Help Your Dog Stay Worry-free During Fireworks

Help Your Dog Stay Worry-free During Fireworks

Loud noises and sounds can really freak dogs and cat out, and a fireworks show is probably the worst noise monster a fearful pet can face. While our kitties seem to be pretty chill to any fireworks in our neighbourhood, I have a friend whose cat did not come out from under the bed for an entire day afterwards. And did you know that more dogs go missing during holidays featuring fireworks than any other day? So…seeing as we know nights of fireworks will be coming up in July, here are some ways to help your dog and cat stay a little more comfortable.

little dog on bed nervous about fireworks

1. Plan ahead.

It’s a good idea to check for the dates of community fireworks displays during celebratory seasons, and make sure your dog’s collar ID and microchip registration are up to date. Big dates like Victoria Day, Canada Day, and New Year’s almost always have some sort of show in the respective cities within the GTA, so mark those down and make a plan.

2. Create distance.

When you know a firework display is scheduled nearby, or you see your neighbors setting up for a display, ask a friend if you can bring your dog over for an evening chat or movie – unless your dog finds trips even more stressful. Simply removing them from the situation may be the best option.

3. Set up a quiet safe space.

If leaving your home is out of the question for you and your dog, set up a safe space in your home. This is ideally a place where your dog is comfortable and the sound of fireworks is muffled, like a finished basement or an internal room like a walk-in closet. In our home, the bathroom seems to be a favourite for our cats when scary noises abount (think: fire alarm!) Spend time with your dog there, with toys and treats, well before fireworks season begins, not just the day of.

4. Go for a long walk well before dark.

A happily tired dog is a more relaxed dog. Exercise your pup with fun play or a long walk so they are ready to nap when night falls. Make sure their collar or harness is slip-proof, because some people celebrate with firecrackers and other noisemakers before darkness falls.

5. Close windows and curtains.

This further muffles the sound and blocks out quick, flashes of light

6. Turn on the TV, music, or white noise.

Sit down to your favourite TV show and watch that together. Or, dance to music. Even things like a fan, can provide a familiar, alternate sound. Just make sure whatever you use is already familiar to your dog – even fans can be anxiety-causing if they are fired up without warning.

7. Try an anxiety wrap.

Soft, stretchy jackets and vests built specifically for a dog’s shape are reported to be effective at reducing anxiety. I suggest you slowly introduce your dog to their coat well before fireworks season descends. My parents’ dog has a Thundershirt that sometimes help – although not always – but they are worth trying.

8. Consult a professional.

Is your dog or cat’s quality of life suffering, or are they so panicked they could injure themselves, or you, while trying to escape? Dog trainers, dog behaviorists, veterinarians, and veterinary behaviorists can offer a range of options from counter-conditioning to medication.

Any other tips that you have found helpful? Please share them with me here.

The Bone & Biscuit Co. Third Anniversary | October 2, 2021

The Bone & Biscuit Co. Third Anniversary | October 2, 2021

We were back for a 3rd glorious year to celebrate the anniversary of Vaughn’s Bone & Biscuit Location. Every year this celebration gets better and better!

Pet-Friendly Photo Booth

Once again, we did a dog photo booth, but we decided to warm it up a bit with a beautiful golden colour to remind us that Fall is the most beautiful time of year. It has had been a hard year for everyone and Anubha wanted to show her appreciation to all her customers who have remained loyal and supportive through the pandemic.

So much had changed in a year, and we were now confronted with handling an event with safety protocols. With lots of cooperation, graciousness and patience on the part of everyone, the event was a success!

It was such a beautiful day and we met lots and lots of pups. But this year was a first…we got to photograph 2 brave kitties who definitely had no trouble being surrounded by dogs.

dog headshots at photobooth in GTA

Want to see the full gallery from the dog photo booth?

As usual, pups seem to have come out ahead. See everyone’s beautiful faces by clicking through the gallery below:

Thanks so much for all of the fun – hope to see you all again next year! And in the meantime, I love following you all on Instagram.

Experiential Marketing

Small business owners, entrepreneurs, agencies and creatives directors! Experiential marketing events involving celebrities, influencers and the public are our speciality. Especially if they include dogs or cats.
3 Local Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Dog

3 Local Ways to Celebrate Fall With Your Dog

Temps are getting cooler and that means it’s a great time to get out and about with your pup. As a dog photographer, I’m so happy to live, love and laugh with pups at all the best spots around Toronto and the GTA so I’ve put together a list of my favorite dog-friendly places below.

What’s your favourite? Email me and let me know!

1. Grab a drink on a dog-friendly patio

Toronto recently changed the by-laws so more places have the option to have dogs on their patios. And with some (finally!) cooler temps in town, it will be more comfortable to sit outside in a cozy sweater and get a drink. I love this place because of it was one of the first breweries to welcome dogs. It’s also super cool because of the name – Black Dog Brewing. If you haven’t been before, seek out Snoopy, who is the original black dog.
snoopy of black lab beer

2. Go south to an island

Okay, so not that far south. As everyone here knows, but sometimes forgets, Toronto has its own island(s) that are accessible by quick ride on a dog-friendly ferry. The fall ferry schedule still offers lots of options for coming and going from the island and when you get there, you can create the iconic photo of your pup with our wonderful skyline.
dog on Toronto Island Ferry

3. Get out of town and take a hike

Southern Ontario has so many gorgeous conservation areas to explore and Autumn is the perfect time to visit. I first visited Kelso when I tagged along with Otis and his mum to photograph them. Dogs love to hike on the trails and smell all the smells. People love it because, if you choose to hike up to the top, you have a beautiful view of the area and the Fall colours. And, if you get to the lookout in time, you can enjoy the sunset together.
girl and dog at lookout at Kelso Conservation Area

4. Take more photos

One extra little bonus tip because you know there would be something wrong if I didn’t remind you to make memories and take more photos of your dog! Put on your most stylish outfits, get outside and explore. Better yet, get photos of you with your pup in the Autumn colours, among the fall leaves. And if that sounds like the perfect day, I just might know the perfect pet photographerwink

outdoor dog photo shoot in Toronto

So, that will get you started in celebrating the most beautiful time of year! Did I leave something out? Email me and tell me which local places you love to take your dog during Fall!

A Fall/Autumn session with your pup? Yes, please! (Psst…it’s our busiest season, so make sure you plan this now.)

POSH PETS BOUTIQUE™ SESSIONS

Where it all begins

  • Pre-session Design Consult that ensures we create images you will be thrilled with.
  • The result is gorgeous custom artwork the life your pet shares with your family.
  • A personal Ordering Consultation to ensure you select the right images from the gallery.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Boutique™ Sessions can be found here.
Enjoy the Toronto Summer | Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs

Enjoy the Toronto Summer | Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs

Hello Summer!!

A combination of nicer weather and a city/province that has been in lockdown for soooo long can be a potent combination – lots of people and pups ready to step outside and into the heat!

Collingwood dog in summer heat

Most of us know that it is wise to take short walks in the early morning or late evening when the sun is not so strong, to ensure that our pets have access to water and shade, and to never – never, ever – leave them in a car.

But even with all of the precautions in place, overheating can occur, and occur quickly. Do you know the signs of heatstroke and when your dog is in distress?

Petfinder shared this great graphic to get you started.

Signs-of-heatstroke-in-dogs

If you and your dog live for the summer…

As of June 11, 2021, we are again able to photograph your pups outside! Yay! It has been so long coming and we cannot wait to see you. We schedule sessions early morning or late evening during the summer months to take advantage of the beautiful light and the cooler temperatures. It makes for a more enjoyable experience for you and your pet. Book your session today.

 

POSH PETS BOUTIQUE™ SESSIONS

Where it all begins

  • Pre-session Design Consult that ensures we create images you will be thrilled with.
  • The result is gorgeous custom artwork the life your pet shares with your family.
  • A personal Ordering Consultation to ensure you select the right images from the gallery.
  • Please note: The Creative Fee covers time and talent to photograph a maximum of four (4) subjects, which can be any combination of people and up to two (2) pets who live within the same household. Additional subjects may be photographed for a small additional fee.
  • Examples of portraits from Posh Pets Boutique™ Sessions can be found here.
Dog Wedding in Toronto | A Tail of 2 Pugs

Dog Wedding in Toronto | A Tail of 2 Pugs

On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, you could feel that love was in the air in downtown Toronto as Miss Pickles & Tyson tied the knot at Stackt Market. It was a beautiful evening – not too hot or too cold – as the 2 pugs exchanged their vows. And I’ll admit, I liked this dog wedding more than most human ones.

The lovely couple and their guests were hosted by Love Shack Toronto and the Belgian Moon Brewery. Wedding Favours were courtesy of Pupfectionery, and the gorgeous florals were from Flower Treasures.

And no dog wedding would be complete without friends. Tyson and Pickles were supported by their well-dressed attendants (click on name to see their Instagram accounts):

Mini
Chelsea
Nala
Max
Bacon
Archer

bride and groom at dog wedding

It was a who’s who of dogs from all over Toronto who came together to celebrate two pugs.

