Playful Cat, Sleepy Cat

kitten sitting on table, title playful cat, sleepy cat
This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to continue to spoil my herd. If you use these links to make a purchase, you will not be charged extra and you’ll keep my pups happy! It’s a win-win for everyone, really.

I’m guessing it’s pretty obvious at this point that I’m a dog mom. And while I’ve had some great posts for both dog and cat parents (pet-friendly fabrics, reducing pet odors, and my top recommended rescues), I wanted to write something specifically for the cat parents. A resource for a recurring theme I seem to be asked about quite often. So, this blog post is for the cat moms and cat dads. And most especially, it’s for your playful cat, sleepy cat!

Please note, while I have looked at Amazon reviews and ratings of these products, I have not tested or used any items. You know your pet best, so keep that in mind when considering a purchase of any of these.

“Where can I find attractive cat condos, towers, and perches?”

I’ve seen some custom items for both dogs and cats on a variety of websites. Many gorgeous and unique designs never before seen. But, for today’s blog, I’m going to share some attractive options for your playful cat, sleepy cat from Amazon. Most of these products that I’m suggesting have Amazon Prime shipping available, which can save quite a bit in shipping and often these products ship fast! If you’re not already a member, I highly recommend signing up for a free 30 day trial here.

And, in addition to Prime, you could also earn some money back, if you order through the ebates website or app! Plus, ebates isn’t just for Amazon. If you shop online often, this site will be your best friend! Not only do you earn cash back, but it can also show you available coupons for that retailer!

Playful Cat: Cat Condos and Towers

I absolutely love the shape of this first cat tower by The Refined Feline

. The fluidity of the curves offers a sculptural element to any space. Available in 3 colors: espresso (shown below), mahogany, and smoke (my favorite!!). The lotus cat tree

stands 69″ tall and offers sisal padding for scratching, several perch options, and a hide-a-way cubby .

espresso cat tower with three perch options, curvilinear lines, a hide-a-way cubby, and sisal for scratching
A sleek, organic design, the Lotus cat tower is a modern take on cat furniture.

The next cat condo tower would be a sleek addition to any modern room. It features a solid wood leg construction for stability, sisal posts for scratching, platforms to perch on, a dangling toy to entertain, and a cozy hide-a-way cat shelter. This condo tower by CO-Z

stands at just over 57″ and has several varying height levels for your cat to move around and enjoy. The list even states that there’s plenty of room for 3-4 kitties at once!

Roomy and enjoyable, it has a large platform bed on the top level your fur babies to sit on and look out the window. On the second level there is a capacious observation deck for your kitty to enjoy the sunbath while taking a cozy nap on it. And just imagine an exquisite hideaway cat house,a shelter for nothing but a sound sleep. Multi-level design makes your feline friends feel free to jump, climb and explore around the kitty house; hanging plush ball l can be pawed at for fun.
The third option is perfect for kittens and smaller cats (less than 15 lbs). There’s a few varieties of smaller cat condos and cat trees from PetPals

that I liked, but this one seemed to have the best reviews. It’s a smaller scale option (only 23″ tall!), perfect for small spaces. Plus, the chocolate & gray color palette and the sleek & simple design will fit in many different types of styles. With two different perch options, handmade paper rope scratching posts, and a hanging toy, you’ll have a smitten kitten in no time!

This tree features 2 different plush perch styles with a top cradle perch for your cat to play or rest. Perches are supported by handmade paper rope scratching posts for your cats to dig into. The idea of the cradle is to help keep your cat snugged safely up top for their nap time. It’s also perfect for multiple cats playing hide and seek! The contemporary design of this cat tree makes it the perfect addition to your home decor! Durable and sturdy, the perfect combination of shape and function.
And one last option for your playful cat is probably the one that I find the most intriguing. This product line requires some wall space, but the ingenuity and creativity truly makes it functional art! CatastrophiCreations

has many varieties available for their Cat Mod

products with various price points. The design below incorporates hammocks, planters for cat friendly plants, and sisal poles for climbing or scratching. It also comes in several finishes including English Chestnut and Natural, as shown below.

Hand-crafted beautiful, large, and sleek design Perfect play structure to bring out the acrobat in your cat Gives cats an outlet for their climbing needs Fabric can be easily removed for washing Add a touch of the wild by adding cat friendly plants
This beautiful cat complex incorporates a large, sprawling design along with planters that can hold cat-friendly plants.
Sleepy Cat: Cat Beds

We all know that cats love to sleep, so why not give them a stylish and cozy spot! Here are two cat beds

that I think are stylish and cat friendly.

The first one that I found is a felted bed cave for cats by Meowfia

. It’s made from 100% merino wool, a proven textile for pets because it is naturally antibacterial and repels stains, odor, and dirt. The design accommodates cats and kittens either inside or on top. It is sold in several color variations, perfect for any decor. My favorite is the slate grey variation (shown below).

