27 November 2013

NJ Represents My Dogs Perfectly!

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things in my life. One of them is having two wonderful dogs and being able to take them out to places I frequent.

I'm a Jersey girl and happy to be one. There's all sorts of things to do in NJ. You can go to the beach, spend a weekend gambling at a casino, explore the amazing wildlife parks, visit a zoo or a botanical garden, ice skate, bowl, head to a theme park, climb a mountain to ski on, dare to jump out of a plain and sky dive, and much more. With every weekend pretty much planned with some new and exciting event I have searched high and low for dog friendly places. During the work week I have little time to spend with Bebe and Jolie. It's always a rush to leave the door to get to work on time, and than there's going to the gym, and sitting in rush hour traffic, and thinking about dinner, and than getting to bed on time. Bebe and Jolie don't have much play time during the week, so for me it's always been important to do at least one fun outing with them per week. It's important to give them exercise, fresh air, and for them to experience life outside of an apartment.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for being able to spend time with the people who I love and being able to create memories with them. Now, if your a devout pet lover like me, than you know very well that when I say "people" I'm including my fur babies.

Here are some that Bebe and Jolie have had this year, I hope you enjoy them!

Let's start by where you can take your pups to eat? Well around here unless there is outside seating bringing dogs inside is a no go. There are health code violations and fines if animals are in contact or inside premises of a place that serve food. Want to know how I know that? Well because I've tried several times to sneak in my pooch in my purse! Below are some shots of dog friendly restaurants in my area that let you bring your pups and sit in their outside seating area. Check these places out:
Vinhus Restaurant
Sitting outside of Vinhus Restaurant
Enjoying some water that the restaurant owner brought over.
 These shots below are from an Italian restaurant that has year round outside seating, if you and your pooch are bundled up in the winter, feel free to bring them along!

Just another day at the carwash! I recently found this gym of a carwash through a Groupon deal and I am so happy that I did. Not only is the staff excellent and my car looks like it just left the dealership when I bought it but they LOVE dogs! Below is Jolie sitting on their massage chair and than making friends with another customer waiting for her car. What fun!
Fairfield Hand Wash & Detail Center

Below are shots from probably the most random place you would think to bring the dogs to, Home Depot! This is the Totowa location and they are the sweetest. I've never been to a Home Depot with such friendly staff. Bebe and Jolie got so many pets and belly rubs that my shopping excursion of twenty minutes turned into one hour! I definitely wasn't complaining, it was fun to be able to take them out shopping. 
 How cute does little Jolie look in the "kiddie" shopping cart?
Every year I hear my friends and co-workers talking about taking their kids pumpkin picking. Well, I don't have kids and haven't jumped on the baby making band wagon just yet. So this year I called ahead and asked if it was ok if I brought my two small dogs to walk around and jump on the hayride. To my surprise they said YES! Below are some wonderful photos that I took at A. Casola Farms. There was a hayride, lots of walking, and pumpkin picking. After all was said and done we were exhausted. A really awesome day!

 Life's better on the beach, but it's even better if you can bring your dog and both be able to dig you paws into the sand! After googling dog beaches in NJ I packed my dogs in the car, put my shades on and headed south for some fun in the sun! The beaches I visited with my dogs was:
Fishermans Cove Conservation Area
I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream! There's an excellent place in Cranford called the Vanilla Bean Creamery. The owner, shown in the picture below allows you to sit with your pet outside year round. Now be sure to ask for a kiddie cup for your canine so you can both enjoy this homemade ice cream!
 What fun is shopping if you can't being your pocket sized friend in your oversized bag along with your Amex? Below was a shopping trip to the Mall at Short Hills turned photo shoot at Henri Bendel
The sales associate was a sweetheart and let my little Jolie test their dog travel kit. We left with great photos and a cashmere sweater. A fun day for her, a painful day to my wallet.
 Let's talk about taking a traditional walk in the park. Well, NJ is filled with awesome parks! The below photo is my absolute favorite park - Verona Park. The park is quite large and offers canoeing and fishing along with a playground. In the warmer months you can see newlyweds taking photos on the grounds. After a long day of walking with my dogs I popped into the lake house to get a popsicle, Jolie clearly wanted one as well...

 Dog events are always happening in NJ. The photo below was a dog run for Second Chance for Animals. Second Chance for Animals is a volunteer group based in Somerset, NJ. They currently assist the Franklin Township Animal shelter by helping to care for the animals and through fundraising and enrichment efforts. They assist the Shelter financially through fundraising activities and also provide assistance with adoptions, animal care, and fostering. It's so important to give back and help other dogs who are homeless or abandoned.
Bebe's birthday is in January, and more often than not it's usually freezing cold and with some snow out on the ground. This year I took her to our favorite dog boutique in Cranford, NJ. It's called Just 4 Pooches Bebe was originally wrapped in a blanket as we walked in the door but than I took it off to reveal her birthday dress! I was able to let her roam around and let her pick her birthday gift. She selected this adorable birthday cake squeaker toy. How appropriate!
Last but not least there are photos to be taken! There's a pretty awesome place in Roselle, NJ called The Barker Lounge and it's basically a doggie daycare, training, grooming, boarding and special events place! They have owner and pet functions like their "Howloween Costume Contest" party and their "Hauliday Party" This adorable photo below was obtained at their holiday party. Seriously the best looking Santa I've ever seen!

