Gift Certificates are available for the Rockledge Veterinary Clinic and Katie’s Pet Grooming.
They make ideal gifts for all your pet loving friends!
The Holiday Season is upon us and where did the year go? As we all scramble to and fro choosing gifts and presents for friends and family we can’t forget our four legged friends. In this Guide you will find some of the things that you imagine could be on our own pet’s wish list, as well as some gift suggestions for you. We’ve included website links (it’s my favorite way to shop) for most items and online stores where you can find the everyday kind of gift at some really good prices. These are our favorite pet shopping sites.
We have some great tips on keeping your pets safe this holiday season including what is OK to feed them from our table and some homemade treats just for them! If you think that some of the warnings are overblown, go to the links and read the two actual accounts of pets that consumed “benign” foodstuffs. NO Raisenettes and No Xilitol for dogs!
Our friends at the ASPCA have their own holiday tips, as does the Cat Doctor for cat proofing your home for the holidays.
Having company at your house? Lisa Berkenstock tells us the best way to handle our much loved pets and when guests arrive.
If you are going away for the holidays and have not made boarding reservations or arranged for a pet sitter, time is running short. Make arrangements now so that your pets are left in the hands of people you trust. If you need to find a boarding facility, you can email me and I will send you a list of those places we have used or that come recommended from our clients.
In closing, all of us at the Rockledge Veterinary Clinic wish you and your families the very best this season and a very, very Happy and Healthy New Year. ~ Kathy Genuardi
A cool coat for walking the dog, it’s on my list!
Deluxe Paw Print Ornament Kit can be found at Terry’s Village along with some really cute pet themed items.
Walking the dog shoes are available at Clean Run or my favorite duck shoes at L.L.Bean.
Have a custom portrait done of your pets or even your family at Portraits by Jen Polillo. See some of her work on Facebook or email her. Shutterfly photo books are a great gift for yourself too!
Like to cook with fresh herbs? I love my AeroGarden. I grow the herbs and not only use them in my own recipes but share the parsley, oregano and basil with the dogs!
Antler chews are the newest “hot” chew item for dogs. They are a naturally recurring resource as only shed antlers are used. The largest antler that your dog can chew is the safest. These are available through several outlets including Amazon.com.
Castor and Pollux Good Buddy Twisted Rawhide Chews are a favorite at Dr. Rubin’s house and the rawhide chips are a big hit with her dog, Miss Hopi, too.
Wholesome Hides - a great long lasting chew made from a single piece of skin – the only “rawhide” that my girls get can be found at Pabby’s Pet Pantry or at K. V. Vet Supply.
For the sophisticated canine in your household Collier Leeds, a local Virginville, PA company offers handmade custom leather collars adorned with gemstones and brass accents. They also have brass collar ornaments if you need an extra stocking stuffer. Check out their website for local stores that carry their ready-to-wear pieces.
“Unstuffies” for the dog that loves a “teddy” – and then attempts to eviscerate them! These are stuffed toys without all that white fuzzy stuff inside. Some come with multiple squeakers for those dogs that also like to “desqueak” their toys. They can be found at your local chain stores, but if you like to stock up, try PetEdge or K.V. Vet Supply.
ChuckIt Ultra Balls, the tennis ball alternative – Carmen’s #1 toy! Unlike tennis balls these rubber balls have lasted through a year of pit bull play and are easily washable!
I think I like them as much as Carmen. They can be found online or at your local PetCo or PetsMart.
For the active or sports minded dog, Clean Run has all the necessities for an active life for your dog – and even for you!
And as your dog settles down for a nap after a long day of unwrapping presents, have her fall asleep on a handmade dog bed made by our very own Lisa Berkenstock. This stuff-it-yourself fleece bed comes in a variety of colors and sizes. It is easy to wash as you fill it with old linens or towels that can easily be removed. There is no bulky inner mattress! Contact Lisa at 215-900-0125 for prices and availability.
Cats are like little kids. Sometimes their favorite toys are as simple as empty boxes and paper bags! For something a little more upscale, there are a variety of toys to be found at your local pet superstores. Some of our pets’ favorites are: The Kong Kickeroo (Christopher’s favorite) – an oversized stuffed catnip laced toy just right for playing and “killing.” Your cat will love to wrap his paws around this huggable toy and kick, kick, kick!
They don’t know it yet but the kitties at Angela’s house will be getting the FroliCat Bolt Laser Toy. It’s an automatic laser toy that will keep your cat entertained for hours! Though I would say short play sessions are probably best. This toy is available at PetCo or Amazon.com.
Target has a great, reasonably priced corrugated cardboard scratcher that my cat uses religiously. My other cat, Christopher, sleeps on it too! It comes in a single or a double width and comes with its own catnip seasoning!
You know those crinkly, shiny cat balls that your feline friends love to chase? Well, I know that in my house they invariably wind up under the furniture! At PetEdge, you can find a 35 piece canister that will keep your cat busy for a long, long time. And Fuzzy Mice? How about a box of 60?
