January 24, 2017

Adoption Tips

If you've recently welcomed a new pup to your home, or if you're planning to, you'll want to make sure you're prepared for them. There's no better way to bring home a dog than through adoption. Follow these tips for a new, happy, furry, family member.

Before

If you've found your new best friend, get your house ready before they come home. 

- Set up a "dog area" where you think they will spend most of their time. Put a bed here and make sure it's somewhere easy to clean, because sometimes dogs might go to the bathroom on the floor in a new environment. 

- Dog-proof that same area. Make sure they don't have access to anything breakable, edible, or electrical. 

- Block off areas of the house you definitely wouldn't want your dog having an accident. Slowly, as you become more confident in their house training, allow them to explore and have access to these rooms. 

- If you're crate training, set up a crate in the "dog area" before the dog comes home.

When They're Home

Yay, your pup is home! Here are some tips to get them acclimated. 

- Replicate their feeding schedule. Ask the shelter when they are fed and try as much as you can to stick to that. It will be easiest on their digestion and tummy. If you want to switch out your food, do it gradually by mixing in more new food with the old food every day. 

- Show them the bathroom immediately when you get home and spend time with them there until they go to the bathroom. This will encourage them to go in this bathroom spot and not in the house. 

- Stay calm and collected. It's hard not to be excited around a new dog, but keeping your cool will allow your dog to settle in much easier without being overwhelmed. 

- Being training immediately. Even if your dog is already trained, you'll want them to get used to your commands. 

- Visit the vet, even if your dog doesn't need fixing or vaccines. Your vet will be able to give you advice on how often and when they should come back.

Good luck with your pup, whether you have them or are still looking!

January 24, 2017

Best Dog Christmas Movies

It's the most ruffonderful time of the year! It's Christmastime and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, most families have a favorite Christmas movie that they like to gather around and watch. So how about some Christmas movies starring dogs? Here are some the best dog Christmas movies that you can watch with you and your furry friend. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Poor Max is a little emotionally abused by the Grinch, and he has to wear ridiculous reindeer antlers. But thankfully, all is well in the end and the Grinch has a change of heart that also makes him realize how much Max means to him. 

Santa Buddies

If you were a kid growing up on Disney Channel in the 90's, you'll know Air Bud well. But even if you weren't, there are so many Air Bud spinoffs that you've probably at least heard of it. There are no sport-playing dogs in this movie but they do do plenty of running in order to save Christmas!

The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation

If your family is a Christmas Vacation family, then you're out of luck because this movie actually has nothing to do with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. But it is actually a sequel to the infamous The Dog Who Saved Christmas. It features the voices of Mario Lopez and Paris Hilton, so it's sure to be good. 

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Snoopy might be one of the most famous cartoon dogs, and for a reason. He's funny, adorable, and infuriating. Just like your dog! Let's just hope that watching A Charlie Brown Christmas won't make your dog want to dance on the piano. It probably won't end well. 

Beethoven's Christmas Adventure

Beethoven, another dog basically with his own franchise, smiles that St. Bernard smile and goes on an adventure to save Christmas. He also magically speaks in this film even though he has never done so before. I guess it's the spirit of Christmas that does it? 

Bonus: A Christmas Story

Okay, so this movie may be centered around a little boy and not a dog, but it's a classic. If you ask us, this might be the best Christmas movie ever, and you can catch it for a full 24 hours every Christmas on TBS. Plus, there's a few distinctly funny scenes with the bloodhounds from next door. 

Now go get cozy on the couch with your pup and enjoy one of these movies!

January 24, 2017

One Man, 735 Dogs

Who's the biggest dog love you know? They might have five dogs, or maybe even a farm with more than five. But what about 735 dogs? Rakesh Shukla can tell you something about that.

Shukla, a software engineer in Bangalore, has made it his duty to protect and love the dogs that can't call anywhere home. Shukla's home is right near Bangalore, Karnataka, India. With India's high human population comes a high dog population. But unfortunately there are a lot of homeless dogs that spend their days on the street. 

These are the dogs that Shukla continues to help. He owns a three and a half acre farm, which, at its last count, was home to 735 dogs. That's right, 735. 

While that's quite a lot of dogs, you can rest assured knowing that Shukla takes great care of these dogs. While he might not be able to remember all of their names, his large property is the perfect place for dogs that would otherwise be on the street, in a pound, or euthanized.

There is no limit to the kind of dogs that Shukla brings home. There are all of kinds of breeds, from pure breeds to mutts. There are small dogs, big dogs, old dogs, and young dogs. It's beginning to sound like a Dr. Seuss book!

