How to Survive Holiday Stress

For many people, the holidays are a stressful time of year. Unexpected guests dropping by, entertaining relatives, and finding the perfect gift on everyone’s list are all daunting tasks. To add even more to the holiday pressure, we must still deal with our day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Talk about unwanted stress!

Stress is the body’s normal form of defense. When faced with danger or discomfort, your body reacts in a ‘fight or flight’ mode as a form of protection. If your body is subjected to constant, repetitive and stressful situations, without time to restore itself, your health could suffer.

In a recent study, found:

  • 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress
  • 75% to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are stress-related ailments and complaints
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declares stress a hazard of the workplace
  • Stress costs the American industry more than $ 300 billion annually

In order to avoid the potentially harmful effects stress can place on your body, there are some simple steps that you can take to help manage your stress levels.

Read the full article on how to survive stress and the holidays

The Perfect Pet Food Blog

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Aquatasy – That “Ich”-y Feeling – How to Treat Ich the Smart Way

Aquatasy presents a humorous & helpful guide to treating the dreaded fish disease known as “Ich”. Think you already know how to treat? Well, before you start…
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Smart Treat was ultimately a bust for us. Started out with promise, but we soon discovered that there were more sunflower seeds than we could handle. Inconsi…

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Do You Follow our Pet360 Blog?

Did you know that we also write a weekly column about adoption, rescue and advocacy for pet360? Our column is the “Bark and Purrtect” blog on the site and every Tuesday you’ll find…

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Who Can Get Crocs Some Respect? Boo the Pomeranian!

I have no fashion sense. None. The only time that I get complimented on how I dress is when I let my girlfriend buy me clothes. Otherwise, it’s blue jeans and black t-shirts all the way. You could be forgiven for at times thinking that I only own a single shirt that grafted itself to my body years ago.

But still, even I know that wearing Crocs is not the route to being known as a fashion hipster. Some time back, Tim Gunn described them as looking like “a plastic hoof.” Despite their sales, they just don’t get a lot of respect.

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Apparently, Boo looks even cuter with a pair of Crocs.

But maybe teaming Crocs with Boo, the World's Cutest Dog, will spruce their reputation up a little bit. Boo (or rather, his licensing company) has struck a deal with Crocs to produce two kinds of "Jibbitz" shoe charms with his image on them.

And despite all the snark that Crocs get, one thing seems clear from the pictures that are showing up on Boo's Facebook page: The World's Cutest Dog looks even cuter when wearing a pair of Crocs. Who'da thunk it?

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Boo and Buddy check out their footwear.

The Boo Jibbitz charms come in two models: one of Boo's head, and one full body image with a t-shirt on it.

Crocs' senior director of product licensing, Matt Lafone, said that "With our new Boo Jibbitz, fans everywhere can enjoy taking Boo for a walk."

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The two kinds of charms: with T-Shirt, or just a head shot.

I don't know if wearing a plastic charm on your shoe is quite the same as going for a walk with Boo, but he and his friend Buddy seem to really appreciate the shoes. The only potential hitch is that fans of Buddy seem to think that he's getting a raw deal by not getting a charm of his own.

Via Boo's Facebook Page and Glamour

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How I Keep My Teeth White + My Dental Hygiene Routine!

The products I use regularly to keep my teeth healthy and white! :) August Lifestyle Favorites! Toothbrush sanitizers: http://www…
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Nothing beats a healthy smile! Join as we give you ten simple tips to improve your dental health.
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Yesterday’s Walk

Our walk yesterday was so bad and involved so much yelling, I don’t even want to think about it. Some of it was Coulee’s fault (she will NOT listen when she knows a toy is not to be had) and some of it was just me trying to get her to not run and play (and by play I mean beat the crap out of her sister because she doesn’t have a toy in her mouth).  Instead, I’ll just leave you with some pictures of the good moments.

This was not a good moment.  After yelling Come and No about 5 times I gave up and snapped a picture instead.  She stunk so much Lacey actually tried to roll on her later in the walk.   

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Reactions to Food, Medications, or Flea Control Can Cause Many Medical Problems

      Many times veterinarians assume a case of diarrhea, an itchy ear or two, a hot spot, or a rash and hives is due to some infectious agent. I used to feel that way too. These days I spend a lot of time going over recent changes in food or medication to make sure that recent food or medication changes aren’t  causing  itching, pain, nausea, or the runs.


        Treats and chews are the first thing we talk about. Recent changes in  commercial treats(wheaty biscuits) , chews (steer penises, beef skin , pig ears, wheaty pill pockets, and dyed wheat gluten dental biscuits) can cause diarrhea, gas(farting), anal gland pain and infection,  itchy red ears, hives, and swollen faces and lips. Don’t always expect your vet to link symptoms with treats. Vets aren’t taught this in school. Our education is more geared to worms, giardia, and bacterial infection(food poisoning from eating garbage) and flea allergy dermatitis. The more I ask about treats and chews, the more I find I can help problems from happening again and again.


      Recent applications of topical flea control can make a pet feel “under the weather” or can result in an itchy spot, hotspot, flaky spot, or hives in the area or elsewhere.  If your pet “breaks out” monthly or is nauseous or has diarrhea after flea control, change the type(oral, topical) or ingredient. Many brands can have the same ingredient. For example, the ingredient in Frontline, fipronil,  is now being sold under many different names and packaging. Oral flea medication can give some pets indigestion, nausea, or cause hives. Remember…each pet is an individual and medications may affect them differently. Just like in their 2 legged friends, any medication may not sit well with them! ( I’ve found that feeding more oils in the diet helps pets fight off fleas. Check out Dog Dish Diet and Feed your Pet to Avoid the Vet.)


        Medications such as NSAIDs for pain can cause vomiting, diarrhea, internal bleeding, or organ problems (liver, kidney,stomach). For example, my dog Tucker had a surgery and 2 days later became sick to his stomach and vomited several times after eating. He was taking antibiotics along with an NSAID, but as a precaution, I stopped giving him the NSAID (Previcox). He felt better  right away. I elected to give him Tramadol for the pain instead of the NSAID…just in case he was sensitive to it. I couldn’t bear it if a medication I gave him for pain, harmed him!

     If a pet feels sick after taking medication, always question the NSAID first, then the antibiotic, or other medication. Never give aspirin or prednisone along with a prescribed NSAID. Combinations of NSAIDS and steroids can be dangerous. Combos of NSAIDS and steroids like prednisone or dexamethasone increases the likelihood  of side effects. The literature suggests very stressful surgeries may also lead to  increased side effects when NSAIDS are used  I am always careful with my dosages of NSAIDS with stressed or older animals.    


      A dog or cat can vomit, develop diarrhea, or not feel well  after receiving other drugs like clavamox, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, or cephalexin antibiotics, ketoconazole for yeast infections, heart drugs, or cyclosporine  for allergies.(To name the most common ones) If mild,  the nausea or soft stool may pass, but trying another medication or lowering the dose may help. Giving medication with a food or treat may help reduce symptoms. Putting the pills in a small amount of food, a piece of a chicken or turkey hot dog, piece of cheese, slice of deli meat, or spoon of peanut butter may help. To help with mild nausea, you can use pepcid AC,  10mg once daily. ( Check out Dr Greg’s 11 Practical Home Remedies for others!)


      Prednisone will cause a pet to drink more water and pee a lot more. Some pets will become ravenously hungry. Others may act “spacy” or subdued. You can always ask your vet if you can reduce the dose and/or  use every other day dosing. I’ve found that some pets need much lower doses than those I was taught to give.  A German Shepherd really improved when the prednisone dose was dropped from 40 mg to 10mg every other day.  That dosage is much lower than the usual prescribed dosage…but it worked! She must have not read the formulary!


