All posts by craig

Spoil Your Fur-Baby With Cheesy Homemade Dog Treats!

Dog Treat re-sizedWant to do something special for your dog this weekend? Here in Ardmore, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia) we are having what feels like endless rain showers. We were trying to think of fun indoor activities and we came up with something that your dog will really enjoy! Homemade dog biscuits! What better way to spoil your fur baby than with a treat made from the heart. The dogs of our marketing specialist, Erika, love the following recipe!

Cheesy Dog Treats
• Prep time: 10 minutes
• Cook time: 30 minutes
• Servings: 24 treats

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
• 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 cup water

Directions
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, mix cheeses with oil. Stir in flour, dry milk, and salt until blended. Add water and knead until dough comes together. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut out treats using a cookie cutter. Repeat until all dough is used. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until treats are golden brown. Allow to cool thoroughly before serving to your four-legged friend.
• Note: You can substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose to make an even healthier treat for your dog.

by Finch, our Hospital Resident

Well, hello there! My name is Finch and you may have seen me lounging around at the front desk at Ardmore Animal Hospital or waddling around on the front lawn. Today, I want to talk to you about some Thanksgiving holiday hazards for pets. With the holidays upon us there is a lot to think about. I have many moms that take care of me here at AAH and I see them rushing around preparing for everything, but one thing they need to make sure to remember is to keep their pets (and your pets!) healthy and happy this holiday season.

thanksgiving1One of the biggest hazards during the holidays is the delicious tasting, delightfully smelling foods that everyone makes. I used to enjoy that fun stuff but I’m on a pretty strict diet these days. Four-legged family members should be kept away from these goodies for many reasons. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.)

Turkey should be kept away from us, too. Poultry carcasses, packaging, strings etc. should be disposed of as soon as possible and taken directly out to the trash. I cannot tell you how tempting an open trash bag full of meaty goodness is. These items are dangerous because they can cause intestinal blockages and, on occasion, stomach perforation. Other ingredients in holiday foods that are toxic include, but are not limited to, onions, garlic, chocolate, raisin, grapes, xylitol, and yeast. Bread dough can be a big problem because it can cause gas and severe bloating.

thanksgiving2If you feel like you want to spoil your pet just a bit for the holiday- create a special little feast with dog or cat appropriate treats and food. Foods are not just the only hazard. There are several plants that pets should be kept away from. Amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, and some ferns are toxic to dogs and cats. The ASPCA has a complete list of toxic foods and plants on their website as well as their Pet Poison Control hotline.

Visitors in the home can also be very upsetting for many pets. More people in the home means more new smells and louder noise levels. For a dog or cat that isn’t used to this it can cause a lot of stress. Products like thundershirts, calming collars, and pheromone plug-ins can help ease some of the anxiety. Keep an eye on the entryways and exits of your home when friends and family come over, as some stressed animals tend to bolt if given the opportunity. Make sure your pet has up to date info on a collar and/or a microchip. I am microchipped AND have a collar with my name and several phone numbers (in case I run away, although, that’s highly unlikely).

The last thing I want to talk about is traveling with your pet. If you are headed out of town with your dog or cat you will want to make sure you have a health certificate with all of the updated vaccines. It’s good to have this in case you need to see another vet out of town. Make sure when you are packing yourself that you also pack for Fluffy or Fido too! Bringing their regular diet, favorite stuffies, and important medications will ensure that you pet stays happy and healthy during your travels. If you pet is staying at a boarding facility while you go away, then make sure to check with your veterinarian and the boarding facility about special vaccines that may be needed.

I hope my tips help you keep you animals safe this Thanksgiving and every other holiday as well. As for me, I will be spending Thanksgiving with one of the receptionists and her family. I’m sure she will have a special holiday feast for me. I sure do have a lot to be thankful for this year. Happy Holidays!

Happy Pit Bull Awareness Day! My name is Trixie and my mom works for the Ardmore Animal Hospital. She found me on the Dodo – A social media group that features pets in need. I’m blind in one eye and missing the other, so of course someone had to fall for me! I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. The Pit bull laws are a tad harsh in the big apple. The New York City Housing Authority bans Pit bulls in any housing under its control. They also ban Dobermans and Rottweilers. Some of the municipalities even consider us a “dangerous” dog, which means stricter laws against us if we were to have an incident. Yikes!

EmmaTrixie (002)My story goes like this – I was found at around six weeks old in a storm drain. My right eye was ruptured and I had a very low temperature. I was almost dead. A man found me and brought me to Sean Casey Animal Rescue, located in Brooklyn. A family who did volunteer work at the rescue was willing to foster me right away. I was fixed up, nursed back to health and feeling on top of the world. My foster mom had a few other dogs who I got along with very well. Shortly after they added a baby human to our pack, so of course they needed to find a place with more room. Their new apartment complex wouldn’t allow me to live with them because I’m a Pit bull… Shocker! Back to the shelter I went. I also spent some time with a handful of different fosters who were allowed to house me. Once I was with my last foster mom, Diana, I was featured on The Dodo and that’s when my “furever” mom and dad found me! They drove all the way to Brooklyn with their other Pit bull, Emma. She loved me right away at our meet and sniff. My mom and dad went home to “think about it” and without hesitation, they drove back up the following weekend to adopt me! Woohoo! The city of brotherly love welcomed me with open arms. There are restrictions here as well, but not quite as strict as New York. My mom says all pitties are welcome in her home, so I’m safe here. I love playing with my human baby brother, Dylan and my feline brother, Sid Vicious. Sid thinks I’m funny looking, but he secretly loves me. There isn’t much to be afraid of, really. I just want to sleep, eat and run in circles! My Pit bull sister, Emma, practically raised Dylan from infancy until toddler-hood. She slept by his side day in and day out and always shared her toys. She was a big red beauty. Sadly, she passed in December 2016 from lymphoma. Man, was she awesome at helping me learn my way around my new digs! She was also nothing to be afraid of… Unless you were a carpenter bee. She thought those guys were pretty tasty. 

