Thursday, January 7, 2016

"Imagine What They Might Do for Your Pet"

By: Dr. Karen Becker
The mushroom is a complex organism that contains several thousand enzymes, nutrients, and proteins in a ratio that offers nutritional benefits.
As a holistic veterinarian, I believe mushrooms hold important potential value for cats' and dogs' health in the areas of immune and digestive health, normal cell growth, promoting the normal detoxification process, helping to protect against environmental stressors, and even joint and respiratory health.
In fact, I believe so firmly in the value of certain mushrooms, I use them regularly in my practice...

Mushrooms – What You DON'T See Might Be the Best Part

First, to fully appreciate the benefits a mushroom might offer your pet, let's define how they differ from molds and fungi...
Mushrooms are a fungus that forms a fleshy, above-ground reproductive structure called the "mushroom fruit body."
In contrast, fungi that are not mushrooms do not form fleshy fruit bodies.
However, the "mushroom fruit body" or the part that you can see – the stem and cap – is less than 10 percent of a mushroom's total biomass.
The mycelium is the part of the mushroom you don't see or typically eat. It's the part that lies beneath the surface of the soil.
And it's the part that may hold the most important nutritional benefits of mushrooms.

The Secret Behind What May Be Mushrooms' Greatest Gift to Mammals

Mycelium is a vast network of living cells covering much of the earth's surface. The largest biological entities on the planet, these "fungal mats" can live for decades and even centuries.
In fact, one of these gigantic mycelium "mats" currently covers 200 acres in a forest in Oregon. Mycelium is essential to a healthy forest's ecosystem – it's what nourishes and replenishes the soil.
And the job isn't always easy... Mycelium cells constantly battle against hostile environments. To aid their survival, mushrooms have developed highly efficient and proactive immune systems.
Many scientists believe these protective capabilities that have evolved over the years – the mycelia's highly adept immune system – along with its ability to break down natural organic matter are exactly what makes mushrooms so valuable to mammals.
Unlocking the Mushroom's Immune Support Code
What makes mushrooms so valuable for your pet's immune health?
Beta-glucans and proteoglycans are two of the top biologically active compounds in mushroom fruit bodies and mycelia that support the immune systems of animals. Beta-glucans are chains of polysaccharides, and proteoglycans are special proteins, often found in connective tissue.
What makes mushroom-derived beta-glucans so unique in supporting health is their ability to support optimal immune function without over-stimulation.
How exactly do mushrooms support immune function?
The beta-glucans found in mushrooms are large and complex long-chain molecules. What sets certain beta-glucans apart are their unique side-branching patterns.

Other Bioactive Compounds in Mushrooms May Also Provide Immune Support for Your Pet

Numerous components in mushrooms can help promote immune function.
While beta-glucans have been the most studied component, mushrooms contain other bioactive compounds and proteins:

Ubiquitin-like proteins
But that's not all mushrooms can potentially do for your pet...

How Your Pet's Gut Health and Digestion Affect Her Immune Function

Mushrooms contain important enzymes to aid digestion.
Did you know your pet's gastrointestinal tract is her largest immune barrier?
It only makes sense that, to fully support your pet's immune system, it's equally important to support her digestion and gut health, too.
Mushrooms' complex nutritional matrix of nutrients, dietary fiber, and fungal enzymes have been shown to support healthy digestion and gastrointestinal tract function.
The important enzymes produced by mushrooms include:

Protease - helps digest proteins and, through its actions, helps cleanse your pet's blood stream of excess undigested protein
Lipase - helps digest fat
Amylase - helps break down starch into sugar and supplies your pet's body with energy
Cellulase - helps break down fiber, which in turn promotes bowel health and regularity
These digestive enzymes that are part of the mushroom itself can potentially help improve the digestibility and utilization of carbohydrates and proteins in your pet's body. And they're capable of surviving the stomach's harsh, acidic conditions, too.
An Extraordinary Antioxidant – Made Primarily by Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants in general, such as polyphenols and selenium, but they also contain antioxidants unique to mushrooms.
One such antioxidant is L-ergothioneine, which experts now recognize as a "master antioxidant" as it is transported to cells throughout the body to fight damage from oxidative stress and free radicals.

