Posted on Leave a comment

Dog-Friendly Christmas Cookies Recipe

When you think about the holidays, you think about baking cookies. But traditional Christmas cookies contain many ingredients that are not safe for dogs and are potentially toxic, such as chocolate, xylitol, sugar, spices, nuts, and toppings that can choke your dog. But now you can indulge in holiday joy with Christmas cookies that contain cranberries, which are rich in antioxidants and are a natural anti-inflammatory that helps support your dog’s immune system.

Happy Howlidays!

Learn about this pawfect howliday recipe from Zoetis Pet Care by Dr. Sam Gilbert

Posted on Leave a comment

Thanksgiving Safety for Dogs: Get it Right!

    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, with many gatherings filled with food and family. However, the holiday may not be quite as joyful for your canine companion. From an interrupted routine to dangerous foods, Thanksgiving, unfortunately, presents many hazards to our four-legged friends. Read below to learn how you and your pet can have a safe, stress-free holiday this year with our guide on Thanksgiving safety for dogs.

    Do’s & Don’ts for Thanksgiving Foods

    One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is the feast itself. However, many traditional Thanksgiving foods are high in fat, contain bones, or include ingredients that are hazardous to dogs. Head into your meal equipped with knowledge of what is and what is not harmful to your dog. 

    Foods to Avoid Sharing with Dogs

    • Turkey: Turkey including the skin can cause pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition. Dark, fatty meat is especially hazardous to your pup. In addition, be aware of carcasses and bones which pose a great choking hazard and can even splinter inside the digestive tract. 
    • Dough containing yeast: Yeast can cause painful gas and bloating which may lead to a stomach blockage. This is because the yeast in the dough makes it rise and expand. In addition, the natural fermentation of the yeast in your dog’s stomach can lead to alcohol poisoning. 
    • Garlic and onions: Garlic and onions, as well as other variations of the vegetable (leeks and chives), are common in many traditional Thanksgiving dishes including green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. Steer clear of feeding your dog any foods with these ingredients as they are toxic. The toxicity causes damage to your dog’s red blood cells resulting in anemia. These foods also lead to GI upset. 
    • Grapes: Grapes, as well as the dried versions of the fruit, such as raisins and currants, are hazardous to your canine companion. These are often found inside dishes such as stuffing at your Thanksgiving meal. Grapes’ toxicity can cause harm to dogs’ kidneys and affect urine production. 
    • Pie and desserts: Many pies and desserts served at Thanksgiving contain toxic ingredients including chocolate and xylitol. In addition, desserts are often high in fat which is dangerous to dogs. 

    Safe Foods to Feed Dogs at Thanksgiving

    • Sweet potato & potato: Raw, unseasoned sweet potatoes and potatoes can be shared with your dog at Thanksgiving. Sweet potatoes are actually filled with nutrients that are beneficial to canines. Just be sure to stick to raw or dried bits, no canned goods. 
    • Green beans: Green beans are a safe treat for your pup, like potatoes, steer clear of seasoned or dressed green beans – keep them raw and hazard-free. 
    • Pumpkin: Pumpkin is tasty and loaded with fiber for dogs, raw or cooked. Always use fresh 100% pure pumpkin, not to be confused with canned pumpkin pie filling that is hazardous. 
    • Apple: Apple slices make for a yummy treat for your dog, just be sure to steer clear of the core and seeds, as consuming too many seeds may be toxic.

    Thanksgiving Celebration Precautions

    Holiday gatherings can pose a number of risks to your canine companion. Follow the tips below to prepare for your Thanksgiving celebration while keeping your dog safe and stress-free. 

