Puppy Challenge 2016

Hey everyone how about having a Puppy Challenge week! Post your puppy’s top first year picture on our site. Share the pictures to your family and friends to gather votes for your favourite furry friend.
We are going to work backwards with our youngest pup Meesha (1st with her litter mates, 2nd coming home, 3rd big girl in the snow)

 

Check back everyday… to see the latest pictures.  Happy Puppy Challenge!

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Bella

Our Bella is my daughter Tea’s best friend. Bella loves to play with Tea dress up and tea party. Bella has been with us for 8 years now. My wife Brea brought her home as a pup. Bella was the last of her litter and in our mind the best of the litter!

She loves to play and loves the water. When we are at the cottage she spends day in the lake. She is also best friends with Miya and Meesha.

Bella is a real sweetie. She is not only our pet and a family member but our best friend too.  That is why we are nominating her for dog of the month.

By the way, Bella turns 8 years old in the month of February. Happy Birthday to our Bella!

Why should I get pet insurance?

The first question that dog owners ask me is whether I have pet insurance or not. The second question is whether I think they should get pet insurance and the third is what kind of pet insurance I should get.

Do I have pet insurance?

Let’s talk about the first questions “Do I have pet insurance?”  The simple answer to start is YES!

Why ? In my stories of Jackie I talked about not getting her pet insurance when she was a puppy, based on the assumption (which proved to be wrong) that I could afford a certain amount of veterinarian bills per year. However in Jackie’s case she seemed to have more than her fair share of dog illnesses to contend with.  It started with her tearing ligaments in her back legs 5 times which resulted in her getting one back knee replaced and continued with her developing Cushings disease and also going for laser therapy for her arthritis and deterioration of her spine. If I would have had pet insurance to begin with I wouldn’t be worrying about the sizable pet bills. That said, Jackie is part of our family and we will make sure that she gets whatever help she needs to improve her quality of life. To get Jackie pet insurance now since she has had a lot of things happen to her doesn’t make sense.

When Miya and Meesha came along the breeder had them come home to us already signed up with pet insurance (PetSecure Pet Health Insurance). There was no question about continuing the policy for our dogs. When Miya got sick (see post “Miya gets really sick for the first time with a virus) instead of worrying about the discussion with our Veterinarian about a bill, we could focus on Miya and getting the best help possible for her. The relief of not worrying about “how much will this cost” made sure we provided our pets with the best care.

To answer the question again, “ Yes we have pet insurance!” We will always get pet insurance for our dogs.

Should I get pet insurance?

I think I answered this in the above section of “Do I have pet insurance?” but I will provide you with more reasons to get your dog insured.  Every family has insurance of some kind. Whether it be home, car or medical insurance. So why not having your pet insured? Having insurance helps you and your family to pay for large, unexpected or unplanned expenses that could occur to your pet which without insurance you would have trouble paying for out-of-pocket.

A few years ago, a friend of mine’s King Charles Spaniel woke up and couldn’t get off the floor. Little Dudley couldn’t even move. Her dog was only two years old and her son’s best friend. They took Dudley to the veterinarian and were immediately told to take him to University of Guelph pet emergency. Her veterinarian called ahead and said they were coming. Well, Dudley had Degenerative myelopathy which is the general medical term that refers to the disease of the dog’s spinal cord or bone marrow.    Dudley underwent Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a number of other tests. Can you hear the bill mounting? In the end Dudley had emergency surgery to fix his spine. The bill came to $25,000. Throughout this whole ordeal there was never a thought of not providing the best care for Dudley. It also helped that the family had pet insurance. Dudley to date is happy dog living a wonderful doggie life.

Perhaps you are now thinking, what type of pet insurance and which supplier will fit your family’s needs.

Summary

Our next post will discuss the different options of pet insurance. How pet insurance works and what is covered.

Milou (fr: Snowy)

Milou only 11 months old has alot to take care of with a 4,10 and 13 year old girls to have fun with him. He has alot of company especially on the weekends. His story is starting off at a house for 14 weeks then the 3 girls get to vist this dog and convince thier dad to get him. As we drive him home we are all thinking of a name and “boom” Milou comes to their head. Therefore they bring him home and they lived happily ever after even though there mom was still getting used to a dog.

