Bentley's' paw "Golden Paw" paw Recommendations for Dog Products

Eukanuba Veterinary Diet - Response FP

My food is available only from your veterinarian.  It contains fish and potatoes and helped my skin stop being itchy from allergies. My vet said I may be allergic to a lot of things, but food was one think my caretaker could control.  It costs a bit more than regular dog food, but it's well worth it.  By eating this food, I was able to stop taking allergy medicine. I eat a mixture of both the dry and canned formulas mixed with a bit of water.  If you have itchy skin or tummy upset, your owner may want to ask your vet about a special diet. Look, they even put a drawing of me on the can! 

Eukanuba Response FP

Beds

Two of my beds came from Dr. Foster's and Smith, where I've shopped quite a bit. I use the "orthopedic" style bed, which is made of firm foam.  It's great for an older big doggy like me who needs some support. It's also easier to get out of bed when your bed isn't squishing around underneath you. They don't carry my styles any more...hey, what's an Indulged Doggy like me doing with old beds?  I think I need the "new and improved" versions!.  I have something very similar to the "Super Deluxe Dog Bed".  I also have the "old" version of the "Deluxe Double Thick Orthopedic Pad" Both beds are the big size (36" x 54") because I'm a big doggy and I like to stretch out!  A Bigger Bed Is Better, especially when you have to share with Ed the cat!  I've had both of my beds for 4 years, and they've held up very well.

Delux Orthopedic Dog Bed

Orthopedic foam pad

Solution for when a store-bought bed just isn't working for you.

One of the beds my mom bought was too squishy for me. It was an "Indoor / Outdoor Pet Pillow" made of water-repellant fabric and filled with fluffy fiberfill.  The photo used in the catalog makes this bed look firmer than we found it to be.  The model dog in the photo doesn't appear to sink into the bed very much, but I did, and I had a really hard time getting out of it. So mom opened up the seam of the cover (the shorter side) and took all the stuffing out.  Now we had a big empty "pillowcase" that could be reused.  She purchased a queen-sized egg-crate foam mattress pad from Target, cut it into two pieces and stacked them together inside the "pillowcase", and voila, I had a new bed.  Mom is so ingenious.  The water-repellant fabric is great for use in my doghouse, and the double layers of firm egg-crate foam make a perfect bed for me.  If one of your beds just isn't working for you, try this solution.  It's economical, and Indulgent!

Indoor / Outdoor bed
This bed was squishier than it looks here in the photo from the catalog.

Collar and Tags  -- Lets get serious for a minute.

Be sure you're always wearing your collar and tag.  It can be a life-saver and help you find your way back to your Indulged Furry Home. Even if you've had a microchip id implanted, please wear a collar and tag.  Fitted properly, a collar should not bother you or be dangerous.  It should be snug, but not tight...your owner should be able to slip their fingers between your neck and collar.  I prefer the quick-release type closure that snaps together instead of the buckle style.  This is just personal preference...the most important thing is to wear a collar and tag so that someone can help you find your way home if you're lost. Your tag should have your Address and Phone number.  My tag also has my name.  Some owners say "Reward".  Whatever your tag says, it should help get you home if you're lost.  Also, wear your current dog license. It can also help identify you and help the authorities find your owner.  If you have any medical conditions, you can wear another tag (for example, if you have diabetes, wear a "DIABETIC" tag.  It can help save your life.  If you wear several tags and don't like to jingle, get plastic tags.  My dog license tag is aluminum and my name tag is plastic...they don't clink together.

If you don't like tags, you can order an embroidered collar. Then, your name and phone number are sewn into your collar and you don't need a tag (you still may have to wear your license tag).

Do Not wear a "choke" or training chain (or "prong" / pinch collar) while home alone, and don't wear it while at the dog park or playing with other dogs! I can't "bark" that loudly enough!!! They call them "choke" chains for a reason! These training devices are not collars. They are to be worn for walks or during training, when your owner is with you.  I wear my choke chain when we go for walks because I can pull backwards out of my regular identification collar (my head is skinnier than my neck).  Also, my owner knows how to properly use one.  They aren't for "choking", but for a quick jerk / release correction, IF needed.  If you are sitting facing your owner, the collar should look like a 'P' when it goes over your head.  If left on while your owner is away, you can catch the chain on something, struggle to get out, and choke yourself...to death. If there's some strange reason you have a chain-type collar, make sure your owner unlinks the slip chain and converts it to a fixed-length collar that can't tighten around your neck.  Better yet, get a non-chain collar! Chain link around your neck is inviting danger.  Also, your identification should be on your regular collar, not your training chain.  If you don't believe me about the dangers of choke chains do a google search for "dog choke collar death" or "dog choke chain death" and read the articles.

Wear a well fitting collar and tag
A well fitting collar with an identification tag can save your life!  Be an Indulged Doggie, and wear your collar!

 

Wear an Identification Tag!


Wear an ID Tag
on your collar

 

This is a training chain, NOT a collar.
Choke chains are not collars, and should be worn only during supervised training.

Ok, back to the Fun Stuff -- TOYS!!! 

An Indulged Doggy can never have enough toys. All of these toys hold up to my aggressive gnawing.  Something else I look for in a toy is that I can hold with my paws while I chew on it. The only toys I don't gnaw on are the soft rubber "porcupine" balls.  I like the feel of these in my mouth, so I'm gentle with them.  "Plush" toys don't last long in my house, so mom doesn't buy them for me anymore. Here are my favorite toys.

The Pedigree Frame Ball Lots of fun to chew and carry around. If you have a playmate, you can play tug with it too.

The Air Dog 11-inch Fetch Stick and 6-inch Ring are a lot of fun.  These are fancy shaped toys made from tennis ball material .  They're great for playing fetch, or you can hold them down with your paws and "skin" the tennis ball fuzzy fabric off them!  It makes a wonderful slobbery mess for your owner to clean up.  Eventually I chew the ends off the Fetch Stick, and just when I get to the point where I'm making good progress and pulling off big pieces, mom takes it away from me.

Rubber chew toys are essentials for a Golden Retriever who must always have something to carry around or occupy their mouth.  My toy box usually contains an assortment of the Rough & Rugged rubber 7-inch Dumbell or 10-inch bone. I can get the ends off the bone after a couple weeks of chewing, but they are both perfect for holding down with your paws and chewing on the other end.

The Ruff Toys hard spikey ball sounds like it would hurt, but it doesn't.  I love chewing all the tips off and spiting them out.  This is a good toy if your owner doesn't like to touch a slobbery toy because the tips give a slobber-free holding area for your human.

At Christmas, Grandma got me a Buddy's Fire Hydrant from Sun Pet Toys.  I've never seen this toy before, but boy is it fun.  It has lots of bumpy textures that are fun to mouth and gnaw.  It's holding up really well to my chewing.  You can shop online and get them for reasonable prices (google search for "Buddy's Fire Hydrant").

I mentioned earlier that I don't chew my soft "porcupine" balls.  These would not be good for an aggressive chewer because they're soft rubber and come with a squeaky thing in them.  I don't chew or squeak it, I just like to hold them in my mouth.  They're a lightweight "carry around the house" toy.  My caretakers like them because they don't get all slobbery! 

Pedigree Frame Ball
Pedigree Frame Ball

Air Dog 11 inch fetch stick
Air Dog 6 inch ring
Air Dog Fetch Stick 
and Ring

Rough & Rugged 7 inch rubber dumbell
Four Paws rough & rugged 10 inch bone
Rubber dumbell 
and bone


Ruff Toys 3 inch spiked ball
Hard spikey  ball

Buddy's Fire Hydrant
Buddy's Fire Hydrant

Squeeky latek soft spikey "porcupine" ball.
Soft "porcupine" ball

Personal Care Products

All of my personal care product recommendations can be purchased on-line or at your local pet supply store. 

