As seen in

    From one dog-dependent resident to another, Baxter doesn’t have to go to the grocery store.

    The Philly Dog has even compiled a handy list of dog-friendly stores, restaurants and coffee shops that allow animals, making it easy to avoid last-resort, just-this-once tie-ups.


    Holiday Gifts that Send Pets to the ER

    Locally based pet insurance company Petplan warns that certain holiday gifts can often cost much more than the sticker price. It turns out that during the holiday season, when pets get “into” holiday gifts, they end up at the ER because their vets close for holiday hours:

    “Never has the phrase ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ been more ominous for pets,” jokes Petplan Veterinary Manager Elyse Donnarumma. “When you consider that the average claim paid for food poisoning is $585, or that foreign body removal surgery costs an average of $1,327, it is sobering to realize that those costs can easily double during the holidays.”

    Holiday gifts that mean disaster

    So, which gifts do pets typically get into and end up needing medical treatment because of it? According to Petplan, these are the top 10 holiday gifts that can unwrap disaster:

    1. Bows & Ribbons

    The bows and ribbons used to decorate wrapped presents are problematic. Ribbons can easily become linear foreign bodies. Avoid an expensive surgery by tossing wrappings in the trash (whether you pitch the gift, too, is completely up to you).

    Just ask Petplan policy holder Amanda Tollen, of Conshohocken, PA, about holiday ribbon. Her eight-year-old cat, Bella, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015, when she got into the gift ribbon (see photo below):

    “I am so happy we got pet insurance for Bella,” said Tollen, who was reimbursed over $1,800 thanks to her policy option. “It really saved us a ton of money during one of the most stressful times of the year for our budget. You never know what your pet is going to get into or what illness they will come down with. Having Bella Petplan protected was one of the best decisions we ever made.”

    1. Fruitcake (and its modern-day equivalent, Panettone)

    Ew. Why anyone would give fruitcake as a gift is beyond me. But, if you are a lucky recipient of fruitcake make sure you keep it out of your pet’s reach. Currants, raisins and nuts are toxic to pets, and the spirits the cake is soaked in can be deadly to dogs and cats.

    1. Holiday Plants

    A snack on Christmas cactus can upset tummies. Christmas lilies can cause kidney failure in kitties. And while poinsettias aren’t as toxic as previously thought, its sap can cause an unpleasant rash.

    1. Scarf/Mittens Set

    Another favorite item of dogs. Why they feel the need to eat them, I’ll never understand. Keep them out of reach or donate them to someone who is in need.

    1. Lottery Tickets

    You may have a 1 in 14 million chance of winning your gift, but your dog is more likely to suffer a foreign body ingestion if he eats the envelope and paper.

    1. Houseguests

    Extra people in the house can trigger stomach upset due to stress and all that coming and going can make it easier for pets to dart out the door and get hit by a car. Also, family members who just don’t know how to properly interact with a cat or dog and respect warning signs of discomfort run the risk of getting bit. Heed the growl!

    1. Coffee/Hot Chocolate

    Coffee mug gift sets are a staple of office holiday giving, but whether there’s beans or cocoa inside, be sure to keep them away from your pet’s paws. The caffeine in coffee and chocolate can trigger hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, seizures and even death.

    1. Bath Products

    Bath salts pose the very serious threat of salt poisoning. Bath salts often contain magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) and sodium chloride (table salt), both of which can kill or permanently injure furry friends.

    1. Boxed Chocolates

    Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause illness or even death in dogs and cats. If your dog eats chocolate, check out petMD’s chocolate toxicity meter and don’t hesitate to call the ASPCA poison line at (888) 426-4435.

    1. Socks

    You don’t want them, you hate getting them, and you’ll loathe them even more when you’re forking over upwards of $1,000 to have them removed from your pet’s intestine. Socks take Petplan’s top spot for the worst holiday gift, whether you’re on two legs or four.

    For info about Petplan and more pet safety tips, point your paws to

    holiday gifts and pets infographic

    The Missing Link Ultimate Small Breed Product Review

    If you’re looking for a high quality nutritional supplement for your dog, you may want to check out products made by The Missing Link . Disclaimer: I was contacted by The Missing Link® and asked to provide an honest review of their Ultimate Small Breed Hip, Joint & Coat product in exchange for a free sample of the product. This post also contains affiliate links.

