Dog-friendly vacations in Manchester, Vermont. Traveling with your dogs in Vermont is so much fun. Check out one of the best dog friendly vacations and dog friendly hotel in Vermont, The Wilburton Inn.

Dog-Friendly Vacations | Dog-Friendly Manchester, Vermont | Wilburton Inn

Traveling With Dogs on Dog-Friendly Vacations

Dog-Friendly Manchester, Vermont, Wilburton Inn

Dog-friendly vacations in Manchester, Vermont. Traveling with your dogs in Vermont is so much fun. Check out one of the best dog friendly vacations and dog friendly hotel in Vermont, The Wilburton Inn.
Dog-Friendly Manchester, Vermont |Wilburton Inn

Dexter The Dog and I have always wanted to take a dog-friendly vacation in Vermont. In October 2016, we finally had our chance, and traveled with another cavalier friend, Levi, and his Mom, Chris. Not only were we planning a lot of dog-friendly day-trips in Vermont, we also planned on chilling out in our dog-friendly Inn, the Wilburton Inn to be exact. And yes, the Inn owners also have a cavalier named Jet!

Our drive from Ohio to Vermont was a bit stressful, as we drove in with a wintery mix. That’s not the way I like to travel, but it is what it is. We finally arrived late at night and drove up the windy scenic road to the Inn’s check in. The innkeeper was very friendly and provided us with check-in instructions for our villa.

We stayed in The Strawberry Inn Villa on the first floor. The villa can be rented either in its entirety or by up to six separate guests, which is what we did. The Wilburton Inn was named one of the top eight elegant US Mansion hotels by CNN, so I was a little concerned that it would be too fancy for us. But I was pleasantly surprised at how homey the room felt.

Dog-Friendly Vacations | Dog-Friendly Manchester, Vermont |Wilburton Inn
Dog-Friendly Wilburton Inn

Our accommodation included two wooden queen beds on the ground floor with a large en suite bathroom with a shower and tub. The room also had a couple of sitting chairs, TV, and mini fridge. This was perfect for holding Dexter’s home-cooked meals.

The Strawberry Villa also included a large shared kitchen and dining space that we did not utilize. There was also a nice outside sitting area that we also did not use.

Although we spent most of our dog-friendly Vermont vacation touring the area, we did spend some time at the Wilburton Inn for a few fun adventures. First, a little history on the Wilburton Inn’s inspiring tale.

Dog-Friendly Manchester, Vermont |Wilburton Inn
Dog-Friendly Manchester, Vermont |Wilburton Inn

In the early 1900s, the Wilburton was the largest gentleman’s farm in town. The current innkeeper’s eldest son, Oliver, and his wife Bonnie, continue this tradition. They grow organic heirloom produce along with baking artisanal hearth breads and, from what I hear, famous veggie burgers. They are well-known throughout New England and beyond for their high-quality organic foods.

The Wilburton Inn offers rental houses, villas, and mansions throughout their thirty-acre hillside. These historic Vermont rentals feature dramatic mountain views. As we walked around the grounds, we enjoyed the artwork and sculptures throughout our walk. They also have a museum and workshops throughout the year.

Traveling with dogs in Vermont.
Dog-Friendly Vermont Hotels

The Wilburton Inn also proudly grows botanicals, including herbs. Obviously, after a winter storm, we weren’t able to enjoy this firsthand. Another fun feature is that lead gardener Daba Kydner also provides private herbal consultations. I just may need to take another trip to Vermont in the spring.

Dog-friendly Vermont hotels, accommodations and vacations
Dog-Friendly Vermont Vacations

If you are looking for a dog-friendly vacation rental in Manchester, Vermont, I encourage you to check out the Wilburton Inn. Tell them that Dexter The Dog sent you!


Have you been to Vermont with your dog? Tell me in the comments.

Dog-friendly vacations in Manchester, Vermont. Traveling with your dogs in Vermont is so much fun. Check out one of the best dog friendly vacations and dog friendly hotel in Vermont, The Wilburton Inn.
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Cat Teeth Cleaning-Brushing your cat’s teeth daily with a cat toothbrush, finger pet toothbrush, or just your finger along with a natural cat toothpaste is recommended. If you would like, you can also rotate between brushing and using an oral pet cleansing spray that does not have any unhealthy ingredients.

Cat Teeth Cleaning, Cat Dental Care and How to Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

Cat Dental Care | How to Brush Cat Teeth

Cat Dental Health | Natural Cat Dental Care

Cat Teeth Cleaning-Brushing your cat’s teeth daily with a cat toothbrush, finger pet toothbrush, or just your finger along with a natural cat toothpaste is recommended. If you would like, you can also rotate between brushing and using an oral pet cleansing spray that does not have any unhealthy ingredients.
Natural Cat Dental Care and Cleaning

Do you think about your cat’s dental care? I sure hope so. Cat teeth cleaning is so important to the overall health of your cat. According to The American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult cats by three years of age, and is completely preventable. Bacteria builds under the gum lines and releases toxins that are absorbed into your cat’s bloodstream and can affect the kidneys and liver.

