Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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

Photo courtesy of zzzup.net

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.

Courtesy popsugar.com

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.

Courtesy countersurfer.com

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!

Courtesy animalso.com

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 dogingtonpost.com

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.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Canine Care For Maryland Summers

The sun is out, the air is warm, lawns are green, and the breeze whisks in the welcomed aromas of the local rivers and our beloved Chesapeake Bay. Ingredients of our Maryland Summers have a special appeal to those living in Anne Arundel County --- canines are not excluded! We've compiled a summary of solutions to every day health and wellness concerns specifically for the summertime.

Daily Outdoor Care
Whether you accompany your pooch on their daily walk or they accompany you on your daily jog, we recommend you keep the following in mind:

Paws on Hot Surfaces
Asphalt, concrete, gravel, brick, and sand all retain high levels of heat making the exposed skin of paws vulnerable to cracks and burns, often without us realizing it. Protective paw wear adds a layer of protection that keep the pads of feet safe while freeing us up to not have to worry about them. And for paws that need soothing from a day outdoors, applying topical ointments and creams on agitated paws easily brings much needed relief.
Nose Burn
Yep. Your dog's nose can get sunburnt, especially if it's light in color --- a very uncomfortable scenario for Fido. Canine versions of sunscreen only takes a second to protect their sniffers and absorbs quickly so not to get licked off. 

Preventive Lawn Care
No one survives a Maryland Summer without being confronted with ticks. In addition to tick preventive treatment for your dog (topical solutions, sprays, powders, collars, shampoos, pills and treats), you can stay one step ahead of these diseased pests by also relieve your lawn with a tick preventive lawn treatment. Speaking of relieving, dissolving a mild additive in your pup's water bowl keeps your lawn beautiful by reducing urine acid, minimizing the glare of dead grass patches. 

Out, About, Around Town
Planning an outdoor day trip? Like most dog owners, you might want to bring your buddy along for the adventure.

Keep Kuul
It's extremely easy to accidently dehydrate your dog by not offering enough water breaks or cool environments. Portable water bowls are simple solutions that come in convenient soft and plastic carriers, while cooling coats, cooling blankets, and cooling collars can help keep body temperature down. 

Pack That Back
Your dog can help tote the extra goodies with a fitted canine back pack! 

Water Water Everywhere
Just like Anne Arundel County residents are hard-pressed to not run into one of the Chesapeake Bay's many creeks and rivers, Anne Arundel County dogs are hard-pressed not to be tempted to splash around in one of them. Life preservers, exit ramps for boats (and deep-ended pools!), and water toys are popular musts, especially for famous water dogs. Keep in mind, too, that while we all continue to do our part to minimize local waterway pollution, it's a good idea your dog follows the same precautions you do with any open wounds before allowing them to swim. 

Life After Sunset
Night time safety doesn't have kill the summer spirit!

Reflective Wear
Strapping on reflective safety gear like a vest or ankle straps on your dog is quick, easy, and helps driver-byers be mindful of your dog's whereabouts at night. 

LED Glow Accessories
Integrating the convenience of technology, LED lighted collars, leashes, balls, and frisbees all have the option of glowing at night, extending the summer fun before bedtime. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Confused About Dog/Cat Food Ingredients?

There's a lot of hype these days about quality dog/cat food ingredients. Words like "organic" or "all natural" seem to get tossed around a little too often without a clear understanding of its intended definition. Unfortunately, the topic is also not immune to marketing strategies, leaving pet owners baffled and, understandably, distrustful of what they are actually purchasing.
The Association of American Feed Control defines "natural" as: "A feed or feed ingredient derived solely from plant animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur in good manufacturing practices."
So, how do Lee and Mark take the confusing guesswork out of your interest in smart buying?
  • We are painstaking about how we choose vendors, manufacturers, and suppliers. 
  • We focus on the company's reputation, background, expertise, and the "what, how, and where" of ingredients in food products. Yes, this may reduce our inventory in comparison with big-box stores. Yet it also means we wholeheartedly strive to only sell quality products with ethical business practices, taking the guesswork out of the big picture for our customers.
  • Our relationships with most of our suppliers are like family, making them just a phone call away.
And, how does Lee and Mark’s experience with dog shows and dog breeding benefit me as a customer?

  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that the motivation behind having dog shows is to protect the current and future breeding practices. This means the expertise required to maintain AKC standards at dog shows for each breed is extensive (nutrition, skin, coat, eyes, teeth, ears, bone structure, temperament, general health). Lee and Mark have personally bred over 35 champions, qualifying them as a trend setter to standards of animal health and wellness care.
  • Being surrounded by and having access to the best of the best since 1972, as well as being a current AKC Breeder Of Merit themselves, has elevated Lee and Mark to expert status. Our customers who are dog owners, therefore, benefit from our breed specific approach to problem solving.
  • Naturally, the high standards learned in the professional dog show and dog breeding world, as well as Lee and Mark’s strong work ethic and passion for all animals (including their personal troop of dogs, goats, miniature donkeys, and birds at home), influenced their level of expertise with birds, small animals, reptiles, and fish, which trickles down to staff and benefits every customer.

We told ya we got your back! Stop by soon!