Review: Dog + Bone Black Label Collars & Leashes (and a Giveaway!)

7 Mar

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It’s been exactly one year since we first reviewed and fell head over heels in love with the Martingale Collars & Leashes from Dog + Bone. Even longer since we reviewed car odor eliminator products from SafeSpace. Lucy and I were both so pleased with the quality, style, and durability of our first sets of Dog + Bone products that they became our go-to gear. We were elated when Ivan and Anne (the faces behind the Dog + Bone brand) came to us for another review. This time, for their new Black Label edition of collars and leashes.

With all the same features we’ve come to know and love from Dog + Bone, the new Black Label edition of martingale collars, snap collars, and adjustable leashes have a lot to offer. We’re so excited to review them for you today, and give an update on just how durable the entire Dog + Bone line can be after a year of rigorous wear!

Style Simplified

When Dog + Bone first hit the market, they quickly made headlines with their bright and colourful style. There is no mistaking a Dog + Bone collar, and I can’t tell you how many compliments we receive about how fantastic Archer looks in her purple and hot pink martingale collar. Quite honestly, there are no other collars quite like them.

With their new Black Label comes the same unbeatable quality and durability, but with a more subdued colour palette. Whereas their initial line of colourful collars and leashes are akin to your favourite happy hour cocktail, their new Black Label is like a fine whiskey. It’s stylish but simple.

Built to Last

It’s one thing to put a product through its paces for a few weeks, but it’s a completely different ballgame when you have a full year to test it out. To be blunt, our first set of Dog + Bone collars and leashes were put to the ultimate test with Topher and Archer’s daily walks, obedience training, weekends at the cottage, and romps on outdoor trails. With large dogs, there really is no such thing as staying clean. Thankfully, as great as Dog + Bone collars look, all it takes is a quick wash (read: throw that dirty collar in with your next load of laundry) and voilà! Good as new!

Let’s talk about durability. Not just regular durability, but the kind of wear and tear and whoa that comes with using the Dog + Bone martingale collar and adjustable leash for Topher’s reactive dog class. Think 100 lbs of drooling anxiety lunging forward, and then repeat that scenario weekly for about a year. At the end of the day, Topher is still happily strutting his stuff in his red and blue martingale collar with neither worse for the wear.

Room to Grow

These collars stood up great to the wear and tear Archer and Topher put them through, but more than that, they’ve proven to be perfect for a growing puppy. At six months old it was difficult to find an appropriate collar for Sirius to grow into; likewise for Topher’s “cousin” Duncan. Thankfully, both the snap collar and martingale collar offer ample room to adjust and grow.

Likewise, the adjustable leash is all about offering flexibility. With Sirius’ puppy class, he had to have a 6 foot leash for good leash training, whereas we prefer using a shorter leash for Archer on walks (she’s so tall, we don’t need all the extra slack!). No matter your preference or style, the adjustable leash fits the bill.

Something for Everyone

The addition of the new Black Label line to Dog + Bone’s already stellar line of martingale collars, snap collars, and adjustable leashes makes this an easy win for us. In over a year—despite our best efforts to put these products through hell and back—we just haven’t found anything to complain about. Whether you’re drawn to the bright bold colours of the original line, or the suave and understated elegance of the Black Label, Dog + Bone has a little something for every pup!

Enter To Win a Dog + Bone Martingale Collar and Leash!

It’s time to share the love! Want to win an awesome martingale collar and leash from Dog + Bone? Entering is simple! Comment below or on our Instagram (that’s right, two chances to win!) and tell us which colour combination is your favourite from Dog + Bone’s new Black Label line!

The Odin Toy

12 Jul

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We introduced you to Up Dog Toys and their first product, The Odin, back in October of 2014. We were lucky enough to get a first look at this new toy—just coming out of its development stages—as it went to Kickstarter to be a publicly funded project. The Odin easily met its backing goals, and was on its way to production not long after!

Today, we get the chance to show off The Odin toys the awesome folks behind Up Dog Toys sent us, give you a taste of what we thought of them, and give you a chance to win your own with a giveaway!

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The Perfect Treat Ball

The Odin is marketed as a treat ball, and it performs as advertised in that regard! Whether your pup is small, medium, or large (or in our case, giant!), this treat ball will do the job. It’s meant to be rolled around like a geometric soccer ball and both our lovely testers were quick to do just that.

The Odin doesn’t stay in one spot. A little nudge, and it moves! But it doesn’t roll all over the house, either. It’s movements are irregular, which keeps dogs on their toes! Both Archer and Topher seemed to take it the treat ball quick, pawing at it and picking it up to shake out the treats inside.

This toy is not marketed as a chew. While it’s rugged enough to stand up to both Archer and Topher, it isn’t meant to be chewed on for lengthy periods of time. There have been some reports of some excessive chewing doing damage to the toy (as it would any non-chew toy), but Up Dog Toys is already on that and promises a 1-time no-questions-asked replacement should you require it. We think that’s awesome, and commend Up Dog Toys for jumping on the possible issue immediately.

Designed for Possibilities

One feature that we found really cool from the moment we heard about The Odin back in October of last year was that it was cleverly designed to build off other Odin toys. The Odin is able to connect with two more Odin toys (one on either side). It allows owners to connect a few toys together with different treats, and let the dog work them out. When The Odin is attached to another toy, it changes the way it can move around, and changes up the strategy for getting out treats.

Designed to Look Good

Hey, it’s important to give credit where it’s due, and when it comes to The Odin, we have to applaud Up Dog Toys for a really fun, beautiful design. While we love that the toy was designed to attach to other Odin toys, the attention to detail didn’t stop there. To be honest, The Odin is a beautiful looking toy. It doesn’t feel out of place in the living room, or stick out like a sore thumb. It’s black colour and sleek geometric design makes it almost invisible in your regular decor, no matter where it ends up on your home.

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Where Can You Get It?

The Odin is no longer just a perk for Kickstarter backers, although those who backed their campaign did receive the toy long before anyone else (which is awesome)! Today, you can find The Odin on the Up Dog Toys website for $23 (+$5 shipping).

From now until August 30th, members of the Good Dogs & Co. community are encouraged to use our coupon code GOODDOGS10 to receive 10% off their order!

Enter Our Giveaway!

Want an Odin toy of your very own? Entering is simple! Comment below or on our Instagram and tell us what your dog’s favourite toy is (or maybe you’re in the market for a new favourite)!

This contest is now closed.

*U.S. entries only

Review: Poochie Mama Hawaii Collar & Leash

28 Jun

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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.

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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.

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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.

An Ode To West Paw Design’s Zogoflex Toys

18 Jun

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When you own a dog who’s a heavy chewer, you come to realize a few key things. One, the cuter the toy, the more likely it’s going to be destroyed in under a minute. Two, there is simply no stuffed toy on the planet built to withstand their jaws. And three, chewable toys that actually live up to their “indestructible” name are worth their weight in gold, and should be cherished.

Which is why I just continue to be amazed and impressed by West Paw Design’s Zogoflex line of dog toys. We recently received their Tizzi dog toy in our June BarkBox, and it’s holding up wonderfully! So here’s my ode to West Paw Design’s Zogoflex dog toys, one of the best lines of dog toys for heavy chewers we’ve ever encountered.

The Tux & Tizzi Treat Toys

Now seven months after we bought it, the Tux treat toy still has no more than a few treat marks. We stuff the Tux toy with treats whenever anyone comes over to visit, and Topher chews it for hours at a time. It’s the only toy aside from our Kong that’s withstood the true test of time and chewing.

The Tizzi looks to be the same way. I love that you can twist the “legs” of the toy together to make getting to the treats more difficult. Both Topher and Archer are really enjoying it! At our house, we’ll be watching this toy to make sure it can handle Topher’s chewing—the legs make it more vulnerable to being ripped than the Tux—but we’re pretty confident, considering our current track record.

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The Hurley Dog Bone

We bought the Hurley bone to be Topher’s Christmas present last year, because we like to invest in our holiday toys, in hopes we’ll get more out of them. We were not disappointed. Topher chews his Hurley bone as much or more than the Nylabones we usually give him for chewing. It’s a little unbelievable, but the Hurley bone has lasted just as long as the Nylabones. The Hurley definitely shows its share of teeth marks compared to his Tux toy, but it hasn’t shown enough significant wear for us to be worried about it falling apart. How amazing is that?!

West Paw Design’s entire line of Zogoflex toys are also BPA-free, phthalate-free, and non-toxic. This makes them FDA compliant—important when these toys spend so much time in your pet’s mouth. Zogoflex toys are also infinitely recyclable—meaning if you send your worn-out Zogoflex toys back, West Paw recycles them into new Zogoflex toys. The more Zogoflex toys they get back, the greener Zogoflex gets!

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Satisfaction, Guaranteed!

If your Zogoflex product isn’t up to par, West Paw Design also offers a one time guaranteed replacement or refund. I was sure we’d be sending a toy back when I made my first purchase. Now, I’m gleefully ticking off the months that pass until we eventually send back these toys…to be recycled into new toys! I bet they’ll last over a year—quite a feat when most of Topher’s toys get destroyed in less than an hour.

When we first reviewed the Zogoflex toys, I said we’d probably be buying more of the Zogoflex line of toys very soon, and I’m so glad they proved to be such a great toy for Topher. At this rate, we may own the whole Zogoflex line by this time next year.

Review: Instantly Framed Photo Service

28 May

If you’re anything like me, then the Camera Roll on your phone is filled to the brim with hundreds (maybe even thousands?) of photos of your dog. I can never just take one photo of Topher sleeping. No, I usually take about twenty—playing with the lighting, moving around, searching for that one great shot of that sleepy, squishy face. It’s an addiction. But recently I realized that after two years of owning our dog, we still don’t have any photos of Topher hung up in the house. And that my friends, is a travesty. Have you seen this face lately? Too cute not to be on our wall.

So when Instantly Framed contacted us asking to review their new service for instantly printing and framing your digital photos, we jumped at the chance.

About Instantly Framed

Instantly Framed was founded as a way to help prevent the loss of artwork in an age where all our photos and memories are only stored on our social media accounts. Because there’s no easy way to transfer Instagram and Facebook photos, users have been deterred from printing and framing their photos over time.

Their solution to this problem was Instantly Framed—a smartphone app that provides an easy process for printing, framing, and shipping your photos right from your phone. Whether it’s your Instagram photos, Facebook photos, or simply photos from your Camera Roll, you can upload any photo in no time and have it framed and shipped to your home in three business days.

Archival Quality

Instantly Framed is passionate about using top-of-the-line archival printing materials, and that’s one of the first things that made them stand out to us. Their frame molding is a naturally sourced walnut molding that’s FSC farmed and made in the United States. Their photos are printed with archival inks on professional photo quality paper. All of this serves to elevate your photos from Instagram to timeless pieces of art.

Environmentally Friendly

Another thing I really like about Instantly Framed is their commitment to the environment. They’re using sustainable materials whenever possible, and they’re also committed to using the least amount of materials when shipping frames while making sure they arrive safely. By using the finest materials in an eco-friendly way, they create quality product that lasts, products we can be proud of owning for years to come.

Fast Shipping

When Instantly Framed said they shipped fast, they meant it! From start to finish, all orders arrive and process within four business days. Instantly Framed also ships for free within the continental United States. Ours frame came in just two days! I was amazed by the quickness. I will certainly be buying from them again.

Giveaway!

Want to win your own framed photo from Instantly Framed? Entering is simple! Comment below and/or on our Instagram entry photo and tell us about what photo you’d choose to have framed to hang in your house—what makes it special? One winner will be randomly chosen after the giveaway ends on Friday, June 5th.

