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Low Cost or Do It Yourself Pet Portraits and Dog Paintings

If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen those ads on Etsy or Pinterest where you can purchase a painting of your pet for hundreds of dollars. You may have even been tempted, like I have been, to buy one or check further into it, only to be deterred by the cost of the artist’s work. As an artist myself, I know that their time is valuable and their work is worth it if you have the money to spare. Many of us don’t have that kind of cash lying around for a treasured piece of art.

Painted in WaterlogueIf you’re a little cash strapped and you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative for some custom pet artwork, either as a gift or for décor for your own home, look no further. This is the blog post you’re looking for! I have 3 low-cost options that every pet-enthusiast will love!

Waterlouge App

(Available on iTunes – $2.99)

This is my favorite app for watercolor dog paintings and cat paintings. It produces high quality watercolor-like images that you can save and email to yourself, then print at an enlarged size without losing the quality. I’ve used this app for framed pictures of my dog paintings, screensavers of my dogs, photo collages, and even custom greeting cards. At $2.99 you’ll be shocked at how much use you can get out of this app. It’s currently only available on iTunes for iPhone or iPad.
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My Chat with a Pet Communicator

2014-Proud-Pet-DayThis past weekend Barret and I visited the American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life in Hummelstown. He had such a great time meeting new people and other dogs! He was such a good boy!

Part of our visit was to see how he is going to do when he is an ambassador for Tripawds at The Pet Pantry’s Proud Pet Day on May 17th, 2014 at That Fish Place – That Pet Place. He’s going to be a delight! The only embarrassing thing he did was swim in the baby pool intended as a water dish for the other dogs. Oops!

One of the booths we stopped at had a local Pet Communicator or Psychic, Cynthia, doing readings. I thought, what the heck! Why not?

I thought I’d share my experience with you and I’d love to hear if any of you have ever spoken with a pet communicator. If you have, leave a comment and let me know what you took away from the experience.

photoThe first thing she said to me when I sat down with Barret was that he had the youngest most innocent spirit she had ever met. He knows no pain, no anger, no sorrow. I have to say this is pretty spot on for my Barret. He is so trustful of almost everyone and just happy all the time. Even at five years old and down to only three legs, he bounces around like a twelve week old pup! He does not have an off-switch. She could tell that I was very attached to him and that his amputation had made us very close. This is totally true, and any other Tripawd mom will agree. There is no bond that can compare.

I didn’t have any specific questions for him, so I asked if she could sense anything about my pets at home. Amazingly, without me giving her any additional information she asked if I had a Brown dog only a little bit bigger than Barret. I said yes (Gatsby). She said that he’s vocal and appears aggressive towards other dogs sometimes. That’s kind-of true. It’s actually more true of Sara, who is also brown and white. I would be curious to know if she had Sara and Gatsby switched around. Everything she said about Gatsby seemed to fit Sara more than Gatsby.

She said that the brown dog was attacked when very young. He acts up to protect himself. It’s possible, He was 16 weeks when he came to our home. Sara could have been attacked in her previous home with all the other dogs in the home and the poor care she was receiving. She had some desensitization suggestions for this “Aggressive” dog (who I still think more fits Sara than Gatsby).
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What kind of crate should you buy for your dog?

So you’ve decided to start crate training your dog. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards creating a safe haven in your home where your dog can have a place to rest and feel safe during uncertain times or when they are unsupervised.

The first obvious step to crate training is to purchase a dog crate, however there are so many choices on the market, where do you start? The first thing you’ll want to consider is the adult size of your dog. Sometimes you won’t know the adult size of your dog, say if you have adopted a mutt. In this case you’ll have to make your best guess at the adult size you think your dog will grow to be (I’ve been wrong all three times, good luck!). If you have a purebred, they’re all generally the same size range, so choosing the right size crate is simpler.
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Jump Into Spring With These Flea Prevention Tips

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

We’ve made it to the middle of the week.  If you are having trouble battling Hump Day, we’ve got a great guest blog from Hartz that should help you get through the day and also gain some valuable knowledge on flea prevention.  Fleas can be troublesome and expensive to treat, so it’s a good idea to get ahead of the game and try to stop them before they start.  Hartz has some great information and tips that will help.  If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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The weather is finally turning and that means it’s a great time to think about springtime flea prevention for your dog or cat. It may come as a surprise, but fleas are active year-round, which means those pests that survive the winter are just as ready for the spring as your four-legged friend.

