dog valentine

Dog-Friendly Valentine’s Day!

Tips for a Dog Friendly Valentine’s Day


Ah, Valentine’s Day! The time to bake things that look good on Pinterest and decorate the house with flowers and chocolates. But if you’re like us, you might be wondering how to keep your dog from chewing on wires or knocking things over. We know, our dogs are derpy too. That’s why we made this handy guide for getting through Valnetine’s Day safely when pooches are around.


  • Keep the Sweets Away

As tempting as it may be, never let your dog have any chocolate or lick the spoon while baking. Pet parents should read up on HOW TO Treat Your Dog For Chocolate Toxicity, so if your pooch happens to get into the heart-shaped box of chocolates, you’ll know what to do. Remember, even a small amount of chocolate can do damage. Additionally, the fat and sugar in chocolate and candy can cause serious gastrointestinal abnormalities, such as vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis. The severity of chocolate or candy toxicity depends on the size of your dog and the amount of sweets he consumed.

  • Watch for These Common Toxic Foods

You may be in the mood to enjoy a glass of wine or pop the bubbly on Valentine’s Day, but alcohol is toxic to dogs if they happen to drink any. If you’re planning on home-cooking a meal for your special someone and your dog likes to eat scraps, it’s best to avoid cooking with any avocados, garlic, onion, nutmeg, tomatoes or mushrooms. Check out the full guide of Foods Dangerous for Dogs.

  • Remember, Candles Have Aroma Too

A plethora of red candles may add to the romantic atmosphere, but these can be harmful to your pooch. According to i Love Dogs’ Ask a Vet, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, “Besides the pain and suffering burned pets must endure, your entire family may be at risk if a pet knocks a candle over and causes combustion of flammable household materials.”

  • Cords Off the Floor

Stringing up some cute heart-shaped lights around the house? Remember that dogs like to chew things and electrical cords lying around can lead to your dog getting shocked. Try to discourage your dog from chewing the cords by keeping them hidden and off the floor. When you’re not at home, unplug them and put them somewhere safe.


office dog

Take Your Dog to Work Day


celebrated each year on the Friday after Father’s Day, was created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International (PSI). The event is intended “to celebrate the great companions dogs make and to encourage their adoption from humane societies, animal shelters and breed rescue clubs,” according to the official TYDTWDay website,

There might be a little more barking and growling than usual in offices across America on Friday. June 21 is the 18th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWDay).

In fact, Take Your Pet to Work Week is being celebrated all week long, so those whose offices are closed Friday or have other species of pets can also participate.

Along with their paychecks, your co-workers just might take home the idea that dogs are pawesome, and decide to adopt some of their very own.

How to Convince Your Employer to Participate

Is your employer actually frowning on the idea of observing Take Your Dog to Work Day? Here are some talking points that very well might change the mind of the decision maker:

  • Studies show that dogs in the workplace can boost employee morale, increase productivity and even improve sales!
  • Dog-friendly workplaces are a growing trend: A 2006 American Pet Products Association (APPA) survey found that dogs are welcome in one out of five companies. Millions of employees surveyed said having dogs around increased their creativity, decreased their absenteeism, improved their productivity and enabled everyone to get along better. What employer could oppose that?!
  • And this fact should really seal the deal: 46 million people surveyed said they work longer hours when they bring their dogs to work.

Unfortunately, due to building codes, liability issues, allergies, etc., some employers are forced to say no to TYDTWDay. But your company can still celebrate by having a pet photo contest or a fundraiser for a local shelter. Another idea is to invite a shelter representative or professional pet sitter to come and talk to employees about pet care, pet health or local pets that are available for adoption.

7* Tips for a Successful Take Your Dog to Work Day

Before the big day arrives, take recommends that you make sure your workplace is prepared for your furry friend by doing the following:

  1. Do an office check to make sure no one is allergic, afraid of or otherwise opposed to dogs being allowed for the day.
  2. Dog-proof your work space. Remove electrical cords and wires, poisonous plants and toxic items like permanent markers. Make sure any potentially dangerous items are kept out of your dog’s reach.
  3. Bathe and groom your dog – nobody wants a smelly co-worker, whether he has two legs or four. Also make sure your dog’s shots are up to date and he’s not sick. If your dog is very aggressive or shy, it’s best to leave him at home and bring a photo instead.
  4. Prepare a doggie care package that includes food, treats, bowls, toys, a leash,  paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant. If you’re in and out of your office a lot during the day, consider bringing a portable kennel.
  5. Plan your dog’s feeding times and find an appropriate area where he can take potty breaks afterward.
  6. Don’t force others to interact with your dog. Make sure your well-meaning office mates don’t give him too many treats, especially anything chocolate, which is poisonous for dogs.
  7. Have an exit strategy just in case your pooch isn’t into TWDTWDay. But whatever you do, do not lock your dog inside your car, where June temperatures can rise to deadly high degrees.
dog protect

When I can start trainning my puppy

The energy that some dogs bring to can helps you to expel them quickly


Ι too grew up with “wait until they’re 6 months old and use a choke chain.” Thankfully, the world of dog behavior and training has evolved to where waiting until a dog is 6 months old is scientifically debunked, replaced with solid canine behavior knowledge that dictates early socialization and training.

So what does that mean in everyday terms? It means Chance needs to be socialized and trained – right away! Let’s break down a dog’s learning stages and shed some light on what’s going on at certain ages.

There’s an ideal window of time – from when a puppy is 21 days old until he’s 4 months old – that he needs to be exposed to many, many various types of stimuli, environments, people and other dogs, in as controlled a way as possible.

To avoid a bad experience, not just any ol’ dog should interact with the pup, but only dogs that are very good and patient with puppies. Make sure their vaccines are up-to-date for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo and parainfluenza  and the dogs haven’t been to a dog park that day.

The cost of secluding a young dog until his “vaccines are done” is very, very steep from a behavioral standpoint, so please talk with your veterinarian about this if Chance’s puppy vaccine cycle isn’t yet complete.

If pre-planned, you can properly socialize a dog! If you go to, you’ll find great ways to have a safe puppy party, introduce Chance to 50 or so new people a week in a safe manner, and get a springboard start on training and socialization information for you to discover the incredibly fun, gentle world of training with positive reinforcement and motivational techniques.

I highly recommend you begin a search for classes and individual training on the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) website. APDT’s goal is to continue educating people about these science-based methods and bring the best out of your dog and your relationship with him. Just click Trainer Search and type in your zip code, and a list of local trainers displays. I recommend speaking with at least three to five trainers before choosing one, and making sure none of them use harsh methods or equipment.

Classes are a great source for socialization. Your important point about wanting to be able to control Chance as he gets older and stronger should be addressed in class. But if classes don’t start soon, for safety’s sake it is more important at this point for a trainer to come to your home to give you one-on-one instruction.

Like you, Darlene, I was very frustrated with my dog-training options when I was younger, just putting up with unwanted behavior and inadvertently reinforcing it. Out of this frustration came a search for a trainer who could help me with my then 8-week-old dog who liked to bite my hands when I was grooming him. Twenty-five years ago, a trainer who would actually come to your home was very hard to find (not anymore, thankfully!). But when I did find her, and started learning about dog behavior and how to train in a gentle, non-dominant way, I was immediately hooked and became the trainer’s protégé.

I have a feeling that as you begin your quest, you’ll be just as enthusiastic and fall in love with training and behavior modification as it is done today with trainers who stay current on cutting-edge information and skills.

Very best of luck to you, and if you get a chance (no pun intended!), please let me know how things are progressing.