Guide to Dog Ownership Costs

ID-100329003When it comes to owning a dog, you certainly can't put a price on the love and companionship a dog brings to your family. But just as with a human family member, there are costs involved in owning a pet. has put together a helpful, comprehensive and current guide to pet ownership costs. The guide covers the lifetime costs of a pet, including acquisition, medical, grooming, food, equipment, and training costs. The guide also discusses specific costs related to owning a dog, such as most and least expensive dog breeds, typical costs for health-related items including vaccines, flea treatments, and heartworm preventative, emergency medical care, pet insurance, tips for reducing the cost of pet ownership, and more.

Included with the guide is a handy free cost calculator so you can estimate dog ownership costs yourself.

Check out the guide here:

Image: Stuart Miles,

New Book Focuses on Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.25.24 PMWhether the wind blows, the ground shakes, the flames rise or snow and water fall from the skies, you must be prepared for your pet’s sake!” says Denise Fleck aka The Pet Safety Crusader™. “Disasters aren’t always on a regional scale. Power could go out on just your street or in only your building.  A tree could fall on your roof or a water pipe could break in your home alone.  Even without your neighbors being affected, your household of two-legged, four-legged, feathered, finned or scaled family members could be in distress.”

In her just released 9th book, “The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness,” Fleck, who has personally instructed more than 12,000 humans in animal life-saving skills and millions more on national TV segments, lays out the steps your pets need you to know to be READY, REACT and then RECOVER.  “Training, supplies, a positive mental attitude and a plan can make all the difference,” she says.  In addition to preparedness tips for humans and their animal companions, the author provides templates for your family's emergency plan, what to have on hand and skills to possess, suggestions for specific disasters ranging from earthquakes, hurricanes and chemical disasters to tsunamis, power outages and civil unrest. The book concludes with a comprehensive manual covering basic first-aid – should the worst happen – for those who walk on two-legs, four paws or hooves, fly, swim or crawl.

Order the book below:

Two Handy Money-Saving Guides for Pet Owners has published two free, handy money-saving guides for pet owners: "The Budget-Friendly Guide to Caring for Your Pet" and "Understanding Pet Insurance."

"The Budget-Friendly Guide to Caring for Your Pet" has a wealth of information, covering the following topics:

  • Can you afford a pet?
  • Thirteen steps for saving on pet expenses
  • Resources: How to save money on pet care
  • How dog expenses vary by breed
  • Should I get pet insurance?
  • An emergency plan for your pet
  • How to protect your pet if something happens to you
  • End-of-life care for your pet

Find this guide here:

"Understanding Pet Insurance" offers the following helpful advice:

  • Who benefits from pet insurance
  • Compare popular pet insurance plans
  • Reasons for pet insurance
  • Understanding pet insurance coverage
  • How pet insurance works
  • Other ways to pay for pet care
  • Special circumstances
  • Expert pet insurance advice

Find this guide here:

Image: Jk1991,

Take a Hike with Your Dog!

PoochPathsjpgWith warmer weather coming, it's a perfect time to take a hike with your dog. That's why you might like to have a copy of Carolina Mountain Dog's eBook, “POOCH PATHS.” This handy eBook offers descriptions, links, directions, and even insider tips for more than thirty dog walks and hikes in the local area. You’ll find useful information about Asheville greenways, Bent Creek Forest trails, Blue Ridge Parkway trails, DuPont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and much more.
POOCH PATHS is available to you as a Carolina Mountain Dog reader for just 99 cents!

Read a free sample, and then purchase and download POOCH PATHS in any eBook format, including a PDF, here:
You're sure to find POOCH PATHS of value. Order your copy today!

"The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Pets"

ID-10032214When you’re planning a trip, you have dozens of details to worry about. If you add a pet to the mix, those details may begin to feel overwhelming. Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or moving to a new place, that doesn’t mean you have to leave your dog behind.

