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Small Living Spaces: 5 Best Hacks for Apartment Living with a Dog

Have you ever seen those tiny house TV shows where dog-owners move into a tiny space with their pets?  You might think they are crazy for confining themselves to such a small space, let alone with a dog or two! But they seem to make it work. How? It all comes down to space-optimizing tricks and planning.

Top 5 Hacks for Dog-Friendly Apartment Living

Thankfully, your apartment is probably more spacious than those tiny homes on wheels. But you can benefit from the same hacks those tiny-dwellers use. We’ve narrowed it down to the top five hacks you to make apartment living with a dog feasible and comfortable.

A Place for Everything

The organizational guru, Marie Kondo, encourages tidying by category, which includes your dog’s items. She teaches the key to organization is for every item to have a home. Dog leashes, collars, toys, food, treats, brushes, and so on should have a designated storage spot. Use hooks, hanging baskets, canisters, and decorative boxes to make the most of your space without sacrificing design.

Creative Dog Nooks

Finding the perfect place for your dog’s bed in an apartment takes creativity. Some people turn faux fireplaces into a dog nook, while others invest in side tables that double as dog crates. If you are handy, you can really maximize your space by customizing a Fabulous Handmade Dog Crate that fits perfectly in place.

An Outdoor Schedule

When living in a small space with a dog, you need more than the intention to go outdoors; you need a schedule. Just like going to the gym, you are much more likely to go if you commit to a schedule. A dog walking or dog park schedule will greatly benefit you and your dog’s health and overall happiness.

Use Citronella Collar to Stop Excessive Barking

Don’t be that neighbor whose dog barks all hours of the day. Provide toys to keep dogs busy while you are gone. If your dog still barks excessively, consider using a humane Citronella collar to train away bad barking behavior. Studies show they are the most effective collar for nuisance barking, and the ASPCA certifies them as safe.

Utilize Vertical Space

When you don’t have a lot of square footage, you need to resort to vertical space. Aside from dog beds, pet dishes take up a lot of room. Wall-mounted dog bowls free up floor space and offer health benefits for your dog. They also help prevent spills and messes.

Kitchen Dog dish sets are great for apartment living. They easily come off the wall to put into the dishwasher or to make more space when not in use. Our custom dog dish sets come in different colors and sizes. Unlike elevated contraptions, wall mounted dog bowls won’t tip over and can be installed at the perfect height for your dog. Oh, and they’re great for cats too!

To learn more, visit the Kitchen Dog Blog.

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11 Cold Weather Safety Tips for Pets

By JC McDowell

Furbaby, it’s cold outside! It’s time to prepare and keep our pets cozy, warm, and safe this winter. Remember these tips to protect your pets from the frightful weather.

  1. Limit Time Outdoors

Like kids, some dogs don’t know when it’s time to come inside. They may be so excited to play in the snow that they ignore their body’s signals that it’s too dang cold. Know your pet’s limits and bring them inside to warm up between playtime. Young, old, small, and thin-coated dogs will need to come in sooner than their counterparts.

  1. Bang on Your Car Hood

Cats are known to cozy up near a car’s engine to keep warm. Starting an engine or driving away can lead to serious injury. Even if you don’t have a cat, your neighbor might. Bang on your car hood or honk your horn to scare any cats away from your car.

  1. Dry Their Paws and Bellies

Wet paws and wet bellies can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. Be sure to keep a towel with you when you travel with your pet. Thoroughly dry their paws, bellies, and tails to protect them from cold injuries.

  1. Keep them Leashed

Wet and snowy weather can mask familiar smells for your pet. They may not be able to find their way to you or back home, even if they are in a familiar neighborhood or park. Keep your dog leashed and your cat contained in a controlled area.

  1. Don’t Leave them in the Car

Just like summer heat poses an extreme danger to your pet, so does winter cold. Do not leave your pet in the car during cold weather. It’s best to leave them home if you can not take them inside with you everywhere you go.

  1. Provide Dry, Draft-Free Shelter

Not all pets are indoor pets. While some severe cold weather warrants every pet to be brought inside, you need to provide protective shelter for the general cold. Create a dry, draft-free space that is big enough for them to stand and lay down it but also small enough to conserve body heat.

  1. Clean Up Antifreeze Spills

Antifreeze has a sweet aroma and taste that dogs and cats are attracted to. But, of course, it is extremely dangerous for pets to consume. Be sure to keep antifreeze containers sealed and away from pets. Also, thoroughly clean any spills or drips that may occur.

  1. Don’t Shave Off Their Winter Coat

If your dog has long hair, trim their hair to avoid ice clumps, salt crystals, and de-icing chemicals from building up. But, do not shave their winter coat down to the skin. Let them utilize their natural winter coats to help keep them warm.

