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Fun Things To Do With Your Pet in December

The holidays are busy - gifts to buy and wrap, shopping to do, friends to invite over, parties to attend - it's a whirlwind every December! Take some time out for your family (pets and people) to slow down a bit and recharge. Here are some ideas.

Take an early evening walk in your neighborhood to look at holiday lights and decorations. If you're not in a walking neighborhood, pop your kids and pets in the car (as long as they love car rides) and hit the road.

Head to a few areas where they do a lot of decorating. Local newspapers and Nextdoor.com often post routes so you can see the most dazzling light displays. Bring treats for the dog, some hot chocolate in a thermos for people, and turn up the holiday music for a great time!

Invite your best friends and family over for a holiday movie night; more hot chocolate is required! Bake some holiday cookies, maybe some popcorn and other people and pet snacks, grab some blankets for snuggling, and hunker down for a relaxing evening. Here is Chewy's list of favorite Christmas movies.

Now may be a good time to take a holiday photo you can send to your family and friends. Do you have matching holiday sweaters? Don't forget to dress up your pet. Depending on his patience, it might just be a simple bow tie on his collar, a special holiday-themed collar, or a dog-sized scarf. For a pet who likes costumes, try some antlers or a puppy sweater! Here are Chewy's pet picture-taking tips.

Check your local pet stores to see if they have a "pet picture with Santa" day. If your pet is laid back and would enjoy this sort of activity, by all means, take them in for a holiday snapshot!

Arrange a cookie exchange with friends and family. Everyone makes a different type of cookie, and you all share. If the people involved have pets then everyone can make a pet treat to share too.

Make a paw print ornament with your children using your pet's paw. It's simple to do, and your kids will have a lot of fun decorating them with markers, sparkles, and paint! Here are the instructions.

How about a nice nature walk? Take a hike in the woods, park, or the beach and enjoy the chill of the season. On your hike look for some treasures to decorate your home; perhaps, pine cones, acorns, shells, and pretty rocks. Here are a bunch of holiday crafts you can make with these materials.

Make the most of your holiday by taking a little time off to spend with your family and your best pet buddies! Have a great holiday!

Hi Paws First Family!!!

Did you get a new family pet and are wondering how to manage it all???? Is your dog fearful or sensitive and needs extra time, patience, and care?

We Can Help!!

We have the experience and knowledge that your family needs!

We offer in-home training and behavioral modification. Everything from puppy learning to minor aggression cases.

Whether you’ve got a new puppy, a rowdy adolescent, or a sweet (but reactive) dog, Paws First Positive Training can help you solve your doggy problems so you can enjoy more of life—together.

We love and work with them all.

Extra Large to Extra Small Toy Breeds

Fearful or Friendly Pooches.

What Is A Rest Day And Is It Important?

Everyone knows their dog benefits from exercise every day, right? Well, that may not actually be true. Human athletes take rest days so their bodies and minds can repair. It turns out your pup is no different! Here is what you need to know.

All dogs, regardless of their age, benefit from rest days. However, this is especially true of younger pups, older dogs, and dogs in training. So what exactly does a rest day mean? Well, it's a day without a long walk, training, or strenuous activity - a day to be a couch potato.

There are a number of benefits to rest days. First of all, Fido's body needs a recovery day to heal after a day of activity. Muscles and soft tissue can get tiny tears and inflammation after activity and need to heal. Also, your dog's nervous system is stressed after workouts. Dogs (just like people) release cortisol, the stress hormone, which is damaging to tissue, the GI system, and the immune system. Having a relaxed day reduces the cortisol in your best friend's system. If you've been training new behaviors he will learn more quickly when he has a down day to process what he's learned.

Dogs that don't get some R & R often are not only stressed but over-excitable, easily distracted, and will find it difficult to focus. So, consider a down day as very important to your dog's mental health as well.

What exactly does a rest day mean in terms of activity? Generally, it means relaxing at home with you. He can go on short potty walks and have playtimes that are fun. If he grabs his rope toy by all means play some light tug of war for a bit, but do some snoozing and snuggling too. Put training off for the day and just chill.

Let us know if your dog is having a rest day and we are happy to keep things low-key. We'll take Fido on a quiet relaxed walk, play yard games like hiding treats, and we'll give lots of tummy rubs. Your buddy is always our #1 concern.

Go ahead enjoy a laid-back day and you'll see results - a dog that is happy, healthy, and more engaged. And after spending chill time together you'll enjoy a closer bond with your dog too.

Keep Your Kitty's Litter Box Fresh

Many people say the most difficult part of having a cat is keeping the litter box fresh, and that can be a challenge. No one, including your cat, likes a smelly litter box. Here are some tips to keep it smelling great, which of course will make Fluffy more inclined to use it!

Location, location, location. Some people put the box in a small secluded room, but if it doesn't have adequate ventilation, that can actually make your home smell worse. See if you can find a spot that is out of the way, yet well ventilated.

Scoop at least once a day (more if you are so inclined), change the litter and wash the box and the scooper weekly, and buy a new box once a year (most boxes are plastic and can absorb odors).

Consider a different type of litter; some reduce smells better than others. However, don't opt for one with a strong, perfumey scent because many cats will avoid a strongly scented litter. Before you change your litter type, you may want to set up a second box to ensure your cat will use a new type of sand; felines can be very particular about their litter!

Make sure you use the right amount of litter. A few inches is good but many cats don't like too little or too much (your cat is more like Goldilocks than you thought). Add some fresh litter each time you scoop to keep the level correct.

You can also purchase a litter deodorizer available at pet supply stores or online - a little can go a long way, so start small. Or, try baking soda added to the litter; it's non-toxic and absorbs smells. Start by adding just a little each time you scoop and mix it into the litter. Remember, don't use sprays, plug-ins, or potpourri - not only do cats steer clear of strong smells, but some can be dangerous to your pets.

If you have a covered box, you should know that many have charcoal filters. Be sure to change the filters and open the box once a day to air it out.

Finally, you may want to slowly try a different diet, which can have an effect on how your litter box smells.

These steps will help you tame the litter box odor and keep your home smelling sweet. A clean box will make your cat more apt to use it every time!

Great Pet Links!

December is:
Cat Lovers' Month

December 2 - National Mutt Day
December 10 - Animal Rights Day
December 30 - National Bacon Day

Bacon Flavored Dog Treats to Make
Dog Proof the Christmas Tree
Safety Tips for Your Pets Durning the Holidays
Instagram Pet Pictures
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