Year: 2021

Creating a Gift Basket for Your Dog

Designing the ideal gift basket for your canine friend can be a bit of a challenge, but with a little planning and some great ideas, anyone can do it. You may even find yourself enjoying it so much that you decide to sell your doggy gift baskets!

The first step is to find the right container. A basket isn’t ideal, really, since your dog might chew it and get splinters. Instead, consider using a new metal food bowl with his name engraved on it. Plastic bowls work just as well and many can be personalized as well.

Next you need gifts to put inside the bowl. As a general rule, you should include at least two edible items. A rawhide toy is ideal, but try to find one that your dog has never seen before, something besides the usual bone. There are special rawhide dog ball toys that dogs love, look for something unique.

A bag of doggie treats or even homemade dog biscuits is perfect. You might also try your dog’s favorite brand of canned dog food or another treat that you know he enjoys. The idea is to give him something that he will be happy to receive.

The best gift baskets include some fun toys. These don’t have to be expensive, a trio of tennis balls can be pretty exciting to a puppy! You could also try jingle balls, soft rope toys, and other items that you find in the local pet store. Just be sure that whatever you include is safe for your canine friend. Remove all packaging and tags before you put the toy into the basket so your dog can play with it right away and not have to wait.

Practical items also have a place in your dog’s gift basket. A new collar with a personalized tag, a fancy leash, or an elegant new coat can all make wonderful gifts. You can buy a wide selection of items online or in your local pet shop. These are plenty of options available and hundreds of great pet products out there.

Last, you need to wrap your basket. This can be done with clear cellophane drawn up around the container and tied with a thick cord or even the dog’s new leash. Add a name tag and you are all set for gift-giving fun!

If you enjoy making this gift basket for your pet, why stop with one? Try making them for pets of friends and families. You could even open your own business providing customized pet gift baskets.

Silver Dollars: Part II: Keeping Them


Welcome back, and again, sorry to keep you guys hanging! Well, last time we went through a lot of the textbook type stuff and made sure you didn’t come home with a Pacu or Piranha when you just wanted some Silver Dollars! This time, the fun stuff…my experiences with these fish, and recommendations for keeping them.

 

You’re going to get at least a group of five Silver Dollars, preferably seven or more. They are a schooling fish, and a nervous fish as well, so they will do much better if kept in the recommended size groups. With this in mind you are going to need at least a thirty gallon long tank for your Silver Dollars, and preferably something a little longer than that since these guys like to swim.

I say they are a nervous fish, but at the same time they are an extremely hardy fish. Like I said, I’ve had my guys for almost three years without one casualty. They will panic when you go to work inside the tank, dashing corner to corner, up to the water surface and into the sad/gravel. Don’t worry they’ll calm down, just try to be a little more careful so as not to unnecessarily stress them. A couple of mine will even come to water’s surface and splash me with their tails when I’m trying to work in the tank. Annoying, but painless and slightly humorous as well!

You might panic when you first bring home your Silver Dollars, or if you move them from tank to tank (which I’ve done about three times with this same reaction each time!). My Silver Dollars upon settling into their new home will sink to the bottom of the tank and keel over on their sides, looking as though they are moments from death. The first time this happened I found myself doing water changes until they righted themselves. It’s behavior that I’m used to now! Again, no need to unnecessarily stress the fish, so don’t move them around for fun or show, but nothing to panic about. Keep some Stress Coat on hand to dose the tank with afterwards, I find this does actually help.

My Silver Dollars will eat flakes, but be sure to buy some spirulina flakes so they get their veggies. They are primarily a herbivorous fish, but will eat just about anything in captivity. Bloodworms are chewed up, and krill is even funny to feed them—they’ll catch onto a bit and start chewing with a bit hanging out of their mouths. As they chew they dart back and forth avoiding the others who want to come steal their Krill away. They chew and chew until the piece of krill disappears. They are more than willing to bite off more than they can handle in this way!

Pet Housetraining

Pet housetraining can be done very effectively if you use the natural instincts of your puppy. Let me explain what I mean by this. A puppy will naturally not want to eliminate where he knows he will be sleeping. If he has a place that is all his own, he will recognize that and not want to dirty it in any way. Your job in pet housetraining is to help your puppy establish that space.

You can do this in a few ways. One is to pick an area of your home that is to be for your puppy. This can be the garage, a laundry room or a corner of a big room. Choose somewhere that does not have carpeting, because your puppy will initially eliminate everywhere. This is because he has not yet realized that it is his space. You help him realize this by playing with him there. Put food and water and his bed there.

When pet housetraining, you can use a blanket, bed or even a towel as his bed. In addition, make sure you put his toys there. Your puppy will soon realize that this is his personal space and his natural instinct of not wanting to dirty it will take over. While you are doing this, and you are at home, take your puppy outside about every 45 minutes, especially after eating, drinking or playing.

