Importance of Training with Hand Signals? By Beth Crosby You might notice changes in your dog's sight and hearing as it ages. Fortunately, we can train blind and deaf dogs. Today, we'll look at the benefits of training puppies with hand signals. Silent commands are useful with hearing dogs in loud situations and agility competitions. Instead of speaking to convey the desired behavior, the human moves his hand and possibly arms and body. Do you notice that you clap your hands when you call Rover? This might be an example of unconsciously using common sense signals to supplement our oral commands. Other times we intentionally teach the dog silent commands in addition to voice commands. "Hand signals encourage the dogs to watch as well as listen," Michael DeAngury explained. The Charlotte owner of Dog Training In Your Home continued," They are a primary means of training deaf dogs along with sign language". While no established dog hand training language is agreed upon, several hand commands are accepted by dog training professionals. Different people might use different commands, just as some pet owners say "Off" while others say "No!". (The distinctions in voice commands is another post. Dogs don't understand multiple definitions for a single word.) Hand training commands include sit, down (as in lie down), stand, heel, crate, and even a few fun offerings like spin. Hand training can prompt most, if not all, behaviors. In addition, pet owners use body language, body movement and sign language. At Fluffs of Luv, your pet's care and comfort is our primary concern. We are happy to enhance visits with your pets by using hand commands during our visits. Call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule fall and holiday visits. Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved.?If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv. RESOURCES deafdogs.org/training/signs.php? dogs.about.com/od/dogtraining/a/Training-Dogs-Using-Hand-Signals.htm

When should you take your pet to the vet? Some pet parents call the veterinarian about everything they notice: sneezes, long claws, or dirty ears. Others visit the vet only when the pet is on the brink of death. Both annual exams and emergencies warrant vet visits. Of course, puppies and kittens require more frequent check-ups during the first year. Annual visits can identify problems before they are too big to resolve. These visits also provide the opportunity for preventive care, such as heartworm medicine. If heartworm doses are missed, a test is required to determine if the pet is infected. Info on how to prevent heart worms Some people think traveling vets provide adequate care. These vets offer required shots and some tests, such as a heartworm test, but they don't offer "check-ups" or exams. Administering shots is only part of an annual visit to the veterinarian. What happens at a check-up? An annual veterinary visit includes examining the skin, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth and abdomen. Fecal and urine cultures can detect harmful bacteria, parasites, or infections. The vet also asks questions about behavioral changes, what kind of food and treats the pet eats, and changes the owner has noticed. Specific breeds require attention to traits such as hip dysplasia or ear infections. Veterinarians bring experience and  examine through the eye of an experienced animal practitioner. What additional care might be necessary? Veterinarians provide dental cleanings beyond what owners can do at home. Oral health becomes more important as the pet ages. Bad breath should be addressed with your veterinarian because malodor can indicate infected gums and tartar build-up. As with humans, infections can enter animals' bodies through unhealthy teeth and gums, resulting in a weakened immune system. The body is more susceptible to disease with compromised immunity. Poor tooth and gum health can cause pain that prevents pets from eating or dogs to snap if the mouth is touched. What other reasons would you go to the vet? If your pet exhibits signs of pain, discomfort or behavioral changes, call your veterinarian. Allergy symptoms such as runny eyes and noses or scratching are another reason to contact your vet. Also, if the pet gains or loses weight in a short time period, consult your vet. Pet Tech™, the first international training center dedicated to  CPR, First Aid and Care for dogs and cats, recommends an immediate visit to the vet if any of the situations below occur. Call your vet to let them know you are on the way in an emergency. Your vet might redirect you to a specialist or emergency veterinarian. Quickly getting the pet to the appropriate doctor is critical. What requires an emergency vet visit? 1. Trauma to head, chest or abdomen 2. Seizure, first time or prolonged 3. Arterial bleeding 4. Fractures 5. Poisoning 6. Shock - Symptoms include weak, rapid, shallow breathing; confusion; pale gums and weakness. The pet can be conscious or not. 7. Respiratory distress 8. Inability to walk 9. Bloat 10. Unconsciousness Time is of the essence in an emergency. Call the vet right away so that your pet is treated immediately. Know your vet's telephone number and address, as well as how to get there. Take time to write down and perhaps record on your phone Your vet's NAME ___________________ Address ___________________ Phone number ___________________ Any other specialists the dog sees NAME ___________________ Address ___________________ Phone number ___________________ Maintain a list of medications your dog takes, such as heartworm medicines, flea control, daily meds and glucosamine. Record immediately all medications you administered since the pet showed signs of injury or illness (Benedryl, pain