How to Treat Fleas on a Cat or Dog

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

According to Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And so it is with fleas. The best treatment for fleas is to prevent them in the first place. However, that’s not always possible. Despite your best efforts, your cat or dog may end up with fleas. So how do you get rid of fleas once your pet already has them?

How to Know If Your Dog or Cat Has Fleas?

Fleas are small and may not be easily visible because they can hide within your pet’s fur. This is especially true if your pet has darker fur. However, there are other signs you can look for to determine whether or not your cat or dog has fleas:

  • Movement in your pet’s fur
  • Scratching
  • Dark spots (called flea dirt) found on your pet or in areas your pet frequents
  • White ovals (these can be flea or tapeworm eggs)

Do You Need to Give Your Cat or Dog Flea Medication?

Once you’ve discovered that your cat or dog has fleas, the first step is to consult your vet. Your vet can prescribe medication for your pet as well as make recommendations for treatments that you can do at home.

Get a flea medication prescription.

Contact us

Do You Need to Give Your Dog or Cat a Flea Bath?

Dog getting a bath in a bathtub

The first step in treating fleas on your cat or dog at home is to give your pet a bath. Your vet may be able to recommend a special shampoo to use that can help with the fleas. It’s important to speak with your vet first before using a flea shampoo. There are chemicals in flea products that can irritate your pet’s skin if they are allergic to fleas. Your pet’s skin may also become irritated if their skin is sensitive or raw because of the fleas. You may just need to use mild soap instead.

It’s okay to skip this step if your pet won’t react well to it. Some dogs and cats aren’t keen on being bathed and while a bath can help, it isn’t necessary if it will unduly stress your pet. If you do choose to bathe your pet, make sure to use lukewarm water. You can also use a mild soap, but it’s not required.

How to Comb Fleas out of Your Dog or Cat’s Fur?

There are special flea combs designed to remove fleas from your pet’s fur. On a flea comb, the teeth are spaced out so that they can trap fleas while at the same time allowing your pet’s fur to pass through the teeth. The flea comb can trap both fleas and flea dirt, which can be either flea poop or dried blood from where fleas bit your pet.

How to Kill Fleas on Your Pet?

It’s important to kill the fleas that you find on your dog or cat. However, don’t try to squish them. Fleas can be quick and jump away. This makes them very difficult to kill manually. Instead, try to catch the fleas on a flea comb. Then, dunk the comb into soapy hot water. This will kill the fleas.

How Often Do You Need to Comb for Fleas?

How often you need to comb your cat or dog for fleas depends on your pet. If your pet is prone to getting fleas, then you should regularly check your pet for fleas. Using a flea comb can help you to find the fleas. If your pet doesn’t regularly get fleas, then you should check for fleas if your pet is scratching or displaying other symptoms of having fleas. It can still be a good idea to check for fleas on a regular basis, just in case.

Think your pet has fleas?

Contact us

How to Know Your Dog Has Fleas

By Dogs No Comments

Fleas can cause a lot of health problems for dogs if they’re not caught and treated right away. Dogs will scratch at fleas, which can lead to hair and fur loss as well as irritation of the skin. Fleas can also transmit other parasites, such as tapeworms, to dogs. On top of that, if there are too many fleas biting a dog at once, the dog can become anemic, which can cause other medical complications that could result in the dog’s death.

Therefore, it’s essential to treat fleas as quickly as possible. But how can you tell if your dog has fleas?

Why Your Dog Is Scratching

Scratching is a pretty clear sign that your dog has fleas. Even if you don’t see fleas on your dog, if your dog is scratching or biting itself, fleas are the likely culprit. Fleas cause pain when they bite and their salivary glands excrete substances that can irritate your dog’s skin.

Can You See Fleas on Your Dog?

Flea dirt on dog fur

Adult fleas are typically around an eighth of an inch in length and are reddish-brown in color. They’re pretty small, so it can be difficult to see them, especially if your dog’s fur is a reddish-brown color. However, you can use a magnifying glass to see them if necessary. Keep in mind that for every one adult flea that you find, there are probably at least a hundred juvenile fleas present.

Does Your Pet Have Fleas?

Learn how we can help

What Are the Dark Specks on Your Dog?

Fleas leave behind dark specks that look a bit like pepper. This is called flea dirt and is actually feces from the fleas. You can see this on your dog, but also in areas your dog frequents, such as its bed, a favorite chair, or on the carpet. If you see a lot of these black spots where your dog has been, then it’s likely that your dog has fleas.

You can tell that flea dirt is from flea bites rather than just regular dirt by collecting some on a paper towel and sprinkling it with water. If it’s flea dirt, it will turn reddish-brown.

What Are the White Ovals on Your Dog?

Small white ovals in your dog’s fur or in the areas your dog frequents are also indicators of a problem. The white ovals are tapeworm or flea eggs. Fleas can pass tapeworms onto your dog as well as lay their own eggs. These eggs are a sign that your dog has fleas.

Can You Be Bitten by Fleas, Too?

Exam on pet

Fleas don’t just bite dogs. They can also bite humans. If there are fleas in the house, chances are good they’ll affect you, too. If you find itchy bites in a cluster or a line on your legs and ankles, then they’re probably from fleas. Fleas can also bite other areas, such as the waist or armpits, but the legs and ankles are the most common locations.

Can You Trap Fleas?

Another way to know that there are fleas is to set a trap. A light trap is one way to detect that there are fleas in your home. All you need to create a light trap is a small nightlight and a bowl of soapy water. Set the bowl on the floor near the nightlight. Fleas will be attracted to the light of the nightlight and then will fall into the bowl.

Can Your Vet Check for Fleas?

If you’ve looked for fleas on your dog, but can’t find any and your dog is still scratching, you should take your dog to the vet. The vet can check for flea allergies as well as other allergies to determine the true cause of the scratching. Your vet can also recommend treatment options to deal with the fleas and check for any health conditions your dog may have developed.

Need Flea Treatment?

Contact us

How Do Pet Microchips Work?

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

Pets are like members of our families. Any pet owner wants to make sure their pets are well-cared for. But sometimes, pets get loose. A cat can escape the house if someone leaves the door open. Dogs are expert diggers and may escape by digging under a backyard fence. That means that pet owners need to take extra steps to ensure their pets’ safety should they get lost.

Microchips have greatly improved the odds that lost pets are reunited with their owners. Microchipped pets have been found thousands of miles away from home and returned successfully to their families. But how do pet microchips work?

Cat walking out of bag

What Is a Pet Microchip?

A microchip is a transponder that uses radio frequencies to report a unique identification number. The microchip is implanted into the pet. Some types of microchips bond with the tissue underneath the pet’s skin so the chip doesn’t move from where it’s implanted. The microchip is a passive device that has only one function: to report the unique identification number when scanned.

Do I Need to Microchip My Pet?

Having a microchip can greatly increase the chance of a lost pet being found. Only about 5 percent of lost pets are ever found when they’re not microchipped. If you want to have the best chance of finding your pet if it gets lost, a microchip can be the way to go. There’s no guarantee that a microchip will find a lost pet, but the chances are much better.

What Kinds of Pet Microchips Are There?

All pet microchips are passive. This means that they have no internal source of power. The chip rests inside the pet, inert, until it’s activated by a scanner. There are three different frequencies used by microchips in the U.S. and not all of them are recognized by all microchip scanners. Some vets and shelters have global scanners that can handle all three frequencies, but not all do.

134kHz Microchip

The 134kHz microchip has been available in the United States since its introduction in 2004. Chips using this frequency follow standards set by the International Standards Organization. 134kHz microchips are considered the global standard and are the most commonly used frequency for microchips across the rest of the world when it comes to pet microchipping.

125kHz Microchip

The 125kHz microchip used to be the most common frequency in the United States. Chips using the 125kHz frequency are readable by most scanners across the United States.

128kHz Microchip

This third microchip frequency, the 128kHz frequency microchip, was first introduce in 2007. It’s not as commonly used as either the 134kHz or the 125kHz microchip. It’s readable by most scanners, but not all of them.

Beagle getting microchipped

Choosing a Microchip

The most important thing to consider when choosing a microchip is ensuring the greatest chance that the microchip is scannable should your pet get lost. Not all scanners can read the 128kHz frequency microchips, for example. Depending on where you live, it may not be the best choice. Plus, lost animals can end up really far from home. You want your pet to have the best chance possible of being identified.

Your veterinarian can make a recommendation for which microchip is best for your pet. However, many experts from the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association recommend the 134kHz microchip.

Traveling Internationally With a Pet

If you travel internationally and take your pet with you, you may want to consider the 134kHz microchip. This is the global standard for microchips, so there’s a greater chance that your pet will be found wherever you are. Plus, some countries may require a microchip for pets. If it’s not the 134kHz ISO microchip, you may be required to provide your own scanner.

Can a Pet Be Microchipped More Than Once?

