Category Archives: pets

Guest Blog: 11 Christmas Risks for Dogs

Protect Your Dog from These Christmas Risks

Christmas is a time to have fun, indulge and celebrate!
Since our pets are such an important part of our family, it’s natural to
include them in the holiday celebration as well!

 

But this festive season also presents many hidden dangers to our canine and feline friends, from toxic food to hazardous seasonal plants and even decorations!

To ensure your beloved pet remains safe this holiday season, keep reading about the unusual risks to our pets this festive season.

 

11 Christmas Risks for Dogs

Batteries

Batteries Pose Risks to Pets

Did you know that more dogs ingest batteries during Christmas than at any other time of the year?

Just like with your kids, apply the same security measures for your dogs. It is vital to cover all batteries and wires so that your dog cannot access them. Batteries can cause burns in the mouth and esophagus leading to other severe internal injuries.

Enjoy a safe Christmas with your dogs by keeping all new and old batteries out of reach of your pets.

 

Live Christmas Trees

Live Christmas Trees Pose Risks To Pets

 

For some people, Christmas is incomplete without a Christmas tree. But pine needles (real and fake) are dangerous if your dog chews or swallows them! They can cause mouth injuries and swelling; if ingested, they can cause vomiting and diarrhea. 

Also, stagnant water from live trees can cause diarrhea or nausea in your dog.

Whether you use a real or artificial tree, create a perimeter to prevent your dog from swallowing any of the tree’s needles (and decorations!).

Also, ensure that the tree is securely stable so it won’t fall over and cause injuries to your dog, other pets or even children. 

 

Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt Dough Xmas Ornaments are a Risk to Pets

 

These commonly used holiday ornaments are made out of baked dough and contain flour, salt, and water. This mixture can be fatal for our dogs, especially small puppies

But unfortunately, these ornaments can invite a pet’s curiosity thanks to their curious shape, colors and smells. But if ingested, the results can be unpleasant and worse for our pets.

 

Candles

Lit Candles Pose Risks to Pets

Candles can be a great way to bring Christmas spirit into our homes. But as a pet parent, avoid leaving burning candles unattended – or within reach – of your pets.

Dogs (and cats) are naturally curious about new smells and tastes. A curious pet could easily get burned; or worse, cause a fire if a burning candle is knocked over.

Consider using no-flame candles instead. If you decide to light candles, be sure to place them on secure tabletops and remember to extinguish them before leaving the room.

 

Silica Gel

Silica Gel Poses Risks to Pets

 

Silica gel in small packets is often found in the packaging of new handbags, shoes or electrical equipment. Although it has low toxicity, it can cause blockages in your dog’s gut if they eat it.

Always be careful when opening Christmas presents with silica gel packets and securely dispose of them immediately.

 

 

Potpourri

When eaten, potpourri can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, Keep Potpourri away from Petseven after passing through the gut.

Proactively protect your dog by keeping all potpourri securely out of reach. 

 

Chocolate

Chocolate can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, even after passing through the gut.

To protect your dog, you should keep them out of reach.

 

Blue Cheese Poses Risks to Dogs

Blue Cheese

Despite the popularity of blue cheese, it does contain roquefortine C, a substance which dogs are susceptible to. As with all of the Christmas foods around, be sure to keep blue cheese away from your dog.

 

 

Cooked Bones

While you may think that cooked bones are a safe treat to give to your dog to enjoy, nothing could be farther from the truth!

Cooked bones are very brittle and can easily break into tiny, sharp pieces when chewed. These tiny pieces can cause irreparable harm to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract including blockages and piercing of the intestines. Keep all cooked bones away from your dog and make sure they are securely disposed of where your dog cannot get to them. 

 

Mince Pies Pose Risks to Pets

Mince Pies & Christmas Puddings

Mince pies and Christmas puddings contain toxic grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas and should be kept away from dogs and other pets. 

 

 

Alcoholic Drinks Pose Risks to Pets

Alcohol

Alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, coma and even death in dogs.

Keep any and all alcohol beverages (including beer) out of reach of all pets and children for a safe holiday celebration! 

