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Our Fantastically Fabulous Team of Pet Professionals at Barks and Blooms is dedicated to earn your trust through our integrity and professionalism. We proudly service our clients at our doggie day care facility or in your home. Our services range from in-home pet sitting of dogs, cats and critters to plant watering & mail retrieval.
Barks and Blooms offers a full range of Fantastic services to give you the confidence you need to enjoy for your pets and home.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Best of Two Worlds: The Catio

What's a Catio?  A hybrid of cat & patio and it's the coolest thing for active cats in the country, suburbs, or city.  Of course it's too cold for much outdoor time right now, but if you start planning now, you can have a Fabulous Catio by spring!  Take a look at these inspirations:




A Catio can be as simple as this portable pop-up:



A Catio can be an efficient, tidy box attached to a window.  You can DIY or purchase.





This Catio is like the one above, just fancier!  What a lucky cat!  (I saw a similar one while at the beach in North Carolina this summer.)




Look at this!  Exercise steps, ramps…and…is that catnip I see?



More happy cats experiencing freedom AND safety.  Perfection!




The Cottage Catio.  Sweet shade and the kitties can keep you company while you garden




Limited space?  How perfect is this?



Does your home have a catio?  Share your thoughts and your pics!!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday Adoptables--Oscar

Happy Oscar!

Oscar is an 18 month old neutered black male, who is available for adoption or sponsorship by Lab Rescue. He is up to date on his shots and is heartworm negative. He is good with other dogs and is approved for kids aged 10 and up. He weighs 53 lbs and should gain about 10 lbs. 
Update from Oscar's foster family - 11/9/2014

Oscar has developed a maneuver we call the sneaky snuggle. He starts at the opposite end of the couch and looks to be snoozing peacefully. Then he starts to wiggle and wave his front feet. Next thing you know he's wiggled down the couch on his back and his head is in your lap. If you let him, he'll be completely in your lap. Once he gives you the big "I'm so cute" eyes it's impossible to not give in to the snuggles. Oscar is very happy around people, and he's learning not to jump up for attention. He's not bothered by cars, large trucks, bicycles, kids on scooters, runners, or anything else. Mostly Oscar just wants to check out the world, play with all the chew toys, and be as close to his people as possible. He crates easily but prefers to lay on the couch. Oscar is housebroken and quick about going first thing in the morning. 

Oscar does okay on an Easy Walk harness. With some encouragement Oscar will sit for treats and takes them well.  He also knows come. In true Lab fashion, his tail never stops wagging. Oscar has the sweetest face and despite being underweight, Oscar has a spectacular Lablean. He will go with a training addendum and is probably not the best choice for a first-time adopter. He'd love an active family and lots of places to sniff and play.
Oscar loves to play with other dogs. He would like to retrieve all day but can't play as much as he would like as we want him to take it easy because of his torn ACL. He is going to be a wonderful, gorgeous dog for the family that is willing to give him the training, love, and attention he deserves. 

Silly Oscar!

If you have room in your heart or home (and couch) for Oscar, give the wonderful people at Lab Rescue a call.
(301) 299-6756 

Lovable Oscar!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Letter from a Delighted Barks and Blooms Client

We received this note from a client and had to share!  


"I was at Madonna Vet on Saturday morning  and everyone was chatting in the lobby and I had Henry and Julius (my cat) in for check-ups." 




  "I was explaining that Henry was in daycare and a women suggested I contact a dog walker from Barks and Blooms because they were the best." 


Henry!

"Then the other woman in the lobby indicated that she also uses Bark and Blooms; and her dog got sick while she was away and had many messes that  had to be cleaned up. She said her house looked beautiful when she got home and that is why she will always use Barks and Blooms.
"She proceeded to tell me how great the service was and how her dog  just loved her walker." 

Barks and Blooms Doggie Daycare in Hampden, back yard
 
,
Barks and Blooms Doggie Daycare in Hampden, front door
"Then I realized they we were trying to outdo each other with how great Barks and Blooms was when I interrupted and told them I had used Barks and Blooms from the beginning and that Henry was in their Doggie Day Care Center. 
 
It is hard to top me !!"
 
Best Wishes,  
 
Richard 

















Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Is It Time to Throw the Jerk(y) Out!?

There has been an absolute epidemic of recalls in the last year concerning dog food and dog treats, specifically jerky--made from chicken.  While sifting through the dozens of blogs I subscribe to daily, I came across this article written by a vet, Dr. Eric Barchas for DOGSTER.  He states that questionable jerky has been tested for salmonella, metals, pesticides, and antibiotics, and were screened for other chemicals and poisonous compounds, but in spite of these efforts, the cause of the problems remains unidentified.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"This places jerky in a uniquely nefarious group of food and plant items that can sicken or kill pets for reasons unexplained by current science. Other members of the group include grapes, raisins, and lilies (in cats).
The analogy between grapes and jerky may actually be a very good one. There are some people who are beginning to suspect that there is no contaminant. Rather, they suspect that jerky itself, like grapes, may be safe for people yet toxic to some dogs (but not others)."

