Holiday Gift Guide
One of our favorite times of the year around here is Christmas. A time to give and spend quality time with family, especially our four legged family members. Below are some gift ideas for pet lover, our pups, and kitties too!
Perkies Print- what is better than a giant sized picture of your pets? We have 2 (one of each) and it puts an instant smile on our faces. In the picture above you can see the one we bought. We have hanging in our office and its a instant good mood looking at that smile.
Coffee Table Book- The Dogist will be a hit will all of your guests. Beautiful pictures of dogs throughout.
Christmas Ornament- We all need an ornament with a picture of our precious pooches on the tree.
A donation in honor of your pet- nothing feels better than giving back to animals in need. The local shelters are always in need of support. If you do not want to do a monetary donation you can donate supplies.
The Neater Feeder- is your dog a messy eater? Our one dog Dee is a very messy eater and her meals go everywhere! We found this and it has saved our walls and cabinets from the mess!
Antler Bone- These bones will last forever. We buy one per year and it lasts. They will also keep your pups busy during the colder months when they can’t go outside as much.
KONG- you can never have too many of these. Put some peanut butter and banana inside and your pup will be a happy one.
Rainbow Cat Charmer- Gets your cat interacting with you running around chasing the string!
A cozy cat cave– its no secret that our felines like to snuggle up and relax.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family…furry family members too!
Dog Friendly Breweries
What’s better than sitting outside on the patio with a nice cold brewski with your four legged best friend? We have so many awesome local breweries near us.The atmosphere at a brewery should only be for well behaved pups that are socialized well. Not only with people, but other dogs too. Pups that are fearful/reactive to others dogs and people should not be in this environment. If this is your pup, then grab a growler and head back home to hang out with your pup! Here are some breweries to try if you haven’t yet:
Independent Brewery– One of our favorite things to do is check out a new brewery and we have found a couple that we always go back to. One of them being this one. One of my favorite tasty brews is the Bad Hombre, which is a IPA and available year round.
Monument Brewery- located in Baltimore next to Urban Axes. The 51 Rye is a great beer which you can find year round.
Alecraft Brewery- another local brewery in the Bel Air area. They sometimes do events for local dog fundraisers.
Attaboy Brewery- This one is in Frederick which would be a nice place to stop after hiking at Gambrill State Park. Dogs are allowed in Beer Garden & Indoor/Outdoor area. They must be friendly and on a leash. Dogs are not allowed in the taproom.
Pooles Island Brewing Company- Dogs are welcome at this new brewery located in Middle River.
BC Brewery- located in Hunt Valley. They have self serve craft beers on tap. Well behaved dogs are welcome.
All of these breweries are a fun spot to check out local brews for a relaxing day with your pup and friends. If you know of an awesome dog friendly local brewery let us know, we would love to visit!
It’s one of our biggest fears…when our pets get sick… but when do we need to take them to the vet? It’s one of the questions some of us might have. I know with our one pup, I feel like we are always at the vet.
One of the biggest rule of thumbs: does your pet seem to be in severe pain and discomfort? If so, it is always best to call your vet and or take him in right away. If it’s after hours at your normal vet, then a trip to the emergency vet hospital is the route to go. Here is a list of common emergencies that need immediate attention:
-Breathing Issues- This is a very serious one. If your pet is showing signs of having trouble breathing then take your pet to the vet immediately. A normal rate for breathing in dogs in 10-30 breaths per minute.
-Difficulty walking or standing- if this is something that suddenly popped up it could be a sign of a serious injury such as a neurological problem.
-Poisoning- symptoms of poisoning are lethargy, vomiting, disorientation, tremors, and bleeding. You can also call the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661 to get more information.
– Seizures- These are painful for pet owners to witness. It really breaks your heart seeing. This is when a dog might collapse to the ground and move his limbs uncontrollably. They can also urinate and defecate at the same time. Seizures can be caused by epilepsy, kidney failure, and other underlying health concerns.
– Bloat- this is when the stomach fills with air and twists. When this is not taken care of immediately it can be life threatening.
– Bleeding- both internal and external bleeding needs vet attention. Excessive bleeding can be fatal and can cause the pet to go into shock.
All of these emergencies are scary and need vet attention. It is always important to be observant of how your pet is acting. Pet first aid and CPR classes are available so you can be well prepared in an emergency.
Ways to give back during the holidays
The holidays are quickly approaching! Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? This time of year is such a great time to give back. Here is a list of ideas on ways to give back to the community:
-Volunteer at a local animal shelter- Shelters are always in need of extra hands with many tasks that need to be done. This is especially true around the Holidays.
– Check out events the local animal shelters are doing during the holiday season. They always have ways to give back such as a Pet Photo with Santa at the Baltimore Humane Society. Money raised will go back to the shelters.
– Buy some extra pet food- When you are shopping for your own pet, buy some extra and donate to the local animal shelter for the pets in need. You can also donate items such as blankets, peanut butter, kongs, etc. You could also organize your own pet food drive in your community and donate a huge amount of items to the shelter.
– Become a foster parent- when you foster one animal you are actually saving two because the one you are fostering now has an open cage at the shelter for another animal. This is one of the best things you can do to give back. Many people say they could never foster because it’s so hard to say bye but you have to remember the impact you are making and all of the pets you are saving.
– Some shelters offer a program called Shelter Buddies Reading Program. You can take your child and they can read to the shelter animals. This helps but the child and the dogs. It calms the pets and your child gets to practice their reading skills.
– Adopt- what’s a better than giving a shelter animal a forever home?
We would love to hear of any ways that you like to give back during the holiday season!
Preparing Dog for Baby
Some of you may know that Scott and I are expecting our first little one in November…coming down the home stretch now! One of the first things we did when we found out we were pregnant was start the process of preparing our first kids (our pups) for this big change in our lives. Preparation is the best way to make the transition as smooth as possible- babies come with all sorts of new things- sounds, machines that move (rock n plays), tiredness, and change in schedule.
A great resource to learn how to welcome baby into the home with your pups is Family Paws. They have a great online class that you can take which we found super helpful. They also have a hotline where you can call with any of your questions. It is also good to talk to your vet and see what they recommend on ways to prepare. Here are some of the things we have done that have been recommended:
- Carry around a baby doll- yes this might seem weird and believe me it did for us at first but we will do anything to keep our pups safe, happy, and comfortable. Doing this teaches the pups respect of your space and gets them used to you carrying around something because when do we walk around the house just carrying something?
- Set up all the baby things- baby machines can be strange to dogs- have they ever seen a Rock n Play before? Bring the car seat in and out of the house so the dogs can get used to seeing it and teach them to give you space when coming in and out. Have they ever seen a stroller? Bringing all of these things out before will get them prepared.
- Play crying baby sounds- condition your pups to the noise and give them treats during so it is a positive. As the dog gets more comfortable increase the volume the next time.
- Teach them commands- “Lay down” is one that we have made sure our dogs know so that when they are getting to be a little too much we can say “lay down” and they will go to their dog beds for calm time.
Even if you think your dog is going to be a rockstar with meeting your baby it is always best to set them up for success and preparing them! And remember that just because your dog is doing great with the baby stage, toddlers are a whole different thing since they are mobile so we have to prepare for all stages of children.
Volunteering, a way to give back
With us almost into February you might be looking over your resolutions and noticing that you have written down that you want to give back and volunteer your time but are not sure where to begin. February is also a time to spread love for Valentines Day and what better way to spread love than by walking precious dogs at your local shelter?
A great volunteer opportunity is to become a dog walker at BARCS- Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter which is located in Baltimore city. The volunteer hours are nice because you can start volunteering as early as 8:30 AM. The 10-15 minutes that you are walking that dog might be the only highlight of the day- getting out into the fresh air, smelling the new scents, and getting some belly rubs too! If you are not interested in dog walking, they have countless other ways to volunteer, such as being a transporter, greeter, matchmaker, doing laundry, or working at events.
If you are interested in volunteering with your pet included, you should look into Pets On Wheels. Once your pet is approved in the program you can start making visits to assigned places like assisted living, schools, libraries etc. each month.
Another local place to volunteer is the Harford Humane Society. They have similar volunteer opportunities like BARCS where you can walk dogs. You can also socialize the cats where you visit with at the shelter to make them feel more comfortable. You could also be a matchmaker where you help possible adopters successfully match with a animal in need of a home.
If your schedule doesn’t allow for you to volunteer you can always download the “Walk the Dog” app and for miles walked they will donate to the shelter of your choice. You can do two awesome things at once- walk your pup while giving back!
Volunteering not only helps out the animals but it also makes you feel great too! Have fun with it!
Weekend Getaway with your pups
Its official, its winter time, and its cold! Who else is counting down the days til spring? I know we are! To keep from getting cabin fever it might be a good time to plan a weekend getaway for you and your pup! Virginia might be the perfect place to visit with many awesome destinations like Alexandria, Virginia Beach, and Richmond.
Alexandria has great places to explore. When you want to take Fido for a walk to release some energy, check out Founders Park, which offers views of the Potomac River. For a dog- friendly hotel option, you can stay at the Kimpton Lorien Hotel and Spa. They have dog pillows, a dog bed, and bowls. For a bite to eat, check out Lost Dog cafe for some good food.
Virginia Beach is another great spot. One of the best parts is that the beach is dog friendly during all of the seasons except the summer. A dog friendly hotel is The Founders Inn and Spa. They have rooms that are dog- friendly located next to a on-site dog park. For shopping, check out Mrs. Bones Bowtique for some special goodies for your pets. If your pup isn’t a fan of the beach you can make a stop at Woodstock Dog Park or Bayville Farms Park.
The third destination is Richmond. To get some exercise you will want to check out James River. When you need to relax you will want to stay at Quirk hotel that allows dog up to 70 lbs. When you check in with your pup they will get a doggy bag with treats, and waste bags. You can also request a dog bed for them. There is also a park about 2 blocks away so Fido can stretch his legs! After your burn some energy treat your pup to a doggie cookie at Abbella cakes Dog Bakery.
If you do a weekend getaway we would love to see a picture of your pup enjoying themselves!
Its the most wonderful time of the year!
The holidays are here! I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year! I especially love getting gifts for my fur babies! There’s already a few gifts under the tree and our pup Kooper keeps going over and sniffing out his gift! Here is our annual list of gift ideas.
For your Pup
- A dog bed- perfect for those cold winter days where they can snuggle up in and be nice and cozy
- Crumps dog treats- Our dogs love the Sweet Potato Chews so much they do zoomies when they sniff them out in the Amazon box.
- KONG- this is one of my favorites- fill it up with some peanut butter and banana and it will keep your pups distracted and stimulated
- Barkbox- this box usually includes a toy, treats, and a chew
- A new collar- is your pups collar looking a little shaggy? Find some cute ones on Etsy.
For you Cat
- A new cat bed- upgrade your cats bed so they have a nice place to relax
- Kitty treats – nothing better than a special treat
- A Bergan Turbo Cat Scratcher toy- this durable toy will keep your cat active and will provide fun for your companion
For your Pet lover friends and family
- Pop Your Pup shirt- Nothing says ultimate dog mom like one of these shirts! All you have to do is send in a picture of your pet you want to use and pick the cool background
- Personalized ornament with their pets name on it
- Dogist Book– this would be the perfect book for the coffee table
- The Book: A Dog’s Purpose – this book is good! All dog lovers will appreciate this read
- A gift certificate for an Agility class with Fido
- Apparel- How cute is this shirt at Life is Good?
Happy Holidays to you and your family!
A Doggone problem- pee accidents in the house
Do you have a pup that has accidents in the house? There are a few reasons why Fido is peeing in the house. Understanding why will help to stop the bad habit- here are four major reasons why- your pup is not house trained, he is sick or a senior, he is dealing with anxiety, or your dog is marking.
When it comes to house training your pup it is so important to use positive reinforcement. Look into trainers in your area that use positive reinforcement techniques. You could also look into doggie daycare or a professional dog walker that could help him engage in healthy activity. If he is having accidents when you are gone it could be caused from separation anxiety. If peeing in the house is something new that your pup is doing it is best to check in with your vet. It could be a health issue that is causing the accidents in the house. If he is marking it is best to clean up the spot right away, keep new things out of sight, get your pups spayed and neutered.
What to do if he has had an accident – pee cleaning techniques- the faster you clean it up the less likely the smell will linger, place a paper towel on top of the area and blot up the mess. You do not want to rub until all the moisture is removed. Then blot that area with clean water.
If you didn’t get to the spot before it dried you will want to use a pet odor neutralizer or try a more natural way with covering with baking soda overnight and blotting with a vinegar/water solution in the morning. If this doesn’t work for all of the spots then try hydrogen peroxide for the pesky spots but before you do this test a spot first. You do not want to use a steam cleaner because the heat will recharge the smell and make it a lot worse. If the smell and stain are still there call in the professionals!
Candy bowl is filled, kids in costumes on, the kids are giggling outside, and the pumpkins are lit! Halloween is always a fun holiday for the family, but it can bring some dangers for your pets.
- Always make sure your pet has his ID collar on and the information is up to date. Microchipping is always a benefit too.
- If your pup is shy, easily frightened, or not socialized well keep him inside in his comfortable element. With all of the strangers coming to your door for candy it can be overwhelming for Fido. Turn the TV on for him and give him a special treat like a KONG. Some pups can get frightened from the costumes and strangers. For Halloween night, we make sure our pups are nice and tired out after a long outing at the park, keep them gated upstairs with the blinds closed, TV on, and each gets a KONG. For our dogs, this is the best thing for them.
- Keep the candy up high and out of reach from the pets. Xylitol which is found in gum can be harmful for your four legged buddy. And as always don’t forget about the chocolate which can be just as harmful. If your pet does get into something he shouldn’t call your vet or ASPCA poison center immediately.
- Not all dogs want to be dressed up in cute costumes. If your pup is uneasy about new things skip the costume. If your pup is fine with costumes put it on him the day before so he is acclimated to it. Also make sure it isn’t too tight and that all of the fabric is secure.
Always remember you know your pets the best and know what is the best situation for them.
Have a tail wagging happy Halloween with your family and friends!