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Hello Benebone fam! This week’s post is coming to you from @emwng. I’ve been a part of the Benebone team (or should I say, Kokoro and Chibi have), shooting content and testing out new products for the past few years.

We’re so grateful to have such a strong community of Benebone-lovin’ pups on Instagram. Today we’re going to share with you some tips on how to take the best photos of your dog!

Master the sit & stay

Teaching your dog a very solid sit and stay will make your life as a photographer much easier. This seems like a no-brainer, but it definitely takes time to achieve. Once your dog has a good “sit,” work on impulse control and teach them to ignore distractions that may come up during a shoot. Throw treats and toys at your pup, suddenly start running away, walk away to where they can’t see you, you name it. Your pup should keep staying until they hear their release command.

This is something we’ve continually worked on over the years with Kokoro and Chibi and is even more essential when you want to take group photos with other dogs.

Teach your dog to bark

We like using the “bark” command to get the dogs to change up their expressions. You can use the “burst” mode to capture your pup’s face as they bark to get some fun expressions out of it!

Know your dogs’ trigger words

One of the things we run into a lot with the pups when we’re photographing them “in the wild” is their ears fold back as they’re listening to all of the things going on around them. I like photographing them when their ears are pointed forward towards the camera — it just looks much cuter!

To get them to point their ears forward, I use some of their favorite words or phrases, such as, “Do you guys want to…” or “Is it time for a treat?”

If I’m lucky, I’ll even get a head tilt out of asking them a question!

Use squeakers and sounds to your advantage

On top of knowing your dogs’ favorite phrases that get them to pay attention to you, you can also keep a squeaker in your pocket or learn how to make animal sounds to get your pup to look your way. This works especially well if you have a dog who is toy motivated.

Our dogs are super food motivated so this sometimes doesn’t work for them, but you know your dog best so use what he loves the most to get his attention throughout your shoots.

Use treats / peanut butter to get funny facial expressions 

This is one of our favorite tricks! Put some peanut butter, yogurt, or honey on your dog’s nose and shoot away with burst mode. You’re bound to get one or two gold gems, trust me. Here are some shots we got just by using peanut butter!

Decide on a consistent style that represents you

This is especially important for establishing your style on Instagram. What is the aesthetic you want to use to tell your story? Is it clean and minimal backgrounds?

Or is it action shots paired with a shallow depth of field?

Sticking to one style and getting some practice will help you improve your photography and editing skills. Maybe one day you want to switch it up and try a new style? Go for it!

Daylight is your friend

We take 99% of our photos during the day in natural light. If we’re at home, we always shoot close to a window. Sunlight is your friend and dogs just shoot amazingly in natural lighting.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use studio lighting, but it’s much trickier to properly light a pup this way. And you just don’t get the same authentic effect as using some regular ol’ light from mother nature.

Stay in the shade

We love a good sunny day, especially here in LA. But whenever we shoot outdoors, standing in the sun can cast some harsh shadows in places you may not want in your photo. We try to look for a shaded area when we’re out and about with the pups and need to grab some outdoor photos.

Play with different angles

This is something that has taken me years to perfect. What unique and different angles could I utilize to make my photography stand out more?

The first simple rule of thumb is to get down to your dog’s height. Make sure you’re eye level with them for the best shots!

Utilize burst mode and video

It’s definitely hard to capture that “it” moment, especially with moving pups and their constantly changing expressions, so use the burst feature on your camera to continuously capture as many frames as possible! That way, you can pick and choose which exact moment you want to share.

Some of the best shots on my Instagram are even frames taken from videos, such as this. Because I had to throw the confetti myself, I wasn’t able to shoot burst photos at the same time, so opted to shoot a video instead. The photo quality won’t be as high if you pull a frame from a video, but for Instagram that isn’t really a problem at all since you’re just posting at 1080 x 1080 px!

Get your dog to smile by running them around

Is your dog looking a little too serious for the type of photo you’re going for? Take their favorite tug toy and play 5-10 minutes of tug with them. Or, run up and down the hallway a few times to get them active and panting. It’s a quick and easy way to get them to open their mouths and look happier for a shoot!

Use the right equipment

When I first started out taking photos of Kokoro, I had a 90mm portrait lens on my camera that I primarily used for taking photos of people. I quickly found out that this was going to require me to back up a lot before being able to frame up a shot. It proved to be near impossible when Kokoro was a puppy and didn’t have a perfect sit stay.

Wide angle lenses will get you closer to the dog so you don’t have to back up as much and so there isn’t as much time for the dog to break their sit stay. We’ve been loving our 24mm f/1.4 lens for wide angle shots and will occasionally switch to our 40mm f/1.8 prime lens when we’re outdoors.

Give your dog lots of treats

Treat photo shoots as training time for them. They have to put in work and follow commands, so they deserve lots and lots of treats and praise for being good dogs. And ultimately, don’t make them do anything they don’t want to do. Make sure you’re both having fun! This will really give you the most authentic photos that tell the story between you and your pup in the end.

Incorporate product creatively!

When photographing your dog and featuring a brand, think about different ways to naturally incorporate the product. There are many options aside from simply placing the product next to your dog.

Think about the natural use of the product! Is there a way that you can tell the story of how you or your dog would use it in one photo? Do you want to feature your dog’s face, whole body, or just paws? Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Think about styling the environment to make it more interesting and purposeful. In these photos shot for Benebone, @bordernerd and @ifitwags used props to help bring more interest to these simple, beautiful photos.

Perhaps you get your pup in motion, moving towards the product to show interest or excitement. Just like how @pavlovthecorgi and @karen.lao did in these shots!

Or this shot of Chibi and Kokoro, up to no good and sneaking their way into a bag of yummy treats:

That does it for our dog photography tips! What tricks do you use when shooting for the gram?

Watch a video on this topic instead!

Hello Benebone community! We hope each and every one of you is doing well amidst everything going on in the world today. It’s been great to get updates from our Benebone fans and we love hearing about pups benefitting from extra time with their parents. Today, we’re sharing some things you can do (some with your pup) with the extra time you may have if you’re able to stay safe at home.

Spring clean your pup’s belongings

Whether this be his toy bin, wardrobe, or stack of Benebone chews, now is a great time to do a little purge of items that have served their purpose! Wash and donate any old toys and clothes that your dog doesn’t use to another dog in need. For Benebones, evaluate whether they’ve reached the end of their life cycle, and throw out any that might be past their prime. Don’t forget to grab a new Benebone to replace the old ones if need be!

Deep clean your dog’s daily used items

Crates, beds, bowls, and leashes are a good place to start. We’re often too busy to deep clean a lot of items that are used on a daily basis, so now is the perfect time. Throw favorite toys in the laundry, wash bed covers and blankets, and disinfect lesser-cleaned items like their crate. Your dog will thank you!

Sew and donate masks

Sew masks with your free time! There are a lot of organizations that are in need of masks, including hospitals and emergency rooms. Veterinary departments are also experiencing equipment shortages and in need of masks to provide healthcare services to animals. Here is an example of how you can sew surgical face masks that comes with a free pattern!

Make cat and dog toys

Source: PopSugar

Once you’ve mastered sewing masks, try sewing some cat or small dog toys to donate to your local shelter to continue paying it forward! It will delight the animals that are going through extra stress because of any changes that might be happening in shelters right now.

Foster a dog in need

Source: @emwng

Many local shelters aren’t able to staff their facilities due to restrictions in place. If you’ve ever considered fostering a dog, now you have extra time to help out a dog in need! Reach out to your local shelters to see if they’re in need or open to fosters during this time. You can also consider donating to support if you have the means to.

Keep you and your pet’s supplies stocked

Source: @pudding.corgi

Pay attention to your supply of dog food and medications and make sure to have a few week’s worth readily available in your home. Just as you need to be prepared with some items in your home in case of emergency, it’s always a good idea to have more than enough pet supplies in your home. Keep in mind pet stores are essential businesses and will remain open, so no need to buy too much food at once! That way everyone can have the opportunity to purchase food for their pets throughout this time.

