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!
Have a healthy and happy Fall,
On a day to day basis, our team walks somewhere close to 100 dogs a day, so to say we see a wide variety of harnesses is an understatement! At their best, they provide comfort, safety and even a little style to your daily walk. Unfortunately, there are also cheap options that lack durability and can be both cumbersome and straight up unsafe for your particular dog. We are going to focus on the most comfortable, durable and secure harnesses that we see frequently and have positive experiences with. As always, if you have a harness you love or have anything to add about the harnesses covered here, leave us a comment and let us know!
Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness
The Kurgo Tru Fit smart harness is super durable and very easy to put on thanks to its structured vest shape. This harness has leash attachment points in the front chest (which is great if your pup likes to pull as it will just turn them right around) and top back areas. The harness is very reasonably priced at $25 and comes in a wide variety of sizes from XS (5-10 lbs) to XL (80+lbs). A solid choice!
Puppia Soft Harness
We see this simple and comfortable harness often on the smaller pups that we walk for a reason! It is made of a comfortable lightweight mesh that fits nicely around a smaller pups’ chest area, and is still strong enough if your little one likes to pull. It works great for low slung dogs like dachshunds as well as small breeds such as pugs/bichons.
Freedom No-Pull Harness
This is a fantastic harness if you have a larger dog that walks YOU down the street and loves to pull, as it has four points of adjustment for a secure and supportive fit. It is definitely a little more complicated to get off and on, but your back and arms will thank you once you get going. Like the other harnesses covered here, it comes in a wide range of colors and sizes to fit your pup’s size and personality best!
As always, spend some time deciding on what harness works best for both you and your pup, and don’t hesitate to shoot us any questions you may have!
Thanks and happy trails,
There are definitely some naysayers when it comes to the pet insurance field. “Health insurance for my dog? I have a vet and my dog is young and healthy, I don’t need that.” The question to be posed here is, if you consider your dog or cat an invaluable member of your family, wouldn’t you want to provide the same coverage for them? Even (and especially) if you just got a new puppy, vaccinations and minor accidents at the vet can add up quick. Pet insurance companies offer the same peace of mind as human health insurance, so you don’t have to stress about shelling out over a hundred bucks every time your pup needs something as simple as a blood test. On the more serious end of the spectrum, should your pet need surgery of any kind, your pet insurance plan will more than pay for itself. Essentially, you only pay a deductible and a monthly premium depending on your plan, and when and if (heaven forbid) a health issue arises with your pet, your insurance company reimburses you the cost of care after you submit a claim. Let’s say your pup gets a little too curious and swallows a chicken bone; the average cost of ‘foreign object ingestion’ treatment is around 3 grand! With the right insurance, you can knock that cost down by over 60%! Let’s take a look at some of the most reputable plans that we recommend!
Trupanion is a trusted pet insurance company that boasts quick and easy direct pay to your vet at the time of treatment. This means no waiting on reimbursement checks and more time to focus on what matters; the health of your pet! Trupanion has only one policy that reimburses 90% of your coverable expenses and has no payout limits, which can be a lifesaver when your pet really needs it.
Nationwide has the brand name recognition gained from auto and home insurance, but have also been covering pets for over four decades. They offer different plans for illness, injury and wellness and cover both chronic and new conditions at no additional cost. Nationwide has a wide range of coverage ranging from flea/heartworm treatment to holistic and alternative care.
Pets Best is a relatively newer company (est. 2005) but still rates among the highest for pet insurance companies. They offer a unique and ultra-affordable ‘accident only’ plan that covers incidents such as accidental swallowing for as little as $10 a month. They were founded by a prominent veterinarian and offer fast claim turnaround and direct deposit reimbursement.
Of course, different plans and companies suit different pet/pet owner needs, so shop around and decide on a plan that works best for you and your fuzzy family member (the companies respective sites are linked in their name headers). After all, knowing your dog or cat is covered in the case of any illness or accident offers a peace of mind that you can’t put a price tag on!
Wishing you and your pets a happy and healthy Fall season,
Unfortunately the answer is yes, but we’re here to help you do your best to make sure it doesn’t happen to your pup! When a human is sick, everyone within a ten mile radius knows. We complain, call out of work, and lean extra hard on our friends and family for chicken soup deliveries and royal treatment. We all know our furry friends can’t speak up about symptoms, so there’s a few things to watch out for in order to stop a mild and preventable virus. First off, don’t panic; dog flu is most commonly just a bit uncomfortable and ultra rarely life-threatening. That being said, it’s fairly easily spread by any friendly nose-to-nose contact or any dog park/daily social activity. How do you know if your pup may have it? The symptoms range from your typical lethargic behavior to sniffles and cough resembling ‘kennel cough’. If you suspect your pup is coming down with the flu, simply take them to your local vet and discuss whether a flu shot is the most effective option. We work closely with the Boston Veterinary Clinic, which offers a shot covering both the flu and distemper/parvovirus. As with preventing any communicable virus, your best line of defense is always common sense. Do your research and only board/daycare with reputable companies (like us!), bring your own collapsible bowl to the dog park, and keep a close eye on your best friend to see if they are exhibiting any symptoms keeping them from being their most energetic and happy selves!