Periodontal disease in cats is pretty scary and can be life threatening if untreated. But you can easily prevent cat dental disease and keep your cat from losing teeth just by brushing your cat’s or kitten’s teeth daily. Daily cat teeth cleaning is also a way to help avoid seeing your cat’s veterinarian for a professional cat teeth cleaning, which can cost anywhere from $200-600.

But your cat is lucky—he has you to ensure his teeth are pristine and that he won’t develop cat dental disease. You can easily create a daily natural dental oral care program for your cat. You should start your cat’s dental care as soon as possible; even kittens should have their teeth brushed.

If your cat is not a fan of being handled, groomed, or having his mouth touched, please start first by reading my article: Teaching Your Kitten or Adult Cat How To be Groomed, Handled, or Petted

Cat Teeth Cleaning-Brushing your cat’s teeth daily with a cat toothbrush, finger pet toothbrush, or just your finger along with a natural cat toothpaste is recommended. If you would like, you can also rotate between brushing and using an oral pet cleansing spray that does not have any unhealthy ingredients.

Some natural dental care ingredients that are safe for cats include seaweed powder, organic coconut oil, chlorophyll, and deer velvet antler extract. When using these products in your cat’s oral care, it is still important to actually gently brush those cat teeth. The action of brushing is one of the best ways to remove bacteria and tartar.

Now, isn’t that easy? Your cat will thank you for helping him have fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums.

Cat Dental Treats– A word about cat dental treats or cat food made for dental care. Most cats do not chew; instead, they swallow things whole. If a treat or food is promoting itself as helping your cat’s dental care by “brushing” as they chew the treat or food, this may actually not be the case. These cat dental treats or dental cat food may more be about the ingredients that are inside instead of the act of chewing. That said, remember to always read the entire ingredient panel, not just the front of the bag and their claims. Dry food and cats….they don’t mix. Please feed your cat either a raw diet, home cooked diet, or healthy canned cat food. Dry cat food should not be in the mix.

Veterinarian Dentistry for Your Cat– Sometimes even with the best preventative cat dental care, cats still must have a dental cleaning from their veterinarian. If your cat is sensitive around his mouth, he may already have some periodontal disease, so please take him to your veterinarian for a check-up.


How often do you brush your cat’s teeth? Tell me in the comments.

Cat Teeth Cleaning-Brushing your cat’s teeth daily with a cat toothbrush, finger pet toothbrush, or just your finger along with a natural cat toothpaste is recommended. If you would like, you can also rotate between brushing and using an oral pet cleansing spray that does not have any unhealthy ingredients.
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Last month, Dexter, Nutter, and I reviewed Pura Naturals Pet’s Pura-Tips Ear Cleansing System and really loved the product and the brand. When they contacted me to review their Certified Organic Paw Rescue and Fur Drying Gloves, I was all in. I love working with pet brands that put our pets’ health and well-being first, instead of the company’s bottom line. The brand’s mission says it all. “Our mission is simple. Pura Naturals Pet™ is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer.”

Pura Naturals Pet’s Certified Organic Paw Rescue and Fur Drying Gloves Review

Natural Pet Product Reviews

Organic Paw Wax Review, Pura Naturals Pet Certified Organic Paw Rescue | Dog Fur Drying Gloves Review

Last month, Dexter, Nutter, and I reviewed Pura Naturals Pet’s Pura-Tips Ear Cleansing System and really loved the product and the brand. When they contacted me to review their Certified Organic Paw Rescue and Fur Drying Gloves, I was all in. I love working with pet brands that put our pets’ health and well-being first, instead of the company’s bottom line. The brand’s mission says it all. “Our mission is simple. Pura Naturals Pet™ is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer.”
Organic Pet Product Reviews

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review from Pura Naturals Pet. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Nutter

Last month, Dexter, Nutter, and I reviewed Pura Naturals Pet’s Pura-Tips Ear Cleansing System and really loved the product and the brand. When they contacted me to review their Certified Organic Paw Rescue and Fur Drying Gloves, I was all in. I love working with pet brands that put our pets’ health and well-being first, instead of the company’s bottom line. The brand’s mission says it all. “Our mission is simple. Pura Naturals Pet™ is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer.”

Watch the video revew.

Certified Organic Paw Rescue

If your dog has cracked dog paws or dry dog paws or even rough dog paws, you might need to address your dog’s diet. Dogs, cats, and people need a high-moisture diet to ensure all of our organs are receiving enough moisture. If not, our skin, or in our dog’s case, their paw pads and nose, will become cracked and dry. However, even if you are feeding your dog a species-appropriate diet (raw or home cooked), your dog may still experience cracked dog pads.

Pura Naturals Pet’s Certified Organic Paw Rescue just might be what the holistic veterinarian ordered. This organic dog paw balm is made from only the finest food-grade ingredients for deep moisturizing. The organic shea butter is an exceptional source for healing a dog’s cracked dog pads. Shea butter provides vitamin A and E, which can improve a number of skin conditions such as dry paws, wrinkles, eczema, and even sunburn or frostbite.

