Category Archives: Pets

How To Clean Your Dog’s Gear

how to clean dog gear

We all know how important it is to pick up after your dog. Exposed poop is gross. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even like looking at it in a toilet. A pile is filled with bacteria, dirt and crawlies. Do you know what else is pretty gross? Pet toys and bedding that have been hanging out around you for years. Cleaning up after your dog also means you’ve got to know how to clean your dog’s gear.

We wash and brush Fido, maybe even get him to a groomers a couple of times a year, but it doesn’t necessarily protect your home. From toys and bedding to feeding bowls and walking gear like leashes and harnesses, your dog’s stuff can contaminate without you ever noticing.

Here’s some advice from the team at to knowing exactly when your pet’s favorite items need to be cleaned and how to get them smelling and looking like new. 

How often should you clean up your dog’s gear?

National Dog Day Deals
Photo by Ryan Freitas

Bed and blankets 

Our dog’s come into contact with lots of different types of bacteria and fungus, which mean their bed can become a sea of mites, fleas and ticks if not cleaned regularly. 

These organisms can survive on fabric for up to 12 months which is why dog beds should be washed regularly.

Cleaning tip: Vacuum any hair, crumbs and muck from the bed. Use a stain remover to treat any stains on the fabric. For a natural alternative use white vinegar and baking soda. 

Using a pet-safe laundry detergent, place all your dog’s bedding and blankets in the washing machine, ensuring they are washed separately from any other items.

Food and drink bowl 

This one’s a biggie and so easy to manage. Dog slobber gets into food and water bowls. If you have the bowls on the ground, critters get in there too. Although most pups lick their bowls clean, the leftover residue harbors bacteria, including salmonella and E. Coli. In fact, the National Sanitation Foundation found that pet bowls are the fourth germiest place in the home, right behind the kitchen sink and toothbrush holder.

When dogs eat and drink directly from the bowl, they can transfer this bacteria to the bowl from their mouths. The bacteria then starts to grow and each time you add more food to the bowl, it contaminates it. If your dog shares his bowl with other pets, it’s even more important to wash your pet’s food bowl after every meal. 

Water bowls should be washed once a day or more, in order to prevent the growth of mould, yeast, algae and fungi. Your guy should always have fresh water. Don’t just add water to what’s already there.

Cleaning tip; Use hot soapy water to clean your pet’s dishes and use separate cleaning brushes/cloths from the ones you use for people dishes. 

Collar, lead and walking gear 

Dog collars and walking gear can get filthy with constant wear. Plus, has your dog ever peed on his own leash? Eww. Over time, your pups outdoor wear will eventually absorb enough skin oils, dirt and grime that they start to stink. Don’t let it get to that point! Collars and leads need to be washed to keep them smelling fresh – and to prevent any bacteria buildup. 

While the washing machine seems like the easiest option, not all materials can withstand it, some can fall apart or become damaged if the setting is too high. The best option is to wash by hand, using a mild detergent, dish soap or even dog shampoo. If that’s too high maintenance, put them in the top rack of your dishwasher.

Cleaning tip: Make sure all cleaning products have been thoroughly rinsed out, if they are left on the collar they can cause irritation to the skin. 


Hotel Treats For Dogs

Your dog’s favorite toys are a breeding ground for potentially harmful bacteria, germs, mold and mildew. Favorite toys should be washed at least once a week, but if they are covered in dribble, dirt or food, it’s worth washing right away. 

The best method to clean fabric toys is to place them into an old pillowcase and put them on a gentle cycle in the washing machine, using a pet-friendly detergent. For plastic toys, drop them in a bowl of hot soapy water and let them soak for 10 minutes, rinse and dry. 

Cleaning tip: Avoid using any disinfecting products containing bleach, even when diluted it can still pose a threat to your best friend as its highly toxic when consumed. 

