August 21st. 2017 Camp K-9 held it's End of Summer Luau & Fun-Raiser for Operation Delta Dog! We raised $1,165.00 for a great organization with all of the love and support from our pet parents. It was our honor at Camp K-9 to donate an additional $835 to give us a grand total of $2000.00 to donate. Our campers got to pawty it up in style ! Each camper had their tropical photo taken complete with luxurious beach sand snack on Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs, and cooled off with some refreshing Pina Colada Frozen Yogurt courtesy of our friends at Paw Street Barkery. It was a wonderful day had by all! We raffled off a big gift basket, and Ginger's family was the big winner! Our pet parents also got to vote in a counselor to be locked up in a cabin for an hour! Counselor Liz was the big winner to lounge in a cabin for an hour for this great organization. We appreciate everyone's love and support, for what was a truly a wonderful day. We hope you visit our Facebook page at Camp K-9 to view all the great photos!
Joseph Bednar on April 17, 2017 in 40 Under 40, The Class of 2017
Co-owner, Camp K-9; Age 36
Ali Connor and her husband, Nick, wanted a change.
They both worked in upper management in the retail world, but the hours and lifestyle weren’t amenable to a growing family, which, in the spring of 2015, included a 2-year-old son, Reid, and another son, Wyatt, on the way.
That was the year their careers went to the dogs.
“We realized we wanted to do our own thing,” she told BusinessWest. “We tried a couple of things based on our experiences, but they didn’t pan out.”
But, dog owners themselves, they both loved animals and realized that their hometown of Westfield didn’t have a day camp for dogs — so they started one.
“We cater to customers who have busy lifestyles,” Connor said, noting that Westfield officials were excited about this new entry into the business community. “They saw what we offered was a lot different than the traditional kennel concept.”
At Camp K-9, which offers both day-care and sleepover services, the Connors emphasize getting to know not only the dogs, but their owners, in order to provide personalized care. Besides daily play groups, the facility arranges monthly events — like a Picnic in the Paw’k Pawty on April 24 — and allows dogs access to an indoor dog park and ‘fun-gility’ gym to socialize and exercise.
“We have fun,” she said. “We try to make the experience like a preschool daycare. A child might have arts and crafts or hobby days, and so do we.”
While brightening the days of their canine visitors, Ali and Nick also donate resources and energy to organizations including the Westfield Animal Shelter, Rainbow Rescue, T.J. O’Connor Animal Hospital, Westfield schools, the Kiwanis Club, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 126th Brigade, Children’s Miracle Network, Heroes at Home, Rays of Hope, and Westfield Little League, among others.
“I would love to do more, but we do what we can,” she told BusinessWest, adding that she takes pride in supporting groups that make life better for Westfield-area residents — by running a successful business that makes life easier for dog-loving families.
“There’s a bond you don’t get with other animals,” Connor said. “The companionship of dogs is so important to me, and it’s important to our customers. We were the first customers here, and as customers, we ask, ‘what do we want our dog to be doing?’”
Answering that question on a daily basis has been a rewarding experience, she added. “It’s great owning a business — a fun, family-oriented business — with someone you love.”
Westfield, MA August 2016
Ali and Nick Connor worked for a combined 40 years in what they call Corporate America, holding management positions and rising up the ladder of responsibility with companies like Sears, Walmart and Staples. While proud of their career success, they dreamed of owning a business to create financial and lifestyle independence for their family. As crazy as it sounds, their dog, a yellow Labrador Retriever named Riley, led them into the world of entrepreneurship.
As they researched different business opportunities, the Connors were drawn to their passion for all things dog and dog care. Both Ali and Nick were animal shelter volunteers, and while still working in the corporate world, they experimented with the doggie day care model, enrolling Riley in a program. We were hooked. Riley loved daycare and always had a good time with her doggie friends, Ali says. Riley would come home exhausted and well behaved.
After extensive research, the Connors found that dog day care is a high-growth industry, and they identified a need for the services in Westfield. The Connors then proceeded to find and renovate the right location with funds from Common Capital, and they created Camp K-9, through which they offer Doggie Day Camp, Sleepovers, Bathing and Brushing and an Indoor Dog Park and Fungility Gym for their canine friends.
As Camp K-9 grew, Common Capital provided help through its Business Assistance Program: Jen Turner offered accounting expertise; Ruth Griggs and her team at The Creative offered marketing consulting; and the Common Capital staff also provided support. As Ali and Nick say, Common Capital support does not end with the money. It really helps make your dreams come true.
