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Trick or Treat Smell my Feet

Stack that candy ya’ll……

It’s that time of year again! During this festive time of year it’s easy to forget pet safety. Here are some things to think about, whether you are taking your pet trick or treating, or just handing out candy to your neighborhood “ghouls and goblins”.

Are you planning on dressing your pet up this year? If you are, please make sure his/her costume is the right size. If you choose something too small, it may harm your pet by constricting airways. If it is too large, it can be a tripping hazard. No matter how cute we want them to be safe.

dog in funny glasses
Photo by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

 

If you decide to take your pet our trick or treating, be sure they have something reflective. This way other families and vehicles can see them easily. This helps preventing them from getting hit if they are in the road or keeps them from startling small children. Evan if it is the time for scares, we want everyone to have an enjoyable holiday. Always keep your pet on a leash to prevent them from running or jumping on others.

Let Fido Chill……

When handing out candy, be sure your pet is in a safe place. Safe for them, and of course, for your trick or treaters. You don’t want to scare away your guests with a barking pet. Also make sure they are on a leash, as they can sometimes be unpredictable with so much excitement. You wouldn’t want the fun spoiled by your pet knocking down a princess, chasing a ghost, or nipping at a pumpkin. Even as a an accident it can lead to some bad fall out.

If you have an overly aggressive dog, or one that is bothered by frequent visitors to the door, consider letting them stay with a friend who has less traffic. Or even consider boarding them at their favorite local puppy hotel.

No matter what you decide keep these things in mind to keep your holiday safe and fun. Don’t forget to keep an updated pet id tag on your dog! This will help ensure he/she gets safely home no matter what situation arises. From OvernightPetTags.com have a safe and fun filled Halloween!

 

While you are at it……

Check out these hilarious dogs and people in costumes

Dogs in Costumes … https://www.pinterest.com/moderndogmag/dogs-in-costumes/

53 Funny Dog Costumes … https://www.womansday.com/life/pet-care/g1653/dog-halloween-costumes/

19 of the best dog + owner outfits … http://www.wideopenpets.com/best-human-and-dog-halloween-costumes/

The 57 Greatest Pet Costumes. EVER. … https://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/greatest-pet-costumes-ever

 

 

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Invisible Fences

While this may be a great option for some pets, keeps them in your yard with no big expense of a fence, it can be tricky with some pets. Invisible fences can be a great way to keep your pet out of the road when you don’t want, or are not allowed, a normal fence. However some dogs can get “barrier frustration”.

Some signs are your pet becoming less social, or showing more aggressive behavior in your yard. This is because your pet has learned that while other dogs can come into the yard, he cannot go out. Which forces him to be submissive during play, when he would rather not be. He may bark and become very protective of your yard from both other pets and people.

This is what is called “learned aggression”. You can help your pet by doggy parenting. If your dog is showing aggression to other dogs in his yard, shoo those other dogs away for him. If he seems happy and wanting to play, encourage this. Try to keep the other dog from running out of your pet’s boundary. But make sure he is not being worn down too much or forced to be too submissive. You’re looking for happy play, where the dogs take turns jumping on and chasing one another. You don’t want one dog running the other one down. If you are still seeing problems, it is always good to talk to your vet or trainer. They will have good suggestions for you.

 

Hope you have a tail wagging kind of day!

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Eat your own food

Dog and Cat Sharing Bowl

Dog and Cat Sharing Bowl

 

If you have a household with multiple pets, I am sure you have faced the problem of your animals stealing food from one another. Most common is dogs eating all the cat food. This may not bother you at all, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are like our household, the cat food is a bit more expensive than the dog food. By now you’ve realized that scolding the dogs, while it does help somewhat, will most likely lead to the dogs eating the cat food while you are away, sleeping, or busy elsewhere. Here are a couple things you can do to help. If you don’t mind the cats on the counters, putting the food dishes up there would be the simplest solution.

I am one that does not care to share my counter space with my cats. Another option is to put the cat food in a closet, or space the dogs cannot get to, and install a cat door. This is obviously a more costly option, though cat doors are not usually too outrages if you shop around for it. Something else you can do is feed the cats less.

 

Only give them food while you are present 2 or 3 times a day, and return any leftover food to the food bag or container. This will teach the cats to eat all at once and will give the dogs less food to steal. I hope these tips and tricks have been helpful. We wishe you best of luck on your food, and money, saving mission.

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Doggy Cup cakes

I am a dessert lover through and through. My dogs are too of course. Here is a recipe that gives your dog a canine friendly treat, gives you the satisfaction of baking, while keeping your waistline safe!

Ingredients:

Cakes:
•2 cups shredded carrots
•3 eggs
•1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
•2 tsp. cinnamon
•1/2 cup rolled oats
•3 cups whole wheat flour
•1 tbsp baking powder

Frosting:
•8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
•1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened

Directions:
1.In a medium mixing bowl, mix the first three ingredients
2.In a second bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, than add to the applesauce mixture, This is a very dry batter. When you put it into your muffin tins, make sure to press it in really well because it isn’t going to spread on its own, and you want them to be nice and circular
3.Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven; or if making mini muffins, only put them in for 10 minutes.
4.Once cooled, Simply glob on the frosting and your ready to enjoy ( or rather ready for your pups to enjoy) 😉

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“Tail” mix! Pet Snack

Dog Eating Treat

If you’re an outdoor person, and Fido is often coming with you, this is a great treat to take along! Similar to trail mix bars or cookies, it’s a fast, easy eat to keep Fido’s energy up! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
•1/3 cup olive oil
•1/4 cup light brown sugar
•1/2 cup peanut butter
•1 mashed banana
•1 egg white
•1 cup whole wheat flour
•1/8 cup milled flax seed
•1 3/4 cup rolled oats
•1 tsp cinnamon
•1 1/2 tsp baking powder
•1 cup assorted nuts, seeds, and fruits. Some dog friendly ideas are: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts, coconut, mango, and banana chips. Remember to avoid chocolates, raisins, and macadamia nuts as they are not dog friendly.

Directions:

1. Combine olive oil and brown sugar until well combined

2. Stir in peanut butter

3. Add in banana and egg white

4. Combine flour, flax, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add to mix.

5. Stir in oats

6. Stir in trail mix, blending well until dough sticks together

7. Shape with your hands into flat, round 1-2 inch cookies or squares. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven on greased cookie sheet for 8 minutes

Store in refrigerator for 2 weeks or freezer for up to 4 months

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Pet Massage

Cat getting massage

Cat getting massage

Yup, you read correctly. The latest thing in caring for your pet is pet massage. Before you convince yourself it is useless, let me assure you, it has been proven to have positive benefits, just as it does for humans. First of all, it can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet. It has also been known to relieve some pain in the instance of arthritis, muscle stiffness, or pain from previous injury. Massage can stretch the muscles and relax inflamed areas to relieve the stress that is causing pain.

Before you decide that it’s not worth trying, I suggest going to get a massage yourself. If done correctly I guarantee you will feel refreshed and energized. After receiving one yourself if you still believe it’s not worth the trouble, than it’s of course not for you.

If you do decide you like this option for your pet, there are a couple ways to handle it. You can talk to your vet (which is always a good idea for any decision), search for a pet massage therapist in your area, or look up the techniques yourself on the internet. Your vet may be able to do some massage in the office or suggest someone in your area.

If you are going to do it yourself, please do lots of research, done the wrong way massage can cause injury. Here is a website that has quite a bit of information including videos that show you how to massage specific body parts. http://www.monkeysee.com/play/2163-how-to-massage-your-dog. A widely used technique is the T-Touch, or the Tellington Touch named after Linda Tellington Jones. She has books and videos on how she has used this technique to help and comfort animals with both physical and mental conditions. Not only is it easy and effective, it is also safe to practice at home. She also does workshops. You can find more information at the website http://www.ttouch.com.

Best of luck to you and your pet!

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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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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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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!