Keeping the Dog SAFE during the Holidays

image by Sadie Hart

image by Sadie Hart

The holidays are a wonderful time for families and friends to get together, celebrate, eat and be merry; but all this merry making can be a stressful time for your pets! Being aware of their surroundings, allergies and stresses is important to remember in order to make the holidays an enjoyable experience for you and for your pet. Follow these helpful tips in order for you and you dog to have a happy & safe holiday this year:

–          Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.

–          Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.

–          Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail.

–          Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach (EAT) them.

–          Let’s not forget the felines’- watch that low hanging tree ornaments are not breakable as kitty may not be able to resist swatting at them!

While Christmas and Hanukah are right around the corner, there are holidays all year long to be celebrated. You can find more safety tips during other holidays as well at American Kennel Club.

 While the holidays are usually a time for fun and cheer, our pets can sometimes become overwhelmed with all the hustle and bustle. Whether it’s more people at the house than usual or changes in their schedule, this time of year can make them more stressed than joyful.

“Try to maintain a consistent routine including feeding and exercise schedules. Pets, especially dogs, can get “cooped up” during the winter, so it is important to make sure they get plenty of exercise and enrichment,” says Dr. Meghan Herron, Clinical Assistant Professor at Ohio State University.

Dr Herron goes on to say “Some animals are not comfortable with strangers, so if you plan to have visitors, provide a “safe haven” for your pets. This can be a room where pets can retreat to and enjoy toys and food enrichment. When pets are in this area, try to avoid disturbing them. If your pets get very anxious or aggressive around visitors, it may be best to board them. This will help avoid unneeded stress for you and your pets.”

TELL US… Do you pets enjoy the holidays too? Share your pet holiday traditions below.

Toys, Toys, Toys for the Holidays!

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As the holidays fast approach gift giving is at the top of our minds. Whether you are one that enjoys the frenetic shopping holiday hustle and bustle or view it as a tiresome chore you would rather just avoid there is one family member that is ALWAYS fun to buy for… your beloved dog! Searching for a special gift for Fido to enjoy takes some careful planning. After all unconditional love is what pets are all about; why not show him how much you appreciate all that he does for you with something he will REALLY get into!

That happy-no-matter-what greeting you get when you come home each day or the no-matter-what I love you stare he gives you whenever you look deeply into those caring eyes, our dogs are always there for us. So here are a few great JW toys that you can bring home for the holidays!

The Hol-ee Roller is one of the JW classics that every dog should own. A natural rubber ball covered in hexagon cutouts, this toy really holds up! It bounces, rolls, squishes, flexes, stands up to games of tug and even can be filled with treats! A pig ear or another toy can fit inside to offer even more fun for your dog to enjoy!

Another intelligent idea from the JW Pet Company is the Crackle Heads line of dog toys. These adorable toys are truly innovative and canine friendly! Available in Natural rubber, soft fuzzy plush and durable canvas fabrics these toys all have one thing in common; a crackling bottle ball designed especially for dogs inside every toy! Dogs LOVE water bottles but as we all know water bottles have caps with ridges that can become sharp and cut sensitive doggie mouths. The JW Bottle Ball is smooth and safe and 100% recyclable! Dogs go crazy over the crackling, crunching sound it makes as they play with these versatile toys!

If your dog loves treats (and what dog doesn’t!) you may want to try out the New line of Treat Toys available now! When you offer a treat toy you are not only giving your dog a yummy snack in a fun new way you are also challenging and stimulating your dog in creative ways as he or she works to learn how to get the cookie or kibble from out of the toy. Entertainment that encourages some real thought as well as offers your pup a form of physical exercise. Good for both body & soul- a perfect holiday surprise!

For those doggies who are eco –friendly check out the made in the U.S.A line of Megalast dog toys. These fantastically durable toys are 100% recyclable and stand up to tough play. Produced in a solar powered and energy star compliant factory these toys come in many fun shapes and sizes perfect to fill a stocking with joy! Squeaky, treat stuff- able, super bouncy and sure to delight your canine companion.

With all the many JW Pet options above you are sure to find the best toy ever for your beloved holiday hound! If you don’t have a pet of your own remember that pet lovers enjoy getting a holiday gift for their furry family members! Also there are many shelters and organizations in your area that are looking for donations and what better time of year to donate to your local pet charity? Contact your local shelter to find out where you can donate or pitch in to help this holiday season.

