Monthly Archive:: June 2009

Top Tips to Keep your Pets Safe on July 4th

Stars Dog Bandana As much as we all enjoy watching the "big lights go boom" in the sky every Fourth of July, our pets are not so up on the holiday. Courtesy of our friends over at the ASPCA, here are some top tips to keep your pets calm and safe during the Independence day activities and prevent them from becoming one of the thousands of missing "July 4th doggies" that are traumatized every year by fireworks and other scary noises (…like Uncle Stan at the Karaoke machine, etc.)

  1. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  2. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  3. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems 
  4. Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  5. Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  6. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  7. Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  8. Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. 
  9. Consider calming your pet with a homeopathic calming remedy, available over the counter at most natural pet stores. If your pet has severe anxiety with loud noises, you might consider consulting with your Veterinarian for other options.

Please pass these tips on to any new pet parents you might know, to make sure they understand how to best prepare their pup or kitten for the holiday weekend and feel free to leave a comment with other tips you have found helpful. Happy Fourth!

Reprint courtesy of the Daily Treat at Animalplanet.com

Hot Dogs + Cool Cats: Seven Top Tips to Beat the Summer Heat

Dogs at Dog Beach Del Mar Summer 2009 is at long last upon us and nothing makes a summer adventure more enjoyable than having our beloved four-legged companions in tow! However for animals, the summer heat can be quite uncomfortable as our furry friends are covered with fur and walk directly on hot surfaces that can severely effect their body temperature. 

To help keep our critters safe and comfortable all summer long, check out the following  tips, ideas and products to keep summer from being a bummer for our pets!

1. Car Heat: Avoid heat exhaustion and DO NOT leave your pet alone in the car during the remotelyFurminator Deshedding tool for dogs warm weather. During warm weather the inside of your car can reach 120° in a matter of minutes, even if you're parked in the shade with the windows opened a little. Pet owners that carelessly leave their pets unattended in a hot car are now subject to hefty fines and possibly jail-time, so don't even think about it!

2. Let the Fur Fly: Dogs with extremely thick or long fur should be trimmed during the hot summer  months. Regular use of a deshedding tool, such as the FURminator deshedding tool can remove tremendous amounts of undercoat hair.

 3. Creative Cooling: Water or gel-filled cooling mats or cooling vests are great for dogs that are kept outside or if you do not have air conditioning in your home. As well, an elevated pet bed can help keep pets cool and comfortable and the raised sleeping surface keeps your dog off the hard ground, away from bugs and has an added bonus of great air circulation

Travel Water Bowl 4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Provide plenty of water and shade for your pets so they can stay cool. Be aware that water will vaporize on extremely hot days. Collapsible Water Bowls and Gulpy Water Bottles are convenient portable water sources for your pet, especially if you're on the road. As well, the new ASPCA doggie travel water bottle can help you both hydrate and save lives…I'll drink to that!

5. Exercise at Dusk & Dawn: Pets need exercise, but on very hot days it is best to limit  exercise to Gulpy Water Dispenser for Dogs early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt and beach sand gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws. Consider protective booties to protect sensitive paws from hot pavement.

6. Avoid Sunburn: Pets can get sunburned too, and your pet may require sunscreen his or her nose and ear tips. Especially pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears.

Protective Dog Boots 7. Be aware of the Signs of Heat Exhaustion: Heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue are all  signs of possible heat exhaustion.  What to do: Move the animal into the shade or an air-conditioned area. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck and chest or immerse them in cool (not cold) water. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes and consider taking them directly to a veterinarian.

Do you have some favorite tips to share to help our pets beat the heat? I welcome you to share them with fellow pet parents in the comments below!

Article reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat on Animalplanet.com

Satisfying the Picky Pooch with Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-dried Raw Foods

If you share a home with a dog who is a picky eater, you undoubtedly understand the hair-pulling challenge of finding canine cuisine that actually motivates them to stand up and take notice when you yell “IT’S FOOD TIME!!

Zazou, my Vizsla, approaches mealtime with great delight and joy, as he vigorously consumes the food in his bowl with great appreciation and verve.  Conversely, Lulu our diminutive mystery mutt approaches mealtime with trepidation as if she’s been instructed to walk the plank or something worse.  Like clockwork, each day I yell “It’s Food Time" and Lulu trudges up to the bowl, gives the bowl a half-hearted sniff, then plops down next to the bowl with an unceremonious ‘plumpf’.

Stella and Chewy's at MuttropolisThis feeding time scenario has repeated itself for as long as I can remember and I have tried quite a  smorgasbord of healthy foods to pique her interest and was beyond thrilled when I discovered Stella & Chewy’s Fresh from the Farm all natural freeze-dried raw chicken patties, which Miss Picky Pooch-Lulu absolutely LOVES!! Mealtime is now truly a cause for celebration, not consternation.

Made from human-grade free-range meats, ground bones, and fresh organic vegetables and containing no preservatives, no chemical, dyes, sugar or salt, these freeze-dried patties can be easily crumbled into your pets kibble to introduce a new and tasty element to your pet’s existing diet, or it can be fed solely as their main course.

Better yet, they’re good ‘fer ya!

What I also like about the Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried products is that they provide all the convenience of a conventional dry food without compromising the nutritional value and proven health benefits of real raw meat.  You can serve the patties as is or rehydrate by adding water. They’re also great for travel, training rewards, and treats.

Starting at $10.99 a bag, you can find Stella and Chewy's at Muttropolis.com

Article reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat at Animalplanet.com

Pets on Parade & Good Times with a Kissing Booth

We Muttropolitans recently had the pleasure of helping out with the First Annual La Jolla Pet Parade & Festival. The event was held in the super pet-friendly and beautiful southern California coastal village of La Jolla to benefit one of our favorite causes, the Spay Neuter Action Project (SNAP). SNAP is a non-profit, grassroots organization offering low cost spay and neutering in low income neighborhood and is responsible for reducing the number of unwanted puppies and kittens in the Southern California area by tens of thousands by snipping and snapping off, well, you know.

With our nation’s shelters overflowing with orphaned and surrendered pets,  spaying and neutering pets is key to solving pet overpopulation. SNAP presently conducts their neutering clinics in a mobile clinic known as their “neuter scooter” and as of today more than 15,000 pets have been fixed on their Neuter Scooter. They hope to build a permanent low-income, high volume spay-neuter clinic.

Our community parade kicked off with Grand Marshall Benji (…and author and creator of the Benji series Joe Camp hosted by Warwicks) and a Doga warm-up led by my pals over at lululemon, followed by contests, pet adoptions, barks & crafts and other fun family activities.

They came, they wagged, they air-kissed

Any time you throw a party or in this case a parade, there is always that nagging question of whether anyone show up? Well, we're pleased to report that hundreds of people and pets of all breeds and creeds did indeed represent and enthusiastically wagged, waddled, wheeled, padded and clip-clopped through the village…it was a sight to see!

Aside from raising funds for a worthy cause, making new friends and helping find new homes for dogs, cats and even a guinea pig that day, one my favorite activities at the event was watching the theater unfold in an old school kissing booth that Muttropolis brought along. The little contraption provided some visuals nothing short of ridiculous and this week’s Daily Treat Video highlights some of our favorite moments from the day!

ps. Studies show that volunteering increases health and longevity. But the real virtue may be in the pleasures gained in the process. Visit Petfinder.com to learn how you can help out at your local shelter or animal welfare organization or visit Serve.gov to find out about other causes in need in your area.

Blog reprint courtesy of Animal Planet and The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Daily-treat-kissing-booth

The Dog Bark Park Inn: Where a night in the doghouse ain’t half bad

The Dog Bark Park Inn Ever wanted to really get inside a dogs head? You can literally live the dream at the Dog Bark Park Inn — a bed and breakfast guesthouse inside the "World's Biggest Beagle."  This ginormious wooden beagle domicile, created by self-taught chainsaw artists and proprietors Dennis and Frances, is located in north central Idaho on US Hwy 95 in Cottonwood, Idaho.

Allow me to show you to your hind-quarters

Named one of the Top 20 Most Fun & Exciting Places to Stay by the London Times, guests enter the belly of the Beagle from a private second story deck.  (No word if the belly of the Beagle is strewn with bits of shredded sock, bits of tennis ball and twigs just for authenticity purposes.) Inside the bowels of the bed and Beagle guests will find a queen bed, reading nook within the dog’s snout and a bounty of kitchy canine-themed decorations, many of which are creations of the proprietors. 

The Dog Bark Park InnDogs of all sizes are welcome for an additional $10 per night per pet and guests can enjoy prairie views and starry nights from the second story 'tummy-deck.' During the day, excursions can include taking a jet boat tour into nearby Hell’s Canyon, horseback riding or hiking.

For more information visit the Dog Bark Park Inn.

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley