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:
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!
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!!
Turkey Day Safety Reminders
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 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!
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 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
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
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!
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 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:
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- Always have cold water for your pet! Ice cubes are also a good option if your pet likes ice.
- Watch for signs of heatstroke
Calm your high energy dog with 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 time with your pets!
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:
- Vet documents- Bring along records of immunizations and a copy of rabies vaccine (should be up to date)
- Pet identification – Your pet should always be wearing a ID tag.
- Leash and collar (might be good have an extra)
- 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.
- Toys- if your pups are like ours, they always have their toys out playing.
- Cleaning supplies- better safe than sorry if the pups have a accident! Most importantly don’t forget the poop bags!
- First aid kit and any pet medications that your pup might take.
- Food and water dishes
- 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
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:
- Regularly check the fence. If you have a gate always double check the latch. We don’t want any dogs escaping!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!