Ergothioneine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is synthesized only by mushrooms and by fungi and mycobacteria in the soil. Plants can absorb ergothioneine through their roots and grazing animals can consume ergothioneine-containing plants.
Your pet's body can't make its own ergothioneine, so cats and dogs depend upon food sources, like plants and meat.
Modern farming practices, with their heavy use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides, have dramatically reduced the healthy fungal communities in our soils, thus reducing the total amount of ergothioneine in our food supply.
Until recently, wheat germ was considered the best source for ergothioneine. Researchers from a major university, using a new sensitive testing approach they developed for fungi, have found that mushrooms are a much more potent source.

Researchers are currently not aware of any other food source that contains as much ergothioneine as mushrooms.
Remarkable in many ways, ergothioneine is a unique antioxidant that can:
Concentrate where there's lots of oxidative stress – especially eye tissue, the liver and kidneys, and red blood cells
Go straight to the cells' nuclei to help protect cellular DNA
Gain access to the mitochondria, the power plants of cells, potentially protecting against free radical damage that can speed up the aging process
Here's what else is unique about ergothioneine... It exists a long time in the body – about 30 days as opposed to 30 minutes or less for most other antioxidants.

Mushrooms: I Knew Their Time Had Come...

Dog and cat owners report positive results with mushrooms.
As I mentioned earlier, I've been using mushroom blends in my practice for some time now, and although there have not been studies conducted in cats and dogs, I am keenly aware of the many potential benefits mushroom blends can offer cats and dogs for immune support and overall well-being.
Just some of the favorable responses I've heard from owners after their pets tried different mushroom blends include:

Older dogs appear to regain some of their youthful vigor and spark...
Skin and coat appear more lustrous...
Support of flexibility and ease of movement...
So I decided to ask our friends at Mushroom Matrix (M2) to help me develop a blend of mushrooms for cats and dogs.
Before I tell you more about the mushroom varieties we've selected for my Whole Food Mushroom Complex for Pets, let me tell you a little about the extraordinary company behind this unique blend.
M2 is led by an expert team of mycologists who have worked with mushroom species from around the world since the 1980s.
A true pioneer in the field, M2 developed the proprietary Solid State Fermentation (SSF) production methodology and equipment that allows for the production of health-promoting mushrooms on organic substrate (more about that in just a minute).
M2 obtained organic certification status for all their products in 2006, so today they produce only certified organic mushrooms in their labs in San Marcos, California, just north of San Diego.
he 8 Species We Selected for My Whole Food Mushroom Complex for Pets Include...

Shiitake (Lentinula erodes) Contains abundant l-ergothioneine and the immune system-supporting polysaccharide lentinan.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucid) Known as a "three treasure" herb, it's thought by the Chinese to harmonize jung (life force), qi (energy), and shen (spirit).
Maitake (Grifola fronds) The fruit bodies and mycelia of the Maitake contain high concentrations of immune-supporting beta-glucans.
Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) Resembling a cheerleader's pom-pom more than a mushroom, this whitish mushroom improved memory and helped regain a sense of curiosity in a group of study mice. It is unknown whether the benefits in mice apply to cats and dogs.
King Trumpet (Pleurotus eryngii) A robust culinary mushroom with significant levels of l-ergothioneine, selenium, and beta-glucans. In animal studies, it helped maintain healthy cholesterol levels that were already within the normal range.
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) Known for its rich supply of a particular type of polysaccharide – PSK – that may promote immune, digestive, urinary and respiratory health, and normal cellular growth.
Himematsutake (Agaricus blazei)  Related to the common button mushroom, the Agaricus is noted for its high content of immune-supporting polysaccharides and other important cellular growth-supporting compounds.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris) Chinese herbalists believe that Cordyceps replenishes Yin and Yang Jing and acts as a restorative tonic for extreme exertion, stress, or from normal aging. Also known for its ability to support energy, performance, circulation, respiratory health, and healthy cholesterol levels already in the normal range.
What to Look for in a Quality Mushroom Product
How can you be sure you're getting an ideal supplement for your pet?
Here are 5 questions to ask about any mushroom product:
1 What's the ratio of fruit body to mycelium?
2 Is it produced using solid state fermentation or "submerged fermentation"?
3 Does it contain mushroom isolates or whole food mushrooms?
4 What type of grain is used for the fermentation process?
5 Are the mushrooms organically or conventionally grown?
While these are all important questions, some of the answers might surprise you...

