Luck O’ the Irish Dog Breeds


St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, a time when we celebrate all things Irish. Here are some native Irish dog breeds that we love all year long.


  • The Irish Wolfhound

This breed can be traced back to nearly 5,000 years! Irish Wolfhounds were once quite the menace on the battlefield. In recent centuries, however, their ferocity has subsided, leaving behind a big teddy-bear of a dog and while their looks can be intimidating, that’s where their guard dog abilities end.


  • The Irish Setter

This dog is known for its beautiful mahogany coat, but these dogs have the personality to match their looks. The Irish Setter is about as affectionate a breed as any in the whole species so much so that separation anxiety can bring up some destructive tendencies so make sure you have plenty of space for this dog to run out its energy.

  • The Kerry Blue Terrier

This breed emerged some time in the 1700’s. Legend has it that a Russian shipwrecked in Kerry’s Tralee Bay, an exotic blue-coated dog frantically paddled its way ashore. They say the gallant survivor had such a gorgeous coat that it was promptly mated with almost every fine local female of reproductive age creating the beautiful blue hue to their coats.

  • The Irish Water Spaniel

Like their name suggests these dogs LOVE the water.  Their curly coat helps protect them when they were used for hunting water fowl. One of the older breeds of spaniels, they are active and lovable dogs and known for being Inquisitive, Alert, Quick, Clownish, Active, and Intelligent.

  • The Irish Terrier

Irish Terriers are action-fiends that require tons of physical activity. Irish Terriers are smarter than most, but they are so active that it makes them hard to train. With the right training however, their quickness and energy make them perfect dogs for agility competitions.


  • The Wheaten Terrier

This athletic dog is full of playful energy. This breed can bark all day at strangers but will almost certainly not attack a human, unless there is an extreme provocation. Wheatens excel at a number of outdoor and obedience activities. One weakness that comes to mind is hot weather. They have been known to overheat.

Helpful Pet Tips for the Fall Season


#1. Watch out for ticks in fall

Just because fall is here doesn’t mean that ticks aren’t still lurking. Many species of ticks are active even into the winter and can survive the first frost.

Get rid of tick hangouts such as leaf and garden litter, where ticks can sometimes survive even into winter.

Check your pets for ticks whenever they have been outside

Continue using tick control and repellent products, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

#2. Beware rat poison and other rodenticides

Fall is the time of year when mice, rats, and other rodents begin to invade the home. Be careful when it comes to mouse traps and rodenticides like rat and mouse poison. Unfortunately many poisons that are currently on the market can be very harmful to dogs and cats. Direct ingestion can be deadly.  Talk to your veterinarian about methods of pest control that are safe for your pets.

Even if you don’t have a rodent problem or choose to deal with mice and rats humanely using live traps, you never know what methods your neighbors are using. The carcasses of rodents that have been killed by rodenticides can also be dangerous, so if you see the telltale tail dangling from your pet’s mouth, make sure he drops it and keep an eye on him, and if you think your pet has eaten any of the rodent, contact your veterinarian immediately.

#3. Mushroom Madness

In some areas of the country Fall is prime season for mushrooms. While most  are perfectly safe, there’s a small percentage that are highly toxic to both pets and people. Check your backyard for mushrooms and remove any questionable fungi. If you think your pet has gobbled up a toxic mushroom, contact the ASCPA Animal Poison Control Center immediately!


#4. Up the Feedings

Cold weather means more energy is needed to stay warm, check with your veterinarian to see if your pup may need more food in the winter.

#5. Watch out for antifreeze toxicity

In preparing for the winter months ahead, people tend to use fall to winterize their cars. This often involves changing fluids such as antifreeze, which can be deadly for pets.

The ethylene glycol in antifreeze that has a sickly-sweet smell that is appetizing to pets. That’s why it’s important to clean up spills immediately and make sure your pets steer clear of the garage while you’re working on your vehicle.


#6. Beware chocolate and hearty foods

Halloween and Thanksgiving are prime fall holidays that can pose food threats for dogs. It is important to make sure your pets don’t get into any foods that can make them sick; for dogs, this means chocolate, grapes, and raisins are off limits because they are toxic.