Ali and Nick advice for entrepreneurs considering a start-up business is simple. Make sure you are and that failure is not an option. Nick says, it is not easy, so know yourself and be confident and committed to succeeding because complacency is also not an option.
Ali and Nick, life-long Western Mass residents, say the biggest rewards working for themselves and the unexpected strong support from the community. After all, dogs are family members, and the trust families place in Camp K-9 is rewarding on a daily basis to the Connors.
After one year, the business continues to grow, adding more capacity for day care, overnight boarding and a variety of spa services. The passion the Connors have for their families and dogs has created a loyal following. You can follow them yourselves on Facebook!
Food allergy prevalenceFood allergies are on the rise, especially food allergies in children. As many as 8 million Americans, or 2.5% of the US population, have food allergies. The most common food allergies that cause anaphylaxis include:
Allergen avoidance means careful planning.If you or your child has a food allergy, you’ll need to be careful to avoid allergic triggers. This means careful menu planning, avoiding cross-contact, reading food labels for alternative ingredient names to make sure you are aware of any “hidden” triggers and developing a food allergy action plan in the form of an anaphylaxis action plan.
Allergens aren’t always easy to avoid.Food triggers can be difficult to avoid, particularly if the allergen is hidden in the meal or mislabeled in the ingredient list. In particular, children with potentially life-threatening food allergies, such as peanut allergies, may inadvertently eat a trigger food at school. In this case, it’s important that the child and his or her family, caregivers and teachers know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and know what to do in the event of a life-threatening allergic reaction: Administer EpiPen® (epinephrine injection) or EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection) Auto-Injector immediately and seek emergency medical care. Be prepared with an anaphylaxis action plan.
Important Safety Information
EpiPen® (epinephrine injection) 0.3 mg and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine injection) 0.15 mg Auto-Injectors contain a single dose of epinephrine, which you (or your caregiver or others who may be in a position to administer EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®) inject into the middle of your outer thigh (upper leg) (through clothing, if necessary). Get emergency medical help right away. You may need further medical attention. Only a healthcare professional should give additional doses of epinephrine if you need more than two injections for a single anaphylactic episode. DO NOT INJECT INTO YOUR VEINS, BUTTOCKS, FINGERS, TOES, HANDS OR FEET. In case of accidental injection, please seek immediate medical treatment. Epinephrine should be used with caution if you have heart disease or are taking certain medicines that can cause heart-related (cardiac) symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you have certain medical conditions such as asthma, depression, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, have any other medical conditions, are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Be sure to also tell your doctor all the medicines you take, especially medicines for asthma. If you have certain medical conditions, or take certain medicines, your condition may get worse or you may have longer lasting side effects when you use EpiPen® or EpiPen Jr®.
The most common side effects may include increase in heart rate, stronger or irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea or vomiting, difficulty breathing, paleness, dizziness, weakness, shakiness, headache, apprehension, nervousness or anxiety. These side effects may go away if you rest. Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
Please see the full Prescribing Information and Patient Information.
IndicationsEpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® Auto-Injectors are for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) caused by allergens, exercise, or unknown triggers; and for people who are at increased risk for these reactions. EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® are intended for immediate administration as emergency supportive therapy only. Seek immediate emergency medical help right away.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1‑800‑FDA‑1088.
For additional information, please contact us at 800‑395‑3376.
Dog Sitting vs. Dog Boarding. Many people find themselves needing care arrangements for their pets. This could be because of a vacation, an emergency trip, or house guests. Using a dog boarding service or hiring a pet sitter are two commonly used options for pet owners. Each choice comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
The main difference between dog boarding and pet sitting is that the pet sitter comes to the home to give care and attention. With dog boarding, the pet is brought to the kennel and will stay on the property until the owner comes to pick it up. Many people choose pet sitting because they feel that the dog is happier if it can stay in its own environment.
Socialization is a big advantage in using a dog boarding service. There are typically several other pets at a boarding kennel. The dog will have the chance to play and interact with other dogs during your absence. This may help with keeping your dog distracted and happy when you are away. However, being around other dogs is stressful for some pets. This may not be the best choice for a dog that is used to being alone or does not get along with others.
Hiring a pet sitter will give the dog personal attention that he or she may not receive at a boarding service. A pet sitter is typically more flexible in their schedule and can come over at different times. They usually stay for a while and interact with the dog. This type of personal interaction is inconsistent across different boarding services. While some may give individual attention to each dog, it is typically not possible.
