Happy New Year !

Happy New Year!
Be Safe and Have Fun!



Holiday Safety Pet Tips

Poinsettia_2The holiday’s can be very busy in the life of the family and especially those with pets. It is also a time that pet owners need to take some extra precautions to protect their pets from getting sick, swallowing foreign objects, and other related holiday decorations that may be harmful to your pets. Here are some holiday safety pet tips for you to follow to keep your pet save during the holidays.
Trees, Lights and Plants
  • Many holiday plants can lead to health problems for both cats and dogs. Among these are the holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and lilies. Be sure to keep these out of reach of your pets.
  • Pine needles from trees can be harmful if ingested. They can puncture holes in a pet’s intestine. So clean-up fallen pine needles to keep them away from pets.
  • The extra cords and plugs of holiday lights and other fixtures can look like chew toys to pets. Tape down or cover cords to help avoid shocks, burns or other serious injuries. Unplug lights when you are not home.
  • Anchor Christmas trees to the ceiling with a string to keep it from falling on pets. This is also a good tip in case your pet should accidentally topple the tree when playing with something on it.
Snow & Water
  • Snow globes often contain antifreeze, which is poisonous to pets. Keep these away from pets when they are outdoors.
  • When outdoors during the winter months, keep your pet on a leash so they will not be tempted to lick snow especially when plowed. It contains salt and other chemicals which is not good for your pets.
  • Do not let pets drink the holiday tree water. Some may contain fertilizers, and stagnant tree water can harbor bacteria. Check labels for tree water preservatives and artificial snow, and buy only those that are nontoxic. Some folks use screens around trees to block access to electrical cords and gifts.
  • Do not put aspirin in the water (some folks do this thinking it will keep the tree or plant more vigorous). If a pet should ingest the aspirin-laced water, his health or even life can be at risk.
Decorations & Toys
  • Pets, particularly cats, can be tempted to eat tinsel, which can block the intestines. Be sure to hand it high enough to keep it out of your pets reach.
  • Keep other ornaments out of reach of pets. Ingestion of any ornament, which might look like toys to pets, can result in life-threatening emergencies. Even ornaments made from dried food can lead to ailments. And remember, shards from broken glass ornaments can injure paws, mouths and other parts of the body.
  • Put away toys after children open their gifts. Small plastic pieces and rubber balls are common causes of choking and intestinal blockage in dogs. Ingested plastic or cloth toys must often be removed surgically.
  • Avoid toxic decorations. Bubbling lights contain fluid that can be inhaled or ingested, snow sprays and snow flock can cause reactions when inhaled, styrofoam poses a choking hazard, tinsel can cause choking and intestinal obstruction, and water in snow scenes may contain toxic organisms such as Salmonella.
  • Keep candles on high shelves. Use fireplace screens to avoid burns.
  • Holiday guests and other activity can be very stressful and even frightening to pets. It can also trigger illness and intestinal upset. Make sure pets have a safe place to retreat in your house. And make sure they are wearing current I.D. in case they escape out a door when guests come and go.
  • Do not let guests feed your pet’s human food.
  • There are many holiday foods, including fatty meats, gravies, poultry skin, bones, chocolate and alcohol that can cause illnesses from vomiting and diarrhea to highly serious pancreatitis and other toxic reactions. In addition, candy wrappers, aluminum foil pieces and ribbons can choke pets. So, instruct your guests of your house rules for feeding food to your pets.
Reduce Your Pets Stress
  • Reduce stress by keeping his/her feeding and exercise on a regular schedule.
  • Always make time to care for your pets. Some folks get lax about walking their dogs, and a few resort to letting pets out on their own. This puts the animal in danger, while also leading to nuisance complaints and dog bite incidents.
  • When pets are stressed by holiday activity or during travel, they may require more water. Dogs typically pant more when they feel stressed. Keep fresh water available for them to drink.
Final Tips
  • Keep pets away when wrapping gift packages. Ingested string, plastic, cloth and even wrapping paper can lead to intestinal blockage and require surgical removal. And pets have been severely injured by scissors and other items left on floors and tables.
  •  Keep pets away from the garbage. Use pet-proof containers.
  •  If you suspect that your pet has eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian and/or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-426-4435.
  • If your pet ingests glass, broken plastic, staples or other small, sharp objects, call your veterinarian.
House Detectors
Now is a good time to double-check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and other safety devices and replace batteries. Safety, of course, is the key reason — but here’s another good reason. When batteries run low, the devices often emit alert or alarm sounds at frequencies that can be painful and frightening to many pets. If you’re not home when the alert/alarm sounds, your animals will have to endure that sound until you return, which can be traumatic. So always keep fresh batteries in those devices.
By following these holiday safety pet tips you will ensure that everyone in your family will have a safe and happy holiday season for you and your pets.
I care about pet cats and dogs and just like to communicate information to help new and existing pet owners take good care of their pets. Visit my website at www.petsstore4u.com for more wonderful cat articles and stuff to buy.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/pets-articles/holiday-safety-pet-tips-3731183.html