Just because some foods aren’t technically considered toxic to pets doesn’t mean they’re safe. Rich, high-fat foods can cause stomach problems such as diarrhea and gastroenteritis and even more serious conditions like pancreatitis. Also, think about small food items that can be choking hazards, like turkey bones around Thanksgiving.  Talk to your veterinarian to make sure you know what’s safe and what’s not.

The good news is there are plenty of good fall foods like pumpkin which is a happy and healthy treat for your pet.


#7. Be careful with decorations

It seems almost everyone likes to decorate for fall and winter holidays. While this festive time looks great these decorations can pose a threat to our pets. Loose wires can electrocute, not to mention the toxic substances and choking hazards that are abound. Keep your pet away from outdoor displays ensuring they have a decoration free space to roam.


August is Senior Pets Month


We love our pets. And while nothing is cuter than a new puppy, our older pets have given us years of love, loyalty and companionship. As dogs age, like people, they require different kind of care. Here are five tips to keep your senior dog happy and healthy during their golden years.


Eat Well

Good nutrition is important at every age, but feeding your pet the proper nutrition in their senior years is essential to keep them active and playful. There are many brands of dog food that specialize in nutrition for senior dogs.Talk with your vet about the type of diet your dog needs. Your vet can make recommendations about quality brands, ingredients or special formulas your senior dog needs to thrive.

Get Exercise

Exercise is critical to keeping your dog healthy, both physically and mentally. Your dog may not be able to go on long hikes with you but shorter, less strenuous walks will keep him feeling good.


Keep the Weight Off

Extra pounds on older dogs means more stress on their body, including joints and internal organs. If you feel your dog needs to shed a few pounds, talk with your veterinarian about a weight loss and exercise plan.


Visit the Vet

Senior dogs should visit the vet at least twice a year ask your vet about common issues specific to your dog’s breed, like predisposition to kidney problems, diabetes or severe arthritis. Find out what the early warning signs might be so you can be on the lookout. This is also a good time to talk about your dog’s diet and exercise routine as well.


Take Care of Their Teeth

Regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life but especially for seniors.  Older dogs and cats with neglected teeth can create tartar build up can cause gingivitis, which can cause bacteria to get into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on your dog’s organs.

A great way to contribute to your senior dog’s good health is to keep his teeth and gums in tip top shape with regular at-home brushing and yearly professional cleanings by your vet.

Preventing Heat Stroke


As the temperature gets warmer we need to worry about our friends in their fur coats. Heat Stroke can be deadly for pets and while it may seem mild to you, your pet could still be at risk.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke:
• Panting
• Dehydration
• Excessive drooling
• Increased body temperature – above 103° F (39° C)
• Reddened gums and moist tissues of the body
• Production of only small amounts of urine or no urine
• Rapid heart rate
• Irregular heart beats
• sudden breathing distress
• Vomiting blood Passage of blood in the bowel movement or stool
• Black, tarry stools
• Death of liver cells
• Changes in mental status
• Seizures
• Muscle tremors
• Wobbly, incoordinated or drunken gait or movement
• Unconsciousness in which the dog cannot be stimulated to be awakened

There are ways you can keep your pets cool on hot days:
• Keep your pet indoors on high index heat days. If you leave the house keep the AC or a fan on so it is a
comfortable temperature for your pet.
• When your pet is outside make sure they have shelter from the sun. The lower temperature in the shade can make all the difference.
• Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh and cool water to drink. Dehydration is more likely in the hot weather.
• Fill a kiddie pool with water to give your pets a nice cooling dip.
• Freeze pet friendly snacks in an ice tray, your pet will enjoy the treat!
• Limit daytime activity, walk your dog early in the morning or after the sun goes down.

How to keep your pets safe from bloodsucking pests!


As Summer approaches we naturally want to spend more time outside. Unfortunately potentially dangerous pests like mosquitoes also like to hang out outside in the summer. Mosquitoes can cause heart worm, ticks can carry Lyme’s disease, and fleas are a nuisance as their bites itch.