Something to think about--Here's a link to the rest of the ARTICLE.  It's good reading.

Friday, October 25, 2013

How to Have a Safe Howl-O-Ween with your Dog!

Our delightful friends at The Uncommon Dog shared this info-graphic with us.  Take a look and consider these 8 Tips to ensure you and your pet have a barking good time this year!

Happy Halloween from everyone at 




Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Will Your Pet Be for Halloween?




I love the originality and thought that goes into some pet costumes.   Will your dog be dressing up?  I've only included photos of dogs in costume, because I believe that if you try to dress the cat, you'll be the one wearing a costume of bandages.  teehee!
Super Chocolate!!
Good and Bad
Will you Marry Me?
Really clever idea for the agreeable chocolate
Who's taken me Lucky Charms?
Junk Food  Dogs
I am your Father

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Funny--Are Cats or Dogs Better Instructors?

You decide…are Cats or Dogs more patient in teaching others how to navigate a set of stairs?
Enjoy!








Thursday, September 5, 2013

What I Learned in Pet First Aid Class--How to Make an Emergency Muzzle

Emergency Muzzle?  What's that? 


Beagle with Emergency Muzzle made out of gauze.


If your pet is ill or injured, you need to get it to the veterinarian as calmly and efficiently as possible.  Even the sweetest, gentlest dog can become aggressive and bite when they are in pain.

If you do not have a muzzle, use a scarf, panty hose, strip of gauze, or cut off the bottom of a a soft t-shirt as an emergency muzzle.



          *Start in the middle at the bottom of the dog’s muzzle.

          *Wrap the bandage upward, tie, and then bring it back downward under the chin and tie.

           *Take the two loose ends and tie them behind the dog’s head securely.




Practice making the muzzle so you are familiar with how to do it and the motions won't be foreign to your pet.

I found this video that will give you a better idea.




Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What Happens to Your Pet If Something Happens to You?

Barks and Blooms wants to help save your pet with one question:  If anything happens to you, what would happen to your pet?  The hard fact is that 4 million pets are surrendered to shelters because their owners have either passed away or become seriously ill and can no longer care for them.  Pets that have been accustomed to a loving and comfortable home do not adjust well to the lonely, cold confinement of a shelter.




They refuse to eat

The become depressed, showing signs of being un-adoptable

They are the first to be euthanized.

We discovered a wonderful nonprofit called 2nd Chance for Pets that can end this very preventable problem.




These 3 easy steps will save your pets life:

Step 1--IDENTIFY A CAREGIVER:  Someone who you know will care for your pets with the same love and passion that you have.

Step 2--PREPARE WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS:  Describe how you want your pets to be cared for.   Document your instructions and let others know where these instructions are located.

Step 3--SET UP A FUND:  You currently pay for food, supplies, medical care.  Consider setting aside funds to cover temporary care for your pets.  Their needs don't stop just because you aren't there.

For more information,  contact 2nd Chance 4Pets at info@2ndchance4pets.org

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Dog's Food Has WHAT In It?

It seems like there is a new dog food, dog treat recall every other week!   





There is such a variety of brands…flavors…grain-free…dry…wet…raw…it can get confusing.   

We have found a helpful resource in dogfoodadvisor.com  It is a blog, written and edited by one man, Mike Sagman.  

There are a number of ways you can search the site: 

Brands A to Z, Dry Dog Foods, Wet Dog Foods, Raw Dog Foods, Dog Food Recalls (you can sign up to get recall alerts by email), Dog Food Calculator, Most Popular Reviews, etc.

There are articles on how to choose the best dog food for your dog, how to make sense of dog food ingredients, and explains the process that DogFoodAdvisor uses to rate dog foods.

Consumers are encouraged to give their opinions through comments and conversations on the site's forums.  

We believe it is worth your while to do a little exploring on this site and also have a conversation with your vet about your options.


Remember!  Healthy Dogs are Happy Dogs!!





Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Funny--Maymo the Lemon Beagle




Have you all seen Maymo?  I hadn't until this morning and now I'm a fan--he's a little guy with a huge personality.   Sit back, enjoy your Friday morning coffee with a little bit of Maymo.














Thursday, August 22, 2013

Things I Learned in Pet First Aid Class--Hydrogen Peroxide is Our Friend



Has your pet ever eaten something it shouldn't? Like a balloon?