Here’s to a happy and healthy Fall season!
As a company that’s constantly outside with any number of dogs at once, we pride ourselves on having a pretty extensive knowledge of fun, pup friendly parks and destinations around the city. There are actually a large amount of factors that can make a dog-specific park ideal for both the owner and their dog, so we’ve put together an updated list of our personal favorites! We hope that you find out about a hidden gem you can enjoy this upcoming Fall with your best friend(s)!
Pacific Street Dog Park (Tudor St/ Brookline St. Cambridge)
Tudor (or Pacific St) dog park is a definite go to and favorite for many of our Cambridge walkers, as it is both well maintained and centrally located just outside of Central Square in Cambridge. The park is expansive and has both a sanded play area complete with planters, cement tunnels, and an agility pyramid along with an even bigger dog-friendly leash-on field if your pup needs a break from running around. All of the amenities needed to keep the park safe are in place as well, including a two-gate entrance system on both ends of the park, a 3-tiered water fountain (for you and your pup), and plenty of space to keep crowding and pack behavior at bay. Early bird gets run of the park here, so come out for an 8-9am session and you and your buddy will have the place to yourselves!
North End Dog Park (Prince St. Boston)
While a little beyond the beaten path for many of our routes, we wanted to include a newer *destination* dog park that has ALL the bells and whistles. This fancy park opened late winter last year and boasts corner to corner antibacterial turf with it’s own irrigation system to keep things sparkling clean year round! Many of the agility obstacles are turfed as well, and there’s even misting hydrants to keep your pup cool in those balmy Boston summer days! This park also boasts lighting so you and your fuzzy friend can play long past dark on those dreary winter days. If your pup get intimidated by ‘the big dogs’, there’s also a designated spot for dogs under 25lbs as well. Something for everyone!
Zero New Washington Dog Park (Somerville near Sullivan Station)
While Nunziato Park in nearby Union Square is also a popular spot, this park has a few more amenities including a longer, more open running surface, lights, and an agility ramp. A large gazebo offers shelter on those unpredictable New England days, and your pup can enjoy a water fountain in between running after that mine field of tennis balls. The dirt substrate can get a little messy in the fall/winter months, but there is also now some turf to break up the muddiness. As with most of the other parks here, the weekends are the most crowded, so get here on a weekday morning before work and you and your pup will own the place!
There’s PLENTY more where that came from, so feel free to use the links (linked in the park name headlines), and get outside and explore with your best friend!
These days we have everything we could ever want or need right at our fingertips just with the click of a button. Apps such as Lyft, Uber, Curb, Foodler, GrubHub, PostMates, DoorDashed, etc., are so useful for our hustle and bustle and will deliver practically anything you want right to your doorstep.
Similar to all the these, the new buzz around town are apps such as Rover and Wag!. These apps allow you to find dog walkers, pet sitters, “5-star” boarding, doggy day care – everything you need right from your smartphone. This is great, right? It’s wonderful that people have taken the time to create something that is useful and beneficial to our furry loved ones but is the focus truly on our companions or the surplus of “5-star” employees who range anywhere from $15-$25 for 30 minutes? If you think about these apps and then think about what Elliot’s House and other local pet care businesses have to offer, the decision is very easy – Elliot’s House.
But why Elliot’s House? Aside from offering a variety of different services, consistent low prices, special requests, on the go text-message updates, professionalism, and fun… Elliot’s House is personal. The main focus is providing the best care possible through listening, hearing, and understanding the specific needs and wants of an owner and furry friend. Throughout the busy day, it’s easy to get caught up in racing around and forget the reason why we are here but Elliot’s House always remembers – to help all your furry companions. Elliot’s House takes the important steps of providing training for each hand selected, new hire. Allowing employees the time and tools to learn everything they need to know about each individual pet we care for is a step that many other services might not take. Also, as we all know, some of our pets have serious allergies, habits, and traits that need to be tended to and not forgotten about which happens a lot more than you would think with these types of on the go services. That’s why Elliot’s House has a process, for us to insure we provide only the best care. It’s important for us that each pet is as comfortable, happy, loved and supported as possible.
Here at Elliot’s House we depend on our individual employees professionalism, passion, and experience to make sure every walk/sit/transport/grooming service is a success. We are each reliable for every encounter, if there ever were to be a problem, it will be addressed immediately unlike Rover or Wag!, where it will just go to another inbox of complaints along with many others. There are many more factors that we can read between the lines to understand when it comes to choosing the right humans to take care of our animal babies, Elliot’s House is a knockout!
The values on which Elliot’s House was built upon is very unique because we come from a true passion that even in the midst of being a business, our love for pets never dies.