It’s spring and we are inundated with puppies and kittens, and we love it. In fact, even the employees are participating. We have two new puppies and a new kitten in the Wilderness employee pet family. Welcome Cotton, our vet assistant Aris’ new Old English Sheep Dog; Beans, Our assistant Mikah”s new cat and Olive, my new Australian Shepherd. Even though we didn’t plan it, they all have black and white coloring.
Now that I’m back to puppy training and in the process of trying to find something to keep Olive entertained I’ve discovered some fun products that help satisfy her need to chew and keep her entertained when I’m not able to be her chew toy. When choosing a toy for your pet you need to ask yourself: squeaker or no squeaker (I am definitely a no squeaker person) and soft or indestructible (my Aussie needs indestructible). You should always make sure anything your puppy is chewing on is not small enough to swallow.
I bought a Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy to help my puppy feel more comfortable at night. It’s a soft and cuddly stuffed toy that looks like a dog and best of all it has a heart-shaped device that mimics a heartbeat. Olive snuggled with it for the first few nights, then she decided to start to chew it up. I had to take it away to save it from destruction. I’m a geek so I also bought a GoBone Interactive App-Enabled Smart Bone for Dogs and Puppies and my daughter tried it out on her Aussie, Emmy. Emmy thought the toy was very interesting, but Brianne thought it was difficult to control on her phone.
I’ve always been a little nervous about tug of war, there is some concern that tug of war can make a breed prone to nip- like Aussies- a little nippier. Tug of war does have its place in play time when approached properly. Most important to remember is that you, not your dog, makes the rules. You start the game; you end the game. Make sure the tug toy you are using provides enough room for your hand, the dog’s mouth and some distance in between. Use the tug of war game to teach your dog the “let go” or “drop it” cue (have treats in your pocket to reinforce the behavior). Make it positive and fun. You can let your dog win occasionally, but you should win most the time. You are, after all, the alpha of the pack. I’m going to try a Zogoflex Bumi Interactive Tug of War Durable Dog Play Toy, and see how things go with Olive.
If you have a new kitten, I love the idea of a no bowl feeding system, like Doc & Phoebe's Interactive Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder. Instead of feeding your cat out of a boring bowl. You stuff a bunch of mouse like stuffed animals and hide them all over the house. This is a great way to avoid boredom and other destructive activities. I’m a big fan of Feliway pheromone products to help decrease environmental stress, especially if there are other pets already living in the house.
A nice option for transporting your smaller pets (less than 15#) is the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed. It’s nice because it serves multiple purposes. Leave it out for your pet to use as a bed. When it’s time to travel, the bed becomes a familiar place for travel. An extra bonus is the Sleepypod can be secured with the seat belt during car travel. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I love the idea.
If you love seeing pictures of puppies and kittens, make sure to like our Facebook page. We try to post of all the new family members that visit us. Also, look for us in the Maple Valley Days parade and we will have a booth at the Farmers’ Market twice this year. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me at [email protected]