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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

It’s that dreaded time of year again: coyote season; when everyone has a horror story about their friend’s brother’s dog who got snatched up in the middle of the night. The thought of your own pet succumbing to such a fate can definitely stir up some anxiety, but we’re here to help ease your mind a bit with some easy tips and tricks to help prevent anything bad happening to your loved ones.

Don’t Leave Food Out

  • Bring in all of your pet’s food and water dishes.
  • Thoroughly clean your grill after every use. Predators can smell the hamburgers you cooked at the family BBQ even after you’ve eaten them all!
  • Be cautious with compost. Avoid adding meat, bones, and any whole foods to your compost piles. Many predators–like coyotes–are opportunistic eaters.
  • Clean up any fruit dropped on the ground from trees. Yes, coyotes will even go after those crab apples! This will also help get rid of smaller pests like flies.
  • Be sure that all trash bins are completely covered and minimize the time they are left outside.

Always Supervise Pets

  • Like many predators, coyotes are nocturnal, so keep an especially close eye on pets from dusk until dawn.
  • Cats are more at risk than dogs because they are more likely to roam around outside, unsupervised, and their size makes them ideal prey for coyotes. The safest lifestyle for a cat is to be kept indoors at all times, however, at the very least be sure your cats are inside at night. 
  • Keep bathroom breaks as brief as possible.
  • ALWAYS have your dog on a leash–preferably a shorter one so you have more control if they try to run. We suggest the Flat Out Dog Leash by Ruffwear. It’s 6 ft in length, which is plenty of space for your dog to wander, but not enough so that you wouldn’t be able to control them if the situation called for it. It’s also super strong, so you know it won’t snap if they run.
  • Try to avoid evening walks, or stay in well-lit, highly populated areas.
  • Don’t let your guard down just because you have a fence. Coyotes have been known to jump fences that are 6 feet tall. Many experts suggest installing rollers on the top and regularly checking to make sure there are no weak spots or holes.

Hazing 

One of the best preventative measures you can take is by hazing coyotes whenever you see them–and no, that doesn’t mean telling them to do a keg stand. “Hazing” is essentially the process of keeping predators from getting comfortable in your backyard. If you were looking at a new house but saw that the neighbors were loud and obnoxious, would you want to move there? Definitely not!

HAZING DOES NOT MEAN HURTING ANIMALS

Hazing is the act of safely scaring an animal away. Unless your life is being threatened and there are no other options, there is absolutely no reason to attack or injure an animal.

  • Always keep a safe distance, and never approach a coyote or other wild animal.
  • Never turn your back or try to outrun a coyote. They have the ability to run 40 MPH (Humans average around 15 MPH).
  • Make yourself seem BIG! Stand up straight, raise your arms and wave them, hold a coat about your head, etc.
  • Create a simple “Safety Shaker” by putting pebbles, pennies, or bolts into a soda can and sealing it with duct tape.
  • Keep your home and yard well-lit–especially during nighttime bathroom breaks with your dog.
  • If you see a coyote and you’re inside, open a window and yell, clap, or make any sort of loud noise to scare it away. Remember: you don’t want them to feel comfortable.
  • Tell your neighbors you’ve seen coyotes in the area, and encourage them to haze them, as well. Team work is always effective!

It’s scary to see any sort of threat to your furry family members. Just remember that as long as you stay cautious, smart, and calm, you’ll be able to keep your pet safe from harm.

 

Halloween is such a fun time of year, especially if you have little human-kids…carving pumpkins, making costumes, buying candy and seeing all of the other costumes. Kids get so excited to see how much candy they can collect and then the sorting of it and trading with friends or siblings (this was the best part)! Our fur-kids, on the other hand, might not like any of this. Below are safety tips to make sure that your pet has a fun Halloween too.

The Candy Bowl ~ The candy bowl is for little human goblins, not our four-legged goblins. Several of those treats that are handed out are toxic to our pets. ALL Chocolate – especially dark and baking chocolate – can be dangerous, even lethal.  Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased hearth rate, and seizures. Sugar free candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar, causing loss of coordination and seizures.  The number for the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Hotline: 888-426-4435 (the hotline charges a fee of $65 per case).

