Tag: dogs

How to Make Homemade Dog Training Treats: 10 Healthy Recipes to Try

Dog treats are not just delicious snacks you can give to your pooch in between his meals. When given correctly, dog treats can also be used to help modify your dog’s behaviour or as rewards during training sessions. In this Waldo’s Friends article, we share 10 healthy dog treat recipes you can make using human Read More...

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Dog treats are not just delicious snacks you can give to your pooch in between his meals. When given correctly, dog treats can also be used to help modify your dog’s behaviour or as rewards during training sessions. In this Waldo’s Friends article, we share 10 healthy dog treat recipes you can make using human food. This article delves into:

How many treats should you give your dog?

Limit your dog’s treats to only 10% of his daily caloric intake. Talk to your veterinarian to find out how much you can give to your pet depending on his age, his weight, and his daily activities. Also, ask for ingredient recommendations based on what your dog likes to eat, as well as existing health problems your dog might have.

What ingredients can you use for dog treats?

Some commercially sold dog treats include ingredients—artificial colouring, flavouring, additives, meat by-products, salt, and sugar to name a few—that cause more harm than good to your pet. Protect your canine’s health by purchasing treats from trusted sources (go for those that only use all-natural and nutritious ingredients), or better yet, find time to create your dog’s treats! That way, you can guarantee its freshness and nutritional content.

Before baking treats made from items found in your kitchen, go through our “Can Dogs Eat” category to make sure your pooch can consume these ingredients. Here’s a quick rundown of fruits and vegetables your dog can eat: 

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Bell peppers
  • Blueberries 
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Carrots 
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce 
  • Mango
  • Orange 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pear 
  • Peas
  • Pineapple 
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon 
  • Zucchini

Remember that these fresh produce ingredients must be properly washed, peeled, chopped into bite-sized pieces, or even cooked before being served to your pet. The hard, inedible portions such as seeds, leaves, or stems must also be removed. Take note of the prescribed portions for each ingredient. Some should be served in limited quantities compared to others. You can search for any of these foods here to get a detailed idea about how to include each of them in your dog’s diet.

As with all new food being integrated into your pet’s diet, start off with a small amount to see how your dog will react to it. Your dog may suffer from food allergies or intolerances, which may be triggered by new ingredients. WebMD states that common dog allergens include beef, chicken, dairy, egg, fish, lamb, pork, rabbit, soy, and wheat. If your dog is allergic to a certain ingredient, he may manifest symptoms such as itchy skin, vomiting, or diarrhea. Hyperactivity, weight loss, lack of energy, and even aggression may also develop. To be on the safe side, do not introduce multiple novel ingredients to him at the same time. 

Homemade dog treat recipes you can try:

1 Pumpkin Peanut Butter Training Treats

Userealbutter.com shares a recipe using whole wheat flour, eggs, pumpkin purée, and peanut butter. These are combined with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. The mixture turns into dough, which can be formed into shapes, squares, or strips. Depending on your preferred baking time, they can turn into soft or hard treats. 

2 Liver Dog Training Treats

According to House That Barks, 3 pounds of thinly sliced liver is all you need to create tasty treats for your pooch. You’ll need to place these in trays then let them cook in a dehydrator for 4 to 6 hours. 

3 Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oats Training Treats

Grab a ripe banana, unsalted peanut butter, old-fashioned oats, and hot water to make this recipe by Key to My Lime. After grinding the oats, mashing the banana, combining all the ingredients, and baking the cutout pieces in the oven, you’ll end up with a homemade treat your dog won’t be able to resist!

4 Homemade Training Treats for Allergic Dogs

Kol’s Notes suggests using 1 pound of lean ground meat (or your dog’s favourite canned dog food) and water to create allergen-free training treats for your dog. These can either be cooked in a dehydrator or oven. Easy peasy!

5 Carrot Dog Biscuits

Elephantastic Vegan shares a recipe that her veggie-loving dog cannot get enough of. When mixed together and baked for 15 minutes, carrot purée, whole wheat flour, oat flour, all-purpose flour, and cinnamon powder will turn into crispy dog treats!

6 Turkey Bars

Another hypoallergenic option, this training treat recipe from DogVills uses three ingredients: ground turkey, oatmeal, and egg. Combine these in a bowl and pat into a greased loaf pan. After baking it for 30 to 35 minutes, let it cool completely before serving the thick strips to your pooch.

7 Dried Banana Dog Treats

The Crazy Dog Mom recommends slicing bananas into small bite-sized rounds, brushing them with lemon juice (to prevent browning), then baking them for 1½ hours to turn them into crunchy treats!

8 Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Take your pick from sweet potatoes or zucchinis when following this recipe by My Life Cookbook. Cut the vegetable into ⅛-inch-thick strips and pop them in the dehydrator for about 2 to 4 hours, depending on the texture you want.  

9 5 Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Treats

Use all-natural nut butter, coconut flour, organic eggs, coconut oil, and sweet potato or pumpkin purée to recreate this baked dog treat from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. You can even add shredded carrots and dried parsley to the mix!

10 Cheesy Chicken Dog Treats

As long as your dog isn’t allergic to cheese and chicken, you can try baking Wiggleworthy’s dog treats. Make sure to have all these ingredients at hand: whole wheat flour, finely grated cheddar cheese, unsweetened applesauce, shredded cooked chicken, chicken bone broth, and ground flax seed.

In conclusion

Making homemade dog training treats is an inexpensive way to provide your pooch with fresh and nutritious nibbles. Since these treats are made without preservatives, serve them to your dog as soon as possible. It’s advisable to feed them to your dog within a week, or store them in the refrigerator or freezer to prolong their shelf life. Remember that soft treats do not last as long as fully baked or dehydrated treats. 

Expand your pet parenting knowledge with more dog-related reads from our blog. Find out what reverse sneezing is or how to help an anxious dog. You can even get gift ideas for fellow dog lovers!

5 Ways to Prevent a Dog From Sleeping In Your Bed

Dogs bring so much joy to our lives… until they decide to hog the bed and cause sleepless nights. Keeping your dog off your bed may be the best solution, but if you’re wondering, “Can it be done if my dog is already used to sleeping in my bed?” The answer is yes! Though it Read More...

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Dogs bring so much joy to our lives… until they decide to hog the bed and cause sleepless nights. Keeping your dog off your bed may be the best solution, but if you’re wondering, “Can it be done if my dog is already used to sleeping in my bed?” The answer is yes! Though it may be easier said than done, you can train a dog to stay off your mattress during bedtime.      

Reasons for Not Letting Your Dog to Sleep in the Bed

Before we discover the ways you can prevent a dog from sleeping in your bed, let’s explore the possible reasons why you don’t want a dog sleeping with you. If you have many pets, you might not all comfortably fit in your bed. Plus, one pet might feel he is favoured above others if he gets to stay on the bed while the rest stay on the floor. In some cases, dogs may also end up biting their sleeping companion when they get startled or when they feel they need to defend the space or a particular person. Senior dogs may also have arthritic joints, weak hips, or poor bladder control, making it difficult to jump onto/off the bed or stay in bed throughout the night.

If you’re a light sleeper, sudden movements, loud snoring, and overcrowding from your dog might wake you up. These can cause you to lose quality sleep and affect your health in the long run. Plus, you don’t know what bacteria, virus, pollen, or particles your dog may be bringing onto your bed and sharing with you. Not to mention, dander may also trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. 

5 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Sleeping In Your Bed

As a dog owner, it is up to you to decide if your dog should sleep next to you in bed. There is no right or wrong answer. It is simply a matter of preference. However, if you feel a change is needed with your current sleeping setup or you want to introduce a no-sleeping-in-bed policy to your newly adopted shelter dog, you can try these 5 ways: 

1 Find the right bed for your dog.

To keep your dog off your bed, you must first give him a sleeping space to call his own. Purchase a comfortable bed that fits your dog’s measurements, his special needs, and one that can accommodate his favourite sleeping positions. Aside from the mattress shape and dimensions, don’t forget to check its thickness and the materials used for it. It should not sink to the floor when he lies on it, and at the same time, it should be cosy enough for him to sleep in no matter what the climate is. 

With its soft raised walls, the Snooza Faux Fur Cuddler Dog Basket is perfect for anxious dogs 
Available in three sizes, the reversible Isleep Linen Bed comes in a plush pink removable, washable cover

2 Put his bed in an ideal spot. 

Your dog doesn’t need to lie in your bed to feel secure. As long as he can see you and knows you’re nearby, he can feel safe and relaxed. Position his mattress within or close to your sleeping quarters, so you can keep an eye on him throughout the night. 

Observe his resting habits throughout the day and position his bed in an area that he already stays in. Make sure the particular spot doesn’t get drafty, keeps cool throughout the night, and stays shaded from the sun.

3 Train your dog.

Teach your dog how to go to his bed and how to stay off yours. You want to establish boundaries and teach him where he should automatically go for bedtime. Using simple commands, train him how to go “up” or “off” your bed. Give him a treat each time he follows your command, and eventually wean off the treats once he gets the hang of it.

If it is his first time to use his bed, take him out for a walk just before bedtime. Without removing the leash, lead him to his new resting spot and train him to “go to sleep.” Place a treat on his bed, and reward his actions with positive words. 

Made from all-natural, grain-free ingredients, Pure Treat Co Lamb and Rosemary is a treat you can give to convince your pooch to lie on his bed

4 Make his bed/the floor more appealing.

Aside from placing treats on his bed, you can also add bolsters, blankets, and his favourite stuffed toys. Show him that it’s more fun on his mattress by petting him when he sits there. Do not pet him or pay attention to him when he’s on your bed. Coerce him to get off it by calling out his name, dangling his toy, and playing with him when he is finally on the ground. 

5 Limit his access to your bed. 

The fastest way to keep your dog off the bed is by leaving your bedroom door closed or by placing a baby/pet gate as a physical obstruction. If you own a tall dog, make sure he won’t be able to climb or jump over the barrier. You can also place his bed within a metal fence or opt to put him in a crate until he gets used to the idea of not sleeping beside you. 

In conclusion

Though cats and dogs are different creatures, you need the same amount of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement when training them to stay off your bed. Be sure everyone in the household agrees to this sleeping arrangement so that it’ll be easier to implement it. If someone secretly lets the dog sleep on their bed, you’ll have a hard time carrying out this rule. 

Be the best dog parent by reading more articles from our blog! Learn how to groom your dog at home, decipher their behaviour, and give them dog-friendly human food

Buyer’s Guide: Slow Feeder Dog Bowls

Eat. Play. Sleep. Repeat. Your pooch relies on you to provide him with daily sustenance in the form of nutritious meals, treats, and dog-friendly human food. Based on his age and needs, your canine pet should be fed at least twice a day, about 12 hours apart and at the same times. As a dog Read More...

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Eat. Play. Sleep. Repeat. Your pooch relies on you to provide him with daily sustenance in the form of nutritious meals, treats, and dog-friendly human food. Based on his age and needs, your canine pet should be fed at least twice a day, about 12 hours apart and at the same times. As a dog owner, you can make mealtimes more exciting for him by investing in a slow feeder dog bowl that can change the way he consumes his food. 

In this Waldo’s Friends article, we answer the questions:

What is a slow feeder dog bowl?

A slow feeder dog bowl is a modified feeding bowl with built-in obstructions that slows down your dog’s intake. There are varying puzzle patterns and difficulty levels as well as bowl sizes to match your dog’s age, skill level, and meal requirements. The bowl’s design forces your pooch to figure out how to effectively get his food. This can be done by positioning his head at certain angles, or moving the food around using his tongue, nose, or paw. 

Slow feeder dog bowls are primarily used for dry and wet food, but they can also hold water. When used for liquids, it is advisable not to fill it above the ridges of the inner puzzle.

Why should you get a slow feeder dog bowl? 

There are many reasons why dog owners should invest in slow feeder dog bowls. You should purchase one if your dog:

  • Eats too fast
  • Tends to choke while eating
  • Needs help digesting his food
  • Is prone to bloating
  • Sometimes vomits after eating

Slow feeder dog bowls may help prevent life-threatening conditions such as gastric torsions or twisted stomach, which are caused by overeating and/or eating too quickly. They are also known to reduce flatulence by reducing your dog’s air intake as he chows down his food.

Aside from helping your dog eat slowly and correctly, the puzzle makes mealtimes mentally stimulating for him. Problem solving mimics natural behaviours, similar to how a dog in the wild needs to make an effort to get his next meal. It also helps reduce boredom, excessive barking, and unnecessary chewing. 

What should you look for in a slow feeder dog bowl?

You’ll need to determine the right size, material, puzzle difficulty, and design for your canine. 


Slow feeders come in various sizes (small to extra large) with manufacturers indicating how many cups the bowl can handle. Read through the descriptions and reviews to make sure the bowl matches your dog’s size/breed and, at the same time, fits his snout. Also, refrain from getting a bowl that’s too big for your pet or he might end up not being challenged by it.  


You can choose from bowls made with plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel. Many slow feeders in the market today are plastic, but you’ll need to make sure what you pick is made of materials free of BPA, PVC, or phthalates. Though plastic bowls are more affordable, they are slightly porous (making bacteria tougher to remove) and can be chewed off by dogs who like to gnaw.

Ceramic feeder dog bowls, on the other hand, are known for their heavy and chemical-free materials. This type of bowl may smash or crack when accidentally dropped, and may even chip your dog’s teeth. Once the bowl has chips or cracks, these porous imperfections have a tendency to collect bacteria. They will also be harder to clean.

Some veterinarians recommend using stainless steel bowls because of their antibacterial properties. Plus, they are easy to clean and virtually indestructible. When it comes to stainless steel feeder dog bowls, these aren’t as popular as plastic ones and usually contain simpler obstructions.  

Puzzle difficulty 

Start off by choosing a simple puzzle design that your dog can solve. If you begin with a feeder with a complex design, your dog might end up chewing on the bowl out of frustration.  


More than just the size and puzzle difficulty of your slow feeder dog bowl, a sturdy, non-slip base is also important. This way, the feeder bowl won’t move while your dog works through the puzzle.

Elevated or raised slow feeder dog bowls are also being sold in the market. Great for large or tall dogs, this type of slow feeder dog bowl allows your pet to comfortably stand as he eats. The height of the bowl doesn’t constrict his esophagus, making food enter easily into his stomach. 

What are some of the best slow feeder dog bowls?

Choose from these slow feeder dog bowl recommendations depending on your dog’s needs:

1 Outward Hound Fun Feeder

Dogviously and DogLab both rank Outward Hound Fun Feeder as their best all-around slow feeder for 2019. This plastic slow feeder bowl is dishwasher friendly, BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free, and claims to increase eating time by about 10 times. It also comes with a slip-resistant base to avoid sliding and spillage. Go for the orange (spiral) or purple (floral) design. 

2 Dogit Go Slow Anti-Gulping Dog Gish

Dogit Go Slow Anti-Gulping Dog Dish is also included in both lists compiled by Dogviously and DogLab. Best for small or short-snouted pooches, the plastic dish comes in four sizes (extra small, small, medium, and large) and colours (blue, pink, white, and black). The puzzle design is not too complicated, making it easier for most dogs to solve. But it still does the trick in helping dogs eat more slowly!

3 Magisso Happy Pet Project Ceramic Pet Food Bowl with Bone 

Thanks to the ceramic material, this slow feeder bowl by Magisso can keep your dog’s meal fresh and cool. The pricier bowl comes with a fun bone shape in the middle, three colors (black, pink, and blue), and three sizes (5”, 6”, and 8”). 

4 OurPets DuraPet Slow Feed Premium Stainless Steel Dog Bowl

This heavyweight stainless steel bowl by DuraPet features a permanently bonded ring that keeps feeding in one place. Hygienic and dishwasher safe, the rust-resistant slow feeder can hold up to 3 cups (small) to 8 cups (large) of dry food. It’s highly recommended for dogs with wide, short snouts.

5 Neater Slow Feeder and Accessories

Neater Pet Brands offers 7.5”-tall leg extensions as a way to increase the height of their dishwasher safe, ABS polymer big bowl base. This feeder can carry up to 6 cups of food, and works well for larger dogs, taller dogs, and those with medical conditions such as arthritis or spinal issues. The base can also double as an extra large water bowl!

Other dog feeding reminders

Consult with your veterinarian to determine if your pet will truly benefit from using a slow feeder dog bowl. Once the vet gives his approval and recommendations, find the best one that will match your dog’s age, size, meal requirement, and skill set.

When letting your dog try the slow feeder bowl for the first time, start off with easier puzzle patterns. Observe him each time you replace his bowl, and don’t hesitate to give him a hand when needed. This activity can result in a stronger bond between you and your pet!  

Read up on our other helpful guides such as how to pick the best collar for your dog.

How to Make Your Backyard Pet-Friendly

Whether you’re creating a sensory garden for your dog or a catio for your cat, the first thing to consider is your pet’s health and safety. After all, the backyard is an extension of your pet’s safe space—your home, and there’s no reason for it to not be as perfect and secure as your living Read More...

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Whether you’re creating a sensory garden for your dog or a catio for your cat, the first thing to consider is your pet’s health and safety. After all, the backyard is an extension of your pet’s safe space—your home, and there’s no reason for it to not be as perfect and secure as your living room or bed. So how does one create a beautiful and safe outdoor lifestyle for your pets—all while enriching their physical, mental, emotional, and social needs in a safe and enclosed setting? Read on!

With just a few of our tips and tricks, you can create a pet-friendly backyard that your dog or cat will always want to go back to. Here’s how to get started…  

1 Choose the right plants for your backyard.

Before purchasing a plant to grow in your backyard, always do a quick toxicity check. ABC Life reports 10 common plants that are lethal to both cats and dogs. These are: cannabis, lilies, sago palms, ivy, philodendrons, rubber tree plants, aloe vera, Chinese evergreen, asparagus fern, and lantana. Aside from the aforementioned plants, common flowers that are also poisonous for both species include holly, tulip, oleander, azalea, daffodil, carnations, and chrysanthemum.

Pet Poison Helpline states that “only a small percentage of plants are truly dangerous and poisonous to your pet.” However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Autumn crocus, cyclamen, kalanchoe, dieffenbachia, lily of the valley, and hyacinths are also included in Pet Poison Helpline’s most dangerous plants list. Just a bite of the root, leaf, branch, or petal could cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive drooling. If your pet does not receive immediate veterinary attention, some of these plants could cause your pet to fall into a coma and possibly die.

RenoGuide shares that “ferns, palms, catnip, lemongrass, and hibiscus are some of the most pet-friendly plants.” For pet owners living in Australia, try these outdoor plants:

  • Groundcover: Baby’s tears, spider plant
  • Flowers: African daisies, snapdragons, orchids, fuchsia, petunia
  • Shrubs: Bottlebrush, camellia 
  • Trees: Crepe myrtle, magnolia

Flower Power adds that “most herbs and edible plants are also pet-friendly,” with cats having an affinity for catmint and cat grass. 

TIP: For a comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs and cats, check out ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control section. 

2 Store dangerous tools and chemicals properly. 

Dogs and cats are curious creatures, and if you’re not careful, they might accidentally topple over your fertilizer bag, sniff it, and taste it. Similarly, your pet can cut himself on sharp objects such as hedge shears and rake if these are just lying around. Before letting your dog or cat explore your backyard, make it a point to lock away all your essentials in a shed that your pet doesn’t have access to. Lawn chemicals, pesticides, and rat poison should be used conscientiously—if at all. Always search for organic pet-friendly alternatives. 

3 Create a sturdy, enclosed barrier that will keep your pet safe and secure.  

Most cats will be able to jump or climb over most traditional fences. That said, cat owners should make an extra effort to set up a fence that will be difficult for their pet to scale. Purr…fect Fence suggests using a vinyl privacy fence that’s difficult for cat’s claws to sink into, or estate-type fences with two-inch gaps to discourage climbing. 

Aside from the type of material, installing a fence cat guard (with a lean-in fence top and screen overhang or a roller bar fence) will prevent your cat or dog from reaching the top of your fence and jumping over it. The Coyote Roller is a good example of a weatherproof ribbed roller that can stop animals from getting the foothold they need to climb over a fence. It is safe for pets and maintenance free.

A diagram of how the Coyote Roller works

Meanwhile, if your fence has a gap at the bottom, installing a metal fence barrier or an L-footer is a quick way to stop your cat from squeezing under the gap or your dog from digging the dirt and escaping your backyard. 

4 Provide spaces for shade and shelter.    

Dogs are known to get sunburn and suffer from heatstroke, so you should come up with a resting area within your backyard that allows your pets to stay cool. Both dogs and cats will appreciate this shaded area even more if you pile it with cosy materials such as blankets and pillows. Cat trees, scratching posts, and perching nooks would also make the space more appealing to your feline friends.  

Also, provide clean drinking water in these shaded spots to encourage your pets to stay hydrated. Don’t leave food out in the open or these might attract other creatures and pests. Instead, go for treat-dispensing toys that will keep your pets entertained. 

5 Add a fun water source.  

Make things more interesting for your pooch by placing a water fountain, stream, pond, or even an inflatable baby pool where he can have a quick dunk! If you opt to create something more permanent, make sure there is a gentle sloping side or shallow set of steps that your dog can easily step out of.

6 Choose materials that will delight your pet’s paws.  

If given the chance to choose landscaping materials, go for ones that your pet would find comfortable to step on. The Bark suggests textures such as concrete, brick, flagstone, pebbles, and smooth rocks, which more or less do not cling to fur and feet. Mulch (except cocoa mulch, which causes the same reactions as chocolate), small bark chips, and artificial turf (that does not heat up) can also be good alternatives to explore. 

Through an interview with HGTV, Cassy Aoyagi of FormLA Landscaping advises, “Asphalt is hot and harsh on paws. Synthetic lawns hold heat as well. Gravel can get lodged between large dog paw pads, and small dogs may choke on it. Decomposed granite stays cool and is not a chewing hazard.”

7 Always keep your backyard clean. 

Every time you let your pet out in your backyard, there’s a risk that he might contract various diseases. You and your pet may get infectious bacteria from damp leaves (blastomycosis), cat poop (toxoplasmosis), and dog poop (strains of E coli or salmonella, and even hookworm and roundworm eggs). Keep your backyard constantly clean to prevent bacteria and parasites from growing in it. Regularly trimming the hedges will also prevent injury to your pet, stopping thorns from poking their eyes or being lodged in their feet.

8 Have a spot devoted to play.

Give your pooch an open space where he can run like mad and expend all his excess energy. If you have the means and the area for it, why not build him a pet playground with various obstacles? For dogs who can’t stop digging, dedicate an area just for that purpose! Create a sandpit composed of fresh sand, then bury treats and chew toys for your pup to find.   

9 Be extra. 

Whether it’s a fence viewing window, a sitting rock, or different textured paths, your pet will appreciate all the extra features you set up to make the backyard pet-friendly. Make it easier for him to access the enclosure by setting up a pet door or flap, but always monitor the times he spends outdoors. No dog or cat should be left alone and unsupervised for long periods of time.  

10 Protect your pet.

Always make sure your dog or cat is healthy and has up-to-date vaccinations before letting him explore the yard. Protect him from fleas and ticks by using pet-safe treatments such as tablets, collars, and spot-ons. Heartworm medication is also a must, especially if your place is notorious for mosquitoes. 

Assemble a first aid kit for pet emergencies. Dogtime recommends having the following inside your pet first aid kit: 

  • Your pet’s paperwork: vaccination, medical records, and emergency phone numbers
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze, scissors, tape, rubber gloves
  • Wet wipes or grooming wipes
  • Towel or blanket
  • Collapsible travel food and water bowls
  • Water and small packages of food or treats
  • Medication
  • Your pet’s comfort item
  • Extra leash, collar, and poop bags
  • Flashlight
  • A guide book for pet first aid

In conclusion

We hope you picked up inspiring ideas on how to turn your backyard into a pet-friendly one! By following the 10 tips and crafting a secure, outdoor haven for your pet, you help enrich your pet’s life in more ways than you can imagine. 

For more informative articles, check out our other pet parenting guides!

How to Remove Ticks on Your Dog

If you like taking your dog on walks in grassy or wooded areas, there’s a higher chance that you’re exposing him to tick contamination. Ticks are commonly found in moist bushland such as parks and gardens. There are about 70 different tick species in Australia, with the most common one in the East Coast being Read More...

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If you like taking your dog on walks in grassy or wooded areas, there’s a higher chance that you’re exposing him to tick contamination. Ticks are commonly found in moist bushland such as parks and gardens. There are about 70 different tick species in Australia, with the most common one in the East Coast being the paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus).  

In this article, you’ll discover: 

What are ticks?

Typically 3 to 5 mm long, ticks are tiny parasites with eight legs. Their flat, oval-shaped bodies swell as they feed on the blood of creatures such as dogs and humans. A tick attaches to a host by piercing its mouthparts in soft areas. 

In dogs, ticks can be usually found attached on a canine’s skin around the face and neck, inside their ears, underneath their arms and legs, or in between their toes. Your dog might not even realize that he has ticks on him because these parasites do not cause him to itch unlike fleas. But once they’re removed, the bitten areas might become red, inflamed, and itchy. Aside from these skin irritations, tick bites can also cause allergic reactions.

What happens if your dog has ticks?

Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If your dog gets bitten by a tick which carries Lyme disease, he may exhibit lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, lameness, and swollen lymph nodes. On the other hand, if he transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever, he may have a decrease in appetite, muscle or joint pain, fever, coughing, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, or swelling of the face or legs. 

It can take a tick as fast as three to 24 hours of feeding to infect your dog (or even you!) with various diseases. These parasites usually detach on their own after they feed, but that can take days, which increases the risk of infection for you and your family. 

How can you tell if your dog has ticks?

After taking a walk outside the park, garden, or grassy trail, be sure to do a quick body scan on your dog to look for ticks that may be latched onto his skin. That way, you don’t bring these tiny parasites into your home. Gently run your fingers through his entire body to feel if there are any unusual bumps present. Carefully go over his face, neck, ears, arms, legs, and toes. Part his fur in the area where you feel a bump. It can be as small as a pinhead or as big as a grape. Check to see if there is a black, brown, or a gray brown coloured bug attached.

What do you need to remove ticks off your dog?

If you find a tick attached to your dog, you can opt to remove it on your own. However, you should do it with the proper equipment on hand: 

  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • A strong light source 
  • Magnifying glass
  • Fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool
  • Container with secure lid
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Dog treats

Never attempt to remove or crush ticks using your fingers because the diseases they carry may be passed on to you. The gloves will work as a protective barrier against this possibility. As for the tweezers or tick removal tool, these will help you safely remove the entire body of the tick and not leave any infectious remnants on your dog.  

A tick removal tool can safely twist and dislodge the parasite from your dog’s fur. In Australia, you can purchase tick removal tools such as Tick Ease and Tick Twister.

Tick Ease comes with two sides: a thin tweezer tip and a slotted scoop

Tick Twister comes as a set with two hook sizes 

How can you remove ticks off your dog?

Follow this step-by-step procedure to safely remove ticks off your dog.

  1. Wear a pair of gloves.
  2. Comfortably position your dog in a well-lit area or use a strong light source and magnifying glass to help you see the tick better.
  3. Ask someone to help you distract the dog by holding it and feeding it with treats.
  4. If you’re using a tweezer: 
    • Grab the base of the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible without pinching your dog. Do not squeeze the tick too tightly, so you don’t end up crushing it. 
    • Pull the tick out from your dog’s skin in a steady motion without twisting or jerking your hand. Carefully pull the tick’s head out of your dog’s skin while still attached to its body.
  5. If you’re using a tick removal tool: 
    • Place the tool’s hook under the tick’s body. 
    • Rotate the tool in one direction and wait until the tick detaches from your dog’s skin.
    • Once detached, remove the tick away from your dog.
  6. Check your dog’s skin. Make sure you have removed the tick’s entire head and body.
  7. Place the tick inside a jar with isopropyl alcohol and cover it with a lid. Keep it in case your dog develops any sicknesses in the next few days. If this happens, give it to your veterinarian for examination.
  8. Disinfect your dog’s skin and apply triple antibiotic ointment. 
  9. Reward your dog with a treat. 

Be careful when you try to remove ticks near your dog’s eyes and mouth, or inside his ear canal. If you’re not confident about removing a tick, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and have it removed. If the tick’s head gets stuck in your dog’s skin, do not try to remove it by force or skin irritation and inflammation might occur. Your best course of action would be to see the vet. 

In conclusion

Now that you’ve read up on how to get ticks off dogs, know that the best line of defense would be to protect your dog from future tick infestations. You can do so by always checking his body after he goes out, or opting to use preventative tick treatments such as tablets, collars, and spot-ons. Some tick collars repel and kill parasites, while others flow through the bloodstream and are killed once they feed on your dog. Consult with your veterinarian to find the best preventative tick product that suits your dog.

Learn how to get rid of your dog’s fleas or practice grooming him at home, such as giving him a bath and clipping his nails. For more dog-related articles, click here

What is reverse sneezing in dogs?

Have you ever witnessed your dog creating a snorting sound while appearing to inhale and sneeze at the same time? Don’t worry! He’s just reverse sneezing, which is a condition that’s fairly common in dogs but rarely seen in cats. If you’ve never seen a dog reverse sneezing, check out this video by Dr Aimee Read More...

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Have you ever witnessed your dog creating a snorting sound while appearing to inhale and sneeze at the same time? Don’t worry! He’s just reverse sneezing, which is a condition that’s fairly common in dogs but rarely seen in cats.

If you’ve never seen a dog reverse sneezing, check out this video by Dr Aimee Johnson to see what happens:

Here are the top three things you need to know about your dog’s reverse sneezing:

What is reverse sneezing?

Also called backwards sneezing or inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, reverse sneezing happens when a dog makes rapid and long inspirations, stands still, and extends his head and neck. A dog produces loud and distinct snorts while reverse sneezing a few times in a row for about 5 to 10 seconds.  

When you find your dog reverse sneezing occasionally, you shouldn’t get stressed over it. The episode is not harmful nor will it produce any side effects. 

