Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We continually research new trends in the dog food industry to ensure Morris Animal Inn has the best food for our pet clientele. Our interest piqued when DogTime asked if we would take the Eukanuba 28-Day Challenge and blog about it. Three of our managers, Patty Segal, Patti Kreitler and Joanne Morris agreed to feed Eukanuba dog food to their pets and provide their feedback. Patty Segal writes about her observations first as she presents her two dogs Clover (a 4-year-old Doberman Pinscher) and Jersey (a 5-year-old Hound mix) the Eukanuba Pure food. Visit us frequently for updates… The hope is that after just 28 days, there will be a remarkable difference in their health and well being or “your money back 110% guarantee.” Here goes…
So the long awaited Eukanuba Pure has arrived. In the back of my mind I expect all things Eukanuba to be shockingly pink so a black, slick, sexy bag made me do a double take. Just a touch of the familiar Euk pink with the paw print and a mustard yellow stripe. Hmmmm… interesting color palette. Guess at some point all the more popular, charming colors get used up and a new product like Pure gets the underrated “black & mustard” theme. Then another underrated feature catches my eye, the Brittany…or is that a Welsh Springer or a field-bred English? Whoa, this is no food for the designer-breed clique, this is a serious food. No AKC Top 10 Most Popular dog in America here! Labradoodles and Peek-a-poos step aside, here comes the working dog who needs a “real food”…a “pure food”.  Hmmm. Ok, I’m intrigued.
Ok bag, what else have ya’ got for me? “Optimal fatty acid ratio”, “FOS” (an ingredient that helps grow beneficial bacteria in the large intestine), yeah, yeah I expect that from Euk. Not that I’m down playing those items I just truly expect that from Eukanuba. Novice dog food window-shoppers might be impressed but I learned about the benefits of FOS years ago. Give me more, Eukanuba. Ok now, “Clinically Proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days”. Guess I should have saved the thousand dollars I just spent getting my dogs teeth cleaned at the vet. Oh well, next bullet point “No fillers, corn, or artificial preservatives” ah, the essence of what makes Pure pure. So I guess I have to believe that fillers, corn and artificial preservatives are bad for my dogs. Let’s start with the easy one, artificial preservatives. In my book artificial equals bad so this is any easy sell for me. I would rather eat real sugar than an artificial sweetener any day, calories be damned. Do I want my dogs being fed artificial anything? No, so I’m happy. 
Jersey Segal

Fillers. Well obviously fillers are fillers and not real food, right? Fillers, like the bad stuff in cheap hotdogs. I mean that’s what I’ve learned from Hebrew National commercials since I was little, no fillers because “we answer to a higher authority”. Maybe Euk is answering to the same authority. So my assumption of “no fillers” means that there is more real food right? Guess I’ll have to investigate that a little further when I read the ingredients but certainly on the surface I agree that no fillers is better than being full of fillers.
Ok so what’s left, “no corn”. Well I know enough about the dog food industry to know this is a point of contention with troops rallied on each side. I also have read Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan so I know that corn, its by-products and the whole corn industry is a lightning rod in the human food category too. Well, let me look at the label of my dog’s current food and let’s see if my dogs are currently being subjected to the dreaded grain. Luckily for the anti-corn contingent, they have influenced my past purchasing decision enough that no, my previous dog food did not contain corn either. So as far as corn is concerned it’s an equal playing field. My dogs will not be in corn withdrawal since it appears they have not tasted the succulent kernel in quite some time.

Stay tuned for more on the challenge!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Photo Courtesy of mikebaird
Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful time to reflect on what you are most thankful for in your life. For pet owners, there is no doubt that your furry friend easily comes to mind. At Morris Animal Inn we made a list of ten things we are most thankful for when it comes to our wonderful cats and dogs.

1. After a tough day at work, there is nothing better than coming home to a wagging tail and slobbery kisses. No matter what you look like, or what mistakes you've made that day, your dog is always happy to see you, even if you were only gone for 5 minutes.

2. Good morning kisses make it much easier to get up. The added bonus is that your pet doesn’t care if you have morning breath because their breath is probably worse than yours!

3.  Snuggle time! There is no better snuggler than a soft warm cat or dog.

   4. Early morning walks with your furry pal when the sun is rising, the day is new, and it’s just you two!

   5. Evening walks as the sun is setting, you take to the road with Fido, clear your head, and relish an easy way to get some quality exercise and bonding time with your buddy.

6. Cats and dogs are like children that never grow up. Though your kids will mature and move out of the house, your pets never will. They will always need and depend on you and it is truly a wonderful feeling, to be needed.

7. It is hard to feel lonely when you have a pet because you are never really alone. Your pet is your loyal shadow that you can tell your problems. They won't judge, or tell you something you don't want to hear.

8. Your pet can make you feel young again! Playing fetch or getting down on all fours to play with a squeaky chew toy can be just as fun for you as it is for your furry friend.

9.  It’s nice to have an automatic vacuum cleaner around whenever you drop crumbs on the floor.

   10. It is amazing how consistently cute and irresistible cats and dogs are without even trying. It is impossible not to smile or feel your heart melt when you look at that special furball!

What are you most thankful for about the pets in your life?

