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Rescue Spotlight: SNARR

Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation just wants to save animals. They take in some of the more dire cases but through a lot of passion, hope and networking, they save a lot of dogs and place them in loving homes. Read the inspiring story of Robin Menard, founder and director of SNARR, and her team’s mission to save animals.

When & Why did you start?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t involved with rescue efforts, whether it was helping my mother gather up stray cats or sneaking into places I shouldn’t have been to drag away dogs fought the night before. I have been in law enforcement, and I’ve worked at animal shelters; I constantly picked up strays, whether they’re dogs or cats, goats or pigs, turtles or the occasional possum. So it was a natural evolution to expand my passion into an organization with a national reach.

What’s different about your rescue?

Sadly I see a lot of rescues who mainly take in the dogs that are the most likely to be adopted. The cutest ones, or the puppies, or the pure bred, leaving behind the pits that are harder to adopt out , or the ones with disabilities, behavioral issues, congenital disorders, injuries and so on. SNARR mainly focuses on these cases, the ones least likely to pulled by other rescues that have extreme medical issues or deformities or require tone and training before placing them. Our dogs very rarely go straight into foster homes due to these issues and come to me first for rehabilitation before being placed into foster homes awaiting adoption.  I also see a lot of rescues who seem to “compete” with each other and think of rescue as more of a Competition. SNARR works hard to stay away from the drama of rescue and focus on the dogs not concerning ourselves with what the others are doing. If we see a dog in a thread that we was interested in pulling be rescued by another rescue we are happy to see it is placed as long as it’s a good rescue.  Because we rescue, foster and adopt out to approved homes nationwide we have established an awesome team of volunteers located throughout the U.S. that assist in transports over-nighting and so on. read more…

Doggy Travel Preparation Tips

Picture this: You’re headed out on a trip, and you think, “Did I get everything?” If you have to question it, chances are, you just might have! Best Bully Sticks knows preparation is everything!

As a professional organizer Bonnie Dewkett knows this, too. Bonnie is a Certified Professional Organizer and dedicates her life to forming “calm from chaos” through organizational systems. It’s not different when she travels with her dog Roxy, which she does often. Here is how she preps for a road trip with her pooch!

“I take my dog everywhere.  Most people take their dog in the car with them once in a while.  My dog is with me most often than not.  She only gets left home when I work with clients in their homes or offices.  And, when it’s going to be a long day she goes to “Grandpa’s Doggie Day Care.”

It’s important to me that Roxy is always comfortable and safe so there are a few things I did to make sure we are safe travelers.

The first thing I did to make travel easily is I designated a bag just for Roxy’s gear.  I keep it ready to go at all times.  It has a travel doggie bowl (plastic collapsible kind), a travel food bag, first aid supplies, a first aid bandana (for instructions), an extra leash, treats and toys. read more…

Dog Care 101 #223: Choosing a Pet Sitter

BBS Dog Care 101 - Choosing a Dog SitterSummer is prime time for vacation but sadly some dog owners don’t have the option of bringing their four-legged friends along. However, just because Fido can’t tag along doesn’t mean he can’t have fun at home while you’re away! BestBullySticks recommends owners look into getting a pet sitter as an alternative to dropping their pup off at the kennel.

Choosing between leaving your pup with a pet sitter or dropping him/her off at the kennel depends on a few key things. For instance, if your dog doesn’t play well with others, you’re better off finding a pet sitter. The one on one attention from a pet sitter can make all the difference to a dog when its owner is away. Also, leaving your dog in a familiar environment adds an extra level of comfort while their owner is away.

While finding the right pet sitter can sometimes be a challenge, we’ve assembled a handy list of tips and strategies to help ease the stress on your dog while you’re away.

Planning Ahead

First things first — make a list of important items your dog needs. At the very least, your list should include a leash, bags for waste, food, toys, medications, emergency phone numbers and plenty of bully sticks! Collect these items and set them aside for your pet sitter.

Keeping these items on hand will give a pet sitter more time to spend with your dog and less time looking for things he/she needs.

Selecting Your Dog Sitter

It’s important to find an individual you’re comfortable leaving with your dog and in your home. If possible, take the time to meet a few potential candidates for the job to make sure you find the right one. If you have a pet savvy friend or family member who is willing to watch your dog don’t hesitate to ask them. Dogs are often more comfortable with friendly faces visiting them at home than strangers. Picking someone your dog knows may have a big impact on their comfort level. read more…

BBS Training Tip #10: Canine Body Language

Training Tips from BBSTraining your dog can be exercise in patience. Then again, it doesn’t have to be! Dogs are incredibly expressive creatures and if you know what to look out for, you’ll be amazed by how much your dog is telling you — a lot of times we’re just not speaking the same language. There are consistent bodily expressions all dogs show. And lucky for us, this doggie dialect isn’t too hard to pick up! If you aren’t already, BestBullySticks will have you talking with your dog in no time.

