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Thursday, February 23, 2017

1,000 Posts!

TheDogGeek.com has been around for almost three years (formerly known as Brisbane's Bark Blog), and today we reached 1,000 blog posts! That's a whole lot of products tested, food eaten, treats enjoyed, and a TON of writing! We'll be having a proper bloggiversary post next week, but this is a huge milestone so I felt the need to share.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Product Review: EzyDog Summit Backpack

The EzyDog Summit Backpack is built on their Chestplate Harness. Each side has a large waterproof compartment, with a smaller outer pocket for quick access. One side includes a clear ID sleeve for adding your contact information, the other side has little organizer pockets for keeping track of small stuff. There's a handle on top, and a velcro strap for keeping your leash contained. The padded back panel is made from breathable mesh. This pack is available in two colors and four sizes, to fit dogs with chests 16-55" around.
Australian cattle dog modeling EzyDog's Summit backpack
Photo by Erin Koski

Look, I really want to love EzyDog's gear. I do. Everything they make is rugged and durable and aesthetically pleasing, and it should be absolutely perfect. I just can't get past the fitting issues.

I purchased the Summit backpack as a daypack for Godzilla. With its 250 cubic inch capacity, it carries about the same amount of stuff as Kurgo's Baxter backpack. Great for hauling water, poo bags, leashes, and maybe a snack. I love being able to grab the poo bags out of the outer pocket without having to unzip the big one.

At 28 lbs and 22" around the chest, Sisci Godzilla should be well inside the 16-29", 15-40 lb size range for this backpack. The chestplate should be plenty long enough to keep the neck straps well clear of her shoulders, and the belly straps well clear of her elbows. The next size up should be way too big for her. So why do I have to adjust the belly straps in so far there's nowhere to even stow all the excess strap? The little elastic bands for this purpose were clearly not designed to handle those straps being adjusted down as small as possible, no matter what I do we still have 6" of loose ends flopping around. Meanwhile, the neck straps are adjusted more than halfway toward their maximum, and the short chestplate still pulls the belly straps into her armpits.

Queensland heeler wearing EzyDog's Summit backpack
Photo by Erin Koski
Pros

  • Sturdy and rugged
  • Waterproof main pockets and smaller easy-access pockets
  • Easy to put on, over the head and then snap it under the belly
  • Does not rotate around the dog
  • Compact, just the right capacity for day hiking

Cons

  • Difficult to get a good fit
  • Sizing runs large
  • Pack slides forward over dog's head easily, very easy to escape
  • Overbuilt for true backpacking, lots of extra zippers and buckles
  • Straps tend to loosen over time

Bottom Line

This can be a good daypack if you can get it to fit your dog properly without restricting their movement. Some people end up sewing the straps to their desired length to keep them from loosening up. For your escape artist, a long trip, or just a super high-quality pack with a good fit, I recommend anything by Ruffwear. All of their backpacks are built on the Webmaster harness.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Treat Tuesday:

Blue Buffalo's Wilderness Wild Bits are soft little cubes that are just the right size for training. Unlike many soft treats, these actually maintain their texture for hours when exposed to air. I don't care what kind of chemist wizardry is going on with that, these things are awesome. I'm not a fan of Blue Buffalo in general, they do a lot of shady things and basically all of their food is made out of chicken no matter what it says on the front of the bag. Still, their moist treats are hard to beat.
Wild Bits moist training treats that stay soft and don't dry up.

Good For

  • High-value training treats, they would be perfect if they were about half this size though
  • Shoving in Godzilla's mouth when passing a mountain biker on the trail
  • Staying soft and non-crumbly after hours in an open baggie in my pocket
  • Dogs with food allergies, these come in chicken, duck, salmon flavors and are made out of single protein sources plus potatoes and chickpeas. One of the very few Blue Buffalo products that isn't made out of chicken meal. (The crunchy biscuits are still made out of chicken meal, though.)

Not Good For

  • Dogs with potato or chickpea allergies

How Much We Like Them

I think I need to bring some of these with me every time we go hiking. Sisci Godzilla loves them, and they don't dry out and crumble. I mean, they probably would eventually, but these didn't after many hours.