Pet Care Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday- 4th of July Safety for your Pet

I worked for an emergency vet clinic for about 15 months working two 4th of Julys in that time. The 4th seemed to be one of the busiest days of the years. This meant it wasn’t a good day for a lot of pets. With just a little planning many of these visits could have been prevented.

4th of July Pet Dangers

  • Fireworks are pretty. A freaked out dog is not. Sunday night I was at my sister’s watching a fireworks display put on by a local church. It was beautiful. It was loud. There was a lot of bright flashes. I could see how this could scare a dog, heck, it scared my 4 year old niece. Scared dogs are just thinking about getting away and may run away. At the E-vet clinic we would end up with a couple of dogs that had to sit and wait for their owners to show after they got spooked and took off. They were luckier than the 3 dogs that came in on my second 4th having gotten hit by cars during firework time.
  • Every holiday brings dogs into the vet hospital with GI problems because of eating people food. The 4th of July is no different. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Corn cobs and bones can cause blockages. Used fireworks contain agents that are toxic if ingested ( for more info read ) so check your yard for any fall out (while also cursing your neighbors for shooting off illegal fireworks like I do).
  • Fireworks can cause injury. My first 4th of July ended with a shepherd who thought someone was tossing a treat for her to catch. It was a fire cracker. She had some burns and a broken jaw. It could have been much worse. Even the little fireworks can cause a problem. Sparklers cause the most injuries to people of any fireworks so having a dog around while they’re being used is probably not the best idea.


4th of July Pet Safety Tips

  • Keep your pet at home. We all want our pets to join in the festivities, but there is too much that can happen. A lot of people, a lot of noise can equal a great deal of stress.  Plus it’s hard to pay 100% attention to what they are doing and what other people are doing. Instead enjoy with the knowledge that your pet is safe at home.
  • If you are having a cook-out at your home. Give everyone guidelines as to how you want them to act with your pet. Let them know if it okay or not okay to give food or not to let the dog out if he’s in the house.  Better yet, let your dog stay in their kennel or room where you don’t have to worry.
  • Keep ID on your dog, just in case.
  • Watch for signs of anxiety. Many animals have a noise phobia to fireworks. Watch for signs and try to keep them calm (play the TV or radio loud to drown out the sound; move them to a more interior room). Then be prepared for next year by talking to your vet about ways to reduce it.  Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue lists some different solutions for dogs. Remember what works for one dog, may not work for another.


We all want to have fun on the holidays, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your pet’s safety.


Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!!


Birds Pet Care

Polly Doesn’t Need a Cracker- Information on Parrot Diets

I finally got to those pomegranates that have been in my fridge since before Christmas.  It’s amazing how big a mess you can make taking the arils out and how many arils you can get from 6 pomegranates.  The parrots will enjoy them for the next several months added to their veggie mix.


Wait a minute…parrots and veggies?  Many people don’t realize that a seed only diet doesn’t provide the nutrition a parrot needs and can contribute to health problems.  So what makes the perfect parrot diet? Unfortunately, parrot nutrition is still being learned, so it’s not possible to say what each species needs in it’s diet. Experts recommend a variety of foods be offered. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and pellets can all be part of making sure your bird gets the nutrition they need.

My flock gets a veggie mix based on the Feeding Feathers Yahoo Group recommendation (see resources at the end of the post) in the morning with some nuts hidden to give them something to forage for.  Then when I come home from work, they get some seed with a few more nuts to forage for.

Making the veggie mix takes a little time and some messes to clean up, but the time is worth it to make sure the feathered crew stays healthy.  Plus there is just something about seeing those veggie covered beaks that makes me happy!


Looking for information on parrot diets? Visit-

What Is Good Bird Nutrition?

Holistic Birds

Phoenix Landing

Feeding Feathers Yahoo Group– this is an excellent group.  The moderators are very knowledgeable and seek input from those that study avian nutrition.  the files section contains a lot of information and sample diets.

Birds Cats Dogs Ferrets My Pets Pet Care

What’s the Story Behind Your Pet’s Name?

When I adopted my first dog, I wanted to name her Ham.  Not because I’m a big pork fan, but because I felt animals took after their names.  I thought a dog named Ham would end up being a big clown.  But my mother decided she was not going to yell “Ham come” out the back door, so I settled for Whitney, after Whitney Houston.  Fortunately, she didn’t take after her namesake and was the best first dog a person could have.


I love deciding what to name my pets.  Sometimes I come up with a name right away other times it takes a few days to decide just the right one.  I like names so much I even keep a list of potential ones to use.  You never know when one might fit or a friend is looking for suggestions.

Names can tell a lot about the pet and their people.  Often there’s a  story behind  why a name was chosen.  Here are some of the stories behind how some of my zoo crew got their names.



His original name was Toby, but a friend’s dog had that same name and it didn’t seem like a good fit. I like to rename my adopted pets giving them a new start with a new life and a name that has no negative connotations. I had chosen the name Chaos off my name list, but when I picked him up after he was neutered at the shelter, it didn’t seem right. There was a country music band named Ricochet and that seemed like a perfect name for an on-the-go Jack Russell.



I had no intention of adopting another cat when the head vet tech came back in the the treatment area with a 4 week old kitten someone had found and brought to the Emergency Vet Hospital I worked at. She held her out and showed us the cutest kitten.  I knew I was in trouble when the name Charm popped into my head, but I didn’t need another cat. I spent the rest of my shift hoping the other tech would take her home, but that didn’t happen.  She ended up coming home with me after all with her new name.



I found him on Petfinder.  His post was pretty much like all the other ferrets until I got to the end where they had added “he might have something wrong with his legs”.  That didn’t seem right so I went to the shelter the next day to check him out and ended up adopting him.  I’m not sure what they thought might be wrong with his legs, I couldn’t find anything wrong and he moved like a normal ferret walking around the getting acquainted room at the shelter. As I was watching him in the room, I decided to name him Amblin since he seemed to be having fun ambling around.

Eco, my Senegal Parrot



Eco’s name was easy. He joined my household on Earthday and he was green(part green anyway) so something to do with the environment seemed right.



Yes, I’m a kind of a Gleek.  In the pilot episode they show a sign that said “By its very definition, Glee is about opening yourself up to joy.”  I loved that quote and felt it was a perfect description of what it felt like when pets shared your life. When I adopted a bunny a few months after seeing the quote, it just seemed right to name her Glee, especially after watching her do bunny binkies.


What’s the story behind your pet’s name?

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This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop. Check out more pet blogs below!


Carnivals, Memes and Blog Hops Dogs Pet Care Recipes

Christmas Countdown Day 6- Turkey Dog Treat Recipe

My canine crew love getting treats for Christmas. They aren’t too picky which is good because I don’t have to worry about impressing them with my cooking skills. When making treats, I love simple recipes, like this turkey treat recipe. It’s basically 1 ingredient and if you like you can add some items for flavoring.


Ingredients for dog treat recipe

Ground meat, I’m using 1lb of ground turkey.  Low fat meat will not shrink as much  and won’t leave as much grease in the pan when cooking.
possible additions- soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, grated cheese, garlic powder.


  1. Mix any additions into the ground meat.  I added 1 tbsp soy sauce.
  2. Spread ground meat onto a slightly greased sheet pan.
  3. Score the meat to make it easier to cut apart when done cooking.
  4. Cooking time can vary depending on the meat. I cooked the turkey at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.  I then took the tray out and poured off the fat that was in the pan.  I also blotted the top to remove some of the fat.  I returned it to the oven and continued cooking it at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.
  5. I removed the tray from the pan and cut the treats up. I turned the treats over and returned thetray to the warm oven for 10 minutes with the oven turned off.  This helps harden the side that was underneath and makes it not greasy to handle.
  6. Pass out to eagerly awaiting canines.
Since these are really dehydrated, I store a few days supply in the fridge and for longer storage in the freezer.
These are a favorite for me to make because I can make them any size (I tend to go small when I am actively training) I also prefer meat-based treats over treats that are mostly or all carbs.
Leave out the additives for a treat you can share with your cats and ferrets.

What’s your favorite simple dog treat recipe to make?

This is our first time taking part in the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop hosted by Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever.  Follow along to see find more tasty eats.

Christmas Countdown Pet Care

Christmas Countdown 4- Keeping Your Pet Safe from Holiday Hazards

The holidays are such a joyous time- decorations, family, parties and presents all add to the fun. With all the activity. it can be easy for pets to get into trouble without being noticed. Since we don’t want the celebrations to end in tragedy, it’s important to know what can be hazardous.

Christmas Tree Hazards

  • Tree stand– water additives can be harmful if your pet drinks it.  I cover the top of the stand with foil'Just one bite!' photo (c) 2009, Justin + Elise Snow - license: to keep thirsty pets out.
  • Garland and tinsel– these string-like decorations can cause major intestinal problems.  If your pet has eaten any contact your vet.  If you see it is working its way out of your pet’s butt, DON’T pull to get it out, let it go or trim so just a short end is out if it bothers your pet.  Pulling could cause the intestines to telescope in on themselves.
  • Ornaments– these can be made out of anything from glass to food.  Keep an eye on your pet so they don’t eat them.  Clean up any broken glass ornaments to keep your pet’s feet safe.  A wet cloth run over the area will help get those small pieces missed by a broom.
  • Lights– some animals have a thing for biting electrical cords.  Not exactly a healthy habit to have as they can get badly shocked.
  •  Tree– the tree may be hard for some pets to resist climbing into.  Christmas trees in tree stands really aren’t sturdy enough to hold a cat, ferret or parrot and may topple over, hurting your pet in the fall. Pine needles and branches might be chewed or eaten and could cause digestive problems. Sap on the tree could get on your pet where licking it could cause problems.
Present Hazards
  • Ribbon– ribbon can cause the same problems as garland and tinsel.  Though pretty, it might be best to not use on presents your pet is going to open.
  • Styrofoam Packing Peanuts-it’s great when the delivery man brings presents from someone out of town, but watch where those packing peanuts are.  Small critters like ferrets, might find them fun to play with and fun to take a bite of which can lead to an intestinal obstruction.
Decoration Hazards
    'The Greatest Present' photo (c) 2005, Kerry - license:

  • Candles– Candles should only be used when you are present.  An unattended candle could be knocked down or a passing pet could get burned or catch on fire.
  • Plants– Holly, Mistletoe and Lilies add to the holiday atmosphere, but they can also be toxic to your pet.
  • Bubble Lights– these contain a liquid called  methylene chloride that causes skin irritation and digestive problems.
  • Potpourri– liquid potpourri  smells nice but it’s not meant to be ingested or get in eyes or on skin. Some pets might find it very appealing so don’t leave your pet unattended around it.
Food and Cooking Hazards
  • Chocolate– Tasty for humans, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which can cause neurological problems as well digestive problems.
  • Nuts– Some nuts like almonds and pistachios can cause stomach upset, while others have toxins that can cause major problems.
  • Candy– Sweets really aren’t good for pets, but most importantly is staying away from candy that contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener. that is toxic to dogs.
  • Baking– uncooked dough that contains yeast can expand in a stomachs and cause digestive issues.
  • Too Much Food– One thing everyone loves about the holidays is the food and pets love it just as much as people.  Too much food, fatty foods and bones can cause anything from diarrhea to the more severe pancreatitis.
  • Teflon– when Teflon becomes overheated, it releases fumes that are deadly to parrots.  Some kitchen equipment and heaters also contain Teflon that can be a problem.  To be, safe items that have Teflon shouldn’t be used.
People Hazards
  • Stress– The holidays bring family, strangers and friends into their home sometimes all at once.  While many pets don’t mind meeting new people, others become stressed by all the hustle and bustle.  They would probably do best being kept in a quiet area of the house.
  • Escapes– With everyone coming and going and can be hard to keep track of a pet’s whereabouts in the crowd making it easy for one to slip out the door.  Making sure all pets are in their cages, on a leash or tucked away in a quiet part of the house will keep everyone  safe and sound at home.
By knowing what can be a potential danger for pets and taking a few precautions everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday!


'Wee Westie Christmas 2007' photo (c) 2007, Randy Robertson - license: