The 4th of July is an exciting event that brings friends and family together. That often means people bringing their furry friends along to cabins, lake fronts, and backyards to watch fireworks. However, this can cause unnecessary stress for your dog. Keep reading for tips and tricks on how to keep your pet happy and stress free on the fourth!
It is best to keep your dog inside and not bring them to the fireworks. Dogs' hearing is far more sensitive than humans. The loud sounds can be anxiety inducing and very frightening for your pooch even if they are not normally anxious. If they are fearful of the fireworks, your pet may try to run away from them, leading them to get lost. If they have to be outside, make sure to keep your pet on a leash or contained so that they do not end up at the shelter. Make sure that your pet has the proper ID on them or that they are microchipped in case they run away. The better option is to keep your pet inside helping them ease their anxiety, but also to keep them safe.
Whether or not your pet has pre existing anxiety or not, there are a few things that you can do to help them have a better night.
Create a comfortable environment for your pet and provide them a safe sheltered place with their favorite things (maybe a blanket or toy). Close all the windows, and put on television to have some background noise to muddle the sound of the fireworks. Distract them with toys and treats that will keep their attention. Try freezing a bone with peanut butter in the middle for your dog. That will keep them occupied long enough for the fireworks show to finish. You are the most important thing to them and your calm presence can go a long way to helping them feel safe, so consider sitting with them through the fireworks display.
In extreme situations, you can ask your veterinarian about anxiety medication. If the suggestions above do not help your pup and they are still very anxious, medication may be the best choice. You can get something that is just a single use medication or something longer if your pet has anxiety outside of fireworks.
Your pets will thank you for helping them have a stress free 4th of July!
For more information check out these articles:
Written by: Helen North
I lost my Schnauzer Sasha after 14 years together. After her loss, I was unsure if I was ready for another dog. I have always had a dog and other animals in my life.
I was looking at getting another dog, following all the rescues, watching all the websites. I went to the Winter Carnival at the Doggie Depot. There, I spoke to a lady about fostering. It was a good idea. I could help out, get the love, all while I waited for the right match to come into my life.
I filled out the paperwork and was vetted. After I went to a couple of meet and greets, I was in.
Lucy, from the MN Boxer Rescue, soon called with a dog that was being transported from Texas that had some mobility issues and needed a short term foster that had an accessible home. Being in a wheelchair myself, I could accommodate her since I had a ramp and main floor living. That night she arrived at my home. She came right to me, up the ramp and into the house. She quickly made herself at home.
At this time she could walk but was very wobbly and weak. We would go on walks several times a day. She had several doctor appointments and tests during that first year. I would bring her to all of the meet and greets. She loved to be in public and meet people. People would think that she was my service dog. There were people interested in adopting her, we even brought her for home visits. But people were hesitant because the reason for her condition was still unknown.
After fostering her for a year and a half we had really connected. I was hesitant to adopt her due to her medical conditions as well. But the love was wearing my common sense down. I went back and forth so many times whether or not adopting her was a good idea. Could I be a caretaker with my economic situation? Would I be the right fit for her? I decided that I would do my best to budget for her needs. I adopted her officially, knowing she was already home where she belonged.
Maeley had a rough start with several bladder infections and surgery for stones as well as a long battle with heart worm treatments. The first year her legs became even less stable and she still did not have a diagnosis. Most of the doctors agreed we had ruled out several things and it would be best to track her progress and treat her symptoms. She eventually needed a wheelchair. Which she took to right away.
Through all of this, there were several places that helped with her care. The MN Boxer Rescue covered some of her initial medical costs, I did a Go-Fund-Me to help cover the cost for the heart worm treatment. The Animal Care Foundation helped with basic shots and later with the cost of her prescription food she needs for the bladder stones. We found a great nonprofit clinic, Mission Animal Hospital, that has a sliding fee scale program for her other needs. I also utilize Care Credit, since I could not get insurance for her because of her pre existing condition. I treat it as a monthly expense for her.
Marley Mae is 7 years old now. And we have been together for almost 6 years. She is now fairly stable and a happy girl. She loves to play, go on walks, and adores people (especially kids). She is very sweet and gentle. She is truly a great dog. I have physical disabilities and suffer with depression, I have to say she is my ultimate support animal. She helps me get up and go, no matter how I am feeling. She needs me as much as I need her! We help each other every day. We really are “quite the pair” as people have said.
Lisa and Maeley Mae
Are you looking for a few pet friendly activities to get out to this summer? Look no further and check out these pet events across Minnesota! If you have any events we should add please leave us a comment below!
