Sunday, July 6, 2014

5 Helpful Tips To Handle A Pet's Passing

There's no question that pets are family members. Whether they're adopted at birth or painstakingly picked out from the hundreds of deserving lives at a shelter, cats and dogs quickly become a part of our family. When we're children, the hardest part of loving an animal is deciding whether the fields in kitty/doggy heaven are made of butterflies or pet treats. We grieve, and our hearts are inevitably won over by a new ball of fluff some months later. As an adult, tackling the passing of a beloved furry family member can be a tough, and most often unexpected, time. I've prepared a few simple tips to answer the burning questions of this difficult subject, and help ease the process, whether for your family or to help a friend.

1.) Consider death, before life. The hardest time it will ever be to consider the passing of a pet is after the animal has integrated into your family and become a beloved staple. Unfortunately, young or old, a new furry family member means that it's passing is inevitable. While the modern house cat enjoys a hearty 12-15 years of life, and the modern dog (breeds vary) 10-13, animals, like people, can suffer from unexpected illness and injury.

We are fortunate to have the power and resources to prevent extended suffering of an animal in old age or terminal illness, but even those decisions require prior consideration. Much like a human family member it is best to discuss and look into the proper handling of a deceased or severally ill pet far in advance of the situation arising. Considering these circumstances before you adopt or bring a pet into your family will make you more aware of the options during the difficult time, even 10+ years down the line.

2.) Understand what to expect and how to handle it. While you can never be prepared to let go of a family member, knowing more about your pets breed and size will better equip you to handle their passing. Large breed dogs will prove the hardest to handle in situations that are sudden and unexpected. As unpleasant as the topic is, the animal's body will begin to stiffen and become hard to mange in as little as 10 minutes after it's passing. It may be hard to handle your beloved pet in such a manner but steps will need to immediately be taken to avoid further unpleasantness. Educate yourself on safe handling of a passed pet and have the proper supplies packaged in a sort of emergency kit (medical gloves, heavy duty trash bags (x2 or 3), a bog or container, etc).

Be prepared to store your pet's body in a manner that will postpone decomposition, such as in a deep freezer, or have a local veterinarian or pet crematory's number on hand. Much like human handlers, pet crematories will often have an after hours number and can pick up your pet's body in as short as an hour. Expect these services to be additional- if the costs are outside your family's financial budget, the pet may often be brought to a veterinarian for storage up to 3 days. Plan ahead of time and ask these questions long before the services are needed so the process is smoother and you are informed.
3. You have options. For the most part there are 3 scenarios for the end of your pet's life; sudden death at home and burial, sudden death at home and transport to a crematorium, or initiated passing via injection in a veterinarian's office. Ideally a trained professional in vet services will be available to walk you through the handling of a passed pet. If this happens at home, most veterinarian's offices have after hours contacts that will guide you through the steps. Again, planning far ahead is always best as you and your love ones will likely be distraught. If you plan on burying your pet, ensure that it is on your owned private property and in a cardboard or wood vessel a minimum of 3 feet below the surface to prevent scavengers and accidental uncovering.

4. Enlist a friend. It is always a good idea, even at adoption, to have someone outside the family in mind to help handle a pet's passing. Think of this as a furry godparent- anticipate it to be someone near enough to be there in a time of need, but ideally not someone who be connecting directly with your pet throughout the years. It is never easy to cope with and handle the passing of an animal, but having someone there who has pet sit and developed a bond with your animal can be as equally emotionally rough for you and your family. If your animal is a large breed consider someone who will be able to help handle the body in difficult circumstances, while remaining respectful and consoling.

5. Plan a memorial. Especially if you have children who may not be able to comprehend the passing of an animal, but in general a good idea. In most cases your pet will be cremated and you will be give access or the option to obtain your pet's ashes. This may be of note for families with pets 15+ years, though others will wish to hold onto more physical trinkets that represent good memories within the pet's life. You may feel the urge to hold onto everything your pet touched at first but it is always best to cleanse your home of the majority of these items, save those tiny trinkets sooner than later. Having in an in home gathering of your immediate house family members and saying a few words over a good meal can substantially help in the healing of this difficult period.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

How To Set Up A Bio Bubble Aquarium!

