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Better Together: Seasonal Workouts for You and Your Dog

fathers day dog

 

Hate the gym but need to workout? 

We’ve got just the answer! Workouts for you and your dog!

We don’t know about you, but some days there’s no way we’d have the get-up-and-go to exercise if it weren’t for our dog. It’s true! Some days their sweet face is the only reason we put on our tennis shoes and commit to a half-hour of physical activity. 

It’s also true that certain seasons are a lot more conducive to exercise than others. Or maybe we’re just telling ourselves that. As summer comes to a close we’re already thinking about fall (and winter) activities – so we wanted to share a few of our favorite seasonal workouts for you and your dog.

SUMMER

  • Swimming
  • Sunrise hikes
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding

AUTUMN

  • Walks anytime
  • Mid-day hikes
  • Long games of frisbee or fetch
  • Hunting (for some)

WINTER

  • Snowshoeing
  • Afternoon walks
  • Indoor agility training

SPRING

  • Morning hikes
  • Afternoon runs
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking

Of  course all of these activities require the proper gear and preparation – meaning a sturdy leash and collar set, water for the adventure, reflective gear, and even a floatation device if your pet needs one. Make sure their chips and tags are up-to-date and safely secured, just to be safe, and have fun exploring!  We’d love to see your adventure pics on Facebook!

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Summer Relaxing – 5 Warm Weather Tips For Dogs

Warm Weather Tips For Dogs

For some, warm weather means lots of outdoor lounging – whether it’s to watch the kids play sports or intentionally catch some sun, it seems like fold out chairs are a summer must-have for humans. But what about your pet? It’s true that extended sun exposure can have the same effects on animals, causing dehydration and even sunburn if there’s no shade to be found, so it’s important to be considerate of them if they’re accompanying you outdoors. Here are a few of our favorite ways to include them in the summer relaxation.

An Umbrella.

An umbrella is a perfect shade maker and allows room for you and your pet to lay together and still be protected from the sun.

A Pet Lounge.

There are lounge chairs out there that perform double duty: you sit on the top and your pet has a shaded area beneath you. Not only will they be out of the sun but you’ll always know where they are!

Water, Water, Water.

Always have fresh water for your pet if they’re going to be outside in the summer heat. We also like to bring a spray bottle to mist ourselves and our pets for a quick cool down when we’re outside.

Cooling Mat.

Cooling-specific products exist, like a mat that cools pets’ bellies when they lounge on it, bringing their body temperature back to a comfortable place.

Sunglasses?

Oh yes, pet sunglasses exist and if your pet is going to frequently accompany you on a boat you should definitely consider them, as the reflection off the water can damage their eyes too. (And, of course, don’t forget their life vest!)

Of course there are only so many things you can do to shade your animal and keep them comfortable in the summer sun, but always be considerate of them if they’re coming along. We’d love to see how your pet relaxes in the sun, share with us on Facebook!

 

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Top 5 Reasons Horses Are Awesome

Anyone familiar with our brand knows that horses make us happy.  That is why we’re always coming up with new tools to help owners keep their horses well taken care of. Of course, we love dogs, cats, cows, and alpacas too!  We’ll admit it though, there’s just something about owning a horse. Here are our 5 favorite reasons why horses are awesome.

Rides.

The thing that sets horses apart from any other animal is that you can ride them. Not only are they amazing companions but they can take you places, relieve stress, and keep you in shape just by hopping on their backs. Talk about amazing!

Beauty.

Horses are some of the most beautiful, regal animals out there – and to have one in your own backyard that’s all yours is an incredible feeling.

Stress relief.

The amount of care that goes into horses shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s also a wonderful way to clear your mind, relieve some stress, and focus on something positive, like keeping your beautiful best friend in tip-top shape.

Long lives.

Unlike other popular pets, horses can be your companion for 25-30 years which, for some, makes the investment more worthwhile and enriching.

Individuality.

Horses are sentient animals capable of bonding with their human and exhibiting their own personalities and quirks. As you get to know your horse they’ll make you laugh and comfort you when they know you’re sad – it’s truly a one-of-a-kind bond, especially with something so big and beautiful.

 

We’d love to hear about your horses – post a picture or tell us more on Twitter and tag us using @HamiltonPet!

