My Woofy Valentine – 8 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s With Your Dog

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Lucky are those who have a four-legged, furry Valentine with a tail and a ‘bork’. Who said Valentine’s day has to be about two people? It is a celebration of love, and we believe that there’s no love purer than that of a dog. So if you are one of those fortunate ones who get to spend the day with your furry bud, then we say, make the most of it!

We are listing out 8 amazing ways to spend Valentine’s Day with your dog, and show him or her just how much you value having them in your lives. So here you go….

8 Ways to Show Some Pooch Love this Valentine’s

Spa Day

There’s nothing more relaxing, luxurious, and exquisite like a spa day out! However, there may not be places that offer ‘hooman and dog’ massage packages. So how about taking your pooch to the dog spa? Get him or her a lavish grooming session and some massive pampering.

If your dog hates baths, then you can just go for a grooming sesh. Some combing, clipping, trimming, and maybe a massage….it’ll make your pet’s day.

Treat Them

Whip up your dog’s favourite dishes, the ones that you reserve for special occasions like birthdays. There are plenty of stores that bake cakes just for dogs; that’s a good idea too. Or just bring their beloved treats from the pet store and watch their eyes widen in surprise as you unravel the ‘gift’.

Road Trippin’

Take a trip, just you and your pooch. Maybe a weekend getaway, far from the buzz and bustle of the city can help you both reconnect. Devote your time exclusively to spending time with your dog and getting some much needed peace in the process.

Look at locations with lots of space for your dog to run around and explore, maybe like a dog friendly beach or somewhere on a hillside. Anything that offers a lot of new places to sniff should do, really.

Retail Therapy

Another great idea is getting your dog something he/she will love. Like a soft bed, a chew toy, or a dapper jacket. It can be anything that your dog needs and will appreciate. Head to the pet store and check out what they have in store, or go online and browse the endless options.

Make a Scrapbook

This is more for you than your dog, but it’s a great way to immortalize your memories and show them off to anyone who’s willing, like every other pet parent! Click a lot of pictures together, or get the ones on your phone printed out and make your own scrapbook. Write down the hilarious things your dog does as a showcase of your relationship.

Matinee Time

Do you and your pooch have your own special movie? Why not download it or rent the CD and make an afternoon of it? You can make some popcorn, get yourself a nice glass of wine. And don’t forget your doggy’s treats. Everyone loves munchies during a movie!

Go For a Looong Walk

Dogs love nothing more than taking their own sweet time and taking a long, leisurely walk, taking in all the ‘sights and scents’ of nature. On Valentine’s, take your pet for an extra long walk. Maybe somewhere they love going, like the nearest hike trail or with the neighbors dog. Give the dog walker a holiday and enjoy this bonding activity with your beloved pooch.

Make a Donation in Your Dog’s Name

This is one of the best things to do on any day. Valentine’s Day is just a special-er occasion to honour and cherish your dog. Make a donation in his or her name to the local shelter. Maybe even visit with your pooch in tow, spend some quality time with the dogs who don’t have a forever home and family yet.

And just because we love dogs, here’s an idea for a Furry-tine’s day…..as a bonus.

Throw a dog party! If you have ample place at your residence, or know of such an area, preferably with a pool, then book it right away! Invite a few friends of your dog’s over and let them have a blast!

All you pet parents out there, don’t miss out on the chance to show your dogs just how much you love them this Valentine’s Day. To reiterate, there is no love as unconditional and pure as a dog’s. And even science doesn’t need to back that.

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3 Commands Every Dog Should Know

pexels-photo-275717Speak.

 Roll over.

 Solve for x.

 We all love teaching our little fur babies. And whether it’s teaching them to close doors, speak on command, or solve basic algebra, they love it too!

Well maybe not the math part, but to obehonest n one likes math.

 Maybe you haven’t gotten around to teaching your dog the basic tricks yet. We all have different expectations and different relationships with our four legged friends, so that’s fine.

