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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Hoover Power Scrub Elite Review

The Hoover Power Scrub Elite
There are probably as many reasons to own a carpet shampooer as there are carpets. For my own reasons, I have purchased the Hoover Power Scrub Elite carpet shampooer and have been very happy with it's performance. If you have pets or small children, or tend to make your own spills on your carpet, I highly recommend that you have your own carpet shampooer. I am very pleased with mine.

Hoover Power Scrub Elite

The Hoover Power Scrub Elite seems to be a sturdy and reasonably priced residential carpet shampooer. There are several features about this shampooer that are more handy that I expected.

Wash & Rinse. The clean water reservoir is divided. Initially, I thought that would bother me (there is a small reservoir for the carpet cleaning solution within the fresh water reservoir).  However, I have found that I really like the solution separate from the fresh water. And there is a handy button to choose "wash" or "rinse".  No more refilling the jug to go over a wet carpet with clean water to rinse. I can rinse each small section as I go.

Dries 2xs Faster. Okay, I don't really know if it dries exactly 2xs faster than my previous shampooer. The "dries 2xs faster" is the claim that Hoover has printed on the box. But it does dry FAST! When I began using this shampooer, we were in the winter months - and the air was very dry. I assumed the super fast drying of the carpet was due to the climate. Not the shampooer. Then I shampooed on a humid day. I dread shampooing on humid or rainy days as it often takes so long to dry. But not with this machine. I'm not certain whether it is due to the strong suction power or the "HeatForce" drying. Whatever the reason, I am thrilled with the short drying time.

Spin Scrub Brushes. My last shampooer had only one spinning bar of brushes. The Hoover Power Scrub Elite has five spinning brushes in a row. It cleans and fluffs my carpet.

Removes Pet Odors. I'm not sure if it is the scrubbing brushes, the HeatForce, or the cleaning solution formula that came with my machine but the odors from Daisy's and Willy's occasional accidents are gone!

The Many Reasons I Own A Shampooer

There are many people who hire folks to come in and clean their carpets. And just as many people who rent commercial shampooers from a store to DIY.  There are many reasons I don't want to do either of those things.

Expense. Hiring someone to clean my carpet is expensive. And with customer service becoming what it is, I don't want the muss and fuss of someone coming into my home. Besides, I have a very small apartment with only a bit of carpet.

Bugs! Renting a commercial shampooer to do it myself makes me cringe. In this day and age of things like Bed Bugs I'll have to pass on using something that cleaned someone else's carpet. Someone will probably tell me that bed bugs can't travel in a shampooer but I still can't stand the thought.

Convenience.  I have dogs. And a cat. Occasionally they have accidents. And worse than that, I'm terribly clumsy. I spill things. All the time. Whether it's just a touch up in one spot, or the entire carpet needs cleaned, I want to shampoo when I want to. And I can do that with my own shampooer.

Extends the Life of the Carpet. Okay, in this shabby (but not chic) apartment, there's not a lot I can do to extend the life of this el-cheapo carpet.  But, I can keep it clean, fresh, and "fluffed".  I hate how the "high traffic areas" in a room get matted and flat. The scrubbing brushes on this shampooer are especially good at improving the looks of this carpet.

If there is any reason you are in the market for a carpet shampooer, give the Hoover Power Scrub Elite serious consideration. I've only owned mine for several months but I already know that it is significantly better than my previous shampooer.

Related Link:

If you do not want to buy a shampooer, but need to do some spot cleaning, make sure to read Bev's review of Shaw Carpet & Rug Stain & Soil Remover. She explains, "I absolutely love this stuff! It works like a dream!"

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Zack & Zoey Nor'easter Dog Blanket Coat Review

When you live in the mountains, the weather can turn on you without warning.  My adventure companion, Toby, has to be prepared for a wide range of conditions on our daily hikes.  One of the most important pieces of outdoor gear for my dog is his all-weather jacket.  Toby’s new Zack & Zoey Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat just arrived and we gave it a test run this afternoon.  Here’s our review of the coat’s performance.

