Author Archives: Peter Nelson


Do pets recognize their names as their identities?

I was curious because my cat never comes when I call it but my dog always does. But does my dog recognize that that name is hers, or does she simply know that when she hears that sound, I’m usually about to pet her or give her something? I did a little bit of research and here’s the conclusion I reached:

For dogs, it isn’t clear whether it depends on the dog, or all dogs recognize their names as their identities. Intelligence varies wildly between breeds. Some dogs are capable of reacting to other’s names which shows they should be able to recognize their own. For example, one person said that if they said their friends name while looking expectantly at their dog, their dog would run over to their friend. But other dogs seem to not be able because they will not register hearing their name if you use it in a different tone of voice than when you’re calling them, such as when used in conversation with others. However recent animal behavior studies have found that dog’s brains behave in much the same way our brains do when someone says our name.

Now what about cats? The aforementioned studies found that cat’s brains also behave in the same way as ours when they hear their names. So why do they not come when called? They simply don’t care. Domesticated cats are social with humans and sometimes other animals, but they were originally solitary animals, unlike dogs. Wolves are highly social and have highly complicated social relationships, so they are more adapted to caring about interactions. Of course anyone who owns a cat can tell you that they can be selfish jerks.

How to Introduce a New Pet into the Home

You can almost always avoid your new pet and your old pets hating each other if you follow the steps below. Remember that in introducing a pet, like anything involving pets, it is about using the psychology of the animals to your advantage. Without further ado, here are the tips:

Confine the newcomer to a small room at the beginning.

Keep the new pet in a small room with water, food, litter box and scratching post if it is a cat, or kennel if it is a dog. This has two advantages. The pet feels secure in what is going to be at first an uncomfortable environment, and allows you to perform the following trick: Put the pets’ food bowls on opposite sides of the door. This forces the pets to be near each other, but does so on good terms. Pets generally enjoy eating, and sharing a good experience with each other helps to warm relations.

Trade bedding, toys, and such, to introduce the pets to each other’s smells.

To animals, smells are far more important than appearances. Trade the bedding between the newcomer and the old residents so that the animals can experience each other’s scents in a non-threatening way.

Take it slow and steady.

It is much easier to get pets to like each other if they don’t have any bad experiences with each other. Take things gradually. If you rush it, a snap judgement by one pet can ruin their relationship for a long time, or forever.

If you’re paying attention to this, you probably have a new pet or are about to get one. I love the feeling of getting a new animal! If it is a smooth experience introducing the pets to each other, you get to enjoy their interactions, which can be one of the most fulfilling parts about owning pets. Good luck!

ICE CREAM! . . for dogs?

Feast your eyes on the greatest thing you will ever see:

They’re all natural and apparently dogs love the crap out of them. People love ice cream, dogs love people food -> dogs love ice cream. Come by the shop and pick some up!

It’s Time to Talk about Pet Food Again

Most pets are actually not that picky about what they eat. . .

I see my dogs eating their Acana Dog Food: Lamb and Apple with the same voracity that I see my sister’s dogs eating Pedigree. Why do I choose to buy premium food when the dogs don’t seem to mind (considering they eat grass and random insects they find)? Well, I look at it like this: If I really ate what I wanted to every day, I’d probably be eating a whole lot of Whataburger, Fuzzy’s Tacos, and Canes’ chicken fingers. Do these things taste good? Yes. Would I want to eat it every day? Probably.

Is it good for me? Probably not.

We at Glamour Paws prefer premium food for our dogs because we care about their health, not just giving them the cheapest food we can find that they will scarf down. I don’t buy them Pedigree or Natural Balance because I think my dogs are better off without their bellies full of taurine and cheap grains. I want whole ingredients, like those found in the food I buy and in every single product available at this store. I checked the ingredients lists of various foods in the Glamour Paws store and they all are filled with things that even sound good for me to eat. I know that Charlene, the owner of Glamour Paws, vets her food choices well enough that I don’t have to (though I actually enjoy reading the ingredients off of gems like Fromm Dog Food: Gold Adult (Duck, Oatmeal, Salmon Oil, etc., it just sounds yummy).

