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.

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!

Vacation with your Pets!

Vacation time with your pets!

vacation

The summer months have arrived and that means it’s time for some fun in the sun! If any of you are like us you have a vacation countdown! Koop and Dee are coming with us, so it is extra exciting because it breaks our hearts when we go away without them! With that being said, since they are coming with us we have to make sure we are prepared with all of their supplies. Last year was the first time ever that we took the pups with us to go away so we were new in terms of what to pack for the pups. Let’s just say, I over packed a little too much for the pooches! Here are a few things to not forget if you decide to take your pup on a vacation with you:

  1. Vet documents- Bring along records of immunizations and a copy of rabies vaccine (should be up to date)
  2. Pet identification – Your pet should always be wearing a ID tag.
  3. Leash and collar (might be good have an extra)
  4. Blankets/dog bed- if you are driving having a blanket might make the pets feel a little more comfortable. Same with the bedding/dog bed. Some pets are comforted by the familiarity of their own.
  5. Toys- if your pups are like ours, they always have their toys out playing.
  6. Cleaning supplies- better safe than sorry if the pups have a accident! Most importantly don’t forget the poop bags!
  7. First aid kit and any pet medications that your pup might take.
  8. Food and water dishes
  9. Pet food and treats- you might be traveling to a place that doesn’t have a store that carries the food your pup needs.

Hope you all have a great week! Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with your four-legged best friends!

Dog- Proofing your outdoor space

Dog-Proofing your outdoor space

outdoor time!

It may not feel like it with all of this rain, but summer and sunshine are coming! This means more time to spend outdoors and in your backyard. Our pups, Kooper and Dee, love laying on the back deck in the sunshine. As pet owners, we usually think about pet proofing the inside of the house, but sometimes we forget about the backyard. Here are a few tips and reminders to keep your pup safe when outdoors:

  1. Regularly check the fence. If you have a gate always double check the latch. We don’t want any dogs escaping!
  2. Keep the grass short and landscape on a regular basis, ticks like to lay in long grass, debris, and branches. This will help keep the ticks away.
  3. Trashcans should be secure. If you are like us and have large bins in your backyard, make sure the trashcan and recycling bins are secure. Doing this will prevent the pups getting into stuff they shouldn’t be.
  4. When planting flowers, keep in mind that some plants are poisonous for pups. Daffodils are a common flower for your garden but they are poisonous to pets. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even heart problems. The most dangerous part of these plants are the bulbs.
  5. If your dogs are like ours they love to be outside in the sunshine on the deck.  Remember it can get hot! Make sure to provide fresh water and shade to keep your pups cool.

As always, get outside and enjoy special quality time with your pups! This quality time means the world to them! Playing Frisbee, fetch, or just lounging in the sunshine is always a good idea with your pup! : )

Also, summer vacations are quickly approaching don’t forget to book your pet sitters. Dates are filling up fast!

Spring Cleaning and Pets

Spring Cleaning and Pets

Spring Cleaning Time!

Spring is finally here and in the Anderson house it is time for some much needed spring cleaning! Time to open up the windows and get some fresh air in the house. With our house, our pets are the main source of odors. The best thing to help keep the stink away is to make sure the pups are clean. Dee enjoys her baths but with Koop, not so much! He hates them! For Kooper, we use the non- water shampoo wipes. We rub this on him and it takes any grime off of him. Surprisingly, he is not the one that gets stinky…our girl Dee can be though! It is easier when you have a pet that does self-grooming such as a cat. Most dogs, depending on their activity/lifestyle will only need a bath every other month and then brushing in between. Regularly grooming your pet will also strengthen your bond between you and your pet.

The next thing we always do is clean our sheets and blankets weekly. This is where the most of the dog stink lingers. Koop and Dee sometimes sleep in our bed and they make it stinky fast! If you have a pup that sleeps in a crate, don’t forget to spray and clean the bottom of the crate with a pet-safe disinfectant. This will help eliminate any odors as well. One of our best purchases was a residential steam cleaner. We periodically deep clean the carpets that really get any lingering pet odors out! For getting pet hair off of furniture and upholstery an effective way is using a damp rubber glove and going over the fabric to get the pet hair off.  Lastly, check the filters in your home. Clean and replace your filters regularly.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Dog Treat Recipe!

waiting for his treat!

Dog Treat Recipe!

Want to spoil your pup with a yummy treat? Your pups will be drooling for more!

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked and cooled carrots
1 ripe banana, peeled, or another cup of cooked, cooled vegetables
1 cup soy milk
1-1/2 cups peanut butter
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups white flour, plus more for dusting

Instructions for Bowser Biscuit Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Combine the banana and vegetables (you can substitute peas, green beans, or your dog’s favorite vegetable) in a food processor. Our pups, Dee and Koop LOVE green beans! Add the soy milk, peanut butter, and molasses and blend again.

Mix together the whole wheat flour and baking powder. Next add to the wet mixture and blend.

Pour the batter into a bowl and add 1 cup of white flour and stir thoroughly. Add in the second cup of white four, adding more flour if necessary to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into four parts.

Roll out a piece of dough on a floured board to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough in shapes that you would like or use a cookie cutter. Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes or until they are just starting to brown. Remove the sheet from the oven and turn over the biscuits with a spatula. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the biscuits again and bake for another 10 minutes. They should be as crisp.

Remove the treats from the oven and let them cool completely. Now the fun part…let your pup be the taste tester!

Repeat with the other three parts of the dough, or freeze the remaining dough to bake later.

Store the cooled pup treats in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Hope your pups enjoy!

 

Barrel Oak Winery

Barrel Oak Winery

Perfect Getaway!

With warm weather around the corner, you might be looking for something fun to do in the sunshine with your pup! Look no further! Barrel Oak winery, located in Virginia is the place to be! Their initials BOW shows the first clue that this winery is a fan of dogs! Barrel Oak is only a quick drive away from Baltimore (about one hour and 45 minutes).
We found this winery about two years ago during the fall season when we went to visit my sister in law and her family in VA. Scott, my husband, and I went for the tasting (starting at $7) and horseback riding. They make the wine on the property and they offer tours. They also had bonfires set up and corn hole. We saw many families who brought a lunch and had a picnic outside on their property! I fell in love…there were dogs everywhere! It is a super dog friendly winery. What is better than wine and dogs? : ) My personal favorite wine at BarrelOak is the Bowhaus Red but with the warmer weather you can’t go wrong with the Bowhaus White! Another plus is they are very involved with local animal shelters… no doubt they love the four-legged pups!
Friendly tips: Hours of operation are Mon-Thurs: 11:00–6:00 Fri: 11:00–9:00 Sat: 11:00–6:00 Sun: 10:00 – 6:00. Make yourself a picnic basket with some treats for the pups and enjoy the beautiful view! If you do decide to take your pup, make sure he or she is on a leash and is well socialized as there will be lots of people and other pups there. Barrel Oak is all about good wine, friendly people, beautiful view, and dogs galore! Hope you and your four-legged best friends have a howlin’ good time!