Category Archives: Health

Deer Tick

Are You Ticked Off about Ticks?

Life Cycle of Deer Ticks in the northeast/mid-Atlantic/upper mid-western United States.

Larval deer ticks are active in August and September but these ticks are pathogen-free. Ticks become infected with pathogens when larvae (or nymphs) take a blood meal from infectious animal hosts. Engorged larvae molt over winter and emerge in May as poppy-seed sized nymphal deer ticks. Please note that most cases of Lyme disease are transmitted from May through July, when nymphal-stage ticks are active. Adult-stage deer ticks become active in October and remain active throughout the winter whenever the ground is not frozen. Blood-engorged females survive the winter in the forest leaf litter and begin laying their 1,500 or more eggs around Memorial Day (late May). These eggs hatch in July, and the life-cycle starts again when larvae become active in August.

Click on a tick row to view larger images and more information about tick species.

Deer ticks, ixodes scapularis
Deer ticks, Ixodes scapularis
Dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis
LoneStar ticks, Amblyomma americanum
Brown Dog ticks, Rhipicephalus sanguineus
Western-Blacklegged ticks, Ixodes pacificus
Rocky Mts Wood Tick, Dermacentor andersoni

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted from infected ticks to dogs/cats/people through a tick bite.  Any time a tick attaches to your animal or yourself, there is a risk of Lyme disease being contracted.  If an uninfected tick bites an infected dog and then, later, an uninfected dog, Lyme disease will be spread. 

Early symptoms of Lyme disease include lameness, fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite.  If you are fortunate, these symptoms will occur and treatment will be started early.  However, Lyme disease can by asymptomatic, in other words no symptoms will occur.  As such, the earliest symptom may be renal (kidney) failure.  Renal failure is difficult to treat and often fatal if not caught early. 

Dogs should be tested using some form of heartworm/lyme combo blood test at least once a year.  Doing so ensures that if a dog does contract Lyme disease and is asymptomatic, the disease may be caught early enough to prevent renal failure and other serious symptoms.  This test can and should be done during the yearly exam and vaccination booster at the veterinarian.  Certain blood tests (the most common being the Idexx snap test) will give results nearly immediately.

Treatment for Lyme disease is a course of an antibiotic known as doxycycline the dosage of which is about 2-5 mg per 1 pound of body weight.  This antibiotic can cause very severe side effects including severe stomach upset and nausea.

Lyme and Tick Prevention

Due to the possible side effects of the antibiotic and the debilitating nature of the disease, vaccination for Lyme is heavily recommended, particularly in dogs that are outside in tall grass or in the woods commonly.  This vaccination should prevent your dog from contacting Lyme disease.  The first given vaccination requires a booster three to four weeks after the vaccination is administered and then the vaccination is required once yearly.  If the vaccination is not administered every year, the booster will have to be repeated. 

Vaccinations, however, are not 100% effective.  This is true of every vaccination on the market.  As such, a year round flea and tick preventative is recommended.  This is especially true of the Northeastern Coast where Lyme disease is considered endemic.  Within Pennsylvania, Western PA and Pittsburgh and the surrounding area are considered hotbeds of Lyme disease and year round preventative is crucial.  A tick that cannot attach cannot spread Lyme disease. Preventing tick bites is the first line of defense for keeping your pets safe.

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) recommends several methods of prevention.  Certain flea and tick products cannot be given to animals under a certain weight or age.  Your veterinarian can make appropriate recommendations regarding which flea and tick product is best for your animal.  There are many different products on the market today that protect your pets from tick-transmitted diseases. The most popular tick bite prevention products are topical sprays and spot-ons. Correctly and timely applied to your pets skin, these products can greatly reduce the chances of tick bites.