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

fathers day dog

Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

Father’s Day is June 17 and if you’ve gotten your dad, husband, or boyfriend all the mugs, mousepads, and shirts he can handle why not think outside the box? Whether he takes care of human kids, fur babies, or both, any pet lover can appreciate a practical gift – even if it is geared toward their four-legged love. Here are a few gift ideas for dog lovers, or as we prefer, dog dad in your life.

Leash/Collar Set.

Get ‘em in dad’s favorite colors or a chic leather set to upgrade from whatever he’s currently using.

Safety Gear.

If your guy’s into outdoor activities, get the dog geared up too! Whether it’s waterproof or reflective, we think he’ll love knowing his best friend can be safely by his side.

Grooming Tools.

Certainly not for everyone but, for the at-home groomer or afternoon brusher, some new brushes or other tools could be a wonderfully creative gift idea.

Ball Launcher.

A manly gift for man’s best friend – there are some heavy duty ball launchers out there for fetch-loving dogs and the dog dads who want to preserve their throwing arm.

Backpack.

Perfect for the guy who hits the trail with his dog – now Fido can carry his own water!

How are you and your family celebrating Father’s Day? If you got him anything pet-centric, we’d love to see – show us on Facebook!

 

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Tick Season – Prevention, Identifying and Removing

tick prevention

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tick Season!

Don’t get us wrong, we love summertime but there is one major summer bummer: ticks. Ticks are small bugs that can cause big problems if gone undetected because they bury themselves into your pet’s skin and can carry Lyme disease (among others.) The good news is, there are lots of preventative measures and vaccines to help keep pets safe, but they certainly don’t negate the importance of checking your dog for ticks and removing them if found.

After hiking or other outdoor activities, run your fingers through their fur with enough pressure to be able to feel any bumps – be sure to check between toes, under armpits, inside and behind ears, and under their tail. If you feel something, separate the hair so you can see the skin – if you see anything brownish black or grayish white ranging from the size of a pinhead to a grape, chances are it’s a tick.

Tick Removal

Now the hard part: removal. Removing ticks can be a little tricky because they can easily break and leave a piece of the insect still embedded in your pet’s skin. There are tools you can buy to aid in the removal of ticks, but it is something you can accomplish (albeit, carefully) with tweezers:

  • Gently grasp the tick as closely to your pet’s skin as you can, being careful not to crush it, as that can cause infection.
  • In one motion, swiftly twist and pull the tick’s body away from your pet’s skin.
  • After removal, clean the area with soap and warm water and dispose of the tick, either by soaking it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.

There are instructional videos online if you’d like a visual demonstration, as well as the option of having your vet remove the tick. Either way, it’s important to be proactive in finding and removing these little buggers, as they can cause much bigger problems for your pet.

Have any tick tricks or issues you want to share? Hop online and tell us more.

 

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Memorial Day Activities With Your Dog

Your calendars are already marked,

but May 28 is Memorial Day!  As the official kick off of summer, lots of people make all sorts of fun outdoor plans – this includes fun activities with your dog! Whether it’s camping, hiking, swimming, or boating your pet can absolutely be a part of the fun with a little extra planning – but be honest with yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be able to safely monitor your pet amid all the fun, it’s best to leave them home. But, if you know you’ve got the situation under control and that they’ll have the time of their lives, load ‘em up! And be sure to keep the following 5 safety tips in mind.

1. Ample Shade and Fresh Water.

Two non-negotiable summer necessities. If your pet spends even 15 minutes at a time outside, there should be some sort of shade provided, as well as access to clean fresh water both inside and out.

2. Know Heatstroke.

Signs of overheating include lethargy, glazed eyes, excessive panting, dizziness or lack of coordination, rapid heartbeat, and even vomiting. If you see your pet exhibiting these signs, drape cool towels over their head, neck, and chest, try giving them small sips of water or to lick an ice cube, and get them in to see your veterinarian. You can also swipe rubbing alcohol on their paw pads for faster cooling.

3. Limit Exercise.

Monitor your pet to make sure they’re not exhausting themselves and be sure to promote periods of rest; also avoid high-intensity activities in the midday heat if you plan on bringing Fido along.

4. First Aid Kit.

Be sure to have a stocked first aid kit on hand; not just for your pet but for people too!

5. Proper Equipment.

Lots of people think animals are made to endure extreme elements, when that’s simply not true. Their eyes, feet, and bodies need protection too; if they’re going to be on a boat all day, consider sunglasses and a life vest, if they’re going to walk on hot sand or pavement, consider booties – just be sure to get them used to wearing them before the excursion to allow maximum adventure with minimal risk of injury. And, of course, don’t forget the simple necessities like their bowls, bed, and possibly a tie out if camping.

