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Dog Accessories Worth Fetching

06/04/2013 by Healthy Paws
June 4th, 2013 by Healthy Paws
        

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Never trust a skinny chef, the saying goes.

While there are notable exceptions to this rule in the culinary world – Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Alton Brown and Tyler Florence, just to name a few – there’s no question about one thing: a person needs to actually eat the entree before their endorsement – or critique – carries any weight. Regardless of how much of that weight they themselves are carrying!!!

And, while we’re not suggesting you pamper your pup with paella or phad thai (personally, I fully intend to continue being a selfless martyr who “protects” his 9-year-old corgi from those particular evils :-) ), but when it comes to pet accessories, pet parents are smart to have a bit of skinny chef skepticism.

In other words, when it comes to finding the most awesome, fetch-worthy pet accessories on the market, you should listen to those who know from experience – the dog lovers who themselves drink from the bowls they endorse.

Wait, what? Um-yeah … about that. On 2nd thought, while the notion of “listen to those who know from experience” applies well to both food and pet accessories, in the case of dog bowls, we might actually suggest you take that analogy more figuratively than literally. I mean, a dog bowl drinking pet parent could, in theory, be a credible information source, but you, like us, probably wouldn’t want to take those odds to Vegas. :-)

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So, in order to sniff out the best, most tail wag-inducing pet accessories, we enlisted the help of some of our favorite fellow pet bloggers. From car seats and biodegradable scoop bags to LED lights and yes, HooRags, we hope you like the products on our list of canine accessories as much as our Pets Choice Ambassadors do.

Please enjoy the post & be sure to check out each of our ambassadors’ personal blogs for more pet-related pearls!!

 

The World According to Garth Riley – theworldaccordingtogarthriley.blogspot.com

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Dog Tags (from Dog Tag Art) – One of the most important accessories for any dog is an identification tag because it makes it easy for someone to figure out where a dog belongs if he or she ever wanders off.  We like the tags from Dog Tag Art because they are attractive as well as functional.  You can choose from over a thousand designs on their website, or you can create a custom design using your own photograph or graphic. The design appears on one side of the tag and your contact information is on the other side.  The tags are made of a recycled steel core coated with a polymer, and they’re made in the United States.

Rubit Clips – Because Garth has a number of different collars and tags, including his therapy dog tag which he only wears on therapy visits, we attach each tag with a Rubit dog tag clip, which makes it easy to change tags.  Rubit clips are mini-carabiners that come in several different sizes, colors, and designs.  We have six of them – one for each tag – and they’ve held up well in spite of Garth’s active lifestyle.

LED Leash & Collar – If you walk at night, lighted collars and/or leashes are essential accessories.  We use an LED dog collar and leash from Keep Doggie Safe.  We’ve tried a number of different lights that clip on a dog’s collar, but nothing has worked as well or been as bright and visible as the LED leash and collar that we now use.

Leash (for daytime)– When walking in the daytime, we use our favorite leash from A Tail We Could Wag, made from a colorful hand-woven Guatemalan pattern sewn onto webbing backing.  Garth has a selection of collars, but our favorite ones are hand-made in Key West by Coconut Retriever from tropical-patterned material sewn onto webbing.

HooRag (Doggy Bandana alternative) – Sometimes when we go out to a special event, Garth wants a little more flare than just one of his colorful collars, so he wears a HooRag around his neck.  A HooRag is a seamless tubular piece of cloth that’s an alternative to a traditional bandana.  Unlike a bandana, a HooRag simply slips over a dog’s head, so you don’t need to struggle with knots (which can be pretty challenging with a wiggly dog).  HooRags come in a variety of different colors and designs and can be worn by humans too!

Author’s Bio:
Garth Riley is a five-year-old yellow lab who likes to make people smile.  He blogs about his adventures at The World According to Garth Riley (http://theworldaccordingtogarthriley.blogspot.com/).  Garth lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he takes full advantage of the James River and its network of trails for swimming and hiking.

Garth, who describes himself as a Trick Dog/Philosopher, is a Canine Good Citizen, an Advanced Trick Dog, and a Therapy Dog Inc.-certified therapy dog.  He’s also very active in his local Dog Scout troop, leading the troop on monthly hikes, spearheading fundraisers, and taking part in trick performances at local events.  He loves hiking with his doggie friends, fetching balls, carrying sticks, playing in mud, and eating lots of things humans don’t consider edible. 

