Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts

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.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, January 6, 2020

Reviewing the Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed

I know someone who recently adopted a dog. I ordered a gift in celebration and welcome.  I sent them the large Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed. They both, human and dog, like it so much I thought I should share a review with you.


Reviewing the Veehoo Elevated Large Dog Bed

Radley, the dog, was adopted from a shelter. During the search for the right dog, the human noticed that all of the shelter dogs had raised beds in their kennels. I decided that Radley needed his own bed in his own home and perhaps an elevated bed would be something familiar or comforting as he gets settled in.

I chose the Veehoo Elevated Dog bed after reading many good reviews. It is made of durable mesh material and powder coated steel frame. The bed requires assembly. But that assembly does not require any tools. Veehoo offers this dog bed in a variety of sizes. Part of the reason I chose this bed was the reported durability as well as the non-skid feet. Radley is a rambunctious puppy and he's a huge 50+ lb puppy. 

Raised beds with mesh are thought to be comfortable to dogs due to keeping them off the floor. The mesh provides ventilation for cooling. Add a doggie blanket to provide warmth. Also, Radley is far too big to be a lap dog. His own bed in the living room provides him with his own spot near his new family.



Radley's human is very pleased with the Veehoo bed. He confirmed that the bed was easy to assemble and is plenty large enough to be comfortable for this big red dog. 




Related Links:

Review This contributors love their pets. For more pet-related reviews click here







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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. 






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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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.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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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!

Here are Some Additional Articles we have Written About Dogs

Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com


House of Sylvestermouse





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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Art of Racing in the Rain Book Review

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein was the latest book for my book club. As usual in the weeks leading up to my book club's meeting, my husband could be heard uttering his usual reminder, "Have you finished the book?" This time, however, he was particularly interested in the book because the main character is a dog named Enzo Ferrari. Yes, Ferrari as in the car.

The story is told from Enzo's perspective. The idea of reading a book from the point of view of a dog might seem weird but it worked. It doesn't actually seem like a dog talking although the narration definitely looks at the world from the Enzo's point of view.

Enzo believes in reincarnation and really wants to be reincarnated as a human being so that he can voice his views (and so that he can have thumbs.) He understands everything that people say and wants to add his thoughts to the conversation.

Did I say that the story is about a race car driver, too? Enzo's master is a driver and Enzo is therefore often immersed in the world of race car driving. Don't let that put you off though. If you are not into race car driving, you will still enjoy this book. Race car driving is simply the world that the characters in this book live in though if you are like me, you might also learn a bit about race car driving. There is never anything wrong with learning about another world.

Enzo is not like other dogs. He is a philosopher and is almost human in a number of ways. He is self-educated with the help of his television and his master, Danny Swift. In the story, Enzo reflects back on his life, the life of the Swift family, on what he has learned about being human and, as the book says, "how life, like racing, is about so much more than simply going fast."

I expected my book club to analyze this book. However, they did not. Instead, they pretty much unanimously agreed that it was a pleasant book and a nice read. Some questioned a few life-changing decisions on the part of the main characters and some including myself particularly enjoyed the comical moments in the book.

So is it recommended? Yes. The Art of Racing in the Rain was a New York Times best seller for many weeks. It is a good story. It is lighthearted though sometimes sad and there are definitely some things between the covers to think about. I think the book is perfect for dog lovers and enjoyable for the rest of us, too.

By the way, the image that I think most reflects what Enzo looks like is at the top of the page. That image just seems to capture Enzo's spirit. You don't have to agree with me on that point but you can see all of the artwork available on the covers of The Art of Racing in the Rain on Amazon by clicking right here. Of course, you can also order yourself a copy of the book at that location, too.

This book is set to become a movie though originally Universal Studios picked up the rights and then did not follow through. However, The Hollywood Reporter says that Walt Disney Studios has picked up the rights so now all we have to do is wait and see what Disney puts together for us. Disney has made a lot of successful dog movies; let's hope they do this one properly.

Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Would you recommend it? What else have you read lately?

See you at the bookstore!

Brenda
Treasures by Brenda

Quick Link:

Order your copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain on Amazon here.







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Monday, June 5, 2017

Recommended Summer Reading for Dog Lovers

My summer vacation is fast approaching and I am happily preparing for it by gathering several books perfect for easy, summer reading. My plan is to spend much of my vacation relaxing, lost in books. As a person who loves dogs, I am choosing one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books that focuses on dogs. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series are reliably comforting books with uplifting stories. In this review, I will share some of those titles focused on dogs. 


Not Familiar with the Chicken Soup for the Soul Books?


Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been around since the 1990's. The founders created the series with the thought that people can help people via the sharing of their personal stories. Since that time, they have published hundreds of books, selling millions of copies. Each book is focused on a different theme. And each book is a compilation of stories from every day people who have a story to share within that theme.


Why Read Stories About Dogs?



Dogs are our companions. Our guardians. Our best friends and our babies. I have recently been fortunate enough to witness some people doing really good things for dogs. 

I have watched people organizing huge events to do fund-raising for the organizations that care for dogs. And I have watched individuals repeatedly foster individual dogs until permanent homes are found. Whether it is in huge numbers, or only one person and one dog at a time, I have been witness to the love we have for our dogs.

At this time in my life, and during this time in the world, I want to spend my vacation immersed in stories that are loving and uplifting. Stories that take me away to happy places. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories sometimes include stories of grief and loss. But that grief and loss has meaning. Not the display of trauma and loss for ratings and site visits rather an exploration of the meaning of love and loss. I have not yet chosen the dog stories book I will be reading during my vacation, but I am familiar with this series of books and know that I can depend on what types of stories I will find in the newest copy being added to my library.



Related Links about Dogs from Review This! Contributors


The writers at Review This! love their dogs. In fact, several of us have dogs named Daisy. Below are links to some of the dog-related articles we have written.

My Daisy is a small dog with a short coat. She is a rat terrier. And while she loves being outdoors during all season, I provide a coat or sweater for her during the coldest months so that she can remain warm during our winter outdoor adventures. You can meet my Daisy in my article about Sweater & Jacket Choices for Dogs Who Need Them.

Susan shares her pick of Patriotic Dog Bandanas, Collars, and Clothes.  With patriotic and summer holidays upon us, check out this fun ideas for your holiday dog. Whether your dog is a fast and furious, frisbee-fetching machine, or a dainty little girl-dog in a dress, you will find something in her article for your dog. The adorable photos alone are worth a click. A very important note: Susan shares that July 5th is the day of the highest number of admissions of dogs to animal shelters. And she reminds us to take extra caution with our dogs during fireworks season.

Puppies. Who doesn't love a puppy?  But wow, potty-training a puppy can be so frustrating. And potentially damaging to your home as well as your sanity. Beverly has found a solution. She reviews the Puppy Potty Trainer - the system her family members chose to use for their new four-legged addition to their family. Beverly shared something I hadn't considered previously: when traveling or visiting with a new puppy during the potty-training stage, a portable and familiar potty system that can be taken into unfamiliar settings can aide in the potty training. Such a wonderful idea (and probably very welcomed by the home owners the puppy is visiting!).

Wednesday Elf wrote a wonderful Review of Greeting Cards for Pet Lovers. While she reviews a variety of sources of unique greeting cards for both dog and cat lovers, I was drawn to the adorable greeting cards she highlighted from the AfricanGrey store. That artist clearly loves Boston Terriers, but also offers a variety of dog breeds on these greeting cards. While browsing the site I saw cards for many different occasions. Including adorable Wedding Boxers, 

And last but absolutely not least - 

Dog lovers know that the best thing about a dog is loving a dog and the worst thing about loving a dog is when that dog passes. Our dogs are such intregal part of our lives that the void they leave when they are gone is enormous. Barbara shares with us both a loving memorial of her little "Girl Dog" and a wonderful wall decal. Every Time I Lose a Dog is a loving tribute to the dogs we've loved and lost. 







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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 Pixabay.com
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. 



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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!"




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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 Amazon.com.

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. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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