We have a definite soft spot here at Elliot’s House for breeds that are tough on toys; bulldogs, terriers and pit bulls just like our very own Elliott know how to annihilate even the most durable playthings! We all love to spoil our pups, but there are a few important factors to look for when deciding on the right toy to reward your best friend with. As fun as stuffed animals and squeaky toys can be, tough chewers (and all dogs for that matter) have an instinct to rip the stuffing out of the toy and remove the squeaker. Obviously these objects can pose a choking risk if swallowed, so it’s best to choose toys that remain intact no matter what they’re put through. Overall you want to look for reputable, US made products with no extra parts that may be ripped or chewed off. Now that you know what to avoid, let’s get into some of the most popular and long-lasting tough chew toys on the market today!
The T-Rex by Nylabone comes highly recommended from pup parents of the toughest chewers due to its extreme durability, fun shape and effectiveness as a dental chew. The small rounded nubs and bristles aid in preventing plaque and tartar build up while your pup chomps away! As with all toys, you should always supervise and replace when the toy begins to break down (which takes a while with this toy)!
If you dog generally destroys any toy you put in their path, products made of tough natural rubber are your best bet. What makes the Tuffy boomerang an option as a fabric toy is the bulked-up construction and multiple reinforced sewn layers. Each of the seven layers of fabric are sewn together in additional to a protective webbing around the stitching, making this toy the one of the longest lasting fabric options on the market. When you factor in it being both floatable and machine washable, this boomerang is a home run!
West Paw is an owner-favorite out of Montana that backs all of their toys with a 100% replacement guarantee for tough chewers. If your dog manages to destroy it, they’ll replace it no questions asked! This particular toy floats, bounces, and can be stuffed with either treats or ice cream/peanut butter and frozen to keep your pup occupied for hours! The Tux is a great example of the quality products produced by West Paw, and the reviews speak for themselves.
As classic as tennis balls are as a ‘dog toy’, anyone who has ever tossed one to a tough chewer knows how quickly they become a shredded mess. This is not only an inconvenience but a huge health hazard as the ball breaks down into a hundred pieces of fuzz and rubber that can easily become ingested. Enter the Kong Extreme Rubber Ball! Kong is a trusted and celebrated company for a reason, as they produce beyond durable products beloved by tough chewer owners. This particular ball will out bounce a tennis ball any day and is highly puncture resistant for rough catch sessions!
Another innovative and highly recommended product from West Paw, the Bumi Tug-of-War is a bomb-proof new take on your typical knotted tug rope. While a normal rope can become split and picks up dirt and bacteria easily, the Bumi is dishwasher safe, maintains its structure and stretches to twice its length during play! Also backed by the same guarantee against dog damage as the Tux, this toy will outlast the competition and tire you and your pup out in the process!
As with any object you introduce to your pup, do your research and be sure you purchase the correct size for your dog’s weight and size. While these toys are definitely built to take a serious beating, no toy is completely indestructible so it’s best to supervise and interact when using a toy at all times. Now that your walks may be getting shorter due to the weather, take some extra time to reward your best friend with a quality new toy and some indoor playtime!
Not everyone has the luxury of shuffling half-asleep to the bathroom in a warm house when nature calls in the middle of winter; your pup has to brave the elements when it’s time to take care of business! Whether you’re headed out for a quick relief walk or adventuring along a snowy trail, it’s important to understand how elements such as snow, ice and salt affect your pup as well as the steps you can take to keep them protected. The most sensitive areas we make sure to bundle up when heading out (ears, feet, etc) are just as if not more susceptible to frostbite and discomfort on our pups. As winter in New England can be as unpredictable as it is unrelenting, let’s go over some tips and tactics both Elliot’s House and our clients swear by!
Your pup’s paws are particularly vulnerable in the winter, as they come in contact with both ice and snow and harmful road salts and chemicals used to melt it. There are several lines of defense for keeping paws protected and healthy in the harsh winter months, one of the first being regular trimming of any extra fur that grows between your dog’s paw pads. This fur can cause an uncomfortable buildup of snow and ice balls to stick during walks, increasing the risk of frostbite and pad damage. If your dog will cooperate, there are several winter-proof booties available to cover and guard your pup’s paws completely. While a warm and protective bootie is the most fail safe option, a healthy majority of dogs will not tolerate wearing them. If this is the case, using a wax-based cream such as Musher’s Secret is a popular alternative that many of our clients swear by. This wax is applied in between and on your dog’s paw pads in order to form a breathable shield from ice and salt, as well as preventing dryness and cracking with all-natural moisturizers. Aside from these options, it is always a good idea to wipe your pup’s paws with a warm cloth after winter walks to remove any excess salt or chemicals they encounter while adventuring!
