Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pet Proofing Your Garden 101- Toxic Household & Garden Plants

If you haven’t already realized, like children, pets are very inquisitive and it is up to us as parents to keep Fido & Fluffy safe. There is truth to the saying “curiosity killed the cat” or in some instances really made him sick.

With the long dog days of summer comes many pet hazards to be aware of. Protect your dogs from having access to dangerous poisons that may lurk inside and outside the home by opting for pet friendly and eco friendly alternatives. Remember foods, herbicides, pesticides, mouse poisons, medications, cleaning products & plant life can signal danger. Although your home should be a safe haven, dangers can lurk in your cabinets & backyard. So safeguarding your pet from accidental poisoning should extend outside your home to your relaxing garden and backyard oasis.

This brings us to the topic of the hour the dangers of plants and the importance of pet proofing your gardens & indoor plants. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center gets thousands of calls each year involving pets who've potentially ingested or came in hazardous contact with insecticides, weed killer and pet toxic plants. In 2008, common household plants were the subject of nearly 8,000 calls in to the Animal Poison Control Center, a staggering number. While you are gardening, landscaping, and filling your home with the wonderful fragrance of flowers and indoor plants to welcome summer there are a few things you must know.

Keep in mind that although beautiful, some plants are toxic if ingested by your pet. Many contain toxins that can lead to mild nausea, diarrhea, skin allergies & and even death. Below is an informative video created the ASPCA that all pet owners should watch. As well as a list of plants that you should keep out of your pets reach. Don't be fooled, if your pet is motivated & determined he or she can & will get into anything and everything. Certain plant life can pose a threat to your furry family member. If you have suspected your pet has ingested a poisonous plant contact your vet immediately or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4335.

Here are some common plants that are toxic if ingested by your pet.

1. Lilies-highly toxic to cats, even if ingested in small amounts can cause severe kidney damage.

2. Marijuana- can cause depression of the central nervous system & incoordination, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, seizures & coma.

3. Sago Palm- all elements of this plant are poisonous, the the seeds or "nuts" contain the majority of the the toxin. The ingestion of one or two seeds can cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures & liver failure.

4. Tulip- bulb contains toxins that causes gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, appetite loss, depression of central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

5. Azalea- contain substance known as grayantoxins which causes vomiting, drooling , diarrhea, weaken central nervous system. Severe azalea poisoning could result in coma or death due to cardiovascular collapse.

6. Oleander- contains cardiac glycosides that can lead to serious effects such as gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and death.

7. Castor Bean- contains ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce sever abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness & appetite loss. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma & death.

8. Cyclamen- contains cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.

9. Kalanchoe-this plant contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.

10. Yew- contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.

11. Amaryllis-common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.

12.Autumn Crocus- ingestion by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.

13. Chrysanthemum- these popular blooms contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.

14.English Ivy-Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy,Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.

15. Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)-contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

16. Pothos-if chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause significant mechanical irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

17. Schefflera-contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

Click here for a more detailed full list and pics of toxic and non-toxic plants compiled by the ASPCA to keep your animal companion safe all year round. Happy gardening!!

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Will Work For Food: Tips on Celebrating Take Your Dog To Work Day

Do you know what June 25th marks each year? Well, today is the yearly anticipated Take Your Dog To Work Day brought to you by Pet Sitters International. Yes, it that time of year where you can drive in that carpool lane and have your dog grab you a cup of coffee just the way you like it. Not to mention give them the task of licking envelopes or making all those tedious office copies for a change. The paw is finally on the other foot. Okay, who are we kidding, besides the carpooling part the rest is in our dreams!

The whole purpose of this event is to celebrate the human-canine bond with the ultimate goal of promoting shelter adoptions. Taking your dog to work should be a fun filled adventure granted your dog practices good doggy office manners. Here are some simple bring your dog to work preparation tips.
If you follow these simple tips you can make your workplace on this special day dog-friendly for everyone involved. Hey, your dog may even be hired back for the day next year and not fired.

1. Ask permission. Check with your boss or HR department prior to packing that doggy lunch bag and heading into the office. Its important to read and understand the policy about bringing animals to the workplace.

2. Dog proof your office. Dogs can easily become bored so remove any choking hazards or small items like pen caps & paper clips out of paws reach. Make sure to cover any cords or tuck them away so they are not mistaken as a chew toy to be gnawed. The last thing you need is for your dog to start a black out or make your computer shut off in the mist of preparing that big presentation or long spreadsheet.

3. Leash up! You don't want your dog dragging you around the office or roaming the office halls unsupervised this is only asking for trouble. So make sure your dog will walk on a leash and behave around your co-workers. Know your dog's temperament before bringing them to the office. Your dog should be polite and never snap, bite or growl at strangers. If you have a office you can even place a baby gate at your door.