See all the action (the dresses! the colour scheme! the processional!) in the attached album. You can click on each photo to see them up close.

Congratulations to the happy couple! May you enjoy many wonderful days ahead together!

Is there a dog wedding in your future? Are YOU getting married and your pup will play a role? Have another pet event you need an official pet photographer for?

Summer Safety Tips for Dogs + Cats | Toronto

Summer Safety Tips for Dogs + Cats | Toronto

Summer has finally arrived in Toronto and, with it, the heat! Despite any grumbling, it can be fairly simple for us humans to stay cool in the summer. Thanks to the gift of opposable thumbs, we have choices – we can turn on the air conditioning in our homes and cars, change our clothes, or alter our activities to be more comfortable.

For Toronto dogs and cats, it is much more difficult to adjust to the heat. Even when we find that we are uncomfortably warm and there is no option for air conditioning, our bodies help us to cool down by sweating. Our pets are not as fortunate; not only are they wearing fur, but their ability to sweat is limited to their paws and an open-mouthed pant. Summer safety is our responsibility.

While heat is the main cause for extra pet safety precautions in the summer, just staying out of the sun will not guarantee a safe pet. Here is how you can help your dog and cat stay safe this summer:

summer safety tips for dog in marina in Toronto

Keeping Pets Safe Outdoors

  • Pets should never ever be left in a car alone. Just do not do it. Please.
  • Clean, fresh water should always be accessible. Warmer temperatures cause water to evaporate more quickly, so check their water bowl more often.
  • If outside, pets need to have access to shade. Remember, just because a specific location is shady at 11 a.m., it does not mean it will be shady at 1 p.m.!
  • Protect your pets against fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other pests.
cat looking out window in summer

Keeping Pets Safe Indoors

  • Again, ensure that clean, fresh, water should always be accessible.
  • If not air conditioned, homes should use fans and opened windows for circulation.
  • Open windows and doors should have screens to keep your pet from getting out without your knowledge. Strictly indoor kitties may be drawn to the breeze, but would not know how to survive on the street, so be extra vigilant with them.
grey cat lounging on car in the shade

Summer Safety for Cats

  • Know where your cat is before shutting doors to sheds, garages, car doors, etc. You would not want them to be trapped somewhere hot!
  • When possible, keep your kitty indoors during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm). This helps to ensure that they will not get caught somewhere similar where you are not there to watch out for them.
golden doodle resting in the shade

Summer Safety for Dogs

  • Walk and exercise dogs in the morning and evening to avoid the full heat of the sun.
  • Check pavement with the back of your hand to determine if it’s too hot for dog paws. Burns hurt!
  • Carry extra water for long walks and/or particularly hot days.
  • Know the signs of when your dog is too hot and is in distress. Act quickly and take appropriate action.

Before you go…

Want to capture all the summer time fun with your pup and kitty? Sign up here for the Tips for Taking Drool-Worthy Pictures of Your Pet With Your Phone – a free pdf showing how to work with your phone to get great imagery. Have fun out there!

Hound & Purr’s 1st Anniversary Party

Hound & Purr’s 1st Anniversary Party

On Sunday, September 30, 2019, Hound & Purr celebrated their 1st anniversary. The day was busy with 3 events:

1. A dog fashion show put on by the Little White Dog;

2. A meet-and-greet with some of Toronto’s famous pups (Maximillion, Dexter, Prince Louix CXIII, and Java); and,

3. A chow down, hosted by Puppy Gang Fresh Foods in which Arson the Dalmatian came off victorious.

You can click on each photo to see them up close. Enjoy!

Swissridge DoodleRomp

Swissridge DoodleRomp

Saturday, August 17, 2019 was the date selected for the 6th annual Swissridge DoodleRomp. Looking at the weather during the couple of days beforehand, it was forecasting the worst of weather. I had therefore emailed the organizer to ask her if we had a Plan B in case of terrible rain. She, of course, had thought of everything, but ended her email with “It never rains for long on this special day 😉

I’ll be honest; I was not so sure. We woke up on Saturday to torrential rain where I live. But, as we made our way north to the Pinetree Pet Care Centre in Guelph, Ontario, the skies began to clear. By the time we arrived, we had sun! She had been so right.

All For A Good Cause

Each year the pups and humans of Swissridge get together to have one huge play date and raise money to support the training of a therapy dog for a special child. This year was no different.

It is a tradition to take a ‘group shot’ during the last half of of the event which is always a challenge with so many pups and people. A wide-angle lens is a must!

CB2 Dog Photography

I really love this next photo. This is the moment after I called out, “we got the shot!” and everyone released their dogs. Luma ran straight for me – she knows who has the treats.

