Happy Pets Gift Guide

It’s almost Christmas, and I wanted to share a few Christmas gift ideas for your pets. While our pets may not understand exactly what Christmas is, they’ll definitely sense our excitement during the holiday season. We always add a few presents under the tree for our fur babies. As a safety note, skip the ribbons and bows since your pet may chew on them and get sick. We have received product or compensation for some or all of the products in this gift guide. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

 

Pet Toys

There are so many different types of pet toys to choose from that it’s hard to pick just one or two. You’ll have to base your choices on what your pet has enjoyed the most in the past. Our kitties are huge fans of catnip toys and our local veterinarian’s office sells catnip blankets made by a local crafter with proceeds being donated to the Humane Society.

Happy Pets Gift Guide

Pet Bed

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice, soft pet bed?  Our kitties love to curl up on their pet bed and relax. A helpful hint: make sure that you purchase a pet bed that has a removable and washable cover so you can keep it clean rather than throw it away when it’s soiled.

Happy Pets Gift Guide

Pet Treats and Food

We don’t feed our pets a lot of pet treats because they are a bit more chunky than they should be. However, if your pet is at a healthy weight feel free to add a package of healthy treats to your Christmas gift list. Either way, add in their favorite food when you’re thinking about pet gifts.

Pet Supplies

While you may not think that a box of cat litter or a new leash would thrill your pet, these are important supplies you need to keep your pet healthy and happy. Pick up Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Cat Litter with MicroGuard at your local grocery store or mass retailer.

While you’re thinking about what gifts to get your pets for Christmas, have you ever considered adding them to your holiday cards? A recent Arm & Hammer™ Cat Litter “Guard the Litter Box” survey shows that 23% of cat owners – more than 1 in 5 – include  their cats in their holiday card. A few other interesting findings:
·         14% of cat owners dress their cat up on Halloween
·         9% of cat owners throw their cat a birthday party
·         6% of cat owners baked their cat a birthday cake

What little ways do you show your pets you care during the holidays?

Is Your Pet’s Food Safe? Here’s How to Tell

Consider this: You wouldn’t feed unhealthy, potentially poisonous food to your child. Why would you feed it to your cat or dog?

November is National Pet Awareness month—the ideal time to reflect on whether our four-legged loved ones are eating food that’s safe. In honor of the occasion, the veterinary technicians at premium pet food maker Natural Balance suggest looking out for the following when choosing a pet food for your furry friend:

Go grain-free

Toxins are commonly produced by molds that occur in cereal, grains, or added ingredients. Natural Balance recommends ensuring your pet food is tested regularly, and it encourages pet owners to look for limited-ingredient or grain-free formulas.

Store your pet’s food in a cool, dry place

Bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli thrive in warm, moist environments. Make sure your pet’s food is tested before it hits the shelves and store the food in a cool, dry place once you bring it home.

Read food labels for artificial dyes and chemicals

Artificial chemicals are often added to pet foods to help with flavor or shelf life. Make sure to read the ingredients list (just like you would for your own food) and opt for pet foods without added dyes or chemicals.

Resources are available to help provide pet-related advice, including how to select and care for pet food. Natural Balance offers services beyond what one would expect from a pet food brand, including Buy With Confidence® veterinary technicians who are available to discuss pet-related topics through online chat, email, and phone.

Every bowl of food should be tasty, nutritious and safe—that is why Natural Balance is the only brand with an ISO-certified testing facility that checks for the nine most common contaminants across toxins, bacteria, and chemicals before distribution to store shelves.

How do you make sure your pet is healthy and happy? Tell us in the comments!

5 Tips for Training Your Dog

It’s all too common to see new dog owners start out so well on the road to properly training their beloved pooch, only for the enthusiasm and effort to fade a few months down the line. In fact, only five per cent of owners attend a training class with their dog. The result? Chewed furniture, an unruly dog and frustrated owners. This is a sponsored conversation and may contain affiliate links.

5 Tips for Training Your Dog

There are many different approaches to dog training – some animals are more responsive to clicker training, while others may learn more quickly under obedience training, behavioural methodology, or the ‘alpha dog’ approach. Balanced training is another popular method – the dog’s behaviors can result in positive or negative consequences. They are rewarded with praise, petting, games and treats. Examples of negative consequences are when you correct undesirable behaviour with voice, facial expression, or body language.

Whichever approach you decide to use, we’ve compiled a top five list of helpful elements to include when you embark on your dog training program.

1. If you use treats, keep them small

It’s easy to overdo it with treats, especially when you’re training. You can help ensure your dog maintains his weight by using small treats, or just pieces of treats. The type of treat you give is also important – just like you, your dog needs a balanced diet to remain happy and healthy. Vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that aren’t in meat and it’s important your dog gets them in their diet. From apple rings, carrot medallions and sweet potato treats, there are many vegetable and fruit based dog treats available on the market which means you can use them as incentives for your dog during training without having to worry about compromising his health or ending up with a very well behaved but overweight pooch!

2. …but don’t rely on treats too much

While treats can be a useful aid in training to initiate or reinforce a behavior, it’s important not to become too reliant on them. The danger is that over-use can result in a fixation on the treat which compromises the training and undermines the dog’s performance. It’s good practice to use treats to initiate and train in new behaviors. Once they have become embedded though, it is best to replace the treats with something else the dog likes – for example, praise, play, or a break. It’s also helpful to remember that when you react happily to the dog’s behaviour, that is a form of reward for him as well.

3. Ensure you train regularly and reinforce behaviors (sit for dinner, wait at doors)

It’s important to train not just regularly, but for the right amount of time. You need to ensure that the sessions are long enough to instil learning, but not so long that the dog becomes bored. Once you achieve some success in a session, you can leave it there, and return later to reinforce the behaviour. Little and often is the maxim here.
A good way to effectively train your dog is to embed the sessions into everyday life, rather than having to take time out specifically to practice, which can lead to missed sessions. Examples of ways to do this are making your dog sit before you give him his dinner, or waiting at doors until you give the command that he can continue. In this way, good behaviors are reinforced every day.

4. Don’t use too much emotion

How you act will impact your dog’s response to you. The best approach is to remain calm with a sense of authority. Don’t become angry, upset or frustrated when he doesn’t do the right thing, and equally, don’t react in an over-the-top way in response to good behaviour. If your dog isn’t responding in the correct way, remain calm and try again. If he does the right thing, offer praise and make it clear you’re happy with what has happened, but then move on. Over time, your dog’s attitude will reflect your own, contributing to a productive and relaxed relationship.

5. Be confident

Dogs are highly attuned to our emotions and feelings, and an important element of managing your relationship with your dog is ensuring you communicate calm yet assertive energy. As natural pack animals, dogs will seek to find their place within a group. If you do not fill the role as pack leader, there is a good chance that your dog will try to fulfil that role, which is bad news from a behavioural and training perspective. To avoid your dog exploiting your lack of confidence, one possible solution is to attend some training sessions and ensure the balance of power between you and your dog is in your favour.

Ultimately, there isn’t one single ‘correct’ way to approach dog training that will work for every person and animal. You need to work with your dog to find the method that works best for you both, but we’ve found that utilising the five elements listed above is a good starting point and can be applied to whichever approach you take!

Woof Yeah – Pup-Peroni Helps Share the Deliciousness of Tailgate Season

The air is crisp, the pigskin is getting tossed around, and the grill’s getting fired up! For me, there’s no better feeling than grilling tender, juicy steaks for my buds during a football game. The succulent smell’s got my belly grumbling and my pooch’s tail wagging! I will receive a gift for sharing this information with you.

Seeing as how he’s one of my best buds, I wanted to find a way to celebrate the deliciousness of meaty grilled filet mignon and bacon with my favorite four-legged friend.

So we picked up Pup-Peroni’s new Filet Mignon & Bacon Flavors treats and brought them to the tailgate party for our pooch. And I’m glad we did – you should have seen his reaction. He could barely contain himself as he wagged, jumped and yelped all at the same time. These treats had us high-fiving in no time!

