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Tag: Dogs

January 5, 2018

New Year Dog Resolutions

It’s the time of year when we reflect on the past 365 days, and try to do better in all aspects of life. Maybe you’re working on relationships – with your family, your friends, yourself. Consider the relationship with your pets, too. They probably aren’t too hard to please, so why not give them a little extra love in 2018? Here are some ideas to give your dog the best year ever.

JANUARY – Use those holiday gifts together. Give your dog one of the bones he got to open himself, and pull out the rope toys and balls. Play tug-of-war or hide and seek or indoor fetch. You’ll never regret some quality time with your pup.

FEBRUARY – Dole out some extra love this Valentine’s Day. Pets and scratches are classics, but try adding some eye contact. Dogs show love to their owners and pick up on their emotions by looking in their eyes.

MARCH – Get in some outdoor time during the snowiest month in Minnesota. If your dog loves fresh powder, go outside with her to enjoy it. Throw snowballs, roll around, and remind yourself and your pup how fun winter can be – even though it feels like it lasts forever!

APRIL – Get inspired by Easter egg hunts and create a treasure hunt for your dog. Hide treats and toys around the yard or house, depending on the weather, and give your dog hints along the way. It’s a fun way to stimulate your dog’s brain and fill up an afternoon with the family.

MAY – Take advantage of the warmer weather and bring your dog to a dog park. If you don’t do it often, it can feel like a chore. You have to pack up your dog in the car, probably wipe her down with a towel before she can get back in the car, and everything in between. But once you see her darting across the park and making new friends it will all be worth it.

JUNE – Make a special summery treat for your dog. Frozen treats featuring fruit are great for this time of year. This recipe is simple to make, but your dog will get lots of play time out of it.

JULY – Talk to your dog. Summertime is busy for you and your dog, so take some time out and just have a calm chat with your dog. Dogs love any attention you give them, but some low-key chit chat is a nice departure from the attention they might get from kids or strangers.

AUGUST – Teach your dog something new. Working on new tricks is great bonding time with your dog, and challenging her brain is good for her. She’ll love making you happy with her new skill, and you’ll love showing it off at summer barbeques.

SEPTEMBER – Get back into a routine. When the kids are back in school and summer chaos has started to lull, your dog will appreciate the normalcy of a schedule. Eating at the same time every day and normal walks and bathroom breaks are comforting to him.

OCTOBER – Enter the DogWatch costume contest! You’ll appreciate your pup’s cuteness in a whole new way with the perfect costume, whether you find it or make it yourself. And if you happen to win, your pup will end up with some amazing prizes.

NOVEMBER – Treat your dog to something cozy as winter approaches. A new dog bed perhaps, or a sweater for chilly walks. Start covering your dog up with a blanket when she’s sleeping. It’s an act of love that won’t go unnoticed.

DECEMBER – Bring your dog along for a special holiday tradition. The perfect example is the Christmas tree farm. Your family goes on an adventure together to create memories, and you don’t have to leave your dog behind! Many local tree farms allow dogs.

 

November 10, 2017

How To Have Fun with your Dog in the Winter

Winter is right around the corner, and the chilly weather has already arrived. But don’t let that end the fun with your pups. Put on some winter gear and get out to the sidewalks and the dog parks, and then switch things up with these wintertime ideas.

SHOPPING SPREE

Start winter off right with warm gear for yourself and your dog. Stock up on cute sweaters and vests, of course, but also consider boots if you’ll be on areas where snow-melting chemicals are used. And if you use snow-melting chemicals at your house, always choose pet-friendly versions.

Treat your pup to a couple new blankets, one for home and one for the car. For even more warmth, try a heated dog bed. You can add a self-warming topper to your current dog bed or crate for safe, efficient coziness.

INDOOR DOG MEETUPS

Get your pup out of her normal routine with a meetup to socialize with other dogs. Just do it indoors! Schedule a playdate with your friends who have dogs and let them run off some steam. New toys can add to the fun, but limit food and treats since that can lead to aggression for some dogs.

Check online for indoor dog meetups. In the wintertime throughout the Twin Cities, you can get the dog park experience inside. That way you can stay and play for longer. Plus the more enclosed area means the humans have a great opportunity to meet and chat about their fur babies.

CUT DOWN YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TREE

If you’ve never chopped down your own Christmas tree, it’s a great experience and so Minnesotan. Plus, it’s a perfect excuse to get the whole family together, including the pups. Many tree farms in the area allow dogs to join the fun, and it’s a perfect way to give them exercise – you’re already bundled up and ready for a winter walk.

NEW WAYS TO PLAY IN THE HOUSE

Get creative this winter with new ways to play indoors to liven things up and stop boredom in its tracks. Make your own obstacle course using couch cushions, laundry baskets, your dog’s favorite toys, and anything else you can find. Race your dog up and down the stairs for a serious workout for your both. Create a puzzle your dog has to solve using some treats and something to hide them under, like plastic cups or under clear Tupperware. Put treats under 2 cups, and leave 2 cups empty. You’ll find out pretty fast just how smart he really is. You and your dog will survive cabin fever much better this year with a little ingenuity.

HOMEMADE TREATS

Get in the spirit of fall and winter by making some homemade dog treats using seasonal ingredients. You’ll have a way to fill up a chilly afternoon, and your dog will love the smells and anticipation. For fall, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash and apples are in-season and healthy for your dog. Check out this DogWatch blog post for the recipes.

For wintertime, use cookie cutters to create festive shaped treats, like candy canes and gingerbread men. Incorporate ingredients like cranberries, peppermint oil flavoring, and cinnamon for a cold-weather kick.

TEACH YOUR DOG SOME NEW TRICKS

Use some indoor free time to teach your dog new, fun tricks. She may know the basics like sit, stay, down, etc. but what about sit pretty, talking, touchdown, and dancing? Use this article for some tips on which tricks to try, and how to make the training effective and fun. Get the treats out and put on your teacher glasses.

 

October 23, 2017

DogWatch Dog Story: Blue

Blue is a Husky from Eden Prairie who became a DogWatch dog in 2015. Her DogWatch hidden fence has been around for 19 years, though, because that’s when Blue’s brother Louie came along. Louie is a Miniature Poodle, and he’s still around today!
Blue and Louie aren’t alone though.

There are two other dogs sharing their DogWatch fence, for a total of four. Blue’s sisters are a Chocolate Lab and a Pomeranian. It’s a busy house, so it’s so convenient to just let some or all the dogs outside and let them play without worrying about them. A school bus or a car full of squirrels could go by, and the four dogs will just watch from the driveway.

It wasn’t always this way. When Blue was a puppy, before she got her own DogWatch collar, she would run around the neighborhood so fast it was impossible to catch her. The only way to lure her back home was to shake a box of Corn Flakes, her favorite treat. The sound got her every time. While learning the boundaries of her yard, she required a little extra training and a high correction level because of her strong will and two layers of thick fur. But with some help from the DogWatch team, Blue is now staying at home with her canine siblings.

Blue the Husky running in the grass

September 27, 2017

Dog People

At DogWatch we meet lots of people, and the thing they all have in common is they are dog people. And so are we. If you have a dog in your life, you might have some different qualities than your cat-loving friends, or (heaven forbid) people who just aren’t animal people.

ADAPTABLE
Dog people tend to be adaptable. Getting a pooch means you have to make changes to your lifestyle and roll with some punches along the way. You can’t be too set in your ways. There aren’t many dog owners with immaculate white carpet or without a lint roller handy. With your pooch along for the ride of your life, you make adjustments. Maybe you wake up a little earlier than you’d like to, or you bought the Suburu instead of the Porsche. That’s what we do for our furry friends.

STABLE
If you have a dog in your life, you’re likely stable and responsible. You can’t hop on a plane and leave town any time you want or even stay out too late at night. You probably don’t move very frequently, and you’ve definitely had to pick up dog poo when you really didn’t want to. You have to be prepared for crises ranging from an unexpected jump in the puddle to an emergency trip to the vet. And if you’re like us, you’ve learned a lot from caring for a canine.

SOCIAL
Studies show that dog people are more outgoing and social than cat people. It makes sense – if you’re attracted to the in-your-face friendliness of a Labrador or the speed-of-light tail wagging of a Dachshund, you probably enjoy being social and interacting with people. Cat people generally are more introverted and enjoy their time at home, much like their feline companions.

SELFLESS
You know how to make sacrifices if you have a dog. If you’ve had a puppy, you’ve sacrificed sleep, shoes, and sanity. If you have adopted a dog, you may have sacrificed your dignity to earn her love. You’ve stopped what you were doing thousands of times and said, “I gotta go let the dog out.” But your dog (hopefully) greets you with a tail wag when you come home early.

Of course there is an endless variety of dog people, but we all have similar experiences and we’ve all been touched by the love and purity of a dog’s heart. At DogWatch of the Twin Cities, we love our customers and believe part of the reason is that you’re dog people like us.