Welcome to Howie’s Howl

Howie’s Howl is the perfect way to stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Happy Howie’s! We are always excited to share the latest/greatest news with our loyal customers, and this is the place to see it all first-hand. From new product offerings and events recaps, to contest information and featured Happy Howie’s Stories, Howie’s Howl is a one-stop resource for the best Happy Howie’s news!
Our dog blog is also a great resource for pet parents too—offering dog advice, gift ideas (for dogs & pet-parents), safety tips, health & nutrition tips, and activity ideas! Happy Howie’s not only wants to provide the best, all-natural treats but wants to help our best friends live an overall healthy, happy life.

Check back often for Happy Howie’s news, events, contests & more!

For more pet-parent information, be sure to follow us on Pinterest — we have a variety of different boards for all sorts of pet-related topics.

Obesity in Pets


Obesity in Pets | As owners go, so go their pets. The obesity epidemic began in the US in the 1980s, with a dramatic increase noted over the last decade. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 40% of all adults over the age of 20 in the U.S. are currently classified as obese. This trend is directly mirrored in the pet population.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59.5% of cats and 55.8% of dogs classified as overweight or obese. Just as obesity plays a key factor in your overall health and wellness, your obese pet is also at risk from a multitude of diseases and health concerns.

What does obesity mean for your pet?

Obesity in dogs and cats is a serious medical condition. In fact, it is one of the most common medical conditions diagnosed on routine physical examination. In general, obese pets are more at risk in surgery, more prone to injury, and have more stress on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and joints. They are more prone to breathing issues and cardiovascular dysfunction. Excessive body weight can worsen osteoarthritis, can cause respiratory problems in hot weather and during exercise, increase heat intolerance, lead to type 2 diabetes, and generally lessen the quality of life for your pet. In several studies, dogs with a healthy body weight had a mean lifespan of nearly two years longer, as well as delayed onset of many chronic diseases commonly seen in the aging pet.

How can I help my pet reach a healthy body weight?

The weight loss process in dogs is no different than in people, which is why they are a perfect partner for a weight loss and fitness program. Diet and exercise are the key to reaching and maintaining a successful body weight/condition for both you and your pet. Learning to make smart decisions in feeding our pets, including choice, portion, and treats is an important first step in the weight loss program. As a general rule, treats should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily calorie requirements. For instance, if Fido’s recommended calorie consumption is 500 calories per day, only 50 calories should come from treats. Pets are not people and, as such, do not have the same emotional attachments to food. It is important to remember this and to change the ways in which we show affection to our pets.

One of the best ways to show affection to your pet is through a walk, tossing the ball, or a chase session with the laser pointer. Remember, you control your pet’s diet exclusively and are solely responsible for their weight loss success. There are no late-night refrigerator raids for your pooch; they only consume what you offer. Making smarter decisions for our pet can increase longevity and improve their overall quality of life.

Dr Kari Nugent is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has been a practicing veterinarian for sixteen years.  She owns Unleashed Pet Care, a quaint companion animal clinic located in Westland Michigan.

Exercise Tips


Exercise Tips | If your pup is part of your 2020 fitness goals, it’s important to start off on the right foot with any an exercise program. Just like people who aren’t used to a strenuous exercise routine, dogs should start off slow. The first step when making your fuzzy buddy your exercise partner is an evaluation by your veterinarian.

It is important to check for signs of arthritis, musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular disease, etc., prior to starting any workout program with your pet. Dogs with inflamed joints or ligaments may need to start with a low impact exercise program, such as swimming or walking on an underwater treadmill.

If your pooch gets a clear bill of health, start with moderately paced walking or swimming. These activities allow canine athletes to build their cardiovascular and muscle strength without putting too much stress on their joints. A daily 10 to 15 minute walk or swim is a good start, building gradually depending on how your pup is doing. If he is doing well and can handle long, fast paced walks, he can graduate to jogging with you. Keep in mind that if your dog is still growing, it is best to wait to start a strenuous exercise program until his growth plates are closed.