Pet clothing 

dog wearing raincoat

Ok, so my dog wears his fur and that’s it. As silly as clothes for dogs are, they’re out there on other people’s pets. Just like humans, dogs’ clothing should be washed regularly to remove any bacteria and keep them looking and smelling clean. The general rule of thumb is to wash your dog’s jackets and sweaters at least once every two weeks, but obviously if it’s caked in mud, clean it immediately.

Washing your pup’s duds is just like washing your own stuff. Check the care label to see how it should be washed, some will be hand-wash only, while others can go into the washing machine.

Cleaning tip; Check for any rips and lose threads before washing your dog’s clothing. One tumble and you might shred the whole outfit.

Cool Pet Programs For National Dog Day

National Dog Day Deals

With National Dog Day just around the pond on August 26, We thought it would be cool to highlight some of the ways businesses are taking care of our four-legged friends with exciting new “paw-tastic” offerings and special programs.


Dog Beach on Dog Day

Pasea Hotel & Spa – Huntington Beach, CA

Dining is for the dogs this August. On Aug. 26, a special “Pawsea Puppy Hour” will be available from 3-7 p.m. on Tanner’s patio featuring specialty menu items like the “dog bowl” with chicken breast, veggies and brown rice, as well as homemade peanut butter and banana dog treats. Additionally, Pasea just launched a new pet package which features a three-course doggy meal, take home gifts like toys and leashes, a bed, waived pet fees and more. In addition to the special offerings for Dog Day, the property is conveniently located less than two miles from the famed Huntington Dog Beach where dogs can run leash-free. Guests can also enjoy access to the 1,100 square foot outdoor pup play area, outfitted with a lifeguard station dog house and decorated with a local artist-commissioned wall mural.

Boozehounds – Greater Palm Springs, CA

Boozehounds in Palm Springs is a new pet-friendly dining, bar and co-working concept featuring a vibrant design and a welcoming atmosphere with a unique food and beverage menu, including options for dogs. Opened just in time for the summer, pet-lovers can grab a happy hour cocktail or bite daily from 3-5 p.m. Boozehounds offers globally-inspired and locally influenced dishes including classics with a twist and daily fresh fish selections, with gluten-free and vegan options.  Inspired by the restaurant’s proximity to the San Jacinto Mountains and the city’s access to the great outdoors, Boozehounds combines desert influences and midcentury design with a laid-back California Atmosphere.

Hotel Haya– Tampa, FL

One of the destination’s newest boutique properties, Hotel Haya embodies everything special about Ybor City’s exuberant Cuban, Italian, and Spanish influences. Up to two pets are allowed per room and upon request they will have treats, beds and bowls waiting. Tampa Bay has been called Florida’s most dog-friendly destination and for good reason. The city has the highest rates of dog parks per capita in the country, for example, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park , Water Works Park, and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. There are also dog beaches including Davis Islands and a little farther south, Picnic Island that has space for picnics as well as pooches.

Crossroads Hotel– Kansas City, MO

Crossroads Hotel has tapped local artists and designers to share their talent and creativity throughout the hotel making it the perfect place to bring your stylish pup. Your pets will find a comfortable bed, treats and other amenities that will make this hotel the perfect place to call home for the night. Kansas City’s exceptional dog parks include West Terrace Dog Park in Downtown KC and Waggin’ Trail Off Leash Dog Park in North Kansas City. A must-visit is Bar K Dog Bar; it serves as a dog park, restaurant, coffeehouse and bar—a harmonious synthesis designed especially for people and their furry companions.

MC Hotel – Montclair, NJ

At the intersection of culture and community in the heart of Montclair’s thriving artistic community is the MN. With an impressive on-site art collection and home to the town’s only rooftop bar with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, the MC Hotel has become a Northeastern hospitality icon. A stone’s throw from NYC, MC Hotel offers relief from the hustle and bustle of the city and provides a truly relaxing getaway. Be sure to visit the Brookdale Park  that offers a separate small dog area, agility equipment, running water, waste bags, and gravel mulch.