Bio Bubble Pet Habitats- Futuristic Homes For Nearly Any Small Pet

Do you remember opening up a gift on Christmas morning; that brand new Malibu Stacy Dream Car you'd asked Santa about all year? Your tiny fingers attempt to tear apart the cardboard packaging, but they just can't seem to manage to break through all of the staples, twist-ties, and tape. Finally your mother spots you and gingerly pries the shiny new toy from your hand with promise she'll be back in just a moment for you to play. But moments turn into minutes, and minutes turn into what seems like hours and days in your adolescent mind. It turns out Momma had forgot to double check if she had extra D batteries and her screwdriver was a tad too big for the tiny plastic screws. Tears began streaming down your face and you secretly vowed never again to let something that looked so cool pull you in with it's promise of simple operation.
The expanding Bio Bubble Aquarium Sleeve.
I'll admit, halfway through my Bio Bubble Aquarium setup I felt similarly frustrated. You may recall that we had set Gary (the Beta fish) up with his 1 Gallon No Clean Aquarium last year. It was a breeze, but it was limited in size and really could only keep a simple Beta fish happy. When I had the chance to experience a state-of-the-art, futuristic looking, new concept in animal habitats, the Bio Bubble, I was immediately romanced by the sleek curves and unlimited possibilities. Suddenly, I had to have more fish. What, exactly makes the Bio Bubble Aquatic so special? A patented expanding sleeve, which hides in the base, turns this fish tank from flawless dome into practical care-taking and cleaning. If you've ever dreamt of having a coffee table that doubles as a fish tank, this is about as close as you will get on a consumer budget!
I had a few frustrations when initially folding through all the tiny 'instructions cards' bundled with each of the aquariums parts. There was an initial Instructions Pamphlet, but most of the phrasing was written deceptively simple. On several occasions I had to go back and watch the demo video on the brand's website to clarify operation. On a few topics I truly had to scratch my head for a few hours before I stumbled upon the answer. I know I'm clearly not the only customer to appear baffled by this wondrous futuristic habitat- there are plenty of reviews complaining about customer error that seems like it could have been avoided. But have no fear, the company is listening and working actively to provide more demonstration videos and specific product warnings to guide users down the right path at initial use. And then you also have me, who is here to point out my foibles and guide you with photos!

(I should note that Bio Bubble does provide customer support by phone, unfortunately, I was not assembling my tank during those hours.)
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Bio Bubble Aquarium InstructionsBio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
You will feel less overwhelmed if you leave accessories and parts in their pre-sealed sleeves until the directions tell you to use them. Be sure that you have picked out a stable surface for your BioBubble prior to set-up. Take special consideration that the aquarium may get up to 30lbs heavy when filled with decorations and water, and that you will need to change the water (25% according to a pet specialist ) once a week. The Bio Bubble also requires 2 plug in outlets for the pump and filter, as well as a third if you wish to use the branded LED light cap. We chose to buy an affordable power strip solely for the aquarium.

Because the Bio Bubble can be transitioned from Aquatic to Avian to Amphibian (and just about anything else) habitat, there will be a bottom 'plug' included with your kit. You do not need this for the aquarium. Instead, remove the filter O-Ring from it's package and carefully smooth the included lube along the O-Ring. Next, insert the O-Ring into the bottom groove, on the inside of the habitat floor. Then place the pre-assembled filter on top of the hole and twist Clockwise to lock it in place.
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Next you will set up your pump. Attach one end of the air pump tubing the bottom of the filter base (from beneath the unit.) You will likely need an extra pair of hands. Next, place the Bio Bubble down and splice the tubing about 2-3" from the base of the unit. Connect the pump valve between the spliced hosing to allow you to turn the aeration (bubbles) on and off without unplugging the pump. You will need to add an air stone or aerator decoration to the filter (from inside the Bio Bubble) prior to adding water and fish. You may use the air pump as is but note it will only dispense large and loud bubbles without an aerator stone to diffuse the bubbles. Smaller bubbles are not only quieter, but also have more surface area and help to keep your aquarium free of nitrate buildup.

Note: The pump included with the Bio Bubble Aquatic is a value, or basic, pump. It is small and very loud. I quickly replaced this pump with a Tetra brand Whisper Pump for about $10. You can easily attach any pump of your choosing to the set up hosing and filtration. Simply disconnect the hosing from the original pump and attach it to your new pump- you can even use the installed valve switch from above!
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Installing the Dome Gasket is perhaps one of the most important keys to your Bio Bubble Aquatic's success. It is also, arguably, to most frustrating. The instructions were very brief, and 'simple,' as to the point I almost felt stupid as I was wondering why the dome wouldn't close with the latches, when the gasket was  installed. That's because I'd installed it wrong. It took 3 adults to not only figure out that the gasket has a slit on the bottom (skinny) side that needs to be fed along the lip of the dome. It also took the same 3 adults 15 minutes to jimmy the very tight seal gasket around the dome and in place. It is supposed to be a tight fit, so do not feel discouraged if this part of the set-up takes a while. Rest assured, once in place around the entire dome, it will not pop out.
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
You're almost there- Now it's time to install any extras you may have purchased for your Aquarium. Bio Bubble habitats are very versatile and the company makes several expansions and add ones. If you've already purchased your decor for the aquarium be sure to place it inside to get an idea of the space you have left for fish and additional plants/decor. Keep in mind, whether you are using sand or rocks, you will likely be filling the flooring up to the lower lip of the Bio Bubble. You may wish to cover the filter, visibly, with an aerating decoration. There are several rocks and pieces of decor with filter and aeration hookups you can place in the center. Just remember that the filter needs flow and access to water, so your decoration should have multiple 'holes' or outputs for bubbles and water.

Keep in mind that the Bio Bubble will, ultimately, have a domed top. This may impact clearance of decorations, so assemble the tank, without water, before moving forward to ensure everything clears. We received an LED caplight from the brand, which we use on the top of our tank. It rests on the groove/opening where you will be able to feed would fish nightly. Unfortunately, the brand doesn't seem to have addressed aquatic heating as of yet. Pretty much all fish will thrive most in a stable water temperature (typically the type of fish you will fit in this habitat will need 65-75F) water. Currently the only heating solution I can find is to run a fourth cord along the side and place a heating rod in from the top.
Tips for setting up a new aquarium and bringing home new fish.
When you go to the pet store to pick out your fish there are a few things still to consider. Whether going saltwater (more advanced but possible with the Bio Bubble) or freshwater, you will need to prepare and treat your water in advance. All water should be properly filtered with special drops, and left out to reach room temperature as to not shock the fish. Keep in mind the size of your aquarium (which I felt should be written in several more places in brand literature, and much more predominant), in this case 3 gallons. You will need to ask trained staff how big fish will grow- we were advised guppies were the smallest stocked fish that could fit happily in groups more than 2 in this size tank. Also consider species compatibility, and always get one gender of fish (or expect offspring).

Are you ready to see the final result of our Bio Bubble Aquarium? You'll have to tune back in on April 9, at Momma Told Me, when we reveal our aquarium setup, it's inhabitants, and giveaway a Premium Bio Bubble Kit (with accessories) during Blog POP! Spring Fling!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Service For Dogs

Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
As far back as I can remember, I've enjoyed giving much more than receiving. Few aspects of my life illustrate this quite like my love for my pets, which I ultimately consider my four-legged children. When I was a young girl I recall insisting on documenting the birthday of each of our house-cats. My father would print it on our family calendar, and every year I'd make Momma bust out a box of cake mix, and take me to the pet store to buy a special toy. Naturally, when it comes to pets, everything you do for them is a gift; Nora gets excited when we just look her direction to acknowledge her, let alone bust our a bacon flavored chewy. But, sometimes I don't have the time to stop by the pet store each month, or I'm simply bored with the same selection of toys and treats. And, on those occasions, a monthly pet subscription box can be a much welcome treat for myself and my fur-babies.
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
At the end of last year we had the chance to receive a sample box from Pooch Pax, a monthly subscription service designed exclusively for dogs. With three breed size ranges, small, medium, and large, this pet service is a little more flexible than most when it comes to custom building boxes for your pet. They offer a simple structure that enables you to buy one box at a time, or subscribe to several months in advance for a discounted rate. I've heard rumors that there is now a tailoring option for the age of your four-legged child (puppy/senior options), but haven't had a chance to try that out yet. It seems like an especially ingenious concept, since the dietary needs and active levels of dogs vary with their age.
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
Nora is a 5.5lb Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix), and considered a toy size dog, which is typically smaller than most small dog branded products accommodate. This was evident in our Small Pooch Pax box, which featured a few treats that were hard for her to chew, and a Tuffy Ball tennis ball play toy much too big for her jaw. Our Bubba Rose Cheesy Bacon Breakable Training Treat was still almost twice her daily kibble size, when broken by the scoring. I ended up smashing it as a 'topping' for her dinner later in the night, and she really seemed to enjoy it. There was also a container of organic and fresh made Healthy Dog (pumpkin cinnamon) biscuits that seemed to grab Nora's attention right away from the scent. They proved hard for her to chew, but she was also content just licking and gnawing on a biscuit protectively for an hour.
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
The average Pooch Pax contains 4-6 full size items for your dog, and ours was chocked full of  6; not all of them edible delights. We also received a flash and glow safety light to attach to her color that features a waterproof silicone casing and bright neon color for enhanced visibility. But Nora's favorite non-edible (okay, it's proved edible much to my dismay) surprise was an adorable giraffe squeak toy. Nicknamed 'Raffe' in our home, Nora spend the better part of a month quite literally snuggling with this toy at night, until they seemed to have a disagreement and I came home to stuffing and a war wound in Raffe's leg.

