Thank your dog

On Thanksgiving remember to thank your dog.

No surprise.  This is an article about how cool our dogs are.

Experts suggest that with every being we encounter we are unconsciously asking questions all the time.  The answers to our internal questions are typically not verbal.  They are answered by how we interpret another’s actions or inaction.

One of the reasons we love our animal friends so much is that they answer one of these vital self-assessment questions with a resounding, “Yes!” consistently.

Our internal question: Can I tell that I’m special to you by the way that you look at me?

Our unconditional love masters let us know they see us, they care, we are enough just the way we are, and we are special and wanted.

And here it is… dogs are so cool that way.tree-background

Fall concerns

Fall is great time to be outside with your dog.

Seasonal Concernspets-linda-saraco-nov-26

Fall in New England is a great time to be active outdoors with your dog.

Here are few seasonal safety concerns I keep in mind for fun throughout this season.

The days are shorter, and often it is quite dark by evening walk times.  Consider a reflective coat, collar, leash light, or a brightly colored vest for your dog.  It will make your dog stand out and be easier for others to see.  Bright orange and reflective coats are a good idea too if you and your dog spend time in areas where hunting takes place nearby.  Always check wild areas for postings indicating the type of hunting allowed and what time it is permitted.

Fall can be a drying time of year for your dog’s coat and the colder temperatures at night encourage us to turn on our heating systems and light up our fireplaces.  Brushing your dog frequently during this season will help to distribute the natural oils helping to keep your dog’s coat healthy and in its best condition.

When the weather is cooler wildlife becomes more active as it busily prepares winter.  This means that your dog may be more likely to have an encounter with a wild critter.  You may also find mice, bats, squirrels and others trying to move inside your warm home.  It’s hard to keep small rodents out.  If you, a friend or neighbor, choose to use traps or poisons your dog needs protection because their natural curiosity will cause them to explore new objects and smells.  Your dog can be hurt by mouse snap traps, rodenticides, or by chewing or eating a rodent that injected poison.  The catch and release type traps are the safest all-around option.

Be on the lookout for plants outside that produce fruits or berries in the fall.  A plant that was harmless may be poisonous now.  Also, your dog may have shown no interest in that particular plant until those berries or fruits show up.

In every season there is a holiday or special events such as a wedding, birthday occurring that has potential to upset your dog, requiring a little special preparation on your part to minimize stress levels your dog may experience.

Although this practice has rarely (ok, never) made me a favorite host I implement and, (well, I actually post) pet safety rules for both day and overnight guests.  Informing folks in advance is the only way to ensure my pet safety rules are known.  Pets can be overwhelmed by changes such as larger numbers of people at a party, kids, visiting animals, music, and outbursts. Your guest’s medications may end up in pet accessible areas. It may be helpful to designate a secure pet room that is off-limits to guest traffic. In case your pet escapes, risks are reduced if your pet is wearing ID tags.  It is a good idea to have a current picture and your animal control officer’s number on hand.

Every season can also hold an allergy stimulation.  As with people, dogs have indoor, outdoor, topical and internal allergic reactions.  Your veterinarian is your best resource for uncovering causes and determining treatment.

A regular InTune Groom session with your dog can help to clear stagnant energies and ITG Book Coverimprove circulation throughout the seasons.  Check out https://lindasaraco.com/intune-groom/ to learn more.

Give Your Pet the Gift of Safety

pets-linda-saraco-nov-26Holiday decorations and celebrations can be hazardous to your pets. To make sure holidays are safe and fun, please keep these tips in mind.

Guests – Advocate for your pet’s safety during the holidays for both day and overnight guests who may not be pet-familiar by informing them in advance and implementing pet safety rules, for example, about what not to feed them and behaviors that put them at risk. Pets can be overwhelmed by changes such as larger numbers of people at parties, kids, visiting animals, music and outbursts. Your guest’s medications may end up in pet accessible areas. It may be helpful to designate a secure pet room that is off-limits to guest traffic. In case of an escape, risks are reduced if pets are wearing ID tags.  It is a good idea to have a current picture and your animal control officer’s number on hand.

Tree – Rambunctious pets will naturally run around or climb them. To prevent a heavy tree from toppling onto your pet it is a good idea to attach your tree securely to the wall in multiple locations and test for stability. Vacuuming the tree area frequently will eliminate pine needles, which are dangerous to the digestive system. Securely cover the tree’s water container as many precut trees are treated with additives and preservatives that can leach into the water container. The ASPCA poison control hotline phone number is: (888) 426-4435.

Decorations – Sharp and breakable ornaments can cause injury to paws and mouths. Candles can burn and scented items can irritate sensitive respiratory and olfactory systems (especially birds). Tinsel, ribbon, yarn and wire ornament hooks can be fatal if ingested. Prompt removal of gift wrapping materials from pet accessible areas helps reduce risks. It is best to know the location of the closest 24-hour veterinary service.

Cords – These attractively chewable and tasty objects are a hazard to curious kittens and puppies. Make sure that electrical cords are in good condition and out of reach.

Pets as gifts – Surprise gift pets are often later unwanted and windup at shelters and/or euthanized. Planning and recipient preparation helps avoid this risk.

Reflection on your pet’s safety – With your pet clearly in your mind and the planned holiday activities, take a look at your home from his or her perspective. Travel through your home looking at each space through your pet’s eyes. What can you reach? What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What may be dangerous?

May your holidays be the best ever with your friends, family and dear pets.