UPDATE: Minnesota is experiencing a canine influenza outbreak. Some events may be canceled or may require you to leave your dog at home. Please check each website before attending.
Humane Society Walk for Animals
When: Saturday, May 6, at 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: International Bazaar on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds
What: Join thousands of animal lovers and their pets to make more second chances possible for animals in need — one step at a time. Walk for Animals is back at our new home, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, to bring you and your pets even more fun, food, and chances to make a difference.
The Canine Carnival
When: Saturday, May 20, 2023 11:00 AM
Where: Wildlife Science Center, 22830 Sunrise Rd NE, Stacy, MN 55079, USA
What: Join WSC as we honor the working and playing dogs of the community! Learn about dogs and their wolf relatives, meet dog related service providers, and visit with an eclectic group of vendors while enjoying a variety of impressive dog demonstrations. Hungry? PJ’s Grill will be on-site with a delicious meal selection, and Bent Brewstillery will be providing beverages. Feel free to bring your own dog but please bring a leash.
Adult - $15.00
Child (ages 5-17) - $10.00
Ages 4 and under are free!
All About Dogs Day
When: Saturday, June 3, 2023 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr Chaska, MN 55318
What: Though dogs aren’t allowed in the main gardens at the Arboretum, on this day they’re the stars of the Arboretum’s 65-acre Dog Commons, an on-leash dog trail designed by the Nature-Based Therapeutics experts at the University of Minnesota. Dog owners are invited to come together to walk the trails, heel for photos and meet other dog-lovers. A Pet Expo features 40 pet vendors while events include a scavenger hunt, contests (cutest dog, best trick, best costume, dog-owner look-alikes), doga (dog yoga), agility demos and prizes.
Arboretum members with a dog-added membership: $5.00
Arboretum members: $15.00
Coco's Heart 5K Doggie Day
When: Saturday June 10, 2023 AT 9:45 AM
Where: Colby Lake Park, 9715 Valley Creek Rd, Woodbury, MN, US, 55125
What: Launch into summer by joining us at Colby Lake Park in Woodbury. We are thrilled to be kicking off the summer season with a fun way to support your furry friends! There will be an adoptable dog area, a kid's race, scavenger hunt, and more!! Join us at our new, "old" location and start the summer off right by enjoying a new race route, new scenery, and old friends. The new race route will start and end in Colby Lake Park this year, and we are excited to have a new area for vendors and the start/finish line. We will be using the elementary school parking lot for parking only - all events will be in the Colby Lake Park parking lot.
When: Saturday, June 10 2023, 9:30 AM
Where: Mission Animal Hospital
What: The second annual Mission Paw-looza is a community event to raise money to increase access to veterinary care for pets in need. At the Paw-looza, you and your furry companion can be part of a two-mile Fun Run/Walk and enjoy the pet and family-friendly Carnival right outside Mission Animal Hospital's front doors.
Coon Rapids - Love My Pet Event
When: Saturday, September 16, 2023 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Riverview Park, 2420 105th Ave, Coon Rapids, MN
What: This annual event features fur-tastic events such as a pet/owner costume contest, kids games and more! Event goers browse dozens of vendor booths offering pet-related products, services and resources. There's even a Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest to show off your creativity! Demonstrations, entertainment and more! Come to the pet fair with your well-behaved, leashed furry friend and have a great time meeting other pet owners!
Lakes and Legends adoption event
When: September 17th, 2023, 2-4pm
Where: Lakes and Legends Brewery 1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
What: Once a month, Healing Hearts Rescue brings puppies into the taproom for a "pet the stress away" adoption event! From 2-4 pm you can pet, cuddle, play, and even adopt HHR puppies and foster dogs right here in our taproom. This event is completely free and open to everyone!
Written by: Helen North
Spring and summer are finally within reach, and with the temperatures rising you may be looking for some activities to make the warm seasons cool. Here are a few ways to make the most of your Spring and Summer with your pup.
Go For a Stroll, Hike, or Run
Activity Intensity Rating: 3/10 - 9/10
We all know how much dogs love to embrace the outdoors! Whether it’s through a walk, hike or run, such activities are possible nearly everywhere anytime! Some great trails your dog will love in Minneapolis and St. Paul are the Minnehaha Fall Lower Glen Trail, the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park, and Winchell Trail. You can Google “hiking trails'' for a list in your area. Whether you head for a wooded trail or walk around your neighborhood, spending time outdoors is a great way to get some exercise and have quality time with your dog.
