National Pet Day

BY ANDREA HUSPENI | Article Featured on ThisDogLife

Today, marks National Pet Day, a holiday to celebrate our special best friends – be it your dog, cat, bunny, reptile or some other lovely creature.

For us, dogs rule the roost. They bring us so much joy, love and laughs. They never let us down, act as our perma-shrink and stick by our side through thick and thin. And while there are specific days to honor them – including National Dog Day and National Puppy Day — we don’t want this holiday to pass without letting our pups know how much we appreciate them.

Here are five ways to say I love you on National Pet Day!


Go outside today, and rather than the norm, take your dog on a new adventure. Perhaps you go right instead of left, north instead of south. Not only is a change of scenery good for both or you, but new scents will be a nice surprise for your pup.

“Our daily lives with our dogs typically don’t permit them to exploit the full abilities of their incredible noses,” Alexandra Horowitz, author of Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell, tells PetMD. “We hurry them along during walks, focused on the destination rather than the journey itself.”

Dogs have a minimum of 200 million scent receptors, with some having a billion! (We, on the other hand, only have six million.) So a scent walk is the perfect opportunity to sniff. This special walk doesn’t need to be complicated; it just requires patience. When you take your dog on a new route, let her smell to her heart’s content. Don’t pull her along to keep moving when she has her nose to the ground, or tell her, “It’s time to go.” Instead, let her take it all in.

“I’ve found that when dogs are allowed to use their noses, they actually display a lot less ‘misbehavior,’” she told the outlet. “It’s as if the thing that they have decided to be their ‘work,’ barking at each approaching dog, say, or always being vigilant (and thus anxious) about where you are, can be replaced with this more natural behavior, if they are allowed to sniff. In other words, it makes them happy.”


Okay, most dogs really don’t dig baths. They are trapped, have water spraying all over them and are cold. There is no escaping for them until after all the suds are washed away. (We have all seen the horrible bath face.)

So, why not give them a special treat during bath time? You can rub a little oil on your fingertips (we recommend a dog-friendly odorless oil or one that has a light lavender scent), and give your dog a quick face massage.

To improve your dog’s circulation, begin my massaging the top of her head to increase blood circulation. Then do light finger taps on your dog’s face to help stimulate the brain and get the blood flowing. You can also focus on the ear area, massaging your dog’s ear flaps and rubbing in circular motions around the base of the ears for air circulation, according to dog-walking site Wag. If you want to open up the sinus cavities, apply gentle pressure using your thumbs below the eyes and at the bridge of your dog’s nose. Lastly, focus on the muzzle, back of the jaw and under your dog’s chin and neck area by massaging these spots and running your fingers along them. This will help open up blood vessels, improve circulation and help with oral health, Wag says.


All dogs love treats, and there is no better time to give your best friend one (or two), than on National Pet Day. But instead of his everyday treat, why not give him one that can also support his health – a win-win for both of you!

By adding some basic ingredients (many of them you probably already have) to a treat, you can freshen your dog’s breath, improve their oral hygiene and help take away tartar.

Here is a basic dog treat recipe that freshens breath, too:

The below recipe has parsley, which is a natural antibacterial; mint to make your dog’s breath smell nice and coconut oil, which has anti-microbial properties that can help remove harmful bacteria from your dog’s mouth, preventing plaque build up.

Pre-heat your oven to 325°


2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1 large egg (if your dog is allergic to chicken products, substitute with ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce)
¼ cup of water, plus 1 teaspoon
3 tablespoons coconut oil (unrefined extra-virgin is best)

Put the oats in a blender or food processor and pulse until they look like flour. In a bowl, combine the mint, egg, water, parsley and oil. Add the oat flour to the bowl.

Then take out the dough, knead it and roll it out onto a floured surface (about 1/8 inch). Use a cookie cutter (we love fun designs!) to make the treats.  Place on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the treat are crispy and golden.

Put in an airtight container (lasts 3-4 days) and freeze the rest.


Not ready to go all in? You can always cook food for your dog and use it as a topper or mix it into your dog’s current kibble.

