Man's Best Friend...or Wing Man?

IMG_1528.jpg

While that unmistakable wet dog scent may not scream romance, did you know having a dog can actually help you get a date? Research shows people with pets (more specifically human’s best friends) are more likely to meet a significant other.

So, in the spirit of the season of love, you may want to treat Fido to something a little extra special this Valentine’s Day.

How a dog can help you score a date

Dogs owners have a dating advantage because when you have a pup, who drags you out of the house daily, you’re more likely to be in positions and places where you can meet people. Whether you take Bingo to a dog park or you go for a walk downtown, literally “getting out there” more often will lead to an increased likelihood in meet cutes with…well, cuties.

More importantly, what’s a better icebreaker than a furry, barking ball of love? Apparently, not many things. It’s been proven that people are more likely to approach you when you’re walking a dog. Why? Because they have an excuse to do so – duh! Instead of an awkward (and totally random), “Hi; how are you?” you’ve already given that cute stranger the perfect puppy excuse to approach you.

And, if you both have dogs, you already have something in common! People who like animals tend to be more adventurous, compassionate and social creatures (pun intended), so if you take a chance (or a walk), you may find your perfect match at the end of a leash.

Regardless of the day, dogs make life a little sweeter

Even if this Valentine’s Day, your furry friend doesn’t secure you the sweetheart of your dreams, you can still enjoy going for a stroll and sharing in some human and doggie treats. Enjoy your day together and don’t forget to go for a walk – you never know who could be just around the collar!

Dog mom essential wear this holiday season

IMG_7380.jpg

Submitted by Amberly Lewis of Bones and Bloges

Hello all!

I don’t know about you but now that cooler weather is upon us, I am so looking forward to all the holiday festivities! Between prepping Thanksgiving Dinner, clipping those Black Friday coupons, hanging twinkling lights, or ringing in the New Year with champs and fireworks – the holidays definitely keep me busy! 

That’s why my line of Bones and Blogs Official Dog Mom T-shirts are perfect for all of your errand running this holiday season. 

I have designed 3 shirts with comfort, versatility, affordability, and dog moms in mind! These shirts are perfect athleisure staples or you can dress them up for a cute and casual day-outfit! I am going to break each shirt down and show you different ways to style them, why they would make the perfect Christmas gift for any dog mom in your life, FAQ’s, and how you can give back to pups in need by purchasing one of these shirts! 

IMG_7383-1.jpg
IMG_7351-2.jpeg

Bones and Blogs Official T-Shirt $10.00

This is your classic cotton white t-shirt with our official *updated* logo. I would say this is perfect for men or women – real men wear pink right? In the summer I like to tie the shirt up over a pair of denim, in the cooler months I like to pair it with a cardigan, beanie, and leggings – which is my weekend uniform! 

IMG_7354-1.jpeg
IMG_7353.jpeg

Bones and Blogs Baseball T $15.00

This is perfect for all my girly dog moms! The pink is a true “look-at-me-pink”. We also kept our original logo on this design – the Labrador on the back is my actual dogs face! Yes he is that handsome in real life. I love wearing this as a casual outfit with jeans and flats, it also doubles as THE BEST sleep shirt.

IMG_7382.jpg
IMG_7348.jpeg

Fur-Mama Baseball T $15.00

Last but certainly not least, everyone’s favorite! This classic black and white is a perfect staple for basics. It can by styled so many different ways! I find myself wearing this the most on outings with my dogs i.e. hikes, lunches, and dog parks! I usually tie it up, the looser fit keeps me cool, but the knot in the front makes for easy wear! This would also be so cute with leggings, boots, and a big blanket scarf – which is probably what I will be wearing for the next couple of months, haha!