  1. Buy Them a Sweater

Short-haired dogs may need a sweater to keep warm. The same is true for long-haired dogs in colder weather. Don’t be fooled by poufy fur either—fluffy fur does not necessarily equate to warmth!

  1. Protect Their Paws

Trim your pet’s little foot hairs to help keep their paws dry and free of ice clumps, salt, and de-icing chemicals. The ASPCA suggests slathering petroleum jelly or other paw protectants on their paw pads or put booties on their paws to help prevent dry, flaky skin and even frostbite.

  1. Feed Them a Little Extra

Your pet’s body uses more energy to keep warm. Therefore, it’s a good idea to feed your pet a little extra during cold weather. Be sure to use elevated bowls to help keep winter moisture from getting in their food.

Kitchen Dog wishes you Happy Holidays! If you are looking for the perfect gift for your pet or a pet-loving family member, check out our wall mounted dog bowls (and cat bowls!). They are excellent gifts for elderly family members who may have trouble bending over to feed their beloved pets. Keep them safe, and their dogs well cared for. Learn more about the Home Safety Benefits of Wall Mounted Pet Bowls.

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7 Dog Friendly Thanksgiving Foods


By JC McDowell

Thanksgiving is a time to come together with family and friends to celebrate the blessings in our lives. Our pets are part of our family, and certainly one of the blessings we want to celebrate. If you’re like us, you will want to show thanks to your pet with some yummy food on Thanksgiving. But we need to be careful only to share food that won’t have uncomfortable or painful side effects.

Rich, seasoned foods can turn a treat into sickness. You don’t want your dog to end their day with a stomach ache, diarrhea, or worse, a trip to the vet. Steer clear from feeding your dog sugary, well-seasoned, or buttery dishes that will surely lead to discomfort. And don’t give them anything with onion or garlic, as they are toxic to dogs.

Instead, share these traditional Thanksgiving foods that are safe and even have health benefits for your pet!


We all know your dog is going to be eye-balling the turkey, drooling from the sight and smell of it. Thankfully, you can meet their craving and share some turkey with your fur baby. Try to limit them to a few pieces of skinless white meat appropriate for their size. But remember, turkey bones are not safe for dogs!

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a healthy option for your pet. They support digestive health, and most dogs find them quite tasty. Dogs can eat them raw, steamed, or boiled. But, be sure to set some aside for your pet before adding butter, brown sugar, or other seasonings us humans will indulge in on Thanksgiving.

Green Beans

Your dog will enjoy the crunch of a few raw green beans, and their tummies will be happy too. Green beans are full of iron, vitamin C, and high in fiber. Avoid giving your dog green bean casserole as most recipes include onions, garlic, and mushrooms, which are toxic to dogs.

Pumpkin Puree

As much as you may love pumpkin pie, you can’t share it with your dog. However, you can think ahead and set aside some pumpkin puree for your pet. Sugar-free canned pumpkin puree, steamed pumpkin, or baked pumpkin are all good for your dog’s gut before adding other ingredients.


Whether you are using apples for your stuffing, pie, or salads, be sure to set aside a few slices for your dog. Raw apples are a safe, juicy, crunchy treat they are sure to be thankful for.

Bread Roll

Bread dough is dangerous for your dog to eat, but a bit of baked bread won’t do her any harm. A simple bread roll without butter is not necessarily healthy for your dog, but it is okay for her to eat. But, of course, no dessert bread packed with butter, sugar, or raisins.


Carrots have lots of beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber for your dog. Dogs usually love the crunch of raw carrots, but probably won’t say no to cooked (unseasoned) carrots either.

If you want to go all out, you can prepared on these 8 DIY Thanksgiving Dog Treat Recipes.

Serve Your Pet Like Your Family

Tossing food to your pet can lead to overfeeding and overindulging. Instead, treat your pet like the family they are and serve them a special plate. Prepare a dish for them with the dog-friendly Thanksgiving treats and place it in their wall mounted dog bowl so they can enjoy it in comfort. Your dog will thank you!

Read next: How Kitchen Dog Can Improve Your Pet’s Joint and Digestive Health


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Will Your Dog Go in the Snow?

We deal with snow every winter at Kitchen Dog’s Michigan headquarters.  Newly fallen snow can be beautiful to look at, but it can present problems for our dogs if they need to squat in it. If you’ve ever had to sit on a freezing cold toilet seat you know why!

Snow Can Pose a Potty Problem

Some dogs have elimination issues when the weather turns cold and snowy, for reasons including:

  • It’s not familiar, dogs like routine and their favorite elimination spot is hidden from view
  • They don’t realize it’s OK to eliminate in the snow if it’s the first time they’ve seen it
  • The cold is distracting them from other body signals

If Your Dog Refuses to Go Outside in the Snow

Dogs that won’t potty outside in the snow are a problem! If they hold it too long, constipation and bladder infections can result.  Dogs will eliminate indoors when they feel there is no other option. Dogs appreciate a clear path to follow when they need to potty in snowy weather.

Digging a Path to Poop

Kitchen Dog recommends you think of your dog’s comfort and cleanliness when they venture out in the snow. When you have accumulated snowfall, make sure they have a clear path to a potty area. Some reasons digging paths is a good idea:

  • Dogs are more likely to eliminate outdoors when they can move freely to stimulate their bowels
  • Avoid chilling vital organs by avoiding direct contact with the snow
  • Less snow tracked into the house
  • Poop is easier to find when you know where to look!

Where and How to Dig a Path

The Kitchen Dog backyard has potty spots cleared down to the grass

Start on the steps or landing so the dog can step out onto a familiar surface. Then clear a path that ends with a larger cleared area so your dog has room to circle around to stimulate their bowels.  Dig deep enough that your dog can squat without sticking their sensitive areas into the snow. Remove enough snow to uncover some grass so the dog sees the potty surface they are familiar with.

Make Winter Clean Up Easier

Don’t forget to also dig a path so you can access your cleanup equipment. Having a path dug makes it easy to find and remove waste.  Please don’t wait until spring! Poop doesn’t melt in the snow, it will just leach into the groundwater, so remove it now.

Combat Cabin fever

You can go a step farther and build a snow maze, especially if you have a large, busy, or agile dog that enjoys racing around in cold weather.  Clear a path that circles part of the yard, including favorite spots to sniff, run, or visit the neighbors.  Dogs who have a chance to run and explore outside will have less energy for mischief inside.  Pay attention to the temperature and your dog’s comfort so they don’t stay out too long.  If they are picking up their feet with ice trapped between the pads or getting leg cramps, bring them in to warm up.

Your Dog’s Comfort is Important!

by Cleo Parker

Cleo has been working with dogs since she was a teenager and has spent her professional career working in marketing insights and analytics.  She blogs about marketing for dog events, products, and services at the Dog Marketing Blog. 

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Plants and Pets: Know the Risks

As gardening season is underway, it is important to consider the safety of your pets when choosing your landscape.  Sometimes the Curious Cat or Dog Detective get to investigating their turf and the outcome is not always rosy.  Here is a list of plants that can be poisonous to your dog or cat:

Lily of the Valley
Sago Palm

Please note that these are all very common and popular outdoor plants.  Chances are, you may already have some of these in your backyard.  Some of the side effects of ingesting poisonous plants are excessive drooling, kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach damage and in some cases, death.  Please be sure to do your research before planting any new landscaping.  Know what is already existing in your yard before you bring a new little furry member home to the family.


Pet Poison Helpline. (n.d.). Top 10 Plants Poisonous to Pets. Retrieved June 18, 2018, from

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Protect Your Dog from the Summer Heat

Summer is a great time for a dog and its owner.  Walks, beach runs, swimming, slobbery car rides with the window down—all fun times for our furry BFF.  Summer is here and outdoor temperatures have already hit record highs.  Just as we take measures to stay cool during the hot months, it is equally important to keep our pets cool as well.  Dogs can become overheated quickly and sometimes without much warning.  Here are some signs of overheating to watch for as you partake in summer festivities:

?  Heavy and/or Excessive Panting
?  Increased pulse
?  Drooling
?  Lethargy
?  Diarrhea
?  Pale, dry gums
?  Glassy eyes
?  Vomiting
?  Staggering
?  Weakness

Any of these symptoms or a combination of means trouble for your dog.  Bring them indoors immediately and give them cold water.  Wiping their torso down with a cool towel can help decrease their body temperature.  As always, use your best judgment and take your dog to the nearest vet if they do not show immediate signs of improvement.

Taking precautionary steps to keep your dog cool is essential to prevent overheating.  Do not leave dogs in a hot car under any circumstances.  Be sure your dog has access to a shady, cooler space outdoors and provide access to water in that area.  Be extra attentive to older dogs and those with special needs as they can be more susceptible to problems resulting from weather changes.  Lastly, be aware of taking pups for walks on hot pavement.  A good rule of paw:  if the pavement is too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot for your dog as well.


N., K. (2018). Dog Overheating Symptoms, Risk Factors and What to do to Cool Overheated Dogs. Retrieved June 8, 2018, from Dogs, Cats, Pets: