We Like: Buddy Wash Shampoo

buddywashWhen we first adopted Saffron, she had a light case of mange.  And she has an immunoglobulin A deficiency, which can cause sensitive skin and allergies.  She also always used to come home from the dog park covered in dog spit and ground in dirt from spending much of the time being mouthed by more assertive dogs and constantly rolling submissively.

We needed a shampoo that was mild enough to not bother her skin and effective enough to get all that spitty dirt out of her fur.  And you know how tenacious dog saliva is.  Buddy Wash Shampoo totally does the trick.  And it smells great.  (They do seem to have reformulated the fragrance, though, and I preferred the older version.)

Buddy Wash doesn’t contain surfactants/foaming agents like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate which are frequently found in shampoos and can cause skin irritation.  Saffron’s fur feels and smells great after a bath and never feels stripped or dry.

I use the Lavender & Mint scent, but their other scents, Rosemary & Mint and Green Tea & Bergamot, sound nice too.  We pay about $7-8 for a bottle at our local pet supply store.  They also make conditioner and spritzer.

We Like: Portage Bay Float Coat By Ruffwear

Summer is almost here and that means humans & their dogs will be on or around the water. We often ask our dogs to do things that their instincts haven’t prepared them for, like boating. I don’t think dogs come equipped with sea legs or the ability to judge whether it’s safe to jump in a river to go after water fowl. Most dogs can swim, but even the best swimmer can be crippled by strong currents, hypothermia, or panic and end up drowning. A good life jacket could make all the difference. Keep those pups safe!

With a good life jacket, dogs with amputated limbs or mobility problems could still benefit from water exercise.  You won’t have to worry about your dog sinking or her head going under water.

We have the Float Coat which I love.  RuffWear designed a great canine life jacket.

We like the life jackets by RuffWear because:

  • it’s one of the few with foam under the body & under the head, providing much better buoyancy than jackets with foam just on the back, & it keeps dogs horizontal in the water
  • it fits very snugly & securely with wide sections across the chest and under the belly, 3 adjustable straps/clips, and velcro at the chest. This jacket won’t twist or cut into your dog the way jackets with unpadded nylon straps can.
  • it has a handle on the back making it possible to grab a dog to lift it from the water
  • the different foam thickness and the ergonomic tailoring makes for a comfortable fit and allows for good rang of motion, in particular, the front legs (Saffron actually seems to like wearing hers even out of the water.)
  • highly reflective piping and bright yellow material makes your dogs more visible (I recommend the yellow instead of the red, since yellow provides a stronger contrast)
  • there’s a D-ring for a leash and a loop to attach a light beacon
  • fabric on underside has tight weave so dog’s fur won’t get knitted into fabric
  • super easy to keep clean and dries quickly


We Like: Plush Leo With Stuffies

plushleostuffieThe Plush Leo from Canine Genius is a great toy.  It’s a plush puzzle toy shaped kind of like a bowling pen and comes with 4 small plush toys(each with a squeaker) that you stuff inside it.  It has three openings for the smaller toys to come out.  Give to your dog and let him have fun figuring out how to get the toys out.

Once Saffron got the hang of it, we started stuffing as many of her small toys as we could fit in it.  Sometimes she investigates it carefully from the outside finding every squeaker in the toys inside.  Other times she pulls them out one at a time.  And when she’s being beasty, she shakes it for all she’s worth and sends the toys inside flying.

It’s held up well.  It should be noted, Saffron is pretty easy on her toys.  And I’ve washed it with no problems.

Check out this previous post on the Brain Twister also from Canine Genius.  It’s another favorite in our house.

We Like: Dog Years: A Memoir, by Mark Doty

dogyearsDog Years is a remarkable book that is hard to categorize.  It’s prose written by a poet that has a refreshing spareness of language.  And like poetry, just a few lines can take your breath away with their sharp insight.  This isn’t an overly sentimental “dog book”.  (One reason may be that Doty also has cats, though they’re only mentioned in this book.)

Doty writes about his partner’s death from AIDS, 9/11, death, and depression, but also about love, life, hope, and joy.  Through it all, he looks at what our dogs mean to us and what we mean to them.  What it means to love a creature we know we’ll outlive, how happiness can walk so closely with loss, what an indelible presence our dogs have in our lives, and how their very need for us can keep us alive at the darkest of times.

Don’t think Dog Years is a gloomy book. Reading about Arden and Beau’s personalities is like getting to hear about wonderful people you just know you’ll be good friends with when you meet.  Doty’s musings on dog parks, the community of dog owners, and the stress of leaving our dogs in another person’s  care are spot on. It’s funny and touching and, at times, heartbreaking.  Hopefully, Doty will write another book about his cats.  Until then, I think Dog Years will be a book I return to.