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How to Make Paw Print Ornaments with Your Pets

paw print ornamentsNothing is quite as special as the ornament that makes you smile every year as you hang it on the tree. What’s even better is when that ornament commemorates a loved one.  With just a few ingredients and an afternoon, you can easily have your very own paw print ornaments to hang on your tree every year.

 

What You Need:

2 Cups of Flour

1 cup of Salt

1 cup of room temperature water (lukewarm)

Pre-heat oven to 250°

 

The Process:

Mix the flour and salt into a bowl, then slowly pour in water as you stir until it’s a dough-like consistency.  If it seems too dry add a little bit more water, if it’s too runny then add more flour.  Knead the mixture for a few minutes until it is smooth, then roll into a small ball.

Use a roller to flatten the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with foil and press your dog’s foot into the salt dough; and don’t worry, if you don’t like the print you can always roll it back up and try again.  Once you have a paw print in the center of the dough you can cut the sides down and make the circle smaller and more define. Then use a straw to make a whole at the top for the string.

Then pop the paw print ornaments into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes to 2 hours.  Times really can vary for this craft depending on your oven and the thickness of our ornament.  For Valentine’s Day I did salt dough footprint hearts with my son and it actually took four hours to bake because it was so thick.  The trick is to just keep checking it after 30 minutes and make sure it’s completely dry and hardened.

 

Visit for more info: http://www.homevolution.co/2012/11/dog-and-cat-paw-print-ornaments.html

Visit for more info: http://www.homevolution.co/2012/11/dog-and-cat-paw-print-ornaments.html

 

The Finish:

Once it is hardened and cooled you can paint the ornament with any colors that strike your fancy.  However, it does look best when you color the paw a different shade than the background to make it stand out.

After the paint is dry, spray the ornament with a gloss coat to protect it.  As soon as the clear coat is dry you can put a ribbon or string through to hole and voilà your paw print ornament is done!

6 Safe Foods For Your Dog on Thanksgiving

Bella - Nov Week 1a - Safe Food PIC

Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can almost hear tummies rumbling around the country as we start dreaming about Thanksgiving.  In just a few short weeks we will be diving into a smorgasbord of delectable dishes.  We may love the decadent butter and cream filled foods and may think our pets under the table will enjoy them as well, but this is not always the case.

Veterinarians actually see an increase in office visits after holidays due to digestive issues brought about from our rich holiday spread.  If you know your pet will be heartbroken without at least a few bits of table food this holiday, make sure to feed your dog on Thanksgiving things that are best for them to digest.

  1. Lean turkey: Turkey is actually a pretty healthy choice for your pets to eat on Thanksgiving. However, it is really filling, so they don’t need a whole lot to fill their bellies. Also, make sure it has no bones or excessive fat on it and they should be good to go.
  2. Rolls: Who doesn’t love a good warm roll?  Just like us, most dogs love bread and rolls are something that they definitely can enjoy in moderation. Small bites are best and no extra butter!
  3. Pumpkin Puree:  If you’re making a pumpkin pie then save a little of the plain puree for your pup.  Pumpkin has actually recently been touted as a doggy super food; helping them with digestive and urinary health.  Make sure you don’t feed them raw pumpkin or pie filling, but canned cooked pumpkin can be an excellent choice for their holiday feast.
  4. Potatoes:  This one comes with a bit of a caveat. If your potatoes are extremely rich with butter and cream then it’s not the best choice as it may give your dog a stomach ache. Plain potatoes are much better suited for  their digestive system, so before you add all the extra flavor spoon them a little to the side and save it for them to have at dinner.
  5. Sweet Potatoes: If you’re regular potatoes seem too savory for your dog, then they may enjoy sweet potatoes instead. Avoid candied yams, or sweet potato casserole because the butter and sugar could spell a stomach ache for them.
  6. Carrots: As with the rest of the items you can serve your pet this holiday, make sure the carrots you give them not too buttery or have too much brown sugar in them.

It’s hard not to let our pets enjoy holiday food, especially our dog on Thanksgiving when they look at you with those pleading eyes.  But it’s good to keep in mind that their digestive track can’t handle all of the spices and things we add to our foods.  In fact, vets tend to see increased office visit for gastrointestinal reasons during the holidays.  It may be best just to give your pets a special store bought treat just for them to avoid any needless discomfort this holiday season.  After all, it’s the holidays, a time to be jumping around, not down with a tummy ache!

 

 

5 Things Your Dog is Thankful For

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Hey!  It’s me, hellooo?  I’m down here, yeah, down here under the table, it’s me your lovable and ever dutiful pooch!  Now that I have your attention, which by the way, I should have had all along because I’m worth every second of your time…just saying, but I wanted to let you know that I love you.  I hear you all talk in November about all the things you’re thankful for and I thought maybe you should know that there are a few things that I am thankful for as well, just so you know…

Here are 5 Things Your Dog is Thankful For :

1 – Snuggles and Pets – I like way we cuddle in the bed or on the couch and the way you hold my head when you’re watching TV.  It doesn’t get much better than a warm lap and a soft blanket basked in the soft glow of the TV.  It makes happy when you scratch that special place behind my ear, oh yeah just like that!  It’s perfect.  Snuggling with you is really the best part of the day.

2 – Treats under the table – Now you may think I’m saying this one just to set you up for some Thanksgiving treats, but that’s not it at all (okay, well, maybe just a little bit).  But, really, I do love it when you let me sample your food!  I feel like a part of the family when I get to try what you’re eating and feel marvelous when you think of me at dinner time.

3 – Walks and Playtime – Sometimes all those treats at the table catch up with us and we need some exercise.  I love it when you take time out of our busy days to walk with me.  What I love even more is playing catch and tug a war with you.

4 – Car rides – Car rides with you are the best!  I love sticking my head out of the window and letting the breeze flow.  It’s even better when we’re taking a ride to the park where we can walk and play!

5 – Belly Rubs – Yeah yeah yeah, this one is my favorite.  I absolutely love it when I flop on by back and you rub and pat my belly.  It’s so comforting and I always feel like the most loved pup in the world.  It makes my day to know that you love me too!

I love you so much my dear human, you’re my favorite person in the whole world.  I don’t know what I would do without you and just thought you should know!

Simple Cat Costumes

cat costume

 

Even if they don’t understand why we do it, a dressed up pet can be the best part of Halloween.  As long as you make sure to take care of their needs and that they aren’t too confined or in danger, then putting a cute little costume on your cat is a blast.  Here are 7 awesome and simple cat costumes that will certainly bring a smile to your face.

  1. Sushi Cat – How cute is this idea? Because usually when you put clothing on cats all they do is hunker down and sit. When they do this they already almost look like a perfect sushi roll, so why not make it official and have them dress up like an adorable little sushi roll?
  2. Lion Mane – I don’t know if you’ve seen the inspirational meme that has a kitten looking in the mirror only to see themselves as a lion, but this is it. With a pretty simple purchase or even a  quick DIY project your kitty can unleash their inner big cat.
  3. Pikachu – I may be a little inclined to this one because Pokemon came out when I was in high school. For some reason my friends and I thought it was the best show to watch after school. My favorite was Pikachu, the cute little yellow pal of the main character.  Mostly sweet, but you wouldn’t want to mess with him.  I feel like he’s pretty much just like my cat, which is probably why I was drawn to the character.
  4. Angel – This one is pretty perfect because our kitties are our precious little angels (most of the time, at least). And this one may be the most simple of them all because all you need are wings and a halo to pull off this look.
  5. Butterfly – Like the angel, this one is also ridiciously easy. I also like the imagery it brings to mind, a kitty frolicking in the grass playfully chasing and swatting at a butterfly, only now the roles have switched!
  6. Goldfish – Another cute play on role reversal is to dress your kitty up like a gold fish. The cat getting the goldfish is a tale as old as time, that’s why this one is really cute.  Since this costume covers most of the body, it’s actually really good for cold Halloween nights to keep the heat in.
  7. Bat – A bat cat? Why of course! Super simple and super cute.  This one really takes the cake.  All you need are some bat wings that wrap around their torso and there you have it, a festive bat cat!

We still have about a week until Halloween is upon us, so there is plenty of time to get to the store and pick up an adorable little get up for your kitty.  I promise, you won’t regret seeing them all dressed up for this holiday.  Don’t forget to check back next week for our tips on taking the best Halloween pic with your pet!

How to Keep Your Pets Calm on Halloween

Pets Calm on Halloween

 

There is no doubt that Halloween night is the busiest night for you door bell.  For a few hours around dusk the constant ringing and shouting of “Trick or Treat!” can be heard throughout most neighborhoods on October 31st.   Of course, for pets at home this can be an extra stressful time for them.  Most pets are easily alerted and even anxious at the sound of the doorbell on just a regular day; imagine how they must feel on Halloween when you get more visitors in one night than you have had all year.  But our pets don’t have to be all wound up for Halloween, unlike our kids who are undoubtedly going to be wound up on fun and candy.   Check out these simple ideas to keep your pets calm on Halloween.

  1. Pet Zone: We’ve always set our cats and dogs up in the bedroom away from the commotion at the front door.  It’s best to put on the TV on low to help drown out the sound of trick or treaters at your door.  If you pet is extra pensive, you may need to crate them in a bedroom during the peak hours.  If you’re going to wear a costume, it’s best to set your pets up first so they aren’t alarmed by your change in appearance as well as all of the Halloween hubbub outside.
  2. Extra Treats and Toys: In the special pet zone I like to give my fur babies some extra TLC.  I set up little blankets and beds, plus special wet food treats and plenty of toys.  Even if you don’t set them up in their own special area, you can still help them stay calm with a little extra TLC.  Plus, some extra delicious food (especially something like a turkey treat) will help them settle down for a nap.
  3. Boarding: If your pet is extremely nervous on Halloween night, it may be best to set them up with their favorite kennel. They can have some extra play time and treats, safely tucked away from the antics of Halloween. This will ensure their well-being and your peace of mind if you’re worried that Halloween night may get too exciting or dangerous for them.

Halloween can be a confusing and stressful time for our pets. With scary decorations and rampant doorbell ringing, we can’t blame them. As pet parents we should try to do everything in our power to make sure they make it through the night with as little anxiety as possible.  Some planning and TLC is all you need to make the festivities go as smoothly as possible for your pets.

Pet Costumes You Can Make at Home

Pet Costumes

It seems like Halloween just snuck right up on us because it is here already.  If you haven’t gotten your pet costumes in line yet, do not worry it’s not too late!  We have found some of the easiest pet costumes you can make right at home!

  • Football: Fall is the season for Halloween and football, so why not combine them in this easy DIY pet costume? It’s especially perfect for little brown dogs; get some white hair paint or masking tape (make sure it’s actual masking tape because that won’t pull their hair).  A line down the middle and a few lines for ties is all you need to make your very own football pup!
  • Bride and Groom: This one is super cute if you have two pets in your family.  A black bow tie on the collar of one, a little veil on the other’s head and you’ve got yourself a wedding party!  For the veil you could use white ribbon and an old handkerchief, it’s that easy!
  • Raggedy Ann: I love this simple idea because it’s super cute and takes very little time. Red yarn and a blue ribbon is all it takes.  Tie a good amount of strands into two sections to drape over your pets head, then braid each section into pig tails, tie them off with some blue ribbon and you’re pooch makes a perfect Raggedy Ann!
  • Ghost: It doesn’t get much simpler than this costume.  Just like if you were to dress up as a ghost, a white sheet with face cut outs is all it takes to ghostify your fur-baby for Halloween!
  • Business Dog: I really like this one, it’s takes a little bit more work, but it is worth it.  Take an old collared work shirt and tie, cut off the collar and the cuffs (make sure to keep the buttons intact).  Put the cuffs on their front paws, and collar with the tie around their neck to complete the business look.  Make sure to keep an close eye on your pup with this costume on and take it off as soon as you get home to avoid the tie getting caught up somewhere.  But this one really takes the cake when it comes to pet costumes you can make at home.

Halloween costumes don’t have to be complicated and just because Halloween is in a few days that doesn’t mean that you have to give up hope. Rummage around your closet and drawers and you are bound to find something you use for a costume!

The Best Large Dog Halloween Costumes

Bella Large Dog Costume Pic

 

Halloween is getting closer every day and if you haven’t figured out a costume yet don’t worry!  You still have a few weeks left to figure it out and we have a few ideas for you.  Picking out large dog Halloween costumes can sometimes be the most fun because there are so many options for them.  Here are a few of my favorites that are just perfect for a large dog.

Dinosaur – I think this one is super cute. They sell them online, but you could actually make it at home if you were a little crafty.  All you need is a harness, a few extra strands of fabric and some Stegosaurus scales to make your very own dino doggy!

Zebra – If you have a mostly black or white pup, then file this one under a super easy must try costume! You can get some non-toxic hair pair, paint some stripes and voila!  Your dog is now a zebra for the night.  Just make sure to wash them off before bed to avoid a big mess in the morning.

