Category Archives: safety

Start A Walking Routine With Your Dog For Better Health, And A Free Magnet

The American Kennel Club (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is proud to announce the AKC FIT DOG program.

AKC FIT DOG is an introductory level incentive program that will offer dog owners who reach a specified fitness goal a free car magnet featuring the AKC FIT DOG logo. Participation in AKC FIT DOG will bring health benefits to both dogs and their owners.

“There are many reasons to walk for exercise,” says Ann Green in this NBC interview, M.S., past heptathlon world athlete, yoga teacher and fitness studio owner. “Walking improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain, can prevent weight gain, reduce risk for cancer and chronic disease, improve endurance, circulation, and posture, and the list goes on…”

“The most commonly recommended exercise to improve fitness by both physicians and veterinarians is walking,” said Mary Burch, Director of the AKC Family Dog program. “AKC FIT DOG has adopted the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 30 to 40 minutes of walking for a total of 150 minutes per week. If we can get people walking with their dogs, we can contribute to the overall health, fitness and well-being of dogs and their owners.”

To participate in AKC FIT DOG and earn your free car magnet while supplies last, please go to: https://www.akc.org/sports/akc-family-dog-program/akc-fit-dog/

Dozer’s Dental Chews And Other Great Made In America Dog Products

One of the values that we find in buying American Made products is that there comes with it goodwill of the country. We have an implicit understanding that the products will be high quality and the people making them will stand behind them.

Dozer’s Dental Chews are Made in the USA of eight simple ingredients, but formed in shapes and sizes to help clean your dogs teeth as they chew. The first three ingredients are potato, rice, and chicken. The chew itself is dense but not overly hard like some nylon chews can be. While the small pieces of nylon chews will safely pass through a dogs tract, Dozer’s Chews are made of food(!) so they are a great treat as well.

Dozers Dental Chews

Why we like this:

– Made from food ingredients so they are a fun treat as well!
– Fun and stimulating shapes to interest your dog and clean all areas of their teeth
– Come in a variety of shapes and sizes for all breeds

 

Greenies Dental Chews and Breath Freshener are a household name. They are made in Kansas and came to be because “necessity is the mother of invention“; nothing like it existed! Their classic shape is almost iconic, and they now come in dozens of varieties, shapes, and formulations; perfect for every breed.

Why We Like These: The unique shape and the wide variety of flavors, along with the proven history of this company gives assurance that they deliver a safe and functional product.

King of Pups by King of Pops. This Atlanta-based creator of inspired popsicles also creates a version for dogs! They are made with yogurt, banana, honey, peanut butter, vegetable gums, and natural flavors. They are made with locally sourced ingredients and available by mail order!

 

Why We Like This: King of Pops goes out of their way to model sustainability and local sourcing. They use high quality ingredients and haven’t forgotten the importance of the human-pet bond.

Check out this great dog treat company from Stroudsburg, PA: WhiskerBiscuits makes fun treats for dogs in a variety of flavors and shapes. They are known for their ‘Peanut Butter Poo’, and “The Big Sack” which has a variety of all their products. They also have a subscription service – The Very Important Pet club – “VIP”. Each month you will receive a shipment of their latest flavor!

Whisker Biscuits - The Big Sack

Why We Like This: Subscription services such as these help to support our fellow countrymen, helping them embody the vision of the American Dream, as well as saving us time and money sourcing and buying treats for our canine friends.

Fresh Wave Lavender Odor Removing Packs in a basket with an assortment of essential dog supplies

Scare Away ‘Dog Smell’ With This Lavender Sachet

I am a huge fan of FreshWave. They make a complete line of all-natural home odor control products (air fresheners, vacuum beads, pet shampoo), and today in the grocery store I saw their new Lavender scent Odor Removing Packs.

All natural products are important to me as I like to minimize the amount of chemicals in the house, especially around the dogs.

FreshWave has a unique blend of  natural extracts of lime, pine needle, aniseed, clove, and cedarwood, they combine to achieve their signature odor removal.

 

Lavender Oil has long been used as an aromatherapy technique to soothe anxious dogs, and reduce their anxiety. I was intrigued to see it in a sachet that is easy to manage, is long-lasting (up to 60 days!) and from a brand that I regularly trust. I use their Pet Shampoo regularly, and pay full retail price for the products that I show here.

Fresh Wave Lavender Odor Removing Packs in a basket with an assortment of essential dog supplies

FreshWave Lavender Odor Removing Packs have a ‘natural’ home in our basket of dog supplies.

