All posts by Matthew

Give thanks, not scraps to your dog

Thanksgiving is almost here!!  What?????  Seems like just yesterday I was walking my dogs wearing shorts and flip-flops in 80-degree weather, come to think of it, that was yesterday lol.  Now we’re talking about Thanksgiving? Which I’m sure to a lot of Okie’s means much cooler temperatures.  All’s I can say is if you’re new to Oklahoma………… welcome to the ficklest weather in the U.S. purely my opinion so don’t go trying to look up facts.

I’m sure a lot of us will be prepping turkeys and running to the grocery store for a last minute can of green beans or a pre-made pecan pie, shhhh don’t tell anyone that’s my secret recipe for my famous pecan pie!   The Thanksgiving holiday is a time for friends and family to come together to share an amazing meal, but not many people recognize the dangers that the holiday exposes to our pets.  So, with that in mind I present to you the following Thanksgiving safety tips for your pets.

Don’t give in to begging.

Some dogs will do just about anything to taste just a bite of your Thanksgiving feast, but you should avoid giving in to their begging.  There are many things on the table that could hurt your dog.  We’re already aware that chocolate is toxic for dogs, we’ll get to that in a bit.  Turkey skin or gravy may not seriously harm your dog, but could make them sick, both are full of saturated fats and loaded with salt, (Think about the turkey brine and the amount of salt that went into it), which could lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

Don’t give cooked turkey bones to your dog. 

When turkey bones are cooked in any way, baked, fried or grilled they become very brittle and easy to break apart and splinter.  These small, sharp pieces could end up stuck in your dog’s intestines, and most often than not surgery will be required to have them removed.  Don’t risk spending your Thanksgiving holiday at the emergency pet hospital with Fido.

Keep Chocolate up and out of reach of prying paws.

Think about all the cookies and desserts offered during the holidays, many of them contain chocolate. Chocolate is very life threatening and dangerous for dogs because it contains theobromine.  Theobromine is sort of like caffeine, which can be toxic to your dog.  Dogs are not able to metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans. Complications from eating just a small amount of chocolate, depending on your dog, can include, digestive issues, dehydration, excitability and slow heart rate. Later stages of theobromine poisoning include epileptic-like seizures and possible death. Keep your dog away from any chocolate but especially dark, semi-sweet and baker’s chocolate because they contain higher levels of theobromine.

Let’s bark a bit about Xylitol. 

If you’ve had a chance to catch some of my #GRACIELANDTIPS on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you may have heard me mention Xylitol a time or two.  Xylitol is a cheaper alternative to sugar and more and more foods are being sweetened with this substance.  Xylitol can produce a severe rapid drop in blood sugar for dogs along with liver damage.  In the past xylitol was only being used to sweeten sugar-free gums, mints and dental products.  Now xylitol is being used exclusively as the sweetening agent in a lot of sugar-free or low-sugar baked goods and even Peanut Butter!!  A lot of us use peanut butter to disguise medication or a as a treat for our dogs.  Always check the label.  Quantities that appear to be very small have the potential to quickly become life-threatening to dogs. 

Let’s not forget Raisins and Grapes.

Thanksgiving dinner tables are loaded with some of our favorite dishes that contain raisins and grapes.  Small ingestions of Aunt Ida’s world-famous nut and grape salad may seem a like a nice treat for your dog but along with it comes a very serious concern for acute renal failure with even small amounts.  And just because a raisin is a dried grape, doesn’t mean all the toxins have been dried up and shriveled away, they’re still a real danger for your dog. 

Remember to not give into your dog’s begging but a few small pieces of boneless turkey, a quick taste of mashed potatoes, or a bite of my mother’s amazing Thanksgiving noodles, (She spoils me with her noodles, thank you mom!) in their dinner dish shouldn’t cause a problem.  However, don’t allow your dog to end up with an upset stomach or the squirts.  We all know the old quote “Prevention is the best medicine” but accidents do happen sometimes so it’s always good to keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Number, (888 426 4435) and your personal Veterinarian’s emergency info handy. 

From one Animal Loving, Flip-Flop Wearing, Pecan Pie face stuffing, Okie to another……  Have an amazing Thanksgiving Day and as always Bark On Tulsa!

All new colors!

You asked for them and you got them! Gracieland T-shirts now available for only $10 a piece. Stay tuned, we’ll be adding new designs soon.



It’s coming, it’s coming! and no, I’m not talking the pumpkin spice latte’s that
beckon us with its creamy, foamy, coffee goodness, although those are
coming as well!! I’m talking about my favorite season of all, hoodie season,
a.k.a. Fall season!

When the sun starts getting lower in the sky, your pets are known to roam
around the room, trying to sneak in some Z’s in the falling rays of the
afternoon sunlight. You may need to make some comfort changes for the
anticipated cooler weather. Here are a few tips to help ease the transition
from Summer to Fall.

  1. Make sure your pet stays well groomed. A thick coat will help to keep
    your pet warm when the temperatures dip but try not to let it get matted.
    A matted coat could harbor bacteria and skin infections. Brushing them
    more often will be well worth it when they’re clean, warm and huggly
  2. Stay clear of gardens and wooded areas. Certain plants or weeds that
    sprout in the fall can be deadly to your pets if ingested. Fall showers
    and cooler temps sprout up wild mushrooms in Oklahoma, your pet will
    undoubtedly investigate the new growth so it’s wise to avoid all
    mushrooms so there’s no guessing if it’s poisonous or not. It’s very
    important to keep an eye on your pet in your yard or on walks because
    they will, if given the chance, taste test anything suspicious.
  3. Watch for snakes. Cooler temperatures don’t automatically mean
    snakes are not present. They don’t move much in the Winter, but Fall in
    Oklahoma gives us up and down temperatures. If we get a 60 degree
    plus day, they will become active. Rattlesnakes, as we all know, can be
    deadly to humans and our furry companions, are even active on warm
    Fall days. Continue to be diligent, scan for snakes on walks or in your
  4. Change up walk times. Your summer walks with your dog may be early
    mornings to beat the heat but the in the Fall and Winter change your
    walks to late mornings or an early evening to beat the dark. A sudden
    change in your pet’s schedule may cause behavior problems for a short
    time. To avoid these problems try moving to the new schedule in 10-
    minute intervals over a few weeks to acclimate him/her to the change.
  5. Keep lights on in the house. During the Fall and Winter months of the
    year, you may leave for work in the dark and come home to a dark
    house. Leave a light on for your pets so they’re not left alone in the
    dark. You may think about a timer for your lights.
  6. Invest in a warm snuggly new bed. Inspect your pets bedding and
    blankets to ensure their comfort in the coming Fall and Winter months.
    If they need to be replaced, go shopping! Who doesn’t like to shop
    these days especially when you don’t even have to leave the house to
    do it! Lol, hello Amazon!

Fall and Winter weather brings a variety of concerns to any responsible pet
owner. Extreme cold and biting winds can cause discomfort for your pet.
Paying attention to signs of discomfort and being proactive in preparing for the
change in weather will ensure you both enjoy the season to the fullest.

With that tasty pumpkin spice latte in hand and pumpkin treats for your pet,
take a walk in the park in your matching hoodies and keep these tips in mind
as Fall brings in cooler temperatures.

Mike Hall is the owner and operator of Gracieland Pet Resort. His experience with your pets give him a wealth of knowledge that he is eager to pass on to you. Follow Gracieland Pet Resort on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for Mike’s Question of the Day.