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Hire A Dog - Not A Trainer!

For the past week it was business as usual...collar on, leash in hand, and out the door for our daily run. Ms. Maru & I have jogged together for 9 years now. She’s a Carolina or Basenji breed, I think…

I am a woman.  She is a dog.  She is my best friend and everything else doesn’t really matter. I do know this. She still runs like a beautiful gazelle and I can’t beat her. She has always been hyper excited to go out in the early morning but I never really thought about it. She’s a dog. Dogs like to go outside. Heck, I like to go outside. But as I’ve gotten older, I have started to question things. I wanted to know WHY she likes to run. Since she wasn’t going to tell me I began to do some research. Sure enough, there was a scientific reason why both of us are addicted to running. 

Anthropologist and runner David Raichlen from the University of Arizona discovered that after running, levels of endocannabinoids – chemicals found in marijuana that give you a feeling of euphoria – are higher in humans and dogs and this encourages them to run again. The actual study compared a human, dog and ferret that were put on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Blood samples showed a significant increase in the levels of endocannabinoids in the humans and dogs after moderate intensity exercise. Conversely, there was no spike in either of them after just walking. The ferrets saw no increase in the levels of the “happy” chemicals throughout the whole study. Evolution may be the reason since ferrets did not need to be long distance runners to survive. 

Raichlen’s findings suggest that exercise helps the brain to grow and boosts the body’s production of neurotrophins – chemicals that build and maintain brain cells. He said that inactive people may not be fit enough to hit the exercise intensity that leads to this sort of rewarding sensation. But, they could build up their exercise tolerance to the point that they do cross the threshold and reach the level of intensity that produces the reward of the high. That seems to be true of athletes. The better they felt after a run showed more endorphins circulating in their brains. 

The euphoric factor aside, running has other benefits. Dr. Christina Morganti at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Maryland found that the amount of blood your heart pumps increases, blood vessels and muscles absorb more oxygen and you are able to build new bone. Moreover, running has a powerful impact on your state of mind. A longtime competitive runner, Dr. Morganti found this out first hand when she got injured and had to stop. She felt her life begin to fall apart – from her ability to cope with the stresses of daily life to her organizational skills juggling job and motherhood. She felt that everything in general was not quite as acute when she was able to run and be fit.      

Today, there is a growing appreciation of the value of having a workout companion, reflected in the popularity of websites such as exercise-friends.com, which matches partners in athletics. While running doesn’t require a partner, I think the ideal running mate is a dog. They are non-competitive, you will never outrun them and they will never make fun of your slow speed. Plus, they are silent, never show up late or argue which course to take.  In fact, they only complain when you don’t run at all. Even Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, ranks exercise first ahead of discipline and affection as the key to a well behaved dog. 

What started out as a very simple question as to why Maru likes to run has given me a renewed incentive to keep running every day. It seems like an addiction that is good for both of us.


Nutrition for Dogs

Arrfscarf Dog Ice Cream Q & A

We frequently are asked specific questions about our Dog Ice Cream. This Q & A hopefully answers some of those frequent questions. 

Q- Why Dog Ice Cream?

A- Why not? People love this frozen dessert treat year round, so should our best friend! If pups are going to have a frozen treat, it should be a treat designed around their unique digestive system. We would hate for pups to consume large amounts of processed ingredients. Our dog ice cream takes into consideration pup's sensitive stomachs. 

Q- My dog has never had Dog Ice Cream, how do they eat it?

A- Arrfscarf Dog Ice Cream comes in a 4 oz. container and contains 3.3 oz which is a single serving. Most dogs know to start licking as soon as the cup hits the floor. Tiny dogs sometimes need you to hold it for a bit, and a small amount of dogs prefer it to defrost a tad. If your dog tends to eat everything in sight, we recommend that you squeeze out the contents into their bowl so they don’t eat the plastic container (which is bpa free).

Q- I thought dogs couldn’t have ice cream because of the dairy?

A- Real ice cream is made from milk or cream which contains large amounts of lactose. Lactose is hard for some people to digest, and that is the same for dogs. Using yogurts with live cultures breaks down the lactose so it can be easily digested. 

Q- What kind of yogurt does Arrfscarf use in their Dog Ice Cream?

A- We use both Greek non-fat and regular low-fat yogurts. None of which have any added  sweeteners. All contain live cultures and probiotics.

Q- Are their real benefits to having your dog eat Dog Ice Cream?

A- Yes. The yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium for your dog. The probiotics aid in a healthy immune system and keep the bad bacteria in check.

Q- What makes Arrfscarf Dog Ice Cream different than others?

A- A lot! We only use quality yogurts, real ingredients (no flavorings), and no preservatives. We do not add stabilizers, sugar, or salt. The meat used in all of our Dog Ice Cream is sourced locally in Chicago and every batch is handmade. For example, when we make the Beef Brisket flavor, we slow roast the beef for 8 hours so it can get real tender before being added to the Dog Ice Cream. 

Q- What if my dog can only have certain fruits or vegetables, or has a sensitive stomach?

A- At Arrfscarf we have worked hard to select and use only ingredients that are good for dogs. All Dog Ice Cream we make is grain and wheat free. There are many flavors we have done in the past that are not listed on our site using strawberries, mint, blueberries, carob chips, etc. 

Let us know if you have any other questions, and please remember that Arrfscarf Dog Ice Cream is a treat and not a meal replacement. 

 

Watch a video of Pretzel eating our dog ice cream