Traveling With Pets!

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Now that summer is in full swing, this is the time when a lot of families will be taking vacations. And sometimes that means bringing the entire family, pets included. Good planning goes a long way to ensuring a great vacation and if you are bringing the family animals along, it is always important to be prepared.

First off, how are you traveling? Car rides can be easy for most dogs and they generally tolerate them pretty well, but it is always worth it to give them a test run if you aren’t sure, especially if they are new to the family. No problems? You are ready to take off! Get your luggage, start the car and make sure everyone has their seatbelt fastened. Yes, this include your pooch. If they are small, often times they will be fine riding in a dog carrier, which can be easily fastened into a seatbelt. Larger dogs require special harnesses that can still give them some mobility, but will save them in the event of a sudden stop.

Going by air? This can be trickier, since the rules for flying with your dog can vary depending on the airline you fly. For example, some only allows dogs and cats that can fit into a carrier, with no larger dogs allowed. While others will allow large dogs, but only if they are in a kennel and flying with cargo. It is very important to check on this before booking a flight with your pet.

When traveling with your dog, always have food and especially water on-hand. You can buy a collapsible water bowl that works great for cats and dogs and is easily stowed away. On a long road trip? Make sure you stop often enough for your dog to stretch their legs and use the restroom and always keep a leash on them, no matter how well they are trained. They are in a new environment and you can’t always be prepared for how they may react.

On your vacation it is important to be aware of hotels that allow pets, since many of them will also have amenities catering towards pet owners, such as a designated lawn for dogs and waste bags. Best Western, La Quinta Inn and Days Inn are just a few of the more popular hotel chains that accommodate pets, but it is always best to call and head and ask since not every hotel in a chain allows them.

It also helps to be aware of nearby veterinarians in whichever area you are staying. We take for granted that if something happens to us, an ambulance will get us to the nearest hospital, but it is on the pet owner to be prepared in the case of an emergency.

Finally, make sure your vacation itinerary isn’t going consist of leaving your pet alone for long periods of time. Being in a strange place by themselves can result in nervous or even destructive behavior. So if you brought your dog just to save on the cost of a pet hotel and plan to leave him alone for long periods of time, maybe you should consider saving up for a mini-vacation for him as well.

Traveling with your dog may seem like a lot of preparation, but being ready means enjoying a vacation with the entire family, furry relatives and all. We here at Espree hope everyone has a safe summer and enjoys their vacations, pets included.

Dog Overheating and How To Prevent It!

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Summer is upon us. For many, that means vacations, pool parties, BBQ’s and heat. Sunburns, hot cars, sunstroke, dehydration; all the bad things that go along with the summer months. For many, this is a way of life, especially if you live farther south, but no matter where you call home, it is important to be aware that you might not be the only one suffering from the heat. Your pets are also going to need protection from the sun and like us, they too can easily overheat and even die if not properly taken care of.

First off, prevention. Let’s start with the biggest one out there that many people still do and is probably one of the most preventable issues. Never, ever leave your dog in a car, even with the windows cracked. In just 70 degree weather, the interior temperature of a car can reach up to a 104 degrees in half an hour. And that is just typical spring time weather. During the summer, it can climb into the 180’s. Your dog has no way of escaping this kind of heat and can easily overheat and even die if left in a hot car for too long. Don’t take the chance, even for a minute.

If your dog spends a lot of time outside in the yard, make sure they have a shaded place to relax, along with access to a plentiful source of water. In some states where the weather gets up to the 90’s and higher, you might want to consider bringing them inside if they are normally an outside dog.

This goes hand in hand when walking or playing with your dog in hot weather. A lot of them will continue to play and run with their owners simply to please them, not realizing they are close to overheating. Always keep a close eye on their condition at all times.

So let’s say you suspect your pooch of overheating, what are the symptoms and how can you help them? Obviously panting is a big giveaway, so if you notice it is excessive, get them some water and shade immediately. They could also be drooling, acting lethargic and feel hot to the touch. If you suspect your dog is overheating, apply cool (not cold), wet towels to their body. You can also rub alcohol on their paw pads and ears to help draw out excess heat. If your dog doesn’t improve, get them to a veterinarian immediately.

Remember, summer time can be fun for you and your animal family but always be aware of the dangers it brings. If you do bring your dog outside, ensure they always have access to water and shade and never overwork or play with them until they are exhausted. Stay vigilant, stay safe and enjoy the summer with your furry pals.

Check Out the Benefits of Bringing Your Pet to Work!

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To celebrate Bring Your Pet to Work Week, we would like to take the time to talk about the many benefits of, you guessed it, bringing your pet to work. If you are fortunate enough to work in a business that allows this, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Now, we would all love to have our animals with us during the day, but sadly there are very few companies that allow this, however that number is growing every year. Obviously there are many jobs where it wouldn’t be safe or prudent to have your dog follow you around, but for the many office workers out there who have sedentary, danger free careers, then having your pet with you would be amazing.

There have been many studies showing that bringing your pet to work helps in several different ways. Employees were found to be more focused in the work, got along better with other workers and were even willing to stay longer, all due to having their dog spend the day with them. Job satisfaction is higher too, making for happier employees and a better quality of work.

Like children, pets can get sick and sometimes need their owners to look out for them, which usually requires taking days off of work. When a company allows pet owners to bring their dog to work, the amount of time missed also decreased. Again, this all serves to greatly increase production and keep workers happy.

A study performed by the Virginia Commonwealth University even showed that there was a noticeable decrease in stress when someone was allowed to bring their pet to work. Many people are worried about leaving their dog home alone all day, even if they don’t realize it. They may not be concentrating on their work, rushing to get out the door at the end of their shift, driving home too fast; all of which can be prevented by bringing their dog to work.

Overall, more and more companies are starting to allow their employees to bring their pets to work (yes, even cats) and it is a growing trend that is sure to pick up traction once more people see the benefits. We here at Espree appreciate every day with our furry friends and hope that more businesses see how wonderful it is. For those of you who have to leave them at home, use this week as an excuse to spend a little extra time with them. And maybe convince your boss to give it a try…

Much Like Humans, Our Pets Can Suffer From Anxiety, Nervousness, & Fear

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Much like humans, our pets can suffer from anxiety, nervousness, and fear that stems from a variety of causes. As a pet owner, it is up to you to discover what causes their anxiousness and find the best way to combat it. And as much as we wish we could just ask them what is wrong, it is generally pretty easy to pinpoint what is giving them trouble.

Both cats and dogs suffer from anxiety, albeit in some wildly different ways. What scares one may hardly affect the other, but in the end the results are usually the same. Hiding, panting, drooling, shaking and sometimes even lashing out in anger are all typical reactions to fear or anxiety. The first step to calming your pet down is trying to prevent the issue from happening in the first place, hopefully by finding the cause.

Storms are a major factor in anxiety for pets, especially dogs. You may notice your dog immediately going to a hiding place as soon as they hear the first peal of thunder, while some will even hide at the first signs of rain in anticipation of the loud noises to follow. When you know a storm is approaching, make sure they always have a secure hiding spot available to them, generally a crate, closet or small area for them to curl up in. This can also apply during July 4th or New Year’s Eve, when fireworks are likely to be going off.

Strangers, both human and animal, are another huge factor in causing fear and anxiety with your pets. Slowly introducing new people into your home is necessary for some dogs, as they are usually more protective of their home. Only you know how your dog will react to a stranger, so use caution when introducing new people into your house, especially if you have a rescue animal. You may not always know what happened in their past, so anything from larger breed dogs to men can be contributing factors. Take the time to figure out what it is and work with them. It can take some effort when you introduce new people and even longer with a new family pet, but over time they can eventually become friends.

With cats, they are more likely to hide or lash out. Always make sure your cat has a small, enclosed hiding space they can get to if they are the nervous type and never force them into a situation they aren’t comfortable with. Rescue cats, especially any that were feral or rescued from the street, are prone to being skittish of new environments and people. As with dogs, working with them over a period of time can help them overcome their fears, by providing treats when they come out and encouraging good behavior.

While certainly not the last form of anxiety in a long list of causes, it is certainly a big one that is almost exclusive to dogs. Separation anxiety. When leaving your dog, even if it is for a short period of time, you might notice that they have acted out in some way while you were gone. Chewing on the remote control, scratching up the door, ripping open the trash; all are very common reactions to separation anxiety. Some worse ones can be constant barking, howling, digging or trying to escape. Many a dog has broken free from their back yard or crate when left alone with separation anxiety.

If you notice your dog has separation anxiety, there are a few ways to try and work with them. Leaving them chew bones or food puzzles can keep them occupied while you leave and show them that your departure is not always a bad thing. Try occasionally taking them to a day care, so they can socialize while you are absent. This will help alleviate the stress of being alone and give them something to look forward to.  Finally, simply working on your routine when leaving can make a difference. Perhaps show them that every time you grab your keys does not always mean you are about to leave. When you do leave, don’t make a big show of saying goodbye, which will help keep them calm when you are gone.

