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6 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About a Dog’s Sense of Smell

Dog noses aren’t just cute, but they are also a very powerful organ. Yes, we all know that a dog’s sense of smell is more powerful than our own, but here are 6 bits of information from the experts that will put their sniffing power into perspective…and possibly make more interesting conversation at your next dinner party.

A dog’s nose has two functions—one for smell and one for respiration. According to researchers, a canine’s nose has the ability to separate air. A portion goes directly to the olfactory sensing area (which distinguishes scents), while the other portion is dedicated to breathing.

Dogs can smell up to 100,000 times better than a human. Michael T. Nappier, DVM, DABVP, of the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, puts this tidbit into perspective with an awe-inspiring analogy. “A dog’s sense of smell is its most powerful sense,” he says. “It is so sensitive that [dogs can] detect the equivalent of a 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.”

Dog’s have a special scent-detecting organ that humans don’t have. This is called the vomeronasal (say that five times fast) organ. Its function is to help canines detect pheromones, chemicals released by animals that affect other members of the same species. This organ plays an important role in reproduction and other aspects of canine physiology and behavior.

Your dog’s nose is uniquely shaped. Every single dog in the world has a totally unique nose print, just like humans have a totally unique fingerprint.

Dogs smell in 3-D. Dogs can smell separately with each nostril. Just as our eyes compile two slightly different views of the world, and our brain combines them to form a 3-D picture, a dog’s brain uses the different odor profiles from each nostril to determine exactly where smelly objects are in the environment.

A dog’s sense of smell can pick up fear, anxiety and even sadness. The flight-or-fight hormone, adrenaline, is undetectable by our noses, but dogs can apparently smell it. In addition, fear or anxiety is often accompanied by increased heart rate and blood flow, which sends telltale body chemicals more quickly to the skin surface.

Surely now we may all think about our pup’s sense of smell the next time we come home from the gym before hitting the shower…

8 Summer Safety Tips for Your Dog

Dogs love summer just as much as we do, or at least until mid July when we have officially tired of the heat! For the most part, it’s the best time to be out enjoying our environment and activities that go along with summer.

If you plan to let your dog be part of these activities, always keep in mind that warm weather can be dangerous. Because dogs don’t sweat quite the same way we do, it is much easier for them to overheat. Keep reading to learn more summer safety tips to keep your pet safe and happy!

1. NEVER leave your dog in a hot car.

This is the most obvious tip, and we know you’ve heard it before. Still, in certain heat, it only takes a few minutes for a dog to develop heat stroke and suffocate in a car. If you are driving around with your dog, make sure that they have access to water and always take them with you when you leave your car.

2. Keep your dog’s paws protected from summer heat.

Paws are built to be strong and resilient, but they are not match for hot surfaces like asphalt or metal. Surfaces can get dangerously hot with the summer sun beating down on them, and this can burn your dogs paws. The heat from surfaces also increases body temperature. If a surface is too hot for you to touch, we recommend keeping your dog off of it.

3. Protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

An unprotected dog is at risk for heartworm, Lyme Disease, and other dangerous conditions. Friendly reminder; many of these diseases can be caught by humans too!

4. Always have drinking water and shade accessible to your dog.

When dogs get hot, they get much thirstier than we do! Other than panting heavily and drinking water, dogs cannot cool down like we can. Keep your pet in the shade for breaks from the sun, even if your dog likes to sunbathe. This will keep them from overheating.

5. Don’t assume your dog can swim well.

Pool days are the highlights of summer, but just because dogs instinctively know how to swim, that doesn’t mean they are good at it. Keep your pool covered or gated when no one is in it and never let your dog swim alone!

6. If there’s no fence, keep your dog on a leash.

Summer also brings out all sorts of other animals. Keep your dog on a leash to prevent them from getting distracted and running away from you! Understand your dog’s tendencies but be overly cautious in new environment. A strong and reliable leash is important, check out our favorite designer leashes here.

7. Keep windows screened during the summer.

We open our windows more in the summer and this is an opportunity for your dog to jump out of an un-screened window.  Only keep open windows that are protected by screens.

