5 Steps to Start Growing Catnip Inside from Seeds!

 

Do you want to start growing catnip in your garden this year? Or maybe start catnip for your indoor cats from seed. Learn about when to start growing, how to grow catnip and how to dry the catnip!

  1. Plant seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last freeze.
  2. Catnip requires a lot of sun and water. Take that into consideration when picking a garden bed or a place in your home for your pot.
  3. Plant your catnip sprouts outside after the last freeze. If you are planting inside, make sure you plants have plenty of room to grow.
  4. Water your sprouts and watch them grow!
  5. When you plants have grown, cut trimmings to dry for your kitties. As the summer season comes to a close, take come clippings and transfer to an indoor pot to keep your plants going year round!

*** Expert tip ***

If you are growing full catnip plants indoors and have excited cats, use a large pot. Then plant the plants at least 6 inches below the rim. Put chicken mesh or other wire over the top of the pot so your cats can reach the growth without destroying the base of the plant!


Looking to start growing catnip indoors instead? Check out this great video blog about how to make this plant thrive inside as well!

5 Easter Presents for Your Cat

 

Why should dogs and kids have all the fun?!  Your loving feline companion should enjoy a nice Easter basket too. Check out some more “pawesome” presents that your cat is sure to love.

 


 

 

A raised treat bowl is perfect to use as a base for a basket.  Once you have a bowl you like, start filling it up with treats and toys.

 

 

 

 


I don’t think any cat can resist the Bergan Whirly Pop Cat Toy.  It pops and rolls which stimulates your cat’s natural pouncing instincts.  The best part it is, no batteries or pieces to lose.

 

 

 

 

 


These cute little Mylar crinkle cat balls are a great addition to any kitty basket. Cats love to knock things around and the plastic bag sounds these make is even better.

 

 

 

 


 

Straight from the Easter Bunny himself, a cat nip carrot just for your kitty!

 

 

 

 

 


And of course, no basket is complete without some eggs! The Pet Safe Egg-Cerciser treat dispensing toy keeps them active by rewarding their play with yummy treats. Plus, you can adjust the holes to make it easier or harder for the treats for fall out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Once you have the main fillings for your cat’s Easter basket make sure to pad it up with some of their favorite treats. A new bed, bowl, or even just a traditional basket works great for your pet to feel included in the holiday.  Just make sure to never use plastic grass as a filler because it can be harmful to your pets. Cats are especially drawn to it because, like tinsel at Christmas, it moves with the slightest breeze.  Also, if there are treats in there they could easily mistake for their food.  Use paper grass or even real grass which they can digest if they get curious and eat it.

 

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!

5 Valentine’s Day Treats for Your Pet

 

Is your pet the lucky Valentine in your life this year?  After all, they are our special friends and constant companions. So, celebrate the day with these delicious Valentine’s Day pet treats!  It’s a great way to show your precious little fur baby some extra love.

Remember to always keep your dogs away from candy, but making them there own special dog-friendly treats is a great way to include them.  Check out these easy to make recipes for your dog this year!

 


Heart Shaped Pup-cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots or chopped broccoli
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • Cream cheese as frosting
  • Strawberry (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit  and grease your cupcake pan with butter or vegetable oil
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Add the oil, peanut butter, and honey to the flour mixture
  4. Then add the buttermilk in a small amount at a time and mix
  5. Add in the carrots or broccoli
  6. Place the mixture into the cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cupcake
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 20 minutes and remove them from the pan
  8. After the cupcakes are cooled mix up your frosting

For frosting:

  1. Apply softened cream cheese to ice the cupcake
  2. Optional: cut up strawberries and mix them into the cream cheese
  3. Spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cupcakes


No- Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (make sure there are no dog toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (dog safe)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter to make a paste
  2. Add oats 1/4 a cup at a time and fully mix all the oats with the wet ingredients
  3. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and roll it into balls
  4. Place the balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour

These treats can be stored for 7-9 days if kept in the refrigerator.

 


Baked Tuna Valentine’s Day Cat Treats

These treats add a little oomph to plain canned tuna.

Ingredients:

  • Canned tuna
  • Cat-friendly garnish (like catnip or wheat grass)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  2. Mix one can of tuna and one tablespoon of garnish in a medium bowl
  3. Use a teaspoon to scoop the tuna mix onto the baking sheet
  4. Form tuna mix piles into a heart shape on the baking sheet
  5. Bake these treats for about 5 minutes or until they are warm

Feed this Valentine’s day cat treat in moderation, too many treats can give your cat a stomach ache.