First, I must mention that I specifically looked for a dog coat that came in a high visibility orange color.  With hunting season in high gear, Toby’s safety was my top priority.  Having a dog that loves to root around in the brush for rabbits and bones made it imperative that he not be mistaken for wild game.  I am extremely happy with the color of Toby’s new coat.  He can be seen from a great distance and the reflective stripe and paw logo on his coat provide for additional safety with darkness coming on so early these days.  Score: 10/10

Next, I wanted a waterproof outer fabric that would offer a shield from the wind that blows down off the 14,000-foot peaks here in our stomping grounds.  Toby's new Zack & Zoey dog coat has a polyester shell with just the right weave and weight to keep him comfortable.  Any hiker at high elevations knows that every ounce counts.  You need to find performance gear that won't weigh you down.  The weight of Toby's new jacket is just perfect.  We didn't have any precipitation to contend with during our test today, but we'll score this based on wind-breaking capacity.  Score: 10/10

The third feature on our must-have list for a new dog coat was that it be fleece-lined.  We found that the Zack & Zoey Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat offers just the right amount of warmth.  Being a rugged, outdoorsy kind of guy, Toby really likes the camo print lining, but you can select another lining style if your dog has different fashion tastes.  As an added bonus, this coat is reversible.  We flipped the jacket inside out during our test so you could see how it looks when reversed.  You can choose from eight different coat colors and lining prints.  Score: 10/10

Our final expectations, in terms of the dog coat’s features, centered on the ease of getting it off and on, as well as on the sizing adjustability.  The chest and belly straps on this dog coat make it quick and simple to gear up.  I’m pleased with the quality of the Velcro closures.  Some brands of dog coats have leg openings that require a dog to step into his jacket.  That would never work for us.  Those kinds of openings constrain movement and rub the wrong way on a dog’s body.  Toby and I much prefer the Zack & Zoey style of strapping.  We found the sizing to be very accurate.  I ordered an XL coat for Toby and it fits just right.  Score: 10/10

In summary, we couldn’t be happier with the Zack & Zoey Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat.  The coat is everything we wanted and the price was extremely reasonable (much less than other dog coats).  We paid $14.59 on Amazon.  I will buy this same coat again for my other dog, Finn.  Highly recommended.  Toby gives this dog coat an overall score of 10/10 bones.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Review of Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket

Finn's new Outward Hound life jacket.
When I recently adopted a disabled dog, I made a promise to Finn that I would do everything in my power to help him thrive.  Because his back legs do not function normally, and he cannot walk or run, I knew that swimming could provide Finn with a freedom of movement he had never before experienced.  I immediately went online and ordered an Outward Hound Fun Fish Life Jacket so Finn could dive into some water fun.  This is one of the best purchases I have ever made for one of my beloved animal companions.

I looked at a lot of life jackets for dogs before selecting this particular model.  Because Finn has limited use of his back legs, it was important to find a life jacket that would stabilize him in the water.  The neckband floatation bib on this life jacket was just what Finn needed to keep him from rolling over onto his side.

My little "Nemo's" first swimming lesson.
The two handle straps on the back of the life jacket have been essential during Finn’s initial swimming lessons.  They make it easy for me to build his confidence as I hold on and slowly move him through the water.  He feels safe, which is the most important thing when introducing a dog to water activities.  For anyone who takes a dog boating, this feature could mean the difference in saving an animal that has fallen overboard.  The straps can be easily hooked with a pole or paddle handle.

I also appreciate the design and construction of this life jacket. The Velcro closures and adjustable nylon straps make it easy for me to snug up Finn’s life jacket in a way that is secure and yet comfortable for him.   And then there is the cuteness factor.  Everyone who has seen my Finn in his new swimming gear thinks he looks like an adorable little Nemo.  I do think it’s one of the cutest life jackets on the market.   

Finn goes kayaking.
Who should own a dog life jacket?  Anyone who has a backyard pool, or who takes a dog boating, or who lives in hurricane country, or who has a weakened or elderly dog, or who is teaching a young pup to swim, or who wants to offer water therapy to a dog in recovery.  A life jacket is a great confidence booster for a fearful, reluctant, or struggling canine swimmer.  It can be the key to helping your dog discover, or retain, the joys of water play.

In terms of value, the Outward Hound Fun Fish Life Jacket is hard to beat.  I got a great price, along with all of the features I need to keep my precious pup safe.   After testing this dog life vest, I can say without hesitation that I would buy it again.  I highly recommend it, as do a few thousand other dog-lovers.  You can check out all of the reviews when you click through any of the links on this page.

Has your dog ever used a life jacket?  Please share your thoughts or experiences.  Thanks!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food Reviewed

Convenient Way To Purchase Food For Your Cat

tabby cat
Cat image courtesy of
Let's talk about an option to feed our cats today by reviewing Fancy Feast wet cat food. My older kitty is kind of persnickety about what she will eat and what she will not. Why is it that cats seem more finicky about their food than dogs do? Every cat that has ever owned me, has had a definite opinion about what they want to eat. 

For many years, I fed my cat dry cat food and it was just fine. As she has aged, she started having problems with constipation and it was suggested that I switch her to wet food. That switch has helped tremendously! 

