Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘Everyday Pet Care’

6 Superfoods for Your Dog

6 Superfoods for Your Dog

1. Chia Seeds

This little seed is packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which improve your pet’s skin and coat, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. Because chia seeds are so high in omega 3s, they are a great option for dogs who are unable to tolerate fish oils. The combination of high fat and fiber cause chia seeds to be digested more slowly, leading to a sustained release of energy for your active dog. To add these nutrients to your dog’s diet, try sprinkling some chia seeds over wet food, or mix chia seeds with warm water to create a gel that can be added to dry food.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which supports eye health, helps maintain a healthy skin and coat, and acts as an antioxidant to prevent disease.  These tubers are also a source of Vitamin C to support immunity and fiber to promote healthy digestion. Evidence has also shown that sweet potatoes help to remove fatty cells from the liver to help maintain healthy organ function. Try cooking sweet potatoes to add to your pet’s meals, or look for freeze-dried sweet potato treats.

3. Kale

Just like humans, dogs reap great benefits from adding dark, leafy greens to their diet. Kale, which is packed with vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin C, is one of the best options for your pooch. Because kale is a cruciferous vegetable, it contains a compounds called isothiocyanates, which have been shown to help prevent cancer. Kale also contains a number of flavonoids, which can help reduce chronic joint pain and reduce daily wear and tear on the joints. To prepare, slice kale and steam before adding to your dog’s dish. Just be sure to avoid kale if your dog has had bladder stones or kidney disease, because it contains oxalates which can aggravate these conditions.

4. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is rich in fiber, an indigestible carbohydrate that improves digestive health and can be used to treat both constipation and diarrhea. Pumpkin is also rich in carotenoids, which are plant pigments that help to reduce the risk of cancer, boost the immune system, and help prevent cardiovascular and eye diseases. Try adding a spoonful of pumpkin puree to your dog’s food – just be sure to buy pure canned pumpkin rather than pumpkin filling, which contains added sugar and spices.

5. Blueberries

This little berry is packed with polyphenols to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which are help to prevent disease. These antioxidants also help to keep the arteries clean, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.  The anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties of blueberries are also great for your pooch’s brain, as they help prevent dementia and other age-related cognitive decline. Fresh blueberries make a great snack for your dog, or you can add a few to his dish a couple of times a week.

6. Alfalfa

Alfalfa is part of the legume family and has traditionally been used for its health benefits in animals. It’s rich in fiber and has been shown to help improve digestive health. Alfalfa also helps remove uric acid from the kidneys, which can help with arthritis and urinary conditions. Alfalfa also contains chlorophyll, a powerful antioxidant, and phytoestrogens, which have been shown to help prevent cancer. Powdered alfalfa can be added to your dog’s meals, or you can look for alfalfa in dog treats. Bonus: it helps freshen your dog’s breath.

Leesa recommends  choosing only organic for your dog too!

By Janelle Martel

Janelle is a freelance writing living in British Columbia. Follow her blog at  whollyhealthyblog.com.

Have you shared this story yet?  Go ahead, give it a little love… Merci!

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

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join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

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skpe ~ healthyhighway

5 Secrets to a Happier Pet

5 Secrets to a Happier Pet

Here are some ways you can enrich your pet’s life and help prevent him from acting destructive because he’s bored.

1. Bring on the Food Hunt

Home in on that natural hunter in your dog or cat by placing a portion of his daily kibble in a food puzzle toy or hiding it in a couple of locations in your house for him to sniff and find. You may need to assist your pet the first few times to show him how to play this food game. Call out his name and point to the food. Praise him each time he finds another tasty nugget.

2. Give Common Household Items a New Purpose

A paper bag — with the handles cut off — placed open on the floor can become a neat hiding place for an indoor cat, especially if you sprinkle some organic catnip inside. A small piece of drainage pipe (clean and dry, of course) left over from a plumbing job can convert into an exploratory tunnel for your ferret or pet mouse. A twig from a nonpoisonous tree makes for an ideal chew stick for a rabbit or bird.

3. Rotate Toys

Instead of having all of your pet’s toys scattered throughout the house, purposely stash two-thirds of them in a toy chest or location inaccessible to him. Each week, rotate toys from the chest. Watch your pet’s eyes light up when he gets reacquainted with a favorite toy that “disappeared” a couple of weeks ago.

4. Mix It Up on Daily Walks

Don’t get into a rut when it comes to walking your dog. Vary the time of day, the location and the pace. Bring some treats and reward your dog for acing a variety of cues and tricks during the walk.

5. Think Bigger

Instead of using a small ball that your dog can grab in his mouth during a game of fetch, introduce him to a large ball that he must learn to nose and paw to move.

When providing environmental enrichment, always inspect items for safety. Make sure that the toy or object does not contain any small parts that can be swallowed. And remember to have fun interacting with your pet — it will put both of you in a good mood.

By Liz Palika | vetstreet.com

Vetstreet is an animal healthcare company that celebrates the joy that animals bring to our lives while educating pet owners about the best ways to keep their pets healthy and happy. We deliver advice from veterinarians, trainers and pet experts who are dedicated to giving you the most trusted, authoritative information available. Vetstreet.com’s goal is to help you help your pet live a long, happy and healthy life.

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

10 Things Your Pet Won’t Tell You

10 Things Your Pet Won’t Tell You

As a veterinarian, I’m more than aware of some of those communication gaps. It’s not as if I’m perfect in assessing my own pets’ thoughts and feelings (ain’t none of us perfect), but as someone who works on the front lines of animal health care, I can usually spot interpretation mismatches pretty quickly (in others, anyway).

 

What Pets Keep Mum About

With that prelude in mind, here’s my top 10 list of things your pet won’t tell you:

1. I hurt. Pain is probably the No. 1 thing your pet won’t communicate directly. Sure, she may limp, chew funny or shake her head, but whining, crying and carrying on (like we humans would) isn’t her MO. Slowing down, taking the stairs more tentatively, being reluctant to jump and struggling to rise are more than likely signs of true pain — not just “old age.”

2. Im scared. When pets get aggressive, owners often assume their pets are acting out because they’re being dominant, angry or just plain bratty. But the truth is often much simpler: They may be just plain scared. And fear must be dealt with differently — far more carefully — than other kinds of aggression. It calls for the assistance of a certified trainer or veterinary behaviorist.

3. Im pissed off. I know it’s a vulgar thing to say, but there you have it. Cats, especially, are prone to getting PO’ed when things don’t go their way. While there can certainly be an underlying medical condition behind litterbox avoidance, it can also be a sign of pent-up resentments in kitties, especially if they don’t agree with your choice of litter or have a bone to pick with the litterbox cleaning schedule.

4. I resent my housemate. Both dogs and cats can be jealous creatures. And cats are extraordinarily territorial by nature. But the signs that things are amiss between dogs and dogs or cats and cats can be incredibly subtle. So subtle that you’ll easily miss them — until it’s too late, of course, and altercations ensue. It’s another instance where a certified trainer or veterinary behaviorist might be in order.

5. I need to lose weight. If there’s one subject most owners tend to overlook, it’s obesity. In fact, most of my clients are shocked when I tell them their pets are easily 20 to 50 percent overweight.

Now, your pets may not want to eat less, but they certainly don’t want to feel the effects that excess poundage brings.

6. I need more exercise. This is a corollary to No. 5, but it deserves its own line item on this list. That’s because dogs and cats who get regular exercise are not only leaner, they also tend to be happier. Promoting exercise is a key goal of environmental enrichment, after all.

7. Im sick. As with pain, dogs and cats are masters of masquerade when it comes to illness. Cats are especially proficient at this kind of obfuscation. Indeed, unless you’re really, really careful about watching their every move (appetite and litterbox activities, especially), you might not catch a critical issue until it’s well under way.

8. I need to be socialized. It’s not just puppies; cats need to be socialized, too. In fact, poor socialization is the No. 1 reason pets become fearful. (Abuse is a far less common cause for fear aggression, but it’s one many pet owners mistakenly assume is to blame.)

Trouble is, the socialization window for pets is both early and brief. Ask a certified pet trainer or veterinary behaviorist how socialization is best accomplished.

9. I need a professional trainer. Training is not just for puppies! And training is not just for dogs who misbehave. Training is forever. Ideally through a certified trainer who can hook you up with Canine Good Citizen or therapy pet status and other niceties, including training for athletic endeavors, if your pet is so inclined. Not only is it intellectually stimulating, it’s also great for your relationship with your pet.

Now, training your cat? That’s a whole ‘nother story — but it’s possible.

