Best Flea Treatment For Dogs – Pills, Drops, Shampoos, Collars, & Sprays


What is the Best Flea and Tick Medicine for Dogs?

We love our pets. But if you’ve ever had to deal with a flea infestation in your home, there may have been a brief moment when you second guessed that relationship.

In the best case scenario, these pests (not “pets”) are annoying. You can feel them jumping on you and it seems like you’re just a host to transport them from one area of your life to another (it’s the worst when you get them in your car).

But that’s not where the real danger lies. Fleas can cause itching and fatigue and can carry a host of diseases, including lyme disease and, of course, the bubonic plague (though it is highly unlikely today).

So What Can You Do To Protect Your Pet from fleas

So what can you do to protect your pet?

First of all, you should bathe your furry friend regularly with some sort of flea shampoo. There are a number of options available from name brand shampoos to natural ones with no added chemicals. Oatmeal baths are also effective.

Keep your pet inside. Fleas live outside so keeping your animal in the house limits their exposure to these insects. Of course you should exercise your pup often but when you do, try to stay away from wooded areas or areas with a lot of underbrush.

Use some sort of flea prevention. The best way to get rid of fleas is to never have them in the first place. We’ve listed the most popular ones below. See which one works best for you and your canine and stick with it.

Be consistent. The life cycle of a flea can last up to 6 months so just because you don’t see them now doesn’t mean you should stop regular treatments.

Choosing a dog bed with cedar filling can also make a good impact but be sure that the buggers aren’t just jumping around to other parts of your home.

Types of Flea Treatments

Types of Flea Treatment and Prevention

There are a number of ways to prevent your dog from getting fleas or killing any infestations he might already have. These are the most popular and effective methods but we’ve also listed some natural flea treatment options at the bottom.


Flea drops, such as Advantix and Frontline, are the most common form of flea prevention for your pet. The drops are applied to the nape of the neck (just above the shoulders) and last for 30 days. Monthly reapplication is required but is generally quick and easy.

These drops can prevent flea larvae from developing and also kill any adult fleas that are already on your pooch. Many brands can kill ticks and lice as well.

Be sure to pick the right drops for your dog (based on size) for best results and to avoid any side effects. Also make sure to wear gloves when applying as these drops can be harmful to humans. wait at least a couple of hours before petting your dog to allow the medication to dry.


Oral flea medication (pill) is the most effective type of treatment and prevention available.

The advantages of flea pills is they can work as quickly as four hours and can come in chewable tablets for dogs who have trouble taking pills.

The disadvantages are that oral meds may require a vet’s prescription, they don’t guard against ticks or other parasites, and they can kill adult fleas or eggs but not both.

Pills are often used in conjunction with drops as the pills kill the current pests and the drops prevent new ones from breeding.


Dog flea collars can be used for treatment or prevention and can last up to 8 months. This means you don’t have to worry about reapplying the drops every month or remembering to give your dog his pill.

outdoor flea medicine for dogsThe collars work best when combined with another treatment method such as shampoos or topical medications.

The cons of flea collars is that one, they aren’t the most stylish accessory and two, they are less effective than drops or pills.

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors and in heavily wooded areas, a collar plus another method may be a good idea.


Shampoos should be used in conjunction with one of the prevention methods.

There are many options available including “natural” shampoos made without any harmful chemicals.

Shampoos can kill fleas up to one day but they only affect adult fleas, not larvae or eggs.


Flea sprays also should complemented by a prevention method to keep infestations from coming back.

Sprays can kill adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. Many repel mosquitoes as well.

Can last up to 2 months, killing and preventing future infestations.

Which Type is Right for You?

Picking a treatment or prevention method is up to you and your pup. By far, drops are the most common but if your dog has a skin reaction to it or you know that you’ll probably forget to reapply it every month, that might not be the best fit for you.

If you don’t mind the look and are in an area with a low risk for fleas, a collar is a good option that you will only have to replace every 8 months or so.

If your flea problem is pretty serious, oral medication, possibly along with another method, might be necessary.

The Best Flea Treatment Options

Best Flea Drops for Dogs

Topical medications such as drops are the most popular flea prevention method. Generally applied once a month, these drops work quickly and are highly effective. Some dogs have mild to serious reactions to this treatment though so monitor your pet closely for a few days after applying.

Product Kills Effectiveness Reviews Price
Merial Frontline Plus flea drops review

Frontline Plus

Fleas, ticks, lice 3/5 3.7 $$
K9 Advantix II flea meds review

K9 Advantix II

Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, lice 4/5 4.2 $$
Vectra 3D flea treatment review

Vectra 3D

Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, lice, sand flies, mites 5/5 4.3 $$$
PetArmor flea drops review


Fleas, ticks, lice 4/5 3.9 $
Bayer Advantage II flea drops review

Bayer Advantage II

Fleas 5/5 4.1 $$

Merial Frontline Plus

Flea and Tick Control

Frontline is probably the most popular brand for flea drops but there are mixed reviews on its effectiveness. Some people swear by it and others say it doesn’t work at all.Merial Frontline Plus review

Apparently this discrepancy is most likely due to two reasons. One, Frontline does not work on a certain strain of Florida fleas, and possibly other varieties. And two, there are a lot of knockoffs being sold under the Frontline name. If you decide to go with Frontline, make sure the manufacturer is Merial.

There have been a lot of stories of adverse effects from the Frontline drops so make sure to read them before making a decision.

Based on the risks and reports of the medication not working well or at all, this is not a product we would recommend. If you are already using Frontline and it is working for you, then you should be fine but if you are thinking of switching, there are better choices available.

K9 Advantix II

K9 Advantix is the second most popular flea drop medication after Frontline. Though that order may change soon. It seems that a lot of people have been jumping ship from Frontline due to its inefficacy. K9 Advantix II review

Advantix has been working consistently well for over a decade with very few side effects. For first time dog owners, this is a good choice to start with. Many people don’t need any more than a monthly (could be twice a month, depending on your situation) application and regular bathing.

This medication kills and prevents against fleas and ticks as well as mosquitoes and lice. And it doesn’t wash off so it will remain effective even after swimming and bathing.

Vectra 3D

Your veterinarian may suggest using Vectra 3D if other methods aren’t effective. Vectra uses a slightly different formula than Advantix or Frontline that kills fleas on contact, not after they bite.

Vectra 3D flea drops review

Not only does it kill and repel fleas, it also works on ticks, lice, mosquitoes, sand flies, and mites, keeping your pooch safe from many biting insects that can spread diseases.

This is the same medication that you can get from your vet but typically at a much cheaper price.

While Vectra is more powerful, it can also be more dangerous. There are more than a few accounts of dogs having serious reactions and even a few deaths. Please consult your vet before using this medication if you think your dog may be at risk.

Of course any topical medication may cause an allergic reaction so be sure to monitor your dog closely after first applying Vectra.

PetArmor Squeeze on

Dog Flea and Tick Repellent

You may have never heard of PetArmor. They aren’t the biggest or most well known brand but they make a good product. And for a great price.PetArmor flea treatment review

In fact, they use the same active ingredient, fipronil, in the same concentration as Frontline Top Spot but it costs about 50% less. Seriously.

And it works faster (in about an hour).

Also, there haven’t been as many reports of ineffectiveness as Frontline nor have there been issues with bait-and-switch knockoff replicas.

So if you’re thinking about trying Frontline or are already using Top Spot, you may want to give PetArmor a shot. That way, if you have the same issues that other Frontline users are having, at least you won’t have spent as much to find out.

PetArmor kills fleas, a variety of ticks, and lice and lasts for up to a month.

Bayer Advantage II

Another product from Bayer, Advantage II is also a best seller. Unlike Advantix though, this flea treatment only protects against fleas – adults, larvae, and eggs. It doesn’t guard against ticks, lice, or mosquitoes.Bayer Advantage II vs advantix review

So why would you choose Advantage II over Advantix?

If you aren’t having any infestation problems now, then there’s really no reason. But if no other flea medication seems to work, Advantage II is worth a shot.

This is an especially good choice if your dog is often in high flea prone areas that you can’t control such as wooded areas near your house or out on hunts. With this product, you shouldn’t need to do more than apply the formula. There’s no need for any of the other preventative measures, though regular bathing is always recommended.

Best Flea Pills for Dogs

Depending on your situation, pills can be a great choice for keeping your dog safe from harmful parasites. Be sure to choose carefully, however, because while some medications prevent future infestations, others only kill current ones. Used in tandem with another method, these can be very effective at keeping your pet flea free.

Product Frequency Effectiveness Reviews Price
Sentry CapGuard flea tablets review

Sentry CapGuard

One pill daily 5/5 4.1 $$
flea away tablets review

Flea Away

Up to 3 pills daily 4/5 3.1 $
Novartis Capstar review

Novartis Capstar

One pill daily 5/5 4.1 $$
PetArmor FastCaps review

PetArmor FastCaps

One pill daily 5/5 4.1 $$

Sentry CapGuard Flea Tablets

This is a once a day tablet to get rid of current infestations. It can start working in as little as 30 minutes and is very effective.Sentry CapGuard review

If you are struggling to get ahead on your flea problem, this is a good way to wipe out the adult fleas who are laying eggs and start on a prevention method to keep them from coming back.

The CapGuard name may be misleading since it doesn’t actually “guard” but rather kills but these pills are very effective at exterminating the buggers.

Keeping a few tabs on hand in case your mutt brings home some unwanted friends is a good idea.

The pricing is also very reasonable. You can generally pick up a six pack of CapGuard for less than $20.

Flea Away The Natural Flea,

Tick, And Mosquito Repellent

Unlike CapGuard, Flea Away, as its name suggests, repels fleas rather than killing them. It also repels ticks and mosquitoes.flea away treatment for dogs review

Topical medications like drops act by poisoning the insect when it bites your pet’s skin. However this product keeps the buggers from ever biting your pooch in the first place.

If your canine is allergic to insect bites, waiting until the pest sinks its teeth in can still cause problems. These pills are a great alternative to that.

The tablets come in a chewable form and are liver flavored to make administering them a pleasant experience rather than trying to shove a pill down your dog’s throat.

These are particularly handy when you plan on going into wooded areas like camping trips to keep the blood suckers off your dog. And at around $15 for 100 tablets, they’re pretty inexpensive.

Of course the downside to pills like these is that you have to give your dog a pill up to three times a day, depending on its size.

Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets

CapGuard from Sentry and CapStar from Novartis are very similar not only in name but also how they work. CapStar also only treats, but does not prevent, flea infestations.Novartis Capstar flea tablets review

These are used when you have an outbreak that normal methods like shampoos, spray, and bombs can’t fix. Usually prescribed by your vet, CapStar can be bought without a prescription, often at a lower price.

A few things to note:

  • You will want to keep an eye on your dog for a few hours after giving him the pill. Fleas tend to bite hard while dying so your pup may act erratically for a while.
  • Make sure not to stay too close in case the fleas decide to jump ship and start biting you. It’s not a pleasant experience.
  • Give your dog plenty of water as CapStar can cause dry mouth.

PetArmor FastCaps

There is very little, if any, difference between PetArmor FastCaps and CapGuard or CapStar. All three use the same active ingredient (Nitenpyram), all three act within 30 minutes, and all three last up to 24 hours.PetArmor FastCaps review

PetArmor also only works on fleas and is not effective in preventing re-infestations.

Unlike its topical treatment, FastCaps isn’t any cheaper than its competitors and actually is a little bit more expensive.

The big difference between PetArmor and Novartis or Sentry is the amount of Nitenpyram they use. For dogs over 25 pounds, CapStar and CapGuard have 57 mg while FastCaps has 54 mg.

So you’re using PetArmor and it doesn’t seem to be working well enough, you might want to switch to one of the other brands with a higher dosage. On the other hand, if your pet has too much of a reaction from the other meds, trying FastCaps may be a good option.

Best Flea Collars for Dogs

Flea collars are a great option if monthly treatment isn’t a good choice for your dog. They can last up to 8 months and can be as cheap as $5. However, be warned that some collars leave a greasy residue, have an odor, and/or can be toxic if ingested.

Product Duration Effectiveness Reviews Price
seresto flea collar review

Bayer Seresto

Up to 8 months 4/5 4.2 $$
Hartz UltraGuard flea Collar review

Hartz UltraGuard

Up to 7 months 4/5 3.6 $
Scalibor Protector Band flea collar review

Scalibor Protector Band

Up to 6 months 4/5 3.8 $
Adams Plus Flea Collar review

Adams Plus

5 to 7 months 3/5 3.3 $

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

Bayer has another solid flea treatment product in its Seresto Flea and Tick Collar.

Here’s the good:

  • Lasts up to eight months (five months if your pup is an avid swimmer)bayer seresto collar review
  • Doesn’t have any odors
  • Doesn’t feel greasy
  • Is nontoxic in case your dog likes to chew his collars
  • Has a quick release mechanism to prevent strangulation
  • Has visibility reflectors built in for safety at night
  • Is “radio-opaque” so it will show up on an x-ray in the event that your dog does eat it and becomes obstructed

The Seresto flea collar is actually very unique in that instead of just spraying a chemical onto the collar, Bayer uses the same ingredient it uses in its Advantage topical formula and embeds it into the collar directly.

Now for the bad:

  • Can take up to 10-14 days to be fully effective
  • There may be a chance of serious side effects including seizures
  • It’s not the cheapest option (up to 10x the price of other flea collars)

Hartz UltraGuard Collar For Dogs

Compared to the Seresto, the Hartz Ultraguard is a steal. It costs literally 10 times less than the Bayer collar and has a similar effectiveness.Hartz UltraGuard Collar For Dogs review

Like any of the products listed, there are mixed results. Some owners found absolutely no difference after using the collar, even finding ticks directly under the collar.

This could be due to a number of reasons, whether they got a “bad batch” or forgot to activate the collar by stretching it.

Overall though, the Ultraguard collar works very well in killing and preventing fleas and ticks from hounding your hound.

Please be warned that there will be a noticeable smell from the collar for the first 3 days after activating it. After that, the collar should be effective for up to 7 months, though many people have noted much shorter times.

Scalibor Protector Band for Dogs

The Scalibor Protector Band is a nice medium between the Seresto and Ultraguard. It’s priced at a bit below the middle of the two and has a few features that make up for the other collars’ cons.Scalibor Protector Band for Dogs review

Unlike the Hartz collar, the Protector Band doesn’t have an odor to it.

All three of these flea collars use different active ingredients so if your dog is having a bad reaction to one, you might want to try switching to another brand. For reference, Scalibor uses deltamethrin as its active ingredient, compared to the flumethrin used in Seresto and tetrachlorvinphos in Ultraguard.

The Protector Band doesn’t protect quite as long as the other brands, only making it to 6 months before you need to replace it. Also, unlike the Bayer collar, the Scalibor is toxic. So if your dog likes to chew his collar, this will not be a good fit for you.

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Collar

The Adams Plus flea collar is very similar to the Ultraguard collar. They both use the same active ingredient, tetrachlorvinphos, both last up to 7 months, and are the least expensive flea collar options in this list. Adams Plus Flea and Tick Collar review

The Adams collar kills and protects against adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. It also kills and repels adult ticks, larvae, and nymphs.

There have been a larger than average number of accounts that the Adams Plus collar is completely ineffective. At this price point (less than $10), it could be worth giving Adams a try though to see how your dog reacts to it.

If you find that this collar is completely ineffective on your pup, make sure that it is correctly activated.

If you notice your pooch having a reaction to the collar, discontinue use immediately.

Best Flea Shampoos for Dogs

As well as cleaning and freshening your pet (no one likes a smelly dog), many shampoos can also prevent flea eggs from hatching.

Depending on your flea prevention strategy, these can be used in conjunction with one or more of the other methods to make sure that your pup stays safe and healthy year round.

Product Duration Effectiveness Reviews Price
Adams Plus Flea Shampoo with Precor review

Adams Plus

Up to 4 weeks 5/5 4.3 $$
Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea Shampoo for Dogs with Oatmeal review

Hartz UltraGuard Rid

N/A 4/5 3.8 $
BioSpot Active Care Flea & Tick Shampoo review

BioSpot Active Care

Up to 28 days 4/5 4.6 $$
Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Shampoo with Oatmeal review

Natural Chemistry

Up to 7 days 5/5 3.7 $
SynergyLabs Richard's Organics Flea  Shampoo review

SynergyLabs Richard’s Organics

N/A 3/5 4.2 $$

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Control

Shampoo with Precor

Another product from Adams Plus is their shampoo with Precor. It’s the most common flea and tick shampoo around and for a good reason.Adams Plus Flea and Tick Control Shampoo with Precor review

The formula is a double step approach, using natural ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, and lanolin as well as chemicals such as Precor to kill fleas, flea eggs, ticks, and lice.

You should know that the Adams Plus shampoo only treats the problem, it doesn’t prevent reinfestations other than keeping eggs from hatching for 4 weeks.

On top of keeping your mutt pest free, it also cleans and deodorizes as well as improves coat health, and leaves fur soft.

Many groomers and vets like it because it’s safe to use without gloves and it’s cheap. One bottle should last you quite a while

There are very few noted side effects though it has been known to cause drooling and/or sensitivity in a small amount of pets so watch out for any reactions like this when using.

Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea & Tick

Shampoo for Dogs with Oatmeal

The Hartz Ultraguard shampoo is the second most popular option. It kills fleas and ticks and includes oatmeal which also relieves itching from bug bites or dry skin.Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs with Oatmeal review

And if you’re not a fan of the smell, it comes in citrus scent as well.

Even though it’s just as effective as the Adams Plus, the Hartz shampoo is half the price. Though this may be due in part to it being more watered down than its competitor.

Also like Adams Plus, this shampoo only kills the fleas and ticks currently on your pet, it does not prevent reinfestations.

BioSpot Active Care Flea & Tick


If you want to go off the beaten path a little, BioSpot’s Active Care shampoo is a great option. It’s very effective at killing fleas, ticks, and lice and it kills flea eggs and larvae for up to 28 days.BioSpot Active Care Flea & Tick Shampoo review

It also leaves your pup’s coat soft and smells pretty good doing it.

The biggest con is that it’s on the high end, price wise, for flea shampoos. But if you’ve tried other shampoos without much success, give BioSpot a shot.

If you still can’t get rid of the fleas, the next step up probably will have to be prescribed by your vet.

Like most shampoos with chemicals, don’t use BioSpot shampoo on puppies less than 12 weeks old.

Natural Chemistry Natural Flea

and Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal

If you’re looking for something more holistic, Natural Chemistry’s shampoo is a great choice. It’s chemical free, using the natural power of cinnamon oil, cedar wood oil, vanillin, and oatmeal to kill and repel fleas, ticks, black flies, and mosquitoes for up to 7 days.Natural Chemistry Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal review

The oatmeal also moisturizes and rehydrates dry or itchy skin.

And if you’re a fan of the holiday season, many people describe the smell as “Christmas in a bottle” because of the cinnamon and cedar oil.

Because it’s 100% natural, you can use Natural Chemistry on puppies without fear of dangerous side effects.

However, there have been reports of this shampoo staining light colored dogs’ fur. If your pet is light colored, it’s a good idea to test a small amount on their foot or tail and waiting a day to see if their coat will be affected.

Lastly, you should know that this shampoo doesn’t lather like a regular shampoo so you’ll have to use more but it’ll be easier to wash out.

SynergyLabs Richard’s Organics

Flea & Tick Shampoo

A lot of people have been getting confused about SynergyLabs Richard’s Organics shampoo. They advertise “100% natural solutions for better health” but the bottle states that it has “74.5% natural ingredients”.SynergyLabs Richard's Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo review

While this may seem contradictory, what they likely mean is that 100% of the active ingredients are all natural (peppermint oil, eugenol (Clove oil), cedar oil, cinnamon oil, rosemary oil, and vitamin E) but the inert ingredients include some man made materials.

SynergyLabs also claims that their formula kills fleas and repels mosquitoes but many people have found that instead of killing the fleas, it merely puts them to sleep.

The essential oils used in the Richard’s Organics shampoo are common homeopathic cures for flea infestations and also provide many other benefits such as arthritis relief and sedation for separation anxiety. However there are some studies suggesting essential oils may be dangerous for dogs. Consult with your vet if you are on the fence about using this shampoo.

Finally, if you have a sensitive nose, the cinnamon smell can be overpowering.

Honestly, this is not a product we recommend. For a shampoo, it’s expensive, and it doesn’t even do its job. There are much better options out there.

DO NOT use this shampoo on cats as cinnamon oil can be toxic to them.

Best Flea Sprays for Dogs

There are basically two types of flea sprays; ones that get rid of the parasites you already have and ones that keep those buggers from getting on your dog in the first place.

Product Size Effectiveness Reviews Price
Vet's Best Natural Flea Spray review

Vet’s Best

32 oz 5/5 3.8 $$
Virbac Knockout E.S. Flea Spray review

Virbac Knockout E.S.

16 oz 5/5 4.5 $$
Wondercide Natural Flea Spray review


4 oz 4/5 3.8 $$$
Dr. GreenPet All Natural Flea and Tick Spray review

Dr. GreenPet

32 oz 4/5 5 $$
Frontline Flea Spray review


8.5 oz 4/5 3.7 $$$

Vet’s Best Natural Flea + Tick

Home Spray

Vet's Best Natural Flea + Tick Home Spray reviewVet’s Best Natural flea spray serves double duty as a flea killer and bug spray. It kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks on contact, but also repels mosquitoes.

Vet’s Best uses peppermint oil and clove extract as its active ingredients and contains no pyrethrins, permethrins, or cedar oil which means it is safe to use around children and not harmful to plants.

It also:

  • Won’t leave stains on your upholstery
  • Is made in the USA
  • Can be used directly on the dog or on household surfaces
  • Smells pretty good

Virbac Knockout E.S. Flea/Tick


Unlike many other sprays, Virbac Knockout comes in an aerosal can. Also unlike other sprays, you should not use it directly on your pets.Virbac Knockout E.S. Flea and Tick Spray review

Instead, you spray your whole house (one can covers up to 2100 feet). There’s no odor (though you should still open a window to avoid breathing toxic fumes) and won’t stain your furniture, but we recommend testing on a small section first.

Once applied, the Knockout spray lasts up to 7 months, killing fleas and ticks. It doesn’t kill the eggs but the new adult fleas will not be able to reproduce.

While it may take up to 2 weeks for all of the fleas to be completely eliminated, 80-90% will be gone immediately.

Strangely, it says that it is available through licensed vets only but it’s clearly for sale online.

Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick,

& Mosquito Control Spray

Wondercide is one of our favorite flea treatment products.

  • It contains no harsh chemicalsWondercide Natural Flea, Tick, & Mosquito Control Spray review
  • It kills and repels fleas, ticks, mites, and mosquitoes
  • It smells good (cedar and lemongrass) without being overpowering
  • It’s also effective against mange
  • It’s made in the USA
  • It’s safe to use around kids, pets, and plants
  • It doesn’t stain
  • It leaves the coat soft
  • You can use it on puppies of any age (normally you need to wait until they are at least 8 weeks old)
  • It’s good for dry or itchy skin
  • It’s recommended by holistic vets

However, it is much more expensive per ounce than the other sprays and it isn’t as effective as non natural products.

The harsh truth is that poisons kill things. It’s difficult to efficiently kill one thing while keeping everything else as completely safe. You’ve got to find a medium that you’re comfortable with.

Dr. GreenPet All Natural Flea

and Tick Spray

Dr. GreenPet All Natural Flea and Tick Spray reviewLike the Wondercide and Vet’s Best sprays, Dr Greenpet is all natural and contains no harmful chemicals. It’s also safe to use around children and pets, made in the USA, and smells good.

Unlike the other sprays, however, this flea spray does not kill adult fleas, eggs, or larvae, it only repels them.

If you are planning on going for a hike with your pet in wooded areas, you could give your pup a good spray down of this and not have to worry about him bringing home any hitchhikers. And it lasts up to 2 months so one bottle will get a lot of mileage.

Frontline Flea and Tick Treatment

Dog/Cat Spray

One of the major pros of this spray is that it lasts up to 30 days, meaning a spray down a month should be good enough for most dogs.Frontline Flea and Tick Treatment Dog/Cat Spray review

On top of getting rid of fleas, it also kills a variety of ticks, including brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, lone star ticks, and deer ticks. And if you’ve got a young one on your hands, it’s safe for puppies 8 weeks and older (most treatments are for dogs 12 weeks and up).

One of the downsides of the Frontline spray, though, is that it can be expensive. Frontline recommends that you use one or two spray pumps PER POUND of body weight. So you’ll go through the 8.5 ounces pretty quickly even if you only have a medium sized dog.

And if you have a Great Dane, you’ll probably need a second mortgage if you decide to stick with this spray.

Also, since it works from the “inside”, reacting to your dog’s body, it cannot be used on carpets or other surfaces.

If your pet has trouble with spray bottles, one solution is to wear gloves or other protection like a plastic bag, spray it into your hand, and then rub it into your pup’s coat. Either way, it’s a good idea to rub the solution in after application to make sure that it soaks in properly.

Natural Flea Treatments

Natural Options

If keeping your pet away from potentially hazardous chemicals is important to you, there are some natural remedies as well. Be warned that these remedies are not as effective as other methods mentioned but they can be safer.

Cedar Oil

Cedar trees have been a long time cure for flea infestations. You can find cedar shavings in many dog beds and some higher end dog houses are made from cedar.

It naturally repels fleas, ticks, moths, and many other pesky pests.

You can use cedar oil on your dog but be careful as some essential oils are toxic to animals. Only use a small amount until you are sure that your canine will not be affected.

This can be a pro or con depending on your preference but please note that cedar oil is quite potent and your dog will smell like a forest for a couple of days.


Borax is used in everything from cleaning detergents to ant killer. It can also be effective against fleas and ticks.

It has no smell and there is no danger of absorbing it through your skin. It’s also very inexpensive.

Sprinkle some around your home as well as throughout your yard if you have a current infestation (borax does not kill eggs, only adults).

The downside of borax is that it can cause breathing problems in cats or other small animals if they ingest over 5mg.

Prolonged exposure can cause side effects so do not use as a preventative.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is one of those super substances like borax that can handle a variety of tasks from cleaning pools to killing pests.

Also like borax, DE has no smell, is fairly cheap, and can be used often with few side effects. The difference is that DE has even fewer risks.

A dusting of diatomaceous earth on your carpets every 3 to 4 weeks, followed by a vacuuming the next day, should be enough to keep your home flea free.


Oatmeal baths are a pretty well known cure for dogs with fleas. Other than having to clean your tub afterwards, there really aren’t a lot of downsides to it and it is very effective.

The simplest way is to soak uncooked oatmeal in the bath and then rub it into your dog’s coat. After 10 minutes, rinse and you’re done.

Other Natural Options

Here are some more safe home remedies that can get rid of fleas in your home:

  • Peppermint Oil
  • Clove Extract
  • Lavender Oil
  • Vinegar (white or apple cider)
  • Lemon Juice

best flea meds for dogs


If you’ve gotten this far and read all the reviews, you probably realize that there is no perfect magic pill, or collar, or drop, that will work every time for every dog. Each product has its own pros and cons, whether it be price, odor, effectiveness, or how often you need to reapply.

Read any product review for flea medication and you’ll generally find 80 pet owners raving about how great the product works and 20 other people ranting about how their dog had violent allergic reactions to it.

Different breeds, different environments, and even different individual dogs will cause different results.

What works great for one dog might cause focal seizures in another. And while your dog may be flea free with a low cost option like the Hartz Ultraguard collar, your cousin’s pup may require an expensive monthly topical treatment to keep him safe and healthy.

Many times, however, the bad reactions are due to operator errors. Using more or less of the product than recommended, not properly activating the collars, or simply applying the medication incorrectly.

Bottom line:

You may need to do your own testing to see what works best for you and your companion. This guide should help you to compare your options but no one product works 100% of the time on 100% of dogs.

And be sure to follow instructions properly.

*This guide is not written by a medical professional nor do any opinions constitute medical advice, please consult your veterinarian before using any flea treatments.

The post Best Flea Treatment For Dogs – Pills, Drops, Shampoos, Collars, & Sprays appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from Central Park Paws http://www.centralparkpaws.net/flea-medication/best-flea-treatment-dogs/


Are Antlers Bad for Dogs? (And How to Make Your Own)


I sip my coffee as I look at the growing pile on the table, and smile.

I know what he’s doing, he knows what he is doing – and of course he knows that I know what he’s doing. But hey, we do the little dance anyway cuz it’s how we roll.

“Whatcha doing?” I ask innocently, while eying the bright orange vest in his hand.

“I thought I’d head out early tomorrow morning and get some power chews for the dogs.” He pins waterproof ID holder containing the newly-issued license to the back of the vest.

I look at the hunting gear carefully placed out on the table. “Uh huh.”

Back up a sec, and let me explain …

It’s that time of the year; muzzleloading season. For the last few years – ever since I started keeping the antlers for our four-legged kids – rather that saying he’s “going hunting”, he calls it “collecting chews for the dogs.”

So by the end of the weekend I can look forward to a fresh stock of venison in the deep freeze chest, and a renewed supply of antlers for my pups, as well as a few friends.

But surprisingly, many dog owners aren’t familiar with giving antlers to dogs.

We’re here to clear up a few misconceptions – and maybe even encourage you to head out and forage for your own antlers.

What to Know Before Giving Your Dog Antlers

Just about any brick-and-mortar pet or feed store, or your favorite online retailer, sells antler chews for dogs. In and of themselves, antlers are neither good nor bad for your dog. Like any other power chew, it’s primarily about the quality of the product.small dog chewing on antler

When purchasing from a retailer, make sure the antlers are NATURAL ANTLERS – cuz we all know how manufacturers like to play the bait-n-switch game.

I promise not to mention or compare it to vegetarian chicken breast again.

Also, avoid antlers that are bright white. Don’t misunderstand me – it’s entirely possible for antlers to be a very light grey or even whitish.

But if an antler is whiter than your gym socks, then that’s a problem – cuz it’s seen more bleach than your laundry.

Since we’re identifying genuine products, another sure sign of a natural antler is the variegation of the coloring. You should see a difference from the outside to the inside, and this is much easier to identify if the antler has been cross-sectioned.

The easiest way to avoid the confusion at the stores is to avoid the store altogether. Simply grab a pair of hiking shoes and your faithful companion and head out to the woods and hunt down your own naturally shed antlers.

Also, you could hit up your favorite hunter or contact your local game processor.

Unless you live in the big city – in that case shopping could be compared to getting lost in the woods and fending off wild animals.

The most popular antlers available in North America are;Dog chewing on moose antlers

  • Deer: Generally lighter in color than elk or reindeer, white or mule deer antlers are harder than other antlers. Also, due to the availability of these antlers in the wild and through hunting, they are the most popular and least expensive.
  • Moose: As you’d expect moose antlers are big. I mean HUGE. These are usually cut into squares or rectangles when sold through retailers – which, quite frankly, is probably just as well when you consider that the sheer size of moose antlers.
  • Elk: Elk antlers tend to be larger than deer antlers, and softer as well. They also have a tendency to to be rougher in texture, and overall darker in color.
  • Reindeer: Reindeer antlers are heavier and tougher than standard deer antlers, and a little less commonly available through retailers – probably because no one wants to give Rover a chew toy that used to be Rudolph. These antlers can be available through game processors or hunters, or hiking through the forest.

ARE Antlers Safe for Dogs?

Because antlers are primarily made up of cartilage that mineralize into a bone-like substance – let’s just call it bone, and make it easier on us all, eh? – the most serious safety issue for your power chewer is the possibility of tooth breakage.

A major possibility.

As in about 20% chance.

And that’s just in healthy dogs.

For puppies and older dogs, the risk to their dentition simply isn’t worth it.

Just say, “no” to antlers.

Hey – you wanted honesty.

So, once (if) you determine that your dog isn’t at obvious risk for tooth breakage, ask yourself about any other bad chewing habits he may have.

To preserve Fido’s pearly whites, there’s a couple thigs you can do to give him the most enjoyable experience with his chew, while maintaining safety; Deer antlers for chewing

  • Choose the freshest, best quality antler. This is easiest if you know a hunter or processor – you could have an antler that’s only a few weeks old. Now that’s fresh! With practice, you can identify the approximate age of a forest-found antler; this year, a couple years old, or really old. Leave the ones that are a couple years old; they may have a splintering personality.
  • Know your dog’s chew habits. If your dog does an impression of a pelican and gulps down treats and food – then antlers (and other edible chews) probably aren’t the best choice.
  • Know and recognize the difference between biting and chewing; if he’s biting the antler then take it away, Chewing, obviously, is a good thing.
  • It’s worth repeating again; use your head before giving an antler to your dog. Antlers are hard. Seriously. So if you have a puppy, an older canine, or a dog with dental problems then antlers should not be an option as a chew or play. Not. At. All.

How to Make Your Own Deer Antler Chews

Now that you’ve trekked through the wilds to acquire your treasure, or bartered with the locals, there’s a little prep work that needs to be done before the antlers are ready for your canine’s canines.

And what better way to accomplish this than with power tools?

First, the antlers need to be cut down into manageable sizes. Not bite-sized pieces, mind you – but a good size so that your pup can hold the antler while chewing, and carry it around.

Eight to ten inches long is about average – and if you are going to leave the antler branched, make sure there’s no chance of poking eyes out while chewing.

Enter your choice of power cutting tools. Secure the antler in a table vice and cut it down into lengths with a hacksaw (boring), cutting wheel on a grinder, or a reciprocating saw.

Personally, I haven’t encountered a job that a Sawzall and a pack of Milwaukee blades couldn’t handle.

Deer antlers good for dogs

But I digress …

The second important part of preparing antlers before distribution to impatiently waiting pups is to make sure you eliminate any sharp edges.

It might seem surprising if you’ve only experienced the store-bought antler pieces, but when you’re hiking through the woods in search of your treasure, or have received a gift bag from a hunter, you might be surprised to discover that the points can be quite, well, pointy – as well as nubs and buds along the branches of the antler.

So, the easiest way to take care of that little problem is a sander. Or a dremel. Lock it back down in the vice and have at it.

Don’t forget to bevel off the edges where you cut the antler. Ridges are fine – and can even aid in keeping teeth clean – but you want to make sure you get rid of any sharp edges.

PSA: Don’t forget to wear a facemask and goggles.

Into the Cauldron They Go

You’ve got your found or fresh antler and it’s trimmed and sanded – now what?

Well, like any mineralized product, or any product you picked up off the ground or freshly harvested from its previous owner, there’s a lot of debate about boiling the antlers before allowing your dogs to have them.are antlers good for dogs

We take the position – like most veterinarians – that boiled bone products should be avoided, due to the fact that they develop a tendency to be much more brittle. Brittle bone-type products tend to splinter rather than break or chip. Splintered bone in your four-legged fur baby’s mouth and stomach should be avoided at all costs.

Just – no boiling the antlers, okay?

Blanching … Well that’s another bowl of kibble altogether. Blanching fresh antlers is a good way to sanitize them without actually cooking them.

Unless you’re dealing with shorter pieces, it’s best to have the antlers cut to size before blanching them. Then, just like those summer vegetables, drop them in boiling water for a few moments, then right into ice water.

Alternatively, if you’re just a wee bit germaphobic, you can put them in simmering water for about thirty minutes. Simmering, folks – not boiling. Boiling them what we just suggested you not do.

You can also soak the antlers in broth to add some flavor if your mutt isn’t all that interested at first.

Chew On This

Antlers are an incredibly popular chew – and become more so with every passing year. One of the reasons for their popularity is that they can be humanely harvested from local or commercial processers, acquired from hunters you know, or pack up the kids and spouse and scavenged for in the forest.

And let’s be honest – dogs love ‘em.

But they certainly aren’t always the best option.

Remember that choosing a chew for your dog and you should consider your dog’s needs before purchase. Puppies and young dogs, senior dogs, and those with dental problems – as well as those with bad chewing habits – should seek alternatives to antlers.

The post Are Antlers Bad for Dogs? (And How to Make Your Own) appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from https://www.centralparkpaws.net/pet-health/antlers-safe-for-dogs/

Are Pig Ears Bad for Dogs?


“What’s a Pig Ear?”

It was a warm Sunday afternoon – one of the last good days before the seasons change – and we hadn’t gotten more than three feet into the store when the voice rang out.

“No shoplifting.”

It’s the typical, good-natured welcome I receive from the store manager whenever I take my German Shepherd, Amber, into this particular pet store.

Although his words sound harsh, it’s delivered with a smile and all things considered, I think the manager has as much fun as Amber does … But that could just be my take on it.

Let me just point out, for the record, that Amber does not shoplift. She just, well – stealthily acquires and covertly relocates a sample of specific merchandise, for later tracking and inspection.

So, more to the point, at some point during our wandering through the store, Amber snags a pig ear and hides it somewhere else in the store.

It’s a game with the stock boy for him to find where Amber hid it before her next trip in, where she will head right to the last hiding spot to check on it.

Hey, I figure it makes everyone’s day a little bit more interesting in a fun way, and they seem to enjoy it as well. No harm, no foul.

Since I got a sideways look from my bestie that asked, “what did she do?” and I’m trying to explain all this to my shopping companion to make us not all seem a few fries short of a happy meal, she quite seriously asked me – I kid you not – what a pig’s ear was.

Yes, she is blonde.

What Are Pig Ears

Frankly speaking, pig ears – that is, natural pig ears – are the dried auditory appendages from processed swine.pig ear dog chews

In other words – the pig’s ear.

I know, I know – it sounds so simple it’s almost silly, right?

But before you get your leash all tied up in a knot – the truth is that it’s really not as simple as that.

Like anything else you can buy from a store or the internet, just because something is called or labeled one thing, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what it really is.

Ever wonder what the heck ‘vegetarian chicken breast’ is? – cuz I can guarantee you there’s not a bit of chicken in it.

Just because a chew is labeled as a pig’s ear doesn’t really mean it is a pig ear.

So … What it comes down to is understanding that it’s really more important to know what a pig ear isn’t as much as what it is.

Natural Pigs Ears Are …

Like you would expect, natural pig ears should be just that – specifically and uniquely processed and dried ears from a pig.

Now before you get all wiggly and jiggly, remember that no matter the animal, ears are formed from cartilage – and when processed and dehydrated this makes them quite tasty, enjoyably chewy, and easily digestible. The perfect treat for our pups.

A natural pig ear chew

A natural pig ear chew

Pig ears are also a natural source for several essential minerals, and simple fats – plus the naturally dehydrated texture helps keep their teeth clean!

Like any other animal product (like bully sticks), ears are humanely acquired during the processing of the rest of the pork for everything from bacon to rump roast, and every other delicious morsel in between.

The fresh ears are blanched – that is, they go through the flash process of water boiling for about 30 seconds then into ice water – and dried, then dehydrated. Simple as that.

Some manufacturers may add flavoring, but it’s not really needed because of their inherent flavor and consistency of the natural product. Some ears may also be smoked for a slightly different flavor and texture, but it’s still all the same in the end.

Pet stores most commonly sell pig ears as a whole ear; this makes them easily recognizable and easier for retailers to manage. However, they may be trimmed into small strips for little dogs.

As a side note, pig ear treats are also easily made at home – blanch then follow any homemade strip meat jerky recipe.

… And Are Not

If that treat in your hand is not labeled specifically that it is a naturally occurring pig ear – then it’s probably not. At this point, there are several options of what the chew may be.

all natural pig ears for dogs

This is what you’re looking for

And sometimes it’s best not to think about what it might be …

Probably the most common faux form is rawhide. Swine hide can be labeled “natural pig ear treats” under the guise that the ear-shaped chew is, in fact, made from pig – and rawhide is natural.

Yeah it’s a play on words and probably more of a bait-n-switch then we’d be comfortable with – but that’s not to be surprising when you can but a product called “vegetarian chicken breast”. Yuck.

Basically, anything that is from a pig can be remarketed as a “natural pig ear treat”.

On the other hand, if it looks like an ear but isn’t labeled as anything other than a dog chew, it’s probably best to just put it back and move on.

My Picks for the Best Natural Pig Ears

These are the two pig ear products that I’ve tried (well, my dogs have tried) and I can recommend.

  • Raw Paws Jumbo Pig Ears – These guys make quality products with an emphasis on using natural ingredients with no hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives
  • Brutus & Barnaby Whole Pig Ears – No added colorings, chemicals, or hormones in these and they are cheaper than the Raw Paws chews

Safety First

Mom is right: Safety first.

Pigs ears are a natural chewing alternative to rawhide or your favorite easy chair. But, like with any chew, they are not without risks;

As when introducing any new chew or treat, always observe your pup to see how he reacts to the new chew. Naturally delicious and fun to chew, some dogs that do not regularly exhibit ‘sharing issues’ may become territorial with their treats at first.

  • Give them space and a chance to adapt.
  • Pig ears tend to have a higher fat content – so share sparingly with your overweight pup. Also, if Fido has a delicate digestive tract, the increased fat may cause, uh, tummy trouble. You know what I’m talking about.
  • Similar to other chews, pig ears should be chewed, and not swallowed in large chunks. If your canine companion tends to wolf down his meals and treats, there may be risk for choking or intestinal blockage. If this is the case, then perhaps pig ears – and most chews – are not for them. Always try to be on hand to monitor them for the initial ‘new chew excitement’ until they settle down for a chewing spell.
  • Although very rare, pig ears from unscrupulous distributors can contain trace amounts of salmonella bacteria. You can avoid this by only purchasing chews from trusted pet stores – or contact a local butcher and make your own treats at home.

Are They OK for Puppies?

Short answer: For the most part, yes.

Like I mentioned earlier, pig ears are high in fat content, can cause diarrhea, and carry a choking hazard risk. Is it safe to let them gnaw on some swine cartilage? Probably.

But there are better options available for your fur baby. At least during the puppy phase.

