Not home most of the day? Here’s how to keep your pets happy

It’s true, sometimes it really seems like our pets have a secret life and do crazy things when we are not home.  I always wondered what my dogs do all day while I’m out working.  I mean, I leave pretty early in the morning, take the kiddo to school, work for 9 hours and come home.  That’s an average of 10 hours a day out of my home. 

If you are like me, and you love animals, you probably have a pet.  I have 3 beautiful dogs that I adore with all my heart.  And - here comes the tricky part – how can you juggle a full time, family time, and time for your pets?  Here are some suggestions on how to make our pet’s lives happier and less stressful when you have a full time job outside your home.


Just like our human food, dog and cat food is filled with preservatives, and lots and lots of fillers that can harm our fur-friends in the long run.  Well, let me tell you how I figured this out. 

I was very naive when I thought that dog food was just dog food, and that they could eat basically anything.  Well, the same way that eating junk food everyday could make you, my human friend, sick; cheap, low quality dog food can make them sick as well.  I’m not ashamed to admit that many, many times I've been on a budget and I'd always bought whatever food was on sale for my dogs… the cheapest the bag, the cheapest it is to produce, the more fillers and “junk” it has.  When my dog Katy (a beautiful golden retriever-Chinese Sharpei mix) started to get sick, I was very worried. 

She wouldn’t play, she would throw up all the time and eat grass and throw up again.  She was also having accidents in the house, which was totally not like her.  I was worried, and took her to the vet.  They ran all kinds of test and everything came back normal.  I spent more money trying to figure out what illness she had than what I spent in cheap dog food in a whole year.  I was very sad until someone told me to start feeding her raw foods for a few weeks and then switch to a good quality, natural food.  So we did.  We fed her raw meat and raw eggs, and yogurt, and other things for a couple of weeks, then, after lots of research and self-education, we got her on a more natural, yet affordable over the counter dog food.  Slowly, Katy grew healthier and happier.  It was her gut.


2.       GET A CHEW TOY or TWO

I couldn’t imagine being at home all day without doing anything.  We keep our dogs inside just because here in our state it can get really, really hot in the summer, and really, really cold in the winter and there is not a lot of shade for them in our back yard.  I’ve purchased a lot of different dog toys over the years and I always come home to millions (yes, millions) of small particles of the toy all over my floor.  The voracious chewing of my 12 year old Katy, is like no other.  She won’t, however, chew ANYTHING that is not given to her.  She’s a good girl.  One chew toy that seems to work very well is the Nylabone Durachew chicken flavored bone.  I guess it really taste like chicken because my dogs love it and it doesn’t smell and voila! No mess to clean up!


All my dogs are pretty hairy, and they shed a lot (but what dog- other than a labradoodle doesn’t?)  We have to regularly brush them, and brush them and I can literally take enough hair to stuff a pillow every time I brush Chloe, Skyler, and Katy.  Even though this sounds like chore, make it about your dog.  Make it a way to spend time with them.  I’m sure they will enjoy your brushing and your love and you will too.


4.       GO FOR A WALK

When Katy was little, we lived in a home with a large back yard and she would run a lot and get her exercise that way.  At that time I had no time to take her for walks, but she would be so exhausted from having fun outside that she didn’t mind.  Now, fast-forward more than twelve years, her hips are bad, and her back legs give up many times so she can’t go for long walks without pain.  I wish I could go back in time and take her walking.  Our daughter does walk the newest addition to our family, Skyler.  She is a spunky 3 year old Chiweenie (Chihuahua -dachshund mix) and loves to walk around the neighborhood. 



If your child is sick, you take care of him/her.  If your child is really sick, you take him/her to the doctor and buy medicine for them to feel better.   That’s common sense.   It puzzles me beyond believe how people can see their dogs or cats suffering with pain and do nothing about it.  I understand that vets are expensive, but many local vets offer affordable payment plans and other charity organizations have vaccination clinics and checkups for free.  If you can’t afford it, no problem, just inform yourself of the resources out there and you will find a place that fits your needs.   A pet is part of your family, and it should be treated as such.  If your pet is healthy, they will be happier. 

And finally, spend any free time in your schedule with your pet.  You don’t need to do much…if you sit down to watch TV, pet your dog while you are binging on your favorite tv show or movie.  All you have to do is move your hand.  They will be utterly happy to get some attention from their beloved master.  A soft stroke, a kind word, and even a smile will be recognized by your fur-friend as they comfortable curl up on your lap content and fulfilled.  


What do you do to keep your pets happy? 




UPDATE on Easter Edition: Operation Rabbit

Hoppy Monday everyone (get it? hoppy?!)? So if you read yesterdays blog post, I'm sure you are DYING to know the conclusion to the rabbit saga. (If you DID NOT read yesterdays blog post I suggest you stop reading this now, and click over to that page(HERE) so you will know what in the world I'm talking about) If you continue to read without reading yesterdays, I warned you, spoiler ahead! 

After a frantic week of planning and Craigslisting (GASP- yes my 55 year old mother CRAIGSLISTED! Can you use that as a verb? I'm not sure but let's not get distracted here people), my mother secured not one, but 2 silver fox rabbits. She even went to the local feed and seed store and bought the swankiest outdoor rabbit hutch she could find: 


Look at that thing, isn't it a beaut?! It's like the Taj Mahal of rabbit houses. (And don't worry all you animal lovers out there- she also purchased a crate for indoors when its too cold or rainy) 

I guess it goes without saying, the kids were THRILLED. I guess it also goes without saying that I was thrilled. These things are the cutest, softest, "non-bitey/scratchy" (to quote my mother) rabbits ever. They will certainly be loved. 

So without further ado- let me introduce you to the newest members of the family:

This is my oldest with his rabbit- affectionately named "Spike". (just to note- they are both girl rabbits- we don't really care about gender appropriate names in this house)

This is my youngest with her rabbit which she named "Hippity Hop Hop" (try saying that five times fast)



I hope you all had a great Easter spent with family and food! If you don't celebrate Easter, I hope you had a fantastic Sunday! 

WHO LOVES BUNNIES??? Let us know! Share or comment below!


Easter Edition: Operation Rabbits

I love my mother for many reasons, one of which are her random emails/texts at strange hours. Now I have been on the rabbit bandwagon for years, pestering my husband to the point of insanity but he staunchly maintains his anti-rabbit stance (does the man have no heart?!). Perhaps I have been going about this operation all wrong. Who knew all I had to do was ply mom with some good wine, and let her do all the dirty work? If I had known it was this easy, I would have had her knock a few back before discussing my curfew in high school….

       From: xxxxxxxxxxxx

       Date: March 20, 2016 at 10:46:17 PM EDT

To: Coco

Subject: Easter

I keep passing that house that has the sign in front for rabbits and I am seriously thinking about getting 2 rabbits (they do better with a friend) for the kids for Easter - to keep at my house....

I am on my second glass of wine - is this crazy? I can get a hutch to keep outside - move inside the garage in the winter. Every Easter I think about ducklings or baby chicks - but no way we could keep those as they got bigger - but rabbits are doable and I think L is old enough to know how to treat them/act around them?

We had rabbits when we were little, am I being too nostalgic?

Every time I go into that feed and seed store I look at the hutches...I need a voice of reason.


       From: Coco

       Date: March 21, 2016 at 12:50:35 AM EDT

To: xxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: Re: Easter

GET THEM! I will totally be your voice of reason, it's SO REASONABLE to get a pair of rabbits. They are so easy, no potty training, get a hutch for outside. Just think of those little faces lighting up at the surprise on Easter (mine included).

And the plot thickens…


I received messages via Pinterest throughout the night with all things rabbit; various types of breeds of rabbits, hutches, dietary needs for optimal health, rabbit farms, really just anything you could think of related to rabbits. 

We will venture to the parents later this afternoon, be sure to check back to find out the conclusion to this gripping rabbit saga!  (HERE IS THE REST OF IT!!!)