What causes reverse sneezing in dogs?

Akin to the regular way of sneezing, reverse sneezing is done to force out something that may be irritating your dog’s respiratory tract⁠—from his nose to his sinus, to the back of his throat and nasopharynx. Irritants may include allergies, infections, secretions, foreign materials (e.g. seeds, pollens, or grasses), smoke, odours, dust, and masses. 

Nasal mites may also cause a dog to reverse sneeze. These are small parasites that live in dogs’ nasal passages and sinuses, which are transmitted from direct and indirect contact between dogs or from a contaminated area. 

Dogs with brachycephalic skulls (that tend to have elongated soft palates), long noses and narrow nasal passages, or those with anatomical abnormalities are said to be more afflicted with reverse sneezing than other dogs.

How is reverse sneezing treated?

When your dog goes through a reverse sneezing episode, there is no need to rush to the vet. You can help your dog out by softly blowing in his face, gently massaging his neck area, and covering his nostrils for a few seconds. 

However, if your dog is suffering from bouts of these more than usual, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Observe the causes and  try to capture your dog on video so you can show it to the vet during his next medical checkup. Your vet will go through your canine’s medical history and perform a complete physical examination, paying close attention to the respiratory tract and mouth. Rhinoscopy, blood and urine tests, and nasal or dental X-rays may also be administered to see what might be bothering your dog’s respiratory system. 

Your vet can easily remove foreign materials found within your dog’s respiratory system. However, masses and anatomical abnormalities may only be corrected through surgery. If the vet suspects that your dog has nasal mites, he might perform nasal flushing to obtain and examine the fluid from your pet’s nasal passages. When mites are found, antiparasitic medication may be given over the course of a few weeks to eliminate them. If your dog’s reverse sneezing is triggered by allergies or infection, he may be given antihistamine or anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the episodes. 

In conclusion

Depending on your dog’s anatomical structure, respiratory sensitivity, and exposure to nasal irritants, he may go through a number of reverse sneezing episodes in his lifetime. When this happens, just carefully watch over him and comfort him afterwards. But if there is a marked increase in his reverse sneezing episodes, schedule a visit to your veterinarian immediately. 

If you’re curious to read up on other intriguing canine-themed topics, click here. You can also learn which human foods are safe for your dog. 

10 Ways to Help Your Anxious Dog

Do you care for or own an anxious dog? Just like humans, our pets can and will experience anxiety at different points in their lives. When this happens, they sometimes have a harder time communicating their feelings to us. We can also misinterpret their behaviour and miss the opportunity to help them out. In this Read More...

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Do you care for or own an anxious dog? Just like humans, our pets can and will experience anxiety at different points in their lives. When this happens, they sometimes have a harder time communicating their feelings to us. We can also misinterpret their behaviour and miss the opportunity to help them out.

In this Waldo’s Friends article, we tackle:

What is dog anxiety?

Anxiety is “the mind and body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations.” A dog can manifest anxiety when he is exposed to high-stress scenarios, visual stimuli, or major life changes. These include:

  • Being abandoned, abused, or neglected by his owner
  • Being placed in a high-stress environment with poor care and several animals 
  • Traveling or moving to another place
  • Being left home alone
  • Experiencing a change in family dynamic, routine, and/or lifestyle
  • Being separated from loved ones
  • Hearing loud noises such as fireworks and thunderstorms
  • Being exposed to unfamiliar people or animals
  • Getting older and experiencing a decline in perception, memory, learning, and awareness

How does a dog manifest anxiety? 

According to Dr. Susan Konecny of Best Friends Animal Society, these are the common clinical signs to look out for: pacing, trembling, shaking, hypervigilance, lip licking, frequent yawning, and decreased appetite. Aside from these clinical signs, Konecny also shares physiological effects such as increased salivation or drooling, increased heart rate and panting, dilated pupils, skin lesions brought about by self-trauma, and overgrooming.

Central California SPCA also states that anxiety may be expressed in different ways depending on your pet’s personality. Some dogs will continuously whine, howl, and bark, while others will shiver and whimper when experiencing stressful situations. Overly anxious pets even become problematic when they turn into hostile pooches that cause destruction or end up uncontrollably peeing and pooping all over the place.

To the untrained eye, anxiety may simply look like your dog is misbehaving. However, if your pup frequently exhibits these signs, you need to observe when they occur and schedule a visit with your veterinarian. Inform your vet about what you’ve observed, and let her check your dog for any undiagnosed medical issues. If your pooch’s anxiety is caused by an underlying medical problem, this should lessen or disappear as soon as the treatment is carried out. 

If your dog shows increasing bouts of anxiety, you might also want to consider going to an animal behaviourist or dog trainer who specialises in helping anxious dogs so the issue can be dealt with in a positive way. Know that his anxiety can mostly be treated and cured, and if not – it can be managed with a few lifestyle changes. If your dog’s long-term anxiety is not addressed correctly, he may lose his appetite or withdraw from others or cause harm within his community.   

How can you help your anxious dog? 

With every instance of dog anxiety, you should take a moment to figure out what caused it then determine the right course of action to reduce or eliminate it. There are general ways to help ease your dog’s anxiety:

1 Shower him with love.

The fastest way to show your dog you care is by giving him a hug, stroking his fur, or petting him. Giving your pup a massage will also work wonders in easing his tensed muscles and calming his nerves. Do it by starting in his neck area, then working your way downward while applying gentle but firm strokes. Remember to respect your dog’s boundaries even as you display such positive environmental reinforcements. Allow him to receive your affections in his own way and open up at a pace that he is comfortable with. Resist the urge to treat your dog like an infant and hugging and kissing him without warning. Doing this may increase his anxiety and backfire.

2 Regularly exercise your dog.

More than just keeping your dog physically and mentally stimulated, daily exercise is known to reduce anxiety-related behavioural problems. Greater levels of physical exertion will boost the endorphins in his body while strengthening your bond.  Remember to pay attention to the kind of environment your dog is comfortable exercising in. This can be a low traffic on leash park or even just your backyard. 

3 Provide him with a safe space. 

If your dog gets agitated by sudden noise or unfamiliar people, you can place him in a room or in a quiet part of the house that eliminates these stressors. You can play classical music, nature sounds, or white noise, spray synthetic calming pheromones, and use low lighting to help him relax. 

If you don’t have a safe room that isn’t heavily frequented by others in the house, you can also get him a specialised crate that’s specially designed for dogs with anxiety. The easy-to-assemble, motion-activated ZenCrate is known to provide vibration isolation, noise cancellation, and reduced light. It can even be pre-programmed to play soothing music.


4 Remove his triggers. 

Once you’ve determined what makes your dog anxious, it’s always best to limit his interaction with these elements and observe if his disposition improves. For example, anxious dogs who do not deal well with strangers should be walked in areas with minimal people, or taken out during off-peak times when pedestrians and cars are hardly around. Do not be embarrassed to advocate for your dog when faced with people who refuse to back off or respect your boundaries. If a dog runs up to yours, use your body to create a safe blocker for your dog before your dog has a chance to react to this unwelcome intrusion. 

Ask other dog owners who are not following leash walking park rules to call their dogs away from yours. If your dog is very reactive due to anxiety around very specific triggers, simply stay vigilant and change course the second you spot the trigger approaching. This can be kids who scream at your dog or want to hug him without permission or other dogs who are off leash in a narrow sidewalk.

5 Make his situation known.

If your anxious dog must interact with others, let other people know about his sensitive state by letting him wear a “nervous” bandana or vest. This way, fellow pet owners and pedestrians can instantly see that it’s better to keep their distance from your dog. Again, advocate for your dog by telling anyone closeby about the situation before anything occurs. For city dwellers this may mean asking strangers in lifts to not pet your dog without permission or park goers to keep away from off leash areas.

