Top 5 Movies To Watch With Your Dog

July 19, 2012


Spending time with your furry, four-legged best friend is always fun (well, except the time you have to take him for ‘walkies’ at 3am when it’s torrentially raining/snowstorming/armaggeddon outside). And when it is bad weather (see previous parentheses), too hot and humid out, you’re tired/hungover/not well or just want a night or afternoon in, what better way to do that than spend time watching movies with your dog?

5 – Cats & Dogs (1 & 2) – Fun, silly and has cats that want to take over the world (all dogs everywhere – what’s new about that? You see, as we super smart humans (that would be you and I, or quite possibly just you) already know, there’s a secret and high tech war going on between cats and dogs (okay, not all of them, but some, some) that other humans don’t know about. What follows in both movies are ridiculous and action-packed (for cats and dogs, anyway) hijinks.

4- Best In Show – Laughs, a satirical look inside the dog show world and dogs! This is a mockumentary, exploring the people who show dogs and what they’ll do to win the most coveted award of all, Best In Show. You’ll love it for the laughs and wit and your dog will love it for the dogs showing off their prettier side.

 

3- 101 Dalmations – Either the live film or the classic Disney animated film, this has got everything, including 101 Dalmations. It also gave the world Cruella DeVille, the animal fur wearing evil villainess all dogs love to hate.

2- The Lady & The Tramp – When the high-bred Lady, a cocker Spaniel with a collar and a license, has her life turned upside down by a new baby in the household, she finds herself on the streets with a dog from the wrong side of the kennel, The Tramp. Lively adventures ensue and they even share a kiss. I think we all know this movie, but if your dog hasn’t seen it (or even if he has), he’s going to love it. This is especially good for the romantic dog, or the mutt, to show how dreams really can come true.

1- Homeward Bound -This has everything. Dogs, cats, action, adventure and some fabulous scenery. Two dogs and a cat go in search of their family after their family leaves with far-off friends to go on vacation. The action begins when the animals begin to worry and go off in search of their family whilst their family does the same. A story for all dogs. All dogs love adventure, and it’s a great way for the non-cat-friendly pooches to see kitties are actually okay. You might have to bring some tissues.

 

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Before You Bathe Your Dog

July 1, 2012

It’s summertime, and the living might be easy but it can certainly get smelly, what with the sun hitting rubbish bins, and dogs running about and getting sweaty and tangled fur.

Summertime is a great time to get your dog clean with any one of our amazing, high end, pH formulated just-for-dogs formulas, organic grooming supplies for dogs, and this includes our range of shampoos and conditioners. Well, it’s a great excuse to get your dog nice and clean and it can be a fun way to cool down in the heat for both you and your dog.

Because, people, let’s face it, you’re also going to get wet.

We know some dogs love bath time and others you’d swear had a bit of cat DNA as they just hate baths. But you can help change that with a little prep and a little forethought.

  • Did We Say Prep?

And by that, prep your dog. Walk, run, play. It’s not only a great way to bond with your dog and spend some we time together, it’s a great way to get rid of pent up energy. A dog who wants to run, jump, play is not a dog ready for a bath. A tired dog is.  Your tired dog will be much more willing to be manhandled and bathed and will be more likely to sit still while you administer the kind of attention most of us wish it was us being pampered.

  •  The Best Bathing Spot In The House…

Is the bathroom, in the bathtub. It might seem a no-brainer but some people will think the kitchen or laundry sink is the place, or even a wading pool. But the bathroom is designed for splashes and messes and it comes ready with a tub that’s perfect for all sized dogs. Also, you can kneel and be in easy reach of all your Royal Treatment spa products, as well as brushes, combs and towels. And, unlike the great outdoors, your pooch can’t roll over in leaves and dirt and undo all the good work you’ve done in getting him nice and clean and silky and shiny.

  • Make Like You’re A Boy Scout

They’re always prepared, those little kids (and the girl guides). Before you begin with the bathing, make sure everything is ready. You have your tools of the trade – shampoo, conditioner, combs, brushes, sponges, towels, more towels and scissors if you need to do a bit of a hair cut around the eyes, or tail, or even if there are tangles or burrs you need to clip out. And don’t forget you. Your expensive heels, jewels, ballgown (hey, you never know!), fancy hair do and perfect makeup may not be the best outfit for a dog bath session. No make up, simple hair, good jewellery put away and comfortable clothes you don’t mind getting wet are the way to go.

  • The Actual Bath…

We think plunging your dog straight into the bath is very last century. Instead, gently pour some luke-warm water over him from a convenient jug to get him used to the whole bath and getting wet thing. Be gentle of voice and of hands. Of course, before you start the bathe, this is the time to be doing snippings with scissors against burs, knots and even a bit of a trim where needed. Once that’s done, begin the bath. Be sweet, sure and encouraging in your doggy banter. Make sure he knows he’s safe. Your tone of voice is very important here. And, when you’re done, it’s treat time!

Enjoy the bath time, it’s a great way to spend time with your dog, and to cool down in the relentless summer heat.

 


Four Top Tips Before Bathing Your Dog

May 6, 2012

 

There comes a time in every dog’s life that some owners may come to dread (and wish they’d got one of those self-cleaning cats, instead), and that’s bath time.

But bath time doesn’t have to be traumatic for all involved, even with the most finicky of dogs. Bath time can even be fun. We already know the best products on the market to make your dog shiny, silky, soft of skin and the envy of all others in the dog park (hint: Royal Treatment, duh!), but having your dog feeling and looking his best after the bath isn’t the same as having a good bath time experience.

Luckily for you, we have 4 top tips to make bath time lots of fun (well, less painful, anyway…). Read on!

1) Prep Dog!

And by that we mean make sure your pooch has been walked, exercised and played with. Basically, you want to work all that pent up energy right out of him.

Bathing a dog that’s all riled up or been lazing about all day means lots more mess, stress and antics – all round. But a dog that’s been plum tuckered out is a relaxed and pliable (not to mention co-operative) dog. This will make bath time lots of fun, just like Ernie once sang to his rubber duckie.

2) Location, Location, Location

Even if you have a small dog, we believe the bathtub is going to be best. It’s the room made for copious splashings of water ‘n’ suds, and it can accommodate the entire range of dogs, from small to large.

Outside on a summer’s day might seem like a smart choice…until Rover rolls about in that fresh new puddle of sudsy mud his bath just made…

3) Boy Scout It – Be Prepared

Make sure you have everything you need before you begin. You don’t want to have to rush off to get towels or shampoo a second after Rover hits the water. You’ll need old clothes and even an apron for yourself (you’re gonna get wet), soft old towels to dry the dog after the bath, and combs and brushes.

The most important tool, however is good quality dog shampoo. Dog shampoo, not people shampoo. If you’re not sure what to get, ask your local dog groomer, boutique or holistic pet store for recommendations. Oh, while you’re at it, you’ll probably want a bath mat to kneel on.

4) To Plunge Or Not To Plunge…

Is indeed the question. We think plunging your dog straight into the bath is very last century. Instead, gently pour some luke-warm water over him from a convenient jug to get him used to the whole bath and getting wet thing. Be gentle of voice and of hands.

And before you start pouring the water over him, brush out the fur to remove any knots. If you’ve ever had long hair, you’ll know how difficult this is once your hair is wet…

So there you have it. Four top things to do before you bathe your dog.

If you follow our suggestions it’s going to be smooth sailing ahead. Well, maybe not smooth sailing, but there definitely won’t be any wild storms at sea.


So You Want To Be A Dog Sitter? Here’s 5 Tips To Help

February 3, 2012

Don’t worry, I’m not trying to tell you this is the way you dog sit (although, obviously one of the dogs in this picture thinks it is)!

Seriously, perhaps you’re thinking of a career change (you know, working with lovely animals instead of annoying humans), entering the workforce after a break, or simply having a little side career to help make ends meet. Being an animal person (and if you’re reading this blog, then you’re an animal person!) means working with animals is a logical step and dog sitting (and dog walking, as they go hand-in-hand) is a job that is definitely appealing.

