Showing posts with label Pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pets. Show all posts

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Bark Ranger Review

Finn Earns His Bark Ranger Badge
If you are blessed enough to have a Border Collie in your life, you already know that he needs a job and a purpose.  My Finn is no exception.  His beautiful mind needs plenty of stimulation every day.  It's my job, privilege, and pleasure to find new ways of providing Finn with daily opportunities to take his immense capabilities to the next level.

Recently, when I was planning our next outdoor adventure, I came across information about the Bark Ranger Program sponsored by the National Park Service.  Why had I never heard about this before?  It seems this program is really starting to take off in parks across the country. 

Arriving at Pecos National Historic Park
Finn and I wasted no time heading for the closest national park with a Bark Ranger Program.  That happened to be Pecos National Historical Park in New Mexico.  They launched their program earlier this summer.  Perfect!  A day trip to the Santa Fe area is always a treat.  

Pecos NHP Visitor Center
So Many Architectural Delights
Such a Welcoming Place
I Could Sit Here Every Day
When we arrived at the visitor's center, it took no time at all to launch Finn's new bark ranger career. The main purpose of the program is to ensure dogs and their humans have a safe and enjoyable time in the park.  Keeping the national parks dog-friendly takes some responsibility on the part of those of us who travel with our pets.

The BARK acronym makes it easy to remember the promises you are held to when becoming a bark ranger team.  First, you promise to bag your dog's waste and to dispose of it appropriately.  Next, you pledge to always leash your pet.  In parks such as Pecos NHP, a leash could save your dog's life.  Rattlesnake sightings are frequent.

Respecting wildlife is another part of the oath taken when you choose to be a bark ranger.  The very presence of a dog in any park changes the dynamic for wildlife.  In order for national parks to remain a refuge for wild creatures, it is critical to avoid any encounters between pets and the animals that call that park home.  

Finn's Access to Pecos NHP Included the Main Trail to the Pueblos
Pecos Mission and Pueblo
And finally, every visit to a national park should start with knowing which areas of the park are accessible to dogs.  At Pecos NHP, Finn was able to accompany me on the main trail to the mission and pueblos.  I chose to keep him leashed in his dog stroller rather than use his K9 Cart (wheelchair) due to the presence of rattlesnakes in the park.  I knew it would be the safer option.

In some parks, you can volunteer as a Bark Ranger Ambassador team.  This is something I want to pursue with Finn.  It is my aspiration for us to serve in this capacity at our closest national park (Great Sand Dunes).  First, I'd like to help get a Bark Rangers Program started locally.  I wasn't able to find any Colorado national parks with an existing program.  The only current bark rangers opportunity I found was at Eldorado Canyon State Park, which is a good distance from where we live.

Having previously worked in a national park (Padre Island National Seashore), I get excited just thinking about the powerful teaching moments that take place in park settings.  Even yesterday, shortly after becoming a Bark Ranger, Finn made an impact while engaging with visitors at Pecos NHP.  One couple in particular told me that Finn had made their day and had made them happy.  It takes a special Bark Ranger to do that and Finn has a gift for elevating the quality of a day. 

If you love to travel with your dog, and enjoy sharing the national parks with your pet, I encourage you to join the Bark Ranger Program (you can search online to find which parks already have the program).  I'm really glad Finn and I took that trek to Pecos NHP.  It is surely the beginning of many beautiful and fulfilling connections for us.  I can't wait to see where this leads.





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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Paws and Pals Dog Ramp Review

Finn's New Dog Ramp
As I approach the second anniversary of bringing Finn, my special needs/strengths dog, home from the animal shelter, I find myself reflecting on his extraordinary capacity for achieving things he wasn't supposed to be able to do.  Finn has grown well beyond the initial confines of his physical disability, which compels me to provide him with more and more opportunities to do as much as possible through his own initiative and power.  Yesterday, I bought Finn a portable dog ramp that will provide him with more freedom to access his world.  This review shares our first impressions and experiences with the Paws and Pals ramp.

Finn, like all of us, has his own way of approaching new challenges.  I've gotten better at understanding his learning style and anticipating Finn's insecurities (before they kick in), which helps me to be a more effective trainer.  A good starting point today was to take Finn to his favorite park for the first lesson in using a ramp.  I wanted Finn to be relaxed, and for him to associate good things with the pet ramp.

Step One - Explore the Ramp Flat on the Grass
First, to allow Finn to discover the scent, texture, and sound of being on the ramp, I laid it flat on the grass.  This was a very nonthreatening way for him to check it out.  I brought a high-value treat to reward Finn's every success (cheese works magic).  By strategically placing three cubes of cheese on the ramp, it was very easy to entice Finn to take his first steps up onto and across the ramp.  From his second crossing on, I could tell by reading Finn's body language that he was already feeling confident, and even enthusiastic, about this new game.  After the third ramp crossing, I didn't even have to offer a treat.


Having mastered the low-risk, no fear element of ramp exploration, I decided Finn was ready to take it to the next level.  I found a broad tree stump with a height a few inches above ground level.  Because I thought the surface of the plastic ramp might be a little slippery when elevated, and because Finn is very sensitive about his footing, I covered the ramp with some inexpensive rubberized shelf liner.  The new ramps come with sheets of grip tape, but the gently used model I bought did not have that option.  My solution worked perfectly.  Finn climbed the gentle slope with no hesitation.

Nonslip Liner on Ramp
Since Finn appeared to be having fun with our lesson, was having complete success, and didn't appear mentally or physically fatigued, we forged on.  Had that not been the case, I would have spread these ramp lessons over several sessions on different days.

Next, I used a park bench to elevate one end of the ramp about 14 inches off the ground.  We were now approaching the level Finn would need to master to use the ramp for getting into a low vehicle, or for getting up on furniture.  One great thing about this dog ramp is that it can be used indoors or outdoors.

Park Bench Height Ramp Elevation
I lured Finn up the elevated ramp by leading him with a piece of cheese.  It was important to keep him on a short leash and to walk alongside him on this first climb up a steeper angle.  I didn't want Finn to be tempted to jump off the side of the ramp.  We took it slow and he had no problems making it up onto the bench.  At that point, I felt Finn had done enough for day one.  As always, Finn accomplished even more than I had planned for him, and he laid to rest any concerns I had about whether or not a dog with only partial use of his rear legs could balance on, and ascend, a fairly narrow elevated ramp (it's thirteen and a half inches wide between the rims).

Finn will mostly use his Paws and Pals ramp inside the house.  My vehicle is not really conducive to having Finn load himself, although I won't rule it out until I let him give it a try.  He's sure to surprise me.  A car, van, or hatchback vehicle would be more ideal for the use of this ramp (nothing requiring too steep an incline).  I mainly want Finn to be able to get up and down off the bed for starters.  From there, we'll work on graduating to ever greater challenges worthy of Finn's capabilities.

Light, Compact, Easy to Carry and Store
Given such fast success with the ramp, especially for a cautious dog, Finn and I are giving it a Four Paws Up rating.  I really like all of the main features:

  • Folds up compact for storage (15.5" wide x 10" long x 16.5" high).
  • Lightweight (just eight pounds).
  • Made of a durable, easy to clean plastic.
  • Easy to carry with the attached handle.
  • Simple to use (no assembly required).
  • Long enough for typical uses without being too bulky to handle (60" when fully extended).
  • Strength rated for up to a 110-lb. dog.
  • Multiple applications for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Good value and quality for the price (least expensive ramp I found).
Who could benefit from a pet ramp?  Senior dogs, puppies, injured dogs, disabled dogs, small dogs, convalescing pets, and any weak dog or cat.  It is also a major help to those who care for animals (especially those who are physically unable to carry or load a large, heavy dog).  Even totally healthy animals enjoy using ramps.  It's good, stimulating exercise for a pet to try new ways of balancing and climbing.  

