Be Prepared for Emergencies

first aid kitWe don’t like to think about emergencies, but fall is the season for many areas to experience fires, floods, and other acts of God that can cause emergency situations. Followed closely by winter which has it’s own set of issues including blizzards and ice storms.

If you do a little planning now, it will help keep stress levels down if and when you find yourself in an emergency situation. It can also make a huge difference in outcome for you and your pet.

Here’s a list of items you should keep together in a safe place, easy to get to in an emergency. In the event you are not home when tragedy strikes, keep all items in a place easily accessible by a friend or neighbor.

  • ID – make sure your pets have and wear ID tags and microchips as well.
  • Papers – vaccination records,  especially rabies, identification papers
  • Water and bowls – several gallons of water allocated for your pets is a good idea.
  • Several days worth of food in sealed containers
  • Carriers and crates in a handy place
  • Blankets (in colder climate, keep blankets, water and snacks in each car)
  • First aid kits with pet supplies
  • Up to date photos of each of your pets
  • Kitty litter and disposable pan, for those who have cats
  • Leashes/harnesses

What else can you think of to include?  The ASPCA has more information here.

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Pawdicure for Your Agility Dog

dog paw careEvery season has it’s drawback, but winter can have the hardest toll on your dog’s feet if you are not prepared and don’t take precautions. Cold, dry air cracks, chaps, and dries skin on human and dog alike. But it can mean extreme pain for your dog’s feet when they get chapped and then walk on salted or chemically treated drives and sidewalks. Here are some tips to keep your canine’s paws healthy.

  • Use a paw salve or balm made especially for dogs to keep his pads from getting chapped or raw.  This is especially important for dogs running agility in dirt or sand arenas. Already irritated pads can tear on matting and be terribly irritated if they walk on salt or chemically treated surfaces.
  • Keep paws clean.  Wipe them off when the dog comes inside, and if they walked on freshly treated lawns, mud, or salt, wash them off. You can teach your dog to step into a pan of warm water and stand for you to rinse them off.
  • Keep nails trimmed. Long nails cause pain while walking, and if they get too long, they cause toe deformation.  If you prefer not to trim your dog’s nails, take them to a groomer.
  • Keep fur between the toes trimmed.  The hair between pads collects snow and it builds up between the toes causing pain, irritation and even sores. While it does help protect the feet on sand, grass, and dirt, it can also cause your dog to slip on smooth surfaces.
  • Consider Booties  I know dogs often hate these, but if your dog has extremely sensitive feet, it may be worthwhile to take the time to train your dog to accept them for agility and walks outside.  A friend of mine has a dog with contact allergies, and booties do seem to help him.

I hope these tips and tricks keep your dog’s paws happy and healthy!

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Homemade Pumpkin Treats for Your Agility Dog

pumpkin dog treatsEveryone has their favorite season, but I think most would agree that fall is a welcome change to a hot summer. This is especially true in the dog agility world as our dogs perform much better in the cooler weather. And it can be such a beautiful season with beautiful fall foliage and yummy fall flavors on the menu.

Well, lets not leave our furry friends out of the fall food festivities! We have three tasty and easy recipes for you to try using pumpkin, a wonderful addition to any dog’s diet. Great for your dog’s digestive system with the bonus of filling the house with the wonderful smells of pumpkin.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
½ cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp peanut butter
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine ingredients, adding water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough flat and then roll into a ½ inch thick roll. Cut into ½ inch pieces.

Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

Store in an airtight container for freshness, and enjoy treating your dog!

PUMPKIN WAFERS DOG TREAT RECIPE

One 15 oz. can mashed pure pumpkin (NOT the spiced pie filling)
3/4 cup cream of wheat (or rice cereal if wheat-sensitive) You can mix this dry–no need to cook it first
1/2 cup dry powdered milk

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Mix all ingredients together. Drop small spoonfuls (I use about half of a tablespoon) onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

If you’d like to make bite sized cookies for small dogs, training rewards or just small treats, you can use a pastry bag and squeeze out rosettes about the size of a dime for tasty bite sized cookies! Adjust baking time for smaller cookies so they don’t burn.

Easy Pumpkin Treats

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry milk
2 1/2 cups flour (wheat is probably better!)
water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blend eggs and pumpkin together; add salt, dry milk, and flour. Add water as needed to make the dough workable mixing by hand. The dough should be dry and stiff, don’t be concerned with crumbs being left in the bowl. Roll to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into shapes. Place 1″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes on one side, then turn over and bake another 20 minutes.

So get those good smells rolling through the house while enjoying a brisk evening breeze through the kitchen. If you have variations on these recipes we would love to hear them. Just share in the comments so everyone can give them a try.

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