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Bowwow Haus

Hello, Monday :: Meet Punk!

This week, we're introducing Punk - one of the store doggies at our 4th+Pine location! He's really the friendliest little guy who loves to play with all doggies - and would love for you & your doggie to come say hello...

Tell us a bit about Punk! What kind of doggie is he - and where did he come from?

Punk is a mix of breeds. Definitely poodle but after that it is a guess. Where did he get those ears? I call him a punkydoodle. Punk was a stray in California and landed in the Los Banos shelter where a plea to have him saved was issued – it was a place where he had little chance of being adopted. Pamela McKenzie (http://www.Pamelasdogs.com) scooped him up in a dog rescue transport in February 2011. He arrived in rough condition with a badly matted coat with dead fleas and other terrible things embedded in it. After he had an extreme hair cut and a little vet care he became a happy and charming dog! That is when he came to me.

What is Punk's fave toy?

Punk has two favorite toys. The very best is a plush tree-stump with 3 little squirrels that he can pull out. It is a game we can play over and over. I put the squirrels in he takes them out! The other is an odd ball with an eye legs and hair. He likes to chase it and then shake it in his mouth like he is killing it! So much fun!

His best trick?

Punk dances really well. Sometimes we have little dance parties.

What is one thing you wish you knew before adopting a doggie?

I agreed to foster Punk while I was looking for a dog that I wanted. I thought I wanted a bigger dog, maybe black or brown. I did not think I wanted a small white fluff dog whose happiest place is being held. What I did not know was how loving and how sweet adopted doggies can be. I think he knows how lucky he was to be saved from the high-kill shelters in California. After having Punk for about 3 hours I knew he was not going to any other home. Like all shelter dogs, he had learned to do his ‘business’ where he ate & slept. It took about 2 weeks of work to train him not to do his “business” inside.

Does Punk have a guilty pleasure?

Punk is a calm dog and loves nothing more than being held. He will snuggle into the arms of pretty much anyone. Holding him and scratching the sweet spot on the top of his head is the best way into his heart! He also loves to play with other doggies. No day is complete if he has not met someone to have a good romp with.

His fave spot for a walk?

His favorite walks are through the neighbourhood. He likes to check keep track of this favorite spots. He gets very excited about it all and we have to run sometimes to get there really really fast!

Getting ready for Howl-O-Ween!

Not sure how the dogs can tell, but somehow they seem to know when I'm baking doggie snacks and not people snacks. Tonight, I baked up some roasted sweet potato mini cupcakes for our Howl-O-Ween party happening at all the BWH locations (Friday, Oct 28 @ 6:30p :: All friendly doggies & their people are welcome!) The dogs love it when I bake treats for them at home - and I love that they love it! It's really easy, and you don't have to be super accurate - I'm sure your doggie won't mind if a cupcake turns out a bit denser sometimes!

Now for the recipe:

2 cups oat flour
3 eggs, separated
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/3 c olive oil or melted coconut oil
1 T berry supplement - I used Cranimals cranberry supplement
1-2 sweet potato or yam (approx 2 cups) - or sub in canned pumpkin

To start, I washed sweet potatoes and roasted it on a baking sheet at 375 degrees until soft - about 60-90 minutes. Peel and mash with a fork - let cool. Turn down oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks and set aside. Mix all other ingredients in large bowl until well mixed. Fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites and fold in gently until incorporated. Then fold in remaining egg whites.

Scoop batter into a mini muffin pan - about 3/4 full. Bake for about 11-13 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Since I was baking for a special occasion, I frosted them with a sugar-free yogurt based frosting developed for doggies.

We hope to see you & your doggies on Friday!

What exactly is green tripe??

Most dog owners know that their doggies LOVE green tripe and that it smells gross... but do you know what it is and why it's a great thing to add to your doggies' diets?

We recently added K9 Naturals to our line-up of healthy foods - and they had a great overview of green tripe and we wanted to share some of the info with you:

"Tripe is the stomach of ruminating animals, such as sheep, cow, or deer. These animals have a stomach which consists of four chambers serving the purpose of regurgitating, chewing and mixing the food (grass in the case of New Zealand) with saliva. The final process then consists of breaking the food down further still; this is achieved by gastric juices and digestive enzymes. Green tripe is called so because of the fact that it hasn’t been cleaned or bleached. The colour is usually brown and can have a green tint to it from the grass the animal has eaten.

So how does this benefit a dog?

