Monday, June 27, 2016

Are You A Helicopter Pet Parent?

My sister DixieLee isn't feeling so good. She doesn't want to play with me and she is not hungry. DL will eat anything at anytime so when she is not hungry, there is definitely something wrong. DixieLee has an appointment with the vet but not for some days yet. Mom is worried but Dad is really upset.
Mom said he was acting like a helicopter parent. I know that peoples Moms and Dads can be helicopter parents but I was surprised that there are helicopter pet parents too. While helicopter parents have a bad rep in the people world, they are may be the best kind to have in the dog world.
Unlike human babies who grow up to be teenagers and adults, dogs stay as dependent as babies and need close supervision and attention all of our lives.
We found a lists on Google that mention some of the traits of a helicopter pet parent. Although Mom didn't match all of them, she did find lots of things in common with other pet parents. Like:
1. Refusing to board us. Mom and Dad are going to a wedding later this summer and are stressing about having us stay in a kennel. At the other house we knew lots of people so someone would always stay with us if they went away.
2. Having more photos of their pets than other family members. Just check out Mom's Facebook page and guess whose photos you will see most. It could be that I am just so photogenic and DixieLee does such cute things all the time that she can't help it.
3. Avoiding vaccuming because we don't like it. Geez, we are only protecting them from that big, noisy monster.
4. Spending more time shopping for us than for themselves. Of course they do. It's important to choose just the right toy or treat.
5. Being particular about our food. We feel a little deprived in this area. We have friends like Bumo and Miu who get home cooked or raw food diets. We're stuck with dry kibble. Granted, it's high quality but it's still dry food. But, Mom did bring home some fancy canned food to see if she could get DixieLee to eat. Boy, she inhaled that and I did get a taste too.
There were tons more Mom found that described her but there were some that . Lots of dogs like my cousin Sophie who wear sweaters,coats and boots and we have two friends, Bella and Bekka who dress in dresses and all sorts of cute clothes. They, like lots of littler dogs ride in a stroller when they go out.
The bestest part of having a helicopter parent is that they make sure we get the best care all because they love us as much as we love them.
Your friend,
p.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  We forgot to mention, buy gifts for their pets.  We recommend Paw Pals Boutique where we believe that pets are people too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Our Least Favorite Holiday

Mom and I usually choose a blog topic together. Since the 4th of July is only a few days away, I thought I would be good to remind people that loud noises, like firework, are very, very scary for pets. I realize that the 4th of July is a very important holiday for all Americans, human and dog, the loud noise made by fireworks is more than most of us dogs can handle.
I wanted to talk about what humans can do to make their pets feel more safe and unafraid while the humans can enjoy the sound and colors of a fireworks display. 
Lots of our friends already know how to keep their pets safe and unafraid but there were people who never lived with pets before and they may not know that loud noises are dangerous for dogs and cats, and horses and ferrets and…. Well all animals.
First of all, most pets don’t pay attention to the calendar so, unlike humans, they don’t know it is the 4th of July.  They aren't expecting the day to be any different from the 3rd of July so it's a big scary surprise when all the big noise starts. And please, as much as you might like to take us along to see the community fireworks, we would prefer to stay at home.
You know our sense of smell is much greater than that of humans, well, our hearing averages about four times greater than yours too. That means fireworks are very, very loud.
So, while you may enjoy the sight and sound of fireworks on the 4th of July, your pets may not. While you are sitting on the front porch, enjoying the display, your pet may experience an increase in heart rate, a rush of adrenaline and increase in stress hormones that could cause him or her to bolt. The stress can be so intense that dogs jump fences and break chains trying to get away from the noise.
The American Humane Society reports that July 5th is the busiest day of the year at animal shelters, as pets that fled ran away because they were scared the night before are found miles from their homes  They were disoriented and exhausted.
Here are a number of thing you can do to make sure your pets are comfortable and safe this July 4th.
1. Leave them at home and inside. If it is warm, leave the air conditioning on.
2. Provide a "safe" place for them. Our crates are our safe place but during thunderstorms and on the 4th of July, DixieLee likes to hide in Mom’s closet.
3. If possible keep the windows and curtains closed.
4. Make sure your pets are wearing their ID tags and that their collars fit properly just in case they bolt.
5. Give them something to keep them occupied. I’d vote for a Frosty Paws frozen dog treat but a favorite toy can comforting too.
It’s only a few hours out of a whole year but those few hours can be very traumatic for a pet. Make sure your best friend doesn’t end up as a statistic on the American Humane Society report for next year.
Wishing America a Happy Birthday and all of our friends a happy and safe July 4th!