4. Train your dog well first. Whether big or small your dog should know basic commands like "sit", "stay" and "lay". You should train your dog not to jump up on people, even if it is a friendly greeting of "hello". Make sure your dog sits politely to greet your co-workers. Because know one wants muddy paw prints all over their business suit. Be sure to reward your dogs good behavior with a treat and praise. In addition, make sure your dog is completely housebroken.

5. Call it an early work day! Always be prepared to have to an exit strategy in case problems arise or your dog is not comfortable at your office. Get permission ahead of time to take your dog home half-way through the work day if it becomes to much to handle. Plan on bringing your dog to work on a relatively light work day, such as a Friday. NEVER leave your dog alone in a vehicle, this can mark danger.

6. Fulfill dogs basic needs. If you want your to be in his or her best behavior then run & play breaks, toys, treats, outside time, potty breaks, water and food are a must. Take a break from your computer and play a nice game of fetch outdoors to release any pent up energy. Make sure you clean up after your dog pool of drool, treat crumbs, water bowl spills and other messes. You want it to appear that your dog never clocked in for the day.

7. Bring basic dog necessities. Bring your dog a comfy bed, food, doggy poop bags, and bowls. Co-workers will enjoy feeding your dog a healthy treat so bring plenty for your dog to munch on.

8. Cleanliness is next to Dogliness. Bathe and groom your dog before their office debut, make sure its shots are up-to-date and don't bring an aggressive or shy dog to work.

9. Be aware of scared co-workers. Respect your co-workers and never force them to interact with your dog. Keep in mind some may be fearful, anxious or allergic around dogs.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Celebrating Independence Day : Easy Tips To Keep Your Dog Safe On The 4th of July

Think of summer and what comes to mind? Outdoor events and holiday celebrations. And if you are a dog lover like we are it goes without saying that you want to share in the sun and fun with our dogs! From playing catch, hosting BBQ picnics, attending the local parade, slipping fido a special treat, to watching fireworks and waving your patriotic flag there is a lot of fun to be had by all.

But it is also important to have a safe 4th of July with our dogs. For some pets fireworks are not a blast. Between the heat, loud noises, new people and other things this can be extremly stressful to our pets. Many loving pet owners can forget that these outdoor activities can become extremely frightening to our pets. Below are a few tips to ensure you take precautions and have a safe & fun doggy 4th of July.

Tip #1:
Never leave your dog unattended in a parked car. Temperatures in a car can exceed 100 degrees in just a few minutes. Heat exposure in dogs can result in organ damage, heart arrhythmia and sudden death. It is inhumane and illegal to leave a pet unattended in a parked car.

Tip#2: Dogs just like humans can suffer from heat stroke. Keep your dog in the shade during warm weather. Humans to sweat to cool down, The only place dogs can sweat from is on the pads on their feet and panting. And even panting is not enough to cool off a dog in hot weather. So opt for a shady tree to stay cool.

Tip#3: Hydration is key! Always have a generous amount of fresh water available. During 4th of July activities, keep a fresh bottle of water handy just for your dog. Also keep the water bowl in the shade to keep water cool. Fill the water bowl with half water and half ice. A dehydrated dog can be very dangerous.

Tip#4: During the noisy 4th of July celebrations and fireworks, pets can become frightened and run away. Every year on this holiday animal shelters notice an upsurge in the number of strays found roaming the streets and neighborhoods. So keep a close watchful eye on your dog. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar that fits. Also be sure to have the proper identification on the dog tags so your runaway pet can be returned home promptly and safely.

Tip#5: Consider the temperament of your dog because sometimes you have to resist the urge to bring your dog along for the ride. Many dogs are frightened by thunderstorms and other loud noises. Loud and unfamiliar noises of fireworks and July 4th celebrations can scare your pet. So giving your dog front row seats at the fireworks or parade extravaganza may not be a good idea. We would all agree that sometimes peace and quiet is just what the doctor ordered. Leaving your dog indoors, in a safe, sheltered, quiet room of the house with comfy bed, food and bowl of water will be the safest and wisest alternative. Some animals can become destructive when frightened and home alone, so be sure that you've removed any family heirlooms that your pet could destroy or would be harmful if chewed. If your dog has to be left alone, leave a TV or radio on to disguise the loud noises of the holiday celebrations.

Tip#6: There are a few all-natural alternatives out there to take the edge off and safely relax your pet. Try our all-natural Spot Organics Chill Essential Oil to calm your dog.

Tips#7: Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.

