Golden lab on kitchen floor

Can Dogs Eat Bread at Thanksgiving?

Can Dogs Eat Bread at Thanksgiving?

Safe Foods to Feed Your Pets During the Holidays

As holiday feasting begins, there is no doubt our dogs will want to join in. Who can resist the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven and the feelings of love as everyone gathers around the table? Not us, and certainly not our pets.

While small bites of unbuttered bread are completely safe for our pets, the yeast in raw dough can be a digestive problem. There are several holiday foods that are unhealthy (or dangerous) for dogs, even though they may beg for them. But you won’t feel so bad about saying no if you have some tempting treats to offer instead.

Here is a quick list of foods your dog should avoid this holiday season, followed by some yummy alternatives that will have him joining in the celebration with you:

Avoid Feeding the Following Foods to Your Dog

  1. Raw bread dough (the yeast can cause dangerous bloating)
  2. Fat and trimmings from meats (this rich food can cause digestive issues)
  3. Grapes (even small amounts can be fatally toxic)
  4. Bones – especially cooked bones (can splinter and cause lacerations of the intestines)
  5. Nuts – particularly Macadamia nuts and some walnuts (can cause toxic poisoning)
  6. Unfermented dairy products such as milk or ice cream (the lactose can cause abdominal pain)
  7. Onions – contain an ingredient called thiosulphate that is highly toxic to both dogs and cats.

Safe Foods for Your Dog

  1. Cooked turkey (remove the skin)
  2. Sweet potatoes (slice thinly and bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours for a crunchy treat!)
  3. Cooked green beans (tasty and full of vitamins and fiber)
  4. Cooked eggs (for a special holiday breakfast)
  5. Plain yogurt – if your dog seems to tolerate it well (the probiotics can strengthen the immune system)

Our schedules fill up quickly during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving!

Whether you are going out of town or entertaining guests, book your VIP sitter now to make sure your pet is cozy and cared for throughout the holiday.

Schedule your Thanksgiving service by November 12th to take advantage of our early bird special for $10 off!

Your booking must include at least 4 standard or premium visits.

(Cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions.)

Dog waiting for Frosty Paws

Keep it Cool with VIP and The Dog Days of Summer

Pets and treats.

Like humans, pets enjoy treats as a part of their balanced diet. Some favorite pet treats include raw hide, fruits and veggies, dog biscuits or cat treats, and even ice Two dogs with paws on human leg wanting treatscream that is safe for pets. Experts warn to steer clear of potentially toxic foods for dogs such as raisins, onions, grapes, chocolate or anything with caffeine.

Treat time…

You can find store-made treats at your local pet or grocery store, or you can make some on your own. For example, check out the DIY Recipe for homemade doggy ice cream.  This easy and safe recipe includes all the ingredients that dogs love such as peanut butter, bananas and yogurt.  Just freeze and serve for a refreshing treat on a warm summer’s day.  What a terrific way to end a long walk or a day at the dog park!

VIP loves treats too!

Here at VIP Pets, we love your pets as much as summertime, and would like to see how you stay cool this summer! We are running a fun-filled program where pet owners can allow their dedicated sitter to give their precious pets some Frosty Paws ice cream! Participating sitters will purchase and dole out the frosty delicacies, and take a photo or video to memorialize the unique summer experience. Throughout the summer we will post pics and videos of all of our pets and caring sitters.    

This program is a wonderful way to treat your pet and provide an enjoyable summer luxury for the ones we love.  Feel free to use Hashtag #dogdaysofsummer and send us your photos and videos showing how you and your pet are keeping it cool when the weather heats up!


b;ack and white new years dog

A New Year’s Eve Party Your Dog Will Love, Too

You aren’t the only one who loves to celebrate! If you’re planning your New Year’s Eve festivities, why not plan to include your dog? Just keep in mind that some of the things you may enjoy on New Year’s are things your dog should generally stay away from, such as:

  • Alcohol – we know you wouldn’t serve this to your dog on purpose, but watch out for unattended glasses that curious pups might investigate.
  • Chocolate – this treat can make dogs sick, so keep it where only people can reach it.
  • Balloons and confetti – these items can become stuck in your dog’s throat or tummy if swallowed.
  • Noisemakers – horns and poppers can be scary for dogs – not exactly the fun holiday you want for your best friend!

Instead, focus on dog-friendly treats and activities. There are tons of different delicacies you can make or buy for your party. You can whip up a batch of doggie martinis or dog eggnog (dognog?). Or bake some “cookies” for your pal, such as these adorable Christmas-tree-shaped bites.

If you don’t want to cook, there are lots of cute holiday-themed dog treats available in stores to help you and your dog celebrate – and your dog won’t know the difference.

If you have friends with dogs who get along with your dog, make the evening extra fun by inviting them to bring their pets along to help your dog celebrate the New Year. Be sure to have plenty of toys on hand for fun and games, and have some fun human treats available for your guests as well – just keep them out of reach of the guests of honor.

With a little planning and creativity, New Year’s Eve can be just as fun for your dog as it is for you!

