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Corgis

Road Trip Advice: Bacon is a Dog’s Best Friend

We just took our first road-trip with Rooney this past week (thanks to an amazing giveaway I won on FidoseofReality.com) and I know it brought us even closer together as a family.

You see, my husband and I both work full-time. While we have staggered schedules so that Rooney is home with one of us a lot, but it is rare for us to get a whole week together as a family. Every pet parent knows that those moments when you look over and you see everyone that is most important to you right there, spending quality time with you, you can’t help but feel grateful.

Not to mention, Rooney was the best travel companion we could ask for! He slept well in the hotel, he was quiet and calm in the car, and he also joined us for some outdoor activities!

Not only were we able to bond due to the quality time we spent together, but we were also able to bond with Rooney over Bacon. Yup, that’s right…bacon!

Don’t get me wrong, I think Rooney would have had a great time on our road trip regardless. However, I believe he had extra fun due to the Pup-peroni Bacon flavored treats we brought along with us on our trip. 

Not only did Rooney love the flavor of the Pup-peroni Bacon treats, but the chewy nature of these treats made them a perfect treat to put in his Kong, so that he was happy in his crate, which was KEY to our roadtrip.

If you take anything away from this blog post, here it is:

  1. Always make sure you have a plethora of treats with you on a road trip with your dog. You never know when you will need to distract them, get them to go to their crate or work on some training.
  2. Rooney loves bacon flavored treats.

As a matter of fact, Rooney loved the bacon flavored treats so much that I was only able to take a few pictures of him with the bag of Pup-peroni treats before he stuck his head in the bag.

Corgi with Pup-peroni Bacon Flavored Treats

Corgi with Pup-peroni Bacon Flavored Treats

I’m telling you, when we give Rooney bacon flavored treats, he looks at us like this:

Pet-Inspired Art for your home!

Tell me, what brings you and your dog closer together? What makes them look at you endearingly?

Disclaimer: We were provided with the Pup-peroni Bacon flavored treats as part of a campaign to promote their new product. However, as you can see, Rooney really does love them and your dog might love them too. 

5 Surprising Beach Dangers for Dogs

It’s almost the weekend and if you live in California you might be headed to the beach!

The beach is one of Rooney’s favorite places. Nothing makes him happier than digging in the sand and launching himself into the waves!

If your dog also loves the beach, before you get ready to leave your home, you might want to consider the following beach dangers for dogs.

As you might know, I have Trupanion pet insurance for Rooney and I often work with Trupanion to provide pet parents with important safety information. I want to thank their team for providing us with the awesome following information:

Sunburn

Most pet parents don’t realize that their pet can get sunburned. As a result, last summer I put together a blog post about the dangers of sunburn and how you can protect your dog from harmful rays.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

You may not realize it, but even dogs can get sunburns. Their noses, bellies, and areas with particularly thinner fur are susceptible to the sun’s hot rays so it’s important to protect your pooch. Provide shade with a beach umbrella and consider dog-friendly sunscreen. (Sunscreen made for humans can make your pet sick if he tries to lick it off.) Also consider looking into doggy sun goggles to protect your pooch’s eyes from harmful rays.

Salt Water

Rooney has a tendency to swallow too much water whenever he swims. Therefore, when we take him to the beach, we have to limit his swimming to avoid letting him swallow the salt water. Trupanion had some unique insights regarding the dangers of salt water.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

Your pup may be inclined to lap up the salty ocean water if he’s thirsty, but the salt, bacteria and parasites in the water can make them sick. Prevent your dog from drinking salt water by providing plenty of fresh water. It’s also important not to let the salt water dry on their fur since it can irritate their skin. Be sure to give your pup a good rinse off with fresh water when he’s done swimming.

Seaweed & Sea Creatures

Because we live in Northern California, we have to be very diligent about keeping Rooney away from the jellyfish. Unfortunately, beaches here can be covered in them! Whenever we visit a beach with a lot of jellyfish, I keep Rooney on a leash and bring his long 30ft leash in case we find places with fewer creatures & seaweed for him to play.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

While exploring the beach you may come across washed up sea life and other items. Keep a close eye on your dog to prevent him from rolling in or eating anything that could make him sick. Some areas also have higher danger of sea creatures like jellyfish so be sure to keep a close watch on the surrounding waters to keep your pet safe.

Hot Sand

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but I have most certainly burned my own feet on the sand. Paw pads are very sensitive and it can be easy to forget about warm surfaces when you have shoes on, so avoid hot days at the beach.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

If the sand is too hot for you to walk barefoot, then it’s too hot for your pup’s paw pads. Save your beach trip for a cooler day or go in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat.

Big Waves

Beaches in Northern California can have sneaker waves which come up and surprise people and their pets.

For this reason, when Rooney is swimming I keep a life jacket on him and lots of treats in my pockets so that he has really good recall. If the waves seem too big, I keep him on a leash and run in the water with him.

Here is what Trupanion had to say:

Your dog may be a strong swimmer, but large rolling waves can be very dangerous. You might choose to keep your dog on a leash so that he can’t go out too far, or purchase a dog life jacket in case he gets too tired swimming.

Trupanion Claims

In addition to providing us with this thorough list and ways to keep our pets safe, Trupanion also shared that the two most common beach-related claims are heatstroke and dehydration. Which have an average treatment cost of $2,100 and $580 respectively.

In addition to those common claims, Trupanion has paid claims for dogs who have ingested the following items:

  • Fish hooks
  • Frogs
  • Starfish
  • Jellyfish

Having Fun Anyway

Of course, this post was not meant to scare you out of taking your dog to the beach. However, if you are like me, you might be thinking to yourself…”No way! We can’t go, there are too many dangers”. Then you will calm down and remember how awesome the beach is and how much your dog loves it, and you will simply go to the beach prepared:

Beach Prep Checklist:

Towels: for obvious reasons

Doggie Shampoo: for rinsing off afterward

Leashes: one short, one long (just to be prepared for all scenarios)

Poop Bags: Probably one of the most important places to pick up after your dog

Water Bottle: Gulpy is my favorite travel dog water bottle

Sunscreen: Don’t forget to make sure it’s pet-friendly!

Life jacket: Especially if you have a Corgi (not known for their swimming skills)

Umbrella: Make sure your pet has space to rest in the shade

Treats: For recall

Dog Goggles: To protect your dog’s eyes from the sun

Everything You Need When Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Photography in this post: Pawpawrazzi Pet Photography

Disclaimer: Trupanion pet insurance provided me with this content to share, but I was not compensated for my opinions. My Kid Has Paws always shares information we feel is important to our readers.

Rooney’s Birthday Wishes!

Rooney is 6 years old today!

I can’t believe it! When my husband and I adopted him 4.5 years ago, we had no idea time would move so quickly!

In the past, we have had giveaways and parties, but this year we just have a few wishes for Rooney’s birthday:

1. That All Pets are Adopted

This past weekend was Clear the Shelters! Which is a nationwide effort to find as many forever homes as possible for pets still in the shelter. This year, more than 700 shelters participated and over 45,000 pets found homes!

While Clear the Shelters is an excellent and effective initiative, the shelters aren’t quite empty and it would be great if they were! On behalf of Rooney’s birthday, we hope that all pets find a forever home, and soon! 

Here are some of our favorite rescues & shelters in California:

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Valley Humane Society

Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue

Golden Gate Pembroke Welsh Corgi Rescue 

If you have an awesome shelter that you think people should check out, leave their name or link in the comments below.

2. That I (Rooney) Get All the Cake

Let’s be real. It’s Rooney’s birthday, so cake was definitely going to make the list!

Last year, we wrote a post for Positively.com called 5 Ways to Celebrate Your Dog’s “Gotcha Day” or Birthday, which includes a link to a DIY Dog Birthday Cake Pinterest board in case you are looking for some recipes!