 

 


Wishing you, your family and four-legged best friends a safe and Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 


Image Credits (In Order Shown):

Image by Pexels.com

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

Image by Maciej Szewczyk from Pixabay 

Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay 

Image by Ann San from Pixabay 

Image by Deb Douglass from Pixabay 

Image by Don Johnoghue from Pixabay

Image by darianstibbe from Pixabay

Image by Михаил Прокопенко from Pixabay

 

Guest Blog: Ideas for Local Animal Shelters During the Holidays

Help Animal Shelters During Christmas

It’s December and the Season for Giving!

It’s also a wonderful time to think about our local animal shelters. 

 

For most of us, the holidays come with colder weather. As I write this, here in Wisconsin, it’s only 6 degrees! Sadly, this time of year also sees an increased number of dogs and cats in need of shelter. Since shelters usually operate from donations, whatever you can give goes a long way in helping homeless pets.

 

Ideas for Giving to Your Local Shelter

Give Love and Attention to Shelter Pets

Your Time – All dogs and cats need attention, cuddle time and exercise. Especially during the holidays, shelters and rescues are always looking for extra volunteers to help keep the animals feeling loved and well-cared for.

Food – Both canines and felines eat at least twice a day. That is a lot of food for a shelter! Depending on age and diet needs, they typically will accept a variety of quality foods both dry and wet along with treats. Other foods a shelter can typically use include peanut butter (please make sure it’s xylitol-free), fresh veggies and fruits, canned baby food and tuna. Call your local shelter first to see what they are currently accepting.

Spare Blankets, Pillows and Towels – Shelters can always use these items for their crates and bedding. They also need rags, newspapers and kitty litter.

Toys – Shelters can always use toys to help the dogs (and cats) stay happy, mentally stimulated and active. Kong toys, balls or puzzles are great, so are gently used stuffed animals! Do you have toys that your dog or cat refuses to play with? Donate them!Donate Crates and Carriers to Local Shelters

Crates and Carriers – Both dogs and cats love a secure den. Are you no longer using your dog crate or cat carrier? Donate it!  You can help a shelter animal feel safer, especially in a busy shelter where things may seem scary and overwhelming.

Other items you could give include:

  • Food and water bowls;
  • Grooming supplies; and
  • Office items.

Obviously, you can always donate money to a shelter; but there are other ways to help if you don’t have the extra money (especially at this time of year)! Extra items or those going unused at home could be very useful at a shelter. Again, call a shelter first to see what items they need and will accept.


I am in high hopes that this blog helps our animal shelters receive extra donations during this Season of Giving. Also, keep your local shelters in mind, not just over the holidays, but throughout the coming year!


A big thank you to all our animal shelters and may all the pets find forever homes!

 

Dog Bless~ 

 

 

 

Not sure where to find YOUR local shelters?

Just pull out your smartphone and google “animal shelters near me!” 

 

 


My Secret Dog BlogMeet our Guest Blogger

Holli Burch is a blogger at The Dog Connection focusing on Connecting Humans and Dogs; Mind, Body and Soul. She likes to focus everyday on giving back and uplifting dog lovers. You can follow Holli on Facebook.


 

If You Own a Dog, Are You Aware of this Suffocation Risk?

Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

 

I thought I had heard it all when it comes to the trouble our dogs (and even cats) can get into. Well, I stand corrected, because recently I learned about a common danger that exists at this very moment in almost every household (probably including yours)!

I’m talking about empty snack bags that contain:

  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Jerky
  • Cookies and MORE!

Click here to learn more at the Ken Caryl Pet Spa’s blog with this life-saving post: Yes, Your Nosy Dog Can Suffocate in an Empty Chip Bag!

And PLEASE, share it with a friend to protect other curious dogs, cats and pets!

Guest Blog: 5 Reasons You Need Your Pet More

Pet parents know that having a pet brings an incredible amount of happiness into their life. But caring for your doggo can also have an invaluable impact on your health and well-being. While properly caring for your pet is a big responsibility, you will also enjoy improvements in your physical health, emotional health, and even your social life! It may make you feel like you need your pet more than they need you!

Good for Your Heart and Overall Health

According to a study by Sweden’s Uppsala University, adopting a dog can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in people who live alone. Owning a pet has even shown to increase life expectancy. Whether you’re taking your pup on a daily walk around the block, taking him on a hike or to the dog beach, you are also taking care of your heart and increasing your physical activity. And hey, pets are great for your “emotional heart” as well!

