Friday, November 22, 2013

FitDog Friday- Dismembered Toys

Play is an important part of keeping fit. Kelly and Ike like their toys as much as any dog. But Kelly, especially has a serious problem--she dismembers her toys. Just look at this collection of hands, ears and tails.

A stuffie doesn't last 2 minutes in the house before it's de-squeaked, unstuffed and on it's way to being decapitated.

Ike, on the other hand, isn't terribly interested in stuffies. He loves tennis balls, and recently he's discovered a new toy that he's chewed on for weeks without any damage. I'm super impressed with Planet Dog's Snowball. It holds up to chewing, and it must retain it's yummy taste because Ike still licks it and mouths it. He even throws it in the air and catches it himself.

What is your dog's toy-playing style? Do they rip them apart like Kelly, or savor them like Ike?

Join our blog hop, co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ever wonder what your dogs do while you're away?

I've always wondered...what do Kelly and Ike do when I leave the house? Do they hang out together and play? Do they run upstairs and sleep on the bed? Does Kelly boss Ike around? Or do they just lie down there by the door without budging until I return?

Fortunately, I recently received the chance to find out! Samsung sent me their Samsung WiFi IP Pet Cam to review. Now I get to spy on my dogs! We set it up and got right to work.

The picture is very clear.
The camera gives you the ability to view your dogs from your smartphone, or through a website.
The night vision capability works great in low lighting.
There is a microphone so you can hear your dogs, and speak to them as well. (This only works when you're on wifi).
The camera is small and handy to set on a table or mount wherever you want.
Viewing is super easy from a computer or your smartphone while you're away!
A reasonable priced pet cam (retail: $149)

During the day, the view is in color. Here is an image of the night vision. Ike is comfy in the hall. I think Kelly was in her usual spot, by the foot of the stairs, but it's just out of view.

The set up and installation was a bit complicated (but once we got it figured out it required no extra work.)
The camera can't be moved remotely, so that you can only see the one area where it is directed. If your dogs aren't there, you're out of luck. This could be solved by purchasing more cameras and putting them in different locations, however the cost of such would add up.

One note: When on not wifi, you are in Relay Mode, which doesn't give you the capability to hear or to use the microphone to talk to your dogs. You also may incur charges on your cell phone when in Relay Mode. I didn't check on how many charges I have incurred, but I have used the PetCam in relay mode quite often.

If you wanted, you could add up to 10 cameras in different locations throughout your house, and switch from one to another easily for monitoring.

The microphone is a cool feature. You can praise your dog, or correct him for jumping on the couch! When I used this feature, the dogs didn't react to my voice. It must have been a strange thing for them to hear this disembodied voice coming from the wall. Ike did turn and look toward the camera a few times when I talked, but Kelly ignored the whole thing! Still it is kind of fun to talk to them when I'm away.

I've had a wonderful time spying on Kelly and Ike, and it also gave me great peace of mind to see they were doing okay. What I've discovered, is most of the time they do just what I thought--sleep in front of the door.  I did learn something new- sometimes when we leave, Ike runs upstairs. I'm going to guess that he probably sleeps on the bed. But unless I buy another camera, I may never know!

It's also fun to see at what point during our drive home the dogs hear the car. It's usually just before we get to the driveway. Then they both run to the door.  Here's a short clip from the actual Pet Cam of the dogs as my husband leaves the house:

We are very impressed with the Samsung Pet Cam and happily recommend it for peace of mind when you are away from home.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with one Samsung Pet Cam for my honest review. This in no way affected my review. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Zippy Zany Zuke's & Biggggg Giveaway

I love giving Kelly and Ike treats, but I don't want to give out too many that may be fattening or unhealthy. So I choose treats carefully. That's why I'm especially excited to be participating in Zuke's Fuel the Love campaign! First, they sent us a huge variety of wonderful treats to review. And second, we can share the love, because they're providing a huge variety of treats to give away in the contest below!

