5 Ways To Show Your Dog Affection

 Finding ways to show your dog affection should be easy. I’m serving my dog The Nutro™ Company as part of a sponsored series with Socialstars. And to appease his wishes. Because, you know, he’s a little demanding. I kid… #HonestToDog

5 Ways To Show Your Dog Affection

This old boy. He’s getting slower. He’s not as active. And he’s more interested in naps these days then long walks. But that doesn’t mean we stop showing him affection. Dogs are easy. Feed them, water them, clean up after them, and most importantly, love them. I’ve grown up with dogs for the majority of my life and through each relationship I’ve built with my pets, the relationship I have with my dogs has come to be the strongest.

Perhaps it’s their undying affection. The fact that no matter what, as soon as I open the door from a long day out they’re there wagging their tail (some wagging their whole body!) and ready to shower me with love. And that would make anyone feel good.

But I have to be honest. Sometimes I walk through the door and am trying to rush in to get dinner started, or put away groceries. And this old boy is standing in my way waiting for his love. Waiting for a simple pet on the head and some acknowledgement. And instead I rush past wondering why he has to always be in my way. But as soon as I get to where I was headed I realize what I did and am immediately filled with guilt. He just needed a pet. Just needed some love. So I’m going back to basics and re-teaching my family how to show Scout the affection he deserves.

5 Ways To Show Your Dog Affection - stay active

The kids don’t need much re-teaching. The baby is obsessed with him and even says some form of “dog” when reaching out to him (something along the lines of daga at the moment). And the big kids love to walk him and give him treats.

He doesn’t “play” much anymore but when he does, it’s when the kids rile up the chickens and get him excited too. Or when we take him to the beach and he can frolic in the waves. They tire him out. We don’t go often enough anymore because sometimes the walk from the car to the water is exhausting for him. I’m considering getting a beach wagon. You know, for the dog.

But there are still a few things that he absolutely loves. And that’s what I’m going to try and focus on.

5 Ways To Show Your Dog Affection - take naps

5 Ways To Show Your Dog Affection

  1. Stay Active – whether it’s walks, runs, or simply heading off to a dog park or beach, dogs are active pets and require exercise. This is an added bonus for us humans because it forces us to get up and go. And just because my dog is slower with old age, he can still enjoy a bit of swimming in the ocean.
  2. Praise and Reward – now reward doesn’t necessarily mean treat, it can also equal a fun ball, or a chew toy. And even a nice, long scratch or massage. Basically when your dog is behaving, shower them with love to reward them for their good behavior.
  3. Fun Activities – I don’t know about you but I like to bring my dog out and about. So we try and include him in the fun activities we do as a family. Whether it’s walking around a street fair, taking a hike, or a leasurely walk with the family to Dairy Queen around the corner, he comes with.
  4. Snuggle – I don’t know about your pooch, but the one thing mine LOVES is a good snuggle. He’s 85lbs and pretty lanky but he *thinks* he’s a small lap dog and will always jump at the chance to climb into my lap. Giving him a few snuggles every now and again changes his whole demeanor.
  5. Acknowledge – I know this is a given but as I mentioned before, it can be something that escapes my mind. So I am making a conscious effort to acknowledge my dog each and every time I walk into the door. He waits for me patiently and is excited by my presence, so why shouldn’t I reciprocate?

5 Ways To Show Your Dog Affection - feed well

With all of the praise and love I show my dog, I know the most important thing is to make sure he’s healthy. And that means feeding him a nutritious diet. Luckily I have NUTRO™ Rotations™ dog food to take care of his dietary needs. Not only do we have a great dog food to offer him, but we can offer him variety through the NUTRO™ Rotations™ line of foods. We can even feed him a similar meal to our own! And when it comes to travel, we can bring it along and not have to worry about running out and having to offer another variety when on the road.

Only NUTRO™ Rotations™ offers a solution to feeding variety with digestive stability. That means when you switch up from the Lamb and Potato recipe to the Chicken and Brown Rice recipe you don’t have to worry about slowly introducing the new recipe. NUTRO™ Rotations™ dog food, an exciting new way to add some variety to your dog’s diet, lets you confidently switch from one recipe to another with no transition between bags – it’s that easy. And I like easy! 

How do you show affection to your pooch?

For more ideas on how to feed your pooch well, visit The Nutro Company on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

®/™Trademarks of © The Nutro Company 2015

Top 10 Essentials When Traveling with Dogs

Traveling with the family dog doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s just as easy as traveling with kids. Maybe even easier! We’re sharing our must have essentials when traveling with dogs including a few products from The Nutro™ Company as part of a sponsored series with Socialstars. #HonestToDog

Top 10 Essentials When Traveling with Dogs

I still remember the first day we brought Scout home from the pound. We had just met him the day before and as soon as I got to his cage he put his paw up as if saying hello. I played with him a bit through the fence while my husband Joseph (who was only my boyfriend at the time) went to go see if he was available. They said he was a coonhound beagle mix so we assumed we were getting a medium sized dog. But those paws. Those paws said something else! They were HUGE.

Joseph had to work that day and couldn’t get off early so I had the pleasure of heading down to pick him up after he got the snip snip. He was only 3 months old at the time and came out from behind the corner with a cone of shame around him. I didn’t even bring a collar or a leash. I was so new to this whole pet owner thing. He would be living at Joseph’s house since I lived with my dad and did not have room for another dog. But that didn’t stop me from loving on him and staying with him that first night. Staying up and sleeping on the couch to make sure he was ok and all his needs were met.

Needless to say, Scout was a very important part of my life. He was my first real big responsibility outside of chinchillas, rats, and hampsters. And he depended on me and Joseph to take care of him. We took him just about everywhere. Road trips, the beach, hiking, walks around the neighborhood, etc. Wherever we went, he went. And as we got married, added to our family – gained 3 kids, gained and lost a dog, and added many more pets after that, and as Scout got older, the trips have slowed down. But we still get out and about for a little fun. And over the years we’ve figured out the essentials when traveling with dogs.

Top 10 Essentials When Traveling with Dogs - walking the dog

Now depending on the size and personality of your dog, some of these may vary a bit. However the basics are all there! And sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re going on a cross country trip with your pooch or simply taking a day trip to the beach. First above all, though, is to get your dog used to the car at a young(er) age. We’d take Scout on trips to the hardware store with us, to the pet store to grab food, and even to a few dog-friendly restaurants to not only get him socialized but to get him used to the car. One dog I had growing up, Simba, would get car sick every car ride and did NOT like to be in the car. I don’t think I’d attempt a long car ride with him if it could be avoided.