Spinach and Chicken Valentine’s Day Cat Treats

Many cats crave some roughage (like spinach) in their diets, it’s the reason many cats try to eat house plants. These treats are a great way to add some variety to your cat’s diet, all in the form of a tasty treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of steamed boneless, skinless chicken thigh
  • 1 cup of spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of quick cooking oats
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place parchment paper on a baking sheet
  2. Place the cooled chicken, spinach, oats and egg in a food processor or blender and blend until the mixture is smooth with some chunks
  3. Pour the chicken mixture into a bowl and add the flour, mixing with your hands
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut with a small heart cookie cutter OR make thumbnail sized balls and flatten them
  5. Place the shaped dough on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be cleanly removed

Be sure to completely cook the chicken before adding it to the treat mixture. Feed these treats in moderation and break larger treats into cat-sized pieces.


Cooked Salmon

Cooked salmon is great as a special Valentine’s day cat treat. Many cats love this tasty fish. Be sure to cook all salmon thoroughly (by steaming or grilling) to make it safe for your cat. For this special treat, dice a small amount of cooked salmon and feed it to your kitty in a dish.

 

Valentine’s Day can be filled with dangerous food for your pet. However, these Valentine’s day treats are sure to safely woo that special four-legged friend in your life.

 

5 Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Dog

 

Is your dog your Valentine this year? How can you show your dog some love, other than belly rubs? Here are some Valentine’s Day gifts for your dog!

Spa Package 

Every dog loves getting pampered (and us humans love a less smelly dog). Check out Animal House Rescue and Grooming for dog grooming and nail trims. Want to pamper your dog at home? Try giving him a doggie massage. Start with a flat palm and run your hand over all parts of your dog’s body. Move in one swift motion over your dog’s sides and back with light pressure. The first few massages will help you figure out what normal feels like for your dog. After this you can feel spots on your dog that are swollen or need some extra loving.

Toys and Bones 

Most dogs love new toys and bones. Check out your local pet store for cool Valentine’s Day toys for the dog. For the more destructive dogs, try Kong indestructible toys. For the dog who loves to chew, check out antler chews, which are dropped deer antlers. Be sure to pick bones or toys that are not a choking hazard to your dog.

valentine's

 

Treats 

 

Every dog loves treats! Check out our previous article on Valentine’s Day dog treats or check your local pet store for dog treats. Also,most local pet boutiques have a bakery and sell special Valentine’s Day cookies.

Winter Clothing 

In February it can be a little chilly for outside fun with your dog, but with some winter weather gear your dog can play outside. Check out a winter coat or some winter boots as Valentine’s Day gifts for your dog. The coat will help keep your dog warm on winter walks and boots will help keep his paws ice ball free.

Quality Time

Most dogs love spending time with their people and it can be the best gift you can give them. Try taking your dog to the dog park or on a long car ride.

With these gifts, you can make give a special gift to that special dog in your life. These Valentine’s Day gifts for your dog are sure to please.

Reduce, Reuse and Ruff-cycle

 

Today we welcome guest writer Sidehill Pet Sitter Jessica! 

As the owner of two Australian Shepherds- who are way smarter than any toy I can buy them– I have had to come up with some creative, low-cost ways to keep them entertained. I decided to ruff-cycle. All of the toy ideas in this article are things that you likely have in your home or in your recycling bin!

As with any toy, make sure to supervise your dog the whole time he has it to make sure that he does not swallow anything he should not!

If your dog is on a diet or is sensitive to treats you can use his dry kibble as treats!

  1. Towel treat hide-it

This toy involves taking a towel, laying it on the ground and placing treats under it. It helps to let your dog watch you the first few times so that he can figure it out, or use smelly treats so he can find them quickly. After your dog catches on, you can put the treats under the towel with your dog out of the room! Most dogs will start by digging or licking the top of the towel, but will soon figure out to push their nose under the towel. * Please watch your dog to make sure that he does not swallow any part of the towel.

  1. Egg carton toy

This toy involves an empty egg carton. Take the egg carton and place treats in a few of the cups, then close your egg carton all the way, or leave the carton unlatched ( slightly open). Be prepared for your dog to rip the carton apart or flip the top open with his nose. In this picture, I am using apples to make this toy for my rabbit ( who thinks he is a dog)!

  1. Paper-tube toy

This toy involves taking a paper towel or toilet paper roll and applying peanut butter or another sticky yummy food onto the inside of the roll with a knife. Your dog will try and lick the peanut butter out of the roll!

