Last year, after our multiple moves and finally getting into a place, I splurged. I bought Asher a West Paw Bumper Bed XL. Why? Because our friends that let us live with them for a month and a half, had one for their 6 month old German Shepherd Maximus. When we went to get Travis officially ordained in Texas one weekend, they sent me the photo below.
I had to have one of these beds for my baby, Asher is not an XL dog. But when it’s cool out, the kitties prefer his bed too. So we needed a bed that he could fit in with our two 15 lbs cats. It is easy to care for and tough. Here that all are in the West Paw Designs XL Bumper Bed. The great thing about this bed is washable. You can take the cover off the pillow and the bumper and throw it all in the wash.
2) Leash + Collar: Ruffwear Leash and Collar
I like a good light weight, strong leash. We use the Ruffwear Slackline leash. It gives me the option of a longer or shorter leash, and since we moved into an apartment I like giving Asher more room than I would usually give him on a walk. I also use the Chain Reaction Collar on Asher, it gives me the option to clip the leash on the choker or not. Which is awesome. Asher doesn’t usually need the choker, but it’s nice in a pinch.
3) Treats: Bully Sticks and Merrick Grain Free Treats
We don’t treat a lot. Asher has to really be awesome to get treats, or we have to be training. We really like Merrick Pet Care food, it’s made in America and sourced mostly in the US (Lamb and Rabbit sourced from New Zealand). Made from fresh high quality ingredients just like their food. Overall, I love the Merrick brand and am happy to feed this to my dog and cats. (not this food or treats but the kitty version of course) Bully sticks are available at your local pet supply store or feed store. It’s basically a beef jerky stick for your dog. Asher loves these and will get one every so often. My cats also like bully sticks and I have to keep these in locked containers or they will get into them. Mostly they just chew them but I always worry if I can’t watch them
4) Toys: West Paw Designs, Elk Antlers, and Plush Puppies
I haven’t actually written about Dog Toys in a while so I am breaking them up into categories: The Genius, The Chewer, The Snuggler and The Player. Asher has qualities of all these. As I am sure your dog does too.
The Genius: This is the dog who has every toy you hand him figured out in no time. Asher has a LOT of this in him. He has learned he doesn’t have to try for his Kong anymore, just use his tongue to lick everything out. We got a West Paw Toppl from Go Pet Friendly. When you have both sizes it becomes an amazing puzzle toy that encourages your dog to nudge and play a little bit more. It is also made from their Zogoflex material which is BPA free, dishwasher safe and recyclable. SERIOUSLY. And IF your dog destroys it…they will send you a one time replacement. (My full review of the Topple toy will be on the blog later this month) Another great toy for Genius dogs is the Teaser Ball and Jolly Egg from Jolly Ball. These are tough toys and they drive Asher bonkers. It blows his polka dotted mind that he can’t pick up his Jolly Egg…and knocks it around our Apartment with his mouth and legs. The teaser Ball is annoying (to Asher) because he can’t get to the smaller inside ball. I just got him a new one I like to call it ‘Apartment Sized’.
The Chewer: Is exactly what it sounds like, aka The Destroyer. We all have a little bit of a chewer in our dogs don’t we? I prefer to give Asher ropes, made with organic materials and make our own ropes from old towels and tee shirts. I know when we give these to him, there is a chance he will just chew through it and then it’s done but I would rather he chew on these than furniture or sticks. I also love Elk and Deer Antlers. These natural chews don’t smell and are good for cleaning teeth and aren’t dangerous to the digestive tract the way rawhides are. Another great chew is the West Paw Hurley Stick, Asher can chew this and then we also taking it hiking for a safe stick to play fetch with. It floats and nine times out of 10 Asher ends up carrying it out of hikes in his mouth. Asher has destroyed his share of toys and these West Paw Designs are tough.
The Snuggler: Cares for and plays with toys in a non destructive manner. I love when Asher gets snuggly with one of his babies. His all time favorite are his Fugly Friends, which are no longer made. But his 2nd choice is his Plush Puppies Mummy from his October Bark Box. Kong Snuggly Wubba’s are also great and sturdy.
The Player: A high energy busy bee pup. I am going to recommend another West Paw Product, I really should be paid for this…the Jive ball or the Bumi. Again, it’s made with that Zogoflex stuff and is dishwasher safe, the Jive is very bouncy and gives ever so much that Asher is addicted. Bumi is great for tug and fetch, make sure there aren’t any trees around though. I have climbed many trees rescuing our Bumi. We also enjoy the American Glow in the Dark Ball from the October Bark Box, especially now that the sun is going down earlier and earlier. It’s fun to take to the park for evening fetch. Of course every dog that loves fetch needs a Chuck It. Asher just has to see his chuck it to know we are going to the dog park. It’s probably the one toy I keep in my car for him in case we ever decide to drop by.
When choosing toys for Asher, I look for durability and fun. Does your dog have an amazing toy? What is their favorite?