Earth to Pet Owners: Reduce Your Carbon Paw Print

We’re sure you know the importance of reducing your carbon footprint, but what about your pet’s?  Yep, your beloved companion has an environmental impact, too, and it might be bigger than you think.

Earth Day

So, in honor of Earth Day, we’ve got some tips to help you become a more eco-friendly pet owner and reduce your carbon paw print. It’s time to get your green on! 

Feed Your Pet Properly

Fill your pet’s food bowl with holistic, organic or sustainably sourced food (queue  Precise) they’re great for your pet and for the planet!  Chicken and fish based products especially tend to have lower environmental impact.  Try to buy in bulk when you can to reduce packaging waste, and purchase from your local retailer to eliminate pollution from long distance shipping.

Do Your “Dooty”

When nature calls, it’s your job to pick it up! Pet waste can be a hazardous pollutant- especially to nearby water sources (check out our last blog post for more info). Make an effort to use biodegradable or flushable doggie bags for poo pick up that aren’t harmful to the environment, and even consider composting your pet’s waste.  Composting is nature’s way of recycling, and, believe it or not, pet waste can be an effective ingredient for compost that can be used for fertilizer!  Just make sure you don’t use it for plants or crops meant for human consumption.

Kitty Litter

Unfortunately, the majority of cat litter is clay-based, which is strip mined and non-degradable.  Next time you’re out, reach for the litter that’s made with sawdust, pine pellets, or other biodegradable ingredients.  To save money, you might even consider making your own at home!

Eco-friendly Accessories

Look for toys and accessories made with organic or recycled materials to keep playtime eco-friendly.  Before throwing out old toys that your pet no longer loves, donate them to your local animal shelter instead.  After all, one pet’s trash is another pet’s treasure.

Spay/Neuter

This is probably your most important responsibility as a pet owner.  Spaying or neutering your pets is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent further overpopulation.

As pet owners, we know it’s your priority to keep your furry friend happy and healthy, so why not throw Mother Nature a bone while you’re at it?

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3 Tips to Prevent the Possibility of Lyme Disease in Dogs

April showers bring May flowers, and lots of time outside for you and your pet. Spring has sprung, and the warm weather has us all itching to get out and seek adventure on a hike in the woods, in a pasture, or at the park.

Lyme Disease - Outside

For these reasons, April has been deemed National Prevention of Lyme Disease Awareness month, as ticks are prevalent in these outdoor areas, and are ready “suck” the fun out of outdoor playtime.

What’s lyme disease exactly? Well, it’s a tick-borne illness, caused by the transmission of infected bacteria, commonly from a “deer tick,” also known as the black-legged tick; we have 3 tips from our global veterinarian, Dr. Stephan Leoni, on how to help stop these biters in their tracks.

Grab a Good Repulsive Spray, or Drop-On

These two preventative methods are recommended for pets because of their ability to repel ticks, fleas, and mosquitos alike, while also remaining water and sweat proof. This composition can be placed between your pet’s shoulder blades, or all along their body, depositing into sweat glands where the active ingredients will be released over several weeks’ time.

Search, search, search

Ticks hide out in warm places: in-between your pet’s toes, under their armpits, behind their ears, and around their tail and head. If you feel a bump, separate the fur surrounding the tick and grab some tweezers. Proceed to pull the ticks body away from the skin, being cautious not to crush the tick, or leave any limbs of the insect behind. After removal, clean your pet’s skin with soap and water, and flush the tick down the toilet. The longer the tick is attached to your pet’s skin, the greater the risk becomes of being infected (more than 48 hours).

Get Some Immune Support

Incorporating a diet packed with vitamin E and C along with carotenoids and flavonoids will help boost your pet’s immune system, in case of infection. This will allow your pet to help fight the bacteria until they are able to receive medical attention, and will also serve as a great source of nutrients if your pet is recovering from the disease. Might we recommend our Precise Holistic Complete line of dry dog food formulas?

Though the risk of becoming infected is minor, nothing can rule out Lyme Disease indefinitely. If you notice the following symptoms from your pet after playing outdoors, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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4 Ideas to Celebrate National Pet Day That Your Companion will Love

National Pet Day? More like National Best Friend Day. That’s right, the annual furry friend appreciation day is nearly here! You may have already planned your Monday to be filled with snuggles, outdoor fun, and special Healthy Habits treats but if you’re stuck in the planning process, have no fear—we’ll take it from here.

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Don’t you need a vacation?

What better way to honor your furry friend’s companionship than with a getaway! Camping, hiking, kayaking, beach fun, you name it—your pet will enjoy coming along for the ride. Check out these articles to see the most pet-friendly outdoor destinations in America and Canada to help kick-off your next adventure!

Test your pet’s agility with an obstacle course!

Let’s take playtime to the next level and create an obstacle course for your dog or cat! Make sure you have plenty of water and treats at the ready! For pups, it’s probably best that the fun is held outside, especially for high-energy dogs that are eager to get their agility on. For our feline friends, the fun may be better suited for the indoors. Obstacle courses can be created with items lying around the house, or in your garage. Check out these DIY obstacle courses for cats and dogs! Not only is an obstacle course a great way to shake up the playtime routine, it further strengthens your bond with your pet.

        Cat owners…grab your lasers.

Share the companionship.

Your pet is your best friend; why not share the love with patients at your local hospital? Not only will all of the attention make your pet smile, it is proven that pets, especially dogs, provide a variety of therapeutic benefits to patients. Before you plan your visit, be sure to contact your local hospital to make sure you follow their specific guidelines during your stay. Make sure that your pet does not wander into individual patients’ rooms, and only greets them in public areas of the hospital.

Relax.

Watch a movie, bake some homemade treats, and pet your loving companion until it’s time to snooze. Sometimes lazy days, are the best days.

No matter what your day entails, your pet will appreciate the extra time spent together this Monday. What will you and your pet be doing to celebrate? Let us know in the comments below!

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4 Reasons to Pick Up the “Number Two”

We really weren’t kidding, it is National Pooper Scooper week—and yes, we’ve written a blog post about it. Whether you’re at the beach, the park, even sitting in the comfort of your home, there is no escaping nature’s call. Litterboxes ease your worry for indoor cats, outdoor felines are known to burry their “number two;” and dogs, well, they’ll go just about anywhere. It’s easy to feel a bit lazy, and confident that your pet will take care of their business with no help from you, but until the day pets stand upright and utilize the toilet, that’s not reality. Here are 4 reasons why it’s time to stop being lazy, and pick up your pet’s business.

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1. Storm Water carries it all around town

And directly into our waterways; this means that nitrogen from the waste is added to the water, depleting the oxygen that keeps underwater wildlife alive. This process may also transmit diseases such as E. Coli and Salmonella to humans who unknowingly drink the contaminated water.

2. You don’t want your guests thinking “what’s that smell?”

If your pet does their duty in a litter box, it’s your job to grab the scooper. Lucky for you, many pet litters will deodorize the smell somewhat, but not all. Cats can be quite peculiar about their bathroom habits, and if they aren’t met, they will find an area that is. They like a clean area with a neutral smell, and may prefer a certain litter over others. It is recommended to scoop out your pet’s litter box daily while replacing the litter twice a week.

3. It’s common courtesy

And your responsibility as a pet owner, especially when your pup decides to venture off through the neighborhood and mark its territory on other lawns. Help end the worry of pet landmines for beach goers, other pet owners by the park, city explorers, and yourself by scooping!   

4. And it’s the law

The reasons above should be a clear indication as to why…

Now that’s what we like to call the ugly truth; we know, we wish it wasn’t so too. Happy scooping!

