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Paws Blog

12 Fabulous Valentine's Day Dog, Cat and People Gifts

Valentine's Day is always a holiday that sneaks up on you. To be a little better prepared to celebrate unconditional love we came up with 12 Special Valentine gifts for pets and their people at Paws pet boutique

Check out these unique dog collars for your furry valentines, heart paw print jewelry for you, or a special someone, and fun pet signs that make perfect gifts for animal lovers!

Happy Emoji Dog Toys for Valentines Day

#1.  Feeling Happy and Loved Emoji Dog Toys for your furry valentines.

Pink Dog Collars, Pink Valentine Dog Collars

Pink Dog Leashes, Pink Valentine Dog LeashesDaisy and Heart Dog Collars Made in USA

  

#2.  Valentine Pink Dog Collars with Hearts or Hearts and Daisy Dog Collars (made in USA)

#3.  Valentine Pink Dog Leashes with Hearts above make it a perfect pair. (made in USA)

Heart Dog Collars, Valentine Dog Collars for Boys Heart Dog Leashes, Valentine Dog Leashes for Boys

#4.  Bones and Heart Collars are sharp Valentine collars for boy dogs. (made in USA)

#5.  Bones and Hearts Dog Leashes pair with collars for dapper dogs. (made in USA)

Heart Paw Print Earrings for Valentines DayAlways in Your Heart Paw Charms by Tracy Menz

#6.  Heart Paw Print Earrings made with recycled fine silver by Tracy Menz.(made in USA)

#7.  Always in your Heart Paw Charms by Tracy add a little love to any necklace & make you feel good. (USA)

Unconditional Love Dog SignsCats Leave Paws Prints On Heart Signs for Cat Lovers

#8.  Loving Dog Heart Signs remind us of the power of dogs' love. Follow your dog's lead.

#9.  Cats Leave Paw Prints on Your Heart Signs remind us of the impact of furry feline valentines.


Kiss Your Dog Daily Signs for Dog LoversDog Can't Hold It's Licker Signs, Lots of Dog Kisses

#10.Kiss Your Dog Daily Signs...Well that's a given, need we say more?

#11.Beware Dog Can't Hold It's Licker Signs caution you of free doggie kisses ahead!

Stainless Heart Pet ID Tags with Free Shipping

#12. Stainless Heart Pet ID Tags are the most important item on our list. Make sure your best friend is wearing an up-to-date tag. ID Tags ship FREE too!

All You Need Is Love and A Dog Pillows

BONUS Idea...All You Need is Love and a Dog Pillow (Kona you look like a Valentines Day dog!)

So remember to share the love with your furry valentines on February 14th! We wouldn't want to imagine a world without companion animals by our sides, so lets celebrate them. Have a happy-tail kind of day!

Paw Print Jewelry, Behind the Scenes with Tracy Menz Designs

Tracy Menz Designer of Paw Print Jewelry

One by one...that's how our silver paw print jewelry is created thanks to Tracy Menz Designs. Wanting to learn a little more about what inspires Tracy and the steps involved in making her artistic jewelry, we set up an interview with her. We learned there is a lot of work that goes into each piece of dog jewelry or cat jewelry!

Q: The jewelry you create is very organic with a nod to nature. What led you to design a line of animal-inspired jewelry?

A: My inspiration flows from how our natural surroundings create an authentic beauty that is organic and textural. I have an unbridled love for all things outdoors... the water, animals, and sunshine. I grew up in a rural setting and was exposed to horses, rabbits, dogs, cats, fish and guinea pigs at an early age. I developed a keen appreciation to love all creatures great and small. I raised my children on the water and they too have a love for nature. Because of this exposure to nature, I create pieces reflective of this love for the outdoors and the ocean.

Silver Angel Wing Charms

Q: What types of materials do you use to make your one-of-a-kind pieces?

A: In keeping with my love of nature, my work is centered on reclaimed product... metals and gems. My material of choice is Pure Metal Clay (PMC). PMC is a fabulous medium I fell in love with the first time I touched it. It is made of reclaimed silver nano particles and is 99.99% pure silver. PMC is mixed with an organic binder that allows the precious metal to become malleable, so I am able to carve, mold and design products to fit a clients request. Once a charm is carved, formed and textured, the metal clay is dried slowly, then fired in a kiln, polished, and finished. To bring out textures, I use an organic oxidizer to darken areas for added depth, and then polished the piece again. I like to add local sea glass that I have found on the Eastern Shore, as well as shells and gemstones. Additionally I enjoy incorporating antique wax seals and stamps or molds I have created into my pieces.

