14 Signs You're a Helicopter Dog Parent

My Chiweenies (Chihuahua-Dachshunds), Dodger and Daisy, are my world. And while they may be two of the most pampered pets on the planet, I find as much enjoyment spoiling them as they do.


But, my attention doesn't just stop at showering them with squeak toys and perpetual cuddles-I have been known to maybe go a tad overboard. Some may call it overbearing, and I've come to terms with that label.

The Benefits of Swimming for Dogs

The summer heat may seem like reason enough for your dog to take a dip, but swimming can serve as more than just a way for him to cool down.


“Swimming has similar benefits for dogs as it does for people,” explains Dr. Stephanie Liff, VMD,associate veterinarian at Brooklyn Cares Veterinary Clinic in New York. “It is a no-impact form of exercise that can help pets, especially debilitated ones, including those suffering from orthopedic or neurologic injury, to build muscle and burn calories without excessive stress of joints.”

Sleeping with Your Dog; The Essential Guide

Our dogs make for some of the cutest of faces to wake up to, but that doesn’t mean that sharing a bed will always lead to a good night’s sleep—for you that is. If you and your dog turn-in together you surely have found yourself in a few not-so-comfortable positions.  Alas, their adorable snoozing keeps you from disturbing their peaceful slumber.


Here are a few nighttime spots your pet loves and some ideas for making it less of a pain in the neck, back, arm, and…well you get the picture.

How to Pack a Beach Bag for Your Dog

With the sun shining bright and the crashing waves calling your name, you may be ready to head straight to the

shore. But, beach bums beware: If you’re planning on bringing your dog along to enjoy a little sand and surf you have to be sure the two of you are well-equipped—and that doesn’t just mean packing slick shades and cute swimsuits. The sun, heat and salt water are all makings for a perfect day, but can be ingredients for dehydration and heat exhaustion too. Packing smart will ensure your pet stays cool and refreshed. So in addition to your boogie board and summer reads check out what you should tote specifically for your pup.


Beyond Fetch: 3 Fun Games to Play With Your Dog

While a round of fetch may be a tried and true classic, it can become a bit of the same-old, same-old. Whether your arm gets sore from the never-ending cycle of pitches, or your pup attempts to retrieve a hopping frog instead of the ball, the game of fetch can get boring for the both of you. To switch things up and go beyond the old, reliable backyard game, Annie Angell, CPDT-KA and co-owner of My Two Dogs Inc, suggests giving these three games a go instead.


10 Reasons Your Cat Hates You

Meows, tail twitching, screeches and scratches that have drawn blood—labeling your kitty a grumpy cat may be an understatement. Is it too much to ask for a little love and affection from our feline companions? I mean, at times, it's like we are just people living in our cats' worlds—and we seem to be making a mess of things. While we do our best to keep our feline companions happy, all we get are hisses in return. Here are some things you might be doing to make your cat hate you.


Pet Parents Guide to Party Planning

“When planning a party with your pet in mind you’ll want to put safety first. Nothing is worse than having an event turn into an emergency,” says party planner, Leah Pence from Another Wild Hare Event Company. Here Leah shares five party prep steps that’ll keep your pet a part of the festivities too.

Diary of a Fat Dog

As an owner of a dog that tends to tip the scales, I have a hard time hearing the term “fat dog.” Sure, he may be a bit overweight at 15 pounds, but I think he is just about the cutest chiwennie around—aside from his sister, who was blessed with the slender genes, weighing in at a healthy 12.9. Still, the challenges my pup faces are real and I want to do anything and everything I can to help him.


“Many of my pet owners complain that they feel embarrassed that their pets are overweight and that they are judged by the overall care the pet is getting by their waistlines,” says Dr. Stephanie Liff, DVM and partner at Brooklyn Cares Veterinary Hospital.

8 Things to Pack in Your Dog's BackPack

If you’re a pet parent you know your pup’s firsts are full of excitement and sometimes nausea-inducing worry—whether it’s an impromptu doggie meet and greet or an initial jump off of the couch. If he’s about to attend a training class or daycare for the first time, it’s normal to want to send him off feeling secure.


What does a well-behaved dog need in those situations to make a good first impression and maintain star student status? Here are 8 must-have items to include in your dog’s backpack.

10 Reasons Your Cat Thinks You're Weird

Our cats may love us, but they find some of the things we do downright strange. When the heads start to tilt ever so slightly and the tails suspiciously wag, you have to admit your kitty looks a little perplexed. Come on, you know there’s something behind those sideways glances— and chances are it’s you! Here are ten things you may be doing that’s causing your cat to scratch his head in place of his post!

Nighttime Safety Tips for Outdoor Cats

If your cat fancies taking a solo stroll outside, you may wonder—and worry—what she is getting herself into. The good news: While she may not be on a leash, there are ways to keep your feline friend safe and out of trouble. Here are a few nighttime safety tips for your outdoor cat.

The 12 Dog Days of Christmas

The stockings may be hung and the Christmas dinner menu set, but there surely is plenty more to do as the holidays draw near. And who better to contribute a little festive cheer than your four-legged pal? While his gifts may be unconventional they are all his own and one of a kind, just like him. So as you deck the halls this Christmas expect a few dog-given surprises too.

Italian Dog Breeds

The country well known for its delectable fare, art and history has something else to be proud of! Move over French Bulldogs and Chinese Crescents, Italy actually boasts a few breeds of their own. “There are a wide variety of Italian breeds, each unique in their temperament, size, energy level, exercise and grooming needs,”says AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. Check them out.

Spotted Dog Breeds

Spot: The all-familiar dog name that graces the pages of children’s books and surely the title of hundreds of family pets. The moniker may be used across all kinds of dogs, especially inspired by those with spotted coats.


 “The Dalmatian is actually the only spotted breed," says AKC spokesperson, Lisa Peterson. "Other breeds, like the Bluetick Coonhound, have a pattern called ticking.”


Ticking is made up of small, isolated areas (smaller than spots) of black or colored hairs on a white background.


If you’re considering adding a dog with a uniquely speckled coat to your family, here are a few breeds for you to consider.


Dog Breeds that Love the Snow

Is your dog a bit of a snow bunny? Just like people, some dog breeds will take a blizzard over the beach any day!


“Most breeds that love the snow originated in cold, snowy regions and were bred to do jobs in the snow, like sled dogs,” says AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.


While my chihuahua-dachshund mix, Daisy, may love to zip around with snow kicking up behind her, there are a few breeds that were quite literally bred for cold climates. Here are 8 dog breeds that love the snow.

Spoil Your Dog with These Gifts

The loyal companions who give us the best gifts year-round, welcome home dances, warm snuggles and unconditional love, deserve to receive some gifts as well. Our pets are truly the best givers, and while they might not ask for much in return -- a belly rub here and there is always appreciated -- that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be spoiled a bit, too. And even if you pamper your pet daily (my dogs eat better than I do some nights!), they'll still love a gift.


Christmas Safety Tips For Dog Owners

Your dog may be on Santa’s nice list, but only you can use these safety tips to keep your pet healthy and happy during the Christmas holidays.


Bells jingling, stockings hung and gifts wrapped — Christmas is on its way! My dogs may not be fans of most things associated with winter like bone-chilling winds, freezing rain and snow, but they always seem to enjoy Christmas. Sure, it might have something to do with the pile of gifts they receive, but I like to think it’s more than that.


Christmas Safety Tips For Cat Owners

‘Tis the season for trimming the tree, giving presents and serving up big dinners — but, if you’re a cat owner, don’t skip these safety tips this Christmas.


Bells jingling, stockings hung and gifts wrapped —Christmas is on its way! My dogs may not be fans of

most things associated with winter like bone-chilling winds, freezing rain and snow, but they always seem to enjoy Christmas. Sure, it might have something to do with the pile of gifts they receive, but I like to think it’s more than that.


How Old Is My Cat In Human Years?

If you want to know what your cat’s age is in human years, you’re not alone! Here’s how to figure it out.


If you’re crazy about your cat — or cats — we get it! Our pets make our lives better, and we’d do just about anything to ensure they live a long, healthy life. We may look into their furry faces and always see that little kitty who came home weighing only a few pounds, but they get older every year, just like we do. But, do they really? How do cats age in terms of human years and what can we do to keep them feeling as young as a spring kitten?


How Old Is Your Dog In Human Years?

Whether you have had your dog since he was a puppy or crossed paths when he was a bit older, like I did with my two dogs, you may wonder from time to time how old he actually feels. As each year comes and goes and birthdays celebrated with a juicy boneless steak and candle pass, your dog is indeed aging, but how quickly?

Thanksgiving Safety And Fun For Cats

Safely include your cat in your Turkey Day celebrations with these tips.


If your kitty cat tops the list of things you are thankful for, you are not alone! Our furry friends give us warmth, love and laughs all year long. So it makes purrfect — sorry, couldn’t help it! — sense if you want to include your cat in the Turkey Day festivities. Unfortunately, some of what we love most about Thanksgiving — the food, the friends, the family — can actually cause problems for our pets. Incorporate these tips for a day of feline-approved feasting and fun.

Thanksgiving Safety And Fun For Dogs

Do more than give thanks for your four-legged friend — include him in the festivities!


I know my dogs make every day better. My umbrella might be mangled, my clothes might clothes soaked and my hair might look like a mop, but one look at my little Dodger and Daisy’s happy welcome-home dance, and I forget that I am a walking rain cloud — even if it’s just for a second! So on a day all about giving thanks for our loved ones, why wouldn’t I want to include them in the festivities?

How To Have A Happy Halloween With Your Dog

Whether you’re interested in the tricks or the treats, Halloween is the perfect time for unleashing a little spooky fun. Dressing up, decorating and of course noshing on some sugary treats are just a few reasons why Halloween brings delight to the fall season. And if you love your dogs like I do — and want them to partake in anything enjoyable — it can be a great time to involve your pet and give him some special Halloween-ified attention.

How To Have a Happy Halloween With Your Cat

Cats reign as one of the most notable Halloween icons around. Black cats adorn Halloween décor from string lights to jack-o’-lantern cutouts, and we can’t forget about all of the kitty costume inspiration flying around! What would we humans do without our cats, especially on this seemingly cat-obsessed holiday? Well, while we love our feline fanfare, there are a few tricks to watch out for when it comes to our pet’s safety and Halloween.

copyright © 2015 caitlin ultimo