It’s not recommended for a pet to have more than one microchip. This is because the microchips could interfere with each other when they’re scanned. The reading the scanner picks up may not be accurate if there’s more than one microchip.

How Does a Microchip Work?

A pet microchip is a small device that stores a unique identification number. Once the microchip has been implanted into your pet, the next step is to register that number. Registering the microchip will connect the unique ID number to your own contact information so that if your pet is found and the microchip scanned, the vet or shelter that scanned the chip can let you know they have your pet.

Scanning the Microchip

When a vet or a shelter scans the microchip, the only thing the scanner does is display the unique ID number. That ID number has to be registered with a database in order for the vet or shelter to look it up and find your contact information.

Registering a Microchip

The company that manufactured the microchip will include paperwork for you to fill out. Some may allow you to do the registration online. The downside of the registration process is that each company runs its own database. Some microchip companies will allow registrations from chips made by different companies, however.

Plus, the American Microchip Advisory Council is in the process of developing a network of the different microchip registration databases. By uniting the different registries as much as possible, they hope to streamline the process of reuniting lost pets with their families.

Can a Microchip Replace a Collar?

A microchip should be used in conjunction with your pet’s collar and tags. It shouldn’t replace it. Microchips aren’t infallible. It’s possible for them to fail, just as it’s possible for a pet to lost its collar. The more ways a vet or shelter has to identify a lost pet, the better your chances of a reunion.

What Do I Need to Do if I Move?

If you’ve moved, you’ll need to update your contact information wherever your pet’s microchip is registered. This includes and change of contact information, from an updated phone number or email address to a new address. Making sure the microchip number is registered with the latest contact information will greatly increase your chances of reuniting with a lost pet.

What if I Adopt a Pet That Has Already Been Microchipped?

If you adopt a pet and your new furry family member already has a microchip, you’ll need to update the registration. You vet should be able to scan the chip for the number and let you know what kind of chip it is.

Want to microchip your pet?

Contact us

How to Potty Train A Puppy: Your Comprehensive Guide

By Dogs No Comments

From the puppy pads in the house to the leashed walks around the block, puppy potty training is a task that requires a consistent schedule (and quite a bit of patience). This guide will break down everything you need to know to get your puppy trained.

As you read, keep in mind that there are various factors that will affect when your puppy needs to go. If your puppy has an accident out of the blue, consider any changes to the following factors:

Steps for Potty Training Your Puppy

Puppy playing outside
Begin puppy potty training when your pup is 12 to 16 weeks old. This is when your puppy has begun to have more control of their bladder and bowel movements. Teaching a puppy when and where they can go from a young age is important for avoiding behavior problems down the road.

Follow these steps to potty train your puppy:

Step 1: Build a Routine

Getting yourself and your puppy into a routine can make potty training a cinch. Eventually, your pup will pick up on the routine you design. They’ll learn what time you usually wake up and when you normally take breaks to let them out.

Keep in mind, you’ll need to go for more frequent potty breaks while your puppy is young since their bladder can’t handle waiting very long. As they age you’ll be able to go longer without needing to drop everything and take them for a walk.

Here’s a basic potty training schedule to guide your day and prompt you to prompt your puppy it’s time to go out:

When You Wake Up

As soon as you get up in the morning, take the puppy out of their crate and bring them outside to the designated spot. This will start both of your days off on the right paw.

Make sure you’re not hanging around, waiting for the coffee to brew, or getting completely ready for the day first. Throw on some shoes and head for the door as soon as you’re awake to help reduce the chances your puppy has an accident.

Remember, they’ve gone the whole night having to hold it. That’s a long time for a little puppy to wait.


Go to the same area every single time. Take the same path every single time. This familiarity and routine will help your puppy better understand it’s time to eliminate.

Dog eating from bowl

After Meals

Take your puppy out after every meal. They definitely have something in their system they’ll need to eliminate. Waiting too long after a meal can turn into an accident which will undo all the work you’ve already done.

These after meal potty breaks should be at about the same time each day as your puppy should be on a regular eating schedule.


Aim to make after meal breaks 5 to 30 minutes after your puppy finishes eating.

When Your Puppy Wakes Up From Naps

Just like when you take your puppy out in the morning, you should take your puppy out when they wake up from naps. You’ll want to take them out as soon as they wake up to reduce the risk they have a sudden accident.

After Playtime

Your puppy may ‘forget’ they need to go while they’re playing. Jumping and running around may also cause them to need to go. Whether your puppy actually ends up needing to eliminate after playtime or not, it’s better to give them the opportunity to go.

Before Leaving Home

When you have a tiny, furry canine to watch out for you’ll need to try and plan your outings around how long they can hold it. Always make sure you take your puppy out before leaving for an extended period of time.

If you’re not sure how long your pup can go without needing a potty break, adhere to the month-plus-one guidelines. This suggests your puppy can hold it for their age in months plus one hour. (Note: Some suggest an hour for every month of age rather than the month-plus-one rule.)

Puppy Potty Training Chart

Age of Puppy Maximum Time Between Potty Breaks
2 Months 3 Hours
3 Months 4 Hours
4 Months 5 Hours
5 Months 6 Hours
6+ Months 6 – 8 Hours

Before Bed

Before you hit the hay, take you and the little pup out for another trip to the outdoor potty to prevent overnight accidents. This will help get your pet in the routine of having a final trip out each night.

Step 2: Set Up a Que

Setting up a queue can teach your dog to let you know if there is ever a time where they need to go ASAP. Most commonly, pets are taught to bark, ring a bell, or sit by the door when they need to go out. Having an obvious queue can help your puppy prevent accidents as you may miss other, less noticeable signs when they need to go out.

Step 3: Take Your Puppy to the Same, Distraction-free Spot Each Time

So you and your puppy made it outside without any accidents. Now what? Your puppy may not quite understand why you’ve rushed them out the door. To help your puppy understand it isn’t playtime, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Always take your pup to a secluded area (fewer distractions, higher chance they’ll go potty)
  • Try to stick to the same spot every time you take them out
  • Be boring—don’t play with your puppy or pay attention to them to limit distractions
  • Don’t get frustrated or yell at them in an effort to get them to do what you want

Remember, your puppy may not go every time you take them outside. This isn’t the end of the world. If there’s no success then go back inside and try again later. Eventually, your pup will figure out what the desired routine is.

But, if your puppy does go while you’re outside you want to reward them for their good behavior. This is an even stronger reward with the juxtaposition to your previous, boring pre-potty self.

Step 4: Use of a Crate When You’re Not Home

Beagle in crate
Using a crate while potty training your puppy can be helpful for preventing accidents and can actually control where they go while learning. While everyone would love to stay at home with their pets all the time, for most people it isn’t possible.

Crate training gives your puppy an area that is just for them. This plays into a dog’s natural instinct to keep their space clean. They will avoid having accidents in a crate that is appropriate for their size.

Warning: This is not a magic solution. A puppy’s bladder and bowel control will not defy logic when in a crate, you still need to be home to let them out at appropriate intervals.

Step 5: Properly Reward Your Puppy

Always reward your puppy for eliminating in appropriate areas. This will require you to be prepared to anticipate when your puppy needs to go out.

When your puppy has eliminated, immediately reward them with a small treat (we recommend training treats to avoid giving your puppy too much ‘junk food’). You can also implement clicker training at this point by marking the action with a click followed by a treat.

Time is everything. You should make sure you aren’t giving the reward too soon as this can disrupt and distract from the positive action you’re trying to reinforce. Too late and your puppy just things you’re giving out random treats.

Potty Training Your Puppy When…

You Live in an Apartment

Unless you live on the first floor of an apartment with an easily accessible backyard green space, you’ll be facing extra obstacles when potty training your new puppy. Routines and backup plans are your best friend when you live on Floor 2 and beyond.

Puppy pee pads and doggy litter boxes are a good option when your puppy simply isn’t going to make it. Dog litter boxes are synthetic grass and can be placed on a balcony or in-home like you would a cat litter box. You can DIY this or go with one of the many store-bought variations.

It’s a good idea to carry your puppy in the elevator down instead of letting them wander on the ground. While there’s a chance they will pee on you, they’re much more likely to hold it a bit longer if you’re holding them than if they’re on the ground.
Puppy in playpen

You Don’t Have a Crate

Potty training is pretty much the same with or without a crate while you’re home, it’s when you leave the home that you’ll need to make some decisions. Potty training your pup without a crate is inevitably much easier if you work from home. But when you do leave the house you’ll need to set up the following for your pup while you’re away:

  • Decide on a room or penned off area to contain your puppy while you’re away. (You might need doggy gates for this.)
  • If you decide to use puppy pads, keep them in one spot not spread everywhere.
  • Train your pup to use the puppy pads while you’re gone and be sure to quickly replace any soiled ones.


Use an enzymatic cleaner that breaks down even the tiniest of potty stains to ensure they do not associate certain spots with pee and thus decide that spot is an okay spot to go.

You Have to Work

If you work long hours potty training can be a bigger hurdle than for those working short shifts or from home offices. Those working full-time often put off adopting a young puppy to avoid potty training struggles. With the following in mind, remember your puppy’s potty training progress will likely be slower when you aren’t able to build a routine and let them outside regularly.

You’ll want to determine if you can come home on lunch breaks to let your puppy out and keep up the potty training schedule. Otherwise, your best bet is to hire a qualified dog sitter. They can either stay with your puppy all day or drop in as a dog walker would for a midday walk.

While you’re at work, set your pup up in a safe puppy-proofed area of the home with puppy pads.

When to Begin Potty Training Your Puppy

A puppy will typically be ready to train when they are between 12 to 16 weeks old. At this point, they have enough bladder control to be trained on when to go out.

Warning: In an effort to avoid parvovirus, you’ll want to make sure your puppies have been given all the necessary shots before letting them wander outside.

How Long Does it Take to Potty Train a Puppy?

On average, it takes roughly four to six months to completely potty train a puppy. As you move into the four and six-month marks, your puppy will be close to completely potty trained but accidents are still likely to occur. To cut down on the time it takes to have your puppy completely potty trained, avoid punishing your puppy for accidents, and use positive reinforcement when they eliminate in the designated area.

How to Potty Train Your Puppy Fast

If you’re trying to potty train fast you’ll need to be available to let your pup out every hour of the day. If you have the right schedule and a puppy who’s an especially quick learner, potty training can be accomplished in seven to fourteen days. We want to stress, however, that this is not the norm.

Don’t go into potty training expecting a quick solution. The best way to speed up potty training is with positive reinforcement. Incorporate frequent potty breaks and stay with your pup at all times to monitor for signals they need to go out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an eight-week-old puppy be potty trained?

Eight weeks is still a bit too young to realistically potty train your pup. At best they can hold their bladder for two to three hours. At eight weeks you can do your part to get them where they need to be to go—don’t expect them to notify you they need to go out. You can begin establishing routines for yourself and, as your puppy ages, they will begin to pick up on the potty schedule.

What is the hardest dog breed to potty train?

You can’t make generalizations set in stone when it comes to dog breeds. But, most dogs of a specific breed will have similar temperaments. Because of this, the hardest dog breeds to potty train are usually Jack Russell Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers.

It comes as no surprise that these ‘harder to train dogs’ are also smaller dog breeds. Small and toy dog breeds are known for being a bit trickier to potty train. This is often attributed to their smaller size and faster metabolism.

Signs Your Puppy Needs to Eliminate

Dog asking to go out
As your puppy begins to associate outside with the right place to eliminate they will find ways to signal to you if you haven’t already taught them to us a bell or bark at the door. Watch out for the following common signs your puppy needs to be let out:

  • Circling and whining
  • Sniffing and licking their groin or rear
  • Scratching or sniffing at the door
  • Returning to a spot in the house where they previously eliminated


It’s better not to wait until you notice obvious signs your pup needs to go out, especially when you’ve just started potty training. Take your pup out at regular intervals to avoid the possibility of accidents.

How to Deal With Accidents

Dealing with accidents starts and ends with not punishing your puppy for their mistake. No, rubbing their nose in urine isn’t going to magically potty train them even if you’re frustrated.

If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident in the house, make a sudden noise to distract them (not yelling at them). This should momentarily get them focused away from having an accident and give you time to swoop in a get them outside. Once they eliminate outside reward with a treat.

Be sure to thoroughly clean the area after an accident to remove any urine scent. You’ll need a cleaner stronger than your traditional surface cleaner to completely remove the smell.

Do’s and Don’ts of Potty Training Puppies

If you’re a first-time puppy owner and in charge of potty training, here are some do’s and don’ts you should follow:

  • DO reinforce positive behavior as this shows the puppy when they are doing the right thing.
  • DON’T punish them by rubbing their nose in accidents, this is cruel and they do not understand it.
  • DO recognize that accidents happen and there might be medical reasons for them.
  • DON’T neglect your puppy and think they have a bladder of steel—no one does.
  • DO give them the time they need to learn and always act with patience and kindness.

There is no set amount of time that it takes for a puppy to be potty trained. Give them the time and patience that they deserve and you’ll be in for a lifetime of happy licks and tail wags.

Essential Potty Training Tools

Raising a puppy is full of surprises (many of them monetary) and potty training is no exception. Before you bring a puppy home, consider the following tools you’ll need to buy and the price tag that comes with it:

Potty Training Supplies

Product Price
Leash & collar $8 – $20
Dog crate $25 – $100
Playpen $30 – $100
Baby gates $20 – $30/pack
Training treats $3 – $8/bag
Poop bags $6 – $10/pack
Pooper scooper $10 – $20
Cleaning products $8 – $16/ea.
TOTAL $130 – $354

While you can certainly find cheaper (or pricier!) alternatives, you can usually expect to pay between $130 and $354 for supplies when you get started with potty training your pup.

Potty Training Older Dogs

Senior beagle dog on a walk
Your new four-legged friend isn’t a puppy and also isn’t potty trained. Now what?

Don’t fear, potty training older dogs is much easier than potty training a young pup. Whether your dog has never lived indoors, the previous owner never bothered to train them, or they have always used paper or concrete in a pen, we’ll run you through the ropes of bringing you senior dog up to speed on potty training.

Just like with puppies, your senior dog needs a firm routine. This includes going out at specific times and having meals at regular hours.

Avoid free-feeding as you won’t be able to monitor when your dog likely needs to go. When you do take your adult dog out you’ll want to stay with them or keep them on a leash. This lets you monitor if they’ve actually eliminated.

Some dogs may have never gone on grass or dirt if their lives were spent on concrete. If you’re having a particularly difficult time teaching a dog to eliminate in the grass, you can have a friend’s dog or a dog park help you out. Your dog is more likely to go in a spot where another dog has gone.

Remember not to get frustrated. Your dog only wants to please you and may have developed habits due to previous neglect or abuse.

Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Even after your dog is a pro at knowing when and where to go, you should keep an eye on their urine and stool. It may seem gross, but as a pet owner it can actually help you monitor your pet’s health.

Noticing continuous diarrhea, blood when urinating or defecating, and other warning signs can help you catch problems before they progress to more severe and obvious symptoms.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Increased amount of urine
  • Increased frequency in elimination
  • Blood in either urine or stool
  • Change in consistency of stool
  • Straining
  • Discoloration of urine or stool

The changes in your dog’s elimination could be caused by anything from separation anxiety to Cushing’s disease. Certain medications your pet is on can also affect their elimination (which will likely be addressed upon prescription).

If you notice unusual or alarming changes it’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet will be able to conduct a urinalysis, CBC, fecal sample analysis, or any other necessary testing to determine the root cause.

If you’re concerned about behaviors to symptoms your puppy is exhibiting give us a call to schedule an appointment. It’s always better to check the symptoms early on rather than wait until problems worsen.

Get the Latest in Pet Industry News

Check out the blog, updated monthly

Browse the blog

COVID-19 and Your Pets: What You Need to Know

By Dogs No Comments

Updated 3/23/2020

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that has not previously been identified. This virus is not the same coronavirus that can cause the common cold in humans, nor is it the same as canine coronavirus (CCoV). Coronaviruses are a family of viruses characterized by crown-like spikes on their surface as seen under the microscope.

There are many viruses in this family that cause various types of diseases, such as diarrhea and upper respiratory infections.

Can my pet be affected by COVID-19?

At this time, there is no evidence that any animal or pet can infect humans with the new coronavirus. Additionally, no animals to date have been reported to be sick with COVID-19.

“At this time, there is no evidence that any animal or pet can infect humans with the new coronavirus.”

Can my dog be affected by COVID-19?

Technician holding dog's head
As of March 23, 2020 – There has been a report from Hong Kong authorities that a quarantined dog tested “weak positive” for the virus. The dog’s owner had tested positive for COVID-19 as well. At this time authorities think this is not a cause for alarm as the dog showed no signs of sickness. The dog eventually tested negative. The positive result may be due to environmental contamination from the infected owner. In other words, the virus may have been present in the dog’s nose the same way the virus was likely present on other surfaces in the household.

It is important to note that the test used is very sensitive and can detect very small fragments of the virus. It does not indicate that the virus was intact or contagious.

On March 19, 2020 the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong reported a second dog testing positive for the COVID-10 virus. This dog was also in the home of an infected owner. The other dog in the residence tested negative. Both dogs showed no signs of illness.

Can my cat be affected by COVID-19?

To date, there has been no testing in cats, though it is likely that cats have been exposed through infected owners.

Can other animals be affected by COVID-19?

COVID-19 has not been reported in farm animals, such as horses, donkeys, goats, and other kinds of livestock.

Because this is a new virus and information is still being collected, as a precaution, restrict contact with your pets if you are diagnosed with COVID-19. If this is not possible, practice good hygiene and wash your hands before and after touching your pet, avoid close contact, and wear a facemask.

How is it transmitted?

Current evidence suggests that person-to-person spread is the main source of infection. This occurs through respiratory droplets created when an infected person sneezes or coughs. There is also a possibility of spread via objects or surfaces that have been exposed to the virus; however, this is not suspected as a main source of infection.

Should I monitor my pet for any signs?

Nurse looking off into distance in concern

Because there have not been any documented cases of pets becoming sick with COVID-19, there are no specific recommendations. However, there is still much to learn about this new virus, and vigilance is key. If your pet exhibits signs of illness (coughing, sneezing, fever, abnormally low energy, etc.), particularly if your pet has been exposed to someone known to be infected with COVID-19, call your veterinarian for guidance.

Is there a vaccine?

Currently, a vaccine for this new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is not available. There is a vaccine for the canine coronavirus (CCoV), however, this vaccine does not work to protect you or your pet from COVID-19.

Other points to note about COVID-19

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there is no evidence of spread between animals and there is no indication pets can become sick with the COVID-19 virus.

If you have, or display symptoms of COVID-19, limit contact with animals until further information has been gathered. If nobody else in your household can handle the care of your pet, you should avoid sharing food, kissing, or hugging your pet. As always, practice proper hygiene during all interactions with your pet.

What should you do if your pet needs veterinary care?

If your pet needs veterinary care, call ahead to your pet’s veterinary or emergency clinic to learn how their procedures have changed. Many veterinary clinics now offer drive-up services and telemedicine options. At the very least, your veterinarian will likely require you to call upon arrival and a technician may escort your pet to their exam room from your vehicle.

Contact us to schedule an appointment if your pet needs veterinary care.

Does your pet need veterinary care?


How to Get a Sick Dog to Eat

By Dogs One Comment

Just like humans, a dog can lose their appetite when they’re ill. For this reason, a sick dog may refuse food. One missed meal generally isn’t much to worry about. But if your dog continues to refuse food, you may want to determine the cause.

Why Does a Dog Lose Their Appetite?

The most common reasons a dog will lose their appetite are:

  • Illness
  • Infection
  • Disease
  • Recovering from surgery
  • Mourning a death
  • Aging
  • Stress

When Should You Contact Your Vet?

If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms in conjunction with a lose of appetite you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for an examination and potential testing:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Gagging
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing

Methods for Feeding a Sick Dog

Sick lab on white couchThere are several different methods available for trying to get your dog to eat. Which method works best will depend on your dog. If the first method doesn’t work, keep trying new ones until you find a method that works for both you and your dog.


If your dog won’t eat, the first step is to allow them some time. Dogs can go for a few days without eating anything. Just be sure they are drinking water. It is normal for a dog to turn down one meal every once in a while. Dogs, just like people, aren’t always hungry. You may want to leave your dog’s food out for them to graze on throughout the day as they become hungry.

Give Your Dog a Treat

If your dog hasn’t been feeling well, you could try treating your dog with food they don’t normally get. Human food like chicken or even baby food may be so irresistible that your dog will actually eat something. Try just a small amount of human food at first to see if they will eat. If not, try adding a bit more.

You should mix this in with their existing dry food to encourage them to eat their normal diet along with the treat. Just be sure not to overindulge your dog in these treats as it can negatively affect their health.

Change Dry Food Brands

If you have a hard time getting your dog to eat dry food, another brand may be a better fit. Try a sample pack from the pet store to see if your dog likes a different brand better than the one you’ve been buying. Alternatively, you could try to mix in some wet food, which may stimulate your dog’s appetite more than the dry food.

Heat up Your Dog’s Food

Heating up your dog’s food increases its smell and palatability. Sick dogs will have a hindered sense of smell and taste. Food that has been warmed up may smell more fragrant and can help entice your dog to eat it. This will also help with taste which will encourage your dog to continue eating after that first bite.

Add Broth to Your Dog’s Food

Adding warm broth to your dog’s food not only helps with smell and palatability (as will simply heating up their existing food). Adding broth adds additional flavor. If your dog isn’t used to getting broth and has become unenchanted with how their current food tastes, broth may be the just the thing to get them eating again.

Hand-Feed Your Dog

Owner handfeeding their dog

Try hand-feeding individual pieces of your dog’s food to your pet. This may help to comfort a dog who isn’t feeling well and encourage them to eat. This process may take a while to accomplish completely, but hopefully, your dog will begin to eat out of their bowl after you’ve hand-fed them a couple of pieces.

Read the Instructions on Any Medication

Some medications can reduce a dog’s appetite. If your dog is on antibiotics or on any other medication, this may be the culprit. Make sure you carefully read all instructions and then wait at least fifteen minutes before offering your dog food. By waiting, you’ll ensure that the medicine has hit your dog’s stomach and coated it fully before any food arrives.

Let Your Dog Eat Grass

Two brown dachshunds eating grassIf your dog won’t eat its normal food but keeps trying to eat grass, you should let them. Eating grass can make your dog vomit, which may actually be a good thing. If whatever is making your dog feel ill will be eased by vomiting, your dog’s instincts may be leading it to eat grass. Just make sure to keep your dog well-hydrated. However, if your dog vomits more than twice, or eats grass every time they’re outside, that’s a sign that you should take your dog to the vet.

Take Your Dog to the Vet

Visiting the vet is always a good idea if your dog is sick and won’t eat. Your vet can help you figure out what ails your dog and what to do to get them feeling better. Your vet can also make sure your dog is prescribed any medications it may need, whether to address the illness or to encourage appetite.

Is your dog refusing their food?

Contact us

Stimulate Your Dog’s Appetite

If your dog has refused food for a long period of time, or if they have a health condition that suppresses appetite, your vet can prescribe or recommend a medicinal appetite stimulant. There are stimulants that reduce nausea and others that mimic the hormone that makes your dog hungry. This method will require you and your vet to first know why your dog isn’t eating so you can get the correct stimulant.

Use a Syringe

Force-feeding via a syringe is a more drastic measure, so you should do this only if other methods haven’t worked. If your dog hasn’t eaten in two days, you can try using a syringe to feed your dog liquids like broth or watered down wet food. If your vet has recommended medication for your dog, you could try feeding medicine to your dog using a syringe as well as food.

We recommend speaking to a vet before attempting this as syringe feeding needs to be done correctly to avoid negative health effects on your pet.

What Foods Should I Feed My Sick Dog?

Some foods are more appetizing to dogs when they’re sick than others. If your dog isn’t feeling well, there are some foods you can try feeding them that are more appetizing and easier on the stomach.

wet food icon

Wet Food

If your dog normally eats dry food, try introducing wet food. For many dogs, wet food is an exciting treat. And as a bonus, wet food can help keep your dog hydrated given its higher water content.

baby food icon

Baby Food

Baby food is easy to eat and can be tasty for dogs. Plus, it can be nutritious. Look for meat-based baby foods that don’t have onion or garlic in them. Chicken, lamb, or turkey are good options.

bone broth icon

Bone Broth

Bone broth is very mild but also nutritious and sits well in an upset stomach. If your dog hasn’t been eating and has a suppressed appetite, bone broth can be a good way to get your dog some of the nutrients they need.

chicken broth icon

Chicken Broth

The chicken broth will not only taste good to your dog but will also sit easily in the dog’s stomach. If the cause of the loss of appetite is an upset stomach, this can be a good food to try.

shredded chicken icon

Shredded Chicken

Shredded chicken is easy for dogs with upset stomachs to eat and can be a big incentive for your dog to eat something. Dogs love chicken and so long as it’s unseasoned (seasonings can upset a dog’s stomach more) and cut into small enough pieces, it can be a good option.

chicken and rice icon

Chicken and Rice

Chicken and rice are actually used as ingredients in most dog foods. It’s bland enough to be easy on an upset stomach, so long as you don’t season it and use white rice. Make sure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked (by boiling it) and that it’s cut up into small enough pieces that it’s easy for your dog to eat.

pumpkin icon


Pumpkin is good for your dog’s digestion. It’s high in fiber and contains quite a few different vitamins, including iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and more. Feed your dog four tablespoons of unseasoned canned pumpkin. Avoid feeding your dog pumpkin pie filling because the sugars and seasonings in it could further upset your dog’s stomach.

What Are the Healthiest Foods for My Dog?

Dog foods are designed to get your dog the nutrients it needs, but there are some ‘human’ foods that can be very healthy for dogs as well. Here are a few of these healthy options::

  • Cooked eggs are a good source of calcium, antioxidants, protein, and several vitamins.
  • Omega-3s are also good for dog joint health.
  • Mushrooms are filled with vitamins and nutrients that are good for your dog as well.

You should consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods into their diet.

The Importance of Water

You may be so focused on food intake you forget about water entirely. But, water intake is arguably more important than food intake. If your dog refuses to eat, in the meantime, you’ll want to encourage water consumption to help keep them hydrated.

