Enjoy the Last Tastes of Summer & Support Animals at Arnold’s in Eastham

Bring the Family and the Dog to Arnold’s on September 20!

09-14 arnolds-lobster-bar-mOn Friday, September 20, the iconic Arnold’s Lobster and Clam Bar in Eastham will donate all proceeds from the sales of food, ice cream and mini golf to the ARL”s Brewster adoption center and to Wild Care of Cape Cod. Thanks to the generosity of Arnold’s, you can feel especially good about going out to eat on Friday, September 20!

Arnold’s is located at 3580 Route 6 in Eastham and their hours on Friday, September 20 are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Anyone who subscribes to our enewsletter at the event will receive a free dog or cat toy (while supplies last) and be entered into a special drawing.  Prizes include gift baskets and gift cards to Agway of Cape Cod, The Cape Cod Dog, Hot Diggity, and more.

Arnold’s is inviting well-behaved dogs to join their families on the patio!

It may be your last clam bake of the summer, but proceeds from the event will help animals on Cape Cod all year long.

Feline Focus: Keeping Your Cat Fit & Healthy

Beyla, currently available for adoption, will need to start a weight loss program in her new home.

Beyla, currently available for adoption, will need to start a weight loss program in her new home.

Chubby kitties might look cute, but those extra pounds can be a serious health risk for your cat, putting them at risk for dangers such as diabetes, fur matting, osteoarthritis, and respiratory issues, among others. But don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your cat healthy and active and help them to shed the extra pounds!

1. Don’t Overfeed
Some cats are great grazers, while others don’t have the ability to regulate their own food intake. A cat in the wild would first have to hunt and kill its food, which takes time and energy. But for our spoiled pets, it’s up to us to regulate their diet. You can start by reading the recommended portions from your food brand. Even if your cat grazes throughout the day, you should not put down more than a day’s serving at a time. If you have multiple cats that can’t share, try feeding them in separate rooms with the door closed during designated meal times. Also limit the number of treats you give each day. Save them as a special reward for when your cat does something good (like staying still for nail trimming or after a long snuggle session)!

2. Exercise Your Cat, Physically & Mentally
If your cat is constantly crying for food (and you’re feeding them plenty), then chances are they’re not actually hungry. They might just be bored, and if food time is the most interesting part of their day, that will become their default need. Next time your cat cries and it’s not dinner time, take a ten minute break from whatever you’re doing and start up a game instead!

Don’t know how to engage your cat in play? Every cat likes a different toy and it can be hard to find that one they go crazy for. Some cats might seem like they are stubborn and uninterested in playing at all. Don’t let that fool you! Start by buying a small selection of a variety of toys (fuzzy mice, bell balls, wand toys, etc.) and see which interests them the most. Then, make the game as fun as can be! It’s important that you play to your cat’s hunting instincts. Dangling a feather in their face is more annoying than fun. Instead, show your cat the feather and then slowly drag it behind the corner of a wall or piece of furniture and watch your cat spring into action! Just as they get close, lift the feather up into the air and see if they leap for it.

When you figure out your cat’s favorites, keep them novel. Try rotating toys every few days. Your cat will forget the hidden toys even existed until they magically appear again!

3. Make Food Time Fun
If your cat acts like it hasn’t eaten in days when it’s only be a few hours since their last meal, it’s important to make food time last as long as possible (which will also help their stomachs feel full). A great way to do this is with a food puzzle, which you can buy, make from a yogurt container, or even an egg carton.

You can also use dry food to train your cat. Dinner time is a great time to do this because your cat is more motivated. Take half of your cat’s dry food and make it sit, climb, or touch for a piece of kibble (clickers work great for training cats, but it’s important to learn the proper techniques first!). When everything is gone, you can reward your cat with the other half of its dinner portion. (Remember, any food you use for training should be accounted for in your cat’s daily caloric intake.)

4. When in Doubt, Ask a Vet
If you’re not sure where to begin on your cat’s weight-loss program, or if you need to reduce portions or change brands of food, be sure to consult a vet. If you suddenly cut your cat’s portions dramatically or switch types of food, your cat might stop eating – which is not good either! A veterinarian can help you come up with a systematic program to get your cat back on track to a healthy lifestyle.

