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.

Celebrating National Dog Day

Did you know August 26 is National Dog Day? An entire day celebrating your faithful companion, best friend, and beloved family member. Responsible pet owners are fully aware of the importance a dog brings to a home.  Today is just a reminder to pass along some extra love.

Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day 

  • Go for a Nature Walk: Spend extra time outdoors by going for a nature walk. Go to your local pet-friendly park to enjoy some quality time together.
  • Go Hiking: An active dog would love the extra challenge of a hike. With all the new smells, going to a new location is a great experience for your dog.  
  • Go to the Lake or Beach: Does your dog love the water? Spend an afternoon at your favorite pet-friendly beach or lake. 
  • Go to the Dog Park: Spend time together at your local dog park. Or for an added treat, explore a new dog park in the area. 
  • Host a Dog Party: Spend time with your friends and their dogs by hosting an afternoon dog party. 
  • Make a Homemade Dog Treat: Pinterest is a great resource for finding pet-friendly dog treats and meals. Bake something special for National Dog Day. 
  • Buy a New Toy: Bring home your dog a new toy or chew bone or both. 
  • Purchase New Bedding: Has your dog outgrown his current bed? Purchase a new bed and blanket as part of the dog day celebration. 
  • Purchase New Collar: Does your dog need a new collar? Buy your dog some extra gifts, a new collar, leash, and doggie clothes. 
  • Take Photos: Hire a professional to take photos of you and your dog together. Or spend the day taking selfies of you and dog together. Put the photos in an album or hang on the way to remind you of the day. 
  • Cuddle Time: Give your dog some extra love. Cuddle together on the couch. (Your dog will not care if you’re watching Netflix at the same time.)
  • Adopt: Have you been considering adopting a dog? Make the experience special by adopting a dog or two on National Dog Day. 
  • Volunteer: Are you unable to adopt a dog right now but have some extra time? Consider volunteering at your local shelter or rescue. Numerous organizations need help in many areas including cleaning pens and walking the dogs. 
  • Donate: Is your time limited right now? Consider donating to celebrate National Dog Day. Many shelters, rescues or other dog organizations have wish lists. Donating products off the list helps in many ways. If you do not have time to shop, monetary donations are always welcomed. 

 

 

Back to School and Your Dog

Back to school is an exciting time for your children. New bedtime routines, homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities quickly fill your schedule. The new commitments may result in your dog being home alone for extended amounts of time. Keeping your dog happy may require some extra quality time.

Ways to Spend Quality Time With Your Dog

Your dog loves attention from everyone in your family. Sneaking in some quality time will help ease the transition of returning to school. Consider the following ideas to help you or your family members spend more time with your dog.

Get Outdoors

On nice days, skip your gym routine to spend outdoor time with your dog.

  • Go for a long walk with your dog.
  • Hike together at a nearby nature trail.
  • Bike or skateboard with your dog by your side.
  • Go to the dog park.
  • Do outdoor chores together.

Go for Car Rides Together

When the weather permits, bring your dog along to run errands. When your dog is with you, always keep a close watch on the weather. Extreme heat or cold will quickly affect your dog’s health.

Visit Pet-Friendly Shops

Many stores welcome pets. Bringing your dog to the local pet store is the perfect opportunity to spend time together. Allow your dog to find a new toy or bone.

Special Treats

Do something special just for your dog.

  • Make homemade dog food.
  • Bake homemade treats.
  • Bring home a special treat from the pet store.

Cuddle Time

After a long day, cuddling on the couch together may be exactly what you and your dog needs.

When back to school schedules are full, make an effort to spend quality time with your dog. Talk to your dog as much as possible. Your dog loves being with you and loved ones.