I just wanted to inform everyone reading my blog that What’s the “Woof?” does get updated (occasionally) but due to the way wordpress works I cannot make individual posts on the What’s the “Woof”? page. So to keep confusion down I have moved all the past posts under the heading What’s the “Woof” Archives. Therefore one topic at a time will be on What’s the “Woof”? to avoid having readers’ ‘chasing tails’.
THANK YOU and I hope you keep reading!
A Terrible Tail -NEW! Read under “What’s the Woof?”
The May long weekend in Canada is a time when people set off fireworks and although we may ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ at them, some of our dogs are not as impressed. This is certainly the case with Zeea so I bought a ThunderShirt. It was not my first time looking into buying a ThunderShirt but I always hesitated because they are very pricey and on top of that I was skeptical about the science behind it. The ThunderShirt works on the principle of swaddling, like one would do for an infant, where pressure has a calming effect. I would like to point out that, although it has “thunder” in its name, the ThunderShirt’s package says it is great for fireworks so I was using the product for its proper purpose. As well, I did use the shirt for thunder as a couple days after the long weekend we had a thunderstorm. Now let me start off by giving you an idea of how Zeea reacts to fireworks and thunder sans ThunderShirt.
At the first loud popping or bang, Zeea gets up and rushes to hide with her ears flat against her head, tail tucked and her head lowered. Usually she chooses the bathroom but sometimes she will hide in the bedroom, curled up tightly against the side of the bed. Poor girl. 😥 Of course I have tried to calm her but nothing seems to work. My treat-loving pup is so scared that she will not eat anything you give her and if you try to get her up, try to provoke her into to being brave, she just rushes off to her next hiding spot. Not only that, but she pants heavily, continuously and fast.
In short, the panting, shaking, hiding and bolting are all signs of fear/anxiety and are all listed on the ThunderShirt box as symptoms the product can be used for. So the long weekend came and Zeea was tightly wrapped up in her ThunderShirt. The fireworks began and…Zeea bolted to find a hiding place. I followed her to the bathroom and there she was, curled up and afraid, even with the ThunderShirt. Just as before, she was breathing heavy and shaking. I thought that it might just be her first response so I removed her from the bathroom but she just bolted again at the next loud noise. The ThunderShirt did not seem to be working but I thought I’d use it to the fullest and added the ThunderSpray to the designated ThunderPatch on the shirt. Nothing.
In the end, after two days of fireworks and a day with thunder, it was clear that the ThunderShirt did not provide relief to Zeea’s fear and anxiety. I would hate to discourage anyone from trying something that may help their dog but, considering the price, which is usually around $50 (larger sizes are more expensive), and my experience, I would not suggest the Thundershirt and/or the ThunderSpray as a solution. The only positive thing I can say in my review of the Thundershirt is that Zeea looked good in the camo design. 😉
Hey everyone thanks for sticking with Zeea and I through the ‘silence’ but I am excited to say there will post a coming soon. A device that you have probably wondered about the Thunder Shirt will be tested the May two-four weekend against the multitude of fireworks. Will it work? I know your tails are wagging in anticipation…
You would think a toy called the Gorilla Chew would be strong – after all, gorillas are built like power-houses and they eat one of the strongest plants, bamboo. So when you see “gorilla” in the title you expect something durable. Also the label states it is safe, strong and satisfying, however this is not what I got.
I could regale you with how quickly and easily Zeea removed chips of wood from the toy but to show how weak this toy truly is, I am going to use my sister’s dog, a little 14 lbs Maltese-poodle mix named Silas, as my example.
Like Zeea, Silas likes chewing on wood outside so my sister thought, just as I had, that it would be great to get Silas a Gorilla Chew. Silas loved it and began chewing and, within a minute, pieces were already coming off. The bits were collected and Silas continued on happily. Suddenly, however, Silas stopped chewing the block of wood and began trying to chew the left side of his mouth; his tongue was also sticking out of his mouth at a strange angle. Knowing something was wrong, my sister pried open his mouth and she saw, in between his canine and first molar, a splinter of wood. It was stuck! My sister was not able to remove the splinter with her fingers and she ended up holding Silas’s mouth open as I improvised floss with a ripped off strip from an empty dog food bag. Luckily it did the job and we got the piece out.
After the incident we looked up the Gorilla Chew on the internet and found others had had the same problem – pieces of wood would easily break off and the dog would end up with splinters stuck between their teeth or swallow them (a possible choking hazard). So, I wrote this post so I could warn all dog owners to be very careful with the Gorilla Chew. If your dog will possibly be chewing on this toy rather than just gumming it, it is not the best option for you and your pet. And if your dog is definitely a chewer, I would suggest avoiding this toy completely. The Gorilla Chew is definitely not the safe and strong toy the company states it to be.Forget King Kong when buying your dog toys and just think KONG instead.
Recently it seems Zeea is maturing and thus her passion for destruction is waning. However, there are certain toys that Zeea never gets bored with and those are the ones that dispense treats. Still as treat-motivated as ever, this toy, the Dogzilla Dino Egg, was a perfect addition to her collection and this blog.
This toy has proven its durability multiple times. The rubber is very flexible so the dog can push its muzzle into the toy which widens the openings but also prevents the dog from being able to get the grip it needs around the toy so that they can rip it apart. At least this is the case with medium and large dogs. It is always important to get the proper toy size for the size of your dog; if unsure, always go bigger. In this case bigger is better. 😉
The Dino Egg has the option of inserting treats for added interest or, in Zeea’s case, any interest at all. 😛 What is great about this toy is that, unlike some other treat dispensers that only fit kibble-sized food, the Dino Egg can fit many sizes – although this takes some maneuvering. Also, because of the design, the dog cannot just roll, throw or flip the toy to have the treats fall out but they have to dig it out. Therefore, it is a great toy to keep your dog busy and quiet in their own space.
Another factor that seems to be popular with dog owners nowadays is mental stimulation. I don’t necessarily believe using a KONG or a toy they need to roll around is mental stimulation but in this case I watched Zeea try the typical throw-and-roll and when she realized nothing would come out, I could see her brain working. The rubber is springy so it easily pops back to the original shape so it has to be held down. This toy has a puzzle-like aspect which is what makes it mentally stimulating and can use more energy than running around.
I would suggest this toy if you’re looking for something to keep your dog’s interest (with treats) and keep your dog occupied on his/her own. Even if they seem to get the hang of getting the treats out, different size treats add new challenges. A stronger chewer devours a chew in a flash but place that inside the Dino Egg and you’ll have a longer lasting chew and a long-lasting toy.
Overall this toy is egg-cellent! 😛
Brawns won’t work on this toy; you need brains. Lucky Zeea has both 😉
It is the time of the year where finally the weather is starting to cool down and Zeea’s energy is peaking again. Always a fan of small rodents and birds, Zeea takes interest in toys that remind her of said creatures. On a visit to the pet store with my sister we decided to venture into the cat toy aisles for her small dog, Silas, who is into pulling off fluff like that found on many cat-mouse toys. We tested out Silas’s reactions to different toys, hoping to find one for him, and in the process Zeea found one for herself. This toy is a toy-mouse encased in a spherical-frame that, when rolled, lets out a high pitched chirp. Zeea was extremely intrigued and pounced on it right away. After taking it away from her a few times and her interest in it not fading, as well as her refusal to move 🙄 , I decided to buy it for her.
I was skeptical about how long the toy would last since it was made for a cat but the strength of the plastic surprised me which is why, after months of having this toy, I have finally decided to write about it. The Play N Squeak is a ball with large open spaces and it has a toy-mouse inside. There is no flexibility to the frame at all and the spaces in the frame are too small to get to the mouse inside which is suspended in the center on a bar. Although the tail of the mouse can be pulled out, one small roll of the ball and the tail curls back inside. It is not a very realistic looking mouse so I am sure the toy-rodent is not the draw but, just like with many dog toys, it’s the noise. It sounds like a real bird (yes a bird, not a mouse) and it really grabs Zeea’s attention. Although I can’t say 100% that this toy has high durability, I can say Zeea has yet to crack it even though she really, really wants what’s inside. Just how much does she want the mouse? Enough to start whining when she doesn’t succeed after a few attempts. 😥
In the end, this cat toy is stronger than many of the dog toys Zeea has tested. Me-wow! 🐱
I just want to let all my readers to know that I haven’t posted recently because Zeea has had little interest in toys recently, instead she enjoys making a den with my blanket and sitting by the fan. Just like humidity can make people tired it seems to affects dogs too.
A little bit of advice to those with double coated dogs or those with dogs that really feel the heat: walk early in the morning and in the evening when it is usually cooler, bring water to keep hydrated and if going for a long period of time a bandanna soaked in cold water is a great trick (or an ice bandanna (as seen in the post below)).
NEVER leave your dog in a hot car! I have read too many stories about dogs suffering and even dying because of becoming over-heated in cars. An open window does not remove the threat of heat stroke. If you see a dog in distress please call animal control or 911.
http://animalwelfarists.tumblr.com *Should also be noted that senior dogs at more at risk