4 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Warm this Winter

Photo by: Matt Deavenport

Photo by: Matt Deavenport

We all knew it was coming. We’ve had a pretty mild winter in Chicago thus far, but the dreadful weather is finally here. If it’s not snowing, it’s sleeting or super windy. Today we get to enjoy all three! I hope you’re bundled up, because the chilly temperatures aren’t going anywhere soon.

With several months of arctic air ahead, we thought you could use some guidelines for keeping your dog warm. After all, whether inside or out, our pups get cold just like we do. To prevent icy noses and frosty paws this winter, consider implementing some of the tips below. Your pup will be safe, happy, and toasty warm until the first signs of spring.

  1. Give your pup a warm place to sleep
    Your dog’s bed should be at least three inches off the floor to avoid chilly drafts. Additionally, you may want to buy a microwaveable heating pad, such as the Snuggle Safe Pet Heating Pad, for your dog to sleep with at night. Simply heat the pad in the microwave and place beneath your pup’s sleeping spot for a warm night of rest.
  1. Invest in the proper gear
    If you’re a dog owner who scoffs at the notion of dressing your pup in the latest fashion, hear us out. Outfitting your dog in a sweater and jacket is actually a smart idea when the weather is really nasty. Just be sure to choose something that has a waterproof nylon covering. If your dog tolerates them, booties will protect his feet from the salt and snow.
  1. Throw your dog a bone
    Rather, give your dog extra food throughout the day. If your dog’s appetite has increased over the last few weeks, there’s a good reason why. Dogs use up more calories during winter trying to stay warm. There’s nothing wrong with feeding your pup a little bit more during winter, especially if he spends a lot of time outside.
  1. Show your dog some extra love
    It may sound cheesy, but nothing warms your dog’s heart more than a special treat, belly rub, or snuggle on the couch. For some holiday treat recipes, click here. We also have some rainy day games you can play with your dog to give him some extra mental and physical stimulation outside of dog daycare.

How does your pup like to keep warm during winter? Share your photos and ideas with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook Page!

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5 Holiday Dog Treat Recipes

The final countdown to Christmas is on. If you’re anything like us, you’ve already eaten your body weight in cookies and you have no intention of slowing down. After all, there’s plenty of time for smoothies and salads come January. Right?

We know you’re busy exchanging goodies and gifts with your friends and family this time of year, but your dog deserves some holiday love, too. If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the main canine in your life, head to the kitchen and whip up something from the heart. We have five holiday dog treat recipes to share that’ll make any dog’s tail wag with glee.

Calvin’s Christmas Cookies

Photo by: Scrumptious Pumpkin

Photo by: Scrumptious Pumpkin

Calvin’s Christmas Cookies
Author: The Scrumptious Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons organic honey
  • 3½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons organic dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Click here for detailed instructions from The Scrumptious Pumpkin.

Candy Cane Cookies

Photo by: DogVills

Photo by: DogVills

Candy Cane Cookies
Author: DogVills

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup skim milk

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoon meringue powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons warm water
  • Red gel food coloring

Click here for detailed instructions from DogVills.

Christmas Tree Treats

Photo by: DogVills

Photo by: DogVills

Christmas Tree Treats
Author: DogVills

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup skim milk

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoon meringue powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons warm water
  • Green & red gel food coloring

Click here for detailed instructions from DogVills.

Homemade Gingerbread Dog Treats with Carob Icing

Photo by: Two Little Cavaliers

Photo by: Two Little Cavaliers

Homemade Gingerbread Dog Treats with Carob Icing
Author: Two Little Cavaliers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Optional: carob chips

Click here for detailed instructions from Two Little Cavaliers.

Snowflake Cookie Dog Treats

Photo by: Pretty Fluffy

Photo by: Pretty Fluffy

Snowflake Cookie Dog Treats
Author: Pretty Fluffy

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups rice flour
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • Optional: melted yogurt drops

Click here for detailed instructions from Pretty Fluffy.

What’s your favorite holiday dog treat to make this time of year? Share your recipes with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!

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Dog-Friendly Destination: Colorado Springs

Source: Jacqueline Poggi

Source: Jacqueline Poggi

In this edition of Dog Friendly Destinations we’re trekking a bit further west than we have in the past to the charming city of Colorado Springs. While it certainly isn’t a quick weekend getaway, Colorado Springs is totally worth the 16 hour drive or 2 ½ hour flight from Chicago.

If you’re trying to orient yourself geographically, Colorado Springs lies at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains near glacier-carved Pikes Peak, a landmark in Pike National Forest with hiking trails and a cog railway leading to its 14,114-foot summit. If you’re not up for a strenuous adventure, Colorado Springs also boasts more than 10,000 acres of public park space and seven off-leash dog parks. Unsurprisingly, Colorado Springs has consistently been ranked as one of the most dog-friendly destinations in the country.

With winter weather on its way, there’s no better time to pack up your furry family and make a trip to one of the most scenic cities west of the Mississippi. Here’s where to stay, what to see, and how to have fun in Colorado Springs.

Dog-Friendly Lodging
Visitors to Colorado Springs have over a dozen choices for pet-friendly lodging! We listed a few of our favorites below. Check out the rest on visitcos.com.

The Broadmoor
1 Lake Ave, Colorado Springs
(855) 634-7711

Cheyenne Mountain Resort
3225 Broadmoor Valley Rd, Colorado Springs
(719) 538-4000

El Colorado Lodge
23 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs
(719) 685-5485

Grey Wolf Ranch
2631 County Rd 86, Victor
(719) 302-5906

Dog-Friendly Restaurants
The following restaurants allow dogs to dine with their human companions outdoors when the weather permits. Check out the full list of dog-friendly restaurants on visitcos.com.

PJ’s Stagecoach Inn
702 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs
(719) 685-9114

Pizzeria Rustica
2527 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs
(719) 632-8121

Sonterra Grill
28B S. Tejon St, Colorado Springs
(719) 471-9222

Salsa Brava
802 Village Center Dr, Colorado Springs
(719) 266-9244

Dog-Friendly Attractions
Dogs love exploring the exciting sights and smells of Colorado Springs. The following dog-friendly attractions are favored by locals and visitors alike.

Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Seven Falls

Bear Creek Dog Park

Rampart Dog Park

Palmer Park Dog Park

Cheyenne Meadows Dog Park

Stratton Open Space

Memorial Park

Dog-Friendly Retail
The following shopping centers allow Colorado Springs visitors to shop at their favorite stores with their favorite pets.

Outlets at Castle Rock
5050 Factory Shops Blvd, Castle Rock
(303) 688-4495

Promenade Shops at Briargate
1885 Briargate Pkwy, Colorado Springs
(719) 265-6264

Have you visited Colorado Springs with your pup? Let us know about your experience on The Doggy Dojo Facebook Page!

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The Doggy Dojo’s Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Source: Alvin Trusty

Source: Alvin Trusty

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? If you’re anything like me, you got most of it done right after Thanksgiving. While most of the names on my “Nice” list have already been crossed off, I haven’t been able to find the perfect present for my dog. After all, it can be tough to shop for the pup that has everything!

As I peruse local boutiques and browse the Internet in search of a suitable gift, my internal dialog goes something like this: “I could get him a practical gift, like a winter coat. Or maybe it’s better to go with something indulgent, like a box of doggie Christmas cookies. Did I buy enough treats for his Christmas stocking? Does my dog even have a Christmas stocking? I’d better add that to my list.” Sound familiar?

Since I can’t be the only one who stresses over what to get her dog for Christmas, I thought I’d share my favorite finds with fellow dog parents everywhere. I hope these ideas are helpful as you finish (or begin) your gift search!

  1. Dog Infinity Scarf
    Who doesn’t love snuggling up in a cozy scarf when the temperature drops? Give your pup the same warmth and comfort you enjoy from a handmade knit with a dog infinity scarf.
  1. BarkBox Subscription
    If you think its fun watching your dog open presents over the holidays, imagine how cool it will be when a new box of treats and toys arrives every single month!
  1. Fresh ‘n Floss Rope Toy
    Let’s face it – dog breath is the worst. This rope toy comes to the rescue with durable cotton and mint-scented floss to fight plaque and control odor.
  1. Luxe Winter Coat
    If you have a hard-to-fit breed (I’m looking at you, dachshunds), Voyages K9 Apparel will be your go-to destination for everything from winter coats to booties.
  1. Bacon Dog Treats
    When you can’t bake treats at home, you can still give your pup nutritious snacks from Barley Bones. They only use the finest ingredients – no yucky additives here!
  1. Dog Daycare
    Okay, your pup can’t exactly tear the wrapping paper off of a trip to dog daycare at The Doggy Dojo, but she’ll be thrilled to play with her friends nonetheless!

What are you buying your pup for the holidays? Share your stocking stuffer and gift ideas with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page!

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Home Pet-Odor Free

Source: Maja Dumat

Source: Maja Dumat

The holidays are here, which means our homes will soon be filled with the intoxicating scents of the season. If your house is anything like mine, a combination of balsam fir, peppermint, cinnamon, and gingerbread will be on steady rotation until the end of the year. In addition to the pleasant smells we associate with the holiday season, dog owners often find that their beloved pooches leave a trail of offensive odors. Unfortunately, this leaves their homes smelling more like a kennel than a winter wonderland.

To keep your home smelling fresh and clean and ready for holiday guests, it’s important to be proactive and stop odors at the source. Here are some tips and that will help you stay on top of those stinky smells once and for all.

  1. Be consistent with bathing. You may not think to give your dog a bath when she isn’t spending time outdoors, but it’s important to bathe your pup even if she isn’t visibly dirty. Regularly bathing Fido with a gentle, safe dog shampoo will keep excess dirt and oils from being carried throughout the house.
  2. Clean up loose dog hair. Unless your dog is a breed that doesn’t shed (lucky you!), dog hair on your floor and furniture is pretty much inevitable. To keep loose dog hair from stinking up your home, use a vacuum cleaner and lint roller to get rid of it at least once a week.
  3. Wash your dog’s bedding. If you’re shopping for a new pet bed this holiday season, look for one with removable covers that can be thrown in the laundry. A good rule of thumb is to wash your pup’s bedding twice per month, or every time you wash your own.
  4. Swap out your air filters. A dirty air filter on your air conditioner or furnace could be precisely why you can’t get that kennel smell out of your house. Set a reminder to change your air filter once a month, or bi-weekly if you have a dog that sheds a lot.
  5. Don’t just cover up odors – eliminate them. Regardless of how good your favorite air freshener smells it won’t do you any good unless it’s designed to eliminate odors. If you’re not into sprays, look for odor eliminating candles that destroy pet odors floating around in the air.

Do you have any tips or favorite products for keeping your home pet odor-free? Share with us on The Doggy Dojo Facebook page.

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