Below are a few precautions when exercising with your furry pal:

  • Avoid overdoing it. You are working too hard if you can’t speak comfortably. Your dog may be overdoing it if he is breathing fast, panting excessively, staggering, or refusing to follow. If your pup wants to stop, let him. Dogs that overdo it can suffer from heat exhaustion, strained tendons, ligaments, or other orthopedic problems.
  • Watch for signs of heat exhaustion. Working out in hot, humid weather can lead to heat exhaustion for both you and your pup. Schedule your workouts in the morning before the temperatures soar. Always have fresh water with you and a collapsible bowl for your dog. Watch for desperate panting, stumbling or staggering, difficulty breathing, collapse, etc. Again, if your pup wants to stop, let him. Take frequent water breaks.
  • Protect those paws! Long walks on rough surfaces can damage paws. Start slowly to allow your dog to develop thicker, tougher pads. If it’s hot avoid asphalt or sand as these may burn your pup’s pads. On those cold, snowy days, be sure to check for ice build-up. If you will be hiking or walking on rough terrain, you may want to invest in a sturdy set of boots for your dog.
  • Always, safety first. Keep your dog on a leash at all times when you run, hike, or walk. Even the best-trained dogs can run into the path of a car, a territorial animal, or a number of other dangers. While your dog may be friendly to everyone, remember that not everyone’s dog is. If you will be walking or running when it’s dark, put reflective garb on your pet, as well as yourself.

Take it easy in extreme weather. If it’s freezing cold or hot and steamy, either keep your workout light and short or play indoors.

Dr Kari Nugent is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has been a practicing veterinarian for sixteen years.  She owns Unleashed Pet Care, a quaint companion animal clinic located in Westland Michigan.

6th Annual Happy Dog Photo Contest Winners

6th Annual Happy Dog Photo Contest Winners – THANK YOU to everyone that participated in the Happy Howie’s Happy Dog Photo Contest making this our best one yet! Whether you submitted a photo or came back to vote, we love the participation. We always receive the best entries & we love seeing our happy customers!

We are proud to announce the following winners:

Grand Prize


“When mom has happy howie’s treats #gimmethemall #hhdog2020
#happyhowie @happyhowies #happy”

Boblee and Bruna will receive:
A special sampler box of Happy Howie’s most popular treats. They will then pick their favorite two treats to be shipped. Happy Howie’s will also match their winnings and donate to their animal rescue of choice!

Second Prize


“Thanks to Happy Howies we have come a long way! Decker was a ferrel dog found 35#’s underweight eating dirt on the side of a highway. With commitment and Happy Howies we have molded him into the best dog he can be.”

Decker will receive:
A Happy Howie’s Sampler Box!

Third Prize


“Be like Mishka and enjoy your #Monday! #mishka #malinois #monday #mondayvibes #raptor #bbf #happy #goodvibes #hhdog2020”

Mishka will receive:
One-time use promo code for 50% off happyhowies.com

Congratulations to all our 6th Annual Happy Dog Photo Contest Winners!
A Happy Howie’s representative will reach out to you with the information provided with your entry to fulfill your prizes.

We appreciate everyone taking the time to participate to make our contest a huge success.

We will continue to offer fun and exciting products, contests and updates throughout 2020. For our winning pet-parents, we will be reaching out to you via the information provided in your submission to fulfill your prizes.

6th Annual Happy Dog Photo Contest


6th Annual Happy Dog Photo Contest

Happy Howie’s is excited to announce our 6th annual happy dog photo contest! We love see everyone’s photos, and we enjoyed creating an engaging experience for our customers.

This year’s Grand Prize winner will receive a one-year supply* of Happy Howie’s All Natural Treats, and Happy Howie’s will match their winnings and donate to their animal rescue of choice!