A new free online guide published by can help. "The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Pets" offers some tips to show you how to keep yourself and your pet calm and comfortable, no matter what distance or mode you travel. The guide includes helpful information about the following:

  • Prepare for your journey
  • Research the pet rules of your destination
  • Contact a specialist pet relocation company
  • Learn about your airlines' pet policy
  • Prepare for other modes of travel with your pet
  • Find pet-friendly accommodations
  • Schedule a pre-trip checkup with your veterinarian
  • Prepare your pet and pack the essentials
  • Watch your pet's diet
  • Plan for emergencies and the unexpected
  • Keep your pet calm and comfortable during the journey
  • Enlist in the latest pet resources

You can find the complete guide here:

Image: Dan,

What to Do When Pets are Left Behind

ID-100271616One sad and often unmentioned aspect of financial difficulties is the impact it has on a family pet. A large percentage of animals that wind up in animal shelters across the country are either strays or owner surrenders. Those animals are often the victims of financial hardship.

If you are faced with foreclosure or know someone else who is dealing with foreclosure, what do you do about the furry family member affected by this harsh reality? The website has published an objective, informative online guide to help answer that question. The guide covers:

  • Why homeowners abandon pets
  • Legal implications of foreclosed upon pets
  • Preventing abandonment of pets
  • Tips for homeowners facing foreclosure with pets
  • How to save abandoned pets
  • Adopt vs. buying a puppy
  • What is the best pet to adopt for my family?
  • Animal shelters and rescue groups

You can find this free guide here:

Image: Patrisyu,

Posana in Asheville Creates Menu for Dogs

ID-10055327Hooray for Posana, a restaurant at 1 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Recognizing that plenty of dog lovers dot the Asheville streets, Posana has not only welcomed dogs to their outdoor patio, the restaurant has also created a menu especially for culinary canines, according to a recent report in Mountain Xpress.

The menu was kicked off on March 7 in a nod to "Dine to be Kind," a fundraising event in which Posana, along with over sixty other local restaurants, contributed a portion of sales to Asheville Humane Society. Martha Pollay, co-owner of Posana, "worked really hard to find things that were pretty lean and good for dogs to eat," says Peter Pollay, co-owner and executive chef.

"Homemade biscuits, grilled Carolina Bison burgers, grilled Ashely Farms chicken breast, Brasstown Beef doggie meatloaf and a dessert dish of bacon soy doggie ice cream make up the canine menu," reports Mountain Xpress. "Prices range from $3-$8. All orders are served in dog dishes."

So next time you're in downtown Asheville with your doggie, remember that you'll find both a warm welcome and a special menu at Posana.

Image: Stuart Miles,


March 23 is National Puppy Day

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In honor of National Puppy Day, March 23, has published a useful infographic that discusses the benefits of pet adoption, considerations for choosing the right puppy, and puppy care tips for new parents. You'll find the infographic here: has all sorts of helpful articles for puppy owners or for anyone thinking of getting a puppy.

To learn more about National Puppy Day and to see puppy photos and videos, visit:


3 Baked Doggie Treats Perfect for a Mountain Hike

Guest Post by Joe Hughes, the Village Baker

3 Baked Doggy Treats The Carolina mountains are the perfect getaway during the spring and summer months. Beautiful wildflowers grow across the mountains, the Biltmore is teeming with tourists, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are waiting to be explored.

And who better to take with you on a hike or to the top of a mountain than your dog? A walk in nature is all many dogs need to overcome their behavioral problems: digging, chewing, fear of people, etc.

If your pet is afraid of people (mine is), a treat is a good tool to reinforce your dog's good behavior.

You can even bake a few delightful treats using your handy dandy bread maker.

1. Homemade Beef Dog Biscuits

Homemade dog biscuits are a great way to know what your dog is eating. You'll be able to make the same (or better) dog treats you find in the store right in the comfort of your own home. A few necessities before we get started are:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups wholemeal
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 tsp. yeast

If you have a bread machine, you can add all the ingredients, starting with the water, and mix until a dough is formed. Sometimes, the humidity in the room will cause the dough to be too dry, and in this case, you'll want to add more water to the mixture.

Knead the dough until smooth and tender.

Roll the dough out, cut into shapes and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes. You'll want to bake the biscuits for one hour at 325F. Do not give to your pup immediately. Allow the biscuits to cool overnight.