    • Put trash away: Be sure the garbage is secured in a place where your dog is unable to access it. Either hide the garbage can away or have a secure lid. Packaging from foods poses a risk to your dog if consumed. Strings and other items used to wrap and tie meat products can be deadly. In addition, you don’t want your dog accessing bones or any other scraps in the trash. 
    • Make sure food is inaccessible: Don’t let Fido jump on countertops or tables during your meal preparation or meal. If your dog is known to be a counter surfer, consider crating or gating them in a separate area of the house while food is present.   
    • Create a “safe space”: With Thanksgiving comes new visitors, larger crowds, and increased activity. These factors may cause stress to your dog. If your dog is nervous or overly excitable with visitors, set them up in a secluded room or crate with their favorite toy or bone. If you do let your dog interact with visitors, always be sure they have access to a “safe space” such as their crate, so they can excuse themselves and relax away from the activity. This way, both your pet and visitors are safe and comfortable. 
    • Put away guests’ bags: As guests arrive, be aware of their purses and suitcases and put them away in a closet or somewhere inaccessible to your dog. While you may be aware that your pup loves scavenging for goodies in purses, your guests may not be. Keeping bags out of sight prevents the likelihood of your dog consuming something hazardous. 
    • Update Microchip & ID Tags: With visitors comes increased traffic in the household, including a lot of in and out through doors. Even if your pet is not typically a door bolter, all of the added activity may cause stress leading to a slip through the door. To be safe, make sure their collar is secured and update their microchip information and identification tags ahead of time. An owner’s name, address, and phone number are crucial to reuniting a lost pet with their beloved owner. 
    • Keep an eye on festive decor: Items to keep an eye out for include pine cones, festive plants, and other attractive decor. These may intrigue your pet leading to intestinal blockages and GI upset. Also, be vigilant around lit candles, a wagging tail or jumping dog can easily knock over a candle resulting in a fire. 

    Thanksgiving Travel Precautions

    Traveling is a fun and often essential part of Thanksgiving. However, it may not be as fun for your dog. Follow the tips below to ensure your pet has a safe and comfortable travel experience this holiday. 

    golden retriever hanging out of car
    • Proper and safe restraint in the car: There are many harnesses, seatbelts, and carriers built for dogs of all shapes and sizes to ensure proper restraint in the car. Utilizing this gear ensures your dog is protected when making a sharp turn or, braking suddenly, or getting in an accident. Just be sure wherever they are restrained in the car, the area is clear of airbags. In addition, restraint ensures your pet is unable to access hazardous food or cause distractions to the driver. 
    • Consult with a veterinarian about air travel: Traveling by airplane can pose a risk to your pet, especially short-nosed dogs. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian if you are considering your dog boarding an airplane. They will go over the potential risks based upon your dog’s age, breed, health status, etc. They may also prescribe medication to keep them calm.
    • Pack Fido’s bag: You probably have your own bag stocked and ready to go for your trip, but be sure that your dog does too. Include essential items: 
          • Up-to-date medical records including proof of vaccinations
          • Favorite toys and comfort items 
          • Medications (including a surplus supply just in case) 
          • Crate and bed 
          • Food and clean water along with dishes
          • Collar (with current ID & Rabies tags) 
          • Pet first aid kit 
          • Primary veterinary information 
    • Emergency veterinary information: While you should have your dog’s primary veterinarian’s contact information on hand, we highly recommend doing some research before hitting the road. Compile a list of emergency veterinary contact information in the areas you’ll be traveling through. This way, if any issues arise, you’ll be able to act quickly and secure care for your dog. 
    • Update microchip, ID tags, and travel tags: With a lot of in and out of the car, restroom breaks, and unfamiliar territory, it is essential to update your dog’s microchip information and ID tags prior. An owner’s name, address, and phone number should be up to date and secured to their collar. In addition to their normal identification tags, consider creating a travel tag. Include your typical information accompanied by contact information for your travel accommodations such as the hotel, family’s house address, etc.
    Posted on Leave a comment

    Halloween Safety for Dogs 101

      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
      Scroll to Top
      Photo Credit: SVETIKD

      Halloween is right around the corner. We are all getting prepared for the big day, fitting our pets for costumes, finding pet-friendly events to take them too and more. But do you know about Halloween safety and ensuring your dog is safe on Halloween? Here are some Halloween safety tips for your pup:

      Keep Treats Away (and Offer Alternatives)

      Photo Credit: Ruffle Snuffle

      The majority of treats and candy that are given out on Halloween are toxic to dogs. It may be tempting to count out all the collected candy on the floor post-trick or treating or to leave the bowl of candy right next to the front door, but these are easy access points for pups. Some common Halloween treats that are toxic to dogs include:

      • ​​Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
      • Raisins and chocolate-covered raisins
      • Candy corn
      • Macadamia nuts
      • Sugar-free candy (they use a toxic substitute called xylitol)
      • Caramel apples

      If you want your dog to be able to partake in the festivities, you can make them their own Halloween treats

