Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Friendly Reminder!

Do you ever have days where you feel like this?

You just don't want to get out of bed. You feel tired, lethargic and you're thinking you might be coming down with a cold or flu? It happens to all of us... unless you live in a bubble. It also happens to dogs.

Canine Influenza is a virus that is transmitted from dog to dog. Humans cannot become infected. Symptoms are similar to human flu: coughing, sneezing, runny nose and fatigue. Worst case scenario is that your dog will develop a high fever, difficult breathing, pneumonia and/or bleeding in the lungs. Sometimes dogs can be asymptomatic (they carry the virus, but show no symptoms). If you suspect your dog is under the weather, please take them to the vet. They can test and diagnose whether or not your dog has the flu. There is also a vaccine. The vaccine won't help if your dog already has the flu. It's similar to a human flu just eases the blow to the body. If your dog has the flu, your vet will have to decide the appropriate treatment (rest, lots of fluids... rest and rest... and quarantined to the house with no contact to other dogs until they recover).

Please remember that if your dog is under the weather, vomiting or has diarrhea, please keep them at home until they get better. Also remember that if your dog does get a cold or flu, these things happen sometimes (My human kids seem to bring a cold or flu home every other month). The only way you can be completely sure your dog will not catch a virus is to isolate them from all dog contact and that would be a pretty lonely life. We at Bark City try REALLY hard to keep our facility clean and sanitized to reduce the risk, but sometimes those asymptomatic dogs can be sneaky.

This dog isn't really sick. He is just really tired from playing too much at Bark City.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

8 things you can DIY for Your Dog

Actually, one of these things is for your cat...

We have been getting a lot of "pins" lately on our Pinterest account for DIY toys, so I thought I would post some of the favorites:

 A cute Kitty TeePee by MustBeMelissa .

This image was not linked to the original website. But, you can sort of see the blurry logo on the bottom. I like the simplicity of ripping off some cabinet doors and throwing the dog bed in there... and maybe making it decorative while your at it.

 This one goes a step further and puts a crate inside the cabinet! Now you have a nifty bedside table, your dog can sleep with you AND not eat out of the garbage while you are sleeping. Again, there was no original website linked to this image.

Making and canning your own dog food by Canning Granny.

Dog Toys!! Again, no website linked to the image. But, it's pretty self-explanatory. 

This one is labeled, "33 DIY Dog Toys from Things Around The House" by The Bark Post.

And last... This dog bed from an end table turned upside down by The Speckled Dog.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Garden for a Dog

 Spring is right around the corner and it's time to start planning a garden. If you are the type of person who has always wanted a garden, but has a dog and are not sure if the two can co-exist together, here are some helpful tips!
  • Get to know your dog's personality: Is your dog a sunbather? A loyal companion that sticks by your side? A runner that uses your yard as a race track? Observe your dog's personality and how he/she uses your yard. 
  • Avoid anything formal that sticks out: You will want your garden and yard to be a cohesive unit that flows together. That one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb, will of course, draw your furry friend's attention!
  • Establish Pathways for your racetrack: If you have the kind of dog that runs and runs and runs and runs, they have probably established some worn paths in your yard. Keep these paths, but make them part of your landscaping. It's best not to build your vegetable garden right in the middle of your dog's racetrack. Unless you want them running right through your garden! BUT, if the only good spot to build your garden is through their racetrack, there are some options:
  • Reroute the path: Dog's tend to avoid running through shrubs and tall grasses. You can use this to your advantage. Plant shrubs or tall grasses in strategic places that will force your dog to change course. Before planting, always do your research to find out if what you are planting is toxic to dog's if accidentally ingested.
  • Install a fence: plant your garden in a raised bed or in containers. You can also install a small fence around your garden as another barrier. 
  • Provide a digging spot and a sunspot: If you have a digger, try establishing a designated digging spot. You can build a sandbox for your furry friend and bury the coveted chew toys in the sand. Reward your dog for appropriately digging in the right spot. If your dog is a sunbather, provide the perfect sun spot for relaxation, warmth and rest.

  •  Minimize the need for Pesticides:  Pesticides can end up being a hospital visit for a curious pup. Last summer, a friend of mine's dog ended up in the emergency vet clinic for getting into some strawberries that had fallen onto the slug baited ground. One way to minimize the need for chemical warfare is to "companion garden". Certain plants grow better together and provide protection to each other. Other plants are lifelong enemies. There are a lot of great books out there as well as links to get you started on the "know how".
  • Know your vegetables: Some vegetables can be toxic to dogs, some can be grown and added to their dog food! Here is a list you can print out for frequent reference: 

With a little creativity and research, you can have the best of both worlds: A garden and a dog!