reliever, Pepto Bismol, etc.) NOTE: Pepto Bismol and Kaopectate formulated with the ingredient bismuth subsalicylate are harmful to cats. As a responsible owner, you should take your pet to the vet for annual visits, as well as concerns for its health and emergencies. If you don't have a vet you like or trust, we can refer a provider for your pet. At Fluffs of Luv, your pet's care and comfort is our primary concern. We are trained in pet first aid and will take your pets to the vet in an emergency. We are also happy to transport pets to scheduled vet visits at the owner's request. (Schedule the additional vet visit.) Call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule visits. Resources pettech.net By: Beth Crosby Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Safe, Inexpensive Houseplant Entertains Cats Many cats sleep most of the day, and you have to trick them into exercise. One great option is fresh or dried catnip, even for older kitties. Catnip affects about 70 percent of cats that have the genetic disposition to enjoy the plant. Kittens can acquire a taste for the treat as they age. Some cats don't respond at all, while others are so sensitive that they hallucinate or act drunken. So watch your cat the first time you give it catnip to ensure they enjoy the experience. Surprisingly, catnip relieves feline stress and nervousness, as well as inspiring activity. After cats play for the five or ten minutes they are induced to play by the chemical, nepetalactone, which seems to mimic the pheromones causing happiness. The key to relaxing your kitty is to give the catnip about 15 minutes prior to a stressful event, such as a trip to the vet. Recovering from the exertion,  the cat will be tired and calm. Catnip frenzies typically lasts 5 to 10 minutes. Then cats lose interest. The effects are present for an hour or two, according to petMD. But like anything else, cats can get bored with catnip if exposed too frequently. Fresh dried catnip is more potent than older catnip, so keep this member of the mint family in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. Freezers are a good choice. Also, some less expensive brands contain more stems or seeds, which do not contain as much nepetalactone. Kong brand has a reputation for good cat products. While some cats will consume all of the grass in front of them, others nibble. Both are safe options, as well as dried catnip or capnip oil. You can also purchase catnip flavored bubbles. Like other catnip products, some are more potent than others. Dr. Patty Khuly of PetMD recommends The Crazy Cat Catch-A-Bubble, available on-line. Batting the toys releases catnip and keeps kitty happy. You can also roll toys in dried catnip, sprinkle it on scratching posts and pads and spray catnip oil on toys to refresh the smell. Growing catnip at home is simple if you can keep the seedlings away from the beneficiaries of the sprouting grass. This Humane Society link provides simple instructions. www.humanesociety.org/news/magazines/2012/01-02/how_does_your_cat_grass_grow.html However,  most cats don't limit their veggie intake to catnip and cat grass (which is typically a mix of oat, rye, barley, and wheat grasses). They also enjoy houseplants, which can be toxic. So if you allow your cat to eat fresh catnip, be certain to keep plants you don't want maintained by the four legged member of the family out of the cat's reach! Fluffs of Luv is happy to play with your cats, as well as caring for them. If you have questions about your cat's care or topics you would like to see in this blog, call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule visits. Resources: petMD.com, HumanSociety.org   By Beth Crosby Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Protecting pets is easier than ever By Beth Crosby We take our dogs with us, whether for companionship or fun, and we want to keep them safe. Some of our cats need a little intervention, too. Take a look at the options below. Doggles - Have you seen these goggles for doggies? Letting our dogs ride with their heads out of windows, in sidecars, and in the beds of trucks poses real danger to their eyes, ears, and even their heads and bodies. Doggles protect dogs from foreign objects, wind, and UV light (glare and light sensitivity). This protective eyewear comes in many models, and all boast flexible, snug-fitting frames with foam padding against the face with the canine head shape in mind, polycarbonate (shatterproof) and anti-fog lenses; and adjustable elastic head and chin straps. Sizes fit dogs from 3 to 250 pounds. Life Vests - All dogs can't swim, so whether you are enjoying the pool or a boat, a life vest is crucial for Rover's safety. Brightly colored life vests help boaters, skiers and jet skiers see your dog in the water. "In the case of extreme fatigue, strong currents or a blow to the head, a well made life vest (can) keep your pet afloat, and strong handles can aid you in rescuing him from the water," according to The Modern Bark. Any vest you consider should be lightweight, brightly colored with reflective strips, have handles and well-rated flotation; and dry quickly to prevent chafing. Ruff  Rider Roadie - When traveling in a vehicle, always secure your dog. A seatbelt and harness combination that allows your dog the freedom to sit, stand and lie down comfortably is far superior to a kennel that can break or shatter on impact. The Ruff Rider Roadie allows your dog to comfortably see and feel part of the family in the car but still remain safe and secure in its seat or equipped cargo area. This harness and connector set is easy to use, especially if the pet is accustomed to wearing a harness. "The Roadie Canine Vehicle Restraint is designed to meet the same stringent standards that human seatbelts must meet," according to Auto Geek, and the webbing exceeds standards for a human seatbelt. The Roadie's design prevents chafing and will not choke your four-legged friend. Leash type - Retractable leashes make walking dogs easy. Pups can roam and have a little freedom, BUT they also can run free and rip the hard plastic leash handle from the human's hand. The break-away puts both the dog and walker in danger. The dog can run upon unsuspecting people and animals, causing an accident or biting incident or run into the street. Meanwhile, the human must retrieve a dog that enjoys playing chase. Sometimes the walker is injured in a fall, especially if a smaller person walks a strong dog. The safer option is to use a leather or canvas leash with the leash handle securely wrapped around your wrist. Don't just hold the leash loosely in your hand. Wrap the loop of the leash securely around your wrist and hold onto the length of the leash with the same hand as the wrist that holds the handle. Reflective Leashes - Walking dogs at night can be dangerous. Both people and pets need reflective tape or clothing when walking after the sun disappears. Athletic stores sell reflective gear, tape and tennis shoes for  humans. Reflective leashes and collars are available from pet specialty outlets. If your cat goes outside, a reflective collar is a sensible option for Fluffy, too. LED Leashes - BriteDoggie LED Pet Safety Collars have a switch that lets you choose a steady light or two blinking options and comes in six colors. The lights don't bother the pet because the collar rests behind the head. These battery operated collars offer neck sizes as small as nine inches and up to 30 inches. For an introductory period, the 48-inch leash in matching colors can be added for $10, for a total of $29.97. Cat owners, in particular, appreciate the breakaway side buckle release. As we take our pets with us more and more, we see?and invent?many safety options. The list above is a brief introduction. What accessories do you recommend for pet safety? Let us know in the comments. At Fluffs of Luv, your pets' care and comfort is our goal. Call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule visits for your fall and winter travels and daily visits or to ask how we strive to keep your pets safe. Resources: http://shop.doggles.com/why_doggles http://themodernbark.petgiftsonline.com/2013/05/4-best-dog-life-jackets-reviewed.html http://ruffrider.com/ http://www.shoppuppylove.com/products/over-6-000-000-dogs-cats-were-killed-on-us-roads-last-year?variant=2131868364 https://keepdoggiesafe.com/collections/collars?gclid=CjwKEAjw26C9BRCOrKeYgJH17kcSJACb-HNAq1jT1VZuHeVbzlD7GupVt-vDKPZAh2BK9qp1YQ0zjhoCzuDw_wcB9 Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Minimize dangers to your pet when cleaning the grill By Beth Crosby When we think of grill safety and pets, burns come to mind.  Some summer dangers from our last blog http://fluffsofluv.com/hot-hot-dog/.  We often overlook the dangers of cleaning the grill. Why are bristle brushes bad? In the past few years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned about using bristle brushes to clean grills and grill grates. Both dogs and people have suffered from loose or broken bristles sticking to grill grates and transferring to food. Eating food prepared on the grill can cause the detached bristle to lodge in the throat, puncture the intestines, or even press against the bladder, causing pain. Sometimes, the bristle will cause infection and abscess.  In one case, a human lost six inches of intestine to remove the infection. Often the small bristles are invisible on an X-ray and only an ultra sound or CT scan shows the offender. Of course, pets cannot tell us where they hurt or describe the pain. In dogs, the symptoms can mimic pancreatitis. Animals, by nature, want to avoid looking weak, so they attempt to mask their pain. This delay in treatment increases the danger. How do we protect our dogs? The best option is to throw out grill cleaning brushes with metal bristles. But if you use bristled brushes, take these precautions. 1. Police what you scrape from the grill. Be careful when disposing the residue. If you toss the debris into a pile in the yard or an open trash can, dogs can easily get into the aromatic refuse. 2. Wash grates in soapy water after using the bristle brush to ensure no bristles remain. 3. Use a halved onion after you have turned up the heat to burn off charred food. Put a halved onion, cut side down, on the end of a long fork and scrape the grates to remove remaining residue. What are some other cleaning methods? 1. Opt for coil brushes. These top the Good Housekeeping list. Sharon Franke, director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab in the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends Brushtec. The Institute also recommends Parker & Bailey BBQ Grill Cleaner and Degreaser for deep cleaning. 2. Employ scouring or abrasive pads. Alternatively, balled up aluminum foil is an option to scrape grates. 3. Try a pumice stone or the more environmentally friendly Grill Stone to provide exceptional cleaning. 4. Apply Carbona, spray oven cleaners, or cleaning agents (used in a well-ventilated area). But note: They take a bit of time and have chemical components that can be dangerous. 5. Several other alternatives are available at http://bbq.about.com/od/accessories/tp/Alternatives-To-Wire-Grill-Brushes.htm At Fluffs of Luv, your pets' care and comfort is our primary concern. Call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule visits for your travels and daily visits. Resources: www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a32733/wire-grill-brush-dangers/ www.earthstoneinternational.com/cleaning/grill-stone www.webmd.com/diet/video/keeping-grill-safe-clean (Promotes oven cleaner and bristles, but is thorough) http://bbq.about.com/od/accessories/tp/Alternatives-To-Wire-Grill-Brushes.htm Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

How Hot is Too Hot for your Dog? By Beth Crosby A professional pet sitter who owned her business once asked me if I thought dogs felt hot asphalt under their feet. I was flabbergasted that she asked and fearful for the pets in her care. Dogs' pads are flesh. Pads have nerve endings like any other flesh. If the surface is too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot for a pet, too. Consider walking the dog on grass if you must walk it during the heat. Both cement and asphalt liquefy in high temperatures and can seep into a dog's bare skin. I have seen a dog with tar in his paws. Without that extreme, the burn is still painful and intense. Other hot surfaces might include a boat or pool deck. Cool water can lower the temperature, but be sure reapply cold water frequently because the water heats in the sun, as well. Other dangers include outdoor grills and ranges. If you grill out or cook in an outdoor kitchen, remember these hot surfaces can be dangerous lures to your pet because the food or residue smells yummy. If a surface is too hot for you to touch without protecting your skin, it's too hot for your pet's bare skin. Sunscreen is for pets, too Dogs with short fur or thin coats are particularly sensitive to UVA and UVB sun rays. Pink noses and tummies are also at risk for burning and skin cancers. So when you pick up sunscreen for yourself, remember to get sunscreen specifically for pets. Zinc oxide is the active ingredient in most sun block (and some diaper-rash ointments), but the element is deadly to dogs. (That's why pennies are dangerous to dogs.) Be sure to get a sunscreen without the zinc oxide. Many options are on the market, but if you are unsure, talk to your vet or pet sitter to see if they can recommend a product. Unattended cars are dangerous One last reminder: Cars heat quickly, and dogs suffer in hot cars with little circulation, no water, and stress. "At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees...When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172," according to heatkills.org/how-hot/ This information is not new, but every year, dogs suffer and die in hot vehicles. Owners think they'll just run in for a minute, and the dog will be fine. But how often have you run into the store to get two things and then remembered the other five things you need before getting into a slow line? Well-intentioned owners find themselves with a sick or dead pup because time slips away. Do your pets a favor and leave them at home in the cool. The alternative of leaving the car running is dangerous for other reasons, such as the dog locking itself in the car or pushing it into gear. You can take your pets for a ride around the block later and devote a few minutes just to them. At Fluffs of Luv, your pets' care and comfort is our primary concern. Our pet sitters are trained in pet safety and make your pets' health and  safety our priority. Call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule visits for your summer and fall travels. Visit the resources below for additional information on summer sun safety. Resources: www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/what-you-need-to-know-about-pet-sun-protection-this-summer www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/skin-care/keeping-fun-in-the-sun-safe-for-your-dog www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/july/burnt_pad_denial_in_dogs-11436# Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Not all dogs can swim By Beth Crosby A billboard along I-77 says "Pool rules: Let the dog in the pool." It should come with a disclaimer as large as the sign that says IF the dog can swim and IF it has adult supervision. Pet owners and trainers share their stories of why they live with the painful consequences of dogs that couldn't swim. A pet parent discovered that her small dog had gotten out of the house and into the pool while she was gone. When she couldn't find the dog anywhere, she looked outside. She went to the pool and found her beloved pet at the bottom! (I will give you a moment to catch your breath before I go on to a less extreme, but still terrible, example.) An experienced dog trainer responded to clients who bought a new home when the owners found their well-trained German shepherds struggling to get out of the pool. The dogs had never been trained to swim because the family didn't have a pool. When the trainer arrived, the two dogs' paws were bloody from trying to pull themselves up onto the cement edge of the pool. They had to be trained to swim to the shallow end and climb up the steps. The myth that all dogs can swim and doggie paddle is sadly unfounded. Other dangers arise Aside from the trauma that can come from a pet that can't swim, consider the effects of chlorine or salt water on your skin and hair. You become itchy and feel sticky or dirty. A dog will feel the same way. And sticky fur can cause the pet to feel even warmer on hot summer days. Last, consider how your stomach responds when you swallow chlorine or salt water. You want to vomit or feel bad for several hours. Your dog responds the same way and is much more likely to ingest water than you are simply because its mouth is along the water line when it swims. Swimming is good for dogs. Our Labs love to swim, as do many breeds. But for the sake of your beloved pets, always supervise, teach them to swim if they can't, and consider using a flotation device or life-saver for your pup.

New prescription medicine calms anxious dogs By Beth Crosby Sileo offers hope to owners of anxious dogs. If your adult dog suffers during fireworks and thunderstorms, this formulation for use at home might offer help. Expands use of proven treatment The Sileo formulation approved by the FDA and now available to pet owners is an oral version but in an "EXTREMELY low dose (compared to the dose we give as an injection)," Dr. Julie Reck of Veterinary Medical Center in Fort Mill said. Nearly a third of dogs are traumatized by noise, and their owners feel the anguish but have not had a resource until now. This oral gel can be easily administered between the teeth and gums and has proved to calm suffering pets while they continue to interact normally. Calms fear and destruction As pet sitters, we have seen dogs hide under furniture when they hear fireworks, thunderstorms or other noise, such as alarms. They break teeth and hurt their paws trying to escape and can destroy homes in their distress. Sileo offers a calming alternative to medicines such as Xanax, developed for humans and prescribed for animals, which can cause pets to be disoriented or sedated. Prescribed by veterinarians Only your veterinarian can prescribe Sileo, and puppies and some dogs with health concerns are not candidates for the drug. Pregnant women should not handle the oral syringe. So ask your vet if Sileo is a good fit for your anxious dog. Each $30 syringe contains enough gel for one to ten doses. Dosage depends on the dog's weight. The medication takes about 30 minutes to take effect and lasts for 2 to 3 hours. An open syringe can be used for 2 to 3 weeks. "We are really excited about this product," Reck said. "The medication in Sileo has been around in veterinary medicine a long time... in an injectable form that we give to sedate or quiet pets for quick painless procedures such as X-rays, orthopedic exams, nail trims for fearful pets, etc." At Fluffs of Luv, your pet's care and comfort is our primary concern. We are happy to administer Sileo at no additional charge during our regularly scheduled visits. Call us or visit fluffsofluv.com today to schedule visits for your summer travels. Resources: www.zoetisus.com/products/dogs/sileo/ www.zoetisus.com/products/dogs/sileo/canine-noise-aversion.aspx www.vmcfortmill.com/ Copyright ©2016 Fluffs of Luv. All rights reserved. If any part of this publication is reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a database or retrieval system, full credit must be given to Beth Crosby and Fluffs of Luv. No part may be used for commercial gain without the express written permission of Fluffs of Luv.

Dogs appreciate appropriately sized crates Much to the surprise of many dog owners, Fido enjoys his own cave. Many dogs find the cozy size of their crates to be comforting, especially amidst commotion or noise. They find solace in their little If crates aren' t used to confine dogs too long or too often, dogs appreciate the personal space. Dogs should be crated no longer than half of the day at a time and overnight. They need exercise and potty breaks during the day after eating. The pups also enjoy the toys and treats they get while inside their Why are cages a good idea? Dogs keep their living areas clean, so they try to avoid soiling their own spaces. A puppy with too much room in the crate will enjoy a suite with a bedroom and private bathroom. Confine them to their little bedrooms and move dividers to expand the size as your pup grows. (Be aware that a puppy eliminates every hour for its age in months.) Ex. A 2-month- old needs a potty break every two hours. Dogs should never be expected to go more than 8 hours without a break. How do you know what size crate your dog needs? Correctly sizing your dog's crate is crucial. Crates are expensive, but you can migrate your puppy into a large crate if you make or buy dividers. This is especially helpful when crate training or house training. Obviously, the dog needs to be able to stand and sit without bumping its head on the top. And they need room to stretch out on their sides and to turn around without being cramped. But they need to feel cozy, too, so don't get a crate that's too large. How do you measure for appropriate size? Length: The crate should be 2-4 inches longer than your adult dog will be from nose to tail base (not the tail). This will allow the dog to stretch out comfortably. Height: The height should be 2-4 inches taller than the pet standing or sitting with its nose up, whichever is higher. The width will be appropriate if the height and length are sized properly. Remember, get a crate for your full-size dog and partition it off for the puppy as it grows. Sometimes those dividers need to move every week! An extra-small cage measures about 24 inches long. Larger cages reach 72 inches in length. Crates provide a cozy den for dogs from teacup chihuahuas to great Danes. With this in mind, do not go into the crate when your dog is inside. Dogs feel secure in their crates, especially as they age, and perceive anyone intruding as a threat. A chart for the appropriate size for your breed can be found here. (https://apdt.com/pet-owners/crate-size/). But remember, this is a guide. Your dog might be larger or smaller than the average. For best results, consider the size of the litter's sire and dam (parents). What kind of crate is best? Wire crates are collapsible and easy to clean because of the pull-out tray. After the dog outgrows its destructive phase, you can add a comfy washable bed. If your pet seems to want seclusion, you can provide a crate cover or blanket. Plastic crates are less expensive and durable. And they don't collapse for transportation. If you opt for a pre-owned crate, visit the home of the previous owner and inquire why the crate is available. You want a crate from a healthy dog. Then sanitize it with a cleaning solution recommended by your groomer or veterinarian. You will find that your dog is more easily house trained in a crate and that Fido will find comfort in its own private master suite or den. www.labradortraininghq.com/labrador-training/what- size-dog- crate-and- which-type/#What_Size_Dog_Crate_Do_You_Need https://apdt.com/pet-owners/crate- size/ Find crates and ratings on-line. By Beth Crosby

Purrfect Paradise provides pampered cat care By Beth Crosby Is your cat your purrfect companion? Is he or she regal, poised, demanding of your attention and respect? Purrfect Paradise Cat Hotel in Pineville (PurrfectParadiseCatHotel.com) offers an innovative approach to kitty care with cat-only boarding. Your cats can stay in the comfort of large cage-free suites from 6' x 9' to 11' x 13'. Each family of pets shares a room. Purrfect Paradise allows ample space for multiple cats to lounge and play. Most suites even have large windows looking outside. Each themed room boasts climbing shelves and interactive toys to keep your kitties active and entertained. Staff are at Purrfect Paradise Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and provide care on the weekends, so your cats have the comfort of humans nearby while enjoying their autonomy. We are open by appointment only, so our feline visitors are as calm as if they were at home. We visit our guests and interact as much as they like in addition to feeding, scooping the litter and providing medications. Cats can play and sleep on their own schedules. Your cats like consistency, so we encourage you to bring their cat food in a sealed container. If your feline is finicky about litter, you may bring an unopened container of litter. Of course, personal items are also permitted. Some cats like having an article of the owner's clothing to snuggle, and we want them to feel safe and comfortable. Of course, we completely sanitize the suites, toys and litter boxes between guests to ensure their safety, and we require proof of rabies and FVRCP (feline distemper) vaccinations. Our experienced cat care professionals understand feline temperaments and enjoy the company of cats from Abyssinians to Tonkinese. We have many cats among our in-home pet sitting clients, but Purrfect Paradise Cat Hotel caters especially to cats and their people. All care givers are vetted and background checked, as well. Owner Jennifer Fagan didn't have cats until she was a young adult, but since she got Morris, she hasn't been without the company of kitties.  Now she has three; Lily, Emma and Comet.  "Cats hold a special place in my heart, and I think they should be pampered and treated like royalty. Our cat-only hotel provides that level of care." We provide medications from pills to fluids. Administering pills and injections is included in the stay with no additional fees. Prices are reasonable, especially for a family of cats, starting at $25 per night. Visit PurrfectParadiseCatHotel.com for requirements and to schedule an appointment or call 704-440-4080. And like us on Facebook to follow our exciting updates. www.facebook.com/purrfectparadisecathotel It's the cat's meow!

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