CB2 Dog Photography

Find the full photo gallery here:

It is always remarkable to me how well the doodles behave with one another. One large off-leash park and not one scuffle. That is due, in large part, to the attention each human pays to their dog. If someone is getting a little too excited, they can easily be brought outside the fenced-in area for a moment to calm down, before trying again. I wish all dog parks had owners like these!

I had a small booth this year and it was busy. As a result, I did not get out to photograph the dogs as much as I would have like. However, enjoy this small gallery of the fun event. See you all next year!

Ice Cream Social | Studio Opening

Ice Cream Social | Studio Opening

We opened our studio with a bang on August 23, 2019 with an Ice Cream Social in our new studio, located in Brampton. We had lots of furry visitors, met up with old  clients, and made tons of new friends. And, of course, enjoyed ice cream courtesy of Barker & Snouts.

Here are some of the sunny, bright summery photos from the day!

CB2 Dog Photography
MAUJI (@mauji.the.airedale)  I photographed this handsome boy when he was just a wee pup!
Stormy & Akita
Alice
Seamus
Myca (@myca_in_to) Also a boy I photographed a few years ago.
Ducky & Nimbus
Teddy
Murphy
Thanks to everyone who came out – we loved seeing you all!
Park & Bark Event | May 11, 2019

Park & Bark Event | May 11, 2019

We had a ton of fun last Saturday with Andrea Bertucci, a real estate agent who serves the Leslieville area, at the first Park & Bark event of 2019. For those who do not know, Park & Bark is a dog festival and outdoor market that works its way around Toronto parking lots on select Saturdays throughout the year. The event is free and well-behaved dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome. There will be 3 more events this year, so be sure to check one of them out!

This past Saturday, the weather was near perfect and the dogs were plentiful. Andrea and I shook paws with lots of happy dogs, met awesome owners, doled out treats and gave cuddles. We photographed so many great pups and raised money for a good cause – the Toronto Humane Society. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday!

Here is a roundup of the visitors we met…

Celebrity Sightings

We had some bonafide dog celebrities show up and show us their best side. This is DEXTER and pretty mum who coordinated their denim outfits just for their photo. He is kind of a big deal in these parts – Dexter was named #TorontoTopDog for 2019! But for all of his fame, he is really a down to earth kind of guy. Go follow his Instagram (@dexosaurus)  to follow his adventure and see where you can meet him next. (hint: it is the biggest dog festival in North America)

CB2 Dog Photography

Next, was GUCCI and WINTER, also known as @thefloofywoofs on Instagram. Photographing dogs in a parking lot with lots of other pups and distractions around is never easy…getting two together is even more of a challenge. But these two made it happen because they are stars!

BEAUFORD (@bisforbeauford) is a senior snout near and dear to my heart. While we have *known* each other for years on Instagram, this was our first time meeting in real life! Three years ago, Beauford was given a devastating diagnosis and prognosis. Since that time, he has been checking items off of his #bucketlist, all the while defying the odds. It was so good to see this precious boy! And his winning smile is second to none!

Tiny Paws Dog Rescue Canada

These two are best friends in real life and absolutely had to have a photo together. HARLEY is the tri-colour corgi on the left (@harleythecuriouscorgi) and MYLO, Duke of Eglinton (@mylo_corgi) is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi on the right. Both smiley, happy boys eager for their model turn!

Not to be forgotten is CHARLIE (@charchar_westie) who also chose to wear denim for the occasion.

Find the full photo gallery here:

There were so many more beautiful, happy, furry faces, so take a look through the whole set here. The first one is ALICE, the sweetest little puppy who, even though it was her first time at such an event, showed she is a natural when it comes to being photographed.

Want a chance to have your pup, kitty, ferret or…  photographed in studio by us? Find out about our in-studio sessions, below.

LIMITED EDITION PETITE SESSIONS

Available on only select days during the year. Shorter sessions perfect for those looking for a couple of portraits of their favourite family member. Find out when the next one is by signing up for the invite list.

 

3 Tips for a Successful Bring Your Dog to Work Day

3 Tips for a Successful Bring Your Dog to Work Day

Tomorrow is a special day – it’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day! And I thought what better way to celebrate than by speaking with Sharon Jennings from The Office Dog. She is the go-to person for aspiring office-friendly dogs and dog-friendly offices and is a wealth of information on the subject. If you are thinking of bringing your dog into your workplace, here are 3 tips from her to ensure the day is a smooth one.

Bring Your Dog to Work Day is not about you. Put your dog’s needs first.

Only participate in Bring Your Dog to Work day if you honestly think that your dog will be happy there. If your pup is unsure, or fearful of new people or dogs, then it’s not the right thing for your dog – no matter how much YOU want to do it.

If there’s something your dog doesn’t like, for example, being stroked by strangers, make sure your colleagues know ahead of time – and stick up for your dog on the day if anyone crosses that boundary.

If you’re working on keeping your calm, don’t let people rough-house, or playfight with him.

If he’s on a special diet, make sure no one’s giving him treats on the sly.

Have a backup plan for if your dog is unhappy in the office. Either a friend or family member on hand to come and collect him (someone he knows well). Or advance permission to take him home – it’ll be better for everyone to get him out.

Plan ahead.

Clear your schedule for the day so that you don’t have to disappear off to meetings leaving your dog alone or in the charge of someone else.

Make sure you know where you can and can’t let your dog go to the toilet.

Find out what other dogs will also be in the office – especially ones that will be near you. If there are going to be a few dogs in a small area can you work at a different desk for the day?

Do you know where the closest vet is in case of an emergency?

Take in a bed or crate the day before, so you don’t have to struggle in with that AND your dog.

If you commute, has your dog used that mode of transport before? Could be worth a few bus or train trips ahead of time.

Take toys and treats.

Presumably you’re going to have to get some work done on the day! So, take toys and treats that will keep your dog occupied for periods of time. Avoid squeaky toys that’ll annoy your colleagues, or anything that’s liable to get him over-excited.

Try freezing some food in a Kong the night before, that should keep him occupied for a while.

A Snuffle Rug allows your dog to self-soothe as he roots around for food – and something like dried parmesan is nice and smelly, while not adding too many calories to his diet.

Well, there you have it! Thanks Sharon for taking the time to share this information with us. And if you have brought your dog to work, please share with us in the comments any things that you have found that have worked well. Have a great day tomorrow!

A bonus…

Want to capture these all of action during Take Your Dog to Work Day? Sign up here for the Tips for Taking Drool-Worthy Pictures of Your Pet With Your Phone – a free pdf showing how to work with your phone to get great imagery. Have fun out there!

Spring Forward | Daylight Saving Time Guide for Pets

Spring Forward | Daylight Saving Time Guide for Pets

daylight saving time tips for dogs and cats

This Saturday evening, in Canada, we will officially begin daylight saving time (DST). Good news: That means Spring is just around the corner! 

Now, the bad news: if you are anything like me, being robbed of an hour of my sleep, even just once a year, has me moaning, groaning, and struggling for a few days.  At least we know why we are suddenly changing our schedule…what about the dogs and cats in our homes who see us alter our behaviours for no reason at all?

Why Daylight Savings Time affects us all, including pets

Dogs and cats will not be checking the clock, but they will certainly feel the effects. Why? Simply put, it is all about you. After all, a change in your routine, or a hiccup in your schedule, can affect your pets.

Our pets are creatures of habit and their habits keep them happy, calm, and comfortable. Their lives revolve around you; they love you, you are their world. Rising even 60 minutes earlier, where the natural cues of how much morning light is available, tell them something is different. Certainly, receiving breakfast earlier is a sure sign that something is off.

It’s also important to remember that our pets are are incredibly intuitive: your stress is their stress. Just a small amount of frustration or time-change slump can set your poor guy and girl reeling for the rest of the day feeding of your emotions and even thinking that he did something to upset you.

So, the best thing you can do to help your pets make it through daylight savings is to quickly and smoothly adjust your own schedule.

How to make the transition smoother

  1.  This is a hard one. Go to bed at least half an hour earlier. It will give you a leg up on the hour you’ll be robbed on Sunday morning. It might cramp your style on Saturday night, but you will be much happier come the next day.
  2.  Wake up when your alarm goes off even if you didn’t manage the extra sleep you were hoping for. It is easy to hit the snooze button thinking that it is only Sunday. But, you will only be delaying the pain until Monday morning, and no one wants that.
  3.  Eat breakfast and drink some coffee if that is your normal routine. The fuel gets your metabolism and brain going.
  4. Stick to your routine. Even if you feel the drag of that missed hour out of your day, actively think of your pet and how your decisions will affect them.
  5. Get a little exercise. Of course, take your dog for his normal walk. But adding just a few minutes of exercise, will have your heart pumping and energize you for the day ahead.
  6. Go to bed another extra half-hour on Sunday night. That will leave you ready to transition on Monday morning.

So, as appealing as it is to drag through the day blaming it all on that missed hour of sleep, don’t do it! Lace up your walking shoes, grab the pet toys, put a smile on your face. Daylight Saving Time is here…get ready to spring forward!