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April is Canine Fitness Month

April is Canine fitness month and keeping your dog at a healthy weight is key for a long and happy life. We all love our pets and tend to spoil them a little too much, but it’s important to keep your dog a healthy weight to keep their joints from being strained. Here is a healthy chart to check how your dog is if you don’t have a trip to the vet coming up soon:

Image sourced by: https://fitdognation.com/ideal-canine-body-weight/

Is your pup over or underweight? Easiest way to fix the situation is adjust their portion sizes! You can slightly adjust how much you feed your pet with no issue and if you are going by the recommended portion your pet’s food recommends then you’re more than likely feeding too much. Before you make a drastic change to your pet’s diet be sure to consult your vet or a certified nutritionist.

Like humans, diet is only part of the solution. We want our dogs to get up and move as well in order to lose the chunk. Go on walks together, play fetch in the back yard, bring them to daycare. There are endless possibilities of activities you can do with your pet. If you don’t have the time you can always inquire about our 15 minute day training sessions where we can do some canine fitness with your pup.

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Sarasota Location Renovations

We are excited for new paint, new floors and a new look for our Sarasota location. This is going to be an ongoing process featuring a variety of renovations with a final finish date in late April. Keep an eye on this page for new photos, videos and before & after shots. 

Repainting Back of the House and Suites

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye green, hello neutral gray and pop of blue!

Repainting the Outside of the Building

PENDING RENOVATIONS: New floors for the Cat Room, Small Dog Indoor Daycare Room, Groom Room, Training Room and Lobby!

Our new floors have been delivered and will be installed over the next few weeks. We will be working in portions so as to not interrupt our daily activities and clients as little as possible. Please be patient with us as we work through a bit of dust.

Cat Room

Indoor Small Dog Daycare Room

Groom Room

Training Room

Lobby

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Bayside Welcomes Guests from Southeastern Guide Dogs

Bayside Pet Resort is so excited to be hosting three dogs from Southeastern Guide Dogs (SEGD) at each of our locations. The statues were painted by local artists and create a lovely talking piece in our lobbies. Each statue is inspired by a dog that was trained and placed with their human by SEGD. We invite you to meet these super cute pups and donate to SEGD to help with their mission of transforming lives. 

Buddy is inspired by Maggie, a Service Dog. “Boarding” at our Sarasota location. 

Hi! My name Buddy! When I grow up, I want to be like my friend Maggie. She’s a spunky yellow lab with a sweet personality. She’s also a highly-trained service dog and best friend to U.S. Army veteran John Gallagher. When John deployed to Afghanistan as a medic, he witnessed many people – including children – suffering injuries from IED blasts. Post-traumatic stress disorder followed, and now John relies on Maggie to stay by his side and give him a sense of calm. 

Beautifully created by artist Austin Gee.

 

 

Sky is inspired by Hope, a Gold Star Family Dog. “Boarding” at our Lakewood Ranch location. 

Hi! My name is Sky! When I grow up, I want to be like my friend Hope, a sweet black lab. She’s also a Gold Star Family dog and best friend to 8-year-old Talon. Talon was just 8 weeks old when he lost his father, a U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant who lost his life when enemy forces attacked his unit in Afghanistan. Talon and Hope share a very special bond. 

Beautifully created by artist Elizabeth Fontaine-Barr. 

 

 

 

 

Bella is inspired by Miracles, a Kids Companion Dog. “Boarding” at our Osprey location. 

Hi! My name is Bella! When I grow up, I want to be like my friend Miracles, a sweet black lab. She’s also a Kids Companion dog and best friend to a little girl named Millie. Millie’s been fighting cancer since she was just four, and she lost her vision from the effects of a brain tumor. During one difficult MRI, Millie’s grandmother prayed for a miracle. The next day, the phone rang and Millie was offered a Kids Companion dog – named Miracles! This affectionate dog gives Millie extra love, encouragement, and purpose. 

Beautifully created by artist Brandy Heinrich. 

 

Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people with dogs. We operate the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world. We create elite working dogs and provide life-changing services for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities, and children with significant challenges such as vision loss or the loss of a parent in the military. A nonprofit with a national reach, we provide our premier dogs and lifetime services at no cost.

Learn more at GuideDogs.org or text the word Guidedogs to #44321 to donate now. 

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Dog Training: Different Gear Options for Your Pet

labs in training during day school at bayside pet resort of osprey

Retractable Leashes

Although retractable leashes are very popular and can let your pup explore, they pose many dangers to both you, your pet, and others. These leashes can malfunction by having the locking mechanism break allowing your pup to have free reign. Dogs the run all the way to the end of the leash can suffer from trachea damage as well as hurt their owner’s arm.