Nearly all of the dogs are from the streets, but many are also sadly abandoned by owners or come to him from deceased owners. 

Shukla wants these dogs to have a happy and fun home, no matter how much time or how little time they have left. The acreage is plenty of room for the pups and Shukla gives them hearty meals every day. 

So if your friend ever tries to shame you for how many dogs you have, just remember that you'll never beat the selfless Rakesh Shukla.

January 24, 2017

Keeping Dogs Warm

Winter is just around the corner! For those of us in the warmer climates, the cold isn't so much of a concern. However, it's something to think about if you're visiting somewhere colder for the holiday, or if you live somewhere cold. Humans aren't the only ones that shiver in the cold. Your dogs might, too! Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe and warm in the winter.

Cut Down on the Grooming

While many dogs need grooming, especially haircuts, avoid this in the winter. Still brush your dog's hair and trim if it's dragging the floor, but don't shave like you might in the summer. Your dog needs their full winter coat just like we need our winter coats!

Dry Dog, Warm Dog

When you wash your dog, make sure that you dry them off completely before they go outside. If you've ever gone outside with wet hair, you'll know why that matters!

Winter Coat

Obviously your dog has fur, but you can keep them even warmer with a winter coat. This is a good idea if you still want to groom your dog but also keep them warm. Plus, they look super cute. Just make sure they don't wear them too long indoors or they'll get overheated. 

Insulated Dog House

If you, for some reason, have to have your dog outside, make sure to give them somewhere warm to hang out. Carefully insulate their dog house and line it with carpet to keep them warm. 

More Padding

If your dog has a bed that they lie in that's on hardwood or tile, move it to the carpet for winter or put extra blankets underneath it so that they won't lie directly on the cold floor. If your house is all tile or hardwood and your dog loves lying on the floor, provide some carpet for them to stay warm on.

 

Now it's time to get out and brave that cold. Stay warm!

January 24, 2017

Dogs & Memories

We all have those fond memories of our dogs, whether they're dogs from our past or a present. You remember the small moments, maybe when they did something funny or something plain adorable. Well, you're not the only one reminiscing. New studies show that your dog has the same type of memories!

What we did already know about dogs and memories is that they have simple memories like the appearance of your dad's car or the sound of their food bag. But it turns out that these simplistic memories are not the only ones your dog possesses. In fact, these new studies show that some memories dogs have are more human than dog.

This human-type memory that dogs seem to possess is called an "episodic memory." This is different from the type of memory that most animals have, "semantic memory." Semantic memory is when animals are consciously learning and retaining information, which can be seen in chimpanzees when they learn sign language or in your dog when "sit" for treats.

Episodic memory, however, is different. This type of memory shows self-awareness. How? Episodic memory requires your brain to recall specific events of the past. When you see a child playing the piano, for example, you might think back to your cousin teaching you to play the piano when you were a child. Episodic memories require you to "imagine yourself in the past." 

While humans display their episodic memory almost daily, this memory in dogs is harder to study. However, psychologist Claudia Fugazza managed to do it. 

The study started by asking dogs to perform an action their owner performed, called "Do As I Do." The purpose of this was to create an expectation for the dogs. After doing these exercises, like one involving touching an umbrella, the owners then changed track. When the owners touched the umbrella, they now simply commanded their dog to lie down. They repeated this action many times. After a while, the owners then touched the umbrella and suddenly made the command for their dog to imitate them. Would the dog remember this even though they had just learned something else?

Well, the dogs did remember! Most dogs were able to recall the action and correctly imitate it even though they hadn't done it in over an hour. This shows that dogs are able to recall certain memories.

So next time, when you're thinking about that time Fido ran onto that outdoor stage alongside the actors, look at him and say, "Do you remember that?" He just might!

 

January 24, 2017

The Winner of the Dog Show Is...

Right after the infamous Macy's Day Parade on Thanksgiving Day, the National Dog Show airs so that you can watch adorable dogs while you cook. Of course, Thanksgiving Day can be very busy for some. So if you missed, out, don't worry! We're here to catch you up on the results of the 2016 National Dog Show. 

Over 2,000 dogs competed this year in the show, but not all of them could be winners. The final dogs who took home the awards are below:

Sporting Group

Winner: Timmy

Breed: English Springer Spaniel

Timmy the Springer Spaniel impressed the judges with his sleek, beautiful coat and adorable face. 

Hound Group

Winner: Gia

Breed: Greyhound

Gia had the perfect combination of spunk and elegance that not only made her look regal, but also stole the judges' hearts! 

