Thursday, June 8, 2017

How do I get my dog to stop chewing our shoes?

Shoes are a unique combo of everything your dog loves: they’re chewy and smell like the dog's human "parents". Chewing your shoes COULD be considered a compliment if they didn’t cost so much!
It begins with a sniff. Then, a few innocent licks, and before you know it a full “chew on” is in motion. Most dogs feel a little guilty after they’ve destroyed your shoe. Honestly, they didn’t MEAN to do it.  They KNOW you don’t eat shoes. They only meant to experience it a just “little” bit.

We believe there are 3 causes of shoe chewing: Temptation, Loneliness and Boredom.
Remove Temptation
Because it’s an addictive behavior, you’re just going to have to remember to put your shoes away. For that matter, your dog may resort to chewing on other things that smell like you, so clothes are another target. Imagine how neat your bedroom is going to look!
To control the cravings, give your dog something else to gnaw on such as a Kong or a Nylabone toy. Because rawhide smells A LOT like shoe leather, please don’t give him a rawhide chew! It will only serve to confuse him.
Replace Loneliness
He’s chewing on your shoes because he misses you! We often leave our furry family members alone for 8-10 hours at a stretch which is a long lonely day for these social creatures. Dog daycare may be a great substitute for those days you can’t be home. Or, perhaps consider getting her a friend who stops by in the middle of the day for a quick toss of the ball, a belly rub and a treat.
Ban Boredom
Just like your neighborhood teen, your dog needs a job. When your dog has something else to focus his attention and energy on, besides your stilettos, and the problem goes away. Ask your dog to do something for you. A friend of ours asks her dog to keep their house safe. So, she periodically asks him to look out the window and let the neighbors know that the house is protected by the meanest chocolate Labrador in town!

We hope these tips help!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dealing with your Pet's Separation Anxiety

Have you ever come home to find an “accident” left from your pet cat or hear a complaint from your neighbor about too much barking? If so, your furry friend may be suffering from separation anxiety. When left alone dogs or cats may become panicked and destructive and it can strike at any age. Pets can be hyper-attached to one or more owners according to our vets. Changes in a pet parent’s work schedule or a move to a new home can make a pet feel stressed. They may act out by scratching on doors or chewing on your favorite pairs of shoes or the family couch.

According to a recent study, 20% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety. That’s over 16 million dogs in the US alone! Here are some helpful ideas to put into practice to help your pets feel less abandoned:

Practice makes Perfect!
Building it up from a few seconds at a time to long stretches, leave your pet alone for a long as he can tolerate it and then come back into the room. Continue to increase the length of your absence while making sure your pet remains calm. Practice this with them 5 days a week for a total of 20 minutes a day.

Comfort Food!
While your pet is relaxing in his favorite room or on her favorite blanket, leave a food dispensing toy filled with treats. Kong Wobbler, found at All for the Pet, is a great choice. Each time you head out the door leave them the feeder to keep them occupied and to teach them that “good things happen” when momma leaves.

Crating Caution!
Crating may further exacerbate the situation and could also lead to confinement anxiety (fear of being in an enclosed environment). No Bueno! Choose to use a baby gate and keep Fido in a single area instead. Other dogs find comfort in the crate and that’s a perfectly fine option.

Meds can help!
If practicing short absences doesn’t provide your pup any relief, you may consider having an anti-anxiety medication prescribed. Although most pet owners use this solution as a last resort, you could, instead, provide your pet with some relief earlier in the process of practicing your short absences to help ease him into it.

Pet Cams!
Keeping an eye on your pet while you’re gone will help you determine what’s really happening. 

Signs of separation anxiety include:

*Attempts at escaping * Panting * Pacing *Excessive grooming (cats) *Long periods of barking or meowing *Drooling

So, be patient with your pet. Together you can work through it by taking small steps each day. Just remember, he misses you!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Traveling with your Pet this summer

Tips when Traveling with your Pet:

Check with your vet before the trip

Bring proper supplies – favorite toys, food, treats, medicine, etc.

