Here at King Duke’s, we always look on the bright side - and why not, we get to spend our days thinking about our pets and yours, and what could be better than that? (Don’t tell anyone, but it really doesn’t feel like work!) So even though the last year has challenged us all in so many ways, our bright sides were kept aglow by news that as people stayed at home, many of them welcomed new four-legged family members. Empty shelters made for full hearts, and we couldn’t be happier. And let’s not forget long time pet parents; for those of us lucky enough to be able to work from home, we got to spend more time than ever with our furry shadows. I don’t know about you, but I could swear there were days when my dog longed for a little peace and quiet and wondered why mom was home, like, all the time. Well, Lucy, it seems like that might be about to change. As the world begins the long march back to school, back to the office, and maybe even back on a - whisper it - trip to somewhere besides the grocery store, we have been asking ourselves how to make sure our most faithful companions don’t feel left behind.
So here it is, the official King Duke’s Guide to a Peaceful Post-Pandemic Pooch!
Routine, routine, routine.
If you have found yourself with a less than rigid routine these past few months, well, you’re not alone. Days spent staring at a laptop with perma-Zoom don’t lend themselves to structure, and frankly, nor do stretchy pants. But for your dog’s sake, and for your own, it’s time to ease yourself back into a slightly firmer schedule: we suggest setting fixed times for play, exercise, food, and walks. If your dog is anything like mine, the fixed meal time thing might provoke some, er, pushback, so why not upgrade dinner with a brand new bowl set? We love this bright and beautiful double bowl stand, and firmly believe it makes dinner even tastier. And for the dog whose demands for dinner come in the form of bashing her water bowl*, well, the Soggy Doggy Slopmat is a stylish way to keep the mess at bay!
*Oh, is that just our dog? Okay, okay, nothing to see here.
Tire Us Out!
A tired dog is a happy dog, and we‘ve found our canine companions are far less clingy and far less anxious when they are pooped pooches. In preparation for this guide, your dedicated team at King Duke’s has spent the last few weeks testing out a bunch of toys - it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! - and here are some of our favorites. For the rough-and-tumbler in your life, this Chuckit Ultra Duo Tug is a real winner. With a durable two-ply nylon cord handle for enthusiastic play, and tennis ball ends for added fetching fun, it will tire even the most rambunctious Rover, guaranteed. If your dog is more of a seek-and-destroy kind of gal, then look no further than our range of Zippy Paw Burrows. All the toys in this cool and colorful collection are interactive and will keep your dog busy and boredom-free with hide-and-seek play. Now where did I put ours? Finally, if you have a cheeky chewer on your hands, then allow us to introduce you to Benebones, your new best friend. Okay, second best friend. These durable chew toys are made of super-strong nylon and food-grade bacon, peanuts, chicken, and maple wood. We have it on (who’s a) good (boy) authority that there is no tastier way to play. You heard it here first!
Get us a bed fit for a King! Or a Queen!
Nothing is more important, after food and treats, than a tip-top bed, especially when you are worn out from long walks and boisterous play. To make sure your dog is living her best life while you slog away at work (!!), plump for the West Paw Heyday bed, which is silky soft and super comfy, as well as being anti-microbial and easy to wash.
To prevent a trip to work becoming a guilt trip, leave your dog with one of our most popular and playful pieces, the West Paw Toppl Toy. Toppl is not just a treat toy; it’s a treat experience! With two different sizes (for dogs big and small!) and an interlocking feature (for dogs clever and cunning), Toppl has a multitude of ways to make playtime easy or challenging, from eager puppies on up to wise ol’ dogs. What’s more, it traps treats with its inner ridges and tips over to keep dogs entertained, challenged, and ultimately rewarded. Win win!
New friend, or old faithful, there is no doubt that our dogs (and cats!) have kept us company, kept us sane, and kept our hearts warm during one of the toughest years ever. So whatever you do, don’t forget to say thanks with plenty of extra belly rubs morning and night. They sure have earned them! 🐾🖤🐕
PS: Paging all Portland-area pet parents, this is a PSA! If you need a little extra help, why not stop by the King Duke’s store? We have a list of tried-and-trusted local trainers who can work with you and your pup to overcome adjustment anxiety, separation stress, and much more besides. Bring your pet and come and say hi. We have treats!
Find us: 7790 SW Nimbus Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97008.
Hours: M-F, 10-6; Saturdays, 9-5; Sundays, closed for walking and napping.
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No matter how small your pup or how large your pack, there is nothing better than a road trip! To help make sure you end up on the happy hound highway rather than the Boulevard of Broken dog Dreams (shout out to my fellow Gen Xers!), we have a ton of tips; so many in fact, that this guide is a two parter! In this first installment, we’ll cover what you need for the car and the trail, and next time we’ll do all you need for everything else, including eating, drinking, and sleeping. The open road awaits…