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Pampered Pet Concierge Service

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Critter Tips

The Internet is proving to be a dangerous place for puppies. With the help of modern technology, it's easier than ever for puppy mill operators and uncertified breeders to abuse animals and participate in illegal commerce. 

Due to the current lack of federal regulation for online breeders, puppies sold through the Internet are often bred for rapid sale and raised in atrocious conditions that are well below basic welfare standards. As of December 12th, 2012, IFAW reports that heinous businesses are still using online methods to shirk the Animal Welfare Act and avoid retribution for abuse. 

No puppy deserves to be raised and sold in such horrendous conditions! Write to the Secretary of Agriculture and tell the USDA to crack down on online puppy mills immediately.

Snail Bait Poisoning in Dogs - Slug Pellet Poisoning in Dogs

Snail bait is one of the most common causes of accidental poisonings in dogs. The toxic active ingredient found in most slug and snail baits is metaldehyde.

Snail bait or slug bait usually come in pellet form which your pet can find very attractive because it resembles dog kibble. The snail pellets are sometimes combined with molasses, apples and bran which is added to attract the slugs and snails. Unfortunately this also attracts your dog to them.

Snail bait is also available in liquid and granule form, however, if you use it in this form dogs may walk on it and later lick their paws. They may even eat the dirt containing granules or liquid. It is in your dog's best interest not to use snail bait around your yard. Don't make a snail bait meal your dog's last meal.

How much Snail Bait is Dangerous to my dog?

A very small amount of snail bait is fatal for dogs. Approximately 1 teaspoon per 4.5kg/10lb of bodyweight will cause death in fifty percent of ingestions.

What are the symptoms of snail bait poisoning?

Symptoms of snail bait poisoning occur quickly after ingestion. Initial symptoms may include:

  • Twitching. This is a common symptom
  • apprehension and an increased excited mood
  • excessive drooling
  • muscle tremors
  • panting
  • fever
  • seizures
  • fast heart rate
  • respiratory failure
  • rigidity
  • vomiting

It is critical to get veterinary attention immediately if you suspect snail bait poisoning. Your dog could die within four hours of ingestion. Get to a vet as soon as possible. Every minute counts.

Try to stay calm and before heading off to the emergency room remember to grab the packet containing the snail bait so your vet can check the active ingredients.If your dog has vomited at home it may also be useful to take the dog's vomit with you to the vet for testing.

Safety Tips for 4 of July

  • Please resist the urge to take your pets with you to celebrate Independence Day. Public fireworks displays can be frightening to your pets. Let them stay home in a quiet, safe, escape-proof area.
  • For pets bothered by loud noises, keep them inside in a quiet room with no windows. Background music playing can help calm them

Water Safety

Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog's preferences and skills before trying to make him swim.

If you're swimming for the first time with your dog, start in shallow water and coax him in by calling his name. Encourage him with toys or treats. Or, let him follow another experienced dog he is friendly with. Never throw your dog into the water. If your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and keep his back end up.

Don't let your dog overdo it; swimming is very hard work and he may tire quickly. If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides. If you have your own pool, make sure your dog knows where the stairs or ladder are located. Be sure that pool covers are firmly in place; dogs have been known to slip in under openings in the covers and drown.

Never leave your dog unattended in water.

Happy Easter..

Easter grass:

Cats love anything that moves. This stuff moves easily in the breeze, makes interesting sounds, and, for some cats, it is simply irresistible and must be eaten. Stringy things like Easter grass or tinsel at Christmas, pose a deadly threat if ingested, creating something called a Linear Foreign Body. The first signs seen, aside from the material being visible from the mouth or anus, are vomiting or straining to defecate and a painful abdomen. Trying to pull out visible grass or string is not recommended, as this can cause more damage if the piece is long and trapped far inside the body. Call your veterinarian if you suspect that your cat has sampled the Easter grass. While Linear Foreign Bodies are more common in cats, dogs may also ingest non-food material, and the same rules apply.


This is more of a dog hazard, as many dogs have a sweet tooth, a great nose, and the determination to find chocolate -- hidden or not. The toxic components in chocolate are theobromine and caffeine, and the level of toxicity is based on the type and quantity of chocolate consumed.

Different types of chocolate have different amounts of theobromine and caffiene; dark chocolate contains the highest concentrations and white "chocolate" contains the least. Early clinical signs are vomiting, diarrhea and trembling.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

  • First, keep all party fare away from Fido and Fluffy. The food and alcohol humans typically enjoy on this day is very unlucky for your pet.
  • Typical St. Patrick’s Day fare – especially corned beef - is high in salt, which can inflict gastrointestinal distress (such as vomiting and diarrhea) to neurologic issues, ranging from depression and possible seizure.
  • Alcohol is even worse. It doesn’t take much to a dog or cat to get alcohol poisoning, since they’re so much smaller than us. Keep alcohol away from your pets at all cost.
  • If you’re throwing a party, make sure your pet has a “safe room,” away from the crowd.
  • I can’t believe I’m about to write this but if you’re going to dye your pet’s fur, be sure you use a pet-safe or pet-specific hair coloring.
  • If you’re putting a costume on your pet, be sure it fits properly and it doesn’t obscure vision or breathing. Also make sure there aren’t any small costume pieces that Fluffy or Fido can nibble on.
  • Finally, watch out for drunk drivers. Make sure your pet wears a light-up or reflective collar. Make sure your dog is on a leash and your cat stays indoors.

HappyValentine's Day..

Two of the most common Valentine’s Day gifts, chocolate and flowers, can be extremely hazardous to pets.

Last year, The American Society for the Protection Against Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) saw a 74 percent increase in cases of chocolate ingestion in the week before Valentine’s Day.

Animals are particularly sensitive to theobromine and caffeine, two ingredients in chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to your pets. Be sure to paw-proof all Valentine’s chocolate.

Many pet owners don’t realize that all members of the Lily family are extremely poisonous to cats. This is not a clever ploy by florists to sell more roses. Be sure any Valentine’s bouquets are lily-less.

These measures should keep your furry valentine feeling just fine. If your pet does ingest anything harmful, call your vet or a local emergency animal hospital immediately.

This time of year -- January through the end of February -- is peak mating season for the coyote, and the resulting hormonal increases "could lead to attacks on pets."

(In the event that you see a coyote get hostile with a human or any other animal, call your local animal-control authority or wildlife division immediately.)

Weight Issues

A healthy dog or cat's weight is the result of the balance between diet and exercise. If he is getting enough nutritious food and exercise but still seems over- or underweight, he may have a health problem. Don’t let your pet get fat by giving him too many between-meal snacks; obese dogs and cats often develop serious health problems. The best way to tell if your pet is overweight is to feel his rib-cage area. You should be able to feel the ribs below the surface of the skin without much padding.

Happy New Year!! Keep your pets indoors for their own safety on New Years Eve. Loud noises and fireworks tend to spook our fury friends.

Christmas Tree/Decorations safety tips for cats

The only fool proof way to keep your cat away from your Christmas tree is to put the tree in a room the cat can't access. Unfortunately, this is often not practical. So the next best solution is to make the tree as safe as possible. Real Christmas trees are more dangerous to cats than fake plastic ones. Pine needles can puncture internal organs if eaten, they are also toxic to cats. If you do have a real tree, make sure the drink stand has plenty of water to prevent the tree drying out & losing needles. It is important that your cat isn't able to get to this water & drink it as it could result in poisoning. Ensure the tree has a good solid base so it won't easily be knocked over by your cat. Try not to have the tree near furniture & or shelves which the cats could use to jump onto the tree.

Be careful with tinsel, if you must have it on your tree, place it at the top of the tree where the cat is less likely to be able to get at it. Tinsel can be caught around the base or move down to the intestines & stomach & cause a blockage, which will result in emergency (and costly) surgery to remove it. A safer alternative are the strands of beads. Ornaments should be securely attached to the tree to prevent them being knocked off. Also place delicate ornaments up high where they're less likely to be knocked off & broken. When there is nobody around, unplug Christmas lights, you may want to try applying a cat repellent such as bitter apple to the lights to deter your cat from chewing the wires, obviously if this was to happen it could cause a fatal electric shock.

Artificial snow is toxic to cats, so is best avoided.

Chicken jerky treats may be to blame for dozens of new reports of mysterious illnesses and some deaths in dogs, prompting a renewed warning for pet owners by the Food and Drug Administration.

At least 70 dogs have been sickened so far this year after reportedly eating chicken jerky products imported from China, FDA officials said. That’s up from 54 reports of illness in 2010. Some of the dogs hav...e died, according to the anecdotal reports from pet owners and veterinarians

FDA officials say they have not been able to find a cause for the illnesses. Extensive chemical and microbiological testing has failed to turn up a specific contaminant and officials did not identify a specific brand of treats. They note that the reports of illness have not conclusively been tied to chicken jerky products, also sold as chicken tenders, chicken strips or chicken treats.

The new warning follows previous FDA cautions about chicken jerky treats in 2007 and 2008. But after a high of 156 reports of illness in 2007, the number of complaints dropped. Now, it's rising again.

Dog owners and vets are reporting that animals may be stricken with a range of illnesses within days or hours of eating chicken jerky, including kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, a condition characterized by low glucose.

Symptoms may include decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and increased urination. If dogs show any of these signs, stop feeding the animal the chicken jerky products, FDA officials said. If signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours, seek veterinary help.

Sage Advice

Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol)

This is actually a winter and summer potential problem. Cats and dogs are attracted to the sweet smell and taste of antifreeze, and will often sample some if left out in a container or spilled on the garage floor.

Antifreeze is highly toxic - it is rapidly absorbed (initial signs appear approximately one hour post-ingestion), and there is a high mortality rate. Other sources of this deadly chemical are: heat exchange fluids (sometimes used in solar collectors), some brake and transmissions fluids as well as diethylene glycol used in color film processing.

Acute cases (within 12 hours of ingestion) often present as if the animal was intoxicated with alcohol: stumbling, vomiting and depression are common signs. The kidneys are most severely affected, and even if the animal seems to improve initially with treatment, they may succumb shortly after to kidney failure. The kidneys shut down, and the animal is unable to produce urine. This type of kidney failure usually happens 12-24 hours after ingestion in cats, and 36-72 hours post ingestion in dogs. Success of treatment is dependent upon quick treatment. If you suspect that your animal has come into contact with antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Winter news:

Salt and chemical de-icers

Pets who walk on sidewalks that have been "de-iced" are prone to dry, chapped, and potentially painful paws. This will encourage the pet to lick their paws, and ingestion may cause gastrointestinal irritation and upset. Wash off your pet's feet after an outing with a warm wet cloth or footbath.

Earthquakes & Your Pet


Being prepared for emergencies is the most important step you can take to avoid injuries or despair. Have the following plans and items in place before disaster strikes:

1. Make sure your pet is mocrochipped and licensed so it can be returned to you in case you become separated.

2. Identify alternative housing for your pet so it can be safely relocated during an evacuation if you cannot take it with you.

3. Develop an emergency plan with a friend or family member who can care for your pets in your absence. Agree in advance how this will happen and provide written authority for them to act on your behalf. Review and update the plan annually – use a date that is easy to remember, such as your pet’s birthday or annual vaccination appointment.

4. Make sure your pet is current on all vaccinations for common contagious disease. In an emergency it may become housed with other animals that may be harboring illness.

5. Keep a “go bag” of supplies for your pet, that you can grab at a moment’s notice:

a. Food

b. Bottled water

c. Bowls

d. Cleaning supplies (pooper scooper, disposal bags, litter scooper)

e. Extra collar and leash

f. First aid kit

g. Prescription medications

h. Disposable litter box

i. Cat litter

j. Crate

k. Copies of important documents such as vaccination records, license, proof of ownership, microchip registration number and phone number of the registry, medical insurance papers, your veterinarian’s contact information, recent photographs of good quality to use for lost pet posters

6. Make sure your dog is obedient and well trained. Enroll in obedience classes if necessary. During an emergency it will be critical that your dog obeys you and can be housed cooperatively with other animals or people.

In the Event of an Emergency

1. Remain calm. Your pet will respond to your anxiety and may hide or be more difficult to handle.

2. Grab your pet’s “go bag” and implement your emergency plan

3. Monitor news stations for reports of disaster and evacuation orders, and release of those orders.

4. Contact our Department if you are in our jurisdiction and need assistance. We provide emergency evacuation services and provide temporary housing for displaced animals.

5. Try to keep your pet calm. Recognize they may be frightened or disoriented and may not behave as usual. Try to protect them from frightening experiences and monitor them closely when they interact with other animals or people, particularly children.

After the Emergency Ends

1. Recognize that your pet may remain fearful or uncertain even weeks after the event. Return to normalcy as soon as possible and monitor your pet for several weeks to make sure it is adjusting.

2. Check your home and property for dangers and escape routes before bringing your pet home.

3. Make sure your pet is securely confined If work crews arrive to repair property damage.

You can place a black light over a cat’s urine and watch it glow. This is a great way to confirm if Kitty is not using the litter box.

The following is a list of precautions suggested and recommended by numerous animal shelters and veterinarians designed to keep pets safe on Halloween.


Trick or treaters can cause loud and excessive noise and frighten your pet, so try to keep your pets inside in a quiet room where they are insulated from the Halloween rukus. : )

Pets, especially dogs, that are easily excitable or threatened by strangers should be kept from the front door so they cannot bite anyone or run into the street. With many people visiting the home in strange attire, even normally calm pets might overreact.

Keep pets on a shorter-than-normal leash if you plan on walking outside on Halloween. Again, scary and weird looking trick-or-treaters could provoke aggression in even the nicest pet.


Candy, especially chocolate, is toxic for animals and can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart disturbances, and even death. Ask kids not to share candy with pets.


Be careful with lit pumpkins and candles because pets can knock them over and start a fire. Therefore ensure that all burning objects are out of pet’s reach. Remember that cats can jump high, and birds can fly, so try to confine a pet if it demonstrates an “unhealthy” interest in flames (e.g. it puts its paws in lit pumpkins or tries to play with candles).


Avoid costumes held in place by rubber bands, which can be uncomfortable and, more important, rubber bands mistakenly left on a pet can quickly burrow into the animal’s skin and cause injury. Additionally, rubber bands in the wrong place can choke a bird.

If a pet wears a costume, make sure it is not constricting, causing your pet to trip, or blocking its vision. Do not force a pet to wear a costume if it demonstrates discomfort. All of the above can cause undue stress and possibly cause aggression in even the nicest dog, goldfish, or iguana.


Don’t leave pets outside on Halloween. Many animals disappear as pranksters and those with darker intentions tease, abduct, torture, or even kill pets.

Be especially watchful of black cats, who which are frequent targets of cruel activities on Halloween. Try to keep black cats inside for the week of Halloween. Many animal shelters make black cats unavailable for adoption the week before Halloween because of black cat abuse.

Food Cautions

Certain human foods and household plants can be harmful to your pet. Keep these items out of your cat's reach.

1. The stimulants contained in chocolate and caffeine can cause vomiting and diarrhea, says Rebecca Remillard, DVM, Ph.D, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at Angell Animal Medical Center.

2. Human-grade canned tuna is high in fat and magnesium and, if eaten in excess, can cause yellow fat disease. A lack of antioxidants causes this fatal disease, which breaks down body fat, says Daniel Carey, DVM, of IAMS Co., Dayton, Ohio.

3. Chopped liver contains large amounts of vitamins A and D, which in excess can result in painfully malformed bones. "But cats would have to eat it almost exclusively for weeks," Dr. Remillard says.

4. Some houseplants - such as poinsettias dieffenbachia, azaleas, Christmas cherry and ivy - may be harmful to cats if ingested in large quantities, says Rolan Tripp, DVM, an affiliate professor of applied animal behavior at Colorado State University Veterinary School, Ft. Collins, Colo. "It is a dose per pound of cat issue." A small kitten playing with and consuming many leaves is a problem. A good-sized cat merely nibbling any of these is not cause for panic."

California Tick Season - October & November

Deer ticks have 4 stages of life, egg, six legged larval, 8-legged nymph and adult, it is during the 3rd stage, 8-legged nymph that the chance of Lyme Disease in humans usually occur. Protect your pets / protect your family

Help Prevent Animal Abuse:

The key to preventing abuse is stronger anti-cruelty laws -- laws that empower effective enforcement and include harsh penalties. Serious penalties can inhibit cruelty and, with the addition of counseling as a penalty, can stop the incidents from being repeated by offenders.

You can help prevent these cruel acts by informing others about what to do if they see such a...n act or by helping them to better understand how to train and care for their pets.

To do this you can:

•Schedule a speaker from your local humane agency to talk at your church or any clubs you belong to. Do the same for any children's groups, like scout groups, day-care centers, and schools.

•Set up a brown-bag lecture series at your office, conducted by a humane agency, on pet care, basic behavior solutions, and animal welfare issues.

•Get pet care and behavior pamphlets from your humane agency to distribute to any of your coworkers or friends with new pets.

•Put together packets of treats and a pet-care book or video to give to friends who've just gotten a new pet. Include spay/neuter information, tags, and a vaccination record book. Obedience lessons make a great gift for a new puppy.

•Support any initiatives to strengthen your state's anti-cruelty laws.

•Write to your paper and TV station whenever animal cruelty stories appear. Tell them you support strong penalties for these abusers.

•Contribute to or volunteer at your local shelter, where they must deal with these appalling situations regularly.

Now when you see a neglected or abused animal, you can take action. Don't hesitate. Your call could save a life

Avoid chance encounters with snakes:  

• Keep your yard tidy by clearing away undergrowth, toys and tools that make great hiding places for snakes.

• Keep walkways clear of brush, flowers and shrubs.

• Clean up any spilled food, fruit or bird seed, which can attract rodents—and therefore snakes—to your yard.

• When walking your pet, keep him on a leash.

• Steer your pet clear of long grasses, bushes and rocks.

• Snakes can strike across a distance equal to about half their body length. If you see a snake, head back the way you came.

• Familiarize yourself with snakes who are common in your area. In the event of a bite, identifying the type of snake may help with your pet’s treatment.

Recognize snake bite symptoms:

• Local or general swelling

• Bleeding

• Intense pain

• Low blood pressure

• Dead tissue around the wound

• Shortness of breath

• Weakness

• Renal failure

What to do if you think your pet’s been bitten:

• Remember to stay calm.

• Keep your pet calm, too, by limiting his activity.

• If your pet was bitten on the neck, remove his collar.

• If possible, keep the location of the bite below heart level.

• Seek veterinary care for your pet immediately.

• Treatment options such as cold packs, ice, tourniquets, alcohol, bleeding the wound and trying to suck out venom should not be attempted in place of getting your pet to the vet—they may just waste precious time.

• Always keep your personal safety in mind and do not try to catch or kill a snake yourself.

• Even if you think a snake is dead, never handle him. Some dead snakes are capable of inflicting a bite by muscle contractions.

Toxic Plants For Dogs...

Do you have these in your yard?

Lilies Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.


... Ingestion of Cannabis sativa by companion animals can result in depression of the central nervous system and incoordination, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, and even seizures and coma.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs

The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.


Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.


All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects0;97;including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.


These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.

English Ivy

Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.