Pet Health and Behavior Tips Archive

MUTT’S UP: 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool

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We LOVE summer. But, news flash: it’s hot. Humans are able to keep in tune with our bodies and know when we need to be cool, but how can you tell when your dog is hot? Signs of heatstroke in dogs can include excessive panting, bright red tongue, thick, sticky saliva and dizziness, to name a few. How can heatstroke be prevented? Keep them cool! We’ve come up with a list of five things that are sure to keep your dog cool during the warm months.
KoolCollar1. The Kool Collar. Add some ice and clip around your dog’s neck. It’ll cool down your pup’s whole body!
2. Make sleeping a breeze with a Pressure Activated Cool Pet Pad. If they made this in a human size, we’d want one. This pad isPressure Pad pressure activated and will keep your pup cool for 3-4 hours. The “coolest” part? It re-charges itself automatically when it’s not being used – no refrigeration, water or electricity needed!
popsicle3. Freeze a toy! Toys like the Chilly Bone and the Freezable Popsicle are made to freeze. All you have to do is soak the toy and pop it in the freezer. Not only will these toys cool your pup down, but they promote teeth and gum health!
iCool Vest
4. A cooling vest is always a good idea. The iCool vest is made of water-cooling material and doesn’t need any refrigeration. Let the vest soak, wring out the excess water and voila! Your pup will be cool in no time!
5. Let them take a swim! A good ol’ swim will definitely help your pup cool down! The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat is the dog version of a life jacket – need we say more?
Summer can be fun if you keep your and your pup safe at all times. To check out more ways to keep  your dog cool, peep our Summer Essentials Collection. Enjoy!
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The Ruffwear K9 Float Coat in Action!

Keep your Pet Safe + Happy this Holiday Season!

Christmas Pup

We’re the first to say that the Holidays are the best time of year, but with all the fun to be had, it’s extremely important to stay safe – especially when it comes to keeping your pups out of harm’s way! Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your furry friends safe during the holidays!

  1. Keep your decorations pet friendly. When decorating your tree, keep the special ornaments at the tip top of the Christmas tree and hang wooden, metal or resin-cast ornaments on the lower branches in case your pup is a curious one. Whatever you do, do NOT let your pet near any electrical cords – playing or chewing these cords could cause injury or even electrocution. To prevent this, hide the cords by routing them through a PVC pipe.
  2. Don’t let Bowser near the holiday plants! Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are all poisonous – if your pup accidentally eats any of these plants, there’s a chance they’ll experience vomiting, diarrhea or other serious health problems. Instead of having them nibble on plants, give them a nice, yummy treat to nibble on instead – it’s safer and much more delicious!
  3. Brrr! Keep your pup warm! The Holidays are a chilly time – even with the heaviest coats, cold weather is a serious risk to pups of all sizes. When it’s really cold out, only take your pup out for short periods of time and keep them nice and warm when outside.
  4. We know it’s tempting, but don’t give your furry friend any Holiday leftovers! Your mom’s holiday ham may have been amazing, but don’t share it with your pup – there’s a chance they could choke or get sick. Spoil them with delicious treats instead!

Now that we’ve hooked you up with some helpful tips, it’s time to celebrate the holidays! Happy Holidays from all of us to you!

Halloween Tips for your Pup!

Halloween pet safety tips

Halloween is a fun holiday for the whole family, including the pups! While getting everything prepared for the spookiest holiday of the year, we thought we’d help you in the pet department by sharing a few Mutt Tips!

Is your pup protective of the family? Dogs are über protective of their family, but when it comes to Halloween activities, protection goes to the next level (you have to remember, dogs can’t tell the difference between a costume and a family friend!). If you’re planning on bringing your pup with you to Halloween activities, we highly recommend having them on a leash. If you think your pup will be too protective, then let them hang out at home while you’re out.

Have a pup that loves people? Bring them along for the ride! You can even take it up a notch and dress them up in a sweet costume! The most important part of bringing your pup with you (besides the costume)? Don’t let them eat candy! Instead of having your pup gnaw on Halloween candy that can make them really sick (resulting in you having to clean their mess later or worse), have some healthy treats on hand to hand to Bowser while the kids are getting their candy. It will make trick-or-treating fun for everyone!