  1. Orange Juice Container puzzle-toy

This toy involves taking a cardboard drink container ( like the kind orange juice comes in) and turning it into a puzzle toy. First be sure to rinse and clean the container very well! After the container is clean, remove the plastic spout with a knife or scissors. Then cut small (1 to 2 inches) holes into the sides and bottom of the container. Stuff small and medium-sized treats (such as your dog’s kibble, cheese or hard treats) into the container. Then, cover the holes with peanut butter. The treats should be able to fit through the holes with a little bit of shaking and knocking around. You can adjust the size of your holes to make it harder or easier for your dog. Your dog will shake and lick your toy, and eventually get the treats!

Hopefully, these reused toys will bring enrichment to your dog and a lessening on your carbon footprint!

How to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

 

January is National Walk to Your Pet Month. Usually, that brings to mind images of walking your dog on a sunny day. But, what if you were walking with your cat instead? You may baulk at the suggestion, but it’s true! Cats can be trained to walk on a leash and they can also end up loving it.

First off, you’ll want to break them into the idea of a leash and harness easily. Cats are very independent by nature, so it’s best not to force them into too much too quickly. And always make sure to give them lots of praise and pets during all interactions while training. After all, we know how much cats love being praised!

leash

Equipment needed

 

  • Harness and Leash

Make sure you’re using a harness and not just a collar. If they try to run up the collar could choke them or break off. The harness will protect their neck and give you more control for their safety.

  • Treats

Get a few healthy treats (a great time for a dental chew treat) to reward them in training. After a while start to eliminate the treats as a reward, but it is a great starting incentive.

Easy Steps To Train Your Cat to Walk on Leash:

 

Step 1: Introduction

Introduce your cat to the harness and leash. Show it to them and let them sniff it. Then leave it laying around their space before you try it on them. This will help them get familiar with it before they have to put it on. Once you’re ready to try it out, put it on them while giving them praises. If they’re okay with it from the start then let them wear it around for a while. If they are not having any of it then take it off and try again tomorrow. Don’t push them. After a successful wear, give them a little treat.

Step 2: Indoor Practice

After they are used to the harness, it’s time to try the leash. Put it on and gently lead them around the house. You will know when they are fed up when they refuse to stand or move or when their tail switches or they flatten their ears. Put down treats in a line (think Hansel & Gretel) to get them to move forward. Walk around to their favorite spots for a little while so they can get acclimated to being tethered.

Step 3: Outside Adventure

Once they are used to the leash and harness indoors it is time to venture outside a little bit. Start in the quietest part of the yard and slowly let them explore the area around the door. Each time try to get them into going a little farther on each walk. Hopefully, within a few days or weeks, they’ll be loving their leash and the great outdoors.

 

Tips to Keep in Mind

 

  • Always consider your cat’s temperament. Some cats may take to walking much faster than others. Some can be comfortable within a week or two, some can take close to a month.
  • Expect a few setbacks. It’s possible that your cat will love a walk one day and the next something is different or scares them and they may freak out.
  • Never leave them alone or tethered on the leash.
  • Don’t let them climb trees while walking.

 

It may seem like an impossible task, but it isn’t! Your cat gets all the same benefits of walking as do dogs and ourselves. It’s a great way for them to be stimulated, get exercise and enjoy the sunshine.

Do you ever walk with your cat? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

 

6 Things To Do in Fort Collins for New Years

The new year is almost here. It is time to bring to a close one year and the start of a new one. It’s not only a time to think about resolutions, it is also a time to think about spending time celebrating this special time of the years. So, if you’re looking for a great way to ring in the new year, we have picked the top 6 fun things for you do to in Fort Collins this New Years from the Coloradoan.

Our Top 6 New Years Events:

 

  • New Year’s Eve at Loveland Laser Tag

When: 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

New Years

Where: Loveland Laser Tag, 401 Denver Ave., Loveland

Try your hand at laser tag this New Year’s Eve, with Loveland Laser Tag’s New Year’s Eve lock-in, which will include all attractions, a full dinner buffet, a non-alcoholic sparkling cider toast at midnight and more. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.

 

  • First Night Fort Collins

When: 5:30-10 p.m.

Where: Downtown Fort Collins

Bring the whole family to Old Town this New Year’s Eve as First Night Fort Collins gears up for a free night of winter wonderland-themed offerings, including international dance, live theater, magic, comedy and music performances. Kids run free at the event’s “bounceland,” filled with giant inflatables and face painters. A kids countdown starts in the Square at 5:30 p.m. and fireworks finish the night early at 10 p.m.