Reduces Stress

Stress can have significant effects on your mental health and sense of well-being. It can make everything seem much more dire than it really is and leave you at an increased risk for things like depression and anxiety. Stress is often hard to get rid of, but it turns out that pets can help! According to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a study showed that owning a pet can actually help diminish symptoms of stress on a long-term basis.

Better Sleep

Sleep is important to both physical and mental health, and it can be particularly difficult to achieve quality sleep when you’re not in the right headspace. Did you know that sleeping with your pet could help? Many people find that they feel more comforted and secure with their pet in the room than they do without them. If you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, consider sharing some space with your pet to see if it helps. While it doesn’t prove effective for everyone, especially if you have a rambunctious pup, you may be surprised at how much your pet’s presence can help.

 

Improved Social Life

Looking to jump-start your social life? Get a dog. Walking your dog can help you connect with neighbors and meet new people. Many conversations – and friendships – begin at the dog park. While this, at first glance, may not seem crucial to your health, it is believed that people with more social connections often live longer. You can actually help reinforce your physical health as well as your social circle simply by taking good care of your furry friend and meeting people along the way.

 

Unconditional Love

A price cannot be put on the unconditional love your pet gives you. We all have to cope with stress and the unexpected twists and turns of life. However, the one thing you can always rely on is the love of a pet. Your dog will always be there waiting for you at the front door with an open heart and a wagging tail. That’s a great way to end the day.

Our pets need us to help take care of their physical health, but it turns out that they might give us more than we could ever hope to give them. Having a pet is great for your mental and physical health!

 

Sources: The Benefits of Sleeping With Your Pet and aha Journals.

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Stephanie James is a dog-walker by day and freelance writer by night, who covers a variety of topics, including holistic health for both pets and owners. To read more work by Stephanie, connect with her on Twitter @sjaywrites13.


 

Guest Blog: Is Your Puppy Too Excited Around Other Dogs?

Dogs are naturally social creatures that enjoy attention. As a matter of fact, nothing more can make them go gaga than chancing upon their own kind, regardless of breed. That should not come as a total surprise because dogs came from a long line of ancestors who had thrived living in packs.

Photo by Eva Blue on Unsplash

 

Why You Need to Teach Your Puppy to be Calm

Unfortunately, some puppies and even adult dogs find it hard to contain their excitement and go completely overboard when around other canines. A dog may bark, whine or lunge at other dogs when they are giddy. These actions may come from a friendly standpoint, but the other dog might perceive it as a threat, especially if their personal space is being violated.

If your puppy or adult dog acts this way, he might be in danger of being attacked by another dog. Also, if this hyperactive behavior is ignored, it may progress into aggressiveness. This tendency is more evident in dogs that show signs of fear and anxiety. But, addressing the issue should be done in the right manner. Yelling will not help and will only impose a sense of negativity to the dogs involved. Also, if you pull your leashed dog close to you when he is about to interact with another dog, this can create unwanted tension. If you reprimand your dog for acting this way, it will lead him to think negatively about associating with other dogs, fueling unwanted and negative behaviors.

 

Is Your Dog Excited or Stressed?

Did you know that dogs often look the same way when they are excited or stressed? This can be a shocker for most pet parents to realize what they once viewed as a happy behavior is actually a cry for help.

It is not bad for dogs to get excited, but there are key differences between:

  • Stressed and anxious energy; and
  • Happy and enthusiastic canine energy.

A dog’s energy depends on their mental state at the time. As owners, we often observe their physical behavior without understanding the true energy behind it. Dogs are “cute” when they are over-excited or over-stimulated, but this attitude is not ideal for your dog. Also, when we match this type of excited energy from our dogs, they respond with more excitement, heightening their already intensified feelings which can lead to unwanted behavior.

To identify whether your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety or excitement, take note of how he behaves when he is in a relaxed state. You can see how comfortable a dog is based on his posture and behavior. It can also be characterized by a soft gaze with squinted or rounded eyes and ears slightly erect and placed forward (does not apply to dogs with floppy ears). When you talk to him, he acknowledges you by moving his ear backward and relaxing his mouth.

