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Plymouth Barktoberfest  0

Plymouth BartoberfestPlymouth Barktoberfest

Saturday October 4, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Nelson Street Park, Plymouth, MA
Live Entertainment!
Glamfur Shots-Dog/Owner Photo Booth
Crafters, Vendors and Food
Rabies Clinic-$10 per animal

Click here for a complete Doggie Agenda.



Do You have a Dog Friendly Garden?  0

Dog Friendly Garden | Fairhaven MassachusettsWe love our dogs and our gardens, but for many of us the two don’t mix well in the backyard. Since our season is limited, we try and make the most of our garden in New England. We have shared some simple tips for balancing the needs of pets and plants.

Garden Training. Start training right away. Let your dog know what parts of the garden are off limits.

Don’t leave your dog unattended. Don’t leave your dog alone outside if they can get access to your garden.

Protect your borders with a low fence. You will be surprised at how even the smallest fence can be an effective visual barrier for your dog. Raised beds are also great at rerouting your dog’s path.

Include your dog. As you garden, provide your dog with an activity. Gracie loves to play with her “outdoor” toys while we work in the garden. We also talk to her while working in the garden to keep her engaged with us.

Have fun. Enjoy your dog’s company and don’t get too upset if your dog knocks over a pot or kills a plant. Plants always grow back.

There are many plants that are toxic to dogs. Be mindful of what you buy and plant in your garden if you have a pet. Some of the more common toxic plants for dogs include: Autumn Crocus, American Holly, Azaleas, Bleeding Hearts, Daffodils, Hosta, Lilies, Rhubarb, Grapes, and Mushrooms. For a comprehensive list and photos of pet-safe garden plants, visit the Animal Poison Control Center at

Don’t forget that insecticides and herbicides can pose problems too. Research on phenoxy-type herbicides shows they increase the incidence of cancer. Be cautious when treating your lawns and gardens this summer. Keep in mind that you will need to create a dog friendly garden and backyard if you want your dog to live a long healthy life.

We encourage you to share photos with Gracie of your dogs working in the garden this summer. Please email Tammi at with your photo and we will share it. Don’t forget to include a couple of sentences about your pup in the garden!

Meet Rio! Gracie’s Spotlight Dog for July  0

Kathleen contacted Gracie’s Bark to Spotlight her adorable dog Rio. We are very excited to share their story.

Pet’s Name: Rio

Pet’s Age: 13 weeks

Pet’s Gender: Male

Pet’s Favorite Toy: Anything he can chew!

Pet’s Favorite Trick: Not much there yet…

Pet’s Favorite Place: Backyard

Spotlight Dogs | Cape Cod Massachusetts

Pet’s Story:

We had seen some beautiful black labs on Sandy Neck two years ago.  We had the name of the breeder from their owner.  I called the breeder and he said after 28 years of breeding he was moving on.  However, he had one last litter.  He has a spot of white on his chest like our last two dogs; so we felt it was meant to be!

Rio is adorable and one lucky pup! We want to thank him for becoming part of Gracie’s Bark Blog family. Each month Gracie spotlights a dog from around the world. If you are interested, please submit your pet’s information at: Spotlight Dog

Additional pictures and video welcome, space permitting. If you have any questions, please email us at

Teaching Children How to Greet Dogs  0

Have you heard of the Yellow Dog Project? Does your child know how to greet a dog?

The Yellow Dog Project is a global movement for parents of dogs that need space ( The goal of this movement is to raise awareness about dogs who may be overly excitable when children, people, and other dogs are around. The use of a yellow ribbon on the dog’s leash or collar is to identify yellow dogs who are are in need of extra space.

The color yellow is used as a symbol of caution to others (especially children) who may approach your dog while you are engaged in an outdoor activity.

Yellow Dog Project | Fairhaven MassachusettsAs dog parents of an excitable herding dog, we are thrilled to hear of this global movement. There have been occasions where children have run toward us to pet Gracie. While it’s important to train your dog, it is also important to teach children how to greet a dog. To avoid miscommunication during greetings it is critical for parents to teach children safe methods of approaching and greeting dogs, and to avoid them at certain times.

We encourage teaching your children three simple rules:

  • Children should always ask the owner first if it is okay to pet their dog;
  • The dog should be pet on the back from collar to tail, never on the head;
  • Leave dogs that are sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy or bone, or caring for puppies alone.

Additional basic child safety tips around dogs:

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Do not run from a dog and scream.
  • Remain motionless (“be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (“be still like a log”).
  • Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
  • Do not disturb a dog when it is eating, on its bed, in a car, behind a fence, or tied up.

We recently had first hand experience with an adult, not a child, tapping on our car window with Gracie in the car barking. This man continued to antagonize her while I had my hands full standing next to my car door waiting to get in. It was one of the most frustrating experiences I had ever been through as a dog owner. What many people may not understand is that training your dog takes a great deal of time, patience and consistency. One experience like this can not only set your training back quite a bit, but also put your dog through unnecessary stress and anxiety.

When we heard of the Yellow Dog Project, we immediately thought it was a great movement toward safe dog encounters and pet education. Next time you see a “yellow dog”, we hope you will take a moment to recognize that the dog may need some extra space. We encourage you to spread the word and educate others, especially children, on what the yellow ribbon symbolizes.


Do you brush your dog’s teeth?  0

Dog Dental HealthPeriodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in dogs and cats even though it’s completely preventable. Teaching your pet to accept a regular dental regimen early in life is by far the easiest way to keep plaque at bay.

Starting a pet dental routine now can save on future veterinary bills. With your attention to a good health routine, your dog can enjoy healthy gums, fresh breath, and fewer visits to the veterinarian.



We recommend that pet owners follow five basic steps:


  1. Understand your pet’s oral health needs. Talk with your veterinarian. At your pet’s next annual checkup ask your veterinarian about preventative care for your pet’s teeth.
  2. Develop, then follow, a daily oral health routine with your pet. Gracie’s daily routine starts before she’s tucked into bed for the night. She is calm and relaxed during this time, which makes for the perfect opportunity to tend to her oral care needs.
  3. The best way to brush your dog’s teeth is to use a brush or wrap your finger in gauze and hold it at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. When we first introduced Gracie to home dental care, our veterinarian recommended we focus on the teeth located inside the cheek areas first.
  4. Bring a variety to brushing. We generally brush Gracie’s teeth daily, but on the days when we may not have the time to brush, we still always make sure we use an alternative dental option such as pet dental wipes or a pet dental spray.
  5. Feed your pet a balanced diet and consider safe and appropriate chew toys. Although not all safe products have Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approval, using products with the VOHC seal of acceptance is recommended as these products have successfully met pre-set requirements for veterinary dental efficacy and safety.

Did you know that 70-85% of pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease? Here are some signs that your pet may have dental disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Swollen mouth, jaws, or gums
  • Doesn’t play with chew toys as often
  • Pain when eating

Our senior cat Luke recently had four teeth removed because he was suffering from bad breath, inflamed gums and pain when eating.  It is important to have your pet checked for dental disease, as this disease can have major impacts on your pet’s organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys.

While February is National Pet Dental Month, dental health should be a daily ritual for pet owners all year long.  Help us spread the word about the importance of pet dental care. Send us a photo of your dog showing off their pearly whites!  Email us at