Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Dog

Choosing to spay or neuter your dog is one of the most important health decisions you’ll have to make as a dog owner. The procedures have proven to result in lifelong health benefits and improve behavior. There are even online resources that can help you find low-cost spay/neuter programs in your area.

sprayneuterdog

At DogTropolis in Cleveland, we require all dogs to be spayed or neutered if over 6 months old. This policy is really a no-brainer, as it has a great impact on the lives of both a dog and its owner. Here are a few of the benefits:

It prevents overpopulation. Spaying and neutering keeps dogs from producing unwanted offspring. Overall, it’s good for the pet community as it prevents dogs from ending up in shelters or being euthanized. Stray animals are also an issue in many parts of the country. Spaying and neutering can help limit all of the above issues.

Your female dog will live longer. Spaying is the most effective way of preventing infections and cancers. The possible fatal outcome is greatly reduced by the procedure.

Your male dog will be better behaved. Unneutered dogs often suffer from aggression problems. They also have tendencies to roam and run away from home. Neutered dogs focus more of their attention on their families.

It’s cost effective. Owners often have to take preventative measures to keep unneutered pups from misbehaving. Dogs escaping from your yard or tearing up your house can get costly.

For more information on the benefits of spaying and neutering, you can visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

 

Picture courtesy of HarnessLife

Canine Influenza Virus Update

I’m sure most of you are aware via the media that there is a Canine Influenza Virus ( CIV ) in Chicago. Currently there are roughly 83 cases in Chicago. It’s a highly contagious virus with symptoms that can mimic other, more benign respiratory infections. CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans.  If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, with proper veterinary care your dog will not develop secondary complications such as pneumonia. Good news is that there are no known cases of CIV in Northeastern Ohio.

Signs of CIV can include:

  • A dry hacking cough
  • Coughing up white, foamy phlegm
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever

Please be assured that DogTropolis is being vigilant as always with regards to providing a clean, healthy and safe environment for your dog. We have not seen any dogs at Dogtropolis who have exhibited signs of CIV. We continue to be a well-respected daycare/boarding facility in the area due to our strong commitment to caring and loving your dog as if it were our own. As part of commitment to our clients, we are not accepting any dogs that are from the Chicago area or dogs that are traveling to/from the Chicago area. In addition, we continue to keep the DogTropolis facility an extremely clean, healthy environment for your dog, not only by being strict on vaccination records but by also aggressively cleaning the facility daily with canine disinfectant products that kill various bacteria and viruses that may be found in kennel facilities and vet clinics.

As most of you know, I started DogTropolis for my two dogs, Wally & Dexter 12 years ago. I wanted somewhere my two boys could go for exercise, companionship and love while I was at work or play; and also a place that I knew would treat them properly, not only by providing them with safe and supervised group dog play but also by providing them a clean and healthy environment. I’m certain we provide all of this at DogTropolis for our clients.

Please feel free to ask me in person or contact me via email/phone should you ever have any concerns, as I am always available to speak with you.

connie@dogtropolis.net

Best,

Connie

Spring Allergies: Symptoms and Prevention

Much like people, dogs are susceptible to allergies and the problems they can present. While most of the common allergens are harmless, prior knowledge of preventative measures and recognition of symptoms can go a long way.

dog allergies

Whether inhaled, ingested or through skin contact, dogs commonly have extreme reactions when it comes to allergies. This can cause skin, digestive and respiratory problems. Research has found that no breed is particularly susceptible to allergies, but that is not to say they don’t exist, so pay special attention to your dog’s health in the spring months. 

The most common allergens come simply from being outside in the backyard or at a park. Tree, grass and pollens, much like they do in humans, can cause sneezing and runny eyes, among other reactions. Be wary of your dog itching him or herself more than normal, as it is often a telltale sign of allergies. Products, used for flea control or shampooing, can also be the root of the problem. If you recently switched to using a different brand or product, make sure to be conscious of how your pup is reacting to it.

Prevention is the best treatment for allergies. If your dog is experiencing severe symptoms it is best to go see your vet. Medications are available that can help control an allergic reaction, since certain substances cannot be removed entirely from their life and environment. Prevention can come in many forms with sprays and supplements, but ideally you will develop a routine and lifestyle that uniquely caters to your dog’s health.

For a complete list of allergies common in dogs go to: Pets MD

Photo courtesy of: VA State Park

Spring Cleaning for Dog Owners

It’s finally spring! So as we put out our patio furniture and clean out the garage, let’s not forget about our four-legged friends. Whether it’s cleaning up their hair or prepping them to spend more time outside, there are several things you can do to make it easier on you and your pup.

cleveland dogs

First, let’s get your dog cleaned up. A quick outside bath will have your dog smelling fresh and won’t leave a mess indoors. Be cautious of dry skin by not bathing them too long or too often. Brushing out their coat first will also help. Wiping him or her down with a towel sprayed with half apple cider vinegar and half water, followed by sprinkling baking soda on their body will remove any odor. After brushing, you’re dog will be smelling great!

Next up is your home. You will want to use rubber gloves to remove hair from furniture and other fabrics. Sweeping areas with a slightly damp glove will help ball up hair and make it easier to pick up. It’s also a good idea to wash any toys they use often. Depending on the make, either throw the toys in the washer or wash them by hand. Finally, neutralizing all odors from carpets will keep your dog from going the bathroom inside. You can use online resources or ask your vet if you want specific steps on how to do so.

In our opinion, spring cleaning isn’t so bad with a clean dog by your side. We hope they enjoy baths!

