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Our Fantastically Fabulous Team of Pet Professionals at Barks and Blooms is dedicated to earn your trust through our integrity and professionalism. We proudly service our clients at our doggie day care facility or in your home. Our services range from in-home pet sitting of dogs, cats and critters to plant watering & mail retrieval.
Barks and Blooms offers a full range of Fantastic services to give you the confidence you need to enjoy for your pets and home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Make Sure Your Pet Never Becomes an Orphan

If anything happened to you, what would happen to your pet?  The hard fact is that thousands of pets are surrendered to shelters, vet clinics or are euthanized each year because their owners have become ill or passed away and never made plans for continuing care.
Pets that have been accustomed to a loving and comfortable home typically don't adjust well to shelter life.

They refuse to eat.
They become depressed, showing signs of being un-adoptable.
They become the first to be euthanized.
This is a preventable problem that can be eliminated if you follow these steps.

Someone who will care for your pets with the same love and attention you have.  Short term for the days or weeks after an emergency or long term, should you die or become permanently incapacitated.

If something happens to you and your pets need to be looked after, have a Pet Emergency Contact Card placed somewhere it will be found easily.  This Pet Emergency Card can be found at 2nd Chance 4 Pets.   Here's another one from Critter Cozy.  There are multiple others you can find with a quick Google search.  Find the one you like.  Print it out, fill it out and put it on your refrigerator, in your wallet/purse so any friend, family member or emergency medical personnel will see it and be aware that your pets will be needing attention too.

Food, shelter, medical care.....these expenses won't stop even if you're not around to pay for them. Help your pets' new caregiver with a savings account to cover ongoing needs.

 You can find more information on how to follow these steps and much more by going to 2ndchance4pets.org and clicking on their Resources tab.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

And Now....A Taco Recipe

There's more to the pet sitting business than poo bags in every jacket pocket and wearing dog hair as an accessory.  Do I think and speak dog care most of my days?  Yes, I do.  But, a girl's gotta eat.

I am a fan of tacos.  I really like the hard shell tacos, but really hate the crumbling-messy-juice-running-down-my-wrist catastrophe that eating them usually involves.  I mean, you have to turn your head to at least a 45 degree angle and let the taco juice run into your ear or unhinge your jaw to get a taste of all the layers, not just a mouthful of cheese or sour cream.

I found a recipe for Easy Oven Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos on a foodie site called The Cookie Rookie.  BAKED TACOS?  Why hadn't I thought of this?
Photo from The Cookie Rookie page

I followed the recipe, but switched out ground beef for the chicken (planning ahead is a skill I'm still developing) and left out the refried beans (my family refuses to entertain the idea of eating them, even though they are DELICIOUS)

I have no pictures of the cooking process.  I have no step by step descriptions.
I have only this.
My humble opinion.
You MUST make these.  They are tasty, they are not messy.  And you won't have to unhinge your jaw or slice a gum open trying to fit them in your mouth.  The shells are warm and pliable (not soggy) and able to receive additional toppings if you desire.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Life is Short, Tell People You Love Them, Hug Your Dog

The job of dog walker is fun, exhausting, unpredictable and sometimes heart breaking.   We have to say goodbye to our beloved furry clients too often. I received this email from a client recently and it captures the love and the hurt that visits all of us who have furry family members.  Life is short, tell people you love them, hug your dog.  
Hi to all,
 It is a sad day at our house today. 
 Champ passed away about 2 hours ago. If you are a dog lover you understand that emotional piece that follows this type of a loss.  
 I did not want a dog 7 years ago… a friend put him on hold for us at the dog pound. In less than two weeks Champ ate his way in to my heart. He has remained there ever since. Champ taught me a lot about the value of relationships and how important they are.
 I would constantly say…..”Good boy Champ”……over and over….many times a day…..and Champ would respond in a positive way. He would look at me….he knew how I felt about him…. always. His tail would wag and eyes would shine.
 It took time for me to realize….I did not compliment people, as often as  I complimented my dog.  Let people know how you feel about them and observe their reaction. It is a simple thing to do ….and my belief is that you will get a warm response from them just like I got from Champ.
 The development of our relationship was very special. Champ played a big part of our life.  My wife showed me how to love animals in a different way...her warm heart and being raised on a farm gave her a different perspective.
She and I gave Champ a lot of love…..and Champ returned more than we gave him. He was truly a gift to us.  He will always be missed and loved.  He truly is and was a member of our family.  
  Life goes on….our home will not feel the same without Champ.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spit That Out! Things That Should Never Cross Our Pets' Lips

We've all seen the list of foods that are dangerous to our pets.  Many of them are common sense.  Alcohol?  Well, duh.   Raisins surprised me, as did onions and garlic. 

I recently read a  Huffington Post article that listed only three things: peanut butter, pizza crusts and salty/sweet snacks.

Uh, thanks HuffPo, but I suspected there may be a few more items to discover.

So, I went out to the community and found one vet who was happy to share her thoughts.

Harford County Maryland vet Dr. Krista Magnifico gave me a list of  things she wishes she didn't see weekly in her in her Jarrettsville practice.

1. Human medications given to animals. Too many are toxic to pets. I've seen lists of human meds that are "approved" for use with pets--Benadryl, Aspirin, Dramamine, Hydrogen Peroxide, Pepto Bismol and Mineral Oil--but Dr. Magnifico warns that some could be toxic to pets and should NEVER be administered unless under vet supervision.

2. Over the Counter drugs for a condition the owner is guessing might be present. Dr. Magnifico said she sees quite a few cat deaths from OTC flea and worming preventatives!  Just because it's over-the-counter, doesn't mean it's safe or effective.  Check with your vet first.

3.  Bones of any sort.....

4.  Corn cobs cause obstructions!  They do NOT digest in a dog's stomach and cause blockages that WILL require surgery.

5. Cheap commercial, poor quality food and snacks. Dr. Magnifico diagnosed another diabetic today. He will need lifelong insulin if he survives this trip to the ER to keep him from going into a diabetic coma. He will also likely go blind. She said this disease is at epidemic proportions.   Are there inexpensive alternatives to dry kibble?  Yes there is. It may take some time and research to find the best one for your dog, but in the long run, keeps your pet healthier and out of the vet's office. 

P.S. Dr. M. also wanted to add PLEASE STOP USING RAT POISON in your home. In her experience it is equivalent to feeding your pets rat poison..She sees too many cases of accidental poisoning. Something like once a week.

For other, informative reading check out Dr. Magnifico's BLOG, Diary of a Real-Life Veterinarian.