New Products for Dogs

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Photo Credit: Pat Brown-John, Director
All About Obedience (Canada)

There are a lot of folks who blog about dogs, but the delightfully entertaining “Dog Blog,” posted by Lisa Woody is one of my favorites.  Her blog is called: FunStuffForDogs.com – The Funniest Dog Stuff on the Planet.

Ms. Woody gave me permission to repost some of her work so we’ve listed some of the newer and more unusual dog products she found, which have recently come on the market.  It’s a bit longer than my usual posts, so feel free to scroll down and just zero in on those of interest to you.  We think you’ll find some of them quite interesting, and perhaps of value to your own beloved canine friends.

 

Lickety Stik Lickable Dog Treat 

lick liquid dog treat training

A liquid dog treat! Who knew?

Ever heard of a liquid dog treat? I hadn’t, until I saw Lickety Stik at our local Pet Supplies Plus store. (Yes, even though I’m a retailer and able to buy everything wholesale, I still visit pet stores to see what they’re selling , and to buy anything that I need only one of, not a whole case.)

So here’s this roll-on bottle sitting at the checkout. I picked it up and saw it was a lickable liquid dog treat. I though, “What a great idea!” I have a nine-month-old Shiloh Shepherd whom we work with on leash and off. I need to drill commands and treat frequently for new commands, so a lickable treat (with only 1 calorie per 10 licks) seemed a good thing to try.

I purchased the chicken flavor and tried it out. The bottle says to shake it before offering it to the dog, then just unscrew the cap, hold the bottle down and let the dog lick. My Irish Setter was a little ambivalent at first, but the Shiloh LOVED it! We say “Sit!” and her bum hits the deck so fast it’s a blur. When Finnegan (the Irish) saw how much fun it was, his interest became a little keener. Now, they both do back flips (not literally) for the Lickety Stik.

licketystickdetailI found the smell of the chicken flavor to be a little … not what I would think chicken would smell like. However, I’m not the target audience here. The dogs love it and that’s what matters. The smallish bottle holds over 500 licks, which is a good value for $6.99. That comes out to a penny per treat. Try beating that in a tough economy. There are other benefits, too.

  • It’s quick! No fumbling in your pocket or bait pouch for a kibble or treat. No dropping it on the floor or pulling out two or three, which take longer to eat. The dog can be rewarded right away when he does what you’re asking him to do. He can consume the treat quickly, too, without having to stop and chew it up, then clean up the crumbs on the floor. By then, you’ve lost some momentum. A quick treat is much better, especially for teaching new things.
  • It’s precise. If you’re working with more than one dog, or you’re training in a class around other dogs who might be interested in what you’re giving your dog, you have more control over making sure the right dog gets the treat. Food aggressive dogs who might want to swoop in and get the treat away from you or your dog have a heard time when it’s a quick lick or two.
  • It’s low cal. You can treat often without worrying about caloric intake. My dogs are very slender, so I don’t worry about that, but I’ve had other dogs that shouldn’t be given 30 treats a day. With this treat, I can reward as often as I wish.
  • No spilling. I don’t worry about treats spilling out of my treat pouch or pocket all over the sidewalk when I bend down to pick up after my dog.

Lickety Stik is available in three flavors: Liver, Chicken and Bacon. It retails for $6.99. Manufactured by PetSafe, the people who brought us the Drinkwell water fountain and the self-cleaning litter box. Gotta love the creative minds over there. What will they think of next?

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Dog Product Reviews

Mimi Green Engraved Buckle Collar

leatherengravedbuckle

There are so many collar manufacturers out there that I’ve lost track, and most of them don’t seem to offer much in the way of innovation. But there are a few that do, and Mimi Green is one of them. They have an exhaustive selection of dog collars, leashes, and harnesses, from basic to designer and everything in between. Whether you want a classic design, something innovative, fabric, leather, synthetic, laminated, webbing or something totally different, these folks probably make it. And they make everything in the USA, which is even better.

We tested a leather collar with an engraved buckle. I like this design because there’s no collar tag jingle, and because the tag cannot come off.  We had just got a Shiloh Shepherd puppy and wanted something sturdy, good-looking and adjustable (at 8 months, she was nearly the size of our full-grown Irish Setter).

The collar arrived quickly and was more than I expected. Although the company could use cheaper leather and probably 80% of consumers would never know the difference, I could see that the leather they use is nice quality bridle leather. No cracking, oily India leather here. This is gorgeous, full-bodied, supple, strong leather, the kind that gets better with age and lasts for a dog’s lifetime.

The stitching is firm and even, with small stitches (large stitches are faster and less expensive, but don’t hold up as long as small stitches). The buckle is nickel-plated die-cast metal, which should hold up to years of use. The side-release mechanism operates smoothly. All the hardware has a heavy, quality feel to it. (Note that I chose a collar for a large dog; the smaller sizes have quality hardware that will not be too clunky for smaller dogs.)

unique designer dog collar

The personalized buckle collar also comes in fabric webbing in 18 colors.

We’ve tested the collar for three months. During that time, our Shiloh has been her active self. She scratches, swims, and generally causes mayhem for her collar. But this collar has held up well. The leather is as smooth and supple as it was when we got it. I was glad the buckle would never get scratched up so badly that it would be difficult to read; the laser engraving is guaranteed never to wear off.

We’ve had to enlarge the collar once, so I was glad that it was adjustable. A Chicago screw holds the collar at the desired size. A screwdriver (or a dime) will get the screw out so you can place it in the next hole if your dog is growing or gaining/losing weight. It adjusts up to 2 inches.

You can get up to three lines of laser engraving on the buckle, so you can put either your dog’s name or your name on it (or both), plus a phone number or two, a microchip notification, and/or an address, or any combination of those.

The engraved buckle collar is available in webbed or leather styles. Shipping is reasonable and the company is friendly and responsive. They have loads of other designer dog collars, too. In my view, the price is very reasonable considering the quality of the materials, craftsmanship and engraving, which is included in the price. And isn’t that refreshing? Most places would charge you by the letter. Thanks, Mimi Green!

Personalized Engraved Name Leather Collar

Price: $41.99 any size / Sizes: 12 to 26 inches / Colors: 4 leather colors
Engraving: 15 fonts, 3 lines, 15 characters per line
Get it from: shopmimigreen.com

Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Dog Product Reviews

Flush Doggy Poop Bags

I have been trying to figure out what to do about the stinky trash can that results from disposing of dog poop. If I put the poop pickup bags in a trash can in the yard, I can barely stand to go out there, and I keep thinking my neighbors – who don’t own dogs – can smell it. Plus, it attracts flies and other bugs. If I keep the poop in a trash can in the garage … well, let’s just say that I live in Texas, and the temperatures are warm for nine months out of the year, with summertime temps reaching well above 100 degrees. By the time our once-a-week trash pickup comes, the garage reeks so bad that the smell has begun to spread to the house and the neighborhood.

I didn’t used to worry about it so much. I hate to admit this, but since we adults did not use the back yard, we would just pick it up before the mowers came every week. But then we added three small children and a puppy who finds these piles to be irresistible (if you catch my drift), so now we have to clean up as we go. I love having a clean yard all the time, but what to do with the poop?

It seems to me that there are three options for disposing of dog waste that you pick up on walks or in your yard.

  1. A composter like the Doggy Dooley. Cons are that you have to dig a huge hole to put it in and our ground is very hard; you have to add water every day, you have to buy and add enzymes periodically, some customers still complain of strong odor, and some say that the plastic does not withstand extreme heat and sun.
  2. Collect the waste in pickup bags and dispose of them. Cons are a strong, unpleasant odor, flies, and a not-so-earth-friendly substance that accumulates in landfills.
  3. Flush the dog waste with biodegradable bags.

I can’ t believe I had never thought of flushing my dog’s waste down the toilet. But then I found Flush Doggy, the eco-friendly, flushable dog poop bags. These white bags are the same size as other poop bags I have tried (10.75″ x 8.5″), so they can handle anything my big dogs put out. They’re water soluble, so they won’t clog toilets or pipes. Yet they don’t fall apart if you use them on walks. They’ll stay intact for about an hour, so you have plenty of time to get your little package home before the bag dissolves.

There is an art to flushing the bag once you’ve picked up the poop, however. The first time I tried, I backed up my toilet. The reason? Air got trapped inside the bag, creating a large object that wouldn’t go down. The packaging does come with instructions for avoiding this:

  • Do not tie the bag; just leave the top open
  • Flush one poop at a time (it helps to dump the poop out into the water, then drop the bag in after it)
  • Avoid flushing dry or hard feces

I have discovered my own method for flushing. I flush the toilet and the bowl begins to fill with water. I hold the bag over the water. When the water begins to go down, I drop the bag right over the hole and down it goes. I have not had another problem since I started doing this. The suction takes the bag down, ridding it of any air that’s inside. Perfect!

Flush Doggy bags are not recommended for septic systems. The company, http://www.flushdoggy.com, sells them for $19.99 for 100 bags. I have also found them on Amazon. There are other manufacturers of flushable waste bags, so you can find one that you like. Here are the ones I have been able to find:

UPDATE: Eight months later, I’m still using the bags. My yard is always clean for my mowers, my children, and my bare feet. So grateful for these. I haven’t been without a yucky back yard since I’ve had dogs. I will never be without these bags. – LW

Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Cool New Products, Dog Products

Smart Bones

Many Veterinarians never endorse dogs chewing rawhide because of concerns about the digestibility and potential choking hazards. Many consumers also have concerns about chemicals used to process rawhide and the general lack of regulation in the leather industry. And let’s face it … rawhide is hide. It’s skin. Processing leather for consumption takes quite a bit of work; work that results in toxic waste, which has a negative effect on the environment.