2. Peanut Butter and Parsley Treats

You've planned a trip to the dog park, and now your dog is getting all excited. You'll want to pack some water with you along with dog treats before heading out for the day. Peanut butter and parsley treats are a great option for your pup.

And they smell super good, too.

You'll want to make sure you understand how to bake at higher elevations before proceeding. Water boils faster at higher elevations because of the pressure.

Now, you'll need to grab a few essentials to get the ball rolling:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley

Preheat your oven to 300F and grease a few baking sheets or cover them in parchment paper before beginning.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, dried milk, salt, oats and parsley. Add in the eggs and peanut butter, mixing to combine the mixture. You'll have a crumbly consistency at this point. Now, add in the water, adding enough for the dough to come together.

Roll the dough to 1/4" thickness and cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 40 – 60 minutes, or until done.

Allow to cool for an hour before giving to your pet.

3. Chicken Dog Biscuits or Cookies

Dogs love chicken. One of the things I was told was to have a lot of treats available when my mother adopted a dog. A lot of seniors forget how energetic dogs can be, and this leads to dogs barking, chewing and crying.

A treat, or two, can help correct these issues pronto.

Chicken treats are my dog's favorite, and the treat I make is so simple. Place the following ingredients, in this order, into a bread machine:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup dry milk powder (nonfat)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose works well)
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Select the dough option and hit start to begin mixing the dough. Allow to knead for 5 minutes before removing the dough. Dust your countertop with flour and allow the dough to sit for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough to 1/2" thickness and cut into the desired shape.

Bake for 45 minutes at 250F on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

Let cool before serving.

You can also rip off clumps of dough and shape them into balls, bones or any other shape. I promise, your dog won't care what shape the treat is.

Joe Hughes, known by most as the Village Baker, is an expert in homestyle cooking techniques, with a primary interest in baking. He runs the very popular website,, which provides the latest homestyle cooking news, techniques, tricks, and recipes. He can be reached at

Image: Pixabay

Tips for Seniors on Adopting a Pet

Guest Post by Jennifer McGregor

ID-10044405A furry friend can provide incredible companionship, especially for empty nesters or widow(er)s. Studies have shown that pets help with depression, can help battle the side effects of dementia, and of course give their owners a sense of responsibility and purpose. Although it’s often recommended for seniors to consider adopting a pet, special considerations need to be addressed first. After all, some pets can be very demanding and high energy—which can be too much of a responsibility for some seniors.

First, consider what kind of pet and breed matches your needs, goals, personality and lifestyle. There are dog breeds best suited for seniors because of their relatively low energy level, low demands, and size. Seniors may want to steer clear of breeds like Huskies which are very high-energy, large in size, and demand an owner who can accommodate their need to run and play.

Cats are generally less demanding than dogs and easier to manage, but even within cat breeds there’s a wide range of personalities. Some seniors want the most affectionate of lap cats who are happy purring away at your side all day, while other owners-to-be are looking for a more independent breed.

There are also exotic and unique pets such as birds, reptiles and even livestock depending on your ability, available space and housing restrictions. Choose your potential pets based on how well they match you, not on their cuteness or immediate availability. Although shelter pets can often be a great choice and are of course in need of a home, make sure their breed characteristics and medical history have been determined first. Some shelters are better at this than others.

Helping Pets Settle

It can take pets awhile to adjust to any new home. Signs of moving-related stress that are often completely normal include anxiety, “acting out,” vomiting and crying. However, these might also be signs of a more serious condition. Adopting a healthy pet is a must for any owner, but especially seniors who might not have the energy or finances to handle a pet in need of immediate veterinary care.

Empathy is paramount to helping new pets settle. What would you want if you were put in a new home without any information? Safety, security, and an easing into the new environment. Don’t push pets to be social faster than they’re ready. Establish routines including mealtimes, where their meals are, where their litter box is or where they ask to go outside to relieve themselves, and offer a small, safe and comfortable space that’s their very own. For many pets, this might be a crate with the door left open.