Last month, Dexter, Nutter, and I reviewed Pura Naturals Pet’s Pura-Tips Ear Cleansing System and really loved the product and the brand. When they contacted me to review their Certified Organic Paw Rescue and Fur Drying Gloves, I was all in. I love working with pet brands that put our pets’ health and well-being first, instead of the company’s bottom line. The brand’s mission says it all. “Our mission is simple. Pura Naturals Pet™ is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer.”
Human Grade Pet Products

The organic hemp seed oil is a great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which help maintain healthy skin cells. These fats act as an effective moisturizer and can help restore cracked skin or paw pads. Hemp seed oil also adds vitamin D to the paws, which helps with calcium absorption, for soft and smooth pads.

This organic dog paw wax also contains organic beeswax, another natural skin protector that soothes, calms, conditions, and hydrates a dog’s feet. It even can help soothe itching! Beeswax also forms a protective barrier when applied to a dog’s pads, allowing this product to be used to protect paws from heat, cold, and moisture.

Those are just a few of these natural ingredients in Pura Naturals Pet’s Certified Organic Paw Rescue. What am I always trying to convey to my readers? To read the entire ingredient panel on all products. As always in my pet product reviews, here is the entire ingredient list: Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Beeswax, Organic St. John’s Wort Extract, Vitamin E, Organic Rosemary Extract, Organic Calendula Extract

All the ingredients checked out to be safe and I totally feel comfortable using this product on Dexter. Although Dexter does not have cracked paw pads, this product will allow me to help improve the moisture in Dexter’s pads, and I can also use the Paw Rescue prior to outdoor walks to provide a protective barrier from the salt, snow, and water.

I am happy to report that after a few days of using Pura Naturals Pet’s Certified Organic Paw Rescue, I am seeing improvement in Dexter’s paw pads. They are starting to get softer and feel not as dry as before. It is a good thing that the ingredients are safe if licked, because Dexter is really into trying to lick this product. 😀

I have been really happy with the Paw Rescue. I am still using it and will continue to use this product for Dexter. As a side note, I have been using this on my hands and feet with great results, too!

Fur Drying Gloves

Have you ever seen Dexter’s furry feet or his long feathers? This boy is a magnet for water and needs a lot of bathing and drying. I am constantly looking for easy and effective ways to dry Dexter, and Pura Naturals Pet’s Fur Drying Gloves filled a much-needed gap in my drying routine.

Pura Naturals Pet’s Fur Drying Gloves are eco-friendly, made and SOURCED in the USA, and are OEKO-TEX certified. The OEKO-TEX certification ensures the safety of the product. The certification prohibits a long list of chemicals, including lead, antimony, arsenic, phthalates, pesticides, and chlorinated phenols. The drying gloves are also machine washable and won’t create tangles in your dog’s fur.

These dog gloves are perfect for both after dog baths and after a dog walk. You can easily dry your dog after a wet or snowy walk by using these environmentally-friendly and super-absorbent drying gloves. Simply place the Fur Drying Gloves on your hands and rub your dog down. The moisture-wicking fabric draws the water away from your dog’s skin and fur.

I first tried the Fur Drying Gloves after coming inside from a walk with a soaking-wet Dexter. They seem a bit big and bulky, but once they were on, they worked amazingly well! It was nice not to have a big dog towel and to be able to reach around Dexter with the Fur Drying Gloves, pick up his foot, massage with the glove, move to the next foot, then his belly and voila! No more soaked dog paws.

Last month, Dexter, Nutter, and I reviewed Pura Naturals Pet’s Pura-Tips Ear Cleansing System and really loved the product and the brand. When they contacted me to review their Certified Organic Paw Rescue and Fur Drying Gloves, I was all in. I love working with pet brands that put our pets’ health and well-being first, instead of the company’s bottom line. The brand’s mission says it all. “Our mission is simple. Pura Naturals Pet™ is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer.”
Super absorbent and eco-friendly.

The next time I used the drying gloves was after Dexter’s dog bath. Poor boy, he sure does hate his baths. I honestly was completely amazed at how well the drying gloves removed the water from Dexter’s skin and fur. I was able to dry him from head to tail and didn’t even need to use a dog towel! I kept squeezing my hands to see if I could wring any water out of the gloves, but nothing came out and they continued to dry him effectively.

I am more than happy with the Fur Drying Gloves and they are by my front door so that I can easily grab them to dry Dexter after a wet or snowy walk. When I give Dexter a bath, I will most definitely be using these gloves. As with all of Pura Naturals Pet products, you can buy with confidence, knowing that they provide exceptional products and care for our environment.

Order your Paw Rescue and Pura Naturals Pet’s Fur Drying Gloves today.


Would your dog benefit from either of these products? Tell me in the comments.

Contest over, thank you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last month, Dexter, Nutter, and I reviewed Pura Naturals Pet’s Pura-Tips Ear Cleansing System and really loved the product and the brand. When they contacted me to review their Certified Organic Paw Rescue and Fur Drying Gloves, I was all in. I love working with pet brands that put our pets’ health and well-being first, instead of the company’s bottom line. The brand’s mission says it all. “Our mission is simple. Pura Naturals Pet™ is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products using only the best materials the Earth has to offer.”
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Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome.

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As early as possible, you should start to get your kitten or cat comfortable with being handled, restrained, and groomed. You will frequently be brushing your cat's fur, brushing his teeth, reaching for him quickly, trimming his nails, and hopefully petting and loving him. These frequent actions can be quite challenging if you do not teach your cat now how to enjoy being handled, and to be calm and relaxed during handling and grooming.

