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Paw Perfect Beauty Secrets

13 Sep

New York Fashion Week might be coming to a close, but there are some beauty trends that never go out of style.

It’s true that Labradors may have low-maintenance grooming needs, but they can often be prone to seasonal allergies and every pup needs to look their best. Weather your looking for a shiny coat, less shedding or smoother paws – you’ll want to continue reading Bailey’s paw perfect beauty secrets to keep your pooch looking their best all year long.

A healthy Coat

Omega-3 Krill Oil: Just one pill a day will keep your dogs coat shiny and help prevent dry skin. The Omega-3s don’t give your dog that fishy smell or gas that fish oil may. 

Virbac Hexadene Medicated Shampoo: A gentle shampoo that helps prevent skin rashes, acne and pyoderma (a common skin allergy) without irritating the skin.

Planet Petco Natural Shea Butter Daily Moisturizing Spray: A great moisturizer to freshen up your pooch and keep their fur shiny and smelling like coconuts!

Less Shedding

Oatmeal Baking Soda Conditioner Shed Repel & Odor Control: Smells delicious and leaves fur soft, while helping to minimize shedding.

FURminator: Reduces up to 90% of shedding. We typically use around Bailey’s hind legs and neck.

Smooth Paws

Four Paws Paw Guard with Lanolin: Our best kept secret! Bailey’s paws can get rough and cracked with a lot activity. After applying paw guard to her pads at least twice a week, we see a tremendous difference. This protective wax helps shield paws from heat, ice and rough surfaces. It also helps smooth any cracks that might already exist.

Red-Itchy Eyes, Ears and Skin

Benadryl Antihistamine Tablets:
When the wind kicks up, Bailey gets a runny nose that won’t stop, along with red eyes and ears. We give her up to 3 tablets (based on weight) and it clears them right up! Check with your vet if you think your dog might have allergies.

PhytoVet CK Wipes: Another common problem for Bailey is yeast infections on her skin, primarily in her webbed paws. When we see she’s itching her paws insistently, we know there’s a problem. These wipes help clear prevent any flare up that might happen. In the past it’s gotten so bad, that she’s licked and chewed her paws raw. So, these wipes are helpful to keep around.

Virbac Epi-Otic Ear Solution: No one likes smelly ears full of wax. Not only does this solution help prevent ear infections – it leaves Bailey’s ears smelling and looking clean!

Clean Teeth

Pro-Pet Canine Toothpaste & toothbrush: Bad breath can be a fashion disaster. Every pup needs healthy and clean gums. Thankfully, Bailey loves having her teeth brushed. This toothpaste seems to be anther treat. There are lots of toothbrushes out there – so find one that works for you!

Natural Rawhide Rolls: Once in awhile we use these to help prevent tarter build up. The intense chewing helps clean Bailey’s teeth and keeps her busy for at least 30 minutes.

These are just a few of our secret beauty tips to keep our pretty girl looking, feeling and smelling her best – during any season!

Weather Proofing for Outdoor Style

10 Sep

It’s hard to imagine how little Bailey was when we first brought her home. She could fit in my lap. After a few months, it was time to think about where Bailey would stay while we were away from the house. She was too rambunctious to keep in the house – and too destructive to leave alone outside.

We looked at a number of kennels and dog runs, and finally decided on the ShelterLogic 4×8 Kennel. These kennels are dog friendly and fit nicely in a backyard or garage. They come with an easy to assemble cover for the top – but the side panels and bottom floor are exposed.  The price and size were perfect – but left us questioning how to make this outdoor doghouse functional and cozy year round.

An eight-foot long kennel takes up a large space in any yard – not too mention weatherproofing for leaves, bugs, dust, rain and wind. It wasn’t too long after Bailey started staying in her kennel that she started developing allergies.  Thankfully, they were only seasonal allergies – but this led us to create Bailey’s clean and comfortable sanctuary outside.

First, we had to find a base for the floor to minimize the amount of leaves, dust and bugs accumulating in the kennel. We used six cinderblocks to raise the kennel and then purchased high-end plywood for the flooring. There are also plastic kennel floors you can purchase, but they are much more expensive and slippery.

We then surrounded the sides of the kennel with wood panels to block leaves and dust from entering inside. Tarps were laid across the top of the kennel for extra protection from the wind and rain in the winter.  The best part of using a tarp is the ability to fold up one side when the weather is nice. With all other areas of the kennel covered, Bailey can still enjoy looking out and getting some fresh air when it’s not raining.

Last, we’ve designed the inside of the kennel to match our outdoor décor. We used large fleece blankets, sheets and old outdoor pillows to create a comfortable and cozy retreat for Miss Bailey Jane while we’re away. This also works well to extend the adult sitting area, so the kennel isn’t a major eye sore in the backyard. Some queen palms and foliage also help hide the kennel and create a natural separation for Bailey’s area.

And of course, no outdoor area would be complete without toys! To make sure our yard is not cluttered, we hide all Bailey’s toys in an outdoor garden tool box – which is a natural addition to any landscaping and provides additional seating for guests.

Here are a few photos for inspiration. Good luck creating your outdoor doggie retreat that is both functional, safe and a natural addition to your yard.


Sporty and Fun Fashion

7 Sep

Sporty and Fun Fashion

For active labradors, fashion can’t just be fabulous – it needs to be functional. Bailey is in the air and on the move at all times. Happy Friday, everyone!

Fashion On The Go

6 Sep

Whether you’re headed to the dog park or out for a weekend getaway, there are a few essentials every furry baby needs – and why not make sure you both are hitting the town in-style. As active (and destructive) as Bailey is – I never leave the house without a few staples, just in case we run into trouble.

Here are a few of our favorites to make sure we are both fashionable and prepared on the go.

  • Eco-chic b. Happybags:  This adorable bag is large, comfortable and good for the environment. It’s made out recycled water bottles, which makes it extremely durable and soft. It’s machine washable and comes in a variety of colors and designs.
  • Excel Ear Cleansing Pads: These pads are compact and easy to use. Bailey is not always cooperative with her ears, but doesn’t seem to mind these small wipes. You never know when water, dirt or slobber at the dog park might come into play.
  • Neosporin: Too much rough housing during playtime, hot asphalt, or a nip at the park can happen anytime. We always carry Neosporin with us.
  • Gentle & Tearless Vanilla Milk & Honey Wipes: A good wipe down after playing outside keeps everyone clean before getting in and out of the car – or entering the house.
  • Cynthia Rowley Towel: If there is water around, Bailey will find it. Whether diving into a mud bath, pouncing in a puddle or rolling on fresh dew – she’s there.  Thankfully, our Cynthia Rowley towel is highly absorbent, quick drying and lightweight.
  • Pinch Collar & Leash: We never leave the house without it! This is the ONLY way we can walk Bailey – it’s a lifesaver.
  • Extra Collar: You never know what Fido might get into… and a quick collar change might be needed if there’s mud or water involved.
  • Long Lead Rope Leash: Bailey’s not off-leash ready just yet. Our long lead rope gives her a little extra freedom if we find a quiet and open space (and Bailey is in her calm state).
  • John Paul Pet Full Body & Paw Wipes:  No one wants a smelly doggie around. Bailey is notorious for following her nose and rolling around in scents. Body wipes are a great quick fix.

What are your essentials that keep your pooch happy while away from home?

Wordless Wednesday #03

5 Sep

Wearing my bright and bold color Daisy collar today. What do you think? Does it hide my neck rolls? #girlishfigure

Creating a Stylish Doggie Den

4 Sep

Crate training may be the single best thing we’ve ever done with Bailey. It not only created a relaxing space for her when she was a puppy; but it is a natural doggie den for her to sleep a night. Since day one, Bailey has slept in our room. We figured that she’d eventually mature and upgrade to a plush doggie bed (or eventually move into our bed). Unfortunately, we’ve had no luck. Bailey destroys almost every object with stuffing – including dog beds, and she is too large to sleep in our bed. After an hour or two, she’ll jump off our bed and go into her beloved crate.

I know – we’re lucky that she loves her crate and prefers to sleep alone. There’s just one issue … a 54-inch crate takes up a lot of space and can be a huge eye sore in the master bedroom.

So, if your pooch is like ours and demands their own space to sleep, you might as well make it a stylish addition to your décor vs. another bulky dog accessory you have to put up with.

Below are a few ideas to take that boring old crate and turn it into a fabulous doggie den.

Step 1: Choose your color palette or theme for the décor. I find that plain memory foam bath rugs or crate pads work best to protect knees and elbows without encouraging Bailey to chew or get too warm. A standard twin sheet, shower curtain or baby sheets come in all prints and colors, and wont make your pup too warm in the summertime. You can also add microfiber blankets for pillows or extra cushion.

Step 2: Line the crate with your rug or crate pad and place the sheets over as you like. Add blankets if needed as it gets colder.

Step 3: Place any decorative blanket over the top.

Step 4: Decorate the edges and trim of the crate in ribbon – as long as your pooch won’t be tempted to chew.

Step 5: Add any comfort toys your furry baby may need.

Four Legged Fashionistas

3 Sep

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 is here and just because our furry friends can’t watch the runway trends, doesn’t mean they can’t trot in-style. However, it feels like little diva dogs seem to get all the attention. What about our big and beautiful furry babies? Large, XL and size 18-inch neck is hard to dress – especially when looking for a fashion statement!

Now, Bailey would never let me dress her up (yes, I’ve tried) – but there are a few fashion secrets I’ve found that she’ll tolerate. If anything, it brings out her sassy personality, keeps me happy, and helps strangers know she’s a GIRL.

Trends for Fall 2012 are highlighting bright and bold colors, sequence and crystals, and mixing fun prints. Here are a few of Bailey’s top favorites she’ll be sporting out this season.

Here are some other styles Bailey has her eye on!

Coco Swarvoski Crystal Dog Collar

Red Glitter Dog Shoes

Dog Collar & Flower

Check back all week for fashion tips to make your dog strut in-style from the street to your home. There’s nothing too much for these four-legged fashionistas.

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