They also pose a risk if the owner is not paying attention to where their dog is. Their dog can get into a variety of dangerous situations including ingesting something that is poisonous, being attacked by a dog that is not good with other dogs, or overwhelming someone who is afraid of dogs. Just because your dog is friendly doesn’t mean everyone around you is as well.

Standard Leashes

A standard 4 or 6 foot leash is a much safer option when bringing your pup out in public. These leashes come in a variety of styles including nylon, leather, and rope . These leashes still give your pup a chance to sniff and safely explore without giving up safety and control if needed.

Collars

There are several types of collars on the market. The two basic types are the standard buckle collar and the martingale collar. These collars are great for ID tags to be on as these can stay on the dog at all times. These collars are good to use with a leash on a dog who is not a big puller otherwise they could damage their trachea. Small dogs tend to be at higher risk for trachea damage so a harness might be a better fit.

There are also two main training collars that can be used: prong collars and choke chains. Neither of these collars should be used without consulting a trainer first as they both can cause serious damage if fitted or used improperly. If you are currently using one and want to have a trainer check the fit, feel free to ask us!

Harnesses

As stated above, harnesses are a great option for small dogs to protect them from trachea damage, however they may not be a great option when it comes to a large dog that pulls a lot. We must remember that harnesses were creates to help dogs to pull sleds and other heavy loads. Harnesses also utilize what is known as opposition reflex, where if something pulls back against it they will push harder in the opposite direction.

There are some harnesses labeled as no pull harnesses. The most effective of these options will clip in the front which eliminates the opposition reflex as well as pull them slightly off balance.

Head Halters

Head halters are a great training tool but can be mistaken for a muzzle as first glance. Although they do have a loop that goes around the muzzle, it does not inhibit the dog from opening his mouth. He can still eat, drink, give kisses, and get mouthy while wearing one. The design was made to function the same way that a halter on a horse works, change the direction of the head and change where the dog goes.

The main issue many owners have with this is that you can’t just put it on a dog and go. At first the sensation of having something around the nose is uncomfortable to the dog so you have to desensitize them to the feeling of it. Some dogs will get used to it quickly, others need longer to adjust, and some might never get used to it. This product is gentle on the dogs and is a self correcting tool like a prong collar, where the pressure applied by it from the dog’s own pulling does the work of correcting that issue. Like all training tools, this is meant to be used to teach the dog how to walk nicely so the owner can then transition to a regular collar or harness.

For more information on our dog training classes and programs, click here.

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Tips on Potty Training

Potty training can be a long process that can take a couple weeks or a couple of months for your dog to master. It’s normal to get frustrated and wonder what could be going wrong but it is best to take a step back and take a deep breath.

Here at Bayside we are ready to help you through this time with different tips and tricks to success!

Tip #1 Ditch the Pee Pads

If you are using pee pads you are inadvertently teaching your pup that it’s okay to pee inside the house. Pick them up so they lose out on a “safe” place to go inside, increasing the chance that they will go outside.

Tip #2 Add a Command

Adding a command name, like “Go Potty” or “Hurry” can help your puppy understand what you are looking for it to do. When they do end up going mark it with “Yes! Good Potty!” or whatever your word is going to be. Just don’t use treats to help reinforce it or your pup might fake squat in order to get a treat.

 

Tip #3 It’s Okay to Use a Crate

We all have heard that we shouldn’t use a crate as punishment but it can be a very useful tool when doing potty training. Puppies have the natural instinct to not go potty where they sleep, especially in a correctly sized crate. If you take your puppy outside and they don’t do anything, put them in the crate for 10-15 minutes and try again. This is also a good way to get them used to the crate.

 

Tip #4 If the Puppy Plays, The Puppy has to Pee

By some natural phenomena, it seems like the more a puppy plays, the more they will have to go out. If your puppy has just finished playing, or has been playing for a while take them out immediately to avoid an unwanted accident.

Tip #5 Keep a Consistent Schedule

Like with all things, it’s good to have a consistent schedule. Make sure the puppy has set feeding and sleeping schedule and to let them out after eating and once they wake up. Once they get used to the routine they might even start reminding you that it’s time to go out.

Tip #6 Be Observant

Most of the time, dogs will actually try to tell you that they have to go potty. Dogs can all have different types of signals, such as waiting at a door, whining, barking, and even acting more needy than normal. Keep an eye out and see if your puppy was acting differently before they had an accident so you know for next time.

Need more help? Talk to one of our trainers at any of our three locations for more information and tricks that could help you!

