5 Ways Your Pets Are Showing You They Love You:

Treats, cuddles, walks in the park, and bully rubs– we have endless ways to show our pets that we love them dearly. But, how do we know what they’re trying to say back? Down below are five things your pet does to show you that you are someone extra special to them.

1. When your dog or cat licks/grooms you.

Not only could they be showing you that they find you awful tasty,  this is also a way that many kinds of animals show their affection for you. At a young age, animals are both licked for grooming, and as a way for their mothers to show their love in a slightly damp–but oh so cute manner.

2.  When your cat/dog catches and brings you animals or bugs.

Although this may not be the kind of present you had in mind, a creepy-crawly left at your front door is often your pal’s way of providing for you, in the ways a mother would their child–and showing their appreciation. Oh boy, how great it would be if they could grab you a Starbucks here and there! Hopefully, you’re not squeamish, because this could be your furry guys equivalent of a handwritten thank you note.

3. When your cat kneads you or digs their claws into your lap.

Now it may be a little hard to see the discomfort of your cat’s claws digging into your thigh as a form of flattery, but you’d be surprised by the meaning behind it. An adult cat will often knead their owner when they are feeling happy and comfortable. A good way to make this sign of affection a little less uncomfortable is to cover your lap in a thick blanket, so their claws can’t getcha’ –and to let your feline have at it.

4.  When your pet has the happy wiggles anytime you arrive home or waits by doors for you.

A more easily noticed sign that your pet loves you to pieces, is when they can hardly contain their excitement whenever they see you. Wagging tails, tongues sticking out and excited barks/meows are all signs that your furry friend loves you to no end. This can even be shown by them waiting outside of your bedroom and bathroom for you– when they stick like glue, there’s no doubt they love you.

5. When your pet yawns with you, or after you from time to time.

Do you ever catch your pet yawning right after you, when you’re spending time together? If so, this could be a sign that they are very close to you emotionally. A strong bond between pet parents and their furry friends can be the root of them occasionally mimicking your behaviors.

Whether it be cuddling at night, keeping them warm and fed, or playtime during the day– your pet appreciates all the little things you do. We at Bonilla Pet Studio would like you to let you know how amazing you are and to keep it up, pet parents! Your love for your pet is a bond unlike any other.

The Do’s And Don’ts of Dressing Your Furry Friends Up for Halloween:

The popularity of dressing your pets up for Halloween has risen dramatically within the last few years. Cute, scary, and everything in between– this is a trend we welcome with open arms. And here are our thoughts on how to find the best possible costume for your pet.

 Watch out, the force is certainly with this feline.

Watch out, the force is certainly with this feline.

Diving in, safety is a very real factor that should be considered when picking out the perfect costume for your four-legged friend. Below are bullet points listing a few things to keep in mind while perusing your options.

  • You want your animal to be their happiest, most comfortable selves; this can be achieved by making sure their costume is lightweight, does not restrict movement, and does not block their line of vision.

  • Keep in mind that any dangling pieces or embellishments can be confused for a tasty snack, and very quickly become a choking hazard— or the cause of a very upset tummy.

  • Animals are often seen as young children and can require an equal amount of supervision. Upon putting your buddy in a costume, be sure not to leave them alone for long periods of time.

We understand that as much as we enjoy to see them all dressed up, our four-legged friends may require a little more convincing. Whether your puppy can’t sit still, or your feline friend Petunia is a tad worried all that fluff won’t fit into her Princess Leia costume–here are a few tips and tricks to help ease your hesitant pet into putting on a costume.

  • Getting dressed up can be a little stressful for an animal who is not used to doing so. Making sure you’re in a calm, quiet environment while introducing your pet to their costume can go a long way.

  • If your pet seems fairly skittish, be sure to give them a good deal of affection to help them calm down throughout this process.

  • Treats, Treats, and more Treats. It is Halloween after all, giving your animal friend a little something tasty will definitely improve their mood and hopefully make them more willing to work with you.

  • When you’ve got a very excited pupper on your hands, getting them to sit still can be tough, to say the least. A toy on hand to distract them with can be the handiest of tools in this situation.

  • And lastly, you know your furry friend best of all. Do whatever you feel will make them the most comfortable, and most of all have fun.

 Taco-Bout rocking your costume, this pup sure knows how to steal the show.

Taco-Bout rocking your costume, this pup sure knows how to steal the show.

Now, here’s the fun part that we’ve all been waiting for. Picking out the costume you feel fits your buddy the best. Below are 10 of our favorite pet costumes for this Halloween. Be it cute, funny, or scary, we’re sure your four-legged pal will truly knock this Halloweens socks off.

  1. For a dog who wants all eyes on them and a more lightweight costume, a saddled cowboy on their back can make them feel like they’re in the wild, wild west. Can you say “Yeehaw”? Click here to see.

  2. Whether they’re a cowardly lion or a large and in charge pup who wants everyone to know they’re king of the jungle, this mane is sure to put a pep in your dog’s step. Click here to see.

  3. For your feline or small dog who likes to keep surround themselves in a little bit of mystery, this vampire costume will simply drive you batty with its cuteness. Click here to see.

  4. And we’d never forget about our smaller friends. This guinea pig costume lets everyone know that they may be prickly or grumpy on the outside at times, but they sure are sweet on the inside. Click here to see.

  5. For a pup who always saves the day, they’ll be flying high with this super look. Click here to see.

  6. With this Ewok costume, you and your pup can let your geek flag fly. Click here to see.

  7. Who doesn’t love getting a package in the mail? Now imagine an adorable canine delivering it. Sounds like a dream, am I right? Well, this costume makes your dreams come true. Click here to see.

  8. For dogs big and small who can’t wait to make like Freddie Krueger, and tear this Halloween up. Click here to see.

  9. A bewitching getup for the kitty who puts the Bubble, Bubble, Toil, And Trouble into your life. Click here to see.

  10. With this bumblebee costume, a buzz will surely get going about how good your cat/dog looks. Click here to see.

 Look! An adorable Uni-Pug in their natural habitat.

Look! An adorable Uni-Pug in their natural habitat.

Bonilla Pet Studio

If you would like to learn more about how our artwork can present your fur babies in their best light, click Book Now for more information.

ZOOMIES

Does your dog ever start running around the house like a crazy creature, for absolutely no reason at all? Say hello to the zoomies.

Wait…the what??

The term “zoomies” is used to describe the quick, random bursts of energy that many dogs seem to experience. To get technical, these episodes of high energy are called “Frenetic Random Activity Periods” and they are usually just your dog releasing pent-up energy. More often than not, these episodes seem to come out of nowhere, but they can be brought on by excitement. If your dog sees someone they know, or maybe just had a really good poop, they can then suddenly get the zoomies!

Speaking from experience, depending on the size of your dog, the zoomies are potentially dangerous for innocent bystanders. My neighbor has both a Golden Retriever and a sprained ankle. She had the misfortune of stepping into her dogs path during a post-poop zoomie, and was knocked right over into her pool.

Most cases of the zoomies only last a couple of minutes, and they are very entertaining to watch, but be warned – many dogs seem incapable of hearing their owners and following commands while racing around. Zoomies seem to put dogs into their own little worlds.

So the next time your dog has got a case of the zoomies, just make sure you stay out of their way and wait it out. The zoomies are a natural part of being a dog, so sit back, relax, and (most importantly) enjoy the show.

Meghan, Bonilla Pet Photography

Everything You Need to Know about Catnip

What is Catnip?

Catnip (or, Nepeta Cataria) is a species of plant that contains a substance called nepetalactone, which cats find to be very appealing. Cats can detect catnip, and their consumption of it causes behavioral changes in our furry friends due to its chemical composition. Which leads me to my next point…

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

Some believe catnip triggers receptors that mimic feline pheromones, and that it can act like an aphrodisiac. Catnip can result in behaviors ranging from bouncing off the walls to getting sleepy, and also has several health benefits for cats. But don’t worry, catnip is non-addictive, and your cats behavior should go back to normal within 10-15 minutes. It’s estimated that about 30-50% of cats don’t even have a reaction to catnip!

Can Cats Eat Catnip?

Catnip is completely safe for your cats to ingest, is supposed to have a lemony or minty taste, and is related to oregano and basil. That being said, with all of the options on the pet market today, concerned cat owners should definitely do their research before offering any catnip treats to their feline friends.

What to Keep in Mind:

When considering buying catnip for your fur-babies, be sure to take into consideration how many cats you have as catnip can affect them all differently (and we certainly don’t want anyone to end up upset or hurt.) Also, be sure to take any health related issues into consideration, as catnip may be able to work wonders for their health! Most importantly, search for quality products. With catnip, you’ll want to look for something 100% natural, fresh, and with no hard stems that may potentially cause injury.

So, now you know everything there is to know about catnip.

Meghan. Bonilla Pet Photography

Dyeing Your Pets Hair: Cute or Completely Crazy?

There’s no denying that a perfectly styled and dyed dog is beyond adorable, but I’m sure we’ve all had the lingering thought of whether or not it’s totally good for the dog’s wellbeing. I recently saw a discussion about this very topic in a Facebook page I’m a part of, so here’s what I’ve come up with on the matter:

If you’re reading this and thinking “But my dog would look so cute with purple hair!”, the good news is, there are quite a few completely safe ways to bring some color into your pets lives. Food coloring, or even natural dyes from foods (like beets for pink tones) are natural and non-toxic ways to add some color to your pets hair. There are also dyes made just for pets, like gels, hairsprays, and fur chalks that come in all sorts of colors and tend to wash out with soap and water.

Now, I don’t know if these safe options means you should dye your pets hair. Pet experts like Cesar Milan have cautioned against the idea, noting that it could potentially add unnecessary stress to your pets.

Personally, I think it’s super cute when people dye the tips of their dogs ears or their tails. However, I know my dog would never stand for it, and she already hates baths enough as it is. She would never sit still long enough to let dye take!

So I say, you know your dog better than the rest of us. If you think it’s cute to style and dye your pups and you know they’ll be fine with the process, and you do it SAFELY, then let them rock some purple hair!

What do you guys think?

Meghan, Bonilla Pet Photography

Easy, Homemade Dog Treats

Do you love a good recipe, but hate searching the internet to find one? Luckily for you guys, I’ve done the searching for you! Here’s five easy, homemade dog treat recipes (with great reviews):

  1. Paw-Print Dog Treats:

    This first one is a Martha Stewart recipe that makes about 24 adorable cookies. (Despite some of the comments, you can in fact print the directions!)

    https://www.marthastewart.com/336454/paw-print-dog-treats

  2. Homemade Dog Treats:

    This next recipe comes from a devoted dog mom, who takes pride in healthy and simple ingredients. It’ll make you about 30 treats in thirty minutes.

    https://addapinch.com/homemade-dog-treats-recipe/

  3. Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats:

    Pups love peanut butter! This recipe takes about thirty minutes to make, and will yield about 120 mini bones.

    https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/homemade-peanut-butter-dog-treats-recipe/

  4. Dog Treats:

    Here’s another yummy, doggie peanut butter recipe. This one will take you about thirty-five minutes, and yields about 18 treats.

    http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/1003/dog-treats.aspx

  5. Flea Terminator Dog Treats:

    This recipe is both delicious and practical for your pups! You’ll need about 3h 30m for these, and you’ll get 36 cookies.

    http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/1003/dog-treats.aspx

If you try any of these recipes, we’d love to hear what you thought of them!

(We also love pictures of happy puppies enjoying yummy treats)

Meghan, Bonilla Pet Photography

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

Shiba Inus: The Ups, the Downs, and Everything in Between!

Everything you need to know, from the human of an especially peculiar Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inus are already a favorite breed in their home country of Japan, but they’ve been gaining popularity in the United Sates since their introduction to the country about 60 years ago. The first documented Shiba to enter the United States was imported by a military family in 1954!

The Ups

  1. They are the cats of the dog world:

    If you’re looking for an independent dog, then a Shiba is the breed for you! Shiba Inus spend a large amount of time grooming themselves, and even licking their paws like cats. This innate cleanliness makes them pretty easy to potty train. Shiba’s are just as aloof as cats, and aren’t in the business of seeking out human affection. Personally, my family has a Shiba Inu named Miya who’s been known to get up and walk away when she’s decided she’s been pet enough.