Before your dog or cat stands at the door, ready to get back to enjoying the warm air and fresh grass of the outside world, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure that your pet is safe from those bloodsucking pests.

Examine your pet
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It is not uncommon for dogs or cats to pick up fleas during the winter, so you should inspect your furry friend for any signs of fleas or their eggs. Use a fine-toothed flea comb to check your pet for flea droppings, which are small black or dark brown specks that generally clump together at the base of your pet’s fur, or tiny white dots. If your pet has this residue clinging to his coat, then he has been infested with fleas and will need treatment before venturing outside. Fortunately, there are a few ways to instantly eliminate fleas. Your pet’s health care provider can prescribe a pill that will kill all the adult fleas present on your pet within 24 hours. In addition to medication, a bath using special flea shampoo can clean your dog or cat of any flea eggs or larvae.

Consider your pet’s lifestyle

There are so many flea-repelling products on the market that choosing just one can overwhelm pet owners. To get a better idea of what type of flea prevention care your furry friend needs, you need to take into account his outdoor surroundings and activities. For example: Does your dog like to explore wooden areas? Does your cat have a habit of climbing trees? Are there streams and other sources of water nearby? Do you and your pet live by the beach? All of these factors can increase your four-legged friend’s likelihood of contracting fleas, so you’ll need to answer these questions to better determine which flea prevention treatment is right for your pet.

Weigh the options

Once you’ve considered your pet’s lifestyle, it’s time to choose the best flea treatment for your furry friend. Most pet owners narrow the options down to the flea collar versus flea drops. Flea collars are worn around the neck and work in two ways: some emit a gas that repels fleas, while others release medication that’s absorbed into your dog’s or cat’s subcutaneous fat layer. Once absorbed, it repels and eliminates adult fleas and larvae from infesting your animal’s coat. Flea collars can typically work for several months, with some newer designs lasting for up to eight months, making it a great option for pets that are always on the go or living in high-risk areas. Meanwhile, flea drops are a topical treatment that is applied between the shoulder blades of your dog or cat. These treatments attack fleas and their eggs, immobilizing and eventually eliminating them. However, flea drops only last for one month, so they require diligence and consistency from pet owners.

Don’t forget the indoors

Flea prevention isn’t just for the outdoors. Fleas can hide in the nooks and crannies of your home, while flea eggs can lie dormant in your carpets or upholstered furniture for months on end. To ensure that your four-legged friend is safe from fleas, vacuum your home at least once a week, including your furniture, tough-to-reach corners and any bedding your pet touches. Studies have shown that vacuuming eliminates 96 percent of adult fleas and nearly 100 percent of young fleas.

A Mutt by Any Other Name

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My pack, looking slim, trim and healthy!

I love my mutts – I don’t think there is any better breed out there than a good mutt! A lot of people have misconceptions about mutts or think they’re somehow inferior to purebreds. It might be interesting to dig a little deeper into the world of non-purebred pups. The terms “mutt” and “mongrel” get thrown around pretty loosely these days, and they often come with a derogatory air. But anyone who owns a mixed dog knows that they have just as many, if not more wonderful qualities than purebred pets! The stigma that has followed mixed breed dogs is losing it’s grip, which is a great thing. Let’s talk about mutts so you can see why they can be just right for you!

Mixed Terms

First let’s get the terminology right. Mutt. Mix. Mongrel. Bitsa. Potcake. Heinz 57. These are all terms that denote a dog of more than one breed origin. The true definition of mutt and mongrel is an individual resulting from the interbreeding of diverse breeds or strains; especially:  one of unknown ancestry.  In the case of canines, these are individuals of unknown ancestry that belong to no single organizationally recognized breed and are not the result of selective breeding. Today, much of the terminology has become blurred with “designer breeds” rising in popularity.  Designer Dogs are selectively bred hybrids, specialized mixes of 2 or more purebred dogs intentionally bred to retain specific traits of those breeds. The term “mixed breed” encompasses dogs of mixed, untraced ancestry, though it is often used in reference to hybrids as well to make everything nice and confusing.
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Budget Bites – Inexpensive Dog Potty Training Tips

Hi Pet Bloggers,

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!  Dealing with pet accidents and messes can be frustrating, time consuming and even expensive.  Today, guest blogger Keith Benton joins us with some neat ideas for cleaning up and preventing messes that save time and money.  As always, if you have any questions, comments, or cleaning tricks of your own that you would like to share, please let us know in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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doggieIf you’re like me, not much infuriates you more than a pet who continues to make a messy on the clean carpet. Pets are a joy to have around; they provide companionship, give us a low-maintenance responsibility, and are simply fun to cuddle up with under a warm fleece on a rainy Saturday afternoon. But they are not as trainable when it comes to potty duties. They will occasionally use your carpet or floor as a toilet. It is generally too expensive to call in the carpet cleaners or to replace a carpet each time it occurs, so let’s go over some of the precautions and solutions to dealing with pet mess.

Walk the Walk

Never forget to take your pets on walks. Dogs especially, but cats as well. Do it on a regular schedule so your pet knows exactly when it is about to be taken outside. If you’re a city dweller be sure to keep the neighborhood clean and pick up after your pet does the duty. I use two plastic grocery bags I get from WinCo or Walmart, put it over my hand like a glove, grab the droppings, and pull it inside out so that it doesn’t get on my hands and I’ve got a disposable way to collect pet waste. This works great outside but also can be used as a cleanup tactic in the house. That way you can snatch it up and throw it into the outside bin immediately.

Iron/Paper Towel Combo

plasticbagoverhandA friend led me on to this one. When a pet urinates on the carpet, using Lysol or Resolve to scrub up the mess works but there is always just that little bit of waste imbedded in the carpet. A great way to lift those tough to get particles from the carpet is using a hot iron and some paper towels. Get the iron hot, place a paper towel on the carpet, then slowly move the iron across the paper towel in circular motions. The urine will begin to soak into the paper towel. I always use a couple paper towels to make sure most of the waste is lifted.

Apple Bitter Deterrent

Grannick’s Apple Bitter is a great product that can be used for all sorts of pet training. If a pet makes a mess, spray some Apple Bitter on the end of a towel. Take the pet to the area in which it made the mess and put the Apple Bitter towel up to the pet’s nose. Dogs are generally pretty smart about knowing what they did wrong, but I don’t have the experience with cats. Your animal will soon associate the bad action with the unpleasant bitterness. I was able to train my Labrador after only two Apple Bitter exercises.

Pet Crate
crated dog
Pet crates can be used to house the animal during long days at the office. While not allowing them the freedom to roam about, pet crates are a way to eliminate a pet’s contact with your floor or carpet. Pets will also not leave waste in the crate.

When all else fails and the mess becomes too much for the carpet, a solid carpet cleaning service for your home might be tough to avoid. While it might be tough to come to terms with, this may be the best option. Be sure to take all the inexpensive precautionary steps so you can save money in dealing with pet waste. If you’re smart about the situation, you can prevent pet mess before it even occurs in addition to train the pet that using your home as a restroom is an unfavorable action.

Top Five DOs and DON’Ts of Crate Training

Crate Training Gone Wrong

Read my full Crate Training Guide on That Pet Place

Welcome back, Pet Blog Readers! I’ve missed you!

We’ve been spending a lot of time focused on crate training and how to crate train your dog recently. Why have we been so focused on it? Crate training, if that is the route you are planning to go, is a long process and you must have dedication and commitment and stick to the training in order for it to work properly. You don’t want your dog to dread the crate – you want them to love it and look forward to their alone time or a place for solace. The only way that will happen is if you follow our guide and only move at a pace that your dog is comfortable with.

To summarize and simplify our crate training series, I put together my list of the top 5 things you should do when you are crate training and the top 5 things to avoid while crate training. Good luck!

 

 

Top 5 “Dos” of Crate Training

  • DO exercise your pet before crating
  • DO place the crate in a quiet corner of a frequently used room
  • DO make their crate comfortable and inviting
  • DO provide appropriate toys and treats in the crate [only if your pup can be trusted with toys while unsupervised – use your judgement]
  • DO choose a crate that will be the appropriate size when your pup grows up

Top 5 “Don’ts” of Crate Training

  • DON’T use the crate for punishment
  • DON’T force your dog into the crate
  • DON’T leave dogs in the crate for a long periods of time
  • DON’T let children or adults tease your crated dog
  • DON’T rush the crate training process

If you’re looking for more information on how to crate train your dog, check out my full crate training guide on thatpetplace.com. You’ll find specific details on each step of the crate training process and some of the commonly encountered problems and how to deal with them.

If you’re just starting the crate training process be sure to leave us a comment and let us know if our guides have helped you. We’d also love to know what kinds of problems you’re running into while trying to crate train your dog. Leave us a comment and we will consult with our experts to try to come up with a solution to help.
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Dog Arthritis: Diagnosis & Treatment

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

Today we are joined by Animed, who has an informative post about dog arthritis.  A painful affliction that affects dogs young and old, arthritis can be a tedious and emotional problem to treat.  But as Animed describes, there are ways to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and allow your dog to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.  If you have any questions, comments or personal experiences with dog arthritis that you would like to share, please let us know in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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If your dog has been limping and displaying restricted mobility, you may be concerned about the possibility of arthritis. Other symptoms of canine arthritis can include favoring particular limbs, expressing difficulty in getting into a standing position, joints that appear stiff and painful, reluctance to jump or climb stairs, a lack of interest in playtime and exercise and behavioral changes.

The chances of developing arthritis becomes more likely as your dog gets older (especially if they are also overweight) but younger dogs can also be affected by the condition after infection, injury or trauma to the joints. Inherited conditions such as hip dysplasia can also encourage arthritis. Here’s what to expect if you suspect that your dog may have developed arthritis.

 

Speak to Your Vet

 

If you’re worried that your dog may have developed arthritis, speak to your vet about any worrying signs. This will set the ball rolling on getting an official diagnosis and paves the way for putting together a treatment plan.

 

Diagnosing Your Dog’s Arthritis

 

A physical examination is likely to be conducted as the first part of diagnosing your dog. Depending on the outcome of this, X-rays may then be recommended to confirm an arthritis diagnosis. X-rays are particularly useful in diagnosing canine arthritis.

 

Living With Your Dog’s Arthritis

 

Generally speaking, canine arthritis is a degenerative condition. This means that it will usually get worse over time. Affected dogs can be in a lot of discomfort, which would have a big impact on their well-being as well as their physical health. This is difficult to deal with as a pet owner but there is some good news: treatment can help your dog to have an improved quality of life.

 

PG04401The first step is to find ways to manage arthritis pain. There are a number of options that can be tried to reduce your dog’s discomfort, including Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and non-prescription treatments containing glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids, which have also been shown to have some positive effects for arthritis. NSAIDs are commonly tried first, and can be combined later with over-the-counter supplements.

 

Your dog will also benefit from some health and lifestyle changes. A healthy, balanced diet is key, as is gentle exercise that will not put too much stress on your dog’s joints. While exercise will generally be uncomfortable, low impact options such swimming and walking will help your dog to maintain a healthy weight and will not add too much stress to the joints. Painful joints mean that weight gain is often a side effect of canine arthritis and this problem can make pain and discomfort worse by placing additional stress on the joints. If your dog is overweight, losing weight is strongly recommended.

Be Responsible – Pet Ownership & Pet Care Tips for Cats and Dogs

Hi Pet Blog Readers,

Today we have a post from guest blogger Mike Warner.  He takes a look at what it means to be a responsible pet owner and why our furry friends depend on us for love, companionship and proper care.  If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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Handling and dealing with pets is not an easy task as it might appear. Do you know how sensitive cats and dogs are when they are left unattended? It is absolutely not possible for you to render the care and attention to your four-legged friend 24*7, right? What should you do in such a situation? Have you thought about it?

How to offer high standard pet care?

Don’t let your canine friend suffer from anxiety, depression or behavioral changes. Work, business trips, and personal reasons often cause us to be away from home. It is during such occasions when you seriously require the advice of professional experts and you have to be extremely cautious and careful with the selection.

The market is full of such service providers claiming to provide the best performances. But in reality there are very few who can actually accomplish your desires and requirements. It is your responsibility to evaluate and inspect, only then investing money by hiring any one particular professional.

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Why is pet care so important?

Just because they are animals does not mean they are without emotions or feelings. They are, in fact, similar to human beings and many are considered as close as your own child or friend. Don’t you think he or she must get the best care and treatment regardless of any situation?

Moreover, it has been found that if these creatures are left alone on their own they show visible signs of depression, anxiety and some weird behavioral patterns. Therefore, it becomes mandatory that they are addressed with the best and optimal treatment. Let your canine companion enjoy and have a good time.

Don’t take pet care lightly

Being a responsible pet owner, you need to have the knowledge and the sincerity to take the complete responsibility of the animal in the best possible manner. It is advisable not to take things lightly but rather consider them seriously.

Therefore, before you take your new friend home, make sure you understand how you should treat him/her and the amount of love they require. Check these highlighting points:

  • Give proper housebreaking and crate training.
  • Make sure you visit the veterinarian so that shots and preventive vaccinations are given to your dog or cat.
  • Obedience training is one of the most important tips that must be followed by every pet owner.

These are some of the tips that you need to execute before you plan to bring your pet home.  Allow him or her to mix and adjust in the new environment with you and your family members.

How should you render the complete and proper tender?

  • He or she shouldn’t be handled roughly. Instead they should be given the complete attention in a very tender manner.
  • There should be a regular routine for the food time, play time and the sleeping time. Even these animals enjoy the daily maintenance of routine in life.
  • Proper and nutritional food must be provided to the animals.
  • Make sure the pet is not left unattended for long hours. If such a situation arises, hire a sitter or you can even leave them in a boarding care center.
  • Spend quality time with your four legged friend if you want to see him/her happy and healthy.
  • Try to render him/her comfort in every possible manner at optimal level.

Caring for pets is not as easy as it might appear. The animals like cats and dogs are extremely sensitive creatures and require extensive tending and attention. If you fail to do so, he or she might suffer from depression, anxiety and other behavioral changes and fall sick. Thus, it is very important that proper pet care and attention is rendered.

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Act responsibly with your pet dog or cat

Often you have to be away from your home for a variety of reasons. How do you handle and tender the canine in such a situation? Who will attend to them when you are away home? This is a serious issue because they cannot stay alone as they require constant care and attention.

Is there any solution to the problem? Don’t get distressed, rather give a big smile because there is an amazing solution and it lies with the pet sitters or the boarding care centers. Depending upon your tastes and preferences you can choose either of the one for proper guardianship of the animals in your absence.

You have to be a knowledgeable owner

Don’t forget that your new cat or dog relies or depends on you with all the necessities and requirements of life. This is a huge responsibility and you have to act in such a manner that you always render a happy, healthy and comfortable life to the canine friends.

It is important that you execute your research work and get in touch with other pet owners so that you can render some useful tips of handling such animals. With awareness and acting responsibly you can provide love and a happy home to your new companion.

Don’t let too many restrictions on your new companion

Animals like cats and dogs are similar to human beings in terms of emotional behavior. They too value freedom and enjoy spending their time moving around and playing. They are extremely energetic and enthusiastic and thereby it is advised not to restrict them to a small room or cage. Rather you should allow them complete freedom and independence.

Taking care of their diet is a part of the responsibility too

If you want to ensure that your friend is healthy and in the best of fitness, you have to ensure that he or she is given the proper diet that is full of nutrition values. There are certain kinds of items that are not advisable for pet animals like cats and dogs as they are dangerous and can be fatal too.

Author Bio:

This post has been contributed by Mike Warner. He loves to write about pet care. He recommends John’s Pampered Pooch for providing you the best dog and cat boarding services.

Top 3 Crate Training Questions, Answered

Continuing our series on crate training, this segment will answer some of the top questions we get when people are considering crate training their dogs or puppies. Our previous posts included why you should consider crate training and the three main steps for crate training your dog. Hopefully by now you know that crate trained dogs don’t view their crates as punishment, but as a refuge in a world that is constantly changing around them. You also know that crate training can be a slow process. That leads us to our first question:

How Long Will Crate Training Take?

The answer to this very common question is “It depends.” It depends on your dog’s age, temperament, personality, and any past experiences they may have had in a crate.

It is very important not to rush the process of crate training. Take your time and only proceed when your dog is comfortable with the last step in the training process. If you move too fast, your dog may become anxious or fearful of the crate. The purpose of your dog’s crate is to provide a safe, comfortable environment where your dog can retreat to if they are anxious, scared, or there is too much excitement in the house.

The crate should always be a safe, welcoming and enjoyable environment, which is why you should never use the crate as a tool for punishing bad behavior. Make sure to provide plenty of treats, praise, fun toys, and love while you are crate training. Your dog will learn to enjoy time in the crate and will begin to use it on his own, without you asking him to go to his crate.

The second most common question we hear has to do with whining. Many puppies have this issue in particular and it can be heart wrenching to listen to. Lets talk about some steps to try if your dog is whining while they are inside their crate.

What do I do if my dog is whining?

You never want to let your dog out of the crate when they are whining. This only serves as a “reward” and they’ve now learned that whining will get them out of the crate. Consider first that your puppy may be whining because he needs to go to the bathroom. Calmly take him straight outside to do his business and return him to the crate without any stops along the way.
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