Tips, Tidbits, and Treats
Tina the Dog Walker
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Tips, Tidbits, and Treats-
Musings and commentary from Tina and her dog-in-chief, Romy-

Tips, Tidbits, and Treats

Happy Holidays from Tina and Romy!

by Tina Smith on 12/18/14

 It seems that my plans of blogging on a somewhat regular basis were slightly unrealistic. How quickly the months have flown by since the last time I wrote anything! It's been an amazingly busy Summer and Fall, and I am looking forward to a relatively quiet Christmas and New Year's weeks with Romy. So many projects have been put off for so long, as we've been walk, walk, walking, with very little time left for hobbies or activities! As we all settle in for a merry time of Egg Nog, rich and delightful foods, turkey, stuffing, and all the good things-I wanted to remind you that chocolate is toxic to our four-legged family members. Please be mindful of what you put under your tree. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a trip to the Emergency Vet Clinic. Poinsettias, and other Christmas plants are also a danger for your pets. Do your research on the safety of holiday items before leaving a destructive Fido alone in the house with potential hazards. A healthy dog, is a happy dog-and we all want to have the very best and stress-free holiday with our loved ones. I want to wish you all the best of holiday seasons-whether you are celebrating Hannukah (Chag Sameach!), Kwanzaa, Christmas, Festivus-what ever is your flavor. May the New Year bring you joy and peace, and may you and your pets get everything you wish for!!
Thank you for an amazing year-I appreciate every one of you, and Romy does too!!
Cheers-
Tina and Romy

For the love of Challah-

by Tina Smith on 05/04/13

Romy loves Challah bread. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Challah is a yeast-risen egg bread that is traditionally braided before baking. It has a little sweetness, and is just delicious! Naturally, dogs shouldn't be eating bread, and normally Romy is completely disinterested in any yeast-type products I'm making or eating. There's just something about Challah. All I have to do is take a small piece out of the bag, and she is putting on her cutest begging face and is generally so pathetic that I have to capitulate and give her a tiny piece. Seriously, I have been eating a steak and she's not nearly as interested. Interestingly, she isn't the only dog of my acquaintance to harbor this passion for Challah bread. My good friend's lab puppy actually climbed up on her dining room table not once, but twice to steal a piece of the Challah loaf I had brought over to share for dinner, ignoring the other foods on the table. One of my clients has a pug who waits for that fresh loaf to be torn into on Friday nights, spinning in circles and yapping excitedly. An intriguing phenomenon! Since bread is so fattening for dogs (and us humans, too!), here's a delicious alternative-one of Romy's favorite home-made dog treat recipes that's almost as good as that bread....enjoy!!

Sesame Peanut Butter Biscuits
(recipe from You Bake 'Em Dog Biscuits Cookbook by Janine Adams)

For the topping:
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
For the Batter:
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra for rolling
3/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup natural smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt and set aside. Mix the flour and wheat bran together in a large bowl. In a food processor, mix the peanut butter and milk until the peanut butter is liquefied. Add the applesauce and the two eggs and mix well. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir into a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/4-1/2" thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes and place on a cookie sheet. Brush each cookie with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops and bottoms brown. Store at room temperature in a loosely covered container.

Ode to Spring-it's hues and hazards

by Tina Smith on 04/16/13

I love Spring, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in Northern California, we had cherry blossoms, tulips and daffodils, but we never had the abundance of rainbow colors like we see in Oregon. While the blossoms are profoundly beautiful, they can also be dangerous, even deadly to your pets.
One of my clients has a 6 month old puppy, who has virtually decimated their backyard since they got him several months ago. Looking at the shredded daffodils and ferns reminded me of the potential hazards in their yard. I had no idea how many plants are dangerous to our furry friends until I printed a list from the ASPCA website. Eleven pages later, I realized that this is a bigger issue than just a couple of flowers. Seemingly benign plants can be more dangerous than we realize. Here's a list of some of the most dangerous plants that are commonly planted in gardens and neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest (for a complete list, go to www.aspca.org/Pet-care/poison-control/plant-list-dogs):

Azalea*, Rhododendron*, Hydrangea, Cherry (leaves and pits), Daffodil, Geranium, Holly (berries), Hyacinth, Lily (all varieties)**, Lupine, Primrose, Tomato, Tulips

*Highly Toxic: Contact your Veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately if your pet ingests one of these plants!!
**Members of the Lily family are especially toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure within 72 hours. Lilies should be removed from homes with cats, or kept inaccessible.


Symptoms of Plant Poisoning include:

  • Irritation to skin and/or mouth
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting-please note that vomiting is common after a cat or dog ingests plant material. Seek veterinary care if vomiting accompanies other symptoms or if you suspect that your pet has ingested any toxic substance. Time is of the essence in treatment.

Animal Poison Control:
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (888) 426-4435 (fee)
Pet Poison Helpline (800) 213-6680 (fee)

Thank you to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association for this information. Personally, as much as I love the look of Spring flowers, I prefer to not take the risk with Romy's life. Last Spring I cut all of our rhodies down to the ground when I saw her sniffing around them. They were beautiful, but not as much as my Romy!

My first blog-

by Tina Smith on 03/22/13

What do I want to write about? I ask myself what people would be interested in. What could I possibly add to the blogosphere that hasn’t been written a thousand times already? I think the most intelligent way to approach this is to just stick to what I find intriguing or pertinent, and hope that others might share these interests and stop in for a quick read. As I am a professional pet caregiver, much of my ponderings and musings will logically be dog and cat based. I imagine that I will cover a broad range of topics from animal behavior, nutrition, pet care tips, etc.-a virtual cornucopia of information. That being said, I will try not to adhere to a dry, redundant style of prose, constantly repeating what I’ve read elsewhere, and what you’ve no doubt already heard. Perhaps I will write from a dog’s perspective. Romy’s point of view, as it were. Lord only knows that she certainly has strong opinions, and I would never try to voice her thoughts without her strictest of supervision.  I can just hear my good friend JD saying-“But how can you voice only one dog’s opinion, no matter how brilliant? Certainly, Romy’s good friend Mr. Quentin Comfort would have important and profound tidbits to add to the conversation…” And to that I say, absolutely. This will be a blog of ideas and information-the sublime and the prosaic- the canine and the feline. And yes, even the human.  Please stay tuned-Romy is demanding my attention and I know who the boss is in my house…

Tina and Romy