Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Emergency First Aid for Dogs

Emergency First Aid for Dogs - General and Emergency-Specific Tips

Every dog pet owner should know how to give emergency first aid for dogs. You are the one responsible for your pet and you must be prepared to take care of him until the vet sees him and starts the treatment. In some cases, the life of your pet may be in your hands so you have to be prepared to do what it takes to save him and to help him feel better.

1) You must have a first aid kit to use in emergencies.

The first item in your kit should be the telephone number of the veterinarian. Get their mobile, if possible. You should also add the numbers of any pet emergency centres and hospitals in your area of residence. You can readily use these in case your vet is out of town or responding to another emergency.

There are a number of supplies that must be present in the first aid kit for dogs. These include gauze, non-stick bandages and adhesive tape of bandages. You must not use adhesive bandages designed for people as these may be unsafe for your pet. An eye dropper or a syringe without needle will be useful for applying different solutions for cleaning wounds. A digital thermometer especially designed for pets should also be included in the kit.

Include any medications that your vet has recommended in the kit for emergency first aid for dogs. These may be specific for your pet. They may include different topical medications for stopping bleeding and oral medications for vomiting. In general, it is a good idea to have hydrogen peroxide with concentration of 3% for vomiting and milk of magnesia and activated charcoal for poisoning. Still, you should not use these medications without permission from your vet.

A muzzle, a leash and a stretcher must be at hand when you are giving emergency first aid to dogs. Pets are scared and are more likely to bite when they are ill or injured, so you must put a muzzle on your pet's head in all cases except when he is vomiting or choking. You need to put him on a leash to get him to the vet. It is a best to use a stretcher when your dog is injured. You can use a wooden or plastic board. A rigid rug or a blanket can be used as well.

2) Call your veterinarian immediately.

This is the most important tip for emergency first aid for dogs. Even if you know what to do with your pet, you must ensure that he will get timely medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications. In case you are completely lost in the given situation, you must ask the vet to give you instructions on what to do over the phone.

3) Stay calm.

You cannot give appropriate emergency first aid for dogs if you are nervous and your hands are trembling. Try to stay as calm as possible and focus on performing the emergency procedures necessary. Speak with a relaxing voice so that your pet can relax as well. This will help immensely in any emergency situation.

First Aid for Dogs in Specific Cases

External Bleeding

Muzzle your pet first as the treatment of the wound may further irritate him. Then cover the wound with enough gauze and press. Keep pressing for three minutes or until the piece of gauze gets soaked in blood. As the blood gets clotted, dress the wound with clean gauze and cover it with adhesive tape. Make a tourniquet with elastic band to stop the blood supply to the wounded area, if the blood is not clotting quickly. Just remember to loosen to tourniquet for 20 seconds every 15 minutes.

Fractures

Muzzle your pet so that you can perform the emergency first aid procedures for dogs. Place your dog on a stretcher to take him to the vet. Secure him to the stretcher using a blanket or a soft rug. You can use a belt or two to secure the dog more firmly. Just make sure that there is no pressure on the inured area and on the chest. Your pet should be able to breathe comfortably. Do not try to set the fracture by yourself as this can cause more harm. Do not give your pet any painkillers.

Poisoning

The symptoms of poisoning usually includes vomiting and diarrhoea, but there may be other disturbing signs such as scratching and biting. You should call the vet immediately and describe the symptoms. You should be prepared to give an account of what your pet has eaten. Be prepared to administer medications orally, if the vet instructs you to do so.

Toxin Exposure

Find out what your pet has been exposed to. If it is something used in the home such as a cleaning product or a bug spray, you should read the emergency first aid instructions on the bottle and follow them. As these apply to humans, they are safe to apply on the dog as well. Use gloves just to be on the safe side.

Seizures

Try to move your pet to a safe location where no objects can accidently hurt him during the seizures. Make sure your pet is lying on the side. Avoid touching your dog during a seizure. You must not restrain your pet during such an episode. Try to time the seizures as this will be useful to the vet. Do not move your dog until you are instructed what to do by your vet.

