Attention:

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?”

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Gnaw!

YOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAou 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.

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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.

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Egghead

20170102_154919Recently 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. 😉OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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! 😛

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Brawns won’t work on this toy; you need brains. Lucky Zeea has both 😉

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♫♪ Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…♫♪

g♫♪ Oh the salt out there is frightful2016-12-23-16-46-10
But the snow is so delightful
Protect my paws, we’re good to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ♫♪
If you wear boots in the winter why shouldn’t your dog?

Invisible Boots protects your dogs paws by forming a barrier shielding them from the cold, ice and the salt. It also helps with already dried or cracked paws, dogs can lick it without any problems, and best of all it works!

 

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Me-wow!

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.

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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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAit 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! 🐱

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A bit of a paws…

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.

animalwelfarists: “ “(source) ” To lower the risk of heat stroke (and associated illnesses): • Do not leave pets unattended in cars during hot weather. No, opening a window to let air in will not remove the threat of heat stroke. • Ensure that pets...

http://animalwelfarists.tumblr.com *Should also be noted that senior dogs at more at risk

 

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DNA: Dog-lovers Need Answers

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There’s no question we all love our mutts but I’m sure we have all wondered at some point “what are you?” Or you see a dog go by and think “that looks like my dog.” You ask the owner what breed their dog is and the answer you get is a breed you never would have thought as being part of your dog. Then at home you’re looking into those puppy dog eyes and while they’re thinking “treat,” you think “you do kind of look like that breed.” But still, you don’t really know what breeds your mutt is made of. Well that’s what the Wisdom Panel is for; it’s a DNA test to find out about the ancestry/breed-mix of your dog. So are you curious? 😕 I was and so I did a Wisdom Panel on Zeea.

So what did Zeea’s report say? In alphabetical order, Zeea is part Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd Dog, Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky and Yorkshire Terrier Mix. Your reaction was probably similar to mine – ‘oh that makes sense…wait YORKIE?’ Time to read the details…

wisdom panel chartThe first page lists the breeds that have been detected as well as where they appear in Zeea’s ancestors, creating a family tree basically. Three generations are covered from Zeea back to her great grandparents. I’m going to move up through the chart, starting with Zeea’s parents. Although the Wisdom Panel does not tell you which side is maternal or parental, I know that, in Zeea’s case, the left side is her mother. Zeea was found as a young pup beside her mother whose breed
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwas identified by the rescue as a husky. Now if we look at the chart we see that the mother was a Husky mixed with a Malamute, a Yorkshire Terrier and some unknown breeds. Huskies and Malamutes are two breeds that are often confused with each other and a lot of the time when the breed is in question the dog is actually a mix of both. There are clear differences between the breeds and one of the most noticeable is the tail. Zeea has a curled tailed which is a characteristic of the Malamute—the husky’s tail is straight or sickle shaped. Zeea’s father was mainly German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever along with mixed breeds. German Shepherd was no surprise considering Zeea’s tan and black coat as well as the saddle patterning. As for the Lab, this provided insight into one of Zeea’s traits that neither the breeds of her mother or the German shepherd covered: her ears. Zeea has floppy ears which are a trait from the Lab as the other fore-mentioned breeds have pointed ears. So we’ve covered four of the indicated breeds but what about the mixed breeds or the Yorkshire Terrier? A mixed breed ancestor means no specific breed was found within that particular set of data; however, there is a list of the groups that the mixed breeds might be composed of starting with the strongest likelihood. Zeea’s mixed ancestors were from the terrier, herding and mountain dog (ex. Bernese Mountain Dog, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland) groups. As for the Yorkie found in Zeea, this result was marked with an asterisk which means this breed was detected in low confidence – which is exactly how I feel about Zeea being part Yorkie. o_O

Traits are not only physical but behavioural as well and the Wisdom Panel includes an explanation of both within each breed’s synopsis. I’ve noticed certain behaviours in Zeea; her continuous “talking”, for example, is known to be very “Husky”. The Wisdom Panel’s behaviours for each breed do not seem to be as individualistic and are rather more general. For example, Zeea is active, intelligent, enjoys dog sports as well as being stubborn but will bend for food – these are all under the Yorkshire Terrier so does that convince me that Zeea is part Yorkie? No. The report shows that many of the breeds share the same traits (though the wording may be OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAdifferent). “Stubbornness lessen by using rewards”, “easier to train with rewards”, “responds well to rewards” or “quite food motivated” may be different phrases but they all state that your dog is reward-motivated. Of course, there are some traits attributed to just one of the breeds in the report; the Husky has listed “may engage in digging; might chase wildlife”. However, even within a specific breed, traits are not always clear; the German shepherd has listed “personalities can vary from calm and watchful/observant to energetic”. All in all, these traits are generic and even the Wisdom Panel comments that all dogs’ personalities are unique. So if you were hoping to decode your dog’s behaviour using this test you will not have much luck. I am not saying the traits are wrong, but they are not unique enough to a single breed to determine your dog’s exact personality. (If you wish to see the full report click this link: Wisdom Panel Results word )

So there you have it – in the end Zeea is a Malamute, Siberian Husky, German Shepherd and Labrador mix or a malador-shepsky for those who like their designer breeds (just kidding! 😉 ). As for the Yorkshire Terrier, I have my doubts but who knows for sure what breeds are hiding in Zeea’s DNA. The only thing I can be 100% sure of is that Zeea is Zeea. IMG_0518

I mean what else would she be… 😛

*Disclaimer: This post has not been sponsored by Wisdom Panel*

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O-stretch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust this past month I went to Woofstock and, as usual, Zeea was spoiled. There were different vendors selling natural-made chews like hooves, antlers and different dried animal parts. I glanced at the beef tendons but I find they aren’t worth it because they are eaten just as fast as a biscuit-type treat; so essentially gone in seconds. At one vendor I happened to come across a different size tendon than I had seen before; it was quite large and thicker than most. I thought there was no harm in trying it because at least the size would make it last longer. I knew they weren’t beef tendons but the box that held OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthem said nothing but tendon and the price – so what animal were they from? I never would have guessed. They were ostrich tendons! That’s right ostrich. It shocked me too but it makes sense; long legs = long tendons and powerful legs = stronger tendons (at least in theory). To be honest, I thought that it would take longer for Zeea to chew through only because it was longer. However, the ostrich tendon exceeded my expectations. It took Zeea almost 15 minutes to finish it all, in comparison to a beef tendon which takes her less than minute. She spent a good time crunching on the tendon as it didn’t seem to just snap apart easily in some sections, which is probably due to the ostrich tendon being more fibrous. So now I know: strong ostrich tendons for strong chewers.

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This shows how long the tendon is… 

 

 

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