Beat the Heat with Precise

It’s officially summer. As you and your pets spend more time outside, it’s important to enjoy the sunny weather with proper safety measures in place. Here at Precise, we want to share ways to help your pet beat the heat and stay cool and happy as the temperatures continue to rise.

#1. Is the Pavement Too Hot?

You wouldn’t walk barefoot across your driveway in the summer and expect not to get burned, so don’t forget the hot asphalt can be painful for your pet’s feet too! Check if the pavement is safe for your pet by firmly pressing the back of your hand to the asphalt for seven seconds. If you experience discomfort, you shouldn’t’t walk your pet on that surface without paw protection. The pads of your pet’s feet can only withstand temperatures of up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit before skin destruction occurs, so try walking your pet in the morning and evening to avoid the higher temperatures. Also, be sure to keep an eye on outdoor cats or dogs and provide them a shady place to rest during the hottest parts of the day.

#2. Dont Leave Pets in the Car

Never leave your pet unattended in the car, even if it’s a cloudy day and you don’t think it’s that hot. On a warm day, the inside temperature of a car can easily reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes. Even with the window cracked, the temperature inside a car is much higher than the outside temperature, and pets can quickly suffer brain damage or experience heat stroke. If you’re out on an errand, leave your pet at home if you can’t take them into the store with you to ensure their safety.

#3. Freeze Dog and Cat Toys

Putting your pet’s favorite toy in the freezer and bringing it outside for them is a neat way of making sure they enjoy the sunshine while also keeping cool. You can stick your pet’s toy right in the freezer or sit it in a bowl of water and create a frozen “ice sculpture” for your pet to work on melting to get to their toy. If freezing their toys doesn’t suit you, pets always enjoy having lots of ice in their outdoor water bowl. The ice can be fun for them to play with and it ensures their drinking water is a suitable temperature.

#4. Brush out Those Coats

It’s important to brush out your pet’s excess fur as they transition to their summer coat. Brushing prevents painful matting that can trap heat and moisture against the skin. By brushing your pet regularly, especially dogs with double-coats, you can help them remove their dense undercoat and create proper air circulation better-suited to the summer heat. Resist the urge to sheer off your pet’s fur if they have double coats like mastiffs and terrier types. Your pet will find itself lacking sun protection and insulation if you shave it. Insulation fur grows at a different rate than longer guard hair on the outside and it may take a long time for your pet to regain their natural appearance.

#5. Provide Water and Bedding Options

Let your pets choose how they want to lower their body temperature by offering ways for them to play in water or relax on bedding. Dogs may enjoy splashing in wading pools or jumping through sprinklers as they play in the yard, but cats will likely steer clear of those options. However, both animals can enjoy resting in the shade or laying on cooling gel pet beds or elevated cots to keep them off of the ground.

As you and your pet enjoy the summer sun, we hope you’ll keep in mind these options for ensuring your pet stays safe and comfortable this season. The more options your pet has to keep cool, the happier they’ll be in the summer heat!

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5 DIY Summer Treats for Your Pets

Summer—the time of year to head outside, go on adventures and soak up the sun. Just as you love enjoying the weather during this time of year, your animals do too! After spending a long day outside with mom, there’s nothing more rewarding for your pets than a cool, refreshing treat. This week, the Precise team has put together five DIY summer treat recipes that are simple to make and will leave your animals begging for more:

#1. PB + Jam Freezies via Pawsh Magazine

If there’s one thing all dogs love, it’s peanut butter—combining a frozen treat with peanut butter? You’ve hit doggie gold. Here’s what you’ll need to create this unique treat: 12 medium/large strawberries, 3-4 spoonfuls of organic peanut butter, ¼ cup of cold water, and an ice cube tray. Step one: wash the strawberries and remove the tops. Step two: once the strawberries are prepped, blend them with the water until fully pureed. Step three: pour the mixture into the ice cube tray about ¾ and top with dollops of peanut butter to fill the remainder of the slot. Step four: pop into the freezer for a couple hours until frozen…and voila! Ready to enjoy.

