Showing posts with label Pets. Show all posts

Bonding With Your Dog

 This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx on behalf of Amazon Prime Video.


This February will be three years since we adopted our dog Chester. He has honestly been one of the best additions to our family. While I originally was pretty skeptical about the situation from the beginning, adopting him was one of the best things we've ever done, and I can't imagine our family without him. 

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Bonding with your pet is so important, and something that I make time for everyday whether it's cuddling on the couch, playing fetch, or playing with a toy, I find that this time is not only good for my own soul, but for our dog's emotional wellbeing too. 

5 Tips For Bonding With Your Dog:

1) Watching The Pack Amazon Prime Video:

We're so excited to watch The Amazon Original Series, The Pack, that premiers November 20th on Amazon Prime Video.  Chester loves snuggling on the couch while we watch a show, and I love everything that The Pack has to offer. It's about 12 teams made of humans and their dogs who go on epic transcontinental journey. There is $750,000 up for grabs, and the winner is decided based off which team wins various challenges throughout the show, that look to identify which team has the strongest bond between pet and owner. 

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The Pack Prime Video Launches Novemeber 20th and I'm looking forward to some winter snuggles on the couch with our own little pup anxiously waiting to see who the winning team is going to be! 

2) Training Your Dog:

This might sound so strange, but training our dog has helped us bond so much more. Chester was mostly house broken when we adopted him, but he didn't know any "tricks" like sit, stay, roll over, etc... During this time at home Derek started training him and it's so fun to not only go through that process to teach your dog something, but it's also so fun so see them do their tricks after the fact and give them treats and belly rubs for a reward. 

3) Sleeping with Your Dog:

I always joke with the kids and tell them that Chester is my dog, but part of me actually means it. Chester always sleeps by my side every night and it's one of my favorite things. During the day he'll often come find me to sit next to me while I work as well (just like he is right now as I'm typing this). I love this time because honestly there is nothing better than having a furry friend cuddle you, and it's something I look forward to most evenings. 

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4) Relying on Your Pet for Emotional Support:

Some people might be dubious to the idea of an emotional support animal, but it's totally a real thing. After we adopted Chester in 2018 I went through some of the hardest times in my life. I had a lot of things going on with my dad, I was finishing my undergrad, growing my business, working part-time, and I had a lot of responsibility at church that I probably wasn't handling too gracefully. There were seriously days where I would just sit on the couch and cry while holding my dog, which I recognize sounds beyond pitiful, but it was also probably one of the most therapeutic experiences in my life. I'm actually convinced that's one of the things that solidified the love between Chester and I. 

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5) Playing with Your Dog:

The kids, Derek and I, all love playing with Chester outside in the evenings after dinner. We did this more when it didn't get dark so early, but it's one of our favorite things to do as a family. The kids will take turns throwing him his toys and playing catch or giving him a treat. Chester also loves chasing after the ball while Kyle and I play soccer. It's kind of like the puppy version to, "Monkey in the Middle". 

Bonding with your dog is one of the greatest joys on earth. I'd love to hear how you bond with your dog in the comments below! I cannot wait to watch The Pack on Amazon Prime November 20th and see which team has the strongest bond and wins $250,000 for a charity of their choice! 

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5 Best Specialty Pet Products

 This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.


With the holiday season around the corner, pet lovers often find themselves looking for gifts for their furry friends, or friends and family might be looking for gifts to get their human friends, who happen to be obsessed with their animals friends. Whether you're shopping for a human or an animal this holiday season, these specialty pet products will be well received by virtually any animal lover on your list. 

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The Best Specialty Pet Products

Pumpkin Treats From Fruitables:

If you're a pumpkin lover and need all things pumpkin spice in your life during the holiday season, you should definitely project those feelings onto your dog, right? Fruitables places a huge emphasis on fresh ingredients and animal health. Their Pumpkin Spice Skinny Minis are made with pumpkin, baked apple, and cinnamon, and are a low calorie indulgence for your pet you can feel good about. 

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The Pumpkin and Cranberry treats smell like muffins straight from the oven. We had so much fun playing with Chester and letting him try these treats. Our dog is actually extremely picky when it comes to dog treats (we've literally never found one he likes before these), and he ate several of these very quickly after we opened the package. I'm so glad to have found something he enjoys that also happens to be made with wholesome ingredients. 

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Best Pet Vacuum Cleaner:

If you're in the market for the best pet vacuum cleaner for hard wood floors, we've been loving the FloorRover Dash from Eureka! When we moved into our new home this summer, we realized how hard it was to keep hard floors looking clean. We'd always had carpet in our main living areas previously, and quickly learned that it must have been hiding a lot of our messy sins.

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Our hardwood floors show all the dirt and dog hair really easily, and I found myself going crazy with sweeping and trying to stay on top of it all. The FloorRover Dash from Eureka is perfect for pet owners who need a deep clean on all of their hard floor and carpeted surfaces. 

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Some of my favorite features are the HEPA filter which traps allergens that can stay in carpets and in the home. I also love the 12ft cord making it effortless for me to vacuum large open spaces without plugging and unplugging repeatedly. The FloorRover Dash is the best pet vacuum cleaner in my book, and is available at Walmart for only $159 which is an amazing price for this high quality vacuum cleaner.

Disinfecting Wipes from LemiShine:

I used to not be a huge fan of disinfecting wipes until I bought some on a whim a few months ago, and after having the luxury once I've become too comfortable and want them in my life all the time. I love the disinfecting wipes from LemiShine because they kill 99.9% of germs, including bacteria that cause Covid-19. LemiShine disinfecting wipes have been used in hospitals nationwide for over 10 years, and are now available to consumers at HEB and Kroger stores, and soon to be nationwide. 

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I love that these eco-friendly cleaning products are made from plant-based ingredients and don't leave harsh toxic chemicals on our home surfaces long after they've been used. As a mom to both a fur baby, and real human babies, this is a huge priority for me when bringing any disinfecting products into our home. 

Stain and Odor Remover From Kids 'n' Pets:

Lets's be real: kids and pets are both super messy. Whether it's your child spilling something on your couch, or your puppy bringing in muddy paws from outside, messes are inevitable. We have been longtime fans of Kids 'n' Pets. I love that their natural, non-toxic enzyme based formula breaks down biodegradable messes such as dirt, grass, blood, urine, etc... without the use of harsh chemicals, making it safe for your pets and children, while also not having to worry about it ruining the integrity of your carpets, sofas, or hard surfaces. Kids 'n' Pets can be purchased at Walmart and Home Depot.

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iDig from iFetch:

We shamelessly have one of the laziest dogs in the world. I know a lot of people have dogs that are super high energy and need to go on walks for miles and miles each day, but that has never really been our dog... thankfully. In an effort to help him get some more exercise we tried out the new iDig from iFetch with him and it was actually a pretty big hit! The iDig is a digging toy that has three flaps that you can hide toys and treats inside, and it stimulates your dogs mentally and physically, while satiating their innate desire to dig.

I was actually surprised by how fast our dog caught onto the idea and he may or may not have eaten quite a few dog treats in the process. This would be such a perfect dog gift for anyone you know who might be getting themselves a cute puppy under their tree this holiday season... or anyone with a dog for that matter! 

Use the code BABBLE15 for 15% any iDig purchase at goifetch.com

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Dog Grooming For Beginners

Grooming your dog at home can save you a lot of money over the course of a year. We started grooming our dog with great success. If you need a crash course in dog grooming for beginners, we have all your answers from one newbie to another. 

Our dog is a terrier mix that we got from the animal shelter a little over a year ago. He is about 10 pounds, but grows a ton of hair and sheds like crazy. The coronavirus put us in an interesting situation where he desperately needed to be groomed, but his shots were expired so we couldn't take him to the groomer, and we can't take him to the vet to get his shots because #quarantine, so Derek and I took it upon ourselves to groom him on our own several weeks ago.


I'm going to preface all of this with: We are not professionals. We had no clue what we were doing. If you groom your dog at home you do so at your own risk. 

At Home Dog Grooming For Beginners:

First, Wash Your Dog:


Our dog's fur was pretty gross at this point and super matted in a lot of areas, especially around his bum and paws. We gave him a bath using this oatmeal dog shampoo. This helped to smooth out all of his hair so that the trimmers would glide through it more easily. If the fur is matted down and stuck together, it will snag in the trimmers and could possibly hurt your dog.

Where to Groom Your Dog At Home:

We groomed our dog right in our master bathroom on our counter. We took everything off of the counter and set it in our bathtub with the curtain closed so that any fur that got airborne wouldn't get all over our personal hygiene items. We then just set Chester right up on the counter and he did really well. Derek and I took turns positioning him while the other groomed and trimmed, and Chester honestly didn't really move, bark, yelp, or anything the entire time. He just sat there and took it like a champ.

In hindsight, we saw one of our neighbors grooming their dog outside on their porch and this actually sounds like a much easier idea. We will totally be doing this next time. 

Best Clippers for Dog Fur:

We have a hair trimmer that we bought several years ago for me to cut Kyle's hair with. We originally thought that it would be too loud and scare Chester, but then had a friend tell us they used a human hair trimmer on their dog and nothing bad happened, so we decided to go that route and use ours. When we were done we sanitized the entire thing with bleach so we could go back to using it on humans again.