Each cat cave is carefully handcrafted from 100% all-natural wool by artisans in Nepal. Using an ancient fabrication technique called felting, every cat bed is individually molded using only soap, water, and pressure. Warm, cozy and durable cat bed for your lovely cat and special touch to home decor.

This next bed, the Cat Pod Bed by Hepper,

reminds me of a sleek stool or ottoman you’d include in your home! The construction includes an upholstered fabric exterior, a thick fleece liner, and a sleek base with non-skid rubber pads. This bed can be used open or closed, depending on your cat.

Grey/White Herringbone Woven Fabric Pod with Silver Steel Frame Grey Fleece / Black Microfiber Interior Liner The Pod Bed looks great in your home, and actually adds to a room’s aesthetics, rather than detracting from them

Playful Cat, Sleepy Cat: Cardboard Scratcher and Lounge

As with all pets, your cat may prefer the cardboard cat scratchers. PetFusion

has quite a few designs, but these were my top two favorites. Both are made from recycled cardboard and cornstarch glue (non-toxic); the construction ensures a last quality. The curved design makes it easier to scratch, and more comfortable to rest or play. Plus, these are reversible, allowing for even more use before needing to be fully replaced!

PetFusion's Cat Scratcher Lounge serves double duty as both a cat scratcher and lounge that promises to keep your finicky companions coming back for more. Custom made for cats who enjoy scratching, playing and lounging around. This is more than just a typical scratcher. It stimulates a cat’s natural instincts and curiosity. Available in 3 colors: slate gray (shown), walnut brown, and cloud white.Attractive design, neutral colors. Two tiered & long. Built for sharing & interactive play. Subtle curves make for easier scratching & a more comfortable place to rest & play. Two tiered & long. Built for sharing & interactive play. Subtle curves make for easier scratching & a more comfortable place to rest & play. Naturally attracts cats; holds up to 4 large cats.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Eight attractive cat items ranging from cat trees, cat condos, cat beds, and cardboard scratchers! Which is your favorite? Would these work for your cat(s)? Share in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

xoxo,

Kayla

Amazon has a variety of cat beds and cardboard scratchers. Top options to go with your everyday modern style
Amazon has a variety of cat beds and cardboard scratchers. Here are some options to go with your everyday modern style.
kitten sitting on a bed with pillows, white text and black background
Your home decor style does not have to suffer to keep your cats happy.
You dont have to give up on style to keep your cats happy. Top cat towers to go with your everyday modern style.
You don’t have to give up on style to keep your cats happy. Top cat towers to go with your everyday modern style.

10 Tips for Your New Holiday Puppy!

if you're a new puppy owner, here are 10 tips just for you!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to feed my hounds, if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep my pups happy! So, it’s a win for everyone, really.

“It takes a village.” This quote is usually associated with raising kids, but it absolutely applies to raising a puppy too. Raising a puppy can be exhausting and tough, and you don’t have to do it alone! I highly suggest that you create your own village, which may include a trainer, veterinarian, and family or friends. Be selective in building your village, though, as too many cooks may cause overwhelm rather than stability.

And, you won’t need any help with the overwhelm. Trust me. There will be times when you’re ready to just give up! However, with the help of these tips and your established village, I know you’ll be breathing easier already.

black and white image of puppy with a bow tie yawning. 10 tips for your new holiday puppy
10 tips from the pros on what to do after you bring your new puppy home!
You’re the parent

While you may not know everything about raising your new furbaby, trust your gut when it comes to building your village. If you’re not feeling great about a situation, get a second or third opinion. You don’t have to settle, just because someone was referred to you or they are closest to you. You want to find someone easy to talk to and seek advice from. They should be open to and interested in hearing your fears, concerns, and want to help you. Do research on anyone you’re interested in adding to your village. Make sure their values and the way they work match yours. It’s better to find those trusted sources now, rather than settling and then scrambling when something major comes up.

Finding The perfect Veterinarian

I asked Sarah Bason DVM, a small animal vet and small human mom in Prescott, Arizona, for her tips on locating the right veterinarian for your family. “You’ve got your dog, now you’ve got to find your Dogtor! Ask fellow dog owners who they use for medical care and why – you want to find a veterinary practice that fits with your needs. Consider their hours (are they open on weekends if you need them), their services (do they offer boarding or grooming), and mostly their approach to medicine. Some of this can be gleaned from their website, but don’t be shy to ask for a tour if you’re considering a couple of different practices. We love touring clients around because we’re proud of what we do!”

scheduling with your veterinarian

According to Sarah Bason DVM “Your puppy should have its first wellness visit within 48 hours after it comes home. This allows your veterinarian to identify any issues, gives the staff a chance to meet and snuggle your puppy and give them lots of treats so that they love us, and set up a vaccine schedule. Expect your pup to come in for vaccinations every 3-4 weeks until they are around 5 months old, for full protection against all the nasty diseases out there. Until that series is finished, I always tell people to keep pups in arms only in public places.”

