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December 2012

$5 "Forever Friends" Adoptions at AHS through Dec. 29

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 27 12.59It's that time of year again -- not just New Year's, but the time when Asheville Humane Society wants to give every adoptable animal the gift of life! So get on over to the Adoption Center from 10 AM to 6 PM and find the love of your life! Dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and even rabbits are waiting for you to come take one of them home at this very special time of year and at a special price, now through Saturday, December 29, of just $5 each

The Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville, off of Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors and near the WNC Farmers Market. For more information, visit

Celebrating Dogs: ASPCA's Dog of the Year

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 17 11.35The winner of the 2012 ASPCA Humane Award for "ASPCA Dog of the Year" was Fiona. As we celebrate the new year, let's remember to celebrate dogs like Fiona. Please make a commitment to support your local animal shelter and animal rescue organizations and adopt from them in 2013. Happy New Year!

Fiona: ASPCA Dog of the Year
Abandoned in a trash heap behind an auto body shop in South Los Angeles, Calif., Fiona, an 11-year-old poodle mix, was sick, covered in dirt, matted, infested with fleas and blind in both eyes. Fortunately, Audrey and Eldad Hagar, founders of Los Angeles-based animal rescue group Hope for Paws, came to Fiona’s aid. They cleaned and cared for her and took her to a veterinary ophthalmologist who confirmed her vision in one eye could be restored with surgery. Hope for Paws posted Fiona's rescue video online, hoping to raise enough money for the expensive surgery. With the help of hundreds of donors all over the world, they raised the funds for her surgery, and Fiona was soon adopted into the loving home of Michele and Chris Gentry of Los Angeles, CA and three poodle sisters. Fiona’s miraculous story of survival has since garnered more than 5.5 million views online, a testament to what can be accomplished when homeless animals get a second chance.

View the video of Fiona's incredible rescue here.

Rabies Clinic, Asheville and Weaverville, Dec. 29

Dog_being_vaccinatedNeed to get your dog vaccinated? Come to a low-cost shot clinic on Saturday, December 29 at the following times and locations:

9 AM to 12 PM: Tractor Supply, Old Brevard Road, Asheville

1 PM to 3 PM: Tractor Supply, Monticello Road, Weaverville

1 and 3-year rabies shots are just $10. (You must have a prior certificate to get a 3-year vaccine.) DHLPP or DHPP is $15 and Bordetella (kennel cough) is $15. FVRCP/FELV combo for cats is $20. This service is provided by James Boatwright, DVM. For more information, call 828-553-5792.

Holiday Hazards for Your Pet's Teeth

By Carol Bryant for Exceptional Canine

Holiday Hazards for Your Pet\'s Teeth

Dogs are curious by nature, and with tinsel on the trees and tasty snacks ready for counter surfing around the holidays, extra precaution should be taken to prevent a dog’s teeth from being damaged. Here are some hazards to be on the lookout for this season (and year-round):

Ice Cubes
Ice cubes can cause cracked or broken teeth. Although dogs’ teeth are notoriously tough, harder objects like ice do pose a hazard. Keep in mind: a dog may not necessarily yelp or cry out in pain if he chips a tooth. Often dogs will drool, chew on one side of their mouth, refuse to eat, or even rub their face with a paw. Some dogs will snap or snarl if they have oral discomfort, so proceed with caution in giving ice cubes as treats. Smaller chips and pieces can get lodged in their throats, as well.

Wires, Cords, and Candles
Wires and cords should be safely secured and out of your dog’s reach. If chewed, electrocution can be fatal. This time of year wagging tails and curious noses may cause problems with lit candles, too, and even unlit candles can give off an aromatic scent that some dogs find appealing and may want to eat, which can cause stomach and digestive issues.

Act Preventatively
Make a resolution in the new year to take proper care of your dog’s teeth. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3. Oral disease has a propensity to affect kidneys, liver and heart, and seriously affect a dog’s quality of life.

About 18 years ago my vet shared this wisdom with me: “Brush your dog’s teeth as often as you would brush your own.” If your dog is not accustomed to teeth brushing, start slow. Dip a bit of sodium free chicken soup broth on your finger and let your dog lick. You can also use a cotton gauze pad to gently massage over Fido’s teeth and gums sans dog toothpaste.

Next, advance to a finger-style toothbrush. Put water on it only, and massage for just a few seconds, building up each day. Then reward your dog like he just won best in show. Your veterinarian can instruct you with techniques for teeth brushing, as well. Keep in mind you should never use human toothpaste on your pup, and always use a toothpaste formulated for dogs. Additionally, some water additives contain Xylitol, and these should be avoided at all costs, as they can be lethal for pets.

Toys and Treats

Teeth can be fractured or broken from hard items such as a baseball, Frisbee, or even a rawhide chew or bone. Although dogs have an innate ability to chew, pay attention to the texture and material of any toys or treats to which he has access.