Pig Ear Alternatives for Puppies

  • If you’re into the raw food diet, carrots make a good chew toy, though they don’t last nearly as long as pig ears
  • A Kong toy filled with peanut butter will keep your pooch happy and busy for a while.
  • Bully sticks are another natural animal product that a lot of people like (we recommend these).
  • I’ve heard really good things about these Himalayan Dog Chews. They’re made from “yak and cow milk, salt, and lime juice”, are high in protein, and low in fat. I (or my dogs) haven’t tried them but I’m thinking of giving them a shot.

I plan on going over more chew toys and treats in future posts like antlers, cow hoofs, and Nylabones.

Listen Up

The bottom line is not all natural pigs ears are actually natural pig’s ears. But, once you find a reliable source for the real thing, you may find the pig’s ears quickly become a favorite treat for your pet.

Natural, healthy, nutritious – and a whole lotta fun – your dog will agree that pig’s ears are quite possibly the best chew treat on earth.

The pig, on the other hand, might have a different opinion …

The post Are Pig Ears Bad for Dogs? appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from https://www.centralparkpaws.net/pet-health/are-pig-ears-bad-for-dogs/

How to Keep a Dog House Warm in the Winter


Winter is Coming

Well, that escalated quickly.

Just a couple days ago it was bright and sunny, albeit slightly on the cool side, and I was raking the leaves into a pile for the four-legged kids to play in.

Now I’m standing here with a cup of coffee warming my hands, staring out at about 3 inches of snow on the ground while listening to a weatherman drone on about an overnight low expected to be around 24°.

With the change in weather comes the most-asked – and often delivered in a panicked way – question this time of the year, “How do I keep my dog house warm?”

dog outside in winter

It’s snowing!

Okay, before we get started, let me set out a few ground rules (yes – I’m setting ground rules).

We are not starting a debate on whether or not dogs should stay inside or outside during the winter – or for how long; sufficed to say if you’re not 100% sure your dog has the coat to maintain then in a cold environment, then keep them inside.

We are not discussing how canines generate their body heat – or how they disperse it.

And we’re certainly not going to discuss doggie sweaters and jackets.

We are simply discussing the best ways to insulate (or improve the insulation of) an existing dog shelter or choose a new dog house that is in an unconditioned space – specifically outside.

If ya’ll can agree to the ground rules, then lets jump in …

(Dog) Home Improvement

At the risk of stating the obvious, the first order of business is to determine if the existing structure – whatever it may be – is adequate to provide the required protection. Basically, how good is it?

Keep in mind that protection is completely dependent on your location, and the expected temperatures, so a dog house in Florida or Texas will have different requirements than one in, say, Colorado.

Because we’re pushing into the cold months, we will concentrate on protection from the cold – and not with sweaters.

A few basics for your pooch palace to take into consideration:

  • The house should be large enough to allow your dog – or dogs – to move around inside. The height should allow them to keep their heads up and not hunch over. The height should allow them access to their bed without bumping their head. They should be able to stretch out without cramping. The more dogs, the more room is required.
  • Without exception, the roof should be waterproof and extend over the opening to keep any rain from going into the house. Also, make sure the structure is set in a manner that the opening is away from the prevailing direction of incoming rain.
  • The opening should be large enough for your dog to comfortably enter and exit, without being excessive – or solid.
  • Without question, there should be some type of bed for your dog. Make sure it’s on a platform of some sort, raised up about 6″ from the floor of the house.
  • The walls, roof, and floor should be completely insulated.
  • The house needs to be windproof, period. Insulation and waterproofing are important, but wind chill can be a killer – literally.

If you find your dog house meets most of the requirements – then let’s see how we can improve it!

A homebuilt doghouse can easily be modified, and alterations should be straightforward enough to tackle in an afternoon with some help from your favorite DIY store.

Leaky roof? Start by removing all the old shingles and sub-roofing. Add a layer of insulation, lay down some water-resistant membrane, and then re-shingle. If the height isn’t quite what it needs to be, now is the perfect time to add height – before finishing off the roof.dog in snow

If the walls or floors have no insulation – or if the insulation is not what it should be – then you have the option to add the insulation and another layer on the outside of the structure, or the same on the inside.

Insulation materials can be standard fiberglass, filler, insulation board, or even bubble-wrap. In a pinch, even stuffing old blankets or towels between the layers will be better than nothing.

If your dog is a chewer, make sure that he can’t get to the insulation.

For some additional protection at the entryway, try hanging a light section of screening or plastic sheeting up to cover the opening; this will allow easy access for your pups and keep some of the outside elements where they belong – outside.

If there isn’t one, make a simple platform for a bed – and make sure the bed is able to withstand the elements. Some 2×4 legs and a plywood top are perfect, the key is to get your pup up off the ground.

If for some reason there’s no room for a platform – or you’re not able to construct one – consider purchasing a raised dog bed frame, or even a pile of straw. The key is to get your kid up off the floor.

Let There Be Heat

The danger with dog houses comes in with the northern half of the continent and snow – and the owner that gets the bright idea to add heat to the new quarters.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not against heat at all. I like toasty toes on a snowy night. Personally, I leave the house open to the yard for the pups so they can go in and out of the garage and the house  as they please, with a couple of those nifty “as seen on tv” screens up over the doorway to keep the cool weather out – you’d be amazed how much cold block they provide. But I digress …cold dog in snow

Heat’s not a bad thing. Heat’s good – especially if it’s snowing like it was last night. But where there’s heat, there’s usually electricity. And that’s where the trouble starts.

If you’re thinking about grabbing the space heater that usually camps out under your desk keeping your toes warm, you need to set it back down and back away – now.

Heating a space for your canine isn’t like heating a small area in a house, for humans. For starters, the smaller the area, the quicker the area heats up – then proceeds to quickly overheat. And that’s when we start throwing around words like “fire hazard” and “flammable”.

And don’t forget, the area also contains your dog so it’s a lot smaller once they’re in there – and the last thing you need is for that wagging tail to knock a heater over. Or burn their tail.

So where does that leave us? Well – like anything in life, it’s all about the right product for the application.

House Warming

You’ve got a few options to keep your furry friend toasty this winter. First you need to decide if you’re going to do it yourself or just buy something premade.


If you’re in the do-it-yourself kind (or know someone handy around the toolbox) then building a doghouse should be right up your alley. It’s really not much different from a treehouse or kids playhouse, and there are tons of plans on the internet.

And you can paint it to match your house.

But if, like the rest of us, you’re less of a builder and more of a buyer, then a little research and shopping is in your foreseeable future.

Insulated Dog Houses

When shopping for a new dog house, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re shopping for Fido – and not for a lawn accessory. Try not to fall for the lure of “it’s so cute” or “it matches the garage”. The overall look of the structure is really on the bottom of the list of requirements.

  1. Make sure the overall interior is large enough for your dog to move around.
    insulated dog house

    This one comes with a floor heater

  2. Ensure that it is fully insulated. If it doesn’t state fully insulated – then it’s not.
  3. You will need to set the house on blocks to get it up off the ground, so the base should be sturdy enough to handle it.
  4. Windows look nice, but are not for all climates so try not to fall for them. Windows, at best, allow for air leaks in colder climates. At worst – they let in the rain as well.
  5. Go for rain and wind proof. Not resistant – remember that resistant can resist to some degree, but that’s it. A wind proof and rainproof structure will block the wind and rain completely.
  6. Something should cover the opening – if there’s not an easy access then make sure you can hang a screen or vertical plastic strips to protect the opening and allow easy in and out. Avoid solid or doggie-doors; snowfall can block these and trap your pet inside or outside.
  7. Let’s be honest – porches are nice. You like ’em, I like ’em, and we know the dogs like to lounge on ’em. So, feel free to splurge on a house with a porch – just make sure it’s a covered porch.

Finding an appropriate doghouse basically comes down to one test; if you and a sleeping bag can handle it overnight and be relatively comfortable (well – except for the whole size thing…) then it’s going to be warm enough for your four-legged kid.

Check out more insulated dog houses

Dog House Heaters

dog house heaterThat’s right, there are heaters specifically designed for heating dog houses. You might also hear them called “dog house furnaces”. As my mother would say, “six of one, half a dozen of another”.

At around 100 bucks, they aren’t cheap but these, obviously, are the best option to heat your dog house since they are made to do just that.

There is a bit of installation so get ready to pull out your toolbox or call your neighbor.

Some benefits of using a dog house heater are;

  • There is generally some protection or guard to keep your pup from getting his nose into the heating element
  • Since they are designed to heat small areas, you won’t risk overheating the space
  • The cords are wrapped, protected, and usually “chew proof
  • They are compact and easy to install

More dog house heaters

Heated Kennel Pads

Heated kennel pads are probably the most popular heating option for tempering the inside of a dog house.

heated kennel pad

These are placed directly under the bedding, but more often are tucked into the space between the floor and the bed (cuz you raised it a few inches off the floor, right?) to warm the overall space while avoiding overheating your pup.

There are numerous benefits to these mats;

  • The temperature is moderate, which will eliminate overheating of the space – and your pet
  • While not completely waterproof, higher quality mats are weatherproof and will withstand light moisture.
  • Most cords are PVC and steel-wrapped to eliminate chewing tendencies.
  • They are about 1/5 the price of a dog house heater

There’s even one that’s made specifically to fit inside igloo shaped dog houses! (It’s this one)

More heated kennel pads

heated dog bed

Heated Dog Beds

Try not to confuse the heated kennel pads with heated dog beds; they might sound alike but while the kennel pads are made for, well, kennels – the heated dog beds are strictly for indoor use.

These would be good if your dog’s crate or current bed is currently in a drafty room or one with tile floors. If it’s too cold for you to walk on without socks, Rover probably won’t enjoy it either.

Think of them as a fluffy electric blanket.

More heated dog beds

Heater Boxes

Heater boxes are popular because they are less expensive than a high-quality heated mat, and maintain a lower heating temperature.

The drawback of heater boxes is that there is a smaller, concentrated source of heat in the form of a bulb – which can be broken and scatter glass in the dog house.

Professional HVAC System

If you’ve got a few hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket, call up your HVAC guy and consider a small package unit that’s designed to heat – and even cool – very small spaces, like sheds and dog houses.

They’re not for the very small houses, so if you’re considering one – or if you have multiple dogs sharing the structure – you might want to look into it. Besides – it will add value to your house!

Heated Dog Bowls

This may seem like a luxury item to most. I know when I saw it, I thought, “really? This is getting a bit ridiculous.”

heated dog bowl

But then I thought about people in much colder climates whose dog’s water bowl may actually freeze.

Which leaves Fido licking an ice cube when he gets thirsty.

I guess you could use it as a food bowl too if your dog’s chow gets rock hard in the winter. Not sure how common of an issue that is.

So for those of you facing that problem, or if you just think it’s cruel to make a dog drink ice cold water when he’s already cold, there is a solution.

And don’t worry, these babies are temperature controlled so you won’t have to worry about scalding your dog’s tongue on boiling water.

More heated dog bowls

Do It Yourself – Outside The Box

If you’ve jumped into the whole DIY scene with both feet and no snorkel, or simply refuse to spend a weekend shopping, there are options that don’t include a massive building project or breaking the budget;

  • If you’re pinched for time – or pennies – consider wrapping the existing doghouse in a good tarp. You can pick one up for only a few dollars, but they can make a huge difference by keeping the rain and wind at bay. If you cross wrap the front flap, you can fashion a sort of ‘door’ for extra protection – just make sure your pooch can easily go in and out.warm house with snowy window
  • Save all your dollars by keeping Fido inside during the winter. Allow them to go in and out, but make them primarily inside dogs during severe weather. Problem solved for free!
  • Ready for some real fun? Grab a sheet of plywood, two sheetmetal “C” collars, and a dryer vent kit from your favorite DIY warehouse. Cut the plywood to fit into one of your windows, cut a hole in the center, and affix one of the “C” collars. Cut the other collar into the side of the dog house, and run the flex from the window to the shelter. Make sure that you have the backflow flap going the right direction and presto! Free heat for the kennel. Of course, this only works if the dog house is close to your house and you don’t mind covering up a window…

Hot Dogs

Whether you’re looking to make improvements to your current dog house, or upgrade to a new one, it’s important to remember that our canine kids aren’t wild wolves; they are domesticated companion animals that need to be sheltered from extreme weather.

Try to pay attention to them – they will let you know if they’re too cold.

The post How to Keep a Dog House Warm in the Winter appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/dog-houses/keep-dog-house-warm/

Raw Paws Bully Sticks Review


Disclaimer: We were sent this product in return for a review.

With Fall fast approaching, and the cold winter months fast on it’s heels, our canines will tend to spend more time inside than out – which lead to restlessness and the potential for destructive behavior.

So, it seemed like the perfect time to do a review of specific chew products – so we chose to focus on the Raw Paws® Pet Food bully sticks.

Who are Raw Paws?

Since they exploded onto the scene in 2014, Raw Paws® has quickly become a premier supplier of high quality and affordable raw and natural pet foods, which include freeze dried and refrigerated raw products, nutritional supplements, treats and chews.

Raw Paws all natural pizzle sticksWith experts available, they can advise their clients on the benefits of raw or partially raw diets, as well as transitioning diets so as not to cause any digestive upset to your four-legged kids. Trust me – no one wants digestive upset in their canines!

When it comes to choosing, preparation, and feeding, Raw Paws® certainly doesn’t leave you blowing in the wind.

Their highly detailed website impressively covers all the basics from understanding the benefits of this dietary style, to choosing and incorporating the change – and the customer service was top of the line for answering questions fully and factually.

Personally, I was introduced to Raw Paws® back in 2016, through a friend of the family – so I have some experience with their company and products, although I had not previously purchased these particular chews.

I believe that bully sticks should be chosen over commercially processed rawhide for a number of reasons (let’s not open that can of worms here!), however I do not to allow my personal preferences to cloud our reviews.

We have a simple formula; the dogs do the testing, and I do the writing.

As an added bonus to our readers, Raw Paws is offering $25 off chews orders of $100+ with code RAWCHEWS25

What are Bully Sticks?

