Keeping Your Dog (and Other Animals) Calm During Fireworks

Fireworks are an excellent way to celebrate Independence Day. For humans, the large, vibrant displays are a traditional part of the 4th of July activities. Unfortunately, for animals, the loud bangs and booms are frightening.

Even though many communities are canceling fireworks and other events due to the coronavirus. Other areas are planning larger and longer displays. Of course, many individuals set off fireworks right in their own backyards. Being prepared is the best way to help your dog or other animals through loud, scary activities.

Ways to Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

As a responsible pet owner, you know your dog the best. You understand which noises cause the most distress. Finding ways to calm your dog, cat, or other animals may require a little preparation.

My two dogs out for a walk.
  1. Exercise and Walk Before Dusk: Walk your dog early in the day, spend extra time at the dog park, or play for a little while longer. Tiring your dog out early can help ease anxieties for the upcoming fireworks.
  2. Stay Home: Your dog is your best pal. Being with your dog during fireworks is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Skip the activities to stay home to comfort your favorite four-legged companion. During the fireworks, your dog will be thankful to have you in for the night.
  3. Stay Indoors: Keep your dog inside. Being outdoors during a fireworks display may cause your dog to run off and get lost.
  4. Create Normal Sounds: What appliances do you run on a regular daily basis? Turn up your television, play the music a little louder, run the air conditioner, turn on fans, or other normal sounds that your dog knows.
  5. Create a Safe Area: Making your dog feel safe is essential. If your dog uses a crate, allow him or her access. Move your dog to the most interior part of your living space to muffle outdoor noises. Do not be afraid to lie down beside your dog to provide comfort.
  6. Special Treat or Toy: Purchase a new chew toy, bone, or other treats for your dog. Keeping your pet occupied with a new bone or special treat can ease anxieties.
  7. Talk to Your Vet: If your dog is susceptible to the fireworks, contact your vet to voice your concerns. Your vet can give your advice or prescribe medicine to relax your dog for the night.

The 4th of July can be a scary time for your dog and other animals. Being aware of their needs is critical. Take the necessary steps to help your favorite four-legged companion get through the holiday.

May: National Pet Month

Did you know the entire month of  May is National Pet Month in the United States? Every day, pets bring joy to millions of households. Your pet is part of your family. Are you wondering how you should celebrate your favorite four-legged friend? Check out the following ideas for inspiration.

Pamper Your Pet

Do you currently own a pet or three? National Pet Month is the perfect time to pay extra attention to your dog, cat, turtle, bird, or other creature.

My two dogs out for a walk.
  • Go for Longer Walks: With social distancing, getting out with your dog is essential for both of you. Go for walks, take a different route, or spend extra time outdoors.
  • New Treats: When you are looking at the treat section, try something new. Your pet may appreciate a change. New dog bones, kitty treats, or special bird treats are excellent for pampering your pet. Or, if you are self-isolating, consider making a homemade treat for your pet.
  • New Apparel: Do you dress up your dog? Buy your favorite pup a new outfit for spring.
  • Collars: When was the last time you bought your pet a new collar? Celebrate National Pet Month by buying new collars.
  • Bedding: Invest in a new pet bed to give your dog or cat a new area to sleep.

Adopt

Right now is the perfect time to add a new pet to your family. With the stay at home guidelines, you can spend the extra time caring for a new pet. Consider contacting your local shelter or dog rescue to find the best match for your household. Remember when adopting a pet, research the breed. Knowing about specific animal behavior before adopting can help to determine if the pet is right for you.

Foster

If you or your family are not ready to fully commit but would like to know how a cat or dog would fit into your family’s lifestyle, consider fostering. Numerous pet rescues and shelters place all types of animals into foster homes until they can be adopted. Fostering provides first-hand knowledge of pet ownership without a long-term commitment. When the time ends, most agencies allow foster families first pick on keeping the pet forever.

Donate

All shelters or dog rescues use donations. Of course, they will take monetary donations. But, most have a want list posted on their social media pages. If you want a hassle-free experience, consider taking advantage of the free shipping options. Allow the retailer to ship the item right to the rescue.

Social Media Share

Sharing posts on social media is a great way to help without the cost or responsibility of ownership. When you are on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, follow your local animal shelter or pet rescue. Every time a post appears of animals needing a home, share the information with your followers. A simple share may lead to an animal rescue among your friends or acquaintances.

Even small gestures can make National Pet Month a celebration. Enjoy your pet, adopt, or help a rescue.

Simple Christmas Stockings for Your Dog

Dogs are an essential part of any home. Millions of pet owners treat their four-legged companions as part of the family. Including all of your pets in various activities is a normal part of celebrating. The Christmas season is no exception to the rule.  Dogs and other pets get holiday gifts, Christmas attire, and much more.

When we begin decorating, Christmas stockings are part of the holiday decor. Including your dogs in every aspect of the Christmas season is fun. Placing Christmas stockings for your dogs does not need to be a costly addition to your decorating budget.

Decorating Christmas Stockings for Your Dogs

Start by gathering the necessary materials. Remember, these stockings are for your dogs. You know the best stocking to fit their personalities.

The stockings do not require a lot of items to make.

  • Christmas Stocking of your choice. (Note: I found mine at the Dollar Tree. The price was great. The dog on the front was perfect for this simple craft. They also carry cat ones if anyone wants to make a Christmas stocking for their beloved cats.)

  • Glitter Glue or Fabric Paint
I found this glitter glue at Wal-Mart

Next, simply start outlining the stocking’s features with the glitter glue. Use the glue to write your dogs’ names on each of the stockings.

Outlining the stocking with glitter glue. Use thick lines.

Let dry overnight. Then, hang the stockings as part of your Christmas decor.

 

5 Tips for Pet Safety on Halloween

Throwing a party or trick-or-treating, Halloween is a fun and exciting time for everyone. Including your pets in family activities is a normal part of any type of event. Dogs and cats are valued family members. Following pet safety tips will help your pet be safe throughout all your Halloween activities.

5 Pet Safety Tips on Halloween

During Halloween activities, keep a watchful eye on your pets. Being proactive in pet safety will keep your beloved four-legged companion from an emergency vet visit. Consider the following areas for protecting your pet on Halloween.

Keep Halloween Candy in a Safe Place

Candy, especially chocolate, is a typical Halloween treat. Even though candy is tasty to humans, consuming chocolate can be lethal for pets. Keeping your bowl of candy or your children’s trick-or-treat stash in a safe place is essential for pet safety on Halloween.

Create a Safe Haven for Your Pets

Halloween activities can be noisy. Creating a safe haven for your pet helps reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Crate: If your pet feels comfortable in a crate, allow him or her to retreat to a familiar place.
  • Unused Room: Allow your pet to retreat to an unused room.
  • Bring Pets Indoors: Unfortunately, not everyone respects animals, bring your pets indoors for safety. Many outdoor pets are abused or go missing on Halloween.

Watch Your Door

Handing out candy is a significant part of Halloween. Children (and adults) in costumes can be scary for your dogs or cats. A normally well-behaved dog may try to attack. Keeping your dogs back from the door will protect you, your dog, and your trick-or-treaters. When you’re handing out candy, your cat may slip through an opened door. Watching your door at all times will help keep your pets safe and secure.

Secure Your Halloween Decor

Decorating for Halloween adds extra fun to the holiday. But unsecured decoration can create hazardous situations for your dog or cat.

  • Wires and Cords: Loose cords or cables can quickly become dangerous for your pets. Your four-legged friend can chew or get tangled up. The result could be deadly for your pet.
  • Candles: Lighted candles add atmosphere to your Halloween party. But open flames are a high risk to your pets. Your dog or cat could tip the candle over, causing a fire. Using flameless candles around pets is critical to prevent fires and the possibility of being burned.
  • Glow Sticks: Glow sticks are a popular choice for costumes, pumpkins, and other fun. If your dog chews on a glow stick, the contents can cause sickness. Keep all glow sticks away from your pet.

Dressing Up Your Pet

Be cautious when dressing up your pet for Halloween. Ask yourself, does my pet enjoy the costume? Many pets may become anxious if dressed up. If your pet does like the costume, check the material over to ensure your pet is safe. For example, dangling strings may cause your pet to trip. Your pet may chew on the strings causing sickness or choking.

Keep your Halloween enjoyable by implementing standard safety measures for your pets.

Celebrating World Cat Day

Today, August 8th is World Cat Day or International Cat Day. In either case, the day is all about celebrating cats. whether you have one or eight, cats add their own unique presence to your home.

Named after Hermoine’s cat in the Harry Potter series, Crookshanks is one of my six cats.

Creating mischief and joy, cats have been around for centuries. Cats are curious creatures by nature.

Did you notice Mr. Buttons has blue paws? I thought my project was dry. Apparently not in the middle, I had blue cat tracks all over my kitchen. Don’t worry, I only use non-toxic paint. When the vet stopped laughing, he said my cat would be fine.

Celebrating World Cat Day is a perfect way to pay extra attention to your furry companion.

Ideas for Celebrating The Day With Your Cat

  • Build a catio to allow your cat to safely enjoy the outdoors.
  • Buy a cat tree or cat condo
  • Buy a new scratching post.
  • Get a new comfy cat bed.
  • Make cat toys
  • Make homemade cat treats.
  • Purchase special treats.
  • Brush and groom your cat.

Adopt a Cat

Adopting a cat is another way to celebrate World Cat Day. Many shelters and rescues are at capacity. Adopting a kitten, adult cat, or a senior cat makes room for others. If you already have one cat, consider bringing home a second one for added companionship.

Donate 

Caring for a cat or any other pet is a responsibility. If you do not have the time or space for a cat, consider donating to a shelter or rescue. Numerous rescue organizations will post needed items on their websites. Bleach, cat litter, food, and other cat-related products are generally top wanted items. Along with cat care products, rescues accept monetary donations.

 

June: Adopt A Cat Month

Did you know June is Adopt A Cat month? Warmer months generally mean more cats and kitties end up at local shelters or rescues. The influx of new kittens and cars quickly overwhelm many organizations. Adopting a cat or kitten may actually save a life.

Tips for Adopting A Cat or Kitten

Prior to getting a new pet, ask yourself, are you ready for the extra responsibility? Even though cats are generally independent creatures, being prepared is vital. Kittens need extra attention. If possible, adopt two to entertain each other. Remember, adopting an animal of any kind requires supplies and food.

  • Litter Box and Scoop: In the beginning, a smaller litter box may be necessary for your kitten to climb into safely. Full grown cats may require larger boxes to contain the litter. A scoop is a must for keeping your cat’s litter box clean. Failing to clean the litter box will result in your cat finding other places to go.
  • Litter: Cat litter choices may seem overwhelming. At first, trial and error may be part of your process for finding the best one for your new cat or kitten. Clumping cat litter is generally easier to scoop.
  • Food Dish and Water Bowl: Kittens may require smaller dishes. Ceramic or metal dishes tend to last longer than plastic ones. Plastic dishes may absorb odors. Self-watering bowls are ideal especially if you work long hours.
  • Food: Kittens require special food to help them grow. They need extra nutrients for their high-energy level. If you are uncertain on the type of food, research or ask your local veterinarian. When adopting your new furry friend from a rescue, ask questions about the type of food they use on a daily basis.
  • Treats: Kittens and cats love treats. Use them sparingly.
  • Collars/Harnesses/Leashes: When taking your kitten or cat outdoors, a collar or harness with a secure leash will help keep your furry companion safe.
  • Grooming Supplies: Longer haired kittens and cats may need help grooming. Daily brushing helps keep your cat’s fur tangle free.
  • Find a Vet: Finding a vet is necessary for your pet’s health. Research veterinarians in your area or consult with the rescue. Rescue organizations tend to work closely with local vets to spay and neuter incoming animals. They will be more than happy to direct you to the vet of their choice.

If You Are Unable to Adopt a Cat or Kitten

Perhaps, the timing is not right to adopt a cat or you are uncertain if you are ready for the responsibility. That’s okay, there are other ways to help during Adopt A Cat month.

  • Foster: Many rescues promote fostering to adopt programs. Fostering makes room for other animals to enter the rescue. Fostering provides hands-on learning about caring for cat or kitten without a long term commitment.
  • Volunteer: Rescue organization or shelters are always looking for volunteers. Keep in mind; volunteering is not just playing with the kittens. But do not let that keep you from helping out. Cleaning litter boxes is part of cat ownership.
  • Donate: Rescues run on donations. Vet bills, food, litter, and other supplies are costly. Even the smallest donation has the potential for life-saving impact.
  • Get Social: Rescues and shelters usually post adoptable kittens and cats on social media platforms. Sharing daily posts with your followers may result in animal adoption.

From bringing home a new kitten to sharing posts on social media, participating in Adopt A Cat month is easy.

Celebrate! Love Your Pet Day

Did you know, today, February 20th is Love Your Pet Day? Whether you have a dog, cat or other furry little critter, pets bring companionship, joy, and fun to your home. Dedicated pet owners always show love to their furry or feathered friends. Today just focuses on the love you have for your pet. Life should be about small celebrations.

How to Celebrate Love Your Pet Day?

Being a responsible pet owner, you already know the activities your dog (or cat) enjoys the most. Set some time aside to engage in your pet’s favorite pastime. If you are looking for new activity, consider the following ideas to celebrate Love Your Pet Day:

Time

Work, family, school, or other commitments keep you busy. Being home alone may leave your pet feeling lonely. Spending some extra quality time with your faithful companion is the perfect way to celebrate Love Your Pet Day.

  • Go to the local dog park or find a new one to explore
  • Go hiking on a new trail
  • Go for a car ride together to find a special treat
  • Snuggle on the sofa

New Toy

Pick up a new toy for your beloved pet. A new squeaky toy for your dog or cat nipped filled mouse for your feline friend will brighten your pet’s day.

Homemade Treats

Head over to Pinterest to search for homemade animal treats. Baking homemade dog or cat treats shows extra love for your pet on this special day. Most recipes require basic ingredients that you may already have on hand. The wide range of recipes available ensures the perfect fit for your pet.

Spa Treatment

Many dogs love pampering (cats not so much). Send your pooch to the local doggy spa for a fresh bath, nail trimming, and more.

Photo of the Occasion

A photo of the occasion is the best way to mark Love Your Pet Day.

  • Take a selfie
  • Set up your own photo shoot
  • Get a professional portrait

Need a Pet? Adopt

Bringing home a pet from a local rescue or animal shelter immediately shows love. Celebrating Love Your Pet Day with a new furry companion goes beyond recognizing the day, the action may actually save a life.

3 Benefits of Adopting a Senior Dog

Making the decision to adopt a dog (or cat) should be carefully considered. Pets are a big responsibility. Take your time and research. Finding the best fit for you and your family is essential.

When you head to your local shelter or rescue center, keep an open mind. Bring home a dog does not necessarily automatically mean a puppy. Older or senior dogs have many benefits. November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Embracing an older dog (or cat) into your home is a wonderful way to celebrate a month dedicated to senior pet adoption.

3 Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

Thousands of animals end up in local shelters or rescue centers due to no fault of their own. Being in a shelter is a scary place for dogs and cats. When people come to adopt, puppies are generally at the top of the list. Unknowing to most new pet owners, older dogs provide many benefits.