Steps of Pet Housetraining

Above all, make sure your puppy has constant access to his toilet area as he is learning. If you have designed that outside is the only area he can eliminate, take him there about every 30 minutes. After he eliminates, pour on the praise. He will get the idea. When he eliminates where he is not supposed to, you may yell a quick, “No!” Then, immediately pick him up and carry him to where he is allowed to eliminate.

Hoffman and Swinburne – Bird Isles: Man-made Islands in New York Harbor are Bird Sanctuaries

Hoffman Island and Swinburne Island were created in Lower New York Bay to receive, quarantine, and give medical treatment to immigrants. Now they harbor birds.

In the 1870s, when New Yorkers constructed two islands by piling rock, sand, and timbers into New York Harbor, they had no idea that they were building a National Park. At the time, Swinburne and Hoffman islands merely answered the challenge of finding somewhere to put immigrants who had potentially infectious diseases. New York did not want cholera or yellow fever. They did not want typhoid or smallpox, or any other epidemic disease that might arrive any day with shiploads of poor immigrants from overseas. Anyone who arrived ill went to hospital, usually on Swinburne island. Anyone who had been exposed to someone who was ill went into quarantine on Hoffman Island. No one was thinking of birds then:

  • 1870 – Swinburne Island (originally called Dix Island) was constructed. It served as a hospital for people suffering from infectious diseases.
  • 1872 – Hoffman Island was constructed. Initially, Hoffman Island was an entry point for immigrants arriving by sea. Anyone suspected of having an infectious disease or having been in contact with an infectious disease was quarantined on Hoffman Island.
  • 1892 – Ellis Island opened as the official entry point for immigrants. Hoffman Island was still used as a quarantine station.
  • 1931 to 1937 Hoffman Island was a place for birds for the first time. The island was used to quarantine imported parrots in an attempt to control parrot fever.
  • 1938 to mid 1940s – Hoffman Island became the first Maritime Service Training Station (United States Merchant Marine).
  • WWII – Swinburne Island was used as a control center for the defensive mines placed along the coast.
  • Post WWII – Hoffman and Swinburne islands were abandoned to the waves and the birds. Nature started to make real islands out of them.
  • 1972 – The Clean Water Act was passed, alleviating some of the pollution in the New York Harbor waters, and making the environment there more welcoming to birds.
  • 1972 – The pesticide DDT was banned, resulting in a slow turnaround in the fortunes of raptors such as the Peregrin Falcons, formerly common along the coast.
  • 1974 – Hoffman and Swinburne Islands both came under the control of the US National Parks Service.
  • Today – the islands are part of Gateway National Recreation Area. Hundreds of water birds have found sanctuary on the islands and many nest there. Though Hoffman and Swinburne Islands are not open to the public, harbor tours bring ecotourists close to the shore to enjoy cormorants, egrets, glossy ibis, herons, gulls, and other birds. The islands are a focus of New York City Audubon’s Harbor Heron’s Project.

Many years of neglect followed many years of intense human occupation. The two islands, created by people, evolved into natural ecosystems left to the birds and whatever other wildlife could make its way there. Slowly, the city around them made slow progress at improving the environment. While no one was really looking, and to just about everyone’s amazement, a bird sanctuary was created right in the middle of New York Harbor. Now New Yorkers find themselves with two natural treasures to enjoy and protect—Hoffman and Swinburne Islands are so much more today than they were in the beginning.

Improve Joint Function And Flexibility

The suffering caused by dog arthritis can be greatly reduced if one can improve joint function and flexibility. Several factors affect joint health. Environmental agents and the stresses caused by a dog’s own metabolism are two of the most common culprits. The goal of arthritis treatment using nutritional supplements is to combat these factors with substances that heal the dog’s body and help it fight disease. In doing so, the dog will be healthier and better able to build and maintain cartilage.

Supplements Can Improve Joint Function And Flexibility

Since arthritis is a disease of the cartilage whereby the body’s ability to produce enough of this vital tissue is reduced, research into dog arthritis has focused on how to maintain a dog’s cartilage. If a dog’s body can maintain its cartilage, then the need for dependency on drugs is eliminated. A way to help the dog’s body do this is to deliver nutrients through the use of supplements. Certain naturally occurring substances have been found to strengthen cartilage and prevent the stresses that are products of metabolism.

If a one can improve joint function and flexibility in this way, then the pain and inflammation of arthritis will no longer be a major factor that prevents your dog from enjoying freedom of movement. The key is to protect the existing cartilage, stimulate the growth of new tissue and reduce swelling that causes pain. Nutritional supplements have proven to be able to accomplish these goals. When taken over the course of several months, they can greatly improve the condition of a dog’s cartilage.

Today, there are alternatives to surgery and drugs and their unwanted side effects. Supplements that target joint health can greatly improve joint function and flexibility by helping a dog’s body heal itself. Freedom of movement and freedom from drugs can give your dog a better quality of life and better overall health, two goals toward which every dog owner strives.

Save Money on Dog Products

Did you know that Americans spend billions a dollars a year alone on dog products? Obsessing over the care of our canine friends is a pastime that just isn’t going away. So, if you’re one of these people, learn how to save money on all that you do for your dog.