6 Entertain your pooch with interactive toys.

Dogs that experience separation anxiety can be distracted through puzzle toys that dispense treats when they are successfully unlocked. Not only will your dog be mentally stimulated and entertained by it, but he will also enjoy munching on his favourite treats.    

7 Let him wear a calming coat.

A calming coat supposedly decreases stress on a dog by constantly applying pressure on his torso. The pressure that will be felt by your canine is similar to the comforting way a parent swaddles his child. The coat is said to provide relief from separation anxiety, firework anxiety, noise anxiety, crating anxiety, travel anxiety, thunderstorms, and vet visits.

The Calming Coat 

8 Try to minimise the changes in his life. 

Changes in a dog’s regular routine, environment, home life, and lifestyle can cause anxiety. If you suddenly need to work longer hours, you may need to leave your dog with a sitter so he doesn’t experience separation anxiety. If he has lost his longtime animal companion, it might be good to consider adopting another dog to accompany him.  

9 Book a behaviour modification session with an experienced trainer. 

Don’t be ashamed to ask for professional help! By signing up your dog for behaviour modification, you can help alter his responses to offending triggers and stressful situations. Some of the most commonly applied techniques are habituation, response substitution, desensitisation, and counterconditioning. Thankfully there are several dog trainers who are experienced in positive reinforcement training for anxious and reactive dogs. Look for them in your community or ask your vet to recommend a service.

10 Put him on medication.

For dogs that suffer from extreme cases of anxiety, your veterinarian might consider letting him take antidepressants or CBD oil. Whatever the case, ask about the pros and cons of each type of medication, and find out its effects on your dog’s personality, moods, and life span. Medication and behaviour modification can go hand in hand in decreasing your dog’s anxiety.

We hope this article helps you become the best paw-rent or foster for your anxious dog! Click here to discover more canine-related guides from our blog.

How to Clip Your Dog’s Nails

As a paw parent, you are responsible for the well-being of your furry companion. This includes overseeing your dog’s grooming, which is defined by Wikipedia as “the hygienic care and cleaning of a dog.” Dog grooming may be done by your trusted veterinarian or professional dog groomer on a regular basis. However, as a dog Read More...

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As a paw parent, you are responsible for the well-being of your furry companion. This includes overseeing your dog’s grooming, which is defined by Wikipedia as “the hygienic care and cleaning of a dog.” Dog grooming may be done by your trusted veterinarian or professional dog groomer on a regular basis. However, as a dog owner, it helps to groom your own dog at home to ensure he is clean, comfortable, and healthy. Grooming allows you to check on his skin, hair, ears, eyes, teeth, and nails while keeping an eye out for potential problems. The repeated act of grooming him also strengthens your bond and gets him used to the idea of being touched as he keeps still. The practice of grooming your dog at home includes brushing his hair (the frequency depends on his fur type and length), bathing him (the frequency depends on his health, breed, coat, activity level, and where his activities take place), clipping his nails, and even trimming his hair when needed.

When it comes to your dog’s nails, these should be generally kept short because he would have a difficult time walking with long nails. Uncut dog nails grow and curl into a spiral shape, which may pierce the paw pad and result in pain or infection. If you are considering clipping your dog’s nails, read on to discover the:

Dog nail clipping tools you’ll need 

Arm yourself with the right tools so you can trim your dog’s nails properly:

Kinds of nail clippers

When buying dog nail clippers, you can choose from these common types depending on your dog’s size and his nail thickness. Make sure to pick a pair that is safe and convenient for you, produces a precise cut in one stroke, and stays sharp for a long time.

Guillotine-type nail clippers 

Ideal for small to medium breeds, this type of clippers is ideal for people who suffer from hand pain or arthritis. Inserted through a stationary ring, the nail is cut when the blade comes down as the handles are pressed. Replacement blades can be bought to swap out the part as soon as it loses its sharpness, so you don’t have to buy a new set every time.

Guillotine-type nail clippers from Pet Circle

Scissors-type nail clippers 

Resembling a pair of scissors, this kind comes with two handles that control two blades. A small half-circle is designed in one of the blades, which is where you insert the dog’s nail. Scissor-style trimmers work best on longer nails that have curled up, or for dogs who are less than 10 pounds. This pair also needs to be sharpened from time to time. 

Scissors-type dog nail clippers from My Pet Warehouse

Pliers-type nail clippers 

This usually comes in a bigger and sturdy format, which is great for large dog breeds or any size in general. When used, the pliers-type creates a popping sound that might frighten sound-sensitive dogs. Just like the scissors-type clippers, its blade also needs to be regularly sharpened or it may accidentally crush or twist a dog’s nails. 

Pliers-type dog nail clippers from Petbarn

Dogs with bad experiences with nail clippers may be more open to using a nail grinder. Instead of trimming the nail in one swift cut, the tool gradually grinds the nails into the preferred length and gives them a smooth, rounded edge

How to prepare for a nail clipping session

Prepare yourself:

  • Do your research before you even consider clipping your dog’s nails! Watch tutorials (this YouTube clip shows you how to cut your dog’s nails whether he has white or black-coloured nails) and read our step-by-step guide until you feel confident enough to do it.
  • Ask your veterinarian or dog groomer to recommend the best type of clippers to purchase for your dog, and to demonstrate how to use it during your next visit. 
  • Test the tools before you actually use them on your dog. Feel the weight of the tools in your hands. Open and close the clipper, grip it using your dominant hand, and check to see if the blades are sharp enough. 
  • Always remember to “clip the tip and not the quick.” This means that you should clip a little at a time to avoid hitting his nerves and blood vessels. 
  • When you finally decide to clip your dog’s nails, be sure to approach the process in a relaxed manner or your dog will feel your anxiety. Pay attention to your dog’s body language and clip his nails when he is feeling calm and relaxed. As you go through each nail, watch for signs of uneasiness such as pulling away his paw or yawning repeatedly.   

Prepare your dog:

  • Start grooming practices as soon as you bring your puppy home to make him accustomed to being touched in various parts of his body. Dog trainer Lori Nanan suggests pairing body-handling exercises with treats. 
  • Help your dog develop a positive association with nail clipping. Days before you clip his nails, make him feel relaxed by massaging him and pressing on the parts you’ll be holding (i.e. paws, toes, nails, and legs). You can also familiarise him with the pose you’d like him to do as he gets his nails clipped.
  • Make your pooch get used to the clipper a few days before using it on him. On the first day, position it near his nails and feet, then praise him and give him a treat. Repeat this for 10 to 15 times. Do the same process the next day, but add the motion of the clippers so that he can see how it looks and hear the sound it makes as it moves. 
  • If your dog tries to growl or nip you as you touch his paws, stop what you’re doing so you don’t get harmed. Speak with your veterinarian or a dog behaviour consultant on the best way to address this concern. Your dog may be experiencing pain or could have past trauma associated with paw touching.  
dog paws

How to clip your dog’s nails

Once you’ve gained confidence, mastered using the clipping tools, and familiarised your dog with the process, it’s time to clip his nails following this step-by-step procedure:

  1. Get him to stand on a sturdy table or a grooming table with a grooming arm. You can also allow him to sit on your lap, as long as he can hold the pose and you can easily control his movements throughout the nail clipping. 
  2. Use your dominant hand to hold the clippers, and use your other hand to hold his paw. If you want to limit your dog’s movement, you can lightly lean over his body as you clip his nails.
  3. Gently press on the knuckle to extend each nail. Put the nail through the blade/s of the clippers. The trimmer handles can be held pointing toward the floor or toward the ceiling. Just make sure that the cutting blade faces you and not your dog.  
  4. Close the clippers quickly to take off a small piece of the nail so you don’t end up hitting the quick. For dogs with light-coloured nails, the quick ends where the pink colour changes to white when viewed from the side of the nail. For dogs with black-coloured nails, look at his nails from underneath the tips. Start off by trimming the hooks. The dead area is usually whitish in colour, and as you cut into the nail, you’ll need to stop when you see the solid black center (which is the live area). 
  5. Your dog has dew claws, which are found on the inner sides of his paws. They do not touch the ground because of their position, so they may be longer than his other nails. You can use guillotine-type clippers to trim these claws.
  6. Accidents happen no matter how many times you’ve clipped your dogs nails. If you unexpectedly hit the quick, apply pressure to your dog’s nail using a tissue or towel then apply styptic powder to make the bleeding stop. You can also apply ice on the nail to slow down the bleeding. 
  7. Praise your dog as you clip his nails. Feed him treats after each nail is clipped. Don’t force yourself to finish trimming all his nails in one day. 

