Sleep Rover's Winter Essentials - Jan 2018

We at #sleeproverdogboutique - carry amazing outerwear for dogs!  Quality, well thought out and stylish!

Our newest addition is Hurtta from Finland!  

We also carry Canada Pooch, RC Pets, Milk & Pepper, Chilly Dog Sweaters, FabDog and our Winter Essentials Feature this month - Ruffwear!

Click on the link's below to be directed to the website for more info.  Our very own Dot is modelling our largest Fernie Sweater in Larkspur Purple, Polar Trex Boots to protect her feet (that actually stay on!) and a Handsfree Roamer Leash to keep your human hands warm!

winter essentials.jpg

Holiday Shopping Suggestions for that Dog Lover!

Sometimes it is hard to purchase a gift for that person in your life, however if they love dogs like we do - getting a gift for them to spoil Rover, might be a good idea!

At Sleep Rover, our love of anything awesome for dogs, is our passion.  Our manager Amanda and I, attend a yearly conference, to see what is new, what is great and what is needed, in all dogs lives!  #sleeproverdogboutique - stocking the best for dogs, in treats, food and apparel.  Take a quick peek in our boutique with this video!

OUR GIFT CHOICE for under $30

If you want to keep it simple, everyone needs a dog tag!  Do a combo of treat & tag combo.  


We brought in the MY FAMILY ID TAGS from Italy- so that you can personally engrave your own dog tag at Sleep Rover.  A great gift combo is having a dog tag chosen, engraved, and wrapped with ribbon around a bully stick.  We were super choosy about which company to bring in, and the quality of tags, the variety and ease of use for this was hands down the best.  Pair it with the company that gives back, a Canadian Company, HERO DOG treats!  Read about this amazing company.

OUR GIFT CHOICE for under $100

Amanda's choice this holiday season is outerwear.  Her goal for the Fall/Winter 2017 season was to bring in as many stylish and quality outerwear for all dog lovers.  Whether you choose the more affordable sweaters from Chilly Dog Sweaters - to the Canadian Weather Inspired Canada Pooch - and the top notch, fully warrantied Ruffwear Dog Performance Gear - we got you covered!

Her top 3 choices from the 3 companies are:

Cozy Sweaters

Holiday themed sweater - large enough to fit her boy Molson, but small enough to fit a chihuahua - here is the Chilly Dog Peppermint Holiday Sweater!  Model is Molson @bigandfluffycrew

Brave Canada Winters

When you have no fur, you need to be protected from the elements - such as snow, wind and keeping dry.  This fleeced choice by Canada Pooch Summit Vest (in 3 colors) is popular - as it fits large chested dogs as well!  Model is Shogun @joycekao_sr

Great Alone or Layered

Ruffwear preps your outdoor loving dogs for the elements.  The very popular Overcoat is great on its own, with the tough exterior, warm fleece interior - BUT easily layered onto their Cloud Chaser and Front Range Harness!  Model is Alexus @alexusthepupper


Lastly, our third choice - is a SPLURGE!  Every spoiled dog has a fancy bed.  Not only does it add a hint of style to your home decor, it is the best way to pamper Rover.  I mean they spend a lot of time sleeping!  We are so lucky that one of the best dog beds is made by a Canadian Company called Bowsers!  The most popular styles are the Piazza and Donut Beds - however their newest style, the Divine Futon is a great mix of both!  Those new fabrics are to die for - and look at how happy Bourbon is!  When you order through Sleep Rover, you save on shipping!


We hope we helped make some of your choices easier!  Do not miss out on our Rover Market, dated December 3rd from 1pm to 4pm at Sleep Rover!  Local Vendors will be showing their wares for sale - AND we will have some amazing in store specials!

However if you do not want to miss out on select items, come soon, before they are sold out!

Happy Shopping!

7th Annual Operation Santa Paws - How Can You Help Make a Difference?

It does not matter how much you donate, to make a difference.  It is the thought and efforts that count, that mean the most.

Little Things Make Big Things Happen!

Whether you can donate $1, or $100 - you can help even if you have no funds, by sharing this post to other animal loving people.  That itself, is a form of donation.  Another way you can help, is to gather your co-workers, friends, people at the gym, or family together.  Sweat equity is sometimes more important, than the actual monetary donations.

Each one of you, can help make a difference, this holiday season, for these animals in need.

This year, we have added Saving Grace Animal Sanctuary.  Their philosophy is quite like Heaven Can Waits - they take on cases, that some rescues are unable to.  Therefore they have longer staying animals, sometimes with health issues, behavior issues etc.  

Long term residents at these rescues, not only cost daily on food and resources, but man power and utilities - including laundry, training and ongoing medical bills that pile up.

Not only does Saving Grace house dogs and cats - they also take on livestock.  

So with the 3 rescues we have chosen, you have 3 different ways to help out:

1.  HEAVEN CAN WAIT Sponsor a pet - Check out their profiles on our Facebook Page, and gather the items with your family, friends or co-workers.  Bring the finished package to Sleep Rover, and we will be delivering these gifts, to High River -  check out last years delivery here:

2.  ALBERTA SPAY & NEUTER TASK FORCE:  Fill the Bin - As Winter is usually the end of all their hard work at local communities - the Task Force is looking for more tiny items.  We set aside a huge bin at Sleep Rover - to which you all may fill up with their needs for 2018!  Stationary items are huge as well.  The list is below:


3.  SAVING GRACE ANIMAL SANCTUARY:  Buy a Bulb - Saving Grace recently attained another building to house more animals.  With that, they need a few items to furnish this facility - to run efficiently.  Funds towards a new washer/dryer, Pee Pads, Buckets for livestock, monetary donations to help with their outstanding vet bills, dog food, cat food, hay bails etc.  You can find these bulbs at Sleep Rover, hanging on our trees.  Just pluck one, and pay at the till, and your monetary donation will be tabulated.  Amanda & I will then purchase the items and deliver to them - and we will vlog the whole process!

We look forward to another successful year.  This event is great to share with your friends, family and co-workers - no need to do it alone!  Not only does it bring us all together, it puts more hearts, hands and love into the project.  THAT is what the holidays is all about. 

Giving not just material things, to others, but sharing the moment together.

I know our girls - especially Amanda (tis her season!), put countless, endless hours, on getting this event together.  It fills our building with Holiday Cheer.  The love spreads like wild fire, and we are so happy, to be able to share this, with all of you!  Images designed by the amazing and talented Nandi!


Happy 8th Birthday Sleep Rover - Client Slideshow

Everyone in Calgary from 2015 to 2016, felt the depths of the economic crisis.  Closed businesses, lost jobs, reduced wages, increase minimum wage, gas utility increases etc.

With everyone's support - we thank you - for keeping us afloat - and here, celebrate our 8th birthday.

2015 was the year we chose to move as well - and a few bad decisions on my part - landed us a stressful 2016 at Sleep Rover, to which our existence was wavering on a teeter totter (do they even make those anymore?).

Check out Sleep Rover's journey over the years with this video:


In September, we asked all our clients to submit to us, their top 8 things they love about us (Sleep Rover), and how long they have been with us!  Here are the wonderful submissions & personally chosen photos, that truly warm our heart.  We appreciate you all, and will use these 'loves' to push to our 10th birthday - to keep growning.  Thank you for all the kind words and submissions to Carling for our 2017 SlideShow - check out these superstars:

Alberta Dog Friendly Hikes - Cox Hill Ridge *RANKED* Moderate

TIME:  4 hours round trip - Took us 5 hours

Bathrooms (non flush) and Ground Water available

Bathrooms (non flush) and Ground Water available

I jumped the gun, and recommended on easy by the super fit dog walker Sharyl with Adventures in Dog Walking - went to Cox Hill Ridge.  It is a far cry from our Grassi Lakes 'stroll in the park'.  I would suggest doing a few shorter mountains first before this 'hill'.  It is quite steep and at 14km round trip - it is quite long.  The description advises the hard stuff is in the beginning, however the whole hike was a climb upwards and some loose and jagged rocks near the top.  Hiking sticks and boots highly recommended.

To get here from Calgary is a quick hour drive off Highway #1.  You take the Sibbald Creek Highway 68 turnoff and drive down some rocky roads.  You will be making a left onto Powder Trail into a valley, drive a few more mins and make a left, before the gates, at DAWSON RECREATION AREA.  If you want to make it a weekend trip, you can also camp at the parking lot by the creek.  It is noted that you can also fish here.

We started the hike early on this Mothers Day - arrived at the parking lot by 9am.  Weather was perfect at 12 degrees C with a light breeze and probably hit closer to 5 degrees near the top.  Layer up!  The bridge is at the beginning of the pathway and offers a great view of the creek, where you can picnic at.  Make sure to follow the human sign and not the horse sign.  You will be taking the Cox Trail.  There are plenty of spots to rest - which we did plenty, being out of shape.  It is greatly shaded if you go in the summer.  There is no water on the way up, so make sure to pack enough water.

The 2 hours hike up was quite steep and tough - with the first hour covering most of the incline.  The last 30 minutes were still quite tough, as the trail winded down in width.  


The View

Remember to stay on leash to be safe and to respect nature!

You do not get the satisfaction view, till you hit the top - so do not give up!  When you think you have made it, you just have to keep going.

Video below:

Alberta Dog Friendly Hikes - Grassi Lakes Canmore *Ranked EASY*

Take some time for yourself and head up to the mountains to get some fresh air and relax with the scenery.  Bring a friend for a nice chat - or, if you have a dog, even better.  

Something about water and mountains that relaxes the body.  Shogun @ Grassi Lakes

Something about water and mountains that relaxes the body.  Shogun @ Grassi Lakes

You will come back refreshed and relaxed.  Sometimes you just need to unwind and enjoy the bigger picture - nature.