Faithful Dog Charm Jewelry

Q: Knowing you Tracy, a lot of love goes into each of your pieces. From start to finish how long does it take to make a charm and what steps are involved with its creation?

A: Thank you Michelle! I definitely try to put effort and personalize artistic touch into each piece. Every piece is handmade, one at a time, so no two are ever the same. Each one will be “imperfectly perfect” as I am not perfect but diligently strive to make each piece so. It takes approximately 3-4 days to design a piece 

Maryland Paw Print Jewelry

start to finish. This includes the drawing, the PMC work, the firing and the final polishing. Some pieces can take longer, depending on the complexity and intricacy of the design. For example, my “Love Maryland Paw Charm” took several weeks to complete from preliminary design to finished product. Once I have a vision of the piece I want to create, I first render a rough drawing, and then I work out the size and shape with paper. I then move on to creating the drawing in Pure Metal Clay. The “Love Maryland Paw Charm” took several iterations in order for the state of Maryland design to lie correctly when placed on a chain. Using PMC, I am able to carve, mold and design to fit my needs as well as the client’s needs. Once the charm is carved and formed, and texture added (I like using what nature provides... a shell, pine needle, nuts, leaves etc.). The metal clay is dried slowly and then any final touches such as creating the hole or bail for the charm to hang are added. The piece is then hand-sanded, and placed in the kiln to be fired from 1290 - 1650 degrees. The finished product comes out of the kiln perfectly hardened into Fine Silver. I then hand polish and sand each piece until “charmingly” finished. There will be slight imperfections. Just like nature, not perfect but still unique and beautiful.

Q: While we love offering your line of jewelry that celebrates companion animals at Paws, you design many other types of jewelry pieces. Where can people find your jewelry?

A: I love creating my pet jewelry line exclusively for Paws Pet Boutique. You cannot find these pieces anywhere else. However, you can find my other jewelry designs locally at Whole Foods Markets in Annapolis and Columbia MD. My gemstone and luxe collections can be found at Wrabyn in West Annapolis, Meadow Hill Wellness Center in Annapolis, and if you happen to be on the West Coast, please visit Europa Boutique in Mendocino, CA for authentic Fort Bragg Sea Glass creations. In prehistoric time, the Fort Bragg, CA area was home to the Native Americans, most of whom belonged to the Pomo tribe. Glass Beach is on the edge of town, along the Pacific Ocean. The tides in the area bring old, discarded glass pieces to the beach daily. A friend collects the Fort Bragg glass and sends them to me for my uniquely California designs.

Thanks for sharing a behind-the-scenes look at your beautiful jewelry Tracy! We've always liked to call it feel-good jewelry because you can feel the love that goes into each piece. Come see Tracy's pieces at Paws pet boutique downtown Annapolis or check out her paw print jewelry and other dog jewelry and cat jewelry lines on our website.

Pet Inspirations Bring the Best Resolutions, Now is the Time!

Here we are one week into 2016. A new day, week or year can provide a feeling of a fresh start. While some people make resolutions for guidance in their lives, I have found some of the best mentors of everyday life right in front of me...my companion animals!

Your pet knows how to make today really count. Appreciate the simple things like smelling the air on a clear day, meeting someone new, enjoying a special snack and spending time with those important to you, while always greeting them with appreciation. Get out and exercise and take advantage of napping opportunities especially in sunny spots. 

Here are four items that may help to remind you to stay on track with your pet today...this week and in the year ahead.

Live in the Moment Can or Bottle Neoprene Dog Koozies

Paws Living | Live the Moment. Make Today Count.

'Life is Just Better When I'm With My Dog' Quote Signs

Life is Better with My Dog Signs

'Life without Cats...I Don't Think So' Pet Quote Signs

Life Without Cats, I Don't Think So Signs

Always in My Heart Silver Pet Paw Charms remind you to follow your heart.

Handmade Silver Pet Paw Charms

Our furry friends may not have all the answers, but if you're open they'll teach you a whole lot about life and yourself. 

Wishing you a good day, week and year ahead with those important to you. 

Make a tail wag for a guaranteed smile. Now is the time.

A Tribute to Ben, Paws Mascot and Beloved Jack Russell

Ben ready for his Waterfront Benefit

If we're lucky once in a lifetime we'll have an opportunity to live with a soul mate dog. Ben our beloved Jack Russell was just that dog.

Ben was always happy to help ALDF

He had existed with 300+ other dogs until Animal Legal Defense Fund took the hoarder to court and eventually won their freedom for a life of love. We saw his photo and knew we wanted to foster and adopt him once the case was won. It was 2006 when he arrived at Paws pet boutique thanks to an animal-lover helping transport dogs from Sanford, NC. Scared stiff with big innocent eyes and yellow fur from living in urine, he was beautiful to us.

Amazing what love can do. Over time he became less timid and actually enjoyed meeting people ready to give him a treat or a belly rub. He always remained tentative until he got to know you, but once he did he never forgot you. Greeting guests in our store especially other dogs became his specialty...along with sitting by the treat jar. Gentle Ben was a lovable, funny and memorable fellow that turned out to be cute as a button with gorgeous white fur and perky ears. A friend summed him up perfectly describing him as a little dapper man in a Jack Russell suit.

He was bigger than life and was the master at seizing the moments. From jumping on the bed first thing in the morning to throw his favorite egg balls in the airBen loved being Paws pet boutique's Store dog to barking in the air to let the world know he was happy to rolling on his back in the car every time he jumped in, Ben loved life. Never a complainer, he would even wait in line behind the cat for the water bowl. There was no question though that his Mom was his soul mate and he always looked to her for guidance and reassurance.

Ben's Dazzling Online Auction

Ben was the inspiration for us. We were so moved by him that we started fundraisers in his name sake to benefit the group that rescued him. From 5 Ben's Cruises to Ben's Waterfront Bash to Ben's Dazzling Online Auction and many Ben's Raffles, thousands of dollars were raised to help other animals and bring awareness to this important charity. Ben learned to love being the center of attention and having his photo taken. He knew when to turn it on. His last social appearance was November 18 when a group of government officials came to the store to present a certificate of recognition for the store. He was looking dapper as ever, wearing a red tux bandanna and doing his part socializing better than any other dog could. We would love to do that day all over again.

Paws pet boutique would not be what it is today without Ben. There will never be another Ben.

Ben passed away on Thanksgiving 2015 from unexpected gallbladder surgery. He will always be missed deeply by his family. A friend pondered why it was on Thanksgiving that he passed away and shared "Maybe it's because of the huge positive impact that his life had on so many people and animals in this world. Maybe to remind us to give thanks for the special people and animals in our lives and the wonderful connections that we share with them." We like to think this was the reason. Almost ten years with him wasn't enough and the ending was so unexpected. He will always be in our hearts and we can't wait to be reunited with him in another life. Ben rescued us.

8 Great Gifts for Wine and Dog Lovers

Sit, Stay, Drink Cocktail Napkins for Dog Lovers and Other Entertaining Ideas

Pair dog lovers and wine lovers together and you come up with some wonderfully unique gifts!

For those who love wine and dogs, or simply entertaining with a cheerful twist, you don't want to miss these 8 canine-vino finds...

#1. Dog and Drink Napkins: "Sit, Stay, Drink" ($4.95) - Don't Hudson and Fitz look right at home with the napkins and wine?

                    Dogs and Wine Cocktail Napkins

You Are Not Drinking Alone When the Dog is Home Signs | Dog Lover

 Water Dog Wine Glasses | Stemless Wine Dog Glasses  Sit, Stay Drink Dog Corkscrews | Dog Lover Gifts





#2. Dog and Wine Sign: "You're not Really Drinking Alone When the Dog is Home"  ($12.95)

#3. Stemless Dog Wine Glasses: Swimming Dog Stemless Wine Glasses ($16.95)

#4. Wine Dog Corkscrew Opener: "Sit, Stay, Drink" Stainless Corkscrew ($9.50)

Drink Wine and Pet My Dog Signs | Dog Lover

Wine Bottle Dog Toys | Squeaky Dog Toys    Wineing Dog Coasters | Wine Dog Coasters






#5. Dog Lover/Wine Lover Sign: "I just want to Drink Wine and Pet my Dog" ($16.50)

#6. Wine Bottle Dog Toy: Kennel Relaxin' Squeaky Dog Toys ($12)      

#7. Dogs Wineing Drink Coasters: Set of 4 Dogs Drinking Wine Coasters; Many breeds from which to select! ($36.50)

Wine More Bark Less Cocktail Napkins | Dog Party Napkins

Wine Stalker Napkins | Wine and Cat Gifts

# 8. Wine Dog Cocktail Napkins: "Wine More, Bark Less" Dog Cocktail Napkins ($4.95 )

We had to throw in a 9th favorite for the feline-vino lovers....

