Archive for September, 2014

This year, when you’re thinking about Halloween fun and ways to include your dog, how about having a Halloween-themed party just for him and your friends with dogs? Parties for dogs are lots of fun. They give your dog a chance to have a play date with his friends and you can have a good time with your friends. And it’s lots of fun to decorate with the doggy Halloween theme.

If you would like to have a Halloween party for your dog and his friends, here are some ideas you can use.

Send invitations in advance
. You can use invitations for human Halloween parties but make sure it’s clear that the party is for dogs. Or, you can look online for doggy invitations. Or you can even make your own invitations. Some people are very creative and tuck paper invitations inside a Pupperoni stick, for example, to hand deliver them.

Keep guest numbers manageable. You won’t want to invite more dogs and guests than you can manage in your home and yard. Dogs can be very rambunctious when they get together in a group so keep the numbers low. If it rains, you will need to have all the dogs inside your house at the same time, too.

Plan for a daytime party. Daytime parties are usually easier to plan and they allow the dogs to play in your backyard. This also allows your guests to attend human Halloween parties in the evening.

Decorate with a Halloween theme. You can use many of the usual Halloween decorations – with a twist. Use rawhide bones in a fake cemetery in your backyard. Carve dogs and dog faces on pumpkins. Use hollowed out pumpkins for water bowls in the yard. (Be sure to supply multiple water bowls so dogs have lots of places to drink.)

Halloween treats. You can find lots of Halloween-themed treats for dogs online or you can bake your own Halloween-themed cupcakes and cakes for dogs. There are plenty of good dog treat and snack recipes online. Decorate in Halloween colors of black and orange. Be sure to use some black cats for fun.

Party favors
. Give out fun party favors to your doggy guests such as doggy treats and snacks and toys from the dollar store.

Party activities. Fun activities for a doggy Halloween party can include bobbing for frozen hot dogs and for apples, a photo booth so owners and their dogs can get their pictures made (or a photographer snapping pics), and a costume parade, But mostly at these events, the dogs have a great time playing together.

Keep things under control. Keep dogs leashed unless they already know each other and play together well. Be sure to provide treats and snacks in different sizes to accommodate dogs of different sizes. Don’t let the dogs raid the treat bowls or they will likely wolf all the treats down at one time. Keep an eye on all food items.

Doggy Halloween parties are loads of fun for people and for dogs. Really, parties for dogs in conjunction with just about any holiday can be fun. It just takes a little creativity and planning. The humans have just as much fun as the dogs. So, find a costume for your dog, get some treats and snacks, and send out some invitations to your doggy friends. You and your dog will have a scary good time!

Last weekend was the first time I had ever attended a dog show. This one was held at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus. Oh, sure I had seen the Westminster Dog Show on television but, until you actually sit in on one there is so much you don’t see.

First of all, I was of the mindset that everyone had just one dog. That notion was blown out of the water when I saw one woman with 10 dogs of all the same breed. I also wrongly presumed that these dogs are just dogs; in this environment, far from it. These animals represent hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars invested into breeding, grooming and showing these dogs.

There are no ‘mutts’, Heinz 57 variety, mixed breed or any dog of questionable lineage attending these shows. This is all pure breed stuff, paper work and all. One of the participants told me that these shows accept no ‘riff raff.’
Once a dog has been judged to be worthy of a title, their picture is taken and the discussions begin. ‘What are your stud fees?’ ‘When will you allow her to breed?’ ‘How much do you charge for a pick of the litter?’ These questions don’t just lead to agreements and arrangements they pilot the dog’s owner into profit and prestige.
None of the dogs have been spayed or neutered. Each animal has the potential to be part of the next bloodline of a champion; basically big bucks. I felt badly for the male dogs in the show each one had their profit producing equipment checked as part of the competition. Not at all the standard ‘turn your head and cough.’

If you attend one of these shows you need to be prepared for several things. First, all anyone talks about are dogs. No politics, no discussions of the economy and sadly, no one even talks about the weather just dogs.

Secondly, expect many of the dogs to live better than you do. Thirdly, most of these K9s smell better than you do.
Regardless of the bashing these shows tend to take from the dog ignorant public they are a lot of fun to go to. There is an entire culture dedicated to man’s best friend that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.