Overall, there are many different reasons for your pet’s anxiety and just as many solutions. If you are ever unsure or notice that they continue to act out, always consult your veterinarian. Sometimes what you think may be anxiety could just as easily be an unknown medical condition. Espree also offers several options to help calm your dog, such as our Perfect Calm chew tablets or Calming Balm Lavender & Kava. We want your pets to be a stress reliever for you, so help them to relieve their own stress. Remember, when you cut down on the stress and anxiety your pet feels, they will be happier, more playful and learn to love you even more.

Pets Can Suffer From Many Of The Same Allergy Symptoms

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Sometimes its starts with a runny nose, maybe burning eyes. Then you start sneezing uncontrollably, while you can hardly breathe through your nose. Or maybe you have a different reaction, with big red welts all over your skin. Allergies affect millions of people all over the world, but sometimes we don’t realize that our pets are also suffering many of the same symptoms, with their own allergies and asthma problems. It is important to properly identify if your own cat or dog deals with allergies so that they too can get treatment, which is why we want everyone to be informed about what to look for when trying to diagnose your pet. As always, if you have any doubts, please take them to your local veterinarian.

Much like humans, our pets can suffer from many of the same symptoms, such as:

  • Red or runny eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and/or red patches of skins
  • Itchy and infected ears

However, there are several symptoms that don’t appear in humans, making it more difficult for us to recognize when they might be having an issue. Itchy tails or lower backs, constant licking and chewing/licking of paws are a few that you need to be on the lookout for as a pet owner.

Like us though, what causes the allergies could be a myriad of things. Grass, trees, mildew, pollen, foods, clothing, smoke, perfume…the list could go on. Some are easier to discover than others, but it is not always obvious, which is why you should always talk to your veterinarian if you suspect your cat or dog has allergies. An easy example would be your local pollen count. If you notice your pet sneezing a lot with runny eyes and nose, then this would make it easier to medicate your animal during allergy season. As always, you know your pet best. Keep an eye on them throughout the year to make sure they are always feeling healthy and happy.

A cousin of allergies, asthma is also known to strike your loving pet friends. Like allergies, a lot of the same things can cause asthma attacks, such as smoke or pollen. Asthma generally affects cats more than dogs, but the symptoms are usually the same: coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing. Asthma is also potentially life threatening due to the lack of oxygen your pet receives when suffering from an asthma attack, so it pays to be extra vigilant if you know your pet is susceptible to asthma.

Overall, we at Espree just want to increase awareness about pet allergies and asthma, so that both you and your furry friends can rest easy, especially during allergy season. Always be on the lookout and talk to your vet if you have any questions.

Discover What Silk Can Do For Your Pet!

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For thousands of years, silk has been a long sought after luxury that only a few had access to. Harvesting silk from silkworms was a time consuming process and could take months before there was enough to make even one article of clothing. In more modern times, we buy silk products because of the feel it provides, whether that be in clothes, bed sheets or any number of things.

More recently, silk has been found to have amazing properties for hair care and we are seeing ever increasing use of it in grooming. That’s why Espree has recently introduced a new line of Vanilla Silk products that will give your animal’s coat a whole new feel and look. Not only does it help repair damaged fur, but it will continue to moisturize your pet’s fur, maintaining a truly silky feel.

For dogs out there that suffer from dry or sensitive skin, this is also a great option to keep them feeling happy and irritation free during baths. Since silk proteins help lock in moisture, your dog will feel refreshed and clean after each wash.

With Espree’s Vanilla Silk shampoo and cologne, you will easily keep your dog feeling and smelling great all year round. Discover what silk can do for your pet today.

May is National Chip Your Pet Month!

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Not too long ago, losing a beloved pet was a difficult time for any owner. First you started with a car ride around your neighborhood, calling their name and hoping they would hear you. When that failed, after what was certainly hours of looking, you would go home, find a picture and get started with making “Lost Animal” flyers to post around your local area. From there, you would call the pound and animal shelters each day, hoping beyond hope that your cat or dog would show up at one of them. Each unknown call to your phone was met with anxious excitement, wondering if it was someone calling about your lost friend.

Unfortunately, this could have taken place twenty years ago or just last week. Even today, many pet owners do not take advantage of the many advancements in pet technology that has become available. We speak of course about microchipping.

$45 dollars is the average cost to have this done to your pet. That small, one-time fee could mean the difference between finding your pet or losing them forever.

A small chip is placed in your pet, generally under the scruff of the neck and with hardly any pain. The process takes all of about a minute and once you have registered your pet’s chip with the associated database, you can rest a little easier knowing that should you lose your furry friend, they now have a much better chance of being found.

When a lost pet is taken to a shelter, veterinarian or pound, they are usually scanned to determine if they have a chip. When it is found, the owner is immediately contacted, whereupon they are reunited amid a flurry of doggy kisses or purring rubs.