These insect-vampires pose a threat to humans and animals alike.

Some of the sprays and repellents are quite toxic and can be harmful to our pets. Protecting your yard organically not only helps fight off these blood sucker but it also adds beauty, peace and harmony to your yard So how do you stay bug free without all of those harsh chemicals? Here are some tips we suggest.


  1. Hit em at Home

Mosquitoes lay eggs on standing water even small puddles can become a breeding ground for thousands of bloodsuckers. Go around your yard and look for any place that water gathers: uneven gutters, kiddie pools, those buckets you left behind the garage, kids toys left out in the yard.

For things like rain barrels, buy some window screen and secure it to the top to keep the mosquitoes from landing on the water. Large bird baths or garden water features should have a small pump to agitate the surface to discourage mosquitoes from landing to lay eggs.


  1. Plant an Anti- Mosquito Garden

Some plants  have properties that repel mosquitoes. Adding them to your garden can help deter mosquitoes from inhabiting your backyard

  • Citronella
  • Catnip
  • Lemon Balm
  • Marigolds
  • Basil
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Garlic
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rosemary
  • Geranium
  1. Light it up

Citronella torches/candles are effective at keeping bugs away but only for about a four-foot radius so you’ll need enough of them to blanket the area you’re in.  Make sure to keep open flames at a safe distance from pets. Secure tiki torches so they won’t get knocked over.

Preventing Ticks this Spring



Ticks can cause harm to your pets and your family. As it gets warmer your pets are at risk for ticks. A topical tick preventative is always  best, but that doesn’t mean you should be less vigilant about ticks. Here are some tips to help keep your pet tick free.


Avoiding Tick-Infested Areas

Ticks inhabit dense, wooded vegetative areas–patches of overgrown shrubs, meadows with thick brush, and places where the ground is covered with decaying leaves. Be especially cautious if you’re passing through an area with low, thick underbrush.

Ticks climb low shrubs and grass until they’re 18-24 inches off the ground, and they lurk in wait for animals–like your dog–to brush against their perch.

Ticks have heat sensors that can detect the body heat emitted by a dog. The tick uses its legs to grab onto your dog’s fur as the dog passes by. It worms its way through the fur and  begins to gorge itself on the dog’s blood in order to fertilize its eggs.

Stay on the trails when hiking with your pet, and make sure that your pet remains with you. Avoid wooded areas and long grasses where ticks are common. If your dog runs off the trail (as they often do), make sure to check him for ticks when you get home.


Identify tick habitat in your yard.

If your dog spends a lot of time running about your yard, it may be at risk of encountering ticks.

Ticks  congregate on the fringes: where yards border wooded areas; where there are ornamental plantings and thick gardens; and anywhere shady, where leaves are decaying with high humidity.

Rake up decaying leaves, trim brush, and keep your dog from sticking its nose into wooded areas. Keep your lawn trimmed low (below ankle height) so that it doesn’t become a hospitable environment for ticks.

Certain pests like rats or racoons carry ticks, so secure your trash cans with strong lids.

Check your dog for ticks every day, especially if it’s been outside.

Groom your dog after a walk in the woods. Work through its fur with a fine-toothed comb to remove any ticks that are clinging to the hairs. Part the fur with your hands and inspect your dog’s skin to make sure that no ticks have already taken root. Feel for irregular lumps.

Remember to check between your dog’s toes, behind and in the ears, in the armpits and belly, and all around the tail and the head.

If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away. Use tweezers or a tick scoop, and be gentle. If you’re using tweezers: Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible by gripping its head. Steadily pull upward until the tick releases his grip. Do not twist or jerk the tick or you might break off the head or mouth parts; you do not want to leave the tick head embedded in your pet’s skin. Do not squeeze to the point of crushing the tick, or you may may spread any diseases that the tick is carrying.

Check your home for ticks. Dogs can carry ticks in that do not latch on immediately, but instead spread throughout a home. Keep your eyes peeled for small, eight-legged, spider- or mite-like creatures.

Be aware that ticks may take a while to work their way through the fur before they actually bite a dog. If your dog comes into the house before the tick has properly latched on, there’s a chance that the tick will instead find its way onto you or one of your family members.