To Bundle or Not to Bundle: Pup Coats!
Whether or not your dog may need a coat in the winter depends on several factors, the most obvious being breed and the length/thickness of their coat. While a Husky or St. Bernard is more than capable of heading out sans-winter wardrobe, shorter hair dogs such as Pit bulls and Greyhounds benefit from the extra warmth and insulation. Smaller pups and senior dogs have a more difficult time regulating body temperature, so a thick coat is always a good idea when temperatures start to drop. Pup coats are available in almost every option available to us humans, so it’s important to pay attention to quality and function over trendy designs (though they’re not mutually exclusive)! The Canine Styles Goose Down Puffer jacket is a high end option for the biting cold that is both water resistant and snow-repellent. If you’re in the market for a slightly more cost effective and synthetic option, the Weatherbeeta Deluxe Dog Parka is a full-wrap coat that is also reflective for added safety during night walks.If you’re taking your pup on an all-day sledding excursion, the Casual Canine 2-in-1 Snowsuit includes a removable hood and leg coverage for complete protection from the elements.
There are an infinite amount of winter accessories to keep your pup warm and safe this coming winter, so as always do your research and take your time deciding what works best for your pup. Pay special attention to your dog’s energy level and behavior in colder temperatures, as they may tire out more easily with the added exertion needed to run and play in the snow and ice. Most importantly, gear up, get out and have a blast with your pup this winter!
We all know the feeling…you’re heading out the door to work early in the morning and you catch that heartbreaking glance from your pup as if to say “When are you coming home?” We all hate to leave our best friends by themselves while we head out to take care of business, mostly because we know they’re at their happiest with us! Unfortunately we can’t possibly give our four-legged friends the round-the-clock attention they so deserve (gotta pay for those treats and toys somehow!), so what options are we left with? Dog daycare is an increasingly popular choice for busy parents who want to provide their pup the attention, exercise and socialization they can’t while at work. If you’re wondering whether doggie daycare is a good fit for your pup, there are numerous benefits and advantages to consider; all of which result in a happier, less anxious and healthier dog for you to come home to! Let’s explore some of those benefits so that you can make an informed decision in getting your pup to some much deserved weekday playtime at Elliot’s House!
While no one can replace the special bond you have with your pup, forming a positive and caring relationship with other people trained to provide a stimulating, safe and fun environment is a definite plus. Expanding the circle of people your dog interacts with on a daily basis helps them to become more well-adjusted and social; making meeting new people less stressful going forward. Work is stressful enough without having to worry about your pup restless at home, so give yourself some peace of mind knowing they’re in the care of dog lovers just like you!
Whether you have a rambunctious new puppy or an older more reserved dog, daycare provides a unique monitored environment for pup socialization. Younger pups can learn social skills and boundaries with a variety of other dogs, while older or otherwise anxious pups can learn to come out of their shell at a pace that’s comfortable to them. Daycare is a safe training ground for meeting and playing with new friends, so that those Saturday trips to the dog park can be more fun and less stressful for pup and parent alike!
The same way people workout to reduce anxiety and restlessness, dogs need consistent activity and exercise to keep them from becoming antsy and possibly even destructive when left unattended at home. Behaviors such as chewing on your favorite leather couch or knocking over the kitchen garbage often come from lack of stimulation or separation anxiety; issues that can easily be resolved from running and playing for hours straight at daycare! There are few things cuter or more peaceful than a pup returned home exhausted from a long day of play with new friends!