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Bayside Pet Resort Hosts Rescue Dogs from Haiti

In early December 2020 we hosted 6 dogs that were rescued by the Haiti Street Dog Project. These dogs were in transit with the Abandoned Dogs of Rhode Island where they would continue their journey to finding their forever homes. They just needed a resting place after their plane ride from Haiti and before their 2 day drive up to Rhode Island. That’s where Bayside Pet Resort came in. 

We were proud to host Joy, Mia, Lily, Bilou, Boulous, and Zoto. 

Joy (left), Mia (middle) and Kaleigh (right).

Enriqueta holding Lily and Bilou checking them out on the right.

Boulous on the left and Zoto on the right.

Sadly, Joy had an infection on her toe and needed to visit the vet. Thankfully Bayshore Animal Hospital fit us in quickly and provided medicine to help. Check out Joy’s trip to the vet below. 

Once we got back to Bayside, all the dogs got to play in our outdoor yard with toys. 

On the second day they were at Bayside, it got pretty cold. These poor dogs are still very skinny so our staff decided to buy them each a holiday sweater to help keep them warm. 

Lily

Mia (top) and Joy (bottom).

Zoto

Boulous

Bilou

After four days with these sweet little pups, they started the drive up to Rhode Island with the rescue group. We will keep you all posted with updates as they get adopted. 

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How to Include Your Pet in Holiday Activities

The holiday season brings the joys of parties, Secret Santa, cookie exchanges, gift wrapping, cooking, cleaning, shopping, the list goes on. It’s the most wonderful and overwhelming time of the year! Why even spend the time trying to include your pet? Because your pet will love you and in the future, you will love the pictures and memories made.

Check out Bayside Pet Resort’s helpful list below: 

Get Dressed Up

Not everyone likes dressing up especially when you’re already covered in fur. A cute festive colored collar or leash can definitely put you and your pet in the holiday spirit. Of course full on outfits are just as merry and great for photos. If your dog has light colored fur you can always dye them a holiday color like red, green, blue or more. Just make sure you use pet safe dye or take them to a groomer with experience in dyeing. 

Holiday Pictures

Being a parent of both two and four-legged children, it’s totally understandable if you don’t want to force your fur babies into a traditional family photoshoot. So take a few minutes to grab your phone and a treat to pose your pet in front of the Christmas tree, menorah or whatever decorations you have up for the season. You’ll appreciate the memories and seeing them change year after year. 

Local Sarasota/Manatee spots to get good pictures: 

  • Brohard Dog Beach: Nothing like a White (sand) Christmas. This is also a great way to make your friends and family living up north jealous. 
  • University Town Center: They are known for some amazing holiday decorations and you can easily park your pooch next to one and snap a few good shots. 
  • St.Armands Circle: Also dresses up for the holidays and has numerous restaurants with outdoor doggie dining like Crab & Fin, Cafe L’Europe and Columbia. 

Holiday Treats

Our pets love to get in on holiday feasts, especially at the kids table where food droppings are plenty. Just make sure that they are eating safe food droppings and avoid items like bones, chocolate, grapes, onions and xylitol (artificial sweetener). Check out our guide to Safe Holiday Food for Dogs.  

You can also bake up a batch of pet-friendly cookies right along with the humans ones. Don’t worry, they’re human safe, just not super flavorful. Bayside has a great Pumpkin Pie for Pups recipe that’s great for Thanksgiving and if baking doesn’t fit in the schedule, Kong has a bunch of fun recipes that your dog will enjoy including this Thanksgiving Feast filling. 

Opening Presents

Everyone loves presents during the holidays, even your pet! Loosely wrap up a new bone, squeaky toy or bed and let them try opening it for themselves. 

You can also create DIY toys for your pet. Use old clothes or socks to knot and braid together to make an exciting new chew toy. You can also stick an empty plastic water bottle in a sock to create more entertainment. Just make sure to replace the bottle often as broken plastic shards can injure pets. 

Festive Displays

Who doesn’t love a ride in the car? If the family is going for a drive to look at Christmas lights, take your pet too. As long as they have good car manners it should be a fun trip. If the rest of the family is enjoying hot chocolate and cookies, bring a special treat along for your pet too.

In the end, you’re in it for the memories and the photos. Take the extra time for the photo opportunity and to incorporate our furry friends. Our pets will thank us for the treats and you will love the memories.  

“To the world, you are one person. To your dog, you are the world.”  – Unknown

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Finding the Right Food for Your Dog

By Jenn Becker, CPDT-KA

Sometimes choosing a food for Fido can be a bit… overwhelming. Walking into any pet store and strolling through their dog food section only is a small glimpse at all the options available and leaves any owner asking a multitude of questions. Which brand do we get? Do we get grain free? What flavor? What about doing a raw diet? Well I am here to help you narrow down your search.

