Olympic-Inspired Crafts, Games & Home Decor Tips

The Summer Olympics only happen once every four years. It’s an exciting time for Americans to cheer on all kinds of aspiring athletes. Celebrate the American way with Olympic-inspired crafts, games and decor tips.

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Design Tips to Make Your Living Room Scream USA!
There’s no better time to add some star-spangled style to your living space. For two weeks every four years, the Summer Games inspire excitement and national pride that can disappear as soon as the competition ends. Maintain your love of country even after the medals are won by giving your home an American look.

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Creative Olympic Crafts for Kids
Even with the summer Olympics right around the corner, most of the younger children in your family are probably more interested in their own games than the events in Rio. If you can”t spark their interest in the Olympics by turning on the TV, you can get them excited about the events with these fun home crafts.

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Ideas to Make Backyard Sports Safer for Kids
If you’re like most parents, you’re interested in anything that gets your kids off the couch. Playing sports in the backyard might be just the ticket. Backyard sports are a pressure-free way for kids to practice their skills without a coach glaring over their shoulders. Make your backyard a safe place to practice with these tips.

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Animal Olympics: Fun Games to Play with Your Dog
Watching the Olympics inspires many of us to get outside. Playing sports with the family is great, as long as you don’t forget to include your canine friend. If your dog is sitting on the sidelines and begging to be a part of the action, use a few of these dog-friendly ideas to put together an animal Olympics in your backyard.

9 Things to Make Your February More Cheerful

February is a tough month — with the gray skies and snow-covered ground, we need a little bit of sunshine to get us to March — even if it’s metaphorical sunshine! Here are 9 things to make your February more cheerful.

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Cats We love how our cats pounce, lick and purr — by instinct, that’s how they communicate with each other. To us, they communicate using a special language developed only for humans: meowing!

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Raccoons Raccoons love water so it’s not much of a surprise that this one’s not afraid of the sprinkler. They almost never build their homes more than 1200 feet from a water source.

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Lions Lions are very affectionate creatures. In their downtime (they spend up to 20 hours a day lounging!), they rub heads and groom each other. If they were average house cats, they would purr, but lions don’t purr. They prefer to roar to communicate vocally, which can be heard five miles away!

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Sea Otters Otters are funny little mammals that can live their entire lives without leaving the water. They survive on marine life like sea urchins and shellfish. But sometimes getting the fish out of the shell is tough, so they have to use rocks to crack them open. And if they find a useful rock they like for hunting, they keep it in their built-in underarm pockets.

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Elephants While these little guys are using their trunks to splash water on themselves to keep cool, elephants can use their trunks for snorkeling, drinking and, most importantly, smelling, too. Because they’re so big — trunks can weigh up to 400 pounds! — they have plenty of olfactory receptors. In fact, they have so many they can sniff out a water source from twelve miles away.

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Bunnies Bunnies love companions! They’re very social creatures and, generally, they should always be kept in pairs. Rabbits tend to get lonely and can develop weird behaviors if they don’t have playmates.

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Hedgehogs Those little spines on hedgehogs make them slightly similar to porcupines, but the are not related. However, like porcupines, hedgehogs do use the spines as a defense mechanism; they keep predators from taking a bite out of them. Each hedgehog can have up to 7,000 spines all over their backs but their faces and bellies remain soft.

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Goats Goats are always up for a little bouncing around. While this is just a wobbly sheet of metal, goats are known to ride around on the backs of bigger animals with their signature bounce. And that bounce is, indirectly, how we get our morning boost. Coffee was discovered when goat herders noticed the goats had a lot of energy after munching on coffee beans.

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Dogs Dogs are amazing creatures! They’re about as smart as two-year-olds and can understand more than 200 words as well as count up to five. And, of course, we can’t forget their noses! We all know they can smell well, but a fun fact about their noses is that they stay wet so dogs can tell which direction a scent is coming from.

At The Lakeside Collection, we have products and ideas to make every month bright! Whether you need pet toys in February to stave off your dog’s cabin fever, or you need beach towels for your June road trip to the beach, shop Lakeside for unique products at reasonable prices.

Dog-Friendly Destinations for Labor Day

girl-with-dogThat cool breeze you felt this morning is a sign that Labor Day is almost here — but so is National Dog Day. Since we know you don’t like to leave town without your furry friend, we came up with a list to honor both Dog Day and Labor Day. Here are 5 dog-friendly destinations for Labor Day.

Columbus, OH Warm and friendly in the summertime, Columbus, OH isn’t just a break in the cornfields, it’s also a place your pup feels at home. With more than fifty pet-friendly hotels, finding a place to stay with your dog is easy. When you’re out and about there are several dog parks where your dog can run around and do what dogs do best — play! The Scioto Audubon Dog Park offers a sand pit for dogs to dig as well as an agility course. There are also a couple of trails where you can explore the green space with your pup. Big Walnut Dog Park has a swimming pond for your pooch, but if you just want to go on a walk, the Olentangy Greenway is a good place for a jaunt.

dog-runningSan Diego, CA If your sights are set on California, head down to San Diego. Not only is it an awesome place for the family to visit, but it’s a place where your pup can fall in love. Not only are there more than 100 pet-friendly hotels, but it’s the home of The Original Dog Beach where dogs can jump waves and scamper in the sand leash-free. Fiesta Island also has an off leash dog park where your dog can romp around on the shores. If the water isn’t your dog’s thing, take your dog to Cowles Mountain for a hike or take a stroll through the Cabrillo Tide Pools Trail, but you’ll need a leash.

San Antonio, TX Deep in the heart of Texas is a special place dogs can call their temporary home: San Antonio. With more than 150 pet-friendly hotels, making this a Labor Day destination for the whole family should be easy. There are also many off-leash dog parks  to choose from. It gets hot in Texas, so most of the dog parks have places for pups to rinse off with plenty of drinking water. The Tom Slick Dog Park and Pearsall Dog Park have picnic tables and fountains for the whole family to enjoy while your pup plays.

Lancaster, PA When we think of Lancaster, PA, we think of covered bridges, horse drawn buggies and the Amish experience, but it’s also a great place to get away with your dog. There are about fifteen pet-friendly hotels and it has more than a few dog-friendly spots to nosh. You can even bring your dog shopping! At Stoudtburg Village, there are several pet-friendly stores will occasional pet-friendly events. For play, Beau’s Dream Dog Park is like a resort for dogs with splash pads, a tennis ball tree and plenty of drinking water.dogs-on-a-beach

Key West, FL If your your Labor Day plans mean a trip to the Keys, make sure to bring your dog with you! There are more than 200 pet-friendly hotels to choose from and more than 30 dog-friendly restaurants. But that’s just the practical part — the fun includes kayaking with your pup at Lazy Dog Kayak or dolphin watching with your dog at Wild About Dolphins. If you need solid ground, you can take your dog to Higgs Beach Dog Park to frolic in the sand.

Every day is National Dog Day at The Lakeside Collection. From ideas to give your dog a little more love to products to keep them comfortable year-round, shop Lakeside for great products at practical prices.

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!

National Cuddle Up Day: Items for Your Pet to Cuddle With

January 6 is National Cuddle Up Day! The beginning of January is the perfect time to remind us to cuddle up with those who are closest to us… including our pets! Those little snuggle monsters don’t need an excuse to get cozy with you, but a little gift of warmth lets them know we appreciate their snuggles. Here are 5 items for your pet to cuddle with on Cuddle Up Day.

Pet-ThrowMake your furry friends comfy with a Quilted Pet Throw or Shaped Pillow! Your precious pup or cuddly kitty will love stretching out for a nap or get wrapped in for cold winter days with the soft, warm throw and a place to rest his head on the cushy paw-shaped pillow. Your pet deserves to be comfortable and adorable at the same time! Of course, humans can use the throws, too! They’re perfect for cuddling away a snowy afternoon.

