Taking Precautions At Thanksgiving for the Safety of Your Dog

2997140030_08ced27296Where would you be without the unconditional love, loyalty and devotion of your dog. When it comes to the holidays, celebration would not be complete without showing your pet how much you appreciate every wag of the tail and sloppy wet kiss of affection. In showing your pet your appreciation at this special time of year, it is important to consider the pros and cons of the holiday when it comes to your dog’s safety.

Thanksgiving is such a busy, hectic holiday, with lots of foods, drinks and goodies. Your dog may love all the extra company and attention, but it may soon become too stressful for your pet. Most animals survive on a regular routine, and Thanksgiving is anything but routine. Along with the hectic schedule, there is a lot of tempting food sitting around, very appealing to the pooch sniffer. Showing your love to your dog does not mean you set a place at the table; on the contrary, that can cause your pet more harm than good. Also take precautions by not allowing any foods, including the infamous turkey from being accessible to an inquisitive, hungry pooch.

Thanksgiving consists of lots of fatty greasy items that disagrees with your dog’s system, especially the scrumptious turkey skin. Eating such foods can cause pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea. The last thing you want is to end up at the veterinarian’s office, while all your guests are living it up at home with the festivities.

When it comes to the holiday, try to keep your pet on its normal routine as much as possible. Try a little fun time such as a walk, jog or tossing a ball around before the festivities and at day’s end to work off some of the extra foods enjoyed at the Thanksgiving table. Avoid giving treats of the holidays to your dog and also inform your guest to do the same. A teeny bit of lean turkey added to your dog’s dinner will not hurt but keep it to a minimum. If you have a dog that gets easily stressed, preparing a dog-safe room with bed, blankets, toys and water away from the festivities, hustle and bustle may be an option for the pet’s safety.

As a little reminder, ensure that your trash is completely sealed off so that your pet cannot access it and rummage for “goodies.” There are a lot of dangers that lurk within that garbage, including turkey bones, butter, fat, string for tying up the turkey and more. It all takes a little effort to ward off the dangers of the holidays when it comes to showing your appreciation for all the family, together with your canine. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Save the Animals from Abuse and Cruelty

Please feed me and love me!!!!!!!!!

Please feed me and love me!!!!!!!!!

I am looking for help in support from all my animal lovers as I work as an advocate for the welfare of animals.  As a contributor on care2.com, I generate petitions to higher officials in order to bring awareness and hopefully make changes that can help these poor defenseless animals and I beg you to please join me in these efforts.  It cost nothing but a loving heart and desire to help.  You don’t even have to allow your name to be known by clicking appropriate box – sign and share the petition to everyone you can through your social networks, emails, etc.  Those without a voice are totally grateful for your complete help and support in protecting them.  My current petitions are –













Thank you so much for all you do to help the sweet loving creatures of our world.





Dogs Fear Fireworks which Also Carry Risks

Dogs do not appreciate the beauty and noise of fireworks

Dogs do not appreciate the beauty and noise of fireworks

Fireworks are a beautiful and festive display in celebration of a holiday or special event. Humans can love and appreciate what they represent, the lights and colors, but to dogs the noise is more than they can bear. If your pet is unbearably fearful of fireworks or becomes in contact with them, it could be a real concern requiring medical attention.

As the fireworks fill the skies with brilliance, it is easy to forget about your dog as it trembles and looks for a safe hiding place. Such loud noises and brightness can easily frighten the most calm and reserved pet. If the pet is near where the fireworks are lit, he/she can get hurt with burns and other injury from the remnants of hot ash. The dog’s feet and nose can be hurt as a result. The pets become curious about the ash and sometimes used fireworks, not only getting burned but ingesting them, especially when it comes to sparklers.

Fireworks can be lethal for your animal because they contain such agents as potassium nitrate and metals like mercury, antimony, copper, barium, strontium and phosphorus. Ingestion of these components can result in severe illness. In addition to ingestion of dangerous toxins in the fireworks, sometimes the object can fly to inappropriate areas, subjecting the dog to being hit, causing burns and trauma.

If your pet is exposed to fireworks physically or through ingestion, get immediate medical attention. Your vet will have to perform a physical exam along with a medical history to determine what may have occurred. In the event of possible ingestion, a blood work up would be performed to know for sure what organs may be affected and how to treat. Symptoms of illness from fireworks may be vomiting, difficulty breathing, burns in the mouth or on the skin, abdominal pain and any soft tissue injury.

Burns are treated by cleaning the area and use of antibiotics. Ingestion is more aggressive in treatment, sometimes requiring IV fluids and hospitalization. Medications such as sucralfate, famotidine orcimetidine are administered to protect the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes an anti-vomiting treatment is necessary. Prognosis is usually good unless your pet ate a huge amount of fireworks.