We'll keep you posted and continue to add photos as Finn becomes the master of his domain.  I'm sure he will continue to push the boundaries and to constantly redefine what it means to be a special strengths dog who just happens to have been born with legs that work differently.  Finn acts as though he has no limitations.  I feel it is my responsibility to give him as much rein as possible and to not do for Finn the things he can do for himself.  We're learning together how to be the best versions of ourselves in ways that elevate one another.



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Friday, June 28, 2019

Easy Carry Fabric & Collapsible Travel Dog Bowl Reviewed

Don't Leave Home Without a Travel Dog Bowl!

Easy Carry Fabric & Collapsible Travel Dog Bowl Reviewed
We were surrounded by lake water, but Merlin drank cool, clean water
from his Good2Go Collapsible Dog Bowl
We enjoy taking our pups for walks, we even take them on longer hikes with us.  After all, none of our dogs have ever wanted to be left at home when we go on adventures. However, it is important to remember they have needs too when they are away from home.

Think about it.  When you go on a long walk or hike, what do you need?  We always carry water with us.  We don't rely on the possibility of coming across a water fountain or running water in a stream.  Dehydration is serious, so why take unnecessary risks.  Not only do we carry water for ourselves, but we carry a canteen of cool water for our dogs.

How do we give our dogs a drink, you may ask?  Easy!  We carry a fabric, collapsible dog bowl in our back pocket.


The Good2Go Collapsible Dog Bowl


Collapsible Dog Travel Bowl Reviewed
For many years now, we have carried this fabulous and durable fabric dog bowl.  It is so lightweight, you don't even notice it, but you are most grateful to have it when needed.

Dogs can dehydrate just like we can.  They may be a lot cuter than we are when they are panting and slowing down, but the lack of water can be serious.  

When dogs are thirsty, they tend to drink whatever water they come across, including stagnant dirty water.  We all know the dangers of drinking stagnant water.  It is easily contaminated and can harbor all kinds of parasites and bacteria.  

We love our dogs enough to take them with us instead of leaving them at home.  Why wouldn't we also love them enough to provide for their needs by simply taking water and this easily pocketed dog bowl along for the walk.

We also use this water bowl in the car when traveling.  It is easy to set it down and let them drink from their doggie travel bowl.

Once we are back home, we wash the bowl inside and out with dish soap and allow it to air dry.  Then, it is ready to go again when we are!

I can't recall when we first purchased our Good2Go collapsible dog bowl, but I do know it has been many years ago.  It still looks brand new. 

 







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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ruff Relief Organic Pet Paw, Nose, and Skin Balm - Review


My adventure dog, Finn, is finding winter conditions to be hard on his sensitive paws.  When I rescued him, the pads on Finn's feet were as silky smooth as baby skin.  That is because Finn had never been outdoors.  Recently, during a walk at the park, Finn stopped moving and started whimpering a bit.  After quickly checking his feet, I realized he was communicating discomfort related to an ice ball that had formed between the toes on a front foot.  Not long after that incident, Finn let me know that he could not tolerate any small amount of the chemical de-icer that was present on city sidewalks and roads.  What to do?

As I considered possible solutions, such as dog booties and paw wax, or hibernating until June, I came across a highly rated organic paw balm called Ruff Relief.  The key factor that sold me on this particular pet product had a lot to do with the fact that it is rated at a human grade food level (the first time I have seen that).  Given that dogs frequently lick their feet, it was really important to me that anything Finn put in his mouth was natural, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic (along with made in the USA).  The fact that Ruff Relief has earned a USDA certification sealed the deal for me.

