How to Bathe Your Pet

How to Bathe Your Pet -


Pets do not usually need frequent bathing – the natural oils in their skin, shedding, a good diet, and their instinctual grooming habits keep them clean and their skin and hair healthy. However, our furry family members sometimes need a bit of extra help. There are times when an excess of hair and unpleasant smells can be a bit overwhelming and a good scrub is the only thing that will make snuggling on the couch tolerable again! Follow these tips when giving your dogs, cats, bunnies, and other furry friends a good bath.


1. Try to make a bath a calm experience, if not a pleasant one.

Some pets love the water. Some pets don’t. For those who don’t appreciate the  whole soggy business, take extra steps to make bath time a bit more soothing. Make sure all of your bathing supplies and a dry towel are within reach. Water temperatures should be comfortably warm or perhaps cooler on a hot day. Consider having a few treats ready to give your pet throughout the bath. Talk quietly and use your pet’s name frequently for reassurance. Consider placing a rubber mat in your tub to keep your pet from slipping. Ask for help from a friend if you think you might have a hard time keeping your pet safely in the tub.


2. Follow a routine like the one you have when you bathe yourself.

Do what you already know how to do. Use warm water to get your pet wet down to the skin so that they are ready for shampooing. If they can tolerate a “sprayer” like a detachable shower head or garden hose, this may be the easiest way to go. Put the sprayer on a gentle setting. Alternatively, you may use a bucket to dip fresh water and gently dump it over your pet’s back. Use an appropriate amount of shampoo based on your pet’s size and length of hair, then softly scrub it into the hair and skin. Avoid sensitive areas around the face (nose, ears, eyes, and mouth) and be gentle when scrubbing other sensitive body parts. If needed, use a damp rag (no soap) to clean your pet’s face. Rinse thoroughly using warm water so that leftover soap doesn’t irritate the skin.


3. Keep your pet in a warm environment until they can dry fully.

Once she has been rinsed, wrap your pet up in a towel and begin drying. Remember that it is natural for many pets to shake when wet, and unless you plan on preventing this, you may want to keep them in a warm, open area that can stand a bit of a shower! Some pets can tolerate a blow dryer. If you do use one, keep it on a warm (not hot) setting and hold the dryer about ten inches away from your pet. This may also be a good time for gentle brushing, especially for long-haired pets. Never let a wet pet out in cold temperatures, as wet skin and hair make it hard to keep warm.


More tips for how, when, and where to wash your pets:

  • Always allow your pet to remain upright in the bath – don’t force an animal, particularly a rabbit, onto its back, as this is a very vulnerable position and can trigger defensive stress.
  • Healthy pets can be washed as frequently as once a month. Bathing your pet more often than this tends to dry out their hair and skin. If your pet needs special skin care, consult a veterinarian or professional groomer.
  • A very smelly pet may require more than one shampooing. You may also try a vinegar rinse: use one cup of vinegar in one gallon of water and pour it over your pet from the neck down. Rub it into your pet’s hair and skin and dry your pet as you normally would without rinsing the vinegar mixture out of his hair.
  • Pet shampoos of all kinds can be found at your local pet store or found online, such as this organic shampoo on Amazon. Avoid using human shampoos, as these tend to dry out pet skin too much and often have added scents and chemicals that are not good for animals. The exception among human shampoos is unscented baby shampoo, which can be used on many dogs and cats. Dawn dish soap (original variety) has often been suggested as a flea-killing shampoo option for pets.
  • Always be aware of your pet’s individual needs. Some pets have allergies to ingredients in popular pet shampoos (oatmeal can be a challenge for many dogs). If at any time you feel your pet’s safety is compromised, rinse your pet thoroughly, stop the bath, and consult a veterinarian.


Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

Tips for Housetraining Your Puppy

Tips for Housetraining Your Puppy | #pets #training #dogs


When to start housetraining

Start housetraining your puppy the minute you get home. When you bring your new family member home, put your pup (on a leash) down where you’d like him to go and give him about 10 minutes to go to the bathroom. If your puppy goes, be sure to say something like “go potty” as soon as he starts so that you can use that command in the future. When he’s done don’t forget to praise the heck out of him or her!