When going to a fireworks display, have your pet securely leashed; or better yet, leave your pet at home away from the festivities. If you must bring him/her, provide a quiet safe haven away from the immediate display area. Dogs that are fearful of fireworks should not be subjected to them if at all possible.

When at home, you can protect your pet the best by keeping it indoors, turning on other noises such as radio, TV, air conditioner or fan and always give access to a comfortable hiding place. In severe cases of anxiety, you may need vet assistance for anti-anxiety medications and a behaviorist to learn some counter-conditioning exercises or forms of desensitization.

If your dog is a little freaked out by the noise, don’t try to reassure it by petting and soothing words and attention. This only reinforces the fearful behavior. Try to ignore the circumstances and show no reaction to the noise. Dogs feed off the moods and emotions of their humans; you respond to the fear, the dog is scared; you act calm, your dog will eventually respond accordingly. You can help a little by talking to your pet in a light, happy tone of voice that sends a message that the fireworks are no big deal.

The many “firsts” of a new puppy

Rosie in one of her FIRST baths

Rosie in one of her FIRST baths

Rosie at her first vet visit

Rosie at her first vet visit

How exciting it is when you get a new puppy.  Along with the excitement comes great responsibility in caring for that new life; your new canine family member.  Whenever you add a new member to your home, it is necessary to know the care needed which includes great medical care at a Rockford-area veterinarian as listed below or another vet closest to your home.

Just as it is with a new bay, there is also many “firsts” in the lives of a puppy.  These little guys grow up so fast, giving you such little time to enjoy all their antics, fun and the joy they provide.  As they develop, you can also experience the joys of their first experience such as their first teeth.  A puppy seems to come out teething on anything and everything it can get a hold of.  To get your pup through the teething process, provide it with appropriate chew toys.  When it nibbles on something inappropriate, gradually introduce something more suitable to meet the teething needs.  In many cases, freezing toys or providing ice is a satisfying chew toy to numb the puppy’s gums that provides temporary relief from pain while satisfying its teething needs.

If the puppy continues to bite on your fingers, toes or other body parts discourage the behavior by yelping loudly to let it know the biting hurt you and is not permitted.  Stop playing and ignore your puppy for several minutes.  The puppy will realize that playtime should not include hurtful biting or there will be no playing and puppy certainly does not want that. Then replace the biting with a permissible chew toy to play with.

An impressive first for your puppy is learning its first command.  Puppies have short attention spans and learning a command is a great accomplishment.  Some of the most important behaviors to teach besides sit and down include come and stay; important first for the safety of any puppy.  If puppy gets away from you, you need to know it will return when you command it to come.  Puppies are very intelligent and eager to learn but require a lot of patience on your part.  So why not first teach your puppy the commands necessary for its safety.

To give your puppy a good start in life, you want to be sure to choose the best first food.  Most often, it is best to provide the same food it was fed prior to coming into your life.  If you want to choose a better, healthier food such as Eukanuba puppy or any other all-natural puppy foods for your baby, do so gradually.  You don’t want to put your puppy’s system in shock.

Puppies add a lot of joy to your life and you should cherish every moment and every first. All you do will help your baby to grow up strong, healthy, loving and happy.


Getting to Know Rosie


Rosie just prior to coming home

Rosie just prior to coming home

We recently added a new member to our little Chihuahua family and it has been quite the transition.  First, she was not a welcome guest to a couple of family members although most were very supportive and happy for us.  Being two older adults with an “empty nest” our little dogs are now our whole lives.  However, the decision to add Rosie to our little nest has become more than we bargained for.  As most of us know, puppies require a lot of time and patience which we lose in due time  as we “mature” in age.

Rosie is a little long-haired Chihuahua that we brought into the home at seven weeks of age.  She was born on March 24th and she tries so much to fit in, but her older brother and sister are not always accepting of her.  After all, she is a flighty, very active puppy that does not always go over well with them.  Her activity level is more than they can stand at times.  Although they all get along at times, on their terms of course, fights do break out when they feel they have had enough!

Their is much potential for this little girl because she is very intelligent.  What puppy at seven to eight weeks old would continually use her potty box or ring the bell to go outside to do her business.  Yes, she has had an accident here and there but for the most part has the capability to be trained as a respectable member of our family.  Anyhow who meets her compliment her on her beauty, love her personality and appreciate how smart she is – our little Rosie.  There is still a long road ahead for this little girl.  We have high hopes for more harmony among her and her siblings as she grows out of that constant playful, puppy stage that seems to irritate their regular routine of naps and toys!