Fruit Body or Mycelium – Which Is Preferable?

Mushroom expert Steve Farrar of M2 recommends choosing products that contain more of the mycelium. His reasons?
There is more research on the mycelial stage of the mushroom, by far, than the fruit body stage
The mycelial stage of the mushroom is easier to standardize and keep contained
Mushrooms grown to the fruit body stage for harvesting risk environmental factors that can be more difficult to control, so there's more variation in the quality
Mushroom fruit bodies attract airborne contaminants, both biological and industrial, so there's greater risk for contamination

Whole Food vs. Mushroom Extract Isolates: What's the Difference?
here are two primary types of mushroom supplements:

Mushroom concentrate extracts 
This is the type you commonly find on store shelves and online. Many are "hot water extracts," which means the mycelia or fruit body is boiled for extended periods to extract and concentrate the beta-glucans but you typically lose the enzymes, protein, fiber, and most of the antioxidants.

Whole food mushrooms
With whole food mushrooms, you get the benefits of enzymes, antioxidants, fiber, protein, co-enzymes, and other important co-factors responsible for the nutrients' actions. The whole food form offers your pet support for various systems, as opposed to just beta-glucans.
Just as eating a fresh vegetable with its fiber and natural nutrients intact is the preferred way to get those nutrients, it's no different with mushrooms.
When you extract certain bioactive compounds from mushrooms, such as beta-glucans and polysaccharides, you leave behind the enzymes, coenzymes, and chelated mineral activators. These valuable compounds support the mushrooms' bioactivity and the way in which your pet's body may receive benefits from the compound. The extraction process can also damage many of the bioactive enzymes and proteins.
And here's something else to consider... Highly concentrated mushroom extracts can potentially bring unintended consequences. As powerful as they can be, an overload of certain compounds in isolated extracts may shut down the important feedback your pet's body depends upon.

The Mycelium's Substrate – Why Our Supplier Chose
Oats Over Rice

Our supplier believes oats make a better growing substrate for mycelium than hulled brown rice, the medium commonly used.

The outer hull protects the oat seed from oxidizing and turning rancid
Oats' cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin stimulate the mushroom to activate a more complete set of metabolic and enzymatic pathways, vital to the mycelia's bioactivity
Oats are easy for the mycelium to digest
Oats' plant beta-glucans complement the fungal beta-glucans
Unlike many other mushroom products, the mycelium for my Whole Food Mushroom Complex is cultivated using 100% Certified Organic Whole Oats, complete with the outer hull intact.