You may be wondering about the ingredients.  That was the first thing I wanted to know.  Here they are:
  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Beeswax
  • Organic Carnauba Wax
  • Jojoba Wax
  • Non-GMO Vitamin E
These natural ingredients are safe to use on paws, noses, and other skin hot spots.  Though I think of winter as the toughest time to keep my animals' skin protected, summer presents its own challenges (think burning hot pavement and concrete).  Ruff Relief provides year-round protection from ice, snow, and heated surfaces.  If your pet ever suffers from cracking, chapped, or dry skin, you may wish to give Ruff Relief a try.  There's really no risk given that the company provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  You have 30 days to test drive this product.  If you aren't happy with the results, simply request a full refund.

Since I have just started using this balm on Finn's paws, I'll have to keep you posted about our longer term results.  I am fully expecting good outcomes given all of the positive online reviews.  Stay tuned for updates.

Before closing, I thought I would share some fun facts I discovered while searching for information about dog feet.

Fritos Feet
What is that corn chip smell??  Why do dogs have feet that smell like Fritos, Cheetos, or popcorn?  Actually, that is totally normal.  The smell comes from natural bacteria that grow on canine paws (mixed with a dog's unique paw sweat gland odor).

Did You Know?
Some dog breeds, think Greyhounds, Dobermans, and Akitas, have "cat feet" (smaller feet with high arches).  These features, along with the lightness of their feet, enhance their endurance.

Pop Quiz
Does your dog have webbed feet?  If so, you should ace this quiz.  In the comment section, please name a breed of dog with webbing between the toes/pads.

Finally, have you had to treat your pet's feet at certain times of year?  If so, what worked well for your four-legged friend?








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Monday, June 18, 2018

Reviewing Chewy.com

I have just received my first order from Chewy.com and I have to say that I think I could get used to having nearly 20 lbs. of pet supplies delivered to my 3rd floor apartment door. 


About Chewy.com


Chewy.com is an online source for pet supplies. A large variety of pets. You can choose to "shop by pet" and that includes: dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, small pets, and horses. 

Their mission statement is:

"We're working to become the largest pet retailer in the world with the most satisfied customers. Our success is measured by the happiness of the people and pets we serve, not simply by the amount of pet supplies we deliver." 

After my experience, I believe that they are working hard to complete that mission.

I found the site to be easy to navigate and super easy to find the items and brands I was shopping for. 

With a coupon I received in the mail, I took the plunge and ordered four cases Willy and Daisy's canned dog food. With the coupon and free shipping combined that dog food cost less than it would have if I had purchased it at Wal-Mart. 


I like to buy my dog and cat supplies in bulk - cutting down on trips to the store. But loading, unloading, and carrying all that up three flights of stairs becomes annoying. Imagine 2 large bags of dog food, a 5 lb. bag of cat food, a container of cat litter, and a case of canned dog food in a typical stock-up shopping trip. That translates to multiple heavy-duty trips up and down the stairs.

Finally, I have browsed the site several times and confirmed that they offer every brand of dog food, dog treat, cat food, and cat litter that I buy. Including one of the dog food brands I purchase that is regularly out-of-stock at my local stores. 


The Reason I'd Give My Experience 4 out of 5 Stars


If I were giving a starred review, I'd give 4 out of 5 stars - subtracting one star for our local delivery service. 

I've learned that in the Baltimore area we have a delivery service in addition to UPS, FedEx, and the postal service. It is called LaserShip. I'm not at all pleased with LaserShip.

LaserShip listed an expected delivery date. Two days after that date, I contacted them. Their response was that there was a delay and I'd receive my shipment in 1-2 days. Those additional days passed and suddenly my tracking information showed that my delivery was "left at door" on the original delivery date that was listed. 

Only problem was... it wasn't left at my door. I happened to be home that evening (and ironically, receiving a delivery of curtains and curtain rods from one of the other delivery services). So I contacted LaserShip again.  After another couple of days their response was that my delivery was lost and I should contact "the seller.".  It was only then that I realized I was not communicating with Chewy.com customer service.

I contacted Chewy.com customer service. They were professional, quick, and shipped my items a second time. For free. With no run around or misinformation whatsoever.

I received that order on the promised date. 

