Friday, May 30, 2014

Silly Dog Exercises by Kelly, Ike and friends

We hope you enjoy these dog exercises. Has your dog has invented some of his/her own?!



WALK YOUR HUMANS




ATTACK THE BALL



GO SWIMMING




















SHAKE YOUR BOOTY


PLAY HIDE AND SEEK




PROTECT THE YARD












STEAL THE TOY

STOP, DROP AND ROLL

























































































TUG O'WAR















CHIN-UPS
























 FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join our hop!











Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Woof Woof the Friendly Rails

I don't fly (call me scaredy cat!)
I like trains
I like dogs
= potential good news for me!

Because I have no actual picture of a dog on a train, imagine your dog here, waiting to board!

























...because Amtrak is testing a new pilot program, allowing riders to travel with their dogs!
If it's acceptable for air travel, it seems it should be acceptable for rail travel. Except, the voyage may be longer, and you will need to take into consideration how long Fido can stay in a carrier without needing to relieve himself.

The program is being tested with passengers traveling between Chicago and Quincy Illinois only.
1. Pets cost $25 extra
2. Cats and dogs only. (No bunnies, sorry.)
3. There is a weight limit of under 20 lbs.
4. Pets must be kept in a pet carrier under the seat.

In order to accommodate those people with pet allergies or a deathly fear of dogs, Amtrak will designate one or several cars of each train pet-free.

I would definitely travel by train with my dogs, except neither one is under 20 lbs. The train makes stops that, in some cases,could allow time for dogs to take a quick walk. I've traveled in the sleeper compartment, and think that any size dog should be allowed to travel, uncrated, with their companions there. So far that hasn't been a consideration.

Now imagine yourself with your cat or dog in a carrier under one of these seats.

Some of the comments on an article about the announcement complained that "smelly and yipping" dogs would annoy passengers. Others felt that Amtrak should designate only one or more cars for those with dogs, and keep the rest of the train pet-free (instead of the proposed other way around.)  And those who liked the idea commented that their dogs are better behaved than most children and that they would cause no discomfort to other passengers. 

I have a dream that Amtrak would have one car designated as a dog park! It would be carpeted in AstroTurf and have a little track around the perimeter and climbing toys in the middle, and of course some mighty fine sanitation and odor elimination system! I'd ride the train with my dogs and take them to the dog park car for exercise and relief. Of course I can imagine a multitude of problems with this plan as well, but of course in my dream there are no problems!!

Would you ride on Amtrak with your dog?






Friday, May 23, 2014

FitDog Friday- almost wordless Friday

For FitDog Friday, in lieu of words, I'm sharing these pictures of some special fit dogs.

My first dog, Schuyler. Woof loudly and carry a big stick.




















My second dog, Hudson. All muscle.


















This One Wild Life's Emmett--so fit, he doesn't mind the scale!



Kelly shapes up her beach body with games of chase-the-ball.




















My friend Ellen's dogs Marley, Milo and Shadow keep each other fit.




















Neighbor's frenchie has run of the yard for lots of exercise.















Fitness trainer Diana Ozimek's dogs get first-hand advice.





























 FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join our hop!












 





Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Secrets to Traveling with a Pet

Memorial Day weekend is approaching. Are you thinking of traveling with your pet? Just like Kelly and Brooks here, from a few summers ago, it's good to be prepared!






































I've teamed together with travel expert Kenda Thornton to bring you some great tips. Here are our tips, and then read the great tips from Kendra!

1. Pack a Goody Bag

Be sure to bring a leash, plastic bags for cleanup, a familiar toy, a container of water and a bowl. I bring a portable nylon travel bowl that folds up neatly for storage, but if I have room I also love the K9 Cooler bowl. Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags. If space allows, bring along your dog's own bed or blanket.


2. Exercise Before You Leave


Make sure your dog has enough time outside or your cat has an opportunity to use the litter box before you leave. Take your dog for a nice long walk or play vigorously so she'll rest on the trip. Feeding just before you leave only increases the odds of car sickness or needing more pit stops along the way!

3. Practice Car Safety

If driving, make sure your pet is not crawling around and distracting the driver. Some pets do well in a crate or pet carrier. Look into a dog seat belt, which attaches with a harness (never around the neck), or a zip line which will keep your dog contained but allow for some movement in the back seat.

