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Paws Blog

Hats off to Animal Advocates Who Change the Numbers

As the numbers change with the start of a new year we can be filled with gratitude and hope. 

It's a perfect time to reflect on the past year with gratitude for what has happened and look forward with optimism for what can happen. For many of us it's a time to be thankful for all the work that has been done on behalf of animals. There are so many selfless 'every day' heroes who work as tremendous advocates for voiceless animals. People who pull animals from high-kill shelters, who foster companion animals lovingly in their homes, who work/volunteer at rescues and who adopt a rescued best friend are all making a difference. Additionally there are passionate individuals standing up for the voiceless through petitions, legislation and the legal system to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals now and in the future. Not to mention all the people who support the causes with donations so action can happen. It's a movement we support. 

Saving One Dog SignOne of our favorite signs we offer shares "Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever." We want to take a moment to thank all those who are involved in doing just that...whether it is a dog, cat, horse or orca. You are making a difference. 

Paws pet boutique makes it a priority to be involved with raising funds and awareness for the many wonderful groups who speak and act on behalf of the animals. We encourage everyone to be play a role in making a difference in an area that is important to them. Working toward making this world a brighter and better place will decrease the numbers of those in need. Those are numbers we like!

Be kind. Be real. Be good to animals.

Keep up with Paws pet boutique dog-friendly events and efforts that support animal advocacy in Annapolis and across the country on www.pawspetboutique.com. Now let's make some tails wag in this world! Thanks for all you do.

Halloween Safety Tips for Best Friends with Paws

Ben of PawsPetBoutique.com as a Lion

Throughout the year there are many holidays to enjoy and Halloween is no exception. While pets can join in the fun, keep in mind there are some simple things you can do to keep your best friends safe, sound and happy. 


Never leave your companion animals alone when they are wearing a costume. Chewing or ingesting the costume can cause extreme health risks. Additionally they can become tangled or restricted in the costume, which can lead to anxiety, choking and other dangerous situations.


Remember that while we all love chocolate, this is extremely toxic to animals. Keep chocolate, raisins, grapes, gum and candy containing xylitol (a sweetener) away from your pets as they can be very damaging to your pet's health. Lollipops with sticks and candy wrappers can also be a hazard to your pet if ingested. The best thing to do is to keep all your candy in an area where your pet is unable to reach it, preferably locked. Be mindful as to what you put in your home trash can, as someone might find the contents simply irresistible for all the wrong reasons.


Halloween encourages multiple visitors to your home and often adds more noise to your neighborhood as everyone is out to celebrate. Monitor your pet as many will find this environment to be stressful. To reduce your pet's fear or anxiety in this situation consider putting them in a back room with relaxing music playing and their bed, toys or other comfort items with them. Fill a durable toy with a treat that will keep their attention on something more positive. Alternatively you can set up a baby gate or such to restrict their access to the door. If a second person is in the home, it would be helpful for them to engage your pet in playful interaction to distract their attention to something more positive.

Please make sure your cats are indoors in advance of nightfall. Lastly, many of our customers find a Thundershirt helps to calm your pet in anxious situations. (Yes, we do have them at Paws pet boutique.)

IDENTIFICATIONHaley a PawsPetBoutique.com Guest

If your pet is spooked and makes a run for it, please make sure their identification is intact and up to date. Check that your pet's microchip information is accurate and their ID tags are securely fastened to their collar. It's always good practice to have a photo easily available of your pet if you need to make flyers or submit to your local shelter if they are lost.


Often times help is needed after hours. If you have a 24-hour emergency Vet in your area, make sure you know where they are located and their phone number. Additionally the Pet Poison Helpline is available 24/7. 

Pets give us so much, so please keep your loved ones safe. They need your help and guidance to enjoy the holidays!

Now go make some tails wag and enjoy some treats without tricks!

10 Unique Dog Gifts under $25 Just in Time for the Holidays!

While quite a variety of gifts for dogs and cats are offered through Paws pet boutique, we are always seeking unique gifts for people who love their companion animals too. Here are more than a few of our favorite dog-related things to pick up for someone special...although that may be you!

1. 'Tails Up!' Leash Hooks - colorful and made of cast iron; only $6.75 each

2. 'Sleeps with Dogs' Pillows - the perfect size and color to add comfort anywhere; $16.95 each

3. 'Life is Better with Dogs' Signs - say it all and are easy to hang or stand on a shelf or table; $12.95 each

4. Handmade Paw Print Heart Charms - made from recycled fine silver and a lot of love by Tracy Menz; $22.95 each

5. 'To the World You are One Person, but to Your Dog You are the World" Coasters - share the bond (other coaster sayings also available); $10.75 for a set of 4

6. Stemless Wine Dog Glasses - feature a swimming dog and are also perfect for beer and juice; $16.95 each

7. Stainless Steel Compass Dog ID Tags - ship for free and give you peace of mind; $15 each

8. 'Life if Better when I'm with my Dog' block Signs - make a statement; $8.50

9. 'Welcome Diversity' oval Dog Magnets - UV coated and feature all shapes and sizes of canines; $4.95

10. Nautical Flag Dog Collars - actually for your best friend, but you see them everyday to enjoy; $19.95 each

New goods are arriving daily as the holiday season approaches, but these goods certainly have shared some smiles among our guests and stand out in our boutique. They all make unique inexpensive gifts for dogs and/or their people! Don't forget that gift wrapping is always free at Paws pet boutique whether you shop with us in Annapolis, Maryland or on our website wherever you live!

- Make a tail wag, Michelle

Behind the Scenes at Paws pet boutique in Annapolis

Recently Paws pet boutique celebrated 15 years in business, and yes we served free dog cake that day of course! 

Ben celebrates 15th Anniversary of Paws pet boutique

As you can imagine, there have been many behind-the-scenes moments. Much time and consideration is applied to searching for and selecting unique dog collarscat toyspet-lover gifts and much more. We thought it would be fun to walk you through how an item lands on the shelves at our pet boutique.

We admit it. We live, breathe and celebrate companion animals in everything we do. So snapping photos of our dogs sitting and enjoying treats at their "grand-mom's" home is the norm for us. We find inspiration often in the simplest of moments...just like companion animals. A few dog photos inspired a new product for us!

Sprocket Inspires Make a Tail Wag Dog Shirts at PawsPetBoutique.comMake a Tail Wag Shirts at PawsPetBoutique.com was inspired by a photo we took of our dog Sprocket.

We'll start by sharing our boutique's motto is "make a tail wag". When a dog wags his or her tail with happiness it's the equivalent of a human sharing a smile. Don't you think watching dogs wag their tails also encourages people smiles too? Based on this positive philosophy and Sprocket's happy tail photo, artwork was drawn and a product was born. 

At Paws pet boutique we like to work with and support small businesses, so we located a super nice woman nearby who was ready to help us. With her assistance we selected shirts, determined quantities and had them printed with our 'happy tail' art. Once finished, shirts were tagged, added to our inventory, folded and displayed for our customers to view and hopefully buy! Photos were taken and both our charcoal 'make a tail wag' shirts and navy 'happy tail' shirts were added to our website for all to see and shop. 

Make a Tail Wag Shirts at PawsPetBoutique.com

Happy Tail Wag Navy Dog Shirts at PawsPetBoutique.com

We love to share unique pet goods - especially ones that are made in USA. Each of our pet products is hand-selected for their uniqueness, good quality and fair pricing. Hope you enjoyed an inside peek at how things roll behind the scenes at Paws pet boutique. 

 Enjoy shopping and make a tail wag! You are sure to smile too.

The Difference Between Dog Harnesses Explained!

Step-ins, mesh, front ring, 2-ring...what does all this mean? Harnesses serve multiple purposes, all of them good! We're going to make sense of it all for you right now. First, if you wish to take pressure off your pup's neck on walks a harness can do the trick. Secondly if you wish to have more control and train your best friend to walk by you, instead of propelling you forward, a harness can help! Different dog harnesses address different issues. Here's the low down.