3. That All Lost Dogs Are Found

Lost dogs are an all too common problem, especially in the aftermath of the Fourth of July, which is why July is Pet Loss Prevention Month.

There are things you can do as a pet parent to make sure your pet makes it home if they are lost, like microchipping. Additionally, there are things you can do if you find a stray dog.

Therefore, our wish is that everyone takes all the necessary steps to protect their pets and shares any information they have about getting pets home with their friends and family!

Rooney's 6th Birthday - Photography by Pawpawrazzi Pet Photography

4. That I (Rooney) Continue to Get Daily Belly Rubs

Like most dogs, Rooney loves belly rubs, and I promise to not let a day go by without giving him some belly rubs.

5. That Each Dog Has a Plush Bed to Sleep On

No matter the kind, or shape, Rooney loves dog beds (and couches, and clean laundry, and human beds, but mostly dog beds)!

And he would love for every dog to have the best dog bed! Therefore, if you know a dog who needs a bed, like maybe one waiting for their forever home, don’t forget to donate your gently used dog beds to the rescues and shelters.

(Don’t tell Rooney, but we are getting him a new one for his birthday from Pridebites! and donating the existing ones to our local shelter)

What would your dog wish for on their birthday?

Awesome photography in this post provided by Pawpawrazzi Pet Photography

4 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Your Dog-Loving Valentine

This post is for all those procrastinators out there! Yes, this includes me too!

I love holidays, and I love gift giving. However, every now and again I find myself the day before a holiday or occasion without a gift to give. While running to the mall is always an option, sometimes I find myself circling still very unsure of what to buy.

If you are like me, and you find yourself late in the day on February 13th with no Valentine’s Day gift, here are a few last-minute ideas that may impress your dog-loving Valentine.

4 Last-Minute Ideas for Your Dog-Loving Valentine

Picture: This is Shasta, Rooney’s Valentine!

  1. Plan a Picnic: (Weather-permitting) All you need to do is run to the store (or not, if you have everything to make sandwiches or some other picnic-y food) and get some basic supplies for a nice lunch. In most cases, sandwiches will do. Find a cute basket and a cozy blanket and take your loved one out for a nice picnic. Make this Valentine’s Day gesture extra cute by including your dog(s). Make sure to pack a travel food and water bowl for your dog(s) so that you can all enjoy a lovely lunch.
  2. Plan a Spoil Your Dog Day Trip: Every pet parent loves to see their dog get spoiled. So plan a day where you, your Valentine, and, of course, your dog(s) visit a few of their favorite places. If you live in a colder area, the day may start out with an indoor dog park. Then a trip to the local groomer so that your dog can feel fresh and clean. In the Bay Area, you can take your dog(s) to Pet Food Express where they have a self-service dog wash. Then take a trip to your local pet store so that they can pick out some toys and treats. Then head to the local bakery to pick up some after dinner dessert for both your Valentine and your pup. If your Valentine is someone who LOVES to spend time with their dog, this will be a rewarding day!
  3. Donate to a Rescue on Their Behalf: It’s not uncommon to be able to donate to a rescue and personalize that donation in honor of someone. If your local rescue has these types of forms, be sure to put them in your card to your Valentine. Or, you could get some construction paper from Target, cut out a heart, and make a custom certificate. I know that this gesture would really warm my heart and the hearts of many other pet parents.
  4. Plan a Hike: (Weather-permitting) If your Valentine is someone who likes the outdoors, plan a Valentine’s Day hike on a dog-friendly trail! Perhaps add a little flare by giving them their gift at the top of the hike
    bring all of your hiking essentials.

If your Valentine loves dogs, but doesn’t have one yet: If your Valentine loves Corgis (because who doesn’t, right?), but they are not ready to bring one into their home just yet, you could look up a local meetup on Facebook or Meetup.com to see if there are any play days scheduled. If there is one in your local area tomorrow, take your Valentine to visit with their favorite type of dog! You could even post a message about it within the group tonight. I know that many of the Corgi groups I am apart of would love to have other Corgi enthusiasts visit :).

It’s always a good idea to have flowers and dinner plans for this day too. It may be too late for reservations, but you could always make dinner at home!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What are you and your Valentine doing tomorrow?

Exercise Program for Corgis with Degenerative Myelopathy

DMExercises

Over a year ago I wrote about Degenerative Myelopathy. It was one of the first Medical Monday topics I wanted to write about because Corgis are so prone to this issue. As a matter of fact, when we gave Rooney the Canine HealthCheck test earlier this year, we discovered that he does carry a gene for Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), and approximately 70% of Corgis carry that same gene.

Unfortunately, one of the Corgis on our Facebook page community has just received this devastating diagnosis. As pet parents, we want to help. When your dog is diagnosed with this disease, one of the things you can do is provide them with an exercise regimen. Therefore, I thought I would take the time to research exercises for this particular disease.

It is important to know that some of these exercises are similar to the 5 Core Strengthening Exercises I wrote about previously. However, when completing these exercises, you shouldn’t push your dog to complete them as if they are healthy because they are not. They have a disease, and you should have them complete all exercises as if that’s true. Additionally, their exercise program should include a combination of strengthening, stretching, and repetitive mobility.

GA Veterinary Rehabilitation, Fitness, and Pain Management stresses the importance of balancing the exercise program for dogs with DM between doing too much and not doing enough. Particularly, overdoing your dog’s exercise can worsen their disease. Therefore, any pet parent should work very closely with their veterinarian, or veterinary physical rehabilitation center, to make sure that they provide the correct range of exercise for their dog. GA Veterinary Rehab recommends that an exercise program for Degenerative Myelopathy consists of the following:

Active Exercise

Passive Exercise

Hydrotherapy

Here are some examples of Active Exercise:

Fulfilling Mobility: It is important for dogs suffering from this disease to keep them mobile. Muscle atrophy which occurs as a result of not using the muscles doesn’t improve their diseases. Additionally, exercise provides them with circulation and conditioning. The longer they have muscle to use, the longer they will be able to do the things they love. When I say fulfilling, I mean provide your dog with the exercise they LOVE! For example, is your morning walk the highlight of their day? Although this walk will need to get shorter as their disease progresses, it’s important that you take them for whatever they can handle for as long as possible.

Weight Shifting: Some exercises include equipment and should be completed ONLY at your local rehab center and with the oversight of a veterinary staff. However, other weight shifting exercises can be completed at home. Working with your veterinary staff on exercise selection is important because it does depend on your dog’s abilities, the current stage of their disease, and their range of motion.

Examples of Passive Exercise include:

Stretching: These exercises may include range of motion stretches. Once again, my research focused mostly on working with a veterinarian or rehab center and not deciding which stretches to do on your own.

Strengthening/Balancing Exercises: Some examples of strengthening exercises include sit-to-stand exercises and step-up exercises. These strengthening exercises should mimic movements your dog does on an a regular basis. Therefore, passively strengthening muscles they will need and often use (DawgBusiness).

Massage: Canine massage can improve circulation, increase flexibility, and maintain muscle tone (PetMassage.com). All of the above will help your dog maintain their range of motion and healthier muscles as their disease progresses.

Hydrotherapy can provide your dog with an opportunity to build muscle without the same strain on the joints. Additionally, using an underwater treadmill allows your dog to walk while eliminating the risk of falling. The below video is an example of a dog using an underwater treadmill and an explanation of how the treadmill works.

This video created by AKC Canine Health Foundation is fantastic at explaining Degenerative Myelopathy, how it’s diagnosed, what possible treatments are available, and what you can do.

The most important takeaway from this post is that you shouldn’t design your own exercise program for your dog with DM because you could worsen the disease, it is imperative that you work with veterinary staff. However, having an exercise program can significantly increase your dog’s quality of life as the degenerative myelopathy progresses.

Does your dog suffer from this disease? What types of exercises do you do?

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