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December 2015

Apps to Find "Dog Borrowers" and Dog Sitters

ID-100287658The more you use your smartphone, the more you realize that there are a whole host of apps available related to dog services. We already covered one called VitusVet which helps you maintain your dog's records for easy central access. Now let's look at apps that help connect you with "dog borrowers" and dog sitters.

First, there's Bark 'N' Borrow. This new service is primarily designed to connect dog owners with "dog borrowers" -- people who, for whatever reason, can't own dogs, but they love dogs and want to hang out with them. Unusual, huh? Still, it's a whole new trend, and Bark 'N' Borrow has an app to meet the need. Bark 'N' Borrow also provides a more standard service, connecting dog owners with professional dog sitters and dog walkers.

Speaking of dog sitters, next are two services that have been around a while: Rover and DogVacay. Both of these services, which now offer smartphone apps, are similar: They are designed to connect dog owners with dog sitters in any geographic area. These services are good for local connections, as well as finding sitters when you travel -- and each service also offers income opportunities for people who want to become registered pet sitters. 

Image: Stuart Miles,

$5 Adoptions Dec. 29 - 31

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"Miracle on Forever Friend Lane" adoption promotion extended! Visit Asheville Humane Society from December 29 through December 31 and adopt any dog over 6 months old, cat or kitten for $5. It's a Miracle on Forever Friend Lane!

The Adoption Center is open from 10 AM to 6 PM and is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, off Brevard and Pond Roads near the WNC Farmers Market.

This is a sweet New Year's deal for priceless love! See all the animals available for adoption here:


Paw Protection for Winter

ID-100303793Ever think about your dog's paws during the Winter? You should. Dog owners take for granted that their pet's paws are naturally resilient, but wintertime can present special challenges.

A helpful article from Tails Pet Magazine discusses several important ways you can protect your dog's feet this time of year. These include:

  • When walking your dog on ice, snow, or during cold, wet conditions, you can coat your dog's paws with a protective product, such as vaseline, to form a barrier and keep in moisture. Wipe your dog's paws after the walk to remove outside residue.
  • Nails and hair between pads attract ice, snow, and salt, so keep them trimmed.
  • Most path and driveway snow melt products, including salt, are irritating and can even be toxic to dogs. Avoid walking on treated areas you are unsure of, and for your own walk and driveway, use pet safe melting products, available at pet stores.

Read the article for more tips.


Image: Stuart Miles,

ReTail Scene: "Shine for Dogs" Donates to Rescues for Every Collar and Leash Sold

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 11.40.25 AMIt is estimated that 1.2 million dogs are hit and killed by cars every year. Long work hours, strict off-leash laws and short days often mean people are walking dogs at night.

"Shine for Dogs" has the answer -- and it's a win-win for the dog lover. The company's products use rechargeable fiber optics to cast a bright light from collars and leashes. Plus, the company promises to donate $10 for every item sold to shelters and rescue organizations that care for dogs.

Shine for Dogs products are:

•  Rechargeable - never pay for batteries again!

•   Use LED - Ultra bright.

•    Made of fiber optic strips allowing better flexibility, comfort for your dog and the current does not break when bent, twisted, or pulled. 

•    Durable, weather resistant, and come in a variety of colors and sizes.

The rechargeable LED light-up collars and leashes can be purchased on the Shine for Dogs website and at supporting pet stores and pet service establishments who believe in their cause.

Last Minute Doggie and Dog Lover Gifts!

Christmas is almost upon us -- so if you haven't quite finished shopping for the dogs and dog lovers in your life, consider these last minute gift ideas.

The Total Dog Manual: Meet, Train, and Care for Your New Best Friend
The definitive resource for dog owners! The Total Dog Manual has everything from how to choose and understand your pet as well as appropriate training methods and environments, to selecting the right food, toys, and care for your new family member.  From understanding a dog's anatomy and those deep-down doggie instincts to training methods and grooming tips - the experts have provided you with everything you need understand your furry friend. Purchase directly from Amazon below.

Good Owners, Great Dogs
The only American to study and work with the renowned Barbara Woodhouse, this book's author Brian Kilcommons solves all those "bad dog" problems that drive owners crazy-and shows you how to raise a puppy into a happy, perfectly behaved dog. The trick is to understand how dogs think, read their body language, and, with the secrets Kilcommons shares in this book, be "fun, fair, and firm." A dog-training guide that gives you immediate results even with an adult dog, this manual trains you, as it gives owners everything they need and everything dogs need to become... Good Owners, Great Dogs. Purchase directly from Amazon below.

Also, check out the extensive selection of dog books at the Carolina Mountain Dog Bookstore.

Carolina Mountain Dog Coffee Mug
This quality mug is unique because it carries the full-color masthead of Carolina Mountain Dog, complete with mountain sunset and a picture of Chester, our mascot! Order your mug -- or your choice of other cool merchandise from the Carolina Mountain Dog store. Carolina_mountain_dog_mug


Select Doggie Items
A wide variety of quality gifts especially for the furry love of your life are available from Amazon, Entirely Pets, and Only Natural Pet. Check out all of the products from these three outstanding retailers by simply clicking on their ads to the right. Your purchase from each of these retailers supports Carolina Mountain Dog.

Seven Common Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

ID-100321900Most dog owners realize that it is best to feed their pets food made especially for them. But who hasn’t offered their doggie a people food treat now and then?

While it is okay to indulge your dog in a bit of hamburger, steak, or chicken on rare occasion, there are other common foods around your house that can be dangerous or even lethal to your dog. Some of them may surprise you.


You’ve probably heard chocolate is a no-no for dogs. The reason? Cacao, the basic ingredient in chocolate, contains a substance called methylxanthine. The more cacao in the chocolate, the more methylxanthine it contains; dark chocolate and baking chocolate have a lot of it, while white chocolate has much less. Methylxanthines have proven to be beneficial for humans, but they can be deadly for pets. Symptoms of methylxanthine ingestion could include vomiting, diarrhea, heavy panting, excessive thirst, and seizures.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are also rich in methylxanthines; in fact, caffeine is probably the most recognized methylxanthine, so don’t let your pet get into your supply of coffee or tea.

Grapes, raisins, and currants

Scientists have not yet determined exactly what makes grapes, raisins, and currants dangerous to dogs – but they do know that these fruits can cause a highly toxic reaction. In some dogs, this reaction can lead to kidney failure and potentially death.

Onion and garlic

A plant in the allium species – which includes onion, garlic, scallions, and chives – can be toxic to dogs (and even more so to cats). Ingesting any of these vegetables in significant quantity can cause a dog’s red blood cells to be damaged, lead to anemia, and in some cases result in death.


Excess salt is unhealthy for humans and it isn’t advisable for dogs, either. Too much salt can make a dog thirsty and increase urination, but it can also lead to sodium ion poisoning. So no salty chips or pretzels for Fido!


It’s generally not a good idea to feed your dog nuts, despite their nutritional value to humans. Most nuts are not easily digested by dogs. Nuts can also cause an obstruction when swallowed. Macadamia nuts are particularly dangerous to dogs.


Any food product or beverage that contains alcohol should be off limits for your dog. Even a small quantity of alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, and worse.

If you suspect your dog has ingested any of the above foods and is showing signs of distress, contact your vet immediately, or call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at their 24-hour-a-day hotline: 888-426-4435.

Image: stockdevil,

A Complete Guide to Pet Travel - Infographic

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Planning a trip with your best friend?  Before you do, it's vital that you plan ahead. This helps you keep in mind the best interests of your dog. Traveling with your pet can be either an amazing bonding experience or a stressful nightmare. Proper planning and preparation takes the bite out of your stress.

The first decision you will have to make is whether to bring your pet with you on your trip. Will you have enough free time during your travels to attend to your pet? Not all pets are suited for travel and some pets don’t like to travel. All over the world, millions of pets and pet parents travel every day. The increase in popularity of pet travel has meant many of the leading hotel chains worldwide are now pet friendly.

An Australian organization, Greyhounds as Pets, has produced a handy infographic that gives you all you need to have a fun-filled holiday with your treasured family member. You can download the infographic at the link below.

View this photo

Prestige Subaru Holiday Event - Asheville, Dec. 12

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 2.10.51 PMOn Saturday, December 12 from 11 AM to 3 PM, Prestige Subaru will host its annual Adoption Day and Pet Food and Toy Holiday Drive to help local pets and their people.

Come meet adoptable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens from Asheville Humane Society and save a life this holiday season. Please bring your pet food and toy donations to help local pets in need. Prestige Subaru is located at 585 Tunnel Road in Asheville. 

A big thank you to Prestige Subaru for their continued generosity year after year on behalf of Asheville Humane Society and the homeless animals of Buncombe County! 

