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Jenn Fadal Pet Lifestyle Expert and Pack

Happy Anniversary Chico!

Posted by on Dec 13, 2011 in Animal Rescue, Excercise, Uncategorized | 0 comments

    The holiday crazies are in full swing.  For me personally, I have a party to plan, Christmas cards to mail,  inventory to count and about 10 more pages of to do’s.  Feeling anxious?  Yes.   More than anything else however, I am feeling grateful…for so many things. Certainly for my family, work and friends but leading the pack are six little legs. Two of these legs belong to the little man currently belly laughing as he jumps away on his FisherPrice bouncer. My son Sebastian arrived on the scene on April 29 of this year. My husband and I couldn’t be happier to be his parents and we are enjoying every ounce of this child. Prior to Sebastian’s celebrated birth, four additional legs ran into my life. Well, more like hobbled in. Chico, my 18lb Chihuahua mix walked through my doors on December 13, 2010. You may remember his story from past Paws for Thought articles. Chico was found at the Davis Islands baseball fi eld tied to a fence on what happened to be the coldest day of the year. For some reason I went against my cardinal rule (not to keep lost/found dogs myself but to lead the person in the right direction) and decided to foster him. From December through April, I did try to fi nd a home for Chico. I took him to adoption events, wrote articles about him, posted his adorable scowl on facebook, took him to the store to meet my customers and more. Each attempt was met with an overwhelming silence.  In the meantime, he was doing his best to win me over. He was my walking partner. I was very pregnant at this point and Chico was my constant companion as I logged many many miles all over Davis Islands. I do credit Chico for helping me to only gain 20 pregnancy pounds! He also put me through boot camp. In those first months, Chico was waking up at least once a night to go outside and “do his business.” As I begrudgingly suited up at 2am to take him out, I kept telling myself this is how it will be when the baby arrives.  The baby did arrive in April, and both Abe and Chico’s jaunts with Mom were put on hold. Chico, however, took on another role. Instead of being my walking partner, he was now my middle of the night baby feeding side kick. No matter what time or how often I was up with Sebastian, there was faithful Chico, staggering in to the room and plopping down beside the rocking chair.  By June, I knew that Chico was my dog….and by July, my husband knew as well. Chico finally won my husband over when he did his crazy small dog run through the backyard. If you have small dogs, you know what this is –one of the funniest things to witness. I fi nalized the adoption paperwork and Chico became officially a Fadal.  It is amazing what one year can bring. I thought I was busy with a husband, business and one dog. Now, twelve months later, I have a husband, son, two dogs and a business. I am loving every hectic minute! And, Chico has gone from being tied to a fence on a cold...

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411 on Pet Halloween Safety

Posted by on Oct 31, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

1.      Keep Pets Indoors– Halloween night has the second largest number of lost pet occurrences out of the year.  Pets should remain home during trick or treating festivities  The combination of darkness and costumes may make your pet anxious and scared.  If you keep your pet in a gated yard, consider bringing them indoors.  There will be many pranksters out, who just might find it funny to let your pet out of the gate, antagonize your pet or even worse. Tagg the Pet Tracker is an excellent and EASY option to give pet owners peace of mind.  It is a GPS tracking system for your pet and is unlike any other product out there.  It puts the owner in control of their pets whereabouts.  In a matter of minutes, you can identify where your lost pet is on a map. Only available at Tagg.com.   2.      Chocolate, Candy and other Yummies– By all means, all candy, especially chocolate is a big NO NO for Felix and Fido. Chocolate is toxic to a pet’s system and can have fatal results. Not to mention, the wrappers, foil, twist ties, etc. surrounding the candy can cause choking or may lodge in the pet’s intestines. However, if you want to give your pet a sweet treat, try your hand at making them carob brownies!  Carob is actually a legume and is full of vitamins A,  a series of B vitamins, D and minerals.  It also has fiber and pectin and is low in sodium.  a safe sweet and therapeutic alternative.  3.      Candles– We all know that Fido’s tail can whip around as fast as a category two hurricane and will take out anything in it’s path. If you have cats, no space is off limits.  Please keep all lit candles far out of your dogs range. And definitely remember to extinguish candles prior to leaving your home.   Better yet, use a wickless candle like this one.  I have pretty much eliminated candles from my home and exclusively use no wick candles.  Scentsy.   4.      Trick or Treaters– Costumes and excited kids may cause your pet to bolt out of an open door or perhaps become scared/nervous leading to unwanted results.  The best precaution is to not let Fido greet trick or treaters without being on the other end of his leash or not at all.  Nervous or overly excited pets are better left in a cozy room with all of their favorite things while you are greeting trick or treaters or hosting a Halloween party. They will feel much better and you will not take the chance of your otherwise friendly FiFi becoming snappish. A few must haves for their room is a long lasting treat (antler), twist n treat toy, comfy bed, water.  Natural anti anxiety remedies would be rescue remedy or thundershirt. 5.  Costumes– If you choose to dress your pet this season, please make sure that their costume is not constricting in any way. If the costume includes a mask, please ensure that the eyeholes are wide enough not to impede Fido’s peripheral vision. Limited vision could cause your dog to become nervous and potentially act out of the norm. Give your pet extra water when dressed as he may become warm and try not to leave his costume on...