Or maybe your dog can outperform some children in talent shows, that’s fine too!

Whatever your dog’s level of training, there should be at least three commands your pupper  knows by heart. These commands are simple to learn and easier for you teach them. What’s more, they are necessary for keeping your dog safe and you in control in any situation.

So let’s jump right into it and learn the ways you can teach your dog these essential commands!

 Eyes on me…

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 You can call this one the look command, the watch me command, or even the eyes here command. Whatever you want to call it is up to you. What’s important is that this command teaches your little pup to look at you and not be distracted by anything in the environment.

This is an essential command that will make it easier to teach your pup further down the line.

So how do you get your dog’s attention no matter what is happening?

  • Start teaching your dog the eyes on me command by having them stand in front of you.
  • Once they’ve settled down in front of you, place a treat in your hand and show them.
  • After they’ve recognized that you have something tasty for them, extend your arm out to one side, far away from your face.
  • More than likely their attention will remain focused on the tasty treat, so you’ll need to command them to look at you.
  • Use whatever command you choose to get their attention. As you say the command use your other hand to point at your face.
  • Repeat this process until your pup locks eyes on you. Once they make eye contact, give them the treat and a nice scratch behind the ear.
  • Continue to repeat the process, gradually reducing the hand gestures until your pup looks at you with simply the verbal command.


Sit…

  • Begin with your dog standing in front of you and start with the eyes on me command.
  • Once you have your dog’s attention, show your pup a treat, getting them to focus on the tasty treat solely. Once they are focused on the treat, move the treat slightly above their head just out of reach.
  • Slowly move your hand and the treat back towards their tail while keeping them both right out of their reach. As your dog naturally tries to maintain eye contact with the treat they will inadvertently sit down.
  • Once they sit, stop moving the treat, give them a nice scratch behind the ear and let them have the treat.
  • Then repeat the process, this time repeating the command “sit” as you move the treat over their head. Once again, when they sit, reward with praise and a treat.
  • Continue to do this until your pup starts to associate the sit command with putting their rear on the ground.

If your pup doesn’t get the hang of it at first, avoid pushing their rear downward while issuing the command as it really isn’t the best way for them to learn the command. Instead take a break and then return back to process again, repeating this until they start to sit on their own.

Stay…

  • Begin by issuing the eyes on me command, showing your pup a treat, and giving them the sit command.
  • Once they are sitting, gently place one hand up as if to say stop while issuing the command stay.
  • If your dog holds the sit position while you give the stay command, reward them with a nice scratch behind the ear and the tasty treat you were holding.
  • Repeat the process again, each time extending the amount of time you wait between issuing the stay command and giving them the treat.

If your pup moves or gets up before you issue the stay command, simply start all over again until they reliably sit and stay focused on your commands.


Teaching is hard work!

If your pup is having problems paying attention or learning the commands, don’t get frustrated. Instead take a break, play with them a little, and then start the teaching process over again.

Remember even with breaks, your dog has a limit to amount of focus they can give in one sitting, so take it slow and steady. With enough consistent practice, your pup will get the hang of listening for your commands, opening the door for you to teach them other commands.

Do you have any tips or stories about how you trained your little fur baby? Head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment to let us know!

 

 

Turning Dry Dog Food into Doggy Delicacies

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Everyone enjoys a good home cooked meal…

Who can say no to a freshly prepared home cook meal?

Whether you walk upright or have four paws, the warmth and taste of a home cooked meal is something you can’t just turn down. And the way we feel about eating tasty food goes double for our doggy companions. Considering that smell plays a large role in taste and taking into the consideration the fact dogs’ olfactory sense is more developed than our own, a home cooked meal isn’t just tasty, it’s irresistible!

While in a perfect world you would be able to cook fresh meals from scratch for both you and your dog, we know it isn’t always possible. And that can be so for numerous reasons, whether scheduling, time constraints, or simply cost, which we definitely understand.

So how do you turn your doggo’s  regular dinner time into a delicious home cooked meal while not breaking the bank or having to spend too much time in the kitchen?