Commonly recommended monthly preventatives are Frontline Plus, Nexgard, Advantage II, or Advantix II.  Nexgard is a chewable tablet. Frontline Plus, Advantage II, and Advantix II are topical ointments placed at the nape of the neck.  There is also a highly effective flea and tick collar (Seresto collars) which lasts eight months.  All of these will prevent ticks from attaching and thus spreading Lyme.  Products that kill on contact will keep your pet from bringing in ticks that may pose a risk to you or your family members.

Merial Whole body protection Kills Ticks Displays tick repellency activity Kills Fleas Water Resistant Safe for cats Safe for dog/cat households
NEXGARD for dogs
Afoxolaner
NEXGARD website
X X   X X   X
K9 Advantix II
Permethrin* /Imidacloprid*
K9 Advantix II website
X X X X X   X
Frontline Plus
Fipronil* / Methoprene*
Frontline.com website
X X   X X X X
Advantage II
Imidacloprid*
Advantage II website: dogs | cats
X     X X X X
Seresto Collar
Flumethrin*/ Imidacloprid
Seresto website
X X X X X X X
Preventic Collar
Amatraz*
Virbacvet.com website
  X     X    

Protection Tip: Groom your pets

Grooming pets after a walk outside through the woods or trails can help protect your pet and family. Dogs and cats typically encounter many more ticks than people do. Because they have thick fur, ticks may take a while before biting a dog or cat. If your dog or cat comes into the house before the tick is attached, their ticks may latch onto you or other family members.

How To Remove Ticks Using Ticked Off Tick Remover

On People

 

On Animals

     

May be used in any direction to remove ticks, from front, back or side.

(Note the different direction in photos)

Once the tick has been isolated, is clearly visible and free from obstruction, place the wide part of the notch on the skin near the tick (hold skin taut if necessary). Applying slight pressure downward on the skin, slide the remover forward so the small part of the notch is framing the tick.

Continuous forward sliding motion detaches the tick.

(Do not pry, lever or lift up.)

The tick is now completely removed for disposal (or may be saved for testing).

Treat the wound as needed.

Clean your tick remover with alcohol or similar disinfectant.

For adult and adult supervised use; not a toy

The products below are carried at and recommended by Misty Pines.

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[su_tab title=”Seresto Collar”]

Seresto® for dogs Voted Best New Flea & Tick Control


See for yourself what Seresto® has to offer, and why dog owners like you choose this easy-to-use collar to help protect their dogs against fleas and ticks.

  • No need to remember to apply monthly
  • KILLS fleas
  • REPELS and KILLS ticks
  • If a tick is repelled or killed, it cannot attach to your dog and transmit organisms that may cause disease.

Seresto Collar for Small dogs = $64.99
Seresto Collar for Large dogs = $69.99

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[su_tab title=”Ticked Off Tick Remover”]

Ticked Off Tick Remover

    • The ticked off tick remover is safe, effective and easy-to-use
    • A specially designed notch grabs the tick at skin level and removes it completely in one motion
    • Bowl-shaped end securely contains the tick for easy disposal
    • Helps reduce risk of disease; veterinarian and physician endorsed
    • Measures 6-inch length by 4-inch width by 1-inch height; available in white color

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[su_tab title=”BioGroom”]

Repel-35


INSECT CONTROL SPRAY
Bio-Groom’s Repel-35 is useful to control fleas & ticks. Made with Lanolin and Aloe in a water based formula, the ability to control these pests for 35 days enhances your pets health and happiness, when used according to label instructions.

16 oz. = $11.99

Active Ingredient
*Permethrin 0.50%

Inert Ingredients 99.50%
100.00%
*(3- phenoxyphenyl) methyl (+/-) cis/ trans 3- (2,2- dichloroethenyl) 2,2 – dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylate. Cis/ trans ratio: min. 35%(+/-) cis and max. 65% (+/-) trans.

CAUTION – KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN[/su_tab]
[su_tab title=”Adam’s Flea and Tick Spray”]

Adams™ Flea & Tick Spray

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spray provides quick relief from biting fleas and continuous killing of flea eggs laid on the animal, breaking the flea life cycle. The elimination of both adult fleas and flea eggs is important because adult fleas live on your pet, causing discomfort and skin irritation, while the vast number of eggs they lay fall off and develop in your house.

    Key Benefits

  • Kills adult fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks and repels mosquitoes
  • Breaks flea life cycle for up to 2 months
  • Continuous protection against pests
  • May need to use a house treatment, if not caught early enough
  • Provides instant relief from biting fleas

16oz = $14.99
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[su_tab title=”K9 Advantix II”]

K9 Advantix II


K9 Advantix II is a once-a-month topical application for dogs and puppies that REPELS and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. K9 Advantix II contains imidacloprid, permethrin and pyriproxyfen that work in concert to REPEL and kill parasites that can potentially transmit disease-causing organisms.

    Key Benefits

  • REPELS and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. REPELS biting flies and kills lice, too
  • Kills ALL life stages of fleas and prevents development of fleas, flea eggs, larvae, and pupae
  • Prevents fleas on a treated dog from reinfesting the home
  • Kills fleas within 12 hours, and kills reinfesting fleas within 2 hours
  • Waterproof

Indications
K9 Advantix II is indicated for the prevention and treatment of ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies and lice on dogs and puppies 7 weeks of age or older.
K9 Advantix II is available in 4 weight-bands that correspond with the body weight of the dog. Each weight band is available in packs of 4 or 6 applicator tubes.

Dog Weight K9 Advantix® II Volume Availability Price
10 lbs. and under small dog 0.4 mL 4-packs ?
11-20 lbs. medium dog 1.0 mL 4-packs $57.99
21-55 lbs. large dog 2.5 mL 4-packs/6-packs $61.99/$92.99
Over 55 lbs. extra large dog 4.0 mL 4-packs $92.99

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[su_tab title=”K9 Advantage II”]

K9 Advantage II


Advantage II contains an adulticide (imidacloprid) and an insect growth regulator (pyriproxyfen) to kill all life stages of fleas. Furthermore, it kills fleas through contact, so they don’t have to bite your dog to die. One convenient application of Advantage II keeps working for one month.
Target Parasites
Adult fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, lice

    Key Benefits

  • Kills all flea life stages
  • Prevents fleas on a treated dog from infesting your home
  • Kills fleas within 12 hours of initial application
  • Kills reinfesting fleas within 2 hours
  • Works through contact, so fleas don’t have to bite to die
  • Waterproof
Dog Weight K9 Advantix® II Availability Price
10 lbs. and under small dog 4-packs $55.99
11-20 lbs. medium dog 4-packs $57.99
21-55 lbs. large dog 4-packs $61.99
Over 55 lbs. extra large dog 4-packs $92.99
Cats cat 4-packs $55.99

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[su_tab title=”Frontline Plus”]

Frontline Plus


What is Frontline Plus?
Frontline Plus is a monthly topical flea and tick preventative for dogs and cats. Frontline Plus kills 100% of adult fleas on your pet within 12 hours and 100% of all ticks and chewing lice within 48 hours. Frontline Plus contains an insect growth regulator, S-methoprene, which kills flea eggs and larvae. It’s effective against all stages of the brown dog tick, the American dog tick, the lone star tick and the deer tick (the major carrier of Lyme disease). (3 Pack = 3 doses which lasts 3 months.)
For:
Cats/Kittens and Dogs/Puppies (8 weeks of age and older)

    Key Benefits

  • Kills all existing fleas on your pet within 12 hours
  • Each application provides a full month of protection
  • Also aids in the control of sarcoptic mange infections in dogs
  • Great for pets that swim since it’s waterproof
  • Kills ticks and chewing lice

How it Works:
Frontline Plus contains fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide and slow-acting poison that disrupts the central nervous system of fleas and ticks and S-Methoprene, an insect growth regulator that kills flea eggs and larvae. The active ingredients are stored in the sebaceous glands and are wicked out of the hair follicles and continuously re-applied to the coat for long-lasting, waterproof protection.

Dog Weight K9 Advantix® II Availability Price
Cats cats 4-packs $55.99
0-22 lbs. medium dog 4-packs $55.99
45-88 lbs. large dog 4-packs $61.99
89-132 lbs. extra large dog 4-packs $92.99

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[su_tab title=”Tick Key”]

Tick Key

Place the key over the tick in the slot. Pull key away from tick sliding along the skin. The Tick is removed easily, head and all!

This design has been perfected and tested for over eight years and is responsible for the removal of thousands of ticks of all sizes including deer ticks and dog ticks.

TickKey is fabricated from high-strength anodized aluminum.

TickKey is currently available in our 6 original metallic colors; Green, Blue, Orange, Purple, Red, Pewter & we have multiple new colors that vary.

TickKey is flat and is easily stored in a wallet, pocket, on a key chain, collar, saddle, or leash.


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Sources:

http://www.petsandparasites.org/expert-insights/the-forecasts-are-in-2017-will-be-a-big-year-for-heartworm-disease-and-lyme/

http://www.tickencounter.org of the University of Rhode Island

https://www.tickedoff.com/

 

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Misty Pines’ Dog Resolutions Are Here to Serve You in the New Year and Beyond

DOG RESOLUTIONS: the act of you and your dog determining to make a firm decision to do something to improve life and to have fun with each other.

Each Holiday comes with its own set of traditions and for New Year’s it is customary to set resolutions that you’ll carry out in the new year. This year, why not make a few resolutions for you and your dog? We’ve listed a few that we feel will help 2018 be a better year for you and your pet.

Keep Up With Training and Exercising Your Dog

Much like humans, who decide to get back into shape, polish up on or learn a new skill, dogs enjoy being with and benefit from working with their leaders. To help you and your dog to have fun and enjoy each other, we would encourage you and your family pack to come to dog training classes! Misty Pines classes are designed to be very accessible and easy-to-use. Classes are on-going and run continuously throughout the year. You participate and advance at your convenience. We have found that this is an excellent system for busy families. Our class structure allows you and your dog to start training or drop in for remedial work anytime. We all get rusty if we do not practice, so stop in and join us to maintain all the good things that you have learned and taught your wonderful dog and learn more! You are always welcome to start or return to class no matter how long you have been away. You and your dog always have the opportunity to continue to learn, socialize and exercise throughout the years.

Stimulating Your Dog’s Mind

Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually make it healthier! Teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep those neurons firing. Our Tricks and Clicks class coming up in February is a great way to add new tricks to your repertoire and challenge your dog to work through fun, challenging behaviors.

Prolonged release interactive food dispensing devices, which makes a pet think in order to be rewarded with their meal, are an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged. We also recommend Bob-A-Lots, Kongs and raw femur bones, which we have at our facility.

For Those That Need A Boost

Boot Camp/Training: Sometimes owners do not have the time or expertise to teach dogs and they need a “jump start” in training to help them accelerate to a higher level. This program develops a dog’s ability to learn various behaviors; specific training exercises will vary with the needs of each owner and their dog. At the end of the two week Boot Camp you will take home a full report of your dog’s daily working journal that reviews the training they have done. A scheduled lesson when you pick up your dog is included and the best way to review and learn from the trainers the transition of what your dog has learned from Misty Pines to your home.

Put an End to Your Dog’s Behavior Issues

Nothing prevents an owner from enjoying their dog like annoying canine behavior problems. Consult with one of the Professional Dog Trainers at Misty Pines to solve their problem. Misty Pines offers Private Canine Behavior Consultations as well as Nuisance Behaviors classes throughout the year. Private Canine Behavior Consultations are by appointment and our group Nuisance Behavior class is held on the fifth Saturday of each eligible month at 8:00 am. These classes deal specifically with problem behaviors such as barking, play-biting, and jumping up, just to name a few. Check our online calendar for a list of class dates and to register online.

