PupVacay's Sniffspot

We have a beautiful 1/4 acre fully-fenced backyard in the heart of Oshawa, covered in mature trees and bushes, for lots of shade and room to run and play leash-free!

PupVacay's Sniffspot

We are located just north of Bloor and Simcoe in Oshawa, with easy access to HWY 401.

PupVacay's Sniffspot

The best experiences and fun for you and your dog. Our private dog park is designed for the ultimate safe dog exercise.

PupVacay's Sniffspot

Off leash enrichment - Exploration and activities you cannot get anywhere else; wear your dog out for days.

PupVacay's Sniffspot

Safe playdates - Socialize your pup in a controlled, private spot - it's great exercise, it's safe and it's fun for you and your dog.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Free Holiday Lights Pack Walk

Image: Scogog Holiday Lights

December 8, 2015 - Come and join Catherine and Rob of PupVacay, along with our two little dogs, Denny and Dexter for the free monthly Good Doggy! pack walk.

This month we join Good Doggy! (7-9 pm) for a Christmas lights evening pack walk in Bowmanville on December 8, 2015, to view the many decorated homes and properties of Scugog. This is a new tradition Good Doggy! is starting. Bundle up warm and enjoy this fun social event! There will be free hot chocolate or / and hot Apple cider after the walk.

**Please note this will replace their December Sunday morning pack walk**

This pack walk won't be as formal in regards to training, but if you are having difficulty with your dog please let Nadine Francis of Good Doggy! know. She is there there to help you enjoy your evening.

They will still collect for RuffStartNewBeginnings rescue. Help dogs in need by helping a great cause! Donations can be cash, toys, food, leashes, blankets etc.

The walk will start by meeting in the parking lot of Knox school and then go across HWY 57 to see the community of homes and meet back at Knox to depart.

EVENT: Starts at Knox Christian School - Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00–9:00 PM
410 N Scugog Ct, Bowmanville, Ontario L1C 3K2 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Free Good Doggy! Pack Walk

Image: Good Doggy Pack Walk

November 8, 2015 - Come and join Catherine and Rob of PupVacay, along with our little dogs, Denny and Dexter for the free monthly Good Doggy! pack walk.

Enjoy a nice walk, fresh air and exercise with all the dogs and enjoy a free coffee or tea after the walk, chat with friends or meet new people.

This is a great opportunity to practice walking your dog on leash with the guidance of professional dog trainer, Nadine Francis, if needed and socialize your dog in a safe manner.

Bring your dog's meal to use to help maintain focus and build food drive.

Please bring a donation for RuffStartNewBeginnings rescue in the form of: cash, blankets, toys, treats, food, leashes, collars, crates etc.

EVENT: Coffee and Cakes - Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 10:30–12:00
47 King Street West, Bowmanville, Ontario L1C 1R2

Sheridan Nurseries Ladies Night Out

Image: Sheridan Nurseries Ladies Night Out
November 7, 2015  - Stop in at my Pupvacay table at the Whitby Sheridan Nurseries Ladies Night Out for some freebies! Free keychains, magnets, and Pet Home Alone Emergency cards!

Appetizers and refreshments will be served and fabulous door prizes to

EVENT: Saturday, November 7th - 6-9 pm. To be held in Whitby Sheridan Nurseries, 410 Taunton Road West, Whitby.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 in the store or $10 at the door the night of the event. The net proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to ‘Children’s Wish’ and ‘Upopolis’.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Our Pricing Rates

Pet First Aid/CPR certified ~ Bondable ~ Recent Police Check ~ Registered Oshawa Business ~ Professional Pet Sitters Assoc. member ~ 19 years pet care experience

Contact us at 905-242-8902 or by email: catherine@pupvacay.com
Please provide proof of immunizations, and your dog(s) must be on a flea program, or flea free. Your dog must be calm/submissive with no aggression towards other dogs or people. Your dog must respect gates in our home and not bark excessively. All new dogs should do a minimum 4 hour daycare trial to determine compatibility.

