and outside, so they’re more prone to infestations with both fleas and ticks. If your cat is 100% indoors, then providing a product that protects against ticks may not be essential. However, ticks can always get into your home from another household pet or a simple ride home on your pant leg after a rigorous hike through the wood.

Many flea and tick products have either single or multiple insecticide ingredients effective for multiple parasites, so you may end up treating your cat for both even if she is only exposed to fleas and not ticks.

If your dog or cat lives in a mosquito-heavy part of the country, then protection against heartworm disease is vital in addition to fleas and ticks. Some products treat multiple parasites using one single ingredient, like Selamectin (Revolution), which is my preference for general flea, tick, and heartworm prevention in our canine and feline companions.

Veterinary Partner features these helpful Flea Product Comparison and Tick Product Comparison charts.

Can’t I just purchase an over-the-counter product for my pet?

General Lifestyle_cat_9581Yes, you can purchase over-the-counter flea and tick products for dogs and cats, but I strongly suggest checking with your veterinarian first.

Be sure to check species and weight requirements on flea and tick medication. Cats are extremely sensitive to certain insecticides, including pyrethrin and pyrethroid, so it is essential that canine products with these ingredients aren’t used on our feline friends. Your cat could suffer serious health problems if she takes your dog’s medication. Your pet’s size also effects the efficacy of the medication. A 100-pound dog needs a larger dose than a 10-pound dog to keep fleas and ticks off his larger frame.

What’s the best way to give my pet flea and tick medication?PetSafe Dog Park 20

This mostly depends on your preference. Some pets don’t take oral medication very well, so a medicine applied to the skin is most effective. On the flip side, a topical medication can leave your pet’s skin sticky for a day or two, and a bath or a jump in the pool can wash it right off. Talk to your vet about your pet’s lifestyle to pick the best kind of parasite protection.

What can I do from a lifestyle perspective to protect my pet?

There are many things you can do to help prevent your canine or feline companions from becoming infested with fleas or ticks. My top recommendation is to consider the environments in which your pet spends time in. Cats and dogs don’t inherently have fleas and ticks living on their skin and coat. They must go to an area where an adult flea or tick jumps on them. Your pet can be exposed to parasite at parks, daycare, shelters, veterinary hospitals, and heavily wooded areas where wildlife thrive.

You can choose to keep your pet away from those high-risk areas, or you can take these steps to prevent parasites from sticking around.

  • Limit your pet’s exposure to fleas and ticks.
  • Check your pet for bugs after visiting a high-risk parasite area.
  • Feel all over your pet for skin crusting, irritation, or sensitivity.
  • Check places on your pet where he can’t easily lick, chew, or scratch, including the head, neck, and tail base.
  • Check areas that might come in contact with bugs including the face, ears, legs, belly, and sides.
  • Check your own clothing and body for ticks so you don’t bring them in the house either.
  • Wash and dry all human and pet bedding weekly.
  • Vacuum all carpets and upholstery weekly, then seal the vacuum contents and remove it from your home.
  • Schedule your pet’s anti-parasite treatments as a calendar entry.
  • Stock up on extra flea & tick medication.

Your dog and cat’s comfort and health depends on your proactive involvement in their external parasite prevention. How do you keep your pets safe? 

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Take Your Dog to Work!

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The PetSafe® office is a great place to be, especially if you’re a dog. You get to eat snacks, receive attention from so many co-workers and you even get to play with other dogs. Take Your Dog to Work Day® is today! So to honor this awesome day out of the year, we wanted to profile some of our resident dogs!

BaronBaron “the bizz” Jones

Start date at PetSafe: November 2012

About me: I am a 22 pound, “miniature” dachshund, red in color, shorter than a blade of grass in stature. My nose is long enough to stretch across the Rocky Mountains….twice. I am what you would consider to be full figured and curvy in all the right places. I enjoy long, slow, very slow, walks around the PetSafe building. My daily life consists of sleeping on the job, an occasional stroll around the office for some food, and counting down the hours until I can get home to my dinner (baked chicken and white rice…every night…don’t get it twisted).

Fun facts: I can make myself look absolutely starved while begging for food, yet I’m 8 pounds overweight (ask me about my technique later).

I am proficient in ignoring commands, giving the “hound eyes”, and essentially getting my way 100% of the time.

I can sleep 24 hours in a day, but who’s counting?

My thoughts on coming to the office: The thought of waking up at 6:30 a.m. is exhausting in itself. In fact, the thought of waking up at all is enough to make me dread going to work. However, between the belly rubs, treats and seeing my best pal, Cooper, I can muster up the energy to get to the office every day.

 

IMG_8260Moose McDowell-Nixon

Start date at PetSafe: February 2014

About me:

I’m a fun-loving pup who is always looking for a fellow playful pup to chase.  A momma’s boy, I enjoy following my mom around the house and sitting uncomfortably close to/on her. My favorite place to go is the dog park, and I like to swim… sometimes. My favorite food is anything my brother, Trigger, has because I tend to be very jealous.