As soon as I arrived home from the store, I opened the packages, smelled how pure the scent of the oil is, and found a home for them in the ‘dog basket’. This basket is in the Family Room where we spend most of our time in the evening, and where the dogs spend their days while we are at work. The packaging says the sachet is designed for small rooms, but this is more of a medium sized, so I expect the scent to more more diluted than designed. That being said, the scent is pleasant, understated, and fresh. It doesn’t ‘hit you’ when you walk into the room, but you know that the room smells good.

Since one of our dogs is a shih tzu, known for being loud alert dogs, I am hoping that the mild lavender will keep him calm and relaxed. Please note that I won’t be placing the sachets in the same space as the dogs, or applying the oils directly to them. This article from Chargin Falls Veterinary Center and Pet Clinic has great advise about how to properly use essential oils around pets.

The packaging says that the only ingredient is “plant oils”, so you certainly can’t get any more simple or natural than that!

According to the Fresh Wave website, they have been making all-natural odor-removing products for over 20 years. While they source their oils from around the world, all their products are manufactured in Rising Sun, Indiana.

Speaking of lavender, I came across this blog post from Barking Botanicals what shows 6 Ways To Use Lavender In The Car To Calm Your Dog. They have some unique suggestions such as making a vehicle spray, buying a portable essential oil diffuser, and treating your dogs collar.

 

Effective Treatments For Dog Ear Infections

While the title of this post isn’t that appealing, ear infections are common for many floppy-ear dog breeds such as shih tzu, poodle, pit bull, cocker spaniel, and Shar Pei.

Infections generally fall into two categories; bacterial, or yeast. WebMD says the main contributing factors of ear infections are: ear mites, excessive hair, moisture or wax, foreign bodies, allergies, and hypothyroidism. Not adequately drying or airing out ears after swimming, or exploring overgrown areas outdoors can expose your dog to the contributing causes of ear infections.

Infected ears can be uncomfortable for your dog, both because of the irritation in their ear canal, but also excessive scratching can cause cuts and increase the redness, as they attempt to scratch the itch away.

From time to time I have had to treat ear infections in my dog at home and found the following to be helpful to treat both kinds. When the non-prescription products don’t work after a few days, then a trip to the vet is necessary. I have found that often my grocery store pharmacy can order pet prescriptions. If you know you have a prescription coming your way from the vet, it is helpful to call the grocery store pharmacy to check their pricing to ensure you don’t overpay at the vet. If your pet prescription requires refills, you might as well save a stop and get them at the same time as your prescriptions (if any), or your groceries!

The five medications I have at home to treat my dogs ear infections are:

Prescription Non-Prescription
Otibiotic Vet’s Best Ear Relief Dry
Otomax VetOrganics EcoEars
Virbac Epi-Otic

Effective medications for treating dog ear infections

 

Otibiotic is made by VetUS (Henry Schein Animal Health) and comes in a 15g tube, with instructions to administer 5 drops in the ear each day, for 14 days. The ingredients are gentamicin sulphate, betamethasone valerate, and clotrimazole and they are mixed in a mineral oil paste. It controls bacteria and fungus, and is an anti-inflammatory. It has the same active ingredients and proportion of ingredients as Otomax, however it is less expensive.

Otomax is made by Merk Animal Health and was the original prescribed product we had received to treat both the bacterial and fungal ear infection. It contains gentamicin sulphate, betamethasone valerate, and clotrimazole, and is mixed with a mineral oil paste to aid in application.

Epi-Otic made by Virbac is a clear rinse that helps remove cellular debris and wax from the ears and contains an anti-irritant. The active ingredients are diethylene glycol monoethyl ether, salicylic acid, and chloroxylenol. It is applied by filling the ear, massaging for 60-90 seconds, then allowing the dog to shake out the excess. After that, a cotton swab should be used to wipe out the remaining, along with any debris or wax that has been loosened. Any following medication should be applied after the Epi-Otic has dried.

EcoEars is a natural product made by VetOrganics in the USA. The ingredients are: deionized water, witch hazel extract, denatured grain alcohol, vegetable glycerin, polysorbate 20 (food grade), boric acid, tea tree oil, ionic silver solution, organic mullein leaf extract, rosemary extract, and fingerroot extract. It is a clear liquid that can be administered directly in to the ear, or for squirmy dogs, a cotton ball can be soaked and the liquid squeezed into the ear.

The VetOrganics website goes into further detail to describe how each of the ingredients work to clear up the infection. I have found that it works well as a maintenance product. The label recommends using it twice per day for 10 days, or longer as necessary; weekly as a maintenance product. I found that the prescription medications show a visible improvement in the appearance of ear cleanliness and smell within hours of applying them.

