Archive for 2015

Comments Off
10 Feb 15

Pets Dig these Valentine’s Gif ...

By Nancy E. Hassel,

Love is in the air, and while everyone is out buying roses, jewelry and chocolate – I know many pet owners are buying gifts for their pets too.  But what about combining the two ideas?  How about getting your sweetheart something for them of their pet?  A beautiful gift to get is a custom painting of their pet to cherish for years to come.  Jan Guarino, a pet portrait artist of Guarino Graphics in Huntington, N.Y., among one her many talents, paints lovely custom portraits of pets – and this could be the gift to remember.

You can see more of Jan’s beautiful work here and click around on her site to see her other artwork.

Since we know that dogs cannot eat chocolate, (it can make them very sick), why not get them scrumptious, healthy dog biscuits made with human grade ingredients?  A great choice is from The Pert Will Company, made locally right here on Long Island, and available at Barkfield Road in East Northport and Bubbles & Biscuits in Holbrook. It’s great to get dog treats for your own dog, but a nice Valentine’s is to get some as heartfelt gifts to give to your loved ones pets too!

Visit The Pert Will website to learn more – and if you’re a retailer looking to bring the line into your store, click here.

Giving back and spreading some love doesn’t just have to happen around the holidays – why not think of giving your local animal shelter some of their wish list items.  You can be a shelter pet’s Valentine by donating products and good they need and adore.  Simply call and ask what they are in need of, or check their facebook pages – many times they put a call out for items needed.  I can tell you one thing, most shelters always need Kongs and peanut butter for their shelter animals.  But don’t forget about the cats who may not get any cat toys or the shelter often needs newspapers or litter too.

Here’s a nice way to help your local animal shelter have a sweeter smell when you enter their lobbies – ever notice that smell when you walk in?  CritterZoneUSA makes a small air naturalizing unit that plugs into any regular wall outlet and creates a natural, charged flow that fills the room or vehicle and continually cleans the air. Perfect for lobby’s, offices, and other areas that will impact would be adopters the moment they walk into the animal shelter.  A powerful device that packs a punch, and is quiet too. You can purchase a unit or 2 for your local shelter and help make the environment more inviting. Also great for cars that have pets in and out constantly – purchase the ‘corded air naturalizer with travel accessories.’ It’s also Made in the USA baby!

You can save $10 today off your purchase price by using the code LIPP when you check out on their website. How lovely is that? Click here to purchase.

Loving our pets is a given, but having an anxious pet can really try to connect with them even more.  If you have an anxious pet who may be stressed out on a walk due to noise of traffic, thunder, fireworks – or if you’re on a trip with your country pup in the big city.  Some dogs have extreme fear of loud noises they are not used to.  A great gift for your anxious pup is the new UltraCalmer collar device by Pet Acoustics.   The UltraCalmer is a tool for pet owners to aid anxious canine behaviors. UltraCalmer is pre-loaded with frequency-modified UltraCalming Music, created specially for dog hearing. Simply attach it to your dogs collar, adjust the volume and you will notice your dog become in a calmer state.

While the snow is still on the ground, dreaming of warmer days playing with your pup in the sun is not that far off.  You and your dog will love the new Wham-O Pet Frisbee! The Wham-O Pet Frisbee is not like your ordinary flying piece of plastic, but instead this 9 inch soft rubber disc features raised Bone-Tec patterning, which adds dimensionality to a product and provides tooth grip and chew feel.  It’s made from a new custom design consisting of heavier rubber, which makes it extremely durable. Our canines can easily crack or chew apart an ordinary plastic flying disk leading to a potential choking hazard. Priced between $10-15 each, Wham-O Pet’s high-quality Frisbee will give pet owners piece of mind during playtime and last much longer than traditional discs.  It is also colored blue and yellow so your dog can see it better vs. a regular red frisbee that may appear grey to them.

We wish you a lovely Valentine’s Day with your pet and loved ones and can’t wait to hear what your favorite pick from our list is!  Please tell us if you did anything special for your pets or a shelter pet!

This article was a sponsored post.

Comments Off
27 Jan 15

Dog Training Seminar & Mastermi ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

January is ‘National Train Your Dog Month’ and in recognition of that, American Pet Professionals, formerly (Long Island Pet Professionals), is hosting a brand new seminar and mastermind event for Dog Training Professionals – the first of it’s kind on Long Island, NY.

