Let the fun begin!!! In case you have not figured out who we are yet, STAY is a cage free, home based dog day camp.  At STAY, your dog will be able to enjoy all the comforts of home. We have lots of room to run in our securely fenced back yard or maybe your pooch would rather sleep their day away on our couch! Whatever your pet’s needs, we do our best to accommodate.

Be sure to check our site often for updates, pictures and great resources for you at home!  Our goal is to make your pet happier and healthier at camp and at home! Reach out today for more information on how your dog can come and play at STAY!

It’s that time of year…

Let’s talk about how we can set our selves up for success this Holiday Season!

If this Holiday Season has you planning for special guests, parties and gatherings this article if for YOU.  

Many times the holidays has us a little busy wrapping, baking, planning, etc.  I want to take a moment to encourage you all as you consider your furry family member this season.  All our pups are a little different around guests and can get over stimulated and stressed (just like us).  It is ok for them to take a break, or not attend the holiday festivities.  

So what does that look like? I have outlined a few different scenarios/tips that hopefully will help you plan for this holiday season. 

What if: You have a dog that thinks they are the life of the party??

Suggestion: Just like we take time to vacuum and clean our toilets before guests arrive, we need to take some time to go for a walk, play a game of fetch, etc to help get out some of that energy. If you have a pup that is NOT food aggressive, I would also suggest making up a kong filled with frozen goodies or getting a dog bone from your local butcher, or buying their favorite bone that will keep them chewing and busy. (Dogs that are protective or aggressive with food/treats should NOT be given food unless they are kenneled/removed from possible interaction)

What if: You have a dog that can be reactive??

Suggestion: Some dogs react to strangers, small children, men with hats, etc. I understand having an unpredictable pup during the busy holiday season can be more than challenging. I had to give myself permission to be ok with not forcing my dog to have these interactions just because I thought she should be ok with it. Whether you are having some one over for coffee or you have a pack of children hitting your door this Christmas, you need to be ok with allowing your fur baby to kindly decline attending the get together. That means you need to either modify your home to make your pup comfortable in another room, kennel or floor of your house or you need to call your local boarding/day camp to arrange a day away from the home. If you need more one on one suggestions, please feel free to reach out for additional help.

What if: Your guests are more of the problem than the dog?!

Suggestion: Sometimes training our guests are more important than training our dog. Reminding the young ones and the overly excited grandparents that your dog does not like to be hugged or maybe your pup has sensitive ears and doesn’t like screaming or maybe running through the house sets off your pup. Establishing a “safe place” or “quiet space” for your pup will help you, your guests and your pup. Letting little Susie know that when your pup is laying down on his bed, she needs to respect that bed as the boundary. Too often pet owners are more worried about what their guests will think if they “lay down the law” but I would rather establish safe boundaries than have some one get hurt unnecessarily. Some of our family members only experience dogs when they are at our home. Teaching our guests the best way to interact with our pets is being responsible not being rude or disrespectful.

Things to look for:

  1. Ears back
  2. Tail down
  3. Hair up (can be sign of excitement so not always an indicator of something bad)
  4. Head down while looking up
  5. Watch for active family members and adjust as needed.
  6. Watch for food at dog level and make adjustments.
  7. Growling/showing teeth
  8. Dog withdrawing to bed or other room. (I would pop up a gate to shut off the area so you dog has a clear boundary)
  9. Dog suddenly clinging to you
  10. Keep an eye on your doors. (Both entrance doors to avoid dog running off and interior doors in the event that someone locks your dog inside a room unknowingly)

It is hard to keep tabs on our pets while we are tending to our guests but try to take some time before the party to prepare and keep one eye on your fur baby during the party. Keeping some of these things in mind leading up to the big day, will help you and your guests enjoy the party that much more.


Bug B Gone!

Can you believe it is February and we are talking about bugs?! As happy as I am for an early spring, I am not thrilled that I have already had my first mosquito bite! With that said, it is time to make sure our pups are protected from all the creepy crawly things!  This recipe will keep the fleas away but will also help to repel spiders and mosquitoes.  This is a great weapon to help guard your home as well.  I sprinkle this on my dogs once a month or after every bath, which ever comes first.  I also put this around my house.  I sprinkle this everywhere from doorways to mattresses.

The recipe I use was taken from http://www.primallyinspired.com/homemade-flea-powder-repellent/#.  I have used this for a couple of years now and have NEVER had fleas.  I switched my dogs to this because I had fleas take over my pack 3 years ago AFTER being treated with veterinarian recommended flea treatment. I have also one of my dogs have an adverse reaction after given the flea medication.  I have learned so much about all the toxins and harmful ingredients in these meds.  To read more about these possible side effects, please feel free to visit: MercolaPetmdDogs Naturally Magazine.