Teena and Rosie at playtime

Teena and Rosie at playtime

 Rosie trying to convince Georgie it is time to play

Rosie trying to convince Georgie it is time to play

Easter bunnies and dog hazards

Waiting for my Easter treats, please!!

Waiting for my Easter treats, please!!

Warmer weather and all signs of spring are fast approaching with the onset of the glorious Easter season. Thoughts soon sway to spring cleaning, home improvements and Easter celebrations, which can become hazardous for your furry canine.  As you get wrapped up in your Easter egg hunts and baskets of goodies, remember to take precautions for a pet-safe holiday.  The friendly staff at your local Rockford-area Petsmart or Petco as listed below or one closest to your home can help you provide some fun and pet-safe Easter gift ideas for your dog or cat.


Having a fun and safe holiday is just a matter of being mindful about the hazards that can affect your dog or any other pet in the home.  Some of the most common things to consider are –


  • Easter Lilies and other flowers that are beautiful and can symbolize spring, purity, hope and life, a symbol of the season.  They can also be very aromatic as well.  Unfortunately, inquisitive pets may find these plants inviting as they nibble on the toxic leaves and flowers.  Such curiosity may cause illness while it can be fatal for some pets.  It is best to place these plants away from the bored dog or curious cat.
  • Be extremely cautious when it comes to a child’s Easter basket.  Not only does it contain goodies like candy, especially chocolate that is very toxic to pets, the grass, plastics, foils and other materials in that basket can lure a pet to examine and possibly consume these items.  Chocolate candy can be fatal to pets as well as small hard candies that could lead to choking, not to mention causing illness in your pet.  Such things like the Easter grass, if ingested, could actually cause a blockage or perforation within the intestines and require surgical intervention.  During the celebration, it is best to monitor the kids with their baskets while preventing your pets from accessing anything therein that could put a real damper on your holidays along with pain or worse for your pet.

Holidays should be fun and festive for all.  It is Okay to put bunny ears on your pets, take pictures, buy the dog or cat their own “Easter” gifts and treats but be sure to prevent any exposure to the kids goodies, and other items that bring you pleasure.  Decorate the home with bunnies and flowers, enjoy the holiday meal and plan the egg-hunt as long as you keep your pet’s safety in mind.  Your dog is a member of the family and should be included in all festivities as long as the environment is pet-proofed and fun for all concerned.



Be grateful for your pet by avoiding those pleading eyes

There is always something special about the holidays and makes most people feel very giving and grateful for those in their lives.  As you gather around the festive holiday table, its all about sharing your love, conversation and appreciation of one another.  When it comes to your pets, though, less is more.

You may feel that you are leaving your pet out by not offering a piece of the turkey but in reality, you are protecting your precious pet.  You must remember that people foods are not a treat for your dog or cat.  Many of the foods we enjoy can be harmful for your pet.  If you want to include your four-legged family member in the festivities, keep special healthy pet treats nearby so that your dog or cat can be satisfied with a hand-out.  He doesn’t know that it is not what you are eating – he just knows he is included and is satisfied not to be ignored.

The last thing you need is to have the holidays disrupted because the pup or kitty ate something that caused grave illness.  Keep all inappropriate foods out of reach and be sure all guests understand they are not to slip a treat to the pet – unless it is the pet-approved treats.

The holidays are a time to reflect on the good things in life with your family, friends and pets.  Appreciate, love and bond with all those who mean the most to you.  Have a happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season.

When Your Dog Gets Diarrhea and Vomits

It is sad when your dog is ill.  This happened to our little Chihuahua, Georgie, recently.  This is a little guy that wags his tail 24/7 (except when he sleeps) and his favorite past time is being a “retriever” of his favorite toy.


However, a few weeks ago, he began to vomit and then proceeded to have a huge case of diarrhea.  It was so bad that he began to pass blood in the stool due to the irritation of the intestines and anus from the continual bowel movements.


Being experienced with this sort of thing, I immediately put him on the bland diet of boiled white rice and chicken – then switched to ground meat.  Nothing was working. He couldn’t keep anything down.  I knew something serious was going on.  Hi ho, hi ho, off to the vet we go.  I was terrified though because this was not the pup we knew.  He would sniff his puppy toy and walk away, tail was down and he didn’t want to eat at this point.


I have a great vet who was able to squeeze me in first thing in the morning on Monday.  As you know, all emergencies seem to happen on weekends.  Of course, the vet wanted a stool sample.  Sure, no problem; he has nothing left in is little system and try as I may, he would not go for me.


I was given meds for him to stop the vomiting, anti-biotics and probiotics to sprinkle on his food.  Problem is, he couldn’t keep anything down so there goes the medications.  I did get him to lick some honey from my fingers to keep up his blood sugar and gave him a couple of pieces of banana.  He finally did have a small bowel movement so I went back to the vet in the afternoon.  Sure enough, it was a bacterial infection of the stomach and intestines, a problem that has affected many dogs at this time due to unusual, unseasonable weather this past year.


I proceeded with the banana and honey a couple of times a day and a tiny portion of the bland diet until his stomach settled down, holding off on the meds temporarily.  The next day I was able to start with the meds, giving him the antibiotic first and then the food to be sure it all stayed down and now the rest is history.


Georgie thankfully is back to normal.  Even all the staff at the vet’s office could not believe this is our little Georgie since he has captured all their hearts.  As much as we sometimes get frustrated that he wants to play fetch every waking moment, we are so grateful that he is back to normal.  There is no scarier feeling than to know your pet is sad, ill and lethargic.  A happy dog is a healthy dog and I couldn’t be happier!

Do you know all the dog safety tips for summer heat

Georgie, our little guy, loved to float on water!

Much is said recently regarding the safety of pets during the hot summers. As humans we all prepare for the temperature changes – dressing lightly, preventing insects and bites, wearing sunscreen and doing whatever it takes to keep cool.  Sweating in fact is a way for our bodies to cool themselves off.  Dogs on the otherhand need us to think for them and protect them in these hot temps. They do not sweat and cannot help themselves the way we can.

There are many canine fatalities each year due to excessive heat. Dogs overheat very quickly and because they do not sweat, they are limited in cooling themselves off other than panting.  I have written several summer related articles which can be extrememly helpful in caring for yout pets during excessive heat –





I know this is a lot of reading but these articles contain little tips that can save your dog’s life through the hot summer season.  I have also written articles on parasite protection and prevention, hiking with your dogs at this time of year and beyond as well as barbecue safety during family picnics.  Happy reading and keep your pets safe and cool throughout the seasons.

How To Make Bath Time Easier for Your Dog

Bathing your dog is a necessary aspect of maintenance and grooming – not only for appearance but for the health of your pet. There is no specific timeframe specified for bathing a dog as they do not need a bath as often as a human. Bathing too often can strip a dog of its necessary oils for a vibrant coat and healthy skin.


Bath time can seem like a real chore for some dogs and their pet parents, yet it does not have to be.  If you introduce your pup to the whole bath process when it is very young, it becomes second nature without all the unnecessary fears. A dog can actually get its first bath by about four weeks of age.


As a general rule, most dogs may get a bath every one to two months; although puppies tend to be bathe much more often. This is for obvious reasons – they get messy from their food, step in their own urine or feces and love to get into muddy situations and more. As long as you use a special puppy shampoo, it is safe to bathe your puppy as needed.


Be sure to be prepared before bathing your puppy or dog. You may want to be sure the bathing room is extra warm so the pet is not chilled during the process. Have everything you need at your fingertips before starting the bath as you surely do not want to in a panic looking for necessities while your dog is sitting in the tub. Most often you will need the special shampoo for your dog’s particular needs, cotton balls to prevent water in the ears, mineral oil to protect suds in the eyes, toothbrush and toothpaste for the all-important oral care and plenty of drying towels.


One of the steps many people forget is to prep your dog before the bath. This may not apply to the slick, short-haired dogs but medium to long-haired dogs must be brushed and combed to be sure there are no mats or tangles. If you do not comb them out, the mats will turn into solid masses when they get wet and nearly impossible to remove unless they are clipped out.


Prepare the bath water to a nice lukewarm temperature. Place a drop of mineral oil into each eye to protect soap in the eyes. Cotton balls can prevent water in the ears as well. I always found it best to brush the teeth at this time for good oral care. Your veterinarian or professional groomer can demonstrate how to do so.


Wet your dog thoroughly before applying the shampoo.  Form a good rich lather, massaging it into the skin and coat of your dog.  Rinse extremely well. You want to perform the bath process as quickly as you can so your dog does not get stressed out, talking to it in a calm, gentle tone of voice.


Dry your dog well with a good pet chamois or large soft towel. You can also use a blow dryer on the lowest setting, especially during the colder weather to guarantee your dog will not get sick after a good warm bath. After the successful bath, a little treat and praise does not hurt, to let your dog know – a job well done.


A bath can be fun and easy for both you and your dog – without unnecessary stress. Done often enough, as needed, this special type together can create a close bond between you and your favorite canine.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/how-to-bathe-your-dog/page1.aspx http://www.petplace.com/dogs/bathing-your-puppy/page1.aspx

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