January2012

Treat your Pooch to a Grab Bag of Goodies!

Spoil your pooch at a great price with these Properpet Grab Bags! These exclusive yet affordable sets are sure to please every dog. Each one comes with plush toys, treat-dispensing toys, a leash, treats and a surprise mystery gift, all packaged in a conveniently reusable food storage bin. They include products from brands like Innova, Premier, EVO and Canine Hardware. Properpet Grab Bags are the ideal buy whether you haveĀ  a big dog, small dog, puppy or are just searching for the perfect canine present. They are available in small, medium and large sizes to accommodate dogs of all sizes.

An Easy Way to Calm your Cat

As a cat lover, I’ve come across more than my fair share of crazy felines. You know, those cats that constantly freak out, run around or scurry away every time someone who isn’t their owner nears them.

My boyfriend’s cat Athena happens to be like that. She’s a lovable and ridiculously soft little furball, but she becomes pretty agitated when someone she isn’t familiar with tries to approach her. It actually took her a few months to even get used to being around me.

Luckily there’s an easy way to calm an anxious kitty: grab it by the scruff of the neck. Yes, it sounds harsh, but it’s not. Cats are grabbed there as kittens by their mothers, so they are used to the feeling. I tried it the other day on Athena while she was running around panicked and it worked. I approached her slowly, then knelt down and grabbed her firmly (but not roughly) by her scruff. She immediately seemed more at ease and relaxed. She didn’t try to claw her way out of my arms, unlike the previous times I tried to grab her while she was nervous. She was fine as long as I held her gently in one arm and used my other hand to grip her scruff.

So the next time you notice your cat flipping out, try this technique. Be careful though. Stay calm and be as gentle as possible when you approach. Walk up to them slowly and gently to calm them. That’s what I did with Athena, and it was much more effective than those times when I chased after her as she ran away. Extend your arm toward them and immediately grab the scruff. Hold it firmly, but don’t squeeze incredibly hard, just enough to get a solid grip. Most cats will then calm down and remain that way for as long as you hold them. Also, be prepared for the cat to jump away from you the moment you let go.

Here’s a quick youtube video of a variation of this technique. A veterinarian discovered that applying a large office clip to the scruff of a cat’s neck eases agitated cats.

New Year’s Resolutions…with your Pooch!

It’s the new year and you know what that means: time for resolutions! It may sound strange to do them with your pets, but why not? They are an important part of your life, and it can be a good idea to incorporate them in your own resolutions. It serves as a way to hold yourself accountable to your resolutions, since you’re not only doing them for yourself, but for your furry pal too. Here are a few ways to include your dog in your resolution:

1. Exercise with your dog. Who hasn’t wanted to exercise more as part of a new year’s resolution at some point? Make it count this time by including your pet. Instead of going on leisurely dog walks with your pooch, jog with him. If you walk your dog multiple times a day, change one of those walks to a run. That way, you and your canine pal will squeeze in some quality exercise time.

2. Make healthier meal choices. If you’re like most people, eating can get a bit out of hand around the holidays. What better time to kick start a healthier meal plan than at the beginning of the new year? The best part is that you can do the same for your dog. When you make the switch to healthier food, start your dog on more nutritious food and treats. There are several healthful brands of dog food made with all-natural ingredients that are great for your pooch. If you are trying to eat less by implementing better portion control, do the same for your dog. Many dogs love to eat and will happily over-eat if you over-fill their dish. Consistently choose better food and smaller portions for you and your pet, and you both will be down a healthier path.

3. Take it easy. The days leading up to the holidays can be stressful. Take the new year as an opportunity to relax, especially with your pet. Sure, you’ll probably always be busy, but make it a point to regularly schedule time for yourself. Do it with your furry pal too. Make it a point to unwind each day by reading for a half-hour, taking a nap, watching TV or whatever your favorite relaxing activity is with your dog. While reading, have your pooch sit next to you and pet him. If you’re napping, let him lay on the couch with you and catch some Z’s. It’s a great to way de-stress while spending quality time with your pet.

New year’s resolutions don’t have to be complicated. These are just a few examples of simple, positive changes you can make that benefit both you and your dog. Try one or all of these and see how both your life and your relationship with your dog improve.