Friday, January 31, 2014

FitDog Friday- So much fun, you don't mind the fitness

FitDog Friday and K9Kamp are joining together for some serious fun and fitness!

Have you been playing Doggie Hide and Seek? If not, check out the rules for our first K9Kamp challenge. And don't forget to take some pictures and link up for our K9Kamp Around the Kampfire on February 21st!

We're also giving away a great big prize package full of nine fun toys, treats and other dog products in our K9Kamp Rafflecopter--open for everyone to enter! I got the chance to test a few of the fun products we're giving away.

One product to help make meal time healthier, and lead to more fit pups, is an interactive feeder. We'll be giving away one for dogs, but I got the chance to review one for dogs, and one for cats too!

Aïkiou Pet Products (pronounced IQ) created some of the first interactive feeders. Interactive feeders help slow down mealtimes, which helps dogs avoid gas, bloat, and other digestive issues. They also make mealtime fun and help cure boredom. Cats also get the benefit of ‘hunting’for their food. The Aïkiou interactive feeder was chosen as his “Best in Show” at Global Pet Expo 2012 by celebrity veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker.

"Let's get these out of the boxes and get testing!"

Aikiou Dog
Ike and Kelly both tried out the Aikiou interactive feeder. Ike sniffed around and then pushed around with his nose. He was able to get the food, although he needed a little encouragement to figure out the smaller sections--which is good, as he had to think a little. Ike is a gulper and this feeder definitely slowed him down more than the one we currently use with the hump in the middle--with which he gulps the majority of the food and then it slows him down only for the last few bites that are more difficult to reach.

Kelly, on the other hand, immediately used hew paws to swat at the circular cover in the middle, and push the smaller covers on the side. She used more skill to get at the food. This seemed to be a fun challenge for her that she would enjoy doing often. There are ways to tighten some of the doors to make it more challenging.

Now for the cat feeder. Here's the Aikiou Stimulo interactive feeder for cats:
(guest review by Kate, mom of Cinnamon)

Cinnamon has never eaten out of anything other than a regular cat food bowl before, so I wasn't sure what she would think of this interactive feeder. She also has never used anything interactive like this...and I often tease her for having a "peanut brain." But she can be smart when she wants to!

I put down the feeder, with a few of the tubes already in, but most of them without tubes. She doesn't immediately run to food like a dog would, but when she was hungry she came over to it and started exploring. She very quickly grasped that she couldn't reach in with her mouth, so she batted the food out with her paw. It was funny to watch her move the food from one hole to the next, until it usually fell onto the floor, and then she'd eat it. The only downside I have seen so far is that it causes a little bit of a mess on the floor around the bowl!

This definitely requires more effort for her, and presumably more thought. She has continued to use it over a few days. I took out all the tubes after our original test, and will give her a few more days to get used to it before giving her the next challenge. Here's a movie of Cinnamon's first try.

Dogs and cats agree, the Aikiou interactive feeders are a fun challenge with a food reward!

Other fit pet activities often involve getting outside in all kinds of weather. After your pup has been outside running around and having fun, what do you do about those muddy feet? One solution is the Paw Plunger®. Invented by actress Brianne Leary, Paw Plunger® safely and gently cleans dogs’ paws without chemicals or soap.

"What do you mean, it's not Cup-a-Soup?"

The huge mugs have soft bristles inside, and a rubber opening which helps wring wet paws as they're removed. Looking at that, I figured there was no way my dogs would tolerate such a contraption. Was I wrong! After a good romp in the yard, I introduced both dogs to the Paw Plunger. They were skeptical at first, after realizing this was not something they could eat. I gently pushed Kelly's paw into the Medium size Paw Plunger. She didn't mind the feel of the bristles at all. I pushed her paw up and down a few times and then removed it, feeling the resistance of the rubber opening as it helped push the water off and back into the mug. Then I dried her paw on a towel.