Related to Chewy.com only, I could imagine myself becoming a regular client. I'm totally sold on the savings and convenience. However, I'm planning on learning more about this LaserShip company to learn if I can receive my Chewy.com orders without LaserShip's "help". 

I highly recommend Chewy.com to other pet owners.


photos courtesy of Pixabay under CC0 license. 






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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Laxanip For Cats Reviewed

When Kitty Struggles With Elimination

Laxanip works well for your cat when struggling with hairball elimination or if he or she has a constipation problem. Our older cat has begun to have some issues with relieving her bowels. So, I have begun giving her this product with her meals. 

I know this is a bit of a yucky topic but when your feline companion struggles you want to do something to relieve their discomfort. Laxanip is easy to use and has helped our cat with her problem. She is an icky, picky little thing when it comes to eating but she does not seem to mind having this added to her food bowl. 

The first time I added a little squeeze of this to her food, I held my breath. I didn't notice any sort of smell at all but I don't have the enhanced ability of smelling that a cat does. She sniffed around the food and the bowl, turned and looked at me and then started licking the product. I was relieved! She was going to eat it! It probably helps that this hairball/constipation remedy has catnip in it. She does love her catnip!

It took about a week before I noticed that her stools didn't look as hard and she wasn't yowling when she used the litter box. She seems to be feeling some relief and I am so thrilled that I was able to offer her some comfort.

The substance is pretty thick and a little hard to squeeze out of the tube but it isn't too awfully bad on that count. The ingredients are not anything that will hurt you or your feline. Petroleum, corn syrup, malt syrup, molasses, soybean oil, mineral oil and catnip. It must taste pretty sweet but I am not going to taste it to find out! She seems to like it and it does appear to be working and that is what matters.

So, if you have a cat or cats that seem to have a problem getting rid of their hairballs or are struggling in the litter box; try some of this Laxanip for cats. I think you will be pleased with the results and your cat will feel better. 



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Monday, May 14, 2018

Reviewing Vetericyn Antimicrobial Ophthalmic Gel for Animals

The best relief for Dog's eyes.
It is spring allergy season. And our allergies are raging this year. I'm struggling. And poor Willy, my dog, is struggling. This is always a rough time of year for him. Fortunately, I have found something that helps alleviate his eye irritation. Vetericyn products are recommended by farmers and homesteaders as a brand that is reliable for the treatment of their livestock and pets. It was from these recommendations that I learned about Vetericyn Antimicrobial Ophthalmic Gel.


Vetericyn Plus Ophthalmic Antimicrobial Gel


Willy has very sensitive skin. Every year we struggle with his allergies. He looks like he has mange, we go to the vet and get him tested, and we learn that it's allergies. 

Willy gets itchy and scratches until he loses patches of hair. Shampoos and creams alleviate some of the body itching. However, his eyes are often extra sensitive. When his eyes are itchy, he ends up rubbing the hair off from around his eyes.

It is very difficult to treat a pet in areas near their eyes. The creams and shampoos that provide the most itch-relief are usually not safe for use near their eyes. The prescription eye cream from the vet is the only other thing that is safe for use on and in the eyes - and it is expensive and comes in a very small tube. It runs out very quickly.
click to enlarge

Because of his allergies, and my frequent rubbing him down with something-or-other, Willy hates for me to approach him with any cream, spray, or gel. Hates it. I have to follow him to catch him. I typically take him to the bathroom to decrease the chance of his escape before I am able to administer whatever it is I have to administer.

But, when he sees me with this little blue bottle he dances around and whines. He wants to avoid me and yet he wants the relief in his eye. It's easy to see by the way he dances around, finally approaching me with his head down, that the Vetericyn provides relief. 

I keep Vetericyn eye gel on hand for poor Willy's itchy eyes. But even if his allergies end some day (fingers crossed that day comes), I will always keep a bottle on hand for as long as I have pets. Vetericyn is a brand I've come to trust.