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Crypton to the rescue!

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in Environment, Hips and Joints, Products, Uncategorized | 0 comments

As most of you know, I have two seven year old boys at home.  Abe, my lab mix, is crazy about his ball!  His ball fetish began pretty much the first day we brought him home and has never stopped.  Because of his age and his craze, it is difficult for him to stand when he has been lying down on the floor or his bed for a while. Chico on the other hand, could care less about a ball.  The only toy he likes is his toy chipmunk that we gave him the first day he was dropped on our doorstep.  He does have a few physical problems however.  He is missing the ball in his hind leg hip socket and he has a compressed disc in his neck.  He has his days when walking is very difficult. I have tried various beds for both but had not gone the route of orthopedic beds yet. The makers of Crypton pet beds contacted me to test their product.  Not only are they  known for making beds that really last but they have an orthopedic bed that is supposed to be fantastic.  Crypton beds are made with fabric that resists moisture, stains, odor and bacteria (the tag says that spills just wipe away!) I took them up on their offer and two beautiful beds just arrived!  Can’t wait to test them on Chico and Abe and see the result!  I hope they like it!  Orthopedic AND odor resistant?  What could be better? Keep following my blog as the Crypton story to...

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Bow Wow Brownies

Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 in Health & Wellness, Nutrition, Pet Forum, Uncategorized | 0 comments

My dog Abe is not a picky dog…not in the least.  He is just as happy with a raw piece of meat as he is with his bowl of dry dog food.  When I bake Bow Wow Brownies however, he is one happy guy!  I think he actually smiles. If you are looking to try your hand at baking for your dog, this is a sure winner.  Is your dog intolerant of wheat?  If so, try an alternate grain source and add the carob elements.  I don’t think one dog has turned these bad boys down! 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 tablespoons honey 1 cup whole wheat flour 4 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup carob chips 1/4 cup carob powder 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Directions:=1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2 Blend oil and honey in a bowl.3 Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 15- by 10-inch baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes. Read more:...

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Fido’s Fall Schedule

Posted by on Sep 13, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s that time of the year when you are probably back to your old routine of rising early, preparing for work, kids are busy with school and after school activities and you do it all over again day after day after day.  Visions of your relaxed summer are quickly fading as your fall routine takes over. So, how about your dog?  After a few months of frolicking with your kids, perhaps vacationing or spending time in the pool and yes, most likely eating more table scraps than normal…he is back to his old routine of staying at home most of the day by himself. (and don’t you wish you had a camera to see what he is actually doing?) While it is true that dogs do sleep most of the day, there are a few things you can do to put him on a schedule and make his life a bit more interesting. Diet- if your Fido has had a summer filled with extra treats and unscheduled feedings, now is the time to change that.  Feeding your dog a healthy diet twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, will help to regulate his digestive system and minimize the number of times he has to “do his business” during the day.  If you are out of the home most of the day, this will certainly help to minimize accidents. Toys- Introduce a few new toys to your dogs line up this fall.  My favorites are toys that release treats or food as the pet plays with them.  They can roll, flip and nuzzle these toys and treats/food release.  This will help your dog to get a bit of exercise while he eats as well as provide mental stimulation.  There are also “guaranteed” toys on the market that can take the force of a tough chewer.  If the toy is ruined you can send it back in to the manufacturer for a new one. Exercise- this is so key to your dog’s physical health and peace of mind…not to mention yours!!  My recommendation is to start with one good walk in the morning followed by another even better walk in the evening.  If you can fit in at least a couple of miles at a fast pace with a big dog or a high energy dog in the morning, your dog will have less anxiety all day.  This will lessen the tendency to chew furniture or other destructive behaviors.  The walk in the evening will release all of the pent of energy the dog has built up during the day. Dog park- if your dog is a good candidate for the dog park, this is a great way to burn off energy as well.  However, I do recommend walking your dog and getting energy out PRIOR to going to the dog park.  To ensure safety your dog should be in a calm state of mind when visiting. Gear-don’t have time for a long walk prior to work?  Opt for a short one but add a doggie backpack to the mix.  A back pack fits snuggly onto the dogs back and can be filled with weighted items on either side of the pack.  This will give your dog a tougher work out in a shorter amount of...