 Giving your dog 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is an effective and safe way to make it throw up the item it swallowed. Give one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide for every 10 pounds of body weight (up to 9 tsps). You can administer the hydrogen peroxide with an eyedropper or a syringe aimed to the back of your dog's throat. This method will take up to 20 minutes to take effect. 

  
DO NOT make your pet throw up if the toxin is caustic like drain cleaner, acidic (like battery acid), or a petroleum-based product. If you are unsure if the material that was ingested is toxic, contact your personal vet or emergency vet (if after hours) and let them tell you how best to handle the situation. (Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435 is an option, but there is a $65 fee for this service.)
DO NOT induce vomiting if the animal is having difficulty breathing.
DO NOT induce vomiting if the animal's heart rate is very slow or if the object eaten was pointed or sharp (like a cooked chicken bone)








If you dog has a wound from another animal biting it, seek immediate veterinary advice.  For after-the-vet at home care, you can clean the area gently with a hydrogen peroxide moistened gauze three or four times a day, followed by triple-antibiotic ointment.  It is important to monitor the wound for infections by looking for 

                   A:   Excessive redness
     B:  Swelling 
       C:  Discharge

If you see any of the above, a re-check with the vet may be needed.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Adoptables Wednesday--Mack and Mia

We have a client who fosters Labrador Retrievers with Lab Rescue.  We are delighted to meet the dogs she fosters as they come to her home for some loving and then go to their new fur-ever homes.  Mack and Mia are the latest we had the privilege to visit with this week.  

This is Mia.  She is a sweet, gentle snuggle-muffin who enjoys just being with you. 


This is Mack.  He is a tennis-ball chasing, happy guy who oozes joy out of every bone in his body.  

This update is from our client, who is their foster:

"I think I have hit the foster lottery. When it comes to easy, these two top the list. Mack and Mia are snuggly, happy and affectionate and just as happy to curl up on the couch and snuggle all day long as they are to go for walks or play outside. I have been walking them together and they do great. Mia and Mack are house trained and crate trained. They know their commands such as sit, stay, down and shake hands.

They both ride amazingly in the car! They both settled relatively quickly into my house. Both are very loving and sweet. Mia is a big lug of love. She is very low key. Mack has more energy and is willing to play whenever. When he found the tennis ball in my house, he acted like he had been reunited with a lost friend. Mack and Mia get along and are clearly bonded. Mia loves to be petted and loved on, while Mack loves to retrieve the ball, but he is a great snuggler when it comes to love time. They are great dogs and will make their new family very happy. They balance each other out perfectly." 

They are a bonded pair--which means they must be adopted together.  If you have any questions about Mack and Mia, please contact the wonderful people at Lab Rescue, either on their website of by calling   301-299-6756


Monday, August 19, 2013

What I Learned In Pet First Aid Class--Part 1



Did you know that if your pet has some dirt in his eye, you can use a little blue or red flashlight to see it?   To remove dirt, use a saline solution.   Put the bottle near, but not in, your dog’s eye and squeeze the bottle gently. Be sure that the bottle is angled downward, so that gravity will assist you in flushing out the debris. 



You can also use the same red or blue light to locate any kind of foreign object (thorn, splinter, tick) in your dog's pads or fur.  
After you find the object, remove it swiftly and firmly. 
(To remove ticks, see our blog about tick removal HERE)  
Clean the wound with antiseptic and apply antibiotic salve, then bandage the wound or  bootie the foot. Because dogs don’t have thumbs, it can be hard to get a bandage to stay on a paw. Push up on the bottom of the foot and wrap with a gauzy bandage from the joint above the ankle down to the pad and then back up the leg. But be careful not to wrap too tight, you’ll cut off circulation and your dog’s foot will swell. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Got Tick?


Ticks are gross.  I got nauseous just looking at them with Google images.  Don't look if you get queasy looking at creepy, crawly blood suckers.

Ticks are arachnids.  They are external parasites that live off of the blood of other animals.  They carry and spread diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease.  They thrive in warm, humid climates and tend to be in the same vicinity as herds of deer.  Can we say Hello Maryland!?!

Living where we do, we are going to encounter ticks.  On us and on our pets.  How do you remove a tick?  Some recommend slathering it with Vaseline or baby oil to make it lose suction.  Then, you use something like this:

A Tick Key. 
 It claims to be 99% effective in removing the whole tick.  Tweezers can squeeze and rip the tick, squirting infective fluids and leaving the head in the wound. 

Find out more about Tick Key HERE and join me in eliminating ticks, one tick at a time.  
YUCK.