If you are a dog owner and want more spring cleaning tips visit: Cesars Way

Dog Parks: Is Your Dog Ready?

Can you believe spring is just about a week away? Well, we are hoping that means warmer temperatures in Cleveland, which in turn will allow us to play outside with the dogs more often. While we have plenty of room at DogTropolis, I know that is not always true for dog owners that live in apartments or with little to no yard. That’s where dog parks come in.

cleveland dog park

Yes, dog parks can be a great place to go for you and your dog, but there are a few things you need to know before you venture out. The good thing for you is you already have a head start on the first step, which is to get on your computer or tablet and research local parks. See what other dog owners have said and check how much space is available. A little background information is never a bad thing.

You will also want to think hard about whether your four-legged friend is meant for a dog park. Consider their age, size and how they interact with other dogs. All of those things often come into play. You do not want to take your dog if he or she is too aggressive. Same goes for if they are too shy. Above all, parks are a social environment for dogs to interact with other dogs, as well as humans. You know your dog best, and trust that you know whether they are ready for this type of environment.

Whether it is at dog park or not, we hope you spend some time outside with your canine this year. In Northeast Ohio, we have to take advantage of the beautiful weather when we can. 

Go to APDT if you would like to know about the advantages and disadvantages of dogs parks.

Photo courtesy of Don DeBold.

Finding the Right Dog Trainer

Choosing a dog trainer can be one of the most important decisions you have to make as an owner. The methods a given trainer chooses to use can impact your dog’s life for years down the road. Therefore, you should take the time to find the right trainer.

dog trainer cleveland

First of all, you will need research. This will help you better understand all the options available to you. Trainers vary in the types of technique and equipment they use. While it’s ultimately your decision, we recommend a trainer that uses positive reinforcement and not fear based tactics. As a personal recommendation for Cleveland area dog owners, DogTropolis suggests Cold Nose Companions. Asking for recommendations from trusted family and friends is a great idea, as well.

After narrowing down your search, you will next want to schedule an appointment to speak with a trainer and get an overall feel for their work environment. We recommend you don’t bring your dog the first time. Looking for obvious signs like cleanliness and organization will go a long way. In this visit, do not be afraid to ask questions about topics such as their education and background in the field. Most trainers love when their clients take particular interest in the care for their dog.

Finally, take your dog to a chosen trainer. See how they interact with your dog and how invested they are. With time, they will develop a relationship with you and your dog. Open communication is often the key to finding the right trainer, and ultimately seeing progress with your four-legged friend.

To find certified dog training professionals in your area go to: CCPDT

Photo courtesy of: State Farm

Choosing the Right Dog Toy

So you spent a half hour in the pet store picking out the perfect toy for your dog, yet as you excitedly arrive home and toss it to them, they want nothing to do with it. No worries, many dog owners have found themselves in a similar situation.

cleveland dog daycare

As you probably know, deciding what to buy and how much to spend is not an easy decision. The number of choices is about as abundant as the cereal aisle at the grocery store, but with time you get a better understanding of your dog’s preferences, narrowing down the options.

A recent study published in the journal “Animal Cognition” gives us some insight on our canine’s preferences. Researchers presented dogs with a different toys for 30-second intervals until the dog stopped interacting with the given toy, which indicated the dog had lost interest. They found that dogs act much like their closest ancestor – the wolf. They look at toys as if they were prey and are drawn to those that taste like food or can be torn apart.

The study also showed that dogs find quieter toys less interesting and sound can often keep them stimulated. Also, some good news, they enjoy when you participate. Dogs are social creatures and love when you interact and add excitement.

As an owner, make sure you pay attention to when your pup loses interest. Introducing them to new toys every so often will become of benefit to both you and your dog.

If you want more information on choosing the perfect toy go to: Cesar’s Way

The Benefits of Doggy Daycare

All dogs need attention, activity and supervision. Yet many people spend their days away from home working and running errands. Dogs are left alone all while bored and lonely. The simple solution to this is doggy daycare. We provide a chance for your dog to play, socialize, snack and nap while you’re working.

It’s really pretty simple. You drop your dog off in the morning and pick him or her up at the end of your day. Instead of loads of pent-up energy, they are tired and ready to relax with you all evening. The benefits of daycare range far and wide, such as:

  • Relief from boredom and loneliness
  • Socialization with people
  • Socialization with other dogs
  • Much-needed exercise and play time
  • Prevention of destructive behavior at home
  • Relief from guilt for pet parents

Daycare provides an effective, affordable solution to leaving your dog at home all day. Clients quickly notice the positive impact it makes of their dogs’ life. For further proof, take a look at our testimonials page or read what one of our customers said about her experience with DogTropolis below!

Owner: Leighanna Kilgore
Dog: Chakita!

Chakita loves going to DogTropolis! At first she was very timid around other people and dogs, but the socialization has made her much more confident. She loves the staff, and sometimes she’s more excited to get dropped off at DogTropolis than she is to come home! She’s been attending DogTropolis for a few years and now stays overnight at least once a week . I feel much better knowing that she gets lots of exercise, treats and love when I’m away. I appreciate each staff member’s attentiveness, as they always keep me updated if they notice any changes with her. As a frequent traveler, I can’t say enough about how flexible and easy it’s been to work with Connie, even at the last minute. This kind of personalized service certainly sets them apart! I highly recommend DogTropolis as a trusted and knowledgeable daycare, and I don’t know what Chakita and I would do without them!

For more information on daycares visit: ASPCA