Don’t forget the kitty cats too! JW Cat toys and clever creations will appeal to the intelligent feline in your life so check ‘em out today!

Recipes: Thanksgiving Leftovers—for the dog?!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family, friends and PETS! Now that the holiday is over, it has left many of us wondering….WHAT do we do with all these leftovers?!  Well, while some of you may enjoy the next-day leftover turkey sandwich, why not spread some thanksgiving love and share some of the leftovers with the family dog? There are some great recipes below that your dog is sure to enjoy and are totally safe for your furry friend!

Pumpkin leftover from all those pies, pumpkin puree is great for your dog! It’s a good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium and is also a very good source of dietary fiber. Because it is so high in fiber, you can feed your dog less and they will feel full after eating the pumpkin puree!  A Perfect fix for those canines that just never seem full no matter what they eat! The below “Pumpkin Ice Cream” recipe is from www.lovemypuppydog.com  and can be served to your dog in a bowl, stuffed in a JW Megalast Dog Toy and then put in the freezer so your dog can enjoy this frozen treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup milk, low or fat free
  • 1 (1.5 oz) Sugar Free Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk all together until completely dissolved. Approx. 2 minutes.
  2. Fold, in the pumpkin puree to the above mixture.
  3. Scoop pumpkin pudding into small paper cups or plastic Popsicle molds, or a Megalast dog toy!
  4. Place your pumpkin mixture into the freezer and let freeze completely for about 3 hours.
  5. Once frozen remove the Pumpkin Ice Cream from the freezer and let stand on counter for about 5 minutes for easy removal. Then release from the cups or mold and serve. Or serve to your dog directly from the freezer in their JW Pet Megalast Bone!

You can store your frozen pumpkin Ice Cream for up to 3 months in the freezer or for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Now for that leftover turkey; this is usually the most common leftover thanksgiving food.  Turkey is a good source of protein for your dog and when combined with brown rice and veggies, it can be healthy and filling. This recipe can also be found at www.lovemypuppydog.com.

Ingredients

• 1 lb. of leftover Turkey Meat

• 1/4 cup of grated shredded carrot

• 1 cup of cooked brown rice

• 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

• 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Directions

Preheat your oven for 350 degrees. Lightly grease sides and bottom of a loaf pan.

Take the turkey meat and finely chop it up and then mix all the ingredients together well in a bowl. I find that using my hands works better.

Scoop the mixture into the loaf pan, completely filling it. Press the mixture into the loaf pan.

Bake the Turkey loaf for approx. 45 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and let cool completely. Then you can cut it into bite-sized pieces for your dog.

Leftovers should be stored in the fridge for no more than 4 days.

Finally, who better than Rachael Ray to teach us all how to make leftover Thanksgiving Hash for our pups?! This hash features leftover stuffing* but be sure NOT to use any stuffing that includes onion or garlic—these can be harmful to your pet!

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup leftover skinless roast turkey meat, shredded
  • 1/2 cup leftover stuffing* or 1 piece toast, coarsely chopped (if your stuffing includes garlic or onion)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons prepared cranberry sauce

Directions

  1. In a small pot of boiling, salted water, cook the sweet potato until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sweet potato, turkey, stuffing and sage. Top with the cranberry sauce and serve.

Your dog is sure to love all of these recipes and it gives you a great way to use up all those leftovers from the holiday without having to eat them all yourself!

TELL US….do you have any dog friendly recipes that include Thanksgiving leftovers? We would love to hear about them!

Cancer in Pets….a TOUGH Topic

More than ever dogs are truly a part of the American family. With this shift in the way that dog and cat illness is being viewed by pet parents there has also been a shift in how this disease is being approached and treated by veterinarians. Sadly Cancer is more prevalent in our pets than ever before. Many owners are now choosing cutting edge and sometimes very expensive treatments/procedures rather than face the thought of losing their beloved family member. In past years if a dog was diagnosed with cancer they were often quietly put to sleep. Cancer is the #1 cause of death in dogs over the age of ten according to Pets WebMD.  The good news is that “half of all cancers are curable if caught early”. To get the facts visit Pet WebMD @ http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dogs-and-cancer-get-the-facts.

Currently there are a wide variety of treatment choices that can save or greatly prolong your pet’s life. Many veterinary hospitals have become very similar to human hospitals with new advancements in technology and lists of options for each medical scenario presented after a thorough work up.  As with most choices, it can be a much needed blessing or a completely overwhelming experience! Know the facts before you go, as information overload can be incapacitating at such a critical time. After you receive your first diagnosis get a second opinion, just like you would for yourself! Consult with multiple vets and contact specialists that may have more updated information than your everyday vet.

One very interesting part of this development in veterinary medicine is that many of the technologies now used to treat children and adults were perfected on dogs and cats! CSU is a leader in the US with both their veterinary programs as well as with their animal cancer center. Check out the Colorado State Universities web site for some of the most cutting edge technology being developed right now! http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/ns/.

One of the most common forms of cancer in dogs is bone cancer or Osteosarcoma. CSU has one of the most advanced programs in the country to treat this terrible disease. Some of techniques developed in this program have been incorporated into treating children with brain tumors. It is comforting to know that if our beloved pets have to experience this terrible disease at least they are helping to pave the way to help others! Check out the link below to be taken directly to the CSU cancer center homepage. They offer a lot of great information on cancer of all types and the various treatments.  http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/srt_treatment.

Another helpful site is http://www.caninecancer.com/typesofcancr.html this link provides a listing of the most common types of cancers found in dogs. Unfortunately dogs and cats are prone to the very same types of cancer that people are.

While animal medicine continues to advance there are no easy answers for a pet parent faced with this disease. Many of us have been through it and if we have not than we certainly know someone who has. There are many ways that we can help.  The National Canine Cancer foundation has a fantastic web page that offers a wide variety of information.  Whether to find people who are going through something similar to what you may be experiencing or to educate yourself about treatment options; or if you simply want to help out check out this great site!

http://www.wearethecure.org/

 “The passion that moves us forward is from
experiencing what Cancer really does to the ones we love.
We are driven because there is a hole in our soul
where once was the love of our dog.” Gary D. Nice

 

Lights! Camera! Pet Fashion!

Dressing your dog up for Halloween has become a pretty popular trend today. Owners have dressed their dog as a super hero, a ballerina and even a police officer! But the fashion fun for a furry friend doesn’t end after Halloween! Fashion forward dog owners are constantly on top of the hottest trends in fashion. Year round attention is paid to the new looks not only for themselves but for their pet as well!

image by AnnrKiszt

This dog is dashing in his tux! In this outfit he is fit to go to a wedding, ball or even meet the queen!

 

image by sneakerdog

These two pups are wrapped in soft, cuddly fabrics, and of course- on trend in leopard print!

 

image by Frank Kovalchek

 And finally, these working dogs have a more practical and functional approach to fashion…warmth! Although neon is very in this season as well🙂

 All kidding aside though, dressing your dog up in these winter months can be good for them, especially if you live in a cold area that gets snowfall each year. Websites like All Dog Boots features a variety of different footwear for your dog.  Booties range from furry and warm to water-resistant, these doggie shoes can help keep paws warm and protected from ice, salt and the harsh elements of winter.

And while boots can keep your dogs feet a little warmer this winter, sweaters and coats can help keep their bodies warm too! Finding warm outerwear for your dog can be easy. Petco and PetSmart both carry a wide range of sweaters, coats and even t-shirts for your dog. While you are there, you should also pick up your dog’s favorite JW Pet toy! It’s never too early to stock up for Christmas!

So, TELL US….what are some of your favorite doggie fashion accessories?

Pet Charities- How can you & Fido help?

While many of us like to lend our time to worthy causes, and for us pet people it is all the more rewarding if we can find ways to get Fido involved as well. There are actually many charity events and causes that you and your dog can participate in together! From doggie and me fashion shows to walk in the park events there is much to choose from. By including your faithful companion you are not only getting out and supporting your favorite cause but your furry friend is also getting in his daily walk and some healthy social interaction! A rewarding day all around!

Active.com has a great listing of races that you can do with your dog. This listing includes races from all over the US and for all different types of causes. While all of these don’t support canine-related causes, there are many events that your dog is sure to be welcome at. For the outdoorsy action lovers try out the All Star Dog Run Santa Cruz 5K-10K in Santa Cruz, California. You can run with your dog through the Redwoods with a mix of pavement and fire roads! This race really mixes things up with a great location, beautiful scenery and of course the most important part, the proceeds support the Morris Animal Foundation’s animal health studies.

Are you an animal lover and a wine coinsure? For a dose of canine culture try the Hair of the Dog 5K is the race for you! Their goals:

  • To provide a nice family event that is pet friendly but professional.
  • To raise awareness of the needs of homeless pets.
  • To promote spay/neuter of pets.
  • To raise money to help support our goals.

Oh, and with your registration you will receive a free wine glass that includes a free tasting at the winery! What a great way to celebrate after you have completed your run with your pet! 

If you are not the outdoorsy type how about a fun fashion event for you and your pet to participate in together? Doggie Fashion shows are hosted across the country by various organizations. This is a wonderful way to incorporate your pet, enjoy a fun night out and support your favorite animal charity all at the same time! You could even help to plan one in a city near you! Check out this page for tips and ideas on how to create an event that will really showcase your love of animals http://www.ehow.com/info_12103082_ideas-dog-fashion-show-categories.html

The JW Pet team loves to participate in events that help to support our animal community and we also make it a point to donate product too many animal charity organizations. Wags N Walks, Rock & Rawhide, MSPCA, IAADP, countless shelters, rescue groups and doggie parks across the country. The list is endless and there is always an animal in need so go out and help by supporting your favorite pet charity today!

Please share with us some of YOUR favorites…

Has anyone seen the DOG!?

 

 

  

Photo by Daniel Lobo

 

 

A horrible feeling washes over you as you realize that your beloved pet is not in the house, is he/she in the back yard? No? The feeling begins to build; you run around asking everyone in your home if they have the dog and realize the dog is GONE! Maybe the fence was not latched properly, maybe your dog learned how to escape or someone did not fully shut an entry door. Whatever the reason when you realize that your dog is truly missing and possibly out on his or her own in the big bad world, terror sets in! So what do you do? We have all seen those posters on the telephones poles or at the local market. A picture of someone’s lost dog or cat with a brief description, phone number and for the lucky ones a nice fat reward! But do these signs really help? They do!

 

The good news is the odds are very good that you will find your pet!  PetFinder.com explains “some 40% of households have pets. People in those homes will respond favorably to a lost pet. More households do not have a pet but include someone who previously had a pet. Strong chance of positive response. More households again do not have a pet but do have children, who will be eager to take in a lost pet. That is a lot of eyes and ears. That is a lot of strangers who are on the side of finding and helping your pet return home.” If your dog was wearing a collar with an Id tag, you are in good shape; this is the first thing someone will look for if they find your pet.

 

Timing is still very important. The first step is to immediately walk the neighborhood and if you can; have someone begin to drive it as well and slowly broaden your search radius. “Most dogs are found within a two- mile circle of their home, especially because they normally will never run for an extended length in a straight line no matter how strong or fast they are” according to Pet Finder.com .  Call your pets name in a clear, calm & happy tone (it is important to try to mask any anxiety or tension from your voice as you do not want your pet to worry he/she may be in trouble and then hide or continue to run away!).  If your pet has a favorite treat bring that with you and rustle the bag or package, this is a noise they know well and will come running towards! Also check with your neighbors to see if they may have seen your pet, even if they have not this will make them aware that your pet is missing so that they can help you to find him/her. The more people that are aware the better your chances of getting your pet safely home to you.

 

If you do not locate your pet on your first neighborhood sweep do not panic. Your next step should be calling your local shelter and reporting your pet missing. Next call your local veterinarian and various pet shops to see if they have received a call from someone who may have found your pet. Now it is time is to create one of those “LOST” signs we mentioned earlier. These signs are truly a significant tool to help you find your pet. It is important to make sure to include a photo of your pet, a contact telephone number and to put the words REWARD in bold print. Make your sign stand out; bright, bold letters clearly written on a sign with a color photo will get the best results! Place the signs around your neighborhood, at popular intersections, at stop signs, schools, grocery stores, local shops and of course at your veterinarian’s office. You even want to include vets and pet shops in other nearby towns. You have now increased the number of people looking for your pet exponentially.

 

Finally, get on the internet! With social media what it is today you can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and many many more sites to broadcast that your pet is missing. Start a blog, get the word out. You will be surprised at the results you will get, people WANT to help!

 

Now it is time to simply wait it out, and try to remain calm; most likely you will receive a call in 24-72 hours that you’re pet has been found.

 

Good Luck!