Valentine’s Day & Pets Can be a Bad Mix

I bet from the headline you thought I was going to say don’t give a puppy or a kitten as a gift for Valentine’s Day. While that’s sound advice, this column is really about how common Valentine’s Day gifts or activities can be dangerous for dogs or cats.

Chocolate
Who doesn’t like chocolate on Valentine’s Day? But don’t share chocolates with your dog! All kinds of chocolates are dangerous for dogs. The darker the chocolate or the greater the quantity, the more dangerous it is. Chocolate can cause pancreatitis in dogs, a painful abdominal condition with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea.

Xylitol
Staying on the topic of sweets, a number of sugar-free candies and baked goods now contain xylitol as a sugar substitute. This ingredient can lead to liver failure in dogs.

Roses
A beautiful bouquet of roses is almost synonymous with Valentine’s Day, but keep them up high and away from a curious dog or cat. Eating roses can cause constipation and an upset stomach, and thorns can cause injuries to the mouth or paws.

Gift Wrapping
An artfully wrapped gift is always a pleasure to receive, but after you open it be mindful of what you do with the ribbons and wrapping paper, especially metallic wrapping paper. Curious dogs or cats that ingest gift wrapping risk having blockages in the intestines.

Candles
Turning down the lights and basking in the glow of lit candles can be very romantic, but be cautious about where you put them. Tails, noses and whiskers run the risk of getting singed, or in a worse case scenario, accidentally tipping over the candles could start a fire.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these substances, please contact your veterinarian.

Food Toy Fun

Sometimes we can’t always meet the exercise needs of our dogs, so when you can’t exercise the body, try exercising the mind instead. There’s all kinds of ways to do this, including good old obedience training in the house, but another thing that most dogs likeKibble Nibble is interacting with a food toy.

There are some great commercially available food toys, such as the Kong Wobbler, the Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble from PetSafe, or a number of puzzle toys and slow feeders. all of which make the dogs work for their dinner.

If you’re not ready to invest in these options, there are also a number of ways that you can make your own food toy to give the idea a try. All of these ideas should be used under your supervision, since not all the hand-made toys are as durable as the commercial versions.

One of mBaxter-w-muffin-tin-smy dog’s favorite food toys is the muffin tin game. Simply take an old muffin tin, put a few pieces of kibble in the bottom of each muffin well and then cover each well with a tennis ball or other kind of ball. The dog has to lift the ball out of the well in order to get to the kibble. Once they clear all the balls, refill the muffin tin and start again.

Another idea is to cut some holes in a sour cream or yogurt container. Be sure to file down any sharp edges. Put the dog’s dinner in the container, replace the lid, and then stand back as the dog rolls the container around in order to get the kibble to come out.

A similar idea is to cut holes in a cardboard shipping box, interlace the flaps shut and let your dog move the box around to get to the kibble. If this is too challenging for your dog, make the holes bigger and along the bottom of the box. Vary the size of the box and the placement of the holes to increase the challenge.

For an even greater challenge, you’ll need a used, clean peanut butter jar and a cardboard tube from a finished roll of paper towels. Drill roughly a dime sized hole in the lid of the jar and cut the cardboard tube to length so that two or three pieces fit in the jar. Fill each cardboard tube with kibble, screw the jar lid back on and then let your dog have at it. As your dog rolls around the jar, the kibble will dispense out of the top. If the kibble isn’t coming out easily enough, make the hole a bit bigger. Here’s a short video that demonstrates how to create this toy: dogfooddispenser.

As with anything new, introduce your dog to the game slowly and with encouragement. They may need your help in the beginning to figure out what they are suppose to do.

Why We Offer Doggie Daycare

Some people think that Doggie Daycare is over the top, but when you see how happy the dogs are having the chance to just be dogs and play with each other, communicating in doggie language, you understand.
Bowser Pippi
Seeing the dogs play is great, but when you can see their personalities bloom and grow, it’s really wonderful. Last week we were so proud of these three females, Bailey the Rottie, Kumba the Ridgeback and Lucy the Cattle Dog, all strong, take-charge females who didn’t like each other too much when they first started coming to daycare. With encouragement and time spent together playing, expending energy and learning to communicate with each other, now they can all nap in the same space close to each other with no problems!
Lucy Kumba Bailey Friends

Well socialized and exercised dogs are happy dogs!

We’ve Moved!

Last Sunday was the big move day and thanks to a bunch of friends it went smoothly. A long, but successful day. This week we settle into the new space and next week the Doggie Day Care opens!
Stop by, say hi and check it out!

Moving Out

Moving out of Maple Ridge Plaza

Grooming Room

First stop for many of the items moved as the new Grooming room.

Setting up the new store

The new store is starting to look like a real store.

Approved for Occupancy

Yesterday we received the official notification that we were approved for occupancy in the new store building! The last couple months have been filled with getting the details finished. Here are some pictures of the progress.

Work on the check out counter continues. Ray created a nice design detail for the corner ledge.

Work on the check out counter continues. Ray created a nice design detail for the corner ledge.

The back door from the second floor now has both stairs and a ramp.

The back door from the second floor now has both stairs and a ramp.

The interior staircase gets the first coat of poly.

The interior staircase gets the first coat of poly.

The Dog Wild sign goes on the front of the building.

The Dog Wild sign goes on the front of the building.

Getting Closer…

Now that the weather has been getting better, we’ve been able to move some things along that had been on hold over the winter. Tallman’s Tree Service was brought in to remove a few more trees around the front of the property to allow us to widen the driveway and increase the sight lines.

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Some nice warm days have allowed the exterior of the building to receive the second coat of paint that was needed. And at the end of April the tar pits opened up, which allowed Gifford’s Paving to come in and lay the asphalt down for the driveway and alongside the buildings. Now things are really starting to look good on the outside of the building.

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On the inside there is still more finishing work to be done, but quite a bit of progress has been made in the last six weeks. The interior is fully painted, the finish electric has been done, the plumbing is in, the floors are down (thanks Crazy Tom’s) and Ray has been working on the cherry bead board that dresses the checkout counter.

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Still on the to do list:

A railing along the side of the building for handicap access.

Stairs

Interior doors

Checkout countertop

Sealing the floors

Trimming out doors and windows

Baseboard tiling in the front half of the store

Landscaping

And about a dozen other things, but we’re getting there. No move date has been selected yet, but we’re hoping to be able to relocated the store sometime in June. Stay tuned for specifics.

Painting Begins

Drywall, mud and sanding complete, it’s on to the painting. Image

Our friend and neighbor Brett Hernandez of Suburban Painting is bringing his professional skills to the job.

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