Category Archives: Dog Products

BarkBox!

We here at Dawg House found a GREAT new subscription service that is right up our alley! We think you would love it too.

It’s called BarkBox!

The first step is to go to their website barkbox.com and choose the size of your dog.  Then, you choose your plan (you can pay monthly, every 3 months, every 6 months) and then you get to wait =).  The boxes are shipped on the 15th of every month, and every month you get a bevy of different dog related products geared to the size of your pup.

Somehow, Clio knew that the box was for her!! In this months’ box, we received:

1. Hyper Pet slingshot dog toy that is full size.  Our dogs love it!  You can shoot it really far, which is great for dogs that love to chase and fetch. Plus, it floats!         (hyper-pet.com)

2. A bottle of Nature’s Miracle dog freshening spray that is really light in scent and conditions the coat as well. This one may be more for us, but our dogs love that we snuggle with them more often when they smell better. (ilovenaturesmiracle.com)

3. Acadia Antler–a small company from Maine that collects naturally shed moose antlers from the wilderness.  Moose antlers are the toughest antler, so they will last a long time.  They are non splintering, odor and mess free, and even provide calcium and other trace minerals.  Plus, they are very appealing to your dog—so much so we actually have to bribe our dogs to get it away from them! They have every size and shape available. (acadiaantlers.weebly.com)

5. Milk-Bone Trail Mix–it’s a great snack for the dog on the go! If you hike, bike, or even have a vigorous play session with your pup–this treat is for you! The pieces are small as well, so would work great as a training treat. (milkbone.com)

6. Bocce’s Bakery treats–called Elvis treats! They are peanut butter, banana and bacon. Yes. You read that right. But they’re not for you–they’re for your dog. (boccesbakery.com)

Hopefully you all will give this service a try—in addition to getting a great box of interesting treats and toys, learning about new products from mainstream companies, and supporting a variety of  small companies, 10% of the proceeds are donated to an animal rescue group.

What could be better than that? Finnegan says “nothing”!!

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Diatomaceous Earth / Pest Control

At Dawg House, we work hard to keep our playroom, boarding kennels, lobby, and parking lot all very clean and pest-free. Every chemical cleaner we use is specifically manufactured for use in dog daycare and boarding areas. But when it comes to pests like ticks, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and other no-see-ums, there are not that many effective control products, and even fewer that can be used with safety and confidence in rooms where dogs play and sleep.

...gross.

This year was particularly bad for ticks. Though we use vet-recommended products on our own dogs, we’re still seeing the occasional tick trying to find a good place on them for lunch. Ticks are also occasionally hitching a ride inside the playroom on our furry guests, even though we know our clients are vigilant about keeping their dogs up to date on Frontline and other tick (and flea) control products.

A pile of D.E.

We did some research on safe alternatives and ended up using Diatomaceous Earth. Here’s a description from Wikipedia:

Diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite or kieselgur, is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. Diatomite is also used as an insecticide, due to its physico-sorptive properties. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate. Arthropods die as a result of the water pressure deficiency. It is most commonly used in lieu of boric acid, and can be used to help control and eventually eliminate cockroach and flea infestations.”

There are two types of the DE as well.  We utilized the food grade, which means, if ingested, it is perfectly safe.  Many people actually consume about a teaspoon of the product per day, along with sprinkling that much on their dogs food, to kill any internal parasites and also to make dogs’ waste less palatable to other dogs.

The common ways people use DE to control pet-pests is to sprinkle it along the base of walls, inside dog crates, on dog beds, and sometimes rubbing it into their fur (though rubbing it on their fur can dry their skin out a little). DE commonly needs about 2 weeks to get rid of all pests, but it’s a great alternative to “bombing” or “spraying” chemicals around pet areas or your entire house. We have had terrific results here at Dawg House!

So, if you happen to notice a white substance around the base of the walls in the playroom, inside the crates, or on the bottom of your dogs feet—you know what it is! We’re not horrible housekeepers—we put it there on purpose :).

We purchased a 5 pound bag of human-grade (edible) DE here in Tucson at OK Feed for about $6 bucks.

  • If you have asthma or some other lung ailment, either wear a mask or be very careful when using food grade diatomaceous earth.

  • Do NOT get diatomaceous earth in the eyes. DE is drying to the eyes, so do NOT put it out when you or your pets are down wind of it. DE is drying to your skin, hands, and feet, just as it can be to your pets.