Extra Credit: Cooling Products. Mats, vests, wraps… There are products made to stay cool in the heat that can give your buddy a nice break.

What are your Memorial Day plans and how do you include your pets? Tell us all about it on Facebook!  Include and tag a picture with #SeasonOfPets.

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Bye Bye, Boredom: 4 Tips For Keeping Pets Entertained

Tips for keeping pets entertained 

For working pet parents, mornings can be hard – not only do you have to get yourself ready, but you’re forced to close the door on your favorite furry face and to leave your buddy bored at home. For some pets, it’s fine – they’ll lounge and window-peer the day away, but for others it can prompt unwelcome curiosities and destructive habits that can hinder your bond. To help alleviate the guilt and maybe make mornings easier, we are doling out our favorite tried-and-true ways to thwart a bored pet.

1. Morning Walks.

We know those zzzs are precious, but waking up even 15 minutes earlier and taking the dog on a walk will make a huge difference for both of you. It’ll help Fido burn some energy, satisfy some curiosity via sniffing, and mark a few trees, while the fresh air and movement will actually boost your energy and kick start your metabolism for the day. So grab that leash and make your mornings a win/win!

2. Frozen Treats.

Get a toy with an open center and fill it with peanut butter or cheese spread and pop it in the freezer. When it’s time for everyone to leave, reward your pet with the long-lasting lick treat – by the time they finish, the excitement and commotion of everyone leaving will be through and they can relax in the quiet house.

 

3. A Special Toy.

If there’s a special toy your pet is particularly fond of, use it! Put it away when you’re home and only give it to them when you’re about to leave; they’ll be so excited by seeing their favorite plaything they’ll forget all about you. (Just be sure it’s a toy that can’t cause a safety issue if used without supervision.)  Pro-Tip: This will eventually condition Fido to know he’ll be on his own for a few hours and he’ll adapt his behavior and mentality as needed.

4. TV or Radio.

We’re not kidding – some of our friends swear their pet calmed down when they started leaving the television or radio on for them as ‘company.’ Of course, this won’t work for everyone but it doesn’t hurt to try!

What are your favorite ways to entertain your pet while you’re away? We’d love to hear more ideas on Facebook!  Also, don’t forget to add our new hashtag #SeasonOfPets to your photos!

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Ways to Lend a Helping Hoof this Horse Day

April 26 is Help a Horse Day, developed by the ASPCA in honor of its founder, Henry Bergh, prompting the first arrest for horse mistreatment on this day in 1866. Since then, horses have been at the core of the ASPCA’s mission of helping animals. For the last five years, they’ve taken the opportunity to host a national grant competition for horse rescues around the country. It’s an unfortunate truth that thousands of horses are at risk of homelessness or neglect, but these incredible organizations and the individuals behind them continue to make a difference by saving and rehoming these amazing animals.

Now that we’ve tugged at your heart strings, here are a few ways you can help a horse today or any  day:

Donate.

Whether it’s to the ASPCA itself or you find a horse rescue you admire, a monetary donation is one of the most direct and useful ways to help them help horses.

Volunteer.

Find a stable or rescue in your area and volunteer your time any way you can; sure, you may be cleaning manure but we guarantee you’ll walk away feeling really good about being so selfless. You may even find your new favorite hobby!

Supplies.

Providing supplies to a rescue is also a great way to donate and help; whether it’s blankets, grooming supplies, cleaning products, or even new buckets for water, for an organization that runs on people’s kindness and generosity it makes a difference.

Spread the Word.

You never know who’ll know someone who knows someone who LOVES horses and has time or money to give – just talking about the awareness holiday and how others can help really can make a difference.

Facebook Q&A: Are you a horse lover or owner? What are some of the best ways you think people that are new to the horse realm can help?

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Hatching Chickens At Home – 6 Steps For Success

spring-chicks

Have you’ve ever considered hatching chickens at home? If so, spring is the perfect time to do it.  It’s not too hot and not too cold, making it easier for new chicks to acclimate once out of their shell. There are a couple of different ways to hatch chicks, so we’re breaking out a step-by-step guide we hope is helpful.

Step 1: Obtain your Eggs.

