Uncategorized

5 Pet Friendly Restaurants in NYC

If you’re anything like me, then you probably wish that you could take your dog everywhere with you.  And when I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE.  I mean, if I get to experience new things, why can’t he right?  While I wouldn’t be able to take either of my dogs to restaurants, because they would be begging everyone for food, it’s still nice to know that there are animal friendly options to eat in NYC.  So I composed a list of some of 4 favorite places that also let your pets hang out with you while you eat!

 

Barking Dog

1453 York Ave.

No matter where you look, this place is the number one dog friendly spot in NYC. They offer a dog friendly patio that even features a puppy drinking fountain.  This is an American Style restaurant, that offers reasonable pricing and great tasting food!  Great for lunch on a summer day.

Exterior.jpg

d.b.a

41 1st Ave.

A cute bar in the East Village, dba is the only place on this list that offers dog seating both indoors and outdoors.  While this is a bar, not a restaurant, it offers a very good atmosphere for a night on the town WITH your pup.  Plus they have a great selection of beers!

dba.jpg

Boat Basin Cafe

Riverside Park, West 79th St and Hudson River

If you have a dog who loves a good waterview, this is the place for you.  They offer only outdoor seating, so the entire restaurant is open to dogs, plus you get an overlook of the Hudson River.  They have food and drinks at reasonable prices, so it’s a great place for a good lunch or dinner!

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 9.29.46 AM.png

The Grey Dog’s Cafe

Chelsea, Union Square, West Village and Nolita

With multiple locations, this is a great place for coffee and offers outdoor dog seating!  So if you’re ever in the neighborhood for breakfast with your pup, make sure to stop by here for a cup of joe.  In addition to coffee, they also serve breakfast and lunch/dinner options.  So if you’re in the area and looking for something cute you can stop by here.  (They also offer their house-made granola for purchase, I definitely recommend.)

3-253x300.jpg

Bistro Chat Noir

Central Park, 22 E 6th St.

In the mood for some French food with your dog?  Come to Chat Noir, where they offer outdoor seating on leashed dogs.  The food is fantastic and they offer a great atmosphere to enjoy with your friends and your pet.  They are open seven days a week for brunch, lunch and dinner so enjoy a day in the city and end it here!
le-chat-noir.jpg

If anyone wants me to do these pet friendly restaurants for other cities send me a message and I’ll make sure to look into them and see what I can find!  Just know that most of these places offer outdoor only seating with dogs (as keeping your dogs inside can get stuffy and smelly fast) so if you do choose to go to these places make sure to bring things for your pup to stay hydrated and not overheated!

 

Uncategorized

Does Your Dog Pee Every Time You Come Home?

In February of this year, my brother and I adopted Ella, a gorgeous 1 year old pitbull mix with a slew of emotional and behavioral stress problems caused by a year of probable abuse.  When we first got her, she was very anxious, constantly had her tail between her legs, and peed whenever she felt was either excited, nervous or happy.  Now, having felt only love these past 6 months, she is one of the happiest little pups you’ll ever see, however there is one thing of her past she couldn’t let go of.  In moments of excitement, such as when my brother comes home from work, she still pees.  This isn’t because she’s untrained, however, Ella has a condition known as submissive urination.

IMG_5275

What is submissive urination?

Submissive urination is a normal way for dogs to communicate in the wild to show that they are not a threat.  In households, puppies tend to pee when greeting their owners out of general excitement to show appreciation and submissiveness, and with time they will outgrow this behavior. Some dogs, like Ella, who have either experienced trauma or lack confidence, tend to have this behavior continue as they get older.  In situations that trigger the urination dogs will also go into more submissive postures.  This can include lowering the body, tucking the tail, flattening the ears.  Another common expression is trying to “grin” which is often mistaken for aggression because they show their teeth however if your dog is prone to submissive urination this facial expression is out of deference.  

Submissive urination is different in every dog that displays the behaviors.  For some, urination can come in the form of a few dribbles when excited, while for others it is puddles, even if they were just walked.  Some dogs will only submissively urinate at the presence of their owner, while others will do so in the presence of guests or other dogs.  This is all dependent on your pet specifically.

How do you know it’s submissive urination?

For some dogs, compulsive urination is a symptom of a medical issue and not submissive urination.  That’s why before diagnosing your dog, make sure to rule out all of the medical problems first by taking them to a vet, especially if this is a behavior that sprung out of nowhere.  It may stem simply from them reacting to a change in their diet to a UTI or spay/neuter incontinence.  There are also other medical conditions that can cause frequent urination.  For younger dogs, or older but newly adopted dogs, this may just be a behavioral issue due to lack or incomplete house training.  However, if your dog is healthy and house trained, yet still displaying these behaviors, most likely it is submissive urination.

