Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Safety Pet Tips

Merry Christmas!
With the holiday hustle and bustle it is easy to get wrapped up and forget that we need to pay extra attention to our fur kids. Holiday time can be fun and exciting but can also have some serious dangers to our pets.
Below are six things to be aware of and help keep your pet safe.

1.      Ribbons, tinsel, garland and Styrofoam are dangerous if ingested by fur babies. These materials can cause intestinal obstruction and/or severe damage to the intestines.
2.      Ice melts can damage a pet’s footpads; while anti-freeze can be toxic at very low levels. Be sure to purchase pet-friendly formulas.
3.      Toxic holiday plants – holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and some lilies – can be life-threatening to fur babies.
4.      Prevent your fur baby from ingesting tree water because it often contains preservatives that are sugar based which are very inviting to pets, but also toxic chemicals like fertilizers, insecticides and flame retardants.
5.      Keep holiday lights high on the tree because some lights can overheat and burn fur babies. Also, inquisitive fur babies can pull lights from the tree and become tangled in them, which increases the chance of chewing on the wires, which can electrocute.
6.      Prevent your fur baby from chewing on live or artificial tree needles because they are sharp and can irritate their mouth and digestive tract. Also, avoid using artificial snow sprays or scents on your tree.

As always if you suspect your pet has any health problems please seek treatment from your veterinarian. We hope you are having a great holiday season!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving and Your Pets

This is a season to say thanks to those we love, including our canine companions. Some dog owners do this by sharing some of their family feast with their pooch. While you may think that a few morsels of "people food" can't hurt, the fact is that some foods can be harmful—even lethal—to dogs.
The foods we eat during the holidays tend to be particularly rich and fatty, and that can cause health problems in dogs now and down the road. Vomiting and diarrhea are commonly seen in dogs given food that is not a part of their regular diet, especially foods that are high in fat.
How to ensure that your dog has a safe and healthy Thanksgiving:
  • Never give your dog poultry bones—they can splinter easily and stick in the esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
  • Keep him away from chocolate—it can be fatal to dogs. Bowls of candy, or pieces dropped by guests or children, may pose a real risk to your pets. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. But any chocolate, in large enough amounts, can kill a dog. An ounce of chocolate can be toxic to a 30-pound dog, and many dogs can easily consume more than that.
  • Don't let your dog lie where food is often dropped. If he is not trained to stay out of the garbage, use a can with a lid, or keep it out of your pet's reach. Dogs are capable of amazing feats when food is involved.
  • Make sure your pet can't access food left on counters or tables. After you've cleaned the kitchen, take the garbage out and dispose of it in a secure place where no pets can get into it.
  • Watch the door as guests enter and leave. An open door is an invitation for a dog to flee a busy house for the world outside. So as guests arrive and leave, keep an eye on your dog—or, if he's shy and upset by company, keep him in a quieter part of the house during noisy festivities.
Thanksgiving meals may have all your favorites, but imagine what can happen to your dog if he chows down on mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Keep in mind that the potential risks of feeding him Thanksgiving leftovers far outweigh his momentary delight. A little restraint and a yummy chew toy will keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving and for many holidays to come.

Article courtesy of

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How To Keep Dogs Warm In The Winter

How To Keep Dogs Warm In The Winter

During the Texas winter season, many dogs feel the cold as much as their owners do, especially dogs that are not habituated to the cold, or that have specific cold weather traits. Keeping your dog warm through the winter months is important to maintaining top health, and it won't take you much extra effort to ensure winter coziness for your canine pal. Remember if you are cold chances are so is your pet. 

Understand your breed 
Some dog breeds are more prone to the cold than others, while some breeds are adapt extremely well to the cold:
  • Dogs that are great in the cold include Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and Chow Chows.
  • Dogs that find it harder include Dobermans, toy dogs, low hair or hairless dogs, and Greyhounds. Any shaven or excessively clipped dog will fall into this category as well because the thick winter coat is a dog's insulation.

Provide Appropriate Shelter
Provide appropriate shelter. It is optimal if your dog can remain indoors throughout winter, going outside for exercising and answering nature's call only. This will ensure that your dog doesn't get cold while you're out or asleep. Young puppies should not be left outside as they don't have the ability of older dogs to keep themselves warm outside.  
If you have an outside dog that you can not bring int  make sure they have adequate bedding and shelter. Fresh straw is an easy and suitable bedding that provides an additional layer of insulation. Just be sure to change it on a regular basis.

