To Be a Better Human....Get a Dog!

Today's my birthday and I'm sitting in a hotel room, missing my dogs, wishing they were here this morning to give me a big birthday lick on the face! I think that would be a great birthday gift!! Naturally as we get older, we think about the years that have passed us by and we think about how much time we have left. I began reflecting on the fact that my dogs have played an important role in my life and how much they've positively impacted it.  Hands down, dogs have made me a better human being! Yes, my mother, father and other family members contributed greatly to my success as an upstanding citizen in society, so I guess they deserve some credit (just kidding mom...you deserve most of the credit) but isn't it true?? We can learn so much from our pets about how to be better people!!

  • They teach us to wake up happy.
  • They show us smiling makes others happy.
  • They teach us to express love every day and not with strings attached but unconditionally!
  • They teach us to greet everyone with enthusiasm.
  • They teach us to not hold grudges.
  • They teach us to explore everything and to be curious.
  • They teach us to protect those we love.

If you don't have a dog, I encourage you to consider adopting one that fits your lifestyle. There are massive health benefits as well when it comes to owning a dog like boosting your mood, relieving stress, contributing to a healthy heart and keeping you active and social. There are thousands, actually millions of dogs, living in shelters, looking for pet parents to make better human beings!

If you live in the Chicago area, I invite you to attend our annual event this Saturday, March 28th, 2015 called "Hop Around the Shops" where you'll get to meet about 30 adoptable pups. More details at www.hoparoundtheshops.com 

Since you're at this website, then you likely already do have a dog and I would LOVE to hear your story about how your dog made you a better human being! Reading those stories would be a great birthday present ;). 

Candace Canty - Pet Parent Expert & Founder of Dogaholics

Celebrate Pet Dental Health Month with Teeth Tips and Minty Good Deals

Did you know that February is Pet Dental Month and according to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs show oral disease by age 3? Unfortunately, this easily-preventable ailment is the most common health problem treated in small animal health clinics today.

If your pet suffers from bad breath, it may not be simple doggy breath.  In fact, it may signal periodontal disease and severe plaque buildup, which will cause many problems down the road. However, preventing periodontal disease can result in longer and generally healthier lives for pets.

Too often, dental care is ignored by pet owners.  One survey notes that just 1 out of 10 owners makes sure their pet's teeth are cared for. Although dogs and cats rarely get cavities, the plaque and tartar that do form can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease. This can then lead to tooth decay, bleeding gums and tooth loss. The bacteria causing these symptoms can travel through the bloodstream and eventually damage the major organs.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Proper pet dental care begins with a trip to the veterinarian for a dental exam, which should be done once a year. If you see plaque or tartar buildup, a cleaning may be necessary.

Afterwards, it is important to begin a home dental program.  Starting at an early age is best so your pet becomes used to the brushing action. Training your pet to become a dental care champion requires time and patience but can be accomplished! 

We sell a variety of products to help you be a proactive and responsible pet owner! One of our favorites is the Orapup Starter Kit. Orapup removes the bad breath that is caused from bacteria that's on your dog’s tongue. The kit comes with Lickies, which has all-natural enzymes and anti-plaque benefits to help establish your dog’s natural oral health. To your dog, Orapup is more like a treat than a chore!

MINTY GOOD DEALS

  • All dental products are 15% off at Dogaholics Boutique!
  • Add a teeth brushing service for only $6 at Dogaholics Service Center!

Good until February 28, 2015

Smooch Your Pooch Photo Contest!

There is no denying that your pup, hands down, is the best valentine you could ever ask for. They love you unconditionally and just having each other around brings the biggest smile to both of your faces. Your dog is always there for you, even when nobody else is. We want to see how much you appreciate your furry valentine by hosting a Smooch Your Pooch Photo Contest! Show us your’s & Fido’s best kissing face, by Sun, 2/15/15, for a chance to win a “Dogaholic” t-shirt! Winner randomly chosen on Mon, 2/16/15 at 5pm. See below how to enter on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! (choose only one social platform)

FACEBOOK

To enter, post a photo of you and your pup kissing in the comments section of this Facebook post...CLICK HERE. 

TWITTER

Follow us on Twitter and tweet @dogaholics a picture of you and your pup kissing and use #imadogaholic #smoochyourpooch.

INSTAGRAM

Follow us on Instagram and post a picture of you and your pup kissing with #imadogaholic #smoochyourpooch and tag @dog_a_holics

Disclaimer: All photos added by fans on the Dogaholics Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages are eligible for nomination. All entries received during the contest period can be used by Dogaholics. Any entries that are protected by copyright or trademark, without the permission of the author or the owner, will not be considered valid entries for the contest and will be disqualified.

Pet Parent Questions Answered - Cold Weather

I received a question on our Dogaholics YouTube Channel, after a viewer watched my Tips for Walking Your Dog This Winter. I'm sharing my response with you because it's important for all pet parents and future ones like this viewer to be prepared for brutally cold temps!

3moons posted:
"Do skinny, short haired dogs need coats for hour long winter walks (weather outside is below freezing.) I'm adopting a pitbull that is coming very thin or are all dogs just naturally good at handling cold?"

My Response:
Hello! Thank you for asking that question! I would definitely recommend some sort of outerwear or even layering up for any dog who has short hair in cold temperatures. I like to think of it under the same premise that if I need a heavy coat, gloves and a scarf, my dog is likely just also cold and would need some protection. Your dog may even shiver which is a good sign he is cold. Please also consider shorter, more frequent walks in subzero temperatures. Try 15 mins, multiple times a day, instead of an hour. Monitor his ear tips and tail tip, as well, to ensure they are not getting frostbite. The best way to measure your pet for clothing is along their spine from the collar to the base of their tail. Most pit bulls are barrel chested so you'll also want to find a stretchy fleece and a coat with adjustable velcro. Congratulations on becoming a pet parent! Being curious about things like this are important and we're happy you are committing to being a responsible pet owner!

share your cold weather questions or tips with us in the comments section below

highly recommend getting a sweater or coat for your pet! It is extremely important to make sure you do everything you possibly can for them to be comfortable and safe during your walks.

If you're in Chicago and would like to purchase a sweater or coat (maybe even some shoes, too!), you can visit our Boutique where our pet experts can help measure and pick out the perfect fit for your pup.

Stay warm out there!

Candace
Pet Parent Expert & Founder
Dog-a-holics, Inc.

Who loves you more than he loves himself?

Growing up I moved almost every year and went to a new school each time. I enjoyed making new friends, but I never stayed anywhere long enough to develop long lasting relationships. However, the one constant in my life were my pets!  Between bulldogs, mutts, hamsters and cats, my true friends were of the four-legged variety!

Dogs always played a big role in my life and I learned from an early age to truly value their love and friendship. One of my favorite quotes is “A dog is the only thing on earth who loves you more than he loves himself”.  That is a pretty powerful statement when you really think about it.  Let’s all be committed to being the best pet parent we can for that kind of loyalty. 

At the beginning of 2014, I called it the year of the Dogaholic. My team and I have been working hard towards that vision by providing you with a higher level of service, better variety of products and actively taking steps to develop an even stronger community of pet parents in Chicago.

Our new look and expansion is all for you! We take great pride in being a valued resource and thank you for your support and trust over the past eight years.


-       Candace, Founder of Dogaholics, Inc.

How To Check Your Dog For Fleas

It happens to the best of them… no matter how you try to protect your dog, fleas are very active insects that thrive in warm weather. (Big sigh of relief that it’s November in Chicago). Fleas are very active in warmer months, though, and stay well hidden on your dog, as they burrow into the dog’s fur to the skin. The fleas then ingest your dog’s blood and can cause severe itching and inflammation.

Here are some tips from Dogaholics on how to check your dog for fleas before the infestation becomes severe.

 

Behavior

If your dog is restless, or you notice him itching, biting, or licking certain areas of the body more than usual, it’s probably time to check for fleas. A flea infestation is also a possible cause if your dog is shaking his head or scratching his years often.  

 

Skin and Coat

To inspect your dog fully, turn him on his back. This will allow you to check the areas—such as the armpits and groin—where fleas can easily hide. Next, check his ears for signs of excessive scratching, redness or blood. Then check for redness or bumps on your dog’s belly or groin or hair loss coupled with scabbing, which could indicate that your dog is scratching excessively.

Finally, take a flea comb and run it through your dog’s back and leg hair. The comb will catch fleas from under the haircoat, so make sure to get as close to the skin as possible to catch the hidden fleas. As you comb, throw any live fleas into a bowl of soapy water to clean the comb and drown the fleas.

 

Environment

Check for fleas in areas of your home where your dog spends a lot of time. His bed and feeding area may show signs of flea dirt (little black specks) or actual fleas themselves.

 

Lastly, always remember to consult your veterinarian if you think your pup may have fleas. They’ll know what’s best for your dog’s specific infestation. And of course, when your pup finally feels better, treat him to a day of pampering and dog grooming at Dogaholics!


-Candace

How To Throw Your Dog a Tail-Wagging Birthday Party!

Cake, toys, and a bunch of hyper friends… no, it’s not just another kid’s party. It’s your pup’s big day to celebrate! He’s your best friend on four legs, so why not throw him the blowout bash he deserves?

