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.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Did you know today, February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day? Every day people go on with their daily lives with little notice of the world around them. But promoting small Random Acts of Kindness has the potential to positively impact a large number of people.

40 Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness Day

  1. Donate food to a homeless shelter
  2. Bake cookies or other goodies for an elderly neighbor, co-worker, friend, or loved one
  3. Tape quarters on a vending machine
  4. Pay for the vehicle’s meal behind you in line at the drive-thru
  5. Donate clothes or toys to a women’s shelter
  6. Volunteer at a nursing home
  7. Mail cards of encouragement to friends
  8. Send a quick text to someone
  9. Walk a dog at your local shelter or rescue
  10. Make a meal for a family in need
  11. Let someone in front of  you at the checkouts
  12. Use the day to show gratitude instead of complaining
  13. Purchase a movie ticket for the person standing in line behind you
  14. Call an old friend
  15. Send flowers to your child’s teacher
  16. Babysit without charging
  17. Spend time with your grandparents or other elderly relatives
  18. Post a positive review of a local business
  19. Check for a wish list at your local animal rescue and send needed supplies
  20. Hold the door open for someone
  21. Thanks a person for a job well done
  22. Send cards filled with stickers, gift cards, or other small items to your nieces, nephews, or other small children in your life.
  23. Buy a bag a groceries for someone in need
  24. Help a neighbor with yard work
  25. Take a plate of treats to your local police or fire station
  26. Pick up litter at a local park, beach, or other natural areas
  27. Send a care package to a person serving in the military
  28. Make a gift basket for your pastor
  29. Pay someone’s library fees
  30. Pay off a child’s overdue lunch fees
  31. Make a special afterschool treat for your children
  32. Spend some extra time with your dog
  33. Paint small rocks to hide around the community.
  34. Offer to drive someone to a doctor’s appointment
  35. Tip your waiter or waitress above the average amount
  36. Plant a tree in the memory of someone
  37. Make and deliver homemade cards
  38. Read to someone
  39. Purchase a cup of coffee or latte for a random person, co-worker, neighbor, or friend
  40. Engage in self-care

Media bombards you with negative posts and stories daily. Showing Random Acts of Kindness is a small way to spread positive gestures.

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.

 

Go For a Ride Day

Did you know today, November 22, is Go For a Ride Day? Whether you ride a train, bike, scooter, horse, motorcycle, unicycle, or drive a vehicle, go for a ride. Step away from your computer or other technological devices and get outdoors.

How to Celebrate Go For a Ride Day

The unofficial holiday, Go for a Ride Day, focuses on being mobile. Simply get moving. If you do not have the time today, celebrate Go For a Ride Day over the weekend. Do you need different ideas on how to celebrate Go for a Ride Day? Consider the following.

  • Different Route: Whether you out running errands or coming home from work, take a different route. Enjoy the scenery. Discover new areas within your city or hometown.
  • Take a Scenic Ride: Spend some quality time with your family or friends. Pack a lunch. Simply go for a ride without any real destination in mind. Do not forget to take your dog alone. After a long week of busy schedules,  your favorite four-legged companion will enjoy the extra quality time with you.
  • Ride a Train: When was the last time you rode a train for fun? Gather your family together for a memorable experience. During the holiday season, many train companies offer a Polar Express experience.
  • Go for a Bicycle Ride: If weather permits, go for a bike ride. A family bike ride is a wonderful way to celebrate Go for a Ride Day.
  • Visit a Riding Stable: Have you ever wanted to ride a horse? Visit a riding stable to learn the basics. Riding stables have well-trained horses, which are great for first-time riders. After learning the basics, you can ride your horse through paths around the stables.

Regardless of how you pick to celebrate Go For a Ride Day, have fun and enjoy the activities.

Pet Safety on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a festive holiday. Gathering friends and family members together to enjoy a large meal is part of the Thanksgiving tradition. While everyone is busy enjoying the festivities, your pet could be heading for trouble. Large gatherings mean a change in routine for your pets. Keeping pets safe on Thanksgiving requires extra attention to their surroundings.

Tips for Keeping Pets Safe on Thanksgiving

Keeping a close watch on your pet is essential for safety on Thanksgiving. Consider the following areas to help you with pet safety.

The Door

Pets love to greet people at the door. Your dog may enjoy barking and running to see who is coming in the door. When people start arriving, your dog or cat can easily slip out through the open door. Watching the door closely ensures your pet stays inside.

The Kitchen 

During cooking times, your kitchen may be chaotic. Pets love to be near people. Having a pet in the kitchen may cause you to trip. Or you may accidentally spill something hot on your pet. If you unexpectedly drop raw food or other ingredients, your pet may quickly eat the substance, which could cause stomach distress.

The Food

Along with ingesting raw food, overfeeding your pet on ThaThanksgiving can cause stomach issues and more. Thanksgiving is about indulging in a great meal.

  • Limit Food Scrapes:  Thanksgiving is about indulging in a great meal. Limiting food scraps to your dog or cat is essential for your pet’s health. A small piece of boneless, unseasoned turkey is a tasty treat for your pet.
  • No Fat or Seasoned Food: Fatty or seasoned foods can make your pet sick.
  • No Chocolate: Chocolate or other rich desserts are all part of the Thanksgiving feast. But chocolate is toxic to dogs. High doses of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in dogs.

The Trash

Pets are curious. Sniffing out the trash is natural for them. Pulling out wrappings, food pieces, bones, and other substances can cause stomach distress. Keeping the garbage out of reach of pets is necessary to avoid health issues.

The Safe Space

Pets can quickly become overwhelmed with all the people in your household. Allowing your pet to retreat to a crate or safe place will help reduce anxiety. Inform your guests, especially children, the area is off-limits.

Thanksgiving is a festive occasion. Keeping your pet safe during the activities means you will not spend an evening in the vet emergency room.

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.