If you don’t breed your own chickens, fertile eggs must be bought through hatcheries or poultry farms. Be advised that shipped eggs (those ordered online) are typically harder to hatch than those which are locally sourced.

Step 2: Incubator or Broody Hen?

There are pros and cons to each option. Incubators allow total control during hatching, but can be considered unnatural and may cause guilt or pressure if things aren’t a total success. Using a broody hen.  A female chicken who sits on and tends to the eggs, is much more natural but can be unpredictable.  Sometimes the hen isn’t feeling broody and can’t be forced to. Lastly, an incubator yields more eggs but can be temperamental if settings aren’t perfect or there’s a power outage.  

Incubation Insight: Put your incubator in a place where the temperature will remain consistent. Away from windows or doors with a draft is good.   Also, be sure to read the manual cover to cover so you know how it operates. The ideal temperature for incubation is between 99 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit (99.5 is often recommended). Humidity should be between 50 and 65 percent (60 being recommended.)

Step 3: Set the Eggs.

Before you place your eggs, monitoring the incubator for 24 hours for consistency.  Warm the fertile eggs to room temperature to avoid too much temperature fluctuation when they go into the incubator. Place the eggs on their side in the incubator, with the larger end slightly higher than the pointed end to allow for proper alignment for the embryo, which is important when it comes time to hatch.

Pro-Tip: Write down the date of incubation, as most chicks will take 21 days to hatch; some may take a little longer, but you want an estimate of when to expect them.

Step 4: Keep ‘em Movin’.

The eggs should be turned a minimum of three times per day at regular intervals, but five is ideal. It’s recommended to lightly draw an X on one side so you don’t lose track of which eggs have been turned, and make sure your hands are always clean. Stop turning at day 18 to allow the chicks to position themselves for hatching.

Step 5: Raise the Humidity.

During the last three days you’ll want the humidity around 65 percent, so add warm water or a sponge as necessary to keep the humidity up.

Step 6: Prepare for the Hatch!

Once you’ve stopped rotating the eggs, the most viable ones will hatch in 24 hours so place some cheesecloth under the egg tray to catch any debris and leave the incubator closed until the chicks hatch.

Once hatched, the chicks will need to be kept warm and safely near their starter food and a shallow pan of water. As always, we recommend talking with a veterinarian or your local hatchery for further care tips. Lastly, be prepared: you will have some roosters in your newly-hatched flock, which some communities have regulations against so be prepared to rehome any males in the brood. You may even be able to ask the place you got the eggs from if they’re willing to take in any males.  Have fun and enjoy your new chickens!

Share more of your hatching hacks on Facebook! Have you ever hatched your own chicks? What are some ways you guarantee success?

 

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5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips For The Barn

horses out side of a barn

We don’t know about you, but every winter our barn undergoes a sort of… winter transformation.  Somewhat of an odd phenomenon, but every year around this time our barn becomes completely unorganized. Ok, we know it’s not a mystery – it’s because as soon as we get out there it’s so blasted cold we’re rushing to get back inside, and end up leaving things out to get lost or displaced. Hopefully the weather’s warming up where you are and, if so, we’d like to encourage you to take a beautiful day of sunshine to do some spring cleaning and make these five easy organizational changes to gear your barn up for Spring.

1. Hang It Up.

Hanging things up not only maintains your tools better,  it also eliminates tripping hazards AND gives everything  has a designated space to return to. If you don’t have much wall space consider the ceiling to drape ropes and hoses from.

2. Put Like with Like.

It’s a simple organizational tool but group similar items together based on their functionality – like keeping all the feeding tools or grooming tools together.

3. Know Your Stock.

As you’re hanging and organizing, take note of your inventory. Knowing which tools you have makes life easier and ensures you’re not purchasing something you already have. If you have the space, give each tool a hook and a label so you can quickly see what you have or if something’s missing.

4. Get Rid of It!

If you come across something on your organizational journey that you haven’t used or thought to use in a year, get it out of there! You can repurpose, recycle, sell, donate, or toss it, but definitely get rid of that unnecessary clutter to make way for a fresh start for Spring.

5. Sweep Up, Clear Out.

Time to open up the windows, let the stale air out and the sunshine in! Sweep out the dust and debris, get the haystacks organized and the stalls rinsed out – it’s spring cleaning but, be realistic, it’s a barn!

How do you prep your barn for Spring? Show and tell, please!

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