Pup-Peroni treats are no joke – they’re made with delicious real angus steak and bacon flavors that dogs absolutely love. Plus the soft, chewy texture gets their tails wagging! I think I enjoy giving him these Filet Mignon & Bacon Flavors treats as much as he loves eating them! There’s nothing like sharing my favorite part of football season with my best friend. Woof Yeah!

No matter how you celebrate your “tail”-gate this season, you and your pooch will be saying ‘woof yeah’ to the tasty flavor of Pup-Peroni Filet Mignon & Bacon treats! Check out this fun ‘Woof Yeah’ video to see what your pup is really craving. #woofyeah

Have you had the chance to share the satisfying moment of undeniable deliciousness with your pooch? Has it resulted in a high five like it has between my pooch and me? I hope so!

Please tell me about it by sharing a story that has you and your pup saying Woof Yeah!

 

Keeping Your Pets Happy This Bonfire Night

Fireworks can be spectacular, and are enjoyed by many humans, but a lot of animals find them very frightening. Thank you for Pet Luxury Co for sponsoring today’s conversation.

Keeping Your Pets Happy This Bonfire Night

Every year it is important that we look after our furry friends to keep them calm and happy on bonfire night. We spoke to PetLuxury.co.uk who said: “Not only can pets become distressed, but there is a risk of them running away from home and getting lost or injured.”

And it isn’t just cats and dogs who need extra care at this time of year. Hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and horses can all be affected badly by flashes and bangs.

Luckily there are lots of things you can do to help. A video recently went viral of a dog who’s owner had put on dog videos for him to watch on the iPad, but there are plenty of other things you should be considering doing both on the night, and in the period running up to bonfire night.

Before Bonfire Night

In the run up to bonfire night it is possible to help prepare your pets, and make it easier for them when the time comes.

Firework sound CDs can be purchased to desensitise your pets to the sound of fireworks. You can gradually increase the volume the closer it gets to the night. This should be started well in advance of bonfire night, as the amount of time needed to get used to the sounds will vary from pet to pet.

Pheromone diffusers are available for dogs and cats, which can help with mild cases by diffusing calming pheromones to reassure them. These should be plugged in a couple of weeks before bonfire night.

Make sure your pet has a safe area to hide if they do get scared, like under some furniture or in a cupboard. Try to choose a quiet room in the house.

For dogs, try associating them with feeling safe in this area in advance by leaving toys there, and not interfering with the area yourself to help your dog feel in control.

Have your pet microchipped, just in case they do manage to escape, so that you can be reunited. In England, Scotland, and Wales it is now compulsory to have dogs microchipped, and you could be fined if you fail to do so.

Find out where local fireworks displays are going to be, and if they are nearby. Ask your neighbours to let you know if they are going to be setting any off.

On Bonfire Night

Keep pets indoors, and keep doors and windows closed so they can’t bolt. Block off cat or dog flaps.

If you have small pets that live outside, bring the hutches into the house or garage if you can, or if you cannot, try to soundproof them by placing blankets over them. Make sure your pet can still look out and see, and provide lots of extra bedding for them to burrow in if they get scared.

Close the curtains, and try to soundproof the house as best as you can. Turn the TV up to distract your pets from the noises outside, or put the radio on.

Take dogs outside for their walks or for the toilet before dusk, as it may be a while before they are next able to go out. Make sure you keep them on a lead just in case any early fireworks are set off.

If your pets are pacing, whining, meowing or trying to hide, they are just trying to find safety and you should let them be. Don’t try to coax them out if they hide, and don’t shout or discipline your pets, even if they become incontinent, as they will just become more stressed.

If your pet prefers to come to you for comfort, make sure you cuddle and stroke them to help them relax, as they won’t understand you ignoring them.

Try to stay with your pets on bonfire night, as they will find your presence comforting. Act normally around them, ignore the firework noises, and give them praise for behaving calmly.