With these tips we hope you and your dog have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

ASK LOLA: What Are Some Tips for Summer Traveling With Our Pets?

Dear Lola: My family is planning a much anticipated vacation to the beach. Do you have any vacation tips for pet loving vacationers with a four-legged passenger in tow?

Sincerely, Are We There Yet

Dear Are We There Yet: Summer can mean lots of traveling. Many pet owners can't bear to hire a pet sitter or board their furry friend and will opt to bring their four legged travel companion. Everyone can agree that traveling, or should I say planning, can be stressful, even for us furry co-pilots. But don't let the stress of planning a well deserved, restful, and fun filled vacation get in the way of bonding time with your pet. With a little planning & preparedness vacationing with your pet can become a family tradition and be enjoyable for everyone. Because even we tail wagging, chewers, droolers, and expert sniffers need to get a way. Yes, even we dogs need an hiatus from our hectic schedules of chasing squirrels.

So, whether your dog, cat or parrot is traveling by land, air or sea it is important to always be prepared for anything. Here are some simple tips to make traveling a pleasant one for both you and your furry or feathered co-pilot.

1. The Paw-fit Destination- It important to plan a leisurely pet-friendly vacation that even your pet will enjoy.

2. Research & stay at a pet-friendly hotel- With more pet owners who consider their furry or feathered friend part of the pack, more hotel & resorts are letting out their welcome pet mats. Many hotels even go the extra mile to make you and your pet feel right at home. But before making reservations, it is important to research and call ahead to make sure pets are allowed, rules & regulations. This is especially important if you are going on a road trip across country and need an overnight stay to rest those sleepy eyes. Phone ahead, to make sure your pet will be welcomed with open arms so as not to be caught off guard.

3. Vet Checkup & Papers- Prior to your travels schedule a vet appointment to ensure your co-pilot is given a good bill of health. Update any vaccinations and ask your vet to supply you with a health certificate to have on hand for the trip. Many airlines and rentals will require this paperwork.

4. Tag You're It- Firmly attach an accurate, up-to-date ID tag to your pet’s collar. Just like you are excited to paint the town and see the sights, so is your pet. Don't forget to keep a good watch on your pet. This is important to heed if you have a four legged escape artist who tends to venture from the pack. With so much see your pet may be tempted to on his or her own tour with you as the tour guide. Consider fastening on a temporary tag, too, that has the address of your pet-friendly vacation rental on it. That way, a lost dog or cat can be swiftly returned to you. Because you don't won't to spend your entire vacation sniffing high and low for a pet that is lost and not found. Consider getting your pet micro chipped as well, this is like an embedded ID card. Microchips provide extra assurance in case the tag falls off. Most shelters and veterinarians have a device for scanning microchips. Microchipping your pet is a great extra step to take, but an ID tag is a must! Unfortunately, traveling with your pet increases your chances of being separated from them.

5. Pack Your Pets luggage- Its important to make sure to pack travel must haves that will keep your pet safe, entertained, and happy. Here is a list of things you should not leave home without:

• H2O for the plane flight or road trip (don't forget that travel water bowl)
• Food for entire vacation + extra for emergencies
• A sturdy leash
• Prescription medications, doggy sunscreen, all natural flea/bug spray & queasy medicine for motion sickness
• Health certificate
• All natural cleaning products (for those doggy rug mishaps)
• Your pet’s favorite toys (eco-toys are safer to chew on)
• Bedding and extra sheets/towels
• Portable carrier (if possible)
Biodegradable doggy poop bags or cat litter box with litter, liners, and a scoop. Don't leave home without them!
• Grooming brush
• Contact information of your at-home vet clinic and a few local vet clinics
• Photos of your pet in case he or she gets lost
• Don't forget to pack your pets dental kit-fresh breath is a must when travel because you never know who you will meet along the way.

** Don't forget to pack your dogs necessary items in your carry on just in case your luggage gets lost.

6. By air, by land or by sea - If traveling by air, contact the airline’s pet policy few weeks before your trip. Some airlines charge extra fees, don't be caught off guard by hidden fees so call ahead. Depending on the size of your pet, some airlines may allow you to place your pet under your seat (considered pet first class). While others may be required to fly in the cargo. If your pet must ride in the cargo take extra precaution to make sure your has safe & stress free travel. If you are traveling by car don't forget to factor in rest stops, bathroom breaks & playtime along the journey will keep both of you happy. When packing your car make sure leash, paperwork, water, food & toys are accessible on the journey amidst the avalanche of luggage.