Shampoo & Conditioner

Bathing is one of life's necessities, but that doesn't mean in can't be enjoyable. Think of it as a day at the spa. I use Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Shampoo and BioGroom Natural Oatmeal Cream Rinse. They are wonderful products for doggies like me who have sensitive skin.  We've never figured out why they keep changing the way the bottles look, but the stuff inside work great.  In the hot California summer (June - September), I get an outdoor bath in the lawn using the hose.  But any other time of year (October through May), I get a bath indoors.  We have a big walk-in shower with a hand-held sprayer and mom brings me in there for a nice warm water doggy bath.  It's fun when she turns the shower to "massage" mode and gives me a doggy water massage.  It's a great way to rinse the shampoo and conditioner out, and get the kinks out of your muscles at the same time!

Detangler

After my bath, I get a few sprays of detangler on my long feathery tail. This really helps comb out the tangles without pulling on the sensitive underside of my tail.  I use Johnson's No More Tangles from the human children's hair care section. 

Drying

Of course I'm blow-dried during the non-summer months. How else is an Indulged Doggy supposed to dry off?!  A nice soft, natural brush helps remove any shedding fur and keep my tail hairs from tangling while drying. Your caretaker must be very careful with the blow drier - no blowing on the face or in the ears, and be sure to keep it a safe distance away from the skin and keep it moving so your skin doesn't get burned.

Nail Care

What day at the spa would be complete without a manicure, or should I saw "paw-icure"?  During my bath, most of the dirt comes out from underneath my nails.  But just to be sure, mom takes a soft toothbrush and cleans out any dirt that might remain.  This helps her see the live part of my nail more clearly so that she can trim my nails without cutting them too short. We use a clipper like the one pictured here.  It's very sharp and my mom is comfortable using this style.  Your owner should use whatever style they're comfortable with.  Sometimes, if I'm really feeling like I need extra pampering, I have my mom file down the rough edges of my freshly-trimmed nails with an emory board.  We prefer Revlon emory boards, but I guess any brand would work.  Start with the rougher side, then smooth your nails to a nice finish with the finer side.  If your caretaker isn't comfortable using a nail clipper, maybe just the emory board would work.  Your vet can always help with proper nail care if your mom & dad aren't comfortable doing it themselves.

Ear Care

My ears get a bit dirty, so after every bath I get them cleaned using OtiCalm Ear Solution. This is a non-foaming type cleaner (foaming bubbles in your ear are creepy!)  First, mom wets a cotton pad with OtiCalm, then wipes out my ears.  Then she carefully cleans the nooks & crannies using a Q-tip moistened with OtiCalm.  She just cleans the wax and dirt out from the outer portion of my ear, not down into the ear canal.  Having my ears cleaned is not my favorite part of my "day at the spa", but mom is very gently and talks to me and pets me a lot while cleaning my ears.

The entire bathing, drying, nail trimming and ear care routine must be a relaxing and indulgent experience.  Lots of petting and massaging is done during your "day at the spa" and it's a great time for you and your caretaker to bond.



Bio Groom Oatmeal Shampoo

Biogroom conditioner

Johnsons No More Tangles

nail clipper

Emory boards

Oticalm

Every Good Canine Citizen must pick up their potty mess when out in the neighborhood for a walk.  We use Bags On Board.  The little plastic canister attaches to your leash (the end your owner holds) and it holds a roll of doggy poop pick-up bags. The container is refillable.  This is a convenient solution for an unpleasant necessity. There's plenty of room in the bag to clean up after a big doggy and have room to tie the bag shut.

Bags On Board

Under-carpet pad

For covering slippery wood floors. We've described how we use area rugs and the under-carpet pad to cover our wood floors to help prevent Bentley from slipping and injuring himself. You can read more on the Indulged Doggy Senior Tips page.

Under-Carpet Pad