Sunscreen and Sunglasses for Dogs!

As the weather turns nicer there are a few things to remember for your dogs. Yes, sunscreen for the fair haired dogs with pink/white noses and sunglasses (Doggles) for the dogs who ride on the back of motorcycles or hang their heads outside of car windows.

Now that you’ve stopped laughing, (because I did – 5 years ago) it makes sense. Dogs that are fair or shaved are just as susceptible to sunburns and tumors as humans. In addition, dogs that have dark coats also need sunscreen on their underbelly (skin in the inguinal area) especially when they are sunbathing or playing for extended periods of time. Dogs need special sunscreens – ones that contain NO ZINC OXIDE (Zinc oxide is toxic for dogs). You can pick up sunscreen at any pet store.  I sold Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray for Pets

Gracie on the back of a motorcycle

Gracie on the back of a motorcycle

Doggles! At first when Gracie’s mom came into Barkz the dog stop in Kirkland 5 years ago, Gracie was one. Gracie’s owner asked “Do you have any sunglasses for my French Bulldog who rides on the back of a motorcycle?” At first I was stunned because I hadn’t seen a dog strapped to the back of a motorcycle before (there are seats for dogs) and second I hadn’t heard of sunglasses for dogs. Sure enough – Doggles had arrived.

The photo at the top of this blog is of bulldog sporting Doggles Dog Goggles ILS With Skull Crossbones/ Smoke Lens – Small. If you visit Doggles you will find a variety of colors, sizes and styles. All of the lenses have 100% UV protection, with shatterproof lenses and there are numerous frames that will suit your dogs style and size.

Doggles

Doggles

After this exchange – more and more dog owners asked me for sunglasses. I sold a small pair to a dachshund who, when the sun appeared in Seattle wouldn’t go outside. We fitted him with some Doggles and he strutted out of the store cool as a cucumber.

For dogs who love the wind in their face – hanging out a boat, or truck window – Doggles are perfect. As an owner of a lab who loves the wind in her face, loves the feeling of her lips and her ears flapping in the wind – I had to stop and think of all the debris that flies by that could get into her eyes. Many a time vets see foreign objects in dogs eyes that could have been prevented if the dog was wearing sunglasses.

I will also mention a portable water bowl that I travel with at all times for Reef. It’s called the Gulpy. It comes in two sizes (small and large) and loads of colors. It fits in your backpack for hikes, walks, extended swims and long drives.

Note: don’t leave your pet in the car on a warm or hot day and if you take your dog to the park with your kids be sure to place your dog in the shade.

Enjoy the warm weather.
Paula

 

Hands Free, Waterproof, No Stink, Durable Collars & Leashes…for dogs!

Hands free leash

Waterproof and hands free leashes

Waterproof and hands free leashes

One of my top sellers at Barkz was the Smoochy Poochy collection. The collars and leashes come in both nylon and polyvinyl (PVL). The PVL leashes and collars are extremely durable and waterproof. The only reason we had to replace Reef’s 4 years ago was due to the hardware (the clasp on the leash broke after 4 years). When her leash is not in use, it sits outside – so the cold and the rain has had no affect on it. If you’re not keen on the PVL material there are two nylon versions, 1″ width and 5/8″ width. The 5/8″ version is for smaller dogs i.e. Havanese because it’s lighter and won’t weigh the dog down. Dog trainers love these leashes because the length of these leashes are 6′ but can be clasp down to 4′ in length for more control. If you’re a runner, walker or have children to push in a stroller but also need to walk your dog at the same time this leash is for you.
Hands free PVL Leash and Collar

Hands free PVL Leash and Collar

You can walk your dog with the leash clasp around your waist and have your hands free to push the stroller, hold your coffee cup or carry packages. It also has a nylon pouch to hold empty poop bags so you’re never caught without one. If the PVL leash or collar gets dirty (dog rolls in dead squirrel) all you need to do is take some dish soap and a sponge and wipe it off.

These items are a bit more expensive than the average leash and collar BUT you’re not replacing these items for years which in the end, will save you money. Another benefit of these leashes and collars is they don’t stink. Therefore these items will not stink up your laundry room or entrance way (wherever you leave your dogs belongings).

Waterproof collars

Waterproof collars

The leashes and collars come in a variety of colors and even the yellow doesn’t fade or change. In Canada – customers can buy these items from Pets Future and in the US you can buy them from Boo Boo Barkery (formerly Barkz the dog stop). Boo Boo Barkery will ship to all states in the US.
You can also purchase the collars and nylon leashes from Amazon check out the two tone ones! Smoochy Poochy 2Tone Hands-Free Leash – Brown Beige

Enjoy your spring with your dog.

Paula and Reef

Does your dog smell?

Reef at 10 mths 022Do you want to get rid of the wet dog smell, chewing of the paws, or loose stools? If your dog has one of these issues – it’s probably the dog food you are providing them. Look at the first 4 ingredients on the bag. The first 4 ingredients should be proteins, and/or vegetables. There should be no wheat, corn or any grasses included in their food. If you can’t recognize the fifth ingredient it’s most definitely the food.

I feed Reef – my 7-year-old black lab – Acana. It is a Canadian company and you can purchase the food at All The Best Pet Care. Canadian dog food companies have higher standards on dog food. I mix flavors in a large Rubbermaid container i.e. salmon, lamb, beef, chicken etc. (Be sure to wash out the Rubbermaid container when you finish one lot because bacteria can grow). Mixing flavors within a company is okay for the dog, however mixing between companies is very hard on the dogs stomach because the base ingredients of the foods are different. If you are making a switch in dog food be sure to go slowly. i.e. if your dog eats 1 cup of food per day – be sure to give your dog 3/4 cup of old dog food and 1/4 cup of new for 4 days, then slowly decrease the old over 8 days.

Dog food sold in independent dog stores are more expensive because of the ingredients, however you will feed your dog less on the ‘good’ stuff versus the stuff you find at Costco, Pet Smart, Petco, online or grocery stores. Hills Prescription – which is Science Diet is sold exclusively for vets, but it’s not great either. Hills sponsors veterinary schools thus they have an exclusive contract with vets. Take a look at the ingredients and you will find that it is not healthy. If your dog has been sick, recovering from surgery or appears not to do well with any food or has lost interest in food – plain cooked chicken and rice is always a good fall back. One of my customers had a rule if he wasn’t able to eat it, then he wouldn’t give it to his animals.

Good luck

Paula