1. Background Information

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to learn the background and medical information on the senior dog. Older dogs end up in shelters for various reasons. When the senior dog comes into the shelter or a recuse center, the establishment will try to get as much background information as possible.

2. Slower Pace

Unlike puppies, senior dogs are less demanding. Keep in mind, an older dog still needs direction. But generally, an older dog already is leash trained, requires less exercise, understands basic commands, and house trained. If not, you can still teach a senior dog. When bringing any newly adopted pet into your home, the key is patience and consistency.

3. Saving a Life

Realistically, adopting a senior dog may save a life. Passing up on an older dog or cat may lead to the animal being euthanized. Euthanizing unadoptable dogs, senior dogs are generally among this group. Bringing home the older dog may be the perfect way to save a life.

When you begin your search for a new furry companion, consider adopting a senior dog at a shelter or rescue. Providing an older dog with a loving home is a rewarding experience.

6 Tips for Adopting a Shelter Dog

Did you know October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month? Millions of dogs (and cats) enter shelters every year. Rescuing a shelter dog is the perfect way to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Keep in mind, shelter dogs may need time to adjust to new living situations. Noisy shelters are a scary place for a dog. Moving to a new home adds to the dog’s anxiety. Consider the following tips to help you with a successful adoption process.

Tips for Successful Shelter Dog Adoption

Before you adopt a shelter dog or any other pets, think. Do you have enough time for your pet? Does your landlord allow animals in your building? Do you have enough money to cover your pet’s expenses? Each question will help you determine the type and size of pet to bring home.

1. Research

One of the best ways to begin the adoption process is research. Learning about different dog breeds will help you find the right dog for your home. Many shelter dogs are mixed breeds. If you have a specific breed in mind, learn about size, weight, temperament and other pertinent information.

2. Take Your Time

Prior to adopting your new shelter dog, prepare your dog’s living space and your entire home.

  • Keep cleaners or other chemicals in a safe place.
  • Place plants out of the dog’s reach.
  • If you plan on keeping your pet out of certain rooms in your house, install baby gates.

3. Dog Necessities

Purchasing the basic supplies will prepare you to bring your new pet home. Remember your new shelter dog’s necessities depend on the size. If you have an idea of your future dog’s size, you may start purchasing the basics.

  • Food and Water Dishes: From small bowls to large self-feeding dishes, you will need one for food and one for water.
  • Leash and Collar: A leash and collar are necessary for walking your dog. The collar should fit properly. A tight fitting collar may cause your dog to choke. A loose fitting one may result in your new dog slipping away from you. When you are not walking your dog on your own private property, doggy cleanup bags are a must.
  • Backyard Fencing: If you are able, fence in a specific area for your dog to play and go potty.
  • Dog Bed: In order to be comfortable, the dog bed needs to be size appropriate.
  • Crate or Kennels: Many dog owners use crates or kennels. Having a kennel set up and ready will ensure a proper routine from the start.
  • Toys: Dogs love to play. Having toys ready will help ease the transition process.

4. Ask Questions

After all the research and preparation, the time is right to find your perfect new four-legged companion. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the dog.

  • Is the dog good with other dogs, cats or children?
  • Do you know the history of the dog?
  • What is the dog’s current food?
  • What is the dog’s energy level?

Every answer will help determine if the dog is right for your household.

5. Bringing Your Pet Home

Your new dog will need time to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings. Allow your dog some time to sniff the house. A new home is intimidating. The adjustment will not happen overnight. Slowly introduce your new dog to others in the household.

6. Vet Appointment

Unfortunately, the shelter may not have a complete background history of your new dog. Taking your pet to the vet is a perfect way to set up a health regiment. Ask your vet about shots, preventive medicines for fleas and ticks, diet suggestions, dog training and any other concerns you may have about your addition. Your vet is a valuable resource.

Adopting a shelter dog is a commitment. However, finding a new fur baby to love and cherish is the best outcome.