Enjoying dinner with the Slo Bowl

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Bear has a new interactive feeding bowl that he’s really excited about!

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It’s called the Slo Bowl- have you heard of it? It’s a great way to slow down your dog during dinner time, and allow him to forage for his food. Simply pour your dogs’ required portion into the slow bowl chambers and let your dog do the rest!

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Bear thinks it’s so fun to chase his food through the maze- and I agree- I love anything that draws out his dinner time a bit longer. It’s better for his digestion, and fulfills his need to scavenge. Besides, like most of your dogs, Bear lives for food- so why not let him enjoy that experience for just a bit longer right?

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You can see our full review of the Slo Bowl here.


Our Favorite Tricks

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We’re joining in on the June edition of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop. Today’s topic is ‘Our favorite tricks’

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Bear’s favorite tricks really include anything that earns him a treat- that boy is a food hound! I can say though, now that he’s older, he doesn’t do so much jumping and bouncing around in excitement as he used to in his younger years. He used to run through an entire repertoire of tricks, hoping, begging, pleading for a treat. Not realizing if he’d just slow down and listen….

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One of the hardest things about having two dogs is managing training sessions. It’s extremely hard for me to try to train Scooter if Bear is constantly bumping around and trying to push his way in. Scooter is too small to really interfere with Bear’s training sessions, so the reverse hasn’t really been a problem. They often compete for attention and it’s hard to pay either of them the 100% focus they deserve. Instead of kenneling Bear away for awhile and taking the opportunity to work with Scooter, I’ve often just given up, which really isn’t fair to Scooter at all. Bear had many years (pre-Scooter) where the focus was soley on him, but Scooter has never had that same training opportunity.

Here’s the thing too- it’s always amazing to me how smart Scooter is. He’s clearly smarter than Bear (ssshh! don’t tell Bear I said that) and has stronger problem solving skills. I know if Scooter was a larger dog he would have received the continued and constant training that Bear has had. Being small, and very easy to control, he’s gotten off easy. Scooter knows the basics (sit, lay down, come, and stay (sort of) ) plus a few fun tricks. He’s capable of so much more though! So I’ve decided this month to put forth the extra effort and set aside time to train Scooter alone.

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Scooter is actually fond of the clicker, something Bear has always been hit or miss with, so that will make my life easier. Now that we’ve finally found a treat that Scooter reliably will work for (besides leftover meat) I feel we’re on a roll. I got a new training book in the mail yesterday (I’ve read it before, needed my own copy to mark up etc) and plan to dedicate time toward re-reading & then training with Scooter alone- he’s going to love the new challenge!

Right now, my favorite trick with Scooter is when we ask him to ‘stretch’ and he sits back and puts both paws up on our extended hand:

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It’s cute- gets me every time! I’m excited to see what sorts of new tricks he can learn :D


{Mischievous Monday} Avoid trouble + kong recipe

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Mischievously sweet would be the one-liner of Bear’s life if I had to choose one. One of my favorite ways to keep my mister Bear out of trouble is to give him a kong. I like to stuff a basket full at a time, and freeze them because it keeps him busy for so much longer. This latest kong recipe combines two of Bears favorite things, I’m calling it the “Sardine & Bean Kong”

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You’ll need:

-kongs, hollow bones, or other stuff-able toys

-kibble and/or broken biscuit pieces (I had a small bag of grain-free kibble from an expo that went into this batch)

-1 tin of sardines

-1 can of green beans (while I didn’t with this batch- I generally use french cut beans-dogs like them better)

-I also added a dash of cinnamon & garlic + a drizzle of honey

Mix it all together- breaking sardines into small bits, and stuff into kongs. Feed immediately or freeze. Freeze any leftovers/extras.

See our other kong recipe ideas here.

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What do you do to keep your dogs occupied if you’re busy? Any other fill & freeze kong fans out there??



{First Aid Essentials} First Aid Kit + Emergency #’s

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We’ve already discussed the tips and tricks to approaching an injured animal, and today it’s time to shift gears and give you a bit of important information that you might want to act on today.

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Pet poisonings happen. Often accidentally, and they’re terribly traumatic. When a pet has been poisoned, often treatment must be received immediately in order to save the life of the animal. Having these pet poison hotline #’s somewhere accessible truly could save your pet, or a friends, in an emergency.

Pet Poison Hotline #’s:

ASPCA Poison Control 1-888-426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680

Animal Poison Hotline 1-888-232-8870

Perhaps you want to print those out? Or better yet- save them in your cell phone like I did. Call it the former insurance agent in me, but I truly do love feeling prepared! ;)

Keeping a dedicated pet first aid kit is another great way to be prepared, and stay one step ahead of the game. We’ve got our own tips and tricks for creating a Disaster Kit for your pet, and Pretty Fluffy’s guest post on her First Aid Kit was a huge hit on SheSpeaksBark.

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A few basic first aid items that are great to keep on hand include:

* Tweezers

*Muzzle/Nylon leash

*Thermometer

*Saline Solution

*Roll of gauze or gauze sponges

*Adhesive tape

*Antibiotic ointment

*Latex gloves

*Large towel

*Flashlight

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Considering my current part time job entails caring for lots of dogs and the occasional cat, I have at least half of that list rolling around in my car at any given time. Along with 3 pairs of shoes, 7 random socks, scratch paper galore, 12 ballpoint pens, 2 coffee cups, 4 pairs of gloves, and at least a pound of dog hair… ;) Needless to say, I’d do well to round it all up and slap it into a container for easy access, since sifting through all the ‘extras’ would really slow down my ability to find anything useful.

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Put that on my 2014 Goals List ;)

Psst- If making your own first aid kit just isn’t your thing….our friends at Amazon have totally got you covered with a light, medium, and extreme version all ready to go.


Positive Pet Training at the Dog Park

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Bear and Scooter are ALL about positive pet training. ‘Cause positive= treats & happy voices right?

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The dog park we tend to frequent is nice, but quite small. Meaning on a busy day, when it’s hoppin’, it can become hard for Bear to handle. He drug me through the dog park one day going after a group of dogs while he was in a bit of a ‘time out’ to calm down and was banned (by me) for going for awhile after that. Until I saw this and decided to give him a second chance:

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I knew I needed to re-frame his (and my!) experience at the dog park so we’d both have a good experience. To set him up for success. We started going for short stints on weekday mornings when it was much less busy. Several good experiences on a weekday and we were ready to try out a weekend again.

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I was armed with my favorite leather leash, and did have to round Bear up just once on our last visit when his herding instincts came on a little to strong and he got really pushy with another dog. Two minutes on leash next to me and he was ready to go again-much more calmly this time. And the best part about it is that after several minutes of running he’s rather too tired to bother anyone much anyways. You cannot carry treats into the dog park without instantly being harassed by every furry body in the place- so I instead used praise and happy voices with Bear to encourage him when he was doing something I was pleased with.

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Thank god for senior dogs :D All he did the rest of the day after our dog park visit was sleep and snore!


{B/W Sunday} Hiking by flashlight

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For MLK Day 2014, we woke up before the sun and drove 40 miles outside of town for a hike I’d read about on facebook. We were hiking at Bridal Veil Falls off 84 for any locals wondering. It was a great time!

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The trail we chose was 5 miles up and back, and had a total elevation climb of 1800 feet. It was dark when we started out, so this was officially our first hike by flashlight :)

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As usual, the boys did great.  Bear continues to amaze us with his stamina and ability to really climb and keep up with us despite his senior status. Scooter did hitch a ride with Jake and I quite frequently, but did his fair share of hiking as well- and we only carried him to give those little legs a rest. It was an uber windy day, and we felt like the top was actually quite dangerous that day so we stayed long enough for a single photo before beginning our descent.