Dogs are naturally able to go longer without food but their tolerance for not drinking water is much less. At most a dog can go three days without water intake but can survive for five to seven days or more without food. Realistically, you don’t want to test your dog’s limits but do not force your dog to drink as this can cause aspiration pneumonia.

It’s important to get your dog medical attention as soon as possible if they are not eating or drinking for 48 hours or more.

How to Encourage Water Intake

If your dog is not showing any interest in water, try the following tricks to try and get them drinking again:

  • Give your dog an ice cube to lick
  • Offer water on your fingers
  • Offer Pedialyte if recommended and okayed by your vet
  • Add ice to your dog’s water bowl

Signs of Dehydration

Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of dehydration. These are the most common symptoms of dehydration to familiarize yourself with:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Dry and sticky gums
  • Dry nose
  • Dry-looking eyes

Seek immediate veterinary attention for your pet if they are showing signs of dehydration. Your veterinarian will be able to provide subcutaneous fluids to help get them hydrated while also treating the original cause of their sickness.

What Not to Feed a Dog

If your dog is sick, you shouldn’t feed them anything too rich. Sometimes, dogs can get sick from eating too many rich foods – if you tend to treat your dog and feed it human food very often, you should cut back on the number of treats you give them.

Your dog may also be feeling under the weather due to something they’ve previously consumed. If your dog is already sick, check that they haven’t had access to any of the following:

Don’t Feed Your Dog: Because…
Xylitol It can cause a drop in blood sugar and liver failure
Avocado Avocado seeds can cause an obstruction and the avocado itself can cause illness
Grapes or Raisins It can cause kidney failure
Caffeine It can be fatal
Onions or Garlic It can cause anemia or poisoning
Alcohol It can cause vomiting, breathing problems, and potentially death
Milk or Other Dairy It can cause diarrhea and digestive problems
Human Medication It can cause illness and potentially death
Chocolate It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially death
Sugar Sugary foods can cause weight gain and diabetes
Macadamia Nuts It can cause muscle shakes, vomiting, and other symptoms
Raw Eggs There’s a risk of salmonella or E.coli
Raw Fish or Meat There’s a risk of parasites
Uncooked Yeast Dough It can rise in your dog’s stomach or cause alcohol poisoning
Fat Trimmings They can cause pancreatitis in dogs
Spices, Baking Powder, or Baking Soda They can be toxic to dogs
Bones They can cause choking or can splinter and cut your dog’s digestive system
Fruits with Seeds or Pits Seeds and pits can cause digestive problems for dogs or may be poisonous
Salt Too much salt can dehydrate a dog

Is your pup acting sick after getting into ‘human food’?

Contact us


When Shouldn’t I Feed My Sick Dog?

If your dog has been vomiting or has diarrhea, then you should wait at least twelve hours after the last episode to try to feed it again. If you feed your dog too soon and it’s been vomiting, the food could upset the stomach again and just give it more to throw up. If vomiting or diarrhea persists for two days or more, take your dog to the vet.

How Much Should I Feed My Sick Dog?

Golden retriever laying on bed

How much you should feed your dog when it’s sick depends on the dog and the type of sickness. Consult with your vet to make sure you’re feeding your dog enough, but also let your dog guide you. If your dog will eat some, but then refuses food again, try waiting a while before offering food again.

Do Sick Dogs Lose Their Sense of Smell?

Smell is the most powerful of a dog’s senses and a variety of factors can influence it. Allergies and infections can affect the sense of smell, as can old age. If the dog’s nose is dry, that can also decrease the sense of smell. Illness on its own doesn’t necessarily affect it, however.

What Else Can I Do to Help My Dog?

Make sure your dog is comfortable. Make sure they’ve got a comfortable bed to rest on. Take your dog for walks, if they’re feeling up to it. And make sure that you don’t let your dog see that you’re nervous – they can pick up on human feelings and they’ll be stressed, too, if you are.

How Long Can a Dog Go Without Food?

Dogs can usually go three to five days without food, however, this is not ideal. If your dog has gone two days without food, it is highly recommended you call a veterinarian if you haven’t already.

More important than your dog eating is their water intake. If you can’t encourage your dog to eat, try to convince them to drink water (without forcing them to drink).

Should I Feed My Dog After They Throw Up?

It is best to withhold food from your dog for a few hours after they throw up. This allows you time to observe your dog’s behavior and see if they exhibit any other concerning symptoms or continue vomiting.

Be sure you have fresh water available to your dog even after they vomit.

Should You Force-Feed a Sick Dog?

Tech force-feeding dog

You can use a syringe to force-feed your dog if it has been more than 48 hours since your dog ate. This should only be done after your veterinarian has examined your pet and determined force-feeding was okay. Be sure you know how to force-feed your pet safely. Your veterinarian will be able to demonstrate how this is done during an examination.

What to Do After 48 Hours

If your dog is still refusing food after 48 hours, you’ll want to seek out immediate veterinary care. An expert team of veterinary professionals can diagnose and treat your furry friend before their condition worsens.

Is your dog still acting sick and refusing to eat?

Contact Us

14 Dog-Friendly Cafes and Restaurants in Orlando

By Dogs No Comments

Orlando is undoubtedly a dog-friendly hot spot for pet owners of all kinds. If you’re looking for a spot to brunch and grab coffee with your pup by your side, give these places a try.

Cafe Murano

Cafe Murano wiht rainbow in background
Address: 309 Cranes Roost Blvd, Altamonte Springs, FL, US, 32701
Hours: Monday to Friday 11am – 11pm
Seating Options: Outdoor seating is available for dog owners and their pets
Food Style: Italian cuisine with menu items ranging from brick oven pizzas to veal piccata. They have brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour specific menus.
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Upscale

The Crepevine

The Crepevine in Altamonte
Address: 249 FL-436, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Hours: Monday to Friday 11AM – 9PM | Saturday and Sunday 8AM – 9PM
Seating Options: Outdoor seating is available for dog owners
Food Style: Savory and sweet crepes
Price: $
Atmosphere: Fast casual

Boston Coffeehouse

Boston coffeehouse exterior
Address: 851 S State Rd 434 suite 1190, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Hours: Monday to Friday 6:30AM – 7:00PM | Saturday and Sunday 7:30AM – 3:00PM
Seating Options: Outdoor seating is available to guests with pets
Food Style: Coffee and traditional breakfast and lunch items
Price: $
Atmosphere: Fast casual

Deeply Coffee

deeply coffee interior
Address: 111 N Magnolia Ave #50, Orlando, FL 32801
Hours: Monday to Thursday 7AM – 8PM | Friday and Saturday 8AM – 10PM | Sunday 8AM – 8PM
Seating Options: Outdoor seating off of main building for pet owners
Food Style: Coffeehouse foods
Price: $
Atmosphere: Casual

White Wolf Cafe

White wolf cafe
Address: 1829 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804
Hours: Sunday to Tuesday 9AM – 3PM | Wednesday to Thursday 8AM – 9PM | Friday to Saturday 8AM – 10PM
Seating Options: Six outdoor tables are available to accommodate pet owners
Food Style: Traditional breakfast and brunch dishes, mimosas and coffee also available
Price: $
Atmosphere: Casual

Dixie Belles Cafe

Dixie belles cafe
Address: 7125 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32809
Hours: Monday and Friday 6AM – 2PM | Tuesday to Thursday 6AM – 2PM, 4PM – 8PM | Saturday and Sunday 6:30AM – 2PM
Seating Options: Outdoor seating available
Food Style: Classic breakfast menu
Price: $
Atmosphere: Casual

Santiago’s Bodega

Santiagos bodega
Address: 802 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Hours: Monday to Friday 11AM – 2AM | Saturday and Sunday 10AM – 2AM
Seating Options: Sectioned off outdoor seating is available, many tables have umbrellas to protect from rain and summer heat
Food Style: Tapas-style dishes and wine bar
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Upscale

Dandelion Communitea Cafe

Dandelion communitea cafe
Address: 618 N Thornton Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11AM – 10PM | Sunday 11AM – 5PM
Seating Options: 10+ dog-friendly outdoor seating
Food Style: Loose leaf tea and vegetarian dishes
Price: $
Atmosphere: Fast casual

310 Lakeside

310 Lakeside orlando
Address: 301 E Pine St, Orlando, FL 32801
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11AM – 2AM | Sunday 10AM – 2AM
Seating Options: Outdoor seating available
Food Style: American
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Casual

Cafe Tu Tu Tango

Cafe tu tu tango exterior
Address: 8625 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11AM – 12AM | Friday and Saturday 11AM – 1AM | Sunday 10AM – 11PM
Seating Options: Covered outdoor patio seating with standing heaters for cold nights
Food Style: Pizza, tacos, sliders, and flatbreads
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Casual

Eastside Bistro

Eastside bistro exterior
Address: 12001 Avalon Lake Dr, Orlando, FL 32828
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11AM – 11PM | Friday and Saturday 11AM – 1AM | Sunday 9:30AM – 10PM
Seating Options: Roughly 12 dog-friendly tables in their outdoor seating area, some have reported metal dog bowls are provided at this location
Food Style: Variety of dishes to please all preferences
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Casual