How to Keep Your Dog’s Skin From Drying Out During Winter

dog-dry-skinYou might notice your German Shepherd scratching a lot during the colder months of the year. Just like people, all dog breeds can develop dry skin due to the colder weather. With a dog it might appear like dandruff where it is dry and flaky. There are ways that you can help your dog by treating against the cold and making it a lot more comfortable for your loving companion.
The first thing you need to do is to find out what the dry skin is from. Make sure that he has no parasites or any kind of skin infection or food allergies. So the best thing to do is take him to the vet to rule out any problems in which would need the assistance of a vet in order to get rid of the problem that your dog is experiencing.
It’s important that you do your best to try and avoid giving your dog a bath or shampoo during the colder months of winter. It’s bad enough to deal with the cold of winter but by washing them you are further drying out their skin by stripping away their natural oils during the bathing process. If you must give your dog a bath it’s important that you do not give him a bath any more than once a month.
It’s a good idea for both you and your dog if you try to keep the inside of your home as humid as you can. Remember that winter air takes away the moisture in your skin and your dogs and it will dry out just like yours so it’s good to try and use humidifiers in your home to help with the dryness that forced heating systems can cause during the times you are running them. By the way, adding a humidifier to your home will also help your entire heating system to work more efficiently as well. So there is a duo purpose and benefit for running a humidifier.
Even if you think it’s a stupid thing to do, you might want to consider buying your dog a sweater or a dog jacket. This is
an important thing to do for your dog when you want to take them outside for a walk during the winter. Not only does it give them some extra warmth but it also will help to keep the cold from drying out their skin.
You can also add a supplement to their meals that will help to keep their skin moist and their coat in good condition. You just simply add it to their meals and they will never know the difference but their skin will thank you for it.
Another thing you can do is to add some olive oil to your dogs daily meal. This is good for very dry skin on a dog. You can soak a piece of bread with the oil and just give the bread to your dog as a snack or treat or simply pour a little bit over their daily meal. This is a wonderful way to help get rid of their dry and flaky skin and they will enjoy eating it as well.

For more Free Dog & Puppy Information download Charles’ Free Dog & Puppy Information Series at http://www.free-canine-info.com and join thousands of other people enjoying their canine friends! 

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/pets-articles/how-to-keep-your-dogs-skin-from-drying-out-during-winter-4787954.html

How to Prevent Snow Damage to Dog Paws

cracked-pawsSnow, slush, ice and cold weather all take their toll on a dog’s paws. In addition, rock salt and other sidewalk treatments can leave your dog with painful, sore feet. During the winter, you’ll need to take extra steps to prevent problems like cuts, infections, sores and painful paws.
1. Wash the paws with warm water after going for a walk or play time outside. You want to wash off harmful irritants like salt and prevent your dog from ingesting any of the chemical de-icers by licking their feet. This also eliminates any ice or snow that has built up between your dog’s toes that could make walking painful.
2. Inspect your dog’s paws after every walk, particularly when you’ve walked in areas treated with salt or another de-icer. Be sure to check between the toes and look at the pad for any cracks or sore spots.
3. Cut your dog’s nails and trim the hair on his feet regularly. Hair that is too long attracts snow and slush which can cause problems. Keep from cutting the fur too short, however, as it offers protection for your dog’s feet.
4. Apply petroleum jelly, bag balm or baby oil to your dog’s paws to help sooth irritated feet. Be careful not to apply too much or too often as pads that are too soft can also lead to irritation. You can also apply just before going outside as it can help protect your dog’s feet but take it off when you get back inside. Ask your trusted pet supplier for special waxes that works the same way.
5. Purchase dog boots for your pet if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and cold or if your dog is susceptible to problem paws. The boots fit over your dog’s paws and offer warmth and comfort. You may want to look for some that have added traction on the bottom so that you’re dog has an easier time walking on the snow and ice.
6. Treat any cuts, sores or infections that develop according to your vet’s instructions. If you notice that your dog seems to have painful feet even without sores, take a day or two off from walking in the snow.
You and your dog will both be happier, safer, and have more fun out in the elements this winter, by following these simple steps. Enjoy!
Kelly Hartshorn is co-owner of Metro Mutts, an insanely popular “buy local” petstore on line and in-person, in Washington, DC’s hip and trendy Capitol Hill-H St corridor neighborhood. Recipients of 2010 Best Retailer Awards, Kelly, husband Lee, and business partner Anna are sought after for their knowledge and helpfulness related to all-things for pets and their passionate pet-owners. All four-leggeds are welcomed into the store. Whether you live in DC or visit the area, find out where you can catch a Mutts Yappee Hour at a local pub or deli, sign your baby mutt up for a Puppy Play Date, get a dog walker to help you out, or participate in Mutts Movie Night. You and your mutts will have the time of your lives! Get more info and join Club Metro Mutts, today.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/pets-articles/how-to-prevent-snow-damage-to-dog-paws-expert-advice-from-metro-mutts-5409030.html