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December 2014

"Five Freedoms" of Pets

As we look toward the new year, Carolina Mountain Dog hopes every reader will make a commitment to care for and respect their own pets and domestic animals everywhere in 2015. As humans, we have a responsibility to the animals of the world. 

Please take these "five freedoms" from the ASPCA to heart. Happy New Year!

"Five Freedoms" courtesy of

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 9.40.48 AM

Winter Weather Hazards for Dogs

By Stacey Brecher for Exceptional Canine

Winter Weather Hazards for Dogs

With cold weather in full swing, the winter months can be a dangerous time for your dog. There are many hazards that occur when there is snow, ice and ice melting chemicals on the ground.  However, your dog can still enjoy the great outdoors during winter if you follow a few precautions.

When the temperature drops, it’s important to protect your pup from the cold. According to Dr. Kimberly May, Director of Professional and Public Affairs with the American Veterinary Medical Association, “people often overestimate their pet’s resistance to cold, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and go on the assumption that if you’re wearing a coat and you’re cold, odds are your dog may be cold, too. If your dog is acting as if he/she is cold, it’s time to go back inside.”

The type of dog and the age of your pet are both factors to keep in mind when determining how long your dog will be comfortable in the cold weather. However, Dr. May warns that no dog should be left out alone for extended periods of time in extremely cold (below freezing) weather.

Your dog’s paws are susceptible to many winter weather hazards since they encounter ice, snow and chemicals. “There’s a risk of physical injury from rough or sharp surfaces or edges that can cut or abrade the paw pads,” Dr. May explains. “There’s also a risk of frostbite or cold damage, and the risk of chemical burns from non pet-friendly ice-melting chemicals put on roads and sidewalks.”

Booties are an excellent option for protecting your pooch’s paws from the winter elements. Not only do they offer protection from injuries from sharp pieces of ice, but also shield delicate paws from chemicals. “If you choose to use booties, make sure they are properly sized-they could rub sores or reduce circulation if they don’t fit correctly-and gradually introduce your dog to them,” suggests Dr. May.

If you don’t use booties, make sure you clean off your dog’s feet and paw pads with a damp cloth and then dry well to remove any irritants.

Ice-melting chemicals, such as road salt, can make your dog ill and hurt their paws. There are a few ways to protect your pup from this winter danger. “To prevent ingestion, don’t let your dog lick the salt or any treated surface, don’t let him drink from puddles near the road and don’t let him eat snow or slush,” says Dr. May.

You also can protect short-haired, young or old dogs with a coat. “Remember that road salt tends to be splashed up on your dog’s belly, legs and sides, so give these areas a thorough wipe-down after a walk to prevent your dog from ingesting the road salt when they lick their paws or body,” Dr. May added.

As a dog owner, you can make this winter comfortable and safe for your pet by checking the weather before walks, making sure to plan a route without icy areas and cleaning off salt and chemicals so that your dog stays healthy.

Stacey Brecher is an editor at Woman’s World magazine, and a contributor to Animal Fair magazine. Stacey's blogs have previously appeared on Exceptional Canine.  

How to Keep Your Dog Safe During the Holidays

By Stacey Brecher for Exceptional Canine

How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays

The holidays are a time for joy, gifts, food and merriment for your entire family, including your dog. It is also a time when there are new dangers and hazards that you must consider in order to keep your pet safe during this festive season.

The Tree
Start with your Christmas tree. When putting up your tree, there are a few things you should remember to make sure that your pup doesn’t get hurt or sick. “Be sure that your Christmas tree is securely anchored so it doesn't tip and fall,” says Dr. Camille DeClementi, senior toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers and bacteria that can cause stomach upset—from spilling.”

You should also consider what’s on your tree. Your tree may sparkle and shine but many of the wires, lights and ornaments can be potentially hazardous. Dr. DeClementi explains, “Dogs explore the word with their mouths, so any type of tree ornament should be kept out of reach of your dog.” Placing your ornaments higher on the tree is a good way to decorate safely. Unattended candles or a Menorah pose a threat to your dog, as well, as they can be easily knocked over and can cause a fire.

The House Decorations

Before decorating your home with live plants during the holidays, consider artificial options. “Many people have heard that poinsettias are deadly to pets, but this isn’t true,” says Dr. DeClementi. “However, if ingested, they can cause an upset stomach or vomiting, but life-threatening problems are not expected. When ingested, holly can also cause vomiting and diarrhea, and mistletoe can cause possible digestive upset and, rarely, heart problems.” You can avoid all of these problems by choosing artificial silk or plastic plants or a non-toxic arrangement.

The Christmas Gifts

Since dogs are known to tear toys apart and subsequently swallow the pieces, it is imperative to give the gift of a safe toy. “Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, or some pet-safe treats,” suggests Dr. DeClementi. “Rubber toys that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible are good stocking stuffers for your furry friends.”

The Food

Holiday celebrations tend to revolve around many foods that can be dangerous if ingested by your pup. For example, chocolate is poisonous to dogs, so make sure to not leave it gift-wrapped under the tree. Your dog can easily smell the chocolate, eat it and get ill. Some other foods that are poisonous include grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, coffee and tea and the sweetener xylitol.

“You might know what is toxic, but don’t assume that your house guests have that same knowledge,” says Dr. DeClementi. “Tell all of your guests to please not feed your dog any table scraps, and to keep the lids on garbage cans.”

If your pet accidentally ingests a potentially toxic substance, get help right away.  Contact your veterinarian or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for immediate assistance.

Following these tips will ensure a safe and happy holiday for your and your pet!

Stacey Brecher is an editor at Woman’s World magazine, and a contributor to Animal Fair magazine. Stacey's blogs have previously appeared on Exceptional Canine.  

$5 Adoptions - Dec. 19, 20, 23, 24

Miracle on Forever Friend LaneAll year long, but especially this time of year, the staff and volunteers at Asheville Humane Society wish for one thing... to see every single animal in their care find their forever homes. It would be a "Miracle on Forever Friend Lane" to have an empty Adoption Center by Christmas Eve!!

On December 19-20 and 23-24, adoption fees for all cats and dogs 6 months and up will be $5 for forever friendship. This includes spay/neuter, microchip, all up-to-date shots, one-month of pet health insurance, free starter bag of pet food, free veterinary wellness visit and best of all, priceless love for years and years to come. Will you help make this miracle happen for the animals in our care? Please adopt or share to make their wish come true!

Check out all the lovable animals at and stop by the Adoption Center at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (near the WNC Farmers Market) from 10 AM to 6 PM. 

"Like" PetSafe... Donate a Toy to a Shelter Pet

PetSafePetSafe® brand, an industry leader in the development of innovative pet behavioral, containment, lifestyle product solutions and services, is helping share a little holiday joy to shelter pets across the nation this month. For every “Like” or “Follow” the brand receives on its FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest accounts between now and Dec. 31, PetSafe will donate one toy to a pet in a shelter.

PetSafe, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, aims to provide up to 12,000 of its Busy Buddy® and FroliCat™ brand cat and dog toys to pets in 12 shelters across the U.S. Asheville Humane Society is one of the shelters that has been chosen for this program.  

“PetSafe is proud to support these twelve organizations that are working hard to make their communities better for animals and people alike,” said Jim Tedford, PetSafe Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives. “Our tagline is ‘Protect. Teach. Love.’ and that’s exactly what we aim to do through this year’s ‘Joy of Toys’ campaign.” 

Image courtesy of PetSafe.

Help Your Pet Survive the Holidays-No. Asheville, Dec. 16

ID-100222202The holidays can be a hectic time for humans -- and they can also be stressful for pets. That's why it might be a good idea to attend this free information session: "Help Your Pet Survive the Holidays."

This special session will be conducted by Pet Behavior Aid on Tuesday, December 16 from 7 to 8 PM. It will be held at Animal Hospital of North Asheville, Beaverdam Road, North Asheville. Humans only, please.

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

Image: Debspoons, 

Is an Electric Fence Right for Your Dog?

Options for Larger Properties, Farms and Ranches

This sponsored post is published in partnership with . Carolina Mountain Dog encourages you to share your experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the Comments section below this post. Commenters and those who share the post in social media qualify for a drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card!

ID-100139Adequate exercise and the opportunity to explore are so important for all dogs. Dogs are animals that love to move, and they need to do so on a regular basis for both their physical and mental health. Of course, a dog’s desire to roam must be balanced with your responsibility to keep your dog safe. Dogs without boundaries can be easily injured or killed by dangerous terrain, cars, or other animals. Most dogs cannot be left alone without a fence or a leash to keep them safe.

