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Product Review – KONG Extreme KONG Flyer

Do you have a dog that likes to chew up their toys?  Do you have a dog that catches a Frisbee and then keeps it and chews it to pieces instead of bringing it back to you?  This Frisbee may be your answer.

KONG makes many Frisbees, but this one is made especially for dogs that are aggressive chewers, who might destroy most other Frisbees.

This is a soft, yet durable Frisbee, black in color, and seemingly flys faster and further than other Frisbees that I have used.  It is great for taking your dog and exercising them when they have a little extra energy that you are trying to get out of them.  Make sure your dog knows the fetch and bring commands before using this.

Sasha is an aggressive chewer.  So far, there are minor tooth marks in the lip of the Frisbee, and a small tear, but it is still very usable and durable.  It also stands up to the cold weather.  I prefer the softer Frisbee than the harder one as it is easier on your dog’s mouth and in the cold, it does not crack.

Final verdict: This is a purchase with caution.  If your dog is an aggressive chewer, know that it will not stay pristine for the duration that you use the toy.  We have had ours for over two months and just recently there are marks on it.  It is for sale on wag.com and for a limited time, it is on sale.  Try it out and hopefully your dog will love it!

 

KONG® Extreme Flyer

10 Dog Exercises For Your Dog and You!

This is another article Sasha’s vet sent to me that I thought would be a great share!

Medically reviewed by Jennifer Garcia, DVM

Sure, dog is man’s best friend — but our furry companions are more like us than you may realize. Case in point: To maximize dog health, it’s critical for Fido to get regular exercise.

Keeping your pet healthy has a lot to do with good nutrition, but just like people, dogs are becoming more and more sedentary these days. Consider this: You can help promote good dog health by getting your pet up and moving.

Doggy Exercises For Your Pet — and You

Follow these healthy pet guidelines:

  1. Teach a dog new tricks. Even the simple act of teaching a dog basic tricks can be great dog exercise, says Cori Gross DVM, a VPI Pet Insurance field veterinarian near Seattle. “Basic obedience training is exercise for your dog’s body, as well as his mind. Teach him to come when called, sit, and stay. Then you can graduate to more complicated tasks such as greeting visitors without jumping.”
  2. Take your dog for a swim. Jean Hofve, DVM, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and current president of the Rocky Mountain Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, says that swimming is great for dogs, especially if they have arthritis. “If you don’t have a suitable lake nearby, canine rehabilitation centers are popping up all over,” she points out. A good way to get your dog into the water is to train her to chase a ball.
  3. Play hide and seek. Hiding a treat or a toy in a closet, under a bowl, or in a different room will keep your dog’s brain engaged as he plays, says Dr. Hofve. You can also try a dog toy called a Kong, which dispenses treats if your dog rolls it in the right direction.
  4. Give this ball a spin. Hofve also recommends Boomer Ball, a soccer-style, colorful ball that many dogs enjoy rolling around and playing with.
  5. Look for agility challenges. In many communities, you can enter your dog in agility challenges that can keep them fit and working at their best. “In agility training, dogs run through obstacle courses and compete for the best time and fewest faults,” says Susan Nelson, DVM, an assistant professor of clinical sciences at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
  6. Try other dog sports. Agility challenges aren’t your only option for getting a dog involved in sports. “Depending on your dog’s temperament and breed, you may want to consider a range of other options, such as simple obedience training, Flyball, Earthdog, tracking, herding, lure coursing, musical freestyle, or any of the other dog ‘sports’ available,” says Hofve.

One of the best things to do for your dog’s health is to choose exercises that are healthy for you, too. Here are workouts that dogs and owners can do together:

  1. Walk it out. When it comes to exercises for you and your dog, the tried-and-true approach is hard to beat, says Hofve. “Walking, of course, is one of the very best exercises for both you and your dog,” she says. “If you have a very active dog, hiking is a bit more challenging.”
  2. Play fetch. You can’t go wrong with a good game of fetch, adds Hofve. “Fetching games such as Frisbee and ball-throwing will at least get you out in the fresh air and will be tremendous fun for your dog,” she says. “If you don’t have a good pitching arm, try a product known as Chuckit! to throw the ball.”
  3. Run with caution. Running or jogging is great for many dogs, but it’s best to approach both options with caution. Advises Hofve, “Make sure your dog is fit enough for the faster pace. Also, run early or late during hot weather, and always bring water and a collapsible bowl for your dog.”
  4. Do downward-facing dog — together. Yoga with your dog? Believe it or not, there really is such a thing. It’s called Doga, and there are classes and a DVD available to guide you through it.

