Friday

Are elk antlers safe as dog chew toys?



OK, I admit it. My nine-month-old Labrador mix pup is a pretty assertive chewer.  She’s gone through more chew toys than I can count.

That’s why I followed a friend’s recommendation and popped for a medium-sized $9 all-natural elk antler piece for her to chew. The friend pointed out that her own dog had enjoyed a single elk antler for more than six months.

She loved it. In fact, she wouldn’t leave the elk antler chew alone. It kept her busy, happily gnawing away, for longer than any toy she has ever tried.

However, within a day, this is what her all-natural elk antler looked like.

Not exactly a bargain to sink one’s teeth into.

After a day of chewing, my dog’s elk antler piece looks as dangerous as a turkey bone, having broken into multiple extra-sharp pieces. I had to take it away from her and toss it in the trash, for her safety’s sake.

Maybe all-natural elk antlers are safer for older dogs, who are not teething and don’t tend to chew so assertively. Perhaps the bigger elk antlers are worth the extra money, if they don’t break apart so easily. Still, I have to wonder.
But I guess I won’t be dropping any more bucks for elk antlers anytime soon.

Image/s:
Adapted from Elk Antler
product promo photo
  fair use
Additional photo by
LAN for Fad to the Bone

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Wednesday

Is the Nylabone Dental Ring worth sinking teeth into?




Having tossed out far too many chew toys for dogs, I opted to buy a few Nylabone products. These canine dental bones and playthings are known for generally holding up a lot longer than some of the cheaper versions.

This one was an immediate favorite for our puppy.

The white-and-green zig-zag striped and knotted rope ring (constructed of cotton and nylon) includes a hard plastic nubby medallion with mint flavoring. I didn’t know how Little Big Dog (a Lab mix puppy) would react to the mint feature, but she took to it right away.

The nubby texture is supposed to help with the dog’s dental health, by cutting down on tartar buildup on the teeth.

Does the Nylabone Dental Ring offer enough bite for the buck?

Here’s what ours looks like, after a week of use by Little Big Dog, who is given to enthusiastic gnawing and playing. At this point in her life, she gives chew toys a real workout.

Compared to the Nylabone Dental Rope, the ring seems considerably stronger and more durable. Little Big Dog went through the rope in a couple of days. Although the rope ring shows some signs of wear, it is holding up fairly well.

The Nylabone Dental Ring retails for close to $15, but I picked it up on sale for $5.99.That made it a pretty good deal.

Image/s:
Nylabone Dental Ring
product promo photo
  fair use
Additional photo by
LAN for Fad to the Bone

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Sunday

Are Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toys packed with fun?



What’s the story on those popular Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toys? Are these floppy plush pet playthings as filled with fun as folks say? Are they tidier than fluff-containing alternatives?

These “As Seen on TV” animal toys, distributed by Telebrands, are available in several varieties, including:


Made in China, Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toys are constructed in hand-washable reinforced plush fur. Each toy measures approximately 20 inches long and contains two squeakers. (Actually, the Duck toy I purchased was smaller and held just one squeaker.)

Each Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toy retails for approximately $20, but it’s pretty easy to find discounts online and in pet stores. I picked up the Duck, Fox, and Rabbit in a three-for-two deal, paying a whole lot less, during a PetSmart sale.

A Crazy Critters Six-Pack Stuffing-Free Dog Toys Variety Pack is also available – for bulk shoppers, multi-pet owners, or smart dog lover holiday gift givers.

How appealing is the Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toy to a canine?

My feisty mixed-breed dog immediately took to each of the toys. Initially, I rationed the toys, offering her one at a time. She carried a lightweight, floppy Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toy with her everywhere for several days.

Eventually, my pup dug out the squeaker from each Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toy. She also tugged and dug and chewed and tore each toy, leaving bits of colored plush fur all over the house.

But, on the plus side, the plush did not discolor carpeting or furniture, even when it was soggy with dog spit. And the intentional lack of stuffing kept cleanup to a minimum, compared to other plush toy casualties we have experienced around the house.