But it’s not as easy as simply posting an ad online or posting ads around  your neighbourhood. There’s a few things you need to keep in mind before you embark on your new career. And I’ve got 5 top tips to help you on your way to becoming the next best dog sitter in the world!

5- It’s a Dirty Job, But Someone’s Got to Do It (Poop Scooping, that is)

While you’re already thinking being a dog sitter is all doggy love, licks, snuggles and playing fetch, there’s much more to it and some of it aint pretty. Namely, scooping the poop. The thing is, even if you simply want to sit dogs for people while they’re away (no kennels, they get to stay in the comfort of their own home), you’re still going to have to walk the dogs. In the middle of the night. In the rain. The snow. The cold. You get my drift. And walks come with poop.

Even when you’re not walking the dog, there’s still most likely going to be poop. Sometimes even the best trained, best behaved dogs get upset they’ve been abandoned by their humans. And they show this by pooping and peeing on the floors of the home you’re looking after the dog in. I know, it’s happened to me. Even with puppy training pads down, the dogs may simply decide to go somewhere else (again, this is from experience). You’ll have to be willing to clean it up, clean the floor and be sweet and kind to the dog.

 

4- Upstanding Citizen Brigade (That’s YOU)

Being a dog sitter means being the type of person people you don’t know are happy to have you in their house while their away. It may sound shallow but not only do first impressions count, but so does your appearance and manner.

Whether you’re responding to an inquiry via email, text or phone, you need to be polite, use correct grammar and punctuation, use correct spelling, and have a pleasant, good voice. Having a good voice is your tone, your speech, the words you choose and how you say them. Being all ghetto may impress your friends, but it isn’t going to impress someone into handing over the keys to their home.

And of course, this bring us to your appearance. I’m not suggesting you need to don a Chanel suit, but you do need to think about what you wear. Being well dressed is important. Going in scruffy, with your breakfast still clinging to your face and clothes, wearing a death metal T-shirt, or your favourite Goth outfit complete with make up probably won’t help you in getting the job.  It doesn’t matter if you trained under Mother Teresa, it’s all about looks.

A big part of coming across as honest and trustworthy; an upstanding citizen is first impressions, so make it count.  Be neatly and on the conservative side of dress and you’re most of the way there. Have some great references (trusted friends, colleagues and other people you’ve done this for in the past) ready to give to your prospective clients, and always remember politeness and manners when you’re face to face with your client.

 

3- Walk of Shame (Oh, the THINGS Doggies Do!)

We’ve covered the poop scooping, but there’s more to walks than that. Sometimes, with some dogs, much more. Dogs do gross things. They eat weird things from the street. They lick up puddles of goodness only knows what (and sometimes they eat their own poop and even other dog’s poop!), and if you stop and chat to the cutie who’s smiling at you, the dog will probably either pee on them, attack their dog or decide to attack. Basically when you go out with a dog, you’re there for the dog, no matter what.

But it’s more than that. You need to keep a sharp eye out on what the dog is doing. Yes, you need to stop him eating and licking weird things, you need to make sure he doesn’t pee on some unsuspecting stranger. You need to make sure he doesn’t attack other dogs, or get attacked by other dogs. You need to always be aware.

 

2- Getting to Know You! (Well, Getting to Know the Dog)

All dogs are not created equally. Some love to play with all and anyone be they dog or human. Others do not like to be around creatures of their own ilk. You need to understand this and work accordingly.

Some dogs love other dogs, others need to be kept away from other dogs, and some are a real handful and like to try and get loose from their leash when walking, so make sure you know all this before you start sitting. Ask all the relevant when you speak to the owner. But it’s important to make sure you spend time with the dog and owner, and then with the dog while the owner is in the other room. All dogs (like people) have different personalities and need to be handled in different ways. A neurotic dog will need lots of attention and a calm, soothing demeanor from you. A shy dog may need coaxing. If you get to know each dog beforehand, your job will be much easier and it will help you get further work with the pooch.

 

1- Must Love Dogs… No, Seriously, Must Love Dogs

Become a dog sitter and not like dogs? Or are a little scare of dogs? Probably not a good idea. Dogs and owners can both pick up on when someone is not comfortable around dogs.

If this be you, then it’s time to rethink the whole career with dogs thing. Dogs need someone who is comfy around them and who understands them. It’s not difficult, but rather who you are. If you love dogs but don’t have much experience around them or have one of your own, then I’d suggest making it your business to get to know dogs. Whether you do some dog walking, or hang out at the dog park and talk to owners and play with their dogs, or simply spend time with a friend who has a dog, being around dogs will give you confidence and experience that you need.

So there you go, if you think you can follow these tips and absolutely love and respect our doggy friends then go forth and become a world class dog sitter!

Thanks to dogbarkz for the pic!


Why Dog Toys Are Important (Cat Toys, Too!)

December 29, 2011

I just read an interesting article from The Dog Blog by Nancy Renard about why dog toys are important, and I couldn’t agree more.

Imagine leaving a child alone without anything to keep him or her occupied with. Be it colouring book, a book, toys, a game, puzzles… Imagine that child in a few hours. I’m thinking room destroyed. Maybe napping, but room destroyed.

Same thing with a dog, especially a puppy.

Basically, if you don’t give your pet something to play with, expect havoc to ensue.

But beyond that, games and toys help keep a dog’s mind agile and young, and the same goes for his body.

Don’t think you cat people are off the hook. If one animal was designed to play, it’s the cat. Kitties love to chase, pounce, stalk, and play then kill. They need play to hone their instincts. If you don’t give them toys, and if you don’t interact with them, then watch out shoelaces, dangly jewellery, furniture, kitty will pay those things attention.

And same goes for the mind and body of a cat. Keep the cat active and you’ll see it in her silhouette, in her youthful actions (my cat loves to play at the tender age of ten and everyone thinks he’s years and years younger!).

So, click here to read the entire article; Nancy has some great advice (she’s a former dog trainer) and make sure you get some great toys for your cat or dog. You don’t have to spend a fortune, either.


Leash Training Your Dog

August 24, 2011

Owning big, strong dogs who are undisciplined is difficult, especially if your dog is still young, or you adopted him as a ‘grown-up’.

Leashing a dog is a good way of controlling him, but what do you do if your dog hates the leash? And then still attempts to attack other dogs or people? Or if not attack, gets too excited and aggressive when he sees them?

The answer is of course, training. Most of us will send a dog to a trainer to get what we need done. But if you can’t afford a trainer, or would prefer to do the training yourself, then it’s up to you.

Over at Boxer Rescue LA, they have some wonderful advice on training a leash-aggressive dog, so check them out and what they have to say.

The Terrier Man has some great how-to training advice on his blog. The entry is very long, and he has very strong opinions about people wanting a ‘quick-fix’ from their trainers, or from attempting to train your dog yourself. It’s an interesting read, and one that raises some good points.  But, whether you reflect his opinions, this article does have some great instructions on how to leash train your leash-aggressive dog, and on training in general.

Our take away from both of these is to always, always be consistent in your training methods. Always give a reward when things are calm and the dog is doing what you want. And, always be patient, as proper training takes patience and time.

And a nice doggy grooming at the end of the day is always perfect.


Blizzard 101

December 27, 2010

For some of us, we’re completely snowed in. Flights are cancelled, driving is dangerous and staying indoors is just the only thing that makes sense.

If you’re stuck away from your pet because of cancelled or delayed flights, don’t panic. You’ve got someone looking after your pet. Check in with them and make sure the extra time will be covered. If you’re stuck somewhere because you can’t drive home, and you can’t get a neighbour to look in on your pet, we still say don’t panic. You’ll be able to drive soon when the roads are cleared, so at the most you’ll be hours late home.

As for walking your pet? It ain’t gonna happen in these conditions. Play indoor games to give your dog exercise, and set down puppy pads for your dog’s needs.

Then we say, sit back, relax, and enjoy the snow.