It’s simple, spice up your kibble! Not literally of course though…

 By adding a few extra ingredients you have lying around, you can turn your pup’s kibble into a doggy delicacy in no time.

And the best part is you already have everything you need in your kitchen right now!

So let’s dive right into this recipe to spice up your dog’s dinner time options!


Healthy and Vegetarian Friendly Doggy Dinner…

 Ingredients you’ll need:

  • ¼ cup Whole grain brown rice
  • 1 Carrot
  • 4 brussel sprouts
  • ½ cup dry kibble
  • 4 Green beans

 Preparation:

  • Begin by preparing the brown rice much as you normally would. Bring water to a boil in a small pot and add in the brown rice. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and let cook for 45 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, prepare the veggies! Before grabbing the cutting board and knife, be sure to rinse the veggies though.
  • Start by peeling the carrot and cutting it into 1 cm pieces. After you finish cutting the carrots, cut the green beans into similar portion sizes and then set aside the two.
  • To prepare the brussel sprouts, first begin by cutting off the stem. Then remove any leaves that look brown or yellowish. Once you’ve removed both the stem and any unsightly leaves, cut the brussel sprout in half lengthwise.
  • Set aside all of your veggies for now and bring a new pot of water to a boil.
  • Once the pot has begin to boil, add in all the veggies,cover, and let boil for 15-20 minutes.
  • After 15-20 minutes, strain the water from the veggies and set aside to cool.
  • By now the rice should be just about done, so remove from the stove and fluff the grains with a fork before also setting aside.

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Now that all of your ingredients are ready, it’s time to mix!

  • Add all of your ingredients into your dog’s bowl and stir to mix. If you want, you can add a small amount of water to soften the kibble, though that is optional.

And there you have it! You’ve just went from a regular dinner to doggy fine dining!
If you want, you can even prep larger portions of the meal and freeze what you don’t use for meals later on in the week!

If you have any questions or a your own doggy dinner recipe you’d like to share, stop by our Facebook page and leave a comment!

Pet Play Dates in India

Dogs by nature are social creatures, it’s part of who they are as animals. So they need a healthy dose of interaction with fellow doggos every once in while in order to be as happy as they can be.

But if you share your home with only one dog, how can you make sure they’re getting enough puppy play time with other dogs?

 It’s simple, doggy play dates!

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By meeting up with other pet parents for puppy play dates you give your favorite friend an opportunity to run with other dogs and enjoy the best parts of being a canine.

And puppy play dates are good for more than just your furry friend.

They get a chance to play around with new friends while you get an opportunity to connect with other like minded individuals in your area. It’s a win-win for your entire family!

And beyond being a fun time, meeting up with other pet parents provides your four legged friend with much needed socialization. Without it, your dog will be more wary and suspicious of the world around them. This can lead to certain behavioral problems and an overall tendency to be more aggressive. All of which just means your favorite friend is not as happy as they can be.

So, since socialization is a key component to your dog’s mental health and a great way to have fun, you’re probably asking yourself…

Well, where do I go to meet other proud pet parents? How can I schedule healthy doggy play dates for my friend?

 So let’s find out!

Going Online For Meet Ups…

Given that our world has become more connected than it has ever been, starting online is the best place to begin.There you can find local people in your area that are doing exactly what you are and looking for ways to connect with other pet parents.dogs-2450047_640

And while there are quite a few platforms for bringing together people for pet play dates, there are a couple that are a little more popular than others.

For one, there is Meetup which allows you to not only join in on the play date fun but also create and manage your own meetups.All you need to do is create an account and then start looking for meetup dates around your area. It’s that simple!

Or if you don’t see one around your area, you can start your own group to meetup and begin enjoying puppy play dates with other pet parents in your area.

 

Taking a trip down to your local dog park…

 If you aren’t one for making scheduled play dates, you could always take a trip down to your local dog park. There, you can let your furry friend meet and play with other doggos for an afternoon of socialization.

