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HEALTHY DOG TREATS: LOL DOG TREATS

BK-LOL-Beef-500x500 BK-LOL-Chicken-228x228 BK-LOL-Peanut-new-500x500It’s been a long time since I’ve found a wholesome, hearty dog treat that has knocked my socks off, which is why I just had to share with you the LOL (Lick-out-loud) Dog Treats from Buddy’s Kitchen. I picked up a bag of the Yummy Chicken treats last week for Lucy’s training and both she and Rory are bonkers for them!

WHY WE LOVE LOL DOG TREATS

Reason #1
They are all natural, wheat free dog treats — two things that are extremely important for good canine health and diet. I feel good giving my fur monsters treats that are bursting with natural goodness — plus they are low-cal, which is ideal for training.

Reason #2
They are local! At least, they are local if you live in Toronto. The Buddy’s Kitchen headquarters are in Aurora, ON. Nothing makes me happier than being able to support small businesses, especially ones that are a hop, skip and a jump away from where I call home. Locally made — how refreshing! Plus, the name of these treats is absolutely adorable, don’t you think?

Reason #3
These treats are produced in small batches, which means there is a greater quality control ensuring that our pets are getting the best! How wonderful is that? In a world dominated by mass-production at every turn, having something artisanally made for our dogs is a welcome change.

I would highly recommend these dog treats for any occasion, whether you want to further your dog’s training, reinforce what they already know or just spoil, knowing that each tasty bite is packed with nutrients.

Visit Buddy’s Kitchen today for their great selection and free shipping on orders over $50. And for behind-the-scenes fun, take a peek at their Instagram feed. So fun!

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ECO-FRIENDLY DOG TIPS: HOW TO HELP YOUR DOG LIVE GREENER

Green-pet-products-Pawsh-Magazine-1 How green is your pet? It’s not a new question by any means, but it is a consideration worth revisiting every year, as the environment impacts us all (whether we have two legs or four!) With spring officially here and almost in full swing, what better time to explore this matter. Consider it a bit of a spring cleaning do-over to help your pet reduce his environmental pawprint. Here we go! (more…)

PUPPY SAFETY TIPS: HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PUPPY

Pet-Safety-Puppy-Checklist-Pawsh-Magazine-1Now that spring has arrived, many people may be planning to add a puppy to their family unit. While the precious little babes may seem like low maintenance, the truth is they require a lot of preparation and care. So here’s a brief checklist for first time puppy parents that overviews some important things to keep in mind before puppy comes home.

1) RESEARCH
This cannot be stressed enough. Researching puppy care in general, as well as the care required by its specific breed, is number one. Different breeds come with different needs which an expectant puppy parent should know about.

Keep a couple of reputable puppy books on your coffee table, or bookmark some informative blogs and websites on your computer, so that you can easily turn to a reliable source if faced with an unknown when your ball of fluff arrives. Be prepared to tackle house training, teething, exercise needs, nutrition and more all at once. Taping your local vet’s emergency telephone number to the fridge isn’t a bad idea either — just in case.

2) PUPPY PROOF
Pet-Safety-Puppy-Checklist-Pawsh-Magazine-2Puppies like to put anything and everything in their mouths, so be sure to put anything that is potentially harmful out of puppy’s reach. Tape down wires and cover electrical sockets. Put baby gates across stairs so your puppy cannot fall down and injure themselves, and put away any rugs or valuable items in your home that might get broken.

3) HAVE A CRATE
Your puppy is going to need a place to call their own, a safe place to hideaway and sleep when they want to. Introducing your puppy to a crate at an early age is a good idea so that they are comfortable and can be left in it when you have to go out. This will help keep them safe and out of mischief when you’re not around to supervise.

4) PUPPY CHOW
Pet-Safety-Puppy-Checklist-Pawsh-Magazine-4Yes, puppies need a special form of dog food. Visit your local pet shop ahead of time and choose a kibble that suits your puppy’s age. Talk to the sales clerk if you are unsure.

5) AGE APPROPRIATE TOYS
Puppies have little mouths with little teeth that need to be worked, so be sure to have a few toys in the house for them to play with. It is important to get toys that are designated as ‘suitable for puppies’ because these will be designed specifically for little ones who are just growing into their chompers. Puppy chew toys especially will help them when it comes time for teething.

6) BABYSITTER AT THE READY
Pet-Safety-Puppy-Checklist-Pawsh-Magazine-3Just like babies, puppies are a lot of work and demand a lot of attention. Sometimes, as the doting parent, you’ll need an afternoon or an evening out to clear your head and recharge your batteries. Or sometimes you have to travel for work and run out to unexpected meetings. Thus it’s a good idea to have a reliable puppy babysitter on speed-dial for those hectic times, somebody who can lend a hand and help you ensure that puppy is getting only the best.

7) OBEDIENCE CLASS
As a first time puppy owner there is a lot to take in. Enrolling in a puppy obedience class never hurts, because you will have access to an expert trainer who will teach you how to train your puppy and communicate effectively with them. Plus, it is an opportunity to socialize your puppy with other dogs their age and provides them with a new exciting experience.

*** For any concerns regarding proper puppy care, be sure to consult a qualified veterinarian.***

Bringing home a puppy to a well-prepared home is a magical experience like none other. What was your first day home with your puppy like? We’re dying to know and relive some precious puppy moments!

{Photography by Pawsh Studio}

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DOG TRAINING: HOW TO TEACH A DOG TO BALANCE THINGS ON ITS NOSE

Pawsh-dog-training-how-to-balance-on-nose-1Today we have a special treat! Jess Bell, a Toronto-based dog trick trainer, and her adorable Aussie friend, Cohen, are here to tell us all how to train a dog to balance objects on its nose. Keep reading to master this impressive trick in a simple step-by-step manner! Take it away Jess!

This trick requires a fair amount of impulse control on behalf of the dog, so mastering ‘stays’ and ‘leave-its’ prior to starting work on this trick is a good idea and highly recommended.

STEP 1: HANDLING
Pawsh-dog-training-how-to-balance-on-nose-2 The first step is getting the dog used to being handled. Get your treats ready, set the dog up so she’s comfortable in a ‘sit’ or a ‘down’ on a rug and then extend your hand to touch her muzzle. Mark with a “yes” or a click and then reward with food.

Repeat this until your dog understands that handling her muzzle means a treat is coming, and she even looks forward to it! This may take a few days or more. Go at the pace your dog sets and don’t rush it.

STEP 2: INTRODUCE AN OBJECT
Pawsh-dog-training-how-to-balance-on-nose-3 The next step is introducing the object. It helps if you have a jackpot (aka super yummy!) treat visible to the dog on a coffee table so they can see it. Steady their muzzle with your hand and place the object on their nose for a split second. Mark with a “yes!” or a click, remove the object while saying “okay!” then give your dog the jackpot treat she was probably staring at the whole time.

STEP 3: BE SHORT AND SWEET
Pawsh-dog-training-how-to-balance-on-nose-4Pawsh-dog-training-how-to-balance-on-nose-6It’s important that in the early stages you have the object on the dog’s nose for tiny, tiny increments of time because this can be HARD for your pup. Gradually ask for the dog to hold the object for longer and without your hand to support her nose.

It’s best to keep the number of repetitions low — no more than 1-3 practices at a time. If you’re having trouble, back up a step or two. The most common mistake I see people make is asking for too much too fast. Split seconds can feel like a dog’s age to your pup — so keep it brief. Short and sweet is best!

To start with you probably don’t want to ask for more than 0.25 seconds. That’s, like, really short. Then move up to 0.5 seconds, then 0.75 seconds. It will probably take you a few sessions before you can ask for her to balance something for longer than a second.

Once she knows the trick, you can ask the dog to balance something for quite a while. Use your best judgement. Normally 5-10 seconds is all you’ll need to impress your friends and snap a quick photo.

WHAT ARE SOME GOOD OBJECTS TO BALANCE?Pawsh-dog-training-how-to-balance-on-nose-5Take an object and try to balance it on the tip of your finger. If it’s easy for you, it’ll be easy for your dog. Stuffed toys or other small objects that won’t roll about are a good thing to start on.

A lot of people start with treats. Just remember that if you want your dog to balance a treat on her nose, reward with something BETTER or else your dog may opt to cut out the middleman and eat the treat at her leisure.

WHAT COMMANDS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS TRICK?  Pawsh-dog-training-how-to-balance-on-nose-7Generally this trick is just a fancy ‘stay’ command; when you say, your dog should, ideally, not move a muscle. You can also create a new cue like “hold it” if it’s easier for you and your dog to work with.

Always remember your release cue! Say “okay” to let your dog know she can move again. You don’t want her releasing herself — you want her waiting for your say-so.

KEEP IN MIND…
Sometimes dogs find this trick unpleasant to learn. If your dog is exhibiting any stress signs, stop! Tricks are meant to be fun for both of you! If you have to stop, don’t worry. Give the trick a rest for a few weeks then come back to it.

Sometimes you need to shelve things like this and come back to it later. If your dog can’t do this now it doesn’t mean she’ll never do it. Try teaching another trick in the meantime. Remember, the goal is to have fun, fun, fun!

PAWSH PERK: Be sure to visit on Monday for our dog-friendly ‘Timbit’ recipe!

{Photography by Pawsh Studio}

{Special thanks to Jess Bell for her wonderful insights, to Cohen for being such a good model and to my fantastic photo assistant Sondra! xo}

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