Why M2's Proprietary Solid State Fermentation Method Raises the Bar on Quality

As I revealed earlier, M2 has developed a proprietary Solid State Fermentation (SSF) method to produce their mushrooms.
SSF is a process where the insoluble substrate – in this case, organic whole oats – is fermented with enough moisture, but without excess water. It results in higher quality production and yields while degrading the starch and enhancing nutrients.
In this process, the team cooks the oats to hydrate them to 55 percent moisture and to help remove competing fungi, viruses, yeast, and bacteria.
This substrate is now ready for the mycelium starter to be added.
At this point – and right before the biomass enters the erupting fruit body stage – the team members open the bags and slowly dehydrate the biomass to reduce the moisture content. The use of a controlled, low 118 degrees preserves live enzymes, protein structure, and the many bioactivities of each mushroom species.
Grown in bags over the next 30 to 80 days, the mycelium gradually digests the oats until the grains vanish, leaving behind a solid white mass – the mycelium biomass.
Once the mushroom biomass reaches 5 percent moisture, it is milled into a fine powder and is ready for use.
For a more comprehensive beneficial effect, look for a product using "solid state fermentation," which is based on the whole food approach where the final product contains more or most of the original compounds and co-factors.
100% Grown and Processed in the USA

With mushrooms, the growing environment matters, just as it does with other plants. Their intense ability to concentrate minerals and metals in their tissues makes polluted environments a real threat to their purity.
When grown in a polluted environment, mushrooms can concentrate heavy metals, which can be toxic, depending on the levels.
Recently, Asian (and Chinese, in particular) mushroom products have been found to contain unhealthy levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium, most likely from widespread water, soil, and air pollution.
Although M2 mycologists select strains of mushrooms from around the globe and carry home tissue cultures of these extraordinary species, they propagate and produce all of their own mushrooms in their lab in San Marcos, California.
All critical points of quality control stay totally in their hands.
Further, they routinely test for toxic heavy metals in the tissue samples, the organic oat substrate, as well as the finished mushroom ingredients, to ensure that there are no unhealthy levels of heavy metals.

My Whole Food Mushroom Complex for Pets Meets All the Criteria for an Exceptional Product
As you've just seen, my Organic Whole Food Mushroom Complex for Pets contains 8 species of highly valued, health-supporting mushrooms that provide an array of enzymes, nutrients, antioxidants, and immune supporting compounds.
This proprietary blend of 8 mushrooms...

Contains 100% Certified Organic, biologically active, whole food mushroom and mycelium (not isolated extracts) to optimize the life cycle of the mushroom
Is an excellent source of fermented foods for digestive and immune health, thanks to M2's breakthrough SSF processing methods
Contains protein and high levels of natural whole food vitamin D2, B6, B12, beta-glucans, chelated minerals, fiber, antioxidants (including L-ergothioneine), and natural glucosamine
Is grown and produced entirely in the U.S
Uses oats instead of rice for its substrate, adding valuable plant beta-glucans and enhancing the mycelia's bioactivity
Retains its bioactivity through carefully controlled processing methods
Contains an array of beta-glucans, each with its own beta-glucan structure
Free of additives, fillers, gluten, and unhealthy levels of heavy metals
And it's considerably higher in l-ergothioneine than other mushroom supplements.

Support for Immune Health and More...
Just to summarize, my Organic Whole Food Mushroom Complex for Pets can potentially help support your pet's:

Immune Health
Help support your pet's immune system with beta- and alpha-glucans and polyphenols from my blend of eight health-promoting mushrooms.
Mushrooms' naturally-occurring digestive enzymes, pre-biotics, and dietary fiber support your pet's digestive functions.
Respiratory and Cardiovascular Health
Mushroom compounds promote circulation and oxygen production.
L-ergothioneine and other mushroom compounds support your pet's normal detoxification processes.
Joint Health
Naturally-occurring vegetarian glucosamine and essential fatty acids help support your pet's joints.
Nutritional Health
Naturally contains vitamin D, B6, and B12, 35 chelated minerals, and over 19 amino acids to assist with bioavailability of nutrients to support your pet's liver, kidneys, and overall health and well-being.
Skin and Coat 
Natural biotin, methionine, protein, vitamins, and other unique mushroom properties help produce a lustrous coat to help your pet feel and look his or her best.

Super-antioxidant L-ergothioneine and other unique and potent antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress and protect against free radical damage.

