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!
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!
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!
Barrel Oak Winery
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!
March 23rd-National Puppy Day!
We are all suckers for puppy breath, right? I know I am! Today is a whole day dedicated to those sweet faces! Yes, they are precious, but it takes work to care for a puppy and you have to be dedicated and have free time to care for their needs. If you are thinking about welcoming a puppy into your family, really think about it before you take that leap. The puppy months are critical to their growth. To become well socialized there is a small window for working on their socialization. Look into those puppy classes and obedience classes…these are worth every penny! This could be a whole blog post on its own!
Make sure your lifestyle, home situation, and reasons for wanting a puppy are all on the same page. Remember there are cute older dogs waiting for their forever home as well! When Scott and I got married we knew that we wanted to get a pup. I was leaning towards getting a puppy but Scott wanted to get a pup a little older because of our lifestyle. We looked at our lifestyle and knew that adopting a puppy at that time would be a little too much for our schedule and that a 2 year old pup would be better for us at the time. We didn’t have the time to potty train and by adopting an older dog we would have a pup with a bigger bladder : ) Next, look at your budget- bringing a puppy into your family can be pricey. Make sure you have a spot in your budget for a four legged pal!
Happy National Puppy Day! If you think you and your family are ready to welcome a puppy into your family, drop by your local animal shelter and you just might meet your forever friend!