This Thanksgiving marks our 12th year in business and what a 12 years it's been. You, our BowDog family, have allowed us to be a part of your families these many years and we couldn't be more grateful. Every scritch, snuggle, purr and tail wag reminds us of why we do what we do. Every smile and hello and shared story with you reminds us of why we opened in the first place.
These years have been filled with changes and you've weathered them all with us. We are proud to have been and to continue to be growing and improving. We are proud to be a second home to the best dogs and cats in Calgary and we look forward to every day that we get to see them.
This past year has seen us partner with Springbank Pet Resort and their associated vets. We've quite literally joined forces with our sister company, Doggin-It. We've renovated our care spaces, added outdoor structures to the play yards and improved our air quality with new air purifiers. We've added more space for play and for our lodging guests to sleep. We switched to a new booking program that gives you better options for communication and booking with us. This year has been full of change and it's been great!
We want to thank you all for your support, feedback, and care. We want to thank you for being a part of the BowDog family. And we look forward to continued growth and improvement with you. Not to mention more snuggles, purrs and tail wags from our furry friends.
School will soon be back in session. Whether you are in school, have kids in school or have neither, you cannot deny that the energy of the city changes. There's more traffic, more people in general and we're all just a bit busier. Routine becomes essential, or even second nature. Don't forget to bring your pets into that routine with you.
Pets, typically, thrive on routine. Some, of course, need routine more than others but we all know that our pets are acutely aware of the time if we're 30 seconds late in feeding them. Working your pets into your day to day routine is a great way to keep them active and engaged while you go about your busy day.
Routine is one of the biggest reasons that dog daycare or dog walking can be beneficial to our pets. It gives them a specific play time where they know the rules and what to expect, but there's just enough mental stimulation to keep them interested and on their toes.
Some routines you can do with your dog around a busy schedule include:
It is the dog days of summer, but that doesn't mean the heat is your pet's best friend. We're all trying to keep cool out there so here are some tips to keep your furry friends comfortable.
Plenty of Cool Water
Toss some ice cubes in water dishes for indoor and outdoor drinking to help cool them while keeping your pets hydrated. Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water, especially cats who tend to be a bit fussier about their drinking habits. If you're going for a walk, pack extra water for your pup. It can be used not only for drinking, but to put on pads and coats to help cool down.
Though most cats won't partake and some dogs won't, having a little pool of water for your pup to lay or stand in can help a lot. Dogs cool down significantly through their pads, so even just standing in water can help them to regulate their temperature. On walks, wetting your dog's pads can be helpful for this reason.
Shade and Grass
When out for walks, try to avoid walking on pavement. Give your dog some grass to walk on as hot pavement can burn pads at the worst, but even at the best, can keep them warmer than they need to be. If you're somewhere with a hot surface, wet it down with water to keep it cool.
Whether walking or at home, try to give your pets cool places to hide, both indoor and out. Shady spots in the grass or an area out of the sun that either gets a breeze or has a fan blowing, gently, into it. Some pets are scared of fans, so try setting it further away or getting smaller ones that run quieter and are less intimidating.
Cool Surfaces and Towels
Wetting a towel and laying it over your dog can go a long way in helping to keep them cool. You can also buy cooling jackets with the same idea of either being wet down or put in the freezer before use. Alternatively, you can get mats for your pets to lay on with the same idea. Cooling stones are also useful, especially for smaller dogs and cats, and don't require water which is good for animals who will avoid getting wet.
Most of all, monitor your pets. Look for signs of listlessness and dehydration. Make sure you get them to take breaks and keep an eye on their water to be sure they always have some to drink. Be safe out there and have fun!
It's that exciting time of year where the sun is out, the grass is green and the wild calls to us. We want to be outside and we want to bring our best furry friends with us! Here's some things to keep in mind for a super fun, pet-friendly camping trip.
Invest in a doggie first aid kit. With rocks, sticks, thistles, uneven terrain and other little things out in nature, minor injuries can happen and things that would be no big deal back home might cause slightly larger problems out in the woods. Having something to clean and protect small cuts and scrapes can be super important. Tweezers can help remove thorns, burrs and other debris from coats and between toes. Don't have a doggie First Aid Kit? You're in luck! BowDog will soon be carrying a perfect travel-size kit. All proceeds will be going to the Four Feet Companion Foundation.
Put Food Away
Pet food is very attractive to our wild friends. Just like you would safely store all your own food, don't forget to stash your pet's food securely away when not in use. Dog food is fragrant and can attract all sorts of visitors which can be dangerous for you and your pet as well as disruptive and dangerous for the wildlife attracted by it. Keep pet food in sealed containers and in a vehicle when not in use.
Speaking of wildlife, just like on a hike, it's important to keep your pet securely attached to a leash or lead. Not only does this keep them safe from wandering off and finding friends who are maybe not the best choices, it allows you to keep control around things like fire pits. It is also courtesy to your fellow campers who may not be comfortable around dogs or may have dogs of their own with their own personalities and comfort levels.
Have Plenty of Water
When your pup is thirsty, they'll drink from pretty much any water source they can find. When out camping, that can sometimes mean stagnant water that may upset their stomachs. Keep water on hand for them to help discourage their seeking out different solutions.
Camping with pets can be a lot of fun, you just need to be prepared. We hope that these tips help. Remember to keep safe out there and have fun!
The weather is warming up! Or trying to, at least. Hiking season is soon upon us and we have some great ways to keep it fun and safe for your pup.