No matter what you feed your pet – raw, canned, or dry food – my Organic Whole Food Mushroom Complex for Pets provides extra support your pet may need.

Your pet's immune system is one of his or her most precious assets. It's your job to feed it and nourish it... Why not try Organic Whole Food Mushroom Complex for Pets today and see what it can potentially do for your pet?

Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.

Friday, December 18, 2015

12 Reasons to Adopt the Least Adoptable Shelter Pet

By Dr. Becker
Animal shelters across the US are full of pets of all shapes, sizes, breeds, and ages, but sadly, older dogs and cats are typically among the last to find homes.
Many senior shelter pets live years with a family, and then during a time when they most need human care and companionship, they are surrendered to a shelter for any number of reasons, including ill health, incontinence, or another condition of old age. Sometimes the pet's owner passes away and surviving family members can't or don't want to care for the dog or cat left behind.
The reasons potential adoptive owners tend to shy away from older pets include:
  • They're not as cute as puppies or kittens
  • They may have, or may develop serious, expensive health problems
  • They don't seem as perky or playful as younger animals
  • The prospective pet parent has recently lost a dog or cat and can't bear the thought of losing another companion to old age within a few years
Many older pets live out the remainder of their lives in shelters or are euthanized to make room for more adoptable animals. This is a heartbreaking end to the life of a once cherished pet.
If you're thinking of adopting a shelter pet, an older dog or cat might be just the pet you need, so I encourage you to keep an open mind.

One Dozen Reasons a Senior Dog or Cat May Be the Perfect Pet for You

  1. Senior dogs know proper etiquette. Unlike puppies, many adult dogs have spent years living with a family and being socialized to life with humans.
  2. They may have received obedience training and respond to commands like Sit, Stay, and Down. Many are house trained and it takes a matter of hours, or a day or two to help them learn the potty rules in their new home.
  3. Senior pets respect your belongings. Older adoptive pets are years beyond the search-and-destroy puppy or kitten phase.
  4. You don't need to worry about finding your favorite pair of shoes or a table leg chewed beyond recognition. Chances are your senior kitty has no urge to dive head first into your potted plants or shred the handmade quilt Aunt Helen gave you.
  5. Seeing is believing. A senior pet holds no surprises as to how big he might get, what color his adult coat will be, or whether his hips will be healthy. A senior pet comes to you with his own history, which makes his future much more predictable than that of a puppy or kitten.
  6. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Adult dogs can focus on the task at hand. If your adopted older pet needs to learn a few things in her new life with you, not to worry.
  7. Enroll her in an obedience class, contact a trainer, or go the do-it-yourself route. Older dogs are more attentive than puppies, and more eager to please their humans.
  8. You can pick your perfect pet. If you're looking for a short-haired cat, for example, or a kitty with no history of health problems, you can search until you find an older pet with exactly those qualities. If you have a cat and are looking for a feline-friendly dog, you can ask to see older dogs that lived with cats in their former homes.
  9. You can adopt a purebred senior. If you really love a certain breed of dog or cat, chances are there's a breed rescue organization that can point you in the direction of older purebred pets in need of homes.
  10. Senior pets and senior citizens make a great team. Many elderly people find the calm presence of an older pet very comforting. They appreciate having a companion who is also getting up there in age, doesn't mind hearing the same stories again and again, and is content to move through life at a slower speed.
  11. Older pets are easy to kick back with. Senior dogs and cats have all the basics down and aren't full of wild energy they need to burn off. Because you're not constantly chasing around or cleaning up after your older pet, you have a lot more time to spend having adventures or just relaxing together.
  12. Adopted senior pets are forever grateful. Somehow, older pets seem to know you gave them a home when no one else would. Many new owners form a close bond very quickly with their senior dog or cat, because the pet shows them a level of attention and devotion that is unique to older adopted animals.
  13. A senior pet is a relatively short-term commitment. The fact is, a senior dog or cat isn't an 8- to 20-year responsibility like a younger pet is. This can be a serious consideration for an elderly person or someone who doesn't know what their living situation might be in a few years.
  14. We're heading into the holiday season. Many people are looking for opportunities to be charitable this time of year, and I can't think of a better way to give back than to help one less animal spend the holiday season in a shelter.
  15. You can be a hero to a deserving older pet. Almost without exception, people who adopt older animals feel a special sense of pride and purpose in opening their heart to a hard-to-place pet. Doing a good thing really does make you feel good!
Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Are Jackets Really Necessary for My Dog This Winter?