Giving back

I donate 100% off all profits I make to a local shelter in my area. A local animal shelter in my area has an increasingly high kill rate :( this is the only shelter in this town and it absolutely breaks my heart to think that all the stray or abandoned pets in this area will have little to no chance at life. That’s why I donate 100% off all the profits I make to help run a more sustainable shelter. With more food, blankets, pillows, sheets, food, money for vaccinations coming in – it cuts down the amount of euthanizations. To break it down 80% of the profits made from shirts is what is used to pay for the shirts, materials, printing, and embroidery – the remaining 20% profit is ALL donated to the aforementioned shelter. So to clarify, I make $0.00 by making and selling these shirts… I truly do it for my love of dogs and their moms!

FAQ

• All shirts are style “unisex” so nothing fitted/tight/snug – if you want a looser fit order TTS if you want a classic fit I would recommend sizing down

• Sizes range from S, M, L – I plan to expand on these sizes to cater to more woman once demand starts to grow! 

• I am wearing a sixe S in all photos for reference (I am 5’3 and 115lbs) 

• All products are $15 or less

• $5 flat rate shipping on all orders

• Prints and embroideries are by Sister Susie Screen Print and Embroidery 

Shop all shirts here: 

https://www.bonesandblogs.com/shop/

All photos by Yazi Davis Photography: 

http://www.yazidavis.com













Homemade Dog Treats: Frozen + Flea Repellant + Versatile

recipe03.jpg

Contributed by Bones and Blogs

This is probably one of my favorite homemade dog treat recipes, for a few reasons. Mainly because most of the ingredients are common household items, and it repels fleas! Perfect for summer.

Ingredients and their benefits: 

  • Peanut Butter (Protein)
  • 2-3 Bananas (Potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C)
  • Dried Oats (fiber and protein)
  • Coconut Oil (improves skin, digestion, and energy)
  • Brewer’s Yeast (repels fleas, antioxidants)
  • Treat mold 

 

recipe01.jpg

 

Steps

Step 1. Add about 3 cups of peanut butter to a large mixing bowl

Step 2. Add your sliced bananas

Step 3. Add 1 cup of dried oats

Step 4. Add 1 tablespoon of Brewer’s Yeast

Step 5: Add coconut oil (add 1 teaspoon per 10lbs of your dog)

Step 6: Mix well

Step 7: Once you have your mixture – it’s time to fill your molds! If you do not have molds, you can also use ice trays or parchment paper.

Step 8: Freeze for 45 minutes – 1 hr.

Step 9: It’s time for your pup to enjoy this cool, healthy, flea repelling creamy treat!

recipe02.jpg

 

Save this recipe for year round delicious-ness and just change up the ingredients! During the fall I like to substitute the banana and instead add pumpkin or sweet potato. In the spring I’ll go another direction and add in some frozen blueberries or strawberries. There is no limit to the amount of possibilities and outcomes you can make with just these basic steps and ingredients! This is an awesome recipe to have handy all year around.

Exercise Tips

exerciseblogpic.jpg

Contributed by Amberly Lewis of Bones and Blog

The best type of exercise is when they don’t even realize they’re exercising. I like to mask working-out by doing things I know we’ll all enjoy such as: 

  • Walk on the beach – that soft sand is sure to get everyone’s thighs burning
  • Hike in nature – The fresh air is so rejuvenating, and dodging the fallen limbs and branches is a sure way to you alert and on your toes
  • Spend some extra time at an off-leash dog park – sometimes the mere act of a new doggy friend is exerting
  • Go for a swim – This is a great way to keep cool, and still get some exercise
  • Dog + Yoga = Doga – this will not only strengthen the bond with your dog, but also help decrease stress and anxiety in your dog (great for small dogs)

Much like with humans, there is no “right” way to exercise when it comes to your dog. There are a number of variables to consider like your dogs breed and size (snout and other factors that affect the breathing), weight (you don’t want to over exert), personality (some dogs are just lazy, happens’), and build (leg size/muscle mass). Here are some of the best types of exercises based on some of these factors.

Large breed (in height and girth) | I.e. Great Danes, Bernese, Greyhounds – Brisk Walks for about 20-30 minutes or less a day. Long walks or hikes can be hard on their joints.

Large breed (standard snout)| I.e. Pointers, Ridgebacks – Running will help these dogs stay in shape. These breeds can endure up to 3 miles after their first year.

Large breed (short snout) | I.e. Mastiffs, Boxers, and Chows - Brisk Walks for about 20-30 minutes a day. These quick and untimely walks will help these types of dogs avoid overheating and over-exerting.

Water lovers (med sized dogs who can obtain much of their exercise through water activities) | I.e. Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Springer Spaniels, Poodles – 20-30 minutes a day in a clean body of water (deeper than a bath tub)

Small breed (short legs, long backs) I.e. Basset hounds, Dachshunds – Short brisk walks, try to avoid jumping or playing fetch. 

Small breed (standard snout) | I.e. Chihuahuas, Yorkie’s – These dogs are known sniffing machines! Hide their treat or favorite toy and let them hunt for it.

Small breed (short snout) | I.e. Pugs, Bulldogs, Terriers, Shih Tzus – Create an obstacle course or a small obtainable goal that requires movement. Have them jump over a roll of paper towels to win a treat!

A few things to have on hand while exercising with your dog

  • Water
  • Poop bags
  • Leash/Harness

There are other aspects to be considered when exercising aside from just weight loss/maintenance. Here are a few more reasons why pet-exercise is so important.

  • Removes Toxins – this is powered by muscle movement to the lymphatic regions
  • Brain stimulation – as little as 20 minutes of exercise a day has shown to increase information processing and memory function
  • Slows aging
  • Sensory enhancement – exercise increases circulation to the ears and eyes
  • Strengthens bones and muscles – exercise can decrease the chances for brittle bones in your dog’s upcoming years, this will reduce chances of diagnosis such as osteoporosis
  • Improves behavior – getting that little extra bit of energy and endurance out every day will help tremendously with keeping your dog’s behavior and energy consistent; some may compare this to a runner’s high

Like I mentioned earlier, there is no right way to exercise. Anything from fetch in your own backyard to taking the long way home from dinner can greatly benefit your dog’s physicality and overall health. You just have to look :) 

Plus, summer brings so many more opportunities!


 

Tips Before your Dog Beach Trip

beachdog.jpg

Contributed by Amberly from Bones and Blogs

Warm weather is upon and that means lots of outdoor activities. With the temperature rising it only makes sense to look for activities to keep you and your dog cool. Being a local to Jacksonville, FL – one of our favorite past times is attending summer beach trips. So I thought I would share a few things I keep in mind when taking my dogs to the beach!

1. Always check for dog friendly beaches. Every beach has their own set of rules when it comes to pets. Some do not allow pets at all, some do not allow pets between certain hours, and some are specifically there for your pet! It’s good to check out some reviews before planning your beach day.

2. Find a spot near the shade. With all that fur your pet can easily get over heated. So when arriving at the beach be sure to find a spot under a big tree or umbrella. While yes, the cool ocean waves will help to cool down their internal temp – it’s good for them to have a place to escape the sun. And keep in mind how hot that sand can be on their paws!

3. Water, water, and more water! Keep your pet hydrated. I would recommend making sure your pet has access to fresh drinking water 100% of the time while at the beach. Keep the water covered under your cool shaded spot so your pet can hydrate at their convenience. I usually do this by packing a gallon of fresh water and portable drinking bowls.

4. Keep your pet entertained. Pack a Frisbee, a big chew bone, or their favorite squeaky toy! I’ve come to find that when my dogs have their favorite items around they are much less likely to get into trouble by wandering over to the sand dunes, private property, or to other beach goers. With that being said – pack a leash!

5. Since you will be in a public space – be sure that your pet is current on all their vaccinations.

6. Stay close to your dog at all times. Unfortunately when going to the beach there is more to fear than the obvious, sharks. Also keep an eye out for stingrays and jelly fish… We have encountered many a jelly fish simply washed up onto shore.

7. Dog sunscreen. This is a product I wasn’t even aware of until my experience as a dog mom called for it. Naturally my Labrador retriever loves the water and the outdoors. I began to notice that the skin right above his nose, where the fur is very thin, would become bright pink after these outings. Then one day it hit me, a doggy sunburn! I felt awful that I hadn’t noticed or even considered this notion before. Ever since then I have been prepared – my favorite go to brand for dog sunscreen is Burt’s Bees. If I cannot find sunscreen specific for my dogs – I will go for the baby safe brands.

8. In the event your dog does return with a sunburn, here are a few remedies that may help. CBD dog oil, which has been known to decrease pain and ease skin irritations. Luke-arm oatmeal bath, this will help soothe the skin. 100% all natural aloe. 

9. If you have a smaller pup, your pet isn’t a strong swimmer, or your pet is timid of water – it wouldn’t hurt to put them in a doggy swim vest. This will increase visibility, and better ensure the safety of your pet. With this being said, do not force your pet into the water. If anything maybe try taking the lead and see if your pet follows.

10. Time management. While we all love the relaxation a beach day can bring, I cannot deny that it’s often equally as draining. The sun takes a lot out of you, as does the loading and unloading of all your beach necessities! Keep this in mind when you have your pet at the beach with you and do not let your trip exceed more than a few hours. Take note of how your dog is acting. Some signs of heat stroke include: rapid panting, bright red tongue, thick saliva, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

I hope these tips were helpful! Wishing you high tides, good vibes, and wagging tails!

beachdog2.jpg

 

 

 

 

Introducing Your New Dog to Your Home

adorable-animal-baby-668004.jpg

Contributed by Amber Drake

Bringing Your New Dog Home

The first few days in your home are a special, yet anxious, time for you and your new dog. Your new dog will likely be confused about where he is. He won’t immediately connect your home with his home. It’s a completely different environment than what she knows (whether she came from a shelter or a family- it’s still different). It’s up to you to ensure she has the smoothest transition possible.

Before Your Bring Her Home

Before you bring your new dog home, you should determine which area of your home your dog will spend the most time. Then, dog-proof that area and place the crate somewhere comfortable (if you’re crate training). Usually, the kitchen works best. It’s easy to clean up in case of any accidents. Their knowledge of house-training may be lost during a time of great stress like this.

If you plan to crate-train your dog, the crate should be set up before you bring your dog home. Don’t forget to place a mattress of some kind in the crate with them. The type of mattress you should have varies based on the breed of dog you are bringing home, and the age of the dog. Be certain to do proper research on this before bringing your new dog home.

Now, dog-proofing. Dog-proofing your home is critical to keep your dog safe. Tape off any loose wires. Place household cleaners, medications, and other chemicals up high. If you have plants on the floor, do some research and see which plants dogs can and can’t be near.

Finally, have their collar and leash ready to go. On the collar, there should be identification tags already attached. If your dog doesn’t already have a microchip, this may also be something to consider. The microchip isn’t a GPS device, but if your dog were to ever get lost, the microchip would be scanned and an identification code unique to your dog containing all your details would be available.

On the First Day

The first day home could be extremely stressful or overwhelmingly exciting for your dog. Either way, give your dog time to acclimate to your home before you allow any ‘strangers’ to come over. Even if you think your dog is doing wonderful with the transition- one new event could spark stress in the first week. If you have children, show your children the appropriate way to approach a dog.

When you pick up your new dog, don’t forget to ask what she ate that day (and the type of food). If you feed your new dog a completely different food, this could lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. We don’t want that. An upset stomach could make the transition even more stressful for both him and us.

If you would like to feed a different brand/type of food, do so over a one-week period adding in the new food to their old food slowly. Watch for any signs of stomach upset or loose stools. If you do notice any symptoms, lessen the amount of new food and extend the transition time.

When you arrive home, immediately show your dog where the potty area is and softly say “potty-potty” or similar. Be patient during this time. Even if your dog is fully potty-trained, don’t forget there could be accidents. Your dog may not act like he has to use to the bathroom while he’s outside, then come in and immediately have an accident. Don’t panic, this is a completely normal behavior when being introduced to a new home.

A routine should be put in place immediately. Structure is extremely helpful to a dog adjusting to a new home, and your resident dogs as well if they don’t already have a routine. Feeding, potty-time, and play/exercise, should have an approximate time each day. If the time changes by a half hour occasionally, that’s okay.

For the first few days of your dog being home, try to be as calm and quiet as possible. Limiting excitement during this time will help her adjust. And, it will give you time to get to know your dog better. Take this time to build a foundation for the bond you will share.

Training should also begin immediately. But, after the first week, you can increase the amount of physical and mental stimulation your dog is receiving. Training also helps a dog settle in further and strengthens the bond you are building.

Introducing Your New Dog to Another Dog

If you have a resident dog, introduce your new dog to your resident dog outside in a neutral area. If you have more than one resident dog, introduce one at a time. Don’t rush the introduction. Each dog should be on a leash, and each leash should be loose to allow the dogs to get to know one another.

After the outside introduction, you can bring your new dog inside and do the in-home introduction (if all goes well outside). If you bring your new dog inside immediately without the outside introduction, this could spark a huge list of problems. Keep each interaction between your new dog and your resident dog(s) short and as pleasant as possible. If you see any sign of tension, immediately separate the dogs and try again an hour or so later.

Don’t leave all the dogs alone together until you know it’s safe to do so. Watching your dogs’ body language can help you understand when it’s safe.

The Bottom Line

The most important take-a-way here involves patience. Be patient with your new dog’s behaviors, training levels, and the bond you are establishing. Some dogs adjust quickly and form a bond immediately. Others take more time. Commit as much time as possible to getting to know your new dog while spending time with your resident dogs. Watch your new dog’s body language to understand what she is communicating to you and others.

Perfect for Summer Pupsicles: Apple + Chicken Pup Pops

pup1.jpg

Contributed by Amberly Lewis from Bones and Blogs

What you will need

1.     Dixie style small paper cups

2.     Measuring cup

3.     ½ cup of homemade unsalted chicken broth (see steps for homemade broth below)

4.     ½ cup of water

5.     1 Gala apple

6.     Rawhide sticks (firm, like a pretzel or popsicle stick)

Directions

1.     Combine your chicken broth, and water into your measuring cup

2.     Wash and slice apples into bite size pieces – this is open to interpretation depending on the size of your dog. For mine, I cut them long ways/hotdog style and thin.

3.     Drop a few of the apple slices into your paper cups.

4.     Then fill up your apple cups about halfway using our water and chicken broth concoction.

5.     Stick your firm rawhide sticks into the center of the cup

6.     Freeze for about 3 hours

Homemade Chicken Broth

1.     Place your leftover chicken carcass in a large pot and cover with water.

2.     Let simmer for 90 minutes

3.     Strain broth and discard all the remaining bones and meat

4.     Let cool

This pupsicle recipe spoke to me for a number of reasons. My dogs love anything chicken, apples, or peanut butter! So a summer treat with 2/3 of their favorite ingredients could not have been more perfect.

pup4.jpg

 

Additionally, it only takes 6 items and 6 steps to complete these delicious and healthy pup-pops! These pupsicles would be perfect to serve to pups in attendance at a summer barbeque, post-puppy beach day, or a doggy birthday party! We often give these to our pups after a particularly heated day at the dog park or as a post-hike snack. It gives them a chance to cool down, and clam down after the excitement of the day.

This frozen treat will help keep your pup cool in the summer days to come, provide lasting entertainment, as well as provide them with nutrients and all their favorite flavors! I was sure this would be a summer treat my dogs would love. I hope your pups love it too!

DIY Dog Bed

blogpic2.jpg

Contributed by Amberly Lewis from Bones and Blogs

I should preface this by saying that I have purchased many a dog bed for my pups! Plushy, elevated, waterproof – you name it, they’ve chewed it! I was starting to think they just disliked comfort. When one fateful Saturday last summer I got a little creative and a little inspired by the miscellaneous items I had just lying around my home…

The best part is there are only 4 items needed to successfully make this dog bed!

