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5 Tips for Adding a New Dog to the Pack

Thinking of getting a new dog?

Ok, so you’ve been grappling with the idea of bringing a new dog into the household and you’re just not sure if or how you should. We’re not going to sugar coat it: bringing home a new dog IS a big deal and it SHOULD be heavily considered, especially when you already have animals in the household. The good news is it’s totally doable and usually ends up being a wonderful addition to everyone’s lives. You and your pets have another playmate to love! But, before you rush to the shelter for the newest addition, here are 5 tips for bringing a new buddy into the brood.

1. Gauge Your Current Company.

Does your dog growl at other dogs when you’re on a walk together? Does your cat arch its back if it sees another feline through the window? If your current pet seems a bit antisocial, it may not enrich their lives to share their space or their affection. If, however, you’ve seen them play with other animals (even if they don’t always engage) then you have a chance they’ll come around to the right playmate.

2. Consider Important Similarities.

You don’t have to bring home a pet of the same breed, age, or even species, but you do need to consider things like play style, energy levels, and overall demeanor. If you have a sweet, submissive dog you certainly don’t want to introduce a domineering, rough-and-tumble companion to their space.

3. Get to Know the New Buddy.

Visit more than once and talk with the shelter about the potential pup and their quirks. Do they get along with other dogs and children? Are they territorial over food or toys? You can never be too thorough when it comes to introducing a new member of the family.

4. Do a Meet and Greet.

We consider this non-negotiable. Try to coordinate a meet and greet with the shelter either off-site or on the premises if your current dog will do okay. Understand that this is a trial run, everyone’s energy is going to be a little unsure and on edge, but you should be able to get an idea of whether or not the two will get along once the newness wears off.

5. Go Slowly and Be Proactive.

Some people find that a slow introduction, usually with your current pet in a crate or caged off area, is best so that the new animal can familiarize themselves with their new home, while others find it fuels anxiety and territorial feelings from existing pets. Many people think an off-leash introduction on neutral territory allows for free play and for existing pets’ guards to come down. The trick is to keep your existing pet in mind and be there for both animals. Stay nearby and correct any unacceptable behavior. The most important thing to remember is that you are the pack leader and your energy and commands will dictate the tone of the introduction.

And, of course, be patient and honest with yourself. If it’s simply not going to work, allow that to be the conclusion and keep your eyes peeled for another buddy. If there are small things to work through, diligently work through them for the sake of enhancing your current pet’s life with a companion. If you have a trick or story from when you brought a new pet home, we’d love to hear it! Click here and tell us all about it.

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5 Tips for Harness Training Your Dog

Is Harness Training Right For You and Your Dog?

You know how much we believe in dog walks – the health benefits are proven and it’s such a wonderful way to enrich your bond with your pet. That is, of course, if your dog knows how to behave on a leash. It’s a wildly common issue among dog owners that their companion pulls on their walks, which is frustrating and can result in shorter or no walks. And no one wants that. So we’re going to let you in on a little well-known secret: there’s a whole world of harnesses out there intended to curb pulling so your fresh-air strolls can continue. Of course, there are a few need-to-know tidbits before you strap your dog up and expect a perfect walk – so sit, stay, and watch us.

The Right Harness.

It’s all about finding the right harness for your needs, and there are quite a few varieties to choose from. Back clip harnesses are easy to put on and are a secure option for pullers, while a soft mesh harness offers comfort for pups who walk with a slack leash. Multi-clip harnesses are the most popular and versatile, but also have a higher price point. For dogs who seriously pull, a head halter may be necessary. Consider your dog’s strength and peruse the aisles (or websites) for something that fits your needs.

Try it Out.

Let your pet wear the harness at home first and make sure they don’t show signs of discomfort. It may take a few fittings to get the adjustments right, but you want to make sure the harness hugs their chest but doesn’t rub their underarms. Be sure to praise their patience and maybe throw ‘em a treat.

Remain Patient.

Understand that harnesses are intended to safely curb pulling in that it relieves pressure from their trachea and gives you more control, there is no part of the apparatus that will ensure they stop. If your pet starts to pull, stop in your tracks and wait until they stop, then resume walking. Do this every time they pull and, if you have a “heel” command, say it. 

Keep Sessions Short.

This is for both of your sanity. Losing it on your pet will only deter them from listening and make you feel bad later. Consider this an investment in both of your lives, even if it takes thirty 10-minute sessions to make progress.

Don’t Forget to Treat.

Positive reinforcement training is effective, so come up with a ‘heel’ command your dog can follow and treat them when they do. Sometimes just holding a treat in your leash hand is enough to make them slow their roll.

Like we said, harnesses are a tool – not an assurance that the behavior will stop. But, they are a highly recommended tool (especially for large dogs.) If you have a harness tip you swear by, we’d love to hear more on our social media. Facebook or Twitter, whichever you prefer!

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7 Tips for Staying Afloat on Boat Safety for Dogs

Summer may be coming to a close but we’re still squeezing in as many lake days as we can. Like most summer outings, bringing your dog along can be a wonderful addition to the fun but not without proper preparation. For all you end of summer sailors out there, climb aboard and follow these tips on boat safety for dogs if you plan on having your dog as a co-captain.

1. First Things First: Have a Plan.

Discuss what to do if your pet goes overboard with everyone in attendance and make sure everyone is aware there’s a dog on board.

2. Get a Life Jacket.

Even if your pet is an avid swimmer, a life vest is crucial when you’re in motion. Not to mention most life vests have handles for quick extraction if needed.

3. Check Accessibility.

Make sure your pet has a safe way to get in and out of the boat, especially if they’ll be swimming. Consider doing a practice run and getting your pet acquainted with the vessel while it’s still on the dock or trailer.

4. Bring the Necessities.

Things like a first aid kit, possibly any medicines, drinking water, a leash, and even a shade structure if you’ll be setting up on the beach.

5. Check the Laws.

There aren’t any national restrictions regarding dogs on boats but you want to be sure your pet’s allowed wherever you’re going – it would be such a bummer to get to the beach to find out your dog’s not allowed.

6. Consider Sunglasses.

It may sound silly (and we admit, look a little silly too) but they exist for a reason, as the reflection of the sun off the water can be just as damaging to pets’ eyes if they’re going to frequent as co-captain. Probably not necessary for a trip here or there but may be worth it for the pictures.

7. First Timers Beware.

If it’s your dog’s first time on the boat, you may want to keep the trip short so your dog can get their sea legs. Medications for seasickness can be given, but if it’s not fun for Buddy then it’s probably best to leave them home.

Does your dog hit the lake or sail the open seas with you? What are some things you’ve learned on the water with your pet? We’d love to hear more on Facebook or Twitter, just mention us @HamiltonPet with hashtag #SeasonOfPets.

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Animal Fashion – We’ve Freshened Up Our Fashion for Dogs and Horses!

Comfort, Quality and So Much Style!

It’s no secret that trends are constantly changing.  As the animal fashion experts, it’s Hamilton’s mission to come up with new ways to make your pet look their best! We did intense research of ongoing and emerging fashion, lifestyle, and interior design trends. Then,  our team came up with some FABULOUS new additions to our extensive fashion line. Our newest includes reflective designs for added safety and even fun new horse halters! 

Fashion Horse Halters






For the horses, our durable and adjustable halters come in three fresh new patterns and an easy-to-use cheek snap to secure. The thoughtful design ensures comfort and the patterns will complement any coat. The cool Serape pattern has a subtle Southwest feel while the Western and Rhodamine add a beautiful pop of color using flirty pink and warm burnt orange.

For the pooches, we’ve added 12 new fashion designs, four of which have reflective nylon threading for added safety in low-light conditions. The flowery Botanical pattern is perfect for sweet females while the Gingham and Athleisure patterns can complement any rough-and-tumble coat. Looking for something unisex? Our Bandana, Cactus, Southwest, and reflective patterns can fit any pup’s personality!

Fashion Dog Collars






We thrive on customer feedback, so tell us: what are some fashion trends you’d like to see on your pup’s collar or leash? You can post to our Facebook or Twitter pages, just be sure to mention us @HamiltonPet!

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Better Together: Seasonal Workouts for You and Your Dog

fathers day dog


Hate the gym but need to workout? 

We’ve got just the answer! Workouts for you and your dog!

We don’t know about you, but some days there’s no way we’d have the get-up-and-go to exercise if it weren’t for our dog. It’s true! Some days their sweet face is the only reason we put on our tennis shoes and commit to a half-hour of physical activity. 

