Previous month:
October 2014
Next month:
December 2014

November 2014

FOMCA Sponsors Dog House Project

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 4.14.16 PMThis winter will be another cold one!! Last year, too many outdoor dogs suffered frostbite, respiratory problems, even death from freezing. So Friends of Madison Country (FOMCA) has decided to build dog houses. The building of these houses is a joint effort between FOMCA, Craggy Correctional Center and a very industrious Girl Scout who is using this project for her Gold Star Award. Also a big shout out to Sherriff
Buddy Harwood who facilitated our connection with Craggy Correctional Center and offered to store our completed dog houses at his facility. This is TEAMWORK so dogs can be warm and safe this winter.

These houses will be well constructed and insulated with an extended roof over the entry to keep rain and weather out. They will be free to qualifying families with dogs in need of a warm safe place to live. Bales of free straw for extra insulation for these or any existing dog houses will also be available to Madison County residents.

Donations to this project are welcome, or if you would like to purchase a dog house, the price is $100. This barely covers our cost for materials. Help us make this a successful project and spread the word. And...consider taking your dogs inside when it gets really cold—below 20 degrees. They will thank you for it! Call FOMCA at (828) 649-9798 if you need a dog house or straw.

Also, the FOMCA Outreach Center has relocated to 115 Blannahassett Island, Studio 104 in Marshall. For more information about FOMCA, visit

Holiday Hazards for Your Dog'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 repeat nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America and writer for Dogster, Carol Bryant also works with BlogPaws pet blogger social media community and conferences and is founder of her own magazine-style dog blog, Fidose of Reality.

Dogs and Our Health: The Benefits

Dog_Best_Friend_LabDoorGuest Post

For thousands of years, dogs have been domesticated and bred to have qualities humans deemed suitable–a literal transformation from wild animal to man’s best friend. They are our companions, friends, family, and service dogs. That feeling we get when we see our furry friend jump with joy, give us a kiss (and accidentally hit us with that wagging tail!) is well known. The health benefits of dog ownership, however, is often less talked about. Here, we round up the scientific evidence of how dogs can significantly enhance health and quality of life.
Dogs Enhance Physical and Mental Health
• Dog owners reap amazing cardiovascular benefits, including lower cholesterol and reduced blood pressure.
• Dog owners have a lower likelihood of visiting the doctor.
• Dog owners have a lower likelihood of being on medication for sleeping and heart issues.
• Dog owners have a lower likelihood of health deterioration after losing their significant other.
• Dogs help fight depression.
• Dogs allow humans to have responsibility, purpose, and support.
• Dog owners feel safer outside when walking their dogs.
• Having a pet can save you money on health care due to less frequent doctor’s visits--a result of greater, more stable health.
Dogs Have Big Benefits for Children
• Children who have dogs at home are more active. This leads to a more physical and healthier lifestyle.
• Children who owns dogs generally become more nurturing adults.
• Children with pets have higher self-esteem.
• Children with pets have an enhanced immune system and experience less allergies than children who are not around pets.
• Dogs make children feel safe.
Dogs In Hospital and Nursing Homes
• Dogs helped patient become more responsive, alert, and happier.
• Residential dogs in nursing homes resulted in less fatigue, less depression, and increase in vigor for patients.
• Residents of nursing home socialized more with each other when dogs were present.
Dogs Can Prevent Illness and Injury
• A study showed that dog owners experience less minor injuries than non-dog owners.
• Pet owners have lower risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Dogs Can Speed Up Recovery From Illness
• Dog owners are more than 8.6 times more likely to be alive after a heart attack than non-dog owners.
• Pets allow humans to cope better after learning they have a major illness.
• Pets allow humans to feel like they have a sense of support before, during, and after their illness.
• Recently widowed women with dogs are on less medication and experience less symptoms of disease than their non-dog owning counterparts.
Dogs Provide Unspoken Therapy
• Dogs help soldiers cope with post traumatic stress disorder.
• Some programs allow dogs to be trained for the disabled by prisoners. This help boost the prisoners’ self-esteems and teaches them nurturing skills.
• Dogs are a great stress relief for students during exams.
• Patients with schizophrenia feel safer and less stressed with friendly dogs around.
• Dogs provide love and relief from loneliness.
Dogs Help the Disabled
• Dogs are used as service dogs for the blind, deaf, and people with other disabilities.
• They don’t just provide a physical benefit to the disabled, but they also provide companionship and emotional support. They allow the disabled to feel more independent and help with their mobility and confidence.
Medical Detection Dogs
• Some dogs have been trained to look for complications such as epilepsy, diabetes, and cancer due to their acute sense of smell. A dog’s nose is estimated to be from 100 to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human nose.
Dogs Help People Be More Social
• Dogs make you get out of the house.
• By walking more, you meet more people and socialize more.
• A study has shown that you appear more likeable if you appear with a dog in a photo than you would with flowers.
Humans and dogs have cohabitated for thousands of years and both sides have greatly benefited. They provide us with amazing health advantages and they love us unconditionally. It makes a lot of sense why canines are called man’s best friends.
About LabDoor
LabDoor is a web and mobile app that provides product safety grading for dietary supplements. LabDoor lets customers easily browse rankings of best-selling supplements and energy drinks. LabDoor helps people get the facts about the purity and efficacy of multivitamins, fish oil, probiotics, vitamin D, and protein supplements. To learn more about how LabDoor works, visit:
For the complete article and citations, visit:

