And with that... Winter is here!

Although, a few weeks before the holidays is a bit late for these cold
and rainy days- its better then the drastic alternative.

I must admit, life becomes a tad more difficult when you have three
small dogs who have no interest in getting their paws wet when it comes
time to go potty- a romp around in the mud is no issue of course but when
Mom is in a hurry or there is just no way we can make it out for a long walk or
hike then I get these sad, faces looking up at me with very little intention
of getting any business done.

Of course I know I am not alone in this however, I envy those who have
their dogs trained to go on pads indoors, or at least pups that revel
in going out under any circumstances. We make do though and all in all we
incorporate fun indoor games and projects to keep everyone happy, healthy,
and minds and bodies busy. One of our first winter projects is sewing up all
the indoor toys that have been put out of reach due to extensive destruction.
Then we can play find the toy and fetch. I try to incorporate different directions
as well as using the carpeted stairs (I throw 'up only' to try and reduce the
risk or injury due to hysterical running after thrown toy)but at the same time
keeping their joints and muscles in practice similar to the play that we have outside.

When we are able to venture out doors I use light raincoats on all the pups as well as
myself to keep dry with out retaining too much heat, and we enjoy the fresh smells the
rain brings, stretching our legs and having fun getting a little dirty.

Try as I might to stay active, we all seem to gain a few unwanted pounds
this time of year. To combat this issue as best as possible- cut the amount
of food I feed by a quarter daily and limit treats to only on a "I'm going out
please do not destroy the house' bribery basis. I have found my dogs to love the
metabolic diet treats that we have at the clinic and half a cookie seems to do the
trick. They are being rewarded and it is much easier to keep their weight under
control.

A gentle reminder to make sure all pets, indoor and out door have a safe, warm place
to sleep and get out of the weather. Fresh sources of clean water to drink- and to monitor
the amounts your pets are eating, drinking and going potty. Changes in these departments
are great clue that something may be ailing your pet and it just might be a good idea to call
the vet.

Holiday parties are fun but pets that scrounge usually end up with a mouthful of something
they are not used to having- or shouldn't have so warn guest or just keep pets
out of the area where food may be handed over or dropped. It is also important to
watch out for dangerous holiday decorations and plants as well- please refer to
petpoisonhotline.com if your not sure about the status of something your pet has gotten
into or the SPCA for safety tips at https://www.sfspca.org/holiday-safety

And of course we are always happy to help answer and concerns or questions as best as possible
here at the office- an informed pet owner is the best protection for our pets.

Stay happy, healthy and safe this winter!
:-) Sonee and the gang at AVVC