It’s also true that certain seasons are a lot more conducive to exercise than others. Or maybe we’re just telling ourselves that. As summer comes to a close we’re already thinking about fall (and winter) activities – so we wanted to share a few of our favorite seasonal workouts for you and your dog.


  • Swimming
  • Sunrise hikes
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding


  • Walks anytime
  • Mid-day hikes
  • Long games of frisbee or fetch
  • Hunting (for some)


  • Snowshoeing
  • Afternoon walks
  • Indoor agility training


  • Morning hikes
  • Afternoon runs
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking

Of  course all of these activities require the proper gear and preparation – meaning a sturdy leash and collar set, water for the adventure, reflective gear, and even a floatation device if your pet needs one. Make sure their chips and tags are up-to-date and safely secured, just to be safe, and have fun exploring!  We’d love to see your adventure pics on Facebook!

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Summer Relaxing – 5 Warm Weather Tips For Dogs

Warm Weather Tips For Dogs

For some, warm weather means lots of outdoor lounging – whether it’s to watch the kids play sports or intentionally catch some sun, it seems like fold out chairs are a summer must-have for humans. But what about your pet? It’s true that extended sun exposure can have the same effects on animals, causing dehydration and even sunburn if there’s no shade to be found, so it’s important to be considerate of them if they’re accompanying you outdoors. Here are a few of our favorite ways to include them in the summer relaxation.

An Umbrella.

An umbrella is a perfect shade maker and allows room for you and your pet to lay together and still be protected from the sun.

A Pet Lounge.

There are lounge chairs out there that perform double duty: you sit on the top and your pet has a shaded area beneath you. Not only will they be out of the sun but you’ll always know where they are!

Water, Water, Water.

Always have fresh water for your pet if they’re going to be outside in the summer heat. We also like to bring a spray bottle to mist ourselves and our pets for a quick cool down when we’re outside.

Cooling Mat.

Cooling-specific products exist, like a mat that cools pets’ bellies when they lounge on it, bringing their body temperature back to a comfortable place.


Oh yes, pet sunglasses exist and if your pet is going to frequently accompany you on a boat you should definitely consider them, as the reflection off the water can damage their eyes too. (And, of course, don’t forget their life vest!)

Of course there are only so many things you can do to shade your animal and keep them comfortable in the summer sun, but always be considerate of them if they’re coming along. We’d love to see how your pet relaxes in the sun, share with us on Facebook!


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Top 5 Reasons Horses Are Awesome

Anyone familiar with our brand knows that horses make us happy.  That is why we’re always coming up with new tools to help owners keep their horses well taken care of. Of course, we love dogs, cats, cows, and alpacas too!  We’ll admit it though, there’s just something about owning a horse. Here are our 5 favorite reasons why horses are awesome.


The thing that sets horses apart from any other animal is that you can ride them. Not only are they amazing companions but they can take you places, relieve stress, and keep you in shape just by hopping on their backs. Talk about amazing!


Horses are some of the most beautiful, regal animals out there – and to have one in your own backyard that’s all yours is an incredible feeling.

Stress relief.

The amount of care that goes into horses shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s also a wonderful way to clear your mind, relieve some stress, and focus on something positive, like keeping your beautiful best friend in tip-top shape.

Long lives.

Unlike other popular pets, horses can be your companion for 25-30 years which, for some, makes the investment more worthwhile and enriching.


Horses are sentient animals capable of bonding with their human and exhibiting their own personalities and quirks. As you get to know your horse they’ll make you laugh and comfort you when they know you’re sad – it’s truly a one-of-a-kind bond, especially with something so big and beautiful.


We’d love to hear about your horses – post a picture or tell us more on Twitter and tag us using @HamiltonPet!

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

fathers day dog

Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers

Father’s Day is June 17 and if you’ve gotten your dad, husband, or boyfriend all the mugs, mousepads, and shirts he can handle why not think outside the box? Whether he takes care of human kids, fur babies, or both, any pet lover can appreciate a practical gift – even if it is geared toward their four-legged love. Here are a few gift ideas for dog lovers, or as we prefer, dog dad in your life.

Leash/Collar Set.

Get ‘em in dad’s favorite colors or a chic leather set to upgrade from whatever he’s currently using.

Safety Gear.

If your guy’s into outdoor activities, get the dog geared up too! Whether it’s waterproof or reflective, we think he’ll love knowing his best friend can be safely by his side.