 

We met Milou and his family. I always like hearing about families pick a pets name and this story was very close to our Miya’s. John (the girls father)  told me the story of how the girls and him thought up Miilou’s name. Milou is a character in the “The Adventures of Tin Tin “. You see ” Snowy ” the french translation is “Milou” was a dear friend of Tin Tin’s. And just as Milou never leaves Tin Tin’s side, neither does our dog of the month leave the girls side.

Puppy Toys: the Best Puppy Toys for Puppies up to 6 months

When it comes to picking the right toys for a puppy, there are plenty of options. There are entire aisles of puppy toys at your local pet store, after all!

However, when you have a destructive little puppy and a whole pile of reject puppy toys that lasted 5 minutes, it’s hard to not feel discouraged. Never fear, Matti and Meesha have done all of the work for you! These puppy toys are durable, long-lasting, and fun!

Here are Meesha and Matti’s top puppy toy picks for puppies under 6 months old:

Deer Antlers

You can get these at your local pet store in plenty of puppy-appropriate sizes. They’re natural, durable, and highly interesting to dogs. Deer antlers are fantastic chew toys that last a long, long time!

Matti was lucky to have been gifted a 100% wild dear antler and it’s one of his favourite things.

Things to watch out for:

  • Where were the antlers processed? Like all treats or consumable toys, look for Canadian-only!
  • Digestive upset. There are some reports of puppy diarrhea linked to antlers. Matti has a super-sensitive stomach and did not have any issues with his antler chew toy.

You can purchase these on Amazon Canada or PetSmart  or Amazon US or Best Bully’s Antlers

puppy toys: Go Dog's Chew Guard Dragon
Go Dog’s Chew Guard Dragon

Ultra Durable Stuffies

There are a million and one cute stuffed puppy toys for dogs. Unfortunately, many of them didn’t survive Meesha or Matti’s enthusiastic play time sessions.

Go Dog makes a line of extra-sturdy stuffed toys for dogs that really last! Other than some accumulated dirt – which is easily solved with a little ride in the washing machine – these Chew Guard Dragons stand up to a lot of tooth action from the puppies.

You can purchase Go Dog toys on Amazon Canada or PetSmart or Amazon US 

Stuffing-free Soft Puppy Toys

Matti has had a Skinneeez Dog Toy (the polar bear) since his first day home. Though the squeakers eventually wore out – possibly a good thing! – the toy itself is amazingly durable and still one of his favourite objects.

I bought an extra fuzzy fox version for training use only, because it drives him so crazy. It’s fantastic for “drop it” or “leave it” practice, because he wants the toy very badly.

You can purchase Stuffing-free Soft Toys on Amazon Canada or PetSmart or Amazon US

Choosing the best puppy toys: Puppy with Himalayan cheese chew.
Matti with his first Himalayan cheese chew

Himalayan Cheese Chews

This is the holy grail of busy puppy chew toys. At 4 months old, it took Matti 2 weeks to even make a dent in the chew – not that he didn’t try!

Himalayan cheese chews are fantastic for puppies that like to chew on wood, since it’s the closest thing to it. I credit the lack of wooden furniture damage around here to Himalayan cheese chews!

We bought the 70+ lb version, because Karelian Bear Dogs have one of the strongest jaw force abilities in dogs – our adult dog, Misha, stole Matti’s chew and crumbled it in minutes. In general, I’d suggest following their weight guidelines when buying.

You can purchase Himalayan Cheese Chews on Amazon Canada or PetSmart or Amazon US

Ball Treat Dispenser

A mentally busy puppy is a happy, tired puppy! The treat-dispensing ball is fantastic, because it makes puppies work to earn their dinner or treat. Matti actually asks for his dinner to be put in the ball, because he thinks getting it back out is so much fun!

