Podcast – Preparing for the Holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years

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< Updated 18OCT20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WfMwHolidayPrep >

The last three months of the year are often your favorite or least favorite time of year. It is a time filled with holidays, more guests in our home than usual, frantic activity, hectic schedules, and yes, stress, and not the good kind but unpleasant distress. All of these things can affect our pets every bit as much as they affect us. In this show, Kate and Don will be discussing ways you can make this time of year less stressful for both your and your pets. We’ll address Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

You can listen to The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple podcast app.

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Contact Info

Don Hanson & Kate Dutra
Green Acres Kennel Shop & The Woof Meow Show
Bangor, ME
(207) 945-6841

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com  )

 Halloween Tips for Pets and Their People – http://bit.ly/Halloween-Pets

Preparing Your Pets for the Holidayshttp://blog.greenacreskennel.com/2016/01/01/preparing-your-pets-for-the-holidays/

 Other Resources

Mighty Dog Graphics Halloween Postershttps://www.facebook.com/mightydoggraphics/posts/the-halloween-collection-/1328779170582929/

©18OCT20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Pets – 2018

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In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from November 10th, 2018, Kate and Don discuss the change in the seasons and how reduced daylight, lower temperatures, snow and ice, and the hectic holiday season affects our pets. They will offer several suggestions on how you can keep your pet safe and happy.

You can find an article that corresponds to this podcast at http://bit.ly/ColdWeatherHolidayTips

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/index.cfm?stationCallSign=WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ and the Apple iTunes store.

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Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

Seasonal Issues – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Petshttp://bit.ly/ColdWeatherHolidayTips



©10NOV18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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2017 Holiday Gift Ideas for Cats, Dogs, and Their People

It is the holidays, and once again it is time for us to find that special gift for our favorite feline, our delightful dog, and maybe even for our family members, friends, and co-workers who have pets. Green Acres Kennel Shop has come up with a list of gift ideas. To make it easy for you, we have categorized our recommendations by cats, dogs, cats and dogs, and people, Happy gift giving!

Especially for Cats

The Kong Company is well known for their dog toys, and they are stepping up the game with cat toys.

Kong Refillables are soft, snuggly, and plush. However, best of all, each one has a re-closable pouch to securely hold fresh catnip. The toys include a generous amount of KONG’s premium North American catnip in a re-closable vial.

When the catnip scent starts to fade, just add more fresh catnip for another round of fun! Catnip can be stored in the freezer to help keep it fresh. The toy is machine washable with the catnip removed.

Watch your cat attack, wrestle and snuggle with its KONG Kickeroo. This unique cat toy appeals to a cat’s instinctive desire to stalk and capture prey. The Kickeroo’s size, shape, and material were specially chosen to promote wrestling and hind paw kicking.

The fluffy tail provides movement for extra excitement, not to mention there is a generous amount of KONG’s potent North American catnip inside to further encourage play. Don’t be surprised if the Kickeroo becomes your cat’s favorite toy.


The KONG Snake Teaser is perfect for fun, interactive play and a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your cat. Irresistible feathers and unpredictable movement will stimulate your feline friend’s natural hunting instincts and provide beneficial exercise. The Snake Teaser is sure to bring out the playful tiger in any cat. Durable and safe, this item is for supervised play only.



Vital Essential Cat Treats – Cats appreciate treats just like our dogs do, but so many of the cat treats on the market are filled with unhealthy ingredients. Why not give your cat a treat that they will love and that is good for them. Vital Essentials cat treats come in a wide variety of formulas, and all are 100% freeze-dried meat. You can choose from Wild Alaskan Salmon, Chicken Breast, Chicken Giblets, Minnows, Duck Liver, Rabbit, and Ahi Tuna. Treat your cat like the friend you know they are!

Beco Cat Bowls – If you have not noticed, our cats are sensitive to their environment, including the types of dishes we use to feed them. The Beco Bowl for cats has a much lower rim so that our feline friend’s sensitive whiskers do not brush up against the sides making dinner time that much easier. Many sophisticated cats may refuse to eat out of a metal or plastic bowl, but because Beco’s bamboo plastic is toxin-free, they will happily eat out of the Beco Bowl. We have been using the Beco bowls in the cattery at Green Acres for a year now, and the cats love them

Especially for Dogs

Benebone Chews – Dogs love to chew, so one of the gifts you can give them that you will both appreciate is a chew toy. Our favorite new chew toys come from a company called Benebone; a small, family owned company that makes these fantastic treats right here in the USA. Benebone products are chew toys made of super-strong nylon and food-grade bacon, peanuts, and chicken. They use no chemicals or artificial flavors. The Wishbone comes in three sizes and three flavors while the Dental Chew comes in three flavors and two sizes. Our dogs love their Benebone’s and believe your dog would love one in their stocking.


Beco Environmentally Friendly Toys – Although your dog has probably not told you they are an eco-warrior, the fact is degradations in our environment are even more harmful to our pets than they are to us. That is why we love Beco Pets, a company that makes eco-friendly, long lasting and fun products for pets.

The Beco Hoop on a Rope is made from 100% natural rice husk rubber and is attached to natural cotton rope.  It is designed to be as stretchy and flexible as possible. It is the perfect toy for older dogs with fragile teeth, and the smaller version offers a great teether for any puppy, as it is soft and lightweight, while really durable.

Each Beco Soft Toy has an irresistible squeaker inside, and its covers are double cross stitched making them especially durable! These toys are made from recycled plastic bottles and are named after employees at Beco.

The Beco Jungle Triple Knot is the perfect rope toy for long distance throwing and fetch. The Beco Rope toys are made from 98% Hemp and 2% recycled cotton. Hemp is a very eco-friendly material as it grows very quickly and no pesticides or fertilizers are used in the growing process. Most importantly though it is better for your dog as unlike cotton and synthetic ropes, it has very short fibers which are more easily digestible. The short fibers mean that hemp is tougher than cotton or synthetic ropes, as it is harder for the dog to pull apart. Beco Hemp rope toys are better for you dog and better for the environment.

Ruffwear Toys & Coats – Ruffwear makes great clothing and toys for dogs.

The Ruffwear Huckama™ Rubber Throw Toy moves like a critter and is fun to chase. This durable, interactive toy keeps dogs engaged with its erratic bounce and roll. The hollow design accepts food for treat rewards and whistles when hurled through the air. Made from sustainable, natural latex rubber, a renewable resource.

The Ruffwear Gourdo™ Rubber Throw Toy rubber toy is designed for interactive play, from tugging to throwing, this durable rubber toy does it all. The kernmantle [really, strong and flexible] rope lanyard makes it easy to throw and pick up, while avoiding the slobbery rubber end.

Please note:  All Ruffwear toys are interactive and intended for supervised play. They are not designed to be chew toys. Once the interactive play has finished, place the Ruffwear toy out of your dog’s reach and replace with a designated chew toy.

The Ruffwear Front Range™ Harness is an everyday harness that is easy to put on and comfortable for dogs to wear. The harness features two leash attachment points: an aluminum V-ring centered on the dog’s back for everyday walks, and reinforced webbing at the dog’s chest for training or additional control. The ID pocket keeps dog tags quiet and easily accessible.

We live in Maine and let’s admit it; sometimes even our dogs are happier in a coat. The Ruffwear Overcoat™ is a classic cold-weather utility jacket. This vest-style jacket is built with sturdy, durable materials to keep up with the most active dog. Wind- and water-resistant outer fabric protects against harsh elements, while interior recycled polyester fleece lining keeps body heat in. Side-release buckles on both sides provide easy on/off, and a leash portal allows the Overcoat to be worn over our Front Range™ Harness.

Another favorite dog toy at Green Acres is made right here in Maine. The Floating Rope Fetch Toy by Downeast Nautical is a favorite, especially for dogs that love the water! My dog Muppy is a certified landlubber but still loves retrieving her rope toy when I toss it from the living room to the far end of the kitchen.