4. Be Mindful of the Heat


Park in the shade, and never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. Even with windows cracked open, temperatures rapidly build up to extreme levels. If you have a pet in a crate, use a small, battery operated fan to help cool the air. Be sure your pet has plenty of water.


Now, here are some tips from Kendra!

My family loves to go on trips to all kinds of places, and we never forget to make arrangements for our pets to come along too. There's nothing better than bringing along our dog, but some planning is necessary to make sure that she's as comfortable as everyone else. I always go through a checklist to ensure that I have everything ready to bring her along.

We also have family headed to Chicago next month and they will be bringing their dog, and it's going to be really important that I plan ahead. These tips will keep me sane and ensure a great trip for our furry friends, too.

5. Prepare for the Trip

I always try to find the rules and policies regarding animals for wherever we plan to visit on our trip. Whether that's a beach or a hotel, there's always a note on what animals are allowed and what animals are not. Since our pup is microchipped, it's easy to get through quarantine lines and transportation restrictions because all of her information is right in the chip. You also want to have a health certificate handy to show that your pet is all cleared for travel and has the necessary vaccinations.

6. Bring the Crate

You might not want to crate your dog, but it's a necessity when you're traveling. Unfortunately, dogs can get confused or become a bit anxious in new territory. They can also get pretty scared without having a comfortable place to sleep or be carried in. Our dog feels safer in her crate when we travel. Before going in the crate, dogs should get a lot of exercise, and they should have all of their favorites like treats, toys and water.

7. Learn Hotel Policies

It's best to check with a hotel on their pet policy beforehand. Some hotels have breed restrictions, and others don't allow any animals on the premises. Then there are hotels that are very pet-friendly and even provide amenities for Fido. If our dog starts to bark in the room, we take her out to get some exercise, but we don't offer extra attention to encourage that kind of behavior. It's a bit of an embarrassing battle. If you have a barking dog, you should factor that into your plans for which hotel you choose. I suggested my family stay right in downtown Chicago. Downtown has plenty of great hotels that are pet friendly and they’re even close to all the sites!

8. Don't Do Planes


Unfortunately, dogs really don't like planes, and it's really not a good idea to bring a dog on a plane. They get very scared, and you can't always monitor your dog. For example, many dogs get placed with cargo. There are guidelines set by PETA to make flying with your dog safer, but it's still a better option to drive.

I hope these tips help you and your family have a happy, safe holiday.

Thank you Kendra! Those are excellent tips.
 

My name is Kendra Thornton and I am a mother of 3. Before being promoted to the position of full time mom, I was the Director of Communications at Orbitz where I was able to travel around the world. I now live in Chicago where my family is my number one priority in everyday life.

@KendraThornton








Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Roman Ruins Sanctuary for Homeless Cats

Looking among the ruins in the sacred area of Largo Argentina in Rome, Italy, my daughter and son-in-law noticed a cat.



















Then another.




















Then another.



















The area is breathtaking with toppled columns, crumbled walls, stone steps and the remains of temples.   Julius Caesar is believed to have been assassinated in the square. And yet, today, the ruins have been transformed into a cat sanctuary.

Rome is filled with homeless cats, a huge problem for the area. As the cats began to take shelter among the ruins, they were fed by "cat ladies," or "gattare" as they are called by the Italians. Many of the cats were blind, missing limbs, or had come from abusive situations.





















Eventually, the cat population became greater than the cat ladies could handle.
Fortunately a group called the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary, actually a no-kill shelter for homeless cats, stepped in. According to their website, they test cats for FIV and FiLV, test for heartworm, and practice Trap/Neuter/Release. In 2012 the group reached their goal of more than 3000 sterilizations and placed 125 cats in homes.























I was fascinated to see that there in Rome, in the middle of all the history and ancient ruins, feral cats roamed. And even happier to see that caring people were also there, to help keep them healthy and adopt out those that are able.

Thank you Kate for these pictures.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Friday, May 16, 2014

FitDog Friday- Play Tag

Looking for a great exercise you can do together with your dog? Why not play tag?

