Monday, December 17, 2018

A Cat Food Christmas Carol #Chewy

 A Cat Food Christmas Carol
sung to the tune of Over the River and Through the Woods

Over the carpets and through the house
To my cat food bowl I go
The nose knows the way, there's no time to play
On this bed as soft as snow.

Out of the kitchen and down the hall
Oh, how the scent does flow
It tickles my toes and tempts my nose
As across the floor I go.

Over the highways and down the road
A box was delivered to me
With food from Chewy, some crunchy, some gooey
I can hardly wait to see.

Over the counter and into the dish
My dinner at last is served.
With morsels nonstop, and gravy on top
Science I deserve.

Well there you have it, our Christmas carol adapted for you. Because we're a #ChewyInfluencer, Chewy sent us a box of Hills' Science Diet Chunks & Gravy to review.

Here's what we love about it:
* Made in the USA
*Fresh, whole food ingredients
*Tuna and Chicken are two of the top ingredients
*Our veterinarian recommends Hill's Science Diet, so we can feel confident
*Fish oils for Omega-3 fatty acids
* Easily accepted by most finicky cats!

Image result for hills cat food no artificial

Try the different flavors and varieties too. The Chunks and Gravy includes Tuna, Chicken and Tender Ocean Fish. The Savory variety pack includes Turkey, Chicken and Turkey and Liver. It's also available in either chunky style, or minced.

*Full Disclosure: Chewy sent us 12 cans of Hills Science Diet cat food for our review. This in no way influenced our opinion. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hamster Fun with Adorable Pet Powered Exercise Car

How fun would it be to watch your hamster, rat or gerbil zoom around the room in its very own car? Wouldn't your small pet like to find this under the tree?

Look what's under our tree!

We've been researching fun toys to give your pets this holiday, and the Kaytee Critter Cruiser totally fits the bill! If your small pet loves to run, this is a great way to help it get more exercise. Similar to an exercise wheel, but this is a pet-powered exercise car!

Zzzzzzooooom!....beep beep......zzzzzzzooooommm!!

As #ChewyInfluencers, I was excited to get one to review for Here's what we love:
 * Great size--not too small or flimsy.
* Wheel spins easily
* Can be adjusted to move around the floor, or stay in place while your pet moves the wheel.
* Fun design and super bright colors.

This model has all the latest features, and a one hamster-power engine.
Look at features such as no-fuss air conditioning, and no worries about filling up at the gas station.
  We think your hamster, rat or gerbil will have a lot of fun if you got him this gift. Note that the car is too small for guinea pigs or ferrets. The Critter Cruiser comes in red, yellow and blue.

*Full Disclosure-- We were provided one Kaytee Critter Cruiser for our honest review. This in no way influenced our opinions. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Julius K9 Harness, A Great Fit for Dogs

 When walking Pete and Ernest, we prefer to use harnesses. But there are so many different types, how do we know the best for our dogs?

We once adopted an older dog who walked perfectly on a collar and leash, never pulled and was just as easy as pie...But he was the only easy one! The rest have been a challenge. Even sweet, gentle Ernest is a strong puller. We started using a harness with a front attachment, and found that we were much better able to handle the pulling. We also discovered that there are many different harnesses out there.

So that's why we were excited when Julius-K9, one of the largest manufacturer of dog equipment in Europe, sent us some of their harnesses and other goodies to review. It didn't take me more than a moment to discover the excellent quality and care that was put into the designing and testing of these products.

After consulting with the Julius-K9 representative and reading some of their posts, I've become more aware of the proper measuring and fitting of the dog harness and the dangers of improperly designed harnesses. It is very important to do your research and make sure the harness you use is right for your dog.

We are reviewing these Julius-K9 products:

  • one IDC® Powerharness, size 2, green
  • one IDC® Powerharness, size 2, blue
  • one phosphorescent custom patch, ERNEST
  • one phosphorescent custom patch, PETE
  • two custom patches: THERAPY DOG
  • two Super-Grip leashes
  • two StopDog car tether leashes
We tested them all, and here's what we discovered.
The harnesses--
The first thing I noticed is that the harnesses are sturdy and well-made.

Next I noticed the really comfortable lining. Some brands of harnesses are lined with a net-type fabric, such as those used on the straps of backpacks, but they can catch on dog hairs and pull. The lining of the Julius-K9 harnesses is smooth Oeko-Tex, which is a human-clothing quality fabric with no holes or bumps to snag. I've often found spots where other harnesses have rubbed and irritated the skin on my dogs. Not so with Julius--the soft padding and smooth material feels great! The buckles on the harnesses are plastic but heavy-duty, and the Velcro used on some of the straps is really strong. The metal rings are attached firmly to help prevent any concern of breaking and my dogs slipping away.

One thing I like about the harness is the handle. I can see it being useful for guiding Petey and Ernest places. And it also can be secured out of the way so when not in use, your dog won't get it caught or tangled up in anything.

When I put the Powerharness on Petey, he actually seemed to calm down. The harness does have a certain heft to it. In a way the harness actually worked like a compression shirt used for thunderstorms and anxiety.

On the walk, I felt secure that my dogs would not slip out of the harness. They didn't object to the weight or placement of any of the straps. They enjoyed their walk. The sides of the harness are bright and make the dogs easily visible.

I also love the ability to put the patches on the side. Julius-K9 was so considerate to make patches that said Ernest and Pete, and they can custom make any patches you like. They also have patches that say Therapy Dog, Service Dog, Do Not Pet, I'm Deaf, Adopt Me, In Training and many more. And they glow in the dark.

The leashes:
The leash felt different than my usual canvas leash. That's because they have rubber threads woven into the material for extra strength and a good grip. I liked the way they felt on our walk, and the non-slip feature. Even though they are narrow, they felt strong.

Here we are testing out the harnesses and leashes:

As you can see the dogs walked comfortably and in control in the harnesses. They were able to pull some, but the harness was sturdy and helped keep them in line. I appreciated the feel of the slip-free leash. And Pete and Ernest looked super cool too! I love the bright colors and of course the patches.

StopDog car tether:

Seat belt tethers are used to keep dogs safe in the car. These worked great, we just clipped one end to the harness and attached the other in the seat belt slot. It gave Ernest and Petey just enough freedom to move around, yet kept them secure from climbing up front or getting in the back. Another advantage of a seatbelt tether is that in the unfortunate event of an accident, the dogs wouldn't be able to run off if they were frightened and the door was opened. The little neon tennis ball looking thing at the end is a great added feature to prevent accidental unfastening by their paws.

If you are looking for a superior quality harness for your dog, I highly recommend Julius-K9. You will feel secure that your dog's harness is safe and sturdy and designed with your dog's structure and mobility in mind.

Full Disclosure: Julius-K9 provided us with 4 harnesses, 2 leashes, 4 patches and 2 tethers in exchange for our honest review. This in no way influenced our opinion. Opinions expressed here are 100% our own.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sharing the Holidays with your Pet

How do you share the holiday season with your pet? Here are some ideas.

Kelly loved to be photographed by the tree.
 (*This post contains affiliate links. I only include links to products I think you'll love!)

1. Dress them up for a picture
My dogs aren't into wearing Christmas sweaters or fleece pajamas, but they will tolerate a hat or sweater long enough to get a photo. I also like putting them in headbands with reindeer antlers or holiday lights. When Ernest goes out to do therapy dogs, the kids love it when he's wearing a necktie, hat or his blinking Christmas lights necklace. Do you like to dress your pet up in a special coat or hat for the holidays?

Petey posed for this photo in his Christmas necktie.

2. Make them a stocking
Do you make your dogs a stocking? I love making stockings for every member of the family, and the dogs are part of the family too! I fill my own, but some stockings, like this cat toy stocking, even come pre-filled. What do you put in your dogs' stockings?

Petey and Ernest have been good dogs this year. Have yours?
 3. Get them a Gift
We always buy gifts for the dogs too. For Pete this year it's an extra large Nylabone. For Ernest it's this cool soda can toy! I like these All Kind fetch toys, and maybe Petey needs this Planet Dog "naughty" eco-friendly bone.  What are you getting for your pets this year?

Sharing is always nice.
 4. Treat them to special food
Special holiday-themed food always makes me happy. For the dogs, you can get pumpkin pie, peppermint and gingerbread flavors, and treats shaped like trees and stars, or little vanilla snowflakes. There's even Instant Eggnog for cats and dogs! What special treats do your pets like?

Share with us in the comments anything you like to do to make your pet's holiday happy!

Monday, November 19, 2018

That comfortable-uncomfortable place your pet naps.

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Products are those I personally use or think you will like.

Our dogs enjoy the comfort of their own cozy dog beds. They're allowed on the couch and  in my big green chair with the matching ottoman. They can lie on the hardwood floor or the braided rug. They even climb up into "my" chair in the living room when I vacate it. Truly, comfort is important to them. So then why do they sometimes do something that looks so...uncomfortable?

One of Petey's favorite napping positions is this:

Does that look comfortable?

And Ernest has a habit of sleeping atop tables like this:

All I can conclude is that this must be comfortable to them. Does your cat or dog nap somewhere that seems comfortable to them, but looks like it really shouldn't be that comfortable? Tell us where in the comments!

