Giving the discerning dog owner the "upper paw" on the best products, nutrition and training tips.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Puppy Power: Health Benefits of Viewing Animal Pictures and Videos

Today's world is 24/7, with a constant expectation for us to be accessible and responsive.  This is true in both our personal and professional lives.  It does not matter if you are answering work emails or watching TV while simultaneously texting your friends; our minds crave and have adapted to constant stimulation.  With all of the craziness that goes on in our daily lives; many of us eventually experience "burn out".  This mental exhaustion results in many of us striving to find balance and to maintain a sense of calm throughout the day-to-day 'storm'.  Queue the health and wellness gurus!  Common relaxation strategies may be yoga, meditation, spending time with family and friends, and of course, your dog!

In our last post, we featured Bristol and the amazing health and healing benefits that come from spending time with a canine pal.  Today, we are going to introduce exciting evidence that demonstrates how looking at pictures of baby animals and watching those adorable puppy videos reduces stress and promotes mental concentration.  Who knew?!

Naturally, viewing pictures and watching videos of cute and cuddly animals makes us smile and gives us happy feelings.  According to a group of scientists at Hiroshima University, they can also improve our levels of concentration.  In a series of experiments, researchers showed that people who viewed pictures of puppies and kittens had higher performance scores and were quicker in completing a series of tasks, conducted for purposes of the experiment, than those that had not viewed the baby animals.  This is affectionately called the "Power of Kawaii", which means "cute" in Japanese.

So, to help you smile, relax, and become more productive, we have put together a video compilation of some adorable videos!

In honor of my brother's love for cats and the end of Discovery Channel's SharkWeek...enjoy this video!

So remember, it can't hurt to take a few moments out of your day for some puppy love....afterall, it's good for you!


A & A

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Therapy Dogs: How Dogs Help Us Heal

Bristol looking sharp in his official vest

It has been quite some time since our last post.  We hope you are enjoying your summer as much as us!

Before we retire our Pup-of-the-Month, Bristol, we wanted to honor him with a post about therapy dogs and their miraculous ability to provide love and healing.  The bond between humans and dogs is truly amazing and that is what we wish to celebrate in this post.

Photo Credit:  Jax Custom Photography
Bristol on the job AND having fun!

Bristol began his journey as a puppy.  At just 9 months of age, he completed the 10-step test to become certified as a Canine Good Citizen.  This certification focuses on training and developing positive behaviors such as, successfully responding to commands from his handler, demonstrating polite and calm behavior with strangers and in crowds, and interacting positively with other dogs.  After completing his certification, Bristol began visiting an assisted living facility in his community.  His sweet nature and loving demeanor was bringing so much joy to others, that his owners, Susan and Jack, decided to expand his experience and their visits to local hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other organizations throughout their community.  Bristol has since completed his "Canine Masters Degree" by also achieving certification with Therapy Dogs, Inc. and Bright and Beautiful.

Photo Credit: Jax Custom Photograpy
Bristol giving kisses

What is pet therapy?

Pet therapy is the incorporation of animals into various settings and activities to help people heal and better manage difficult situations and health issues.  Pets will often visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and community organizations to interact directly with people.  They bring hope and comfort to the people they visit and take their minds off of life's challenges, even if only for a short period of time.  Studies have shown tremendous benefits in patients with cancer, heart disease, and mental health conditions.  For example, UCLA Medical Center published a study showing that a 12-minute visit with an assisted-therapy dog, "improved cardiopulmonary pressures, neurohormone levels, and anxiety in patients hospitalized with heart failure.American Journal of Critical Care, 2007 (

Common Benefits of Pet Therapy:

  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases a sense of calm while releasing endorphins
  • Creates and increases motivation for faster recovery
  • Increases socialization
  • Provides comfort
We hope you found this post inspiring and will consider volunteering your dog or yourself to help provide healing and hope to others.


A & A

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Revisiting DIY: Make this ear solution YOURSELF!!

With Memorial Day weekend behind us and the temps heating up, we thought this was a perfect time to revisit this post!!

Cleaning your pup's ears is most likely NOT one of your favorite tasks, however, it is important and essential to good health.  With Spring upon us, those hot sweaty days will turn into prime ear infection season for your dog and you need to be prepared.

So, how do you go about this aspect of grooming and maintenance?  Do you use a cotton ear swab with soap and water...eeek we hope not!  Do you use pre-medicated pads?  A solution purchased from your veterinarian?  The possibilities are endless and there are thousands of products on the market, but in our opinion....NOTHING beats this homemade solution.

This is a powerful, yet safe solution, that will last you for months and ensure your pooch never gets another ear infection.

1. 1 bottle of rubbing alcohol 16 oz.
2. Boric Acid Powder
3. Gentian Violet
4. Plastic bottle with applicator 4 oz. - 8 oz.

Step 1:

Pour the bottle of rubbing alcohol into your plastic bottle.

You can find these for $2 - $3 at any beauty supply store

Step 2:

Measure 2 oz. of Boric Acid Powder, approximately 2 tablespoons, and add to your alcohol.  

You can purchase at your local drugstore or online.  A 6 oz. bottle should be around $5

Step 3:

Add 8-10 drops of Gentian Violet to your solution and shake well.

Like the other ingredients, you can order from a drugstore pharmacy or reputable online source.  The price should be around $6 for 1-2 oz. bottle.

Did you know?  Both Boric Acid Powder and Gentian Violet are powerful antiseptic and anti-fungal agents used in many of our everyday products.

Step 4:

You final solution should have a lovely dark lavender hue and look something like this...

Add a small squirt of the solution into your pup's ear, massage and allow to sit for a few minutes.  Then take a gauze pad to clean out the gunk.

This is the only ear solution I use to clean my dogs' ears and I have never had another ear infection since we incorporated this into our routine.  The ingredients are easy to find and the solution is so simple.

We hope you give this DIY remedy a try!


A & A