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Monday, April 23, 2018

Furemover the Pet Hair Removal Solution

FURemver: removes dog hair from the Jeep seats
Are you tired of fighting the never-ending battle with pet hair in your house and car? With two dogs and a cat, I had given up trying to keep pet hair at bay. Then my son showed me a miraculous product - The Furemover broom. Had I not not watched him sweep up a pile of dog-hair-dust-bunny in a matter of moments, I would have NEVER believed it. As soon as I returned home I ordered my own Furemover broom and brushes. 


Low Pile Rugs and Floofy Dogs


Recently, while visiting my son and family, my son pulled out a broom-like device and quickly swept the carpet with it. I had seen that their puppy (an adorable Lab, Great Pyr, Akita, Chow mix) had left a couple of small furry fluffs of hair in the spot where he lays.  But to me, the rest of the rug looked perfectly clean.

After a very quick brushing of the carpet a sizable pile of dog hair was gathered and thrown away. I was amazed! I wanted to fall to the floor and start taking close-up photos of that pile of hair but it was my first visit in their home as a family and I thought that might look too weird, even for me.

After I returned home, I was so sure that I wanted to review this product that I asked my son to take a photo of a pile of hair for use on in my review. He happily obliged. 
My grandpup and the Furemover broom at work

The Furemover broom clearly works extremely well on low pile rugs and to remove floofy dog hair.

Unfortunately, the Furemover broom did not work as well on my el-cheapo, high pile, apartment carpet (shag) to remove Daisy's prickly, short, white hairs.

BUT .... even though the Furemover broom can't seem to gather the plague of short, prickly dog hairs from my shag carpet the Furemover cleaned my welcome mat with just a minute or two of sweeping.  



Also, I bought the Furemover duo brush. I highly, highly recommend the duo brush. This 2-sided brush has at least two fans in my home. Daisy loves me to brush her with it (and she's never really allowed me to brush her previously) and it is perfect for getting her pokey little hairs out of the Jeep seats!


Furemover Duo Brush for Car Seats


I had completely given up on cleaning the Jeep interior. With some work, Willy's softer hair can be vacuumed out. Daisy's hair just burrows into the seat fabric and is nearly impossible to remove. Just before my visit with my son, I paid several dollars for the public vacuum and worked up a sweat trying to remove the white prickley pestilence from the seats - only to resort to hand picking each little hair from the areas of the seat where he'd be sitting.

This Furemover Duo brushes nearly all of the embedded hairs from the seat as though they are laying on top of the surface.




When the broom arrived it required assembly - which was screwing the handle into the broom. The broom head is a very soft rubber so cross-threading would have occurred easily. But with a little attention to making sure I didn't cross-thread it the broom screwed on to the handle easily.

I'm very happy to own these brooms and brushes. These inexpensive items are excellent solutions for fluffy pet hair on low-pile rugs and all sorts of pet hair (including the short, prickley hairs like Daisy sheds) on your car seats. 


Additional note: That beautiful grandpup of mine is a rescue. Please consider adopting a dog or cat that needs a home.


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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Trailer - Review

Finn's New Adventure Mobile
Let's go!  These are the magic words that make my dog's heart sing.  Finn is always thrilled when we head out for an adventure, but his disability requires thoughtful solutions that enable him to enjoy rigorous outdoor activities.  This is why I bought Finn the Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Stroller/Trailer this week. Now he can go on extended hikes and bike rides without hurting or overly stressing his body.

When I adopted Finn a few months ago, the first thing I acquired for him was a standard dog stroller.  That stroller has been an important mobility aid given Finn's limited use of his rear legs, but it has significant issues.  The stroller is tippy and its small wheels can only handle paved surfaces.  Given the rugged terrain where we live and play, it quickly became apparent that we needed a different style of dog stroller.

As I initiated a search for Finn's next adventure mobile, my wish list included the following features: lower center of gravity (closer to the ground); bigger wheels; dual use features (bike trailer option in addition to stroller function); and affordability (many dog trailers cost several hundred dollars).

