obsessed with dogs

Gift guide roundup and last call for entries!

Happy Monday! This one’s especially happy because it’s the Monday before Thanksgiving and a short work week!

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

Well, last week sure flew by! Since there were so many gift suggestions and so many giveaways, I thought I’d take this opportunity to recap everything here in case you missed something. All the giveaways are open until Thanksgiving, so get those entries in!

{{Btw, as you can imagine there were tons of outtakes from all the photos we took. I’m going to try to compile them into a post later in the week because I know you guys love those funny shots as much as I do!}}

Here’s the quick recap:

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, there’s one more coming on Black Friday. If you’re a Gmail user and utilize the tabs settings, you may have to check in your Promotions tab (and drag it into your main tab to flag as OK!) so that you have access to the exclusive subscriber giveaways.

ALSO! A few people have asked what we do with the product testers that get sent our way. We are doing something SO ridiculously fun with all the stuff very soon… hang tight because I’ll unveil it here, but I seriously can’t wait! Coming very soon!

In the meantime, hope your week is off to a great start!

The best books for animal lovers

Well, here it is: The final day of this year’s holiday gift guide and giveaway extravaganza! What a week! If you’ve missed any of the previous days’ gift recommendations and giveaways, be sure to visit: play, eateco-friendlygifts that give backfor the pet lover, and gifts for cats. All the giveaways close on Thanksgiving, so get those entries in!

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

 

I am a book fiend. I adore books, and I think all the gift books that come out at the holiday season are so fun. Today, I’m sharing with you six perfectly giftable books for the pet lover (or yourself).

The best books for animal lovers (plus giveaways!)

100 Reasons to Panic About Being a Cat Lady

100 Reasons to Panic About Being a Cat Lady

This darling little gift book tackles the truth about being a cat lover… the good and the bad! The pages are silly and sweet, each with a reason to panic, followed by a disclaimer of why that reason is actually great. Totally tongue-in-cheek. For example: Reason #84. Your cat-less friends just don’t understand how hard it is to raise cats. (They also don’t understand unconditional love, the poor things.) Or Reason #20. A cute kitten can turn into an ugly cat. (But she’ll be your ugly cat.) For the cat lover who has everything, this would be a delightful stocking stuffer and conversation starter. To buy: $10 from Knock Knock AND! Huge bonus! Use code OHMYDOG14 for 20% off any order on knockknockstuff.com and plumbgoods.com (expires 2014-12-20)

How to Have a Very Bad Dog

How to Have a Very Bad Dog

You guys, this book is hysterical. Also from Knock Knock, this little guide combines training and dog-raising tips with a totally humorous bent. Perfect for the jokester or for anyone who has a deep appreciation for sarcasm! Here’s one of my favorite passages, excerpted from the chapter called, “Very Bad Behavior Modification”: (click to enlarge)

VBD

So, so funny! The book is filled with that type of “advice,” designed to tell you what NOT to do to raise a “VBD.” This would make an excellent gift for a trainer with a sense of humor! To buy: $11 from Knock Knock and the bonus applies here, too! Use code OHMYDOG14 for 20% off any order on knockknockstuff.com and plumbgoods.com (expires 2014-12-20)

Biscuit for Your Thoughts?

Biscuit for Your Thoughts

This hardcover gift book pairs aphorisms that every dog lover will relate to with darling photographs of dogs by photographer Andrew Darlow. While I was flipping through it, I decided to take pics of my favorite spreads to share here to give you an idea of the contents. After a few pages, I realized I was taking pictures of them all! I narrowed it down to two, though: (click to enlarge)

It’s a sweet book that is equal parts wise and silly. And the pictures are sure to make even your grumpiest relative smile this holiday season! To buy: $11.10 for Biscuit for Your Thoughts?: Philosophy According to Dogs* ON SALE (normally $14.95)

Coloring Animal Mandalas

Animal Mandalas

Tell me this isn’t just me, but I love to color. It’s relaxing and just plain fun. Coloring these wildlife-inspired designs, though, is designed to be a mindful activity. According to the publisher, “From the Sanskrit word for ‘circle,’ mandalas have been used for meditation and healing for thousands of years.” Plus, you get to color! The coloring pages include butterflies, tigers, swans, and – my favorite! – unicorns, among others. Each page is intricately detailed and definitely takes time to finish, but the pictures are all so pretty after. This would be a great gift for a creative animal lover, and I think it would be a fun stocking stuffer, perhaps with a big box of colored pencils, for a teenager, too. To buy: $8.82 for Coloring Animal Mandalas* ON SALE (normally $10)

JJ Goes to Puppy Class

JJ Goes to Puppy Class

In the sequel to the heartwarming book JJ The American Street Dog by Diane Rose-Solomon, sweet pup JJ has a few pesky puppy behaviors. The family takes JJ to puppy class to work positively on things like potty training and jumping. Throughout the book, the mom links JJ’s training with things that children can understand and relate to, like, “Mom said, “Just like you like to play with your friends sometimes, and
other times you prefer to have quiet time in your room. Puppies need to have quiet time too.” The colorful illustrations perfectly accompany the story – and I, for one, really hope there will be a third installment in the JJ series some day! This is the perfect gift for any child who lives with or loves dogs! To buy: Visit SOP3 Publishing 

Little Darling’s Pinups for Pitbulls

Pinups for Pitbulls

Rounding out the perfect holiday books for animal loves is, of course, Little Darling’s Pinups for Pitbulls 10th anniversary hardback book. It’s a gorgeous, full-color collection of stories and photographs from years of creating the calendar and advocating for pit-bull-type dogs. Plus, get tons of behind-the-scenes stories and pics, including one from the shoot that Emmett and I got to do! This is a must-have book for all animal lovers, especially since it supports such a critical mission. To buy: $27.95 from Pinups for Pitbulls

And now YOU have the chance to win these fabulous holiday gift books! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link. Oddly enough, the widget design changed since yesterday, so now you have to scroll through to see the prizes, but don’t worry! It’s all there. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 28. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well, folks! That’s a wrap on the 2014 holiday gift guide and giveaway extravaganza! (Unless you’re a newsletter subscriber… you have more to come if you’re on the list!) We’ve had seven full days of awesome pet products. If you haven’t yet entered any of the giveaways, you have until Thanksgiving. Winners will be drawn and notified on Black Friday!

