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Dog Friendly Summer Activities

It’s been a crazy summer! Like everything else, finding time to sit down and blog is harder than we thought. Keeping on the topic of being busy, we thought we’d share a short list of what we’ve been up to this summer, that are also dog friendly ideas for you and your pup!

1. Camping

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Okay, glamping. You can “camp” at whichever level you prefer but for us, it was the second one. In June we went out to wine country and rented a cabin on the lake with friends. If you’re going this route, consider using HomeAway and be sure to filter out any results that are NOT pet-friendly. The last thing you want to do is find a place to stay, fall in love with the idea of it, and then see those harsh words us dog parents never want to see: NO PETS ALLOWED. Lucky for us, we found the perfect little cabin with lake access and plenty of land for Reagan to play on. Out little pup swam the whole weekend and it wasn’t a bad set up for the humans either!

2. Hiking

Having a pup is the perfect excuse to get out and explore your area. You will quickly find cool spots around you and then become hooked on finding more and more. In Upstate New York, our summer is short so we like to take advantage of getting out and exploring the area and finding new spots to bring Reagan. We wish we got out and did this more but the summer is not over yet! We hope to visit Ithaca, NY by the end of the summer for a mild hike and a peak at the gorges.

3. Festivals

Around here, the summer time is filled with festivals and events geared towards pets. We took Reagan to “Woofstock” out on Cayuga Lake and had the time of our lives! While the humans tasted wine the puppies played, sampled treats, and splashed around in kiddie pools. We got to meet a bunch of local vendors too which is always cool! Tip for locals: Most wineries on the lake are dog friendly! If you’re in the area, you should consider checking this area out. Americana Vineyards advertises being dog friendly and its an awesome atmosphere for you and your pet. We are headed to another fest this week: Canine Carnival. Full report to follow…

4. Hotel party.

Are dog friendly hotels not the coolest thing ever? Talk about a game changer. This summer we traveled to Long Island, NY and brought Reagan along too. Finding an affordable, pet friendly hotel is an excursion in itself, but if you look hard enough you will find one and be so happy that you did! We stayed at La Quinta (the chain is pet friendly) and this weekend will stand out for us for years to come! She quickly fell in love with the sand and the ocean. The waves were a lot stronger than she was used to having only swam in a lake (and kiddie pool) but she was fearless. At one point we didn’t know how we’d get her to leave – legs were locked, you know what I mean- but she was excited to find out she’d have another day running in the sand. Side note: for all of you who live near pet friendly beaches, we loathe you. The beach we visited, Gardiner Park, is a huge spot for the locals so it was packed with other pups. A lot of the dogs were scared to test the waters but Reagan was so far out we thought she was going to fetch a booie. Lucky for us, she stuck with sticks and tennis balls. We highly recommend a weekend get away with your pup whether you go to the ocean or to the city!

 

5. Triple dates.

Whoever said threes a crowd must not have a dog. This summer we’ve been all about going out to a local spot, posting up on the patio, and hanging with Reagan while having dinner. More and more restaurants in our area are becoming dog friendly which is something that really excites us. The better news is your pup is a cheap date too since water is free! Our favorite local hot spots that Reagan can come to are Modern Malt and Dinosaur BBQ. She always gets tons of love from the servers and other diners. Hopefully more restaurants follow the lead and open their doors (okay, patios) to our furry friends too because Reagan is one third wheel we will always welcome.

What other dog friendly activities have you done this summer? Let us know in the comments below! We hope you and your puppy are just as busy as us!

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Happy 1st Birthday, Reagan!

Guys, it’s Reagan’s birthday. We’ve been up all night setting up a bounce house, hanging streamers, baking peanut butter filled cakes, filling kiddie pools with water, installing strobe lights. Ok, that last one was for us though…

Today she is one years old! How did that happen? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were googling what type of puppy food to buy? Now she is a strong, independent, one year old. Before we know it, she’ll be off to college where she’ll be swept off all four feet by some hunky German Shepard whose going for his degree in Criminal Justice. Then they’ll move to the city together, start a life, and we’ll only see her on holidays. GREAT, NOW WE’RE CRYING…

Time seriously is moving so fast. I think some of you warned us about this. It has been an absolute blast watching this little fur baby grow up and into her own self over the last year. She has no idea the impact that she has made on us or the happiness she has brought. What we do for her doesn’t even skim the surface for what she does for us. Okay, now we’re actually crying…

How Reagan is celebrating today:

Reagan is turning up at her doggie daycare today.. She’s getting a little bit of pampering at the spa and then spending the rest of the day with her furry friends at Canine Clubhouse! After that, we’ll be picking her up for a swim at Skaneateles Lake. Swimming is her absolute favorite! One of Reagan’s mom’s birthdays was yesterday, so they had an early birthday celebration this previous weekend with a cabin trip and endless amounts of swimming! We’ll share some photos in another post of our little gold fish, I mean golden retriever, because she had a blast. After a dip, we’ll head back home to hang out before cake! You can find the recipe we used here. By that time, Reagan will be WHOOPED! But its her birthday and she can sleep if she wants to…

We hope you’ll take some time to check out some of our previous posts so you can see just how much Reagan has grown in the last year! Be sure to wish her a happy birthday too! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to stop by our page in the past! We always appreciate your kind words and genuine interest in the love of our lives, Reagan Blue. Here is a collage of some of our favorite pics (sappy music not included).

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How to cope with puppy fever

If your life is anything like ours, all of your friends are getting puppies and you’re not handling it very well at all because you want one. Now we know how other people felt towards us when we brought Reagan home almost a year ago- WHAT? So yes, she is still a puppy, but not REALLY. Long story short, we have puppy fever. And we have it bad. Does it ever really go away though? We don’t think so. Here’s how to cope…

1. Stalk all of your friends with puppies. And I mean, you need to go all in on this. Really commit or don’t even bother. Beg your friend to hang out 24/7, offer to dog sit, ask if you can borrow something from them (like a shirt) but then take their puppy instead. Let us know how the last one goes….. Check out Rae’s newest friend Mila on her mom’s blog Pints of Life and this cute shot of them from this weekend!

 

2. Search the web. If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’ve typed “golden retriever puppy” into your google search bar before. But don’t stop there. Exhaust all options: Pinterest, Instagram, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, YOUTUBE! The only thing better than golden retriever puppy pictures are golden retriever videos. Uh, so we’ve heard. Warning: this suggestion may back fire and increase puppy fever. View at your own risk. This is one of our favorites you HAVE to see if you haven’t yet.

3. Excuse our shameless plug but for immediate relief check out our Instagram @the_golden_rules. Guaranteed cute puppy pics. Just sayin.

 

4. Set an alarm clock. This should help deter some feelings. Just go ahead and set your alarm for 2AM, 4AM,6AM, etc. and remember that’s the time you’d be dragging yourself out of bed every day to tend to your little pooch! Who likes sleeping? Guilty. Your puppy will set out each and every day to make sure a good night’s sleep isn’t in the cards for you. Nighty night…. NOT!

 

5. Forget everything you just read in this post. Throw your caution to the WIND, forget everything we just said, and get a puppy. I mean come on, 2 is better than 1 after all, right? We’re already talking about a sister for Reagan. It’s in our three year plan (wah- I want her now though.) But we are being “responsible” and waiting because she still is a puppy herself. For those of who can and are able to give a pup a home, DO IT! We support you! No, we encourage you! And then be sure to send us pictures. It really is like Happy Hour- 2 is always better than 1! Who’s thirsty?

So if you’re like us, you always want a puppy but you know the times not right. Hopefully these tips helped you or at least made you laugh. It’s a hard life but we know the time will be right again one day just like it was when we brought Reagan home… In the meantime, can we borrow a T-shirt?

Tips for choosing a dog daycare

We’re currently looking into doggie daycares in the Syracuse area to take Reagan for some socializing and less days she has to stay at home. After digging into some research, we realized there are so many things to look at before choosing which facility best fits you and your pup. Here’s what we found:

Application Process
Filling out forms can be a pain but when it comes to doggie daycare it’s a must. Make sure the daycare you’re interested in screens all dogs prior to attending. There should also be specific requirements such as: proof of vaccination, dogs are spayed and neutered and on a flea/tick preventative. We also recommend choosing a facility that has trial periods where they evaluate the dogs before they attend. This allows them to check the temperament of each pup and ability to socialize with others.

Safe, clean environment
This is an obvious requirement when choosing the facility that is best for you pup but their are specific things to look out for when visit each daycare. Here is a list of necessary facility requirements:

  1. Tall fences
  2. Look for double gates
  3. Separate areas for small and big dogs
  4. Clean water bowls available
  5. Shaded areas outside
  6. Heat & Air conditioned inside areas
  7. Clean inside with minimal odor
    1. Should be proper cleanliness and process to clean up pet accidents
    2. Should do multiple deep cleanings to ensure this

 

Affectionate, Well-trained staff
Leaving your pup with someone you don’t personally know can be a scary thing. That’s why it’s important you take time to research the staff at the daycare you want to use. Online you should be able to find out the basics: number of people on staff, their training, etc. If they have a Facebook, check out the comments, likes and reviews others have left on their page. Finally, once you have it pretty narrowed down, when you take your pup in for the trial visit observe how the staff treats the dogs. Look for positive reinforcement rather than specific red flags including use of: pushing/jerking and strong physical or verbal reprimands on the dogs.

Accreditations:
Unfortunately there are no actual accreditations for dog day care owners.However, look for individual accreditations of the staff. Also, word-of-mouth can be the best testament to choosing a daycare you’ll love. If someone you trust recommends their daycare facility it’s definitely worth checking out.

Additional Features
If you’re having trouble selecting between two or more place, you should definitely look into the features of each daycare. Looking into the different accommodations of each facility can really set one place apart. Some extra services we have seen include: grooming, doggie hotel, and our favorite, live stream footage all day!

 

Syracuse Dog Day Care Options:

Barks and Rec

Location: Cicero, NY

Cost:

  • Full day: $24/day
  • For multiple days within the same week: $23/ day
  • Half day: $14/ day

Special package pricing:

  • $384 (20 full days)
  • $216 (10 full days)
  • $252 (20 half days)

Requirements: Not listed online

Overnights:

  • Doggie Hotel:
    • $25/ night per dog ($14/night for a second dog. $7 for a third dog per night.)
    • Offers the option to choose a “suite” or a “family suite” for multiple dogs

Features:

  • Offers special pricing for families with more than one dog
  • Dog wash packages are available with all bathing supplies provided (shampoo, conditioner, ear cleaner, drying stations.) If you choose the package your 10th bath is free!
  • Pricing for dog wash:
    • 25lbs and under: $10
    • 26-50lbs: $15
    • 51-100lbs: $20
    • Over 100lbs: $25

 

Canine Clubhouse

Location: Camillus, NY

Cost:

  • 1 Day = $28.00
  • 5 Days = $130
  • 10 Days = $250
  • 25 Days= $550
  • 50 Days= $1000
  • Unlimited Monthly= $600
  • Half day= $14

Requirements: 

  1. Application must be completed either online or in person
  2. Shots:
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies (every 3 years after second shot)
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
    • Fecal exam
    • Flea and tick medication (monthly)
    • Heartworm preventative (monthly)
  3. Spayed/ Neutered
  4. Must pass a thorough 2 hour K9 Behavioral Test
  5. Minimum age to attend daycare is 12 weeks

Overnights:

  • Luxury boarding
    • 1 Night (also includes day of daycare)= $39
    • For multiple dogs= second dog is $33, third dog is $30
    • 10 Day Boarding Pass= $360

Features:

  • Puppy Play Days
  • Pet Portal
    • an easy, online scheduling portal for customers to book appointments
  • Professional Grooming & Spa Services
    • Pricing for spa treatments:
      • Nail trim = $12
      • Nail grind = $15
      • Nail painting = $15
      • Nail trim and pad trim = $15
      • Teeth brushing/ breath freshening = $8
      • Ear cleaning/ plucking = $8
      • Blueberry facial/ scrub = $10-$18
      • Whitening/ tidy ups= $10
      • Shampoo and blow out only = pricing varies
  • Photographer on site to take photos of the action throughout daycare for the owner’s enjoyment
  • Training Services
    • “Sit Means Sit” dog training program available
    • Pet First Aid and CPR classes available ($100/person)
  • Full retail store coming soon