TIME:  2 hours round trip on EASY trail

We started the year off with a super easy hike only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Calgary - north of Canmore.  It is super popular, because it is gorgeous, and super short and easy to get to.  The paths are well marked and wide enough for your dogs.  They do have a portapotty at the base of the hill.  

Going early is important, as because it is popular, you can bet that by 11am - you will struggle to find parking.  We left Calgary late however, assuming as it was chillier today at 8 degrees, there would be less people.  We arrived at around 1030am and it was pretty empty, around 10 vehicles, and as you can tell, there was still some snow on the paths.

This is one of my fave websites for Alberta Hikes, it is more old school:  TRAIL PEAK

However this is a newer one called ALL TRAILS with maps included and more updated reviews.

The lake is beautiful and the view is amazing.  You arrive at the lake and there are benches for you to rest, snack and enjoy the view.  For easy hikers, you make a quick loop around and head back down the same path to the parking lot.

If you like a challenge, up the Lake is a steep path marked difficult.

Up this path is a super steep set of stairs

We love this hike as the end result is beautiful, and it is not strenuous.  You also get your 10,000 steps for the day and come back happy and fulfilled.  Happy dogs, happy life!

NO NEW DOG TRIALS for April 2017

For the first time in 7 years, I make this difficult decision, to stop any more new dogs from booking trials with Sleep Rover.

Since our first Facebook Post in February - there has been an alarming amount of dogs, reporting that their dogs have Kennel Cough for the month of March 2017.  We usually average 1 or 2 per season (Spring/Fall) - but within March, we have hit almost 16 dogs.  Although we cannot pinpoint blame on any one dog ( as sometimes dogs who do NOT show symptoms, can carry the virus ), we can stop it where possible.  Being an airborne virus, it is pretty difficult to 100% rid - but we have been very lucky, the last 7 years, to not see much of it!

The common line with all 16 dogs - is they are new to Sleep Rover within the last year, more so, 12 of them are new for 2017.

With us averaging 10 new dogs per week - many dogs have either:

1)  Recently received their Bordetella shot, read more here by Dr. Dobias - how dogs can go without the Bordetella shot and NOT get Kennel Cough (like 3 of my own, who knock on wood, have not gotten the cough).  Whereas ones that 'just got the shot' to attend a kennel, or are a puppy, get it within a week to 2 later:;

2)  Or have not built immunity to the virus yet, therefore showing symptoms, and spreading it.

Although we take precautions every season, with our large Make Up Air Unit and cleaning throughout the day - this airborne virus has become a nuisance to our new clients for the month of March.

Besides breaking our hearts (and yours, hearing your babies cough), and having the virus linger during this FLU Season, we have decided to stop all new dogs from booking for new trials, till we are in the clear.

We have not seen any regular clients come up with symptoms, as most of them, have developed immunity to the virus over the years.

Whether there is a new strain starting, or our new clients have never frequented kennels/offleash parks etc. before, we are not sure.

We just want to be safe.  YES it is not mandatory at Sleep Rover to have Bordetella shots yearly, and it has worked wonders over the last 7 years.  However with that being said, 14 of the 16 dogs infected, all had their Bordetella Shots.  As this is a touchy subject, just like the flu shot, we always leave that choice, to you, the parent.

Please stay tuned to when we lift this NO TRIAL alarm.  We are hoping for May 1st.

We are sorry for this inconvenience, but having one of our younger new clients suffer from pneumonia on the weekend and many of you calling this week to inform that your dog is ill, was enough for us to make this difficult decision.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.   We are always hear to give suggestions including what to do, during flu season, to make sure Rover, can pass the season unharmed.  This includes Oil of Oregano in the beginning of the season, bone broth soups to rinse out their system and extra nutrition added to their meals.

All new clients, your trials will be cancelled for April.  Please do reschedule for May when possible.  Exceptions can be made for dogs, who have frequented other dog facilities in the past, and built immunity to the virus.  Noting you have the Bordetella shot, will not be accepted for new dog trials.

We will be cracking down on ANY hacking or coughing motions by your dog.  YOU MUST pick up your dog immediately and not be allowed to return till your have a vet clear, OR 2 weeks, whichever is sooner.

Calgary Spring Weather Cautions

Lice?  Tummy issues?  Eye irritations.

I wrote this back in March of 2015 - and thought I would transfer to our new site here for our new clients!  

Spring type weather (which we in Calgary have been having for the last few months) - brings on some not so friendly issues.  

Guy & Charlie enjoying a meltdown at Sleep Rover Mar 2017

Guy & Charlie enjoying a meltdown at Sleep Rover Mar 2017

It is perfect weather for viruses and bacteria to spread and dust and allergens to fly around as they melt.