Some dog trainers say that they don’t use a bowl with puppies because puzzle toys are the best way to keep a puppy busy and working.

You can purchase Ball Treat Dispenser  on Amazon Canada or PetSmart or Amazon US

 

If your dog has a favorite toy or treat he or she likes, please leave us a comment below. We would absolutely try it out with Matti and Meesha!

in the mean time.. happy play time!

Ginger – Santa’s Little Helper

We met Ginger and her family Andrea and Olivia a couple of months ago. When I saw Ginger who is a Miniature Poodle, I thought she looked like a little stuffed dog my daughter would love to have. Until there was a little bark and wiggle of her little tail. I asked Andrea and Olivia to dress up this special little dog in her Christmas finest so that she would be our Christmas dog and December dog of the month. Here is what Andrea and Olivia have to say about their little sweet Miniature Poodle bundle.

 

My dog is awesome! I’ve wanted a dog for many years and I can’t believe Ginger is here! She makes me laugh, smile and giggle a lot! She’s the best little puppy a girl could ever wish for!!

 

Looks like someone Christmas wish came early!

 Merry Christmas from everyone at WOOF Now What!

 

Dog Daycares: What to look for when picking the “right fit” for your dog and you!

So you have decided to bring your four legged best friend to a dog daycare facility. Your very encouraged by our first post “Doggie Daycares Part 1″  and you truly believe that your four legged best friend will have the time of his or her life. We completely agree with your decision, but now you need to find the dog daycare that will truly fit “your dog’s” temperament, needs and your own assurances.  I bet you were thinking “Aren’t all dog daycares pretty much the same?”.  Not exactly!

Understanding your dog first

I know that you want to have your dog enjoy its day playing and having fun, but I need you to really understand your dog before taking them to a dog daycare. What I’m saying is that dogs, like humans have different personalities. There are extroverts who just love being with large groups of dogs, like our Miya and Meesha. There are others (and I have seen this) where the poor dog is simply overwhelmed. This dog just hides and cowers in the corner just waiting for you to come and pick them up. Depending on your dog, you are either seeing happy exhaustion or relief they are safe and sound at home. This is critical to whether your dog “really” wants and will have a great day.

What to look for in a dog daycare facility

Finding a responsible, professional dog daycare facility to take care of your pet is more than having your little four legged friend dropped off at the neighbors for the day.  Your first best bet is to ask around.

Ask your Veterinarian for suggestions or rejections.

Dog business is booming and dog daycares are opening up everywhere. You Veterinarian will hear and know if there are many dogs coming in for kennel cough or bites or worse things from a dog daycare facility. You Veterinarian will also know who to trust with your four legged best friend.

Word of Mouth

Let’s face it, anyone can look good thru a window of a store front or have a great website that has a lot of great pictures, but underneath all this something doesn’t always look so bright.  Ask your doggie peeps who they use. Even ask why they use this particular dog daycare facility. What brings them back each week or day? How does their dogs act going and coming home. Miya and Meesha are so excited they basically pull me in the door.

Let your four legged friend try it out

Every Dog Daycare facility worth its weight will ask you to come in and see how your dog fits in with the regular dogs that frequent the place. If you’re just invited to leave your dog for the day, I would suggest this could be a warning bell. Not only for your dog, especially if this is his or her first time, but for you too. Most places will allow you see how your dog will engage with the others. This gives you an idea for what the place is actually like and whether your dog and the others will get along. This also gives you an idea of the staff at the Dog Daycare and what they are like. How engaged are the staff with the dogs? How many dogs are in the dog daycare?

While at the Dog Daycare have a look around, give the place your own “sniff” test as your pup is doing the same. Is the place clean? Does it smell bad?  Do the dogs have a separate place to eat? Are there lots of toys and things to do?  Are the Dog Daycare staffs being engaged with the dogs? Or are they just sitting around? Is the Dog Daycare staff trained to work with dogs? With so many dog daycare facilities opening up, it’s better to understand whether this is just a business to make money or do they really care for their doggie friends. Remember this is your family member you are entrusting to these people.

You have chosen your best friends play home away from home

Things to understand and consider are hours of operation. What time can you drop your dog off and what time do you need to pick them up by. What happens if you can’t make the pick up?

Rates for dog daycare facilities are generally dependent on your location and what services they have to offer.  There is a difference on having a dog daycare out in the rural areas versus a downtown one.

In Summary

When you are looking to provide a fun place for your dog to hang out, first understand your dog and what kind of setting he or she would like. Is your dog a wall-flower or a fun loving dog? The dog daycare staff should provide you with ideas on how they will help your dog’s stay is the best day for them.  If the dog daycare doesn’t pass yours or your dog’s sniff – trial test.. walk away!

If you have a story to tell about your dog and dog daycare facility please let us know. We would love to hear whether it was a good experience or a not so good experience.

If you are a dog daycare facility and want to tell your own story, please leave us a comment or contact us “here”

 

Our next post is on dog daycare facilities size, staffing, training and licensing!

Max and Luther- A great Kids Literature Book for you to read

Now that Lil’WOOF Reading Program is beginning to evolve to Lil’WOOF Corner Authors and Books, we are meeting new authors all the time. In this case these two authors reached out to us, and we were completely paws-itively happy they did!

Our feature authors are Kari Sherman and Carey Laubenberg. There friends Max and Luther help us to understand what its like to be a dog, play like a dog and live like a dog. When I read their authors biographies I completely understood where these two fabulous friends met.  You see I too met one of my dearest friends at a dog park, she’s no longer with me, but I treasure the time we spend together. Our dogs Jackie (who you’ve met and read her story over the year) met a Kobo (who was a great chocolate Labrador). As Jackie and Kobo became best friends, as did Max and Luther, so did their owners!  All because of a dog park!

Max and Luther story shares friendship and tails of things pet owners need to know and understand

I learned that Max is a two-and-a-half-year-old Puggle (half-Beagle, half-Pug) with an all-beagle personality. I understand that Max has the same obsession with food as our Miya does. Looks this new friend of Miya’s would do anything to get a treat out of anyone. Luther “Lou” on the other hand is a one-and-a-half-year-old Olde English Bulldog. I read that Luther is a big lug. When you see him coming, it’s best to get out of the way. However is also the sweetest and gentlest of dogs (Sounds like our friend Kobo). Now I just knew that these two would become the best of friends.  As we read Max and Luther’s story the authors have incorporated great tips that every dog owner should know, understand and observe especially at the dog park or even at home.  Miya for one was happy when she learned that she wasn’t the only one who thought other dogs poops was a delicacy!  Anyway I don’t want to spoil anymore tid-bits from this truly enlightening and funny book.  I’ll leave you to enjoy the book and as you read it learn new things or confirm funny things about your own dog.  Our next step is to have our Lil’WOOF Corner readers enjoy this tail and report of what thought of the book next.

Kari and Carey Author Overview

I asked Kari and Carey how they got into writing kids literature specifically dog books, and what inspired their choice for the stories. Here is what they had to say:

Our dogs, Max and Luther met at the local dog park 2 years ago and became instant best friends. Naturally that also meant that their pet parents, Carey and I, became friends too.  After watching our dogs play at the dog park, we thought that all the funny things we saw there would make a great book.  Carey and I came up with the idea that the dogs should tell the stories and come up with the rules and advice for us humans.  The short stories highlight why we think these rules and advice are important. It was also our thought to make the books both entertaining and educational for dog lovers of all ages.

After the first book did so well, we wrote another book with more funny stories and added some fun dog facts as well. Max and Luther also came up with some top ten lists of their favorite things. Again, the idea was to be both entertaining and educational.

Carey and I are first time authors and because of our love for not only our dogs but all dogs, writing these books became a labor of love. We donate a portion of our sales to our local Humane Society because we wanted to give back to all dogs in need. This is a second career for both of us as well. I worked in corporate America for over 20 years and Carey was a personal trainer. It was our mutual love of dogs that lead us to a new career as authors of dog books. We are planning more books in the Max and Luther series.

 

Max and Luther two dog park friends who spell out the way it is for us pet owners to be responsible owners in a funny and enlightening way. A great Kids Literature Book for you to read, as well as to read to your children or have them read it too.

To purchase your copy of Kari Sherman and Carey Laubenberg books:

or their own website

our United States families and friends on http://www.maxandluther.com/

—>     Amazon.com   and  —>    BarnesandNoble.com

for our Canadian families and friends on —–>   Amazon.ca  and —–>  Indigo/Chapters Books 

 

If you have read any of the Max and Luther True Tail adventures, we would really like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. In the meantime, pick the book or books up and enjoy Max and Luther’s adventures.

 

Want your dog to have a great day look into Dog Daycares

It seems that Dog Daycares are popping up everywhere. It seems like where you would see a child daycare center now there is a dog daycare center right across the street. Many places offer grooming and overnight stay as well. I for one think they are an amazing place for my two Labradors to have a fun day, keep well socialized and provide the well needed exercise that all dogs need.

Here are my reasons to go to a doggie daycare

New Puppy

With every new puppy, getting socialized with other puppies and dogs is crucial in building their self-esteem and self-assurance. Not to mention having a great frolicking time with their own kind.  That said you need to wait until your puppy has all of its initial shots and your veterinarian’s blessing before attending a play session of any kind with other puppies and dogs. I for one am a true believer “a tired puppy is a happy puppy”. So the more play time for your puppy the less mischief time!

Meesha tired out

Adult dogs

What a better place than to hang out with all of your doggie buddies. Run, catch, play fight, even smell butts! WOW what fun.  Miya and Meesha just about pull my arm out trying to get into the doggie play center. They don’t blink an eye or turn a head to say goodbye.. They’re just gone! For this group of dogs, doggie daycares ensure the right socialization happens. The dog daycare folks help ensure that there is a watchful eye on the dogs as to make sure that nothing happens.  Any dog will tell you it’s a lot more fun playing with your kind then sitting in a crate or house all day waiting for someone to come and take them out, walk them or play with them.

Meesha ruffing

Senior Dogs

Yes older dogs may want to visit doggie daycare for a change of scenery once in a while. My Jackie didn’t want anything to do with the doggie daycares. She was very happy to just hang out with me at home. But when your senior dog would like to have someone around, some doggie daycares providers have a place where they can just relax and have some company. Our seniors get to have their own space and not feel alone.

In summary

Doggie Daycares are a great place to keep your pet from getting bored sitting around the house. Or worse yet getting in trouble from boredom like chewing things they shouldn’t or whining and barking to go out!

If you have used a doggie daycare we would love to hear about. If you have a trusted recommended doggie daycare please leave us a comment and we will look into them.

 

Our next post is on Dog Daycares and what to look for when selecting one that will meet your needs for your dog and you!

 

Misadventures of Princess Sydney: Have Parentals, Will Travel is finally here!

Misadventures of Princess Sydney: Have Parentals, Will Travel is finally available for purchase. Chris and Sydney have traveled to North Carolina over the weekend. Chris was thrilled to visit two schools (200 kids in total) and completed a book signing. It was a lot of fun, and he met a lot of new readers. Just like our own readers up here in the North, perhaps one day we can persuade Chris and Sydney to come visit us here too! In the mean time Misadventures of Princess Sydney: Have Parentals, Will Travel is a kids literature must read book!

for our United States families and friends on

—>     Amazon.com   and  —>    BarnesandNoble.com

for our Canadian families and friends on —–>   Amazon.ca


Here is a link to a video of Chris’s book signing –>  Youtube

Here is an excerpt from Misadventures of Princess Sydney: Have Parentals, Will Travel (The Princess Sydney Series)…

“You’ll have a great time,” said the Parentals. But Princess Sydney knows better! America’s favorite crafty cockapoo reluctantly embarks on summer vacation, along with her bumbling brother, Buddy. She expected chaos, but she she never expected to lose her cool when the…  “

The engaging antics of Dog Ownership!