If you are looking for recommendations, I will have to personally recommend Acana’s Lamb and Apple variety, found in store or on our online shop, since it was what I feed Charlie and Molly. It is mostly comprised of lamb, and features wholesome ingredients like whole peas, red delicious apples, and butternut squash. Every ingredient on the list is a natural, whole food, or helpful enzymes like acidophilus.

Flea Season! AHHH!

They’re attacking!

OK, I realize it’s not actually that big of a deal. We have an entire industry dedicated to killing them. But I do think that many people have the wrong idea about how to fight them, so I’d like to spread some information about fighting fleas.

It is much, much easier to prevent fleas than it is to remove them.

Killing fleas in their vulnerable larval and egg stages is much easier than destroying an infestation. You don’t even need to necessarily target the environment (though this can be a very good idea). A Seresto collar for each of your animals will guard them the whole season (they protect for 8 months!). You can purchase one in our store or online shop.

You don’t have to hurt your pets to hurt fleas. (and some products will do that)

Your average flea product in a pet store is designed with efficacy and cost in mind. They need to mass produce it, and they will use the cheapest chemicals that can get the job done. They don’t care if whatever chemicals they use cause cancer 3 years down the road for your dog, because you probably won’t associate it with that flea treatment and it won’t ever get back to them. There is no easy way to tell what flea products are good for your pets, so it is best to consult the experts. That’s what we do. You can trust that any product in our shop is going to be safe for your pet.


Yup, we live in Texas

I am begrudgingly reminded of this fact every year when there is a month of consecutive 90+ degree days.

But it’s not that bad. I like to think of it as free visits to the tanning salon, courtesy of nature. And it makes vacations to Colorado / northern United States all the much nicer. I guess cats and dogs probably view the summer differently depending on the species. For example, I’d be quite sure this Afghan Hound hates the Summer heat more than I do, with all that hair:

While he would benefit more from being shaved if he had to live in Texas, we just got in these adorable doggy sun visors! I picked up two for Charlie and Molly yesterday.

The Importance of Supplements for Pets

Pet health is fairly easy to get almost correct.

If you choose an organic pet food mix free of preservatives and unhealthy additives (Our shop offers the most healthy types of food on the market), take your pet to the vet, and exercise your pet regularly, you will be taking great steps to ensure your pets’ health. These will get you 90% of the way there. A pet’s life can be full-length and happy with these things.

Supplements are the final addition to pet health to get it perfect.

Just as humans fare best with a multivitamin, pets can do better with some key supplements too. The role they play in pet health is improving the functioning of specific systems in the pet’s body (joint health, digestive health, urinary tract health, etc.). For example, try PERNALOGIX Canine Joint Health:

This product and many like it, that help with other facets of your pet’s health, are found in our shop online and in-store.

Get Hyped for the 4th of July!

Time to celebrate with the whole family!

Long Exposure of Roman Candles

I’ve headed down to Austin, TX this weekend to spend some time with some friends, and I brought along my Dachshund, Charlie and my Chihuahua Molly. We’ve hung out at Barton Springs, a huge swimming pool and creek (great destination if you want to bring dogs!), and spend the nights patrolling 6th street. This is one of my favorite times of the year because it feels like Independence Day is one of the best holidays to bring us together.

Now that it’s the 4th of July, I’m looking ahead to the fireworks! However, remember that as pet owners we must consider our friends that may not understand fireworks as well as we do. Charlie handles them pretty easily, but Molly definitely gets pretty frightened. That’s surprising to me actually, because she pays no mind to thunder, which is pretty similar. . . Oh well. I keep her calm with a Thundershirt. It’s designed to keep dogs wrapped tightly and securely to reduce anxiety from thunder, but I have found that it also works for fireworks. You can pick them up at Glamour Paws, or here on our store website, if your dog gets anxious from loud noises.