Horses and ponies need to be kept in a familiar routine and environment, so if they are normally out in a field and there are no firework displays nearby, keep them there as long as it is safe and secure. If they are normally stabled, then keep them in stables as normal.

Don’t take the risk of going out for a ride if there is a chance of fireworks being let off, and try to not get in the way if your horse gets startled as you could get hurt.

Make sure that if fireworks are being set off in the area you have someone experienced to stay with your horse, and if you know that they are likely to react badly, speak to your vet.

For more information on how to help your pets, contact your vet.

October 29th is National Cat Day

If you love your cat (and I’m sure you do), you’ll definitely want to plan a few surprises for them on October 29th which is National Cat Day. Maybe you can buy them their favorite cat treats, give them a bit of tuna, or treat them to one of these adorable cat gifts below. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

October 29th is National Cat Day

The Lotus Cat Tower and Shelves are the ultimate designs for the cat lover to catify their home while maintaining an aesthetic décor.
Prices start at $74.99  at TheRefinedFeline.com

Cat gifts for National Cat Day

For the cat fanatic who wants to really “bond” with their cat, consider the Licki Brush. Now when their cat licks them, they can lick them right back! $19.99 at Lickibrush.com

October 29th is National Cat Day

Show to the world they may be a “crazy cat lady” but they have style with cat fashion tees from CatFashionista.com. Starting at $19.99

October 29th is National Cat Day

For the cat parent feeling guilty their cat is home all alone, the Kittyo is the solution. Kittyo lets them watch, speak to, play with, and record their cat when they’re away. They can even dispense treats! $249.99 at Kittyo.com

October 29th is National Cat Day

Self-admitted “Crazy Cat Ladies” aren’t afraid to let everyone know it. Now they can with these stylish totes for $29 at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ZanaProducts

October 29th is National Cat Day

With winter approaching, cats will be looking to stay warm over a heat source.. With the A-Frame Cat Bed from The Refined Feline, the perforated platform allows airflow from vents to heat the cushion and provide a comfy place to snuggle into during their cold months. The A-Frame sells for $99.99 and is available at TheRefinedFeline.com

October 29th is National Cat Day

What will you be getting your cat for National Cat Day? If you’re considering ordering pet supplies online, learn how you can save money while you do it.

Purrfect Together: Celebrate the Bond Between You and Your Kitty This October

October is National Pet Wellness Month and National Black Cat Awareness Month—and there’s never been a better time to show our cats some extra love. I was sent a gift for sharing this information.

Recently, the cat lovers at Meow Mix ran the Purrfect Together Survey, which asked cat parents around the country about their special bond with their four-legged friends. Here are some of the meow-nificent results:

83% of cats take naps with their humans

This is surprising—and not because 83% of people love napping with kitty. The bigger question is: Who are the 17% of deprived humans who don’t get to experience the joy of napping with their cats?

80% of cat parents believe they can interpret their kitty’s meows

While humans and cats may purr in different languages, that doesn’t stop most cat mommies and daddies from understanding what their kitty wants—whether it be some treats, cat nip, or just a snuggle partner.

72% of cat parents love to surprise their kitties with treats

Speaking of treats, nothing makes a cat happier than some spontaneous, unexpected goodies from the person who cares for them the most.

55% of cats love chicken-flavored nibbles

Exciting news: Meow Mix has just released a brand new culinary-inspired food made with real chicken or salmon, Bistro Recipes—a classy meal for a classy kitty! Head over Meow Mix’s new Purrfect Together web portal  right meow to learn more about this dry cat food with a foodie flair.

And that’s not all! You need a classy painting to go with that classy meal. On the Purrfect Together portal, you can enjoy the unique experience of converting a photo of you and your cat into a Meowsterpiece—a digital “oil” painting that helps express and immortalize your cat-love on canvas. I did it, and you should too!

Now it’s time to show me how special your human-cat bond is! Post your Meowsterpiece on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #PurrfectTogether. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Wishing a fantastic Pet Wellness Month and Black Cat Awareness Month to you and your feline friend!

