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Keep your Pets Safe Everyday with These Medication Storage Tips

It’s common nowadays for pets to be on regular medications.  Many pets take medicine like monthly flea and tick prevention as well as monthly heartworm pills.  If your pup is in their twilight years, your list of medications can grow drastically between joint medicine, vitamins and pain medications.  They come in all forms- tablets, liquids, creams, injectables, vitamins, etc.

All of these medications help your pet stay healthy and happy and hopefully lead longer lives.  However, just like our own medications, they are nothing to fool around with.  Medications that are improperly stored can put your pets and even your family members (such as children or spouse) at risk.  Your vet should be the go-to expert on tips and tricks to keep your medications stored safely since your pet’s welfare is their chief concern. However, we have some recommendations that could help you minimize the dangers of your pet medicine.

  1. Store Medications out of Reach of your Children and Pets

It sounds like common sense, but it’s very important to keep pet medications stored in a secure location out of reach of pets and children. However, this can be tricky. What constitutes out of reach? Especially if you have cats that can get into the highest nooks and crannies with ease.  A high, closed cupboard is the most ideal for drugs that also need to be stored at room temperature. If you want to be extra safe, you can lock the cupboard, especially in the instance of extra curious pets or children.  If you have other animals, such as horses, cows or pigs, make sure you treat them in an area that your dog or cat can’t get to.  Smaller animals have been known to be accidentally killed after coming into contact with spilled medications or even eating the fecal matter of treated animals.

  1. Be Cautious of Flavored Medications

Most medicines are very unappetizing.  No one enjoys taking gross tasting medicine, so why would your pet be any different? Many of today’s medications contain flavoring to make them taste better than normal- especially for your pets.  If you have one of these medications and you hide it in a lower drawer or cupboard, your dog (especially if they have a good nose!) can rummage through the cabinet or drawer and find it and have a feast- with devastatingly deadly effects. Most pill bottles are no match for your dog’s teeth, and they can and will ingest it.

Toddlers or young children are often lured by medication flavorings that smell like candy.  It creates the potential for accidental overdose or exposure, which can have terrible consequences.  All the more reason to find a safe space that is out of reach of most pets and children.

  1. Mark your Meds or Separate them Completely from Your Pet Meds

Pet medications should be stored securely just like human medications.  Perhaps the best place to store them is in the same spot as your human medications.  However, if at all possible they should be kept in separate areas.  Confusing pet and human medicines is all too common of an issue, and it can make you or your pet very sick.   There are two easy steps to avoid this problem.  First, check the label every time you reach for meds.  This is a simple, quick way to ensure that no creature is getting the wrong medicine.  This is especially simple since many pet clinics are starting to add logos, or cartoon paw prints on the cap to help instantly differentiate bottles.  Secondly, if you keep your meds in a completely different area than your pet meds, you will never give them the wrong one.  It protects both you and your pet.

  1. Check Expiration Dates and Storage Instructions

Medications have a shelf life and storage instructions, just like your groceries.  If you don’t store them the way they need, they won’t work the way they’re supposed to, and in some cases, they can become dangerous with serious side effects. Some medicines need refrigeration, so check your vet’s instructions thoroughly.

If a medication is expired, it’s automatically off-limits to pets.  They can become dangerous or less effective because of chemical changes that have occurred over time.  Injectable medications that are expired have a high risk of bacteria growing in the vial.  Any drug that’s expired can become toxic.  Dispose of any expired medications to avoid confusion or accidental ingestion.

All of these things are simple and can keep you from seriously hurting your pet or your family.  Take appropriate actions to ensure medicine safety in your home.

Share what you know about keeping medications out of the reach of your pets in the comments below. 

 

Pet Approved Recipe – Peanut Butter and Bacon Biscuits

A fun way to show your pooch you care is to make homemade snacks! A dog treat should be a special time for you and your dog. First, don’t make treats a substitute for physical activity.

Tony Buffington, DVM, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State Universty recommends that treats make up no more than five percent of your pet’s total daily caloric intake. Humans, if you stop for ice cream after your workout, which is my favorite thing to do, you will probably want to eat a little less lunch. The same holds true for your pet. If you give your pets treats, then it should replace some of his regular food. Although, treats are not a substitute for food. Homemade treats are a great healthy option. There are other options too, but we will talk about that on another day.