If you are ever in the area you should definitely visit these places? Need boarding, feel free to browse through the awesome providers from DogVacay. I've included a link for folk in the area, here.

I hope you enjoyed the blog post, please feel free to ask any questions below. Bebe and Jolie have traveled to lots and lots of places and we try to document each one on our Facebook page! Give us a like here!

22 November 2013

Coprophagy - Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop and What To Do to Stop It?

My dog ate her poop, and she smeared it everywhere, and then she did it again and again. Bebe is slowly approaching her 11th birthday and she's started to eat her poop. This dog behavior is called coprophagy and it is gross! I've started researching the condition because I obviously want to make it stop at any cost. Turns out that in my research I found that this behavior is quite common; it is more common in puppies but can also happen to dogs later in their lives. For example, Bebe never consumed her feces as a puppy but here we are a decade into her life and she's chowing down on it.

Here Are Some of The Reasons That Dogs Actually Consume Their Own Feces:
1.       Dogs evolved from wolves, back than wolves survived from chowing down on human garbage and human excrement. So if we think about it, dogs eat anything that is laying around that may have nutritional value, including poop!
2.       Malabosorption - Not all coprophagy is normal or risk-free. Dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a form of a malabsorption syndrome may eat their feces in order to try to recover the nutrients that they didn’t absorb in their normal digestions. Coprophagy may develop in a dog that is eating a low quality diet, so if your dog is eating poop and you’re buying the cheapest chow in the store because it’s the one on sale and you have a coupon well perhaps you should try purchasing some higher quality food that has nutrition and nutrients in mind. I personally recommend Rotations Dog Food.
3.       Starvation - Dogs who are starving will also resort to eating their own feces, and yes that sounds gross but have you ever seen the movie 127 hours? Desperate times call for desperate measures!
4.       Habit – ever hear that dogs don’t like to soil their nests or where they lay their head to sleep? Well, for the pups that are crate trained it only takes a few times for an accident to happen. A dog may poop, eat the poop and eliminate the mess that was originally there. Have that happen a few times and poof! A habit is born. A very gross and stinky habit!
Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Poop?
Aside from an upset stomach and a gross tasting kiss and lick from dog to human, coprophagy does not seem to do any harm to most healthy and vaccinated pups.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Poop:
OK, so while the poop may not harm your pup, it’s definitely gross. It smells gross, looks gross, and tastes gross after a kiss from your fellow fur friend and oh yeah, I’m talking from experience. So let’s talk about what you can do to prevent this absolutely disgusting behavior.
  1. See no poop? Eat no poop! Make sure there is no poop laying around, clean up promptly after your pet releases themselves and if you take them outside make sure the grounds are clean!
  1. Firmly tug at leash and speak firm command when dog lures to smell or lick other animals poop. “No that is bad!” or “Leave It!” for example.
What About Taste Deterrents?
I’ve tried every deterrent under the sun. The ones available over the counter and the ones prescribed only by a vet. Bottom line is this, the ones over the counter just don’t work in my experience. My dog actually thought she was getting a treat with the hot sauce and the bitter apple taste deterrent. The problem that I faced with the commercial grade deterrents were that they did not have any effect on feces besides that of that particular dog. For me this was an issue since I have two dogs. I don’t want to feed one chemicals who is not eating her poop just because the other one will eat it. The commercially available taste deterrents that you can give to your dog that are available from your vet are For-bid™ and Deter™. Personally I’ve had wonderful results with the For-bid and really recommend it. Ask your vet if they carry it or contact the company directly to see which vet in your area carries it.
What NOT to Do
  1. Don’t rub your dog’s nose in the poop. I don’t even recommend this when dogs have accidents. Too much time passes and it is not an effective training method. Your dog may become scared of you and after you do this you’re  going to have to wash his/her face.  
  1. As it should go without saying, do not hit your dog, I know that this poop eating habit is unpleasant but please try the above mentioned tactics. Fixing and preventing the issue is far better than adding to it, hitting your dog, even if with a light tap of a newspaper may cause fear and aggression.
If your dog does eat poop and none of the above methods work, than you should definitely take your dog to the vet and rule out a more serious problem such as an absorption of nutrients problem, parasites, or issues with their pancreas. I hope this blog post helped you with your very stinky situation! Until the next...