Pet-Proof Your Home

If it’s been awhile since you’ve shared your home with a pet, you may have forgotten how curious and adventurous they can be. Keep any potential poisonous items in a high or closed cupboard out of their reach. Research which regular household items might be poisonous to a pet but not to you (such as chocolate for dogs and poinsettias for cats). Remove any breakable items that a pet might accidentally knock over—or knock over on purpose! Cats especially are renowned for taking joy in those crashing sounds.

Most importantly, make sure you research a vet and establish a relationship early. Get your new pet into the habit of seeing the vet not just for stressful appointments, but fun ones, too. Many vets offer free or low-cost “sessions” to check weight or blood pressure, simply to get your pet used to traveling to the vet.

Adopting a pet can be a fantastic addition to your golden years. Plus, there are many older pets that are in need of a home and aren’t considered as “adoptable” as their younger friends. However, older pets are often lower energy, already have good habits established, and may have a long history of good health.

Choose your pet wisely, prep your home, and get yourself ready for introducing a new friend to your environment. Soon enough, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student who loves providing reliable health and medical resources.

Image: Ambro,

Pet Loss Support Groups in March

PupinframeAsheville, Wednesday, March 1: A pet loss support group meets at 6 PM on the first Wednesday of each month. Location: Jefferson House, 21 Edwin Place (next to the Unitarian Universalist church), Asheville. Donations accepted. Call (828) 254-6001 for additional information.

Waynesville, Wednesday, March 15: A pet loss support group meets from 6 to 7 PM on the third Wednesday of each month. Location: Kimball Counseling, 258 N. Main Street, Suite A, Waynesville. Donations accepted. Registration required. For additional information and to register, call Susan Kimball, LCSW, at (828) 226-7366.

Image: Whittaya Phonsawat,

Tour the Asheville Animal Care Campus - February 25

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 3.57.30 PMDid you know the Animal Care Campus in Asheville is one of the country's leading examples of a private-public partnership in animal welfare? Asheville Humane Society and Buncombe County work in close collaboration to take in, care for, re-home, and adopt out thousands of domestic animals each year. Their collective goal is to save every adoptable animal's life and make each animal's life worth living.

Now you have the opportunity to see first-hand why the Animal Care Campus is a national model. Asheville Humane Society is hosting a guided tour of the society's Adoption Center (14 Forever Friend Lane) and the Buncombe County Animal Shelter (16 Forever Friend Lane) on Saturday, February 25, from 1:30 to 2:30 PM. The tour is free and open to the public.

The Animal Care Campus is located on Forever Friend Lane, off Pond Road and Brevard Road, near the WNC Farmers Market. For more information, call (828) 761-2001.

Presentation on The Plott Hound, Weaverville, February 21

PlottHoundDuke12Months1On Tuesday, February 21 at 7 PM, author and historian Bob Plott will present "Touching the Face of History: The Story of the Plott Hound, North Carolina's Official State Dog."

Bob Plott is a North Carolina native who can trace his family roots in the Old North State back to 1750, when his great-great-great grandfather Johannes Plott arrived here with five of the family hunting dogs. These dogs would later become renowned as the premier big game hunting dog breed in America -- the Plott bear hound. His history of the breed Strike and Stay - The Story of the Plott Hound was published in 2007.

This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The event will be held at the Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main Street in Weaverville, NC. It is sponsored by Friends of the Weaverville Library.

Image: Duke the Plott Hound at 12 months,

5 Benefits of Taking Your Dog on Mountain Hikes

ID-1002200Walking is one of the best exercises known to man, and it’s only natural to want to share the benefits of a mountain hike with your best friend. Taking your dog along on a mountain adventure is a great way to bond, and your favorite canine has a lot to add to your enjoyment of the fresh air and sunshine. As you prep for your mountain hike, get ready to enjoy these benefits of bringing your canine companion.

1. Burn Off That Puppy Energy

Higher energy breeds and puppies often need far more exercise than many people can handle. While a walk around the neighborhood is always a welcome activity, going for a hike engages your dog’s body in more ways than a flat, urban sidewalk. At first, you will want to stick to simple trails until you know your dog’s capability of handling rougher terrain. Once they know the ropes, you can add in challenges such as steeper hills that give them a thorough workout. 