In the wild, cats love to dine on mice, bless their souls! It turns out that they instinctively know that a mouse provides a pretty balanced diet when it comes to a cat's health. As disgusting as it might sound to us humans, the mouse provides the right amount of meat, liquid and calcium for the feline digestive system. House cats (our pets) don't usually get to control their diets with mouse morsels like their feral cousins do. Our giving them only dry food may not meet their moisture requirements in their diets.

In my attempt to ease my own kitty's digestive troubles, I tried a few different kinds of wet cat food. She seemed to like the Fancy Feast meals the best. Once I had determined that, I started ordering it online because it is so darned convenient!

I love that there is a nice variety to choose from and that I can offer her something different each day. Typically, I will order a box like the one above and then the next time choose maybe the seafood collection or a different collection. My kitty seems to prefer the classic pate meals but there are options of grilled and ones with gravy, too.

The ability of having the cat food delivered to my door is wonderful! I find that I shop more and more that way for all sorts of products, not just my cat food. It is convenient, economical and I don't have to worry about having run out of food for my cat or the humans in the house. Don't you just love it?

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You Have to See This! Excellent Dog and Cat Strollers Reviewed!

We Love all our Fur Babies!  Dogs and Cats are an integral part of our families!

When they hurt, we hurt too!  So let's review how we can help our Fur Babies thrive in whatever difficulties they may be experiencing!

Just last week I got the funniest (I thought at the time) phone call from my uncle.  He is a "Doggie Lover Extraordinaire!"  He knows all of the dogs in his building by name and they all know him too!  It's a win-win situation for him.  He is elderly and could not take care of a dog by himself, so he gets to love all the dogs and not have to worry about their day to day care.  The dog owners love it too, because he gives their fur babies a little extra attention and treats.  The dogs all love him.  Anyways,  I digress, back to the phone call.

The Phone Call!

He calls me almost in a frantic state and begins to tell me about this elderly dog in his building.  He's been worried about him for quite some time.  Mr. Beasley (the dog) is suffering from bad eyesight and the ravages of age, arthritis.   My Uncle was worried that the owners would put Mr. Beasley to sleep!  So the phone call continues, he says to me, "Olivinha (my pet name) you will never believe what I just saw!"

dog strollers, Review This, Pet Accessories, help for elder pets
Happy Fur Babies Going for a Walk!

The Reveal!

He proceeds to tell me about Mr. Beasley and his new "pet stroller".  He is gushing with excitement that Mr. Beasley's owners have found a way to make their fur baby's life easier in his later years. As he was telling me all about this it occurred to me that many of my friends are in a similar position.  Their fur babies are growing older and suffering some of the same effects of aging that we go through.  So with all this excitement I decided that I would check out these wonderful Pet Strollers and give you my honest review!

So here we go!

From Amazon's pages I have chosen to show you these four Dog/Cat Strollers! I have read many of the reviews given to the items by "verified purchasers" and can honestly say I have also spoken to many people about their own dog/cat strollers! So let's take a look and see what we have available, shall we?  People in my own building also have dogs and dog strollers.  I have made it a point to talk to them about their choices and why they like them or not!  I personally don't currently have a dog so my opinion is based on what I have seen and what I have heard from other dog owners, including Mr. Beasley's fur parents and more fur parents who have dog strollers.

Hits and Misses

Dog Strollers are basically a baby type carriage for your fur babies.  Like real baby strollers, they have wheels and a "bed area". So why not just get a baby carriage and modify it for your pet?  Well, let's just say that safety, is the name of the game and keeping our pet safe and secure is our ultimate goal.  In order to retrofit a baby carriage,  you would be making a big investment in time and trouble, when there are products already available for this purpose.
Not the ideal way to transport your pet for long periods of time.

Stroller Size

Pet strollers are rated for the size of the dog or cat.  Pet strollers can be used for any four legged pets that you may have. Depending on the overall size of the stroller, you can fit one or two small dogs or cats into these beds.  Most will have a certain "pound rating".  If you have a very big dog, you will need to look for a stroller that will take your pets weight, or the tires and frame will not hold up for prolonged use. Pet Strollers are generally rated by weight of the pet or pets.  Many come in doubles too, for people who have more than one animal in their care.  


You can get a very inexpensive dog stroller for a small dog if you are a city dweller and use it on paved walkways and roads. If this is good enough for you then you can purchase a doggie stroller for about $50.00.  As I said earlier I do not have one of these myself so I did rely on the comments and found some really disturbing ones that rated the inexpensive strollers as "terrible".  So buyer beware.  The smaller wheels and portability of the stroller would be ideal. But the smaller wheels do not lend themselves to a nice smooth ride for your pet.

The stroller that cost upwards of $180.00 are considered the "Cadillac" of pet strollers.These pet strollers have wheels that are 12 inches in diameter and are pumped up with air, like a bicycle tire.  They offer a smooth ride and are made especially for joggers or walkers that like to go the distance on terrain that is not smooth.  Winter would also be a great time to use these strollers,  to save the dogs from getting "salt burns" on the pads of their feet.  

Transportation of the Pet Strollers

All of the pet strollers are made to be easy to transport.  One handed collapse is not uncommon.  Weight of the pet beds varies but most are easy enough for anyone to load them into a car.   Not all of them have the storage  basket on the underside of the "bed".   To me this "extra" is essential, but more on that further in the Review.  Tubing and construction are much better with the premium types of pet strollers.

Bed Area

Some of the pet strollers come with a "bed" already for your pet.  Some make this an add on feature.  Premium strollers come with everything included, meaning that you have a sun shade, bolster pad and bedding as part of the whole package.  If you buy a less expensive model, you will need to add these extras to make your pet stroller compete with the upgraded models.  The bed is "screened in" so that your dog will not be able to jump out and wander off.  Some even sport a window at the bottom area of the bed, so that your dog can lie down and still be watching where you are going. If your dog likes the wind in his face, there are tethers to attach to a harness!  Then let the hood down and the screen off and your animals will still be safe!  Everything will fit nicely into the boot of the carriage.


Premium strollers are also great for fitness buffs who love to run.  The three wheeled construction allows the front wheel to lock into place for joggers.  If you prefer a leisurely walk, then the front wheel can be unlocked.  You will be able to turn your pet stroller on a dime.  It handles like a "Ferrari", where the more inexpensive strollers will chug along like a freight train in comparison.

Boot or Storage Area

Underneath the "bed" there is a boot or storage area, that will hold everything you might need while you are out and about.  A water dish, water bottles, treats and even their food can easily be stored until needed.  If you are out with your dog for the whole day, this storage area is wonderful and will save you from having to make several return trips to the car for items you might need.  Going to the dog park was never so easy for you or your dog. And after a strenuous day of play, your pet will be ready for a nice nap on the way back to the car.  Everyone exhausted but happy with a day's outing made easy.


If you are purchasing a pet stroller for your family pet, then I would strongly suggest going for a model that is in the higher price range. You will get your money's worth out of it, with the superior construction and usability.   When your dog gets older and can no longer walk for long distances, this is the ideal way to help your pet still enjoy his later years.  He still gets out and for short periods of time can get out of the stroller for a little walk and then get back in to rest.  It's one of the little things we can do for our pets who have given us so much love during their younger years.  Elder dogs are still part of our extended family and as such we can only try to make their latter days as easy a possible.

We have so much fun with our four legged family members that in their latter years we can go just that little bit further.  After all, these are the pets that we have dressed up for Halloween, taken pictures of for our Family Christmas Cards, and made them a part of our world for so many occasions.  When they get old, we owe it to them to make their senior years as wonderful as they have made all of our days.

Dog safety is one of the most important things we can do for the pets we love.  Keeping them safe and comfortable is part of our duty as a pet owner and lover.  If you want to read about more ways to keep your pets safe and happy there are lots of Reviews available for you!

  • If you want to know more about Indoor Dog Gates, you can click on that link and read about them. Cynthia let's you know all the ins and outs of Indoor Dog Gates.
  • Dressing up our pets for special holidays is something we pet owners do too just for fun.  Our fur babies enjoy the attention and we get so much pleasure and fun with the interactions too.  Susan writes about dressing up our dogs in this review: Patriotic Dog Bandanas, Collars and Clothes.
  • If you are new to bringing home a puppy, you might want to read Bringing Home a Puppy Day!

One thing is certain, once there is a dog in your life, you will never ever stop having things to talk about.

If you ever get the chance to rescue a dog, you will find that they will change your life even more for the better!  My friend Diana Wentzel, rescues dogs and she just recently had then need to get a dog stroller for one of her rescues.  In her words, "Mr. Muffin's dune buggy. Let me tell you, it's a good workout pushing a dog stroller through a sandy creek. Still, I would do anything for this precious guy. I'm waiting for him to tell me where he wants to go for his next field trip."  She goes on to say, "I have found this to be an essential piece of equipment. For Mr. Muffin, it is definitely a quality of life accessory. I'm sure many dogs would benefit from having one. It means I can take Mr. M. places he would never be able to experience without it.

Along with her beautiful comments, she allowed me to post this picture of Mr. Muffins in his "Dune Buggy"!  Photo courtesy of Ms. D. Wenzel!
All pictures except Mr. Muffins's, on this blog post are from Pixabay.  

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Indoor Dog Gates Reviewed

Indoor Dog Gates Reviewed
As the summer months are fast approaching, I am reminded of how much we need our indoor dog gates once the hot days arrive. 

When we have workmen or company, it is simply too hot to leave the pups outside for more than a few minutes.  Actually, the same is true during the winter months.  Extreme weather conditions of any kind make indoor dog gates essential. 

We have 2 different dog gates that we use regularly in our home.  One that requires hardware mounted on the door facing.  And, one that is held in place by tension.  Both are fabulous dog gates and I can highly recommend either one depending on your preferences. 

Dog Gate with Hardware Required

 Kidco Safeway Gate, Top of Stairs Gate, WhiteThis doggie gate is more secure.  Unless a dog jumps over the gate, they aren't going to get past it.  We have had one dog who was capable of jumping over the gate, but age has slowed that desire and ability.  I am quite certain he could still jump the gate if needed, but he is a really good dog who understands the reason for the gate and tries very hard to be obedient.  To be completely honest, I am reassured to know he could get over it if needed.  After all, the workmen are most often strangers and I am more comfortable having my guard dog only a shout away. 

  • Metal
  • Adjustable Width to Fit Doorway
  • Locks 
  • Hardware Required (but you only have to install it once, unless you move)
  • Gate Can Be Removed when Not in Use (hardware remains on door facing)
This gate is also fabulous when we have had bad weather and the dogs come in wet.  I can close the gate and they will stay on the tile just inside our back door until they are dry enough to enter the rest of the house. 

Tension Dog Gate 

 Evenflo Position and Lock Tall Pressure Mount Wood GateThe tension dog gate is the one we use when we want the dogs to stay in an area of the house without locking them behind a door.  I have used it many times in the doorway between the kitchen and the den.  It allows them the freedom to move around in a larger area of the house, but to still be limited.  This gate was especially useful when we had our bathroom re-tiled.  That process took several hours over several days.  The dogs were "penned" in the kitchen area where they had access to their food and water all day.  Plus, they had plenty of room to walk around or lay down without being literally on top of each other.

  • No Permanent Hardware
  • Wood (beware, some dogs will chew wood frame)
  • Location can be Moved to Different Doorways
  • Adjustable Width
Indoor Dog Gates ReviewedWe also use the tension gate at the foot of the stairs when we have overnight guests.  It keeps the pups for going upstairs to visit with our guests.  Trust me, that makes for happier guests and happier dogs!

The downside to this gate is obvious.  Since it is only held in place by tension, a heavier dog, or one who was really persistent, could knock it down.  The few times I have seen that happen, the noise of the gate crashing to the ground stunned the dog momentarily and alerted me instantly that the gate was down.  That allowed me enough time to get the dog and the gate back when they were supposed to be without incident.  Fortunately, our dogs understand the gate is a boundary and they are really good about not crossing the boundary regardless.  I have even been able to simply set the gate against the doorway without locking it into place and they understand to stay on their side.

Indoor Dog Gates 

I have no doubt that these gates have saved our dogs lives on several occasions and saved me a tremendous amount of stress over the years.  Because we have larger breed dogs, I've never felt a kennel was a good option.  I wouldn't want to be trapped in one, therefore, I know my dogs don't want to be locked in a cage where they can't even stand up either.  

The indoor dog gates allow our dogs to be happier, healthier and safer.  They allow us to have the freedom to have our dogs live indoors with us, but be securely contained in safe areas when we have guests.

For all of us in our home, these gates are considered essential and worth the cost.  

To new dog owners, I recommend having these gates as soon as you bring a new puppy home.  It really is best to train them properly from the very beginning.  Puppies are much easier to train than an older dog.  However, I can tell you from experience that an older dog can and will learn the boundaries set by a indoor dog gate if you will simply be patient and give them time.  Like any other form of training, start out with short periods of time and keep them company.  Then work up to longer stretches of time and walk into another room for a few minutes.  They will learn that they are safe and that you are coming back.  It just takes time and gentle effort! 

Read More Product Reviews at

Indoor Dog Gates Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Doctor 4 Paws Liquid Joint Support For Cats

When Your Cat Starts To Show Stiffness In The Joints

resting cat
Cat resting image from
Recently I purchased a liquid joint support supplement for my older kitty cat. She is not as active as she once was and was starting to show signs of arthritis in her back leg. So, I decided to try a non-prescription glucosamine and chondroitin product to see if I could ease her discomfort a little. 

I needed to find one that cats did not seem to shy away from because of taste or smell. My old kitty is pretty picky about food. I knew a tablet was out of the question for her (and me!) so, a product that could be mixed in her food was going to work the best. I read the reviews carefully looking for people who also had a picky eater to see if their cats would take the supplement fairly well. 

I finally found one that people seemed to be pleased with and ordered it for my kitty cat. I'm pleased to say that she takes it very well when mixed in her food. It does seem to be helping her a little. She doesn't seem quite so stiff and she has become a little more active than before I started giving her the supplement. 

This Liquid Joint Support comes in a bottle with a pump that actually gives you 1 dose per pump. I liked that idea a lot! No guessing as to whether I had the correct amount or not. Well, that sounded good anyway. The pump worked for about a week before it seemed to freeze up and wouldn't pump anymore. Oh bummer!

The pump issue seems to be something many people encounter with this product when you look at the reviews. In my humble opinion, the company needs to come up with a better design for the pump or come up with a solution or directions for the amount that should be given each day. I will say that the pump not working has not deterred my giving her the daily dose. By the time the pump stopped working, I had a pretty good feel for how much to put into her food. Now, I just "eyeball" it each morning and go on. I can do that because the top of the bottle screws off and I can just pour the amount on top of her food and mix it up.

I do like the product and most importantly my cat will take it. She has shown improvement in her flexibility. I will continue to use the product but do wish that the company would come up with a better plan for measuring the doses from the bottle.

If you have a dog instead of a cat that is showing signs of arthritis in their joints, Doctor 4 Paws also has a product with the same ingredients for your canine friend. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Puppy Potty Trainer Reviewed

When A New Puppy Joins The Family

cavalier puppy
Puppy Potty Trainer For His Future - image from
A puppy potty trainer can be a big help when you find that your family has just increased by one with a new little furry member. 

My daughter and granddaughter have just welcomed a sweet little ruby coated Cavalier King Charles spaniel to their little family. He looks much like the image to the left. Oh, he is absolutely adorable! 

As with any puppy, he will need to be trained to do his little business outside and not inside their home. Potty training a puppy can be frustrating at times but there are things that you can do to help the process along. Helping them understand what needs to be done and where; might even seem a little overwhelming if you haven't gone through the process before. 

We have a lot more on the market now to help lessen the frustration for both pet and humans as we work through those weeks of house training our little furry babies. I particularly like this option: 

What I like about this system is that it can be placed right at the patio door and immediately gives puppy the idea that this is where he will need to go to let them know he needs a trip outside. Now, he is a puppy so it might take a little while for him to figure that out but I think this will help. I also like that it has a sort of astro turf to it, helping puppy to determine that grass is better than carpet when it comes to relieving himself.

The biggest selling point for me is the ability to easily clean it! Any liquid that puppy produces is drained to the plastic tray. The tray is easily cleaned with warm soapy water. I don't think that it gets much easier than that.

I also like the idea that it is portable and that when he comes to visit Grandma in these early weeks that my daughter can bring it along with her. It should be calming for him because it will be familiar and should help to instill the concept of where to go when he needs to.

We are so excited that this adorable little guy has joined our family and just know that all of us will enjoy many years of playing, cuddling and loving him. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Furniture That Doubles for You and Your Pet

Aquarium Coffee Table
Two Solutions in One

Did You Know You Can Find Furniture that Doubles as Home Decor for You, and Provides a Space for Your Pet?

These days living space, particularly in urban centers, is at a premium.

As an example, at the time of writing, the average price of a 1 bedroom apartment with under 700 square feet of living space in New York City is generally over $3000 per month.

Certainly those living in apartments find themselves struggling to allocate space for their pets. Heck, we're in a good sized home and struggled to find practical room for our doggie without compromising our home's overall decor.

For those who are sticklers about flow and decorating coordination, there are furniture items that double as a space for pets as well as serve a purpose for our own use.

An Aquarium Coffee Table:

Well, aren't these cool! When you visit this product's link above, you'll notice they come in coffee table or end table designs.

You can use an end-table fish tank on either side of a bed or couch, or just use the coffee table design in a main room. Granted, these items can be pricey, however, they're meant to solve space issues as well as create interest and house our fishy pets.
A Coffee Table Pet House &
Additional Designs Featured Here

The lovely added benefit of a coffee table fish tank is the beautiful relaxing water and ambient lighting they provide. Essentially, they're a constant night light.

They not only work for residential properties, but are also an excellent idea for business foyers or as added interest and decor in an elaborate office.