Use a crate to keep your pet safe (also a requirement for airline travel)

Bring a recent picture of your pet(s)

Consider a permanent form of ID for your pet such as microchip

Research potential hotels before booking rooms to ensure they accept pet guests

Pack extra water bottles, a bowl and leash for roadside stops

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cold Weather Pet Safety

As we get into the heart of winter, sometimes it's good to remind ourselves of some of the problems our pets face during the cold winter months. Some dogs and cats need minimal care, while others don't fare well at all. Taking some preventive measures can make winter easier for both you and your pets!


For pets that spend more time inside during the winter, the indoor heat can take its toll on their skin and coat. It causes moisture loss and dry skin, resulting in uncomfortable itching. Their winter coat becomes too much for them, and they start shedding to get comfortable again - the reason why many people feel their pet has been shedding all winter.

Coat strippers help remove the dead hair coat without damaging the remaining coat. They're excellent for double-coated dogs with winter coats that want to mat. A 
dematting comb will remove dead hair mats with little pulling of the skin. The result is a fluffed-up coat that keeps your dog warm outside and breathes on the inside, which helps your pet feel more comfortable in all temperatures.

Once the dead hair is removed, bathing helps clean the skin and replace the lost oils and moisture. Many people forget that some dogs are itchy just from the winter grime of everyday living, so bathing is important for healthy breathing skin. 
VET BASICS® Oatmeal Protein Shampoo replaces winter moisture loss while cleaning the winter grime from the skin and coat. You know your dog's coat: if you feel you have an extra dry coat, use a cream rinse such as Fresh 'N Clean Crème Rinse every 2 weeks to rejuvenate the coat. Cream rinses help the coat repel moisture and ice, so they're great for dogs that spend time outside. They're most helpful when used in the cold of winter and in the hot summer sun.
Rough ground and surfaces help wear down your pet's nails naturally, so it's easy to rely on nature to trim your pet's nails during the summer. However, nail trimming is often forgotten during the winter, which results in long nails that tend to break or crack, causing pain.

Foot restraint is a submissive problem for pets, and many are uncomfortable with it. Before you trim for the first time, rub and massage your pet's feet when he is relaxed. This will help him realize that it's okay to let you restrain his feet. Start slow until you and your pet are comfortable. The 
Oster® Gentle Paws Nail Trimmer is perfect for the novice nail trimmer - it's essentially a powered emery board. It won't let the nail get too short, and dogs like the sanding effect, which won't twist the nail like clipping sometimes does. Before touching the nail, rub the leg and paw with the trimmer running so they get used to the quiet sound. Once they calm down, you can trim one nail at a time while speaking softly - they should respond in kind.
Ears build up more waxy material in the winter because the skin is trying to replace the lost oils. Clean the ear canal at least twice a month to avoid issues. Check the ear canal and put a small amount of VET BASICS® Ear Cleanser, in the ear, rub gently, then wipe with a soft tissue or cotton ball. If the ear is infected or irritated, clean the ear several times, then daily until resolved. Most ear infections can be cured with daily cleaning if they are caught early.
Some dogs also need inside-out support for skin and coat care. Fatty acid supplements such as Doc Roy's® Tri Omega 3 are helpful for preventing cracking and replacing the oils of the skin from the inside out. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory effects that help with joint and pad trauma, while Omega 6 will keep the tissue soft and the pad pliable. Both keep trauma, ulcer and deep pad cracks in check.

The footpad is actually a huge, thick callus that heals quickly with care. Salt and snow melts dry out the pad, causing cracking and licking. Be sure to wash winter ice melt off your dog's feet and apply a moisturizer. If repair is needed, use 
Doc Roy's® Rescue Derm to moisturize and heal the damage. House dogs usually need boots or socks to prevent excessive licking and chewing of the pad. Children's socks work, but they can be difficult to manage on hardwood floors.
Feet problems are common in winter and surprisingly, most are arthritis-driven. Sore joints will cause limping and poor foot placement, which increases trauma to a pad. Oral glucosamine and chondroitin, such as Doc Roy's® Aches Away, will increase the joint fluid, easing fatigue and trauma. The result is a pad and joint system that will give to the concussion trauma of running. Pain-free running will help your dog place his feet correctly, which decreases the wear on the joints.

These problems could happen to anyone. Preventing winter issues on the outside and the inside can make winter easier for you and your pets. A few of these prevention practices can keep your pet healthy and feeling good all winter long.

Article courtesy

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Foods That Can Harm (or kill) Your Dog!

Photo courtesy of

1. Turkey Skin

High fat foods, like that delicious turkey skin, can be extremely hazardous to your dog's health. The skin holds any marinade, spices, butter and oils and is difficult to digest. High fat foods can lead to pancreatitis. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

2. Cooked Bones

Cooked turkey and ham bones are NOT safe for dogs. They can splinter in the dog's digestive tract and your holiday may include a pricey trip to the emergency room and worse. Dispose of bones carefully so that your pup isn't tempted to eat them.

3. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic contain sulfides, which are toxic to dogs, and can lead to anemia. Onions are more toxic than garlic and cooking them does not reduce their toxicity.


4. Alcohol

Many dogs love the taste of beer, but this does not mean you should share your frosty brew with your best friend. Any alcohol, and particularly the hops in beer, is toxic and in some cases can cause death in dogs.


5. Nuts

Specifically walnuts and macadamia nuts are very dangerous for your dog. They could cause a toxic reaction called macadamia nut toxicosis. Within 12 hours of eating them, dogs are unable to stand, are vomiting, having tremors, fever, weakness, and an elevated heart rate. Symptoms usually go away, but this can lead to deadly shock.


6. Nutmeg

Used to spice sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, nutmeg can cause seizures and central nervous system problems if your dog ingests it. In extreme cases, it can even cause death. Both sweet potatoes and pumpkin, in moderation, are good for your dog --- just make sure they don't have any nutmeg in them before you feed your dog any!

7. Sage

Sage contains essential oils that can cause stomach upset. Best to keep this herb out of reach from your pup's paws!


8. Chocolate, Dough, and Batter

We all know chocolate is a NO-NO, but did you know that dough can actually rise inside your dog's stomach, causing bloating and severe pain? Additionally, dough and batter contain raw eggs, which may contain salmonella. Keep your furkid out of the kitchen while you bake, and clean up any spills right away.


Merry Christmas!!!
Article courtesy

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hurricane And Evacuation Prep For Pet Owners

Excerpted from NexPet Digest (#4964)

Dogs and Cats


Keep in mind that most hurricane shelters will not allow you to bring your pets. If you must seek safety and higher ground with friends or relatives, we recommend you have an appropriately sized kennel to transport and house your pet. Many motels and hotels will allow an animal if it is kept in a kennel. Buy a kennel soon - when hurricanes head our way, many stores sell out quickly.

Food and Water

Bring a week’s supply of your pet's regular food. It is important that your pet maintain their normal diet in a potentially stressful situation. Also make sure to have a jug of water for your pet. Whether you stay at home or leave, the water supply can easily become contaminated in a hurricane situation. Keep fresh water set aside for EVERYONE in your family, including your pets.


Make sure your pet's shots are up-to-date. If possible, get a copy of your pet's vaccination record TODAY. Keep this with the other important papers you will take with you in the case of an evacuation.


You should have four views of your pet: head, left side, right side, and back. The photos should be stored in a safe deposit box or some place that would be safe and dry during a disaster. If you are evacuating, take these with you too.

ID Tags

Make sure your pet's tag is easy to read and up-to-date. If you are evacuating and know where you are going - have a tag made with THAT information on it. Collars and tags are still a great way to identify your pet, but they can be lost or worn through. Consider a microchip, which provides a permanent form of identification with a unique number that cannot be altered. If your pet is lost, animal rescue personnel nationwide can "scan" your pet and easily contact you.

Collars and Leashes

Make sure you have a collar and leash for every pet, and a harness and leash for all cats. If you have to evacuate, you'll need to be able to control each pet.  If the storm hits and your fence gets knocked down, you'll need to be able to walk your pets safely.


Water Change

As soon as you hear that a hurricane is headed your way do a minimum of a 25% water change. That way, if the water supply becomes contaminated the water quality of your tank has a better chance of remaining stable.

Battery Powered Air Pump

This will come in handy if there is an extended power outage. Make sure you have extra batteries on hand, too. If you do not have a battery powered air pump, circulate the water by hand every few hours. Use a pitcher to dip water out and pour it back into the tank. Be sure to disturb the water surface - make waves!

Preserve the Water Quality

Feed your fish sparingly. This will reduce fish waste and help preserve the quality of the water. It will help them to survive longer if you are unable to do water changes due to contaminated water supplies.

Power loss

If you have a clean water supply do a 25% water change every three or four days. If your filter is off due to a power loss you must clean it out before you re-start it again after the power is restored. (The detritus collected in the filter can turn toxic within 12 hours. If this gets into your tank it could kill your fish.)


Ponds fare pretty well during a storm. Secure a mesh covering over the pond. This will help keep debris out and help prevent the fish from floating away in the event the pond overflows.

Small Animals, Birds, and Reptiles

Clean Cage

If you find that you must evacuate and leave your pet behind, make sure the cage is clean before you leave your house. Better yet, purchase a small travel cage and take the pet with you.

Cover the Cage

This will help protect your pet from flying objects if a window breaks. Move all cages away from windows. Place the cage on a sturdy place as high as possible. For bird owners, prevent flight in the case of an escape by trimming your pet bird's flight feathers.

Food and Water

Put extra food in the cages and plenty of clean water. It is a good idea to have an extra water bottle for small pets, an extra water bowl for reptiles, or a vacation waterer for your bird. (A vacation waterer is a gravity fed cup that holds lots of water.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Helping Customers Get Their Overweight Pets Into Shape

By Steven Appelbaum (excerpted from the June 2016 issue of Pet Age magazine)

Overweight pets suffer from many of the same issues their human counterparts do. Overweight dogs and cats are more likely to suffer from heart disease, low energy, increased risk of arthritis and other joint problems, and shorter life spans, just to name a few. Retailers can assist clients by making educated suggestions based on their knowledge of the weight loss process. Of course, offering advice on health issues, especially weight-related ones, requires both tact and caution.

Generally, it is best to wait for a customer to inquire about weight loss supplements or special diets for their pets. This decreases the possibility of accidentally offending customers by pointing out the obvious: that their pet is fat.

As a rule, when you run your hands lightly along a dog or cat’s side, you should be able to feel the ribs. If you can’t, that’s a sign of excess fat. The lack of a waistline is another sign. You don’t need to do any of this with some pets, as it will be clear they are overweight.

Before making any weight loss recommendations, ask your customers if they have recently taken their pet to a veterinarian. If not, suggest that they do so. A vet can determine if there are any underlying medical causes contributing to a pet’s weight problems or if the pet has any additional medical conditions that might complicate any weight loss plan.

On a basic level, weight loss is simple enough. Pets must burn greater numbers of calories than they ingest. If this occurs over several days to several weeks, most pets will lose weight.

However, there are other things to consider. If a pet’s caloric intake is dramatically reduced, its metabolic rate (how fast or slow bodies burn calories) will slow down. This is a defense mechanism to prevent starvation and is why drastic starvation diets rarely work.

If you cut enough food out of the diet, weight loss will occur, but as soon as the pet goes back to consuming more calories it will likely gain the weight right back because the pet’s metabolism is still burning calories at the slower rate. Plus, such a starvation diet is unhealthy, not to mention uncomfortable.

Here are some reasonable steps your customers can consider for their overweight pets:
  1. Cut out all extra treats and human food. Many people don’t realize how much extra food they give their pets: the half of a piece of bread in the morning, three dog or cat treats before work, the extra scraps left over from preparing dinner and additional ones after dinner, etc. Children often add to this by feeding them as well. Therefore, the first weight loss rule is to cut all of this out of the pet’s diet—no extra snacks.
  2. Feed other pets separately from the overweight dog or cat. This lets her eat her food but not take any from others.
  3. Measure portion sizes; don’t guess. Customers won’t know whether to feed more or less if they don’t know exactly how much they were feeding in the first place.
  4. Feed a high-quality food that contains below average calories and fat combined with above average protein. Higher protein food helps a pet feel less hungry, which in turn causes less begging, making it easier not to break rule number one.
  5. Exercise. The importance of moderate, consistent, sustained exercise cannot be overstated. For dogs, chasing a ball around the yard for seven minutes isn’t nearly as beneficial as taking them for a 20-minute walk four times a week. Remind your customer not to push their overweight dog too hard. For cats, encourage your customers to play more with their felines. A rousing game of chase the laser dot or catch the wand toy at least once a day can provide an indoor cat with a good amount of exercise.
While retailers are not veterinarians, you can offer owners good advice on pet weight loss. Customers will remember your help and reward you with their loyalty.