Top 10 Essentials When Traveling with Dogs - packing for your pooch

Top 10 Essentials When Traveling with Dogs

  1. Water – You always need to bring water with you when you’re traveling with Fido. Whether it’s a 20 minute drive to the park, a walk around the neighborhood, or a longer trip, water is essential to have with you when you have your pooch at your side.
  2. Poop Bags – Even if your dog is a once a day pooper in the same spot every day (don’t laugh… some dogs are very, er, regular) it’s good to have poop bags on hand (or even attached to their leash) at all times.
  3. Leashes – And that leads me to the next important essential, your dog’s leash. I would suggest keeping the leash attached to their collar even when in the car. It not only is convinient for getting out of the car, but should someone else need to go into your car, they can quickly secure your dog by grabbing the leash.
  4. Car Harness – Just like securing your children in a carseat, a car harness or crate is important to keep your dog safe in case of an accident or emergency. It can also act as a calm place for your dog to retreat to (the crate) if they’re feeling nervous on the trip when you reach your destination. Always keep your dog in the crate when the car is in motion OR harnessed.
  5. Towel/Bedding – if your pooch is sitting in the back seat, putting a towel down underneath them can act as some padding for them, protection for the seat, and an easy way to dry them off if you have an accident or are coming home from the beach. We’ve also found this to be an easy way to make them feel more comfortable if the car seat has an awkward angle. It also comes in handy in the back of the car as it acts like a makeshift bed.
  6. Food – Sometimes bringing food for your dog isn’t needed. But when you’re on a long road trip, or even a day trip to the beach, remembering your dog’s food is important. A food like NUTRO™ Rotations™ dog food can add a bit of variety to their diet and you can even pair it with what you’ve brought for the family to eat so your pooch can enjoy the same meal.  
  7. Food/Water Containers – Even though this is kind of a given, having a few food/water containers with you can help out in a pinch. We like the soft, collapsable containers that will fit in a purse or diaper bag. I keep one in my trunk at all times along with a small tupperware container that holds the collapsable dish, extra leash, poop bags, and a water bottle. Just in case.
  8. Toys – Not only are toys great for your destination to keep your dog happy and entertained, but a favorite toy, blanket, or chew toy can help calm your dog while you’re on your adventure. Something that reminds them of home and security. 
  9. Medications – Not all dogs are on medication however if your dog does need his daily meds, don’t forget to bring them along. I like to bring the whole bottle that includes the prescription information instead of a pill saver just in case. That way I have all of my dog’s info with me. You could also write out a list of medications to keep with you just as you would for yourself when traveling. 
  10. Treats – Keeping a little stash of treats you know your dog likes can be handy when you want to get their attention, have them respond to your commands in new situations, or simply praise them for being good on your trip.

STAINMASTER PetProtect running at the beach

This old boy has definitely left an impact on my life and I’m so happy to have his companionship. We might not be doing cross country trip anytime soon but our beach days are far from over.

Top 10 Essentials When Traveling with Dogs - Scout at 12 years old

Do you travel with your dog?

Find more great travel tips by liking The Nutro Company on Facebook or following on twitter.

®/™Trademarks of © The Nutro Company 2015

Dog Safety for Kids: 3 Great Tips for Training Your Dog

 This post is brought to you by I and Love and You.

Dog Safety for Kids 3 Great Tips for Training Your Dog

A dog can provide pet owners and their families with many years of joy, companionship, comfort, and love. However, not all dog breeds are the same. Each dog breed is known for its distinctive characteristics, whether it be for fighting, hunting, intensity, intelligence, wandering, and so forth. No matter what breed of dog you may introduce into your family, the safety of your kids around the dog should be your utmost concern.

After our daughter was bitten by our family dog (warning – graphic photos in post linked), we took dog training and dog safety for kids to heart and have continued to work with both our kids and our dog, Scout, to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Training your dog in an effective manner will provide you with a sense of security in having a dog as a family pet. Whether the dog is part of the family unit before the child arrives or afterwards, both will need to be taught rules, boundaries, as well as consequences. [Read more…]

Our Daughter Was Bit By A Dog

Yesterday was one of the most terrifying days of my life. My daughter was bit by a dog. And not any dog, our family dog.

While we know it was not intentional and just a snap it was enough to do a lot of damage to her face.

Yesterday afternoon as I was getting my son after he woke up from his nap my daughter played blocks on the rug in our living room with my dog sleeping nearby.

As we started to walk out of the bedrooms and down the hallway to the living room we heard a bark and a scream from my daughter.

I nearly pushed my son out of the way to run to where my daughter sat. With blood on her face. I had no idea how bad it was or what exactly happened but would later find out that she touched his paws (something he’s always nervous about) and he snapped at her.

That’s all it took to cause this much damage…

Warning: the following photos are graphic!

[Read more…]

San Diego Pet Supply {Store Review}

After adopting our pup, Scout, we started researching dog foods, dog friendly places and much more. On our quest to find the perfect treats, supplies and food for Scout we stumbled upon a pet supply store that was very close to home. Like up the street and around the corner from us. So we stopped by. And what we were greeted with kept us coming back for close to 6 years now.

San Diego Pet Supply carries everything from dog food to animal carriers to vaccinations. I’ve never had a problem finding what I need for my pets there. And they keep my kids entertained too. There’s always birds, reptiles or other small animals to keep them occupied while one of kind employees picks up a large bag of Canadae for me from their shelves. I used to grab the bag myself but as soon as they saw me they’d rush over and grab the bag for me. So I let them grab it now.

Most of the time all I have to do is come to the counter, ask for what I need and they grab it and load it in the car automatically. And with my hands full with children their customer service makes my life a heck of a lot earlier! I’ve never had that type of treatment at a big box pet supply retailer.

And the last time I visited took the cake! I was in desperate need of food (only one scoop left) and was coming home from a playdate. By the time I got to San Diego Pet Supply both kids were asleep in the back of the car. I couldn’t imagine leaving them in the car alone while I ran in even though the storefront faces the car and the roll up door would leave a great view of them. So I did the only thing I could think of. I called and explained the situation and asked if they could help.

They were more than willing to take care of me! As soon as I hung up the phone I could see a cart being wheeled out the door with the dog food ready to go. I handed over my card, loaded the food in the trunk and then returned to sign my credit card slip. I didn’t have to leave my car or my kids and I had the dog food I needed! Now that is excellent customer service. And not only did they help me out, they let me know that they do free delivery for purchases over $40 within a 10 mile radius. And our house is within that radius! Now there’s no way I can forget the food… it’s delivered right to my door automaticall!

So if you live in San Diego and are looking for an amazing pet supply store you have to check out San Diego Pet Supply! And for 5% off your next purchase check out their coupon.  

A little information from their website:
San Diego Pet Supply is 6,900 square feet packed with anything and everything a pet will possibly need, and all that your special friend could want. Operating as a supplier of feed and scratch since the 1875, they still offer a huge assortment of bulk and packaged foods.

From common brands to all natural and whole foods blends, they are the source for satisfying your animals’ endless appetites. In addition to carrying everything relating to pets, they specialize in stocking hard to find items, such as shampoos you would normally only be able to purchase through a veterinary prescription.

Dog Beaches {San Diego Edition}

San Diego is one of the best places to own a pooch. Not only are there a multitude of parks and play areas for dogs to go and socialize but there are also a lot of eateries you can take your dog to as well. There are even dog bakeries! San Diego dogs are some of the luckiest dogs in the US.

We’re a family who loves the ocean and the beach. So when we adopted our coonhound, Scout, 7+ years ago we knew we had to scope out the dog-friendly beaches in San Diego right away. There were a few beach options we knew about right away but then as we started talking to fellow dog owners and we found that there were even more around to check out. I’ve even mentioned a few before. And now that Scout is without his buddy, Jetta, we have been taking advantage of having such wonderful beaches in our back yard.

Below is a list of the dog beaches in San Diego. Do you have a favorite?

Top Dog Beaches in San Diego

1. Coronado Dog Beach
Located in the picture perfect city of Coronado, the dog beach in Coronado is at the most northern end of the beach next to the Naval Air Station. Wide and sandy, with the Pacific surf and the Hotel del Coronado in the background, we’ve found Coronado’s dog beach to be the friendliest in town.

located on Ocean Blvd. near Sunset Park.

2. Fiesta Island – Mission Beach
Most of this large sandy island in Mission Bay is designated leash-free for dogs. Lots of sandy dunes to romp in, and the calm bay waters lets the more adventurous dogs take a quick dip. There’s a semi-fenced off dog area as well to let the dogs romp safely without running into the one-way road. We’ve found Fiesta Island the best dog beach to exercise with our dogs at.

(off-leash) – located in Mission Bay Park, dogs are allowed in all areas except for the Youth Campground and Least Tern nesting sites (seasonal). Daily 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.

3. Dog Beach – Ocean Beach
Located in northern Ocean Beach, Dog Beach is the original dog beach and one of the most popular places to take your dog. This beach area is located at the west end of the San Diego River Floodway, also known as the Ocean Beach Flood Control Channel.

With a large amount of sand to run and frolic in, this is a large area for dogs to have fun at. This is also the best beach for your pooch to catch waves AND wade around in the calm(er) flood channel. And as always, beware of left-over accidents (most owners are conscientious about cleaning up after their dogs).

(24 hr. off-leash) – located at the west end of Voltaire St.

4. Del Mar Dog Beach
A nice, low key spit of sand to let your dog roam in lovely Del Mar, but with limitations: the off-leash designated is seasonal only, so bring your dog without its leash only from September to June. Parking is also at a premium, and parking tickets flow freely in Del Mar (believe me… I’ve had personal experience with this).

(October thru May off-leash) – located at Via de la Valle and Highway 101 at the rivermouth. Off-leash area is north of 29th St.

5. North Beach Dog Beach – Oceanside
While I’ve never been to this beach I’ve heard that it’s good for dogs who like strong surf. And it’s a great option for those a little farther north of the San Diego beaches.

(24 hr. off-leash) – located on Ocean Blvd. near Sunset Park at the northern end of the beach next to the U.S. Naval Station entrance. Dogs must be leashed until you reach the beach. Foot shower and free dog litter bags at the entrance to the run.

Saying Goodbye

Jetta {February 2011}

Sadly, yesterday, we had to say goodbye to our dear dog, Jetta. She just turned 12 in November and has been slowly declining in health over the past year. About a year ago we noticed a growth on her leg. We took her to the vet. They wanted to test the growth to see if it was malignant or not. They also found another growth near her back leg that they believed was a uterine tumor.

The vet did some tests and the tests determined that Jetta’s tumor was malignant. So we got a run down from them on how much it would cost to surgically remove (or attempt to remove) the tumors. And when push came to shove we just couldn’t afford the surgery.

With the cost plus the risk of Jetta dying on the operating table and the fact that she might live maybe a year or two more even with the surgery we left everything as is. We knew we’d just have to keep her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. Without the surgery, the vet gave her 6 months.

She didn’t seem affected by her age or the tumors for a long time. And then a few months ago she started to have problems with traction. She couldn’t quite get traction on our laminate and tile floors (in the kitchen and living room). But she made due and we made sure to lay blankets down for her to lay on when she came in to sleep.

And then on Wednesday Joseph woke up in the early morning to find her on the kitchen floor unable to get up. And she had an accident. He was able to help her up and she walked out to do her business. She was able to get around a bit but I noticed that day that she refused to eat anything. The day before she had taken a few bites of food.

Then the next day she didn’t eat either. And she was having more trouble getting around. She was still drinking water so I knew she was close to the end but not quite ready. I called my dad to make sure he came by to say goodbye (Jetta was given to my brother, sister, and me as a Christmas gift when I was 15, I then “adopted” her after my dad moved into a townhome that had no room for a husky). He came by on Friday and on Friday night I called the vet to see how we were to go about letting her go. The receptionist said that we could call in the morning when we were ready and they’d fit us in.

We called that next morning and the receptionist that day (different from Friday night) said that they were completely booked with appointments until the end of the day at 5pm. I couldn’t make her wait till 5pm. She was pleading at me with her eyes. So I called up Joseph’s aunt. She works at an animal hospital and had let us know they are available 24/7 for these types of situations.

So we trekked on over. As soon as they found out what we were there for we were taken care of right away. I was taken back to a special room that had a door to the parking lot (so we could go to our car without passing by the lobby again). After the paperwork and whatnot the vet came in. She was very kind and explained the whole procedure to us. She waited after every step and asked if we were ready. I just kept petting her head as she slowly drifted off to sleep. We left shortly after she was wheeled away.

It was very hard but we knew it was right and it was time… she will be missed.

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