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November 18, 2015

HOHOHO! Save the Date! Santa Photos, 12/4 at Crate Escape too! Victoria’s Tips for Keeping your Dog Stress Free Over the Holidays

Crate Escape too – Santa Paws are Coming!



Join us for our annual doggie pictures with Santa Paws! Friday 12/4 from 5-8:00pm. $10 per photo donation to Last Hope K9 Rescue plus 10% of the nights retail sales will be donated back to LHK9 too!


Victoria’s Tips for Keeping Your Dog Stress-Free Over the Holidays

By Kevin Lowery,

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Holiday decorations are already lighting up homes and businesses and I even ran into Santa Claus at the mall! The holidays are a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends, but they can also be a challenging time when you have pets. Anxious or reactive dogs are especially prone to stress during the holidays. Here are eight tips for keeping your dog safe and stress-free this holiday season.



  • If you know you’re going to be having guests over, whether for a few hours or a few weeks, plan ahead.
  • If your dog is nervous around strangers in your home, set up a safe space for her to go to when she’s feeling overwhelmed. This may be a small room away from guests, or a crate with her favorite toys.
  • Ask your guests not to bother your dog when she’s in her safe place. For more extended visits, you can build a positive association between your shy dog and your guests. Ask guests not to directly interact with your dog; instead, they can drop treats on the ground when your dog comes around.
  • If your dog has shown any aggression towards strangers, manage the situation by keeping your dog in another room any time guests come over. Consult a trainer to help you work through these issues.



  • If you know your dog is shy or fearful towards guests, don’t force your dog to interact with them. We don’t like everyone we meet, and we can’t expect our dogs to, either.
  • Is your dog a notorious counter surfer? There are sure to be extra goodies lying around over the holidays, so make sure to keep them out of reach of your pet.
  • If your dog jumps on guests, work on this behavior before the start of the holiday season so that your guests can have a more peaceful entry into your home.



  • Grapes, raisins, chocolate–all common around the holidays and all are toxic to dogs.
  • Coffee, alcohol, and nicotine are all potentially hazardous to your dog. If you have a guest that’s an avid smoker or drinker, make sure you plan ahead to make sure your dog stays out of reach of these harmful items.
  • You might be tempted to toss your dog table scraps from a delicious holiday meal, but keep in mind that rich, fatty foods can severely harm your dog’s digestive system.



  • You shouldn’t leave your dog outside unattended for long periods any time of the year, but this is especially important over the holidays.
  • If you have a dog that likes to dart out the door, teach her a wait cue to prevent a tragedy in the future.
  • Keep a collar and tag on your dog at all times. I recommend PetHub’s revolutionary ID tags. 


You have several different options for what to do with your dog when you go out of town. Choose the best option for your dog.


  • Hire someone to feed and let your dog out several times a day. If your dog struggles being left alone, this may not be the best option. If you do choose this option, make sure your dog is never left outside unattended. I do not recommend this option for long periods as dogs do not do well spending large amounts of time by themselves. A boarding facility or petsitter is a much better choice.
  • Board your dog at a doggie daycare, vet, or kennel. If you choose this option, make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations, and make sure you research the facility in advance.
  • Hire a petsitter to watch your dog in their home or in yours.  This may be the most expensive option, but it may also give you the most peace of mind.



  • Make sure your Christmas tree is securely anchored to the ground, and minimize your dog’s temptation to jump on the tree by avoiding edible ornaments like popcorn strings.
  • Clean up pine needles frequently and don’t allow your pet to drink water from the tree stand.
  • If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, make sure to keep your menorah or other candles out of reach of your pets.


It can be easy to get caught up in the busy holiday season, but don’t forget about your dog in the process. Regardless of the weather or your schedule, your dog still needs exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom and stress.

  • Don’t miss that daily walk with your dog. Not only will walking your dog reduce his stress level–it will reduce yours, too.
  • If you’re going to be away from home more than usual, provide your dog with interactive toys or treats to keep him busy.
  • Plan a doggie playdate with a friend.