Buster’s Bistro Belgian Bar

Buster's bistro belgain bar interior
<strong>Address:</strong> <a href=300 S Sanford Ave, Sanford, FL 32771
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 10AM – 10PM | Friday and Saturday 11AM – 12AM | Sunday 11AM – 5PM
Seating Options: Pet-friendly outdoor seating options
Food Style: Beer, cocktails, and Belgian entres
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Upscale

Imperium Food & Wine

Imperium food and wine
Address: 606 Market St #140, Celebration, FL, US, 34747
Hours: Monday to Friday 11AM to 10PM | Sunday 10AM to 10PM
Seating Options: Designated outdoor tables for guests dining with dogs
Food Style: Wine bar with small plates from around the globe
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Upscale

Vanbarry’s Public House

vanbarry's public house
Address: 4120 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11AM to 2AM | Sunday 10AM to 2AM
Seating Options: A large outdoor patio is available for dog owners with live music provided nightly
Food Style: American
Price: $$
Atmosphere: Casual

Dog-Friendly Restaurant Chains

Dog at cafe near tables
Many restaurant and cafe chains have announced their dog-friendly stance. Check out these dog-friendly chains with locations in the Orlando area:

  • Panera Bread
  • Starbucks
  • Applebee’s (with patios)
  • Another Broken Egg Cafe
  • Foxtail Coffee

There’s a good chance if you visit these chains they’ll welcome your pup along too. But it’s better to be respectful and call ahead to ensure any spot you’re visiting with your pet for the first time is actually dog-friendly.

What Different Restaurants Mean by ‘Dog-Friendly

Dog-friendly isn’t an official term and each restaurant will give it its own definition. You’ll rarely find a restaurant dog-friendly enough to let your put sit by your side inside the restaurant. If they did it would be difficult to pass health inspections.

Instead, you’ll typically see pet-friendly establishments offering pet-friendly outdoor seating and pet-friendly menu items.

Some restaurants and cafes will even keep your dog’s bowl filled. But you should be prepared with your own water source in case the restaurant doesn’t take their pet-friendliness that far.

Etiquette for Dining with Your Pets

Woman and dog at cafe
The majority of people like dogs, but that doesn’t mean they want yours jumping into their lap while they’re trying to eat. When it comes to taking your pet out to eat ensure your pet is well-mannered and friendly.

Keep the following pointers in mind to make sure your pet and surrounding patrons enjoy their meal:

  • Keep your pet on a leash, preferably a leash shorter than six feet
  • Bring a water bowl and extra water to keep your pup hydrated
  • Try to find a spot that is secluded from busier portions of the cafe
  • Keep your pet calm and quiet (If your pet tends to be talkative then going out to eat may not be a good option for them.)
  • Bring along chew toys to entertain your dog while you eat
  • Bring along a blanket, especially for older dogs

Remember, while you’re out and about with your dog you never know what you’ll encounter. Be sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations. Plus, having heartworm and flea prevention will help keep your dog safe while taste-testing new spots around Orlando.

Don’t see your favorite spot to grab a pastry and cup of Joe with Fido? Drop your favorite dog-friendly cafe, bistro, or restaurant in the comments and we’ll add it to our list.

8 Best Dog Parks In Orlando (And Why Your Dog Will Love Them)

By Dogs One Comment

Orlando is the second-most pet-friendly city in America, making it a great place to be a dog (and a dog owner). Besides the dog-friendly cafes and pet care facilities, Orlando is home to a number of dog parks to meet every owner’s preference.

Before checking off these parks from your pet’s to-do list, make sure you’ve read up on proper dog park safety and preparation. Know behavioral cues to watch out for when playtime goes from rowdy to rough. And ensure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations and treatments.

Lake Baldwin Park

Location – 2000 S Lakemont Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 (Click for directions)

Hours – Open 7am – 8pm (Monday – Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?:

This canine paradise is situated on over 23 acres of land, complete with a lake and trails. This park features a beach, surrounding trails for on-leash adventures, and a dog wash station. It’s nearly perfect rating on Google is a testament to how beloved this space is by dog owners in the community.

Lake Baldwin Park doesn’t just think about the dogs. There are picnic tables, pavilions, bathrooms, and plenty of shade courtesy of the many oak trees on the property.

Note: The park stays closed until 12pm for maintenance on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.


Water running near treeline icon

Water Access

Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Optional

What You Miss Out On:

This park doesn’t feature any agility equipment or play structures.

Barber Dog Park

Location – 3701 Gaitlin Ave, Orlando, FL 32812 (Click for directions)

Hours – Open 8am – 8pm (Spring / Summer), 8am – 6pm (Fall / Winter)

Why Did it Make the List?:

Barber Dog Park might not have a lake to doggy-paddle in, but it does have agility equipment and plenty of open green for running. The park provides water fountains for dogs and owners. During the summer there are sometimes pools available for dogs to play in.

Dogs are separated based on their size as a safety precaution. If you have a dachshund you can send them over to the 30 pounds and underside, whereas you can take your labrador to the 30 pounds and up. This allows for an environment that is not only safer but more fun for the dogs.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Dog agility equipment icon

Agility Equipment

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes

What You Miss Out On:

This park doesn’t have a lake, and pools are only available seasonally.

Park of the Americas

Location – 201 Andes Ave, Orlando, FL 32807 (Click for directions)

Hours – Open 7am to 9pm (Monday to Sunday)

Park of the Americas Screenshot

Why Did it Make the List?:

Park of the Americas is a newer off-leash park. It offers off-leash run space and a track and trail for dog walking. The park provides water bowls and a hybrid fountain to keep your dog hydrated during the hottest parts of summer.

This park divides dogs at the 35-pound mark, offering a play space for larger dogs and smaller dogs to meet dogs of similar sizes. Both sections feature painted concrete tunnels that dogs can play in, climb on, or lounge inside to cool down. In the large dog park, dogs can play on a sandy hill.

This park stays well-lit, even when you stay until close, thanks to lampposts along the perimeter of the small dog park.


Water running near treeline icon

Water Access

Dog agility equipment icon

Agility Equipment

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes

What You Miss Out On:

This park has less shade and no dog wash station.

Hound Ground

Location – 900 E State Rd 434, Winter Springs, FL 32708 (Click for directions)

Hours – Open 7am to 8pm (Thursday-Tuesday), Closed on Wednesdays

Hound ground dog park

Why Did it Make the List?:

Hound Ground is a well-manicured dog park with plenty of grass and updated facilities. It features agility equipment, a dog wash station, and seating for dog owners.

This park offers a separate park for dogs under 30 pounds. Sidewalks surrounding the greenspace keep owners from walking through the grass on rainy days. The park also provides toys for your dog to play with while there.


Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Dog agility equipment icon

Agility Equipment

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes

What You Miss Out On:

The park is rumored to have recently removed water fountains. Be sure to bring water for your dog just in case.

Arbor Dog Park

Location – 1405 N Grant St, Longwood, FL 32750 (Click for directions)

Hours – Open 7am to 8pm (Monday-Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?:

Arbor Dog Park offers a more natural, wooded space for your dogs to meet new friends and play. This spot is shaded and offers ample seating for pet parents, with a separate section for smaller dogs to play.

Cement tunnels and agility equipment are present in both small and large dog parks. Once the playing comes to an end, owners can wash their dogs at the wash station, which features a drinking fountain with two bowl heights to accommodate your dog’s size.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Dog agility equipment icon

Agility Equipment

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes

What You Miss Out On:

This spot has fewer grassy patches making it likely for your dog to get dirtier while playing. However, the dog wash station provides a quick and easy solution.

Downey Dog Park

Location – 10107 Flowers Ave, Orlando, FL 32825 (Click for directions)

Hours – Open 8am to 6pm (Monday-Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?:

Downey Dog Park offers shade and seating for pet parents and large spaces to run for small and large dogs alike. The park’s play spaces are separated based on size, but each offers ample room for play.

Dog water stations are available to keep your dogs cool and hydrated. If you don’t bring your own potty bags, the park provides stations so you can pick up after your dog.

Downey Dog Park offers a time-out pen, unlike other parks. This is a great feature to help disperse an overstimulated dog’s energy or separate two dogs who are acting up.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes (Optional)

What You Miss Out On:

This park has fewer grassy patches than other parks mentioned, meaning your dog is likely to get very dirty while playing here.

Paw Park of Historic Sanford

Location – 427 S French Ave, Sanford, FL 32771 (Click for directions)

Hours – Opens 7:30am to 8:00pm (Monday-Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?

This dog park, located in historic Sanford, is a well-kept space to bring your dog. It offers plenty of space for your dog to roam and seating for owners to relax in the shade. The park covers all the basic amenities, such as play equipment, dog wash stations, and drinking fountains. And even if you’re out late, this park is lighted to keep you from being stuck in the dark.

The location of this park is perfect for a day out with your dog. After spending time at the park you can walk across to the self-service dog wash and then on to the pet bakery for a bite to eat.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Dog agility equipment icon

Agility Equipment

Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes

What You Miss Out On:

Paw Park doesn’t have a lake or pool for dogs to swim in during the hottest Florida months.

Dr. P Phillips Community Park

Location: 8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd, Orlando, FL 32836 (Click for Directions)

Hours: Open 8am – 8pm (Monday – Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?

This dog parks splits dogs into play areas by size. Each sections is grassy and spacious with a dog pool setup on most warm days. Dog owners also have access to a hose which can be used as a water fountain or a dog washing station.

If you have small children, you’re in luck. This dog park is only a portion of the much larger Dr. Phillips Community Park. This makes it great fun for the whole family.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Water running near treeline icon

Water Access

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes (at 30 lbs)

What You Miss Out On:

Shade and seating can be difficult to find on hot summer days. Pack extra water and an umbrella to fight off the Florida heat.

Does your dog have a different favorite dog park in Orlando? Tell us about it in the comments below!

6 Best Dog Parks Near Lake Buena Vista (And Why Your Dog Will Love Them)

By Dogs No Comments

Lake Buena Vista is best known for its proximity to tourist attractions like the Disney World parks, but it’s also home to a handful of dog parks for year-round residents. The variety of dog-related spots are increasing in this dog-friendly city, but nothing beats letting your pet roam and play in a traditional dog park.

Know Before You Go: Be sure that your dog is up to date on all vaccinations and treatments before taking them out to make friends. It’s also wise to read up on canine body language so you can diffuse bad situations before they start.

Check to make sure water will be provided at the park of your choice, then hit the road. It’s time for your pup to make new friends!

Meadow Woods Dog Park

Location: 1751 Rhode Island Woods Cir, Orlando, FL, US, 32824 (Click for Directions)

Hours: Open 8am – 8pm (Monday – Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?

Meadow Woods is tucked away near a residential area and features walking paths, ponds, and large dog runs split by size. The walking paths around the lakes are great for on-leash exercise. When you want to let your dog run you can let them in through the double safety gates to play with dogs in their same size group (split at 30 lbs).

On busy days shade and seating can be limited so pack a folding chair and umbrella if you plan to go out during the hottest parts of the day. When your dog gets tired of socializing there are water fountains and a dog wash station to use on your way out.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes (at 30 lbs)

What You Miss Out On

There is no agility equipment available in this dog park and shade is limited.

Dr. P Phillips Community Park

Location: 8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd, Orlando, FL 32836 (Click for Directions)

Hours: Open 8am – 8pm (Monday – Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?

This spot features two areas for dogs to roam based on size. There is plenty of grassy space to run and play fetch. If your dog enjoys water, there is a dog pool setup for splashing and playing during hot summer days.

Once your dog is ready to head home there is a water hose available that doubles as a water source and a rinse station.

If you are visiting the park with children there is a splash pad and play area with a small entry fee, making this a great day for a day out with your family.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Water running near treeline icon

Water Access

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes (at 30 lbs)

What You Miss Out On

This park doesn’t have agility equipment and is lacking shade for both dogs and pet parents.

KUA Cumbie Canine Court

Location: 2138 Agate St, Kissimmee, FL, US, 34744 (Click for Directions)

Hours: Open 6am – 8pm (Monday – Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?

You’ll find KUA Cumbie Canine Court in Mill Slought Park. This park offers spaces specifically for large and small dogs to offer safe play for smaller dogs. There are benches, picnic tables and shade available to rest on while you watch your dog play.

There are also drinking fountains, bag dispensers, and an agility course that has been recently renovated. The extensive agility course features a jump bar, A-frame, and crawl tunnel among other equipment. There’s even a Paws Table which can be used to practice commands, take breaks, or use as a grooming table.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Dog agility equipment icon

Agility Equipment

Off-Leash: Yes (Certain Sections)

Separated by Size: Yes

What You Miss Out On

This park is smaller than other options. While it is perfect for practicing agility and working on training with your pup, it may be a pass if you’re only there for socializing.

Shingle Creek Regional Park

Location: 925 S Bass Rd, Kissimmee, FL, US, 34746 (Click for Directions)

Hours: Open 8am – 7pm (Monday – Sunday)

Why Did it Make the List?

This park has plenty of shade for Florida summers and spots to sit while you watch your dog play. The surrounding park features a trail where you can take your dog to hike on-leash. The fenced play areas are separated into large and small dog runs. Within each spot are water fountains for dogs to drink from while playing.

Due to the surrounding trees, this spot has more flies and mosquitos and isn’t as grassy. However, when you’re getting ready to leave you can stop by the dog wash station and rinse your dog off.


Water dripping into bowl icon

Water Fountains

Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Soap and bubbles icon

Wash Station

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes

What You Miss Out On

Shingle Creek doesn’t have any agility equipment available for your dog to run through, unlike other options in the Lake Buena Vista area.

Vista Park

Location: 14200 Hunter’s Vista Blvd, Orlando, FL 32837 (Click for Directions)

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Why Did it Make the List?

Vista Park is split into two areas. The larger field is reserved for larger dogs. If you have a smaller dog there is a second sectioned off area of the park reserved for dogs under 25 pounds.

This park, part of the Hunter’s Creek community in Orlando, requires that your dogs be registered. Registration allows other dog owners to know that your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations.


Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: Yes (at 25 lbs)

What You Miss Out On

This park is for Hunter’s Creek Community residents in the area if you aren’t a resident of the Hunter’s Creek area then we recommend you check out the other dog parks in the area.

Osprey Park

Location: 5100 Town Center Blvd, Orlando, FL 32837 (Click for Directions)

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Why Did it Make the List?

Osprey Park is different from other Orlando dog parks in its setup. Here you’ll find two separate runs. There is a non-aggressive dog enclosure that allows dogs from different families to mingle and play in one fenced area.

The second spot is reserved for non-social dogs, which allows single families the space to let their dog run freely without interaction with other dogs. If the park is busy, they ask that you use the non-social dog park in thirty-minute chunks.


Bench next to tree icon

Shaded Seating

Off-Leash: Yes

Separated by Size: No

What You Miss Out On

This park is for Hunter’s Creek Community residents in the area if you aren’t a resident of the Hunter’s Creek area then we recommend you check out the other dog parks in the area.

What is your dog’s favorite park in the Lake Buena Vista area? Tell us about it in the comments below!

What New Pet Owners Need to Know About Common Dog Breed Health Concerns

By Dogs No Comments

My dog is a… Pug | Bulldog | German Shepherd | Labrador Retriever | Yorkshire Terrier

Not all pet owners, especially those who have adopted, know the lineage and true breed of their four-legged friend. But, if you have a good idea of their breed based on their appearance or have purchased a dog from a breeder then you have the advantage of preparing for health concerns specific to your dog’s breed.

Common dog breed health concerns are caused by breeding practices or the body shape of the dog.

Purebred dogs are selectively bred for physical features outlined in the American Kennel Club as desirable. This sometimes leads to breeders practicing line breeding, popular sire syndrome, or inbreeding to attain the desired look of the breed. This causes hereditary problems to spread throughout the breed.

A dog’s breed-specific frame and shape can also be attributed to a heightened chance of certain health concerns. Take, for example, bulldogs and pugs. These short-snouted canines are undoubtedly adorable. But their short snouts caused breathing problems.

You can limit the chances of your pup developing a breed-related health problem by only purchasing from reliable breeders who care about the integrity and long-term health of the animals they produce. Always ask for medical testing and family history of diseases to avoid buying from breeders who are ignorant to genetic problems and breeding best practices.

Unfortunately, if you adopt or take in a stray they won’t show up with their medical history and lineage in tow. You can prepare for potential breed-related concerns by identifying their breed based on their physical features. When you bring your pet for their annual checkup your vet can help determine their breed.


Puppy on bed

Pugs are a compact dog within the AKC’s toy group. They tend to have a clever and playful personality. These dogs are easily spotted with their short snouts and prominent eyes. They are usually between 14 and 18 pounds and stand up to 14 inches tall at the shoulder.

Pugs are unfortunately known to suffer from a number of health problems.Pugs tend to be enthusiastic eaters and will easily become obese if food intake is not closely monitored. They are also prone to eye injuries, overheating, and breathing difficulties, among other health problems.

The most common health concerns pugs experience are Pug Dog Encephalitis, Luxating Patellas, and portosystemic shunt.

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)

PDE caused inflammation to the brain and is hereditary. It causes seizures, disorientation, blindness, and other dramatic symptoms.

Unfortunately, this is a fatal disease with no cure. However, you can take precautionary and maintenance measures to give your pug a comfortable and happy life.