Ticks love thick carpets or fabrics–anywhere that they can hide. Vacuum your home if you suspect a tick infestation, using baking soda, or borax on your carpet can kill fleas and ticks, but use sparingly.


Easter Pet Safety



Easter is a great time to celebrate with family, but if you have pets, there are a few extra things you might want to think about if you want to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.



Some of the typical Easter plants and flowers can be toxic for your pet.

Easter lilies are one of the most popular plants of the season, unfortunately they are also one of the most dangerous flowers you can have around your cats. Ingesting only one or two petals can be fatal to your feline friend. It can also happen when your cat grooms lily pollen off of their fur or paws. Given the high risk and the devastating consequences, the safest thing you can do is to keep these lilies out of homes with cats. The danger they pose to your cat’s health is far greater than the beauty they can add to your decorating.

Cyclamen can be bought in gardening centers and supermarkets, so they can easily end up in and around homes this time of year. Their roots contain the most poison but the flowers can be dangerous as well. Small bites may cause vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea, while eating a larger amount can result in heart rhythm abnormalities, seizures, and even death.


Though all parts of the Amaryllis plant are toxic, the bulb, which is often exposed in these plants, is the most dangerous part for your pet. Pets that eat part of the beautiful Amaryllis plant can suffer vomiting, drooling, and abdominal pain. In some cases, they may even develop a sudden drop in blood pressure or breathing problems.


Avoid an Easter Basket Disaster

Candies are made for people not dogs. While it is commonly known that chocolate is a big hazard. Lesser known is the danger that sugar-free candy can pose to your pet. Many sugar-free gums and candies now contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that, though it may be beneficial for people with diabetes and a high risk of cavities, is highly toxic to dogs.

Even a small amount of xylitol can cause a steep drop in your dog’s blood sugar, leading to seizures, and possible coma or death. Xylitol can put your dog into liver failure from which they are unlikely to recover, even with intensive veterinary care. Ingestion of any candy should lead to an immediate call to your veterinarian or one of the animal- specific poison control centers.

Keep raisins, as well as grapes and currants, well away from your dogs as they can cause acute kidney failure in some dogs. Kidney failure is debilitating, expensive to treat, and often fatal.

If you have pets, stay away from Easter grass. This common filler of Easter baskets is often too tempting a ‘toy’ for pets to stay away from, particularly cats. When ingested, Easter grass has a high likelihood of causing irritation or obstruction of your pet’s intestines. Such digestive problems will likely result in a decrease in energy level and appetite, as well as vomiting and diarrhea. And while the irritation may resolve with at-home care, it just might require several days in the vet hospital, too. Any obstruction, on the other hand, will most certainly require surgery to correct. This means a stay in the hospital for your pet, and a bill typically upwards, and sometimes well upwards, of $1,000 for you.


The Dangers At Easter Dinner

Pork roast & Ham

These high fat and high salt meats can pose a danger to your pet in large amounts. A little sneak isn’t going to be dangerous, but multiply that with a house full of people, your pup can be in for one big tummy ache.  Ask your guests to refrain from feeding your pup at the table.

Keeping your pet safe on Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is a time that we all like to sweep our loved ones off their feet. However many items associated with the typical Valentine’s Day celebration can be dangerous to our four legged friends.

  • Candy 

Of all candy, chocolate is most poisonous to dogs. Many dogs are inherently attracted to the smell and taste of chocolate, making it a significant threat. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more poisonous it is. The chemicals in chocolate that are dangerous – methylxanthines – are similar to caffeine and more heavily concentrated in the darker varieties. In fact, just 2-3 ounces of Baker’s chocolate can make a 50-pound dog very sick. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, is less dangerous. It can take up to a pound of milk chocolate to cause poisoning in that same 50-pound dog. White chocolate rarely causes true chocolate poisoning because it contains very low amounts of methylxanthines; however the high fat content may result in pancreatitis. If you believe your dog has ingested chocolate contact your vet immediately.

