Finding Warm Homes for Cold Noses Since 1991!

Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

Your Golden's New Year's Resolutions for YOU!

The start of a brand new year is usually the time when you sit down and think about all of the resolutions that you'd like to keep for the upcoming months. This annual list tends to be a pretty standard one, doesn't it?

The truth is ---- this same list goes for your Golden Retriever as well. If you were to ask your furry best friend what they would want more than anything else in the new year, feeling good and hanging out with you as much as possible are certainly high on their list. Count on it.

With that in mind, here is a New Year's Resolution list from your Golden to you and your family of what would make them the happiest in 2017.

Eating healthier ---- Next time you are with your Vet for your Golden's check-up, ask about the food you're giving your dog. Discuss the ingredients and mix of meat/vegetable combos in your particular brand to ensure your Golden is eating a healthy diet. Also, talk about food amounts you're putting out everyday as well to see if you are hitting the proper cupfuls for your specific dog's weight.

Exercise more ---- Walk! Walk! Walk! Your own doctor probably tells you to exercise more each year. Why not make it a promise to your Golden that both of you head out each day for a stroll? It's "win/win" as you'll both feel better and get a great amount of stress-relieving time outdoors in the fresh air. Your dog needs exercise to feel their best and it will do a world of good for you as well.

Spending quality time with loved ones ---- As we all know, Golden Retrievers are PEOPLE DOGS. Their humans are the most important things in the entire world to them. Bonding time each day with your dog gives them a sense of calm, support, love, and knowing they are truly part of a stable pack. This consistency of caring enables your Golden to be happy and feel secure within their home.

Plan a family vacation ---- Well, your Golden is certainly part of the family. So why not take your dog with you on your annual road trip? There are tons of rental properties at the beach, the mountains, or pretty much anywhere you and your group want to go where your dog can stay, too. Check out websites that denote "pet-friendly" locations. There are also many helpful links that give tips on what to bring with you on your driving adventure to ensure your Golden is taken care of on the road. You know they want to go with you anyway. Plus you'll feel so much better knowing they are with you and not alone.

From all of us at GRRA, we'd like to wish you and your family a very happy and healthy new year. And thank you again for all of the wonderful support you've given to the organization. Over 80 Golden Retrievers found loving forever homes in 2016 and we can't thank you enough for making that happen. Happy 2017, everyone!

Golden fun during the holidays

It's that magical time of year again! The wonderful holiday season. Thinking about some fun things to do with your Golden Retriever over the next couple of weeks? Here are a few ideas that can involve everyone in your entire family.

Get a holiday picture taken with your Golden. It can be either with Santa or in front of the fireplace at home or even just outside playing in the backyard. However you celebrate the holidays, your Golden Retriever can be part of the action. And what a fun way to remember a particular moment with family and friends by having your furry pal by your side.

Make a special holiday dinner for your Golden. There are many helpful resources online that denote safe and healthy meals that you can make for your dog that do not include simple table scraps from your meal. Certain "human food" items are bad for dogs so be sure you are serving non-toxic choices to keep them safe. Your dog will appreciate the yummy holiday dinner and you'll feel all warm inside knowing you did a truly nice thing for your buddy.

Open presents together with your Golden. Why not include your dog in the fun and excitement of seeing all the goodies you received? Invite them to sit with you and be a part of the family gathering as everyone exchanges gifts and spends time telling stories and sharing moments. Your dog will love the positive vibe of the room and feel completely included and loved.

Take your Golden on a holiday walk with your family. You grab your gloves, hats, scarfs, boots, etc. before you head out this time of year ---- so bring along your dog as well. They'll want to be with you anyway, plus it will give them a chance at some additional and beneficial exercise and time with their favorite people. Also, for those car trips that are necessary to see family and friends, be sure to take your dog with you then as well. They miss Grandma as much as you do. And Grandma will be happy to see your furry best friend, too.

Remember to include your Golden Retriever in your busy plans over the next couple of weeks. You'll be so glad you did. Please have a safe and enjoyable time and Happy Holidays to everyone from GRRA!

Golden safety during Thanksgiving weekend

For most, Thanksgiving means family gatherings with an abundance of delicious food for everyone. And even though we want to include our Golden Retriever in on the celebration, unfortunately some of our holiday food is not safe for them.

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Prevention is the absolute best option to keeping our Goldens safe and healthy ----- not to mention the best way for you to have a restful and happy turkey day.

