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Go To Guide on Pet First Aid

Go To Guide on Pet First Aid

Along with having a standard first aid kit in your house, it is important for pet owners to also have a pet first aid kit. Now you might be wondering what should go in this kit. Well, we curated a list of what you should have and other items we recommended along with the reasoning behind the items. 

Essential Items

  • Pet papers
    • Medical records
    • Emergency numbers 
    • Vaccination records
    • Medications
  • Gauze
    • Gauze can be used for injuries for you and your pet. 


  • Non-stick/self-adhering bandages
    • Self-adhering bandages are used for wrapping injuries or rewrapping if there was a prior vet appointment.
    • Self adhering bandages are great for pets because they won’t stick to their fur
  • Self-adherent tape 
    • Self-adherent tape has the same philosophy as self-adhering bandages. The tape is thinner and can be used for securing gauze or smaller jobs 
  • Cotton balls/cotton rounds
    • Used for applying medicine or cleaning wounds 
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide 
    • Help clean wounds and prevent infections
    • Make a solution to cause dogs to throw up (More information farther down)
  • Antibiotic spray/ointment 
    • To treat cuts, rashes, sores, dry skin and allergies
    • The antibiotic ointment should be dog safe as a human ointment isn’t suitable for dogs
  • Kwik Stop
    • Used to stop bleeding if kwik gets nicked
  • Digital thermometer
  • Scissors 
  • Tweezers

Recommended Items

  • Syringes
    • Use for flushing wounds or administering medications
  • Flashlight
    • In case of emergencies
  • Towels

What does Hydrogen Peroxide Do?
I’m sure our dogs have eaten something they’re not supposed to, in the situation, it can be stressful but there are steps to take to ensure that your pup will be safe. Not only does it disinfect cuts, it can also be a lifesaver. It is important to have 3% hydrogen peroxide (nothing higher) on hand. The steps you’re going to want to take are;

  1. Calling your vet
    1. Call your vet to explain the situation to ensure it is
  2. If your dog hasn’t eaten in the last 2 hours, make a small meal and feed it to them, they will more likely vomit after. 
  3. Make a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution
    1. Solution: 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of your dog’s body weight, maximum dose of 3 tablespoons for dogs who weigh more than 45 pounds, But ask your veterinarian about the best dosage for your dog and only induce vomiting if your dog ate the substance within 2 hours.
  4. Administer the dose with a syringe or turkey baster if you have no syringe on hand
    1. Squirting between the back teeth or from the front to the back of your dog’s mouth
    2. If your dog doesn’t vomit within 15 minutes you can administer a second dosage.
  5. Make sure to stay with your dog and collect the vomit for the vet to analyze, make sure they don’  re-ingest it. 
  6. Keep an eye out for any other reactions such as vomiting for more than 45 minutes or other sick-like symptoms
  7. Follow up with your vet asap  

Most of this information was sourced from American Kennel Association. We would like to express that we are not experts, we believe that this information is important and should be shared among pet owners. If you have any questions or concerns or anything you want to add to the list, feel free to message us or stop by the store!  

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Picking the Right Collar/Harness

Picking the Right Collar/Harness

Just like finding the right leash, it is important to also have the right collar or harness for your dog. There are a few different styles each all having different uses, features and training purposes while still keeping your pet looking stylish. 

Handle Harness

A handle harness is great for dogs who hate putting their heads through a neck piece of a traditional harness. The harness sits on the dog’s back and has two straps that go around their front legs and clips around the armpits. The handle allows for more control and is perfect for more reactive dogs or dogs who are still in training. Handle harnesses are great for any size dog as the handle allows for control. The harnesses design puts even pressure on the dog’s chest and torso so no areas take more stress than others

Standard/comfort harness

The standard harness (or the comfort harness) is the typical design where your dog will put their head through the neckpiece, the fabric will sit at the chest, and a strap and a D-ring sit near the back buckling them in. These still allow for your pup to move freely without any pinching or itching. The harness puts the force on the dog’s chest and back. These harnesses are generally not recommended for larger or rambunctious dogs because it can promote leash pulling. If a harness is not on properly or comfortable for the dog, they can shift their weight to their back legs so they don't have as much pressure in the front.

Adventure harness 

An adventure harness is very similar to a standard harness minus the piece on the chest. All of the fabric sits under the chest and on their stomach. This is another great harness for dogs who don't like putting their head through anything. This one clips on and off like a collar and clips on the back as well providing your dog with the freedom for your adventure. These harnesses are great as they dont put the same amount of strain on joints that another harness could. This one having minimal fabric allows more freedom. 

Over-the-head harness

Over-the-head harnesses are similar to the standard harness with having the dogs put their head through the top. This harness sits a little higher on the chest and is shorter in length. Without proper support in the harness, the compressions and lack of motion can cause health problems in the future. It is important to consult with an expert and get a harness that is best suited for your dog. These halters come in XL but are more geared towards small or medium dogs. 

Martingale Collars

There are two different kinds of martingale collars, ones with a chain and ones without, both working the same way. Martingales are great for those escape artists. Simply attach your desired leash to the D-ring and when your dog pulls the collar will automatically tighten, preventing them from slipping out. Along with your dog never slipping out of martingale collars, the collar doesn’t have to be extremely tight around the dog’s neck providing more comfort. These collars are great for any breed or size of dog. The tightening of the collar is meant to be slightly uncomfortable for the dog, so if your dog is pulling for majority of the walk, they may develop a negative reaction to collars. 

Standard Collar

Standard collars are great for wanting to show off their style. These can come in multiple different colours, patterns and materials making them unique for each dog. All collars have some sort of adjustable mechanism whether that be a sliding clip or if they have different holes to put a prong in, much like a belt. The other closure is a standard plastic or metal buckle. The standard collars are the most common ones you will see in stores or on dogs. Collars are relatively safe unless they are too loose. In a situation like that your dog could be scratching its ear and get tangled up or if the collar is too loose there is a chance your dog could slip out and escape. 


An honourable mention is the HALTI head collar. The HALTI stops pulling. You clip your leash to a D-ring that is connected to the rest of the collar. When your dog pulls on the lead, it gently brings their head back towards you, getting them to focus back, and teaching them quickly not to pull. This is a great training tool to implement the idea of not pulling along with them not barking as it goes over their mouth. Halti's should be used in conjunction with training and not a tool to rely on as it can cause a negative feeling towards it. 

