Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Walk the Dog Day – fitting exercise into your day.

February 22nd is National Walking the Dog Day.  It comes at the perfect time when life is adjusting back to the normal schedule (before the craze of the holidays); and around the same time many people have given up on their New Year’s resolution…. like walking the dog more.

When life gets busy trying to balance work, school, sports practice, P.T.A., church activities, quality family time, and a social life, it’s no surprise that walking the dog gets knocked down the list.  But structured walking is an important bonding activity with your dog, and shouldn’t be skipped over.
Walking your dog at least twice a day for 30 mins to 1 hour (depending on the size, activity level, and mobility of your pup) is the best way to give him or her the exercise and mental stimulation they need, as well as build an important and lasting bond with you, their pack leader.

A structured walk means the walk should be a Leadership Walk, not a Comfort Walk.

A Leadership walk is one where you are the pack leader, deciding when the walk starts and stops, walking with focus and purpose. 
It is not a Comfort walk, where your dog gets to mark their territory on every tree or sniff every leaf they pass. Instead, they stay by your side and focus on you and the walk.  It may take some practice for both of you to do a more structured walk. But stick with it and it will pay off for you both.

It can be hard to get in the habit of exercising your dog every day, but it is vital to their well-being. Dogs were born and bred to work, but most of us are no longer living rural lives.  Herding and hunting and is now defined as chasing birds and hunting lizards, which they rarely ever catch.  They need daily exercise and mental stimulation to live a happy and well-balanced life.

So take advantage of Walking the Dog Day this month, and start a new routine of regular walks (if you don’t already have one).

Interested in other activities you can do with your pup? Here is a list of activities you can enjoy together:

Walking- Adding a doggy backpack for the dog to carry weights while walking puts a small spin on the traditional walk and gives the dog a more intense workout.

Agility- Provides great mental stimulus as well as physical exercise.

Running or Jogging- If you like to run, your pup would love to come with you.

Bike Rides- Great exercise for larger, high energy dogs but should be done with safety in mind first.  It is dangerous to bike with shy and unpredictable dogs or to bike in areas with heavy traffic. 

Fetching- Any object that your dog loves to chase will work.  Even if your dog isn’t a natural retriever you can train them. 

Swimming- If your dog loves water, take advantage.  Swimming is a great exercise and good way for overweight or injured dogs to get exercise without putting all the stress on their joints.

Hide and Seek- Hiding toys around the house is a great way to engage your dog mentally but it also encourages them to use their natural tracking and hunting skills.

Racing- I like to race my dogs myself but you may consider entering your pup in an organized race.  There are regular Dachshund races every year for Oktoberfest.

Weight Pulling- This may take a little bit of training but weight pulling, like mushing, will give your dog purpose and tire them out more quickly.

Running on a Treadmill- The treadmill at home is a great way to get your pup the recommended amount of exercise, and Cesar Millan recommends it if you can’t fit regular activity with your dog into your day.

Puzzle Dog Toys- A great way to keep the dog busy while you are at work is a toy that will stimulate their mind.  There are a lot of dog toys on the market that make dogs work to figure out how to release a treat.

Training- Teaching your dog a trick is beneficial in two ways because it stimulates their mind and teaches them good behavior.  Training should only be done in short segments, 10-15 minutes at a time, otherwise your dog will probably lose interest and you will become frustrated.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Be Prepared

Living in Southern California you become familiar with not only the threat of earthquakes but also the yearly threat of wildfires.  Since we are in the midst of a wet winter, and we haven't had a substantial earthquake in years, it's easy to become complacent in safety and preparedness.  But what about everyday emergencies?
We forget to consider the smaller emergencies that can happen in day-to-day life that might keep us from our pet or force us from our homes temporarily.  
Consider the following scenarios:  
  • You work in Los Angeles and you get a call that your house in on fire.
  • You are in Chicago and you get a call that your wife has gone into labor 3 weeks early.
  • You are in a car accident and consequently stuck in the hospital for a week.
  • A pipe broke and your house is flooded forcing you to evacuate until the damage is repaired.
Each one of those scenarios can happen and the last thing you want to stress over is “Who is going to get my dog” or “who is going to watch my pets?”  
Sadly, most people don’t even have an emergency preparedness plan for themselves, let alone for their animals.  But if you spend just a couple of hours one weekend coming up with an emergency plan for your family, it will save you stress and time in an emergency situation, when every second counts.
5 Steps to Becoming Prepared
Step 1
Rescue Alert Sticker- These stickers are meant to go in the front window of your home, in case of an emergency, someone else can be sure all of your pets get out safely.  
The sticker should say:
  • The types of pets you have 
  • How many you have of each pet
  • Your emergency contact number.
If you are able to evacuate your pets yourself, and you have time, try to remember to write “Evacuated” across your sticker so no one risks their life trying to save pets that are not in danger.
You can buy this sticker at most pet supply stores, ask your veterinarian if they have any, or order one for free from theASPCA website.