Bully Sticks. Also called pizzle, these sticks are a natural, healthy option over commercially processed rawhide aimed at hours of chewing enjoyment for canines of all shapes and sizes.

But what exactly are bully sticks? Experienced dog owners choose them over other forms of chewing treats without a second thought – but always hide a knowing smile when they overhear a novice owners ask what they are made from. If you’re not sure what bully sticks are, we could tell you – but what fun would that be?

Unlike traditional rawhide chews, bully sticks are highly digestible. Because they break down easily in your dog’s stomach, there is less chance of intestinal blockage – unless they swallow large chunks.

Unlike bones, bully sticks do not splinter – another benefit for your pup’s tummy.

Available in 3 different sizes (6″ standard, 6″ jumbo, and 12″ jumbo), Raw Paws® Pet Food sources their bully sticks directly from Brazil, under strict guidelines of grass-fed, antibiotic free beef. Like all of their products, these bully sticks are excess additive and preservative free – containing one simple ingredient: 100% beef.

For this review, we chose the 6″ standard size bully sticks, and enlisted the professional chewing services of three canines who enjoy bully chews; one German shepherd, one Rottweiler, and one American Staffordshire Terrier.

To Chew, or Not to Chew?

Bully sticks are for chewing enjoyment – nothing more, nothing less. They may have several specific uses, but they still remain a chew treat. Like any other treat, they should not be fed in place of any base nutrition (like, in place of meals) and should not be fed so often that the dog cannot eat their meals.Best bully sticks for dogs

Bully sticks – like other chews – are NOT recommended for dogs that tend to swallow large pieces of treats or gulp their food when eating.

While these sticks are one of the safest treat and chew options on the market, when a dog insists on swallowing large chunks of anything, the potential of choking is still there.

Monitor your dog carefully to determine if they have any bad chewing habits before allowing them to wander off with their prize.

Uses for Bully Sticks

So you’ve got your bully sticks – now what?

Some uses for bully sticks can include;


Rewards can be part of training, or generically used because they’ve been a good boy. Whatever you choose, try to be consistent in the rewarding – and never reward bad behavior!

Creating distractions

healthy chews for dogs

Bully sticks are also good for your dog’s teeth

Lets be honest, sometimes dogs need distractions. They’re bored, or the weather outside is frightful, and they’re underfoot to the point of banishment. Sometimes it’s the doggie parent that needs the break from throwing the ball for the ten millionth time.

Bully sticks are perfect to occupy your furbaby for long chunks of time, but never give a chew or treat because YOU are frustrated or need to occupy them somewhere else. Rewarding what you consider bad behavior is a recipe for future disaster.

If you need to distract your pup while you finish that report or project, take a breath and an extra few minutes to send your dog to their spot or the couch – and then present them with the chew.


Training can be made easier for dogs that love to chew, and can easily fall into a training pattern by withholding and returning their chews. From incorporating chews while teaching “stay” and “place”, to rewarding them for a job well done, bully sticks are more than just a chew toy.

Staying busy

Occupying their mind – and mouth – with a chew is a win-win for human and canine alike. We all feel the effects of boredom, and when our canine kids can’t get out and stretch their legs, that pent up energy still needs to be spent. These rugged chews will keep Rover’s jaw moving for hours, a perfect way to use up that energy!

Is Raw Paws® a Better Product?

Hmmm …. There’s no easy answer to this. If you were to ask me if Raw Paws® produces a quality product, and would I feed it to my own canine kids – I would answer with a resounding “yes”.

The value for product is above industry standard – more than fair, and the company has clearly combined ethically sourced quality ingredients with a focus on high nutritional value, and are then proportionally packaged for easy feeding and freshness.Raw Paws Bully Sticks

Are they better than everybody else? I can’t answer that since I haven’t reviewed everyone else, BUT you don’t necessarily have to do a full-throttle review to get a feel for a product, to know whether it’s above average – or below average.

Strictly from an ingredient point of view on a website, a curious consumer can learn a lot about a product.

Are they 100% natural? Do they contain additives and preservatives? Are they flavored? Remember – added flavoring is added chemicals.

Websites of quality product will tackle these questions head on with openness and honesty.

Still not sure? Then remember this simple rule of thumb – if a company or manufacturer doesn’t come right out and state it, than they aren’t. Is the “preservative free” label missing? Then it’s got preservatives. It’s as simple as that.

A few minutes of investigation on your own – including reading reviews by non-biased companies and consumers – can avoid a lot of hassle and bellyaches for your pup, and less heartache for your wallet down the road.

Specs on the Sticks

For this review, we tested the standard 6″ bully sticks. Also available are 10-count pack of 6″ standard, 2- or 5-count packs of 6″ jumbo, and 3-count pack of 12″ jumbo.

Sourced from Brazil, the beef is grass fed and free from industry-standard antibiotics. The bully sticks themselves are crafted from 100% beef, without any added preservatives, additives, or chemical flavoring. Nothing but 100% natural beef … uh, just google it.

all natural bully sticks

Pencil for scale

This product is noted as “low odor”. Unfortunately, such a claim is completely subjective; that being said, it is my opinion that Raw Paws® bully sticks are definitely lower in odor than most, although they are not odor-free – from either end of the dog!

The resealable bag really was that – resealable. It might seem like such a little thing, but we’ve all been there with “resealable” bags that weren’t. And that’s just a big ‘ole pain in the bully stick, if you know what I mean. Because the product is a dried natural product, refrigeration was not required – and that was appreciated as well.

Don’t forget; like any pure beef product, bully sticks contain amino acids – a nutritional requirement for any healthy canine.

Although they contain multiple nutrients and minerals, bully sticks are not to be considered part of your dog’s diet; they need a consistently balanced diet with the proper nutrients fed in a reasonable manner and quantity for your individual canine’s needs.

Treats are meant to be just that – treats. If your dog is filling up on chews, cut down the amount he gets.

What we liked

As a natural option for chewing, bully sticks are at the top of the pecking order, so to speak.

For over a century, rawhide has been the traditional go-to for dog owners. Unfortunately, as modern manufacturing techniques, contamination concerns, and the pursuit of cheaper products are brought out into the light of day, an alternative for chewing treats was needed.dog chewing on bully stick

Bully sticks have gone from an exotic treat to surging forward as a primary chewing option to not only satisfy a canine’s natural desire to chew, but to combat boredom – and control plaque and tartar between professional cleanings.

Raw Paws ® uses only specifically selected, natural product. For us – and this review – that’s a big thing. As you would expect from the base product, there is wide variation from one stick to the next, in formation and coloration.

This is a hallmark of a truly pure, natural product. Only a manufacturing plant can make something perfectly uniform – and how natural can that be?

The bully sticks we tested left no stain or residue on the carpeting or the beds, and I credit this back to the lack of ancillary ingredients and fillers.

If a product is truly made from 100% beef (or chicken, or what-have-you) like this one is, you don’t need to add to add extra chemical-created flavors to make it taste like what it is. Right?

The two of the three dogs involved in the review – the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Rottweiler – both enjoyed the sticks in their own way.

The Pittie engaged in recreational aggression with the stick before conquering it. His jumping and running around in circles as he tossed it about showed his clear enjoyment of the play – and stick. Once settled in chewing mode, he ate about half, before wandering off. A few hours later he polished it off.

The Rottie took her prize to her bed, and curled up for an afternoon of delicate surgery as she slowly disassembled and ingested the stick in one sitting.

What we didn’t like

Traditionally, the primary drawbacks of bully sticks has been their odor. While the commercially processed sticks have managed to eliminate the natural odor with the numerous additives and preservatives, as well as over processing the sub-quality ingredients, the trade-off simply isn’t worth it.

By using only higher quality, natural ingredients, Raw Paws® has reduced the odor – but it’s still there.

Although keeping the product in a sealed container and using before the expiration date (yeah, that’s important when feeding fresh or high quality food and treats) when feeding bully sticks, it’s important to remember that there is odor both before eating, and after eating, if you know what I mean…What are bully sticks made of?

The concerning issue with the bully sticks we sampled from Raw Paws® was the reaction from the GSD.

Not only did she refuse the bully stick, she made her opinion quite clear as she barked at it.

And I don’t mean the playful barking at treats that’s exhibited by some of the breeds, like GSDs and huskies – but barking at it. “Get back or I’ll tear you a new one” kind of barking.

Outside of the downright hostile reaction – that was clearly dislike rather than fear or aggression – she had no interest in the stick, and calmed down when I took it away. Reintroduction of the stick after she watched her companions enjoying themselves made no difference.

She clearly – and uncharacteristically – wanted nothing to do with that treat.

Our two cents

When considering natural chews for your four legged companions, remember that it’s not all about the price – or how cute or fancy the product looks. Your furball isn’t going to care what it looks like, but what it tastes like.

Bully sticks are a natural chew, and definitely should be chosen over commercially processed rawhide.

As with any other chew, toy, or new food, you should pay attention to your canine while they are engaged with the sticks – especially when first introduced.

Chewies are a great way to occupy your pup, but you should always pay attention to their chewing habits, especially when introducing them to bully sticks for the first time.

Summing it up

One of my favorite things about being associated with Central Park Paws is participating in consumer product reviews.

We have the freedom not only to review products through our affiliate programs, but we will often respond to concerned emails from readers with reviews of questionable products.

We give honest reviews of all the products we test – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

But with great reviews comes great responsibility.

We strive to keep our reviews neutral – focusing solely on the product at hand – rather than engage in the ‘politically correct’ arguments of food preferences, dietary styles, or the pink elephant in the room – raw food versus kibble.

It is our opinion that Raw Paws® bully sticks are not only a premium bully stick, but the overall company ethics and commitment to superior products allows us to put our stamp of approval on this product.

Happy chewing!

As an added bonus to our readers, Raw Paws is offering $25 off chews orders of $100+ with code RAWCHEWS25

The post Raw Paws Bully Sticks Review appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/dog-treats/raw-paws-bully-sticks-review/

What Does It Mean When a Dog Eats Grass?


Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

“This is Shasta. She’s a vegan”

That was the simple introduction made by my hubby as he placed the little blue-eyed husky mix – cleverly disguised as a ball of fur with giant ears and a pink tongue – into my open arms.  Through the “getting to know you” puppy kisses, I waited for the punchline.

The look on his face told me he was dead serious.Dog eating grass

After having the new fluff ball at home for a few hours I knew he was right – and I was about to embark on an adventure through the twilight zone that I had never expected with a dog.

Shasta ate grass. I’m not kidding – she ate it.

I’m not talking about the occasional nibble as if she had a bellyache – you know, the old wives’ tale about dogs and grass.

Nope, the puppy was out there chowing down my lush green lawn like a kid with an after school snack of chocolate chip cookies and no homework. All day, every day. Grazing away like the cow she wasn’t.

Was there something wrong with her? Was she sick? Was she hungry?

Or worse – was my puppy really a vegetarian?

So, the hunt was on for an explanation to solve the canine mystery we’ve all encountered – why does our dog eat grass?

Are Dogs Carnivores or Herbivores?

Actually, our four-legged furbabies are both.

The correct term is omnivore, and this is an unpopular fact that has been proven through various phases of scientific study, as well as genetic markers in the domesticated Canis Lupus Familiaris, as well as Canis Lupus – the wild wolf.

So, although they commonly considered steadfast carnivores, studies are more and more supporting that both dogs and wolves alike are omnivores.

Clearly, canines are preferential carnivores. Heck, if given the choice between a thick, juicy steak or a grilled chicken breast, and a bowl full of boring field greens – which would you choose?

Dog chewing on a stick

Getting his “roughage”

It’s the same with dogs. They go for the meat every time.

A cursory look inside the mouth of the beast shows dentition perfectly designed to rip and tear – trademarks of a carnivorous bend. But that doesn’t mean there is no need for vegetation in their diets.

A closer inspection shows the intestinal design supports an omnivorous diet.

Heck, studies show that even wolves have been known to seek out and ingest the various berries that their dinner from the previous days had snacking on. This fact, that seeking vegetation of various kinds to supplement their diets, in itself is proof of the omnivorous nature of the beast.

Unfortunately, another problem with identifying canines as omnivores is that it goes against the current fad of “grain free” diets that are becoming more and more popular – as well as the resurgence in “raw food diets“.

Rather than go into the benefits or evils of grains – and other so-called “fillers” –  or open the Pandora’s box of debating raw versus kibble in our dog’s daily nutritional plans, we’re going to focus on the vegetation en masse.

So one scientific – and practical – reason about why dogs eat grass and other leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables, in addition to their chicken and beef, is that it’s in their DNA.

Vegetation, along with quality meat products, are both components of a balanced diet. And besides – they like it!

But we’re still left with a question – is grass bad for my dog?

Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass?

Okay, since we’ve established that eating grass isn’t the end of the world – it still doesn’t answer why my beautiful little husky is cross-dressing as a billy goat. So let’s take a look at some of the why’s that could be rational explanations;

Just like you and I get food cravings that can be indicative of a missing nutrient from our daily diet, the same can be said for our canine companions. And while we can grab a handful of potato chips to get a little sodium boost, it’s different for Fido.

We do the best we can to make sure they have a balanced diet – and that includes the occasional yummy treats – but every now and then they need a little extra. And since it’s programmed into them, they know just where to look.

Grasses not only add roughage to aid in digestion (dogs can’t process the grass), they can add various other minerals – as well as quick rehydration on hot days or after rough and tumble play.

Why does my dog eat grass?

The common explanation for dogs eating grass is because they’re sick and need help to get whatever is ailing them out of their system.

But in reality, it’s been proven that only a small percentage of dogs vomit after eating grass, and even then the general consensus of research veterinarians can’t agree if it is a driving force to seek out and eat grass for the gastrointestinal relief, or a learned pattern of behavior – or simply a coincidence.

If your dog is sick, he’s gonna be sick – grass or no grass. And like every other dog owner on the planet, nothing can rouse me from a dead sleep in the middle of the night like one of my dogs about to get sick on the carpet.

Speaking of things that go burp in the night … I don’t mean to gross you out here – but are you sure your little angel is eating grass?