1 cup FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth

1/2 cup NEEM Powder

1/2 cup Yarrow Powder

20 drops THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils (Eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, peppermint, etc) **Original recipe just calls for eucalyptus, which is great but you can really research and use your own combination of oils.  IF YOU HAVE CATS DO NOT USE OILS.


Combine all ingredients together and store in a container like a mason jar.  I triple this recipe and store it in a large mason jar and refill small spice containers with shaker tops.  I put one of the spice containers on every floor of the house and in the dogs bathing supplies.  I sprinkle this down their backs and rub into their coats.  I sprinkle some on my hand to rub on their bellies and hard to sprinkle areas 😉  You will notice that after initial application, your pet will feel a little grimy but that fades away quickly.

CONGRATULATIONS you are now flea free NATURALLY! 🙂

What does your dog’s bowls say about you and your pet?

Q & A:

Q: How often should you clean your dog’s bowls?

A: EVERYDAY.  If you feed wet food or raw food you should clean after each meal.  If you are feeding dry food you should try to wash bowls daily.

Q: What about the water bowl?

A: At least once a week.  If you are in a multi dog home, clean the water bowl DAILY.


We are all guilty of refilling that water bowl day after day.  We all feed our pups and simply put the bowls away until the next feeding time. AND WE ALL HAVE FELT THE NASTY SLIME BUILD UP ON OUR PET’S BOWL.

What is that “nasty slime”? It is called biofilm.  Biofilm is a collection of bacteria.  Some good and some bad bacteria.  When I say “bad bacteria” I am talking about serious bacteria like E. Coli and Listeria. (YUCK!) Just throw a raw chicken breast in your dog’s bowl!

Has your pet has been experiencing reoccurring bladder and/ or ear infections, UTI’s, etc? Take a look at your dog’s bowls.  This biofilm not only lives on surfaces but also our guts.  Biofilm is like glue, that is why it can be hard to remove.  Imagine removing it from your pet’s insides!

Bowl Cleaning 101:




Option 1: Simply put your dogs bowls in the dishwasher and put it on the sanitary cycle.  You don’t even need to add soap.  The hot water will kill that bacteria and rinse the slim away.  If you do add soap, please choose a non toxic detergent or add a half cup of vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher.

Option 2: Place your bowls in the sink with vinegar water and a non toxic dish soap. (I make my own dish soap out of Sal Suds, water and essential oils)  Let the bowls soak for 10-20 min and rinse with hot water.  ***NOTE: Keep in mind you just rinsed bacteria down your drain.  Take a minute and clean your sink well so you do not cross contaminate.

What to know more?

Dog’s Naturally Article

How to clean your bowls

Huffington Post





Nutritious and Delicious Training Treats

20161214_163335Training Treat Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (1/2 cup reserved)

1 cup all natural peanut butter

1/4 cup local honey

1/2 cup flax seed and chia seed combo (see below)

2 bananas


Add oats to food processor and process until you have a flour like powder. Reserve 1/2 cup.    Take the 3 remaining cups of oats and put in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix or blend with hand mixer or blender.  (I used my Vitamix from start to finish)  Take your reserved oat flour and dust your counter.  Dump out your batter and sprinkle top with oat flour so you are able to roll your dough.  (I used my hands) You are looking for about 1/4 inch thickness.  Use a pizza cutter or cookie cutter to cut your treats into desired shapes.  I wanted small squares to use as training treats but these would make fantastic gifts or treats to use anytime!

Now let’s talk about why I choose these ingredients:

Oats: Oats have more nutritional value than if I would have use whole wheat flour.  I just amped up the fiber, calcium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins, cancer fighting selenium and more! Could you use whole wheat flour instead? Yes, but I strongly encourage you to try making your own oat flour.  You can use this in your human cooking as well!

All natural peanut butter: Do you know what is really in your jar of peanut butter??  LOOK! Dogs have DIED because of the fake sweeteners that poison peanut butter! Read your labels.  If you have a market where you can make your own peanut butter, DO IT! If you don’t look for an organic, all natural peanut butter with nothing but nuts listed!  Peanut butter is a great source of protein for your pup but it also add more vitamins like B and E along with heart healthy fats.

