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

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

Dog Food Guide: The Basics

A dog’s gotta eat. But what should you feed them?

There are so many options and possibilities, and after writing about raw diets (in case you missed it check it out here) which require a lot of time and effort, we also wanted to look at other options.

Whole Dog journal has a great starting point.They recommend why starting by assessing your dog’s health. Start a list with write out health problems (such as bad breath, dental issues, itchy paws, gas, thinning coats, etc.) and health assets (clean ears, good breath, high energy etc.).

If the health assets are greater than the problems you may already be feeding your dog a great diet. If however there are more a lot of problems then it may be time to change your pooches diet.

Once you understand the dietary and health benefits you are looking for it’s time to dig into the different options out there. (Should you want to address specific problems l this is also a great time to have a conversation with your vet.)

Here are a few helpful guidelines to consider when looking at dog food options:

  • First ingredient: Look for quality sources of protein
    • Avoid any generic descriptions such as “meat”, “poultry” or “animal” and look for “turkey” “lamb” “beef” etc.
    • General rules to remember: if it says Beef dog food, it’s a minimum of 95% beef. If it says dinner then it’s 25% (Beef dinner for dogs). If it says with (Doof food with Beef) it’s 3%. And it if says flavor it’s it has minimum to no amount of beef. (more info on this can be found on Pawcurious)
  • The second ingredient after protein should be a meat source with the word meal (i.e. Turkey meal, beef meal etc.)
  • Next two ingredients should be vegetables, ideally whole grain or while fruits.

Try and avoid:

  • Anything containing corn, cornmeal or soy.
  • Ideally avoid wheat and look for barley, rolled oats millet quinoa or brown rice
  • Anything with by products (especially when the source is not specified)
  • Anything with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners. Namely avoid: BHT, BHA ethoxyquin and propyl gallate. (In stead look for foods preserved with Vitamin E or C)
  • Avoid labels with “splitting”- in these cases the main ingredient such as rice may be spilt into white rice, brown rice, rice bran etc. so it can be written lower on the ingredients list (more info on that here)

What food do you buy, and how did you choose it? Tell us in the comments below!

And don’t forget you can always make you own food and treats

Additional sources:

Check out Dog Food Analysis to compare different kinds of food

Dogster guide on how to choose healthy dog food

Good overview on The Bark

Check out other yummy blogs

Part of Tastey Tuesday Blog Hop

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!

How to: choose a doggie daycare

A few posts ago we looked at how to choose the best pet sitter for your dog, and today we are looking at it from a different angle- Doggie Daycare.

Doggie daycare is a helpful tool for dog parents while traveling, but it’s also a great option for those days when you are working long hours and don’t want to leave your pup alone all day.

If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, or tends to get destructive when you are gone this option can be a life saver.

Here are things to keep in mind and questions to ask to help you find the best facility:

  1. Visit the facility- check it out, and poke around and see how the rest of the dogs seem
  2. Ask for a trial run- leaving your dog there for half a day will tell you alot about if its a good fit for him, and how he is treated
  3. How are they prepared for emergencies- anything from fires, floods to burglary should be addressed
  4. Do they ask for proof of latest vaccines?
  5. What tests does the daycare conduct to see if your dog will be accepted
  6. How do they organize dogs? Size? Play style?
  7. What is the schedule of a typical day?
  8. How do they handle bad behavior?
  9. What training has the staff gone through
  10. What is the ratio of staff to dogs
  11. What is the procedure if your pooch has a medical emergency? Do they contact your vet or do they use their own?
  12. How do they communicate/ report to you? Daily report cards?

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!

Baby it’s cold outside… the perfect time to try these great indoor exercises!

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Yes it may be freezing outside, but pooches still need their exercise! While some dogs enjoy a good romp in the snow we have put together a list of the fun exercises you can do from the toasty indoors.

  • Dog Aerobics- work out with Leroy’s Fit Pit
  • Musical canine freestyle- what started as a new method of do training has turned into a professional sport- check out examples here (we also found this crazy example crazy poodle woman workout)!
  • Create your own indoor dogstacle course- use chairs, tables, boxes, mops, hula hoops and whatever else you can find. Run through the course with your pup to get your daily exercise as well!
  • Doga- sign up for some Dog Yoga classes, or check out online instructional videos
  • Have stairs? Use ‘em- run up and down the stairs a few times. Guaranteed to wipe you both out.
  • A cheap laser pointer = hours of entertainment- shine it around and watch your dog chase after it (don’t shine it in your pooches eyes!)
  • Indoor versions of outdoor games- play fetch, keep away, tug of war and more. Just maybe don’t play around breakables…
  • Use a treadmill- there are ones designed especially for dogs (such as DogTread), but you can use a human one, just take the proper precautions.
  • Play shaping games– for a little mental stimulation
  • All about the nose- hide treats around the house and watch your pup sniff them out

We also love making our pooches work for their treats- these toys are great: Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball, PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal Dispensing Dog Toy, Nina Ottosson DogCasino Interactive game

Check out more exercise suggestions:

Indoor exercises for you and your pet 

Ways to exercise your dog indoors

6 Winter Exercise Tips for Your Dog

Rain or Shine: 10 Ways to Engage Your Dog Indoors

How to exercise your dog indoors