This fall we brought in a new line of soft toys from Tall Tails. The Tall Tails Plush Squirrel is inspired by the outdoors and is designed for endless interactive play. The squeaker is sewn into a separate pouch and stitched into the seam for extra protection against choking, while the plush exterior makes for a soft and friendly companion. While I was writing this post, my dog Muppy found this toy on the floor where I had inadvertently dropped it. I heard the noise, knew she was having fun, and realized that due to my inattention I had just bought her a new toy. Muppy gives the Tall Tails Plush Squirrel 5 Paws. She is sure that your dog would also like the Chipmunk, Duck, Goose, Fish and other toys in the Tall Tails family.

Vital Essentials Treats and Snacks – A favorite line of training treats are the Freeze Dried Meat Treats from Vital Essentials. They are small,  high value, come in a variety of flavors, and are a very healthy option. Please note, that while labeled dog treats, cats love these treats as well.

Training treats are great for training and giving our dog a small reward; however, like most of us, I occasionally like to give Muppy a special snack. That is when I go to the Vital Essentials Raw Bar for the tasty and healthy snacks she loves. Muppy’s personal favorites are the freeze-dried chicken necks and duck necks. They are the perfect size for her. Other dogs love the cod skins, salmon skins, turkey necks, turkey wings, and bully sticks. If you are looking for a high value and healthy snack, check-out the selection at the Vital Essentials Raw Bar.

Earth Animal No-Hide Chews are a healthier and more digestible alternative to Rawhide. No-Hide Chews gives new meaning to dog snack. They are more durable and digestible than any other chew on the market and dogs love them.

No-Hide Chews are available in Chicken, Beef, and their new Pork flavor.

Especially for Both Cats and Dogs

Raw Rewards Treats from Northwest Naturals are the latest addition to our treat selection at the Green Acres Kennel Shop. One of the things we like about these treats is that they are equally yummy to dogs and cats. However, we also love that they are manufactured in a quality controlled USDA human food inspected facility from meat sourced in the USA and New Zealand. These freeze-dried treats have only a single ingredient, making them ideal for pets with food-related sensitivities. Raw Rewards Beef Liver, Bison Liver, Chicken Liver, Lamb Liver, Pork Liver and Salmon treats are highly palatable and easy to feed.

Especially for People with Pets

At the top of my gift recommendations for dog owners, this year is the new book A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! by Niki Tudge –If your family includes children and a dog, if you have children that spend time with friends and family members that have a dog, or if you have a dog that spends any time around children, you, your children, and your dog will benefit from your reading A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog!.

The goal of this new book from author Niki Tudge and Doggone Safe is to provide a resource that anyone can use to teach children how to be safe around dogs by teaching them how to “speak dog.” As a dog training instructor that teaches both adults and children how to train their dogs, we make teaching canine body language part of our classes. What I have learned over the past 22 years is that before taking a dog training class, even most adults are not aware of most aspects of “speaking dog,” which is why I believe this book will be of value to both children and adults.

A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! is written to be used as an interactive resource and uses cartoons and photographs to illustrate body language dogs use to signal when they are happy, afraid, and angry. By teaching children, and adults, how to read and respond to these signs the book helps keep people and dogs safe. The world is full of children and dogs, and it is essential that we teach them how to interact safely. A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! combined with a parent or teacher does just that.  I give this book five paws!

If you have a pet, you have pet hair in places where you would rather not have pet hair. The easiest and most effective way to remove that pet hair is with the Fur-Zoff. This simple tool does the job far better than anything else we have found. Bangor’s own amazing automobile detailer Jesse Bell of Adept Auto Detailing swears by his Fur-Zoff.



A Green Acres Kennel Shop Gift Card – If you just cannot decide or are unsure what to get, you cannot go wrong with a Green Acres Kennel Shop Gift Card. Available in the denominations of $5 and up, they can be used for any product or services at Green Acres Kennel Shop.

©5DEC17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – 2017 Edition of Holiday Gift Ideas for Pets and Their People

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This is one of Kate and Don’s favorite shows as they discuss holiday gift ideas for pets and people with pets. They talk about old favorites like the squeaky and grunty Hedge Hog, as well as new items like the book A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog!. They suggest their favorite toys, leashes, treats and more. If you are looking for that special gift for your pets, tune in!