Speaking Dog

There’s a whole lot to cover when it comes to canine body language. Your dog uses nearly every part of its body to express feelings and emotions – so instead of trying to describe specific situations, we’ll focus on key expressive behaviors your dog uses to communicate. This way you will be better prepared to figure out what a dog is trying to tell you at any given moment. You’ll be surprised just how much your pup can say with their furry faces and wagging tails!

Eye Contact

Dogs seldom make eye contact with each other. Catching a direct gaze from another dog is usually a sign of aggression. However, for people, this isn’t always the case. If your dog has a relaxed facial expression and he keeps making eye contact, chances are he’s just looking for some attention.

If a dog holds a tense fixed gaze he probably doesn’t want much to do with you. This type of eye contact is usually regarded as a sort of “first warning” by other dogs. The same goes for people, too. read more…

Dog Care 101 #222: Grooming for Summer

Summer Grooming Tips from BBSGrooming is an important part of responsible pet ownership — especially during the summer months. As the heat rises, so do the risks of dehydration and heat stroke. If you’ve got a long haired breed — one with a particularly thick undercoat — BestBullySticks suggests looking into grooming as a way to help your dog cope with the heat and stay happy.

Necessity

At the end of the day, haircuts aren’t necessary for dogs. Between regular brushing and bathing, your dog shouldn’t have any issues making it through the summer. We carry a wide array of all-natural grooming products sure to bring your dog some relief. Long haired breeds and those with thick undercoats generally have more difficulty dealing with the heat. However, as a rule of thumb, these breeds shouldn’t be kept outdoors for long periods of time during hotter months.

Contrary to what many think, your dog’s coat actually acts as an insulator shielding them from the hot sun. Trimming a dog’s coat only serves to increase their exposure to the sun and may even lend itself to an increased chance of dehydration and heatstroke. Dogs have little to no skin pigment needed to combat the sun’s harsh UV rays. A healthy coat of fur is their only line of defense against the sun.

Brushing Tips from BBS

Seasonal Shedding

Both the Spring and Fall bring about an increase in shedding. While it might seem like there’s no end in sight for some dogs and their shedding habits, there is one way to drastically reduce the amount of hair strewn about your home — regular brushing. A steady grooming routine will make your dog a whole lot happier and make your life easier!

Many times a bit of extra brushing and bathing is all that’s needed to increase your dog’s comfort level during the summer. The removal of dead hair and skin will make their coat more breathable and easier to cool off. Some dogs require daily brushing while others may only need it weekly. If you still see tons of hair laying around, chances are you need to keep brushing! read more…

BBS Training Tip #9: Crate Training

BBS Training Tips: Crate TrainingDog owners everywhere know raising a puppy can be a monumental task. The initial investments of time and money takes many by surprise — not to mention the emotional investment and huge amounts of patience it takes to raise a dog. To make life easier on you and your dog BestBullySticks recommends one key strategy every dog owner should become familiar with as early as possible — crate training.

Crate training is an amazing tool that when used properly. Not only does it help eliminate bad behaviors, it can also improve your dog’s overall comfort. A home within a home, your dog’s crate should be similar to a natural den — cozy and comfortable where he/she goes to feel at ease and relax.

Before you make the jump and bring a puppy home, let’s review a variety of ways you can use crate training to improve your dog’s life.

Picking Your Dog’s New Home

Dogs are den animals and crates provide them with the same type of comfort they seek in the wild. Crates should never be used for punishment otherwise they’re sure to become a source of anxiety. They are, and always should remain, a safe haven for your dog. Naturally, dogs don’t want to soil their living quarters so crate training also becomes one of the fastest ways to housebreak a puppy. read more…

Dog Care 101 #221: Pet Fire Safety Awareness Day

Today is Pet Fire Safety Awareness Day and we at BestBullySticks thought this would be a great opportunity to bring extra attention to a very important pet-related day. Did you know there are over 1,000 house fires caused by pets each year? A surprising statistic! Many of these accidents can be prevented by taking simple precautions around the house. There are many responsibilities that come with being a pet owner — this is especially true when it comes to safety.

Developing an emergency plan that includes your pets is a great way to reduce the risk of fires in your home. Luckily, putting togeth
er an emergency plan isn’t too tough. To make things even easier, we’ve gone ahead and assembled a few quick tips to get you started. Let’s look at a few pet-centric strategies to keep your family safe.

