5 Cool Toys for Your Dog This Summer

29 Jun

kong_wubba

Feeling the heat this summer? Us too. We’ve gone from one long, awesome walk, to multiple shorter walks at optimal times during the day (er, that is… in the morning and later in the evening) to beat the heat. We also spend a fair bit of time enjoying the sunshine from the backyard, where Archer has lots of shade to retreat to, and the house is always an option if it gets too hot for her.

As we get set to celebrate Canada Day on Wednesday (and Lucy and Topher await Independence Day on Saturday), we decided to have a look at some awesome summer toys for dogs to enjoy. Why not keep cool with an awesome new toy?

5cooltoys

  1. Wet Wubba, KONG ($9.99)
    We recommend KONG toys for any dog—but especially for heavy chewers. If you tend to go through dog toys fast, you need to start investing in some quality, heavy-duty toys. The Wet Wubba by KONG is just that—typical KONG toughness, but built for enjoyment in the water. It’s easy-to-spot colours and size makes it perfect for retrieving in a pool or on the lake, and the extra neoprene fabric is tough enough for a game of tug-o-war afterward. However, we’d like to take note that this is a retrieval toy and not designed as a chew toy. It’ll stand up to some inevitable chewing, but not as a dedicated chew toy.
  2. Chilly Bone, Multi Pet ($8.99)
    Soak and freeze, and let your pup enjoy this while outside in the yard. The more it melts, the messier it gets! Easy to clean (toss it in the washing machine!) and great for a hot day. It won’t stand up to heavy chewing, but for the price makes a great option for staying cool in the summer.
  3. Tugga Wubba, KONG ($10.49)
    Another awesome toy by Kong, but this one with a little more oomph! Especially great for multiple dogs to play tug-o-war with, dunk this toy in some water and toss. It doesn’t have a squeaker which, depending on your dog, may be a deal breaker. But for a pup-parent who seeks a great toy without the noise, this is for you! Comes in 3 sizes.
  4. Arctic Freeze, Hugs Pet Products ($12)
    A cool option for teething puppies and adult dogs alike! Can be frozen for summer fun, or used as an everyday treat ball (or dare I say both? Freeze some treats inside?). Not for heavy chewers, but great as a treat and even better for teething puppies!
  5. Romp-n-Roll Ball, Jolly Pets ($18.99)
    A big toy and lots of fun! Use it as a floaty in the water or kick it around in the yard, the Romp-n-Roll Ball is large and in charge with a rope attached for even more play options. It’s great any time of year, but we especially like it for it’s easy visibility (and big splash!) in the water.

Reminder: Do Not Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car This Summer!

It has to be said, and we’ll keep saying it over and over and over again until everyone understands the horror of leaving a dog in a hot car. We wrote about it last year, and think it’s worthwhile to come back to each summer. Cars can get really hot really fast. Be a responsible pup-parent and plan ahead! And as always, never ever ever leave your dog in the car unattended.

Review: Poochie Mama Hawaii Collar & Leash

28 Jun

pmh_blue

When you live with a pup who just can’t seem to avoid getting dirty, having a leash and collar that are easily washable becomes key. With Archer—my water-seeking missile on the trails around our neighbourhood—I can understand this wholeheartedly. Sharing in my woes was Joanne (aka Poochie Mama!) in Hawaii with her Golden Doodle, Hana Lei. Hana was a magnet for anything wet, smelly, and especially anything particularly dirty.

So, instead of fighting against the constant washing of Hana Lei’s gear, Joanne decided to be proactive about it and just make her own. Joanne made sure her collars and leashes did three things: they had to be waterproof; they had to be dirt-proof; and most of all, they had to be stink-proof. Poochie Mama Hawaii was born after much trial and error, and started churning out beautiful, waterproof collars to the masses.

Joanne was gracious enough to send a beautiful collar and leash to both Topher and Archer so we could give it a proper testing. With bulldozer Topher and water-maniac Archer, we were sure the collars and leashes would be put through their paces.

pmh_white

Materials

Leather leashes are strong and beautiful, but for dogs that frequent water, leather simply will not do. Fabric leashes are great, but require a run through the washing machine to really get all the dirt and grime out. Beyond that, there isn’t much else material-wise to use for leashes. Poochie Mama Hawaii’s collars are made of a vinyl or urethane coated webbing, but promise to be better than leather, buttery soft, and super flexible.

Offered in glossy or matte finishes, Poochie Mama Hawaii’s collars and leashes are offered in a plethora of beautiful colours and offer two options of hardware, and decorative “bling” options that can really make each order special. Hardware is offered in either nickel-plated zinc die cast (default) or black thermoplastic.

Both the collars and leashes are handmade and manufactured in the USA.

Colours

Both Lucy and I really loved the look of the matte finish—it almost looks like leather, but in really cool, funky colours! Lucy chose a handsome blue for Topher, and it looks great on him. For Archer, the white collar was a great choice. I’m always looking for collars that stand out against her black fur because she’s always running through the trees around the off-leash trails we frequent, and being able to pick her out quickly is an absolute must.

poochie-mama-collar-leashes

Between the glossy and matte colour choices, Poochie Mama Hawaii offers over 20 colours for their collar lines. Customers are free to really personalize their order with the different colour combinations between the collars and leashes, as well as the addition of decorative pieces.

Waterproof, Dirt-Proof, and Stink-Proof

For Joanne and Hana Lei, who live in beautiful Hawaii, where not only are they dealing with sand and dirt, but also saltwater, having a collar and leash that’s easily cleaned was of the utmost importance. The plastic material used makes these collars and leashes an absolute breeze to rinse off after any outing, no matter what mess your pup got into. Because the material is impermeable, there is no lingering smell.

Unfortunately, these collars and leashes won’t solve the problem of a smelly dog—you’ll still have to rinse them down or give them a bath if they get particularly dirty! But this leaves one less thing to worry about.

Durable For Everyday Activities

These collars and leashes are made for the rough-and-tumble dog that can’t help but come home dripping with sand, mud, and whoknowswhat. A quick wipe or a dip in some warm water, and the gear is right as rain again. Overall, we recommend the Poochie Mama Hawaii collars and leashes as a great everyday leash option, especially for any dog routinely romping around in water, sand, or mud! Which, let’s be honest, is a lot of what dogs really want to do on their daily outings.

Take Your Dog To Work Day! 6 Reasons Your Dog Is A Great Co-Worker

25 Jun

bring-your-dog-to-work-day

It’s Take Your Dog To Work Day! Around here, take your dog to work day happens…everyday! Working from home gives us a unique appreciation for our canine coworkers. These days, more and more companies are allowing pets into the office on a regular basis. Bringing pets to work is proving to be a positive influence on the workplace. So, here are a few more reasons why your dog just might be your new favorite coworker.

1. Pets Decrease Your Stress Levels

Both dogs and cats are frequently cited as amazing stress-relievers. Simply looking into the eyes of your dog can melt your worries and deadlines away—for better or worse! A 2012 Virginia Commonwealth University study showed that people who bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of cortisol than those who did not.

As the workday went on, those who brought dogs to work experienced a decline in stress levels of 11% while those who didn’t have a furry friend saw their stress levels rise up to 70% by the end of the day. There’s a reason for this phenomenon: many studies show that simply petting a dog can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin, and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Plus, our dogs can provide a healthy dose of humor while in the office. It’s hard to have a bad day at work when you’ve got an adorable squishy face next to you, ready to cheer you up with a round of puppy kisses.

2. Dogs Make Great Team Builders

Anyone who’s taken their dog for a walk down the street knows, dogs are a social catalyst. Bringing your pup into the office will inevitably lead to striking up more conversations with coworkers who simply want to come by and give your dog some love. A 2010 study from Central Michigan University showed dogs in the workplace can lead to more trust between coworkers, how cool is that?

Personally, I’d take mandatory dog-social hours for strengthening work relationships over any cheesy team-building exercise!

3. They’re Great At Networking

If you routinely bring your pet to work, you may have to start thanking him for your next sale! Dogs not only boost internal morale at companies, they can also help companies bond with outside vendors and clients coming in to visit the office. It makes for a memorable experience, for any outsider!

4. Your Dog Will Increase Your Work Ethic

There are very few of us who would willingly work overtime when we know our pets are waiting anxiously for us at home at the end of the day. But let pets into the office, and suddenly you’re less stressed about making your deadlines and making time for your dog.

5. A Quick Dog Walk For Lunch Can Boost Creativity

We all know that regular exercise improves physical health, and taking a break from the computer for a walk has been proven to deliver mental health benefits. A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found going for a walk can boost creative thinking by as much as 60% compared to sitting! You may not take that walk when on your own at the office, but what if your dog was sitting next to you, with those big puppy eyes? It’s walking time, sucker.

6. They’ll Make You Look Great

Even with all the benefits, there are a few downsides to having your dog at work. Their cuteness can be distracting, and bad for productivity. Plus, as far as coworkers go, they’re the least likely to pull their weight around the office—talk about not being a team player, when they’re sleeping all the time!

But hey, when all your coworker does is sleep and beg for treats, that makes you look pretty great, right? Just make sure he doesn’t eat those TPS reports.