7 Ways To Strengthen Your Bond With Your Dog

I have partnered with “I and love and you” for this post.

Do you love your dog like crazy but you don't always have as much time to bond as you'd like? Try the 7 tips for strengthening that important bond! #ad #ILY

Lately, I worry that Athena is feeling a bit left out.

Life is full force, even more than usual! We have almost completed our chicken coop, and moved all 11 chickens in. We still have to add their egg boxes, but they’re not old enough to lay eggs yet anyway! Juniper the cat, in seeing an unusually high amount of chicken energy, has taken to sleeping on my feet just to make sure I still love her. (I do) Des graduated preschool this week, and Scarlet gave a speech into a microphone in front of HER ENTIRE SCHOOL. Who is this girl? I’m not kidding!

Cassidy is building gardens, I’m taking on way too many work projects, and we have architects and builders traipsing in and out of the house to get our two year renovation plan underway. See what I mean about full force ahead? It hasn’t been quiet at all. May was pretty much an entire month of rain, and Athena HATES rain! (she gets that from her mama) I have often found her cuddling and huddling on her special chair upstairs. And did I mention she almost lost her chair?? That’s more of the craziness! One of our loved ones had major heart surgery and Cassidy offered him our chair. Luckily for him, he already had a suitable chair. Luckily for Athena, she still has her little “nest” in her chair! Thats one point for Team Athena.

That said, summer has started and I’m going to take a lot more breaks. With the kids heading to camp soon, I want to make sure our dog knows that we still love her as much as we did, and that we’d rather just sit and watch the world go by with her too. We don’t want to be on the go all the time. We want summer days at the water, some ice cream and watermelon, and bonding time with our girl. In fact, today I have it scheduled to go read a book by her side in the garden. I can’t wait!

This week is Animal Rights Awareness Week, and I’m celebrating with my favorite I and love and you. Animal Rights Awareness Week was started in 1999 by the animal rights group, In Defense of Animals, to help raise awareness of animal rights. They educate the public about the basic needs of animals around the world – and advocate for the humane and compassionate treatment of all animals. This extends from our own beloved pets to companion animals, farm animals, wildlife, and animals used for testing. I have been using this week to think of ways to strengthen my bond with Athena.

pet care

7 Ways To Strengthen Your Bond With Your Dog

1 – Start training, if you haven’t already, or maintain it. This creates communication between your dog and you. It helps her focus, and fosters teamwork and belonging. We teach her to come, sit, stay, down, down-stay, etc. Teach your dog a new trick once a month. This will make your dog smarter, and will strengthen your bond.

2 – Don’t just play with her. Keep it special and engaged. When we first got Athena, we took her to the beach and she SWAM with us! We were so surprised. Fun and agility-based activities build loyalty and a deeper relationship.

3 – Have quiet time together. No gadgets, no screens, no devices – just the two of you.

4 – Travel together. I first fell in love with Athena because of how awesome she was on our annual Cape Cod vacation. And I think she falls in love with us a bit more each time we trust her enough to take her on our adventures.

5 – Turn negative experiences into positive experiences. Athena hates grooming and bathing, but those are bonding experiences in themselves. Use treats, toys and a slow transition to make the experiences more positive.

6 – Create in your dog a sense of purpose. Dogs want to work and serve and play and focus.

7 – Feed at a specific time of day. With our cat, we leave food for her all day, but with Athena, we feed twice a day at the same time. She will tell us when it’s time if we forget! This will make her depend on you, and bond to you more.

And feed your dog high-quality food. We love I and love and you. Based in Boulder, CO, this amazing company makes super pet food and treats that contain everything pets need to be happy and healthy. The food and treats contain none of what they don’t need. All choices are made with real meat and they contain no grains, fillers, or anything artificial.

They’re all approved by a holistic veterinarian for uncompromising quality.

pet food

Find “I and love and you” at your local grocery store, or online!

Enjoy your bonding time!

