Nov 22

We’re looking forward to spending the holidays with close friends, family & lots of great food!
We’re so grateful for all the wonderful people & animals in our lives.  Our clients are amazing in their dedication to & love for their furry family members.  It’s such a pleasure to do what we do!

Speaking of great food…..  Our clients often ask what they should be feeding their pets.
Our answer is simply:  Feed your pets the best food that you can because they’ll live longer, healthier & happier lives.  What constitutes a high quality diet?  Choose a grain-free, moisture-rich diet packed with protein that your pet’s body can use without metabolic stress.  Watch as one of our fave veterinarian bloggers, Karen Becker, describes your non-kibble options.  Keep in mind that the best diet is one that fits these criteria; is doable for you; & helps your pet thrive, as an individual with unique dietary needs!

Foodie goodness aside, what else are we thankful for this holiday season?

We owe a huge “thank you!” to everyone who selfishly helps animals on a daily basis.  Whether you work or volunteer @ a shelter/rescue; work @ a veterinary hospital; or have adopted/fostered strays or orphaned animals – – – – You make a huge difference!  Touching human & animal lives truly captures the holiday spirit.

Thank you for all you do!

Wishing you wonderful holidays & a Happy New Year!

Related posts & pages:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Nov 8

We’re taking a brief break between posts.  In the meantime, you can catch up with us on Facebook.  We update our page daily with timely, educational & fun info for pet guardians.  We’d love to see you there!  And, if you need help with your pet’s behavior & training, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

We do have a purrfect excuse for our paws between posts:

Related posts:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Oct 26

We’re huge fans of Halloween. But good, spooky fun shouldn’t come at the expense of your pets’ happiness & safety. Check these sources for tips on a pet-friendly Halloween:

  • A Purr-fect Howl-oween – Our post is packed with great pet tips for before & during Halloween, including DIY treats, toys & costumes!
  • ASPCA’s safety guidelines for autumn and Halloween

Now, let’s enjoy some flicks that are more silly than scary!  First up is last year’s classic.  See what happens when Splash & Kiko take Halloween matters into their own paws!

Not to be left out, these kitties put the fun in Halloween!  While we don’t recommend putting Fluffy in a costume, Jumbo Pillow is so happy munching on boiled chicken breast & plain canned pumpkin that he doesn’t mind a bit!

And, finally, Jarrod demos how to safely trick or treat …… in feline style!

More fun links:

  • Our intrepid poodle, Rusty, monkeys around this Halloween.  Watch!
  • Our Facebook page is the place to be this fall!  Our Halloween film fest continues there, with lots of laughs.  And, as always, our page is packed with timely, helpful info for pet guardians.  Join us!

Boo!

© 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.)

Via edyong 209

Via DiscoveryNetworks

Via whiskasnetwork

Via cbaumann

How do cats do that? Fascinating!

Via DiscoveryNetworks

© 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

Jun 14

At the risk of dating myself, remember when “Seinfeld” coined the term “close talker”?  Watch these quick, funny excerpts to see what I mean:

Notice how each character has a different reaction to the “close talker”? Now apply this to your pets: From their points-of-view, we humans are all close- talkers! (Your pet’s tolerance of our “rude” human behavior depends on her temperament, socializing history & social skills.) Before you rule yourself out as a close-talker, consider this: We live in a society that respects eye contact & a firm handshake. We learn to interact with fellow humans this way, so it’s natural for us to interact with animals in the same manner. And then there’s the group of well-meaning people who are the worst of the human close-talkers, from Fido & Fluffy’s perspective: The folks who insist on interacting with your pet, saying, “I just love animals” – or – “animals love me”.  On the other hand, dogs reduce social pressure by avoiding face-on approaches & direct eye contact.  Watch this video:

What’s a pet guardian to do? Protect your pets from well-meaning “close talkers”.  Here are a few general ground rules to follow to properly socialize any dog, or to relax a nervous pup. Keep in mind that many of these guidelines will help shy Kitty, too:

  • Space & time: All interactions between well-meaning people & pets should be initiated by Pup.  Let her relax @ a comfortable distance until she’s ready to approach.  Never insist; never force.  If folks can’t respect that rule, they shouldn’t meet Pup.
  • Don’t play “Pass a pup”:  Small pets who are passed from person to person aren’t necessarily willing or happy participants.  Encourage folks to sit down & wait until Pup approaches them, as above.
  • One @ a time:  Never put Pup in the position of being surrounded by people (especially children), all petting @ once.  It’s overwhelming, and it can make her feel trapped.  Only one person meets her @ a time, following the above rules.  If Pup wants to leave, let her.
  • Leash law:  All the above rules definitely apply to leashed dogs.  Unless a guardian gives you permission to pet and Pup happily approaches you, walk away.  Many dogs feel trapped & defensive on a leash because they aren’t ready to approach people or dogs they encounter.
  • Listen to little dogs:   If a small dog barks or growls @ you, respect that.  Walk away.
  • Never punish a growl:  If a nervous dog is growling, it’s a very helpful warning that can save someone from a bite.  If you teach Pup not to warn by punishing the growl,  she becomes more dangerous.  She’s learned that bad things do happen when she’s nervous, and that she should skip the growl.  She’s likely to bite sooner rather than later.
  • Patience, socialize & trainFearful pets are behaving defensively, not dominantly.  Drop your ego, take a deep breath, and teach your pet she can trust people.  Contact me for help with your fearful pet, sooner rather than later.  Most aggression is fear-based.  I can help you understand where Rover & Fluffy are coming from, and how to help them relax & trust.  This goes a long way toward preventing and/or treating aggression!

Need a great example of a fearful pup turned around via understanding, space & time? Look no further than our fave poodle, Rusty.  The day we adopted him, my hubby, became a “close talker”.  He greeted Rusty a little too enthusiastically.  Rusty felt trapped because he was on the couch, & his new “dad” got on his level, eye -to-eye, to say hello.  Rusty moved away & fear grimaced, showing his teeth.  What would you have done?  My hubby sat on the floor, with his back to Rusty.  Rusty approached, and all was forgiven.  For the next week or so, we let Rusty make all the 1st moves.  It went so well that Rusty raves about his “dad” in his latest post!

© 2011 Critter Consulting

May 2

Wishing moms of fur-kids everywhere a very Happy Mother’s Day!  In light of the week’s events, we’ll let this oh-so-apropos video speak our hearts:

Related posts:

© 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

Mar 5

What’s new & fresh for spring?  We’re on Facebook! We hesitated until Facebook gave pages new autonomy, and now we’re all over it.  Why?  For the same reasons we hopped on Twitter.  It’s a fun way for us to inform, entertain & stay in touch with you.  We post several times a day; we promise to keep it current & interesting.  So please stop by & follow us.  We’d love to hear from you, too.  (We’re softies for adorable pet pics!)

Not on Facebook or Twitter?  Sign up for our e-Newsletter, and we’ll deliver all the latest pet news to your inbox.  Our newsletter is packed with seasonal tips, recalls, diet info, belly laughs – and much more!

What else is special about spring?  It’s puppy & kitten season, of course! Did you know that your pet starts learning from you the instant you bring him/her home?  Be sure you consciously teach little ones what you really want them to know.  We’re happy to help you start on the right paw via early puppy & kitten training!

How’s Rusty, our playful poodle, celebrating Spring? With toys, of course!  Watch him showoff a new game, and a new toy.

We caught Maru, our fave feline international video star, sporting a new spring style.  Ready for the catwalk, Maru?

Happy Spring!
Related posts:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

Feb 7

Every day we help folks improve their relationships with their pets. A little education, understanding & patience from humans has a huge impact on their pets’ behavior.  As a result, cats, dogs & their people enjoy sweeter lives together.  So, really, we capture the spirit of Valentine’s Day every day around here.  We dedicate this post to celebrating & sharing that lovin’ feeling with pets and pet-lovers in your life – year round!

Play together, stay together – Try these toys to keep your pet moving; prevent boredom-based problem behaviors; and brighten each day!

How can you show your pets you love them? Understand what they need from you:

  • Read Amy Shojai’s “10 Tips to Show Cats Love
  • Read Kristine’s post, “A Letter to My Dog“.  It’s a thoughtful, humorous, heartfelt agreement to meet her dog, Shiva, halfway.  (Well, really more than half-way…)  It’s a great reminder of the parts we play in the relationships with our dogs, and how a little understanding goes a very long way.
  • And, a humorous list of what Pup would like from you:  “10 Canine Commandments“.

Gifts for your pet-loving valentine…. The best ones last or give back!

  • Blue Witch cat and dog mugs are more artistic than annoying.  (We know it’s a fine line.)
  • Pattern and Paw’s Cone Cat t-shirt is perfect for folks in veterinary, shelter or rescue fields.   Quirky-cute & funny.
  • Buy this t-shirt & save a pit bull, through 2/28/11.  And, it’s green!  Woof!
  • The Grey Muzzle Organization’s “I Love Old Dogs” pearl bracelet is sweet.  It comes gift-boxed, and the proceeds benefit senior dogs.
  • For the exotic fashionista, we recommend this canine t-shirt from Nika Collection in Turkey.
  • Yogamatic offers personalized yoga mats.  Send a pic of your pet, and they’ll put it on a mat.  New meaning for downward dog!
  • Join the Lu Parker Project:  Donate the cost of a Kuranda bed for a shelter dog, and they’ll send your valentine a bouquet of flowers.  Lovely.

Last but not least, keep your furry Valentines smelling sweet:

  • This is Pet Dental Month.  Watch these videos on how to brush your cat’s and dog’s teeth.  (Yes, you can & you should.)  Visit your vet for regular dental exams & cleanings.  (We DO NOT recommend anesthesia-free cleanings.  Watch to learn why.)  See how Rusty keeps his canines sparkling.
  • It’s skunk season (ugh).  Here’s the de-skunking 411.  You’re welcome.  (Have you seen little Iso bathing in slow motion?  Awwww…..)

Happy Valentine’s Day – every day!

© 2011 Critter Consulting

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