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

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…

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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?

10 Home remedies to perk up your pup

Colds, Flu’s, general winter blues got your pooch down? Before you run to the vet try these simple homemade remedies!

  1. Vitamin E- is great for your dogs skin. Apply directly to the skin by a doggie massage, or a soaking bath. If you want to give it orally talk to your vet about the proper dosage!
  2. Use citrus power to get rid of fleas- fleas hate citrus, so sprinkle your pet with a small amount of fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice
  3. Also sprinkle Borax powder on your floor when you dog has fleas and that will help by deteriorating the insects’ exoskeletons.
  4. Get rid of ticks and get a walking odor distributor- by dabbing some Rose geranium essential oil to your pooches collar
  5. Chamomile tea is great for itchy skin- make some tea let it cool and put it in a spray bottle and use as needed
  6. For a more serious itch make an oatmeal rub- mix oatmeal with water rub on to the itchy areas and leave for 10 minutes
  7. Upset tummy- give your dog some plain yogurt, the live cultures will ease it quickly
  8. For diarrhea- try mixing some pumpkin puree with your dogs food
  9. Alleviate bad breath with pupsciles- mix carrot, lime juice and fresh mint freeze and serve as a treat
  10. Does your pet get carsick? Grate ginger and mix with peanut butter as a snack before getting in the car

 

Have you used any kind of home remedies in the past? How long do you wait before turning to conventional medication?


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Separation Anxiety- How to identify and treat it

 

When speaking with dog parents a common concern seems to come up- seperation anxiety. Separation anxiety can range from a mild problem, to a severe one, to a an extreme level more akin to separation panic. But don’t worry- there are ways to help alleviate this fear.

How to identify separation anxiety

A pup chewing your rug can also come from boredom, so how can you tell when you are looking at separation anxiety? According to most experts there are a few tell tale signs:

  • As you are getting ready to leave does your dog start to get depressed
  • When you walk out the door your dog will go into a slight panic- barking, scratching the door
  • Overly joyful when you get home (to the point of hysteria)
  • Read more about signs and symptoms here

At the end of the day you know your pet best, so trust your instincts here.

What to do

There are ways to alleviate separation anxiety.

  • No big goodbyes- try to avoid contact with your pet before you leave, the goodbyes are more for you, and if you make it a big deal they will see it that way
  • No big hello’s- same as goodbyes, when you get home ignore your dog for a few minutes, don’t immediately jump and pet them
  • Get them used to it- start by leaving for 5 minutes, then 20 and then a whole day
  • Leave a something of yours behind- a shirt you slept in, or anything that smells like you
  • Feed them right before you leave and they will associate you leaving with something positive
  • Take long walks before you leave- tired them and they can spend the time away from you contently napping
  • Some people prefer to crate their pooch to give them a sense of security

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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?

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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