National Pet Obesity day is coming up and it’s a HUGE deal!

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Believe it or not, an estimated 52.7% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. October 7th’s National Pet ObesityDay is approaching and now is the “paw-fect” time to address this unfortunate epidemic. Obesity shortens lives and will negatively impact your dog’s overall health, wellness and happiness. Although in North America obesity is the most common disease in pets, the good news is that it is preventable. Here are 5 ways to help prevent pet obesity in our canine companions.

And also don’t forget to join the Fit Pet Challenge!

1) Feed Less

Each dog has a different body and activity levels, all of which need to be considered when setting the pace on diet. Although there are guidelines on the pet food bags, it’s important for you to experiment with your dog to find out what is best for him or her. Some dogs regulate their intake well, while others eat everything in sight! It’s best to feed scheduled meals rather than free feeding. It’s important you have full control over the amount of food your dog eats. If your pup still seems hungry after mealtime, share a few steamed green beans, carrots or fresh blueberries with him. Avoid sharing unhealthy table scraps. The extra calories and decreased nutritional value of treats and table scraps are often the biggest offenders when it comes to weight control.

2) Walk More

Grab the leash and get moving! Walking is the easiest, cheapest, most convenient and most popular way to keep Fido happy, healthy and fit. Pet owners must make it a daily routine to walk. It is absolutely essential for both their physical and mental health. As they say, a tired dog truly is a well-behaved dog. Neglecting those daily walks can led to destructive mischief in the home. Imagine how bored you would be stuck in the house all day long. Whether you take a circle around the block or trek through the woods, focus on maintaining a good, steady pace. In the end, both dogs and their owner benefit from the physical activity! 

3) Playtime

Few things in this world get a dog more excited than playtime! Make sure to set time aside each day to have your pet play. Not only is playtime with your pooch important for establishing a close bond; but once again, it is vital for a dog’s development, mental and physical stimulation. While your pet is moving around he or she is burning off calories and working out muscles and joints. For dogs who are social, scheduling weekly play dates at the  local dog park is a great way to get your pup moving and grooving with other fur-friends. Whether you’re fetching, tossing a toy, tug-of-war, or romping around on the floor, playtime is much more than just plain fun!

4) Monitor With Hachiko

Monitoring your pet is a crucial step in maintaining health and proper weight. Unfortunately, with our busy lives and work schedules this is not always possible. Thankfully, with the new Hachiko Canine Fitness Monitor, pet owners have the unique opportunity to connect with their pets like never before! In today’s society, most pet families hire pet sitters to care for their beloved furry friend. This sensor and app will allow owner to always know their pooch is taken care of. With Hachiko, you can set exercise goals, and view where and how far your dog walked.  Users can receive expert advice and information on their pet’s activity, which will motivate pet parents to continue giving Fido a healthy lifestyle. Monitor how much food, water and treats your dog gets daily, as well as monitor their health and medication. Hachiko is simple and fun way to stay on top of Fido’s weight and activity each and everyday!

5) Workout

Taking your dog to the corner to do their business is not considered a workout. Jogging, hiking, swimming or simply playing in the backyard are the best ways to workout with your pup. Running is a great activity to do together for cardio, but always be sure your dog has enough energy to withstand a long run. Do not push your pooch to do something he or she is not capable of. With the fall season in full swing and the winter months approaching, it’s important to continue engaging your dog indoors. Climb the stairs or play hide and seek! Do your best to provide at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise every day to facilitate weight loss.

Remember pet parents: eat less, exercise more, and monitor with Hachiko! Pet obesity is preventable. Follow these steps and the outcome will be a win-win for both you and Fido. It’s that simple!

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Join the #fitpetchallenge

Does your Dog have allergies? Use this handy infographic to find out!

We are loving this infographic from the helpful Vet’s over at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group which details common symptoms, signs and treatment for Canine Allergies.

Stay healthy and share the care!

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Bark Heard Round The World

Where in the world are all the dogs?

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We have the answer! Maybe this has been the question keeping you up at night… or maybe not. Well we did the research on dog demographics and found out where all the dogs are.

Whether traveling with your pup or trying to decide where to move, it is great to know the cultures and places that are best for your pooch. Using statistics brought to us by statisticbrain.com, we see the most popular countries dogs:

Most Popular Countries of Residence for Dogs Number of Registered Dogs
United States 403,760
Canada 23,068
Philippines 13,232
United Kingdom 7,835
Australia 5,301
Singapore 2,688
Malaysia 1,726
Indonesia 1,537
Brazil 1,085
New Zealand 868
India 747
Mexico 702
Germany 683
Netherlands 594
South Africa 583

http://www.statisticbrain.com/dog-statistics/

The US seems to have the most pups by a landslide! Lets see which states within the US are in the dog state of mind? Can you find your state?

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Most Popular States of Residence for Dogs Number of Registered Dogs
California 52,051
Texas 31,011
Florida 23,116
New York 21,717
Pennsylvania 15,191
Ohio 13,841
Illinois 12,918
Washington 11,383
Michigan 11,180
Georgia 10,929
New Jersey 10,638
North Carolina 10,604
Virginia 9,608
Massachusetts 8,281
Ontario 7,965

Within these states, we have found the top ten friendliest cities for dogs. Does your city welcome dogs with open paws? Find out which do:

1. Austin, Texas

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015AustinDoga

2. Bar Harbor, Maine

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund/Flickr

3. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015El Condor/Flickr

4. Carmel, California

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Vicki and Chuck Rogers/Flickr

5. Chattanooga, Tennessee

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Michael Hicks/Flickr

6. Chicago, Illinois

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Chris Bentley/Flickr

7. Colorado Springs, Colorado

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Andrew Doak/Flickr

8. Key West, Florida

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Anna Val

9. Portland, Oregon

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Lulu Hoeller/Flickr

10. Sonoma Valley and Napa, California

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015

Anna Vallery

Do you think your city is dog friendly?

What do you think can be added to your city to make it more dog friendly?

National Dog Day August 26

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http://www.nationaldogday.com/

National Dog Day (Also known as: World Dog Day, International Dog Day & National Dog Appreciation Day) is celebrated August 26th annually and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.

ways to celebrate:

1. Adopt a dog from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a dog or play with a dog, clean cages or anything else they need help with.

2. Have a safety check of your home to make sure it’s safe for your dog and others.

3. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.

4. Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies.

5. Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills and Gas Chambers in your state.

6. Order an adorable dog shaped flower arrangement from 1-800-Flowers.com and enjoy a 10% discount by using code GOODLIVING when placing your order!

7. Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!

8. Spend the day taking photos of your dog and then enter our photo contest!

9. Buy an official National Dog Day Tee here and sport it proudly!

10. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.

11. Have a portrait painted of your dog to suspend the fleeting magic of dogdom.

12. Buy your dog a fun new dog toy….or two…or five.

13. Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a doggy play resort.

15. Brush your dog to eliminate excess fur.

16. Give your dog a massage or holistic spa treatment.

17. Teach your dog a new trick.

18. Buy your dog a fashionable collar and leash.

19. Hire a professional pet photographer for a fun photo shoot.

20. Take your dog to the beach.

August 15th is Check the Chip Day

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Friday August 15 has been declared as “Check the Chip Day,” by the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

What is the day?

Check the Chip Day serves as a good reminder to make sure your dog’s microchip contact information is correct.


What are the benefits?

Microchips greatly increase the chances that you’ll get your pet back if he/she is lost or stolen…but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate.


What steps do I take?

Step 1: Make an appointment with your veterinarian for microchipping if your pet isn’t already microchipped (then make sure that your pet’s chip is immediately registered)

Step 2: Check your already-microchipped pet’s registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database, and make sure it’s up-to-date.

*To check your pet’s registration information go to AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool


How do I spread the word?

Celebrate and join Check the Chip Day event on Facebook

Share the Flyer


Where can I hear more?

American Animal Hospital Association‘s President Dr. Kate Crumley talks about the importance of microchipping. Listen HERE from Steve Dale’s Pet World about the importance of proper pet identification, most importantly microchipping.

Grab your kleenex for this emotional video of a reunion between a dog and dad thanks to the chip:


Gimme more!


How to Make Your Dog Happy

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I don’t know about you guys but I spend far too much time staring into my dogs eyes trying to understand if she is happy.

I know a few things for fact:

  • She loves snuggles
  • She loves treats
  • She loves elephant the toy she’s had since the day I got her 13 years ago (Who I have managed to not lose, which I consider a feat, even though he may have been damaged slightly by a curling iron once and years of her playing with it..)

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Souffie happily asleep after getting hours of cuddles

The there’s all those human things I think I project on her- her need for having more dog friends her desire to sniff a new scent. So even though she is not exactly what you would call friendly towards other dogs, I still feel she needs to socialize and keep trying to help her make friends. This is a losing battle. I’ll also try and spice up our walks and take a different path so she’s not bored by the usual smells and sights on our walks.

But all this wasn’t enough for me. Because doing this once in a while wasn’t going to make her happy in the long run.

So I’ve devised a method to measuring Souffie’s happiness. While not a direct formula (snuggles x treats x 20 minute walk) this at least makes me feel like I am taking care of all her needs. And I’m sharing it with you, because I’m sure I’m not alone in this!

After a bit of research, I found Tamar Geller’s Loved Dog. And I love it. In the book she talks about the 7 needs a dog has. Building on that I’ve broken it down into 3 main elements that I call the Doggie Happiness Index, DHI, which address a dog’s needs: physical, mental and social.

Physical- pretty straight forward… but happiness starts with health right? Here I look at all health, exercise and nutrition. Making sure she is moving enough, not eating too much and not getting over spoiled with treats

IMG_0513Souffie on her way to attend a wedding

Mental– dogs crave routine and security for peace of of mind. So I try to make sure Souffie has a built and established routine (which is not always easy). Also I make sure she is mentally stimulated. She spends a lot of time on her own so I like to get her games that require some thinking, like puzzle toys and treat balls and when we are together try and play more challenging games or teach her a new trick (it is possible to teach and old dog new tricks!)

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She demands to be the center of everyone’s attention

Social– well obviously snuggle time falls in this category. And we can’t forget that dogs are pack animals and like hierarchy (which is also linked to their sense of security) so I make sure to get her around other people (and dogs when possible) and make sure she feels loved all the time.

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In fact she wouldn’t even let me write this post since it was Souffie time!

So that’s my DHI. This is still a work in progress and would love to hear from you if you have any more ideas or improvements!

I love using Hachiko to help me track all of this! I can set goals for Souffies activity, with an added bonus of knowing how active she was on her own, so I know for how long we need to talk. Also I make sure to log her food and treats so I can both set a routine and also make sure I don’t over feed her (she is getting a bit well… huskier lately!).

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Souffie with her Hachiko Sensor. Stylish and fun!

Hachiko Smart Sensors are a great way to keep track of your dog’s activity and behavior. To set routines and make sure they are receiving the care they deserve. Learn more about it and how it can help you keep your dog happy on their website. And to make you happy use the promocode HAPPYDOG to get $5 off!

9 Things to do this National Mutt Day July 31

Happy National Mutt Day!!

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What is a Mutt?

A mixed-breed dog is a testament to nature. Without any input from humans, the mixed breed defies description. Available in all sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns, he might have a long snout or a short nose. He may display prick ears or floppy ones. He could have a stubby tail, spindly legs, a giant spot over his left eye or all three. Drawing from a broader, more diverse gene pool, his intensity is softer than his pedigreed cousins, his drives and compulsions mercifully muted.

Or in simpler terms just the cutest dogs ever! Proof:

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How can you celebrate national Mutt day?

1. Adopt a Mutt from your local shelter or rescue organization. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a Mutt or play with a  Mutt, clean cages or anything else they need help with.

2. Are you prepared for a new Mutt? Make sure you have all the items necessary when bringing a new mutt home.

3. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.

4. Offer to walk the Mutt of an elderly neighbor.

5. Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of Puppy Mills and Gas Chambers in your state.

6. Buy some all natural, organic dog shampoo and give that Mutt a bath!

7. Have a National Mutt Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!

8. Join the Facebook page and post pics of your  Mutt for the world to ooh and ahh over!

9. Order your collectible National Mutt Day tee here!

For more celebration ideas check out nationalmuttday.com

What did you do for National Mutt Day?

Share your beautiful dogs with us on Instagram @hachiko.me #hachikome

Comment below!