National Dress Up Your Pet Day

Do you enjoy seeing your pup strut around with a cute hat on? Maybe something simple like a handkerchief around their neck to add some charisma to their style? Well, this January 14 is National Dress Up Your Pet Day and that means that your pup has their own special day to get dressed up for the occasion. But you don’t have to stop at dressing up – you can plan yourself a puppy party to make the day fun for everyone.

Dressing up for the occasion

When it comes to dressing your dog up, you should take into consideration personality, weather (especially since it’s colder right now), and general comfort. Since the day is about your four-legged friend, it’s important to make sure that they’ll enjoy the occasion.

Not every pup is going to enjoy spending time in a bulky costume, especially our corgi and collie friends who prefer the cold weather. But they can still join in the fun, so consider something simple or perhaps even a little entertaining like some alien antennae or a “super” cape that they can chase around.

Since comfort is a big part of dressing up (even we don’t enjoy wearing something that doesn’t feel right for very long), make sure that what your pup dresses in isn’t going to bother them. The last thing you want is to buy a nice costume that they’re just going to rip off and turn into a chew toy. Make sure your pup’s costume fits them properly, and that you don’t have any tags or seams that might irritate them in certain spots.

Get creative

There are various costumes, hats, and other charismatic articles that you can buy. But you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to have fun. If you don’t want to go out and buy a costume, go ahead and put your own creative and innovative talents to the test. Maybe that Halloween costume from last year needs a few changes to turn it into something new (and maybe a little less uncomfortable). Change around hats, or add a pair of bunny ears.

Puppy party time

Aside from dressing up, we can throw a party to really make the day enjoyable. Why not organize a puppy party where all of your friend’s pups dress up too. Of course, your pup isn’t the only one who gets to get into costume. You and your friends can join in as well. Perhaps even have your pup go dressed up as a sheep and you as a shepherd. Then, you’d be able to find your four-legged friend no matter where they run off to (and everyone will know who belongs to who). You can even trade places with your pup. All you need is a tail and some doggy ears, and your pup can wear a hat and tie. The leash would only add to the style if it looks like your pup is walking you.

The nice thing about throwing a puppy party is that you can theme it any way you want to. Perhaps an elegant dress-up with a doggy tuxedo to look good for their special day, and there are stylish dresses for the girls, too. Both you and your pup can look nice for the occasion, even if they do manage to find some dirt to roll in. But that’s what the washing machine is for.

Don’t forget the puppy treats to add some flavor to your party. You and your friends can bake your own doggy biscuits or soft banana strips that your pups can enjoy.

But where can you enjoy such costume parties? While dog parks might seem like a nice place to meet-and-greet with other puppy party goers, it isn’t always sanitary or safe health-wise for dogs. A secure location, such as your own backyard or home would be much safer and probably more enjoyable for you pups, especially if they want all those delicious treats to themselves. Plus, you won’t have to worry about someone else’s huge dog knocking anyone down and taking off with their costume hat.

This January, you can celebrate spending some time with your pup by dressing up and throwing a puppy costume party. Have a few friends over, play a few games with your four-legged friends, and even get dressed up yourself. It’s time for everyone to get dressed up and have some fun.

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National Animal Shelter Week

photoAnimal shelters do more than just hold on to furry critters until they can find a home- they play a big part in your community’s efforts. Along with sheltering our four-legged friends, they also protect against cruelty, animal neglect, locating and reuniting lost friends, and even provide efforts to reduce animal overpopulating through spay and neuter services. All these services take a lot of effort to maintain, and it can be hard with the very little funding they receive.

National Animal Shelter week is dedicated to acknowledging and promoting the role shelters play in their communities. What we can do is carry that torch onward and help support the animal shelters in our community by doing our part to help our four-legged friends find some happy homes and families.

Spread the word

Word of mouth is a well-known marketing skill- and it works. Tell your friends about what’s going on, and bring it up in conversations. Nowadays, there is wide spread use of the internet which is connecting everyone to everyone else. Consider linking your local animal shelter’s information to your Facebook page or Twittering a link to help get the word out. Awareness is often the biggest part of any event.

You can also try promoting your local shelter with the classic flyers and banners. Simple as it may sound, a simple letter or flyer letting folks know what’s going on can really get the word out there. Post them on telephone poles or on bulletin boards so that others can see and know.
Children will someday be adults, so involving them with supporting pet adoption can help them become aware of the world they will one day grow into. Let them know what animal shelters do and their role in their community.

Promote adoption

If you’ve been thinking about adding a friend to your own homestead, November is definitely the time to do it. Tell your friends about adoption as well. Many people don’t know that you can easily adopt a pup from the animal shelter and give a homeless pup a happy home. You can even take a moment to support adoption efforts by clicking the “like” button on the Shelter Pet Project page on Facebook.

Donations to keep those tails wagging

Some of us want to help directly by donating to the cause. Financially, many organizations have made contributions, both big and small, that help their local shelters continue their efforts and reach out to help others as well. A few coins here and there can really add up, so don’t think that you shouldn’t drop that extra change in your pocket into their funds just because it isn’t enough. When you’re helping, anything you can do is better than doing nothing at all.

Supplies!

Donations aren’t limited to monetary amounts. Items such as blankets, towels, and toys can help as well. Often, your local animal shelter will have a “wish list” posted on their website. You’d be surprised at how much a few items can really help, especially with the cold winter approaching.

Throw in a helping paw

Many shelters will welcome volunteer workers. If you have a few hours or some extra time, consider helping your four-legged friends this November. There may be a variety of types of shelters around, so find one that is right for you.

Take a few moments to thank your local animal shelter for the love and care they give our animal friends. And remember, supporting your local animal shelter doesn’t have to be extravagant, any and all help is appreciated. So do what you can to keep those tails wagging towards a happy home.

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Keep the Frights Away

photoHalloween is nearing, and with it will arrive haunts and treats alike. But, for those that have pups, it may be a little too spooky for our friendly canine companions. Not all pups are ready for all the excitement that one spooky night brings, as masked strangers roam the streets.

Preparing your pup for Halloween night takes a little bit of insight on your part. You’ll need to have an idea of how your pup will act, and if you don’t know or are unsure, it is best to keep them away from the excitement in general. Some dogs can be sensitive, especially when it comes to noises, and strange smells. If you feel that your pup is a little protective, arriving trick-or-treaters will likely turn their protective instincts up. Don’t be afraid to seclude your pup in their crate or a room where they will be away from the front door. But remember that Halloween is a time of fun and enjoyment, so don’t leave your pup locked up without their own fun. Get them a rawhide bone and toys to play with to keep their mind busy. You may even leave a television or radio on to distract them.

Don’t leave your pup alone in the backyard! You’d be surprised at how many children still play tricks even when you give them treats. Animals are a target for mischief on Halloween, often victims of harassment or thrown objects such as eggs, fruit, or unwanted treats. Though these objects might not always hurt your pup directly, they may enjoy eating them- which can hurt your pup.

If you decide that your pup would be okay to enjoy some of the fun, it is still wise to supervise them at all times. Use a leash, especially if you’re out and about with the kids. Watch for any signs of stress, such as barking, whining, or growling (and hair on their neck standing up). Don’t let other children give your pup treats, too. In large quantities, chocolate is toxic for pups, and they don’t have fingers to open wrappers, so they eat the whole thing. They aren’t picky either, so they’ll eat leftover wrappers, too.

Not all pups like to play dress up, so don’t force your doggy to look like a pumpkin if they don’t want to. Though it may look cute, they can get hot fast, and with all the excitement they may get a little anxious or stressed.

It’s important to prevent children from harassing, teasing, or worse- scaring your pup. Dogs are naturally territorial, and when spooked, they will often attack in self-defense. Whether your pup is friendly or protective, it is still best to keep your pup away from the front door in general, as a curious pup will make a break for the excitement. Then, you’ll end up chasing that rascal around.

At the end of the night, make sure you toss out any pumpkins, candles, candy wrappers or anything else that your pup may get into and eat. Remember that just about everything looks tasty to a pup, especially the curious ones.

Be cautious for your pup on this spooky night, and make sure that it’s enjoyable for them, rather than stressful. No one should have to miss out on a good time, so do your best to ensure that your pup can enjoy the night too.

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