Jul 22

What’s better than a swim in the summer heat, right?  Your dog may agree – or he might have an aversion to water.  Perhaps somewhere in between, like this creative canine?

Ideally, prevent your dog’s access to your pool when you can’t supervise,  just as you would your kids.  Teach your dog how to swim and how to get in & out of the pool, even if you don’t want him to be in your pool.  That way, he’s less likely to panic if he falls in, and he’ll know how to get back out if you can’t get to him in time.  Watch:

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We love the products mentioned in video above: Skamper ramp; Safety Turtle pool alarm; and Outward Hound’s swim vest. Wendy Diamond has more details on teaching Pup to swim, via the Today Show. (Does the pool in this video look familiar? It should if you follow Rusty’s Dog Blog! It’s a perfect pool substitute for small and/or water-timid pooches.) Watch:

Got it? No force; go @ Pup’s pace. This isn’t a sink-or-swim lesson, after all.  Show Pup how to get in & out.  Go in with him to help him float. (The Outward Hound vest has a handle on top in case you need to lift or guide your dog.)  Relax & wait until you feel Pup relax.  You’ll know he’s ready for more when he starts to paddle on his own to explore the water.  Word to the wise: If you’re getting in with Pup, wear a t-shirt & board shorts! Until he relaxes, he may grab on to you or paddle frantically. Clothing will protect you from his nails. Have fun with it & stay safe, but don’t go overboard.  Your dog will thank you for respecting his dignity.

Enjoying our summer film fest? We can’t leave Kitty out of the fun. This kitten’s having a blast in the tub…. who knew?!

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Jul 22

As the summer sizzles, we wonder:  Exactly what happens when your pets drink water?  Watch!  (Keep yourself and your pets (dogs and cats) well hydrated in the summer heat.)

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How do cats do that? Fascinating!

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© 2011 Critter Consulting

Jun 30

Is your pet an escape artist?  No?   Are you sure about that?  Watch these hairy Houdinis in action, and then we’ll hook you up with a few ideas for deterring daring escapes.

We’re inspired by these fence amendment ideas:

A quick word about the holiday weekend: Shelters are crowded with escaped pets brought to them every July 4th weekend.  Don’t underestimate how determined a scared dog or cat can be to escape, often injuring themselves.  Keep pets indoors during the fireworks.  (Know that your pet can hear fireworks & music from neighboring towns.  Here’s the Sonoma County fireworks schedule, for your planning purposes.)  And, our pal Rusty’s got more tips for relaxing pets this weekend in his latest post….

On a lighter note,  Simon’s Cat has a unique look @ what happens “beyond the fence”.  Happy 4th, everyone!

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Apr 12

We love spring.  Unfortunately, we find the call of sunshine, flowers & green grass hard to ignore.  What better time to get out, play & explore with your pets?  But it’s also a busy time for training: puppy & kitten season!  And, as pets & their people heed spring’s call, they’re reminded that a little training would be helpful right about now.  So we’ll let this post reflect our spring conundrum:  To go play or train today?  Why not both?!

  • Contact us for early puppy & kitten training.  We help folks prevent unwanted behaviors, change bad habits & teach new skills to their pets of any age!
  • Want to catch up on all-things-pet related quickly? Find us on Facebook for the latest in pet news; diet & health info; product recommendations; recalls; and training/behavior tips.  We curate our page from the best experts (us included!), so it’s a reliable, timely single-source for you.
  • How are you & your pets celebrating spring? Visit our Facebook page and tell us.  Share your ideas, pictures & videos.  Let’s celebrate together!
  • Be safe as you play.  Spring’s the season for cautions about bees, snakes, fleas/ticks, and Easter risks for pets.

Whew – Can we play now? Rusty’s off & running with a play date & a new toy!  Need more inspiration?  These videos perfectly capture the season’s vibe.  (If you didn’t have spring fever before you watch them, you will after.  You’re welcome!)

Happy Spring!
Related posts:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Dec 13

What’s the best way to enjoy the holidays with your pets?  Play, of course! It’s big Fido & feline-fun, and it’s packed with benefits you might not have considered.  Play keeps us moving with our pets, reducing stress & enhancing moods.  Fresh air & laughter help all of us flow with stressful holiday routine changes & chaos.  Exercise is a rainy-day boredom buster, too.  (Bored pets are more mischievous!)  And best of all – how many of those pesky New Year’s resolutions get tackled in the process?

We’ve got gobs of great gift ideas for your pet (or the pet lover on your list) and DIY sources for crafty, thrifty Santas — with a little laughter thrown in. (Videos below.) Let’s go!

  • For the Fido in your life: We updated our toy list!  Look for interactive toys to exercise brain & body, indoors & out.  Plus, we help you choose toys & chews based on your pet’s chewing preferences.  Need more?  We’re all over Johann the Dog’s smart dog toys!
  • For your finicky feline friends: Keep Kitty moving!  Our toy recommendations include interactive & self-amusing ideas.  If your cat’s not inclined to play on his own, try interactive play.  Even self-starting players will appreciate it if you freshen up & rotate their toy supply.  Put a few away for awhile, and bring new ones out, tucked in boxes or paper bags to be discovered & explored.  And, a little catnip couldn’t hurt!
  • Looking for DIY ideas? We love this option because it’s budget-friendly; personalized for your pet’s play & lifestyle; and a great way to get kids involved!  Check out PetMD’s DIY gift list for pets & their people.  Make & Build Dog Stuff and Squidoo have some wonderful ideas for dogs.  Responsible Pet Ownership’s bloggers cover cats & dogs, as does Martha Stewart’s Pet Projects.   More inspirational sources for DIY ideas:  ModernCat, Etsy, Moomah, and DesignSponge.  We love these sites because you can shop them, or try your hand @ making something you see.  As with any new toy, supervise your pet as they play with your creations.  Keep it safe & fun!
  • What’s Rusty getting for Christmas? Shhh – it’s a secret!  But he’s been a very good boy, so Santa’s got him covered.  Rusty is a December pup, born 12/20/06.  So here’s a sneak peak @ his B-day present:  A Socktopus Monkey!  (Really….shhhh!)  He’ll share his toy reviews with you in future posts.  In the meantime, check out his “Holiday Play” adventures!

