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WELLNESS

DOG TRAINING: HOW TO TRAIN A DOG TO FETCH

toronto dog photographerDo you have dog who loves to fetch tennis balls, sticks, a Frisbee or any other toy that can be thrown a delightful distance? No? Well, that’s okay.

Most dogs adore the prospect of being allowed to run wildly after a moving object and while some quickly discover the brilliant practice of having their owner throw such an object over and over and over again, some pups miss the biscuit entirely. So how do you teach your canine chum the mystery of fetch and to actually bring – the – ball – BACK? (more…)

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!

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DOG TRAINING TIPS: HOW TO TRAIN A DOG TO SPIN

toronto dog photographerWho doesn’t love to spin or twirl? It is such a freeing movement and something that is actually very simple to teach your pup! Often times dogs love spinning as much as their humans love seeing them do it! Here to take us through a step-by-guide to training a dog how to spin is Jess from Cohen the Australian Shepherd. Take it away Jess!

STEP 1

The first step is having a moderately hungry dog who knows how to follow a lure.  Some dogs need a bit of help in learning that you want them to follow a bit of food in your hands and for some dogs it comes (very) naturally.

STEP 2
Place a treat in your hand and your hand near the dog’s nose. Slowly move your hand in a clockwise circle and voila, your dog has spun. Mark with a “yes” or a click and the treat from your hand. If the dog hasn’t followed your hand it’s possible they need a bit of help learning how to follow a lure, or it’s possible that you moved your hand too quickly. toronto dog photographerSTEP 3
Now, try the other way. Lure your dog in a counter-clockwise circle. Again, mark with a “yes” or a click and treat. Some dogs will have an easier time turning in one direction than another, but ideally you want your dog to be able to turn both ways. You want muscle development equal on both sides.
toronto dog photographerSTEP 4
Once your dog is successfully following the lure (it may only take 2-3 times) you can start fading the lure. Show the dog the treat but do a bit of slight-of-hand trickery and palm the treat to your other hand without your pup noticing.

Lure them in a circle then open your luring hand as if to say “look! no treat!” and then feed them from your other hand. You want your dog to understand that even if there’s not a treat on her nose she’ll still get one at the end. Practice this until you don’t have to be crafty in palming the treat and your dog is following an empty hand.
toronto dog photographerSTEP 5
Now, it’s time to add a verbal cue. While luring the dog in a circle say “spin” while the dog is in movement so they associate the twirl with the word. Repeat until your dog is cuing off your voice and not your hand gesture. And that’s it! It’s a spin!  Now go the other way and give that direction a unique name. “Twist” is a common cue.

SEE IT HERE IN ACTION
toronto-dog-photographer-how-to-train-dog-to-spinHow long should you allow a dog to do this trick?
Until you’re sick of it! Dogs tend to love this trick because it’s easy, fun and it pays off with a treat at the end of it. When you’re first starting out, 1 spin = 1 treat, but as you and your dog progress you can ask for multiple spins for one treat.

SHOW US YOUR STUFF! Show us your dog spins by posting a video on Instagram and tagging with with the hashtag #pawshtricks for a chance to have your dog featured on Pawsh!

{Special thanks to Jess Bell and Cohen the Australian Shepherd for this wonderful dog training guide! Photography by Pawsh Studio.}

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DOG TREAT RECIPE: APPLE POCKET BISCUITS

easy dog treat recipeWho says fancy has to be complicated? These little ‘apple pockets’ are a playful twist on apple pie season and offer dogs a nutritious taste of all the best autumn flavours. Plus they will make your kitchen smell wonderful – to dogs and people alike!

Ingredients
–  1 cup of chickpea flour (or equal parts chickpea and whole wheat organic flour)
–  1-2 tbsp organic honey
–  2 tbsp vegetable oil
–  3/4 cup finely diced apples
–  1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

What to do
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine flour, oil and honey until a thick, stiff texture is achieved.
3. Roll out mixture on a flat surface.
4. Use a large circular cookie cutter to divide up pastry.
5. Combine apples, honey and cinnamon then gently cover half of each circle with the fruit mixture.
6. Fold the remaining pastry half over the mixture and gently press the pastry lip with a fork.
7. Bake on greased sheet for 30 minutes.
8. Allow to cool and serve to what we’re sure will be a captive canine audience!

{Show us your dog’s with this recipe on Instagram by using the hashtag #pawshpets}

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DOG TREAT RECIPE: OH-SO SWEET SQUASH SOUP GOOP | HUMAN FOOD FOR DOGS

Easy dog treat recipeSoup may not sound like something that you would treat your dog with — after all you can’t exactly slosh soup around in your pocket. But, believe it or not, soup is a fantastic way to spoil your furry minion at home, especially if you make it a little goopy!

This dog-friendly Sweet Squash Soup Goop recipe is a wonderful way to cozy up your pup’s kibble at dinner time! It takes no time at all to make, adds interest to your dog’s meal and gives them a healthy boost of much needed vitamins and dietary fibre! Oh, and did we mention that this easy dog treat recipe has only THREE ingredients? And go!

INGREDIENTS
– 2 cups of no sodium vegetable or chicken broth
– 1 or 2 organic sweet potatoes
– 1 butternut squash

DIRECTIONS
1) Slice and dice the sweet potatoes and squash into bite sized pieces.
2) Place in large pot and cover with broth.
3) Bring to a gentle simmer for 30-40 minutes or until potato chunks are soft.
4) Allow to cool and blend using an electric hand mixer or blender (who knew!)
5) Store in glass jars or plastic containers once cooled.

When dinner time comes around, simply ladle over your dog’s kibble and watch the drool flow! this is especially ideal for older dogs who may have sensitive teeth and need their kibble softened with a bit of water before chowing down. A simple way to dress up suppertime and your dog will adore you for it!

PAWSH PERK: Another three-ingredient dog treat recipe.

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