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December 31, 2010

Dog Resolutions

Update on Crate-Escape Renovation

For new readers, our flag-ship, big dog facility, Crate-Escape, is renovating and expanding the front of the house and pen space to better serve our (your) dogs.  The last week of 2010 a new fence appeared between the desk area and the entrance to the pens, ultimately providing more doggie space. No need to visualize, we’ll keep you up to date!

Big Woof from Raining Cats and Dogs

Thank you for taking advantage of our wonderful holiday toys, treats and leashes/collars this past month. We appreciate contributing to your pooch’s celebration (oops, that sounds like it was free- thanks for your business!) Raining is just looking better and better! Jenny is working her MM (manager magic) to make our beautiful store shine! Check into our PAWZ rubber booties to increase your dogs traction in the snow/ice and to prevent salt from getting up into their pads.

 Bark in the New Year!

If you could do one thing to improve your relationship with your dog, to improve her health, or change his routine, what would it be?  The fact that you bring your dog to daycare indicates an awareness and caring of your pet’s needs already. Please know that we are happy to discuss any topics that come up around your pet; if we can not answer your question, we can certainly point you in the best direction.  Many of our employees have changed their dog’s lifestyle since working with us. They hear the food and health recommendations we give and more importantly, why? it is important to pay attention to this stuff.  Just a hint- pizza crusts and steak fat can cause stomach and gastro problems.

New Years Resolutions, from Aria L. Henderson at the Newtown Patch, 12/30/2010 .

New Year, there’s one member of your family that really can’t let you know if some changes are needed. It’s that adorable furry face curled up next to you. He’s completely dependent on you for all his needs. 

I know there’s hardly enough time to get to your own list, so here’s some help in planning some New Years resolutions for your dog:

1. Healthy Treats: Take a good look at your pet. Did he put on lots of extra pounds this years imbibing in high-carb, fatty treats? A fat dog is not a healthy dog. One of the easiest ways to take some of those pounds off besides cutting down on the heaping bowl of food left out all the time, is to limit your pet to rationed healthy treats. Raw baby carrots and cored, sliced apples are great alternatives to the high calorie, soft treats made up mostly of sugar. If your pet won’t eat carrots or apples try smearing a little natural peanut butter on them. Messy, but it works. Or, try the natural chicken or turkey jerky. It has very few calories and very little fat.

2. Exercise: Most dogs need more exercise. Families with electric fences become very complacent and just let the dog out and then back in. Not only can’t you watch for digestive upsets, but unless your dog runs around the yard at warp speed for 15 minutes, he’s probably not getting enough exercise. (Daycare is the ideal solution, but on your off days*)Plan to walk your dog – on a leash – working up to at least ½ mile every day. This will help take the pounds off your dog, as well as giving you and your dog some one-on-one time. Don’t forget to always walk your dog on the inside side of the street. There’s nothing more frightening than to find a car barreling up the street and your dog is hugging the center line. Keep him on the inside at all times with you in control of the leash.  Letting your dog have all 15 feet on a flexi-leash does not give you enough time to get him back to you in case of speeding vehicle.  (AND OF COURSE, DAYCARE!*)

3. Training: How many times have you thought about getting some help to keep Murphy from jumping, barking and generally being overly friendly every time someone enters your house? This is a good time to set up an appointment with an experienced trainer. Not only will training make Murphy a better pet, but how cool would it be to not run around the house trying to catch Murphy every time the door bell rings?

5. Toys: It’s definitely time to go through that pile of dirty, chewed and smelly toys that takes up one whole corner of the family room. Murphy hardly touches most of them — probably because they’re dirty, chewed and smelly. Throw out all the old, unused ones and replace them with some new, safe toys. It’s probably time to replace that ratty, old dog bed, too. Well, at least get a new cover for it. What color was it when it was new? How about a good soaking of those plastic dog water bowls that have taken on a greenish cast?

6. Vet Care: Put together – in one file- all your dog’s medial records. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all required vet care. Rabies shots are required every three years and yearly heartworm medication is essential. It’s up to you and your vet to decide if any other inoculations are needed. Perhaps just a titer is all that’s required each year rather than another whole set of inoculations.

7. One–on-One Time: I know we all have crazy, hectic daily schedules but do try to set aside some quality time for your pet with the family. The unconditional love your pet gives you on a daily basis should be enough to reward him with at least a half-hour every day of quality time with him. It can be as simple as getting the family involved in game of fetch or Frisbee. If your dog had some obedience training, a ½ hour refresher lesson with you will stimulate Murphy and give him that special time with you and the family. The ½ hour leash-walk every day qualifies as well.

8. Donate: This is the perfect time of year to check your basement and attic for unused and outgrown crates, bowls, toys, etc., to donate to local pounds and rescue groups. You know Murphy doesn’t need all the new toys he received for Christmas. The homeless pets in your local pound didn’t get to have Christmas with a family this year. They would really appreciate some good-condition used or new toys to cheer them up. 