Next Ike. He wasn't as keen on me lifting his paw, and got all excited. He has to sit to be at the right height to manipulate his paw, and he kept lying down, which made it a bit more difficult. But once I got him sitting, I got his paw in the Paw Plunger and he, too, didn't mind at all.

Is this easier than simply wiping paws? The answer is no, not really. But, it does get your dog's paws a million times cleaner than simply wiping them with a towel. And I'm sure once you make it a routine, your dog will cooperate more, as well. And when you've got really muddy paws and a nice clean kitchen floor, I think the Paw Plunger is definitely worth the effort!

Here's Kelly doing her best Barker's Beauties modeling with the Paw Plunger!

Enter our K9Kamp Rafflecopter for your chance to win a medium Paw Plunger AND an Aikiou interactive feeder for dogs...along with 7 other great toys and treats for your dog, valued at more than  $100!

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

Full Disclosure: I was provided with two Aikiou interactive feeders and two Paw Plungers to review, plus one Aikiou interactive feeder and one medium Paw Plunger to give away, in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influenced my review. 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! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Your Puppy Bowl Team--My Kind of Fantasy Football

 I always wondered what my son and husband found so thrilling about fantasy football. But now, there's a fantasy game I can really get into--I can make my own picks for the Puppy Bowl!

This Sunday at 3pm E/P, Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl returns for it's tenth season.

Tune in for terrier tackles, puppy penalties and Fido first downs! Not to mention the adorable kitten halftime show.
I decided to see what all the fuss was about and create my puppy fantasy team. I viewed a brief profile of the puppies and chose three I'd like to draft for my team.
I chose:
Sparky--male Yorkie
Ginger--female Old English Sheepdog
Van Helsing--male Basset Hound

I have to admit, I chose based on which dog made me say "awwwww" the most, rather than which seemed to have the most athletic ability.

 Check out the live puppy cam to see the contestants. Players are all adoptable puppies.

Not to be outdone, Hallmark channel is running the Kitten Bowl! The event benefits animal rescues.

And, don't forget Dog Tipper's and All Things Dog blog's SuperDog Sunday! Proceeds go to Petfinder Foundation.

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, January 27, 2014

Puppy Pendants and Kitty Earrings. Jewlery for Animal Lovers

Valentine's Day is coming. What a great day to celebrate the love we have for our friends and family...including our pets. And wouldn't it be fun if we could share how much we love animals with attractive, beautiful, charming jewelry? Yes, please!

Magic Zoo handcrafted jewelry for animal lovers recently contacted me and asked if I'd like to review one of their products. Oh my gosh, which one to choose?! I took a look at their site, and wow! was I impressed with the variety and styles. I have a few dog designed necklaces that I love to wear, so I thought this was a great idea. Just look at some of the beautiful jewelry they make:

Cute gold Bichon Frise

Bronze Coonhound


Sterling silver Golden Retriever

there are even many breeds of cats including these cuties:

Enamel kitties earrings


And horses, birds, pocket pets, frogs, wildlife, ocean life, farm animals and more. I'm seriously in love with this:

Long haired guinea pig pin


I really wanted a golden retriever pin or pendant, but I couldn't get this adorable dachshund pin off my mind so this is the one I finally settled upon. It was a difficult choice, but I think a great one. Isn't it pretty?

Here it is on my shirt.

"Hey, can I borrow your pin Mom? Since I'm part dachshund, it looks a little like me, dontcha think?"

The pin arrived in a lovely gift box. It is heavy enough to tell it is made of quality materials but light enough that it is comfortable to wear. It's made of enamel painted over lead-free pewter. The painting, done by artists in New England, is really quite striking, full of little swirls and details. I love my little dachshund pin and can't wait to wear it on all my tops and jackets.  If you're looking for really cute accessories for your outfits, you might find something special at Magic Zoo. I dare say they have a style for everyone, and just about any dog, cat, farm animal, wild animal, or any animal you might want to see.

Full Disclosure: I was provided with the enamel dachshund pin for my honest review. This in no way affected my review. 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, January 24, 2014

K9Kamp Challenge-- Let's Play Doggie Hide and Seek!