This contest is now closed.

*U.S. entries only

Review: Kurgo Wander Hammock Dog Seat Cover

25 May

Archer comes with us almost everywhere we go. From family dinners, to weekend getaways, and random pop-bys with friends and family, Archer’s almost always with us. We also bring her on trail walks (off leash, on one of the conservation trails around our city) where she is bound to come back covered in mud or water or… who-knows-what! So it was important to have a good quality seat cover in each of our cars.

When it comes to a proper dog seat cover, I cannot recommend the hammock style more. For this reason, I think Kurgo’s Wander Hammock Seat Cover hits the nail on the head and highly recommend it.

Style & Safety

The Wander Hammock model from Kurgo comes in a variety of styles to suit almost any car interior. Dark grey, light grey, dark tan, light tan, car interiors usually keep it pretty simple and the Wander Hammock plays right into that, offering the same general colours. It also includes a utility bag for your pup’s accessories, like toys, a leash, or even water and food bowls if you’re traveling far.

Most importantly, let’s talk about the hammock style of car seat cover in general. I cannot recommend this style more. We do a lot of traveling, and the hammock style has not only made loading the car up easily, but it’s made Archer’s ride more comfortable.

Consider two scenarios—the first, is what happens when you really need to load your car up, but also have to bring the dog. This happens mostly when we make longer trips, or decide to spend a weekend camping. Matt and I both drive SUVs, and even then we often find ourselves with way more luggage than ever believed humanly possible for a weekend of camping (ahem, we only take one car. We aren’t filling two SUVs for two days… we’re not that crazy!). With the trunk filled, and more luggage still inexplicably coming (how do we have so much stuff?!) the hammock style seat allows us to still use our backseat for storage, safely beneath the hammock in the foot space, and completely separate from Archer. Usually, we stuff our softer items (personal clothing, sleeping bags, etc.) and it’s out of the way, under the hammock, and stored securely.

The second scenario happens when you suddenly have to stop. I mean slam on the breaks. This is the worst for dogs, because they can’t brace themselves as we might. The hammock stops them from falling off the backseat and into the foot space below, or even flying between the front seats and suddenly moving up to the front. The hammock is almost its own safety feature, and allows your dog to regain his balance by stepping on the side of the hammock hovering over the floor of the car.

It’s these two reasons that I think the only style of car seat cover anyone should ever consider is the hammock. Seriously.

Convenience & Functionality

There are a few features unique to the Kurgo Wander Hammock that I think really sets it above the rest of the competition. Most obviously—to me, at least—is its ability to split down the middle so you can fit a third passenger in the car, in the backseat with your pup, while the hammock remains in tact on the other side of the backseat. This has happened to us a few times with other car seat covers where we have to completely remove the cover to accommodate a third passenger. Not with the Wander Hammock!

It also has hidden velcro inserts to allow for seatbelt access or even a baby seat to be set up on top of the seat cover. The Wander Hammock really considers all possible scenarios and its smart design features certainly show that.

This seat cover measures 55 inches in width, and should fit just about any style of car or SUV.

Durability

Waterproof, washable, and stain resistent, the Wander Hammock is wonderful for active dogs who travel to different locations for hikes and walks. The only thing it doesn’t do is cover the car doors and windows—obviously—which, in our cars, often end up with drool on them. But that’s just the nature of owning a Great Dane.

The material used is seriously heavy-duty, strong stuff. Even the messiest of dogs would have a hard time wreaking havoc on Wander Hammock. Quite frankly, it should easily last the lifetime of your pup, and then some. It’s versatile enough that it should be easily transferred from one car to another, too. The velcro, buckles and zippers used are built to last as well.

If you’re considering a cover to protect your car from all the dirt, mud, water, and drool from your dog, give the Kurtgo Wander Hammock a try. Available directly from Kurgo for $60, or for $42 on Amazon.com at the time this article was published.