Choking

If you're pet is choking, but can still breathe, you should not attempt anything and take him to the vet as soon as possible. If the problem is more serious, you should take tweezers and open the dog's mouth gently. If an object is causing the choking, use the tweezers to remove it. In case your canine collapses, you should place your hands on his ribs and press as much as you can without applying too much pressure on the ribs. This should help keep the foreign object away from the lungs.

Now you are ready to provide emergency first aid for dogs.

Guest post provided by Robby Davis of PetInsurance.com:

Robby Davis owns a pet insurance comparison site in the UK and enjoys writing blogs about animals. We also run a kennel so we know a lot about domestic cats, dogs, rabbits etc.

Our blog writing and understanding of animals really helps our clients and the day to day running of our business. We keep all sorts of animals but mainly Dogs and cats. We also advise our clients on the best pet insurance available for their animals. And give guidance on how to keep them in good shape.

We provide; pet insurance, dog insurance, cat insurance and write a lot of articles on about these animals.


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Monday, February 27, 2012

Teach Me How to "Doggie"; Dancing Dogs

Dancing is not only for the humans. Dogs have also taken center stage in this talent in the form of Heelwork for Music or Canine Freestyle. This “dancing dog” sport is increasingly becoming popular both on dog owners and audiences because it offers the perfect mix of music, tricks, and obedience. The best thing about this sport is that it can be done by any dog, whatever their breed or size is.

Most owners are intimidated with the whole idea of teaching their dog tricks. Yes, teaching your dog how to dance can be a little challenging but the entire trip in getting there will be a very fun bonding activity for both you and your dog.

Use Clicker Training

This communicate technique is the best way to train dogs. The “click” is the cue that tells the dog the correct action that it has earned to merit a reward. This way, the dog will likely perform the action again. This has long been used to teach other animals like dolphins.

Find a Tricks Class

Enroll your dog in a class where the animal is able to master some of the most basic tricks known to man. These classes should be able to properly implement trick training along with general obedience training. You can also choose to teach your dog on your own. There are so many DVDs and books where you can get everything that you will need to successfully do so.

Know What Your Dog Likes

Dogs are pretty much humans in a way that they will have their own picks of their favorite activities. As their owner and trainer, it would be helpful to know what these moves are. You can use this to facilitate the training of your dag. Work your way around these moves and devise tricks and dance moves that are related to it.

Enroll Your Dog in an Obedience Class

You may opt to train your dog on your own but it would be a good idea to leave obedience training in the hands of the experts. Dog dancing is done off-leash and so your dog will need to be able to behave and follow your commands.

Practice in Succession

While any dog can learn a single trick and be done with it, the sport of dog dancing will require them to perform a number of moves one after the other. Therefore, you have to learn to reward your dog right after the series of tricks have been executed.

Look for Good Music

Any music that has a good rhythm and beat should be a good piece to dance into. Make sure that you attune the dance steps of the whole routine. Appropriately place in the dog moves and tricks. Plan and master the entire dance before you actually teach it to your dog.

Put Everything Together

Note that the first few times of dancing with your dog can get a little chaotic. Never be discouraged to not go on. Break the whole dance into segments and patiently teach your dog it. Before you know it, both of you will be flawlessly grooving with the music.

Guest post provided by Amy C:

Amy C. is an animal blogger. She writes about providing the proper care for animals that are commonly kept as household pets. During her downtime, she performs administrative work and blogging activities for Greyside Group, a maritime security and executive protection company. Stay tuned for her next post for more interesting information about pets.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Labrador Retriever Owner’s Guide to Canine Arthritis

Almost any Labrador retriever owner would tell you that this breed makes a wonderful pet. They’re gentle, intelligent and oftentimes active dogs- making them wonderful companions whether you’re in the mood to go for a jog or just spend some quality time relaxing with a loyal companion.

However, just as with any breed, Labrador Retrievers are prone to certain health conditions. For labs, one of the most common conditions experienced is the early onset of arthritis. Simply defined, arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. Arthritis in Labrador retrievers is oftentimes caused by hip dysplasia, a genetic disease in which an animal suffers from an abnormal formation of the hip socket.

So, if a condition is genetic there’s nothing an owner can do to improve the health of their dog’s joints, right? Wrong. There are a number of things pet parents can do to alleviate joint pain and better the quality of life for their sweet pooch.

Help your Dog Maintain a Healthy Weight: Simply put, the more weight a dog has to lug around, the more stress is placed on his joints. Those few extra puppy pounds can exert a lot of unnecessary pressure and cause an increase in joint pain. Consult with your pet’s veterinarian about a diet and exercise plan if your lovable pup has put on some extra weight because obesity can increase the risk of developing hip dysplasia and arthritis.

Start a Joint Supplement Regimen: Adding a joint supplement to your dog’s routine is a simple way to boost joint health. Canine nutritional supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin, like Guest post provided by VetDepot.com - an online retailer of Cosequin and supplies. for dogs, help protect cartilage from breaking down.

Be Reasonable about Exercise: Too much exercise can actually increase the likelihood of developing joint disease for dogs that are genetically predisposed. However, a healthy amount of muscle mass is important in protecting joints. The key is to encourage exercises that strengthen muscles (i.e. light running, swimming) instead of exercises that exert a lot of force on the joints (i.e. jumping activities like Frisbee).

Maintain a Close Relationship with your Pet’s Veterinarian: If you own a dog that is genetically predisposed to joint disease, your vet can offer suggestions to keep joints as healthy as possible. Obviously, your vet is also the only one that can provide a correct diagnosis for any joint condition your dog does acquire. Once an arthritis diagnosis has been made, an anti-inflammatory may be prescribed. Always speak with your veterinarian about any questions or concerns you have about these medications.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Free Can of Purina Pro Plan Dog Food at Petco

For those of your that feed your Labrador Retrievers Purina Pro Plan dog food, Petco is offering a free can with coupon.Purina Pro Plan

Print out the listed coupon and visit your local Petco to get a Free can of Wet Purina Pro Plan Dog Food.

To use the coupon for the Free Can of Purina Pro Plan dog food, you must be a member of Petco Pals (free to join) and present the coupon with your PALS card.

Limit one per household, coupon expires 3/31/12.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dog Owner's Springtime Checklist

If your dog could tell you his or her favorite time of year, it would almost invariably be the spring and early days of summer. The weather is just right, which means more time outside and more fun with the humans. Activity is everywhere. And the smells...your dog would never shut up about the smells of spring and summer.

As the weather starts to warm up, start thinking of ways to make sure your canine gets the most out of spring and stays healthy in the process. Here's a five-point checklist to get you started:

Bath and shave: Most dog owners opt to let their furry companion carry as thick a coat as possible during the winter to help keep them warm. Remember to shave thick coats when the weather warms up to keep your dog cool. Finish with a bath to rinse the remaining soot collected from winter.

Check-up: The end of winter is a good time for your canine to get a check-up. The reason being is that limited outdoor activity combined with a natural instinct to store fat during cold conditions may mean your dog is overweight. On top of that you might as well have your dog screened in general.

Double check your garden ambitions: Before taking the time to sew seeds for a spring garden, make sure you aren't planning on planting anything that may be harmful to your pet. Popular garden plants that can cause sickness in dogs include daffodils, gladiolas, and tulips.

Stock up on flea and tick meds: This one is a no brainer. Either at your visit to the vet or through a trusted online vendor, get the necessary flea and tick medicine before allowing your pet to spend extensive time outdoors. Frontline Plus for dogs is particularly useful since it guards against both.

Plan a trip: Now comes the fun part. Put all this preparation and prevention to good use and plan some some for you and your canine to enjoy the return of warm weather. Camping is a great idea, but so is simply taking your dog for a long walk in a park.

The sights, sounds, and smells of spring and summer are without a doubt some of the best things your dog loves about life besides you. Partake in their appreciation for the warmer months and reciprocate their affection by doing your part to ensure they have a wonderful time outdoors.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Free Whites Premium Dog Food Sample

Get a free 100grm (3.5 oz) sample of dog food from Whites Premium.

