Thursday, December 15, 2016

teething terror

Whenever someone finds out we have a Golden Retriever puppy the first question is “How much has she already chewed and destroyed in your house?”. Our answer always catches people off guard – “Nothing, except our arms.”

Izzy is (basically done being) a teething terror. She is a spoiled puppy with way too many chew toys that are supposed to “alleviate” her poor little puppy teething issues, but she always seemed to prefer our arms. Poor Dylan’s arms looked like a war zone, thankfully they are starting to heal!

We tried everything. Distraction with toys, ice, homemade ice chews, you name it. Nothing was working. Without Grannick’s Apple Bitter Spray I honestly don’t know what we would have done.

Thankfully our vet suggested we give a quick spray and a “no!” when she started to bite our arms and it worked like magic. We were hesitant to try this because we thought it would be negative reinforcement, but Izzy still loves us just as much as she did before.

Has anyone else had success with this method?

Also, thank goodness for Himalayan Dog Chews! This is her enjoying one :) Izzy absolutely loves them AND once they are small enough you can microwave them and they turn into a yummy treat! Just be sure to let the treat cool before giving it to your pup.

#goldenretriever #goldenretrieverpuppy #puppy #dog #puppydog #puppylove #applebitterspray #himalayandogchew

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

walking sticks

Picture this: Going on a nice stroll to the nature center, dog heeling perfectly by your side.

Reality: Me half a mile away from home, Izzy rolling around on her back in some random front yard, pocket full of treats saying “come here Izzy!”, Izzy not budging.

This has been me far too many times to count. I was getting so discouraged from taking Izzy on walks that I didn’t even want to attempt, but I knew that wasn’t fair for her. She has been inside all day and deserves to have some fun!

This is when I discovered that Izzy is a HUGE fan of walking sticks. I tested this out a few times so am now confident this is an actual way to get her to walk home if we’re far away and she’s getting distracted. I’ve even gone so far as to put a stick in my pocket before we leave in case I can’t easily find one on our walk.

You thought I meant one of those traditional walking sticks, didn’t you? Silly me, I should have clarified. Izzy loves having a stick in her mouth when she walks, so I’ve dubbed it her “walking stick”.

I’ve even gotten comfortable enough to limit my treats to no longer being an entire pocketful to only a few tasty ones.

One day I realize we’ll have to get a little better and maybe remove the stick and teach her how to actually walk, but for now why not let her have a little fun!

#goldenretriever #goldenretrieverpuppy #puppy #dog #puppydog #puppylove #walk #walkingstick

Monday, December 12, 2016

top 3 puppy toys

1. West Paw Design Zogoflex Toppl Dog Toy 
This will keep your puppy occupied, engaged and challenged. We fill ours with peanut butter, treats, frozen apples - basically anything that your puppy really loves! If your puppy masters the small Toppl Toy, you can buy bigger enhancements to make it more of a challenge! We have yet to do that, but will definitely be looking into getting the larger piece soon.

Not only is this toy lots of fun for your puppy, but it also comes with an awesome warranty, is super easy to clean (can put on top rack of dishwasher), it it is non-toxic, BPA-free, phthalate-free, latex-free and FDA compliant.  And last but not least, it's made in the USA! 

2. Tuffy's Ocean Creatures Gary Gator Dog Toy
Izzy LOVES this toy. We decided she needed a "soft" but durable toy to put in her crate (in addition to her petstages crunchcore bone). She is a chewer and has yet to destroy this toy. It's the first toy she grabs out of her crate in the morning to play (so cute!). 

We have not washed it yet - but directions say it is machine washable (air dry only), and apparently it can float in water. We are excited to try out that feature at the lake over the summer!

3. Petstages Crunchcore Bone
This toy is awesome. It makes a really cool "crunchy" noise like a water bottle but has a tough outer layer that Izzy can chew on endlessly.

4. Go Dog Dragon
Izzy loves to trot around with this toy throughout our house. It's a go-to fetch toy, snuggle toy, tug-of-war toy. When I initially bought it I had no idea how versatile it would be! 

It's puncture resistant - and Izzy has yet to destroy any part of it (and she plays tug-of-war pretty hard with this toy).

Saturday, December 10, 2016

‘tis the season (for long car rides)!

Izzy loves seeing new places and meeting new people, but she does not love the car rides to these events. She’s the most lovable puppy but as soon as she knows we’re going in the car she starts backing away and resisting going in the back seat.
Basically any ride over 5 miles and she’ll toss her cookies (we don’t feed her for a few hours before any rides now). We recently tried Benadryl, which worked – but she seemed very stoned and didn’t have her energized puppy personality (which we love) once we got to where we were going. We recently picked up some Cerenia from the vet, but it’s super expensive so we’re going to try and limit when she takes those.

Has anyone else ever experienced this? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations for what you do? Will she ever grow out of this? We live in Ohio but all of our family is in Michigan – so hopefully she does because there are going to be lots of car rides in her future.

We have a Honda CR-V so she has plenty of room in the back seat. We used to put her in the crate, but she never seemed to relax or lay down, so we now have one of those back seat hammocks, and she seems to like that more than the crate for rides. Are there any other travel accessories out there that could be more beneficial/safe/help ease her of her car sickness?

#goldenretriever #goldenretrieverpuppy #puppy #dog #puppydog #puppylove #carsickness #carrides #barksbar #tistheseason

tinkle time taylor

That’s what we call Izzy sometimes. But in all honesty, when is one considered “potty trained”?

Izzy has been one tough pup to potty train. My mom said Maggie (my puppy growing up) was potty trained in 2 weeks! Having this idea in my head has made this whole process a little frustrating since Izzy is 5 months old and still not housebroken. We’re on a good streak though – 1 accident in about 17 days (no one needs to know the accident happened on day 10, right?).

We thought we were doing so well, and then about 10 days into her streak she had an accident. And it wasn’t where she normally does - it was in our bedroom which is nowhere near the backdoor where we take her out.

I will give her credit – she’s getting better (her tinkles are more than a split second when we take her out – more like 4 Mississippi’s), but it’s so hard to sit down and relax in the evening when Dylan and I are constantly wondering “Does she have to go out?” or “She’s pacing!”. As you can imagine, this naturally leads to “Can you take her out? I just did.” and “Oh, it’s your turn!”. We don’t like keeping track of this, but after an evening of getting up, taking her out and coming back in 5+ times you begin to get a little drained. Thankfully I have the best hubby in the world and he never complains if I’m snuggled in a blanket and we think Izzy needs to go out ;)

At this point we have started to take her water away a little bit before bed. But we’d like to eventually be able to leave this out for her at all times. Are there any other key tips/tricks we’re missing? She’s basically within sight at all times in the evening, and as soon as she goes to our sun room (that’s where the door is that we use to take her outside) we take her out. Should we not be taking her out every time she goes there? She was getting in the habit of walking out there and then we’d take her out and her tinkle would be .0001 seconds long – we thought she was tricking us into just taking her outside to play or trying to get our attention but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

Thank goodness for Nature’s Miracle or else our rug in the living room would be a hotter mess than it already has become!

Basically, when can we sit down and relax in the evening without worrying she’s going to tinkle in the family room every 2 seconds? Is this normal behavior or was my puppy growing up potty trained freakishly fast?

#goldenretriever #goldenretrieverpuppy #puppy #dog #puppydog #puppylove #pottytraining #tinkle #naturemiricle