Monday, November 12, 2018

When Your Dog Pulls on the Leash

We were walking down the street and Petey pulled ahead enthusiastically.
Around the corner he pulled toward a squirrel.
He heard a dog bark and he pulled toward the dog.
Later, we walked into a room of dogs and he pulled hard, barking.
Petey's pulling had become a problem.

Now that Petey is more than a year old, he's nearly full grown and strong. He also has boundless energy. We use many techniques to help. We provide him with lots of interactive toys to keep him busy. We also use a good, front attaching harness. We like the Easy Walk harness. This has always made a big difference in all our other dogs, but Petey is an especially difficult case!

My first instinct was to stop going out in public. It certainly was easier! But this wasn't teaching Petey anything. Plus, we want to be able to take him places with us, and hopefully eventually he will do therapy dog work with us. So we bought a supply of training treats. I began rewarding him every time he made eye contact with me.

Then I began using this technique when out on a walk. Every time he pulls, I stop walking. He usually eventually stops looking at whatever he's pulling toward and looks at me. I say "yes!" and he comes to me and gets a treat. First of all, this makes the walk really slow! But every time we practice, I notice him pulling less, and stopping to check in with me more.

My friend and dog trainer sent me this video. (Thank you Teri!)

With practice, he's improving. We even walked back and forth in front of a house with a barking dog, and he didn't bark back at all! I'm very encouraged by his progress but I know that it's up to me to keep working with him.

Does your dog pull? What have you found that helps you?

Disclouse: This post contains affiliate links. The products are those I personally use or think you will like.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ernest Goes to First Grade

We walked through the parking lot, past the big yellow buses, and approached the red brick building. Pushed the buzzer to be allowed in. Then we knocked on the principal's office door.

"Hello. This is Ernest. We're here to visit the first grade today."

The principal smiled and jumped out of her seat to greet Ernest. "The boys and girls will be so excited," she said. She led us down the hall to the room. All along the way teachers and students stopped to pat Ernest. He sure enjoyed that!

 The kids in first grade were all smiles and wide eyes. The teacher had everything organized and ready for us. Ernest laid down on a quilt and the kids sat beside him one at a time and read him their stories--they'd written original Halloween stories all by themselves!

The Mummy who Lost his Bandages.

The Vampire who Lost His Teeth.

The Ghost That Wasn't White.

 The Witch Who Couldn't Fly.  These kids could write!

Ernest listened attentively while they read. Some of the kids were a little afraid of dogs--they didn't want to get too close, but they all showed him the pictures.

Afterwards Ernest gave the kids each a trading card with his "stats."


The class gave Ernest a card they'd all signed, and two Halloween toys. He played with the spider right away.  One of the girls gave Ernest a note that said "I Love You." One of the boys asked Ernest to come back. And guess what? He will come back! We're going to visit the first grade once a month. We can't wait to hear the stories again next time.

Monday, October 29, 2018

How to Make Pumpkin Treats for your Dog

It's Halloween time and there are plenty of pumpkins around. Good thing that pumpkin is great for your dogs! It's high in fiber, low in calories, and full of Beta Keratin.  It's also great for your dog's digestive system.

You can use canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling.) However, if you have a few real pumpkins and want to give them to your dogs, here are some cooking and preparation suggestions:

1. Raw pumpkin is okay, as long as it is fresh. Don't use your Halloween pumpkin that's been sitting out on your porch steps for weeks. Yuck! Just peel the pumpkin and cut the flesh into small cubes. You can then top your dog's food with some of the pumpkin cubes.

2. Pumpkin puree
Boil peeled, cubed pumpkin until tender.
cut pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds. Place on cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes or so, until golden brown on edges. Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.

Place in food processor and add a little water and puree.

I put spoonfuls of pumpkin purees in muffin cups and froze. Then I popped the frozen lumps out of the tins and placed in ziploc bags to store until needed.

3. Pumpkin Pupsicles
Mix pumpkin puree with water until smooth. Poor into ice cube trays or molds and freeze.

4. Pumpkin Biscuits
I don't really enjoy cooking, but I got inspired to make dog biscuits with some of the pumpkin puree. One of the reasons I'm not much of a cook is because I'm horrible at following recipes and I hate to measure. So I put the puree in a large bowl and added some rolled oats, a little cinnamon, 2 eggs, and some flour. I kept mixing in flour until it felt like the right consistency to roll out. I rolled the dough and pressed out dog bone shapes with cookie cutters. I then baked them for about 15 minutes. They didn't look too bad! Best of all, my dogs were crazy about them! It made me ridiculously happy to make something from scratch that my dogs seemed to love!

Other ideas are
Mix pumpkin with peanut butter, banana, plain yogurt---or all!
Stuff into a Kong
Make pumpkin dog-safe ice cream
Bake into doggie muffins

Do you give your dogs pumpkin?
How do you prepare pumpkin treats for your pet?