Life with Dogs / 08

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Tip # 08: An easy solution for dirty paws:  A paw pan.

Once while doing research in the Bahamas, I lived at this lab on the sandy island of Abaco for a month. Every day I would eat a tomato sandwich for lunch on the beach and every evening after work I would paddle out to watch the sunset while a labrador named Harold waited for me on shore. When it was time to come back into the lab, there was a wash pan filled with water just off the back deck that you were to step in to wash the sand off your bare feet before coming inside. This kept sand and dirt off the lab floor.

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At home here, the dogs track all kinds of things into our place – sand from the beach, dirt from hikes, and worst of all – mud from the dog park. This winter was rough on the California coast in terms of the rainfall we got from the El Nino this year. It seemed like every time the dogs would go out and play they would come back with mud-caked paws. I had been taking them straight to the bath tub to wash up, but after half a dozen baths, I remembered back to that wash pan on the deck of the lab in the Bahamas and thought hey — we need one of those.

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So, I bought one. I call it the paw pan, though it’s useful for a variety of different things (hand washing delicate items, washing dishes when camping, a helmet for falling debris from an earthquake…you name it…DREAM BIG). Now when the dogs come in, I just fill it up half-way, dip their paws in, and towel them off. Not only does it save time, it also avoids the dreaded “Ah nuts” look Jack flashes me every time he hears the bath running. Have you seen his “Ah nuts” sad face? Good, you don’t want to. It’ll melt you into a pile of goop. Don’t be goop! Use a paw pan!

And, an aside:

Here’s Harold the Bahamas dog who followed me around. He was a wild one who roamed the beach. His collar read “Do not feed”, written in big block letters with a black sharpie marker. If you leaned in to pet him he would walk away, so we sat on the beach a lot together…always around 4 feet apart. One night me and two others were in the lab late and let Harold in. Later that night he defended us when we got robbed. We were all glad he was there to guard us (although they did make off with 2 boat engines). Dogs are the best.

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(For some reason it isn’t letting me link to where I bought our “paw pan”…but, if you search on Amazon there are lots of options).

Life with Dogs / 07

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Imagine this. You’re out jogging, listening to that new Kanye West song, shaking off the stress of the day when all of a sudden a black and white panda-looking dog comes running into your periphery. You keep going, figuring it’s probably just a neighbor’s dog, but before you know it the dog has leapfrogged in front of you and dropped a ball in your path. Not only that, now it’s bowing down on its front two legs and wagging its tail high in the air as if to ask you “will you throw this please?”.
Continue reading…

Yosemite in the Winter

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We’re so excited to debut the new design for our Wildlandia trips today! This allows us to use video and incorporate other interactive elements so you feel like you’re there with us. New design built by the ever talented Trey (I’m a lucky girl!), words and photos by yours truly. Hope you like!


Life with Dogs / BISSELL Giveaway

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Poop, pee, vomit, muddy paws, spills…these are all things that come with taking care of a dog. Sure there are ways you can prevent messes from occurring more often, but inevitably accidents are going to happen no matter what, it’s just part of having a dog. Sometimes Trey and I joke about how having Jack and Keeper are like having two smelly room mates. Unfortunately, dogs don’t have shoes they can kick off every time they get home from being outside, so that means all the bacteria and germs they picked up on their paws from the dog park, sidewalks, etc get transferred onto our rugs and other parts of our home. Vacuuming helps keep pet hair and dirt in check, but for stains, odors and bad bacteria, we up the ante. This is Jack’s up the ante face…

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The kind folks at BISSELL asked us to try out their ProHeat 2x Revolution Pet Carpet Cleaner. It was serendipitous that this machine landed on our doorstep seeing as though just two weeks ago we rented a steam cleaner from the grocery store to clean our living room rug. I don’t know if you’ve seen the big red steam cleaners they rent out at the grocery store or not, but they’re mammoths. Like, ride-in-the-carpool-lane, we’ve-got-a-third-passenger kind of mammoth. So, we heaved it into the car, drove home and lugged it upstairs. It wasn’t easy to use either, which in turn resulted in us drenching the rug, which then had to live outside for a day while it dried out. After all that, the odors we were trying to get out were still there. So we cut our losses, chucked the rug, and bought a “new” one off Craigslist the next day.

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I was excited to try out the BISSELL pet carpet cleaner on our new-to-us rug to clean off whatever residual funk was on it from the previous owner (we bought it from two photographers who used it in a shoot and no longer needed it). When the BISSELL first arrived, Jack and Keep gave it a warm welcome by biting it’s wheels (sigh, herders) just like they do the vacuum. Once the threat had been neutralized, we gave it a go. The first thing I noticed that was different with the BISSELL versus the grocery store clunker was how much easier it was to use, and how lightweight it is. Another good feature was the detachable hose/brushes to use for spot cleaning. The rug dried in about an hour too, which was great considering it took days when we did it with the other cleaner. We’ll definitely be using this again for future messes and routine cleanings.

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Good news, BISSELL is giving away two BISSELL ProHeat 2x Revolution Pet carpet cleaners to 2 lucky people! To enter, check out the product here, then leave a comment below with your email address. Winners will be chosen at random by BISSELL. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by BISSELL, however, the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting brands who support Wildlandia!

Life with dogs / 05

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Tip #5: Creating a bath time routine

After a weekend of running in the woods, it’s time for the dogs to have a bath. You might be thinking my dog hates baths. Well…I was right there with you not too long ago. Jack hated baths for a long time. He would run the other direction as soon as he heard the water running. When we got Keeper, I decided to try a different approach to bath time in hopes that she wouldn’t mind them as much as Jack did. I’m happy to report that Keeper and Jack now take baths with ease. While your dog might not come to *love* baths, they can learn to tolerate them better. Whether you have a puppy who is new to baths or an adult dog who has a track record of hiding every time the word “bath” is mentioned, there are a few simple ways to make bath time more enjoyable for your dog (and yourself).

Step 1: Desensitize

The first couple of times you give your dog a bath, there will be a fair amount of desensitizing/getting them used to the norms that come with taking a bath. From the sound of the water, to the water temperature, to them being covered in shampoo – it can be overwhelming for them at first. Easing them into the whole process from the beginning will help them make a positive association with taking a bath. If you have an adult dog who has already decided baths aren’t for them, you will need to really work on this step in order to replace their current negative association with a more positive one.

To start with, try:

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Introducing a bath toy

We have 2 toys that sit on the shelf in the bathroom that are designated “bath toys”. A small, rubber chuck-it ball, and a mini frisbee. Both are waterproof. When it’s bath time, I go get these and show the dogs. You’d be surprised by how excited they get to play with toys they only see once or twice a month. I lure them in with these. Not only does it give them something to look forward to every time they take a bath, but it saves me the time of having to chase them down and wrangle them into the tub.

Adjust water temperature

Depending on the amount of fur your dog has, dogs can be more comfortable in the right temperature of water. Border collies like Keeper have long, dense coats, and need to be bathed in luke warm to cool water to avoid overheating. Can you imagine wearing a thick sweater and then hopping into a warm bath? Yeah, no way! Alternatively, dogs with shorter coats like Jack may get cold standing in a tub of water, so adjusting the water to be warmer would be better for them.

Wash face and ears separately

To avoid any traumatic experiences like getting soap in their eyes or water in their ears, make sure to wash their face and ears separate using a wash cloth. Dogs can also get ear infections if water is left in their ears so it’s good to keep them dry anyway.

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Step 2: Positively reinforce calm behavior

While you’re lathering up your dog, let them know when they are being a good dog. Positively reinforce calm behavior by telling them something along the lines of “good job buddy”, or “doing great, almost done” in a positive tone. This is a nice way to let your dog know you like it when they are calm and standing still. If they have mastered the command “Stay”, you can use this here.

Step 3: Reward

After their bath, give them a reward. This should be different than the bath toy (shelve those for now in order to keep the allure for next time). We give Jack and Keeper baby carrots since they are their favorites. I do this as soon as I finish drying them off so they associate the end of bath time with the reward of carrots.

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Step 4: Repeat

In order for a positive association with bath time to be made, you’ll need to repeat these steps every time you give them a bath. Dogs are less likely to feel stressed if they know the routine.

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Do you have any tips or tricks you use with your dog that makes taking a bath easier and more enjoyable? I’d love to hear about them.


The shampoo we use
For faster washing

Dog People / Jen Ha + Hoku from HelloHoku


Jen Ha / Visual + UX Designer

Dog’s name/Age/Breed:
Hoku / Age 4 / Shiba Inu

hellohoku_04 What made you decide to get a dog? 
About three years ago, I moved from New York City to San Diego to be with my fiance (now husband). I worked from home out of our tiny one bedroom apartment, which meant days spent by myself in a new city while David worked long hours in his first year of residency at the UCSD Medical Center. I had never really considered myself a “dog person” before but suddenly found myself warming up to the idea of a pup to keep me company, give my days a sense of routine, and encourage me to spend more time outdoors. My husband had grown up with dogs, so he was on board with the idea from the beginning. I liked that shiba inus were calm, clean and had temperaments that suited my personality, so I started looking into adopting one. A couple weeks later, we picked Hoku up from Riverside and the rest is history!


hellohoku_02 Tell us about the first time you met Hoku.
He was really calm and shy. He kept a good distance from us, but would walk over to sniff us and check us out every few minutes. All the other dogs around him were really high energy and there were all these puppies jumping all over him but he was as cool as a cucumber.

hellohoku_08 What’s the last thing he did that made you laugh?
He loves to sleep in between me and my husband even though he has his own dog bed. He’ll jump on our bed in the middle of the night and literally wedge his 20lb body between us like a sausage. I’ve woken up with a paw on my face more times that I can count. We also crack up every time he yawns because it’s always super loud and obnoxious.

What are your favorite characteristics about your dog?
He loves fruits and vegetables, especially those with a crunch like cucumbers, carrots, zucchinis, watermelon and bell peppers to name a few. David and I love gardening so we make sure that most of what we grow in our garden is dog appropriate. Hoku also enjoys the great outdoors as much as we do and can hike for hours without tiring. Last Spring, we made it to the top of Mt. San Gorgonio, the tallest peak in Southern California. It took us 11.5 soul-crushing hours over 18 miles. Hoku took a quick nap after we got home and woke up later that afternoon pretty much ready to climb another mountain. This year, we made it our goal as a pack to reach all the highest dog-friendly peaks in SoCal with Hoku. Eventually, we hope to make it to the highest point in the continental US a dog is allowed to go, which I believe is Mt. Elbert at 14,440ft in Colorado.

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Does Hoku have a nickname? If so, how did he get it?
A lot of his nicknames start with the letter B. Aside from the typical “Boy” and “Baby,” we also call him “Ball” for the way he curls up into a ball when he sleeps…so lately it’s just been “B”!

hellohoku_07 Where do you shop for your dog (online shops, stores, etc)?
We buy almost everything from Amazon. (Honestly, how did people shop before Amazon Prime?) I also love checking out pet shops when traveling, especially internationally, and will usually pick up new toys for him wherever we go.

Are there any dog products you especially love/couldn’t live without?
On a daily basis, we can’t live without his Ezydog harness (the only harness he hasn’t been able to escape out of), Ezydog lite leash, and a simple dog brush (he sheds a lot). For hiking, we love his Surepaw Dog Gear rope leash and Gulpy water bottle.

hellohoku_03 hellohoku_10 What does being a “Dog Person” mean to you?I still don’t know if I consider myself the true definition of a “dog person,” but I am “Hoku’s person” and a lot of who I am today has been shaped by having him in my life. He’s taught me a great deal about patience and responsibility. When we first brought Hoku home at the age of 2, he was retiring from a show dog life, had no real obedience training and was extremely reactive. We wanted nothing more than for him to experience all the joys of being a real dog and were persistent with working through his issues despite all the frustrating/ tearful/ embarrassing days that made us want to throw in the towel. It took 3 months of desensitization training for him to finally be able to walk confidently around the block. For a whole year, I wrote down every single milestone in a notebook that I still look back on to remind me of how far we’ve come. And now, just couple years later, he is happily climbing mountains with us, has dog friends, travels with us around Cali (and recently flew with us all the way to New York City), likes to stick his head out the car window, and chases lizards like a pro. We couldn’t be prouder.

What’s one piece of advice you would tell someone looking to get a dog?
Having a dog isn’t always the fun, happy moments posted on Instagram. There’s a lot of hard work involved behind the scenes, like carving out time every day for walks, play and training, no matter how busy life gets. The companionship of a dog is one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences a person can have in life.

Thank Jen! For more of Jen + Hoku, visit their Instagram @HelloHoku, or their blog

Life with a Dog / 04

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Tip #4: Road trips

I’m in the passenger’s seat writing this on the way home from a road trip we’ve been on in the Pacific Northwest for the past three weeks. This trip has been a blast, the best summer road trip I could have imagined. More to come on that, but for now I wanted to write about some tips I’ve learned while on the road with my dogs, as well as share some of our road trip essentials. Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

I should say, not all dogs like car rides or are equipped for spending lengthy amounts of time en route to a destination. It’s best to use your judgement whether or not your dog (and you) would enjoy a trip together. But, if you do think it will be enjoyable, here are a few tips I’ve found to make life a little easier when traveling with a dog:

1. Dog friendly places to stay

  • Hotels:  We almost always stay in La Quintas because they are a solid 3 star hotel with no pet fee and all rooms are pet friendly. Holiday Inns are good too, but charge anywhere from $10-25 per animal depending on where you are. To find hotels on the road, we use Orbitz because you can filter by amenities, including the pet friendly option. Other apps like Kayak and Priceline don’t have that. Also, before you book a hotel that says pet friendly, give the hotel a call and ask if all rooms are pet friendly. We’ve found that some hotels  have a limited number of pet friendly rooms available, and it can be frustrating to book a room and then find out later they don’t have a pet friendly room to accommodate you. It’s also always a good idea to close the bathroom door/keep the toilet lid down in hotel rooms if your dog likes to drink out of the toilet…some places use cleaning products that contain bleach and other agents that can be harmful to dogs.
  • Airbnb: If we are staying more than one night somewhere, we like to stay in Airbnb places. There are plenty of dog friendly houses and apartments available and we’ve had some awesome experiences using this method. Make sure when booking to use the “dog friendly” filter and always give the owner a heads up as to what kind of dog you’ll be bringing with you just incase there are any size/breed restrictions (though I’ve never encountered one) or another dog is on the property.
  • Campgrounds: Campgrounds are usually more lenient when it comes to dogs. If dogs are allowed, they usually require them to be on-leash (no one really does this 100% of the time, but it’s good to have them on-leash in public/common areas at least). We bring long pieces of rope and tie the dogs off to a tree, picnic table, etc so they have a large radius of the campground to roam without being able to intrude on the neighbors asking for hot dogs (not naming names JACK). I’ve also recently heard of HipCamp, which is like Airbnb but for campsites, and I’m excited to give it a try.

2. Invest in a good travel bowl
Having a travel bowl on hand for water and food is a no brainer. We keep ours under the seat and use it all the time since they come a lot of places with us. We have this one, which I like because it dries quickly and collapses easily, making storing it really easy. There are a lot of options out there including cool ones like these and this one. Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

3.  Take breaks and don’t leave them in the car.
Even on a breezy day, the car can heat up to 90-100+ degrees and cook them like an egg burrito on a Sunday morning. It’s not cool, literally. If you stop off for a bite to eat, look for a place with outdoor seating where you can tie them up next to you. If you’re stopping to go to the restroom or what not, let them out too. No one wants to sit in the car all day!

4. Have a towel on hand
Swimming dogs are so cute until they try to jump in your clean car, right? Looking at you, Keeper. We let them dry off in the sun for 5-10 minutes, then towel them off before they get in. A towel is also nice to have around incase they step in something and need to have their paws washed off. There are pricey dog towels at the pet store, but we just use a beach towel we retired. Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

5. ID tag and microchip
The last thing you want is for you and your dog to somehow get separated and have no way for them to be reunited with you again. Etsy has some good custom ID tags and the vet will microchip your pup with your address and phone number information for around $15.

6. Vaccine / medical records
We keep a copy of these with us in the car just incase there’s an emergency.  If your dog gets bit by something and needs medical attention…and you can’t prove they’ve had their rabies shot, it could mean quarantining, which would really put a damper on your trip. Your vet’s phone number is also great to store in your phone incase you have a question that needs answering on the road. Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

7. Give them a designated spot in the car
We always let them in the truck using the back doors so they know that area is “theirs”. Putting a ball or toy on the seat can help them make that association (we always have one of these in the car). We use “Back” as the command if they try to come up front with us…and then after they go back we deliver the command “Stay”. This is where good training comes in handy. It’s your choice whether or not to use a harness or shield to keep them in their designated spot in the car. We don’t use one, but if your dog has more of a rambunctious spirit, and you want an extra layer of protection in the car, there are options.

8. Don’t forget something comfy to lay on
Jack and Keeper lay on a bench seat behind us in the truck. We put beds back there a few times but they kept kicking them to the side to lay on the bench instead. To protect our seat from muddy paws, etc, we have a tie-dyed sheet we made last summer (the store bought ones weren’t doing it for us) that we throw over the seat for them to lay on.

9. Food 
We feed our dogs once in the morning and once at night at home. I’ve found it’s best to stick with that schedule even when on the road. Typically I measure out their food and put it in a gallon Ziploc bag before we leave and then store it somewhere readily accessible in the truck so I’m not digging for it later at night when everyone is tired.

10. Be happy knowing that adventure and travel is good for your health (and theirs!). There are tons of studies out that have given evidence to the physical and psychological benefits to traveling – and a lot of those benefits also extend to your pups! Here is a great write-up of why traveling is good for your health.

Those are our road trip tips + essentials we use when on the road with our dogs. Do you have any tips you’ve found work for long car rides with yours? I’d love to hear about them!

More Life with a Dog tips can be found here.

Life with a Dog / 03

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Life hack #3: Invest in a good leash

When it comes to choosing an everyday leash for your dog, there are a few things to consider. Qualities like length, safety and aesthetic appeal are all important determining factors, but the one thing I’ve found to be an absolute must when looking for a dog leash is durability. There are lots of choices on the market these days in terms of materials, everything from nylon, to leather, to even ones made from climbing rope. We’ve tried a fair share of them out with our dogs and, like goldilocks, it took a few tries before we got it just right. With nylon leashes, we found that while they are very strong and don’t constrict when wet, they could be chewed through. Leather leashes are stylish, however, they didn’t make the grade when it came to withstanding the elements in the places we take our dogs (beach, woods, river, etc). One material that did withstand the test of time was a leash we made for Jack out of some climbing rope we picked up at REI. It served us well for 6 (!) years, however, it wasn’t the most stylish leash and definitely had that “homemade” feel to it. With every leash it seemed like we were compromising something. I wondered, was there a leash out there that looked stylish while providing the durability we needed?
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That’s when we discovered RESQ CO. I had been noticing rope leashes more and more on the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley and I was so excited to give them a try. Out of all the leashes we’ve had, I can now say our favorite by far are the rope leashes from RESQ CO.  Initially, I was drawn to them because of their stylish aesthetic, but they have since proved to be the most durable leashes we’ve ever owned. Their leashes are made from three strand premium-grade rope that’s spliced together by seaman right here in the US.  These leashes are not only stylish, but strong, lightweight and can hold up through almost everything…exactly what we were looking for. The quick snap and key ring (handy for easily clipping on waste bags) are made of solid brass so they won’t corrode if exposed to water, a big bonus for my river loving pups. The icing on the cake was learning that a portion of their profits go to animal shelters every month to help rescue dogs.

RESQ CO is giving Wildlandia readers a 10% discount off your entire order. Just visit their shop and enter promotional code: wildlandia at checkout.

More Life with a Dog hacks right here.

Life with a Dog / 02


Life hack #2: Maintaining white sheets with animals

I get asked this question a lot (especially on Instagram), so I thought it was time I formally addressed the whole how do you keep white sheets white with dogs sleeping in your bed – question.  I’ll share my secret, though you may already know it.

I should start by saying I am probably the worst offender of the “no dogs in the bed” rule. It’s not even a rule in our house because honestly, we just don’t care. I like my dogs too much to say no when they jump up, do that ridiculously cute thing where they spin ten times, and collapse into the crook of my legs. I like being close to them. I kick them out when they’re farty or have dirty paws, but other than that we all sleep together. Two humans, two dogs and a drooly cat. Call Neve Campbell, we’ve got a Party of Five up in here.

Whether you choose to have your dogs on the bed or not is completely up to you. But if you do, and you don’t want to compromise the minimal look of having crisp, white sheets, here’s a cool hack I’ve found not only keeps white sheets white, but also removes any unwanted odors that come along with having animals around.
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Here’s what I do:

Gather sheets and pillowcases as a load all to themselves. I typically do this on a day when I have a few extra minutes to devote to the process. Add 1/2 c baking soda to the wash cycle before putting your sheets in. Next, add sheets and your detergent as usual and wash using a warm water cycle. Then, add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle (if you have a high efficiency machine, you can add this where the fabric softener would go). The white vinegar will soften and help remove odors…don’t worry about the smell it will rinse out. Finally, dry on low to medium heat.
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Other tips I’ve learned:

- Choose sheets made of linen or a cotton-sateen blend with a high thread count. Low-thread count cotton and materials like jersey attract hair like a magnet, so you’ll want to avoid these.
- Keep 2-3 sets of sheets and rotate them
- Have alternative places for your dog(s) to sleep such as a dog bed on the floor so they don’t spend all their time in your bed
- Throw a quilt or blanket over your top sheet when you leave the house
- Bathe your dog(s) regularly
- Furminate your animals – if you have a dog who sheds, this tool will change your life.

So, that’s my secret for keeping our sheets white despite having two sometimes dirty dogs. Have you found any creative ways to keep your white sheets bright white and odor-free? I’d love to learn about them!

More LIFE WITH A DOG tips, here.

Life With a Dog

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In response to some of the questions I’ve been getting about how we do things around here with our dogs, I’ve decided to start documenting some of the simple “life hacks” I’ve learned along the way that have made raising and living with dogs easier. Maybe one day I’ll document having a kid or fixing up a house, but for now my life consists of dogs and being on the road. So that’s what I write about mostly. Pretty good gig if you ask me. Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Life hack # 1: Feed them the good stuff.

Side note, this post’s alternative title could be “Does your dog have vicious farts?”, but we’ll stick with the former for (Jack’s) integrity purposes.

When we first brought Jack home we were noobs when it came to raising a dog despite having both grown up with family dogs (him, a blubbery basset hound named Daisy and me, a viciously sweet doberman named Sugar). We had just graduated from college and moved from the quaint town of Raleigh, North Carolina to the big city of San Francisco, California and were overjoyed to have scored the coolest little spot above a bookstore in the trendy Mission district of the city. We were even more stoked when we found out our building allowed dogs. We hadn’t even finished moving in before we went to the local rescue and adopted Jack. And he was the cutest puppy. Eeek, my eyes cross just thinking about it. Squatty legs, soulful eyes, a dark brown pirate patch over one eye. He slept so much we thought our place had a carbon monoxide leak (turns out puppies just sleep a lot, go figure). The only concerning thing was….he had vicious farts. You read that right. FARTY, party of one. Little dude could smoke you out of the room after finishing a meal. We had been feeding him from a large bag of food that was sent home with us (likely a donation made to the shelter). We noticed right away that it seemed to upset his stomach. We thought maybe he was just adapting to his new environment and needed a few days to adjust. Then a few days later, after summoning the gods of google, we learned that all dog foods aren’t created equal. There was a reason Jack’s stomach was making an orchestral symphony of noises after he ate, and that reason was: we were feeding him the wrong ingredients. Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

When it comes to diet, dogs are a lot like us. Although their ancestors are mainly carnivores, the domesticated version of dogs we see today are actually meat-preferring omnivores. This means their bodies thrive on meat, but can also digest a variety of other foods including some vegetables and even grains. However, also like us, dogs need a balanced diet to properly nourish their bodies and fuel them for activities.
I won’t name names, but a lot of dog food companies out there disregard this need for a balanced diet in our dogs. Instead of offering protein-rich foods, they pack their kibble with inexpensive ingredients like corn and other grains. This is mostly because it’s more cost effective to produce, allowing them to sell large quantities of cheaply manufactured food at a lower cost to the consumer. These brands sneakily promote their foods using buzz words like “natural”, “premium”, or “gourmet” on their bags, even though their foods are far from that. 
We found that Jack’s stomach issues were a result of the unbalanced diet he was receiving from the generic dog food whose first ingredient was corn. We learned that when in doubt, flip the bag over and read the ingredients. Although it was more expensive, we made the switch to food thats first ingredient was meat (poultry) to calm his stomach and make sure he was receiving the proper nutrients he needed. Six years in and he hasn’t had any major issues since.

When we were asked by Merrick Pet Care to test out their new Backcountry Raw Infused recipe, we were really excited. Not only had we seen their products at our local pet store, but we knew they were a brand that promoted the all-natural lifestyle that we implement with our dogs. Their recipes provide active dogs with the nutritional benefits of a raw diet they would have discovered in the wild. They sent us their puppy and adult recipes and a variety of wet foods to try out. To say our dogs loved them would be a massive understatement. Keeper likes it so much she whimpers when she hears me preparing it in the dining room. The kibble is a protein-rich combination of easily recognizable meats and vegetables like turkey, sweet potatoes, peas, and chicken fat, and even has pieces of freeze-dried raw poultry mixed in throughout. The wet food comes in a variety of grain-free stews with meats like venison and salmon, mixed in with vegetables and gravy. Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

When it comes to feeding your pup, give them the good stuff. Making the switch years ago to a quality dog food with meat as the first ingredient not only silenced Jack’s stomach pains, it better equipped him (and Keeper now too) to get the nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life.

Not to mention it will make for some *really* happy dogs.

This post was sponsored by Merrick. We only promote brands we use ourselves.