And depending on your local park, there might even be scheduled meetups for different activities like swimming and other fun stuff. So find a dog park around you, pack up your furry friend and get ready to make some new friends!

 

Good Old Fashioned Dog Play Dates with Your Neighbors…

 More than likely you know of a few other proud pet parents in your neighborhood. You probably even have similar schedules as you pass by each other on your daily walks.

So why not take the opportunity to build your connections with your neighbors while giving your doggo a chance to make a new friend.

Even if you can’t meet up for more formal pet play dates, scheduling a walk or two with other pet parents gives your furry friend a chance to socialize with other dogs, even if only for a walk.

A Happy Dog is Social Dog…

 Often as pet parents our busy work schedules mean that after work we just want to go home and unwind before tackling the next day ahead. But we have to remember while we were out enjoying the world, our best friend was at home waiting.

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And all that waiting around the house can make your pup anxious, nervous, and deprive them of some much needed socialization with others.

So make some time to schedule puppy play dates, even if it is just for a walk around your neighborhood.

You’ll find your furry friend will be healthier, happier, and of course around to love you all the longer!

Do you have any ideas for pet play dates in your area or are there ways we missed? Stop by our Facebook page and let us know by leaving a comment!

Potty Training Your Puppy

So you’ve brought home your new best friend!
Everything is hugs and playing until… oops your new friend answers the call of the wild indoors. And before you get upset, remember this is all part of the process of teaching and guiding a young animal into becoming an amazing creature. So now that the mess is taken care of and your home is back to being puddle free, what do you do?pexels-photo-59523

Well, it’s time to start house training your new best friend before the next accident.

So let’s jump right into everything you’ll need to know and learn to help your best friend make the transition into sharing a home with you.

Beginning Your Training….

Yes, you read correctly, we need to begin with your training first. Because after all, this is probably new to you as well. So let’s take a moment to get everything you’ll need to know out of the way before moving forward to teaching your best friend.

First and foremost, your training begins with understanding that accidents will happen. It’s all part of the process.

As your new best friend is learning, sometimes mistakes will happen and sometimes those mistakes may happen on your part. What’s important to take away from here is how you handle those mistakes.

While it may be easy to let your frustration get the better of you, there is never a reason to get physical or angry with your best friend.


What does that mean?

Well, it means, focusing on the things your dog does right and putting less emphasis on punishing your dog for the things they do wrong.pexels-photo-374906
As dogs will always remember getting praise over the times you lose your cool or yell, focusing on teaching with positive reinforcement has a greater effect than relying on other means. And while we are on the topic, punishments such as yelling or rubbing their nose in it, simply do not work. There’s no real evidence that such things have any effect beyond confusing and scaring your pup.

So remove negative reinforcement from your list of options and instead replace it with healthy positive reinforcement.

So…

Reward your pup every time they follow the rules of potty training! And simply clean up the mess and move forward the times they don’t. They’ll be eager to make you happy again, making them more likely to remember the rules of staying indoors!

Manage Your Time and Schedule It Out…

 One of the most important aspects of training a young pup is repetition and scheduling. As creatures of habit, dogs will be able to fall into positive behaviors after enough time repeating the behavior.

So what does that mean for your training?

It means helping your dog learn by setting a schedule and sticking to it. So find a schedule that prevents your pup from needing to answer the call of the wild indoors and stick to that schedule!

It should look something like this:

  • After waking up in the morning, take your pup to the designated spot to handle their business.
  • After the first meal of the day, it’s time to go back out to the spot.
  • Once they finish lunch, you guessed it, back to the spot.
  • Dinner over? Back to the spot again.
  • And finally one last trip back to the spot before calling it a night.

By setting a schedule and sticking to it, you allow your dog to pick up on the training more easily while establishing that the designated spot is the only place to handle their business.

So do what you have to and make sure you stick to whatever schedule you set!
Remember, repetition is king when trying to pick up a new skill and house training your pup is no different.
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So what did we learn…?