K9Fit Club is an aweseome gym where you and your dog can exercise together. But you can also do these exercises in your own home with your dog. Fitness trainer Diana Ozimek and Zoe the German Shepherd will take us through this, step by step.
 
Step 1: Start by getting your dog’s attention.

 























Step 2: Walk forward, keeping your dog in the heel position, with your dog’s ear next to your leg.  If your dog wants to pull forward, say, “Heel!” and turn to the right, and continue walking in the new direction. 

Step 3: When you reach a designated spot (cone, tree, end of the room), have your dog turn and face you as you say "Come!" and jog backward to starting point. 

























 Your dog should follow directly in front of you (facing each other) and shouldn't pass you. This helps your dog work on staying engaged and keeping eye contact with you. 

 Step 4: Once at the start point again, repeat.

*Remember, “Heel” is only used when you want your dog to move beside you in heel position, with your dog’s ear next to your leg.  Use "Come" in any other position, so your dog knows to follow you instead of standing next to you.




 This exercise, developed by K9Fit Club, is one of many illustrated in The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance. 
I'll be sharing excerpts from the book here with you on FitDog Friday.  Let's encourage each other to get active with our dogs!


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NOW, 40% OFF!!! 
To thank you for being a faithful friend, I'm extending this offer just for FitDog Friday readers! Use the following code for 40% off the regular price of The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance--(that's only $7.79!) 






















Code: 6ENXVQLC

*Note: The code doesn't work on Amazon, it only works through the CreateSpace store. Click here on: The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance and enter the code at checkout. 


 FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join our hop!















Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hero Cat Chases off Dog to Save Boy

How many times have you heard of a dog protecting his family, saving a life, or coming to the rescue of a person? A lot! Well, how many times have you heard of a cat as the rescuer?

Can cats be heroes?

















Roger Triantafilo of Bakersfield California posted this You Tube video, taken by surveillance cameras outside his home. His 4 year old son is in front of the house, riding his bike, when the neighbor's dog runs over and attacks the little boy. Luckily, family cat, Tara, ran to the rescue.


The boy suffered some deep bites, but fortunately he's going to be okay. I'm amazed, but not surprised by the actions of this cat. Clearly he is protecting the boy--I have no doubts about that. In my forthcoming book about the human animal bond, I did some research about animals protecting humans, and most often I found dogs to be the heroes, but I did read some instances of cats and even horses and cows protecting the humans they love.
This is definitely a hero feline!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Puppy Lovin'

















Fact: I support pet adoption, and promote it on my blog and in person.
Fact: Kelly and Ike are rescue dogs
Fact: When my adult son wanted a dog, we searched for a rescue dog
Fact: My son really wanted a puppy.


Pet adoption is valuable and important to me. There are far too many homeless dogs, and far too few homes. I'm happy to adopt dogs, especially being able to give senior dogs a good home. I also have friends who choose to buy from a responsible breeder. (Very Important: I'm not talking about pet shop/puppy mills.)  I also read wonderful blogs about purebred dogs which help me learn about characteristics of these interesting breeds, as well as the personalities of these well-loved dogs in particular. No one should have to feel apologetic.

I certainly understood when my son wanted a younger dog. He's gone through loving and losing many senior dogs. He loves Kelly and Ike who are both seniors. It's his turn, and he wanted a puppy. And he loves Ike and adored Brooks and knows that the personality of a golden retriever is what he wanted. Of course, there are many wonderful dogs, and there are sometimes puppies to be found in rescue groups, and my son searched, but he never found the right match.

Fact: My son is getting a puppy from a responsible breeder.

I'm proud of the way my son did his homework, thought about what he wanted and what fit his lifestyle, and weighed his options. He went to adoption clinics, scanned Petfinder, researched and thought and planned for months. He even moved to a new apartment directly across the street from a dog park, and arranged for a sitter for when he's at work (okay, me!). And now he's met the breeder, met the mother and father, met the puppies, gathered all the information, and has chosen his puppy! I'm very excited to introduce you to my new granddog. He's a reddish golden retriever, about 5 lbs (at 5 weeks old), the fourth puppy born in a litter of 10. He won't be able to leave his mama for another 3 weeks.

