The Big Day is Here! Time for 9Kamp, and our first Challenge:

Hey, here you are! We've been looking for you. We are soooo excited that you've joined us for the first day of Kamp! Keep reading to find out what it's all about, our first challenge and our great prize Rafflecopter!

Welcome to K9Kamp! Co-hosted by Peggy's Pet Place, Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Before we begin, I'd like you to meet your Kamp Kounselors:

 Kelly--She may be a senior, but she can run and jump with the pups! She loves to swim and go for long walks on the beach. Her favorite activity is jumping on furniture! She's very good at keeping rambunctious kampers in line.

Ike-- This golden boy is full of energy, loves to run, and will follow you anywhere. He has a big appetite for Kamp food, but he knows how to burn off the calories. He's always ready for a game of ball. Any takers?

Jack-- His favorite saying might be "Pump it up!" Jack is a jock who loves to run with his weighted vest. This Slimdoggy is ready to show you how to get fit, too!

Maggie-- Another senior lady, Maggie may be a little more chill, but she can hold her own with the big boys! She'll take you on nature hikes, and she'll be your best friend, too.

Rocco-- The youngster of the group, Rocco is always looking for fun. He's in training to be an agility star, and has all the right moves!

Just what did you get yourself into, you ask? Well, K9Kamp is a blog hop fun and fitness challenge for pets and pet parents everywhere, held January and June of each year. Here at Kamp, we know that when fitness is fun, we're more likely to keep it up. That's why we've designed fun challenges for you to do at home, on your own time. Have I said "fun" enough?! You'll find the challenge today here, and at Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love.  Be sure to visit us all because we each have different ideas and suggestions for making this challenge work for you. We encourage you to tweak the challenge and make it your own.

You'll work on the challenge at your own pace for the next 3 weeks. Then, prepare your post sharing your experiences. If you don't have a blog, you can share on Facebook, or email me and I'll post your results. On February 21st  link up (linky opens at 12:01 am EST) and join our K9Kamp Kampfire blog hop. EVERYONE is invited. Even kats and other kritter folk! We have a big prize package giveaway too, that everyone can enter, regardless of whether you're able to participate in Kamp this time or not.

Best of all, you can adapt the challenge to suit your dog's fitness level, your time schedule, space allowances and health needs. Let's go!

This month's challenge is:

Doggie Hide and Seek

1. Select an item--your dog's favorite toy, a treat, etc. When your dog isn't looking, hide the item. If your dog is new at this, start off with the item under a pillow or behind a table close enough to find. If your dog is a pro, make it more challenging.

2. Now tell your dog "Find it!" Run along with your dog, encouraging him as you go.

3. Be sure to offer lots of praise when your dog finds the item.

4. Now, it's your turn! Be creative and think up new ways to play Doggie Hide and Seek.

Hide and Seek? We're in! What are we looking for?

Here's what we're going to do at our house. Ike loves his tennis ball, so I'm going to hide his tennis ball in increasingly difficult locations, and see how far he can go. I have no idea what to expect! With Kelly, I'm going to hide and see if she can find me! Maybe it'll end up with her getting bored and wandering off, and I'll be hiding under the bed un-found until dinner time. Might just get in a good nap that way!

What about you? Make up your own games of Hide and Seek. We can't wait to see what you come up with! Be sure to take pictures.

We hope you join the challenge. And link up on February 21st, share the fun you had with your dog, when we'll find out:

Who got the most creative with this challenge?
Who found the most objects?
Who played both inside and outside?
Who found the most original item?
Who found the biggest item?
Who found the smallest item?

Now what would K9Kamp be without a great giveaway? Everyone can enter for a chance to win this great K9Kamp prize package:

Petmate Interactive Treat Tower
Chuck-It fetch ball
Dogzilla Large rubber bone for strong chewers
Aikiou Interactive Dog Feeder
Medium Paw Plunger
1 bag SmartCookee all-natural treats (5 oz.--your choice of flavor)
The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance
Slimdoggy t-shirt
Slimdoggy frisbee

rafflecopter   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kelly, Ike, Jack, Maggie, and Rocco have been practicing their playing and fine-tuning their fitness, for an exciting session of K9Kamp! Are you joining in the fun?