  • Do NOT give to very small pregnant animals such as cats, guinea pigs, etc. and do NOT feed continually to babies or small animals such as cats, hamsters, etc. DE can be fed on a continuous basis to larger animals and livestock for continuous parasite control and mineralization.

  • Do NOT use heavily in carpet. Some advise too much DE causes vacuum problems.

  • NEVER use pool filter grade DE around animals. It can poison or kill them.

  • Some people experience a healing crisis (detox reaction) when beginning DE consumption. If this occurs, reduce the dose, till your body is cleansed, and then increase to the RDA.

  • Remember, DE will kill beneficial insects as well, so use accordingly.

Resources:

http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/diatearth.htm

http://www.wolfcreekranch.net/diatomaceous_earth.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth

New Addition + Gentle Leader

A couple of weeks ago, Christopher and I welcomed a new addition into our family.  She is an almost 1 1/2 year old Australian Shepherd mix.  She came with the name “Miss Bella”, but didn’t seem particularly attached or responsive to Bella, so we renamed her Clio (at the suggestion of my 6 year old niece).  My first dog’s name was Bella, so it didn’t feel right anyway.

The first couple of days when she joined us on our family morning walks,  I leashed up Finnegan with the Gentle Leader that I used every time I walk him.  Clio only weighs 40 lbs, though….how much trouble could she be? I hooked the leash directly to her collar and off we went.

Saw our first bird—she went ballistic.  Saw our first dog behind a fence—she went ballistic.  Saw a dog about 100 feet away—you guessed it.  During the week, Christopher and I walk the dogs alone, and he was having the same experience.  Her form of ballistic was quite graceful and ballet-like…flipping into the air while “singing” in a LOUD falsetto voice. Not what I was going for at all.

So, off to the pet store to get a Gentle Leader.  So many people through the years of owning Dawg House have asked me about leash training.  It is quite common to simply want to go for a nice walk with your dog,  and have it quickly turn into a nightmare.  Reactivity on the leash happens all the time; the Gentle Leader can really help with that.

In addition to preventing your dog from pulling (it works much like a horse bridle and reigns—your dog pulls and he/she ends up pulling herself in a circle, back at you), but it also works with pressure points on the dogs head to give a calming effect.  You have complete control of your dogs’ head as well, so if they are helping themselves to one of life’s many “treats” they may find on the ground, you can immediately pull their snout away.

This gadget really works so well…and most dogs take to it pretty immediately.  Occasionally, you’ll get some protest…but once your dog realizes that putting the Gentle Leader on means WALKIES!!, they get over that pretty quickly.  It also gives the advantage of choosing if you want to simply go for nice walk for exercise and fun, or for a training walk to work on commands and control with your dog.  You can do either immediately, and that changes everything.

So, got home with the Gentle Leader (in a medium! I’ve never had a dog this small since my childhood dog Winston!), put it on her…and her entire demeanor changed.  I think it actually gave her a physical reminder that there were boundaries, and she needed that SO badly.  She didn’t need to be so wild and out of control and it visibly made her more content.

Now…if it would only help to teach her boundaries in the house…”No, Clio, whatever is on the kitchen counter is NOT a snack for you…”

Ice Cream Recipe for Dogs!

Sammy’s mom brought us a recipe for Dog Ice Cream based on Frosty Paws, and since the we’re in the middle of summer, it’s a good time to share! Thanks to Sammy’s mom!

Dogs are not supposed to eat dairy products (yogurt is OK), so you’ll notice this isn’t a real ice cream recipe, but a nice substitute that you keep in the freezer and serve up cold as a treat. You can use ice cube trays, Dixie cups, a muffin or cupcake tray, or popsicle molds…

Yogurt contains much less lactates than regular milk, and the live cultures are great for dogs’ digestive systems (in fact, we put a spoonful of yogurt in our dogs’ food every morning and it keeps their tummies nice).

Ingredients: 32 oz plain yogurt, 1 mashed banana, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of honey (local honey is preferred) .

Instructions: Mix everything together in a blender and dump into your mold. (You can also pour and freeze inside a Kong toy!). Freeze.

Serve up cold! Try not to let them eat too fast or your dogs will get a brain freeze!

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Hope Animal Shelter is Tucson’s only no-kill, cage free shelter for cats and dogs.  It was founded by Dr. Daroowalla of Benarda Veterinary Hospital.  Dr. Daroowalla was one of the first holistic vets in the Old Pueblo, and she has … Continue reading

Apps to Keep Your Dog Healthy, Active and, Maybe, Quiet

This was a great article in the New York Times sent to us by Izzy’s mom! Enjoy!


by Bob Tedeschi

I’m part owner of a nervous little dog with a bark like an ice pick through my brain and a tendency to use that weapon at random, several times a day.

