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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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!!

 

This week we are celebrating National Hugging Day…we all love giving and getting hugs!  Amber Walker, Lead Trainer & Owner at Animal Intuitions, LLC is here to give us some insight about pets and hugging safety.  Even if you don’t read this entire blog…WATCH THE FIRST VIDEO BELOW, it really tells a great story.

It’s winter, it’s snowing, it’s cold and the only thing I want to do at night is snuggle my warm, furry coated dog.  And I’m not the only one.  Both my toddler and my husband want to also.  But I have a problem…my yellow Labrador, Hadley, hates to be hugged and she hates to get kisses.  In her perfect world, she would be two feet away from any human.

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“Getting a toddler and a dog to pose for a picture can be nearly impossible, but when you can get a nervous dog and a busy toddler to settle for just a moment, you get a tightly closed mouth, nervous tail wag, and two feet of space in between them! At least they’re both looking in my general direction.”

Now, my 12 year old pup is an extremist when it comes to being anti-hugs and kisses but she’s a shelter dog with a peppered past…and she is not alone!  In fact: MOST dogs and cats, don’t like hugs and kisses.  77% of bites happen in the family home or by a familiar pet and many are a result of too many hugs and kisses.  They can also be a result of a pet tolerating the family’s hugs and kisses and then biting when Cousin Louie visits because he joined in on the undesired hug fest.  This has become such a problem among companion dogs that great resources have been dedicated to helping families understand this misconception.

 

StopThe77www.StopThe77.com has created an awesome video (right on the top on the home page) to show how most dogs really feel about hugs and kisses from the dog’s perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

I have done several TV features for this topic.  One video can be seen here:

 

Dog Gone Safe has a national campaign that teaches children about how to read a dog’s behaviors, signals, and cues, especially when it is in regard to hugging.  You can read one of their many blogs here: http://doggonesafe.blogspot.com/2010/12/dogs-dont-like-hugs-and-kisses.html

 

Yes, yes, yes, you may know of or have a dog or cat that solicits attention, can’t get enough belly rubs, enjoys and loves being hugged by you, even seeks you out for hugs and licks.  It’s not impossible, it’s not unheard of…but for me, as a trainer, the comparison is similar to a frustrated puppy owner telling me they’ve had perfect dogs their entire life and have never had to train a dog ever (I have 2 of those clients right now!) I know those dogs exist too!  But they are not the norm…Most dogs (and cats too) need training just as most dogs and cats do not like hugs.

Remember, you don’t want to hug everyone you meet…Being respectful to our pets regarding hugging is as important as being respectful to our family about something they don’t like!  Read your pet’s body language during a hug before assuming they love it and you may change your mind about how your pet feels.  No one wants their pet to secretly dislike them so it will make everyone much happier!

Amber WalkerLook for Amber’s next guest blog, she will talk more about how to read signs and signals our dogs give us when they are uncomfortable.

 

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!!

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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.

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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.

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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!