As Tony Buffington mentions, your primary concern should be portion control, as well as staying mindful of ingredient safety. Here is a list of problematic foods that you may want to avoid using in your recipes, especially if your pet has food sensitivities. Also, ask your veterinarian, they are your best source.

Now what you have been waiting for, the paw role, please…

Peanut Butter and Bacon Biscuits by Michelle Johnson at DogTreatKitchen.com. The DogTreatKitchen.com is a great resource for making different types of dog treats, recipes, and tips.

Since bacon is high in fat and sodium, this may not be an everyday biscuit. But we’ve tried to offset the indulgent ingredients with healthy and nutritional ones, like ground flax and wheat bran. With two of dogs favorite flavors, all in one dog treat, get ready to wipe the drool off the floor, and make extra batches!

Ingredients:
• 2 pieces bacon, thick cut, cooked
and crumbled
• 1/8 cup bacon grease
• 2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1/4 cup ground flax
• 1/4 cup wheat bran
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 3/4 cup water

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 325° F
2. Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel.
3. Pour the bacon grease into a glass measuring cup.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground flax, wheat bran, and baking powder.
5. Crumble the bacon, once cooled, and stir into the flour mixture.
6. In a microwave safe bowl, warm the peanut butter. Approximately 30 seconds.
7. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg. Then pour in the peanut butter, water, and bacon grease. Use a fork to whisk together the wet ingredients until completely combined.
8. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the peanut butter mixture.
9. Stir until combined.
10. Knead lightly in the bowl with your hands.
11. Lay down one large sheet of parchment paper, roll your dough onto it, then lay another piece of parchment on top. You’ll essentially have a dog treat dough sandwich. See the video for tips.
12. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness.
13. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
14. Cut shapes out of the dough and place on your prepared baking sheet. Gather the extra dough, knead into a ball, and repeat the process of rolling and cutting until there is no more dough.
15. Bake for 15 minutes.
16. Turn off the oven and leave them there to cool for 2 hours or overnight.

Storing – These homemade dog biscuits will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. They will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Yield – Using a 3-inch bone shaped cookie cutter, you will get 18 homemade dog biscuits.

We hope your pooch has enjoyed the treat and you had fun making it for your pooch. We are here to help you with questions, concerns or pet care. Think of us when you think of pet care. We have great blog articles, so be sure to check us out https://www.2pawsupinc.com/recent-blog/

We offer pet sitting, cat sitting, dog sitting, caring for birds, and small exotics, dog walking, and dog training in the Snellville, Lilburn, Grayson, Loganville, and parts of Stone Mountain and Lawrenceville.

Easy Ways to Play More With Your Dog

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Even when your dog gets plenty of exercise through walking, he still needs chances to play at any age. In our world, though, making time to play one-on-one on a regular basis can feel challenging even though you really want to spend time with him. Plus, bored dogs tend to get into trouble! So help set him up for success with some fun and easy ways to stimulate his brain and his natural sense of fun even when it’s rainy or you just can’t get outside for long.

We hope you enjoyed our last post on easy ways to play with your cats, and now we present some fun ideas to do the same for your dogs. Anyone can work these ideas into their schedule and make for a happier dog – and a happier owner too!

Get active indoors

The magic of taking off all the couch cushions and putting blankets over tables to create an obstacle course isn’t just for kids. You can use sofa cushions, boxes, and all sorts of things around the house to create a fun course for your dog where you can teach her to jump over objects and climb through tunnels. Some dogs will learn quickly, while others might need more practice (and be patient). If she isn’t interested, you can always play hide-and-seek around the objects.

For more hide-and-seek fun, hide around a corner or doorway and peek out, then snap back out of sight once your dog notices you. Give him a big hug or treat when he dashes around the corner to find you.