For more information on dog shows in your area go to

Lest you think that fashion is limited to clothing for dogs, there’s an entire world of dog fashion devoted to your dog’s surroundings. Beds and other furniture for dogs, carriers, strollers, backpacks for dogs, jewelry for dogs, sunglasses for dogs, hair dye and nail polish for dogs – even tiaras for dogs! If you can imagine it, someone is probably making it for your dog.

Beds and Furniture
Beds for dogs range from pretty blankets and cuddle-style beds that you can find at your local pet store to elaborate four-poster beds that are fit for a queen (or king). You can quite literally pay thousands of dollars for a dog bed if you’re inclined in that direction and you have the dough:

Of course, most dogs don’t sleep in beds so elaborate and you can find wonderful beds for your dog for reasonable prices. There are heated beds, beds with memory foam, bolster beds, and beds made out of all kinds of comfortable materials for less than $100. If you really want a bed with furniture style, you may have to pay a few hundred dollars.

You can find all kinds of stylish furniture for dogs, too. Perhaps your dog needs an armoire? You could hang his clothing in it. Some dogs have ramps or steps to help them get up and down from your bed or from sofas: And what pampered dog doesn’t need his very own toy box?

These are just a few of the pieces of furniture you can find for dogs. You can also find chairs, chaises, and small sofas designed for dogs that fit in with your own furniture.

Carriers and Strollers
Carriers come in many styles ranging from backpacks to purse styles. They can be extremely luxurious or more functional. Some of them are designed for flying with small pets on planes while others are good for taking your small dog with you when you go around town or if you’re in the car. There are also rolling carriers and sling/bag style carriers.

Dog strollers are made with a design similar to a baby stroller.

Other Accessories for Dogs

For the trendiest dogs you can find sunglasses, jewelry, and even go all out with the latest hair colors and nail polish. Glam hair colors wash out after a few shampoos. And fun nail polish for your dog is safe and easy to use. You can also use colored nail caps for dogs that fit over your dog’s nails.

We mustn’t forget all the ways you can decorate your home for parties involving your dog! There are colorful, fun cakes for dogs, party favors and toys for your dog’s guests, invitations, wrapping paper, paper plates and napkins, and decorations! Check online for terrific theme ideas for birthday parties and other parties for dogs. Your dog will be the host with the most when you coordinate one of these fashionable parties.

Really, there’s no limit to all the fun you can have with fashionable accessories for your dog, whether it’s in your home or dressing up your dog.

Halloween is a fun holiday that we can share with our dogs. Not only can we dress up in our favorite costume, but we can also dress our best friend up in a costume, too! You and your dog can be someone else and go trick or treating. Just be sure your dog gets doggy treats and no chocolate.

When it comes to choosing a Halloween costume for your dog, there are some things you should keep in mind: safety, comfort, and your dog’s personality. You may think your dog would look great wearing a three-foot wide aluminum flying saucer but if your dog wants to eat it and it’s not comfortable for him – and it’s totally not his personality – chances are that it’s not the best costume for him.

Safety. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a costume for your dog is safety. There are all kinds of Halloween costumes for dogs today. Some of them are very extravagant and they look like they might have come from Broadway shows. But please keep in mind that your dog has to wear these contraptions. If the costume has a hat, an eye patch, a visor, or something else that covers his eyes, it can impair his vision and cause problems. If your dog can’t see, he’s likely to walk into things or be unenthusiastic about walking at all. Take your photos with the dog wearing the hat but lose it before letting him try to walk in it.

If the costume has a cape or trails the ground, your dog could trip on it and fall. So, if you think your dog would look cute as UnderDog, if the costume comes with a cape, you may have to do some alterations to make it safe for your dog to wear.

Comfort. From your dog’s point of view, comfort is probably the most important consideration. Your dog is only wearing the costume to please you and make you happy. If he has to wear the costume, make sure that it’s comfortable for him. That means you need to avoid costumes that are very restrictive. Costumes that have tight bands, especially around the neck or the legs, will likely be unpopular with your dog. Make sure your dog has plenty of room in these areas.

You should also consider the fabric weight when choosing a costume. If you have a dog with a thick coat, he will probably appreciate a lighter weight fabric. Anything heavy weight will probably be uncomfortable for him. A smoothcoated dog will probably be able to wear heavier fabrics without much problem but don’t overdo it. Putting a sherpa parka on a smoothcoated dog, even in October, will probably make many dogs uncomfortable.

. Remember that every dog is a unique individual. Some dogs enjoy dressing up much more than other dogs. If your dog has dressed up for Halloween or is used to wearing clothes for other reasons, he will probably like wearing a costume better than a dog that has never worn a costume before.

However, just because your dog hasn’t dressed up for Halloween before doesn’t mean he won’t like it. Try choosing a simpler costume for him so you won’t have to fuss a lot when you put it on. Keep things simple and comfortable for your dog. Don’t make your dog wear the costume for long periods of time. Keep things fun when your dog wears the costume.

If you keep these three things in mind – safety, comfort, and your dog’s personality – you should be able to choose a great costume for your dog. Remember to start looking at costumes early. There are lots of costumes to choose from and you’ll want plenty of time to decide. Happy Halloween!

For a wide selection of new and exciting Halloween costumes for you pet, visit our online store

Safety Tips for Your Dog on Halloween

Halloween is a fun time for people and for pets but there can also be some risks on this spooky night, especially for your dog. Here are some things to be aware of so your dog will have a good time, too.

Halloween parties. If you plan to have a party or any kind of gathering at your home on Halloween, don’t allow your dog to become stressed out. Not every dog enjoys being in the midst of a group of rowdy humans. Give your dog a quiet place to sleep, such as your bedroom, and close the door during the party. Leave him with lots of toys and safe things to chew on, and check on him often. If your dog enjoys being around people you should still keep an eye on him during the gathering to make sure he’s not becoming too tired or overly excited. Make sure guests don’t give your dog chocolate, candy, or other foods that are bad for dogs.

Chocolate. Most dog owners know that chocolate is a no-no for dogs. It contains a substance called theobromine which can be toxic to dogs if they eat enough of it – and it doesn’t take a lot to be harmful to a small dog. Theobromine is also found in coffee, tea, and cola beverages so you shouldn’t allow your dog to drink any of these beverages either. Halloween can be a dangerous time for dogs because of all the chocolate and other candies at hand. Be sure you don’t leave chocolate where your dog can get it. Non-chocolate candies can contain sugar which your dog doesn’t need, or xylitol, a sugar substitute which is bad for dogs. Raisins and grapes can also be toxic to dogs. So be very careful about giving any Halloween treats to dogs. Stick to doggy treats.

Doorbells and people at the door. On Halloween night your dog could become stressed out by the doorbell ringing constantly and people showing up at the door. If you have a lot of visitors at your door and your dog is becoming upset or too worked up, consider crating him or putting him in another part of the house where he won’t be near the door opening and closing.

Costumed strangers. Your dog might become upset at the sight of strangers in costume. Afterall, some costumes can be very surprising! Keep your dog calm. Remember to keep your dog leashed if you leave the house.

Jack o’ Lanterns. Jack o’ Lanterns and candles can be fire hazards if you have a dog. Even a happily wagging tail can knock over a candle and set things on fire. If you will be using a Jack o’ Lantern, consider using a flashlight inside. It’s safer, even if it’s less traditional.

Keep your dog inside. For his safety, keep your dog inside on Halloween. Unfortunately, there are people who like to play pranks on Halloween and some of them can be cruel. Keep your dog safely indoors on Halloween.

Halloween costumes
. Halloween costumes can be lots of fun but if your pet is going to wear one, make sure that it is comfortable for him and don’t leave him unattended. Many dogs will chew a costume or rip it off when you aren’t looking. It’s possible that your dog could hurt himself if you don’t supervise him.

Use these tips to have a happy and safe Halloween with your dog and he’ll have a howlingly fun time!

While there are many well-known couture designers who make clothes and accessories for dogs, there are also lots of designers and companies which specialize in making apparel and other items just for dogs. Many of these brands are easier to find and they can offer a wider range of clothing options. They are also sometimes less expensive than the couture designers. These clothes are often great for everyday or play wear for your dog. You probably don’t want your dog to roll in the mud when he’s wearing something made by Ralph Lauren.