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10
Outdoor dining in the Spring and Summer are great, bringing your dog along with you to your favorite patio is even better! Two great options with dog-friendly patios in Minneapolis and St. Paul are Eagle Street Grill and Aster Café. If you’re looking to feed you and your dog head over to The Howe Daily Kitchen and Bar where dogs are welcome on the “pawtio” and have their own doggy menu; yappy-hour is from 3:00pm-6:00pm!
Take a Swim
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10 - 5/10
Splish, splash, or take a bath! In the land of 10,000 lakes finding a body of water for your pup to splash around in is hardly a problem. Whether you’re wanting to play with your dog or just enjoy watching them, taking advantage of the water is a great way to cool off on those warmer days. Make sure you check for postings about sewage leaks, algae blooms, or other contamination that would make the water unsafe for your dog before letting them swim.
Enjoy a Treat
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10
Whether it be a pup cup, lick of ice cream, or homemade dog dessert, your dog will love a sweet treat to enjoy on beautiful Spring and Summer days. Pup cups can either entail a small cup of custard or whip sold at numerous fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and Starbucks. If you’re looking for a DIY activity, countless dog dessert recipes can be found on Pinterest. What better way to show your dog how much you love them than by treating them with sweetness! If your dog has never consumed these treats make sure to offer them in moderation. Dogs are lactose intolerant and if they eat too much of these delicious treats, their tummies may not be too happy! Offering them ice cubes or other hard frozen treats can cause cracked teeth that then need to be addressed by a veterinarian, softer options are better. Some dogs are very sensitive to dietary changes, checking with your vet before trying these treats would be a good choice.
Yard and Outdoor Relaxation
Activity Intensity Rating: 1/10
Sometimes the best ways to spend time with your dog are more peaceful and laid-back activities. For this activity all you really need is a cozy spot in your yard or local park! Hot days are inevitable this summer, make sure your dog takes breaks from play and has access to plenty of water and shade to avoid heat exhaustion and potentially life threatening reactions.
Winter is in full swing, burr! Despite the frigid temperatures and frosty air, it’s important to continue spending quality time with your pets, in addition to engaging with the Minneapolis and surrounding community! Continue reading for a schedule of dog friendly events this winter. If you have an event that you don’t see on the calendar that you’d like us to add, please send us an email or comment below!
1. Drink for Dogs
Date and Time: Thursdays 4:00pm-8:00pm
Location: Unleashed Hops and Hounds, 200 East Lyndale Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Details: Support a rotating list of wonderful nonprofits by heading over to Unleashed Hops and Hounds with your pup every Thursday. Make sure that you register your pup ahead of time and upload their vaccine records. A Day Pass is $9 for your dog and reservations are recommended.
2. Healing Hearts Rescue Adoption Event
Date and Time: Sun, January 22nd 1:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Saint Paul Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave E, St Paul, MN 55106
Details: Join Healing Hearts Rescue at the taproom for their monthly adoption event. Play with their foster pups and enjoy a beer!
3. Beer for Better with Lost and Found
Date and Time: Sun, January 26th 2:00pm-5:00pm
Location: Lakes and Legends Brewing Co, 1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Details: Join Lost and Found for their Beer for Better event at Lakes and Legends Brewing! The Beer for Better fundraiser supports mental health relief and suicide prevention. Enjoy a fun night out with your pup supporting a great cause, note that a percentage of beer sales will go to the fundraiser.
4. Winter PupFest with Save-A-Bull Rescue
Date and Time: Sun, January 29th 2:00pm-5:00pm
Location: Lakes and Legends Brewing Co, 1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Details: Enjoy fun seasonal activities including a valentines photoshoot, and play games for the opportunity to win free beer! Brought to you by Save-A-Bull and Lakes & Legends, this free event will help you get out of those mid-late winter blues and into the spirit for the holiday of love. 100% of donations will go to Save-A-Bull Rescue of Minnesota
5. Doggy Depot
Date and Time: Sat, February 4th 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Union Depot 214 4th St E St Paul, MN 55101
Details: Union Depot is going to the dogs for this year’s Doggie Depot! The event kicks off on Saturday, February 4 at 10 AM. Start the day with a doga session (dog yoga) taught by Studio 9-to-5. Shop local pet vendors in the Waiting Room and celebrate the grand crowning ceremony of the 2023 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Canine King & Queen with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Royal Family. Follow Union Depot on social media for highlights of local vendors, rescues, dog products and adoptable pups the entire month of February.
