Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Pup Who Has Everything

Gifts $5 and under
has a wide variety of charms on sale for $4.97 and up. This cute bone charm would make a perfect gift for your pampered pup!

Gifts $10 and under

Give your pet a "pet-icure" with OPI's quick dry, one coat nail pawlish. Choose from an array of colors: Fire Hydrant Red, Yuppy Puppy Silver, Doghouse Blues, Mutts New? Purple, Bow Wow! Mint Green, or Poodle Pink. This can be found at for $10. offers a full line of Posh Pet Designer Fragrances that will keep your pup smelling great between baths. Formulated for dogs, this is a steal at only $8.99. Many fragrances to choose from, including cK-9, Pucci, and Timmy Holedigger. Order soon because delivery takes 1-2 weeks!

Gifts $25 and under

Keep your little guy clean and fresh for all of his holiday parties with Cain and Able's Bone-shaped Vinyl Travel set for only $18.50 available at This set includes Lavender Shampoo, Conditioner, Candle, and Between Baths Spritz in a extra cute bone-shaped reusable bag. You can't go wrong with this bargain! has a beautiful stainless steel "Woof" dog bowl on sale for $14.97. Non-skid rubber base prevents bowl from sliding or tipping to reduce spills. Bowls are rust-resistant, bacteria-resistant and easy-to-clean.

Gifts $50 and under

How cute would your puppy look lounging on his very own solid wood Adirondack patio chair. For only $49 at, you can get a personalized solid wood chair and cushion. This would even work great in the house!

Gifts $100 and under

Juicy Couture has a wide range of super cute pet clothes and accessories. If you are looking to dole out a little cash this holiday season, try a down a Juicy Dog Parka for $75 available at

Gifts over $100

After a busy holiday, your pup may need a comfy bed for a little rest and relaxation. Target has a very fancy day bed style dog bed with two pull out drawers for all of your puppy's toys. It is a fairly expensive option at $199 but adorable.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Max and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! Max's grandparents from both Missouri and Vancouver are flying in to visit and he is quite excited.

We are thankful for having all of our great friends in the blogosphere! We would like to thank Serendipity for our wonderful award! Serendipity has passed on the award to me and it says:
"This award is presented to a successful blogger, one who can “be the blog” - making it their own, staying with it, interacting with the readers, and just plain having fun."
Thanks Serendipity!

Thanks again to everyone for making our blog so special :)

How are you going to spend Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holiday Food Delimma: Foods Your Dog Should Avoid

Regardless how many times I hear or read that it is bad to feed your dog table food, once in a while I give in. Although we all hate being a victim of the sad puppy eyes while we are eating, there are certain foods that are completely off limits to dogs. These foods include:
  • Chocolate - Acts as a stimulant and can cause cardiac arrest
  • Grapes/Raisins - Cause problems for kidneys and digestive system
  • Onions - Breaks down red blood cells and deprives cells of oxygen
  • Macadamia Nuts - Can cause fever, irregular heartbeat, seizures, or mild paralysis
  • Alcohol - Extremely susceptible to alcohol poisoning
  • Bread dough - Dog's body heat causes dough to rise in stomach and could rupture stomach; also releases alcohol compounds, which is detrimental
  • Caffeinated Beverages - Acts as a stimulant and can cause increased heart rate, causing seizures or heart attacks
  • Avocados - Damages heart, lung, and other essential tissues
  • Pitted Fruits (Peaches, Pears, Cherries, and Apricots) - pits of these fruits contain small doses of cyanide
  • Raw Fish - May contain parasites which attach to your dog's intestines causing symptoms similar to those of distemper or parvo
  • Milk and other dairy products - A large number of dogs are lactose intolerant
  • Mushrooms - May contain toxins causing shock to the dog's system
  • Salt - A little is okay, but too much can cause electrolyte imbalances
  • Xylitol - An artificial sweetener that can cause hypoglycemia
  • Chicken Bones - Especially cooked bones are brittle and can break off and puncture the stomach or esophagus
  • Turkey skin/Ham fat - Too much fat can cause pancreatitis; When a dog eats a high-fat meal, its pancreas overproduces enzymes, to the extent that they actually begin to "digest" the pancreas and inflame it

No raw fish for Max... only toys!

This is just something to think about during the holiday season, as your guests may think it is cute to feed your puppy table food. Some options are keeping your dog in another room while the food is being served, or asking your guests not to feed your dog table food because it could make him sick. Try to feed your puppy before the dinner so he is not begging for food!

Also be sure to check the floor to make sure no food was dropped and in the dog's reach. Make sure all trash is out of reach as well. Last year my parent's yorkie knocked over the trash can and had a merry time digging the garbage!

Treating your puppy to part of your holiday feast is fine, but make sure you limit the amount, and refrain from too much fat.

Max loves to have a little turkey to celebrate the holidays... what is your favorite holiday treat?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cetacea Drag-Free Jog Leash Review

This week I have chosen the Cetacea Drag-Free Leash to review. After getting my fingers tangled in the retractable leashes or dropping them because of the small handle, I moved on the the Cetacea Drag-Free Leash.