Must have: dog crate

Housetraining will be ten times easier if you have a dog crate for your pup! When you’re not watching your puppy put him in the crate and because it’s a small confined area this will become what they consider their home and will likely not have an accident in there unless it’s a real emergency.

The general rule for a dog crate is that they can stand up, turn around and lie down in it easily. However, it shouldn’t be so big that they can go potty in the corner and lie down across the crate. The Midwest Life Stages Crate is great because it comes with a divider so you can use it over the course of the dogs life and just adjust the size and you won’t have to keep buying bigger crates as he grows. Just make sure you get the appropriate size for how big you estimate your dog will be.

Puppies have small bladders

Since puppies are small, their bladders are as well. You also have to keep in mind that not only are you training your dog to do their business outside, you’re also training them how to hold it. If you’ve ever potty trained a child, you understand that the idea of “holding it” isn’t something you’re born with, it’s a learned behavior.

Because puppies (and smaller dogs, too!) have small bladders and aren’t used to holding it, you will have to let them out more frequently at first. My rule of thumb is every two hours is best, at least for the first few days. As your puppy gets good at holding it you can bump it up slowly. Maybe up to 3 hours for a few days, then 4 hours for a few days, etc.

Once your dog is trained he or she should be able to hold it for up 8 hours, depending on the dog. But you can’t expect them to hold it all day. Remember to let your dog out before you leave the house and when you get back to prevent accidents!

Extra tips

  • Always let your dog out 30 minutes after a meal, after a nap, after a bath and first thing in the morning. These are times when they’ll almost always immediately want to relieve themselves.
  • Praise is good when they go where you want, when you want. A small (pea sized) treat the second they finish and some petting is great positive reinforcement.
  • It’s better to prevent than punish. Punishment doesn’t work well with dogs. If you can’t watch your puppy closely, put him or her in their crate to prevent it from happening in the first place.
  • Get used to the signs your dog gives before they go to the bathroom. Most dogs sniff/circle around right before they squat or lift their leg. If you can catch them before the act you can take them outside before they have an accident.
  • If your catch your dog having an accident make a loud noise or clap to startle them and get them to stop. Then silently scoop them up and put them outside to go. They may or may not continue, but if they do, praise as usual.

It takes a while to train a puppy, but the more consistent you are, the better the results! Also check out these great tips for basic obedience training!

About the Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days doing freelance blog design. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life or follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest.

Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.


7 Creative Ideas for a Pregnancy Announcement


Announcing a pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of one’s life. You want it to be special and memorable, and getting a whole bunch of likes on Facebook doesn’t hurt, either. Many creative parents-to-be have come up with many fun ways to announce a pregnancy, including the seven great ideas listed below. Maybe these pregnancy announcement ideas will help you come up with one of your own!

1. Get your older kids to participate in your pregnancy announcement. (picture: slide 1)

Your older children are probably as excited about the upcoming new baby as you are, so why not include them in your pregnancy announcement? You could create a special t-shirt for your beaming toddler or give chalkboard signs for your two older kids to hold for a special photo.

2. Let your adorable pet(s) announce your pregnancy. (picture: slide 2)

Have a pup or a couple of feline friends who have no idea what’s coming to them in 9 months? Put a cute sign around their neck or put them next to a homemade sign for your pregnancy announcement.

3. Get creative with signs. (picture: slide 3)

Pose with your significant other next to a sign that clearly implies that a baby is on the way. A bright yellow sign that says BUMP AHEAD is perfect, but DIYing a couple of clever directional signs on a pole could be another great way to announce a pregnancy.

4. Include a pair of teeny baby shoes in your pregnancy announcement. (picture: slide 4)

Who can resist a tiny pair of baby shoes? No one can and that’s why this style of pregnancy announcement is so popular. Also, this could be a great way to announce the gender of your baby.

