Fall has arrived!
Hi everyone! Hope you all had a awesome summer with family! As always, it went by so fast and here we are now making our fall plans. Fall is the perfect time to try some new activities such as hiking with your pup. Activities like this are not only beneficial to your health but they strengthen the bond between you and your pal. Before trying any new activities with your pup, always consider safety and make sure it is something he or she will like. Not all dogs will like hiking, some dogs like my girl Dee would rather cuddle on the couch and take short walks. Here are some locations with some great trails:
Gunpowder Falls State Park- no need for a road trip. We have this park right down the street from us with many trail options. Start your weekend morning off right with a nice hike.
Harpers Ferry in West Virginia is a great day trip to go with your pup. There are a couple of different hike options. The views are incredible- pack a lunch and hang out overlooking the little town.
Asheville, NC- Take a long weekend and go to Asheville, which is right next to Blue Ridge Parkway. The hikes are endless and the town is dog friendly with some breweries that are dog friendly. What’s better than sitting down with a nice beer in town after taking in some of those gorgeous views with your pup? Craggy Pinnacle Hike is a short one with great views.
If you and your pup are not into hiking you can always look into taking an agility class or visit the local park.
As always, if your pup isn’t a fan of outside activities, schedule your pet sitting services and we can care for them while you are away.
Wedding Season is Here!
This month is one of the most popular month to tie the knot! If you are like me and wanted to incorporate your pups in your wedding, this post is for you. When Scott and I got married 4 years ago I knew that I wanted to incorporate my 3 dogs- Baxter, Chessie, and Bay who we got when I was 11. These three dogs meant the world to my family and I. Since we were getting married at Chesapeake Beach Resort in Chesapeake Beach I knew unfortunately it would be too far for them to travel since they were 14 years old. I had to find another special way to have them a part of our special day! That’s when we came up with the idea to put a picture of my munchkins in my bouquet- it was close to me during the whole day! Here are some other ideas to include for four-legged besties in the big day-
Decorations– Use some pictures of your pals for the centerpieces, cake topper, invitations, thank you cards, or favors. You could also do a donation instead of favors to the local humane society!
Engagement and Wedding Photos– If you have a dog that is fine with people and a lot of activity you couple include them in some of the priceless shots. Be sure to use a photographer that is comfortable working with pups. Pinterest has a ton of ideas for poses and make sure to practice before so your buddy is comfortable in front of the camera and posing! Also, we do offer a wedding service so your pups can be part of the special day!
Ceremony– If you fur best pal likes to be around people why not have him walk down the aisle as the ring bearer or the flower girl : )
Be sure to get a sitter– With all of the final planning of the big day make sure you have your pets care scheduled- whether it for just the big day, days leading up to it- we got the walks covered when you are making those final details or the honeymoon!
The wedding day goes by a blink of an eye so take a moment and look out to all of your loved ones under one room and soak it all in! It will be one of the best days of your life and hopefully your four-legged best friend will be a part of it : )
Road Trip to the Beach
Is it just me or does summer mean road trip? I love this time of year to hop in the car and explore a new town…and why not take your four-legged pal with you? Here is a list of some dog friendly spots to check out this summer:
Assateague, MD– Pets are permitted only in specific areas of the Maryland portion of the National Seashore. Your pup might enjoy watching the wild horses from afar that wander on the shore too! After getting some exercise on the shore check out Atlantic Hotel in Berlin and enjoy a nice drink on their patio with your four-legged pal!
Fenwick, DE– Fenwick Island State Park, this park is not too crowded during most of the year and is a perfect spot let your pup get rid of some energy!
Charleston, SC– This town has so much history! It’s the perfect place to take a stroll down King St, where there are stores for everyone. Once you are done strolling the streets of Charleston, go to Brown Dog Deli. They have a dog friendly outside patio and the food is great! After this, its time to cool off at Folly Beach which is a dog friendly beach! Dogs are allowed on the beach at anytime from October 1st– April 30th. During the peak summer months dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10am-6pm.
San Diego, CA– This would be a far road trip, but oh so worth it! San Diego is a very dog friendly town. The views are incredible, food is delicious, and its home to one of the best dog beaches- Ocean Beach Dog Beach. This beach is heaven on earth! Dogs are running around with one another splashing in the water, digging in the sand having the best of time! Personally, I could stay on this beach all day watching the dogs play.
For more information on dog friendly hotels, restaurants, and activities check out Gopetfriendly.com and BringFido.com .
Outside Fun with your Pals!
The warm weather has arrived! That means time to get outside and have some fun in the sun before it gets too hot! Here in Maryland there are a lot of fun things to do with your four-legged pals! Remember that your pups paws are as sensitive as our feet, so try to go during the day when the ground is cooler, such as the mornings or evenings. One way to test is touching the ground with the back of your hand or your foot. If its hot to the touch for you then its the same for your pup.
Hiking- This is a great activity to challenge your pup while exercising. So many different scents and stimulation’s. We have some great trails around us. For a day trip, Harpers Ferry is a great place to go. They have some easier trails and some more challenging ones. After you are finished your hike, at the bottom of the trail eateries are located to get a bite to eat that are dog friendly.
Walking/Jogging- We have great trails in our area to do some exercise. The Ma and Pa trail is a fantastic trail to get some fresh air on. Gunpowder Falls State Park is in Baltimore and Harford county and it has 100 miles of trails.
Fetch- This is another great way to get outdoors and have some fun! The ChuckIt toy is a great way to play fetch, your dog will love it! This toy saves you from having to bend down and from touching the slobbery ball! A win win!
Enjoy the great outdoors with your pup! It will be a great time for you both!
Note- Looking for something fun to do that supports a great cause? May 6th– PAWJECT Runway! Such a fantastic event! Get your ticket today! You can learn more detail here !
Rain, Rain, go away all the Dogs want to play
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- Tug of War- another old faithful of ours- learn the correct and safe way to play with your pup.
- Fetch- If you have a long hallway you can play just like you would outside.
- Stair Master- If the stairs in your home are safe do some laps with your pup up and down the steps.
- 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
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!
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!