5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog | Rose Colored Water #pets #dogs #adoption

Everyone loves puppies. Those cute, wrinkly faces can melt a heart of stone into a stick of butter. Unfortunately, people think that owning a dog is fun AND easy. With reckless abandon, they jump into pet ownership. About 2 days in, they realize it was a huge mistake and that they were not ready for the responsibilities that come with owning an animal.

Don’t get it twisted. I love seeing pets go to good homes, but there is nothing worse than people who adopt or buy a puppy, only to abandon it two weeks, five months, or even three years down the road. Owning a dog is a commitment that lasts 10-15 years – sometimes more. It isn’t a decision you make on a whim.

5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog | Rose Colored Water #pets #dogs #adoption

Choosing to own a dog takes careful consideration, and I urge you to think through the following items to determine if you are ready to add another member to your family. Notice how I said family… A dog is a new family member.

Are you financially prepared?

Owning a dog is not cheap. There are all kinds of variables that come into play with dog ownership. Here are some of the expenses related to owning a dog:

  • Shots, spay/neuter, flea and worm prevention meds ($50-$200)
  • Supplies (bedding, kennel, toys, grooming equipment ($50-$200)
  • Food ($25-$100/month)
  • Daycare and/or boarding (if needed, price varies $200-$600)
  • Emergency care (if necessary, costs are endless)
  • Additional pet rent (if in an apartment/condo, $20-$60)
  • Pet Insurance (not required, but nice to have, $15-$60/month)

Note that most of these expenses are revolving. I have been fortunate that Motley has never needed emergency treatment. He is a low-maintenance dog. However, larger dogs are more expensive to care for, while some dogs may need more grooming than others. Every dog is different and your expenses could be more or less.

If you are not confident in your ability to pay for a dog’s needs over the course of his/her life, DO NOT GET A DOG.

Do you understand what owning a dog means?

I love when people who have never owned a dog get their first puppy and experience the joys and frustrations that come with it. However, some people are not cut out for the responsibilities of owning a dog. I am not against inexperienced people owning dogs, but they need to understand what they’re getting into. Having a dog means agreeing to care for another creature for its lifetime.

I had a co-worker who bought a $500 puppy, only to return it to the breeder 3 months later. His reasoning? It wouldn’t go to the bathroom in a litterbox. When he realized the dog would never go in a litter box, he got rid of it. Not everyone is as dumb as my co-worker, but it proves true that you need to understand what owning a dog entails before bringing it into your home.

Motley Crue

Owning a dog requires a lifestyle change. It’s a lot like caring for a kid. Parents, do not get mad at me for saying this. It is true. If you can care for a crying puppy for 8-12 months, you can care for a kid. You will lose sleep at night. You will wake up every two hours to take the puppy outside to relieve itself. You will deal with teething and chewing. A puppy will put things in its mouth that it shouldn’t. Who is going to care for the puppy during the day? Can you afford doggy daycare? It’s very similar to having a child. Are you sure you’re ready for that kind of responsibility?

Is your home suitable for a dog?

Finally, do you have the right kind of home for a dog? Some dogs love that apartment life! However, some dogs, especially larger breeds, need room to run and play. If you like exercising and being outside, this can be combatted, but most people are couch potatoes – myself included. If you live in an apartment but want a Great Dane, you might need to reconsider owning a dog until you purchase a home with a yard, or when you can afford to put it in doggy daycare every day at work.

Do you have small children? Is someone in your house allergic to pet dander? Do you have expensive items that you don’t want to be destroyed, covered in hair, or slobbered on? These are important to think about when bringing a pet into your home.

Sometimes, the idea of a having a dog sounds fun and exciting, but there is so much more to dog ownership than meets the eye. Be prepared to handle all the responsibilities of owning a dog before you jump into this kind of pet ownership. If you’re unsure, fish are a great place to start!

How to Choose the Right Doggy Daycare

How to Choose a Doggy Daycare | Rose Colored Water

A few weeks ago, I admitted that Mike and I pay for Motley to attend doggy daycare. For those who have never heard of daycare for dogs, you may be raising your eyebrows or you may be interested in enrolling your own dog in daycare.

If you are intrigued by the idea of doggy daycare, but have no idea where to begin, I have some tips for you. Below are some things you should consider when choosing a daycare for your furry friend.

How to Choose a Doggy Daycare | Rose Colored Water

Where is it located?

One of the biggest factors in choosing a daycare is its proximity to you and your job. If you live in a dog-friendly city like Denver, there are many daycare options. I chose a daycare that was near the air force base so I could easily drop Motley off on my way to work.

You don’t want to drive 30 minutes out of your way to drop-off and pick-up your dog. Daycare is there to help you have a more relaxed day. It defeats the purpose if it’s not in a good location.

Is it priced appropriately?

Every doggy daycare is different. A single day can be priced anywhere from $12 to $30. Twenty day packages in the Denver/Aurora area can range from $250-$500. When I was in Missouri, I purchased a 20 day package for $320.

Prices vary and are typically based on amenities. Some daycares are small and offer just one yard for the dogs to play in. Others are huge with indoor/outdoor areas and pools with fountains for dogs to swim and play. Some daycares are open 24 hours with full-time night-shift workers, while others offer services from 7am-7pm.

Other amenities that affect pricing:

  • Phone apps allowing you to see the yard where the dogs play so you can always “check-in”
  • Standby veterinarian services for emergencies
  • Location and clientele

Do some research. Peruse the website. Find what works for your price range and narrow the list.

Does it have good reviews?

Everyone writes reviews these days. I recommend checking Google and Yelp to see what people are saying about the doggy daycare you’re interested in. You have to be careful with Yelp, as they like to post the horrible reviews at the top. Simply organize the reviews by most recent and take everything with a grain of salt.

Consider what each review focuses on. If people are complaining about prices, they could be cheapskates, or the daycare may not offer as many amenities as other daycares. For example, the daycare I pay for is the cheapest in the area. I assume that is because they open at 7am (while others open at 5 and 6am), and while you can pick your dog up late in the evening, they put all the dogs in their own kennel space at 3:30pm. That means Motley will get to relax and sleep until 4:30 when I pick him up. Other places allow the dogs to play all day until you pick them up. If you’re expecting your dog to be exhausted at the end of the day, the daycare I use may not work for you.

Take reviews in stride. The best way to know is to tour the facility, which brings me to my next tip.

Do they require proof of vaccinations?

This is very important. At first, I thought this was an annoying prerequisite. However, I realize that the safety of Motley depends on this proof. If the daycare does not ask you about your pup’s vaccinations and require proof from the vet, walk away. You do not need your puppy coming home with Parvo or Kennel Cough. The Kennel Cough vaccine is an optional vaccine for your dog (much like a flu vaccine for humans), but it is worth it and most daycares require it. If they don’t, you might consider looking elsewhere.

Take a tour of the doggy daycare.

Once you’ve narrowed your options, tour the facility. I cannot stress this enough. It may feel awkward, but this is the best way to see if the daycare is a good choice. Photos and reviews only tell so much. Talk with the staff. Do they seem to like animals? Will they ALLOW you to tour the grounds? If they don’t, turn around and walk away. No daycare worth your time would say no to a tour.

When you move behind the scenes, you can evaluate if the dogs seem happy and healthy. Does the environment feel safe? Are the dogs being closely monitored? These are questions you need to ask yourself.

If you’re interested in doggy daycare, these are things you want to look at. I have never been to a bad daycare, but they are out there. Do some research, check the reviews, and take a tour before handing any money over. Hopefully, you can find an awesome doggy daycare that your dog will love as much as mine!

Let me know if you have any questions!

5 Reasons We Pay for Doggy Daycare

Want your dog to be happy? Pay for doggie daycare. Here's why we do it. | Rose Colored Water #dogs #happydogs #pups

I am going to be shameless and honest in this post. Mike and I spend our money in various ways, and one of our most scoffed at expenditures is doggy daycare. It is exactly what it sounds like. It is daycare for your dog, and it is probably the best time of a dog’s life.

When I first started taking Motley to daycare, I was in college and had never left Motley alone at home for more than a few hours. I was starting an internship that would keep me away for full days, and the thought of Motley alone in his kennel for 10 hours twice a week killed me. This particular daycare was right on my way, so I decided to do some research.

I learned that doggie daycare is common and expensive. The benefits seemed to outweigh the cons, and I decided to foot the bill and buy a 20-day package for $300. Those 20 days lasted 4 months. Motley didn’t go to daycare every day. I would only send him on days I knew the internship would keep me late. He loved every minute of his time there.

Now that Mike and I are working extra long hours in our jobs, we decided it was time for Mots to return to daycare, and I recommend it looking into it for your own pooch if you’re concerned their well-being.

Want your dog to be happy? Pay for doggie daycare. Here's why we do it. | Rose Colored Water #dogs #happydogs #pups

1. Peace of mind

I believe most people feel this way when they have to leave their dog alone at home. It makes me so sad to know Motley spends long days by himself in our apartment. I feel at ease when Motley is at daycare. If I could afford it, I would send him Monday through Friday.

  • Daycare attendants keep a watchful eye on the pooches. If Motley were to have some kind of attack (I think about those things…), they would recognize the issue and call the vet or me. If he were home alone and the issue was critical, he could die from something that may have been prevented with emergency treatment.
  • He doesn’t have to hold his bladder for long hours.
  • If I have to work late, I’m not freaking out about who will go to the apartment and take him out (again, so his bladder won’t explode). I can just pick him up late at daycare.

2. It is so much fun for them.

Motley a great time jumping in the pool and playing with other dogs. He can run around and wrestle ALL. DAY. LONG. He practically drags me into the daycare when we arrive in the morning.

3. It curbs destructive tendencies.

I have been fortunate that Motley never had many destructive tendencies in my apartment. However, if left to his own devices outside, he could be quite the maniac. If your dog likes to destroy everything in the house, including the kennel, doggie daycare is for you! Dogs are so busy romping around and chewing on all the toys that once in their own home, they are ready to relax and go to sleep.

4. It keeps your dog socialized.

I have yet to see a daycare that has breed restrictions, so if you have a “so-called” aggressive breed, then you know they need to be socialized at a young age. Doggie daycare is a great way to incorporate socialization into your best friend’s life. It’s also great for dogs like mine that spend a lot of time alone at home. It keeps them socialized and teaches them how to interact with other people and pets.

5. It makes evenings more relaxed.

There is nothing fun about coming home to a dog that has been locked up all day. Owning a pet is hard work, and if your dog stays at home all day while you are working, you’re going to need to make up for that during your time off. I see daycare as taking back your evenings! Imagine being able to arrive home and relax on the couch, rather than running right back out to walk and play with your furry friend.

This is honest pet parenting here. Every day is not a piece of cake and playing with your dog is not always a top priority. You are lying if you say it’s easy to make time for your dog every single day. Let someone else love on your pet during the day so you can enjoy some “you” time.

If you can afford the costs of pet daycare, I urge you to consider it. It can change you and your pet’s life. It’s okay that life gets busy. It’s awesome that doggie daycares exist so you can have a place to take your dog when the days are hectic. If you have any questions about daycare, feel free to ask!

10 Things Dog Owners Do in the Wintertime

Things Dog Owners Do in the Wintertime

Wintertime and cold weather create several challenges for dog owners. Seasoned dog people have learned to just go with it, because their love for their wet-nosed friend is stronger than their disdain for the frigid, arctic temperatures. As I monitor the Denver temperatures from my dorm room in Mississippi, I cannot help but think about all the dealings I go through, and will go through, with Motley Crue, just because I love him.

Things Dog Owners Do in the Wintertime

Of course, I’ve been away at technical school, so I’d give anything to walk him in the snow. I miss my little pooch. So because boredom can get the best of me, I made a list of things only dog owners do in the wintertime – just to keep their furry friends happy.

1. As a dog owner, I know it is perfectly acceptable to use Motley as a blanket, snuggle buddy, or feet warmer at any given time. He doesn’t mind. We both love it.

2. Dog owners do not get embarrassed when taking their dog out to pee at 5:30 a.m., even when they’re wearing snow boots, a full winter wardrobe, and their big, fuzzy, blue bathrobe over top because it’s warmer than any winter coat The North Face can make.

3. When going out to buy groceries, you bring your dog along because a) he’s great moral support and a morale booster, as -6 Fahrenheit doesn’t bother him one bit, and b) you don’t know when you’ll be able to get out again, so you’re going to kill two birds with one stone. That’s called caring smarter, not harder.

4. A day out “shopping” for new toys at Petco is a must during the winter because all toys will be chewed, mangled, and destroyed to their fullest potential. It’s not like you can go outside and play frisbee when your fingers and paws are falling off.

5. Time is of no consequence. Whether it’s 2 in the morning or 9 at night, if your pup feels the need to go out and sniff the area, you’re going out and sniffing the area. End of story.

6. If a burst of warm weather hits your area, even if 12 degrees is considered a “burst”, you are out in it with your dog taking in all the sights and smells.

7. You look up your local doggy daycare rates because you so desperately need some alone time. There’s no place better than daycare for your dog when it’s cold outside. They get to play with friends and you get a day off.

8. One word. Sweaters. Sweaters everywhere. Also, dog booties.

9. You have a heating blanket… for your dog’s bed.

10. You make homemade peanut butter treats for your dog, because winter is the best season for baking and it’s better than going outside to play…. again.

Things we do for our dogs in the winter.

What kind of things do you do in the wintertime just to appease your dog?

Dog Vomit and the Exceptional Power of Baking Soda

If you’re anything like me, your four-legged companion is your best friend, secret keeper, and comrade in all things dangerous. Therefore, when they feel bad… You feel bad. Though I loathe when people call their pets their “babies,” that is what Motley is to me. He is like my child.

How to clean up dog vomit with baking soda

So when he vomited four times in four different places on my new living room carpet, I was upset and concerned. This happened about 45 minutes before leaving for work. I was stressed and running late, and the last thing I needed was to clean up dog puke. I believe despair was the exact emotion I felt at the time.

I had no Woolite pet stain remover, which is a great carpet cleaner for pet messes, so I was at a total loss on how to clean this carpet. Then I remembered everybody’s favorite household cleaner… BAKING SODA!

If you’re in a bind, this is what you can do to make sure your carpet looks (and smells) like it never even happened.

Step 1

Remove as much vomit from the carpet as possible. Use whatever you have to – old rags, paper towels, etc. You want to get all the chunks up.

Step 2

If the vomit is wet, you’re in for a good time. Try to soak up as much liquid as you can with paper towels. This is where the baking soda comes in. Sprinkle the baking soda onto the leftovers. I put it on heavy because I wanted nothing left behind. This will dry it all up.

Step 3

Wait until dry. This is the hardest part. You have to give the baking soda time to soak in. I was in a hurry, so I went ahead and vacuumed it up. If you can help it… DON’T DO WHAT I DID. Leave it for at least 30 minutes. If you vacuum it up too soon, you will have wet soda clogging up your vacuum, which is irritating to clean out later.

Step 4

If you waited the appropriate amount of time, go ahead and vacuum up the baking soda. You may find that the carpet is still a little wet. That’s okay. Just throw on more baking soda and repeat the earlier steps. I tried to brush the soda deeper into the carpet roots to make sure I got ALL the nasty dried up.

An alternative pet stain/odor remover-baking soda and Dawn

Step 5

I don’t know if step 5 is necessary, but I did it anyway. I put a teensy bit of Dawn dishwashing liquid (not the kind with bleach) into some hot water and scrubbed the vomit areas after I vacuumed over them for the second time. It made me feel better about the germs. Rinse the area thoroughly.

Step 6

Once the area is dry, vacuum one more time to make sure no remaining ickiness is left. I also took an old, dry rag and scrubbed into the carpet one more time to break free some crusty baking soda in the roots. There will be some down in there if you have shaggier carpet. I’m pretty sure I got it all up.

This should remove all the odors and make your carpet look good as new. Some of the areas looked a little more frayed after all the scrubbing, but you can’t tell if you’re not looking for it. There is no carpet discoloration and no bad smell. I wish there had been some Woolite carpet cleaner in the house, but alas, you take what you can get. I can say that this method works, though it can be a hassle and time-consuming.

NOTE: I wasn’t able to complete all of these steps before I went to work, though I was able to do most of them.

Let me know if you ever try it. I’d love to hear if it worked for you as well as it did for me!