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Keep Halloween safe and fun for your fur kids

posted October 27th, 2013 by
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The big day is coming up soon and there will be plenty of festivities happening all week.

And while Halloween can be great fun for your fur kids as well as your human kids (and even us really big kids!), there are plenty of opportunities for pet mishaps on the spookiest night of the year.

All of those bowls of candy and treats sitting around, and even some of the decorations, can be very tempting to pets. But a lot of those goodies can cause upset tummies if eaten and, at the worst, be toxic, according to the ASPCA.

Candles and wires from decorations also pose a risk to the more curious pets (cats, I’m looking at you), so make sure to keep them out of reach.

Planning to dress up your pet for the holiday? Make sure her costume fits well and does not have any easy to chew off pieces. It’s also a good idea to make sure your pet actually will enjoy being dressed up.

And for any animals who are shy or might try to dart out the door past trick or treaters, consider creating a calm space in a separate room away from the front door. For more safety tips from the ASPCA, visit aspca.org/pet-care/halloween-safety-tips.

Now that we’re clear on how to keep our kiddos safe, let’s make it a fun night for them, too!

Help your pooch feel included in the fun by having some special treats on hand. This site has some great ideas, the easiest being to mix in some fresh or canned pumpkin in with your dog’s usual kibble for a festive Halloween dinner.

And if your pet happens to be one of those hams who loves dressing up, check out this adorable slide show of pet costumes for inspiration. The Bob Barker costume is my favorite, by far.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Treat yourself, treat your pups

posted November 5th, 2012 by
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I love baking anytime, but especially this time of year. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread… I could keep going, but I won’t.

Just every once in a while a recipe will call for a less than the entire can of pumpkin puree. Not wanting to waste any of that pumpkin goodness, I have been on the lookout for a recipe that calls for just a little bit of pumpkin. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a recipe for peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats.

Yoda and Spock were licking their lips in anticipation and stayed underfoot while I prepared the dough.

Next, I picked out a few fun shapes and got to work. The recipe says you can get about 75 one-inch treats. A few of mine were extra large, so I only had 64 treats in the end.

The recipe only calls for four ingredients: whole wheat flour, pumpkin, peanut butter and eggs. All things I keep on hand, making this recipe extra convenient.

The treats turned out perfectly and Spock and Yoda loved them! These treats would also make great holiday gifts for the neighborhood pups.

View the recipe at designcrushblog.com.

-Lauren Cavagnolo

The worst part of vacation

posted July 26th, 2012 by
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Leaving your pets behind has to be the worst part of vacation.

I know there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels and activities, but when you have six critters, it just isn’t feasible to vacation with them.

Occasionally, our two dogs have been able to make a trip with us, but this summer it just wasn’t possible.

We were gone nine whole days and boy did I feel guilty.

Which is why when we passed by a dog bakery while walking around downtown Asheville, North Carolina, I dragged my family in and loaded up on treats for the boys.

Three Dog Bakery had a display of treats that made my tummy growl and the baby go ‘Mmmmm.’ My vacationer’s guilt and the thought of my boarded dogs perhaps caused me to spend a little more than I would have on a normal day.

It was very much worth it when I got home and treated Yoda and Spock to their very own squirrel cookies in addition to some other goodies. I’m not sure they would have forgiven me for being gone so long if I had shown up empty handed.

You certainly don’t need to go on vacation to have an excuse to spoil your pets, however. Check out Tulsa’s own Yellow Dog Bakery to get started.

 -Lauren Cavagnolo

Beating the heat

posted June 27th, 2012 by
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I hope everyone, pets included, is staying nice and cool during this week’s heat wave.

Every time I open the back door to let my dogs out, I find myself telling them, “It’s too hot for dogs!”

And forget walks, my short-nosed boys just wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Instead, we sometimes take car rides to go through a fast food drive through. They love ice from Sonic and eat it up like treats!

I also try to keep them more entertained indoors by playing games like hide and seek with their favorite toys and treats in an attempt to prevent cabin fever since their outdoor time is more limited.

So far so good, they don’t seem too stir crazy yet.

I know many dogs enjoy cooling off in a baby pool, but mine just won’t do it.

I once spent the better part of a summer standing in ankle-deep water begging them to just try it. They thought I was nuts.

So no baby pools at our house, but another fun way to cool off for the more adventurous canines.

Tell me, how are you and your pets beating the heat? Leave a comment below.

 – Lauren Cavagnolo