Mesh Dog Harnesses are comfortably soft and distribute pressure on a dog's front chest instead of on a dog's neck 

Double Adjustment Soft Mesh Dog Harnesses at PawsPetboutique.com

when they pull on their leash. So if you have a small to medium size dog who is always choking on walks because they are pulling, this will help to eliminate your dog's discomfort. However, it will not stop your dog from continuing to pull forward. This style harness is also handy when you have to quickly grab your dog and pick them up, as you can do so by grabbing the harness. These harnesses are adjustable on both the front chest/back and girth, so they can be sized for Dachshunds, Corgis and Pugs who can be difficult to fit.

Step-in Dog Harnesses are placed on your dog just like the name indicates; they step into the 

Step-in Nautical Dog Harnesses made in USA at PawsPetboutique.com

harness. So this style harness does not stress the trachea or neck and goes around the front legs and chest. Dogs step their front legs into the harness with your assistance and you fasten the buckle on their back by their shoulder blades. Two rings are ready for you to attach your leash and go for a walk! Similar to the mesh harness style, these are adjustable around the front chest and girth, but they do not stop your dog from pulling. Because they are very adjustable they can be appealing for dogs who are growing like puppies.

2-Ring Velvet Dog Harnesses are made in the U.S. and also are fairly adjustable. The girth strap 

No-Pull Front Ring Dog Harnesses at PawsPetBoutique.com

that goes under the chest and by the front legs is lined in velvet for comfort and also minimizes the possibility of chafing. With a different color web by the top leash attachment ring, it makes it super easy for you to visualize how to put this harness on your dog. This dog harness is unique in that it provides a ring on the front chest and a ring on the back by the shoulders to attach a leash. If you are looking for control and to train your dog to walk by you without choking, this is the harness you need. You can attach leashes to both rings or even just to the front ring for control of the direction your dog's shoulders will go. When your dog pulls forward, the harness will re-direct your dog back to you. It's a no-pull dog harness! With verbal commands and consistency your dog will learn to heel by you and at some point you may just use the ring on the back for lead attachment. Love these harnesses that are made for small to very big dogs and give everyone the right amount of freedom.

Fabric Dog Harness with Front and Back Lead Rings are somewhat of a new comer on the block. With padded belly 

Fabric 2-Ring Dog Harnesses for Control and Training at PawsPetBoutique.com

and chest panels they are comfortable for your dog, yet they feature an aluminum ring on the back for lead attachment as well as a reinforced web ring on the front. With adjustments in 4 spots, these harnesses can be sized to fit small to very big dogs comfortably. Similar to the 2-Ring velvet freedom harness, you can choose to use both rings or just one. Using the front attachment will provide you with more control and assist with training to walk on a leash. This front range harness minimizes pressure that can cause choking and also provides the option to control your dog on walks. 

Bottom line, we love harnesses and want to make sure you pick up the best dog harness for you and your dog. While some of these harnesses may be left on throughout the day, we like to recommend you attach ID tags to your dog's collar that is worn the majority of the time. Please reach out to us if we can help!

Make a tail wag and enjoy your dog walks now with the right harness!

Why Your Best Friend Barks for Crab Dog Collars

Red Crab Dog Toys Made in USA at PawsPetBoutique.com

Did you know when you pronounce CRAB backwards you "BARK"

This must play into why dogs look so sharp in crab collars and leashes, and so adorable playing with crab toys! Of course kitties have a natural intrigue with crustaceans, which must be why crab cat toys always spice up playtime.

Maryland's state crustacean is the blue crab. With a pet boutique located in the heart of this crab territory, you can always count on a lively celebration of this beautiful Chesapeake swimmer. 

Consider all these options from which you can choose to spice up your best friend's neck attire...

Blue Crabs on Blue Dog Collars

Maryland Blue Crab Dog Collars at PawsPetBoutique.com

Blue Crab Dog Collars on Pink for the Girls

Blue Crab Pink Dog Collars at PawsPetBoutique.com

Blue Crab Dog Collars on Green for a Fresh Style

Blue Crab Dog Collars on Green at PawsPetBoutique.com

Red Crab Dog Collars on Navy for a Classic Look

Red Crab Dog Collars at PawsPetBoutique.com

Maryland State Flags and Crab Dog Collars on Navy for a Stately Style

Maryland Flag Crab Dog Collars at PawsPetBoutique.com

Maryland State Flags in Crabs Dog Collars with a Soothing Blue Background

Light Blue Maryland State Flag Crab Dog Collars at PawsPetBoutique.com

Festive Red Crab Dog Collars for a Lively Look

Festive Red Crab Dog Collars at PawsPetBoutique.com

Of course crab dog leashes are available to compliment every crab collar too!

Consider one of these crab dog toys or crab cat toys for your furry friend....

Eco-friendly Red Crab Dog Toys - Made in USA from recycled plastic bottles (yeah!)

Eco-friendly Red Crab Dog Toy Made in USA at PawsPetBoutique.com

BIG Blue Crab Dog Toys - Line legs go all the way through for added chew time

BIG Blue Crab Dog Toys at PawsPetBoutique.com

Small Blue Crab Dog Toys - A squeaker in each claw for double entertainment

Blue Crab With Squeaker Claws at PawsPetBoutique.com

Red Crab Cat Toys - Stuffed with organic catnip to spice up your feline's day

Organic Catnip Crab Cat Toys at PawsPetBoutique.com

Eco-friendly Blue Crab Cat Toys - Dangle from the attached ribbon for more interaction

Eco-friendly Blue Crab Cat Toys at PawsPetBoutique.com

Don't forget to catch a couple blue crab dog treats to reward your best friend or dog crab coasters to celebrate your best friend.

Blue Crab Dog Treats at PawsPetBoutique.com


So the next time your dog barks, he or she may be asking for crabs! 

It's good the net keeps us all in the loop.

Enjoy a crabby day today and make a tail wag.

Stylish ID Tags Serve a Purpose...They Return Your Best Friend Home!

Stainless Steel Compass ID Tags for Dogs and Cats

You are late for work when a lone dog darts across the road right in front of you. The street is busy as is your schedule, but your car automatically pulls off to the side and you hop out to see if you can help this obviously lost little furry soul in front of you. You are relieved to see they have a collar on, but does it have any clues as to where this lost pup belongs? YES! You are super excited to find a shiny ID tag with a phone number engraved so you can quickly dial the number on your cell phone. Thanks to you the dog is returned to the very grateful and worried family, who found the

Inexpensive Please Close the Gate Signs made in USA

delivery person left the gate open. We LOVE happy endings! That's why we think it is so important that every cat and dog wear an ID on their collar.

Neoprene Pet ID Tag Silencer Pouches

You may say, "Oh, but they jingle too much and wake me up in the middle of the night when they shake". We have the answer. Pick up one of our neoprene pet tag silencers that ends tag 

Removable Pet ID Holders


You may say, "I like to change my dog or cat's collar frequently and don't like the hassle of fiddling with the ring to move the ID tag to the latest collar." We have the answer. Pick up one of our removable ID tag holders that makes moving an ID tag a snap!

You may say, "The tags are ugly or too big." We have the answer. Our engraved stainless steel tags are polished and look like collar charms with colorful enamel in many different designs. Our pet ID tags are available in 3 sizes - including a tiny size tag for kitties and toy dogs. Not only do they look stylish, they are engraved with your contact information on the back and they never rust or corrode!

Nautical Anchor Pet ID Tags Engraved

Shamrock Dog ID Tags at PawsPetBoutique.com

Artistic Sun Pet ID Tags Engraved with Phone Numbers

Patriotic USA Engraved Dog Tags

We know you love your fur kids, so make it easier for them to find their way back to you if they are lost. It's easy to have an ID tag engraved with your cell phone number. Paws pet boutique offers free shipping on engraved pet ID tags, because it is so important every dog and cat have a collar tag for safe returns.

And thank you to all of you who have stopped to help a pet in need. You made the difference.

What a Difference the Right Dog Collar Makes

Bones and Hearts Collar on Ben of PawsPetBoutique.com

What a person is wearing, just like what a dog is sporting on their neck, makes statement. While the personality of the dog and it's person can come through with a unique dog collar selection, it's also important to make sure you opt for the right collar for your best friend. Dogs are all different, just like people.

Materials matter. If your dog has sensitive skin, consider choosing a hemp-lined dog 

Soft Hemp Pink Daisy Dog Collars at PawsPetBoutique.com

collar, which is super soft and durable. The hemp fiber that is used to create this soft and eco-friendly collar option is grown without chemicals or pesticides. Additionally, having a collar that can be easily washed is important. Would you want to wear the same shirt for months...or years? Most fabric collars, many with colorful ribbon detail, can be placed in a mesh bag and washed in the machine on a gentle cycle. It's easy and insures your dog is wearing something fresh and clean.

Style matters. If your dog has a neck larger than their head, it's a matter of time before the collar simply slips off and your dog is loose! A martingale dog collar will snug up slightly when pulled by a leash to insure it does not slip over your pup's head on walks. Dogs like Greyhounds normally wear this style of collar or dog harnesses for safety and control on walks. Otherwise, for most dogs a quick release buckle style collar is a great option. They are easy to size precisely to fit, as well as to place on and remove. You should be able to easily place 2 fingers or so between your dog's neck and collar. Make sure the buckle is sturdy, durable and secure. If chewed, make sure you replace as the integrity may be compromised.

Tiny Dog Collars for Small Dogs at PawsPetBoutique.com

Size matters. Consider the width of the collar. From my experience with the dogs we've fit in our dog boutique over the years, we recommend a collar in a 1" or 1.25" for large dogs like Retrievers and Boxers. Medium size dogs do great in a 3/4" wide to a 1.25" wide collar and small dogs can wear a 5/8" wide to a 1" wide collar depending on their shape and neck length. You don't want your dog's movement to be impeded by his or her collar. Lastly, a toy size pup (under 10 lbs.) normally will wear a 1/2" to a 5/8" wide collar. Extra small dogs warrant tiny dog collars! Do not select a cat collar for a tiny dog, as the buckle is designed to open when pulled on a cat collar.

Design matters, or at least we think so. This is the best part! Selecting a unique dog 

Unique Crab and Nautical Dog Collars at PawsPetboutique.com

collar that looks fabulous on your dog and fits the lifestyle and personality of you and your dog is fun. Nautical dog collars are perfect for water dogs or those who live and/or love the waterfront, while floral dog collars would be a good selection for feminine dogs and/or those who like to garden. Giving your dog a fun themed collar will provide a different first impression than spiked dog collars for example. The decision is yours. Enjoy browsing and shopping a splendid selection of U.S made unique dog collars at Paws pet boutique, a dog boutique known for it's collar collection and fabulous customer service.

On a final note, we wanted to let you know about a great little gadget...removable ID holders. If you like to change your dog's collar out frequently (like I do), consider picking up a pet ID holder that easily moves from collar to collar. No more fighting with tag rings or 'S' hooks each time you want to change your best friend's neck attire. These are 

Removable ID Tag Holders and Pet ID Tags at PawsPetBoutique.com

available at Pawspetboutique.com, as well as pet ID tags and pet tag silencers. We can't stress enough how important it is that your best friend have an ID tag on the collar you select!

Now that you know the ins and outs of collar comforts, styles and fashions you are set to go make a difference with your dog's collar! Have fun. Dogs do.

Dog Collars vs. Cat Collars, What's the Difference?

All collars are not made equal. Whenever someone purchases a tiny collar in our pet boutique we always try ask if they have a tiny dog or a cat. The collar difference is in the buckle.