To help keep your Golden Retriever safe, here is a list of food items to be aware of during your Thanksgiving holiday weekend:

Fatty foods such as butter, bacon, fatty meat drippings, gravies, and meat scraps may seem harmless but can actually pose very real threats of making your Golden Retriever sick.

Discarded food items such as corn cobs, turkey trussing’s, and turkey bones can result in an obstructive risk or gastrointestinal injury that have the potential of requiring surgical removal or repair.

Brine is also something to be very careful about. Who would have thought that the popular trend of brining your turkey prior to Thanksgiving would be a risk to your Golden? When you remove the turkey, this salt-saturated solution can be very attractive to dogs who will readily lap it up resulting in salt toxicosis in their system.

Xylitol is always something to be mindful of around your Golden Retriever. Candies, desserts, or other foods that are sweetened with an artificial sweetener called xylitol are dangerous to dogs. Xylitol can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar in dogs. Xylitol is very commonly used in sugar-free or low-sugar baked goods, vitamins, and even certain types of peanut butter. Always check the labels when you are baking.

Raisins and grapes found in some of our favorite Thanksgiving foods are a very serious concern for dogs as they have the risk of resulting in acute renal failure with even small ingestions.

Chocolates in our desserts or treats can be very dangerous to our dogs. Remember that the darker the chocolate, the more serious the ingestion ----- meaning the less they will need to ingest to develop vomiting, diarrhea, or an increased heart rate.

Nuts are high in fat and have the risk of pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are more serious and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and the inability to rise and/or walk normally.

If you think that your Golden Retriever has ingested something poisonous or harmful, it is always easier, less expensive, and safer for your dog to be treated as early as possible rather than waiting for severe clinical signs to occur. Call Pet Poison Control or your Emergency Vet Staff immediately if you see any issues at all.

Please have a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at GRRA. We hope you have a great weekend with your family and friends ----- especially your furry ones.

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Golden rules on Halloween Night

Halloween is a great time for kids of all ages to dress up as the character they would most like to be and ring neighborhood doorbells for treats.

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But unfortunately the holiday isn’t always fun for your Golden Retriever. They may become overly excited by the continually ringing doorbell ---- not to mention anxious because the visitors are strangers who aren’t coming inside.

Friendly dogs may also want to greet every visitor frightening children who aren’t used to dogs. The fears can definitely work either way.

With that in mind, you can take action to maintain a fun Halloween for your Golden Retriever along with the trick-or-treaters who may be at your door this year.

Here are some things you can do to keep your pet safe on Halloween:

*Provide safe treats

Many pet stores are selling treats with Halloween shapes if you’d like to have your pet join in the fun But always make sure whatever you give your pet is safe to eat. This means no chocolate or other candies which can be toxic to your Golden.

*Keep dogs away from the front door

Keep your pet in a separate room during trick-or-treat hours. The continuous opening and closing of the door, ringing of doorbells, and general noise associated with groups of people approaching the house can be stressful or confusing to pets. Your Golden may feel the need to protect their home and humans and may bite your bizarre-looking visitors ---- which may or may not be covered by your Homeowners policy.

*Choose dog costumes wisely

If you want to dress your dog up, the general rule here is keep it simple and safe. For example, a bandanna or decorative collar would suffice. If your dog can tolerate wearing a full costume ---- and actually likes it---- pick one that fits comfortably.

*Have dogs wear tags or IDs

Always make sure that your Golden has proper identification. If your dog gets out of the house and is lost, a collar, tags and a microchip can be lifesaving. Dogs can easily become frightened or spooked by loud or unusual sounds on Halloween night and may try to run away from you. Should this happen, having the dog’s ID tag in place will help you get your pet back.

*Don’t leave dogs alone in the house or backyard

Dogs may find it very frightening to sit in a dark room or backyard alone while scary creatures of every size and shape walk by your home. Also, your normally friendly dog can become aggressive and protective and lash out at a friendly ghost or witch. If your dog is upset by the trick-or-treaters, he/she might damage the interior of your house or yard trying to get out ---- resulting in a possible unsafe result.

The general rule of thumb is to try to stay with your dog during this time of evening. That way, everyone is calm and happy and your Golden stays safe from harm.

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Do you have any Halloween safety tips that have worked for your beloved Golden Retriever? Please share them with us at GRRA. We'd love to hear from you. Have a very safe and enjoyable Halloween, everyone!

Keeping your Golden Retriever safe during 4th of July weekend

You’ve probably heard this a gazillion times already, but it can't hurt to say it again ---- More dogs end up in animal shelters during and after the 4th of July holiday more than any other time of year because fireworks can scare the wits out of them.

When Golden Retrievers are scared, they can have a tendency to bolt and keep running for long distances until they get far away from whatever scared them. And if the fireworks keep going off, the dog will keep running.

Some people think their Golden will be O.K. if they leave it in a fenced yard, but you’d be surprised to see just how high a panicked dog can jump a fence. Or dig under it for that matter.

And if you do leave your Golden Retriever alone in your house while you celebrate the 4th? Be prepared to dip into your savings as you might found out just how much damage a truly frightened dog can cause.

Even if you stay home and cookout in the backyard, your presence won’t necessarily prevent your dog from trying to run away once the fireworks start in and around your neighborhood.

But keeping your Golden safe and calm during the 4th of July celebrations isn’t beyond your control. Here are some quick tips that might help you and your family.

Exercise your Golden Retriever before the fireworks start. Make time in your schedule to give your dog an extra long workout before the fireworks begin. Dogs that have been thoroughly exercised are calmer and easier to keep quiet. They will also sleep more deeply and consequently will be less likely to be disturbed by the noises outside.

Stay home with your dog. Not everyone can stay at home on the 4th, but your dog’s fear of fireworks can be exacerbated if you aren’t there to provide reassurance that they are safe. This is especially important if you have a new dog in the house as you won’t know how he reacts to fireworks.

Keep Calm. Your dog reacts to your non-verbal cues. If you jump or tense up when you hear fireworks because you are anticipating your dog’s fear, you may make his fear worse.

Drown out the sounds. Turn up the stereo or television and keep your windows closed during the fireworks. Something that can provide background noise like a large fan or air conditioner can help as well.

Respect your Golden's fear. Allow your dog to hide if he feels more comfortable in the crate or under a bed. Don’t pull him out or try to force him closer to the fireworks in an attempt to get him used to the sounds. Just let him stay where it’s comfortable and provide reassurance that it’s completely safe.

Provide a distraction. Break out your dog’s favorite treats, play a game, or give him some extra cuddle time.

Try a Thundershirt. Some people swear by them. The pressure it provides around your dog's body can have a very calming effect on the nervous system.

Be Prepared. Make sure your Golden Retriever is wearing ID tags with his name, your name, and your current working phone number. Get your dog microchipped if he doesn’t have one already.

Do you have any tips for firecraker-scared Goldens that have worked positively in your home? Any stories about what you've done during the 4th of July to help your dog get through all of those scary noises outside? Please share them with GRRA. We'd love to hear from you!

Have a great holiday and be sure to keep your dog safe and calm this weekend.

Spring is in Golden Bloom

Spring is in Golden bloom! It's a wonderful time of year to get outdoors and bring your Golden Retriever along with you for great times with the entire family.

Thankfully, there are many dog parks in and around Atlanta to choose from. Here are some suggestions --- both ITP and OTP --- for dog parks you can take your Golden friend to for exercise and fun.

Piedmont Dog Park in Atlanta (off-leash area available)

Railside Dog Park / Castleberry Hill in Atlanta

Frankie Allen Park in Atlanta

Grant Park in Atlanta

Renaissance Park / Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta

Overlook Dog Park in Sandy Springs

Brook Run Dog Park in Dunwoody (off-leash area available)

Oakhurst Dog Park in Decatur (off-leash area available)

Mason Mill Dog Park in Decatur (off-leash area available)

Silver Comet Trail in Austell / Powder Springs

Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersville

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Kennesaw

Sweat Mountain Park in Marietta (off-leash area available)

Lewis Dog Park in Marietta

Woofstock Dog Park in Woodstock

Deer Lick Park in Douglasville (some off-leash areas available)

Leita Thompson Memorial Dog Park in Roswell (off-leash area available)

Mountain Park Dog Park in Roswell

Waggy World Paw Park at Wills Park in Alpharetta (off-leash area available)

Graves Dog Park in Norcross (off-leash area available)

Chattapoochee Dog Park in Duluth

Lenora Dog Park in Snellville (off-leash area available)

Peachtree City Dog Park in Peachtree City (off-leash area available)

Canine Crossing in College Park

Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge

Do you have a favorite dog park in or around Atlanta that you take your Golden Retriever to? Please tell us about it. We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to send pictures as well. Happy Golden Spring!

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