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The Lifetime Journey of Socializing Your Pup

Being a pup may seem like a happy-go-lucky gig, but for some of our furry friends, it can be a bit stressful. Learning and seeing new things each day can be quite the adventure; socializing your pet further helps teach them how to respond with less fear and stress to new experiences throughout their life.

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Here’s how to give your pet skills to cope with new situations:

Treats:

Not only do treats reinforce good behavior to our pets, they also serve as a form of comfort, and assurance. When socializing your pet in the future, be sure to grab a handful of treats to carry along your journey. To your pet, being rewarded with a treat will signify that they are acting appropriately, and the situation is positive. Might we recommend our Healthy Habit Treats?

Take them around town:

Adults aren’t the only ones who can have downtown fun. If your hometown or neighboring city is pet friendly, get your pup in on the action! Not only is the exercise worth the trip, your pet will be exposed to a variety of experiences and events while getting lots of love and attention from pets and people alike!

Here are some of the most pet-friendly cities in America and Canada. Did your city make the list?

Dog parks and neighborhood barks:

Like humans, pets need friends too. What better place to find a playmate than at your local dog park, or even in your neighborhood?! When setting up play dates for your furry friend, be sure to stay with them. Sometimes the fun can get a bit rowdy, and both pets need a bit of relaxation and water when the fun is done!

Remember, puppyhood is not the end of socialization. Be sure to keep your pet happy and healthy through adulthood by continuing to find new adventures to embark on together!

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Collar vs. Harness: Which is best for your pup?

Shopping for collars can be overwhelming these days. With all the harnesses, halters, and varying types of collars, it’s hard to know which equipment is best for your pet. Don’t worry, the Precise Team is here to help.

Collar vs. Harness

Collars

Simple and convenient, collars are certainly the most traditional option for walking and training pups. Collars are good for every day use on dogs of any size that don’t pull, tug or lunge, as these actions can put pressure on dogs’ necks and potentially cause injury.

Martingale collars, also known as slip collars or “greyhound” collars, are great for dogs that tend to slip out of their collars. This is usually a problem with dogs who have little to no size differentiation between their head and neck- we’re talking Greyhounds, Whippets, Pits, French Bulldogs and Bull Terriers. Martingale collars automatically tighten when pulled, laying flush with the neck and preventing your dog from getting loose.

Harnesses

Small dog breeds and dogs who pull, tug and lunge excessively are the best candidates for harnesses. Harnesses take the pressure off the neck, making them safer for dogs and easier to control for you. There are two main types of harnesses that cater to different canines’ needs:

Front clip harness: The best option for for larger breed dogs, front clip harnesses provide maximum control and come in handy when there’s a big mismatch in size, speed or strength between you and your dog.   A harness with the leash ring in the front middle of the dog’s chest lessens the force of your dog’s forward pull, and will gently turn him toward you.

Back clip harness: These are perfect for small and toy breed dogs, who don’t need the same amount of control as larger breeds. Back attaching harnesses don’t create the same pressure as front attaching harnesses do for large breed dogs and protect their tracheas are from bruising if they lunge or pull.

Whichever you decide is the best option for your companion; make sure your pup is always wearing identification and medical information in case they get lost.

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How to Spring Clean Pet Messes

We love our pets. What we don’t love is the mess that can sometimes make it’s way into our homes. Whether it’s pet dander, accidents, feeding time, tracking dirt or plundering, we’ve witnessed and smelt it all. Now it’s time for some spring-cleaning action, and some tips on how to maintain your home with furry friends.

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  • Is that pet hair? Or a new fur coat?:

Pet lovers and owners alike know all too well of the battle with the lint roller to remove pet dander from their clothes. To eliminate dander from your home, grab a pet friendly cleaning solution, and warm water. This combination will pick up what your duster and vacuum may leave behind! Purchasing a vacuum or lint remover specifically for pet dander removal will also help in your efforts.

Also, remember to look to the source. When your pet is regularly groomed, it can eliminate a lot of the dander! Grab a pet friendly brush with shaver, some pet shampoo, get outside and get to work!

