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No two dogs are always the same size. Dog sizes can vary not only between a Chihuahua and a Labrador Retriever, but they can often vary within the same breed. And, regardless of whether you’ve been eyeing up a cute jacket to help keep your pup warm or are in need of a new harness, it’s important to know how to accurately measure your dog since there is no universal sizing chart for dogs.

Photo Credit: @adventurescruffs

While you generally could order a small for a Chihuahua or a large for a Labrador Retriever, double checking the exact measurements will help to keep your dog from slipping loose out of his harness or avoid trying to squeeze your dog into a shirt that’s just too tight. With so many various dog brands on the market, sizing often varies.

Photo Credit: @chavoandsteele

Measuring your dog is actually easier than you may think. To get the best and most accurate measurement, you’ll want to pick up a tailor’s measuring tape, if you don’t already have one. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just soft enough that you can easily bend it to loop around your dog.

Photo Credit: Jalsa UK

Another option if you don’t have a tailor’s measuring tape, but are pretty crafty and have some string or ribbon in the house and a ruler nearby, you can use that as well. Simply use the string or ribbon as you would the tailor’s tape, then measure the length against the ruler.

Photo Credit: Blitsy

There are 3 main measurements you will want to measure: neck, chest and length.

Photo Credit: Lead the Walk

Neck: 
Measure your dog’s neck at his widest point. Dogs have a sensitive trachea and having a collar or harness that is too tight around a dog’s delicate neck area could cause breathing difficulty or even worse, it could lead to a collapsed trachea.

Chest:
This measurement is sometimes referred to a dog’s “girth” measurement. Again, you will want to measure around your dog’s widest point. The chest area is where your dog’s harness will lay. Too tight of a harness is like wearing pants that are a size too small. Not only do you want your dog to be safe, you want your dog to be comfortable as well.

Length:
To measure your dog’s length, start at the base of your dog’s neck and measure to the end of your dog’s tailbone (not the tail, just the tailbone).

If you have a long dog such as a dachshund or corgi, check around for specially made clothing, as most of the clothing sold in stores will likely be too short for your dog.

Photo Credit: @crusoe_dachshund

If you are ordering clothing or p.j.’s for your dog, you may also want to measure your dog’s legs.

Photo Credit: @lazyoneinc

Leg Length:
Start in between your dog’s shoulder blades and measure down to the top of your dog’s paws. If you’d prefer to measure your dog’s back legs, begin at the center of your dog’s tailbone and measure to the top of your dog’s back paws.

Generally, you should omit at least ½ inch to allow ample space between the length of your dog’s clothing and the top of his paws to keep your dog from slipping while your dog is walking or running.

Photo Credit: @robinventures

Obviously, if your dog is a puppy, you’ll need to remeasure him as he grows. If your dog is an adult, it’s a good idea to measure him twice a year: winter and summer. Dogs, like humans, tend to be less active in the winter months, which can lead to a little extra fluff.

We’d love to see your dog’s latest fashion outfits, collars or harnesses. Tag us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #benebone and we may just share your photo.

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! 

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.

There’s no doubt that we are full swing into pumpkin season. It’s hard to go into any store without seeing some type of pumpkin spice product. And, while your dog cannot enjoy a yummy PSL (pumpkin spice latte) with you, there are other delicious ways for your dog to enjoy pumpkin this season.

Photo Credit: @thatgoldendoodle

Besides the yummy taste, there are many health benefits for dogs that eat pumpkin. But, before you begin giving your dog some of grandma’s famous pumpkin pie, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Dogs can only eat unsweetened raw or cooked pumpkin. This generally means no human pumpkin snacks.
  • Canned pumpkin is fine – just as long as it’s organic and does not contain any added sugar!
  • Dogs can eat both the seeds and/or flesh of a pumpkin. Keep in mind that pumpkins spoil quickly, be sure to inspect your pumpkin carefully.
  • Always consult your Veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog.

One of the biggest health benefits pumpkin provides is aiding in upset stomach or diarrhea issues. Pumpkin is rich in soluble fiber and also contains vitamins A, E and C. The soluble fiber aids in absorbing the excess water in your dog’s stool. This fiber also serves as a prebiotic for your dog’s intestines and gut lining, which kickstarts the growth of beneficial bacteria while decreasing the harmful bacteria.

Pumpkin can also help to entice your dog to eat his meals if his upset stomach may be keeping him from eating. Simply add 1 – 2 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin to your dog’s meal. When starting out, it’s best to start with a smaller quantity and work your way up.

Hopefully, your dog is happy and healthy! In which case, pumpkin is still a great addition to your dog’s diet. Pumpkin isn’t just for “sick” dogs, there are different ways you can (and should) give your healthy dog pumpkin.

Photo Credit: @arloandjoy

TREATS!

The easiest way to provide your dog with pumpkin is by buying premade treats. During this time of year, there are an abundance of pumpkin dog treats, just as there are for humans. Not a fan of premade treats? Grab a fresh pumpkin and you can make your own dog treats.

Photo Credit: @dalmatiandiy

When making your own fresh pumpkin treats, don’t throw out those seeds. Not only do pumpkin seeds make a great treat for dogs, but they also help aid against worms in your dog’s intestinal tract. Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitin, an amino acid, that stops any worms from progressing and eliminates them.

Photo Credit: @olgainthekitchen

When feeding pumpkin seeds, you will want to get them fresh or untreated. Often, the grocery store pumpkin seeds come pre-salted, which you want to avoid. If your dog doesn’t want to eat them raw, try roasting them with some coconut oil – this will also help to prolong the seeds shelf life. It’s as easy as putting the pumpkin seeds onto a baking sheet and baking them for 10 – 15 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have a picky eater that doesn’t want to eat the pumpkin seeds whole, try grinding them to a salt like texture and sprinkle on your dog’s meal.

DINNER!

If your dog already gets enough treats, try steaming some fresh cut pumpkin and adding it to your dog’s dinner. Cut your pumpkin into small cubes, add some water to your steamer and let your pumpkin cook for about 10 – 12 minutes. Let the pumpkin pieces cool and serve.

Photo Credit: @popped.pomegranate

Whichever way you give your dog pumpkin is up to you! It may take some trial and error to see what your dog prefers. But, you can rest assured that not only is pumpkin safe for your dog – it’s healthy too!

We’d love to hear how you feed pumpkin to your dog. Let us know in the comments below or share a photo of your dog with his pumpkin on our social media pages. Tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #Benebone so we can see your pumpkin treats or meals.

Photo Credit: @the_puppy_source

It’s that spooky time of year again ….. Halloween! Time to break out your arts and crafts supplies and get your creative juices flowing. By far, our favorite part of Halloween is seeing all the fun, creative, scary and cute costumes dog parents create.

Regardless of what direction your dog’s Halloween costume takes you in, it’s most important to make sure your dog is safe in his costume. These safety tips below will help assure that both you and your dog have a great night of Halloween fun!

Photo Credit: @wallythewelshcorgi

Safety Tips

  • Regardless if you are making or buying your dog’s costume, make sure you properly measure your dog and always go slightly larger to account for your dog’s furry fluff. This is most important around your dog’s neck. Always add an extra ½ inch to allow for any fabric to fit loosely around your dog’s neck. Keep your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth free of any fabric to allow him to see, smell and breath properly.

Photo Credit: Blueberry Pet

  • Stay away from sharp objects. This applies to both objects that could potentially hurt your dog and objects attached to your dog’s costume that could potentially hurt others. Keep in mind that dogs are very social and will often run up to another dog or human quickly. Any costume “props” should be made with soft, safe materials.

Photo Credit: @mrangusscottie

  • Check the ingredients of any face or body paint. There are many non-toxic, safe or even water-based paints that you can use safely on your dog. A few days before Halloween, test a small amount of paint on your dog’s fur to make sure your dog doesn’t have any skin irritations to the paint.

Photo Credit: Pugsleys World

  • LED collars can help save your dog’s life! While these might not match your dog’s costume, this safety precaution is highly recommended if you are taking your dog trick-or-treating with your family during the late evening hours. These brightly lit collars help drivers see your furry friend while crossing the street.

