9 Things That Can Kill Your Dog This Holiday Season

The holidays are, in my opinion, the best time of year.  You get to see your family, even those from far away.  The food is amazing.  I have a cousin who bakes the most amazing cookies, and dozens of kinds.  She uses my grandmother’s recipes as well as her own, and it’s amazing.  And everyone else makes their own specialty, so it’s all the family favorites at the table.  I also work in retail, and love that the store is crazy-busy, and the customers are stressed but perfectly happy to stand in long lines.

But this season is dangerous for your pets.  Many foods that we enjoy can kill dogs.  Guests inadvertently leave the door open, and dogs escape.  Hot kitchens lead to spills, and winter weather approaches.  Use these tips to keep your dog safe this holiday season.

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Why the Guinea Pig Makes a Kick-Ass Pet

I’ve seen so many questions about choosing the best “first pet” for a child.  Lots of families have a “family dog” and “family cat,” but when we’re talking about a pet that your child will be personally responsible for, a guinea pig is my favorite pick.

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Taking Care of a Kitten: The Master Kitten Raising Guide

Taking care of a kitten seems easy, right? Litter box, food bowl, water dish, and a few toys, and you’re set, right?

Well, yes–if your only goal is to keep the kitten alive. To raise a well-adjusted kitten, it takes a little bit of planning and making good rules from the beginning. I’m going to use my Master Kitten Raising Guide to teach you how to raise a well-mannered, friendly, and fun cat.

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Seven Reasons Your Cat Won’t Use the Litter Box

Most people keeping cats desperately fear the day their cat won’t use the litter box.  Thousands of cats find themselves homeless after refusing to use the litterbox and instead urinating or defecating in any number of places.  Many cats choose the bed, or the laundry.  Others choose the bathtub, or defecate just outside the box itself.

Sometimes their owners don’t even know that they’ve stopped using the box–they just smell an odor and eventually find a mess.  Maybe they punish the cat–but the cat has no idea why.  The cat had a specific reason for refusing the box, and punishing only means they must try harder to hide their mess.

Most cats stop using the box for one of these major reasons.  Most problems resolve quickly if treated quickly.

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A Step-by-Step Guide for Picking a Puppy

I love writing about puppies.  I started writing to help families have great relationships with their pets, and a new puppy is always the beginning of a fantastic relationship.  Picking a puppy, the right puppy, gives the relationship the best foundation possible.  This guide for picking a puppy walks through the steps to pick the best puppy for your family out of a litter.

Some families choose a rescue puppy, and gamble a bit more than families that choose a breeder puppy.  My advice differs depending on where you find your puppy, but should lead your family true.

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Five Great Puzzle Toys for Dogs

Do you think your dog might be bored?  Dogs need more than physical stimulation.  Regardless of their intelligence, all dogs need mental stimulation to stay active and happy.  Most dogs love to use their nose to solve problems, and these great puzzle toys for dogs will help your dog keep his mind sharp.

These toys also work great for dogs that eat too fast or are prone to bloat.  They have to work to get the food, so they can’t gulp it all down in one bite.

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Why You Should Discover Your Dog’s Genetic Heritage

Genetic testing isn’t just for breeders.  Pet owners–even those with mixed-bred dogs–can learn valuable information with a simple DNA test.  While responsible breeders are often early adopters of genetic testing, pet owners should participate in the process as well.  Genetic tests tell everyone more about the health of their pets–and knowledge is power.

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How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Cats scratch furniture, and unfortunately most humans hate this particular trait.  Many cats lose their claws as a result of this very natural behavior, when retraining and rearranging the household could prevent almost all furniture destruction.

As with many other behavior issues, getting ahead of the problem is key to solving it.  A cat that’s been allowed to scratch the couch for years (because it’s old) will have trouble learning not to scratch the new couch.  But cats learn quickly what they may and may not scratch, and the solution to scratching is easy.

 

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Why Kids Need Pets

Many families choose to get a pet to teach the kids “responsibility.”  In the end, the “responsibility” for the pet falls on Mom or Dad, with a bit of resentment on the parents’ part.

Kids need pets for many reasons, not just to teach responsibility.  Pets provide huge emotional outlets, improve the health of the family, and might even help your child earn better grades in school.  Barring allergies, most kids do better with a well-cared for pet in the house than without.

Why Your Kid Needs a Pet

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