Friday, March 9, 2012

Blog Dog - Zoey

Meet Zoey!

She is our blog dog of the week! This little girl is sweet, smart and full of energy. Who knows why someone would ever want to let this furry angel go, but it's alright, she's forgotten the past and is ready to embark on a new journey into your heart! Please visit the GSROC website to find out more details about Miss Zoey and to find out how to meet her. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walking the Dog, It Can Be Exercise

Although the New Year's Resolutions have probably gone by the wayside, the warmer weather and approaching bathing suit season have many folks renewing their efforts to get fit. Working out with your dog is an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone. It's good for both of you to get out there and get moving. Dr. Marty Becker has some tips for busting a move with your canine friend.

  1. Medical Health: Both you and your pet should get a health check up before starting any workout program. Discuss things like what your goals are for weight loss or maintenance and what you can improve in both your diets as well. Don't forget to weigh in so you know your starting point.
  2.  Plans, maps and routes: Keep track of your progress. You can make it simple like marking an "X" on the calendar days when you walk along with the distance, or you can get more specific with a software or web based tracker. For those that have smartphones, check out the Map My Dog Walk app.
  3. Get in Gear: Make sure you have the appropriate clothing and shoes for yourself. Feet need good support. For your pet, get a good 6 foot leash and collar or whatever your trainer has recommended you use. You may need a sweater or paw boots if you live in inclement weather.
  4. Mind Your Manners: First, always carry extra poo-baggies. No one appreciates stepping in a mess on their walk, so think of others and pick up whatever your pet puts down. Second, if your dog pulls on the leash or is aggressive toward other dogs, this will not bode well for your fitness routine. You owe it to yourself and your pet to seek out proper training. 
  5. Safety First: It doesn't hurt to throw a small first aid kit in your belt pack with the poo baggies. There are all sorts of hazards out there; even in suburban neighborhoods. Check out how to make a pet first aid kit to get some ideas of what to include. Also wear reflective gear so cars can see you. Don't forget to update your contact information on your dog's tags, licenses and microchip. In the event you get separated from your pet, you'll be glad you did. Carry your cell phone as well and have the number to your doctor and your pet's veterinarian saved to your contacts. 
  6. Pace Yourself: If you haven't been hitting the trails (or sidewalks) in a while, don't expect to pull a marathon on your first time out. Start slow and build up so both you and your dog survive each workout. 

Most of all, have fun. You and your dog will both benefit from getting out and about. Follow the steps above and you're sure to have a safe and good time. For additional tips, read more here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blog Dog - Ketzel

Introducing Ketzel!

This lovely girl is 2 years old and she likes cats. She is sweet, and loving and looking for someone with the same qualities to love her back. She has a beautiful coat and a doggie smile. Even more exciting is that she already knows some basic commands like "sit" and is excelling in her training. If you're interested in meeting Ketzel, please visit our website and fill out and application, or come to an adoption event this weekend! 

Fido Friendly Backyards

Having a dog can mean so much more than having a companion. They depend on their human caregivers to provide food, water, shelter and safety. Having a backyard area is one way to keep your canine friend happy. But, just like anything else you do for your pet, you must take safety precautions. Below is a list of things to consider when modifying your outdoor environment to be dog friendly.

  • Plants. While some plants are beautiful and add variety to your garden, they can be toxic for your pet. Whether you're a do-it-yourself landscaper or you have hired help, take the time to read the list of poisonous plants before you add them to your yard.
  • Fruits. Avocados are poisonous for dogs as well. Skipping out on homegrown guacamole could save your pet's life.
  • Prickly Plants. Believe it or not, dogs are deterred by thorny or textured plants. Roses and lavender are beautiful and Fido is less likely to go exploring where they are planted.
  • Fencing. Hopefully you never experience the feeling of your heart in your stomach that comes from realizing your pet has escaped the safe confines of your backyard. Choosing proper fencing material and height can drastically minimize the chances of your pet getting out. There are three types of fencing available; choose whichever suits your dog's breed and desire to tunnel out or jump over the fence.
    • Structural Fencing
    • Wired Electric Fencing
    • Maintaining Fencing Maintains Safety for Your Pet
    • Wireless Electric Fencing
  • Potty Patches. Like obedience training, teaching your dog to relieve itself in specific areas of the yard will help prevent the yellow burn marks that come from urine. 
  • Pet Pathways. Continuous walking on the grass will also cause deterioration. Having pathways of concrete or smooth rock can prevent the extra wear-and-tear. Also consult a landscaper about the most hearty or durable grass type for your climate.
  • Dog House. No canine friendly yard is complete without a dog house or shelter provided to give your pet a place to stay dry and out of the elements. While you should never leave your pet outdoors for lengthy durations, it's a nice to give them the option to relax in their own place. 
  • Shade, shade and more shade. As the warmer weather is just around the corner, having shade to escape the direct sunlight is essential for your dog. They don't have sweat glands, and they can overheat from being left outside.
  • Water feature. Your dog will obviously need to quench his thirst while exploring his yard. Having a fountain or other water feature adds beauty while remaining functional as well. It is important to keep the fountain clean of debris.
  • Digging Deterrent. Using rock or elevated gardens will discourage your dog from digging and also add an element of nature that is pleasing to the eye.
There are many other fun ways to make your yard Fido Friendly.  BE creative, and always check with your veterinarian and landscaper before making any additions that could be harmful. It is possible to have a yard that is both beautiful and dog-safe.