So first of all, I did my research, and Zuke's is a company I can get behind.
*The food was created to fill a need for natural, healthy pet food and inspired by the founder's dog Zuke!
*The company's values are staying healthy and being active, and showing devotion to dogs for all the devotion they show us! Perfect for K9Kamp, FitDog Friday and just the way I feel about dogs too.

Zuke's treats are:

*Healthy enough to dish out on a daily basis
*Made in the USA
*Made from carefully sourced ingredients and high-­‐quality, USDA-­‐approved proteins.
* contain antioxidants 
*and Zuke’s has never been involved with a recall!

I've got LOTS of great Zukes to give away.
Here are the reviews:

1. Zuke's Mini Naturals
I use these a LOT because they are just the right size, so I don't feel too bad about giving them out as rewards and training treats. (only 3 1/2 calories per treat!) Ingredients inclued cherries, rosemary, and turmeric--powerful, wholefood sources of antioxidants. They come in great flavors too-Roasted Chicken, Savory Salmon, Fresh Peanut Butter and Wild Rabbit!

2. Zuke's Z-filets
Dogs love jerky treats- but after recent health incidents, we have to be extremely careful about feeding these to our dogs. Fortunately, Zukes healthy grain -free filets are made in the USA, and all the meat comes from safe, trustworthy sources in the U.S. or New Zealand, so I feel confident

3.  Zuke's Skinny Bakes
These are Kelly and Ike's favorites! They're crunchy baked treats. Each one contains only 10 calories, so we don't have to worry about putting on a little extra weight just because they indulge in a few extra yummy treats. They're also vegan, made with clean ingredients such as berries, pumpkin and peanut butter. They're also wheat, corn and soy free- ingredients which are the cause of many allergies.

4. Zuke's Hip Action
These are good for both dogs, as Kelly is a senior and Ike is an active, larger breed, and they both could use the healthiest bones and joints possible.  The treats are made with 300mg of Glucosamine, 50mg of Chondroitin, and natural eggshell membrane. This way I can give Kelly and Ike these benefits without having to give them pills. And Zukes Hip Action treats are safe, even if Kelly and Ike somehow ate the entire bag. Which is possible, since they come in chicken, beef and peanut butter flavors!

Okay, so now for the giveaway! I've got 5 great prizes you can win!

1st place-
A fantastic gift pack consisting 8 bags of Zuke wholesome, delicious treats! Includes 2 bags Skinny Bakes, 2 bags mini naturals, 2 bags hip action and 2 bags Z-filets!

2nd place-
Great selection of 4 bags of Zukes treats:1 bag each of Skinny Bakes, mini naturals, hip action and Z-filets

3rd, 4th and 5th places-
1 bag Zuke's mini naturals

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the Fuel the Love Blog Hop Nov. 15 - Dec. 1st
and Fuel the Love Twitter Party on November 29th for more great prizes!

Full Disclosure: I was provided with 15 bags of Zukes products for my fair review, and an equal number to give away. This in no way influenced my review. The opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Friday, November 15, 2013

FitDog Friday- Three Fit Dogs

Kelly and Ike may be working hard at diet and exercise, but they're not the only fit dogs in blogville. At K9Kamp, we had lots of dogs link up and share what they're doing to get in a few extra minutes of fitness with fun and games.  I wish I could tell you all about everyone who participated, and I'll try over the next few months.

In our wrap up I told you a bit about Slimdoggy, My GBGV Life, Pooch Smooches, Something Wagging This Way Comes and You Did What with Your Wiener. And Tuesday I told you about Gizmo from Terrier Torrent. Here are three more of our Kampers!

Heart Like a Dog
 Sampson and Delilah got active with a frisbee in the park, but I think the most fun they had was dragging the Mama through the woods, chasing a squirrel. Now, wasn't the theme for this month "fun and games"?  Sounds like fun to Kelly and Ike! No matter what, it's clear that these two dogs make sure their mom is keeping up and keeping fit!

I Just Want More Puppies
Since "fun and games" was the theme for Kamp, Tavish and Bella found just the right combination, playing together! There's even a movie to document the activities!

To Dog with Love
Rocco promoted play as fitness too, with his own backyard bootcamp!And games of fetch in the hall. They know how to make fitness fun.

K9Kamp is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Kol's Notes, and You Did What with Your Wiener
(also hosting the monthly Keeping up with K9 Kamp challenge!)

Let's get moving, Mom!

FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join the hop!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meow meow meow (translation: feed me this!)

I don't post about cats often enough, so in all fairness, today I'd like to tell you something about cats.
*There are 84.4  million cats in the U.S. and only 74.4 million dogs.  
So I guess I've been neglecting a lot of critters!

When it comes to cat food, I know grain free is popular in dog food but I had no idea it was being offered for cats. In addition to being grain-free, Hill's Science Diet Grain Free cat food includes:
*prebiotics for digestive health
*no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Since I don't have any cats, I sent samples to my two taste-tester families, Mary Beth and Kate.

Mary Beth says:

I don’t give my cats too many treats. Catnip sometimes. Treats are something I hold in reserve for when I’m counting noses and I’m short a nose or two. A crinkly package to shake is often all I need to get their attention.  But the treats have to matter to get them to come back next time.

The Crunchy Creations Grain Free with Chicken Treats brought them running to wherever I was and they crunched them right up. The size was good, about 3/8” and not too thick. The heart shape is cute but probably more for me. For cats it’s all about the flavor and a good smell. I thought the aroma was pleasant (some treats really over-do that). 

Bottom line, my cats thought it was really good stuff and were glad when I gave them more a few days later. I’m glad to get a treat from a company I trust, Hills Science Diet and the cats were more than happy to give them a thumbs up.

Kate says:

Cinnamon is a finicky cat, she doesn't go for just any food that I give her.  So I was happy to see how much she liked Hill's Science Diet Grain Free cat food. First she had to check out the bag, smelling it all over, before she'd touch the food.

Once she was satisfied that the food was okay, she enjoyed every bite and gave it her seal of approval!

Full Disclosure: I was given a free sample of Hill's Science Diet cat food and 2 bags of cat treats because I'm a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to recieve the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company. The opinions expressed here are my own, and my two cat food reviewers.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Elevated Feeders-good or bad?

My dogs always ate from bowls on the ground. I never gave a second thought to elevated feeders. Then we got Brooks and then Ike, golden retrievers. It seemed like such a long way down. Would they feel more comfortable with their bowls raised? Would it be better for their necks and spines? Would it help prevent bloat?

Ike checks out his elevated feeding station.

So Ike used an elevated feeder.

Then I read several sources that claimed elevated feeders could actually cause bloat. The very issue I was trying to avoid.

So now I got rid of the feeder, and he's back to eating from bowls on the floor. I don't know for sure if the theory is proven, but I'd rather be safe. I guess dogs were designed to eat on the ground, so I'm going with that.

What do you think--are elevated feeders good or bad?

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bowls to go Bow Wow For!

What is the best material for your dog's dinner bowl? Plastic? Ceramic? Stainless Steel?

Advantage: Inexpensive, many designs and colors
Disadvantage: Material may become scratched and harbor bacteria, some dogs are allergic to plastic, may leach chemicals into your dog's food and water

Advantage: heavy weight so they aren't easily pushed or tipped, available in many designs
Disadvantage: May break and chip, also may breed bacteria, some ceramic glazes, or stoneware bowls, may contain amounts of lead

Stainless Steel:
Advantage: Unbreakable, sturdy, rust-free, non-leaching
Disadvantage: If used outside, they become hot to the touch

Here's an even better option---bamboo!

Bamboo is natural, 100% recyclable, and biodegradable.
We were sent two sets of these awesome BambuBowls (TM) by Loving Pets to review-- large for Ike and medium for Kelly.
The bowls are durable and dishwasher safe, too!

One of the most interesting things I learned about bamboo bowls is that they have natural antibacterial properties.

Review:  The bowls are attractive and strong. The cut outs in the sides make them easy to pick up. And they are easy to clean. We are delighted to trade in Kelly and Ike's old bowls for these great, new, earth friendly bamboo bowls. That's 8 paws up!