On the other hand, there are many designers who specialize in some quite beautiful, even spectacular designs for dogs. If you’re wondering where to find the perfect wedding gown for your dog, you will probably want to check with one of these canine specialists.

Fashions for Dogs

Designers who specialize in fashion for dogs include Central Bark Couture, Chez Fluffy Couture, Doggie Show Girls, Gidget-Gear by Tiki, Hip Doggie, L’Izzura, Louis Dog, Mochi & Jolie, Molly & June (raincoats), Oscar Newman Pink Polka Dog (hoodies and Tees), Pinkaholic New York (bows, harnesses, tees), Puppia Collection, Puppy Angel, Romy & Jacob, Roxy & Lulu, Ruff Ruff Couture, Susan Lanci Designs (made to order), Tuck & Tula Collection (bows, harnesses, vests), Wooflink Collection, and Yvette Ruta Collection (wedding gowns and other things)

These brands are typically made of good materials and have good workmanship. They tend to be more expensive than dog clothes you buy off the rack at your local pet supply store. Some of these clothes are custom made or tailored to fit your dog.

Popular Brands
You can also find many popular brands of dog clothes for everyday wear. These clothes are usually easy to find online or at your local pet supply store and they usually come in sizes from x-small to x-large. It’s a good idea for you to know your dog’s measurements when buying dog clothes, of course. You should measure around your dog’s neck; from the back of the neck to the root of the tail; across the chest at the widest point; and around the ribcage just behind the elbows. If you know these measurements you should be able to select an outfit that fits your dog.

Popular brands you might find in your local pet store include Wagwear, Top Paw, Pedigree Perfection, North Fetch, Tommy Bahama, Hip Doggie, Harley Davidson, Grreat Choice, East Side Collection, and many others.

You can expect to find just about any kind of clothing for your dog in these brands, ranging from dresses and Tees to hoodies and coats. You’ll find pajamas, skirts and tops in all kinds of styles. There are play clothes, dressy clothes, summer clothes, cold weather clothes, urban street clothes, and clothes for picnics. You can find outfits for just about any kind of occasion or way you want to dress your dog. Plus there are usually matching accessories such as bows, collars, and leashes. These brands are usually reasonably priced.

Whether you are looking for a wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses for your dog or something a little simpler, there are plenty of doggy designers who can provide you with the kind of canine clothes you’re seeking. Have fun looking at all the doggy fashions!

The same way people want to look their best and stand out from the crowd, many dog owners love to shop for designer clothes for their dogs. And there are plenty of great designers making clothes for dogs today. Some specialize in canine designs while some of the designers usually make clothes for humans and have added canine collections because they know how important dogs are to their clientele. Here are a few designers who have clothing for dogs.

Juicy Couture

Juicy Couture is one of the most well-known canine designers. They make women’s clothes and accessories but they also make clothes for dogs, as well as pet carriers and accessories. The clothes are saucy and fun with a dash of elegance.Very chic. So are the accessories.  These clothes are very popular with people who enjoy dressing their dogs. Prices are quite reasonable.



For real couture dog accessories, you can’t get much more haute than Gucci. While Gucci doesn’t make dog clothing, they do make pet carriers, elegant (even extravagant) collars and leashes, and charms. The Gucci design is recognizable almost anywhere you go with your dog.


You can buy dog clothing that features a play on the Gucci design – usually with bones or other dog-related images – but don’t confuse it with the real thing.


As you might expect, carriers and accessories from Gucci are rather pricey.


Von Dutch Dog Clothes

Von Dutch is a Los Angeles-based fashion label with a rock n’ roll attitude rooted in “Kustom Kulture.” Von Dutch clothing was founded in 1990 and they make t-shirts, hats, and more for men and women. They have also crossed over to make other products, including children’s wear, footwear, a jewelry line, a “kustom” motorcycle company, and even a die-cast miniatures toy line. They also make Von Dutch Dog Clothes.


Christian Audigier/Ed Hardy

Christian Audigier is the creator of Ed Hardy. These clothes feature rock n’ roll inspired t-shirts for dogs. They include dog collars, carriers, and other accessories.


Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren is a world famous designer of men’s and women’s clothes. His most famous brand is probably the sporty chic Polo Ralph Lauren. The company has extended their Polo brand into the world of pet fashions with clothes like the Ralph Lauren Classic Dog Polo, Ralph Lauren Dual Match Polo, Ralph Lauren Sporty Puffer Vest, and Ralph Lauren Team Polo, just to name a few. They even have hoodies, trenchcoats, and classic turtlenecks for dogs. And the clothes come in some of the same favorite Polo colors people love.


Other designers who feature dog clothing and accessories as part of their lines include Burberry, Martha Stewart, Louis Vuitton, Paris Hilton, and Robert Cavalli. You can find other designers and some expensive accessories for your dog at stores like Barney’s New York

The clothes you choose for your dog say a lot about him – and about you. How do you want to present yourself and your dog to the world? Are you rock ‘n roll chic? Fun-loving and free-spirited? Elegant and traditional? Fortunately, there are all kinds of designers and clothes so you can choose the look you want for your dog and you can vary the mood.

No matter what kind of clothing or costume you buy for your dog, or how much money you spend, it won’t look good unless you buy the right size. But how are you supposed to know your dog’s size? Especially when it comes to a costume? Afterall, if you’re buying a hotdog costume for your dog, who knows what size hotdog will fit your dog, right?


Measuring Your Dog

No matter what kind of clothes or costume you are thinking of buying, you usually need the same basic measurements from of your dog: the neck, chest, ribcage, and body length. The easiest way to measure your dog is with a measuring tape – the same kind that dressmakers use. You can find them at the drugstore or sometimes in the grocery store with the sewing things. If you don’t have a measuring tape you can also use a tape measure such as you would use for measuring a home project. As a last resort you can take a piece of string and use it to get your dog’s measurements and then use a ruler to measure the string.

You should allow plenty of space around the neck so the clothes or costume won’t be too tight. Then measure the other areas. Measure the chest from side to side at the wides points. Measure your dog’s ribcage just behind the elbows. To measure your dog’s body length you can measure from the back of your dog’s neck, where the neck joins the back, to the root of the tail – where the tail rises up from the body.

Buy Larger When In Doubt

Once you have all the measurements you can compare them with the sizes available for the clothing or costume you are considering. If there is any conflict in the measurements, you should always choose a larger size. For example, if your dog’s chest and body length suggest he should have a medium size costume, but his neck is larger, you should get the larger sized costume. If the clothes or costume are too small for your dog in any way, he may rip them or tear them either accidentally or by trying to make himself more comfortable. Always go larger if you have any doubts.

You should also keep in mind that it’s possible some clothes and costumes can shrink a little when you wash them. It can also be hard to predict how some clothes and costumes are cut or made. If your dog is borderline between small and medium or medium and large, getting the larger size will give him plenty of room in case the outfit runs small. You can always take the outfit in a little if necessary.


When it comes to accessories like bows, hats, and other things, you can usually rely on the sizes given. Most of these items fit directly on your dog so there is less variation in how they are made for dogs.

If you’re buying a costume for your dog that is made of a stretch material, then it’s not as important to get bigger sizes since the costume is more forgiving. However, you should always keep your dog’s comfort in mind. Don’t try to wedge him into a tight costume or he’ll be uncomfortable.


Dogs often don’t appreciate masks and other accessories that go over their faces, even when they fit well, so if you need your dog to wear a mask for a photo, it’s a good idea to get the picture snapped quickly and then do away with the mask or face gear if your dog doesn’t like it.

Buy Early

Clothes for dogs can be found online and in pet stores. Costumes tend to be more seasonal, especially for holidays like Halloween. If you’re planning to have your dog wear a Halloween or other costume, it’s a good idea to buy the costume ahead of time and let your dog try it on so you can make sure it fits properly.

What better way to top off a fashionable ensemble than with the perfect hair accessory? Bows, barrettes, and hats are very popular items with dog owners and you can find them anyplace you buy dog clothing. If you use a groomer for your dog you can probably ask your groomer about bows and barrettes, too. He or she may be able to tell you good places to purchase them or they may have some for sale in their shop.


Bows for dogs are usually rather small so we don’t usually use the same bows that are made for people – they’re too large and heavy. Bows can range from simple little grosgrain bows to very elaborate pieces with multiple layers or even with rhinestones or other things to make them stand out. And, of course, they can come in any color or kind of ribbon or fabric. If you can’t find what you want in a store or online, you can certainly make your own bows. Bows come in different sizes but most of them are about 3/8 or 5/8 inch wide. Some people like to put a bow in the center of their dog’s head to hold the topknot of hair; and other people like to put a bow on each ear. It’s up to you and your dog, and the outfit your dog is wearing.  Both male and female dogs wear bows.


Generally speaking, you can’t really tie a bow into your dog’s hair. It will slide out. You need a small rubber band to hold the hair and then you can tie the bow around it.



Barrettes are very similar to dog bows. In some cases you can use a barrette to secure a bow in your dog’s hair. Barrettes often allow you to use other things besides ribbon when you want to put something in your dog’s hair, such as little artificial flowers or pieces of rhinestone jewelry or other items. They lie flatter than bows.



Hats for dogs are usually chosen with a particular outfit or occasion in mind. Many dog owners like for their dogs to wear baseball caps or other team hats, too. If you have rain gear for your dog, some owners like to add a rain hat to keep their dog’s head from getting wet. If your dog has a beautiful party dress, some owners will add a matching hat. Party hats are also very popular – let your dog celebrate New Year’s Eve with a sparkly chapeau! And don’t forget birthday hats. And how could we forget St. Patrick’s Day?

There are really hats for all occasions and dogs look adorable when they wear hats so get creative and have fun with your dog’s head gear.

If you want to take things a step further, some owners even enjoy adding a wig to their dog’s look. It’s just for fun and wigs go great with hats. Wigs for dogs are lots of fun when your dog is dressed up for special occasions like Halloween

I was delighted when we got our new home, because it had a pool in the back yard. Our two black Labradors just love having that fun source of play so close. We didn’t have kids yet at the time, so pool safety wasn’t yet a big concern. But then I realized I needed to think about safety for the dogs. Here are some things I did:

Show them the way out. It’s easy for our dogs to get in the water. Jump, splash, and they’re happily paddling around. But with a new pool, I wanted to make sure they knew how to safely get out of the pool. I set two potted plants on either side of the pool steps so they would have something to focus on. I called the dogs out while I was standing just behind the steps. I did that several times, to make sure they got it. I walked back near the house when both dogs were in the water. I called them out, then watched with pleasure as they first looked at me, then swam over to the steps and came right out.

Here is an excellent resource about pool safety for dogs:

Install a safety pool cover. Even though our labs both know how to swim, we didn’t want to take chances. Plus, there was always the chance that a neighbor’s dog might get into our back yard. So we got a safety cover for the pool. It doesn’t take long to install, and in the winter, it’s wonderful for keeping the water warm with little circulation. Particularly in the winter, I didn’t want one of the dogs to jump in the really cold water, panic and get in trouble. With the pool cover, I don’t have that worry.

Add a fence. We were planning for a family later, so a pool fence was just a good investment, and another layer of protection for the dogs. We wanted a way to monitor and control when the dogs got in the water, and the fence was perfect. Now we can let the labs out into the yard to take care of business, and not have to deal with drying off a pet each time. Believe me, it would have been that way – these dogs are just that wild about playing in the water.

Always be watching. Even with the protection we have around the pool, we didn’t want to just open the gate to the fence, let the dogs into the pool area, and go back in the house. So when the dogs are in the pool, we are too. It gives us peace of mind that there won’t be an incident with one of the dogs, and we wouldn’t be around to help and take care of them.

Keep fresh water available. We make sure that the dogs have a bowl of fresh water available, so they won’t be as tempted to drink from the pool. The chlorine and chemicals in the water discourage them, but if they know where the fresh water is, they will use it.

Dog showers. We don’t want the dogs to get out of the pool and then be trying to lick chemicals out of their fur, so we give them a shower after they get out of the water. First they get a thorough rinsing, and then my husband turns it into a game, letting them chase the spray from the hose. They never try to avoid shower time.

Now that we have our pool safe for the dogs, I get to sit back and smile as I stand in the pool with the dogs happily swimming around me.

Kaitlin Gardner started to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her college sweetheart and lives in Pennsylvania. She and her husband enjoy going for long hikes, to get out and enjoy nature. She is working on her first book about ways to live an eco-friendly, healthy, natural life