#2. Frozen Yogurt Treats via The Bark

Yogurt is one of those “go-to” ingredients that can be spruced up to create some pretty tasty treats. That being said, this DIY treat calls for four simple pantry ingredients: 4 cups of plain yogurt, ½ cup of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 ripe, mashed banana. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave for around 30 seconds, then place all four ingredients into the blender until smooth. Once smooth, pour the mixture into a popsicle tray, freeze until firm and serve to your animals!

#3. Doggie Breath Freshener Treats via The Nerdy Farm Wife

It’s no secret that animals can have some pretty stinky breath, especially after running around in the heat all day. To help combat the bad breath, head to your garden and grab a large pinch of mint leaves and fresh parsley. Combine the parsley and mint leaves in a food processor along with a 6 oz. container of plain yogurt. Divide the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Not only will this treat leave your pups lickin’ their lips but you’ll also love the fresh smell left behind!

#4. Frozen Tuna Treats via Wonder Forest

Mention the word tuna and your cats will be running towards their bowls. For this recipe, you’ll need: a can of tuna, ½ cup of water, a mixing bowl, plastic bag, and an ice cube tray (noticing a trend?). To begin, mash the undrained tuna in a mixing bowl and add the water. Next, fill the plastic bag with the mixture and cut a small hole in one end. Finally, fill the ice trays and freeze. After a few hours, pull the treat out of the freezer and watch your cats chow down!

#5. Doggie S’mores via Sugar & Soul

Nothing says summer more than making s’mores around the campfire. This year, let your dog be participate in the fun, too! This simple DIY treat includes three ingredients: dog biscuits, carob chips, and fluff. First, place the carob into the microwave for 30 second intervals until completely smooth. Following the carob, warm up the fluff for ~20 seconds in the microwave. Dip your dog biscuits into the carob first and then the fluff. Once all of the treats are dipped, set them on wax paper until the carob is hardened and you’re done! Break out these treats during your next campfire and let your pups dig in! Reminder—chocolate is toxic for animals and should never be given as a treat.

With the summer heat here to stay, these DIY treats are sure to keep your animals cool and their tummies happy. For more simple and sweet DIY summer treats, visit here.

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Six Summer Activities for You and Your Pet

The warm weather brings many opportunities to spend time with your pet outdoors. If you notice your four-legged friend gazing out of the window more often, they may be longing for more time in the sunshine. Your pet may want longer walks and more time to play outside — so the Precise team conjured up a list of perfect summertime activities for you and your furry friend!

#1. Lake or Beach Day

Taking your pet along for a day trip to the lake or beach is the perfect getaway for you both! Whether they enjoy swimming or digging in the sand, most dogs are thrilled for the chance to be around water. Wading along the shoreline is a great chance for them to stay cool while they play! For the more relaxed animal, walking along the dock or snoozing by the bay window are also fun ways for your pet to enjoy themselves.

#2. Yoga

Why not practice your cat pose or downward-dog alongside your animal? Most pets become curious when they notice their owner joining them on the floor to stretch. Your cat may decide to keep you company on the yoga mat or your dog may decide to lick your face while you plank. This is a fun way to bond with your pet while also keeping yourself healthy. What’s great about yoga is you can practice it inside or outside, and your animals will enjoy making it a bit more challenging for you by walking around your legs as they watch you hold the poses!

#3. Hiking

Exploring the wilderness— or even your local greenway trail— is an awesome way to spend time outside with your pet. What animal doesn’t crave adventure and lots of new smells? Dogs in particular love the chance to sniff their way along the forest trails as you hike alongside them. For the adventurous feline, they may choose to climb on top of your backpack as you make your trek.