We used the #3 guard on the trimmer for his back, legs, neck, belly, and every part of him had a large enough surface area for the large trimmer to easily reach. This is the trimmer we used.

Derek also has a smaller trimmer that he uses for his beard. We used the smaller trimmer on his paws, legs, near his bum, and genital area (sorry yes, I went there). This is the beard trimmer we used.

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How We Knew How To Cut Our Dog's Hair:

Before we attempted the initial cut, we typed into youtube, "how to groom a terrier". We had a pretty good idea on what to do because we know what his fur looks like when it's professionally groomed, but seeing someone else do it in a video first gave a lot of peace of mind that it wouldn't be too difficult.

Our dog is super low maintenance, so we basically trimmed it all down like a buzz cut and called it good, except for some fine details.

Before you groom your own dog at home, I highly recommend watching a couple videos first to see how other people groom your particular breed.

Grooming The Fine Details:

The hardest parts for us to groom were around his face, genitals, and paws. They're just super small areas and our trimmers with the guards on were much too big to get into those spaces.

We ended up taking the guards off and using the blade right on his fur to get to these area. For the paws, we pushed all his hair up so that it was going opposite of the grain and sticking up, and then very carefully buzzed off the fur that was standing up. We never put the blade itself against his body, and only used it to remove the fur that was sticking up away from his body. We did this along his legs, genitals, and any other areas that had unruly hair that was sticking up that the trimmer could not get to with the guard on.

If this makes you nervous, or you don't have a stead hand, definitely don't do it. Derek and I took turns doing this and felt really confident that we had a steady enough hand to not make a mistake. Obviously when you take the guard off you're assuming risks, but that was how we were able to get the closest trim.

Derek has a really tiny pair of scissors for his beard that we used to trim the fur around Chester's eyebrows, mouth, and face area. We simply picked up the long, excess fur between two fingers, and trimmed it down like a hair dresser would at a salon. We made sure to only ever cut above where our fingers were holding the fur and not below. Cutting below where you're holding the fur would risk poking them in the eye and things like that. Always cut above your fingers!

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When You're All Done: 

Derek took Chester into the other bathroom to wash off all the loose fur that was hanging out on him while I cleaned our bathroom. I find it best to work from top to bottom, so I cleaned all the fur off of the counter, and then sprayed and wiped down our cabinets, and then swept the floor. We then moped the floor to make sure that all the little fur particles were fully off the floor and wouldn't transfer to other areas of the house.

How Long Does Grooming Your Dog Take?

I think between the bath at the beginning and the end, and the trimming in between, it took us about two hours. With practice it could probably become a lot quicker over time. Update: We've groomed our dog at home three times now, and our most recent attempt only took 30 minutes!

Is Grooming Your Own Dog Worth It?

Yes! It honestly wasn't that bad. Considering every time we go to the groomer we pay about $75, I would much rather do it at home for free. The only caveat is that we don't feel super comfortable trimming his claws on our own, and so I do think we would still pay $10-$15 for him to have that done somewhere else! Update: We've saved almost $300 since quarantine started by doing this on our own. Totally worth it!

Do you groom your dog at home? I would love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments! 

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8 Things to Know Before Getting a Dog

Getting a dog is a huge responsibility. If you're thinking about getting a dog, here are 8 things you need to know before getting a dog. 

Last week was officially our one year mark of owning our dog Chester. We adopted him on a whim from the animal shelter, and it's been amazing to see how he's really become a part of the family in just a year's time. There have been moments where we've been super frustrated with training and progress, but at the same time, we'd never change having him in our home. We really love this dog more than we thought we ever could. With that being said, here are 8 things you should know before getting a dog. 

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8 Things to Know Before Getting a Dog

You Will Love Your Dog

When we first brought Chester home I thought he was a kind of gross to be honest. The kids and Derek were really excited about him, but he was kind of just this dirty dog from the shelter to me. After we gave him a bath and he'd been around for a few days, he started to really grow on me. Now he sleeps next to me every night and we often cuddle on the couch. Things I literally never thought I'd say.

What You Need Before Bringing Home A Dog

Before you get your dog you need to go to the pet store for dog food, food bowls, a kennel, a blanket for the kennel, a collar with their name on it, shampoo, treats, and a brush. Once you get your dog home you'll need vaccinations and getting them spayed or neutered. I think the start up cost for everything, including adoption fees was about $700 when everything was said and done. This was for a small dog from the shelter who was not neutered.

Certificates for Free Neutering are Lies

Our animal shelter gave us a certificate for a free neutering at a specific clinic, so we drove an hour from our house to have it done, only to get a bill from the office saying that the certificate only covered the neutering and that it didn't cover meds, anesthesia, stitching, or any other part of the procedure, and charged us $400 for it. This was after we called them beforehand asking if the neutering was free, which they said yes, and then left out all the other details. I was ticked.

You need Outdoor Space for a Dog

We got our dog when we were living in a single level home with a fenced in yard. Now that we live in our townhome, owning him is a bit of a nightmare since we don't have a lot of accessible grass for him. We're excited to move this summer to a place that has a better setup for him. With that though, you should also make sure to puppy proof your home before you bring home your new dog.

Your Dog Will Chew Everything

Chester was still a puppy when we got him (about 18 months), and he chewed through a good amount of toys, eyeglasses, and my underwear (he literally ate ALL OF MY UNDERWEAR) in the first six months we had him. That being said, he is out of his chewing phase, and it feels so good to not have to worry about that anymore. Young puppies are definitely going to have high energy, and are more likely to do this than adult dogs.

Save Money for Dog Grooming

Chester isn't super high maintenance, so we get him groomed only twice per year. it still costs around $75 each visit though, and that's money you have to plan for when you have a pet. You could also groom at home and save money. You can see my post about it here.

How to Find A Good Dog Sitter

When we first got Chester we left him with a pet sitter we found on Rover (when you use my link you get $20 off your first pet sitter), and we've LOVED him. He's a little expensive but totally worth it, since we know he spends a lot of time with our dog and gives him lots of attention. We left Chester at a dog boarding place once and he got super sick from it. Now we only use the sitter we found on Rover and have been super happy with him.

Your Dog Will Drive You Nuts

Not going to lie, that first year can be rough. Chester chewed so many dirty diapers from the trash, underwear, and toys, that he was throwing up a lot at first. House training, vet visits, and learning how to be a dog owner can all be a little maddening at first, even if you have a good dog (which I believe we really got off easy compared to most people). But if you stay the course and train your dog, they will learn, and those phases will pass. Despite all the mischief, they really do become a part of your family, and you wouldn't want to get rid of them for the world.

Dog ownership is a huge responsibility, but overall I'm really glad that we decided to adopt a dog, and give him a forever home. The last year has definitely not been easy, but it's, been worth it to see the way our kids interact with him, and to see those precious bonds form. 

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Life With A New Dog| Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge

This post is sponsored by Collective Bias Inc, and it's advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #CollectiveBias #PONEVisibleDifferences #PurinaONEPets #Purina28DayChallenge


We've had our new dog Chester for a total of four months now, and it's so crazy to think we went from knowing basically nothing about dogs, to being full blown puppy parents in just a few short months. It's crazy how fast you can love something so small and furry, and how they become family almost as fast as it took for them to walk into your house for the first time.


There were a lot of things we weren't sure about when we first brought Chester home, one concern being, what do we feed him? We've tried a couple different things the last few months, but have really fallen in love with Purina ONE® Lamb and Rice formula. We purchased our 8lb bag at our local Walmart, which is super convenient since it's where we shop for our other groceries too. 


Since we adopted Chester from the shelter, we didn't know what food he was eating previously, and we didn't know much about his health history. It was hard to really know what our starting point was with him. We decided to take the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge, and decided to keep track of what changes we noticed with him over the last several weeks. 

We immediately noticed after day one that he was much more excited to eat his food, where previously he would never eat first thing in the morning and often wouldn't eat for the day until about 5pm. Once we switched his food he was much more interested in eating and would wag his tail each time we poured more food into his bowl.


After the first week we noticed he had way more energy and was a lot more chipper than he was when we'd first brought him home from the shelter. He went from cautiously laying all over our house to playing with the kids and getting into puppy trouble like most little dogs do. Purina ONE® Lamb and Rice really helped to give him that spark that had been out in him for quite some time. 

Give your pet the high-quality ingredients that help them reach their lifelong potential! With Purina ONE®, you could see visible differences in just 28 days–like strong teeth, vibrant energy, sparkling eyes, and a radiant coat. Make the switch today and save $3 on Purina ONE® when you register for the 28-Day Challenge at www.Walmart.com/PurinaONEWhat differences will you see? Visit your local Walmart to redeem your offer and realize your pet’s potential

Save $3 on one (1) 2.8-lb. or larger bag of Purina ONE® SmartBlend® dry dog food, any variety, or 2.8-lb. or larger bag of Purina ONE® dry cat food, any variety. Limit one per individual, household or e-mail address. While supplies last.


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