Stop and think of the potential nasties that could be hiding there, enticing Fido. Another dog’s scent. A parting gift leftover from a rabbit passing through. Remnants from last night’s chow that still smells so yummy.

The term pica refers to the eating of non-food items – and trust me, there are plenty of non-food items out there to be discovered and ingested.

What Can You Do About Your Grass-Eating Pooch?

Well … Just like in every other realm of life, you’ve got options available.

First things first, identify what’s getting eaten – and why.

Yeah, we just covered why dogs might be eating grass or other leafy stuff, but have you done your homework? Do you know why your pup is eating the grass? Or should we say – do you know what your dog is actually eating?

That’s a pretty big key to deciding what to do about it.

Figuring out the what in the equation is key, and then the answer why will be pretty obvious. Just open your eyes and watch. Look at where he stops and watch what he does.Is grass bad for dogs?

Nonchalantly walk around the yard while your dog is sniffing out a spot to make a deposit, and pay attention to his actions and reactions.

Is he looking for specific grass or leaves to eat? Is he sniffing and gently licking? Is he uncovering a dainty morsel to devour? Is he heading directly to the previously digested dinner for a second helping?

If it’s traces of scents your pup is going after, say from a neighborhood dog remarking territory, that’s easy enough to handle.

A short conversation explaining the problem and asking the dog’s owner to walk across the street, or not allowing them to stop along your property line should suffice; most dog owners understand some of the quirkiness that comes with the leash and collar.

Rinsing the spot on a daily basis works as well – especially if you can catch it as soon as the offender completes his rounds. You can also try a soap-suds rinse; it will eliminate not only the offending odor but discourage remarking.

“Tootsie rolls” are a common delicacy – and the fresh ones even more so. Again, this takes a respectable amount of vigilance on your part to identify and eliminate (no pun intended) the temptations. The first step could be keeping a close eye of Fido as he wanders the yard to identify the offender.

If it’s from a rabbit or other wildlife, then consider rabbit fencing to reinforce any areas that the bunny might be slipping through, or even wildlife sprays. A few nights of the offending fragrance will curtail the wildlife from crossing into your territory.

If you find that your dog is recycling his own “tootsie rolls”, that will take a little more effort to correct. Dogs re-ingest food for three primary reasons:

1. The food is still yummy. That means there’s undigested goodness in abundance. If this is the case – and your dog is not absorbing all the available nutrition from his meal – then it’s time to look at a change in food.

2. There’s a nutritional need. Just like we crave what our bodies need, there might be nutrients in the waste – whether his own or another animal’s – that he needs. This takes more consideration, and perhaps a trip to the vet to ensure his nutrition is where it should be.

3. Compulsions occur in our four-legged friends just as easily as they do in us. If there is no rational explanation – or you find that your little bundle of joy is eating poo indiscriminately, then it is time for a serious intervention.

dog in high grassTraining, as well as physical aids such as muzzles can eliminate eating the non-food items. Proper dog training can also be very effective. If it’s serious, your veterinarian can add a medicinal component to change the behavior.

If you discover it’s really just about the sweet, succulent grass or plants, you can simply let nature take its course and let your dog continue to eat grass. It really won’t hurt anything.

One small caveat: if you use any weed or pest control chemicals, you will want to discontinue them – these chemicals can be dangerous when ingested.

Also, get a book – or scour the internet – and eliminate any potentially toxic plants and weeds.

Lastly, you can take steps to eliminate the draw of the offending vegetation altogether.

Don’t Want Your Dog to Eat Grass?

Okay, so you’ve decided that you’re taking grass off the canine menu. No more vegetarian diet for you. Now you need a plan. And patience – lots and lots and lots of patience.

Basically, if you don’t want your dog to eat the grass – you eliminate the grass.

See how easy that was?

  • Consider a pea-gravel run. With some proper preparation, and special emphasis on drainage, you can create an area for your dog that’s both grass-free and healthy – and easy to clean up.
  • Keeping to leashed walks is another way to ensure your pup isn’t stopping for a quick meal while out and about. Just remember to pay attention when they stop and sniff – a bit of solid leash training can go a long way.
  • Do a little recon work – does Bruiser like to eat grass in the morning? After he’s had his nightly meal? Is there only a certain area that he eats the grass?

Information is knowledge – and knowledge is power. Filling in the blanks can not only help you understand what he is eating – it can help you avoid it.

Another way to deal with eating grass without turning your backyard into a rock garden is with discouraging sprays and scents. These chemical-based sprays can be either bitter tasting, or an acrid odor that repels dogs altogether.

Although they can be quite effective, they can be expensive between initial purchase and reapplication after the rain washes them away – or they can be more dangerous because of their caustic make-up that repels or gives a bad taste.

The truth is that while eliminating grass from their diet is possible – it really might not be all that practical once you’ve weighed out the options.

Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass? Probably

When it comes right down to it, our pups are pretty smart. If they pick up a strange new habit, it’s a good idea to look into it and ask why – but if it’s not hurting anything, maybe the best action is to just let it run its course.

Shasta? Yeah, she still eats grass. I’ve made sure that we no longer treat for weeds and grubs in the yard, and I’ve even taken to planting some of her favorites in a small area just for her. She rolls all through them and munches away to her heart’s content.

But she is also getting a good, solid diet rich in meat, minerals, and vitamins.

My puppy is not going to be a vegan.

The post What Does It Mean When a Dog Eats Grass? appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/pet-health/why-dogs-eat-grass/

How to Crate Train a Puppy


Crate Training Puppies

Bear – his registered name was Ursus Americanus – was the second dog I ever owned.

An obsidian black Chow Chow without a speck of any other color anywhere. From his black fur to his black nails and every square inch of him. My little licorice jellybean was a fluffy bundle of energy and love.

Who tried to eat the house.

Yes, the house.

He’d chew on anything that he could get his mouth onto. Oh, yeah, there were the usual victims of shoes, and I can’t even begin to guess how many socks. But he would chew on the couch, the windowsill, the door frame, my desk chair, the stairs, the cabinets.

I had him for less than 2 weeks and every single room in the house bore the scars from his chewing. He could not be left alone for more than a couple minutes or something would fall prey to his little habit.

And apparently he wasn’t even teething yet.

I discovered he was also digging up the carpeting in the closets to hide treats.Dog chewing need crate training

Where does a 12-week old puppy learn to rip up carpeting to hide treats?

When I caught his mouth on the base of my 12″ dob telescope, I knew I had bitten off more than I could chew where this puppy was concerned.

I called the breeder for some advice, and they suggested investing in a case of bitter apple spray and a crate.

I had never used a crate before, because I thought they were cruel. How was a crate going to teach him not to chew and besides – what if there was a fire?

After about a week and a few conversations with the breeder, my vet, the local pet store, and the guy doing some of the repairs on my woodwork, I decided to try the crate training my puppy.

It took a couple weeks, but I successfully crate trained Bear. After another couple months of training – and re-training – we got his chewing habits under control with appropriate toys.

I came to the conclusion that rather than being cruel or dangerous, that the crate offered a sense of security to Bear, his own personal space, and was actually helpful for housebreaking.

Although I must say, up to that point he had been breaking the house just fine.

By the time he was 6 months, Bear was a happy, well adjusted little gentleman, and I became a believer in kennels and crates.

Why Should You Crate Train Your Puppy?

There are several good reasons why you should crate train your puppy – and none of them are harmful to the emotional or physical growth of your new best friend.

Crates and kennels are a throwback to their wolf lineage and lairs, so a personal den gives them a tie to their roots.

Is crate training good for dogs?

Courtesy of Jinx McCombs

  1. Private space is as important to your canine as it is to you. A kennel or crate is a place of their own, and helps build their self-esteem, as well as trust. It’s his own space to be alone with himself away from the other animals – 4-legged or 2-legged kinds.
  2. Oddly enough, crates can be a source of comfort when they’ve got a tummy ache, have been a naughty boy (provided they sulk in there on their own accord), or because they have the blues from missing you.
  3. Crate training can keep your Fido from forming bad habits, such as chewing or other destructive behaviors. Roaming the house unsupervised can lead to exploration – and 99% of the time, that exploration is done with their teeth. Trust me on this one.
  4. Crates provide safety not just by keeping your little bundle of energy from getting onto trouble when you’re not home, but since crates are required when traveling in cars or airplanes, having them trained to remain calm inside one makes any travel safer.
  5. Overall, kennel and crate training includes open and latched doors. The door should always remain open for their access, and depending on your situation and preferences. The door can be left open or closed overnight, although for the first 6 months or so, the door is generally closed to prevent overnight accidents.

Please remember – never force a puppy into a crate if he is clearly afraid of it.

What NOT to Do When Crate Training

If you choose to crate train, it’s vital that you avoid a few pitfalls in order to keep a happy and healthy puppy and adult dog.

  1. Crates are not punishment. You should never put your puppy of dog in “time out” because they had an accident or chewed something while you were out of the house. Any correction needs to be at the time of the misdemeanor, not hours later.
    1. That being said, you can – and should – use the crate when there are guests and the puppy excitement gets out of hand. Place him in the crate until he calms down, and make sure none of the guests pay any attention to him until he has calmed down.
  2. Crates are not play places for kids, period. Crates will quickly become your dog’s personal sanctuary, and they will often go in and out of them according to their mood and whim. You should never allow kids in them for any reason. At all. End of story.
  3. Crates are not so you can have some peace and quiet. Puppies are a handful on a good day – and a test of your sanity on bad ones. But never, ever put your puppy in their crate because you need a break from their energy, or some free time.

How Long Does Crate Training Take?

There’s no easy answer to this one – no matter how disappointed you might be by it.

How to crate train a dog

Like any training, there are several mountains and valleys – and plateaus – before success.

It takes commitment and endurance not to slack off when you think that there’s no hope you will ever get it done.

Or, being lulled into a false sense of security during a plateau and slacking off training prematurely.

On average, it takes up to several weeks to get your pup to get used to going in and out of his crate and having it closed for periods of time.

Some take to it immediately, some take a little longer.

A few years ago I had a puppy take to it the first day – I’d never seen anything like it. She waltzed right into the kennel the minute I put her stuff in it like she owned the space, and for the most part that was all it took.

I had another dog that was so terrified of his crate, after a few weeks of not going near it we abandoned the idea altogether. He never went into a crate – not his, not any of the others.

How to Crate/Kennel Train a Puppy

Step 1: Choose an appropriate kennel.

You don’t want to go too small, or your dog will outgrow it too fast, and you may be tempted to continue to use it past the size limit – which will cramp more than just your dog’s style.

On the other hand, one that’s too large may lose the effect of a cozy den, and provide an area for your pup to conduct business rather than learning to hold it.

Your best option is a kennel that will be an adequate size for your breed when fully grown, and simply use a divider panel to make the area smaller – and move it back as he grows to enlarge the area.

There are several styles of crates and kennels on the market, from a standard wire kennel to a soft-sided nylon.

Up and coming on the market are kennels that are a cross between wooden furniture and wire kennels, and can be purchased or made, if you’re very handy. These hybrids can be very stylish – and very size adaptable.

As nice as they are, I’d steer clear of the soft sided Nylon crates if your pup is as destructive as mine except as temporary traveling equipment. Nylon just screams, “chew me!”

Step 2: Buy a bed.

Be sure to include a crate pad for comfort. Obviously, one that has a waterproof liner is best, but at the very least make sure it’s washable.

Never use harsh chemicals when washing; you want some of your dog’s own smell to remain so he knows it’s his. Also, consider throwing an old shirt that you’ve recently worn in there. Your fluffy baby loves your smell, and finds it comforting.

If possible, introduce the bed a day or two before the crate – placing the bed near where the kennel will be. Encourage him to sleep on the bed, and in the very least play with him on it several times a day.

This will start transferring his scent – and ownership – to the bed, and help in the next step of crate training.

Step 3: Place the crate.

Dog with toys in crate

Toys make a doggo happy!

Place the kennel in a well-traveled area in the home, where most of the action occurs. You can move it later, to give him privacy and quiet, but right now your little furball wants to be near you.


And the best way to have him get used to this new monstrosity is to have it in an area that you are in, and he sees you are not afraid of it.

In addition to a familiar place near his humans, be sure to have some of his toys and blanket scattered around the area.

Leave the crate open for a day or two, and simply ignore it. If your pup happens to venture into it, don’t react at all. Keep a discrete eye on him, but try not to respond to his actions.

Step 4: Introduce the puppy to his den.

This should be done slowly, and you should expect this part to take some time. Start by moving the new bed into the crate.

Puppies are naturally curious, and within a few hours he should wander into the crate, if for no other reason then to check out his bed. Toss a favorite stinky treat in there on top of the bed and walk away, staying in the room and ignoring the crate.

If, after a week, he is still too hesitant to go in, then use the treat enticements and a calm voice to talk to him as you pick him up and put him in front of the crate, petting him and talking to him.

Do not, under any circumstance, simply put him in and shut the door of the crate as his first experience – this is pretty much guaranteed to make him afraid of the crate.

Step 5: Nap time.

Once your puppy has ventured in and out of the crate a few times, start placing him in there for naps. This is most easily done by picking up the sleeping puppy and placing him on the soft bed inside the crate, and let him wake up on his own.

Happy crate trained dog

Nap time!

If you can be in the same room when he wakes, then all the better. If there’s a favorite snuggle toy he sleeps with, then it should go in the crate permanently.

If he takes it out, then return it to the crate in a matter-of-fact manner – don’t make any fuss.

Eventually, if you play with him near the crate, he will start to go in there for his naps.

If you are training your puppy to voice commands, especially a ‘lay down‘ command, this is a perfect time to incorporate this training. As he gets used to the kennel as a place to lay down and sleep, we move on to the next step.

If your puppy – or dog, for that matter – is afraid of the crate, do not jump ahead to this step and hope that waking up inside the crate will suddenly cure him. It’s just plain cruel.

Step 6: On Command.

Decide on a name and command for the crate, and start using it. Common choices are “kennel”, “crate”, and “place”. Personally, I use “lair” because it sounds cool and it’s not a word than can be confused with any other command.

Whatever you choose, when you see your puppy go into the kennel, tell him “good, kennel” – or whatever you want the command to be. Toss treats or toys into the crate, and reinforce the name each time each time he enters.

To move from passive to active in this command, kneel near the crate and show him a much favored treat, followed with the command “kennel”.

Give him a chance to respond before repeating. If he doesn’t understand, then draw him into the crate with the treat in your hand, while vocalizing the command. Like any other instruction, this will take patience and consistency.

The goal is for him to enter the crate on command.

Step 7: Shutting the door.

This step shares some similarities with placing your baby in their crib to sleep; knowing when to pick them up, and knowing when to let them cry for a couple minutes.

The first time you shut the door, do it while the pup is eating a treat or chewing on a toy. Close the door, and open it right up again. Keep repeating this until they choose to come out of the crate.

crate training puppies

Who could shut a door on this face?

Then, do it a few more times with them outside of the crate. If your little pup has learned to lay down on command, then ask him to lay, and then close and open the door.

The key to this step is to open the door before they have a chance to get upset or cry. Do this several times a day, over several days.

As long as he does not react to the door closing in a negative manner, you can leave it closed a few moments longer each time, staying in direct sight.

Keep practicing this step until he doesn’t pay much attention to the door closing and opening.

You can make this a game by playing with his toes through the door.

One option you have at this stage is closing the door and letting your pup nuzzle it open. You can also leave the door partly closed during the day, and let your pup want to go into it, and paw it open. This teaches him not to be afraid of the door.

Step 8: Latch the door.

This is an important step, and should not be done until your dog is comfortable being in the crate. The first time you latch the door, be sure to stay in plain sight, and latch it for only a handful of seconds.

Let him rattle the door, but do try to open it before he wines. The last thing you want is to associate the door opening as a result of his whining.

If he whines first, then wait several hours, or until the next day, to try again – and be sure to do a shorter length of time.

Repeat this pattern over the next few days and add a few seconds each time as you can. Remain right at the crate with your hand on the latch, talking to your little guy the whole time.

Step 9: Walk away.

When you have been able to extend the time the door is closed and latched to about a minute, start putting distance between yourself and the kennel.

Start by standing up – because he can still see you it will not cause separation anxiety or any fear. Simply stand up and sit back down, and open the door – even if this was a shorter period than you’ve been working on.

Slowly, add distance with the door closed. Back away a couple steps, keeping eye contact and speaking softly and cheerfully, and return. Repeat, adding a step or two, for the next handful of days until you can make it to a doorway.

Once you’ve achieved this distance with no whining, it’s time to walk away from the crate. Start this step over, but this time turning and facing away from Fluffy.

As before, incrementally increase the distance away from the crate until you can make it to the door.

Step 10: Increase crate time.

Once you can walk to the doorway and back, its time to begin increasing the time in the closed kennel while you are in the room. Start by sitting against or near the crate, with your phone.

Crate training for puppy

Pup loves his crate

Try and be quiet, but make sure you put a few toys in the crate first. Slowly start extending the time and distance until about 30 minutes, and you’re on the other side of the room.

Once you have a calm pup with 30 minutes in their crate – preferable calm ones! – then it’s time to start leaving the room.

Close and latch the crate, walk out of the room until you are out of sight and then return to the room, but do not open the crate immediately.

Do this several times throughout the day, varying the amount of time out of sight, but as you increase it do so by only a minute or two each time.

Increase these periods gradually, and consider starting an overnight routine.

You Did It!

At this point your little guy is crate trained; that is he goes into the crate and remains with the door closed without crying. Now, you will begin to increase the time from half an hour up to several hours.

A hotly debated topic among breeders and trainers, is feeding in the crate. It undoubtedly shortens the crate training timeframe, because you can close the door while they are distracted by the food.

On the other hand, after several weeks training you may find your pooch will not accept his food anywhere but inside the kennel, which can cause a whole heap of new problems.

And remember, above all never give in to whining at the beginning of training. Your puppy should whimper when he needs to potty during the night, but he should not be rewarded by coming out unless it’s for a bathroom break.

Crate Training Tips

A few added tips for a successful training, and a happy puppy…

  1. In the early stages of training, do not cover the crate with blankets; he draws his reassurance from seeing you. Once he is fully trained you can try it – but not yet.
  2. Plan your potty breaks when you know you will be leaving for any amount of time. Don’t let him play hard, slurp up all his water, and then put him in the crate for a few hours. It’s just like family roadtrips when you were a kid, “go to the bathroom before you leave”.
  3. Rule of thumb for crating puppies up to 12 months old is one hour per month, up to six hours. So, a four month old should not be in the crate more than four hours without a break, and an 11 month old no longer than six hours.
  4. Tired puppies are easier to crate for any length of time, because they will fall asleep. A puppy full of energy and wanting to play will be stifled and unhappy.
  5. Crating a puppy while you are at work isn’t the best idea; their bladders can’t take the extended time, and the boredom will cause them to act out. If you must leave your 4-legged child for more than 6 hours at a time, consider having a trusted neighbor kid come over and take the pup out into the yard for an hour every day. Heck, they’d probably do it for free! If that’s not an option, consider putting an exercise pen around the crate and leaving the door open. Or, put the crate in the kitchen or another room and allowing them full access and put up a child-gate.
  6. Make “good bye’s” short and sweet. Don’t let them drag on, or be emotional. Simply put Fido in the crate, give him a treat, and tell him you have to leave for a while.
  7. If you’re planning on keeping your puppy crated at night, remember that the best place for them to sleep is in your room, where they can see, hear, and smell you. This may involve moving the crate daily, or purchasing a separate crate.
  8. When letting your puppy out of the crate, do not make a big deal out of it; you’re not releasing him from prison. Be just as matter-of-fact as you were when you left.
  9. Once your dog is fully housebroken, and trustworthy not to eat the house – or every pair of shoes you own – you can opt leave the crate door open during the day. Crate training isn’t necessarily teaching them to be locked in a crate all day, but rather being able to be in a crate, as well as making it a part of their personal routine and space.
  10. Crating does not solve separation anxiety, especially if you’re still in the room.

The perfect recipe for successful crate training takes 3 ingredients; patience, consistency, and commitment. As long as you keep these at the forefront of your training motivation, you will have a crate-trained puppy in no time.


And Bear? Well, he eventually outgrew his termite phase, and appreciated his crate once he got used to it.

We were able to leave the door open while we were at work or shopping, and he found it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of family life.

He still stashes his treats – but now he hides them in his crate.

The post How to Crate Train a Puppy appeared first on Central Park Paws.

from http://www.centralparkpaws.net/dog-training-tips/how-to-crate-train-a-puppy/

Best Indestructible Dog Beds


Ever have one of those days where you wish you could hit ‘rewind’? Or just crawl into a little hole and not come out for an hour – or a year?

Yeah, I had me one of those recently.

My husband walked in on me coming absolutely, positively unglued – something that in all of our years together he’d never experienced – over the actions of one of our dogs.

I have no doubt the view of me raving like an under-medicated lunatic who just broke out of her restraints, contrasted with our dogs calmly laying around enjoying the show with their tails and tongues wagging, is what lead to him dropping his stuff and (after a moment of initial shock) practically busting a gut laughing at the scene.

Not one of my finer moments, I must admit, but I suppose I can appreciate the entertainment from his point of view – and the dogs, too.

In my defense, I had good reason to crack like a dropped egg.

Caña de Cerveza had chewed up another dog bed. I swear, that mutt is shooting to beat a personal best score.

They say every moment is a teaching or learning moment – and heaven knows on that day I did both! – as a result, and weeks of research, I became an unofficial expert on “indestructible” dog beds.

So What Makes a Dog Bed “Indestructible”?

chew proof dog beds

Some dogs will chew ANYTHING!

So many manufacturers tout that their beds are “indestructibly” or “chew proof”, but if you’re like me, you want to know how they gauge what makes the cut.

Is it simply because it takes a lot more effort for a dog doesn’t rip it into a million shreds the minute Mom walks out of the room?

Or is it made from materials that taste nasty so your pooch doesn’t want to bite into it?

Is there a balance between durability and safety?

And for heaven’s sake – does a dog bed even exist that won’t be turned into stuffing at some point with a little effort and a whole lot of motivation from a bored pup?

To answer those questions, we need to decide what defines “indestructible” – and if it’s right for your dog.

To start with, “indestructible” and “chew proof” in relation to dog beds are used interchangeably by the manufacturers as the same thing; it might still be chewed, but without excessive damage – and your pooch may lose interest in it.

While we’re at it – these so-called “chew-proof” beds aren’t an automatic requirement. Unless your pup has left multiple bed carcasses in their wake, try choose a bed based on comfort – especially for an older dog.

Most tougher beds are, obviously, made from tougher materials – and those canvas-type materials aren’t the most comfortable.

Keep in mind most dogs chew out of boredom. If you have provided enough stimulation while you’re not at home – especially larger soft chew toys – then there’s less chance that your furbaby will resort to ripping the stuffing out of his bed.

Of course, some dogs chew because they’re jerks – uh, I mean, because they enjoy it.

When choosing an indestructible bed, remember that it’s all about the construction. The best outer materials can fail quickly with poor construction, and sub-par materials can actually hold up much longer than expected if stitched and assembled well.

Outer Material

The general construction material of the bed will determine the chew-worthiness of the bed.

While we want to balance durability and comfort, our focus is a bed for our four-legged friend that will not look like a stuffing factory exploded in the living room.

1680D Ballistic Nylon

If you think 1680D Ballistic Nylon sounds a lot like the material that your backpack is made from – you’d be right. Although not technically “indestructible”, this is a classic chew proof material because of the dog’s lack of interest in chewing it, as well as its resilient durability when chewed.


Not as durable as 1680D, canvas is a good choice for its durability and also because it is a material that does not naturally entice chewing.


A less durable material, but a dog that has never had denim toys – like one made from an old pair of jeans – will generally not begin to gnaw on this.


best indestructable dog beds

Have you ever come home to this?

The microfibers – including microsuede – are not the preferred choice for dog beds since they mimic the plush stuffed tows our chewers delight in disassembling.

Inner Material

I’ve always been a bit disappointed by the lacking of real regulation and labeling of materials on dog beds, but there’s not much we can do about it.

Unless your dog has special needs (age, arthritis, allergies) the materials aren’t as important as long as it’s adequate for comfort.


This really isn’t a “make or break” rating – unless a bed claims to be waterproof and fails. But let’s be honest – waterproofness is only important if we specifically need it, and then it’s gotta be on point.


Don’t settle for anything less than double stitching at the seams.

Remember for beds constructed with multiple layers of fabric, one layer may fail and the next – for whatever reason – may not; unless your dog breaks all the way through to the inner cover or filling, the bed may not be considered “failed” by the manufacturer.


This is a tricky one. Most manufacturers offer a 30 or 90 day warranty – but limit the replacement of the cover only or the bed to one-time. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the warranty before purchase.

Lastly, try to resist the urge to treat your dog bed with anti-chew sprays. At best they can cause your pup to avoid their bed – and at worst they can cause chemical burns when chewing, or other irritations to eyes or nose when snuggling.

Best Indestructible Dog Beds

There are dozens of tough dog beds on the market, touting their indestructibility in some form or another.

The below were chosen from a stringent assortment of scientifically methods, including flipping coins and pointing to pictures and asking the dogs which the liked.

As with other items from our reviews, those products that passed well are donated to a local shelter.

DIY Durable Denim Duvet

chew resistant dog bed

This option intrigued me from a do-it-yourself aspect, but also because of their dual claims of “chew resistant” and “not chew proof rated” – so that seemed like acceptable grounds to check it out.

For our review, we focused on the 1680D nylon cover – but be advised if you choose the microsuede that you’re just creating a giant stuffed animal – and we all know what happens when our chewers sink their jaws into a soft, plush toy.


  • Size: Multiple availabletough duvet for dogs
    • Medium (36″ x 29″)
    • Large (48″ x 29″)
  • Color: Seal Brown
    • Also available in black, tan, brown, olive, blue, and grey depending on cover material chosen.
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
    • Also available in canvas, denim, oxford, or microsuede depending on color chosen.
  • Inner Material: Consumer provided pillows or other filler material.
  • Chew Rating: 4/5 for material chosen and reviewed.

Overview: The concept was a good one, when you think about it; a tough outer cover added to a waterproof inner cover that allows you to make your dog bed from the best materials for their personal needs.

The three pillow option of the large bed held the pillows nicely, although it led to an awkward size for my test-mutt.

Unfortunately, it’s important to carefully pay attention to the material when choosing color, since you may wind up with a cover made of microsuede that entices chewing rather than one of the sturdier covers.

The inner “waterproof” cover was definitely not what was pictured, and unfortunately didn’t hold up to the water balloon test for waterproofness.

Tails Up (Pros): The 1680D ballistic is a durable material. A serious chewer will still try it, but lose interest before any damage occurs. The ability to change the inner materials was surprisingly easy and refreshing, as opposed to hours searching for the perfect combination of cover and comfort.

Tails Down (Cons): The sizing of the duvet is awkward, since it’s long and narrow. Also, the waterproof inner cover seems to barely register as water-resistant. The zipper really needs to be more durable. The pillows shifted around easily, leading to uncomfortable hard spots.

Verdict: Good idea, but falls short due to the inner cover, inability for the pillows to stay in place, and ordering confusion.

goDog Bubble Bolster

goDog Bubble Bolster review

This manufacturer makes some of our favorite stuffed toys, so it was a no-brainer to include a review when this came up on my radar.

There are several options for the loft of the outer material, and for the sake of this review, the XX-large size in cocoa we chose is the high pile plush constructed material.

goDog beds are not self-classified as indestructable, but rather “guaranteed to last longer than standard plush beds”.


  • Size: Multiple available
    • X-small (18″ x 13″)tough dog beds
    • Small (23″ x 17″)
    • Medium (30″ x 19″)
    • Large (35″ x 23″)
    • X-large (43″ x 28″)
    • XX-large (49″ x 30″)
  • Color: Cocoa
    • Also available in tan, beige, and grey
  • Outer Material: Unspecified, shaggy material
  • Inner Material: Unspecified
  • Chew Rating: 1/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: Like with the other beds, the first thing I did when setting the goDog Bubble Bolster bed on the floor was to crawl onto it and check it out myself for comfort – and boy was it!

