Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Pet Roundup- Halloween

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup. Happy Howl-o-ween! Here are Kelly and Brooks' costumes! And, here are today's links, and a contest winner.

* If you suspect that your pet ingests something toxic this Halloween, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. More Halloween pet safety tips from The Seattle Times.

* The Empty Food of several titles of pet horror movies created by Laughing Squid.

* And of course, no Halloween roundup is complete without a slideshow of 50 adorable pets in Halloween costumes, from HLNtv.

* And now, here's a treat. The winner of the Minted holiday card giveaway is Lauren F. Congratulations, Lauren! You should be hearing from with your ordering information soon!

Photos below from from Frightfully Cute Halloween Pet Costumes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Snack Attack

Kelly and Brooks love snacks, almost as much as I do.
Have you tried the new Science Diet Ideal Balance treats yet? Okay, well has your dog tried them then?

These treats look like wholesome cookies you might bake yourself.
The All Natural Fruity Snacks are made with cranberries and oatmeal.
And the Veggie Chips are made with pumpkin and yams.

I'm pretty impressed with these treats. I looked it up and they have about 25 calories per treat. It's a decent size treat, so sometimes I break it in half. The dogs love them!

Science diet also has Jerky Strips. With all the recalls recently, it's not easy to feel comfortable with jerky, but these are NOT made in China, where I believe the problems occurred. Anyway, the jerky treats all also all natural and made with beef, and contain no artificial colors or flavors.

The jerky treats contain 19 calories per strip, and Kelly and Brooks went crazy for them.

There are few treats that my dogs don't go crazy about...but these appealed to me because they are advertised as all-natural, and have fruits and veggies. And Kelly and Brooks agree.

This is part of Kol's Notes Tasty Tuesday!!

*Full Disclosure:  I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product of the company.

Monday, October 29, 2012

They've started a team for Howl-oween

Kelly and Brooks are ready for Howl-oween. They've donned their costumes and have created their own wacky team. Aren't they scary?
Do you want to join their team?! Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pointer and Counterpointer- Dog Costumes

Today I'm unveiling a new feature, where my two dog pals, Pointer and Counterpointer, will discuss two sides of current hot issues.

Question: Should you dress up your pet for Halloween?

POINTER: Of course! Every year my family makes a big deal out of Halloween, so why shouldn’t I join in the fun? I get to go to the pet parade and see all the other dogs in their costumes, and it’s great for the whole family. Not only that, the lady of the house dresses me up all the time. I love any attention, so if she wants to fuss over me and put me in a pink tutu, why not? Plus, the winter gets cold in these parts and I don’t mind the extra warmth of a quilted jacket or sweater. I even get a nice raincoat when it’s wet. So give me a break and don’t laugh at me. Halloween costumes are for fun. And dressing me up in outfits the rest of the year gives others pleasure, so that makes me happy too. 

COUNTERPOINTER: Give me a break! Have you seen the faces of those poor schmoes in crazy costumes? Dressing up an animal up takes away our dignity. Why don’t you try walking with a princess dress dragging between your paws!? Costumes make us trip and fall, cause us to overheat or even choke us with those dangly strings. As for the rest of the year, real dogs don’t wear funny hats. And don’t give me that bull about keeping us warm. Dogs and cats have furry coats for a reason. We’re not mini people, so stop treating us that way. How about buying me a toy or a healthy treat instead?

Where do you stand? Bark out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup! Here's my son walking the dogs on a nice crisp fall day. And here are your links for this week:

*The Detroit News reports that pets inadvertently set more than 500 house fires in the US every year. Be careful with your jack-o-lantern candles around pets.

* Doggy treadmills, pet pedometers, other products cater to obese pets. From Huff Post. Maybe I need to consider some combo-packaging along with Dieting with my Dog!

* Some people think black cats are bad luck. But they get a bad rap. Here are 50 of the cutest adoptable black cats from Pawnation and Petfinder.

* Don't forget the Be the Change for Animals, Three Little Cavaliers, and PetCo campaign to help rescue pets. All you do is tweet....Your tweet will raise $1 for rescue pets. Easy as that!

* Still time to enter to Win pet photo cards by Minted worth $65! Contest ends Monday.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Do Something Good Today with #BTC4A

Easy as a tweet....we're trying to raise $5000 for rescue animals, and you can help! I'm honored to be a part of Be The Change for Animals, and this campaign is really important. Please join Team BTC and for every tweet and blog post featuring the #BTC4A hashtag from October 22-27, Petco will donate $1 (up to $5000) at BarkWorld Expo!

How to participate:

Tweet this:

That's it! Tweet between now and Saturday, October 27 at 11 AM. 

You can also blog about this now through Saturday, October 27 at 11 AM EST. Add #BTC4A to your post title. Add your post link to the blog hop list to be counted. Each time your post is tweeted, you’ll earn more money for rescue pets!
  • BarkWorld attendees can nominate your favorite no-kill 501(c)3 rescue or shelter at the Petco booth through Friday, October 26!
You DO NOT need to attend BarkWorld to participate. Simply tweet or post and...and each time, there's $1.00 more to help rescue pets.

Why It Matters:

Why It Matters

Animal organizations need funds for food, vaccinations, spays, neuters, treatment of injuries and illness – expenses that adoption fees don’t fully cover. General donations allow an organization to address their most pressing needs. Together, we can raise $5,000 to assist local, no-kill rescues and shelters.
The animal lovers at Be the Change for Animals, BarkWorld, Petco, and Two Little Cavaliers believe that helping rescue pets is important. We know you do too. Make the difference. Be, Blog and Tweet the Change for Animals!
PetCoBe the change for animalsTwo Little Cavaliers

Awesome Pet Photo Cards Giveaway

Take a right at the Halloween candy, and you might glimpse the festive Christmas decorations displayed in the stores. And, on TV, have you seen the Christmas commercial with the giant Target dog prancing through the town? That's right, the holiday season is here. Whether you feel it's a bit too early for the commercialization or not, it's still never too early to start planning your holiday cards. Especially if you want a cool, unique card with a photo of your dog(s), cat(s) or other pets!

**Keep Reading for Your Chance to Win Terrific Free Personalized Cards!

At the end of this post I'll be offering a chance to win free personalized cards from Minted, valued at $65! I love receiving photo cards. We used to do them of the kids until they flew the nest. Now we do them of the dogs. Last year I think I received more dog Christmas cards than people ones.

So I love this collection of cards at Minted. Poking around, I discovered that Minted is a cool site--they have a blog with contests and prizes. And if you are into creativity and art, they even have a design challenge where you might become the next design genius!  But, what about the cards? Well, first of all they're not only Christmas cards, but all seasonal holidays, plus baby, wedding, invitations and more. And you can personalize them, choose from many different styles, colors, even shapes! If you're not sure what to pick, you can even upload your photo and try it in all sorts of different card templates.

Here are some of my favorites. Imagine them with your own pets' pictures:

I like these cards because they're so classy. You can even add some extras:

Interior photos and text

Or colors and patterns on the back!

I hope you look over Minted's pet holiday cards, and find just the right one for you!

Now, on to the contest!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Full Disclosure: I received credit to purchase a set of minted cards of my choice. This in no way influenced my review. The opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Feed Your Dogs- Feed Shelter Dogs

Buy one Get One--you mean one for me, one for Brooks?
Our vet said that our newly-adopted Brooks had been malnourished, and he suffered many intestinal, skin and other health problems because of it. Because Brooks had been on his own, and at different shelters for more than a year, he probably wasn't getting the best quality food. Shelter dogs don't just need something to fill their bellies. Every dog deserves high quality, healthy food. With shelter budgets stretched to the limit, however, that isn't always possible. That's why the team at BOGO (buy one, give one) Bowl is working to put high-quality food in every dog bowl across America, whether the bowl is in a comfy home or a caring shelter.

I believe in giving my dogs the best quality food I can afford. In these economic times, it's not always easy to afford top foods, but I've also seen the improvement the best quality I can afford makes in my dogs' health. Now, imagine if I could buy that food, and supply an equal bag of food to a dog in need? 

But wait---won't that cost me twice as much?

No! BOGO Bowl isn’t double priced nor overinflated pricing. Prices range from $41.20 to $63.40 for a 20 pound bag, which is similar to the price of other premium quality dog food. 

Who ever got such an idea anyway? BOGO Bowl was started by Sara Henderson and Susan Hollar, who met after they each rescued special needs dogs: One tied to railroad tracks and the other shot and left to die at the river’s edge. This was how Chance and Duke inspired their moms to found BOGO Bowl dog food.

 Facts about BOGO Bowl food:
*Made in the USA (Ohio)
*contains protein, fruit and vegetables
* no artificial fillers, colors or flavors
* no corn, wheat or soy used as fillers
* Dog Food Advisor recently gave them a 4-star rating (out of five)
* comes in Puppy, Maintenance, Healthy Weight, Lamb Meal and Rice, Chicken Meal and Rice, Salmon Meal and Rice, and No Grain

 Best of all, When you buy a bag of BOGO Bowl, a second one is donated to an organization of your choice- Shelter, rescue group, fosters, food pantry-- at no extra cost! Not inferior dog food, but the equivalent. With BOGO Bowl all dogs are treated and fed equally with their nutritious food.

I think this is a fantastic idea. Please check out their website and like them on Facebook. And next time you purchase pet food, consider checking out BOGO and helping pets in need as well.

*Full Disclosure: We were provided with samples of BOGO Bowl for our review, but this did not influence our opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Pet Roundup

I'll play, but don't tackle me!
Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup. Here are this week's links:

* From Huff Post, a dog saves a 9 week old infant. What caused his bizarre behavior?

* Word has leaked out that Michael Vick has a new dog. Read why CBS Sports/National Columnist Gregg Doyel thinks this may be a good thing.

* Recall: Nature's Recipe Oven Baked dog biscuits.

* Huff Post features Awkward Pets of Facebook slideshow. Phew! Kelly and Brooks aren't on there!

* Love cats? Love emoticons? Then you need to take a look at Buzzfeed's 23 Cats as Emoticons!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blog the Change and Me

Kelly and Brooks
This is part of Blog the Change.

On Be the Change for Animals I've written about many inspiring people and organizations, but recently I started thinking, what does it really mean, to someone like me, to "be the change for animals without spending a single cent." How do I fit it into my busy life, limited finances, family schedule, and other issues? What if I'm not one of those with the energy, vision, passion, resources to do big things? How can I Be the Change?

1. Get Personal- As a blogger, I often promote various causes. But if I'm really busy, on deadlines, rushing to get things done, I might get out the facts, but I don't always put my heart into it. Taking that extra step, telling why it's important, how I really feel about it, might encourage others to relate in a more personal way. I can't necessarily be in the jungle with the tigers or at the puppy mills, but taking extra care in sharing their concerns is something I can do.

2. Think Local- I don't have time or money to travel to help all the great causes I often write about. But there are plenty of local groups that could use my time and efforts. I've joined a few walks that benefit animal causes. I've helped a few local rescue groups. But there is more I could do. I will commit to finding my place locally--where I can use my talents to the best of my ability, and do something that will make a real, tangible difference. Walk dogs at a local shelter? Start a bi-monthly pet food drive? I'm not sure what it will be, but I can do more.

3. Speak Up--Maybe this is the area in which I have fallen down the most. I have witnessed instances while, not specifically abuse, represents irresponsible behavior on the part of the pet owners. In my neighborhood, I often hear a dog barking endlessly. The owner occasionally opens the door and yells at the dog to shut up. Do they ever stop to consider why the dog is barking? Is he overheated? Thirsty? In pain? Lonely? Every time I hear the owner yell at his dog, and not try to understand the dog's needs, I get so upset. It would take a lot of nerve to speak up and say something (since I don't even know this person) but it would be one way of being the change for this dog.  Another woman in my town stands in her doorway and lets her dog out on a leash, and the dog only has the length of the leash to use to "do his business." Maybe the woman is infirm. Maybe not. But if so, I can think of a million different ways to let this dog out than this. The poor dog, who is obese, simply stands there looking morose. I can only imagine that, if he doesn't get the job done outside, she lets him back inside, he has an accident inside, and then she scolds him for making a mess in the house. This breaks my heart. It's not his fault! I'd like to say something to her. But do I dare? There are the dogs left in cars when it is hot outside. The dogs chained up in the yard night and day. The cats left to roam outside all day and yowl in the rain because they are cold and wet, and no one lets them back inside. Can I Be the Change for these Animals? I hope so.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blog the Change with us

Won't you Blog the Change?

Monday October 15 is our next Blog the Change Day. What does this mean?
It means that on this day, bloggers all around the world join together to share something meaningful to support people helping animals. And we'd love to have you join!

You can write about:

*an animal cause near and dear to your heart

* a way you've been helping animals

* a special animal in need

* an issue you'd like to raise awareness for

* a person who has been helping animals and deserves a pat on the back

* anything related to animal advocacy

Here's all you do:

Grab the badge.

Post your blog entry on the 15th

Add your link on Be the Change for Animals. Linky list will appear after 12:01am on the 15th.

That's it! It's also extra cool if you read some of the other posts, comment and tweet about Blog the Change. Thank you for helping spread the word.

I can't wait to learn what you're blogging the change about this year. See you there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 Tips on Ntl Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Hmmm what looks good?
Today is the sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. It's a great day to take a look at your pet and evaluate his weight.  