Below is a simple recipe. Keep in mind, we believe you should consult with a professional before making any diet changes.

Related: The Complete Guide to Making Home-Cooked Dog Food 

Grab your slow cooker or crockpot (6- to 8-quart is ideal). Also, if you have a food processor or blender, you can speed up the process, as it can save time on chopping up the ingredients.


  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 ½ cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups diced carrots
  • ½ cup frozen peas (or green beans)
  • 1 to 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 4 cups of water

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Make sure you stir in everything and then cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours. Once done, portion out. Put some in the freezer and add some to the refrigerator (lasts about 3-4 days).

Feel free to get creative and swap out the proteins, vegetable and grains.

And you can add some supplements to balance it out, making sure your dog gets all his nutrients.

Want even more home-cooked recipes for your dog? We recommend BalanceIT’s “Auto Balancer EZ,” which allows you to choose from five groups to create a balanced recipe.

You can also check out some canine cookbooks, including Home Cooking for Your Dog, to get a few ideas.


If you haven’t gone to YouTube to see the lengths us dog parents go when we are playing with our dog, you are missing out. While fetch, tug-of-war and squeaky toys delight our dogs, there are a few special games you can add to their routine.

Interactive puzzles are a great way to provide mental stimulation for your dog – and they keep your pup busy! They can improve problem-solving skills and boost confidence.

The go-to tends to be Kongs, but there are other ones out there that we enjoy. The Odin, an interactive, treat-dispensing toy, not only will keep your dog occupied for hours, but it looks like a work of art, making it the perfect decoration for the floor. There is also the OG, Nina Ottosson’s puzzles. The games, often involving little drawers to hide treats, make it challenging for our pups. For any toy, it is important to keep an eye on your dog.

Laurelwood Animal Hospital,located near Jesuit High School on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway offers a full range of companion animal services, including surgery, nutrition and behavior counseling, parasite control and preventative medicine. The hospital also offers advanced imaging through an all-digital spiral CT scanner, a comprehensive dental program and laser treatment.

If you’re looking for quality, compassionate veterinary care in Beaverton, Oregon, come visit us at Laurelwood Animal Hospital.

Laurelwood Animal Hospital

9315 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
Beaverton, Oregon 97005

Phone: (971) 244-4230
Fax: (503) 292-6808

E-mail: [email protected]

7 Safe and Healthy Human Foods for Dogs That You Can Serve for the Holidays

By Jennifer Coates, DVM

Do you want to include your favorite furry friend in your holiday celebrations? There are plenty of traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas foods that are perfect for sharing. So, if you want to create a festive meal for your special four-legged companion, here are some safe human foods for dogs you can fill your pup’s holiday dog bowl with.

Read more

Pet Halloween Costume Ideas

Article By  | Featured on Parade

Will you be one of the two in 10 pet parents dressing their fur babies up for Halloween this year? Twenty percent—that’s how many pet owners the National Retail Federation says will be putting their pet in a costume for Halloween this year.

Read more

vet clinic, laurelwood, beaverton

Article Found on Time | Written by Amanda Oaklander

Being a pet in America is a plum gig. Pets are incredibly well loved: according to a 2015 Harris poll, 95% of owners think of their animal as a member of the family. About half buy them birthday presents. And it’s a two-way street. People who have pets tend to have lower blood pressure, heart rate and heart-disease risk than those who don’t. Those health boons may come from the extra exercise that playing and walking require, and the stress relief of having a steady best friend on hand. Read more

Halloween safety tips for pets

10 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let’s face it, it can be a nightmare. Skip the stress and keep your pets safe this year by following these 10 easy tips.


1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.

All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. “Xylitol ingestion can also cause liver failure in dogs, even if they don’t develop symptoms associated with low blood sugar,” adds Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.

Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Make sure your black cats are safely housed indoors around Halloween.


3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.

Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but your door will be constantly opening and closing, and strangers will be on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This, of course, can be scary for our furry friends, which can result in escape attempts or unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from darting outside into the night…a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.


