According to that book that everyone has been talking about for over a year (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), we're all supposed to get rid of stuff that doesn't bring us joy. You may have been working on that, or not. That's your business. Our business is telling you about stuff that will bring you and your dog joy! Or, at the very least, keep him safer and more comfortable. That's something to be joyous about, in our book!
Whole Dog Journal has never published a dog gift guide before. But after spending three days at Superzoo, a gigantic trade show for pet-industry retailers, we came home with so many dog product samples of chew toys, dog bowls, winter jackets for dogs, dog beds, and different toys for dogs that we had to share some of the best with you. We hope you get some ideas for great dog gifts for the dogs and dog owners you love.
Using boots for warmth, it seems, takes a back seat to injury care and prevention to the ever-important paws for an active dog in the winter months. Even if you and your dog are just fresh off the couch, preparing to venture out for a stroll on the mean freshly salted city streets in winter, a boot can provide your dog the protection and stability needed to enjoy the outing when temperatures drop and ice and snow accumulate. And you will look for the same qualities in a boot whether you are walking a half-mile on a city street or skiing 20 miles in the mountains.
The Ollydog Treat Bag Pro is a dog treat bag, or bait bag, that is big enough to hold enough treats for more than one dog on a long hike, making it ideal for both professional trainers or people walking with several dogs. And yet, it's not as unwieldy or as heavy as the next-deepest bag we reviewed (Doggone Good's Rapid Rewards Pouch). The magnet that closes this main pouch is strong enough to prevent the treats from bouncing out of the bag, even if you run while wearing it or to prevent a naughty dog from sticking his nose into the bag, helping himself to treats but is not so strong as to necessitate the use of two hands in order to get to the treats.
Years ago, a new acquaintance asked me about the bag I wore on a belt around my waist. She saw me taking dog treats out of the bag and feeding them, one after another after another, to my then-young dog, Otto. I was in the process of teaching Otto to ignore squirrels in trees, pigeons in the street, and cats on the edge of the riverside trail we walked each day, and the tactic required a lot of treats. My new friend wanted to know if I always wore the bag; surely, since Otto seemed so well-behaved to her, I didn't need to have it with me all the time? Ah, yes, but would Otto be so well behaved if I had no treats? At that point in time, so early in our relationship no!
A proper life jacket should be bright so you can see it from the beach or edge of a lake, and should have a snug fit. If it's too loose, it can entangle the dog or come off, or it will float above the dog while the dog bobs along in the water. If it's too tight, it can chafe and become uncomfortable, making it unlikely the dog will enjoy wearing it. A properly fitting life jacket should not restrict the dog's movement in or out of the water. And, of course, a life jacket should be well made, with strong materials and an adequate amount of buoyant material. We have two favorite doggy flotation devices this year - the West Marine Neoprene Pet vest for experienced swimmers, and the Ruffwear K9 Float Coat for beginners.
In the January issue, we shared our contributors' favorite dog toys, training tools, and treats, but we didn't have enough room to include all of their recommendations for the things they can't imagine living without" in their dog-care kits. Here are more favorite products things that improve the health and well being of our dogs
See Whole Dog Journal's top dog accessories of 2015. We cover reflective gear for your nocturnal hound, artisan leather collars for the posh pup in your life, indestructible dog toys, biodegradable waste bags, a treat dispenser that does more than your smartphone, paw cream for salty winters, and much more!
Recently, I found myself with too many dogs who needed exercise, and not enough time to put in the miles that could have worked off all that excess energy. I rooted through the dog-toy baskets in my office, looking for things I could throw for the pack to fetch. I used to have a Chuckit! tennis ball launcher, but some puppy or other chewed up the part that holds the tennis ball, so I threw it away and hadn't yet replaced it. Then I remembered that I had bought a very similar device that is used for launching small rubber discs for dogs to chase: the Winga.
It's incredible how many aspects of our lives have been enhanced and transformed by technology in just the past few years. Anyone who uses a computer or mobile phone is at least aware of his or her ability to obtain recommendations for businesses or directions to a location. If you're a dog owner and need a reputable emergency veterinary clinic in a strange town, having the tools to find such a clinic and get there in record time may literally save a dog's life. But web- and mobile-device-based technology can also be used by dog owners in countless other important ways and we're sharing some of the most fun and useful ones with you.
My Border Collie Duncan solves all 10 of his interactive puzzles within five minutes; it takes me longer than that to fill them with treats! So when CleverPet announced its Kickstarter campaign for the development of a next-generation pet-learning console, I signed right up. Thirteen-year-old Duncan has pretty severe arthritis so I'm constantly searching for low-activity ways to engage him. This eagerly anticipated device features three durable yet sensitive touch pads that interactively light up and are designed to be touched by a dog's nose or paw, triggering food to be dispensed. CleverPet adjusts learning levels based on your dog's performance, which can be monitored through the website and an app-based program.
the author's 9-year-old agility dog