LOCAL Honey: If you can’t get local just eliminate this ingredient all together.  The idea behind this power house ingredient is to aid your pup with allergies and fight infections.  Check out this informative article about bee products.Click here for a very informative article about bee products.

Flax seeds and Chia seeds: I was lucky enough to find this ingredient for a bread I was making and thought, “this would be great for the dog treats”! This little ingredient was the inspiration for this recipe.  I was not expecting to find this already mixed.  If you can not find it this way, you can do one or the other or buy both and mix equally.  You are adding Omega 3,6 and 9 plus calcium, iron, fiber, protein and so much more!  You want to look for organic and “cold milled”.  Click her for more info on choosing the right flax seed.

Bananas: Just what your pup needs to help the body absorb all these great vitamins!! This potassium rich food that also adds more manganese, B6, vitamin C, even things like copper and biotin! While bananas are low in sodium they are higher in sugar so they are perfect in treats because they need to eat in moderation.

Healing Salve

Winter is upon us!

Bring on the cold and cracked feet and paws….UGH!  No worries, I have just the cure!  This salve with cure what ails ya!  Safe for 2 legged and 4 legged pads 😉

This is also great for minor scrapes, bruises, etc.  I also suffer from cracked hands through this “wonderful season”.  I use this under my lotion in the evening for relief from my dry skin.  Trust me, your knuckles and cuticles will thank you!

So enjoy the season or fight your way through it (like me).  Either way, use this recipe to make it a little more manageable!


2 oz dried ground herbs (Comfrey, Calendula and Yarrow)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 oz beeswax

Combine herbs and coconut oil in jar and place in crock pot.  Fill pot half way up jar with water.  Turn on low with lid off for 24-48 hours.  When the oil is has taken on the color of the herbs you will know that the oil is infused with all the goodness from the herbs. Strain your oil using a fine mesh lined with cheesecloth.  Add beeswax and put oil and wax back into crockpot until wax is melted.  Remove from heat. VOLA! you have successfully made your ultra healing salve!


Why did I choose these ingredients?

Comfrey: Comfrey relieves pain and inflammation caused by injuries and degeneration, especially the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It is wonderful for just about any skin irritation on both you and your dog. ***use caution when using internally.  Should not be used if pregnant or nursing***20160730_182550

Calendula: Calendula salve is very effective when treating minor cuts, insect bites, and abrasions. It offers soothing relief while its antimicrobial and wound healing properties speed up the healing of the wound.




Yarrow is used for a number of applications, including as an antiseptic, analgesic, an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and even an insect repellent. It also is great for stopping bleeding. It’s been known to help deep cuts heal with little to no scarring and can help the flesh even and connect after puncture wounds.

Coconut Oil: 


According to Dogs Naturally Magazine:

  • Clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis,and itchy skin
  • Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
  • Makes coats become sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
  • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections, including candida
  • Disinfects cuts and promotes wound healing
  • Applied topically, promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings


Heals sores, moisturizing, soothing to cracked skin/paws


Bath Time!

Mixing up a new batch of shampoo for the pups.
1 cup Castile soap
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 T coconut oil
3-4 drops essential oils (optional)

Ingredient info/benefits:

Castile soap: all natural,  non toxic, gentle cleanser  (read more about all the incredible uses: Dr Axe-Castile Soap)

Apple cider vinegar: natural flea/bug repellent  (who doesn’t want that?!), improves growth and condition of coat, natural antibiotic, and soooo much more! (Visit: Whole Dog Journal-ACV)

Coconut oil: moisturizing, healing, minimizes dog odor (ummm, yes please!) For more info: Dogs Naturally Magazine-Coconut Oil

Essential oils: so many oils to choose from!  Please be cautious with oils and watch your dog for sensitivities.  Go to this link for further info: Mercola-EO


Helpful Tip:

I use my Norwex pet bathing mit and towel.  LOVE IT!!! So much lather…makes the shampoo go a lot further and the towel soooo absorbant.  I am sure you know a sales person but if not let me know…I have a great friend that will help you get a set!

Dealing With Separation Anxiety

For those of us that have dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, or S.A., really wonder who suffers more our dog or us?!  Trapped at home, locking door and cupboards, vet visits for injuries, not to mention all the replacing/repairing of furniture, fixtures, car interiors, carpeting, subfloor, windows, do I need to continue?! OI!

