Support Atlanta’s four-legged friends in the new year

DogThis time of year, it’s common to spend some time thinking about ways we can give back to the community.  Last week, we told you about the importance and ease of giving blood.   This week, we’ll talk to the pet lovers, who simply must check all that is happening at the Atlanta Humane Society.  Whether you choose to volunteer, adopt or donate, there are so many ways to give to Atlanta’s furriest residents. Continue reading

Let Rover run free at one of Atlanta’s great dog parks!

dog parkRover, we hear ya.  You’re inside all day, looking out the window, pleading to get out – and that 5 minute walk to the mailbox on a leash just isn’t gonna cut it.  You need to run free.  You yearn to frolic with other four-legged friends.  Message received.   Here are some great parks we hope your owner reads about.  Continue reading

Jog with your dog at Piedmont Park!

Atlanta Dog JogGot a dog?  Like to jog?  Come out to the 25th Annual Atlanta Dog Jog Saturday, May 12 in Piedmont Park!   Dogs and people of all athletic levels are invited to jog or walk a one or two mile course to support two great causes – the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Foundation and Canine Assistants, an Alpharetta-based non-profit that breeds, raises and trains working dogs for children and adults with disabilities. Continue reading

Downtown Atlanta Apartment Living with Pets

When choosing an apartment, it’s always smart to think of your pets…whether you already have a four-legged friend or are considering adopting one, begin your search with your pet in mind. Many downtown Atlanta apartments (including the Pencil Factory Flats & Shops) will allow cats and dogs up to 45 lbs. for a small fee. Be sure to ask your prospective apartment’s manager about the pet policy, possible charges, and any relevant information for your community. Never try to sneak a pet into a non-pet-friendly apartment; this never works out well!

Moving with your pet:

Cats and dogs are used to consistency, and moving can be very stressful on them. Before the move, get your cat used to being in a pet carrier, and on the day of the move keep him in the carrier with a blanket or toy until the moving is done. Be prepared for a freak-out when you let him out and he tries to figure out the changes! Dogs can also get anxious, so reassure your dog periodically and make sure she knows she is going with you. Be sure to keep her on a leash until she is safe inside your new apartment, as in the confusion she could run off. Try to keep up with normal routines to get your pet acclimated as quickly as possible.

After the move:

Be sure to get your pet tags with your new address immediately! In the worst case scenario where you get separated from your pet, tags will help him find his way home. Also, remember to change your address with the relevant agencies, for example the database if he is microchipped. Make sure water is always available for your pet and that the litter box is accessible for cats.

Apartment living with your pet:

Always pet-proof your apartment by doing things like securing garbage, keeping windows closed, and keeping breakable, dangerous, or poisonous items out of reach. Without a backyard to stay in all day, it is crucial that you give your dog long walks to get exercise, which not only keeps her healthy but also helps rid her of excess energy that can lead to destructive behavior. When walking your dog within the city, always keep her on a leash for safety. Show common courtesy in not letting her jump on people or become aggressive with them or other dogs. Many people are afraid of or allergic to dogs, so be courteous to their need to stay away. And always clean up your dog’s mess! There is nothing less polite than leaving your animal’s waste all over your community…bag it and bin it, please.

Choosing a pet for apartment living:

Having a pet is a big responsibility, and not one that should be undertaken lightly. If you choose to adopt a pet while living in an apartment, these tips will help you to make sure he or she is comfortable and happy. Most cats are happy to live in apartments, and because their bathroom habits are less owner-intensive, they make great pets for apartment dwellers. If you’d rather have a dog, don’t choose a high-energy breed like a border collie or labrador retriever…these dogs require a lot of exercise and can become destructive if they don’t have enough space. Instead, smaller dogs like terriers or the lazy Basset hound require less outdoor exercise and can play happily in the apartment. Greyhounds and whippets are also very mellow and sleep all day, making them great apartment dogs (consider adopting a retired racing dog…they are sweet and many need homes!) A reputable breeder or adoption agency should be able to tell you if your dog is a good choice for your lifestyle.

A pet can be one of the nicest things to come home to. If the responsibilities of pet ownership are right for you, and you make sure to follow our above tips, you can look forward to giving your pet a full, happy life in your apartment.

Review: ParkGrounds, the Reynoldstown Dog Park Coffee Shop

ParkGrounds exteriorFor a while I’ve been hearing about a little coffee, breakfast, and lunch spot in Reynoldstown that caters as much to dogs as to people. ParkGrounds offers pour-over coffee, local baked goods, and plenty of sandwiches, as well as homemade ice cream, teas, and Cabbagetown Chai. But what really sets them apart is the off-leash dog park they have on the premises for all those four-legged Atlantans. Being the proud mama to a beautiful little mutt, today I decided to take her down to check the place out.

ParkGrounds is an unassuming little joint off Flat Shoals in the heart of historic Reynoldstown. It’s the sort of place where artsy types meet hip urbanites meet local food enthusiasts meet anyone and everyone with a dog intown. The interior is cozy, with plenty of comfy seating and free wi-fi for those needing to get things done. But since I came with Pippi in tow, I was interested in the outside.

I grabbed a guacamole-smothered breakfast burrito and a coffee for lunch and went out to the patio, where a few other individuals were seated, some of whom were on laptops (it appears that the wi-fi network extends outside, which is always nice). The dog park area is not too huge but still enough for the eight or so pups there to romp sufficiently. There were water dishes and bags are provided in case nature calls. The prominently placed fire hydrant in the center led to some chuckles, as well.

PippiPippi is a bit shy, so she mainly wandered around sniffing at things and chasing one of the provided tennis balls when I threw it, but she slowly began to open up and make friends with some of the other dogs. I was happy to see that the other owners there seem to be diligent and keep an eye on their canines in case things get rough. Both the staff and the clientele are friendly and dog-loving, which helped make the visit a success, pleasing both the timid puppy and her blog-brained owner.

So if you’re in downtown Atlanta, Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown, Grant Park, or the Old Fourth Ward and lamenting the lack of a city-provided dog park closer than Piedmont, come on down to ParkGrounds and grab a coffee and let your best friend get some much-deserved romping in. Pippi gives it two paws up!

And remember, the apartments at the nearby Pencil Factory are pet friendly and allow dogs up to 45 lbs for a small fee.