By Elizabeth Xu
When the weather’s nice, no one wants to be stuck indoors—especially kids and dogs. Both love to run around, enjoy the sunshine and play endlessly.
As a parent and a dog owner, it can be a little tricky to make both happy. Going to a dog park seems like a simple option, but often, they don’t allow kids. And parks made for kids usually say that dogs aren’t allowed.
Spending time with your kids and dogs as one big pack makes sense. Your dogs are part of your family, after all. More importantly, combining kid and dog activities together can take away any jealously that might occur, says Elisha Stynchula, certified trainer and owner and president of “I Said Sit” School for Dogs in Los Angeles, California.
“I brought home a 9-week-old Belgian Tervuren when my daughter was 4 years old, so I immediately knew I had to find games that would involve both of them,” she says. “They both require a lot of attention, and I wanted to be sure that they grew up enjoying each other, not resenting the other, or with any jealousy.”
So instead of finding separate activities for your kids and pets, try some outdoor activities that will make everyone happy—and ready to sleep come bedtime. Here are some games for dogs to play that kids can enjoy, too.
By Helen Anne Travis
The beach is a place to relax and have fun. And for many pet owners, bringing your dog to the beach or taking them to a dog beach makes for an even more relaxing and fun beach day experience. But the very things that make the beach so pleasant—the water, sun and sand—could also prove harmful to your pet.
Here are five pet safety tips to help keep your dog safe at the beach.
By Cheryl Lock
With warmer spring weather and holidays like Mother’s Day right around the corner, one thing’s for certain—brunches will be held, whether at home or at a restaurant. And with fun, celebratory gatherings comes potential pet hazards. Keep in mind that there likely will be dangerous foods for dogs and cats that you should be aware of at your next brunch outing.
“The dangers are from a number of circumstances surrounding holiday or celebratory gatherings,” says Jennifer Hennessey Bremseth, DVM, CVJ, owner of Animal ER of Northwest Houston in Texas. “New guests tend to want to love by sharing food when they see those begging pets, and new guests and gatherings often mean that pet owners are distracted from tending to things, like whether drinks and items are up and away from a pet’s reach, as they are focused on serving and entertaining.”
A good pet safety tip is to keep pets away from food areas at home by using dog gates or coated-wire crates. “This way, they can see the activity and be acknowledged as one of the family,” says Dr. Hennessey Bremseth. “But they’re safely restricted.”
Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer with the American Kennel Club, also reminds pet parents to keep their pets on their usual diets during any gatherings or celebrations. “Care should also be taken when leaving plates of food, such as cookies containing raisins or chocolate or alcoholic beverages, unattended on a coffee table or other easy-access areas,” he adds.
Make sure your brunch gatherings go off without a hitch by keeping some of these dangerous foods for dogs and cats safely out of your pet’s reach.