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Keeping your Pets Safe During the Holiday

 Safety Tip of the Month

Emergency Pet Hospitals see a huge increase in emergency visits every Christmas Eve over other days of the year . . . and that’s just the pets who got into the holiday chocolate. That figure doesn’t include the pets who scarfed dough ornaments, slurped Christmas tree water, or got into a turf war with Grandma’s poodle under the table at Christmas dinner. But they all boil down to two things, says emergency room clinician Kaihla Parker, DVM: “Being naughty and getting into things.” People have things out during the holidays that aren’t out the rest of the year. Swallowing/eating ornaments and scuffles with visiting furry friends contribute to some of the increase. Things that are specific to the holidays, like Christmas trees and tinsel are new and intriguing to pets. Not to mention cats love to climb trees and kittens love tinsel. Avoid decoration-related injuries Keep holiday decorations out of pets’ reach. Be especially vigilant about: •Breakable ornaments: Pets love low-hanging fruit . . . and that includes Christmas ornaments. Don’t place glass or ceramic ornaments on low branches within easy reach of a dog’s wagging tail or a cat’s darting paw. You’ll reduce the risk of deep lacerations that may require sutures. •Homemade dough ornaments: Salt dough ornaments are a staple of preschool holiday craft projects. Children bring them home and give them as gifts, but they’re potentially deadly to hungry dogs who may see them as a tempting snack. •Tinsel: Although less common than it used to be, cats love to play with it—and sometimes eat it—with potentially deadly consequences. •Christmas tree water: The water in Christmas tree stands may contain dangerous bacteria, algae, or fertilizers, and can sicken pets who drink it. Keep tree stands covered. •Electric cords: Puppies and kittens love to chew things, including electrical cords, which can burn or electrocute them if they manage to bite through the rubber coating. So keep them tucked safely out of reach (especially the ones running to the tree). •Great Aunt Bernice’s handmade macrame holiday wall hanging from the early seventies: (Author’s note: This may be specific to my own childhood, but I remember a certain wool-sucking kitty and one less-than-jolly Christmas Eve visit to the ER. The cat lived, but Grandma never forgave her . . .) Beware holiday toxins Holiday foods, plants, and other items that seem perfectly safe can be dangerous for pets. Keep pets out of the ER by keeping them away from these potentially poisonous items: •Chocolate: Chocolate contains toxins that can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac, and neurologic problems. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain the highest concentrations of toxins, although milk chocolate can also cause toxicity if large amounts are eaten. •Toxic plants: Many plants used in holiday arrangements, such as mistletoe, holly, and lilies, are toxic to pets when ingested. Some plants are treated with potentially toxic fertilizers or pesticide. Consider skipping green arrangements altogether or choose artificial plants to keep pets safe. •Medications: While your clients may know to keep medications out of their pet’s reach, their holiday houseguests may not. Human prescription and over-the-counter medications are the most common cause of pet toxicities. Overnight visitors should keep the guest room door closed and all medications tucked safely away. •Miscellaneous snacks: Other human food items popular during the holidays are also toxic to pets, such as grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and xylitol (found in sugar-free candy and gum), so stick to pet food and pet-safe treats. Dealing with problematic visiting pets Because people are traveling during the holidays, they want to bring their dogs with them. This can cause stress and fits may break out, especially over food. If the dogs are too aggressive, don’t feed them next to each other. Feed them in separate rooms. And make sure they’re put up when any new person comes to the home. Crates are important to give each dog their own safe space. You know what isn’t festive? Colitis. Specifically, stress-related diarrhea. “We see a lot of it [during the holidays],” says one local vetenarian. “Any kind of stressful situation can cause colitis. The same thing for cats.” She recommends probiotics for dogs to minimize the possibility of stress-induced colitis: “If you’re going to be traveling, put your dog on a probiotic before you go anywhere

Pawsitively Weird Facts

Santa may want to enlist the help of Greyhounds to pull his sleigh. According to Psychology Today, Greyhounds are excellent long distance runners and can keep a speed of 35mph for up to 7 miles.

Tips to Safely Board your Pet During the Holiday Season Finding a safe and comfortable boarding option for your pet takes careful research. When you’re looking to board your dog, it’s important to find a situation that’s comfortable for both you and your dog. These days, there are more options than ever to choose from when leaving your dog in the care of others. In addition to boarding kennels, there are dog sitters who will board your dog in their home or your own. A good place to start is by asking your veterinarian, groomer, dog-owning friends, or neighbors for the names of boarding kennels or dog sitters they recommend. It’s important to know the right questions to ask and the right things to look for when finding the right “home-away-from-home” boarding experience for your dog. The American Kennel Club provides a Boarding Checklist that will help you make the best decision for a safe pet holiday stay. Dog Boarding Checklist •Contact the kennel or dog sitter well in advance of your trip to schedule a visit for you and your dog. •Do due diligence. If you’re looking at a commercial dog boarding kennel, find out if they are certified or members of a professional organization. If you’re interviewing an individual, find out how long the person has been dog sitting and how many repeat customers they’ve had. Also, check a few references. •Find out about immunization requirements. Many kennels will require a Bordetella shot, along with rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Are dogs also screened for fleas and ticks? •Keep an eye out for clean, secure, and sanitary conditions. There should be adequate, securely-fenced exercise areas and sleeping areas with comfortable non-slip surfaces. Are you welcome to visit all areas of the kennel or home that the dog will have access to? Are they secure and free of harmful chemicals? •Meet the caretakers and observe how they interact with your dog. How many dogs will they care for at one time? How much exercise do the dogs get, and how often are they taken out to eliminate? What type of animal care education and training does the provider have? •Take stock of provisions made for the comfort of boarders. This includes fresh drinking water, temperature control, ventilation, and shelter. •Find out what happens if your dog has any healthcare needs or emergencies requiring medication and/or veterinary services. Determine if the pet care provider is certified in pet first-aid. •Evaluate the staffing situation. Are there proper staff on the premises 24-hours-a-day? Is there an evacuation plan in case of an emergency? •Observe the handling of the dogs. Is any interaction allowed with other dogs? How well is this supervised? Other Considerations When Boarding Your Dog Quality is obviously key, but costs are also important when determining a boarding facility. Find out what the daily/nightly rates are, and whether this includes walks, individual attention, giving medications, and bathing. What form of payment do they take, and do you pay when you pick up your dog? What is the checkout time, and how much are you charged if you’re late? And what is the cancellation policy? Some places charge a penalty for late cancellations, which can be understandable if they’ve turned other bookings away. If your dog hasn’t been boarded before, consider a short overnight stay before an extended stay. Even an afternoon of doggie daycare can be a good test. This will help your dog get more comfortable with the experience and give the caretaker a better idea of your dog’s needs. It will also give you a chance to observe how your dog acts when you pick them up. Is your dog desperate to leave? Tired but happy? Stopping to say good-bye to the caretaker? Ask the caretaker for a detailed verbal report of how your dog reacted to the new environment. When you drop off your dog for boarding, bring their food, health and veterinarian information, bed, and favorite toys. Be sure to leave up-to-date contact information, as well as an emergency contact. When you leave, be positive and upbeat. Keep the goodbyes short and sweet. When you pick up your dog from the boarding kennel or dog watcher’s home, don’t feed or give them water for at least four hours after returning home. They will likely be excited, which can trigger food gulping, vomiting, and diarrhea. If they seem thirsty, provide a few ice cubes rather than water. Then, let your dog calm down and rest. Often the hardest part of leaving town is trusting someone else to take care of your canine companion. Taking the time to find a boarding option you trust and one your dog enjoys will make all the difference in the end.

Chic Pawz- Pet Fashion

Your favorite furry friend can get in on the ugly Christmas sweater action too

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Dog Horoscope Pet Astrology

Sagittarius (November 21 – December 20)

Ruled by the planet Jupiter, the sign of Sagittarius is the Archer. Sagittarius is a fire sign that loves a challenge. The glass is always half full for a dog with their sign in Sagittarius. These dogs are happy, outgoing and kind.

You have to watch your Sagittarius dog around others because they have a tendency to get picked on. They love to get physical affection and feel they are your one true love.

Loyalty is a Sagittarius’s specialty, making them want to be with you at all times. If you are not careful, this trait can turn into separation anxiety. Sagittarius dogs crave companionship and love to have another dog or animal in the house.

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Canine Cooking

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Homemade Apple Chedder Dog Biscuits These are great gifts for your dog. Better yet, make a big batch and wrap them up as gifts for your dog loving friends. 1 1/2 cups of white flour (you could use all whole wheat flour if you would like) 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour 1 large egg 2 tablespoons of softened butter 2 tablespoons of olive oil 8 ounces of grate sharp cheddar (you can use whatever cheese you would like EXCEPT for BLUE CHEESE…DOGS…MOLD cheeses are harmful to your dog!) 1 large apple peeled and grated (make sure there are not pits : ) 2 tablespoons of dried parsley …if using fresh…3 tablespoons of finely sliced parsley3 tablespoons of bacon bits…yes…our doggies can have a bit of bacon…just because we are vegetarians doesn’t mean they can’t indulge : ) I used pre-made bacon bits…but you can fry some up and break it up if you like : ) 1 cup of milk (save a little bit of cheese…bits and parsley to sprinkle on top : ) Directions: Combine egg, butter and olive oil into your mixer bowl and whip together. Add the milk and mix. Add flours, grated apple, cheese, parsley and bacon bits. Your dough should be nice and smooth and ready to roll! If it is too dry…add a little touch of water or milk and if it is too sticky…add a little bit more flour! Now sprinkle some flour on your board or counter so the dough does not stick and roll out half of the dough (approximately 1/4″ thick) then what I did was sprinkled a little bit more cheese…bits and parsley on top and give it a few rolls so everything sticks. Now it is time to cut out your shapes…large…small…medium…whatever you want for your pup or pups! Place them on your lightly coated baking sheet or you can use parchment to line it and pop them into a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20 – 30 minutes. They should be golden and nicely browned on the bottom. Store them in an air tight container. I like to keep them in the fridge since they are homemade and they will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks. You can also bag them up in little freezer bags and pop them out any time…you can keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months!

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Fitness with Bruiser

Take your Dog on a Walk Walking your dog is about so much more than just “potty breaks.” Walking your dog provides mental stimulation, physical exercise, chances for socialization, and opportunities for behavioral training. Moreover, it gets both of you out and about while helping to grow the bond you have with your dog. Walking Provides Exercise and Mental Stimulation Walking your dog regularly provides a basic foundation for physical and mental health. Like a child, your dog wants to know the world. If he or she is confined to the house for too long, your dog will get bored, and boredom can lead to destructive behavior. Your dog is dependent on you to take them out to explore the sights, smells, and sounds of the world. This is why it’s also good to vary the places you take your pet as dog much as possible. You’ve probably noticed how busy (and excited) your dog gets when he or she is walking, so let them enjoy every opportunity to discover! Walking is Good for Your Dog’s Health Remember, too, that a sedentary pooch can quickly become an overweight one, and that brings potential health problems with it. Even if your dog is active inside the home, he or she still needs another outlet for pent-up energy. You’ll benefit from having a well-exercised dog, as tired dogs tend to behave better, and you’ll help your pet avoid unnecessary weight gain! Walking Helps with Your Dog’s Socialization While out walking, your pooch is most likely going to meet other dogs. This is a great opportunity to help your dog learn acceptable ways of socially interacting with new animals. It will also help build doggy confidence so your pet will be less afraid to make friends. If your dog does show fear, taking them to a training class is a great way of removing that anxiety in a more controlled environment. Well-socialized pups still like a bit of rough-and-tumble play with other dogs when out for a walk, but they’ll know when to stop and will come away without any battle scars. Walking your dog and exposing him or her to different dogs, people, and situations is a win for everyone. Walking Your Dog is a Training Opportunity When walking your dog, consider it a training opportunity. Dogs aren’t born knowing how to walk on a leash, so you’ll have to teach your dog how to follow your lead. On these walks, you can begin teaching commands like, “sit,” “stay,” and “heel,” especially if you take treats along to use during the process. Just Walking Your Dog May Not be Enough Exercise needs are based on your dog's age, breed, size, and overall health, but a good rule of thumb is you should spend at least 30 minutes every day on an activity with your dog. Younger dogs and dogs bred for sports or herding activities may need much more.

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Tail Wagging Travel

Top Pet Resorts Around the US Everyone loves a little bit of pampering and our pets are no different. If you find yourself heading off on a trip where it becomes problematic to travel with your pet, why not treat them to their own vacation. These resorts are not your standard cat or dog boarding facility, but a plush pet resort that comes complete with little luxuries like a chauffeured pick up, private suites and of course, lots of belly tickles! From blueberry facials to Rolls-Royce pick-ups, these are the fanciest dog hotels in the country for your dog vacation. Courtesy Of Fitdog Sports Club Two words that will be music to your dog's ears: Beach excursions. Canines staying at the coastal Fitdog Sports Club in Santa Monica are entertained at the the sunny beaches and hiking trails of Southern California. But coming back to the resort will be just as glorious for your pup: Amenities include cooling pet beds for fluffy dogs, puzzle playtime (hey, even Pooch needs to work his noggin'), treadmill workouts, full-service grooming and mini bar service. Flickr/Ricky Bigante If your family is headed to Walt Disney World, look no further than Best Friends Pet Care — a facility right on the theme park's property. Dogs have unlimited access to patios during the day, and VIP luxury suites come with a flat panel television programmed for your dog, a private play yard, a personal pet concierge and a raised platform bed. Oh, and of course, your dog will receive a bed time story each night. Posh Pet Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. The website alone could lead you to believe this is actually a spa for humans, but this state-of-the art boarding facility is in fact solely for dogs and cats. It is a cage-less pet resort designed to provide your four-legged family member with the utmost comfort, and even provide flat screen TVs! But boarding and daycare are not the cherry on this luxurious cake. The spa facility also offers a number of treatments for your pup including a ‘paw-dicure’, aromatherapy baths and facials! D Pet Hotels is a chain of luxury pet resorts across the states and available in five locations, including Hollywood (the flagship) and Austin, Texas. Befitting of its flagship location, it is possible to have your pup picked up and dropped off in one of the hotel’s luxury cars, including a Ferrari, a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Bentley, Porsche or Rolls Royce! Some pets are really living it up! Aside from all the sports cars (and not to mention the Ralph Lauren linen), what really matters is that the pets are taken care of and feel at home whilst boarding. D Pet Hotels offer the very best in dog day care for dogs of all sizes, and if visiting the Hollywood location, guests are able to make use of the 4,000 sq. ft. dog parks that span the hotel’s grounds. The Barkley Pet Hotel is a little bit of a unique one as it has two locations in the US in Ohio and California, as well as two locations in Mumbai, India! Boarding options at the resort in Westlake Village, California, are quite creative, with dogs being offered a selection of suites on either Rodeo Drive or Hollywoof Boulevard! Each dog has it’s very own wrought iron bed in its suite, where it gets plenty of affection before being tucked in to watch a movie on its own flat screen TV while munching on a gourmet biscuit as a bedtime snack. CATEAU POOCHIE Suites available at the Chateau Poochie in Pampano Beach, Florida, offer features such as classical music, the Le Bone Booth telephone and webcam use, satellite-enabled flat-screen TV's, air filtration, mood lighting and more. Amenities available to doggie guests also include bottled water, gourmet meals cooked by a chef on site, tuck-in and story-time services and aromatherapy treatments (extreme makeovers are even an option). The Crown Jewel Suites are professionally designed by Steven G Interiors. WAG HOTELS At Wag Hotels, which has five locations in Northern California, dogs get pampered with luxuries such as custom music and movie selection, nightly 2-way video chat with their owners, 24/7 room service, access to Wag Kiki Beach and a nightly belly scratch and bedtime story. Peanut butter Kongs (a dog's favorite!) are also available. PARADISE RANCH For the dog that's a true adventurer, you may want to consider cage-free boarding at Paradise Ranch Pet Resort, just 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Dogs are separated by their size and temperament, and rotated through luxurious and fun parks (including a water park with waterfalls!). The pups are never locked up, and even get to sleep slumber party style in real houses. You can also sign your pooch up for massages and private birthday parties.