When treats and chews get small enough to present a choking hazard, throw them away. A bone of any size can present a choking issue, so always supervise chewing and snacking behaviors of dogs. Rough game play such as tug of war can loosen teeth, so while play is needed and encouraged for all dogs, always check for loosening of teeth while you perform regular maintenance. When a dog chews on a treat or bone, a piece of the tooth can easily flake or break off, and that piece is most often the largest chewing tooth in the upper jaw (premolar). A fracture of this, or any tooth, can cause pain and infection, so know what your dog’s teeth usually look like so that any abnormalities or changes can be easily identified. Never hesitate in taking a dog to the veterinarian if you suspect any oral issues.

The holidays are a time of fun and rejoice for all, and if you follow these tips, Fido’s jaw and teeth will be fa-la-la-ing into the New Year … and beyond.

Photo: Corbis Images

A dog lover of the highest order,” is how Gayle King introduced Carol Bryant when Bryant and her Cocker Spaniel appeared on Oprah Radio’s Gayle King show. A repeat nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America and writer for Dogster, she also works with BlogPaws pet blogger social media community and conferences and is founder of her own magazine-style dog blog, Fidose of Reality.

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pets

Dog santa hatHere's some great advice on ways to keep your pets safe during the holidays from Asheville Humane Society.

Of course you want to include your furry companions in the holiday festivities, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

O Christmas Tree

Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water-which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset-from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

No Feasting for the Furries

By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

Toy Joy

Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

* Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which  can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
* Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer-and tons of play sessions together.

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly

Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Leave the Leftovers

Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.

That Holiday Glow

Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

Wired Up

Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.

House Rules

If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

Put the Meds Away

Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

Careful with Cocktails

If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

A Room of Their Own

Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to-complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

New Year's Noise

As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Image courtesy of imagery majestic /

Free Fearful Dog Session-Asheville, Dec. 22

Be Brave

Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free information session, "Be Brave!," for owners of fearful dogs on Saturday, December 22, from 10 AM to 12 PM.

Topics include how to help your dog gain confidence, learning how to understand signs of anxiety and when to step in, how to prevent fear from becoming aggression, and fundamental techniques to help your "wallflower" blossom. The session will be held at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors) in Asheville. Humans only, please.

For more information, visit or call (828) 707-0644. This session is sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, an organization dedicated to to increasing the retention of companion animals in their homes in Western North Carolina.

Photo credit: Image: Stuart Miles /

"Forever Friends" Adoptions at AHS, Just $5 through Dec. 22

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 18 12.19It's that time of year again -- not just Christmas, but the time when Asheville Humane Society wants to give every adoptable animal the gift of life! So get on over to the Adoption Center from 10 AM to 6 PM and find the love of your life! Dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and even rabbits are waiting for you to come take one of them home at this very special time of year and at a special price, now through Saturday, December 22, of just $5 each

The Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville, off of Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors and near the WNC Farmers Market. For more information, visit

Stop the Barking-Asheville, Dec. 20

ScreenHunter_03 Jan. 13 16.13Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free session to help dog owners deal with barking. If you tried everything you know to do do to stop your dog from barking so much, then this session is for you. Learn the different types of barks, what they mean, and creative ways to stop the barking.

The session will be held on Wednesday, December 20 from 7 to 8 PM at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (behind Harmony Motors, off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the Farmers Market).

For more information, visit or call (828) 707-0644. This session is sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, an organization dedicated to to increasing the retention of companion animals in their homes in Western North Carolina.

Finding the Best Insurance for Your Older Dog

Guest Post by Melissa Brooke

Dog with scarfWhen your dog becomes elderly, finding the right pet insurance is even more important than it is for younger dogs. The average life expectancy of dogs in North America is now 12.8 years old, meaning that more and more of man’s best friends are reaching old age. This is good in that it means that you can spend more time with your pooch but bad in that the older a dog gets, the more the cost of insurance for your canine companion is likely to climb.

Some insurers do not even offer insurance for older dogs and put cut-off ages of ten years old in place. In an article written for CNN News, former editor of Pet Product News Joan Shim also warns that some insurance plans only cover injuries, meaning that the health conditions associated with old age might not be covered if you have one of these plans. These factors mean that finding the correct insurance isn’t always easy. Here is a guide to how to go about choosing the best option for your dog.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Most pet insurance companies do not cover conditions that your dog was already suffering from before you insured him or her. This means that if you already have insurance but are considering switching companies, you probably won’t get the same level of financial protection. A recent article published in Veterinary Practice News highlights the fact that while the majority of insurers do not cover hereditary conditions, some will cover these conditions providing that they were not known about before the insurance plan was taken out. If this is the case for your pet then it is even more advisable to stick with your current insurer, as other companies will not cover this condition.

What Age is Too Old?

One of the main things that you need to find out about an insurer before insuring your dog with them is what the maximum age of dogs that they will accept is. Some companies will only allow you to take out a new policy if your pet is below seven or eight years old and companies offering insurance for dogs that are older than ten will be difficult to find and cost more. Once you have ruled out companies that won’t insure your dog because of its age, you should then closely examine the extent of the other pet insurance features associated with each company in order to get the best plan.

