Health and Exercise

Top 3 Summer Hazards for Dogs and How You Can Prevent Them

Chances are your pooch loves spending time outdoors in the summer. But as much fun as it is for him to frolic in the warm weather, there are potential dangers to look out for. Below we talk about three common summer hazards for dogs and how you can easily easily prevent them.

1. Ticks: Ticks are nasty little bugs, but they can often carry many microorganisms that could harm your pooch once they latch on to his skin. They are usually plentiful in tall grass and areas with heavy vegetation. Whenever you play with or let your dog outdoors, it can be impossible to prevent him from wandering into tall grass. So make it a habit to check your dog every day for ticks. Even if he hasn’t been outside all day, still check him. You could have missed a tick during yesterday’s inspection. Thoroughly look through all of his fur by running your fingers along his coat. Then inspect the inside and outside of his ears. Don’t forget in and around his eyes. Ticks love burrowing then latching onto these areas. For even more protection, use a tick shampoo during baths along with a tick spray. You can also invest in a flea and tick collar.

If you happen to find a tick, pull it out by its head with tweezers. Don’t just pull the body; it could rip and the head will be left in your dog’s skin, which could cause an infection. Pull slowly so you remove all of the tick at once. Place the tick in a container of alcohol to kill it, then rub disinfectant on the bitten area. Be sure to monitor how your dog behaves after you’ve found and removed a tick. If he seems sick, take him to the vet immediately.

2. Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is serious and can be fatal for your dog if not treated immediately and properly. So if you’re playing with your dog outdoors in the summer, always make sure you have enough water for him to stay hydrated. Carry a portable water dish with you whenever you go on an outing with your pooch. Periodically give your dog some water to lap up. How often you give your dog water depends on how hot and humid it is outdoors, and the type of activity your dog was engaging in. For instance, if you are going to play a leisurely game of fetch in the park for a half hour in the morning, one water break is probably fine. But if you’re doing a half-hour jog in the afternoon, plan on at least three or four water breaks for your dog. Take plenty of breaks in the shade so he can cool off too. Better yet, limit outdoor activities for your pet to the early morning or evening when it’s cooler. Also, pay attention to your pooch’s behavior while he’s active in the heat. If it seems like he’s really struggling, take him indoors immediately and give him plenty of water.

3. People food:  Summer typically means loads of outdoor cooking. Fight the urge to toss your pooch a few morsels when he’s outdoors with you. It seems harmless, but there’s a reason why dogs are supposed to eat dog food and not human food. Sure, your pooch will gladly inhale the scraps you offer him, but it could make him vomit or give him diarrhea. This is especially true with dairy products. cautions that dogs don’t have the enzymes necessary to digest dairy products, which can make them sick. Avoid this headache completely, and stick to only dog food and treats. Also, feed your dog before you cook. If he’s full, he’s more likely to leave you alone. But some dogs don’t let a full stomach deter them from stealing a few bits of table food. If your dog constantly begs for food while you grill, contain him in a separate area or keep him inside until you’re finished cooking and eating.

Keep these hazards in mind as you and your pooch enjoy the rest of the summer. Sure, it’s a hassle to inspect your dog every day for ticks, carry a container of water and listen to his constant whining every time you barbecue. But it’s for the overall health of your dog. Follow these simple tips and your pooch will have a safer summer.

Happy and Healthy

Puppy _ 3Keeping your pooch healthy is an important and vital task that leads to the happy and healthy pet mentality we all love to see in our furry friends. There are a few basic items that can help maintain your pup’s health:

1. Proper Food: An overall nutritious diet is a great foundation for the health of your dog. We offer a larger selection of dog food to find what you are looking for in maintaining a healthy and hearty diet. We even carry low fat and weight management options for the pooches watching their weight. Dry food, canned food, puppy specific and for adults – we have got it all covered.

2. Exercise: Just like us, pets need a proper amount of daily, active exercise to stay healthy. Walking/jogging with your pet are great ways for both of you to get some fresh air and exercise. We offer a wide variety of collars and leashes for safe outdoor activity. Fetch and other games involving toys can also create a good amount of physical movement for your dog. Fortunately, we have a great line of toys to keep your fuzz ball on the move.

