No more waiting for their next walk !
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September 7, 2014

Great Yappy Hour at CE2 last Friday! Put next one, OCT 2nd, 5:30 – 7:30 on you Calendar! Fall Allergies, and What to Do!


Still feels like summer to me! My siblings and I have been going out for awhile, then coming in and hanging out together.

ernie emm & sunny in sun1
Hilda THINKS she can fit on the bed, but, as you can imagine, NO WAY!



On September 5th we celebrated a  great Yappy Hour at Crate Escape too, on Huron Ave in Cambridge. It was FUN!!  Huron Village has been putting on First Thursdays,  each month since May, when each store in the village hosts a special event in their store. There is one more this year on October 2nd! 

Put it on your calendar and bring your dog! The staff enjoys having a chance to share relaxed time with you, and the refreshments are great!! (plus, of course the dogs love it!!)



Have a great week!


Later, Ernestine

10 Holistic Tips for Managing Your Dog’s Fall Allergies

by Dr. Patrick Mahoney, Pet MD


Regardless of location, the elemental tumult of fall (dying plant life, dryness, moisture, cooler temperatures, wind, etc.) stirs up environmental allergens and irritants that can affect the eyes, nose, skin, and other body systems of both people and animals.

Common clinical signs of allergies include:


  •  Naval and eye discharge
  • sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Pruritis (itching/scratching, licking/chewing at body parts)
  • Fur loss or color change (tears and saliva contain porphyrins, which stain light colored fur pink to brown


The competent immune systems of most companion canines and felines will ultimately adapt to the seasonal changes, leading to the resolution of clinical signs. With animals that are not quite able to self-adjust, we pet owners must intervenWith animals that are not quite able to self-adjust, we pet owners must intervene with baths, conditioning rinses, eye/ear drops, oral or injectable medications (antihistamines, antibiotics, steroids, etc.), nutraceuticals (omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant, etc.), or other treatments.

A pet’s ability to acclimate to environmental allergens is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Overall state of health (i.e., healthy vs. sick)
  • Underlying diseases that compromise immune system function (cancer, immune mediated [i.e., autoimmune] diseases, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, etc.)
  • Immunomodulating medications (chemotherapy, steroids, etc.)
  • Diet (whole versus processed food, protein and carbohydrate allergies, etc.)
  • Degree of exposure (occasional vs. frequent)
  • Others

Since so many factors can affect immune system health, the management of allergies can potentially be very complicated.

My top tips for holistically managing your pet’s seasonal allergies addresses both whole-body health and environment factors:

1. Keep your home low in allergenic potential. Vacuum all carpeting and upholstery and wash all pet and human bedding at least every seven days. After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag or canister in a sealed away from your home.

2. Keep windows closed, use air conditioning during the warmer times, and run an air filtration system on a year-round basis.

3. Change filters on both heating and cooling systems as per manufacturer guidelines.

4. Bathe your pets every 7 to 30 days (once weekly to once monthly) or as per your veterinarian’s guidelines based on your pet’s skin and coat needs. Besides removing allergens and irritants from the skin and coat, bathing can have a variety of other effects including killing and removing bacteria and yeast, removing fleas and their saliva and feces (free dirt), and lifting off flaking skin.

5. Use an over-the-counter eye irrigating solution to rinse your pet’s eyes on an as needed basis.

6. Schedule a physical examination with your veterinarian and pursue recommended diagnostics at least every 12 months.

7. Commit to readily resolving or managing disease conditions, as inflammation associated with illness negatively impacts immune system health.

8. Use topical and oral anti-parasite (flea, tick, etc.) treatments as per the guidance of your veterinarian. My general recommendation is to lessen the need for these products by keeping your shared environment thoroughly and regularly cleaned.

9. Provide a moist, freshly prepared, whole food-based diet having human-grade protein, vegetables, fruits, fat, and fiber. Avoid ingredients that are lacking in protein and grain “meals and by-products,” artificial colors and flavors, moistening agents (propylene glycol, carageenan, etc.), sugar, rendered fat, and other feed-grade components (as typically go into commercially available dog and cat foods).

10. Maintain your pet’s slim Body Condition Score (ideally 3 out of 3) on a lifelong basis. Being overweight or obese causes unnecessary stress on all body systems and contributes to inflammation, which can have serious health implications.

You may also find some relief with an air purifier.

air purifier, cardiff, fall allergies

September 1, 2014

Yappy Hour at CEtoo on Sept 9th! Join Us! We just lost a truly amazing dog to Bloat! Read about symptoms and look outs! 20 Flanders Rd? No Longer!


Yikes! Labor Day, really?  We are getting off to a great start – this week, we are hosting one of our famous Yappy Hours, 

Location:  Crate Escape too, 368 Huron Ave in Cambridge.

Date:  September 4, 2014

Time:  5:30 – 7pm

Invitees: All 2 and 4 legged friends and potential friends of Crate Escape!

Great refreshments; and you can go into the pen with your pooch!


Join Us!


Any parts of this look familiar??

20flanders2   20flanders1   20flanders4   20flanders

This is 20 Flanders Road, Belmont, MA, where Crate Escape grew up!  The town has finally demolished the building. When Crate opened there in early 2006, the original customers were dogs who were too big or active for the original Crate Escape (then Raining Cats and Dogs) in Cambridge. And so it went… We spent 6 great years on Flanders Rd.  Our dog population grew, staff grew, while senior staff and managers kept our mission of safety and doggone fun as the key to everything Crate Escape!

Lots of fun stuff coming up this fall!!   Looking forward to seeing you!!

Ernie on grass


Later, Ernestine



Sadly we are posting this article because a good friend just lost his recently rescued Great Dane to bloat.  Brian trained and loved Tank into a good friend, a loving step brother, and a happy, participant in the lives that he touched.  RIP, Tank.



What Is Bloat? When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs. People often use the word “bloat” to refer to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion and twisted stomach. This condition can cause rapid clinical signs and death in several hours. Even with immediate treatment, approximately 25% to 40% of dogs die from this medical emergency. What Are the General Symptoms of Bloat/GDV in Dogs?

  • Distended abdomen
  • Unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
  • Retching without producing anything
  • Weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapse

What Causes Bloat in Dogs? The exact cause is currently unknown. Certain risk factors include: rapid eating, eating one large meal daily, dry food-only diet, overeating, overdrinking, heavy exercise after eating, fearful temperament, stress, trauma and abnormal gastric motility or hormone secretion.

What Causes GDV in Dogs? The exact cause is currently unknown.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Bloat? Bring your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Timeliness of treatment is paramount, since a dog exhibiting signs of bloat may actually have GDV, which is fatal if not promptly treated.

How Is Bloat Treated? Depending on your dog’s condition, a veterinarian may take an X-ray of the abdomen to assess the stomach’s position. The vet may try to decompress the stomach and relieve gas and fluid pressure by inserting a tube down the esophagus.

How Is GDV Treated? If the stomach has rotated, emergency surgery is necessary to correct torsion. There are many complications that can occur both during and after surgery, including heart damage, infection and shock; intensive post-operative monitoring for several days is routine. Most vets will recommend that during this surgery, the dog’s stomach be permanently attached to the side of the abdominal cavity in order to prevent future episodes.

Are Certain Breeds Prone to Bloat/GDV? Most dogs love to overeat if given the opportunity, so any dog, from a Greyhound to a Chihuahua, can get bloat. However, it is very rare for dogs that are not large, deep-chested breeds to be struck with GDV. This condition most often afflicts those dogs whose chests present a higher depth-to-width ratio. In other words, their chests are long (from backbone to sternum) rather than wide. Such breeds include Saint Bernards, Akitas, Irish Setters, Boxers, Basset Hounds, Great Danes, Weimaraners and German Shepherds.

How Can I Prevent Bloat/GDV?

  • Feed your dog several small meals, rather than one or two larger ones, throughout the day to avoid eating too much or too fast.
  • If appropriate (check with your vet), include canned food in your dog’s diet.
  • Maintain your dog’s appropriate weight.
  • Avoid feeding your dog from a raised bowl unless advised to do so by your vet.
  • Encourage normal water consumption.
  • Limit rigorous exercise before and after meals.
  • Consider a prophylactic gastropexy surgery (which fixes the stomach in place, as described above) if you have a high-risk breed.


The New Normal – Prepare for Big Changes with Your Pets



One of the most common issues I am faced with as a professional dog trainer is helping owners prepare for big changes that are coming or that have just occurred. The most common stresses pet parents work through are moving homes, new neighbors and major changes to the family pack dynamics. If you are seeing major behavioral changes in your dog, ask yourself three questions.

  • Is my dog getting regular and adequate exercise for his age and breed?
  • Does my dog have a predictable daily or weekly routine?
  • Have there been any major changes to what was once normal?

Typically the first two questions can be a big clue to whether your dog is actually going through some major behavior shift or if he is simply bored and underwhelmed by his routine. Many dogs that have the benefit of a big spacious back yard miss out on regular walks. They are more likely to be the dogs barking at the neighbors and passers-by. Dogs that are of working lines or high-energy breeds might go for long walks or jogs and still have energy to burn when they get home. These guys benefit from structured play that lets them have an outlet for sprinting, running, jumping, barking and playing with toys or objects. Owners and dogs that play together, stay together. You should work on being your dog’s best friend. Do not simply rely on other dog companions to tire out your dog, like going to a dog park. The last question asks have there been any major changes to what was once your dog’s normal? Some people might not consider small changes to be something that would bring stress into their dog’s life. Selling your car, moving into a new apartment, adding or losing someone from the household and even rearranging the house can add stress to a creature of routine. If you are preparing for major changes like a new baby, moving to a new home or perhaps your significant other is moving in with you, try to help your dog get ready for the new normal. For new people moving in, set up walks and bonding activities with positive experiences in neutral locations prior to the move. For a new baby, purchase baby equipment, such as strollers and start practicing skills like loose leash walking, and commands such as “Go to your bed, “ and “Stay” to help your dog prepare for your new family set up. Today we can use technology to record sounds or purchase audio files that can mimic stressful sounds like babies crying, thunder, airplanes and much more. Moving to a new area? If possible, visit the location of your new neighborhood and go for regular walks where your dog gets to smell and see what is going on in the neighborhood. If you are headed to a new part of the country, have a plan to explore and establish routines right off the bat. Do your research so both you and your dog can have confidence as you learn what your new normal will look like.

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