Daxton Hotel – Birmingham, MI

The 151-room Daxton Hotel, located just 30 minutes north of Detroit, bring refined sophistication to the charming town of Birmingham incorporating some of the finest art, wellness, dining and retail that hospitality can offer. The luxury hotel pampers pooches with specially created dog treats from renowned Executive Chef Garrison Price. The Daxton, with its collection of over 400 original artwork curated by Saatchi Art from artists in over 40 countries, provides for an avant garde and sophisticated resting space for cultured pets. In addition to Chef Price’s artisanal treats, pets receive a bed and bowl as part of the $75 pet fee and can enjoy the many parks and Birmingham dog run just steps away.

The Wilson Hotel – Big Sky, MT

Wilson Hotel Front

Don’t leave anyone behind the next time you’re traveling to Big Sky. At The Wilson Hotel, the pet-friendly guest rooms are built with the comfort and safety of both you and your furry friend in mind. With vast forests, towering mountains, and never-ending outdoor activities, make this the perfect spot for your pup. The hotel is conveniently located near many top-notch parks and trails including Yellowstone National Park. The Dog Days in the Mountains Package includes a doggie arrival welcome amenity, with treats, a chewing toy, a rawhide bone, a travel water bowl, an exclusive Wilson Hotel bandana, pick-up bags, and the use of a dog bed during your stay and a $10 gift certificate to Beehive Basin Brewery for yappy hour – dog friendly, of course! They also offer maps featuring local dog-friendly hiking trails and cross-country skiing trails. $25 of your nightly rate will go towards Stafford Animal Shelter in Livingston, MT.

Detroit Foundation Hotel – Detroit, MI

After opening its doors to guests in 2017, the Detroit Foundation Hotel in downtown Detroit has been regarded as a catalyst for the city’s resurgence and culinary prominence. A pet friendly hotel, the Detroit Foundation Hotel welcomes all pets and service animals, ensuring guests with furry friends have an unforgettable experience. In fact, the hotel is just steps away from the Detroit Riverwalk that stretches more than three miles along the scenic Detroit River, making it an ideal recreation spot for those on four legs or two! Visiting the revitalized Motor City is a treat for pups and people alike as Detroit has something to offer everyone. Take a dog walk down the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy for five miles of river views, join the cult behind the beloved regional favorite Coney Dog, or take a visit to the pooch-friendly Belle Isle, the 982-acre island park with stellar views of the Detroit skyline.

Hewing Hotel – Minneapolis, MN

The reclaimed former farm implement warehouse and showroom is located in the bustling North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Paying homage to the Minnesotan setting, the rustic and refined meld together with exposed timber and brick, tall ceilings and original industrial elements mixed with high-end interiors to create an original and inviting experience. Dogs are welcome in the Bar & Lounge as their humans enjoy Chef Nyle Flynn’s creations that pay tribute to the region’s strong Scandinavian roots with a menu influenced by rural Nordic practices of foraging, butchery and fermentation techniques and heavily driven by seasonality. A $75 pet fee has dogs howling for Hewing Hotel with thoughtful dog amenities including BarkBox memory foam dog beds and list of other dog-friendly outdoor dining, local attractions and dog parks. Treat pooches to a True North experience in the Twin Cities. From the over 100+ dog-friendly breweries, 66 dog parks and hundreds of restaurants open to pets the options are endless.

Surety Hotel – Des Moines, IA

The modern, grand hotel in Des Moines’ downtown district welcomes four legged friends. The preserved twelve-story, Beaux-Arts gem opened originally in 1913 has been reborn while retaining heritage design elements and architectural touches. The hotel welcomes up to two dogs per guest room and ensures treats, bed and bowl for your pet in-room upon arrival. Make this Midwestern city the ultimate destination for man, or woman’s, best friend. For playful pups and teaching old dogs new tricks, Des Moines offers a host of activities for pets. Pick up treats and supplies at Bone-A-Patreat or visit the multiple dog parks including the Riverwalk Dog Park. Sip seasonal and experimental beers at dog-friendly microbrewery Confluence Brewing Company and peruse the farm fresh delights and offerings at the Downtown Farmers’ Market.