 

  • Garden of Lights

When: 5-9 p.m.

Where: The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., Fort Collins

Wander through a wonderland of twinkling lights at the annual Garden of Lights at the Gardens on Springs Creek. While there is no cost of admission, a $5 donation per adult and $2 donation per child is suggested.

 

  • An Epic Night to Remember at Fusion

When: Starts at 7 p.m.

Where: Fusion Night Club, 351 Linden St., Fort Collins

Du’ Tell Events and Fusion Night Club invites you to celebrate New Years Eve with dancing, live music, hors d’ oeuvres, an open bar, party favors, a balloon drop, photo booth and a champagne toast at midnight. Dress to impress. Tickets are $60 per person or $100 per couple.

 

  • New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party

When: Starts at 9 p.m.

Where: Dungeons & Drafts, 1624 S. Lemay Ave. Unit 6, Fort Collins

Mask up and head down to Dungeons & Drafts for its 2017 New Year’s Masquerade bash. Attendees 21 and over will get a free glass of champagne at midnight.


If you’re going to be heading out this New Year’s Eve make sure your pet stays safe. Follow these quick safety tips to keep everyone safe while ringing in 2018.

  • Don’t leave them outside at night. The fireworks can throw them into a panic. They may try to escape the yard or get tied up in their leash if they are tethered.
  • Make sure tags are updated. This is important just in case they do end up escaping during the night.
  • Turn on ambient noise (i.e., TV or radio) to drown out a party or fireworks.
  • Hire a pet sitter if your pet is particularly anxious about loud noises and being alone.

We hope that everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!  CHEERS!

 

Why Does My Dog Not Like New Year’s Eve?

If you are asking yourself this question, then you’ve probably had a traumatizing experience with Fido while watching the Times Square ball drop at midnight. If you’re like most people, New Year’s Eve is a night filled with lots of family, friends, fun, and noise. LOTS of noise. Though the noise may not bother you, your dog’s hearing is four times better than yours. Their natural instinct is to RUN.

One minute you’re cuddling with Fido and the next he is nowhere to be found. He most likely ran outside or hid under the bed, searching for a secure place to hide. While you’re frantically running around looking for your precious pooch, you get a knock on the door from your neighbor saying they found him wandering in their front yard. You think to yourself, “I’m so lucky I found you”.

If you can relate to this scenario, your dog most likely does not like New Year’s Eve.

A few reasons your dog doesn’t like New Year’s Eve

  • Decorations

See those streamers, balloons and party hats? They may be fun for you, but for Fido? Not so much. He may be scared and not recognize you. This may lead to a change in behavior and his reactivity to you. If he shows signs of fear, take the hat off and reassure your pup that everything will be okay.

  • Loud Noises

Noise makers, cheering and laughter are all part of the New Year’s Eve festivities. These are all scary noises for Fido. You may find him trembling and whining in fear. Ask your guests to bring the noise down a notch, and put your dog in a separate room with the TV or radio on.

  • Crowds

Is it your turn to host the annual New Year’s Eve party? Whether you are hosting a huge party, or it’s a group of your closest friends, these people are getting in your dog’s personal space. Large crowds are scary and Fido may react adversely. If your dog is not a social creature, spare him the anxiety and put him in a separate room.

  • Fireworks

Are your neighbors the type to set off fireworks in the middle of the street and make a huge commotion? If you answered yes, this may be why Fido is shaking uncontrollably while you “ooh” and “ah” at the light show. Fireworks are some of the scariest, loudest noises for dogs. Turn up the TV and keep your furry friend in a secure kennel or bedroom. If you have the opportunity to, try to stroke his back while you reassuringly hold him.

The reasons mentioned above may just be the tip of the iceberg to why your dog does not like New Year’s Eve. Just remember, while you’re excited and ready to ring in the New Year, keep your furry friend in mind!

 

The Best Holiday Gifts For Dogs

Pets are a huge part of every pet parent’s life, so it makes sense to include them on holidays. But finding gifts for your dog that they will like can be challenging. Here is a list of gift ideas for every dog in your life.

For the dog who loves fetch

A favorite gift for Fido is the traditional tennis ball. Many dogs love tennis balls more than any other toy, and as a bonus, they are pretty inexpensive. Buy your dog a set of 3 balls and have a game of fetch in the yard or park. These are sure to be a great gift for the dog who loves fetch.