      Be Aware of Decoration Dangers

      Many decorations pose a threat to dogs as well as your home. For example, a dog can easily knock over a jack-o-lantern with a candle inside. Certain Halloween plant decorations are relatively nontoxic to dogs including decorative corn but they may cause stomach discomfort if nibbled on. Some other dangerous include:

      • Rubber eyeballs (choking hazard)
      • Fake blood and glowsticks (possibly poisonous)
      • Fake cobwebs (choking hazard and they can be twisted up in them)
      • String lights (strangulation) 

      Block the Front Door and Keep Them Calm

      Constantly opening the door for trick or treaters are constant opportunities for your dogs to dart. Keep the dogs behind a dog gate or put them in a bedroom when someone comes up to your door. On top of that, dogs may be spooked by the dressed-up children and not react so friendly. If people coming to the door may stress your dog out, you may want to give them some CBD before or talk to your vet about anxiety medication.

      Be Careful With Costumes

      Photo Credit: @2husketeers

      Wearing a costume can cause undue stress in pets. Just because they look adorable does not mean that you should do it. If your pet is showing signs of being in distress or any abnormal behavior while in a costume, opt for a festive bandana or their birthday suit instead.

      For pets who will wear a costume, make sure they can move freely and it does not restrict their movement, sight, ability to bark or breath. Inspect the costume for any possible choking hazards like small, dangling bits and remove them. You should also not leave the costume on when the pet is unattended. This may result in strangulation as they can easily become twisted up in them.

      Light Them Up

      If you are taking your dogs out on Halloween night, make sure they are easily spotted. You can get them a light-up collar, light-up leash, or light to attach to their collar. It may be tempting to run across the street to the next house with everyone else but drivers are often distracted Halloween night and may not see your pup being dragged behind you.

      Bring Them Inside

      Pets absolutely should  not be left unattended outside on Halloween night. Unfortunately, pets have been the victims of Halloween tricksters and pranks that have resulted in pets being injured, stolen, or even killed.

      Prepare for the Worst

      It is always better to be safe than sorry. Ensure your pets’ tags are up to date as well as their microchip. If your pet has a microchip and it hasn’t been registered, you can register for free with Found Animals. If they do happen to escape, this increases their chances of being reunited with you. Also, keep the number for poison control readily available in case they happen to ingest some of the treats.

      ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline: (888) 426-4435.

      Halloween is a holiday that most of us love and we love to have our pets involved. But, it’s a holiday that offers numerous dangers that we might not think about. Do you have any helpful Halloween safety tips? Let us know in the comments! 

      Posted on Leave a comment

      July 10, 2021 Proclaimed “Dr. Lila Miller Shelter Medicine Day”

      PLEASANTON, Calif., July 10, 2021 — Maddie’s Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has presented the 2021 Avanzino Leadership Award to Lila Miller, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) for her trailblazing leadership and purposeful dedication to the field of veterinary shelter medicine. 

      Maddie's Fund® has presented the 2021 Avanzino Leadership Award to Lila Miller, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) for her trailblazing leadership and purposeful dedication to the field of veterinary shelter medicine.

      A proclamation of Dr. Lila Miller Shelter Medicine Day has been declared for July 10, 2021. Recognition of Dr. Miller, this day and the Avanzino Leadership Award was received from U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Representative Tom Reed, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, New York CityMayor’s office, City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

      Dr. Miller has long been a pioneer and leading voice in veterinary shelter medicine. She transformed the lives of countless pets, developing the first veterinarian-written guidelines for shelter animal care, which are now used in shelters across the country to ensure the humane treatment of shelter pets. An unassuming trailblazer, she’s educated a generation of students about issues shelters face and has paved the way for women of color in veterinary medicine, being the first Black American woman to graduate from the Cornell School of Veterinary medicine in 1977.

      “Dr. Miller is the mother of shelter medicine,” said Dr. Laurie Peek, Maddie’s Fund Executive Leadership Team. “She has forged a path to achieve not only her childhood dreams of becoming a veterinarian, but also inspires generations of veterinarians along the way. Shelter medicine changes everything because of her. We owe Dr. Miller our deepest gratitude for her bold ideas and innovative work. We are so very fortunate to have a living legacy in the field of animal welfare and our world.”

      The Avanzino Leadership Award is presented with a $25,000 grant which Dr. Miller has designated to Animal Care Centers of New York City.