Low Cost Vaccinations, Asheville, Nov. 23

Dog_being_vaccinatedThe Buncombe County Department of Health, Buncombe County Sheriff's Animal Services Division, and Asheville Humane Society are collaborating in 2014 to provide animal owners with access to low cost vaccinations, microchips and ID tagging.

Come to a vaccination clinic on Sunday, November 23 from 1 PM to 5 PM at Asheville Humane Society's Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Pond and Brevard Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market).

Services provided:

Rabies 1 year - (Dogs or cats over 4 months)  - $11.00

Rabies 3 year - (Dogs or cats over 4 months with rabies certificate to prove current on rabies) - $11.00  

Bordetella - Kennel cough - (Dogs over 2 months)  - $15.00                                                   

DAPP - Distemper, Adenoxirus Type 2, Parainfluenza and Parvo - (Dogs over 2 months)  - $15.00

FVRCP/FELV - Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia and Leukemia - (Cats over 2 months) - $20.00

Microchip - (Dogs or cats over 2 months)  - $10.00 

**Cash is the only accepted form of payment.**

Free Puppies W.I.N. Session - Asheville, Nov. 22

Two puppiesPuppies W.I.N. ("What Is Normal?") is a free special help session for people with puppies under 5 months of age. It will help you understand what is age-appropriate puppy behavior, learn how to establish good habits to prevent problems from developing, and discover how to take advantage of your puppy’s socialization window.

Puppies W.I.N. is open to anyone who is interested in understanding more about their puppy – or who might be preparing to bring a puppy into their home.

Puppies W.I.N., sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, will be held on Sat., Nov. 22 from 9 to 11 AM at Asheville Humane Society's Adoptin & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville.

Note: Humans only please!

Visit for additional details.

Image courtesy of Gualberto 107/

"Be Brave" Fearful Dog Session-North Asheville, Nov. 18

Be Brave

Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free information session, "Be Brave!," for owners of fearful dogs on Tuesday, November 18 from 7 to 8:30 PM. The session will be held at Animal Hospital of North Asheville, Beaverdam Road, North Asheville. Humans only, please.

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. 

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 /

Pet Food Drive at Libraries-Nov., Dec.

ID-100236412Buncombe County Public Libraries will collect pet food for Meals on Wheels in November and December. You can drop off donations of unopened cat, dog, and bird food at the following library locations:

  • East Asheville
  • Enka-Candler
  • Skyland
  • Swannanoa
  • Weaverville

For more information, call (828) 250-6486. Find library locations and hours here:

Image courtesy of khunaspix,

Adopt a Senior Dog This Month at No Fee!

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.21.04 AMNovember is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month, and Asheville Humane Society is waiving adoption fees for all senior animals (6 years and older) for the entire month. That means you can adopt any senior dog or cat this month at no charge!

Every animal is a local animal, and your adoption includes spay/neuter, medical and behavioral screening, all necessary vaccinations, a month of pet insurance, a complimentary vet visit, and even a free bag of starter food. What a deal!

Those of us who have adopted senior pets know they are the best. Here are the top 10 reasons to adopt a senior dog.

Please consider opening your heart and home to a senior animal who has so much to offer, and so much love yet to give. You will be rewarded with a loyal, devoted friend whose love is ageless! 

Come on over to the beautiful Asheville Humane Society Adoption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads near the WNC Farmers Market). The Adoption Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10  AM to 6 PM. Meet the animals who need you here:

Image courtesy of Asheville Humane Society

Taste of Compassion-Asheville, Nov. 15

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 1.25.34 PMSave the Date for Asheville Humane Society's 11th Annual Taste of Compassion Gala: "Around the World with 80 Strays."

On Saturday, November 15th from 6 - 9:30 PM, join Asheville Humane Society for a first class event featuring over 20 international wines and gourmet vegetarian tastings from local restaurants. Live music will infuse the evening with old world ambiance while guests bid on unique items and one-of-a-kind experiences in the highly anticipated live and silent auctions.

Along with all of the generous local artists, businesses and organizations who donate to Taste of Compassion, Prestige Subaru will be offering up a brand new 2015 Subaru Outback for bid to benefit Asheville Humane Society!

Crowne Plaza Resort Expo Center

1 Resort Drive, West Asheville

Tickets $45 in advance | $50 at the door

100% of proceeds benefit local Buncombe County animals in need.

Tickets are now on sale! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

Free Puppy Social - Asheville, Nov. 8

ID-10036262Your puppy needs socialization with other dogs to develop into a healthy, balanced pet. Join other puppy owners at a puppy social on Saturday, November 8 from 9 to 10 AM, at Asheville Humane Society's Adoption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Pond and Brevard Roads, behind Harmony Motors, near the WNC Farmers Market).

Mingle with other puppy parents and get your training questions answered by certified trainers while your puppy romps with other pups and meets new and different people and things. Doggie treat bag and human treats provided for all participants.

- Ages 9-20 weeks of age
- Puppies must be healthy
- Must be in home at least 10 days prior to coming to social
- Must have at least 2 sets of vaccinations
(copy of vet records required)
- Rabies vaccine is required (16 weeks and older)

This is a FREE family friendly event, but space is limited! Reserve your puppy’s spot today. Call (828) 707-0644 or email to make a reservation. For more information visit

Image: nixxphotography /

Free Puppies W.I.N. Session - Asheville, Nov. 5

Two puppiesPuppies W.I.N. ("What Is Normal?") is a free special help session for people with puppies under 5 months of age. It will help you understand what is age-appropriate puppy behavior, learn how to establish good habits to prevent problems from developing, and discover how to take advantage of your puppy’s socialization window.

Puppies W.I.N. is open to anyone who is interested in understanding more about their puppy – or who might be preparing to bring a puppy into their home.

Puppies W.I.N., sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, will be held on Wed., Nov. 5 from 7:15 to 9:15 PM at Asheville Humane Society's Adoptin & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane.

Note: Humans only please!

Visit for additional details.

Image courtesy of Gualberto 107/

POOCH PATHS: Jackson Park, Hendersonville, NC

ID-10076707If you're looking for some wide open spaces to walk your dog on leash, consider Jackson Park in Hendersonville, NC. This 212-acre park, not far from downtown Hendersonville, has it all, including picnic shelters, playgrounds and walking trails -- lots of them. Some of the trails pass through lush vegetation and swampland, connecting via the Oklawaha Greenway with three other parks in Henderson County. The park also boasts many species of birds and plants.

An added bonus is a giant off-leash dog park, located not far from the first entrance to the park at 801 Glover Street. The fully fenced park features a covered seating area and plenty of flat grass for cavorting around with other pups. Large and small dogs intermingle here. A stream is nearby.

Note: Another city dog park, Pets' Own Place on Seventh Avenue, is located at 1019 Seventh Avenue East. This fenced dog park has two separate section for small and large dogs. There is also a waste bag dispenser, trash receptacle and a water spigot. The park is located across Mud Creek at the Oklawaha Greenway trail head. Parking is available off Seventh Avenue.

Image: Victor Habbick,