I’m not an anti-rawhide person. I’ve fed rawhide to my dogs. But I do worry about the chew when it gets to be so small that the dog might swallow it. Unless I’m watching him chew the entire thing — or unless I look up as he gets to the end of it — I may not know that he’s about to swallow the last of it. I also had a Dachshund who would maul and gum the rawhide until it was soft, wet and floppy. When I took it away from him, I pulled a bunch out of his throat that he had partially swallowed. Yuck.

And yet, rawhide has benefits. It’s a long-lasting, protein chew that will give a dog hours of chewing activity, which they need to keep their minds occupied in their modern confinement lifestyles. It also helps clean their teeth.

So I was interested in the concept of Smart Bones, a chew that’s veggie-based chewy outside and chicken jerky inside. I tried two of their varieties, the chicken and the peanut butter, in size large, which is 6.5″ long. They also have a dental variety (see below for sizes and flavors).

The “vegetable” outside is mainly extruded corn starch, and includes (depending on the flavor) sweet potatoes, peas, carrots or kelp.

I gave one to my 12-week-old Shiloh Shepherd puppy, who’s a shark right now (everything goes in the mouth, right?) and one to my nine-year-old Irish Setter. There was a little bit of crumbling on the outer part of the chicken one, but the chew seemed to be palatable. While it did not last as long as a rawhide, it did keep her busy for half an hour. The Irish Setter had a ball with the peanut butter one. His teeth aren’t as sharp as the puppy’s milk teeth, and he’s not as frantic, so he got nearly an hour’s fun out of his.

I saw no ill effect when I took the dogs out to do their business. Sometimes, you can feed a new treat or chew and then regret it later. But there was no evidence that the Smart Bones were stressing their digestive systems. They don’t smell, which I like (some rawhide chews reek) and they don’t stain my carpets or sofa, which is nice, since my Setter likes to save some for later by hiding his treats under our pillows on the bed.

Smart Bones are also fortified with vitamins and minerals, which gives them an extra nutritional boost. Minor “cons” I see are that they have 9% protein content (vs. 80% and up for rawhide) and dogs with grain allergies might not tolerate the high corn percentage. Other than that, my dogs loved them. This is a smart alternative to rawhide if your dog does not like or should not consume rawhide.

Sizes: Mini, small, medium, large (also available in chips and “smartsticks”
Buy in bags or bulk boxes. / Flavors: Chicken, peanut butter, dental
Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Dog Product Reviews

Important Note:  MyMagicDog.com does not endorse or recommend any of the above mentioned products.  They are listed for information only.  However, if you decide to try one of them — or already do — we would appreciate knowing how well it worked.  And, of course, if you have spotted or use an unusual product that you’d like others to know about, please let us know by sending a comment in the “Reply” box below.

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6 Responses to New Products for Dogs

  1. Kathleen Kaska June 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I love the poop bag idea. It’s sometimes amazing me that we never worried about things like this with our childhood dogs. They just went in the backyard and somehow over time, the waste disappeared. Thanks, Patricia, for sharing this.

  2. Carol Coates June 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Oh I was dreading this when I read the headline: ‘new products for dogs’, thinking, ‘please, no more doggy clothes’, so I was pleasantly surprised. (I hate seeing dogs in T-shirts, shorts etc.) These are some REALLY good ideas, and sensible too. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any of these in the UK but I daresay they will make their way here eventually. Thanks Dr P. Always enjoy your site & look forward to the next one.

  3. Norman Wilson June 19, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Excellent article, Patricia.

  4. Marie Grime June 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    This was great information. I use Miami Herald bags now for the poop, but always worried that a) they aren’t good for the environment, and (b) they smell up the trashcan. Also the Smart Bone. I’m going to check on both next time I get to my Petco.

    Something for Sally and something for me. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Bill Thorn June 20, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Very interesting stuff Dr. B. I’m going to order one of those bacon flavored Lickety Stik’s for myself. It’ll be just the thing to carry with me when I have to make a quick start to an early morning meeting!! A grab-and-go breakfast so to speak. With 500 licks, it should last me a while. I wonder whether it needs to be refrigerated between uses??

  6. Dr. B June 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Hi to my loyal followers: I don’t usually rate responses — I appreciate them all! — but in this case I must make an exception. Bill Thorn — you get the GOLD DOG COLLAR for best comment to this blog. Thanks so much for the laughs!

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