Here at Dogaholics, we know that pups of all ages love to have fun with all of their furry friends. So whether you know exactly what day your puppy was born, or you adopted your pooch and made up a birthday (why not?), he deserves a day of fun and delicious treats from Dogaholics doggy bakery.  

 

Venue

If your pup has a ton of energy (and a lot of puppy friends), go for a fenced-in backyard, a puppy park, or even a dog beach. He’ll have a ton of space to run around and play with all of the party guests. On the flip side, if your dog is a bit older and prefers a day of lounging, rent out a doggy daycare for the day! This option is also great if your pup has a winter birthday.

 

Guest List

Your dog probably has a lot of puppy friends, whether he makes them at the park, daycare, or on your daily walk around the block. When making the guest list, though, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Take the size of the party venue into consideration before sending out invitations. The last thing you want is a room full of dogs and nowhere for them to tumble around and play.
  2. Make sure all party guests have been neutered or spayed, fully vaccinated, and are social with other dogs.
  3. If a dog on the guest list is known to show aggression toward a certain breed, save his invite for a special one-on-one play date with your pup to ensure a safe and fun party for all the dogs.  

 

Food

As for the menu, keep it simple with a goodie bag full of natural dog cookies and treats for the guests, and get the birthday pup an organic birthday cake—complete with icing, ice cream, and party hats on the side. Just stop by Dogaholics… we’ve got it covered. And iced!

 

- Candace 

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Dog

At Dogaholics pet boutique Chicago, we understand your love of all things furry. In your mind, there’s no such thing as being a cat person or a dog lover… you’re just obsessed with pets!

If you’re a dog owner who’s thinking about adding a feline to the family, there are a few things you should know before doing so, like how to prepare your pup and how to introduce the two pets. Remember, cats and dogs are different animals and have different instincts, so just follow the steps below, and the two should become fast friends.  

 

Step 1. Make sure you can effectively communicate with your dog.

Before bringing home your new cat, it’s important to make sure your dog has all of his commands down pat. Nothing would be worse than bringing home your new four-legged family member and allowing the dog to run over and scare the cat because he doesn’t quite yet understand the meaning of “sit.”  

 

Step 2. Give them controlled exposure to each other’s presence.

Once your cat has become accustomed to your home, you can begin to allow limited exposure to your pup. Bring the two animals into the same room, but keep them on opposite sides, each paired with an owner who can hold the dogs leash and prevent the cat from moving toward the dog. This exercise allows the two to gain exposure to the other’s scent and become aware of the other animal’s presence in the home.

 

Step 3. Let your cat roam free.

Next, allow your cat to approach the dog, but keep your pooch on a leash. This way, your cat will grow to become comfortable and feel safe around the much larger dog. Remember to use positive reinforcement on your pooch during this process. When he plays nicely with the new cat, reward him with a treat or a quick snuggle to let him know that he’s playing the right way and to encourage calmer behavior around the cat.  

 

Step 4. Supervise their free interactions until they are both comfortable.

Now it’s time to let both animals interact with each other without restraint. They are more comfortable around the other pet now, but make sure to supervise their interactions until you’re sure both animals feel completely safe.

 

Dogaholics dog boutique Chicago loves cats just as much as we adore dogs, so we’re happy to help with training your pups to help ease the introduction process. Just stop by our Southport boutique! (And don’t forget to bring your furry friends).


-Candace

Why should you adopt a senior dog?

November is the ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Dog Month, and we can’t help but celebrate at Dog-a-holics dog boutique Chicago. Why? Because we love all pooches, of course—from puppies, to playful youngsters, and yes, even the seniors. They’re just so cuddly! Here are three reasons you should help spread the word this month.

 

Reason #1: They’re oh-so-lovable.

Older dogs really aren’t ones for running and playing fetch, they’d much prefer just lounging around and cuddling with their human. It’s important to remember that they still do need their daily exercise, though, so if you’re too busy for work, let Dog-a-holics pet boutique Chicago take care of it with our dog walking service!  

 

Reason #2: They already know it all.

Senior dogs were puppies a long time ago, which means that most dogs available for adoption have already been trained. Phew! It will take some time for your new four-legged friend to get accustomed to your home—it’s a totally new environment for him—but for the most part, they have the ability and experience to know what you need and how to do what you’re asking them to do.  

 

Reason #3: Hello… They’re cute!

This one’s a given, because let’s face it… all dogs are cute! Sure puppies are funny and teeny-tiny, but they also love to chew on your shoes (they always go for the new pair, don’t they)? Senior dogs have been around the block and back, so they’re no longer teething and prefer lying low to playing fetch. And those eyes. How can you say no to those eyes?

This month, remember to check Pose a Pet to see all of the dogs that are available for adoption at the Chicago Canine Rescue. Young and cute or old and sweet—every pup deserves a loving home!


-Candace