We hope you and your pups are staying safe and well these days, both physically and mentally. Don’t be afraid to reach out if there’s anything our team can do to support your pups during this time.

Source: @rubyruedood

Feature image via @livlovesleo

The holidays are about to be in full swing! This is also the most hectic travel season of the year, with airports and freeways filling up with people and their pets getting home to their loved ones.

Whether you’re planning on spending time with family or taking advantage of some time off with a vacation, traveling with your four-legged family member can definitely be a little stressful. Today, we’re sharing some useful tips for hitting the road with your pup.

Confirm logistics with airlines and hotels early on

Photo by @roolepom

Traveling with a pet requires notifying airlines and hotels ahead of time. If you’re flying with your dog, make sure you check the airline’s pet policies regarding maximum pets allowed in the cabin, the size of the carrier you need, and rules you and your dog have to abide by. Hotels will often charge a pet fee so let them know ahead of time if your pup is coming along with.

Invest in a quality pet crate or carrier

Photo by @designmilkpets

Whether you’re flying or driving, having your pup secured in a crate or carrier is a must. Get them used to their designated safe space by giving them ample time to use the carrier, lay in it, and get their scent in it so that when the big travel days come, they’re already comfortable!

Pack food and water in a portable fashion

Photo by milkyspoon

It can be tricky keeping your pup hydrated on the plane or in the car. Grab a portable pet bowl to make things easy for you and your dog. Make sure they’re getting ample opportunity to hydrate — it can be easy to forget when you’re on the go! Make sure to bring extra of your dog’s food with you just in case. You might not be able to find your brand wherever you are visiting.

Stick as closely to your daily schedule as possilble

Photo by @lennywiththeshoe

Even when you’re traveling, try to keep to your normal schedule as much as you can. Feed your pup and take them for walks as close to their regular times as possible. Dogs are creatures of routine, so this will make traveling easier for them!

Research what’s pet-friendly and what’s not at your destination

Photo by @vanilla.icedream

It’s a good idea to have a rough itinerary of your plans going into your trip. If there are certain activities that are dog-friendly, consider planning them out so that your dog can be a part of the festivities. Dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, and outdoor activities are a good way to keep them involved during your holiday travels!

Be considerate when traveling with your pup!

Photo by @gus.and.gigi

Traveling with dogs is a privilege, especially with airlines and hotels that allow them to come with. Keep in mind that not everyone in the world is a dog lover. Respect others by keeping control of your dog, making sure they’re on their best behavior, and ensuring their presence isn’t affecting others negatively.

All in all, traveling with your furry bff to your holiday destination can make your holiday merrier and your New Year shine brighter. We hope these travel tips will help make the world a dog-friendlier place as you head out on your four-legged adventures. We’d love to hear your dog travel tips too! Share your tip in our comments below to help fellow dog parents and tag us @mybenebone with #benebone on your holiday travel adventures so we can follow along. 

Photo by @kelly_bove

We are excited to announce the launch of our newest Benebone chew: the Zaggler!

Specially designed to roll, the Zaggler is still made with the same flavorful deliciousness as the rest of our Benebone chews. Only this time, the bacon is playing hard to get.

The chase is half the fun in life, right? Dogs know. They love to chase balls, frisbees, and the occasional squirrel intruding on their property.

That’s why we’ve made the first Benebone chew that moves as your dog plays with it.

The Zaggler is still equipped with ridges on both “handles” that make it easier for paws to grip on to it when it’s time to give it a good chew.

This added layer of difficulty that will keep your dog’s tail wagging (and noggin working) for hours!

Our new Zaggler will come in 4 sizes: large, medium, small, and tiny as a part of a 2-pack of chews. And yes, we’ve made a slightly softer version just for puppies that you can find in one of our new puppy packs! Because puppies like to chase and chew, too.

Just like all of the other Benebone chews in our family of products, the Zaggler is fully sourced and made in the USA. Only two simple ingredients is all it takes to make your dog’s favorite chew toy: nylon and real bacon!

Give it a try and let us know what your pup thinks. Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using #Benebone!

We all know that puppies explore the world with their mouths. Whether it’s your shoes, the legs of your furniture, or the leaves on the ground outside, they love getting a taste of anything and everything as they grow and learn about the world.

Today, we are so excited to announce the newest addition to the Benebone family… The Puppy Pack!

Our existing line of Benebone chews, whether small or large, have always been suitable for adult dogs.

Because puppies have puppy teeth and need something a little softer to chew on, we sized and formulated our new variety of chew toys with smaller and younger puppies in mind.

While still quite firm and durable, the new puppy 2-pack is made a bit softer, especially for modest chewers and includes a dental chew with teeth-cleaning ridges and an easy-to-grip wishbone. These tiny-sized chew toys are for puppies under 15 lbs.

Because these tiny-sized chews are softer and made especially for puppies, they are a tad less durable.  Be careful not to let adult dogs or other strong chewers go-to-town on them.  Don’t worry, we’ve got a tougher chew for them!  For more, see www.benebone.com/safety.

While a tad softer than our adult line, our puppy are still quite hard and meant to last.  So ensure that your puppy has strong, healthy teeth. If you’re unsure, check with your vet to be safe. As always, please make sure to monitor your pup and ensure they are chewing safely. Check out our When To Replace Guide for guidance on when your Benebone should be tossed out.

Do you have a puppy who’s not quite so tiny?  Stay tuned – we are working on slightly larger puppy products for puppies under 30 lbs.  We expect them to hit the shelves later this year.

Happy 2019! With the new year often comes resolutions geared towards wellness and improvement for ourselves. This year, did you make any resolutions with your pups? 

Our team is gearing up for a new year’s cleaning of sorts for the four-legged members of our families. Check out these tips for refreshing your dog’s toy bin so they can kick off the year with a clean start! 

1. Make keep, donate, and purge piles

Source: Bark

Sort your toys so you can make room for new ones! It’s important to keep an eye on the lifespan of your toy. Depending on what it’s made of, if it’s past its prime, it can even be dangerous for your pup. 

Protip: Check out our When To Replace guide to see if your Benebone needs a toss!

2. Give dirty toys a wash

Source: Pinterest

Only toss plastic, rubber, or nylon toys into a dishwasher if the manufacturer has specifically stated that it’s safe to do so. Hand washing is always a safe bet, but be sure to fully rinse the toy of antibacterial soap. Try using a toothbrush for hard to reach crevices. Rope toys made of only rope can be disinfected with a quick soak and minute in the microwave. Plush toys can be placed in a laundry bag or tied up pillowcase to be washed in the washing machine. Air dry the toys rather than sticking them into a heated dryer.

3. Replace your toy bins 

Source: Pretty Fluffy

If necessary, get a new toy bin for your pup! Try and find something low and wide so your dog has easy access to his favorite toys. Even something with open sides like a wire basket might be good so they can easily pick out what they want to play with. Give a DIY project a try if you want to personalize the bin for your pup  — Pretty Fluffy has a great guide here

4. Add a play rug to the toy bin

Source: Remodelista

Dogs love rugs. It gives them traction when they’re ripping their favorite toy to shreds, and it’s also the perfect place for them to get a good back rub in. Consider adding a rug to your dog’s toy bin area to create a little space perfect for them to hang out in.

5. Organize your pup’s toys

Source: @girlplusbulldogs

Perhaps you have one toy bin for plushies, one bin for puzzle games, and one for Benebones of course! No guarantees your pup will stick with your organization system, but it’s worth a shot 😉 

Have any other tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment or message us on @mybenebone social! 

It’s the busiest time for travel of the year, with vacations and visiting family members when the new year comes around. Of course, bringing your pup with you across country may seem like a daunting task, but you got to to do what you got to do to have your best friend with you! 

Today we’re sharing some tips to make bringing Fido with you on the road a little easier. 