Accidents happen…
Instead of punishing your pup, just clean up the mess and focus on getting it right the next time.

Positive beats a negative…
Rewarding your pup every time they get the training correct is a much better training tool than negative reinforcement.

Time, Time, and Time Again…
Set a schedule your pup can learn and stick to it. This way your pup knows when it’s time to handle their business and where to handle it.

Patience is More that a Virtue…
Training takes time and there will be mistakes along the way, so be prepared to help your new best friend learn while accepting mistakes along the way.

So now that we’ve got your training out of the way… It’s time for training your pup!

 

DIY Pet Smog Mask

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By now you’ve certainly read about the toxic smog enveloping much of Delhi which is currently causing massive shutdowns across the city and wreaking havoc on many people’s daily lives. While this level of smog is certainly unprecedented, it really comes as no surprise to many of the people who have grown accustomed to the declining air quality levels affecting many of the metropolitan area across India.

And while there are quite a few known ways for us people to deal with the smog, there are not too many options for our pets. And considering that our four legged best friends are more susceptible to the harm caused by smog, we felt it prudent to create this guide.

As of writing this piece, there is no commercially available smog mask created specifically for our furry best friends. This has left concerned pet parents with very few options in terms of protecting their pals while outside and exposed to the harmful toxins.

 Unfortunately just putting a regular unmodified dust mask over your pooch’s face doesn’t offer much protection as mask maintain a seal to function.

So we decided to get our hands a little dirty and bring out the crafting supplies to find a solution of our own. And after more than a couple prototypes, we’ve found what we consider the best way to protect your furry friend from the dangers of smog while out on walks.
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Before we begin, it is important to note that the best way of ensuring your pet is completely safe from the dangers of smog is keeping them inside during what is considered peak hours for smog. Though we understand sometimes that’s not always possible, so with that said, let’s jump into it!

What You’ll Need:

  • Muzzle – It’s best to find one that is a bit larger than your pup’s normal muzzle, this gives you room to make adjustments while still ensuring a proper fit.
  • 5 Disposable Dust Masks – try to find some that filter out the smallest particle possible.
  • Hot Glue Gun and Some Hot Glue Sticks – most hot glue sticks are non-toxic once they’ve dried but check the package just to be safe!
  • Scissor- Whatever you have works perfectly!

 Making Your Own Smog Mask for Your Pet:

  • Begin by cutting the disposable masks lengthwise in 5 cm wide strips – Simply hold the masks as if you were going to put it on, then simply cut from each side. After cutting each of your masks into the appropriate width strips, set them aside.
  • Once you have your strips, begin glueing them to the outside of the the muzzle – It’s important that you completely secure each strip of the dust mask to the muzzle with a thin strip of hot glue. Begin by gluing one piece completely to the outside of the mask. Then simply layer each additional piece of the dust mask over the previously glued section. Be careful not to leave any gaps.
  • Continue to layer the dust mask strips around the muzzle until it is completely covered – Once you’ve completely covered the entire muzzle in dust mask stripes, gently blow on the open end to ensure that there are indeed no gaps or holes.


Then, simply let the glue dry and you’re almost ready to protect your pal from smog!
All that’s left is teaching your pup to wear their new mask!

 That  said…

Teaching your dog to wear the mask might be a little more difficult than making the mask, but with a few treats and a couple practice runs, you can train your dog to wear his new muzzle/smog mask.

If you need a few tips for teaching your pup to wear the mask, check out this video for training your dog to wear a muzzle!

Well, there you have it, with just a few things you can pick up from the store, you can make sure your favorite four-legged friend is protected from the smog!

Be sure to stop by our FB page to post a picture of your pal in their new mask!

 

About Unikorn, Inc.

Unikorn is an all-in-one marketplace for pet services that provides affordable and convenient solutions to your pet needs– directly to your home! Through our easy to use website and mobile app, you too can give unconditional love to your pet through our community of caregivers and pet-centric  services.  Order pet food & accessories from the best stores in town, request a vet for house calls, find the best place to care for your pet while you are away, discuss your day to day pet questions with the community, and more!