waterproof-pet-bedGive your puppy or aging dog with bladder issues a comfortable spot to rest with this Waterproof Pet Bed. This durable, polyester bed is stuffed with polyfill and surrounded by sturdy padded foam bumpers for extreme comfort and support. Use it on its own or in a crate to keep your furry friend comfortable at all times — but especially on Cuddle Up Day. But if today’s no good for cuddling, the waterproof surface allows you to easily wipe off dander, hair and messes so every day can be Cuddle Up Day.

patchwork-pet-bedsCozy Patchwork Pet Bed is made to look like a soft quilt, but its super padding makes it ideal for your tired pup to snuggle up on. Each of the 9 patches has a different dog-themed design for a cute piece that’s a comfy place for your pet to curl up and rest.

dog-toy2-In-1 Animal Dog Toy does double duty to provide hours of fun for your dog and something to comfy to rest on when the day is done! The plush animal has a squeaker for sedentary play and the attached plush flying disc has 5 squeakers to make a game of  catch five times more fun! But when he’s worn out from all the play, the plush animal makes the perfect pillow to cuddle up with.

pet-bedThe Plush Thermal Self-Heating Pet Bed is the must-have pet product for this winter and Cuddle Up Day! It works by recycling your pet’s own heat using a reflective silver foil sheet inside the extra-puffy fleece. It’ll keep your furry friend cozy when the temperatures drop while soothing his aches and pains. There’s no better bed for your pet to cuddle up on!
On Cuddle Up Day, don’t forget your pets! They bring you sunshine on the darkest days of winter and they deserve a little extra cuddling this January.

3 Holiday Gift Ideas For Dogs

Dog-BallThe holidays are the best time of the year, and it is important to include your pets and the pets of friends and family. Every dog from a teacup pup to a big and rowdy retriever deserves something under the tree or tucked in a stocking. Here are our favorite gift ideas for dogs.

Toys For so many owners, pets are part of the family. It makes sense to delight them the same way you would a child—with toys! In addition to being fun, toys stimulate your dog’s mind, promote exercise, and discourage destructive behavior. Go big with a Giant Ball Dog Toy, or give them something to really chew on with a Set of 2 Rope Head Dog Toys. There are even holiday-themed toys for extra seasonal fun.

Dog-treatsTreats Humans know the holidays are a time of special foods—many of which are not safe for dogs. Give your pet a taste of the festivities with fun treats made just for them. Look for something from a dedicated canine bakery. This box of
gourmet dog treats
features snacks that look like cookies, as well as sophisticated “puppy fours”. If you prefer the homemade approach, make some special snacks at home with a Bake-a-Bone™ Dog Treat Maker. Whatever you decide to treat your puppy with, make sure it is safe for dogs and does not include ingredients that are dangerous for dogs.

Dog-Calm-CoatCold-Weather Gear While they may seem like pure whimsy, sweaters and coats for dogs are functional, as well as cute. Many short-haired dogs of breeds created in warm climates live in cold places. Winter’s chill can be as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. It makes dogs reluctant to go outside for exercise. Don’t forget booties to protect delicate paw pads from frozen sidewalks and irritating ice melter. Although dogs cannot see what they look like when dressed to go outside, they surely will love the attention they will get wearing adorable winter clothes.
Having dogs in your life is something that makes every day of the year a little brighter. Make the holidays shine for them with a thoughtful gift and a scratch behind the ears. It is a wonderful way to show them how you care!

6 Personalized Presents to Fit Just About Anyone on Your List

Coming up with the people to put on your holiday gift list is easy; making those gifts unique is a different kind of task. We’ve come up with a few items to make each of your gifts exceptional and personal. Here are 6 personalized presents to fit just about anyone on your list.

Personalized-pet-furniture-coverFor the Furry Friend The Personalized Pet Furniture Covers gives a dog or cat owner peace of mind when the pets jump on the couch. The furniture cover protects upholstered sofas, couches and chairs from soil, pet hair and scratches with the personal touch of their beloved pet’s name. The quilted, throw-style cover fits almost any size and style chair, loveseat or sofa.

Personalized-sleeping-bagIndividual Nap Sack This Personalized Sleeping Bag is perfect for sleepovers, camping trips or hanging out in the living room!  Soft and warm, it is sure to keep them nice and cozy. Rolls up and easily fits in the included carrying tote making it convenient for traveling and adding a name to be stitched in makes it practical and personal.