Kelly's new Bambu bowls.

We also received a Gobble Stopper by Loving Pets to review. Ike is a gobbler. He had a metal bowl with a hump in the middle to prevent him from gulping down his food. It did slow him by a few seconds. The Gulp Stopper is a slow feeder device that can be placed inside any bowl. Lucky for us we have new BambuBowls to try it out!

Pros: The Gobble Stopper design was definitely effective.  Ike had to work harder to get the food than he does with his hump-style slow feeder bowl, so it definitely slowed him down even more. I liked that he had to work harder to get at the food. The suction cup stuck well, especially in metal bowls.

Ike's Bambu bowls with Gobble Stopper.

Cons: Depending on the size of the bowl and the size of your dog's muzzle, it may be difficult for your dog to get all the kibble out from under the bone shaped canopy. Some dogs may become frustrated--Ike wasn't deterred since he's highly food motivated, but he did leave one or two bits of kibble he couldn't find.  Also, the Gobble Stopper is made of plastic, which is a negative if you are trying to avoid exposing your dog to plastics.

Overall we are in favor of the Gobble Stopper, as it effectively slows a dog's eating and can help prevent indigestion and bloat.

Full Disclosure: We were provided with two sets of BambuBowls and one Gobble Stopper for our honest review, but this in no way affected our review. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Friday, November 8, 2013

TV Show Casting Call for Obese Pets

We try to feed our pets healthy food, and the proper amount.
We walk our dogs, and provide our pets play time and exercise.
We participate in FitDog Friday, K9Kamp, and even use cool apps like Slimdoggy!
And some people hike, swim, surf, run, and do sporting activities with their pets.

But what if you had a pet who was seriously overweight, despite your best efforts? Or if you adopted a pet with obesity who didn't respond to your efforts? What if you needed extra help for your pet?

Would you consider participating in a TV show?

Punched in the Head Productions, which produces TV series for MTV, Bravo, Sundance, and the Cooking Channel, is holding an open casting call for owners of obese pets to be considered for a new national cable series. In the show, animal fitness and nutrition experts will help the pets get down to a healthy size. Cats, dogs, bunnies, pigs, and other pets are included.

I wasn't able to preview an episode of the show, so I'm not sure what the tone is like, but if you would enjoy the opportunity to be involved in a national television program, this may be for you. On the other hand, you may have to open your life up to scrutiny and transparency. But if you want to help an extremely obese animal get in shape, the new television program could help.

To audition, submit your name, age, phone number and two photos of yourself and your pet, and a short description of your current situation to But hurry! They are looking for the right pets to help right away.

FitDog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join our blog hop!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Give Cancer The Paw Blog Hop

Today is our very first Give Cancer the Paw Blog Hop, co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place and Pooch Smooches.  Unfortunately, cancer has affected too many family members and loved ones, including canine and feline friends. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, cancer affects one in three dogs, and Pet MD says that cancer is the #1 disease killer of pets. But this post is not to depress you, because there's hope. Many pets live full lives after diagnosis. And, many good people are working on new ways to diagnose and find cures.  This hop is to tell our stories, offer help and support for one another, share tips and encouragement and good news too.  You don't have to have a pet affected by cancer to participate. By joining together we can help educate and support....and Give Cancer the Paw!

First, I want to start with my story.
Two of my dogs probably had cancer, but we don't know for sure. My family beagle-lab mix Happy, and then our Airdale-Gordon Setter mix Corky both had tumors that were never diagnosed but were likely cancerous. Then there was Brooks.

We adopted Brooks last year, when he was 11 years old. He was the most loving Golden Retriever. The thing I remember about him best is that he would just melt when you touched him--he loved to be patted so much that every muscle relaxed until he was a puddle at your feet. Brooks seemed healthy until one day he wouldn't sit or lie down. He just stood, zoning out. I realize now that he must have been in intense pain. I still remember the vet when she came into the examining room with the results of the xray, tears in her eyes. She told us that his lungs were full of cancer. Brooks died the next day.

But as many of you know, we had the most wonderful year with Brooks. I feel that he adopted us in order to live out the last year of his life in total love and comfort. Difficult as it was, I would adopt a senior dog again. It was that good while we had him!

Although Brooks displayed no symptoms until a few days before, here are some signs of cancer to watch out for:

1. Lumps (may be benign, but always good to have them checked)
3. Lethargy
4. Sudden lameness
5. Sores that don't heal
6. Abnormal odors and discharges
7. Loss of appetite and weight loss
8. Pain

If you notice any of these symptoms, tell your veterinarian. Chances are they will be due to something much less serious, but it's always best to check.

I'm also teaming up with Dogtipper, All Things Dog Blog, and Zukes this month to share about Zuke's great products and to  bring you some exciting dog treat giveaways with 6 great prizes, (be sure to check back here on Monday 11/18 for the Rafflecopter!) AND Zukes wants to Give Cancer the Paw too...with their Fuel the Cure promotion, they're donating $5 per entry to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund. Thank you Zukes.

Please join our  blog hop!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gizmo does Great Kamping!

We couldn't do K9Kamp without the support of our awesome featured bloggers.
Today please meet Gizmo from Terrier Torrent. Gizmo is a faithful Kamper...can't you tell?!

Gizmo is already an active pooch--he participates in many great activities and has a mom who keeps him fit and healthy. He even got the canine athlete seal of approval from Slimdoggy during a recent visit to BarkWorld!  So adding more activities onto his day was a challenge...but he did great! One of the specialties over at Terrier Torrent is geocaching.  What is Geocaching? I admit, I had to look it up to get a better understanding, but I discovered:
*It's like a treasure hunt using GPS
*A chache is a small, hidden containter
*It's a great activity to do with your dog!

Gizmo gets to run through trails, and sometimes without trails, helping his mom search for the hidden cache. What could be more fun?

Gizmo even went kayaking as a K9Kamp activity. Balancing on the kayak as it glides and rocks through the water is wonderful for your dog's core.  If you want to see what it might be like for you and your dog, don't miss the great video of Gizmo kayaking! I only wonder, there in Florida, did you see any alligators, Gizmo?

Thank you to Beth and Gizmo for participating in K9Kamp and being such great Kampers. I'll continue to feature more K9Kampers in future posts here, and also on Kol's Notes.
Keep fit with your pup--it's good for both of you!  See ya next K9Kamp!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ike Rallies!

We've been watching Ike's health carefully. When last we had Ike at the vet's, he'd been losing weight, his pulse was 40 beats/minute and his red blood cells indicated that he might have leukemia. We were filled with worry, but there were still so many unanswered  questions. Last week he had a recheck.

Among other things, the vet has put him on antibiotics just in case the cause of his anemia and other issues was something undiscovered, such as a tick-borne illness that wasn't tested.  
The good news is that he is responding.
His heart rate is up to 80- 90!
He's gained 3 lbs!

And his read blood count is close to normal!

The vet now believes it could be Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  We'll continue to monitor him. But for now, he's doing well and things look good!
Way to Go, Ike!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!

Friday, November 1, 2013

New Trends in Pet Food

Pet Food Trends

The Bark recently reported on these trends in dog food

1. Premium ingredients, such as organic and human-grade

2. custom prepared and delivered food

3. weight loss formulas

4. raw food diets

and from New Hope

5. Wellness products such as allergy formulas

6. Grain-free meals

7. sports nutrition for "optimal endurance"

8. socially conscious pet food companies educating their social media influencers

*Just a reminder! Please blog about anything related to cancer in pets--support, tips, personal stories, at our first Give Cancer the Paw blog hop, Wednesday November 6th. Co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place and Pooch Smooches.  Hope to see you there!

Fitdog Friday is co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join the hop!

Want more positive pet tips, good news, and special offers? Fetch my free newsletter, Pawsitively Pets. Kelly and Ike hope to see you there!