After considering several products, I found one that offered more than I was seeking.  The price was right (two to three hundred dollars less than other models offering fewer features) and the shipping was fast and free.  Everything arrived carefully packed.

Here's what I received in the box (clockwise from bottom center): tool kit; instructions; front swivel wheel and fork; safety flag; handlebars with brake; rear wheels; and trailer body.



In addition to getting the larger wheels (19-inch) on my wish list, I was especially happy to receive the bonus of a suspension system that will provide shock absorption.  I want Finn to have as smooth a ride as possible.  This is one of the more important features for a dog that cannot balance on all four legs.






I was ready to purchase another trailer model until I read complaints about the front wheel being stationary.  Because the wheel did not swivel, turning was tedious.  I now realize what a mistake it would have been to go with a stroller that was hard to maneuver around curves and corners.  The front wheel on this model can swivel 360 degrees and is 9.5 inches high.











Another complaint about some of the other dog strollers that I initially considered was that they lacked any storage options.  This model has two pockets, one on each side of the trailer body, that are just perfect for storing a cell phone, keys, or a wallet.













Though the trailer can be compacted for travel, I find it is easiest to just leave it fully assembled and use the bed of my truck for moving it around.  Even though I have a short bed on my Sport Trac, it is large enough to haul this trailer.  Anyone with a van, SUV, or truck will have plenty of room to easily transport this dog trailer.  The external dimensions are: 30" wide x 46" long x 38" high.  At 37 pounds, I can easily lift and load this stroller/trailer by myself.


Let's move on to what Finn likes about his new ride.  When I asked him, he wanted to make sure I mentioned his awesome sunroof.  That's pretty much his favorite feature.  I've been keeping the roof open while we're cruising so Finn can keep an eye on my driving.  The sunroof does have a screen and rain guard.  Given that the weather can change every five minutes in Colorado, I'm sure that hatch cover will be put to use.




Finn also likes the roomy interior of his carriage.  There is plenty of space to lie down comfortably.  The internal dimensions are: 23" wide x 28" long x 22" high.  He also enjoys all of the screened in picture windows.  This is one fabulous room with a view.








Most of all, Finn and I love the anticipation of all the places we will now be able to go.  We highly recommend the Best Choice Products 2 in 1 Dog Trailer.  It's not just for disabled dogs.  Most dogs could benefit from this mobility aid during some season in their lives.  Young pups and senior dogs often tire easily on long walks.  Also, many dogs have periods of time when they are recovering from something that limits their capacity to get around (a surgical procedure, injury, etc.).  It is so hard for a dog to be grounded.  Anything that keeps a dog's spirits up and is good for his overall well-being is so worth the investment.

Stay tuned for updates as we test the bicycle trailer option and take our first road trip.
















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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Whimzees Natural Dog Treat Review

My little furball is in love with his new friend Whimzees Dog Treats! I am in love that I found a dog treat my dog can actually eat due to his new friend the low protein dog diet. Whimzees brand of dog treats are actually all natural dental treats so one a day is the recommended serving.



 All Sizes All Shapes

One of the fun features are the different sizes and shapes of Whimzees. Every dog has their unique preference of the size and shape of a dog treat and then there are those dogs which are generalists. My dog is a generalist; not necessarily picky, but does prefer the chew stick or chew round as the first options.


 Low Protein All Natural Dog Treat

Unfortunately due to a tangle with bladder stones my dog had to be switched to a low protein menu which included low protein dog treats and chews. The treats were not an issue as I had always restricted the types of treats; but taking away the favorite dog chew was a huge issue!

The Fluff (as I call my dog in jest, as he is not a wash and wear type dog and needs to be groomed and fluffed!) absolutely without hesitation indicated that a daily chew was a necessity.


