Monday, January 27, 2020

Puppy Bowl XVI

We're less than a week away from the Big Game. Not the Super Bowl, Silly- the Puppy Bowl!

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

This is the 16th year that Animal Planet has hosted the Puppy Bowl - a football-style game starring puppies from shelters all over the United States who are up for adoption. Each dog has an individual segment featuring just them, and by the end of the Puppy Bowl nearly all of them are adopted.

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

I will never claim to be a football fan, but I LOVE the Puppy Bowl. It's filmed in a puppy-sized stadium, and the field is littered with stuffed animals and squeaky toys.

Watching the puppies run back and forth, wrestling the toys away from each other, and scoring goals without even knowing it is just the most fun ever. The only thing better would be to watch it in person. According to Animal Planet it takes about 50 to 100 hours of footage, filmed over 3 days, to produce one episode. I can't imagine a better way to spend 3 days.

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

The two teams are Team Ruff and Team Fluff, and the dogs are matched in age and size. The referee is played by Dan Schachner, and even he admits he has the best job ever.

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

The show has expanded over the years to include a pre-game show, a tailgate party, a dog bowl (for older dogs), a kitten half-time show, and cheerleaders (chickens, penguins, hedgehogs, and pigs in different years).

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

The Animal Planet website has so many features, I don't think I could list them all. There is the Puppy Bowl starting lineup, the opening ceremonies, highlights from past years, and even mini episodes of puppies competing in Olympic sports - bobsleigh, hockey, ski jumping, ice dancing, to name a few. I highly recommend checking out everything on the site.

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

Animal Planet has really gone all out to bring attention to these animals who so desperately need homes. Whether your favourite team wins or loses the Super Bowl, you'll be cheering for all the players in the Puppy Bowl.

Check it out starting this Sunday, February 2nd at 3pm on Animal Planet.

Animal Planet Puppy Bowl XVI

Monday, January 20, 2020

Finding the Right Music to Relax Your Dog

Do you leave music playing or the television turned on for your dog when you go out for the day?

relaxing dog

According to a study published in the journal of Physiology and Behavior, dogs prefer the sounds of reggae or soft rock more than any other genre.

The study was conducted by the Scottish SPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). During the study, the researchers used six-hour playlists in different genres and measured the dogs heart rate, cortisol levels, and behaviours that measure stress levels, like barking or lying down.

relaxing dog

Like humans, the dogs had different preferences, but overall they found that the dogs reacted most positively to soft rock and reggae, while Motown increased their stress levels.

In a previous study it was found that dogs were calmed by classical music, but by the seventh day of listening they became restless again, indicating that they were becoming accustomed to it and tuning it out.

relaxing dog

We usually leave music on for our dogs. Occasionally it's country music or easy-listening, but lately I've been choosing spa-style music for them. I think it's more relaxing and gives them comfort.

relaxing dog

In doing a search online I have found more playlists tailored to dog relaxation that I would have ever imagined. There is Puppy Spa (Apple), Dog Spa Music (Spotify), Pet Sounds Therapy (Amazon), and many more. There are even lists that are specific to your breed (Youtube).

Spotify also has a cool little feature that helps you choose music based on your pet's personality. You answer a few questions about your pet, and they "curate" a playlist that matches your pet's style. How sweet is that?

Based on what scientists say, I might have to start mixing it up a bit - I only use Google Play Music now - though judging from the images I get from our pet cam, they're relaxing just fine.

relaxing dogs

Monday, January 13, 2020

Dog News - January 2020

Dog news from around the world.....

Darius Brown is a 12 year old boy from Newark, NJ who makes bow ties for shelter animals to help them get adopted (because they're cuter!)

Darius Brown - Beaux & Paws

His organization is called Beaux and Paws, and it allows him to combine his love for fashion and his love for animals. At the age of 2 he was diagnosed with speech, comprehension, and fine motor skills delay. As he got older he started helping his sister cut fabric for bows, which also helped his fine motor skills.

Darius Brown - Beaux & Paws

He believes the bow ties help the cats and dogs look more attractive, get them noticed, and lead them to their forever, loving homes.

Darius Brown - Beaux & Paws

Darius also speaks at events encouraging others to volunteer and give back to the community. What a great kid with a big heart!


A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Nestle Purina over their Beggin' Strips treats not being primarily made of bacon.

The suit suggests that dog owners were duped into paying a premium price for a product that is mostly wheat, corn, and water (bacon is the tenth ingredient on the list). The suit states that, "Nestle Purina violated state consumer-protection laws against false and deceptive advertising."

Nestle Purina's response is that they have been completely transparent and accurate in their marketing and packaging. I have to say that I agree with them - if you as a consumer aren't willing to read all of the information on a package, you have no one to blame but yourself. Thinking you're getting a package of cooked bacon for <$10 is delusional.


Living with a pet dog in childhood may be linked to a reduced risk of schizophrenia in adulthood.

Researchers studied adult patients at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore, 396 with schizophrenia and 381 with bipolar disorder. They compared them with 594 healthy controls. After adjusting for other characteristics, the scientists found that exposure to a dog at any time in childhood was associated with a 24 percent reduced risk for schizophrenia. Those exposed to dogs at birth were 55 percent less likely to have schizophrenia than people who had not been exposed at all.

There was no significant effect of exposure to cats, and no effect of either animal on the risk for bipolar disorder. Click the link above to find out more about this study and the possible conclusions for the findings.


And finally, this sweet story amid the devastation that is happening in Australia.

In Adelaide Hills, South Australia, a family has a regular backyard visitor - Quasi the koala. On hot days, Quasi heads to the yard for a drink of water from the dog bowl and shelter from the heat. Rusty the dog and Quasi the koala share the bowl of water and then nuzzle noses in greeting. The two have been friends for years and Rusty looks forward to visits from his unusual friend.

Quasi & Rusty - Koala & Dog Friends


Monday, December 30, 2019

Sasha's 10th Birthday!

Dec 29th is a very special day in our house. Not only is it my birthday (whoop, whoop!) it is also Sasha's birthday. This year was an important milestone as it's her 10th birthday!

sasha rottweiler

Sasha has had a pretty good year. She ran a few miles:

sasha rottweiler gopro outward hound

sasha rottweiler

Had a few picnics:

sasha rottweiler gopro outward hound

Showed her patriotism:

sasha rottweiler

Had some minor surgery:

Dressed up as a floppy white dog for Halloween:

sasha rottweiler

And opened some flying gifts:

sasha rottweiler pajamas

sasha rottweiler pajamas

Through it all she's kept her sense of humour and playfulness. Sasha will forever be a puppy at heart.

sasha rottweiler gopro outward hound

sasha rottweiler

Happy Birthday, sweet girl - we love you so much! Here's to many more years of silliness.

sasha rottweiler

sasha rottweiler

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you from the team at I Have Plans With My Dog!

So when you're feeling totally over this togetherness thing----

Or looking for an escape route----

Remember that there's probably someone nearby with a treat they'll share with you.

And we'll be back to share more adventures in 2020!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers for the Dog Lover

By now you have all of your gifts purchased and wrapped, right? Right? Me, neither.

If you're still looking for a few last minute stocking stuffers for the dog lover on your list, maybe one of the following will fit the bill.

dog socks

Funky dog socks to give your feet a thrill and make others take notice. Isn't it cute the way the ears stick up above the sock edge?

you are my sunshine dog keychain

How about a sweet puppy-faced keychain that sends a message to the owner and to their puppy?

my dog thinks i'm cool t shirt

When the world thinks you're just a little strange, this t shirt reminds you that at least your dog thinks you're cool. And really, that's all that matters.

a dog's guide to humans paperback

Every dog will thank you if you buy this book for their owner, "A Dog's Guide to Humans", by Karen Davison. The dog in the book shares tips on how to get the best out of your human, as well as explanations for some of humans' strange behaviour.

Life is better with a dog cushion

This cushion cover (break down and buy them a cushion too) is a fun addition to any house's decor. Especially one already adorned with dog hair.


And if you're still looking for presents for the furry members of your family, check out these toys from PetSmart that are on my shopping list.

dinosaur 2 in 1 squeaker toy

This OMG! Surprise dinosaur toy is meant to be destroyed because on the inside...is another squeaky toy! Our Scarlett would love this. She'll sneak off with a toy (you'll never catch her playing with one in front of you) and all you'll find is a carcass and a pile of fluff. This guy is 19 inches tall - much bigger than I expected.

dinosaur treat dispenser toy

Another dinosaur (not intentional), but this one  - the Petstages Occupi Dino - dispenses treats from his belly. Keep your dog occupied while you take a break from the hustle and bustle. It also comes with a bag of sweet potato treats to get you started.

squeaker rope toy ring

This seems like a simple Top Paw Holiday Rope Ring, but it also has squeakers inside. I like how the material is woven instead of only twisted like some rope toys, and there is no end - so they have to work a little harder on it. It also comes in the standard straight rope, or rope with 3 knots. Update: I bought this and it's much bigger than it looks! Hopefully it'll last a good long time. (And it's on sale right now!)

dog union suit pajamas pjs

Everyone wants new jammies for Christmas morning. These Beaver Canoe red union suit-style pjs are super adorable, and come in 7 sizes!

Hopefully you'll have your shopping done soon and you can sit back and relax with your loved ones (furry and otherwise). I know I can't wait to watch Sasha open all the gifts. That's right, she gets to open them all and it's the best part of Christmas for me.