During this time of year there are plenty of dogs walking the streets with sweaters and jackets. You may wonder, “Are these really necessary for my dog?” Aside from being cute as all get out, sweaters and jackets do have a purpose for dogs. Let’s explore some winter weather gear and discuss if your dog needs it, and how he or she would benefit from seasonal apparel.

Sweaters and jackets can be found in our store and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns. These items are important for dogs that have thin, single layered coats. These breeds include, but are not limited to, Maltese, Briards, and Yorkshire terriers. On the other hand, double coated breeds who are bred to withstand the colder temperatures and wind chill, like Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Siberian Huskies, and St. Bernards, do not have a strong need for added warmth.

But if your dog is older, very young, or on the smaller side you should consider a jacket for them during this time of year no matter what the breed. Age and size contribute to the dogs’ overall ability to regulate its own body temperature. Many jackets offer a weather resistant feature. This will ensure your pet stays dry even when out in the snow, rain, or sleet. Getting wet during this cold weather makes it even more difficult to stay warm. Even a double coated breed could benefit from a windbreaker or rain slicker on cold rainy and snowy days if only to help them stay dry.

If you have been on the receiving end of a good shake when your dog comes in from a romp outside you will know what we mean.  Every dog is different, if you notice your dog seems cold in this weather, buy a jacket to keep them cozy when outside.

Cherrybrook offers a variety of coats and sweaters in our stores and online. Not sure how to find the right size? Our associates will help fit your dog for the perfect size! Not sure if your pet needs a coat, our team can help you decide.

The Secret to Soft and Healthy Paws this Winter

Did you know that your dogs paws can crack and splinter just like our hands do during the winter? Damage to the paw pads of their feet caused by low humidity, ice, and salt can get so bad that the pads bleed. If left uncared for, these cracks and sores can potentially lead to infection. Fortunately, there are plenty of products available to help keep the pads of your furry companions protected and healthy this winter.

To protect humans and vehicles from slipping and sliding on the ice, salt is most commonly used. Salt dries the pads of your pups paws causing cracks. You can avoid this on your own property by using a salt alternative, such as Safe Paw. Safe Paw is an environmentally safe, nontoxic ice melter that will not cause any damage to the pads of their paws, as a side benefit Safe Paw is less caustic and damaging to pavement and walkways.

Unfortunately, not everywhere you walk your dog will use this safe alternative. This means you will need to find a different way to protect their paws when out on adventures. One of the options is to use booties. Not only are booties adorable, but they also keep your dogs paws safe and many boot options exist for varied terrain situations. This means some boots are used year round.

However, not all dogs adapt well to booties. If this is your dog, there is also a product called Musher’s Secret. This is a protective wax that forms a breathable bond with your dog's paws. It was developed in Canada for use with sledding dogs and is made from 100% natural waxes.

All of these options and more can be found at Cherrybrook! Stop into any one of our retail locations today with your pooch to get more information on how to better protect your dogs paws this winter season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Avoid Door Dashing With These Easy Tips!

During this wonderful time of year, we all have plenty of guests coming in and out of our homes. Teaching your dog to wait at the door is important because it helps to prevent door dashing. The last thing anyone wants is their dog to go missing because they decided to dash out the door! To train your pup, you will need:

1. Training Treats. 

2. A Clicker or use of a command, like “good”

3. Patience.

Once you have these items, you can begin! Start practicing with your dog at a door that does not lead outside, like the bathroom door. Have your dog on a leash and ask him to sit at the door. Give the command, “wait”, and then reach your hand towards the door handle. If he stays in this position, click the clicker or say “good”, and give a treat. It is very important that the reward and command are given at the exact same time immediately after the good behavior.

The goal is to enforce the correct behavior with positive feedback; Treats! Once he has the reaching for the door handle down, try opening the door. If he goes to dash, close it immediately. You are trying to associate him dashing with the door closing. Once he is doing well at the bathroom door, move onto the front door. Eventually, practice waiting at the door with guests coming into your home that are in on the training. If the dog tries to dash, the guest can close the door and go back outside.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Repeat, repeat, repeat; the more you practice, the better your dog will be. Continue practicing with your dog for 5 to 10 minute sessions daily. Your dog may become bored or distracted if you practice too often. Limiting it to small sessions every day helps your dog to stay attentive and interested.

If you are struggling to get your dog to stay on command, there are plenty of dog trainers who can come to your home and help you with this task. You can find business cards for local trainers at all the Cherrybrook locations.

Holiday D├ęcor Do’s and Don’ts in a Home with Pets

Christmas trees, holiday lights, candles, tinsel, poinsettias; the holidays are a magical time with decorations galore! Knowing what can harm your pets is important when deciding how to decorate your home for this wonderful time of year. There are certain decorations that should be avoided completely depending on the pet you have, so educate yourself and avoid having a giant holiday mishap this year!

Christmas trees are a staple in many homes during the holiday season. Our Christmas trees sit in stagnant water throughout the season so they do not go bad. This water is a breeding ground for bacteria and should not be ingested by your pet. Keep your pets away from this water as it could cause an upset tummy with diarrhea or nausea. Using a tree skirt to cover the water may help keep them away from the threat. Other plants like holly and mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems in dogs and cats. Many varieties of lilies can cause acute kidney failure in cats if ingested. Instead, opt for artificial plants made from silk or plastic.

Tinsel is a very common decoration used during the holidays. This beautiful, sparkly, light weight decoration is especially enticing to our feline friends. While they may look cute playing with tinsel, it can be extremely dangerous. Playing can lead to chewing, which can then lead to swallowing. If your cat ingests tinsel it can cause a life threatening obstruction in the digestive tract. Avoid using tinsel if your share your home with felines.

Holiday decorations warm our homes and hearts. Knowing what can be potentially dangerous to our furry companions means a happy and healthy holiday season for all!

Have A Safe and Happy Howl-a-day Party with your Pets

The Holidays are fast approaching and our furry friends want in on the friends, food, and merry! There are certain things you should keep in mind when looking to include your pets in the Holiday Festivities.

Our pets love routines, so try your best to keep to their regular schedules. Too much change can sometimes lead to a very stressed out pet which may result in unwanted behaviors. The Holiday’s can be a very busy time for us, but it is important that your pets feeding time and walking time remain as close to normal as possible. Remember; happy pet, happy you.

Many of us enjoy a good Holiday party or dinner with friends and family. Some of our furry friends love to be in on the action, while others do not. If your pet does not do well with large groups of people, set up a room for them to go as a sanctuary. 

Your cat or dog may want to hide out away from the hustle and bustle until the guests have all gone. Make sure they have plenty of water and a cozy bed in a separate room for the duration of the gathering. There are plenty of holistic calming remedies available to make this time easier on your shy pets, like Heavenly Hounds Bars and Rescue Remedy.

If your pet is a social butterfly and basks in the attention of guests, make sure there are healthy pet treats available. We all love to spoil our pets, and Grandma is no exception. Having pet treats available for your guests to give your dog or cat will help to avoid them getting table scraps from overeager guests. Alcoholic beverages, fatty, spicy human foods, as well as cooked bones, should not be fed to your furry companions as it can lead to diarrhea or hazardous blockages in the stomach.