Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Joy of Helping Your Pet Maintain a #PerfectWeight

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight 10 Week Turnaround, but 'Pixel Blue Eyes: Her Tails of Adventure' blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

"Being a pet parent is one of the greatest joys in the entire world!" Mommy said that to me just this morning when we were having our special morning time before breakfast. There is so much love shared between a pet and their human. I know Mommy wants to spoil me like crazy, but I also know she wants what is best for me, so I can imagine that being a pet parent can also be a challenge, as she balances her need to spoil me with doing what is best for me. Keeping me at a perfect weight is one of the greatest and most loving things she does for me. It's also one of her biggest challenges. Thankfully she, and many other pet parents, don't have to tackle that challenge alone.

Many pet parents may ask, "Is my precious little one overweight?". I've shared with you in the past that I had a bit of a weight issue a few years ago when I was 2.5 pounds over my ideal weight. Now, that may not sound like much, but 5 lbs on a small dog is like 30 lbs on a human, so I was carrying the equivalent of 15 extra pounds on me. Watch this "Is your pet overweight" video by Dr. Ashley Gallagher:


It turns out that over 50% of all pets are overweight. Excess weight can cause many issues for pets, but it's difficult to shed those extra pounds, whether you are human or canine. It is very important to address a weight issue as soon as possible. Talk to your veterinarian and set up a plan to help your pet shed the pounds. There are things you can do, tools you can use, and products that can help overweight pets.

The most important thing to do is to make an appointment to have your pet(s) evaluated by your veterinarian. They can best identify a plan of action for your pet.

If your pet is overweight, your vet might suggest the Hill's® Science Diet® Perfect Weight pet food. Yes, my friends at Hills have done it again! They are always concerned about pets being at a healthy weight, and continually strive to create pet foods that help pets successfully lose weight. Hills strives to work in partnership with pet parents to get their dogs and cats to a healthy weight so their pets live longer, healthier, happier lives. I'm super excited about their breakthrough nutrition formulated to achieve & maintain a healthy weight & improve quality of life in small & toy breed dogs like me: Hill's® Science Diet® Small and Toy Breed Formula. You can read all about it here: http://www.hillspet.com/products/sd-canine-adultperfect-weight-small-and-toy-dry.html. 70% of cats and dogs who used Science Diet Perfect Weight lost weight within 10 weeks.

Tips and tools to help you and your pet succeed in achieving and keeping a perfect weight:
1. Always measure out your pet's food each time you feed them. Find out what the total amount of food is they can have for the day, then split it out to the number of meals you want them to have for that day. For example, I have to take medicine 4 times a day, so I get my total amount of food split into 4 meals. I LOVE getting all those mini meals from Mommy throughout the day.
2. Exercise your pet. Even in the dead of winter, your pet can still get exercise. We love to play in the snow, even if we get cold quickly. You could try incorporating several small indoor or outdoor play times, or small exercise/activity times throughout the day. Even 5 minutes of throwing the ball down the hall with your pet is excellent way to keep you both active, happy and a little healthier.
3. Learn a new trick together. It will keep both the mind AND the body active.
4. Check out your pet's weight using the petMD Healthy Weight Tool - Enter in some basic information to get the answer.
5. Discover just how negative an impact "people food" from your plate can be on your pet by visiting the Treat Translator Tool - You only think that "one tiny bite of cheese" isn't much.

Being a pet parent is both rewarding and challenging, but we're all here for each other. A healthy weight for your dog or cat is one of the most loving thing you can do for them. Achieving a perfect weight for your pet is possible. If you'd like to read some success stories of cats and dogs who have achieved their perfect weight with the Hills 10 Week Turnaround, visit the Hillspet website. Hills Science Diet Perfect Weight pet food is available at your licensed veterinarian or at Pet 360.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Joy of Surprises: Operation Red Wagon with Purple Patrick Duckie

As you know, I adore my duckies with a passion that is beyond compare. We have lots of fun and adventures, but nothing could have prepared me for the adventure I'm about to share....
About a month ago one of my favorite duckies, Purple Patrick Duckie had been missing for a while. I'd looked and looked, but he was nowhere to be found. Then one day I was minding my own business tearing up an empty kleenex box (I love doing it & Mommy takes out the plastic liner first) when my missing purple Duckie Patrick shows up out of nowhere. He jumped into the box and told me to "just act normal" but let him "lay low" for a while in there. It turned out he was part of a covert operation called "Operation Red Wagon" and I was recruited to help out. He couldn't tell me anything further but I was now unwittingly up to my neck in it too. I looked around cautiously as I thought to myself, "Goodness knows what he's got himself into...and now I'm involved too!"

Purple Patrick Duckie and I hung out together acting as "normal" as possible, but then he suddenly "disappeared" again one afternoon. I had started wearing my purple spotted hoodie, that matches him perfectly, as a show of solidarity and support of his covert "Operation Red Wagon" that he had recruited me into. Details were still sketchy, but he was teaching me some things. The day he again disappeared, we practiced the "duck and cover" technique, but he was acting a bit odd during practice...standing a little too close, commenting on how comfy my hoodie looked and saying that being invisible was a "state of mind". I lay down for a nap after our covert "duck and cover" training, but when I awoke, Patrick Duckie was gone. I just figured, "that's how it is when you're a covert duckie operative..."







Three days later, right after finding out about my scary ear lump and upcoming surgery (at the time it was the end if January), there was a faint knock at the door. Mommy insisted I be the one to answer it. There sat Purple Patrick Duckie with Minkie Duckie (Pinkie Tuskadero Duckie's sister) by his side. I was so happy to see them both I didn't initially see what was behind them. We greeted each other with love and then Patrick said, "Pixel, I have a surprise for you. Operation Red Wagon has one last critical stage that needs your help. Will you be a part of it's final success?" "Of course!" I exclaimed with excitement. I'm always there to help my friends, and I knew it had to be something of utter importance for him to be gone for so long. I told him I missed him and hated that he just up and disappeared on me. He promised never to do that again but that it was important that he do this operation in secret.

"Look behind me Pixel..." Patrick Duckie said. That is when I heard the low murmuring of little quacks here and there. Then I saw the most amazing sight my little duckie loving eyes had ever seen. A red wagon filled with a bunch of little rubber duckies that needed a home! "This is 'Operation Red Wagon' Pixel," Patrick Duckie said with delight.





I kissed Minkie Duckie and thanked her for helping greet them. They were all relatives of course. Can't you see the family resemblance? They'd been looking for a loving forever family home together and they found mine! I adopted every single one right on the spot.

I greeted each one and told them how much fun we'd have, what a nice place they were at now and what a great life they ALL would have with me and my family. They all seemed very excited, just like me. Mommy was kind enough to document the whole thing.

I checked around to make sure they were safe and then we all went inside for a nice dinner together.

This was truly one of the best surprises ever! I think I'm going to like these covert operations!!


I hope you enjoyed my "Operation Red Wagon" Tail of Adventure! Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think...

Happy Wordless Wednesday friends!! This blog hop is hosted by my friends at BlogPaws, and today's theme was "spoiling your pets" since February is "Spoil Your Pet month. I do believe I've found my favorite month...

Pixel Ear Surgery Update: A Serious & Unexpected Result

I just wanted to share a quick and unexpected update on my ear surgery. I've been telling everyone how well I've been healing up and that the ear looks good in spite of a big ugly looking scab that covered the entire length of the suture area where they sewed my ear back together. For those that don't know, I had a scary growth removed from my right ear and tested for cancer last month. Believe it or not, we still don't have the final results from pathology. Now for my ear update...





Things appeared to be healing well...
I had a large scab (sorry to be doggie gross but it's important) that was worrisome, however the vet said to leave it alone. We did. Mommy protected it like it was gold. No touching, scratching, poking, etc from me or my sisters. Mommy kept watching it, and slowly it got a little smaller. Finally, it was just a dot in the center on the top side of my ear but was still big on the underside. She noticed that it appeared to go right through my ear. Mommy was really worried I might have a hole going through my ear but thought, "No way. Pixel had two layers of heavy duty stitches." But were those stitches TOO heavy for my tender little delicate ears? I ask this because yesterday that big scab finally fell off.

Now for the not so good surprise...
You are not going to believe this...when Mommy saw where it fell out, and it lay on my blanket, she looked at my ear and I now have a large hole in my ear where the surgery was done. It's so large, that a toothpick could go through it and not touch the sides of the hole! We are NOT happy about this at all. One wrong scratch of my paw nail or one wrong playful tug with my sisters and my newly healed ear could split right open and into split butterfly wings. It's basically shaped like the center of a funnel cone where the hole is the center point of where they cut the wedge out of my ear. This shocked Mommy and she's not happy about it at all. She's very worried.

What to do now...
We are watching it for now, being careful not to let it get snagged, but we will be talking to the vet about it. There's barely 1/8th of an inch (0.3175 cm) of newly healed tissue between the hole and the edge of the ear now. We are snowed in right now but when we are able to go to the vet, we will, and we will talk to them about corrective measures. Our point in sharing this is to point out that as pet parents, you must always be "on top of things" when your pet gets treated or has surgery of any kind. Things can happen, and you must keep a watchful eye for circumstances to change, even when everything appears to be healing or going well.

A Pet Parent Reminder...
Remember that you are your pet's only advocate, they cannot speak for themselves, you must speak for them in all things. Mommy will be taking care of me in this, just as she always has.
I promise we'll continue to keep you updated on what happens. We've joked that I could always become a pirate and just get a huge hoop earring to go through that ear, but in all reality, the danger of it tearing is just too great.





What are your thoughts on this friends? Is Mommy overreacting with her concern or would you feel the same way? Please leave a comment below and let me know. We love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Joy of Love - Pixel Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Pet

Happy Valentine's Day!
It's Valentine's Day weekend friends. Showering love on your dear ones isn't limited just to humans, just as it isn't limited to only one day. Dogs love spending time with their humans, they love getting gifts, and they love to play and show their love. Remember, pets have feelings too. We spend all day waiting for you to come home when you are gone. We want to spend every waking moment with you. Since Valentine's Day is on a weekend, why not do something extra special with your pet to let them know they are your one and only furry Valentine?

Here are some of my favorite ideas for showing your pets they are special this Valentine's Day...

1. Cook your pet a meal or bake a batch of dog treats.
Let pup watch you prepare it and take part in it. Make it a fun activity you do together. Use safe foods they can lick from the spoon or spatula such as chicken, pumpkin or peanut butter. Then, sit down and actually have a meal together.
Mommy lets me lick the spoon and gives me little bits of chicken as she makes her famous chicken and rice, making it a fun experience we share.  I wrote an article recently on safe foods for dogs that make for a great addition to a special meal or treats! And don't think that baking is just for ladies either. Lots of the best bakers are men.

2. Have a one on one grooming time.
I don't mean take them to the groomers, I mean get a special brush or comb, maybe some scissors if they have a few knots, and have a gentle petting/brushing session with lots of love. Take your time. Make sure there's not stress, let them lay their back or do whatever is comfortable. I know Mommy will start by just petting me and getting me all sleepy and comfy, then she will bring out a soft brush or a "slicker" brush to gently get the knots out. I love it!! It's a HUGE difference for your pet than having to stand on a public grooming table at a groomers with lots of strange dogs and cats (no offense to other animals), and being perhaps rushed along in getting brushed, possibly getting nicked in the process, and not getting the extra care that our beloved humans would give us with a loving petting/brushing fest. Follow it up with a bunch of their favorite treats!

3. Have a long outside play date (if the weather's right).
If it's warm outside, or if you love the snow, take your pet on an extra long play adventure outside. Bring a few of his or her favorite toys (a Kong Wubba is always a great choice!) and focus on you and your pet sharing some fun together.
Given that a lot of us have snow on the ground, but love the snow anyways, you could plan a few outside play times that are shorter so you both don't get frost bite but can enjoy romping together. Your pet will LOVE it!

**NOTE:  If you take your pet out in weather that is even remotely cold, please be sure to bundle them up in warm clothing. Yes, fur covered pets get cold too. Our paws can also get seriously injured by the snow melting salt on the ground, so be sure to wipe our paws after we come inside each time. And have a warm blanket ready for us to get bundled up in once we've had our fun. Our family likes to put a few blankets in the dryer and have them getting warm so that once me and my sisters are back in front playing outside, we have really warm blankets to get wrapped up in. Not to mention the electric throws we have on each couch and chair so that every dog in the house has a warm place to lay.

4. Have a wild inside play date.
If you can't go outside due to weather (it IS winter after all), then have a big giant play fest inside. Clear a big place in the living room or family room, remove anything breakable from possibly being in reach of a fun playful time, pull out ALL the toys from the toybox, and have a ball. ...have 10 balls! Let your pet go a little crazy! Allow yourself to really get into it. Remember that your pet is devoted to you 100% and they love to play with you so let them have extra time being silly with you. It will really make them feel special and loved. Let them wear themselves out! You can always clean up the disaster area of toys later while your happy and sleeping cat or dog is dreaming of all the fun you just had.

5. Have a "Special Delivery Valentine" delivered for your pet.
Pets love getting gifts just like humans do. What a wonderful surprise it would be for your pet to have one of their favorite toys delivered right to their door! You can set it up yourself. I was surprised with this amazing gift of a red wagon filled with my favorite little duckies who ALL wanted to come live here with me. I was elated and it was one of the BEST gifts I've ever received! The "special Valentine delivery" doesn't have to be expensive. You know what your pet loves. It can be something simple and sweet. The point is, when they go to the door, there is a surprise for them there and they get to enjoy it.
**NOTE from Mommy:  These little duckies are less than $2.50 each, and I already had the wagon from a Christmas display. So, for less than $20 I gave Pixel the surprise of a lifetime.

6. Take your pet on a car ride and/or shopping trip just for them.
Whether you just ride around in the car for a while just to drive, or take a car ride to your pet's favorite store, it will be a fun outing for both of you. I love riding in the car with Mommy. Even if she just goes to the pharmacy, I'm ready to jump in the vehicle with her. We sing songs, she talks to me and we just enjoy the time together. If you do go to the store, make sure to let your pet pick out whatever toy they want (within reason of course, heehee). Your pet might even like going to a drive through food place...I hear there's a few places that even have food for dogs! They are in bigger cities, but if you do some research, you just might find a fun new place that you and your pet can go to and enjoy a meal together.

7. Learn or practice a new trick together.
One of the best ways that Mommy and I bonded and still continue to bond is with our trick learning and practicing. Pets love to learn new things, we love to please our humans, and of course, we love to have fun. Positive reinforcement is the only way to go when pets are learning something new of course. Have a small bag of small treats (break up bones you have into tiny pieces - a hammer works great on a zip lock bag of dog bones), and a simple trick you'd like your pet to learn, such as putting their paw in your hand. Say one word like "Paw" or "Shake" and then take their paw in your hand, say good girl/boy, and give them a small treat. Repeat a few times, always being positive. If they start to do it even a tiny bit on their own, tell them good girl/boy and give them a treat. They'll be on their way in no time! Of course it won't be learned in a day (or maybe it will) but it's a fun new activity to start and it makes your dog feel special and loved, like you want to be there with them, interacting one on one with them.

For detailed tips on training your dog, here is a link to one of my Pixel dog training articles.

8. Hug
9. Kisses
10. SNUGGLES!! 
(Why, these last three were just WAY too easy!)



These are just a few ways to make your pet feel special, loved and appreciated this Valentine's Day and everyday. Make them a part of your celebration! And of course, nothing beats some good old fashioned snuggle time!
Do you have a fun way you show the love to your pet? I'd love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below and share the love. Happy Valentine's Day!




This blog post about love and the many ways you can show it to your pet, including the special last photo of me and Mommy sharing the love, is part of a wonderful blog hop that my friend The Lazy Pit Bull is hosting called #52Snapshots of Life, where each week a different theme is the focus of our photos and blogs. This week's theme word was LOVE. How very fitting! I hope you enjoyed the love I shared and I hope you'll visit some of the other blogs sharing the LOVE on this Valentine's weekend. If you'd like to join in the blog hop fun, just use hashtags #52Snapshots and #PBSG and visit the host for more details.

Watch Videos of Pixel on the 'Pixel Blue Eyes' YouTube Channel!

Loading...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...