PupLife Dog Blog

  • Planning An Eco-Friendly Holiday

    0 comments / Posted on by Leslie Hayes


    Even though it’s snowing here in beautiful, southwest Michigan, everyone at PupLife.com is dreaming of a green Christmas. In addition to our wonderful selection of eco-friendly products for pooches and people, we wanted to share a few tips for “greening” your holidays. Enjoy!

    O Tannenbaum
    Who doesn’t love a Christmas Tree? While live trees (with the rootball) are great because they can be replanted or mulched, if you already have an artificial tree, by all means, use it. It’s better to enjoy it rather than send it off to a landfill. But, if you’re looking for an alternative, consider a potted evergreen or a fragrant rosemary topiary. You might even opt for decorating a tree in your yard!

    Lighting Is Everything
    All those beautiful, twinkling lights really set the holiday mood, but switching over to L.E.D. lights saves energy and money. L.E.D lights use only ten percent of the energy of traditional lights and generate less heat reducing potential fire hazards in the home. Be sure to turn off your holiday displays at bedtime or invest in a lamp-timer that will automatically turn your decorative lights on and off.

    Ornamental Ideas
    One of our favorite holiday projects is turning last year’s Christmas cards into holiday ornaments. With today’s hectic schedules it can be difficult to keep up with friends and family throughout the year. Sitting down with a stack of the previous year’s cards is a terrific reminder of how valuable those relationships really are and the perfect time to take a moment to appreciate the things that really matter in life – our loved ones!

    Green Giving
    Choose gifts made from recycled materials like our line of super comfy dog beds made from recycled pop bottles! From dog sweaters knit out of recycled cotton to organic dog food and treats to biodegradable pick-up bags, we’ve got you covered. Check out our full line of earth-friendly dog supplies here.

    Reconnect With Nature
    If you’re lucky enough to live in a balmy climate this shouldn’t be difficult, but even here in the frosty midwest, the great outdoors are simply magical at Christmas time. There’s nothing better than taking the dogs on hike through the woods with snow falling all around. So, gather up (or bundle up) the kids and dogs and enjoy some fresh air.

    There are many ways to reduce, recycle and reuse during the holidays and throughout the year. Got a great suggestion? Let us know!

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  • Why Chocolate Is Toxic To Dogs

    0 comments / Posted on by Eric Houtkooper

    Why Chocolate Is Toxic To Dogs
    Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to show your loved one just how much they mean to you. Gifts often include chocolate, and most of us love this delicious holiday treat. However, it is wise to keep in mind that chocolate is toxic to dogs and if ingested, it can be fatal.

    An excellent article by our friends at Sojos Dog Food points out why chocolate is indeed toxic for dogs:

    “Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a naturally-occurring molecule found in the cocoa beans, coffee, tea, and cola and is related to caffeine. In the medical field it has been used as a drug to treat high blood pressure because of its ability to dilate blood vessels. Because of its diuretic effect, it is also sometimes used in cases where cardiac failure has resulted in an accumulation of body fluid. What makes it poisonous for dogs and not humans is the fact that dogs are unable to metabolize the chemical effectively.”

    It is remarkable just how little chocolate a pet needs to ingest before becoming dangerously ill. Two ounces of bakers chocolate can be poisonous to a pet of twenty pounds, and one pound of milk chocolate can be poisonous to a dog weighing twenty pounds. While milk chocolate is twenty times more poisonous to dogs than white chocolate, it is smart to keep all chocolates away from pets.

    If your pet has ingested chocolate, please contact your vet immediately. If your dog has ingested large amounts, vomiting may be induced by your vet to help save your pet’s life. When in doubt, always contact your vet to get the best health and safety advice for your dog.

    As Spring approaches, please remember to keep chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies away from your dog. Cocoa bean mulch is also becoming quite popular in parts of the U.S. and this can be fatal if ingested. Steer away from this particular style of mulch if you or a neighbor has pets.

    Please remember to keep your chocolate safely out of your dog’s reach. For more on this topic, please read Chocolate And Your Dog on the Sojos web site. The American Veterinary Medical Association is also a great resource for health information about your pet.

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  • Canine Hydrotherapy For Joint Care

    0 comments / Posted on by Leslie Hayes

    Originally published May 8th, 2008

    A hydrotherapist and her client
    at Integrative Pet Care in Chicago

    According to the Canine Hydrotherapy Association, extensive work in human physiotherapy has demonstrated that a suitably monitored course of hydrotherapy acts similarly in canines by encouraging a full range of joint motion in reduced weight conditions, thus improving muscle tone and promoting tendon repair without imposing undue stress on damaged tissues and improving cardiovascular stamina.

    It has long been established that hydrotherapy is beneficial in a comprehensive recovery program for certain injuries in the veterinary field including arthritis, hip dysplasia and other degenerative joint diseases. Until recently the use of hydrotherapy in animals was restricted to performance horses and racing greyhounds.

    However, hydrotherapy can be very beneficial for our companion animals in many ways. From rehabilitation after surgery or an accident to the treatment of an acute or chronic condition as well as the prevention of injury for dogs that participate in competitive sports. While hydrotherapy is low-impact, the water creates resistance that greatly intensifies a work out at both a cardiovascular and musculoskeletal level. Hydrotherapy also engages additional muscles and joints beyond those used for your pet’s daily walks and can also increase normal range of motion.

    Trained hydrotherapists always take a full patient history before any treatment and talk with you before before each hydrotherapy session so they can determine if adjusting speed, duration and water height is appropriate according to your pet’s progress.

    If you live in the Chicagoland Metro area, you will find an excellent hydrotherapy center at Integrative Pet Care. To find a rehabilitation specialist in your area visit The Canine and Equine Rehabilitation Gateway.

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