#4. Bring Your Furry Friend to the Farmer’s Market

Summer is the perfect time to shop at your local farmer’s market. While you pick up that pint of fresh strawberries, why not bring your furry friend along for your stroll through the produce stalls? Most farmer’s markets are outside and animal-friendly — no need to drop your pet off at home before grabbing those groceries! Your sweet pet may have the opportunity to meet other animals out with their owners for the day and will surely enjoy the chance to see all the hustle and bustle of the market.

#5. Pet Picnic

After stocking up on tasty groceries from the farmer’s market, go ahead and have a picnic with your pet at the local park! If staying closer to home would be more comfortable for your pet, there’s no rule against having a picnic in your own backyard either. Spread out a picnic blanket and pack your basket with a nice lunch for yourself as well as water and snacks, like our Healthy Habits® Treats, or other goodies for your four-legged friend.

#6. Reading in the Sunshine

Nothing says relaxation like curling up with a good book either under a tree, in a patio chair or on a couch by the window. Reading is also a good way to unwind after a picnic with your pet. Wherever you decide to pour through your summer reading, your pet will probably be close by to enjoy your company as well as the sunshine. Some leisurely time in the sun is the ultimate way for both you and your pet to relax after lunch. Your fur-baby may just decide to take a sun-nap and fall asleep while you’re reading — hello cute pic opportunity!

While enjoying the summer day with your pet, remember to always have food and water on hand in case they become fatigued or crave a snack. Precise Naturals pet food for your dog or cat is a great option to keep your animal happy, healthy and satisfied. We wish you and your pet a great summer filled with lots of adventure!

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The Dog Owner’s Hiking Cheat Sheet-10 Tips for Hitting the Trails

Summer is here, and that means the hiking trails will be busy. Hiking is great for the views, the exercise, and the companionship of your furry friend! It’s the perfect activity for nice weekend in the summer-just make sure you’re prepared.

The Precise Team has put together 10 tips to keep your furry friend happy during your summer trek:

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Picking the Right Trail

Choosing the right hike for you and your pup is the first step to a great experience; make sure the trail you choose to hike is pet friendly, and be mindful of the difficulty of the trail. Also, be sure to take special notice of any specific obstacles a particular trail could present, such as large drops, a lot of stairs, jagged rocks, or a surface that may become too hot for your pup’s paws. Check out hikewithyourdog.com for places a list of pup-friendly trails in your state.

Pre-Hike Checklist

Before you leave make sure your pup is up to date on all of their shots, heartworm, flea, and tick prevention medication. Also, make sure you have their ID tags, license, and a leash.

Proper Conditioning

It Is important to ensure that your furry friend is in proper shape for the hike you’re planning. In other words, a dog’s first hike should not be nine miles, straight up the side of a mountain on the hottest day of the summer. Use walks around the neighborhood or start with short hikes for practice; increase difficulty over time to ensure both you and your pup are prepared for the long distances.

Plenty of Water

Keeping your dog hydrated it a must! If you are thirsty that probably means they are too! Make sure you make frequent stops to allow them time to rest and rehydrate. You should bring water specifically for your dog, as it is potentially dangerous to allow them to drink form a stream, pond or standing water. Bringing a portable water bowl along for your journey will help keep your pet nice and hydrated on your journey.

Safety First

As you are hiking, watch where your dog is stepping. Make sure to avoid areas that have any poisonous plants or berries they should not eat. Keep them from dangerous run-ins with wildlife, and snakes that may be hiding in the brush. Also, try to avoid routes with excess jagged rocks or rough terrain to keep their paw pads from getting cut, or equip your pup with boots to protect their pads.

Etiquette

It is advised that you keep your dog on a leash while hiking, it’s much safer for your pup, and more considerate to others on the trail. Be mindful that not everyone loves dogs, even friendly ones, so be sure you can keep control of your dog around other hikers and other dogs.

