Wedding Barks: How To Include A Dog In The Wedding

7Hills_iStock_000045543898_LargeOur dogs are truly our best friends. They sleep with us, eat with us, play with us, and provide us with a special type of quiet companionship and enduring friendship. For most of us, our dogs are a deeply important part of everyday life, and we can’t imagine it any other way. It makes sense, then, that more and more pet owners are opting to include their canine friends in one of the most meaningful milestones of their lives: their wedding day.

Incorporating a dog in the wedding can be tricky, but it can also be fun and special. As with anything involving a pet, planning and preparation are key elements for success. Our tips aim to get you and your pup started off on the right paw on this most special of occasions. Continue…

Rewarding Pets Without Food: It Can Be Done!

CHAH_iStock_000080256971_LargeAll pet owners know that the way to a pet’s heart is through his or her stomach… Or is it? Why is it that we tend to use treats and snacks to show love for our pets or to get them to do what we want? Could there be a healthier way to accomplish these important tasks?

Using anything other than food to accomplish basic pet obedience training is hard to imagine. Besides using treats and other food for training purposes, a delicious morsel here and there is one of the ways we express our affection for our furry friends. After all, who can resist that wagging tail and puppy dog eyes, or insistent purring when our pets know we are eating one of their favorite meals?

Rewarding pets without food can actually be a wonderful way to accomplish training goals, though, and to bond with pets. With a little planning and forethought, you and your pet can enjoy the many far-reaching benefits of non-food rewards. Continue…

Pets Are People Too: How Viewing Pets As Family Has Changed The World

7Hills_iStock_000025482499_LargeFor most of the combined history of humans and our pets, the relationship has been viewed as one of symbiosis; our pets relied on us for food and shelter, and in return they provided us with protection, work, or both. Obviously, times have changed. Today’s pets enjoy an elevated status in our homes and societies, and with good reason; our pets provide us with nonjudgmental companionship and unconditional love, something many of us in today’s society are sorely missing.

According to a 2012 report by global business intelligence leader IBISWorld, people began viewing their pets as “humans” and started referring to themselves as “pet parents” rather than “pet owners” as recently as 2006. Whether you love or hate the notion of pets being seen as human family members, it appears to be a concept that’s here to stay, and the pet care industries have responded appropriately. Continue…