3. Hygiene: In maintaining your dog’s overall health, it is equally important to consider their hygiene. We offer a wide range of shampoos, brushes, nail care, shedding blades and rakes, and scissors and clippers, to put together the ideal grooming kit for your pup. In addition, we carry a health care line including the following products: aroma dog therapy, dental care, de-wormers, ear care, eye care, first aid, flea and tick, skin care, supplements and vitamins, odor control and protective collar products.

These are just three of the basic foundations for maintaining the health and happiness of your furry friend. For additional items and products for your pet, please be sure to browse

Dispelling Common Dog Myths

A few weeks ago, we dissolved a few common myths about cats. In this week’s post, we’re busting myths about your canine pals. Below are a few of the most common misconceptions about dogs and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: You can tell if your dog is sick by touching his nose.
Most people have heard that feeling their dog’s nose can determine the health of their pet. For instance, if your dog’s nose feels cold and wet, he’s healthy. If it’s warm, he’s sick. This is a complete myth. As convenient as it would be, you can’t tell if your dog is sick or healthy just by touching his nose. To really find out if your dog is ill, you have to take his temperature with a thermometer and pay attention to how he’s behaving.

Myth 2: Dogs wag their tails when they are happy.
Not always. Yes, happy dogs often wag their tails, but dogs also wag their tails when they are agitated or scared. Don’t just assume that because your pooch’s tail is moving back and forth that he’s in a good mood. Pay attention to his overall demeanor. Is he walking up to you excitedly, wanting to interact? Then he’s probably happy. If he is wagging his tail but also has his ears back and seems a bit hesitant or tense, then he’s likely agitated or frightened. Also, pay attention to the position of the tail. If he’s wagging his tail in a high position, he is likely agitated. If his tail remains toward the middle of his body while moving back and forth, he’s most likely in a friendly mood.

Myth 3: It’s okay to use human shampoo on your dog if you’re out of dog shampoo.
Using your own shampoo to wash your dog is a bad idea. The ingredients in human and pet shampoo are different, and using anything but dog shampoo on your pooch could irritate his skin. It can even cause dry skin and dandruff. Dog shampoo is engineered specifically for dogs, so using anything else to wash him can have negative effects.

Myth 4: Leaving your dog alone in your yard is sufficient exercise.
Many pet owners think that if they put their dog in the yard, he will get plenty of exercise because he will run around by himself. Some owners even forgo dog walks in favor of this. But leaving the exercise up to your dog isn’t a good idea. Sure, some dogs will take the initiative to run by themselves, but others won’t. Many dogs are not active if their owners are not present to interact with them. If left alone, even outdoors in a yard, they will often spend the time lounging or sleeping. The only way to make sure that your dog gets enough exercise is to be with him. Make it a point to go on walks with your dog every day so he gets a healthy amount of exercise. If you’re pressed for time, take your canine pal on a jog with you. That way, you are both maximizing your exercise at the same time. But exercise isn’t just limited to walking and jogging. Swimming, playing fetch and any other active games are a great way for your dog to stay in shape.

Myth 5: Small dogs are better for kids than bigger dogs because of their size.
Just because a dog is small doesn’t mean it will get along great with kids. A lot of smaller dogs are temperamental and easily agitated, and will often bark excessively or even bite. If you want a kid-friendly dog, size doesn’t really matter. Instead, pay attention to the dog’s personality and temperament. A lot of medium- to large-sized dogs are great with kids because they are friendly and enjoy playing. And always supervise your kids when they play with the dog, to ensure they are playing safely.

Protect your Cat from the Heat

Dogs aren’t the only pets you have to worry about becoming overheated during the summer. Your cat can too. Even if you have an indoor cat, the hot weather can take its toll on him. Keeping your kitty in a hot house can cause heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, if he doesn’t have a way to quickly and consistently cool down. But there are several easy, simple things you can do to ensure that he stays cool, hydrated and healthy during the summer.