I decided to write a blog just as a prewarning to all dog owners.  It is the end of February, and a client approached me today, saying that there apparently is a Lice outbreak in Calgary.  I had not heard anything, however a few weeks ago, one of our regular clients did find lice on her dog.  He had long hair and was a big dog.  Being it was the only case, I just took note of it - but if it is seen by other facilities, I thought it would be a good idea to give everyone a heads up.

In our years of business- we rarely see Lice or Fleas - however it is the perfect weather for these parasites to appear.  I usually do recommend using Revolution during these times - ESPECIALLY if you have long and thick haired dogs.  

ALSO, if you are planning a long vacation for Rover during these seasons at Sleep Rover - a dose of Revolution in the beginning of the trip is also recommended to protect your dog.  

I do however believe that we do not need to vaccinate with Revolution monthly as noted by some vets.  Something that kills fleas, lice, heartworms etc - can not be that great for your dog.

I personally *knock on wood* have not had any of our dogs get either lice or fleas - and every year, we have less than 10 dogs a year that get it client wise at Sleep Rover - which is extremely low.  It is important to check over your dog regularly and note any extra itching and scratching.  You can check your dogs near the ears, the neck, the armpits - is where they are most commonly found.

Prevention during this time will save more hassle for you, compared to dealing with the infestation.

The infected dog advised us immediately and did remain at home for over a week and we at Sleep Rover, wash our bedding every day.  The chances of spreading and contamination are less - compared to the jumping fleas.

We also have noticed a few clients advise of their dog puking.  

Although some of the cases are from dogs eating melted snow, to rabbit feces - it is important to know - with melting snow - and dog licking paws etc - it is important to keep your dogs hydrated and consider giving them Bone Broth.  Read more here:

I have a dog poop eating girl - and what I like to use to rinse out her system, is a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar.  I would fast her for food in the morning and then give her Bone Broth for dinner.  After it is back to her regular feeding the next day.

Note that if your dog continues to puke non stop and display signs of lethargy within 24 hours - you need to rush them to the vet to insure that there are not any other underlying issues.  

Eye Irritations

This was the first year I have heard of snow mold!  What is snow mold??  I guess many humans get allergies during Spring because of it - and I would imagine - is the reason why some dogs get eye infections.

Of course dirt, dry weather - lots of things, will contribute to eye irritations!  Having some eye drops approved by your vet on hand - are great ways to moisturize and rinse out your dogs eyes to prevent any infections.

For me, I have basic saline solution on hand at all times for my dogs.  When they get extra discharge - I will start giving them eye drops just to moisturize and rinse out anything bothering their eyes and it usually goes away within a few days.

As noted, this is for the basic maintenance - if your dog shows more extreme signs, you will need to visit your vet.  Anything from eye detaching, tear ducts, to eye infections can get serious if not seen by a vet.  

If you have any experiences with the above or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Although these are inconveniences of having an active dog, it is important to let us know, so we may document and keep track of any occurrences, and of course, give you advice and suggestions.

How to Make Your Dog Toys YUMMY!

As Winter is on us full force, have you always wondered how to keep your dogs busy at home when they are not at Sleep Rover for daycare?  Have you ever wondered how to feed Rover something nutritious when you are in a rush and do not have time to feed them?

NOTE:  WITH ALL TOYS & CHEWS, supervision is important.  Cleaning each toy after food consumption is recommended.  Take away any broken pieces of the toy, although the toys listed below, are safe.

In this blog will be our top 3 toy choices (all available at your Sleep Rover Boutique), and our top 3 easy recipes.  

Our 3 choices to keep Rover busy with these delicious recipes are (the 3 are dishwasher safe as well):

1.  Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Diamond Plate

Here are some fun recipes to implement with some of our #sleeproverdogboutique toys!  Please note, do not not use these recipes if Rover has allergies to the ingredients.

Extend the chase and mental stimulation by making two of them, and hiding them in the home.  I love the hide and seek game with my dogs.  Just remember where you hide the items, in case Rover does not.

The best ingredients to use for the recipes are ones with no additives.  Less additives, preservatives and processing = less tummy upsets.  

Take note, as most of these items are perishable - you will need to freeze what you do not use, or put in the fridge for their life span.

Make a few of these in advance, for those busy mornings.  Just take it out of the freezer or fridge and off you go.  Please note the calorie intake on these treats.  These are treats, and not meal supplements.


Sometimes Mornings are Too Rushed


  • Plain oatmeal
  • Banana 
  • Blueberries
  • Honey (Manuka is a great one for healing qualities)
  • Coconut Oil
  1.  Prepare your plain unsweetened oatmeal according to the directions on the bag to yield a cup worth
  2.  Add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil (melted for ease) to hot oatmeal
  3.  Let Cool
  4.  Smash a few berries and 1/4 banana together
  5.  Fill the toy like a lasagna sheet, oatmeal first, berry/banana mixture *repeat*
  6.  Put in your refrigerator and allow it to cool (do not feed dogs hot food ever)
  7. For an extra challenge – freeze
  8. For an extra health boost, add Yogurt!

