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Christmas and your pets

christmas dog

christmas dogTo start, are poinsettias poisonous to cats?

During the holiday season many pet owners like to decorate their houses with the beautiful red flowering Christmas plant… the poinsettia. However, according to poison control centers the poinsettia IS mildly poisonous to cats AND DOGS! The milky white sap from the plants contains chemicals that can cause mild vomiting, excessive drooling, and sometimes diarrhea in our four legged friends. Unfortunately, there is no antidote to the poison in a poinsettia. No reason to worry, according to sources the low level of toxicity of the plant rarely requires medical treatment.

Chewing Christmas light? Will my puppy get shocked?

In a short answer….YES. Please keep all pets away from Christmas lights and always watch your children as well. If you notice that you have a string of lights that has been chewed you are going to want to replace that set of lights to prevent a fire or shock to you or your pets.

Thanks for reading and as always make sure that your pets have updated pet id tags!

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Carey the Cocker Spaniel

Carey the cocker spaniel

We would like to thank Linda Zinkerson for sending us this great picture of Carey the Cocker Spaniel.  Carey was named after TV game show host Drew Carey.  When Carey the Cocker Spaniel was a puppy he was fascinated with watching the Price is Right so Linda decided to change his name from Rover to Carey when he was 12 weeks old.  Nowadays, Carey still watches the show but seems to be more fascinated with waiting for the mailman to drop letters through the mail slot so she can tear them to shreds.

 

Thank you Linda for sharing such a great picture of such a beautiful dog!

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How to “target” train your pets

Have you ever heard a vet or dog trainer use the term “target train”? If not, it is a very simple technique to train your pet for all sorts of things. If you have heard of it, or now upon hearing about it want to learn how it works, here are the basics.

First of all, target training can be used for all sorts of things. It can be used to relieve fears of objects (appliances, crates, furniture, ect.), to teach your pet a specific “restroom” area, or even just as a cool and fun game to play. Once you and spot get the hang of it, I’m sure you can come over with all kinds of other ideas you can use it for.

Target training is actually very simple. Just like most training it takes a little time and sometimes a lot of patience. All you need is a flat object, which will be your “target” object, some pet friendly treats, a clicker (there are usually pretty cheap and available at any pet store) and some time. Here’s how it works. Simply place the target in a desired area, or any area if you are not training for a certain location. Touch your pets’ nose to the target so they know what you want them to do. Click, than treat. Soon your pet will get it, touch the target, hear a click, and receive a treat. Your pet will have so much fun playing this game; it’ll make training very easy.

Best of luck and remember to always have fun and enjoy your pet.

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Hardest Decisions

old dog

old dogIf you have been caring for a sick or very old pet, the choice of putting them down may have come up or be in your near future. This is never a easy decision. Losing a member of your family is never something anyone wants to face. When considering euthanasia ask yourselves these questions:

Can your pet still be a pet?

Can they still do the activities that they love?

Are they able to “do their business” on their own?

Do they stand and move around, or spend most of their time in one spot?

Has there been dramatic weight loss that can’t be changed, even with a good appetite?

Do they avoid others or hide when they would usually not?

Do they have a condition that can no longer be treated due to severity or cost to you?

Do you just feel as though they are unhappy and miserable all the time?

If you have asked yourself these questions, and found the answers unfavorable, you may need to seriously consider putting down your animal. It’s never an easy thing, and in the end it is really up to you, the owner. If your pet can live the remainder is his life comfortably, then by all means don’t do it. If you’re watching your beloved pet suffer daily, perhaps ending his misery is a better choice. Talk to your vet as this is never a decision to be entered into lightly. God bless you and your pet, and may he be with you during this difficult time.

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Bullet The Dog

Bullet the dog

Bullet the dog

Submitted by Jala from Spring, TX.

My dog Bullet is a black and white dog, and I named him Bullet because he was such a slow runner. I named him Bullet to give him the courage to speed up and that is exactly what he did. He became so fast that I could not keep up with him when I rode my bike.
Bullet and I enjoy spending all day together playing out in the barn, lying out in the cool tall grass and I could talk with Bullet about everything. I talked with Bullet about things that I would not talk to with anybody else, and he seemed to understand every word I was saying. My dog Bullet is always there when nobody else was and we always stuck by each other.

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Superman Dog

Dog in Superman costume!

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Superman Dog

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This great shot of “Riley” was submitted by Debbie C. from Riverside, CA.  Debbie says that “Riley” was the talk of the neighborhood after she took him our for a stroll in his superman costume last year.  She said that everyone liked the costume so much that she decided to use it again this year.  Thank you Debbie for submitting this great picture of your dog in his Halloween costume.  Debbie and Riley will forever be immortalized in internet fame with this great pet picture.  If you would like to submit your own picture please click here.

 

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Natural Options for Fleas

itching dog

itching dogIf you have a problem with fleas making a meal of your canine friend, but are looking for an option that doesn’t consist of putting harsh chemicals on your pet, here are some tips for you!

Instead of over the counter chemicals and drops, try essential oils! You can use red thyme, cedar wood, citronella, or (my favorite) peppermint oil! Just remember that essential oils are concentrated so try to keep contact with your pet’s skin to a minimal as it may cause a reaction.

One thing you can do is put the oil on a bandana or cloth around the animal’s neck (loose of course as to not chock them!). This will work similar to a flea collar. Of course just like a flea collar there is an entire rest of your pet those pesky fleas may still find appealing. If this is the case with your pet, here is a recipe for a natural pest repellant. (This recipe is for a large dog)

Two or three drops of essential oil (any of the above listed)

One cup of distilled water. Spring water may be used as well.

Put into a spray bottle, shake well, and apply to your pets coat before walks or prolonged periods of being outside.

You may need to try each above listed oil before you find one that works best for you.

Here are a few precautions to remember:

Essential oils are TOXIC TO CATS. Use on canines only.

Watch for signs your dog isn’t feeling well after application, this could mean he is having a reaction. Chemically sensitive dogs may get nausea or headaches.

Do not let your pet, or children, chew on the cloth or bandana! Essential oils may cause diarrhea or vomiting if ingested. This is more likely in pets with sensitive tummies.

Enjoy your pest free pet!

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Army Dog

army dog

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This cute pup was submitted by Doris from Green Bay, WI.  She says that her pup “Disco” dressed up as an Army Sargent for last years Halloween.  We want to thank Doris and Disco for submitting their picture.  Doris received a free pet tag for getting such a cute of Disco in his army fatigues.