All posts by About Courtney Boyle-Anderson

About About Courtney Boyle-Anderson

After graduating from college with a psychology degree in 2011, I was excited to start my career. I searched long and hard for a job within my field but quickly found out I needed a masters to pursue many of the jobs that were available. Within a few months I began working for a benefits enrollment company and soon moved to a small accounting firm. While the people were fantastic, I soon realized the cubicle life wasn't for me.

Rainy Day Indoor Fun

Rain, Rain, go away all the Dogs want to play

Indoor Fun

Since we are now in the month of April already… how is that possible? We are likely to have some rainy days such as today…April showers bring May flowers! We all know the saying “a tired dog is a happy dog” and with these indoor ideas you will have one happy dog! Here is a list of indoor game ideas to help get rid of some extra energy from your pets:

  1. Kong– I have talked about this before, but I can’t say enough about the trusty KONG. Fill this up and it will keep your pups occupied and stimulated to get all of the treats out of it.
  2. Games- I love playing “find it” with some training treats. To play this, your pup needs to be taught some commands beforehand. To play- tell your pup to “stay” , hide the treat, and then tell him “find it.” This game gets them engaged and excited! Our dogs love this game!
  3. Teach your dog a new trick- Rain days are the perfect day to teach them and then they will be ready to show off their new tricks on the sunny days with their friends!
  4. Tug of War- another old faithful of ours- learn the correct and safe way to play with your pup.
  5. Fetch- If you have a long hallway you can play just like you would outside.
  6. Stair Master- If the stairs in your home are safe do some laps with your pup up and down the steps.
  7. Play Date- if your pup is well socialized and does well with humans and other dogs, why not have an indoor play date? You will have two tired pups at the end of the date!

Embrace those rainy days, spending time with your pets is always a good time!

Spring Preparation for your Pet

Spring Preparation for your Pet

Spring is coming!

Even though it is currently snowing, spring is in fact around the corner! Only in Maryland can it be 70 degrees yesterday and snowy weather today! And that means one thing, spring showers bring May flowers! With that being said, here are a few reminders to get your pets ready for the warmer spring weather:

-Double check to make sure your pooch is getting his flea and tick- We love Nexguard. This is a chewable tablet that you can give to your pup once a month. It is more convenient than doing the liquid Frontline. Our pup, Kooper, did NOT like getting Frontline. It was a stressful time when his due date would come every month so we were Happy Dog Parents when we found out about Nexguard. Talk to your vet to see if it would be a good option for your pets.

– Check your pets microchip information to make sure information is up to date. If your pet does not have a microchip, this is the perfect time to get them one. This is an effective ID resource .

– Pay attention to your pet to see if they are licking, scratching or shaking the head – Our girl Dee has the worst allergies in the spring. She is always trying to lick her paws.

– On those rainy days don’t forget to leave a towel out for us so we can clean up your pups muddy paws

– Get outside- enjoy the longer days. Daylight Savings is Sunday and is the perfect start to longer walks with our buddies. It can be the start of your pups walking off those extra winter pounds!

Since spring is around the corner that also means Spring Break! Planning a getaway? Remember to reach out to your pet sitter if you can’t take yours with you. Pet sitters can provide your pet with the individualized love and care while you are away!

 

What Lessons do our Pets Teach Us?

 

Lessons our Pets Teach Us

The holidays have come and gone and January is almost over already!  When reflecting on the year prior and this past month, we can look to our pets for valuable lessons:

Koop

What lessons do you learn from your pet?

  • Our pets go after what they want- They see a bird in their back yard they are going to chase after it!  Dogs are always aiming to please and many enjoy learning a new trick with their owner. We can learn that we need to chase after our dreams and goals. Want to go after that dream job? Go for it…the time is now!
  • Take time to relax- smell the roses as they say. We live in a world where its go go go all the time. We can learn from our pets that a simple pleasure like going for a walk on a beautiful day can do the soul good (perfect bonding opportunity with your pup too)
  • Stay curious- Your pups are always smelling new smells and being curious. When they get a new toy, they want to learn all about it and play with it all the time. This year, learn a new skill, read more, or start new hobby.
  • Exercise daily- Let this year be the year that you find balance and take time for yourself to try that yoga class or join the basketball league.
  • Love unconditionally- this might be the biggest lesson that we can learn from our four-legged pals. They love us on our good days and our bad ones.
  • Last but not least, the lesson as Ellen always says, be kind to one another. Our pups show us that with their wagging tails and slobbery kisses!

 

Holiday Gift Ideas

Gift Buying Guide for the Holidays

Tis the season! If you are like us, we are trying to finish up our holiday shopping and are trying to find the perfect gifts for our loved one! Here’s a list of some ideas:

For the Pooches: 

A chew bone-By nature, dogs like to chew. We like giving the antlers to Dee and Koop- they last forever and do not splinter which is safer. Another good chew is a bully stick.

A new harness – We personally love the Freedom Harness. It makes taking the pups for a walk a true pleasure. It’s especially a great harness for dogs that pull.

A BarkBox- Don’t know what kind of treats or toys to get your pooch? Leave that to the BarkBox team. Each month is different. Our dogs get excited when they see a package come in the mail because they assume it’s a BarkBox with new treats for them to try!

Dispensing food toy-The Kong and Kong Wobbler is one of our favorites!  These toys are a great outlet for your dog and after some productive food hunting, your dog may just take a nap afterwards.

For the Cats: 

Mouse toy– Perfect size for the kitties to carry and bat at

Cat Tree– Perfect unit for scratching, climbing, sleeping, and exercising

For the Owners: 

Coffee Table Book – Have you heard of Wine Dogs? What is better than dogs and wine? Not much right? Well this coffee table book is adorable and the perfect gift for that dog lover friend! Another great one is Dogist

Subscription to Dogster, The Bark, or Modern Dog- great reading material for the pet lovers!

Pop Your Pup Shirt– Your dog loving friends will love this! A picture of your pup on your shirt? Yes, please! : )

Happy Holidays to your and your four-legged pals!!

Thanksgiving Safety

Turkey Day Safety Reminders

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Thanksgiving has arrived! The turkey is in the oven, the stuffing is on the stove, and your pups are by your feet since they can smell the yummy dinner! I have to say, I really enjoy the thanksgiving holiday: family all gathered around the table and great food! It is a day to simply give thanks and to be present. However, with the beautiful holiday comes some chaos: aka smoke detectors going off! Don’t tell me I am the only bad one in the kitchen! : ) For our pups, the holidays can be stressful and can increase their anxiety. As responsible pet owners we need to make sure that our pets are safe.

Here are a couple reminders to keep your pets safe during the thanksgiving holiday:

Give your dog a safe and comfortable area. If he’s feeling some anxiety with all of the people, give him an escape if he needs to get away. You should never force your dog to stay somewhere that could be too much stimulation for him. For our boy Kooper, we exercise him in the morning and then take him upstairs and let him relax when all the activity is going on downstairs. He does not do well with all of the commotion that the holidays can bring. Our girl Dee is different. He is a social butterfly and wants to greet everyone. We let her have her time with the family but we then take her upstairs with her brother if she is getting too tired.

Keep your attention on your pups if they are around the food– Those sniffers are going to be sniffing out all of the yummy food, but make sure they do not get to it. Turkey bones and turkey with the skin on it can harm your pet. Cooked bones can splinter and can cause much damage to dogs. Give your dog a bully stick or an antler for them to chew on.

Keep the trash away from where the pets can access- your pet can get into some danger when getting food out of the trash.

Make sure the doors are secure- with family coming in and out of the house it can become very easy for your pet to slip out the door.

We hope you have a nice Thanksgiving holiday with the family, friends, and pets!

Ways to Decrease your pets fears of Thunderstorms

Ways to decrease your pets fear of thunderstorms

Does your pet go crazy when lightning and thunderstorms hit? Hiding under the bed, pacing, barking, and any other ways of showing he is not a fan? Sounds like your pup? Here’s some advice to help keep your pet feeling safe even during a storm. My husband, Scott and I know this all too well because our boy Kooper is not a fan of storms. He can sense when one is coming and he is uneasy during the whole storm. Our girl, Dee is the complete opposite. Storms do not phase her at all… the only thing she doesn’t like is going outside to potty in the rain!

  • Condition them when they are a puppy– Think about purchasing a CD or download the Rain Rain App that has sounds of a thunderstorm and play it on low while doing everyday fun activities with your pet. Gradually increase the volume and let your pet adjust and acknowledge these noises as occasionally regular occurrences with no threat involved.
  • Look into a Thundershirt– A Thundershirt has about an 80% success rate with calming nervous dogs. They can be used for storms or any other situations that cause nerves and anxiety in your pet.
  • Safe Zone–Your pet should have a safe zone where they can go to if they want to get away. This can be their crate. For Koop, his safe zone is our closet. Almost every storm he will go up to the closet and lay down. It is dark in the closet so we can’t see the lightening as much as he would in the rooms with windows.
  • Turn on some other noise– Turn on the TV, play some music, and or hang out in an area where the thunder is not as noticeable, such as a basement.
  • It’s okay to calm them– Some people say not to baby pets when they become frightened by thunder. You can calm them without babying. Try playing their favorite game, giving them a treat, or just scratching their ears. The key is to behave completely normal like nothing is amiss. If your pet sees you behaving differently they will perceive validation for their fear.
  • Make others aware– Guests or a pet sitter will be with your pet when there is a possibility for a thunderstorm make sure they are aware of your pet’s anxiety.

Hopefully some of these tips help decrease your pets fears! Let us know what works for you and your pets!

Raise Money While Walking a Dog

Walk a Dog and Raise Money

Have you heard of the app called Walk the Dog? I know I have mentioned this fantastic app a while ago, but it’s so awesome I wanted to share it again! We all know that walking our pups is a great bonding time and a great way to enjoy the outdoors. As a triple bonus, we can also log some extra steps on our Fitbit!

As always there are countless benefits from walking with your pups!

  • Walking helps to keep you and your dog more healthy
  • Regular exercise controls their weight
  • Destructive behavior could be eliminated- regular walks and exercise can reduce behavior from your dog that is destructive such as chewing and digging.
  • A walk can also help your pup get rid of some of that extra energy they might have
  • Increases the bond between you and your dog and he or she will gain more trust with you

 

Want to know how to get started with WalkForADog?

  • First, download the Walk for a Dog app (a free download)
  • Before you go on your walk, open the app to get all the steps counted for
  • For each mile walked, money will be donated to the rescue you chose
  • To setup which shelter or rescue you would like to walk for you can go to the set up page and under each state the participating organizations will be listed
  • Your route, mileage, and speed are tracked
  • You do not have to have a dog of your own to use this app

This is such a great way to give back to the shelter or rescue of your choice! If you do not have a four-legged companion of your own you should consider volunteering at your local shelter and walk some of the adoptable pups looking for their forever home!

To learn more information to go www.wooftrax.com

 

Summer Treat Recipe

Summer Treat for your Four-Legged Friend!

We are in the middle of summer now and that means it is hot hot hot!! Like today, it is humid out there so our pets should only be outside for a limited time.Here is an awesome treat recipe to help keep your pup cool during the summer months

Peanut Butter Popsicle

Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter, if possible unsalted and not sweetened (Check the peanut butter label to make sure it does not have any kind of xylitol, this is toxic to dogs.)

Half of a mashed ripe banana

Directions:

If needed add water

Mix the mashed banana and the peanut butter together in a mixing bowl.

Add the water as needed. (The water and banana aren’t essential, but they help with freezing consistency.)

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, or use the toys that are KONG styled where you can add the treat into the cavity of the toy.

Spoon the mixture onto the tray or stuff it into the toys. Freeze the tray or toys for several hours or overnight.

Your dog is going to be extra happy after this yummy treat!

Helpful advice:

Pet popsicles can be made out of all kinds of things your pups eat normally, so test out to see what your dog likes the most.

The frozen Kong-style toys make a great cool-down treat for when you will be away for a few hours. Kooper and Dee’s favorite KONG treat is Peanut Butter mixed with banana frozen.

Try treats frozen in water, watered down wet food and your favorite frozen veggies.

As always, remember to avoid certain foods that can be harmful to your pets. Here is a list of some of the foods your pets should avoid.

Wishing everyone and their pets an awesome rest of the summer!

Summer Heat and Our Pets

Summer Heat and Protecting our Pets

The next few days are going to be hot, hot, hot! These are the days we have to especially be mindful of our pets and the heat. These days can be dangerous to our pets, especially for the young, old, overweight pets. Also, at higher risk are pets with darker colored coats and shorter muzzles. With our two dogs, the heat affects our girl Dee more than it does Kooper. Dee has the dark coat and her muzzle is shorter. She can only do short walks when it’s this hot. Kooper can tolerate the hotter days.  If we would let him, he would try to lay out on our deck in the sun all day, but of course we have to monitor him as well. Keep these tips in mind when it gets hot outside:

  1. Never leave a pet in a car unattended- temperatures in a car can increase quickly. Even if the windows are cracked open.  According to ASPCA, “On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.”
  2. Avoid walking on surfaces like asphalt. The paws on your pet can burn from walking on these hot surfaces. A way to test to see if it too hot for your pet is to touch the surface with the back of your hand- if it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your pet. It is best to walk in the grass for your pups paws.
  3. Limit your pets exercise on these super-hot days and avoid direct sunlight. It’s often better to exercise early in the morning and during the evening hours.
  4. Always have cold water for your pet! Ice cubes are also a good option if your pet likes ice.
  5. Watch for signs of heatstroke

Three ways to calm your pup with exercise

Calm your high energy dog with exercise

Exercise

Do you have a high energy dog that seems to never get tired? Here are 3 tips for calming your dog with exercise:

1) Schedule play time in addition to walk.

A regular, routine session of play can do great things for the dogs that have extra energy. Take your pups favorite toys outside for some playtime. Playing fetch is a great way to get some energy out! If its raining out, indoor play can be fun too! To get some energy out of our pups we play “find it.” With this, we hide a treat and they have to find it. They love playing this game! Another way to get some energy out is to play tug-o-war. Add a time in your everyday schedule for playtime with your pooch!

2) Set up a dog playground with friends or visit a dog park

Playgroups and dog parks can be another way to getting your pup more exercise if your pup is well-socialized with other dogs. Our boy Kooper LOVES playgroups! He loves running around playing with the other pups and he is a tired pup for the rest of the day! Play time with other dogs is a great social interaction and awesome for getting your pup some exercise. Always supervise your dog during these playgroups.

3) Make exercise a regular thing for your pup!

Dogs are just like humans-they need regular exercise! Getting your pup on a routine will help relax him. With getting regular exercise everyday will help establish a routine in your dog’s life as well as dissolve extra energy. Hiring a dog walker is a great way to help you establish a calming routine of daily walks for your dog if your schedule varies.

And don’t forget the common saying is a tired dog is a good dog!