    There is a huge surge of dogs being given away and dumped at shelters after the holidays. A puppy may seem like a fun project for the family, but many dog owners underestimate the amount of work and responsibility they require.

    Check out my top ten questions to ask yourself before bringing home a new dog.


    The Mistakes Pet Owners Make When Breaking Bad Habits

    By Dr. Becker,

    Conventional wisdom says a good way for parents to make their children conduct themselves properly is to make bad behavior “unprofitable.” But pets are different from children; they don’t process information the same way.

    If you feel you’ve tried everything, but Fido and Fluffy’s same old bad habits are the norm, you may be giving the wrong signals and actually encouraging the very behavior you’re trying to deter.

    Putting your finger on triggers that set off your pet’s undesirable patterns, and positively reinforcing new behaviors with constructive guidance is a very effective way to train pets to live in family harmony – and avoid annoying neighbors and guests.

    Jumping At Every Chance

    Scenario: It’s a foregone conclusion that when you walk in the door, your beloved pup is so overjoyed and hyper she jumps all over you, licking your face to show how much she missed you. When you tell her to get down and try to push her off, scratching her ears in the process, you’re reinforcing her behavior. She wants interaction and you’re giving it to her.

    While you think you’re saying no, from your dog’s perspective, all your signals are saying you approve. Reacting by not reacting – turning your back, standing straight and ignoring her – indicates you don’t welcome her exuberant jumping routine.

    If you’re afraid you’ll hurt your pet’s feelings, it won’t. It simply trains her to know what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

    Your Dog Is a Woofer When a Whisper Would Do

    Scenario: Your routine is to release Fido into your fenced back yard every morning to do his business. But you can count on him barking loudly every time your neighbor leaves for work. If you call him in and feed him or pet him to distract him from barking, he thinks you’re pleased with his behavior. A better idea would be to let him out half an hour earlier and bring him back in before the barking starts.

    Another example might be when your mail carrier heads up the sidewalk to drop mail in the box, which invariably sets off boisterous “woofing” from your self-appointed guard dog. What to do? Try taking Fido to a back bedroom around the time of day you expect a mail drop-off. Turning on a fan or white noise machine might soften outside distractions that trigger the barking dog.

    Either way, if someone shows up at the door unexpectedly, but your forever friend hasn’t yet gotten the message not to bark and not to jump, by all means, take your pup to another room before opening the door.
    Whatever the scenario, the idea is to identify the triggers that set off the jumping, barking, scratching or other unacceptable habits, and avoid them whenever possible. That is the key to positive reinforcement. The result will find you frowning at your pet less often.

    Additional Tips

    Remove your pet’s temptation to search and destroy by removing access. If Fido likes sniffing out – then tearing out – the garbage all over the garage, place the container someplace where he can’t get to it.
    Handling your pet’s unwanted jumping, digging or barking with loud words or roughness may not only reinforce the bad behavior, but put you in a bad light for future correction. Be calm and speak kindly. You want trust and respect to rule the day, not fear.

    Pets, like people, have certain windows of time when they’re more receptive to directives. Rather than trying to teach your pup good behavior when he’s stressed, hungry, tired out or in an unfamiliar environment, wait until he’s calm to make a point. He’ll be much more apt to listen and behave better next time a situation arises.

    Small treats are a good idea whenever your pet responds well to new behavior training; give them occasionally when good behavior becomes the new normal.

    Treats are great, but affection and sweet talk are essential to encourage desired behaviors in your best furry friend.

    In Case It’s Not a Habit, But Something Else…

    Avoiding triggers and positive reinforcements aside, if your typically well-behaved pet suddenly turns rapscallion, he uncharacteristically does his business in the dining room or stops eating, he may not be simply acting out. He may be suffering from a health disorder. Rule this out first by calling your pet health practitioner to identify the problem and get expert advice.

