Valentine’s Day: Show Your Dogs You Love Them

Puppy-loveWith Valentine’s Day coming up, you want to show your love to everyone important to you — not just your sweetheart. Of course, your cute canines are on the short list for affection — and we have a few ideas to make their Valentine’s Day special. Here are 5 ways to show your dogs you love them.

Grooming Dogs spend a lot of time licking themselves. They do this mostly to keep themselves clean, get rid of parasites and to remove chemical irritants from their coats that they picked up from our environment. It’s a lot of work to keep that coat shiny, so why not give your dog a break? Show your pups some love by doing a good grooming for them. You can do it yourself or make an appointment to see a professional. The American Society to the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals recommends having them groomed every three months.

DogGet a Checkup As humans, we go to the doctor regularly — even when we’re feeling OK — just to make sure everything is in working order. Dogs need the same kind of routine. They can’t tell you they have aches or pains or even if they’re feeling anything unusual. Veterinarians are trained to see and feel things on our pets that we can’t. It’s worth taking them to the vet to make sure nothing is wrong and for peace of mind. The Humane Society recommends taking your dog to the vet at least once a year.

Keep Your Dog Fit Every dog owner wants their pups to stay active and healthy for as long as possible. Just like humans, they need to keep their weight down for longer, healthier lives. Talk to your vet about how much food your dog should be getting every day. Keeping an eye on how much they eat and taking them out for walks and giving them toys to keep them active can help keep them maintain a healthy weight to prevent health problems like arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.

Play Dates and Dog Parks Dogs are pack animals — instinctively, they are drawn to other dogs for socializing and playtime. Not only is it fun for them, but getting used to people and animals outside your family helps train them to be calm and cooperative outside of the home. While your love and affection is important to keep them happy, show them a little bit more love by taking them out to play with other dogs.

Dog-bedCreature Comforts Just like humans, dogs love a good soft toy or blanket to cuddle up with at night. Not all dogs do this, but it’s not unusual for some to get attached to items to bring them comfort. Give them a little bit of love by getting them a new comfy pet bed or a new cushion to make their house a little more cozy.
However you decide to honor your dog on Valentine’s Day, The Lakeside Collection has ideas and products keep your pup feeling loved and happy. If you haven’t done it already, check out our Paws and Kisses Pet Photo Contest and show us just how lovable your pet is!

Make a Difference Day: 5 Ways You Can Make a Difference

volunteersOctober 25th is Make a Difference Day. It’s a day that was created to encourage people to improve the lives of others. For some people, being of service to other people is second nature, for others, it takes some effort. For those of you who need some inspiration, here are 5 ways you can make a difference.

Raise Money for Victims of Disasters Disasters hit anytime and anywhere. The American Red Cross aids in about 70,000 disasters in the United States every year. From forest fires to hurricanes, millions of people are touched by disasters and are in need of help — whether it’s food, clothing or shelter. Raising money for the Red Cross or another disaster relief organization provides aid in all forms to people who have lost everything due to disasters.

petcaveFoster a Dog or Cat According to the ASPCA, more than seven million pets are taken in by animal shelters every year — almost three million are euthanized. Some shelters don’t have the space to accommodate every cat or dog that needs a home and some pets aren’t wired to be around that many animals or they’re too young. Rather than euthanize healthy cats and dogs, shelters make fostering available to people who can’t provide a forever home. By fostering one pet, you can make a difference in the lives of many pets. If you’re an animal lover, giving a temporary home to a shelter pet is rewarding for both you and the animals.

Support the Troops and Their Families There are many ways you can support our troops! If you want to go big, you can donate money or volunteer at organizations like Project Sanctuary. It’s a place where soldiers go with their families after returning from a tour of duty to heal and bond. But your contribution can be as simple as writing letters or sending care packages to deployed soldiers or even help mailing those packages — every little bit makes a difference.

volunteerHelp Your Neighbor You don’t have to think beyond your block to make a difference. You can make a difference to someone by doing little things like raking leaves in your senior neighbor’s yard, helping a single mom by walking her child to school or bringing a meal to a sick neighbor. Everyone needs help but not everyone asks for it; it’s up to you to offer it.

Volunteer at a Nursing Home There are a number of ways to volunteer at a nursing home, but one of the most appreciated is as a visiting friend. Talking and sharing stories doesn’t seem like much work, but seniors look forward to new friends and a chat over coffee. There are also programs in which you can visit seniors living alone in their own homes. Volunteers are especially needed around the holidays, but visiting volunteers are welcome year-round.

There are so many ways you can make a difference in someone’s life without even trying. Start small and eventually you’ll make a big difference.