Sorry, we cannot accommodate large, high-prey, or high-energy dogs in our home.

Small Dog Daycare - starts at $15

Premium doggie daycare for small dogs in Durham Region. 
Loving, pet-friendly home - free-range, family-style environment.

Small Dog Overnight Boarding - starts at $40

Premium night-time companionship for small dogs in Durham Region. Loving, pet-friendly home - a free-range, family-style environment.

PLEASE NOTE: If making your request less than 48 hours before your booking, we may not be able to accommodate your reservation. We can get busy, especially during Holidays and Weekends. Please make sure to book early and, if possible, put down a deposit to hold your spot!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Abandonment Policy


PupVacay allows a maximum stay of 30 days. Long‐term stays must be pre‐paid at time of drop‐off. Your pet will be considered abandoned if it is not claimed or the bill is not paid within five (5) days of your contracted departure date.

PupVacay shall have the right to discharge the animal in any manner they consider appropriate.

If your pet is deemed abandoned, you are still responsible for all boarding fees, veterinary charges, or attorney fees incurred to collect this debt. Interest will accrue as allowed by Ontario law until paid in full.

Any pet that is not called for within five (5) days of the scheduled pickup time, and the owner does not notify PupVacay of extended boarding, shall be deemed abandoned.

PupVacay shall dispose of pets that are abandoned publicly, privately, or otherwise. PupVacay shall have, and is hereby granted, a lien on the pet for any and all unpaid charges and the owner or agent shall remain liable for complete boarding fees as well as other charges incurred in the care, maintenance, and disposal of said pet. PupVacay may exercise its lien rights upon the first day of abandonment. The owner specifically waives all statutory or legal rights to the contrary.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bark in the Park SloMo Video

Image: Denny, Dexter, Hugo, Rob and I spent a day at the Bark in the Park Bowmanville Pet Festival
Denny, Dexter, Hugo, Rob and I spent a day in September 2015 at the Bark in the Park Pet Festival in Bowmanville!

"BARK in the PARK Bowmanville is a fun, family friendly event where YOUR DOG is the star! We promote responsible pet parenting and would like to provide an amazing avenue to bring dogs, the people who love them and Durham Region businesses together in one place to celebrate our four legged companions while enjoying 2 full days of contests, demos, agility playground, swag bags, splash pools, interactive games, photo ops, food, toys, face painting, pony rides for the hooman kiddies, music, a wedding on Sunday, FREE giveaways, shopping, and so much more we can't fit it all in here."

We plan to have a table at next year's event - see you there!

Video by SloMo Studios

Monday, September 21, 2015

Free Tick Removal Kit

Image: Free Tick Removal Kit
I just found a wonderful addition to our free Swag bags that I give out to all my PupVacy clients!

Have you ever worried about finding ticks on your pets? Have you ever had to rush your pet to the vet and pay to have it removed?

While I was attending a local Pet First Aid course, they showed us this wonderful little tick removal tool, and I knew this was something I wanted to give away to my clients!

How do I remove a tick?
Your main aims are to remove the tick promptly, to remove all parts of the tick’s body and to prevent it releasing additional saliva or regurgitating its stomach contents into your bite wound.

 • DO start by cleansing the tweezers/tool with antiseptic. After tick removal, cleanse the bite site and the tool with antiseptic.
 • DO wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
 • DO save the tick in a container in case a doctor asks for evidence that you or your pet have been bitten (label it with date and location).
 • DO NOT squeeze the body of the tick, as this may cause the head and body to separate, leaving the head embedded in your skin.
 • DO NOT use your fingernails to remove a tick. Infection can enter via any breaks in your skin, e.g. close to the fingernail.
 • DO NOT crush the tick’s body, as this may cause it to regurgitate its infected stomach contents into the bite wound.
 • DO NOT try to burn the tick off, apply petroleum jelly, nail polish or any other chemical. Any of these methods can cause discomfort to the tick, resulting in regurgitation, or saliva release.