Overall, providing your dog with the opportunity to socialize, exercise and play while you’re at work will result in a happier, healthier pup for you to come home to. The Elliot’s House daycare facility has 4,000 square feet for your pup to roam and play while getting professional care and attention from our dedicated attendants. You can opt to drop off/pick up yourself, or have us provide transportation and drop off your pup happy and tired! We offer both single day and 10-50 day packs at a discounted rate if you plan on making daycare an everyday treat for your pup. To schedule your dog for daycare, head to https://www.elliotshouse.com/dog-day-care/ and get your pup in for a full day of fun!
We couldn’t be happier to open our first daycare facility in the vibrant community that is Somerville! We are lucky enough to be located right across from Union Square; an epicenter of amazing places to eat, drink and shop local unique businesses. There’s an infinite amount of places and neighborhoods to check out, so we’d like to introduce ourselves to the area while highlighting some of our favorites!
Our new home! Union Square is home to an array of restaurants, bars and small businesses you won’t find anywhere else. The Independent is a Union staple and has been serving the neighborhood amazing drinks and upscale pub favorites since 2001. Right next door is Brass, another fine option for American fare. If you need a quick tune up or a new bike altogether, head over to Somervelo for local expertise. If you’re looking for a well-curated neighborhood record store, look no further than Grooves for your vinyl fix. In the mean time, drop your pup off for a full or half day of daycare so you can eat, drink and shop knowing your pup is also having a blast!
Only a 15 minute walk from Union, Davis Square is home to several Somerville institutions and fantastic places to eat and shop. It can get fairly packed on the weekends, so your best bet is to explore on an off day and give yourself plenty of time to roam and explore. If you’re looking for unbelievable BBQ in a unique Southern-style setting, head down to Redbones on Chester St. The Somerville Theater is a historic venue to catch a movie or a small concert while enjoying some amazing architecture. For a healthy dose of childhood nostalgia, head over to Comicazi and check out their impressive collection of new and vintage action figures, comics and pop culture memorabilia you may have forgotten you needed. Let’s not forget our friends over at JP Licks as well; stop by to grab yourself a cone and some Cow Paws dog-friendly ice cream for your pup!
Centrally located between Cambridge and Somerville, Porter Square has a dynamic mix of big and small businesses, restaurants and conveniences. With its own stop on the T’s red line, Porter is easily accessible and a great place to start when exploring what Somerville has to offer. The main shopping center has everything you may need on an errand-filled Sunday, from the curated hardware and housewares at TAGS to the unique selections at independent Porter Square books. If you’re craving authentic and filling Mexican food, you can do no better than Anna’s Taqueria; located diagonally across from the T station. Christoper’s is a fantastic American bar and restaurant adjoined with it’s own live music venue (Toad) where you can catch an array of jazz, folk and other acts on a nightly basis.
Somerville is an ever-growing destination for some of the best eating, shopping and sightseeing Boston has to offer. Among the countless options available as a Somerville resident or visitor, there are just as many for our four-legged friends as well! Few areas of the city are as dog-friendly, so it is with great excitement that we open our first doggie daycare in this wonderful part of the city. We offer both full and half-days of daycare from 7am-6pm weekly, including an option for transportation to and from daycare. Stop by our 4,000 square foot location, located right outside of Union Square at 230 Somerville Ave. with your pup today!
Anyone who currently lives in the Boston area knows how difficult it can be to find pet (and more specifically dog) friendly living spaces. Most landlords have strict ‘no dog’ policies and/or misinformed breed restrictions that leave us pup lovers without many options for our fuzzy friends. Luckily, a large amount of established and newer condo and apartment buildings alike have become much more dog friendly; even incorporating accommodations such as dog runs and ‘yappy hour’ social events so that our pups can party too! We work closely with these buildings to establish personal relationships with both parents and pups and can speak to the friendly atmosphere for each dog that passes through the doors after their daily walks. For us, a good concierge remembers your name, but a GREAT one remembers your dog’s name too! This is just a small sampling of the amazing buildings we work with on a daily basis, so check them out for yourself and find the perfect home for you and your best friend!
Atmark Cambridge is a beautiful building right near Alewife station that brings the term ‘pet-friendly’ to new levels. In addition to offering affordable pet rent, Atmark features an expansive ‘Bark Park’ where your pup can socialize and exercise in style!
AVA has multiple locations throughout the city, including convenient locations in Assembly Square Somerville and the downtown Boston Theater District. All locations are super pet-friendly and treat your pup as a valued member of the AVA community!