 

The Barking Orange

Location: Syracuse, NY

Cost:

  • Full Day = $27
  • Half Day = $16 (4.5 hour max)

Package pricing:

  • 1 Day a Week Pack (6 Visits): $156
  • 2 Day a Week Pack (10 Visits): $243
  • 3-5 Days a Week Pack (20 Visits): $452
  • Unlimited Day Pack (20 Visits): $495
  • 10 Half Day Pack: $155
  • 20 Half Day Pack: $295

*A late fee of $5 will be charged for every five minutes your dog is not picked up by closing. The late fee increases to $50 after 30 minutes, + $2/minute.

Requirements:

  1. Application & screening process (includes an interview with owner and dog)
  2. Spayed or neutered unless they are under 6 months
  3. Proof of up to date shots (including Kennel cough)
  4. Well socialized

Overnights: Not available

Features:

  • Three Webcams so you can watch your dog enjoy his day
  • Training Classes
    • Obedience Classes: $143
    • Puppy Class: $114
    • Agility Class: $143
    • Canine Good Citizen Prep and Test: $143
  • Easy online payment, application, and scheduling system
  • Photos posted of the action on their website
  • Grooming services
    • Brushing, shampoo, hair cut, nail trim and and ear cleaning.
    • Pricing not available online.

 

K-9 Kamp

Location: Baldswinville, NY/East Syracuse, NY

Cost:

  • Full Day: $26.00
  • Half Day $16.00 per day

Requirements:

  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
    • Spayed or Neutered
  • Other Medical
    • Flea and Tick treatment required all year round
  • Dogs must be in good overall health to attend: includes coat, ears, eyes, mouth.
  • Newly rescued/adopted dogs and puppies need to provide clean fecal test from their vet/shelter
  • Scheduled visit to ensure no aggression issues

Overnights: Only boards at East Syracuse Location

  • $38.00 (includes daycare)
  • $24.00 for the Full Day
  • $14.00 for the Overnight

Features:

  • Live web cams (Only East Syracuse Location)
  • Includes self serve dog wash for extra cost
    • $18/plus tax
  • Triple door system
  • Will contact and drive your dog to your personal vet in case of emergency.

 

Canines Unleashed

Location: Liverpool, NY

Cost:

  • 1 Day per week = $27.00/day
  • 2 Days per week = $25.00/day
  • 3 – 4 Days per week = $23.00/day
  • 5 Days per week = $19.00/day
  • Half day (morning only) = $17.00/day

Requirements:

  • 12 weeks old
  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
  • Scheduled evaluation visit to ensure no aggression issues and in good health
  • Spayed or Neutered

Overnights:

  • Only for daycare customers
  • Price not listed online

Features:

  • Live web cams
  • Grooming available
    • Prices depend on breed, size and coat condition
  • Training
    • Extra cost

 

Blue Prints Dog Studio: Currently a wait list

Location: Syracuse, NY

Cost: Pricing not online

Requirements:

  • Initial screening and 4-hour trial ($14)
  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Must be on flea and tick preventative.

Overnights: Not available.

Features:

  • Daycare sessions incorporate positive reinforcement methods we use in training.

 

We want to hear from you? What were your requirements when choosing a doggie daycare? What services do you use for dog boarding?

5 reasons we’re glad our dog can’t talk

You’ll always see memes and posts about how owners wish their dog could talk. This got us thinking… what would Reagan actually say? Would she tell her friends about all the weird things she’s caught us doing? Would she scold us for staying out late? Here are our top 5 reasons why we’re glad Rae can’t:

1. The Crap She’s Heard Us Say

Maybe you have a friend who lives for social media, whose posts are always questionable but always worth gasping over. Say you’re sitting at home after work, scrolling Facebook, and you’re all like“Oh my God she did NOT post another selfie!” It’s okay though because the only ears to hear your disbelief are those crimpy, furry ones on the other end of the couch. Then the next day that same friend comes over. Dun, dun, dun… Imagine your pup being like. “Mom, I thought you said Ashley was embarrassing and annoying. Why is she here for dinner?” Yeah. I’m already uncomfortable.