You won’t have to clip your dog’s nails every day, but it has to be done habitually depending on how fast his nails grow, his breed, and his size. As with any pet-related activity, nail clipping should be done with patience and love to make the experience a positive one for you and your dog.  

Click here to discover the other ways to groom your dog at home, such as brushing his hair and giving him a bath. If you’ve just recently brought home a puppy, read this helpful guide to learn what to expect during his first year with you!

Can Dogs Eat Corn Cobs?

The short answer: No. The long answer: A cob is the central core of an ear of corn. Cylindrical in shape, it is where corn kernels are attached. It is not advisable for your dog to eat a corn cob because of its tough, woody nature. Just a small portion of it could block his Read More...

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The short answer: No.

The long answer: A cob is the central core of an ear of corn. Cylindrical in shape, it is where corn kernels are attached. It is not advisable for your dog to eat a corn cob because of its tough, woody nature. Just a small portion of it could block his airway passage, cause tears to his internal organs, or create problems in his digestive system. 

In general, dogs can enjoy eating a few pieces of cooked corn kernels. However, these kernels must not be flavoured with salt, herbs, and spices (such as garlic and onions), and must be removed from the cob before they are served to your dog. Smaller dogs also have a higher risk of choking on the corn kernels, so it’s advisable to monitor them while consuming the grain. 

What to do if your dog accidentally eats a corn cob: Speak to your veterinarian about your dog’s situation. Take note of how much corn cob he ate, monitor his breathing, and see if he swallowed the piece without getting hurt. If he is choking on a cob, he may exhibit symptoms such as extreme distress, drooling, pawing at the mouth, producing choking sounds, rubbing his face along the ground, gagging, and retching. You should also observe him for signs of intestinal distress in the form of lack of appetite, lethargy, pain, and constipation. If your dog vomits, collapses, or completely loses his appetite, bring him to the emergency clinic immediately. Your vet may induce vomiting to remove the cob or may perform endoscopic surgery. 

In summary:
Though corn kernels are packed with fiber, vitamins, potassium, and folic acid that are good for your dog, corn cobs should be kept away from him as they are made of highly indigestible cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. No good will come out of him playing with the cob or munching on it like a bone, so be sure to dispose of it properly. 


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The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Crazy Dog Lover in Your Life

Raise your hand if you personally know a true-blue dog lover! Let’s face it, most of us are close to at least a handful of these paw fanatics—dog owners who devote most of their time and energy to their four-legged best friends. To show these dog lovers in your life just how special they are Read More...

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Raise your hand if you personally know a true-blue dog lover! Let’s face it, most of us are close to at least a handful of these paw fanatics—dog owners who devote most of their time and energy to their four-legged best friends.

To show these dog lovers in your life just how special they are to you, why not surprise them with pooch-themed presents they’ll treasure forever? Waldo’s Friends rounded up the best gifts to give dog lovers everywhere!  

First the basics: How do we recognise the dog lovers amongst us?

A crazy dog lover is a person who is (spoiler alert!) crazy about all dogs. They obsessively care for one or more dogs (or have owned a couple of them throughout their life), constantly post pictures of said dog/s, pet strangers’ dogs, and have a house filled with canine-related knickknacks. They may also be passionately involved in dog rescue by supporting dog charities, volunteering at dog shelters, or taking in foster puppies. 

In case you didn’t know: A fancy name for dog lovers is cynophilist, which refers to people who are ‘favourably disposed towards dogs of all breeds, shapes, and sizes’. 

What should you consider when buying a gift for a crazy dog lover?

Much like cat fanatics, crazy dog people love everything dog. So when choosing the right gift for them, you need to see if it…

  1. Expresses their love for dogs 
  2. Highlights their dog obsession in a witty or humorous way 
  3. Has some cute dog graphics or dog puns to remind them of their best furry friend

What kind of gifts can I give a crazy dog lover?

Browse through 20 dog-themed items from these four categories: fashion, accessories, home, and travel. Get more details about each product, find out why a dog person would go crazy over it, and decide if it’s something that matches your receiver’s personality or needs. 


The Shop Forward Dog Dad Men’s Hoodie 

42 USD

This cosy, all-black hoodie has the words “dog dad” across its chest area to proudly announce a man’s pawrenting status. Aside from making your recipient feel good while slipping on this polyester-cotton outerwear, buying it will make you feel good too! That’s because every Dog Dad hoodie sold from The Shop Forward helps abused and abandoned dogs under the care of Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue, a no-kill organisation based in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Buy the product here.

The Animal Rescue Site Not To Brag Tank Top

Starts at 26.95 USD

This cheeky racerback tank top from The Animal Rescue Site proclaims “not to brag but I’m kind of a big deal to my dog” (which is how every dog owner feels, to be honest!). It is available in 12 vibrant shades (banana cream, black, hot pink, kelly, light orange, lilac, navy, purple, raspberry, red, royal, turquoise) and five sizes (XS to XXL). The best part of this purchase is knowing how many shelter animals you helped feed (71 to be exact!).

Buy the product here.

Waldo’s Friends Rescued is My Favourite Breed Unisex Shirt 

35 AUD

Support local rescue shelters by buying ethical, animal-themed products from Waldo’s Friends. The “rescued is my favourite breed” classic fit shirt is the perfect gift for any dog lovers who can’t resist caring for and taking in neglected dogs from local rescues or animal hospitals. Available in three sizes, the 100% organic cotton t-shirt in ecru has an original graphic design that shows off six unique-looking dogs. The design was printed using permaset eco-friendly screen printing inks.

Buy the product here

FURtribe Dogs & Donuts Dog Lover Leggings

49 USD

FURtribe is passionate about supporting rescue organisations in various ways. To raise money for these rescues, the brand sells high-quality, dog-themed apparel that help people look good and feel good. The dogs and donuts leggings will be perfect for the person who can’t get enough of both in her life. Available in sizes extra small through extra large, the pink-coloured patterned pair can be worn all day since it is made of the finest microfiber yarn.

Buy the product here.

Arm the Animals Professional Dog Lover Women’s Crewneck Sweatshirt

29.99 USD

Select your cynophilist’s favourite colour to wear (maroon, white, black, or heather grey) as the background for Arm the Animals’ minimalist “professional dog lover” typography design. Combining 80% cotton and 20% polyester, this soft pullover can be worn whenever and wherever she wants! It is comfortably ribbed on the neck, cuffs, and waistband areas, and available in five sizes: small, medium, large, extra large, and double extra large.

Buy the product here.