  • Candles

Candles set a romantic tone, but left unattended your pet + open flame can equal disaster. Even if your pet is not in the room, a fire in the house can spread quickly leaving your fur babies trapped.  Make sure you are practicing safety when using candles.

  • Stuffed Animals

Your pet does not know whether it’s a toy for them or a toy for your loved one.  So keep that stuffed animal out of sight & out of reach.  A pet toy is designed with your pet’s safety in mind.

Anything with magnets can do serious damage in a dog’s intestines as well.

  •  Flowers

Flowers are a timeless Valentine’s Day gift, but certain plants can pose a risk to your pet. Here is a list of dangerous plants for dogs if ingested.

Flowers and plants that cause rashes (Dermatitis):

  • Agapanthus
  • Cactus
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Ficus
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Pothos Ivy (in small amounts)
  • Primerose
  • Schefflera
  • Sumac

Flowers and plants that cause upset stomachs (Vomiting, diarrhea, and gas):

  • Agapanthus
  • Amaryllis
  • Aste
  • Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila)
  • Boxwood
  • Cala Lily
  • Carnation
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Clematis
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil (Jonquil)
  • English Ivy
  • Freesia
  • Gladiolas
  • Holly
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Kalanchoe
  • Peony
  • Morning Glory
  • Poinsettia
  • Pothos Ivy
  • Scheifflera
  • Tulip

Flowers and plants that cause organ damage (Kidney, liver, stomach, heart, etc.):

  • Azalea (in small amounts)
  • Cardboard Palm
  • Crocus
  • Foxglove
  • Juniper



(This following listing of Flowers and Plants can Kill Dogs!!!)

Flowers and plants that cause death:

  • Azalea (in large amounts)
  • Cyclamen
  • Delphinium
  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Foxglove
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur
  • Mistletoe
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron
  • Sago Palms


To alleviate any jealousy from your four legged love, be sure to go and get them their own special Pet Safe Valentine’s present.

You can find some great gift ideas in our own retail section!

Baby, It’s Cold Outside




As temperatures begin to drop it is time to start thinking about how to keep our furry friends safe and warm.

If You’re Cold, They’re Cold!

Keep your pets indoors on cold days. Make sure they have access to warm, dry shelter during the day.

Keep the Water Bowl Full and Let the Kibble flow Like Wine

Make sure there is fresh, non frozen water for your pets. It is common for pets to want to eat more during the winter to keep that layer of fat.

Dress for the season.

Shorthaired and small dogs can get cold very quickly. Keep them warm with a high neck sweater that covers their belly. Rock salt used to melt ice can cut up your pet’s paws. Booties can help prevent this from happening.

Don’t leave them in the car!

In the winter, the car can become a refrigerator, causing your pet to freeze to death.

Let it Grow!

Never shave your dog down to the skin in the winter — his coat will provide warmth. And if your dog needs a bath, dry him off completely before taking him outside on a walk.

Want to Enjoy the Winter Wonderland?

Don’t let your dog off leash. Dogs can lose their scent easily and become lost in the snow. Don’t forget to make sure your pet wears an ID tag and has a microchip with up to date info

Be cautious when you start your car.

The warm engines of parked cars are a magnet for outdoor cats and critters. Check the wheel wells and give your hood a few hard knocks to make sure whatever is in there has a chance to get out. Cats have been killed by fan belts and engine parts.

Holiday Pet Boarding at Willow Pet

pet boarding long island
Willow Pet Hotel

Whether you’re hosting dinner or going out of town, let your furry one spend the holiday at Willow Pet Hotel.

Now not only can your pet enjoy bathing, grooming, exercise and snacks, but for an additional $19.99, they will be treated to a Thanksgiving meal of the same tasty items you enjoy.  The delicious holiday feast for your pouncing pal includes turkey breast, vegetable medley, yams, mashed potatoes and gravy!

One of Long Island’s oldest and most respected pet-boarding establishments, Willow Pet Hotel is a premier facility with modern amenities and a warm, caring staff.

Your pet is family, so book a room with us and give your companion a hearty holiday meal they’ll be thankful for. Space is limited, so call today!