Disposing of the tick:
 • Be aware that engorged ticks will contain potentially infected blood, which may splatter when crushed.
 • DO NOT crush the tick with your fingers and do not allow the crushed tick or the blood it carried to contact your skin.

Click to read more about tick removal for you or your pets

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Olde Tyme Unboxing

Denny and Dexter helped to do an Olde Time Unboxing video!

We bought two great dog products with the free Amazon gift cards we got from using Swagbucks.

Olde Tyme Unboxing(e):
"This is an awesome unboxing video from Swaggernaut FrugalFreebies - she used her Swag Bucks to snag Amazon Gift Cards and then used those cards to get some Swag for her doggies!
I like the silent film vibe here - great job!" says the SwagBucks blog.

Doggy Routines Keep Your Entire Family Healthy

According to the “Milk-Bone Human-Canine Health Study”— a survey of 3,000 U.S. dog parents conducted by Milk-Bone brand dog treats (in conjunction with Learndipity Data Insights) —pet parents who include their pups in family health routines lead healthier lives. In fact, 55% of dog parents say their lives are “full of happiness and joy,” compared to 39% of non-dog parents.

What are four tips to ensure that the entire family - including Fido - is healthy and well?

51% of dog parents say they get more exercise because of their dog -- but 1 out of 3 pet parents wish their dog would get more physical activity

TIP #1: Turn your pups’ morning or evening walking session into a fun, impromptu workout session for the entire family, so both you and Fido will get your daily fit fix.

1 out of 3 pet parents are concerned their dog isn't getting enough of the nutrients they need.

TIP #2: Start every day with a vitamin routine for the whole family. Your pup’s should include nutrients not found in most dog foods, like Glucosamine to support healthy joints or DHA to supplement overall wellness, which Milk-Bone’s Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats provide.

Pet parents conduct “well puppy” check-ups, as they would with their child. If a dog is rubbing his eyes, or has oily spots or bumps in his fur, something could be wrong.

TIP #3: Use fun petting sessions to give your dog a quick look over for possible health ailments, like gently rubbing the bottom of his foot pads for sores.

57% of dog parents who also have children involve the kids in their doggy caring care routines, with most reporting that it teaches them good life habits and responsibility.

TIP #4: Your pup needs just as much attention and care as you and your children. When it’s time for your kids to brush their teeth, brush his teeth too (or give him Milk-Bone Brushing Chews).


Making Snow Puppies! (A Bichon How-To Video)

Dexter explains how to make snow puppies (snow angels for dogs): Dexter loves to roll about in the snow, so we decided he thought he was making snow angels - for Dexter, we call them snow puppies!

We found Dexter (a bichon frise) at the Toronto animal shelter in May 2010. Dexter had been abused by his previous owners and abandoned at the side of the road, to fend for himself.

Dexter was a frightened, skinny little dog - terrified of everyone, and did not like to be touched, and would scream if you came too close.

The shelter said Dexter had issues. Boy, did he have issues!! Dexter had panic attacks in the car, was untrainable, incontinent and he is going blind with a genetic disorder.

Three years later Dexter is a happy-go-lucky little dog who loves to play in his big backyard with his "brother" Denny, another little dog we rescued that same year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Newcastle Purina® Walk for Dog Guides

Image: Newcastle Purina® Walk for Dog Guides

October 3, 2015 - Denny and I will be participating in the Newcastle Purina® Walk for Dog Guides on October 3, 2015 to help raise funds for the training and placement of Dog Guides for Canadians with visual, hearing and medical or physical disabilities.

The Purina® Walk for Dog Guides is organized by local volunteers and invites everyone, all ages and abilities, with or without dogs to participate. You can help by donating on my personal page, or join me by registering for the walk.

All online donations will receive immediate credit card payment confirmation and an official income tax receipt. I hope you will consider helping me in supporting this wonderful event.

Walk Details

Organization: Newcastle Lions Club
City: Newcastle, Ontario
Contact: Jean Graham
Phone : 905-987-5239
Email: jean.graham@rogers.com
Sign in: 8:00 AM
Walk Start: 9:00 AM
Location: Newcastle Community Hall, Newcastle, Ontario

Monday, September 14, 2015

Buddy doing a HAPPY DOG

My little dog Buddy (bichon Frise), always had to "help" me make the bed in the morning.

His help was to roll all over the covers to make sure they are flat and smoothed out. He keeps looking to me to see if he is finished.

Since he usually growls and moans while doing this, we call it his Happy Dog routine.

Sadly our sweet little Buddy passed away on Valentine's day 2010 at 12 years old from liver cancer.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Our Indoor Pics

PupVacay is located our 1850 historical farmhouse, in the heart of Oshawa.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Our Outdoor Pictures

Our home has a beautiful, fully-fence quarter acre yard, set on a quiet one block street just north of HWY 401 and Simcoe.

We have lots of mature trees and bushes for plenty of shade and room to run and play!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Make-Your-Own Soda Pop Sprinkler

Soda Pop Sprinkler
Is it hot where you are today? If the heat is getting to you and your dog, and you have a backyard to play in, no matter how small, this would be a fun way to cool off!

Cool your dog off with a homemade sprinkler. Take a 2 liter soda bottle, poke holes in it. Attach to a garden hose via a male to male adapter, available from Amazon for just over $2.00!

Toss over a tree branch and let hang. You can adjust how the water sprinkles by adjusting the water flow. When the bottle stops working well, just switch it out with another bottle, no additional cost!

This one might not just be for the dogs! The kids will love it too ... or even an adult or two! You could even use it to water your garden(s)!

Photo credit: Pinterest
All rights reserved

On our Facebook fan page:

Tracie Pennington Hall posted: Oh gosh my Mama did this for us all the time when we were little. (Except we never hung it over a tree.) She firmly believed in 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' way before it became a trend.

Jennifer Yates posted: Very cool idea. Some of my cousins made this for their lil kids to enjoy over the weekend.

Jenifer Jacobs Webster posted: Would be great idea for outdoor shower before getting in the pool

Patty Newman Jance posted: Way cool!!! That is better than the cheap sprinkler thingys out there these days!!

Groceries To Your Door - Pepsi Soda, 2-Liter Bottle (Pack of 6) from Groceries To Your Door...100% Satisfaction GuaranteeGilmour GT3/4x1/2Male Connector - Green Thumb, Brass, Double Male 3/4 inch x 1/2 inch NPT, Threaded Pipe To Hose Connector.

Shopping Suggestions:
Groceries To Your Door - Pepsi Soda, 2-Liter Bottle
Gilmour Male to Male Connector
Mintcraft Light Duty 3 Ply PVC 25 ft Garden Hose
Mintcraft Light Duty 3 Ply PVC Garden Hose

Make-Your-Own Carpet Powder

Homemade Carpet Powder
We have two dogs and a cat - but I don't like using chemical carpet cleaners and even the unscented ones smell too strong to me - so this is a great idea!

Homemade Carpet Powder
-- Mix baking soda and several drops orange essential oil (or any other essential oil you like) together in a bowl using a whisk.

Spoon the mixture into your shaker - an empty Parmesan container works well.

Sprinkle this on your carpets - let sit for about 15 minutes, then vacuum.

One reader wrote: If you add a cup of borax to this mixture it will kill any bugs that may be in your carpet! (fleas, etc!)

Another said: We had luck getting rid of fleas using salt. Allow to sit in carpet overnight and for best results, treat a couple times. Seems much safer than borax!

Another said: I use nutmeg or clove ground with baking soda, and everyone can't find why my house smells so inviting and homey.

Another said: I have a Dyson vacuum and rather than using baking soda, I use cornmeal and borax and ground up dehydrated citrus zest and some essential oils.

Will you try this one? Let us know how it works for you!

Idea and photo from: mrshappyhomemaker.com

From our Facebook fan page:

Sandra Lee posted: Fabulous! Thanks for sharing

Kim Dillon posted: OMG thank you for sharing this!!! I was looking for a friendly way to get fleas out of my carpet

Donna R. Pietroboni-Magdich posted: That is an awesome tip!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Didi Cannon posted: Sounds good.. I'll give it a go..

Tammy Butler posted: I also add diatomaceous earth to mine :)

Donna R. Pietroboni-Magdich posted: I use the lavender essential oil daily for aromatherapy ....bath oils ....and air fresheners as well as mixing it with a bit of vodka as a stabilizer and sprinkling it on my linens ...I have my pharmacist order me a pint....(it usually lasts about 8 months to a year....

Rhonda Hanson Steele posted: This makes a good soft scrub for counters and tubs

Nicole Cavalier posted: I use baking soda mixed w/lavender essential oil on my area rugs. It smells SO much better than the crap from the store!

Going Greener posted: I do this as well, just the other day I was talking about this!! Such a great idea and a great way to keep toxins out of our homes for our families and pets health! ♥

Arm + Hammer Baking Soda (01170) 4 lb. box - Freshens and deodorizesOrange Essential Oil. 10 ml. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade - This variety has a sweet vaguely anise-like, mint, smoky odor
Shopping Suggestions:
Arm + Hammer Baking Soda
Orange Essential Oil
20 Mule Team Borax
Diatomaceous Earth

Hot Car Posters

Image: Free Don't Leave Me in Here — It's Hot fliersThe "Don't Leave Me in Here — It's Hot!" flier has saved countless animals' lives over the years. With its tips on prevention and treatment, the flier has proven to be a painless reminder that alerts someone of the dangers of leaving animals in the car while he or she is shopping.

Whenever you see a parked car with animals inside, place the "Don't Leave Me in Here — It's Hot!"flier under the windshield wiper. (If you see an animal in imminent danger or a child left unattended inside a car, see the store manager or contact the police.) 

The My Dog is Cool Campaign is designed to:
  • Get the word out to individuals and communities about the dangers of hot cars through our life-saving Don't Leave Me in Here — It's Hot! Fliers, posters, and other educational materials.
  • Educate the media and the general public, as well as police, emergency workers, and city officials, about steps to take to prevent dogs from dying in hot cars.
  • Remind others not to leave their dogs in parked cars with materials like our
    "A hot oven or a hot car" poster and our "Hot Temperature" warning sign.

Click for printable fliers

Image: A Hot Oven or a Hot Car... It's the Same Thing poster
Teach by example and show the world what we want to see for all dogs....

You make great choices about leaving your dogs at home when it's too warm outside ... now teach others by displaying your safer choice.

Group dynamics is strong -- let's use this power for positive change!

One day we will see these posters on tons of cars in hot parking lots and not a single dog locked in a car. Are you with us?

Download your free posters

Thank you for sharing this post, all you awesome dog-lovers... dogs everywhere will thank you too!

No-Sew Pet Bed

McCall's Patterns M5410 Pet Beds, All Sizes - includes patterns and instructions for no-sew pet beds in three sizesMy dog guests have several beds around the house, Denny uses both beds in the living room and the one in the bedroom.

Dexter would prefer to lay on a person - if he isn't laying on his bed on my computer desk (He is a little dog, a bichon).

You can make this no-sew pet bed!

This pet bed looks pretty simple to make and needs no sewing at all! Probably much cheaper than buying one, and you can wash it!

Making a fleece pet bed yourself allows you to fully customize the pet bed, and choose the cover, filling and style that suits you, and your dog or cat, best!

Making Ties
Plus, it makes a comfortable, water-repellent bed for your dog or cat, of any size.

Photo credit: Selbe B, on Flickr
Some rights reserved

You could buy the McCalls pattern, but it looks like all they did was:

1. Cut out a couple of ovals from anti-pill polyester fleece, about 4-6 inches larger than the size you need. (Anti-Pill is a treatment applied to garments primarily to resist the formation of little balls on the fabric's surface due to abrasion during wear.)