10. I need pet insurance! Pet insurance is a must! Without pet insurance, you might not be able to do what’s best for your pets. Consider my recent bill at the board-certified veterinary dentist: Would you be able to pay $6,000 for two root canals? Most of you wouldn’t. Hate to say it, but some owners might leave their dogs in pain or simply extract teeth that have an important function (for $1,500-$2,000) if they couldn’t afford it. Sad, right?

But if pet health insurance will happily pay 90 percent of that bill, why not take out a policy?

OK, so that’s my list. Have any extra oft-misunderstood pet signals to share?

By Dr. Patty Khuly | vetstreet.com

Vetstreet is an animal healthcare company that celebrates the joy that animals bring to our lives while educating pet owners about the best ways to keep their pets healthy and happy. We deliver advice from veterinarians, trainers and pet experts who are dedicated to giving you the most trusted, authoritative information available. Vetstreet.com’s goal is to help you help your pet live a long, happy and healthy life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

5 Signs of a Responsible Dog Owner

5 Signs of a Responsible Dog Owner

1. You Give Them Space.

Some dogs are very comfortable around a multitude of dogs and activity, many aren’t and need extra space. Learn to read your dog’s stress signals and make sure you keep her in an environment that is safe, determined by her needs. If you are aware of signs of stress in crowds, then it’s better to leave her home than take her with you to your local wine and art fair this weekend. Some dog-friendly events aren’t always friendly for all dogs.

2. You Pay Attention To Their Sound Environment.

We brings dogs into our human world and we say “adjust.” Some do, many don’t. When dogs can’t orient the source of a sound to determine whether it is safe, they can easily go into sensory overload and develop anxiety behaviors along with health problems. Humans hear sounds between 20-20,000 Hz. Dogs hear at least twice as high, sometimes all the way up to 55,000 Hz. While I think it’s great that more events and public places are dog friendly, so often those environments are created for humans. A fundraising party for dogs and their people that benefits your local shelter, doesn’t benefit your dog when a loud band is playing. Please be careful of your dog’s sound environment.

3. You Treat Dogs Like Dogs, Not Little Humans.

As humans, we tend to anthropomorphize our pets. It’s only natural if we love them. But, when we start to understand life from their point of view, we realize that dogs rarely show affection the way humans do. Most don’t like being pat on the head, especially from a stranger, and most don’t naturally take to hugs.

4. You Prioritize Humane Training.

While it’s our responsibility to train our dogs, it’s also our responsibility to humanely train them with positive reinforcement. Humane training is not only the kind, loving way to train, but it’s scientifically proven and it works and helps to create an emotional bond between you and your dog that is priceless.

5. You Provide Opportunities for Stimulation.

We can read a book or study a subject online when we want to learn, grow, and educate ourselves. But, it’s our responsibility to keep our dog’s minds stimulated. Feed her out of food puzzles instead of a bowl, enjoy a canine sport together, and teach her new tricks that help her keep thinking and making decisions.

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time!

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Leesa highly recommends all Lisa’s music!  Ava, Leesa’s creme chow chow, listens to them at home, while riding in the car, and at her vet office!   We shared several CD’s with our holistic vet so that all pets can enjoy the calming benefits!

By Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two “career change” Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. 

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member Inernational Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

8 Ways You May be Making it Easy for Your Dog to be Stolen and 8 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe!

8 Ways to Steal a Dog

 

 

For most people, the holidays are a time of peace and solace, but for Cory  and Sarah Malchow, the holidays became the start of a nightmare. While Sarah was  out walking her dog, she was attacked from behind, and her 4-month-old Pit Bull mix was stolen.

Reports indicate that one assailant grabbed Sarah from behind, held her in  the air, and threw her to the ground. Meantime, another assailant approached  from behind, unclipped the dog from his leash, and took off in a car.

According to Petfinder.com, as many as 2 million pets are stolen every  year. Sadly, only 10 percent are ever reunited with their pet parents. Stolen  dogs meet many ends. Some are sold to research labs, others are used by  unscrupulous breeders in puppy mills, while still others are forced into dog  fighting, among other very disturbing horrific purposes.

