As we go about our work day at countryside dog camp, we sometimes catch magical moments in nature. This past week, suddenly there was a rainbow across the fields... It is worth it to stop and take it all in. Camp is a magical place when you do!
Holiday Travel with FIDO... How to travel well with your furry friend.
The holiday season is upon us! Although Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp offers boarding services and our staff loves to care for your pup, we recognize that many dog owners prefer to take their furry children with them on their holiday travels to see friends and family. Road tripping with your dog is fun, but it can also become stressful if you are not well prepared. Here are some tips for stress free and safe holiday travel with your pooch from the Eva’s Play Pups staff. We all love to travel with our pups and we would like to share our safe and stress free travel trips with our clientele.
If you’re a dog parent, you know they love to sleep. But why do they sleep so much, and are they really dreaming when you see their paws twitch in their sleep?
Keep reading to discover the answers to these questions and more.
Bordetella, the scary, infinitely mispronounced canine ailment otherwise known as kennel cough, comes in just like it goes out; quickly and swiftly.
Mud season is upon us so we wanted to give you some information on a pesky microscopic protozoa that lurks in the mud and standing water - Giardia.
Giardia can live for months in standing water and mud. Prolonged freezing temperatures will kill most or all Giardia but as soon as temperatures warm up in spring, Giardia survival rates will increase. You can understand how warmer weather, muddy dog runs and dog parks and dogs congregating en masse day in and day out, some of them silent carriers of Giardia, creates perfect breeding grounds for the protozoa. There is simply no way around it. It will always be present in city dog parks, dog runs and here at camp. Dogs can ingest the Giardia cyst by drinking infected water, eating mud or feces or just stepping in it then licking their paw.
Once the Giardia enters the dogs body, several things can happen:
1. The dog's immune system will eliminate the protozoan from the body on its own. Puppies in general will not have an immune system strong enough to do this but are more likely to develop active Giardia.
2. The protozoa enters the dog's small intestine and starts to reproduce Giardia cysts that can then infect other dogs/cats/humans.
3. The dog might or might not show symptoms of infection. The dog can become a silent carrier, infecting other dogs, not showing any symptoms OR the dog can become ill, be taken to the veterinarian, diagnosed and treated for Giardia. Note that having once been infected with Giardia does not guard against future infections.
A dog suffering from active Giardia might have diarrhea (smelly and mucusy stool) vomiting, dull coat and weight loss. Many dogs though, will test positive for Giardia but never show any of the above symptoms. Also, some dogs can be infected and not show symptoms for years but a sudden stress on the immune system can bring out the active disease. In general, the incubation period for Giardia is 7 days to 3 weeks (showing symptoms or not.)
If your dog has been diagnosed with Giardia, follow your veterinarian's instructions. Giardia is commonly treated with Panacure or Metronidazole. Wash bed linens and dog bed covers and use Clorox/bleach based products on surfaces to kill the microscopic protozoa. Wash your hands. Giardia can spread to humans BUT note that Eva herself has been working in vet's offices, ran a doggy daycare and dog camp and done tons and tons of dog rescue crawling around in dirty shelter pens for years and she has never contracted the disease. Of course wash your hands after handling dog feces!
The good thing is that, in general, Giardia is easy to treat (although some dogs can get stubborn cases), especially if the dog is healthy with a strong immune system and well cared for. Typically, Giardia is NOT not detrimental to the dog's health. It can however become annoying and expensive to keep treating your dog for Giardia AND some dogs seem to be more susceptible than others. It is of course a very different story with the dogs we rescue in Southern shelters. Being they are many times malnourished and stressed, Giardia can inflict real health concerns and sometimes even death in small, sickly puppies. Very sad!
So what does Giardia mean at dog camp and how do we handle it ?
We will never be able to hinder dogs with Giardia to attend camp. We will not ask every client to do a Giardia test before coming to camp. It is not practical for any dog owner to bring their dog to the veterinarian for a fecal test every time they are about to board their dog at our dog camp or another boarding facility. Further, there will always be false negative tests as the swimming protozoa itself and the cyst containing the "egg" is not always present in every fecal sample depending on the protozoa life cycle.
Here at camp, we disinfect all indoor surfaces and wash all dog bed covers and mutt mats on a daily basis and we pick up poop all day long. We can not however, eradicate every puddle of water on 56 Acres or disinfect nature, which will invariably contain Giardia at times since city dogs is our lifeblood most likely bring in Giardia to camp now and then. Due to severe winters on our mountain, Giardia is not a problem year around at camp. It is a different story in where freezing temperatures can stay away for weeks even during the winter months. However, as the temperatures continue to warm up in the Endless Mountains it will become activate at camp just as in the city and we will see cases increase.
What we do appreciate is when our clients tell us their dog has been diagnosed with Giardia so we can keep track of how common it is throughout the season. Communications and sharing of information is always best way to keep parasites at bay!