Pawesome Soup TOGO

When you are under the weather and need some comfort food!


  1. Cut up chicken into small pieces suited for your size of dog
  2. Add Mashed up Broccoli or Cooked Peas (your choice!) and Carrots
  3. Stuff chicken mixture into toy
  4. Fill remaining space with bone broth
  5. Plop that Bully Stick in the centre if you wish
  6. Freeze
  7. Want a boost - try Turmeric Paste in Broth
Works for Humans too!!

Works for Humans too!!

Yummy For My Tummy

Upset Tummy?  Need more Fibre?


  • Canned or fresh pumpkin puree
  • Rolled Oats (or you can substitute Rover's kibble)
  • Natural Peanut Butter (can substitute Yogurt)
  • Honey (Manuka Honey noted above is a great health booster)
  • Cinnamon 
  1. Mix 1 cup pumpkin, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 TSP Cinnamon, 3 TB Honey
  2. Add Rolled Oats (or kibble) in mixture
  3. Stuff into toy
  4. Can be frozen for an extra challenge!

Feel free to share your photo's of Rover enjoying their treat - with the hashtag #sleeproversquad and by tagging us @sleeprover!  For the month of February 2017 - mention this Blog and get 25% off the mentioned toys above!  While quantities last.

With Love, Joyce

Training, Important Tips to Master

Training is a faux pas to talk about - because there is never ONE RIGHT method.  For the trainers that believe their training methods are the one and only - well I truly believe, due to experience, that they are wrong.  So always keep an open mind and consider all methods, till it works for you.  Afterall - training is for you, not the dog.

Like humans, we all learn different - same goes with dogs.  To be honest, it is not the dog that needs training - IT IS YOU!!  So if you ever go off on a tangent, on how bad your dog is, look in the mirror, it is YOU!

This is why we have two different trainers, training out of Sleep Rover - and also recommend others depending on you and your dogs needs. 

At Sleep Rover - we believe in pack mentality - that dogs follow their leader.  If you, yourself are not a true leader in your household, your dog will not listen to you.  This is why we are able to control a large amount of dogs in an open concept facility.  If we do not take control of the dogs, they will take control for us.

How you attain that trust and respect - is up to you.  We do not judge.  As noted, all dogs are different.  How you decide to approach your dog's teachings, is your decision.  Any harsh methods such as slamming and kicking dogs, we frown upon.  No dog needs to be physically punished ever.

Dogwit is a reward based, positive reinforcement training company who teaches socialization classes, obedience classes and reactivity classes.  I met Drae when I first got Shogun into training once he was done his classes at Sit Happens. She taught him scent work and thinking outside of the box.  It helped him use his other senses, and on top, make him more confident.  It also taught me to relax and understand dogs more.

K9 Psychologyis a pack mentality trainer.  Katelynn trains with the goal of you being the leader.  That the dog waits for your queue and direction.  I love this method as well, because you want to be the one that your dog goes to first when they make decisions.  That they seek your guidance before anything else.

Cultured Canines - we refer a lot of people to Beth - to experience that Pack Walk mentality.  Many people struggle with walking their dog on leash (more so they are getting walked on leash), reactivity on leash and of course - manners in a public setting.  Beth's philosophy is that YOU should be your dogs treat!

This blog post is more about what I believe, are the most important basics that you need to teach your dog, regardless of who you use for training.

RULE OF THUMB: When it comes to choosing your dog trainer - make sure they can attain what you want to learn.  Meaning if you want your dog to walk nicely, but their dogs cannot walk nicely - might be a good sign to find someone else.  They should be the product of what they are training.  Who cares about all the certifications?  Like in life, actions speak louder than words.

1.  HAND SIGNALS:  As my eldest dog, Mei Mei, gets older - at 14, she has officially lost all her hearing.

She is my first dog that I actually tried to train (meaning my first two dogs JJ & Siefer were not).  I was the one that would be at offleash parks - YELLING for my dogs 'JJ PLEASE come back.. Siefer.. Do you want a treat??' - Nope - off they went - terrorizing and here I was.. hopeless and embarrassed.  Mei Mei was feral as she came off the Tsuu Tina Reserve - and as you can tell - a little coyote like.  She was tough to train with her fear.  One thing one of our trainers taught us back in the day, was they trained US to use hand signals.  We never even noticed her implement them in the training - but I am so grateful she did.  As she trained us to speak to our dogs with the command, she also showed us hand signals.  I miss her training!  To sit, we lift our hands up.  To come, we wave them over.  To wait, we put up our hand like a stop sign.  All these came into use this year, as Mei Mei is completely deaf.  No amount of treat training or yelling or calling her, would work now.  Now when we need her, we wave at her, she waits for our hand signals, and comes without us even saying a word.  Although the image is of poor quality, please consider using these simple hand signals, to train your dogs!  It is never too late!