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

 

Other Reasons Your K9 is Overactive Around Other Dogs

  • Aside from anxiety, your dog might be displaying fear. So when he acts in a reactive manner, other dogs and their owners may walk away in avoidance or fear, which is your dog’s intention if he is fearful.
  • Another reason is frustration. Many dogs feel restrained due to the leash wrapped around their neck that holds them back whenever they are excited to see other dogs. You also see this type of dog behavior with closed fences and gates.

Defining Your Role as a Canine Parent

Your dog might be too overeager upon seeing other dogs. Acknowledging your dog’s need to be with other dogs is essential. But, he has to learn to approach potential friends – and even old friends – with confidence and calmness. To protect your furbaby and ensure that he is capable of handling different social situations, you need to identify the root cause of this excitement. As mentioned earlier, some dogs act all gung-ho when seeing other dogs to mask their anxiousness or fear. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to address potential issues with anxiety, fear or frustration when training your dog to be calm.

Prevention is better than cure, many would say. The easiest method to prevent your dog from acting out when they see another dog is to go the other way. But do not wait until your dog gets all riled up.  Properly socializing your dog as soon as possible will also help avoid unwanted, unsocial and overexcited behaviors.

The following methods below can help your dog learn:

  1. To channel their extra energy into something positive; and
  2. Help them learn how to stay calm and collected when hanging out with his peers.

 

Two Ways to Calm Your Puppy Down

During training, use a well-fitted harness to protect your puppy’s neck if he lunges forward upon seeing another dog. You might also want to ask a friend to help out and lend you his or her emotionally-stable and mature dog that will not overreact to your puppy’s over-eagerness or unbridled playfulness. Always reward your puppy’s good behavior with his favorite treat!

Method #1: Calm to Me

  • Enlist the help of a friend with a calm dog. Meet them in a park or have them join you and your leashed puppy for a walk. Keep all training short and fun
  • Once you see your friend and their dog, ask them to stop at a distance where your dog is still comfortable and not becoming overexcited. Tell your dog to sit or stay.
  • Ask the other dog to slowly approach. As soon as you notice your dog starting to go into a frenzy (timing is very important), ask your friend and their dog to stop, turn around, and walk away.
  • Wait until your dog is calm once again and repeat the process. As long as your dog remains calm and remains in the sit and stay position, the other dog can continue to move toward him. But the moment he begins barking, lunging or getting aggressive, your friend and their dog should stop, turn around and walk away.
  • Repeat the process for a few days until your dog fully grasps the concept and use this process to introduce to him other dogs.

Method #2: Sit and Stay

  • Have your friend bring their calm dog over to your home. Before the dog and his owner come, place your dog on a leash.
  • Once the new dog enters your premises, command your dog to sit or stay. Tug the leash gently to the side if necessary to get your dog’s attention (but refrain from pulling back).
  • If your dog maintains a composed demeanor and obeys your orders, hand him a treat. Repeat several times with different dogs for several weeks until your dog automatically calms down without any command when seeing a dog.
  • Once your dog has learned how to act properly when there is another dog, have him socialize with all kinds of other dogs.

Photo by MaggieLovesOrbit On Insta on Unsplash

 

Dogs are naturally sociable and reprimanding or pulling them back when they get excited will not resolve the underlying issue. Use the tips and methods detailed above to train your dog to be more social and less reactive with anxiety, over-excitement or even fear. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for expert help! A dog trainer or behaviorist can help identify behavioral issues and design an effective plan of action to create a happy, confident and social dog!

 


Meet our Guest Blogger:

Brian Larsen is the Co-Founder and CEO of RejuvaPet, LLC — the creator of RestoraPet and RestoraPet Hemp. He spent nearly 10 years developing these products to rehabilitate and protect pets at the cellular level, for a vastly improved quality of life.

 


 

Is it Safe to Handle Your Pet’s Raw Food?

As the debate rages on about whether a raw diet* is good or not for our pets, below is an interesting study about the potential risk of humans getting sick or infected from handling their pet’s raw food. The study included over 16K pet households in 81 countries. The research is published in the BMJ journal Veterinary Record.

(*Raw food includes any meat, internal organs, bones and cartilage fed uncooked to pets.)

(Did you know that more than 60% of pet owners in the Netherlands feed raw?)

 


It’s safe to feed raw food to pets, finds new study.


 

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