-        An old tire

-        Dog bed/pillow/blanket

-        Outdoor spray paint (color of your choosing)

-        Felt furniture pads

As prior stated, my dogs loved (past tense, woohoo!) to chew on their dog beds, so a bed made of a durable rubber tire would be just the solution I was looking for.

Step 1

You’ll need to wash/clean the tire with soap and an old scrub brush. Paint tends to not stick to dirt, so removing as much dirt from the treads of the tire will make all the difference when applying your spray paint!

Step 2

After your tire is dry, it’s time to apply your spray paint. For this item I chose, Rust-Oleum X2 Ultra Cover. Which is less than $4 at your local Wal-Mart. Be sure to select paint for outdoor/rubber items. I went with black because I figured it would be easiest, as I was still uncertain how this project was going to turn out. With this being said I have seen other DIY dog tire beds- in pinks, greens, yellows, etc. - turn out awesome. So live your life!

Step 3

After your paint has dried, add your felt furniture pads to the bottom of your tire all the way around. This will prevent the paint from rubbing off and transferring onto your floor.

Step 4

Take your old dog bed/pillow/blanket and stuff it in the center of the tire. Keep in mind, the weight of your dog may force the stuffing to the bottom of the tire or onto the floor, so the bigger and fluffier the better!  I used a large plush dog bed we had on hand that unfortunately developed a large rip…. We can all guess how that happened. I faced the rip on the inside wall of the tire and no one was the wiser! Especially my pups who are now enjoying relaxing in their new, super-durable, homemade dog bed!

4 household items, and 4 easy steps is all it takes to get a durable dog bed for all your heavy chewers!

 

On-The-Go Dog Mom Necessities

blogpic.jpg


Contributed by Amberly Lewis

Life for a dog mom on the go can get pretty rambunctious at times! Especially if you have multiple dogs.

But regardless of what adventure we’re about to emBARK on- beach day, afternoon at the dog park, or an evening hike along the sunset- I have found that having these key items with me make all the difference.

Backpack with Pockets/Compartments

Through trial and error I have found that a backpack is the easiest way to carry around your dog mom necessities. Tote bags constantly fall off my shoulders, creating yet another item for me to carry around in my already-full hands. On top of that, tote bags seemed to be a never ending black hole, constantly struggling to locate the one item I was in need of. Backpacks tend to stay in place and out of the way. The easily accessible compartments will make it easier to reach around and grab a poop-bag, before your pup is off sniffing the next tree. Which brings me to my next item…

Poop Bags

 A must have for any dog mom, especially city moms. I once found my dog, Biscuit, rolling in a pile of dirt at the dog park. Upon further inspection I realized that he was actually rolling around in a pile of another dog’s poo... What a fun car ride home that was. From that moment on I realized the importance of cleaning up after your dog. Now I carry them with me at all times. I clip the poop bags to the outside of my backpack for easier access. You can find poop bags in bulk for relatively cheap from places like Amazon, Ross, Marshall’s, and even the Dollar Tree. No need to buy overpriced bags from pet shops.

Portable Water Bowls

Sometimes, you just don’t quite know where the day will take you. That’s why it’s always good to be prepared, especially when it comes to hydration. I always have pop-up portable water bowls handy and ready to go! They collapse flat in my backpack as not to take up much space... oh and don’t forget the water too!

Leash/Harness

Some states adhere to pretty strict leash laws. So a ‘leash’ can go without saying. But I have found that especially while leash training, harnesses seem to be much more effective by eliminating pulling and choking.

Deodorizing Pet Wipes

This one I learned the hard way. I started to notice that our dog-outings were really taking a toll on my vehicle. Deodorizing pet wipes help to eliminate not only an excess dirt, but will also reduce that outdoor odour.

Travel Treat Bag

 This is great to have on hand if you need to bribe your dog to get in the car, or to pose for a picture. Plus, I’m sure they were a good boy/girl and definitely deserve a treat.

From one dog mom to another, I hope these essentials help make your next outing a little less RUFF.