Tails to Scales Pet Care

"Specializing in the care of your best friend!"

February is…

Every month has it’s special theme to follow and February has plenty of them!

Beat the Heat Month.

Dog Training Education Month.

National Cat Health Month.

Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. (Humane Society of the United States)

Pet Dental Health Month.

Responsible Pet Owners Month.

Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month.

National Prevent a Litter Month.

Unchain a Dog Month.

Hair Comes Trouble: Why Pets Need Regular Grooming

Most people get haircuts to look better, feel better, or to simply get a fresh start in life. But for dogs and cats, proper hair hygiene is essential; failure to groom pets regularly can have serious health consequences.

“Grooming is as important as bringing your pet to the vet for regular checkups,” says Lauren Lakritz, an Animal Care Technician in the ASPCA’s Animal Recovery Center (ARC) and a certified professional groomer. “It’s maintaining the well-being of your animal.”

Good groomers don’t just cut for beauty; they look for signs of trouble beneath the furry surface.

Read more here…

Homeward Trails – Superbowl Adoption Event

Join us on February 7 for our very special annual Super Bowl Dog and Cat Adoption Event and Kitten Bowl Party held in partnership with the North Shore Animal League of America.  This fun event will be held at PetCo Unleashed Pentagon Row in Arlington, VA  from noon – 2 PM on Sunday, February 7.  We’ll have great dogs and cats looking to join your team ans some tasty snacks.  Come out and join the fun and score big when you meet your new best friend!

Super Bowl Dog and Cat Adoption Event and Kitten Bowl Party
Sunday, February 7, 2016 noon – 2 PM
PetCo Unleashed
1101 S. Joyce St. #B-23
Arlington, VA 22202

Crate Training Tips

As we all know – bringing home that new dog or puppy is an exciting experience!  We get to play with them, learn their habits, what they do and don’t like, get love and kisses…find out where they like to pee, what shoes taste the best, and what rules we need to establish.

It’s not all rays of sunshine integrating a new dog into the household.  However we can make it easier by following a few simple rules.

Crate training is a simple and effective way to teach your puppy or dog that they have a safe haven within your home. This is a place they can go to at any time to that is theirs and theirs alone.  Above all a dog’s crate should represent a place of peace, quiet, and security.  Not all puppies or dogs in the beginning will like it. In fact – most will fight you on it if you don’t give them positive and proper motivation for them to want to be in there.  After all this means that they’re not with you – and not being with you sucks!

Tips on how to crate train your dog:

  • Feed them in their crate.  Doing so lets them know that not only is this a quiet spot where they can eat undisturbed, it’s also associated with food which is a positive motivator.
  • Give them toys that will entertain them.  Things such as kongs with frozen peanut butter, brain toys with kibble that they have to roll about to get the food from – these will keep them busy so they won’t even notice that you’ve now walked away and are no longer there. Consider using a unique toy that the dog will only get when they are in their crate.
  • Do not give in to them crying.  I know…it’s hard.  It really really is.  But the moment that you give in, a light bulb in that doggie brain will come on and say “Cool! I’ve trained the human to let me out!”  Letting a dog out when they cry gives them the reward they want the most.  You!  Of course, make sure that they don’t need to go potty (especially for younger dogs). Giving the dog some outside potty time before placing them in the crate will help you determine if it’s just them wanting out, or if it’s something more urgent.
  • Leave the crate door open during the day so they can come and go as they please.  Don’t shut the door every time they go inside – let them explore on their own time when you’re home and able to supervise.
  • Toss treats into the crate and say a cue word or phrase.  The cue phrase for my dogs is “Time for bed!” – they know immediately to go into the crate to get a treat and then it’s time for sleep.
  • If your dog isn’t treat focused (and isn’t easily over stimulated by excited praise) praise them like the sun will never shine again.
  • Respect their space – you wouldn’t like someone to intrude on your resting time when you’re laying down.  Give them the same courtesy so that they continue to see their crate as a secure space that’s only for them.
  • Build up their confidence inside the crate by leaving them alone for about 5 minutes and returning with low-key, calm praise and/or treats.  When the dog is fine with this, stretch it out to ten minutes, twenty minutes, an hour…and so on.  Especially if they seem anxious – this is to teach them that they can be alone, and you will be back.
  • Watch out for any routine behaviors before leaving the house such as picking up your keys, your wallet, or your purse. These cues may cause them to become distressed and associate crating with your absence. This is where distraction by using a toy and slowly increasing their time alone in the crate can help make it an enjoyable experience.

Most importantly – remember to make it fun!  If it’s not fun, positive or wonderful to be in the crate, who can honestly blame them for not wanting to be there?

Fashion for Paws 10th Annual Runway Show

Saturday, April 23, 2016
8:00 PM – 12:00 AM
VIP Reception: 7:00 PM

Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Tickets on sale Monday, February 1, 2016.

For more information visit

Pet Obesity – How To Tell If Your Pet Is Overweight

Like humans, pets can eat too much too.  And with the overindulgence that we sometimes give them this can become an area that may need to be addressed.

Did you know that most dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese?  Do you know how many pounds your pet needs to pack on before being at risk for several medical conditions such as decreased life expectancy, diabetes, chronic pain, heart, respiratory and kidney disease to name a few?

Some of these conditions can have high costs, not only monetary but health wise.  Medications, fluids, trips to the vet among other things.  It doesn’t take much for your pet to be overweight, and here are some ways that you can prevent and check to make sure they’re at their ideal weight.

Be mindful and don’t always feed what the bag or can tells you to feed. These are general guidelines and not hard rules to feed them by.  Some more energetic dogs may need more, while some lazy dogs may need less.  Also take into consideration the protein, fat and calorie content of the food.  Protein isn’t good for older pets as they don’t need as much of it as they slow down.  We tend to keep Winnie, our elderly dachshund, on a low protein, low fat, but decent calorie food.

A good way to tell if your pet is overweight or just right is to feel their ribs.  If you can see them or feel them without much pressure, they’re too skinny.  Unless you have a breed like a grey hound where this is atypical of the breed, then you need to feed them more.

If you can’t feel their ribs even with some pushing, they’re overweight.  Consider replacing some of their food with green beans (no sodium, no canned) to fill their stomachs so they still feel full but are getting less calories.

If you feel their ribs with light  pressing, and there’s a nice tuck at their belly and legs, you’re doing a great job at keeping them on point!

If you’re worried your pet might be overweight, ask your vet for feeding and exercise advice.  They can always show you how to check your pets weight and give you suggestions on how to help them lose weight, or gain it depending on what’s needed.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts: Read more here…

Homeward Trails – Restaurant Fundraiser at Tartufo in Tenleytown

On February 2 enjoy a wonderful Italian meal as Tartufo Restaurant helps raise money for the animals!

Enjoy lunch or dinner at Tartufo and 10% of all checks, all day will be donated to Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Bring your friends, family and co-workers and help us raise funds while enjoying delicious food and drinks!

Tuesday February 2nd
11:00 am to 10:00 pm
4910 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Carnivore Meat Company, LLC Voluntarily Issues a Recall for One Lot of Frozen Pet Food

For Immediate Release

January 15, 2016



Carnivore Meat Company, LLC

Firm Press Release

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers. Always use caution when handling raw foods.


Animals with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some animals will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your animal has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Read more here…

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