Did you know?

The most common allergens in dogs are beef, dairy products, chicken, and wheat? If your dog is scratching or has red/pink skin try switching to a food that doesn’t include one of these allergens.

Finding a Good Fit for Your Budget

We all want to spoil our pups and give them the best, but sometimes it seems like the really good food is too out of reach. That’s okay because there’s an easy way to tell how good a food is just by looking at the bag. A good food will have a protein, not protein meal, listed as the first ingredient.

Going Grain Free

One theory is that wolves don’t eat grains in the wild and therefore dogs shouldn’t be able to digest them either. That is actually believed to be false. Even though wolves don’t eat wheat and starches, it is believed that dogs evolved alongside humans and developed that ability.

The other theory is that grain free diets are leading to an increased risk of developing a heart condition. That is true, but only if the food is using peas, lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, and beans. Grain free foods are good for pets that have grain allergies or might just be a picky eater.

Going Raw

Another new trend that is rising in popularity is the raw food diet but this, like the grain free trend, has been controversial. Many working dogs, including sled dogs and greyhound racers, have thrived off of raw diets. They have done well on these diets because of their benefits: healthier teeth, skin, and coats, more energy, and smaller stools. However there are risks to feeding raw as well. Both the dog and the owner can become sick from bacteria that may be in the raw meats being fed. Doing the wrong balance of meat, veggies, fruits, and bones can harm the dog’s health for an extended period of time. Dogs can also break their teeth or damage the digestive track from breaking apart and swallowing bone fragments.

The Take Away

Finding the right food might take time and research. A good way to start is knowing your price range. Ask your vet or the employees at the store for a recommendation. If your pet is having a lot of problems with foods you’ve tried, look for a certified nutritionist to help you along with help from your vet.

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Best Places to Explore with Your Dog in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Best Places to Explore with Your Dog in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

With the weather finally starting to cool down, it’s a great time to go on a hike or check out some new outdoor hangouts with your four-legged friends.  

 

Looking for adventure?

Robinson Preserve is located in northwest Bradenton just before you reach Anna Maria Island. This park is open sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. Consisting of 679 acres there are miles of paved, dirt and shell pathways for you and your furry friend to explore. 

*Dogs must be on a leash (max. 8ft long). Dogs are not allowed to swim or disturb any other natural habitat. 

Open 8am to sunset 365 days a year, Myakka River State Park encompasses 58 square miles including a 38.9 mile hiking loop. This park offers all kinds of activities from kayaking, hiking, biking, boat tours, camping and more. Pets are welcome on trails and in developed campgrounds. Pets are not allowed into buildings or structures including the Canopy Walkway. There is a fee to enter the park $4 for a single occupant vehicle or $6 per vehicle with 2-8 occupants.  

*Dogs must be on a leash (max, 6ft long). Dogs are not allowed to swim. 

Oscar Scherer State Park is nestled between housing developments and highways, but offers 15 miles of trails full of fresh air and adventure. This park is also part of the Legacy Trail that runs through the heart of the park. Pets are allowed on the campgrounds and in visitor recreation areas. There is a $5 charge per vehicle that enters the park. 

*Dogs must be on a leash (max. 6ft long) and are not allowed to swim. 

Located next to University Town Center (UTC) Mall, Nathan Benderson Park has become a popular spot for all types of exercise and local events. You can easily find festivals, races, fundraisers, concerts and more located near the Finish Tower. This park features 3.4 miles of paved and unpaved trails wrapped around a large 400 acre lake designed for rowing competitions. 

*Dogs must be on a leash

 

Want to be social?

Motorworks Brewing, located near downtown Bradenton, boasts the largest beer garden in the state of Florida with over 16,000 square feet. Luckily your four-legged family can enjoy it too. On the third Sunday of every month, Motorworks hosts Yappy Hour from 1-3pm which includes local vendors, prize raffles and drink specials benefitting local pet rescues. Don’t forget to try their Adoptable Lager that features local rescues from Manatee County Animal Services.

*Leashes are required

Mandeville Beer Garden is another great family-friendly location near downtown Sarasota that welcomes leashed dogs. Enjoy outdoor games like cornhole and ping pong while sipping on one of the 33 beers on tap. Mandeville also has a full menu featuring savory dishes like: French Onion Grilled Cheese, Hangover Burger, Grilled Salmon Club Sandwich, and for dessert: donut bites. Happy hour happens most days from 4-7pm. 

Located on the Manatee River, Caddy’s Bradenton features outdoor seating under two tiki huts, outdoor stage featuring live music, lawn games, fire pits, sand volleyball court and gorgeous water views. You can even pull up from your boat to dock and dine. 