The very first thing that comes up when checking out Montaje’s site reads “a pet friendly apartment community in Somerville.” Montaje goes out of their way to make their canine and feline tenants feel at home, while the entire Assembly Row area is surrounded by beautitful dog-friendly parks and paths. We’ve done multiple “Yappy Hour” events with the building and there’s even a JP Licks serving up pup friendly Cow Paws ice cream right in the square!
Watermark is a gorgeous high rise of luxury loft/apartments in the heart of Seaport Square. The building is very dog-accommodating and also partners with us frequently for Yappy Hours on the beautiful Sea Green park right near the water. This expansive park is a short walk from Watermark and a perfect place for a morning stroll with your best friend!
The Kensington is a stunning, award winning building in the heart of downtown Boston’s bustling Theater District. The staff go out of their way to make the fuzzier members of your family feel at home, regularly hosting dog-friendly events with us right in their lobby! If your pup needs to go out and and you aren’t up to braving the elements, there’s even an indoor pet relief station to help take care of business!
Via is another fantastic building right in the Seaport center of the city; only a short walk to the Sea Green and waterfront. The building is ultra dog friendly and also partners with us to host pup-friendly events; the one shown above taking place on their stunning Air Social Terrace!
The Benjamin is a luxury apartment building in the epicenter of the Seaport District, offering dog-friendly spaces throughout including the Horizen Terrace shown above. There is plenty to explore for both people and pups in the picturesque setting of the nearby Sea Green and waterfront!
Twenty20 is a stunning building in the heart of East Cambridge, situated near the Charles River and ample green space for you and your pup to roam! The neighborhood is one of the most pedestrian, cyclist, and dog friendly in the city and that’s evident at first glance!
Waterside is a magnificent building with breathtaking views of the Boston harbor and skyline. In addition to being 100% pet friendly, Waterside also offers an expansive outdoor dog run for your pup to play and socialize with the other canine residents!
We work closely with all (and many more) of the buildings featured here, so do your research, schedule a tour and let us know if you have any questions in deciding the best new home for you and your four legged friend!
It is definitely an understatement to say that dog food has undergone a MASSIVE change over the last ten or so years. While a majority of owners used to settle for popular name brands, there is now a much needed emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients not too dissimilar from what you may see on your own plate. Our pups are a member of the family after all, so why wouldn’t you pay as much (or hopefully more) attention to what’s keeping them going everyday? There are several factors to take into consideration, along with many ‘buzz’ words designed to catch a buyer’s attention i.e. organic, grain-free, and even paleo and gluten-free. Mainly, what you’re looking for is a product with natural or preferably no preservatives, no food dyes or rendered fats of any kind, and human-grade ingredients. We’ll show you some our personal favorites in each category, along with some interesting new offerings in the world of food for your best friend!
Best Grain-Free Food
Grain-free is a phrase that has steadily gained popularity; the idea being that your dog’s food should cater to natural, carnivorous tendencies first and leave any fillers out of the equation. These types of food are great for increasing energy, giving your dog a heartier meal to keep them full longer, and even helping with coat/dental health. Taste of the Wild is a top option that combines lamb, peas and sweet potatoes to deliver a tasty and filling meal with probiotics to aid in digestion.
Best Vet-Recommended Food
Royal Canin is a leading company in the field of breed, size, and dietary condition specific dog food. They pride themselves on not catering to any specific ‘trends’ and delivering a consistent product catering to any and all pet needs. They make everything from large breed specific food to help with joint pain and digestive issues to prescription weight control food and everything in between! Pro-tip, this is what the famous Elliot of Elliot’s House eats!
Best Human Grade/Fancy Food
Nom Nom Now is a newer company taking the direct to consumer meal delivery system of Blue Apron etc and catering it your dog. They offer freshly prepared, pre-portioned meals delivered right to you and ready to serve to your dog in flavors that honestly look good to the owner doing the ordering (i.e. Heartland Beef Mash, Tasty Turkey Fare, etc). Definitely on the more expensive side, but a gourmet option for those looking for it!
As always, do your research as there are countless factors going into what food/diet works best for each pup specifically, keep an eye out for any stomach issues when changing your dog’s food, and have fun giving your best friend a meal you feel good about!