Personalized-pendantPersonal Pendants For your spiritual loved ones, have their names added to the Personalized Cross Pendant for a unique and unforgettable present. The shimmering yet subtle pendant has a cutout cross that can be worn every day or on special occasions.

Adorable Dolls Make this holiday extra special for the little girl in your life with a Personalized Holiday Rag Doll. She’ll love playing with this adorable rag doll with her name or her favorite name embroidered on to the doll’s dress! Dressed in a holiday romper, this doll will make Christmas morning one your little girl won’t want to forget.

Personalized-babyPersonal Pajamas Personalized Infant Long Johns are a cute gift that will keep them cozy. These charming long johns are perfect for taking naps or crawling around the house on Christmas! Personalize the back flap with a name or a cute phrase like “Baby’s First Christmas” to make the season memorable.

Personalized-sibling-tshirtCollectively Cute This Personalized Sibling T-Shirt is a perfect gift for a new big sister or brother, as well as for the new addition to the family! Personalize each with either “little,” “middle” or “big” and the child’s name. It looks adorable and makes a great photo op when siblings wear these shirts together.

The Lakeside Collection has hundreds of other gifts to choose from. Whether you want to make your gift personal or you want to make it practical, we have gifts to suit any personality.

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

halloween-dog-collarHalloween is a night everyone gets dressed up and hits the streets for candy! We love to take our pets with us, but there are some Halloween pet safety tips to think about before we start putting up Halloween decorations or bring out the candy for trick-or-treaters.

halloween-dog-costumeCute Costumes We can’t resist dogs and cats in costumes! But our pets might not be as keen on costumes as we are. When you have the costume picked out and ready to go, let your pet do a test run. Make sure there are no little pieces they want to chew off to become a choking hazard. Check that  they can see, hear, move comfortably, and they’re not irritated by the costume. It can cause a lot of stress for our furry friends and we want them to be as happy as possible. If they don’t like the full costume, a bow or fancy collar may please both pet and owner.

Ghoulish Goodies

Get special dog treats for Halloween to steer them away from Halloween candy! Children’s candy can be a toxic temptation for pets. Dogs love chocolate, but chocolate does not love them. It contains theobromine which is toxic to pets. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains. A few bites of milk chocolate which contains the least amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Baking chocolate contains the most — even the smallest amount can kill a dog.

Sugar-free candy can also be hazardous for your pets. The artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic for dogs. It can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar leading to tremors, seizures and sometimes death. It’s found in human treats like gum and mints. halloween-dog-treats

Trick-or-treating

On Halloween night, only take dogs with you if they are crowd-friendly. While they might be OK going out on their morning walks, Halloween brings out a lot more people — who don’t necessarily look like people. You don’t want them to get stressed out; they may not react the way they normally do even in a familiar neighborhood.

For those pets staying at home, all the people coming to the door and all of the opening and closing may cause alarm to your pets. To be kind to your dog and the kids in costumes, block off the entryway so they don’t get too excited or get out.

If your pet is an indoor-outdoor pet, keep them indoors on Halloween for the same reason you shouldn’t take them trick-or-treating; the unfamiliar costumes and number of people out and about may stress them out. Additionally, though there are myths surrounding black cats being the victims of pranksters around Halloween, the bigger concern is that they can’t be seen in the dark and get hit by cars. As an extra precaution on Halloween, make sure all pets have an ID tag in case they do get loose in the chaos of the holiday.

pumpkin-headDevilish Decorations

You know your pets and you know what they like to chew on, rub up against or bat. When you’re putting up Halloween decor, look out for little things that can be easily chewed off and swallowed. If you have a cat, think about what they like to climb and if your Halloween decor might be a temptation.

Be careful with jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkin in small amounts can be good for dogs’ digestion, if they eat too much, it will upset their stomachs. It’s also high in vitamin A which can be toxic if a dog consumes too much.

