4 Great Dog-Friendly Trails/Parks For Winter Walks:

Outside time isn’t just for when it’s warm out. Here are 4 locations that have beautiful scenery and fun so plentiful, it makes freezing your tail feathers off more than worth it!

By Abigail Brown

Gorgeous day!

Grandview Nature Preserve

A beautiful 2.5-mile trail to the beach. This gem is located in Hampton VA and the surrounding beach makes for a gorgeous morning walk with your pups. Bring hot cocoa to keep warm, and enjoy!

Via bringfido.com

Elizabeth River Trail

An adorable 10.5-mile trail to walk/run, that gives you an amazing view of the Norfolk Waterfront! Bike, run, walk, or be tugged along in a wagon if that’s your style– either way this area is endlessly pretty and worth visiting at least once.

Via traillink.com

 

Shirlington Dog Park Shirlington Dog Park

Located in Arlington VA, Shirlington dog park is quite a bit of fun for pets and pet owners. Inside the dog park is gates that lead to an adorable stream and this fenced area allows your dog free space to run around to their heart’s content.

Via T.Worden, bringfido.com

Mount Trashmore Park A photo of dog-friendly Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach.

Fun for kiddos, pups, and parents! Mount Trashmore Park has something for everyone. Not to mention the 60- foot tall, 800- foot wide mountain made of solid waste–being quite the eyecatcher, to say the least. This park is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Off-leash areas are limited for pups, but the walking areas make it quite the experience for your pup.

Via bringfido.com

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cat blue eyes Christmas photo professional pet portrait

The Purrrrrfect Gifts for Animal Lovers

The holidays are among us! If you still need to find some last-minute gifts for the animal lovers in your life, look no further: I’m here to help.

  1. I Work Hard So My Dogs Can Have a Better Life” T-Shirt:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/658532959/i-work-hard-so-my-dogs-can-have-a-better?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=animal+lover+gift&ref=sr_gallery-1-4&pro=1

  2. I Work Hard So My Cats Can Have a Better Life” T-Shirt:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/658535313/i-work-hard-so-my-cats-can-have-a-better?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=animal+lover+gift&ref=sr_gallery-1-10&pro=1

  3. Paw Print Heart Dish:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/251580388/animal-lover-gift-paw-print-heart-dish?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=animal+lover+gift&ref=sr_gallery-1-21&bes=1&col=1

  4. Rescued is My Favorite Breed” Keychain:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/566332627/rescued-is-my-favourite-breed-dog-lover?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=animal+lover+gift&ref=sr_gallery-1-48

  5. Be Kind to Every Kind” Wall Art:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/559547740/be-kind-to-every-kind-quote-print-vegan?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=animal+lover+gift&ref=sr_gallery-2-18

  6. It’s Basically a Zoo in Here” Doormat:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/592985465/dog-lover-gift-dog-doormat-pets-doormat?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=animal+lover+gift&ref=sr_gallery-2-34

  7. DJ Cat Scratching Pad:

    https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/dj-cat-scratching-pad

  8. A Bonilla Pet Photography Gift Certificate!

    Check out our Facebook for more details: https://www.facebook.com/EBonillaPhoto/

Happy shopping & Holidays, everybody!

Meghan, for Bonilla Pet Photography

Pets and Summer Celebrations

Summer is here and that means cookouts, celebrations, and firework-filled nights! We all want to make sure our pets stay safe during these times. Are you prepared?

Here are some tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Preparing in advance:

  • Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification tags with up-to-date information.
  • If your pets aren’t already microchipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of getting your pets back if they become lost.
  • If your pets are microchipped, make sure your contact information in the microchip registry is up-to-date.
  • Take a current photo of all of your cats, dogs– just in case.
  • If your pet has historically been anxious during celebrations or fireworks, or if you have reason to expect potentially harmful reactions, consider behavioral therapy to desensitize your pet and reduce the risk of problems. Some pets may need medication. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
  • Make sure the environment is safe and secure. If your neighbors set off fireworks at an unexpected time, is your yard secure enough to keep your pet contained? Evaluate your options, and choose the safest area for your animals; and make improvements if needed to make the area more secure.

Safety during celebrations:

  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewers away from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people.
  • Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
  • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  • If you’re travelling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.

After the celebrations:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

It’s Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month!

When most people think of June their first thought is usually a month filled with warm summer days, family barbecues, and lots of beach trips! However, to the staff at an Animal Shelter, the biggest thought that is running through their minds is kittens, kittens, kittens! The month of June…. and pretty much all of the Spring and Summer season is what is known in the animal care world as “kitten season.” Kitten season is generally described as the time of year when an astonishingly large amount of stray or orphaned kittens and a lot of pregnant cat moms find their way into an animal shelter whether it be by the local animal control picking them up or a kind samaritan bringing them in. During this time most shelters are scrambling to find every foster family and possible resource available to take these moms and kittens until they are big enough and healthy enough to come back and be put up for adoption. This process can take anywhere from one week to a couple of months!

National Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month kicks off every June in hopes of spreading shelter cat awareness and helping to find both help and homes for homeless cats and kittens. It also, again, marks the height of kitten season! Here are a few ways you can help shelter cats and kittens near you:

  1. Fostering- Shelters are always looking for families to foster their cats and kittens! It helps the shelter so that they can keep space available for other animals that are coming through their doors, but it’s an even bigger help to the cats and kittens that are coming in! A lot of cats and kittens that enter a shelter environment are exposed to a plethora of different upper respiratory diseases. They also do not get as much one on one care that they so desperately need since a lot of times shelter staff are stretched taking care of hundreds of shelter animals at a time. Taking a mom and kittens home or even an orphaned group of kittens greatly reduces their chance of being infected and developing complications from URI. They are also able to get the extra one on one love and care that they thrive from so that they remain happy and healthy and can be put up for adoption sooner!
  2. Adopting- Whats better than bringing home a fun, furry, new bundle of joy? Adoption is one of the greatest things you can do for a homeless pet. It’s actually one of the best things you could do for yourself as well! Animals provide an amazing amount of companionship and cats are full of different personalities so there’s always bound to be one that matches what you are looking for! Did I also mention it’s been said that having a pet can lower stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improves one’s mood? Every year thousands of animals end up at a shelter waiting to find their perfect forever home. If you are interested in bringing home a new furry family member then always remember to stop by your local shelter!
  3. Donating- If you are unable to adopt or foster the next best thing you can do to help is donate! You can donate lots of helpful items such as blankets, heating pads, kitten formula, and other cat care items! A lot of shelters are non-profit, meaning they rely heavily on donations from the public. When there is a big influx of cats and kittens, supplies diminish fast! Donating items to a shelter will help to ensure that moms and kittens will get food, warmth, and all of their basic care to help them grow!

There are numerous ways to help your local shelter cats and kittens! Don’t be afraid to stop by your local shelter to take a look around! You never know, you may just find your new best friend!

“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” by Sigmund Freud

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