Dog Gear

No-Pull Dog Harness Product Review

Once upon a time, a harness was the last thing you wanted to use for a dog who pulled, because they were designed to make pulling comfortable. By distributing pressure evenly across the chest they removed pressure from the throat, where damage could be done to a dog's trachea – sometimes even to the point of tracheal collapse. Harnesses are better for the dog from a health perspective, but from a training viewpoint, a standard harness actually encourages pulling. There's a reason sled dogs wear harnesses! Head halters were introduced in the late 1990s as a gentle control tool. While they did, indeed, work well to control a dog's head (and where the head goes, the body follows), some trainers noticed that a significant number of dogs found head halters to be fairly aversive, requiring, in many cases, extensive conditioning to convince the dog to accept them.

What’s the Best Frisbee Disc for Dogs?

I used to live with a Frisbee-addicted dog (a Border Collie named Rupert), and a disc-addicted son, who is now off at college (and still addicted). So how is it that WDJ has never before reviewed flying disc toys for dogs? There is a wide variety of flying toys made for dogs, with different key features for different applications. The overarching concept is to create a disc that flies well enough to inspire a dog to chase it, catch it, and return with it uninjured. Most of us owners want a toy that won't be ruined within three catches between a dog's teeth, but you don't want it to be so tough that it can hurt a dog's teeth or mouth if he doesn't catch it perfectly.

Water Flotation Devices (for Dogs!)

Life jackets for dogs are available at most pet supply and sporting good shops, but one size definitely does not fit all. A proper fit is critical to helping ensure the safety of your pet. When you put a life jacket on your dog

Environmentally Friendly Poop Bags

Dog poop presents the environmentalist with a real problem. We would hazard a guess that most of us do the worst possible thing: use a plastic bag to pick up poo, and then throw it in a garbage can, bound for a landfill somewhere.

Dog Gear of the Year 2011

Every year we come across a few dog-related items that make an immediate and/or lasting impact on our dogs or our dog-care regimen, and we feature them here. This year, we also asked our readers, via the Whole Dog Journal Facebook page, for their nominations for “Gear of the Year.” Some of the items here are their selections.

Orthopedic Equipment for Dogs that Increase Joint Support and Overall Mobility

In our March 2011 issue, we introduced you to a very small sampling of some of the neat “assistive equipment” options that are available to help our canine companions who have limited mobility or other physical issues. We received such a great response that we thought we’d share with you a few more finds that can help make life easier for you and your dog, particularly if he or she is aging or has orthopedic or neurologic issues. Remember: the products mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous companies making innovative assistive products; what we’re hoping to do here is to get you thinking about some of the possibilities!

Orthopedic Equipment for Dogs Designed for Increased Mobility and Extra Support

Do you have a dog recovering from orthopedic or neurologic surgery, one who has mobility issues, or a senior dog who has arthritis? If so, at some point, you have probably wished you could do something – anything! – to help make your dog's life (and your own) a little easier. I asked two veterinarians who specialize in canine rehabilitation to share some of their top picks for canine assistive/rehabilitative equipment. Laurie McCauley, DVM, CCRT, is founder and medical director of TOPS Veterinary Rehabilitation in Grayslake, Illinois, and is considered one of the pioneers in the field of veterinary rehabilitation. Evelyn Orenbuch, DVM, CAVCA, CCRT, recently opened Georgia Veterinary Rehabilitation, Fitness and Pain Management in Marietta, Georgia, and has focused on veterinary rehab medicine since 2003.

Basic Gear Every Dog Owner Should Have

There are some things every caring, responsible dog owner needs. Whether you are a longtime dog owner, have just acquired your first canine companion, or are still in the planning process to adopt a dog, it’s important that you have the basic tools that make life with a canine family member run smoothly. Some seem obvious – a collar, leash, food dish – but even those aren’t always as simple as they appear. Here’s a comprehensive look at the right stuff to have on hand to help your dog-keeping go smoothly.
dog cone alternatives

Comfortable Dog Cone Alternatives

Are the classic plastic cones really all that bad? It depends on which dog you ask. Some dogs seem to accept the weight of the heavy plastic, the restricted visibility imposed by the opaque material, the need for increased clearances around the house, and even being gouged by the thick plastic tabs that are supposed to be belted by the dog's collar at the base of the cone. Today there are a number of alternatives to the classic Elizabethan collars to prevent a dog from licking a wound, aggravating a hot spot, tearing out his surgical stitches, or removing a bandage. The alternatives offer a dog greater comfort, better mobility, and improved visibility.

Dog Products of the Year 2010!

Whole Dog Journal frequently brings you reviews of products we have tested on real dogs and with real dog lovers. We’re always looking for new and particularly useful products to recommend to our readers (and to use for our own dogs!). We limit our attention to products that provide an actual service, that help owners keep their dogs healthy, happy, safe, and well-trained. As 2010 begins, here's looking forward to some of the year’s best bets.

Whole Dog Journal’s Picks for Dog Gear of The Year

Whole Dog Journal reviews a useful tick-removal tool, Premier’s Spill-Less Smart Bowl, Squeaker Kong, an awesome owners’ guide to veterinary care, and a rubber stick. Tick-removal tools are in constant use in our homes, because we spend a lot of time with our dogs in the woods. At last! An accurate, thorough canine health book by a vet who promotes the best of conventional veterinary medicine and is aware of its shortfalls, too. Dr. Nancy Kay, a veterinarian who practices in Sonoma County, California, explains the basics of responsible healthcare and what dog owners should know. Premier’s Spill-Less Smart Bowl isn’t spill-proof, but this product doesn’t need to be wrestled apart – it’s just one piece.

Nighttime Dog Walking Visibility Products

Walking with a dog in the dark can present a number of challenges for many dog owners. You may not be able to see well in the dark; this can make you take a hard step off a curb or trip on a rise in the sidewalk. Finding your dog's poop at night (so you can pick it up and dispose of it properly) is also a problem. Although definitely in the minority, some people walk their dogs off-leash at night. I've met a number of people at night who were walking off-leash dogs on the wide trail that tops the river levee that parallels my town's main street. If I wasn't a dog person, I would probably be unnerved by the fast approach of a strange dog in the dark. And as it is, if the dogs were mine, I'd be worried that one of them would wander off or get lost if I couldn't keep sight of them.

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