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We know what you're thinking. The turkey has yet to be bought for Thanksgiving and for some of us the Halloween decorations still need to be put away. This period of time before Thanksgiving and Christmas is the calm before the storm. So while your weekends are not yet packed with holiday shopping, tree trimmings and parties galore, stop by Morris Animal Inn for our annual Holiday Pet Photo Shoot on Saturday, November 19, 2011! There are sitting times available from 12:00PM-2:00PM. The sitting fee is $10 and includes one 5x7 photo. Additional photos will be available for purchase from our professional photographer's website after Sunday, December 6. The $10 sitting fee and 10% of all purchases from our holiday boutique will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey. Call 973-537-0377 to reserve a time.

This year, personalize your holiday cards with an irresistibly cute photo of your cat, dog, or even the whole family!  Here are some holiday photo samples from previous years!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Photo Courtesy of jonjd2
You know your dog. You know the familiar smell of their paws, which spot on their tummy they love to be scratched and the first thing your dog is going to do when she or he wakes up in the morning. Our love for our own dogs can make us too trusting of other dogs. We may sprint over to any dog we see walking down the street and immediately start petting them. If we have children, this behavior may be passed down and that’s not necessarily a good thing. It’s critical to learn the proper way to approach an unfamiliar dog. We will break it down so that you can still greet dogs without putting yourself at risk.

Ask Permission
Never walk toward, let alone run to an unfamiliar dog and start touching them. If someone did that to you, I guarantee you would not be happy. Treat this dog with the same respect. First, ask permission from the owner if you can pet their dog. Just as you know best how your dog will react in certain circumstances, this owner knows whether or not their dog will appreciate a stranger petting them, and what spot on their dog is best not to touch.
Photo Courtesy of ocean yamaha

Sniff and See
Hold your hand out to the dog so that he or she can sniff you and get to know you and your scent. Remember, dogs use their noses to gain the most information. Bypassing this important step would be a faux-pas in the canine world. Do not look the dog directly in the eyes as that can be seen as a challenge. If the dog looks relaxed with their mouth open and their tail wagging, signs are the dog is friendly and would not mind gentle petting. If the dog appears tense, the tail is not wagging, the ears are laid back and the mouth is closed or in a snarl, this dog may be scared, so leave it alone.

The Right Touch
Adults generally understand proper pressure for touching animals. Children however, occasionally struggle with this concept, especially when it is an adorable furry creature that resembles the stuffed animal they squeeze at night when they sleep. Teach your child how to gently stroke from head to tail. Stay away from the ears, the face, the paws, and the dog’s hindquarters, including the tail. Children have a tendency to tug on tails which animals do not appreciate.

Dog to Dog
Photo Courtesy of cogdogblog

If you are walking your dog and you approach an unfamiliar dog, do your best to keep them separate. Even if your dog is friendly, the other dog might not be. Some dogs love people but not other canines. Keep the dogs separate until you know the other dog, in order to avoid unnecessary scuffles.

Some dogs love attention and will play with anything that moves.  Sometimes it can be easy to tell when a dog wants attention and when they do not, but to be safe, you should never assume. Always ask the owner first and teach your children to follow suit.

Friday, November 4, 2011


In honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month in November, we would like to share some tips to help you take care of your special senior through the golden years of their life. 

Ask your vet about the proper food your elderly dog should eat in order to meet all of their health needs and requirements. Avoid economy or low-cost foods for pets that have fewer nutrients. Avoid feeding your dog table scraps so he or she does not pack on unnecessary pounds. If you like giving your dog snacks or treats in between meals for training or just for their enjoyment, switch to low-calorie treats or try something healthy like carrot sticks, apple slices or green beans.

Weight Management
As a dog ages, they start to slow down like humans. Their walks and daily exercise regime become shortened, if not halted completely. However, even though your dog is maturing in age, it is still important to maintain a daily fitness routine. Older dogs have a tendency to become obese because their owners stop exercising them. Obesity in dogs leads to a multitude of other health issues including arthritis. Because your dog is carrying around extra pounds, it puts pressure on their joints. Continue to walk Fido, even if it is only a short walk around the block. If you are concerned about the stress of the pavement on your dog’s aging paws and joints, try a swim session at Morris Animal Inn if your dog likes water or a canine treadmill that has softer impact. This way your old friend can manage their weight and keep their bodies trim and healthy.

Regular Check-Ups
In the golden years of a dog or cat’s life, it is extremely important to maintain a consistent routine of regular check-ups with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will advise you how many times a year it is necessary for your pet to come in for a check-up depending on their health issues and age. Health problems can crop up faster in old pets. If you think your dog or cat is suffering from a health related concern, don’t hesitate to visit your vet, even if it’s before your regular check-up. The longer you delay, the worse the problem could become.

Dental Hygiene
The older your pet, the worse their teeth get if you never took care of them. Brush your pet’s teeth regularly; it is never too late to start. You can use a cotton swab with special canine or feline toothpaste to massage your pet’s teeth and gums. If your pet detests having something foreign forced in their mouth, you can try the Fresh Breath Water Additive which helps to promote healthy gums. At Morris Animal Inn, we carry Tropiclean’s line of Fresh Breath products. However, you should discuss which product is best for your pet’s dental hygiene with your veterinarian.

Superior Seniors
Though senior pets require special care, it is not much different from the care you would provide a pet of any age. Don’t let their maturity deter you from adopting an older dog or cat that could wind up being the love of your life. No dog or cat wants to spend the last years of their life in an animal shelter. Give them the warm home they deserve and prove to these aged creatures that they are never too old to be loved, kissed and cuddled unconditionally. And honestly, who can resist a grizzled, grey muzzle?