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Doggie Halloween at The Stoneleigh

We are inviting the community’s furry friends to join us on Thursday, October 19th from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm for a pet costume contest located on our pool deck. Tickets to enter your pet are $35 per person and $25 of the entry cost will be donated to the SPCA of Texas. The costume contest begins promptly at 6:15 pm. There will also be food, drinks, a live DJ, goody bags, and more available for all attendees.

Santa Paws Pictures and fun at the Dallas Farmers Market

Check their calendar because there are certain times that dogs are allowed to visit Santa. We enjoyed having Lady’s picture taken with Santa. I will say it was a long wait and the lighting wasn’t the best, but everyone was kind and friendly.

Home For the Holidays

This classic beauty, designed by La Petite Maison, cost $6,100. In fact, the design of the home was modeled after the dog’s owner’s home. This house includes running water, climate control and even a light.

Can you imagine a dog house with running water, lights and AC? That’s exactly what one celebrity ordered. The custom home was $30,000 and cost as much as a down payment on a real house!

The modern dog palace has been commissioned by an unidentified female surgeon, for her pampered pooches, two Great Danes, at the exclusive 550-acre Lower Mill Estate on the Cotswolds Water Park, near Cirencester.

Dear Scooby- advice column

Dear Scooby, I want to get my pet something special for the holidays. Do you have a Gift Guide? Just in time for the holiday season- Scooby’s Gift Guide. Regular veterinary care: Sure, a trip to the doctor might not seem like anyone’s idea of a gift; but that routine checkup could spot potential health problems before they become serious. Working with your veterinarian to keep your pet healthy also helps keep your pet happy, which is a wonderful gift. Pet insurance: More and more owners are opting to get insurance for their pets to help defray the potential costs of serious medical procedures, such as surgery or cancer treatment. As an alternative to insurance, pet owners can prepare for these scenarios by setting a little money aside each month in a savings account. Either way, being prepared for a health emergency is a great gift for you and your pet. Nutritious food: Special treats are a common holiday gift for pets, often accompanied by table scraps shared from holiday meals. But these gifts may actually make pets sick or lead to excess pounds. If you want to give food treats to your pet, make or buy treats formulated just for them; your veterinarian can advise you regarding what's best for your pet. Don't forget to ask whether you're feeding your pet a healthy daily diet as well. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutrition so that you can make the best dietary choices for your pet year-round. A life free of parasites: Are your pets up-to-date on their heartworm medication and flea and tick preventives? If unchecked, these parasites can make your pet very sick, and can even be fatal. Parasite prevention is a great gift for pets! Talk to your veterinarian about the right course of treatment for your pet. Exercise: Instead of buying a new toy, how about an extended play session with an old favorite? Or a longer walk around the neighborhood? By keeping your pet at a healthy weight and engaging in exercise together, you’ll be giving the gift of better health to both your pet and yourself. A microchip: If your pet isn’t already microchipped, this would make a great gift for the holidays. Having your pets microchipped is a quick, inexpensive way to help ensure that you are reunited if they ever get lost. If your pets are already microchipped, make sure your contact information is up to date. A disaster preparedness plan: We might not like to think about it (especially during the holidays), but disasters can happen at any time of the year. And while we may be unable to prevent them, we can prepare for them. Make sure you have a disaster preparedness plan that includes your pets. Love–lots of love: Ultimately, the best gift we can give our pets is the same gift they give to us every day: unconditional love. Showering your pet with affection and attention will make them much happier than any gift you can wrap up with a bow.

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