1. Check for sales. Save money on dog products by watching for sales at places like Petco and PetSmart. These mega-giants allow you to sign up for automatic alerts on their Websites. Take advantage of them and shop for special items at a discount. Also, don’t to be too proud to purchase items from discount stores like the Dollar Tree. All you’re paying for in regards to some dog products is just a brand name anyway.

2. Shop in bulk. Go big and save a few cents. If you can get the same item at in a larger size for less, do it. Then, store the product properly. Use potato chip clips to seal off bags and prevent food from going stale. Refrigerate wet food in containers to preserve freshness. This way, you can extend the life of your bulk product and make your money stretch over time.

3. Manage toys. Don’t ruin your dog’s personality by giving him too much stuff. Manage the amount of toys you buy him and save money. Buy him a special toy on Christmas and a few times throughout the year (under ten). Remember, your dog wants you, not a box full of junk.

4. Take over grooming. If you spending hundreds of dollars at a groomer, save money on dog products by taking over this chore yourself. You can purchase a pre-packed grooming kit for under $50. When you use the services of a groomer, you’re paying for overhead, over-priced dog products and elbow grease. By taking over your dog’s grooming yourself, you can control all of things including what comes out of your pocket book.

5. Let your dog go au naturale. Forget about celebrity trends involving canines. You don’t need to dress your dog up like Paris Hilton does hers with pricey collars and clothes. Save money on dog products by letting him go au naurale. Get him the basic quality dog leashes & collars with a tag and keep him clean and well feed. These basics are all your dog really needs anyway.

These five tips will have you save money on dog products. Use them and keep your hard earned money where it belongs – in the bank.

Dog Treats

Dog treats please both dogs and owners, and are an element in bonding. But they also serve other purposes, as training aids, breath freshening and dental hygiene. While many people give dogs table scraps, it is generally considered better for their digestion and their health in general to give them products made for that purpose.

 

Chewy Dog Treats

All dogs, and especially puppies, need to chew. Treats made from rawhide, the inner layer of cowhide, provide your dog with something to chew on besides your favorite slippers. Pig’s ears, another chewy treat, have fallen into disfavor lately. Some vets feel that the high fat content can cause obesity and even pancreatic problems. There is also a danger of salmonella in any meat-based treat.

Crunchy dog treats such as biscuits and cookies, are excellent for use in training. Many of them contain chlorophyll to help fight bad breath. For truly pampered pups, there are any number of sites online which give recipes to make homemade goodies such as liver snaps. There are also an increasing number of bakeries dedicated to making only dog treats.

Owners often have the same dietary beliefs for their dogs that they follow themselves. That’s why there are organic dog treats, vegan treats, and even kosher treats! Whatever treats you give your dog, don’t allow them to take the place of regular healthy meals.

Dog Costumes

Written by Sarah Provost

 

 

Dogs are very patient, and it’s a good thing, too, because their owners just can’t seem to resist dressing them up in dog costumes. At Christmas they wear antlers or candy canes on their heads, or full Santa or elf outfits. At weddings they wear tuxedos or bridesmaids gowns. And at Halloween, anything goes.

 

Licensed Character Dog Costumes

Does your shar-pei have a secret identity? Superman, Batman and Spiderman are popular choices for dog costumes. Disney also offers several licensed character costumes, such as Woody and Buzz Armstrong from Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Snow White and Eeyore. Power Ranger outfits are available too, as are the Power Puff Girls.

All the standbys that people wear on Halloween are available as dog costumes as well. Does your hound dog want to be Elvis? It can happen. Canine angels and devils, clowns and convicts, witches and vampires, firemen and football players can all be easily found on the Net. (Some of these costumes are also available in cat sizes, but unless your cat is a whole lot more forbearing than mine is, I wouldn’t recommend it!)

Of course you can make your own costumes for your pet with just a little imagination. I went to one Halloween party where the host’s German Shepherd wore a big yarn mane and his Dalmatian wore a striped t-shirt and a baseball cap. They were Lassie and Timmy, and they stole the show. If your pooch is a party animal, let him join the fun.

Dog Friendly Vacations

The dog friendly vacations in Branson are worth howling for! The welcoming atmosphere and the top-notch lodgings that are available to owners of four-legged friends can’t be beat! The Branson hotels and motels will go out of their way to make sure you and your loved ones have everything you need for a rollicking good time!

You will be amazed at what this area has to offer in the way of vacation delights. Great outdoor activities, like fishing and hiking, in an area unparalleled for beauty. Terrific shopping and a historic downtown area (just perfect for walking your best friend). And a fabulous choice of dining options that will satisfy any craving!

Dog Friendly Vacations Are Easy to Find in Branson Missouri!

From lodging to sightseeing spots, you and your pooch will find plenty to do in this entertainment paradise. You’ll meet other, friendly dog owners and take in the scenery of this gorgeous corner of the Ozarks.

You and your dog will come away from one of these dog friendly vacations feeling revived and relaxed. The fresh air and lively atmosphere will make you want to return again and again.