2. Encourage Exploration

Dogs are naturally curious animals, and every animal lover knows all too well what kind of behavior can emerge when a dog gets bored. Head up into the mountains for a change of scenery when your community route gets boring. Remember that it is important to always keep your dog on a leash in the wilderness, but you can still let them wander with you off trail a bit to sniff out that new scent that keeps them engaged.

3. Socialize With Others

Other dog lovers commonly travel many mountain trails. Once your dog has had all of their vaccinations, they are ready to touch noses with other friendly pets that you meet along the way. Keep in mind that you should always follow hiking etiquette by asking the other person if it is okay for the dogs to greet, but most mountain hikers and their pets are excited to make new nature-loving friends. You might even meet a new walking buddy for your dog to have fun with on your next mountain hike.

4. Deepen Your Awareness of Nature

It is easy to zone out when you go hiking alone, but your dog will be highly attuned to every new scent, sound and visual sighting of an animal that crosses your path. Get ready to see birds flying overhead that you never noticed before, and you might even sight some mountain wildlife that you would have walked right by in the past. While seeing a deer in the distance is always exciting, do remember to double up on your dog’s identification tags just in case they get a little overexcited.

5. Reinforce Positive Behaviors

Since you first got your dog, you and your dog have worked hard on training. Mountain hikes give them a chance to show it off. Whether your dog heels at your command rather than running off to chase a squirrel or they sit quietly while a fellow hiker passes by, make sure to reward your dog with praise every time they go the extra mile to behave. 

Spending time in the wilderness gives you a chance to enjoy a new aspect of your dog’s personality. Afterward, reward your dog’s hard work with a good bath and grooming session to make sure they didn’t pick up any fleas or ticks. Then, you can start planning your new adventures, because once a dog goes on a mountain hike, they will always be ready to go again.

Image: Nikolay,

Test Your Dog Knowledge with this Fun Dog Quiz

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The Pet Community
is a social network for pet owners. You can create a profile for your dog and upload photos and videos to share with other pet lovers.

The Pet Community also created a dog quiz comprised of 10 questions to test your dog knowledge. It's fun, it won't take long, and you'll find out right away whether you answered the multiple choice questions correctly.

You can find the dog quiz here:




Pet Loss Support Groups in February

PupinframeAsheville, Wednesday, February 1: A pet loss support group meets at 6 PM on the first Wednesday of each month. Location: Jefferson House, 21 Edwin Place (next to the Unitarian Universalist church), Asheville. Donations accepted. Call (828) 254-6001 for additional information.

Waynesville, Wednesday, February 15: A pet loss support group meets from 6 to 7 PM on the third Wednesday of each month. Location: Kimball Counseling, 258 N. Main Street, Suite A, Waynesville. Donations accepted. Registration required. For additional information and to register, call Susan Kimball, LCSW, at (828) 226-7366.

Image: Whittaya Phonsawat,

Pet Loss Support Groups in January

PupinframeAsheville, Wednesday, January 4: A pet loss support group meets at 6 PM on the first Wednesday of each month. Location: Jefferson House, 21 Edwin Place (next to the Unitarian Universalist church), Asheville. Donations accepted. Call (828) 254-6001 for additional information.

Waynesville, Wednesday, January 18: A pet loss support group meets from 6 to 7 PM on the third Wednesday of each month. Location: Kimball Counseling, 258 N. Main Street, Suite A, Waynesville. Donations accepted. Registration required. For additional information and to register, call Susan Kimball, LCSW, at (828) 226-7366.

Image: Whittaya Phonsawat,

New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Pet

ID-100303052The new year is a time to make resolutions... and hopefully keep them! Courtesy of PetMD, here are ten of the best resolutions you can make that will make a difference to your dog. 

10. Measure your pet's food... every time!

9. Choose an age-appropriate diet.

8. Try a new activity with your pet.

7. Incorporate (more) playtime into your routine.

6. Make a date with your vet.

5. Groom your pet daily.

4. Practice good oral hygiene habits with your pet.

3. Teach an old dog a new trick.

2. Update pet ID info.

1. Consider fostering.

For more details about each of these resolutions, read the entire article here:

Image: Stuart Miles,