Friday, April 22, 2016

Ways to Reduce Your Pet’s Carbon Paw Print

By Claudia Loomis

Just like humans, pets can leave a fairly sizable impact on the environment. Fortunately, there are lots of ways we can reduce our pet’s carbon paw print with minimal effort and minimal sacrifice.  Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you and your pet to live a greener eco-friendly life. 

Play Green: When choosing fun and interactive items for your pets, chose toys and games that are made from recycled materials.  These will be called out on the label or tags.   In addition, there are a few pet toy companies that have made a conscience choice to manufacture with minimal impact to the environment.  Two companies that come to mind are Planet Dog, which makes their rubber based toy products with recycled materials and West Paw which manufactures all their products in the USA in an eco-friendly way. 

Walk Green: Hemp, soy, and recycled plastic bottles are the newest materials used to make eco- friendly leads and collars.  Leads and collars made from these materials are every bit as strong as synthetic nylon leads and collars and you do not have to pay a premium to make a green choice when buying these products.  What better way to celebrate Earth Day and every day with your dog then taking in all that Mother Nature has to offer on a walk or a hike?

Clean Green: What better way to follow up Walk Green with a few comments about a walk necessity, poop bags. Not all poop bags are created or degrade equally.  Some poop bags are photo-biodegradable, which means that they need to be exposed to the sun to degrade and compost.  Well the truth is that very few poop bags ever see the light of day once they hit the trash.  So pay attention when purchasing this walk necessity.  Recent changes in the US Federal Trade Commission regulations, applied to the pet industry mean that many poop bag companies have bags that no longer meet the regulatory definition of “biodegradable” because the bags can’t be proven to break down in a specified period of time in a landfill environment.  So you no longer will see the biodegradable claim on many types of poop bags.  The wording now used is “degradable” because some bags do degrade, but not in the window of time specified by the US Federal Trade Commission.  There are many bags that no longer make any claim about degrading, this is mostly due to the fact that they contain more plastic and actually do not break down for years and years in landfills if really at all.  A great degradable bag that also pays attention to green manufacturing is from a company called EarthRated.

When your pet has accidents at home, you can feel good about using the old standard clean up solutions like Nature’s Miracle, because these solutions contain millions of natural enzymes that actually break down urine.  Favorites of ours include Nature’s Miracle, XO, and Miracle Air. 

Feed Green: Aside from the obvious health benefits of feeding a natural, holistic, and biologically appropriate diet to our beloved pets there is the added benefit of greatly reduced stool volume.  Diets that are free from corn, wheat, soy, animal by-products, and artificial colors and preservatives are more biologically available and more completely digested by pets. We all know the adage: garbage in, garbage out, this is very true with diets that are high in indigestible grains such as corn and wheat, these undigested grains quite simply are eliminated and produce much larger and more frequent poops.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

First Aid for Pets



By: Lori Horton

The entire month of April is National Pet First Aid Awareness month. First aid items for humans are commonly found in homes but pet first aid items may not be. It is important to remember that if your family includes four legged members to have pet first aid items on hand in the home as well as when traveling. Be prepared for any type of pet emergency from poisoning to bee stings by keeping a first aid kit readily available.

First aid kits can be bought with all items included, like the Alcott First Aid Kit. You can also build your own first aid kit and keep one in the home and one in your car for when traveling. Either way, it is important to be prepared for any event that may leave your pet injured so avoid any problems becoming worse. First aid kits for pets should have the following:

- Tick Tweezers- Adhesive Tape
- Latex Gloves- Emergency Blanket
- Non Adhesive Dressing- Saline Eye Wash
- Ice Pack- Styptic Powder
- Antiseptic- Digital Thermometer
- Peace and Kindness- Tourniquet
- Skunk Odor Remover- Slip Lead/Leash
- Emergency ID Tag- Portable Meal/Water Bowl
- Emergency Food and Water- Blunt Tip Scissors
- Liquid Bandage- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

Many of these items can be found in your local drug store and here at Cherrybrook. In addition to having an emergency first aid kit every pet owner should know how to perform CPR.

