9 Summer Tips for Your K9

  STAY COOL IN THE

It’s hot this summer so be sure to keep cool but don’t forget about your furry best friend during your dip in the pool. Here are some tips brought to you by dog experts Cesar Milan and Tamar Geller on how to care for your hot dog this summer!

 

1. Exercise at sunrise or sunset- Are you an Early Bird? Night Owl? Use it to your advantage and sneak in a walk either early morning or late at night to avoid the scorching heat of mid-day.

2. Use doggie boots- As the sidewalk can be hot, be sure to protect your dog’s paws with boots. Were lovin’ these kicks- and they’re a fashion statement too! 

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3. Beware of dog dehydration- Dogs cool themselves by panting so be sure to check for signs of panting hard, staggering gait, rapid heartbeat, dazed look, restlessness, dark red or purple gums and/or tongue, vomiting, excessive drool, bloodshot eyes, and lethargic behavior- these are all signs of dehydration.

4. Have water handy- Throw us a bone here, or just a drop of H2O every so often. Make sure to carry a water bottle while on your walk. You can even strap it onto a doggy vest which can double to cool down your pup.

p-3605-73758K_005 5. Keep it shady- Be sure to take breaks in the shade if your dog has been out in the sun for a while. Set up a fan or sprinkler to allow your dog a bit of relief from the rays. If theres no shade in sight, create some with this handy pet canopy.

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6. Start from the bottom- Dogs cool from the bottom up so be sure to spray from underneath when rinsing off. Try laying down a cool wet towel for your canine pal to lay on and rest.

7. Let em’ dig- By nature, dogs dig to keep cool so if they start digging at the ground, let em’ go!

8. Let them test the weather- Let them out for a bit before your walk to feel the weather for themselves. They will understand better why they are going for a shorter walk than usual if they assess the weather beforehand.

9. Dogs can swim too- Next time you go for a dip to cool off, bring your pup. Swimming can be another great form of exercise for dogs if they are comfortable in pools. Keep it safe with a flotation device!

Click here to read more from our experts Cesar Milan and Tamar Geller!

Comment below how you’re keeping your dog cool this summer:

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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!

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

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

How to: Choose a pet sitter

One of the biggest challenges we face as dog parents is how to choose a pet sitter. Who will we entrust our four legged family member to? We all know we settle for nothing but the best. Knowing your pet is properly taken care of will give you ease of mind, and less stress when travelling.

The first question we are faced with is usually pet sitter vs. doggie day care. Today we are going to tackle pet sitters.

Pet sitters are good option for households with more than one pet, or with a dog that feels most comfortable at home. (Plus they water your plants, bonus!)

There are some sites that provide this service and some even vet their sitters (such as Pet Sitters International,Pet Sitters Network, Pet Pop, National Association of Professional Pet Sitters), but even so we always like to ask our potential pet sitters some important questions:

  1. Is the pet sitter insured and bonded?
  2. Does the pet sitter provide client references? (aim for at least 3)
  3. Will the pet sitter use a pet-sitting services agreement or contract?
  4. Is the pet sitter a Certified Professional Pet Sitter (CPPS) and/or has he or she participated in pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
  5. How do you ensure your dog does not go missing in your care?
  6. Do you have a plan in the event that your dog does go missing?
  7. Is there a backup person that can provide care for your dog?
  8. Why do you like being a pet sitter?
  9. Will you also play with my dog, or just come for walks?
  10. How many other pets are you currently sitting for?

What other questions do you ask? Tell us about your experiences or and advice you have in the comments below!

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

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