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Did you know that gift baskets make the perfect gift for pets as well as humans?  Check out our huge selection of pet gift baskets at 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

If It Fits, I Sits

Hi everyone, Fo here.

Like most dogs and many humans, Zeva finds cats to be very mysterious creatures. For example, she asked me why cats like to sit in boxes, bags, flower pots or other weird places.

Well, we cats like being mysterious. As far as why we like to snuggle in boxes and other small spaces, there are several reasons.

Cats are hunters and a box makes a great hiding place. We can watch our prey and ambush them when they get close.

It's also advisable to have good hiding places when you need to hide from predators and enclosed spaces like boxes help us to feel safe. Cats sleep a lot. We need anywhere from 12 to 16 hours every day. A good box makes us feel safe while we are sleeping.

Don't let our nonchalance fool you. We may appear to be calm and indifferent but we get stressed out too. We also like to avoid conflict so retreating to a box is a way for us to get away. Zeva tells me she like to go into her crate when she is feeling stressed. A crate is nothing but a big box.

Boxes also keep us warm. If we can't find a nice sunny window, we'll look for some other cozy place to curl up in. We're most comfortable when the air temperatures are some where between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Most people keep their houses much cooler than that so curling up in small spaces helps us keep warm.

So the next time a human buys an expensive cat condo and their cat prefers the box it came in, understand that the box gives her a warm and stress free place where she can hide, sleep or track her prey.

One last thing, be sure to check before you close any open drawers or closet doors, there just might be a cat sleeping in your sweaters or shoes.

Hope the rest of your day is purrrrr fect,

Fo, the cat

P.S. Blatant self-promotion. Check out the large selection of cat gift baskets atPaw Pals Boutique. You're sure to find one that is just purrrr-fect for even the most finicky feline.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Are You Talking to Me?!?

I don't know why peoples think that dogs don't talk. We talk all the time. We talk with our ears and our eyes and our tails, not just with our mouths. But unless you know what to listen for, we could have a big communication problem.

Take for example my tail. Just because it is wagging does not mean I am happy. It could mean I am afraid and there is a big difference between happy and afraid. Dogs don't have so hard a time understanding what another dog means when she wags her tail but peoples can get confused.

My sister DixieLee is very clear in letting you know if she is happy or afraid.  When she is afraid, she wags her tail.  When she is happy, she wags her tail so hard and fast, her whole butt wags.  Me, I'm a little more subtle.  If I am wagging my tail because I am afraid, you shouldn't just walk over and try to pet me. It could be a bad move for both of us.

We dogs talk with our voices. We bark, whimper, whine, growl and howl. We don't have as many words as humans, but we don't seem to need as many to get our point across. 

I use my very soft voice when I want Dad to wake up and feed us breakfast or when I need to go out and pee. I use my very big voice when I am warning my pack that someone is coming into our yard. Dogs often combine voices with movements like when I use my little voice and do a little dance when we are getting ready to go for a walk. Going for walks are such fun, I want Mom to know I appreciate them.

I use my eyes a lot to talk. Every dog should master the art of using puppy eyes. Puppy eyes are good for getting you out of trouble. The stare is another good way to communicate. Using the stare is good when you want something. I stare very hard until Mom gets the message that it's time for a cookie. If I ask for cookies too much in one night, Mom tells me a stern no and I turn my head away so she knows I'm sorry. Okay, some times I do push it, but you won't get anywhere if don't try.

Like with a tail wag, humans need to be careful when interpreting a hard stare. Sometimes it means we just want you to pay attention to us but sometimes it's a warning to back off.

Another way we dogs get attention is to just walk over and put our heads under your hand or nudge you with our noses.  We can be pretty clear and insistent when we want to be petted.  But we don't like hugs, so back off on the hugs.

One of the most effective communication methods a dog can use is the head tilt. The head tilt is guaranteed to melt the heart of almost any human.

It takes time and patience for different creatures to communicate but it's well worth the effort.

Happy tail wags,

Your friend,

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