Ensure You Have Appropriate Bedding. 
Bedding is an important part of keeping a dog warm through winter. If your dog sleeps on the ground or somewhere with drafts, place the bed up off the floor. A custom-made bed with cushioned insert, blankets, and old clothing make good, warm bedding.
  • For old and arthritic dogs, consider using a heated dog bed.
  • Make sure you clean and change bedding regularly to reduce fleas, germs, and mess.

Take Shorter Walks In The Extreme Cold
Don't try to take your dog on the same length walks as during warmer weather. A shorter walk can still accomplish enough exercise and relief breaks without causing your dog (and you) to become too cold. Even if you are indoors you can still get plenty of exercise. Play fetch inside as well as if you have stairs you can use them for agility practice. 

Most important have fun and monitor your pet. If you are cold chances are so is your pet. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Rewarding Good Behavior

Reward Good Behavior

If your beloved, four-legged baby goes potty in the right spot, a reward is in order. This can be your praise and affection or it could be a special treat just for potty time. A mixture of treats, praise, and playtime works very well for puppies. Because puppy wants only to please and play with you, this small rewards mean everything to them.  They will do whatever they can to make you happy – including go potty in the right place.  Eventually, you will wean them off the treats, but always praise them for doing a good thing.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Potty Training Your Puppy - Assigning a Potty Spot

Assign a Potty Spot

Once you catch your little guy or girl doing their potty dance, you will need to show them where it is okay to go potty.  If you can, the absolute best thing to do is take puppy straight outside.  This will train your puppy that the inside of the house is not a potty spot.   If that is not possible, due to the puppy just being too young for example, then you will need to paper train the puppy first  with a spot in the house. You can purchase training pads that have special smells at most pet stores. 
Your puppy will be able to hold on longer and longer as time goes by, making it possible to plan an outdoor excursion to the potty spot.  This is not something that will happen in a day or even a week.  Some puppies are stubborn when it comes to this.  Keep at it and you will be rewarded.  Speaking of rewards...

Reward Good Behavior

If your puppy goes potty where you want them to go, reward them!  This can be praising and petting your puppy, a special treat, or a combination of the two.  A mixture of treats, praise, and playtime works very well for puppies. Because puppy wants only to please you and only to play with you, your praise and play means everything to them and they will do anything to get it – including go potty in the right place.
Libby Mitchell
Fetch Pet Care of NE Dallas

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Housebreaking Your New Puppy

Housebreaking Your New Puppy

The springtime generally brings a feeling of new beginnings and oftentimes, new puppies to a family.   Over the next few weeks, we will be going over potty training puppies.
Successful Puppy Potty Training Depends On You
New puppies are just great fun. They're cute and cuddly, they're playful and friendly. Who can resist the charms of an itty bitty puppy. This new family member is so lovable, in fact, that you can almost forget one of the biggest challenges you'll face when that cute little puppy comes home - potty training.
Puppy potty training, also known as housebreaking your puppy, is rarely easy. In fact, it can be downright frustrating and upsetting at times. There are ways to make sure you get through the process positively. Let's start with these tips to get you, and puppy, off on the right foot, or paw: 
Know Your Puppy's Potty Dance
You'll want to catch your puppy in the act when possible, so you can teach puppy the right way to go potty. Start watching your puppy for a 'potty dance.' These signs often come right after eating or drinking,  and after a good bit of playful activity. In other words, after feeding or playing with your puppy, watch for signs of sniffing, circling, and squatting. 
Next Week:  Selecting a Potty Spot

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring is Heating up - Watch Your Pets

Spring is here, being in Dallas and other dog walking areas, it can still reach high temperatures during the day. Whether you have an outside dog or an inside dog you take for walks, you need to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion. Just like humans, our furry friends can suffer heat stroke and even death if the proper precautions are not taken.

The signs of heat exhaustion/stroke are:

o Heavy panting and gasping for air.
o A “drunken” stagger when they walk.
o Excessive foaming and/or drooling.
o Weakness and vomiting.
o Dark red gums.
o Decrease in urine production.

Action to take:

o Move the dog to a cool area and offer only small amounts of water (too much water will cause the dog to vomit).
o Wipe the dog with cool water, not cold water, and place wet clothes on feet as this is one of the places where a dog can get rid of the heat
o Call your vet immediately (especially if your dog losses consciousness) if temperature is over 103F as brain damage and death can occur at 109F.

Precautions to take in the heat:

o Leave your dog plenty of water and give them open access to it so it can as needed.
o Let your dog sit in front of a cool fan and wipe it down with a cool cloth after long walks.
o Give your dog shade to sit under outdoors and let them in if they start to show ANY signs of overheating.
o Freeze water bottles and wrap them in a tube sock so your dogs can lay on them while outside. (also works well for rabbits)

By Staff Writer Trish Harding
Fetch Pet Care of NE Dallas