Teaching Your Kitten or Adult Cat How to be Groomed, Handled, or Petted

How Start Natural Cat Grooming and Care

Teaching Your Cat or Kitten to Enjoy Brushing, Nail Trimming and Teeth Cleaning

As early as possible, you should start to get your kitten or cat comfortable with being handled, restrained, and groomed. You will frequently be brushing your cat's fur, brushing his teeth, reaching for him quickly, trimming his nails, and hopefully petting and loving him. These frequent actions can be quite challenging if you do not teach your cat now how to enjoy being handled, and to be calm and relaxed during handling and grooming.
Natural cat care and handling

Every cat or kitten should learn how to tolerate grooming—getting their teeth cleaned, nails trimmed and coat brushed—without biting, hissing, or trying to run away. Cat grooming care, including regular cat teeth cleaning and cat brushing, is essential to your cat’s overall health and wellbeing.

As early as possible, you should start to get your kitten or cat comfortable with being handled, restrained, and groomed. You will frequently be brushing your cat’s fur, brushing his teeth, reaching for him quickly, trimming his nails, and hopefully petting and loving him. These frequent actions can be quite challenging if you do not teach your cat now how to enjoy being handled, and to be calm and relaxed during handling and grooming.

In these daily exercises, you will be teaching your cat to trust you and to view these procedures as enjoyable and not stressful. If at any time your cat seems uncomfortable or stressed, or if he runs away, hisses, or attempts to bite or scratch, stop. Your goal is to work slowly and at your cat’s comfort level.

  1. Lightly scratch or touch your cat’s neck area, then give him a healthy cat treat.
  2. Touch the top of your cat’s foot, then give him a treat. Repeat with each foot.
  3. Pick up your cat’s front foot, then give him a treat. Repeat with each foot, his tail and ears.
  4. Put organic coconut oil on your finger and allow your cat to lick it off. Do this each day for 3 days. On day 4, gently place your finger with coconut oil inside your cat’s mouth along his gum line. Over time, work at lightly rubbing his gum line with your finger and coconut oil. Instant natural cat teeth cleaning!
  5. Gently stroke the top of your cat’s head, back, and tail, and give him a treat.
  6. Gently hug or pick up your cat, and give him a treat.
  7. Stroke your cat’s back with a soft brush, and give him a treat.

Repeat these steps with various family members, friends, and strangers. As your cat starts to look forward to these lessons, gradually increase the length of your touching. For example, instead of picking up your cat’s front paw and treating, pick up your cat’s paw and hold for a couple of seconds, then treat. You are working toward longer duration so that you can examine your cat’s body, give cat nail trims, brush your cat’s teeth, etc.

Do not get complacent in handling your kitten or cat. It is critical to help your cat feel comfortable and even look forward to regular grooming, petting, and handling. Practice these exercises on a daily basis, and remember to reward heavily for good behavior until your cat is totally happy with the exercise, then you can eliminate the food rewards. Remember, your cat must view all this as enjoyable. If he seems cautious on any of these things, proceed very slowly, or contact a professional cat behavior specialist.


How often do you brush your cat? Tell me in the comments.

As early as possible, you should start to get your kitten or cat comfortable with being handled, restrained, and groomed. You will frequently be brushing your cat's fur, brushing his teeth, reaching for him quickly, trimming his nails, and hopefully petting and loving him. These frequent actions can be quite challenging if you do not teach your cat now how to enjoy being handled, and to be calm and relaxed during handling and grooming.

Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome.

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube  Vimeo

The carrot has a variety of health benefits for both us and our pets. I'm going to guess that you are visualizing the bright orange carrot, but the carrot also can be yellow, red, purple or white. The orange carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is amazing for eyesight. Carrots are also a great source of potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Research is also showing that carrots are beneficial in treating inflammation and cancer! Now that's something to chew on.

Healthy Dog Treat Recipes | Dog Carrot Cake Recipe

Healthy Treat Recipes for Dogs

Healthy Pet Dog Cake Recipe with Carrots

The carrot has a variety of health benefits for both us and our pets. I'm going to guess that you are visualizing the bright orange carrot, but the carrot also can be yellow, red, purple or white. The orange carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is amazing for eyesight. Carrots are also a great source of potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Research is also showing that carrots are beneficial in treating inflammation and cancer! Now that's something to chew on.
Healthy Cakes for Dogs

Happy National Carrot Cake Day! I’m really loving this fun daily holidays. It helps keep me inspired on what to write on my lifestyle blog. Today, I will share a healthy dog cake recipe from my dog treat cookbook, Dexter’s Delights. But first, let’s talk a little bit about some of the health benefits of carrots.

The carrot has a variety of health benefits for both us and our pets. I’m going to guess that you are visualizing the bright orange carrot, but the carrot also can be yellow, red, purple or white. The orange carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is amazing for eyesight. Carrots are also a great source of potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Research is also showing that carrots are beneficial in treating inflammation and cancer! Now that’s something to chew on. 

Synthetic preservatives and synthetic flavors have been shown to have various side effects. People may experience migraines, heart palpitations, contact rashes, and allergic responses, and some of these synthetic preservatives and flavors have even been linked to cancer. These are unnecessary risks when we have alternatives. It's one thing to have these chemicals in adult food products, but they are also widely accepted in children's food, baby food, and pet food and pet treats. Babies, kids, and pets are not able to read ingredient labels and make choices for themselves—that is OUR responsibility.

Why You and Your Pets Should Avoid Preservatives Such As Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate

Chemical Preservatives Are Not Necessary and Are Linked to Cancer

Synthetic preservatives and synthetic flavors have been shown to have various side effects. People may experience migraines, heart palpitations, contact rashes, and allergic responses, and some of these synthetic preservatives and flavors have even been linked to cancer. These are unnecessary risks when we have alternatives. It's one thing to have these chemicals in adult food products, but they are also widely accepted in children's food, baby food, and pet food and pet treats. Babies, kids, and pets are not able to read ingredient labels and make choices for themselves—that is OUR responsibility.
Preservatives are harmful

As someone who suffers from migraines, it is extremely important for me to read the ingredient panel of foods that I eat. If you have been following my blog, you probably know my struggle with eating healthy, especially when I travel with my dog, Dexter. Even if I’m not concerned with eating healthy, I try to avoid food with preservatives. I’ve learned over the years, that if some of these preservatives are in my food, particularly if I eat a lot of foods back to back with preservatives, I will have an intense migraine. And for those that are unfamiliar with the pain of a migraine, let me just say it feels like a knife is inside my head, scraping the sides of my skull. Yeah, not pleasant.

Because of our active lifestyles and wanting food quickly and wanting food to last forever, manufacturers have turned to preservatives. There are some natural food preservatives such as salt, lemon juice, vinegar, cloves, oregano, and rosemary extract, to name a few. Unfortunately, the majority of food companies lean toward the synthetic chemical preservatives such as benzoates (sodium benzoate and benzoic acid), nitrites (sodium nitrite), sulphites (sulphur dioxide), and sorbates (sodium sorbate and potassium sorbate).

Other synthetic food flavoring agents include monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate. I’m not sure why anyone would want to add a synthetic flavor to a food product when food with fresh herbs and spices can be so tasty!

Synthetic preservatives and synthetic flavors have been shown to have various side effects. People may experience migraines, heart palpitations, contact rashes, and allergic responses, and some of these synthetic preservatives and flavors have even been linked to cancer. Read more.

These are unnecessary risks when we have alternatives. It’s one thing to have these chemicals in adult food products, but they are also widely accepted in children’s food, baby food, and pet food and pet treats. Babies, kids, and pets are not able to read ingredient labels and make choices for themselves—that is OUR responsibility. It is something I try to avoid in my personal life and a 100% no in a product for a creature I’m responsible for. So please, read the ingredient panels of all your food and drink products, and make an educated choice. And when it comes to your children and pets…..please just say no.


Do you read the entire ingredient label in your pet’s products? Tell me in the comments.

Synthetic preservatives and synthetic flavors have been shown to have various side effects. People may experience migraines, heart palpitations, contact rashes, and allergic responses, and some of these synthetic preservatives and flavors have even been linked to cancer. These are unnecessary risks when we have alternatives. It's one thing to have these chemicals in adult food products, but they are also widely accepted in children's food, baby food, and pet food and pet treats. Babies, kids, and pets are not able to read ingredient labels and make choices for themselves—that is OUR responsibility.
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Best dog food for pets
Learn how to home cook for your dogs.

Healthy Dog Treat Recipes
Healthy dog treat recipes
I thought it would be a good day to talk about how to teach your dog to back up or walk backward. Back when I trained service dogs, this was a behavior we taught all the service dogs. This allowed people in wheelchairs the option of just moving backward in a tight spot and their service dog would back up in position.

Dog Training and Teaching Dog Tricks: Teaching Your Dog To Back Up or Move Backward

Dog Tricks and Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Cool Dog Tricks: Teaching Your Dog To Back Up or Move Backward

I thought it would be a good day to talk about how to teach your dog to back up or walk backward. Back when I trained service dogs, this was a behavior we taught all the service dogs. This allowed people in wheelchairs the option of just moving backward in a tight spot and their service dog would back up in position.
Teaching dog tricks: backing up

Did you know today is National Backwards Day? I know, crazy, isn’t it? I thought it would be a good day to talk about how to teach your dog to back up or walk backward. Back when I trained service dogs, this was a behavior we taught all the service dogs. This allowed people in wheelchairs the option of just moving backward in a tight spot and their service dog would back up in position.

For our pet dogs, this still is a dog trick or behavior that is more than just a fun trick—it can actually potentially save your dog’s life. How? Imagine you dropped a handful of pills and your dog immediately looked at the spill with enthusiasm. You could just as quickly ask your dog to “BACK” and have him move backward away from the poisonous pills. This split second would then allow you to either follow up with a STAY cue or remove your dog from the situation while you cleaned up the mess.

Or, what about when you are feeding a group of dogs and they are all hovering in the kitchen with anticipation? Using your dogs’ BACK cue again can get all your dogs to back up out of the area. Or when your dog is just too in your face? Same thing? Then, of course, there’s all the cute dog tricks and dog dance moves you can do if your dog knows how to back up.