Secure your equipment
Check collars and leashes both for fit and for wear. Hikes usually include wildlife and even the best trained of our furry friends sometimes gives in to temptation to chase or decide they needs to protect us from other animals. A properly fitted collar and leash that are free of wear can help to keep them from getting themselves into sticky situations.
Bring water for yourself and bring some for your pup. Water can also be used on pads and ears to help cool down your pet if it's a warm day. Picking up a collapsible water bowl can be a handy way to provide water to your pet without adding weight to your hiking gear.
Keep an eye on pads
Hikes can be rough on paw pads. Rocks, pine needles, thistles and rough terrain can cause roughness or small tears or cuts. Sunny weather can heat rocks and harder surfaces, causing burns on pads. Check pads when you take breaks and consider picking up a balm to help soothe and protect your pup's paws. BowDog's BB Balm (Better than Boots) has soothing elements in it and can be picked up in a convenient stick form.
Be aware of pests
Mosquitoes, ticks and other biting bugs can plague our pets as much as they do us, if not more. Consider a dog-safe bug repellent and some after-care items designed to discourage ticks and other pests from making a home in your pup's hair. BowDog's Take A Hike, Ticked Off and Ticked Off Bed and Coat Shake are designed for this.
The best hikes are the ones with your dog. Here's to a great coming summer!
It's that time of year. The weather is warming and things are melting and all that was hidden in mounds of snow is coming out. It gets muddy and messy and the dogs love it! A few things become quite important this time of year. Let's look at those.
Grooming is important as everything melts. In multi-coated dogs the change in weather also triggers a change in coat and shedding begins in earnest. Baths and brushing help to get that loose hair out to keep your pet comfortable and to prevent matting.
The damper, dirtier conditions tend to cause matting in all coats so grooming can help to prevent hot spots as it reduces the chance of damp hair being trapped against the skin. Regular baths are also helpful in general as everything in the snow is released as it melts so mud also carries some of the smellier, less pleasant things that get trapped in the winter.
Health and Safety
Dogs sniff everything and many will put most things in their mouths. Remember that as the snow melts, everything that was in it comes out. When out for walks, especially in the city where there is more exhaust, spills, and general detritus, don't allow your pups to drink from puddles. Keep an eye out for small items (broken glass, sharp rocks, bits of metal) that the snow might reveal that can get caught in pads. Booties are still a good idea this time of year to help prevent damaged paws before everything gets cleaned up.
As the weather warms we get closer to bug season. It's a good time to stock up on preventatives like bug sprays and tick prevention. Lice and ticks are very contagious and can spread from dog to dog, or dog to another surface (grass is a huge culprit) and then to another dog. If you like to take hikes or go to dog parks or other significantly outdoor activities, it's a good time to check your kit and restock on your bug sprays and the like. Good news! BowDog carries a line of bug sprays and other deterrents made for us by All Things Jill. Come check it out!
Owning a dog can often mean being in a small room with them while other people and animals are present. Veterinary waiting rooms, doggie daycare lobbies, public transit, elevators, the list could go on of the various spaces you and your dog will likely have to wait while other people and animals are present. This presents a rather unique environment for our four-legged friends which can cause them to react in ways they may not usually act.
Spaces where many people and animals have been, and currently are, can provide a lot of stimulus all at once for a dog. There are tons of unfamiliar smells, sounds, sights, and situations for them to process. Socialization can, in these cases, be very helpful to get them accustomed to these environments but not all dogs have that benefit or opportunity and some will never quite get used to it. The fact that owners are present and dogs are on leash can also complicate the situation for some pets.
The unknown in these spaces can cause some dogs to become fearful or anxious. Some might guard their owners or their space. The following are some tips to make the "waiting room" experience easier and more pleasant for all involved.
• Keep Your Dog On Leash Even if your dog is comfortable with the situation, not all dogs - or people for that matter - are. Keeping your dog on leash helps set everyone else at ease and can prevent unwanted greetings.
• Give Others Their Space To expand on the last point, make sure you're keeping your pup close to you and giving ample space between yourself and the next dog owner to keep everyone comfortable. This is especially true if it's clear another owner has put space between themselves and everyone else. Their dog likely needs that space to feel okay about the situation. If your pup is the one who is uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with waiting in a back corner or even outside of the room if that's what will keep your dog content. Most dog spaces understand completely and will be happy to come to you when it's your turn.
• Avoid Greetings We all love it when our dogs have friends but waiting spaces aren't the best places for friendships to form. Due to the factors mentioned above, many dogs go on high-alert and can give confusing signals to one another. Dogs who would get along in any other situation might not in this space. Setting your pet up for success in new greetings means making sure the environment is appropriate for them to engage in.
• Exude Peace Dogs take their cues from us. High energy and anxiety in us tells our pets that they should either be amped up or anxious as well. Being calm and confident with your pet helps to reassure them that everything is all right. Keep a loose leash if you're able and speak in calm, even tones. Avoid speaking to your pet unless you need to give a command as they might read your words as affirmation (Yes, I should be scared) or become too excited.
• Avoid Common Walkways This sounds like common sense, but sometimes we forget to watch where we're standing. Staying clear of entries and narrow paths to said entries until it's your turn to use them helps to reduce the stimulus our pets are receiving. It also allows space for those who may currently be using those walkways.
We hope that you found these five tips useful! May we never have to wait too long and, when we do, may it be peaceful and pleasant.