#9*. Wine Cat Cocktail Napkins: "Wine Stalker" Cat Napkins ($4.95)

There you have it. Great gifts for those dog lovers on your list who also like to sip a glass of wine from time to time. If you're planning gatherings during the holidays we've found the napkins add a fun conversation element to parties. Don't forget our dog boutique always offers complimentary gift wrapping all the time. 

Wishing you a cheerful day today and during the holiday season! 

12 Favorite Holiday Dog Collars As Unique as Your Dog!

The season to spruce up your dog's neck attire is coming! Are you in search for the perfect Christmas collar that suits your best friend? You're looking for something that matches their personality with a little bit of your style, right? Our dog boutique searches high and low to find unique holiday collars made in USA for the dapper to the whimsical. Take a look at twelve of our favorite collars and you'll likely find a holiday dog collar that's perfect for your constant companion. Better yet, all these dog collars are under $25!

CLASSIC HOUNDSTOOTH and FROSTY!

Houndstooth Red Flower Holiday Dog Collars

Houndstooth Dapper Dog Bow-tie Collars

Winter Snowmen Dog Collars Made in USA






Black and White Houndstooth Red Flower Dog Collars add an elegant pop of color to any girl.

Black and White Houndstooth Bow-Tie Dog Collars for stylish party attire or any day.

Frosty the Snowman Dog Collars for those that love the snow and winter season.

RED PLAIDS and BOATS!

Red Plaid Christmas Flower Dog Collars

Boats and Buoys Holiday Dog Collars

Red Plaid Christmas Dog Bow-tie Collars

Red Plaid Flower Christmas Dog Collars made in USA feature a detachable flower.

Cool bobbing boats with trees and buoys make the perfect nautical holiday dog collars!

Dapper Red Plaid Bow-tie Dog Collars will add a festive spirit to any little pup or big dog out there.

STRIPES, GINGERBREAD and DOTS!

Candy Cane Bone Dog Collars | Cute Christmas Dog Collars

Gingerbread Dog Collars Made in USA | Big Dog Christmas Collars

 Festive Holiday Dot Dog Collars






Candy Cane Bone Dog Collars made in USA to look great on 2 pound dogs to 120 pound dogs!

Gingerbread Dog Collars aren't too bright or too dull, they are just right and fit even the big dogs.

Whimsical and fun our Green Dot Dog Holiday Collars add a splash of color and can style through March.

NAUGHTY/NICE, SPARKLE and CRISP!

Naughty or Nice Dog Collars | Fun Christmas Dog Collars

Sparkly Red Ornament Dog Collars

Green Bow-tie Dog Collars Made in USA






Nice-Naughty Dog Collars have your dog's behavior covered for the year. Let's start fresh with a new year!

Bone Ornaments Sparkle on these Red Holiday Dog Collars. Just enough bling to stand out in the pack.

Green Gingham Bow-tie Collars are nice for the holiday season or anytime! Bow-tie detaches if desired.

So there you have it. Cute holiday dog collars for the twelve days of Christmas and more! All of these unique holiday dog collars are made in USA and nicely priced. Every day of the season you'll enjoy seeing your best friend wearing a special collar selected just for them. May your holidays be happy and allow you time to make your best furry friend's days bright. Happy memories are the best gift.

Peace.

Your Search for Maryland Dog Flag Items is Over!

While I may be bias, the Maryland flag is the most colorful and hip state flag out there. On top of that, the state capital of Annapolis is one of the most dog-friendly towns you'll find in the country. So of course our dog boutique offers the best selection of Maryland dog flag items.  

Here are our Top 9 Canine Maryland Flag items... 

Maryland Dog Flag with Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever Maryland Flag - Did you know the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is Maryland state dog? This beautiful retriever was designated as the state's dog in 1964.

Maryland Flag Dog Collars, Annapolis Maryland

Maryland Flag Dog Collars - Made in USA Dog Collars

Did you know the year was 1880 when the Maryland State Flag was first flown in Baltimore at a parade marking the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Baltimore? The flag was officially adopted as the State Flag in 1904.