Hotel Treats For Dogs

The James New York – NoMad – New York City

Guests can experience sanctuary and scene at The James New York – NoMad, located on the corner of 29th Street and Madison Avenue, near iconic Madison Square Park and the Flatiron District. Visitors step into the calming energy of The James and leave the hustle and bustle behind in this urban retreat, including man’s- and woman’s-best-friend with dog-friendly amenities such as plush beds, water/food bowls and calming spray/natural paw balm. The 337-room luxury boutique hotel is infused with local culture and intuitive touches inspired by the community it calls home. With its convenient and central location, visitors can leave for the best of the city including Madison Square Park and Eataly, Macy’s Herald Square, The Flatiron Building, Union Square and wonderful restaurants and world-class shopping.

Kimpton Cardinal Hotel – Winston-Salem, NC

Your guest room mini bar is stocked with “Bowser Beer” for pups and a special puppy ice cream available on request year-round. For the month of August, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, has a pet-friendly patio offering pups free “Puppuccinos on the Patio.”

Kimpton George Hotel – Washington D.C.

The George and the Kimpton Monaco Hotel (Penn Quarter) are encouraging furry friends to strike a pose on their “Pet, Step & Repeat” available the entire month of August. The doggy backdrop will be set up in each hotel’s lobby with a selection of pet props and costumes. Pet parents can snap pics of their pups to hang in their personal portrait gallery. Hotel Monaco’s cocktail bar & restaurant, Dirty Habit DC, also has a pet-friendly patio with water bowls to accommodate four legged companions.


Built Nightsafe Leash– Built sturdy, with clean lines, this leash has what you need and want for walks around your hotel or trail. You’ll love the swivel clip attachment that you can use with the matching collar and the D ring on top you can uses to hook a poop bag, but the best feature is the extra handle that allows you to shorten your hold for extra control. Both padded handles feel great in your hand and the patent pending NightSafe™ reflective webbing adds a touch of style and glow when you need a late night outing. 

Ruffwear Bivy Collapsible Dog Bowl – Never trust that the ice bucket or bowls will be in your hotel room when you need them. Carry your own collapsible bowl for Fido. As cool as those little bowls are that pack into their own pouch, you gotta love a sturdy bowl that doesn’t flop around while your dog is drinking. The Bivy’s height adjusts depending on how shallow you want it and then it collapses flat for easy packing.   

Travel Dog Bowl

Free Country Dog Rain Coat – It’s not that you need to worry about your dog getting wet but everything around him that will get drenched and smelly when he gets back to your room. Now you can protect him with this waterproof rain jacket and hood. It even has a cozy butter pile lining perfect for colder days. Hook-and-loop fasteners ensure the right fit for Fido, and quick access leash port make it easy to take on and off.

Dog in a raincoat

Summer Fun With Your Pup

Dogs having summer fun

With Covid-19 cramping everyone’s social style last year, it seemed simple to find things to do at home with your best friend. However, as the country begins to awaken, the possibilities for summer fun with your pup abound. Here’s a (brief) list to get your mind churning and your booty moving for these upcoming dog days of summer. 

Summer Fun Ideas

  1. Give him a bath. This may not sound like fun but when it’s 80+outside, you’ll be laughing and appreciating those moments when he showers you with soapy water and smells clean and fresh for the rest of the activities on the list! BTW, a firm hand on the scruff of his neck will prevent him from shaking off. 

