Giving the discerning dog owner the "upper paw" on the best products, nutrition and training tips.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Safety Tips: How to Protect your Dog from Ticks

With Memorial Day weekend behind us, you are probably recovering from your long weekend and already looking forward to your next vacation.  If your next trip includes heading to the lake for the weekend, camping, or just a general rendezvous with nature...this post is for you!

As you enjoy the warm weather with your furry friend it's important that you be proactive and informed when it comes to the pesky pests and parasites that summer brings.

Did you know ticks can and DO bite in winter?!  If the weather is above 35 degrees Fahrenheit you are at risk.

In this issue, we are going to focus on discussing the health risks associated with ticks, how to protect your dog from them, and also how to remove them from your dog if he or she is bitten.

Let's begin with a little Tick 101...

In case you aren't familiar with ticks, they are small parasitic arachnids that attach themselves to a number of organisms in order to feed off their blood (ew...Gross! I know).  Because of this, they can be vectors for a whole host of diseases, such as Lyme Disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis.  The most common and well-known disease is Lyme Disease; which can take weeks or months for symptoms to present.  Lyme Disease and other tick-related illnesses can lead to debilitating health issues or even death.  It's important to understand your environment and potential risks associated with your area.  We recommend checking out, which is a great resource to help you locate which species of ticks live near you.

Taken from

Once you have identified which ticks and diseases are prevalent in your area, you are better equipped to know which steps to take next in order to protect your pet.  We recommend checking with your veterinarian to request a vaccination for Lyme Disease and then decide whether a topical medication or tick collar is best for your pup.  It is also recommended by many veterinarians to have an annual screening to check for any vector-borne illnesses to see if your dog as been exposed.  This should be completed at your annual check-up.

As part of your prevention plan, you should check for ticks everyday during the peak season.  This is usually spring, summer, and fall...unless you live in a warmer climate then you should check year round.  We recommend checking as part of your grooming regimen or as you pet your dog.  To check, run your fingers through your dog's fur and use enough pressure to be able to feel for any small bumps.

Key areas to focus on are:

  • Paws (even in-between toes)
  • Under arms
  • Ears (inside and behind)
  • Around the tail and head area  
If you feel a small bump, part the fur and check to see if this is a parasite or part of your dog's skin.

Ticks that have been removed from a host.

So, if you find a tick the next step is to remove it...

How do I remove a tick?

When removing a tick be extremely careful.  You want to be gentle and methodical, so as not to break up the tick and leave part of the parasite in your dog's skin.  If the tick is punctured, it's saliva and infectious contents can escape into your dog's skin and even yours if you are not careful or wearing protective gloves.

To remove, follow these steps by

  1. Grasp the tick very close to the skin with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers
  2. With a steady motion, pull the tick's body away from the skin.  Avoid crushing the tick to prevent infection
  3. After removal, clean your dog's skin with soap and warm water.
  4. Dispose of the tick by placing in alcohol and flushing down the toilet.

Tweezers specifically designed for Tick removal.  
What if my dog is infected?

If your pup does test positive for any of these common tick-related illnesses, there are treatment options.  If discovered early on, most dogs can be treated with antibiotics and begin to show improvement in less than a week.  It's when signs and symptoms go untreated for prolonged periods of time that makes recovery more difficult.

Lastly, it is important to remember that if your dog is found to have a vector-borne illness your family may be at risk as well.  This will require your family to be tested to ensure the illness has not been passed on.

We hope you found this post informative and helpful.  Have a happy and healthy summer!


A & A

Recommended Resources:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Products We LOVE! SleepyPod Luxury Pet Carrier

Spring is officially upon us, which means the start of vacations, road trips and long weekends at the lake.  And if you are like us, you prefer to travel with your pup!

Over the years, we have been a fan of the Sherpa...and yes, I did always want the Louis Vuitton dog carrier....however, there's a new "cool kid on the block"...I give you the SleepyPod!

Seriously?!  Have you ever seen anything more adorable?

The SleepyPod was introduced to the market in 2006 and has truly changed the travel experience for pets.  This product has been lauded by the likes of Life+Dog magazine, ModernDog, and many more industry experts as one of the best pet travel products on the market today.

SleepyPod's original product is the SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed.  The SleepyPod is superior to other travel products because of its versatility.  Use this product as a carrier, a car seat, and then zip off the top for a comfy pet bed.  Depending on your dog's size you can choose a SleepyPod original for pups up to 15lbs or the SleepyPod mini for dog's up to 5.5lbs.

You won't just use this product for air travel and trips to the vet, this will become your dog's favorite personal space and bed on the go.  As the maker's of SleepyPod say, "SleepyPod is more than a bed, it's a lifestyle."  You can take your pup everywhere in the SleepyPod!

The shape and size of the SleepyPod is easy to use.  The mesh top also provides easy visibility for your pet to view his surroundings.

Zip off the top for a cozy mobile bed

Aside from the SleepyPod Mobile Pet Bed, the company also makes 2 additional styles.

The Air is specifically designed for air travel.  This carrier redefines your pup's flight experience because of its ability to adapt in various seating environments and size restrictions.  This product can manipulate itself into 3 different sizes expanding to 22" for larger planes and retracting into a 16" space for smaller regional carriers.

The Air offers flexibility depending on your space.

The Atom is also designed and approved for air travel, however, more geared towards everyday travels, such as trips to the store or office. This product is smaller and slighter in size, so if you are looking for something less substantial this is your product.  The Atom is approved and recommended for pups up to 8lbs in size.

All of these products come in a variety of amazing colors and be customized to your pup's needs.  Most products are approved for dog's up to 15lbs and range in price from $99.99 - $179.99.

Check out SleepyPod to get your's today!  And while you are purchasing your luxury pet carrier, don't forget to check out the great accessories SleepyPod has to offer such as the plush warmer, Yummy Bowls, Little Germs organic cleansers, and the Sidekick for biking enthusiasts!

Happy Traveling!


A & A