To catch a criminal, think like the criminal, right? To prevent a dog from  being stolen, think like the low life. Here are eight things dog thieves want  you to do — followed by ways you can prevent your dog from becoming a  statistic:

1. Leave your dog alone in a car

This is a favored method of pet thieves. Not only are dogs at risk of death  in the warmer months from being left alone in cars, but they also can freeze in  the winter time. I recall a local story about a gentleman who ran into a  shopping mall, leaving his two Samoyed dogs behind for a “short time.” He returned to find  the windows smashed and his dogs stolen. The bottom line: Don’t do it.

2. Tie your dog up outside, alone

A 7-year-old girl was out shopping with her mom for the Christmas holidays  recently and leashed her dog up outside the store. As the duo perused items, a  thief was caught on hidden surveillance unleashing Marley, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The thief attempted to sell  Marley on the streets, where a teacher bought the dog because she felt something  was wrong. The dog was eventually reunited with his family, but this is rare.  Criminals are waiting for you to leave the leash behind, with the dog attached.  If you wouldn’t leave a baby alone outside, apply the same principle to your  pets. The bottom line: Don’t do it.

3. Cruise dog parks and dog-friendly beaches

Look around the next time you let your dog roam off leash to his heart’s  content. In my many years of covering dog travel, I have discovered that dogs  are stolen from dog-welcoming properties such as dog parks and beaches. Chatting  with friends while your eye roams away from your dog is exactly what criminals  want. The bottom line: Let your dog have fun, but know where he or she is at all  times.

4. Skip the microchip and ID tags

If your stolen, lost, or missing dog happens to luck out and end up at a  shelter, the chances of a reunion with you increase dramatically if that dog is  microchipped. Though collars can be taken off by thieves, identification tags  that remain intact, especially something like a PetHub tag using QR code, increase the chances of reunion.  If you move or change phone numbers, update the microchip contact info. The  bottom line: Keep identification current and get a microchip.

5. Leave dogs home alone without supervision

Please don’t jump on me for this one because I know a large majority of dog  moms and dads reading this work outside the home. A pet sitter, doggie daycare,  or a security system are all viable options to prevent pet theft. Thieves case  homes where pets are left alone, and sadly, homes are cased to wait for the  right moment that dogs are home alone. The bottom line: If you must leave your  dog alone for any significant period of time, ask a neighbor to watch your house  and return the favor with a neighborhood watch. I also never leave my dog alone  in a hotel room when I travel.

6. Let your dog live outside

This hotly contested topic went round and round when I wrote about not allowing a dog to live outside. Reason #864 to never let  a dog live outside as his or her primary “residence?” Theft. Recently a dog in  Cedar Falls, IA, was stolen from his heated dog kennel right near his owner’s  home. KWWL.com reports that thieves in this situation are leaving  notes for the owners letting them know the dog is “safe.” Bottom line: Never let  your dog outside without your watchful eye.

7. Don’t use locks, fences, or alarms

This is a thief’s best friend: The property that is poorly lit, without a  secure lock on a gate, and out of view of passersby. “It happened in broad  daylight” is something that has become all too common as it relates to pet  theft. Use an alarm or bell, and if possible, a security light, so you can hear  and see anyone who comes on your property. The bottom line: Good fences make  good neighbors. They also keep criminals away, and coupled with pet parent  supervision, they keep dogs safe and secure.

8. Be unaware

I tell my pet friends and contacts this all the time: Know your surroundings.  I remember watching an episode of Oprah years ago and learning about  the book, The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker. Considered one of  the nation’s leading experts on violent behavior, de Becker shares how to spot  subtle signs of danger — before it’s too late. Do not walk late at night by  yourself, have a cell phone handy, and be aware of your surroundings. The bottom  line: Know before you go.

As of press time, the Malchows had their dog returned, but this case is very  unusual, and they are very fortunate.

Have you ever known someone who had their dog stolen? Got any tips to keep  dogs safe from danger? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s stay safe  out there.

By Carol Bryant, regular contributor to Dogster Magazine.

Photo: Dog  tied up on street by Shutterstock

9 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

9 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

As much as we all enjoy watching the “big lights go boom” in the sky  every Fourth of July, our pets aren’t always thrilled with independence day  activities.

Courtesy of our friends over at the ASPCA, here  are some great products and tips to keep your  pets calm and safe during  the Independence day activities and prevent them from  becoming one of  the thousands of missing “July 4th doggies” that are  traumatized every  year by fireworks and other scary noises (…like Uncle Frank  at the  Karaoke machine, etc.).

1. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can  reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to  poison pets. If ingested,  the animal could become very intoxicated and  weak, severely depressed or could  go into a coma. Death from respiratory  failure is also a possibility in severe  cases.

2. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet  that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.  Ingestion of  sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting,  diarrhea, excessive thirst  and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent  that contains DEET can lead to  neurological problems.

3. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could  potentially  damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even  kidney  disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if  ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous  system  depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and  breathing  problems could develop.

4. Keep your pets on their normal diet.  Any change, even  for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion  and diarrhea. This is  particularly true for older animals who have more  delicate digestive systems  and nutritional requirements. And keep in  mind that foods such as onions,  chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes &  raisins, salt and yeast dough can all  be potentially toxic to companion  animals.

5. Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

6. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

7. Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

8. Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

9. Keep ‘em Calm: Consider calming your pet with a homeopathic calming remedy, available over the counter at most natural pet stores or the new Thundershirt, which features a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. If your pet has severe anxiety with loud noises, you might consider consulting with your veterinarian for other options.

Please pass these tips on to any new pet parents you might know, to make sure they understand how to best prepare their pup or kitten for the holiday weekend and feel free to leave a comment with other tips you have found helpful. Happy Fourth!

 By Janet McCulley, Animal Planet

New Year’s Resolutions Your Dog Wishes You’d Make

New Year’s Resolutions Your Dog Wishes You’d Make


In 2005, Veterinary Economics reported that 40 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight. And according to a report from the National Academies’ National Research Council, 25 percent of pets in Western societies are obese. Our advice? Keep your dog moving.

Forget going to the gym or learning Italian. 2009 is the year to let your dog make your resolutions for you. After all, your pup’s life-long endeavor is to be your loving pet and loyal companion—the least you can do this year is bring an extra wag or two to his world. Besides, his resolutions will have you both feeling great, and the best part is, none involve spandex, spinning classes, or low-fat butter.

I resolve to take quality walks.
Chances are, your pup never says no to a walk, even if it’s the same old stroll up the block and back. But know that your dog craves new scents and sounds as much as you enjoy new scenery. So mix up your weekday walks with new routes, unfamiliar trails, and uncharted side streets and explore new neighborhoods and parks on the weekends. Better yet, research dog-friendly hiking spots in your area and venture somewhere new once a month.

I resolve to give fewer hugs, play more.
Maybe you’ve noticed that squirmy, help-let-me-out wriggle your dog does during what you consider to be a loving embrace. Unlike us primates, dogs don’t feel all reassured and gooey inside after a nice long hug. In fact, most likely they feel trapped—it’s just a canine thing. A hearty round of tug however, played appropriately, can be a huge stress reliever and a nice bit of exercise as well. Note: If you intend to make tug a permanent activity in your repertoire, “drop it” is an important command to know.

I resolve to regularly introduce “new” toys into the mix.
Remember, they don’t have to be store-bought new, just new to your pup—that is, something he hasn’t seen before (or at least in a very long time). So swap toys with your dog-owning friends and neighbors so that every few weeks there’s something new for Fido to chase, charge, or chew on.

I resolve to throw a party.
We’re not (necessarily) talking about a fancy birthday fete or a bark mitzvah—though those are fun, too. A rendezvous with a couple of his favorite people—or at least people who adore him—will do. Play a few of his preferred games or simply ask invitees to practice a couple basic commands with him. It’s a chance for your dog to get praised, treated, and rewarded by someone else—great for socialization and a real boon to his confidence.
I resolve to bond outside the home.
Agility classes may just be the perfect combination of mental stimulation, physical activity, and most important, team building between you and your best friend. Dogs and humans both have a ball. But if weave poles and tire hoops seem too daunting, consider a Canine Good Citizen class, a program designed by the AKC (and offered in cities across the country) to promote responsible ownership and well-mannered dogs. You’ll brush up on your training techniques and your dog gets a refresher course in good behavior.

I resolve to keep my dog physically fit.
And truly, this is the only one that requires any willpower—we know that pleading puppy eyes are harder to resist than any French pastry or sloppy cheeseburger, especially when there’s a stash of treats at hand. But even though it seems like your dog is harnessing the world’s entire supply of Cute Power to get you to surrender that big hunk of cheese, know that he really means this: Please do everything you can to ensure that I’m healthy, mobile, and comfortable for a long, long time.

Grated carrots and a game of fetch, here we come.

By DogTime, DivineCaroline

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