Keeping the spirit of play going:  This is our all-time favorite holiday dog-play video, paws down!

Not be outdone, Simon’s Cat returns in “Santa Claws”. (Remember to pet-proof your tree, folks!)  Happy Holidays to you, family & pets alike!

Related posts:

© 2010 Critter Consulting


Oct 14

We love Halloween, but it’s a scary season for pets. Take the “Boo!” out of Halloween for Fluffy & Fido by prepping them now:

For Halloween day:

October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month. (We say: cats, too!)  Petfinder.com can help you find your next pet.  Not adopting?  Help pets-in-need by donating time, goods, or money to your local shelter or rescue(We can help you choose & train your new companion!)  Check out this charming video.  It’s proof that adorable, adoptable pets are already wearing the best costumes of all!

Not to be left out, Rusty’s been working on a new “trick” with his his latest “treat”.  See how he’s doing.  (Not bad for a little guy who’s recovering from a spooky bee sting.)  Rusty’s motto:  Everything can be fixed with toys & treats!

© 2010 Critter Consulting

Sep 27

Weird weather, right? In the middle of a heat wave, we’re slipping into fall. We promise lots of fun, informative posts to come from us and our fave poodle, Rusty.  In the meantime, here’s a short list of seasonal posts & articles to help you & your pet through the seasonal transition.  And,  you’re invited to follow us on Twitter for all the best, up-to-the-minute info on pets.  Or just check our latest “tweets” in our homepage sidebar.  Keep cool!

What’s Rusty been up to? More than we can fit into this post!  Lately, he blogged about his Labor Day adventures:  Armstrong Woods, Spring Lake, & Shell Beach!  (Watch his video and his slide show.)  All great places for you to take your dog to enjoy this lovely fall weather!

Don’t forget: This is a great time to train your pet! Don’t wait until the holidays are upon us and you’re feeling overwhelmed.  And – this is the perfect time to make sure your dog & cat are house trained, before the rain starts in earnest.  We’d love to help you with your pets’ behavior & training!

© 2010 Critter Consulting

Sep 15

OK – We admit we dragged our feet about exploring Twitter. (Why on Earth would we want to waste more time online?)  But, we kept an open mind and dove in.  Now that we’ve seen the light and joined the Twitter-sphere, we’d like to share our experience with you.  (If you’re not on Twitter, bear with us & read on, because you don’t have to join Twitter to benefit!)

Our goal with this website is to provide a fresh, unbiased, informative & entertaining resource for our clients, as well as ourselves. Our new site, Rusty’s Dog Blog, is more on the fun side, with small lessons sprinkled into each of his posts.  Our e-Newsletter lets you relax & receive info from our sites automatically.  It’s also a way for us to bring you breaking pet news, like recalls, between posts.  In all of our publications, you can breeze thru & just watch a fun video – or – dig deeper to learn about behavior, health, diet, products, etc.  Personalize your experience!

How does Twitter fit in? We weren’t sure until we found a widget for our homepage (& Rusty’s) that shows our most recent tweets!  (Funny, we can write “Tweet”, but still feel incredibly awkward saying it out loud.)  So you don’t have to be on Twitter to get the best of the daily updates on what’s happening in all-things-cats-and-dogs.  Just check our site every now & then!  Still not sure?  Don’t blame you.  We’re extremely picky about what we post.  Here are a few of our recent “tweets” (still wincing):

Interesting, right?  Of course, you’re welcome to follow us on Twitter if you like, as well as Rusty. (By the way – Rusty’s becoming quite the melon connoisseur.  Watch him in action!)  Contact us anytime for help with your pets.  We’d love to hear from you!

© 2010 Critter Consulting

Jun 18

We wish you many fun-filled, sunny days this summer. We collected some great tips & ideas for family activities you & your pets will enjoy.

“On a hot day, in just 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can reach 112 degrees, even with the windows partially open. During the summer, veterinarians see many emergency patients suffering from heat exhaustion due to being left in cars. Sadly, not all survive. So next time you need to run some “quick” errands, leave your pets safely at home, not in the car.”

Did you hear about Max, the lab who saved his on life by honking the horn until his owner let him out of a too-hot car?  Lucky dog!  And, don’t forget to check in with Rusty on his new blog.  Find out how he & his friends are keeping cool.  (Remember, summer’s a perfect time for positive pet training.  Kids going back-to-school?  Routine changes make many pets anxious.  We’d love to help!)

© 2010 Critter Consulting

May 27

We wish you a nice, sunny Memorial Day weekend with your family & pets!

Get off to a good start with important seasonal info & fun goodies:

We love this video because it perfectly captures this holiday’s vibe.  Welcome summer….. doggie-style!

© 2010 Critter Consulting

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