And even in their tattered and squeak-less condition, my pet’s Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toys are still among her favorite playthings.

At approximately $5 apiece (on sale), our Crazy Critters Stuffing-Free Dog Toys were a good deal. At $20 per animal, perhaps not so much.

Image/s:
Crazy Critters
 product promo photo
  fair use

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Thursday

Why pay for dog poop baggies?



Sometimes a freebie can be a genuine pick-me-up. Take dog poop bags, for example. 

Responsible dog owners pick up after their pets, especially when out and about. OK, we knew that. But how?

Sure, you can purchase handy, specially designed dog droppings bags. You can even buy pretty scented dog doo disposal bags, bearing lavender or other fine fragrances. They’re not even all that expensive.

If you wish, you can buy a clip-on or belt loop dispenser for dog doo bags. I usually just stick mine in a pocket or tie one to my belt.

You can also shop around for containers for keeping those tiny trash bags.

Still, I’d rather save my chips for something else – like dog treats or toys.

Here’s a scoop for dog lovers.

Why not save those disposable plastic shopping bags and use them for picking up dog droppings? Just be sure the bags are solid and sturdy and untorn. (My neighbor, the professional dog walker, has some stories to tell about this. But you can likely guess.)

Where can you keep those plastic bags for dog walking?

I saved a cardboard canister from powdered iced tea mix. By cutting a hole in the plastic lid, I easily made a very handy plastic bag receptacle, which I keep by the back door. Every time I leash my dog for a stroll, I grab a baggie. Then we are ready for anything, and it didn’t cost me a penny.

Image/s:
Photo by LAN / Nickers and Ink
Used by permission

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Monday

Can KONG Comfort Dog Harness & Traffic Loop get a good grip?




Is the KONG Control Grip Harness a quality product and a useful canine training and exercise tool?


I purchased this super-sturdy padded dog harness in medium in blue for my youthful Labrador-cross, hoping it would help with our cross-country runs and long trail walks.

Like the well-known KONG dog collars, the KONG Comfort Control Grip Harness is constructed of thick, wide neoprene webbing with heavy-duty plastic (backpack-like) snap clips. The straps are adjustable to fit individual dogs.

Each harness features two metal D-rings – one sitting on the dog’s chest (right under his neck), and the other placed on his mid-back (just behind the looped catch-handle to accommodate a dog leash.

In contrast to most dog harnesses, the KONG Control Grip Harness boasts snap clips to fasten it on both sides of the dog’s back for easier fitting and use.

Retailing around $40 (or perhaps less for the smaller sizes), the KONG Comfort Control Grip Harness is available in red, blue, green, and purple. This product comes in four sizes:

  • Extra-Small: 5/8” x 12”-18”
  • Small: 5/8” x 16”-24”
  • Medium: 1” x 20”-30”
  • Large: 1” x 24”-38”

The most critical measurement is around the dog’s girth, directly behind his armpits.

Overall, this seems to be a rugged, quality dog product. Properly adjusted, it appears to be comfortable for a dog to wear.

What are the potential drawbacks of the KONG Comfort Control Grip Harness?

This dog harness, even carefully adjusted to fit, may slip and spin somewhat around a dog. I have heard complaints from other dog owners of their pets’ developing belly and armpit rashes, if their halters were left on for long periods of time.

Other pet owners have pointed out that their canines were able to reach the back loop and chew it, essentially ruining the dog harness.

However, dog harnesses are generally intended for outings, training periods, and exercise sessions, not for full-time wearing. The product tag actually reads:

“Caution: Not for tie-out.”

Personally, I have found the most significant drawback of the KONG Comfort Control Grip Harness to be the metal ring placements. The front ring tends to tug directly on the dog’s throat in a particularly vulnerable spot (unlike a collar, chain, or strap). The back ring, when attached to a leash, actually encourages an energetic dog to lean and pull.

However, I have found KONG Comfort Control Grip Harness particularly handy for those occasions when I must take my dog into high-stimulus situations, such as a local parade or a dog-friendly sporting event.


Image/s:
Adapted by this user
from product promotional photo –
Fair use

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