Keri Matthews, a mom of two, has worked in the ASPCA’s licensing department for more than five years. She lives on Long Island with her husband, Tom, her children, Gabriella and Tommy, and their Greyhound, Clyde.
This time of year, many of us are looking forward to the sunny, warmer and longer days ahead. Having more outdoor time with our pets benefits our whole family—we can’t wait to take our dog, Clyde for longer walks with our kids, Gabriella and Tommy. We also will be going back to the dog park, and the kids love to look at how Clyde interacts with “his friends.”
One of Clyde’s favorite things to do in the warmer months is to take a bath outside and dry off in the sun, lying in the grass with a bowl of water nearby. The kids love to sit in the sun on their towels and soak up the rays next to him! We’re also planning to take more trips to the pet supply store in the upcoming weeks. Our most recent trip was really fun—for the first time, Gabriella picked out a new treat jar for Clyde, and this got her more excited than even picking out Clyde’s treats. Tommy picked the treats this time and enjoyed carrying them around the store.
What are you looking forward to doing with your pet in the warmer months ahead? Please share in the comments!
Emily Schneider is a proud mom of two feisty Yorkies and a two-year-old in the Garden State. Emily works in media and public relations for the ASPCA. Find her onTwitter.
Brrrr: The temperature was in the single digits earlier this week! I don’t think I’m the only one who is tired of the frigid, cold weather. We’ve been hit by blizzards and freezing temperatures, and I struggle to keep my dogs outside long enough for them to use the bathroom—let alone keep my son preoccupied without having to turn on my automatic babysitter (i.e. the TV).
If you’re stuck indoors, baking is a great activity to do with your kids, and your pets can benefit as well!! I won’t pretend I’m a gourmet chef, but here is a simple recipe for homemade, cheesy dog biscuits:
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 cup quick oats
¼ cup margarine
1 cup boiling water
¾ cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons veggie stock
½ cup milk (dairy or soy)
¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese (or other cheese)
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix quick oats, margarine and boiling water in a large bowl. Let sit for a few minutes.
Stir in cornmeal, sugar, veggie stock, milk, cheese and egg. Mix in flour, one cup at a time, until the mixture forms dough.
Roll dough flat to a thickness similar to a notepad.
Use cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes and place cookies one inch apart on non-stick foil pan.
Bake 30-40 minutes in the oven until the cookies are golden brown.
Voila! That wasn’t too hard, was it? I recommend whipping up a few human cookies as well so both your two and four-legged kids are happy on a snow day.
And remember, if your pet has any dietary restrictions, always check with your veterinarian before you bake homemade treats. Enjoy!
This winter has been brutally cold in many parts of the country, and there seems to be no end in sight! Whether your family loves to play in the snow or prefers to stay inside by the fireplace, we can’t always avoid braving the elements with our pets in tow.
Check out our cold weather infographic for tips to keep your pets safe and warm this winter:
I may be behind on planning for Valentine’s Day (including making nearly-impossible dinner reservations), but my three-year-old is ready and is counting down the days.
Last week, while shopping, my daughter selected cartoon-themed temporary tattoos for me and a stuffed toy for my husband. While she “gave” these gifts to us, I think she secretly hopes to claim these gifts as her own. Before she selected some other cartoon-related item for our dog and bird, I decided to intervene.
I suggested to my art-loving toddler that we paint a Valentine’s gift for the pets. A nanosecond later, my daughter was on board with the idea. We turned to the ASPCA’s Pet DIY Crafts Pinterest board for some inspiration. The board has a number of great projects, including homemade dog treats, which will be perfect when we are ready to add a different option to our own dog bone recipe.
Of the projects listed, the dog silhouette caught our eye. The color contrast, the simple but sophisticated look and the ease of creation made for a great art project.
Painting with an active toddler and pet is far from as crazy as it sounds. To avoid mishaps of paint everywhere and the “joys” of a meltdown, before any project, I make sure:
1.Everyone had a chance to burn off energy (yes, even the dog, as he can get a bit hyper and can cause a mess);
2.My daughter had a snack; and
3.All craft and clean up supplies are within arm’s reach during the project
One cold afternoon, my toddler and I got to work. Aside from cutting out and taping the pictures on the blank canvas, my three-year-old did most of the heavy lifting with the project. She selected the colors, decided where the pictures should be placed, and did a bulk of the actual painting.
We did make two modifications from the original instructions. First, we used washable paints. Second, we taped the pictures to the canvas while painting. By taping the pictures to the canvas, my daughter could be more independent with her painting without the worry that the silhouette would be destroyed. Keeping those pictures on the canvas had an added bonus, and my daughter’s eyes grew excited as the silhouettes were revealed.
In the end, we had fantastic fun and have two special silhouettes celebrating our pets. Now, we just have to decide where to hang up our new artwork!
Hey there, cute couples! Do you and your pet look smashing together—or maybe you even look alike? Are you the proud pet parent of a charming pair of kitties? Or perhaps your pooch looks too-cute cozied up with his best friend? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then this contest is for you!
The top winner will receive a diamond pendant from Zales Jewelers and an ASPCA Prize Pack. Entries will be accepted now through February 28, and we’ll announce the winner on March 6. We can't wait to see your entries!