7. Pet Ettiquette 101- Now that you have finally arrived at your destination with enough room to roam, relax, and play. There’s is proper pet owner etiquette you should keep in mind. Seeing that the hotel is letting out the pet welcome mat, its important to extend them the same hospitality. Before your dog is let in doors make sure dirty paws are cleaned and dry. Because no hotel, resort or rental property wants to be left looking like a frat house. Remember, if you leave your dog in the hotel room while you visit the city, the maid will need to have access to the room. Either confine your pet to a carrier or make special arrangements to clean the room. Clean up after your dog and especially during walks. If you are renting a house make sure your dog does not mistake the chair leg as a chew toy ( a case of mistaken identity!). No one likes to explain to the hotel clerk or property owner about another chew toy causality or have damages billed to you.

8. Respect Fellow Vacationers- Remember you and your pet are not the only ones on vacation who may be staying in the hotel or in your rental community. Make sure your dog is on his or her best doggy behavior and is not howling, whining or barking incessantly.

Enjoy the trip, take tons of "mutt shots" and don't forget to send postcards my way !!

Barkingly yours,
Lola the eco dog

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Working out with Your Buddy: Tips on Exercising Your Dog

Dogs love the dog days of summer! While we all enjoy vegging on the couch all summer long it is important to get some daily exercise. Dogs crave physical and mental stimulation. They also love bonding one on one with their guardian. Daily exercise not only helps you and your buddy build strong muscle. Eating healthy and proper exercise is the first step towards obesity prevention. Because like you, dogs can also put on a few unnecessary pounds.

Not only does exercise promote good health for pets. Exercising gives dogs a natural and constructive way to relieve some aggression and energy. It is true that a happy dog is a tired dog who has had quite a workout. Dogs that don't get enough outdoor play & romping will become bored and have behavioral problems. With so much pent up energy and no outlet, dogs are bound to start digging up the yard & chewing up everything in sight.

Some dog owners have a misconception that a fenced in back yard, treadmill and brief daily walk is enough to keep their dog happy, healthy and on good behavior. But dogs get bored very easily and thrive on variety and spontaneity. Like they say variety is the spice of life. So, with that said instead opt to take your dog to a local dog park to play with other friends off leash. Dog parks are a great way to nurture canine socialization skills, but make sure to follow park rules.

For the adventurous type, hiking the rugged & mountainous trails will do. Don't forget to stop and take in the beautiful views. Remember if you do go hiking in the woods don't forget the bug & flea protection, water & treats to refuel.

For those that love a good run, taking your exercise buddy on a brisk jog will suffice. When you do decide to take your dog for a jog or biking adventure make sure to remember these key points:

1. Take rest breaks because dogs get tired too.
2. Carry plenty of water to quench you and your dog's thirst
3. On hot days jog or bike with your pup early in the morning or late evening when the sun goes down to avoid heatstroke & health complications
4. NEVER take your dog jogging or biking if they have serious medical problems with out the consent of a vet.

So what is the secret to developing an exercise regime that both you and your dog will enjoy? Well it all starts with determining how much exercise your dog needs which is based on age, weight, health and breed. Some breeds require a lot more exercise so do your research and ask a vet or expert. Then the next step is to answer some basic questions. Is your dog eating a lot? If it is, is it eating out of boredom? Yes, dogs can overeat when they are bored so putting your dog n a strict diet and not leaving their bowl filled through out the day can shed a few pounds of their waistline. Is your dog a hunter or a retriever who likes to run or is it a small breed who likes to sit on the couch? If so, then daily excercise & play is a must. Just answering these basic questions will help you gauge the proper workout for your dog.

Do remember that even senior dogs need to stay in shape, but exercising should be monitored carefully. Older dogs should take it easy so slow walks are the best. If you have a pregnant dog you should take extra precaution so as not to exert her. Although daily exercise is key to your dogs overall health and well being you should consult your vet if your dog has any medical issues prior to starting a fitness program.

IMPORTANT: Do not allow exercise for two hours after a meal because your dog could get bloat. Bloat is a life-threatening condition also known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), stomach torsion or twisted stomach. What happens is that gas builds up in the stomach and cannot be expelled by belching or flatulence.

So, how can you prevent bloat? Give your dog two small meals per day instead of one large meal & slow down their eating habits. Do not allow your dog to drink very large quantities of water right before or after eating, and restrict play & exercise for two hours after a meal
. Keeping your dog at optimum weight can also aid in prevention of bloat. Signs of bloat include depression, pacing, hard or distended stomach, panting and drooling and unproductive attempts to vomit (it may appear as if the dog is coughing). Call the vet immediately.