Pooch Pax starts as low as $19 dollars a month, and ships once a month with brand new products hand picked for their unique features and flavors. All of the edible treats we've encountered have been the highest quality, with many natural and even hand made aspects. My only request for the company is that they look into adding a 'Toy Breed' size to their service to accommodate smaller customers, such as Nora. Save $5 on any 6 Month Subscription Plan with discount code: Truffles.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sasquatch! II Pet Beds For A Unique And Versatile Accesory

Sasquatch! II Pet Bed

Nobody would dare argue that Nora isn't spoiled. She has a wardrobe to rival my own, complete with Winter wear and fashionable accessories, is sent far more treats than she could ever consume (the amount of treats I donate each month exceed her body weight), and could easily play with a different toy every day for a month. She is one of our two furbabies and we take care of our furry children just as well as we do the humans. That being said, not every pet purchase is a win, especially when dealing with small and medium breed dogs. Manufacturers seem committed to winning your money through novel design (patterns, fabrics, styling) or practical execution, but rarely both. We live in a 2BR condo and Nora had 5 pet beds; 1 for traveling and the car, 1 for the hot Summer months, 1 for 'in between baths', 1 for cold Winter weather, and 1 for luxury and photoshoots. Why can't we have one bed that seamlessly transitions through all of these activities?
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
At first glance Sasquatch! pet beds are simply another cute novelty product for small breed dogs; modeled after kitschy 'Croc' style shoes, this 2'+ long giant shoe/sandal certainly is unique in appearance. And, with a variety of vibrant prints and interchangeable liners, they're easily attractive to the pet owner who likes to style their pets belongings to match their own. After all, it's hard to top the cute factor of a small dog sleeping in a giant shoe, right? But Sasquatch! is more than just another pretty face in the pet bed industry, they're Yeti and Sasquatch! beds are backed by a lifetime warranty that guarantees the shoe 'base' of this bed will never slide or scuff flooring. That's because it's made from a lightweight, and very durable, odor free, non-toxic, material that resembles the shoes they take after. And, with an entirely removable faux wool lining, the Sasquatch! pet bed can easily be torn down for cleaning or Summer use.
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
When we first got our Sasquatch! pet bed, for Nora, I was in love with the quirky appeal of a giant shoe bed, but soon found there were many reasons to favor this accessory over others. While having a cream lining is not my preference with pets, it is entirely removable for spot cleaning. Alternate patterns and materials of linings have been produced from time to time but are not sold online at this time. Unfortunately, this lining, which Sasquatch! calls the sock, seems to have shrunk just the smallest bit after removing it and soaking it entirely. Be sure to always air dry this material and only spot treat stains. While the sock easily reattaches to the bed, the top, embroidered, portion occasionally peels down as Nora shuffles about. I've since found myself wondering if/when the company will make replacement liners availible for sale, or in additional colors once again.
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed

As I mentioned, the Sasquatch! pet bed is very versatile; we have had a wild weather stretch this Winter ranging from 'Toss all the blankets on the bed' to 'Sleep on top of the blankets,' and I have been glad for it's transformation. Not only is the bed, without the liner, great for cooling down during warmer Summer months, but the shoe itself makes a great outdoor bed, and can easily be hosed down when needed. When it is cooler, Nora loves to curl up in the toe of the 'shoe' where she is surrounded by the warm sock material and can easily recycle her own heat. I've also noticed this is a particularly favorite spot for her to 'hide' her favorite toys and treats. While Nora can't type for herself, I assure you this is a favorite aspect of hers! Sasquatch! also offers customization options in the form of 'Poppers' that act as little foam tabs with letters, one can easily pop in and out of the holes on the front of these unique shoe beds.
Sasquatch! II Pet Bed
Nora is exactly 6lbs, and a little long for her breed, about 20" nose to tail, but still looks dwarfed by this giant shoe when she is curled up in the toe. She also enjoys the ample space to stretch out and uses the Sasquatch! designed 'rolled' heel as a ledge to rest her head when sleeping. Sasquatch! beds currently come in two sizes/styles the Sasquatch! II and Yeti, and can accommodate most breeds of dogs up to 18lbs, including Yorkies, Dachshunds, Jack Russels, and more. Cats are also particularly fond of curling up in the private toe of this unique bed, so be sure to buy one for each of your pets in a multi-pet home!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cat Bearding Champions!

#ClubFreshStep Cat bearding Champions
It's no secret I'm a crazy cat lady. When I got married things were rocky from the get go, and I filled my family needs with the adoption of a black and white tuxedo, Truffles. Home all day, having left my 9-5 when I got married, to have a family, this weened too early ball of fluff was my baby. Wherever I went, she went; within the confines of our house, of course. It didn't take long for her to develop a fondness towards me either. Picky as cats can be in personality, Truffles never cared much for my ex-husband, or any other people for that matter. My friends and family would come over and Truffles would sit in the corner, as far out of reach as she could be while still watching, and she'd be labeled antisocial or a 'mean' kitty. To this day I shrug it off. It matters not to me how people perceive her, she's my cat, and my relationship with her is all that matters. And Truffles and I, we're tight.
kitty loveTime Out For Truffles
No, no, I don't go around scheduling photo sessions with my cat- we're not that tight. And, while I do have a pet blog dedicated to her, and our other furry kids, Truffles and I prefer to take selfies in the privacy of our own home. That's right, our bond, when it's just her and I, is strong enough that we took one of the best cat-bearding photos in the contest we entered earlier this year. Sponsored by Fresh Step cat litter, you may recall some photos I had posted and content in relation to this infamous cat-bearding contest, of which the hilarious Instagram entries can be viewed here. Now, I am not a winner. Okay, I don't 'win' contests. Yes, even though I have given away thousands in products on my blog, the number of giveaways I've entered, which I've actually won, are shockingly low. So, when I got an email saying our cat-human hybrid photo had been chosen by a random panel as the best Cat-Bearding shot in the group, I was flabbergasted.
Truffles Hepper Pod
(Seen in the header image.) I'll admit, I really loved the candid nature of our black and white shot, but I never expected it to actually win. Anyone who has ever tried to coax a feline into such a position, while taking a selfie knows this is really a testament to the pet-parent bond. My prize? A $700 Sam's Club gift card (also good at Walmart), and a $300 budget to get pet and family portraits done by a local photographer of my choice. I was immediately nervous about having to put Truffles through the trauma of a professional photo shoot. We live in a small 2BR condo, and having an entire lighting rig, let alone a stranger in her face, was not ideal. Surprisingly, we both sat for about 90 minutes and captured some adorable shots. Of course, no one will ever see Truffles through the lens the way I can capture her in those honest, candid, moments when it's just the two of us.
giant cat food container
So, it goes without saying that I felt the win was tremendously in part due to Truffles; after all, you can't have a human-cat hybrid without a cat, right? So I made certain that Truffles was the first to benefit from our big win, especially after the traumatic photo shoot she had to endure to claim her prize. I marches right into my local Walmart, to the very back, where the pet department was, and placed two 16lb bags of her favorite dry food in our cart. That's over 3 times Truffles body weight in tasty, crunchy, Meow-worthy food. Then I made sure I got her a few gifts that she could enjoy, without watching her waistline, and invested in a Sunny Seat cat bed for our sliding glass window, and several new toys, including a door mounted scratcher. In all, it was about $100, but I didn't even bat a lash- honestly, if the pet selection has been bigger (and our home not already filled with cat-spoiling products) I would have spent far more!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Pet Safety Tips

*** I am not a licensed veterinarian, nor should my advice be taken as any more than that from one pet owner to another. All photos below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2013.