What You Can Do

First and foremost, if you are purchasing from a breeder, only purchase from one who provides proof of genetic testing. Responsible breeders will not breed dogs who have been diagnosed with PDE as it is hereditary. This can help you avoid the heartbreak of watching your pet suffer from the symptoms of PDE.

If you have adopted and bought a pug who develops the symptoms of PDE, seek veterinary assistance immediately. Your vet will be able to diagnose your pug and determine if it is PDE or a similar health concern. This will require blood work, diagnostic imaging, CSD taps, and genetic testing.

Your veterinarian will prescribe drugs to control the symptoms of PDE. And while uncontrolled PDE is generally fatal within one year of diagnostic, if controlled with medication, pugs may live for several years with PDE.

Luxating Patellas

Luxating Patellas are another hereditary health concern for pugs (although it can also be caused by your pug becoming overweight). Sometimes referred to as trick knees, luxating patellas are the dislocation of the knee cap.

This health problem presents in four levels, with the most severe keeping your pug from using their affected leg. At that point, corrective surgery should be performed.

What You Can Do

As with other hereditary problems, always check with a trustworthy breeder to ensure they are breeding their pugs responsibly and luxating patellas are not present in your pup’s lineage. You’ll also need to keep your pug’s weight under control as obesity can also cause luxating patellas to develop. While this problem is treatable, it’s much easier and more comfortable for your pug to focus on prevention.

Low-grade luxating patellas will be managed with pain and anti-inflammatory medications. Your pug will need to have exercise restricted to avoid stress to the patellas. Weight management will also be encouraged by your veterinarian in dogs where weight is a concern.

In more severe cases, surgery will be needed to correct the problem. This is particularly the case when both of your dog’s back legs are affected by luxating patellas.


Bulldog in field

The Bulldog also called the English Bulldog or British Bulldog, has an unmistakable hefty build and short, wrinkled face. If your dog is a bulldog you’ll know it. They have a muscular build, relatively small ears, and stand at about 15 inches tall.

This breed is known today to be a loyal companion animal but was originally bred for a much different purpose. Potentially stemming from a 5th-century English breed called the Alaunts, Bulldogs were used for farm work and more frequently in the cruel sport of bull-baiting. Today, the lovable English Bulldog is more likely to be found playing in a backyard than wrangling livestock on a ranch. But because of the breed standard, Bulldogs do have specific hereditary health conditions owners should be aware of.

Bulldogs commonly experience Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome (BAOS) and cherry eye among other severe health conditions.

Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome (BAOS)

Bulldogs are susceptible to developing this condition due to their short faces and thin nasal passages. This leads to difficulty breathing which is worsened by obesity, hot weather, and exercise.

BAOS can lead to other related problems, including bronchial collapse, gastritis, and gastroesophageal reflux.

The main signs your bulldog has BAOS is particularly noisy breathing, snoring when relaxed or asleep, and snorting when excited. Because this restricted breathing, dogs with BAOS are known to collapse in the heat and after exercise, as they tire extremely easily.

Your dog will most likely be diagnosed with BAOS by the age of four if it is present. This diagnosis is the result of breed characteristics, clinical signs, and physical examination outcomes.

What You Can Do

Bulldog owners faced with a BAOS diagnosis can tackle it with a strict weight loss or weight management regime. You’ll want to control your dog’s exercise and keep them in air conditioned spaces, especially during the summer months.

Your dog’s veterinarian may prescribe oxygen therapy or NSAIDs but this will only help manage the problem—not fix it. Surgery is the only way to completely cure the abnormalities resulting in BAOS. The surgery will improve airflow by removing tissue from the nostrils or laryngeal saccules to better clear the larynx.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is essentially a prolapsed third eyelid. The eyelid comes out of place and becomes mispositioned which leads to a swollen mass at the bottom of your dog’s eyes. This is a hereditary problem so if your pet’s mom or dad experienced cherry your pet will be more likely to develop it at some point in their life. You’ll also want to note, if your dog has experienced cherry eye in one eye but not the other there is a greater chance they will eventually experience it in the unaffected eye.

Cherry eyes can be incredibly uncomfortable for dogs but are thankfully not an all-out emergency. It is suggested, however, to tackle the issue early on to avoid surgery if possible.

What You Can Do

You should take your dog to the vet for treatment soon after you discover the problem. If caught early, treatment may be as simple as massages to the affected area or medication in addition to massage.

If the problem is more severe, surgery may be required. Surgery methods vary. Some veterinarians may replace the third eyelid gland, others may use a pocketing method, and still others may remove the gland entirely.

German Shepherd

German shepherd dog

German Shepherds are easily recognizable medium to large-sized dogs. The breed originated in Germany and is known for producing loyal, alert, and courageous companions. German Shepherds are great dogs for active individuals or families who have time to invest in keeping their pup entertained, but this breed does have hereditary problems to consider. The biggest concern being hip dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia causes the hip joint to become malformed. This leads to instability and osteoarthritis. Because it is hereditary, mindful and responsible breeding are the only way to reliably avoid hip dysplasia developing.

What You Can Do

As an owner of a German Shepherd with hip dysplasia you have a few treatment options. Depending on the severity veterinarians may suggest:

  • Weight reduction
  • Physical therapy
  • Joint supplements
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

In more severe cases and if your dog is a good candidate, surgery may be the best option. Surgeries to correct hip dysplasia include double or triple pelvic osteotomy, total hip replacements, and femoral head ostectomy. These surgeries all average in at $2,000 to $5,000 or more to complete.

Labrador Retriever

lab laying in grass

Labrador retrievers are an incredibly popular dog breed in the United States. These dogs are known for being lovable, friendly, and outgoing companions. These dogs are medium to large in size with a thick “otter tail”.

Unfortunately, while Labrador retrievers are known for their great personalities they have health problems that often crop up as they exit their active younger years. Labrador retrievers often have problems with obesity.


Obesity can be a problem for any dog breed if fed an improper diet but it is particularly prevalent in Labrador retrievers. Owners can seek advice from a veterinarian for getting their pet’s weight back on track if the current efforts aren’t working. Obesity may not seem like a big deal but it can lead to many other health problems including urinary bladder stones, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.

What You Can Do

Getting an obese dog’s health back on track will require both habit and diet changes. Owners can:

  • Switch to food meant for controlling weight
  • Pay close attention to measuring meals
  • Limit snacks and eliminate table scraps as treats
  • Pick treats that are low-calorie

Yorkshire Terrier

yorkie in living room

Yorkshire terriers are feisty dogs thought to originally be bred for small vermin hunting. These days “Yorkies” are known for being pampered lapdogs and companions rather than miniaturized hunting dogs. This breed is known for its high energy and small size, with males coming in at only 9 inches tall at the withers.

Unfortunately, Yorkies aren’t free from health problems. Owners or Yorkshire terriers should be aware of potential problems with a collapsed trachea or portosystemic shunt.

Collapsed Trachea

A collapsed trachea caused airway obstruction in dogs and is actually fairly common, particularly in small breeds. Collapsed tracheas occur due to the collapse of the tracheal rings that make up the windpipe.

If your Yorkie is especially noisy, has trouble breathing, and exhibits frequent coughing and gagging, they may have a collapsed trachea. These symptoms are often exacerbated by excitement, drinking, and exercise.

Your veterinarian will likely carry out a radiograph and fluoroscopy to confirm that problem is in fact a collapsed trachea.

What You Can Do

If your Yorkie does have a collapsed trachea there are treatment options. Cough suppressants, antibiotics, and corticosteroids are all common drugs used to treat the irritating symptoms of a collapsed trachea. Remember to always check with your veterinarian before giving your pet any medication. Overweight dogs can sometimes decrease the severity of symptoms caused by a collapsed trachea with weight loss.

In severe cases, surgery may be required. These surgeries are less common and usually require a visit to a specialist.

Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)

Portosystemic shunt (PSS) is the presence of an abnormal blood vessel in the abdomen causing blood to partially bypass the liver. This often causes hepatic encephalopathy which is caused by the carrying of toxins to the brain that would otherwise have been pulled out by the liver. This can lead to dementia, coma, and death.

Dogs with PSS, and the associated problems that come from it, will exhibit signs of depression and tremors. The diagnosis process may include a bile acid test, CBC, urinalysis, and ultrasound.

What You Can Do

PSS can be managed with specialized diets and maintenance medication. Diet changes focus on higher protein and medication regimes often include antibiotics and lactulose.

In more severe cases shunts will need to be closed off with surgery using an ameroid constrictor.

Preparing for Expected Health Problems

It’s very rare for a dog to go their entire lifespan without a single health problem arising. But, pet owners have the opportunity to prep for common illnesses and conditions before they happen.

The best way to get a head start on breed-related health problems is to schedule regular vet visits. Your veterinarian will be able to make the best preventative decisions to keep your dog’s health in check. A veterinarian can often identify any telltale signs indicative of larger health problems.

Schedule a routine wellness exam for your dog at our Dr. Phillips location to get an in-depth look at your pet’s wellness, nose to tail.