Category Archives: Product Reviews

Product Review: Flexi Leash

Although my experience using the flexi leash has been mixed, they remain popular for a good reason. Regular dog leads drag on the ground, leaving both the leash and your hands dirty. I’ve yet to find a product that rivals the popularity of the flexi, but I wish there were more choices!

Flexi Comfort 2 Medium, 16ft, $28

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We bought this flexi 6 months ago and its still holding up. The only problem is, Loki chewed halfway through part of the rope ><

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Needless to say, we aren’t taking any chances with this leash anymore. The weight of the handle is just heavy enough to slow Loki down if I drop the leash. Rope leashes can cause pretty painful rope burns, so be careful when letting your dog play with the leash on! The handle on this flexi is rubber, giving it a more comfortable grip compared to its plastic counterparts. Rating: 7/10

Flexi Classic 2 Medium, 16ft, $20

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There are a few differences compared to the previous flexi. The handle is smaller and ligher, which is more comfortable on long walks and hikes. On the other hand, Loki can easily drag this around if I ever dropped the leash. The strip from the buckle to the rope is more narrow. Given that Loki chewed halfway through the previous flexi, I’m not sure if this is an advantage. This flexi claims to support dogs up to 44lbs, so Loki is well within the range. Its too early to give a good rating on this leash, so for now, I’ll have to say that I’m simply satisfied with the product. Rating: Satisfied

Flexi Explore Large Long 3, 26ft, $32

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The motivation behind getting this leash, which claims to support dogs up to 110lbs, is because Loki tends to bolt. Buying a heavy duty leash should prevent any accidents from happening, right? After all, Loki is only 25lbs.

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I’m extremely thankful that the leash didn’t snap outdoors. The incident occurred when I was driving with Loki buckled into his seatbelt and this flexi. Loki tends to pull a LOT in the car, but the seatbelt remained completely intact (I highly recommend the seatbelt). As for this leash, it snapped near the buckle after he tugged a bit too hard. Still, I don’t think he has the capability to exert as much force as a 110lb dog. I only had this leash for a week before it snapped =( Overall, this product is a complete failure. Rating: 1/10

The three products, side-by-side.20130714_162858Flexi Comfort 2  /  Flexi Medium 2  /  Flexi Long 3

If I had to choose, I would probably purchase the comfort 2 again. Do you have any recommendations for alternatives to the flexi?

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How do you safely travel with your dog?

Ever since Loki was a puppy, we’ve allowed him to sit on top of my lap during car rides in the passengers seat. This seemingly innocuous habit is quite dangerous if we ever got into an accident *knock on wood*. As he grew older and heavier, we tried to keep him in the backseat with no success. I had subconsciously conditioned him to remain calm by sitting on my lap instead of the backseat. Nowadays, he remains calm during rides around town, but the moment the car hits the highway, he flips out and will do ANYTHING in his power (even strangle himself) to sit on my lap, or hide beneath the driver’s feet! @_@

20130608_192111Loki: I’m not a backseat doggy!!

Needless to say, we’ve had to make a few rules when traveling with Loki. So far, we still haven’t found a method or product that completely works. Below are some reviews of products that I’ve purchased for Loki so far.

Deluxe Quilted and Padded seat cover for Pets – One Size Fits All 56″Wx94″L Taupe – $40

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To any shiba inu or sheddy dog owners out there: this cover is absolutely necessary to prevent your dog’s hair from overtaking your car! This dog seat cover lined the backseat of my 2010 Prius perfectly. Since we take Loki out on hiking trips a lot, having the cover is essential in keeping his dirty paws away from my seats. What I love about this product is that the cover is coated with waterproof material, so you can see beads of water rolling off the cover. TIP: Read the instructions on how to hand wash it correctly. Rating: 9/10

P26o Adjustable Pet Cat Dog Safety Leads Car Seat Belt – $4

Works surprisingly well given how cheap this is. You should hook this onto your dog’s harness and not the collar to prevent chocking. It works well if your dog is calm and sits steady in the backseat, but not so much if your dog freaks out on highways >< Rating: 9/10

I’m considering giving the Petego Pet Tube Kennel, but I’m a little taken back by the $110 price tag. If anyone has recommendations on products to keep your dog secured and safe in the back, do share!

