Good Dogs & Co.’s Best of 2015

17 Dec

best-of-2015

It’s that time again: we’re about to settle in for our short winter nap for the holidays. We hope you have all enjoyed this past year with us, as we grew into a thriving community of dogs and their people. Our reader survey is also still going: we’d really love your feedback as we start planning our content for next year!

We have lots in store for everyone in the new year, and it’s sure to be another wonderful 365 days! Until then, we hope you enjoy the best this past year had to offer, all packed into one post.

Treat Recipes

  • Sweet Potato Fries with Coconut and Turmeric
  • 3 Kong Filler Recipes

DIYs

  • Make Your Own Paw Wax & Snout Conditioner
  • How to Sew Your Own Dog Collar

Reader Stories

  • Meet Pippin, the Rescue Dog Who Climbs Mountains
  • Gentle Giants: Meet Moses the Great Dane

Health

  • Growing Your Own Dog Friendly Herb Garden
  • How to Exercise with Your Dog

Reviews

  • Dog + Bone Martingale Collars and Leashes
  • Review: The Odin Treat Puzzle Toy

Training

  • Do’s & Don’ts When Training A New Puppy
  • Training Hand Signals for Teaching Deaf Dogs

Just For Fun

  • 6 Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding
  • Watercolor Tattoo Ideas for Dog Lovers

2015 Ornament Roundup for Dog Lovers

12 Dec

ornament

When you have a big dog, there isn’t really a need to litter your house with reminders that you’ve got a dog. The dog itself is one hefty (130 lb) reminder to all guests that, indeed, you have a dog and that dog is a big part of your family—and I mean that figuratively and quite literally.

So when it comes to the holidays, some gifts can just get too big. For me, it’s not about loudly shouting from the rooftops that we are indeed “Great Dane people” but including subtle reminders that Archer is a big part of our family, our lives, and is right there with us to celebrate!

That’s right. It’s time to roundup some lovely ornaments for dog lovers!

  1. Handcrafted Wire Dog Bone from DeighanDesign ($16)
  2. We actually reviewed this product earlier in the year under a different Etsy name, but it’s the same maker under a new shop that’s bringing these beautiful little ornaments to you.
  3. Dog Christmas Ornament from Puffin Patchwork ($12.50)
  4. Don’t worry, they have more than just Scotties! And they are all equally as adorable!
  5. Personalized Dog Bone Glass Ornament from Frontgate ($19.50)
  6. I’m absolutely in love with this elegant ornament. I think it would look lovely on any tree, no matter what your style!
  7. Snow Beagle Round Ceramic Ornament from Zazzle (18.50)
  8. The artwork from this artist is absolutely darling. Artwork by Jenn’s Doodle World, and she offers much more adorable things with these designs.
  9. Dachshund Christmas Tree Ornament from Red Barn Australia ($10.40)
  10. Cats and dachshunds and pugs, oh my! Some lovely woodcut ornaments available to decorate your tree.
  11. Starlight Starbright Ornament Plush Toy from BarkBox ($9)
  12. And of course, something for your pup to enjoy! No gift guide would be complete without a little something for the dog you love!

10 Stylish Gifts for Dogs & Dog Lovers

10 Dec

stylish-gifts-for-dogs

that goofy guy a whole lot. He has his own ornament on the tree, his picture is the lock screen image on my phone, and I do own that sweater that says “ask me about my dog.” You could call me a crazy dog lady and not be too far off.

However, there are a lot of gifts for “dog lovers” that are just…too much. Even for me. Though crazy dog lady I may be, I also like things declaring my love for Topher to be just a little more stylish than your average painting of dogs playing poker.

Likewise, one thing that always sticks out like a sore thumb in my house: dog toys. Usually bright and odd colors, torn apart and covered in drool, they’re always the first thing I want to put away when company’s coming over, and they’re the thing my dog wants to pull out and give to that company. People are over! Let’s play with whatever toy is the ugliest, most slobbered on thing we can find!

Today we’re rounding up stylish gifts for dogs or the dog lovers in your life, with just a touch more style. If you don’t have any dogs or dog lovers in your life, you can buy all these gifts for us! Just kidding. Sort of.

  1. Dog Lover Great Dane Breed T-Shirt, from Golden Doodle Goods ($27)
    Wear these shirts as a line art homage to your favorite breeds! Or, if line art isn’t your style, we quite like the more geometric styles of Golden Doodle Goods more recent t-shirt designs as well, like this American Pit Bull shirt, or the ever-popular Pug.
  2. The Odin, from Up Dog Toys ($23)
    There isn’t any toy we could think of that’s got more style and versatility than the Odin, a toy that hit the market this year and fast tracked itself up our list of favorite toys for Topher and Archer. Read our review of the Odin to learn more about this treat ball created with design in mind.
  3. A Bottle of Red Wine Blend, from Chateau La Paws ($12.99)
    Who doesn’t like to unwind on the couch with their dog and a glass of wine at the end of the day? If this sounds like you or a friend’s idea of time well spent, consider gifting a bottle of Chateau La Paws for the holidays. Plus, you’ll be supporting no-kill shelters in the process!
  4. McCadden Bandana, from Billy Wolf ($25)
    For classic, yet fashion forward styles, look no further than Billy Wolf. We love their bandanas, and the McCadden is a classic color palette that’s perfect for all seasons, so you can explore and take walks in style.
  5. The Dogist Book ($17.11)
    Featuring the photography of Elias Weiss Friedman, creator of The Dogist Instagram account, The Dogist book is a tribute to the beloved dogs in our lives. It showcases photos and encounters not seen on the Instagram account, and some truly heartwarming tales.
  6. Do Your Best Hoodie, from Camp Cloon ($32.58)
    For the dog who really wants to get those commands right, they can tell the world they’re trying really hard. I might buy this hoodie for Topher just for the little extra inspiration it might provide us in class.
  7. In Dogs We Trust Print, from Camp Cloon ($12.63)
    Speaking of Camp Cloon products, show off where your true loyalties lie with this map art print. Bill Murray certainly had the right of it in saying, “I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.”
  8. Red Heart Good Karma Rope Dog Toy, from Jax & Bones ($12)
    With so many animals in need of our love and care, maybe you want a gift that will do double duty this season. When you purchase this rope toy for your pup, Jax and Bones donates a 10% of the proceeds to rescue groups to help homeless animals find their forever home. Karma, indeed!
  9. Oaked Bitter Orange Room Spray, from Sydney Hale Co. ($15)
    It’s no secret that we love Sydney Hale Co.’s candles. They’re well designed, smell fantastic, and burn forever. But we know that open flames might not be for everyone, so we were thrilled to find you can now get all their best scents in room spray form!
  10. BarkBox Subscription ($19/month)
    We sing the praises of BarkBox very often, so you may know this tune. However, we think there’s no better gift for a pet parent than this curated box of USA-made goodies. Spice up your dog’s life with toys you might never find in the aisles of that big box pet store.

5 Silly Gifts for Dog Lovers

6 Dec

silly header

As a dog owner, you’ve probably seen it all by now. When it comes to gifts, there’s a huge selection for dogs and pup-parents that range from adorable to downright insane. It’s a delicate balance to choose a gift that’s funny without being kitsch. So we’ve done the leg-work and found our picks for downright silly gifts for dog lovers (and their dogs) that are actually worth checking out this holiday season!

Some are certain to bring a smile to your face. So spread some cheer, and get goofy!

  1. Squeaky Dog Donuts, Uncommon Goods ($18)
    You don’t give your dog people-food, and that’s great! But a little harmless donut-indulgence via toy would make for quite the happy puppy on Christmas morning!
  2. Grinz Ball, Rogz ($10)
    Be honest, these made you smile.
  3. Handmade Dog Slippers, Uncommon Goods ($58)
    We’ll file these under “perfectly weird” and call it a day. For the dog lover who is also a puppet enthusiast… or maybe a wacky sock enthusiast? Who knows.
  4. Year of the Critter 2016 Calendar in Corgi, ModCloth ($13)
    Is 2016 the Year of the Corgi? Ah yes, the forgotten Chinese Zodiac.
  5. Mad Dog Coasters, BarkShop ($29)
    Did you expect me to set my drink down on the table like some animal? Featuring the vintage artwork of Constance Depler Coleman, this coaster is perfect beneath a masterfully mixed Old Fashioned. Cheers!