FitDog Friday is 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, January 22, 2014

Brooks Books- a mystery, a rescue story and how to speak dog

Time for another book review, and this time we've got three very different, but great new reads. One is fiction, one is non-fiction, and one is children's...and they're all about dogs!

The Sound and The Furry
A Chet and Bernie Mystery
by Spencer Quinn
published by Atria books, (c) 2013

I've been a fan of Chet and Bernie books for some time now. If you haven't tried them out yet, what are you waiting for? The books are witty, clever, suspenseful and well-written. The narrator is, yup, a dog-- and yet you never feel like it's cheap or cheesy or talking down. The author understands Dog. Combine that with a mystery--Bernie is a private eye.

In The Sound and the Furry, Chet and Bernie team up to solve a missing persons case in New Orleans. One of the most suspenseful moments is when Chet tangles with a big gator. But there's plenty more in store in this novel--it all adds up to a New York Times Bestseller that you won't be able to put down.

Spencer Quinn is the author of five previous Chet and Bernie mystery novels. He lives on Cape Cod with his dogs, Audrey and Pearl.
Chet the Dog blog
Chet the Dog on Facebook
Chet the Dog on Twitter

How to Speak Dog
A guide to decoding dog language
by Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman, D.V.M.
published by National Geographic (c) 2013

Young people (and adults!) will love this guide to helping understand what your dog is saying. Did your child ever ask you why a dog chases its tail, or howls at the moon or bares its teeth? Or, even more embarrassingly, why dogs sniff each other there? They can find all the answers in this book! There are fun facts interspersed as well. Such as:
*When a dog licks your face, he's trying to win your favor. When he licks his own lips or nose, he's trying to calm himself.
* Dogs only wag their tails for people and other animals. They don't wag at trees or telephone poles, or things that can't respond.
*Dogs can't control when or how wagging happens. The tail is connected directly to the brain, and transmits how the dog is feeling.

Aline Newman is a writer for National Geographic Kids and author of several nature books. She has a big black lab, Moose.  Dr. Gary Weitzman is President and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society. He has two dogs, Jake and Betty.
National Geographic Kids
Aline Newman's website

Camper vans, ex-pats and Spanish hounds
The strays of Spain: from road trip to rescue
by Tania Coates and Sam Morris
published by Hubble and Hattie (c) 2013

While traveling through Spain in their VW camper van with their rescue dog Iyela, Tania and Sam came across a stray in a very poor state of health at the side of the road...and so began the story of Pedro's rescue. It was great to save one little dog. But Pedro never left Tania's mind. There were so many street dogs in need of help. Galgos- sighthounds used in hare coursing and hunting. Podencos- a name that applies to a vast number of hound types.

The shelters were full...and what could two people do to help? Read and find out the sad stories, the amazing rescues, and the happy endings.

Spanish hounds website
 Hubble and Hattie website

Full Disclosure: I was provided with one copy of each book for my honest review. This in no way influenced my review. 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, January 20, 2014

The Balancing Chihuahua

I wanted to join Train Your Dog Month blog hop co-hosted by Something Wagging, Alfie’s Blog and  Rescued Insanity but I never got around to training my dogs to do anything! So I'm cheating and instead, sharing my friend's dog who is smart and can do lots of things!

I want to introduce you to an amazing little dog, Homie. Homie lives in Vermont, and his mom Sarah has trained him to balance just about anywhere. Clearly there is a strong bond of trust between the two. Balancing is good for your dog's core muscles, too!

I think Homie is one amazing chihuahua. Don't you?

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

Saturday, January 18, 2014

When you need a friend...

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, January 17, 2014

FitDog Friday- NEW K9Kamp, Let's Get Ready!