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2. The weird things she’s witnessed me doing

Have you heard the phrase “if these walls could talk?” We are starting a new movement to change the phrase to “if this dog could talk.” You know what I mean. You get home from work, kick your pants off, throw your hair up into a high bun that bees might potentially swarm if you step outside. In this state, you avoid the mailman and your own reflection. Maybe you cheat on your health cleanse and sneak some ice cream (still pantless). Maybe you only get off the couch on Sunday to grab more food and change into a new set of pajamas. Are you sensing a theme here? The best part is having your dog to hang around when you’re at your lowest. You don’t care cause she can’t make fun of you. Even though sometimes her judging eyes say it all:

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3. She can’t tell me to go away

Okay we know you “aren’t supposed to hug your dog” but are people really strong enough to follow that rule? We’ve tried, we’ve failed. Those faces are too cute to not hug. Sometimes maybe the hug lasts too long, I’ll admit. If she could talk she’d probably be like, “okay mom. That’s enough. Get off me,” and we’d be devastated! But she can’t talk! That’s the beauty of it. She has to just sit there in our loving arms and let us hug and nuzzle for her five minutes too long. Or five hours. It’s been a long week okay…

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4. She can’t beg for anything/everything

I think if Reagan was going to talk her first words would be, “you going to finish that?” During dinner. And she’s pretty stubborn and pushy so I feel like she would just continue to badger for food. She’d probably also ask to go to the dog park every hour of every single day. In fact if she learned how to use a cell phone (she hasn’t been able to figure out the touch screen on her iPhone yet) she’d probably call us nonstop and beg us to come home to play with her! And we obviously wouldn’t be able to say NO! What kind of people do you think we are? We’d be forced to come home, cater to her every need, quit our jobs, and lose everything. Do you see where we’re going with this?

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5. She communicates in her own, natural ways

The special bond between human and dog comes from that unspoken communication with each other. You learn about your dog’s wants and needs through their body language and habits. You pay attention. You take the time to train and teach them and in return connect with them on a level where words aren’t needed. It didn’t take us long to learn Reagan’s every move. Sometimes she’ll whine at the door and we’ll know she just wants to go outside and play. Other times she’ll whine and we can tell she has to use the bathroom. Without the shortcut of being able to use words to communicate her wants and needs, both parties pay more attention to one another. That unspeakable bond is special in itself and one of the reasons why dog is woman’s best friend!

4 April Fools Jokes To Play With Your Dog

1. Fake poop

I’d say this one is a classic prank. You can purchase “fake dog poop” from any prankster site. Once purchased, simply stash the fake poop in your victim’s bed, on a rug, on a counter top, on the couch, etc. Placement will depend on your victim’s most frequently visited spots. Prank at your own risk.

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2. Dog swap

This one will require one spare pooch. How to dog swap: enter victim’s home, swap their dog with your dog, leave house with their dog. Wait, is that kidnapping? We’ll get back to you on that topic… possibly from a jail cell. This prank will work a lot better if the dogs you are swapping out are from the same breed, have similar coats or faces. Lucky for us, Reagan and Finn look just alike. So we will be implementing this one later today. Sorry, mom. Good thing you don’t read this thing anyways! Warning: to avoid arrest, make sure you are dog swapping with someone you know.

