August 15th is Check the Chip Day

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Friday August 15 has been declared as “Check the Chip Day,” by the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

What is the day?

Check the Chip Day serves as a good reminder to make sure your dog’s microchip contact information is correct.


What are the benefits?

Microchips greatly increase the chances that you’ll get your pet back if he/she is lost or stolen…but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate.


What steps do I take?

Step 1: Make an appointment with your veterinarian for microchipping if your pet isn’t already microchipped (then make sure that your pet’s chip is immediately registered)

Step 2: Check your already-microchipped pet’s registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database, and make sure it’s up-to-date.

*To check your pet’s registration information go to AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool


How do I spread the word?

Celebrate and join Check the Chip Day event on Facebook

Share the Flyer


Where can I hear more?

American Animal Hospital Association‘s President Dr. Kate Crumley talks about the importance of microchipping. Listen HERE from Steve Dale’s Pet World about the importance of proper pet identification, most importantly microchipping.

Grab your kleenex for this emotional video of a reunion between a dog and dad thanks to the chip:


Gimme more!


How to Make Your Dog Happy

DHI (1) 

I don’t know about you guys but I spend far too much time staring into my dogs eyes trying to understand if she is happy.

I know a few things for fact:

  • She loves snuggles
  • She loves treats
  • She loves elephant the toy she’s had since the day I got her 13 years ago (Who I have managed to not lose, which I consider a feat, even though he may have been damaged slightly by a curling iron once and years of her playing with it..)

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Souffie happily asleep after getting hours of cuddles

The there’s all those human things I think I project on her- her need for having more dog friends her desire to sniff a new scent. So even though she is not exactly what you would call friendly towards other dogs, I still feel she needs to socialize and keep trying to help her make friends. This is a losing battle. I’ll also try and spice up our walks and take a different path so she’s not bored by the usual smells and sights on our walks.

But all this wasn’t enough for me. Because doing this once in a while wasn’t going to make her happy in the long run.

So I’ve devised a method to measuring Souffie’s happiness. While not a direct formula (snuggles x treats x 20 minute walk) this at least makes me feel like I am taking care of all her needs. And I’m sharing it with you, because I’m sure I’m not alone in this!

After a bit of research, I found Tamar Geller’s Loved Dog. And I love it. In the book she talks about the 7 needs a dog has. Building on that I’ve broken it down into 3 main elements that I call the Doggie Happiness Index, DHI, which address a dog’s needs: physical, mental and social.

Physical- pretty straight forward… but happiness starts with health right? Here I look at all health, exercise and nutrition. Making sure she is moving enough, not eating too much and not getting over spoiled with treats

IMG_0513Souffie on her way to attend a wedding

Mental– dogs crave routine and security for peace of of mind. So I try to make sure Souffie has a built and established routine (which is not always easy). Also I make sure she is mentally stimulated. She spends a lot of time on her own so I like to get her games that require some thinking, like puzzle toys and treat balls and when we are together try and play more challenging games or teach her a new trick (it is possible to teach and old dog new tricks!)

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She demands to be the center of everyone’s attention

Social– well obviously snuggle time falls in this category. And we can’t forget that dogs are pack animals and like hierarchy (which is also linked to their sense of security) so I make sure to get her around other people (and dogs when possible) and make sure she feels loved all the time.

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In fact she wouldn’t even let me write this post since it was Souffie time!

So that’s my DHI. This is still a work in progress and would love to hear from you if you have any more ideas or improvements!

I love using Hachiko to help me track all of this! I can set goals for Souffies activity, with an added bonus of knowing how active she was on her own, so I know for how long we need to talk. Also I make sure to log her food and treats so I can both set a routine and also make sure I don’t over feed her (she is getting a bit well… huskier lately!).

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Souffie with her Hachiko Sensor. Stylish and fun!

Hachiko Smart Sensors are a great way to keep track of your dog’s activity and behavior. To set routines and make sure they are receiving the care they deserve. Learn more about it and how it can help you keep your dog happy on their website. And to make you happy use the promocode HAPPYDOG to get $5 off!

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

DANGER! Foods to never feed your dog!

We are all guilty of letting our dogs snack from our plate- but some foods are unsafe for them!

We found (and love) this simple infographic from ASPCA that details everything we should not give our pets. We are printing this out and putting it on our fridge.

Share this to make sure our dogs eat safe!

danger!

Waiting for spring: Ultimate Winter Doggy Survival Kit

Winter

For us March should be spring. It just makes sense.

But the snow outside clearly states that is it not. So we are planning a sit it and staying at home until the weather warms up. This means we need to stock up on supplies. Flannel PJs, a super soft blanket, and Netflix is all we need.

Our dogs however are spoiled and have put together  their “If we have to put up with winter we want these goodies survival kit”:

  1. Keeping warm in style with a Max-Bone cable knit jumper. These adorable sweaters are designed and crafted in LA, and no we checked they don’t come in human sizes.
  2. This Jax & Bones bed is colorful enough to bring some spring feeling into the house, while at the same time being perfect for lazy snoozing. Jax & Bones also designs and manufactures in sunny California (maybe we’ll get some sunshine from them too?)
  3. We will be getting our exercise in the form of tug-o-war. These rope toys from Neroko are made in Finland using traditional sailor knots.
  4. Now this one we are very excited about, since we can now easily play fetch from the couch with this sleek bamboo ball launcher from Bambeco. Extra points for using mainly reclaimed materials.
  5. Winter also calls for comfort food. We will rely on seamless, our pooches will get delicious soup which we have (semi) made ourselves by adding some ingredients to this organic natural base of Mutt Soup.
  6. And for those extra snugly moments, we will snuggle in the our soon to be new favorite blanket (which also should keep our pooches hair from going everywhere). But we can’t decide between the Big Sky Blanket in Blue or Red?

What is in your winter survival kit?

Moving With Your Dog

Moving . With your dog

Moving. That word can send a shiver up our spine like no other. Packing everything into boxes, hauling it across town (or even worse across country). It’s exhausting just thinking about it. But you also know the silver lining. The new house, new town- and in the end it’s worth it.

You dog, however, has no idea what’s going on.

So as you are planning your move and trying to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, don’t forget to make sure to take extra precautions to make the move as simple as possible for your pet.

  • Before the move – Build a checklist of things to take care of- be sure to include:
    • A visit to the vet- If you are moving far and you are leaving your vet go in for one last visit. Use this time to:
      • Get refills on all medications
      • Get any vaccines you need
      • If you are traveling long distance it may be worth getting a sedative
      • Ask for a copy of your dog’s medical history and vaccination records
      • Also always worth checking with them if they have a recommendation for a vet in your new area
    • Visit your groomer- here again if you are moving far then it’s worth a last to your favorite groomer. This is especially useful if you are going to travel by car because clipping those nails and a little trim can help keep your car looking spiffy.
    • Build a travel plan- You may just be moving a few streets down, but if you are moving farther away make sure to think out your travel plans
      • If you are flying to your new home double check the airline requirements- you may need a health certificate or an updated vaccine record
      • If you are driving to your new home be sure to plan the trip in advance:
        • Look at dog friendly hotels, restaurants and plan plenty of pit stops
      • Update your dog’s microchip- We The night before you leave update your dog’s microchip information with your new address
      • If you are moving close it’s worth to take your dog there ahead of time to start exploring the area
  • Packing:
    • Order your packing supplies (boxes, tape, etc.) and have them arrive a few days in advance so your pooch can get used to them
    • Involve them in the process. Let them sniff the boxes and poke about so they are not surprised when everything is packed away
    • Be reassuring and give a little more attention than usual (extra treats and snuggles)
    • But also try to maintain your normal routine- normal walks, feeding schedule and no special treatment like sleeping in your bed!
    • Pack your pooches belongings (bed, toys, etc.) last

More after the jump…

Continue reading

Be Mine? Spoil your pooch this Valentines’

PuppyLove

Happy Valentine’s Day guys!

Single or attached- you are never alone if you have your dog with you. So make sure to treat them to a little something extra today.

Our favorites are:

  1. Spa day! Take your pet to the groomers for some R&R
  2. Bake them some homemade goodies- check our favorites
  3. Or buy them some delicious treats. We love the ones from Bocce’s Bakery
  4. Let them feel your loving embrace all year long with this pawsome heart shaped bed
  5. Extra quality time. Take a long hike together, or spend a few hours playing in the dog park. At the end of the day all they want nothing makes them happier than being with you.

Have a great day everyone!

Hachiko Debate: Supplements- when are they necessary and when are they a waste of money?

SUPPLEMENTS

Dog’s that are in good health and eat balances diets should not need supplements. In fact sometime supplements can also do harm- so before you decide that your dog needs them take a moment to look at the real need.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association from 2006 the most common supplements given are multivitamins, fatty acids (to improve coat shine), Probiotics (for gastrointestinal problems), supplements to support arthritic joins and antioxidants (to counter aging effects such as cognitive dysfunction).

Now it’s estimated that one third of every dog in the US receives some kind of supplement, and we are talking about a 1 Billion dollar market, that has little scientific evidence behind it. The FDA and many vets believe that pets receive a balanced diet when they are feed commercially processed dog food, while others think they are a good way to improve health.

There are a few general rules of thumb when considering  adding supplements to your dog’s diet:

You may consider adding supplements (after consulting with your vet!) if:

  • You feed your pet a homemade diet
  • You dog as particular health needs

You probably don’t need supplements if:

  • When you dog is in good health
  • If you feed them a store bought pet food diet (they usually contain the ingredients you are looking to supplements and adding more may have adverse effects)

Why is this such a big issue? Well overdoes of vitamins can be very bad. According to vets excess calcium can cause bone problems, too much Vitamin A or D can lead to vitamin toxicity with effects such as dehydration, joint pain, muscular atrophy and loss of appetite.

If, after consulting with your vet, you do decide to add supplements then here too you need to do your research and choose carefully! The National Animal Supplement Council checked joint support products on the market, and found that 25% didn’t really contain what they claimed on the label. When ConsumerLab.com tested thee probiotic supplements they only found one with enough dosage to be effective.

What to look for when looking at pet supplements:

  • Know exactly what ingredient you are looking for and check the label
  • Look for brands that have commissioned clinical studies
  • Gauge their expertise- look for brands that specialize in one area, or contact them directly to understand how the product was formulated and how long they have been in business
  • Look for certifications from third parties (such as the National Animal Supplement Council)
  • Do not give your pets human supplements. There are ingredients that are harmful to dogs!
  • Don’t fall to false promises- if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Supplements promising to alleviate cancer, parvovirus or hip dysplasia? Move along…

What do you think? Do you give your pets supplements? Why? Tell us in the comments!

Additional Reading:

Pets WebMD supplement guide

Pet MD Supplement guide

Top 10 supplements and do they work

Life with Beagle- are supplements worth it?

Our top 10: Tastiest USA Made Organic Dog Treats

Organic Dog Treats

It’s cold and it seems like it’s only going to get colder. So we are going to spend this upcoming weekend spoiling ourselves with good food and good company. And of course we provide treats for all our guests… four legged ones included! We have trouble choosing between all these delicious looking, organic and natural treats! Our top ten list:

  1. Plato organic Salmon Strips– Single source protein treats. Salmon Real Strips have NO added sugars, artificial preservatives, by-products, artificial colors, protein-meals, soy, wheat, corn, fillers, or freeze-drying. All Plato treats are made in the USA.
  2. Wet noses Peanut Butter & Molasses Treats– Rich in calcium and Vitamin B this is Wet noses’ original recipe. Contains no wheat, soy or corn. All their products are made in Washington State.
  3. Max and Ruffy’s Strawberry and Carob flavor– Made from scratch in Maryland, this treat is full of antioxidants and superfoods, with an extra dose of coconut oil for a shiner coats and healthy skin. Did we mention it’s also low fat and delicious!
  4. Meyer Country Farms Beef bites– These yummy bites are made in the USA and contain no preservatives, additives or dyes.
  5. Grandma Lucy’s Organic Blueberry Treats– Looking for dog treats baked in a bakery? Look no further. Grandma Lucy’s treats are made fresh in Irvine California and are all natural, human grade and of course 100% organic.
  6. Only natural American made twisted Bully– Made with USA sourced, free range, grass-fed cattle. They are gently cooked with only one ingredient. No chemicals or preservatives to be found!
  7. Greenies Dental Chew Dog Treats– These chews are not only delicious, but also proven to clean dog’s teeth and will fight plaque and tartar buildup while improving your dog’s breath and gum health. Sounds amazing to us! Greenies are made in Kansas City, Missouri.
  8. Sam’s Yam’s Sweet Potato Dog Chew– Looking for a veterinarian raw-hide chew? This treat should fit the bill. Made in a special drying process these human grade yam’s get extra chewy. All the yam’s are sourced from the USA and made and shipped from Wisconsin.
  9. Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Liver Treats– These treats are 100% freeze dried liver made in Portland Oregon, and are naturally rich in protein, vitamins A, D, C and B- complex, iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus.
  10. Evanger’s Nothing But Natural Chicken Jerky Dog Treats– Using organic fed and raised Chickens and combining them with farm fresh veggies, this is a low-calorie guilt-free and grain-free treat that should get you extra tail wags. Made in the USA.

We love finding and sharing great products, made in the USA from small and local vendors. Be sure to follow our blog or signing up on our website to get all of our latest finds!

Also check out our list of our favorite USA made Dog Food!

Which treats are your favorites?

Love is in the air… but that doesn’t mean your dog likes it

Introduce your dog to your new

There is nothing like the love between an owner and their dog. It’s a special bond that not everyone can understand and there’s nothing like it. So what happens when you find a new significant other?

Jealousy does not look good on anyone- dogs included. However when you introduce a new component into your ‘pack’ your dog is going to digest this information, and that may take time.

When it comes time to introduce your new SO and dog there are a few tricks that can make this process go smoother:

  • A dog’s home is their territory, and they can be over protective of perceived ‘threats’. Why don’t you make their first meeting be somewhere neutral
  • Try not to introduce too many changes at once. A new SO is a big enough challenge for your dog, so make sure their space remains safe and familiar
  • New relationships can sweep us off our feet, but if your new SO drastically cuts into your quality time with your pet- don’t expect them to warm up too quickly. Try and stick with your schedule as much as possible and involve your pooch. Go on an afternoon picnic, or go for a long after dinner stroll all together
  • Bribes bribes bribes. You want your dog to associate your new SO with a positive feeling, so keep a few treats by the door and have your SO give one to your dog when they come in. And then maybe give them a few more during their stay
  • If your dog starts acting out (barking, chewing, aggressive behavior) you should address it at once, do not forgive bad behavior due to the circumstances, but also try and adjust your behavior to give your dog the attention they need.
    • If your pooch is specifically acting out by destroying your SO’s belongings it may be easiest to keep them out of reach for a while
  • Give them time to bond- ask your SO to look after your pooch for a few hours. Some one on one quality time will go a long way
  • Also don’t forget that your SO can get jealous of your relationship with your pooch. Make sure you still give each one of them enough one on one time to feel special. And then take a moment to remember how lucky you are!

And in case you were wondering, this is what a jealous dog looks like. (Read: “pay attention to meeeee”)

I'll just lay here until you notice me..

Additional Reading:

7 tips to get your dog to like your boyfriend

Introduce your dog to your new partner

My dog hates my valentines

How to prevent a green pooch