Monday, November 24, 2014

Pet Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of coming together, celebrating with friends and family.  It can also be a time when you can’t resist slipping your dog a little bit of the goodies from the Thanksgiving table or even letting him lick a plate or two during cleanup.  There are so many opportunities for your dog to eat something that can make him sick or even cause even more serious problems. 
Here are some great tips to remember and share with your guests to help keep your dog and cat happy, healthy and safe during the upcoming holidays.   Follow these guidelines and you'll definitely have a great holiday with family and pets!
1. Turkey Skin – On its own, turkey skin can be fatty and hard to digest, but on Thanksgiving it’s particularly bad (just think of the butter, oils and spices rubbed into it).  If you must share the turkey with your dog, do peel the skin off and cut the meat up into bite-sized pieces.  Also, consider choosing the white meat over the dark for your pooch – it’s a bit little blander and easier to digest. 

2. Cooked Bones – No matter what kind of bird you serve, do not give the cooked poultry bones to your dog.  A cooked bone is often brittle and sharp pieces can get lodged in your dog’s intestine.  Bird bones are hollow and break easily.  Keep a raw beef bone or  bully stick on hand for your pooch.  He can be happily working on one of those while you are stuffing yourself full of tasty bird!

3. Gravy/Buttery Side Dishes – This one goes hand-in-hand with the turkey skin.  Fatty foods and trimmings can cause Pancreatitis in dogs at worst and diarrhea or vomiting at “best.”  Try substituting gravy with a little turkey broth if you really want to give your pup a treat.  Better yet, keep a bit of raw goat's milk on hand and let him sample the yummy goodness of that, minus any digestive upset.

4. Aluminum Foil and Plastic Wrap – Dispose of these immediately when you’re done with them.  There are two risks here:  one, your pet will be licking the fatty substances off the wrappings, and two, swallowing these can cause an intestinal obstruction.  Sitting at the emergency vet is not how you wanted to spend Thanksgiving evening.

5. Chocolate – Not that we think that you would intentionally feed your dog chocolate (which we all know can be toxic to our canine friends), but since candy is often left out on tables for guests during the holidays, it made the list.  Be sure to keep bowls filled with chocolate and other candies out of vision and out of reach of your dog. 

6. The Garbage Can – What dog hasn't been tempted by the trash can, especially after all those family members have emptied their plates in it.  Keep your dog happy with a long-lasting bone or bully and he'll forget all about the smells coming out of the trash can!

7. The Kitchen – Thanksgiving can be the busiest day of the year for the kitchen and you’ll want to keep your pup out of there.  With hot dishes being whisked from one counter to the next, there’s a chance a dog that’s under foot could be burned or cut if something were to shatter. 

8. Holiday Plants – Sure it’s Thanksgiving, but a good number of people have already decked the halls with holly by this time.  Know that Poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and Cedar Christmas trees are toxic to dogs.  When in doubt, don't purchase those items.  There's plenty of things to decorate with! 

9. Decorations – Glass ornaments and candles are just begging for trouble.  Like the chocolate, keep these out of reach of your dog.  Choking or poisoning isn't pretty.

10. Guests Who Mean Well – Educate your less pet-savvy visitors on pet safety during the holidays (and anytime!).  A child may accidentally feed a dog some chocolate and your great aunt might think she’s being nice by sharing her turkey skin.  

Remember....only the best for your pet!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween is a fun time for humans, but it can be SPOOKY for your pet!  
Here are some ways to keep it fun and safe for your furry friends!
Halloween is a fun tradition for humans, but it is important to remember a few Halloween safety tips to keep your pets happy, healthy and safe.  With just a bit of planning on your part, you and your pet can have a fun holiday!
Sweets are a No-No for Fido
While we are okay indulging in a little bit of chocolate therapy around the Halloween holiday, chocolate can be deadly for both dogs and cats.  The plastic and tin wrappers can also be very harmful if swallowed.  Make sure to keep all the sweets up and away from your pets and their highly-tuned noses.
Costumes can be Scary
While Halloween is a great time to take advantage of dressing up your pooch, make sure he is comfortable in costume.  Many pets love the attention, but for some it can cause more stress than necessary.  Choose a costume that won't inhibit his ability to breathe, walk, or see, and be cognizant of any signs of stress.  Stay away from costumes that have small parts or pieces that can be chewed off easily.  We can help you find the right type of costume for your little pumpkin.  Just ask.
Ding Dong
Even the most well-adjusted pets can become stressed out by a sudden increase in the number of people in and out of the house, not to mention the constant ringing of a doorbell.  By knowing your pet's limitations and providing them with a safe, quiet space for them to retreat to during this time, you'll keep the stress-induced bad behaviors to a minimum.
Deck the Halls
With Halloween comes fall, and with fall comes decorations...sometimes LOTS of them.  Be sure to keep decorations safely out of reach, especially jack-o’-lanterns lighted by candles or electrical cords.  Pumpkins, hay, cornstalks and gourds all make great decorations at this time of year but can produce massive tummy upset or even intestinal blockage if ingested by pets.  
I'm Going to Need to See Some ID
With the swinging door that you'll greeting trick-or-treaters have on Halloween, it can be easy for your dog or cat to make a break for it. It's a good time to check your pets' collars to make sure their ID and rabies tags are up-to-date and secured safely.  If you don't have a good identification tag, let us help you get one ordered from a super-cool company like Red Dingo or Boomerang.
It doesn't take much to ensure that your pets have a safe and happy we all should!
If you run into an emergency situation, immediately call your veterinarian, emergency vet clinic, or the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tasty Treats for your dog or cat

As summer winds down, there's still a lot of heat and humidity here in southeast Missouri.  Just think about how hot it can be wearing a full coat of fur!  We have one super duper yummy end of summer treat that not only will cool down your pet, but help his or her digestive system!

Primal Pet Foods (, out of California, is one of the top makers or raw pet food diets.  We carry their entire line and love what we've seen it do for dogs and cats!  Along with their frozen raw, they also make a freeze-dried version that's been popular as of late.  Their newest offering is raw goat's milk, which has been proven to be highly digestible food full of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, proteins, and fatty acids.  Unlike cow's milk that has likely been pasteurized, in which both the good and the bad bacteria are killed off, raw goat's milk still contains beneficial enzymes, bacteria, and "live" foods that help with digestion, elimination of chronic conditions, and overall health.  Primal has taken their goat's milk one step further with the addition of cinnamon (antibacterial/antifungal), ginger (digestive aid), turmeric (anti-inflammatory) and extra probiotics that help with immune system building and digestive support.  Believe it or not, this stuff may help with IBS!

So, how does this all fit together?

We think adding a bit of raw and bit of goat's milk to your pet's diet will change many things about your pet's health...for the better!  An easy way to get your dog or cat started is to try out this great little treat.

You will need:
- freeze-dried raw food (we prefer Primal, but any good quality formula from Orijen, Stella and Chewys, Vital Essentials, etc. will do)
- raw goat's milk (we carry both Primal and Answers formulas), thawed
- ice cube tray(s)
- bowl to mix it all together

After the goat's milk has thawed, pour some in a bowl.  Take a couple cubes (or medallions) of the freeze-dried raw food and crumble it up in the bowl.  Mix well.  Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

After freeing for a couple hours, remove cubes from trays and let your pets enjoy the yumminess!

Obviously, you might need to play around with the consistency and/or amount of the raw and the goat's milk until you find the right combination for your pet.  If you don't want to waste the time to freeze, pour some on your pet's daily meal or give it to him as a liquid treat!

Try it out and let us know what you think!