Category Archives: Pet Help and Tips

How to Get Sleep With Your Pets

Many of us allow our pets to sleep with us, but is it healthy? Are there health risks to letting your dog or cat share the bed with you? How does it affect your relationship with your pet? Below we’ll cover the trends and facts about sleeping with your pet, the benefits and risks, and tips for establishing bedroom boundaries with your furry family members. Click here for the rest of the story.


New Enrichment Program at Cherryland Humane Society Aims to Benefit the Cats and Dogs

from the Cherryland Humane Society Facebook Page

The Cherryland Humane Society Enrichment Program  will encompass the general welfare and enrichment of the Cherryland Humane Society shelter animals. Enrichment for shelter animals will decrease and eliminate stress, add mental stimulation, improve socialization and bonding as well as enhance quality of life, and increase adopt-ability. The program will teach our animals to be more confident, increase their willingness to learn and to connect to others. The program will consist of evening walks, training, mental stimulation, grooming, arts and crafts for the animals, outside play pen activities, interactions, cat leash walking, cat crafts such as boxes and mobiles and many many more! Continue reading

Honey the Golden Retriever Gets a Second Chance in Children’s Book


The children’s book “Honey’s Second Chance” by Brandy Herr is a well-illustrated and moving story about a Golden Retriever named Honey who spent a large number of her early years tied up to a tree. Over time, Honey got more and more depressed and would sleep a lot. One day, she was taken to an animal shelter and they decided to call a rescue group to come and get her so that she could recover and find a new home. Honey’s collar had dug more and more into her skin as she grew bigger and the rescue group Second Chance Farm got rid of the collar, nursed her back to health and got her ready to find a new home. Continue reading

Help with Veterinary Bills Available in Traverse City

photo credit: Care Credit FB page

photo credit: Care Credit FB page

Are you having trouble keeping up with your pets health care or have you run into a big pet expense that you are trying to figure out how to pay for? Did you know that there is a credit card called “Care Credit” that many Traverse City veterinarians accept for services to keep your pet healthy? The cost of annual check-ups, vaccines, dental care and other treatments can get expensive – I know that from personal experience and owning three pets myself.

I am writing this article to make pet owners aware of this option because it’s been such a convenience and has brought me much peace of mind, giving me the ability to take care of my pets when I need to. This is not any sort of paid advertisement, nor have I been asked to write this article by anyone. Continue reading

Don’t Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car for Even 10 Minutes

From the AVMA

lEvery year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles. We’ve heard the excuses: “Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store,” or “But I cracked the windows…” These excuses don’t amount to much if your pet becomes seriously ill or dies from being left in a vehicle.

The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!

Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference. Click here for the rest of the story.

Doggy Dangers At Christmas – Puppy-Proofing Your Festive Season

this is an article sent in by Sally Jenson

Christmas is an exciting and bewildering time for dogs. It’s also a time filled with temptations – some of which can lead to disaster. Dogs do not understand the dangers inherent in things like trailing Christmas light cables, brittle baubles, and lovely-smelling foods which are just fine for humans to eat, but poisonous for dogs. It’s sadly all too common for veterinary surgeries to be stuffed full with sick dogs and their panicked owners over the festive period. If you want to make sure that your Christmas is a time of fun rather than of canine tragedy, take note of these common doggy dangers and take steps to ensure that your dog does not fall foul of them!


One of the most common issues facing dog owners at Christmas is the abundance of food on offer. Many of our most treasured Christmas treats are actually very bad for dogs. Indeed, smuggling your dog a Christmas snack could prove fatal in some cases. While most good pet insurers should cover accidental poisoning, nobody wants to spend the Christmas period worried sick about their dog. With this in mind, try to make sure that your dog is kept away from human treats and foods this Christmas. Poison can lurk in even the most innocuous of foodstuffs – artificial sweetener Xylitol, for example, is powerfully toxic to dogs. Onions and garlic can cause dog diarrhea and vomiting, macadamia nuts will make your dog woozy and miserable, and your dog simply cannot process alcohol in the same way that we can. On a more serious note, chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) contains a substance named theobromine which dogs cannot digest very well. In mild cases, dogs who eat chocolate will have violent diarrhea and vomiting. In more severe cases, they could suffer from heart failure. Grapes, raisins, and sultanas are also serious trouble for dogs. They can cause kidney failure, which almost inevitably leads to death. Antifreeze – a substance deadly to anyone who drinks it, but particularly tempting to dogs – also tends to come into play during the colder months. Keep it away from your dog, and try to prevent your dog from licking up any splashes of it. Should your dog ingest any of these substances, take note of the amount that they’ve eaten and phone your vet immediately.

Christmas Trees And Decorations

Christmas trees are a source of powerful fascination for many dogs. Not only are they a new and intriguing presence within the house – they also appear to be covered in tempting toys and treats. It should be made very clear to your dog that Christmas tree decorations are not for playing with. It is not uncommon for vets to spend their Christmases pulling shards of glass decorations from the mouths of unfortunate dogs after they have tried to grab them from the tree. Trees present other dangers, too. If they are wrapped in electric lights, your dog could potentially drag the tree over by stumbling on the cable. Pine needles also imperil your pup’s paws – not a life-threatening problem, but a painful one. You may need to contact a vet to get the needles picked out. If your dog likes to chew things, try and ensure that they can’t get their jaws around the tree. While most Christmas tree varieties aren’t dangerously toxic, they can cause upset tummies, and in rare cases the intestines can get blocked with pine needles. Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia are also liable to cause tummy troubles if your dog chews on them.

Busy Kitchens

This may not seem like an obvious issue, but it’s surprisingly common for dogs to get injured in the kitchen during Christmas. The busy, hectic nature of a Christmas kitchen means that people easily get distracted. While swerving to avoid other family members, cooks carrying things like boiling pans are liable to trip over dogs – which, as all dog-owners know, are past masters at getting underfoot in the kitchen. This is dangerous for everyone involved, not just the dog. It’s probably best to shut the dog out if the kitchen is getting busy – no matter how much they may want to be in the center of the action!


All presents pose a potential problem if your dog is the kind which likes tearing things up – but some presents are more problematic than others. Presents which contain toxic foodstuffs or things which could hurt the dog if they try to chew or play with them should be kept out of reach of a chew-happy dog. Batteries are a common cause of canine hospitalisation at this time of year. If your dog chews a battery, there’s a strong chance that they’ll pierce the shell and get burned by the corrosive substances within. If they swallow batteries whole, they could obstruct your dog’s bowels or give them heavy metal poisoning. Either way, it’s best to seek advice if your dog has been having fun with batteries!

Take 12 Kind Acts Challenge to Help the Pets and Staff at Your Local Animal Shelter


This holiday season, The HSUS is challenging you to do 12 Kind Acts for the animals and/or staff at animal shelters in your area of Michigan. If one act of kindness can be life-changing, think of what 12 can do! Here are a few ideas to get you started, but the sky is the limit!

1.       Volunteer during the holidays when staff is lean

2.       Send letters to editor about the good work the shelter is doing

3.       Collect towels and blankets from the community and deliver to the shelter

4.       Bring holiday goodies to staff to say thank you

5.       Purchase or make enrichment toys for dogs, cats, and other homeless pets at the shelter

6.       Create a wish list for the shelter and share in public places

7.       Create goodie bags for holiday adopters

8.       Help the staff market long-time shelter residents

You can post pictures of your kind acts on the HSUS Michigan Facebook page at and they will be shared to motivate others to do the same. And if you’re on Twitter, please use #12KINDACTS.

Enjoying Autumn With Your Dog

The heat and humidity levels have lessened. The days are getting shorter. The air is crisp. Leaves are turning to their fall colors. You survived the dog days of summer. Autumn revives your interest in being outside again. Go and take your dog with you. Exercise is good for your dog all year long, but it is more fun when it cools down. Most dogs love good vigorous hikes so he can use up some of his energy and discover new smells. Pick a hiking trail where the two of you can wander for a few hours. Be sure to take along plenty of snacks and water for both of you. Start with a short hike and progress to longer ones as he develops some endurance.

Most parks and hiking trails require that dogs be kept on a leash. If they are permitted to run loose, don’t let your dog be without his leash unless you are absolutely positive he will come promptly when called. Bring some baggies to clean up after him. If you have an older dog or a very young one who isn’t up to a long hike there is nothing wrong with doing a short one. Be sure that he is current on all flea and tick medications. Hiking trails and parks are perfect places for him to pick up tick and fleas. Click here for the rest of the story.

Saving the Life of a Blind Dog or Puppy Brings Challenges and a Lot of Joy

By Kathy Wallace at

charlie golf main

I’d like to introduce you to a young dog named Charlie. Charlie charms everyone he meets. He races around the yard with his doggie siblings. He travels to the pet store, plays ball, and goes up and down the steps. None of this sounds extraordinary until you learn that Charlie is blind.

Charlie almost did not have a chance at life. A breeder in another state brought a litter of puppies to the veterinarian for their checkup. Upon finding that one of the puppies was blind, the breeder requested he be euthanized. A vet technician knew a woman named Cheryl and the mission of Almost Home and ran to make the call that saved this little puppy’s life. Cheryl worked with a volunteer pilot, Bob Born, to bring him to Ohio and sent an email requesting a foster for the puppy she named Charlie.

One of those emails landed in Laura Johnson’s inbox. She had fostered senior dogs who were blind or who had gradually become deaf or blind and she and her husband, Hal, decided they would foster this blind puppy. But, after two weeks they knew that Charlie had found his forever home. They cannot imagine life without him. Continue reading

What to Do If You See a Pet in a Parked Car on a Hot Day in Grand Traverse County?

photo credit:

photo credit:

Pets can suffer and die when left inside a parked car even on a mildly warm day. On a 70 degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can still reach 100 degrees in just 20 minutes. Animals left in a vehicle even with the windows cracked open can succumb to heatstroke in 15 minutes. Dogs and cats cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws. The air and upholstery in your vehicle can heat up to high temperatures that make it impossible for pets to cool themselves.

Lieutenant Barsheff of the Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office recently discussed this issue in the latest Garfield Charter Township newsletter. He said, “The average trip inside a store to grab a few things – about 15 to 20 minutes or so – can leave your pets vulnerable to the intense heat inside your parked car. According to weather experts, the temperature inside your car can rise almost 30 degrees while you are inside shopping. A parked car can quickly turn into an oven, in the sun or the shade.” Continue reading

How to Design Your Pet-Friendly Living Room

In most cases, pet owners feel that their pet is part of the family. When relaxing in the main living area, they are happy to share their space with their pet, and consider this natural and right. It is important, therefore, that your living room is designed, or modified, to accommodate pets and their bedding so that you are both comfortable, and your home is hygienic. Continue reading

Feral Cats Don’t Belong in Shelters

Photo credit: Alley Cat Allies Facebook page

Photo credit: Alley Cat Allies Facebook page

From Alley Cat Allies

What is your usual reaction when you come across an outdoor cat? Is your instinct to call the local shelter or animal control to find her a home? On occasion, the cat you’ve come across is not homeless at all, but lives quite happily outdoors. Feral cats have no desire to snuggle with you on your couch. Do you know the difference? Feral cats are not socialized – they are usually not friendly towards people. They have either never had human contact or it has diminished over time. They are fearful of people and survive on their own outdoors. A feral cat is not likely to ever become a lap cat or enjoy living indoors.

Feral cats live healthy, natural lives within groups called colonies. They aren’t adoptable, and THEY DON’T BELONG IN SHELTERS. In animal shelters, the only happy ending for animals is adoption. Feral cats get euthanized. Continue reading

Pets Need Extra Care as Temperatures Drop

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Roscommon County Animal Control Director Terry MacKillop advises animals need extra care in extreme cold. This post was originally on the Roscommon Animal Shelter Facebook page.

Cat owners should not let their indoor cats outside in cold weather. MacKillop cautions that cats will seek warmth from the heat car engines generate & suggests tapping the hood of vehicles before starting.

When it comes to dogs, Officer MacKillop advises they should be taken in the house or garage in extreme cold. If a dog does stay outside, fresh water should be provided every two hours. Dogs cannot survive on snow or frozen water; a five gallon bucket of snow will only melt to about a quarter of an inch of water and dogs that chew on snow are depleting energy that they should be conserving. Continue reading

Kitty Connection Deluxe Kit Product Review: 3 PAWS out of 5

three paws

I was contacted by Innovation Pet and asked I’d be interested in receiving any products to review. Of the two products offered, I chose to have them send me the Kitty Connection Deluxe Kit for kitty testing purposes.

