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PET WELLNESS: HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR DOG

Pawsh-Magazine-how-to-bond-with-your-dog-4We humans are very lucky, because dogs love us unconditionally. It’s in their DNA to give affection, which is a truly incredible quality. Of course, however, as with any relationship, there are two sides to the dog and human bond and there are a few things we can do to continually strengthen the bonds we have with our dogs.

While it is sometimes easy to get caught up with our hectic work schedules and social lives, here are some simple ways to improve your bond with your dog.

HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR DOG #1:  THE FIVE MINUTE SNUGGLE
Pawsh-Magazine-how-to-bond-with-your-dog-1Mornings are sometimes the most chaotic part of the day. The whole family is up and groggy, people are trying to make breakfast and shower (not at the same time!), do their hair, pack the kiddos off to school and shovel the driveway before work.

Don’t let your dog get lost in the hustle and bustle — take time for a quiet five minute snuggle. Snuggle in bed, on the couch with coffee or even in the backyard after their morning outing. This serene ritual will soon become something your dog looks forward to, especially if they are left home alone during the 9-5 hours. Plus it will help to calm your morning craziness.

(TIP: Employ the five minute snuggle at the end of the day as well, when you walk through the door. Before you check the mail, change into comfy clothes, make a snack or throw the tv on, take five and snuggle with your dog. After all, they’ve been waiting all day for you!)

HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR DOG #2: PLAY OUTSIDE WITH YOUR DOG
Pawsh-Magazine-how-to-bond-with-your-dog-6While dogs are very content indoors with their toys, beds and blankets, almost all pooches get extremely excited by the prospect of going outside! But don’t let your dog have all the fun running around — join in! Not only will joining in on their great outdoor antics be a lot of fun for you, but it will further associate you as a highly joyful presence in their lives and further bond you together through a happy state.

(Suggested outdoor dog activities: fetch, chase, rough house, throwing snowballs, playing with the garden hose spray.)

HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR DOG #3: COOK WITH YOUR DOG
Pawsh-Magazine-how-to-bond-with-your-dog-5We all have to make something for dinner, but did you know this daily chore can be a great way to spend extra time with your pupster? As you slice and dice away, being the culinary genius that you are, have a few dog-friendly fresh goodies on hand, such as tomatoes, carrots or other dog-friendly human foods.

Between stirring and sauteing, ask your dog to do tricks in return for pieces of chopped green pepper, carrots etc. Suddenly cooking supper is an extra hour your dog can look forward to spending with you!

HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR DOG #4:  ENROLL IN AN OBEDIENCE CLASS
Pawsh-Magazine-how-to-bond-with-your-dog-3Obedience classes aren’t just for puppies! Dogs of all ages can enroll at various dog training schools, providing a wonderful and educational opportunity to spend more time together.

Training a puppy is a classic way to create a bond, so why not repeat it once in a while as your dog matures? A brush up on basic obedience skills is never a bad thing — or, if you’re feeling ambitious, progress to advanced obedience classes!

HOW TO BOND WITH YOUR DOG #5: CREATE YOUR OWN DOG GAMES
Pawsh-Magazine-how-to-bond-with-your-dog-2Every dog has a different personality and as you know their sweet disposition the best, take some time to create a dog-friendly game that they will love! Make your own DIY dog toys, invent a game for when tv commercials are on, combine training with play — in other words use your imagination to invent a new stimulating activity that your dog will go bananas for!

PAWSH PERK: Been extra busy lately? Here are 5 more ways to reconnect with your dog!

{Huge thanks to my incredible friend and talented artist Tonya Pet Photography for photographing this vibrant installment of the “Pet Wellness” column. Be sure to visit her fantastic website for all sorts of other fun pet shoots!}

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This article was made possible by DogTrot Fitness — Canada’s exclusive distributor of the PetRun line of dog treadmills — the ideal solution if your dog doesn’t love dog parks.
dog-treadmills-dogtrot-fitness-pawsh-magazineAdequate exercise is equally important to your dog’s wellness as a healthy diet. Even if you can’t run WITH your dog, we can help you meet his exercise needs, regardless of weather. With running decks scaled to suit any stride, there’s a PetRun treadmill for every size of dog! WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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WIN A CUPCAKE PARTY KIT FOR NATIONAL CUPCAKE DAY!

National-Cupcake-Day-giveawayCanadians are invited to “bake a difference” through the second annual National Cupcake Day™ to benefit SPCAs and Humane Societies across Canada. Everyone is encouraged to register for free online NOW at http://www.nationalcupcakeday.ca, collect donations through their “Online Bakery”, bake cupcakes and host a National Cupcake Day™ party for their friends, family or colleagues on National Cupcake Day, taking place February 24th, 2014.

“It’s amazing the power a cupcake can hold,” says Alison Cross, Director, Marketing and Communications for Ontario SPCA, Provincial Office.

“The response to last year’s launch event was phenomenal and this year we encourage bakers and animal lovers across the country to get involved in National Cupcake Day™.

It’s a fun event that makes a life-saving difference in the lives of animals who desperately need our help, and it’s a sweet way to show your support.”

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL CUPCAKE DAY?
1. Beginning January 6th, register for FREE at http://www.nationalcupcakeday.ca
2. You will receive a FREE Cupcake Host Welcome Package in the mail, which includes a poster, sticker, balloons, fundraising guide and recipes to get you started
3. Personalize your National Cupcake Day™ Online Bakery page and send it out to everyone you know
4. Encourage friends and family to support you by donating online
5. Plan your National Cupcake Day™ Party for home, work, school or wherever you think people would love to eat your cupcakes
6. Bake, decorate, eat and share delicious cupcakes to raise funds for Canada’s SPCAs and Humane Societies
7. Collect and forward funds to SPCAs and Humane Societies in your community (visit http://www.nationalcupcakeday.ca for a list of who’s participating)

WIN A CUPCAKE PARTY KIT!
To help kick off your own sweet National Cupcake Day, we’re giving away a cupcake party kit this week! This beauty has everything you could possibly need; cupcake decorations, cupcake skirts, spatulas, oven mitts, muffin tins, measuring cups and all sorts of other sweet treats so you can make the best cupcakes possible to raise money for our furry friends!

TO ENTER…
1.  Leave a comment on this blog post sharing your all-time favourite cupcake flavour!

A winner will be selected at random tomorrow afternoon! Good luck everyone and help spread the word about this wonderful initiative to raise funds for animals in need. After all, who doesn’t love a cupcake?

TORONTO PET PHOTOGRAPHER | SPRING 2014 MINI SESSIONS

Pawsh-Studio-Spring-Mini-Sessions-2On March 9th 2014, Pawsh Studio will be hosting ‘Spring Mini Sessions’ in Toronto. These quirky yet stylish pet portraits are designed to highlight the many fresh facial expressions of your dog in a timeless, yet contemporary style.

We’ve all had a very long, chilly winter this year, so I thought this would be a fun, bright way to celebrate the upcoming change of seasons! Spring certainly cannot get here fast enough!

INCLUDES

  • one dog per session (no props)
  • 20-25 minutes of studio shoot time
  • 6 proofs | 3 final, low-res photos | $10 print credit to use towards luxury prints
  • ONLY $65! (plus HST)
  • white or spring coloured background
  • canvases & prints available a la carte

*these mini sessions may not be used for commercial purposes. Only dogs with dog manners please.

All mini sessions will be photographed in the cosy comfort of Pawsh’s own studio. This is a professional working studio space. However, no flash is used so as not to startle pets and the main concern is always the well-being of the animal. Every photo session is relaxed and designed to be comfortable for the dogs.

HOW TO BOOK A SPRING MINI SESSION
Simply email me at info@pawsh-magazine.com with “Spring Mini Session” in the subject line! Easy peasy!

This is a limited space, discounted event booked on a first come, first serve basis and spaces are already filling up, as Pawsh Newsletter Subscribers received advanced notice (Sign up for our newsletter here if you would like advanced notice about Pawsh Studio promotions!)

Let’s celebrate the wonderful upcoming season of spring, shall we? I for one cannot wait!

DOG HEALTH: 6 SIGNS YOUR DOG MAY BE IN PAIN

Pawsh-Magazine-Dog-Wellness-1It is never easy to learn that your dog is unwell. In fact it is one of the hardest things pet parents have to deal with. But how do you know when to take your dog to the vet? The answer is, of course, whenever you are unsure about your pet’s well being (it is always better to be safe than sorry). Yet there are some tell-tale things you can watch out for to help you make the call. Here are six simple signs you should constantly watch out for to tell if your dog is in pain…

1) Unusual movement
If you dog starts to limp, has trouble getting up or lags on their walks it may be cause for concern. Monitor your dog’s actions closely at all times, even when they are as fit as a fiddle, so that you can recognize if and when their abilities change.

2) Vocalizing
No, no, we don’t mean barking per se. If your dog starts to whimper or whine for no apparent reason, chances are they are trying to tell you something. So don’t brush their little voices off right away without paying true attention what might be bothering them. A trip to the vet may not be a bad idea.
Pawsh-Magazine-Dog-Wellness-23) Altered breathing
Heavy breathing, excessive panting or sudden snorting may be indications that something is not quite right internally. Just as though you came across a person having difficulty breathing, treat this symptom with caution and immediate medical attention.

4) Extreme sensitivity
If your dog begins to cringe when approached, touched or in any way handled, it’s probably safe to say that they are hurting in some way. Dogs with injured paws, for example, may try to bite if touched, not out of meanness, but as a way to try and protect their injury. If your dog acts out in this manner, completely out of character, don’t immediately scold them. Again, they may be trying to communicate something.
Pawsh-Magazine-Dog-Wellness-45) Change in appetite
All dogs love food, but if you notice that they are suddenly eating much more or far less than they’re usual serving of kibble, you may have reason to be alarmed. Monitor their eating habits closely so you can better inform the vet of any changes.
Pawsh-Magazine-Dog-Wellness-36) Change in coat condition
Sudden malting, excessive licking of a specific area or change in coat condition can all be earlier indications that something is wrong. It is a good idea to also keep an eye on your dog’s skin condition whenever grooming in case changes appear there also.

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DOG-FRIENDLY DATE IDEAS: LAST MINUTE PLANS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

dog-friendly-engagement-photosAlright all you lovebirds — Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you have lovely plans for this evening and weekend! But in case you’re scrambling for a last minute, romantic idea to surprise your sweetie with, here are a few tried-and-true dog-friendly date ideas that will keep you out of the dog house this evening!

Dog-Friendly Date Ideas
An intimate movie night laden with sparkle and comfort
A cosy, casual evening for the snugglers!
Three easy gourmet dinner recipes that the dog can eat too!

These date ideas can easily translate to a fun friend event too for all of you lovely singletons out there. Just pack up the furkids and head to your bestie’s abode for an evening of laughter and memories!

Have a lovely weekend everyone! Celebrate the love in your life, no matter what it’s form may be! Love of an kind is worth noting! xo

{Photography via}

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