Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Foods - What's safe for pets?

Thanksgiving is upon us, and that means tons of turkey, stuffing, veggies and desserts. For your pet, it means a house filled with delicious smells that may have them mooching for a taste. There is no harm in sharing parts of your holiday meal with your pet, but you need to choose which parts wisely. Certain foods on your Thanksgiving table could be extremely harmful to cats and dogs. The ASPCA lists the foods that your pet can and can’t eat this holiday:

Turkey – A nibble of the classic Thanksgiving bird is fine for pets, but make sure it is completely boneless and well cooked. Cooked bones have potential to splinter if ingested, and raw or undercooked turkey could contain salmonella bacteria. Also, to be extra safe, remove the skin. A well-seasoned turkey could contain essential oils from certain herbs and spices that could give your pet an upset stomach.

No raw dough or alcohol – A lick of the cookie dough bowl or a sip of wine may be sweet indulgences for humans, but both can be dangerous for dogs and cats. Batter that contains raw eggs poses the same threat as undercooked turkey: salmonella. Raw dough also has the potential to rise in your pet’s stomach, leading to vomiting or other internal problems. Alcohol has a much stronger effect on our pets than it does on humans, so even a small amount can lead to serious symptoms.

Less is more – Foods with minimal seasoning tend to be safer for pets to eat, so stick with potatoes and string beans over other rich, mixed options that may contain unsafe foods or seasonings. For example, some stuffings or cranberry sauces can contain raisins, mushrooms, onions or sage, which are dangerous for pets’ digestive systems.

Everything in moderation – It’s easy to overeat on Thanksgiving, but no one likes to feel like a stuffed turkey at the end of the night. The same goes for your pet. Don’t allow them to overindulge in these rich holiday foods, they could wind up with an upset stomach, gastrointestinal problems, or worse. Stick with small portions, and continue to feed them their regular diet.

Pet treats are still treats – Just because there are festive foods available, doesn’t mean your pet won’t appreciate their everyday treats! Offer your pet a dog bone or a stuffed Kong (with maybe just a few steamed vegetables or spoons of mashed potatoes inside) to chew on during your meal. This will also help keep your pet calm and preoccupied during an otherwise busy evening.

We all want to include our pets during the holiday, which is why dogs lodging at Morris Animal Inn over Thanksgiving won’t miss out on the tasty fun! Pets will receive their own Thanksgiving dinner of freshly cooked turkey, mashed potatoes, string beans and regular stuffing.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Morris Animal Inn!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cold Weather Dog Myths Debunked

The cold months of fall are upon us, a time of year when we start to think about hunkering down for the winter. You want to prepare your pet just as much as you want to stock up on hot chocolate and logs for the fire, but there are a lot of myths out there about what you can and can’t do for your dog during the colder months. Fidose of Reality, an online canine-centered magazine, dives into and debunks these untruths. Here are some of the most common myths:

Myth: My dog is safe in the car during cooler months.

Fact: It is never safe to leave your dog alone in a car, period. Just as a car can magnify heat in the summer sun, it can function as a refrigerator on cool days. Leaving your dog alone also subjects them to other dangers like kidnapping. Even the five-minute store run can put your pet at risk.

Myth: Fleas and ticks go away in the fall and winter.

Fact: Although fleas and ticks may not be able to survive extreme winter temperatures, the cold may drive them towards the warmth of your home. Surviving bugs may latch on to your pet for warmth and survival, making them just as much of a threat as they are during warmer parts of the year. Continue to protect your pet as you do in the spring and summer months by using preventatives or other non-chemical protection.

Myth: My dog’s pads protect them from all elements of weather.

Fact: The fatty tissues in the pads of your dog’s feet do not freeze as quickly as other tissues, protecting them against many cuts, scrapes and scuffs that often come along with the outdoors. However, these tissues do not mean your pet is always protected. Ice, snow and other debris can accumulate or get stuck between your dog’s toes and pads, causing irritation. Be sure to clean your dog’s feet when they come inside, and for extreme conditions, consider protective booties. 

Myth: I can feed my dog pumpkin pie filling for an upset stomach.

Fact: While a small amount of canned pumpkin is a good source of fiber and can ease a dog’s upset tummy, the sugary canned pumpkin pie filling is NOT good for dogs. If you want to feed your dog pumpkin, make sure it is not the pie filling kind and feed between a teaspoon and tablespoon, depending on your dog’s weight.

Myth: My dog should gain some extra pounds in the cooler months to help keep warm.

Fact: You should never intentionally try to help your dog gain weight just because of the cooler months. Keep their diet the same during fall and winter months, and make sure they get regular exercise with indoor games and brisk walks. Although some dog’s weight may fluctuate throughout the year, you want to stimulate your pet’s mind and body all year round. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pet Photos with Santa – Our Annual Holiday Photo Shoot!

The holidays are creeping closer and closer, and Morris Animal Inn is getting ready to celebrate! We’re kicking off the season with our annual holiday photo shoot on Saturday, November 16.

You can get your holiday cards ready early this year with a festive professional photograph of your pet. We offer a choice between two different settings, a winter scene and a classic photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus! Choose from a variety of costumes for your pet if you wish, or jump in the photo yourself with your family.

We love to make a day of this event by inviting our clients to join us for hot cider and snacks in the lobby and receive a tour of our facility as you wait for your photos. A portion of proceeds will go towards the Make-A-Wish foundation New Jersey Chapter.

The festivities begin at 10 am on Saturday, November 16. Call 973-539-0377 to sign up today for one of two time slots, 10am – 12pm or 12pm – 2pm. Cost is $15 per sitting and includes a free 5x7 print of one of your photos. Professional photographer Hugo Juarez will be offering participants a link for downloading and purchasing additional prints and products, like holiday cards, mousepads, key chains, calendars and more.

We will also be collecting men’s, women’s and children’s coats in our lobby for the annual Jersey Cares Coat Drive. Bring your gently used jackets with you to the photo shoot to help keep New Jersey warm this holiday season!

Don’t miss out on making your pet the star of a holiday portrait your friends and family will love! Call 973-539-0377 today! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

As we celebrate National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, we want to recognize the many ways you can give back to shelters in your area. These amazing organizations make a difference in the lives of countless animals every day. Even if you don’t have the resources to rescue a pet of your own, you can still make a contribution to these worthy causes. The Humane Society offers a list of ways for you to give back this week, or any time you’re looking to make a difference in an animal’s life.

The Humane Society suggests making "Adopt Me" vests.
Get to know your local shelters and rescue groups. Get started by learning what groups are in your area. You may be surprised at just how many shelters and rescues are nearby. Websites like The Shelter Pet Project can help you locate and learn about rescues in your neighborhood.

Volunteer or get crafty. Shelters are often operating on limited funds or resources, so anything you can contribute will be welcome. Whether you donate your time at the facility or make donations of food or other supplies, you really can make a difference! Check out your local shelter’s website or call to see if they have a wish list of things they need. You can also create your own donations by making toys out of household materials or even decorating your own “Adopt me” vests. Get creative!

Help out at home. You can help ensure that one more pet doesn’t join the shelter ranks by making sure your own pets are microchipped and have ID tags. Have all your pets spayed or neutered, and always keep your dog on leash when off your own property. 

Say “thanks.” Taking a moment to express your thanks to the volunteers and staff at your local shelter can make all the difference. They work tirelessly to improve the lives of pets, and have earned our appreciation.

Rescue a pet! If you’ve done your research and think you might be ready to add a pet to your family, visit your local shelter to start the adoption process! There are always pets waiting to find their forever homes, and yours could be life changing for one of them.

Thinking of adopting? We are currently helping one-year-old Lucky look for a home! This adorable hound mix is great with kids and dogs and LOVES to play. He is available for adoption through Eleventh Hour Rescue. For more information on Lucky, visit his “Adopt Me” page, here!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Give Back this Season: Jersey Cares Coat Drive

Our four-legged visitors always look warm and cozy in their fur this time of year, but our human friends are not always so lucky. In an effort to give back to those New Jersey residents who might be feeling the cold this holiday season, Morris Animal Inn is participating in the Jersey Cares Coat Drive again this year!

From November 1 through December 20, we will be collecting clean and gently used coats for men, women and children in our lobby. At the end of the collection period, coats will be distributed to New Jersey residents in need. Last year, thanks to your generosity, our collection far exceeded our expectations and we were able to make a sizable donation to Jersey Cares. We are proud to have contributed to the over 400,000 coats that the organization has distributed over the past seventeen years!

This year, Jersey Cares is partnering with the 2014 New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee, Wal-Mart and New York Cares to create what they call "The Super Community Coat Drive." Jersey Cares says that this will be "the largest Coat Drive ever held in the tri-state area -- and likely the largest Coat Drive in history."

Please consider making a contribution to this worthy organization, and help us keep New Jersey residents as comfy and warm as our guests this holiday season! Our lobby is open for donations Monday - Friday 7 AM - 7 PM, Saturday 8 AM - 4 PM and Sunday 10 AM - 4 PM.