Well the same gastric juices and digestive enzymes which help the animal digest its food also help dogs do the same; this has the result in enabling a greater utilization of food. Furthermore green tripe is an excellent source of protein (60%) and fats (28%). In addition, Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) linoleic and linoleic acid are present in green tripe, thus helping in:

Well, the same gast

  • Reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease
  • Increasing energy production
  • Regulating skin and joint inflammatory responses
  • Improving general immune function

In addition, Lactic Acid Bacteria is also found in high levels within green tripe. Also known as lactobacillus Acidophilus, this so called “friendly bacteria,” is the main ingredient found in probiotics, helping break down complex food molecules and reducing the risk of developing coronary heart disease, Anderson, J, W and Gilliland S, E (1999).

By feeding green tripe to a dog, many associated health issues are successfully addressed primarily due to its ability to aid in the digestive process. These include not just general digestive conditions, but also symptoms associated with having Irritable bowel syndrome. In essence green tripe provides a dog with high quality protein, fats, essential fatty acids and an enhanced digestive system!


Effect of fermented milk (yoghurt) containing lactobacillus acidophilus L1 on serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic Humans. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Vol. 18, No. 1, 43-50 (1999)"

At bow wow haus, you'll find freeze-dried, raw green tripe, canned tripe, tripe snacks and raw frozen tripe. If you're new to tripe, we definitely recommend starting with the freeze-dried variety - even the pickiest dogs LOVE it - and we find the smell a bit easier to handle!! :)

*Interested in learning more about feeding raw to your dog or cat?
Here's a good video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wLTlqnMMg - or you can also
contact us at info@bowwowhaus.ca to schedule a free, private consultation with one of our
raw food experts at any of our shops.


hello, monday :: Sofia!

This week, we introduce you to Sofia - our daycare manager extraordinaire!

Why did you decide to run a doggie daycare?

They say if you follow your passion then it's not considered work! My passion is dogs & photography, I get both at the daycare, I pinch myself everyday! I feel very blessed.

Your fave part of the job?

There are a few, but the top three are:

1. Check-in time : the doggies are so happy to break into daycare, I just love how happy they are to see their friends, it always puts a big smile on my face, also I get morning kisses!

2. We love our 3 hour adventure walks, we go to Beaver Lake, the beautiful seawall etc as you can imagine, with so many adorable little dogs walking perfectly on-leash as a pack, we get photographed by many of the tourists that we pass by!

3. When we get home, it's time for treats, they all sit on the bed, it's the cutest thing ever! Then it's my time to send out all the lovely photos of our day to the doggie parents.

Tell us about your doggie, Sami. What are some of Sami's fave things?

Please, there's not enough time to talk about Sami, but I'll make it as short as possible! The love of my life, my sidekick, Sami is a 4 yr old Schmorkie, a Schnauzer mama & Morkie papa, very cute & very intelligent, her vocabulary is extensive! It will be a rare moment that you see me without her, she's very active, she loves to walk at least 4-5 hours a day, she loves to carry her frisbee everywhere, loves to retrieve her frisbee, loves to wrestle with Finn (a bestie at daycare), loves people, especially children, she has a very active social life, she loves all her BFF's at daycare, I'm very interested in agility for her, we hope to begin that very soon! It's all about Sami!

Best place for a dog walk?

We live in Coal Harbour, so the seawall is a block away, we can never get enough of the seawall, it also leads us into Beaver Lake & we are surrounded by endless trails, we love Stanley Park!

One piece of advice for someone considering getting a dog?

Do your homework & get a dog that fits into your lifestyle! How much time can you commit to walking & training? Will your dog be left home for the day? So many things to consider, when you have the right fit, it's the most rewarding feeling, it's a family member now! I wanted a dog that could go everywhere with me, walking was very important, Sami fits the bill perfectly!

What is Sami's fave thing/snack/toy in the world?

Her favourite snacks are the liver treats, dehydrated lamb lung, roasted yams & fresh red peppers. Her favourite toy is her Frisbee, can't live without it! however, she also loves the Happy Hippo, her hand puppet, as soon as we get in the door each day, she runs to the bed & says mom! Time to play with Happy Hippo & she's relentless, so I have to give her that special time...

Sofia can be reached at daycare@bowwowhaus.ca - and at our amazing doggie daycare that caters just to the little ones located at BWH West End.

RECIPE :: Leftover turkey? :)

Do you still have some leftover turkey sitting around? Here's an easy, healthy recipe to whip up some tasty k9 treats:

what you'll need:

1 cup cooked turkey (all chopped up)
1 cup brown rice flour (plus a bit more for rolling)
1 egg
3/4 cup mashed, cooked yam/sweet potato/carrot (whatever you have - if not, you can sub in canned pure pumpkin)
2 T cranberry sauce (or honey)
1 t ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
3 T dried cranberries (coarsely chopped) *optional*

what to do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined and it forms into a ball. Lightly dust surface & rolling pin and roll out to about 1/4" thick to fit a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 14-16 minutes - until dough is set (not sticky) but still somewhat soft. Take out of oven, then turn down oven to 250 degrees.

Cut into strips, then into little squares - whatever size you'd like. Pile all the pieces back on to the cookie sheet, spread out, and put back in oven to dry out and get crunchy.

After a couple hours, turn oven off and leave cookies in oven. Or if your dog prefers softer treats, you can take them out earlier - and keep in a sealed container in the fridge. If it's super dried out, they'll keep longer even just at room temp.



Announcing BarkStar Daily Digs!

We're excited to introduce BarkStar Daily Digs - limited edition deals for urban dogs in the know! When we come across amazing deals on great products, this is our way of sharing the love.

A few times a week, we'll be posting up a special offer that is valid for a limited amount of time. If you see something you like, just make the purchase right on the Daily Digs site, select which BWH location you'll be picking it up from, then just bring your receipt into the shop to pick up your find!

You won't see the special offer in the shop - just on Daily Digs. From time to time, we'll also offer deals from other doggie businesses too. If you'd like to be in the loop of what's going on on Daily Digs, be sure to join us on Facebook or to be notified by weekly e-mails, send a note to info@bowwowhaus.ca with "subscribe daily digs" in the subject line.

Have a look at what's available now on Daily Digs!

Hello, Monday :: Chelsea!

Every Monday, we'll introduce you to one of the people (or doggies) that make up BWH - staff, owners, doggies, suppliers, service providers, designers & more. We kick off the series with Chelsea!

Tell us a bit about you! What do you do at BWH?
My name is Chelsea, I am the assistant manager of BWH West End, and I am also the owner of Confident Canine Obedience. As a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, I lead all of the obedience classes for all three Bow Wow Haus locations.

How did you decide to become a dog trainer? What do you like most about being a dog trainer?
That's a good question! When I finished my Bachelor's Degree at the U of A, I realised that I wasn't super excited to find work as a Lab Tech in Genetic research, so I started looking for other work related to the Life Sciences. By chance I started working in retail in pet stores, and absolutely fell in love with all the little four legged customers who came in! My own dog, Ruby (a 7 year old Golden) taught me that with a little patience and tons of consistency, you can really teach a dog a lot. Since then, I went to Canada West Canine Center to pursue certification as a Professional Pet Dog Trainer - and have been teaching dog obedience ever since! What I love most about training dogs is really the pride I see in their people when they watch their dogs learning new skills! It is such a rewarding feeling to know that people are graduating from my classes with a solid understanding and respect for how clever their little buddy truly is!
Tell us about your dog, Roxie!
Roxie is a little Chi mix who originally came from California. Pamela's Dogs, a local rescue group responsible for rescuing hundreds of little doggies from high-kill shelters in California rescued her. She was a stray, believe it or not?! I adopted her at the beginning of February this year. Her best trick is probably her Jump on command, and her best talent is definitely looking cute for treats!

What's Roxie's fave treat or toy?
Her favorite treats right now are the Merrick Lamb Lungs! She loves anything meaty! And her favorite toys are stuffies that she can practice her kill-shake... I think she thinks she's finally gonna get a squirrel one day and likes to stay in practice :)

Your fave dog-friendly spot in the city?
I really love walking along the sea-wall, hanging out at any of the Bow Wow Haus locations, and we really like meeting the other dogs at the Kits dog beach.

One thing you wish you knew before getting a dog?
I don't think anyone ever knows how much patience it is going to take to assimilate a dog into their life. I always think it will be easier than it ever is when I get a new dog, but it takes patience. Dogs don't operate on a schedule that is divided into days and weeks, but if you are kind and consistent your dog will settle into her new life with you and you will both find a great deal of happiness in each other.

Best training tip/advice?
Be patient! Your dog is smart, but learning can be tough for all of us! Be consistent and keep training sessions short and practice them frequently!


Volunteering... with your dog!

Looking for volunteer positions that you can do with your doggie? Here are a few ideas:

1. BC Pets & Friends - Friendly Visiting Team
Some info from their website:
"What We Do
Pets and Friends provides free pet visitation, on an individual or group basis, to long-term care facilities in the Lower Mainland. We screen and train dogs and cats and their people to interact with the disabled, elderly, chronically ill and mentally ill in an institutional setting. Pet visitation helps relieve stress, increase optimism and address the basic human need for companionship (positive interaction, physical affection and acceptance). It also helps residents who have recently lost their independence to make the transition to facility living.

How It Works
Pets and Friends screens and trains volunteer pet-owner teams and then helps them select the facilities they will visit regularly for at least a year. During a typical visit, a volunteer team spends about an hour interacting with residents, who quickly form a heartfelt connection with the companion animal. Conversation flows and spirits are noticeably lifted. We make a point of visiting on a regular schedule to maximize residents’ sense of security and promote a positive outlook. "

2. St John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program

"St. John Ambulance knows, many people can benefit physically and emotionally from regular contact with the unconditional love of a dog.

St. John Ambulance’s Therapy Dog Services takes a volunteer and their dog into hospitals, seniors' residences or nursing homes on a weekly basis. Partnerships have been established in these kinds of settings, where people are often restricted from having pets, to make the Therapy Dog visitation easier and on a regular basis."

3. Become a Foster Home for a Rescued Dog

The small doggie rescue that we work with - Pamela's Dogs - is currently recruiting for loving foster homes for dogs while they wait to meet their forever homes. If you are able to provide patient, gentle care for a dog in need, your foster dog will be provided with all the food & veterinary care required. Several of us at bow wow haus have fostered dogs and have had them anywhere between 3 days to 3 weeks. Personally, we found that the presence of other happy, well-adjusted dogs in our family seemed to ease the stress for our foster dogs. An amazing experience to make a huge impact on a doggie's life.

Do you have any ideas to share on how to involve your doggie in your volunteer work? We'd love to hear your suggestions.

Revisiting some of our fave Ask an Expert Q&As

We're busily working on our fall/winter editorial calendar, and in planning our future posts, we got to reading some of our previous Q+A posts and found some gems! Here are a few that we especially liked:

Teaching your dog a great "Watch Me" command - useful for teaching focus, but also comes in handy for taking great pics! :)

Introducing a new baby to your doggie - some great tips for helping to ensure a smooth transition for your pooch and babe

Preventing happy pee leaks - enough said!

We sometimes hear from customers that their dogs don't like to play. If it doesn't come naturally for your pooch - here are some tips for encouraging play!

Finally, if our recent cool weather is inspiring you to bake, how about some treats for your doggie?

Enjoy - and we'll be back with a new post soon!

a little peek behind the scenes @ bwh

This morning, I visited a well-established natural pet supply store in Seattle - a cute, small shop, but one of at least fifteen in their growing chain of stores. While I was browsing for a couple different treats to bring home for my doggies, I saw a great selection of natural remedies and healthy treats - but then came across icky rawhides and some green chews with a very questionable track record. When I commented on this to the store staff person, she agreed that they think it's crap but that lots of people buy them.

I drove away reflecting on how we choose what we sell or don't sell. Of course people can and will choose what they want for their own dogs. But, given that the shop had done a really great job of branding themselves as an authority on natural pet care, how many customers shop there trusting that there has been some product screening done for them? At BWH, we have a few set self-imposed "rules" - (ie. we don't sell food products that contain wheat, corn or soy, nor food products made in Asia)... but at the end of the day, our commitment to you is that we won't sell you things we wouldn't feel great about offering to our own canine family members.

Did you know that before (most) new products hit our shelves, we've been testing them in our homes for weeks and sometimes months?

'Tis the season of the largest trade shows in the pet industry, and my dresser at home
currently holds no fewer than 8 different all natural shampoos, samples from 6 or 7 new treat lines, and a huge basket of product brochures to review. We've been so busy attending shows, testing samples, reading reviews and chatting with designers, manufacturers & distributors so that we can feel confident and happy with what we have for all of you to pick from.

Tonight, I have a cosmopolitan cocktail-scented Leia (a not yet available sample) and a gleaming, extra-shiny Bruce Lee (bathed in our new black-coat enhancing shampoo - LOVE it!!) drying off next to me after their baths. I'd like to think our doggies take their product tester roles very seriously, but they most likely just love the constant stream of new treats and toys... maybe not so much the shampoos & ear washes... (here's Leia getting a bath - not looking impressed!).

We stay motivated because we love finding the next best thing for our dogs (and yours!) - and all of us get really excited when we find something really special. Keep an eye out for new goodies arriving in our shops every week!


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