Step 2
Arrange for a Safe Place- In the situation when you will not be able to keep your pet with you (for example, if you are evacuated to a Red Cross Shelter) you should have a back-up plan already in place for their safe keeping.  This safe place can be local (if you are having a personal emergency) or in another county out of harm’s way.  It is probably best to have a Plan A for local and a Plan B for non-local safe places in case you are forced out of your city.
To find a safe place:
  1. Put Dachs 2 Danes on your boarding facility list along with a couple of back-up options, like your vet.
  2. Look up a local boarding facility for your additional pets. While all boarding facilities take dogs, only a few take cats, and very few will take other household pets or horses (but that could always change in a state emergency).  
Your dog and cat must be current on their vaccinations to stay at any boarding facility, so be sure your pets are up to date on all requirements to avoid any problems in an emergency.

  1. If you should be forced from your home and need a temporary place to stay with your dog, a local motel or hotel may be an option. For your emergency plan, it might be best to pick a franchise that you know will allow dogs, no matter what city it is in, like Motel 6.  That way you can go as far as you need to and still know where to find a place to stay. 
Keep in mind, the hotels/motels charge $15 & up, per night, for dogs to stay. Call the hotel or check their website to learn about their pet policy.
Step 3
Emergency Supplies & Traveling Kits
To Be Continued...

Monday, October 31, 2016

5 Ways to Help Your Pup Enjoy Halloween

It’s All Hallows’ Eve!  While humans may look forward to the fun ahead, Halloween can be a very stressful time for dogs.  Imagine having to wear a cumbersome costume while trying to be taken seriously as you attempt to protect the house – which is constantly under attack by strange, short creatures that sort of resemble humans. 

Help your dog prepare for tonight’s festivities by doing the following:

1.      First things first, Take your dog for a long walk or run before the trick-or-treating begins.  Your dog is less likely to be hyper, disobedient, or stressed out once strangers start coming to the door.

2.      You may consider putting your dog in his/her crate in a quiet room away from the front door, so he/she won’t be disturbed by guests coming to the door.  Give him/her a chew toy to work on and turn on some soothing music to keep your dog’s attention in the room.   You may also want to leave the front door open so no one rings the doorbell, just for good measure.

3.      Be sure your dog is secure inside the house. If your pup likes to bolt as soon as the door is open, make sure you have him/her on a leash, or behind a barrier, while answering the door.  You do not want to spend your Halloween night chasing after your dog.

4.      If you are taking your dog out trick-or-treating with you, put a glow stick or some sort of light on him/her (or the leash), to ensure drivers can see your dog.

5.      Don’t let anyone feed the dog.  Watch children closely as they are usually ready and willing to share their plunder. No chocolate, candy, or anything with refined sugar in it.  
Additionally: If you have a black cat, try to keep him/her indoors tonight. 

Have a happy and safe Howl’oween!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Howlo-ween Tips for Treats


October is a busy month, full of weekly Halloween events for you and your pup.  Lots of contests, chances to win prizes, and goodies for everyone.

Interested in Competing in an upcoming costume contest?

While your dog is adorable all on his/her own, these contests do require a little more effort than just a cute face (or so I’m told).  So your pooch will need a costume.  The questions you may ask are:
Will it be Store-bought?
Or will it be Homemade?
Will I match my dog?
And what category will we compete in?
Most costume contest categories include: Best Look-Alike Costume; Cutest Costume; Most Original or Creative Costume; and Best Overall.
Keep in mind, just because your costume is store-bought, does not mean it can’t still be creative.  I usually use store bought costumes for my dogs, while adding my own twist.  For example, one year I bought my dogs the cutest monster costumes. So, I got my own monster costume, made a small prop bed with a girl in it, stuck that on top of an umbrella, and Voila! We were “Monsters under the Bed” (as pictured above).
And I am always surprised by the new costumes I see at events every year. So let your imagination go wild!

What about Howl-o-ween on a Budget?
If you still would like to compete but don’t want to spend money on a costume, you can put something together with things you find around the house.  If MacGyver can make wire cutters out of a stick of gum and a paperclip, surely you can put a costume together with items already available to you (assuming you, in fact, have more than a stick of gum and a paperclip).

The internet is full of ideas and How-To videos if you need a little help.
Examples you might try:
*Super Hero – Use an old pillow case or sheet to make a cape.  Secure it to the collar using safety pins
*Ballerina or Jazzercise-er – Use old socks or sweat bands around the legs and possibly a tutu (if you have one). Even better if you have a leotard.
*Celebrity Impersonator – Any celebrity you can think of has some signature look that you can probably duplicate with clothes you already own.  Again, safety pins will be your friend if your dog doesn’t exactly fit in your clothes. And hair piece can be made out of yarn, toilet paper, paper plates; you name it.   
*Box of Something - There is really no limit to the number of things you can create using a cardboard box. Even if you can’t find one around your home, you can find one in a dumpster nearby.  Your dog can be any product, from a box of Cereal to a box of Beers.  Or, with a little paint, you can create another object, like a car, Lego, Dog toy or product (like Puppy Surprise), etc.
Whatever the costume, just make sure your dog is comfortable and safe while wearing it.  
Costume Rules:
  *Dogs should be able to move properly in their costumes – such as walk, sit, lay, and go potty.
  *Dogs should be able to breathe regularly and drink water (i.e. No masks or boxes over the head/face)
  *Dogs should not be able to chew on their costume or be choked by it. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

13 Weeks of Summer... An Adventure Every Week!

Summer is here, but it won't last long! Celebrate each week by going on a dog-friendly outing. 

Adventure #4 of Summer...

Doggie Date Night @ Fred's Mexican Cafe

"Its a Patio Party for your Pup"

Cool down, and cheer up after a long day at work, with a nice meal down in Huntington Beach. At Fred's Mexican Cafe, every Monday is Doggie Date Night; and your pups gets a free doggie dinner when you buy an entree. 

The chance for some doggone good eats begins at 6 p.m. and goes until Midnight. 
300 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, Ca

Doggie Date Night: 6:00p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Adventure #5 of Summer...

Visit L.A. for a day!

There is lots to see and do in Los Angeles. And despite the popular belief that 'No Body Walks in L.A.', there are plenty of pedestrian-friendly excursions for you and your dog. 
Be a Tourist - Take a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and see if you can spot any stars belonging to famous dogs. Then, stop at the Chinese Theatre and see if your paws fit anyone famous (there are famous animal prints there too). 

Be Active - Hike to the Hollywood sign. There are a few trail options, ranging from easy to difficult, depending on your comfort level. The trails are open from sunrise to sunset, same hours as the Griffith Park (since they are all part of the park).

Be a Foodie - Find a food truck or an outdoor patio at a restaurant and grab some grub with your pup. You can enjoy some people watching and take in the sounds of L.A.

Adventure #6 of Summer...

Enjoy Some Sweet Sounds
With summer in full swing, it’s hard to keep cool during the day, which makes you want to stay inside. But there is an upside to these hot days, which are those perfect summer nights. 
If it’s too hot to enjoy the day with your pup, spend an evening with him or her instead.  Most cities have a free summer concert series in the park, during the week.

From classical to classic rock, country and more; you and your pup are bound to find music that you enjoy.

Some of the local parks and line ups include:
Ronald Reagan Park

945 S. Weir Canyon Rd. 

Concerts in the Canyon Held on Thursdays 6:30 p.m.
Band Line-up: 
July 14: 80z All Stars (Complete tribute act)
July 21: Born Jovi (Tribute to Bon Jovi)
July 28: The Petty Breakers (Tribute to Tom Petty)
August 4: DSB (Don't Stop Believin')(Tribute to Journey)


Fullerton Sports Complex

560 E. Silver Pine

Concerts are Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Band Line-up:

July 13: U2Experience (U2 Tribute)
July 20: Jann Browne Band (Country)
July 27: Skynyrd Reloaded (Leonard Skynyrd tribute)
August 3 : Stone Soul (Motown & Soul)
August 10: The Answer (Classic Rock)

Tri City Park
2301 N Kraemer BLvd.

Concerts are Thursdays at 6:30p 

Band Line-up:
July 7: Diamond is Forever (Neil Diamond Tribute)

July 14: Upstream (Steel Drum, Reggae, Calypso)
July 21: The Fenians (Traditional Irish Folk & Rock n Roll)
July 28: Darden Sisters (Variety - Country, Swing, Jazz, Western)
August 4: Smokin’ Cobras (Rocking Oldies)
August 11: Mariachi Divas (Award Winning All Female Mariachi)

Hart Park Bandshell
701 S Glassell St.

Concerts are Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Band Line-up:
July 6: Stone Soul (Motown & Soul)
July 13: The trip (Classic & Modern Rock)
July 20: Kelly Rae Band (Country)
July 27: Tom Nolan Band (R&B & Soul)
August 3: Wiseguys (Big Band)
August 10: Cold Duck (R&B & Dance Favorites)
When you go, don’t forget a blanket and or lawn chair for you and your pup to sit on.  And most importantly, don’t forget your petiquette while enjoying the concert.  Remind your pup to be on his best doggy behavior at all times.  Keep him on his leash, be sure to pick up any messes he leaves, and bring plenty of fresh water for him.  

Adventure #7 of Summer...
Dog Days at the Fullerton Market

The Fullerton Market is a favorite among locals, and rightly so.  Operating weekly, the market offers fresh produce, prepared foods, arts and crafts, jewelry, novelty and gift items, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and a beer garden.   

This Thursday, August 4th, you and your dog can experience the market for yourself as the Fullerton Museum Center Association hosts Dog Days at the Fullerton Market. 

Dog Days at the Fullerton Market is a great opportunity to not only get a taste of the Fullerton Market, but also to join in the camaraderie of the dog community; giving you the chance to interact with other dog lovers and dogs alike.  You and your dog can join in the fun of one of the dog contests, like loudest bark or fastest eater, or simply enjoy a short dog show.  Whatever you decide to do, this special dog market will feature many dog-related vendors and activities to make sure you and your dog have a good time.    

The fun takes place this Thursday, August 4th, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Downtown Fullerton Plaza located at 125 E. Wilshire Ave., in Fullerton.   

And even if you can’t make it to the market for this special event, you can add it to your list of adventures to try on a different week.  The market is open every Thursday from April to October.

Adventure #8 of Summer...
Cool off at Huntington Dog Beach

One of the best places for a dog to be a dog is romping through the sand and splashing in the water at the Huntington Dog Beach.  Even if your dog doesn’t like the water, playing on the sand is a better workout for him them walking on concrete.  
The dog beach can be found at the very end of Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach (around lifeguard tower 24).  The dog beach stretches from Goldenwest Street to Seapoint Street (to the right of Goldenwest when facing the beach from PCH).  There is metered parking along PCH or free parking one to five blocks inland, among the homes.  Check out the Huntington Dog Beach website for a list of beach rules and other FAQs.  

Don’t forget to bring poop bags, a towel, fresh water for your dog, and sunblock if your dog requires it.  If it is your dog’s first time at the beach don’t be afraid to take it slow.  You want his first experience to be positive so you can come back again. 

Stop for a Bite at the Park Bench Café…
After a good run at the beach, your pup should be tired.  A tired dog is a good dog, so it’s the perfect time to stop in at the Park Bench Café for a bite to eat.  

Located at 17732 Goldenwest Street, in Huntington Beach, the Park Bench Café is a one of a kind stop for dog lovers who want to enjoy food and the beautiful outdoors with their four-legged friends.  

After you order one of their delicious menu items for yourself, be sure to get something for your dog off the dog menu.  Your pooch can get a hot dog (without the bun), chicken, ground beef, bacon, lean ground turkey, and even eggs.  Check out the Park Bench Café website for a complete menu and list of dog rules to make sure your first visit there goes smoothly.   And if you have the energy after eating, you and your pup can saunter around the beautiful surrounding park before heading home.

Adventure #9 of Summer... 
Watch a Movie under the Stars...
Enjoy the summer night air, under the stars, watching a movie in the park with your pup.   Find a nice spot on the grass, lay out a blanket and a lawn chair, and get cozy. A lot of different cities offer movies in the park from June through August.  In the 9th week of summer, you can catch one in Yorba Linda, or one in Tustin, or both!

The Good Dinosaur
Friday, August 19, 2016: 7:45 PM - 9:45 PM
Hurless Barton Park
4601 Casa Loma Avenue
Yorba Linda, California, 92886

Kung Fu Panda 3
Thursday, August 18, 2016: 7:50 PM - 10:00 PM
Frontier Park
1400 Mitchell Avenue
Tustin, California, 92780

Don’t forget to bring snacks for the humans, and water for your dog.