    1. Invite all your dog parent friends to meet you at the park for a playdate.
    2. Grab a dog hike book and start ticking off trails in your hood. My favorite ones in the Wasatch include Spiro Trail, Stewart Falls, Fifth Water Hot Springs, Smith and Morehouse Trail, Fehr Lake.
    3. Mix up the path you take on your daily walk.
    4. Go for a swim. Some local parks have ponds for dogs while some cities even allow dogs in pools!
    5. Spoil your dog with homemade treats
      Dog treat shaped like a paw
    6. Teach your pup a new trick. Not only does it show off his smarts but keeps their brain healthy and active.

    7. Go for a ride. It may not be safe to let them hang their heads out a window but your dog loves a change of scenery as much as you do. Just don’t leave them alone in a hot car!
    8. Spend a night under the stars at a dog-friendly campsite. Unless you are in a national park, most campgrounds allow dogs but always double check.

      YETI Trailhead Dog Bed

    9. Check out a dog-friendly restaurant, brewery or coffee shop.
      Dog sitting at a restaurant table
    10. Play a game of fetch with a new ball or frisbee.

Best Toys For Lazy Dog Owners

dogs playing tug

Dogs make the best outdoor companions but there are definitely down days where you are the lazy dog owner. You don’t feel like taking a 5-mile hike or even a walk around the block with your best friend. Oftentimes, I’ll sack up and do it for him but when I just can’t rally, I look for ways to entertain him with the least amount of effort on my end. 

Here are some ideas for slackers and their dogs. 🙂

Lazy Dog Owners Throw Things

If your dog loves to fetch, sit at the top of the stairs and toss a ball or favorite toy to the bottom. He’ll run down, grab it and run up. Hard to beat this indoor workout. I can keep my Aussie engaged for a good 30 minutes with this but you’ll want to use soft toys to avoid mishaps. No stairs or too much junk in the way? Take it outside for a ball or Frisbee toss. 

West Paw Design Dash Dog Frisbee

The design of the 8-inch Dash Frisbee makes it easy for humans to throw and dogs to pick up. Although the weightiness will keep it from catching too much loft, it’s a solid chucker. In fact, the wavy edge makes it a hoot to roll on its side and watch dogs chase after the wobbly ring.  The durable, nearly indestructible outer shell surrounds a soft foam material that won’t make dogs’ gums bleed but you still might have to grab slobbery sections unless you’re playing near water. Dash is injected with Air Technology making it floatable. If your pooch is a chewer the Dash is guaranteed against dog damage, latex-free, BPA and phthalate-free, FDA compliant, non-toxic and top rack dishwasher safe. 

Speaking of water, the Kurgo Skipping Stones really do skip…and float but your dog better be a great retriever or you’ll be waiting an eternity for them to float back to shore. 

Kurgo – Skipping Stones may not skip as well as a flat rock but they don’t sink as well as they do either. The bright colors help your dog to see them in the water as he paddles out. If he’s not much of a swimmer, the uneven shape makes for fun chases as they bounce erratically for land fetch.


Dog sniffs the Ruffwear Gnawt a rock dog toy








Ruffwear Gnawt-a-Rock™ Rubber Dog Toy

If you’re a lazy dog owner than you’re probably too lazy to pick up bits of plastic from toys your dog shreds in minutes. Ruffwear makes some of the most durable tossables on the market. Stick kibble and treats into the “rock” through the slit and they drop out through two holes on either side as your dog pushes the toy around. You won’t want to leave the Gnawt a Rock on the floors for days without supervision but for treat dispensing and slow feeding, it can’t be beat. Plus, it kind of looks like a rock so you can pretend you’re outdoors? Not really but use your imagination. 

Play Amongst Themselves

If you have two dogs (or more), or a friendly neighbor that welcomes a playdate by all means sit back and let them dance. Since I spoil my dog rotten (even when I’m being a lazy dog owner) I can’t share him with anything else but the cat. They seem to keep themselves company when my throwing arm gets tired. 

Lazy Dog Owners


Lazy Dog Owners Play With His Mind

There are all sorts of toys on the market for lazy dog owners that challenge a pup’s problem solving skills.  