4. Keep glow sticks away from pets.

While glow sticks can help keep people safe on Halloween night, they can add some unwanted drama to the holiday if a pet chews one open. “Thankfully, the liquid inside glow sticks is non-toxic, so it won’t actually make pets sick,” Coates says, “but it does taste awful.” Pets who get into a glow stick may drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. Coates recommends that if your pet does chew on a glow stick, “offer some fresh water or a small meal to help clear the material out of the mouth.”


5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.

While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed. Coates adds that “some types of mold produce mycotoxins that can cause neurologic problems in dogs and cats.” So, keep the pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets. And speaking of pumpkins…



6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.

If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire.


7. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach.

Electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations are certainly safer than open candles, but they still can present a risk to pets. Pets who chew on electrical cords can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn. Batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed. Shards of glass or plastic can cause lacerations anywhere on the body or, if swallowed, within the gastrointestinal tract.


8. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.

If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn’t dangerous or simply annoying to your pet. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. Coates warns that pets who are wearing a costume should always be supervised by a responsible adult so that if something goes wrong, it can be addressed right away.


9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.

Don’t wait until Halloween night to put your pet in a costume for the first time. “Any time you want to introduce your pet to something new, it’s best to go slowly,” Coates says. Get your pet costumes early, and put them on for short periods of time (and piece by piece, if possible). “Make it a positive experience by offering lots of praise and treats,” Coates adds. If at any time, your pet seems distressed or develops skin problems from contact with a costume, consider letting him go in his “birthday suit.” A festive bandana may be a good compromise.


10. IDs, please!

If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are ideal if a Good Samaritan is able to collect your wayward pet, but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Use Halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips.

From PetMD:

Laurelwood Animal Hospital,located near Jesuit High School on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway offers a full range of companion animal services, including surgery, nutrition and behavior counseling, parasite control and preventative medicine. The hospital also offers advanced imaging through an all-digital spiral CT scanner, a comprehensive dental program and laser treatment.

If you’re looking for quality, compassionate veterinary care in Beaverton, Oregon, come visit us at Laurelwood Animal Hospital.

Laurelwood Animal Hospital

9315 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
Beaverton, Oregon 97005

Phone: (971) 244-4230
Fax: (503) 292-6808

E-mail: [email protected]

Article Featured on PetMD

Road trips are basically instilled into Americans as a birthright. We just get in the car, gas it up, turn on the tunes, and drive off into the beautiful sunset. But what if you’re bringing your pet along? Besides packing your pet’s favorite chew toys and a favorite blankie for them to cuddle with, what else should you bring? We’ve compiled this handy list of suggestions that will make your trip as safe, enjoyable, and trouble free as possible — yes, that goes for Fido and Kitty, too. Read more

Found on NBC NEWS | By Harriet Baskas

If it seems there are a lot more animals in airports — and on airplanes — these days, you’re not imagining it.

More than 30 airports around the country now have regular programs that bring certified pet therapy dogs and their handlers into the terminals to mingle with passengers and help ease the stress of traveling. Read more

ADOPT-A-CAT MONTH® Brought to you in June by American Humane Association

Article Featured on American Humane Society


Brought to you in June by American Humane Association

Each spring during “kitten season,” thousands of newborn kittens join the millions of cats already in shelters across the country. That means your local shelter has tons of cute, cuddly newborns, in addition to all the mellow, older cats and everything in between. And the shelter staff are ready to help you adopt your very first cat — or to bring home a friend for another beloved cat!

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Be Kind to Animals Week

Celebrating 100 years of helping dogs, cats and other animals in need, the oldest commemorative week in U.S. history is taking place from May 3 – 9, 2015.

To mark the American Humane Association’s centennial salute to compassionate education, a year-long “Kindness 100″ campaign has been launched complete with a national media tour, instructional roadshow to schools with a traveling museum aboard a fleet of Red Star Rescue trucks which save animals in disasters, and a website, which includes:

  • a peek into Be Kind to Animal Week’s past
  • information to help instill in the next generation the need to care for all creatures great and small
  • official downloadable proclamations for local, state and federal officials
  • a Kindness 100 pledge

Read more