As mention above going to a park is a great way for your dog to make new friends and play. Not only can it be fun for your dog, you can also enjoy this bonding experience. Dogs & humans love a simple game of fetch, chase & tug of war. But getting that four legged couch potato on his paws can be a hard task at times. Here are some Summer Toy Must Haves that will get you and your dog excited about a good workout. These toys are fun, eco-friendly, safe, and interactive. The whole purpose of these toys is to get you & Spot in shape while nurturing the human-dog bond. Who said working out couldn't be fun & enjoyable! Hey, with so much fun in the air you & Spot would never guess you were working out!

1. Its a bird, Its a plane, No its the West Paw Zisc! This frisbee is eco-friendly and dog-friendly. It is the perfect toy for dogs learning to catch or those seasoned pros. With just a few throws even the most active, hyper & energetic dog will be dead tired and slumped on the couch, bed or floor.

2. Dog vs. Person or Dog vs. Dog. The Planet Dog Tug is great that avid tugger & fetcher in your life. If you love a good game of "tug-o-woof" then you will love this!

3. A retrievers dream the West Paw Hurley is all the fun of a ball, bone and a stick in one durable toy. Toss it, float it, chew it, love it.

4. Summer Fling- The West Paw Huck is a toy that can weather the storm. With a new twist on an old favorite, fetch takes on different bounce !This incredible ball will bounce in all directions, giving your dog added exercise, and a good mental workout, to boot. Fling it across the field, bounce it on the ground, or toss it in the water (it floats!). You name it, the Huck can handle anything your dog dishes out.

Just remember that spending time with your dog & exercising should be fun & enjoyable for the both of you. But its up to you as the parent to make the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. For those just getting started it's all about taking small puppy steps, which can make a huge difference in the well-being of you and your pet.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Hollywood Gone to the Dogs: Top Summer Dog Movies To Watch With The Entire Family

Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in theaters. But lucky for you & Fido you can rent & bring those box office hits home. You can get the best of both worlds relax & stretch out in the best seat in the house, your sofa and surround sound. Nothing beats lounging on the coach alongside your dog watching a summer movie flick with a bowl of pup-corn. Hollywood has truly gone to the dogs and dog lovers can't resist a good movie with a four legged leading characters. Here are our top summer picks for the best dog movies which are great for the entire family.

Hotel for Dogs (2009)- Animals are strictly forbidden at Andi and her little brother Bruce's foster home. But for Friday, the adorable dog they secretly care for, they're ready to risk everything. They finally find him an ideal shelter, a huge abandoned hotel that Bruce transforms thanks to his engineering genius. In what has become an incredible paradise for dogs, Friday is soon joined by all kinds of furry friends, so many in fact that their barks alert the neighbors...and the local pound, who can't understand the disappearance of all the stray dogs. Andi and Bruce will have to call on all their friends and all their imagination to stop the hotel's secret from being discovered

Benji (1974) - This movie is about a scruffy stray dog mixed-breed dog that wins the hearts of a family and ends up saving the kids from kidnappers. The lovable Benji was played by a dog named Higgins who was fifteen years old when he made the movie. Surprisingly for such an old dog, he did all of his own stunts in the movie.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) - A pampered Beverly Hills chihuahua named Chloe (voiced by Drew Barrymore) who, while on vacation in Mexico with her owner Viv's (Jamie Lee Curtis) niece, Rachel (Piper Perabo), gets lost and must rely on her friends to help her get back home before she is caught by a dognapper who wants to ransom her. In the meantime, Papi (voiced by George Lopez), a male chihuahua who is in love with her is in pursuit of her. Papi's master (Manolo Cardona), a handsome young gardener for Viv, slowly develops a romantic interest in Rachel. Chloe befriends a lonely German Shepherd (voiced by Andy Garcia) who travels with her to protect her from the evil Doberman (voiced by Edward James Olmos) who wants to return her and her diamond collar to the dognapper.

Lassie Come Home (1943) - This dog movie inspired a slew of sequels and remakes, but none are as good as the original, starring Roddy McDowall and Elizabeth Taylor. The movie is about a lovable and bright collie who is sold by her impoverished family. The dog loves her family so much that she escapes from her new owner and makes the long trip from Scotland back to her home in Yorkshire.

Old Yeller (1957) - This Walt Disney Productions feature film is based upon the 1956 Newberry Honor-winning book of the same name written by Fred Gipson. It tells the story of Travis Coats and a stray dog in post-Civil War Texas.

101 Dalmatians (1967) - The original Disney animated version of this film was the highest grossing movie of it's time. With one of the most memorable villainesses ever, Cruella De Vil, this movie follows the story of her plan to make a fur coat from the fur of kidnapped Dalmatian puppies.

