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3 Ways to Bond with Your Dog – Petcurean

To close out the month of February, I thought we could discuss ways you can build a stronger bond with your dog. Providing us with some helpful information today is Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean. Michele provided us with some themes to share with our readers. For each of these themes, I will share with you Michele’s thoughts as well as my own.

Bonding. Live in the Moment.

“Pets are the kings and queens of living in the moment, and the best bonding experience we can have, is to meet them at that level. Share calmly in being joyous, playful, and relaxed, whatever positivity your pet is giving you in the moment. In times of stress, be your pets rock, and let them know that everything will be ok. If it’s quiet time, simply spend time doing what your pet responds to positively. For some, that may mean just sitting with them, and doing nothing else.

It’s important to remember that pets aren’t people, and their language and emotional needs are different. The best gift you can give your pet is to be truly present, by focusing all of your attention on them whenever you choose to interact. Now is the time to stop thinking about work, your schedule, your troubles, or tomorrow, and enjoy them at their level. If you’re stressed, your pet will often reflect your stress. Learn what they like and don’t like by paying attention to the small things. And respect that like people, they are all different. Some love closeness, some are more independent.” – Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean

On a daily basis, I know this means putting my phone down and spending some time sitting on the floor with Rooney. As part of our morning routine, I sit on the floor with Rooney and pet him for a few minutes before the craziness of the day begins. I also spend some quality time petting him as soon as I get home from work, often followed by a walk. When Rooney is scared or stressed (typically only when there are fireworks or if the smoke detector runs out of batteries), either my husband or myself sit with him and let him know that everything is going to be okay.

I feel like this topic is pretty intuitive for most pet parents, particularly if you read this blog. But, I think the important thing to remember, is that we want to connect and bond with our dogs on their terms. What do they prefer? What do they want to do when you get home from work? Here are some examples of ways my friends and family bond with their dogs:

  • Give them independence: Take them to a place where they can run off leash (legally and safely, of course) and feel the wind in their fur! This is particularly important for dogs who are naturally independent.
  • Make quality time the first thing on your list: For many pet parents quality time is best spent first thing in the morning. I know many pet parents who take their dogs for a sunrise walk, run or hike most mornings. Not only are they able to spend time with their pet relatively uninterrupted, but they are also spending time with them before work or other obligations get in the way.
  • Wind down with your pet: Conversely, some pet parents prefer to wind down with their pet right after work. I am a huge proponent of “winding down” after work. For me, this means exercise. If I can take Rooney for a run, walk, or hike right after work (which includes a lengthy commute), I am able to shake off the work day and reconnect with my family.
  • Train: Give you dog a job and provide them with the mental stimulation they need. Training is particularly important for working breeds and is an excellent way to bond with your dog.
  • Take them to work: For some pets, being with their people all day is the ultimate way to bond and connect. I know that this isn’t an option for every one, but I will have a follow-up post soon about how to create a pet-friendly workplace.

Bothering. Body Language 101.

“Learn to read body language, so your pet can clearly communicate with you, and respect what they are telling you in that moment. Remember your pet is fully present. Avoid giving affection when your pet is giving you a negative response. You do have the opportunity to change the experience to a positive one. So either change your approach to your pet, or back off.

Signs of annoyance include: Turning their head away in avoidance, lick lipping, lip curling, yawning when not tired, sudden sniffing of the ground, or a paw being raised. With cats, they often flick their tails, put their ears back, or get up and leave.” – Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean

When I originally read Michele’s input on this topic, I couldn’t really think of a time when Rooney seems irritated. However, upon further thinking, I realized that Rooney exhibits these behaviors primarily when he has FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) or needs exercise. An example of FOMO would be when I put on my workout clothes and shoes, and Rooney thinks we are going for a walk, but really I am going for a long run first. During these times Rooney becomes vocal and doesn’t want to calm down initially. Additionally, if Rooney has yet to be taken for a walk that day (or to the dog park or hiking), he tends to be more tense at home. Therefore, I would add to Michele’s suggestions to read your dog’s body language for signs that they need exercise. Do they seem tense? How much happier would they be if you took them for a walk right now?

3 Ways to Bond with Your Dog - Petcurean

Kisses and Quality Time.

“Kisses are one way, but to a dog especially, showing love is often more about their loyalty and respect for you. Cats show love by wanting to spend time in your lap, or by interacting (such as giving head bonks). Ever see your cat give you a “slow blink”? That’s also a sign of pure love and is often referred to as “kitty kisses”. Next time you see it, try giving a slow blink in return.” – Michele Dixon, Health & Nutrition Specialist at Petcurean

The point here is to really think about what quality time means to your pet. A few months ago, we wrote about PAW5’s challenge to give your pet a more enriched life. PAW5, outlined 6 different categories for enrichment for your pet; sensory, feeding, toys & puzzles, environmental, social interaction, and training. Each of these categories can improve the way you spend time with your pet, and your bond as a result. For example, instead of spending time petting Rooney when I get home, I should implement 10-15 minutes of training and playing with toys & puzzles. Pet parents with herding or other working breeds should definitely consider enrichment as a critical part of quality time with their pets.

Now it’s your turn! How do you spend quality time bonding with your dog?

Disclaimer: I am a Petcurean blogger. I was provided with food and compensation so that Rooney and I could provide our honest opinion. However, My Kid Has Paws only shares reviews we believe benefit our readers. Additionally, Petcurean is the food we feed Rooney every day. 

Wayfair Heritage Meals: DIY Dog Treat Recipes

Wayfair Heritage Meals: DIY Dog Treat Recipes

The great folks at Wayfair have sponsored this post, which is all about Heritage Meals! This series of posts sponsored by Wayfair was created to celebrate the culinary diversity of our nation! Since the focus of my blog is pets, I wanted to highlight one of California’s greatest culinary assets in the form of DIY Dog Treats!

Wayfair Heritage Meals: DIY Dog Treat Recipes

As a native Californian, I can’t tell you how proud I am of the high-quality produce we grow in this state. Especially, our California strawberries! Therefore, today I would like to share with you two DIY Dog Treat Recipes featuring California strawberries!

What You Need for Your Recipes!

For these recipes, you will need the following:

  • A blender (below I have selected two blenders for two types of budgets)
  • A baking sheet
  • A serving dish for your dog
  • An ice cube tray

Bakeware Nonstick Baking Sheets (Set of 2)

Bakeware Nonstick Baking Sheets (Set of 2)
Circulon

 

Carved Paws Double Bowl Elevated Feeder

Carved Paws Double Bowl Elevated Feeder
Woodland Imports

 

Silicone Ice Cube Trays (Set of 4)

Silicone Ice Cube Trays (Set of 4)
Casabella

 

Professional Blender with Single Serve Attachment

Professional Blender with Single Serve Attachment
Ninja

 

Blender with Personal Jar

Blender with Personal Jar
Hamilton Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I will be honest, creating new recipes is not a talent of mine. Therefore, I looked to the very best dog cook book and dog blog that I know; Cooking for Sugar from Sugar the Golden Retriever.

Why do I LOVE Sugar’s recipes?

Not only do they incorporate my favorite fruit — the California strawberry. But they also are quick and easy to make! Not to mention, these healthy homemade recipes are an easy way to spoil your dog!

Banana Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • Ripe Bananas
  • Strawberries

Directions:

Cut the bananas into small chunks and cut the strawberry sin help. Freeze for 3 hours or 24 hours (recommended). Using a blender or food processor, blend the frozen bananas and strawberries. Mixture will be crumbly at first, then will have a creamy consistency.” – Cooking for Sugar

Strawberry Chips

Ingredients:

  • 5 Large Strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon Orange Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Honey

Directions:

In a blender, blend all the ingredients. Spread the liquid thinly on a baking mat. Bake it at 250 degrees for 1-1.5 hours.” – Cooking for Sugar

For more amazing DIY Dog Treat recipes, go download Cooking for Sugar here. Your dog will love you for it!

Disclaimer: I am a Wayfair Homemaker blogger, I am compensated for sharing my opinion and participating in themed blog posts. However, the opinions of this blog post are 100% my own. Additionally, My Kid Has Paws only shares information we believe our readers will enjoy. 

4 Things You Can Do for New Moms With Dogs – Petcurean

Recently, many of our friends and family members have been blessed with new babies. I noticed that when pet parents welcome a new baby into their home, it can be overwhelming. In addition to caring for the new baby, many pet parents find themselves trying to get their dog to adjust to the new housing situation, which is inevitably difficult and stressful. This got me thinking, if you know a pet parent who recently had a baby, you can help them in the months following a new birth. Here are some ideas:

Take Their Dog for a Walk

From my very limited experience, it seems like it could really help new parents to offer to walk their dog. Dogs are likely to feel cooped up and stressed when their parents have been at the hospital and will be spending a lot of time taking care of their new baby indoors. If you live nearby, offer to take their dog for a walk and see if they want to get out of the house as well. Fresh air can do wonders for a stressed household.

Give Their Dog A Bath

Or take them to the groomers! These are things that new parents might not have time to do as they adjust to a new sleep (or lack thereof) schedule. Additionally, new parents can take months to adjust, and it might relieve a bit of stress to know that their dog is well-groomed and cared for even though they are really busy.

Bring A Gift for the Dogs

Everyone brings a gift for the new baby in a person’s life, but don’t forget about the dogs! A new toy, interactive puzzle, or bone is the perfect thing to make a dog feel special! When my cousin’s baby was born last fall, my aunt remembered to bring toys over when she visited the family, and her dog was so happy!

When you are picking out toys for a house with a new baby, keep a few things in mind:

  • Pick out a toy that doesn’t squeak or make any excessive noise
  • Pick out something durable so that the new parents don’t end up with a mess
  • Consider an interactive toy; it’s likely that a dog in a new household will feel a little cooped up and stressed. Giving their dog an energy outlet is a great way to help them feel less stressed in their new environment.

4 Things You can Do for New Moms with Dogs

Bring Over High-Quality Dog Food – Petcurean

Often, people think to bring food for the humans, but what about the dog? Perhaps the new parents didn’t have time to get dog food right before the baby arrived. Or, it’s possible that they haven’t had much time to leave the house in the early months since the baby was born. Bringing over a bag of a high-quality food like Petcurean just might be the best thing you can do for new parents.

“Petcurean kibble contains every ingredient; every protein, carb and fat source, vitamin and mineral your pet needs to sustain and nourish its life.”

Not sure which recipe to bring over to the house? Petcurean has a Food Finder on their website that can help you figure out which kind of food would be perfect for their pet or their pet’s lifestyle.

Don’t live by a Petcurean retailer? Or, do you live far from the pet parents whom you want to help? Place your order on Chewy.com and have the shipment sent to their house! (Rooney’s recommendation is to add a few toys to the shipment as well.)

So, what do you think? Would it be helpful for someone to step up and care for your dog as you adjust to a new baby?

Disclaimer: I am both a Chewy.com and Petcurean blogger. I was provided with food and compensation so that Rooney and I could provide our honest opinion. However, My Kid Has Paws only shares reviews we believe benefit our readers. Additionally, Petcurean is the food we feed Rooney every day. 

Wayfair: Dinner & a Movie at Home

Wayfair: Dinner & a Movie at Home

Disclaimer: The folks over at Wayfair were kind enough to sponsor this post. All opinions in the post are mine. 

It’s that time of year! When staying indoors and watching a movie (or Netflix) with your family is just the best way to spend your weekends and weeknights! So today, I want to share with you our Dinner & A Movie essentials for a relaxing evening at home.

Exercise

As far as this blog is concerned everything we do is for our pets. Therefore, before you decide that you are going to have a nice quiet evening at home with your family, you should make sure that your pet has already met their exercise requirement for the day. At least in our house, there is no way Rooney will be quiet and relaxed for 2 hours unless he has already been on a walk (or two!) that day. Additionally, I find that I am much more relaxed when I have exercised earlier in the day as well.

Blankets & Pillows

I love blankets. I never relax at home without a blanket. If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that Rooney also loves blankets and often tries to steal mine (lol!). If you are preparing for a dinner and movie night at home, you will want to bring some extra blankets and dog beds into the living room so that everyone is cozy. Rooney REALLY loves a Cozy cave, like the one below from Wayfair.

Additionally, I have discovered that Rooney loves faux fur blankets and pillows almost as much as I do. Even if faux fur is not your style, I definitely recommend purchasing some pillows that are soft to add some extra comfort to your movie night!

Snacks

No movie night is complete without snacks, especially popcorn. Wayfair has this awesome micro-pop popcorn popper that I would love to have at home. Additionally, due to the lack of tables in our bonus room, we need trays for snacks and dinner (which on a movie night is usually Pizza). These marble trays from Wayfair are super cute and would go perfectly in our bonus room.

Of course, we can’t forget about snacks for Rooney. Whenever we are relaxing at home we give him a Benebone. Rooney loves the flavor of Benebones and they help keep his teeth clean!

Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper

Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper
Ecolution

 

5 Piece TV Tray Set

5 Piece TV Tray Set
Varick Gallery

 

Faux Fur Throw Pillow

Faux Fur Throw Pillow
House of Hampton

 

Snuggery Hooded Dog Bed

Snuggery Hooded Dog Bed
FurHaven

 

Greenburgh Cable Diamond Knit Throw

Greenburgh Cable Diamond Knit Throw
Alcott Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your essentials for a Dinner & a Movie night?

Battling Dry, Itchy Winter Skin: Isle of Dogs

I have always preferred the winter months to the summer. Most likely because my birthday is in the winter and I absolutely love Christmas time. But one of the downfalls of winter is dry skin. Dry skin brought on by winter conditions is not something that is unique to humans. Pets too can suffer from dry, itchy skin in the winter. If you have never suffered from dry itchy skin, consider yourself a very lucky person. Not only can dry, itchy skin be uncomfortable, but it can also cause your pet to scratch excessively, which can damage their skin. Because this problem affects many pets and people during the winter time, I want to introduce to you a new product from Isle of Dogs which was created to battle this exact problem.

Caring for Winter Skin

To properly care for your pet’s skin, veterinarians recommend the following:

  • Avoid over-bathing: bathing your dog too often can reduce the natural oil production on the skin and can lead to chemical irritation
  • Use a soft brush: brushing your dog’s skin can help remove the dead skin buildup, remove loose fur, and stimulate the hair follicles and natural oils on the skin.
  • Consider changing your dog’s food: If your dog has suffered through winters in the past, you might consider switching to a food with more omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids. We feed Rooney Petcurean’s GO! Sensitivity + Shine Duck Recipe which has Omega oils to promote a healthy skin and coat. If you are considering changing your dog’s food or adding supplements, please consult with your veterinarian so that you can make the best choice for your pet.
  • Consider a humidifier or fan: if you are able to increase air circulation in your home, you can prevent allergens from building up on the carpet.

Does your pet have Dry, Itchy Winter Skin? Isle of Dogs can help!

How Isle of Dogs Can Help

Isle of Dogs CocoClean Shampoo and Odor Neutralizing Brush Spray were designed with coconut oil due to the many benefits this natural ingredient can provide:

  • promotes a healthy and soft coat
  • relieves dry, itchy, flaky and irritated skin
  • strengthens hair and reduces protein loss
  • can improve the health of the protective skin barrier
  • natural deodorizer

Not only does the coconut oil counteract the symptoms typically associated with winter skin, but the Brush Spray can also help you reduce the number of baths you typically give your dog by keeping them fresh between baths. Additionally, the spray is only effective if you brush your dog, which improves the dry, itchy winter skin.

What Do I Like About Isle of Dogs

  • The Brush Spray: Rooney loves to jump in mud and any available puddle which doesn’t leave him smelling great. The brush spray provides me with an opportunity to keep Rooney smelling good without overbathing him.
  • Paraben free: I have made an effort to remove parabens from my soaps and shampoos this past year because I suffer from a lot of skin issues. It makes me feel good to be able to provide Rooney with the same quality of ingredients.
  • The fragrance: Rooney currently smells very good. I even used the brush spray after a trip to the bay and Rooney smelled good despite having salt water on his coat!
  • Shampoo & Conditioner combined: I love that the shampoo and conditioner are combined into one product. While Rooney actually doesn’t mind a bath, it’s always nice to make bath time as quick and efficient as possible. For those who have pets who don’t like baths, this is an additional bonus.

Your Turn!

Isle of Dogs was generous enough to allow us to host a giveaway! Tell us why you think Isle of Dogs CocoClean is perfect for your dog in the comments below and submit additional entries to win a bottle of Isle of Dogs CocoClean Shampoo and Odor Neutralizing Brush Spray.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Does your dog suffer from dry, itchy winter skin? What has helped your dog’s skin?

Disclaimer: I am a Petcurean Blogger Advocate. I am provided with compensation for my opinion on Petcurean products, however, Petcurean is the food we feed Rooney every day. Additionally, I was provided with Isle of Dogs CocoClean products in order to provide my opinion. However, My Kid Has Paws only shares reviews we believe benefit our readers.

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