Take the Lead :: Professional Scituate pet sitting, Scituate dog walking, and Scituate pet sitters serving all of South Shore Massachusetts and surrounding areas of Cohasset, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Hanover, and Hull, MA!

Archive for January, 2011

2010 Most Popular Dogs Revealed!

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Labrador Retrievers are once again the most popular type of dog in America. The American Kennel Club, which keeps track of such things, has recently released its list of most popular dog types.  Labs repeat at first, followed by German shepherds, Yorkshire terriers, beagles, golden retrievers, bulldogs, boxers, dachshunds, poodles and shih tzus.

What makes a certain breed more popular than another? Temperament is certainly a factor: labs are very good natured, as are many of the breeds on the top ten list. Size counts too: smaller dogs are popular with apartment dwellers or homeowners who don’t have a large yard for the dog to romp around in. The media plays a role too: movies such as Air Bud, Hollywood Chihuahua or Santa Paws certainly contribute to the appeal of a breed – and parents have a hard time resist when the kids ask for a dog ‘just like’ their favorite character.

There have been some changes on the AKC list. This year the Leonberger, Cane Corso, and Icelandic Sheepdog all show up in the top 100.

Pembroke Dog Walking

Whether you own a perpetually popular Labrador or a pooch of dubious pedigree, your canine companion has certain needs to stay healthy and happy.  Dogs need a warm and secure shelter (particularly this winter, where the snow keeps on falling!)  They need regular food and water: the healthier your dog’s diet is, the happier your dog will be.  Another requirement: regular exercise.  Dogs, particularly large, active breeds like Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds, need to move their muscles.  They also need to exercise their minds.

This can be hard for those of us who love our dogs but also have jobs that keep us away from home for a good portion of the day.  When you factor in a commute and after-work errands, it’s entirely possible that our dogs are alone for ten to twelve hours.  Dog walking services can bring your dog out and about to get some exercise.  This is great for their health. It’s also a great way for your dog to see different scenery and engage with other dogs.  This occupies their mind, alleviates anxiety, and helps lift their spirits – dogs who are lonely and bored become depressed, and often engage in destructive behavior.  To keep your couches looking great, Pembroke dog walking services are a great idea!

Dogs Have Been Part of Our Lives…For a Long, Long Time!

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Recently spotted: Evidence of the earliest confirmed domesticated dog in the Americas!

Graduate student Samuel Belknap III made the find of his fledgling career when he analyzed an orange-hued bone fragment found during a 1970’s archeological dig in Texas.  Genetic testing revealed that the bone fragment belonged to a dog.  Carbon dating revealed the dog bone was 9,400 years old — really, really old in dog years!

Imagine what this dog’s existence must have been like. We don’t know much about the conditions facing early dogs (or the people they kept company with!) but we can say with confidence that they didn’t enjoy the comforts today’s dogs benefit from.  There were no doggie daycares back in the day!  Nobody showed up to take this primitive dog for his daily walk.

In fact, our early dog lived in a world that was pretty harsh.  It wasn’t just dog eats dog – it was man eats dog! The color of the bone fragment and the fact that it was found within a pile of ancient human excrement make it pretty clear that at one point, this dog was somebody’s dinner.

It kind of puts our days (and our jobs!) in perspective.

Researchers believe that dogs have been in the Americas for more than 10,000 years.  Bred for companionship, protection, and yes, protein back in the day, dogs are believed to have accompanied the first humans to settle the Americas across the Bering land bridge from Asia.

By the time Columbus made his historic voyage, there were many breeds of dogs well established on the continent. These dogs included the Great Plains dogs, the Tahi Tan Bear Dog, Eskimo or Inuit Dogs, and and the Shortnosed Dogs.  Many of these dogs played a vital role in the lives of the Native peoples, from protecting their families  to helping with the hunt.

