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.


Happy Howie’s 5th Annual Happy Dog Photo Contest

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Happy Howie’s 5th Annual Happy Dog Photo Contest

Happy Howie’s is excited to bring back our Happy Dog Photo Contest for its fifth year! We love see everyone’s photos, and we enjoyed creating an engaging experience for our customers. Last year’s contest was such a large success—we have high hopes again for this year’s contest!

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 11th. 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 1st. Voting will close Tuesday, February 26th @11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced on February 27th & the winning photo will be featured on our homepage for the month of March!

Prizes

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 #HHdog2019. 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!

Easing into the Golden Years – Enhancing the Life of Your Senior Dog

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Easing into the Golden Years: Although we can’t stop time slipping away, there are several things we can do to help our furry family members age a bit more like Betty White than Keith Richards.

Determining when your dog is ready for her AARP card depends to some extent on her size. Larger dogs tend to have shorter life spans than smaller ones, so a Newfoundland would be considered a senior around age 7, where as a Chihuahua wouldn’t reach golden status until closer to age 10.

As she gets older, moving to twice per year wellness checks can help keep your dog active, comfortable and healthy as possible. Discuss having a full blood work panel performed. Not only can it provide an early warning to potential problems now, but it will serve as a baseline for the years to come. Your vet can compare future blood work against it, making changes easier to spot and address early.

There are a variety of holistic treatments, vitamins, and herbal remedies, as well as prescription medications that can address some of the challenges aging throws our way, such as arthritis. Besides downward dog pose, dogs are rarely good at yoga however they may benefit from other options we use such as massage, acupuncture or physical therapy. Always work with a veterinarian or certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist when utilizing supplements, medications, or treatments.

Additional options to help with mobility and fall prevention are non-slip treads on stairs, orthopedic beds, and stairs or ramps to get on/off furniture or in/out of vehicles.

Quality food and treats, exercise, and mental stimulation are still important in the golden years, but just like us, dogs’ abilities and needs change as they get older. You may need to switch or cut back on food, feed smaller portions more frequently, change the intensity, type, or duration of exercise. Daily exercise keeps both us and our dogs mentally engaged as well as physically active, however she may need to adjust the 5-mile run you always took with her down to a 3-mile walk.

Being able to communicate with your dog is important at any age. When I am instructing my students, I teach both hand signals and voice commands. This is due in part to how dogs learn, but it can also be beneficial later in life. Should your dog lose one sense, such as hearing, you still have the ability to communicate her via hand signals.

Even though becoming a senior doesn’t get your dog great perks like free coffee at McDonald’s or early bird dinner specials at the local diner, she can still enjoy an active and comfortable life throughout her golden years.

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

Halloween Dog Costume Photo Contest Winners 2018

We would like to send out a big thank you to everyone that have participated in our Halloween Dog Costume Photo Contest—whether you submitted a photo or came back to vote. We loved seeing all the dogs dressed festively for Halloween!

We are proud to announce the following winners:

Grand Prize

“My name is prince By-Tor so no other costume would do. My costume is fit for the prince that I am!”

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, 12” beef doggy jerky, 12” beef, lamb and turkey sausages (one of each flavor) and baker’s dozen beef, turkey and lamb 2” sausage pouches (one of each flavor). 11 items total, valued at $59.99!

Second Prize

“The Poop Factory”

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

Third Prize

“Riley makes skeletons look awfully cute.”

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

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Congratulations to all our 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 2018. 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!

The Mealtime Mystery – Solving the Case of Food Sensitivities

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The Mealtime Mystery: Sherlock Holmes notices how seeming unrelated events are actually intertwined, and ultimately solves the mystery. Usually the culprit is the character who appeared to be the most innocent.

Sometimes with our dogs, we need to channel our inner Sherlock. Some clues being presented are recurrent skin or ear infections, chewing at her feet, missing areas of fur, potty issues, or very bad! These seemingly unrelated events potentially point to an apparently innocent culprit…food.

True food allergies in dogs are rare, but food intolerance or sensitivities are on the rise. Common offenders tend to be protein sources, with chicken, eggs, and dairy being at the top of the list.

Seeing your veterinarian is the first step in addressing potential food intolerance. Although currently no reliable tests for food allergies exist, you want to rule out other troublemakers such as a parasite, virus, or infection.

Once you’re sure some sort of alien invader isn’t the problem, the next step is to make a diet change, including both food AND treats. Make sure to remove all traces of the item(s) you believe to be the culprit. You want to switch to a protein source your dog hasn’t been exposed to previously. Lamb and Turkey are common alternatives, but there are many options, including venison, bison, salmon, or even kangaroo!

Investigate food labels carefully, confirming there is no mention whatsoever of the item(s) you are trying to avoid. For example, some foods and treats may have salmon as the primary protein source but also utilize chicken meal in smaller portions. If chicken is the issue, even this small amount could trigger a reaction.

Confirm everyone who comes into contact with your dog is aware of the importance of feeding her only the “approved” food and treats. Of course everyone wants to spoil her with “just a little taste” of some contraband occasionally, but it’s important to keep her away from the things you think may be triggering her symptoms, especially during the initial switch.

It can take anywhere from 4-12 weeks after you make dietary changes to see a noticeable decline in the symptoms. By utilizing your keen powers of observation, the assistance of your vet, and making dietary changes, solving the mystery of a food sensitivity can my quite elementary.

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

Halloween Costume Photo Contest 2018

Halloween Costume Photo Contest 2018

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Happy Howie’s Halloween Dog Costume Photo contest is back for the third year! 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 #HHCostume2018! You have until October 15th 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 then be available for voting October 16th until October 29th @ 11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced October 30th—just in time for Halloween! 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 most popular treats: including:

Beef Gourmet Meat Roll

2″ Mini Doggy Burgers

4″ Beef Burger Chews

6″ Woof Stix

12″ Beef Doggy Jerky

12″ Beef, Turkey & Lamb sausages (one of each flavor)

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

11 items total, valued at $59.99!

 

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 Halloween!

To read the official contest rules, click here.

Oh Baby! – Welcoming a New Human to the Pack

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Oh Baby! I can speak from personal experience that life as an only child is pretty fantastic. Undivided attention from your parents, the occasional dessert for dinner, perhaps a few less rules, and no one ruining your favorite concert shirt…what’s not to love?! Then the unthinkable happens when, without your consent, a new pack member is added and everything changes.

There are a few steps you can take to ease your dog’s transition from only child to big sister. Think about what is going to change for her, besides a tiny 8 lb human alarm clock going off at 2 am. Will she still sleep in bed with you, stay in your room, or will her sleeping area change completely? How much attention is going to shift away from her? Will she still get her daily walk in the woods or dog park time?

To assist your dog in preparing for the big arrival, use her keen sense of smell to your advantage. Decide upon some products you will be using for the baby, such as soap or shampoo, and begin using them before the baby’s arrival. This lets your dog become familiar with the scent, helping her recognize the baby as part of her pack.

Chances are the newest addition will be sleeping in your room. If you are planning to move your dog out of your bed or out of the room entirely, start that transition well before the baby arrives. Make sure the new area is comfortable as possible. Include a blanket or piece of clothing you have slept with, so she still has your scent as she drifts off to dreamland.

When in the hospital after delivery, wear a t-shirt or hoodie while holding the baby, then bring it home so your dog can start getting to know the baby’s scent before his actual appearance.

Remember love is like sunshine, sharing it doesn’t mean you get less. Although you may be inclined to shower your dog with as much attention and play time as possible, “making up” for what she will be missing after the baby’s arrival, you actually want to do the opposite. Slowly decrease the amount of playtime beginning about a month before the baby’s anticipated arrival. This way she doesn’t have to go “cold turkey” when her little brother shows up.

With a few minor preparations, your dog will easily adjust to her new role as big sister. In fact she may enjoy it even more than being an only child, just like I did…well I mostly did.

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

Silly Selfie Contest Winners 2018

Silly Selfie Contest Winners 2018 – We would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to everyone that have participated in our first Happy Howie’s “You & Your Dog Silly Selfie” Contest—whether you submitted a photo or came back to vote. We love ALL the fun entries we received.

We are excited to announce the following winners:

First Prize
With 38 votes!

first-place-winner

“The king and his subject”

Cynthia will receive:
A special sampler box of Happy Howie’s most popular treats.

Second Prize
With 8 votes!

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“WHAZZZZUUPPPP!!!”

Julia will receive:
A Happy Howie’s Backyard BBQ Pack


Third Prize
With 6 votes!

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“The Three Amigos ”

These sweet pups, together, will receive:
One-time use promo code for 20% off happyhowies.com


Congratulations to all our winners!

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

Please be sure to continue to follow us—we will continue to offer fun and exciting products, contests and updates throughout 2018. For our winning pet-parents, we will be reaching out to you via the information provided in your submission to fulfill your prizes.

Have Dog, Will Travel – Road Tripping with Your Dog

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Have Dog, Will Travel: Whether its hiking trails in state parks, hitting the beach or visiting the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, there is nothing like a good vacation. Taking in different scenery, indulging in new experiences, spending time with loved ones is good for all members of the family, dogs included. With a bit of planning, you can avoid a Griswold style catastrophe and make traveling with your furry family member an epic success.

First, do your research. Determine which accommodations, attractions, and parks are pet friendly. Contact places you are considering to confirm their policies. Ask about size, restrictions on multiple pets, extra fees, or any other rules you need to know about. Websites may not be up to date and policies may have changed. You don’t want to arrive at Wallyworld to hear “Sorry folks, No Dogs Allowed. The moose out front shoulda told ya.”

Know your dog and be realistic. If he believes it’s his job to bark and alert you of strange noises, people, or blowing leaves, staying in a hotel may not be the best choice. The privacy of renting a cabin is a much better, and less stressful option.

Crate train your dog. Crates are basically canine mobile homes and will make your dog feel more secure in a strange environment. Most accommodations are much happier to have four legged guests if you can assure them your dog will be crated in your absence. Owners of a great little resort in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula once told me, “I’d rather have dog guests instead of human ones, because dogs never leave the bathtub running and flood the room.”

Brush up on the obedience basics: sit, stay, no jumping or barking, walking politely on leash. Like it or not, we are ambassadors for all pet travelers. Good manners go a long way to ensure venues continue to welcome furry travelers. Make sure everyone you come into contact with, from hotel and wait staff to park rangers and other guests, have a positive experience with your canine companion.

Before hitting the road, inspect all collars, harnesses, leashes, and seatbelts to make sure they are in good working order to keep your pet secure. Make sure your dog is wearing a current ID tag with your mobile number.

Unfortunately dogs can’t pack for themselves, and if they did it would be a backpack full of tennis balls. Although you don’t need a suitcase full, do pack a few toys and a blanket for his crate. Bring plenty of food, treats and water from home. Switching suddenly from city to well water or even to different municipality water can cause digestive problems that no one wants to deal with. If you are hitting multiple destinations, you may want to use bottled water.

Also be sure to be prepared for emergencies. Pack an animal first aid kit, as well as current vet records, vet phone number, microchip information and have a current picture of your dog available.

By doing a little research and preparation, you can ensure vacationing with your dog far is more enjoyable than any Griswold family trip.

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

Happy Howie’s Silly Selfie Contest!

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Happy Howie’s is excited to introduce our first ever “You & Your Dog Silly Selfie Contest”!

We always love see everyone’s photo contest submissions, and we hope this is a fun contest to participate in. Bust out the Snapchat and Facebook messenger filters & have fun—the sillier the better!

The contest opens for submissions Friday, June 1st. Participants will have about 2 weeks to submit their favorite silly selfie. Once all submissions are in, the photos will be posted and available for voting starting June 14th. Voting will close Thursday, June 28th @11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced on June 29th & the winning photo will be featured on our homepage for the month of July!

First Place Prize: Happy Howie’s Sample Box!
The First Prize Winner will receive a special sampler box of Happy Howie’s most popular treats.

Second Prize: Happy Howie’s Backyard BBQ Pack!
Second place photo will be featured on social media.

Third Prize: One-time use promo code for 20% off happyhowies.com!
Third place photo will be featured on social media.

Enter via Facebook here, or submit your photo via Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #HHsillyselfie2018. 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 contest winners are ineligible to win. Official rules are available here, as well as, on contest platform.

We hope everyone has fun and enters their best silly selfies!

Game On – Building A Strong Relationship with Your Dog

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Game on – You can’t play Jenga with your dog. But you can teach him to fetch the pieces when they fall. Building a relationship with your dog can be more challenging, but also far more rewarding (and less precarious) than a game of Jenga.

Regardless of the species involved, trust is the base of any good relationship. For your dog, nothing builds trust like consistency. It can be very confusing for him if sometimes he’s allowed to jump on you — such as when you are doing yard work — and sometimes he’s not — such as when you are dressed for a wedding. Although smart creatures, dogs have no discernable fashion sense so they don’t realize you are wearing your “good clothes”.

Positive reinforcement training helps strengthen the bond between the two of you because you are stimulating his mind while spending time with him. Training helps him trust you because he learns what behaviors are consistently expected. Well-trained dogs are also allowed more freedom and time with their pack. If you know he won’t jump on Aunt Martha, knock over your 3 year old like she’s a bowling pin, or steal the turkey off the Thanksgiving table, you are more likely to allow him to be out when company visits.

Exercising both his body and his brain aid in deepening your relationship. A tired dog is a happy dog! Time spent walking together, not only allows him to experience new smells, and see new things, but also burns off some energy. Playing hide and seek, fetch, or doing puppy push-ups (sit, down, sit, repeat), incorporate physical and mental exercise by reinforcing commands (sit, stay, etc) during fun activities. This kind of training tends to be more productive because we think it’s more fun and transmit that positive energy to them.

Research shows physical touch increase the bond not just between people, but between animals too. Giving your dog a scratch behind the ears or a good belly rub throughout the day reinforces he’s an important part of the pack. Snuggling in together and binge watching an entire season of “The Dog Whisperer” isn’t being lazy, it’s relationship building!

Through stacking the blocks of training, exercise, and attention, you and your dog can build an awesome relationship, but he still won’t be a good Jenga player.

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

When I was eight, I threw treats so my Alaskan Malamute would pull my sled like the Iditarod dogs I saw on TV. Unknowingly, I also was throwing myself into an awesome lifetime adventure of helping people and animals improve their relationships. I’ve worked with businesses, individuals, and local rescue organizations, teaching private lessons, group classes and seminars, as well as private behavior consultations.

Currently I am lucky enough to share my life with Fia, aka The Chalupa, a fabulous rescued mixed breed.