Give Opportunities for Exercise

Try a New Activity with Your Pet

Treadmilling, hiking, agility, dock diving, scent work; it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond and it will get you both out of the house to reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity. Group classes are a great way to find like-minded pet owners to join you in your exercise, too!

An 8 – 5:00 Full Dog-Day

Daycare\Training is also an excellent way for your dog to learn, socialize, and exercise. Our supervised exercise yards are superb for helping your dog exercise and socialize with other friendly dogs and while they are here you can schedule treadmill work or training for them. Your dog will return home relaxed, well exercised, and well trained! If you would like to have your dog return home clean and smelling fresh, add on a bath or haircut. Our professional groomers will shampoo your dog, cut their nails, clean their ears and having them looking their best when you come to pick them up. And don’t forget, you can come in any time for a nail trim for just $11.

Feed Healthier

Measure Your Pet’s Food – Every Time!

Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake of food and pour that into a bowl, usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain. It’s important to use a consistent measuring cup to ensure your pet is not taking in more calories than they need. Older pets and those who have been neutered usually have lower energy needs than young, intact animals.

Counting Calories: Not As Difficult As You Might Think

Resting energy requirement (RER) is the number of calories per day your dog requires for just basic needs. To determine your dog’s RER, convert his ideal target weight in pounds to kilograms by dividing by 2.2, then multiply that number by 30 and add 70.

Measurement Conversion and Calculation

– To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.2. A dog who weighs 11 pounds also weighs 5 kilograms (11 ÷ 2.2 = 5).

– To determine your dog’s resting energy requirement (RER), or kilocalories each day, multiply your dog’s ideal body weight in kilograms by 30 and add 70.

Example: If your dog’s targeted ideal body weight is 50lbs and its diet is Nature’s Variety Raw Boost, which has 527 kcal/cup*, then:

50lbs ÷ 2.2 = 22.72kg

22.72kg x 30 = 681.60

681 + 70 = 751.60 calories per day.

A 50lb dog would require 1.43 cups per day.

Note: Increase the volume of food when exercise increases and more calories are required.

*kcal/cup is found on the label of the dog food bag.

Groom Your Pet Daily

Brushing your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture, helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy and daily grooming can be a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them as you care for them in a very soothing manner. Visit or call Misty Pines to ask our professional groomers which comb or brush is best for your pet.

Microchip Your Dog

During the summer of 2017 one of our clients found a dog and brought it to Misty Pines to have us check for a microchip. Our universal scanner identified the chip and we were able to reunite the dog with its owners within a few hours. This is the importance of microchipping your dog. We use the “Buddy ID microchips” which are the smallest microchips and injector needle currently available on the market. These microchips are half the size of most other chips, which ensures the most painless delivery of all microchips on the market into your pet due to their smaller gauge injector needle. The cost of $35 includes the microchip and the five minute implanting process, it also covers your enrollment in the worldwide pet database, a dog tag with your pets ID number, and access to your profile online to keep a changing address and information up-to-date. Lastly, Buddy ID does not have a monthly or yearly fee like some other microchip companies. Show your pet how much you care and call today to set up an appointment to have your pet microchipped at Misty Pines and you’ll be able to rest a little easier in 2018.

If Your Dog Already Has A Microchip, Update Your Pets ID Info

Over the course of a year, a lot can change — people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. All too often they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2017, don’t wait. Update your pet’s tags and microchip information today! It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way home, safely. If your pet is not protected with a microchip ID and you would like to add that layer of security and peace of mind, call Misty Pines today to set up an appointment. Microchipping only takes five minutes.

Don’t let your resolutions go by the wayside this year. A recent comic in a local newspaper portrayed two dogs staring up into the sky. The smaller of the two asked the larger, “What are New Year Resolutions?” to which the larger dog replied, “‘To Do’ lists for the first two weeks of January.” It doesn’t matter that the year changed, what matters is that we see a need to make changes, plan how to make those changes come about and then have the fortitude to do what needs done to see our plans through to completion.

In 2018, remember; Misty Pines is the complete pet company that loves the company of people and pets. We are here for the lifetime of your dog.

Happy New Year!


Holiday Hazards

By Misty Pines Pet Company

The holiday season brings excitement and commotion associated with shopping, travel, and other seasonal preparations. In all the activities of the season our beloved pets may be exposed to hazards that are not found other times of the year. As homes fill with holiday spirit, pets may be intrigued by the new sites, smells and tastes. The following are some of the most common health concerns for your pet during the holidays. If you have specific questions regarding any health concern, please contact your veterinarian. It may be difficult to curb your pet’s fascination with all those pretty decorations. Child gates can be used across doorways to keep your pet away from the Christmas tree and decorations at times they cannot be watched.

    Holiday Lights

  • Decorative lights are an attraction for pets to chew on. Both indoor and outdoor lights should be carefully examined to ensure safety for your household pets. Electrical shock may occur from defective cords as well as from them chewing on cords. Check cords for any signs of bite marks, loose or frayed wires, proximity to the tree’s water supply or evidence of short circuits. Use grounded “3-prong” extension cords and strictly follow manufacturer’s guidelines for light usage.
  • Electrical shock can cause burns, difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rhythm, loss of consciousness, and death. Call a veterinarian immediately if your pet has been injured by electrical shock. Treatment will be most effective if begun soon after the shock. Bubble Lights: They contain a small amount of methylene chloride, which is also found in paint removers. It is a moderately toxic solvent.
    Tinsel, Ribbon and other “Shiny” Things

  • Ribbons, wrapping paper, ornaments, tinsel, and gifts may be appealing “chew toys” that may make your pet sick. There is something about those shiny strands of Christmas tree decor, which drives kitties wild. Although the sight of your cat pawing at the tree may be cute, the ingestion of tinsel can be deadly. Eating tinsel or other string-like items such as ribbon can cause serious damage to the intestine. One end can get stuck while the rest is pulled into the intestine as it contracts; the contractions may cause the ribbon or tinsel to cut through the intestine. If not caught in time, infection of the belly cavity develops and the prognosis for recovery becomes poor. Pets can become ill quickly and symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, depression, belly pain and sometimes fever.
  • Angel hair ornaments are a finely spun glass that is toxic and potentially obstructive if ingested. Also be aware that antique or foreign-made ornaments may be decorated with lead-based paint. Eating other holiday decorations can cause signs ranging from mild depression to severe vomiting or diarrhea, depending upon whether or not the foreign body can be passed in the stool or gets stuck along the way. Sometimes foreign bodies stuck in the intestine do not show up on “x-ray” but will trap air in the intestine, which helps your veterinarian make a diagnosis. Surgery is required to remove foreign bodies that do not pass on their own.
    Water and other liquids

  • Even though they have their own water bowl, there is something enticing about other sources of water; whether it’s the toilet bowl or the Christmas tree stand. If you add chemicals to the water meant to keep your tree fresh longer, be sure to read the label to make sure it is safe for pets. Stagnant tree water can also contain bacteria, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Potpourri makes your house smell festive but may be another attraction for pets to drink. Make sure that potpourri pots are covered or otherwise inaccessible to pets.
  • Snow globes may contain antifreeze, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Very small amounts can be lethal, as little as one teaspoon can be deadly to a cat. If there is a snow globe spill of any kind, send your pet out of the room while you clean up the liquid. Dilute the spot with water and floor cleaner to make sure your dog does not lick these harmful chemicals later.
    Overindulgence

  • Well-intentioned family and friends may share holiday foods with pets causing the pet to develop an upset stomach. Pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas can be caused by eating fatty foods. To control excessive food intake by your pets and to meet your guests’ desires to feed the pets, have the treats your pets would normally receive and let your guests “treat” the pets.
    The following foods are not pet friendly:

  • Coffee: Contains caffeine which is a stimulant, and depending on the dose ingested, signs may include stimulation, restlessness, increased heart rate, tremors, or seizures.
  • Macadamia Nuts: Can cause muscular weakness, depression, vomiting, disorientation, tremors, abdominal pain and muscle stiffness. The effects can last 1-3 days.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Can develop kidney failure if large amounts are ingested of either of them.
  • Chocolate:Theobromine is the toxic compound found in chocolate. The darker the chocolate, they more toxic it is. Symptoms may appear within 1 to 4 hours of eating and include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate.
  • Alcohol: Can cause alcohol poisoning. The pet may become weak, severely depressed, and go into a coma.
  • Yeast dough: Uncooked yeast dough can raise in the stomach and cause severe pain when ingested. It can also cause bloat, vomiting, disorientation and depression. Since the breakdown product of rising dough is alcohol, it can cause alcohol poisoning. Many cases like this require surgical removal of the dough. Even small amounts can be dangerous.
  • Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and cause intestinal blockages.
  • Xylitol: Be aware of candy or foods containing the sweetener xylitol, which is now common in a lot of sweets and gums. Side effects can be seen in as little as six minutes after consumption. The pet will become lethargic, weak, have a loss of coordination, seizures, and fall into a coma. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures.
    Some examples of toxic holiday plants

  • Holly
  • Amaryllis
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia
  • Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus, Easter cactus
  • American bittersweet
  • European bittersweet
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Christmas rose
  • Jerusalem cherry
  • Autumn crocus
  • Christmas palm
  • Christmas orchid
  • Christmas dagger fern
  • Mistletoes cactus
  • Burning bush
  • Lilies

Extra attention from visiting relatives and friends may be relished by some pets while others seek solitude in their favorite hiding spot. Make sure pets are given some “personal space” if they want to get away from all of the activity. Some pets may respond to all the commotion with a change in behavior including bad behaviors like eliminating in the house. Try spending extra “quality time” with them to assure them that they have not been forgotten.


Dog Etiquette: Turning Your Dog Into A Gracious Guest

By Karen B. London, PhD

Is your dog ready for the holidays?

Turning your dog into a gracious house guest.Shortly after we were married, my husband and I spent the holidays with my in-laws, and we brought our young dog, Bugsy. He was social; had an excellent stay; came when called; had no history of food thievery; and would not lift his leg indoors, even on a tree, so my confidence in his visiting skills was high.

On arrival, as he occupied himself with a stuffed Kong so we could unpack the car, a possible problem occurred to me. Bugsy often tossed his Kong into the air and ate any treats that flew out of it. In our poor students’ apartment, it was endearing, entertaining behavior. But my in-laws’ decor included crystal, collectible figurines and an array of china teacups. Racing into the house in a panic, I caught the Kong in midair as it flew toward a set of porcelain miniatures. As I breathed a sigh of relief, it occurred to me that perhaps I had been a bit smug in thinking the trip would be stress-free.

This time of year generates tales of woe associated with bringing dogs to visit friends and relatives, and I get a lot of questions about this issue. Whether or not people fully anticipate the trouble that awaits them, taking a dog into someone else’s home for the holidays can cause stress. The best approach for assuaging this seasonal angst is two-pronged: Prepare your dog as much as you can ahead of time with the skills he’ll need to succeed during the visit, and make every effort to avoid other situations for which he hasn’t been prepared.

The preliminary step, of course, is to request permission to bring him along. Not everyone wants a visiting dog. Even dog lovers appreciate the advance warning that allows them to, for example, put away the Ming vase on display at the precise height of the perpetually swinging tail of your cheerful Great Dane. If your dog is not welcome, don’t bring him, or find somewhere else to stay. The strain of a visit with an unwelcome dog can permanently damage relationships. Plus, it’s hard on the dog to be Undesirable Number One in an otherwise festive home.