Disclaimer: We didn’t receive any compensation for this guide, though some of these brands sent products for our consideration. Not all made the cut! The ones here are ones we really, truly love. Any link followed by an asterisk (*) means it’s an affiliate link – you won’t pay a single extra penny if you purchase through those links, but OMD! will receive a tiny bit of commission, which we use to offset the costs of producing this guide! Questions? Send me an email: info {at} ohmydogblog {dot} com.

The best holiday gifts for cats

Welcome to day 6! Holy moly. This week has flown by. I hope you guys are having as much fun as I am! If you’ve missed any of the previous days’ gift recommendations and giveaways, be sure to visit: play, eateco-friendly,gifts that give back, and for the pet lover.

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

Today we’re turning our attention to our feline friends! Newt feels slightly offended that cats only get one day. I told her it’s because this is Oh My DOG Blog, but she said that shouldn’t matter. Ah, well. Today is a roundup of the best holiday gifts for cats!

The best holiday gifts for cats (with tons of giveaways!)

So, let’s kick this feline fiesta off without further ado!

Delightibles

Delightibles

Newt is a treat fiend. We are watching her weight, so we try not to give her too many. But there are times when she either earns one or when I need her to move and she won’t and I don’t want her to bite me. I may toss a treat across the room in those instances. I’ve kept a bag of Delightibles in my desk drawer for such occasions! Now, these aren’t the most nutritious treats around, but they must be tasty because as soon as she sees me pick up that bag, she’s READY! They’re made in the US and come in chicken, turkey  (Newt’s fave), tuna, salmon, beef, and dairy. They are free from wheat, soy, BHA, and BHT, and have a crunchy exterior with a filling. At only 1.5 calories per treat, we can give Newt a few a day without worrying about too much weight gain. To buy: Found exclusively at Walmart, Delightibles Cat Treats are offered in 3oz to 12oz sizes, with prices starting at $1.26 per bag (if your cat has a stocking – and she does, right? – these would be the perfect fit!)

Kathy Ireland Loved Ones Collection Catnip Kick Candy Cat Toy and Catnip Heart Feather Bloom Cat Wand

The sweetness of the Loved Ones Collection! The colors are definitely softer and more precious than many pet toys, and for Newt these are absolutely darling.  I couldn’t get a decent picture of Newt playing with the wand, but the candy toy? Oh, she loves it. She does this pounce thing, then holds it with her front paws while kicking with her back (perhaps that’s why they called it the catnip kick?). It’s too funny and absolutely adorable. She’s really enjoyed playing with both of these toys. My only complaint – and this might be a Newt-specific problem – is that the wand is a smidge shorter than I’d prefer because when Newt gets going with it, she gets VERY swipey. Otherwise, these have both been so much fun have become regular parts of our daily play with Newt. To buy:  $10.70 for the Catnip Heart Feather Bloom Wand* and $13.48 for the Catnip Kick Candy Toy*

Worldwise Petlinks Crazy Tail Mouse

Speaking of cute… This little guy is darling. He has a suction cup on the back and a loop on the top, then when you touch his nose, the tail starts flipping around. Like this:

I have it on the shelf behind my desk. When Newt comes and sits on my keyboard, I can push the nose, and off she goes! It’s erratic in its spinning, so it keeps her entertained longer. From what I could tell, though, it didn’t have an automatic shut-off feature (or, if it does, it stays on past the point where she’s interested, so I end up turning it off myself). It’s designed to promote exercise and play, which clearly it does. It does require 2 AAA batteries – it comes with the first round – but if you’re giving this as a gift, you might want to stash an extra pack in with the present! To buy: $8.90 (currently ON SALE – regularly $18.99) Crazy Tail Mouse*

FroliCat Dart Duo

Dart Duo

Despite the fact that the packaging shows a cat and a dog playing with this, I’m only recommending this as a gift for cats. If your cat is into lasers, this is one high-tech toy! It has two separate lasers to keep ‘em guessing. You can set the timer on the top and adjust the speed of the rotation. If you have multiples – who get along – the two laser system could keep them both occupied and busy. To be totally honest, this one was too much for Newt. She got seriously over-stimulated, so I’m recommending this for a multi-cat household. However, if you have a super high-energy cat, this could be great. (For Newt’s preferred laser toy, see below!!) To buy: $42.95 from PetSafe

FroliCat Bolt

FroliCat BOLT

Now, this one… Newt LOVES. You can’t adjust the speed, but you can adjust the height/distance of the laser. It has a 10-minute automatic shut-off, so what I’ve started doing is turning it on when I need to do a task that doesn’t involve Newt. Like, fold the laundry. Or make the bed. Or a million other little things she loves to interrupt. I have the Bolt on my bedroom dresser, and as soon as I turn it on, it makes a distinct noise that gets her to come running. Then I have the perfect 10-minute window to get a task complete. It also works well to keep her upstairs and out of the way if we’re training with the dogs downstairs! I think over the past month or so of testing, the Bolt has gotten near-daily use! More exercise for the Princess. To buy: $22.95 from PetSafe

Imperial Cat Holiday Kit

Imperial Holiday Kit

This just might be the perfect holiday gift for a cat! Though the items are assorted, the kit contains a seasonal Scratch ‘n Scratcher, a 9-gram bag of organic catnip, oat seeds to grow, a wand, and a seasonal catnip toy. Absolutely everything a cat could want for the holiday season! The scratcher is comprised of a much thicker cardboard than some of the others we’ve tried, which makes me think it’s going to last longer, too. I think if any of your holiday events this season are hosted by cat lovers, this would be the PERFECT hostess gift! To buy: $30 in stores

And now six of you lucky cats have the chance to win each of these prizes! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 28. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the last day of gift recommendations and giveaways!

Disclaimer: We didn’t receive any compensation for this guide, though some of these brands sent products for our consideration. Not all made the cut! The ones here are ones we really, truly love. Any link followed by an asterisk (*) means it’s an affiliate link – you won’t pay a single extra penny if you purchase through those links, but OMD! will receive a tiny bit of commission, which we use to offset the costs of producing this guide! Questions? Send me an email: info {at} ohmydogblog {dot} com.

The best gifts for pet lovers

Welcome to the holiday gift guide extravaganza day 5! If you need to catch up, be sure to go check  out the other days’ reviews and giveaways: play, eateco-friendly, and gifts that give back!