2.  RECALL - the most important training is RECALL.  It can save your dogs life.  No matter if your dog is a puppy, or you just rescued Rover - RECALL should be your top priority.

RECALL should be your top priority

It can start off as calling their name while you have treats in your hand.  Progress further by hiding in your home, and then calling their name.  Reward with a treat.  Get to the point where every time they hear their name, they come to that voice.  Whether it is yours, or someone elses.  It comes in handy at the offleash park, on a hiking trail, if you lost your dog or just to snap your dog out of focus when they are chasing for that rabbit.  RECALL is what I call, the foundation to all training.  Once you master recall, everything else is easy.

Your MONTH in RECALL - STEPS (start in your home):  WATCH my Amateur video here!!  (You can tell we need to fine tune our training as well - it has been awhile)

Dog Training is An Ongoing Task

Dog Training is An Ongoing Task - not a one time fix - just like any relationship tank - you need to fill it up to keep it strong!

  • Week #1:  CALL THEIR NAME - if they look at you - give them a treat!
  • Week #2:  SIT - Call their name, do your sit signal while saying SIT - treat!
  • Week #3:  SIT & STAY - After they sit, give them the STAY signal and say 'stay'! Move back 2 feet.  If they stay - treat!
  • Week#4:  HIDE & SEEK - Call their name, make them Sit, Stay and then hide somewhere in the home.  Call their name - when they come, treat!
  • Make it fun and add your family members and friends.  Once you feel confident, move it to your yard and eventually, at the offleash park.  

3.  CRATE TRAINING - Many people think that crate training is mean.  Little do they know, Crate Training is a savior for those dire situations when you need help the most.  I did my first vlog in 2012 about Crate Training and still stand by my views.  WHY?

  • Give them their own bedroom!  Dogs, like humans, love their own space.  Top up your kennel with a comfy bed, and they are in heaven;
  • We all have that one friend/family member that hates/scared of dogs.  Instead of having your dog howl, and destroy your bathroom or bedroom when they are over, having them crate trained means you do not have to worry, and your dog can enjoy a treat in their crate, stress free;
  • When you need to go away on vacation, crate training your dog is an easy way for them to adjust.  Whether in your car for a long ride, at a dog kennel or on a plane - if your dog knows a crate is their safe zone, they will not be stressed when inside;
  • At the vet - at one point, Rover might be at the vet.  Instead of being freaked out already for being at the vet - if you crate train them, they will find comfort, being in a kennel at the vet, reducing their stress levels;
  • Lastly - for the quick errand - or when you go to work!  Nothing worse than wondering what the dog got into, what they destroyed.. and on top - no dog wants to come home to their owner/parent yelling at them.  Save your shoes, your furniture, your tummy upsetting garbage can.. or even a chance at them breaking the window and escaping!  Get a yummy treat and crate them!

How to Crate Train?  Here are some simple steps:

  • SIZE:  As a puppy - you can buy the crates that an alter in size as your dog grows.  Rule of thumb for any size dog, is that they have enough head room to stand and of course turn around in.  (Will post Puppy Training tips in our next blog)
  • Day #1:  FEED:  Feed your dog in the crate - so they relate eating, to crating.  YUM!
  • Day #2:  RANDOM:  Random treats!  Have the kennel in the living room or family room - wherever you are when your family is together.  Throw random treats in there throughout the day so they can go in and out.
  • Day #3:  WAIT:  Start closing the door and then letting them out after 5 mins.  DO NOT LET THEM OUT when they bark.  Let them out when they lie down and wait quietly.  If you let them out when they bark, they will bark in the crate JUST because it means they get let out.
  • Day #4:  SLEEP:  Have the crate with you beside your bed and close the door.  As puppies it is tough - but within a week, your puppy will sleep quietly beside you.  Leave a chew in the kennel that they cannot swallow - so if they are not tired, they can chew on a healthy chew - such as a bully stick.
  • MOVE:  Gradually move the crate further away (unless you want the crate in your room).  Within a week, your dog should be crate trained.

Hope you found this blog helpful.  Remember, we are here to offer advice always.  Do not hesitate to ask.  These are just tidbits we have learned together, as a joint team, from experience.  Whatever makes our life easier, and our dogs happier - is our goal at Sleep Rover!

About Kennel Cough and some Natural Remedies for Rover

I wanted to update my blog on Kennel Cough - due to our recent surge in new clients and of course - new ways to overcome Kennel Cough in dogs.  I have also posted my original post from 2012 - which has not changed too much.  This can also be found on our Facebook Fan Page as well as at the end of this post!

Today is January 4th, 2016 - and this Holiday Season, pretty much the month of December - we experienced a higher than normal occurrence of Kennel Cough (compared to the last 2 years).

As noted below - just like the human flu - where you have a choice to vaccinate yourself or not, we give this option for our clients as well.  Being an airborne virus - there is not a huge set thing we can do, to negate this virus 100% from our surroundings.  