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Pets on a Budget

Posted by on Sep 2, 2011 in Lifestyle, Paws for Thought | 0 comments

Many of us are curbing our spending in this economy and that includes spending on our pets.  Although the pet business is BIG business with an estimated 48 billion dollars spent in 2010 on vet care, food, supplies and services, consumers are looking for more affordable ways to keep their pets healthy, well fed and active. 1. Vet Care a.  Talk to your vet about a payment program, pet insurance and what is medically necessary right now and which medicines and procedures can wait. b.  Ask your vet about generics especially in the area of non steroidal anti-inflammatories.   Generics that rival the popular topical flea medications are on the market as well.  These may offer you great savings. c.  And take good care of your pets between visits.  Example:  Teeth cleaning!  Most veterinarian offices charge at least $200 for teeth cleanings.  You might be able to  save this money by being diligent about cleaning your pets teeth every week and feeding crunchy treats and bones.  Now cleaning is easier than ever:  cleaning gels and water additives provide the pet owner with clean pet teeth without the struggle of brushing. 2.  Food a.  Many brands of food offer a frequent feeder program.  Buy 12 bags get the 13th free is the most common.  Innova has a great program that offers a free bag after 10 bag purchases.  Make sure to get a frequent buyer card from your retailer AND save your UPC codes.  Most programs require these.b.  Contact food manufacturers and ask for coupons!  Or at least get on their mailing list and you will receive discounts in the mailc.  Social Media- friend your pet food manufacturer or retailer on facebook or twitter and get discounts that way too! 3.  Toys and Bedding a.  Toys- many toys manufacturers offer a product “guarantee” their products.  If your dog punctures or destroys the toy, you can take it back to your retailer or send it in directly to the manufacturer for a free toy.  It may be worth it to spend a little more up front for a longer lasting toy that can be replaced. b.  Bedding- In my opinion the best deal on the market is the doggie duvet cover concept vs. a bed.  You can “stuff” the duvet with an old bed, towels, clothes, foam, you name it and your dog will love it because it smells like you.  They are cute, durable and...

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Healthy Summer Coat

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Health & Wellness, Paws for Thought, Skin & Allergies | 0 comments