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

Today is all about YOU, the fabulous human holding the leash (or scooping the litter box). These are my SEVEN pics for the best gifts for pet lovers! PSST!!! There three more OMD! exclusive discounts in this post… read carefully!

The best gifts for pet lovers (with giveaways!)

The Company of Animals Green Interactive Feeder

Green Interactive Feeder

This one may seem like an unconventional pick for the person, but hear me out… Emmett GULPS his food. Like, one big inhale and his bowl is empty. We use a variety of slow feeders, but he’s still fast. I worry about bloat, of course, but he also starts to hyperventilate and has, on occasion, thrown up. Yuck. Therefore, this is the perfect gift for me because it slows him waaayyyyy down. He has never taken as long to eat as he did with this. I could even walk away and pour myself a cup of coffee instead of monitoring his usual kibble-shotgunning. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe, so I can toss it in with the rest of the herd’s bowls. If you have a food gulper, this is the must-have pet product for safety and peace-of mind! To buy: $26.45 for the dog Northmate Interactive Feeder* (there’s also a cat version available, which I’m definitely getting for Newt)

Shaggy Chic Apparel

Shaggy Chic

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for a pet lover (or yourself) you have to check out this online boutique. The T-shirts feature dogs in unique, modern, almost hipster-ish designs. Their collection includes a mix of funny, festive, and a little ironic. I ADORE the “I kiss my dog on the lips” shirt in French. One of the cutest in the collection is the Kid’s POV, which includes artwork drawn by a 10-year-old kiddo. Plus, with holiday purchases, a portion of sales will go to Don’t Forget to Feed Me, a non-profit pet food bank in Texas. Love them all? You can join their T-shirt-of-the-month club to get a new one each month – another gift that keeps on giving! To buy: visit ShaggyChicApparel for styles and options… And!! An OMD! exclusive: get 25% off with discount code DOGSRULE at check-out

Mountainsmith K9 Cube

Mountainsmith K9 Cube

My love for this product knows no bounds. If you ever go anywhere – road trips, camping, over the river and through the woods – you will love this, too. Neatly contained in a cooler-sized carrier is a PVC-free, PEVA-lined food container and two collapsible water/food bowls. It’s divided on the inside so you can stash toys or chews alongside the food container. There are side mesh pockets for small accessories, like printouts of vet records if you’re traveling, calming treats, or small toys. It has both handles and an adjustable shoulder strap. This thing holds a ton. I only wish we had it when we went on Emmett’s road trip – but it’s coming with us on the next one, for sure. The perfect gift for your road-tripping friends! To buy: $59.95 from Mountainsmith

RUHA custom leather collar

RUHA Custom leather collar

So, our dogs probably don’t care what their collars look like… but we do! These RUHA collars are fantastic. From the brand, “Our leather is 100% full grain, vegetable tanned cowhide. The color is dyed on both sides of the leather as part of the finishing process. This process leaves the leather free from harmful toxic chemicals in compliance with California and US Environmental Regulations.” When you visit their webpage, you walk through a series of steps to fully customize your collar. And they are so spot-on with their customer service! I entered a typo when I made Cooper’s, and they called to let me know that they were correcting it! The hardware is rustproof stainless, and there are a variety of widths, colors, designs, and finishes to choose from. I love that all the contact information is engraved right on the collar – several years ago, Emmett’s tags fell off while out for a walk, so it’s great to know that the collar provides the vitals in case of emergency. To buy: Small Dog Collar $28, Medium Dog Collar $29, Large Dog Collar $32, Extra Large Dog Collar $36, all on RUHA.com PLUS!! An OMD! reader exclusive discount: use code ruha20 for 20% off AND free shipping

Solvit Deluxe Tagalong Pet Bicycle Basket

Solvit Bike Basket

Earlier in the week I mentioned that we were trying to include small dog products as well, and here’s another awesome one! This I had to send to a super adorable small dog and her human from Cindy Lu’s Muse. From Cindy Lu’s person: “I can tell you the basket is THE coolest thing ever. It’s got pockets for storing/carrying stuff, water bottle holder, a sturdy short strap that you hook your dog’s leash to — even a padded bottom and a detachable sun shade. We should all ride in such style!!” Sounds pretty fab to me. Little dogs sometimes can’t keep up or go the distance, but for folks who love to ride their bike, this would prevent the little one from being left behind. To buy: $80 visit Solvit to find a retailer near you

5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder

PetSafe 5-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder

This is a peace-of-mind gift. At least for our lifestyle, but I can see this being a life saver for people who, for instance, work rotating shifts. Have you ever been stuck in traffic… or a meeting went waaayyyy late… or any of the zillion other things that can happen to us to make us run behind or get home late? When I took Emmett to his very first oncology appointment, I had no idea that it took all. day. I didn’t have a dinner plan for the rest of the herd because I had planned to be home mid-day. An automatic feeder would be such a relief in those out-of-your-control situations. Even beyond that, though, it has a rotating tray attached to a timer, so you can put controlled amounts of food in each section. This would’ve been perfect when Coop was a puppy and we were trying to get him to gain weight. Or, you can use it to reward your pet while you’re away at work. I can see so many uses for this, but those uncontrollable situations definitely make the top of my list!  To buy: $59.95 at PetSafe

CritterZone

CritterZone

See it plugged in in the pic above? You hardly notice it! Another one for me to rave about! Is it weird to be in love with an air freshener? Actually, it’s an “air naturalizer” and it works by charging air to clean itself. I don’t know if that summarizes it well, but go read about the technology for the full scoop. One thing I was concerned about at first was that it might be one of those ozone products, which are supposed to be very bad for pets. From the website: “The CritterZone isn’t an ozone generator OR an ionizer. What it does is reactivate indoor air by creating active ingredients that give the air the ability to clean itself, just like the sun and wind does for outdoor air.” I plugged it into the wall between our dining room and living room about 24 hours before we had twelve people over for brunch. By the time our guests arrived, the dog smell was gone. And here’s the thing: I’m a diligent (John might say obsessive) house cleaner. But the reality of a house full of animals is that there is fur and dander and yard dirt and that corn chip smell they get when they’re asleep and so on. It’s just what happens. I haven’t turned our Critter Zone off since, and I think the whole downstairs is pretty much odor free. Now I just need one for upstairs. And my car. And John’s car. It’s small enough for a stocking stuffer, but I think this is a MUST-HAVE for every pet owner! To buy: $99 at CritterZone* PLUS an exclusive $10 off if you use promo code OMD

 

And now SEVEN of you have the chance to win one of these perfect presents! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 28. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for another day of gift recommendations and giveaways! (Hint: It’s a day for our feline friends!)

Disclaimer: We didn’t receive any compensation for this guide, though some of these brands sent products for our consideration. Not all made the cut! The ones here are ones we really, truly love. Any link followed by an asterisk (*) means it’s an affiliate link – you won’t pay a single extra penny if you purchase through those links, but OMD! will receive a tiny bit of commission, which we use to offset the costs of producing this guide! Questions? Send me an email: info {at} ohmydogblog {dot} com.

The best gifts that give back to animals

Welcome to the holiday gift guide extravaganza! Today’s day 4, so if you’re behind, be sure to go check  out the other days’ reviews and giveaways: play, eat, and eco-friendly!

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

Today’s gift recommendations are my FAVORITES because they all give back to the animal community in some way. Also, be sure to read carefully – some super special discounts for OMD! readers! Woot!

The best gifts that give back to animals (with giveaways!)

BarkBox

BarkBox

Y’all know how much I love BarkBox! For one thing, it’s fun treats and toys delivered (I am NOT a shopper, so I appreciate it coming to me), and some of the items are unfamiliar brands and new products I wouldn’t learn about otherwise. Even better? The company is HUGE into giving back to the community. I started to type it all out, but they have a handy infographic with some of their do-gooding. (Click to enlarge.)good-cause-infographic

And that doesn’t even hit on everything. They’re constantly doing giveaways and promotions and helping adoptable animals across the country find their forever homes. It’s an organization I can really get behind! Plus, if you choose a subscription service for the holidays, it’s the gift that keeps on giving! WAY better than the jelly-of-the-month club! To buy: $72 for a 3-month subscription* <— but that link gets you an OMD! exclusive 10% discount

Rosie’s Barkery

HeartsNHomes_RosiesBarkery

“When watching shows like “Cake Boss” and “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” we were inspired to put our baking skills to use and raise money for rescues who could use a paw up.” Uhhh!! Obviously, I love it! Not only do they give to animal causes – 10 so far in Los Angeles – but they put the rescues ON their bags and in their promotional materials. How brilliant is that?! I love getting behind a company that does so much good in such a clever, impactful way. Oh, and the treats are all allergy-friendly! These guys were seriously obsessed with the peanut butter flavor! And, in a funny coincidence, we learned yesterday that Baxter, the darling pup of Pinups for Pitbulls’ founder Little Darling, will be featured on forthcoming packaging! To buy: view the whole assortment at Rosie’s Barkery (the vintage style is SO awesome, too!) AND an exclusive for OMD! readers: use code  OMYDOG for 15% off at checkout! But wait! There’s more! The giveaway winner also gets to pick a rescue to get a package of treats sent to them!

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar

Pinups for Pitbulls 2015 Calendar

Advocating for pit-bull-type dogs is my passion, and this organization addresses it in such a unique, fresh, POSITIVE way. I admired them from afar for years, sharing a post here and there on Facebook but not getting actively involved. I was too intimated, I think, by the fabulousness! :) But when we found out Emmett had cancer, it compelled me to submit an application because I thought it would be the perfect addition to his incredible legacy of being an ambassador for dogs like him. And to my absolute shock, we were picked!

Photo by Celeste Giuliano Photography Wardrobe provided by Unique Vintage Copyright: Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. & Celeste Giuliano Photography HMUA: Raina Clarke

Photo by Celeste Giuliano Photography
Wardrobe provided by Unique Vintage
Copyright: Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. & Celeste Giuliano Photography
HMUA: Raina Clarke

 

We had the best time going out to the photoshoot, but when it gets down to it, it’s all about the mission, and this is an organization that puts every single cent to good use. The calendar (and the book, too) would make the perfect gift for anyone who loves animals. That’s all of us, right?! To buy: $25 at PinupsforPitbulls.org

Fetching Apparel

Fetching Apparel

Working on “watch me” while wearing my Fetching Apparel shirt. I think they have it down pat!

Newscaster Rebecca Pepin and her family founded this apparel company with the mission of giving back to animals: 40% of their proceeds go rescue organizations and spay/neuter programs! Two shelter dogs are members of their family, too! The long-sleeved tee I got is so super soft, and you can choose from an array of muted or bright colors (clearly, I picked the fuchsia!). There are several styles available for women, plus other options for men and kids. The kids’ shirts are darling! These shirts or any of the accessories – like the tote – would make the perfect present for the animal lover in your life because the sweet product comes with knowing that you helped a shelter animal. To buy: visit Fetching Apparel to see the styles and options

Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits

Buddy Biscuits

We love Cloud Star because we can count on the ingredients to be healthy, and most of the versions are even Cooper-friendly! Including the Holiday Buddy Biscuits! I love the smell of these gingerbread cookies. So festive and perfect for the season. Even better than that, though, is their UPC donation program. From the website: “We will donate $1 to a non-profit organization for each proof of purchase you send in.” We have a little pile of UPCs we’ve been saving up to send in – if you have more than 100, you can choose the organization (under 100 and you can choose from their approved list). To buy: $6.45 for the biscuits or $5.95 for the soft and chewy treats

 

And now five of YOU have the opportunity to win one of these incredible do-gooding gifts! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 28. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a whole new day of gift suggestions and giveaways!

Disclaimer: We didn’t receive any compensation for this guide, though some of these brands sent products for our consideration. Not all made the cut! The ones here are ones we really, truly love. Any link followed by an asterisk (*) means it’s an affiliate link – you won’t pay a single extra penny if you purchase through those links, but OMD! will receive a tiny bit of commission, which we use to offset the costs of producing this guide! Questions? Send me an email: info {at} ohmydogblog {dot} com.

The best eco-friendly pet products

Welcome to day 3 of 7 of the 2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide! Over the past few months, we’ve tried just about every pet product you can think of – and for this whole week, I’m sharing our faves AND giving them all away! Today’s gift guide is all about the best eco-friendly pet products for the holidays.