    About The Missing Link®

    In the early 1990s, veterinarian and researcher Dr. Robert M. Collett discovered that the food we were giving our pets was nutritionally deficient. It turns out that our modern ways of processing pet food was making it completely devoid of Omega 3 fatty acid. Just like with people, Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty cides and are critical to maintaining good health. These findings inspired Dr. Collett to create supplements for our pets that were made of quality ingredients from whole foods and food concentrates.

    But Dr. Collett didn’t just stop with ensuring the supplements contained high-grade ingredients. He went a step further to develop and patent cold processing methods to avoid degradation and/or destruction of naturally occurring nutrients. After all, what good is a high-grade supplement if it doesn’t stay stable or goes rancid?

    About The Missing Link® Ultimate Small Breed Hip, Joint & Coat

    The Missing Link® Ultimate Small Breed Hip, Joint & Coat claims to target the nutritional gap between what “nature provides” and what is available in commercial pet foods:

    • Glucosamine to support healthy joints and flexibility.
    • Balanced Omega 3 and 6 to maintain healthy skin and coat.
    • Omega fatty acids help the absorption of fat soluble vitamins which nutritionally support:  intercellular health, energy levels, the immune system, and muscle, tendon & ligament function.
    • Dietary fiber to promote a healthy digestive system.
    • Phyto (plant) nutrients to support general health and nutrition.

    The Missing Link® Ultimate Small Breed Hip, Joint & Coat contains the following ingredients:

    Ground Flaxseed, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Freeze Dried Beef Liver, Cane Molasses, Rice Bran, Primary Dried Yeast, Sunflower Seed, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dried Carrot, Ground Beef Bone, Dried Fish Solubles, Freeze Dried Oyster, Ground Barley Grass, Dried Kelp, Zinc Methionine Complex, Lecithin, Selenium Yeast, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Garlic, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12 Supplement.

    Notice the lack of unpronounceable chemicals and preservatives?

    I received an 8 oz bag of The Missing Link® Ultimate Small Breed Hip, Joint & Coat to test out on Imogene. The daily intake is to administer one teaspoon per 25 pounds of body weight. Since Imogene is only 8 pounds, I gave her 1/4 teaspoon once a day mixed in with her dinner. As you can see from the picture and video below, the supplement is in powder form and a bit grainy. It is recommended that you refrigerate after opening.

    missing link small breed formula

    As you can see below, Imogene happily ate her food. She didn’t seem to even notice that the supplement was mixed in! This is definitely a positive because she has refused to eat her food when I have added powdered supplements in the past.

    SO – Would I purchase The Missing Link?

    Absolutely. While it took about four weeks to see the effects of the supplement, the changes were truly astounding. Imogene went from being hesitant to go up stairs to literally bounding up the stairs. We have a little set of stairs next to the couch and she’s even been hesitant to use them – it usually takes her 3 to 4 attempts to get up them. Now, she runs up them. Seriously. She’s gone from a cranky old lady to a giddy little puppy in a month!

    I’ve also noticed that she seems more interested in going on walks outside, which is nice to see. Her stools are also firmer and more consistent, which is likely from the high quality fiber sources in the supplement. While I have not yet noticed a significant improvement in her coat, Imogene is a Pomeranian mix who was shaved by whoever owned her previously. If you know anything about Pomeranians, you know that shaving their coat to the puppy cut absolutely ruins their coat and it never grows back properly. So, Imogene’s coat has always been a nappy mess but the supplement has helped reducing the dryness of her skin.

    Truthfully, I wouldn’t have believed it unless I had seen it. I’ve reviewed many, many, many products for and I think I’ve gotten a bit jaded. I’m pleasantly surprised by The Missing Link and recommend you purchase this – hands down – for your dog. Simply put, it works.

    Interested in trying The Missing Link products?

    You can purchase The Missing Link® Ultimate Small Breed Hip, Joint & Coat  at most specialty pet supply stores. Average retail cost of an 8 oz. bag of is $14.99. For more information on The Missing Link products, please consider purchasing The Missing Link product, 8-Ounce through our affiliate link in the Amazon store. Just remember, it’s important to also give your pet high quality pet food with any supplement.

    The National Dog Show – Enter to WIN!

    national dog show

    Thanksgiving Day wouldn’t be complete for any dog lover without watching The National Dog Show. We’re lucky to have it in our back yard at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks! The Kennel Club of Philadelphia has presented dog shows for more than 125 years. Their two benched, all-breed dog shows are held this year on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20, 2016.

    The shows, sanctioned by The American Kennel Club, will help raise money for a variety of canine-related causes. Prior beneficiaries of The Kennel Club of Philadelphia include The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

    We’re happy to be giving away two tickets for you to check out the AKC sanctioned Breed, Group, and Best In Show judging and top agility dogs in the ring each day. Saturday is The National Dog Show, Presented by Purina, to be broadcast nationwide on Thanksgiving Day by NBC. Sunday’s show offers enhanced athletic dog exhibitions plus family-friendly activities and hands-on fun. Your tickets are good for either day!

    To enter, just complete the form below by Friday, September 18, 2016 5 pm ET. Winner will be emailed by 5:30 pm ET and announced in the widget below or by using this link

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Philly LEAST Pet Friendly City?!?

    Sure, Philly is notorious for it’s under-dog, somewhat abrasive “atty-tude.” We can take a little warming up to. But one thing I know for sure is that we LOVE our dogs. A quick walk down any city block and you’ll see a dog walking happily on a leash or playing in the park.

    So you can imagine my surprise when a representative from financial website WalletHub reached out to tell me Philly ranked as one of the LEAST pet-friendly cities in the U.S.

    Source: WalletHub



    In order to identify the most pet-friendly cities, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 most populated cities (excluding surrounding metro areas) across three key dimensions: 1) Pet Budget, 2) Pet Health & Wellness and 3) Outdoor Pet Friendliness.

    Data was obtained from sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics,, Zillow,,, TripAdvisor, and Pets Best Insurance Services, to name a few. The three dimensions listed above were evaluated on 19 weighted metrics. Each metric was graded on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 representing the best conditions for pet owners. Overall scores where then calculated by taking the weighted average across all metrics.

    Here’s how Philly ranked:


    • 90th – Veterinary Care Costs
    • 39th – Dog Insurance Premium
    • 89th – Number of Veterinarians per Capita
    • 94th – Number of Pet Businesses per Capita
    • 31st – Number of Pet-Friendly Restaurants per Capita
    • 83rd – % of Pet-Friendly Hotels
    • 86th- Number of Dog Parks per Capita
    • 72nd – Number of Animal Shelters per Capita
    • 49th – Number of Pet Caretakers per Capita

    So, which city was the most pet friendly? Why, Orlando, Florida. (Of course, how could you now know that?) Orlando was followed by Birmingham, Alabama, Tampa, Florida, Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky (how many of those shelter dogs from the south are getting shipped up to our rescues?) and Scottsdale, Arizona.

    I decided to dig in a little deeper and reached out to WalletHub for some definitions:

    Question: How is the term “animal shelter” defined? Is it defined as intake shelters (city funded), no-kill only, rescues that use foster parents?

    Answer: The data for the number of animal shelters was obtained from and is mostly based on pet rescue and adoption facilities. 

    Question:  I didn’t see data for Philadelphia in the block for Pet friendliness of rental market. How is “pet friendly” defined and determined? Is there a penalty if the rental does not rent to particular breeds? Does the number of pets allowed in the rental factor in? Pet deposit required?

    Answer: The Pet-Friendliness of Rental Market key metric measures the percentage of pet-friendly rental units and it’s composed of two sub-metrics – 1. Percentage of Apartments that allow Dogs – 21 percent in Philadelphia (ranking 57th) and 2) Percentage of Apartments that allow Cats – 34 percent in Philadelphia (ranking 65th). For the Pet-Friendliness of Rental Market key metric Philadelphia ranked 66th overall. We did not factor in the number of pets allowed or the pet deposit required. 

    Youse Got it All Wrong

    Um, yeah. So that’s real scientific. Then again, New York, New York ranked the worst , so maybe there is a grain of truth in all of this. You can take a closer look at the the full report and decide for yourself.

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