Category Archives: guest post

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs

The following is a sponsored post from Dog Fence DIY and contains affiliate links. Be sure to enter the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway at the end of the post!

On Thanksgiving, there’s always a lot to worry about before you can sit down at the table and enjoy your meal. Preparing your home and the food for your guests is time-consuming and can be stressful, and traveling can be, too. In all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to overlook things, especially when they’re out-of-the-ordinary, like holiday safety concerns for your dog. If you keep these Thanksgiving safety tips in mind, your dog will have a healthy and successful holiday, too. From using a DIY dog fence to ensuring turkey bones are thrown out, these things are easy to do and will ensure your dog stays safe.

Keep Your Dog Away from the Kitchen
Kitchen accidents involving dogs are common, especially around the holidays when cooking activity is increased. Dogs can be burned by hot liquids or cut by falling knives. They can also inadvertently get in your way, causing you to trip while opening the stove, for example. The best thing to do is to keep your dog out of the kitchen completely. An indoor wireless dog fence is great for this purpose, because it creates a barrier in your kitchen doorway that your dog cannot cross, but it doesn’t block your path like a gate would. You can also keep your dog in a closed room, but make sure they have plenty of toys and water available to them.

Make Sure Your Dog is Safe When You Travel
If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving and bringing your dog along, make sure they’re safe by keeping them restrained in the car, either in their crate or with a safety harness. This will make them safer in the event of a crash, and it will prevent them from distracting the driver. When visiting relatives, keep your dog contained, with either a portable invisible dog fence or in a crate. If they aren’t contained, keep an eye on them, and be on the lookout for safety hazards in a home that isn’t dog-proof, such as exposed electrical wires or medications.

Don’t Feed Your Dog Dangerous Foods
While you may want to stuff yourself at Thanksgiving dinner, don’t allow your dog to eat too much. It’s best to avoid giving them any table scraps, because an excess of new foods can upset your dog’s stomach. Chocolate and xylitol (a sugar substitute) are poisonous to dogs. Fatty foods, especially things like turkey skin, can cause pancreatitis. Turkey bones can cause your dog to choke or puncture their intestinal tract or throat. Alcohol, raw eggs, onions, grapes, nuts, and raisins are other foods that dogs should not eat. Make sure garbage cans are tightly closed, and take out trash immediately after the meal, especially the turkey carcass. When deciding where to position your outdoor garbage bin think about your dog’s natural curiosity. For some dogs it will make the most sense to place it securely inside the perimeter of your electric dog fence; for others you may want to put it outside the perimeter or in a secured place like the garage.

Know What Dog Stress Signals Look Like
When there are a lot of visitors around, dogs can become stressed. For their well-being, it’s best to keep dogs away from the excitement if they can’t handle it or begin exhibiting signs of stress. Signals to watch for in dogs are drooling, hiding, shivering, panting, cowering, whining, pacing, staring, growling, and raised fur. If you notice your dog behaving abnormally, remove them to a “safe zone” in a quiet area of the house where they can rest with toys, food, and water.

Ensure a Safe Environment for Your Dog
When decorating for Thanksgiving, be cautious using edible materials such as corn, pumpkins, and hay. While they aren’t poisonous, they can cause stomach issues or choking, so put them out-of-reach. Lit candles should always be high enough that they won’t get knocked over. If using light-up decorations, hide the electrical cords or cover them, so your dog can’t chew them.

Discuss Dog Safety with Relatives
Make sure your guests are aware of these basic safety measures, too. Ask them to secure their belongings, especially if their suitcases contain things like medicine or candy, in a place your dog can’t reach. Tell your guests not to feed your dog anything from the table. Make sure small children know that dogs don’t like to be hugged. Ask for help in monitoring your dog’s behavior, so that your guests can be on watch for stress signals or health issues, too. When traveling, ask your relatives to provide a safe area for your dog to relax when necessary. Inquire about their yard, as well, and find out if it has a traditional fence or an electronic dog fence.

Remember that the most important thing to do is pay attention to your dog and their actions. Keep your vet’s phone number handy, just in case of emergency. If you notice any difficulties this Thanksgiving, be sure to plan in advance for next year. If you have a tough time keeping your dog out of the kitchen, for example, research invisible fence reviews so you have a good tool to help. As always, adequate preparation makes the holidays go a lot more smoothly for everyone.

These Turkey Day safety tips come to us thanks to the ongoing educational efforts of; Dog Fence DIY provides dog owners with an affordable alternative to pricey and complex dog containment solutions.

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Posted in dogs, giveaways, guest post, holidays | 2 Comments

How to Ensure Your Dog Has a Healthy Diet

Dog eating grass

Dogs are reliant on their owners for all of their needs. Their basic needs consist of shelter from the elements, regular exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet. Sounds easy, but many new dog owners often struggle to get the diet and exercise regime of their dogs correct. Here we are going to look at how to ensure your dog gets a healthy, balanced diet that meets his or her needs.
Ensure diet matches life stage

As with babies, the nutritional needs of puppies differ from that of adults. Certain nutrients such as DHA, an omega 3 found in fish, can help to develop the cognitive skills of your puppy encouraging them to learn and making them more trainable. Making sure your puppy gets the right nutrients can also improve their physical health, with Vitamin E being shown to support their developing immune system.

Dogs ancestors were natural carnivores and, although they can survive on vegetable proteins, the make-up of their digestive system and teeth suggests that a diet consisting purely of meat proteins will ensure healthy growth, giving them the best chance of reaching the full potential of their breed. This is due to the fact that animal proteins are more complete in amino acids than vegetable proteins. When it comes to feeding your dog meat, you need to be careful about the source—raw, pristine meat is perfect in the right quantity but in most cases, the meat available in the supermarket is far from pristine and is often old, treated and has the risk of salmonella and other nasty bacteria that are just as harmful to your dog as they are to you. A premium, complete dog food that exclusively contains animal proteins may be the best option as it will provide the high quality meat that your dog requires.

The right diet can affect many aspects of your dog’s health

Providing your dog with the right diet throughout their life can not only help your dog to live longer, but it can drastically improve their quality of life. Creating a diet with the right balance of proteins, fats, omegas, fibres, vitamins and minerals will not only encourage the growth of lean muscles and strong bones, but also the healthy growth of skin and a substantial coat. Correct diet promotes healthy digestion and a strong immune system helping your dog to live a pain-free life.

Balancing it all
Getting the right balance right for any dog can be difficult, especially as introducing new foods can cause stomach upsets. Dog food brand Eukanuba recently found that the right diet, together with appropriate care, can stave off ill health to such a degree that there’s a notable change in lifespan by breed:

If you’re considering switching your dog’s food to be complete, healthy and balanced, just go gently. Many veterinarians recommend a seven-day swap, meaning that over the course of a week, you gradually add some new food to the old food, increasing the ratio of new food until on the seventh day, you’re serving only the new food to your dog. That way, their stomachs can adjust and you won’t have a sad pup on your hands.

Posted in cats, dogs, guest post, pet care | 1 Comment

10 Reasons To Run With Your Dog


Hey there! Emma the GBGV here from to howl about the benefits of humans running with their dogs. Dogs love to run, and actually, people love to run too if you watch young people, but somewhere along the way many decide they dislike running. Nevertheless, if you run, or want to start running, make sure and take your dog along with you.

As always, before starting any new exercise program, please consult with your doctor and your veterinarian. Keep in mind what breed of dog you have. My Kuvasz sister Katie ran as far as fifteen miles with Mom, but my sister Bailie and I run three to six. If you have a pug, running may be out because of their nose/breathing situation. Use common sense when deciding on your canine running partner. Start your pup out on shorter runs like a mile or two and let them work up to longer runs, just as humans do to keep them from getting injured and to build their stamina.

Why run with your dog? I have ten great reasons listed below:

  1. FUN! Dogs love fun and we love to run. Our enthusiasm will help you enjoy running as well.
  2. Cardio. Running is a great cardio workout for you and your dog. You will both benefit from getting that heart rate up and pumping.
  3. Bonding. As with any sport you do with your dog, it helps the two of you bond. It will be something you both learn to do together as a team and look forward to doing.
  4. Security. Most criminal types will avoid dogs. Why attack a person running with a dog when there are plenty of others running alone. Even a smaller, normally friendly dog may surprise you and suddenly become a guard dog if the need should arise.
  5. No excuses. Human running partners always find excuses not to run – too hot, too cold, something suddenly came up, etc. Dogs never have an excuse not to run unless they are sick or injured.
  6. Mental stimulation. Running together gets the mind going. The dog needs to pay attention to you and your signals, you need to keep an eye on what your canine running partner is up to, thus keeping your minds busy. The boredom disappears and you no longer have time to think about how much longer or why you shouldn’t keep running.
  7. Hill and speed drill trainer. Dogs love hills and they love speed drills, the things many runners dread. If you let your dog be your leader, he will show you how to maintain your pace uphill and how to sprint between lamp posts or telephone poles for speed drills. It becomes a small competition between the two of you rather than something you dread.
  8. Motivation. Dogs don’t start whining about the run being too long or needing to run slower. We are like energizer bunnies and we want to keep on running until we get home. You will naturally want to please your dog which means you keep on running too.
  9. No unnecessary chatter. Dogs don’t talk your ears off about stupid stuff while you run. As a matter of fact, we rarely say a woof. You can talk to us the entire run or say nothing, we don’t care.
  10. FUN! Did I mention fun? Give it a try. Actually, try running with your pup for a few weeks so you have time to get a routine going. I almost guarantee you, you will both love it and be running partners for life!
Posted in dogs, guest post | 9 Comments

Overcoming Pet Winter Woes

Dog and grey cat on the windowLike humans, pets can experience winder doldrums. Even those living in warmer weather regions are still affected by seasonal changes, which can be especially tough on dogs and cats–particularly those that are used to spending time outdoors.

Beyond the obvious challenge of pets getting less exercise during the winter months, dogs and cats often experience less emotional stimulation during this period and can suffer a variety of adversities, including excessive weight gain, irritability, anxiety and even clinical depression. This can lead to a variety of unsavory behaviors and dissatisfaction for all involved. The more outdoor-oriented the pet, the higher probability that these and other problems will present and persist through the season.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things pet owners can do to physically engage and psychologically stimulate their pets and make everyone happier during the long, cold winter months. FETCH! Pet Care CEO, Paul Mann, offers these suggestions:

Indoor & Outdoor Exercise

Most dog breeds need to go outside 2-3 times a day, not only to relieve themselves, but also to get some form of exercise and sensory stimulation.  Dogs are more likely to go outside in nearly any kind of weather and often love a romp in the snow.  Taking your dog outdoors will trigger its natural play instincts. Running, jumping and chasing are natural ways to energize your pet, burn calories and boost metabolism.  If you’re not up to the task amid Mother Nature, consider hiring a professional dog walker to happily take on the duty.  Indoors, tried-and-true games like fetch, tug-of-war and wrestling can also serve as a great workout that also stimulates a pet’s appetite.

Cats also love to pounce and play, and if they’re stuck in the house you can easily brighten their day with 10-15 minutes of play each day. String, laser pointers, objects on strings and other enticing toys dragged around get your cat into chase mode, keep her busy and burning energy. Find or install a perch by a window where your cat can watch the birds. For those cats that pine to be outdoors, the marketplace has an abundance of outdoor enclosures that also allows cats to run, roam and prance freely in the invigorating fresh air. Of course, moderate the time spent in these enclosures based on the winter weather conditions.

For both dogs and cats, keep a set of toys and laser pointer handy for an energized and sustained play session, either indoors or out, at least once daily. When outdoor play just isn’t an option, there are a number of motorized animal treadmills on the market today that are entirely enjoyable and effective for exercising both Fido and Felix.

Counting Calories

If your dog or cat doesn’t get outdoors as much in the winter as they normally do, it likely doesn’t need to eat as much food. Reducing food and calorie intake generally means less weight gain and more energy.  If you often give your pets treats, consider hiding them inside toys, such as freezing kibble inside a “Kong,” to give them prolonged busy work.

As with humans, weight maintenance is all about portion control. Feed your pet using a designated measuring cup so that you know exactly how much food they’re consuming each day. If you still aren’t getting the desired results, call the pet food company for dietary recommendations to ensure you aren’t over-feeding—especially as seasonal dietary requirements change when a pet becomes less active. Automated pet feeding systems are also helpful. These tech tools utilize a wireless tag attached to a pet’s collar to regulate and monitor one or more pet’s food intake to ensure the pet isn’t eating too much or too little at once or throughout the day—also keeping multiple pets away from each other’s food.

Let There Be Light

Pets react to illumination just like humans do.  Their energy level increases when the light is brighter. According to Animal Behavior College, “The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals found that approximately 40 percent of dog owners saw a considerable downturn in their pet’s moods during the winter months” and that related symptoms in pets “typically manifest as behavioral changes such as inappropriate soiling, aggression, lethargy and separation anxiety.” The report notes that “Light is intimately tied to the functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands, and can stimulate the body to release hormones that have an uplifting effect on mood.” If it’s too cold to go out, simply open the drapes and let the natural light in, turn up your indoor lights, and consider replacing bulbs with the full spectrum or daylight variety to better simulate a daytime environment. A company called Pawsitive Lighting, has even developed a light box to help conquer those wintertime blues.

Animal-Rousing Aromas

Scented toys can really engage an animal’s interests and natural stalking instincts, also keeping them occupied and mentally focused as they try to find the source of the smell.  Luckily dogs respond to a variety of smells and there are seemingly infinite availability of toys that engage canine olfaction—alone and in combination with other senses that can be concurrently engaged.  A game of hide and seek can go a long way with your pooch!

For cats that respond well to catnip, there are catnip and other “play sprays” that can be squirted onto indoor climbing structures, cardboard boxes, and scratching posts.  A multi-story cat climber or “tree” with strategically placed low-cal treats or scented play toys can readily get kitty jumping from level to level and its heart pumping in kind.

With just a little planning, you can help ensure your pet’s winter season remains happy and healthy, with a great quality of life for everyone in the household.

Paul Mann is the Founder and CEO of Fetch! Pet Care—the nation’s largest and most trusted franchisor for professional pet sitting, dog walking, and pet fitness/exercise services—serving thousands of pets and pet parents throughout the United States from coast to coast. He may be reached online at:


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