His favorite tricks are playing the piano, skateboarding, and playing basketball.  By blogging about his activities, Garth hopes to inspire people to get outside and explore and try new activities with their dogs.  One of his goals is to educate humans about the importance of dog fitness and weight management to a dog’s health.

Garth is also on Twitter (@garth2007), Instagram (@garthriley), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/garth.riley.5), and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/garthriley/).

 

Bearded Creatures – yukithedog.com

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Admittedly, I am THE crazy dog lady. I just love dogs and always have.  Buying collars, clothes, and even snow boots is just icing on that proverbial chocolate-free, dog-friendly cake. All of the cutesy, unnecessary dog stuff, in my opinion is just the fun part of dog ownership. If you read our blog, you pretty much know I am not above dressing my dogs in costume, much to their chagrin. But, then there is also the practical side of me. Before all else, I make sure my dogs have what they need, not what I want. When searching for something that they need, I value good craftsmanship, efficiency and most importantly practicality. Whenever possible, I try to purchase things that can lessen our environmental impact.

Pet Stroller – Yes, this is practical and no, I never thought I would ever be one of those dog owners. I do not use a stroller as the name implies, ‘to stroll’. My schnauzers have four legs and should walk in most situations. Yuki and Rocket need to be groomed regularly, about once every 5 weeks and most often I have to take the two rascals to the groomers all by my lonesome self. Imagine trying to walk two highly stressed fur balls, which are screeching at the highest pitch known to man, while both are trying to run out of the building in opposite directions.

Now, imagine trying to discuss with your groomer in detail, what each dog needs done, then signing some waivers after answering a few questions, and then try paying.  The stroller I found online is sporty, fits in the back of my vehicle perfectly, and mostly importantly zips up. My two pups are safely contained, but can still see and whine in protest out the several mesh windows on a tent-like stroller. The dogs may not be stress-free, for fear of impending clipper doom, but I am calmly doing what I need to without worry.

Car Seats – There are many different styles out there, but my preference is the bucket style, that has straps to buckle around my car’s seats. There is a hook inside the seat that connects to their harnesses and they can curl up and nap inside their seat, instead of roaming around as a dangerous distraction. Hopefully you are never in an accident, but if you happen to be in one, it keeps the pups safe and tied down. Pets can become flying projectiles and end up hurt or worse and endangering the lives of the human passengers as well.

Harness – As I’ve mentioned already, my dog’s like to pull their leashes despite all their training that’s to the contrary.  Having a leash attached to a collar on a dog that freaks-out is not good. They will choke and gag themselves when they pull, which could eventually lead to permanent damage. I really like the type of harness that’s a vest. Just put their two front legs in and secure the vest with the Velcro that’s on the back. Attach the leash to the harness’ hook and that’s it. You’re good to go.

Retractable Dog Leash with Built in Flashlight – Ever walk your dog at night and the only place your dog insists is the one and only spot to do his business, is the poorly lit grass field in desperate need of a good mow? Having a hands free way to light your uncertain path is the best way to avoid any messes you might step on with your shoes or paws.

Waste Bag Dispenser Clip – For me, the single most bothersome thing as a dog owner is, the people who don’t clean up after their pets. Not only is this disgusting to say the least, it’s unsanitary and an easy way spread illnesses and diseases. It gives all of the responsible dog owners a bad name and not a very good case in the need for more dog parks and pet-friendly establishments. Fill the dispenser with a roll of Eco-friendly, biodegradable bags and keep it clipped to your leash and you won’t forget it.

Author’s Bio:
Melissa Heard is an animal lover and dog blogger who loves sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly in the lives of her two rambunctious miniature schnauzers, Yuki and Rocket.  Check out their blog Bearded Creatures, to find out what these two are getting into next.    
My Brown Newfies and Me – mybrownnewfies.com
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Being a pet owner and a pet blogger I am always on the lookout for fun new accessories for my dogs to try and since they can’t actually tell me what type of accessory they are just dying to have, I have the privilege of discovering them on my own. So here is our short list of pet accessories that I have found are worth fetching.

The Go Dog Go fetch machine. You put a few tennis balls in the machine, press a remote control button and the ball launches 40 feet or more. Great for active dogs.

The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest. A great summer accessory for dogs that are out in the heat.

The Sony Dog Mount for the Action Cam. Comfortably fastened to the back of your dog’s back, the AKA-DM1 dog mount captures heartwarming point of view footage from your dog.

The EzyDog Summit Backpack. Great functional backpack for hikes.

Snoutstik. A nose balm for you dogs dry cracked nose. Easy to apply and no mess.

Author bio:

Jen is a blogger, veterinarian assistant and mom to two human children, Bobby and Gracie, and fur mom to two Newfoundland dogs ‘Sherman and Leroy, one Beagle named Plunger and a guinea pig named Gibby. Jen blogs at MyBrownNewfies where blogs about pet health, pet products and the joys of living sharing her life with Sherman and Leroy.

 

The Adventures of Kendall the Cavalier – kendalldog.com

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We’re not much into accessorizing our Cavalier, Kendall, with tutus or fancy studded collars, but there are some accessories we just can’t live without. Here are just a handful of them.

Pet Bed – We have three pet beds in our house. Kendall’s favorite type of bed is the kind that has sides so she can rest her head. The cats often share a bed, but it’s not uncommon to find each of the cats and the dog in their own beds.

Front Lead Harness – This is one accessory we couldn’t do without. We’re currently using a Walk in Sync front lead harness that works well for us. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to have neck issues, so using a leash attached to a collar is not an option for us. We tried the harness that clips in the back, but Kendall acted like a sled dog running the Iditarod. The front lead harness keeps her from pulling when she’s walking by my side.

Biodegradable Poop Bags – We always keep a stock of Poop Bags from the company of the same name on hand at our house. With plastics filling up our landfills, we feel it’s our responsibility as conscientious dog owners to use biodegradable poop bags.

Restraint system or crate for your car – Just last week I was dropping Kendall at doggie daycare when a car pulled into the parking lot and suddenly accelerated. It jumped the curb and slammed into the building. The tires continued to squeal as the car lodged itself farther in the wall. It turns out the dog, excited to get to doggie daycare, jumped down and got on the accelerator. The dog’s owner couldn’t get her foot on the brake with the dog in the way. They’re lucky that no one got hurt, but a dog seatbelt, a dog barrier, or even a crate could have prevented this.

Author’s Bio:
I’m Gretchen, and I’m a forty-something scientist by day and blogger by night. I blog about everything Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a little bit of culture, cooking, travel, and fun thrown in. Kendall and I are a registered Pet Partners therapy dog team. We visit at nursing homes, retirement villages, and local libraries.

Kendall is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel born on July 3, 2008. The blog is a record of her adventures, as well as lots of cute pictures. You never know where you’ll find us next.

 

Life with Big Dogs! – lifewithbigdogs.blogspot.com

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Pet accessories that are worth buying are really going to vary from person to person depending on the breed of dog(s) they have, the type of activities they are involved in with their dog(s), and of course, the individual person’s personality.  My own personality causes me to lean more towards blingy or unique accessories.  Due to the “non-standard” sizes of my dogs, I do a fair bit of custom ordering.  I need a dumbbell for obedience?  You bet I’m going to get one custom made that fits the bill for pretty!

Just because an accessory has a more utilitarian purpose does not mean that it has to plain and boring.  I say jazz it up!  Make it something both functional and visually appealing!  Now a days there are so many people creating custom ordered accessories that you don’t have to search high and low to find someone willing to work with your requests.  Whatever your needs are, I say go for it!  Make your dog and yourself stand out with that special something that really pops!  From collars, to harnesses, to dumbbells, there’s something out there for every person and every dog.

Author’s Bio:
Life With Big Dogs is pretty much what the title says.  It includes all the various day-to-day happenings of living with giant dogs.  A year or two into the blog, Ruthie the frenchie was added to the group and changed the dynamic a little, but it’s still about life with these dogs sharing the same household. 

There are a variety of sports, tricks, and various other activities that all three dogs are involved in and the blog is also about the progress, or sometimes lack of progress, that each dog makes along the way in achieving their various titles or skill sets.  The author tries to be very honest in the hurdles and frustrations that occur along the way, but ultimately it’s about the love for these dogs.

 

Life with Desmond – lifewithdesmond.com

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One of the most fun parts of being a pet parent is getting to check out and play with all kinds of doggie acoutrement. Of course, this can be a pretty expensive habit–and can leave you with a drawer full of stuff that wound up being useless. So let me save you some trouble and tell you about a pet accessory that is actually worth hunting down for your arsenal.

Bamboo Scoop – The Bamboo Scoop & Go Waste Pick-Up Mitt is a palm-sized life saver. Well, OK, it’s not going to save your life but it does put an extra barrier between your hand and your dog’s business. No longer will it be just you, a terribly thin plastic bag, and some poop.

It might seem a little cumbersome to use, but I assure you it’s not. You slide your fingers and thumb into the two slots on either side of the scooper, and then you stick a bag over the whole contraption before you scoop. You’ll still have plenty of control and no risk of accidentally getting some goodies on your skin. Plus, the scoop comes with a clip so you can attach it whatever you’d like–your pants, the leash, any carrying cases you may have, or a treats pouch. Along the sides of the scoop, there are even spaces where you can stick a few waste bags. Easy peasy!

This is an especially good accessory for someone who is getting their first dog, as the transition from being someone who does not pick up poop to being someone who must pick up poop multiple times a day can be a little difficult to complete. It’s a great little tool for anyone who loves dogs but is squeamish about the less-glorious aspects of dog ownership. You never know–it might even prevent someone from leaving their dog’s mess on the street, if the nastiness factor is eliminated. And for under $15, this is a worthwhile investment for any canine’s companion.

Author’s Bio:
Lauren is the author behind Life With Desmond, a blog about her & her husband’s rescued reactive greyhound-pit bull mix. Lauren manages the blog on the side while working full-time as an editorial manager during the week and finishing up the professional obedience instructor program at Animal Behavior College on weekends.
Desmond has faced some additional challenges recently since being displaced by Hurricane Sandy, but the family should be going back to their home in Long Island in a few months and getting back to normal. Desmond’s favorite accessory is any B-A-L-L, and Lauren’s is the Bamboo Scoop & Go Waste Pick-Up Mitt.

 

To Dog With Love – todogwithlove.com

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5 must-have accessories for the dog on the go

When you’re a dog about town, like Rocco, you need a very special set of accessories that are both stylish AND functional.

Here are our top-five accessories for the dog on the go!

Portable water bottle and/or bowl –  I use a collapsible bowl that I can stuff in my bag or in the side pocket of a pet travel carrier. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect water bottle/bowl combination.

Dog waste bags – I always say you can never have too many poo bags. I always have a few stuffed in my pockets.

Crate – I don’t know how I ever lived without a crate. My first dog wasn’t crate trained. Now, the crate has become not only an essential for puppy training, sleeping and traveling in the car, but it’s also where we play endless crate games… making the crate the best place to be on Earth!

Travel carrier – For transporting a small dog, nothing beats a lightweight carrier that fits comfortably under an airplane seat.  We started travel bag training when Rocco was a baby, and now at eight months, Rocco has two successful airplane trips under his fur belt.

Tote bag for the mama – You need a great tote to carry all these essentials plus treats, toys, brush, comb, hair bands (for long-haired dogs), camera, smartphoneand of course just a few items of your own, if you have space!

Author’s Bio:
Diane Silver and her eight-month-old pup Rocco Havanese blog about their adventures at To Dog With Love, offering tips, tricks and treats on topics include training, travel, performance dog events, reviews and giveaways.  Diane is an award-winning writer, public relations and social media consultant and feels there’s nothing like a warm puppy to make a house a home.

 

Talking Dogs – talking-dogs.com

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My thoughts about Pet Accessories Worth Buying:
When I’m thinking about pet accessories for myself, my dogs, or as gifts, there are several factors I consider:
  • Will I really use/wear it?
  • Is it handmade?  I prefer unusual, artisan items, especially for gifts.
  • What do customer reviews say about the product?
  • If it is something for my dog – will it be fun/comfortable/safe for my dog?
Pet accessories can be useful items that make like easier, or just plain fun.  Admittedly, I prefer the later!  Life is short, shouldn’t every day be a party?
Author’s Bio:
The crazy dog lady behind Talking Dogs blog [www.Talking-dogs.com] is Sue Kottwitz.  Sue believes that life is best lived with a dog or two, or more.  She loves dogs and the people that love them.  That’s why she blogs about dogs, dog products, dog books, dog music, and much more.  It is also why she’s been creating handmade dog jewelry for people since 1991 at For Love of a Dog.  [www.forloveofadog.com]  Meet Sue’s dogs and follow their adventures at Talking Dogs.

 

 

 

 






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