And with that, go forth and be silly!

10 Non-Rawhide Dog Chews for the Holiday Season

3 Dec

holiday-chews-for-dogs

During the holidays, our pets always get a little extra love from their “grandparents.” Last year, Topher got the biggest rawhide chew I’d ever seen in my life. I have some mixed feelings about rawhide, but since we were home and able to supervise him we went ahead and let Topher go to town. He loved it, of course, and it took him three or four days to finish it off—with no ill effects that we could see.

Still, it started me thinking about what we can do to steer people towards more healthy options for our pets in the holiday season. Step one? Talking about what you do and don’t feed your dog. We never mentioned our aversion to rawhide chews, so how were my (non-dog-owner) parents to know?

This year, we’ll plan on doing a better job at pointing some different options out, if they want to get Topher some extra goodies over the holidays.

But what about the present we’ll be giving our own dogs this year? Maybe instead of being tempted to buy that giant red, green, and/or white rawhide for your dog to chow down on this Christmas, how about trying some more natural holiday treats and chews? Here are some of our favorite non-rawhide dog chews we’ve tried with our dogs.

Nylabones & Hard Digestible Chews

Hard toys like Nylabones or Benebones are a great option for high intensity chewers, aka dogs that will chew anything and everything, and want to chew all the time. Topher is a heavy chewer like this, so we almost always have some kind of hard chew like this in our rotation. You can get Nylabones in flavors or plain, and there’s a bunch of varieties to choose from.

1. Nylabone Holiday Dura Chew ($14.99)
2. Benebone Rotisserie Chicken Flavored Chew Toy ($11.59)

What’s a Benebone? We reviewed this up and coming line of chews earlier in the year.

Bully Sticks

A good bully stick can last anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes, to several days, depending on your dog’s chewing tendencies. Topher, a heavy chewer, can go through an extra large bully stick in about an hour. Bully sticks are a great extra treat for the holiday season, because they’re just as affordable as your average rawhide!

Plus, over at Best Bully Sticks they have some holiday varieties that are a fun change, even though they don’t come in red or green. We had the opportunity to try a few of these holiday varieties, and they hold up just as well as their regular bully stick counterparts.

3. Bully Stick Candy Cane ($3.59)
4. Bully Stick Crown/Wreath ($6.99)
5. 12 Inch Braided Gullet Stick ($3.49)

Still not convinced? Here’s our full review of Best Bully Sticks’ bully chews.

Antlers

Antlers are natural chews that can stand up to tons of abuse. They contain no preservatives or additives, yet are still enticing to dogs without artificial ingredients. Some antlers are also a natural source of essential nutrients like calcium, glucosamine, and chondrotin. So for Christmas this year, why not try giving your pup a little piece of Donner or Blitzen to chew on?

6. Large Elk Antler ($12.79)
7. Medium Moose Antler ($9.99)

Never given your dog an antler before? Read our pros and cons roundup of popular chews on the market to see if an antler is the right option for your pup.

Durable Toys

Supplying your dog with one tough, high quality chew toy could reduce your need to buy them other chews by a pretty large margin. Many of these toys are fillable—you just need to add a little incentive, and let your dog go to town. Instead of the rawhide cane, invest in one of these toy options for your heavy chewer at home that’s built to last through more than New Year’s Day.

8. KONG Extreme Dog Toy ($10.42)
9. Zogoflex Tux Toy ($16.50)
10. Zogoflex Hurley Dog Bone ($10.95)

Not sure if Zogoflex will stand up to your extreme chewer? Read our love letter to this tried and true West Paw Design toy line.