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3. Dog Park Lies

It’s April. That means the snow should be gone and there is a good chance you’re heading to the dog park later. When you’re there, you’ll likely get chatting with other dog owners. Insert “dog park lies” here. You’ll ask what type of dog they have, how old, you know typical speed dating, er I mean, dog park questions. When you’re asked what type of dog you have, lie. Maybe you have an obvious golden retriever (guilty) but tell them that she’s a dachshund mix. Don’t stop there. If your dog is a sugar face, maybe tell them she’s six months old. Before you leave, drop the mic, and tell them April Fools. But don’t forget to grab your dog on the way out…

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4. Here, try this

I’d say this prank is EXPERT level. It is going to require some serious blood, sweat, and tears but if you are still reading something tells me you are a force to be reckoned with. We’ve posted before about the making homemade dog treats with all natural ingredients that even a human could eat. But they probably wouldn’t taste very good and who would ever try one? Definitely not us… But back to the prank, when making your treat do two versions that look the same. One dog treat and one human cookie, like we said EXPERT level. Then invite some of your friends over for a get-together with their dogs (great excuse to have a party). First, when everyone is just hanging out, hand out baggies with the treats in them and include a recipe with really weird ingredients (beef liver, chicken broth with peanut butter, chicken giblets, etc). Next step, tell your pup to sit and give them a treat. Then, immediately following take one (make sure it’s a human cookie… or you can have a dog treat if you’re actually into them.. *cough* FREAK *cough*) and eat it. The best part, then tell them to try one too and mention how they’re SUPER healthy for humans. After that the only thing left to do is sit back and watch their expressions fall into a fearful frown.

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Before you leave, if you’ve never heard of the company ThirdLove, you definitely need to check out their dog bra collection! #hilarious

Let us know if you try any of these out today. If you can, snag some video!🙂 What are your doing for April Fools? Any dog pranks?

7 Dog Products You Never Knew You Needed

Have you ever wished you could text your pup? Or even just facetime them so you could see their cute fluffy face. Well, we say this all the time. Like literally every time we’re apart… So our mouths dropped when we were watching Chelsea Handler’s new show on Netflix, Chelsea Does, and they featured this amazing product called PetChatz. (Less amazing after seeing that $350.00 price point :p). But anyways… it allows you to video or audio call your pet through your phone with the ability to give them treats or release a particular scent. How freaken cool!?

1. PetChatz

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This got us thinking about all the ingenious products we have seen and wanted to buy so here they are:

2. Dog Umbrella

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This dog umbrella by Happy Pet Travel would be PERFECT for Reagan! She hates getting wet from the rain and it would make it easier for us to go on walks without having to squeeze 2 quarts of water out of her fur.🙂

3. Paw Wash

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This Paw Wash product that makes sure the mud and dirt stays outside and not inside. It can be so tricky to get all the dirt out of Rae’s paws, this product would be a rug saver!

4. Doggie Car Organizer

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This High Road Wag’nRide Doggie Car Organizer would be an amazing purchase to keep everything organized in the car for only $19.99. It’s also smart to have some extra bones, treats and poop bags on hand whenever you may need them! What better place than the car!

5. Zip N Go Pet Bed

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On the subject of travel, this Petmade Zip N Go Pet Bed would be perfect for road trips and save room in the trunk. Carrying a pet bed can also be the biggest pain when you’re unloading your car! It’s a little pricey at $47 but can definitely save some time and space for road trips with your pup.

6. Scents of Security dog toy

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Petlinks came out with this Scents of Security dog toy, not only is it an amazing name but an incredible idea. You can put a piece of your clothing in the toy with your natural scent to ease separation anxiety, stress, boredom and destructive behavior. It’s a little pricey for a dog toy at $21.49 but with the effects it’s promising it’s definitely worth checking out.

7. Whistle, the Fitbit for Dogs

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We recently got fitbits for ourselves, which actually made us partly insane about getting our steps in and hitting our goals! This Buzzfeed article pretty much sums up how we feel about our fitbits… aka “insane”.We have debated putting the fitbit on Reagan to see how many steps she would get in a day and after researching it there is actually a dog fitbit called Whistle. Not only does it look super modern and cool but it tracks your dogs activity and location, which you can check right through the Whistle app on your phone. Not sure if we want some more step competition, especially from Rae but at $79 we’re really thinking about purchasing this awesome product!

We want to try all of these products, if only they’re were all cheap!

Have any of you tried these products? Would you try these products? What would be on your list?