To date - the last 4 weeks, of the reported cases at Sleep Rover, which we posted in public on our Facebook Page - we received in total of 11 cases.  All 11 cases but 1, were all new clients.  All 11 clients, had received the Bordetella Vaccine.  One client, progressed to pneumonia and is currently healing on antibiotics.  So at 11 cases (4 of them young dogs, meaning under 1 year old) - and over 250 different clients that checked in and out for the last 2 weeks of December, that is less than 10%.  It is still high for us, as the last 3 years since my post back in 2012 - we have maybe received 20 cases at most for the WHOLE YEAR.  Total of 12 Lice cases for 2015 and a total of 2 flea cases.  Remember, we have over 1000 dogs going in and out of our facility per month.  Those are impressive and admirable numbers.  We have a very healthy facility and clients that take great care of their dogs, and on top - we keep our clients in the know when we feel the 'seasons' are near - to prep everyone!

It is safe to say, when it is human flu season, it is also dog flu season!

One might ask why, if they got the vaccine, they would still get it and be sick.  Not being a vet myself, I would assume this is due to the different strains that are ever changing.

With proper measures - dogs usually recover from the Dog Flu within the week.  I would say if your dog gets ill and shows drastic lethargy quickly and does not eat or drink - an emergency trip to the vet should be in place.  

SIDE NOTE:  WE DO require mandatory vaccines for yearly boosters for Distemper/Parvo and of course Rabies!

Over the years, my 6 dogs have not gotten the Bordetella shot.  I have nothing against this shot for those that do take it.  My boy Benjamin, at 6 mos old last year 2015, got the shot by accident (I forgot to advise my vet), and he proceeded to get Kennel Cough which progressed to pneumonia within a week.  Did the Bordetella help him or not?  That will always be the question.  My other 5 dogs did not get it last year being around him.

Instead of the shot, what do I do?  Remember again, this is how I deal with my dogs, as well as our staff at Sleep Rover.  If you do not agree, nor do you wish to have your dog in a facility that practices natural remedies - please do find alternate care at facilities with your mindset.

When Flu season is upon us, I follow the same steps below posted in 2012, which is amp up the Broth intake for my dogs and add Oregano Oil.

Over the years, especially for 2015 - I learned some more remedies - due to the fact that I myself, got hit hard with the flu in 2015.  Lack of sleep, stress, and long work hours made me more susceptible to it - and of course my lack of working out and eating right.

 Here are my top 4 recommendations that I feel keeps myself and my dogs healthy!

1.  BONE BROTH - although not Vegan friendly - Bone Broth has extreme qualities that benefit your health.  Everyone always suggests 'Chicken Noodle Soup' when you are ill - because not only do you lose your appetite when you are sick (whether nauseated, or diarrhea or just lack of appetite) - you want something that makes your body feel good.  A hot tasty 'feel good' soup is what you need!  Every week, I usually roast a chicken and save the bones!  My post here!  A basic roast - as we want to keep dog ingestion basic.  No BBQ Sauces, no hot sauces, if you can hold back the salt too for the roast, even better!  I will also roast on top of Celery and Carrots - and keep that for the broth.  If you put garlic or onions, remember to take these out as they are toxic to dogs.  If you have the access, big beef bones are amazing, including marrow bones, knuckle bones etc.  Stewing them for over 24 hours to give it that gelatin feel, is the best broth - full of nutritious ingredients!  I boil the soup for the aroma, and mix 1 cup hot broth with 1 cup cold water to serve!  If you do not have time, put it with their kibble!  I like to give it to them on its own to have a clear broth meal to clean out their system!  *HOW DO YOU INCREASE YOUR DOGS FLUIDS if they will not drink water?*  Well noone turns down Bone Broth!  Read more here!

I know when I use to get sick as a kid, my parents always made me homemade soup

with special asian ingredients!  Even when I was just under the weather.  Always did the trick!

Great for humans and dogs too!

Great for humans and dogs too!


2.  Turmeric Paste!

Adjust the measurements to make for yourself!

Adjust the measurements to make for yourself!


I learned that this is good for dogs - when I started the "GOLDEN MILK" recipe for my joints.  Getting older and on the computer so much.. and well, lack of exercise.. made my joints super 'creeky'.  Like old stairs.  I never thought I would understand that feeling.. but well - it has happened to me!  After a week of this, I noticed the cure within 3 days of taking this twice a week.  When 2 weeks past, I forgot to make a new batch - and within a week, my joints started at it again.  After reading more about Turmeric Paste - I realized it not only helps joints, it increases your bodies immunity.  It pretty much is nourishment for your body!  FYI:  You must add the GROUND pepper, to enable the turmeric's abilities.  Heating it as well is extremely important - and well the oil helps your body absorb it.  DO NOT MISS A STEP or you will be wasting your time and money.  Also - Turmeric needs to be organic - has to contain the curcuma part of it. What is odd - i have trouble getting my husband to drink Golden Milk (with Almond milk) - but my dogs - get super stoked when the Golden Paste mixture is out!  THEY LOVE IT!  Start small at 1/8 of a teaspoon and work your way up!