Today is the day I will teach you how to teach your dog to back on cue. There are a variety of ways to teach your dog to back up. I will go over 2 of the most successful ways.

Teaching a dog to back up in tight spaces.

  1. Grab some healthy and tasty dog treats.
  2. Arrange your kitchen chairs or folding chairs to create an aisle just wide enough for you and your dog to be able to face each other inside, approximately 2′ wide.
  3. You walk slowly backward inside your chair aisle as you encourage your dog to follow you. Before you hit the end of the aisle, take one or two steps forward toward your dog. As soon as he takes one step back, say YES and follow up with a treat. You want to do this very quickly to help your dog walk backward and not sit. If he sits, start over. Timing is everything in this first step.
  4. As you and your dog get the hang of step 3, increase the steps your dog takes backward before saying YES and treating. So, instead of 1 step, he takes 2 steps, then 3, etc. If he ends up sitting, drop your criteria back to where he was successful and not sitting.
  5. When your dog is really getting step 4, start to walk toward your dog as he is walking backward, and allow him to continue to walk backward out of the chair aisle. Now your dog is really starting to get it.
  6. Once your dog is reliably walking backward and not sitting, it’s time to introduce your dog’s cue. Say, “BACK” just before you walk toward your dog. Now, he will start to associate the word with the action.
  7. Finally, remove the chair aisle, ask your dog to BACK, walk toward him, and when he takes a few steps back, YES and reward. Eventually, you will start to fade, then remove, your movement of walking toward your dog and only use your verbal cue, BACK.

Teaching a dog to back up in open spaces.

If you prefer or you do not have 4-6 chairs, you can teach your dog to back up without any props. However, this can be a bit trickier since your dog will have the option of just spinning around, moving in another direction or backing up crooked.

  1. Grab some healthy and tasty dog treats.
  2. Encourage your dog to come toward you, as soon as he does, place a treat right in front of his nose as you walk toward him.
  3. As soon as he takes a step back, say YES and follow up with a treat. Repeat this process until your dog is getting the hang of it.
  4. Once your dog is reliable and comfortable with step 3, wait until your dog takes more than one step backward before saying YES and treating. Then 3, 4, etc. As you progress his steps, watch his body and position. You want his backing up behavior to be pretty straight—if not, you will end up teaching him to circle backward! A trick for another day.
  5. Once your dog is reliably walking backward and not sitting, it’s time to introduce your dog’s cue. Say, “BACK” just before you walk toward your dog. Now, he will start to associate the word with the action.
  6. Finally, remove the food lure, ask your dog to BACK, walk toward him, and when he takes a few steps back, YES and reward. Eventually, you will start to fade, then remove, your movement of walking toward your dog and only use your verbal cue, BACK.

And there you have it. A fun and easy way to teach your dog to back up or walk backward.


Have you taught your dog to back up? Tell me in the comments.

I thought it would be a good day to talk about how to teach your dog to back up or walk backward. Back when I trained service dogs, this was a behavior we taught all the service dogs. This allowed people in wheelchairs the option of just moving backward in a tight spot and their service dog would back up in position.
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Pet enrichment is so important for a pet's well-being. Dogs and cats are very smart and engaged animals that need activity and mental stimulation in order to thrive. I'm a huge fan of feeding a dog out of a food toy, particularity if that dog is a puppy, adolescent, or active dog breed. These dogs need as much enrichment as possible just to keep them out of trouble. ;)

Dog and Cat Enrichment, Activities and Puzzle Toys is Key to a Good Relationship

The Importance of Dog and Cat Enrichment and Games

Pet enrichment is so important for a pet's well-being. Dogs and cats are very smart and engaged animals that need activity and mental stimulation in order to thrive. I'm a huge fan of feeding a dog out of a food toy, particularity if that dog is a puppy, adolescent, or active dog breed. These dogs need as much enrichment as possible just to keep them out of trouble. ;)
Pet Enrichment is Necessary

Today is National Puzzle Day. I thought this would be a good day to talk about the importance of dog games and encourage you to think outside the box when finding interactive dog puzzle toys for your dog. I absolutely love all the great manufactured dog puzzle toys, dog treat and food puzzle games and toys that are on the market today to help keep our dogs busy. I remember back when I first started my career, there were only a few dog puzzle toys for dogs and none for cats! But now, there are loads of them.

Pet enrichment is so important for a pet’s well-being. Dogs and cats are very smart and engaged animals that need activity and mental stimulation in order to thrive. I’m a huge fan of feeding a dog out of a food toy, particularity if that dog is a puppy, adolescent, or active dog breed. These dogs need as much enrichment as possible just to keep them out of trouble. 😉

Pet enrichment is so important for a pet's well-being. Dogs and cats are very smart and engaged animals that need activity and mental stimulation in order to thrive. I'm a huge fan of feeding a dog out of a food toy, particularity if that dog is a puppy, adolescent, or active dog breed. These dogs need as much enrichment as possible just to keep them out of trouble. ;)
Pet Enrichment Activities

But let’s not forget about cat games and cat puzzle toys. Cats, too, need enrichment, entertainment, and interaction with their human family. Once again, particularly if you have a kitten, adolescent, or active cat breed.

