Keep Your Dog Happy and Safe in the Winter

Winter is arguably the best season to enjoy the best of family life, as we bond over hot roasts, temptingly sweet winter desserts, and spicy mulled wine. It is important to ensure that our pet dog also makes the most of winter by identifying and preventing common health risks. Temperature, food, and indoor hazards are just three areas we should focus on, to ensure the season it truly a jolly one for all.

Avoiding Pet Toxicity

We tend to consume richer meals during the holidays, including roasts, fruit, nuts, and desserts. Family members are sometimes tempted to let Fido enjoy a little of the goodness, but it is important for your dog to stick to his regular diet. Festive foods like turkey stuffing can contain ingredients which are toxic to dogs, including nuts, onions, garlic, and even grapes.

Chocolate, another holiday favorite, can cause serious health issues for canines, so it is best to avoid feeding leftovers, especially if your dog is facing a health issue or taking medication. The golden rule is only to feed your pooch during scheduled mealtimes. This way, he won’t beg for food at the table.

Selecting the Right Decor

If you have puppies in the house, be careful of leaving Christmas balls and other decorations within their reach. Moreover, plants like poinsettias, holly and mistletoe, which are such an important part of many holiday traditions, can cause everything from seizures to abdominal pain, and even death. Fir trees inside the home can irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach, and pine needles can cause gastrointestinal problems. Other plants to avoid include Christmas cactus, amaryllis, lilies, and daffodils.

Keep Your Dog Away from Driveways

Many people use antifreeze on driveways; unfortunately, this substance is sweet and tempting to dogs, but is also highly toxic. Winter is not a time to let your dog off the leash, since snow can also hide cracks or changes of level on the road, which can lead to injury.

Keeping Hypothermia and Frostbite at Bay

In snowy weather, dogs can develop frostbite (when ice and snow get stuck between their toes, for instance) and hypothermia (in which the dog’s temperature and heart rate decrease to dangerous levels). When the thermometer hits 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below, your dog should wear a coat or vest, especially if they don’t have plenty of fur, they are older, or they have health issues. If you can convince your dog used to boots, all the better; if not, your dog should only walk on snow for a few minutes and always under your supervision. Cut the fur around his  paws short and treat paws with paw balm, which provides a protective barrier against snow. After walking, clean your dog’s paws, clearing them of snow, ice, and salt (which, like antifreeze, is toxic).

Keep Your Dog Warm Inside

Make sure your thermostat is set at a comfy temperature; it is best to avoid space heaters, since your dog might burn his skin by getting too close. Ensure your dog has a nice warm bed and blanket; many pooches are burrowers and love nothing more than hiding under a blanket.

Exercise is important for dogs all year round, so make sure your dog doesn’t get bored or lazy in the winter. By caring for his paws, ensuring he has the clothing he needs and keeping him away from harmful toxins, you will ensure that he enjoys the holiday season as much as you do.

5 Ways to Kill Fleas on Your Dog or Cat

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

As you know I am a very proud cat and dog mommy.  I love my furbabies and would do anything for them.  A year ago we adopted Mina.  In the past year, she has gone from a scared and basically feral kitten to the most loving cat in the house.  Unfortunately when we got Mina, she brought a few friends along with her: fleas.

My plan was to keep Mina separate from the other animals until she could be seen by a vet, but that plan fell by the wayside, and unfortunately Mina shared her flea friends with her new cat and dog siblings.  As a result, we have worked very hard to get rid of the fleas on the animals and the house.  It is a very difficult process, because even as you kill fleas on your animals, you also have to work to kill them in the house, so that new fleas don’t just jump back on your pet after you’ve killed others.

Today we are going to talk about the first part of this equation:  killing fleas on your cats and dogs.  I’ve used several methods and products, and today I will tell you what we’ve tried, what works best, and what specific products we like. [Read more…]

7 Actionable Tips on How to Train Your Dog to Potty

One of the first things every dog owner encounters is dog’s need to pee all over the place. As soon as you bring a dog to your home, you can be certain that it will start peeing after just a few minutes.

Although this is really irritating and forces you to clean after it all the time, it is normal and within dog’s nature. You are the one that needs to facilitate the change. This can of course be done through a proper puppy potty training.

For most people this is nothing more than taking your dog out when it needs to pee or poo. However, there is much more behind the training. It is an interesting and precise process that builds dog’s discipline and affects everything else dog will do in its future life.

It is also very important for your relationship. Mistakes on owner’s behalf can cause your dog to be disobedient, stubborn or in some cases fearful. It all depends what you make out of it.

Puppy training basics

When it comes to dog training, you always have to start from fundamentals.

It is necessary to mention that potty training, like any other training, is actually a bonding process. It is something that is particular to dog owner and the dog and in most cases, it should be done by one person.

Later on, it is ok to allow other person to step in for walks but it is much easier if only one individual teaches the dog. Sometimes, when there is more than one owner, puppy can become confused especially if there are more than one command being used or if people have different gestures.

Potty training is really important for dog’s discipline as well. It creates hierarchy where you’re the master and your word needs to be obeyed. This will come into play later on if you wish to teach your dog some other types of training on top of this one. It is also important for dog’s behavior within the house or the yard.

Lastly, it is necessary to mention that this process is good for both hygiene (teaches dog where to pee and poo) as well as for teaching the dog to walk with you as you will likely walk it around. In fact, those two go hand in hand in first months.

So you can see, doing everything right is paramount in this case.

Actionable tips for potty training – learning about dog’s behavior

· Puppy will have to potty every morning after waking up. Make sure you’re ready and don’t let it wait for too long. Puppies have smaller bladders and can’t keep it inside for a longer period of time.

· Besides morning, puppy will have to potty in the evening before going to bed. Otherwise there is a high chance it will experience an accident during sleep.

· If a puppy has full bladder do not excite it. This will cause an accident.

· Dogs always have their favorite place to pee. They have strong sense of smell and they will always return to it. Make sure that is possible. You should always have a type of soil that the dog prefers nearby.

· Meals are very important for diet. Always give same portions during a meal and if the dog doesn’t finish it, make sure to remove it. This will allow you to monitor its metabolism and predict when it will poo.

· Puppy will sometimes pretend it needs to go out for a pee and instead, it only wishes to play. Recognize this and prevent it.

· If you’re going out during the evening or during some other time exclusively so that the dog can take care of the business, make sure this is obvious. Pull the dog back if it starts playing. It is necessary to set up limits.

Nature’s Recipe Dog Food and Making a Gift Basket for Your Dog

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NutritionWorthWaggingFor #CollectiveBias

Natures Recipe and Making a Gift Basket for Your Dog

I always say that our dog Shadow is the center of attention at our house.  She is always first in line to get hugs and kisses when anyone walks in the door, and she is definitely spoiled with love and gifts!  One way I love to spoil her is with yummy and nutritious foods like Nature’s Recipe®.  Today I’m going to tell you why I love serving Nature’s Recipe to Shadow, and I’m going to show you how you can put together your dog’s favorite foods, toys, and essentials to create a fun dog gift basket. [Read more…]

SmartBones Review + SmartBones & $25 Visa Giveaway

Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with SmartBones. The opinions are my own.

shadow-on-bed

My furbaby and bloggy assistant Shadow is happy to be here today to share a treat (or two) with all of you.  Shadow recently received an assortment of SmartBones dog treats.  SmartBones offers a great variety of products for dogs of all sizes and breads.  Their products are natural and are a healthier alternative to rawhide, making them a great choice for you four legged friends. [Read more…]

DIY No Sew Pet Blanket and Pet Stockings with Purina

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ToPetsWithLove #CollectiveBias

diy-no-sew-pet-blanket-and-pet-stockings-with-purina

When I go out shopping these days, the aisles are decked with Christmas decorations and great gift ideas.  I can’t help but get in the spirit of the season and start planning my holiday shopping list.  And as I get ready to prepare my gift list, I always include my four legged family members!  The Simply Sweet Home dog and cats get a stocking each year, filled with food, treats, and toys.  And we have a good time watching as they receive these gifts.  Today I’m going to show you how a few products from Purina can help you to make your pets Christmas merry and bright!  And I’m going to share a tutorial for a DIY Pet Blanket, the perfect handmade gift for your dog or cat.

[Read more…]

Protect Your Pet with Healthy Paws Pet Insurance + a Giveaway

Disclosure:  I received a PetSmart gift card as compensation for this post.  The opinions are my own.

mina-fall-cat

As you know, I have quite the collection of fur babies, and I love them all!  If you love your fur babies as much as I love mine, I’m sure you give them everything they need: good food, a nice place to sleep, toys, proper vaccines and medicications, and of course, a lot of love!  But what about insurance?  If something happened to your furry friend, would you be able to take care of the expenses?  Healthy Paws Pet Insurance® may be the solution you are looking for to give you the peace of mind you need and the ability to take care of your pet in times of an accident or poor health. [Read more…]

SmartBones® Review and $25 Visa Giveaway

Disclosure: The SmartBones information, product samples, and gift cards, and have been provided by PetMatrix. The opinions are my own.

SmartBones Review Giveaway

I’m very excited to have my puppy girl assistant Shadow helping me out with today’s post!  It celebrates something that is very near and dear to Shadow’s heart: Food and Treats!  When it comes to her diet, Shadow, can be quite finicky, so we have certain go-to foods and treats that we always give her, but because we love “treating” her, we are always purchasing new products for her to try, and of course, I always welcome the opportunity to let her sample and review new products.

Most recently, Shadow had the chance to try SmartBones®.  SmartBones from PetMatrix are a healthy alternative to Rawhide.  They are easily digestible and will help your pet to maintain healthy teeth and gums.  And because Shadow actually ate them, I know they must taste good too!

Before we learn more about the treats here are a couple of things about rawhide and why you should look for alternatives to rawhide bones and treats. Rawhide is the inner hide from a cow or other animal that has undergone chemical processing to remove hair and other materials. The rawhide is then ground or used whole, and is formed into various dog chew shapes.  According to vets, dogs who eat rawhide, may face certain health risks such as stomach & intestinal blockage and potential ingestion of toxic chemicals used to process rawhide chews. [Read more…]

Nudges® Wholesome Dog Treats #NudgeThemBack

Jerri and Shadow Dog

If you visit my blog enough, you will become familiar with my little Shadow.  She’s the little doe-eyed Chihuahua mix I’m holding in the picture above.  Shadow is currently the baby in our family, and as such, she is quite often the center of attention.  At any given time of the day, someone in our household is likely playing with her, snuggling her, letting her sit on his or her lap, or feeding her.  And despite her small size, she definitely loves to eat!  And we love showering her with delicious and nutritious treats. [Read more…]

VERA Premium Dog Treats Review and Giveaway

Vera Dog Treats review and giveaway

Each year I look forward to spoiling my furbabies with treats and toys for Christmas.  (And okay….I also enjoy shopping for them all year round!)

Santa recently brought some early presents for my kitties and puppy.  Our dog, Shadow, received some Vera Premium Dog Treats.  The treats are products from a brand partner of the great folks at True Science.  I’ve been so excited over the last couple of months to work with the folks at True Science and share their wonderful treats and flea medications with my animals! [Read more…]