Cats & Dogs (2001) - This a spy movie with a canine twist. The world's dogs are on a top-secret, high-tech mission to protect an important scientist and his attempts to save humans from dog allergies. The evil Mr. Tinkles is the dogs' feline nemesis.

Marley and Me (2008) - The most recent heart-touching dog film is based on the best-selling autobiographical book by John Grogan. The movie tells the story of an adorable but high-strung yellow lad named Marley, and how he helps his family learn some valuable life lessons.

Turner & Hooch (1989) - Starring Tom Hanks and Craig T. Nelson, this movie tells the story of Hooch, a large and drooling Dogue de Bordeaux, who is the only witness to a murder.

Best in Show (2000) - This dog movie is a comedy about competing in a national dog show. Not your typical dog movie, this documentary-style film is just hilarious. The dogs are beautiful and their owners are colorful, obsessive, and absolutely hysterical.

Lady and the Tramp (1955) - This animated feature film produced by Walt Disney tells the story of pampered cocker spaniel Lady, and her West Side Story-type romance with stray dog Tramp. This is a great one to watch with the rest of the family.

Beethoven (1992) - This dog film is the first in a series of Beethoven movies. It tells the story of a lovable but destructive Saint Bernard named Beethoven who gets dognapped for animal testing., but his family is determined to find and rescue their family dog.

So thanks all you celebri-dogs for making the dog days of summer even better. And the Oscar Bone goes to.....

What's your favorite dog flick to watch w/ a big buttery bowl of popcorn or shall we say "pupcorn"? Show your love for Lassie, Benji & Old Yeller. Bark out your choices & reason why by leaving a comment below.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Safety Tips for Hiking & Camping with Your Dog- Series PART 3 of 3

Camping & hiking is a favorite weekend past time of many outdoor enthusiast, four legged included. Nothing beats hiking, camping & answering the call of the wild with your dog by your side. Dogs love exploring the great outdoors and appreciate a spectacular panoramic view. Here are few more tips to finish up our 3 part series on hiking and camping with your pet.

Click here to read part 1 tips !!

Click here to read part 2 tips!!!

13. Keep control & be the leader of the pack:
Keeping your dog on leash is a good idea at all times, even when it's not legally required. If you must let your dog off leash, be sure you have good voice command recall. That means you should be able to recall your dog even though a deer is running away from it. Likewise, you don't want your dog scaring horses or other hikers. You must be sure that you can control your dog even when it's leashed; some people own dogs that are stronger than they are. It truly comes down to choosing the right leash so you & your dog are both comfortable.

Purchasing a six-foot leash will give your dog enough room to tackle the trail without getting tangled up in underbrush or other hikers. If you are having a hard time training your dog to come on command & your dog has mastered the art of not listening, obedience school would be a good option.

14. Back Packing:
Dogs can carry their own weight on a hike, or at least part of it. A healthy dog ought to be able to carry up to 1/3 of his weight in a special dog pack. Keep in mind the age of the dog. Start with an empty pack full off shredded newspaper, though, to acclimate the dog to the pack before you gradually start adding weight on successive hikes. And don't put a pack on a dog on a hot, sunny day if there's a chance it will cause him to overheat faster.

15. Paws:

If you're going to be hiking in an area with rough terrain, consider getting some dog booties to protect tender paws. There are also some wonderful all natural eco-friendly paw rubs out their can give your dog achy paws relief after a long hike.

16. Post hike:
After any hike, do a careful check for ticks and for any burrs or foxtails in your dog's coat. Foxtails can mean an expensive trip to the vet if you let them get in your dog's nose or ears. So better safe the sorry, avoid hiking through areas with lots of them.

17. First aid:
Part of your responsibility to your hiking companion is to be prepared for any scratches, cuts, scraps, bruises, & wounds along the way because accidents happen. Some antibiotic cream &
healing cream is a good thing to have along for both you and your dog. Also, some wrap bandage tape or gauze (which sticks to itself but not to hair or skin) is a good thing to have along.

18. Join a Caravan:
Check to see whether there's a dog-friendly hiking group in your area. Some camp grounds have canine hiking groups; others allow pets along on some hikes but not others. Never show up for a hike with your dog unless you're certain he'll be welcome (and legal), so always ask.

So happy trailblazing all you paw pals and enjoy the mountainous views!!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Safety Tips for Hiking & Camping with Your Dog- Series PART 2 of 3

Camping with your dog can be a fantastic bonding experience. It's always fun to explore the great outdoors and see the world through your dogs eyes. Dogs are so much more in tuned to the environment.

So, while you and your dog are experiencing hiking bliss on the trails and sitting around an open fire. Just remember that preparing for the adventure is part of the fun. As our 3 part series on camping & hiking with your adventurous hound continues, here are a few more tips to keep in mind.

