HEALTHIER HOLIDAY MEALS FOR PETS

It may be tempting to make a plate of yummy leftovers for your pets. But that treat of a lifetime might be unhealthy or even dangerous for your pet. Turkey meat (no skin) or plain veggies are ok in small amounts, if your pet is already used to eating a variety of foods but don’t overwhelm them with a bunch of new things all at once.  These are definite no-nos: onions, chocolate, grapes, gravy, raisins, foods containing xlitol/sugar substitute, macadamia nuts and anything containing alcohol. If you pet is accustomed to home cooked food, you know what they have done well with in the past. But don’t forget that many holiday recipes have extra calories and ingredients so please be careful. We are well stocked with many turkey, sweet potato or pumpkin treats your pets are sure to love. And healthy chews and toys for great entertainment for when those relatives take over your house. Or they make an unbeatable hostess gift if you are visiting friends with pets!

dog searching for a midnight snack in a refrigerator

Five Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

You and your dog might occasionally share snacks, or Fido claims any tidbits that hit the floor. Unlike cats, who are true carnivores, dogs developed as omnivores, able to consume a varied diet. That doesn’t mean they can eat all of the same foods you do. Certain foods regularly enjoyed by people can make dogs very sick – or even kill them.  

Onions and Garlic

Although onions and garlic are separate foods, they both belong to the allium family, along with shallots, chives, leeks and scallions. These foods all have the ability to harm canine red blood cells, as well as cause gastrointestinal distress. A dog can develop life-threatening anemia. Signs of anemia include:

  • pale gums
  • appetite loss
  • lethargy
  • weakness.

Call your vet if your dog displays any symptoms, or if you know he ate a food in the allium family. It doesn’t matter whether the onion/garlic is fresh or powdered – all forms are potentially poisonous.

Since some dog foods or treats contain garlic, you may well wonder why it’s considered a food your dog shouldn’t eat. The minimal amounts of garlic found in these foods or treats may not be enough to harm your dog, but for safety’s sake either avoid the product or ask your vet before giving it to your pet. If your dog is ailing and your vet recommends baby food, check the label for garlic or onion powder added to the pureed meat.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes, and their dried versions, raisins, can prove toxic to dogs even in small amounts. The exact substance causing toxicity and leading to kidney failure is still not known, but raisins appear deadlier than grapes, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Signs of toxicity aren’t immediate, but an affected dog will throw up within 12 hours of eating the grapes or raisins. Kidney failure may soon follow. Call your vet immediately if you think your dog ate grapes or raisins, of any type. The faster he receives treatment, the better the prognosis.

Bread Dough

Baking bread is a fun, fulfilling endeavor, but keep raw bread dough away from Fido. It’s the yeast that causes the problem. Your dog’s stomach isn’t that different from an oven in its warmth, and once the raw dough is down there it might continue rising. That can result in a twisted stomach or obstructed bowel. Call your vet at once if your dog eats bread dough. She may advise you induce vomiting by giving your dog 5 to 10 ml of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, with the amount dictated by the dog’s weight. This is the method recommended by the Merck Veterinary Manual. Bring your dog to the vet for further examination and treatment.

Chocolate

You may be a chocoholic, but it’s not a safe treat for Fido. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound derived from cacao seeds. People can usually metabolize theobromine without problems, but the metabolic process takes a long time in dogs, and can result in toxicity. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which, like theobromine, stimulates the central nervous system. Signs of chocolate toxicity include:

  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • hyperactivity
  • muscle tremors
  • seizures.

In a worst-case scenario, a dog can suffer a heart attack and die.

For dogs, dark chocolate is the most dangerous, but no chocolate is safe. Chocolate toxicity depends on the size of the dog and the amount eaten.  A large dog might eat a small amount of chocolate to no ill effect, while the same amount can kill a toy canine. There’s no sense in risking your pet’s health because of a little chocolate. Avoid giving your dog any type of this sweet, whether it’s in a candy bar, cookie, brownie or cake.

If your dog does eat chocolate, call your veterinarian. She can decide whether it’s an emergency and you should bring your dog directly to a veterinary hospital, or if you can take a wait-and-see approach.

Xylitol – Artificial Sweetener

While Xylitol isn’t a food per se, this artificial sweetener is found in many sugar-free products. If your dog swallows sugar-free gum or eats baked goods containing xylitol, he may experience a sudden and severe drop in blood sugar. Signs of xylitol poisoning include:

  • disorientation
  • neurological problems
  • seizures.

Without prompt veterinary treatment, a dog can develop potentially fatal liver failure. If you suspect your dog ate a sugar-free item containing xylitol, take him to an emergency veterinarian immediately.

DOG WEAR IS HERE!