Personalized Framed Photo of Your Favorite Dog

It can be difficult to find a meaning Christmas gift for some people, but if you have a dog lover on your list, I have a great idea. You can create a personalized framed photo of your favorite dog at Fido Phile. Thank you to Fido Phile for providing a prize for this giveaway.

Personalized Framed Photo of Your Favorite Dog

Personalized Framed Photo of Your Favorite Dog

Creating a meaningful gift for the dog lover in your life has never been easier. You simply upload your dog’s photo, choose the history of your dog’s breed, and pick your frame.  The story of each dog’s breed has been written by Dr. Caroline Coil, who has written 34 books, thousands of magazine and web articles, TV scripts, and even an app – all about dogs.

You can use a photo that was taken with your digital camera or even your cell phone provided the image is at full size. Most orders will ship within 2 to 3 days from the date that the order was placed. The price includes FREE shipping via standard ground service.

As an added bonus, after you purchase your Fido Phile, you will be sent the file with an image so that you can share on your social media channels or email to friends.

This is truly a personalized gift idea that will mean something for years to come. They have a huge range of dog breeds to choose from so no matter what breed you have, you’ll be able to find it on their site. You can also choose from a variety of text background colors and woods including cherry and mahogany!  Your print can be ordered to hang horizontally or vertically depending on your preference. I love how many different options are available to make ordering so simple.

Order yours today

One of my readers will win their own Fido Phile. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 Adorable Halloween Dog Costumes

It’s almost time for Halloween so I’ve been checking out the Halloween dog costumes.  After all, why should kids have all of the fun when it comes to dressing up? If you’re like me, and the kids are too old for Halloween, you can still have fun by dressing up your pets. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

25 Adorable Halloween Dog Costumes

Here is a range of Halloween dog costumes for any sized dog.  I’m very much in love with the super hero themed dog costumes and the adorable pumpkin costume for dogs.

Some of the smaller Halloween dog costumes would probably work fairly well for a cat if you are in the mood to dress up your cat for Halloween. I’ve never had a lot of luck getting our cats to tolerate wearing a Halloween costume, but maybe yours will be in a better mood.

If you have a cute idea for Halloween for one of your pets, I hope that you’ll let me know as a comment below!