If you’re fortunate enough to have land where your dog can be free to roam, you must decide how you will keep your dog on your property. Traditional fences can be great, but there are also many instances in which electric fences can be more practical. If you’re thinking about a wireless dog fence, here are some reasons you might prefer one.

Landscape and Terrain

When you have a beautiful view in your yard of the mountains or the waterfront, you may not want to disrupt it with a large fence. Traditional fences can be obtrusive in many instances. Wireless dog fences, on the other hand, will not alter or diminish the look of your property. You can preserve your pristine view and your own access to the wilderness with an electric fence.

If you live on rocky, uneven terrain, installing a traditional fence can prove to be very difficult and may take a lot of land preparation. Electric dog fences are much more versatile in that they can be placed on any type of terrain and do not require a perfectly flat surface.

Acreage and Large Properties

Farms, ranches, and otherwise large properties can be difficult to enclose with traditional fencing. Working dogs enjoy having large areas to move around in, and because of this wired fences for ranches are often the preferred method of containment. Laying the wires for an electric dog fence is less expensive and less time-consuming than a traditional fence. When you have a very large property to enclose, the cost and time savings can be dramatic.

Breeds of Dogs

Another thing to consider when choosing fencing is what type of dog(s) you have. Some breeds of dogs are known diggers, such as dachshunds and terriers. Other breeds of dogs, such as vizslas and weimaraners, are hunting dogs that love to run and chase. With traditional fencing, dogs that are motivated to dig and run will find ways to escape, either by digging under, jumping over, or breaking through the fence. Electric dog fences will prevent this from happening by correcting your dog before they get to the fence boundary. The safety of dog fences with e-collars is even greater when you have a breed of dog that often tries to escape.

Cost and Maintenance

Hiring fencing professionals to enclose your yard is expensive, and installing a traditional fence on your own can be very difficult considering its size and weight. Wireless dog fence self installation is an alternative that will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Anyone can learn how to install an electric dog fence, and do-it-yourself types will prefer it. A wireless dog fence can be fully installed in as short as one weekend.

Traditional fences are also prone to more damage than electric dog fences. The elements, trees, other animals, and time can wear down your fence, and you’ll have to spend more to fix it. Wireless dog fences do not have the same risks of damage, and therefore it is very easy and low-cost to maintain them over long periods of time. If you installed your own wireless fence, you’ll also be able to fix it yourself.

Training Your Dog

Electronic dog fences and e-collars do require a bit more training for your dog than traditional fences, but most dogs can be trained in less than two weeks with only 10-15 minutes of practice per day. The e-collar does not hurt or injure your dog; it creates temporary discomfort that your dog will not even feel again once they’re fully trained and learns the boundaries. Follow the training protocols to the letter, and your dog will be able to enjoy all the benefits of a wired fence.

Choosing what type of fencing you’ll use on your property is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are considering the benefits of a wireless fence, be sure to research electric dog fences to pick the system that’s best for you. The safety and health of your dog depend on it. A wired dog fence is not for everyone and many dogs can be contained by simply changing their lifestyle into indoor living.

Image: James Barker,

Dog Agility Trials-Fletcher, Dec. 12-14

6153767The Blue Ridge Agility Club (BRAC) will host a dog agility trial for the United States Dog Agility Association on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 12, 13, and 14. The event will be held at the WNC Agricultural Center in the McGough Arena, Fletcher, NC, from 8 AM to 5 PM. Admission is free and the general public is invited.Over 200 dogs from throughout the Southeast will compete. No pets admitted to the event.

All trials have a food vendor present as well as various vendors selling dog related items such as treats, leashes, beds, T-shirts and agility equipment. There is plenty of seating available to watch the action in both rings and all are held in covered arenas. In the cooler months, trials are indoors in a heated building.  There is no set time table and individual dog breeds do not run at a particular time, they run by dog height, so if you are looking to see an individual breed, the club cannot provide a specific time to come. Visit for further information.

Image: Blue Ridge Agility Club

Free Puppy Social - Asheville, December 13

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, Decembr 13 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 /

ReTail Scene: New "Pet Gift Box" Delights Your Dog Each Month

ChesterPetGiftBox2Chester, the mascot of Carolina Mountain Dog, got a big surprise the other day: his very own personalized "Pet Gift Box" arrived! You can see here just how happy he was to get it.

Pet Gift Box is a neat new concept. Each month, a box jam-packed with goodies for your doggie (or kittie) comes right to your door. The box is customized to the size of your pet and consists primarily of toys, so your pet should like to chew and play with toys. Also included is at least one bag of heathy treats.

Chester's box had a wide variety of toys. He particularly liked the "knotty tug toy," a colorful rope with a knot and a ball. Great for tossing or tugging! He enjoyed chomping on the special "pup-rrr-mint" dental chews as well. This is a great way to get many products delivered to your door without going to the store.

Pet-gift-box_lgdog_sideview_EDITEDAt just $17.99 per month, Pet Gift Box is a real bargain. Chester's box had a retail value of over $57. You can cancel the monthly subscription at any time, and you can also order a one-time Pet Gift Box or subscription as a gift.

Special Offer for Carolina Mountain Dog Readers!

Pet Gift Box is offering readers of this blog a special 25% discount on your first order. Simply use the code CarolinaMountainDog (no spaces) when you check out at Also, if you "Like" the Pet Gift Box Facebook page, you will be entered for a chance to win a free gift box.

Take advantage of this special offer today for that special doggie in your life!

Spay/Neuter in Henderson County-December

Spay_logo1Community Partnership for Pets is making available low cost spay/neuter vouchers for Henderson County residents. Voucners will be for sale on Saturday, December 6, 13, and 20 at the Hendersonville PETCO from Noon to 3 PM and on Saturday, December 27 at the Hendersonville Tractor Supply from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Community Partnership for Pets is offering to spay or neuter and rabies vaccinate any cat -- pet, stray or feral -- for just $9 each in honor of a cat's 9 lives! This offer is valid for Henderson County residents only.

For further information, call (828) 693-5172, or email


Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society Launches Mobile H.E.A.R.T.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 3.57.38 PMAfter a year of planning, fundraising and construction, the H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina (Humane/Emergency/Adoption/Rescue/Transport) has arrived at the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society.

The new 27-animal capacity mobile medical/rescue vehicle allows CHHS to provide low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and vaccination clinics, increase adoptions at off-site events, rescue animals from puppy mills and hoarding cases, and assist first responders with transport and safe refuge for animals in times of natural disasters. With the H.E.A.R.T. of North Carolina, CHHS has been designated as an official Emergency Placement Partner by the Humane Society of the United States.

CHHS is also planning to double its capacity so it can care for more animals by adding a new facility. This will be the largest expansion in the organization's 27-year history. Visit for more information about the expansion and about H.E.A.R.T.

Watauga Humane Society Open House and Santa Paws in Boone, Dec. 6

IMG_1618Join Santa and Mrs. Claus as they celebrate the annual Open House and the "Santa Paws" photo session at Watauga Humane Society, 312 Paws Way, Boone, on Saturday, December 6 from 1 to 4 PM.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will return to the Watauga Humane Society Adoption Center for the annual OPEN HOUSE and a SANTA PAWS photo opportunity. The price will be $15 per sitting with Santa.

SNIPS will be offering their Holiday Handcrafted treasures for sale. They have been crafting all summer and fall to support public spay / neuter programs offered by Watauga Humane Society.    

BARE BONES BOUTIQUE Thrift Store will be having their annual Holiday Sale.

Watauga Humane Society hopes you will bring holiday gifts and treats for the dogs and cats waiting for their special homes. All proceeds will benefit the animals we care for at the Adoption Center. Visit for more information.

Happy #GivingTuesday!

What is #GivingTuesday?

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 12.33.33 PMWe have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

More information at:

Pet Loss Support Groups-Asheville, Waynesville

ID-10044688A Pet Loss Support Group meets the first Wednesday of each month in Asheville at 6 PM at Jefferson House, 21 Edwin Place (next to the Unitarian Universalist church). For additional information, call (828) 254-6001.

A Pet Loss Support Group meets the third Wednesday of each month in Waynesville at 6 PM at Kimball Counseling, 258 N. Main Street, Suite A. Registration is required for each session. For additional information and to register, call Susan Kimball, (828) 226-7366.

Image: Happykanppy,

Free Leash Reactive Session-West Asheville, Dec. 6

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

Pet Behavior Aid presents "GRRRR! Leash Reactivity Help Session" on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 1 to 2:30 PM. It will be held at Patton Avenue Pet Company, 1388 Patton Avenue, West Asheville.

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, or call (828) 707-0644.

Image: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr