General

ASPCA's Holiday Survival Guide

ID-10034507The holiday season may be a wonderful time for getting together and celebrating family and friends but, sadly, it can also be a time when we overlook holiday hazards for our pets.

The ASPCA has published a brief "holiday survival guide" that outlines some of the primary hazards, including unsafe medications, holiday goodies that are "baddies" for pets, and holiday plants that can cause illness. Also included are the "Big 5 Holiday Dangers" according to the ASPCA Poison Control Center.

Keep all of your pets safe this holiday season. Download this handy one page survival guide below at the link below (PDF).

Download HolidaySurvivalGuide

Image: Photostock, Freedigitalphotos.net


New Canine Nutrition Resource

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The Pet Food Institute (PFI), whose members make 98 percent of all U.S. pet food and treat products, recently launched a new series of interactive infographics showing the ways the key nutrients found in a complete and balanced dog food recipe help our pets. The new web resource, 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail,' provides fast facts about the essential nutrition that fuels our dogs' growth and supports their body systems, as well as non-essential nutrients that can also serve important functions. 

 "PFI's new 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail' resource was designed to assist pet lovers in understanding how a carefully formulated recipe will help their dog," said Cathleen Enright, PhD, president and CEO of PFI. 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail' shows the ways that the essential nutrients support pet health, for example by providing energy or promoting vision or healthy joints, and also reviews other important non-essential but functional nutrients such as carbohydrates. 

Check out this free resource here: https://www.petfoodinstitute.org/pet-food-matters/nutrition-2/nutrition-nose-tail/


ReTail Scene: "The Goody Pet" Website Reviews Doggie Products

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Looking for the best chew toys for puppies? Or how about the best dog shampoos and conditioners for dogs? You might even want to find the best boots for your doggie to wear this winter.

Now a website reviews all sorts of doggie products so you don't have to. "The Goody Pet" is a pet product review site that buys products at full retail prices and does not accept sponsored items. Pet lovers research the products, often by speaking with veterinarians and pet owners. Then they summarize their findings for other pet lovers and post reviews on the site.

Whether it's the best hands-free dog leash, the best vacuums for pet hair, or the best pet odor eliminators, The Goody Pet covers a wide variety of pet products, compares and contrasts product features and prices, and makes objective recommendations.

Check it out: https://www.thegoodypet.com/


Everything You Need to Know About Pet Insurance

More pet parents today than ever before are showing interest in pet insurance due to the rising cost of pet care. The first pet to be insured in the USA was a female Rough Collie dog and TV star Lassie, back in 1982. As the number of pet owners increase, there has been a huge upsurge in the number of companies offering pet insurance, particularly in North America.
 
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An APPA (American Pet Products Association) study estimates that in 2017, veterinary care in the US cost $16.62 billion to pet owners, and they paid $14.93 billion for over-the-counter medicine for their cats and dogs. Today,an estimated 1.8 million pets are insured in the United States with annual premiums averaging between $163 per pet to $496 per pet, depending on the insurance plan.
 
Pet insurance can be very helpful in saving money on routine check-ups, medicine and vitamins, and surgical bills. But the problem many pet owners face is the abundance of choices, with different rules and regulations, and every company’s plan being slightly different. So do you pick a pet insurance plan that’s right for you and your four-legged companion? 
 
It all comes down to asking the right questions and comparing the most important aspects of each pet insurance policy. TopDogTips.com magazine has put together an infographic with a large list of pet insurance tips and sample questions you can ask your future insurance provider that will help you narrow down the best choices.
 
You'll find this helpful resource here: https://topdogtips.com/pet-health-insurance-tips/ 

Helpful Etiquette Tips When You Travel with Your Dog

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 1.15.50 PMIt's always a challenge to take a trip with your dog if it involves an overnight stay. The good news is more hotels now accommodate dogs, and you can even find private vacation rentals that allow pets as well.

AllTheRooms.com, the largest and most complete accommodation search engine, offers several helpful "pet etiquette tips" when you travel with your dog. Recommendations include doing research beforehand on dog-friendly accommodations, monitoring behavior, cleaning up after your pet, and more. Read the article here: https://www.alltherooms.com/w/2017/10/guests-pets-travel-pet-etiquette-tips/

In addition, if you or anyone you know is planning a trip to the Westminster Dog Show, held in New York City in February 2018, AllTheRooms offers a handy listing of dog-friendly accommodations, including hotels and private rentals, near the show: www.alltherooms.com/westminster-club-dog-show 

Image: Pixabay


Pet Loss Support Groups in November

PupinframeAsheville, Wednesday, November 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, November 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, freedigitalphotos.net


How Accurate are TV and Movie Depictions of Dog Breeds?