  • Accidents happen:

And when they do, it’s never fun. If pets happen to relieve themselves inside of your home, be sure to clean the soiled area of the accident completely. Soak up the wet areas with paper towels repeatedly until the area is only damp. Then, clean the area with water and a pet odor neutralizer to eliminate the smell and stain. According to our friends at the American Humane Society, if your pet continues to smell their scent, they will return to the same area for round two. A helpful tip is to grab your urine soaked paper towels, and to put them inside of your pet’s litter box, or outdoor bathroom area to remind them of where to go when nature calls!

  • Spilling over the Precise:

Our pets love digging into their favorite formulas when it comes to feeding time, but unfortunately, sometimes their excitement spills over to the floor. The solution could be simpler than you think; your pet may need a new food bowl to accommodate their size or eating habits! Scroll down and check out our blog posts on pet bowls to help find a bowl that’s right for your pet! 

  • When outside becomes inside—Tracking in dirt:

If it’s been a rainy day or week, there is no avoiding the mud your pet will climb through to have some time outdoors. It’s time to stop them in their tracks…literally. Creating your own mittens for your pet’s feet may do the trick, or simply keep a towel, or pet mat at the door to clean them off before they come inside to rest. Let’s leave the paw prints forever in your heart, and not on the carpet!

What are your tips for cleaning up pet messes?

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Avoid These Pet Poisons

Everyone knows that what you feed your pet is essential to their health; that’s why our pet food is packed with high quality, nutritious ingredients. Recognizing what you should avoid feeding your pet is just as important. In honor of Pet Poison Prevention Month, the Precise Team has compiled a list of dangerous household substances that should be kept away from your pets. Some may be obvious to you, but some may surprise you. So keep your furry friend safe and healthy by avoiding these pet poisons:

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  • Medications / Supplements

Never attempt to medicate your pet using human products without contacting your veterinarian first. Anti-depressants and common over the counter drugs containing acetaminophen (Tylenol), or NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin) can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers or kidney failure in cats and dogs. Vitamins and supplements like Vitamin D, iron and alpha-lipoic acid are also toxic to pets.

  • People Food

Animals have different metabolisms than people. That’s why foods that are perfectly safe for humans can be dangerous and potentially fatal for your companion. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the most dangerous people foods pets should avoid are chocolate, alcohol, avocados, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, caffeine and xylitol (a sweetener found in sugar-free gum, candy and toothpaste).

  • Plants

They might look pretty, but not all plants are pet-friendly. Lilies are the most poisonous of household plants (especially to cats)- even a couple of petals can be fatal. Other toxic plants include tulips, daffodils, azaleas and oleander. In the future, remove any of these poisonous plants from your bouquets to keep your furry friend safe.

  • Household Cleaners

Not only are cleaners like bleach poisonous to people, they’re also the leading cause of pet poisoning. To be safe, keep your pets out of the room while using cleaning products, and be sure to close toilet lids to prevent drinking toilet water, especially if you use automatic bowl cleaners.

  • Glue

When kids play around with glue, its cute. When pets play around with glue, its dangerous. Believe it or not, some glues expand after ingestion and require surgical removal. According to Pet Poison Hotline, just one ounce of glue can expand to the size of a basketball in your pet’s stomach.

Think your pet might have ingested something harmful? Stay calm. Contact your veterinarian, the Pet Poison Hotline (1-800-213-6680), or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) immediately. If you know what your pet ingested, it’s important to have the container, package, or label ready for quick identification of suspected substances.