About Whites Premium: "Made with a high level of fresh meat and nutritious ingredients, is correctly balanced, easy to digest and does not contain cheap fillers.

Whites Premium Dog FoodWe know many humans and dogs can be allergic to certain ingredients so we made the food hypoallergenic and gluten free (apart from the vitality Muesli that contains more carbohydrates). We wanted to make it truly balanced using the best quality natural, wholesome ingredients that would provide all the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals that the dogs required to keep them in tip top condition. We insisted on human grade meat and fish, and wanted nothing in the food that we would not eat ourselves!"

Visit the Whites Premium website to learn more about their products and to request your Free 100grm (3.5 oz) Sample of Whites Premium Dog Food.

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Free Beneful Baked Delights Stars & Hugs Combo Sample

"Beneful® Baked Delights™ - Give your buddy some oven-baked love with Stars and Hugs.

Beneful Baked Delights Stars & Hugs Combo Sample

The ingredients and the sharing. It’s our affection baked and packed in a unique snack. It’s like a joyful hug in a playful treat. Introducing all new Beneful® Baked Delights™."

Surprise and delight your Labrador Retriever with a Free Sample of Beneful Baked Delights Stars & Hugs Combo

"*Good only in U.S.A., A.P.O.'s, F.P.O.'s. Void where taxed, prohibited, restricted. Allow 6-8 weeks for shipment. LIMIT ONE REQUEST PER INDIVIDUAL OR ADDRESS. Must Like the Beneful Facebook page to order."

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Dogs: Common Health Conditions and Warning Signs

The companionship of a dog is unparalleled. Your dog is part of your family. When your dog isn't feeling well, it can be upsetting, trying to determine the problem, and what requires immediate attention. This list of common, dog health concerns, along with warning symptoms, and possible treatments will help prepare your dog's best line of defense. Loving pet owners don't want their dog feeling poorly.

INSECT INFESTATION

Fleas:

If your dog is scratching, licking or biting more than usual, check your dog for fleas. Typically, fleas will attach to your dog's abdomen, tail and head.

TREATMENT: Flea collars, shampoos dips.

PREVENTION: See your veterinarian for insect growth regulator drugs or use spot-on or oral prevention medications.

Ticks:

If you live near wooded areas, it is essential to check your dog for ticks. Ticks can spread Lyme disease as well as some other serious diseases.

TREATMENT: Remove all ticks with tweezers, see your veterinarian if your dog becomes ill after removing any ticks.

PREVENTION: Restrict your dog from roaming in heavily wooded areas.

Ear Mites:

If your dog is scratching his ears more, and you spot crusty matter on the tips, this may indicate ear mites.

TREATMENT: See your veterinarian for treatment.

PREVENTION: Completely dry your dog's ears after bathing, swimming. You will want to check your dogs ears often, and visit your veterinarian if you suspect mites.

DENTAL HEALTH

Bad Breath:

Bad breath is a sign of improper dental health. Your dog should have his teeth cleaned regularly by you or a professional. Bad breath is a known symptom of health conditions that involve the kidneys and liver; and tend to be far more serious.

TREATMENT: Visit your veterinarian to have serious conditions ruled out.

PREVENTION: Brush your dog's teeth on a regular basis.

OBESITY

If you cannot easily, feel your dogs ribs; your dog is overweight. Obesity and carrying excess weight can lead to joint issues and other diseases.

TREATMENT: Work with your veterinarian to develop a diet for your dog and exercise regularly.

PREVENTION: Portioned meals with a nutritious dog formula and daily exercise.

HEAT STROKE

In hotter climates, heat stroke can be a critical issue especially for dogs living outside and those breeds that have trouble with extreme temperatures (flat faced dogs typically). Symptoms of a dog in distress include excessive panting, a racing heart rate, vomiting and excessive stringy drool.

TREATMENT: hydrate and cool your dog down quickly, in serious cases visit your veterinarian.