The Search For A Low Protein Dog Chew Or Snack

It was very difficult to find any dog chews that were "low protein" as defined by under 15-20% protein content. When I was roaming up and down the treat aisle at the local pet store I lucked into one of the employees who was also a dog nutritionist. I was reading the ingredients of Whimzees and as we together went through the ingredients the dog nutritionist explained each ingredient and its' benefit. The Whimzees Vegetable Sausage is a dental dog treat so the Fluff eats the stick quickly, but is very satisfied.



Switching From A Protein Dog Chew To Whimzees


It was absolutely no problem to switch to the Whimzees Dog Treats. I chose the Vegetable Sausage as it was a chew stick and suitable for the size of the Fluff. The Fluff approved immediately and is a happy little chewer with the added bonus of helping to keep his teeth clean and his breath fresh.

Whimzees can be purchased in variety packs of different shapes or a  pack of the same type of dog treat. I began with the Vegetable Sausage and next time will order the variety pack for small dogs for a change of pace. Dog owners seeking a grain free treat will love Whimzees too!

The Fluff and I highly recommend Whimzees! 




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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Embark Dog DNA Test Review

Embark Dog DNA Test Kit

Dogs are such wondrous mysteries.  When we adopt a rescue animal, there is this vast unknown.  It is only natural to have a desire to discover as much as possible about a new family member.  In the quest to uncover a newly adopted fur baby’s history, more and more pet parents are choosing to explore their dog’s breed mix, heritage, and health profiles through DNA analysis.  This is where the Embark Dog DNA Test comes into play.

Finn's Disability is Congenital
I have had so many questions about my newest dog, Finn.  Because he was rescued from a situation of extreme neglect, and because Finn has a congenital condition (Medial Patella Luxation), it seemed especially critical to know more about potential health issues.  Of course, like most people who choose to have their dogs tested, I was also excited to gain a greater insight into Finn’s family tree.  One of my biggest questions, with regard to Finn being rescued with a group of dogs (a hoarding case), has centered on what his relationship might be to the other dogs that were trapped in the same household with him.

My decision to send Finn’s DNA to Embark’s veterinary geneticists came about when a fellow adopter of one of the dogs saved with Finn spoke to me about Clark’s DNA results.  I suspected that Finn and Clark might share a Border collie ancestor.  Curiosity led me to go online and order my Embark Dog DNA Test so I could compare Clark and Finn’s results.  Amazingly, my test kit arrived within three business days. 

Finn's DNA Sample
Collecting Finn’s DNA sample took just 30 seconds.  Using the swab in the kit, I soaked up a small amount of saliva and secured the sample in the vial provided for preservation.  Mailing the vial could not have been easier.  A postage paid label and box were provided.

Embark is exceptional when it comes to communication.  At every step along the way, I was notified by email and text message about what was happening with Finn’s DNA sample.  For instance, I knew when it was in the centrifuge, when it was being purified, when the DNA was being replicated (one million copies!), and when the geneticists were beginning to build Finn’s profile chromosome by chromosome. 
Finn's Health Summary
First, I received Finn’s health summary.  I was relieved to see that he is clear of each of the common genetic conditions identified for his breed mix.  Competitors charge extra for each test.  I appreciated the advantage of having all of these genetic disease tests included in the price of the Embark test kit.  As a bonus, a custom report was provided for Finn’s vet.  



Finn's Breed Mix
Next, the greatly anticipated breed mix report arrived through my online portal.  Wow!  I was expecting Finn to be part poodle and part Border collie.  That was confirmed.  What I didn’t anticipate were all of the other interesting breed mixes and percentages.  

Finn's Family Tree

There are other advanced features and analyses too involved to cover in this review.  One thing I will mention is that Finn now has the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research.  When I chose the Embark Dog DNA Test, one of the factors that appealed to me most was that of the ongoing research which would provide me with continual updates. 

Though there are less expensive DNA tests, with faster results, I am completely sold on Embark's comprehensive package.  I feel the cost was reasonable for what I gained in terms of knowledge about Finn, reassurance about his genetic disease risk, and the fascinating details about canine genes.  I highly recommend Embark's Dog DNA Test.










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