Showing posts with label Products for Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Products for Dogs. Show all posts

Monday, March 9, 2020

West Paw Toppl Reviewed: Favorite New Dog Puzzle

The West Paw Toppl is my and if I may speak for The Fluff as he is affectionately known, new favorite treat dispensing puzzle!

Oh dog toys, dog puzzles, dog thingamyabobs, I have known and bought a few. Some are winners, some are losers and some fall in between. I know the loser toy look from the Fluff, the disdain, the side eye, the this is not acceptable. I will humor you and flip it around, but do not expect any further consideration.


And you know when a dog puzzle or toy is a winner! It is the same toy they go back to time after time, squeak after squeak and slobber after slobber. Now design wise all the dog toys and puzzles may be a winner, but the key is to find one your furball considers worthy.

West Paw Toppl


A diet change and chew bone change precipitated my search for a combo food dispensing toy for the Fluff. The Fluff likes to chew and it has been very difficult to find softer and natural bones that last more than 2 minutes.

I have a team of Kongs stuffed with dog food, peanut butter and yogurt in the freezer, but the Fluff can conquer those quite quickly. And experience has shown when the Fluff has not satisfied his need to chew, the Fluff can turn back to his puppy ways which is just not fun!

The local pet store recommended the Toppl and it has been a success so far. A combination puzzle and food dispenser that provides a good diversion for energetic pups.

Design Of The Toppl


I believe the difference and probably why the Toppl lasts so much longer than the frozen Kong is the grid inside and on the bottom of the Toppl. It definitely takes the Fluff longer to empty the Toppl than a Kong. Which for my purposes is the point!

 
I stuff the Toppl with his canned dog food and then freeze. I use this in place of the chew bone he used to get after dinner. So far the Fluff is happy (okay, not quite as happy when he had a bone), but the combination soft dental chew plus the Toppl is making the diet and routine change a little easier.

The Toppl can also be stuffed with a combination of dry food, treats, vegetables and soft food or yogurt and then frozen.

Recommendation


Adding the Toppl to the team of Kongs to keep the Fluff safe and happy.
Bonus the Toppl is also made in the United States. It also floats on water, is dishwasher safe and BPA and Phthalate Free.


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Monday, February 10, 2020

Dog Agility Reviewed!

It is winter here in the Midwest and I already thinking warmer weather and fun activities in the yard with my pup and dog agility!

A backyard agility course for your dog is fun with a F! Fun for you, fun for the dog and a fun activity both you and your fluffy friend can enjoy.

The Agility Obstacle Course


Dog agility is the running of an obstacle course. The sport originated in the late 1970's in England. There have been many organizations through the years as the sport has evolved; the goal of the organizations were shared, though the rules and obstacles slightly differed.

Years ago when agility was a relatively new sport I enrolled in a dog agility class. The difference between the backyard agility equipment and professional equipment is size. As you can see from the video below of a professional agility competition the obstacles are BIG!

Backyard agility obstacles are smaller, portable and easy to assemble. The starter kits are easy to set up, store and all you need is grass! The agility kits are easily transported so if a backyard is not available any nice sized section of grass will work.

The Beginner Backyard Agility Sets


Staples in a backyard agility kit are the jump, tunnel and weave poles.

Tunnel


The tunnel is usually one of the first obstacles to teach your dog. A few treats and encouragement and the tunnel can be easy to master for the confident dog. As with every new activity a little practice goes along way and the dog will give you cues as to how comfortable they are with the tunnel.

I have seen very skittish and less confident young dogs who at first look at the tunnel as a looming foreign object turn into tunnel loving runners with the right encouragement and practice.

Jump


The jump is adjustable and can be set very close to the ground to begin acclimating your dog to the desired height. Dogs who love to run and jump can take to the jump quite quickly. I happen to have a dog who loves to jump so the jump was quickly mastered and the height could be increased.

To teach and acclimate the dog to the jump you can see in the photo below the dog is on a leash and I am gently guiding the dog through the jump with a treat in hand ( why the dog is looking to my hand).



Last Fall we had a few doggie buddies over for backyard fun. 

The three Amigos

Within a few minutes of practicing individually we put the medium size dogs sitting at the start line and were amazed as they took off together taking the jump in unison!




 It was a race to the treat and the owners.

Because of size, as one of the three amigos was only six pounds, she was an observer while the two medium sized dogs navigated the obstacle course, and we practiced with her separately. 

She enjoyed watching and learning from afar however!



Weave poles

Weave poles can be tough! Where my dog took to the jumping very quickly, the weave poles not so much. The poles are set up for the dog to zig zag - weave in and out in a straight line. We are still working on the weave poles, but in the spirit of this is purely for fun, I think the pup and I have decided ... no on the weave poles.

But weave poles are alot of fun to watch. The video below shows a full sized Agility Course and look at those pups weave!

Sit stay box

This is a great exercise , especially for younger dogs, to practice sit/stay and down/stay. The “box” is either a marked area in a box or an actual raised solid box.

The dog either enters the box or jumps up on the box and does a sit/ stay or down/stay for a set number of seconds. If training a young dog, this exercise works right into practicing sits and stays.


Dog Personality


Of course it is imperative the personality and physical capabilities of your dog are of the greatest importance when considering agility obstacles. Dogs of any age, breed or height can participate in dog agility. The obstacles are 'sized' to the dog.

Age: Agility courses are not for puppies as their growth plates must be fully developed. Obviously this varies per breed, per dog. Pre agility exercises such as the sit stay exercise are pup friendly.

Does your dog love to run ? Try new things? Enjoy activity? Loves to figure out a puzzle? Agility may be a great fit.

Is your dog apprehensive to try something new but with proper training enjoys a new activity ? Agility could be a great confidence booster !

Backyard agility can just be plain ole good fun for the owner and pet. No need to compete, just enjoy the obstacles your dog likes and making a home agility course provides great exercise for you and your pet.

Where To Find Backyard Agility Kits


Online is where the kits can be found, this is a beginner kit I like.


DIY ers  can also make agility equipment! Here is a good resource in making obstacles for a backyard agility course .

I’ve been lucky enough to have dogs which naturally seem to enjoy agility which makes training much easier!

Whether it is one obstacle or a backyard of obstacles, I highly recommend dog agility for a few hours of amusement, exercise and bonding with you furry friend.


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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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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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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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Friday, March 2, 2018

Ortho Sleeper Comfort Couch for Dogs Reviewed

Recommended dog bed for large breed dogs.  This ortho sleeper dog couch bed is durable, comfortable, and the cover is washable.
The Ortho Sleeper Comfort Couch with a Removable Cushion made by the Carolina Pet Company is one of the best investments we have made for our dogs.   

As our Golden Retriever has aged, it has gotten harder for her to get up after a nap.  We have hardwood floors in the kitchen and den, which are the areas of our home that we stay in most of the time.  Hardwood floors are easier to clean, but they are not easy on old bones.  When our pretty girl turned 11, her daddy was determined to find her a soft place to lay down, so he went in search of the very best orthopedic bed for dogs.   

To avoid any appearance of favoritism, he purchased a dog bed for our Labrador Retriever too even though he was only 6 at the time.  As it turns out, Merlin, the lab,  loves the doggie couch beds the most.

We originally put the two beds side by side on the den floor, but Merlin, the lab, wanted one in the bedroom too.  They aren't as necessary in our bedroom because that floor is carpeted, but Merlin wanted one in there.  Since he is clearly strong enough to drag his own bed into the bedroom, we decided to leave one bed in the den and one in the bedroom. 
We have never allowed our dogs to sleep in our bed and I believe Merlin feels it is only fair that he should also have a bed in the bedroom too. This unexpected arrangement has actually worked out quite well for us and our pups.  

Our Goldie doesn't like sleeping on the carpet in our bedroom.  She prefers the cold tile in front of the unlit fireplace.  Therefore, she has not been keen to sleep in one of the doggie beds at night, but she will nap in them during the day.   They seem perfectly welling to share the beds, one at a time of course.  Therefore, having the beds in separate rooms is actually ideal.

Now, every night, Merlin lays down on his doggie sleeper couch, curls up into a ball, and goes sound asleep at the foot of our bed, while our Daisy girl seeks out the cooler tile floor that seems to allow her to sleep better throughout the night.  

Recommended dog bed for large breed dogs.  This ortho sleeper dog couch bed is durable, comfortable, and the cover is washable.



The Ortho Sleeper Comfort Couch for Dogs


When the dog beds arrived, I thought they were a strange design because they are a cushioned couch with sides, a back and a removable pillow.  If I had been selecting the dog bed, I would have picked one that is designed more like the removable pillow only.  However, I would have been wrong.  It seems like both of our pups like the back and arms on the dog bed.  They frequently will lay in the bed with their head resting on the arm section of the "couch".  Their little eyes are the only thing moving as they watch the comings and goings in the den.

Recommended dog bed for large breed dogs.  This ortho sleeper dog couch bed is durable, comfortable, and the cover is washable.


 CPC Ortho Sleeper Large Comfort Couch with Removable Cushion, ChocolateCheck PriceI have truly been amazed at the durability of these dog beds.  Even after 2 years of use, by two large dogs, they have held their shape and have no rips, tears or even bare spots in the fabric.  The covers are machine washable. .

The only negative that I have found about the Ortho Sleeper Comfort Couch for dogs, is that it is hard to stuff the cushion sections into the zippered covers.  But, it is well worth the effort when I see my pups resting peacefully in their beds.

While writing this article, I discovered that there are some knock-offs of the Carolina Pet Company bed that are less expensive.  I cannot begin to assess the quality of any other brand, even if it looks the same.  I certainly would not recommend buying one just because it looks similar.  The quality of the fabric or the cushions may well be inferior, thus making it less expensive to make the beds.  Like anything else, I would not expect inferior products to be comparable in durability or comfort. 

One of the hardest decisions was what size to buy.  We purchased the 37 x 56 size for our dogs.  As you can see in the photos, that is clearly big enough for large dogs.  Merlin is a 98lb Labrador Retriever and Daisy is a 97lb Golden Retriever mix. It is available in one size smaller (32 x 47) and in one size larger (48 x 69).





The Contributors on Review This Definitely Love Our Pups!

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