End Tables that Double as Beds for Cats or Dogs:

This is a fantastic solution when finding a bed space for your fur baby is an issue.

When your home doesn't practically allow for your pet's bed, coffee table pet cubbies solve the problem.

Many of us who have or have had pets know they often sleep under the table, and most certainly YOU CAN create your own pet bed directly under any open table.

However, if you need an enclosed space for your pet that features a door, there are several lovely coffee table pet designs to choose from. You can see some of these additional choices when you visit the above linked photo featuring a coffee table pet house.

If you have dog cages in your home to house your pet for a few hours while you're out or at bedtime, you know only too well how these items can disrupt the overall look of a room.

That's where lovely coffee table cages provide the perfect solution: They'll blend with the design of your room and provide a lovely dog/cat house for your pet.

There are always solutions for creative space management - Check out these additional ways you can maximize space for just about anything in the home:

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Are Rope Tug Toys Good For a Dog's Teeth?

Will your dogs have healthier teeth if they play with rope tug toys? Evidence in our family says the answer is "yes."
Jacey shows off her healthy teeth
and beautiful smile.
Reviewing Rope Tug Toys for Dogs

It's sad when a young family member has problems with their teeth, even when that family member happens to be a beloved family pet. Case in point, as our gorgeous grandpup Adrian has aged (she's nine now) she's developed major problems with her teeth. Despite consuming treats meant to clean teeth, she's had an abscessed tooth and even had to have a few teeth pulled. These days she's scheduled for frequent doggy-dental checkups and cleanings to monitor her dental health.

Enter Jacey. She's our youngest grandpup, a gentle giant at 11 months, 120-plus pounds and still growing. Jacey has perfect teeth, beautiful and white with a pretty smile that matches her easy-going, happy disposition. And while Jacey is much younger than Adrian, our grandpups' mommy (daughter-in-law Mandy) insists that what has kept Jacey's teeth so white and healthy, and what she expects to keep those teeth healthy throughout Jacey's life, is her knotted-rope tug toys. These toys have always been her favorite, toys that she carries around with her and chews on frequently. Mandy believes that it's the flossing action of the rope as it's chewed that has kept Jacey's teeth so white, clean, and healthy.

Adrian never played with rope tug toys. Jacey always has. Guess which dog has healthy teeth.
Adrian, with her summer haircut, and Jacey,
hanging out on the deck.

Growing up, Adrian never really played with a rope tug toy (or a "tug flosser," as Mandy calls it). If Adrian had played with a tug flosser, would she be having the dental problems that she has now? Mandy believes that she would not and wishes after every expensive vet visit (doggy dental care isn't cheap) that Adrian had been raised playing with a rope tug toy, too, like her sister Jacey.

I've read articles that back up the theory that rope tug toys are very effective for cleaning a dog's teeth. Many manufacturers of rope toys for dogs make that claim as well.

The makers of this Nylabone DuraToy Dental Knot rope tug toy recommend their toy specifically for your dog's dental health. While it's the design of the Nylabone that is made to clean a dog's teeth, the rope also serves as a flosser. It's even flavored with mint! Brush and floss daily. Good advice even for our pets.

Have a puppy or a tiny breed? This little Kong Goodie Bone with rope would be an excellent product to try with your little dog. It's a great introduction to tugging as a game and a very good way to get your dog started with its own tug flosser in order to keep its teeth nice and clean. (Note that many people prefer the Kong brand because their products are made in the United States.)

There are many other rope tug toys or chew toys to choose from. Check out ValuePet's selection of dog rope toys here. If you prefer just a rope tug toy that doesn't include a rubber or nylon chew toy with it, you might be able to find one for your dog at your local Walmart store. Or choose from Walmart's online selection of dog rope toys. Be sure to choose a toy in the size that best fits the dog. If she's a puppy, replace her small rope toy with a bigger one as she grows.

Are Rope Toys Safe for Dogs?

That's a good question, one that's important to address. The answer involves parental discretion and knowing your dog and its habits. While most of the time dogs do just fine with rope tug toys, I have read cases of dogs pulling out the thin strings that make up a rope, swallowing those strings, and facing serious issues within their digestive tracts as a result. Some have needed surgery; others have suffered even worse consequences. That's why, in our household, we don't use rope toys for our dog, Daisy. She loves to use her teeth to pull toys apart (especially if there's a squeaker involved) and is more likely than not to swallow the pieces. So we use extreme discretion when it comes to her toys. However, that's just Daisy and none of the dogs we've had in the past have had the issue of eating their toys.