8. Protect your dog from sunburn.

You may not realize that dogs can get sunburns too! Most susceptible to sunburn are breeds with short or light colored hair. We are all familiar with how painful a sunburn can be, and this is the same for your dog. Over exposure to sun can also lead to skin cancer in your pup too. Discuss sunscreen with your veterinarian if your dog could be exposed to excess sun this summer!


Every Week Is Bring Your Dog To Work Week Here

If you’ve been to our social media pages (you totally should) , then you can certainly recall that we have at least couple of precious doggie faces and wagging tails running around the office. That’s because a huge part of our day to day life here at Unleashed Life involves our beloved pups by our sides. Our reasoning is simple – our dogs bring out the best in us.

When our owners and founders bought a dilapidated downtown building many years ago, they had a grand vision of turning it into one of Springfield’s finest destinations, not only for us human folk, but for those of the canine persuasion.

From the very beginning it was clear that dogs would be part of the business – sometimes we’re convinced that they think they run the place – but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our building is now a downtown destination that people come from all over to see. One surprise that visitors always comment on is how we’ve included our dogs into the design of the building. Creating a thoughtful space for employees to bring their dogs to work was a priority. This is showcased by our wide halls, doggie lounging areas, and secure outdoor activity spots that include a rooftop deck and dog run.

The culture of our company wouldn’t be the same without the wagging tails and puppy dog eyes staring up at us as we sit at our desks. Indeed, the love we feel from our pets has inspired each of us to work harder and work with patience and kindness.

Anderson Collection: Why We Love It

We love all of our designer dog bowls collections, but the Anderson Collection stands out from the others in a big way. We have two words for you, acacia wood.

The Anderson bowls are made from 100% natural acacia wood. Are you unsure why we’re so excited about that? Read on to learn why!

Acacia wood is a type of wood that is derived from the Acacia genus of trees and shrubs which are native to Australia but are also found in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and parts of the Americas. What makes it so special are its natural properties that make it incredibly durable and eco friendly.

One of acacia wood’s most notable qualities is the fact that it’s naturally water resistant. A great deal of outdoor furniture and dishes are made of acacia, so it was an obvious choice for us to make a dog bowl from it! Because it is resistant to water, the wood also doesn’t warp – another great trait.

An added bonus of acacia wood is that it’s naturally anti-bacterial. This makes it perfect for keeping food and water in for humans AND dogs.

Not only does the Anderson collection impress us with its resistant qualities, we also love the way it looks. It is deep brown in color with an attractive natural grain, giving a warm, rich touch to the bowls. The natural finish is the perfect addition to you and your pet’s home.




Why Is Your Dog Moving Their Food Away From Their Bowl?

Does your dog take a mouthful of food and take it to another place to eat away from the bowl? Maybe you have a dog that also doesn’t like to eat in front of you? This is a common thing dogs do, but often leaves us scratching our heads. Why do they do this?

We did some research and experts agree that pack mentality is the main reason why some dogs exhibit this behavior. This is part of your dog’s instinct that remains from their natural pack mentality. Depending on the breed and training of your pup, this instinct may be stronger. Before dogs were domesticated they really had to fight for their food. They hunted in groups and feeding time could become quite the frenzy, think of a pack of wolves hunting their prey. Your dog is saying, “This is mine. Don’t take it” when he moves that food away.

In households that have more than one dog, or any pet, this behavior is more common. If the behavior bothers you, one solution to try is to feed your pets at different intervals. This may help them feel less protective over their food as they won’t feel threatened that another animal will try to steal their meal.

Research shows that pack mentality is the most common reason dogs move their food from their bowls, but there may be other reasons. Is your dog moving their food to be closer to you? This could simply mean that your dog is lonely and wants to be near you when they eat. Dogs long for companionship and this may just be a way of showing they like to be near you.

Does your dog do this when they eat? Hopefully this little bit of insight will help you understand the reason better.



Product Spotlight: The Wooster Collection

It’s the time of year when most of us are trying to spend as much time outside as possible, including our pups! That’s why we’re so excited about one of newest collections, Wooster. The Wooster dog bowl collection is special because it can be used indoors AND outdoors! Tailored, modern and devilishly handsome, much like its namesake, the Wooster collection gets noticed. This cast concrete dog feeder has a matte finish that makes it perfect for all design styles.

