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]

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