Have a shy guy? You don’t want to put your pup in a situation that makes them freak out. Give your dog the night off and let them hang out at the house while you’re out and about. All they’ll need is their bed, a fun toy and (obviously) some treats and they won’t even know you’re gone!

Bonus Tip: If you’re taking your pup with you, make sure they have an ID tag on their collar. It’s pretty unlikely, but there is a chance that your pup can run away because they’re frightened (if you had no clue why there were zombies or ghosts walking near you, wouldn’t you be a little frightened too?). By having an ID on their collar, you’re giving the finder of your pup a way to contact you so you can save your dog from being even more scared!

We hope we’ve given you a little advice on what to do with your pup during the Halloween festivities. Have a fun and safe Halloween! :)

Pet Health: Help Those Hot Paws!

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Summer is here and the heat is on! Have you noticed your pup trying to avoid that hot, black asphalt on your walks? Dogs’ pads are incredibly sensitive, therefore, the asphalt can be extremely harmful. One of our customers recently brought their 10-week-old Husky puppy in with burnt, cracking pads due to the hot pavement. The owner had taken him on a long run on the asphalt; this poor pup barely wanted to stand on his paws!           

Anti Slip Dog Socks   Ruffwear Summit Trex Boots

We highly recommend covering your pup’s paws up by wearing socks or boots during this summer heat, especially if you take your pup on long mid-day walks or runs. Not only do they look super stylish, they protect your pups’ sensitive pads from the scorching asphalt! If the damage has already been done, like the Husky’s, we recommend using Vetericyn Wound and Skin Care Spray to disinfect and clean your pups’ paws. After the paws have been sprayed, bandage them with the Pawflex Bandages while their paws heal is. You can find these products at any of our Muttropolis locations or on our website!

Vetericyn Wound and Infection Spray   Pawflex Dog Bandages

Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe This 4th of July

4th of July Dog

4th of July is here! We know you’re as excited about this holiday as we are, but your pets may not be as jazzed for the holiday. We wanted to provide some helpful tips to get you and your pup ready (and safe) for this fun holiday! 

Make sure your pup has a tag. Having an ID tag on your pup’s collar is not only important for day-to-day use, but especially important for holidays! Be sure that your pup’s tag has up-to-date information before the big holiday. This way, in the unfortunate event that they get lost, they can be returned to Metal Engravable Tagyou promptly!If you encounter a lost pet, check to see if they have an ID tag. If they do, contact their owner, if they don’t, we recommend you take them to your local animal shelter – they’ll have the best chance of being reunited with their owners there. Each year, animal shelters across the country are prepared for receiving “4th of July dogs” that run off during fireworks celebrations.

Refrain from feeding pets human food and drinks. Although we know you want everyone to try your amazing BBQ or refreshing margarita, we advise you to keep your pup out of this taste test, as any change in a pet’s diet can result in indigestion and diarrhea – yuck! Foods like onions, chocolate, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough and drinks like alcohol and coffee are especially harmful and can be potentially toxic to animals. Ingestion of alcohol may cause intoxication and weakness that could lead to a coma and/or respiratory failure. The secret to making your pups happy while you and your guest feast? Have some yummy dog treats on hand – if your friends want to feed your pup, give them these!

Only apply sunscreen or insect repellent on dogs if it is specifically labeled for use on animals. If your pup eats any sunscreen and insect repellent that isn’t for animals, there’s a chance they can vomit, have diarrhea, have excessive thirst and drooling. Insect repellents that contain DEET are especially harmful and can lead to neurological problems.

Don’t let pups near matches and/or lighter fluid. Many types of matches contain chlorates, which if ingested can damage blood cells and lead to difficulty breathing, with the most severe cases resulting in kidney disease. Lighter fluid is also very harmful. It can cause skin irritation and if ingested, No Lighter Fluid Near Pupgastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop. Moral of the story: don’t have matches or lighter fluid near your pup!

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products away from pets. If a pet were to ingest any one of these products, it can lead to stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. Much like lighter fluid, when these oils are inhaled they can cause aspiration pneumonia.

NEVER leave your pets alone in a vehicle on hot days. Leaving the windows down and/or parking in the shade is not good enough! Temperatures rise very quickly inside a car and since dogs sweat differently than humans, they are not able to cool themselves down enough and can suffer from serious health effects, even death. Many states have made it illegal to leave a pet in a car during extreme weather. Think about how hot you are in your car when the A/C is off – it’s 10 times worse for your pup!

Never use fireworks around pets. Dogs can possibly suffer from severe burns and /or trauma if they get too close to any fireworks, whether or not they are used because fireworks contain toxic substances including arsenic, potassium nitrate and other heavy metals. The noise and sight of fireworks displays can also freak pets out, leading to anxiety and distress. Most pets will try to get away from the noise so it is best to them in a safe and secure place, preferably at home. If you decide to have your pup join you during the fireworks show, we recommend wrapping them up in a blanket or a compressed shirt, like a Thundershirt, which can help relieve anxiety.

Bonus! Extra ways to get your pup prepped for the big day. If your pet is prone to anxiety, ask your
Take Your Dog for a Walkvet about ways to alleviate stress and anxiety prior to the holiday festivities. If you’re more into natural remedies, there are many natural calming products that may help with your pup’s anxiety. We also
recommend exercising your dog early in the day, whether they are prone to anxiety or not. Make sure that any off-leash time is securely fenced and any walks have a good leash as some people may set off fireworks before dark.

We hope these tips are helpful, and wish you and your pets a Happy 4th of July!

Ways to Reduce Carbon Pawprints

Puppy WorldHappy Earth Day everyone! Here at Muttropolis we strive to have a pulse on what’s innovative, and eco-friendly pet products are just that! Organic dog toys, collars and leashes, biodegradable poop bags, and eco-friendly pet beds, are just a few of the many planet friendly pet products we are proud to carry. In celebration of Earth Day, we’d like to take it a step further and share some of our favorite eco-friendly pet practices. It's our hope that you and your pets will join us in reducing carbon pawprints by adopting some of these practices, not only on Earth Day, but everyday!

100% NaturalGet rid of pet junk food. Since nutrition is essential for optimum pet health, it's important to look for natural and organic pet food and treats, free of artificial and genetically engineered ingredients and additives. Look for meat sources that are raised in sustainable, humane conditions. Many pet food brands include reconstituted animal by-products, essentially low-grade wastes that humans wouldn’t touch, let alone eat. At Muttropolis, we carry a large variety of safe, All Natural Dog Food, All Natural Dog Treats, Natural Dog Supplements, and a small assortment of All Natural Cat Food and Treats as well.

PoopbagsPick up poop the biodegradable way. 
Use biodegradable bags to pick up your pet’s poop so that it doesn’t live in a plastic bag at the bottom of a landfill, lasting for hundreds of years to come. We carry eco-friendly poop pick-up bags, some more so than others, with White Compostable Pick-up Bags at the top of the environmentally friendly list. They are made from 100% renewable resources, protecting the environment by degrading in as little as 40 days.

Spoil your pet with sustainable products. Saving the planet can be fun for your pets too! Choose products that are made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers. Hemp is a great choice, as it is one of the most abundantly occurring crops in nature and makes super-strong fabric. Check out our Hemp Star Dog Collar and Leash set that was seen on the CBS Early Show, or the popular Eco Nap Recycled Fleece Dog Mat, made from 85% recycled plastic soda bottles! Our sustainable product assortment doesn’t stop there, with many more toys and beds that are made from recyclable fibers, or made to be recycled.

Eco Nap Recycled Fleece Dog MatChoose natural pet care and cleaning products. We carry quite a few grooming products that are all natural and free of harsh chemicals, such as Richard’s Organics Deodorant Dog Shampoo and Petkin’s Eco Bamboo Pet Wipes and Eye Wipes, all gentle on your pet and the planet. Steer clear of those brands that produce chemical laced grooming products.

Make sure your pet always wears a tag. Losing a pet can be trying both emotionally and environmentally. Printing posters and driving around town in search of your missing four-legged friend has an environmental impact that could be avoided if you were alerted quickly that they were found. Whether you choose an electronic ID chip or a hang tag, the important thing is that your contact information is easily accessible. Our large Engravable Pet Tag assortment can be found at Muttropolis.com,  Large Chrome Bone Engravable Dog Tagand includes Chrome Pet Tags in a variety of shapes, Stainless Steel Pet Tags with different image and color options, and Decorate Metal Pet Tags. There is a style and size suitable for every pet!

ChickadeeProtect native wildlife. Believe it or not, domestic cats are one of the biggest bird predators. In fact, many neighborhoods require owners to attach a bell to their cat’s collar so that birds are less likely to fall victim. Unlike wild predators, house cats tend to be well taken care of and in great shape, making them ready to pounce at the chance to hunt. If you have an outdoor cat, consider a bell or keeping them in an enclosure.

Use birth control. Many of you probably haven’t thought of spaying and neutering as an eco-conscious decision, but the overpopulation of pets is a big problem and has a significant effect on the environment. Dogs and cats are carnivores and it takes a lot of land to provide them food. It makes you think differently about an accidental litter, doesn’t it? An added bonus, spaying and neutering can lead to longer, healthier lives by lessening and/or eliminating the possibility of certain cancers and disease.

Adopt from a shelter. If you’re in the market for a four-legged addition to your family, we urge you to consider adoption. Instead of diving into the adoption topic in this post, please head over to our adoption post where you can learn more about adoptions and our point of view on the matter.

Adoption

Now is as good a time as ever to start reducing your pet’s carbon pawprints! Visit us online or in one of our three Southern California store locations to shop our eco-friendly collection and learn more about planet friendly pet practices.

Get Active + Sooth Your Pup’s Spring Fever in San Diego

Spring forward is days away! How do you plan to enjoy your extra hour of evening light? Us busy office-bees have been buzzing about the many activities we’re planning to enjoy with our four-legged friends. Here are a few suggestions for getting active and soothing you and your pup’s spring fever in San Diego.

Make a splash

Dog Beach

We have some darn good dog beaches down here in San Diego. The Original Dog Beach down in Ocean Beach and North Beach Dog Run in Coronado are both open 24 hours and off leash approved! Del Mar Dog Beach is a favorite among North County residents, allowing off leash after Labor Day through June 16th. Does your dog fear waves? Well then Fiesta Island is a great alternative offering calmer waters and sand dunes. Located in Mission Bay Park, dogs are allowed in most all areas on Fiesta Island between 6:00AM – 10:00PM. Many other beaches allow dogs on leash at certain hours, so be aware of the rules and make your way to the sand for some splish splashin’ fun with your fido!

Take a hike

Dogs Hiking

Hitting the trails is much more fun with your hound in toe. San Diego County is filled with trails of varying levels, most giving a warm welcome to canine cohorts. DogVacay pulled together a list of some the top dog friendly hikes in San Diego, a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to start their search, providing brief overviews, addresses and hours. One of the most popular hikes in San Diego is Cowles Mountain, an up hill hike offering 360 degree views. Prefer a flatter trail? We’d suggest Los Penasquitos Canyon. The trail is surrounded by lush vegetation and a waterfall to enjoy at the end. If you and your pup are avid hikers and revel in serious heart pumping, Mt. Woodson, aka “Potato Chip Rock,” is a steep and strenuous dog-friendly hike. As with any outdoor activity, especially hiking in the heat, bring plenty of water for both you and your pup!

Visit a dog park

Dog Park

San Diego has so many to choose from! Canine Corners Dog Park in La Mesa, Poway Dog Park in Poway, and Nate’s PointGrape Street Dog Park and Morley Field Dog Park all in beautiful Balboa Park, are just a few of the many dog parks that stand out throughout the county. Giving your pup the freedom to run and play in a gigantic green space is a true treat when living in a city. Not only do parks allow your pup to exercise, they are also great places to work on healthy socialization with other dogs and humans, an important lesson for every dog to learn. If none of the parks mentioned are nearby, search out a dog park in your neighborhood. Off leash dog parks are ideal, but many parks that aren’t dog specific also allow dogs on a leash, an alternative to sidewalk exploring.

Grab a bite, a brew, or both

Dog and Beer

We’re in no shortage of dog-friendly drinking and dining down here San Diego, often referred to as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the US. San Diego Pets Magazine put together a helpful list of go-to dog friendly restaurants to visit with your pup. San Diego is also busting at the seams with microbreweries, many of which welcome furry friends. Culture Brewing Co, our neighbor on Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach, comes to mind as they quickly caught on with the dog-friendly North County crowd. AleSmith Brewing Company, Mission Brewery and Green Flash Brewery are just a few of the "big-beer-boys" that also welcome dogs. Other dog-friendly breweries can be found inside The Complete Guide To San Diego Breweries.

Wag Worthy Ways to Show Your Pup Some Love

Valentine's Day

Just one week ‘til Valentine’s Day, do you have something prepared for your pup? Whether you answered yes or no, here are a few excellent ideas to show your forever friend their special place in your heart.

Take a scenic walk. How does that saying go…variety is the spice of life! Instead of taking your usual stroll, cruise around your neighborhood in a different direction with your four-legged friend, or jump in the car and explore a new park, beach or trail. Your pup will enjoy the change of scenery and additional quality time with you.

Arrange a play date. Catching up with a friend over a cup of Joe, afternoon stroll, or evening on the town always leaves you feeling happier, right? Well pups love time with friends too! If your dog plays nicely with other dogs, invite another friendly pup over for a play date or set up a walk together. Socialization is great for dogs, especially with the additional exercise that comes with playtime.

Dog Play Date

Make them a new toy. If your pup loves playtime then adding new toys to their collection is a great way to keep them entertained. But another, environmentally friendly option is to make a new tug and toss worthy toy with old scraps of fabric. Old clothes, sheets, towels, whatever you have that can be saved from landing in the trash will work. Simply cut your fabric into strips, braid together and tie a knot at each end. Voila, your pup gets a new toy and you get green points!

All NaturalUpgrade their diet. Just like us, our pups can feel the effects of different foods. Reading labels is a great habit to make. Foods with little to no chemical preservatives and fewer processed ingredients are without a doubt going to provide your pup with better digestion and overall health. This doesn’t mean sacrificing taste, as many all-natural dog foods are not only nutritious, but delightfully delicious! Remember that any diet change should be introduced gradually to allow the digestive system to adjust.

Update their furnishings. Sleeping and eating are staples in every dog’s daily routine. Let’s start with the latter. Meal time may be most dogs’ favorite time of the day, so show your pup some love by letting them dine in style! A new bowl, feeder or treat jar would all fit the bill. But second to dining, or maybe even more enjoyed, is snoozing. There are an abundance of dog bed options on the market, so rest assured with our tips on how to pick the perfect dog bed for your pup.

Dog Sleeping

Give them a massage. Pamper your pup with a good massage, it will promote healing and bonding! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and an easy internet search will provide some tips on technique. Canine massage has been shown to increase circulation, reduce stress levels, and decrease muscle pain. Just stay aware of signs of discomfort and non-compliance to ensure it is an enjoyable experience for your four-legged friend.

Lavish them in green grooming. Clean is a great feeling, whether you’re furry or not. Have you ever seen a pup run around with glee after getting a bath? They love the refreshing feeling, but sometimes they aren’t so fond of the process. Many dogs have dry skin and allergies, so selecting gentle grooming products that are free of harsh chemicals is a must. Whether you are your pup’s groomer or you drop them off at the spa, be sure the products applied are safe and health friendly.

