Planning a Wedding? Have Your Pet Be Part!


It’s estimated that we spend a total of $63 billion on animals each year. The pet/companion industry is growing with better food choices, daycares, pet sitting, new and awesome toys, and safer car seat options. And for those of us who going to tie the knot, there are sites that offer services to help include your pet in the wedding and have it be stress free.

One couple who heard other couples wishing to include their pets in their weddings, took the initiative and started Fairytail Pet Care. The owners, Kelly and Ilana, offer several services from wedding planning to photo shoots to pet sitting. Fairytail Pet Care’s wedding services provide transportation, love and care, and playtime for your pet. They also help your pet pose with you for your perfect wedding photo and work to seamlessly integrate your pet into the ceremony.

To date, Fairytail Pet Care has been part of 30 weddings. Each wedding has been unique and magical. They even do photo shoots of the big day from the pet’s perspective.

To learn more about Fairytail Pet Care, visit their website here.

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How Much Do You Plan To Spend On Your Pet?

A recent article in Forbes talked about the amount of money millennials plan to spend on pets this season. The reasons cited started with the pet care business growing in the last several years. According to Forbes, the changing dynamic of pets not just as an accessory to the house, but as a family member has changed spending and increased the pet industry. Pet owners spend more on their companions in terms of medical, day care and boarding, and food. The article goes on to talk about holiday shopping.

Holiday shoppers on average used to spend about $62 on pets. The projected amount this season is at $81, followed by $79 from those who are Gen-Xers. Ah, Generation-X… my crew. But it’s not just the usual shopping trips to the pet store to buy new beds, toys, a new cage, or aquarium… the new trend has extended to tech gadgets that allow us to watch our pets when we’re not home, GPS trackers on collars, and point of view tiny cameras to see what the world looks like from where they stand.

To read the complete article, check it out here.

What do you plan on buying for your pet this holiday season? Let us know!

4 Mistakes To Avoid When Feeding Your Dog


Every year we hear about watching our dog’s weight and what to do to keep them fit and trim. But it can be tricky to do because not every dog has the same metabolism or the same level of energy. Not every home is equipped to provide the perfect plan and ratio of diet and exercise. But, there are some mistakes to avoid when trying to find solutions to keep our dogs from overweight.

Don’t cut back too much on the calories
Of course when we think of losing weight, the first thing that comes to mind is cutting back on food and calories. But don’t cut back too much or too fast. Definitely try feeding less and cutting back on treats but too much can lead to other problems. Talk to your vet about how much to feed your dog and ask about the best low-calorie foods.

Supplements aren’t always needed
If your dog has a good diet, there usually isn’t a need for supplements. Sure, some fish oil can help but you may not need to give it everyday. Vitamin supplements may not be needed at all if the food contains the recommended amounts. If your dog has some medical needs, your vet can talk to you about what supplements may be beneficial for your pet but a good diet does not often require supplements.

Switching to the raw food diet
There’s been a lot of hype about raw food as the ideal diet for pets. However, there is not definitive proof that this type of diet is superior overall. In fact, there might some health risks due to bacteria contamination that can make the people in your house sick. While this diet often contains little to no preservatives and other additives, make sure the raw food packets have gone under high pressure pasteurization to decrease the risk of bacteria.

Cut down and cut out people food
This isn’t to say that fruits and vegetables aren’t treats for your dog, depending on the type, but cut back on the bad people food like table scraps from dinner. No more pieces of bread, no more last few bites of a hamburger with cheese, and no more begging at the table. Cut up carrots, sweet potato treats, and other good people food will make your pup happy and be low in calories and fat.

What other tips do you have? Let us know!

Image from dogobedienceinsider.com

Keep Your Pet Trim

Most of us know that too many treats or over feeding at meals can cause our pets to get chubby. We know that but it’s hard to deny a dog with sad eyes a small piece of bacon or an extra cookie. My cats stare at me if I have a turkey sandwich with this look… it’s like they’re saying, “We’re starving.” But all those little treats and extras add up and eventually our pet might be a little more jiggly than they should be. There are ways to avoid this.

3 Ways to Keep Your Pet Trim

Fruits and Vegetables
Instead of the tasty pet treats from the store, try using carrot sticks and dried pumpkin snacks. Dogs like these just as well as that beef flavored whatever thing. Cut up apples, a few blueberries, and peas can serve as great treats for training or just for being a good pup.

Low-calorie treats
If you don’t have time to prep some homemade treats, you can find low-calorie treats at your local pet store. These often come in flavors that cats and dogs like such as fish, chicken, beef, and turkey.

