Summer Bucket List for Your Dog

Did you create a bucket list for yourself or your family for the summer? How about your dog? A bucket list does not necessarily mean a grand adventure for just humans. The main point of a bucket list is trying something new. If you need inspiration, check out the following list of ideas for a summer bucket list for your dog.  

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Before going anywhere new, research the guidelines for bringing your pet. Many travel areas understand dogs are valuable family members. Other destinations may not be pet friendly. Researching or calling is the best way to learn the rules for bringing your faithful four-legged companion.

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  1. Hit the Trails: Get outside. Go to your favorite hiking spot or find a new one. Spend the day exploring.
  2. Camp Out: Pet-friendly campgrounds cater to pets by offering dog runs or other play areas. Researching is the best way to find the best campground for you and your dog.
  3. Go to the Dog Park: Dog parks are exciting for your four-legged companion. Dogs love socialization and play. Try to visit your local dog park regularly. Next, go to a dog park. Different play areas are a new adventure for your dog.
  4. Pet-Friendly Hotel: Do you and your dog need a relaxing night away? Go to a pet-friendly hotel for the night or the entire weekend. Many hotels strive to include family pets in their accommodations. Order room service. Enjoy a night of relaxation with your fur baby.
  5. BBQ Time: Grill steak or chicken for you and your pet to enjoy. Or host a dog-friendly BBQ for your friends and their pets.
  6. Spend Time at the Lake: If your dog loves to swim, head to your local pet-friendly lake. Pack a lunch. Spending time at the lake is an activity your entire family will enjoy.
  7. Pet-Friendly Backyard: Redesign a portion of your backyard with your dog in mind. Install a dog activity area with ramps for running, add a small child’s swimming pool, a watering station, shade area, dog run, and more.
  8. Professional Photo: As a pet owner, you probably have hundreds (or thousands) of photos of your pet with your family. Not to mention, the extra selfies of you and your pet together. But do you have a professional photo?
  9. Cuddle Time: Watching your favorite videos, sitting on your couch, and cuddling with your pet is a great way to spend an evening.

Coming up with a summer bucket list for your dog is a great family activity. Enjoy all the different ideas together.

Quick Easter Basket Ideas for Your Dog

Tomorrow is Easter! Are you ready? Are you still preparing Easter baskets? Did you remember your four-legged companion? Dogs are a valuable part of your family. Spoiling them with an Easter basket adds to the excitement of the day. If you are searching for quick Easter basket ideas for your dog, check out the following list.

Photo by Alice Castro on Pexels.com

Easter Basket Ideas for Your Dog

  1. New Collar: After the long winter, is your dog’s collar looking a little worn? Consider a brightly colored collar to go with the warm months ahead.
  2. Bandana: A new, holiday-themed bandana to wear around on Easter Sunday is the perfect addition to your dog’s basket. Bandanas are an inexpensive Easter Basket filler. You may want to grab a couple extra for the upcoming summer months.
  3. Squeaky Toys or Ball: Does your dog like squeaky toys? Or is playing catch a favorite for your four-legged fur baby? Almost every department store carries a large selection of squeaky toys and balls. Grab two or three for your dog’s basket.
  4. Dog Biscuits, Treats, or Bones: What’s your dog’s favorite snack? When you are out picking up last-minute items for Easter, grab a bag of your dog’s preferred treat. If you want to go the extra step, you can always make homemade dog biscuits to place in the basket.
  5. Doggie Fashion Wear: Shirts, coats, hats, and even pajamas are all available for your dog to enjoy.
  6. New Stuffed Toy (Dog Approved): A stuffed bunny or other dog toys are a perfect addition to the Easter Basket.
  7. Photo with the Easter Bunny: Many organizations host Easter Bunny photos for pets to raise funds. Generally, the cost is low or by donation. As a pet owner, you will get a memorable photo of your dog or the two of you together with the Easter Bunny. The best part, the funds raised go to a good cause.

Whatever you decide to do for Easter, take time to cuddle and love your faithful companion. Happy Easter!

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.

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

Most people associate the first day of summer with the 3-day Memorial weekend. But technically this year, on June 20, 2020, the northern hemisphere will officially begin the first day of summer. Staying light longer, the sun will finally reach the furthest northern point in the sky. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. After the summer solstice, the days will begin to lose light.

Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Different cultures have a wide range of traditions to welcome the summer. Unfortunately, due to recent health mandates, social distancing, and stay at home guidelines, many festivals and celebrations are canceled this year. But do not let all the restrictions keep you from celebrating the summer solstice.

  • Go Hiking: Numerous parks are open to the public. Yes, social distancing still applies to the trails, but you still can enjoy the great outdoors. Hike a new trail. Spend an extra hour outdoors. Hiking is good for the entire family. Even young children can enjoy easy trails. Of course, don’t forget your dog.
  • Go for a Walk: A simple walk around the block can be refreshing. Walk to your local park. The playground equipment may still be inaccessible. But enjoy the different paths throughout the park. If you are working, go for a short walk on your lunch break.
  • Enjoy Nature: Take a leisurely stroll in your local park to enjoy nature. Take along binoculars and a camera to capture your view. If you are allowed, pick wildflowers, collect rocks, and other nature items to use for craft projects later.
  • Meditate or Pray: Sitting outside in nature is the perfect time to reflect. Give yourself time to meditate or pray.
  • Watch the Sunrise or Sunset: Taking a moment out of your day to simply watch the sunrise or set, gives you a chance to relax and destress.
  • Cook a Feast: Okay, a simple BBQ or a picnic will do the trick. But cooking a meal and enjoying the celebration as a family is a great way to honor the changing season.
  • Host a Bonfire: If you haven’t used your fire pit this year yet, the summer solstice is the perfect day to start. Build a small fire, watch the sunset, and marvel at the stars. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolatey, marshmallow goodness of S’mores.
  • Celebrate Virtual: Due to restrictions, many popular sites, including Stonehenge, are celebrating the summer solstice online. Watch the sunrise or set, listen to music, or watch an event.

Regardless of the way you celebrate the solstice, enjoy the summer day. Summer goes by quickly. Soon, the cold weather will return.

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.

Doggy Date Night

Did you know February 3rd is Doggy Date Night? How should you celebrate? Simply give your favorite four-legged companion some extra love and time. Do you need some ideas to make Doggie Date Night a fun evening?

Doggy Date Night Ideas

1. Go for a Hike: Does your dog enjoy being outdoors? Celebrate Doggy Date Night by going for a hike or an extra-long walk.

2. Go to the Dog Park: If it’s not your customarily scheduled day to go to the park, celebrate Doggy Date Night with an extra visit. Invite your friends to join with their dogs. The outing is perfect for you to catch up with your friends, plus your dog gets a play date.

3. New Toys: Buy a new squeaky, ball, or chew toy. Or take your dog to your local pet store to pick out a new toy.

4. New Leash and Collar: When was the last time you bought your dog a new leash or collar? Update your pet’s accessories.

5. Special Treat: Make homemade dog bones or muffins. If you cannot make homemade, buy high-quality treats from your reputable pet store.

6. Go On a Road Trip: The road trip does not need to be far away. When dogs love to ride in a vehicle, a trip to run errands is a wonderful treat. Of course, you can go on a long road trip. Depending on the weather, you can go to the lake or other favorite destinations.

7. Cuddle Time: After a long day, the best way to celebrate Doggy Date Night is cuddle time. Snuggle together on the couch while you binge-watch your favorite show.

Spending extra quality time with your dog is the best way to celebrate Doggy Date Night.

Even if you do not have a dog, you can still join in on the fun. Numerous animal shelters and rescues need dog walkers. Celebrate Doggy Date Night by volunteering your time to walk a dog. Who knows by volunteering your time, you may end up finding your new furry friend.

 

 

Christmas Stocking Stuffers for Your Dog

Are you getting ready to do some last-minute shopping? When finding the perfect stocking stuffers, do not forget your dog. Your faithful companion will love the extra attention on Christmas morning.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Your Dog

  • Ball: A new ball to chase around the yard or at the dog park.
  • Squeaky Toy: Okay, a new squeaky may be annoying for you, but your dog loves the noisy toy.
  • Collar: A new collar to match your dog’s personality. Get a matching leash.
  • Bandana: This inexpensive item comes in numerous colors and designs. You could get your dog one for each day of the week.
  • Treats: Your dog loves treats. Place your four-legged friend’s favorite treats in the stocking or make a batch of homemade ones. Your dog will thank you with lots of kisses.
  • Winter Coat: Are you in a colder climate? Dogs love to be pampered. Buying your dog a winter coat will make outdoor time more fun.
  • Personalized Dog Tag: Get your dog a customized dog tag to ensure a safe return home if lost.

Make Christmas time promises to your dog. For example, to spend extra quality time together through the holiday season. A longer walk or extra cuddle time while binge-watching your favorite show, your dog will enjoy your time together.

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.

 

Hiking in Winter With Your Dog

Do you usually hike with your favorite four-legged companion? Has the winter weather made you leave your best hiking partner at home? Changing weather does not mean your dog has to stay home from your next hike. With a little planning, your dog can hit the open trails with you.

Tips for Hiking With Your Dog in the Winter

As a responsible dog owner, you are fully aware of your pet’s hiking limits. Hiking in the snow and cold requires additional care for your dog’s safety. Consider the following tips to help your dog stay healthy and happy during winter hikes.

  • Be Warm: Some dog breeds love the snow. Others may need some extra protective gear to help maintain warmth and protect against hypothermia. Dog coats, booties, and paw protectors may be part of your dog’s new hiking routine. Coats help your dog stay warm and dry. Booties or paw protectors are essential to protect your dog’s paws from the elements. If your dog does not wear paw protectors, consider using a paw protection wax. The wax is easy to apply and helps keep your dog’s paws safe from the natural elements.
  • Know Your Trail: Winter can add other hazardous conditions to hiking. Sticking to familiar trails can keep you and your dog safe.
  • Dog Permitted Trails: Remember to only hike trails that allow dogs. Rules and guidelines may change in winter months. Checking ahead is essential.
  • Keep Your Dog Close: Dogs love to run and explore. During the winter months, your dog may wander off too far. Lakes, streams, and rivers may not be fully frozen. Your dog slipping through the ice can be highly dangerous and sometimes deadly. Keeping your dog close is critical. The chances of hypothermia and other injuries could happen quickly.
  • Food and Water: Like you, your dog will need proper hydration and nourishment during the hike. Snowy covered trails mean extra work for your dog. If your dog starts to slow down or stops, he may need a food and water break. Dehydration, hypothermia, and exhaustion are highly dangerous for your pet. Learn to read your pet’s signs to know when to take a trail break.
  • Emergency Kit: Pack a first aid kit for your dog. Keep extra blankets in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The blankets can help keep your pet warm and dry.
  • Mobile Device: Always carry a cell phone with you for emergencies.  Use your phone to check on the weather. A forecast can change quickly, wintry weather can be dangerous for you and your dog. When hiking away from home, program local numbers for pet emergencies.

Winter does not automatically require you and your dog to stay indoors. With a little pre-planning, you and your faithful hiking companion will be out on the trails in no time.

 

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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.

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