The people who know you best understand that when your dog is happy, you’re happy. Christmas is a perfect time for them to do something nice for both of you by giving gifts that’ll delight your pooch and maybe even make you a better friend and owner. You know your pet better than anyone, so when you give friends and family your Christmas wish list this year, be sure to include some carefully selected items for your dog. It doesn’t have to be a chew toy or a new box of Milk Bones. It could be something that helps keep your canine companion safe, or something like a stretch leash that makes your daily walks more comfortable for both of you. The best gift is one that benefits both of you!
Dogs like to have fun too
It’s hard to imagine there’s ever been a dog that didn’t like a toy. Most really enjoy playing with stuffed animals, or some kind of chew toy that squeaks. If your dog enjoys playing a good game of tug of war, ask for a piece of toy rope (most pet stores will have one) or something they can pull on. Muscular dogs with a strong jaw can chew through a toy pretty quickly, so specify one that’s made of hard rubber or some synthetic material that’ll last. If your pet likes to play fetch, add a frisbee to your list instead of more tennis balls. Frisbees are fun and it’s a good workout for both of you.
Squeak toys are popular enough that there’s a new variation every year about this time. This year, the Kong Cozy Dog squeaky toy promises to be a top seller. It’s a little trendy but it’s squeaky, so who cares? The Chuck-It ball is a fetch toy on steroids, featuring an extra-high bounce and bright colors, so it’s easy to keep track of.
Your dog may sleep under the dining room table or on a pile of dirty clothes, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a doggie bed. There are some especially comfy ones to choose from. For example, the Orvis Fleecelock Bolster Futon bed which is lined with fleece and suede, and is plenty big enough to accommodate mega-dogs. Read reviews to decide on the best one for your pup.
If your back yard isn’t fenced in, you’re probably pretty restricted when it comes time for your pet to relieve himself out back. There’s no opening the back door without a worry. Installing a new fence can cost quite a bit, so consider asking for a hefty donation this Christmas from a generous relative. There are lots of materials to choose from, including chain link, vinyl, wood, iron and aluminum. If you have a big dog who likes to jump, chew and dig, you might consider going with iron or some other strong material.
The internet has made it easy to subscribe to services that wouldn’t have been possible years ago. And there are quite a few dog-oriented services that are pretty cool. Most dogs are partial to dog treats, so consider asking for a subscription to Barkbox or Pawpack, delivery services that deliver a new treat or doggie delicacy every month. There are also services that’ll walk your dog on a regular schedule, which can come in very handy in bad weather or when you’re just too busy. Dog gifts can add a fun twist to holiday gift giving. Don’t just think practical, get creative when you draw up your wish list.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.
Aurora believes there are no bad dogs. She created DogEtiquette.info to share her dog training tips and advice to dog owners everywhere.
So the day finally came and we were able to officially celebrate our win as “Best of the Boro” for pet sitting and dog training! We arrived early to set up our table and ended up with some fantastic neighbors, Aigner Chocolates, who were nice enough to share some of their samples with us. Yum!
We met with pet owners, pet lovers, and others in our field. Not to mention Mr. Met! It was a night to also chat with one another. We work outside and independently, so chances to really talk with one another usually happens via text. Our trainer, Kate, lives just outside of Queens, so we rarely get to see one another in person. It was her first time meeting some of my staff as well; they were especially excited to meet her since she has helped them indirectly by training the dog’s that they walk.
It was an honor to be nominated and truly humbling to win. Thank you again to everyone who took the time to vote, not just once, but daily. My staff and I appreciate the recognition and strive to deliver the best service possible to all of our loyal clients.
After Jack’s recent health scare, we really started to pay attention to the ingredients in his food and treats. We switched to a senior blend with limited ingredients (there are actual peas and carrots in his food!), and limited treats to Greenies only. Thankfully Jack loved his new food, so there were no issues making the switch, but we noticed him starting to puke again. After a little research we added a gentle probiotic to his diet (treat form). Jack is obsessed with them, so adding them to his diet was easy. And you know what? He no longer pukes!
We were guilty of giving him human food, he has stolen broccoli from my plate, we have now stopped so we can get his ibd under control. Sometimes spoiling your pet is actually doing more harm than good. So how do we safely reward our pets without causing any problems down the road?
So whatever your favorite way to spoil your pet is, be sure to set aside a little time this Valentine’s Day to show your pet how much you love them.
Did you know that January 8th is National Bubble Bath day? I love a good bubble bath. It can be a relaxing way to unwind at the end of a long day. Wouldn’t you like for your dog to have the same experience? Here are 5 tips to help your pet enjoy “spa day” as much as you do.
1) Supplies: Keep yourself sane by gathering everything you need to properly clean your dog before you get your dog in the tub. That means shampoo, a bucket, cotton balls* (more on this later), and a few towels.
2) Temperature Check: While you might enjoy slowly roasting in a toasty bath, your dog would prefer something closer to room temperature.
3) Keep it Safe: Did you know placing a towel at the bottom of the tub or shower will keep your pet from slipping? This is because it will give them more traction than standing on slippery tiles. Make sure to wet it thoroughly before having your dog step on it.
4) Suds them up!: So where to start? Begin at the head and work your way back to the tail. If your dog is prone to ear infections or has pendulous ears, place cotton balls in their ears to help keep the water out. Pay special attention to the major areas prone to the most dirt like legs and belly.
5) Time for the fluff dry: This may take multiple towels if you have a large dog. If it’s cold out, you can also use a hair dryer (on it’s lowest setting) to speed up the process.
So now that you have your dog looking his best, it’s your turn! I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy National Bubble Bath day!
With all those delicious smells coming from the kitchen on Thanksgiving, you can’t really blame your pet when they want to spend all of their time in there with you. Counter surfing, getting into the garbage, and well-meaning friends, can be the difference between a lovely dinner or inducing vomiting in your pet just before dessert.
So how do we avoid this? Make sure your pets are unable to get into the kitchen, either crate or restrict them to a certain room or floor of your home. Garbage should be made inaccessible and/or removed from the home in a timely manner. Talk to your guests and their children in advance to make sure they understand that table scraps are not allowed.
If you have family/friends coming who love animals, but maybe don’t know which foods are dangerous for your pet, take the time to explain to them the true dangers of sharing a goodie with your pet. Here’s a rundown of some of the most dangerous foods that make an appearance on Thanksgiving.
If you think your dog or cat ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian, emergency veterinarian, or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for life-saving care, right away. When it comes to any poisoning situation, the sooner you diagnose it, the easier it is to potentially treat, less invasive it is to your pet, and the less expensive it is for you. Now, that’s something to be grateful for.
The past several months we’ve had to say a lot of good byes. Some were pets that have been in our care for years, others were more recent. The good byes were different with each pet; whether they had passed from old age/illness, or simply moved far away, I felt the loss of their presence. After 6 years I still cry on the last day of walks before a client moves or when I hear of a pet passing away. It makes me question whether I’m too attached, but then I receive an email from a new client. They have a puppy and want to build a relationship. Before I can finish grieving, the cycle begins again.
As a pet parent, this is something we go through several times throughout our lives. As Agnes Sligh Turnbull said, “Dog’s lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” This can be applied to all pets. They rarely outlive us, which makes it our responsibility to make the time they have with us the best it can be.
So how do we do that? It means putting away your phone on walks, setting aside some time to play, and exposing your pet to as many different experiences as possible. Be present when spending time with your pet. Remember, they might be just a part of your life. But you’re their whole life.
If you are a dog owner living in Forest Hills, Rego Park or Kew Gardens, then I’m sure you’re aware of the limited availability of off-leash areas to take your pup. The grand central underpass run is often very dirty, and Flushing Meadow has a strict time restraint for when dogs can be off leash. Without a car, you may not even know about the dog run along 85th Street and 84th Street and Park Lane South.
All that has changed thanks to the addition of a 9,000 sq. ft dog park near the Overlook. Opening last Monday, June 27th, the run is very basic, but the large grassy enclosure is already a favorite with dogs in the area. A local group of dog owners have united to help maintain and improve upon the park. The Forest Hills Barking Lot community have plans to start collecting a $25 annual membership fee to cover these expenses and add benches, bag dispensers and dog ramps over time.
If you’ve recently visited the run, please submit your pictures and videos! I can’t wait to take some of our Happy Pets.
It's finally here! Long days and cool nights mean lots of extra time to spend outside with your pup. Whether that means going to the beach or hanging out by the pool, there's a few precautions that should be taken to ensure everyone has a good time.
Water Safety: With temperatures rising, we often seek relief by going swimming. What does that mean for our fuzzy companions? Not all dogs know how to swim, even those that do, might not be strong enough to sustain a long or difficult swim. If you plan to spend time by the water, you should look into getting your furry companion a life jacket. Bright and easy to put on, this is an easy solution for dogs of all sizes.
Heat Safety: It is very easy for dogs to overheat if you don't know the warning signs.
Sun Safety: While most dogs do just fine out in the sun, there are a few important things you should know about dog sunburn and dog skin cancer.
#1 – Apply a dog sunscreen.
When should sunblock be applied? You’ll want to put a quality dog sunscreen on each time before your dog goes outside — especially if your dog will be spending a lot of time out in the sun.
Where should sunblock be applied on a dog? Put it on your dog’s nose, belly, ears, and groin. Any spot that is normally "pink" on you'd dog — including any skin that shows when your dog is shaved — should be protected with sunscreen prior to being outdoors for long periods of time. Avoid using dog sunscreen around the eyes. (see #5 below)
#2 – Don't cut your dog's fur too short.
Your dog’s hair is one of the things that helps to protect the skin from sun exposure. If your dog has at least half-an-inch of fur, then it would be highly unlikely that sunburn would ever occur. However, if your dog is shaved, then be very careful whenever he is exposed to the sun. That said, fur alone isn't the best source of sun protection.
#3 – Buy sun protection dog clothes.
In addition to mid-length dog shirts, look for a full-body dog sunsuit. Ideally, you want at least 30+ UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor).
#5 –Protect your dog's eyes.
The eyes are a common spot for canine melanoma. That’s why doggie sunglasses, like Doggles, are so popular. They’re the world’s only eyewear made just for dogs.
Pet goggles for dogs offer 100% UV protection, and shatterproof, anti-fog lenses facilitated by side air vents; a very flexible, wrap around foam padded frame; interchangeable capable lenses; two adjustable soft elastic head and chin straps; for complete and beneficial dog goggle eye protection for your pet.
What If Your Dog Gets Sunburned?
If your dog does happen to become sunburned, 100% pure Aloe Vera gel is the best way to quickly and easily soothe your dog's skin.
The Leash Problem Begins
Most leash pulling begins as soon as the dog sees the leash and knows she's about to go for a walk. If the walk begins out of control, the precedent is set for the entire walk. Before expecting your dog to calmly walk beside you on leash, train her to be calm when you are putting her collar and leash on!
Ask her to sit-stay while you are putting on her leash. If she does not stay, the walk is delayed until she does. Don't give in or she will learn that it's OK to be out of control. If your dog doesn't have a reliable sit-stay, then practice training her to sit-stay without the distraction of the prospect of a walk. If you do not know how to teach a reliable sit-stay, enroll in an obedience training class.
Leash Training Warm-Up
Most dogs learn very quickly that they must sit while the leash is being attached to the collar. They usually tremble with excitement, ready to explode into a frenzy as soon as this phase is accomplished. If your dog bolts toward the door, dragging you behind, then the situation is still out of control. Simply hold onto the leash, stand still and let your dog dance, ricochet and bounce around at the end of the leash. It may take 5 minutes or more, but she will soon realize that you are not going anywhere and will begin to calm down. When this happens, praise her for being good. After another minute or so, take your first step, but NOT towards the door. Instead, walk your dog around your house, garage or yard to give her a chance to practice her 'not-pulling' skills. Every time she pulls, lunges or strains on the leash, simply stand still again. When she calms down, talk to her, praise her calmly and quietly. Try to keep her attention on yourself instead of the door that leads to outside. When you feel that your dog is in control and she is walking nicely without pulling in your house or yard, then it is time to proceed to the great outdoors.
Leash Training Outdoors
Every time your dog pulls on leash and you continue the walk, you are rewarding her for pulling and lunging. Every time your dog gets out of control it is essential that you instantly stop the walk, stand still and wait for her to calm down before continuing. It is a tremendous effort in patience at first but it will pay off if you persevere. You may only get to the end of the block or even your driveway on your first outing, but if you give in to your dog's demands, then she will continue to pull. You can speed up the process by asking her to sit-stay for about 5 to 10 seconds every time she begins to pull. Of course this will only work if your dog already has a reliable sit-stay.
My name is Jamie and I am the proud owner of Happy Pets NYC. I started this company in 2009 by doing all of the walks and pet sitting myself. After a year, I hired my first pet care provider. Now, over 10 years later, we employ a full team of dedicated providers who share my passion and love of animals.