Be Careful with Costumes ~ For some pets, putting them in a costume will cause undue stress. If your pet loves being in a costume, make sure it does not limit their movement, ability to breathe, bark or meow. Make sure to check for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Make sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big day, to make sure they enjoy it and for them to get used to it.

Protecting Your Pets ~ Having a doorbell constantly ringing and too many strangers can be scary and stressful for our pets. Keep them in a separate room away from the front door during trick-or-treating hours. If you would like something to help your dog calm down during this stressful time, stop in and ask a team member about Happy Traveler (this is an amazing product that will help in all kinds of situations that brings on anxiety for our pets). If your dog is social and doesn’t get stressed with visitors, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t run outside. And always have the proper identification – just in case they do escape – a collar with ID tags and/or microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

Decorations ~ Pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire and a curious kitten are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Keep glow sticks away from your pets, the liquid in the sticks are thankfully not toxic but it tastes awful if you pet does chew on one. This can cause them to paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. If you think that your pet did chew on a glow stick offer some water or treat to help clear the liquid out of their mouth.

We hope that you and your families have a fun and safe Halloween and if your pet does like to be dressed up, stop in so they can trick-or-treat too!!

 

Amber Walker*Sigh* It happened again.  Another dog bite. It happened to my friend, we will call her Angie.  Angie went to a friend’s house about a week ago to meet their rescue dog.  Angie reached to pet the dog and he bit her hand. I cannot tell you the dog’s name, age, breed, gender, weight, or eye color. And it doesn’t matter.  Normal, healthy dogs all have the same communication.  I also don’t know the history of this dog but there is a good chance, that didn’t matter either.

The breeds ranked as the number one family dogs are my number one cases for aggression. 

According to Angie, it was a decent bite that she probably should have gone to the doctor for.  But she didn’t go and no one will ever know. Angie said, “I’m sure the dog was telling us he didn’t want to be pet but we just didn’t know.”

 

It only takes one.  One growl, lunge, air snap, or bite will end any dog in a shelter and SO many of them could have been avoided.  Once a dog has a bite history, it is almost *impossible* to re-home, and most rescues will not take him.

On a fairly regular basis, I see dogs in the community being put into situations they clearly do not want to be in and the owners have no idea. Just today, I saw the second largest dog bread (100+ pounds) being forced to greet a complete stranger on the street by its owner.  Imagine the damage if the dog decided to bite. “Yes, come pet him.  It’s good for his socialization, ” I heard the owner say to the stranger.  “Not if he doesn’t want to,” I said in my own head.

About 1,000 people EACH DAY receive emergency care for a dog bite and 77% of all dog bites are from family or friend’s dogs.  I feel like I need to say that louder: THERE IS A 77% CHANCE YOUR DOG AT YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW WILL BITE SOMEONE YOU KNOW.  Only 23% of all bites come from a stranger dog the person didn’t know.

Do not force your dog to meet anyone! If your dog does not want to say hello to Aunt Meg, Barack Obama or the Pope, he doesn’t have to!508102843_53b1f641ce

What to LOOK for in a normal health dog: 

  • Lip licking (like peanut butter on the lips or chewing cud)
  • Yawning
  • Leaning back or pulling away from people
  • Face turning away
  • Whale eye (point your chin down and look up, that’s whale eye)
  • Tripod stance (on 3 legs, 4th leg is a bent knee)
  • …and more…

Growling, lunging, air snapping or biting are all a last resort! 

This is not the first time or the last time I will educate about dog bites.  And my 2016 goals are to communicate to the masses about dog body language to help prevent bites!!  Look for me on TV, online, media, magazines, social media and local seminars to learn more.

For more information you can contact Amber Walker at amber@aitrainers.com or www.aitrainers.com.

 

With a heat advisory out for us until Friday evening, I thought it would be a great time to remind you about the very real dangers of Heat Stroke to our four-legged friends.  Could you imagine wearing your winter coat right now? That is what it is like for them during the summer.

Panting_xlibberWhat is Heat Stroke?

Heat stroke is a term used for hyperthermia or elevated body temperature.  If your pet’s body temperature is at 103°F or above that is considered abnormal or hypothermic.  When the body temperature reaches 106°F without previous signs of illness and is most commonly associated with exposure to excessive heat that is often referred to as heat stroke.

 

What Causes Heat Stroke?

Temperature-in-Car-GaugeMany people believe that heat stroke is limited to when a dog is confined in a small or enclosed place during high temperatures, such as a car.  Yes, this can be the most common cause but there are also many others.  Your dog can be affected by moving from cool places (like the A/C in the house or car) to outside.  Extreme exercise and outdoor play can induce heat stroke as well.

What are the Symptoms of Heat Stroke?

  1. Unexplained Restlessness
  2. Excessive Panting
  3. Fluctuating Panting
  4. Excessive Drooling
  5. Foaming at the Mouth
  6. Dry or Tacky Gums
  7. Difficulty Breathing
  8. Agitation, Whining, Anxiety

If you notice any of the signs listed above, work quickly to cool your dog and get in touch with your Vet as soon as possible.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke?

The number one way to prevent heat stroke is PLENTY of WATER!  Shade is also a must if you are outside in the heat for extended periods of time.  It is also important to limit your walks and play outside to the early morning and late evening hours too.  Having a cool spot to lie in the house will also work wonders!  If you have not seen our Canine Cooler Mat, you need to check this out today!

Remember dogs don’t release heat from their bodies as well as humans do.  Heat stroke is a very real (and sometimes fatal) risk this time of year.  But, by keeping your furry friend cool, giving access to plenty of water, and taking care to limit large fluctuations in temperature, you will help avoid the dangers of heat stroke this (and every) summer.

 

Almost everyone knows that chocolate is bad for dogs…But is it really true, and what does it really do?  Well with Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I thought I would clear the air for you!

YES, Chocolate really is poison to dogs.  I know that it is difficult to believe that something so amazing could be so deadly to our four-legged friends.

So why is it so bad you ask? Chocolate contains theobromine.  This is a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean, and that is what is poisonous to dogs.  Theobromine affects the central nervous system, the heart muscle and it increases urination.dog-eating-chocolate

What are the signs? First know that the longer the chocolate is in your dog’s system, the more theobromine they will absorb.  Within the first few hours, the symptoms includes vomiting, diarrhea, or hyperactivity. You will begin to see an increase in heart rate, this is bad because it causes arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting.  These symptoms can lead to hypothermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.

But how much Chocolate? Just like most things…Not all chocolate is created equal.  The age and relative health of your dog is going to be a factor on how severely your dog will react to eating chocolate.  Here is a breakdown of the different types of chocolate poisoning for a generally healthy, average age dog:

 

  • White Chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight.  It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20 pound dog; 125 pounds for a 10 pound dog.
  • Milk Chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20 pound dog; one-half pound for a 10 pound dog.  The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate.  It would take approximately 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate: has a similar toxic level.  Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight.  One-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is toxic to a 20 pound dog; one-sixth of a pound for a 10 pound dog.
  • Baking Chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight.  Two one-ounce squares of bakers’ chocolate is toxic to a 20 pound dog; one ounce for a 10 pound dog.  Source

 

two-bostons-carob-puppy-kissespawsitively-gourmet-hearts-pink-and-brownWe do have a SAFE alternatives to satisfy your dogs chocolate cravings on Valentine’s Day and everyday! Our Bakery Treats and our most popular treat, Puppy Kisses, that look and taste like chocolate actually are made with, Carob.

Carob has the same great chocolate taste to our dogs, without the fear!  Carob is actually a nutritious alternative as it contains 8% protein and traces of vitamin A, B, B2, and B3 and D.  Carob is high in phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium. These vitamins and minerals are vital in the promotion of healthy bones, teeth, eyes and coat.

I hope that this will clear up any questions about Dogs and Chocolate…if you have any other questions always feel free to ask one our Team Members! Happy Valentine’s Day!

This weeks blog is from Amber Walker, lead trainer and owner at Animal Intuitions, LLC…I hope you get some good tips to help your dog be Halloween ready!

Hisk and Hark! Draw close and tremble! This is the night when ghosts assemble!

Halloween season is here with crazy costumes and scary decorations everywhere we look.  Many dogs have no issues with them and others 10-2015 Halloween with Leowill be petrified.  It’s so important to me that a puppy is able to brush off a scary situation, that in my puppy classes we have Halloween night every 6 weeks all year long!