Training is a critical aspect of preparation. The better trained your dog is, the more welcome you will both be as guests. The key skills are to be able to sit, stay, come, leave it, greet politely, and stop barking on cue. It sounds like a long list, but these are also the basics of polite canine citizenship. I also recommend that you teach your dog at least one “show-off” behavior. This can be waiting at the door until told to proceed (easy to teach but impressive to most people) or a trick such as “roll over” or “high five.” Anything that makes your dog more charming will help ease tensions in case of a social gaffe. For example, I had a client whose dog jumped up on her father-in-law, but was forgiven immediately when she gave the cue “You goofed,” and the dog responded by lying down and covering his face with his paws, as though in embarrassment.

Dog gives High Five

Common host complaints include barking, jumping up on visitors and stealing food. Of course, if he is prone to more serious transgressions such as biting, unmanageable destructive chewing or house-soiling, it is unfair to expect your dog and your hosts to co-exist peacefully, and it may be best not to go a-visiting with him in tow.

Teach your dog the skills he’ll need to be a gracious guest. If he’s a barker, teach him to stop on cue. Say “enough” the instant he starts to bark, and then put treats right by his nose. Do not let him have the treats until he stops barking. Many dogs quickly learn that quieting down when you say “enough” is a way to get treats. If he jumps up on people, teach him that if he does this, the people will leave, but if he sits, he will get treats and attention. Since the majority of jumpers do so out of an urge to be social, they quickly learn that jumping up makes people go away. They choose to sit instead, which results in the opportunity to socialize and get treats as well.

Even if you prepare ahead of time, there’s plenty to do during your visit to make sure that the holiday is remembered as a fun one rather than as the last family holiday to which you were allowed to bring your dog. Exercise, chews, toys and puzzles can minimize behavioral issues such as destructive chewing and counter-surfing, which tend to worsen when dogs are bored or full of pent-up energy. Bring a crate if your dog likes it and your hosts have enough space. Help clean up, especially if the mess involves dog hair or sloppy drinking at the water bowl. Seize the opportunity to put leftovers out of your dog’s reach, and volunteer to take out the trash.

As soon as possible after you arrive, practice the skills your dog already knows so that he can learn to do them in new places, too. One of the things that separates professional trainers from novices is that professionals know that training doesn’t automatically transfer to new locations. For example, just because your dog has a rock-solid stay in your living room doesn’t mean he knows how to respond in the same way in your yard, at the park or at Grandma’s house. Even a couple of five-minute training sessions can significantly improve your dog’s performance and manners.

Obedience skills aren’t the only ones that may drop off away from home. Many dogs who are completely trustworthy when left at home alone are stressed, scared or mischievous when left alone in a new place, all of which can result in house-soiling or the aforementioned destructive chewing or counter-surfing. The change in routine, a new place and additional people may also make dogs more likely to exhibit these unwanted behaviors. Adjust your plans—and expectations—accordingly.

Faux pas may occur, but focusing on prevention will help your dog succeed. Don’t set up your highly food-motivated dog to fail by leaving him alone, even for a minute, while the turkey is on the table. If you know your dog has a tendency to find food or shoes, don’t put temptation in his way. Make some areas of the house off limits, or use a crate so that your dog never gets the opportunity to display anything but his best behavior.

No matter how things go, send a thank-you note to your hosts, perhaps accompanied by flowers, to express your gratitude that you and your dog were welcomed into their home (and, if necessary, to apologize).

Ideally, holidays are fun, not stressful. With thoughtful preparation and prevention, you can insulate yourself, your dog and your hosts from the dark side of this festive season. You will then be free to focus on the joy of togetherness for everyone, whether they sing “Fa la la la la” or “Bow wow wow wow wow.”


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Sat 24

Agility Class

Saturday, October 24, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
Sat 31

Therapy Dog and Service Dog Training

Saturday, October 31, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am