Click here to read part 1 tips !!

7. Leaflets three, let it be:

Certain plant life found in the wilderness, such as cactus, nettles and poison ivy, the most common, can irritate and cause injury to your pet's skin. These are plants that your curious dog should avoid . Unsure of what poison ivy look likes well here is a tip from my "Girl Snout" days. Poison Ivy is a "hairy" vine that grows up a tree and have stems with 3 leaves. You may have heard the old saying, "Leaflets three, let it be". Well, be weary because getting an itchy rash is no fun. So please don't use it as toilet ply, better yet bring your own roll!

8. Pick-up Squishy Mess:
Leaving your dogs #2 business on the ground & trails is dangerous to the environment, especially near water sources, and it makes a bad impression on other hikers -not to mention their boots. No one like to be the reason for unhappy campers. Biodegradable waste bags such as
Spikebrand Business Bags is good eco-friendly alternatives.

9. Tag you’re it:
Make sure your pet has proper identification in the event she becomes lost. A collar I.D. tag that contains a cell phone number where you can easily be reached is essential. Getting a micro-chip is a painless way to keep track of your dog.

10. No Camouflage:
Extra precaution should be taken when hiking during various hunting seasons. Bright or reflective pet clothing will help your pet stand out from the natural environment. You should wear some too.

11. Hiking Etiquette:
Be considerate and share the trail with others. Be aware that some hikers may become anxious or scared if they see a pet on the loose without its owner nearby, so leash up.

12. Hydrate with Clean Water:
Staying hydrated is key and just as important for your dog as it is for you, so bring a clean water supply on your hike. In fact, because their body temperature is higher to begin with. Trust me hiking in a full fur coat in scorching temperatures is not pleasant and like me dogs are quicker to overheat than people. Heat exhaustion and stroke can be fatal. Because dogs don't have sweat glands, we are prone to heatstroke in very warm conditions and pant to cool ourselves down. Make sure you carry enough water for you and your pet and take adequate rest breaks and drink often.

**Be aware that some water resources such as ponds & streams are not safe to drink from and may contain harmful parasites or toxins
. So bring a clean supply, its better to be safe than sorry. Dog Hydration Systems hiking dogs to carry their own water supply. Some people teach their dogs to drink from a squirt bottle, while others bring along a collapsible water dish. The SIGG Bottle is eco-friendly and great for carrying water on a hike!

If you notice your dog running from shady spot to shady spot, panting excessively or becoming red in the gums, stop and cool him down. Gently pouring water on the stomach and groin area is a good technique.

If you have not been able to read part 1 of our 3 part series on hiking with your dog just click on the link. So go ahead explore the starry nights & sunny skies of the great outdoors with that deserving dog in your life! Leave a comment and tell us a fun memory or story you and your dog have shared in the great outdoors.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Safety Tips for Hiking & Camping with Your Dog- Series PART 1 of 3

Imagine being left stranded in the wilderness jungle, on a deserted island, or in the bone chilling Arctic to fend with no food, shelter, water or tools for 7 days with nothing more than a Swiss Army Knife or box of matches. What would you do? Well, lucky for you & your dog, life doesn't have to be a spoof of an episode of the Discovery Channels suspenseful series Survivor Man (in your dog's case Survivor Doggy)

But it is important for you and your dog to always be prepared for anything. So we have decided to do a 3 part blog series on hiking with your adventurous pups. So, before you venture out on the fun filled trails & treacherous, yet exciting mountain tops. Here are some tips to keep you, your dog, and other hikers safe.

1. Health First:
Dogs are no different than people and just like you must be in shape before undertaking strenuous hike. If you're not sure about your dog's fitness level, start off small and then work up to longer hikes. But prior to the training & hiking make sure your dog gets the vet health seal of approval, especially older dogs. Make sure that all of your dog's vaccinations and medications are current, including rabies, bordatella, and heartworm. If you're hiking in an area with Lyme disease, ask your vet about vaccinations. Condition your dog and his or paws for physical activity on the trails. With its mountainous terrain, rocky patches & high elevation you both are going to need to develop some hiking stamina.

2. Bring Portable GPS system:
Because you can’t always rely on your dogs snout for direction. Maps & compasses are the original GPS system so you don't get lost. They can be your life saver if you & your dog happens to go off the beaten path, so learn how to use them. Especially, if your dog happens to run after a critter in the woods. If you do get lost don't panic just stop to get your bearings. If all as fails just stay on the trail, look for signs and guys don't be ashamed to ask for directions.

3. Follow the Golden Rules:
Check a head with campgrounds to make sure dogs are allowed and the rules. Always have your dog in plain sight and bring a leash. Some hiking trails & parks require your dogs on a leash at all times.