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

We strive to make eco-friendly decisions and purchases as often as possible. Of course, we’re nowhere near perfect, but I always feel like with each step we take, we’re lessening our impact on the planet a little more. When we do have to buy something new – versus something used or repairing something broken – we look for recycled or natural/sustainable materials. This year, we found five awesome pet products that help us lessen our pets’ impact on the planet!

The best eco-friendly pet products for the holidays (with giveaways!)

Worldwise Petlinks: Eco-Rest dog bed Canine Cocoon

Eco Rest Cocoon bed

All dogs are different, and that includes their preferred sleeping arrangements. Emmett prefers a flat surface over anything too squishy or with sides. The other three? Well, let’s just say that this cocoon bed has turned into a whoever-gets-there-first-gets-it situation! What we love best about this bed is that it’s filled with EcoRest, which is a fiber blend of recycled post-consumer plastic spun-processed into a fluffy, high loft fill. According to the brand, the fiberfill is made from about 110 plastic bottles. How awesome is that? Oh, and it’s SUPER comfy. The 28 x 24-inch bed they sent is probably sized most appropriately for Cooper. But that hasn’t stopped Lucas. Or Newt. Overall, this has been a big hit in our house! To buy: $52.22 for the Canine Cocoon Premium Bolstered Pet Bed*

Whip-It cleaning assortment

Whip-It Cleaners

One of the realities of pet care is stains. Or, at least, messes. Our weirdo dogs spend a good amount of time licking things like the floor, so it’s crucial to me to use non-toxic cleaners. We do well with vinegar and baking soda, generally, but for things like barf, I like to use something designed specifically for handling those messes. We tried three products from Whip-it: the 32-ounce concentrated multipurpose cleaner, the 32-ounce multipurpose cleaner in a spray bottle, and the Lil’ Bully stain erasers. The products are non-toxic and biodegradable and contain no acid, alcohol, ammonia, bleach, petrochemicals, or phosphates. Perfect! It works on clothing, glass, laundry, vinyl, leather, carpet, wood floors, and even rust – definitely a multi-purpose cleaner. The spray bottle is certainly convenient, but the concentrate gets your money’s worth! To buy: $30 for the set of three, available exclusively at Bed, Bath & Beyond

Linentails Harness

LinenTails

It has come to our attention that our gift guides exclude the little ones! This year, we’re rectifying that with a couple perfect-for-small-dogs recommendations. This is one of my favorites! From Linentails’ mission: “Linentails is a group of people who love pets, and believe that they deserve the same quality products as humans do.We also believe that it is our responsibility both as owners and as humans to keep our planet healthy and learn to use earth resources in an ecologically and ethically responsible manner.” They make darling products for pets and for the home (I’m seriously swooning over the Tabletop Tabbies), and they sent us the cutest harness in their Faerie Puppies style. Our friend Greta tested this one out for us. Seriously adorable! We love the natural materials and earthen aesthetic. This is definitely a unique and sustainable gift for our tiny buddies! To buy: $99 for the medium harness

Green Garmento

I’ll be honest: When this first arrived, I didn’t see a pet-related use for it immediately. But then… Oh, dear. OK, so this bag is HUGE. It was designed, with other products in the line, to reduce our dependence on plastic bags. You can use this sucker for anything. It’s water resistant and can be folded a bunch of different ways to go from the small box size to a larger bag. The recycled-content handles are an alternative to shoulder straps, which it also has. This thing could have a million uses! I mean, other than for storing your dog. (Cooper photoed in the bag to give it scale!)

Green Garmento

 

This is PERFECT for dog toys, though. I can take it with me as I’m picking up the house to gather up all the toys – are these guys the only ones who spread them far and wide? – then, I leave it out to serve as their toy box. This would be a great gift for anyone but perfect for pet owners who travel – think how much beach gear you could fit in here – or camp or who just prefer to keep all the toys off the floor! We have the one, but I think we need another for the car… To buy: $12.99 for the Gargantote

Petlinks Purr Highness Catnip Scratcher

This scratcher, made from recycled paper pulp, comes with organic catnip to sprinkle into the nubs to encourage scratching. With raised edges and a dip in the middle, it gives cats the option to lounge or scritch away! Created by vets and experts, it hits the sweet spot for cats. Newt took to it IMMEDIATELY! She alternated between scratching:

Purr Highness

And lounging:

Purr Highness lounging

Plus, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To buy: $33.13 Purr Highness Wood Cat Scratcher*

 

We LOVE all of these eco-friendly pet products, and now YOU have a chance to win some for your pups! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 28. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back tomorrow for our next day and a whole new theme for recommendations and giveaways! And if you missed yesterday’s EAT theme, go check out those giveaways. And if you missed Monday’s PLAY, don’t forget to head over and enter to win those giveaways, too!

Disclaimer: We didn’t receive any compensation for this guide, though some of these brands sent products for our consideration. Not all made the cut! The ones here are ones we really, truly love. Any link followed by an asterisk (*) means it’s an affiliate link – you won’t pay a single extra penny if you purchase through those links, but OMD! will receive a tiny bit of commission, which we use to offset the costs of producing this guide! Questions? Send me an email: info {at} ohmydogblog {dot} com.

The best holiday gifts for dogs to EAT!

We’ve spent the last couple months testing and curating the best holiday gifts for dogs (and their people) – and today’s recommendations are all gifts for your dog to EAT! If I had to guess, I think today’s probably our dogs’ favorite day of the gift guide!

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

When it comes to testing edibles, I don’t rely on the dogs. They don’t have the most discerning palates. My first step is to review ingredients to see if it’s something I feel comfortable giving them. Now, I’m not someone who’s “all health, all the time.” I like to balance a little bit of junk food now and then. These winners, though, all rank really highly for being nutritious – and I added our favorite supplements to balance out too many Christmas cookies. I had a tough time narrowing it down, so here are our favorite seven best holiday gifts for dogs that they can EAT!

Read carefully! Two huge bonuses for OMD! readers in today’s giveaways!

The best holiday gifts for dogs who love to EAT! (with giveaways!)

DGP

DGP

Let’s kick this off with our supplement fave. I’ve written about this before, and if you have a dog with joint problems or you just want preventative care, this is the one for you. DGP is all about supporting mobility and flexibility, and if your dog is already on a glucosamine-type supplement, it can be added to provide additional support. Lucas has bad hips, and he’s starting to get a bit older – though he seems unaware of that fact – and loves to play at doggy daycare one day a week. It was taking its toll on his joints, but with the DGP, he now seems to be pretty solid. I’m SUPER happy with this supplement, and my big boy is going to stay on it for sure! To buy: $39.99 for one bottle plus… OMD! Bonus! Use code fb25 for 25% off your purchase!

Indigo Triple Chews

Indigo Triple Chews

Dental health is critical, but we aren’t great about brushing these guys’ teeth. We look for dental products that keep their teeth clean and their mouths healthy. The Indigo Triple Chews are by FAR our favorites. They’re digestible and grain-free. They combine benefits by including antioxidants and probiotics with the dental care. But why we love them: They actually are long-lasting. We’ve tried every type of dental chew, and they finish them SO fast. Too fast for how expensive they are. These seriously last longer than any other we tried. I wanted a metric, so I gave one to Lucas before I sat down to write today. It took him from 3:24 until 3:51. In my house, that’s a Christmas miracle. To buy: $24.99 for small, medium, and large

Fruitables Holiday Edition: Vanilla Snowflake Flavor

Fruitables Holiday Edition

So, these treats have by FAR the best story to them. They are made with real snowflakes! Seriously! You can watch a video of them harvesting the snow. These are small, crunchy treats that are made with 300 snowflakes in every bag. How funny and cute is that?! The ingredients are pretty allergy-friendly, too. The treats don’t contain any wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors, or preservatives. While the boys don’t care too much about those factors, they did gobble them up! I absolutely love the story and think these would make a very sweet stocking stuffer for any lucky pup! To buy: $5.99 for the Fruitables Dog Treats Vanilla Snowflake 7-ounce bag (but it’s limited edition, and they’re almost sold out!)

Zuke’s

Zuke's

Full disclosure: If you have a dog who is as food sensitive as Cooper is, Zuke’s have not been the best treats for him. For some reason, they really aggravate his sensitive stomach. The big boys, on the other hand, couldn’t. get. enough. We love Zuke’s for training because they have a strong smell and are easily broken into little bits. These jerky ones, though, have a lamb that we’re trying with Coop, and so far, so good! The other flavors are great for the other dogs. There are a couple different beef options and turkey, too. These jerky treats – made from totally safe meat sourced in the US and New Zealand, rather than China – contain real meat, carrots, blueberries, apples, and antioxidant-rich herbs. We break them into tiny pieces to use when we’re working with the dogs outside because the strong smell keeps them engaged. These are treats we NEVER want to run out of! To buy: $7.99 per bag

Train-Me Treats

Train-Me Treats

We do a lot of training around here, and we use treats for just about everything from regular walks around the block to teaching new tricks to working on whatever Cooper’s new fear-of-the-moment is. To keep them interested, we have to mix up the rewards. These training treats from Crazy Dog were new to me, and they’ve been working so well. They’re soft – so much better than crunchy when training – and all list meat as the first ingredient. They come in bacon, chicken, and beef flavors and either 4-ounce or 6-ounce bags. To buy: Buy 3, get 1 free for $11.97

Pet Naturals of Vermont supplements

Pet Naturals

 

Many years ago, we drove from DC to Indiana. Then, later, from Indiana to Louisiana. Then, again later, from Louisiana to Indiana. Sigh. All those miles with the dogs is pretty stressful, so we had been purchasing Pet Naturals of Vermont calming treats. They have a HUGE array of supplements beyond the popular calming treats, though, and we’ve been using the Daily Best for Emmett (although, I think maybe he needs the senior formula) and the Skin + Coat. They’re well-formulated and definitely have a good flavor – the boys gobble them up. Bonus for anyone with an allergy-prone dog: The Skin + Coat version is flavored with duck, making it more widely tolerated! To buy: $7.11 for Calming Support for Medium & Large Dogs*, $7.79 for Skin & Coat for Dogs* and $8.32 for Daily Best for Dogs*

PetSafe 2-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder

PetSafe_2-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder_Lifestyle Dog

If you live in a multi-pet household, this may not be the Christmas gift for you (unless you have a cat who has separate access from your dog or something). My herd insists on being fed at a specific time. Every. Single. Day. Breakfast is at 7. Dinner is at 5. I know not everyone has pets so diligent about their feeding times, but these guys insist. For a while, Coop was also eating lunch. And, actually, Newt gets a puzzle toy mid-day. Anyway, this product would be a dream if you had to do a mid-day feeding or if you had a late meeting or dinner plans and wanted to feed your pet on time. For a dog like Emmett – who takes, roughly, 15 pills a day some of which have to be timed with meals – this would be a lifesaver if you had to leave early/come home late. All you do is fill the feeder, set a timer, and TA DA! Your pet is fed the right amount at the right time, even if you have to head out or are running late! $34.95 for the 2-Meal (1.5 cups per side) version (HINT: The five cup version is coming later in the week!)

Barker Kitsen treat assortment

Barker Kitsen

You guys, I’m in love. Can you be in love with a pet retailer? I sure am! This online shop is dedicated to “under-the-radar products,” which means you’re going to discover something NEW in their shop. I seriously loved poking around, and I look at pet products all-the-live-long day! From their mission: “The company’s mission is to help quality-minded pet owners make superior product choices to keep their pets healthy and happy, while giving emerging and unknown brands national exposure as a distribution source for their products.” As I said, I’m in love! They sent us a bunch of treats to try: Raw Bistro free-range bison liver and flaxseed treats, organic sweet potato treats from 2 Dogs Treats, Bixbi’s Skin and Coat chicken breast jerky, and Scrappy Moo treats. Not one of those treats was a flop. We loved them ALL. (Cooper could even eat the bison! Yippee!) And the packaging is super cute. Combined with the great mission, I’m head over heels! To buy: All their products can be found at this shop link – go poke around!! Plus… OMD! Bonus! Use the promo code OHMYDOGBLOG30 for 30% off your purchase!

 

We LOVE all of these tasty pet products, and now YOU have a chance to win some for your pups! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 28. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We think these would make great stocking stuffers – though tell Santa not to put them IN the stockings until the dogs have gone to bed on Christmas Even – otherwise, if your dogs are anything like these three, your whole mantle might be pulled down when you’re not home! :)

Come back tomorrow for our next day and a whole new theme for recommendations and giveaways! And if you missed yesterday’s play theme, don’t forget to head over and enter to win those giveaways!

