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6 Dog Books You’ll Love…Even if You Hate Reading We all know that reading can sometimes be more of a chore than a pleasure. So here are 6 highly rated dog books that are so enjoyable even the most hardened book hater won’t be able to put them down. Please feel free to share your own as well!
Marley and Me by John Grogan
Even if you have seen the movie, the book is still a must-read. I cry and laugh every time, and it really makes you appreciate your own dog’s quirks.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Author Jodi Picoult said this about The Art of Racing in the Rain: "The perfect book for anyone who knows that some of our best friends walk beside us on four legs. That compassion isn’t only for humans. And that the relationship between two souls meant for each other, never really comes to an end."
James Herriot series by James Herriot
These books are not strictly about dogs. They are nonfiction collections of short stories about an English vet’s animal adventures in the countryside. Dogs feature prominently, and they are so amusing and well written that I had to include them. I highly recommend them. This link will bring you to a collection of solely dog stories. I encourage you to read all his books though.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Your kids may have been required to read this book. The depth of the characters and the quality of the writing is superb. Like so many other books on this list, it never fails to make me cry, and I think we can all relate to dealing with a thunder-fearing canine!
Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory
This is a simply incredible read. I couldn’t put it down, and it opened my eyes to the incredible bond between guide dogs and their handlers, and the strength of the trust between them.
Dog On It: the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn
A series of books told from a failed police dog’s point of view, these mysteries are both fun and thought provoking.
Fun Accessories for Dog People What fun accessories do you have that you love? There are so many options! It’s never the wrong time to be thinking about fun accessories for the dogs and dog people in your life. Or for yourself! Below is a list of some accessories that might make your life a little easier:
For the Hikers
Do you take your dog hiking? This adorable doggy water bottle is available on chewy.com. Though advertised for car rides, they are also great for taking on hikes. Yes, it is a little more to carry but all will appreciate the extra water, particularly in the North Carolina heat of the late spring and summer. The best part? It comes in three colors and retails for only $12.49.
Collapsible dog bowls are also a great option. Made of an easy to wash rubber and available in several bright colors, they’re also fun accessories. Great for road trips, they take up almost no space. They are perfect to stick into the pocket on the back of the car seat. Most come with a clip (carabiner.) It is super easy to clip onto a backpack or your own water bottle, and it is extremely light weight. Most know the difficulty of trying to let a dog drink from cupped hands, and this inexpensive product spares you and the poor canine from the whole ordeal.
And last but not least, be sure to bring your pick up bags. These bags are earth friendly and available at REI. As a dog walker, I beg everyone to please pick up after your pet. These may not be fun accessories but they certainly are important!
What are your favorite items you take on hikes with your dog? Share them with me. Perhaps we will write another blog on this topic.
How not to lose your dog is an important topic and one that strikes fear in many of us dog lovers. This is one nightmare many dog owners have and if you ever have experienced it, you know what I'm talking about. Here are some precautions you can take to ensure you don't lose track of yours AND how to be reunited with your dog as soon as possible in case he or she does go missing. Tip #1 – MICROCHIP MICROCHIP MICROCHIP
I cannot emphasize this enough. Microchip your dog, cat, etc. It is one of the best and surest ways that someone will be able to identify your animal in the event that you do lose track of him or her. This is really important too: make sure the microchip company has your UPDATED contact information. You need to contact them, give them your pet's microchip number, your name, cell phone and all contact information so if your dog is lost, they know who the dog belongs to and how to contact you. You'll get a tag from the microchip company that you can attach to your dog's collar that will help identify him if he ever gets lost. Here is a link to one of the microchip companies.
Tip #2 – USE TAGS
Have a tag on your dog's collar with updated contact information for you makes it much easier for someone to contact you if they find your dog. Only vets, shelters and animal control officers are able to check for a microchip, so the average person who finds your dog will be unable to reach you. Additionally, who knows how long it will take said person to get your pet checked out by a vet or brought to a shelter to check and see if he has a microchip. Having a tag allows you to get your pet back quicker with less trauma for both of you.
Tip #3 – STAY ON LEASH
You know your dog best, but if you have any hesitancy about his or her recall ability, I suggest your dog remain on leash. The world is incredibly interesting to our canine friends, and a fascinating smell could cause them to wander off and ignore your frenzied calls.
Tip #4 – CLOSE CAR WINDOWS
I completely understand how much dogs love open car windows. However, there is always the chance that your dog may jump out at the sight of some enticing animal or other smell or sight and you don't want to lose your dog this way. The jump could injure him. It also means your dog is loose, often in an unknown area. Even worse if this were to happen in traffic, it could have a tragic ending.
Tip #5 – BE PROACTIVE
One of the biggest things you can do to prevent your dog from getting out is to be proactive. This means looking over your yard. Being careful at doors and other exits, and, most importantly, knowing your dog.
Tip #6 – SPAY AND NEUTER
Though this may not seem like an obvious way to stop your pet from getting lost. However neutering your pet prevents him from wandering around looking for a female.
Tip #7 – TECHNOLOGY
There are some awesome GPS trackers available that keep track of your dog’s location at all times. While it is crucial to also microchip and tag your pet, these can give you great peace of mind. It is important to note that these should not be considered replacements for preventative measures like microchipping and tags.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts or other suggestions on how not to lose your dog.
Dog Toys for Tough Chewers If anyone has had the opportunity to share their house with a tough chewer (ie. can destroy ANYTHING you put in front of them), then you share my pain. Here is a comment from someone I know: My Chesapeake Bay Retriever has the jaws of a crocodile and can eat through pretty much any dog toy, whether it be rubber, rope, plush, etc. that we give her. In fact, she is NEVER left unsupervised with any dog toy whatsoever because of her incredible ability to reduce anything to shreds and her tendency to then devour aforementioned shreds as a light snack. As such, I wanted to share with you her two most indestructible and long-lasting dog toys. (Spoiler: not one of them is a stuffed toy – I have yet to find one that is a match for her). Moose pictured here is also a tough chewer and I can attest to the strength of the Kong Classic Shape Extreme X-Large. He has one!
Not only is this toy one of the longest lasting, but it is also my dog’s absolute favorite. She loves to carry it around in her mouth and will happily chew on it without any food inserts. My one criticism is that my dog has recently started to chew bits off from the edge around the hollow part where food is inserted, simply because it is slightly thinner at this point. However, this product has lasted significantly longer than any other KONG toys, and still lasts for several months.
So far, these dog jolly balls have stood up to the test. The shape makes it impossible for her to chew through it like other toys, and she likes to knock it around with her paws. Like the KONG, it is made of rubber and some dogs may not want to chew it because it has little taste. However, I have found that the most voracious chewers will often gnaw on anything.
I did not include any bones or antlers in the list; although I have given them to my dogs in the past, I try not to now because of the risk of broken or splintered teeth that come from very hard chews. If you would like to learn more about this issue, click on the following link:
I would love to hear about your favorite dog toys for voracious chewers, and any tips you might have for satisfying them.