Spring Into Outdoor Play

Posted by sitstaydogs

Mar 20, 2014 8:00:00 AM

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We’ve been stuck inside all winter. Trying to play fetch in the living room, braving the cold for a quick, freezing walk, and longing for those dog days of summer again. Well no more! As of TODAY, March 20th, it is officially spring, and we're excited! 

Exercise and play, which involve anything from fetch to a walk, provide many benefits for your pooch. Regular exercise helps keep dogs healthy and limber, reduces digestive problems, aids in weight control, and can put an end to bad behavior problems that a dog who doesn’t get enough play and exercise time might have.  

As you head outdoors to enjoy the warmer (and sometimes bipolar) weather of spring, don’t forget Fido’s toys. At SitStay, we love Twiggy the Stick, a member of The Sticks, a loveable family of totally terrified fetch toys. Made from recycled rubber, these fun toys are both dog friendly and eco-friendly. Twiggy’s slobber resistant rope means easier throwing and less slobber for you. Thanks to eyes that glow in the dark and Twiggy’s ability to float in water, you won’t have any trouble finding this member of the Sticks family.

Another great toy for that member of your family who loves to run and play fetch is the Hyperflite Jawz Disc. This tough, puncture resistant disc is perfect for big dogs. All Jawz discs feature Hyperflite's patent pending X-Flash™ Anti-Glare Technology. The Hyperflite Jawz Disc is a great flying disc for competition or playtime at the park. Still, while both of these toys are tough, neither are intended to be chew toys.

As you grab your tennis shoes and Fido’s leash, don’t forget to grab his toys. Head out and enjoy some backyard or park play in the beautiful spring sunshine with your favorite four legged friend!

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Topics: Playtime

Your Dog: The Perfect Exercise Partner

Posted by sitstaydogs

Mar 18, 2014 10:32:00 AM

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At the end of a long work day, we often come home to dinner that needs to be made, children that want to play, or a lengthy to-do list. When it’s cold outside, the couch and a blanket sound far more appealing than working out (trust me, been there!). Exercising is easy to push down the list. Thank goodness spring is just around the corner (March 20!). And thank goodness for that brown-eyed, heavy breather at your feet right now.

According to the World Health Organization, adults 18 to 65 years old need 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week, along with strengthening exercises two days a week. A study conducted at the University of Western Australia found that 7 in 10 adult dog owners achieved 150 minutes of physical exercise per week, compared to only 7 in 10 non-owners. Your dog is the perfect exercise partner. Buddy won’t cancel on your workout plans because of cold weather or a long to-do list. Hitting the pavement or trail with him is beneficial for the both of you.

We know that walking burns calories and wards off heart disease, but did you know that it’s also a great stress reliever? Getting outside, breathing in some fresh air, taking in your surroundings, and savoring a break before you dive into your evening activities, is a great idea for you and your dog, especially after a long day at the office.

If Buddy is getting himself into trouble at home or barking and whining a lot, he’s probably trying to tell you that he needs more exercise to help him burn off some energy and feel less restless at home. But your nightly walks won’t just benefit him. Walking, like any other cardiovascular exercise, produces stress-busting endorphins and boosts energy. Just being outside and spending time in nature, studies have found, can reduce stress. Walking your dog is also a fantastic way to meet other people in your neighborhood.

If you’re an avid runner, walker, or hiker, or simply need your hands free to deal with the kids, the Buddy System is a great leash system. With your hands free, your movement isn’t restricted and you can focus on the trail ahead. Or maybe your hands or pockets are often full when you leave for a walk. The DOOG Walkie Utility Belt comes complete with built-in pick up bags, anti-bacterial handwipes, a clip, pocket for valuables, and even a velcro patch for Buddy’s tennis ball, so you don’t have to juggle everything.

If you're looking for a bright, new collar or leash this spring, SitStay has plenty of colors and sizes to choose from so you can find Buddy the perfect gear. If Buddy's a puller, consider an Easy Walk Harness, which gently discourages him from pulling while walking.

If Buddy’s big brown eyes don’t always send you running to grab the leash, consider making a walking schedule to hang on your fridge. It doesn’t matter how or when you walk, whether you take three 10-minute walks or walk for 30 minutes straight, just be sure to get out and enjoy the spring weather.

See you out there!

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Topics: Wellness, Playtime

Dogs like MTV not PBS

Posted by sitstaydogs

Jul 23, 2013 1:44:00 PM

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Honestly, I have to admit I blatantly stole this saying. . . I just wish I remember where it came from. Nevertheless, the meaning is exquisite: Be engaging and exciting.

Dogs love motion and excitement. Have you noticed the difference in your dog when you walk by him or when you run? Running is very exciting and most dogs will either run with your or chase you. Have you ever noticed that dogs are very attune to motion…they find anything that’s moving?
When training, you need to be fun and exciting to your dog. Talking to him like Alistair Cooke hosting Masterpiece Theater just won’t cut it. (I don’t know if I would listen to you for long if you spoke like that).

Think of MTV, fast motion, excitement, interaction. That’s what you want to be to your dog, EXCITING! Give them a reason to pay attention to you. Give them something fun to look at and listen to.

And remember, if fun isn’t happening for both of you, neither is learning.

Joann Neve, CPDT-KA, M. Ed
Packleader Behavior & Training


www.packleaderbehavior.com

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Topics: Playtime

Kong Stuffing 101

Posted by sitstaydogs

Jul 23, 2013 1:20:00 PM

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In the last newsletter we introduced the Kong toy as a great tool to provide mental exercise. Food-and treat-stuffed Kongs are excellent enrichment!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Throw away your food bowl! For dogs who eat raw, home cooked, or canned diets, just spoon the food directly into the Kong. If your dog eats kibble, mix his food with a spoonful of canned food, yogurt, cottage cheese, or other healthy moist food before stuffing it in the Kong.

Freeze it! Throw your dog’s stuffed Kong in the freezer the night before for a “Kong-sicle” that will last much longer.

Microwave it! Mix a little cheese with your dog’s kibble or some dry tidbits and spoon the mixture into a Kong toy, then nuke it long enough to melt the cheese. Make sure to allow plenty of time for the mixture to cool before giving it to your dog.

Set up a scavenger hunt! Stuff your dog’s food into multiple Kong toys, then hide the toys throughout your house or yard. Your dog will love spending his day hunting down and “dissecting” his Kong-kills.

Train with it! Give your dog a stuffed Kong any time you leave him in his crate. Not only will he love spending time in his kennel, but this can also prevent separation issues from developing.

Do you have a favorite Kong stuffing trick or recipe? 
Share it in on our Facebook page! > 

Sara Reusche CPDT-KA CVT
Paws Abilities Dog Training, Rochester, MN   


www.paws4u.com


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Topics: Wellness, Playtime

A Case for Kongs

Posted by sitstaydogs

Jul 22, 2013 4:45:00 PM

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If every dog in the world could be given one toy, I think the Kong would be the way to go. A Kong toy is shaped somewhat like a rounded rubber pyramid with a hollow center. Kongs have three chewing “levels” – red for beginners, black for tough chewers, and blue Kongs, which are the toughest level and are available only through veterinarians because they are radio opaque (which means they will show up on an x-ray if the dog swallows them). There are also special, softer Kongs made for puppies or senior dogs. These Kong toys have a marbled appearance, with white mixed into the pink, blue, or purple color.

Kong toys are extremely durable, which means they can go from the microwave to the freezer to the dishwasher and back again without breaking down. They stand up well to almost every dog, provided you choose the right size and hardness level for your dog’s tenacity of chewing. Kong toys bounce erratically when thrown and provide a great chew toy.

The thing that puts a Kong toy head & tails above the competition, though, is their hollow center. Kong toys can be stuffed with an amazing variety of food items. This is a great source for mental exercise! For dogs who are left home alone all day, consider throwing out your dog’s food bowl & feeding solely from Kong toys.

There are certainly other brands of toys that resemble Kongs available, but the Kong is the “original” toy and is the one that seems to work best for most dogs. There is one Kong knock-off on the market which may be of interest to some people though, and that is the “Squirrel Dude” toy manufactured by Premier/PetSafe. This tough purple toy (yes, it resembles a squirrel) improves on the Kong design by adding four small rubber prongs which line the inside of the toy’s hole. These prongs make it much harder to get food back out of a Squirrel Dude toy once you’ve stuffed it in. A Squirrel Dude toy is not for a beginner to puzzle stuffing, but can provide a nice challenge to dogs for whom a Kong toy no longer gives any challenge. The Squirrel Dude toys can be further customized by lopping off one or more of the rubber prongs with a sharp pair of scissors, so that you can adjust the toy’s level of difficulty.

To clean your dog’s Kongs out, use the cleaning brushes that can be used for baby bottles, or just scrub around inside the opening with your fingers. Kongs are dishwasher safe, but be warned that tightly lodged food can easily sneak through an entire dishwashing cycle. Make sure your dog’s Kongs are cleaned regularly to prevent food from spoiling.

In the next newsletter we’ll discuss Kong stuffing options, as well as other games to play with these toys.

Do you use Kong toys for your dog? Please share your favorite Kong stuffing recipes, games, or other tips and tricks on SitStay's Facebook page!

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Topics: Mealtime, Playtime, Treats, Uncategorized

We don't own dogs at Sitstay - the dogs own us.

The products we share are healthful, enriching and good-dog-approved. Everyday we strive to do our part in improving pet lifestyles and make it a point to have loads of fun along the way.

Join our mission to raise the most spoiled-rotten dogs on the planet … somebody’s got to!

Cheers from Nebraska!