While we are loving all of the beautiful signs of spring here at camp, it also means that "rash" season is upon us. As you know, we are out hiking and playing in nature all day with the dogs so unfortunately, it's impossible to avoid certain flowers and plants that can irritate the skin.
Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp is so excited to announce that we have two renowned experts in dog socialization together for the first time! Chad Mackin and Jason Vasconi are presenting this incredible workshop at our 52 acre farm located in the beautiful Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Memorial Day 2017 is coming - Book your dog's camp stay early!
Though the weather outside was frightful, camp was still delightful for our furry friends! We bundled up and kept moving to stay warm and still had plenty of adventures outside during the winter months. We are now so excited to share with you some footage from this past winter taken via Drone. Thank you so much to John Lubeck of NEPA Drone! Enjoy the show!
As always and most importantly, THANK YOU for being valued and loyal clients. Many of you have entrusted us with caring for your four legged loved ones for years and others have recently become part of the Eva's Play Pups family.
Your continued support and patronage are the reason we are able to provide our one-of-a-kind Endless Mountains experience for your pets. We want you to know how much we sincerely appreciate your business.
Welcome to another one of our Guest Blogs! We are so excited to feature this article, originally published by on Labrador Training HQ submitted by Jodie Clements and written by Tara Schatz.
Car Travel Tips for You and Your Dog – To Stay Safe and Enjoy It
One of the most awesome things about dogs is they are always up for an adventure, whether it’s a ride to the post office or a cross-country road trip.
Dogs usually make great traveling companions — they don’t tell you how to drive or ask if you’re almost there. In fact, many will just take any travel opportunity to catch up on their beauty sleep.
Traveling with your dog can be fun and rewarding, but it does require some extra planning to keep them safe and happy in the car. If you’ve been itching to hit the road with your favorite companion, but don’t know where to start, this article is for you.
Should You Bring Your Dog on Your Next Road Trip?
Your dog will probably consider traveling a grand adventure, but the truth is, not all dogs, or their human companions, are always up for great adventures.
The following guidelines will help you decide if your dog has what it takes to be a road warrior.
You Should Definitely Travel With Your Dog if…
- You are willing to search out destinations and accommodations that allow dogs.
- Your dog is happy in the car and doesn’t get car-sick.
- Your pup enjoys visiting new places.
- Your dog is up-to-date on all required vaccinations.
- You don’t mind exercising your dog while traveling.
- Your dog has some basic obedience skills and is comfortable socializing with people and other dogs.
- You have the space in your car for your pup and all of his belongings.
- You’re willing to skip over destinations that aren’t dog-friendly.
You Should Consider Traveling With Your Dog if…
- Your dog is not well behaved or doesn’t respond to basic commands.
- Your travels will take you to places that aren’t dog-friendly.
- You won’t have time to give your dog the proper exercise and attention he needs.
- Your car is tight on space.
- Your dog experiences car sickness.
- Your dog doesn’t enjoy traveling.
Please Don’t Travel With Your Dog if…
- Your dog isn’t up-to-date on vaccinations.
- Your pup suffers from fear or anxiety.
- Your dog is not trained or socialized.
- Your dog has shown signs of aggression toward people or other dogs.
Socialization for Traveling Puppies and Dogs
I mentioned above that you shouldn’t travel with your dogs if they aren’t socialized.
Dogs who haven’t been properly socialized are often fearful of new situations, anxious, or aggressive. To ensure safe and happy travels, it’s important to make your dog feel comfortable in new or unfamiliar situations.
Socialization occurs when your dog is a puppy, generally before 12-weeks of age. Socializing your puppy to new experiences while he is young will encourage him to be flexible and open to new situations later on. You can read more about socializing your puppy here.
If you are working with a pup who will eventually travel with you, it’s even more important to socialize them to different environments, surfaces, and people.
Older dogs may be more set in their ways, but you can still help them make positive associations with new experiences. The key is to take it slow. Here are some tips for preparing your puppy or older dog for car travel.
- Be sure your dogs have plenty of chances to ride in the car. If they are nervous, just have them practice getting in and out of the car without going anywhere. Keep it positive, and don’t just drive to the vet and the groomer. Take your dog to the park, the woods, the lake. You want him to love car rides!
- Expose your dog to traffic. Try and walk your dog on all kinds of streets with all kinds of traffic. Find roads where the cars are moving fast, where there are lots of pedestrians, and where traffic is backed up.
- Encourage your dog to walk on all kinds of surfaces. Pavement, sand, grass, gravel, boardwalks, metal grates. You get the idea.
