Category Archives: Laurie Darroch

Valentine’s Day Safety Tips for Pet Owners

valentine safetyBy Laurie Darroch

Valentine gifts and tokens of love may be wonderful for the humans in your life, but many of the traditional presents we give each other may be dangerous for your dogs and cats. Those seemingly innocuous gifts can injure or even kill your pet if they ingest them.

Chocolates and Other Foods

A heart-shaped box full of delectable chocolates may be just the ticket to please your Valentine, but those sweet treats can make your pets very sick. Chocolate contains theobromine which is similar to caffeine. The darker and richer the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs and cats.

Many dogs and cats do like the smell and taste of chocolate. If they happen to grab one small piece of milk chocolate, part of a chocolate chip cookie or a dropped M & M, it is not likely to make them extremely ill. Leaving an unattended box of chocolates sitting where your pets can reach them, however, is a siren call many can’t resist.
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Fun Games to Play with Your Dog Indoors

indoor games jamieBy Laurie Darroch

Whether impeded by rain or snow, or by location, sometimes it’s just not possible to take your dog outside for their much needed exercise. However, there are lots of fun games you can play with your dog indoors to help keep her mentally challenged and physically fit. It is also a great way to bond with your dog and spend quality time together. The restrictions of indoor space are a perfect place to work on behavior and obedience too.

Mental Challenges

Like people, dogs can get restless and bored being indoors. Dogs love physical games that burn off energy, but they also enjoy mental challenges that keep them alert and focused.

Hiding games encourage dogs to use all their senses and give them something to strive for. If your dog is learning the “stay” command or has already mastered it, a simple game of hide-and-seek will be fun for her. If she has not mastered the “stay” command and there is another human in the house, have that person hold the dog and repeat the word “stay” while you hide in another part of the house. Then have them say the release word and “Find Mommy,” “Find Daddy” or your name if that is how they know you. For dogs that will stay on command, give them the command, go hide and then call them with your release word and tell them to find you. To challenge your dog, repeat the game and change your hiding places.
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Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

road trip karaBy Laurie Darroch

If you are thinking about going on a road trip with your dog, be aware that locating pet friendly lodging may limit your travel plans. Not all hotels or motels allow dogs as guests in their rooms. Try some of these helpful tips to make finding dog-friendly accommodations  easier.

Be Prepared

Unless you are on an emergency or last minute trip, plan ahead for your road trip. Dogs need to stop for relief or just to stretch their legs on a long trip the same way you do. They also need to have comfortable sleeping accommodations with room to move, ventilation, and a sense of security. You don’t want to be stuck sleeping in the car with your dog when you end up someplace where there are no pet-friendly establishments.

Check ahead of time for the places along the way that allow dogs to stay. Also look into which rest stops have dog friendly areas for stretching their legs, and what the limitations or requirements are in each place. Even campgrounds may have specific limits or requirements for a pet to stay. Do your research to ensure a pleasant stay for all.
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Does Your Dog Hog Your Bed?

dogs sleep joaoBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs love being close to their human companions, even when they sleep.  If your dog is allowed on the bed or furniture, they will very soon take it over and make it their domain as well as yours. In their minds it must be allowable to establish the most comfortable arrangement they can on their sleeping spots, even if it makes your sleeping arrangement uncomfortable. For our loved dogs though, we often make concessions that we don’t even do for our human companions.

Unerring loyalty is sometimes worth bending the rules for when it comes to rest time. The sense of safety and security humans and dogs get from each other is an added bonus, but dogs know how to push the limits of sleeping comfort if you allow them to. Sometimes they are quite humorous about their sleep time maneuverings. They have a way of wiggling in where they want to be, to sleep right next to the person they love most.
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Potty Grass for Dogs

potty grass topBy Laurie Darroch

Potty grass is a product that offers an option for your dog if they are stuck inside and need to relieve themselves, or if some situation or condition keeps your dog inside. Some owners find potty grass to be a good alternative for times when their dog does not have access to the real thing. Here are some of the reasons to consider potty grass, and tips on using it.

Night Trips

Your dog may need to find relief in the middle of the night. If they urinate frequently or you live in an area that is not conducive to outside potty walks, having an indoor option or one in an enclosed patio or balcony or even the bathroom or laundry room, may be just what you need.

Illness or Injury

In the case of a very ill dog, a dog with an injury, or one with lessened physical function, a grass potty pad offers your dog the dignity of a particular place to find relief that is close enough and easier for them because it doesn’t involve excessive painful walking.

If you are sick or disabled yourself and find that you cannot handle long walks, potty grass helps you be a responsible pet owner and may be a very helpful alternative for dealing with your dog’s calls to Mother Nature.
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How to Travel in Extreme Cold with Your Dog

dog winter travel jurvetsonBy Laurie Darroch

While some dogs thrive in the cold, not all dogs handle it well. Factors such as coat thickness, the age or health of the dog, and the level and type of cold may make it difficult for your dog to deal with extremely chilly temperatures while you travel. Taking your dog on a winter vacation with you may sound like fun, but you need to make sure they can handle the cold first. Even dogs who love the cold may need some extra precautions when you take them traveling or exploring in the wintertime.


If you plan on being outside with your dog when you are traveling, keep her coat and feet in good condition. Proper grooming helps keep the fur in the condition necessary for growth and warmth.

Good nutrition helps the healthy growth of their skin and coat as well. A high quality dog food such as CANIDAE Grain Free PURE has the ingredients necessary to help maintain a shiny coat and healthy underlying skin.
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