1. Pack all of the essentials (but not too much)! 

Source: @fridasfluffyworld

Food, treats, poop bags, and a favorite toy. Don’t go overboard on things your dog may need. Chances are, if you forgot something, you can get it when you arrive at your destination. Most important of all, don’t forget to bring any medications your pup may be on! 

2. Bring portable versions of everything you need.

Source: @howl_and_growl

Forget the metal water bowl. Leave that at home! Get yourself travel-ready versions of those essentials if you can. Whether it be an on-the-go water bottle and bowl combination or a fold up pet bed, make your life a little easier with these made-for-travel items. 

3. Get your pup travel-approved by your vet.

Source: @_ba.iley._

Not all dogs are fit for travel. If your dog is sick or injured, it’s probably going to be a no-no. If your dog is one that gets over-stimulated or upset when their routine is disrupted, they should also probably stay home. Have your vet give you the thumbs up before heading out with your dog. Make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations and consider having your pup microchipped if he’s not already. 

4. Double check rules and regulations where you’re going

Source: @olivethefancyfrenchie

If you’re staying at a hotel, make sure you study up on all the fees and rules associated with having a pet stay with you. Often times, you’ll have to pay a pet cleaning fee and it’s important to note that dogs are usually not allowed to be left alone without supervision. Leash laws where you’re going may be different from what you’re accustomed to, so double check there as well.

5. Do a trial run at home if you can.

Source: @mysimonagram

Whether you are driving or flying, you can probably try and get your dog accustomed to some of the things they’ll have to do when you head out for travel. Get them used to the crate or carrier they’ll be riding in. See if your pup needs a blanket or cover over the carrier to help with visual stimuli. The more they are used to this confined environment before you go, the easier the actual trip will be. 

6. Feed your pup early and potty often while you’re on the go

Source: @penniethepoodle

To avoid motion sickness, feed your pup well before you hit the road or board the airplane. Empty them out as much as possible with a nice long walk before heading out. While you’re on the road, try not to give too much water. Ice cubes are a nice alternative and provide hydration in moderate amounts. Whenever you have the chance, potty your pup so they don’t have to hold it too long during a long and stressful journey. 

7. Find your vacation routine

Source: @mariavanonen

Dogs love a stable routine. Taking them on the go may disrupt their normal day-to-day, but it doesn’t mean you can’t establish a new routine while you’re on your vacation or visiting your in-laws. Try and keep them on the same schedule every day while you’re away. Your pup will thank you! 

Wishing you and your four-legged family members safe and happy travels this time of year! 

Featured image via @littlecooperbear 

Every year, deciding on gifts for your loved ones can end up being a head scratcher. Thankfully, dog people all have one thing in common: we love a good trinket that reminds us of our favorite four-legged family member.

Today we’re sharing some stocking stuffer ideas for the dog lovers in your life. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something in here that “Santa” will get for you, too 😉 

1. Customizable Rope Leash

Source: Amazon

Chic and functional, this gift will be useful for any of your friends with a dog. Pick from a variety of colors to make the perfect customized combination.

2. Portable Dog Bowl Water Bottle

Source: Uncommon Goods

This nifty contraption doubles as a water bottle AND a bowl. Thanks to gravity, it won’t spill when you’re on the go as the water is released into the bowl for your dog only when you squeeze the bottle. A great gift for the dog lover in your life who loves hiking or taking their pup with them on adventures.

3. Personalized Dog Plushy

Source: Etsy

All you need is a photo of your BFF’s dog for this cute personalized gift to light up their holiday. 

4. Dog Wine Charms

Source: World Market

For the friend who just wants to drink wine and cuddle with their dog all day. These charms are super handy for ensuring guests don’t confuse their glasses at the next doggy playdate get-together.

5. Dog Massager

Source: PetWell

If you know anyone who spends more money pampering their dog than themselves, gift them this therapeutic Dual Point Dog Massager. Perfect for alleviating muscle tension and stiffness that our four-legged friends experience from romping in the backyard all day.

6. Dog Tail Hooks

Source: Grandin Road

Because who doesn’t love looking at dog butts all day? These Dog Tail Hooks are the cheekiest way to organize your leashes, collars, harnesses, car keys, or outerwear. 

7. 2019 Dog Shaming Calendar

Source: Barnes & Nobles

Who doesn’t love a good chuckle on a daily basis? These hilarious dog shaming photos are sure to get you through all of 2019, one day at a time.

8. Scented Candle

Source: Etsy

Great if your friend has an especially gassy dog. These rich, fruity candles will fill the room with pleasant aromas (and cover up some of those inevitable nasty odors that come with living with a pup)!

9. Custom Dog Socks

Source: Photo Socks

So you never have to be apart from your dog. Just look down to be reminded of how much of a good boy (or girl) they are!

10. Bad Dog Wisdom Tumblers

Source: Uncommon Goods

A fetching set of tumblers featuring Fido teaching his owners a few new tricks.

11. “Tell Your Dog I Said Hi” hat

Source: We Rate Dogs

It’s official, dad hats are in. This minimally designed hat tells others what’s really on your mind. Dogs. All day. Every day.

12. Custom Photo Book

Source: @emwng

Print some favorite memories in this custom photo book for a well designed and sentimental gift, available in both hardcover and softcover. 

Featured image via @theredmavrador

The holidays are just around the corner and you know what that means… lots and lots of delicious treats. Turkey, pumpkin, cranberries, you name it. Now is the time to celebrate all that we are thankful for with those we love, including the four-legged members of the family.

We’ve put together some Thanksgiving inspired recipes perfect for your pup for this year’s holiday festivities!

1. Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Balls

Try these easy treats out for your pup. Pumpkin is good for dogs’ digestive systems and the peanut butter will have them droolin’ for more!

2. Crunchy BBQ Liver Treats

This wheat-free recipe is the perfect way to put a twist on those turkey giblets that are usually thrown out. Topped off with a smoky glaze, these will be too delicious to resist.

3. Frozen Turkey Dinner Treat

Is your pup a fan of ice cubes? These frozen Thanksgiving-inspired bites will have them crunching away with joy under the dinner table.

4. Sweet Potato Treats

Only 5 ingredients and a bit of time in the oven yields these homemade snacks that look store bought! Your pup will surely lick up every crumb.

5. Apple Cranberry Cookies

Got extra cranberries left over? Drop them into this recipe to make a tasty cookie for your pup. Cranberries are great for preventing UTIs which is also a common problem for dogs. We like cookies with benefits!

6. Cranberry Pumpkin Grain Free Treats

Another way to use cranberries, this time infused with pumpkin puree. Jam packed with vitamins, bake this healthy treat into the shape of a turkey leg so your pup can get in on the Thanksgiving dinner fun too!

7. Doggy Meatballs

A pup-friendly version of the classic meatball sure to satisfy your pooch. Filled with turkey, cranberries, green beans, and bread crumbs, it’s the perfect mini bite of Thanksgiving rolled up into a tasty treat.

8. Turkey Pumpkin Dog Treats

Turkey and pumpkin: two of the most classic holiday ingredients. Try this 30 minute recipe for a batch of cookies that will get your dog’s tail wagging.

9. Turkey & Veggie Dog Meal

Want a full homemade turkey meal for your pup for Thanksgiving dinner? Try this recipe for a proper bowl of dinner!

10. Apple Crunch Pupcakes

Can’t forget about dessert! DIY in less than 50 minutes, they look almost good enough for people to eat!

11. Mini Pumpkin Pies for Dogs

We had to include a pie recipe, since there’s no more fitting time for pie than this time of year. Plus, mini pies and desserts are just too cute not to display with your Thanksgiving spread. Just be sure to mark that these are for dogs (and not humans) because they look good enough for anyone to eat!

Finally, as always, check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet. Keep in mind any allergies your pup may have to certain ingredients, and introduce new foods in small amounts to your pup if they’re trying it for the first time.

Otherwise, have fun and enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities and let us know how your pup liked your homemade treats by leaving a comment below or tagging us on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter photo with #benebone.