The Dog Training Seminar and Mastermind event is taking place on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 12:30pm- 5pm at the UpSky Hotel (formerly the Sheraton) in Hauppauge, N.Y. which is also a pet friendly hotel.

The event will be perfect for seasoned dog trainers, those thinking of adding dog-training services to their businesses or becoming a dog trainer to attend.  It will also be great networking for other pet professionals who are looking to meet and align with dog trainers.

For the first part of the afternoon, RSVP’d attendees can check in from 12:30pm to 1pm and then from 1pm – 3pm there will be expert professional dog trainers who have are successful in the dog-training industry speaking about:

  • Bringing your Dog Training Business to the Next Level
  • Professionalism and the dog training industry (how you can improve and help the industry as a whole)!
  • Working together not against each other. :)
  • How to get and keep more business.

Speakers including: Andrea Arden of Andrea Arden Dog Training who is a successful professional dog trainer, author and TV dog expert; and Frank Bonomo of Best Friends Dog Training who has been in the professional dog-training world for years. Frank has also mentored many dog training apprentices who now have their own successful businesses.  You may have seen Andrea on the Today Show recentely, regularly on Animal Planet and more!

A big thanks to The Company of Animals for being contributors to this event.  Their dog training products are all about strengthening communication and bond between man and dog.  Their tools make training approachable and are great for trainers and pet parents.  Visit their website to learn more!

While dog trainers regularly attend our networking events, many of our dog trainers have asked for an event dedicated to just their part of the pet industry. Since dog training is also one of my passions – it is exciting to see this event come together.  The caliber of our professional speakers and roundtable experts will help everyone who comes to this event be better in their chosen profession of dog training.  One of the goals of the event is to unite many dog trainers who may have just thought of each other as competition – we all know that working together for one common cause is better, and we all want better trained dogs and better trained pet parents! ~ Nancy Hassel.

Dog training professionals and those aspiring to start in this field will learn how connect and work together with other dog trainers, to expand their businesses to the next level and become a stronger community after this event.  Just like in the dog park, we want our dogs to get along as do we want our dog trainers to learn from each other!

A networking break at 3pm to 3:30pm with food and refreshments will take place and the rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to roundtable/mastermind sessions, networking and any remaining Q&A. Registration or check in for this event is from 12:30pm – 1pm, you must be RSVP ahead of time (or extra $10 at the door and cash only at the door.)

To RSVP for this event click here!

Comments Off
24 Jan 15

5 Winter Safety Tips for Pets ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,, All Photos in this article were taken by Nancy E. Hassel – Copyright Protected.

Here are 5 simple tips to help keep your pets safe and warm while enjoying the snowy weather.

1.) Protect your dogs paws. There are many pet boots and products on the market that you can put on your pet, have them wear to help them with keeping their paws from getting frost bite, chapped and sore. Also use pet friendly salt when putting salt down on your sidewalks and driveways. When you come inside, wipe your pets paws with a damp, warm clothe and check for any salt, rocks, cuts or scrap on their paws.  Towel them off to ensure their fur is dry before they settle in for a nap!

2.) For cats that are indoor/outdoor cats – during the very cold months keep them inside or at the very least limit their time outside. Cats can be easily injured slipping on an icy fence, accidentally ingesting antifreeze which is toxic to cats and dogs, and they may decide to climb up into a car to keep warm. (Note: Bang on your car hood before starting your car in the winter months in case your cat or a stray cat has climbed into the engine to keep warm.) Keeping them inside is best in the winter. If they seem bored being in, go out and get interactive cat toys and have fun with them inside while the snow comes down outside.

While there is no snow on the ground, it was about 10 degrees this day a neighbor cat left outside to fend for itself.

3.) When out for a long hike with your dog in the snow, be sure they have a properly fitted dog coat on if they don’t have their own natural double coat. Bring a first aid kit for pets with you just in case. Put a coating of Mushers Secret paw wax on their paws if they’re not wearing boots. Have up-to-date ID tags on them and always bring an extra collar or leash with you – you never know when you may need while out in the elements.  Keep your dog leashed and don’t let him venture out onto ANY ice. (Every year someone is on the news because they fell in trying to save or get their dog off the ice. For tips on how to train your dog to stay off the ice, click here).

4.) Check your pet from head to tail for any minor cuts or snow built up in their fur.  Check the tips of their ears, tails and paws to make sure they do not have frost bite. While more pet owners may be better at checking their pets in the summer months for fleas and ticks, make sure you still thoroughly check your pet regularly in the winter. Especially after a long walk or extended time in the cold.

5.) Dogs like humans can experience a bit of cabin fever during the cold, snowed in months. If your dog is bored, check out some fun and helpful ideas here. If you’re not exercising your pets as much in the winter, make sure you are reflecting that in their diets too. Overfeeding your pet during the cold months, while they have less exercise, will easily add lbs, which you don’t want!

Sadly, many dog owners on Long Island think it is ok to leave their pets chained up outside with very little shelter to protect them and keep them warm. (Suffolk County has an anti-tethering law – dogs can’t be tied out longer than 2-hours at a time) If you see a dog left outside chained up all the time, call the police and local animal control within your municipal animal shelter – they will respond.

However, we have many wonderful organizations that work with the owners to educate them, encourage them to bring their dogs inside and also help provide staw, dog coats and blankets and light weight tie outs. You can simply help by making a monetary donation or finding out what supplies they could use. See below for a list of organizations that you can help so they can continue their outreach programs:

Almost Home LI
Break the Chain Program
Guardians of Rescue
Paws Unite People (PUP)
People Advocating for Change (PAC)
RSVP Animal Welfare & Rescue Group
Shelter Link
Unchained New York

Comments Off
20 Jan 15

The fur is flying! ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

The blur of fur flies past you, dogs racing over jumps, crashing onto the box and catching a tennis ball and flying back down over the jumps as the next dog hurdles past for his turn. Cheering from the crowd and handlers, dogs barking and squealing with excitement can be deafening, but the noise drowns away as you watch flyball in amazement.

The relay race for dogs, known as flyball will amaze the on looker, average dog owner and seasoned dog professional alike.  My question has always been, how do they get the dogs to fly past each other, over that last or first hurdle depending on which direction they are going?  They can easly skip the hurdles, but they don’t.  Flyball, like agility takes training and a lot of practice.  But if you have ever witnessed it in person you can see how much the dogs absolutely love it, and any breed, mixed breed, little dog, big dog – it doesn’t matter.

Recently, Family Pet Shows Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo hosted their first Flyball tournament during their pet expo.  The tournament was run by Team Hard Drive and during the weekend event they had 27 teams compete from all over the tri-state area.

Andy and Kris Patzer, the husband and wife co-captians for Team Hard Drive Flyball did a great job with the tournament and plan to be back at the expo next year!  I wanted to know more about the sport and interviewed Kris, in addition there is a video of the event below too!

LIPP: What do Novice dog owners who want to get into flyball do?  Is there a national association, do they look for local clubs, etc.?

Kris: “North American Flyball Association is the organization that we race under. They have a web site that has information about the sport and also a tab FLYBALL LOCATOR that lists flyball clubs all over the counrty so that someone can find a club near them.”

LIPP: About how long does it take to train a new dog for flyball?
Kris: “At least one year but usually closer to 2 years. Every dog is different.”

LIPP: I love that flyball seems to have every breed, mixed breed and size that compete.  What is the most amazing transformation of a dog (perhaps a shelter dog that was shut down – that is now a flyball champ) you have seen since they are now doing flyball?

Kris: “There are so many success stories of how flyball  have helped dogs with social/behavioral issues. Our team members the Zeamers contacted a shelter out in western PA about a border collie mix. They were told that the dog they saw on Pet Finder  was short on time so they rushed out, drove several hours and got her. They named her Gracie. I remember her first time at practice. Gracie was skinney very fearful and hid behind everything she could find. She didn’t know how to play. Gracie didn’t even know what a ball was. 9 years has passed since then. Gracie has been an amazing flyball dog. She has been handled by junior flyball handlers, helped train many novice flyabll handlers and dogs alike. She is out going, friendly, great with other dogs, a pleasure to be around.
Gracie at almost 40,000 points is a Flyball Grand Champion. Gracie is a champion in so many ways. Flyball has helped her achieve it.”

LIPP: How long have you been involved with flyball, competiting, training?
Kris: “I started flyball about 12 years ago with my very large Labradoodle Mick. A few months later I got my husband Andy involved after some protest.  Now we are both hooked and have a super bunch of people on our team Hard Drive.”

LIPP: What is the best thing you love about flyball?
Kris: “Building relationships with our dogs and the great flyball community. We have met so many nice people near and far away.  We’ve  had lots of great times, so many laughs.  We’ve made some really great friends and the bonds with our dogs have grown much stronger.  My husband and I have a hobby we can enjoy together.”