Food and Rest

You shouldn’t feed your furry friend a full meal right before a hike. Give your dog a portion of its usual serving, and keep them energized throughout the hike with treats and snacks, like our Healthy Habits®. Also be mindful of the temperature that day, when you stop for water or food, give them a little break and try to find a spot in the shade. Signs of overexertion include drooling, weakness, panting or bright red gums.

Pet Waste

Dog owners need to leave the trails as they found them. Remember you and your pup are representing all hikers with dogs, and leaving waste can leave a bad impression to everyone else hiking that trail. Make sure you bring bags to pick up your pet’s mess!

First Aid Kit

It’s a great idea to carry a basic first aid kit with you in case something should happen. A solid but simple kit should include tweezers, disinfectant, bandages and bandage tape.

After the Hike

After your fun day on the trails be sure to check your dog for fleas, ticks, cut paw pads, and other injuries.

With these 10 tips under your belt, you and your pet’s hike will be one for the books!

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Plan Your Pet-Cation 2016

Summer. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and a getaway adventure is calling your name—and your pet’s! Grab your pet’s leash, favorite formula, and get packing; the Precise team has sought out the world’s top-petcation destinations just for you:

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Key West, FL

If you’re in the mood to unwind by the coast, Key West, FL is the place for you and your furry friend. Not only are three three pet-friendly beaches at your fingertips, there are also a variety of activities that you can add to your itinerary too. If you and your pet love the water, Lazy Dog Kayak can supply you with a paddleboard or a kayak! To wind down the evening, head over to Island Dogs Bar for delicious bar food!

Gatlinburg, TN

Want to hit the trail? Head to the Great Smoky Mountains with your furry friend in tow, but make sure to bring their leash! Dogs are allowed to explore the camping grounds, picnic areas, and paved areas. Following your trek, you and your pet can shop ‘til you drop at Paws & Claws Pet Fashion and Simply Animals! When your day comes to a close, grab a burger at Howard’s out on the patio!

Tahoe City, CA

If you and your furry friend like a bit of variety with your adventure, you’ll enjoy Tahoe City. Head to Truckee River Rafting for self-guided rafting trips along the 5-mile stretch of river; be sure to bring some snacks and water for this 2-4-hour excursion, and some Healthy Habits Treats for your pup! When you’re ready to test out your land legs, head to Tahoe Cross Country for more than 8 KM of bike trails. Though your pet won’t have wheels of their own, racing down the trail along your side will be even more fun for them!

Alexandria, VA

Alexandria is filled with rich history, and plenty of dog trails! The former homeland of George Washington features a variety of outdoor tours like Alexandria’s Footsteps of the Past Walking Tour, that your pet can join in on for free! If you’re in the mood for a stroll, head to Old Town where you’ll find free treats and water bowls set out for your pet to enjoy!  With canine cruises, and more, this place seems to be a dog’s paradise. And get this, you’re not too far from Washington, D.C. where your furry friend can give the First Pets of the U.S. a howl!

Catch a wave, explore new terrains, or blaze the trail for your own adventure, all with your number one companion at your side. Where do you see yourself and your furry friend this summer?

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Pet News Roundup: Cat asthma, pet obesity and tips for summer travel!

Here on The Dish, we’ll keep an eye on the latest news in the pet food industry. We’ll have a mix of articles, statistics, news and fun facts from a variety of pet industry sources and Twitter.

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Great Dane Lady Approved: Pet safety in the scorching summer heat

The Great Dane Lady, Linda Arndt, has more than 38 years of experience as a canine nutritional consultant and breeder. In our Great Dane Lady Approved series, Linda will talk about her research and work with Precise. You can explore Linda’s website at GreatDaneLady.com.

Our pets are our best friends and with hotter weather approaching, just a reminder that heat can kill your pets. Never leave your dogs or cats in the car for any length of time, even if the windows are cracked.

Perhaps summer is not the time to take your pets with you when you run errands due to the potential deaths from over heating and it does not take long or much for this to happen. The temperature inside of a vehicle with four windows cracked can reach 108 degrees with an outside temperature of 83 degrees.

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