I definitely plan on trying a rope tug toy for any dog that comes into our lives in the future, but I would only allow the dog, especially if it's a puppy, to chew on any new toy under strict supervision. That's advice I would recommend to any pet owner. Learn your dog's habits and choose toys accordingly.

Will your dogs have healthier teeth if they regularly play with rope tug toys? Probably. No one can guarantee it, but Mandy assures us that this method has worked for them and I believe it. It definitely could work for your dog, too.

~ Susan
Read more of my reviews here.

(Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.)

Personal photos ©A. Deppner, all rights reserved

Jacey says, "Give your dogs rope tug toys to help maintain their healthy smiles."
Jacey says, "Give your dogs rope tug toys to help maintain their healthy smiles!"

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Reviewing Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo

What do I believe is the best shampoo for dogs with dry, itchy skin? Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo with oatmeal and aloe. Here's my review.
When our dog, Daisy, was just a young pup, she suffered terribly from itchy skin. While she scratched, we researched and consulted with friends, as well as the vet, searching for a solution. Eventually, we found help for that dryness, itching, and irritation from scratching in the form of a product that we still use today, eight years later. What do we believe is the best shampoo for dogs with dry, itchy skin? Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo with oatmeal and aloe. Oh, what a difference and what a relief!

Daisy likes to sit in the grass, observing nature all around her, and we think the combination of bugs and grass, along with summer heat, tend to trigger her occasional episodes of excessive licking and scratching. As I write this it's early July and, just recently, the symptoms occurred once again. So this past weekend we hooked up the hose, grabbed the trusty bottle of Earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe and put it to work.

Besides the fact that the shampoo does such a great job at relieving her itching, we love using it because it smells wonderful and, while it's softening her skin and coat, it makes our hands soft, too. Today, almost a week after her recent bath, her coat still feels soft and she still smells good, too.

When we bathe Daisy we're liberal with the shampoo, but a 16-ounce bottle of Earthbath Totally Natural Pet Shampoo goes a long way and lasts a long time. Earthbath makes a variety of shampoos, even a version for cats and one for puppies, and you can choose based on your favorite scent or ingredients. Oatmeal baths are known for relieving itchy skin and aloe, of course, helps skin heal, so this version is perfect for our dog's needs. The ingredients are all natural, as the name implies, including the almond and vanilla essences that give it such a wonderful fragrance.

While I can't promise that the same shampoo will heal your dog's skin issues, the makers claim that it is safe, gentle, and effective. Based on our experiences, I have to agree with them 100 percent. This is a top-rated product, awarded 4.6 stars overall by over 1500 users on

I hope Earthbath products are around forever because I plan on being a customer for life. That's how much I love this pet shampoo.

Where To Buy Earthbath Products

If you're an Amazon Prime customer, you'll find the best price for Earthbath's products on Amazon. If you don't have Prime, then order your Earthbath shampoo on eBay to save money on shipping. Look for more Earthbath products here, including conditioners and grooming wipes for dogs and cats.

~ Susan
Read more of my reviews

Photo above property of the author.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reviewing Seresto Flea Collar For Cats

Have A Flea Problem?

Cat Image From
In my neck of the woods we are in the full swing of flea and tick season. I have just placed a new flea collar on my cat, the Seresto Flea Collar for cats. I haven't used a collar for many years, mainly because they became hard to find. We had switched to the topical type of flea prevention which was fine but rather on the expensive side when you had to apply it once per month. 

The old type of flea collars for cats were taken off of the market because of the problem of causing neurological problems for our little feline buddies. So, most of us had to find other ways to protect not only our kitty cats but our homes as well. 

Bayer, the aspirin people, have come out with a line of products for cats and dogs and they are making a flea collar that seems promising. I'm giving it a try, anyway. So, far so good.

I really like the convenience of not having to apply any topical stuff once a month. This collar is supposed to work for 8 months. I have been watching carefully and there have been no indications of fleas on my cat and she has not had any adverse effects from wearing the collar. She was not very happy when I first put it on her but she was never very excited when I applied the topical medication on her either.

I also liked that the flea collar comes in a tin can with a nice little pamphlet that tells you how to apply the collar and possible reactions to watch for in your cat. It also has some little clips that you can apply to the collar that will reflect light at night if your cat wanders around the neighborhood. Our cat doesn't go outside at night but it is nice to have them to use if we feel the need. There is also a sticker that you can apply to your calendar to remind you when the 8 months is up.

At first, I thought the pricing was a little high but when I figured it lasts for 8 months it is quite a bit less costly than the monthly topicals that I had to purchase. All in all, we are happy with the flea collar from Bayer.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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