Research your new puppy’s breed
Dogs are bred for specific “jobs” and it’s important to know what that job may be to best understand who your new puppy is. As Teresa Hanula, a DC Metro area dog trainer and owner of A Dog’s World Training & Pet Care, Inc., shares “dogs are all bred to have a certain job. And, when they become our pets, sometimes we forget that they have needs too! A Spaniel with no birds to hunt, a Labrador with nothing to retrieve and a Border Collie with no sheep to herd can find themselves their own hobbies, which typically end up being hobbies that we, as pet owners, don’t agree with!”
puppy on leash in a wooded area on a trail. does your puppy have a job?
Giving your puppy a job can keep them from being bored!
Give Your Puppy a Job
Did you know unemployment is the major cause for undesired puppy behavior?! But there’s a solution, according to Teresa Hanula! “Have your puppy earn all of this food and attention. Food is the money of the dog world and shouldn’t be given out for free. Have your pup learn behaviors like watch me, sit or down. Set up fun food trails for them to seek out and hunt their food. Hand feed them so they develop positive associations to men/women, training and hands! Slow bowl feeders and Kongs are wonderful tools to stuff and have your dog work on that puzzle! So many opportunities for work that there should be no need for dog employment furloughs!”
Food absolutely matters
I’ve mentioned this key piece of advice in regards to raising a senior dog, so it makes sense that it matters for your puppy, too. Sarah Bason DVM agrees and gave thoughts on how to choose the right puppy food for your furbaby. “Please choose a puppy food that is appropriate for your little buddy’s adult size, and choose a high quality brand that has undergone feeding trials. Your Great Dane should be eating a giant breed puppy food, your German Shepherd a large breed puppy food, and your Beagle or Chihuahua a regular puppy food. If you adopted a mixed breed puppy, your vet should be able to help you determine based on the puppy’s current size, just what you’re going to be dealing with, size-wise as an adult (but we don’t guarantee it!). Puppies should be fed at least twice daily, and should be encouraged to eat slowly – sometimes hand feeding for the first couple of weeks when you have time can help with this.” And, those same slow feeding bowls mentioned earlier would also be beneficial here, too!
Toys and Treats Aplenty
Just like with food, a puppy’s treats and toys matter, so how do you know what to look for? As Sarah Bason DVM says: “Everyone wants to give puppies snacks – it’s human nature and they love them! A soft, low calorie, breakable treat is best for puppies during training, because your puppy is going to be a good dog 1000 times per day and you want to be able to reward them without also overfeeding them. For chewing toys, the main risk is the fracture of those sharp little delicate baby teeth or the potential for ingestion of part of the treat. Stick with the firm rubber balls and toys, especially if they are able to be stuffed with smaller treats to keep puppy busy. Stay away from rawhide chews and actual bones or antlers. The rule of thumb is that if it hurts when you hit it directly across your knee, it’s not safe for your puppy, or adult dog’s teeth.”
Day to Day Schedules
Figure out the household’s schedule and how does it apply to your puppy. Do you need to hire someone to come in during the day (once or twice) to maintain scheduled outdoor visits? Do you have a safe space for the puppy to stay while you’re out (or even when you’re home)? Talk with your village members to see what is going to be best for your four-legged family member and your specific situation. Puppies (and many dogs) do well on a fixed schedule. Make sure whoever helps with your puppy is willing to maintain specific training, too.
Get your home ready

Have you puppy-proofed your home? It’s a very critical step as your puppy becomes curious. As with babies and toddlers, you’ll need to make sure your house promotes a safe environment for your puppy to grow in. Puppies will want to put everything in their mouths. Make sure you are putting away things that could harm them (cords, chemicals, and shoes are just a few things). Find toys and items safe for puppies to play with. Work with them to learn the appropriate things that are theirs vs items that aren’t.

Positive reinforcement: best for you and your puppy

I’m most definitely an advocate for positive training methods. They have worked very well with my own dogs and friends’ dogs. Studies have shown that this training style is better for the human and dog bond, especially for the animal’s welfare. You can learn more about the style and psychology around positive reinforcement training here. Teresa Hanula is a positive reinforcement trainer in the DC metro area with a variety of training services, including puppy kindergarten where she introduces positive reinforcement training.

Final thoughts

First, I want to send a huge thank you out to our two pros, Teresa and Sarah! Second, I really hope these tips will give you peace of mind and confidence in raising your new furbaby. And, finally, I just have one last piece of advice to add. There may be times when you’re questioning everything, but just remember: you’ve got this!

xoxo,

Kayla

Did you get a new puppy for Christmas? These tips from the pros are perfect for the new dog dad or dog mom!
four images of different puppies; if you got a new holiday puppy, then these tips are for you!
If you have a new puppy, these 10 tips from the pros are for you!!

Giving Tuesday 2018

I’m still mourning the loss of my angel Pebbles daily. I can’t believe it’s already been 16 months without her. But, since she brought so much joy to the world,  I want to celebrate the life I had with her! So, I’ve decided to participate in Giving Tuesday 2018!

I miss Pebbles daily. But, I'm determined to celebrate the life I had with her, and that includes giving back with GivingTuesday2018!
I miss Pebbles daily. But, I’m determined to celebrate the life I had with her, and that includes giving back with GivingTuesday2018!
What is Giving Tuesday?

“#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.” ~ givingtuesday.org

Giving Tuesday 2018

Homeward Hound Interiors will donate 30% of each online video consultation or “pick the designer’s brain” consultation purchased through Friday. Because of my deep love for these rescues, I will be donating to Rescue + Freedom Project, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation, and Dog World Rescue.  For more information on these three organizations, please read this recent blog post!

My Giving Tuesday 2018 offer will end on November 30, 2018 at 11:59pm Pacific. Please schedule your consultation prior to January 31, 2019. This offer makes a great gift for the dog or cat lover in your life, too. If purchased as a gift, I will provide a gift certificate and special thank you for the recipient. If you have questions, please contact me directly at kayla@hhistudio.com.

How do I sign up? What do I do next?

When you’re ready to move forward, please visit this page, and select the consultation you’d like to purchase. After that, you will need to fill out the questions and select your preferred consultation date/time. Payment is due in full and will be processed by Calendly and PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to purchase.

After you’ve paid and submitted your request, I will review, and be in touch with a questionnaire within 24 hours of purchase. Also, if you plan on gifting one of these consultations, I will also include a special thank you and gift certificate that you can print, and share with the recipient.

Thank you for your support in helping these organizations do what they do best for animals in this area, nation, and world!

xoxo,

Kayla

Kick off the 2018 charitable season with Giving Tuesday 2018. "#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving." ~ givingtuesday.org
Kick off the 2018 charitable season with Giving Tuesday 2018.

Top Dog & Cat Rescue Organizations

As I’m sure you’ve realized by now, dogs and animals mean a lot to me and are a huge part of my world. If you haven’t already, click here to meet my personal herd!  Because of that, I’m often asked about the groups or organizations that I recommend, so I’ve compiled a list for easy reference. This is a living post, meaning that I’ll continue to add and update, as often as I need to. This list includes local, national, and global organizations. And, without further ado, here are my top rescue organizations to support!

Rescue + Freedom Project (R+FP)

The R+FP is a US based non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing survivors of unique captivity and cruelty and telling their emotionally compelling stories to prompt social change and celebrate a #RescueLifestyle.

Since 2010 the charity has been freeing survivors from laboratory experiments, senior and special needs animals from shelters, and victims of horrific abuse from around the world.

No matter what the condition, the location, or the expense, the Rescue and Freedom Project stands at the ready to rescue, rehabilitate, and repeat.

My Thoughts on rescue + freedom project

Several years ago, my best friend brought this organization to my radar. We had our first beagle, and I was learning about the horrors associated with beagles and testing laboratories. Since learning about Rescue + Freedom Project, I have made it a mission to educate my friends and family, and make choices every day to support cruelty free products and companies. Much of my education has come from this organization, and I applaud their efforts and am proud to watch them grow on a global scale.

Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF)

The LDCRF helps homeless pets find their way into loving homes through rescue and adoption.

We offer same-day adoptions and two-week trial periods.

ALL pets are spayed or neutered prior to adoption.

Over 30,000 lives saved since 2001.

Pebbles was adopted from LDCRF in July 2012!
My Thoughts on LDCRF

This organization has a huge place in my heart because two of our herd came from them. The first adoption was Pebbles, July 2012. And then a few years later, Maggie 2. They have a huge following in the area, too, and it’s obvious why. Our family highly recommends this organization!

Fun fact, before I adopted Pebbles, I purchased a tee shirt as a fundraiser for this group. I didn’t even realize it had been for LDCRF until several years later when I was cleaning out my closet. That shirt is still proudly hanging in my closet today!

Maggie 2 was also an alumnus of LDCRF!
Dog World Rescue (DWR)

We are a “dog-centric” all volunteer rescue organization that provides pet adoption in VA, MD & DC.

My Thoughts on DWR

While none of our pups came from this organization, we strongly feel that Pebbles brought DWR into our life for good reason. During late spring, they had a beagle that looked and acted so much like Pebbles. We met her and unfortunately she wasn’t a good fit for the house or herd, but by the end of the summer she did find her forever home with her foster family. When DWR says they care about their animals, they truly mean it. We met the organization’s leader during that meet up, and I was beyond impressed by her. I’ve stayed following her and the rescue ever since then, and I can see how much she loves and cares for every single dog and family she brings together. I’m definitely glad Pebbles brought DWR to our attention!

Final Thoughts

Make sure to check in on this blog post occasionally to see if we’ve added any additional organizations! And if you’ve got a dog and/or cat rescue or organization you’d like us to be aware of, let us know in the comments!

xoxo,

Kayla

I'm often asked about the groups or organizations that I recommend, so I've compiled a list for easy reference. This is a living post, meaning that I'll continue to add and update, as often as I need to. This list includes local, national, and global organizations. Here are my top dog and cat rescue organizations that I support and highly recommend!
This is a living list, meaning that I’ll continue to update with additional groups and organizations, as I find them.

#SHOPSMALL Small Business Saturday

I’m so blessed and thankful to have had the opportunities and experiences this year that led to where I am now. It’s because of all of you that I get to share my love of dogs and design, and that they do actually belong together.  😉 Over the past year, I’ve developed even stronger friendships and relationships, which have also guided me here. And so, today, I’m celebrating all of you with this #shopsmall offer. Details below!

I know life is probably pretty hectic since we’ve officially started the holiday season of 2018. But, believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start thinking about those home improvement projects you’re considering for 2019. Whether you’re looking for advice and answers or planning to hire out design services, together we can set up a plan of action! By determining your goals and timelines, it’ll be much easier to decide what steps to make next.

Now through November 26, 2018, save $75 on an online video consultation!

Now through Monday, I’m offering my 1 hour (60 minutes) online video consultations for just $222! That’s a savings of $75!

Are you in need of some design or decorating advice? Are you DIYing and want to run some things by a pro? Or are you in need of clarification on where or how to begin your home improvement journey? If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then this #SHOPSMALL offer is PERFECT for you!

Plus, this offer makes a fantastic gift for your loved ones or friends! If you plan on gifting this consultation, I’ll send you a gift certificate with the offer details on how to schedule with me. Just let me know during the purchase and I’ll make the arrangements!

Book your consultation now to get a plan of action for those 2019 home improvement projects started!

Ready to Purchase?

Step 1: When you’re ready to purchase, click this link to place your order. All payments will be processed through my scheduling service, Calendly and PayPal; you do not need an account to pay through PayPal. Although a booking date is required to move forward with this purchase, you will have the opportunity to reschedule, if needed. If this is going to be a gift, make sure to schedule the appointment AFTER you plan on gifting this to the recipient. Please email me at kayla@hhistudio.com with any questions.

Step 2: I will contact you within 48 hours of purchase to confirm and welcome you to my client family. Please watch for this email, which will be sent from kayla@hhistudio.com with the subject “SBS 2018 Online Video Consultation”.

#shopsmall Offer details:

This offer ends Monday, November 26, 2018 @ 11:59pm Pacific time. Fee is non-refundable. Please be sure to pay the $222 consultation fee in full by Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Consultation must take place before January 31, 2019.

xoxo,

Kayla

Are you in need of some design or decorating advice? Are you DIYing and want to run some things by a pro? Or are you in need of clarification on where or how to begin your home improvement journey? If you answered yes to at least one of the above questions, then this #SHOPSMALL offer is PERFECT for you!
This #shopsmall offer makes a fantastic gift for your loved ones or friends!

Living Life with my Senior Beagle

If you told me I’d have a dog live past 15, I would have raised my eyebrows. Over 18? I would have laughed! But we’re already at 18 – 3/4 years with Maggie, so that’s actually become a reality for us! It’s a daily blessing to have our Senior Beagle, Maggie (aka old lady, mags) in our life.

Our senior, Maggie! Living with a senior dog past 15 has been quite educational.
A Little Background: Adopting a Senior Beagle

If you are a reader of the blog, you may recognize the picture and Maggie’s name from the earlier post here. She was 13, fast approaching 14, when she came to us. Sadly, her human mom had died 10 months earlier in January of that year, and then her human grandmother died in July that same year. Unfortunately, her other human family members couldn’t keep her and started looking for someone to take her. At that time, we were still a 1 dog household. However, we had been thinking of getting another dog for Pebbles. Mags fit right in with the family and Pebbles became her caretaker and best friend, immediately.

Caring for a senior beagle (or any senior dog) can be a struggle, as well as very rewarding. And over the last 5 years, especially within the last year, I’ve learned a lot. We had never had a dog live past 15 before, so this is new territory! In this post, I’ve pulled together a few thoughts and tips I’ve learned from raising this senior beagle and wanted to share.

thought 1: Food Matters

What they put in their bodies is just as important as it is for us. We use a combination of brands and canned veggies to give balance and variety for Mags. This has changed, especially in the last year as she has lost teeth and can’t chew the dried nuggets anymore. Maggie eats canned dog food made from real food. It honestly looks like something we (humans) could or would eat right from the can. We also add in some pumpkin to regulate her digestive system. And have recently started adding oatmeal and freeze dried meat patties. We mix everything all together with some water. She gobbles it right up! In fact, her internal clock tells us when it’s meal time.

Thought 2: senior beagle [Dog] Dementia is Real

She sleeps 20-22 hours a day, most days. When she is up, it’s very obvious she isn’t the same as she was even a year ago. Part of that I blame on the very sudden loss of her dog caretaker, Pebbles, in August 2017. But also, and obviously, it’s due to her age. We try our best to keep watch over her so she doesn’t hurt herself. She is also rather stubborn, and a creature of habit, so we’ve had to make some changes, which took time for her to adjust to. Example: she no longer is trusted with going up or down stairs by herself. Or jumping on or off furniture. She pushes that stubbornness often, though. Giving us heart palpitations on the regular.

thought 3: Don’t veer off her schedule, much, or at all!

Her internal schedule dictates EVERYTHING.  We have very little flex room from her regular schedule. What little room we have, if that gets stretched too far, it can take days to regulate her body back to normal. And, it can mean long nights for everyone.

thought 4: Regular outside visits even more critical

As I’ve mentioned with her schedule, the bathroom visits are just as critical. We are almost back to that puppy stage. Where you take them out ASAP after naps, meals, night, etc. And making sure she actually does her business is also important! Often, she forgets why we are out there, and tries to head back inside without doing anything.

thought 5: life happens, plan ahead for your furbaby

Sometimes, we are lucky to automatically know if something happens to us that our furbabies will be taken care of. But that’s not always a given. So this last tip is a reminder: make sure you have an action plan for them if something happens to you. Senior dogs are the ones most likely to end up in shelters, and they often don’t get adopted. Folks looking for animals to adopt typically aren’t wanting an older animal, for whatever their reasons. Make sure your furbaby doesn’t get forgotten. Have a plan for them, too.

final thoughts:

I swear this girl has 9 lives with near death scares she’s given us over the years! I’m so glad she’s held strong and stayed with the family this long. She’s pretty easy going and goes with the flow of the other dogs. But, I know she’ll take a large chunk of my heart when she passes. People have said we are special people for having adopted a senior dog, but I don’t see it that way. Maggie fit perfectly into this family pretty much the first minute we saw her. Maggie’s been with us for 5 years now, and it’s an honor to have had her in our life this long. While I know her time with us isn’t probably much longer, I will continue to cherish the time we have with her and continue to learn how to care for seniors.

Here are my top 5 thoughts and tips on living with a senior dog.
Would I adopt a senior again?

Absolutely. In fact, I have a dream to someday open a pet sanctuary, where I will adopt senior dogs for their forever homes. Senior dogs deserve to live out their life with love and family surrounding them. And that’s my goal. One dog at a time. One senior at a time.

xoxo,

Kayla

You Smell Like a Dog!

Wet dog smell; dog bath.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to feed my hounds. if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep my pups happy! It’s a win for everyone, really.

“Yuck, you smell like a dog!” “But I just changed the cat box!” “This house needs aired out!”

Do any of these sound familiar? Are you desperate to get your home smelling fresh and clean? Then this blog post is for you! Keep reading to find out how you can combat that dog and cat smell. 

While I will be sharing a few products that I highly recommend, I first want to point out some simple home maintenance and pet care tips. The time frames for these will vary in each household, but it’s a routine that you should develop for your home ASAP.

Household maintenance: HVAC system

It is critical to perform household maintenance on your home, especially in maintaining the life of your HVAC system. Your filters need to be changed multiple times a year. The exact number varies depending on your type of filter or situation (multiple animals, only one animal, location/seasons, etc). But, definitely change at a minimum 3 times a year or every 4 months. Some, however, need to be changed every 2 months or even monthly.

I also suggest that you have seasonal check ups on the system twice a year to make sure it’s running efficiently and properly! Ideally, before the first time you turn on the AC or the heat. This will help you be proactive on any problem that could occur with the function of the unit. And, you can also utilize this time to get an education from the technician on your exact system’s needs. Ask during your maintenance visit or locate the manual for the unit to determine the correct size of filter you should be using. This will also determine how often you need to replace it. Getting ducts cleaned is also a good idea, but I’d advise that you discuss with your technician for their recommendation on how often.

Quick tip: purchase the number of filters that will last you for 6 months to have on hand. Add to the calendar on your phone to alert you when you need to change the filter. Is it monthly, bimonthly, or every 3-4 months? Set an alarm in advance so you don’t forget. And before you put the filter in, write the month/year on it so you can be sure to know how fresh it is, especially if something happens to your calendar reminder.

 

A clean home combats dog and cat smell.
Home maintenance tips.
household maintenance: home care

Make sure you are vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, etc regularly in your entire home. This will help you remove pet hair and dander so it doesn’t build and set in to hard to access places. Also, don’t forget to vacuum furniture, wash bedding, and anything else your pets come in contact with on a regular basis. Check to see if your furniture fabrics are the best or the worst to have with pets!

Bathe your dog regularly to prevent dog smell.
Chihuahua with soap on head.
groom your pet

Regularly groom your pet to help combat the smell. Brush them often, especially during the transition months from hot to cold and cold to hot. Most dog breeds and some cats will shed their winter and summer coats as they prepare for the incoming weather! Plan puppy/kitty spa days (at home or at a groomer), too. During the warmer months at our house, we typically give the dogs monthly baths to help combat that dog smell; and then every other month once it cools down.

pet health

Diet, allergies, weather (rain, snow), health, breed, etc. can all play a huge factor in the pet smell. If you have specific questions about your pets, talk with your vet to find the best solution for you both. With litter boxes, make sure you’re cleaning it out daily. Scooping the pieces out that need it and adding some fresh litter to what’s left. It seems to be the best routine in my experience, but your pet may be different and require a different routine. Just like with humans, our pets are unique and have their own specific needs.

suggested items to purchase

Add items to your home that can help you combat the smell. Plants are a great option, but please do check out the ASPCA’s website for a list of poisonous plants.

Another option, and personal favorite of mine, are small air purifiers that plug in to a wall outlet and have a filter you can remove/change as often as necessary.  I highly recommend this one from Amazon. They have specific refills for pets, tobacco, etc.  You can even set up a subscribe and save order so you can install, plug in, and forget until the new filters arrive!

Combat the dog and cat smell with the TrueAir Purifier.
TrueAir Purifier and Replacement Filters

We have two on the main floor (where the dogs and humans hang out the most, two on the lower level (in the main rec room area and the bedroom where the at least a few of the dogs sleep regularly), and then three upstairs (main loft area and two bedrooms where at least a few of the dogs sleep regularly). There are many other options out there, but I love these! They are quite compact, plug in directly to the wall outlet, easy to change the filter, and easy to mask or hide wherever they’re installed. Plus, units and filters are pretty reasonable! We’ve had at least 3 of these for over 3 years and then purchased the others when we moved into the large home 3 years ago. And they’re still going strong!

final thoughts

I tend to avoid anything with scents for a few reasons. The main one is that many of the products on the market today that have any scent/parfum added to them, will also have formaldehyde in the product. Check the ingredients of anything you plan to use with an added scent; it’s pretty shocking how many products have that ingredient. Formaldehyde is not something I want to inhale. And, I most definitely do not want my dogs to inhale it either.

xoxo,

Kayla

Upholstery Fabrics Not Pet-Friendly

worst fabrics to use in a pet friendly home

Earlier this week, I discussed the “Best Fabrics for Pet-Friendly Spaces”.  Now it’s time to chat about the worst fabrics for upholstery in pet-friendly spaces and why! Scroll down to see my “Worst Fabrics for Pet-Friendly Spaces” list!

Silk

In my research to see what others online are saying, I noticed several resources say that silk is pet hair resistant.  While that may be true, silk is a very fragile and high maintenance fabric. It can easily stain, rip or tear. And it doesn’t respond well to liquids, making it very tough to clean, too. Due to these factors, and the expense (!), I personally do not recommend silk on upholstery. And, depending on the client and the space, I often don’t recommend it at all in a pet-friendly space (i.e. window treatments or pillows, etc).

worst fabrics for pets, don't use these fabrics in a pet friendly home
cat on stool
Velvet

While a luxurious upholstery fabric, Velvet, is another fabric I don’t recommend. It is a high maintenance and delicate fiber for anyone, but especially pets. It’s super easy for the fibers to be damaged and crushed. Any rough playing, cleaning, or scratching/digging on the fabric can permanently damage the fibers. Professional cleaning is also recommended, and that can add up quickly! And on top of all that, pet hair clings to it like a magnet!

worst fabrics to use in a pet friendly home
dog on chair
Loose Weaves

The Loose Weaves category include many types of fabrics. These include linens, cottons, tweed, chenille, and many other open weave upholstery fabrics. The looser the weave, the more likely these fabrics will snag or unravel. Claws easily get caught in the fibers, while dirt, hair, and dust get trapped. And, over time, that trapped debris embedded into the fibers, will cause the furniture to smell. It is best to save the open weave fibers for machine washable knits or fabrics to use as accents in your space, like removable pillow covers and blankets that you can easily and regularly clean.

Suede

I’m sure many of you think that suede should be a good option for upholstery due to its strength and durability, however, it is not something I’d recommend with pets. Water spots from cleaning, wet pet hair, licking, etc. make this fabric one to skip when furniture shopping. Please note, ultrasuede is a whole other subject, which you can read about here. 

worst fabrics to use with cats
cat sunbathing on sofa

Have you had experience with any of these fabric types? Let me know your real life examples in the comments below!

xoxo,

Kayla

it’s time to chat about the worst fabrics for upholstery in pet-friendly spaces and why!
Have a dog? Avoid these 4 fabrics for upholstery!

Fabrics Best Used in Pet-Friendly Spaces

If you’re like me, your pets have full or almost full access to your house. I even jokingly say that the sofa we bought when we first moved to the new place (3 years ago already!!) was a purchase for them, not us! And, almost daily, I get asked what fabrics are best for pet friendly homes. Below, I’ve created a brief review of the types of fabrics that are best for you and your pets. Stay tuned for the second part of this topic to be posted later this week: the worst fabrics to use with pets.

use these fabrics for pet friendly homes
cat on sofa with pillows

One quick reminder, each home and space are different! Each pet, each breed, each living situation, different seasons, different environments, etc., so while these are the best fabrics overall for pet friendly spaces, things may be slightly different for your own living situation. If you aren’t sure which is best for you or if you’d like some guidance, feel free to click here to schedule a virtual coffee chat or a virtual consultation with me!

these are the best fabrics to use in a pet friendly home
large dog sitting on dog bed; tongue sticking out
High Performance Crypton/Commercial Fabrics

Most think of healthcare or educational settings when mentioning commercial fabrics, but the reality is that there are so many uses for these fabrics, including among pets!! Options are seemingly endless and often quite luxurious, rivaling some of the top residential fabric brands out there. They come in a large variety of patterns, solids, and textures; are stain, odor, bacteria, and water resistant; and, due to their durability and technology used to produce the fibers, they are easy to maintain.

Crypton is a specific name brand for this technology, and many other fabric companies have begun to develop residential fabrics using this brand technology in their own brand. It is becoming easier to find on the market.

High Performance Sunbrella and Indoor/Outdoor

We are long past the days of “crunching” or that plastic fabric when sitting on indoor/outdoor fabrics! In fact, most would NEVER guess these fabrics are outdoor safe! Technology has indeed come a very long way! Sunbrella is a top leading brand in the industry, however, there are others as well. All come in a variety of patterns, colors, and textures.

This type of material is also a favorite of mine for pillows and accent furniture (chairs, ottomans, etc.), but easily work for larger pieces (think sofa, sectional, headboards, etc). Very easy maintenance with these fabrics in case of spills or areas needing to be cleaned. Some can even be cleaned with a diluted bleach solution!

Leather/Vegan Leather

Leather is resistant to smells and doesn’t attract pet hair. In fact, it’s super easy to wipe clean with a dust cloth. If scratches occur, a high-quality leather can typically be buffed. Distressed or patterned leathers may even disguise added scratches. There are also vegan leather options with similar characteristics and options to natural leather.

That being said, not all leather out there is the same. It is critical to make sure the leather that you are looking to put on your furniture is high quality. Leather is sold in different quality types: genuine/bonded, bicast, split-grain, top-grain, nubuck, and full-grain. Genuine/bonded and split grain are the lowest quality, top-grain is the upper mid to high-level, and full-grain is high-level. I highly recommend the top-grain or full-grain leather qualities for furniture in any house hold, but especially with pets.

I’ll be sure to go into detail on each of these in a future blog post.

Ultrasuede/Microfibers

This is one of my favorite fabrics for pets and their owners. It wears exceptionally well, is easy to clean, and typically is available in a variety of colors, although mainly only solids or a heathered look. This material does attract pet hair, but it is very easy to brush off because it does not embed itself into the fibers. It’s also resistant to nail or claw punctures! Add accents with pillows and throws (perfect for those nesters!!) in various prints, colors, and textures to add a personal touch.

Ultrasuede is the name brand and original microfiber invented (Japan, 1970s). Since then, many other fabric houses have developed their own microfibers, in varying price points (usually less expensive). While just about any of the microfibers on the market today are quite durable and hold up to pets well, the name brand, Ultrasuede, is still the best on the market. If you were to compare samples of the typical microfibers in competition to the Ultrasuede, you would see some differences, including that Ultrasuede is usually thicker than the other variations.

use these fabrics for a dog friendly home; blue gray sofa, tufted sofa, living room design, interior design
dog sitting on human’s lap on a sofa

Still have some questions about one of these fabrics? Feel free to send me an email or post a comment below! And, don’t forget to check out my blog on the worst fabrics for pet friendly spaces!

xoxo,

Kayla