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©02DEC17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Pets-2017

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Like it or not the seasons are changing. With the change in season, we get colder temperatures, less daylight, and other changes in our environment which will affect both us and our pets. Add to that the fact that the last two months of the year are jam-packed with both the joy and chaos of numerous frenetic activities and holiday festivities. It can be a tough time of year for our pets who overall are not big fans of change and disruption of their routines. In this week’s show, Kate and Don discuss how to deal with snow, cold and ice and how to dress yourself and your dog when you are out at night or in the woods during the day. We talk about a wide variety of potential seasonal hazards such as antifreeze, wood stoves, wood piles, candy, and more. Lastly, we discuss how to deal with the holidays so that they are enjoyable for you, your pets and your guests.

You can read an article on this topic By < clicking here >

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Contact Info

Green Acres Kennel Shop
1653 Union Street
Bangor, ME 04401-2204

(207 945-6841




©11NOV17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Pets

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05nov16-cold_weather_and_holiday_tips_for_petr_pets-400x400In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from November 5th, 2016 Kate and Don provide some tips on keeping your pet and you safe and happy this winter. The days are getting shorter, the temperature is decreasing, and the joy and chaos of holiday festivities are upon us. This can be a tough time of year for our pets so tune in and learn how you can help.

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Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)


Seasonal Issues – Cold Weather and Holiday Tips for Petshttp://blog.greenacreskennel.com/2015/11/23/seasonal-issues-cold-weather-and-holiday-tips-for-pets/


©05NOV16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Preparing Your Pets for the Holidays

< A version of this article was published in the November 2016 issue of Downeast Dog News>

November and December can be a joyous, yet also a chaotic and hectic time of the year. We can look forward to several major holidays, each of which can mean more activities at school for the kids, and an increased probability of guests in our home. To prepare for those activities, we may also find it necessary to spend more time away from home attending school concerts, company parties, and family gatherings. Some people thrive on a flurry of activity and some long for a calmer time of year. Our pets, especially dogs, and cats typically are more likely to be fans of predictability and routine.  Here are a few tips to make the coming frenzy less stressful for your pets.

Do not forget your pet(s)

  • As you get busy with the holidays, please do not forget your pet. Make sure to allocate time for them, as they miss you when you are not home as much as usual. You might also find that spending time with them helps you to relax from all of the holiday madness.

Family Gatherings

  • Put your dog in his crate with a bone or favorite chew toy, at least during the most hectic times – when guests are arriving and leaving as well as when meals are being prepared and served. If your cats are not fond of large numbers of people, or people they do not know, set them up in a room where they can be alone. Make sure your guests know that they are to leave your pet alone in this situation.
  • Assign one adult to be in charge of each of the dogs, to watch for signs of stress and to protect the dog from unwanted attention from children. At the same time, assign one adult to supervise each baby or toddler, with no other tasks assigned to them. Make sure that ALL interactions between pets and children are supervised by an adult.
  • Not every dog likes every person – ALWAYS let your pet decide if they want to meet someone new.
  • If you are quite certain, your pet will not enjoy the increased activity due to the event, or if you are more relaxed knowing your pet is in a safe, pleasant environment, consider boarding your pet the day and night of the event.


Special considerations for the holidays

  • Pets do not make good holiday gifts, especially if the person receiving the gift is not aware of it. If you want to get a pet related gift for someone get them a book on selecting a pet, or a leash or toy for the pet to come.
  • Many holiday plants such as holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are poisonous to pets. Make sure they are someplace where your pet cannot get to them.
  • Be cautious about where you leave holiday gifts, especially those with food inside. A misplaced box of chocolates can kill a dog.
  • Candy and other holiday treats sweetened with Xylitol can also be fatal when pets ingest them.
  • Keep lights and fragile ornaments off the lower branches of your holiday tree where your pet can get to them.
  • Make sure all electrical cords for holiday lights and decorations are located where your pet will not become entangled in them or attempt to chew on them.
  • Avoid using edible ornaments on your tree.
  • Tinsel can be very attractive to dogs and cats and can also be fatal if ingested.


Have a safe and joyous holiday season!

Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.

©01NOV16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>