3.  Honey!  I have always recommended Honey in hot water - to melt it - and add cold water to make it lukewarm - and give the dogs 1 cup every few hours to sooth their throat.  What is amazing now - is there is a type of honey - that you can only find at Health Food Stores - that have healing properties!  You do not need much!  It is called Manuka Honey!  It also has topical healing properties!  #savethebees Learn more here! 


4.  Oregano Oil!  This is one thing I have not tried on my own - but is widely used for humans.  We at Sleep Rover sell the Pet Version of it with Oregapet!  I have given this to my dogs every flu season - and whether it has helped or not - I know it contributes to it!  I have always placed a few drops in their Bone Broth.  Here is their claim on their product!  Although I solely use it during Flu Season - it has other claims such as gut health and even deworming!  Wow!  We do use the oil on our beds if any fleas or lice are found!

Of course - lots of rest and fresh air if possible!

If you have any questions - please do not hesitate to contact me!  I am always learning - and gathering more knowledge with experience handling so many dogs.

What to know about Kennel Cough!! Our Views and Suggestions!

April 4, 2012 at 9:38am

Similar to the human flu - we at Sleep Rover believe it is your personal choice on how you wish to treat your dogs when it comes to the care for your animal.


You have a choice to socialize your dog in dog environments such as dog training, dog daycares and offleash parks - or keep them at home.  Bacteria related sicknesses, especially Kennel Cough are airborne - and any contact with dogs in a close vicinity - will get infected.


Similar to humans - a stressed or poorly rested individual or someone who has not developed immunity to all these current bacterias in the world - will be more susceptible than another.  Some get sick every month, some get sick every few years.  Some take vaccines and do not get sick, some take vaccines and still get sick.


I for one, do not take the flu vaccine, i am bound to get sick once a year (usually in Nov) and pretty much spend the year fighting certain bacterias - especially on days I lack sleep or do not eat well!  My throat gets sore, I get groggy.  However overall - I deem myself healthy!  Will I not get sick getting the flu vaccine and live my life sick free - I doubt it.


I can't speak for people that have taken vaccines if they feel 100% all the time!  However I do know that getting a vaccine does not leave you bullet proof from getting sick.


So in turn, I give this option to our clients.  Bordetella and Revolution are optional - because I do not believe in overvaccinating.  My philosophy is that we will grow our immunity and become more self reliant this way.  However as noted - this is just MY opinion and you are free to do and choose what you feel is right.


I also give the option to clients that if they choose to - they are more than welcome to vaccinate their dogs for their ease of mind.  I will not judge as this is a topic that everyone struggles with not just themselves, but their dog also.


Last year during our September 2011 Kennel Cough outbreak, which closed down two dog kennels in Calgary for a month - we had a total of 23 infected dogs clients reported.  Just like the flu season might bring down your office (everyone seems to be calling in sick!).  Out of 23 of the dogs, 8 of them had their Kennel Cough shot.  So because they got their Kennel Cough shot - we are told it lessens the duration.. does it?  During this time, everyone that displayed symptoms, we did kennel the dog and asked them to be taken home.  We were Kennel Cough free into October. 


Reason why I post this now, is for everyone to see our point of view and our suggestions.  Spring is coming.. if not has already been here for the last 2 months - so Kennel Cough is just around the corner.  In the last 3 months, we have had about 6 reported cases - which is really low - however still in the air due to the warm weather.  


Preventative measures, is obvious, do not go where dogs go - however who wants to coup up their poor dog 24/7?  That is no life for anyone.


Another option is to avoid dog parks, dog training facilities and dog daycares and kennels.  Once again - another extreme choice.  How long do you do this?  For all of spring, summer and fall??


Thirdly (my choice) - keep you dog healthy, supplements (ask about them at your nearby Tailblazers), vitamns, healthy dog foods - and keep them well rested and exercised!!  JUST LIKE HUMANS!


If symptoms occur - follow natural remedies such as vitamn C, echinacea and honey with warm water to sooth the throat.  Add a humidifier in your room by your dogs sleeping area -Calgary air is dry - we all feel it!!


At the end, do your own research and if need be, ask your vet and make the decision on your own.  


Any questions, feel free to ask us!!  Do not be alarmed if your pet starts showing symptoms of Kennel Cough - however also be precautionary that like the Human Flu - it can easily turn from a simple cough to extreme respiratory issues!!


If your dog eats, remains happy and active and isn't lethargic - keep an eye on them.  However if your dog starts sporting a fever, is lethargic, isn't drinking or eating - take them to a vet immediately to make sure it isn't any other underlying problems.


Here are some great reads (more intellectually stated than my blog entry):


Hope you all found this helpful in one way or another!  We are all always learning and that is what keeps us open minded!