The Hide A Squirrel toy features a handful of squeeky squirrels that your dog gets to search for and tug out of a stuffy log. Your job is to find them all and put them back. I’m still working on getting Takoda to clean up his mess with this one!


Or just let her go to town ripping apart a toy that doesn’t leave stuffing everywhere.

Rippys Pull Apart Cow Dog Toy







You could also teach him a new trick, which, by the way, is great for stimulating your mind as well. The Pocket Guide to Dog Tricks By Kyra Sundance is a handy step-by-step instruction manual for impromptu training sessions.


Teach your pup the basics like Sit, Shake Hands, Fetch, and Roll Over, and graduate to more impressive tasks like Tidy Up Your Toys and Get a Beer from the Fridge. Kyra Sundance is a world-renowned dog trainer, lecturer, and author. Her other books include Dog Training 101, The Dog Tricks and Training Workbook51 Puppy Tricks, and 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition.

If you want to dig even deeper into the world of the trick dog, Sundance’s website Do More With Your Dog offers masterclasses and coaching and even a certification process if you’re looking for a new career. 

That’s all I have for now. Would love to hear how you keep your dog entertained while you fell lazy! Leave comments below. 



CBD Pet Study Shows Dogs Find Relief

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching our outdoor companion of 10 + years begin to slow down.  Their huge hearts push them to follow you on that 20-mile bike ride or 12-mile peak scramble. But the next day, they lay by your feet and struggle to stand as you move to the kitchen. Looks like CBD can really help your dog.

Senior Dog

The CBD Pet Study

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in collaboration with Medterra CBD conducted the first scientific studies to assess the potential therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) for arthritic pain in dogs. (BTW, results could lead the way to studying its effect in humans!) Researchers focused first on dogs because their condition closely mimics the characteristics of human arthritis, the leading cause of pain and disability in the U.S. . Not to mention that arthritis is a common condition in dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, it affects one out of five dogs in the United States.

Published in the journal PAIN, the study first showed both in laboratory tests and mouse models that CBD, a non-addictive product derived from hemp (cannabis), can significantly reduce the production of inflammatory molecules and immune cells associated with arthritis. Subsequently, the study showed that in dogs diagnosed with the condition, CBD treatment significantly improved quality of life according to vets and pet owners. 

“CBD is rapidly increasing in popularity due to its anecdotal health benefits for a variety of conditions, from reducing anxiety to helping with movement disorders,” said corresponding author Dr. Matthew Halpert, research faculty in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Baylor. 

CBD Pet Study

The Results of the CBD Pet Study

Researchers found that CBD treatment reduced the production of both inflammatory molecules and immune cells linked to arthritis.

The researchers also determined that the effect was quicker and more effective when CBD was delivered encapsulated in liposomes than when it was administered ‘naked.’ Liposomes are artificially formed tiny spherical sacs that are used to deliver drugs and other substances into tissues at higher rates of absorption.

The 20 client-owned dogs enrolled in the study were randomly provided with identical unidentified medication bottles that contained CBD, liposomal CBD, or a placebo. Neither the owners nor the veterinarian knew which treatment each dog received.

After four weeks of daily treatment, owners and veterinarians reported on the condition of the dogs, whether they observed changes in the animals’ level of pain, such as changes related to running or gait. The dogs’ cell blood count and blood indicators of liver and kidney function also were evaluated before and after the four weeks of treatment.

“We found encouraging results,” Halpert said. “Nine of the 10 dogs on CBD showed benefits, which remained for two weeks after the treatment stopped. We did not detect alterations in the blood markers we measured, suggesting that, under the conditions of our study, the treatment seems to be safe.”

The findings support conducting studies to evaluate CBD for the treatment of human arthritis.

This study was funded in part by a sponsored research agreement between Medterra CBD Inc and Baylor College of Medicine. This project also was supported in part by the Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core at Baylor College of Medicine with funding from the NIH (grants AI036211, CA125123 and RR024574).

1 2 3 8