6. Art Shanty Projects
Date and Time: Sat, February 4th 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Northwest corner of Bdé Umán/Lake Harriet Minneapolis, MN
Details: Operating in an urban winter wonderland, the frozen festival held on the lake! The festival features performances, art actions, and hot food and beverages. Note that pet attendance is encouraged, however be ready for unfamiliar sights and sounds that could potentially stress your furry friend out.
7. City of Lakes Loppet Festival
Date and Time: Sat and Sun, February 4th-5th 8:00am-9:00pm
Location: Bde Maka Ska North Beach, 2707 Lake Street West
Details: The City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival is a two-day festival featuring various magical winter events. Activities such as cross country skiing, fat-tire biking, skijor, and snowshoe events will take place all weekend long both at the competitive and recreational levels.
8. Beer for Better with YouthLink
Date and Time: Sun, February 23rd 2:00pm-5:00pm
Location: Lakes and Legends Brewing Co, 1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Details: Support YouthLink at their Beer for Better fundraiser at Lakes and Legends! YouthLink is an amazing organization that works to support youth struggling with mental health, homelessness, and other varying basic needs. A percentage of the beer sales will go to YouthLink.
It is so important to ensure that your dog continues to get exercise, even in the winter months. But with the colder temps, there are new safety concerns that need to be taken into account.
Salt that is put down on sidewalks and roads to act as a deicer can be dangerous for your pup! These chemicals can cause irritation in their paws after walking on walkways and internal medical issues if ingested even from licking their paws post walk. To keep your canine friend safe, take the following precautions when you go out for a walk:
Check out our post over the rest of the month for other tips to keep your dog warm and healthy in the winter.
While your dog does come with a built in coat, of varying warmth levels depending on the breed, you can’t assume this is enough in our cold climates! It is so important to ensure that your pup is warm enough when you take them out in the winter.
Listen to your dog. When walking your dog this winter, don’t forget to watch for signs that your dog may be too cold such as whining, shivering, and lifting its paws or holding one up as they walk. If you notice these signs, get them somewhere to warm up as quickly as possible.
To ensure that they stay warm enough check out these tips:
1. Cut back on walks on very cold days. On colder days limit the duration and the number of walks to protect your dog from frostbite and hypothermia.
2. Protect their paws. Make sure your dog’s toe hair is trimmed so that ice and salt don’t get caught in it. You can also buy your dog winter water-resistant boots. These will keep the snow, ice, and cold water off their sensitive feet.
3. Don’t allow your dog to eat snow on cold days. Eating snow dangerously lowers your dog’s body temperature which makes them more susceptible to cold related injury. Additionally, there could be chemicals or hidden objects buried in the snow that could be very harmful to them. If the snow is in a space that you know is chemical free and they are not out for a long period or it is a warm day, you can let them have a snow treat.
4. Get them a jacket or sweater. Even though your dog comes with a built in jacket, most breeds are not equipped to handle Minnesota's coldest days or long periods outside. A jacket or sweater can help keep them warmer so you can be out longer or on colder days.
With these simple shifts, you and your dog can continue to enjoy the benefits of your daily walks even in cold months! Happy walking!
Trick-or-treat! Halloween is swiftly approaching and you may be wondering how to keep your night full of lots of treats and minimal tricks. For pets, some hazards are obvious, and some are not. Continue reading to learn about the pet dangers on Halloween and how to keep your pet as safe as possible.
Candy is certainly an essential element to Halloween, who doesn’t love candy?
The hazards of candy go beyond the toxicity in chocolate. In addition to chocolate, sugar free candies contain xylitol which can be deadly in both cats and dogs. Since nearly all Halloween candy is dangerous due to wrappers and artificial sweeteners, it’s best to steer clear of candy around your pets. Stash the candy bowl, be sure to pick up wrappers, and make sure the only one devouring treats is you!
Costumes and Decorations
In relation to all the spooky knick-knacks around your home, make sure your decorations are out of reach of your four legged pals. Decorations with tempting tinsel can be especially dangerous and cause damage to the intestinal tract if consumed; that being said, keep tinsel well out of reach. Use extreme caution with candles and lit jack-o-lanterns along with other porch decorations. Safety is always the priority, which applies to costumes too. Make sure your pet is wearing a comfortable and breathable costume if you choose to dress your pet-up. While Halloween night is a fun occasion, it’s also a night where you’ll want to keep a closer eye on your furry friend.
The Halloween season is packed full of spooky activities all leading up to the spookiest celebration of the year, trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating is not necessarily intended for pets; however, if you decide to bring your pet along, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. The most important thing is that your pet is easily identifiable. Make sure your pet is easy to spot, preferably in bright or reflective colors. Be sure to come prepared, and bring your own dog treats to reward your pet along the way. If you’re finding that you have to ask yourself if bringing your pet trick-or-treating is a good idea, the answer is probably not. That being said, the best way for your pet to spend Halloween night is at home. Pets tend to get riled up by neighborhood activity, we recommend keeping your pet away from the commotion and checking on them periodically.
