Ornaments and Decorations
When decorating your tree, it is best to keep all hazardous decorations high enough so pets can not get to them. Some old fashion decorations, such as bubble lights, can contain toxic material that can do damage to your dogs gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it can cause depression, irritation to eyes and skin, and aspiration pneumonia. Any kind of bites to glass can cause cuts in the mouth, esophagus, and gastrointestinal tract. When hanging lights, keep the cords snug. Dogs and cats can get electrical burns in their mouths from chewing wire. Tinsel should be tossed if you own a cat. The shiny string of tinsel has a strong resemblance to a shiny cat toy with strings. If ingested, it can result in a linear foreign body. A linear foreign body is when your pet swallows a string-like object like tinsel. The tinsel wraps around the tongue or anchors in the stomach, making it impossible to pass through the intestines. This will cause severe damage to the intestinal tract possibly causing rupture which would require abdominal surgery.
The most commonly known holiday plant that is toxic to pets is poinsettias. However, there are other holiday plants that can cause bigger problems to dogs and cats, such as lilies, holly, and mistletoe. A lily can cause kidney failure if your cat takes one or two bits.
We love to eat delicious rich food around the holidays. It is best to keep our pets on a normal healthy pet diet. Dangerous holiday foods such as grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Chocolate and cocoa are toxic for both cats and dogs causing vomiting and diarrhea. Large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmia. Leftover fatty meat can create abdominal pain with severe inflammation of the pancreas, and cause vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Sugarless gums and candy contain xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that can cause a life threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.
If you think your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or the pet poison helpline at 855-764-7661.
So be sure to keep these precautions in mind when planning your festivities so both you and your pets can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happiest New Year!
Halloween is a fun celebration with all the decorations, costumes, and candy. With all the excitement of Halloween, it's natural to want to include our pets in all the festivities. However, it is important for us to be aware of the potential hazards and dangers to our pets, that our pets are not aware of.
Overall, it is best that we don't give candy to our dogs period. But, here are a few specific candies to be aware of.
Chocolate is very dangerous for a dog. A certain amount of chocolate can cause seizures, muscle tremors and possibly a heart attack.
Hard candies are a choking hazard. Mixing a smooth hard candy with dogs saliva makes a small slippery object easy for a dog to inhale, causing the dog to choke.
Sugar Free Gum and Candy has an ingredient called Xylitol. Xylitol which can drop a dogs blood sugar rapidly causing the dog to have seizures, become lethargic and unable to walk.
dWe all love to dress our dogs in costumes. The safest costumes are Halloween themed collars, harnesses, leashes, and a loosely tied bandanna around the neck. When dressing your dog in a costume, be aware of any loose strings that the dog can get tangled up in and any loose fabrics the dog can choke on.
Be aware that Halloween can bring out a mean spirit in people and pranksters who like to mess around with animals (especially black cats). It is best to keep your pets inside or in a kennel on Halloween night. If your pet needs to go out, go out with them.
I will be participating in this years Trunk or Treat at Marna O'Brien Park in Wildomar on Saturday October 28th. I will have treats for kids and dogs, bring the whole family.
It is a hot hot summer! My husband and I love to get frozen yogurt to escape the heat. We were excited when we discovered Yogurt Valley, not too far from where we live. Last week, my husband and I went for some frozen yogurt when I noticed a new sign in their window advertising yogurt for dogs. As a pet parent, animal lover, and a dog trainer, this discovery made me happy.
This frozen treat is an all natural yogurt with real banana and peanut butter. According to the box, this treat has 2 billion probiotics per cup to help support your dogs digestion system, immune system, and overall health.
Next time when considering yogurt, you can bring your best friend with you to enjoy a cup (or take a cup to go). Of course for sanitary purposes dogs are not allowed inside the Yogurt Valley store. However, there is a nice outdoor eating area for you and your dog to enjoy.
Pets are considered members of the family. As pet parents, we do our best to make our furry companions as comfortable as possible. According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA) $56 billion was spent on food, supplies, vet care, live animal purchases and pet services last year. When a new puppy becomes a member of the family it can be very exciting as well as stressful when it comes to supplying what the puppy needs. One need a puppy cannot be without are chew toys. Puppies need chew toys for teething and massaging their gums. A visit to your local pet store can be a bit overwhelming with the wide selection of chew toys. Selecting a chew toy may not seem like a big deal, however there is such a thing as picking a wrong toy. As a puppy grows the puppy can develop unwanted behavior due to the toys that were selected for him. I went to a couple of pet stores and purchased some of these toys for examples.
When I saw Care Bears for dogs, I thought it was a cute toy. When I was a kid, I had Care Bears. And if I had little ones in the house I'm sure they would have Care Bears too. That right there would be a problem. If I teach my dog to chew on a toy that looks like a toy that belongs to my kid, then how can I expect my dog not to chew on my child's toy? I happened to find my old Care Bear at my parents house and noticed some choking hazards if my dog was to get to it.
Every year around Easter I see these Peeps toys at a popular pet store. Visually this toy looks too much like the real product. To teach your dog to fixate on a toy that looks like candy could lead your dog to the real thing. Sugar and marshmallow won't cause long term effects but can cause vomiting, diarrhea and/or a trip to the vet.
The final toy I have for this post is probably one of the most common mistakes that is made. Fuzzy slippers. When I worked in a local pet store, so many customers would tell me that their dog has chewed up multiple pairs of shoes. To try to fix the problem, they felt they would give the dog shoes of their own to chew on. Most of the time it would be an old pair of shoes that the owner doesn't care for anymore. This is a big mistake because not only does the shoe look like any other shoe, the old pair has the smell of the owner, a smell the dog enjoys. If the dog is praised for chewing on a "toy" that looks and/or smells like all your other shoes, then that give the dog a motive to continue chewing on good shoes as well. These fuzzy slippers may not have the owners smell, but visually it's the same. And the fact that it's also a plush toy can also lead to other items in the house such as pillows.
All these toys are very cute and attractive. However, in reality they are designed for our attraction so we will buy them for our dogs. A dog will find a stick just as fun and interesting if the owner uses it to interact with him. When selecting a toy for your pup, try to keep away from toys that resembles any item you have in the house to prevent any damage to your property or your dog. Kong's, Nylabones, rope toys, and other toys that are uniquely shaped for dogs are good choices. Remember to choose toys that cannot fit in your dogs mouth and supervise your dog during play time.
Happy 4th of July to everyone! I hope you all have a very special celebration this year. July 4th is around the corner and we all love and enjoy the fireworks. Well, almost all of us. Let’s all remember to keep our pet’s safe. July 4th is the day of the year that most pets go missing. Here are a few tips to help keep your pet’s safe.
It is hot outside and summer has only just begun. It is important to keep your pets cool and out of the heat as much as possible. During Mia's (my dog) "puppy" years it was difficult to keep her in the house during the summer time. She loves to be outside where she can run and play. So, whenever possible I did everything I could to keep her as cool as possible.
One of the most popular cooling trends for dogs is a pool. If your dog is like mine and loves to play in water, a pool is a fun way to keep your dog cool. I don't fill Mia's pool more then an inch because there have been times she feel asleep in there.
We don't have a built in pool so we like to take Mia to a local park that has a pool specifically for dogs. These pictures were taken the first time Mia got in the water (Technically the pool is for dogs only, however if a dog needs help or some encouragement, pet parents are OK).
We purchased this run about a year and a half ago. We chose this particular dog run because we liked that it came with a tarp for the top to provide additional shade. This picture was taken in the morning, so there isn't a lot of shade. Howeve by 1:00 almost the whole run is shaded.
One of the challenges with Mia was trying to find an outdoor bed. When she was a puppy, we purchased a bed for her dog house, however she had puppy brains and tore the bed in pieces. We tried again at a later age after her puppy chewing stage was over, but she loves to rip, shred, and de-stuff for a hobby. For a while she went without an outdoor bed, but I felt so guilty seeing her sleep on grass or concrete all the time. I found this cot and finally found something she loves and won't destroy. It is hard to see in this photo, but the cot is made of mesh material for air flow to help keep her cool.
I love our mister. We bought this for Mia for the most part and use it mainly for her. However I will confess there are times I sit out on the patio also enjoying that mister. I like to aim the mister toward her water bucket so it will cool her off when she drinks her water. I prefer to use a bucket for water instead of a bowl for a few reasons. 1: I don't have to worry about Mia running out of water during the day (hot or cold). 2: With the weight of the water in the bucket I don't have to worry about Mia spilling her water. 3: Since Mia is a large breed dog, she doesn't have to bend too much to get water. The dog house was one of the first things we bought Mia as a puppy to provide shade. Being they are den animals, a dog house is something that should be provided to every dog. Unfortunately, Mia is not a big fan of her house and she rarely uses it, but we like to give her that option.
However, I have caught her a few times in her house.
When she was a tiny puppy and couldn't reach the top of a bucket, we used a litter box for water. This is a good idea for small breed dogs.
Keeping our patio umbrella open is one of Mia's favorite spots in our back yard.
Mia is motivated by treats and toys. One of her favorite kind of toys are rope bones. In summer times I take some rope bones and soak them in either water, chicken broth, or beef broth (I like to give variety) put the bones in a Ziploc bag and freeze them (This is also good for teething puppies). I also put some milk bones and other treats in the freezer to keep cold for extra frozen treats.
I did purchase a couple of these cooling mats. I made the mistake of purchasing the first one when Mia was a puppy and she chewed it up very quickly. The second one I purchased last year when she was 3 years old. She enjoyed it for a couple of days, then decided she liked it better as a chew toy. Considering the cost, I have given up on the cooling mat. If your dog is a heavy chewer like mine, you can try at your own risk, but I would supervise to prevent possible choking. If your dog is not big on chewing, then this could be a good purchase.
Keeping a dog groomed helps keep the dog cool by brushing out loose fur to keep the coat as thin as possible. I do not recommend shaving a dogs coat. Shaving dogs fur puts your dog at risk of sun burn and skin cancer. If your dog has long fur, trimming is a good idea.
I love this picture. I thought I would end this blog with my dog's silliness. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. And I hope you got some good ideas for your dog. Thank you for reading.
As I was checking my e-mail this morning, I read about the opening of this new dog park in Lake Elsinore. The pet geek in me got excited and insisted on taking a drive to see it.
There are two fairly large fields for the dogs to play in. One for small breeds and one for large breeds.
Currently there isn't a lot of shade provided, but hopefully the new trees will provide good shade when fully grown.
Each field has it's own water fountain for you and your dog. As well as "poopy" stations.
In the next two pictures below, you can see there may not be much stimulation for your dog on the field (unless your dog likes to watch cars drive by). But if your dog enjoys running space, there is plenty of it.
,There was one section of the park that raised a red flag for me, and that was in the small dog field. As you can see in this picture, the bottom of the gate is raised a little higher than the rest of the fence area. If you have a small tiny dog that can squeeze through small spaces, be aware of your dog around this area. You will notice it is very very close to the street.
And of course, all fun things come with rules. For everyone's safety, lets all mind the rules and regulations.