I can’t tell you how many owners purposely scare their dogs with creepy masks or devilish costumes because their dogs freak out and it makes the owner laugh…and it drives me crazy.  I already dislike jokes, pranks, and April Fools on humans but to do those things to an animal that doesn’t have an understanding of what Halloween or any joke concept, is just sinister!  If I just described you…I wag my finger.

So! For those of us that want to make sure our new puppies or adult dogs are ready for this season, there are a few things you can do.

***TRAINING TIP: Anytime you can take a neutral situation (nothing bad or good is happening) and turn it into a positive one, you are setting your dog up for future success!

  • Get Halloween decorations out on the floor (if safe and won’t be destroyed by dog) or low and still in your hand in the “off” position, for those with sound and lights.  Allow your dog to investigate it on their own.  Treat or pet your dog for being brave.
  • If the decoration or costume moves or lights up, turn it on from this low/still position and pet or treat your dog for being brave again, now with lights and noise.  You may have to start from many feet away at first.  Bring the object closer as the dog is showing signs of being relaxed or curious.
  • As your dog becomes comfortable with the object, move it around or allow self-moving objects to move at this time.  Pet or treat your dog for bravery and curiosity.
  • If your kids are going to be wearing their costumes all the time, allow your dog to see it in pieces or flat on the floor before the kids are flying around the house in them.  For puppy class, we allow the dog to get rewarded for the mask, gloves, cape, and head piece all separate before the trainer dons the entire outfit as one costume.dogeatingcandy
  • Doorbell!!  Since your doorbell will be ringing every 90 seconds, consider bringing your dog to the front door on a leash, standing there, and ringing it over and over again with a cookie each time it rings.  Allow them to see no one is there, nothing is happening, and the doorbell is actually really boring.  Up til now, there’s a good chance your dog thinks that a pizza rings the bell every single time.  Or for simplicity, put the dog in a different room with Through A Dog’s Ear music, some lavender diffused oil and a white noise sound machine and let them sleep the night away!
  • Keep all chocolate and candy out of reach of dogs especially counter surfing pets.  And keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case they do get into the candy bowl.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  Make it your pets’ favorite too!!

LizE_Profile

Hey there, Liz here! I wanted to share with you one of my recent favorite products from Two Bostons Pet Boutique. It’s becoming that time of the year again when it starts getting darker earlier each day. What precautions have you made to ensure your pet’s safety in the dark? It’s important for so many reasons that your dog is visible — cars, other humans, even safety from other animals. You want your pets to be seen!

The Beacon by Ruff Wear is a great product that you can easily use on your pet. It is a red safety light that can be attached to just about anything. It’s very versatile; you can hang it from a collar with its split ring, or clip it to nearly anything with the clip on the back side.

TheBeacon_DarkPhoto

The split-ring clip makes it easy to attach The Beacon to almost anything, so it’s always easily seen.

 

There are a bunch of great features to The Beacon. First, it has a high-intensity LED light, which produces a red halo of light around your pet. Also it has an omni-directional, light dispersing lens. Another great feature is that it is watertight, so for the water dog, or even just the dog taking a walk in the rain, this light can withstand those activities.

Beacon_Graphic

The omni-directional light disperses a beam of brightness that makes a pet (or a person!) highly visible in any environment.

 

The Beacon also has different flashing modes. The videos below show the different types of flashing — in the order shown: slow flash, fast flash and always-on mode. My favorite feature of this safety light is that it’s battery operated, and the battery can be replaced. It just takes unscrewing two screws and a new CR2032 battery to bring it back to life.



I have found The Beacon extremely helpful when it comes to my puppy. He has free roam of the yard; so when it comes to the evening and night, it makes everything easier when I can locate exactly where he is in the yard. This also lets me know that he’s not getting himself into any trouble while in the yard. When I am taking him for a walk, I have the comfort of knowing that he and I are both easily seen! Stop by Two Bostons Pet Boutique and check out The Beacon — you won’t regret it!

P.S. You can clip this onto ANYTHING! Your dog’s collar, sweater, coat, harness, or even onto you or kids for EXTRA safety! Are you a runner? Biker? Hiker? This is great for human use too!