Halloween night is intended to be fun, but sometimes things happen. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately. If something unexpected comes up, act fact and don’t wait until the morning to do something. And most importantly, stay spooky!
Written by: Gracie Butler
We all know dogs' eyes are different from humans, but what do they actually see? A dog’s weakest sense is their vision; unlike their sense of smell, eyesight is not their strong suit.
Dogs have dichromatic vision, meaning they can see violet-blue, yellow, and shades of gray. Humans on the other hand have trichromatic vision, which gives us the ability to see all the colors that we can. The world that people who are protanopia color-blind see is often compared to the world that dogs see, since their range and quality of color is similar.
It’s important to remember your dog’s vision is likely very different from yours. Because of these differences in vision, some dogs have trouble with depth perception on certain stairs and they may not be able to tell where that cliff is on your vacation. If you are in new surroundings, make sure to keep them on a leash until you are able to scope out potential dangers. And don’t ever forget, a chipmunk is much better at scampering down a cliff than your pooch is, so if they start a chase, it could end in disaster (even if they do see the cliff).
While dogs see the world in fewer hues than humans, our furry friends are not fully colorblind and rely on their superior senses, such as hearing and smell. Their world is just as beautiful as ours.
With summer winding down, and leaves beginning to change, school is nearly back in session! The transition from the summer season to the school year can be ruff on pets, continue reading for tips to prepare your pet for the smoothest transition possible.
Easing Into a New Routine
The key to a smooth transition with routines is to start slow! By easing your pet into their new routine, they’ll be more likely to adapt faster. During the summer pets get used to lots of activity and sounds around the house, meaning its up to you to make sure your pet gets used to staying home alone. Starting three or four weeks before school starts, build in short absences during the week. The goal is to make your pet feel as comfortable as possible, normalizing the new schedule while it’s still summer prepares your pet for a gradual and smooth transition
Bathroom and Meal Times
It’s inevitable your pet’s bathroom and meal times will change with the new schedule. However, establishing specific times throughout the day can help smooth out the change of routine. Focus on consistency! Mapping out you or your family’s day is also critical in relation to letting your pet out and making sure they’re fueled. Talk to your family and establish a game plan for who’s taking your pet out, and who’s feeding your pet. Weeks before school starts, try to stick to the times you’ve picked for your pet; this will ensure your pet knows exactly what to expect! The adjustment might take some time, but with your help, your pet will adapt.
Despite the busyness of back to school, your pet’s physical activity should not be compromised! Be sure to strategize how you’re going to fit in lots of walks and outside time for your pet with the new schedule. A dog or cat with pent-up energy that’s left home alone all day can become stressed and they may cause you extra stress if the diversions they come up with for themselves damage your belongings. An active pet is a happy pet, make sure exercise does not take a back-seat despite how crazy your schedule may feel.
We all love our pets unconditionally throughout every season, though it may be more challenging to find quality time to spend with your pet during some seasons. With all of the adjustments to your schedule, it’s important to make sure your pet isn't feeling neglected. Find a few blocks of time to play catch, use the laser pointer, or snuggle up with a magazine or book and your furry friend on the couch. You can also try and find activities that meet multiple needs. For example, you could bring your dog to the hardware store the next time the toilet breaks and it can be a fix it trip as wall as a walk.
Separation anxiety is real! It’s natural to miss your pet, but making a big deal everytime you say goodbye perpetuates the idea that leaving your pet is a big deal. As you and your family get ready to spend more time away from your pet, normalize leaving. Go to the shop and simply say, “Goodbye, Fido” instead of making a big deal about leaving. If you make a big deal everytime you leave, your pet will think there is a problem and be more stressed for longer periods after you go then if you treat it as a normal occurrence that is not a big deal. (If you are the one experiencing the anxiety, fake it till you are out of the house and far enough away that your pet can’t hear you. I know, they’re your best friend! It is hard to say goodbye! But, you’ll be home in no time!)
Keep in mind there’s not one perfect schedule, the best thing to do is practice your new routines and continue showering your pet with lots of love, care, and attention. Find time to spend with them and ensure that their basic needs are met and they should adapt to the new schedule.
Written By: Grace Butler
Animal Care Foundation
Providing elderly and disabled community members access to veterinary care for their beloved pet.