How to Keep Your Aging Pet Healthy and Happy

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How to Keep Your Aging Pet Healthy and Happy
by Nick Burton,

There is nothing quite like the joy that a pet can bring. No matter their age, they will always be babies in our eyes. However, we need to ensure that as their bodies change, we adapt with them to make their lives easier. Here is how you can ensure your pet leads their best life as they gradually transition into their golden years.

Changing Their Diet

As our furry friends grow older, their diets will need to change to reflect the alterations in their bodies. However, don't assume that cats' needs and dogs' needs are the same, either. While dogs may need fewer calories as they grow older, cats spend more energy as they age; this means they require more calories than they did before. Senior cats also need plenty of protein, even more than when they were kittens. They may not absorb it as well as when they were spritely, however, so always get food that is formulated for them. Dogs, however, benefit from lower calorie foods with less fats. Antioxidants and omega-3s can keep your pup in good shape; therefore, look for meals that support these needs.

Useful Accessories

Getting around can become a trial in our pets' later years. To make their lives more comfortable, add some accessories. This could mean buying a pet stroller so you pet can still get outside, or pet stairs to help your older pooch get onto the couch or into the car. Of course, you'll want to understand which options are best for your dog's size and needs before making an investment. Thankfully, the internet is full of owner and professional reviews to guide you. You might also get extra cushioned beds to keep pressure off of their joints. There are even toys geared specifically for older pets, so they can still have gentle enrichment despite their increasing age.

A House With Dogs- 1 Year of Home Ownership

I cannot believe I am coming up on owning my home for a year! Time flies, that is just so crazy to me!

When I started thinking about owning a home and how I would decorate and live my life, I wanted to be intentional about what I purchased and where I put things because of the dogs. I will always have dogs in my life, and this is their house like it is mine, so I want to make sure my house is equipped for that.

To me that meant only buying things that I knew could handle the wear and tear of dogs. As much as those throw pillows with the tassels are ADORABLE, to my dogs, the tassels are just begging to be eaten, so why even buy it?

I have two rules/guidelines that I brought with me into owning a home:
#1 Buy Everything Washable
#2 Clean Lines = Easy Cleaning

Checked throw: Pottery Barn, Wooden Sign: Smallwood Home, Floor Lamp: Ikea, LOVE Pillow: Pottery Barn, Aztec Pillows: Ikea,  Fiddle Leaf: Amazon, Rug: Ruggable, Dog Beds: Orvis)

Lamps, vases, flowers, baskets, and pillow from Target

#1 Buy Everything Washable.
Almost everything in my home can be washed. Even my living room rug (see my favorite items below!) My kitchen rugs, bathroom rugs, blankets, throws, pillow covers, dog beds,......almost everything can be thrown in the wash if needed (and it's ALWAYS needed)

#2 Clean Lines = Easy Cleaning
I want my house to be as easy to clean as humanly possible. To me, that meant keeping the clutter down. My mom will tell you that I hate "trinkets" and things lying around, so this wasn't a hard thing for me to do, but still when I want to buy a picture frame, or another succulent to sit around I remember this. The more I have, the more things will get dirty and need cleaning. I love being able to dust by just taking a rag and going down a straight line on my table and not having to first clear it of everything that was sitting on it, then dust the table, then dust all the individual things that were sitting on the table.

World Map: Pinterest, Rug & Chairs: Hobby Lobby

Here are some of my favorite items from owning a home over the last year!
  • Ruggable (as seen in the first picture): The machine washable rug. It's life changing. I wash it probably once a month. Still looks brand new and it feels SO good to wash all the dirt, dog hair and everything else that it collects! 
  • Magnetic Screen Door: This has changed everything. Especially with house training a puppy, being able to leave the door open so she can go when needed, while still keeping the flies out is life changing. 
  • Orvis Dog Beds: Well worth the investment, these are the best dog beds I have ever owned (and I've owned them all!) They have a water resistant liner, and are SO easy to cover and uncover for washing. I've owned them for years and they haven't once disappointed me. I bought one for Molly when her hips didn't allow her on my bed anymore, I was sad, she was not. She truly loves the memory foam.

  • Mrs. Meyers Cleaners:  I clean EVERYTHING with this. My favorite scent is Honeysuckle but their seasonal scents are the bomb too! It does a great job cleaning my grimy services and smells fantastic!
  • Bissell Spot Cleaner: How could I have lived without my little spot cleaner. Guys, I have put this little booger to the test. 4 foster puppies and 4 adult dogs and this thing keeps up! 
  • Dog Friendly Weed Killer: I don't know about you, but my dogs eat my grass and weeds. So to kill them, I need something that won't kill my dogs, but will kill my weeds!! I searched and found that strong vinegar will do the trick. I buy it here, from Amazon. Normal cooking vinegar is not as strong as this stuff. I put it in a water bottle and spray all my weeds. Once the sun hits it, they are scorched! 