Can it be stopped?

Simply, yes.  There are many ways to basically “train” your dog to stop urinating when they’re excited, but the effects of these are dependent on your dog and the underlying reasons behind why.  For some dogs, simply training them out of the behavior by ignoring them during the times they would normally submissively urinate.  That means if your dog pees when you walk through the front door, instead of immediately greeting them, ignore them for the first ten minutes and then say hello.  However, for some dogs this may not work.  For example my dog, Ella, a dog with extreme separation anxiety (which is another cause that can be mistaken for submissive urination however in this case they go hand in hand) who was both abused and abandoned, her submissive urination stems from this need to show appreciation and love for us basically.  If we ignore her upon coming in, she just gets very sad and displays other behavioral issues in a way of defiance.  For dogs like her, I would suggest either training your dog to a certain behavior when someone comes into the front door, such as fetching a toy, or sitting down.  This is also a good way to train your puppy out of barking any time someone comes to the front door.  By having to do something else, they become too focused to urinate (or display any other behavior that may be unfavorable).

img_5004.jpg

Other ways to train your dog out of submissively urinating is to keep their routines and environments as consistent as possible.  If they will be in a situation other than their normal routine, make sure that the experience is positive and happy, even if it’s going to the vet.  Also, reward confident behavior, and also reward them if they do something good instead of urinate when they would normally do so.  If they become rewarded for being good, rather than punished for being “bad” they will gradually start going towards behaviors we find favorable.  If your dog is still being submissive, train them to do things such as sit or shake whenever you approach, which is still a submissive behavior but one that requires less of a clean up (and don’t forget to reward them for such).  For excited dogs, try to keep any situation that normally would cause excitement peeing low-key.  That means instead of entering the house happy and excited, walk in and just give them a scratch under the chin.  Sooner or later, depending on how much work you have time to put in with your dog, your pet will stop submissively urinating.  However, if you find trouble training your dog out of the habit, don’t be scared or embarrassed to call a professional training company to help you.  

IMG_4630
When greeting her calmer, she calms down much faster when she’s excited

I know that having a dog who pees compulsively can often be very infuriating, however my biggest tip of advice is not to angrily scold or punish your dog in this instance.  For most dogs who submissively urinate, they do it to show you that you are the person in charge, so if you begin to yell at them chances are the problem will become worse.  Remember, this is a dog, it’s brain doesn’t function the same way ours do, so where you see a problem they see a way to show love.  If you become angry at this, they’ll do it more and more thinking that it will make you less angry and will prove to you that you are the boss.  

Dogs have this endless supply of love to give to their owners, but living in a home is very different than it would be living in the wild.  That just means that we have to put more effort and take more time out to accommodate our pups.  And just like children, dogs require a lot of patience, especially since they don’t understand a word we’re saying.  So if your dog is submissively urinating, know it’s because they love you and are excited to see you, and don’t get too angry.  With the proper training, your dog will grow out of it.  

IMG_4958
Look at this good girl!
Uncategorized

Cheaper Alternatives to Brand Name Pet Stores

I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again, animal products are EXPENSIVE and for a lot of people, that monetary expense tends to sway them away from adopting a new pet.  Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of research on cheaper alternatives to the large brand name stores, and decided to make a list of some of my favorite places.  Here are 6 of my personal favorite and cheaper alternatives to big name pet stores!

Catari Cats

Cataricats.com is kitty product heaven.  While they’re not a place to go to for cat food, if you’re ever in need of a bed, a collar, toys, or even some clothing, Catari Cats is a great place to go for relatively cheap items.  They list items up for sale often as well, so if you’re looking for a product on the more expensive side, chances are you can wait it out and see the price drop.  Also, for first time purchasers they offer a 15% off coupon code, and if you sign up with your email they’ll send you e-mails with their newest sale items and more coupon codes!  Not only that, but they even have a sales section for people, so if you’re the type of person who likes to rep kitty clothes, than this is a great shop for you!

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 12.17.49 PM.png

Chewy

Chewy.com is definitely one of the bigger animal markets out their online, but within reason.  They sell literally everything, so if you’re looking for a place where you can get products for every animal, that is reasonably priced, this is the place.  They also allow you to set up an autoship, so if you’re the type of person who doesn’t realize they’re out of food until they’re OUT of food, this would be perfect for you.  You could set up any product to be shipped regularly based on your pets needs, so if you go through a bag of food once a month, they will send (and charge) you for a bag of food each month.  They also offer discounts if you set up autoship.  Personally, I like chewy because of their wide selection of basically every bigger brand out there.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 12.19.28 PM.png

Pharmacies

For when you need things in a pinch and don’t want to wait for things to be shipped, your local pharmacies are a great place to go as an alternative to the larger stores.  Most pharmacies sell cat and dog food and supplies at prices that are lower than you would find at the larger stores.  They definitely don’t have the variety you would find online or at the stores, and most of the time cater specifically to cats and dogs, but if you fit into those categories, your local pharmacy would be a great place for you.

 

Budget Pet Care

Budget Pet Care is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for free shipping.  They also offer a load of cool services on their website like their free online Ask A Vet Service as well as free shipping on all orders.  Also for cats, dogs, and horses they have bulk ordering which allows you to store up for a while!

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 12.20.16 PM.png

Pet Supplies 

This site offers a wide selection of products for any species of animals you may have as a pet.  They also have good prices as well as a wide selection of sale items.  You can also buy in bulk from here, and they offer free shipping on orders of over $89.  If you have a more “uncommon” pet that is often hard to find products for in more popular places, then 1800 pet supplies is definitely the place you should try out.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 12.21.17 PM.png

Amazon

While Amazon isn’t technically an animal store, I do think it’s worth mentioning (especially to those who are already prime members).  Amazon has a great selection of products for any breed, and with prime you have the option of 2 day shipping so it’s super convenient without the wait.  I personally like to order food off amazon for my dogs, because the prices are good and you can set up auto-shipping, which just makes it overall a convenient place to shop.

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 12.22.08 PM.png

Honestly, pet shopping is usually a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be.  If you’re someone who has time to compare shops and research where the best places to buy products that you need are, do it!  You don’t have to pay over $150 every time you walk into a pet store for 2 things.  Check out these websites for some cheaper alternatives and to just generally make your life easier.  

Uncategorized

Marijuana Pets?

Recently I’ve been noticing a trend of people posting pictures or videos of their pets after getting them “high”.  It’s as if there is this association that if you like or enjoy a product, that your animal should enjoy it too.  In this case, however, marijuana is actually very toxic to household pets although it isn’t to humans.  This trend of getting your animals high has also led to a huge increase in incidents of marijuana poisoning seen in veterinary clinics, especially in dogs.  

I see videos of people blowing smoke into their cat or dogs face, or posting pictures with the caption “my dog got into the pot brownies”, and as an animal owner myself, it is  infuriating.  The fact that some people would subject their animals to a practice they can not condone to, along with something that is actually toxic to them, it’s just aggravating.  I understand that accidents happen, such as when a pet accidentally finds an edible, and with the growing popularity and legalization of marijuana, these accidents are becoming more common.  However, as a pet owner, you have to take necessary precautions to limit the potential of these accidents happening, just as you would with a child and safety proofing the house.  

So what happens to a pet on pot?

THC, the most commonly known cannabinoid in cannabis sativa, affects the nervous system in an animal, and is listed as a toxic chemical, according to the the Guide to Plant Poisoning of Animals.  Along with toxicity, it may also cause allergic reactions to pets.

Common reactions to weed ingestion are depression, ataxia, vomiting and hypothermia.  You might notice that your pet will lost their appetite and become dehydrated.  It can also affect their circulatory system by causing a change in the heartbeat (either increasing or decreasing).  Other symptoms include agitation, vomiting, drooling, seizures, and in very severe intoxications you can have coma or death.  Symptoms of the effects of marijuana in animals normally occurs within an hour or two of ingestion and can last up to 12 hours.  For more increased doses, it can last for days as the THC (and other compounds found in marijuana) can be stored in your pets fat.  

What should I do if my animal ingested marijuana?

If you suspect your pet has ingested marijuana or laced products, take them to the vet immediately.  When you arrive at the vet, don’t wait for them to start testing your pet, instead be upfront of the reason for your visit.   This will save you money on drug tests, and other tests the vet will do to determine the reason for poisoning especially if your pet is showing symptoms, and make it easier to just treat the pet.  Most of the time poisoning and intoxication will be treated with activated charcoal administered orally.  The charcoal will trap toxins as it goes through the digestive system helping to eliminate excess that could cause poisoning.  Other times, if you take your pet to the vet immediately after ingestion, the vet may induce vomiting, however this is not effective after around half an hour after ingestion.