5. Consider a holiday-related pregnancy announcement. (picture: slide 5)

Announcing a pregnancy during pumpkin season or just before Christmas? Take advantage of your great timing to come up with a creative holiday-themed pregnancy announcement, such as carving a tiny pumpkin inside of a bigger pumpkin or hanging up an extra Christmas stocking.

6. Come up with an exciting math equation. (picture: slide 6)

One plus one equals two, right? Not always, since one could have another little one inside her. If math is your thing, you could come up with a fun equation that has your family and friends doing the math and realizing that you’re pregnant!

7. Include humor in your pregnancy announcement. (picture: slide 7)

A new pregnancy is a very joyful event, but when you make it funny, it’s even better. The mother-to-be could be scarfing down ice cream or junk food as the father-to-be anxiously reads how-to books or nervously assembles a crib with many parts.

Looking for more ideas for family photos? Here’s some ideas of how to dress your family and a cute way to display your family photos.

7 Creative Ideas for a Pregnancy Announcement | #photography #baby #announcement #pregnancy

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

Featured image courtesy of Life of a Mompreneur.

The Basics of Dog Obedience Training

Basic Dog Obedience Training Tips and Tools via

Teaching your dog a few simple commands can make life a bit easier for both of you. For example, if you can teach your dog to sit and stay, you can use this before opening the front door without the risk of your dog running out into the street or overwhelming a guest as they walk in the door.

Every pet owner should teach their dogs at least a few basic commands and use them on a regular basis. Making your dog sit quietly before meals, when children are around or just for fun are great tools to have to help control your pet since we can’t talk to them and tell them what we need from them. We’ve got the basics of dog obedience training to get you started.

4 Basic Dog Obedience Tasks You Can Teach At Home via Tipsaholic

Tools for training

  • Treats: go for smelly, soft, tiny pea-sized treats like these. The size is great for training because they don’t take your dog long to eat and you can move on quickly.
  • Treat Pouch: you can keep treats in your pocket, but it gets a little messy and you’re going to end up smelling like treats all day. This one is great because it clips to your belt or pocket.

Tips before you begin

  • Keep training sessions short, maybe 5-15 minutes so your dog doesn’t get bored and restless
  • Stay positive! Do NOT punish or get frustrated with your dog if they don’t get it right away. You want your dog to look forward to training sessions. If you start to get angry or frustrated end the session and try again later.
  • Try not to use a voice command at first, saying “sit” a million times when he doesn’t know what that means will just cause him to ignore that command. Once you have the hand gesture down then you can add a voice command to it. But again, avoid saying it over and over and over. If they aren’t doing it they either don’t understand the command or are too distracted.


“Watch Me”

One thing I recommend is to teach a dog to pay attention to you. This command basically says, “Hey, look at me, I’m going to give you a command”.

To start call your dog over, as soon as he looks at you, say “good, watch me” and give him a treat. That’s basic idea. You can do this randomly throughout the day and have a quick 5 minute session where anytime he looks at you, you say “good, watch me” and he gets a treat. Soon you should be able to call your dog over say “watch me” and have him know to look at you, even if there are some distractions around.



A basic command is the “sit” command. To train your dog to do this, have a treat between your thumb and fingers so your dog can see and smell it. Then slowly guide your dog into a sitting position by moving your hand over to your dogs nose and then up, kind of in a swooping motion. You might have to go slowly, let you dog sniff the treat and then move your hand up over their head. Naturally, most dogs will sit so that they can lift their nose higher. You might have to do this a few times, but eventually your dog will get it.



To train a dog “down”, put them in a “sit” first. Take a treat between your fingers and hold it in front of the dogs nose then slowly bend down, pulling your hand (and the treat) down to the ground. Your dogs nose will follow and he might lie down right away.

If he doesn’t lie down try twisting your wrist with the treat so the back of your hand is blocking the dog’s nose from the treat. Most dogs will try to reach around with their noises. Another trick is to slowly pull your hand towards you (still on the ground) so the dog will lie down to get closer to it.