*NEW!* Unikorn recently launched Social Butterfly, a social networking platform to connect with other pet lovers. Share your favorite photos of your furry friends and follow other pet parents in our exclusive online pet community.

Download the Unikorn App now!
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.unikorn.unikornapp

Taking Care of Your Dog During Winter

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Fall is in the air…

As the weather begins to drop, the days get shorter, and we bring out our sweaters, it finally signals the season of snuggling up inside and choosing the coziest spot to relax.

Just as we like to be warm and cozy during this season, our furry friends enjoy the same feeling. Except they probably much prefer a warm lap over a hot chai any day.

And while taking care of our little furry friends is a year round duty, during this time of the year, we have to take a few extra steps to keep out best friends safe and well throughout the season.

So grab a warm blanket, some nice chai, and of course your favorite furry best friend, while getting ready to explore some awesome ways to make this winter a safe and happy one.

Bundle up, it’s cold out…

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our pets get a little cold from time to time as there are times a nice fur coat just isn’t enough to beat the winter chill.

And while some dogs are more suited to the chill of winter than others, more furry friends will need a little extra layer of warmth to make having fun outside a bit more enjoyable.

So if it’s cold enough for you to reach a sweater, you might want to pull out your pupperino’s sweater as well. While they may not show it and certainly won’t be able to tell you, sometimes your pup needs to bundle up.

And besides being super cute, a little sweater will help keep your four legged friend healthy and well throughout the winter.

Just be sure to find one that fits properly, because anything too tight or loose can cause problems of their own. A bit unsure of how to find the right sweater for your pooch? This dog sweater buying guide should point you in the right direction!

Nothing beats a nice warm room…

This one is more for those four-legged friends that are kept outside while their parents away. While it may be tempting to just throw on your pupperino’s sweater before leaving them outside to avoid coming home to a mess, doing so might hurt your best friend.

There’s always the risk that they may become tangled in the sweater, possibly injuring them, while running the risk that the temperature will dip below safe levels, even with a sweater.

So instead of leaving your best friend outside, find a way of bringing them inside. Whether that means giving your pupperino the run of the whole house or simply a safe space within it, is up to you. Just be sure to puppy proof the area, hiding all hazards and things you wouldn’t want them getting into.

If your pup is a bit rambunctious and has you worried about them making a mess, considering picking up a few puppy fences to create a safe little corner, one that will keep both your pal warm and you worry free.

A clean pup is a happy pup…

We all know the feeling of stepping out of a warm shower during the winter, right?  Unless your bathroom is heated, it can be teeth chattering experience leaving you rushing to get dressed.

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Your pup feels the same way about showers during the winter, except they may not have a cozy sweater and blanket to hide under.

So instead of giving your four legged best friend a bath during the winter, opt for some less chill inducing options.

There are plenty of safe and fur friendly options that will keep you puppers smelling good, feeling clean, without putting them at risk for developing a cold.

A blanket and friend to share it with…

While taking these steps to keep your puppers safe all winter long, be sure to remember the best way to keep your pup happy during the chilliest days of the year, nice warm snuggles and some belly rubs!

 

About Unikorn, Inc.

Unikorn is an all-in-one marketplace for pet services that provides affordable and convenient solutions to your pet needs– directly to your home! Through our easy to use website and mobile app, you too can give unconditional love to your pet through our community of caregivers and pet-centric  services.  Order pet food & accessories from the best stores in town, request a vet for house calls, find the best place to care for your pet while you are away, discuss your day to day pet questions with the community, and more!

*NEW!* Unikorn recently launched Social Butterfly, a social networking platform to connect with other pet lovers. Share your favorite photos of your furry friends and follow other pet parents in our exclusive online pet community.

Download the Unikorn App now!

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.unikorn.unikornapp
Website: www.myunikorn.com