Tag Archives: pet health

Indoor games for your pup

Indoor Games for your pup

Indoor games

With these hot and humid days, our pups are probably getting a little bit stir crazy because their walks are shortened! Even though the weather isn’t ideal for a nice walk outside,    you can still burn some of your pups energy while inside with these games.

Tossing around a toy is a oldie but goodie. If your dog likes to fetch outdoors he will probably like to do the same inside. Pick a room that is large enough and remove any clutter that might get in the way of play time. If your dog doesn’t have the best manners when dropping a toy you can practice that command during this play time as well. Have fun playing until your pup gets tired.

The next indoor game you can play is hide and seek. Dogs love searching for treats and it is a great stimulation. Once they find the food they are confident and a sense of accomplishment. Tell your dog to sit and stay and then you walk around the room hiding a treat. When it is time for him to search say “find it.” The excitement you will see on your pups face will be priceless. Some good hiding spots are under tables, behind doors, and next to furniture. If your dog is not used to the “find it” game you might have to start out with leading him to the treats until he learns the command. Once your pup consistently finds the treats then move to new spots to keep him stimulated and so he continues to have fun.

Next up is the shell game. Many pups enjoy this game because they have to really use their brain and they get treats! You will need three solo cups and treats. Show your pup the treat and then place the treat under one of the cups. When your pup moves the cup lift it up and let him have the treat and praise him. If your pup is not getting the hang of the game at first you can use a clear cup. Now do two cups on the floor and place a treat under one cup. Move the cups around a couple of times. When he shows you where the treat is, give it to him and praise. Once he gets the hang of it use three cups and watch him have a blast.

Hope you all enjoy these fun indoor games with your pups!

Ways to Decrease your pets fears of Thunderstorms

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!

A few of my pet-related favorites

Here are a few of my favorites when it comes to pets!

Koop and Dee approved!

Koop and Dee approved!

Vet: Perry Hall Animal Hospital– I absolutely love this vet! Since your pet is part of your family, you want to make sure you find someone caring and warm to care for them. When we were fostering Dee we met Dr. Tara. She has been nothing but amazing! They truly care for the animals and with our girl, Deeders, we are there all the time! 5 stars for this Vet!

Dog Food DispenserKONG Wobbler– If you have a fast eater, this is perfect. It entertains your pup and makes them work for their food rather than gobbling the food all at once.

Online Pet StoreChewy– Their customer service is spot on! We also love their auto ship for the pup’s dog food. We don’t have to even think about it anymore!  The food gets delivered to our front door when the pups are down to about three days’ worth of food.

Local Animal ShelterBaltimore Humane Society– This place has a special place in my heart!  As many of you know we adopted our munchkins, Koop and Dee from here. All of the workers truly care about the pets here. They are remarkable people that work tirelessly for the animals in need of their forever home.

Chew toyNylabone– this is actually a bone that holds up for Kooper; who loves to chew. This also helps promote better oral health and keeps them busy! We get the big one and it lasts for months. He loves chewing it towards the end of the night when he is winding down.

Are there any businesses that you love for your pets that didn’t make this list?  Please email me at courtney@waggitytails.com and I may just feature your favorite business on a future blog!


Sweet Potato Treats for Dogs

Sweet Potato Recipe

Dee’s face when she sees the treats!

Ever pick up a bag of treats at the local pet store and look at the ingredient list?  The last time I did, I had no idea what anything was.  They’re often pricey and I find myself asking what am I really feeding my dogs?  Here is a recipe that is simple and healthy for your pet. This recipe has been tested and approved by my two four-legged munchkins, Koop and Dee and my parents dogs, Cali and Reagan! All four of the dogs see these treats and they go bonkers! My mom found this recipe and I had to share. These yummy treats are super easy to make and healthy for your four-legged family members! I am not one to be in the kitchen… somehow the smoke detector goes off every time I cook, but even I’m able to make this!


  • Only ingredient: Sweet potatoes…easy enough : )
  • Use raw sweet potatoes, preferably large ones.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 F
  • Clean the sweet potatoes, making sure there is no mold on the skins. The number of potatoes you use will depend on the amount of jerky strips you want to make.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise into thin 1/2- to 2/3-inch strips, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the sweet potato strips for 3 to 4 hours. Flip them about half way through to make sure they are crispy evenly on both sides.
  • For crunchier treats, bake them longer. Allow the strips to cool before storing them in an airtight container.
  • It is best to store them in the freezer or refrigerator to keep them nice and fresh (if you leave them out they can get moldy).
  • If you have a dehydrator you can make the sweet potato chews that way.

Once you let the chews cool you can share with your pups! They will love them, but beware of drool because they will want more! : )

Obesity in pets is still on the rise

Pet Obesity on the rise

pet health

We have all heard that the obesity epidemic is hitting people in the United States, but did you know it is effecting our dogs and cats too? According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, “Roughly 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese.” This percentage is alarming especially with research also saying many of the pet parents did not realize that their pets were overweight. With these numbers, obesity can cause some major health problems for our pets such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart failure.  To prevent our pets from becoming overweight, there needs to be proper education. Here are a few ways to help your pet’s weight:

  1. Double checking how much food you are giving them. Check their food to see what they should be eating. Also, take into consideration any treats they get throughout the day.
  2. Reducing treats. My pups LOVE when my parents come to visit because they always bring them treats and they aren’t the small treats either! We have to make sure they are only for special occasions : ) For us, to limit the treats we give them, we use training treats such as the Zukes training treats.
  3. Getting your pets into an exercise routine. Right now with the weather it can be harder to get your pup some exercise, but it is important for their health. There are great ways to get some exercise inside. Koop loves to play tug-o-war if it is too cold to go to the park for exercise. For cats, try getting them to play with chasing a laser.
  4. Speak with your vet. They are the best resource to knowing what is best for your pet. They can work with you to come up with a exercise and diet plan.

Feeding your cat

Feeding your cat

feeding your cat

feeding your cat

Your cat is your whole world. You want to make sure that he is cared and kept for in the best way possible and would do anything for it. An important aspect that needs to be cared for is how to feed your cats, especially the adult cats. It may vary from the age and the size of your cat but it is extremely vital to know exactly what should be fed to keep your cat active and healthy. Cats need specific food so they can maintain their energy levels and at the same time repair their body tissues.


If your cat is a year old, it has become an adult. Making sure that he is fed about two times a day is deemed appropriate. Many people feed their cats with dry food, which is okay as long as they provide their cats with a lot of water to compensate the dryness. The dry food is less expensive and stays fresh for a long time. If you are feeding just dry food to your cat then be absolutely sure that it is balanced. The canned food variety has about eighty percent water and many cats prefer this over dry food.


Note that many cat owners give free access to food to their cats. This may be a hazard to his/her health if the cat does not exercise self-control. Food portions should be given according to the age and size of the cat. There is a huge possibility that you may be giving your cat food in portions according to the instructions written on the packaging.


These instructions are mentioned by keeping an average cat in mind. Your cat can be bigger than the average or can be smaller than the average as well. You may be serving either extremely big portions or small portions which can affect the health of your cat in the long run. It is best that you take your cat to a vet to get it weighed about every month so you know what amount of food is required by your cat.


A misconception regarding cats is that they should be given milk at all times. Cats should not be given milk as a special treat or as a substitution for water. Cats do not contain enough quantity of lactase in their bodies which is an essential enzyme for the digestion and breaking down of milk.


We absolutely adore our cats and we always want to give them treats. As much as you love your cat, treats should always be given in moderation and should amount to five percent of their daily food intake. Giving them treats on a regular basis would not only spoil them but can make them gain weight as well. They would get used to it and would want some treats every day.


It is best to consult a vet well before switching foods or reducing and increasing the amount of food intake.




Birthday Party for our Pups!

Happy Birthday to my girls,Chessie and Bay!

Birthday party


Birthday party

Over the weekend we celebrated two of my favorite girls birthday.My parents dogs, aka my “sisters,” turned 15! We were so lucky 15 years ago to rescue three black lab mix puppies…yes THREE PUPPIES. Many of you, including my family, were thinking the same thing…that is a crazy idea!

The first time we saw the litter that was rescued from Baltimore City we fell in love. Chessie was chasing the butterflies in the front yard and Bay wanted to constantly be next to my brothers. My mom and Pat (my brother) saw a male puppy that was sick and was away from the rest of the litter, they quickly fell in love with him.  The foster parent said he already had a adopter for him. We were scheduled to bring the puppies home the following weekend after our vacation.  On our way to the beach we decided on the names Chessie and Bay for the Chesapeake Bay.

After a great family vacation it was time to bring home our new additions! When we got there we saw the male puppy who was out running around with the rest of the pups. We instantly fell in love with him! His adopter fell through so we decided he was going to be ours.  We were bringing home three puppies. Lesson of the story, never take a family filled with animal lovers to visit a litter of puppies!

There were three kids and three puppies. We instantly attached to each one of them but all of us had a special connection to one specific dog. My little girl was Chessie, Sean had his sweetheart Bay, and Pat had his best bud Baxter. At 11 years old, I gained a best friend who had four legs and so did my brothers at 9 years old.

When they were puppies they always kept us busy. The girls were always jumping the fence, Baxter, who had a bad leg was always trying to chase them. They tried to chew up everything that they could. They even chewed through the basement door. There was never a dull moment in the Boyle household with these 3!

It seems like yesterday we were picking up our puppies in our Jeep. They have given us so many funny, sweet, and amazing memories. It’s crazy how times fly! These three were with us through middle school, high school, colleges, marriage, good times, and bad times. I know all of the experts say that you should not adopt littermates and they are probably right, but we are so happy we made the decision we did!

Sadly, Baxter passed away in September and celebrating the girls’ birthday without him was difficult, but I know he was celebrating his birthday in heaven with his brother Murphy!  Chessie and Bay loved their birthday cake and I think Chess really embraced her birthday hat! Happy 15th Birthday to my four legged best friends!

Birthday Pups

5 Reasons Why Dog Walking Benefits Your Pup

dog walking

Daily exercise is important for all of us. Exercise helps reduce your chance of health problems for you and your dog. Even if it is just a short amount of time you are doing something positive for your well-being.

  1. Dog walking keeps your pet in overall better health- You will have a much happier dog. Dogs need to get out and exercise and enjoy the fresh air too. The pups will be smiling when they come back in from their walk.
  2. Helps the Digestive System- Regular walks improves your pup’s digestive system and helps eliminate constipation. Your dog will feel better physically when they go on walks.
  3. Decreases the chance of destructive behavior- Chewing and digging are a sign of boredom. When you walk your dog you are letting him focus his attention on something positive such as his walk. Daily walks will help decrease the chances of your dog chewing and digging.
  4. Helps with hyperactivity- As some people say “a tired dog is a good dog.” When your dog is able to release some of his energy then he does not get himself in to trouble such as the chewing or digging.
  5. Strengthens the bond between you and your dog- Your dog will gain trust in you when you go for a walk together. The bond between the two of you will strengthen and it is a special time for you and your dog to relax.

So when you get home from work instead of sitting down and watching some television get out there and go for a walk with your pooch! Even if it is a short walk you and your pup will feel great afterwards! Then you can come inside and cuddle together while watching some television. : )