Maryland Flag Leashes

Maryland Flag Dog Leashes to Enjoy Dog-friendly Annapolis

Maryland Dog Flag with Yellow Lab

Maryland Dog Flags featuring a Yellow Lab - Designed by an Annapolis artist!

These dog garden flags always look so happy and colorful in our flower pots in front of our pet boutique.

Maryland Dog Flag, Black Lab

Maryland Dog Flags featuring Black Lab - Share your Love of Dogs and Pride of State


Maryland Paws Print Silver Charms

Maryland Paw Print Charm - Handmade Locally by Tracy Menz Designs with fine recycled silver.

Maryland Dog Flag Magnet | Maryland Dog Flag Decal

Maryland Flag Dog Decals and Magnets - Personalize your car, binder, laptop, refrigerator, file cabinet...

Maryland Flag Crab Collars in Annapolis

Maryland Flag Crab Unique Dog CollarsDid you know the Maryland Blue Crab was designated the official State Crustacean in 1989? Just a little taste of Maryland history.

Maryland Flag Crab Dog Leashes

Maryland Crab Flag Dog Leashes - Coordinate with your Maryland Flag Collar or Crab Collar

Whether you live/lived in Maryland or simply love the groovy flag design, share your love of the Chesapeake region and canine companions with one of these unique items. They make great gifts too.

Tips for Taking Good Pet Photos

You may not admit it, but if you're like me the majority of the photos on your phone are of your best friends 

with fur. My Jack Russells and brave cat make me smile, so I'm always trying to capture a happy moment with them. I find that my images don't always reflect the moment, so I thought we'd touch base with Lori of Red Leash Pet Photography for some photo tips! Here's what we found out...

Q. Today cell phones are always handy to catch a quick moment you want to remember. Are there tips Ben, the mascot of Paws pet boutique, photographed by Red Leashyou could share on taking photos with cell phones and are there any apps you like to use?

A. Mobile phones today have amazing cameras and what is great is that the camera is always with you. However, these cameras still have limitations. For example, they are not very good at capturing fast moving subjects. Your best photos will be portraits where your pet is still. I recommend you fill the entire frame with your pet. Once you have the photo composed, tap the screen on your pet’s face and the camera will automatically focus and choose proper exposure. Try to photograph your pet in enough light so that you do not have to use your flash, since the flash will cause the dreaded glowing eye.

Some of my favorite apps for mobile photo processing are Snapseed, Camera+ and VSCO Cam. These apps give you the creative control to adjust exposure and colors, as well as fine-tune the details. Don’t forget to post your photos to Instagram and Facebook! And most importantly, make sure you have your photos backed up somewhere.

Q. Knowing pets can be difficult to photograph, what are some tricks you find work well to catch their attention?

A. I love photos where pets are looking right at my camera. Their eyes are so expressive and it truly is a window into their soul. But getting them to look directly into the camera is easier said than done. I find that interesting noises give me the most natural looks. Use squeaky toys (I have a bunch from Paws!) or just make a whining noise. Try not to call their name as that often makes them come to you. Sometimes I use treats, but that can produce what I like to call “treat face”, where the dog looks less relaxed. And remember, pets will bore quickly with noises so make sure you are quick with taking your photo or have a lot of different sounding noise makers on hand.

Q. When you are photographing a subject matter do you always center it in the frame or do you suggest other framing options?

A. Certain images have more visual appeal than others. This is no coincidence. Often, images that draw us in are the ones that use diagonal leading lines to draw our eye into the frame or by keeping to the “rule of thirds”. For the “rule of thirds” imagine a grid on top of your image. Try and put the important elements along one of the grid lines, or at the intersection of two lines.

Additionally, a simple change in perspective can greatly impact the emotion of an image. Shooting from a pet’s perspective makes the photo more intimate. Kneel down or even lay on the ground with your pet. 

__________________________________________________________________________

Thanks to Lori for these great photo taking tips! We enjoy posting images of our Paws pet boutique guests to our FacebookInstagram and Pinterest pages, so we'll put these suggestions to good use. If you have a good pet photo check out the PawsLiving Photo Share with Paws pet boutique too. Your photo may end up featured on www.pawspetboutique.com.

Bottomline though, there is nothing like having professional photos taken of your best friend. If you're like me, you'll be grateful to have a special image to cherish for your lifetime. The photo above was taken of Paws pet boutique's mascot Ben by Lori. For more information on photos by Red Leash Pet Photography based in Annapolis, Maryland, visit their website at www.redleash.com.

Thank you Lori for taking the time to share your photography insights. Happy snapping!

How to Prepare to Keep You and Your Pets Safe in a Disaster

Make a Plan for You and Your Pets!This year marks the 10-year Anniversary of the Katrina hurricane. As we re-visit this disaster it starts you thinking what should one do to prepare for an unforeseen emergency? We reached out to David Mandell, the Deputy Director for the City of Annapolis in the Office of Emergency Management to provide some insights on pet preparedness in an emergency situation.

1. What are some emergency circumstances for which people should create a plan for themselves as well as their pet(s)?

The public should create emergency and disaster plans for their families and their pets to include everything they need to shelter-in-place or evacuate for up to a week. These circumstances can be brought about due to severe weather, power outages, civil unrest, pandemic outbreak, and acts of terrorism. In the City of Annapolis, emergency plans are most likely to be activated as a result of severe weather that causes flooding, wind and water damage, and access issues due to debris or snow and ice. Events such as Hurricane Katrina (2005) proved that emergency and disaster planning and preparedness for humans and animals need to be carefully considered. It was estimated that 1,800 people died and millions were displaced during Katrina. Thousands of animals were also abandoned, stranded or died due to the storm and aftermath. No one should lose their lives or their pets due to a lack of readiness when there are plenty of resources to support and assist families before, during, and after a disaster.

2. Are there basic items a person should have in their home to make them better prepared to handle an emergency with their companion animal?

It is essential to include your pets as part of a comprehensive family emergency plan. Companion animals are defined as dogs, cats, birds and pocket pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice and ferrets, as well as service animals. People should first make sure they are prepared themselves, in order to be able to provide for their pets during an emergency or disaster. Individuals should plan for up to a week's worth of provisions and supplies. It should include food that can be stored and eaten without a power source, extra water for drinking and basic utilities, all necessary medications filled and accessible, blankets and warm clothes for cold weather/fans and water for hot weather, flashlights/lanterns and extra batteries, and a back-up generator if applicable.

Pet preparedness for an emergency or disaster contains similar concerns for basic necessities. Pet owners should keep an extra store of food, water and all necessary medications for their pets for up to a week. Provide a clean, warm, dry and secure area for pets to sleep and rest. Also, provide an area where animals can use the bathroom either inside or out, that will not compromise hygiene or allow external contaminants to enter the home, if public health concerns are present.

Pet owners should also prepare a waterproof documentation folder that is easily obtainable for families and their pets in the event of an emergency or disaster. This folder should include identification and ownership documents, medical records or pertinent medical information, legal directives, and other important documents for both the pet and pet owner.

Get Prepared, Get the App!

3. Are there resources people should be aware of to assist them with their companion animals in an emergency situation?

Absolutely! The City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management provides resources and support for people and pets in emergency and disaster situations. The public should download the free Annapolis emergency management mobile app, "Prepare Me Annapolis." The app is available from Apple and Google Play. It provides emergency notifications, and also includes access to useful everyday resources such as traffic cameras and school closings. Also, individuals should visit www.annapolis.gov and register for CodeRED, the community notification system that sends phone calls, e-mails, or text messages in the event of emergency situations. The Annapolis Office of Emergency Management also provides a non-emergency Annapolis Call Center number that is only activated in the event of City wide emergencies or events that disrupt normal City business.

The City’s local Companion Animal Shelter is Annapolis High School; which is designated for both people and pets. Additional area resources include your local SPCA, and Annapolis Call Center (when activated). Contact information for a few of these resources are listed below.

City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management

199 Taylor Avenue

Annapolis, MD 21401

(410) 216-9167

Call Center (410) 260-2211 (when activated)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnapolisOEM

Twitter: @AnnapolisOEM

Companion Animal Shelter- Annapolis High School

2700 Riva Road

Annapolis, MD 21401

SPCA of Anne Arundel County

1815 Bay Ridge Avenue

Annapolis, MD 21401

(410) 268-4388

http://www.aacspca.org/

Thank you David for sharing these important tips and resources! If you don't live in Annapolis, Maryland, please reach out in your area to find similar resources to help you prepare. Otherwise www.ready.gov is a good place to start. Nobody wants an emergency situation to happen in their world, but everyone should be prepared!

Preventing Fleas and Ticks on Pets

When the weather turns nice everyone wants to get out and enjoy it including your family pets. Preventing Fleas and Ticks on Pets

More and more it seems we hear about the high numbers of pests that can take all the fun out of being outside if the right preparations are not taken. To learn more about fleas and ticks and how they can impact your pets we spoke with Dr. Marianne (Bailey) Holbein, the owner and veterinarian at Queenstown Veterinary Hospital in Queenstown Maryland. Let's find out what we can do so we all can enjoy time with our pets outside.

1. Why is it important to keep ticks and fleas off companion animals?

This is so important for 2 major reasons. First, fleas and ticks carry diseases that can make our pets very sick or kill them. Anemia, Lyme disease, kidney failure, skin infection, and intestinal parasite infections are just a few illnesses caused by pests! Secondly, if your pets have fleas or ticks, they can bring them into the house and you can be exposed to them as well. Preventing flea and tick infections is always easier and less expensive than treating them after there is a problem.

2. What do you recommend doing if you find a flea or a tick on your pet?

If you find a flea or tick, remove it immediately. Use a pair of tweezers to secure the head of a tick and remove it. If you have any trouble removing it, call your veterinarian. Removing Fleas and Ticks from PetsAfter you have checked your pet over, you want to evaluate your prevention plan. Are you using a monthly flea and tick preventative? Are you applying it correctly? When used properly, these products are extremely effective at preventing infections. If you have any questions about bites from a flea or tick, call your veterinarian to have them examine your pet. Some flea infections can cause secondary skin infections that need to be treated with antibiotics.

3. Are there symptoms my pet will exhibit if they have been impacted by a flea or tick?

Pets with fleas will often bite or scratch. In dogs we normally see this in the "pants" area which is around the tail, the hind legs and the lower back of the pet. Cats will often times have small crusts or scabs around the flank or the face and neck area. If you use a fine tooth comb in the fur, you will black specks that look like pepper in the fur. This is actually dried blood from the tick bite. Pets with a flea allergy will be very itchy and uncomfortable while some might not be as severely bothered. Dogs with ticks may not show any signs initially. It can take 24-48 hours after attachment for ticks to transmit a disease to dogs and they might not test positive for tick-borne disease for 4-6 weeks. The most common signs of tick bites in dogs are raised, red areas that are not itchy. These can take a few weeks to go down. Dogs with tick borne illnesses will typically seem lethargic, may be sore or limping and may have changes in appetite. You may never know your dog was bitten by a tick before it shows signs of illness. Cats rarely develop or show signs of tick-borne disease but we still recommend monthly prevention.

4. If my pet test’s positive for Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Ehrlichiosis is there Preventing Fleas and Ticks on Dogs and Catsanything that can be done to treat and remove the disease? Will they be able to live a normal life?

A positive test result could mean exposure to a tick carrying a disease or may indicate a true infection, depending on the type of test that has been run. Many of our yearly screening tests are not sensitive enough distinguish between the two. If your pet tests positive, your veterinarian will start them on an appropriate antibiotic and run any additional tests needed. Lyme Disease can cause kidney failure in the retriever breeds so blood work and an urinalysis would be recommended. Depending on what signs your pets are showing, different medications will be started.

5. Are there any natural preventive measures I can take to protect my pet?

There are a lot of natural remedies and herbal supplements that are recommended on pet blogs online but there are none that have studies I have seen to support them. Something natural you can do is to keep your environment pest flea! Eliminate puddles or areas of standing water, keep the grass cut short and dead wood/ stick piles cleaned up. These are often areas where you will find a high number of ticks. Even furniture that is never used or at the wood line can be an area where ticks may breed and be found in high numbers.

6. As a Vet, what do you recommend for keeping these bugs away from dogs and cats?

There are many products available for you to use including Frontline Plus, Advantix and Nexgard. These products have been tested for safety and will be the best products to use on a monthly basis. Your veterinarian should be able to offer a topical product to prevent against fleas and ticks or my favorite which is a new chewable flea and tick product called Nexgard. Another safe and effective option is the Seresto collar but remember to mark your calendar when it needs to be replaced! Also, make sure every pet in the home is on the preventative. It is important to check your pets for ticks after going on walks and hikes and keep your yard maintained. High grasses and areas with dead treats or sticks piled up can be perfect spots for ticks to breed. 

Thanks to Dr. Holbein for sharing her insights and knowledge on pets and pests! For more information, or to contact her, visit www.QueenstownVet.com or call 410-827-6776. Watch our Paws Blog for more helpful pet tips coming soon!

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