Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Lazy Dog's Workout Program

People know that exercise is very important to being healthy. Exercise lets people have strong bones and hearts and exercise is good for being happy too. Well dogs want healthy bones and hearts and we want to be happy too. When dogs get exercise we get rid of extra energy that makes us look for things to do like chew shoes and furniture, dig holes, and bark too much. Our people like it when we don’t do destructive things which make us happy.
Some people think that talking walks is the only way to get dogs exercised. Not true. Walking is very good but on days when it is rainy or cold, we don’t want to go out much either. So, I found lots of other ways to get exercise.
1. Obstacle Courses. These are big fun and can be an indoor or outdoor exercise. Our pen is a good place for an obstacle course. Big chunks of wood are good for running around and old tires stuck in the ground are good for going through.
In the house we get to run around the chairs and tables and up and down the stairs. Stair running is good because it makes you tired fast and you use different muscles going up than you use going down. Mom throws a toy down the stairs and we fetch it and bring it back.
Mom shows us how she wants us to go around chairs and we follow. DixieLee usually is better at the running stuff but I good at the figuring out stuff like a champion agility dog. The thinking part is hard because we train with treats and in obstacle course you don’t get to go straight to the treat you have to go around stuff.
2. Hide and seek. Dad is a good hide and seek player! Our house is not very big but he still finds good places to hide. At first we needed to be held while Mom counted one, two, three… but we learned not to go until ten. Sometimes DixieLee still starts looking earlier.
3. Tug of war. This is a good game to play with our humans and just with dogs. Tug of war is a very competitive game and both DixieLee and I are very competitive so we have strict rules about how hard we can play. When Mom or Dad say “stop it” we know we have to give up the toy and calm down. We have some good tug of war toys but DixieLee likes Dad’s socks the best. She forgets that socks are no nos.
4. Hiding treats. It’s sort of hide and seek where you look for hidden treats instead of hidden people. Good hiding places are behind chairs or doors or under tables.
We also play hide treats with our Kongs. Treats hidden in Kongs are easy to find but hard to get to. It takes concentration to get the treats out and keeps us quiet for long times.
We still like taking walks with our friend Scout and her new puppy friend but when we can’t we have plenty of other ways to get our exercise.
Let us know what you do to stay fit.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  Looking for a super gift for your favorite furbaby?  Check out our website at pawpalsboutique.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What's for Lunch?

Graphic copyright Priya Nagarajan
Zeva: I have been working for hours and I'm starving!
Mom: Zeva, you had breakfast fifteen minutes ago.
I know but I am part Lab so part of me is always hungry. Just because I know when it's time to eat doesn't mean I won't try to get a snack before it's time. Just like I know when it's time for Mom to leave to go to the gym doesn't mean I will get off of the big bed and go to my crate without her coming to get me.
Dogs are much better time tellers than people are. People have to look at the round thing on the wall to know when it's time to eat or go for our nightly walk. Dogs know time differently than peoples.

Mostly we know how to tell time because our humans give us clues. We know we are going to get breakfast minutes after Dad wakes up. Some times I need to remind him he has to get up and feed us but most of the time he gets up at the right time, just before the music plays. We know it's time to go for our walk because our friend Scout and her Mom start to walk up the street.
Dad is the food giver in our house so some times if he is not home we need to remind Mom that it's time to eat. I know it's time because my tummy is empty. I tell Mom that it's time by making little barks and looking at the round thing on the wall. Mostly she says we have to wait another big minute but at least I know she won't forget to feed us.
Our Mom works at home so she gets to be with us all the time. Lots of humans have to leave their houses and their dogs for long times and they feel bad about it. As long as they give good treats, they don't have to feel very guilty. They might also want to leave good toys to play with because although we like to nap, if too many hours go by, we need other things to do or we find good things to play with like their shoes or favorite book.
A regular work day for a human can be a long time for a dog, especially a young dog. We are social animals. That's one of the reasons we are a two dog household. Even when our humans are gone we have each other to talk to. When Mom and Dad have to go away for the day they have one of our friends come in to feed us and let us into our pen to play for a time which makes the time go by better.
Okay, now my tummy is really empty. I think I need to tell Mom to look at the round thing on the wall because it is time for lunch.
Bone appetite,

P.S.   Just to remind you we put lots of yummy treats in our pet gift baskets.  You can see them at www.pawpalsboutique.com  The Holidays are coming.  Make sure you don't forget your favorite pet this year.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dogs Can Be Scaredy Cats Too

My sister DixieLee is one of the bravest dogs I know. When we go for walks and other dogs bark and growl, she barks and growls right back.  She’s a really good fighter too!  We play fight all the time and I am bigger and stronger but she is wicked quick and barks really loud.  She is a fierce warrior who isn’t afraid of anything.

