Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Holidays Aren’t Just For People Anymore! Here’s a Dozen Holiday Traditions to Share with Your Canine Pal

Many of us have favorite holiday traditions we celebrate with our dogs. Dogs are part of our families and many families include their dogs in their holiday festivities. In some cases, their dogs are an integral part of the events.

And if photos with Santa
 is what you’re feeling,
come to our event
It’s for a terrific cause!
We would like to share some holiday traditions with you and even learn about some of your traditions so that we can share with other dog lovers.

Here are some of our favorite holiday traditions to share with dogs:
  • Pick Out a Tree Together. There are tree farms that allow you to walk around and tag your tree. How about doing it with your dog? What a wonderful tradition! 
  • Holiday Paw-di-cure. How about a holiday pedicure for your pooch? You can be creative and paint the nails alternatively red and green just for fun. 
  • Pet Parade. Some towns or pet stores sponsor a dog event -- even a dog parade. Dress up your dog in his favorite bandana or Santa cap and take part. 
  • Hang a Dog Stocking. Why not? If you have a stocking -- your dog should too. Many of the dog lovers I know have stockings for each of their dogs. 
  • Go See Santa. How about a photo of your dogs or you and your dogs with Santa? This also makes a great holiday card.


Holiday Care for Your Canine Best Friend

Want the best care possible for your canine buddy? Here are a few tips from a professional pet sitter.

Remember: the holidays are busy for everyone, so book early if you can. This time of year, we dog sitters become inundated with last minute requests for pet-sitting.  Please keep your pet care requirements in mind when you are making your vacation plans. I highly recommend you book peak vacation times (Christmas, Spring Break, Easter, etc.) as far in advance as possible to ensure your favorite sitter is available to care for your pooch!

Before you go away on your next business trip or family vacation, remember to speak to your family vet and forward an Absent Owner Consent form or ensure you have filled out the one we keep on file at Love on a Leash. In the event of an emergency, your wishes will be met and you will know that your pet will be able to get the care you would desire as quickly as possible.

The following list will help you make sure your dog get the best of care while you are away:

  • Ensure all your dog’s daily requirements will be met: food, water, medication, walks, kisses & hugs.
  • Inform your family vet you are away and who your pet sitter will be.
  • Discuss your pet’s current health concerns with your vet and your wishes regarding the care of your pet while you are away.
  • Ensure your pet-sitter has the following information: How to get hold of you while you’re away, vet contact details, pet emergency preferences, and adequate supply of medications and full disclosure of your dog’s health history and concerns, plus financial information for emergencies.

Remember that all pet sitters are not the same. Ask for references and credentials. Ideally your pet sitter should be licensed with the city they are working in, as well as bonded & insured. Your pet sitter should be certified in pet first aid and belong to a professional organization such as Pet Sitter’s International or the All Canadian Pet Sitters Network and your sitter should have a website that lists information and rates in a professional and concise manner.                

As an accredited pet sitter, I can tell you that we take our job seriously and will do everything in our power to ensure your dog’s stay with us is as comfortable, safe, fun and as loving as possible for your dog.

At Love on a Leash we truly adore our doggy clients and they love us right back! See our review page on Yelp and see client testimonials on our website.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Here comes Santa Paws, here comes Santa Paws...

Santa Paws is Coming to Town!

Please join us on Saturday and Sunday December 14th & 15th from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a dog friendly festive fundraiser mix and mingle at Tisol on Grandview Highway, in Vancouver.

We’ll be raising funds for Paws for Hope and Rescue a Boxer so bring your pets and have their photos taken with Santa on his holiday throne, sip mulled cider and nosh on holiday baked goods.

Special gifts for the first 50 photos purchased each day!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

You and Your Dog: Photo Special

As regular readers of this space already know, since the time I first connected with Angie Wojciechowska of Off Leash Photography a few years ago, I’ve been a big fan of her work.

Angie came to my home on short notice when I knew Casey, my beloved first Bichon Frise, was really ill and took amazing photos of my pooches together.

In the process, Angie got some of the most heartwarming (and heart-wrenching) images of my Casey. It seemed to me those photos captured her whole essence and spirit, for which I remain very thankful.

I always tell people that a professional photo shoot of, or with, your dog is something you will cherish forever. Everyone should do this at least once during the life of their beloved pets. As the holidays approach, Angie has put together a tremendous package that will make this dream a reality for a lot of people. To book your spot for this special offer, call 604-618-2236.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why Adopt A Senior Dog?

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. But we don’t need to make excuses to adopt a senior dog: they’re awesome. Not only do they need you (so many people won’t even consider them!) but they have a lot to offer, if only you’ll look beyond the grey of their muzzle! The Senior Dogs Project helps us take a more objective look:

Top 10 Reasons to Bring A Senior Dog Into Your Life

1. Older dogs are housetrained. You won't have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping/cleaning up after accidents.

2. Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.

3. Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed. Therefore, they learn quickly.

4. Older dogs have learned what "no" means. If they hadn't learned it, they wouldn't have gotten to be "older" dogs.

5. Older dogs settle in easily, because they've learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.

6. Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home. They are grateful for the second chance they've been given.

7. What You See Is What You Get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality. Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.

8. Older dogs are instant companions -- ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.

9. Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

10. Older dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Exercising With Your Best Friend… Your Dog!

Is anyone ever in as good a shape as they could be? Whether you’re human or canine, it’s likely there are things you could do to look and feel better. And here’s the thing: if you look and feel better, you’re likely to be healthier, as well. Being overweight can lead to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, even cancer. Being fit through exercise can lead to a longer life and better sleep at night.

One caution: if you or your pet haven’t indulged in cardio-oriented activity before, you’ll want to check in with your vet. Young dogs whose bones haven’t finished growing will want to go easy on the hard exercise and certain breeds are more built for speed and exercise than others. Your vet will know if the course you’re charting is the right one.

Once you get the vet’s thumbs-up, there are lots of great activities you can share with your pooch. Dog Time shares a few of the top ones:

1. Take a hike: Well, a hike is a great idea, but if you are unused to strenuous exercise, start with a walk, and build from there. Many of us are pressed for time. So, if you are running late in the mornings, try to get up just a bit early if possible. You can take a 10 minute walk with your dog. If your schedule allows it, try to get in three walks a day, and make one at least 20 minutes.

2. Cut back on the treats: Instead of rewarding your dog with treats, give him attention. Dogs love interacting. If you want to give your dog a treat, break it in half and put the other half away for another day. Same goes with treats for you -- eat half today and the other half tomorrow so you won’t feel deprived.

3. Visit the dog park: If possible, walk to the dog park. When you get there, toss a ball around with your dog. Both of you will get some exercise.

4. Go for a swim: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that you and your dog can do.

5. Jog or run: Find a track that welcomes dogs and make sure your have comfortable running shoes. That is all you need for this cardio workout. Bring a water bottle and foldable bowl so you and your dog can rehydrate.

6. Tug-of-war: Play a game of tug-of-war with your dog. It can help build your upper body strength and your dog will enjoy spending time playing with you.

7. Play catch: Whether it’s a ball, a Frisbee, or his favorite toy, go outside and play a game of catch.

8. On rainy days hit the stairs: If you have stairs in your apartment building or in your home, go up and down a few flights (remember to start slow). If you have a treadmill in your home, you and your dog can use that too.

9. Sign up for an exercise class: You and your dog can take agility classes or even “doga,” a form of yoga designed for the both of you.

10. Resistance walk: This is great for all kinds of weather. Try to walk your dog in the snow, on the sand, in shallow water on the beach, or on a leaf-filled trail.