Tying Baby Blankets2. Cut 4 or 6-inch long strips into the fleece all around the oval, about 1-inch wide.
3. Tie together one strip of fleece on one oval to a strip of fleece on the second oval - using an over-hand knot. Some prefer to double-knot.
4. Repeat all around the oval, leaving a space open to stuff.
5. Stuff with Polyester Fiberfill, wool, cotton or even cedar shavings.
6. Tie remaining fleece strips.

Photo credit: WVUMC, on Flickr
Some rights reserved

McCall's Patterns M5410 Pet Beds, All Sizes - includes patterns and instructions for no-sew pet beds in three sizes
Yardage needed for each pet bed size:
Small: 26-inch diameter - 1 1/2 yards (1.40m) 60" wide (150 cm)
Medium: 36-inch diameter - 2 1/4 yards (2.10m) 60" wide (150 cm)
Large: 46-inch diameter - 2 /3/4 yards (2.55m) 60" wide (150 cm)

Fairfield Poly-Fil Premium Polyester Fiber, White, 1 Bag, 12-Ounce - Washable and Non-Allergenic
Shopping Suggestions:
Fairfield Poly-Fil Premium Polyester Fiber
Solid Dogs Anti-pill Fleece
Cats Allover Anti-Pill Fleece by Wild Wings
Petmate Polar Fleece Pet Blanket
McCall's Patterns - Pet Beds

Friday, August 28, 2015

No-Sew Rope Toy

Make-Your-Own Dog ToysSome of my dog guests have brought their owner's t-shirts so they won't miss their owners so much while they are away.

So I thought this frugal tip might be a great combination of a dog owner's scent and a dog's favourite toy!

This is really easy and quick to make—I am sure you already have everything you need to get started.

I wanted a few different colours in my toys, so I used four t-shirts, but then I ended up with six toys. So you probably could make this with just one old t-shirt. Perfect for chewing and tug-of-war!

Here’s what you’ll need:

 • One or more old t-shirts, in different colors (if you want).
 • Scissors
 • Just a few minutes

NOTE: Your dog will like this toy better if you DO NOT wash your t-shirts first!
Soft t-shirts work best, as they are easier to tie.
But with bigger dogs and stronger teeth, you may want to use a tougher fabric, even something like denim.

Step 1: Cut 15-30 pieces, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) wide in 16"-30" (40-76cm) long. (Or even longer if you want!)
(Small dog - 15-20 pieces, 1" wide, Large dog - 20-30 pieces, 1"-2" wide).

Step 2: Divide your 15-30 pieces into 3 piles of 5-10 pieces each.

For mine, since I have little dogs, with little teeth, I cut my pieces 1" wide (2.5cm), and only used 20 pieces for some, only 15 pieces for the shorter toys. I got shorter pieces measuring from the hem to under the arm of the t-shirt (about 16"or 40cm), and longer pieces from the hem to the neckline (20" or 50cm).

Step 3: Tie a knot in one end, making sure to pull tightly on the tassels so there’s at least an inch dangling after the knot. Separate your pieces into three sections, and make a few braids, as snugly as you can, leaving at least 5 inches for your second knot.

I found even at just 15 pieces, the knot took up more of the fabric than I expected, and was a bit fiddly to get the tassels thru. So the longer you leave the tassel portion, the easier it will be for you to tie the knot. I also found I got better at making tight braids as I made each toy.

If the braids are too loose, your dog will be able to tear it apart easily, but since these toys didn't cost me anything, I can easily replace them. But watch your dog, and make sure to take the toy away if it is getting destroyed - for your dog's safety.

Step 4: Make a knot on the other end. You are done!

As I said, the four XL t-shirts I had, made six small toys, of varying lengths, using 15-20 pieces per toy.

So I tossed the new toys on the floor to see if the dogs would have any interest?

Denny, Dexter and dog guest, Percy, immediately came over to check out the new toys.

Denny and Dexter grabbed a toy each, but Percy didn't seem too interested. But then these toys didn't have his owner scent on them!

Hope you found this tutorial helpful. I’ll be making more frugal dog stuff in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back often!