It's FitDog Friday, and we have a special announcement!
K9Kamp is coming! You don't have to don't have to shape up your swimsuit don't have to dig your flashlight and sleeping bag out of the closet. You can attend Kamp in your own home, at your own pace. It's all about getting fit, sure, but mostly about having fun with your dog. And we have so much fun!

First, we have to say a bittersweet farewell. Jodi from Kol's Notes will no longer be with us as K9Kamp coach. It's like losing the lovable founding camp director who used to give motivational talks under the flagpole. I want to thank Jodi for all she's done as K9Kamp coach--she has so much the energy and wisdom and it's an amazing opportunity to get to work with her. I'm so sorry to see Jodi go, but check out the wonderful new directions she's taking Kol's Notes. I raise my marshmallow stick to you, Jodi.

Thank you for all you did, Koach Koly!

While I'll miss Jodi's participation greatly, I'm also excited for the new directions we're taking with K9Kamp! The new K9Kamp will run twice a year (January and June) in conjunction with FitDog Friday.

Kounselor Ike asks, "Do you play tennis?"

In addition to Peggy's Pet Place, we have two amazing new co-hosts: Slimdoggy and To Dog With Love, who are great pet health and fitness advocates. We'll have new, exciting and fun challenges for you and your dog, and a blog hop on special FitDog Fridays to share our experiences. And yes, there will be prizes! Everything you loved about K9Kamp will return, with new and simpler ways to hop on board.

Thanks to fantastic Kampers like you, K9Kamp has been a big hit in the past, and we hope you will all continue to join in and help keep our pets fit and healthy, while having fun together. So come on and join in on the first "new" K9Kamp challenge on Friday, January 24th. We can't wait for you to see what it is! It's going to be something specific and really, really fun, yet you can adapt it to suit your fitness level and your needs. K9Kamp will run for 3 weeks. Then you'll have a week to write your post to share your experiences, and link up to our big around the Kampfire hop on February 21st. Please join us for a woofin' good time! And look out for our Rafflecopter with a great prize package including fun dog toys, treats, interactive feeder, t-shirt, book and much more.

Kounselor Kelly suggests a game of football.

So look for the challenge issued on the next FitDog Friday! We hope to see you there!
Your K9Kamp Kounselors,
Kelly and Ike
Jack and Maggie

FitDog Friday is 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, January 15, 2014

Blog the Change- Comedy Web Series Promotes Pet Adoption

Today is Blog the Change, hosted by Be the Change for Animals.

Have you ever wondered how many ways we try to encourage people to adopt pets? According to the American Humane Association, 17 million people acquire a new pet each year...but only 20% of those adopt from shelters. The word still needs to get out. So I think you're going to like this fun and unique venture. Dog Treats and Jingle Toys is a documentary style comedy web-series airing on YouTube. The videos are cute and amusing. But that's not all.

A scene from the video

Dog Treats and Jingle Toys is a dog story, a love story, a family story. I especially like the voices reflecting what the dog, Jake, and the cat, She-Ra, are thinking. (There are times I bet you've imagined your pets thinking the same things!) The story is cute and only takes a few minutes to watch--easy to fit into our busy schedules. And the best part is after, after the fun video, you're introduced to less adoptable pets.

Jake likes to play baseball.

The goal is not only to help amazing shelter pets find their FurEver Homes, but also to raise awareness regarding adoption, fostering and volunteering, by weekly showcasing a shelter, rescue or pet friendly cause outside the area.

The creator, Aubree Sweeney, has combined her three passions: animals, writing and performing to create Dog Treats and Jingle Toys. She hopes that it will encourage viewers to adopt pets and remind everyone how much love a rescue animal can bring to their family. Her dog Jake and her cat She-Ra inspire her daily.

Aubree and She-Ra

Share the link with all your friends. They'll enjoy the video story, and you never know who might need to see the message at the end.
Dog Treats and Jingle Toys Episodes

Also find Dog Treats and Jingle Toys on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog the Change. 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!