The contest opens for submissions Friday, January 10th. Participants will have 3 weeks to submit their favorite happy dog photo. Once all submissions are in, the photos will be posted and available for voting starting February 3rd. Voting will close Thursday, February 27th @11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced on February 28th & the winning photo will be featured on our homepage for the month of March!


Grand Prize: One-Year Supply of Happy Howie’s Treats!
The Grand Prize Winner will receive a special sampler box of Happy Howie’s most popular treats.

The winning pooch can then pick his or her favorite two treats, which will be shipped. Happy Howie’s will match the winnings and donate to the winner’s animal rescue of choice.
Total Grand Prize package: *Over 365 all natural treats!

Second Prize: Happy Howie’s Sampler Box!
Second place photo will be featured on social media.

Third Prize: One-time use promo code for 50% off happyhowies.com!
Third place photo will be featured on social media.

How to Enter

Enter via Facebook here, or submit your photo via Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #HHdog2020. Please note that social profiles need to be public for any hashtag submissions to come through.

One photo submission per person. To make this contest fair to all participants, previous first place winners are ineligible to win the grand prize again. Last year’s winners can be viewed here. Official rules are available on contest platform.

We hope everyone has fun and enters their favorite furry friends’ photos—we can’t wait to see them!

Training for Confidence


Training for Confidence – In addition to working with dogs, I am a new triathlete. Before a race my anxiety is through the roof…what if I get eaten by a cousin of the Loch Ness Monster? What if I crash my bike trying to avoid a suicidal squirrel? What if I finish dead last and all the pancakes are gone, like the first time? The thing that gets me through these crazy thoughts is the fact I have swam, biked, ran, and done many other things in the past—and I survived.

Socializing your dog works in a similar way. Regardless of age, continually exposing her to new situations in a safe environment is one of the best ways to build her confidence. And confidence is the key to a well socialized dog. A gentle way to begin is to expose your dog to new textures such as grass, tile, pavement, sand, gravel, etc. This allows her to discover new things and learn that something unfamiliar isn’t necessarily scary. If she is hesitant to walk on a new surface, encourage her to take a step or two by luring her with food or her favorite toy. If she is still wary, praise and reward her if she even sniffs the new element, and build from there.

Meeting new people is also a great way to build her socialization. If your dog is a bit shy, begin by introducing her to people who have a positive but calm energy. Although it is fantastic to introduce her to people who are super excited and love dogs, this may overwhelm a shy dog at the beginning of her socialization and reaffirm her fears that people are scary. Once she has become more comfortable with people, she can be introduced to your more energetic dog loving friends.

Speaking of energy, as a pack leader, your energy guides theirs. In a dog’s mind, if a pack leader is anxious, then “I need to be as well”, so be sure to be calm and positive as you are working together on her socialization. Also remember to make this process fun for both of you. Use food or treats, make it a game, have a big payoff (a belly run or playtime) when she deals with a situation successfully. Never punish a dog for being fearful, but encourage her both verbally and with food. A little patience and understanding go a long way in helping your dog become a well-rounded canine citizen.

Every new experience, interaction or item your dog comes into contact with is an opportunity to socialize her. By having a great attitude and training often, you can help her cross the finish line and become a confident, well socialized part of the community.

—Kim P.
Canine behavior coach, behavior advisor, training counselor.

Halloween Contest Winners 2019

Halloween Contest Winners – Thank you to everyone that have participated in our Halloween Dog Costume Photo Contest—whether you submitted a photo or came back to vote, you made this year’s photo contest the best one yet & we loved seeing all the dogs dressed festively for Halloween!

We are proud to announce the following winners:

Grand Prize 🐮


“Moo! It would be udderly wonderful if you gave me all your treats!”

First place winner will receive:
A special sampler box of Happy Howie’s most popular treats, including: beef gourmet meat roll, 2” mini doggy burgers, 4” beef burger chews, 6” woof stix, 6” beef doggy jerky 2pk, 12” beef sausages (one of each flavor) and baker’s dozen beef, turkey and lamb sausage pouches (one of each flavor). 8 items total, valued at $54.99!

