Doggie Dining Spots in Saint Louis

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The weather is warm and it can be fun to take your furry friend along when dining out. Many restaurants with outdoor seating are dog-friendly.

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Chow ready to chow down!

This is a sampling of Saint Louis area dining spots to mix and mingle with the canine crowd.  This list is not comprehensive and you may want to call ahead to double-check your dining choice’s pet-friendliness.

Failoni’s in Dogtown welcomes dogs with treats on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on their large patio.

Anthonino’s on The Hill welcomes dogs with water bowls on their side patio.

The Boat House in Forest Park is a favorite for dog owners who enjoy lakeside outdoor dining.

The Forest Park Café also welcomes canine companions for outdoor dining.

Carl’s Delicatessen has outdoor pet friendly dining options.

Katie’s Pizza + Pasta has an outdoor patio where canine companions are welcome

Wild Flower Restaurant invites well behaved dogs and their owners to try their cuisine.

Park Avenue Coffee has dog friendly dining options.

Tamm Avenue Grill is a popular destination for pet families.

Pi Pizzeria welcomes dog dining where outdoor patios are available.

Most Starbucks with outdoor tables allow well behaved canine companions.

Many Panera Bread locations with patio facilities welcome doggie diners.

Piccadilly at Manhattan welcomes canine customers on their outdoor patio.

Cardwell’s at the Plaza has outdoor pet friendly dining options.

Kaldi’s Coffeehouse has dog friendly outdoor dining areas.

Biggie’s welcomes well behaved canine companions on their patio.

Many of these restaurants also offer special dog menus or special events for pet owners. Check the business social media pages to stay up on the latest canine cuisine news. 12006127_1199688976712863_1172305024498875031_n

Most Dogs Do Not Like Hugs Plus Other Communication and Bite Prevention Facts

Dogs are known as man’s best friend for a reason. They are great companions, emotional support, working dogs and much more. They deserve a kiss, hug and a pat on the head right?  Wrong. Most dogs don’t like hugs, kisses, or pats on the head according to animal behaviorists. There are some 70 million great dogs and any dog can bite.

Every year, almost 5 million people are bitten by dogs and most of those bitten are children. Strange dogs are not the most common offenders, 77% of bites come from a family or friend’s dog!

Preventing dog bites is everyone’s responsibility. Simple measures can be very effective. Being aware of the risk and active supervision is important. For example, a calm and gentle dog surprised or startled can react uncharacteristically if a toddler crawls up and kisses a sleeping dog.
10440678_796489223779881_6550008399635534847_nIt is obvious a child poking or pulling a dog tail or ear could provoke a bite. Animal behaviorists find dogs guarding resources including food, toys, or even its owner is the cause for most bites.

Many animal organizations and adoption centers offer fun classes on safe interaction with animals to prevent bites. For example, in Saint Louis the APA Adoption Center (Animal Protective Association of Missouri) offers a variety of classes for kids and adults. You can learn the ways dogs and cats communicate, the proper way to approach a dog and what to do if approached by a stray animal.

11025160_807130716029148_5874756013793407181_nYou can attend a class at the APA Adoption Center or instructors and trained pets can come to you. To check out some of the programs and classes available to all age groups check out the APA website or follow this link: http://www.apamo.org/education/group-programs/group-programs-list/

If you are outside the Saint Louis area, check with local adoption agencies or visit https://www.avma.org for more information on dog bite prevention.
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There is Help Dealing with the Loss of a Pet

236506 I can find little good to say about losing a pet. Our pets bestow unconditional love, companionship and purpose in our lives. Even our best friends and family sometimes fail to understand the emotional pain and void the loss of a pet can leave.

For me, poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning said it best, “His ears were often the first thing to catch my tears.”

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So what do you do when those ears and your beloved friend is gone? The Animal Protective Association of Missouri or APA is offering a pet loss support group to help. The new pet loss support initiative allows participants to share feelings in a compassionate environment.


“Understanding how we grieve and exploring ways to cope with loss can bring you closer to the day when memories of your pet prompt smiles instead of tears,” explains APA Humane Educator Jennifer Blome.

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Jennifer Blome has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Washington University. She joins three volunteer facilitators trained in counseling and grief therapy in leading the sessions.

Each APA Pet Loss Support Group session will last 75 minutes and take place in a private meeting room at the adoption center. You can find more information on the free sessions and many other community programs at the APA: http://www.apamo.org.

Not in the Saint Louis area? Check local adoption facilities and mental health centers in your area for similar pet loss groups.

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Attend a Furry Friendly Event: Action-Packed Fun + Exercise with or without your Pup!

7th Annual Fast and Furriest 5K Run + 1-Mile Walk is Ahead for Your Best Friends

236504It’s said some of our most precious gifts we place in museums or vaults; others we take for walks. It is a very unique walk and run for dogs and people I want to share with you.

I think most dogs and pet people find ways to make friends. This observation is based on a recent dog park visit when I met a pet owner and her pooch visiting for the first time. Her dog, Hank, was met with wagging tails. Hank’s mom just moved from Atlanta. Other pet parents learned Hank came into her life in college and has been a constant companion through moves, break-ups, and celebrations including the recent job promotion to Saint Louis. Hank is helping her meet new people and learn about their new home.

Hank and his owner exercise together. I mean serious running. Hank is a Whippet, a superb athlete as well as a gentle companion. Several of us want to make sure Hank can stretch his legs in an upcoming event to help homeless pets.

