December 23, 2010
Happy Holidays from Dog Tails! All year, we’ve enjoyed sharing our stories and advice with you, our fantastic audience of passionate pet owners. We hope our blog has kept your informed about and, of course, entertained by all things canine (and feline, too)!
In our last post before Christmas, we pulled together one last list of tips to keep your pets safe during the end-of-season holiday madness. Noise, food, decorations, guests, travel – these next two weeks have it all! Follow our final list of tips for 2010, and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with your wonderful pets!
Holiday feasts are not only tempting for us, but also for our pets. Be sure to keep an eye out for unattended plates or serving dishes left within reach. Also, don’t forget to watch the trash and any drinks – your pets can get in trouble exploring these things, too!
Extra caution is needed for specific, dangerous foods containing chocolate, xylitol, bones, alcohol or grapes. (For more information on good and bad people food for pets, check out this previous blog post and the ASPCA website.) As we discussed in our Thanksgiving tips, leftover treats should be kept to a minimum and limited to foods that your pets have tried before without incident. (Nobody enjoys a Christmas trip to the Vet!)
To avoid food-related surprises altogether, purchase or prepare special holiday-themed treats (like these for dogs and these for cats). Inform your guests that table scraps are off-limits for Fido and Fluffy, and instead, have proper treats available so you can include your pet in the holiday festivities without risking any unintended consequences.
The Christmas tree is a holiday tradition for many – but it can be a nightmare for dog owners. The ASPCA reminds you to securely anchor your tree to make sure it does not fall, especially if your pet likes to play near it. If you have a real tree, keep your pet away from the tree water. It may contain fertilizers, and if it stays stagnant, it can upset your pet’s stomach and cause diarrhea.
Also, keep your pet away from the tree’s strings of lights. Some dogs are tempted to chew these cords, which can cause a serious electric shock. Check for signs of chewing each day, and do not let your pet play in the tree area if these signs appear. If you need more than a stern warning to keep your pet away from the tree, you may want to consider using an electronic indoor boundary to ensure the safety of both your pet and your tree. Indoor boundaries also work well for other indoor areas (such as the kitchen counter!). Check the Indoor Boundaries section of the DogWatch website for more information.
August 18, 2010
Last week in DogTails, we had a great time profiling our favorite social media all-star pets. Continuing with the theme of pet-centric social media, this week we want to share our opinions on a few of the most popular social sites and applications for pet owners.
We love how these tools now allow users to share their pets’ stories, photos and videos, and connect with fellow furry friends around the world. These sites are entertaining, informative, and a great way to keep your friends near and far up-to-date on your pet’s cutest, funniest, sweetest and craziest moments. We hope you’ll enjoy our reviews, and try one out for yourself and your pet! Who knows, maybe they’ll be the next social media pet stars!
Facebook is the most popular social media site on the planet, and this fun application allow you to share information with your fellow pet owners without leaving the site. Created in 2007, Dogbook allows owners to create their own mini-pages for their pets. Like a regular Facebook profile, a Dogbook profile include pictures, status updates, lists of friends (human, canine or other animal) and even location tracking.
But what about your other animals? Don’t worry, there are apps for them too. Catbook, Horsebook, Birdbook, Ferretbook, Rodentbook and Fishbook are all there and ready to use. The apps’ creators have also developed an iPhone app exclusively for Dogbook users. It allows them to see where their dog’s “friends” are and meet up for a playdate. (Watch this video for more details.)
Dogbook is easy to use, and is a great way to connect with your pet-owning friends and meet new friends across the globe. You can join groups based on breed or geography or any other characteristic you choose. There are currently over 2 million users on Dogbook and another 1 million on Catbook. That’s quite a crowd!
January 20, 2010
By now you might be asking yourself the question many new dog owners ask in the first few weeks—Did the puppy come with a manual? And, you might be wondering if everyone in the family is helping out the way they promised, when they begged, “Please!”
There’s nothing quite like puppy love or the family dog. That being said—new puppies require cooperation, and having everyone on the same page.
From the get go, puppies necessitate a well thought out plan. Everything from: a house-training schedule; deciding on crate or no crate; knowing what vaccinations are required; identifying common household items which should be kept far, far away from your curious puppy; checking-out healthy puppy food choices; and most importantly, scheduling appointments with a Veterinarian.
Dog owners often say that it’s their Veterinarian and clinic staff who serve as the go-to people for all kinds of puppy/dog care and safety-related questions.
You’ll soon discover your dog won’t be the only one making new friends. People will be stopping you on the street to ask, “Puppy? How old?”
Even though your puppy didn’t come with a manual, you’ll find lots of great books at your local library, bookstore and online. Puppies For Dummies by Sarah Hodgson is a great resource. Check-out her cheat sheet here.
And, keep reading, Dog Tails. We have a great editorial calendar ahead.