- Expose your dog to crowds of people. There’s a good chance that your travels will bring you in contact with lots of people. Your dog should be used to seeing and interacting with babies, kids, and people of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Training Tips for Preparing Your Dog for Car Travel
Traveling with your dog will be more enjoyable for both of you if you can work together as a team. In order to keep your dog safe and yourself from going crazy, you should work with your dog on basic obedience and leash skills before even thinking about traveling together.
Here’s what your dog should know before any road trip.
- Come. Your pup should reliably come to you whenever you call. Even if you plan to keep your dog leashed all the time — you just never know when you’ll need it. The Humane Society of the United States has a great article about teaching your dog to come when called.
- Stay. This is another really useful command, especially when you’re getting in and out of the car. Ideally, when you give your dog the stay command, he should stay put until released. Check out this practical guide to teaching stay for more information.
- Loose-Leash Walking. A dog that pulls you around the block is no fun to walk or travel with. Teaching your dog to walk calmly by your side will make life so much more fun for everyone. This article will help you teach your dog not to pull on the leash.
While these skills are the most important, you can teach your dog all kinds of commands that will help him be a better traveler.
If you want to give your dog a well-rounded education, I highly recommend the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program. Dogs who go through the program learn basic obedience and skills to help them integrate fully into their lives as human companions.
What to Pack When Traveling with Your Dog
- Your dog’s identification tags. Obviously you won’t actually be packing them, but your dog should wear them at all times. Be sure your contact information, including a cell-phone number, can be found on your dog’s tags.
- Vaccination records. Be sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations before any trip.
- Flea and tick medication. How do you keep pests off your dog? Whatever method you choose, be sure your dog is protected before you travel.
- Food and water bowls
- Food and water
- Leashes. Pack a short leash for regular walks and a longer one for exercising your dog.
- Your dog’s bed. If you’ve got the room, your dog will love you for it. If you’re short on space, consider a travel bed like this one from Doggles.
- Treats and toys
- Poop bags
- A treat pouch for training
- A dog first aid kit for emergencies. The First Voice Basic Pet First Aid Kit contains supplies for minor medical emergencies.
Tips for keeping your dog safe and happy in the car
- While traveling, it’s important to keep your dog secured in either a crate or a safety harness. A crate should be well-ventilated and large enough for your dog to stand, sit, and lie-down in. Whether you use a harness or a crate, it’s best to get your dog used to it before you actually hit the road. Read the Ultimate Guide to Crate Training for an in-depth look into using a crate with your dog. Always secure your dog’s crate in the car so it won’t slide around if you have to stop quickly.
- Feed your dog at least three hours before a long trip to help prevent car sickness, and never feed your dog in a moving vehicle. If your dog tends to get car-sick, you can sprinkle a bit of powdered ginger on his food
- Never leave your dog alone in a very hot or very cold car. It can be dangerous, or even deadly.
- In addition to identification tags, make sure you pet is micro-chipped. This can be a lifesaver if your dog is ever lost.
- Never let your dog ride with his head out the window. He could easily be injured by a flying object.
- Bring water from home. Drinking water from a new area could upset your dog’s stomach.
- At some point, you’re going to travel with a wet dog. You may want to invest in waterproof seat covers and floor liners for your car.
Traveling with your dog may not be easy, but it can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, provided you’ve planned ahead. With proper training and careful packing, your dog will be ready for trips big and small.
Start planning your next dog-friendly road trip, and be prepared to fall in love all over again.
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You're having a baby--fantastic! And you have a wonderful four legged companion--life couldn't get any better! As your pregnancy progresses, you may be thinking, will the dog like the baby? How do I ensure that a safe relationship will form between the two?
In order to ensure that we remain the Best Country Camp for dogs in the Northeast, we have invested heavily in additional features to further improve your dog's experience with us - from the time we pick your pooch up until the time he/she returns home from vacation.
Local Businesses with the “Happiest” Customers Receive Second Annual Happie Awards. The 2015 Happie Award Winner: Best Pet Boarding Facility- Eva's Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp, Union Dale
Eva’s Play Pups Countryside Dog Camp is very selective about which trainers we agree to work with and our reasons why. Dani Santanella of Urban K9 is one of those trainers. Dani has been educating dog owners on how to have better lives with their pooches for the past ten years. She works under the philosophy that open lines of communication between the canines and their owners. Without a doubt, this can make a happy home for all.
You know just how frustrating it can be when falling snow and bitter cold have you stuck in the house all day in the middle of the winter. It can be just as boring for your dog, who would much rather go outside and play. There are plenty of ways to fend off cabin fever that will occupy and entertain both you and your dog.
“I realized that helping humans and dogs communicate better is the best way to save these amazing dogs’ lives,” Jason says. “I decided being a Dog Trainer is the path for me.”
When you peer out the window of your home and see fluffy white flakes of snow floating down from the sky, you may think about how beautiful it is. However, it is also a good time to consider whether or not you’ve really prepared for your dog to handle the harsh conditions of winter weather.