Crazy Dog Lady Tote Bag 

18 AUD

You can never go wrong with giving a handy and durable item that can be used every day! Waldo’s Friends carries this eco-friendly, reusable “crazy dog lady” tote bag from Crafty Dog Studio to help spread awareness about shelter dogs. Help the dog lover in your life stash all of his or her essentials in a pure organic tote bag that measures 32 by 72 cm with handles. It comes in two colours (natural or black) and with a bold set of letters (in black or white) printed on one side. 

Buy the product here.

FourFeetsocks Custom Pet Socks 

27 AUD

Let the dog lover in your life inconspicuously take his beloved pet wherever he goes by printing his pet’s cute image on customised socks! A great present for people with 17 to 22 cm feet, this handmade gift is printed using a process called sublimation. The design features the dog’s name, the dog’s image, and tiny white bones printed as a pattern on the coloured socks (choose from light blue, blue, green, pink, grey, or purple). Made with 80% polyester material, these socks feel great against the feet and are made to last longer even after multiple washes. 

Buy the product here.

FURtribe Mutt Mom Dad Hat

26 USD

A dogtastic accessory for active pooch pawrents, this embroidered black cap contains the words “mutt mom” in white, and a cute red paw that replaces the letter O. It is a fun, casual accessory that fits most head sizes. Made with all-natural cotton chino twill, the curved visor maintains its shape while protecting the wearer’s face from sunlight and other harsh elements. It also has an adjustable strap closure with a hideaway side buckle.

Buy the product here.

StampedEve Personalized Pet Necklace

35.50 AUD

Looking for an understated gift for a dog lover who loves to pile on the accessories? This customisable pendant necklace is great as a pet memorial gift. Personalise your present from the material (sterling silver, 14K gold filled, or 14K rose gold filled) to the stamping (you can place a paw on one side, then the dog’s initial on the other!) to the length of the necklace (from 14 to 20 inches). The delicate, fine-chained necklace includes a jump ring and clasp, and comes in a satin pouch.

Buy the product here.

My Breed is Best Dog Dad Embroidered Beanie

35.10 AUD

Help a dog dad keep his head warm and protected through this “dog dad” beanie from My Breed is Best. The brown embroidered typography is set against a navy, black, or dark green beanie. Though it only comes in one size, the brimless, form-fitting hat can be worn by most people. The 60% cotton and 40% acrylic blend is highly breathable, which guarantees comfort no matter what he’s doing in the brisk weather. 

Buy the product here.


PetLoversPlace Golden Retriever Dog Printable Wall Art 

7.61 or 15.22 AUD

Order a high resolution, 300 dpi-printable file for the Golden Retriever owner in your life! This 8 by 10-inch wall art design can be customised to match the dog owner’s interiors (there are 90 possible shades to choose from!) and can also include the dog owner’s surname or his pet’s name. Rounding out the design is the phrase “love is a four-legged word” scrawled under the silhouette. This beautiful gift is also for a good cause as 100% of its proceeds go to Friends of Animals in Need, a non-profit that provides free medical care to financially-challenged pet owners.

Buy the product here.

Snooza Organic Pet Futon

44.90 to 99.90 AUD

Available in green, blue, white, or ash grey, this Snooza mattress comes in an anti-allergy organic cotton cover that’s removable and washable. The wool and recycled PET blended material gives added warmth to a dog during the cold seasons, and makes his skin feel cool during the hot seasons. This pet mattress will be any dog’s new best sleeping buddy, and whatever makes a pooch happy will definitely make his owner doubly happy! (Bonus use: A dog owner can stash the futon inside his pet’s kennel during a trip to the vet, or bring it during their next pet-accompanied road trip!)

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MantaMakesLtd I Work Hard So My Dog Can Have a Better Life Coffee Cup 

16.96 AUD

Crazy dog mums can have a laugh each time they drink coffee or tea with this “I work hard so that my dog can have a better life” ceramic mug. The colourful design features a stylish woman throwing money at her snooty dog, with the caption written over and under the graphic illustration. The mug is 10 ounces in size, and is microwave and dishwasher safe.

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AtlasBelleStudio If My Dog Doesn’t Like You Neither Do I Welcome Mat

57.82 AUD

An ideal gift for newly transferred dog owners or those who need to jazz up their front porch, this pure coir doormat helps keep dirt and debris out of anyone’s home while expressing the homeowner’s secret thoughts. The phrase “if my dog doesn’t like you neither do I” is hand painted with outdoor acrylic paint in black, and then protected with a long lasting sealant.

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The Dog Game

20.32 USD

A hilarious board game for people aged eight years old and above, this three to six-player game for dog lovers focuses on the age-old question, “What do dogs think about?” Equipped with a dry-erase marker and a dry-erase card, every player is encouraged to get creative in answering silly questions or filling up blanks from the Doggy Dilemma or Dog Thought cards. For each round, the player that garners the most number of votes wins a doggy treat.  By the end of the game, the player with the most doggy treats wins! Definitely a fun game to play with dog-loving members of the family, or when dog-owning friends come over for a visit. 

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Dachshund Rescue Stainless Steel Drinking Bottle 

40 AUD

Dachshund moms and dads will adore receiving this 500 ml stainless steel drinking bottle from Dachshund Rescue. Perfect for holding hot or cold drinks, the silver-coloured container is made from eco-friendly materials. Each bottle has two laser-engraved dachshunds that showcase the non-profit’s logo. With every container you buy for a loved one, you help rescue and privately rehome dachshunds across Australia.   

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Crazy Dog Lady Car Decal 


Another fun product distributed by Waldo’s Friends, this decal from Crafty Dog Studio can be used to decorate a female dog lover’s car. The white-coloured, square-shaped decal contains the words “crazy dog lady” in casual, block letters, and is decorated with two paw prints. Measuring at 16 by 16 cm, the weatherproof design can be attached to all kinds of clean, flat surfaces such as car windows, mirrors, and even gadgets. 

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CustomHorseandHound Dog Printed Overnight Bag

53.26 AUD

Surprise the cynophilist in your life with this monogrammed canvas bag, which can be used to store clothes for the gym or an overnight trip. The 20 by 10 by 13-inch duffle bag has a zipper on top as well as zippered pockets on the front, back, and sides. It can be slung over the shoulders with an adjustable shoulder strap, and carried by hand using two shorter straps with a Velcro handle. Don’t forget to choose the thread color and the font for the personalised monogram design of the bag!  

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MUTTS Insulated Wine Tumbler Set

45 USD

What do you give someone who’s a huge fan of dogs, wine, and traveling? What about this set of 12-ounce stemless wine tumblers, which is a must-have for barbecue cookouts and beach trips? Each tumbler set contains two vacuum-insulated, double-walled stainless steel tumblers with push-on lids that keep drinks chilled for hours. Plus, the stone grey matte tumblers are adorned with illustrations of MUTTS characters, Mooch and Earl. In case you didn’t know: Five percent of each product sold from the MUTTS Shop helps support The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team, an organisation which works to combat large-scale animal and wildlife cruelties.

Buy the set here.

The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel book

13.14 USD

Written by chihuahua owner Kelly E. Carter, The Dog Lover’s Guide to Travel: Best Destinations, Hotels, Events, and Advice to Please Your Pet-and You is the ultimate resource for traveling with a furry pal. The National Geographic-produced book contains pooch-approved excursion ideas, from canine cruises and winery hikes to pet-friendly accommodations and attractions. Aside from suggesting pawsome destinations, the helpful book gives a lowdown on what a dog owner needs to know when traveling with a pooch by land or by air.

Buy the book here.

Before you start shopping…

The crazy dog person in your life will surely love any of the items we suggested above, but you can also browse our other comprehensive guides to discover cool gift options for vegans, animal rescuers, and crazy cat lovers. Once you’ve made a short list, it’s time to shop and surprise him or her with your delightful presents!