• Winter Exercise Plans For Your Dog

    Posted on December 18th, 2012
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    Winter is here and it isn’t always easy to make sure your dog gets exercise when you may have to be confined indoors.

    At Clear the Air we truly believe in the importance of keeping your dog happy and healthy and this is achieved through exercise.  Check out the ASPCA’s tips for winter exercise for your dog:

    Getting pets who dislike the cold to go outside in winter can be a challenge, but chilly weather or not, pets need fresh air and exercise. ASPCA experts assure us that while short-haired and smaller breeds may require cozy apparel to protect them from winter’s bite, others simply need a little training to learn how to enjoy a cold-weather romp.

    1. Entice your pooch with off-leash exercise sessions, playing tug or fetch, or romping with canine buddies—the more aerobic the activity, the warmer the dog will be.

    2. If your dog’s playing off-leash, you can use treats to reward her for fetching toys—even if you usually don’t have to. The extra incentive might further spark her interest in the great (and chilly!) outdoors.

    3. Offer your pet special treats during outdoor excursions. While on a brisk walk, pop something delicious into her mouth every now and then—or feed her breakfast by hand while outdoors.

    4. Winter is a great time to enroll in indoor training classes. Sports like agility and flyball are often taught in heated facilities and are excellent exercise for the canine body and mind—and you’ll enjoy them, too!

    5. Walk your pet in wooded areas during the winter months. The forest not only provides protection from wind, but the rich smells, sights and sounds can be infinitely interesting for dogs to investigate, distracting them from chilly temperatures.

    6. Many dogs dislike going outside during winter because snow, salt and chemical de-icers hurt their paws. Canine booties can protect paws, while keeping them warm—and disposable latex boots are available for dogs who don’t like the feel of thicker boots.

    7. Musher’s Secret, a waxy substance that you can apply to your dog’s paws, can be an effective alternative to booties for protecting toes and paw pads in snow and ice.

    8. Getting your dog to play outside may simply be a matter of keeping her warm:

    • Dress puppies—who don’t have as much body fat as adults—in a coat or sweater.
    • Get waterproof gear for wet days.
    • Invest in a well-fitting coat that covers your dog’s back and underside. (Fleece is nice!)
    • Staying warm during winter takes more energy, so increased food intake may be necessary. Good body condition means you can feel, but not see, your dog’s bones.  If you can see his spine, hips and ribs, then he’s too thin and you should talk to your veterinarian about increasing his food intake.

    9. If you’ve tried everything and your dog still seems miserable when you take her outside, provide extra exercise indoors by playing games that involve physical exertion, like tug-of-war.

    10. Help your dog expend mental energy by feeding her meals in food-puzzle toys, giving her plenty of things to chew, teaching her new tricks and playing interactive games like hide-and-seek.

    Make sure your dog has access to shelter and water at all times. And please remember, if you’re cold, your dog probably is, too, and it’s time to come home.

    Article can be found at: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/winter-exercise-guidelines

  • Senior Dog – Tips To Keep Him In His Best Health

    Posted on April 11th, 2012
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    Senior dogs make great companions and are perfect adoptable pets as they are past their puppy stage and provide unconditional love during their “golden years”.

    Clear the Air supports adoption and senior pets usually get looked over because of their age.  Adopting an older pet has many benefits and we’d like to share some tips with you to keep your senior pet healthy.

    The following are tips for keeping your senior dog healthy:

    • Make your senior dog as much a part of your life as possible, and do all you can to keep him interested, active, happy and comfortable.
    • Establish a relationship with the best veterinarian you can find. For most older dogs, it is advisable to make an appointment with the vet every six months. Your vet should be someone whom you trust and with whom you feel very comfortable.
    • Become informed about the conditions common to older dogs and the therapies used for them. Be alert to symptoms, bring them to your vet’s attention promptly, and be prepared to discuss treatment options.
    • Feed your older dog the best food you can afford; consider feeding him a home-prepared diet and two small meals daily rather than one large one.
    • Don’t overfeed your dog. Obesity will create health problems and shorten his life.
    • Consider the use of dietary supplements such as glucosamine/chondroitin for arthritis.
    • Give your senior dog adequate exercise, but adjust it to her changing abilities.
    • Attend to your dog’s dental health. Brush her teeth daily and have them cleaned professionally whenever your vet advises it.
    • Tell your vet you wish to have your dog vaccinated only once every three years, as currently advised by the major veterinary associations.
    • Be diligent in controlling fleas and ticks, and keep your dog and his environment scrupulously clean.