A word of caution when using interactive pet toys. Don’t assume that this is the only activity your pet needs. Tossing your pet a great food-filled toy does not mean you don’t need to spend quality time interacting and playing with your pet. I mean, if you brought your pet into your home, that means you are their entertainment, their life—their whole world. Please take that commitment seriously and get out there and play, connect and bond with your dog and cat daily. They deserve it and are only on this planet for a short time, so make their time here rich. You don’t want to think to yourself, “if I only.”

Go live today.


What activity do you and your pet enjoy the most? Tell me in the comments.

Pet enrichment is so important for a pet's well-being. Dogs and cats are very smart and engaged animals that need activity and mental stimulation in order to thrive. I'm a huge fan of feeding a dog out of a food toy, particularity if that dog is a puppy, adolescent, or active dog breed. These dogs need as much enrichment as possible just to keep them out of trouble. ;)
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As a pet lover and primate, my soul craves to hug and cuddle my pets. I would just love to grab my dog, Dexter and give him a big squeeze. Or to pick up Nutter The Cat, hold him tight and smother him with kisses. Unfortunately, our dogs and cats don't tend to hold the same feeling about a great big bear hug.

Do Dogs Like to Be Hugged? Should You Hug Your Dog or Cat?

Should You Hug Your Dog or Cat?

Do Dogs Like to Be Hugged?

As a pet lover and primate, my soul craves to hug and cuddle my pets. I would just love to grab my dog, Dexter and give him a big squeeze. Or to pick up Nutter The Cat, hold him tight and smother him with kisses. Unfortunately, our dogs and cats don't tend to hold the same feeling about a great big bear hug.
Should you hug your dog or cat?

As a pet lover and primate, my soul craves to hug and cuddle my pets. I would just love to grab my dog, Dexter and give him a big squeeze. Or to pick up Nutter The Cat, hold him tight and smother him with kisses. Unfortunately, our dogs and cats don’t tend to hold the same feeling about a great big bear hug.

Pet behaviorists, ethologists, and pet and dog trainers have been speaking out about dogs and cats not liking to be hugged for as long as I can remember. Deep down, we know that the majority of dogs and cats do not like being hugged, but most will tolerate it. If they don’t tolerate it, watch out. They have some big teeth and claws! In 2016, Stanley Coren Ph.D. brought up the topic once again, reviewing 250 photographs of dogs being hugged and noted their body language for stress signals or signs of being uncomfortable. He concluded, “In all, 81.6% of the photographs researchers scored showed dogs who were giving off at least one sign of discomfort, stress, or anxiety. Only 7.6% of the photographs could rate as showing dogs that were comfortable with being hugged. The remaining 10.8% of the dogs either were showing neutral or ambiguous responses to this form of physical contact.” Visit study.

I know, I know, I will have comments that your dog or cat loves to be hugged or loves to be kissed on the face. As with everything, there are pets that don’t follow the rules and truly do love hugs and kisses. And for the majority of dogs and cats that don’t enjoy hugs, don’t worry—that doesn’t mean your pet doesn’t love you! He just doesn’t appreciate being squeezed or confined.

How can you tell if your dog or cat likes hugs?

Five tips for evaluating your dog or cat’s response to hugs

  1. Ducking or moving away: If you reach in to give your pet a hug and he ducks his head or moves away, he’s probably avoiding the hug. On the other hand, if you go to reach for a hug and he moves closer for an embrace, he just may enjoy a light squeeze.
  2. Feels tense or stiff: If you are in the middle of hugging your pet and your pet’s body feels rigid, stiff or tense, that’s a no for hugs. If he feels loose or soft, he may be enjoying his hug.
  3. Tight eyes, almond eyes or whale eyes: If you are reaching to hug your pet or in the middle of a hug and you see your dog’s eyes are pulled back, or see the whites more than usual, he’s not a fan. A cat’s eyes may get extra-large and dilated like saucers. On the other side, if your pet’s eyes are the same as usual and are soft and relaxed, he may be a go for hugging.
  4. Tight mouth, pucker, growl or snarl: Once again, if your pet’s mouth changes from a nice, normal, loose expression to a tight, lips pulled back or lips poofed out into a pucker, avoid the hug. If on the other hand, he still has a soft, goofy mouth, he may be giving you the green light.
  5. Ears back or down: Ear carriage is probably one of the easiest things to look at on a dog or cat. Think about where your dog or cat normally has their ears, and now look at them as you reach in for a hug. Did they drop down or move back? That would be a no. Maybe they stayed the same and even had a flirty move, maybe a yes.
As a pet lover and primate, my soul craves to hug and cuddle my pets. I would just love to grab my dog, Dexter and give him a big squeeze. Or to pick up Nutter The Cat, hold him tight and smother him with kisses. Unfortunately, our dogs and cats don't tend to hold the same feeling about a great big bear hug.
Ears back

When in doubt, just don’t hug. But don’t worry, there are lots of ways to cuddle and show your pet affection. The first thing is always to ask your dog or cat to come up to you for attention. Each pet is different in their needs and wants. Learn what really makes your pet tick. What does your dog or cat really enjoy? Is it a good chin rub? Or maybe he likes a butt scratch. How do you know? He will be light and soft in his movements, his face will be “happy” by being light, open and waggly. He also will ask for more instead of leaving. Believe me—most pets will be relieved if you drop the hug.


What does your pet enjoy for attention? Tell me in the comments.

As a pet lover and primate, my soul craves to hug and cuddle my pets. I would just love to grab my dog, Dexter and give him a big squeeze. Or to pick up Nutter The Cat, hold him tight and smother him with kisses. Unfortunately, our dogs and cats don't tend to hold the same feeling about a great big bear hug.
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Best dog food for pets
Learn how to home cook for your dogs.

Healthy Dog Treat Recipes
Healthy dog treat recipes

 

This dog training game is a way to allow and encourage a dog to offer his own behaviors and reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behavior you are not going for. This type of dog training, or shaping, is great for encouraging a dog who is somewhat shut down to offer behaviors. In the beginning stages of the 101 Things to Do With a Box game, you want your dog to be almost always right!

Dog Training Games: Clicker Training Games | 101 Things to Do With a Box

Dog Training Games

Dog Clicker Games: 101 Things to Do With a Box

This dog training game is a way to allow and encourage a dog to offer his own behaviors and reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behavior you are not going for. This type of dog training, or shaping, is great for encouraging a dog who is somewhat shut down to offer behaviors. In the beginning stages of the 101 Things to Do With a Box game, you want your dog to be almost always right!
Clicker training dogs is fun!

Positive dog training and dog enrichment and games have come a long way over the years. I remember one of the first “games” or dog training lessons I was taught was Karen Pryor‘s 101 Things to Do With a Box.

This dog training game is a way to allow and encourage a dog to offer his own behaviors and reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behavior you are not going for. This type of dog training, or shaping, is great for encouraging a dog who is somewhat shut down to offer behaviors. In the beginning stages of the 101 Things to Do With a Box game, you want your dog to be almost always right! Anything he does that even remotely relates to the exercise gets clicked and treated (learn about clicker training here). Once the dog is easily offering random behaviors, then you can, if you choose, switch to basic shaping with a goal behavior.

In the beginning stages of the game, you may feel like your dog does not understand what he is doing to get the click, and you are probably right. But after a few sessions of the game, the light bulb will go off and your dog will learn it’s because he did x. Then, the training really begins!

Getting Started You can use any old cardboard box for this, or it doesn’t even have to be a box. You can play 101 Things to Do With Anything, but you should start with a random item. Maybe a pan, book or pillow.

  1. Grab a handful of high-value dog treats and place them in your pocket.
  2. Your dog can be on leash, or off, if he’ll stay and keep working with you.
  3. Place your object on the floor and be ready. You will be clicking anything your dog does related to the object– a look, a step, a sniff, a push—anything and everything.

    This dog training game is a way to allow and encourage a dog to offer his own behaviors and reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behavior you are not going for. This type of dog training, or shaping, is great for encouraging a dog who is somewhat shut down to offer behaviors. In the beginning stages of the 101 Things to Do With a Box game, you want your dog to be almost always right!
    Anything gets a reward.
  4. When you click your dog for a behavior, toss the reward in various places around the object. You can then click again if your dog steps on the object, or goes past the object, etc. You are looking to get as much object action as you can, but at the same time, teach your dog it’s the box that is causing the click. Therefore, on some of your treat tosses, toss the treat away from the box, allowing your dog to make a choice to interact, look, or move toward the box.

    This dog training game is a way to allow and encourage a dog to offer his own behaviors and reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behavior you are not going for. This type of dog training, or shaping, is great for encouraging a dog who is somewhat shut down to offer behaviors. In the beginning stages of the 101 Things to Do With a Box game, you want your dog to be almost always right!
    How to clicker train your dog.
  5. End the game with a nice jackpot of treats and fuss. Pick up the object and put it away until your next game.

There will be a moment when your dog “gets it” and starts to eagerly interact with the object. This is when you can start to choose what you want to reward. For example, you have been clicking and treating everything. Now, only click and treat when your dog puts his foot on the object. This is now your new goal. You are only clicking and rewarding your dog when his foot touches the object—all other offerings are ignored. Once your dog catches on to this new game, and has quite a few rewarding sessions, change your goal again, and only click and treat when both feet are on the object. This is how you can train a specific behavior. How fun is this?!

In the end, your dog is learning to learn and build confidence in learning. 101 Things to Do With a Box is an amazing game for a rescued dog, fearful dog, kids and dogs, puppies or people learning how to train dogs. The skill for the dog trainer is learning timing and how to reward a dog quickly and how to read a dog. It’s a great training game. So, grab a box, your dog clicker, healthy dog treats, and your pooch, and give it a shot.


Have you ever played 101 Things To Do With A Box? Tell me in the comments.

This dog training game is a way to allow and encourage a dog to offer his own behaviors and reward the behaviors you like and ignore the behavior you are not going for. This type of dog training, or shaping, is great for encouraging a dog who is somewhat shut down to offer behaviors. In the beginning stages of the 101 Things to Do With a Box game, you want your dog to be almost always right!
Pin it

Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome.

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