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!
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!
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!
Spring Cleaning and Pets
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!