Just a few steps west of Caddy’s is the Bradenton Riverwalk, a 1.5 mile park that features an amphitheater, splash pad, fishing pier, beach volleyball court and beautiful grassy lawns. 

*Dogs must be on a leash

A great place to catch Florida’s colorful sunsets is Bayfront Park. This waterfront park features paved walkways right along the water with shaded swings and benches for relaxing. There’s also a Children’s Fountain and playground for the little ones. When you’re ready to eat, take your four-legged friend and enjoy a casual meal at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill or take a seat on the Blue Sunshine Patio Bar & Grill at Marina Jacks 

 

Looking to shop?

There’s nothing like taking a stroll through one of our local Farmers Markets. Leashed pets are welcome at all farmers markets listed below. 

 

Ready for a swim?

DeSoto National Memorial Park is located in northwest Bradenton with spectacular water views. This park is pet friendly and allows dogs on the beaches and trails. Desoto National Memorial Park offers the B.A.R.K. Ranger program that introduces visitors to responsible behavior on park trails. Complete four tasks with your dog and be sworn in as a BARK ranger and get a dog tag. 

*Dogs must be on a leash (max. 6ft)

Palma Sola Causeway is found on your way out to Anna Maria Island on Manatee Avenue. This beachside park is dog-friendly. Please note that this park is next to a very busy road so keep a close eye on your pet. This 9 acre park includes amenities such as grills, picnic shelters, picnic tables, restrooms and water fountains. 

Brohard Paw Park is the only beach in Sarasota County that allows dogs. Amenities include picnic tables, benches, dog waste basks, showers and drinking fountains for both you and your dog. 

 

Before your adventure, please make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations. As you’re out and about, bring doggie waste bags so you can pick up after your pet and leave the area just as nice as you found it. Also be aware that while you love your dog, not everyone you meet will too. Make sure you have control of your dog and keep them off other people and their belongings.  

Hopefully you now have a few ideas for the weekend. Happy trails!

 

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What to Pack for Your Pet

Here is a friendly reminder of what to pack and what not to pack for your pet’s lodging stay.

We are so excited to have your pets with us over the holidays! As we usually do this time of year, we’d like to provide you with some tips and detailed information about our busy holiday season.

We value and respect your time, and have taken several steps to expedite the check-in/check-out proves while still providing the top level of care your pet deserves.

Please call us with any questions you may have.

Patience:  On some days we will have 75 -100 pets checking in and or out of our facility in a single day!  If you have a flight to catch, please allow adequate time for check in so that we may get thorough and complete care instructions for your pet.  Our staff will be working as efficiently as possible but anticipate a bustle of activity.

 

Pre-bagged food: We always tell pet parents to pre-measure their pet’s meals into individual  baggies whenever possible.  This helps to ensure your pet receives the same portions you feed at home.  No need to date them, but if A.M. and P.M. portions are different, feel free to use a permanent marker on the baggies differentiating the morning from evening meals. Staff will confirm feeding information with you at check-in.

 

Personal Items:  We provide water bowls, food bowls and a raised bed with bedding.  We recommend bringing in only those items that are necessary for your pet’s comfort. Please feel free to bring in a toy or two to help your pet feel at home – we will inventory the items at check in. As a reminder, please keep your pet’s “irreplaceable” belongings at home.

Vaccines: Please ensure your pet is up to date on the following vaccinations prior to their stay:

Cats Dogs
Rabies: 1 year Rabies: 1 year or 3 year
Distemper: 1 year Distemper: 1 year
Bordetella: 6 months

 

Camera Suites: In an effort to expedite your check out process, we will be gathering and laundering pets’ belongings the night before their scheduled departure. Should you look in on your pet and find their belongings have been removed, rest assured your pet will always have access to one of our beds at all times.

Bayside Care Club: As a reminder, we are now offering this protection program to all of our lodging clients for added peace of mind throughout your pet’s stay. For more information, including coverage/non-coverage and FAQs, visit our informational website at baysidepetresort.com/careclub

A few last things before you go…

Standard lodging includes three potty breaks.  We offer extra activities for an additional fee to accommodate pets that need a little bit more time out of their suite.  Keep in mind your pet will be stimulated with the hustle and bustle of the holiday festivities and may come home all “tuckered out”, so please select activities compatible with your pet’s energy level.

Although your pet may be housebroken, it is not uncommon for a pet to have an accident when in a new environment. We offer full service grooming and bathing if you would like your pet freshened up before you take them home.

We will do our best to make your pet’s stay with us a comfortable, positive experience and wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

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