Just like the leash post, there were many styles and options discussed. Finding a collar or harness can be stressful but we would be happy to help fit your dog with the right style for you and them. We also always like to note that if there is anything you believe we missed or that should be added in send us a message or come in and we’d be happy to learn more.

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Introducing a Rescue Dog into the Family

Introducing a Rescue Dog into the Family

Hello! My name is Alex and I’m the summer Marketing Assistant for Terrible Tobys. I’ve absolutely been loving the position and one of the tasks that I’ve been doing throughout my term has been coming up with and writing blog posts for our website, some of which you might have already read. One of my ideas was talking about introducing a new dog to the family, specifically introducing a rescue dog into your family and a previous dog. Over quarantine, my family did just that, and who better to interview about this is my mom! I asked her a few questions regarding our family history and her history with dogs, the process of adopting a rescue and things she learned. 

Introduce yourself, the dogs and when/where we got them

My name is Fiona and my family currently has a mixed breed dog called Forrest. We adopted Forrest 2 ½ years ago from Texas through UDR. UDR rescued a group of dogs from a kill shelter and brought them to Canada in early 2020. Forrest is between 4 and 7 years old. Until last year, we also had a 13 year old Goldiepoo called Brooks who we got from a breeder when she was 6 months old. Unfortunately, she passed away in February (2021).

We originally got Brooks after not having a dog for a very long time as we wanted our kids to grow up with a dog. Brooks was the quiet one at the breeder who made herself as small as possible so she was overlooked by everyone. Really she was waiting for our family as she was truly a special dog.

We had always thought about getting a 2nd dog because we had been in a similar situation before and with Brooks getting older, it would help keep her young. Plus we know how heartbreaking it is to lose your dog so still having one when the other one passes helps soften the blow. Also, the first dog teaches the second dog the ropes.

I had been looking at a number of rescue organizations for a while but the timing never seemed right. We (Alex and I) had run into a rescue organization in August of 2019 at the airport in Aruba and that really made me think about it. Probably if we had been able to visit the organization before our last day, we might have brought back a puppy.

Back in February 2020 (before the pandemic) we saw Forrest in a social media post by UDR. There was just something about his handsome face and goofy personality that caught my eye. Several of the pics showed him interacting with the foster’s family daughter too. There are a lot of kids in our neighbourhood so we wanted to make sure he’d be okay with kids even though our kids are older. 

Me and my husband’s very first dog Suzie was also a rescue which we didn’t really understand at the time. She had belonged to someone who no longer wished to keep her. She was a beautiful purebred Collie that somehow won my Mum over in just one night. My husband and I weren’t married at the time so she lived with me and my parents. At the time, we had no idea about rescues or any of the potential challenges that they may face. For the 1st 3 months, she wouldn’t go for a walk and she barked like crazy. We now know that she was just afraid of what might happen if she left the house. If only we understood about rescues needing to decompress.

After my husband and I got married we took Suzie with us to our new home and later that year got our puppy, Teddy. Our first every puppy! It was a rollercoaster but Suzie took the lead and showed him what to do. 


What was the adoption process with Forrest?

To adopt Forrest, we made contact with the rescue organization and submitted an application. Then COVID hit and we weren’t sure if anything would happen but they accepted our application and on a very cold day about a week later, we went for a visit to meet him and to introduce Brooks to her potential new brother. Forrest was just how we saw him in the pics and he looked out of the window and my daughter was in love. We took him for a walk with the foster family and talked about him and how he was in her home. Brooks had no interest in him and Forrest paid little attention to her, truly the perfect siblings. Forrest was relatively calm on the walk and seemed easygoing. That night we confirmed with UDR that we’d like to adopt him and within the week he came home. In that week, UDR did a virtual home inspection and we finalized the contract.

When we heard the news that we were getting him the four of us were all really excited, particularly because by then COVID was a reality and we were already in lockdown. It seemed like the perfect time to bring him home as someone would always be around in the beginning. We were somewhat concerned about him as we knew nothing about his background, not even his real age. And one day we realized, Forrest wasn’t even his real name, it was just the name the original rescue organization gave him. But we thought it suited him and never changed it. He eventually got used to it. Based on what a sweet soul he is, we don’t think he had been abused. We strongly believe someone loved him, they just couldn’t keep him.

Did you do any research about introducing a new dog (especially a rescue dog) into a new family/environment? If so, what did you learn? 

I talked to a number of my co-workers who had adopted rescues and some of the challenges to be prepared for. We heard the rule/philosophy “3 days to decompress and transition into your home, 3 weeks to learn and develop and routine in your home, 3 months for them to really “call” it home” but it’s not until you’re living it that it kicks in. Our first night with him was a bit crazy, he was jumping at food, surfing the counters, and upsetting Brooks. We tried to walk him that night and it didn’t go well as he was so reactive to EVERYTHING. I didn’t have any doubts, I just knew it would take time.

What I learned was to remind myself, that we don’t know what he’s been through and keep the 3/3/3 rule in mind. Some days I even add 3 years to the end of that as Forrest continues to change in our home. He also suffered the loss of Brooks. While she never really interacted or played with him, she was always there. They found a way to exist together. On some level, Forrest understood that her health was failing and tried to comfort her. He regressed in his behaviour for a few weeks. A bit like a teenager.

Walking him was a huge challenge. He was terrible on the leash and reactive to anything on wheels, runners, loud noises...it was so stressful. It got to the point that I would wait till it was dark and go out on my own. Kids would yell at me to get my dog under control! But without fail every time I brought him home from a walk, he got a treat. Initially, when we got him, he was a runner – if the front door was open he was gone. There were a few frantic chases. One time he slipped his harness on a busy road and we thought this would be the end of him. Miraculously, he turned around and ran back to us. We knew we were turning a corner when one day our side gate was left open by mistake. He took the opportunity to get out but didn’t take off, instead decided to lay at the front door waiting for someone to let him in. The treats had really paid off.

We also believe he likely slept outside as, during the first few months, he didn’t like to go out at night before bed. We believed he probably thought he’d get left there or he’d be sleeping. He also ate (still eats) very fast and would try and take Brooks’s food as well. Back in Texas he had a brother (Ranger) and we came up with the idea that they would have to compete for food, but he was never aggressive about it. 

Walking still continued to be an issue. We were actually turned down by a number of places that did obedience training – they weren’t interested in working with him or us. We completed some training at a local pet store. We made a bit of progress but it was stressful for us going there, being at the store for an hour and coming back in the car. Yup, he wasn’t good in the car either. Eventually, I found this amazing man who came to our house and worked with us. It was life changing. With the right training method, anything really is possible. Forrest is now one of the calmest and quietest dogs in the neighbourhood. But as all dogs do,  he still has his moments.  We often say that he has many qualities that came from Brooks. But unlike Brooks, he hates the snow.

What works with a rescue or any dog is love, patience, understanding and acceptance. It will be challenging but it’s so worth it. Find someone to help you with one-on-one training. It might be expensive but it is so worth it. Above all, do your research. Go back a few times to visit before making a decision. Remember that rescue organizations are making decisions that are in the best interest of the animal. If you don’t get chosen, that’s ok. The right one is out there for you.

We through lots of information and stories at you but, we want to reiterate that when introducing a new dog into the family, especially a rescue dog, patience is going to be your best friend. We don’t know what Forrest’s background was so it was important to use to be patient with him and give him the love he deserves. Also, remember to keep in mind the 3/3/3 rule change won’t happen overnight and that's okay. 

We would like to say that we are not experts on this subject, this was our family’s experience with rescue dogs and introducing a new dog into the family. We would love to hear your stories or tips you have with rescue dogs and getting a new dog. 

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Pet Friendly Places in the KW Area

Pet Friendly Places in the KW Area

Pet Friendly Places in the KW Area

With the weather getting warmer, it’s human nature to want to take your pups everywhere you go. But it can be overwhelming with the number of places that are dog friendly in the KW area. We (Owen, Toby, and I) spent the last 2 weeks researching, visiting and interviewing different establishments on how they are dog friendly. We then curated our list of bakeries, breweries and shops that we enjoyed. We also got in contact with Dog Friendly KW and asked them a few questions to see what their favourite dog friendly places were. 

Let’s see what Dog Friendly KW had to say about some places in KW.

  • Could you please introduce yourselves and your dogs? 

Hi! We will start off by introducing ourselves - we are Justine and Mackenzie Co-Owners and Co-Founders of Dog Friendly KW (DFKW)! We have been friends for almost twenty years and grew up in Muskoka together. Having lived in Kitchener for the last eight years, we have grown to call this community home.  We love to explore new dog friendly spots, support local businesses and encourage and grow the local dog friendly community. Our vision is to make Kitchener-Waterloo the most dog friendly community in Canada. We are passionate about responsible dog ownership and education and are known to dig into spicy topics on the DFKW Podcast. 

The dogs of DFKW are Willa and Alydar - our picture perfect Italian Greyhounds who are known for their sense of fashion, and Marshall, our 90 lb super mutt rescued from northern Manitoba who is known for being a big ball of sweet and sass rolled into one. 

  • What are your favourite places to visit with your pups (Breweries, patios, cafes, stores)?

Two years ago, this was an easy question to answer - but now, there are so many dog friendly spaces that it is really difficult to choose. Some places we really love include Short Finger Brewing, TWB Brewing, Rural Roots (okay, we really like beer), The Village Biergarten, Camellia Bakeshop, Talula Fields, Cafe Pyrus (and Cafe Pyrus Outpost) and Colour Paradise Greenhouse. There are also a lot of new spots featured in our summer business guide that we haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but are looking forward to checking out in the coming months. 

  • What are the best experiences you've had at a dog friendly place?

One of our favourite things about running this business and community is connecting with small business owners. Some of our most memorable experiences have been the days when we visit a dog friendly location and completely lose track of time chatting with the owner or the staff on-site. Whether it’s chatting about dogs or brainstorming future events, we love connecting with the people behind these businesses.

  • What do you look for in dog friendly places (red flags and green flags)?

We would say that this varies depending on your dog’s personality and preferences. For example, if we are looking for a patio that is suitable for our sensitive Alydar, we may look for a spot that has less vehicle traffic and is a little less stimulating. However, if we are looking for a spot suitable for Marshall, we might look for a more spacious location with lots of space for him to lay down - so, if we’re visiting a super tiny patio, we might leave our big boy at home! If your dog sometimes gets over excited or overwhelmed, visiting somewhere with more space or multiple points of entry or exit can be helpful in case you need to take breaks. One of the reasons The Village Biergarten is one of our favourite places is because it checks off all of these boxes. We also LOVE when places are dog friendly inside and outside so that we have the flexibility to sit indoors should the weather not cooperate. 

  • In your opinion, what do you think dog friendly places should provide their dogs and owners to make them more accessible?

We definitely recommend that dog owners have everything they need on hand to ensure their dog has a good experience in dog friendly space - water, bowl, toy or comfort item, blanket or place cot, etc. That said, a dog friendly location can ensure that there is adequate space between tables to ensure dogs can be a comfortable distance away from others. It’s always a nice touch when businesses offer communal water - however, some dogs (and humans) choose to avoid it because there is always a small risk of illness when water is shared. For outdoor locations specifically, dog friendly locations can offer spots in the shade to ensure pups stay cool - especially in the warmer months! 

As mentioned, we went around and visited some places off of DFKW Summer guide and talked to the owners to learn more about their establishments and what they do to be dog-friendly. We got tons of great information and some sneak peeks at the wonderful ideas these companies have come up with to keep the KW region the best dog-friendly area!

The Civil

A new hotspot at 151 Charles St W, The Civil makes pizza from scratch and offers cocktails, local craft beers like TWB, boozy slushies and gin and tonic flights. Plus, you can bring your pup to the patio to enjoy the meal with you. For your pup, they have water bowls available on the patio for any dog in need of a drink. Visit their Instagram to see some of their delicious creations.


Cafe Pyrus

Cafe Pyrus has been open for 12 years. They have a big shaded patio and love having the dogs out there. They are a vegan cafe located in downtown Kitchener at 305 King St. The cafe serves light bites, salads and baked goods that are accompanied by refreshing cold drinks or a smooth cup of coffee. 

The Outpost has been open for 4 years and is an extension of Cafe Pyrus. The outpost is located off of the Spur Line trail or you can drive down to 105 Roger St. For humans they have a selection of baked goods, drinks and vegan gelato, and for your pups, they offer free dog treats and have a water bowl near where you order. Inside the Outpost, you will be able to find a wall full of pictures of dogs that were taken there when you were still able to go in. Every Saturday from 9-1 they host a market that offers organic vegetables, apples and wraps. Check out both The Outpost and the Cafe on Instagram, and watch their video from Business Unusual. 

Camellia Bake Shop


Camellia Bake Shop is a newly opened, women owned business and allergy friendly bakeshop in the Waterloo area. Located at 305 Northfield E, Alisha has opened up an adorable pet friendly cafe. Alisha had always wanted to open up a cafe at a young age and finally got the opportunity to do so. After some storefronts turning them down, she found the perfect building just off of the Health Valley Trail, and the surrounding stores (Linen and Lore and The Timeless Material Company) makes for a lovely afternoon with your pet. Since opening Camellia bake shop has always been a pet friendly store. As soon as you walk in they immediately ask to pet your dog and then serve you some decadent treats and coffee. They offer an outside patio with umbrellas for those sunny days, or you can sit inside as they offer your dog a bed for them to relax. Along with the bed they have water bowls, treats and of course puppuccinos. As for making their own dog treats, that idea is still in the works. Want to see what they’re up to? Check out their Instagram.

Together We’re Bitter (TWB) Co-Operative Brewery

Together We’re Bitter (TWB)  is a cooperative brewery located at 300 Mill ST Kitchener, but you can also find booths at the St Jacob’s and Kitchener market. Community supported, Worker Owned, is what's printed on their beer cans and they stand by that tagline. As a co-operative business anyone who works there has a say in the business and if the workers put in 2000 hours they have the opportunity to buy in and become a worker-owner. Some of the worker-owners are tradespeople, an example of that is they have a maintenance team inhouse, which not many breweries do. 

TWB has a beautiful patio with umbrellas to give you and your pup some shade or a few tables inside where you can sit and have a house beer. TWB offers a variety of different events including jam sessions every Thursday from 6 pm - 9 pm, starting June 29th, 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm, once a month they are hosting Together We’re Boisterous which is a variety show including stand up comedy, improv and burlesque, and starting July 9th from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm for every other week, they collaborated with Dog Friendly KW and is doing Barks & Brews Yappy Hour and live music on the patio every Friday. TWB runs fundraising events where proceeds of their sales go towards an organization, more recently organizations like Spectrum Waterloo, American Caribbean Black Waterloo Region and they support local artists like Morningstar designs. Check out more of their events on their Instagram and their video with Business Unusual 

Words Worth Books

Open for 35 years, Words Worth Books is an independent bookshop located in Uptown Waterloo at 96 King Street S. Ever since they opened, Words Worth has always been a pet friendly shop allowing your pups inside the store. When walking in you are greeted with a warm welcome and your pups are greeted with a treat that they have stored behind the counter and water bowls outside. Words Worth is a great location to stop at if you’re having a day in Uptown Waterloo especially if you’re with your pet. If you’re a book lover you should definitely check them out on Instagram.

Counterpoint Brewing

Only a 5 minute drive from our store, Counterpoint Brewing Company on 935 Frederick St, has permanently opened a patio after having it only temporarily for the last 2 years, a great place to take your pet if you love a cold glass of beer. They’re always rotating through beers but love to brew hops, IPAs and pale ales. They always have a dark beer on tap, and recently put out a cream ale and a dessert beer that tastes like a pecan pie. If you’re stopping in to buy some clothing or some beer from the fridge you can bring your dog inside but if you’re sitting down for a drink you and your dog can sit on their patio. Every year, Counterpoint hosts a fundraiser annually for Pound dog rescue and are aiming to host it in September this year. Counterpoint Brewing Company is a community-oriented culture. Every month they have a beer that acts as a fundraiser and proceeds go towards an organization of their choosing. Want to see what they’re up to? Find them on Instagram and Twitter

Lots of cool places and new ideas were talked about throughout this article but we want to hear from you. We only listed 6 places in the KW area. Did we list yours? If not, what’s one of your favourite places to go with your pets. 

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Picking The Right Leash For Your Dog

Picking The Right Leash For Your Dog

Finding the right leash, harness or collar can be hard when there are so many different options. Having to think about what kind of leash is best for you and your dog can be difficult. That's where we come in to help. Here at Terrible Toby’s, we have plenty of different options, but also the explanations behind them. 

Standard Leashes (Flat Leash)

The most common leash you will see is a standard flat leash. These can range in width for the size of your dog and typically come in 6ft (2m), however, you can find shorter and longer ones too. These are your most common leashes for training and most trainers will work with and recommend this type of lead. Typically, these leashes are made with materials such as nylon, leather or woven material. When choosing the right flat leash for your dog, usually if you have a bigger or stronger dog it is important to choose a leash on the wider side, sometimes choosing rope material instead of nylon, whereas if you have a smaller dog, something on the skinner side would be appropriate as well. 

Retractable/Extendable Leashes

Retractable leashes are the second most common leash. They allow various lengths for freedom and movement essentially working like a measuring tape. They can be locked to the desired length or unlocked to follow your dog’s movement, up to a maximum distance. The leash part itself is a nylon cord and the handle is a soft plastic material that will last over time. If at any time there is slack in the leash while locked, unlocking it will bring the material to reduce slack. Retractable leashes are great for dogs because it provides them more freedom to roam around on their walks. Retractable leashes can also be used for training commands such as stay & place, similar to how a long line would be used.  When leash training, retractable leashes typically are not recommended. Retractable leashes don’t give consistent boundaries that a standard leash will. Which can confuse your pup and lead to frustration for both you and them. There have also been cases of low quality leashes failing, which causes the mechanism inside to break and allows your pup to have full range of the leash even when locked. When using retractable leashes, it’s extremely important to choose one that’s graded for your dog’s size. All retractable leashes should have size ratings, the maximum usually being 120lbs. Meaning that if you have an extra large dog, retractable leashes may not be the best option. 

Bungee leashes

Bungee leashes incorporate a bungee into the leash to help absorb shock when your dog pulls.  These leashes are great if you're a big runner and want to bring your dog along. When not stretched out all the way, the leash takes the pressure off of the collar. Meaning if your dog slows down or speeds up they won’t receive an intense shock when hitting the end of the leash. As said earlier, if the dog pulls, the bungee section of the leash takes the strain off the collar and their neck. These leashes are great for adventurous dogs who love to smell, allowing them some freedom without putting strain on your pup or your arm. Bungee leashes are more geared toward leash-trained dogs and are not recommended for reactive dogs. These leashes don’t allow the owners to have much control if there were to be incidents with other dogs. These leashes can also train the dogs to not have any reaction to pulling, with the bungee piece they might not see a problem with pulling as there are no consequences from the leash. 

Training leashes

Training or long line leashes are generally used for training your dog’s recall. These leashes can range from 15ft - 50ft. Long lines simulate an off-leash environment while still having control of the dog ensuring they won’t run. Recommended to be used in an open area, these leashes will help you achieve your command goals like “come”, “heal” or “stay” while giving you the confidence of knowing your dog won’t bolt. Training leashes are recommended for almost any dog, but still be cautious if your dog is reactive, depending on how long your leash is you may not have the control you desire if an incident were to occur.

Seat Belt leashes 

Seatbelt or safety belt leashes are used for car rides. On one end they have a carabiner that attaches to the harness and the other side clips into the seat belt holder. The common length for these is 2.5ft and some can have a bungee portion. They prevent the dogs from climbing around the front and back seats distracting the driver. Having your dog secure in the car is important in case of an accident or abrupt braking. They can also prevent your dog from running loose if there was an accident. One important piece to note is that not all dog seat belts are created equally.  The majority of dog seat belts are only intended to keep your dog in place while driving and are not crash tested.  If you’re looking for a seatbelt for your dog that is crash tested and certified, you have to order a special harness too.  This is because although the seat belt can be strong if it’s attached to a standard harness there will more than likely be a failure in a car accident.

Coupler/Double dog leashes

Double dog leashes or leash couplers are for walking more than one dog at a time. This leash splits off into two sections each having a carabiner at the end to attach to your dog’s collar or harness. Coupler leashes may seem convenient for you, but not for your dogs, especially when walking dogs with height or size differences. You may have less control over the dogs and the dogs don’t have enough space between them, especially if you have pups who love to explore. It is primarily recommended for dogs who are previously leash trained. Using a coupler or double dog leash can prevent your dogs from getting tangled up as they would if using two separate leashes.  However, if they’re not great on a leash, or one dog is reactive you may end up with an even bigger tangle.

There were lots of options discussed in the article and we hope we were able to cover each one in enough detail for you. If you have any further questions or want to see the leashes in person,  we’re open 7 days a week and would love to help you find the right leash for your pup. We also always like to note that if there is anything you believe we missed or that should be added in send us a message or come in and we’d be happy to learn more.

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Choosing the Right Puzzle for Your Animal

Choosing the Right Puzzle for Your Animal

IQ Puzzles, Treat Dispensers, Enrichment Toys... They go by a lot of names & there sure are a LOT to choose from. So how do you go about choosing the correct puzzle or treat dispenser for your pet? Toby & I (Owen) have had the opportunity to test tons of these and think we've got a pretty good understanding of how you should go about choosing your pet's next IQ toy. So here are a few steps for choosing the best puzzle or treat dispenser for your pet!
First... Do you want something that you can "set & forget"? By this we mean do you want a treat dispenser that your pet can use without you directly by their side. Something that will last a while and not take a lot of effort or monitoring from your end. *Please note that we do not recommend dog's be left unattended while using treat dispensers. All toys, especially treat dispensers, should be used under moderate supervision.* 
If this is the case, then the standard "puzzle" may not be the best solution for you and your pet. Puzzles, especially the harder ones, can get frustrating for certain dogs & when this happens there's a tendency to try and chew through the puzzle instead of solve it (Toby is amazing at this method of "solving" puzzles). Instead of using a puzzle as your "set and forget" method of entertaining your dog try utilizing a Lickimat to entertain your pet for longer periods of time. Lickimats can be filled with tons of different treats, checkout our post on what to put in a lickimat for more ideas.  They can be used for almost any animal & provide great boredom busting stimulation for your pet. Along with this, using treat dispensers like the Tricky Treat ball & the Tug a Jug are great toys that take little effort from your end to keep your pet happy. A few other great options for low effort treat dispensing toys for your pet include...
For dogs
For Cats & Smaller Animals
Now, if you're looking for a fun experience with your pet. Where mental stimulation and family bonding come together into one great activity.  Then a puzzle for your pet is definitely the right next step.  Puzzles, especially with an animal who's never done one, require direct attention from you while your pet uses it.  Treat the puzzle as a toy that is only taken out when you're ready to play with your pet.  This will bring an entirely new level of excitement to your animal as they start to recognize when you pull out their puzzles for play.  While watching your pet, if you notice them start to get frustrated with the puzzle show them how to solve the next step. If your pet starts to chew or bite at the puzzle, quickly uncover and recover one of the treats in front of them.  This will get them reengaged in the task of finding the treat with logic, rather than with force.  
Each puzzle is unique and requires a different set of motions & problem solving skills to figure out.  So picking the right one for your pet is important. When purchasing your pet's puzzle, be sure to think about their body size & shape to determine whether they can complete the puzzle. Typically I recommend going for a puzzle that primarily uses sliding pieces to solve.  This type of puzzle works well for any animal as they can use their paws or nose to move each slider. A few great beginner puzzles that primarily use sliders include...
Looking for something a bit more challenging for your pet? The Outward Hound Challenge Slider is by far our most popular puzzle.  I actually recommend this puzzle for pets starting out with puzzles too! The reason this is such a great puzzle is because it can be setup at multiple challenge levels.  If your pet is new to puzzles, try hiding treats really close to the start of the puzzle. Giving your pet the opportunity to learn how to solve the puzzle without numerous steps involved. Then as they start to get the hang of solving the puzzle, start moving the treats further and further from the starting point. This adds multiple steps to the puzzle before it's solved, creating a much more challenging solve. The versatility of this puzzle gives it way more flexibility in terms of being easy or hard. Versus some of the other slider puzzles which, once your pet solves them, tend to become too easy & repetitive.
Has your pet conquered sliding puzzles? Or maybe you want something with a few more actions to solve.  Either way, these next puzzles are fantastic for teasing your pet's brain and testing their problem solving skills.  We've labelled these puzzles as "Pull" puzzles.  Pull puzzles are ones that involve a drawer or unlocking mechanism that needs to be pulled with either your pet's paw or snout. Because of the nature of these puzzles, larger dogs may have a harder time with them. However it doesn't mean they won't be able to figure them out. 
The first pull puzzle I would recommend is the Dog Twister. The Dog Twister uses a standard slide method on top, which works great as a beginner puzzle.  But it also includes locks along the side of the puzzle, which lock up each of the sliders. Leaving each lock open will give your pet the chance to learn how to use the sliders. Then as your pet starts to figure out solving the puzzle, start locking some of the sliders in place.  This will add another step and challenge to the puzzle, which your pet will have to figure out before solving it. As your pet progressively gets better and better, lock more of the sliders to add more and more of a challenge.
The next pull puzzle is called the Dog Casino.  The Dog Casino relies heavily on the pulling drawers in order to solve the puzzle.  Starting off, you can hide your pet's treats inside the drawers and allow them to figure out the drawers open.  Once they've figure out how to open each drawer, you can add an extra level of difficulty to the puzzle.  By turning the bones on top of the puzzle, the drawers will become locked.  Now your pet will have to turn each bone on the top of the puzzle before they can access the drawers for their treats. This puzzle is a great intermediate puzzle that works well for small to medium sized dogs.  Unfortunately dogs around Toby's size (95 lbs) start to struggle opening the drawers, which can be frustrating or demotivating for them.
Finally, if your pet is ready for the most challenging puzzle in our collection you can try the Nina Ottosson Multi Puzzle.  The multi-puzzle combines several different challenges into one complicated and mind bending puzzle.  Featuring sliders around the outside, similar to the Challenge Slider. However it also contains small locking mechanisms that will lock up the sliders to create an even harder solve.  Then contained in the middle is a spinner that allows your pet to access one treat compartment at a time. Meaning they will need to open and close each treat compartment before getting to the next. This challenging puzzle can be quite versatile in how difficult you make it, meaning even an intermediate puzzle solver (or really smart pet) will be able to enjoy it. 
The key when choosing a puzzle for your pet is to seek out one with a bit of versatility, but that you're confident your pet will be able to figure out (eventually). Finding a puzzle that can be made harder as your pet learns is a great way to build their problem solving and logic skills.  Plus it's a fantastic way to bond with your pet as you encourage them and show them how to solve the puzzle. Just remember that you should not leave your pet alone with a puzzle, they are plastic and if a dog wants to they can definitely chew through it. Instead treat the time as a way to connect with your dog, while stimulating their mind at the same time.
Still have more questions about the puzzles? Stop by our store to check out each on in person and see how they all work. We're always happy to meet new animal lovers & will gladly answer any questions about our line of puzzle toys for you.
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What to Put in a Lickimat? Peanut Butter Alternatives

What to Put in a Lickimat? Peanut Butter Alternatives

Toby loves his lickimats! They’re absolutely fantastic for killing energy, keeping him entertained and as a nice reward after a long day. When I fill my lickimats my go to is peanut butter. Peanut Butter is convenient, budget friendly and easy to add. However, there are some downsides to using peanut butter that I’ve come to notice… 

First off, allergies! Some people just cannot have peanuts in their life due to them or a family member being allergic. Along with this, some peanut butter brands are toxic to dogs… You heard me right, the beloved treat that dogs beg for can contain the chemical xylitol. Be sure to read the ingredients list on your peanut butter for the artificial sweetener called xylitol which can be toxic to your furry friend (try to avoid any artificial sweeteners). Also, peanut butter can be downright messy! Maybe I’m doing things wrong, but I always make a mess when I have peanut butter out (pretty sure I’m doing it wrong). Between the hard to clean aspect & the messiness alone I had to start seeking some new fillers for Toby’s lickimats.
Let’s start with something basic… Plain cream cheese, emphasis on the PLAIN part.  Cheese in general can be a fantastic addition to your pups diet in small quantities.  Containing calcium, essential fatty acids, Vitamins A & B along with protein. So just like it is for you and me, cheese and cream cheese can be a great snack for your dog.  However cheese also contains a high amount of fat, so you don’t want this to be your go to everyday. Otherwise health problems such as obesity can occur.  
Another great food to add to lickimats are bananas! Yes, we know bananas are actually solids, but they’re so easy to mash up that they’re definitely a go to for lickimats. Plus bananas are one of the fruits that are healthy for dogs too! (worried about what fruits you can & can’t feed your pooch? Head to this AKC blog link to find out more)  All you need to do is cut the banana into a few thin strips, lengthwise speeds the process up.  Then lie the strips across your lickimat and mash down with the back of a spoon.  I’ve found banana’s to be a bit more challenging than peanut butter for Toby, meaning it lasts longer.  Plus, they’re easier to clean (I’m stuck hand washing Toby’s Lickimats as I don’t have a dishwasher) when you’ve used bananas.  Again bananas should be given as a treat, not a part of your pups everyday diet.
One sure fire, easy to use, lickimat topper is canned pumpkin.  When Toby was a puppy I always had a can of pumpkin on hand just in case his tummy started to act up.  Pumpkin is an amazing treat for dogs that’s packed with nutrients and vitamins.  Along with this it helps with certain cases of the runs and definitely saved some carpets when Toby was a pup… Canned pumpkin can be found in the baking section of almost any grocery store however be observant as it’s usually very close to the pumpkin pie filling. DO NOT feed your dog pumpkin pie filling, this is extremely high in sugar and not a good treat for your dog.  Pure pumpkin on the other hand is highly beneficial & extremely easy to spread onto a lickimat.  Definitely a recommended topper for your pup.
What about yogurt? Yogurt is an easy to use spread that can definitely be a great treat for your pup.  However you need to be cautious (just like with anything you give your dog) because of different ingredients in each brand.  Look for a plain yogurt (not vanilla) that doesn’t contain too much sugar but also as zero artificial sweetener.  Artificial sweeteners and sugars can be unhealthy for humans and dogs.  Plus certain sweeteners are known to be very toxic for dogs (such as xylitol, which can be found in certain yogurt brands).  So once you’ve found your brand of yogurt, feel free to get your lickimat loaded up! I’ve found yogurt to be a simple food to add to the lickimat, plus it’s easy to clean and Toby loves it.
All in all, any malleable or spreadable food that’s safe for dogs is a fantastic addition to your lickimat.  A couple pro tips I’ve discovered are to freeze the lickimat before giving it to Toby.  This lets it last longer as he needs to defrost the contents first.  I also like to add a tiny bit of honey to the lickimat every now and then.  Although honey isn’t necessarily healthy for dogs, it is completely safe and in low quantities will add a nice flavour to your pups lickimat.  
Still stuck for an idea for your lickimat? Toby’s got a quick and easy peanut butter alternative that smells exactly like peanut butter! His lick mix is 100% dehydrated peanut powder, simply combine equal amounts water and our lick mix (available online) to create a delicious and healthy treat for your pup.  
Don’t have a lickimat yet? Not to worry! We’re stocked up on tons right now and Toby would love to get your pup setup with one, plus $2 is donated to animals in need from each one he sells! If you ever have any questions about our lickimats or any other products Toby sells be sure to message us on social media or through our website.  We love hearing from you and always want to know what you think.
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Answering the Q's of IQ Toys

Answering the Q's of IQ Toys

Toby loves his IQ toys. I love his IQ toys… They’re so much fun! But what’s the deal with IQ toys… What do they actually do and why are they becoming so popular? Here I’m going to do my best to answer all the Q’s (questions) of IQ toys.  
What is an “IQ Toy”?
IQ toy is our general term for any interactive or treat dispensing dog toy.  There are puzzles, treat dispensers, lickimats, snuffle mats and tons of other designs too! Basically anything that makes your dog figure out an action or sniff out a reward usually in the form of treat.
What does an IQ Toy do?
Although there are tons of different uses for each type of IQ toy, the general purpose of an IQ toy is to stimulate your dog in new ways.  Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures and giving them new outlets that allow them to problem solve, think and figure things out is an amazing way to train their brain.  
How does an IQ Toy benefit my dog?
Just as going for a walk and allowing your dog to sniff gives them mental stimulation or playing fetch and letting your pup run provides physical stimulation. IQ toys are designed to invoke thought and problem solving skills.  This provides a similar mental stimulation to sniffing new scents and discovering new places.  IQ toys are NOT a replacement for physical exercise, going for walks or day-to-day socialization.  But they are an amazing compliment to keep your dog entertained in between walk times and when you’re busy.
Will an IQ toy entertain my dog without me?
Depending on the type of IQ toy you have, they are fantastic entertainment for your dog when you’re busy and can’t give them your full attention.  However we never recommend leaving your dog unattended with a toy, especially when it’s been covered in food or you don’t know their chewing habits.  Self entertaining IQ toys are perfect for when you need to calm down your dog or distract them, but shouldn’t be used as a treat when leaving the house as they could become a choking hazard. 
Can an IQ Toy help with anxiety and high energy dogs?
IQ Toys are definitely a great aid to keeping your dog calm. Personally I use one as a distraction when guests come over, so Toby can get used to them without being high energy and in their face.  However they are DEFINITELY NOT solutions to high anxiety or extremely high energy dogs.  If you are having consistent issues with anxiety in your dog I recommend speaking with a veterinarian or specialist. IQ toys are a great compliment to helping calm your dog but not a solution to intense anxiety or extreme energy.
What type of IQ toy should I get?
Every dog is different & recommending one toy for all dogs is impossible.  Toby has tested his line of IQ toys and finds they all work for different situations and dogs.  What I’m going to do is list the benefits of some and how they can be used, this way you can help narrow down which ones will work best for your situation.
Lickimats - are a fantastic self-entertainment toy for your dog.  I specifically use a lickimat for Toby when guests come over so he’s not all in their face.  All I have to do is spread peanut butter over it and let Toby have it.  It usually lasts him 15 - 25 minutes and longer if we put it in the freezer first.  They can also help tire out your pup as the constant licking motion becomes physically draining.  Definitely a great pick for calming down your dog, keeping them relaxed and giving them some entertainment when you don’t have the chance to.
Puzzles - are probably the most “fun-for-human” dog toys ever.  I absolutely love filling them up with treats and trying to help Toby solve them.  I alway recommend getting the Star Shaped puzzle as it’s the hardest one we have.  An amazing bonding experience for you and your dog, plus it’s so much fun watching them try and work their way through.  This is not a self-entertaining toy and more an experience for both you and your dog.  Especially with the harder puzzles, if a dog gets frustrated and you’re not there to help they may start biting and tearing at it instead of solving it (I have first hand experience with Toby doing this).
Fill me Up! Treat Toy - is a versatile treat dispensing toy that’s great for keeping your dog occupied.  You can stuff the outside with kibble, or smear peanut butter along the outside to simulate a lickimat.  Then stuff the middle with treats and cream cheese or peanut butter.  This is an amazing way to get your dog occupied.  Depending on how you stuff/fill it you can have them going for 30+ minutes! (Hint: if you freeze the toy after stuffing then give it to your dog it will last even longer).  This is the perfect toy for self-entertaining, plus it’s a regular ball to play fetch too.  Sooth your pup when they’re nervous or calm them down when guests arrive or they’re over stimulated.
Tricky Treat Ball - is the easiest to fill and use, but one of the longest lasting for Toby.  All I have to do is put some of his food into the ball and give it to him.  Because of how it’s designed Toby typically gives up before getting all of them out and I end up helping him out.  I’ve seen Toby entertained by this ball for hours and it’s hands down his favourite toy he has.  We use it to play fetch, indoor soccer, tug of war & it’s a treat dispenser.  The size of the ball makes it difficult for extreme chewers to get it to the back of their jaws, where the damage is usually done.  Plus the rubber is extremely bite resistant.  Toby & I have been playing daily with this toy for 5 months with no damage yet (I classify Toby as a medium-aggressive chewer).
There are a bunch of other IQ toys we’ve got available online, with similar uses as the ones listed above.  If you want to browse them head to our IQ collection and check them out for yourself.  You can also visit us and see them in person at the St. Jacobs Farmers Market every Thursday and Saturday.  I love chatting about dogs and figuring out what toy is going to be the best for your pup so anything I can do to help I’m here for you.
I would like to note that I am writing this as a dog owner but I am not a professional dog trainer, behaviourist or veterinarian. If you want specific behavioural or health related advice please contact a professional. 
If I’ve missed anything, or you still have some questions feel free to reach out! I’d love to know your thoughts and Toby is always thrilled to hear from other doggos and their parents. Email us at toby@terribletobys.com or contact us through social media.
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A Boy & His Dog On a Mission to Change the World

A Boy & His Dog On a Mission to Change the World

I started Terrible Toby's Dog Supply Depot with one thing in mind... Change.
Obviously change is all around us right now... But what I had in mind was change for dogs.  Change for dogs that don't have a voice, don't have food in their bowls or toys to chase.  Dogs that don't feel the same kind of love as Toby or your pup at home feel everyday.  But I can't do it alone, which is where my idea for Terrible Toby's came....
How can I make it as easy as possible for ordinary puppies to make extraordinary change for other dogs?  I wanted to create the easiest way for someone to support a cause that no dog owner can say no to.  That's when I came up with the idea to start a dog store that's sole mission is to end dog abuse & cruelty around the world.
The Beginning
I got Toby as a puppy from a breeder at the beginning of March.  At that time, I was not heavily informed or involved with any rescue organizations or the intense need for adoption.  Looking back, I absolutely do not regret getting Toby though. He's perfect for me and teaches me so much that I obviously couldn't think of a life without him at this point.  My next dog will definitely be a rescue though!
Toby came into my life a week before Ontario went into lockdown in March of 2020.  At the time, I was working as an event coordinator and wedding DJ while going through my last year of College.  Obviously being at home all the time gave me tons of opportunity to train Toby, but I also spent some time getting myself involved in the dog community (you guys are PAWSOME by the way).  That's when I started to realize how much cruelty some dogs go through in their lives though...
What to do...
I remember exactly what information really pushed me over the edge (to keep this child friendly I am refraining from adding the details in) and made me say enough is enough.  So, I decided to do some research...
I knew there was something I could do to help, but I wasn't sure what. I don't have the room to foster and Toby is still a ways from being fully trained so I can't add more animals to my house.  But, rescues do need tons of support so I decided to start raising funds.
Toby & I sat on the couch for a while pondering this.  With events shut down (my go to for fundraisers) & no way to get in front of people to raise money there had to be some way for us to do something.  Then Toby asked for a treat as he usually does around 8pm.  I grabbed his favourite snacks and that's when it hit me! To Toby's amazement I dropped the entire bag of treats and dashed for my computer to get to work...
Time for Toby to get to work!
I guess I should say time for me to get to work. Toby more or less just ate the treats I forgot about on the floor as I started buzzing through websites and blog posts figuring out how to setup an online store. Tons of late nights and gallons of coffee later, Terrible Toby's Dog Supply Depot was ready to go!
Toby was so proud of what he'd accomplished! But, how exactly was he going to raise money off of it?  Toby did some bookkeeping and got back to me saying "Dad, we're going to donate 50% of our profit from each sale because I know you'll be able to put food in my bowl. But, I'm not sure if other dogs will get food in their bowl". At first I thought he was joking, "how do we pay for the business then Toby" I asked? But... It seems to be working out for him (as usual for Toby)
How it works...
With every single product that Toby approves for his shelves, he makes me figure out a few things.
1. How much it costs us
2. How much it costs at the store
Once we know these two things the math is simple! We figure out how much we make and we donate half of that, rounding up to make the math easy (Toby hasn't figured out a calculator yet). We then list EXACTLY how much is donated from each item on our website to ensure everyone knows what they're raising. 
We get asked a lot... what does the other half goes to? Well that's a two part answer...
First we have to cover our costs of advertising and running the store online. We also used some to open our first ever retail location at the St. Jacobs Farmers Market!
and what about the rest?
Toby's Dream
The rest of our funds help fuel Toby's dream of opening his own rescue organization.  Toby & I want to be able to get into the field around the globe helping rescue, transport and promote the adoption of dogs.  In order to do that we have a lot of work ahead of us & we couldn't do it without your support.
Supporting Change
Change takes a lot of effort from many people all over the world! I wanted to give the opportunity for everyone to get involved in making a change and it starts with Terrible Toby's. By purchasing your everyday dog supplies from Terrible Toby's you automatically support the wellbeing and safety of dogs everywhere.  I'm so excited to be able to give myself, Toby and the rest of the world an opportunity to make change and can't wait to see what the rest of this journey holds.
If you ever want to support our cause, feel free to head to our shop and pick out some cool stuff for the dog's in your life. Or, to learn more about what we do head to our fundraiser page for all the details.  You can also follow us on Instagram & Facebook and reach out at any time to suggest new items, give us feedback or just talk about dogs. Toby & I are always ready to chat.


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Why a Slow Feeder?

Why a Slow Feeder?

Dogs love their food... There's no doubt in my, Toby's or your mind about it! But some dogs (Including the Terrible Toby) might love it a bit too much.  While it's perfect for training, it's not so great when it comes to F-O-O-D time. That's why the Slow Feeder was invented. With dogs literally trying to inhale their food, slow feeders were made to prevent this.  Why? Let me explain below...
Preventing Bloat! Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex (let's avoid the fancy words and call it bloat though) is a medical and surgical emergency.  It's caused by dogs swallowing air as they eat too quickly...
As the stomach fills with air, blood is prevented from returning to the heart. This causes the dog to go into shock.
If this isn’t scary enough, there is yet another horrifying thing that happens, and it is heartbreaking to see. The stomach can flip during this, cutting off blood & oxygen to other areas of the body. The oxygen-starved pancreas produces some very toxic hormones. One, in particular, targets the heart and stops it cold. In fact, a dog can go through successful treatment for bloat and seem to be out of danger, when suddenly the heart stops.
Even in the mildest case of bloat dogs can pass away without treatment.  This is the number one reason why slow feeders were created and are growing in popularity so quickly.  This is also the cause of death in the beloved movie Marley & Me. 

Marley & Me Promotional Poster

I'm not here to try and scare you or have you go double check your dogs eating habits every meal time... But, if you notice your dog could be winning some eating contests it might be time to consider one.  
Toby uses a slow feeder at every meal to ensure he eats at the proper speed.  I'm not too sure if he's the biggest fan of it... But, it definitely gives me some piece of mind even if he doesn't actually need it.

Looking to pickup a slow feeder of your own? Toby's got the same model he uses on sale now! Be sure to pick one up for your dog if you're worried about their eating speed.



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