Finally, Vet’s Best Ear Relief Dry is another natural formula made in the USA (Texas, to be exact) and contains Calendula, Clove Oil, Aloe Vera, Chamomie, Tea Tree Oil, Silica and Echinacea. It too is a white paste that dries to a powder which helps absorb moisture which can cause bacterial and yeast growth. The recommended application is to squeeze into the ear canal and let dry. This should be used before and after bathing or swimming, and can be used regularly as a maintenance product. I find this especially useful after baths because I know there is often water remaining inside Dexter’s floppy ears.

Some of the product links above are affiliate links to the product pages on Amazon.

Benebone and Other Great Made In America Dog Toys


Originally started through crowdfunding, Benebone has become very popular and I can speak from experience, that my dogs love them! Made in New York of USA-sourced nylon with the flavor from real bacon, peanuts, and chicken; they are durable and highly addictive! Starting with their ‘wishbone’ shape, they have since branched off into several different models and flavors. Check out the original bacon Wishbone here.

I agree with the top reviews on Amazon that all of the Benebone products are durable even for the heaviest of chewers. They come in several sizes so be sure to select the one that is appropriate for your dog.

Pros:

  1. Very durable. Will provide a very long ‘chew time’ even for big dogs.
  2. Made using Real Flavors from real bacon, peanuts, and chicken.
  3. Come in a variety of shapes and sizes to appeal to any dog.

Cons:

  1. Can be too hard for some dogs. Make sure you select the correct size and monitor your dogs usage of this product.
  2. Cost. They can be more expensive than other nylon toys, but consider the size and amount of engagement your dog will get from Benebone versus another nylon product.

Overall, these toys are great for all sizes of dogs, just be sure to select the correct format.

Another great nylon product Made in the USA is from Nylabone.

There is a reason that the Nylabone website starts with “For Every Reason To Chew, There’s A Nylabone”. This long-standing company makes hundreds of products for heavy chewers. Treats, bones, toys, and chews; they make it all. All sizes, shapes, and flavors, you will find a Nylabone product that your dog will find irresistible.

Pros:

  1. Comes in every combinations of size, shape, and flavor you can imagine.
  2. Products for all states of life (puppy & adult).
  3. Covers all price ranges, from value to premium.

Cons:

  1. Can be overwhelming to find the ‘right’ product. Be sure to use their Custom Product Finder on their website.
  2. Scent can be weak or fade quickly. Some reports from these toys say that the scent can be weak. Be sure to keep the package sealed until ready to share with your pup!

Overall, the track record of this company is stellar and they are sure to have a toy to exactly match your dogs engagement level, but don’t stress over finding the perfect toy; use their product search feature to find a few your dog will like!

West Paw designs and manufactures their toys in Bozeman, Montana. Their in-house team carefully designs and tests their toys to ensure they will be loved, and loved for a long time. They come in fun colors and are environmentally friendly, and non-toxic. They have an ever-expanding list of toys available and all kinds of fun an innovative shapes.

Pros:

  1. Fun, colorful, designs. Very unique shapes for fun and stimulating play.
  2. Good size product range for a lot to choose from specific for your dogs play style.
  3. Money back, or product replacement guarantee.

Cons:

  1. Some reports of quickly destroyed toys. Be sure to take advantage of their guarantee.
  2. Limited availability – mostly independent pet stores, but check for them on Amazon.

Overall, West Paw is a highly engaged company that puts a heavy emphasis on creativity and ensure long play time with their fun and durable products. Contact them if – for some reason – your dog destroys the toy quickly.

 

Palo-Alto

Brent-Wood Products has introduced small to extra-extra large Bow Wow dog houses. They are made from upcycled wood, and built in Los Angeles. The image above is their Palo-Alto model. Using the sizing guide on their website in the link above, or call them directly at 800-400-7335 and they will help you select the right house for your dog.

Pros:

  1. Made in the USA using upcycled wood.
  2. High-design models built buy hand.
  3. Direct customer service number to plan your house with a consultant.

Cons:

  1. Limited retail outlets to see models and order in person. Check out their website for the list of retailers.

Overall, this custom product will provide a stylish and spacious outdoor home for your dog.

Buying American has many benefits including ensuring that jobs are created and stay in our economy. That also has the secondary benefit of keeping money in communities where those people live. By creating products and adding value to physical goods that we modify and build here, we are increasing our GDP, a measure of our global competitiveness. Everything that we build and keep in our country reduces our reliance on importing foreign goods. When someone in your community builds a product, you know they will stand behind it and offer a high level of service after the sale. You can also know that they are aware of the components of that product and there is an increased likelihood that the output is safer than an unknown product.

Dog Toys (And More!) Made In The USA

Last article featured mostly dog treats and food Made In America, but this time In this we look at some durable toys and durable products that your dog will love.

Not only will these products improve the lives of your puppy, but when you buy American, you support our domestic economy. Keeping money here helps create and maintain jobs in our communities. It helps fund schools and has a ripple effect because the money you spend to buy the product is spent again in a community close to home; by the men and women building and creating the things your dog loves. Not only will these products give your dog a warm heart, but yours too!

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff BallsThese ultra-durable balls are made of non-toxic, 100% recyclable materials right here in the USA. The company even offers a guarantee if your dog destroys it. I can say that after several years of owning one of these, that it takes a lot of abuse and still looks brand new. It has an incredible bounce to it too, so it will keep your pup really engaged while playing. Check out some of their holiday themed balls as well!

American Mutt – American Mutt has a wide assortment of products all Made in America. They are one of the few companies I have seen that makes a dog bed 100% in the USA. Check out their CoreBlu bed which is Waterproof, Fungal-proof, and has an incredible 5 Year Warranty! With that commitment, you know the company and employees put care and attention into what they make. There are several styles of bed to choose from, including a bolster bed that is raised off the floor!

SaltSox – Protect your pups paws from summer heat, dirty sidewalks, hot sand and much more. The built-in heat barrier reflects radiant surface heat and the breathable mesh fabric allows for natural cooling. Perfect for when the temperatures soar! Check out their versions for temperatures both hot (LavaSox) and cold (SaltSox). Both varieties are made in Chicago, IL! The bottom of the sock even has a grippy sole to improve traction indoors and out. This is the perfect gift for dog lovers who live in cities, or the suburbs where regular walking on pavement and snow can cause injury.

AquaComb – This innovative tool is made in Sarasota, Florida. It connects to a hose (garden or otherwise) and the patent-pending fingers direct water beneath even the thickest of dog coats to help deep clean dirt and dander. The fingers come in two lengths for short and longer coats, so there is one that is perfect for your pet. It comes in four models as well, made specifically for dogs, made for grooming horses, and models for cleaning pool and spa filters. This product is great for 4-H clubs and others who spend lots of time washing dogs, grooming horses or ponies.

Best Movies Featuring Dogs

Recently Variety a slideshow titled “The Best Movie Dogs of All Time“. It was prompted by the release of the movie “Dog Days” and features twenty of the best appearances by dogs in movies through the years.

I will save you a ton of clicking and put the top 10 here, but following that I will list a few recent movies that I feel should have made the cut.

10. Buddy in “Air Bud” (1997)
9. Beethoven (1992)
8. Arthur from “Beginners” (2010)
7. The Beast in “The Sandlot” (1993)
6. Old Yeller (1957)
5. Flealick from “Babe: Pig In The City” (1998)
4. Marley in “Marley and Me” (2008)
3. Toto in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
2. Lassie in “Lassie Come Home” (1943)
1. “Benji” (1974)

I would like to add a few movies to this list to make it a little more current.

Bailey (Bailey, Bailey) from A Dogs Purpose (2017). While this wasn’t reviewed well by the Rotten Tomatoes critics, it definitely tugged at the heartstrings of the audience. In parts it was a hard movie to watch as it deals with the passing of “Bailey” several times as he comes back in a new incarnation, but because it was handled in a tasteful way, we were able to connect to the main storyline. Even though Bailey is played by several dogs, the ‘spirit of Bailey’ narrates the movie and brings us along on this journey.

Max from Max (2015) is another recent movie where the dog takes center stage. IMDB describes the movie as “A Malinois dog that helped American Marines in Afghanistan returns to the United States and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience.” Not only did it resonate with audiences, but provided the foundation for a sequel.

Because of the bond humans have with dogs in real life, it is no surprise that we can connect with canine-led stories in the movies. While a lot of movies are based on conjecture (us creating a story based on what we want to see rather than what dogs actually may be thinking or doing), they are inspirational and bring out the hope in all of us.

One agency that certifies that “No Animals Were Harmed” in the filming of these movies is the American Human Association, through their Humane Hollywood initiative. When you see their logo and the “No Animals Were Harmed” tagline in the credits of the movie you just enjoyed, you can know that the animals shown in the movie were treated fairly and safely during their time on and off set.