MICROCHIPPING DOGS IS A CRITICAL SAFETY MEASURE

There are a number of reasons why microchipping dogs is a critical pet safety measure for dog parents. In fact, it's probably one of the smartest dog safety tips for dog owners, and cat owners too!  June is National Microchipping Month for pet owners.  It's a month in which to raise awareness of the importance of microchipping your pets, particularly dogs and cats.


Importance of Microchipping Pets


> A microchip permanently establishes you as the owner of your dog, and links you together for the life of your pet. Virtually all Veterinary offices and Animal shelters have microchip scanners that enable them to scan a dog or cat to see if a chip is present. In dogs and cats the microchip is usually placed, just beneath the skin, between the shoulder blades. Microchips are internationally recognized, so even if you travel abroad with your dog, their microchip can still be effective.

> Collars and tags are great, your dog should always wear them. However, collars can easily come off your pet. Collars can break off, a terrified dog can wriggle out of almost any collar or harness and run off. A well meaning citizen, or a not so well meaning citizen, can inadvertently remove a dog's collar - removing that means of identification and link to you. Unlike collars, a microchip is permanently attached to your dog.  In the U.S. it is illegal for anyone other than an owner to remove a pet's microchip.

> Once a microchip is installed, there is no further maintenance required. It's a one and done simple procedure that links you and your dog together for the life of your dog.


Microchipping dogs is a critical dog safety measure
Microchipping dogs & cats is critical for pet safety 


I can't overstate the importance of microchipping your dog or cat. As an 8 year animal shelter volunteer, I have seen the heartbreak of pet owners searching frantically for their lost dog or cat.  

They walk, teary eyed, up and down the rows of shelter pets desperately seeking their beloved dog or cat.  When they've searched every kennel, the anguish of not finding their pet is evident.  I have seen this look far too many times and it breaks my heart.  

I always asked them the critical question, already fearing the answer.  Is your dog microchipped?  No, they say, my dog isn't microchipped. I know then how drastically the odds of finding their pet plummets. 

But I offer as much encouraging information and advice as I can. I tell them that the shelter nearest their location might not be the one their dog was taken to. A pet is usually taken to the shelter that has the most room for them at that moment. Sometimes they are brought to a shelter that is many miles away.

I tell them to post large, full color posters throughout the neighborhood and ask to post them on windows of nearby stores. I tell them to go online and post their lost pet. If they have security cameras, like Ring cameras, there may be community groups in their area they can post lost dog or cat messages on. 

I offer whatever advice I can, knowing that if they had microchipped their dog or cat the odds of being reunited with their lost or stolen pet would be much, much higher.  


*************************************************

I'm excited to share the Pet Photo Necklaces and Keychains in my Etsy store! Just send in a photo of your pet and it will be transformed into a beautiful necklace or keychain with your pet's name and face engraved on the front. You can add a special engraved message to the back as well. 

Personalized Pet Photo Necklace, Pet Photo Keychain
Personalized Pet Necklaces and Keychains
created from your pet's photo!

These pieces are a great celebration of your pet and the love you share. They're also a thoughtful pet memorial gift for someone who has lost a beloved pet.

*************************************************

Even if a dog is stolen, one day a Veterinarian or authority just might scan the dog for a microchip. People who steal dogs often commit other crimes. The authorities and animal shelters know that. If dogs or cats are present at a criminal's home they are usually confiscated.  Every animal that lands in an animal shelter is scanned for a microchip - it's one of the first things they do upon intake!

So please, if you have a dog or cat and haven't microchipped them, consider it now.  Microchipping pets truly is a life saver.

Be well, keep your dogs, cats, and other pets safe!


Sharing is Caring If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social media! ❤️

You may also enjoy these articles:

 


Poison Prevention for Dogs and Cats




 


Ear Infections in Dogs; how to identify, treat, and prevent them



More details on benefits and cost of Microchipping Pets


NEW HAMPSHIRE VACATION WITH MY DOG

This Winter we went on another wonderful vacation to New Hampshire, with our dogs in tow. If you follow the blog regularly, you know that Waterville Valley New Hampshire is one of our favorite New Hampshire towns, and the Waterville Valley ski area resort is one of our favorite New Hampshire resorts, especially since it's dog friendly! I'm always up for a New Hampshire vacation with my dog, pretty much all year round, it's great in any season.  


DOG FRIENDLY VACATION IN NEW HAMPSHIRE


We love it up there, and we love the New Hampshire weather in Winter, Fall, and Summer. We think it's the perfect dog friendly vacation! It's weird because lately, we always end up traveling to NH in Winter. Last Summer we were determined to get there for a Summer vacation filled with cool mountain air and hikes with our dogs, but between the Canada wildfires and the bizarre flooding we just didn't feel confident making that long road trip from Florida.


Me with Icy and little Jessie at the Waterville Valley New Hampshire resort

Whether you want to spend time hiking in the mountains, or getting out on the water, they have it all. New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesauke and Lake Sunapee are just two of the many beautiful lakes in New Hampshire. You can rent a boat and head out on to one of these lakes, and bring the dog along! Just remember to practice good dog boating safety guidelines and put a dog life jacket on your pooch.

The hiking In New Hampshire is pretty incredible. There is a wide variety of hiking there, and it's home to quite a few "4,000 footers", or mountains that are 4,000 feet high and above. Mount Washington is New Hampshire's tallest mountain at 6,288 feet high.

There are plenty of hiking trails that allow dogs. You won't have a problem finding dog friendly hiking in New Hampshire! Learn more on the NH State Parks Pet Friendly website. New Hampshire Magazine also has some recommendations on The Best NH Dog Friendly Hikes.  

I urge you to seriously consider the difficulty of recommended hikes, and your dog's hiking ability as well as endurance. Most adult dogs can safely hike about 2 to 7 miles, but it varies widely depending on the dog.  You should have a conversation with your Veterinarian before embarking on a dog friendly hiking adventure. 

New Hampshire is a place where the trails can be difficult. The locals have some really strong hiking skills, so what they think is easy may not be for you and your dog! Use caution and good judgement in selecting your hiking trails. And of course always bring lots of water for both you and your dog!

One thing I really love about the Waterville Valley resort is that they have a terrific long, relatively flat dog friendly trail right in the resort. It actually doubles as a cross country ski trail, which is weird but skiers know this particular trail is both pedestrian and dog friendly so we rarely see skiers on that trail.  My Husky Icy absolutely Loves hiking on this trail! She comes alive on the snowy trail and although she's 14 years old, it's like she's a young dog again.  We had such a great time!  

I really can't wait to get her there in the Summer, but it's not looking good for this Summer, for a variety of reasons.  She is starting to slow down and I'm afraid she won't be able to do even the easiest hiking after this year.

Here's a short video of me with my dogs crossing a bridge over one of the beautiful streams around the property:




💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

Check out this Custom Engraved Pet Portrait Keychain! You can buy it in my Etsy Store  It's great to celebrate a new pet, or memorialize a pet that has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I got one to memorialize my beloved angel Phoebe. I love having it with me every day, seeing her beautiful face engraved on something I always have with me.

💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

There aren't quite as many New Hampshire hotels in the area that are dog friendly. It's strange that the Waterville Valley resort allows dogs on the resort property and on some trails, but their hotels don't allow dogs! 

There are a ton of condos surrounding the resort, and many owners rent out their places but none are pet friendly. There are a few lodges around the property as well, but only one is pet friendly. It's called the Snowy Owl. We stayed there once years ago and it was awful. The location is perfect, you can walk to everything in the resort including that dog friendly trail I mentioned above. I'm happy to see that it is now under new ownership, so I have hope that it will soon be up to par.  The previous owner didn't seem to put any money into improving it and we wouldn't stay there again until some changes are made. 

For the last few years we've been staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, a Marriott hotel in nearby Plymouth, New Hampshire.  It's about 20 minutes from the Waterville Valley Ski Area, but it's a great place! We love it there.

Here's a 2 minute video I posted on YouTube that gives you a glimpse of how we spent our days, and how beautiful Waterville Valley New Hampshire is.  I think it's a great dog friendly vacation, in any season!




Sharing is Caring If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your social media! ❤️

You may also enjoy these articles:



  Vacation With The Dog to Vermont






Dog Friendly Boone, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains

4 COMMON HEALTH ISSUES IN SENIOR DOGS

Just like people, dogs get old. The good news is that dogs are living longer, probably due to improved commercial dog food and more advanced Veterinary care. The fact that people now see their dogs as family members also plays a part in better health and longevity. Dogs aren't just seen as home security, or something for the kids to play with. We take them on outings and adventures, and take them on vacation with us. We want them to be happy, healthy, and enjoy their life. It's great that our dogs are living longer, but with dogs old age come changes that can be hard to watch. My Husky Icy is 14 and a half years old now. When did she become an old dog!?  With my dog's advancing age, we're now experiencing these 4 common health issues in senior dogs. 


4 COMMON HEALTH ISSUES THAT EFFECT OLDER DOGS  


WHAT IS CONSIDERED A SENIOR DOG?


Before we jump into common health issues that can effect older dogs, let's clarify when a dog is actually considered a "senior dog".  A dog is considered a Senior Dog, or Old Dog, depending on their age and size:

Medium to Large dogs are considered senior dogs when they reach age 7 or 8 years old.

Small Dogs are not considered senior dogs until they are around 10 years old.


4 OF THE MOST COMMON HEALTH PROBLEMS IN OLD DOGS


1. Cognitive Decline

For me, the cognitive decline is the absolute hardest old dog health issue to bear. I can deal with all the physical issues my dog is facing, but the cognitive decline is the worst.  

Sometimes it almost feels like my sweet fur baby isn't "there" anymore. I lost my Mom to Alzheimers disease. Watching her decline so horribly was devastating for me and our family. Seeing Icy face dog dementia brings back memories of that heart wrenching time with my Mom.

It's just so sad when I see my dog standing in the room, blankly facing the wall, seemingly not knowing what to do next. Or watching her as she gets confused, not sure which way to go as she tries to find the back door to the yard.  

These moments of confusion and blankness are both sad and scary. But then when she has a blast going for long walks or hikes, or runs around the yard like a young pup, it's such a sense of relief. It feels normal again. I cherish those times more than ever now. 

There doesn't appear to be much we can do to treat dogs mental decline. I give her Lion's Mane Mushrooms  in her food, which seem to help some. My Vet recommended we try feeding her Purina Bright Mind dog food, so we're feeding her that coupled with a new food called Badlands Superfood Complete. 

Badlands contains a host of super foods for dogs. It's also air dried, not cooked on really high heat like kibble is, which many believe is a healthier way for dogs to eat. Icy enjoys both of these foods, so I mix them together.  I also still cook chicken, eggs, occasional salmon, sweet potato, carrots, broccoli and a few other super foods for dogs and add it to her food. 

Even with her cognitive decline, I'll tell you that dog Knows when there's chicken being prepared! She becomes laser focused and will do whatever she has to do to get that chicken! I love to see her this way, it's another glorious sign of "normal" and it's great seeing her still get excited about something.

Another result of my dog's cognitive decline is anxiety, which often causes her to pace around the house or yard, especially at night. She also seems disturbed by loud traffic on our walks, something that never phased her before. I think the Lion's Mane may be helping to reduce her anxiety. 

Another thing that is super important for dogs with declining mental acumen is to keep up with their mental stimulation! This means changing up walks to take them down different routes, taking them to interesting stimulating places - for dogs that usually means places with lots of new Smells! Visits with family are also very helpful. Icy enjoys when our family comes over - she may not stick around that long, but I can see it makes her happy and it's something new and fun in her day. Not to mention, she always gets some treats!


My dog playing with a puzzle toy from Outward Hound
Puzzle toys for dogs provide great mental stimulation


Puzzle toys and other interactive toys for dogs are also a great source of mental stimulation. I've always used them to combat boredom, especially during bad weather. Now I use them even more to give Icy frequent mental stimulation and challenges, and to give her a fun activity that works her brain. I love Outward Hound interactive dog toys, especially their dog puzzle toys.


2. Hearing Loss

About a year ago, we noticed that our dog is losing her hearing. Icy can't hear us approach her anymore. She doesn't usually hear us call her name unless we are really loud and in close proximity.  She does seem to hear us whistle, and she hears that sound we make with our tongue when we're calling her to us - I'm not sure what to call it, but it's kind of like a Tsk Tsk clucking sound. She also hears Jessie barking - actually, I'm pretty sure the whole neighborhood hears that LOL!  Anyway, for some reason she hears those sounds. 

I'm looking into how people with deaf dogs communicate with their dogs. I feel like we could manage her hearing loss fairly well. The biggest change with her hearing loss is that we no longer let her off leash at the dog beach or dog parks. I feel she's safer when we don't have to rely on the Come When Called command. If anyone has any tips on how to communicate with deaf dogs, please share!


3. Behavior Changes

There are behavior changes in my dog that are also pretty upsetting. Icy doesn't want to be touched much or cuddled anymore. She does still enjoy her head and face being rubbed, so we give her plenty of that! But it's so hard not to be able to hug my dog anymore. It's hard to take, but when my mom had Alzheimers she had some very disturbing behavior changes as well, some of them kind of hostile. Having seen and heard about this common behavior change in humans with dementia helps me realize it's not me and it's not my dog, it's the mental decline and accompanying anxiety. It's not easy, but we try not to feel bad about it.

We no longer take Icy to the groomer because of her reluctance to be touched and handled. We just don't  want to take a chance that she might snap at or (heaven forbid) bite a groomer because she's confused and upset by a strange person touching her.

 

Dog Grooming Mitts that don't require rinsing off
Dog Grooming Mitt

We found some grooming mitts that don't require water for rinsing. You wet them and they soap up. After bathing you don't need to rinse the soap off, you just towel dry your dog off. She seems to tolerate us bathing her with them pretty well. 

Another behavior change is that my dog seems to want to be alone a lot more. Before she would always lay down close to us and follow us around a lot. Now she often retreats to the bathroom or another room to be alone. Even when company comes over, which she used to LOVE, she says hello for a short while but then retreats to a quiet place by herself. 

Icy doesn't seem to want to interact with our younger dog Jessie, either. Jessie is kind of barky, and her loud barking stresses Icy out for some reason. 

Speaking of barking, Icy doesn't bark or vocalize at all anymore. Imagine a Husky that isn't vocal! I miss her woos and even her barks so much.


4. Arthritis and Joint Pain

Arthritis and joint pain in older dogs is common. I have actually been dealing with my dog's joint pain for awhile now. We've been able to manage it with dog joint supplements, but recently it's gotten worse.  Icy needs help getting in and out of the car now, and her hind legs are showing more weakness. She drags her back right leg when she walks, and needs to sit down after standing to eat for several minutes. Here's a video of how she's walking. You can see her back right foot drag as she walks. At the end you see how she goes into a sit during mealtime:




We've been managing my dog's arthritis and joint pain quite well with joint supplements for dogs, but we may now need to take it a step further. At Icy's last checkup, our Vet mentioned hydrotherapy for dogs, and a medication called Librela for dog Osteoarthritis pain. It's a monthly injection made by Zoetis Inc (an animal pharma company I trust), and has been in use in Europe since 2021. It recently gained approval for use in the U.S. as well. We're considering one or both of these treatment options. Has anyone used Librela? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments.


🐾🐾🐾 Hey, if you have a chance, I'd love for you to check out my Etsy Shop! I have some great products created with pet and nature lovers like us in mind! This personalized Pet Portrait Keychain is one of my favorites. It's perfect to celebrate a new dog, cat, or other pet. It can also be a thoughtful pet memorial gift for someone who has lost a beloved pet. I had this one made for my Angel dog, Phoebe. 🐾🐾🐾


Personalized Pet Portrait Keychain with option to engrave a message on the back

Going forward, I may need to get Icy a dog ramp for the car, or perhaps a dog lifting harness. But for now my husband picks her up to put her in the car.

That was kind of heavy wasn't it? Please don't think it's all doom and gloom! We still love on our dog like crazy and we still have a great time with her.  We take Icy on lots of adventures near home, and we continue to take her on road trip adventures. 

There are some nearby places we take her several times a month that are interesting and exciting for her. There's a beach park where she can have fun exploring, finding coconuts, and splashing along the shore. There's also a large lake we take her to for longer walks. There are lots of birds and ducks at the lake, which she is always fascinated by. There's a lot of foliage for her to stick her nose into and sniff too! 

We feel it's important to keep her physically active, and keep her mind engaged. My dog's energy comes in spurts these days, but we treasure our active times together! 

This Winter we took the dogs to New Hampshire. Icy had a blast romping around in the snow and in the woods. Stay tuned for my blog post on that trip shortly, but here's a cute photo of me, Icy, and Jessie hiking in the snow. 


Me and my dogs in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire 2024

Icy loves our adventures just as she always has, she just needs a lot more naps throughout the day and our hikes are shorter and easier. We are determined to make every moment with her special, and filled with the love and appreciation we have for her. 

Has your dog experienced any of these common senior dog health issues? Let us know in the comments, and please share any tips that have worked well for your dog!