Making time for exercise with your dog can be fun — and it will enhance both of your fitness levels.

Getting a Hold on Depression With Pets

As many people know, there have been many scientific studies as to having pets helps to curb depression with many individuals.  Being a dog parent is no exception.

For those of you who don’t know, you may be asking how can a dog help curb depression?  Well there are several ways.

The first is the unconditional love and bond that is formed with your dog.  You leave your home and come back, your dog is always excited and happy to see you with a wag of the tail, maybe a happy and playful bark.  This helps to form a connection, a social connection with a living being.  We all need connections to live happy and mentally healthy lives.

The next way a dog helps curb depression is exercise.  Your dog needs to go out for one long walk or several walks/jogs/runs/swims per day.  This gets you out of the house, into nature or out in fresh air at least, which helps lift our spirits and clear our heads.

Another way that animals help depression is that just by petting your dog, that can help release endorphins, which, in simple terms, help to keep us happy and healthy.  This also helps to lower stress and make us feel more like we can tackle our every day issues.

There are many benefits that dogs have in our lives, read here to find out more ways that dogs help with depression.  Of course this is not the be all, and end all.  If you are depressed, it is recommended that you go and speak to someone trained to help, such as a school counselor, a therapist, social worker, psychologist, etc.

Cats and Constipation

Many of our furbabies have experienced bouts of constipation, but if these are not just bouts and actually continue for long periods of time, there may be something more serious going on.

Some diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mega Colon, food allergies and others will produce periods of time of constipation.  The only way to know if your cat is suffering from one of these diseases is to make an appointment with the vet.  One thing to do is to keep a food/treat diary and an exercise diary before going in as this will help the vet narrow down what the issue may be.

When we first adopted Isis, she was being fed basically junk food in the shelter (Meow Mix and Friskies). These are not healthy foods for cats.  So when we changed her food very gradually, she started to get constipated on what her diet should be (mainly protein).  So what we did was add about a teaspoon of canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling but 100% pumpkin), to her food.  This helped quite a bit and she was back to normal.  What we sometimes do now is add about a half teaspoon of olive oil to her wet food and some canned pumpkin just to make sure she is regular and able to produce minimal waste.  It also aids in reducing hairballs.

At times she was quite constipated, and after seeing the vet and ruling out any kind of disease, I came up with my own solution.  I used to wait until after Isis ate and then have her come over to me on the floor.  I would then have her stand on all fours in front of me and I would massage her belly in gentle, circular motions.  I would do this several times per day, until it seemed that she was going on a regular basis.  I slowly tapered off from doing that until I was down to once per day, then after a week I stopped doing it.  I haven’t had to do it since and that has been about seven months ago.  I hope I never have to do that again.  It is because our cats are so used to the processed junk that they have been fed in a shelter, their bodies do not know how to digest and handle their natural diet.

Another thing to consider is playtime, playtime, playtime.  This gets the cat’s intestines working and helps them to produce waste. Having several short play sessions every day helps not only with constipation, but with weight management.

It is always best to check with your vet before doing anything with your cat, they may want to do procedures, depending how long it has been since your cat defecated.

This article explains what to do if your cat is constipated and how to help make your cat comfortable when they are constipated.

Coprophagia

For many people, this can be something that occurs when you first adopt a dog from a shelter where they are not fed/exercised/bored.  This is a term for when dogs eat their own waste.

Luckily this can be reversed in most cases very easily.  If not, and even if it can be, it is probably best to take your dog to the vet to ensure that they are getting all their proper nutrients and do not have parasites.

Exercise, keeping your dog from getting bored and upgrading their food to better, nutrient rich food can help.

Here is an article that explains this more in depth.  Hopefully if your dog suffers from this, a trip to the vet and a change in their diet/exercise regime can help solve the problem.

Health Check – Is Your Dog Overweight?

A dog’s weight is a very important factor in keeping your dog healthy and happy.

I found a great website with information in determining where your dog is in terms of healthy weight/underweight/overweight/obese.

If your dog is overweight or obese, start to get them more active and on a better diet, but start slowly.  A change in any kind of diet or exercise program can be a shock to their system (and bones).

Even just a few more play sessions or a longer walk by 20 minutes per day can help to get the stubborn pounds off your furbaby.

I hope the article helps and I hope everyone’s furbabies are happy and healthy!

 

Let’s Talk About Exercise!

Perhaps one of the best ways to bond with your pet is during exercise/playtime.  This is because it involves interacting with your pet and getting to see their personality shine.  How much is enough exercise?  What kind of exercise should be done?  Exercising my cat???

Let’s start off with how much exercise is enough.  That will depend quite a bit on the breed, general health and age of your dog.  Here is a great article to give you a general idea of what your dog may require.  Of course, you know your dog and will know how much can be enough.

Since I live in an area with major weather changes and lots of snow and sleet, thus lots of salt on the sidewalks and roads, I like to protect Sasha’s paws when going out for a walk.  One way to do this is to use Musher’s Secret.  It’s a wax that you put on before you go for a walk, in between their toes and on the pads of their paws and it protects against the elements.  Then you wipe it off after your walk.  It is great stuff and helps to ensure your dog has healthy paws and no debris where it shouldn’t be.

Depending which category your dog falls into (ie. Hunter, worker, hound, toy, etc.) that will also determine which kind of play they will require.  Most dogs though, love to play fetch, and a simple half hour game of fetch can tire a dog out and work them, getting their muscles to engage, the blood flowing and create a bonding experience.  The article above does give examples of what to do with your dog depending on which category your dog falls into.

As for Sasha, her daily exercise regime is as follows:

  • Morning: Wake up and run around the yard, play fetch for about a half hour, let her do her business and clean up after it.  Then we head out for a mile long run.
  • Afternoon: Teach tricks and work on old ones.  (Sit, stay, down, off, leave it, up, speak, turn in a circle, roll over, shake a paw, play dead, come, heal, and many others.  Here is a site to teach 52 tricks. )
  • Evening: Out for a two mile walk at least.  Sometimes we will jog/walk/jog/walk in short bursts.
  • Nighttime: Just run and play in the backyard for a short time and then bedtime.
Sometimes we will take her swimming, when the weather is warm enough.  There isn’t a dog park here yet, but once there is, we may end up taking her there to let her play. This seems to work well, she seems to be tired each night and she sleeps soundly.

Exercising a cat at times can be a bit overwhelming, but patience is needed as some cats are finicky about what they like to play with and how they like to exercise.  What I like to do with Isis is buy her toys that she will now respond to, now that we taught her how to play.  I try to have two half hour sessions per day to get her active and make sure she doesn’t get overweight.

Each cat is going to be different as to what toy they enjoy. For play time with Isis, she LOVES  Da Bird.  It’s a feather toy attached to a rod and has a long string, so when you wave it in the air, it looks like a bird flying around. It’s the only toy Isis will consistently play with and enjoy. Remember when you are playing with your cat, make sure to let them “win” and give them a chance to “capture” Da Bird between their paws, or whatever toy your cat likes to play with.

Isis also likes to play with catnip mice. She will throw it in the air, pounce on it, run after it when I throw it and roll around on it. I will dangle it for her by the tail and she will bat at it and grab it between her paws and throw it around. This will usually last for about a half hour and she ends up tiring herself out enough to nap right after playing hard.

I usually have playtime with her in the morning and the evening.  I work from home so I am able to manage the schedule I have with Isis and Sasha.

Please remember, if your cat seems to be panting, give them time to relax and start breathing normally.  Always have plenty of fresh water available for your pet at all times and especially during play time/after walking. We have found that our furbabies love moving, fresh water. We use a water fountain for Isis and Sasha. It filters the water and the water runs constantly, which encourages the animals to drink more.  Here is a website that compares the fountains and prices.

I always make sure my furbabies are well exercised.  A tired dog and cat from exercise are healthy and happy pets.  The downside to not exercising an animal can lead to them being overweight, diabetes, arthritis, irritability, and in some cases hip dysplasia.

Here  is an article about exercise, as well as toy reviews and how to engage your cat and get them to play.  With Isis, she will usually start to play on her own, and I take that as a cue that she is ready to play.

I hope that you enjoy your time with your furbaby.  It is a wonderful, bonding experience that I treasure each day with Isis and Sasha.  They give so much to me, exercising them seems like the least I can give back to them.