Prettiest Pooch Halloween Pet Costume (Multiple Sizes Available) :Includes 2-toned purple dress-style costume and silver crownMaterial: polyesterCare: spot clean; do not ironS (10"-12") / M (14"-16") ...
Brand: Morris CostumesMerchant: Walmart US
$16.40
I Dream of Jeannie Dog Pet Pet Costume - Small The I Dream of Jeannie Pet Costume includes a harem style one piece dress and hat. Our I Dream of Jeannie Dog comes in pet sizes Medium, Large, X-Large, ...
$12.97
The Halloween Bootique Snuggly Skull Dog Sweater lets your pup enjoy Halloween thrills without any chills. This spooky dog sweater features black and white stripes with a chic skull argyle pattern.
Brand: BootiqueMerchant: petco
$14.99
$10.49
Dumb and Dumber Halloween Dog Costume Your dog will be the talk of the town with the Dumb and Dumber Halloween Costume. Choose between Lloyd and Harry, or, if you have more than one dog, dress them up...
Brand: SILVERTOP ASSOC INCMerchant: Dog.com
$9.99
Zack & Zoey Giggling Baby Dog Costume If you want your dog to dress up for Halloween but do not think you can get him into a costume, his saddle costume is a great option for you. It is as easy as...
$9.99
The Serape Mexican Dog Costume includes serape and mini sombrero. Adults love to celebrate Halloween too so get costumes and accessories this year that really make a statement like this one.
$10.99
The Serape Mexican Dog Costume includes serape and mini sombrero. Adults love to celebrate Halloween too so get costumes and accessories this year that really make a statement like this one.
Brand: Default BrandMerchant: AnytimeCostumes
$9.89
The Serape Mexican Dog Costume includes serape and mini sombrero. Adults love to celebrate Halloween too so get costumes and accessories this year that really make a statement like this one.
$9.08
The Serape Mexican Dog Costume includes serape and mini sombrero. Adults love to celebrate Halloween too so get costumes and accessories this year that really make a statement like this one.
$8.96
This Santa Paws Dog Costume is one of the very best Pets Christmas Costumes. Holiday parties are always better when you have high quality items at low prices like this. Get yours today!
$19.99
This Santa Paws Dog Costume is one of the very best Pets Christmas Costumes. Holiday parties are always better when you have high quality items at low prices like this. Get yours today!
Brand: Default BrandMerchant: AnytimeCostumes
$19.99
This Santa Paws Dog Costume is one of the very best Pets Christmas Costumes. Holiday parties are always better when you have high quality items at low prices like this. Get yours today!
$19.28
This Santa Paws Dog Costume is one of the very best Pets Christmas Costumes. Holiday parties are always better when you have high quality items at low prices like this. Get yours today!
$18.96
This Santa Paws Dog Costume is one of the very best Pets Christmas Costumes. Holiday parties are always better when you have high quality items at low prices like this. Get yours today!
$20.99
Your dog will look hilarious in the Hot Dog Costume - Dogs. This costume includes a brown suit with a mustard stripe top detail, and tan side bun details. It's great for a Halloween party or even a 4t...
$16.99
$11.99
Your dog will look hilarious in the Hot Dog Costume - Dogs. This costume includes a brown suit with a mustard stripe top detail, and tan side bun details. It's great for a Halloween party or even a 4t...
$16.99
$11.99
Your dog will look hilarious in the Hot Dog Costume - Dogs. This costume includes a brown suit with a mustard stripe top detail, and tan side bun details. It's great for a Halloween party or even a 4t...
Brand: Default BrandMerchant: AnytimeCostumes
$21.99
$10.79
Your dog will look hilarious in the Hot Dog Costume - Dogs. This costume includes a brown suit with a mustard stripe top detail, and tan side bun details. It's great for a Halloween party or even a 4t...
$21.99
$9.08
Your dog will look hilarious in the Hot Dog Costume - Dogs. This costume includes a brown suit with a mustard stripe top detail, and tan side bun details. It's great for a Halloween party or even a 4t...
$13.44
$8.96
Your dog will look hilarious in the Hot Dog Costume - Dogs. This costume includes a brown suit with a mustard stripe top detail, and tan side bun details. It's great for a Halloween party or even a 4t...
$21.99
$10.98

4 Tips for Keeping Your Litter Box Fresh

We have two cats so keeping your litter box fresh is definitely something we need to think about. It seems like even with constant scooping our litter box needs a little bit of help in the freshness department.   This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. A product was provided for this post.

4 Tips for Keeping Your Litter Box Fresh

No one wants to open the door to their home and be greeted by litter box odors. It’s even worse if your guests open the door and notice the same thing.  Here are a few tips for keeping your litter box fresh.

Scoop it

Yes, this may seem obvious but it’s also going to make the most difference. Buy scoopable cat litter and scoop it after each use. You really will notice a difference and your cats will be happier.

Wash it

You need to empty and wash your litter box at least once every few weeks. Even if you scoop it regularly, there will be bacteria and waste that create odors left behind. Empty the litter box and wash it completely with a solution of hot water and vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil to kill bacteria.

Tips for keeping your litter box fresh

Deodorize it

Believe it or not, sprinkling baking soda into your litter box really does help to contain odors. We’ve been doing this for quite a while and neither of our cats seem to care. You still need to scoop and change regularly but the baking soda should help as well.

4 Tips for Keeping Your Litter Box Fresh

Contain it

Cats love to dig and that means that they can scatter litter and waste outside of the litter box. Be certain that you sweep the area regularly to contain it. You can also use a cat litter mat to help keep the litter from being tracked all over the house.

Do you have any other tips for keeping your litter box fresh?

Pet Zone Cat Litter Box Pop-Up Canopy: Fits over most standard litter boxesHelps contain odorFashionable color and pattern
Brand: Pet ZoneMerchant: Walmart US
$9.99

Pet sitting tips for owners and caregivers