Since I'll be puppysitting, I'll be sharing with you as Puppy X (as of yet, unnamed) grows up. How Kelly and Ike adjust to their puppy cousin (please let it be okay. I predict Kelly will be nurturing and Ike will love to play.). Puppy training, puppy problems and solutions. And I can promise you plenty of puppy cuteness. My son won't be able to bring Puppy home for several more weeks, so please check back again and watch him grow. And since it's been a while since we've had a puppy around, I'll most likely be turning to you, wise experts, for some tips and advice.

I'll leave you with some more puppy cuteness!


















Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Friday, May 9, 2014

FitDog Friday-- How to Get Started Exercising with your Dog

Could you use a little push to get started in an exercise routine? Maybe you--and your dog--packed on a few extra pounds this winter. I know I did!  Luckily, I know that the best way to take off the weight is to start Dieting with my Dog. So now, Kelly, Ike and I are getting out the door and finding ways to get fit--with  help from pet bloggers and experts who contributed to my book,  The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance.



















And since I don't want any of you to miss out on these great tips from people who really know--I'm offering a sneak peek-- How-to and healthy activities by people who know best--pet parents who are avid participants in these activities.

As a way of thanking you for joining us here at FitDog Friday, every Friday for the next several weeks I'll share another informative "how to" segment from the book. Even if you and your dog are already at your desired weight, you'll have fun participating in the bonding activities.

I thought I'd begin with getting started with exercise. Because it's not easy to get started, even if you know you want to make a change. Eighty percent of Americans don't make exercise a regular habit, and according to an American Heart Association survey, 14 percent say they don't like to exercise.

Here are some tips for both You and Your Dog:

How to Get Started with EXERCISE WITH YOUR DOG

*        If you're a morning person, start your day with exercise. That way you won’t get too tired or busy to fit it in later.  If you're not a morning person, is it possible to wake up early once or twice a week? The second best time is just before dinner.
Courtesy of Slimdoggy


*         







*Walking the dog: Walk some place you find pleasurable, like a park or shore. Mix up your routes. Keep it interesting for both of you.
*        Wear a pedometer and aim for increasing the number of steps you (and your dog) take each day.
Courtesy of Snoopy

*       









Set goals. My husband set a goal to run a 5K—and succeeded. What goals can you and your dog reach? How will you reward yourself for attaining these goals?
*        Play with your dog as a form of exercise. Use balls and squeaky toys to catch your dog’s attention. Make the play vigorous enough to get a good workout yourself. I think this is my favorite form of exercise!
Courtesy of Paige

        









* Make an obstacle course for your dog in your back yard. Try obstacles to jump over and climb under. Get your dog to follow you...or follow your dog!
*        Participate in dog walks for various causes, such as Bark for Life, which benefits cancer research. You'll both burn calories, and help others too. Knowing you're doing it for a good cause will help keep you moving.










*        If your dog plays well with others, arrange doggie play dates.  Your dog will have so much fun, and you can stretch or jog in place while your dog is playing.
*        Consider agility or other dog sports that your dog might enjoy. Choose an activity that fits your lifestyle and your dog's abilities. Does your dog like running? jumping? pulling? sprints? distances? mental challenges? There's a dog sport that caters to just about any interest.
Courtesy of Cosmo









*        Be careful not to overwork your dog. Understand your dog’s capabilities, and consider your dog’s health, age, and activity level before participating in any activity.  And if your dog isn't enjoying an activity, switch to something new. You're sure to find one you BOTH enjoy!
        *     Remember, almost anything is more fun when you do it with your dog!
Did you find a tip that speaks to you? Or, maybe you have a tip to offer others? Let's encourage each other. Get active with your dog...it's good for both of you!


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NOW, 40% OFF!!! 
To thank you for being a faithful friend, I'm offering a special discount code just for FitDog Friday readers! Use the following code for 40% off the regular price of The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance--(that's only $7.79!) 






















Code: 6ENXVQLC
Expires: Thurdsday 5/15/14 at midnight
*Note: The code doesn't work on Amazon, it only works through the CreateSpace store. Click here on: The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance and enter the code at checkout. 


 FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join our hop!















Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

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