Use LED lights instead of candles. Cats and dogs don’t know the power of their tails and they can knock over candles or jack-o-lanterns lit by tea lights causing a fire. LED lights also eliminates the risk of a curious kitten getting burned.

We ramp up safety precautions for our kids on Halloween, but pets are part of the family, too; it only makes sense for us to take care of their Halloween needs as well.

Our Dog Models

Dogs-1July 31st is National Mutts Day. At Lakeside we think all dogs are cute, but we can only put so many in our catalog. In honor of Mutts Day, we’d like to introduce you to some of our dog models.

This is Ginger. She's a rescue dog. Her owner and trainer nursed her back to health after having serious hip problems. As you can see, she recovered well as she models a snug faux fur coat in faux snow.

Ginger patiently poses in her fur coat.

 

This is Ginger. She’s a rescue dog. She had a broken hip when she went to live with her foster family. While her foster family nursed her back to health, she  won them over and now has a permanent home.  As you can see, she cleans up well — she dazzles and charms with or without a snug faux fur coat in faux snow but she’d wear just about anything and pose anywhere for a nibble of a tasty snack.

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Olive holds her toy while the photographer gets just the right shot.

This is Olive. This darling dog is as sweet as she is cute. She’s an expert at holding a squeaky toy at just the right tilt for the camera to showcase the toy as well as her beauty. But she hasn’t always led the charmed life. Before she got into modeling, she was a leftover pup from a puppy mill; she was on the block to be auctioned off. Her owner and trainer took her in where she’s one of many loved pups. Her owner/trainer knew she had a lot of potential as a model, but with a personality to match her beauty, she’s also a therapy dog. She frequently goes to hospitals to visit patients to let them pet her.

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Cajun lounges with her stuffed friends as the camera snaps and flashes.

Cajun is sweet and mild-mannered — a disposition that puts people at ease. She is well-trained — she has 17 titles — but it’s her personality that makes her such a great dog. Not only can she sit still for the cameras while keeping toys in place atop her paws, but she’s also a great listener which she applies in her work as a therapy dog. Her main gig is going to libraries where she sits and listens as people read to her.

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Rex listens intently as the set stylist and the trainer gives her directions.

 

Rex is a bubbly dog who will run across fields and scamper through ponds to fetch your camouflage bone and return it to you. Though he loves to run around and be a dog, he also likes to be fussed over and he’ll generally sit still to watch his brothers and sisters work. But, of course, he’ll do it for a price: doggy treats. Rex was not a rescue, but he’s done his share of therapy. He helped nurse his sister back to health when he was just a pup.

Whether your dog is a model or just vacuum cleaner with paws, celebrate your pup for National Mutts Day by showing him he’s special.

 

 

 

 

Pinteresting Picks for June

July starts tomorrow and it’s finally starting to feel like summer — and it’s showing on our Pinterest boards. Our followers definitely had vacation on their minds in June. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for June.

shatter-proof-pitcher

Your family will love to help themselves to a refreshing beverage with the ergonomic Shatter-Resistant Pitcher. Clear container resists shattering if dropped for worry-free use. Built-in handle is effortless to grasp, and the easy-pour seal-tight lid keeps the contents fresh.

Sumo-bumper-bopper

This big and bouncy Sumo Bumper Bopper will have kids running around your backyard like it’s a bumper car arena. Kids will love to bop, sock and bump in this inflatable bopper. Handles on the side give kids extra stability. Repair patch included. Made of heavy-duty vinyl for rugged durability.

kabab-rack

BBQ, Hang & Serve Kabob Rack is an impressive way to offer delicious shish kabobs to friends and family. Use the 6 skewers to grill your favorite combinations of meat, vegetables and seafood. After they’re done, use the hooks to hang the skewers on the rack so everyone can select a kabob and serve themselves. Includes forks for sliding the food off the skewers. It’s a great idea for a buffet! The rack collapses for storage.

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No-Tangle Dual Pet Leash makes it easy to walk two dogs at once, even if they’re different sizes. Two leads connect to a single handle at a swivel joint that keeps them from crossing over each other. The leash is braided for strength and durability. Features an ergonomic handle and strong metal spring snaps.