The plush material was soft and the feel of the hardwood through the bed was definitely decreased. It could easily lend itself to a nap were it not for the other canines demanding their turn.

The bed boasts a bolster, which is not much more than a raised edge around the bed, and the overall stitching. The Chew Guard Technology™ is a proprietary process that adds a tear-resistant mesh lining.

The seams are reinforced and the bed as a whole is machine washable.

Tails Up (Pros): The overall construction appears well done, the no-skid bottom is a nice touch, and their sizing is geared towards fitting standard crating, allowing the bed to easily pull double-duty – a bonus when your pup is traveling away from home.

Tails Down (Cons): The bed is not waterproof or water resistant, and the fluffy plush material of the bed was no more than a giant chew toy.

Verdict: This bed had an impressively short lifespan because the plushy soft material is indistinguishable from a standard chew toy.

DogBed4Less Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

DogBed4Less chew resistant Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed reviewAn orthopedic dog bed that’s indestructible? Sign me up! With numerous sizes available to choose from, a single piece, 100% gel-infused memory foam interior cushion, with an inner waterproof liner and a tough exterior made from 1680D.

I didn’t read much more of the description before adding it to the cart.


  • Size: Multiple availablenon chewable dog bed
    • Small/Medium (35″ x 20″)
    • Medium/Large (37″ x 27″)
    • Large (41″ x 27″)
    • Extra Large (47″ x 29″)
    • Extra Large (40″ x 35″)
    • XX-Large (55″ x 37″)
    • Jumbo (55″ x 47″)
  • Color: Navy Blue
    • Also available in seal brown
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: 4″ 100% gel-infused memory foam (non-toxic)
  • Chew Rating: 5/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: This orthopedic bed is not fully chew proof rated from the manufacturer – but the dogs don’t know that. After a few discrete test chews (yeah – she didn’t think we saw her!) the interest in the bed as a source of entertainment subsided.

The exterior is rougher than some of the more indulgent materials, but that’s to be expected – we’re shifting from softness to durability.

The waterproof interior certainly held up as waterproof, and the orthopedic core held up to sleep and play.

Tails Up (Pros): This bed was surprisingly comfortable, and the cool gel was definitely welcome in the recent heat wave.

Tails Down (Cons): Replacing the core after washing was a wee troublesome, and the zipper of the bed we tried was a bit stiff – but easily remedied by a bit of beeswax.

Verdict: A great bed that was generous enough in size for multiple large dogs to flop on for cool comfort.

K9 Ballistics Crate Pad

K9 Ballistics Crate Pad reviewSpecifically a crate pad, the manufacturer advertises this bed for light to moderate chewers only, and will resist about 90% of chewing. The overall construction of 1680D is not water resistant or waterproof.


  • Size: Multiple Available
    • Toy (23″ x 17″)k9 ballistics crate pad for chewers
    • X-Small (30″ x 19″)
    • Small (35″ x 23″)
    • Medium (41″ x 28″)
    • Large (47″ x 36″)
    • X-Large (51″ x 36″)
  • Color: Green Camo
    • Also available in black, blue, grey camo, green, red, tan.
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: 1.5″ thick polyester fill
  • Chew Rating: 3/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: As a crate pad, the K9 Ballistics is an acceptable option. The 1680D nylon holds up well to scratching and the double-stitching lends itself to quality construction. The cover is not removable, but the whole unit is machine washable.

Like with any 1680D, there is ancillary noise when the dogs move around on it. When used as a stand-alone bed, it did not fall victim to chewing – but it wasn’t used much, either. Probably due to the thinness of the overall bed.

As a crate liner, the loft was adequate, but dogs to tend to chew their crate bedding more, and its lifetime is definitely limited if you have a crate chewer.

Tails Up (Pros): The 1680D is good construction material, and the sizing fits the popular kennels.

Tails Down (Cons): The thin pad is not protective enough, and the crate ties are an enticement for chewers

Verdict: the K9 Ballistics Crate Pad has an adequate design and good materials, but it’s too thin for comfort.

Please note: This bed is also available in an orthopedic version, consisting of a 2″ core, consisting of a 1″ layer of memory foam on top of a 1″ layer of dense foam.

Kuranda Elevated Dog Bed

Kuranda Elevated Dog Bed reviewAn elevated, PVC-framed dog bed that is basically a hammock design, which will avoid base pressure points. The PVC frame is walnut colored, and assembled at home with enclosed stainless steel hardware.

There is an optional fleece pad available for extra comfort. PVC glue is NOT recommended for use during assembly.


  • Size: Multiple Available
    • Small (30″ x 20″)unchewable dog bed
    • Medium (35″ x 23″)
    • Large (40″ x 25″)
    • X-Large (44″ x 27″)
    • XX-Large (50″ x 36″)
  • Color: Khaki
    • Also available burgundy, forest green, smoke.
  • Outer Material: Cordura®
  • Inner Material: None
  • Chew Rating: 5/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: As it is, this bed really is chew-proof – but I wouldn’t consider it indestructible due to the construction. There is no specific weight for the Cordura® but it feels like standard canvas weight, or about 1000D nylon.

The Kuranda elevated dog bed is basically a raised cot, commonly used for teaching “place”. The dogs go to it easily enough as instructed, but it is not a chosen place for a nap – although it became more attractive when their regular bed was put on top.

Unless your dog has had experience with these raised cots, there will be a long curve for them to get used to it between the insecure footing and noisiness of the material. Assembly required.

Tails Up (Pros): A simple design that easily lends itself to the indestructible label.

Tails Down (Cons): Uncomfortable without additional padding (that may be chewed!), definitely not a good choice for arthritic dogs. Dogs not familiar with cots will shy away from it.

Verdict: Considering only the chew factor, this option receives a 5/5 – but there is no real comfort unless the fleece pad is ordered, or a folded blanket is placed over the top, and even then its unique design may likely be rebuffed due to insecure footing.

Slumber Pet Toughstructable Bed

Slumber Pet Toughstructable reviewWhen I came across this bed touting to be the “future in chew-proof dog beds”, with its advertised chew-proof ripstop material, double-stitched seams, and reinforced corners, I was excited.

I clicked the button to add it to my cart, and anxiously awaited its arrival.


  • Size: Multiple Availablewaterproof dog beds
    • Medium (36″ x 23″)
    • Large (42″ x 28″)
  • Color: Tan
  • Outer Material: Polyester
  • Inner Material: Polyfil
  • Chew Rating: 0/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression – and boy did this bed make an impression. Just not a good one.

I’m not sure what they consider ripstop material – but this is definitely not what I’ve encountered.

The Slumber Pet Toughstructable bed felt like the material my aunt’s curtains were made out of.

The double-stitched seams weren’t, there weren’t channels for the filling, and there was no indication of reinforcing at the corners.

I know this for a fact – the bed’s remains were strewn across the living room in less than 2 hours. Oh, and don’t bother looking for a warranty – there was none.

Tails Up (Pros): The Velcro closure was nice, I suppose.

Tails Down (Cons): Hmmm … Just throw $65 in small bills on the floor and it would probably last longer.

Verdict: Poorly made, falsely advertised, and overpriced.

KONG Chew Resistant Heavy Duty Pillow Dog Bed

KONG Chew Resistant Heavy Duty Pillow Bed reviewI stumbled across this one completely by accident, so I added it to my cart – and quickly deleted it. Just shy of $300 seemed a bit pricey, even with my Prime shipping.

But it was Kong so I poked around and found it at PetSmart for less than $100. Pleased with my frugalness, I put in my order and waited for my treasure.


  • Size: 30″ x 40″
  • Color: Brown
  • Outer Material: Polyester
  • Inner Material: Polyester
  • Chew Rating: 3/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: I won’t say this was the worst bed reviewed – but in light of the company reputation, it was by far the most disappointing.

I fully expected the same Kong toughness that I had enjoyed with their soft toys (well, not that I chew them personally – you know what I mean!) but that was not the case.

The polyester was certainly not going to stand up to roughhousing for long, but for whatever reason none of the dogs tried to disassemble it – maybe because of the faint funny odor.

The piping around the edge is definitely a chew enticement, as is the carrying handle. More size options would have been nice.

Tails Up (Pros): The dogs didn’t chew it. It’s a Kong. It seems comfortable enough to me.

Tails Down (Cons): The Kong dog bed is definitely not up to the standards of other Kong products. The handle feels like it can be easily ripped off, and the material definitely doesn’t feel like it will withstand much pawing.

The dogs didn’t have much interest laying on it unless instructed to.

Verdict: Let’s be honest – Kong knows how to build tough toys that could withstand Jaws on a bad day and come back for more. Beds… not so much. It’s really no surprise that these beds are not listed on the Kong website anywhere. Be sure to price shop!

K9 Ballistics Original TUFF Dog Bed

K9 Ballistics Original TUFF Dog Bed reviewThe next step up from their crate pad, the K9 Ballistics TUFF Bed option is designed in true dog-bed style. A more colorful pallet of 1680D nylon exterior and a thick channeled poly fiber fill was more than I could resist – so I didn’t.


  • Size: Multiple Availablebest dog bed for chewers
    • Small (18″ x 24″)
    • Medium (27″ x 33″)
    • Large (34″ x 40″)
    • X-large (38″ x 54″)
    • XX-Large (40″ x 68″)
  • Color: Sunny Sky Stripe
    • Also available in black, blue, gray camo, green, green camo, lattice, marine blue stripe, red, and tan.
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: Polyester stuffing
  • Chew Rating: 5/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: The 1680D nylon is tough, and the ripstop pattern will definitely stop small rips from expanding through standard use. The K9 Ballistics TUFF bed is definitely not waterproof; according to the manufacturer, it’s designed for any wetness to pass right through – and it actually does.

The velcro strip replacing a zipper will eliminate any chewing enticement.

Tails Up (Pros): This bed is easy to clean, and comfortable for the dogs. The fluffy filling doesn’t compact as much as I thought it would, and it withstood digging and rough-house play.

Tails Down (Cons): There is definitely more outer material than inner material, leading to an under-stuffed look.

Verdict: Well made tough dog bed that definitely lives up to the standards of toughness set by K9 Ballistics.

Please note: This bed also comes in a bolstered version; a couch-style with arms and a back for those pups that like to snuggle into their beds.

K9 Ballistics Deep Den Dog Bed

K9 Ballistics Deep Den Dog Bed reviewAnother K9 Ballistics option (mostly because I like the name!) for the nesters and snugglers of the house. The rounded oval design, high sides, and generous stuffing make for a comfortable sleeping spot for young and old dogs that like to curl up.


  • Size: Multiple Availableround indestructible dog bed
    • Small (24″ x 28″)
    • Medium (30″ x 24″)
    • Large (36″ x 28″)
    • X-Large (45″ x 38″)
  • Color: Black
    • Also available in lattice and green camo
  • Outer Material: 1680D Nylon
  • Inner Material: Unspecified
  • Chew Rating: 4/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: As expected, the Deep Dog Den bed was another well made product from a manufacturer determined to get their super-durable dog beds right.

The full perimeter wall allows the pup to be fully snuggled in without the annoyance of an opening.

The fluffy filling is soft and non-clumping, and the overall design can be tempting for committed chewers.

Tails Up (Pros): Rugged material and quality construction. Smaller sizes are machine washable; the X-Large size needs to be cleaned with a hose.

Tails Down (Cons): The interior lining may not hold up to extended digging – typical for nesters and snugglers. The overall design could be a chew enticement, especially the removable bottom pad.

Verdict: Although not chewed by my dogs, the removable bottom pad and high sides could definitely be chewing enticements.

Hugglehounds Chew Resistant TuffutLuxx Bed

Hugglehounds Chew Resistant TuffutLuxx Bed reviewOne more manufacturer of tough toys tossing their offering into the “unchewable” dog bed arena. The fashionable colors of their removable outer cover feature contrast quilted-stitching to give an extra classy look.

The manufacturer touts their beds as “Abrasion resistance more than 6x higher than most tough chew dog beds”. With claims like that, it needs to spend some time with my chewer.


  • Size: Multiple Availableindestructable beds for dogs
    • Medium (36″ x 27″)
    • Large (42″ x 30″)
    • X-Large (48″ x 36″)
  • Color: Atlantic Night
    • Also available in Belgian chocolate and champagne
  • Outer Material: Unspecified nylon
  • Inner Material: Polyfill
  • Chew Rating: 4/5 for bed chosen and reviewed

Overview: Without a doubt, the Hugglehounds TuffetLuxx is a nice looking bed. The quilted stitching gives the nylon outer a little more of a softer feel, and the polyfill is fluffy and adequate.

The zipper flap is well stitched, although the zipper itself was stiff and snaggy.

Advertised as waterproof, only the inner cover held up to water balloons.

Tails Up (Pros): Nice looking bed sure to go with any décor, comfortable and sturdy. Held up well enough to canine tug-of-war.

Tails Down (Cons): Although only one of the dogs chewed through (can you guess which one?), the threads snag and rip easily when pawed; this can lead to weak areas that will tear.

Verdict: Not a bad bed at all, although it fails to meet the high expectations that come from their lofty claims.

Bottom Line

We’ve looked at just a sliver of the “indestructable” dog beds on the market, and K9 Ballistics are a clear forerunner overall – although the DogBed4Less was our clear winner for their chew-proof orthopedic design, overall construction, and bang for your buck.

Unless constructed out of chainmail, no dog bed is truly indestructible for a committed canine.

Also bear in mind when choosing a bed that each dog is different, and their chewing needs are just as varied – and their toys will give you a good indication of construction material that are the better choices.

For example, if you use old jeans to make chew and tug toys for your pup – what do you think will happen to a denim bed?

You definitely get what you pay for – but before dropping several hundred dollars on a bed, do a little price shopping. Also, check your local pet store; an afternoon spent trying out beds could go a long way to choosing the best one for your pooch.

Above all, remember that dogs will be dogs.

It’s been a few months now, and Cerveza hasn’t chewed up her new bed.

Now if I can just get her to stop hoarding cheese under it…

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