Second Prize 🎃


“Let’s Pumpkin Spice Things Up!!”

Second place winner will receive:
A Happy Howie’s Variety Pack!

Third Prize 🕷️


“Chewie’s Buggin Out!”

Third place winner will receive:
A Happy Howie’s Variety Pack!


Congratulations to all our Halloween Contest Winners!

We appreciate everyone taking the time to participate to make our Halloween contest another success.

Please be sure to continue to follow us on Facebook—we will continue to offer fun and exciting products and updates through the remainder of 2019. For our winning pet-parents, we will be reaching out to you via the information provided in your submission to fulfill your prizes.

Happy Halloween!

There’s a Trick to Treats!


There’s a Trick to Treats! – One of the best examples of why dogs need supervision at treat time is in “Turner and Hooch”. Tom Hanks leaves Hooch unsupervised in the car for “just a minute” and when he returns, he finds Hooch has snacked on the entire car interior.

Since most of us would prefer our pups not feast on the interior of our Mustang, we need to consider a few things when deciding upon a treat for our canine companion. What are we trying to achieve with the treat… fighting boredom, some dental hygiene, or just a quick reward? Once you know your goal, choosing a treat is much easier.

For fighting boredom and assisting with dental health (even if you brush her teeth), raw/uncooked bones are the way to go. Cooked bones become brittle and are likely splinter, potentially resulting in an unwanted trip to the vet. Raw bones provide calcium and phosphorus, as well as other nutrients. Gnawing on a bone feeds a dog’s need to chew, relieves stress and anxiety, all the while scraping tartar off her teeth making it even better than brushing. Just make sure the bone is large enough that your dog cannot get the entire thing in her mouth and make sure to supervise your dog whenever she has one.

For something a little less intense, bully sticks or woof stix are tasty, easy to chew treats and are highly digestible. They come in different thicknesses, sizes and shapes to accommodate any dog. Jerky treats made exclusively for pets are even easier to chew and are wonderful for less intense chewers. Never give your pup jerky made for humans, as it may contain ingredients harmful to your dog. Bully sticks and jerky also can provide dental health benefits.

If you are looking for a quick and easy treat to reward your pup for being awesome, meat rolls and soft treats are just the thing. Although great for any dog, these treats can be perfect for seniors or dogs with dental issues. To add a bit of mental stimulation for your pup, place them into treat dispensing toys or hide them around the house.

Regardless of your goal, make sure your treats are as healthy and natural as possible. You want to avoid chemical preservatives such as BHA/BHT, artificial sweeteners, soy, and corn to name a few. Look for real products you can identify and pronounce, such as turkey, mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E based preservative), or rosemary. Products made in the USA are also a bonus.

With a bit of thought and planning, treat time can be fun and healthy for our critters and ourselves…and help us avoid a Hooch style chewing disaster.

—Kim P.
Canine behavior coach, behavior advisor, training counselor.

Halloween Costume Photo Contest 2019

Halloween Costume Photo Contest 2019


Happy Howie’s Halloween Dog Costume Photo contest is back for its fourth year for a howling good time! We hope everyone has fun and enters their favorite fuzzy friends in their best costume.

Contest is now open for entry here on Facebook, or you can enter your photo on Instagram and/or Twitter using hashtag #HHCostume2019! You have until October 14th at 11:59pm EST to enter your photo! Only 1 entry per dog & per social media account. To keep fairness, previous contest winners cannot win. If entering using the contest hashtag your profile must be set to public (not private) for the entry to come though.

Photo entries will be available for voting October 15th until October 30th @ 11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced on Halloween, October 31st! The Winning photo will be featured on our homepage.


Grand Prize: Happy Howie’s Sample Box!