      In 1999, Dr. Miller taught the first shelter medicine class in the U.S. at Cornell, and in 2003 taught the first shelter medicine course on Veterinary Information Network (VIN). She co-founded the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) and has also co-edited four shelter medicine textbooks, served as adjunct professor at both Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally.

      She spent 40 years trailblazing in the animal welfare field, a majority of her career working for the ASPCA as the Director of the ASPCA’s Brooklyn Clinic for a period of 15 years before transitioning to her roles as Veterinary Advisor, Vice President of Veterinary Outreach, followed by the Vice President of Shelter Medicine, retiring in 2019. She is currently a member of the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and co-founder and past President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV).

      New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office presented a letter of commendation to Dr. Miller at the virtual awards ceremony. “The NYC Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare holds Dr. Miller in the highest regard,” said Christine Kim, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare. “I congratulate Dr. Miller on the well-deserved recognition for her lifelong commitment to shelter medicine and for her trailblazing legacy that inspires people of color exploring pathways into an historically white profession.”

      The Avanzino Leadership Award is named after Rich Avanzino who is considered the father of the no-kill movement and was Maddie’s Fund President from 1999 – 2015. This award recognizes significant achievement and courage to look beyond the status quo and make bold decisions to improve the lives of pets and their people.

      About Maddie’s Fund

      Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

      The Foundation has awarded $255.1 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

      Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie


      Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

      SOURCE Maddie’s Fund

      Related Links

      Posted on Leave a comment

      Relieving Firework Anxiety for Dogs

      dog laying under fireworks
        Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
        Scroll to Top

        4th of July is a time for BBQs, celebration, family and of course…fireworks which means firework anxiety for dogs. And of course, the fireworks often commence for weeks prior to the actual holiday. For the average person, fireworks are an exciting part of the holiday that we all look forward to. But for the majority of dog owners, it’s like hunkering down for the war. If you aren’t sure if your dog is scared of fireworks, here are some signs to look out for:

        • Trembling 
        • Shaking 
        • Hiding 
        • Seeking Comfort 
        • Destruction 
        • Urination 
        • Salivation

        So how can we make our pets be more comfortable during fireworks?

        Wrap Them Up 

        Consider investing in the all so mighty Thundershirt! There’s more to it than making your dog look stylish. The shirt creates a comforting pressure for the dog similar to a swaddle for a baby. Thundershirts have been proven to have a calming effect on over 80% of dogs including helping relieve firework anxiety.2

        husky in thundershirt
        Photo Credit: @lifeofhuskyluna

        If you don’t have a Thundershirt, you can make a make-shift one out of an elastic bandage! It’s simple and still effective. Check out the infographic below or this video that teaches you how to do the wrap!

        Photo Credit: Bark

        Check Out CBD Oil

        Since CBD for pets hit the markets, it’s become a go-to form of anxiety relief. CBD oil is available in drop form as well as treats, food toppers, tablets and more, but the most effective is drops/oil. Please note that all evidence of the effectiveness is strictly anecdotal and has not undergone any formal studies. For high quality CBD, check out VetCBD which can only be purchased at dispensaries or view our product directory for other quality CBD oils to help relieve firework anxiety.

        Photo Credit: VetCBD

        Consider Prescription Meds

        There’s no shame in asking your vet for anxiety medication for your dog! It can often be the ONLY thing that works for high anxiety dogs. Your vet should ALWAYS be consulted regarding medication, including anything over the counter.

        dog getting a red pill
        Photo Credit: Unknown

        Hunker Down at Home

        It’s time to hunker down and close the fort. Close up all the windows and doors in your house and play loud music or television to try and down out the noise. But make sure to do this BEFORE the fireworks start. Never keep dogs outdoors by themselves during fireworks as it’s one of the days when the most dogs end up in shelters after running away in fear. 

        dachshund laying in blankets
        Photo Credit: Jessica Johnston

        Escape the Noise

        If you’re able to, take advantage of the holiday and just get out of town. If you like camping, consider taking a tip to the mountains or desert where the fireworks can’t be heard. Although this can only really be suitable for the actual day of 4th of July and not the weeks leading up to it. If you can’t leave, you could always try finding a pet sitter who lives outside of town away from the fireworks.  

        woman and 2 dogs in a tent while camping
        Photo Credit: Non-stop dogwear