Max loves to pose!

This leash is about 3 feet in length and has a large opening for your hand. It is made of material similar to a phone cord, which allows the leash to expand to up to 8 feet in length. This is perfect for jogging because rarely do Max and I stay on the same step. It is called a Drag-Free leash because the coil design allows for it to pick up slack when your dog is closer to you, without dragging on the ground.

Great for outdoor dining

We have used this leash for several months now and there are no signs of wear. The cord is still very well in tact and has not once tangled and the material webbing housing the cord looks just like new.

It is also handy because you can loop your key ring through the hand strap when you are out for a walk. The leash itself can also be looped around the back support of your car seat to secure your dog while you are driving.

Great for securing Max in the car

I always get compliments on this leash when Max and I are out for a walk or shopping. It is a beautiful design, with brass fixtures and colorful fabric.

This leash comes in 18 different colors and costs only $19.99. It can be purchased at Cetacea's online store. I definitely recommend this over any other leash we have used. It gives Max the independence of movement, looks great, and is very durable.

We have it in two colors and just may get another!

Max gives this leash 2 PAWS UP!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pet Insurance: Do you really need it?

Most pet owners do not really consider pet insurance until the day they are faced with a hefty vet bill, at which time, it is too late. I have to admit, I am one of those people. Though we have not been faced with outrageous vet bills, pet insurance is one of those things I have just put on the back burner for some time now.

However, Max was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday and I started considering it more and more. I have done some research as to various plans and what is covered, and I would like to pass on that information to you.

VPI Pet Insurance
One insurance provider that I looked in to was VPI Pet Insurance. Both the Standard and Superior Coverage Plans require a $50 deductible per incident. Superior Plan offers the highest reimbursement payouts for eligible veterinary expenses such as accidental injuries, emergencies and illnesses, including cancer. Max's quote was $13 per month.

Standard Plan offers reimbursement payouts for eligible veterinary expenses such as accidental injuries, emergencies and illnesses. Max's quote was $22 per month.

The Pet WellCare Protection is an additional endorsement on top of your regular plan that covers basic health needs and routine care such as an annual check up, vaccinations, flea/heartworm treatment, and x-rays. Max's quotes were $12/month for $250/year coverage, and $22/month for $400/year coverage.

You can get a quote for your dog online. VPI scored only a 4.2 rating on Pet Insurance Review... so I continued to research.

Max says... Insure Me!!!

PetFirst Pet Insurance
Another insurance provider I found was PetFirst. They seemed to get great reviews. They offer both Core and Comprehensive coverage, with plans starting as low as $17 per month, which offers $4,500 in annual coverage, limited to $1,500 per injury. Core coverage includes accident and illness protection

The Comprehensive plan has a Preferred Plus plan at $49 monthly that covers up to $12,000 a year, limited to $3,500 per incident. Comprehensive coverage includes accident, illness and routine care protection.

PetFirst also offers a discount for households with multiple pets. You also save $10 off your first month by applying online. Filing a claim seems easy as it only requires you to fill out a form and send it and the receipts to PetFirst.

PetFirst also requires a $50 deducitble and pays up to 90% of your claim. There are six different policies ranging from $17 - $49 per month. PetFirst got a 9.2 rating at Pet Insurance Review. Sounds like PetFirst is the way to go.

To review many different dog insurance providers, visit Pet Insurance Review.

Do you have pet insurance?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our First Award

We have just received our very first blog award and would just like to thank Pet Beach and Alex! Max was so proud to share his story of his visits to the beach.

Max says...

"Living in California, my Mommy and Daddy visit the beach a lot and they always take me! Last weekend we went to Marina Beach. It said no dogs, so I didn't get to frolic in the water but that was okay because I don't like the water too well anyway.

... I love to hear the sound of the waves, but I like chasing the sea gulls even more! When my Grandma and Grandpa were visiting California, we went to John Muir Beach too! It was so cool... we had a picnic and I got to eat lots of yummy food, then I played on the beach with other puppies.

I got sand on my wet nose and it made me sneeze. But it was soooo worth it! I can't wait to go back again!"

Maxy is driving home from the beach

Interested in winning the Pet Beach award? Submit your story to Alex.
Thanks again, Pet Beach (and Alex)!

-- Ashley & Max

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Life's A Beach: The Best Dog-Friendly Beaches

Interested in taking your puppy to the beach? I just found a great website full of dog-friendly beaches across the US. Check out Pet Friendly Travel for a full lists of dog-friendly beaches across the US.

Max at Muir Beach, SF, CA

We have taken Max to to several beaches along the California coast, and this is what we thought:
  • Carmel City Beach - nice, open area, pretty crowded, but no leash required
  • Carmel Pebble Beach - more secluded and could play off leash and run to the water, but there was a significant amount of seaweed on the beach
  • Stinson Beach - nice beach, but is always chilly there, be sure to take his sweater; many dog-friendly restaurants in the area
  • Seaside - Beautiful coast line with walking path near the beach, many dog-friendly restaurants in the area
  • Muir Beach - beautiful beach with picnic area too; a few other small dogs there; plenty of room to frolic
  • Half Moon Bay - walked along a guided path near the beach and on trails; nice, but not our favorite
  • Marina State Beach - saw surfers and dolphins, but dogs aren't allowed on the actual beach, only surrounding area
  • Monterey State Beach - had fun chasing little squirrels, beautiful beach with small trails off the beach
  • Fisherman's Wharf at Monterey - very dog friendly, loads of outdoor dining
  • Fisherman's Wharf at San Francisco - also dog friendly, not as much outdoor dining, a bit more chilly

Max is enjoying a scenic view of Carmel

To help compile a list of the best pup-approved beaches, please map your favorite!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Name Game: Choosing a Name for your Dog

Are you getting a new puppy and just can't think of a name? Here are the top 12 male and female dog names of 2007. Max is the top name, so I guess it does make sense that there are three dogs named Max at play group.
  1. Max -- Molly
  2. Buddy -- Bella
  3. Jake -- Lucy
  4. Bailey -- Maggie
  5. Rocky -- Daisy
  6. Charlie -- Sadie
  7. Jack -- Chloe
  8. Toby -- Sophie
  9. Cody -- Bailey
  10. Buster -- Zoe
  11. Duke -- Lola
  12. Cooper -- Abby

If you want your pup to have a unique name, try naming him after one of his character traits (Spot or Cocoa) or maybe after something your lil guy really likes (Teddy Bear).

Also think of a historical figure (Leopold or Beatrix) or an actress in your favorite play (Juliet).

Try taking a word that describes your pup and translate it (Sweetie is BonBon in Italian, or Kiss is Bisou in French).

Take a name from your favorite sport (Becks) or chose a name from something you are interested in (Neptune).

How did you think of your puppy's name?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Avoiding Puppy Mills

Thinking of buying a puppy? If so, please be aware of the massive puppy mills that are plaguing our nation and destroying the lives of innocent puppies everywhere.

What are puppy mills?
Puppy mills are breeding facilities that breed purebred puppies in large quantities. The puppies are then sold to pet stores, through newspaper advertisements, or online.

Though there are many legitimate breeders, puppy mills often over-breed the dogs, and in some cases, even inbreed. This brings on an array of medical problems for the dogs and puppies.

The cute little puppies are often forced in small cages that are overcrowded. Additionally, there is very little human socialization, which is an important factor in all puppies lives, especially in such tender years.

In order for the breeder to ship out as many puppies and make as much money as possible, the puppies generally receive inappropriate veterinary care. Sometimes, the documentation of vaccines has even been forged. The worst part… unwanted puppies are killed.

How do I avoid purchasing a puppy that was bred in a puppy mill?
Pet stores are often full of puppies from puppy mills. The pet store is out to make money and generally does not care where the puppy came from, but rather is only interested in the largest profit margin. Puppies are merely inventory for the pet store. Unless you make a specific inquiry as to the origin of the puppy and investigate the breeder, a pet store is not the best place to purchase a puppy.

Newspaper and internet advertisements are also venues that generally promote puppy mills. It is easy to see a picture of a cute puppy and fall in love, but what you don't see is the massive overcrowding and poor health care.

Also, consider the alternative of selecting a puppy from your local shelter or purebred rescue group.

When visiting a breeder, how do I know if it is a puppy mill?
Here are some signs that you have found a legitimate breeder:

  • The puppies are eager to see people and do not shy away
  • The living area for the puppies and clean and well-kept
  • Puppies are fed premium dog food
  • The breeder only breeds a few breeds and knows the breed standards (size, color, temperament)
  • The breeder encourages you to spend time with the parent of the puppy and multiple visits
  • The breeder shows you the medical record and explains the vaccinations
  • The breeder shares potential genetic problems inherent in the breed
  • The breeder is active with local, state, and national kennel clubs
  • The breeder provides a written contract and health guaranty and allows you time to read it thoroughly
  • The breeder offers training tips and provides references of other families who have purchased puppies

Doesn't someone need to rescue the puppies from the mill?
Some may argue that unless the puppies are rescued from the puppy mill, they may be killed; however, it is important to see the big picture.

Unless people stop purchasing puppies from these puppy mills, this will go on forever. If you buy a puppy to try to rescue it, you are actually promoting and supporting the puppy mill and causing the dilemma to continue. Please make an informed decision when you purchase your next puppy!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Paw-ty Pictures

I couldn't help from posting photos from Max's Howl-o-ween Pawty! He was a construction worker, and as usual, loved the ladies. I guess you could say he really played the role!

Caution: Puppies at Work!

I know it is early, but I am thinking of making a Post Man costume for next year. Maybe I will dress up as a dog and chase Max :) Any ideas for making a Post Man costume?

Max posing with a construction sign

Here are Max's buddies at the pawty!

Dog Pile! Max, Jolie, Sheela, and Josie

Chloe the school girl