Since I’m all prepared for tonight, I think we will go out and have something very American. I don’t really need excuses to eat more Whataburger, but come on. Remember to treat your pets to something tasty when you’re celebrating! (Yup, we have healthy and tasty treats too)

Training Your Dogs

I thought about it and I might as well talk about general training, not just house training, while I’m at it. Some of these tips will overlap with the potty training ones, because I chose to do it in this order but don’t want to give you incomplete information. I’m not going to talk about things you can train your pet to do, but instead I will give general tips that are applicable to almost anything you’d like to train. So, here we go!

1: Resist the urge to scold.

For most puppies, it’s confusing more than it’s helpful. If a pup is doing something you don’t like, chances are it falls in one of two categories: behavior that’s intended to be social, like nipping and jumping; or self-rewarding behavior, like chewing inappropriate objects.

  • For social—but undesired—behavior like nipping, nothing is more powerful than removing your attention (voice, eye contact, touch) for a moment and then giving it back when the puppy does something that’s social and desired, like a polite sit. That way, you’re punishing the undesired behavior with a gentle but powerful punishment, and you’re rewarding an incompatible and desired behavior.
  • For self-rewarding—and undesired—behavior like chewing electrical cords, interrupt and redirect. It helps if you redirect to something that’s similar to the undesired thing, so for bad chewing, redirect the pup to something that’s good to chew. Removing your attention doesn’t work for these because your attention isn’t the reward the pup is seeking.

2: Reward what you like.

We naturally have a tendency to focus on what the puppy is doing wrong, so we forget to give puppies a little treat or a little praise for things like settling quietly, playing with a toy, etc.

3: Start short crate sessions (2-5 minutes) frequently so the crate just becomes part of his daily routine.

It also helps to do sessions when the pup is mellow and sleepy so he starts to associate feeling safe and sleepy and warm with the crate.

4: Train in short bursts of 5-10 minutes (or take ten treats and train until you run out).

Puppies learn better in short sessions throughout the day than in one big one. You can teach a pup more in 6×5 minute sessions (30 minutes total) over the course of a day than you can in a single 60 minute session.

5: Decide what your pup’s name means.

For us, it means “look the person who said your name in the eye,” so we teach it as a cue. Getting your dog’s attention is the foundation of a lot of behavior (loose leash walking, recall, etc.), so you want some kind of cue that makes your dog give you his attention. Most people say the dog’s name all the time, so it doesn’t work well as a “look at me” cue. So decide if you want the dog’s name to mean “look at me” (in which case, don’t use it all the time), or if you want a different word. I accidentally taught my dogs that “ready?” means to look at me, because I have a tendency to say it before I do awesome stuff, like run around, release them from a stay, etc. So that became our “look at me” word. Their names I just say all the time, so they don’t make great attention words.

Good luck in training your pups!


House Training Your Puppy

House training a puppy is easy if you do it correctly. Take advantage of these tips, which work on a puppy’s psychology perfectly to make training painless. I trained both of my dogs with these tips, and neither ever used the potty in the house again after only four months of training!

  • Take the puppy’s food away between meals. Feeding is an amazing tool in your repertoire and it doesn’t work if the puppy isn’t hungry.
  • Take the puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take them outside after meals or when they wake from a nap. Make sure they goes out last thing at night and before he’s left alone.
  • Take the puppy out to the same spot each time. Puppies, like people, are creatures of habit, and the smell of their waste will encourage them to do it again.
  • Do not stuff the puppy’s nose in their messes. Puppies are not as smart as people and cannot easily make the connection that the reason they are being punished is because of their mess. It will only serve to hurt the puppy’s self esteem and trust of you.
  • Instead, focus on entirely positive encouragement. This isn’t just a feel-good statement: Research shows that positive reinforcement almost always produces better results than negative reinforcement. And it feels better to reward your puppy then it does to punish them.

Spa time!

Unfortunately, you’ll have to go elsewhere for a human spa.

But we give invigorating spa treatments to pets at Glamour Paws!

Come visit us and let us make your pet feel clean and look beautiful! I’ve taken my dogs to Glamour Paws for a while, but I didn’t try the spa packages until one of my dogs (and then both of them) got fleas. Why did I decide that was a good time to go, you may ask? Well, Glamour Paws has the “Critter Ridder” package which uses Advantage, a name-brand flea shampoo. The reason why the package is a top-tier deal, though, is that it includes a conditioner specially designed to condition hair treated with flea shampoo. So when I returned for my dogs, I found that they looked every bit as fresh as they do when they get their regular treatments at Glamour Paws.

Glamour Paws has three other spa packages, each of which give your pet a beautiful look and a relaxing treatment.

  • The “Silky Skin Treatment” package first uses a salt scrub to exfoliate and remove undesirable particles. After this scrub, the pet is clean down to its skin. Then, a silk treatment is applied to soothe the skin, soften the coat, and leave your pet with a beautiful sheen. The package also includes a teeth brushing!
  • The “Blueberry Facial” package uses hot oil or mud in place of a salt scrub, and then uses a silk treatment. The highlight of this package is the Blueberry Facial, which uses the antioxidants found naturally in blueberries to invigorate your pet’s skin and coat. The Blueberry Facial brings a pristine, bright shine to your pet’s face.
  • The “Snow White” package is designed for pets with white coats. It uses a whitening shampoo and a conditioner that bleach your pet’s hair naturally and delicately. Included is a teeth brushing to get your pet’s teeth white too.

Drop by and let your pet enjoy one of these premium spa packages!

Loving Your Dog Unconditionally

Your dog loves you unconditionally.

Unconditional love is the reason we have dogs. For most people, hunting and protection aren’t something they need from their dog, even though that’s why dogs were domesticated originally. Your dog loves you no matter what kind of day you’ve been having or what kind of day your dog has been having. A human significant other does the same, but sometimes we don’t show it. Dogs show it all the time, because they feel their love for us so often. When you get home after being gone for any amount of time, your dog is ecstatic, because you are the whole world to your dog.

Love your dog unconditionally.

While Molly and Charlie may disagree with me that the mailman is not currently a threat to our way of life, we do agree with each other that loving each other unconditionally brings us happiness. When I get home and they bounce up and down with excitement at seeing me, I have to drop the problems that I came home with and love them back. This is for my benefit because it is useful to deescalate my stress and to allow myself to view my problems with a fresh look later on, but it is also about showing my dogs that I love them as much as they love me. It doesn’t matter if I come home and something is chewed up or they’re in my way while I’m carrying something. As soon as I can, I pick them up and tell them I love them. It makes my dog feel good and it makes me feel good.

The Importance of Brushing Your Pet’s teeth

It can’t be emphasized enough.

Many people think that with the relatively short lifespans of pets, teeth care is unimportant because their teeth won’t have time to develop problems. This is wrong.Dogs and cats can get serious plaque and tartar problems, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, like people do, when owners don’t take care of their pet’s teeth. But worse, there’s credible reason to suspect that periodontal disease can be a direct link to cardiac disease.

Brushing your pet’s teeth is easy, and Glamour Paws has many products that can help. Here are a few tips that can make it easier:

Find the Right Time.

Brush your pet’s teeth when (s)he’s relaxed and calm. Your goal: Set a routine. Working up to brushing daily is ideal. But if your pet’s mouth is healthy, even three days a week can make a difference.

Work up to it.

Test your pet’s willingness to have you touch their mouth by rubbing your finger along their upper gums and teeth. This will help them get used to the feel of something against their teeth. Use light pressure.

Circular motions, don’t worry about light bleeding.

Brush in small circles, getting top and bottom on each side. As you move the bristles along the gum line, some light bleeding may occur. Slight bleeding every so often is okay, but ongoing or heavy bleeding may be a sign of gum disease.

Use a supplement.

Supplements can improve your pet’s dental health in a matter of weeks. They’re not a replacement for brushing your pet’s teeth, but they can complement brushing. I recommend ProDen PlaqueOff:

ProDen PlaqueOff

I give it to my dogs because it naturally made (mostly of North Atlantic Seaweed) and it supports normal and healthy teeth, gums, and breath odor.

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