Enough about me, though. Let’s discuss the truth about my breed. A dog is usually classified as a Pit bull just from its looks. A stocky body, boxy head, broad stature. That’s a lot of breeds and that is why we always catch a bad rap. A Boston Terrier mix all the way to a Mastiff mix can be classified as a Pit bull type dog by shelters or law enforcement. So if any one of my fellow bully breeds does anything wrong, we are all stereotyped. Is that really fair? We are one of the most feared breeds, but I blame humans. We are used and mistreated because of our loyalty and eagerness to please. In reality, we are gentle enough to have once been considered a “nanny” dog. I try to take darn good care of my baby human brother. I do steal the occasional chicken nugget, but we typically rock at being gentle and caring. We are smart, loyal and LOVE to snuggle! We don’t want to fight. We aren’t born aggressive. We aren’t capable of locking our jaws. It’s not a natural instinct for us to attack. We aren’t sharks! Our bite force is actually the same as a retriever – about 235 pounds. The myth about having a 1600 pound bite force is completely false. We also scored higher on the temperament testing than most trusted family breeds. According to the 2008 testing of 218 dog breeds by the American Temperament Testing Society, the passing rate for the American Pit bull Terrier was 85%, American Staffordshire Terrier was 83.9%, Staffordshire Bull Terriers was 88%! Some breeds that scored lower than us include the Beagle, Border Collie, Dalmatian, Greyhound, Caviler King Charles Spaniel and Toy Poodles. Last year’s test results proved to be very similar.

Emmadylan (002)There are just too many stereotypes and myths to count, but I can promise we aren’t what everyone thinks. There is an alarming amount of “Pit bull type” dogs in shelters all across America. Why are there so many of us? It’s not because we have behavioral issues. It’s because there are so many of us classified as “Pit bulls” and perhaps too many stereotypes going against us. Please don’t fall for them! We also end up in shelters due to a thing called “BSL” or Breed Specific Legislation. There are several cities that ban us because of all the misinformation and prejudice . Denver, CO. Miami, FL. Council Bluffs, IA. The list is endless! How do we stop these bans? Educate! Educate! Educate! Give us a try. Go to your local shelter and volunteer. Take us for walks and find out just how awesome and sweet we really are. The numbers are scary. Every year, 1.2 million pups are euthanized in shelters and 40% consist of Pit bulls. Yikes! Thankfully, we’re becoming more and more accepted and humans are becoming more aware of the stereotypes being only stereotypes. But, we still need more believers!

The younger generations find us to be trendy these days and I’m OK with that! Us pitties just ask that you make sure you can keep us for life, because the mixture of trendiness and BSL is what’s putting us in these shelters in the first place. I’ll say it time and time again, we aren’t the problem – The human that owns us usually is. That goes for attacks and the number of us, homeless. Please consider giving us a chance, even if it’s just fostering one of us. The less of us in shelters means the less euthanized. You may become a “foster failure” and fall head over heels in love with one of us! Be prepared for lots of kisses, snuggles and FUN if you adopt a Pit bull. And, beware that pitties are like potato chips… You can’t just have one!

Reasons to own a Pit bull:

1. We come in any color variety
2. We can make friends with just about anyone
3. We’re pretty darn intelligent
4. We’re warm on chilly winter days (we love to snuggle)
5. We are eager to please
6. We’ve got energy for running, hiking, or a day at the park
7. We can sub as a babysitter last minute (we were nanny dogs)
8. We’re pretty low maintenance
9. We’re great home security
10. We’ll love you until the end of time

Woof!

Trixie Myers

A perspective by Gertie Lombardo

Hey Guys! It’s your resident blogger, Gertie Lombardo. You may remember me from my blog about Chihuahua Appreciation Day. Today, I am here to talk to you about pet obesity. It’s no surprise when I tell you that human obesity rates are higher than ever. I suppose you may have heard the notion that pets often resemble their owners and that is reflected in the following statistics:  53% of adult dogs and 55% of adult cats are overweight or obese. How can your owner tell if you are a healthy weight? Your owner should be able to feel your ribs easily when they gently press your sides. Being overweight comes with a host of other health issues.

ChihuahuaAs with our owners, being overweight can affect a pet’s health in many ways. Obesity can result in arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain cancers, as well as heart and respiratory disease. Obesity can take two years of your four legged friend’s life- that’s like 14-18 human years! I know I would like to live with my owner for as long as I possibly can! She feels the same way and that’s why she had to make some serious decisions last year when Dr. Montgomery recommended that I slim down a bit. I don’t actually eat that much so my mom was hesitant to cut back on my food for fear of malnourishment over time. I was put on a scientifically formulated diet that helps me with safe weight reduction and I didn’t have to cut back on the amount of food I eat!

If you suspect that your pet may be overweight, then it’s time to have a discussion with your veterinarian.  In addition to specially formulated diets, some other things that your pet parent can do to help you lose weight include the following: measure meals appropriately, establish a feeding schedule, limit snacks (I know this is a hard one!), choose low calorie treats, and most importantly, get moving! You might even help your owner drop a few pounds and get healthy like you! As for my weight loss journey, I was told to lose three pounds (hey, that’s a lot for a little Chihuahua) and I am down two. It’s always that pesky last pound that is the hardest to lose! I even got into my old bikini this past summer. Gotta go- time to grab the leash and take my mom for a walk!