I'm a firm believer in the plant to pet to baby process. That is, if a couple can't come together on a watering schedule for a ficus, they're likely not ready to tackle the feeding needs of a nursing baby. Once we'd mastered our 'greens' Jay and I moved onto growing our family through the adoption of a tiny pup. We already had Truffles, the troubled step-child, and had painstakingly worked through her introduction process with Jay, and were ready to experience pet parenting on a larger scale. As it turns out, Nora, our toy Morkie (Maltese + Yorkie) is very much like a cat (minus the whole 'have to carry her downstairs to go potty' bit). In fact, we call Nora our 'Fluffy Kitty' because, well, you can see how wild her hair gets when we let it grow out. But I digress; just over a year old now, adult Nora has given us many lessons on pet care from a short person's perspective. Here is a little of what we've learned, in hopes it will help keep you and your furry ones safe through the upcoming seasons.
It's not something everyone likes to discuss, but there are a myriad of pests waiting to irritate your furry pet member; the first one being allergens. Yes, pets suffer from seasonal allergies just as much as humans! Be sure to keep a clean yard with raked leaves and short grass to cut down on skin irritants and consult with a vet if you see your furbaby scratching too much. And don't forget to safe gaurd your home against unwanted pests of another kind; just because it is getting colder does not mean you can skip a month of flea and tick prevention. In fact, you are more likely to encounter an increased number of pests inside your home during these cooler months, so be sure to keep an alert eye for spiders and other creepy crawlies your child may consider a plaything! Fall is also known for snakes- for those of you who live in the more rural parts of our wonderful country, so never let your pups play unattended in the wild!

For those concerned about excess shedding that often comes with Fall and Winter months, be sure to brush your pet daily. This will naturally trap the hair/fur which would have fallen anyway, and cut down on allergens for human family members as well.
Many pet parents love to dress their pets up for the holidays- but clothing your pet is not just a frivolous  endeavor. We recently shaved Nora for the Summer and were careful to keep the majority of her covered during long excursions outside. Why would we do this in 75F Southern California weather? Don't forget that your pup had skin, which can just as easily become burned by the sun, as humans. Smaller dogs, such as toy and teacup breeds often have thinner skin which can easily become irritated with continual exposure to the direct sun. Naturally, the other reason to dress your dog smart is to ward against the cooler weather. While you may think your dog looks silly, they'll be sure to thank you for the extra warmth on their next walk. (And make sure you both have something bright/reflective on when walking at dusk or night!)

Believe it or not, Fall is one of the busiest times of year for lost pet reports- With increased brush ans fallen foliage, a dog can easily get excited by a sqwaking duck or running squirrel. Once a dog has taken off with it's leash, or wriggled out of it's collar/leash, it can quickly get lost in the cover of Fall. Be sure that your pet is microchipped, and fitted with the right size harness for walks. A harness will not only ensure a more comfortable walk for your and your pooch, but also cut down on accidental runs and excited adventures.
Believe it or not, many pets are actually less active during the hot Summer months when the scorching heat is a deterrent for playful activities. It's important to make sure your pets, especially those that rely on outdoor time have a chance to burn off that extra energy, and get some quality play time outdoors before the weather starts to turn. Fall is also a great time to brush up on training and tricks- many dogs get a little rusty over the lazy Summer and benefit from the positive reinforcement of a refresher course.

Additionally, both you and your pet are sure to be delighted by all the festivities and decorations of Fall and Winter events. When decorating your home make sure that the decorations are at a safe level, and do not include any small parts that a pup or kitty may be inspired to gnaw off. Additionally, be mindful of lights low to the ground that may become a tangle or suffocation issue for your pets or others'.
So many pet owners think dehydration is a thing of warmer months. The truth is, hydration should be top priority no matter the time of year. During the Winter it is important to keep an eye on your pets drinking habits and encourage any lack of hydration with added drops of chicken broth, or even a warm bowl. If your have a pet that spends the majority of it's time outdoors be sure to keep an eye on their water source and ensure there is fresh drinking water. Water may freeze overnight, rendering your per without a drink, or worse, attempting to drink chunks of ice that could become choking hazards.
Okay, we don't literally expect you to feng shui your cat- but it is important to remember to treat all family members with equal love and attention. Often we get caught up in our people festivities and forget to spend time with our furry kids as well. Don't encourage any Fall tantrums or behavioral issues with lack of attention; your pets will likely have it hard enough adjusting to the changes of extra guests and entertaining as it is!