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 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... *Should also be noted that senior dogs at more at risk


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DNA: Dog-lovers Need Answers


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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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.


This shows how long the tendon is… 



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Too Cool…

The heat is a hard thing to beat and some breeds, like those in the Spitz family, have it tougher because they are raised for colder climates. Zeea was born far up north and she’s a ‘snow’ breed (i.e. Huskies, Samoyeds, Bernese Mountain dogs, etc.) which share a common trait of a thicker double-coat. Many people think that the less fur, the cooler the dog will be but NEVER shave a double-coated breed (i.e. Husky, Newfoundland, and Samoyeds) because you will actually make them hotter. Although not ideal for the hot summer weather, the coat still has a way of regulating body temperature through the undercoat (too much undercoat though and air is blocked from the skin, which is why they shed and still need to be groomed).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo how can you keep your dog cooler? Why not chill out
with an Ice Bandana by all for paws. Made out of a special material, all you need to do is soak the bandana in water and place it around your dog’s neck and it is supposed to provide instant cooling relief. I soaked the bandana in water and it started to release what I would describe as a gel-like substance if squeezed. The first time I used the bandana I just ran it under the tap to get it wet but not Zeea runningdrenched and there was no gel residue. After being outside for about an hour, I felt the bandana to see if it was working; it did not feel cold but was damp. I assume this product works by using the process of evaporation (the same the way our sweat keeps us cooler), with the special material/substance keeping the bandana continuously wet. That is why the second time I soaked it then the third time around, to make it even cooler, I put the bandana in the freezer after immersing it in water. This last option was the best one as it ups the cooling factor and increases the time it takes for the water to fully evaporate. If you are placing it in the freezer, lay it flat, not folded, because otherwise it will get stuck together 😳 and you will have to wait for it to unthaw before being able to put it on. By the end of the walk Zeea was still hot so this product is not the perfect solution and in the end Zeea found a better way to beat the heat, and have tons of fun at the same time, by plunging into a large and very muddy puddle. ^^’  Zeea loves mud 2 Zeea was really pleased with herself for figuring out a soil-lution. 😉 (As you can see)

The Ice Bandana’s science is sound so, although it might not keep your dog ultra-cool, your dog will get some relief from the heat. I was definitely glad to have it for Woofstock as it was a long and hot day. In five hours I re-wetted the bandana twice by pouring some water from a water bottle onto it and, although I didn’t super-soak the bandana, it still held moisture by the end of the day.

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Not one, not two, not even three, but four 😮 bones are joined together to make this dog treat. The Quado by N-Bone Company is an interactive dog treat with the four bones connecting at a center point to form a tetrahedron (a fancy math term for 3 sided pyramid) which allows easy rotation making this product not only edible but interactive. In Zeea’s case the only flipping action the Quado got was to switch a now-non-existent bone with another. I had hoped she would bat the treat about more OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
creating a longer lasting treat and more entertainment. In the end the Quado lasted about 15 minutes which is a decent amount of time considering Zeea’s crazy chewing capabilities. Like many chews this treat claims it removes plaque and tartar with an added bonus of freshening breath. Also, for ‘no processed food’ owners, you will be happy to know this treat is all natural and for those ‘selective ingredient’ owners, it is also wheat, corn, and soy free. For all the different dogs out there, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(princesses/princes to monsters) this toy comes in all different sizes starting at small fry to ginormous and there are three flavour options: pumpkin, peanut butter, and mint. Natural, fresh breath, and different flavours; sounds great but I do want to bring you back to the main focus of this blog, does it last? 😕  I had higher expectations for the Quado as I was hoping it would last at least half-an-hour. So when the results were only 15 minutes I was disappointed. I don’t think this is the best treat out there for aggressive chewers especially since in the end the price was higher than the minutes it lasted.


It is stated more than once on the Quado package that this treat is edible and digestible. Well certainly Zeea proved its edibility but as for the digestibility… well let’s just say she brought up the ‘topic’ o_O ; I woke the next morning to find Zeea had vomited. Now I would usually not criticize the treat as Zeea does have a sensitive stomach but because I have seen upset stomach vomit along with other reason Zeea was sick, I can say that the Quado was most likely the cause (I keep track of anything new Zeea gets). The vomit was full of Quado pieces that had not been digested very well. I am not saying the fault is entirely on the Quado or that your dog will get sick, but this is just a warning, especially to those that have speedy chewers and/or dogs that are known to swallow larger pieces.

So before you buy, ask is the Quado right four your dog? (I know, lame…but I had to end with something lighter 😛 )

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A Toy that Sticks Around


One of the toys in the New Year review I didn’t say much about was the Nylabone DuraChew Hollow Stick because it wasn’t played with at all since my last review of it. I did, however, mention the “chicken trick” and how the addition of food is a great way to get Zeea’s attention so once again I bribed her into playing with a specific toy. Instead of chicken this time I did something a little easier (no cooking involved 😉 ). The DuraChew Hollow Stick has, as stated in its name, a hollow centre which is perfect for adding treats. So I searched around for a treat that would be thin enough to fit into the hollow centre and long enough to extend out both ends. This is when I found out that, although this toy is mostly hollow, it is broken up by a block where the second small branch extends from the toy. This meant I couldn’t push the treat all the way through so I had to find something shorter. In the end I used a dental chew 😀 which had the perfect width as it was a tight squeeze, meaning Zeea would have to work the treat out and thus creating more playtime. Zeea’s teeth did begin to wear away the stick’s end once again leaving the surface with an even rougher texture and no smooth end sections.

I have come to the conclusion that this is a long-lasting, tough toy. However, it is not as durable as some of the other toys I have reviewed and I say this because pieces, even though miniscule, have been removed and with enough time (a long, long time) the whole toy could be worn away. Ultimately, this is a great toy for those tough chewers out there but how long it lasts is going to depend on how much your dog plays with it. 😈

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