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Help speed up the recovery, at home

When your pet endures an operation, it can be an overwhelming and anxious time, not only for yourself, but for your furry friends too. Post-operative at home care can significantly speed-up your pet’s healing process by making them feel at ease and cared for in the comfort of your own home. The Precise Pet Team is here to help, with five pet tips for post-operative care:

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  • Familiarize yourself with vet administered post-operative care and medication instructions. If your pet’s surgery was completed at the ER, be sure to inform your family veterinarian of your pet’s current condition, and the extent of their surgery. Speaking with your veterinarian will put your mind at ease, and will help you to determine what your pet needs.
  • Pay close attention. Often, it is difficult to calm your pet following an operation. Restlessness, grunting, and abnormal behavior could indicate that your pet is in pain. Prior to providing your pet with medication to sooth the pain, be sure to follow your pet’s medication instructions, and consult your family veterinarian.
  • Keep an eye on their bandages. Your pet’s bandages should be kept clean and dry to avoid the risk of infection. If you notice an abnormal odor, loosening, heat, swelling, or continuous bleeding-contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • Monitor your pet’s portions and water intake. Though we know your pets can’t get enough Precise, your veterinarian may advise you to limit your pet’s food and water intake, depending on their condition. Don’t worry! By cutting back on your pet’s consumption, your pet may feel much better. Consult your veterinarian before returning to your normal pet formula portions.
  • Relax, and get cozy. Your pet can tell if you are experiencing high levels of anxiety; to avoid adding stress to your companion, try to relax. Keep a soft lighting in your home, turn on a film, and get snuggly with your pet while elevating injuries by using pillows, keeping an eye on bandages, and ensuring your pet isn’t chewing or scratching at their wound. Elizabethan collars help during this process, and though they may look unpleasant to your furry friend, it is important to keep the collar on during your pet’s recovery process. If you prefer to avoid the “cone of shame” check out these alternatives.

Once your pet begins to get back into your daily routine, be sure to let your family veterinarian know of your pet’s improvements, and take them in for a quick check-up. Get well soon to our four-legged friends!

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“Bowl” Appétit!

Ingredients are key. Wholesome nutrients are essential. But what about the object that we serve up these wholesome goods in? That’s right, the pet bowl. You may be surprised to know, that this seemingly overlooked object is incredibly important based on your furry friend’s unique diet habits. The Precise team has done a bit of research on finding the right pet bowl, for your furry friend:

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Elevated Feeders:

Let’s get ready for the big breeds. If your pet is “like Mike,” you may want to invest in an elevated feeder. This can improve the comfort and posture of your pet, and minimize the risk of joint damage. Elevated feeders are also incredibly helpful to pets that are recovering from surgery or are three-legged. Pet parents will also be happy to know that these bowls help prevent spillage! 

Steep Sided Bowls / Narrow Bowls:

Our long-eared pups need special bowls too! If your hound often struggles to chow down due to it’s long ears winding up in the bowl, have no fear. Steep sided bowls feature a narrow opening which will prevent your hound’s ears from falling inside. Let’s keep those ears from taking on water.

Shallow Bowls:

These bowls benefit smaller breeds, and puppies and kitties alike! Shallow bowls make it much more easy for our baby pets to reach their food, eliminating pressure against their throat.

Slow Feeder Bowls:

Many awful things can happen when you chow down too quick: choking, bloating, even obesity. Let’s take that down a notch with a slow feeder bowl. Not only do these bowls help slow down your pet’s eating, it also improves digestion and nutrient absorption!

Deep Bowls:

For our long nosed critters, eating can be a bit uncomfortable when faced with a shallow bowl; deeper bowls allow more nose room, making dinner time a wholesome and filling experience!

The material of your pet bowl also plays a factor. If you have a pup that likes to chew, avoid plastic bowls. While they are the cheaper alternative, your pup may get a bit excited, and ingest small hard pieces. Vets recommend stainless steel bowls thanks to their quick sanitation ability; and ceramic bowls are a great stability option for pets that tend to push around their food! And as always, be sure to sanitize your pet’s bowl regularly to avoid harmful bacteria!

Interested in giving your pet an upgrade? Check out these different pet bowls and feeders for your dog or cat and fill up with a nutritious bowl of Precise Holistic Complete!

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