If your dog gets up to get the treat when you pull away, that’s fine. Don’t give him a treat, put him into a sit and try again. You’ll eventually figure out what works to get your dog into a down position.

Once your dog gets the idea you won’t have to bend down and eventually you’ll just be able to point down and your dog will understand that signal.



The best way to train your dog to stay is to have him in a “down” because he’s less likely to get up.

While your dog is lying down, put your hand up as if to say “stop” and take a few steps back. If he doesn’t get up, walk back to him and give him a treat. As your dog gets good at this you can move farther and farther away, turn your back or even leave the room.

When you want to release your dog just walk back over and say “ok” to let him know he can get up.


About the Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days doing freelance blog design. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life or follow along on FacebookInstagramTwitter or Pinterest.

Non-Toxic Bug Spray for Your Family, Pets and Garden

Spending time outside during the summer is great – except for the bugs!   Bug spray seems like a good idea, but many contain harsh chemicals and toxins that we don’t really want to put on our skin, on our pets or around our gardens. Using simple household products and some natural essential oils, you can make your own insect repellent that is both safe and effective.

 Homemade Natural Bug Spray

How to Make Non-Toxic Bug Spray for Your Family, Pets and Garden


1) For your family:

Fill a small glass spray bottle (about 8 ounces) halfway with witch hazel and then fill nearly to the top with distilled water. Add 10 drops each of the following essential oils: tea tree, eucalyptus, mint and citronella. Then add 10 more drops of another fragrant essential oil, such as lavender, rosemary, geranium or lemongrass (whatever smells best to you). Just shake well and spray to keep those nasty bugs away!


2) For your dog:

Peel several lemons, limes and/or oranges and add the peels to a pot on the stove. Add enough water to cover the peels and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely. Discard the peels and put the remaining citrusy water into a spray bottle. Add 25 drops of essential oil for every 8 ounces of citrusy water – I like to use a combination of mint, lavender and eucalyptus. To repel mosquitos, shake the mixture well and spray on your dogs’ backs (where they can’t lick it off) before you take them outside – just be sure not to get it in their eyes!


3) For your garden:

In a small spray bottle, mix 3 cups water, 2 tablespoons mild oil (such as vegetable), 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper. Shake well and apply to plants and small bushes to control aphids.


Have a great, bug-free summer!

Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.

6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

Keep your dog cool  in the summer


When summer rolls around it’s important to look at different ways you can keep your dog cool and comfortable. If you want to keep your dog cool this summer, I’ve gathered a few tips for you.

6 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer

 1. Frozen Treats & Food

Check your local petstore for logs of pet food. Most have these available and the logs can be cut into large chunks and frozen. Even better, put it in a kong toy and your dog will be entertained as well as cool.

2. Use a Kid Pool

Not all dogs love water, but it’s worth a try to see if yours does! Kiddie pools are cheap and can be filled up and kept in the shade for your dog to stand or lay in when he gets overheated. Kiddie pool too much of a hassle? Throw down a wet towel in the shade that your pup can rest on to cool off.

3. Keep Your Dog Inside

If at all possible, try to keep your dog inside on hot days. This is especially recommended during the hottest part of the day. Worried your dog will tear up the place while you’re gone? Most dogs can be kept in crates for a few hours while your gone keeping your future and your furry friend safe.

4. Time Your Walks & Exercise Right

Even though you might not feel like it, your dog still need exercise in the heat of the summer. Try to walk or run your pooch in the early morning or late afternoon when it’s cooled down a bit and overheating is less of a threat.

5. Grooming Can Make a Huge Difference

If you have a dog with long hair or a dense undercoat, a trip to the groomer can work wonders! Thick undercoats can be brushed out and long hair can be cut to increase air circulation and allow your dog to feel breezes to cool down.

6. Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Never underestimate the importance of having water available for your pet at all times!


Author: Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.