Or maybe not.  She won’t like me telling you this but there are things that make her be really scared. She would run at a huge bear if it were going to attack Mom but when she hears thunder miles away, she hides in the closet.  She is afraid of loud noises.

She is not alone.  Fear caused by noise is a very common problem for dogs.  Remember, we have really good hearing so a loud noise for a human is super duper loud for a dog.  When a dog gets scared by a loud noise he or she may try to run away from the noise.
A thunder storm or fireworks display can go on for a long time and there is nowhere to go to get away from the noise.  DixieLee is lucky that she has a place to hide where she feels safe.  Mom’s clothes closet is small and the door is not open wide so the noise is not so bad.  Some dogs are not as lucky and don’t have a place where they feel safe.  They get so scared they try to dig their way through the floors of their house to make a den like our friend Miu or escape from their yard and run for hours (getting very lost) to get away for the noise.
Oh Boy!  Neither is a good solution.
We have a Mom who wants us to be healthy and happy.  Shew doesn’t like that DixieLee is scared of loud noises and although hiding in the closet makes her feel okay, We wanted something better. Recently our Vet told us about an herbal supplement that helps with anxiety.  Now when we know a storm is coming or when we are going to have fireworks in our town, DixieLee gets a supplement that lets her feel less scared and safe enough to sit with Mom and me on the couch until the noise goes away.
Dogs can be trained to not be scared of loud noises and there are other way to help them deal with their noise fears.  One of our trainer friends recommends the Thunder Shirt.  Some dogs do well listening to soothing music or getting a massage.  There are holistic remedies like the one we use that work for some dogs.
For me, just being able to cuddle up next to my Mom on the couch until the storm passes is enough but not for my sister.  If you need more than a cuddle to help you get through a thunder storm, have your humans talk to your vet and look for other alternatives.  There is no reason for you to be so scared of loud noises that you could hurt yourself or get  lost.

Your friend,


P.S.  Blatant self promotion.  The Holidays are right around the corner.  I bet your favorite pet would love a gift basket filled with toys and treats from PawPalsBoutique.com  Our Santa Paws Gift Basket is specially cute!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Her Royal Highness ---- Cat

In ancient Egypt cats were held in the highest esteem. Many of us modern cats have not forgotten that and require royal treatment from our humans. Maybe it is because cats are more independent than dogs that people think we need less care. That simply is not true. Before you decide to bring a cat into your life there are a few things you should know.
1. The average lifespan of a cat is 13 – 17 years and 20 years is not that uncommon. That’s a big commitment.
2. Cats have an average of 3-5 kittens per litter and can have up to 8 or 9.  Cats also can have 2 to 3 litters a year so you can see that over population of cats is a serious problem. Spay or neuter your cat even if they are going to be an “inside” cat because accidents do happen.
3. Claws are important to cats. Please don’t declaw your cat. For more information you can read my blog  Declawing Cats on this site.  Cats need to shed their outer nails to get to the healthy nails beneath. You can help your cat keep their nails healthy by providing a scratching post. It really is a good idea because if they don’t have a nice scratching post to keep their nails in shape they just might substitute your favorite piece of furniture.
4. Cats won’t use a dirty litter box so it is important to make sure the box is cleaned often and fresh litter is provided regularly.
5. Many people think that cats need milk when the truth is that dairy products are harmful to cats. What cats need is plenty of water so keeping their water bowl filled with clean, fresh water is important.
6. Dairy products aren’t the only foods that are harmful to cats. Never feed your cats chocolate, coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks, raw meat or fish, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic or Xylitol (artificial sweetener).
Instead, feed them a high quality food made especially for cats and feed them on a regular schedule.
7. Cats are fond of eating plants but there are hundreds of common plants that are toxic to cats. A few of the more common ones are holly, aloe, calla lily, Rhododendron and peace lily. If you are not sure the plants you have in or around your home are non toxic to cats, there are several places on line you can source.
Most cats do like cat nip and I personally suggest you grow a pot or two in a sunny window.
8. You may have gotten your cat from a friend or local shelter for a few dollars but the ASPCA determined that when you add up the cost of housing, feeding, and vet bills, having a cat in your life costs around $600 a year.
Cats make wonderful companions and I hope you consider adopting a shelter cat today but know that we are decedents of royalty and expect to be treated as such.
Meow for now,

P.S.  Blatant self-promotion.  Zeva asked me to remind you that PawPalsBoutique.com has a large selection of gift baskets especially designed for cats and the people who love them.  The Holidays are coming soon so make your list and shop early.