Workout!
Pets, like us, need to exercise. A long walk can be great but sometimes that’s not enough. Pets should have a little cardio added to their routines. So a game of fetch in the yard or a few cats toys that make your kitty run should do the trick. If you’re a jogger your dog could become your new running partner!

Home Safety Tips For Pets

Did you get a new pet recently? Or maybe you moved and your pet is suddenly inspecting everything? Aside from good food, exercise, and love, pets need a safe place to live. While we normally do pet proof our homes by keeping chemicals and other hazards in cabinets and out of reach of pets, sometimes our pets can be crafty and get into things. This morning one of my cats opened a kitchen drawer and trying to check out what was in it. He’s never done that before. The only stuff in there is sponges, ziplock bags, and saran wrap but still… what if he had opened the cabinet under the sink where the cleaning supplies are and licked a bottle? So, now I’m rethinking where and how I need to store and pet proof my apartment.

Cabinet Locks
Cats and dogs can be nosy and want to check out what’s behind every door. If your cabinets swing closed but don’t latch, you may want to buy a child safety latch to prevent access to areas that are off limits. Keep doors to the basement, garage, and storage sheds closed too.

Garbage Cans
We know that dogs may try to knock over the garbage can if there might be something yummy in it. Pets trying to get into the garbage can be messy and make them vulnerable to something toxic. A garbage can with a lid or lock can prevent this from happening. You may also need to replace the can and go for the kind that can be placed under the kitchen sink area… along with a door latch.

Medications
Keep all medication in a cabinet where your pet cannot reach them. If you use a day of the week pill holder, close all the compartments tightly. If a pill drops on the floor, try to pick that up as soon as possible.

Windows
Screens in the window can become loose. A cat may lean against it while sitting on the windowsill or scale it. Make sure the screen are secure and install a guard if necessary to prevent your cat or dog from pushing the screen out. You don’t want your pet falling or getting out of the house.

Wires
It is nearly impossible to keep all the wires away from pets but you can buy covers that bundle all of them together. Zip ties can also be used to hold a bundle of wires together behind the entertainment center or under the computer. A kitten or dog can become tangled in the wires and panic. Tucking the wires or keeping them as one line can alleviate this problem.

What other tips do you recommend? Tell us!

Meals On Wheels Helps Pets

In Flagler County in Florida, the Meals on Wheels program recently received a grant to help keep seniors and their pets together. The funding provides food, supplies, and care for the clients who have pets. The $1,000 grant came from the “Meals on Wheels Love Pets” initiative and through a donation from Banfield Charitable Trust.

Along with providing meals, the service also provides non-medical in-home services like homemaking, personal care, and day care. There is also counseling and referral services for those who need additional assistance.

It’s wonderful news for all the seniors who own pets and should be a great help. To read more check out the article here.

Portland Airport Now Has An Indoor Area For Pets

Portland International Airport has added a pet relief area to its airport. This means that passengers and their pets don’t have to leave the airport secured area anymore and then walk through security again before a flight.

The pet relief area is small, but has the essentials: a fire hydrant, some fake grass, and a garbage can and supplies to clean up after your dog. The airport already had an outdoor area but this makes it more convenient and easier for pets who are traveling.

Have you traveled through the Portland, Oregon International Airport with your pet lately and checked out the new indoor relief area? Let us know what you like about it.

To read the full story, check it out here.

Be Safe: Water Safety Pet Tips

Before hitting the water with your pet, it’s important to plan ahead. Boating with your pet can be a wonderful and bonding experience.

Be sure to take these necessary precautions to ensure that your pet’s boating experience is fun and safe:

• Identification tag: Make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag.

• Familiarization with the boat: It is best to gradually introduce your pet to your boat and the water. Let your pet explore the boat while it is docked before going out on the water. Turn on the engine and let them get used to its sound, smell, and feel while the boat is docked. Finally, take your pet out on small cruises and gradually build up to longer cruise.

• Safe and easy boat access: Provide a pet ramp for your pet to get on and off the boat. This not only includes from the dock to the boat but also from the water to the boat. Pets weigh more wet than dry and it can be very difficult to lift them back into your boat after a swim.

• Flotation device: A pet life jacket can also ensure safety while on the water. Even if your pet is a good swimmer, getting tossed overboard can put any animal into a panic. Having your pet equipped with a flotation device with a lifting handle makes retrieving your pet much easier and safer.