Hanover Pet Services

It’s hard to tell what our modern canine companions would think of their historic counterpart’s lives. They might envy the ability to run free over the plains, where we have dog walkers and dog day care to occupy their days.  On the other hand, they’re relatively free from the risk of harm and injury that was an everyday reality for early dogs.  And of course, today’s dogs don’t wind up on the dinner plate!

Dog Walking and Play Time in 2011

Friday, January 14th, 2011

During January, we plan how we’re going to make the coming year better. Pet owners make those plans not only for themselves but for the canine companions who make our lives great.

Your dog does so much for you: providing unconditional love, lifting our moods when we’re down, and snuggling close when we need a hug and no questions. What can you do for your dog to make 2011 the best year ever?

Category Pet Care Information & Tips | Tags:

Winter Weather and Your Dog: What You Need To Know

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The snow just keeps on falling! This winter has delivered more snow than we’ve had in years, with storm after storm blanketing the Cohasset area. What does all this snow mean for your dog? Here’s what you need to know:

Dogs Love Snow!

It might take some dogs a little while to ‘warm up’ to the idea of playing outside in wintry weather, but once they realize how much fun there is to be had, look out!  Snow is fun for running, rolling, burrowing and jumping into.   Try throwing a ball around for your dog: more than a few really enjoy retrieving the toy that seems ‘lost’ beneath the surface.

Exercise is Essential!

When the winds are howling and the temperature seems entirely too low, it’s very tempting to skimp on the evening walk.  And to be sure, when temperatures are dangerously cold, both dogs and their owners need to be indoors!  However, regular exercise is essential.  If you can’t walk your dog during the warmest portion of the day (generally daytime!) consider having your Cohasset dog walking service do it.  If conditions are still good for going outdoors when you get home from the office, your dog won’t mind!

Look Out for Special Wintertime Hazards

Winter presents special hazards for dogs.  Anti-freeze is a deadly threat.  We may have it out to use in our vehicles, but dogs perceive it as a sweet, sweet drink – and that’s bad news, because anti-freeze is poisonous for dogs.  Make sure you keep the anti-freeze away from animals!

Another threat is ice.  Sharp and pointed ice can tear up tender paws.  If the ice has been salted, there’s another hazard: that ice can stick to your dog’s paws, later to be licked off.  That’s rough on your dog’s digestive system. Consider getting booties to protect your dog’s feet from dangerous ice.

Victoria Stillwell Shares Tips For Traveling With Your Dog

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Fans of Victoria Stillwell’s hit Animal Planet show, It’s Me or the Dog got an extra dose of Victoria’s Secrets during this morning’s Road Warriors segment on CNN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade. Stillwell, who travels extensively for her show, shared some of her insights about traveling with your dog.

Interesting things that she shared include the fact that smaller dogs travel more comfortably than larger dogs.  She said you should be able to fit your dog in their carrier under the seat in front of you, which suggests to me that Victoria doesn’t fly coach!  Every airline has size limitations that dictate whether a dog will be allowed to fly inside of the cabin area or in the pressurized cargo hold.

According to Victoria, it’s not a great idea to have your dog fly in the cargo area regularly, as this can be stressful for your dog.  Obviously, it is sometimes a necessity — if you’re moving across the country, and you’re flying to your new locale, chances are your dog will need to fly as well.  But most dogs will be happier if they’re not catching the red eye with you on a regular basis.

Hull Home Pet Sitting Services

What does the frequent flying Road Warrior do if they’ve got a busy schedule and a dog they love who will be keeping all four paws on the ground?  Stillwell recommended two things: working with a dog daycare to provide the care and attention your dog needs, or hiring In Home Pet Sitting Service. In home pet sitting service allows your dog to be fed, watered, and exercised in familiar surroundings. They have companionship and attention, which reduces anxiety and depression in your dog. This cuts down significantly on destructive behaviors, which often have their roots in boredom or fear. That means when you get home, your house will look great — and the dog will be happy to see you!