TORONTO DOG BLOG: #UNLEASHKINDNESS PACT

toronto-dog-magazine-unleash-kindness-campaign-WEBAThere are no words to describe how much I love dogs and animals. There really aren’t! And every time I read a report about animal neglect or hear about the horrific conditions that so many lovely dogs and animals have to endure every day all over the world, my heart collapses. I feel crushed and hopelessly ineffectual because often times animal welfare issues seem too big for one person to take on and solve alone.

However, the other week while lamenting about this to friends over dinner, I was reminded of the fact that big change doesn’t happen overnight and is actually the result of lots of little changes. Baby steps. Small efforts and concentrated assistance to make a difference in our local communities, to inspire positive change and to raise awareness.

So I had an idea that I wanted to share with you. Let’s all make a pact to do whatever we can this week (Valentine’s week, it’s very appropriate) to #unleashkindness for animals in our communities. Let’s make a conscious effort to do what we each individually can this week to make a positive difference in the life of an animal (or animals) in our community.

These actions don’t have to be enormous to make a big difference. They can be actions to make your own dog’s life a bit better, a friend’s dog or a shelter animal. Any animal really! Here are a few ideas if you’re interested:

1. Donate your coffee money this week to a local shelter/rescue
2. Spend a few hours volunteering with an animal rescue group
3. Share this post and the #unleashedkindess pact with the animal lovers in your life
4. Offer to walk a senior’s or neighbour’s dog who maybe doesn’t get a lot of exercise.
5. Donate gently used pet items to animals in need
6. Bake dog treats for a local rescue
7. Make a donation to an animal cause
8. Swap out a favourite beauty product for a cruelty-free beauty product
9. Join animal rescue Facebook pages and share foster profiles of animals in need.
10. Take an hour to do nothing but play with your dog.
11. Gift a new pet item to an animal in need.
12. Anything else you can think of!

Take a selfie of yourself doing your good deed this week and post it to Instagram or our Facebook page with the hashtag #unleashkindess so we can share the inspiration and positive mood!

Maybe this is silly idea. Maybe it is idealistic and naive. But I really do believe that together we can make a difference. We absolutely can! I hope you’ll join me this week in trying to make that difference and raise awareness about animals in need in our communities.

Happy Valentine’s Week everyone!  xo

DOG CRAFT IDEA: DIY DOG TAG BRACELET

dog-tag-braceletLosing a beloved pet is excruciating and trying to find a way to beautifully memorialize their spirit can be a challenge. So when we came across this gorgeous DIY leather bracelet concept that beautifully incorporates a pet ID tag, we just had to share it! How do you remember your lost pet friends?

DOG LEASH REVIEW: THE RUFFGRIP® LEASH

toronto dog blog

There is a new dog leash in town and it is making quite an impression in the dog community. The RuffGrip® leash is here and is far beyond ‘just another leash.’ It is practically and thoughtfully designed, comfortable to use and symbolizes the strong bond between dog and owner – literally! Here is what we love about this new product.

REASON #1: RuffGrip® is super duper durable

toronto dog blog

Constructed from non-slip, lightweight grip, rubberized woven nylon this leash is all kinds of durable! Not only does it deter chewing (for those dogs who insist on using their leash as a substitute tug-of-war toy), but it also handles all sorts of weather conditions, which, as all of you fellow Canadians will appreciate, is a major plus!

According to the RuffGrip® website, “South African security teams in Iraq use the leash in 135o temperature and fine sand. Alaskan rescue teams use it in the coldest weather.”

REASON #2: RuffGrip® has excellent grip

toronto dog blog

Little leather ‘stops’ are strategically placed at six-inch intervals along the length of the leash, offering pet parents an easier and steadier grip. When walking Rory on previous leashes I always physically tied knots throughout it; should the leash slide through my grip one of the knots could stop it breaking free from my hand completely. The RuffGrip® leash, however, adds this little feature in automatically which makes a big difference.

REASON #3: RuffGrip® is great for kids

toronto dog blogThis product has earned all sorts of recognition for helping children to handle pets on a leash (with proper parental supervision, of course). The brand earned 4.7 stars from the Parent Tested Parent Approved Awards and is noted to help children better assume a role of responsibility in caring for their canine family members.

This new leash checks all the must-have boxes on our list and is now one of our go-to leashes for long walks through our lovely city!

DOG HOME DECOR: 10 MINIMALIST DOG TYPOGRAPHY PRINTS FOR YOUR HOME DECOR

minimalist dog prints home decorThe the promise of Valentine’s Day on the horizon some say that love is now officially in the air. Of course, as devoted dog parents, we all know that love is in the air constantly when you have a wet nose in your house who is always on the ready to sniff it out!

To celebrate our beloved pupsters Pawsh has rounded up 10 of our favourite minimalist dog typography prints for your home decor this season. They seriously go with every style of home decor (and might make a cute Valentine’s Day gift too for the dog lover in your life!)

DOG PRINT #1: “ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (AND A DOG)” by SimpleSerene on Etsy.
minimalist dog prints home decorBecause it’s true! Ask anyone who loves their dog and they will tell you that you need very little else in life to be perfectly content. Evenings spent at home are suddenly cozier, walks through your neighbourhood are more lively and day to day activities are all the brighter when you have a dog by your side. This sweet little print is a lovely reminder of that!

DOG PRINT #2: “DOG LOVER” by Pawsh Magazine

minimalist dog prints home decorBecause if we HAD to choose one label for ourselves, this would be it! This sleek contemporary print (created by yours truly) is like a badge to display proudly in your home or at the office! Can we get a whoop, whoop?

DOG PRINT #3: “MUST LOVE DOGS” by TinaBlueShoes on Etsy

minimalist dog prints home decorBecause… you must! Especially if you want to date or do the whole relationship thing. Diane Lane had it right all along!

DOG PRINT #4: “LET’S STICK TOGETHER” by Sophie Corrigan

minimalist dog prints home decorBecause the sentiment is oh-so true and this print would be so stinking cute to gift to a best friend, sibling or significant other!

DOG PRINT #5: “BREED CALLIGRAPHY PORTRAITS” by BellePapiers on Etsy

minimalist dog prints home decorHow beautiful is this unique calligraphy print? The scripted words highlight your favourite breed’s best qualities in a gorgeous style that then brings the dog’s profile to life! Absolutely gorgeous!

DOG PRINT #6: “TEA AND SLIPPERS AND THE DOG” by Pawsh Magazine

minimalist dog prints home decorYou know when Julie Andrews sings about her favourite things in The Sound of Music? Well this print is like that for us and highlights three of our all time favourite things! I mean how can you not love this perfect trio? Ideal for hanging in the bedroom or reading nook

DOG PRINT #7: “MY DOG IS COOLER THAN YOUR DOG” by LuciusArt on Etsy

minimalist dog prints home decorBecause it’s funny and a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. (Of course, we love ALL dogs.)

DOG PRINT #8: “I LOVE YOU A LOT BUT…” by Faye Moorhouse Illustration

minimalist dog prints home decorBecause it’s true (even if some of us won’t say it out loud!)

DOG PRINT #9: “BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG…” by TheInspiringType on Etsy

minimalist dog prints home decorBecause we should all strive for this and this cute print would serve as a friendly reminder hanging by the front door.

DOG PRINT #10: (OPENING IMAGE) “YOU, ME & THE DOG” by PeachesPrintsEtc on Etsy

minimalist dog prints home decor
Because a dog is truly part of the family and this sophisticated print is too pretty not to want!

Which minimalist dog inspired prints are your favourites? And where would you hang them in your home? We’d love to hear! xo

TORONTO DOG MAGAZINE: HOW TO PACK A DOG-FRIENDLY EMERGENCY OVERNIGHT BAG

toronto dog magazineOne of the most stressful pet parenting situations is being called away from home unexpectedly and needing to find a last minute dog-sitter. Perhaps the weather is really bad (hello winter) and you are stranded at the office. Or maybe there is a health emergency and you have to rush to the hospital.

Whatever the reason, today we’re going to share how to prepare a standing dog-friendly overnight bag so that when your neighbour, auntie or friend has to step in at a moment’s notice they will have everything they could possibly need for your beloved fur-monster with no fuss!

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #1:  A LARGE DOG TOTE BAG

toronto dog magazineChoose a bag that will comfortably house all of the overnight care goodies that we plan to pack on this list. We personally love something that is a heavy duty cotton and machine washable to help keep this overnight bag looking pristine at all times! And if it has a dog-friendly inscription on it like “Dog is my true soulmate” even better! (Tote bag available here!)

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #2: A DOG-FRIENDLY TRAVEL BED

toronto dog magazineIf your dog is going to stay overnight at someone else’s house, they are going to need their own bed. Pack a nifty travel dog bed, something that folds up nice and small but stretches out into a deluxe slumber space. We love this Travel Mat from Canadian pet product designer Handsome Mountain. It is water-resistant, rolls up like a yoga mat (with built in tie strings, amazing!) and is very plush so as to provide comfort for your little one on any floor, couch or carseat!

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #3: DOG FOOD
An air-tight container of dog food is also a must, because after all puppy has to eat.

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #4: AN EXTRA LEASH
Have a back up leash included in this bag too. Why? Because this way when your dog-sitter arrives in case of emergency they don’t have to spend any time searching for your dog’s everyday leash, which, let’s face it, is usually dropped in a different place after every walk (at least, it is on our house!)

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #5: A CHEW TOY

toronto dog magazineWhat do you like to pack when you stay away from home? Toys of some sort probably, yes? Well, your dog will also appreciate this! Consider including a multipurpose chew toy to help keep your pup occupied in their new surroundings. We personally love to pack the Bionic Urban Stick that is ultra durable, floats, doubles as a tug-of-war toy and can be stuffed with treats!

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #6: TRAVEL DOG BOWL

toronto dog magazineA travel bowl is also a good idea so that your dog doesn’t have to commandeer one of your dog-sitter’s everyday dishes. We love the Pocket Bowl from RadDog on Etsy, because it folds up small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, thus leaving lots of room in your dog overnight bag for other essentials. Plus your dog-sitter can throw it in their purse or pocket for any long walks or outings!

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #7: DOG TOWEL

toronto dog magazineInclude a dog-friendly towel as well. Not only will this double as a second sleeping space for your pupster, but it will also help to protect your dog-sitters’ couch from pesky dog hairs. Not everyone allows their pets on the furniture, so including a fresh towel to cover upholstery with will help your furry couch potato to be a polite guest. Plus it will be needed for mucky paws or any unexpected baths.

 DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #8: ORGANIC DOG TREATS

toronto dog magazineTreats are also a must! Pop an unopened bag of dog treats into the overnight bag so that your dog-sitter can spoil your pup. As we all know treats can often help reinforce positive behaviours in a pup too which can help make a sleepover easier too. One of our favourite dog treat companies is Amelia Biscuit Company, located in Paris, Ontario. Their Peanut Butter Treaty Bites are wheat-free, organic and oven baked. Dogs go bananas for these yummy morsels and the air-tight resealable bag makes packing them for sleepovers easy-peasy!

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #9: A DOG TEDDY BEAR!
toronto dog magazine And, of course, no sleepover would be complete without a Kong Knots Wild Bear Toy, because everyone needs a teddy bear to sleep well when away from home!

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #10: A DOG SWEATER

toronto dog magazinePack your dog a sweater in their overnight bag too. It’s not just to look cute — it will keep them dry on rainy walks and warm on chilly nights.

DOG-FRIENDLY OVERNIGHT BAG ITEM #11: A LIST
And finally include a little list that contains all of your dog’s emergency numbers and information. For example, your vet’s number in case of emergency, the nearest 24hr vet clinic, any medication instructions, any behaviourial issues, a list of your dog’s words like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘up,’ ‘down’ etc., because every dog has a different vocabulary.

FINAL TIP
Once your dog overnight bag is all neatly packed and organized there is only one last thing left to do – store it in a place that is easily accessible at a moment’s notice. We recommend a closet by the front door so that when a last minute dog-sitter needs to grab it they can do so with ease!

We’ve covered all of the essentials, but would love to know what you would pack for your dog’s overnight bag! Let us know in the comments!