Old cats like thermal, heat reflecting beds. Cozy Cushion® for Cats is definitely going to be in Caruso’s Christmas stocking! These beds have a heat reflective material inside that keeps the bed comfy and cozy by using your pet’s body heat alone.
Think that your cat is bored? Try the Catit Design Senses Food Maze, a kitty puzzle toy that stimulates and challenges your cat as she tries to get the treat out! The different styles can be found at Amazon.
Oh yeah and your cat will love the AeroGarden too! They sell catnip kits to keep your little “stoner kitty” flying high! I recommend routinely clipping the catnip and drying it out to keep for the off season.
You can also take your cat’s older toys and put them in a container or plastic bag with the catnip and let them season for a day or two. Voila! They’re like new again.
Thinking of sneaking your best friend a little holiday treat under the dinner table?
PetMD offers advice about foods that pass the pet health test - in moderation -and those to avoid:
Turkey: Turkey for dogs and cats can be a wonderful lean protein. You will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.
Mashed Potatoes: Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. Though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, beware of additional ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Sour cream, onions and gravies could upset your pet's stomach. And remember onions are a no-no!
Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it. It is probably best to only add a small helping to your pet's plate or just add some fresh cranberries.
Macaroni and Cheese: If you know your pet's stomach can handle dairy, macaroni and cheese is a safe leftover to share. If you are unsure, however, it may be best to give them the macaroni plain. Lactose intolerance in cats is common when they become adults.
Green Beans: Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a casserole, though, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.
Alliums: Foods containing alliums (i.e., onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions) should not be ingested by your pet. While it is true that small, well-cooked portions of these foods can be okay if your pet is used to them, ingesting these foods in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia in pets. Even a small amount of onion can be deadly for your cat or small dog.
Grapes: Many people are unaware that grapes, and subsequently raisins, can be toxic to pets. The fruit has been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs. More on grape/raisinette toxocity.
Xylitol: While you may think you're being healthier by cooking with artificial sweeteners instead of the real thing, sweeteners containing xylitol are poisonous - and potentially deadly - to dogs. More on xylitol and dogs.
Chocolate: Chocolate is a well known off limits indulgence for pets. During the holidays, baking chocolate is used in many recipes and sometimes forgotten about. Make sure to keep your pet away from all forms of chocolate this holiday season.
Alcohol: Alcohol is definitely a big no for pets. What we may consider a small amount can be toxic to our pets. Also, keep in mind that alcohol poisoning can occur in pets from atypical items like fruit cake (the recipe may have called for liquor) as well as unbaked bread.
To be extra safe why not bake some Pumpkin Treats for your dog or some Tuna Tidbits for the cat?
This is the refrain I hear when I tell people my Raisinette story. While this is true, people often don’t know WHY they aren’t good for dogs. Usually they think it’s due to the chocolate. And while yes, chocolate isn’t good for dogs, the small amount in Raisinettes issn’t the concern. The concern is the raisins themselves. People gave grapes to dogs with no problems at all for years. In the past few years, however, emails and message boards began to spread the word among the dog community that grapes (and, therefore, raisins) can cause kidney failure in dogs. No one is exactly sure what in the raisins and grapes cause the issue. And, more concerning, the dose doesn’t always seem to matter. One dog may eat a bunch of grapes with no problem, while another could eat a few and have kidney issues.
I got a phone call one morning from my mother. She had found an empty box of Raisinettes on the kitchen floor. Mind you, I don’t even LIKE raisins (I like them even less now), but someone else had brought them over. I have two dogs who could’ve been the culprit. We all immediately suspected Pete, my blind beagle mix and counter surfer extraordinaire as the likely culprit.
We called Poison Control and were told to give him peroxide. This resulted in him vomiting up a piece of the yellow Raisinettes box. We figured it must’ve been him, and off he went to Rockledge. He spent the day there, receiving intravenous fluids to support his kidneys, and then was transferred to a local ER vet. His kidney function looked normal so far, but we were still worried, and the recommendation is to hydrate with IV fluids for 48 hours. Pete was going to spend the weekend at the ER.
Around 10 pm that night, our other dog Isis, a 70 pound Siberian Husky, starts that pre-vomit hunched over hacking. We jump up, only to see her vomit-you guessed it- a pile of raisins. Back to the ER we go, with Isis in tow. She will be spending time at the ER as well.
We spent the weekend running back and forth visiting Isis and Pete. They knew us as the “raisin people”. They put Pete and Isis in cages next to each other. When Pete would head off for an exam and blood draw, Isis would get upset that she didn’t get to go anywhere cool. When Pete heard Isis’s tags jingle by, he would get upset and want to join her. Pete’s kidney function never elevated, so he went home Sunday. Isis’s kidney function did go up for a few days (apparently we were incorrect in our guess that Pete was the counter surfing Raisinette thief). She needed to remain at the ER for 5 days. The ER veterinarian who initially saw Isis said that there was a thought that Raisinettes wouldn’t be a risk, due to the processing. We, clearly, dispelled that myth.
Happily, both dogs are fine now, but if we didn’t know that raisins aren’t good for dogs, we may not have gotten Isis to the vet until it was too late. Because we got her there and got her on IV fluids so quickly, her kidney function never got too high (her creatinine peaked at 2.0), and lowered to normal after a few days of IV fluids.
Just for the record, there are no more raisins in my house.
I was at my aunt and uncle’s house for a family gathering. My cousin, Kathy, is involved in Labrador Retriever rescue, and since I’m a volunteer with Blind Dog Rescue Alliance, we pretty much talked dogs all day. While we were chatting, Kathy’s daughter called. Their foster dog, Snickers, ate a pack of gum. Is that a big deal, she asked. Kathy turned to me and said “Snickers ate some gum, but that’s OK, right?” I asked her if the gum had xylitol in it. Kathy asked her daughter, and yes, indeed, the gum had xylitol. I told her that Snickers needed to get to the ER immediately. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. It was just a few pieces of gum. Clearly I’m overreacting, because I’m that nutty dog person. And thankfully for Snickers I am!
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. It’s commonly used as a sugar substitute in gum and other products for humans. It’s considered quite safe for people-eat a lot of it and you may get some diarrhea. But it’s quite different in dogs. Xylitol causes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in dogs. It can also cause blood clotting issues and liver failure. Symptoms of hypoglycemia-weakness, lethargy, seizures-can develop within 30-60 minutes of ingesting xylitol, though could take longer.
Kathy called the president of her lab rescue, who echoed my words (at least someone didn’t think I was nuts!). They rushed Snickers to the ER, where she already started showing signs of lethargy. The ER staff quickly rushed Snickers back and began treating her. Thankfully, she got there in time and treatment started quickly, so Snickers suffered no ill effects.
The moral of the story? Call me if your dog eats something weird. Well, OK, not really, since I’m not a vet, nor do I play one on TV. However, the ASPCA has a Poison Control hotline that you can call. They have a vast database of items that are toxic to animals-from food, to plants, to chemicals. The hotline is available 24/7. There is a charge, so be ready with a credit card number. The number is (888) 426-4435. If your pet gets into something, call Poison Control. It could save their life.
Pumpkin Dog Treats
1/2 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
4 tbsp molasses
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend all of the wet ingredients
(pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, water) together.
3. Add the dry ingredients (wheat flour, baking powder,
baking soda and cinnamon) and stir until a soft dough forms.
4. Grab the dough by teaspoonfuls and roll it into balls with
your hands (hint: wet hands work best). Drop the balls onto
a cookie sheet/pizza pan and flatten them with a fork.
5. Bake until hard (approximately 25 min.). If you want them a
bit crispier, you can just turn off your oven and let them
cool in there overnight.
6 ounce can of tuna
1/4 cup water drained from tuna
3 T cooked egg white, chopped
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine tuna, egg white and water.
3. Add cornmeal and flour and blend to form a dough.
4. Knead into a ball and roll to 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into one-inch sized pieces. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Makes 12 cookies.
The holiday season is upon us and with it comes the predictable hustle and bustle of shopping, deliveries, decorations and visits from family and friends. We humans greet the upcoming yuletide with mixed emotions and so do our pets. The changes that accompany holiday cheer are a source of stress for our dogs and cats.
Just yesterday, I received an email from a concerned client saying that her usually friendly cat had hissed and swatted at a Thanksgiving house guest that tried to offer a good morning head pat. I found that response to be completely predictable. Strangers or multiple familiar visitors invading your dog or cat's home are a source of stress. Our four-legged housemates feel confused by all of the new routines and smells that new people bring. The best way to help them deal with all of this change is to plan ahead and make things as stable and predictable for Fido and Felix as you possibly can. Put them in their favorite room or crate. Give them objects that they feel secure about. Their "safe place" should have their favorite blanket or bed, water and litter box, if applicable. I would also be sure to add a stuffed kong or squeaky mouse and something special to chew for Lassie and to scratch for Leo. There are also some helpful products that are naturally soothing that you could add to the tranquility place. You can spray some Dog Appeasing Pheromone (D.A.P.) or lavender and put on your Through A Dog's Ear cd for Buddy. Buffy would probably prefer a Feliway diffuser and a water fountain with Pando Pet music playing in the background.
Practice sessions in the confinement area before Aunt Martha and the toddler twins arrive is an even more effective proactive approach to keeping your furry family content. Whatever your plans are for this joyous season, remember, peace on earth starts at home. Plan ahead. Keep things as peaceful as possible for Poochie and Princess too.
Unsubscribe from our newsletter
Please enter your email address to recieve our quarterly newsletter:
© 2013-2019 Rockledge Veterinary Clinic PC. All Rights Reserved.