New Wearable Dog Technology? Why yes! Exclusive Launch event May 30-31st in NYC at Zoomies

Big News everyone! We are proud and happy to be hosting our NYC launch event on May 30-31 in NYC at the iconic and legendary Zoomies.

If you are in the area we would love to meet you, and if you are not then be sure to tell your friends and family!

We also have a brand new website, and would love it if you took a look!

Hachiko zoomies email campaign 2

National Pet Dental Health Month- Our Favorites!

Dental

We are in the last week of National Pet Dental Health Month.

To celebrate we have put together a list of some of our favorite Doggie Dental products (from toys to chews and more).

Also there have been some really terrific posts during this month- you can find a roundup of our favorites below!

  1. Toys that clean? Yes please! We love dental chew toys which pack a double whammy of entertainment & health. The rubber and gently rounded dental nubs that help clean teeth plus control plaque & tartar build-up. Nylabone has a great selection 
  2. There are lots of treats out there that also help combat tartar control, plaque and bad breath, but the C.E.T chews are a top pic (and extra plus they are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
  3. One of the simplest year round products are water additives. We like HeatlthMouth’s products which are free of all synthetic or artificial and made with 10 natural antioxidants, vitamins, and natural flavorings. They have also conducted clinical trials with impressive results!
  4. For a more hands on approach we use Oral Care Gel. We like the all natural PetzLife Pepermint Gel (believe us you’ll want the big bottle)

And check out these great posts:

Wags Ahoy, DIY Doggy Dental Care

Sugar the Golden Retriever, Brushing Up on Dental Health- Guest post by Dr. Jules Benson

Ottowa Valley Dog Whisperer, Dental Care for Dogs and Cats – Natural, Herbal DIY Remedies, Treatments

Hachiko Debate: Dogs in apartments- what’s the big deal?

A friend called me the other day with a common concern- she wants to adopt a dog but has a smallish apartment with no outdoor space.  And it seems she’s having a problem with dog shelters (which apparently is not a new problem).

So let’s look into this- is it really such a terrible thing to have a dog in a small apartment (hint, no it’s not).

Putting aside the fact that there are far too many dogs looking for loving homes, let’s turn to the experts.

The main consensus seems to be that it’s not the dog itself, or the size, but rather the breed that matters. Some breeds are just more adapt to smaller spaces. This is linked to energy levels and what we’re going to call barking potential.

Dogtime has a listing of breeds that adapt well to apartment living (from big to small):

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Boston Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Basset Hound
  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Greyhounds
  • Great Danes

This isn’t to say that other breeds won’t suffice. And each dog has their own personality and quirks. You can have the most energetic pooch in small place- just make the time to make sure they get plenty of energy.

If you are making the leap, or already have here are some top tips for cohabitation with your dog:

  • Establish a routine to minimize ‘accidents’
  • If you have behavioral issues (such as barking or chewing on furniture) get a good trainer to help
  • Hire a dog walker to give you some peace of mind
  • Place a chair or bench by a window to allow your pup to jump up and look outside
  • Create a space that’s theirs, with a comfy bed and their toys
  • And of course, if you are renting don’t forget to double check with your landlord!

Further reading:

More tips

More about breeds here and here

Best ways to get rid of fleas

Fleas debate

So this is awkward.

But we had a little incident of fleas the other week. And we know, this happens to everyone. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of.. however we just couldn’t get rid of them.

We have a few too many pooches in the office, so we’ve had to institute a doggie ban until we can eradicate the problem, which is only made slightly more bearable thanks to Hachiko (so we can check in with them during the day).

This has also been the source of a heated debate- what’s the best way to get rid of fleas. Or more specially natural vs. medication. We’ve already written in the past about home remedies but lets take a deeper dive into the options here:

In the Natural corner:

  1. Rosemary Flea Dip – Boil water with a bunch of fresh rosemary twigs for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and add to a gallon of warm water (it must be warm or it’s not effective, but make sure it’s not too hot!) give your pooch a good soak and then let them air dry.
  2. Lavender Essential Oil– place a few drops on the back of your dog’s neck and base of the tail. You can also sprinkle a few around the house
  3. Make your pup smell & taste awful (to fleas!) by adding a tablespoon of apple vinegar to their water or spoonful of brewer’s yeast to their food.

In the medication corner we find:

  1. Spot on treatments– usually very effective, but they can be strong and have warnings so read the labels carefully
  2. Oral Medications– pills that are given monthly are widely available and also work on immature fleas. (We recommend giving them with a treat!)
  3. Shampoos– There are a bunch on the market (We like Oster’s natural Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo which Kills fleas and ticks at all stages of the lifecycle through naturally-derived Pyrethrins from Chrysanthemum flowers) and we’ve had good results though it’s a bit of a hassle and can require multiple uses as results usually last for around 2 weeks.
  4. Tick dips– lasts for longer than shampoos and should not be rinsed off (Sentry is a popular choice)
  5. Tick collars– more preventative than a treatment, but helpful!

Which method have you found most useful? Hopefully we’ll be flea free very soon and all our dogs will be back to distract us from working…

dog working
Our pooches are a major part of the work force here!

Haciko Debate: Raw food diet

We all know the age old saying of we are what we eat. One of the main decision us dog parents need to make is around what type of diet we want our pet to eat.

Dry food, wet food, raw food, commercial, locally made, homemade.

The choices can be overwhelming. And one of the hottest issues seems to be around raw diets. We wanted to take a deeper look at conversation and understand a little bit more what the advocate and critics say.

The raw food for dog movement started in Austalia in 1993 by vet Ian Billinghurst promoted “BARF” diet, which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, which was essentially Bones and Raw Food, and is according to Dr. Billinghurst a more natural diet in line with what dogs would eat in the wild. Critics have pointed out that 1. Dogs live much shorter lives in the wild, so this is not necessarily a strong selling point, and 2. That a lot of the breeds we raise at home are very different to wild dogs.

The FDA and ASPCA  have weighed in, backing the critics in saying that there are great health risks in raw food diets. Specially in a 2010 Pet food study the FDA testing 193 commercial raw food and found that 15 were positive for Salmonella and 32 were positive for L. monocytogenes.

However let’s look at the pro’s and con’s to the raw food diet:

Pro’s:

  • Safety– there have been numerous pet food recalls and by preparing your dog’s meals you know exactly what you are feeding them
  • Nutritional benfits– you control exactly what you dog eats (and can tailor food based on allergies or sensitives). Commercial dog food also contains preservatives which you can eliminate from your dog’s diet
  • Health benefits– Everything from better dental health, to shiner coats, and higher energy levels. Some even say this is an outlet for chewing tendencies and can lead to overall better behavior.

Con’s:

  • Safety concerns– raw food is known to contain a number of pathogens (such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinium, and Staphylococcus aureus). These pathogens usually only pose a serious human risk to the immuno-compromised, the elderly, and young children; however, this is a very important consideration if you are feeding a raw diet and have people in these risk groups living in your home.
  • Nutrition and health- Nutrient deficiency is a big concern on homemade raw diets. It’s hard to and time consuming to adequately balance a diet. Furthermore there are health risks from the food itself, eating bones has been known to hurt dogs and is a major concern.
  • Commitment– raw diets can be both very expensive and time consuming.

Continue reading

Hachiko Debate: Diet VS Slentrol

We’ve all been know to pack on the pounds, and our pooches are no exception. In fact according to the Banfield state of pet health report from 2013 1 out of 4 pets in the US are obese.

Diet and Exercise:

When faced with a puggy pup your first response should be around diet and exercise. Unsurprisingly the number one cause of obesity is… overeating. You may measure your pet’s food scientifically, but treats, off the table nibbles will rack up the calories. Start here by reducing your pet’s food consumption by 25%, cutting out the treats, and give them raw veggies instead (broccoli, green beans and carrots seem to be a hit).

Also not all dog food is created equal so check out a list of alternatives or switch to a high fiber dog food. And in general when picking dog food look at the ingredients! Aim for food that is high in protein and low in fat and carbs.

Don’t underestimate the power of more exercise, take longer walks, incorporate sprints, walk up and down stairs and play multiple rounds of fetch.

 

Slentrol- the “magic pill”:

When all else fails there is the only FDA approved doggie diet pill. Slentrol suppresses appetite, and slows the transfer of dietary fat to the bloodstream, and according to reports it works. You pooch can lose up to 0.7% of their body weight in a week.

However this is not a long term fix. Since the pill lowers your dogs cholesterol it can have adverse effects such as depression, anxiety, aggression, vomiting and diarrhea.

Have you used slentrol? Tell us about your experiences!

To crate or not to crate?

There comes a point, sooner or later, when every dog parent is faced with a decision: to crate or not to crate.

While most experts agree that dogs should be crate trained, since some situations require it (for example after vet procedures or plane travel), there is a definite split between those that use crating at home for training/ containment purposes or for car travel.

Crating as a training/containment tool:

Many dog owners use crates with puppies and adopted adult dogs to train them and also to make sure dogs stay out of harm’s way when they are left alone.

  • Pro’s:
    • It can keep dogs safe- and prevent them from getting into trouble by chewing power cables, or running around the house
    • The carte can be a sanctuary for you dog- a safe place for them to go that is their own
    • It’s a great training tool
  • Con’s:
    • It is very easily abused- PETA is very firm in it’s guidance that crating as a training tool can have adverse effects
    • It deprives dogs of freedom- dogs that spend most of the day in a crate are limited in their movements, and limits their interaction with the environment
    • Can lead to behavioral problems when used excessively

Crating while travelling:

While in some situations, such as plane travel, this is not a decision left to us (then we need to decide if it’s worth the crating- but we’ll get into that later) we have come across an interesting debate in terms of crating during car travel.

  • Pro’s:
    • Less distracting for the driver- having your dog jumping or sliding around, or worse sitting on your lap (which is illegal in some states) can put both you’re and your pup in an emergency situation
    • Protects the dog in an emergency stop- there are also crash tested crates, so think of this as your dog’s seatbelt
  • Con’s
    • Owner guilt associated with putting their dog in a crate- we recommend taking frequent stops (every 2-3 hours) and let your dog out for a quick sniff and jog
    • Do not leave your dog in the crate (or loose in the car) when you leave- hopefully this will seem obvious but nevertheless always an important reminder

What do you think? Do you crate your dog? What are the benefits and downsides? Let us know in the comments!

And if you are looking to crate here’s some of the more popular crates out there:

Midwest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate

Petmate Vari Kennel

Precision Pet ProValu2 Dog Crate 

Remington Wire Kennel

Precision Pet Products Precision Pet ProValu Great Crate Double Door Dog Crate

And check out this guide to choosing the right size crate for your dog