Although my cats don’t have front claws, I thought this product would interest them because of all the toys that are attached to it. Although there were several parts to put together, it was pretty easy and I didn’t even need to read the directions. After about five minutes of assembly (with cat supervison), Ali approached the product first. I was surprised she was the first to approach the product because my other cat, Neelix, is usually the one who is interested in new things that have been brought into the house.

ali and mouse toys

Continue reading

Dog Water Safety Tips You Need to Know


Most dogs can swim, but not all dogs are good at it or like it. Flat-faced dog breeds, like French Bulldogs or Pugs, not only have short snouts but are also top heavy with big chests. If they get too tired trying to stay afloat, they can quickly sink.

When bringing your canine companion along to join the fun on the water this summer, be sure to keep their safety in mind. Continue reading

Cesar’s Top Summer Tips for Dogs

With record temperatures around the country, it is important to keep your dogs in mind when it comes to keeping cool. Here are Cesar’s Top 10 Tips for beating the summer heat!

1.) Exercise your dog early in the morning or late at night.

Since these are the cooler parts of the day, this will make the walk more comfortable for both you and your dog. I’m a believer in vigorous exercise for healthy dogs, but this is the time of year to back off on exercise intensity. Click here for the rest of the story.

Summer Weather Tips for Feral Cats

Warmer weather means special considerations for feral cat colony care. Here are some tips to keep your feline friends cool and eating right. When feeding feral cats in the summer, bugs can certainly pose a problem. Make sure you continue to follow the 30-minute “rule” for removing uneaten food. (Some cats may be slow to arrive at their meal so you may want to wait 45 or 60 minutes.) Also, maintain clean and neat feeding locations, and keep the food dishes in one place to facilitate cleanup by using a feeding station. Click here for the rest of the article. 

Report a Puppy Mill

puppy mill picAre you concerned about a possible puppy mill in your area? Are you a law enforcement official or animal control officer who needs assistance with a puppy mill cruelty case? You can call the Humane Society of the United States at 877-MILL-TIP (645-5847) or contact them through their form by clicking here.

Keep The Worms Out Of Your Pet’s Heart! The Facts About Heartworm Disease

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Heartworm Disease – What Is It And What Causes It?

Heartworm disease is a serious disease that results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.The worms are spread through the bite of a mosquito. The dog is the definitive host, meaning that the worms mature into adults, mate, and produce offspring while living inside a dog. The mosquito is the intermediate host, meaning that the worms live inside a mosquito for a short transition period in order to become infective (able to cause heartworm disease). The worms are called “heartworms” because the adults live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of an infected animal. Click here for more info.

The Big Catification Starts Soon for Un-Cats Feline Rescue

What is Catification? It’s the Feline Superhighway.


For fans of Jackson Galaxy’s series, My Cat from Hell, you have seen the idea of giving cats a three dimensional environment.  Not only is it interesting to the cats, it also provides them with the opportunity to have a more private place to go when they need their space, some exercise, and more fun!  As you can imagine, since many of the Un-Cats kitties are in long term care, this kind of environment could really enrich their lives. Please consider sponsoring some shelves, ramps and other fun things for the kitties. Click here for more info

Keeping Your Pet’s Water and Food Bowls Cleaned Should be Part of Your Daily Routine


photo from:

Something that’s often overlooked but is an important part of your pet’s overall health and well-being is the cleaning of their food and water bowls. Just like you need clean bowls with your meals, so do your pets. Not cleaning them often results in disease and bacteria building up in their bowl. Your pet is too important to make their bowl an attraction for bacteria, bugs and mold. Not to mention, it can be a turn-off to your pets and result in them not eating or drinking and getting sick down the line.  Continue reading

New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Owners — One Per Month

Here are 12 goals aimed at making you a better pet parent in 2013.

Did you know four out of five people who make resolutions break them by the end of January? The main reason for resolution failure is setting so many goals that trying to stick to them becomes arduous. A little trick that has worked for me (and my dog): Space your goals out to one per month!

Month by month, set a goal of something you will do with or for your dog, and then make it happen. At the end of 2013, you and your dog will have achieved 12 goals. Click here for a month-by-month goal calendar for you and your pooch.