Photo Credit: @kees_chiya

  • Just say no to candy! Candy is an absolute no-no for dogs. Many candies are toxic for dogs and can lead to an unwanted ER visit. If you want your dog to partake on the Halloween treat fun, try giving him some fresh fruit such as blueberries. Luckily, your dog won’t know what he’s missing out on.

Photo Credit: @lifewithweenies

  • Make sure your dog’s ID information is up to date! It is important to make sure that your dog is not only microchipped, but also has a current ID tag on his collar or harness.

Photo Credit: @dania_thebeagle

Remember, Halloween can be a scary and confusing time for dogs. You know your dog best and know if a costume isn’t right for him or if he should stay inside during trick-or-treat time.

In hopes of inspiring you to have a fun and safe Halloween, we’ve collected some of our favorite dog costumes of years past. Check out the gallery below to see all the fun dog costumes and make sure you tag our Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter accounts with #benebone so we can see your dog’s costume! Happy Halloween!

 

Generally, tick season doesn’t “start” until early spring, but with the ever changing weather, experts are predicting that the flea and tick season may begin earlier than the normal May start date. In fact, according to the CDC, this upcoming tick season is slated to be the worst seen to date. While nobody likes to find bugs on their dogs, ticks are much worse than fleas in that they are carriers of Lyme disease. And, while death is not common in dogs diagnosed from Lyme disease, treating Lyme disease is often a costly and lengthy process.

Before you remove a tick, there are some do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of. For instance, do not assume that water will remove a tick. If you return home from your walk and put your dog into the bathtub for a bath, the water, even in warm to hot, will not kill the tick. Just as ticks survive in the outdoors through rain storms, it will live on your dog through a bath.

Photo Credit: @alaup46

Do not “wash” ticks down the drain. Just as they can survive baths, ticks can survive the water you wash down the drain and can crawl back up the drain and into your home.

As soon as you are home, you should remove any of your dog’s clothing (and yours) and immediately put them into the dryer. Ticks cannot survive the heat of the dryer. Run the dryer for a bit, then you can throw them into the washer. After hikes, it’s always important to dry first, wash later.

Photo Credit: Dr. Marty Becker

Tick Removal Kit

First, before you leave your house for your walk or hike, you should have your “tick removal kit” handy and ready to go as soon as you return home. It is better to have your kit ready then coming home and running wild in your house trying to find all your materials. The items in your kit are relatively inexpensive so leaving them near your home’s entrance at all times shouldn’t pose any problems. And, yes, you should keep your tick removal kit ready at all times throughout the year. Even if you have one warm day in winter, you can be exposed to ticks, as evidenced by my wife finding a tick on her during the month of February in our home of upstate, New York.

Within your kit, you should have a white sheet or blanket. This can be a cheap, even used, sheet or blanket. The key is that it needs to be white in order to easily see any ticks that may happen to crawl off your dog and onto the floor.

Photo Credit: @terraglenanimalhospital

Next, you will need a lint roller. Simply tear off a sheet and place it on the blanket near your dog sticky side up. This will be used to “hold” any ticks you may find on your dog. Since you only use a sheet at a time, this lint roller should last you for years to come!

The next item, a pair of tweezers, will be the item that you may want to invest the most money into, rather than buying the cheapest on the shelf. This is your most important tool when removing a tick. You need to have tweezer that both provides a good grip for your hand, but also provide a good grip on what they are being used to grab.

Finally, you will need a pair of scissors to cut up the lint roller sheet when you are finished. No matter the price of your scissors, as long as they cut easily, they will work!

How to Remove A Tick

As soon as you return home from your walk or hike, remove any and all clothing, harnesses or collars from your dog and throw them immediately into the dryer immediately. Again, the heat from your dryer will kill any ticks that may have clung onto your dog’s accessories.

Lay your white sheet or blanket on the floor and have your dog lay on the sheet. If you have a dog with high energy levels or a dog that doesn’t like to lay still for a period of time, you many need to ask a family member or friend to help keep your dog still. Pro Tip: Try giving your dog a chew toy (perhaps a Benebone) to help keep him occupied as you search for ticks.

Once your dog is laying on the sheet, you can begin to look for ticks. Begin by running your hands throughout the fur over the entire body of your dog. Often, you can feel a tick right away on your dog, as it will feel like a small bump on their skin. Once you’ve completed a initial check of your dog, you will want to go back though for a more detailed check. This should include separating the fur on your dog so that you can directly see his skin. Key areas to check are around the neck and belly areas of your dog.

 

If you happen to find a tick on your dog, do not panic! Stay calm so that your dog also stays calm, as dogs often pick up on the emotions that their humans are experiencing. Once you have the tick in clear sight, with the fur pulled back, grab your tweezers to begin removing the tick.

Photo Credit: @islandlassie

You will want to get the tweezers as close to the skin as possible so that you can remove the head of the tick with the body. Do not twist or rock the tweezers back and forth. Doing this will likely separate the body from the head of the tick. Once your have a deep, firm grip on the tick, you should pull straight up to remove it.

Sometimes, the body will separate from the head when removing the tick. Again, do not panic. If you are able to go back to the site and remove more of the head, begin to do so. If you cannot get any more of the head out of your dog’s skin, leave it be and let nature takes its course. Your dog’s skin will push the rest of the head out, however, if you ever have any concerns, it is best to call your Veterinarian for further instructions.

Once you have the tick removed, place it directly onto the sticky side of the lint roller sheet. This will keep the tick from crawling away while you finish checking over your dog. Please be aware that this will not kill the tick(s). Ticks can eventually unstick themselves and crawl off the paper. If you have questions about any ticks you found on your dog, you can put the lint roller sheet into a ziploc bag and take them to your Veterinarian for further inspection.

Otherwise, you can now grab your scissors and being cutting the lint roller sheet into pieces. Be sure to cut directly through any ticks contained on the lint roller sheet.

While there are many tick preventatives on the market for dogs, it is best to discuss these options with your Veterinarian to find what is best specifically for your dog. Even if your dog is on a preventative, it does not always repel the tick. The tick must bite your dog in order for the tick to die, but in order for Lyme disease to be passed onto your dog, the tick must bite your dog. Therefore, it is always better to be safe and err on the side of caution.

We would love to hear any tricks or tips you have for removing ticks from your dog. Please share your comments below on this blog post or post to Benebone’s Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook accounts.

Ryan Crossett is the owner of @fen_the_aussie. You can read more of Ryan’s work here.

 

Valentine’s Day is no longer just for romantic partners. Each year, more and more Valentine’s Day activities are being offered for dogs and their humans. From singles party meetups to best friend vow ceremonies and everything in between, dogs are becoming the forefront for many Valentine’s Day plans.

In celebration of this love-filled holiday – where your dog may receive more Valentine’s Day cards than you, we put together this easy DIY Valentine’s Day card box. You can use this DIY box to store all the cards your dog received.

Items Needed:

  • Card box (optional slit at top to easily slide exchanged cards in)

  • Paint (optional – if you want to change the color of your box)
  • Small bottle of Mod Podge and brush

  • Various Valentine’s Day stickers and/or numbers stickers

  • Photos of your dog

Steps:

  1. Paint your box your desired color. Many of these boxes from the craft store come in white, red or pink in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.
  2. Arrange your photos and/or stickers where you would like them placed on the box. Once decided, stick your stickers onto the box and Mod Podge over the stickers for extra security.
  3. Mod Podge (glue) each photo onto the box. Paint the back of the photo and place it onto the box.
    Once on the box, paint the front of the photo. Depending on what Mod Podge you have, it may appear white over your photo, but it will dry clear.
  4. Place your box in an area that your dog (or kids) cannot reach and allow 24 hours to dry.

Now you’ve got not only a fun, personalized Valentine’s Day box to take to a party, but an easy way to store any Valentine’s Day cards that you may want to archive, without having them scattered throughout the house.

Photos: @lizzie.bear and @fen_the_aussie

We’d love to see your Valentine’s Day card exchange boxes or any variations you create. Tag your photos using #Benebone to our Instagram, Twitter or Facebook pages. Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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.