Just in time for cooler weather, our big shipment of dog wear has arrived! Choose from horse blanket type coats, fleeced coats, water repellant coats, hand knit sweaters and even lighter weights to wear indoors for a little extra warmth. The most fashionable plaids, stripes, patterns and a beautiful array of bright solid colors too. All sizes now in stock. We do custom coats for hard to fit breeds like deep chested sight hounds, stocky bulldog breeds and low to the ground dogs like dachshunds. Bring your dog to get fitted by our style experts! Or if you are not bringing your dog, make sure you know their neck size, back length and girth measurement, so we can get exactly the right fit for your dog.

Stock Up on High Visibility Apparel!

When the days are getting shorter, your dogs should wear reflective vests, leads and collars for their early morning and after work walks. Cats too should have high visibility collars to be seen in the dark. We have reflective wear in stock, including rechargeable LED options. Also, if you are in an rural area where hunting is allowed, please make sure all your pets (as well as horses and people) wear blaze orange gear so they’ll be safe.

Fall is here – are your pets ready?

Here’s some tips to make seasonal transitions easier for your pets! Now’s the time to change up the proteins to warming meats like beef, duck and venison and add veggies like carrots, parsnips, and darker greens. If you’ve turned on the heat in your home, start adding fish oil to the diet to keep their skin supple. Hair is already getting thicker so bring your dog in so we can de-shed the old hair to make room for the new. And as you’re putting your garden to bed for the season, make sure your pets don’t eat the compost. Especially apple cores and pumpkin seeds, which never work out well for their digestion (or your carpet, yuk).

Seasonal Allergy Solutions For Pets!

Now’s the time to boost your dog or cat’s immune system so their body can fight fall allergies! Summer’s getting ready to leave us… and weeds, grasses and leaves are already dying back. Pair that with the unusually wet summer and you’ve got mold and allergens in the air! Our experience has found that when pets don’t get enough good quality protein in their diet, their skin becomes “thinner,” and allows allergens to enter their body more readily, which leads to scratchy, itchy skin, hot spots, teary eyes or coughing. We can help by recommending higher protein foods, a good quality enzyme supplement and herbs we’ve specially selected to bring your pet’s immune system back into balance. Don’t forget, protein needs change with the seasons too! Come by the store and we’ll get your pets ready for fall!

NEW Foods and a Sale from The Honest Kitchen!

Introducing Marvel (turkey and parsnip) and Brave (whitefish and coconut) from The Honest Kitchen! And to celebrate, you’ll receive $10 OFF a four pound box or $15 OFF a ten pound box on ANY variety you choose! No kidding! No limits on how many boxes you want!

The Difference Between a Lead…and a Leash…and Why It Matters!

Although we have many kinds of dog walking gear… we go back to what the noted trainer Wendy Volhard teaches… you “lead” your dog with a lead, your dog leads you with a “leash” — a leash just connects him to you but he is in control. Many people choose harnesses and extending leads because it does involve training and they are relying on apparatus to bypass the job of our becoming the leader of our pack. If you are using an extending lead and your dog bolts, there is no way you can bring him back to you quickly without burning your hands on the belt. Worse yet, if he pulls the handle out of your hands then you have a dog galloping out of control, possibly scared by the bouncing leash behind him. We suggest that to teach your dog early on, whether a puppy or an older adopted dog, to walk quietly and in control, preferably on a loose rein, using a European lead (lead and collar all in one). You can easily correct a puller before he sets into pull-mode and reward him by no pressure and a loose lead when he happily walks with you. For info on how to do this method, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you become a more effective pack leader!

Is Your Dog Acting Like a Scardy Cat This Summer?

Thunderstorms, fireworks, a house full of relatives, travel, and boarding kennels… any of these make a summer vacation stressful for your dogs and cats.. and for you too! Fear not, we have great solutions for a peaceful summer! HomeoPet’s “Storm Stress” and “Travel Anxiety” are safe for all ages and can be used in combination with other products, like Young Living Essential Oils “Peace and Calming,” Green Dog Naturals “Complete Calm” or Bach Flowers “Rescue Remedy,” just to name a few. In some cases, we recommend combinations of these remedies and make custom blends to resolve unusual situations. Thundershirts are also a great solution and available in sizes to fit any pet and work even better when you apply the essential oils to them.. like a big hug with lavender accents! Come to the store, tell us what’s going on with your pet, and we’ll find just the right solution to help you get through the season with ease.

Jump into Summer!

Get relief from fleas, ticks, allergies, travel anxiety and scary thunderstorms! We have the best selection of flea/tick repellants, both internal and external. No chemicals of course. And they really work. Also, the best defense against allergies is a strong immune system. A high protein diet makes the skin “stronger” and more able to “repel” allergens from entering the body. Also, try our calmatives for thunderstorms and travel anxiety.