Holiday Gift Guide

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While you and the kids are tearing open gifts on Christmas morning, your pets can be, too! If you’re in need of some last minute gift ideas, we’ve got you covered. To get your pet gifts in time for Christmas Eve, order on our website by December 15th for FedEx Ground delivery and by December 22nd for FedEx Express delivery. Here are some of our favorite pet gifts for dogs and cats:

Pogo Plush® toys:

The resident favorite is the Pogo Plush Ladybug. BUT – the Bee and Panda are brand new to our Pogo Plush line and are wildly popular among the dogs that have been lucky enough to get sneak peeks of these two new Pogo Plush creatures before they were released! There are also three other Pogo Plush creatures. The design of Pogo Plush toys provides a unique bounce-back action that dogs prefer over traditional stuffed plush toys, and they even have a fun, free-floating squeaker inside. For dogs who quickly chew through stuffed toys to get to the stuffing, this is a great way to give them soft, plush fun without the stuffing. Christmas will really be merry for fido on Christmas morning with a new Pogo Plush toy!

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indigo™ Fresh Floss Bones:

All you want for Christmas is for your dog to have clean teeth and fresh breath? Then you came to the right place. Dogs in the PetSafe® family CAN’T GET ENOUGH of these things! Our indigo™ Fresh Floss Bones deep clean your dog’s teeth and gum line as he chews the treat. These chews are long-lasting (so long that your dog will be focused on this chew while everyone else opens gifts in peace) and are textured for extra cleaning action. These chews are made in the USA, last 5x longer than the leading dental chews, have natural chicken flavors and have no artificial colors or preservatives.

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Pawz Away® Threshold Pet Barrier:

Keep your pet off the naughty list next year. The Pawz Away Threshold Pet Barrier can help with that. Simply place the collar on your pet and place the barrier in the threshold of the doorway that leads to the off-limits room or area. The barrier is inconspicuous, so guests won’t even notice it or realize what it is, and it won’t be in the way…meaning you don’t have to worry about stepping over a baby gate anymore or having to remember to close the door to an off limits room. The Pawz Away Threshold Pet Barrier can be used with cats and dogs over 8 pounds.

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Drinkwell® Pagoda Fountain:

Winter weather is dry, but your pet’s water bowl certainly won’t be dry with a Drinkwell® Pagoda Fountain. We even have a new color – Himalayan Blue – that will make the winter weather seem less dreary. The Pagoda fountain continuously recirculates 70 ounces of fresh, filtered water and is super easy to clean because it’s top rack dishwasher safe! The Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain is best for cats and small dogs.

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ScoopFree® Self-Cleaning Litter Box:

The weather outside might be frightful, but your cats litter box will be so delightful. Yes, the litter box will actually be delightful. You won’t even need that fresh balsam candle to mask your cat’s litter box odors once you get your hands on a ScoopFree litter box. ScoopFree is the self-cleaning litter box you can leave alone for weeks at a time, and many people have even told us that their guests don’t even realize they have a cat thanks to the ScoopFree litter box. ScoopFree will give you an effortless odor-free home and will always provide your cat a clean, fresh litter box…and it’s even $20 off right now on our website (limited time offer)!

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FroliCat™ BOLT™:

BOLT is an interactive laser toy that provides hours of fun for you and your cat or dog. Simply hold BOLT in your hand or place it on a flat surface, turn it on, and watch your pet pounce, chase, and bat at the exciting laser patterns. Pets love the random patterns they can chase across the floor, up the walls, and over furniture. The FroliCat BOLT will keep you cat entertained and out of the wrapping paper and boxes on Christmas morning.

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Santa’s not the only one with free shipping! Orders over $50 ship for FREE with FedEx Ground. Hurry to www.petsafe.net to shop for your pets or for a friends pet. These are just a few of our favorite things, but there is SO much more. We’ve got something for everyone! ‘Tis the season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PetSafe Top Topics Veterinarians Wish Pets Owners Better Understood

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As a 1999 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, the past 16 years have afforded me many opportunities to witness trends of illness and wellness in my patients. Such experiences have yielded many insights contributing to my perspective on what are the most critical aspects of pet care by which I recommend owners abide.