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a special sample box of Happy Howie’s treats: including:

2″ Mini Doggy Burgers

4″ Beef Burger Chews

6″ Woof Stix 4pk

6″ Beef Doggy Jerky 2pk

12″ Beef Sausages

Baker’s Dozen Beef, Turkey & Lamb 4″ Sausage Pouches (one of each flavor)

8 items total, valued at $54.99!


Second & Third Prize(s): Happy Howie’s Variety Pack!

This pack includes:

Two 4″ Burger Chews

Five 4″ Turkey Sausage Treats

We look forward to seeing your festive pups again this year.
Happy “Howl”ween!

To read the official contest rules, click here.

Cruisin’ for Snacks


Cruisin’ for Snacks! Cruise ship vacations are notorious for their boundless buffet offerings, around the clock food availability…and inevitable weight gain from the 24 hour indulging. To our dogs, we are the esteemed chefs presenting delicious delicacies for their around the clock indulgence.

As the chefs, it is our job to make sure we regulate the buffet line and incorporate both healthy meals and tasty nutritious snacks over the course of the day. For most dogs over a year old, feeding twice a day (normally morning and evening) and providing some snack times in between meals helps create a routine dogs crave. You can also use these times to reinforce training, teach new behaviors, and build the bond between you and your hungry diner. When feeding your dog his breakfast or dinner, have him sit and stay until you put the bowl on the floor and release him. If you walk past the counter and decide he needs a snack, have him shake or a give a high five to show his appreciation of the tastiness to come.

Our role as chefs also includes a bit of nutrition management, as it is our responsibility not only to regulate the quality of what we are “cooking”, but the quantity served. Just like cruise patrons, our pups are perfectly willing to devour mass quantities of any cuisine we provide.

Although there is no definitive amount of treats you should give, we do need to be aware of the caloric value of snacks during the course of the day and adjust snacking and mealtime quantities accordingly. Just like cruise ship vacationers, mindless 24 hour snacking and eating can result in some unwanted extra pounds.

Relax and enjoy spoiling your pup with some healthy treats every day, however don’t let them talk you into daily buffet-style binge sessions. By using a bit of moderation, this is one vacation that doesn’t have to end.

—Kim P.
Canine behavior coach, behavior advisor, training counselor.

If your pup is cruisin’ for snacks, treat them today!

Counter Surf’s Up… But Not For Long!


When you turn your back in the kitchen, does your dog hang 10 on your kitchen counters, surfing for any tasty morsel he can find? Although your dog may dig counter surfing, most of us prefer they keep all four on the floor.

Dogs counter surf because more often than not, the payoff is big. Not only do they stumble upon delicious forbidden treats such as some stray birthday cake, your toddler’s leftover waffle, or maybe even that lovely ribeye you were just about to throw on the grill, but they also get all kinds of attention when you scream and chase them off.

The first wave of defense in the counter surfing counter attack is obvious, keep counters free of anything that could be considered interesting to your surfer boy. Putting food in the fridge, pantry, or at least in an airtight container, takes away the reward of catching the big wave. But let’s face it, this isn’t always practical, especially with kids (or spouses) in the house.

When prevention doesn’t work, the second wave is deterrence. Create some surprise noise makers by adding several pennies to a beverage can and sealing the opening with sturdy tape. Line the noise makers along the counter’s edge so your surfer will get a loud surprise (aka correction) as they knock a few down while surfing forbidden territory. Most dogs are startled by this type of noise and will quickly find something else to do that does not involve countertops with clanging cans. You can also try using double sided or packing tape with the sticky side facing upwards, so when paws attempt to catch the big wave, they come away with tape unpleasantly stuck to their feet (think of the feeling of gum on the bottom of your shoe…yuck!).

There are several great things about these deterrents. Neither are harmful, they work whether you are in the room or not (quite helpful for the stealthy or midnight surfers), and they shift the surfing experience from fun and rewarding, to distasteful and unpleasant.

With a little prevention, patience, and perseverance, you can teach your counter surfer to save his rad moves for the open water.

—Kim P.
Canine behavior coach, behavior advisor, training counselor.