Darth Vader or AT AT Imperial Walker – This one definitely appeals to my inner geek. I admit I love Sci-Fi and can’t wait for the new Star Wars in December.  That’s another reason this costume makes the best list for big dogs, it’s trending in pop culture because Star Wars is back in a big way.  The Imperial Walker is by far my favorite of these two because it makes a great costume on a large thin framed dog.  If you have a Greyhound or a Weimaraner, then this one is for you!

Scooby Doo – Of course we have to have the classic Scooby Doo on our list. Because, well Scooby Doo is awesome and it makes a a fun and easy costume for you and your dog.  Just like the Zebra, all you need is some non-toxic hair paint to pull it off on your pup.  If you want to go the extra mile you can get the SD collar that Scooby wears.  If you’re a guy all you need is a green shirt and khakis, maybe a wig to top it off and you’re the lovable goofball, Shaggy.  For girls just pick out some clothes at Goodwill, and get a wig if you need it and dress up as Velma or Daphne.  However, they do sell full costumes of all the Scooby Doo characters if you want to go that route.

Horse – I love this idea because you can do it two ways. First up are the charming characters of Toy Story.  Get a tiny saddle and reins for your pooch, and just like that, they are all set up to be Bullseye. Then grab yourself a cowboy or cowgirl get up and go as Woody or Jessie, or both if you’re a couple out with your fur-baby.  If you have a little boy, dress them up as Andy and you’ve got the whole adorable crew.  And honestly, if you do this, I declare that you actually win Halloween because this is an awesome idea.  A second horse idea that I think is fun, is the horse and jockey.  You start similar for your dog with horsey accessories, but now you just add a little jockey doll to the saddle and BAM! Your pooch is now a race horse.  If you’re taking your kids out and they are on board you could even dress them up as a little jockey.  It doesn’t get much cuter than a kid and dog couples costume!

Any of these ideas will make you the hit on the street or at the party.   Please share some pics of you and your pup’s costumes this Halloween; we would love to see what you pick!

Will My Halloween Costume Scare my Dog

 

 

Most humans love Halloween and jump at the chance to dress up as a beloved character or spooky persona.  We know that behind that scary mask is our best friend just playing around for the holiday, but our poor fur-children are often not as amused by the Halloween antics as we are.   It’s important to think about them when gearing up for the festivities.

IN SHORT – Yes, your dog may scared of your costume and here’s why:

halloween lady

They Don’t Understand:  Our pets can’t comprehend holidays like we can.  They are baffled as to why certain months call for strange objects to be pulled from the attic and festooned around their home.  Add the fact that during Halloween these decorations can make creepy sounds and be downright frightening for your dog.   Then, all of a sudden you come out in your costume, you smell like you, you look like you, but you’re not really you in their eyes and that’s very confusing to them.

Too Much Activity:  There is a lot that goes on Halloween night; from the decorations to the spooky music and the endless parade of little creatures ringing the doorbell screaming “trick or treat” and then getting candy, it can be a little hectic to say the least.  Most dogs get pretty excited when someone is at the door, so just imagine how keyed up they can get on Halloween night.  What’s worse is when they run to their trusted companion and find that they no longer look like their loved one.

 

All of these factors play into a very chaotic night for your pets.  You can almost hear their thoughts play out during the month of October, “Hey! What is going on with that daunting black cat in the yard doesn’t move?  And why is everything covered in white strings with spiders in them?  Seriously guys, what’s up with that really skinny person that cackles and lights up every time you walk by?! Most importantly, what is going on with your face and who are all of these weird looking people coming to my door?!!  HELP ME!!!”

As you can imagine, their minds are in overdrive and your costume can really add to that stress.  If you have an extra pensive pup, it may be best to tone down the costume if you plan on staying at home and handing out candy.  If you have a party to go to, hire a pet sitter and do most of your costume prep outside of the home.  Just putting a little consideration into your how you dog feels will make that your Halloween costume doesn’t cause them any extra stress on an already nerve-wracking time of year.

Make sure to check back next week for tips about how to keep your dog calm on Halloween!

 

3 Cat Halloween Costumes


3 Halloween Costumes For My Cat

 

It’s officially October and Halloween is undeniably on my mind.  Dressing up and decorating for Halloween is definitely one of my favorite past times.  It can be such a lightheartedly spooky time of year when you can create fun costumes and throw parties.

Another favorite past time of mine that also happens to always be on my mind is Mexican food. Crunchy, delicious, juicy Mexican food. My family and friends have bonded and shared some amazing memories over tacos and burritos, oh and queso, lots and lots of queso. There is almost nothing greater than a creamy white bowl of delectable cheese dip and fresh warm tortilla chips.

Which is why I’m now brainstorming a few great Halloween costumes for my two cats that pay homage to our love of Mexican food. Here are 3 Cat Halloween Costumes I came up with:

  • The Taco Cat – This one is kind of a no brainer, I mean not only is it an awesome palindrome, it makes a super cute kitty costume.  What better way to dress up your cat than as a cute little taco.  You can find one online or probably at your local pet store.  Honestly, in my mind, you can’t do much better than a delightful walking taco and an adorable kitty cat mixed together.
  • The Purrito – This one is especially good for kittens because they love to get snuggly.  The other bonus is that you don’t even have to buy a real costume, you just get a few blankets together and wrap that baby up.  I would then use a brown/tan blanket for the main wrap and then stuff a brown, green and red wash cloth around the top to make it look like meat, lettuce and tomato. So simple and fun, the purrito is bound to get some laughs.
  • Siesta Kitty – I’ve seen adorable cat sombreros at Petco.  They are perfect for Halloween.  A little sombrero, a poncho or even a little scarf is all you need to pull off this look.  What’s even better is that since cats love to nap, the siesta kitty is a completely natural ensemble for them!

This would especially be great for a Halloween party. Find yourself a coordinating costume, like Jose Jalapeño, then you and your mexi-cat will be the hit of party.  Just make sure your kitty is safe, that is always more important than a memorable costume.

Stay tuned for more cat Halloween costume ideas as we get closer to our spooky holiday!

Is It Safe To Dress My Dog Up For Halloween?

It is here, finally we can say it is Fall y’all!  We are officially in what I like to think of as my favorite season.  The air is turning cooler, a sweet relief from the oppressive heat of summer.  Yet, it is still not so cold that you have to bundle up to go outside.  Plus, some days the weather is so downright flawless that staying inside feels like a crime.  And that’s why Fall is one fantastic season.

This is also the time of year when most of us start to gear up for Halloween.  All of a sudden the news and social media fills up with talks about pumpkin spice everything or the most popular costume of the season.  I usually start getting excited when I see October getting closer on my calendar, which is right about now and I’m already starting to make plans and pick out costumes.  Picking out costumes is always a lot of fun and trick or treating is a great time to get outside and walk around the neighborhood.   Of course when walking around the neighborhood, or getting ready for trick or treaters, those of us with fur-babies often think, is it safe to dress my dog up for Halloween?  Undoubtedly they will be adorable dressed up, but is it a good idea?  The answer can be yes and no, depending on how you go about the costume.  Here are a few tips I’d consider before I dress my dog up for Halloween:

dog up for halloween

  • Make sure it’s comfortable: A lot of times Halloween can be chilly and a jacket or sweater for your dog isn’t a bad idea. If you can adorn it with a little bit of costume flare then they can be comfortable and festive at the same time.  Something along the lines of a super hero, or firefighter would be good; simple and sweet, but most importantly comfortable for your pet.
  • Avoid Choking Hazards: Tying on hats or scarves can be super cute too, but make sure you watch them to avoid getting stuck or having the tie wrap around their neck too tightly.
  • Keep Watch: If you think your dog is understanding enough and you want to go for an extravagant costume, just make sure to watch them carefully for signs of discomfort. You know how miserable it is to be stuck in an uncomfortable outfit, so if your dog seems to be suffering for the sake of fashion maybe it’s time to snap a quick pic for memories and take the get-up off.

Some people say that dressing up your pet for Halloween is cruel because your pets don’t understand why or what is going on.  Other people love it because it can be in good fun and it’s a great time to make wonderful memories with the family. Overall, I think it’s best to use your judgement and make sure to keep an eye on how they react to the costume.  If your pet is accustomed to clothing, then dressing up in a costume could be a breeze for them.  But, if the costume seems to cause them stress or is a bother to them, then maybe it’s best to leave the costume at home.

There are some great ideas for extremely easy and stress free costumes for your pets, so make sure to check back and see what ideas we’ve put together for you this Halloween!