Wednesday, December 25, 2013

New Years Resolutions (part.2)

In our last blog we talked about the growing pet obesity epidemic. In this blog we will discuss how can get our mutts moving and beat the bulge this year.

As I mentioned in part 1 of the blog,  you should make and appointment with your vet to discuss your pets current weight, goals for weight loss and ideal body weight for their breed. You can also discuss low calorie diets, or the recommended daily calorie intake your pet requires. 

Along with recommendations from your veterinarian here are some great ideas to help you and your pet get active this year and lose some of our extra fluff!


This is an awesome product! According to their website the K9FITBONE has "Integrated instability training to develop strength, endurance, proprioception, balance and flexibility." Dog Tread provides a variety of products that aid in your pets weight loss, balance, and stretching. One of the products on my wish list this year is k9FITBONE! 
Click here to shop Dog Treat products

2. Chuckit! 

We are true believers in all the Chuckit! products. We have gone through several of their toys because they were loved a little too much. Some of our favorites are their launchers and flyers. Chuckit! products are great because they have several water toys. Swimming is a lot easier on our joints and it works the same way for your dog. If your pup is already a little on the heavy side it may be ideal to start in the water. 

Click here to shop Chuckit! products.

3. Southern Wag


Both 2 and 4 legged fitness fiends enjoy getting new workout gear! Start this new year off right with a new leash and collar combo from Southern Wag Pet Accessories. If you are a fitness hound of a budget long walks or jogs are free and good for the both of you! Walk around town, hike up the mountains, explore a park! Just remember to bring your Southern Wag with you wherever you go. 

Click here to shop Southern Wag products.

4. SlimDoggy App

The SlimDoggy App is awesome! I have it downloaded already to being tracking our progress for the new year. A simple calories in vs. calories out is a great way to help you see what your dog's progress during its weight loss journey. Their database holds over 2,000 different treats and foods to help you customize your SlimDoggy App experience. There is also a wide range of activities for you to enter based on what you enjoy doing with your dog. 

5. Low Fat Treats

 Every dog has it's day and when your pal needs a treats Pure American Pet Supplies has you covered. They offer a variety of wholesome treats that are also law fat. Why do we love Life's Abundance? Well, first of all my dogs can not get enough of them! Most importantly we love them because they contain "no corn, no wheat or wheat gluten, no soy or soy gluten. No artificial colors and no artificial flavors." As an added bonus, Life's Abundance is free from any pet food recalls! We LOVE that! 

Click here to shop for Life's Abundance Treats

With these 5 tips I really hope this gives everyone the motivation to get out and get active with their pets in 2014. No matter what your budget or fitness level these are great ways get off the couch and stay motivated on your journey to a healthier family. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

New Years Resolutions (part 1)

Every year over 45% of Americans make New Years Resolutions and the second most popular resolution is to lose weight and be more active. Making a plan and sticking to it is very important since less than 8% of people who said they were going to lose weight and be more active actually followed through. 

What if I told you another fact? According to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention,  a staggering 52.5% of US Dogs Overweight or Obese (approximately 36.7 million) and 58.3% of US Cats Overweight or Obese  (approximately 43.2 million). 

Oh no, that is a lot of round pets! It is also heart breaking that over weight pets live about 2 years less than lean pets within their ideal body weight. Pet Obesity can cause joint problems, type 2 diabetes, and many other dangerous health issues. Not only is this bad for your pet but it's bad for your wallet! 

One of my favorite quotes from them is "No animal goes to the refrigerator or the pantry and helps themselves. We enable our pets to get fat!" Pet obesity is treatable and preventable! There is nothing wrong with wanting to spoil our pets, I do it all the time, but there is a line between doing what is best for them and spoiling them rotten. We need to learn to find that balance so our pets are happy, healthy and still spoiled rotten! 

For the new year, lets do everyone a favor and get active. Before any workout routine is started, you should see your vet to discuss your pets current weight goals and ideal body weight for their breed. You can also discuss low calorie diets, or the recommended daily caloric intake your pet requires. 

In my upcoming blog I will be sharing with you some great ways to get your pet fit in 2014!
We will also discuss what pet fitness products are trending for the new year and how you and your pet can stick to your goals. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 11 in the 12 Days of Christmas Event

So, everyone loves to take photos of their pets, especially ones around the holidays. Pictures in front of the tree, pictures with goofy hats and antlers, and many times they end up in the family photos. BUT.... out of all of those how many do you have with your pet actually looking at the camera? If you are like me its probably not many, so today I wanted to share with you some holiday pet photography tips.
I would like to introduce yall to a friend of mine, her name is Stephanie Millner and she is an awesome photographer! International award-winning and certified photographer Mrs. Millner has a way with pets! My dogs were immediately relaxed in her studio and ready to be put in the limelight!
After we got a few sneak peeks of the session, we could not be more pleased with how they turned out. She did such an amazing job.

 Meet Tucker (left) and Bailey (right). I am sure yall have seen them on here before or on our Facebook page. My two pups are the best any dog Mom could ask for (I also have two amazing kitties, but as cat attitude's go I spared them the "humiliation" of wearing antlers this year).
I am truly thankful for Stephanie and her beautiful photos but, lets face it we all can't be as amazing as Stephanie Millner! Sometimes we have to take our own photos. It could be because we don't know a great photographer, or its not in the holiday budget to hire one this year. We get it, so that is why we have composed a list of some great photography tips that you can do at home to improve your pet photos.
Tip #1: Never put your pet in a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.
The shot is never worth harming your pet or making them feel uncomfortable. Pay attention to your pets body language. Make sure your pet is comfortable next to the Christmas tree or with antlers on. You may have to work your way up to them wearing a hat or sitting under the tree before the actual day of the photo shoot. If at anytime your dog or cat become visibly uncomfortable stop your session immediately.
Tip #2: Find out what motivates your pet.
Does your dog have a favorite toy? Does your cat perk up when you shake the treat bag? These are things you want to use to your advantage. Each time we do a photo shoot we have some type of motivation to get the animals attention. Is it a tennis ball? Is it a certain word like "Play?!" or "Treat?!" Use a high pitched voice, toys or treats to get their attention so they to look at you. This will help them give you that expression you love so much. Be quick though, you will only have a very small window to capture these expressions. The trick is to try and capture as much of their personality in the photo as you can.
Tip #3: Get down on their level.
Nobody wants to see nothing but the top of your dogs head or you looking down on your cat at each shot. Try and mix it up. Lay down on the floor, zoom in, and get up close. Try to make your photo interesting and personal. Do you love your cat's big ears? Photograph them. Is you dog a ham in a Santa hat? Focus on that, use what your pet gives you and try not to have too many expectations.
Tip #4: Patience really is a virtue!
When you are photographing pets they get wiggly, or distracted or sometimes have a diva moment and just walk off! Try a little pre-shoot exercise. Get out the cat toys, throw the ball or go for a walk. Your pet will most likely be a better subject if he/she is a little tired. Also, you may get the best shot when you least expect it so try and be patient, good things come to those who wait!

 Tip #5: Have a buddy!
This is probably one of the best tips I can give! Sometimes you need someone to help you out. Between fixing antlers, straightening hats, giving treats, squeaking the ball and trying to get the perfect shot it my be impossible to do it alone! Get a friend, kid or spouse to be your assistant during your photo sessions. Make sure it is someone who is comfortable with your pets and who understands what you are wanting out of your photo session. This will create less stress for you and your pet.
We hope yall enjoy our tips and I hope they help out this holiday season. We wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Just because I am a proud mom, here is another of our Christmas photos from this year. Thank you again Stephanie Millner for doing such an amazing job!

Day 12 in the 12 Day of Christmas!

Today is day 12 and the best day of all! Get 25% off our Holiday Collar selection.
Visit our online shop and save big today!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day 9 in The 12 Days of Christmas Event

Visit our Etsy shop for FREE shipping on your order! Enter in coupon code: ShipForFree
Free shipping is only for orders going to the United States, Guam, Hawaii, and Japan.

Holiday Savings!

Southern Wag Pet Accessories and Collarific Dog Bandanas have joined to offer you 20% savings on a collar/bandana combination. Once you make a purchase from us a coupon code will be emailed to you for immediate use on a Collarific Dog Bandana. Hurry! This offer will not last long!

Why do we love Collarific Dog Bandanas? They easily slide over your pet's collar. The reversible bandanas include a fully lined collar channel with reinforced seams for extra durability. Collarific's selection includes designs suitable for large dogs, and our "Ruff Rating" helps you choose the right fabric style for your pet.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

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Day 8 in the 12 Days of Christmas Event

Ok Yall, cold weather is VERY new to me! Living in Japan has opened my eyes to cold weather care for my pets and I learned a lot last winter. This year, we are more prepared and I wanted to share some of my knowledge with yall.
I grew up in Texas and we have very mild winters there. From Texas we went to Guam and the Goldie's loved Guam! We could go to the beach just about every day of the year, bask in the sun and enjoy the sea breeze. We were all in for a rude awakening when we moved to Japan November of last year. It was cold, wet and very miserable. The Goldie's quickly grew in a winter coat but we encountered some other problems. There was very low humidity, so paws cracked, noses were dry, their skin was dry and itchy. We also had issues with paws getting raw from the roads being salted. Neighborhood cats are all around and we had to be mindful of them and their safety as well. Needless to say we had a laundry list of problems that we have never experienced before.
After some reading and talking with our vet we are prepared for this winter season and are ready to help you and your pets prepare as well.
Here is a basic list of what you need to keep in mind during the winter weather months.
1. Keep your cats inside.
 It is a well known fact that cats find warm places like up inside cars. Don't let your cat get injured or possibly killed by trying to find warm shelter. If you have cats in your neighborhood make sure to tap the hood to scare out any of them hiding under the hood before you start your car.
2. Layer on the clothes before going outside.
Sometimes dog clothes are a necessary evil and not just for our entertainment. Small dogs and short hair dogs are especially susceptible to the cold winter weather. Pets lose most of their body heat through their feet, ears and through panting. Cold pavement can quickly drop a dogs temperature when walking around. Invest in insulated jackets, sweaters, and even shoes if necessary.
3. Add Fish Oil to their daily allowance of food.
 Omega 3 Fatty Acids are a great supplement for improving the heath of your pets skin and coat. Omega 3's are great year around but we find them essential in winter months.
4. Wipe those paws!
After a trip outside make sure to wipe off your pets feet at the door with a warm damp cloth. This will wipe off any chemicals or salt from the roads and keep your pet from possibly ingesting these substances.
5. Keep those noses and feet from cracking!
 Noses and feet get cold, chapped, dry and cracked. Do some preventative care for your pet before these become a problem. We like to use nose butter, paw salve, and even coconut oil to keep noses and feet from drying out.
6. Be mindful of senior pets.
Older pets have a very hard time getting around in cold weather. Their joints are stiff, their arthritis can be very painful and it takes a while for them to get warmed and move a little faster. Make sure your senior pet has a warm, soft place to sleep. Keep an eye on them especially when going up or down stairs, navigating icy roads and/or around other dogs. A small slip, bump or misstep can cause a fall and it can be very painful for them.
7. Up their food intake!
If you have active pet like mine, you will want to increase their food ration during these cold months. Staying warm is hard work so they need a high quality and high protein food that will replace all that energy lost.
8. There's no place like home!
 Our pets love to be with us. They love the soft couch, the food dropped by the kids, a warm lap and being inside and warm. Take the pups out for potty breaks and short walks and return inside. Keep your kitties inside as well, give them warm places to nap away from drafts and off the floor. This is the best way to keep our pets safe this season. 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 7 in The 12 Days of Christmas Event

I know we do a lot of dog tutorials so I wanted to share a fun one for our cats. We made something similar around Halloween but it was a bat. You can easily change this around to fit any holiday.
There's something about catnip! My cats go crazy over it! According to Google, 2/3 of cats are affected by its aroma.
So, to get started here is what you will need:
-sewing machine
-dried catnip
First step is to cut out your pattern. I folded a scrap sheet of paper in half long ways and free handed a tree. My tree is about 4" wide at the bottom and 5" high. You can make your tree bigger or smaller depending on your style or your what your cat likes.
You need to pin the paper template to the felt and cut around it. Cut two trees out to make a front and back.
Once you are happy with the size and shape of your template, you can begin to cut your trees out of your felt.
You will now want to pin your two trees together and start to sew around the edges.
I started a the top of the tree and worked my way down to the base. Don't forget to backstitch to keep your stitches from unraveling.
Helpful tip: When turning your tree to sew at different angles, keep your needle down into the tree. Just life the foot and turn your tree. This will keep your stitches from having large gaps and your catnip from falling out.
When you are sewing your tree you will want to leave the trunk open so you can fill it with catnip.
You will want to sift through your catnip and take out any large sticks or debris so it does not hurt your kitty or poke them in the mouth while they are playing.
 Add a pinch of catnip at a time and push it down with the end of a pen. Keep filling your tree until you think it is full enough. I put about 5 tablespoons of catnip into my tree but you can use more or less.

Once your tree is nice and fat with catnip go ahead and pin the bottom of the trunk so you can sew it up.
You will want to sew all the way around the trunk making sure al the gaps are filled so none of that precious catnip escapes. Don't forget to backstitch again!
Now, trim all your stings, take out your pins and admire your cute Christmas cat toy!
These make great, inexpensive gifts for the cat lovers in your life. I made several of them for family as well as for my kitties!
I got a little more creative with these trees as I went along and started using different stitches to decorate my trees! Let's see what you come up with!
Hope yall enjoyed this tutorial. Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!
As if this tutorial was not fun enough for me, my cats had a BLAST "helping!" Here are some outtakes from our tutorial!
Smalls is a very good "helper"

He seems to have gotten the catnip everywhere!

Day 6 in The 12 Days of Christmas Event

Happy Day 6! Stuff your pets stocking with a new collar and a FREE toy!
Purchase over $8.00 will get a free dog or cat toy with their order! During check out please let us know which your prefer.

For dogs we are giving away a soft fleece braided rope toy! We have small/med and med/lrg.
For Cats we are offering catnip Christmas tree toys. Each toy is made with soft felt and is stuffed with catnip!

Day 5 in The 12 Days of Christmas Event

Hello Day 5!
I have a great tutorial for you today. This is something I came up with one day when browsing Pinterest for easy DIY holiday gifts. I kept running across those cute jars that you gift and they can make their cookie our of all the dry ingredients in a jar. Well, this is the same concept but we are making them for our furkids!
I used a basic recipe and changed it around a bit to fit in the mason jar. You can substitute ingredients if a dog has allergies or if you prefer different ingredients.
Here is what you will need:
-1 Pint Mason Jar
-Scrap Fabric
-Hole Punch
-Twine, ribbon, or string
-Measuring cups
-cookie cutter (optional)
I will start by giving you the ingredients to your recipe and we can set them all out on the counter. You will need the dry ingredients only!

Peanut Butter Dog Treat Recipe
1 Cups of Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup of Powdered Milk
1/2 Cup of Oats
1 Tablespoon of Parsley
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup of Water
1 Egg
Dust the counter with flour, roll out your dough and use the cookie
cutter to cut your dog treats.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
First, You will need to get your jar clean and dry. Then you will layer in your dry ingredients. Start with the flour at the bottom, then powdered milk, oats, and lastly parsley on top. There is a little space at the top so try not to shake it around and mess up your pretty layers!
Fun Fact: Did you know parsley is a natural way to freshen your pets breath.
Once all your ingredients are in the jar you will need to grab your scissors and fabric to cut a square to place between the lid and the ring.
 Now, you will need to add the finishing touches. I made a template for a recipe card and attached it and a small dog bone cutter with twine.
The recipe cards are below if you would like to use mine. Otherwise, feel free to create your own. I printed these cards to be 3x5 and folded them in half along the grey line.
Back and Front of recipe card

Inside of recipe card
After printing, use your hole punch, twine, recipe card and cookie cutter to
finalize your treat jar!


Now, you sit back and admire your work!
Fun Fact: You can reuse the mason jar to store those yummy Peanut Butter Treats!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Day 4 in the 12 Days of Christmas Event

Day 4 is a FREE Holiday printable. This free printable can be printed up to 5x7.
Deck your halls, gift it to the pet lovers in you life or use it as the wallpaper on your computer.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Day 3 in The 12 Days of Christmas Event

Here is your FREE holiday printable!

Just save it to your Computer and use a editing software such as Photoshop and layer in our frame with your image.
You can then save it as your own and make it your profile picture, holiday card or a printable for a picture frame.
If you do not want to spend all that money on fancy software there are free versions out there such as Paint.Net , PhotoScape and GIMP.
Here is what I made with mine. This frame features my boy, Tucker!