Free Puppy Social - Asheville, Dec. 12

PuppiesYour puppy needs socialization with other dogs to develop into a healthy, balanced pet. Join other puppy owners at a puppy social on Saturday, December 12 from 9 to 10 AM, at Asheville Humane Society's Adoption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Pond and Brevard Roads, 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: khunaspix /

Five Reasons Dogs are Good for Your Health

Guest Post by Ron Burg, Buckhead Paws

ID-100162393There are few things that can compare to the unconditional love of a dog, but there are more reasons to love your dog than you probably thought. You might have noticed that you feel better around your dog. That’s because owning a dog can have a positive impact on both your mood and health. They are more than just a cute face and a cuddle buddy; dogs can have positive health benefits for you. Here are just 5 of the health reasons you should own a dog:

1. Playing with a dog lowers your blood pressure.

While your dog is not a substitute for a balanced diet or exercise, there are studies that show that dogs can lower your blood pressure. One reason for this is that dogs tend to force us into adopting a healthier lifestyle. They also help manage our stress levels, which can help decrease your blood pressure.

2. Having a dog helps manage your stress.

Playing with your dog can be a great form of stress management. Being around your dog lowers your body’s production of cortisol, which is the primary stress hormone. It also increases the production of serotonin, which affects your mood and social behavior. The combination of the two contributes to less stress, better overall health, and a greater sense of well-being.

3. Playing with a dog can improve bone strength.

Not only does going outside and playing with your dog increase bone strength because of your increased activity, but it is also is a source of vitamin D. Vitamin D, which comes from the sun, helps your bones stay strong. Going outside is also a good way to get some fresh air.

4. Having a dog is good for your heart.

Obviously, walking and playing with your dog is a good form of exercise. Exercise is known to increase your cardiovascular function, but more than just making your heart stronger, there is also evidence that owning a dog can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart attack survivors and people with abnormal heart rhythms who own dogs live longer than those who don’t have dogs. This is probably linked to the increased physical activity and the better psychological state of dog owners.

5. Playing with a dog can decrease your anxiety.

When your dog comes up to you and wants to cuddle, or demands your attention, they are helping you cope with anxiety. That is because they are a distraction, and they refocus your attention away from your anxiety. This is why dogs are a great treatment option for those who suffer from anxiety. In addition to refocusing your attention, the loyalty and love from a dog has been shown to make owners feel better about themselves and make them feel more confident, lowering their anxiety.

Ron Burg writes for Buckhead Paws. Buckhead Paws are the professionals when it comes to pet sitting. Operating for Atlanta and the surrounding area, Buckhead Paws offer quality pet care, as they are Pet-Tech certified. Leaving out of town can be stressful, especially if you have no one to look after your pets while you’re away. Buckhead Paws can help relieve the stress. Visit Buckhead Paws online at

Image: Artur84,

Hiking Hounds - Asheville, Dec. 13

Hiking houndsOne of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities is the "Hiking Hounds" program. Two Sunday mornings each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike with the Hiking Hounds group is Sunday, December 13. Start time is 9 AM for repeat hikers and 8:30 AM for new hikers. New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email

Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first served basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. And please make sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.

ReTail Scene: Free App Shares Your Dog's Medical Records

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.53.50 PMVisits to veterinary emergency clinics tend to increase during the holidays. Many pet parents are well aware of the numerous hazards to their pets during this time of year. Some even prepare emergency kits to make sure they will be covered, should an incident occur. But the makers of VitusVet – the mobile app that allows users to view their pets’ complete medical records at any time – warns pet owners could be missing one of the most vital elements needed during a health crisis. How will you access your pets’ updated medical records and how difficult will they be to obtain during a holiday-related emergency, when most offices are closed for extended periods of time?

The free VitusVet app is currently the only method that allows veterinary offices to share their patients’ entire medical record history with their valuable clients when they need it the most – during an emergency. It is also the only app of its kind that includes a pet owner-facing solution, which also allows the user to invite friends and family to view their pet’s history and offers a search option to find the closest veterinary emergency clinic – both crucial during the holidays when college students may be home from school or people will be traveling with their pets.

“Fifteen million pets went to the ER last year, where there is essentially no after-hours record access. We know that spikes over the holidays, due to pets ingesting people food and other holiday objects, like ornaments, tinsel, and poinsettias,” said Mark Olcott, DVM and co-founder of VitusVet. “We created VitusVet to help pet owners in their greatest time of need and to put an end to preventable tragedies. One key bit of information in a pet’s medical records could mean the difference between life and death and pet owners should be able to access that information whenever they need it.”

You can get this free app here:

Today is #GivingTuesday -- So Please Give!

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#GivingTuesday is a global celebration of generosity.

On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 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.

Please give to a worthy cause today. Locally there are many who need your help, including Asheville Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, MANNA Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and others. Thank you!