As the name most surely implies, when your cat plays, this toy squeaks. All Play-n-Squeak products include the electronic "RealMouse" sound module that quite convincingly mimics the real thing. The company recently redesigned and relaunched their popular cat toys for last month's Global Pet Expo and now offer a wider variety for all types of frisky kitties to use that instinct to hunt, stalk, and pounce on prey. They've got interactive cat-only toys like Batting Practice and Thrill of the Chase, in addition to Shake y'r Tail Feather and DangleMouse for you to get in on the action. I can't wait 'til these toys make it into my local pet shop – in the meantime, check out all their playtime offerings (or contact them for store locations) before their retail website is up and running!
So you want to teach your puppy to fetch, eh? Good luck with that. Since puppies are easily distracted, you'll probably get more of a workout than he will – and end up playing fetch with yourself! I know it took North a while to get the hang of retrieving the ball, and in the process I must have lost about five pounds! Thankfully, Katie's Bumpers are here to help by keeping you stocked with great training aides.
First, they make these nice and soft Heave Hose Bumpers ($15-20) for puppy to run and fetch. It won't hurt their growing teeth or jaws, plus they're bright and easy to find if you happen to throw a little too far. And since they come sizes from Puppy - Big Mouth, when your little one grows up to be a pro fetcher, you can upgrade to something a little more suitable. Next up, in your arsenal, Katie's River Rope ($20) makes retrieving those bumpers even easier since you won't even need to leave your lounge chair. Just connect the rope to your bumper and you have a contingency plan if puppy decides to run off and chase butterflies instead. Plus, at 25 feet long, your pup can get in quite a workout to boot! Best yet, the River Rope was made especially for those days at the beach, lake or (duh) river once Fido knows how to swim. Just toss the toy in the water, and you won't have to worry about it going downstream! So smart.
Tomorrow's National Dog Biscuit Day – are you ready? While perusing the aisles of my local Cost Plus World Market, along with the Gonzo, I picked up a box of Sojo's Good Dog Treats ($7) for my good dog! In addition to being 100 percent natural, they come corn, soy, and wheat free to prevent food allergies in your pup . . . and make them safe for most!
In addition to the cute packaging, what really caught my attention was the range of drool inducing options: Chicken Pot Pie, PB&J, Apple Dumpling, and Blueberry Cobbler. Enough to make me salivate, not to mention my hungry pal! In bite sizes, they won't ruin an appetite and work nicely if you're training as they're the perfect, easy reward for a well done command. Thankfully, if you can't get to Cost Plus, you can order online with free shipping.
If you haven't lost a pet, then you're pretty lucky – I'm still sad when I think about little Scooter. Thousands of animals go missing every day and only a small portion of them are ever found. Thankfully, with technological advances, there are more tracking options for families with animals – as long as the finder takes the time to look for them. Microchips like HomeAgain are implanted under a pet's skin, and offer other services like vet and shelter alerts, poster making services, and pet ID cards that help you cover a broader area during your search.
I've already told you that my lil' guy has a microchip and an ID tag, but I think adding this USB ID Tag ($40) could prove useful in other situations as well. Storing essential information like owner address, phone number, alternate contacts, dietary restrictions, medications, and photos, it's also helpful for pet sitters, too. That way next time your pet checks into a hotel or goes to the vet, you can guarantee you have all his information on hand . . . or, in this case, right around his neck!
Even though I live in an apartment, I still would like to have a bird feeder for my window. Watching birds is a relaxing way to spend a lazy weekend morning while I have my coffee. But, since embarking on my own bird feeder hunt, I've run into a bit of a problem – finding one that I like . . . and can afford. If you've even Googled "Bird Feeders" lately, you may also be stumped to find modern feeders to match your stylish taste. Thankfully, there are some sleek bird feeders out there, I just had to dig a little to find them. Take, for example, this set of feeders replicated after historical homes by an Austrian design firm. These swank digs protect the food from squirrels and droppings, but come with a hefty price tag of $200. If you're into modern design, but your pockets aren't so deep, check out my widget for a few more affordable options when you read more
Sometimes I think North has box cutters for teeth. The rate at which he destroys toys surely must put him within the top five percentile of pups. Because of his "habit," I'm always looking for gear that will stand up to his chompers. Trust me, these toys are called Tuffie's for good reason! Most of the products are on the larger size (some even rivaling his size), but North still likes to drag them around with him. They don't come cheap but they last with tough chewers and even float, too.
For those squeak lovers, mine doesn't include one . . . but that's just because it's too sturdy to squeak. Tuffie's are made with two layers of industrial grade nylon, covered with a soft fleece outside for snuggling. Those layers are each sewed together, then the toy is sealed shut with two more layers of stitching and then an additional piece of trim covers it, with three more linear stitches on top. Count 'em – that's seven seams in all! Check out their barnyard animals, sea life, plus dinosaurs when you read more
Dogs love toys. North likes almost any kind of ball he can get his teeth into. But other furry creatures love playing with toys, too! Gerbils and mice love to get out of the cage and explore the world in a ball of their own. Even rabbits get in on the action with this Rabbit Maze ball that jingles — keeping them occupied and chasing it around for hours. Hey, they need exercise too!
I've gathered the best-sellers; the most popular and fun balls for all kinds of furry animals. Check them out in the widget below!
Scooping the doodie is a must-do for doggie owners. While most people already have waste bags (and containers to put them in), these super-cute options caught my eye! Baggie Buddies are designed by Mon Ami, a company aiming to offer products that are perky, but not pretentious. In unique fabrics like dark brown denim and red gingham, I'm thinking of adding one to my pet gear collection. This pouch easily attaches to pooch's leash with velcro and will set you back just $14.00 – a small price to pay for an adorable addition.
Since I've already shared my love for harnesses, check out some common types below – it's possible to find ones that have several features all in one!
- Soft harnesses. Like the Puppia harness seen above, these feature a comfy air-mesh material providing support and ventilation for active pooches.
- Step-in harnesses. For dogs that hate the over-the-head process, hold these harnesses flat and put one front paw in each hole – easy on, easy off!
- Harness Vests. If you don't want to dress up a dog, but still want to give him a festive look, harness vests are, as the name implies, a combo of a harness and a decorative vest.
- K-Style harnesses. These soft harnesses (often microsuede or velvet) are secured with Velcro making them easy to wrap up small pooches that don't tug too much.
- Easy-walk harnesses. Often with a leash ring in the front (not on top of his back), these harnesses rest on the breastbone away from the neck entirely. They're good for training pups not to pull, but require attention to make sure the lead doesn't twist around his head.
To see a widget of these harness types read more
I bought North's first collar before I even picked him out! I decided the puppy-sized leather collar with studs from George would be a perfect gift for my little guy upon arrival. Not only functional, collars are a great way to switch up your pet's look and, with so many varieties, it's tough to resist! North has seasonal colors and designs as well as special occasion harnesses (even one just for running). How many collars or harnesses does your pet have?