Fourth of July Is Almost Here!

Now time for an annual reminder—it's almost the fourth of July! Why does that matter? Because it's the day our Founding Father's signed the Declaration of Independence? Well, sure, although the exact date of the signing is disputed (it may have been later), but more importantly because of this quote from a letter independence advocate and declaration signer John Adams sent to his wife Abigail after the Declaration had been approved: "It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." It seems people have taken Adams's advice to heart. Independence Day is now celebrated from coast to coast with fireworks shows and other loud celebrations. In many neighborhoods, people also set off personal fireworks and firecrackers of varying legality. In many areas, fireworks will start tonight, if they have not already, and will continue through next weekend. During this time, it's important to keep...
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Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! I hope this long weekend is spectacular—for you and your pets. Of course it will be, I can almost hear you thinking, friends, families, barbecues, fireworks... What else could we want? Of course, I agree that all these things are fantastic, but do your pets? As I have mentioned before, Fourth of July can be one of the most dangerous holidays for pets. Many pets get spooked by the sound of fireworks and end up getting lost. Any home firecrackers or sparklers can also pose a threat to any pets that are around while they are being used. And, of course, having guests in your home that are not used to being around your pet may result in things such as poisonous foods left at pet-level, open doors, and so on. So, make sure your Independence Day stays wonderful by following a few simple guidelines: If you're having people over, consider preparing a quiet, safe area for your pet out of...
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Something a Little Different

And now for something a little different… Isn't that what the holidays are all about? Whether you celebrate a religious holiday, or just appreciate a respite from your daily routine, the holidays provide an opportunity to do something just a little different. Many of us have days off, we may travel, or dust off those old family recipes for a once a year treat. What could be better? In my opinion, nothing. However, changes in our own routines often mean changes in our pets’ routines as well. Sometimes planning for these changes can fall by the wayside in our intense holiday planning. So here are three new things that your dog might experience during the holidays and what you can do to be prepared: New places. Whether you are traveling with your dog, as I am, or boarding your dog in a kennel or private home, new places can be difficult. Are there new rules in the new place? Make sure you know what they...
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Giving Thanks for Dogs and Pie

Giving Thanks for Dogs and Pie

I love dogs. And pie. The presence of both dogs and pie in my life are things I am definitely grateful for as Thanksgiving draws near. Like many Americans, my Thanksgiving will be full of dogs and pie and a number of other food items that are definitely Not For Dogs (NFD for short). That makes this the perfect moment to discuss how to keep our dogs safe this Thanksgiving. I have talked before about dogs at parties, but Thanksgiving has a few differences from other parties. Most of the guests are often family members. In my experience, family members can be some of the hardest to convince to follow your rules. So make your rules clear and explicit in advance. And make sure they are followed. Lots of food. Admittedly, a lot of parties have food, but Thanksgiving has some extra-delicious and very not-dog-safe food items. Like turkey bones. And pie. Not to mention, a lot of food that may be served in...
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Life of the Party: 5 Tips for a Safe and Successful Party – With Pets!

Christmas has come and gone. Stockings have been opened and family have departed, but with New Year's Eve fast approaching, party season is far from over. Whether you are planning to entertain for or in the New Year, here are a few tips to help you host a successful gathering. 1. Consider individual needs. Not everyone is a party animal. You may have your heart set on a free-for-all with children and dogs running gleefully around the backyard (ok, maybe not in Maryland for New Year's), but unless you select your guest list carefully, that just isn't going to be in everyone's best interest. The needs of human and animal guests need to be carefully considered. If you want to let all your friends bring their dogs, are all the dogs likely to get along? Do you have enough room to separate them if you need to, either because they don't get along, or because some are overwhelmed by the number...
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