Disclaimer: We didn’t receive any compensation for this guide, though some of these brands sent products for our consideration. Not all made the cut! The ones here are ones we really, truly love. Any link followed by an asterisk (*) means it’s an affiliate link – you won’t pay a single extra penny if you purchase through those links, but OMD! will receive a tiny bit of commission, which we use to offset the costs of producing this guide! Questions? Send me an email: info {at} ohmydogblog {dot} com.

The best holiday gifts for dogs who love to PLAY!

Welcome to the first of seven days of our annual Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway Extravaganza! After months of rigorous product testing, we’ve whittled down the list to the very best holiday gifts for pets! Today’s gifts are all about PLAY!

2014 OMD! Holiday Gift Guide

We spent the last couple months testing a huge range of dog toys. Some did not pass muster. Others we fell in love with instantly! (Bonus: Most of the testers and extra toys are going to the shelter once the guide closes!)

The best holiday gifts for dogs who love to PLAY! (with giveaways!)

Today, I’m sharing our TOP 10 favorite dog toys, which would make great gifts (some are even small enough to fit in a stocking)! So, let’s get going!

KONG Jumbler Ball and Jumbler Football

KONG Jumblers

We love KONG around here but hadn’t played with these Jumbler toys before. They’re fairly solid and have a tennis ball inside the toy, which makes them bounce erratically. The football is a fun shape for playing catch in the yard, though this one didn’t hold up as well as the ball. The ball? Oh. Em. Gee. Cooper is obsessed. Not just a little. He takes it with him everywhere.

He even tries to bark with it in his mouth because he doesn’t want to put it down. It has handles on either side, so it’s great for tug, too. We enjoyed both toys, for sure, but if you were in the market for just one, I recommend the ball. I’d let you play with ours, but Cooper hasn’t put it down yet! To buy:  $13.87 for the KONG Jumbler Football Toy in Large* and for the KONG Jumbler Ball Toy in Large/X-Large* (the one in Cooper’s mouth is this size but orange, which I can’t find online).

Tuggo

Tuggo

For the past few years, we’ve had a running joke about getting Cooper a tire. Something huge and heavy and massive that he can’t destroy and will actually wear him out. Well, wouldn’t ya’ know! The Tuggo fits the bill and isn’t toxic like chewing tire rubber! We tested the large. You fill it with water, and it ranges in weight from just the ball to 20 pounds when full! Twenty pounds! We filled it halfway, and Cooper spent an afternoon dragging it around the yard. It was a total victory, and nearly two months later, it’s still in one piece! One caveat: This is NOT an inside toy. He tried winging it around a bit… I could see it taking down a whole bookcase. Now that it’s cold out, it’ll be a bit of a chore to empty and fill it for outside play sessions, but I know we’ll get a ton of use out of it this spring. If your dog is strong, high-energy, or just shreds toys, this is the one for you! To buy: Tuggo is available in two sizes: 7 inch for $27.99 and 10 inch for $29.99.

PetSafe Tug-a-Jug and Kibble Nibble

Kibble Nibble and Tug a Jug

Obviously treat puzzles had to make my list! We LOVE treat puzzles. It keeps them busy and occupied and makes them really think about getting their food. These two are very different but both are so fun. The Kibble Nibble is sort of a “beginner” level treat toy because once they figure it out, they have it down. The good thing, though, is that it forces my gulpers to eat their food slowly, which I appreciate. The Tug-a-Jug is much harder because the rope through the bottle has a stopper. They have to really work to get that kibble! It keeps them very busy! Although, one word of warning: If you have a dog who FLINGS puzzle toys like Lucas, don’t give this one near breakable objects or your TV. The rope/bottle combo can fling FAR! To buy: Tug-a-Jug from $9.99 to $19.99 and Kibble Nibble from $13.99 to $19.99 (Oh, and hint: The Kibble Nibble is great for cats, too!)

Chukit Launcher, Tumble Bumper, and Glow Ball

Chuckit Max Glow

With these super short days upon us, it’s tougher to do much outside playing after work. Well, bundle up and take these glow-in-the-dark Chukit toys! For dogs who love to run and chase, nothing beats the Chukit. We had one that disappeared in the move, so I was excited to get these testers – and, better yet, since they glow, the game can go on well after the sun sets. At 4 pm. Sigh. The bumper is great for fetch, too, but we let our guard down for about 30 seconds, and Cooper shredded it. If you have a dog who loves to fetch, these are prefect! If you have a dog who loves to shred, go for the launcher and ball and skip the bumper! To buy:  $4.93 for the Chuckit! Medium Max Glow Ball*, $8.79 for the Chuckit Tumble Bumper* and $10 for the Chuckit! Pro 18M Launcher*.

Worldwise’s Kathy Ireland Loved Ones Collection: Durable Fox Dog Toy and Hide & Seek Dog Toy

Kathy Ireland fox and ball

I saved the cutest for last! So, I have a confession: Sometimes I think dog toys are boring looking. Not all, of course, but many look similar, same color range, and so on. These Kathy Ireland toys? They’re so fresh and different! And darling! Like, seriously adorable! We tested the Hide & Seek ball first, and it’s such a clever product – it has a delayed light and noise function. We can hide it in the craziest places, and Cooper finds it! Such a fun and highly interactive way to play with a ball. At just under $30, it’s way more than we’d normally spend on a ball, but the added features are pretty neat (and it fits in standard launch toys, like the Chukit above). Next up was the durable fox. I seriously adore this toy. I didn’t want to give it to the boys to play with; it’s that cute! But they loved it – all three of them, which is rare for any toy! To buy: $29.82 for the Kathy Ireland Loved Ones Hide & Seek Dog Toy Electronic Light & Sound Ball – Blue* and $22.84 for the Kathy Ireland Loved Ones Durable Fox Dog Toy*.

We LOVE all 10 of these pet products, and now five of YOU get a chance to win some for your pups! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday, November 28. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seriously, all 10 of these toys would make a great gift for the right dog! Come back tomorrow for our next day and a whole new theme for recommendations and giveaways!

Disclaimer: We didn’t receive any compensation for this guide, though some of these brands sent products for our consideration. Not all made the cut! The ones here are ones we really, truly love. Any link followed by an asterisk (*) means it’s an affiliate link – you won’t pay a single extra penny if you purchase through those links, but OMD! will receive a tiny bit of commission, which we use to offset the costs of producing this guide! Questions? Send me an email: info {at} ohmydogblog {dot} com. 

The holidays are here! #TreatThePups! #ad

Disclosure: Post sponsored by Lunchbox but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

Y’all know we love a good doggy DIY around here, and with the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to make our dogs part of our holiday traditions!
Treat The Pups Banner 1

One of our biggest problems at the holidays is having lots of dog-loving friends and family over who all want to treat the dogs! And I get it, of course, but I hate when they slip scraps under the table because not all the holiday spread is safe or healthy for these guys.

When I started thinking about a holiday DIY for the boys, it occurred to me that I could treat them AND solve that problem with one simple project: a holiday treat jar that fits right on our buffet! Now, our guests can treat the dogs with Milk-Bones – their favorite holiday snack – and avoid slipping them bites of food that I don’t want them to have!

So, here’s what we did!

I pulled out supplies I already had: a glass jar, ribbon, a label, and a felt pen. This DIY was a piece of cake! I hand-lettered the label (I need to practice my lettering some more…), made a bow out of the pawprint ribbon, and tied it to a string of black ribbon around the jar.

When I affixed the label, I realized the ribbon tails obscured the tag, so I snipped those off. Then, I filled the jar with Milk-Bones and placed it on my buffet!

DIY Treat Jar for the Holidays #TreatThePups #ad

Here’s a close-up:

DIY Treat Jar for the Holidays #TreatThePups #ad

I think it turned out cute and fits with my decor! Oh, and the best part? It took about five minutes!

Are you making any holiday DIYs for your dog? I’d love to hear what you’re doing in the comments below or on Facebook! (Bonus points for pics!!) If you’re stumped for an idea, you can get tons of inspiration from Walmart’s Treat the Pups page (and watch super cute Thanksgiving Videos featuring Mishka the Talking Husky).

I seriously LOVE the Cornucopia of Treats project on the page… I’m trying to figure out how to integrate it into our holiday decor this year. I think it’ll be the perfect centerpiece or mantle decoration for our dog-run house. And we always send guests home with goodie bags of Christmas cookies, and it never occurred to me, until I saw the “doggy bag” DIY on that site, to make ones for pet-loving guests! Also added on this year’s Must Do list!

How are you including your pups in your holiday prep this year? Any fun DIYs or holiday-themed treats planned? Which of the Treat the Pups ideas do you think you’ll tackle? Please share! (Meanwhile, Emmett’s trying to talk me into making that cornucopia today…)

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Lunchbox. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about craft projects that incorporate your dog into your holiday traditions, but OMD! only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Lunchbox is not responsible for the content of this article.

Barking at the front door insanity (plus, a giveaway!)

Here it is: The final day of Bark Week! And this one’s a biggie! Today I’m sharing our biggest barking problem, what we’re doing to combat it, and a giveaway of the most fabulous anti-barking tool ever!

If you’re just joining us, so far we’ve discussed: how to get your dog to stop barking on cue, how to curb demand barking, and the easiest solution for eliminating excited barking.

But if your dogs are anything like mine, none of those problems even compare to what happens when – cue horror movie music – a stranger rings the doorbell. Dun dun dunnnn.

Bark Week

So, today that’s what we’re discussing: the insanity of barking at the front door and my new strategy to work on it!

Whenever someone rings our doorbell, it’s like unleashing a pack of gamma-irradiated-werewolf-zombie hybrids. They fling themselves at top speed into the door, barking like deranged, rabid monsters. Then, inevitably, Cooper turns that huge amount of frustration onto Lucas. Then, trying to actually get the door open and welcome our guest/sign for a package is an epic feat of wrangling them either behind the sunroom gate or into the backyard.

Does anyone else experience something like this? Please tell me this isn’t just me…

OK. So, clearly a problem. We decided to tackle this head on a couple years ago and tried so many strategies. We tried sending them to their beds whenever someone came to the door. They nailed it when we practiced – even when other people helped us practice – but these guys have done so much training that they quickly figured out practice vs. a real stranger at the door. They would either not go to their beds, or they would but would pop up the second I turned the deadbolt. Fail.

We also tried associating the doorbell with a “place” that came with treats. We rang and rang and rang and rang the doorbell, sending them to their place and raining treats upon their heads. And then we did it some more. Yet, again, they would do it perfectly… until a stranger actually came to the door, then they were like, “Doesn’t apply! This is a real threat! Abort training!” Fail.

New plan! (And this one’s working!)

When we visited PetSafe way back in the summer, they generously gave us a Train ‘n Praise, which I promptly put in the closet and forgot about because… what did we need that for? We weren’t potty training or anything, so??

Little did I know until in a random Facebook discussion, Jodi from Kol’s Notes mentioned how she was using it, and LIGHTBULB!

We went through quite a bit of trial-and-error, but here’s what we hit on as THE solution:

How to solve barking at the front door (with giveaway!)

The Train ‘n Praise is on top of the fireplace, across from the front door (in the pic above, I’m standing in the doorway). When we push the little remote button, it spits out treats that scatter all over. The button also comes with a really specific noise to signify that treats are coming. So, what we’ve been doing is pushing that button every single time the doorbell rings and every single time someone comes in the house through the front door.

Are they 100%?

Nope!

Not yet anyway, but it’s working better than anything else we tried. The boys are OBSESSED with Ann, their pet sitter, and she told me that when she came in, Lucas ran right over to the Train ‘n Praise to collect his treat… without her pushing the button. My mom and her friend stopped by, and Cooper was so busy gathering treats, he barely had time to clobber them. Barely. Sigh.

Anyway, it’s a work in progress. We used it on Halloween, which was a seriously high-intensity practice session, and they did great. My ultimate goal is to have them just assume that when the doorbell rings, they need to run over and collect their treats, rather than barking their faces off or clobbering guests. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it!

Sound intriguing? Want to try it with your dog?

Well, guess what! You can! I had a PetSafe gift certificate, and I used it to purchase TWO Train ‘n Praises for two of you! This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. The widget should load below in a few seconds, or if you’re reading via email or feed, you may have to click the link.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll keep you posted on our progress. But, for now, Bark Week is a wrap!

Do your dogs go nutso barking at the front door? Have you found any other solutions that work? If you win the Train ‘n Praise, how do you envision using it?