Dog boarding is often less expensive than hiring a pet sitter. In addition, most boarding services are licensed businesses. This ensures that the dog will be fed, exercises, and taken care of on a consistent basis. With a pet sitter, one person is responsible for coming to your to provide care. This may come with a certain level of insecurity for some.
When deciding if pet sitting or dog boarding is right for you and your pet, there are many things to consider. Price may be a deciding factor, especially on long trips where the daily expenses can add up. The dog’s personality and temperament is also important to consider. Dogs that do not do well with others or become nervous when taken out of the home will not do well at a boarding kennel.
Other things to consider include the amount of exercise and one-on-one time the dog requires. If the dog has pent-up energy after being left in a crate for a few hours, pet sitting is probably the best option. Dogs that have special needs, such as medical or psychological conditions, will require the intense attention that a pet sitter can provide. It is also a matter of personal preference. Some owners are not comfortable letting their dog have free range of the house. Some dogs may become destructive when they begin to wonder where you went. Some owners are not satisfied with having their dog stay in a boarding kennel for hours at a time.
Bully sticks for dogs are also called steer sticks, beef sticks and pizzle sticks. They're made from bull penises, though they're often marketed as dried muscles. They come in various styles, lengths and widths to suit any dog's chew toy needs, and since they contain 100% beef, they're safe and healthy for your dog to eat.
How Bully Sticks for Dogs Are Made.
Bully sticks for dogs are made of dried bull penises. All natural bully sticks contain only pure beef, and they make a great chewy dog treat.
Manufacturers make bully sticks by removing the bull penis, cleaning it and then hanging it upside down to allow for fluid drainage. Once all fluids have been drained out of the penis, it may be stretched to make a larger chew, and it may be twisted or braided. Once the penis has been stretched and shaped, it's smoked or dried to make a long lasting, safe dog chew toy.
Bully sticks are available in a number of different sizes, from 5 to 12 inches long and up to four inches wide. Dogs of all sizes can enjoy bully sticks.
Benefits of Bully Sticks for Dogs.
Bully sticks are safer for dogs than rawhide and other treats, because they're all natural and free of dyes, chemicals and pesticides. They're easy for your dog to digest, and their manufacture is monitored by the USDA, to ensure the quality of the ingredients.
Bully sticks are a great way to help maintain your dog's oral hygiene and health. They can prevent the build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, and help to stop the formation of cavities. Bully stick chew toys for dogs can help prevent periodontal disease and gingivitis, both of which can cause not only oral pain, inflammation and tooth decay, but can also lead to chronic and life threatening disease in the heart, liver, kidney and joints when bacteria spread from the mouth throughout the rest of the body.
Bully sticks are also a great way to help your dog relieve stress by chewing. Bully sticks last longer than other chews, and they have a long shelf life.
Why You Should Choose Bully Stick Dog Treats for Your Dog.
Bully sticks are high in protein, but low in fat, so they make a great treat for overweight dogs. They're also high in vitamins and minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which your dog needs for good health.
Traditional rawhide chew toys present a choking hazard for many dogs, especially larger dogs, since they're capable of breaking the rawhide into small pieces which could lodge themselves in your dog's windpipe and cause him to choke. Bully sticks, however, are far less hazardous, since it's much more difficult for your dog to break the bully stick into smaller pieces. However, you might want to protect your dog by taking away the bully stick when it becomes small, and replacing it with a new one.
Your dog’s feet sure are made for walking, but did you know they are also made for protecting? Pads provide extra cushioning to help protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against extreme weather, aid walking on rough ground and help protect tissue deep within the paw. With all that work to do, it’s no wonder your pooch’s paws often take a bit of a beating. Keep a spring in your pet’s step with our top 10 paw care tips:
Your dog makes all sorts of noises, and a lot of them probably sound like human coughs. In fact, a flu-afflicted person is often described as having a "barking" cough. But dogs can actually cough too, often sounding like you do when you're congested and have a cold, or as though they are sneezing in reverse, since they may try to draw in a lot of air instead of forcing it out in a loud "Ah choo!" There are many possible causes for doggy coughing, according to Lynelle Johnson, DVM. She is an associate professor at the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. Here is her canine coughing compendium, which includes some of the primary causes for dog coughs, along with associated conditions.
http://barkatthemoonpetphotography.com & Camp K-9 are partnering up for this fun event! This event is SOLD OUT! Some of the event proceeds will go to benefit the Westfield Animal Shelter. We can't wait to see all of the wonderful pet families who will be attending this event. Thank you for your support!