5 Thanksgiving Foods Your Pet Needs to Avoid

Photo Credit: Chris Amaral

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, eat great food and enjoy the company of our family and friends, which often includes our pets. While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to limit the amount and types of food that your pets consume on Thanksgiving. Foods that are fine for humans (and would seem okay for dogs) can actually be very dangerous for your pet.

The following foods should be avoided on Thanksgiving, no bones about it!

  • Turkey Bones: We’ve grown accustomed to the idea of “giving the dog a bone,” but turkey bones are small and can become lodged in a dog’s throat, stomach or intestinal tract. Additionally, these bones may splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach and could puncture the small intestine. Avoid feeding any turkey bones to your pets!
  • Fat Trimmings: Fatty meat, especially turkey skin may be the tastiest part, but it’s also very dangerous for your pet. Fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest and consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move and abdominal pain.
  • Dough/Cake Batter: Do you remember your mother telling you not to eat the cookie dough? If you shouldn’t be eating it, neither should your pet. Since dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, the first concern is salmonella bacteria. The second concern is that the dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly (sound weird, but it’s possible). This can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Raisins/Grapes: Grapes commonly make the list of foods dogs should avoid, but we like to remind people that they are very dangerous. Though the causes of their toxicity are unknown, we do know that they can cause kidney failure.
  • Mushrooms: Good for you, not for your dog. Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver and the central nervous system. If your dog does eat mushrooms, you can expect the following symptoms: seizures, coma, vomiting and possibly death.

Keep your vets number handy.

Should your pet become ill and show any of the above symptoms, be sure to have your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital’s number on hand. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.

For a comprehensive list of all foods that dogs should avoid visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.aspx

Feline Focus: Food Puzzles

When mealtime is one of the major events of your cat’s lazy day, don’t let it be boring! Have fun by turning dinner time into play time with food puzzles–they aren’t just for dogs! Mental stimulation is an important part of keeping an indoor cat happy, and what better way to make that kitty brain think than have it work for its favorite thing, food?

Is a Food Puzzle Right for My Cat?
When considering introducing a food puzzle to a cat, ask yourself: how food motivated is my cat? If he/she is running into the kitchen, meowing or pawing at your leg for his dinner, then chances are he’ll benefit from a food puzzle! Or if your cat goes crazy for treats, you can use food puzzles for treat time instead. There are a few commercial brands of cat food puzzles you can buy that work great, but you can also make one yourself.

How to Make Your Own Food Puzzle:

  1. Take an empty yogurt container (preferably a brand that has a plastic lid; or use any cylindrical container that has a lid and is soft enough to cut through). Carefully using a sharp knife or scissors, cut two holes on either side of the container.
  2. Use duct tape or sandpaper to soften the edges of the holes (make sure there are no sharp bits!)
  3. Place food inside and put the lid back on!

Be sure to thoroughly clean the container before using it, and always check homemade items for potentially hazardous materials before giving them to your cat. When first giving your cat a new item, be sure to supervise.

What If My Cat Doesn’t Like It Or Won’t Use It?
Some cats get the hang of food puzzles quickly, but others might stare at you wondering what on earth they’re supposed to do. For reluctant learners, you can start by using a large yogurt container and cutting big holes (big enough that the cat’s entire paw can fit inside). It may seem too easy–one good knock over, and most of the food has spilled out, but what your cat is learning is that if they push the container, they get food. Once your cat is a pro at that, move down to a smaller yogurt container. Once that is mastered, a commercial, weighted food puzzle will be a worthy purchase–or try cutting the holes so that your homemade food puzzle is more challenging!

Why Food Puzzles?
–Indoor cats generally have less activities to keep them mentally stimulated throughout the day. Having them work for food gives them a puzzle to solve and keeps their brains active.
–Cats who are prone to eating too fast and suffer from stomach upset/vomiting can use food puzzles as a way to slow down their food intake.
–Food puzzles give your cat some more exercise–and help keep them at a healthy weight!

Are You Sure Cats Really Use Food Puzzles?
Yes! Check out these photos of an ARL alum learning how to use a food puzzle, and a recent video of him enjoying a satisfying dinner as a food puzzle pro!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uoIZBhOe5Y&w=420&h=315]

Spanish Wine Dinner Tonight

Brownstone, located in the South End, is having a Spanish Wine Dinner tonight to benefit the League.

Each course will be paired with a glass of wine that compliments the dish perfectly. At $39.95, this is a wonderful deal and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the League. Please call 617-867-4142 to make a reservation. You can view the menu here.