Set up a search and rescue

Making a fun scavenger hunt for your dog can be great fun. You can hide treats for her to find around the room. Or if she has a favorite toy or knows the name of one of her toys, hide it in a basket or pile of other toys, and tell her to “get your toy/bone!” Food-dispensing toys can be another fun way to get her to work for her food or treats. And this game using things you probably already have – a muffin tin and tennis balls – makes for a great way for your dog to earn some treats.

You can also play the “which hand” game where you enclose a treat, bit of kibble, or a piece of carrot or frozen green bean in one hand, present two closed fists before your dog, and let him choose which hand contains the goodie. When he chooses the right hand, open it and let him have his prize. If he doesn’t get it right away, it’s okay; it might take a minute for him to catch onto the idea of the game.

Go fishing

Toys on strings aren’t just for cats! Many dogs love to try and catch a toy in their mouth as you wave it around. If you don’t have a fishing-type toy, just attach a soft toy securely onto the end of a string, and wave it around or pull it along the floor for him to run after and catch (the slower, the better). This activity can also be a good tool for teaching the “give” command when you need him to release it.

Non-toxic bubbles can be lots of fun for dogs as they jump and try to catch the bubbles in their mouths as well.

2 Paws Up’s pet sitters and dog walkers are always here to help when your work days run too long or you’re away from home for a trip. We’ll help your pup stay entertained and stimulated to ease any boredom and make it extra fun for her to have company in addition to some energy-burning walks. Give us a call at 770.695.3096, or contact us today to request a quote or become a client!

Let us know if you try any of these easy playtime ideas!

Get Outside! 3 No-Pull Harnesses for Hikes & Walks

With the beautiful fall weather we’ve been having (okay, except for the smoke from the North Georgia wildfires going on right now), you might feel more apt to get outside with your dog on the weekends. Even though 2 Paws Up’s dog walkers might be walking him or her for you on a regular basis as well, there’s nothing quite like getting out in nature with your dog to bond and get him out of his routine. Getting outside is a perfect way to feel more grounded in your life too, and who couldn’t use more of that?

Georgia is full of beautiful places to hike with dogs, even if you don’t consider yourself much of an outdoor person or skilled hiker. You don’t necessarily even have to buy a whole bunch of gear to get started. But there are a few products that might help walking your dog a little easier, especially if you have a strong puller or dog who is easily distracted.

Whether you’re interested in hiking or just going to a park or around the neighborhood, here are 3 of our favorite harnesses for a smoother, more enjoyable walk for both you and your dog. These harnesses will encourage him to pull less without putting pressure on the throat and hopefully save your arms!

Gentle Leader Headcollar

A long-standing staple for owners of strong dogs who pull, the Gentle Leader fits around your dog’s face in such a way that they are gently reminded to stay on track beside you, yet they are still unencumbered enough to eat and drink water while wearing it (important when you’re on a long adventure!).

Gentle Leader Headcollar

 

Kurgo

These harnesses are very strong and durable, and some can even convert into seatbelt harnesses for the drive to and from your outdoor adventure, so it’s like you get two products in one. Some have plastic buckles, and some have metal interlocking buckles. They’re comfortable and easily adjustable with chest and back leash attachment options.

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Sporn

With a variety of types to choose from, this brand is focused on comfort. Your dog can wear a breathable mesh harness or even one with padded cushions for their armpits to prevent skin irritation. These harnesses are advertised as guaranteed to prevent your dog from pulling.

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Remember to respect leash laws wherever you end up going, and let us know what your favorite local hiking spots are below or on Facebook or Instagram!

What Makes Your Pet Happy

Are there tell-tail signs that indicate to you your pet
is happy? Why, yes, there are!

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A Happy Dog…

  • has a “sparkle” or “glow” about him. He’s interested in his surroundings and enjoys interaction with people and other animals.
  • makes eye contact and is interested in his humans’ activities. He often joins in on the fun.
  • is interested in eating his food.
  • has a shiny coat, bright eyes, pink gums and a pink tongue (except for Shar Peis, Chow Chows, or other black tongued breeds, of course!)
  • wags his tail when in verbal or physical contact with humans.
  • makes pleasure noises when interacting with humans and other animals (noises that his humans know as happy noises).
  • sleeps well at night with little or no disturbance.
  • rolls around in obvious pleasure.
  • appears to spontaneously seek pleasure, like running and/or swimming in the surf when at the beach.
  • is relaxed around other dogs and has good inter-canine relationships.

