Archive

January 2018

Browsing

Sure, you may hike with your dog during the spring and/or summer months, but do you continue hiking throughout the winter months? Even more, do you continue to hike in snow and negative degree temperatures? If you answered no, don’t worry you are with the majority of the pack. But there is one pair that no matter the elements, continues their hikes throughout the year. Met Ryan and his Australian Shepherd, Fen, of @fen_the_aussie. This hiking duo is known on Instagram for their sense of adventure and beautiful outdoor photos.

It’s no coincidence that Fen came into Ryan’s life 2 years ago. Having had Huskies throughout his life, Ryan fell in love with the Australian Shepherd breed while visiting his brother in Arizona, but wasn’t exactly sure that Fen was the right dog for him. It was Ryan’s wife of 29 years of marriage, Debbie, who had a good feeling about Fen and convinced Ryan to get Fen. Fast forward to March 6, 2016, Ryan and Debbie welcomed home an adorable 8 week old Fen to live along side Debbie’s ragdoll kitten, Lilly.

Ryan works 3-4 days a week and on the days that he is working, Ryan and his wife split caring for Fen. Ryan’s wife leaves for for work at 8:00 a.m., but will come home for lunch on the days that Ryan is working to let Fen out of his crate for a mid-day potty break and stretch. Once Ryan is home from work around 3:00 p.m., Fen knows it’s time for his afternoon play session. Fen will grab a toy and run throughout the house as Ryan chases him. Afterwards, Ryan takes Fen on a short walk around the neighborhood and then they return home for dinner. One might think that Fen’s day comes to an end after dinner and that he later goes to bed awaiting his next adventure …. Well, you would be wrong. Fen doesn’t have to wait long for his next adventure, as after dinner, Ryan and Fen are back at it for a walk around town. And, when we say around town, we literally mean around the town. Fen and Ryan will walk about 2 -5 miles around their home town of Buffalo, depending on the evening weather.

The only thing that changes their long evening strolls around town is if Fen went to daycare earlier that day, as Fen plays hard at daycare and will come home exhausted. While this is not a weekly activity, but an every once in a while activity, Fen absolutely loves going to his local doggie daycare. Being the “only child”, Fen welcomes the opportunity to play with other dogs and while he doesn’t have a particular breed he is attracted to, he enjoys the larger, more active breeds that can try and keep up with him! 😉

When Ryan has the day off with Fen or the weather somehow keeps them from venturing outdoors, Fen will often go on indoor scavenger hunts. Since Fen is “very food motivated” and hasn’t met a treat he doesn’t like, Ryan will hide a dog biscuit somewhere in their dining room and Fen will search around until he finds it.

And while Ryan posts the most stunning photos of Fen on his Instagram account, the secret to his amazing photos is simply that Fen loves the camera! Ryan says that from the start, Fen loved the camera and posing came second nature to Fen. When Ryan takes out his camera and kneels down, Fen stops what he is doing and looks directly at the camera. Fen is so good at posing that Ryan actually finds it hard to get a candid photo of Fen not looking directly at the camera.

While this supermodel is always poised on camera, Fen has one of the funniest quirks around. Being an Australian Shepherd, obedience and good training may be in his genes, however, Fen doesn’t hold back his true feelings. For instance, if you tell Fen to lay down and he doesn’t necessarily want to, he will still do so, but on his way down, Fen will let out a groan. Ryan believes the groans are Fen’s way of “letting him know he will do it, but he’s not thrilled about it”. As you can imagine, this gets a ton of laughs at Fen’s obedience class.

While all of us love our dog and the bond we have, Ryan and Fen truly have a special connection. Ryan describes Fen as being an incredibly loyal dog who always has a strong desire to be near Ryan, which is what Ryan absolutely loves about Fen. Whether it’s sitting at Ryan’s feet while he eats or laying his head on Ryan’s lap while they relax, these two are always together!

Their bond over hiking and being outdoors is one to be admired. This active duo gives inspiration to all us pet parents to get outside and explore our town with our dog. If you’re in or around the Buffalo area, be sure to keep an eye out and say hi to  Ryan and Fen if you see them on their daily walk. If you’re not around the Buffalo area, be sure to follow Fen’s Instagram account to see what adventure he goes on next!

All photos: @fen_the_aussie

As many of our Benebone fans may have seen, we teamed up with the folks at Bark to create the Benebone Bark Pretzel. This collaboration was created to give our Benebone fans a fun, new, inventive toy. Why a pretzel? The Bark team is headquartered in New York City and we wanted to bring an iconic New York staple to the front steps of your dog.

Made with the same quality, USA-sourced ingredients as our traditional Benebones, the Benebone pretzel has brought many hours of chewing happiness to dogs throughout the holiday season and beyond! Below are a few of our favorite photos of dogs with the Benebone x Bark pretzel.

Having pretzel FOMO? Don’t worry, the special edition pretzel is still available for a limited time through BarkShop and is available in both small and large sizes. If your dog has a pretzel of their own, we would love to see it! Tag your photos #benebone to our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account and you may just be in our next roundup feature!

*Featured Photo: @kristinahphotos

 

As many dog owners have come to know, this time of year, for many, is considered “new dog/puppy season.” With many shelters and rescues offering waived adoption fees near the holidays, many families use this opportunity to welcome home a new pack member. And, while this time of year can be exciting, it can also be stressful for both you and your new best friend. It can take days, even weeks, for both you and your dog to get acquainted with each other, learn each other’s routines and body language.

One of the hardest lessons can be potty training. And, depending if you want your dog to go outside, be pee pad trained or use a litter box, accidents in the home will happen. “Marking”, which is simply a dog’s way of making a home his, can be extremely frustrating for dog parents.

In most cases, marking can be solved with consistent training and sometimes, even spay or neutering can assist in addressing the issue. However, in the meantime, you’ll want to help your dog to learn that marking on your carpet and/or furniture is unacceptable.

There are many commercial sprays on the market that you could purchase, however, in many cases, they honestly don’t work well. You may be spraying everyday, up to 4 – 5 times a day and still find your dog occasionally marking on your carpet, under the bed or under a piece of furniture. The location of a dog’s marking can be the most frustrating part, as it can be nearly impossible to move a piece of furniture by yourself to properly clean. While spot cleaning the area helps, many of us want to do something to actually prevent this from continuing to happen.

Homemade DIY Marking Deterrent Spray

While there are many different commercial sprays on the market that you can try, there only a few ingredients that are sure to deter your dog from wanting to mark or chew on anything that has that scent. With that being said, it is extremely easy to make your own dog deterrent once you know what smells dogs do not like.

Ingredients:

Clean Spray Bottle – remember to clean it out of any liquids you may have previously used. Many chemicals are dangerous to dogs, therefore, it may be best to just buy a new spray bottle.

1 ½ cups of water – cold or luke warm water.

2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar – does not need to be organic as shown below.

20 drops of essential oils – Orange or citrus scented. Dogs do not like citrus scents.

To begin, measure 1 1/2 cups of water. You can do all your mixing of ingredients directly in your measuring cup, bowl or even your spray bottle.

Next, add your 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar

Finally, add your 20 drops of citrus scented essential oil.

Once you have put all the ingredients into the spray bottle, put the top of your spray bottle on and shake before using.

The combination of vinegar and oranges is very off putting to your dog and will deter him from marking wherever you spray the mixture. If your dog likes to chew on your furniture, you can use the same spray to deter him from chewing on it. However, since furniture is often treated differently, we advise finding a small portion out of eyesight to spray a small amount of the mixture to test before spraying your entire piece of furniture.

We would love to hear your experience with any dog deterrent marking sprays. If you have any DIY recipes that have worked for you, please leave them in the comments below.

There are hundreds of thousands of dog shelters and rescues within the United States. You can often find dozens of dog rescues just in one major city alone. And while the traditional adopt a dog rescues help to save lives and are a popular way to support canine welfare, we wanted to profile a “non-traditional” dog shelter/rescue.

A dog rescue that is becoming a nationwide name is the K9 for Warriors program. Founded in March, 2011, you may have seen their advertisements or heard their name, but do you really know about their program? Unlike traditional dog rescues, K9 for Warriors rescues not only dogs, but also rescues military members, post 9/11, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. As of December, 2017, K9 for Warriors has rescued 815 dogs and 386 warriors!

The Program

The Warrior Program is what truly makes K9 for Warriors standout among the rescue crowd. Their commitment to serving their fellow military family is just as strong as their desire to rescue dogs. All dogs are in the K9 for Warriors program are rescued from other shelters or donated by the public. Any warrior accepted into the program must attend a 120 hour (3 week course) in-house training program at the K9 for Warriors headquarters in Ponte Vedra, Florida. During this 3 week course, each warrior will meet their service dog and work with a professional trainer to train their new service dog. That’s right, each warrior is part of the training process, which not only helps to form a solid bond between the warrior and their dog, but also allows the warrior to be hands on during the training process.

Photo Credit: @merrickpetcare

The Training Facility 

The K9 for Warriors 17,000 square-foot headquarters is an all-in-one facility known as “Camp K9”. The Camp K9 facility has everything needed to host and train both four legged and two legged warriors, including: administrative offices, a full kitchen, dining hall, exercise room, living quarters, a library and even a bone shaped pool for the dogs.

Camp K9 can house up to 57 dogs at a time in their two climate controlled state-of-the-art kennels. The Camp K9 kennels feature an on-site veterinary clinic, indoor/outdoor runs for the dogs and five enclosed dog parks for training and exercise purposes.

Ways You Can Help

There are many ways that you can donate to this wonderful foundation. While at the K9 for Warriors training facility, no warrior will ever have to pay for adoption fees, service fees or meals thanks, in part, to the donations K9 for Warriors receives throughout the year.

Monetary Donations

As with any dog rescue, K9 for Warriors heavily relies on monetary donations from individual and corporate sponsors to keep their training program 100% free for their military warriors, as the average cost to train and place a service dog is $27,000. Despite assisting U.S. service military personnel, K9 for Warriors does not receive any government assistance.

You can make a one time donation directly to the K9 for Warriors Donation Page or you can enroll in their K9 for Warriors Guard Dog Program. The Guard Dog Program is a recurring monthly donation of $22.00 to help fund the program, as each month, a new group of warriors are admitted into Camp K9. All monetary donations are tax deductible.

Sponsor a K9 Dog

Both individuals or corporations are invited to sponsor a K9 for Warriors Service Dog. Individual sponsorships are $15,000, while corporate sponsorships are set at $20,000. Each sponsorship includes a welcome kit, regular updates and other various swag and media recognition.

Puppy Raiser

This might be one the cutest ways possible to help the K9 for Warriors organization. Any adult (18 years or older) that lives within 50 miles of the Ponte Vedra, Florida facility may apply to be a Puppy Raiser. Puppy Raisers help raise and train their assigned puppy their basic manners from the age of 8 weeks to 12 months. K9 for Warriors will supply all Puppy Raisers with any and all supplies needed to raise the puppy, including: food, leashes, crates, training classes and coverage of any puppy medical expenses.

Gifts in Kind

As with many dog rescues, dog products are always in high demand and may be sent directly to the rescue:

K9 for Warriors
114 Camp K9 Road
Ponte Vedra, Florida 32081

Some of the most requested items include: unopened creamy peanut butter, towels, toys and household supplies such as napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, etc.

Assistance with Travel

While the service dog, training sessions, housing and meals are completely free for each individual warrior attending Camp K9, travel to and from the Florida facility is the responsibility of the warrior. You can contact K9 for Warriors directly to arrange for sponsoring the travel of a warrior to Camp K9.

While all dog rescues are special and do a tremendous job in what they do, we hope that you will give K9 for Warriors a look and help spread their message. If you have ever met a military vet with PTSD, you can see the daily struggle that they endure. If you have ever had the privilege of seeing a military vet with PTSD interact with a dog, you know what a special bond that can be and the joy that a dog can bring to these warriors who have sacrificed so much for us.

If you are interested in learning more about K9 for Warriors, please click any of the highlighted links within this post. You can also follow their K9 for Warriors Facebook Page, @k9sforwarriors Instagram page and/or @k9sforwarriors Twitter account.

 

All photos: @k9sforwarriors Instagram account and www.k9sforwarriors.org.

With so many dog Instagram accounts being created these days, it can be hard to stand out in the crowd. One account that shines bright among the rest is @ohmydoggies! Home to Skyler, Frances and newcomer, Dexter – their mom  Chandra has nailed the art of dog photography.

When asked how she is able to take such beautiful photos of all of her dogs, Chandra says the key to good dog photography is lots of positive reinforcement, training treats, repetition and patience. When Chandra first started taking photos of her dogs, she would begin by taking them downstairs in the basement where her photo studio is setup and took photos for no more than 5 minutes at a time. Over time, the dogs began to understand and have come to love photo time. In fact, when Chandra asks them “do you want to take pictures?”, the dogs will run ahead of her into the basement, sit patiently near the backdrop and wait for her to catch up. Just as dogs like to do tricks for treats, the @ohmydoggies squad likes to take photos for treats.

The @ohmydoggies journey began with the adoption of a retired Boston Terrier show dog at the age of 4, who would become known as “Skyler”. Skyler is the dog that hooked Chandra onto this beautiful breed. Despite being completely deaf and partially blind due to cataracts, Skyler is still friendly to all, a loyal companion to Chandra and a puppy at heart who likes to follow her from room to room. However, when Skyler wants something, you will know at, as he will “grunt exactly like a pig!”

The next Boston Terrier that Chandra adopted in 2014 at the age of 1 ½ years old is “Frances” aka “Frankie”. Being that the average weight for Boston Terriers can range from 10 – 25 pounds, weighing in at 12 pounds, everyone is surprised at how tiny this sweetheart is when they meet her in person. Frankie is such a lover of people that if you meet her, Chandra says that “you WILL kiss on the first date.”

The way through Frankie’s heart is through oyster crackers. Frankie absolutely goes nuts for those tiny, round soup crackers. And, when Frankie is super excited to see someone or wants a treat, she will break out her adorable gremlin voice. Chandra describes it as Frankie’s way of “trying to talk to you” as it is not a whine or a whimper, but Frankie’s way of communicating.

The most recent dog added to the @ohmydoggies pack is one that most of their followers wouldn’t have guessed and didn’t see coming. Sadly, at the age of 3 in February, 2017, Chandra lost her beloved Boston, Memo. Memo was the star of their Instagram account and her daily muse. Being completely devastated and depressed over Memo’s loss, Chandra began looking around for a puppy to help fill the void in her heart and distract her from the pain she felt.

Of course, you might think that Chandra would bring home a Boston Terrier puppy, but a trip to local pet store forever changed her life. While shopping for treats, Chandra noticed a rescue group in the store holding an adoption event. As many dog parents would, Chandra wandered over to the rescue group and began looking at and loving on many of the dogs up for the adoption. As in a romantic Hollywood drama, Chandra spotted a ridiculously handsome, blue eyed, pitbull puppy from across the room. Chandra recalls the pitbull puppy having a “light shining down on him and him alone.” Once the pitbull puppy’s foster dad saw the love and glare in Chandra’s eyes over his foster dog, he asked if she would like to hold him. Once Chandra held him, she knew that he would be the one. For the next hour, Chandra sat on the floor holding this puppy and refusing to let anyone else connect with him out of fear that she wouldn’t be the one to bring him home.

A week after Chandra’s adoption application was approved, Chandra welcomed this goofy, yet charming, pitbull into the home. And to the @ohmydoggies Instagram world, he would be known as “Dexter”.

Dexter loves attending doggy daycare twice a week to help with socialization. When Dexter isn’t at doggy daycare, you can find him at him at home chewing on a Benebone.

As it goes with introducing a new pack member, the transitions aren’t always easy. It took Frankie a bit of time before warming up to Dexter – due to his large size and unpredictable puppy movements. However, the eldest of the pack, Skyler, asserted his dominance from the beginning. When Dexter was around 2 months old, Skyler nipped Dexter on the forehead leaving a small wound and continued to welcome him into the pack since then. Even though Dexter is now about 4 times Sklyer’s size, Dexter still allows Sklyer to hold the alpha dog role. And again, just as in a Hollywood romance movie, the two dogs are now best friends and sleep together each night, uncaged, in one round dog bed.

This is, without a doubt, one of the hardest years emotionally for the @ohmydoggies family – with the loss of Memo, but also one of the most rewarding – with the welcomed addition of Dexter. Chandra hopes to become a voice for the often banned bully breed and we wish her nothing but success! Be sure to check out this fabulous pack on their Instagram page and show them some love.

Would you like your dog to become our next Fan Feature or know a special dog that you think we should feature? Leave us a comment below and tag your dog’s #Benebone chewing photos to our Instagram page, Facebook page and/or our Twitter page and you may be our next Fan Feature!

All Photos: @ohmydoggies