    If you find your pet’s occasionally annoying behavior is morphing into a consistent behavior problem that you’re not able to get a handle on with all the tips and tricks you’ve tried, consider hiring a professional. Find a positive trainer through a trusted referral, or if the behavior is causing you to consider rehoming your companion, find a veterinary behaviorist ASAP.

    November 2, 2015

    Special Holiday Hours and Stuff + Unstress Your Pups for the Holidays + Dangerous Foods!

    It’s Crate Escape Official!  Holiday Reservation Time is Here!

    Time to make all needed overnight reservations for your pups over the holidays!  We fill up fast! so the sooner the better! Here are some special daycare/ overnight guidelines and policies in effect from November 1st, 2015 – January 5th, 2016.

    Special Holiday Hours:
    Thursday, Nov. 26th – closed
    Friday, Nov. 27th – 9am – 5pm
    Thursday, Dec. 24th – 7am – 5pm
    Friday, Dec. 25th – closed
    Saturday, Dec. 26th – closed
    Thursday, Dec. 31st – 7am – 5pm
    Friday, Jan. 1st, 2016 – closed
    Saturday, Jan. 2nd, 2016 – open


    Holiday Rates:  $80/ 1 dog, $155/ 2 dogs
    Van:  There are NO pick up & drop offs on Thanksgiving day or Christmas day.


    Arrival Days :  No overnight arrivals on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years Day!
    Arrival Times:  All dogs must arrive before 2pm when coming into the facility.


    Overnight Cancellation Policy:   We need at least 3 days notice for any changes/cancellation to overnight reservations to avoid any possible charges.


    As always, THANKS!


    3 Ways to Treat Your Dog on Thanksgiving

    3 Dogs & Co.

    Thanksgiving can be chaotic—especially if you’re the host. There’s a lot to get done, and the sudden change in routine can be stressful on your pup. So we’ve come up with three great ways to treat your pup on Thanksgiving (and only one involves an actual treat)!

    Time Together Outside

    Fall is in full swing, and the landscape is littered with stunningly beautiful fallen leaves. There’s a chill in the air, but that’s just a great excuse to layer up. It’s a wonderful time for a walk, and I like to think that having a dog gives you a license to go out and enjoy the little things just that much more. Whether it’s just you and your dog, or a whole family affair with your spouse and kids (and other dogs!), make time this Thanksgiving to just go outside and enjoy the day.

    A leashed walk through the park, an off-leash trail walk, a hike, or even a nice walk about the neighbourhood—take time to enjoy the season. Not only will it tire your pup out, but it’ll take away a bit of the guilt you’ll feel after eating a week’s worth of calories in one sitting.

    A Few Extra Sweet Potatoes

    When you’re out shopping for that big Thanksgiving meal, buy a few more sweet potatoes than you’ll need. Giving your dog people food off the table is a big no-no, but making that extra effort to make them their own special treat is a great idea to include them in the day!

    We have quite a few treat recipes that include sweet potatoes, so give one a try!

    A Quiet Place to Rest Their Head

    After that wonderful walk to enjoy the beautiful autumn landscape of your little nook on this wonderful world of ours, your pup will want a quiet place to rest. Whether that’s after happily greeting your guests, or setting up for the evening while you go out to enjoy dinner at someone else’s house (score!), it’s a good idea to leave your pup with a cozy place where they can rest without being bothered.

    If you’re having people over, opening up a room in your house with the lights off and your dog’s bed is great. Make this room off-limits to children who may be visiting so your dog always has an out if things get a little too loud or stressful. Be sure to include their water dish in the quiet place so they don’t feel they have to run the gauntlet to get a drink.

    That’s it! A great way to treat your pup without worrying about foods that may not be good for him. To a dog, some quality time outside, followed by a delicious treat, and a quiet place for a well-deserved nap is the ultimate gift. Actually, that sounds like a great day for anyone!


    Not for Fido: Thanksgiving Food That Could Be Dangerous for Dogs

    Brandon Ballenger




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