• Proper hydration and staying cool: Protect pets from heat by providing some shade on the boat, providing plenty of water and keeping the deck cool to protect paw pads. Bring along a pet travel bowl and fresh water. It is critical to hydrate pets before they get into the water. Otherwise, they will drink the sea water and may get sick.

• Going potty: A big challenge of boating with your pet is making provisions so that they can go to the bathroom. If your boat trip does not allow for regular land stops for your dog to do their business, then provisions must be made so that they can relieve themselves on the boat. A portable dog potty that simulates grass is an excellent solution.

• Health records: If your boating destination is a marina or place that you’re not familiar with, be sure to bring along a copy of vaccination and health records. Some places may require proof of immunization before letting pets explore on land.

• Call ahead: While most marinas and parks welcome pets, there are some that aren’t pet friendly. Be sure to call ahead before arriving on shore. Wishing you and your pet safe and happy travels on the water this season!

Image from Waggle.com

Is rosemary good for your pet?

Recently, we’ve seen many pet foods and pet products that include the herb, rosemary in their pet food formulations and skin care remedies. Not only does it smell great, but it’s been used throughout history for everything from general healing to improving memory.

Rosemary (and also Sage) has a high concentration of carnosicacid. It’s believed that carnosicacid has a many benefits, like protecting the brain from oxidative free radical damage. It may also be helpful in breaking down fats in the body, which can aid in weight loss for pets and people.

So, how can rosemary benefit our pets?

Rosemary acts as a natural pest repellent and can help fight off fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Camphor is found in rosemary
Camphor is often used to reduce itching and relieve pain. It’s been thought that camphor can even treat fungal infections. Since it occurs naturally in rosemary, it’s added benefits are obvious.

Caffeic acid helps boost energy

Caffeic Acid is found in many plants, including rosemary. Caffeic Acid helps boost athletic performance and reduce fatigue, so it can very beneficial to all who take it – particularly athletic dogs.

Ursolic acid helps build muscles

Ursolic acid can help improve and support muscle growth, particularly skeletal muscle. Interestingly enough, this acid also helps resist obesity and can reduce fatty liver disease as well as glucose intolerance.

Betulinic Acid acts as anti-inflammatory

This is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid, a fancy way of saying it has a unique chemical makeup. It’s been proven to be a natural antimalarial and it contains anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, it’s been considered as a possible way to prevent against cancer.

Rosamanol are antioxidants

Rosamanol, which is the most polar phytochemical compound in rosemary, are antioxidants that can assist your pet in fighting off cancer. It can also aid in helping your pet make a faster recovery when they have been ill.

Rosemary as a natural pest control

Not only does rosemary offer many healing qualities, it also acts as a repellent. Like all essential oils and natural products, you must be careful in giving it to your pets. Some animals have no tolerance for it, others do incredibly well with it. You should always discuss the best options for your pets with a veterinarian.

Image from Petmeds.com

Keep Your Pets Cool This Summer

It’s gonna get hot soon and your dog or cat might start looking for those cold spots in the hot to hang out like the tub, tiled floors, and right in front of the a/c. Hot weather can be dangerous for pets. If you are wondering how to make sure your furry friend can stay cool, try the following things.

4 Ways to Keep Your Pet Cool

  1. For pets that come in from playing outside, give them a frozen treat like a chew toy that has been in the freezer. A kong toy stuffed with peanut butter that is frozen is great and will keep your dog occupied after a romp out in the sun. Dogs will lick it, chew on it, and cool off their body quickly. You can also give your dog a frozen jerky treat. Your dog stay cool.
  2. Never leave your dog in a car while you run into the store. Even if you had the a/c cranking, don’t do it. A car heats up in a matter of minutes and becomes an oven. It’s estimated in about 10 minutes a car’s temperature can rise 30 degrees. In some states, you may also be fined if the police are called. Cracking a window is not enough. If you have chores to run, leave your pup home.
  3. Go for walks in the early mornings or later in the evenings when the pavement isn’t as hot. Your dog’s paws can get burned walking on cement that has been in the sun for hours. If you think it might be too hot for your dog, don’t go out. Their paws can blister and be incredibly painful. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, keep her/him inside too during the hottest parts of the day.
  4. During really hot and humid day make sure there’s fresh, cold water available for your pet all day. Dogs and cats release heat through their paws, panting, and ears. When leaving them home, toss a few ice cubes into their water bowl. You can also wipe their paws with a cold towel to help cool them off. They might wonder what you’re up to but will thank you after you’re done.