The 7th Annual Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk will be Sunday, April 26th at Tower Grove Park. The run is unique because it offers Hank and his owner the opportunity to take part in a professionally-timed race together. There are not many across the nation. Others will take part in the walk at a leisurely pace with our dogs. This is an event not only for athletes, but the entire family. Fast and Furriest also offers a children’s fun area, vendor booths and food trucks.

FF_Runner-Dog‘Pooch Poker’ is new to the annual fun-fest. Event organizer Robin Wood of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) says the game is open to anyone registered for the one mile walk: “Walkers will be dealt playing cards at stations along the 1-Mile Walk route. Players with a winning hand receive a prize at the end of the walk!” Hank and his mom are planning to run and walk with some members of the dog park community.

Animal lovers and APA supporters who can’t participate in the walk or race can still pitch in by fundraising with individual fundraising campaigns. Proceeds from this event will benefit the APA’ s mission of bringing people and pets together, advancing humane education, and creating programs beneficial to the human-animal bond.

You can learn more about this non-profit event and many other exciting community programs underway at the APA Adoption center at http://www.apamo.org/donate/fast-

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A Simple Secret 1 in 4 Americans Use to Feel Better and Improve their Lifestyle

Would you like to feel better and perhaps get a professional boost too? It is not a new juice cleanse or exercise regime I want to share; it can be as easy as walking a dog or reading to a toddler. It is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally as a volunteer. Health and lifestyle research finds there are many benefits for volunteers.11084281_825868887478501_532518496970130019_n

Here are just a few:

Volunteering connects you to others
Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills
Volunteering increases self-confidence
Volunteering combats depression
Volunteering with animals has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress
Volunteering can reduce anxiety
Volunteering can provide career experience or allow you to practice work skills

Many of your neighbors are enjoying these benefits. More than 62 million people give their time according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. It works out to one in four Americans volunteering their time.

Do you have a story about a volunteer experience to share? I would like to hear your tips and experiences as a volunteer. I volunteer in a couple of ways, but my favorite is the adoption center where I found my pets, the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APAofMO).

Volunteers and educators from APA of MO Adoption Center work with children

Volunteers and educators from APA of MO Adoption Center work with children

Civic and Community Connections at APA Adoption Center Improve Lives of People and Pets

10440678_796489223779881_6550008399635534847_n You expect to see pets at the APA Adoption Center. But often it seems there are as many smiling faces of people there as eager animals waiting for a home. The APA welcomes civic, community, school and scouting groups almost every day. No matter your age, there is always something new to learn about pets, animal legislation, safety and the therapeutic value of animal visits to hospitals and health care facilities. It is exciting how many animal lovers want to reach out and support animal programs and pet initiatives.10860847_10153132346084184_3833746411222779365_o

Many visitors to the APA adoption facility not only take away new experiences and knowledge they leave contributions behind. For example, scouts take classes to learn about animal care and safety and get experience making pet beds and toys. Civic and school groups who come for tours and classes often bring collected donations of household items and craft supplies needed by the APA. In the APA education room where parties, craft classes and safety education sessions are held you will find “sit-upons” and pet toys made by local scouts.

1962588_796617773767026_3786104654545183798_n“Our community and civic partners are crucial to bringing people and pets together. From our toddler classes and scouting programs to the senior adults we depend on; age is not a barrier in making a difference for pets and the people who love them, “explains Jennifer Blome, Director of APA Humane Education.

IMG_4335If you are coming to the APA you will find another community connection in the lobby. April Showers, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s community service program has a collection bin near the front door. The Girl Scouts largest community service project, April Showers, provides personal care items to those in need and teaches scouts the importance of giving back.

11054375_796617727100364_6108358309687484906_nItems needed for the April Showers Collection Drive include soap, shampoo, toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, feminine hygiene products, facial tissue, disposable diapers, baby wipes and first aid supplies.
The APA also has a donation wish list you can find online at http://www.apamo.org/donate/wish-list/volunteers at carnival

Pet Poison Danger: Top Ten Dog and Cat Poisons

236506The average home is filled with hundreds of poisonous substances. The four legged members of the family are among the most vulnerable.

“Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year, we receive calls from distressed pet owners across the country,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, and assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “In addition to dealing with the stress of an emergency situation, they are often forced to cope with feelings of regret in light of a mishap that, in most cases, could have been avoided.”

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Pet poison prevention at home starts with awareness of harmful substances, educating family, and training pets. There are also common outdoor dangers including: antifreeze, insecticides, snail bait, plants, and some mulch.

The Top Ten Dog Poisons:

1. Chocolate
2. Mouse and Rat Poisons
3. Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
4. NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
5. Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
6. Cold and Allergy Medications (e.g., pseudoephedrine, etc.)
7. Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
8. Xylitol (artificial sweeter in many products including gum)
9. Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
10. Caffeine Pills

The Top Ten Cat Poisons:

1. Topical spot-on insecticides
2. Household Cleaners
3. Antidepressants
4. Lilies
5. Insoluble Oxalate Plants (e.g., Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, etc.)
6. Human and Veterinary NSAIDs
7. Cold and Flu Medication (e.g., Tylenol)
8. Glow Sticks
9. ADD/ADHD Medications/Amphetamines
10. Mouse or Rat Poison

Many common foods can be dangerous to animals. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises pet owners to avoid feeding avocado, coffee, fatty foods, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, onions and onion powder, mushrooms, raisins, grapes, garlic, moldy or spoiled foods. Raw or under cooked poultry can contain Salmonella. Fruit pits can cause intestinal blockage.

The Pet Poison Helpline is a 24/7 animal poison control service available for pet owners and veterinary professionals. This video takes you inside the service and how it works to save the lives of animals:

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You can learn more about the Pet Poison Helpline on their Facebook Page