Check out this handy chart from Kurgo on how to preform CPR.

Friday, March 25, 2016

He’ll Have Whatever I’m Having: Dinner



By: Lori Horton

Dinner is a time to come together as a family and talk about the events of the day. We all consider our pets a part of the family and want them to share in the family fun! However, sharing scraps from the dinner table with your pet not only promotes bad behavior, but also can be dangerous for them. Some of the foods we eat are toxic to our pets and should never be shared with them.

Many adults choose to have an alcoholic beverage with their dinner, a nice cold beer or glass of wine. Alcohol is something you should never share with your pets. When pets ingest alcohol they can suffer from a dangerous drop in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals will experience seizures and even respiratory failure. Even if you are not sharing your Chardonnay, be aware that alcohol can be found in other items besides your beverage sitting on the table.

Any unbaked dough containing yeast can result in alcohol poisoning. When the yeast in the unbaked dough is fermented, it causes the dough to product carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide that causes the dough to expand, can also expand when ingested which can disturb and twist the stomach, causing a common problem among large breed dogs known as bloat. Bloat is extremely dangerous and has been known to cause death. If you think your dog may have bloat, go to the Vet immediately.

Sharing scraps with pets from the dinner table is a common practice in homes, being aware of toxic and non toxic items is important. Also be aware though, that sharing anything from your table to their bowl can cause an upset tummy and diarrhea. Many of the foods we consume at the dinner table are filled with spices, butter, and fat. Some animals are more sensitive than others and cannot handle all the extras that we enjoy. Any cooked bones from the dinner table can also be dangerous as they can splinter more easily and become caught in the digestive tract. These can cause dangerous blockages and may result in expensive surgeries.

Instead of sharing that delicious steak bone or scrumptious mashed potato with them, let them enjoy a treat from the pet store that is made for them and completely safe. Cherrybrook has tons of options ranging from raw bones to lamb lungs! 

For more information on poison control follow these links:

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com
http://www.aspca.org
http://www.akc.org/learn/dog-health/human-foods-dogs-can-and-cant-eat

Monday, March 21, 2016

He’ll Have Whatever I’m Having: Lunch



By: Lori Horton

Salad is a healthy lunch option and when preparing a salad there are many foods to consider. Most of these items are completely safe to share with your pets. Lettuce, peppers, and carrots are all great for both you and your pet. Feeding these items before they get drenched in salad dressing or cheese is perfectly safe. However, be wary when it comes to any vegetable from the Allium family; as it is poisonous to our pets.

Vegetables in the Allium family include onions, garlic, chives, and leeks. If ingested, they can cause oxidative red blood cell damage witch makes them more likely to rupture. It may also cause gastroenteritis; which include symptoms like nausea, excessive drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Remember that with these vegetables in particular you may not see these symptoms in your pet right away. Garlic and onion poisoning can have a delayed onset, and symptoms may not be noticeable for a few days.

Usually when we think of items that are healthy for us, we think, “they must be healthy for my dog/cat too, right?” Wrong. Much like the vegetables in the Allium family mentioned above, certain fruits are also toxic to our pets. The pits of cherry’s, apricots, and apples all contain cyanide. This toxin can cause significant damage to our pets causing difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, shock, and even death. Cyanide effects the body negatively by inhibiting the enzyme called cytochrome oxidase. This enzyme is responsible for the transport of oxygen in the cells. When this enzyme is unable to do its job, the cells of the body cannot get the oxygen they need to function properly. When cutting up these yummy fruits for yourself, make sure to dispose of the pits and stems properly and out of the reach or your pets.

Become familiar with toxins to your pets so that you can help prevent a terrible incident. Follow this link for a full list of poisonous foods: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poisons/