5 Ways to Celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week

I have partnered with “I and love and you” for this post. They are the first-ever pet food brand to be Clean Label certified. I appreciate this, and Juniper and Athena think it’s pretty awesome too. All opinions are my own!

Here are 5 ways you can celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week with I and love and you. They are the first-ever pet food brand to be Clean Label certified! #ad

This past week was National Be Kind to Animals Week, and I think I did my part! That said, this week of kindness to animals celebrates all of the wonder and companionship that animals bring, but it’s also a reminder of how we should be year-round! It was a timely week for me, because we completed our post office deliveries of baby chicks (I hope), and it was also about showing our dog and cat some extra love. Baby chicks are SUPER cute..

..but Athena and Juniper are pretty amazing too.

pets

animals

We have a pretty full house, don’t we?

In honor of Be Kind to Animals Week of 2017, I made a list of five ways you can celebrate this week – right now, and always. I’ve had a deep love for animals for my whole life – both of pets, and of all the animals in the world.

Here are 5 ways you can celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week with I and love and you. They are the first-ever pet food brand to be Clean Label certified! #ad

1 – Adopt a rescue or shelter pet. We found Athena through a New England-based rescue organization, and we got Juniper at our local animal shelter in Springfield, MA. We spoke to adoption counselors in both instances to make sure it was a good fit. The experiences were rewarding. This was taken the day Scarlet met Junie in June!

Here are 5 ways you can celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week with I and love and you. They are the first-ever pet food brand to be Clean Label certified! #ad

2 – Take care of your pets. It’s up to you to keep them healthy and safe, and up-to-date with checkups and vaccinations. Make sure your pets are wearing proper identification, and talk to your vet about responsible care.

And most importantly, LOVE them.

Here are 5 ways you can celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week with I and love and you. They are the first-ever pet food brand to be Clean Label certified! #ad

3- Appreciate wildlife. For us, that means creating a welcoming environment on our four acres – we love birds, butterflies, & bees. We get our share of predators and critters, and we try to protect our land humanely.

be kind to animals

animals(our garden)

4 – Report animal abuse always. Don’t ever hesitate to call and report if you see something suspicious. This can have strongly detrimental effects on the animal(s), and on you if abuse is taking place.

5- Buy pet food that gives back. Enter I and love and you. Athena isn’t picky but I know she loves this brand’s food the best. And you know what? So do we! “I and love and you” is committed to providing food for pets waiting for adoption at rescues and shelters across the US. The company donated over 75,000 meals this past year!

pet care

Even more recently, I and love and you donated 50,000 meals to the Humane Society of Tulsa and Rescue Warriors Corp. in Illinois in January. This will be distributed to smaller rescues and shelters across the area. And the really big news is that “I and love and you” is the first-ever pet company to be officially Clean Label Certified – ensuring that shelter pets really are getting the best and healthiest treats and kibble that the pet food industry has to offer. They were named “Best in Class” by a new report released by Clean Label Project.

The project’s latest report had the top selling dog and cat food brands tested – both wet and dry – and cat and dog treats. 68 brands had over 900 products screened for over 150 toxins, as well as pesticides and additional contaminants with links to cancer and other fatal conditions in both humans and pets.

How cool is that? Not only does “I and love and you” donate to shelters, but they make sure pets and shelter animals are getting food and treats that are good and healthy for them! You can check out the product rating from the Clean Label Project reports for free at cleanlabelproject.org. And for more info on this dynamic brand, check out http://www.iandloveandyou.com/. Based in Boulder, CO, “I and love and you” makes super pet food and treats that contain everything pets need to be happy and healthy. And they contain none of what they don’t need. All products are made with real meat and contain no grains, fillers, or anything artificial.

They’re all approved by a holistic veterinarian for uncompromising quality.

pet food

Lastly, find “I and love and you” at your local grocery store, or online!

And, the true test of awesomeness is that Athena LOVES the brand that loves her back!