One bone to rule them all

When we first brought Loki home from the breeder, she mentioned that she gave him cow hoofs to chew on. Perhaps this is why Loki is biased towards these bones. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed that cow hoofs are by far his favorite chew toy. And how many chew toys does Loki have? Well…

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The squirrel house that we bought him 5-6 months ago is surprisingly still intact! He doesn’t care too much for plastic chew toys, and he regained his interest in attacking the squirrel house again. Perhaps its the taste of animal bone that hes attracted to? Even then, when it comes to chewing on bones, there are few types that we bought him.

bonesFrom left to right – cow hoof ($1.75), bully stick ($5.99), deer antler ($10?)

As I’m typing this blog, Loki is chewing away on his cow hoof behind me. You can smell how foul the hoof is a few feet away @_@ I’ve read pros and cons on dog forums about giving your dog cow hoofs. For now, I’ll stick with it because its the only thing that distracts him from chewing up my house. Thank goodness its a cheap and effective toy!

bullyl’ll just sit here with my cow hoof, thank you

A Hot Sunday Morning

Farmers Market
The farmers market opens every Sunday near my house, so today I decided to take Loki there to meet some new friends. Despite arriving at the market around 11am, I was already starting to feel the afternoon heat beating down on my skin. There were a lot of dogs sitting outside the market underneath the shade, none of which Loki was interested in because of all the distractions – new smells, noises, people, and dogs! Getting him to walk alongside me had never been so difficult. Unfortunately, I was politely asked to take Loki outside of the market due to health regulations. I should have known beforehand, but there weren’t any signs!

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I scored some amazing homemade pesto to pair with naan that I bought at Trader Joes, as well fresh granola packaged in the cutest little bag. Can’t wait to try it!

Brushing Loki’s Fur
Brushing Loki’s hair used to be a painful experience, but I today I made a breakthrough! I was able to brush him for a full 15-minutes without him grring or snapping at me! He only tolerates brushing with the Kong zoomgroom brush. I suspect that the rubber teeth doesn’t feel as uncomfortable against his skin, in contrast to the GripSoft Softpin brush that I bought a while back.

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This is a 2-in-1 brush that you can use to lather shampoo during a bath, as well using it as a grooming device. I definitely recommend this to shiba owners.

hairIs that really my hair??

Toys, toys, toys!

We’ve spoiled Loki like crazy with a toys that we bought from amazon. We bought them mostly based on popularity and reviews, and it looks like he has a clear favorite out of all of them. With puppies, it is crucial that you buy them toys to keep their mouths occupied. But even this doesn’t prevent your puppy from chewing up your rug, carpet, sofa, wooden table legs, etc. Watch your puppy at all times!

And so, here are reviews of some of the toys that we’ve bought.

1. Kyjen Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle Toy for Dogs – $11


I would seriously consider buying this for a baby, or even for my own amusement! Considering the fact that this doll is only $11, it is very well built and will endure a good amount of chewing. The squirrels squeak when you press on it, and it drives the dogs crazy. I would definitely recommend this to others!

2. Wishbone Original Dog Chew Toy – $7

I suppose this would have been a good chew toy for him. Unfortunately, he played with it for 5 minutes before moving on to the cow hoof.

3. JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Dog Toy – $7

So I’m pretty sure that Andrew bought the wrong size ball. The idea is to stick a treat in the middle of the ball, and let the dog go crazy chasing it around / solving the puzzle of getting the treat out. Unfortunately, even a human couldn’t solve the puzzle with the 3.5″ ball that he bought, so I would recommend getting a bigger size. Loki did show some slight interest in chasing the ball, not so much for getting the treat out. Fail.

4. Loofa Dog Mini 6-Inch Dog Toy – $5

Picked three of these loofas up at walmart, and it was a hit the first day we showed it to Loki. When presented with his other toys though, he forgets about them and they get neglected. Nevertheless, they are very sturdy and would endure a good chewing. If only Loki was more interested in these toys though…

5. Ethical Plush Skinneeez Fox 24-Inch Stuffingless Dog Toy – $8

We picked up Mr.Fox at Petsmart the day that we got Loki. Andrew recommend this toy because his family’s chihuahuas tore every toy they were given except Mr. Fox. It is fairly high quality and will endure a good chewing. If I had to choose a soft dog toy for Loki to chew on, this would probably be his favorite. Its long, has squeekys on both ends of the toy, and seems indestructible (so far).

6.Nylabone Puppy Teething Rings Chew Toy – $4

This is it. This is the chew toy that I would recommend every puppy owner to get. Its the perfect size for Loki, and he loves to hold onto the two rings to lift up the third ring for him to chew. Whenever he misbehaves and starts mouthing my fingers, I grab this toy and make him chew on it instead. I don’t think I could live without this!

7. Petstages Puppy Cuddle Pal – $9

Well, the idea behind this toy seemed promising. You open up the toy to reveal a bean bag (?) underneath. You microwave the bean bag and put it back in the toy, so the to becomes warm to touch. The purpose of this toy is for the puppy to have something warm to cuddle up to and simulate the warmth of his mother. So I was eating beef stew one day, and microwaved the bean bag after my beef stew. Apparently the smell seeped into the bean bag, and the only thing that Loki wanted to do was pry open the toy to smell whatever was inside. Other than that, he had no interest in this toy.

8. KONG Puppy Kong Toy, Small, Assorted Pink/Blue – $5

This is probably one of the most popular dog toys out there. You put the food inside the middle, and the dog then tries to get the food out by tilting it or rolling it on its side. This toy is fantastic to keep your puppy entertained. For whatever reason, Loki seems to prefer eating his kibbles out of the kong than straight from the bowl. Maybe its more fun for him? The puppy version is a bit too easy for him though, so I will look into larger sizes that will take him longer to extract his food (and prevent him from inhaling his food). Highly recommend getting this toy!

9. Cow/Horse Hoof – $1

I’ve already written about the cow hoof in my previous blog posts before. Given his entire selection of toys to choose from, this is definitely his go-to chew toy. Who knew a $1 piece of hoof would keep him entertained for so long? I still don’t know if I would recommend it because of the sharp edges. You can see it for yourself:

In case you didn’t notice, I added my pair of indoor slippers to his collection of toys =( Even his selection of toys couldn’t stop him from chewing up my smelly slippers.

All I want for my birthday is a big nylabone

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We have been on a crazy dog toy buying spree and a new nylabone chewing bone is one of the items on the way. Until then I saw the cow hoofs when picking up pet food and remembered the breeder said they go crazy for them – and he does! I think a nylabone would be better for a number of reasons, but as I see it these are the pros and cons of the cow hoofs:

Cons:

1. Some think they are too hard and can break dogs’ teeth. Since he still has his puppy teeth, not as much of an issue right now.

2. There is concern that small shards will break off and wreak havoc on his intestines. Pieces DO break off, but not sure how dangerous they are. I know chicken bones are advised against because they break of in sharp shards but other types aren’t as bad. Anyway, I wonder how wolves manage in the wild when they have the freedom to chew on bones all they want!

3. A few people online commented that these may be made in china and be filled with toxic chemicals. Well, the smell is unpleasant but it’s definitely a very “organic” smell. I’m not sure why you would need to add chemicals to cow hoofs anyway…

Pros:

1. Whenever you give it to him he’s in chewing heaven!

2. Anytime he’s chewing on something he shouldn’t be, you can just tell him “no” and give him the cow hoof – whatever he was unleashing his tiny teeth on previously is instantly forgotten as he goes nuts on his poopy smelling cow foot.

In other news, he’s be doing good on walks, but still is a little perturbed by traffic. Walks definitely go faster on smaller streets, but I want him to get used to cars so this isn’t always an issue.

Loki loves cow hoofs + leash training woes

My boyfriend ran to the pet store to buy Loki’s puppy food this morning (ran out of it last night, thank goodness he made the trip!) He also brought back a treat for him, cow hoofs! They basically look something like this, and smell like shit:

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We’ll see how this goes. I have mixed feelings about them so far, and I would prefer a nylabone or something softer and non-destructible. I’m afraid he will chew up the edges (which he has) and swallow the smaller pieces.

On another note, I’ve been looking into replacing Loki’s collar with something that takes the stress off his neck. Harnesses seemed like a good idea, except that I’ve read numerous reports on the problem of chafing, and literally rubbing your dog’s elbows RAW. This scares me even more than the collar @_@