PREVENTION: If you dog must be outside during heat waves, ensure there is a shaded area with a fan to offer a breeze for your dog. Your dog needs to have an ample amount of fresh water throughout the day.

VIRUSES/INFECTIONS

Kennel Cough:

A respiratory disease passed from dog to dog. Symptoms of kennel cough include coughing, sneezing, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy. Your dog's mucous may become a yellow-green color.

TREATMENT: See your veterinarian for treatment.

PREVENTION: There are vaccines available, but they are not guaranteed to prevent this virus.

Conjunctivitis: If you dog's eyes look red, gooey and crusty, it is more than likely an eye infection

TREATMENT: See your veterinarian for treatment.

PREVENTION: Hard to prevent due to viral causes. Keep dog shampoo out of your dog's eyes.

Ringworm:

Ringworms are an infection of the skin, leaving scabs on your dog.

TREATMENT: See your veterinarian for proper diagnosis, and use an anti-fungal treatment on the skin for four to six weeks. Dispose of all dog bedding, then give your home and yard an intense cleaning. Wash hands constantly to avoid spreading to family members, keep children away until the infection has cleared.

PREVENTION: Keep your dog away from other dogs with the infection. A tip is to get an invisible fence to keep your dog on your property.

WORMS

Heartworms: Heartworms are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms will not appear for up to seven months and begin with a cough.

TREATMENT: See your veterinarian immediately.

PREVENTION: Vaccine.

Tapeworms: Tapeworms are spread through your dog eating infected fleas or rodents and can cause anal irritation and itching. You can see pieces of the worm passed through the feces.

TREATMENT: See your veterinarian for treatment.

PREVENTION: Keep your home free of fleas and rodents.

Whipworms: Whipworms are passed through feces and will cause bloody diarrhea.

TREATMENT: See your veterinarian for treatment.

PREVENTION: Vaccinate. Dispose of your dogs waste properly, and keep your dog away waste of other dogs.

Threadworms:

Threadworms can infect puppies and cause bloody diarrhea. Threadworms are highly contagious and can be passed to humans.

TREATMENT: Isolate your puppy and see you veterinarian immediately.

PREVENTION: Vaccine.

INSECT BITES

Depending on the insect bite, your dog may experience swelling and pain at the location of the bite. If your dog is stung multiple times by bees, wasps or ants your dog may need medical attention. Spider bites by a black widow or brown recluse are extremely dangerous and need immediate medical attention. Symptoms of a toxic bite include hyper activity, fever and weakness, shock and seizures.

TREATMENT: Medical attention is required with multiple bites or by poisonous insects. A single bite, without serious symptoms, only requires you to remove the stinger by using a scraping motion, followed by an application of an ice compress.

PREVENTION: Pest control.

Guest post provided by Dr. Susan Wright, DVM:

Dr. Susan Wright, DVM, has been providing quality care for family pets as a veterinarian for more than 10 years. Dr. Wright is a dog bark collar expert and author. In her free time, Susan enjoys writing articles, giving helpful tips and proper care advice to dog owners.

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

5 Fun and Frugal Valentine's Day Gifts for Pets

Dog and cat owners receive the rarest form of affection -- unconditional love that is more worthy of Cupid's arrow than any well-matched couple.

No wonder pet lovers go hog wild over gifts for their four-legged friends during the holidays -- and Valentine's Day is no exception. In 2011, the National Retail Federation expected consumers to spend 54 percent more on their pets than in 2010. Naturally, this represents yet another opportunity for retailers to make a few bucks, so consider these frugal gift ideas to please your precious pets without blowing your budget.

1. Make it Personal

According to the American Pet Product Association , spending on pets in 2010 is estimated at $47.7 billion. That's a lot of chew toys. Set your gift apart from the pack by personalizing it with your pet's name or picture. You can get this done professionally for a pretty penny, but consider how easy it is to create a photo of your beloved canine for her treat container or food bowl.

