Thursday, August 29, 2013

Home Alone

I’m a very lucky dog.  We own our own business so my sister Dixie and I get to go to work with Mom every day.  When we aren’t at work, we go with Mom and Dad almost everywhere else so we very rarely have to stay at home by ourselves.  For those times we do have to stay at home by ourselves, it is only for a little while.  Being home alone for a little while is okay cuz we get to nap in our own crates.  I like having my own crate cuz Dixie can be a pain sometimes.
The other day, Mom and Dad went to a family party far away and they were gone ALL DAY.  Napping in our crates is okay but ALL DAY is a very long time to be in a crate.  For long times like all day we have a Pet Sitter.  A Pet Sitter is a person who comes to our house to feed us and take us out to play and do our business.

Finding a good Pet Sitter is serious business.  We had a very good Pet Sitter at our other house but when we moved, we were too far away so we needed to find another one.  Like any busy dog, the first thing I did to find a Pet Sitter was to look on line.  From reviewing the different websites, I could see who lived close by, what organizations they belong to, what training and experience they had and all sorts of other valuable information about them.

We chose a very nice lady.  She has lots of experience taking care of animals and even has a lot of animals of her own living on her farm.  She came to visit and played with me and Dixie so we could get to know her and see if we thought she would be okay.  She gave Mom lots of paper to look at.   Mom thinks things like having special insurance is important for a Pet Sitter to have.  She also likes that our Pet Sitter knows our new vet and knows the people at the emergency vet hospital near by.

She asked Mom lots of questions about us and our routines.  And she wrote down lots of stuff.  The one question that impressed me the most was “Where do you keep the cookies?”.  I was sold.  The lady had her priorities right.

Having a Pet Sitter come to the house is very nice.  We like our neighbors and they would be happy to help but Mom likes to have a "professional" who has special training with dogs.   I never had to stay in a kennel and I hear that some are really nice but I’m not good with change.   I think I would miss my own crate and yard.   Also, with two dogs, a stay at a kennel can be expensive.  And then there’s the whole thing about dropping us off and picking us up.  We’d have to be on the kennel’s schedule, not ours.   Also we’d need to take our blankets and toys and food dishes and food.  And don’t forget our cookies.  What if they don’t have good cookies? Staying at home is much nicer for us and lots easier for Mom and Dad too.
How about you?  Do you have a Pet Sitter come to your house when your Mom and Dad have to go away?  If so, what do you like best about your Pet Sitter?

Your friend,

P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  My very special Dogs in Toyland gift basket was designed for that very special dog in your life!

Friday, August 16, 2013

FAST FOOD - 5 Ways to stop your dog from gobbling their food

My sister Dixie holds the world record for fast eating.  She has to eat in her crate cuz she finishes so fast then tries to eat my food too.  I used to eat very slowly.  Sometimes I would take a piece of kibble into the next room, eat it, and then come back for more.  Not anymore!  I have to eat everything sort of quickly or Dixie will steal it.

I can understand when she first came to live with us that she thought she might not get enough food.  She was a stray so sometimes she didn’t get enough to eat.  I tell her that we always have lots of food.  I even show her where we keep the HUGE bag of food in the cabinet.  I tell her it is all for us and it never gets empty! But, she still gulps down her food.

I’m part Lab and Labs are always hungry.  We get lots of very nutritious food which is  divided so we get fed three times every day.  And, we get cookies and carrots for snacks.  I may be starving at dinner time but I still have manners when I eat.
Gobbling food is not only undoggy like, it can cause bloat.  When a dog gulps food, air gets in the tummy which is a bad thing and can make a dog very sick or even died.  So getting a dog to eat nice is very important.

Mom decided Dixie is not going to stop fast eating all on her own so we are trying some tricks.  First Mom tried to hand feed her.  Poor Dixie, she would gobble what little Mom had in her hand then sit and wait for the next handful.  Only, she looks so pathetic while she is waiting, Mom couldn’t keep feeding her that way.  Besides, Mom’s hand got all sticky and yucky from Dixie slobber.

Hand feeding is one trick.  Here are a few others that might work if you or someone you know gobbles their food.
1.      You can buy a special feeding dish called a Break Fast Bowl.  It has big posts in the bowl so the dog has to eat around them.  It also slides a little so the dog has to chase the food.

2.     You can make a regular feeding dish into something like a Break Fast Bowl by simply turning it upside down.  The food goes in the groove around the big bump in the middle so the dog has to work harder to get at the food, slowing down the eating.   A regular feeding dish is much less expensive too.

3.     Instead of using a bowl, try a muffin tin.  Put a little of the food into each of the little compartments.  The dog has to stop a bit when going from one compartment to the next.

4.     Another thing you can buy is a feeding cube or ball.    The food goes into the cube or ball and you have to play with the cube or ball until all the food falls out.  I would like this one.  Sometimes Mom puts some Kibble (or peanut butter) in the big Kong and I have to play to get it out.  It’s lots of fun.

5.     There is another kind of gadget you can buy that goes in the feeding dish.  It’s a round ball made out of ceramic or some kind of shiny metal.  Some people put a big rock in the dish (it has to be big cuz we dogs do tend to eat little rocks), but they say you can’t wash a rock so they invented these other balls.

Mom is trying the “rock” method now only she is using the big Kong.  She puts the food in the dish then puts the Kong on top of the food.  Dixie is eating a little slower cuz she has to stop and move the Kong around to get to the food.  Mom likes the Kong cuz, first all we already have it, and unlike a big rock, she can wash it.

We’ve only been trying it a couple of days, but it seems to be working.
If you or anyone you know is a food gobbler, please let me know what you did to help get better eating manners.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Dixie and I are very spoiled… so I created a gift basket especially for Spoiled Rotten Dogs. Can you guess what I call it?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Senior's Have Class

"Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog." - Sydney Jeanne Seward

Being very active in social media, I follow a lot of dog blogs, dog rescue and adoption groups on FaceBook.  I am always sad to see so many dogs who don’t have furever homes and most sad that lots of older dogs never get adopted at all.

I know, puppies are cute.  But I have to tell you, puppies can be a pain in the butt.   I mean, we adopted my sister Dixie.  She’s not a baby but she’s just out of puppyhood and I’ll tell you, what a handful.  She runs, and plays and chews constantly.  Good thing she likes old bones and not the furniture.

Now, if we adopted a Senior Dog, he or she would be much quieter.  They would walk nicely, not run a hundred miles an hour everywhere.  They would also take more naps.

When we got Dixie, she didn’t have all of her shots yet and she wasn’t spayed.  It costs a lot of money to get a dog spayed and to have all of their shots.  Many older dogs that are turned in to the shelters already have had their shots and have been spayed or neutered.

And most shelters don’t charge as much to adopt a Senior Dog as they do to adopt young dogs.

People think that older dogs come with “bad habits”.  Any dog can have “bad habits”.   That’s what dog training is about.  Helping dogs have good habits.  Old dogs LOVE to learn new tricks!

People are afraid to adopt Senior Dogs because they think they will die soon.  That is so not true.  When a dog has a good home, with good food, it can live a long, long time.  Who wouldn’t want to experience unconditional love for 8 or even 5 years?

So, if you or someone you know is thinking about adopting a dog, suggest an older dog.  They make wonderful companions and are very deserving of a good furever home.

Your friend,


P.S. Blatant self-promotion.  Every dog deserves a little pampering now and then.  That’s why I created Spot’s SPAGift Basket.  It has everything a well groomed pooch needs.