If you have a dog who likes to shred or break tennis balls, there are some really cool, hardy tennis balls on the market. Check out the Chuckit! brand balls or Kong brand balls for a more durable ball. Both of these are available online and at most pet stores.

For the dog who likes toys

There are so many cool toys available for your pup to play with. You can find toys specifically for what you need. There are waterproof toys, toys that float, durable toys, squeaker toys and many more. Try and pick one for what you want to do with it, like a floating toy for fetch at the lake.

Feeling crafty? There are lots of easy DIY toys you can make at home. One of my favorites is the fleece or t-shirt braided toy.

  • Fleece or t-shirt Braided Toy
  • Supplies: Old t-shirt or fleece, scissors, 2 rubber bands
  1. Start by cutting your fleece or t-shirt into 3 equal length and width strips. Make the width about 2 inches wide. Make the strips about 6 inches longer than you want the toy to be. Cut shorter strips for smaller dogs, and longer strips for larger dogs.
  2. Begin by placing the first rubber band 3 inches down your strip. Tie the rubber band tight.
  3. Begin braiding the strips together until you reach 3 inches from the bottom.
  4. Tie a rubber band at the end of your braid.
  5. Tie a large, tight knot at both ends of your braid.
  6. Cut the rubber band out of the knot using scissors.
  7. Give the toy to your dog to enjoy!

For the smarty pants

Dogs need to keep their minds active to stay out of trouble, here are some toys to trick your dog into using his brain.  Check out Kong toys, which let you hide treats or peanut butter in the toy. These are very durable and most dogs love them. Another great option is puzzle toys. These are available at most major pet stores. These toys allow you to hide treats in the toy; your dog has to move pieces around in order to get the treats. Check out Outward Hound’s puzzle toys for some cool gifts for Fido.

You can also DIY some puzzle toys from items you have at home. Check out our previous blog post “Reduce, Reuse, Ruff-cycle” for some great DIY toy ideas.

For the fashionable dog

Some dogs love to be up on the latest trends.  Every dog needs a cool collar or harnesses this season. Check out local pet stores for a new collar or harness.  Be sure to pick one that fits securely on your dog. Make sure the collar is not too heavy or likely to get caught on things. If you are a Fort Collins local, check local boutique pet stores for awesome CSU collars.

For the dog who has everything

Spending time with you is the best gift you could give to your dog. A great gift for any dog is going out for a special walk or hike. If your dog is not a huge fan of walking, try giving extra belly rubs as a gift.

These gifts are sure to be perfect for all the dogs in your life! Let us know what toys you give your dog this holiday season.


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The Best Holiday Gifts for Cats

 

Getting the perfect gift for the fuzzy feline in your life can be a challenge! These gift ideas are sure to please and keep your kitty content this holiday season.

Toys 

  • For the playful cat, toys can make a great gift. There are many types of toys available, so you can find the perfect one for your cat!
  • Does your cat like to chase things? Check out the traditional feather wand or the automated “Teaser” cat toys. Feeling crafty? Try making your own stick toy by tying a string onto a clump of feathers and glueing this onto a small dowel.
  • Does your cat like catnip? Try making your own catnip toy by filling a sock with catnip then using a rubber band or string to tie it closed.

cats

Furniture

  • Cat trees are always a good gift. Cats love to get up high and check out their home. Cat trees come in many variations. I would recommend shorter cat trees for older cats and taller ones for younger or agiler cats. If your cat likes to scratch check out cat trees with scratching post bases.
  • Cat beds are a great gift for the sleepy cat in your life. Try and pick a soft bed, that is easy to wash and place it in your cat’s favorite spot. Many cats love sleeping in the sun, so place the bed by a window.
  • Scratching posts are great to minimize scratching and keep your cat healthy. Cats scratch to mark their scent and to file their nails down. Scratching posts range from very simple to very fancy. Simple cardboard scratching pads can be found at most pet stores. Some of the fancier scratching posts have twine that can be replaced when it is worn down.

Treats 

  • Cat treats can be a great present for your cat this holiday season. Check out our previous blog posts for cat treat recipes. A slight change in diet can also make a good gift. Try adding a can of wet food or a different type of pet food. Most cats love wet food, so this is a special gift for the holidays.

Cats can be difficult to understand, but choosing a gift for them can be easy. These gifts will help make this holiday season special for your cat! Let us know what presents your cat likes this holiday season on our Facebook page.

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