9: Pre-Plan Your Vacation: You probably know when you’re planning an extended vacation this year. Reserve your pet sitter or kennel well ahead of time instead of scrambling around at the last-minute only to find that’s nothing available. Trying to find  relative or fiend to cover at the last minute is not the best way to handle the problem. Remember last year when you ended up letting you neighbor’s kids watch Murphy when you couldn’t find a reliable sitter or kennel for him? Bet you didn’t relax on that vacation wondering if all was going well at the house? Make your reservation early.

10. Rescue a Friend: After the holidays is the perfect time to think about bringing home a special, rescued friend for your dog or cat. Not only will it make your pet happy to finally have an in-house playmate but it will give a homeless dog or cat a very special New Years in a forever home. (You can check on  to find your next companion.*)

*editorial comments

December 21, 2010

Though the weather outside’s delightful….

Snow?!? Are you kidding me?? This is a blaaaast! 

Don’t you love how dogs react to snow? Most of them move fasterthanusual out the door to run circles  and jump around in the white wonderland. It adds joy to the season to see our pups so happy! (editorial comment: Respecting some of our smaller friends, Lil’ Bella, Teddy Miki, Hank, Hugo, Madde, and anyone else I missed, sorry if this season is tough for you!)

 Santa’s Photo Shoot 

We loved seeing you all at Santa’s photo shoot at Crate on December 10th. Santa is great with dogs, isn’t he? No wonder we love him so! We are thrilled at how beautifully our pups’ photos came out, thank you owners, dogs and Lauren! Great news for the MSPCA too, because all proceeds were donated and matched by Crate Escape’s owners. Results? $1,700 donated to help dogs who are not as fortunate as ours. A big WOOF to our fabulous customers!

Treat of the Week

If you find your dog veering off to the right as you near the desks at the Crates* there is a very good and potentially delicious reason, Canine Caviar Buffalo Treats! Who wouldn’t veer! Here is some

 Buffalo have 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef and on average it has
50% less cholesterol.

Canine Caviar Buffalo treats are extra meaty to give your dogs a
long-lasting, satisfying chew (helping to reduce tarter and maintain
your dogs teeth and gums). Canine Caviar Buffalo comes from premium
quality 100% free range grass fed buffalo.

Dehydrated Buffalo

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein  80.0 % min.    Crude Fiber  1.0 % max.
Crude Fat  3.0 % min.    Moisture 10.0 % max.

Your dog can even pick out his own treat! How simple is that?

Holiday and Seasonal Hazards

The holidays, while bringing us much celebration and joy, they can also offer some potential hazards to our pets. Here is a partial list of things which are potentially dangerous to your pet:

Aluminum Foil

When ingested, aluminum foil can cut a dog’s intestines, causing internal bleeding, and in some cases, even death.


If ingested, anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) is often lethal — even in very small quantities. Because many dogs and cats like its sweet taste, there are an enormous number of animal fatalities each year from animals drinking anti-freeze. Poisoning from anti-freeze is considered a serious medical emergency which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Fortunately, the Sierra company now offers a far less toxic form of anti-freeze. They can be reached at (888)88-SIERRA.


Bloat (gastric torsion & stomach distension) is a serious life-threatening emergency which must be treated by a qualified veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is relatively common among large and deep-chested breeds, such as Basset Hounds, Dobermans, German Shepherds and Great Danes. Many experts believe that a feeding a large meal within 2 hours of exercise or severe stress may trigger this emergency. Eating quickly, changes in diet, and gas-producing foods may also contribute to this serious condition. Symptoms of Bloat include: unsuccessful retching, pacing, panting, drooling, an enlarged stomach/torso, and/or signs of distress.


Cooked bones from steak, veal, pork, turkey or chicken, as well as ribs, can be hazardous to your dog and are not recommended.


Chocolate contains an element which is toxic to dogs, called Theobromine. Even an ounce or two of chocolate can be lethal to a small dog (10 lbs. or less). Larger quantities of chocolate can poison or even kill a medium or large dog. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolates are especially dangerous. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include: vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity and seizures. During many holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter and Halloween, chocolate is often accessible to curious dogs, and in some cases, people unwittingly poison their dogs by offering them chocolate as a treat.


Christmas tree lights and electrical cords can be fatal if chewed on by a dog (or cat). Whenever possible, keep electrical cords out of reach.


When a dog’s internal temperature drops below 96 degrees F (by being exposed to cold weather for long periods, or getting both wet and cold), there is a serious risk to the dog’s safety. Small and short-haired dogs should wear sweaters when taken for walks during cold winter weather. Any sign that a dog is very cold — such as shivering — should signal the owner to bring the dog indoors immediately.

Ice-Melting Chemicals and Salt

Ice-melting chemicals and salt placed across sidewalks and roads can cause severe burning to your dog’s footpads. Whenever possible, avoid walking your dog through these substances, and wash off his footpads when you return home. There are also products available such as Musher’s Secret which can be applied to your dog’s footpads prior to going outside, that may help reduce the pain that is often caused by road salt and chemicals.