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As a dog lover, you probably notice that dogs are often shown in TV shows and movies. Not surprisingly, the way dogs are depicted by the media, especially when it comes to their breeds, can affect the perception a TV viewer or moviegoer might have. This leads to stereotypes that may be widely accepted but not always correct.

Directpackages.com, an authorized DirecTV reseller, has created a nifty, informative online guide to dispel common dog breed stereotypes found in TV shows and movies. For each of 15 breeds, the guide compares and contrasts the stereotype with the reality and has some good, specific advice if you choose to adopt any of these breeds. Keep in mind, of course, that a mixed breed dog may exhibit characteristics of a number of different breeds. Also included in the guide are links to trailers for movies in which dogs are featured.

You can find the guide here: http://www.directpackages.com/tv-dog-stereotypes/

 


Free Pet Safety Guide

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Whether you just got a dog or you've had one for some time, it's important to know that there can be hazards around your home that could be dangerous to your pet's well-being.

That's why you'll find a free online "Pet Safety Guide," courtesy of ADT Security, to be useful. This online, interactive guide allows you to click on various rooms in a typical home and find out how to pet-proof them. There are lots of important tips about what to look out for in such common areas as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, plus valuable information about maintaining a safe home exterior.

The Pet Safety Guide also includes a handy "Pet Home Safety Checklist" you can download, along with a comprehensive list of supplies you may need as a pet owner.

Check out the Pet Safety Guide here: http://www.adtsecurity.com/resources/pet-safety-guide/

In addition, during medical emergencies and times of need, some owners may not have the financial means to cover the high cost of emergency vet bills. To ensure every pet gets the help they need, the following state by state guide provides a list of the resources and organizations in each state that are offering financial assistance for pet owners in need:

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-financial-aid-for-pets/

 


Moving? What About Your Dog?

JesseSchoff-unsplash.comMoving is always stressful for people -- but it can also be stressful for pets. A recent article in The New York Times, "How to Move When You Have Dogs and Cats," offers some good tips to make sure your dog can handle the move.

Writer Matthew Haag discusses preparing for the move, whether to drive or to fly, and how to help your pet acclimate to a new home. Two interesting points Haag makes about move preparation relate to the way you approach the move. First, he writes, "Set an example by staying calm," because dogs and cats can channel human stress. Second, he advises packing over several days instead of all at once to avoid making your pet anxious.

As for acclimating to a new home, Haag advises, "Unpack their belongings first and set them in an area of the house that can be all theirs," and "Introduce your dogs to the area with walks, allowing them to stop and sniff around the neighborhood."

Haag also shares a number of good tips for driving with dogs, including websites that can be helpful, and he provides a rundown of air travel rules and regulations.

If you're planning a move, this article is well worth reading. You can find it here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/smarter-living/moving-with-pets-tips.html

Image: Jesse Schoff, unsplash.com


Does Your Dog Connect with You on an Emotional Level?

AngelinaLitvin-unsplash.comPeople who have owned dogs for a long time are likely to share a very special bond with those pets. Many dog owners may even believe that dogs read and react to their emotional state. Now an emerging field of science called "emotional contagion" -- the spread of emotions between animals and people -- is helping to confirm that dogs really can connect with their owners on an emotional level.

A recent article in The New York Times, "The Empathetic Dog," shares the story of Benjamin Stepp, an Iraq war veteran whose service dog, Arleigh, senses Stepp's emotional distress and takes action to calm him. According to the article, "The dog senses when his agitation and anxiety begin rising, and sends him signals to begin the controlled breathing and other exercises that help to calm him down." This is just one of countless examples of ways in which dogs help humans by understanding their emotional state.

Some of the research being done on the emotional connection between animals and humans is fascinating. For example, one study cited in the story exposed dogs and humans to a baby crying, a baby babbling, and radio static. The babbling baby and radio static did not elicit much of a reaction from either humans or dogs. "But the sound of a baby crying produced a drastic response. Cortisol levels spiked in both people and dogs," according to the article.

So that deep emotional connection you think you have with your best furry friend? It could be very real!

