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.

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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?

Dog Friendly Cities

Image by Mike Baird

Whether you live in the heat of Texas or the cool shores of Maine, the USA is overall a dog friendly place to live, lucky dogs! While it is nice to take your dog on an evening walk around the block, many cities now offer even more exciting places to bring your dog along! Don’t let Fido feel left out-bring him along for the ride!

In 2011, Dogfriendly.com released a listing of the top 10 dog friendly cities in America. Topping the list was Portland, Oregon! “Home to the famous and dog-friendly Rose Gardens and the Lucky Lab (brewing company) you and your dog would have a great time in Portland.” says Dogfriendly .com. Don’t reside in Portland? Well maybe your city is on this list, which features cities in California, Washington, Pennsylvania, Texas and many more. You can see the full listing at Dog Friendly.

But what makes a city “dog friendly?” Hotels, beaches, trails, restaurants and even events that allow you to bring your beloved pooch along all help to meet the criteria to determine the top dog friendliest cities. “It takes a lot to create a city that truly embraces its canine population,” says Susan Chaney, editor of Dog Fancy Magazine. “We look at over 20 criteria. Naturally, it has to be a fun place for dogs and their owners. For example, we check into dog-centered activities, such as doggie festivals, parades and other events, as well as how many hotels are dog-friendly and how many restaurants allow dogs to eat on their patios. However, excellent veterinary care and an active humane society are also key elements of a pet-friendly city, and are as essential for travelers passing through as for the pets and their people who reside there. Further, it’s clear that in the cities on our annual list, both the local government and general population embrace having that ‘doggie element’ in their communities.” You can visit MSNBC.com for another great listing of the top 10 dog friendly cities as well.

Are you and your dog beach-going fans? Well Life with Dogs has made it easy to find beaches that allow dogs near you! These beaches span across the US from the Atlantic to the Pacific and everywhere in between, so you can choose the beach that fits you and your dogs needs. Rounding out the list at number 1 is Fort Desoto Beach in Florida. This beach features showers and drinking water for your pet and combines human and canine beach-lovers alike. Wow, sure sounds like fun for Fido! Chicago is the destination of the very first off-leash beach for dogs, Montrose Dog Beach!

JW corporate offices are located close to New York City, this famous concrete jungle is actually right in our backyard! While that may not seem like an optimal place for a dog, NYC is featured as one of the most dog friendly cities in America. With its off-leash dog parks, walking trails, dog friendly beaches, restaurants and hotels, New York has all little Fido could want and more! Planning to visit New York City in the future? Check out the Soho Grand Hotel, a pet friendly place accepting reservations for both you and your pet. They also give away complimentary goldfish at the end of your stay-talk about animal friendly! There is also a dog walking tour that visits neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Soho, the Lower East Side and Little Italy.

Planning a road trip and want to know your best bets with pet friendly destinations? Check out Go Pet Friendly. There, you can find hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and activities that are pet friendly!  This website is perfect for traveling families who don’t want to live their furry friend at home.

Do you live in one of the featured cities? TELL US… what you & your dog do in your city for fun!

Pet Overpopulation-What Can YOU Do?

Image by Mark Hanna

Pet overpopulation is a serious issue in America; however, it is often overlooked by many pet parents. While pet adoption is becoming increasingly popular, there are still thousands of cats and dogs that don’t get adopted each year and continue to sit in a shelter or are unfortunately put down. However, there is a solution to pet overpopulation: getting our pets spayed or neutered. This is the only way to keep shelter numbers down each year.

According to the American Humane Association, “Each year, approximately 8 million stray and unwanted animals are taken in by shelters across the country. Tragically, about 3.7 million — nearly half — of these animals must be euthanized because good homes cannot be found for them. In fact, shelter euthanasia is the leading cause of death for both dogs and cats in the United States.” These are startling statistics! Especially when there is such an easy solution: get your pets spayed and neutered! “It is a common myth that pet overpopulation means there are “not enough” homes for all the shelter animals. In reality, there are more than enough homes, but not enough people are choosing to adopt from a shelter. Seventeen million Americans acquire a new pet each year — that is more than double the number of shelter animals! Sadly, only 3.5 million people, or about 20 percent, choose to adopt their new pet. The rest choose to buy their pets from pet stores or breeders, or they choose a variety of other cheap or free sources, such as friends, neighbors or Internet ads,” states the American Humane Association.

Image by nursenancypresents.wordpress.com

The image above shows how quickly an unsprayed female and unneutered male can increase overpopulation in cats and dogs exponentially.  So what does this all mean for YOU? How can YOU help the cause of pet overpopulation? Well, follow these tips and you can make a huge difference!:

  • Spay or neuter your pet
  • Adopt your pets from a shelter or local rescue group
  • Educate and inform others of pet overpopulation and what they can do
  • Make sure you want to adopt-this is not a decision to be made lightly! Pets are a big responsibility, always do your research before adopting

Stay on top of your pet’s health! Make sure to not only get them spayed or neutered but to take them to the vet annually for checkups, help them get plenty of exercise, feed them a healthy diet and spoil them with plenty of JW Pet toys! Our new Stretchin’ & Fetchin’ dog toys are perfect for fetch and tug-giving your dog lots of activity to stay healthy. Staying fit can be hard work so make sure to keep a big JW bowl of water around for when your pet needs to quench their thirst! While it is important to help the pet overpopulation cause, the steps you can take to help start at home with your own pets.

“One of the most serious problems impacting animals is overpopulation. There are so many dogs being born every day, throughout the United States, that there are just not enough homes for all of them. This results in the destruction and mistreatment of thousands of animals,” The DJ&T Foundation reminds us. Bob Barker, who started the DJ&T Foundation in 1995, helps to fund low cost spay and neuter clinics to decrease pet overpopulation. To find out more about this organization, visit http://www.djtfoundation.org/1.htm . It can help you find a facility near you where you can get your pet spayed or neutered for a discounted price. There are many options available all over the country!

Remember, there are currently about 163 million pet cats and dogs in the U.S., and about one out of every 20 ends up in a shelter each year. Want to find out more about pet overpopulation, the causes and what you can do to help? Head on over to http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/issues-information/pet-overpopulation.html for more. Also, comment below and let us know how you are helping to put an end to pet overpopulation.