Petwell Supply Blog
Preparing Our Community for Coronavirus
Amid widespread concerns and growing panic about COVID-19, our team at Petwell Supply is committed, now as much as ever, to keeping the pets and humans in our community their happiest and healthiest. Despite seemingly infinite reports circling about the effects of the virus in humans, and recommendations for altering our behavior to quell the spread of COVID-19, it’s difficult to get concise information when it comes to our beloved non-human family members and their health and safety.
According to the CDC, "There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus." There's currently no evidence to suggest that pets can get sick from COVID-19 nor that they can spread the virus to humans. The one dog in Hong Kong who tested "weak positive" for COVID-19 is believed to have gotten it from their owner and has yet to show any symptoms.
Preparing yourself and your pets for a potential outbreak in your community is important. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Wash your hands after touching your pets. COVID-19 can be killed with hot water, soap, and friction, so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and often. The same goes for your pets: just like we disinfect the things we touch in our homes (door handles, tables, phones, etc) we can do the same with our furry friends. If you are concerned about your dog or cat being exposed to COVID-19, give them a bath with dog- and/or cat-friendly shampoo. COVID-19 is a virus, not bacteria, and therefore does not respond to anti-bacterial soap in particular. You do not have to purchase an anti-bacterial dog or cat shampoo. A Petwell classic, Skout’s Honor Probiotic Shampoo & Conditioner 2-in-1 for Dogs & Cats is what we use in our grooming salon, and sell in our store as well.
- Stock up on 2-3 weeks worth of pet supplies in case you have to be quarantined or choose to self-quarantine. We stock our most popular dry dog food brands and recipes in our store or can ship it to your door, when purchased online. We can also special order larger quantities of any recipe of wet or dry food for cats and dogs from the brands we carry for pick-up in store (for more information on special ordering, send us an email at email@example.com). Don’t forget the other essentials such as supplements your pet is taking, cat litter, and puzzle toys for your cat or dog stuck indoors!
- If you decide to self-quarantine, include your pets. Given the possibility of humans contracting COVID-19 from an animal who’s been exposed, it’s recommended that you limit your pet’s interaction with other animals, people, and spaces to contain any possible transmission. Should someone in your household (roommate, child, partner, etc.) fall ill with COVID-19, or show similar symptoms, cancel any and all plans your pet may have. This may include grooming visits, veterinarian visits, dog-walking appointments, or pet-sitting/check-ins in a home under quarantine. Limit interaction between people who are symptomatic and their pets if possible (have someone in your home who isn’t showing symptoms take care of the pet) and eliminate all unnecessary outside time.
We don’t know what the next few months have in store, but we are here to support you. We can keep our community safer and healthier by washing our hands, communicating with each other when we suspect we’re getting sick, and taking care of our own and our pets’ health to the best of our abilities. If you have any other questions about preparing your pet for a possible outbreak, schedule a free phone consultation to talk with our founder and owner, Emily, about the best solutions for you. Wishing you all a safe and healthy spring!
- Dayne Samuels
Best Natural Products for Dog Hot Spots
Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are a skin condition that affects dogs. The condition is characterized by areas of skin inflammation, bacterial infection, and hair loss. Hot spots are often caused by the dog scratching, licking, or chewing the area in question. These actions only make the area more painful and itchy, resulting in a vicious cycle where itching makes the dog itch more and more. Because of this cycle, hot spots can rapidly develop into painful, oozing lesions.
Because hot spots are caused by dogs licking and scratching the affected area, any condition that causes itching can lead to the development of a hot spot. Common causes of hot spots include: parasites; fleas; food allergies; eczema; skin infections; stress or boredom resulting in excess licking; and a dirty, wet, or matted coat. It’s important to visit your vet to determine the underlying cause of a dog’s hot spot, because that may change the course of treatment. If your dog gets chronic hot spots, identifying and addressing the underlying cause is crucial in preventing future skin infections.
Here at Petwell Supply, we have a variety of products that can help treat hot spots as well as promote overall skin health. For relief of hot spot symptoms, turn to HomeoPet Hot Spots, a homeopathic remedy that provides relief for the pain and itching associated with hot spots as well as supporting the regrowth of hair in those areas. Wondercide Skin Tonic is also a great option to relieve itching and soothe hot spots. Another great option is Snook’s Hot Spot Herbal Dip, which uses an organic blend of rosemary, elderflower, and comfrey to soak the fur and skin for maximum coverage and healing properties. Finally, making sure your dog’s fur is clean, dry, and unmatted can help prevent hotspots, so go ahead and make a grooming appointment as a part of maintaining healthy skin and coat.
Hot spots are very common--they are one of the most common skin conditions affecting dogs--so it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of hot spots, know what to do when they occur, and even take steps to prevent them if possible. Doing so is one more way to keep your canine companion happy, healthy, and comfortable!
3 Ideas to Spring Into Fitness with Your Dog
The sun’s coming back out and it’s time to start working on fitness again! Not just for you, but for your pooch too! Over the cold months, dogs can lose muscle mass along with putting on weight while getting cozy, but who can blame them? Cold weather can be an overall energy-zap and put additional strain on aging, achey joints. Finding the energy to get up and out in cold dreary weather is hard for humans and dogs alike. Luckily, there are tons of ways for you and your dog to get back into the swing of things and enjoy the late-winter sun while gearing up for more active time this summer.
1. Getting the Mind Active Again: The hardest part of beating the winter shut-down is getting the mind active and energetic again. A good place to start motivating the brain is to learn something new. Whether your dog is a master of many tricks or still struggling with a simple “sit” or “stay,” pulling together a routine to learn a new skill or two can help move you both into lively spirits. Whether it’s just the two of you or the whole family, by learning something new together, you’re not only bonding with your dog but also motivating each other. Looking for more ways to stimulate your dog’s brain throughout the day? You can try one of our puzzle toys to get your dog's mind back into gear for more physical activity later.
2. Get Moving Outside: Been slacking on walks because of how cold it’s been? Doubling down on walks is great exercise for both you and your furry friend, and it’s getting easier and easier as the season thaws out. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of walking a week for general human health — a simple goal to set for your dog walks. Adding a dog-walk to the beginning or end of your workout is a fantastic way for you to warm up or cool down and helps sneak an extra walk in for Fido. Depending on your dog’s size, age, and ability, turning those walks into runs and bike rides can be the next step to getting healthy with your dog. Make sure to increase activity levels slowly— if you amp it up too quickly you could strain both you and your dog. Be gentle on yourself and your pooch, working up to your fitness goals in stages.
3: Incorporating a Dog Into Yoga: Still too chilly outside for you? There’s plenty of exercise to be done indoors, too! If you’ve ever tried practicing yoga at home with your dog around, you know how curious dogs can get about the different ways you move your body! You can always try to incorporate your dog into your positions: weaving in and out of your legs in standing positions, bending over larger dogs for triangle poses, or using smaller dogs as weighted resistance on your lap or legs. It may take a few tries and some treats, but over time dog yoga can become a great way to establish trust and to get more in tune with how your dog is feeling.
No matter what the exercise, mental or physical, the most important thing is to get started and go from there. Make sure to be attentive to your dog and their limits when it comes to speed, distance, endurance, and patience. If you’re going outside, make sure they’ve got a durable leash and harness so they don’t get hurt. At Petwell we have a wide range of leashes for the active dog, including Mountain Dog Earth-Friendly Leashes made from recycled climbing rope, so you know it’ll stand up to even the strongest pullers. Take strain off your dog’s neck with a Ruffwear Hi & Light Harness, recommended for runners and bicyclists who want to include their dogs on their routes without weighing them down. And even though the goal is getting fit, don’t forget to treat your pooch for positive reinforcement. We offer many different training treat recipes from both Zuke’s and Cloud Star at less than 2-3 calories per treat, keeping weight management in mind while making new activities delicious. Together you can tackle anything!
- Dayne Samuels
Celebrating Your Dog's Birthday Right
Here at Petwell Supply, we consider dogs to be members of the family, and shouldn’t they celebrate their birthday in style just like the rest of us? Here are a few ways to make your best friend’s special day one to bark home about!
Visit a dog-friendly restaurant: Although this activity is best suited to warm weather birthdays, many restaurants and breweries in the area allow dogs on their patios and terraces, including favorites like Bar Boulud, Area Four, and The Friendly Toast. You can check out this article in Boston Magazine for more ideas!
Go on an adventure: Take your dog on a fun hike, or visit your local dog park. A fun, active day could be the perfect birthday gift for your furry friend.
Give your dog a present! Treats and chew toys are always a good choice, of course, but you can also test your dog’s intelligence and determination by giving them one of our puzzle toys. Puzzle toys are a fun way to give your dog a treat while also making them work a little for it.
Pamper your puppy: We offer a variety of grooming services here at Petwell Supply, so make sure your pup looks their best for their big day!
Throw your dog a party: You can invite over friends and family, as well as any dogs your pup is friends with. Just be sure to keep the number of people and dogs manageable. While you’re getting ready for your party, be sure to stop in and pick up some doggie cake mix and ice cream, as well as fun party hats!
There are a variety of ways to celebrate your dog’s birthday, and the way you choose to celebrate will depend a lot on your pet’s specific preferences, so make sure to choose an activity your pet will enjoy! Just remember, when it comes to pet birthday celebrations, anything is paw-ssible!