Image: Angelina Litvin, Unsplash

 


ReTail Scene: ThunderEase, New Line of Natural Anxiety Relievers

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 11.32.52 AMEver heard of ThunderShirt? It is a product made by a Durham, North Carolina company, ThunderWorks, that is proven to reduce anxiety in many dogs. Now ThunderWorks has introduced a product line that naturally relieves anxiety in dogs and cats called ThunderEase.

According to the company, ThunderEase replicates feline and canine pheromones — naturally providing a sense of comfort and security during a wide variety of stressful occasions and situations.

“Both dogs and cats emit natural pheromones to help them feel safe and communicate in their environments," said Phil Blizzard, CEO of ThunderWorks.  "For dogs and cats, mothers emit them during nursing. ThunderEase mimics those comforting pheromones and, in turn, provides a very natural solution to treating anxiety and many other behavioral problems in cats and dogs.”

Like ThunderWorks’ other products, ThunderEase is a drug-free and veterinary recommended solution. The pheromones are effective in treating uneasiness in a new home or environment, fear of loud noises like thunder or fireworks, urine spraying and scratching, stressed caused by change, multiple cat tension, anxiety when visiting a veterinarian office or while boarding, and much more.

The ThunderEase diffuser kits, refills and sprays are now available for dogs, online at thunderease.com and will soon be available at pet retailers across the country. ThunderEase Collars for dogs will be available this fall.

“ThunderEase has been proven to be over 90% effective for many anxiety cases ,” said Blizzard. “Pheromones are highly recommended by veterinarians as an alternative solution to treat fear, anxiety and stress in pets without the need for a costly prescription.”


July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 3.56.05 PM"National Pet Fire Safety Day" Tips to Keep Pets Safe from House Fires:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Pet Proof the Home - Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as the stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards. 
  • Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.
  • Keep Pets Near Entrances – When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. 
  • Practicing Escape Routes with Pets – Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Use monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center, providing an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. You can obtain a free window cling by going to www.adt.com/pets or at AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days events. Details are available at www.akc.org.
  • Keep Your Information Updated - Firefighters are familiar with pet alert window clings so keep the number of pets listed on them updated. Knowing the accurate number of pets in the house aids rescuers in finding all of your pets.

Top 4 July 4 Toxins for Dogs

ID-100223199According to the ASPCA, these are the top four toxins for dogs on July 4th:

Fireworks

Fireworks are divided into two categories, personal use and professional. Personal fireworks can be purchased by the general public while professional fireworks are restricted. Fireworks generally contain fuel, oxidizers, color producing compounds (often heavy metals), binders and reducing agents.

While fireworks have the potential to cause serious toxicity, most exposures to personal fireworks do not result in life-threatening signs. Common concerns with exposure to fireworks include gastrointestinal upset, corrosive injury, dermal burns and possible foreign body obstruction.

Heavy metal toxicity is more likely with larger exposures or exposures to professional fireworks.

Pool Chemicals

Pool chemicals can include chlorine tablets, muriatic acid and brominating tablets.

Exposure to pool products – once they have been diluted appropriately in the pool or spa – is generally not a serious concern. However, it is very different when pets get into the products directly.

Most often there is concern for gastrointestinal signs as well as potential for corrosive injury. Respiratory signs may be a problem if the exposure is in a confined area or the owner has been mixing chemicals inappropriately in a small, enclosed space. 

Lawn Products

Generally lawn products fall into three categories: herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides.

Casual exposures to yard products generally result in mild and self-limiting gastrointestinal upset. But what you want to watch out for is exposure to agricultural products (especially older ones), larger exposures to insecticides (particularly granular products) or exposures to older or foreign products.

You are more likely to run in to a nasty toxicity with older (particularly agricultural) or foreign products.

Food

Grapes/raisins, onions and garlic, xylitol, macadamia nuts, chocolate, moldy food, avocados, cherry pits, alcohol: Summer festivities include a plethora of foods pets should not get into.

While there is not much new to share in this category, xylitol keeps popping up in unexpected places – the newest one is peanut butter. Make sure to  check those labels!

Image: Satit_srihin, freedigitalphotos.net


Pet Loss Support Groups in July

PupinframeAsheville, Wednesday, July 5: 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, July 19: 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, freedigitalphotos.net


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.

TheSimpleDollar.com 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: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/pet-cost-calculator/

Image: Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net


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

ID-100449248MoneyGeek.com 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: https://www.moneygeek.com/living/resources/pet-expenses/

"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: https://www.moneygeek.com/insurance/pet/

Image: Jk1991, Freedigitalphotos.net


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:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/649816
 
You're sure to find POOCH PATHS of value. Order your copy today!