Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Labby

Dear Labby,

I was thinking about sending my newly adopted Lab to Doggie Daycare. What are your thoughts about them?
Dawn in Dunwoody

Dear Dawn,

Doggie Daycare is the BOMB and there are many benefits for both you and your dog if the situation fits your Labs’ personality.

One reason to take your pup to daycare is for socialization. Take your pooch for a trial run to see how he interacts with the different personalities. Sometimes large dogs become aggressive towards smaller dogs, so it’s important to make sure the daycare keeps the small and large dogs separated. If your Lab does not have an easy-going, submissive personality, daycare may not be the right environment for him or her. Hiring a Petsitter to excerise your dog could be an alternative this case.

Daycare is the perfect place for Labs to let out their energy and play. It’s like a gym membership for dogs! If your dog spends more time on the couch then he does on a leash, then daycare may be the answer.

Another great reason to go to daycare is for those days when you know you will be gone from home for a long period of time. Your Lab will get plenty of attention and someone will make sure he gets outside and “does his business”. If you are still potty training, daycare is also a good solution to keep him on your schedule.

Before you pick a daycare, make sure these items are on your “MUST HAVE” list:

  • Trained and certified owners and staff
  • Staff is trained in first aid for pets
  • The play area is supervised at all times, with lots of room for playing indoors and out
  • Willing to give you a tour of the entire facility. Nothing should be off limits.
  • Clean! This is hard thing to accomplish with so many four-legged pups in-house, but it is a must. If they can keep it clean, then that is the place for you!

There is a lot of information available online if you have more questions. Here are two links to start you out:

1.   Dog Day Care -- Good-or-Bad
2.   Choosing A Good Dog Day Care  

I hope you find this info helpful and can see the benefits! If you are looking for a great social spot and an outlet for all of that Lab energy, check out a Doggie Daycare near you. 

 Email  Dear Labby  with all your Lab questions. Submissions may be edited for space and style.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Spring and Fur is in the Air

If your furniture, floor and carpets have more [pet] hair on them then your Uncle Fred’s head, you know Spring is here!

The fact is, shedding fur is a natural process for dogs (and cats). Some shed year-round, while others may only shed in the spring to reduce their winter coat. Dogs will also shed broken or damaged hair if their skin is irritated from by allergies. Yes, like people dogs can have seasonal allergies too.

Although the cycle of losing fur is just part of being a dog, there are ways to help control the amount of shedding, while keeping the home cleaner and the dog more comfortable. A schedule of regular grooming, vet visits and a healthy diet can help reduce the amount of shedding from your pet.

Daily Grooming

Plan a regular grooming schedule for the dog. Brush him daily to control the release of fur. Go outside, and smooth the brush over his back, tummy and legs. Allow the loose hairs to fall outside and collect in a dog brush. This will reduce the amount of loose fur on the dog's body, keep the interior of the home cleaner and provide daily attention for the dog.

Bi-Weekly Baths: Tips for Washing Your Dog

The sooner you get the dead coat out, the sooner a new coat will come in. “Self-serve” dog washes are an excellent option to using your bathtub or paying an expensive grooming fee.

Wet your dog with the warmest water your dog can stand. You want it very warm, but not hot enough to burn the dog's skin. Use your fingers to work through the coat and loosen it up. You don’t need shampoo. Work your fingers through the coat as you lift and wash away the fur from the dog.

Use a blow dryer to dry the coat. The dryer will help to blow away any remaining loose hair.

Never Shave a Lab

The ONLY reason to shave anything on a Lab is:

1. For Surgery
2. For a Hot Spot

Only your vet should shave the area that needs to be shaved. If you see a hot spot, then let your vet treat it to keep it from spreading. Shaving a Lab for routine maintenance is WRONG and is NOT healthy for the dog.

The Facts and Fiction About Shaving A Lab:

Fiction: Shaving a Lab will reduce shedding.
Fact: The dog will only shed shorter hairs.

Fiction: All that hair must make the dog hot.
Fact: The undercoat actually keeps the dog cooler.

Fiction: Dogs can’t get sun burned.
Fact: A shaved dog has and increase risk of being exposed to damaging UV rays that they would not otherwise be exposed to

More suggestions...

1. Feed your dog appropriate pet food. A pet’s coat is often a reflection of what they eat. Feed a high quality/premium food with good digestible protein sources.

2. Cover your furniture and car seats. Upholstery is a magnet for pet hair, and removing pet hair from furniture or car seats can be tedious. If you allow pets on your furniture or bed, you would be wise to invest in a few furniture throws. Throws will keep your furniture looking (and smelling) better and make your home more inviting to guests. Car seat covers are also an excellent investment and are highly recommended.

3. Control allergies and fleas. If your pet is scratching because of allergies, supplement with Vitacaps® and Biotin to control inhalant allergies that irritate the skin. Be sure to see your veterinarian to make sure your pet is getting proper allergy relief. To prevent itching and scratching from fleas, use a flea repellent that your vet recommends to prevent and control infestations.

4. Have regular checkups. Many diseases can affect the skin and haircoat. Regular visits to your veterinarian will help identify problems early and provide more effective treatment.

5. To control shedding, use the right brush. Not all are created equal.

6. Remove hair from upholstery and your dog’s bed as soon as possible. Newly shed hair is easier to remove before it works its way into upholstery fabric. A tape roller is one of the best tools for removing hair.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grace's Law Passes onto the GA Senate

Urge the GA Senate to Ban Remaining Gas Chambers!

On March 16, 2010 the Georgia House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly, 132-49, to pass H.B. 788 which would ban use of the remaining CO gas chambersto kill shelter animals in Georgia and also make heartstick illegal by statute.


Grace's Law, is now assigned to the Georgia Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee whose members are found here.(Just click on their names for contact info.) Georgia State Senator Jack Murphy is the bill's senate sponsor.

Call or Fax (no emails) and Urge the committee members to vote yes on H.B. 788 and end use of CO gas chambers and cruel heartstick to kill shelter animals. All but a handful of Georgia counties and cities inside and outside of metro Atlanta have already stopped this! A list of the counties/cities can be found here. If one of the committee members is your state senator, be sure to let him or her know that.


1. Ashburn, City of (in Turner County)
2. Cobb County
3. Butts County Animal Control
4. Cordele, City of (in Crisp County)
5. Cuthbert, City of (in Randolph County)
6. Haralson County Animal Shelter
7. Hawkinsville, City of (in Pulaski County)
8. Henry County Animal Control
9. Lakeland, City of (in Lanier County)
10. Mitchell County Animal Control
11. Vienna, City of Animal Shelter (in Dooly County)

While animal euthanasia is not a pleasant topic, the ability to get a more humane Animal Welfare act passed into Georgia law makes it a topic worth broadcasting and providing to friends with information.

Grace's Law is the first step in a ground swelling movement to Reform Animal Welfare Law in Georgia. The next focus for Reform will be to reduce the at-risk population (through education and more effective spay/neuter programs) by at least 60% and give the politicians a reason to do it- $140million/year in savings.
For more information click here

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