We want healthy hair and skin this summer and so do our pets.  A healthy summer coat is extremely important for dogs and cats.  Why?  Itchy dry skin, flaking and hot spots can be a sign of a bigger problem.  Fleas, poor diet, food allergies and inhalant allergies can all manifest in poor coat health. These five easy steps can help ensure a healthy summer coat for your pet. 1. Control Fleas- there are over 15 antigens in a flea’s saliva which means that one bite can wreak havoc on your sensitive dog or cat.  To combat this, make sure your pet is on a monthly flea medicine regime and you are treating your home and yard for fleas. Learn more about Flea Flicker Tick Kicker by Ark Naturals. 2.  Diet- Dogs and cats can have food sensitivities that may manifest as skin allergies.  If you suspect that your dog or cat has a food allergy first try changing their food to something with no corn, wheat, soy or gluten products.  If you haven’t seen a change in 6-8 weeks, then try changing the protein source…e.g.  if you are feeding a beef diet, try chicken, or if you are feeding chicken try fish.  Learn more about California Natural’s Herring and Sweet Potato Formula! 3.  Shampoo/Conditioner- be sure to use a soap and detergent free shampoo and conditioner.  One made with natural ingredients (no chemicals or synthetics) will make a marked improvement in your dogs coat.  Oatmeal based shampoo will help condition the coat and a Tea Tree oil based shampoo will handle hotspots.  If your pet is a swimmer, use a leave in conditioning spray between baths to further moisturize.  Learn about Earthbath‘s all natural products! 4.  Fish Oil- Adding Omega 3 to your dog’s diet will help boost their immune response and reduce inflammation in the body. Thus reducing itchiness, fostering shiny healthy coats.  Learn about Alaska Naturals! 5.  Brush Brush Brush-  This simple act is often overlooked by pet owners but is so important.  Brushing helps reduce shedding and bacterial build up.  Brushing not only gets rid of dead hair but it also rids your dog of dead skin cells.  These dead skin cells can be the perfect environment for bacteria.  Brushing also distributes the natural oil along the coat.  Really important for long haired breeds.  Human/pet bond is strengthened...

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Safe Flea Fighters

Posted by on Jun 13, 2011 in Health & Wellness, Paws for Thought, Skin & Allergies | 0 comments

Buyer beware!  Make sure that the flea protection you choose for your puppy, kitty, dog or cat is the right one for their age, size and medical condition.  Topical medication, oral medication, collars, dips, sprays….the list goes on and on.  There is a variety of products to choose from all claiming to kill fleas or prevent outbreaks.  Read this interesting article from the NY Daily News and the reasons why some flea fighters are dangerous. Please consult your veterinarian to ensure the product you choose is safe for your dog or cat.  Of course, I like the all natural route best but in many locations a stronger medication is necessary.  Any flea medication, if used incorrectly, can cause your pet to become ill or worse.  Visit the following sites to read about a few all natural alternatives:  Pet Naturals of Vermont.  I like their flea protect spray and shampoo quite a bit.  The shampoo will kill the fleas and the spray prevents.  Safe for use around pets and kids!   Natural Defense by Sentry.  I have used their home spray and it seemed to kill/prevent fleas and as an added bonus…it smelled nice.   Pet and kid safe! The Wholistic Pet.  Read about Diatomaceous Earth.  You can use it on your dog or cat, on your floors or even in your yard…etc.  How does it work?  DE works by puncturing the exoskeleton of the insect and eventually killing it.  Why are fleas so tough to eliminate? Because, their  lifecycle is lengthy and contains four stages.  Learn more about their life cycle at about.com. Hint, eradicating the pupa stage is extremely important!  And, confronting fleas at each stage will help you win the battle! Once you find a safe product, use it correctly and be CONSISTENT!  That is key to your success! Good...

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Having a baby? Tips to prepare your four legged child.

Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Lifestyle, Paws for Thought, Safety | 0 comments

If you are like me, your dog or cat is your baby…the center of your world, the light or your life….you will do anything for them buy anything for them…..until the human baby comes along.  Unfortunately, the arrival of a baby oftentimes means the pet is not only dethroned but re-homed.  I hear stories like this far too often and almost 100% of the time the dog or cat should have remained with the family. My husband and I welcomed our new baby Sebastian in April 2011 and I am happy to say that our dogs are handling the transition beautifully…with a couple of funny exceptions.  Chico howls when the baby really cranks it up and Abe may give a loud WOOF or two to make sure Sebastian knows who’s boss!  But all in all…they have been wonderful. It is normal for your pet to feel something akin to sibling rivalry when your new child comes home.  He is losing his rank in your pack…dropping down a notch or two and will need to adapt to their new role To make this transition easier, there are many things you can do before the baby comes home:  Spay or Neuter your pet- if your pet is still in tact, now is the time to change that.  Dogs and cats that have been altered tend to be more mellow. Training- it is very helpful to have a well trained dog prior to welcoming a new baby.  Take the time to enroll in a group class or have a trainer come to your home.  Having the basic commands under your belt will help out immensely.  Make changes now and not after the baby arrives:  For example, if you plan to keep your dog or cat out of the babies room…begin training that prior to the baby coming home.  A baby gate may be helpful in this example.  Or, if mom is the pet’s favorite, begin spending a bit less time with the pet and have dad take on a larger role…this way, when the baby comes along it will be normal for mom to not dote 100% of the time on fido.  The goal is to not have your dog or cat associate changes with the new baby.  These changes were already existing and then the baby came along. Get your pet used to smells, sounds and a new routine- prior to baby arriving on the scene, purchase a baby doll that makes baby sounds, walk around the house with it in your arms, put the doll in a stroller and take your dog on a walk with you.  Use baby powder and baby lotion. Receiving blanket and introductions- prior to mom, dad and baby coming home, have a friend or relative bring the receiving blanket to your house and allow your dog to smell it thoroughly…this way, when the baby arrives, fido will be accustomed to his/her scent. When the baby does come through the door, the dog should meet the baby immediately.  Have one of the parents hold the baby up out of the dogs reach and let the dog smell the babies feet.  Over the days that follow invite your dog to sniff the baby many times and be a part of the routine as much as possible.  Of course, always under...

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Dog Poop to Fertilizer?

Posted by on Apr 20, 2011 in Environment, Safety | 0 comments

In France, the country notorious for having streets littered with doggie droppings, a scientist is researching turning these dog deposits into environmentally friendly fertilizer.  Interested?  Read the story from Bloomberg News below: Dog-Poop Project in France Seeks to Turn Feces Into Fertilizer April 20 (Bloomberg) — Across the street from a bowling alley in Toulouse, a French scientist in a white smock unlocks the passageway to a hidden refrigerated laboratory where a centuries-old blight is about to be wiped up. “Show him Project Propec,” says Cedric Cabanes, president of Agronutrition SAS, a boutique fertilizer company with annual sales of 18 million euros ($26 million), which may be on the cusp of transforming a global industry that plowed 163.7 million metric tons of nutritional muck into the soil last year. The metal door swings open and the foul aroma of the excremental experiment inside the chamber overwhelms the possibility of accurate visual observation. “What we have here is endomycorrhiza, the molecular detoxifying mechanism for a diffusive airborne substance with a 100 meter radius that provokes an immediate intestinal ejection at a precise position,” microbiologist Hicham Ferhout says, thumping shut the steel door. “In layman terms, we’ve finally discovered how to make a dog sh*t in a specific spot, disinfect the deposit and convert it into environmentally friendly energy or fertilizer. I have to think like a dog.” The origin of feces is no laughing matter in France, where pedestrians can come upon little piles of dog poop on pavements in even the most fashionable of streets in cities from Paris to Bordeaux. France has 8.8 million dogs, according to the Societe de Protection des Animaux. At an average of 22 pounds a year each, they produce about 194 million pounds of stools, some in public spaces, costing the country millions to clean up, according to Toulouse Deputy Mayor Jean-Michel Fabre. Office of Tranquility For the 400,000 residents of Toulouse, says Fabre, who’s also a veterinarian, the postcard-perfect southwestern town is otherwise soiled by 50,000 dogs that step outside to leave tons of their excrement annually. In tow are 300 sanitation workers, 100 of them with scoopers-at-the-ready, spending as much as 33 percent of the city’s 153 million-euro sanitation budget on shoveling canine fecal matter. “Toulouse has industrial quantities to offer,” says the 50-year-old Fabre who, to illustrate his point, is standing in a sand-filled “boite de crotte,” or dog latrine, in the fragrant Jardin Pierre Goudouli behind the town hall. “Look,” the deputy mayor says with a sweep of the hand, “there’s merde everywhere but in here.” As Fabre tells it, Toulouse’s scatological action plan to clean up the mess and turn squalor into dollars began when he in 2009 created France’s first “Office of Tranquility.” The city’s official grievance bureau in its first two years received more than 600,000 calls. Monetizing Dog Poop “The majority of the people complained about dog merde,” Fabre says. “We have seven dog parks, but the dogs refused to use them.” Historical research showed that it wouldn’t be easy or pleasant to monetize dog droppings. The only successful venture in this field took place in Victorian England, when the homeless wandered city streets to collect what was then called “pure” or “scitan” (a noun in which the “sc” is pronounced “sh”) for use in tanning...

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