Wooster is our first collection designed with the outdoors specifically in mind. Having the option of setting them outside makes summer fun even easier, no more taking a break from the outdoors to let Fido have a drink. Cheers to the best summer ever!


Also, be sure to check out our last blog post on getting your backyard summer ready for your pets by clicking here.

Backyard Safety Checklist

The warm weather is finally among us, and the great outdoors is calling. Your pup is probably just as excited to enjoy the weather outside as you are. This part of the year is the perfect time to make sure your yard is just as ready as your dog is. We’ve gathered tips and advice to create a backyard safety list to help you keep your dog safe and sound, check it out!


A Backyard Safety Checklist

Before you let your dog loose in your fenced-in yard, it’s important to consider any potential hazards. Check for these common threats:


The experts at Ceasar’s Way stress the importance of a secure fence. A complete fence will protect your dog from others and its innate desire to wander off. Ensure your perimeter is secure and free from gaps and holes in fencing and walls. Check for lose slats in wooden fences, and ensure the latches on your gate work properly. Take the extra step to fasten it with a lock.


Take the time to ensure that all chemicals are safely stored and out of reach of your dog. This includes fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides, paint and paint thinner, antifreeze, and any other potentially hazardous chemicals. If you wouldn’t ingest it yourself, it should be kept well out of your puppy’s reach. Keep your veterinarian’s number readily available in case of poisoning.


Some of gardeners’ most beloved flowers and bushes, including tulip and daffodil bulbs, are harmful when ingested by dogs. Doing a little research on the plants in your yard will help keep your dog from eating a plant that may be harmful.

Pools/hot tubs

Most dogs love to swim, but sometimes the high walls of these swimming pools are too high for them to climb out safely. Always make sure to cover or fence in your pool.

Following this simple checklist will allow you to keep your pet safe and give you peace of mind while they are out romping around in the grass.


How to Choose the Right Dog Food

Our designer dog bowls add style and finesse to your life, but what you put inside them is even more important. Today’s dog food market is over saturated with options and in a perfect world all dog food would be created equal, but it’s not. Instead dog owners are overwhelmed with options that all claim to be the best. It’s important to your dog’s health that you pay attention to what you’re buying and feeding them. Here are some tips to help you make the decision on what dog food is best for you and your pet.

Most people feed their dogs processed kibble or wet food. These processed foods might not be appealing to us, but they contain all of the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy. Most quality commercial foods are highly regulated and have undergone rigorous testing by veterinary specialists. So what exactly is in these foods?

Dogs, unlike cats, are not strict carnivores. While meat makes up the majority of their diet, domestic dogs also derive nutrients from grains, fruits, and vegetables. These non-meat foods are not simply fillers. They are a valuable source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good dog food will contain meat, vegetables, grains, and fruits. The best dog foods contain high-quality versions of these ingredients that are appropriate for your dog’s digestive system.

The best dog food for your canine companion should meet their nutritional needs. While most commercial dog food brands are specially formulated with at least the minimum nutritional requirements for dogs, it is important to remember that not every dog has the same nutritional needs.

If your dog has an allergy of any kind or requires a special diet, the best advice will come from your veterinarian. As we said before, not all dog foods are created equal and not all of dog’s nutritional needs are created equal. When choosing a dog food, always listen to your vet’s recommendations.

So, what do you do when you’re at the store confronted by an aisle of options that all look the same on the outside? Read the labels! This can be confusing because of the way ingredients are listed as some are made to purposefully confuse you. So here are a few things to look out for on the packaging…

Choose a food with a meat or meat meal as the first ingredient. For example, if chicken fat is listed seventh, the ingredients prior to that are the major ingredients. Those after are secondary. Watch out for the names and description on the package of dog food. For instance, a product called “Doggy Dinner with Liver Flavoring” might have only a small amount of flavoring since a certain percentage is not required. Calculating the “real” amount of each guaranteed analysis can tricky. Manufacturers can be deceptive, using high quality ingredients that contain a lot of water and therefore save them money.

Other Tips

  • Avoid preservatives and additives – they have been shown to cause health problems in dogs.
    Look for Vitamin E and C; they are natural, healthful preservatives.
  • Look for Omega-3; it is good for your dog’s coat.
  • Some dog owners prefer to look for “human-grade” food in their dog food. This simply means the food is purchased from human-grade food facilities.
  • Look for natural and/or organic ingredients. A dog food package labeled “Natural” doesn’t mean it’s true.
  • Avoid corn, cornmeal, soy and wheat. These are difficult for dogs to digest and can cause allergies.
    Instead, choose your grains from barley, rolled oats, millet, quinoa, and brown rice.



Doggy Raincoats for Spring

It’s finally spring, though many of us still feel like winter just won’t go away. It has been rainy and dreary outside of our office for most of the week, and this week is looking no different. Of course, that’s what spring is all about…rain. As dog lovers and owners, we’re all too familiar with the pains of walking a dog in the rain. Your pup doesn’t like it any more than you do. The next time you wake up to a spring shower, don’t just put on your raincoat, get Fido dressed for the weather too.

Dog raincoats may just sound like a novelty, but veterinarians actually recommend raincoats for smaller breeds of dogs and those with little or no fur. The raincoat not only keeps them from getting wet, but also keeps them warm. Nobody likes being caught outside in the cold rain, not even dogs. When a dog is wet and cold
their immune system may be stressed and they may be more vulnerable to respiratory infections and other illnesses. Raincoats are especially important for dogs who reside in a region that sees a lot of rainfall, like Seattle.


Checkout our selection of raincoats to keep your dog looking great, but most importantly: feeling great.

See more raincoats and doggy apparel here!

6 Ways To Be A Responsible Dog Owner

Owning a dog is very rewarding, but also a huge responsibility. Being sure that you’re a responsible dog owner will keep your dog happy and healthy, plus make things smoother for you! Doing these 6 things will keep ensure that you’re doing the right thing with your pup!


Many items that are used to baby proof your home can be used for pet proofing as well. Safety locks for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, power outlet covers, and a containment system for your electrical cords can keep many household hazards out of your dogs reach.

You should also keep anything that’s valuable or dangerous to your dog out of reach. Dogs have been known to eat everything from designer shoes and handbags to cleaning products. You can keep these things out of reach by putting them up high, using dog-proof containers, keeping doors closed, or using a baby gate.


Dogs love to roam, despite our best efforts to keep tabs on them. In the event that you lose your dog, an I.D. tag may be your only method of finding them. This also helps to bring them home quickly as those who find your adventurer will be able to contact you quickly and easily. We also reccomend looking into getting your dog chipped.


Basic obedience training is a must for your dog’s safety and your peace of mind. Unwanted behaviors like jumping and chasing cars or animals can be easily avoided or remedied with basic obedience training.

These are issues of safety for your dog and those around them. Basic manners also make them much more pleasant to be around. You can take them more places, and you don’t have to worry about locking them away when you have visitors when they are properly trained.


Just like people, dogs require exercise for optimal mental and physical health. The amount of exercise your dog needs will depend on their breed, age, and level of physical fitness.

Dogs that don’t get enough exercise will find a way to work off that excess energy, usually in an undesirable way. They may become aggressive, bark frequently, or destroy things around the house. There’s also an increased risk of health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and arthritis.

Walking is a great exercise for you and your dog. Playing fetch is another way for them to get some physical activity. Don’t forget to exercise their mind as well. Consider getting a food puzzle for times when they are on their own for a significant period of time.


Regular check ups can help keep your dog healthy. Vet check ups ensure that your dog is up to date on vaccines and other preventative medications. It’s also the best way to detect a disease in the early stages before it has a significant impact on your pet’s health. It’s recommended that your dog sees the vet at least once each year.


Socialization is an often overlooked component to a happy and healthy pet. Socialized dogs are better able to deal with new circumstances, and vet and grooming appointments are much smoother. Properly socialized dogs get along well with other people, other animals, and new situations.

You can socialize your dog with socialization classes or puppy play dates. Exposing them to the world and new people is also essential. The earlier you socialize them in a controlled environment the less likely for them to develop behavioral problems as they grow up.

Being a responsible pet owner allows you and your pet to get hit most out of life. You can avoid many common problems and hazards by being responsible and taking proper care of your dog.

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