Cats love to explore and perch on high objects, whether it be a tree or shed outside or a dresser in your home. They also

like to slither into tight spots like under fences and beds. This leaves plenty of opportunities to catch a cat collar. That's why kitty collars have a special buckle that should release when tugged, like in an emergency! While cat collars buckles are designed to release for safety purposes, you do not want a dog collar to release. On a dog walk you definitely want the collar to stay on securely as it is attached to the leash and ultimately to you!  Additionally, dogs tend not to find themselves in the same positions as cats where their collars could potentially become stuck. On a side note, make sure when sizing your pet's collar you want to be able to comfortably fit two fingers between your pet's neck and the collar. We never recommend leaving on a martingale collar (soft-choke) or choke collar on a dog unattended. These dog collar styles are made for dog walking. Additionally, we don't recommend tie-out in any style collar.

So while cat collars and tiny dog collars can be finished with colorful ribbons that add personality and look almost identical, check the buckle to make sure you have the right collar for your best furry friend. On a final note, we'll also add that neoprene stretchy cat collars are another great option that provide enough give for cats to wiggle out of if necessary. They are light in weight and soft so most cats don't seem to mind wearing them one bit.

Next time your little furry companion needs new neck attire you'll know what to select. And don't forget your pet id tags! Unique collars can make a fashion statement, but it's always important that your dog or cat collar has an ID tag attached to help your best friend find their way home if lost. Lastly, remember that life is short, so love the ones you're with!

Not All Dog Treats are Baked Equally

Wheat and Corn Free Apple Honey Dog Treats

Over the 15 years I have owned and operated a pet boutique I have seen quite a change in the variety and quality of dog treats. Years ago it was 'Milk Bones' or no bones, but today we are fortunate to have wheat-free, corn-free, grain-free and even vegetarian dog treats as options. If you watch what you eat than more than likely you are watching what you feed your best friend. So what is the right treat for your dog you ask?

When evaluating dog treats I like to start by determining where the 

treats are made and where the ingredients are sourced. I have

always felt comfortable buying and selling American made dog and cat

Bakery Dog Treats for Special Occasions, USA Baked

treats, which is all that Paws pet boutique offers our clients with one exception. That exception is a human-grade 100% shrimp cat treat that is wild caught in India and processed in USA. Secondly, take a look at the ingredient list. Would you be comfortable eating those ingredients? Yes, I realize humans and dogs are built differently, but my personal take is that I don't want to feed my fur family animal-by-products, bone or a ton of preservatives. The fewer the ingredients normally the better. So back to the question, "What is the right dog treat for my dog?".

For dogs that have food allergies (or don't) I like to recommend wheat and corn free treats. My two favorites we sample in our dog boutique and they are Apple Honey Soft Treats and Sweet Potato Treats. The Apple Honey treats are soft and easy to chew and contain rye flour, honey, egg, vegetable oil and dried apple. We love that the Sweet Potato treats are made from USA grown sweet potato that are dehydrated and that's it! The sweet potato treats have a firm consistency and are naturally loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C and fiber. While there are other fabulous wheat/corn-free options including our Good Dog Small Bones, which are the perfect size for small dog or training and our organic, wheat/corn/grain-free Peas & Carrots bones, we thought we'd name just a few here.

Wheat/Corn-Free Small Dog Treats, USA Baked

Natural Peanut Butter Bone Dog Treats, USA Baked

USA Made Tough Dog Toys That Hold Dog Treats

For dog that don't have dietary restrictions you still want to be aware of what you are feeding your four-legged companions. For years we have confidently offered our bags of Peanut Butter Bones, that we also sample to visiting dog in our dog boutique and seldom does a nose turn them up. They are made with simple wholesome ingredients in a U.S. bakery for us. These crunchy medium-size bones contain whole wheat flour, water, peanut butter, rolled oats and molasses. Better ingredients than you find in human cookies, right?! Plus they fit perfectly into the grooves on our bone toy for added entertainment.

You can feel comfortable purchasing healthy dog treat options at Paws pet boutique. If you are evaluating treats on your

Wheat/Corn-Free Dog Pretzels, USA Baked

own, please keep in mind where they are made what they contain. Lastly, remember dog biscuits are a treat not a meal. Make sure you use them as a reward for good behavior and don't go over board handing them out.

Enjoy your time with your companion animals!

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