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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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!