Working Group

Winner: Ty

Breed: Giant Schnauzer

What's even cuter than a Schnauzer? A Giant Schanuzer! Ty had that perfectly-curled coat that gives off that distinct look his breed is known for. Plus, he had a handsomely groomed mug. 

Terrier Group

Winner: Rondo

Breed:West Highland White Terrier

Rondo was just too cute for the judges to pass up. They gave him the win for his superior attitude and maybe even his little wagging tail. 

Toy Group

Winner: Chuck

Breed: Pekingese

Pekingnese have those little smushy faces that we can't help but love. Chuck (a big name for such a little guy) led the Toy Group with his adorable face and tiny legs. 

Non-Sporting Group

Winner: Clue

Breed: Tibetan Terrier

Clue may be a Tibetan Terrier, but he's actually not in the Terrier Group! Big and furry, Clue made the judges smile with his eagerness and his adorably big-looking paws. 

Herding Group

Winner: Slick

Breed: Border Collie

How could the judges not fall in love with Slick? He was a gorgeous Border Collie whose coat shined (slick) under the lights and bounced as he walked. 

 

And the winner was... Gia the Greyound from the Sporting Group. It wasn't Gia's first win, though. It is her 44th Best in Show so far! The four-year-old is impressive and the judge acknowledged how she held her head and walked with poise and grace. Gia will retire in February after the Westminster show. Good luck, Gia!

 

January 24, 2017

The "Yeses" and "Nos" of Thanksgiving Table Scraps

Thanksgiving is finally here! For humans, it's a holiday full of love, family, and food. For animals, it might be a little chaotic. If your pup is celebrating Thanksgiving with you, it could be hard to stop Uncle Joe or little Chloe from sneaking your dog the occasional table scrap. And heck, it can be pretty hard for you to resist your dog's eyes. So if you don't want to say "no" to your dog all day, here are some tips for what they can and cannot have at Thanksgiving.

Turkey is Okay

Since turkey is a lean protein, it's actually not bad for your dog! But only in moderation. Stop your guests if they seem to be giving your dog a whole meal. Also remind them that turkey is only okay for your dog without the skin, fat, or bones. 

No OGLS

That stands for "onions, garlic, leeks, scallions." These all contain alliums, which can actually cause anemia in your pet. Avoid these getting anywhere near your dog. 

Light Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are okay, but only if they're light on butter, salt, and other seasonings. Any of those extra, saturated ingredients can be a little too much for your pet. 

No Desserts

Sorry, but your pup can't have it all. Even desserts that don't seem to be too sweet still have plenty of sugar, which isn't good for dogs. Beware of fruits, too, which aren't easily digestible by dogs. If you really want to give them something sweet, just give them a very minimal amount of cranberry sauce.

Vegetables - Yay!

Fresh vegetables are both yummy and good for your dog! Feel free to give your dog a small handful of green beans, which are one of the best vegetables to give to them. Fresh is better, but cooked green beans are okay, too, as long as it's not a green bean casserole.

Extra Tip - Dog Treats

Your family won't feel so guilty about your begging pup if they can give them something that's meant for them. Have some doggy treats handy around the dinner table so that if your dog is begging, then your guests can give them a doggy treat instead of their own food. 

Oh, and P.S. - absolutely no alcohol. That may be obvious, but some people still seem to think it's funny to give their dogs beer. Any amount of alcohol can be toxic to your pet. 

Now get ready to have a happy Thanksgiving! Remember to thank your dog for all the joy they give you. 

 

January 24, 2017

Happy Change a Pet's Life Day!

January 24th is a special day, not just for those who have birthdays or anniversaries. January 24th is Change a Pet's Life Day. 

Change a Pet's Life Day is dedicated to encouraging adoption and spreading awareness of pet homelessness. But if you already have your hands full of pets, there are other things you can do to celebrate besides adopt. 

You can commemorate Change a Pet's Life Day by volunteering. Whether you're going to to the shelter to take dogs for walks, or just going to spend time with cats, the shelter is a great place to volunteer your time and give back. Even one interaction can change an animal's life. 

You can also donate. Many shelters, since they're non-profit organizations, have a difficult time fulfilling all their needs. It's a great gesture to donate food or blankets to shelters. Supplies definitely won't go unused! 

Something else Change a Pet's Life Day does is about are the dedicated shelter workers who help change pet's lives every day. Do you know a shelter worker in your life? Help make their day by giving them a card or just expressing your appreciation. 

If you're social media-savvy, help make it a special day by sharing links on social media to local shelters, rescue organizations, or animal charities. By spreading the word, others will find out about local shelters and can do good, too!

How will you make this day special?  

January 24, 2017

Best Dog Beds

When it comes to comfort, you want your furry best friend to have as much luxury as you do with you mattress (or maybe even more). If you want the ultimate doggy bed for your pup, you're in luck. Here are some of the best doggy beds you can get. 

Big Barker 7" Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed

This bed is one of the best ones you can get for your pup. You can throw it in the washing machine to clean it and it has comfy memory foam.  Supposedly it will hold its shape for ten years. And if it doesn't, you can get your money back. 

Pet Goods PetCare Coil Spring Mattress

This is a real mattress - just dog sized! It comes in three sizes so it'll be ideal for your dog, whatever size they are. This bed is especially good for older dogs who have arthritis because the coils offer more support than other beds. 

Kuranda Chewproof PVC Dog Bed

This is an ideal dog bed for dogs who love chewing up fluffy things. It's made out of PVC pipes that sit up from the ground with a tough mat stretched across. It may not be fluffy, but it's perfect for dogs who can't have fluffy beds.

Beasley's Couch Dog Bed

If you dog loves the couch, they will surely love this bed. It comes with a cotton-poly blend cover that you can remove and wash when you need to. It's great quality and your dog will love the couch shape. 

Midwest Quiet Time Pet Bed

This bed is an Amazon best seller, and for a reason. It's lightweight and comfy, with a curly fabric that gives your dog warmth in cold temperatures and cool in hot temperatures. 

January 24, 2017

Dear Santa Paws...

If your dog could write a letter to Santa, would you know what they'd be asking for? Well, thanks to some informants in the Santa Paws circle (we always knew we liked you, Dasher), here is a "real-life" letter to Santa Paws from Bruce the Bloodhound. If you're stuck on what to get your pup, Bruce's letter might just give you some ideas...

Dear Santa Paws,

My name is Bruce and this year I have been very nice. I only chewed up Mom's shoes once! She said they were 'Jimmy Choo's' so I figured they were meant for chewing anyway.

But since I have been so nice this year, I was wondering if you put some (or all) of these gifts by my dog bed this year. Or under the tree. I'll find them I promise!

I figured I would put them into some different categories because you're so busy and maybe it will be easier for you to read my letter if it's more organized. I'm trying to work on that organization thing since I keep forgetting where I put all of my squeaky toys. Anyways, here's my list!

For My Humans

Since I love my humans so much, I want them to have some gifts for me and for them. 

Pooch Selfie: The Original Dog Selfie Stick

My humans love taking pictures with me. I can't blame them, I am super cute. This is great because I love tennis balls and it looks like a tennis ball so I will look at the tennis ball while my humans take the picture and then everyone is happy. 

iFetch Interactive Ball Thrower 

Sometimes my humans stop throwing the ball to me because they get tired. But if they have this, they can throw the ball FOREVER and I can chase the ball FOREVER.

For Me

Oh and here are the things on my wishlist just for me. 

Fresh Patch

I hear pretty great things about this! ;) Plus, if I need to go to the bathroom and my humans aren't home to take me out, I would much rather have real grass to go on.

In the Company of Dogs Warm Dog Throw

Sometimes on a chilly night, I just want to cuddle up on the couch! But of course, I'm not allowed... except if you get me this throw! It'll keep me warm and I won't even get my fur on the couch. 

H204K9 Doggy Water Bottle

I get reeeeeeally thirsty when I go out on walks. This water bottle has a cap that comes off and becomes a bowl for me so I can drink on the go even when there's no water around for me to drink from. 

For My Friends

Sometimes my friends are pretty nice to me, even the cat. Okay, well, sometimes she isn't completely mean to me . So you could also get these gifts for her. 

Catit Design Senses Massage Center

I guess this whole thing is a message center for a cat, so basically she can just be happy and massage herself and then maybe she won't hiss at me.

Trish Iriye Catnip Fortune Cookies

These are cat toys shaped like fortune cookies (yum!) and they have catnip inside. I like the cat when she has catnip because she goes crazy and it's funny. Also I guess these toys are really strong so the catnip won't even come out and make a mess.

Thanks soooooo much for looking at my list, Santa Paws! I'll leave some biscuits out for you, I promise!

Sincerely,

Bruce the Bloodhound

Well, it looks like Bruce the Bloodhound has some great ideas! Maybe you can get some of these gifts for your pets this year. 

Fresh Patch Logo
On July 6, 2010, the Fresh Patch Company began operating from its headquarters in Florida. Its flagship product is a disposable pet commode consisting of hydroponically grown grass within a cardboard container. On September 3, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent for the construction and continuous delivery/replacement method of the product (U.S. Patent No. 8,522,719).

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