 

Like any other toxin, in small amounts (depending on the size of your animal) marijuana ingestion will most likely not have any adverse effects on your pet.  However, it is still best to keep it away from your animal.  And although marijuana is safe for human ingestion, we have to remember that different species have different nervous systems, so what can be a euphoric feeling in humans can be very disruptive to a dog or a cat.  So long story short, keep your pets away from marijuana.  It will be better for them in the long run.  

Uncategorized

Can you Speak Cat?

When you can’t speak to your pet, it’s often hard to figure out what they want or how they’re feeling.  It’s especially hard when you have a cat and only know about body language when it comes to dogs.  I’ve decided to make a list of some of the most defining body language traits of a cat to make new owners (and owners who are just sometimes confused) more understanding of what their cats want at the moment.

Tails

The movement of a cat’s tail can tell you a lot about what they’re feeling at the moment.  Whether they’re happy, frightened, or getting very annoyed, the way their tail moves can tell you if they’re coming over to be pet or getting ready to pounce.

Tail is up in the air

When a cat’s tail is up in the air, this usually means that they’re happy.  These are usually the moments when you can approach them.  Note, this doesn’t mean straight up in the air (a position also known as “halloween-cat tail”) which is usually an indicator that your cat is scared.

Tail down/ Between their legs

Your cat is feeling scared or threatened.  This is usually accompanied with their ears turned back or to the side.  If you see the threat to your cat, either remove it immediately or remove the cat from the situation.

Tail moving back and forth

With dogs, we know that a wagging tail means happy, and a lot of the times people assume this is the same as cats, however it’s the exact opposite.  A cat’s tail moving back and forth (especially rhythmically) means that your cat is getting annoyed, and is most likely getting ready to pounce.  Again, I would suggest removing whatever the nuisance is from the situation and possibly yourself to avoid getting bitten.

Ears

Cats use their ears to detect nearby dangers, as their hearing is a lot better than their sight.  Ears are usually great indicators along with the tails of whether a cat is happy, alert, or scared.  When a cat is happy and feeling safe, their ears will be forward, an indicator that they have no need to be stressed at the moment.  When a cat is alert, and trying to inspect the situation, their ears are usually straight up and pointing to whatever direction noise is coming from.  With the ears it is usually pretty straight-forward when a cat is unhappy as their ears go back or to the side.  In these situations, be aware of your kitty’s surroundings and try to remove whatever is causing them anxiety.

Mouth Wide Open/Panting

This usually means your little guy is discomforted.  My cat tends to pant in the car because she’s nervous, but it looks similar to the face cats make when they have ice cream and get brain freeze.  Obviously brain freeze is not the most comforting state they can be in.  Don’t really worry much when your cat looks like this as long as it’s for shorter periods of time.  For long durations your cat is probably either dehydrated or in a state of nervousness and then you would have to inspect the situation.

 

Unlike with humans, we have to learn to interact and understand our pets by understanding their body language.  As we become more adept to the body language we will also pick up slight nuances our cats may have.  For example, I know that when my cat is meowing at me that means she’s being lazy and wants me to pick her up to be at eye level with wherever I am.  Other cats may bite when they want attention.  You learn all these things by just paying attention to your pet, so don’t worry if it takes a few months, or even a year, to get properly acclimated to your pet’s body language.  Remember, you’re basically learning a new language.

dog · Uncategorized

My dog ate chocolate, what do I do?

“Can he have grapes” -No

“What about avocados”- No

“Can he have some cheese”- I mean sure, but he’ll be gassy don’t give him a lot

At my house, dinner time usually means the dogs getting snuck food under the table.  Personally, I don’t like people other than me feeding my dogs human food, and not because my dogs aren’t allowed food off the table (they’re not but sometimes they can be so darn cute) but because I am always wary of what someone might give them.  In my house, a lot of our foods contain garlic, avocados, onions, and dairy products.  That means if someone isn’t well versed in what a dog can and can not eat, chances are they’re going to feed my dogs something that they should not be having.  But what should you do if your dog gets into the chocolate cabinet?

IMG_5196
Riley asking for food

First things first, don’t panic.  While it tends to be our first reaction, raising panic is usually the most counterproductive thing we can do.  If you suspect that your dog ate something he shouldn’t have,  take note of how much of it they ate.  If your dog had a piece of chocolate, how big was that piece? What kind of chocolate was it?  These are important things to note as it would affect how your dog reacts to the food.

