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Talk: "What About that Walking Gear?" - North Asheville, Feb. 18

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 4.22.34 PMA talk titled "What About that Walking Gear?" will be presented as a benefit for Asheville Voice for Animals (AVA). It will cover in depth the different types of walking gear available for dogs, the physical and mental effects of these types of walking gear from a dog's perspective, and what to do to help you and your dog have wonderful bonding walks that do not involve physical and mental degradation.

WHEN: Thursday, February 18th, 2016 at 7 pm

WHERE: Nectar Restaurant, 853 Merrimon Avenue, North Asheville
WHO: Grace Shen of The Collarless Dog and Joanne Ometz of Mindfulness for Dogs will be leading the talk with a Q&A afterwards.

Seating is limited, and tickets for the talk are $10 at the door. Please call Grace to reserve a spot at 828-545-2948.

A delicious, nourishing, and healthy dinner, snacks or drinks can be had at Nectar prior to the talk until 7 pm. Nectar specializes in organic raw and vegan cuisine.

Image provided by Grace Shen


Food Allergies and Your Dog

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About 10 to 15 percent of allergic reactions in dogs and cats are caused by the food they eat. They are the third most common allergy in pets after flea bites and inhaled allergens. While other allergens in the air, grass, and home can be culprits, it is important to rule out food when your dog has an allergy. Most pets are not born with food allergies; rather, their immune systems develop an allergy over time.

Petco has created a very handy infographic about food allergies that details symptoms, the most common food allergens, and what to do if your dog has a food allergy, which is often caused by a protein in the diet.

You can access the infographic here.

Local Puppies Featured on Animal Planet's Feb. 7 "Puppy Bowl"

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Exciting news!!!!! The Carolina Panthers aren't the only ones headed to the big game! Four puppies from Asheville Humane Society were selected to star in this year's Puppy Bowl XII on Animal Planet!!!

To celebrate, Asheville Humane Society is having an adoption event and Puppy Bowl viewing party at Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. on Merrimon Avenue this Sunday, February 7 from 2-4 PM with adorable puppies for adoption! Bella, Asheville's very own starting lineup Puppy Bowl celebrity, will be attending at 2 PM to meet and greet her fans!

To watch the Puppy Bowl on the big screen, stick around at Asheville Pizza & Brewing for a viewing party from 3-5 PM. Grab a booth, order some pizza and get ready to cheer on the cutest team to take the field... TEAM RUFF!!!

7 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Safe While Traveling

Guest Post by Jennifer Scott

ID-1001930Taking a vacation is meant to be a relaxing endeavor, but when it comes to traveling with a dog there can be a lot of added stress. It’s important to make sure that your companion is safe and comfortable, especially on long, curvy rides on mountain roads. Here are seven tips for safe pet travel:

1. Visit the vet’s office first. You want to be sure that your pet is ready to hit the open road (or open air) health-wise, especially since you won’t be close to his regular doctor while you’re away. Further, many airlines require a certificate of veterinary inspection within 10 days of traveling.

2. Be wary of harsh weather conditions. If you’re flying during the summer or winter months, be sure to check that the airline will accommodate for extreme temperatures. This is especially important if your pet will take the trip below the cabin. If you’re taking a winter weekend getaway to the mountains with your pup, pack him his own blankets and sweaters to protect him from the cold.

3. Choose the right crate for your pet. Crates are required for pets to travel via plane, and an excellent option for car rides. (They’re also a good way to keep pets polite while staying in hotels or with a loved one.) Make sure the crate large enough to allow him to stand, turn, and lie down with plenty of ventilation. It should have a leak proof bottom and be lined with absorbent material like a towel or blanket in case of potty accidents. A “live animal” label should be placed in a clearly visible spot on the outside.

4. Pack a travel kit. Even if your pet is a tenured traveler, the process can be quite stressful for animals. Put together a travel kit for him full of his favorite goodies and toys to create a sense of familiarity: his food, water bowl, bed or blanket, and a couple of his favorite toys. If you’re flying, you may want to consider leaving him a T-shirt that smells like you for added reassurance.

5. Look out for safety hazards. Though you’ll want a leash with you, don’t leave it in the crate as it could be a serious choking risk. Loose collars can pose a similar problem, so find the happy medium between too snug and too loose. Dogs will appreciate a good chew bone to keep their minds occupied, but make sure it won’t break into small pieces that he could choke on (especially on a bumpy flight or road trip).

6. Figure breaks into your travel time. Especially if you’re going on a lengthy car ride, plan to take pit stops every two hours or so to give your pet a break. Give dogs a potty walk and allow them a little extra time to run around, explore the mountain scenery, or play with a ball or Frisbee; it’ll make him feel less restless and maybe even burn off enough energy to let him snooze during the drive.

7. Consider boarding your pet. Though it’s difficult to leave your beloved pet behind, however temporarily, it may actually be better for him to skip the stress of travel. You can find a responsible pet sitter who would love to care for your companion, and with today’s technology you can easily stay updated on his stay with daily photos and video chats. Think of it as your pet taking his own vacation in a safe, compassionate environment!

Traveling with a pet can be tricky, but with the right tools and approach even the ruff-est rides can be enjoyable!


Jennifer Scott is a lifelong sufferer of anxiety and depression. She created her website, SpiritFinder.org, as a platform for advocacy on opening up about mental health. Through the site, she hopes to share the types of steps and success stories that can help others realize their own power. When she isn’t working on her website, she enjoys traveling, working with animals, and seeking out new friendships and adventures.

Image: Federico Stevanin, freedigitalphotos.net


Hiking Hounds - Feb. 7

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Two Sunday mornings each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike with the Hiking Hounds group is Sunday, February 7. Start time is 10 AM for repeat hikers and 9:30 AM for new hikers. Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com.

Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first served basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. And please make sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.