Treat Your Pups this Holiday Season with DIY Gift Ideas for Dogs! #TreatThePups

This post is brought to you by Lunchbox. All opinions are my own.

On Tuesday, Bella Notte turned seven. I can’t believe that this little puppy has grown up so much- she’s literally a senior dog now! It seems like just yesterday she was a little pointy-eared pup with big brown eyes:

Bella Then vs. Now

Okay, maybe she hasn’t changed that much. Still, we celebrated Bella with a heartfelt “Happy Birthday” from the whole family {during which she walked away twice, then howled at us}, a brand new toy, and of course, some of her favorite dog treats!

Even though her birthday is behind us, I’m looking ahead a couple of weeks and preparing to make her Christmas gift. I was recently on the Big Heart Brands page on Walmart’s website and saw a lot of really cute DIY gifts for dogs! I haven’t decided which one to make because they’re all so cute, but I’m leaning towards the Gingerbread Dog House below or the Santa Paws treat bag! Either way, they’re going to turn out super cute- but I know they won’t last long!

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If you have a pup that you’re planning to spoil this holiday season, be sure to check out Walmart’s website for even more ways to Treat the Pups. You can find DIY gift ideas as well as ways to include your pup in the decorating- like this Dog Treat Wreath!

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Be sure to pick up the best treats at Walmart, including Milk-Bone Dog Snacks, Pup-peroni, and Milo’s Kitchen! They’d make a great gift for your pup- and for all the pups you know! {My in-laws have a stocking for Bella Notte at their house and it really is so sweet!}

Win It: Right now, you can enter to win a free Big Heart product coupon! It’s easy to enter, just click here to view the amazing DIY gift ideas and adorable videos and then fill out the form below!
Big Heart Coupon Sweepstakes

How do you treat your pups during the holidays?

DIY Craft Idea: Dog Treat Jar

Post sponsored by Lunchbox but all opinions are my own.

I have so many things in my life to be thankful for. This month on Instagram I’ve been sharing something I’m grateful for every day. A recurring theme has been my family, and that family isn’t complete without Bella Notte!

Bella Notte loves Milk-Bone!

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s sometimes hard to remember to show our gratitude to our pups. So to show Bella that I’m grateful for her and to remind myself to show her more often, I made her her very own treat jar! I’m not very crafty but it was so easy to make and looks cute out on the counter, so it’s easier than ever to show her my gratitude. If you’re going to be doing any traveling with your pup this season, it is also a great way to keep treats on hand!

DIY Dog Treat Jar Craft Idea

What you’ll need:

Jar {We used a big, glass one, but they have them in all sizes and even have plastic ones}

Paint {We used metallic copper for a touch of autumn} and paintbrush

Stickers

Small dog figurine

Milk-Bone Dog Snacks

Directions:

1. Paint the lid of the jar with your paint. Allow paint to dry in between coats and make sure if you’re using a mason jar you don’t close the lid until the paint is done drying- it might get stuck together. {Ask me how I know.}

2. Hot glue the figurine to the top of the jar lid.

3. Apply stickers to jar.

4. Fill with Milk-Bone Dog Snacks.

DIY Dog Treat Jar Craft Idea #TreatThePups

It really is that easy! There’s so much room to customize it, too, so you can really have fun with it- you can even get the kids involved! If you have the craft bug this season, be sure to check out some more DIY ideas that will also help you show your thanks to your pup on Walmart’s website! Walmart wants to help you #TreatThePups this season and they have lots of cute ideas, including another take on the treat jar and a cornucopia of treats! You can even check out some cute Thanksgiving videos featuring Mishka the Talking Husky. Shane loves these videos!

Treat The Pups Banner 1

While you’re there, don’t forget to add your pup’s favorite treats to your cart, including Pup-Peroni Beef Flavor Dog Snacks, Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Grillers, and of course, Milk-Bone Dog Snacks! {Bella loves all of them so we stocked up to last us through the busy holiday season!}

 What are you thankful for?

The Pros and Cons of Pet Parenting

I can’t imagine life without a dog. I grew up with a dog named Max and he was my best friend growing up. For the last six years, Bella has been like our furry, pointy-eared child, but she does come with some pros & cons.

Pro: She gives us unconditional love. Every time I’ve shed a tear since Bella has lived with us, she’s been quick to my side and always wants to snuggle until I’m okay.

Con: She has a lack of respect for personal space. She also wants to snuggle while I’m sleeping- by which I mean I wake up and she’s directly on top of me. She also insists on sitting against my leg while I eat and loves to run to right where I’m about to step.

Pro: She teaches the kids great lessons. They learn to be patient and gentle when petting her, and seeing us take care of her {and sometimes even helping us do so} helps them to learn about responsibility.

Cons: Having to actually take care of her. It’s so worth all the maintenance, but having a dog is definitely a lot of work. You have to feed them, give them water, groom them, play with them, take them on walks, and worst of all- clean up after their bathroom breaks. Not to mention that any time you go out of town, you have to arrange a “dog sitter” or board them.

Pro: She is a living, breathing, vacuum cleaner. Having a dog makes life with kids easier because whenever they drop anything even remotely edible, she is quick to snatch it up.

Con: Despite being one herself, she requires frequent vacuum use. She makes life with kids harder by shedding everywhere, all the time. Especially with a crawling baby, having a carpet that consists of 60% dog fur is less than ideal.

Luckily there are products out there that help tackle some of the cons of dog parenting. I’ve been wanting a Neato Robot Vacuum for years so I can stop vacuuming up giant clumps of dog fur all the time. Neato Robotics® Vacuums are so smart that they even return to the base to recharge when they’re done! You can start the vacuum by pushing one button, or even have a specific start time {you can choose every day or only certain days, as well as what time}. Neato Vacuums avoid stairs, pet bowls, and other large objects so you don’t have to spend all day chasing it out of corners and with it’s powerful pickup and suction, it gets the job done right.

Right now, Neato is hosting a fun “Best for Pets” Sweepstakes on their website where you can enter to win a Neato Botvac™ 85 Robotic Vacuum! While you’re there, you can learn more about why Neato is the “Best for Pets” and get helpful ideas, tips and more information about their products here!

Visit Neato for more information on why the Neato Robot Vacuum is best for pets! And be sure to enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win your own Neato Botvac™ Robot Vacuum!



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Neato Robotics® Best for Pets Vacuums. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sharing the Swiffer Love with Pet Parents Everywhere #SwifferEffect #ASPCA


With two small children, my house is messed up faster than it can be cleaned. However, I have a great helper in Bella Notte, who is always around to help clean up any speck of food that finds it’s way to the floor! However, she isn’t big on cleaning up after herself- especially the mounds of fur that she leaves in every single corner of the house. Luckily, we have Swiffer products to help with that!

Bella helping to clean up

We use Swiffer products quite often in this house. It’s amazing how much one short-haired dog can shed! I feel like I could vacuum every day and still find fur- but who has time to vacuum every day, especially with young kids at home? In between sessions, we use our Swiffer Sweeper to pick up everything from big clumps of hair to stray furs. We even use the Swiffer Duster to wipe down toys, furniture and even sometimes walls {how her fur gets on the walls, I will never know}. I especially appreciate that using Swiffer products are a safe way to clean up after her without using chemicals- perfect for a home with a dog that licks the floor constantly and a baby who is crawling all over the place!

Swiffer Big Green Box

I’m not the only one who struggles with cleaning up after a pet. According to the Swiffer Cleaning Index, half of Americans say that concerns about pet hair and shedding in their home is one of the top reasons they worry about getting a pet, wouldn’t get a pet or don’t have one! More than one third of pet owners also say the leading source of “pet cleaning tensions” in their home is hair, dust bunnies and/or shedding. Whether you already have a pet or are considering a new one, Swiffer can help with the every day cleaning challenges!

Surprising my friend with a Swiffer Big Green Box!

Recently, I surprised my friend Kathryn {who has the cutest little pup herself} with a big green Swiffer box! Inside held everything she could need to help clean up after her pup and the various pets that she helps to “dog sit”.  She was so excited- with three young children, one cute little pup and several dogs that she helps take care of when family and friends go out of town, she will definitely get some use out of her Swiffer products!

ASPCA and Swiffer Partnership

Swiffer isn’t just a great brand because they have great products- they also have great heart. Last weekend they donated big green boxes to over 100 shelters nationwide and donated a free Swiffer to each person who adopted a pet at the ASPCA’s Mega-Match-A-Thon last weekend! While the Mega-Match-A-Thon weekend has passed, the partnership between Swiffer and the ASPCA is a year-long one, so there is still a whole lot of good to come! I’ve shared before about how I love to support our local shelter whenever possible and I donate to the ASPCA, so I was so excited to hear about this perfect partnership! You can read more about it here.

Whether you’re sweeping up after your own furry friend or just dusting your kid’s room, every family needs their own set of Swiffer products- and a pet or two to love!

Who puts your Swiffer products to work?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Happy This Summer

Dogs are family. Before Shane came along, Bella Notte was our only child. She slept in our bed and got to lick my plate when I was done. We went to the dog park every evening and she even had a first birthday party!

Bella Notte

Bella may not be an only child anymore, but she’s still a part of the family. Whether she is giving the baby way too many kisses or chasing Shane around the yard, she’s like a sister to the boys and like another kid to us. So of course we want to make sure we are taking the best care of her!

Between the heat, more time spent outdoors and the prevalence of unwanted creepy crawlers, summer is a hard time for dogs. Below are my top 5 tips for taking care of dogs in the summer:

5 Tips to Keep Your Pup Happy in Summer

1. Time your walks. If you live somewhere that’s very hot, like I do, make sure you are not taking your dog for walks at a dangerously hot time. Not only can they overheat, but they can very easily burn the pads of their paws. If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, the same goes for your pup! (Don’t have a choice? Get some puppy boots or walk them in the grass only.)

2. Keep their water cold. You can easily make a block of ice to place in their water bowl by freezing a smaller bowl full of water. Just place it into their dish and ta-da: cold water all day long.

3. Go swimming. Most dogs love the water and will enjoy hanging out in a (shallow) kiddie pool filled up with water! Just make sure you don’t fill it so high that they have trouble walking in it.

4. Never, ever leave your dog in a hot car. If they can’t come inside with you, leave them at home.

5. Protect and treat them. Use K9 Advantix® II to keep fleas and ticks at bay! No one wants to be itchy or to have yucky bugs on them, including your dog. Be sure to treat them with the best! You can watch a short video on the K9 Advantix® II​ website that explains why ticks are a problem and how K9 Advantix® II​ works- it’s really fascinating!

Keep your dog smiling this summer

How do you keep your pup smiling during the summer?

The bond between you and your dog is a special one, and you’ll go to great lengths to keep your furry family member safe and healthy. K9 Advantix® II is a once-a-month topical application for dogs and puppies that REPELS and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.  Visit http://petparents.com/products  to learn more.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of K9 Advantix® II. The opinions and text are all mine.

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