Monday, November 28, 2016

6 Gifts For The Dog Lover

Thanksgiving is officially over, so I can now move on to Christmas! This time around, I am going to post 6 gifts that are sure to please your average dog lover. I found all of them on Etsy and have the links provided below each image for your shopping convenience.

You can make cute little cookies with your favorite dog imprint for that holiday cookie swap by Housemate Artist.

This whimsical boxer print will catch the Boxer Lover's eye by Loopy Lolly.

In contrast, maybe your dog lover friend has more modern, minimalist taste by Lucky Dog Art Prints.

Give a unique gift of a moss terrarium featuring, but of course, a dog! by Moss Love Terrariums.

Going along with the plant themes, check out this succulent planter by The Yarn Kitchen.

And after a long dog walk, a leash (or coat) can be hung on this by Wisco Farms.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Foods You Can Give Your Dog

Halloween is officially over. That means I can start talking about Thanksgiving, right? After all, it's just right around the corner and then it will be Ch******S. I'm not going to say that word quite yet. Because, we haven't even made it through Thanksgiving. Unlike the department stores, I like to focus on one holiday at a time.

Thanksgiving is a great time to lounge around, watch football and slam food into our mouths. Some of these foods can be shared with our four-legged loved ones and some of them can be dangerous. I've made a nifty little graphic that gives you easy reference to what you can and cannot feed your dog. Here ya' go:

Please remember that things like mac 'n cheese and cranberry sauce should be in small quantities. These are an "occasionally" treats because of the fat and sugar. Also, be careful about the pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Pumpkin and sweet potato dishes can have nutmeg in them, which is poisonous to dogs. The rule of thumb is to make sure you know what you are feeding Fido. Check the ingredients and make sure nothing sneaky is in the dish (sage, garlic, nutmeg, ect..) To make it easy for myself, before I start seasoning the heck out of everything, I set aside a small quantity of the unseasoned foods for my canines. I realize that setting aside a portion of unseasoned turkey is a difficult and unreasonable task. Especially since it needs to be thoroughly cooked before feeding it to anyone, two-legged and four-legged. I like to think of myself as a rational/ reasonable person, therefore after the turkey has been cooked, I simply remove the seasoned skin and bones from the meat I want to give to my canine companions. Everyone is happy and sane. And there are no emergency trips to the vet or GI mayhem. Let the holidays begin!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

8 Ways To Save On Your Vet Bills

 Let's face it: The dreaded vet bill. It brings knots to our stomachs, marital arguments and a general all around uneasiness. But, we love our four-legged family members and when it all comes down to it, they are family. So here are 8 ways you can ease a bit of your anxiety and save on vet bills:

  1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle for your pet. This means that you should exercise your pet, mentally and physically AND keep their weight under control. Over weight dogs can lead to a myriad of health problems such as: diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and various forms of Cancer. Keeping your dog healthy reduces the risk of treatments that add up to A LOT of money. 
  2. Nutritional Supplements like vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids help promote a healthy immune system and are wise to use in maintaining a healthy canine. BUT, you must use common sense. Talk to your Veterinarian about what supplements are right for your dog and skip the rest, because you will be wasting your money on the promises of the fountain of youth. 
  3. Keep up with your annual exams. Pets aged 1-6 should have a standard yearly physical exam once a year. Pets 7+ should have their yearly exam plus blood and urine tests. You should also keep up on their vaccinations (especially if you want them in daycare!). Regular check ups keep the probability of  "Surprise" vet expenses at bay. 
  4. Feed your dog premium pet food. Giving your dog a high-quality food specifically for their breed and size will help eliminate vet visits due to vomiting, diarrhea and all around food allergies. Talk to your vet about what the best food is for your canine. 
  5.  Be honest with your vet about your finances: I know it's awkward to talk to your veterinarian about how much you can and can't afford. But by doing this, you will open up communication and maybe your vet will be able to find alternative solutions that best fit your financial budget. 
  6. Ask for a written estimate before treatment: When you are at the vet, you should ask for a written estimate before your dog is treated. Once the statement is in front of you, go through it with your vet and have them validate why the treatment is (or isn't) necessary. This will give you more power in deciding what is financially feasible. 
  7. Make sure you give your dog heartworm medication regularly.
  8. Set aside money from your paycheck for an "emergency account" in case something unexpected happens. It may also be wise to invest in a pet health insurance. Price shop for insurance plans that fit your needs as well as prescription medications.
With a little pro-active care and saving for the future, Fido's vet visits can be (almost) stress-free!

Monday, November 7, 2016

First Aid Kits

Holidays are right around the corner! If you are traveling with your pet, it is always a good idea to pack a first aid kit. You never know what Fido might get into while away from home. A first aid kit will at least somewhat prepare you for whatever gets thrown your way.

So what should you bring?
Things I probably wouldn't think of until it's  after the fact...
  •  Pet First Aid book
  • Phone numbers and address of an emergency vet clinic in the area you are visiting.
  • Phone number of your personal vet.
  • Paperwork! All of your pet's vet records and a photograph of your pet. It's helpful to store these kinds of things in a waterproof bag. 
  • Leash and a muzzle. The muzzle is in case your pet is injured and tries to bite you. DO NOT muzzle your dog if he is vomiting or choking. 
  • Extra identification tags


 Basic First Aid Supplies:

  • gauze pads (non-stick!! Unless you want to be cutting fur.)
  • adhesive tape
  • antiseptic wipes
  • blanket/ towels
  • cotton balls
  • hydrogen peroxide (this can be used to induce vomiting, but first CONTACT YOUR VET before attempting to get proper instructions!)
  • ice pack
  • non latex disposable gloves
  • petroleum jelly
  • rectal thermometer (A pet's temperature should not rise above 103-degrees F. and should not fall below 100-degrees F.) Here is a link for how to take a dog's temperature.
  • scissors with blunt ends
  • self-cling bandages (these will not stick to your pet's fur).
  • sterile saline solution
  • tweezers
  • syptic powder (This is a powder that helps stop bleeding on minor cuts and scrapes).
  • rubbing alcohol
  • flashlight
  • antibiotic ointment
  • nail clippers 
  • Benadryl (diphenydramine). This can be taken orally or made into a paste and applied to a sting. For dosage, please click here. I recommend writing your canine's medication dosages somewhere handy, for quick reference.
  • Calendula cream (relief from hot spots and stings)
  • socks (for torn foot pads)
  • fine toothed flea comb (to find ticks)
  • TREATS!!!! (Your dog will probably think this is the most important one.)
I know, it seems like a lot of stuff and hopefully, you won't need it. But, it's always better to be safe than sorry and most of this stuff can be used on humans too. ;)