Poisonous Plants

Dogs (and cats) can become extremely ill or even die from eating poisonous plants. Keep all unknown types of plants and any plants suspected of being poisonous out of reach of your pet, and/or spray with Bitter Apple (for plants).

Plastic Food Wrap

Plastic food wrap can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Some dogs will eat the plastic wrapping when there are food remnants left coating its surface.

Tinsel and Other Christmas Tree Ornaments

When ingested by a dog (or cat), tinsel may cause obstruction of the intestines, and the tinsel’s sharp edges can even cut the intestines. Symptoms may include: decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, listlessless and weight loss. Treatment usually requires surgery.

Training Collars

Remove your dog’s training collars whenever left unsupervised or crated. Never tie your dog by attaching a leash or tether to your dog’s training collar. Always use a flat buckle collar when tying your dog, and then only when supervised. Never leave your dog tied unsupervised in front of stores, restaurants or supermarkets, as they can be harrassed, poisoned or stolen.


we cannot say often enough,

Thank you to our customers. We enjoy taking care of your dogs and being loving alpha’s in their lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to know you.


Best wishes for a beautiful holiday. 

* Raining Cats and Dogs will soon become ‘Crate-Escape Too’. In the interest of keeping it simple, we will say ‘the Crates’ whenever refer to both facilities at the same time.

December 7, 2010

What is Crate getting for the Holidays?? hmmm….. a new look!


What a surprise to walk in to Crate last week; did you wonder where you were? We are moving forward on the renovation; very soon you will start to get the feeling of our ‘new look’. For those who haven’t visited recently, demolition was done to the entire front of the daycare space, so you can see the desk when you walk in the door. People and dogs alike were totally surprised! Now, where should we put the Christmas tree? We are hoping Santa will recognize us when he arrives for the photo shoot with our dogs on Friday, December 10th, 4-7:30pm. Better send him an email to say our venue looks different than last year. We should tell him too that some of our huskys would love to get in on pulling his sleigh! We could have some wonderful reindeer treats available if Rudolph and the crew are willing to switch it out for awhile.

Next time you are at Crate, look for our special, holiday toys. They are well made for the dogs and very attractive for the human eye to behold.

 Raining Cats and Dogs (soon to be Crate-Escape Too)

A good time was had by all! at the Huron Village Holiday Celebration last weekend. The best part of it is that our store is beautifully decorated. Bring your dog to RCD and s/he can have one of the bones off our Christmas tree! Not to mention all of the fun holiday toys and yummy treats available for your pooch’s stocking.

A special hohoho to Jenny, our new RCD Manager. She is well along with the most important thing- your dogs’ names! People will come next. (kidding, kind of) We are so happy to have her as part of our pack!

Holiday Reminders

As you know, we do overnights for our regular daycare dogs. The holiday dates are filling up quickly, so make a reservation as soon as you can to assure a spot for your pooch.

Be sure to keep holiday food out of dogs’ reach! With lots of extra food around they are more prone to counter surf. (sorry, Bella, Hank, Teddy, Sweet Pea, know you can’t reach, but stay away from those crumbs)

Third Annual Photo Shoot with Santa

DATE:  DECEMBER 10, 2010

TIME:   4:00 – 7:30PM


20 Flanders Rd.

Belmont, MA 02478


REFRESHMENTS: Lite fare for canines and people.

* Sign up for times between 4 and 7:30pm at Crate or Raining to schedule your dog’s photo with Santa.
* The photo will be taken and printed by December 14th.
* It will come in 4X6″ size.
* Cost is $10 / photo.

All proceeds will be matched and donated to the  MSPCA!

Our donation last year was $1,200.

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*Friday, December 24th – 8am – 5pm, van service  

 Christmas: Saturday, December 25th -RCD closed,

Crate open 8-5pm for daycare, no van service, reservation required!

*Friday December 31st – 8am – 5pm, van service
            New Years Day: Saturday, January 1st – RCD closed
            Crate open 8-5pm for daycare, no van service, reservation required!

* Both RCD and Crate


Rates are as follows: 

$40 for daycare on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

$75 for overnights on the holiday nights.

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Extra groomer will be on staff during the holidays! Book your appointments now!

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Visit our blog at for weekly updates about our exciting business and pooches!

Friend us on facebook, Crate~Escape,  for dog videos, questions and just to say Hey!

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Sending out warm Holiday Wishes  

 from Raining Cats and Dogs

(soon to be  Crate-Escape Too)




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Crate Escape | 30 Brighton Street, Belmont MA 02478 | (617) 489-9003 | Fax: (617) 489-9002
Crate Escape Too | 368 Huron Ave, Cambridge MA 02138 | (617) 354-9003
Crate Escape | 200 Terminal Street, Charlestown MA 02129 | (617) 886-9003.