D.I.Y. Dog Treats

Making homemade dog treats is a fun and inexpensive way to reward your furry friend for being a wonderful companion. Baked with love and using all natural ingredients from your kitchen, you can ensure that your dogs treats are both tasty and healthy with no additives or sketchy ingredients. Check out these recipes below for ideas and inspiration.

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The Hazards of Houseplants

Nothing brightens a home quite like plants and flowers. But plants can pose a safety hazard to your animal friends. Many popular plants and herbs such as, aloe, calla lily, carnations, and garlic carry mild to severe risks if ingested by cats and dogs. Check these lists before you start planting.

Plants Toxic to Dogs

Plants Toxic to Cats

With that being said, what can you plant? Your options may seem limited, but there are quite a few plants that you can still keep around the house. Some popular plants that are safe for both cats and dogs include:

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Summer Pet Safety

As much as we look forward to summer, there comes a time when the heat is too much to bear. When the weather is hot and you’re suffering, don’t forget about your animal friends. Not only can hot weather be uncomfortable for them, but it can be dangerous. Read more below on how to keep your pets safe during the hottest days of the year.

1. Never leave your pets in a parked car. Seriously, don’t do it. Even at temperatures of 70° F, the inside temperature of your car could rise to well over 100° F. When in doubt, keep your pet at home in the AC.

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2. Limit exercise on hot days. Be sure to take your dog on walks in the early morning and in the evening when temperatures are lower. If you’re hot, imagine how your furry friend is feeling. Also keep in mind that hot asphalt can burn a dogs paws instantly. For walks, stick to the grass and shaded areas. And be sure to bring along extra water for your dog.

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3. Outdoor pet safety. If you have outdoor cats, or keep your dog outdoors, be sure that they have ample shade and constant access to water. If at all possible, bring pets inside when temperatures and heat index are high. Talk to your veterinarian to see if you might want to groom your long haired cat or dog for the summer to help keep them cool. Keep in mind that some breeds of dog handle heat better than others.

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4. Heat exhaustion. Know the signs for heat exhaustion. Some signs include: heavy panting, fatigue, dry or red gums, excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect your pet may have heat exhaustion, seek immediate veterinary care.

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5. Consider outdoor dangers. Summer can bring with it extra risks for pets who spend large amounts of time outdoors. Be sure that your pets are up to date on all their shots, and have flea and tick prevention medication. Keep your pet away from your garage or anywhere there could be leaked antifreeze/coolant as this can be deadly. Also be mindful of plants that can be toxic. Read more here.

Follow these tips to be sure that you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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Tips for Adopting a New Pet

The connection between humans and animals is a wonderful thing. Pets can bring smiles, laughs, comfort, and love into your home. However, adopting a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly. If you’re considering adopting a pet, whether it is your first time adopting or you already have a full house, consider the following before making a decision.

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When considering adopting a pet, one major factor should be your budget. Too often, animals are adopted, and then given up again because their owner couldn’t care for them. Before you make the decision to adopt, be sure that it is within your means. You will have monthly expenses such as food, toys, and medication to keep up with. You must also be able to afford veterinary visits including routine checkups, shots, and whatever other health issues that might arise. Some animals cost more to care for than others, so be sure to factor that into your decision making.

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Another important thing to consider is your living environment. If you are renting, be sure that your landlord allows you to have pets. Cats, rodents, lizards, and birds will do just fine indoors. Dogs require open space to walk multiple times a day. If you don’t have a fenced in back yard, this means you will have to take your dog for a walk every day, rain or shine. You will also have to pet-proof your home. Cats and dogs especially are known for eating things they shouldn’t. Anything small that could potentially be eaten will have to be kept away at all times.

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Keeping Your Pets Safe in Winter

We take a lot of steps to protect ourselves from cold weather in the winter. We have our coats, hats, and gloves, and we layer on thick when the temperature starts to drop. But what about our pets? Sure, cats and dogs have fur, but that’s not enough. Fur coats are less effective than the insulated coats we wear during the winter. If you’re cold, chances are your pet is too. So what should you do to protect your pets from the bitter chill?

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Bring Them Inside. When the temperatures start dipping below 40, it’s time to bring your pets inside. Cats actually prefer temperatures around 65 degrees or higher. Some dogs can handle cold better depending on the length of their coat, but it is not recommended to leave dogs outside in temperatures below 40, especially overnight. Another danger with cold temperatures is dehydration. If your pets water bowl has frozen over, it’s likely your pet will become dehydrated. If you have outdoor feral cats and absolutely cannot bring them inside, there are still things you can do to help make the winter more bearable. You can easily craft an outdoor cat shelter out of wood, or even a storage bin. Click here to see how.

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7 Simple Ways to Keep Pets Safe and Jolly During the Holidays

The holidays can be a strenuous time, not only for us, but for our animal friends. The chaos in our homes this time of year can cause anxiety in pets, not to mention the hidden dangers lurking on and under the Christmas tree. The last thing you want is to be worried about your pets while you’re trying to celebrate the season. Follow these tips to keep your animals safe and minimize stress during the holidays.

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1. Keep tree trimmings out of reach. While decorating your tree, be mindful of your animal’s height, and what ornaments he or she may be able to knock down and chew up. Glass ornaments are all too easy to knock down and break, so be sure that they are out of reach. It is best to skip the tinsel altogether. It is too tempting for dogs and cats, and can lead to serious complications if ingested.

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2. Tie down that tree. Be sure that your tree is secured or weighed down so that it cannot be knocked over by mischievous pets. If you have a live tree, be sure that your pets are not drinking the tree water. Fertilizers and other chemicals may be present in the water and you don’t want your furry friends drinking that.

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3. Set aside a quiet place for your pet. Unfamiliar people in the home can cause pets quite a lot of stress. If you are having company over, set aside a quiet space for your animal where there will be minimal traffic. Set them up with all the essentials: Food, water, bed, favorite toys, etc. This is also a great place for your pet to go while you are wrapping presents or baking to keep them from interfering.

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4. Be careful with lighting. To prevent your pet from getting zapped, tape wires down to the floor or walls. This will help keep wires out of the way so there will be less temptation to chew, and eliminates tripping hazards for humans as well. Place any lit candles a safe distance away from prying paws and never leave burning candles unattended.

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5. Say no to mistletoe. Unfortunately, a lot of our favorite holiday plants are poisonous to cats and dogs. Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and lilies can be dangerous and cause illness if ingested. If your pet likes to chew on plants, it is best to avoid bringing these plants into your home altogether.

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6. Beware holiday treats. Chocolate and xylitol sweeteners are very dangerous to pets. Be sure all your cookies and candies are kept out of reach. And make sure none of your relatives are feeding table scraps. Your animal has their own food and it is best that they eat that to avoid upset stomaches, or worse.

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7. Give your furry friend the best gift ever. While your pet will certainly appreciate new toys and treats, remember that the greatest gift you can give your pet is spending quality time with them. Take a break from shopping and wrapping, and take your dog for a walk, or play with your cat. This quality time will help both you and your pet relax and truly enjoy the holidays.


 

Here at The Guide, we’d like to wish you and your pet a safe and happy holiday season!

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How to Keep Your Pets Calm During Independence Day Festivities

Fireworks are an essential part of Independence Day celebrations. In 2014, Americans lit up 225 million pounds of fireworks (Source: The American Pyrotechnics Association). Every year, adults and children all across the U.S.A. sit under the night sky and cheerfully await the dazzling displays of fireworks as we celebrate our nation’s independence.

But for our furry friends, it can be a very stressful event. Cats and dogs have much sharper senses than humans, and loud noises can be particularly unsettling for them. So how can you make your pet more comfortable this 4th of July?

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