5. Bring Appropriate Gear:
Spring and summer hiking means pesky visits from biting bugs and insects. Be sure to include some insect repellent and UV protection for both you and your dog, because dogs can burn too. One great product for your four legged hiking buddy is Happytails Flea the Scene with sunscreen, works wonders! Also, bring doggy life jackets if swimming, medications for your dogs special needs, some healthy organic munchies for the hike to boost energy and lots of water. Don't forget to wear proper clothing for the weather in which you are hiking & camping. Regardless if the forecast says clear skies it may start raining cats & dogs and get chilly, so be ready.

6. " Its Lions, Tigers & Bears Oh, my":
Remember, that while you are making the woods your home for the week, their are animals that live here on a daily basis. So, beware of snakes, porcupines, raccoons, bears, mountain lions, and coyotes. If you start smelling a not so pleasant odor and a critter with a white streak don't just sit there run, it is not wanting to say hi. If you haven't guessed by the smell of it, you have a skunk. All this wildlife can be a problem with a pet on the loose and can cause serious injury. Besides, you and your dog wouldn't want to pack up your canteen & hiking gear early to spend week in a tomato bath, not my idea of day at the "spaw". So make sure your pet stays in close proximity to where you are hiking. One great tip is to bring along a toy which will help keep your dogs attention span on you & not on the wildlife.

So all you survivor dogs, go ahead have fun! Enjoy the crackling fire, roasting marshmallows and howling camp-fire songs with the family. Don't forget to stay tuned & subscribe to our blog for more tips in our 3 part hiking series. We look forward to sending you and your dog safely off on the trails & the great beyond. Your adventure awaits!!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How to Arrange a Summer Fun Doggie Playdate for Your Dog

Summer marks the beginning for fun in the sun with your dogs canine comrades! If you haven't already realized dogs have so much energy and love to play. Although you love your dog so much, sometimes you need a break from your four-legged energizer bunny. Hey, we have an idea, why not set up some doggie playdates so you can take a breather & your dog can have some fun. Here are some tips to finding your dogs perfect playmate.

1. Doggie Daycare-Enrolling your dog in Doggie Day Care full time or for a few hours while you are at work or running errands is a great way to give your dog exercise & socializing time. Many of these day cares have outdoor & indoor play areas. Just make sure to bring your dogs tags & vaccination records. Ask the daycare workers who your dog gets along with during most of the day and then talk to those dogs owners about setting up a time to play on the weekend.

2. Off-Leash Dog Parks- You will find a wide variety of dogs at an off leash dog park so your dog is sure to hit it off with one of them. This is a great way to get to know neighbors and interact with their dogs. Often times if dogs like each other the owners will arrange for a meet & sniff at a dog park at a specific time. Dog Park USA helps dog owners find the pet-friendly parks close to their homes or in destinations they’re planning to visit.

3. Join a Play Group-If you don’t feel comfortable bringing your dog to an off leash park, you can join a breed specific or dog personality specific play group that suits your dogs demeanor, size & age. You can find these play groups right online, all you have to do is create a social network for your dog. In particular, sites like Dogster helps you connect with other dog lovers & pup pals in your area. They have a wonderful forum for members to setup & find playdates. In above is a picture of Lola at her first Boxer Tweetup in Asheville, NC. She is having a blast running with her friend Scooby at the Arboretum :) We met Sherida, Scooby's lucky owner on Twitter.

4. Lonely dog seeks Fetching Playmate-Place an ad in a local pet publication or on Craigslist to sniff for that perfect doggie playmate. This is a great option if you don't have a dog park in the area, no neighborhood pups, you live in an apartment, or you are looking for that one special dog playmate. In your ad just specify the type of playmate, playmates and situation you are looking for. Hey, your dog may be what some other dog is looking for! Do keep in mind that not all dogs love the social scene or are good playmates. Make sure to screen your dog's potential playmates beforehand with an initial supervised on leash meet & sniff at a public park. If they hit it off then let them loose and let the romp and play begin!

5. Call a friend-If you have friends with dogs set up an activity with them that includes your dogs. A day at the park, beach or even in your backyard can be fun for you, your friend and your four-legged pals.

Safety first! If you answer an ad or someone answers your ad, meet your dog's potential four legged playmate and guardian at a public place the first time.

We can officially say that playtime is now in session!!

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Don't forget to shop www.pawlux.com for your Doggie Playdate staples. We offer eco-friendly, all natural and organic goodies for your deserving furry family member. We carry a great selection of Odor Free Bully Sticks / Dog Treats / and Dog Toys !