Monthly Archive:: October 2009

Recycle + Re-use with Antler Chews

Digging Dog at Biergarten at The Standard Hotel NYC We spotted this adorable and clearly bored dog last week outside of Biergarten at The Standard Hotel in New York City. He was having quite the time rearranging the flower beds possibly searching for Scooby snacks that had been left by other guests. Whatever he was digging for, I am sure he was motivated by a host of reasons, not the least of which was boredom.

Mr. Spots here drew quite a crowd as he inspected and subsequently shredded the plants in the planter box. If only mom and dad had provided him with a little somethin' somethin' to keep him busy whilst they dined, they likely could have avoided what certainly was a very dirty dog at the end of the evening.

Chews Wisely

Free from dyes, preservatives and the typical smelly-dog-treat- smell, Antler Chews have become one of my favorite new super durable dog chews for my Schmoo and Zazou, particularly if I am going to be leaving them alone for a bit of time. Naturally shed from deer, the antlers natural, preservative-free composition doesn't leave stains on carpets, floors or doggies' muzzles and the antlers are nutrient-packed and marrow-filled, providing a source of calcium. Antler Chews

Starting about $5, you can find Antler Chews at Muttropolis.

Top 3 Interactive, Durable Dog Toys to Beat Bowser Boredom

The Bouncy Bone

Many of us have learned the hard way that a bored dog can be not only hazardous to your furniture, but also hazardous to your favorite sling-backs and quite possibly your neighbor’s aural threshold for excessive barking.

With all of us working long hours to ensure recession-resilience, some our beloved four-legged family members may be engaging a bit more me-time than they’d prefer.

Busy Buddy Dog Toys to the Rescue

My frenetic 3-year old Vizsla, Zazou, requires a host of daily outlets for his energy or it’s curtains for him. Literally. He will be all up in the curtains when we’re not home. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are key to maintaining our pets positive mental and emotional state of mind, so I’ve tried out a bunch of interactive dog toys on him to keep him engaged when we’re out.  A number of the toys I've tested have been a big disappointment, as Zazou is often able to quickly eliminate all “interactive functions” of the toy with a couple of well-placed, well-executed chomps.

In search of a durable and tough interactive dog toy that might last more than 15 minutes, I was thrilled discover the super tough Busy Buddy and Everlasting interactive and functional treat dispensing dog toys – all of which have enabled me to manage home alone mania without breaking the bank.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

1) The Bouncy Bone
The durable Bouncy Bone is composed of a durable nylon bone, a rubber ball and replaceable, long lasting Gnawhide® treats. Unlike other dog toys that have a life-span of approximately 3 minutes, the Bouncy Bone is still going strong after six months and its still got lots of Bounce left! Starting at $5.
Kibble Nibble
2) Kibble Nibble Activity Ball
Zazou bumps this thing around my office all day long. And better yet – its rubber bumpers minimize noise and marks on floors and walls (…but they don’t eliminate his whining when he manages to roll it under the couch). The Kibble Nibble encourages Zazou to work for his food and it mentally stimulates him by appealing to his natural prey and stalking drive. We’re going on 4 months with the Kibble Nibble and it’s still righteously rolling. Zazou has even learned to place it on the top of my desk once he’s emptied it! Starting at $22.

3) The Everlasting Fire Plug Dog Toy
Made of highly durable, tear-resistant proprietary material, Zazou absolutely loves this toy whether we fill it with the Everlasting Treats or other treats he enjoys for a chewing

Everlasting Fire Plug Toy

challenge. The unique design of this toy allows it to roll erratically…indeed so erratically that Zazou rolled it down our driveway rendering it MIA until it magically reappeared 2 weeks ago.  Hide them around the house for a fun game of hide & seek, or even feed meals out of them to turn meal time into a game. Starting at $19.

Do you have a favorite, durable interactive dog toy that your dog loves and hasn't destroyed yet? Share your findings in the comments below!

Reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat

Top 8 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Portuguest Water Dog

Earlier this year, President Obama and the first family welcomed Bo the Portuguese Water Dog into their family, particularly for his hypoallergenic coat, since their daughter Malia has allergies. She is not alone in her plight, as approximately 10 percent of Americans are allergic to dog dander … including yours truly, which I discovered just a few months ago. With a household and office full of pets, this explains why I’ve pretty much sneezed my way through life.

While no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic, there are many non-shedding breeds that the American Kennel Club suggests for allergy sufferers, as they produce less dander.  As well, many mixed breeds found in shelters can quite possibly be a mash-up of some of these hypoallergenic breeds (such as my very own rescue mutt Lulu Schmoo, who was found wandering homeless in the streets of Mexico) and be just hypoallergenic enough for you. So if you are specifically looking for a hypoallergenic dog to add to your family, consider your local shelter or peruse Petfinder.com for candidates!

In no particular order, the top eight hypoallergenic breeds according to the AKC are:

1. Portuguese Water Dog
An athletic and active breed, the Portuguese water dog requires daily vigorous exercise. Very intelligent and responsive to obedience training,  their profuse coat requires regular maintenance. It may be kept in the lion clip (the coat on the hindquarters and muzzle are clipped to the skin) or the retriever clip (the entire coat is clipped to one inch in length and follows the outline of the dog).

Bichon Frise 2. Bichon Frise
A naturally gentle and playful dog, they love activity and require regular exercise. Their hair grows continually and does not shed, so extensive grooming is a must to prevent mats.

3. Chinese Crested
Cresteds make alert and playful companions and do well in families with gentle children. However, they are prone to more frequent skin irritations, allergies, and sunburn than a coated dog would experience, so owners should take appropriate precautions.

Irish Water Spaniel4. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish water spaniel is an active and energetic companion and possesses the natural instinct to please, making them elatively easy to train, but regular exercise is important. Their hypoallergenic coats require brushing every few weeks and trimming every two months to neaten and shape the coat.

5. Maltese
Despite their diminutive size, the Maltese tends to be brave and without fear. They are one of the most gentle of all little dogs, but are also full of energy and very playful, making them great family dogs. Maltese should be brushed daily, and groomed often to prevent Maltese Dog Breedmats from forming in their long, white coat.

6. Poodle
Exceptionally smart and active, the Poodle is the only breed that comes in three size varieties, and so can accommodate nearly any size living quarters. Their hypoallergenic coat requires regular professional grooming.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Breet7. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Wheatens tend to be less scrappy than other terriers but they are true terriers and will be more active than many other breeds, enjoying plenty of exercise every day. They relate well to children and can adapt to city, country, and suburban life. The Wheaten is single coated and sheds minimally, but it needs regular grooming to keep its coat mat-free.

Miniaure Schnauzer Dog Breed8. Miniature Schnauzer
While all schnauzers have hypoallergenic coats, the miniature in particular adapts easily to any living situation and loves children if the two are introduced while the dog is under a year of age. Despite their small stature, the miniature schnauzer can give an alarm just as well as a larger dog, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They shed very little, but require grooming every few months.

Did we forget anyone? Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are definitely gaining in popularity as are other breeds. Feel free to share which other breeds might be considered hypoallergenic in the comments section below!

Reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley

Huntington Beach Hosts Surf City Surf Dog Contest

Surf_City_Surf_Dog_Logo Surf City USA hosts Doggie Surf-a-Thon

This Sunday, October 11, from 7am – 2pm, west coast beach bunnies and doggies will converge at Huntington Dog Beach for Surf City Surf Dog to watch Southern California's bravest, water-lovin' canines conquer the waves, all to benefit worthy animal charities such as: Boston Buddies; Boxer Orange County Animal Rescue, Inc.; Coastal German Shepherd Rescue; Cuddly Canines Rescue; Pawsitive Teams – Help Patrick Walk; and the Orange County Humane Society.

Dogs will be competing in one of four heat categories determined by size – small (20 lbs and under), medium (21-40 lbs), large  (41-60 lbs) and x-large (61 lbs and up). Fun awards will also be given away for contestants boasting the best trick, best wipeout (?ouch!) and best crowd-pleaser.

Visitors can also enjoy a variety of other dog-friendly events, including a 2-mile Woofin' Walk, K-9 Kayaking, and dog-and-owner lookalike and costume contests. Interested in attending? Check out their website for more information at SurfCitySurfDog.com

This just in: Bloomin’ + Buggin’ Pet Costumes

Flower dog costume

Muttropolis Caterpillar Dog Costume

How completely REE-diculous is this!? Gerber Daisies have always been a favorite of mine, but on this delightfully goofy dog, 'Chewy,' it looks more like a Goober Daisy.

Looking for creative costume ideas for your pets or two legged goblins this Halloween? Why not dress your dog as this darling Gerber Daisy and your kids and/or other dogs as little bugs or in this case, a caterpillar.

This Flower Dog Costume is made from soft, warm fleece and designed a little looser for a more comfortable fit and easy movement. The separate petal head piece has an adjustable Velcro closure for a perfect fit. The Caterpillar Dog Costume features adjustable velcro closures, a comfy padded back and full coverage for optimal Spooky-ness!

Starting at $36, you can find the Caterpillar Dog Costume and Flower Dog Costume at Muttropolis.com.

Everyone poops. Not everyone has a poop butler.

Doody Calls: The business of pet business

Dog_poop_signI recently came across a strangely interesting statistic stating that more than 300+ companies in the United States and Canada specialize solely in pet poop pick up and removal.…this according to the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (yes, there is such an association…complete with a board of directors). Fondly referring to themselves as “entre-manures” these industrial individuals have created bona fide businesses based purely upon our pet’s “business,” – and considering that 62% of U.S. households own a pet, that’s a whole lotta business coming their way!

My initial assumption about these entre-manures is that they undoubtedly must possess 1) a shovel and 2) a sense of humor  – in order be in the business of “pet business.” Judging from their company names that I managed to scoop up after a bit of Googling, I was clearly accurate in my assumption. While it may appear that I am regressing to seventh grade in sharing my findings, given their ridiculousness, I just had to share these highly amusing and creative company names. Here are my top seven favorites…enjoy!

  1. Minesweepers Pet Waste Removal
  2. ScooperDude
  3. Doodycalls (we can only imagine how they answer the phone: ”Doody Calls!….hold please…)
  4. Dr. Doo
  5. Got Dooky?
  6. Scoopypoo
  7. Doo Bandits

So if you’re looking for a poop butler in your ‘hood, feel free to visit the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists for a pooper scooper near you!

Article reprint courtesy of Animal Planet's The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley