DinkyDogClub Product Review Round-Up – Good Dog! Gold Standard

5/5 Stars – Good Dog! Gold Standard
https://www.dinkydogclub.com/

Neither the writer nor Good Dog! Magazine received compensation for this review.

By Christine Boswell

Oh my goodness gracious! We here at casa de la Sexton just got the most adorable tiny box from the DinkyDogClub, and we are in love. The DinkyDogClub has items for itty-bitty pupperz, but big dogs can find goodies there too so don’t fret. The DinkyDogClub has been around the dog park since 2014 when, after adopting their dog Dunkin, the founders of this cute club had trouble finding him pup play mates. Fast forward a few years, and their membership is at a whopping 400 Dinky Doggies and their online boutique serves their members and the teensy weensy doggie community at large. I don’t know about you, but the thought of so many small “floofy” dogs makes me smile and squeal from sheer cuteness overload.

The Unboxing

The Testers

Stan Lee is an almost two-year-old, 175 lb., King Shepherd. He is shy and very protective of his pack. He does not like meeting new people when we are around. His girlfriend is Charlotte, and she is one-year-old, 50ish lbs., and the most hyper and ADHD Aussie Shepherd mix you will ever have the joy of meeting. She, unlike Stan Lee, loves to meet anyone and everyone. However, not everyone likes her when she’s hyped up because she likes to jump (we are trying to get her to stop). Our senior pup, Helen, is fifteen years old, 50 lbs., and is a Corgi mix. She is one of those who does not like Charlotte when she is hyper, but when she thinks you are not looking, she will give the puppy sweet forehead kisses. It’s super adorable. Then, the odd man out is the cat. Ylva (EEL-VA) is six pounds. She thinks she is a dog and even tested the treats, but she was not a fan since they weren’t beef or chicken flavored. She’s a diva and is super picky.

The Selection

Needless to say, our dogs are not tiny, but Charlotte thinks she is and loves playing dress up like the fluffy butted princess that she is so, we decided to give the DinkyDogClub a try. The website was super cute and had lots of cool items to choose. We ended up with:

  1. A twilight black Hawaiian hibiscus dog dress with matching leash (size Large). I love flowers, and I adore this pattern. (5 stars)
  2. A doggie design diaper (size Large) to see if Charlotte would be able to get it off. (5 stars)
  3. A Bark notes collar sleeve (FRIENDLY) that can be used by Charlotte, but Stan Lee would need an, “I’m shy” collar tag. (3 stars)
  4. A pack of Vegalicious Crazy Coconut Crunchy Treats that was amazing and yummy smelling when I cracked open the bag. (4 stars)
  5. An itty bitty cute decal that is definitely going on my FIAT SPIDER 124 which is lovingly named Bart’s window.

The Review

Hawaiian Hibiscus Dog Dress w/ Matching Leash
Doggie Design Diaper

The first thing we tried out was that adorable dress. It was freakishly well made (almost indestructible), and the velcro and body shape helped make getting it on to Charlotte that much easier. The construction of the dress itself was unique. It was the like a hide-a-vest with a skirt on it which does a good job of fitting the dog without compromising the stability promised from a harness. Furthermore, Charlotte was so cute in it that I just had to put on her little diaper to see how it would go! It too was super cute, and to Charlotte’s chagrin, she couldn’t get it off which is saying something. Before she was spayed she would not keep on her diapers, and it was like chasing a fish with your bare hands every time a change was needed– not fun at all!

Vegalicious Crazy Coconut Crunchy Treats

After Stan Lee got done looking at and giving her two paws up for her cute new clothes, we cracked open the Vegalicious treats. First of all, those treats smelled glorious. As a human, I wanted to try them.  That’s how yummy they smelled, and apparently the dogs agreed because the treats are gone and I’m getting a death glare for not having more to give. They are made from coconut and are plant based. If your pup is ok with treats which aren’t chock full of meat, these would make for a perfect training incentive.

Bark Notes Collar Sleeve

The only product that I would make any changes to is the Bark Notes Collar Sleeve. While the small “Friendly” tag works for a friendly dog, there are a lot of inattentive and inconsiderate people in the world who will either not notice or not care about a smallish tag. We unfortunately have first-hand knowledge of this because a small girl ran screaming up to our poor Stan Lee when he was a puppy and scared the begeebus out of him. Then, other people kept approaching without asking to pet him and would just reach out and touch him without his consent… and bibbidy bobbidy boo he became the shy and protective dog that he is. If the tag was a little bigger with a bolder print, it would go a long way to identify if a dog is or is not ok to pet, but you still will have to practice heavy preventative screening if your dog is shy. That being said, the tag is rugged and well made. It can stand up to some puppy chewing on the lead (we put it there after people kept ignoring it on Charlotte’s collar).

All in all, I’d say this is a first-rate shop that knows their clients and gives them what they want. Good Dog Gold Standard and some very happy paws way up! (5 total stars)

Visit the DinkyDogClub at https://www.dinkydogclub.com/ and check out their products at https://www.dinkydogclub.com/collections/all

Five Crucial Tips for First Time Dog Owners

By Julian Ward-Smith

1.  Environment

There are a few things you can do to keep your dog comfortable at home and when you are out and about.

a) Car travel
Unless of course your dog is driving (and I sincerely hope it is not!), always make sure your dog is secure when in the car. Use a dog guard or, if traveling in the back seat, use a seat belt. If you do have to leave your vehicle for any length of time, even for five minutes, be sure to leave your window open a crack and a bowl of water for your four-legged friend.

b) A comfortable bed
Dogs love a cosy bed. This should be situated in a quiet part of the house where your faithful hound feels safe and secure. It should be cleaned on a regular basis and any bedding should be washed to keep it fresh.

c) Hazards around the home
There are lots of hidden dangers in the home and garden that should be kept out of reach from our furry friends. You can find a comprehensive list at this website www.thekennelclubclub.org.uk

2. Diet

Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  The type and amount of food they need depends on various factors including age, health and lifestyle. You certainly don’t want your pets to feel embarrassed in front of their friends!

a) What should you feed your dog?
A nutritionally complete pet food is the best way to make sure your pets gets all the nutrients they need. The odd treat is fine but remember those extra calories can soon turn to fat so it is better to keep them to a minimum. Don’t forget the water bowl!

b) How much should you feed your dog?
Weigh out each meal as it is very easy, as with humans, to put too much food in the bowl. This is especially important for some breeds that tend to overeat. It is obvious but if our pets eat too much they will gain weight.

c) How often should you feed your dog?
Like us, our pets prefer routine, so it is good to have regular mealtimes. It is usually best to divide the daily allowance into two meals such as breakfast and dinner.

3. Behaviour

a) Do you need to train your dog?
Training is a great way to keep your dog’s mind active. It is easier to have fun and enjoyable walks when you have a well-trained dog. Like us, dogs need boundaries and if your pet understands this it will respect you and your rules which will lead to a more fulfilling relationship.

b) Toys
Dogs love to be stimulated and this keeps them very happy. They love to play, run and most of them love swimming. It is a good idea to have a variety of different toys so your dog doesn’t get bored and remains engaged in play.

c) Exercise
The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on age, health and breed. All dogs however enjoy regular walks and being free of their lead whenever possible. They enjoy being out and about socialising with other canines and generally having fun!

4. Health

There are many things one can do to make sure your pet leads a long and healthy life. We all want our dogs to be happy so looking after their well-being is very important.

a) Vaccinations
These protect your dog against diseases, which can sometimes be fatal and they also prevent diseases from being passed to other canines. Vaccines help to stimulate your dog’s immune system to help fight off disease. Our four-legged friends should be vaccinated when they are puppies and then receive boosters during their lifetime. Your vet will tell you when you should vaccinate your dog.

b) Fleas and worms
All dogs should be treated regularly for fleas and worms. You can have your pet injected or you could use sprays or tablets. It is best to ask your veterinary practice for their advice on which treatment they would recommend.

c) Dental health
Looking after your dog’s teeth is as important as looking after your own. There is nothing worse than “dog breath” and there are plenty of pet friendly tooth pastes on the market suitable for your pet. Don’t forget, regular brushing will keep your canine’s canines sparkling!! You can also use special foods and toys that will keep teeth healthy.

5. Companionship

Dogs are extremely sociable creatures and they adore company. Adult dogs don’t really like to be left on their own for any significant amount of time.

a) Visiting
If you must leave your furry friend alone for longer than the recommended time during the day it is a good idea to have someone pop in and visit your dog. They just need to stay for a short while and let your dog out for a run or take it for a walk and check it has enough water.

b) Anxiety
If you do need to go out for a few hours on a regular basis this may mean that your dog becomes anxious when you leave the house. If you do notice a change in your dog’s behavior speak to your vet and get some advice. It may even be as simple as leaving a radio or television on while you are out as this may allay some of your canine’s anxieties.

c) Holidays
Dogs like routine and being in their own environment. Most vets will tell you that our four-legged friends don’t like kennels and are often miserable when their owners return from holiday. There is also a danger that your furry friend may get kennel cough or some other illness. It is very important that pets are looked after properly in your absence. For this reason, increasingly more people are using professional pet and house sitters to live in their home and look after their pets while away. Your faithful hound will certainly thank you for it and, with new people to play with, your dog will think it is on holiday too!

Julian Ward-Smith is the Founder and Owner of Professional House Sitters, bringing together pet owners and pet sitters worldwide. Find out more at: www.professionalhouse-sitters.com

Stop Your Doggo from Digging Your Flower Bed

By Jackie Newton

Your dog has dug up your new flower bed for the hundredth time and you’re tearing out your hair wondering what to do. You can start by looking at the reasons why your dog may be digging.

Dogs dig because they can and because it’s part of their nature. Some dog breeds are hard core diggers. Terriers were bred specifically to dig, Dachshunds and Miniature Schnauzers were bred to dig deep into the earth looking for rodents, and Beagles were trained to track prey using their brilliant sense of smell.

So contrary to what you might think, your dog is not digging up your garden because he hates you, is trying get back at you for something or is trying to punish you. Your dog might be digging in your garden for a variety of reasons. Check out the four main reasons Fido likes to dig and our recommendations on how you can put a stop to this.

#1 Dogs Dig Out of Boredom

Is your dog well exercised, mentally and physically? If you just open your back door and say “Fido, go out and play”, your dog is going to find his own ways to play and keep himself entertained. You need to take an active role in his exercise activities and channel his energy in a positive manner.

  • Teach your dog to play fetch with a ball or a Frisbee. While you are working in the yard, you can keep your dog entertained by throwing the ball for him to bring back to you. Reward him with a treat when he returns the ball.

  • Take your dog for a walk twice a day. Depending on the size of your dog, he or she may require up to one hour a day of exercise. This can be a combination of playing fetch and taking him for a walk.
  • Just opening your back door and letting him outdoors does not equal exercising your dog.
  • Keep interesting chew toys out for him in the yard that he can play with on his own.
  • If you have the space, create a designated “digging area” for him. Bury a couple of his favourite toys or treats shallowly under the ground and encourage him to dig. If you find him digging in any other area, say “No” firmly and take him over to his digging area.

#2 The Dog May be Looking for Prey

If the dog is persistently digging in a specific area, in the middle of the garden for example, it could very well be that he is smelling some insects or other rodents in the ground that he is trying to uncover.

  • Examine the area for pests and eliminate them if necessary. Use a non-poisonous method of removal as insecticides and pesticides can be dangerous and even fatal for your pet.

#3 Dogs Dig to Build a Shelter or Den

When it is too hot or sunny and there is no shade, a dog may dig to cool off or get away from the sun or cold winds. He may also be digging for water. If your dog is digging near the base of a tree and is covering himself with mud then he may be trying to build a den and shelter himself.

  • Have a water bowl available for your dog in the yard.
  • Provide an acceptable shelter such as a covered, protected dog house.

#4 Dogs Dig to Escape

If most of the digging is at the base of a fence or an exit, then your dog is trying to escape. While this may seem like common sense, it is important to work on why your dog is trying to escape. Have you been leaving him out in the yard too long? In the meantime, use these methods to prevent him from digging his way out of your yard.

  • Bury some large rocks along the line of your fence. They should be large enough that he is not able to move them with his digging action.
  • Install the fence two inches into the ground and lay chain link fencing along the ground making the approach to the fence difficult for your dog.

Other Techniques to Stop a Dog from Digging

Some dogs are just diggers and there may be no reason to their digging other than they just enjoy it and get caught up in the process. After all, it can be fun to fling mud around. Here are a couple of techniques that should stop the most ardent of diggers.

  • Bury an air filled balloon in the spot that your dog digs and cover it loosely with mud. The sound of the balloon popping will be sufficient to dissuade him from digging in that area.
  • Gather some of your dog’s recent faeces and bury it in the area where he digs. A dog does not want to encounter his own faeces and will be put off by finding it where he is digging. This should be enough to stop him from any further digging.

Jackie Newton is a dog-lover and blogger at http://www.iconicpup.com/and can be followed @ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/iconicpup/ or @Twitter https://twitter.com/IconicPup.

 

10 Tasty People Foods You Can Safely Feed Your Dog

By Jackie Newton

We’ve all done it, even though we’re not supposed to– we’ve all fed Fido table scraps when no-one was looking. How can you resist those cute puppy eyes?

Rest assured, you’re not alone, all doggie parents seasoned and not have done the same thing.

Apart from additional nutrients and variety, human foods are a useful tool for your dog’s training, reinforcing good behaviour.

So let’s jump right into it. Below is our recommended top 10 dog approved people foods to feed your furry friend for a varied and healthy canine diet.

Yogurt

Packed with protein, calcium and friendly bacteria yogurt makes a great snack not just for humans but for dogs too. Especially when used in a frozen KONG! It will help keep their bones healthy and digestive system running smoothly. Here’s a tip: choose the unsweetened version – it’s a healthier option and lower in calories too. We don’t want any unnecessary weight gain!

Green Beans

Ah, another rich source of protein are beans and dogs just seem to go crazy for green beans. Mine does! They are a rich source of iron and other minerals and vitamins A, C and K. Essential for you but also your pup and besides being yummy they’re also low in calories and happen to be very filling.  Win-win!

Salmon

Oily fish such as salmon are a superfoods of which your dog should not be deprived. These fish are packed with omega fatty acids, protein and healthy fats. They’ll help your pup with his energy levels, his coat, joints and brain health. Have we mentioned how tasty it is as well? Your dog’s taste buds, like ours, will beg you for more. Tip: don’t feed your dog raw or uncooked salmon since in its raw form it sometimes contains parasites that will make your dog sick.

Sliced Apple

An apple a day will keep the doctor away! Same is true for dogs, but stick to feeding your dog apple slices and remove the core and seeds since these can be toxic. Apples are another healthy snack for dogs since they’re rich in fiber. Fiber helps keep the doggie digestive tract in check. In addition to being a rich source of vitamins A and C, it’s also great for cleaning your pup’s teeth and promoting fresh breath. A natural dog breath freshener and cheap too!

Peanut Butter

You’ve guessed it – peanut butter makes for a healthy delicious snack and a great treat especially in a KONG toy. This food is a healthy source of protein and healthy fats that you can safely give your dog. Packed with vitamins B, E and niacin your dog will devour it. But like with humans, limit how much you give your dog since it’s a densely calorific food too. Tip: buy the unsalted version since it’s a healthier option.

Cheese

Cheese is another great treat that we’re sure your dog will love, that is unless he is lactose intolerant. Cheese is a great source of calcium that will help keep their bones and joints healthy. Tip: choose the low-fat version or cottage cheese since these have lower fats and are healthier alternatives.

Carrots

Don’t be afraid to feed your dog baby carrots since these are rich in fiber and beta carotene. Carrots will help clean your dog’s teeth, promote good eyesight and healthy skin. Both raw and cooked carrots are safe for dogs to eat.

Sweet Potato

A great source of easy-to-digest complex carbohydrates for your dog which slowly releases energy throughout the day. It’s lower in calories that white potatoes too and similar to carrots it’s packed with vitamin A, fiber and other nutrients. Try feeding your dog cooked sweet potato, or mix it directly with their other food.

Oatmeal

Yup – dogs love it, that is if they are not grain intolerant. It’s also a great alternative to wheat which so many dogs are allergic to. Oatmeal is a rich source of soluble fiber so it helps keep their GI tract moving and is another great slow-energy releasing food.

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein which are easily digestible and will also help keep your pup’s coat healthy and shiny. Serve as either scrambled or boiled and cut into edible chunks. Eggs are very filling, so just keep it to one egg per serving 2-3 times per week.

These are just a few of the canine-friendly human foods that you can help supplement your dog’s diet.  Remember though to keep servings small as part of their total calorie intake since this is not a free for all.

Jackie Newton is a dog-lover and blogger at IconicPup.com and she can be followed at www.facebook.com/iconicpup/.

3 Pet-Friendly Pest Control Practices

Your pet is important to you, which is why when pests invade your home, your top priority is keeping your furry friend safe. You want to get rid of the pests, but you also know that some pesticides will harm your pet. To help you keep your pet healthy and keep your home pest free, below are three pet-friendly pest control practices.
 

Prevention Is the Key

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the same goes for pest control. It is much easier and safer on your pets to prevent pests from ever getting into your home in the first place than to get rid of them once they have gotten in.

Do your research on what pests are common to your area and how to keep them out. Most pests are attracted to food, water, or warmth. Don’t leave any food out uncovered, and remove any sources of standing water. Elmhurst Pest Control recommends having routine home inspections to make sure that you catch any problems early on. You can also use plants that discourage pests. Lavender, marigolds, peppermint, and rosemary are very effective in discouraging pests, with the added bonus of making your garden pretty.

Use Pesticides Safely

If, despite your best efforts, pests do manage to get in, you do have pet-friendly options for clearing them out. Natural herbs and oils, such as peppermint and cinnamon are very effective in discouraging pests. You can also use diatomaceous earth to kill pests. Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, so it is safe to use outside and inside.

If you decide to use a pest control company, look for one that specializes in green pest control. Green pest control companies use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic treatments that won’t harm you or your pets. Make sure you ask these companies what they plan to do to make sure their products really are pet-friendly. Ask for a Materials Safety Data Sheet, which lists the potential hazards or and how to safely work with different products. If the company does not have a Materials Safety Data Sheet, do not let them start treatments until you have time to review their products.

Properly Store and Dispose of All Pesticides

You can also keep your pet safe by taking care in how you store and dispose of leftover pesticides. To prevent accidental poisoning, keep chemicals in the original container. Read any safety labels thoroughly. There are instructions on safe use, storage and disposal. Make sure you store any chemicals in an area that your pets cannot access, like high shelves in cupboards or closets.

In short, it is possible to keep your home free of pests without harming your pets. If you practice prevention and use, store, and dispose of all pesticides properly, the only extra occupant in your house will be a healthy and happy pet.