2. Tasty Treats

You can find festive treats for cats and dogs alike at most major pet stores, including Petsmart and Petco. Cut down on the cost of these premade goodies and purchase gift cards at a discount from sites like GiftCardGranny. You can save up to 10 percent, leaving room in your budget for a bit more pooch-pampering.

3. Edible Greeting Cards

It's high time someone in the greeting card industry thanked all those cute animals gracing the covers of Hallmark cards with a greeting card of their own. Enter Crunchkins, the creator or edible greeting cards for dogs and cats. For less than $5, you can mail a rawhide card to your dog or a catnip card to your kitty, complete with a heartfelt message conveying your love.

4. Cheap DIY Chew Toys

We all know some kids have more fun with the packaging of a pricey present over the actual contents. The same can be said for your pet, who grasps the connection between price and affection even less so than your toddler. Skip the premade wares and go DIY this Valentine's Day with a homemade tug-of-war rope made of old socks, or a crackly paper bag for your kitty-cat max.

5. Baked Goodies

If you bake cookies for your sweetheart, consider baking a special batch for Fido and Fluffy. You can make delicious treats for your pets out of common ingredients, and feel good knowing just what's going into their bellies. Red Velvet Pupcakes, perhaps? Find this recipe and others at Dogster.com.

Guest post provided by Andrea Woroch.

Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com .

For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email andrea@kinoliinc.com.

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Homemade Pet Food: Why More Pet Owners are Jumping Onboard

People across the nation, from Inks Lake in Central Texas to the East Coast, are actively seeking out healthier lifestyles for their pets by altering their eating habits. Although much of society does not consider this to be of great importance, there are die-hard pet lovers that insist on their four-legged friends eating only the best. Remarkably, these folks are not going out and spending a fortune on costly, organic foods from the veterinarian or specialty stores; rather, they are making pet food from their leftover meals.

These concerned pet owners readily provide valid points that back up their decision to take such action, and scanning the back of a pet food label may make one's stomach turn sour. Surely, animal byproducts and bone meal are excellent in a compost pile, but it seems reasonable to assume that these are not very healthy for a pet to consume. Coming to this realization is possibly the biggest proponent of avid pet owners that take the time to care for their pet's nutritional needs by preparing homemade pet food.

Making certain that a pet's body receives adequate protein nutrients is a primary concern of many dog owners. These typically active pets need ample amounts of not just protein, but these should be highly digestible proteins. Many prepackaged foods feature a label with high percentages of this nutrient, but they are generally proteins that are only 60 percent digestible. It makes one wonder what happens to the other 40 percent. Certainly, unhealthy foods can wreak havoc on an animal's internal system, as well as their bathroom habits.

Ultimately, prepackaged pet foods may not be the best solution in sustaining the needs of active pets. Most people are privy to the differences in good fats and bad fats, and active bodies require certain amounts of both. Pet food bought in a store features fats that can be preserved, as opposed to healthy fats that easily convert into energy. It is important to remember that pets use fat to keep their kidneys functioning properly, and an excessive amount of fat within this sensitive area could prove to be fatal. Making pet foods at home allows pet owners to control fat intake, thus resulting in a happier and healthier animal.

Numerous clever pet food recipes are available on the Internet, and there are options that will permit even vegetarians to turn leftover foods into tasty, nutritional meals for their pets. Commonly, meats and vegetables are the primary ingredients in these culinary creations, but a number of other types of foods can be added to the meal mixture to meet pet's vitamin-specific needs. Pets with allergies or health problems require explicit considerations, and homemade pet food can be a great solution to help them feel better overall.

However, before getting started making pet food, is good to have a working knowledge concerning the nutritional aspects of foods and they affect animals. Pet owners should consult with their veterinarian prior to making any drastic changes. These professionals will be able to offer advice, make recommendations, and provide owners with resources that can give them the knowledge they need to succeed in creating appropriately balanced meals for their pet.

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Lynn Mastic loves travel and pets.  She made her home on the shores of Inks Lake, one of the Highland Lakes, for several years and was pleased to see more pet friendly lodging options cropping up, and she likes to write about this area of Texas and pet-friendly topics.

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