Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Traveling with your pet

This holiday weekend lots of people will be traveling with their pets.  More and more pet-friendly restaurants and hotels are springing up all over the country. The following is a list of some things to think about before hitting the road with your furry companion.
  • Call ahead to be sure you will not be turned away when you arrive at your destination.  Check all regulations such as size of dog, requirements for kennels, etc. before leaving home.   Most national parks allow dogs at the campgrounds, though for the most part dogs are not allowed on hiking trails.
  •  Never ever leave your pet in a parked car. Pets can overheat much faster than people.  Even a few minutes in a hot vehicle can be fatal.
  • Always keep a collar with current tags on your pet.  Create a new id tag for your dog with a local number, your cell phone number or address of your destination.
  • Be sure to bring all your dogs’ paper work.  Vet records could be important if you dog were to become sick or injured. It is especially important to remember the rabies certificate.
  • Take frequent potty breaks. Having to ‘hold it’ too long can cause health problems like urinary tract infections.
  • Try to keep beds, blankets, bowls and toys the same as they are at home.  Bring along at least one of your dogs favorite toys.  Also, be sure to bring at least one leash.  Keeping food consistent will help reduce the risk of an upset tummy.
  • Take along a first aid kit for you and your pet.  Include the essentials like bandages, wound cleanser, tweezers and a soft muzzle.  Does your dog take medication?  Don't forget to bring it.  Take along some Rescue Remedy, a flower essence that will help minimize stress in new situations.

Wishing you all safe travels this holiday weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Health benefits of seaweed for pets

There has been a lot of information in the press about the health benefits of seaweed or kelp.  Seaweed is a rich source of micro-nutrients, amino acids and trace elements. What you might not have realized is that kelp has health benefits for dogs and cats too! 

Some of the benefits of including seaweed in your pet's diet may include:
  • Healthier skin and coat
  • Higher resistance to infections
  • Better digestion
  • Fewer parasites
  • Reduced stress
  • Calmer temperament
  • Increased stamina
  • Reduced allergy symptoms
If you decide to add kelp to your dog’s diet be sure to seek out a high quality product.   Your vet or local pet store should be able to point you in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eco-friendly dog care

We are firm believers in caring for our planet.  Adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle doesn’t need to stop with you. It’s easy to implement green living practices into your dog’s care. Here are some suggestions:
  • Feed sustainably produced and organic dog foods. The Whole Dog Journal offers an excellent review of commercial dog foods including steps that the companies are taking to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Pick-up after your dog. Dog droppings can introduce parasites and toxins into the environment which can contaminate a stream or field just as human or livestock waste can. When picking-up after your dog use biodegradable bags. These bags will breakdown faster allowing their contents to do the same.
  • Choose natural cleaners for your household as well as for your dog. Reducing the chemicals in your dog’s living space can help reduce allergies and exposure to potentially harmful toxins.
  • Practice organic gardening and avoid exposing yourself and your dog to harmful chemicals and pesticides in the yard and garden. 
  • Wash your dog less. Over shampooing can lead to dry skin and itchiness. Less frequent washing helps conserve water.
  • Recycle or re-use packaging whenever possible.
  • Buy eco-friendly pet products. Your dog may not be concerned about global warming and deforestation but it’s become clear that many dog owners are. This has resulted in more options for eco-friendly pet products including organic dog beds, organic dog food and treats, and biodegradable poop bags. Even dog toys are going green. Manufacturers are using materials for toys that are non-toxic and recyclable. There are soft toys made of organically grown fibers and colored with natural dyes. Check some of these out the next time you are in the market for a new toy or treat for your four-legged friend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Buy Local

Supporting the local community is very important to us.  Participating in several local farmers markets provides us with one way to connect with our customers and the community.  We thoroughly enjoy seeing all our wonderful friends (both human and canine) every week, and appreciate them taking the time to come out and support their local farmers and crafters. We also enjoy the opportunity to do a little shopping and stock our pantry with wonderful local products including cheese, vegetables and baked goods.

There are lots of good reasons to buy local.  I’d like to mention just a few.

  • Local food is fresher and tastes better.  Local farmers can offer produce varieties you might not find in the grocery stores.  These varieties are bred for taste and freshness.

  • You'll strengthen your local economy.  Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community.
  •  You'll support endangered family farms.  Buying local produce and products ensures that the money you spend on food goes to the farmer.
  • You'll safeguard your family's health.  Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics.
  •  You'll protect the environment.  Local food doesn't have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials.

Please come see us at the Saco Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 7am to noon or the Freeport Community Market at L.L. Bean, Fridays from 2 to 5:30.  Beginning in November you will find us at the Brunswick Winter Market, a unique winter market located in the Fort Andross Building.  This market takes place on Saturday mornings from 9 to 12:30.   We look forward to seeing you at market!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fun Dog Facts

While doing some reading I came across some fun dog facts.  I just want to share a few. 
  •  1 out of every 2 dog owners would rather be stuck on a desert island with their dog than another person.  Hmm....
  •   15% of dogs sleep in their owner’s bed and another 20% sleep in the same room.
  •   The most tennis balls ever held in a dog’s mouth was 5.  This was accomplished by a golden retriever named Augie. My golden retriever somehow managed to get three in his mouth at once!
  •   Dogs can be trained to smell the presence of diabetes in humans and are correct 90% of the time.
  •   Dogs can smile.  Dogs relax when they are happy which causes their mouth to open showing their teeth and looking like a smile.
  •   Puppies do not wag their tails until they are about 3 weeks old and some take as long as 7 weeks.  They are born with their eyes closed and cannot see or hear for approx 3 weeks.  They also learn to walk around that same time.
  •   Dogs have 3 main ways they wag their tails…a tail that wags high and rigid means the dog is aggravated.  A tail that wags low and fast means the dog is scared.  A tail that is mid-level and relaxed while wagging means happiness :)