Pippi, who is officially my wife’s dog, also has a fondness for dark chocolate. And when we make the mistake of leaving it within her reach, her behavior approximates that of a barking cocaine addict. During those moments I sometimes wonder whether she might actually expire.

Smartphones can now answer that question with great precision and perform many other dog-related tasks because of apps like Pet First Aid ($4 on iPhone, $3 on Android) and PupTox ($1 on iPhone).

Others, like iSqueek ($2 on iPhone), Squeaky Fun Time (free on Android) and Dog Whistler (free on iPhone and Android) are meant to interact directly with your pet and may even help shorten your dog’s barking jags.

A third category of apps is meant to give your dog’s social life a little boost (as in the free Dog Park Finder for the iPhone) or let you leverage your pup to strengthen your own social network.

Here, DogBook is the one to watch. Free and only for the iPhone, this is the mobile version of the DogBook service on Facebook, which lets dog owners post profiles of their pets and connect with other canine lovers.

The app is promising, but flawed. You can search for Facebook friends who have also joined DogBook. But when I searched the list, very few had actually posted profiles of their dogs.

The app displays the profiles of your friends’ pets, but if my friends are any indication, these profiles offer limited (and not very entertaining) information. You can also view profiles of dogs who live near you, but because they belong to strangers, the information is even less interesting.

The search feature is marginally entertaining, though, because you can search for specific dog names and breeds and see how many people within a certain geographic area own animals like yours.

A more useful tool for socially minded dog owners is Dog Park Finder, which puts the content of DogGoes.com into a mobile-friendly format. The free version of the iPhone app shows the location of roughly 2,600 dog parks, including those closest to you. Dog Park Finder Plus ($2) adds about 2,500 dog-friendly hiking spots and beaches. (Hey Walkies, a highly rated and free iPhone app, offers similar features, but is limited to New York City users.)

What if you’re out with your dog and it eats something toxic, like, perhaps, someone’s stash of dark chocolate?

Here is where PupTox and, to a greater extent, Pet First Aid come in handy. The apps can save you from a frantic trip to the veterinarian’s office.

Pet First Aid offers users a list of hazardous substances for household pets and points out toxic elements you may otherwise overlook. Avocados and antifreeze, for instance, can be toxic for pets.

The list includes a section on chocolate, where you can calculate the lethal dosages for dogs of certain weights. The app further differentiates between milk chocolate and pure chocolate.

Pet First Aid includes a section for adding veterinary contacts and pet identifications, and lists vaccinations and other information. One of its developers is also the publisher of PetCPR.com, which offers pet health advice.

Far bigger online publishers are also pushing their content to mobile phones, including AOL, which produces the free Paw Nation. This polished, useful iPhone app is technically pet-agnostic, but the information skews heavily in the direction of dogs.

Users can choose from several categories of stories and videos, including pieces on animal nutrition and health, celebrity pets and question-and-answer sessions with veterinarians and specialists from the American Kennel Club.

Some recent features include advice for giving dogs ibuprofen and Benadryl, tips for owners of snoring canines and guidance on why a dog’s ears can get smelly. (Tips: smelly ears can be cured with medicine, but you’re more likely to need a surgeon to get rid of snoring.)

App developers haven’t built programs for your dog to play with your device, as they have done with cats. But iSqueek and Squeaky Fun Time are close, in that they can at least attract your dog’s attention.

ISqueek, for instance, includes interactive photos of 18 different squeaky toys. The toys were true to life and annoying. Perhaps predictably, Pippi was quickly drawn to the sound when I tapped the toys. Squeaky Fun Time offered uninspired graphics and less sound control, but it was free and the closest thing to iSqueek that I could find on the Android platform.

The app that held the most promise for me was, likewise, free. Dog Whistler emits high-pitched tones that you can tweak in various ways, especially on the iPhone version, so you can train your dog to, for instance, not threaten your sanity with incessant barking.

The app receives mixed reviews, so I was prepared for the worst. (As one iTunes reviewer wrote, “It doesn’t work on the dog, but it really annoys my brother.”)

I opened Dog Whistler and waited for my daughter’s school bus to unload in front of our house — a trigger for Pippi’s most frantic barking. When it did, and Pippi started growling, I pointed the iPhone at her and hit the whistle.

Man, did it hurt my ears, but it didn’t keep her from barking.

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