CUTEST Cookies EVER! Look-a-like Dog Cookies!

Get ready for a BIG bragging session!
My family has been friends with this other family, the Carter's since we were itty bitty! I love old friendships!

Now their daughter, Sami, has started her own business of baking and decorating cookies (for humans) and she is REALLY good at it.

Her site is (LOOK HER UP!)

Like, I'm not just saying that because I know her, she is remarkable. She does all sorts of things! I don't know if there is anything she can't do. She makes cookies that look just like your dog!

So I asked her to make me some cookies to commemorate my first year of home ownership! She BLEW me away!

Dog Mother's Day Gift Guide

Dog Mom's are Mom's too!

It's true as much as some people don't want to admit it (another rant for another time).

And I have thought of some gifts that I have either personally been given, or given to someone else and know they were/are loved!

Plus we must keep in mind that this is MOTHER'S DAY. 

Do not get your mom something that isn't FOR HER.

I saw a list today, and it was for the "new" mother and it was a bunch of stuff for the BABY! No! It isn't Baby's Day, it's Mother's Day!

So I have found some marvelous things for the Dog Mom. Not the dog. The Dog Mom. 

A House With Dogs: Throw Pillows for the Dog Parent

I have been working on designing, and making these dog lover throw pillows for almost a year! Once I come up with an idea, I like to do research and spend a lot of time preparing and experimenting.

This was the longest process of anything I have ever offered in the shop.

 #1: Ordering Fabric

My goal was to make sure I picked quality fabric that wasn't white, but wasn't gray. Being a dog mom, I knew plain white would be out of the question, but gray was a little too much, so I wanted like an in between color.
That was easier said than done. I am not a seamstress. I know nothing of fabric. I had no idea it was so complicated!
I ordered so many samples! I even had decided on one, and then a week later before ordering it in bulk, changed my mind and started from scratch again.

#2 Cutting and Printing

The fabric had to be cut into the pillow squares before it could be screen printed. So I had to have my seamstress cut the fabric into 144 pillow squares. I then sent those pillow squares off to Chicago, to our screen printer. They were all set up to use our graphics by my wonderful friend Celeste Paper Co to screen print onto my pre-cut squares.

Doggie King Cake Recipe

I spent almost the first decade of my life living just outside of New Orleans so I am very familiar with King Cake and Mardi Gras, but in case you aren't....

A traditional king cake is a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry in the shape of an oval. It's decorated in three colors, purple to symbolize "Justice",  green for "Faith" and gold for "Power" and these colors were chosen to resemble a crown to honor the wise men who visited Jesus on Epiphany (the visit of the Magi to Jesus). A small plastic baby is commonly hidden in a king cake. The person who finds the baby in their piece is named "King" for the day and must provide the king cake for the following year.

So there you go! I find it fascinating and fun!

I wanted my "children" to participate in the tradition so I adapted my dog birthday cake recipe to be a King Cake today!

This cake recipe is my dog birthday cake recipe, so it doesn't have to be just King Cake.
I make my dog cakes in a bundt pan but you may use whatever you like, just know the cooking time will differ depending on the pan you use.

Carob and Peanut Butter Valentine's Dog Treats

I still believe dogs make the best Valentine's dates.

#1 I hate dressing up and "going out" do my dogs
#2 I don't have to worry about how much I eat in front of them.....
#3 Their idea of the perfect night is the same as mine: me in my sweat-pants, on the couch with them and a bowl of queso

So for those reasons I decided they needed a Valentine's gift. Back when Treat Dreams was a dog bakery, this recipe was one of our top sellers because it smells DIVINE! Like Reese's peanut butter cups.

Black Bean Soup- My Go-To This Winter

So this is the first year I have lived out on my own, with no roommate, or anyone to rely on for supplying me food.
So I am having to plan, buy groceries and budget like a real adult to provide food for myself on a daily basis.

Therefore I have been trying a lot of new recipes. I want delicious and easy BUT also makes good leftovers because I am not a leftover person, so if it warms up to be less than good, I will not be eating it, and it will be wasted.

I have found all of that in this Black Bean Soup.

I found it from but have changed a few things due to my
1) laziness
2) taste preferences

So I am going to paste the recipe here as she has it on but in parenthesis and in pink, I'll tell you how I do it!

Dogs Make The Best Friends Shirt- Coming Soon!

This show got me through college. FRIENDS was on almost 24/7, ask all my friends.
and now I found a way to merge my dogs and my FRIENDS.
These are available for pre-order right now with a shipping date within 3-4 weeks.

You can pre-order them via this link HERE
and use the code PREORDER for 10% off!