       As always I’ll finish by advising a really good hypoallergenic commercial food for allergic dogs (fish/potato,  rabbit/potato, or venison/potato) or home cooking to find out which ingredients help your pet feel the best. Then you can continue home cooking or mix home cooked food with the commercial food with the right ingredients! If your cat is obese, or to prevent or help with urinary problems, feed canned food or home cooked food. (Feed your Pet to Avoid the Vet has home cooking recipes for cats) 

Dog Dish Diet teaches you about ingredients and how to add healthy oils and foods to the right commercial dog food. It also teaches you to cook an easy, simple, inexpensive,   slow cooked meal. Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet teaches you how to slow cook for your dog and cat with more recipes.

                                                                                        Check Out the books!



Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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Victorian Christmas stockings by Lady Jane Gray now on Etsy

Lady Jane Gray is a group of ladies who long for simpler, more gracious times. They are nostalgic for a time when people sat in their parlors or on their verandas sipping tea, doing needlework, and discussing the trivial issues of the day. They look wistfully at the Victorian age. Except for: The corsets, the…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Senior Picture

Some cool Senior images:

Senior Picture

Image by Ezalis
Senior Picture

Senior Picture

Image by Ezalis
Senior Picture

Senior Picture

Image by Ezalis
Senior Picture

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We’re Not Making This Up: A Trained Beagle Tests for Pregnancy by Sniffing Bear Poop

Announcement: Elvis is in the house. Or in the zoo, anyway. And he’s sniffing bear poop.

No, I’m not writing about some new tell-all book exposing strange things that happened in the back rooms of Graceland. In this case, Elvis is a trained Beagle, and he’s becoming a star in his own right thanks to his skills at sniffing bear poop. Specifically, polar bear poop. Elvis has been trained to detect the scent of certain proteins in fecal matter that can show whether or not a female polar bear is pregnant, reports the Huffington Post.

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Elvis, from the Cincinnati Zoo

It can be tricky to confirm whether a given bear is pregnant, especially early in the cycle, and Elvis' nose has the potential to simplify things a great deal. Right now, 14 zoos have sent fecal samples from 22 bears to see if they pass the sniff test.

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Elvis about to go to work in the lab.

At first glance, that might sound a little extreme; if a bear is pregnant, it'll become obvious soon enough, right? But polar bears are an endangered species, and it's a big deal to breed one in captivity. Only three cubs were born in U.S. zoos last year, and having an early warning system could be the key to making sure there's more. Right now, there isn't a reliable way to test a polar bear for pregnancy, and false positives are extremely common.

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Polar bear with cub, by Shutterstock.

When a female bear is known to be pregnant, the zoo takes steps as soon as possible to make her comfortable and safe. The pregnant bear gets her own den with extra bedding, is kept separate from males, and the staff can be scheduled for extra shifts keeping an eye on her and getting ready for the delivery. All that gets a lot easier if you can get a head start. It also makes it easier to study when and why polar bear pregnancies fail, and what can be done to avoid that.

Elvis' new career is the result of a collaboration between the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (or CREW, for those who want to avoid developing a nasty RSI) and Matt Skogen, owner of Iron Heart High Performance Working Dogs. Skogen's company has trained dogs to find explosives, bedbugs, peanut allergens, and termites, but Elvis works on the only project detecting pregnancy.

Erin Curry from CREW says "This is the first time sniffer dogs have been used in biomedical research as it relates to any wildlife species, making this project truly one-of-a-kind."

Elvis was trained using more than 200 samples from bears whose pregnancy status was already known; at this point, CREW says that Elvis' accuracy rate is at 97 percent, which is as good as one of the pregnancy tests that you can buy at the grocery store.

Curry has high hopes that if Elvis' skills pan out, and more dogs like him can be trained, it might mean a brighter future for a species that is now teetering on the edge of extinction, thanks in part to global warming.

"Polar bears are a high profile, flagship species for conservation ...," said Curry. "It is not unlikely that working with Elvis will be a critical factor in unlocking the mysteries of polar bear reproduction, contributing towards saving one of the world's most beloved animals."

Via Huffington Post and The Cincinnati Zoo

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