PS – we wish you and your pets a happy and wonderful 2017!

Pet Dental Health Month Tips – Tasty Ideas to Chew On!

With the Super Bowl and Katy Perry’s crazy outfits behind us, it’s time to focus on February and Pet Dental Health Month tips. Puppy Bowl 2015 MVP Cara could not have claimed her prestigious title without having the strong, healthy teeth needed to carry the stuffed balls over the goal line. In honor of Pet Dental Health Month, VIP has scoured the web in search of great product ideas and tips on how to care for your pet’s gums and pearly whites.

For starters, we recommend you spend time on the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website and review some of the basics. Daily brushing for both dogs and cats is an important part of their dental care but is easier said than done! Check out Dr. Sheldon Rubin’s easy step-by-step guide on how to get your pet used to daily brushing.

On the product front, we’ve found some interesting ones which run the gamut from tasty toothpaste to catnip dental chews. Take a look at these 5 products from PetCareRX:

Triple Pet Toothpaste

Triple Pet all natural sugar free toothpaste is sweetened with Stevia, an herb. It uses just a touch of Tea Tree Oil to promote healthy gums.

C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit for Dogs

The C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit helps to neutralize mouth odors with natural antibacterial action.

Petstages Catnip Dental Health Chews

Petstages Catnip Dental Health Chews have a unique netting cover that remove soft tartar and massage gums as your cat chews and plays,

Kong Dentcrazy outfitsal

The Kong Dental is constructed of rubber that is firm enough for the patented Denta-Ridges to clean teeth and soothe gums, but pliable so it will last a long time.

Petrodex Dental Spray

This dental spray makes it easy to keep your dog’s mouth clean. Petrodex Dental Spray contains no alcohol and requires no rinsing.

For the full list of 19 pet dental care product suggestions from PetCareRX you can read more here.

And let’s face it, we’ve all had moments during snuggles with our pets where their breath almost knocks us over. Last but not least, a recommendation directly from VIP Pet Services very own Robin Perdue, whose Chihuahua mix Wishbone has the occasional, shall we say, bout of halitosis.  Give Tropiclean’s Advanced Whitening Gel a try. Wishbone is a big fan.

Good luck finding the products that work for you and don’t forget that VIP Sitters are ready, willing and able to brush kitty teeth, apply drops and play Tug-of-Kong when needed. Contact us to add any of these services to your pet’s daily routine!

dog and cat for valentine's day

Fun Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Pets

Valentine’s Day is no longer just for us humans, our furry friends deserve some extra special love too! While chocolate is a definite no-no, there are plenty of fun Valentine’s Day treats for your pets. Great gifts too!

Valentine’s Treats For Your Pet

  • Make your own treats at home! There is no need to pay a lot of money for fancy treats, you can easily make some tasty snacks for your beloved pet at home. You can make Carob-Dipped Valentine’s Day Dog Treats or the adorably named, Red Velvet Pupcakes! Try some of these other great recipes!
  • If you live someplace that gets extremely cold then a great gift would be a pair of booties or a coat for your beloved pet, make sure to keep them nice and warm this time of year (but don’t forget the treats too!).
  • A new bed. Nothing makes a furry family member happier than a nice, warm bed to sleep on. Why not indulge them this Valentine’s Day with a new pet bed!
  • Dog or cat gift baskets make a great treat. Make sure to include a few special treats, some new toys and (for you) some treats good for their breath and teeth. You can either make them up at home or purchase one ready made.
  • Nothing says, “I love you” better than taking time out on Valentine’s Day to play with your pet. Take your dog for a walk and give him extra time at the dog park. Give your pets some extra love and they’ll be in dog or kitty heaven!

Pets are pretty easy to please, and they are always there when we need them the most so it’s extra important to make them feel special every once in a while. Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to give them a few extra treats, some extra love, some extra playtime and lots of snuggles.

For more information, click here.

homemade pet treat

Homemade Pet Treat Recipes for Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! It is a time of family, friends and giving thanks for the great many blessings in life. One popular way to show our love and appreciation for our furry friends is by baking (or making) homemade pet treats.

Type ‘dog treat recipes’ into any search engine and you will be presented with MILLIONS of results. Plus, there are almost as many links for ‘cat treat recipes’ out there as well! So where to start? Below you’ll find links to 5 of the most popular recipes online today.

First, there are some things to consider regarding pets and preparing for your Thanksgiving feast. In addition to turkey, dogs enjoy pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green beans, gravy and even a little cranberry sauce. So sharing a few leftovers from your table will be gratefully received! However, do not let your dog or cat consume the following:

  • Yeast Dough – it can expand in the stomach to cause gastric upset and other issues
  • Alcohol, Coffee, and Chocolate
  • Macadamia Nuts and Nutmeg
  • Avocado and Onion
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Fatty Foods – too much of a good thing can lead to pancreatitis in some animals
  • Sage – is a common ingredient for thanksgiving dishes but large amounts can cause stomach upset and central nervous system depression

Read more