Fun facts:

-          I can do three whole tricks, but my best talent is my heart-melting sad face

-          I have a heart murmur, but it doesn’t slow me down in the slightest

-          I can find a mud puddle wherever he goes

-          My bed time is at 9:30. Exactly.

-          I am single and looking for a long-time friend to let me win at a game of fetch

My thoughts on coming to the office:

I think the office is my playground. There are no boundaries to my curiosity, and every other working dog is just a potential new friend. My favorite parts of work are free treats and chasing dogs that just pretend they don’t want to be chased. My least favorite parts of work are wearing a leash and seeing stuffed animal dogs that just freak me out.

 

RoscoRosco P. Coltrane “Rosco”

Start date at PetSafe: November 2013

About me: I was born on October 9, 2005. My dad was a full-bred Italian Mastiff and my mom was a full-bred English Mastiff. I am the epitome of a “gentle giant”. I am very laid back and enjoy accompanying my Mom everywhere she goes. I live for long naps, treats and visits to the dog park. I’m a great role model to my two younger brothers and help keep them out of trouble.

Fun facts: Quentin Tarantino named two characters after me in his most recent film, “Django Unchained.”  I met the director a few years ago when he was scouting out locations for “Django Unchained.”

My thoughts on coming to the office: I’m a proud employee of PetSafe and take my job very seriously. I’m such an over-achiever that I wake my Mom up every Saturday morning ready for work.

I love to “work the cubes” for treats and visit with my human co-workers whenever I get the chance. I wish my K9 co-workers were more welcoming, but I understand my size is intimidating. My main goal in 2014 is to establish more relationships with my K9 colleagues.

 

Do you take your dog to work? Comment on this post and let us know much how much your pup enjoys it!

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Adventures in Fostering Cats

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By Roslyn McKenna, PetSafe Web Content Specialist

You meet so many different pet personalities when you foster cats. And if you happen to foster kittens, you get to contribute to what kind of cat they will become. I’ve given you a few reasons why you should consider fostering, but the best reason to become a foster pet parent is all the great animals you’ll meet along the way. You get to be part of their stories and make memories with them, whether they’re in your life for a few days or a few years. Here are a few of my foster cat stories. Imagine the stories you could tell if you opened your home to foster pets too!

Eddie the Baby

(Photo courtesy of Catster. They have a great article about bottle feeding kittens! http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-kitten-health-care-bottle-feeding-orphan-ask-einstein)

(Photo courtesy of Catster. They have a great article about bottle feeding kittens! http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-kitten-health-care-bottle-feeding-orphan-ask-einstein)

You never connect with a cat more than when you bottle feed him. Eddie was like a tiny orange tiger, with a fierce personality and a strong meow. He was too young for kitten food, so my family and I took turns bottle feeding him kitten formula. There’s nothing cuter than a kitten with a milk mustache!

You don’t always know where your fosters go after they’re adopted, but Eddie was adopted by my parents’ neighbor. I went to cat sit for her a few years later. I don’t think Eddie remembered me; he hid under the couch as soon as he saw me. He’s not a fan of strangers, but he’s fiercely attached to his adoptive mother. Even though he doesn’t remember me, I helped raise him to be a loyal, loving cat.

chili and clover toys2Chili Pepper & Clover the Siblings

There’s nothing more fun or rewarding than fostering kittens. My parents fostered 2 kittens during Thanksgiving one year. Instead of spending the whole week shopping or surfing the internet, the whole family was gathered in the kitten room to spend time together playing with Chili Pepper and Clover. It’s funny how entertaining it is to wave a feather wand across the floor and watch kittens chase after it for hours.

chili and clover su2The kittens helped us bond as a family, and they also helped a “scaredy cat” become comfortable around animals. My sister brought her friend over to spend Thanksgiving with our family. She hadn’t been around pets much, so she was afraid of my parents’ dogs and cats. When Phoebe the large dog walked in a room, she would seem to teleport to the other side of the room.

But you can’t live with 2 dogs and a bunch of cats for a few days without getting a little used to them. By the end of the week, she had overcome her fear and was hesitantly petting the dogs and letting the cats come up to her. That just goes to show you how pets (including foster pets) can help us grow and change!

Benjamin the Shy Guy

benjamin grey fosterSome foster cats need extra care and attention. Benjamin was a grey adult tabby who wanted nothing more than to be by himself. He hid behind the couch in our foster room, afraid to let anyone near him.

The best way to get a shy cat out of his shell is to desensitize him to human contact. I read a book in his room for 30 minutes every day. I started by sitting at the door and gradually sat closer to him every day. Eventually he let me sit right next to him. I would coax him out so I could pet him, then put him on my lap when he got even more comfortable. It felt great to help him change from a corner cat to a lap cat in a few weeks.

Do you have a foster cat or dog story? Tell us in the comments!

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