Keep the air conditioner or a fan on in your house at all times. Some people like to turn off the AC if they are gone for the day to save money. But this can be bad for your cat. If the temperature rises and there’s no cool air circulating around the house, your feline friend can become overheated. So make sure the AC stays on. If you put your cat in a certain room of your house when you are out, run a fan to keep the air circulating.

Make sure your cat stays or is able to get to the coolest part of your home. This is often the basement or an interior room. You will notice that if given the choice, many cats will make their way down to the basement because it tends to be the coldest part of a house. If your home doesn’t have a basement, keep your cat in an interior room with a tile floor. Tile stays much cooler longer than carpet, and most cats enjoy sprawling out on tile floors in the summer.

Staying hydrated is crucial in the summer, so remember to replenish your cat’s water often. Throw a few ice cubes in the dish too to keep the water chilly for longer.

Make your cat’s bed a cool haven by placing bags of ice or ice packs in it. Just wrap them in a towel and lay them at the bottom so your kitty can sit on top of them. It’s effective because it helps cool your cat every time he rests or sleeps. To avoid a mess, wrap the ice bags or packs in a plastic bag, then wrap a towel around that. Or if you’re out of ice, keep a couple towels in the freezer, and place them in your cat’s bed once they are frosty.

On exceptionally stifling days, you can even wipe your cat down with a cold, wet towel. Even though most cats don’t like getting wet, you’d be surprised that some cats enjoy being wiped down on a hot day. Just be careful when you wet them. Make sure they are in a relaxed mood and pet them while you do it so they stay calm. The chilled water on their fur will feel refreshing on a sweltering day.

Most importantly, remember that prevention is key. Making sure that your cat stays cool and hydrated is much easier than treating a cat that is overheating or suffering from heat stroke. Those are very dangerous situations and require the help of a veterinarian. But you can avoid that by following these easy tips.

How to Minimize Pet Allergies

Always having to carry a box of tissues around with you or constantly rubbing your irritated eyes? This could be because of your adorable fuzz ball. Though we love our pets, we don’t love the allergies they can cause. But you don’t have to endure the unpleasantness of pet allergies. There are some simple tips and techniques you can implement to reduce them, which makes for more comfortable living with your pet.

1. Bathe your dog or cat weekly. According to the Human Society, giving your pet a bath once a week can greatly reduce allergy-causing dander. Because allergies are also born out of pet saliva, giving them a bath is more effective than just leaving your pet to lick and bathe itself. Make sure to use shampoos specifically designed for your cat or dog.

2. Restrict rooms. Restricting certain rooms in your home where your pet is allowed can help reduce the amount of allergies spread. Or you can create one room where your pet is not allowed. It would be most effective to keep your cat or dog out of rooms with carpet, which is where dander is more likely to linger. The same is true for rooms that have lots of furniture upholstered with soft material and other decor. Most importantly, do not allow your pet into your bedroom if you have bad allergies. If your cat or dog has a habit of wandering into your bedroom or your designated no-pet room, put up a gate to block him.

3. Keep your home clean. Make it a habit to regularly clean and wash your home to reduce allergies. Also, wash your hands every time you pet your cat or dog. It can be a hassle to remember every time, but you will notice a significant decrease in allergy symptoms.

4. Consult your doctor. There are different medications and remedies that can aid in reducing allergies. Talk to your physician to find the best solution for you.

Implementing some or all of these ideas into your daily life can help create a more comfortable living environment with your pet. You’ll be able to live comfortably without allergies while still enjoying the company of your furry pal.

Groom your Pup on the Cheap

You want your dog to be clean and presentable, but you certainly don’t want to break the bank to do it. In lieu of taking your pooch to an expensive pet groomer, do it yourself. There are several simple and affordable ways to keep him clean. Plus, you get the added bonus of bonding with your pet, since grooming him enables you to spend time with your dog instead of paying a stranger to do it. Here’s a rundown of how to easily groom your dog.

1. Give your dog a bath. Most dogs don’t mind a bath, some even love it. So the next time your pup is looking unkempt, bust out the dog shampoo and lather him up. Depending on your dog’s size and how excitable he is, you can wash him in your bath tub, or hose him down outside. If you have a portable tub, use that. If you notice your dog becoming a bit nervous at being in the water, speak to him in a calming voice to ease him. It’s comforting for a dog to hear his owner’s voice, so make it a point to talk to him if it improves his mood. Also, as you wash him, don’t scrub too vigorously because it could agitate him. Use firm but gentle pressure, then thoroughly rinse. Giving an at-home bath is much cheaper than the groomer, since you all you really need is shampoo, water and a place to bathe him.

2. Trim his nails. Trimming your dog’s nails can be tricky, but it’s doable if you’re careful. If you cut them cut too short, it could possibly hurt or injure your dog. Unless you have a lot of nail trimming experience, opt for a trimmer that shaves nails instead of actually cutting them. It will be gentler on your dog while still effectively trimming his nails. Plus, there are many quality and affordable trimmers available. Purchase one and in the long run, you will save more money trimming your pooch’s nails yourself rather than paying a groomer to do it. As an added benefit, your dog will likely be more relaxed and calmer when you trim his nails than if you send him to a groomer, since he is accustomed to being around you more. It’s a great way to establish trust with your dog and help him know that he doesn’t have to be nervous or afraid when it’s time for a nail trim.

3. Brush him. Regular brushing is the best way to maintain your dog’s coat. And it’s affordable too because all you need is a quality brush. Wait until your dog is mostly dry from his bath and then spend a few minutes brushing him. This can be very relaxing for your dog, and is another excellent way to spend time with him. Remember to remove any extra hair after every brushing session to help the brush last as long as possible. The last thing you want is a brush with tons of matted fur.

See? Grooming your dog doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy ordeal. With a few affordable products, you can keep your pooch clean and presentable while saving serious cash. Yes, it can be a hassle to make the time for an at-home grooming session, but it’s well worth the money you save. The cost of shampoo, a brush and a trimmer is cheaper in the long run than multiple visits to the groomer. Just be sure to regularly schedule grooming time so you can plan for it. It’s also a great way to spend quality time with your canine pal.

  1. 3 Easy Ways to Save Money on Pets « Proper Pet Care: [...]a certain amount of money into a quality pair of nail trimmers, brush, shampoo, etc. Follow this guide on how…

How to Energize a Lazy Cat

Ah, the life of a lazy cat. Lounging around all day, sleeping, staring out windows, eating…sounds like blissful existence. The perk of having a sluggish cat is that it is relatively low maintenance and doesn’t require as much attention as a dog. But what if you want to energize your lethargic feline friend a bit? Sure, it’s nice to have a low-key pet, but it’s also important to make sure your kitty is stimulated and getting enough exercise for the benefit of his overall health. We’ve come up with some simple and easy ways to help your cat get active.

  • Adjust his food

Take a look at how much you feed your cat. Sometimes, cat owners aren’t careful about meal portions and unknowingly overfeed. They either give their cat too much food each meal or feed them too many times throughout the day. Overfeeding can make your cat languid and inactive. Simply adjusting his meal portions can improve his health. You will notice your cat is more spry and alert when he’s not constantly in a food coma. If you are uncertain about how much food to give, check the recommended serving sizes for the food you buy. Portion size can depend on factors like age and weight, and is typically listed on the package. You can also ask your vet.

  • Give him vitamins

Vitamins ensure your cat gets all the nutrients he needs that he possibly doesn’t receive in his food. There are dozens of vitamins to choose from, including ones that aid in digestion, de-stress, strengthen bones and improve metabolism. Vitamins help improve your cat’s overall health, which can energize him and improve his mood.

  • Give him catnip toys

What cat doesn’t love catnip? Even the laziest felines go nuts over it. Give your cat a couple of catnip toys to get him going. The catnip stimulates your feline pal and makes him stay active for long periods of time. There are all sorts of toys to choose from, depending on what your cat likes to play with. It’s a great way to keep your cat active, since your cat will bat, chase and play with those toys for hours.

  • Play with him

Simply playing with your cat every day is a great way to energize him. Whether your cat likes playing with toys or enjoys being chased around the house, the important thing is that he’s being engaged and active. So make it a point to spend some quality play time every day with your kitty.

Some cats naturally have a lazy personality and won’t enjoy being active all the time. But it’s important to make sure your pet is healthy, and maintaining a certain amount of activity is part of that. Simply spending 10 to 15 minutes each day playing with your cat, in addition to feeding him the right amount of nutritious food, is an effective way to achieve that. So whenever you get sick of seeing your sloth-like cat lying around all day, try these tips and see just how energized your feline pal can be.

Keeping Your Dog Safe in Warmer Weather

While the sun is not beating down on us quite yet, it is still important to be prepared for the upcoming heat. While we make sure we slap on the sunscreen and grab our water bottle, we also need to remember to keep our pets safe in warmer weather conditions from problems such as overheating, exhaustion and dehydration.

Here are some tips and tricks to keeping your beloved furry friend safe in the spring and summer sun:

  1. Hydration is key. Make sure that while you are out and about your dog has access to cool and clean water or if you are leaving them home all day by themselves.  According to, while hydration is vitally important, so is clean water; changing the water often helps to prevent bacteria from growing. Also, be sure your dog is not slurping up puddles on the sidewalk that could actually turn out to be “antifreeze or other dangerous chemicals” they have mistaken for water. When you are heading out, either carry an extra water bottle with you or even better, a portable water dish (just be sure the water is cold).
  2. Like babies and children, you should never leave your dog in a parked car when it is warm/hot outside. Rolling down the window is not sufficient, because temperatures quickly rise inside cars. When you are going out, leave your dog at home or be sure you are able to take them out of the car wherever you are going to prevent heat exhaustion from your furry friend.
  3. While it is important that dogs get exercise outside and are able to enjoy the nice weather, especially after being cooped up all winter long, it is important that they do not spend an excessive amount of time outside in the heat. And while you are outside, be sure to take breaks under shady trees while you both re-hydrate. Additionally, suggests not to exercise with your dog when it is warm outside. Take your walk,  jog or run in the morning or evening when the weather is cooler.
  4. Because of the warmer air, there is a greater presence of bacteria, ticks and fleas. Make sure that you are checking your dog as they come indoors for ticks and anything out of the ordinary. It is also important to take your pup to the vet for a check up and preventive medication according to

These are just a few helpful tips in preventive action you can take to keep your puppy or dog safe, while enjoying warmer weather.

What ways do you find helpful keeping your pet safe during the warmer months?

The Importance of Keeping Your Cat Indoors

Many people let their cats run around the neighborhood because they believe cats want to be outside. While many cats do enjoy going out, you should know that letting your cat out is risky.

At the Nebraska Humane Society, we see stray cats enter the shelter with all sorts of injuries and diseases. We know that at some point, they were someone’s pet because they are well socialized and enjoy attention, but they have met with difficulty when on their own.

Most cats do enjoy prowling and hunting outdoors, but the fact is, they live longer, healthier lives inside. On average, indoor cats live 16 years, while strictly outdoor cats live just 2 to 5 years. Indoor/outdoor cats fall in between, with an average lifespan of 6 to 8 years. The reason is simple. They are not as protected from outside forces, which include:

  • Running into the street and being struck by a car. Cars hit and kill hundreds of cats in the Omaha metro area each year
  • Ingesting pesticides, rat poison and anti-freeze
  • Exposure to contagious diseases like feline leukemia and parasites like worms, mites and lice
  • Attacks by wild animals, roaming dogs and other cats
  • Being trapped by a neighbor, either in a trap, or, unintentionally as a garage or shed door is shut
  • Being mistaken for a stray
  • Getting lost and unable to find home
  • Encountering someone with cruel intentions

To keep cats happy indoors you can provide all sorts of enrichment with toys, hiding places, multi-level perches and windows to look out. Some cats enjoy “kitty videos” of bugs, birds or other outdoor activities that you can play on a television. Growing your own grass or cat-friendly plants can give your cat a taste of the outdoors. Plus, giving him different surfaces for kneading and scratching will help curb those desires to sharpen claws on trees. Scheduling play time in a couple of 10 minute blocks can help keep your cat entertained indoors so he won’t be so intent to get out.

For more information, visit the Nebraska Humane Society website.

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