Feb 2

Valentine’s Day has us thinking about all the animals we’ve loved. 

We’d like to share an article inspired by Charlie, the most amazing cat we’ve ever met.  He came to us as a sickly stray, and moved right into our home & hearts with pure grace.  Keep in mind that it was a full house with 2 other cats and a dog.  So perhaps “grace” is an understatement of the ease with which Charlie joined our family.  Anyway, we felt so blessed to have Charlie in our lives that we wrote about the joys of adopting an adult cat in this article.

And, as always, we’re so grateful to have our miniature poodle, Rusty, in our lives.  He’s another example of how wonderful it can be to adopt an adult pet.  He’s been blogging about it since he came to live with us.  Check out Rusty’s Dog Blog!

Visit your local shelter or rescue. Lots of loving dogs & cats are just waiting to charm their way into your home. We can help your adoptions go smoothly.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you & your pets (even the prickly ones!)

Are you catching us between posts?  Visit us on our Facebook page.

We update it daily with all the latest & best in pet-related news & entertainment.  Join us there to laugh & learn.  Plus, you’re welcome to post pics on our page of your adopted Valentines – anytime!

© 2012 Critter Consulting

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Jan 30

True confessions time ….  How are those pesky resolutions really going for you?

Now’s the time of year when our good intentions start to fall by the wayside.

Allow us to re-inspire you with this post.   Instead of thinking about your goals as resolutions, consider them to be “lifestyle goals”.  We quit resolutions if we haven’t reached them by January 31.  Don’t give up!  Instead, gradually incorporate your goals into your life so they’re doable & fun.  Ask others to join you to hold you accountable.  For example, if one of your goals was to get moving, let your pet be your personal trainer.  One look @ that adorable face will remind you to get up & walk, run or play.  Just get going, and you’ll be rewarded with personal satisfaction, as well as all the wags & purrs you can stand!

A few fave articles, posts & pages to get you started (again) on the right paw:

  • “Let’s Play!” – Feeling stressed?  Overwhelmed?  Got the blues?  If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then your cat probably can, too.  We have the solution for both of you:  Dust off those cat toys & get busy playing!  (Bonus:  A tired Kitty is less stressed & better behaved.)
  • “7 Resolutions your pet can help you reach”
  • “New year?  New training goals!” – Combine exercise & training to improve mind & body.  We can help you improve Pup’s leash manners & training to get you both going!
  • “A new kind of resolution” – Don’t have a dog?  Why not volunteer with your local shelter or rescue as a dog walker?  Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your mutt match!  (Plus, we list lots of other ways you can feel good while making a difference.)
  • Our toy recommendations – for your dog and your cat.
  • “I workout!” – Our poodle pal, Rusty’s post is loaded with inspiration!

Most importantly, have fun!

And do it with a sense of humor!

© 2012 Critter Consulting

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Jan 25

We’re so excited about the year to come!  What exactly gets us wagging & barking for joy?  We love bringing pets & their human guardians together via positive training.  We live for those “light bulb” moments where guardians suddenly understand where their pets are coming from & why they do what they do.  And the “ah-ha” moment crossing a dog’s or cat’s face when they finally get what their people have been trying to teach them all along?  It’s priceless.  Essentially, we bridge communication gaps between species to improve relationships.  Along the way, we meet and learn from amazing animals & people every day.

Want to get started on the right paw with your pet this year?  Why wait?  We’d love to hear from you!  We help people have happy, well mannered dogs & cats.  Got a  new puppy?  Or an older dog that needs to learn new tricks?  Is Kitty stressed?  We work with all ages, breeds, and issues via in-home consultations in Sonoma County.

As always, we’ll continue to inform & entertain via this site, our Facebook page, our newsletter, and Rusty’s Dog Blog.  After all, it’s much more fun to learn when you’re laughing.  So dig in & stay in touch.  Woofs & wags to you & your pets!

Related posts:

© 2012 Critter Consulting

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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

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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

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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

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Aug 27

We’re looking back on a great summer with friends, family, clients & pets.  And, of course, there’s lots more fun to come!

“Feels like Home” from Roberto Musicorio.

Related posts:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

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Aug 16

Our clients ask great questions about dog-dog play:  Is that play, or are they fighting?  How do I know my dog’s having fun?  Should I break it up or let them work it out?  Of course, the best answers are given while observing dogs in action.  But we think these general tips will set you on the path of understanding pooches @ play.

Good play is a lot of give & take, where dogs take turns with toys & chasing/being chased.  If one dog isn’t comfy (retreating, tail tucked, belly up, ears back, yelping) and is feeling bullied because the other dog isn’t letting up, it’s time to step in.  Happily interrupt & redirect the dogs from each other.  Keep calm, with no tension in your voice or body.  Decide if the dogs can resume playing after a short break, or if  their play styles are a mismatch.  We love this video.  Whether your pup is @ a dog park or having a play date, you’ll learn how to recognize happy, healthy play.  Watch:

Dogs usually pace the play by taking breaks along the way.  Notice that one pup might walk away, shake as if drying themselves, drink water or lay down.  This signals the other dog that they are pausing.  In nice play, the other dog will respect the break and relax, too.  Here’s a great example of how intense play could be mistaken as fighting.  But notice that the dogs’ play styles are well matched, and they use breaks to pace the play:

Some dogs don’t pace themselves well and/or they don’t respect another dog’s break request (calming signals). They get overly excited during play.  Often these are young puppies & adolescents with unrefined social skills.  You can help your dogs enjoy longer, calmer play sessions by initiating proactive play breaks.  Teach them that a phrase (like “all done!”) means head to you to sit for treats.  Reward their calm sits by releasing them to play again:  “Go play!”.  Keep it fun so the dogs don’t mind interrupting their play for you. (Of course, @ a dog park with other dogs, you shouldn’t use food. A calm pet or praise will do.)

Speaking of social skills, it’s OK for dogs to fairly & clearly define their personal boundaries with each otherHere’s a lovely example of a tolerant, socially skilled adult dog calming & setting boundaries for a bouncy puppy:

(Much thanks to the folks @ Castor & Pollux for sharing this adorable video of Walter and Charlie the puppy with us!)

Recommended reading – from the best of the pack!

Article:   “Dog Park Etiquette” by Pat Miller

Blog posts:

Video:  Turid Rugaas on Calming Signals  (a must-watch for all dog guardians!)

Books:

© 2011 Critter Consulting

 

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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

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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

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