First Time Insuring your Dog

If you are insuring your dog for the first time as opposed to switching from one insurer to another, then there are fewer factors to take into consideration. You might however want to consider a more comprehensive policy that has higher claim limits, as this will help you to avoid being caught short if multiple claims need to be made. You will also need to decide whether you want a lifetime pet insurance policy or one that only covers each condition for the initial policy term, which is usually a year. The latter is usually cheaper but whether it is more cost effective depends upon how often your dog becomes ill or gets injured.

Melissa Brooke writes consumer advice articles for one of the UK's largest product information and comparison portals. She has a lovely older dog herself and knows well the challenges owners face.

Image courtesy of Photostock /

Free Housetraining Session-Asheville, Dec. 13

ScreenHunter_02 May. 23 15.15Pet Behavior Aid is offering "Housetraining 101," a free one hour housetraining help session, on Thursday, December 13 from 7 to 8 PM. The session will be conducted at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption and Education Center at 14 Forever Friend Lane in Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors, near the WNC Farmers Market).

Topics include:

  • How to teach your dog when and where to eliminate
  • Housetraining schedules
  • Management options including crate training
  • Proper accident cleanup
  • Troubleshooting

The help session is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted and appreciated. Humans only, please.

For more information, visit:, email, or call (828) 707-0644.

DogVacay Features Home Boarding for Dogs

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 13 is an online service that provides access to in-home cage-free boarding for your dog. You search DogVacay to find a home boarding situation that meets your needs, make a reservation and pay online, or schedule a "Meet and Greet" prior to boarding your dog. "hand approves" all pet sitters. The service provides complimentary insurance, emergency veterinary support, and a money-back guarantee. also offers a "Concierge" to help you find the perfect boarding setting for your dog.

Sitters send photo updates so you can see how your pet is doing during its stay. There are currently several member boarding homes in the Asheville and Hendersonville areas, as well as nationwide. Check them out at

Custom Dog Food - 15% Off and Free Shipping

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 07 12.20If you're looking for a way to give your dog exactly the nutrition he or she needs (and food that your dog will love too), then consider trying RedMoon. RedMoon offers you an easy online process so you can actually create your own custom dog food. All of the food is grain and gluten-free, so it's an especially good choice for dogs with allergies or digestive problems.

Until December 25, RedMoon is offering Carolina Mountain Dog readers 15% off your order, plus free shipping. Just click on the RedMoon square ad in the right hand column on this page and enter the coupon code Holiday15 when you order.

Christmas Open House-Boone, Dec. 8

ScreenHunter_02 Dec. 06 13.01The Watauga Humane Society will hold its annual Christmas Open House on Saturday, December 8 from 1 to 4 PM in the Turchin Room at the Irma Baker Lyons Adoption and Education Center in Boone. The Watauga Humane Society asks you to celebrate the season by bringing gifts for the animals. You can make their holidays brighter with toys, warm blankets and treats for all. The Kennels and Cat Malls will be open to all for a visit.

Santa will be available for a fun photo opportunity for visitors and their pets. The Board of Directors and staff will host the event and serve light holiday refreshments. The Society's SNIPS group will be holding a Homemade and Handcrafted Holiday Sale at the Adoption Center with sales to benefit complete the Spay/Neuter surgical suite at the Center.

For further information, visit

Photo: Watauga Humane Society

Free Leash Training Session-Asheville, Dec. 8

Is your dog friendly towards dogs off-leash, but becomes a wild, reactive beast when restrained? Then this help session is for you!

Pet Behavior Aid presents "GGRRR!" -- a leash reactive dog help session -- on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 to 11:30 AM. It will be held at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (behind Harmony Motors, off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the Farmers Market).

Topics include:

  • How to read your dog's signals before he or she erupts
  • Management tools and ideas to reduce reactivity
  • Helpful behaviors to teach your feisty fido
  • How to set up for successful dog greetings

This help session is open to the public and free of charge, but donations will be accepted. The event is for humans only and no registration is required.

For more information, visit, email info@petbehavioraid.or, or call (828) 707-0644.

Image: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr

Unique Book Celebrates SC Dogs and Writers

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 29 15.46Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers is an unusual book, published just in time for the holidays. It contains stories about the dogs of 25 of South Carolina's renowned writers, including Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe, and Ron Rash.

The book is unique for another reason: The writers, some of whom are best-selling authors, wrote the stories for free, and a portion of the book's royalties will benefit a South Carolina animal charity.

Literary Dogs & The South Carolina Writers, published by Hub City Press, is available in bookstores or through Barnes & Noble right here. And just in case you were wondering, the book has been endorsed by Spartanburg, SC celebrity dog Chaser, who knows over 1,000 words and is considered by some to be "the world's smartest dog."