Foolproof Fireproofing

There are a few key areas around the home that require special attention when it comes to fire safety.

The number one cause of pet-related house fires are tied to the stove. Curious dogs and and cats will snoop around counter tops for tasty morsels of food. While scavenging for goodies, your furry friend runs the risk of bumping those ever-so-easy to turn stove knobs.

Some owners opt to remove the knobs altogether, others invest in knob covers to prevent them from being accidently turned on. Whichever route you take, both options can eliminate the chance of your pet turning on the stove. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #220: Backyard Safety Tips

Many owners these days opt to keep their pets indoors, especially during the hot summer months. However, when proper steps are taken, BestBullySticks believes a comfortable backyard can be just as inviting as an air conditioned home! Finding the right dog-friendly options for your backyard can be daunting — after all there are quite a few things to take into consideration. But making a comfortable and dog friendly yard can be a lot of fun, too. With your dog in mind, let’s look at a few ways to spruce up your yard.

Outdoor Dog Needs

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, especially when you’re not home — a cozy dog house is a great place to start. Dog houses can help a dog both warm up and cool down throughout the year. In the summer months, it’s a great place to escape the heat. During colder months, a properly built dog house can be a cozy place to warm up. Choosing the right dog house can take a bit of research. Take a gander at our recent post on the BBS Healthy Dog Blog about Dog House Repairs where we discuss everything from how to choose a dog house to building your own!

Landscaping for Pets

Pet friendly amenities are a great way to add some functional aesthetic to your backyard. Access to clean and fresh drinking water is an absolute necessity. Consider dedicating some space in your backyard to a small fountain or other water feature. Having a constant source of fresh water in the backyard saves you the headache of filling up outdoor water bowls and gives your dog a great way to cool off during the summer.

Ponds are also great. However, make sure there’s an easy way for your dog to get out if he/she were to accidentally fall in! Low steps or a shallow ramp will give your dog an easy way to hop out after spending time in the water. Also, refrain from using any toxic chemicals to treat your fountain or pond’s water supply if your dog will be within paw’s reach. read more…

BBS Training Tip #8: Fourth of July Safety


BestBullySticks
wishes everybody — and their dogs! — a safe and happy 4th of July! Independence Day is usually packed with great outdoor activities like barbeques and fireworks. For many, cooking out is the cornerstone of any summer holiday. Summer holidays are also a great to way to celebrate with your dog.

Hosting a party with pets does come with a few extra responsibilities, though. But don’t sweat it! BestBullySticks has put together a quick and easy guide to help you pet proof your party!

One Man’s Trash is Another Dog’s Treasure

With so much food and so many people, it can be hard to completely dog-proof your cookout. People are bound to toss dogs food during most any party. Politely ask your guests to refrain. Many folks simply don’t know there are foods dogs shouldn’t eat.

Everything from plastic wrap to food scraps are hazardous to your dog. While most dogs don’t particularly enjoy eating plastic wrap or tin foil — when these items are covered with residue from food it’s a different story altogether.

Fourth of July Dog Safety Tips from BestBullySticks!Plastic wrap and tin foil can cause nasty digestive issues and inedible food scraps also pose serious choking hazards. Cooked bones crack and splinter with ease increasing the chance of scratching or puncturing the esophagus and intestines and indigestible items like corn cobs are choking hazards for dogs. If swallowed, these items may cause serious internal injuries possibly requiring a trip to the emergency room.

Consider securing your garbage bins with a sealable or weighted lid. Also, you may want place a few bins around your yard. Not only will you have less cleanup, it will minimize the risk of your dog eating anything unsavory. read more…

BBS Training Tip #7: Finding and Choosing an Obedience Trainer

Obedience classes offer dogs a way to learn basic tricks while picking up important social skills along the way. BestBullySticks suggests starting obedience classes while your dog is still a puppy. In fact, training should begin as soon as your dog shows interest in receiving treats. Of course, old dogs are welcome too! It’s never too late to learn new tricks or reshape undesirable behaviors. Before you try and get your dog to jump through hoops, there are a few factors to consider before choosing an obedience class.

Finding Your Trainer

The best way to find a reputable trainer is to get a referral from someone you know. This could be a friend who’s a dog owner, family members, your veterinarian or even a neighbor. While it’s great to get a personal referral from a trusted source, it isn’t always possible. In case you can’t find a recommendation for obedience classes in your area, consider searching online or contacting your local SPCA. Many SPCAs even hold obedience classes of their own.

Quality of instruction is a very important factor to consider when choosing your obedience class. If possible, try and locate a certified trainer. Certified trainers and animal behaviorists are more thorough in their training. read more…

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