Dog Grooming

Ensure their safety. Saying goodbye to someone you love is hard, and in some cases, canine especially, can be avoided. Your pup should always wear a dog collar and ID tag, that way in the unfortunate event that they get lost the finder can reunite them with you. Many pet owners like to take their safety processions a step further and get their dog micro chipped. Part of loving your pup is keeping them safe!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your furry friends from Muttropolis!

Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe This New Years Eve

Happy New Year

We’d like to wish you and your pets a very Happy New Year! With celebrations right around the corner, we wanted to share a few tips and suggested precautions to help keep your furry friends and family members safe and sound for the holiday.

Small Chrome Bone Engravable Pet TagCheck your pet’s ID. Be sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date and visible ID tag on their collar at all times. This way, in the unfortunate event that they get lost, they can be returned to you promptly!If you find a lost pet, check their tag first and contact their owner, but if they don’t have a tag, we recommend that you take them to your local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners. Each year, animal shelters across the country are prepared for receiving “New Years dogs” that run off during fireworks celebrations.

Peanut Butter MunchersKeep your pets on their normal diet. Human food and drinks should be out of reach of pets. Any change in a pet’s diet can result in indigestion and diarrhea. Foods and drinks such as alcohol, onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough are especially harmful and can be potentially toxic to animals. Ingestion of alcohol may cause intoxication and weakness that could lead to a coma and/or respiratory failure. Keeping dog treats on hand will allow guests who want to give your dog food a healthy and safe alternative.

Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of pets’ reach. Many types of matches contain chlorates, which if ingested can damage blood cells and lead to difficulty breathing, in the most severe cases it can result in kidney disease. Lighter fluid is also very harmful. It can cause skin irritation and if ingested, gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.

Never use fireworks around pets. When curious pets get too close to fireworks, whether activated or unused, there is the potential for severe burns and/or trauma. Many types of fireworks contain toxic substances including arsenic, potassium nitrate and other heavy metals. Also, the noise and sight of fireworks displays can spook pets, leading to anxiety and distress. Most pets will try to get away from the noise so it is best to them in a safe and secure place, preferably at home.

If needed, take additional precautions to keep your pet calm. Even well-adjusted pets can get anxious during out-of-the-ordinary events. If your pet is prone to anxiety, please consider consulting with your veterinarian on ways to alleviate their fear and anxiety prior to the New Years festivities.  ThundershirtThere are many natural calming products that may help. We also recommend exercising your dog early in the day, whether they are prone to anxiety or not. Make sure that any off-leash time is securely fenced and any walks have a good leash as some people may set off fireworks before dark.

We hope these tips are helpful, and wish you and your pets a safe and  Happy New Year!

Dig This Deal: 20% Off All Treats, All December

Treat of the Month

We couldn’t pick just one treat this month, so we’re offering 20% off every treat in our assortment! Yes, that means that all month you’re able to enjoy 20% off savings – spread the word to friends and family, so all of our four-legged friends can benefit. Just in time for the holidays, it’s the perfect time to purchase gifts as well as stock up for the season.

WThinkers Duck Dog Treat Stickse pride ourselves in carrying only the highest quality all-natural treats for our canine and feline customers. From dainty delights to hearty munchies, our healthy treats are easily digestible, preservative-free, wholesome and delicious.

Practicing proper dental hygiene with you pup? We have treats and chews that remove tartar and freshen breath. Does your doggy have hip or joint troubles? Toothbrush Shape Dental Dog TreatWe have treats for that too! Have a new puppy on your hands? Treats are essential for training. And for all those pups that are problem free and trained to a T, well they need delicious treats too. So choose by flavor, size, shape or strength, whatever works for your four-legged friend.  

Chicken Carnivore KissesOur Treat of the Month promotion is only valid from December 1st through December 31st, or until supplies last. So don’t miss out on this great deal! Online customers can redeem this special 20% offer at Muttropolis.com by using the code TREATME at checkout. This promotion is also being offered at all three of our Southern California store locations, one in Solana Beach, La Jolla and Newport Beach.

Happy Holidays, make them tasty!