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!
Indoor Games for your pup
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!
Create the best play date
Does your dog need some enrichment? A play date might be in order then- It will provide physical exercise and mental stimulation which will give you a happy and tired pup! Creating a safe play date is important as it will be a positive experience for your pup and he will want to continue to enjoy them if its a positive experience.
Now before you schedule a play date with any dog, it is best to prepare. You will need to evaluate if your dog likes to interact with other dogs. There are some dogs that do not do well with others and that’s fine….they just won’t be having a play date…take them on a nice hike instead! The next thing you will have to ask yourself is how confident is your dog with new dogs and people? The next important question is, does your dog do any resource guarding of things around other dogs? If so, take away toys and food and water bowls. If you have no doubts with any of these precautions, you can proceed with setting up a play date. Once you find your play date partner, begin to introduce them outside of a home by walking on leash and then you can bring them into the home or yard. This will help with any territorial issues and to make sure they are comfortable. The most important reminder is to take it slow. Keep an eye out on the dog’s body language. If they are stiff they are not comfortable in the environment and its time to get them out of the area. Your dog might not like every single dog they meet and that’s ok, just time to find another pup for another time.
Play dates can be a great enrichment for your pup when they are done safely. It builds their confidence and helps build their social skills with other dogs and people too! Have fun!
Dreaming of warmer weather!
Less than one month til spring and boy are we ready over here! We love walking all the pups, but it is way better when it is warmer out! Here are some ideas to look into to get rid of that cabin fever… an added bonus…a tired pup is a happy pup and after some of these activities they will be one happy dog!
Hiking- Around us we have some awesome trails. Nothing better than getting outside in the fresh air with your pups. They will love walking the trails with all the new scents. Going up hills is also a great leg workout. If you are doing some hiking near some water like a pond or lake and its safe let your pup play in the water or even swim. When planning a hike, make sure you have all your supplies like a non- retractable leash, water, collapsible bowl, treats, poop bags, and a small first- aid kit.
Standup Paddleboarding- I love SUP and it would be even better if I could do it with my pups but neither are big fans of the water. It’s still too chilly in Maryland for playing in the water but now is the time to get your pup acclimated with the board. Your pup can take a break too and go swimming. To get your four-legged pal ready to SUP practice on flat ground first. It is best to use positive reinforcement and some treats to get him comfortable. Once he is comfortable then you can move on to shallow water and do a short paddle. Then you build up from there. Always make sure he has a floatation device no matter how good of a swimmer Fido is. Equipment that you will need are 6 foot retractable leash, personal flotation device for your pup, sunscreen- dog and human, and cell phone cover so your phone is safe.
Agility or Boot camp- These classes are becoming quite popular. Its an awesome way to get Fido to release some of that extra energy. Find a class with near you that has a good reputation. If you have a short snouted dog like a French Bulldog this might be the best class. For smaller dogs try Doga Yoga! Equipment needed are a 6-foot leash, harness, treats, and water.
Have fun and take your time easing into the new activity!
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!
DIY Projects for your pets
Happy Fall everyone! Now with the weather getting cooler and the days getting shorter its the perfect time to do some DIY!
Fall has arrived and that means its the perfect time to curl up on the couch with your best pal with a blanket. Here is a project you can make for your pup, as a gift, or even for the pups at your local animal shelter.
You will need:
Two colors of fleece (two is nice because it can be reversible)
Cardboard cut into 5 X 5 in. square
Now time to make a blanket:
- Figure out what size you want the blanket. Obviously the larger the dog the bigger I would make the blanket.
- Make your measurements and add about 8-10 inches to the size for the fringe on the ends.
- Line up the two pieces of fabric so they are back to back
- Use the cardboard and cut 5 inch squares from each corner of both fabrics.
- With using the cardboard as a guide, cut lines all about the side about 5-6 in and ½ in wide.
- Knot the fringe on the ends to make sure they are safe and secure
- Wash your blanket when complete
- Give to your pooch and let them enjoy your creation!
Here is a easy DIY to make your pup. They will love throwing this around!
You will need:
A tennis ball
- Lay the t-shirt flat to mark your 3 cuts. You will need to make two cuts across the whole t-shirt about 5 inches wide. You will also need one strip that is about 2 inches wide. You will have a total of 3 pieces. Once you have those, cut those pieces at one end so that are longer.
- Lay the larger fabrics in a “X” and put the tennis ball in the middle.
- Now wrap the tennis ball with all of the pieces and know with the 2 inch fabric (You should have four wide strips at the end).
- Separate the four wide strips and cut each in three pieces to braid together
- Once you are done braiding, knot the bottom with one of the small pieces. Repeat with the three other wide pieces.
- Give to your pup to enjoy!
Hope your pup loves your DIY projects!
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 : )
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!