Jasper and Zoe’s Blog

Where Dog Lovers Meet and Bark

Wanted: Your dog tips and stories!

We are looking for stories and experiences to share with the JasperandZoe.com community on this blog.  If you have something that could help other dog lovers or simply have a funny story or a question, please feel free to post or email us at info@jasperandzoe.com, and we will be happy to post for you for community feedback!  All posts will receive 10% off your next order on JasperandZoe.com!

Filed under: business, Dogs, entrepreneurship, green, happiness, health, lifestyle, pets, , , , ,

Understanding your dog’s body language and verbal cues

Have you ever wondered why your dog makes those strange muttering sounds at the dinner table? Or why he lays his ears back when confronted with a stranger?  Dogs speak to us, but in a different language. Unfortunately, there’s no Rosetta Stone DVD to help us learn “dog talk.” So, instead, we must analyze it ourselves, keeping it in context, avoiding asserting our own interpretations, and remembering that dogs were once wild animals.

The best way to start is to look to the dog’s ancestor, the wolf. Wolves live in packs and dogs do the same with other pets in the household and their humans. There must be a leader of the pack and that leader should be you. And to be an effective canine leader, you need to know what your dog is trying to tell you.

Dogs communicate in many ways with each other, using verbal cues, body language and facial expressions. They also try to communicate with humans using these methods. Humans, of course, communicate with dogs with commands and phrases. Dogs can learn hundreds of human sounds but they can’t string them together. Thus, the need for short commands such as “Sit!” and “Come!” Many of our communication tools are lost on dogs, such as sarcasm (to indicate frustration) or closed body language (to indicate you’re uncomfortable) or a look of surprise. So, to enhance our communication with our canines, we must learn to get back to the basics and speak “dog.”

Dog Body Language/Facial “Expressions”

Confident and Relaxed

  • Stance – erect
  • Tail – wagging slowly
  • Ears – pricked up but with a relaxed look
  • Eyes – small pupils
  • Mouth – closed or slight parting of lips

Fearful or Anxious

  • Stance – lowered
  • Tail – tucked under
  • Ears – down
  • Eyes – a wide-eyed look with the whites showing
  • Mouth – panting

Aggressive

  • Stance – rigid
  • Tail – straight up or out behind, very rigid
  • Ears – pricked up
  • Eyes – intense, focused stare
  • Mouth – lips are pulled back and some teeth show
  • Hackles – this is a line of hair that starts at the base of the neck and runs down the shoulders. It is raised if a dog is feeling aggressive and lowered if he is relaxed.

Fear-Aggressive

  • Stance – dog is pulled into himself
  • Tail – tucked completely under
  • Ears – lying down
  • Eyes – wide-eyed and trouble focusing
  • Mouth – lips pulled back slightly or heavy panting

Relaxed

  • Stance – lying down or standing without any alertness
  • Tail – up and wagging or lying naturally
  • Ears – at their normal state, depending on the breed (A Terrier’s would be up but relaxed, a Hound’s would be down)
  • Eyes – normal pupil dilation, focused but not staring
  • Mouth – open and lightly panting or closed

Dog Verbal Cues

The Howl
This is an attempt to locate someone, perhaps you or the dog down the street. When you leave for work, it’s very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. When one dog starts howling in the neighborhood, usually many others join in – it’s sort of like a conference call.

The Growl
This means “back off.” You’ll see a dog growl when another dog gets interested in his food. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn’t like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away. It’s actually a very effective way of communicating and actually signals that you can probably negotiate that toy away. When a dog is in an aggressive stance and silent, there is the most danger.

The Grunt or Mutter
This is usually to indicate that your dog wants something. It’s an interesting sound because it’s almost manipulative – your dog knows if he barks, he’ll get into trouble but the more subtle “grunt” might get him wants he wants. It is also heard when dogs greet other dogs or humans.

The Whimper
Dogs whimper when they’re anxious or hurt. Sometimes they figure out that they get attention when they whimper and use this to their advantage.

The Whine
This indicates frustration. They are in a sense “complaining” about something.

The Bark
There are many different types of barks. A high pitched bark indicates excitement and happiness. A low pitched bark indicates aggression and is possibly a threat. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they’re happy, and to alert their human to a problem. Unfortunately, your dog may detect a “problem” that you can’t see or hear, such as a siren miles away or the neighbor’s cat hiding in the tree outside the window.

Remember when Lassie sprinted off down the road to find help because Timmy had fallen into a well? Through her verbal cues and body language she was able to lead the rescuers back to the disaster scene. By understanding our dogs’ language, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. And you can be assured that your dog isn’t going crazy when he’s muttering to himself all the time.

(Source: Dogster.com)

Filed under: Dogs, green, happiness, health, lifestyle, pets, , , , ,

Support World Environment Day, Get Free Biodegradable Bags

June 5 is World Environment Day, a day established by the United Nations in 1972 to stimulate awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and public action.  This year under the theme of “Many Species. One Planet. One Future”, the event will celebrate the incredible diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

At JasperandZoe.com, we care about the environment and encourage you to help protect our fragile planet.  You can help by using biodegradable bags for your dogs. Now through June 13 on JasperandZoe.com, we are giving away a FREE box of biodegradable scoopies with every order $20 and up.  Enter “ENVIRONMENT” at checkout for the free box.  Shop and support the environment today.

Biodegradable Scoopies

As always 10% of our profits supports ASPCA to fight against animal cruelty.

Love your dogs.  Love our planet.

Woof, woof,

JasperandZoe.com

Filed under: Dogs, green, pets, ,

How to Choose a Dog Bed

There are so many bed choices for different breeds and sizes of dogs.  It can be quite tricky and confusing to choose the best bed suited for your dog.  Your choice of beds is a function of your personal taste, your dog’s needs based on age (arthritis, age) and how your dog likes to sleep.  At JasperandZoe.com, we offer a variety of comfortable styles and eco-friendly choices to meet individual needs. 

Here is a quick comparison chart (a product gets the highest five-star rating if it meets all quality criteria):

Type of Bed / Product Jasper and Zoe Rating (1-5) Breeds Eco-Friendly Stain, Moisture, Odor Resistant Washable
Classic Beds – Crypton

*****

All

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bolster Beds – Crypton

*****

Small to Medium Breeds (several beds for large breeds)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Snuggle Beds – MultiPet

****

Small breeds

No

Depends

Depends

Orthopedic Beds – K&H Pet Products

****

All – Great for dogs suffering from hip and joint pain

No

No

Yes

Travel Beds – Doggles

****

All

No

Yes

Yes

Travel Beds – New York Dog

****

Small

No

No

Yes

There are three “core” choices when selecting a bed:

1. Styles: such as “Classic”, “Bolster/Nesting”, Orthopedic and Travel as indicated in the sections below.

2. Stuffing: There are 4 options.

  • Polyfil – There are two types of polyfil:  High Loft Fibers Lowest priced models made with recycled plastics such as drink bottles;  Baffled Polyfil The bed contains tubes that have polyfil. Each tube acts as a separate section which moves with your dog for comfort.
  • Box Spring – Provides good support like a human mattress
  • Foam – Conforms to your dog’s body.  Foam options include a classic approach and beds made for orthopedic support. This is preferred choice for owners that have dogs that need orthopedic help or are older.
  • Combination – Found in premium priced mattresses and tend to the most comfortable.

3. Price: Prices range from $10 to hundreds of dollars depending on the fill and type.

Styles of Beds: 

Classic Canine Bed

These dog beds look rather like a mattress for people. They work well for medium to large breeds. There is plenty of room to stretch out on them. They are typically made with polyfil or foam. Some options are waterproof or come with covers that can be washed.

We recommend our eco-friendly Crypton Pomelo Rotator Pet Bed designed by William Wegman in three convenient sizes – ideal for small to large breeds.  Easy to clean, stain, moisture, and odor resistant.  Machine washable cover.  Or choose from our wide selection of Crypton beds.  Click on image for more information or to shop.

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Crypton Pomelo Rotator Pet Bed (William Wegman)

 

 Bolster or Nesting Canine Bed

Then there is either round or rectangular bolster bed that most people have seen.  It has soft sides and a cushioned bottom. It is covered with something soft and cozy like fleece. The cover may or may not be removable for washing. These beds are good for medium to small breeds.  Some manufacturers make these beds for larger breeds.

See our eco-friendly Crypton Rotator Bolster Pet Bed designed by William Wegman in round (Hot Chocolate) or rectangular (Midnight Black) in three convenient sizes.

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Crypton – Midnight Rotator Bolster Bed (William Wegman)

 

 

Snuggle Bed

Smaller dogs love the security of deep, overstuffed, pillow-type beds. Round, oval, or square-walled beds are often the best choice for small breeds.  These beds are covered with something like suede or fleece, and are very comfortable and cozy.  Your dog can snuggle right into them.

We recommend our Multipet – YAWNZ BEDS – Slooshi Oval Bed made of durable woven chenille on the exterior and chocolate brown fleece in the interior.  Cushion is removable and reversible – one side fleece, one side exterior pattern.  100% machine washable.

Available in 2 sizes:
18″ (interior measures 12″)
22″ (interior measures 15″)

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MultiPet - YAWNZ Beds - Slooshi Oval Bed

 

Orthopedic Dog Bed

These canine beds are made for dogs with arthritis or other joint problems. They are designed to provide extra support and are made with special kinds of foam inside. They may be more costly than other types of beds, but are worth looking into if your dog has joint problems.

Shown below our orthopedic memory foam sleeper by K&H Pet Products in Mocha and Sage in three sizes:

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K&H Pet Products – Memory Sleeper

 

Travel Bed

Do you take your dog wherever you go? 

Doggles Travel Dog bed with matching tote may be a good option for you.  The travel bed with integrated, attached stuff sack allows for easy and portable travel.  Super thick and dense inner fill is the best on the market and will not bunch or deform in the washer.  Microfiber top and nylon bottom are stain and water resistant.  Available in one size:  39” x 30”.

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Doggles Travel Dog Bed

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Doggles Matching Tote for Travel Bed

 

If you like to travel in style with your dog, New York Dog’s tent beds are one of a kind.  Plush fabric interior, removable and machine washable plush pillow, multi-striped canvas and plush fabric exterior.  The bed collapses into a carry case for travel and storage.  Spot clean.  Measures 21” x 21” x 17.5”

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New York Dog - Hamptons Tent Bed

 Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the beds featured on JasperandZoe.com.

Filed under: business, Dogs, green, lifestyle, pets

Jasper and Zoe Offers Free Shipping for a Limited Time!

To welcome Fall, Jasper and Zoe is offering free shipping on all orders through 9/30.  Visit us for natural, eco-friendly, and luxury dog products that promote healthy and happy living.  Enter FREESHIP09 at checkout to get the free shipping.  Happy shopping!

www.JasperandZoe.com

Filed under: business, Dogs, entrepreneurship, green, happiness, health, lifestyle, pets

Enter Jasper and Zoe’s Monthly Contest!

Does your dog embody the spirit of healthy living?

If so, we would like to hear about it and feature your dog as “Dog of the Month” on our home page!  Please visit our website for contest rules.

The winner will receive $50 gift certificate to spend at Jasper and Zoe!  We will also feature your dog on our blog, Facebook page and Twitter.

Filed under: Dogs, green, happiness, health, lifestyle, pets

Jasper and Zoe Launches a Socially Responsible Online Dog Boutique Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

08.19.2009 – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Jasper and Zoe launched today a socially responsible online dog boutique offering eco-friendly, natural, luxury and innovative products that promote a healthy lifestyle for dogs and their parents. At Jasper and Zoe, dog lovers will find the best healthy products as well as a blog with health-promoting information and interesting facts about dogs. Through the blog, the site also allows dog lovers to network, share tips, questions and stories. As a socially conscious company, one of the goals of Jasper and Zoe is to improve the lives of dogs, thus… Read more.

Filed under: Dogs, entrepreneurship, green, lifestyle, pets

Jasper and Zoe has a Facebook page!

We are now on Facebook, and we are hosting a virtual launch party in August!  Become our fan, and sign up now for our weekend-long launch event that will be filled with contests, fun, mingling and product giveaways!  See you on Facebook!  http://tinyurl.com/na6jkc

Filed under: business, Dogs, entrepreneurship, green, happiness, health, lifestyle, pets, , , , ,

Jasper and Zoe is in the midst of web design.

We are deep in the design process, and it’s amazing how the little details matter in enhancing overall customer experience, i.e. placement of the search bar (and the size of the search bar), a shopping bag versus a shopping cart versus something creative, positioning of the shopping cart/bag (and the design of it), the look of the logo and brand, placement of the navigation bar, colors, font, size, etc. etc.  We have learned that everything matters, and everything on the page must have a strategic purpose, otherwise it shouldn’t be on the page.

Filed under: business, Dogs, entrepreneurship, green, happiness, health, lifestyle, pets

We’ve chosen a company slogan!

Based on a recent market survey, the overwhelming response for a slogan for JasperandZoe.com is “Happy Dogs. Happy Parents.”   This is perfectly aligned with our vision, so thank you.  We will now incorporate it with the rest of the content for site, which we are busily developing.  We are also currently working with a web designer to completely redesign our site.  We are still on track to launch this summer.  So stay tuned!

Filed under: business, Dogs, entrepreneurship, green, happiness, health, lifestyle, pets