  2. They are better than an alarm system:

    Shiba Inus are not generally noisy dogs. However, should your Shiba notice someone strange walk past (or even worse, up to) your house, they’re going to make sure you know about it. Shiba Inus are also equipped with very impressive memories. To demonstrate how these two characteristics tie into one another, I’ll tell you a little about my Shiba and the exterminator. My family as both a Shiba Inu, and an exterminator. The exterminator comes to our home once a month, and somehow, Miya has learned that she can expect to see him the second Wednesday of each month. I have no idea how she does it, but from the morning before he shows up, until the afternoon when he leaves, she’s barking and guarding her home and her humans.

The Downs

  1. That whole yelling thing:

    Shiba Inus are the drama-queens of the dog world. If they are unhappy about something, they’re going to let you know about it, and they just might do that through the infamous “Shiba-Scream.” Yes, scream. This particular vocal styling sounds a lot like a wailing human; it is high pitched, and powerful. The most common cause for this kind of reaction would be a source of stress. My family was blissfully unaware of this trait until we gave Miya her very first bath. This was the bath heard ‘round the neighborhood. Needless to say, we just take her to the groomer now!

  2. They are escape geniuses:

    Remember how I said Shiba Inus are the cats of the dog world? Well, just like cats, if your Shiba can fit its head through a space, they are going to try their absolute hardest to squeeze their bodies through. When my Miya was a puppy, she got out through the fence surrounding our patio. Once she was loose, she was gone. It took a while to find her in the neighborhood, but luckily we found her. She wasn’t allowed back onto the patio until she got a little bigger, and even then, we once found her with her head stuck in the fence.

Everything in Between!

  1. They are beautiful little creatures:

    You will be stopped and complimented on your dog. Shiba Inu’s have very foxlike features, and are often (in my own experience) mistaken for baby Huskies. Miya is twelve now, and still, every time someone new crosses paths with her, she gets told how pretty she is. Since she thinks she’s Dog Royalty and her ego couldn’t possibly get any bigger, she tends to brush off these comments, but I always like them.

  2. They have GIANT personalities:

    While their bodies may be small, a Shiba Inu is packed full of personality. To really mesh well with a Shiba, you have to have a sense of humor. They’re stubborn, and they get bored easily, so you can imagine they’ll find ways to entertain themselves! (Hopefully in a way that also entertains you.) Miya has adopted this new habit of going into our pantry and sticking her head into the treat bag, until she’s had what she feels to be a sufficient amount. She also will not let us leave the house without giving her a biscuit first. You’d be surprised how demanding a 25lb dog can be.

Thanks for reading, hopefully you’ve learned something about Japan’s favorite dog! (On top of learning that my Shiba Inu is spoiled rotten.) See you next time!

Meghan Croce, for Bonilla Pet Photography

The Loss of a Beloved Pet

By: Sarrah Isenhour

Whether expected or unexpected, the loss of a beloved pet is devastating. In fact, devastating does not even touch the amount of emotion and grief following up the loss. These wonderful creatures are more than just some animal, they’re family. If you need validation that your grief is warranted, it’s right here. Consider yourself validated. Now, it is time to cope. 

Grief is very normal and even the Mayo Clinic advises you to allow yourself to mourn when facing the loss of a family member. It may seem like isolating yourself is the thing to do, but don’t get caught in that trap. Instead, surround yourself with supportive people—and if you have other pets, lavish them with extra love because they are feeling the loss too in their own special ways. Lastly, be sure to take care of yourself during this time. Eat, do something nice for yourself, and get some exercise in.

Our pets are only with us for a short while, and losing them is the equivalent of losing a part of ourselves from all the energy mutually invested in the relationship. It’s okay to be lost for a little while, but your pet wouldn’t want you to grieve forever. Instead, they would want you to live the fullest life you can. After all, isn’t that what you tried to give them?

 

Sarrah Isenhour is the Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales at Bonilla Pet Photography. She loves her four finicky feline fur babies and one precocious pooch. Celebrating the bond pet parents have with their pets is her passion, and she actively works with other pet parents to capture their bonds through arranging pet portraits.

The Memorial Wall in our studio where we have portraits of every pet who has crossed the rainbow bridge since we made their portrait.  [/caption]

Contact Us

Pet Photography in Chesapeake Virginia

757.912.5862

3552 Collins Blvd Suite A
Chesapeake, VA 23321

Message Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
© 2019 Bonilla Pet Studio