I try to cater to my human and canine customers’ needs here at Life on the Leash. I’ll special order specific collar colors, rare foods for dogs’ dietary issues, and shampoos for dogs with skin conditions. If it’s good for your dog and I ain’t got it, I’ll get it! That said, there are a number of products I won’t bring in that might surprise you. These are my verboten items:
They seem like an easy way to exercise your dog. You simply point the light beam on the ground and let your dog chase after it. The problem is that this seemingly harmless game can develop into a potential obsessive compulsive disorder. Some dogs are so drawn to chasing the light beam that they transfer the behavior to any shifting light source, so the reflection from a watch face, or the flash of car lights across the wall, can trigger compulsive chasing. Once ingrained, the chasing is very difficult to stop.
Dogs love bones. Dogs need bones. We’ve got a ton of different types, but one kind we don’t carry is rawhide. Aside from questionable origins and cleaning methods (Hello, China and bleach), rawhide presents a greater than average choking hazard. I’ve heard many horror stories about dogs gnawing through either the knot part of the bone or the long connector part and choking. Fido can chew on everything from a bull’s unmentionable to an elk antler…why risk it on rawhide?
After a miserable winter we’ve finally entered leash walking season! It’s time to hit the trail with your dog, but when you do, reconsider that flexible extendable leash. Sure, they give your dog room to roam, but in many cases they give too much room. I don’t stock them because I believe walks are safer and more fun if they’re a collaborative event, with you and your dog walking close rather than separated by 15 feet of leash. Plus the mechanics of flexible leashes actually encourage pulling; the tension that allows for the flexibility of length also puts pressure on dogs’ necks, triggering “opposition reflex.” When a dog feels a backwards pull on his neck, his reflex is to pull forward, and a leash puller is born.
I’m very vocal about my dislike for any type of “correction” collar, from standard chokes to prong collars to slip leads. Once the only tool for dog training, they now symbolize an outdated and flawed training model. There’s no need to train with pain when dog-friendly, science based techniques provide real results. When people come to Life on the Leash looking for chokes, I gently evangelize, and cross my fingers that they’ll see the light.
You want Philles or Flyers merch? We’ve got your sports-loving pooch covered. Eagles stuff? You’re not going to find it here. I just can’t get past Michael Vick’s atrocities. Am I missing out on potential sales? Yup, but I feel way too strongly about his presence on the team. Go ahead and tell me to get over it. I won’t.
I get a few calls per month inquiring about puppies and I have to bite my tongue in order to keep from screaming. I’ll put it plainly: puppies bought in pet stores support puppy mills. American Humane says it better than I can here.
Is there any product out there that you won’t let your dog have? Tell us what and why in the comments section…