Most puppies and kittens are born healthy, but then time and human influence contributes to a variety of ailments or injury that affects a pet’s quality of life. Owner complacency, lack of veterinary influence when making decisions about health care, financial constraints, and even pet product company misinformation are some of the top reasons our canine and feline companions ultimately die or are euthanized.

To further explore this topic, I created this “Top Topics Veterinarians Wish Pets Owners Better Understood” blog, including:

Prevent Obesity Through Calorie Control and Exercise
Owners must better understand the irreversible health consequences associated with obesity and put daily effort into preventing pets from becoming overweight or obese.

In the United States, over 54% of cats and dogs and (approximately 98 million pets) are overweight or obese according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Arthritis, high blood pressure, heart and lung problems, diabetes, hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and other ailments can be avoided or minimized if pets maintain a normal body condition score (see The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Body Condition Scoring Chart).

When feeding your canine or feline companion, always follow manufacturer-recommended guidelines, feed smaller portions (at the lower end or less of manufacturer guidelines), and use a metric measuring cup to determine the proper amount. Research has proven that dogs consuming diets where calories are restricted by only 25% live two years longer and suffer fewer obesity-related health problems than those lacking calorie control (see Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs).

Make physical activity for your pet a daily priority, as exercise benefits more than just the body; it provides behavioral stimulation that helps satisfy a pet’s need for interaction and strengthens the companion animal-owner bond.

Your Pet’s Primary Diet Should Not Be One Made with Processed Nor Feed-Grade Ingredients
I’m continually floored by the perspective of dog and cat owners who feel that the most ideal food for their pets is commercially-available dry or canned pet food.

After all, nature just makes food. We humans then highly process nature’s ingredients to create a ‘nutritionally complete and balanced’ option to conveniently dispense from a bag or can.

Unfortunately for our companion canine and felines, there are serious short and long- term-health implications associated when feedings are primarily composed of grain and protein meals and by-products, artificial colors and flavors, moistening agents (propylene glycol, etc.), chemical preservatives (BHT, ethoxyquin, etc.) and even carcinogens (carageenan, BHA, etc.) found in many commercially available pet foods and treats. The skin, stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver, pancreas, thyroid glands, immune system, and others can be negatively affected by such ingredients that don’t serve the best interests of our pets’ health.

Additionally, radically altering food components from nature’s original format via high-heat cooking and fractionating ingredients instead of keeping them whole can reduce foods’ nutritive content or induce illness. Processed dry or canned pet foods should be replaced by home-prepared or commercially available diets having undergone minimal refinement that are:
Human-grade (instead of feed-grade, which means food has been deemed inedible for human consumption and is appropriate only for animals)
Whole-food (instead of processed)
Lacking in chemical preservatives and artificial colors and flavors
Freshly prepared (cooking, defrosting, hydrating, etc.)

Dental Care Is A Crucial Component of Pet Ownership
Many pet owners don’t recognize the serious health repercussions of periodontal disease (that affecting the teeth and gums). Millions of bacteria thrive on food residues found in the mouth’s warm and moist environment that can enter the bloodstream through inflamed gums (gingivitis) or loose or fractured teeth. The heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, joints, and other body systems are continually damaged from the shower of toxic bacteria entering the blood from the mouth.

Pet Dental CareJust like in humans, periodontal disease in pets is preventable. Many pet owners are uncomfortable with the concept of regularly cleaning their dog or cat’s teeth. Yet, most parents will brush a young child’s teeth until a level of maturity has been reached where the child can care for his own dental health. The same perspective should be applied to our pets, but we need to care for our dogs and cats’ teeth on a lifelong basis.

If you can’t sufficiently care for your pet’s teeth, then a veterinarian will need to be involved in providing a dental cleaning. Going under anesthesia is the most thorough means of evaluating our pets’ oral health (via examination, gingival probing, and x-rays) and scaling and polishing their teeth. Without anesthesia, it’s often prohibitively challenging to perform a thorough examination or clean under the gumline and dental x-rays or teeth extraction definitely cannot be performed.

Pets are never ‘too old’ to undergo anesthesia, yet they certainly can be ‘too unhealthy’. Age is not a disease, but the bacterial infection in your dog or cat’s mouth the ability for infection to damage other both tissues certainly is.

Pets having very mild periodontal disease and those that are cooperative enough to be comfortably restrained may be candidates for anesthesia-free dental, which should only be formed by a veterinarian or licensed veterinarian technician.

Alternative strategies to traditional vaccination protocols
I am not anti-vaccine, but I advocate the judicious use of vaccinations according to the 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines or the 2006 AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines.

Life threatening health consequences may be associated with vaccination administration. Even a single vaccine can elicit a Vaccine Associated Adverse Event (VAAE), including hypersensitivity (‘allergic’) reaction, emergence or worsening of immune system diseases (including cancer), organ system failure, seizures, and death.

Pets should be vaccinated only when they are in the best state of health; illnesses should be resolved to the utmost extent before a vaccination is given. Additionally, vaccinations should be given singly, as giving more than one vaccination in one setting increasing the likelihood of VAAE.

Pet Vaccines on PetPlan Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receiving more than one vaccination in a single veterinary appointment will not make your pet healthier; it only saves an additional trip to the veterinary hospital. A three to four week interval between vaccinations is ideal. Health and safety should always trump convenience.

Pending the overall health status of a pet and the potential for exposure to a particular infectious organism, owners should request their veterinarian to perform antibody titers (levels) where blood is tested for antibodies produced to previous immunizations. If a titer is equivalent to or greater than an acceptable threshold and the likelihood a pet will be exposed to these organisms is low, then the decision to hold off on the vaccination can be made under the guidance of the veterinarian providing care. If the titer is low and the animal is healthy enough, then the vaccine can be appropriately given.

I hope you found these topics useful and can apply them to your pets. If I didn’t believe in the subject matter through my own experience in veterinary medicine, I wouldn’t be sharing it with my clients and pet owners world-wide.

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5 DIY Cat Toys in 5 Minutes

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Leftovers are the best! No, not the turkey leftovers in your fridge. With all of the leftover wrapping and boxes lying around from opening presents, now’s the perfect time to make some new cat toys. It’s like a second Christmas for your cat! I made these toys in about 5 minutes, and the cats had a blast playing with them.

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Pipe Cleaner Toy

diy-cat-toy-pipe-cleanerCats love pipe cleaners. If you’re crafty or have kids, you might have some in your craft bin. Grab a pack of pipe cleaners and twist them together to create fun balls and shapes for your cat to detangle. Toss them on the kitchen floor or poke them around the corner for your cat to attack. Red and white candy cane pipe cleaners are perfect cat stocking stuffer ideas for next year.

If you’re worried about your cat chewing the metal, twist the ends together and watch your cat when she plays with them. Take them away if she starts biting them too much.

 

Deluxe Cardboard Box

The most basic box is the perfect cat toy. Try these ideas to make a box the ultimate playhouse for your cat. Your cats might start fighting over who gets to be in the box!

  • Add some used wrapping paper to the bottom for a satisfying crinkle.
  • Toss in a small cardboard bag with the handle cut off.
  • Cut a large hole in the side and close the top to make a secret entrance.
  • Cut little holes in the corner to poke feather toys, laser pointers, or pipe cleaners through.
  • Tie a mouse toy on a string to the top flap.
  • Cut a large hole in the side and attach a smaller, longer box to make a tunnel.

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Cat Wands

diy-cat-toy-feather-wandGrab a clean stick from your yard or your crafts bin. Add a topper like leftover ribbon, wrapping paper, or even an empty cat treat bag. You could also use an old bandana. Fold it into a long strip and knot the middle so it doesn’t unfold, then tie it to the end of a stick.

Have an old feather toy that’s broken or your cats don’t play with anymore? Combine two old toys into one new toy. Tie a different plush cat toy to the end of the string. Now your cat has a new wand!

 

 

Treat-Dispensing Toy

diy-cat-toy-treat-dispensing-tubeThis is the perfect toy for a cat who needs to lose weight. Put your cat’s treats or part of her meal in an empty toilet paper roll. Fold or tape up the ends, then either leave the ends slightly open or cut tiny holes in the sides. Make sure the holes are big enough to let the food or treats come out. Toss the toy to your cat and show her that food comes out when she plays with it. For chubby cats, measure each of her meals and put it in the dispenser. She gets more exercise as she bats it across the room, and you can give her the right portions to help her lose weight.

If she doesn’t understand how it works at first, make the holes bigger so food comes out easier. If it’s too easy or your cat rips through the cardboard, you can upgrade to more durable plastic treat-dispensing toys made just for cats.

Catnip Sock

Did you get yet another pack of socks as a gift? Turn that dud of a gift into awesome catnip cat toys! Fill a sock with stuffing or cut up another sock into bits. Mix some fresh catnip in with the stuffing. You can also break open an old catnip toy and mix around the catnip, then put the insides in the sock. Sew the sock closed or just knot the ends together tightly. Sprinkle some catnip or fish flakes on the toy and watch your cat go nuts.

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Protect your Pet from Holiday Hazards

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PetSafe came out with this infographic last year around the holidays to help protect our furry friends during all of the hustle and bustle. This year this information is more important than ever. With our busy schedules, shopping, holiday parties and plenty of travel, it is easy to forget our pets’ needs.

Take a quick moment to look over the infographic, assess if your home is pet proofed for the holidays and see if there is anything you need to make sure you AND your pets have a wonderful holiday season.

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PetSafe Joy of Toys Giveaway

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On my long list of things for which I’m thankful this holiday season are the many animal shelters around the US providing temporary care (and permanent love) to homeless pets. Shelters are filled with caring, compassionate staffers and volunteers and all strive to put the wellbeing of our animal companions at the top of their priority lists.

Shelter-Giveaway_IG (2)During the holiday season shelter workers will go that extra mile to give the animals in their care special treats. But, even the finest sheltering facilities in the country are a poor substitute for a life of security in a loving, forever home.  PetSafe wants to help shelters enrich their environments to ehance the quality of life for pets during their stay.

PetSafe has partnered with a dozen animal welfare organizations from across the US to help enrich the shelter environment for pets in their care. Between now and December 31st for every new follower or like PetSafe gets via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram we will donate a treat dispensing toy to a shelter.   We are prepared to donate as many as 1,000 toys to each shelter at the conclusion of the promotion – that’s a total of up to 12,000 toys for shelter animals!

_DSC3978We are hopeful that this donation of toys will greatly enhance the quality of life for pets while they wait for new homes. And, studies have shown that the mere presence of a toy in a kennel improves a pet’s chances at adoption! According to Michelle Mullins, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, Manager of PetSafe’s Training & Behavior Education Department, “keeping shelter dogs and cats healthy both mentally and physically is extremely important in maintaining their quality of life and adoptability. An enrichment toy can help relieve boredom and stress for these animals providing a better experience for them in the shelter environment.”

 

 

Participating shelters for the 2014 PetSafe Joy of Toys Shelter Giveaway include the following:

 

Asheville Humane Society (NC)
Larimer Humane Society (CO)
Oregon Humane Society (OR)
Halifax Humane Society (FL)
Louisiana SPCA (LA)
Capital Area Humane Society (OH)
Atlanta Humane Society (GA)
Kentucky Humane Society (KY)
Charleston Animal Society (SC)
Foothills Animal Rescue (AZ)
South Suburban Humane Society (IL)
Austin Humane Society (TX)

 

So, what are you waiting for? Putting a wonderful PetSafe toy in a kennel is just a mouse click away!  Follow or like PetSafe on all four of the following social media platforms: Facebook- facebook.com/PetSafeBrand;  Twitter- @PetSafe; Instagram- @petsafe; Pinterest- PetSafe Brand

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We are thrilled to be able to support the important, life-saving work happening in animal shelters across the country. The agencies partnering with us in this promotion are always looking for opportunities to do even more for the animals in their care.  PetSafe is proud to play a small role in making their temporary homes a little brighter.

Happy Holidays!

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Cold Weather is Here! Prepare Your Containment System and Pet Door

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Our customer care department is a wealth of knowledge in all things PetSafe products. I wish I could take credit for their ideas, but I’m just the messenger. As winter sneaks up on us, our product experts put together a few tips to keep your containment system flawless and your pet door air-tight for cold weather. Let us know what you think, and if you have any questions! Our customer care department is standing by to take your questions and comments.

Check the off the following list for winter safety:

Containment Products:

  • Check the collar’s mud plugs/clear caps and ensure the contact probes are snug
  • Check the boundary wire for any partials, especially on any exposed wire (also in driveway expansion joints)
  • In the event of heavy snowfall, test the boundary on  a regular basis to ensure that there are no inconsistent areas of signal. Because of the snow, it may be necessary to change the boundary width control settings depending on the layout of your yard
  • Recheck splices to ensure they are protected from moisture
  • Make sure that transmitter is in a dry, ventilated area
  • No matter the season, make sure that extra batteries are on hand…but especially during the cold months in case it isn’t possible to get to the retailer. Bad weather can result in shipping delays
image via groomers-online.com

image via groomers-online.com

Pet Doors:

  • Check the flap to ensure it closes properly. If there are any warps or missing pieces, it may be necessary to replace before cold weather really hits
  • To help combat the cold air, an additional flap may be wise for the Freedom Aluminum/Plastic Pet Doors. An additional closing panel may be needed for the Wall Entry/Extreme Weather Pet doors
  • For the Electronic Smart Door, the cold air may cause the electronics to have a brief delay. The door will still work, but it may take a moment to lock/unlock.
  • Change in weather can cause your door to expand/contract. This can sometimes put pressure on the motor of the Electronic Smart Door. To help, we recommend to loosen your installation screws ½ a turn
  • Ensure that the motion sensor on the Passport Door is clear of any frost/debris as this can prevent the door from unlocking/locking

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Have a wonderful winter with your pet, and, remember, we are always here for more tips!

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At PetSafe, We are Thankful for Pets

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We recently held a “Thankful for Pets” contest on social media asking pet parents to submit a photo along with a caption telling why they’re thanking for their pet(s), and we just couldn’t get enough! We looked at the entries numerous times – all of the entries were extremely heartfelt and filled our hearts. Here are the winning entries:

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”I am thankful for Gillian because she brings joy to our family every day. She is full of energy and holds so much love in her heart for everyone she meets. She is truly a gift” –Aaron R.

 

 

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“Our granddaughter taking her puppy Belle for a car ride!”

 

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“My two girls are the light of my life. I’m grateful for them because they are always there when I need a friend.” –Cassondra G.

 

 

 

 

All 153 of the contest entries made us a little emotional and prompted us all to ponder the reasons why we are thankful for our pets. Since many of your shared with us on social media, we thought we’d share some of our thoughts with you!

jkfj“I am thankful for my two dogs, Emmitt and Lilly, because of the abundance of joy and happiness they bless me with every day. I just can’t imagine my life without them. Every day when I leave the office, my first thought goes to them because I cannot wait to get home and see their wiggle butts and tap dancing feet.” –Jessica Medlin, Consumer Insights Marketing Specialist

 

 

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“I am thankful for Moose and Trigger because they always brighten my day and give me unconditional love…and snuggles.” –Jessie McDowell, Content Marketing Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“I have two cats Atticus and Edgar.  I’m thankful for them because they are always happy to see me.  The moment I open the door they are both waiting for me and singing away to welcome me home.  No matter how long my day is, that makes me feel instantly better.” –Susan Trent, Customer Care Assistant Manager

 

 

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“I’m thankful for my pets because they give me free entertainment. They all have their own unique personalities, and yet they all love exactly the same. I’m thankful for them, because no matter what kind of day we have, or they have, they’re always willing to let by-gones be by-gones.” –Andrick Buggs, Videographer/Editor

 

 

,mlkjhjkzvb“I am thankful for my three precious dogs. They complete me and nothing compares to the love I share with them. I am thankful for their unconditional love, comfort, security, and company. My boys have changed my life and I am forever grateful.” –Jennifer Thompson, Water and Feed Solutions Marketing Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We like to say “the happiest years of our lives are measured in dog years”, and we of course love cats too but just haven’t thought of a clever feline saying yet. Everything we do within these walls is done with our pets and your pets in our minds and hearts, and we are so thankful for you and your pets being part of our PetSafe family. We love hearing stories about you and your pets, so we hope you’ll tell us in the comments section below why YOU are thankful for your pet(s)!

 

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Jack and Lil: Lily is a S.T.A.R.

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Most of my previous posts have focused on Jack, but let us not forget the little one! Lily is just starting her training journey. She recently graduated from AKC S.T.A.R. puppy class and passed with flying colors! S.T.A.R. stands for socialization, training, activity, responsibility and the class includes basic socialization and commands. Going in to the class, Lily already knew the commands we would learn in class including “Leave It” which is not taking a treat placed in front of them, sit, down, stay and more. The main reason I wanted to enroll her in this class is to work on her focus.

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Like most young dogs, Lily has energy that is difficult to contain. They joke that Australian Terriers are part Kangaroo because they love to jump jump jump. And jump she does! She is a fearless dog who always wants to be part of the action. If I have her sitting in front of me and there is a dog in the room running around or playing with a toy, it can be challenging for her to ignore. Additionally when she meets new people or dogs, she is so full of excitement that she wiggles and jumps and is known to give a good ear cleaning with her kisses. While it is great she is so socialized and friendly, manners are a work in progress!

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When I first started working with Lily, I had a great assistant… Jack! Lily is a smart little puppy who picks things up extremely quickly. When practicing stay with her, I put both her and Jack in a down stay next to each other and she would watch him to see what to do. With this, I could leave her in a stay across the room in a mere 30 minutes of practice. Jack also knows “Wave” which I taught him as a trick after he learned “Paw/Shake.” I was working with Jack and asked him to “Wave.” Lily, sitting nearby, started waving too! She picked it up on her own from watching him. I was amazed.

I am lucky in that Lily came in to our household at a young enough age to look up to Jack. When he barked, she would bark, when he went to the corner of the yard, she was right behind. In addition to her training progression, I have enjoyed watching their bond grow. Jack used to be quite grumpy with Lily when she was get near him while he slept. Now they are happy to touch backs while they snooze on the couch.

Lily is going to be an extremely fun dog to train. Our trainers encouraged us to skip beginner obedience and move on to a more advanced course so we will likely start Rally Novice in the new year! What tips do you have for training a new puppy?

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What Can You Share with Your Pet This Thanksgiving?

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Our friends at Dogster put out a great infographic this week on the things you can and cant share under the table with your furry friend. Share this with your family and friends to make sure you keep Fido safe this Thanksgiving season.

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The World According to Cooper- Growing Up is Easy When You are Me!

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It’s my favorite time of the year again. MY BIRTHDAY!!!!  I mean I love spring and fall and Thanksgiving for the turkey and Christmas for the presents but my birthday should be a National Holiday.  Kids shouldn’t have to go to school and me and my mom shouldn’t have to go to work.  It is the best day of the year.  I’m not sure if you are keeping count, but I turn 4 this year.  I think it is amazing the amount of toys that I have gotten in my very short 4 years on this planet.

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Here is a picture for you to see my work space. This doesn’t even come close to what I have at home.  I am very aware of how fortunate a little boy that I am.  And even if I didn’t have any toys, I have the best mom that loves me more than anything on the planet.  I have great friends at work, both human and furry.  Here is a picture of me hanging out with my bud Barren and his “big” sis Dottie. I don’t look as happy as I actually was in that picture since my mom was away for a little while.  I was hanging out my aunt Kim.

Anyway, in 4 short years I have a lot to be thankful for. I have everything that a furry kid could ask for.  I promise to work on getting my birthday made into a Holiday next year!!

Talk to you soon,

Cooper

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