The next thing to do would be to either contact your veterinarian, or you can call an animal poison control center.  The number for the ASPCA animal poison control center is (888) 426-4435.  Most of the time, your pet’s consumption of toxic foods are harmless.  Depending on the amount eaten, your veterinarian or a specialist with animal poison control may recommend that you monitor your dog for any strange behaviors or symptoms. In small amounts most of the foods that your dogs shouldn’t eat won’t do any more than just cause your dog to have some extra gas.  With more toxic foods like chocolate, your dog can experience some vomiting or diarrhea.  Other dogs may become lethargic or get a fever because their body is trying to rid the toxin.  In some cases, if the food was ingested less than an hour ago, the vet may recommend you bring your dog in and induce vomiting, use activated charcoal to remove the toxin, or in some more extreme cases provide supplemental treatments.

I’m going to reiterate, as with anything that happens with your pets, the best thing to do is not panic.  When you consider your dog part of your family, anything off tends to upset us and it’s understandable, but it doesn’t necessarily help.  Your pet will be fine if you are able to administer the best care possible, and sometimes the best care is no care at all.  So if your dog accidentally ate the crumbs of some garlic bread off the floor, just watch them for a bit and you’ll quickly see there was no reason to worry at all.  

Uncategorized

Don’t Pay $100 for a Dog Bed

For first time adopters, a new pet can be overwhelming, especially when you walk into a pet store and see all of the different things you can buy.  Even for veterans of pet care, choosing between 10 different dog beds, all of which come with a hefty price tag, can make you want to head home and just put down a pillow for your pup.  For those reasons, I put together a list of some alternatives and DIY products for pet beds and toys!  These should help in getting products that aren’t 100% necessary like food, without spending as much money.  And don’t worry, I’ll link tutorials in each DIY picture!

 

Beds

Beds are possibly the most annoying things to look for when shopping for your bed because they’re expensive, there are too many options, and for a lot of us, they’re kind of useless.  My dog’s bed is right next to mine, and no matter what I say or do he will end up in mine by the end of the night, and my cat just sleeps wherever she wants, but that doesn’t stop them from having their own beds.

IMG_4759
My cat chilling on my bed

  

For those of us who don’t want to be spending close to $100 on a glorified pillow for our pets, there are so many cheap DIY and repurposing alternatives that we can use.

For cats, rabbits, or any type of small pet, one of the coolest DIY’s that I have seen is the DIY sweater pet bed.  All you need is an old sweater and a pillow and you’re basically done.  It’s comfy, it’s affordable, and best of all it’s easy to wash.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 10.33.06 PM.png

 

If you’re not a big DIY-er, then don’t worry, because you can turn basically anything into a bed.  If you have an old wagon, drawer, suitcase, or picnic basket, add a blanket and a pillow and it can easily become a stylish bed for your pet, without having to go through the void that is “animal beds” on google.

RUCHE DIY Bed
Find out how

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 10.37.32 PM.png

Another easy refurbishing technique is taking an older nightstand, or coffee table and turning it upside down.  Add a pillow and a blanket, and voila you have a bed.

Screen Shot 2017-07-29 at 10.38.21 PM.png

 

Toys

Animals are pretty easy to entertain, and while chew toys aren’t expensive, sometimes you don’t have time to get to the store.  Growing up, we constantly had relatives and friends leave their pets with us while they went away.  Because they were never permanent pets, we never bought actual toys for them, so here are a few makeshift toys I used to make in a pinch.

My personal favorite for cats is possibly the easiest to put together.  All you need is a paper towel, and a string and you’re set.  Just fold up the paper towel and tie the string around it in the middle and you get a makeshift teaser.  You could also entertain your cat for hours with the simple laser pointer, and you never even have to go to the store.

For dogs that like to make noise, put an empty water bottle in a sock, and your dog will bite onto it for hours.

April-Family-Meals-PIN.jpg

For dogs who are more chew friendly, take a tennis ball (or any other durable ball or sphere shaped object) and wrap it up in a shirt or a towel and tie it up.  Your dog will both have fun chewing the ball end as well as the tied up end to release it.

And honestly, with dogs the classic throwing of the tennis ball will keep your dog entertained while also getting it the exercise it needs.

Hopefully this post gave you some ideas for pet store alternatives.  Honestly, as with anything in life, adding your own flare to the things your pet uses on a daily basis makes it all the more special.  Whether you go out and buy a dog bed or make one yourself, make sure to add something to it, like a blanket or something, to give it the warmth for your pets.  If you want more DIY posts in the future make sure to tell me and I’ll keep making them!