 

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A Happy Cat…

  • is confident, interacts with her humans, and often initiates contact.
  • “talks” to her humans (the classic sound of feline happiness is the “purrrrrr,” of course).
  • has bright eyes, a good coat, pink gums and tongue, and grooms herself several times per day.
  • rolls on her back, jumps and plays.
  • wanders around her house and/or outdoors seeking entertainment, such as swatting at bugs, chasing butterflies, calling birds, using her scratching post, and playing hide and seek.

You’ll likely notice the list for a happy cat is noticeably shorter than the list for a happy dog, but, as most cat lovers know, cats aren’t quite as outgoing as dogs and are prone to standoffish personalities.

So how does your pet rank on the happiness meter? Is Tigger a typical happy cat, or do you feel there may be cause to worry? Whether you are the pet parent of a dog or a cat, if you notice any concerning changes in your pet’s behavior, speak to your vet. After all, while our pets can display obvious signs of happiness like the ones above, they can’t verbally tell us when something is wrong, and are quite skilled at masking pain and discomfort.

Acid Reflux in Dogs

Just like us, dogs can also get acid reflux. The condition in dogs is referred to Gastroesopogeal Reflux which is a condition that has gastric and intestinal fluids that connect the throat and the stomach. That means that the condition may show up when there is a relaxation of the base of the esophagus and also this may cause chronic vomiting. The reflux is very common in dogs, it can occur at any time and it seems that younger dogs are at a greater risk than older dogs.

This gastro intestinal acid, is called pepsin, bile salts, and there are other kinds of juices as well as mucus that can lead to the inflammation and the swelling of the esophagus as well when they come into contact with the throat.

The condition is able to happen in dogs and also in cats and is important to make sure that it is treated as quickly as possible in the event that it is seen in all dogs.

What Are the Symptoms of This Condition?

This condition can cause all kinds of damage and also may be the source of different levels of damage. What that means is that it can actually erode the lining as well of the esophagus, it can damage the internal layers and cause many problems.

The issues with the dog can cause many symptoms such as vomiting, pain, as well as swallowing, lack of appetite, and also many issues with weight loss. An exam will not show any findings but it may also lead to other problems like fever and also salivation and drooling.

What is the Cause of This Condition?

The causes of acid reflux can also happen any time when there is an anesthetic that is administered, that happens because there is then an opening that happens between the stomach and the esophagus. This happens when there is an improper positioning that happens with the pet during the process and that means the dog may not have the proper process of anesthesia. This will cause acid reflux in the dog.

There is also a congenital condition that causes this situation as well that is called a hiatal hernia and it is the reason of the reflux as well. Younger dogs are always at a greater risk than older ones to get the condition because they are still developing the proper closing and functions as well. This will also lead to long term vomiting as well as other risk factors.

What is the Diagnosis for This Condition?

The best way to diagnose the condition is by an esophagostomy which is an examination with a camera that will look at the inside of the esophagus. That also means that this is the best way to determine what is happening in the throat as well as look at the reflux issues that are happening. There is also an exam that may look at the surface of the throat and look at the mucus. There also can be a lot of issues as see that there is bleeding in the throat.

There are many other diagnoses that also can come from a caustic agent as well as a foreign problem that can appear as well as or a hiatal hernia. There are also many other issues as well that are in the throat and in the mouth, there is also another condition that happens in the muscles when they are not working properly and they are not able to push food into the stomach.

What is The Treatment for This Condition?

There are many treatments that are able to be done at home such as getting rid of food for one or two days and also allowing there to be a healthy regimen for the pet. You want to make sure that you are working with your vet to know what you should be doing and that means that you need to be making sure that you listening to the advice of your vet and that you are able to ensure that you have to reduce the amount of fat that is in the middle of the muscle and also that you reduce the amount of protein as this is what will stimulate the production of acid.

There are many medications that are also available that can be administered with the assistance of your vet. It is very important to make sure that you are able to have access to the best solutions out there and work with your vet.