Welcome to A Pet’s Tale! Every other month I will answer your pet questions right here in the pages of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine. As an avid pet lover (I currently have three pets and they are my babies) and long–time team member at Soldan’s Pet Supplies, I am excited to share my expertise with other pet lovers. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Q: My dog seems to have a lot of aggression toward other dogs. He eventually warms up, but what are some tips to help me calm him down around other pets? A: Try to introduce slowly and don’t let other dogs get directly into your dog’s face. Make sure that you are relaxed and not tense or nervous, talking softly and not yelling. The owners’ nervous energy can go right down the leash and in turn can make the dog more nervous or anxious. You can pet the new dog and say something along the lines of “friend” to your dog as you are petting to show that this is a nice dog and there is no need to be nervous Let them smell each other, but if your dog is aggressive, make sure you have a good understanding of his body language. If he looks like he is upset, take a break from that situation. Meeting dogs on neutral territory is also helpful so neither one is feeling protective of their home. Have treats on hand (unless that makes him more aggressive) so that you can reward the good behavior. If needed, there are muzzles available to use so the dog cannot bite or snap. Depending on the level of aggression, the muzzle can be worn at least until the dogs are comfortable with each other. Q: What are your thoughts on the dog-friendly ice cream treats I’ve been seeing in the freezer section at the grocery store? A: When I think of a hot, steamy, Michigan summer day, my thoughts often go to wanting an ice cream cone, so why wouldn’t our dogs love one too? I think it is a great treat to be able to give to our best companions! My thought on this treat is the same as any other moderation. This is not a treat that they should be given several times a day or even a week. This is more of a once in a while, special occasion treat. (I’ll even treat my dog on his birthday!) Another idea is “frozen yogurt.” YoPup is availabe at some Soldan’s locations. This product is a frozen yogurt treat packed with probiotics so they are healthy for the dogs and helps promote digestion and immunity! Q: My cat is shedding so much this summer, how can I help her feel more comfortable and keep my house a bit less hairy? A: Depending on the breed of cat, you could consider shaving them during the summer — especially if they have very long hair and can’t get away from the summer heat. However, with regular brushing, the shedding should lessen. Try to brush every day if you can. A furminator is a great tool for all pet owners to have, regardless of the length of hair. It is a grooming tool that gets out a TON of hair at each sitting. I strongly recommend doing this either outside, on a towel or somewhere that can be swept/vacuumed easily as there will be a lot of hair. I have seen the results first-hand on both cats and dogs and it is amazing! In my opinion, no pet owner should be without one!
Meg (Margaret) Bashore is a store manager at Soldan's Pet Supplies. Born and raised in Lansing, she has worked at Soldan's for 10 years and loves it. She is a new mom to a beautiful baby boy, as well as a mom to some four-legged kids - two dogs - Toby, a Jack Russell mix who is about 6 years old and Bruiser, an American Pit Bull Terrier who is 3 and one cat, Steve, who is 4 years old.