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that more than half of U.S. dogs and cats are overweight or obese, and thus have a higher risk of conditions such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and shortened life expectancy. If you find that your dog's getting a bit pudgy, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Ask your veterinarian the appropriate amount of food for your dog or cat. Don’t go by the recommendation on the pet food bag, which may not be calculated for your pet.
  2. Measure your pet’s food. I used to feed Kelly “one scoop.” It turns out that scoop was twice as much as she really needed.
  3. Invest in quality food. Check the ingredient list on the side of the package—be sure there’s a healthy lean protein among the first five ingredients.  For dogs, a great reference is The Dog Food Advisor
  4. Make your dog your diet partner! (Many of you know, in my book, Dieting with my Dog, I share how Kelly and I motivated each other and lost weight together.)
  5. Resist offering your dog table scraps. For treats, try baby carrots, green beans, or slices of banana.
  6. A few spoons of canned pumpkin (not the pie mix, but pure pumpkin) mixed into your dog’s food is healthy, and helps them feel full.
  7. Snacks are great, but only offer small bites. I used to think that giving Kelly lots of treats was a way of showing love. I learned, instead, that the best way to show my dog love is to keep her (and myself!) healthy.
  8. Don’t forget exercise. Take your dog out on at least one good, brisk walk a day. Seeing new sights and sniffing new smells is good for their minds, too.
  9. Get active together. Kelly and I replaced sedentary habits with more physical ones. While I lean toward activities such as relaxing with a good book, now Kelly and I often go outside and play in the fallen leaves, take a hike in the woods or play with a Frisbee at the park.
  10. Join in the Association for PetObesity Prevention’s survey. They’ll send you information, handouts, and a measuring tape to complete the study.  You’ll contribute to accurately assessing the number of obese and overweight pets in the United States
 Perfect for Pet Obesity Awareness Day, Dieting with my Dog! Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or contact me for a signed copy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pampered Pooch Party

Eileen and some of the products on display.

You know those parties, like Tupperware and Pampered Chef? Well, I went to a Pampered Pooch party! My pal Eileen, mom to adorable golden retriever Zak, held the party which featured products by DogGone Stylish.

Eileen was so nice, making sure everyone was comfortable, playing a few games, and offering adorable prizes wrapped in cellophane bags with ribbons. She also had adorable snacks!

And, she invited me to bring my books, and I even sold a few too! Thanks for everything, Eileen!

We had a lot of fun at the party, looking over handmade custom collars and leashes, and even bows to adorn the collars. The host explained how everything was made and the quality materials she used.
Doggone Stylish

I ended up ordering a 4' coupler, to allow me to walk Kelly and Brooks and hold onto just one leash.

The coupler is very well made. I had my choice of a multitude of designs and colors. The hardware is quality and secure. I love the clips that-- unlike the usual kind that could be forced open accidentally-- fit together and overlap securely. 


 Kelly, Brooks and I went out to test our new leash coupler. Note:  I was using regular buckle collars at the time I tried the coupler. Now I'm using a harness with Kelly. I've not yet tried the coupler with the harness.
A couple of issues--
1. I ordered the 4' coupler because I figured Kelly is small and Brooks is large, so we'd need the extra length. This turned out to be a mistake. The coupler is much too long to work effectively. I should have ordered a shorter length. For now, tying a messy knot in the coupler helps to shorten the one I have.

2. There is a large ring to attach the single leash. I'm not sure why the ring is so large. It wasn't really a problem, I just thought a smaller ring would suffice.

Did the coupler work for Kelly and Brooks? Yes and No (through no fault of the actual product...just my finds in using a coupler).
* The coupler allowed the dogs to walk nicely side by side, and prevented tangled leashes. This worked nicely most of the time.

* When one dog stopped to sniff or do his business, the other dog suddenly got jerked. I am sensitive to the dogs being jerked on their necks, especially through no fault of their own. So I had to be extra attentive to make sure no dog's neck was being hurt.

* Similarly, if one dog decided to pull to the side, lunge at a cat, visit the other side of the sidewalk, etc, the other dog got jerked. This was not right for the dog who was walking nicely and I definitely worked hard to make sure that didn't happen again.

* I felt I had a lot less control with the leash connected to the coupler. If I wanted to direct one dog away from the fallen crab apples by the side of the road, I couldn't adjust without tripping over the other dog. There was no way to really feel the dog's activity through the leash.

Overall, the coupler is a product that I like for when I want the dogs to walk nicely side by side, but not for when I want to allow them a little space to sniff and explore on the leash. I do feel I had less control with a coupler, but maybe a shorter coupler would help improve that situation.

The Pampered Pooch party had lots of pretty, classy, fun and classic designs you could mix and match. Please visit Doggone Stylish website to see the selection!