So get your pet microchipped if they aren’t already and have that extra piece of mind if the worst should happen. Remember; a microchip can mean the difference in finding a pet, whether it be thousands of miles away, years later, or even both, they can be found again.

Make Sure Your Furry Friends Are At Their Healthiest During Pet Cancer Awareness Month!

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It’s Pet Cancer Awareness Month and we here at Espree want to make sure that all our furry friends are at their healthiest. On average, six million dogs and six million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in a given year, with dogs leading in more forms of cancer. Knowing that, it is important that as a responsible pet owner, you can recognize signs of cancer early on in your pets. Remember that early detection can mean the difference in saving an animal’s life.

Just like humans, your pets can suffer from a variety of cancer types. From skin and bone cancer to lymphoma and cancerous tumors; each one can affect your furry friend in different ways and each one can give different signs.

  • Always be on the lookout for lumps, especially one that continues to grow. While a lump or growth is not always a sign of cancer, we recommend you take your pet to the veterinarian just to be safe.
  • Weight loss. A sudden decrease in weight can be a sure sign that your pet is sick. This goes hand in hand with loss of appetite. Most pet owners know how much their animal eats regularly, so if you notice that they aren’t eating over the course of a couple of days, make an appointment right away.
  • Bathroom habits changing. A dog who suddenly can’t make it outside in time or a cat that is missing the litter box consistently can be a troubling sign.
  • Lethargy or slower moving activity. A dog who suddenly has no desire to play and sleeps a ton can also be a troubling sign.
  • Outward signs of pain. Perhaps your pet is limping when walking or playing, or yelps when a certain spot on them is touched. This can be a sign of something more severe, so always follow up with a visit to your vet.

Remember, not all of these signs are necessarily an indication that your pet has cancer, but it is always best to be on guard. Even if you are vigilant in checking the health of your cat or dog, it is vital that they receive regular check-ups to ensure that you aren’t missing anything.

If it turns out that your dog or cat does have some form of cancer, don’t start worrying right away. Cancer treatment for animals has come far in the last few decades and many pets are living longer lives because of this. Discuss all treatment options with your veterinarian and see what will work best for your furry companion.

Pet Cancer Awareness Month is a time to become more in tune with your animal’s health and Espree hopes that by educating people about pet cancer, more animals will be saved. So go out there, give your dog and cat a hug and do your best to keep your pet family staying health.

Tips to Ensure your Pet is Taken Care of in the Event of a Disaster!

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National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day is a great reminder that while people can be prepared for most disasters, they need to ensure their pets are also taken care of. Below are several ways that can help you and your pet family stay safe and secure in the event of a disaster.

High up on the list is to alert any potential rescuers that you have pets in the home. There are several signs or stickers you can purchase to place near your front door that will let people know how many animals you have and what they are. This can be especially useful in the event of a fire, even more so if you aren’t there when it occurs. The ASPCA even offers them for free by filling out this form online and ordering them.

Next is to always have a plan of action according to the disaster. Your area may be prone to earthquakes, tornados, floods, wildfires, hurricanes; all of which present their own unique problems to deal with.

Since tornados and earthquakes generally have the least amount of warning, you will need to have a prepared room in the house (or separate storm shelter) where you and your pets can be safe. While some pets may not like it, it can be crucial to practice a few times so that you are ready in the event of a disaster. Every animal has a certain place they like to hide, especially when scared. Learn where your pets hiding spots are so you can get to them quickly. When you are up against disasters with more warning, albeit equally destructive potential, make sure you have prepared disaster supplies ready for your family and your pets. Bowls, five days of water and food, plus first aid are all very much needed. Carriers and leashes also need to be close by, even for cats. They may not like the leash, but at least they won’t get away from you.

Sometimes disasters aren’t nearly as destructive, such as snowstorms or blackouts, but can cause similar issues to crop up. You still need to maintain backup food and water for your pets at all times and we recommend restocking your supplies at least every six months.

Expanding on this, make sure all of your pets are wearing collars with a good contact number in the event that they do get away and to double up extra security, we highly recommend getting your pet microchipped. It is generally not too expensive and will ensure that should your pet ever reach a vet or animal shelter, they will find their way back to you.

Please keep in mind that while your pets are animals, they are domesticated and depend on you for survival. If you couldn’t survive the upcoming disaster, they probably will not either. Never leave them behind for any reason.

Your animals are part of your family and we here at Espree want them to be as safe as possible in any situation. Hopefully you will never have to worry about a disaster affecting you and your pets, but it is always important to be prepared.