Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Pet Care Tips from HomeAgain

Summertime is fun time, but hot weather makes for some unique summer pet care challenges. Although wild animals are well adapted to the elements, companion animals can be just as susceptible to extreme temperatures as their owners are. What does that mean for your pet? When the temperatures get extreme, pet safety should be top of mind. Here are five ways to stay safe while enjoying summer activities with your pet:
1. Respect the heat. Humans aren’t the only animals that can find a hot summer day overwhelming. But unlike you, your pet has a limited ability to deal with the heat. Dogs release heat through their paw pads and by panting, while humans can sweat through all of the skin on their body. Dehydration can be a big problem for pets during the hot weather, too. According to the ASPCA, animals with flat faces—like Pugs and Persian cats—cannot pant as effectively, and are therefore more susceptible to heat stroke. You should also keep an eye on elderly or overweight pets or animals with heart and lung disease. In the summer, make certain that Fido and Fluffy always have access to plenty of fresh, cool water, and avoid letting them run around outside during the hottest parts of the day.

2. Keep bugs away—safely. Another summer pet safety issue is the presence of ticks and other summer insects. Not only can bugs carry diseases, but the ways people try to ward them off can also cause problems for your outdoor pet’s health. Fertilizers and pesticides may help keep a lawn looking great, but they can be very dangerous for your pet. In the areas where your pets play, it’s better to keep the grass cut short to reduce the presence of ticks and other insects. Also keep an eye out for fertilizer warnings on the edge of lawns when walking your dog. Talk to your vet about the best ways to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and other insects that are more prevalent during the summer months.

3. Beware of anti-freeze. In the summertime, anti-freeze can leak out of cars when they overheat, leaving puddles on the ground that your dog can easily lap up and swallow. The sweet taste of anti-freeze is tempting to dogs and cats, but when this toxic substance is ingested, it’s potentially lethal. Pay attention to your neighbors’ cars and potential puddles on your street, and make sure your pets stay clear of it.

4. Find out if your pet needs sunscreen. Some pets, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin, can also be susceptible to sunburn. Talk to your veterinarian about which types of sunscreen are safest on your pet’s skin, and follow up by routinely applying sunscreen as part of your summer routine. Do not use sunscreen or insect repellents that are not designed specifically for use on animals. The ASPCA says ingesting certain sunscreens can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy in pets.

5. Practice water safety. As with other aspects of summer pet care, water safety is all about thinking ahead. Although it's fun to bring your pet to the beach or pool to stay cool together, always keep a close eye on your pet when they’re in or near the water. Even a strong swimmer could have trouble getting out of a pool, or get trapped by ropes and other obstacles. For more risky summer adventures with your dog, like boating, look into a doggie life preserver. It could be an excellent investment for his safety.

Summer pet safety isn’t hard, it just requires some thought and attention. Watch over your pet the way you would a small child—protect them from too much heat, sun, and other summer dangers—and everything should be just fine.

There's More To Bass Lake Than The Water

Mother Nature is reluctant to give us some warm weather this spring.  Cooler temperatures combined with heavy snow melt feeding Willow Creek and Pines Creek mean that our normally pleasant water temperature may take a while to warm up this summer.  Don't fret.  If you find your teeth chattering while water skiing or swimming try out some of the other great activities around the area.

Local fishing guides report that the trout and kokanee bite has been good this spring.  Bring your rods, tackle and a cooler and drop a line while enjoying the view of Goat Mountain.  Too much boat traffic on the water for fishing?  Head up Willow Creek and try your luck in one of the many great fishing holes.

There are lots of different hiking trails in the area offering a wide variety of experience.  Be sure to pack plenty of water and wear appropriate footwear.
Willow Creek and Angel Falls:  This is one of the most strenuous hikes around Bass Lake.  The trail begins at the Falls Beach on North Shore Road and winds up the mountain along Willow Creek for 2.7 miles, ending at McLeod Flat Road.  The two main attractions on this hike are Angel Falls and Devils Slide.  Use extreme caution on this hike.  Rocks can be extremely slippery and the creek itself hold multiple whirlpools.  There have been numerous injuries and even some deaths.
Goat Mountain/Spring Cove:  On the south side of the lake, Goat Mountain fire lookout is accessible via the Spring Cove Trail and the Goat Mountain Trail.  The Goat Mountain Trail begins in the Forks campground.  The Spring Cove trail begins on the east side of Spring Cove campground.  Both trails intersect in about an 1/8th of a mile.
Way of the Mono Trail:  This is one of the most popular and most used trails.  The self guided loop is about 1/2 mile long, offering a great vista point to view the lake.  Signs along the trail describe who the Mono people were and how they lived.  The trail begins across from the Little Denver Church Day Use Area.
Browns Ditch Trail:  Although not an official trail, this 2.5 mile route is clear and very easy to walk.  Browns Ditch is the cement flume that brings water to the lake.  The route begins where Road 274 meets Central Camp Road and runs along the flume.  At points you must walk on the steel walkway over the water.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE WATER.  The fast current and steep walls make it dangerous.

Take in some of our local Madera County history at one of our many museums.  These musuems are all within a quick 10-20 minute drive from Bass Lake:
Coarsegold Historic Museum, 31899 Highway 41, Coarsegold
Fresno Flats Historical Park, 49777 Road 427, Oakhurst
Kings Vintage Museum, 40680 Highway 41, Oakhurst
Sierra Mono Museum, 33108 Road 228, North Fork
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad/Thornberry Museum, 56001 Highway 41, Fish Camp

Sierra Vista Scenic Byway

The Scenis Byway is one of the most beautiful drives in the area.  The route begins at Beasore Road (off of Road 274 just up from the Pines Village) and winds through the Sierra National Forest, ending in North Fork.  Along the way enjoy views of Mammoth Pools, Redinger Lake, Mile High Vista, Arch Rock, Portuguese Overlook, Fresno Dome and many more.  Pack a lunch and enjoy a quiet picnic along the way.  The Byway is a full day trip but the natural wonders and beauty along this way make this drive well worth it.

There are two very nice golf course near Bass Lake.
Sierra Meadows:  46516 Opah Drive, Oakhurst
River Creek:  41709 Road 600, Ahwahnee
Both courses offer pro shops and cafes.

If you're in the mood for a challenge take the drive up to Wawona and try your luck on the famous Wawona Golf Course.  The course is located in Wawona next to the historic Wawona Hotel.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Action Brings Happiness

"Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action" ~Benjamin Disraeli
Happiness does not happen to you. You achieve a state of happiness through your conscious actions. You have to get up and look up to see the beautiful sunrise. You have to hug your partner to feel the comfort and contentment of their embrace. You have to work with passionate intent to bask in the glow of the promotion or recognition. In fact the first action to take to find happiness is simply to be happy. Happy people find happiness, and they recognize setbacks as learning opportunities to recalibrate and take more action.

Choosing Corrective Dog Glasses

Most dogs with failing eyesight learn to adapt to seeing less. His owners are usually instructed to avoid rearranging furniture or making drastic changes to the home that will confuse a dog with poor eyesight.

Dogs losing their sight are often easily frightened and may be more prone to biting if they are startled. Handling the dog's disability can be challenging and even frustrating, but a pair of prescription Doggles can end that stress.

A veterinary ophthalmologist can view the anatomy of the eye to determine the dog's prescription strength. This prescription is then sent to Doggles, where the glasses are made, often for less than $100.

Prescription Doggles are giving sight back to many dogs, such as those who have had a natural decline in the quality of their eyesight, dogs with cataracts, and dogs who are farsighted due to cataracts surgery without lens implants.