Saturday, August 24, 2013

Helping Your Dog Adjust to a New Schedule

A few months ago I adopted Jake, my collie/lab mix, and at the time I was working part time. Then summer came and the kids were home during the day and all of our dogs got a lot of free time to run around and play. Unfortunately, we are now getting ready to head back to school and it is soccer season AND I just accepted a full-time teaching position. My dogs will now be spending more time contained in my laundry room. So, what are some ways we help our dogs adjust to the new schedule?

For starters, I get them and make them new eco-friendly toys to play with. It keeps them busy while we are gone and they get pretty excited about trying to destroy new things. I also get them a rawhide to chew on on days we work and have soccer at night. All natural rawhides are eco-friendly and highly recommended by many vets. I do limit my dogs to one a week, and as the new schedule becomes more of a routine, they see rawhides maybe once a month.

As for playing and taking walks, I have never stuck to a set schedule with this because I knew if I started walking my dog at the same time every day, it would have to happen EVERY DAY. I live on 5 acres, so my dogs have plenty of space to run around every day, but they still like to go for walks a few times a week. Since I have never had a set schedule with walks, I use the word WALK and get the lease and my sneakers as a signal that we are going for a walk together. They all get excited, run around in circles, and then wait patiently at the door.

I think using words my dogs know and keeping their feeding times consistent helps them adjust to new schedules fairly easily. However, once we all settle into this new routine, daylight savings time will happen and throw them off a little again. The important thing is to always make time in your busy schedule to play with your dog and spend quality one on one time with each dog in your house. If your schedule gets to the point that you are unable to do that, consider sending your dog to a doggie playgroup or daycare while you work, or get a pet sitter to come once a day for a little while to give your dog attention while you are not there. If you don't help your dog adjust to new schedules and routines, they may start exhibiting behavior problems that could be hard to break.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Featured Fridays-AiKiou
Today's featured products are interactive pet feeders made by Aikou (pronounced IQ). Veterinarian technician, Kathleen Desrosiers, created the feeders after adopting a Labrador Retriever who was getting bored at home. Not only did the interactive feeder keep him busy, it also helped with food digestion. The husband/wife duo decided to debut it to the mass market in 2009. In 2011, another family member invented the Stimulo, which has gone on to win awards and be featured in commercials.

The Canadian-based company started taking steps to be more eco-friendly in 2012. They had to redesign all of the products, and although it was a nightmare, it actually became fun for the owners to really examine every part of the product design, manufacturing, and delivery. They lowered the amount of plastic used in their products and reduced the size to save fuel when delivering the products. The packaging was also changed to a more eco-friendly material and the use of paint was eliminated. Not only did the elimination of paint help the environment, it is also healthier for the pets that use the products. Much of the feeder is also recyclable plastic, so all their hard work and effort has earned them a spotlight here on Pupcycled!

For more information about Aikou's interactive pet feeders and where to buy them, visit their website.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Featured Fridays- Planet Dog Foundation

This week I am doing things a little differently with Featured Friday. I am focusing on a Foundation versus a specific product, and for a good reason. The Planet Dog Foundation recently hit a milestone worth recognizing, it has given away a million dollars!!!!Since 2006, PDF, has been giving away cash grants to various non-profit organizations that help support dogs that are helping people. From seeing eye dogs, to medical alert dogs, to PTSD therapy dogs, PDF is helping make a difference in the lives of dogs and people. The foundation hopes to continue to give away more and more cash grants every grant season.
The Planet Dog Foundation has many products and one product in particular, the glow for good ball, helped increase grant funds. Even during hard economic times, the foundation continues to grow and help more and more people. On top of helping people, PDF, is helping the environment as well. They have leashes made from hemp and 100% cotton dog toys. Their products are eco-friendly and at least 2% of the sales go back to the Foundation to be given as cash grants. Check out the video to see more of their products in action. You can find many of their products for sale on Amazon, including their completely recyclable Glow Ball.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Featured Fridays- U-Turn Handles

Paul using the U-Turn Handle
When trying to live a greener lifestyle, many pet owners look to better food options for their dogs. While well-balanced nutrition is very important, exercise is equally important in helping your dog stay strong and healthy. However, if you have more than one dog to walk, getting out and exercising can be difficult at times. That is where U-Turn Handles comes in. It allows you to walk three to four dogs at once, with on one person!

This new product was launched in February of 2013 and is currently available to order directly from the UTurn Handle website. The handle is manufactured in the United States and is made of HDPE which is non-toxic, recyclable, and approved by the FDAto be used for food processing. The owner, Paul, is also working to get future packaging materials from a local recycling outfit in Seattle. Below is a video of the U-turn handle in action.

Paul, a retired Boeing Engineer, invented the handle to help other dog owners, like himself, walk several dogs at once and maintain a happier and healthier lifestyle. If you have multiple dogs and want to be more active with your dogs, getting a U-Turn Handle may be the place to start. If you are still not sure if the U-Turn Handle is right for you or your dog, OR you have more than four dogs to walk, check out the great FAQ section at!