Grooming Tools.

Certainly not for everyone but, for the at-home groomer or afternoon brusher, some new brushes or other tools could be a wonderfully creative gift idea.

Ball Launcher.

A manly gift for man’s best friend – there are some heavy duty ball launchers out there for fetch-loving dogs and the dog dads who want to preserve their throwing arm.


Perfect for the guy who hits the trail with his dog – now Fido can carry his own water!

How are you and your family celebrating Father’s Day? If you got him anything pet-centric, we’d love to see – show us on Facebook!


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Tick Season – Prevention, Identifying and Removing

tick prevention

















Tick Season!

Don’t get us wrong, we love summertime but there is one major summer bummer: ticks. Ticks are small bugs that can cause big problems if gone undetected because they bury themselves into your pet’s skin and can carry Lyme disease (among others.) The good news is, there are lots of preventative measures and vaccines to help keep pets safe, but they certainly don’t negate the importance of checking your dog for ticks and removing them if found.

After hiking or other outdoor activities, run your fingers through their fur with enough pressure to be able to feel any bumps – be sure to check between toes, under armpits, inside and behind ears, and under their tail. If you feel something, separate the hair so you can see the skin – if you see anything brownish black or grayish white ranging from the size of a pinhead to a grape, chances are it’s a tick.

Tick Removal

Now the hard part: removal. Removing ticks can be a little tricky because they can easily break and leave a piece of the insect still embedded in your pet’s skin. There are tools you can buy to aid in the removal of ticks, but it is something you can accomplish (albeit, carefully) with tweezers:

  • Gently grasp the tick as closely to your pet’s skin as you can, being careful not to crush it, as that can cause infection.
  • In one motion, swiftly twist and pull the tick’s body away from your pet’s skin.
  • After removal, clean the area with soap and warm water and dispose of the tick, either by soaking it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet.

There are instructional videos online if you’d like a visual demonstration, as well as the option of having your vet remove the tick. Either way, it’s important to be proactive in finding and removing these little buggers, as they can cause much bigger problems for your pet.

Have any tick tricks or issues you want to share? Hop online and tell us more.


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Memorial Day Activities With Your Dog

Your calendars are already marked,

but May 28 is Memorial Day!  As the official kick off of summer, lots of people make all sorts of fun outdoor plans – this includes fun activities with your dog! Whether it’s camping, hiking, swimming, or boating your pet can absolutely be a part of the fun with a little extra planning – but be honest with yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be able to safely monitor your pet amid all the fun, it’s best to leave them home. But, if you know you’ve got the situation under control and that they’ll have the time of their lives, load ‘em up! And be sure to keep the following 5 safety tips in mind.

1. Ample Shade and Fresh Water.

Two non-negotiable summer necessities. If your pet spends even 15 minutes at a time outside, there should be some sort of shade provided, as well as access to clean fresh water both inside and out.

2. Know Heatstroke.

Signs of overheating include lethargy, glazed eyes, excessive panting, dizziness or lack of coordination, rapid heartbeat, and even vomiting. If you see your pet exhibiting these signs, drape cool towels over their head, neck, and chest, try giving them small sips of water or to lick an ice cube, and get them in to see your veterinarian. You can also swipe rubbing alcohol on their paw pads for faster cooling.

3. Limit Exercise.

Monitor your pet to make sure they’re not exhausting themselves and be sure to promote periods of rest; also avoid high-intensity activities in the midday heat if you plan on bringing Fido along.

4. First Aid Kit.

Be sure to have a stocked first aid kit on hand; not just for your pet but for people too!

5. Proper Equipment.

Lots of people think animals are made to endure extreme elements, when that’s simply not true. Their eyes, feet, and bodies need protection too; if they’re going to be on a boat all day, consider sunglasses and a life vest, if they’re going to walk on hot sand or pavement, consider booties – just be sure to get them used to wearing them before the excursion to allow maximum adventure with minimal risk of injury. And, of course, don’t forget the simple necessities like their bowls, bed, and possibly a tie out if camping.

Extra Credit: Cooling Products. Mats, vests, wraps… There are products made to stay cool in the heat that can give your buddy a nice break.

What are your Memorial Day plans and how do you include your pets? Tell us all about it on Facebook!  Include and tag a picture with #SeasonOfPets.

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