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

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!

The Perfect Homemade biscuit (Yum)

Nothing shows love like slaving away in the kitchen for a few hours… right? We decided to shower our pooch with love (or at least are planning on doing so this weekend) and we are on the hunt for the best biscuit recipe!

Here is the list we have so far… let us know your favorites!

1. Peanut Butter, Banana and Parsley Biscuits from Margaritas in the Rain

Margaritas in the Rain

2. Cheddar and Blueberry Biscuits from Live. Laugh. Cook. Live. Love. Cook.

3. Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treats from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Sally’s Baking Addiction 2

4. Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits from Lola the Pitty

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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.

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Planning a New Years party? Make some delicious treats for your favorite canine.

We love homemade dog treats since we can control exactly what goes in and we eliminate any unhealthy additives (such as preservatives) that can be found in most store bought treats.

Here’s a few of our favorite festive treats to spoil your pooch!

Frozen peanut butter yogurt dog treats

Paw Print Dog Treats

Blueberry Dog Biscuits

Cinnamon Dog bites

Peanut Butter pumpkin dog treats

Flax seed dog biscuits

Nutty Bacon dog treats

Blueberry dog cookies

Peanut butter and bacon puppy ice cream