We have fostered a few pups that have shredded couches, bedding, doors, knobs, car seats, crates and more.  We have on many occasions taken a S.A. dog along with us to have dinner or go shopping just to keep the peace.  So when Ernie walked into our lives we knew we would have our work cut out for us!  Ernie is our 2 year old Great Dane.  We were warned by one of the 6 homes he was in, that he poops when you leave and is a counter surfer.  Well we have weims….we know all about counter surfing.  Check that issue off the list.  Pooping in the house….believe me I have seen worse!  Check that off the list.  Well….the list stopped but Ernie showed off a few more tricks when left home alone!  We are lucky in that we have 3 other dogs that are very stable in the home when left alone.  That energy definitely helps Ernie calm down and realize he is in a safe place AFTER he opens EVERY cupboard, eats every morsel and goes through the trash.  So the good news is that after that initial 10-20min, Ernie is able to calm himself down and hang out appropriately with the pack.

What are we doing to help Ernie??

For starters, Ernie is still young (2yrs old) so he has some energy.  He walks 3 miles everyday in the morning.  That walk needs to be switched up every few days.  We never do the same route too many days in a row.  It is amazing after just switching up the routine, how mentally stimulating that is.  It keeps his mind thinking and he can’t just go through the motions.  That mental stimulation is critical! Check out this great article from dogtime.com for more info on mental and physical stimulation for dogs.

Second, this can be the most challenging of the steps….MAKE HIM POOP!!  Just the anxiety of me leaving will make him so nervous and upset that he will poop in the house.  However, if I make sure he goes before I leave, he is perfect!!! So, yes, sometimes I am late getting some where because I am in the backyard BEGGING Ernie to poop but it is worth saving myself the mess later.

Third, if I walked him in the morning but I don’t leave until afternoon or evening, I make sure he gets outside for a bit.  He is not a high energy dog so it does not take much for him to get worn out.  One lap around the yard with the weims and he is ready for a nap!

Lastly, getting out the door.  I have to be prepared to leave and not come back.  When you have a S.A. dog, usually coming back and forth will only trigger them again and again.  With Ernie, is issue is right with I leave.  So if I leave for an hour and come back and then leave again, I have only flipped that switch again, allowing him to start his anxiety cycle again.  So when you leave the house STAY GONE.  As I walk out the door, I open all my cupboards and remove the trash.  (I have already moved all food to the highest cupboard shelves) So now when Ernie wants to explore the kitchen, my cupboards will survive and my trash will not be strewn throughout the house!!

Below are some great resources that have helped me.  I know everyone’s struggle is different and anxiety does not look the same in every dog.  If you want to chat more about what I do to help Ernie, please reach out any time!

Whole Dog Journal


The Dog Trainer




OUTRAGE! Do you know about “Class B Dealers”??

What is a Class B Dealer? According to the Humane Society’s fact sheet, they are dealers licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to acquire dogs and cats from “random sources” to sell them to universities and other research institutions for use in experiments. In contrast, Class A dealers can only sell animals they have bred themselves. “Bunchers” are people (everyday people) that pick up pets for online (“free to good home”, etc) or out right STEALING THEM from unsuspecting people.  This is how they make money! They sell these dogs and cats for a small fee to a kennel and the kennel supplies these animals to area universities and animal testing facilities.  (AAAAHHHH!!!) Your job is to steal dogs and prey on families that are faced with the very difficult choice to give up their family pet?!  What?! The reports of the living conditions of these pets are devastating.  (CLICK HERE  for more info about Bunchers and how you can stop this practice!!!)

Some folks answering the “Free to Good Home” ads really are loving, responsible pet owners. Many–perhaps even most–are not. There are steps YOU can take to help end abuse:

DON’T advertise Free pets; DO convince others not to. Some people even take the time to phone owners of pets advertising Free to Good Home and warn them of the dangers.

DO spay/neuter to keep from creating possible Free to Good Home situations or condemning your pet to a short, miserable life in a puppy mill.

DO write letters to the editors of your local newspapers warning of the dangers of Free to Good Home.

DO contact breed rescue organizations (there is one for every breed of pure-bred dog!) or local animal welfare organizations for help in placing unwanted pets; if you bought the pet from a responsible breeder, he/she will help you rehome the pet.

DO charge at least $25 to discourage resale of pets to labs. (Some sources suggest charging no less than $100 for pure-bred dogs.)

DO take the time to interview every prospective owner. Ask for vet and personnel references, and check them, then visit the new home where your pet might be living!

DO write a letter to your congressmen in support of doing away with Class B dealers, who sell animals obtained from “random sources” to research facilities. Random sources include strays, stolen pets, seized shelter animals, animals purchased at flea markets–and pets found through “Free to good home” ads.

DO report any incidence of suspected dog-fighting to police, Animal Control, and your local Humane Society. DON’T try to stop these people yourselves; there is a lot of money involved here, and you could be putting yourself and your pets at risk if you try to intervene alone.

DO call police, animal welfare workers, even the health department, if someone in your area seems to be “collecting” cats or dogs

DO write to district attorneys, judges, and prosecutors if you hear of the arrest of any so-called collectors in your area, and urge them not only to prosecute to the full extent of the law, but also to mandate psychological counseling for these individuals in the hopes of avoiding repeat violations.

DO call police or animal welfare workers for any incidences of suspected abuse. Be willing to testify in court, if necessary. Note: what constitutes animal abuse is defined by state law. If your state has inadequate abuse laws, TRY TO CHANGE THEM! 

***taken from dogsonly.org***


So why am I talking about all of this? Well there has been a few dogs in the area that have seemingly been taken right out of driveways and yards.  I have been so upset by this and it got me wondering why would some one do that? I had never heard of this Class B crap and the more I learn the more angry I become.  The only “good news” is that as of 2016 these Class B licenses will not be renewed.  The LCA (Last Chance for Animals), has been trying to put a stop to this for many years. (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE) The documented abuse and neglect allegations are appalling.  So many kennels were investigated, brought up on charges and simply paid their fines and continued on.  Reading this article brought tears to my eyes as I learned of a kennel only an hour away from me, that TERRORIZES animals everyday.  They still have an active license but will not be able to renew this year.  More has to be done to protect our FAMILY MEMBERS, our pets!  A microchip and tag attached to a collar is not effective….obviously.  We have to continue to be a voice for the voiceless.  Stand up and take action against people that hurt animals and push back on our government when they have laws in place to protect the criminals that hurt our babies.

Please read these articles and pass on this post.  Education is power.  Power leads to action.  That action may lead to the solution.

Thank you for being apart of the solution.


Dog Gone Gardening



  • relaxing
  • soothing for skin irritations
  • antibacterial astringent
  • anti itch
  • tick repellent

Lavender recipes:

Tick repellent-Mix olive oil, Saint John’s Wort infused oil  and lavender oil together and massage on affected areas to help ticks drop off.

Diffuse lavender essential oil to calm your anxious pet.

Homemade Calming Treats

My favorite dog shampoo: 1 cup Castile soap, 1 T Coconut oil,  1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 2-3 drops lavender essential oil

Mix a drop or two with fractionated coconut oil and rub on hot spots, insect bites or apply to pads of feet for calming effect.

Add a few drops to a water bottle and spray on bedding to help with kennel training and sleeping.



  • antiseptic
  • pain reliever
  • effective in treating cancer (!!!)
  • insect repellent
  • cleansing (Both internal and household)-it can actually suppress and kill bacteria in our bodies and in our home

Lemongrass recipes:

Kill your pet’s fleas and lice by spraying diluted lemongrass essential oil all over his coat. You can also soak his collar in it for a natural flea collar, add it to his final rinse after shampooing, or spray it on his bedding.

Tick repellent recipe-for the pups

Plant lemongrass in your garden to keep the bugs(fleas, ticks, spiders, bed bugs and more!) away and backyards smelling great! (non toxic)




Lemon Balm

  • neutralizes gas in the belly and intestines
  • calming
  • deodorizing
  • muscle relaxer
  • insect repelling
  • disinfecting
  • reduces depression and agitation(separation anxiety suffers pay attention to this one!)
  • helps senior dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction (!!)
  • effectively treats ringworm
  • sleep issues

Lemon Balm Recipes

CLICK HERE for a long list of great tips on how to use this amazing plant!

Plant it in your garden but use caution as it can grow like a weed and take over your garden.

Diffuse the essential oil for calming and cleansing!





  • bug repellent
  • dog repellent…yup, that is what I said.  Plant this in your garden and dogs stay out of your garden bed….well they stay away from that area;)

So plant this around your campfire area to keep the bugs off you and your pet and plant in your garden where you would like to keep pets out of.  This is not meant for consumption as large doses can pose a problem.  Many folks use citronella in correction collars.  I do not condone these types of collars as the repeated use and continued exposure has shown some side effects.


Now that you know about some of the dog friendly plants that are safe for your garden, here is a list of some UNSAFE and TOXIC plants to keep out of your gardens.  Keep your pets safe and HAPPY GARDENING!

Poisonous plants - From amaryllis to yew, find out which common plants can hurt cats, dogs, rabbits, horses and even humans.: