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Friday
Jan302015

Accidents Happen!

New dog peed on the oriental rug? Pooped in the laundry pile in the kids' room? Guess it's time to find him a new home. Wait a second... is your 3-year old son having potty training relapses? Did your daughter wet the bed until she was 6? You must have shipped them right off to the orphanage then, right?

I am using an overly sarcastic undertone just to drive home how LUDICROUS it is that dogs are returned to breeders, dumped at shelters, or just flat out neglected because of habits that are sometimes out of their control. As the pet parent, your reaction is always within your control. I am not an expert in this, or any other dog behavior topics; I am hoping to prevent just ONE dog from becoming homeless over a bad habit..

As I wrote in my Nature's Miracle post last week, I have been dealing with a myriad of stains and messes. This struggle with housebreaking is all too real with Finn so believe me when I say I can relate. I understand and I sympathize. I have not seen or experienced it on all levels but I feel your burden and your frustration. Just breathe. Take inventory of what is important to you and try a new method to address the challenge. Most importantly, talk with or visit your dog's vet to rule out any medical issues that could be causing incontinence. Once you get the "all clear", try some of these tips: 

  • Correct and redirect with an "outside" command (and take pup outside); DON'T scold
  • Use a bell by the door or develop another method to signal he needs to potty
  • Watch for signs that your pup is about to go (sniffing, circling)
  • Skip the pee pads, they can be confusing to some dogs, especially if your goal is to eliminate all "eliminations" in the house
  • Stick to a schedule - if your pup has to go after every meal, make that a routine time to take him out
  • Feed at consistent times or intervals and remove food bowls after a few minutes and especially when you leave to reduce accidents
  • Record and watch the activities of a normal day; you might learn when and why the mess occurs
  • Praise and reward potty outside and reinforce with a phrase ("good potty outside", for example)
  • Stay calm. Be patient. Breathe. Laugh. And clean ;)

UPDATE! Finn had a HUGE breakthrough this week! On 1/28/15 he whimper-barked while I sat at my desk, opening mail. I found it odd since we had come in from our evening walk no more than 10 minutes earlier but I was certain he was trying to tell me he had to go outside. Mind you, we had snowbanks over my waist and the wind chill was 15 degrees so our first walk was brief. I also knew there was no way that he was asking to go outside for fun. So, any way, the moral of the story is that I listened to his cue, signaled "outside" and, sure enough, he went #1 AND #2! TMI? I don't care -- it was a proud dog mom moment for sure!

Be positive and don't forget to leverage the experts - vets and (positive reinforcement) trainers, as needed! And set realistic expectations. Young pups and elder dogs simply should not be expected to "hold it" for more than a couple of hours, max. Sending good vibes!

Saturday
Jan242015

Chewy.com Product Review: Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover

A new year, a new review opportunity! Many people make resolutions to live a healthier life, to declutter and do a thorough cleaning so how appropriate for us to review Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover.

Here are a few benefits as described on the site:

  • Suitable for carpet, floors, or any hard surface
  • Neutralizes organic odors and removes stains 
  • Quick drying
  • No rinsing necessary
  • Tip: It also works as a stain treatment for laundry (think pet bedding, blankets, etc.)!


    I think that even the most well-trained of dogs are bound to have tummy troubles. As for my household, spot cleaning has progressed from a constant task to a daily chore to being as needed each week. Finn's accidents still run the gamut :-/ while Cooper gets sick only after the occasional over-indulgence. For these reasons, I have found it is always best to be prepared with a carpet cleaner and something that is safe for hard surfaces. In both products, I look for stain-removal properties as well as an odor eliminator/neutralizer. You don't want to see or smell the stain after cleanup but, perhaps most importantly, you don't want your pup to find the same spot again.. and again..

     

    Earlier this month, I tried Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover on an hours-old pee spot (rug), a newly discovered dried pee spot (hardwood), an old stain from an upset tummy (yuck) that I could never get to disappear, and (lucky me) a fresh poop that was so thoughtfully placed on the edge of my living room area rug. Here are the results:
    • The pee was a straightforward job. While I do believe that Nature's neutralized the odor and left the rug stain-free, it left the hardwood floor a bit tacky even after it dried overnight. (4 stars)
    • The throw-up was a very stingy stain that I had tried to remove several times already. And, alas, after 2 go-rounds with Miracle Stain & Odor remover, the stain remains. Perhaps it is a little lighter. Perhaps I should have taken a before and after ;)
    • The poop was definitely a challenge.. It took 2 days of applying solution, soaking up the stain, allowing to dry and using a srub brush to dissolve the residue. It's still about 15% visible but a vast improvement from the onset.

    Other chewy.com shoppers rated this product an average of 5 stars; I would have to disagree and say 3.5 stars. 

     

    Disclaimer: I received free product from Chewy.com in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed in the blog are my own and were not influenced by any outsider. I did not receive monetary compensation or additional benefits for talking about the product or the company.
    Sunday
    Nov302014

    Chewy.com Product Review: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Biscuits

    Our final product review for November comes courtesy of Chewy.com's Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats. Cooper and Finn sampled the Salmon Biscuits Grain-Free Dog Treats to be exact.

    These light, baked, Fig Newton-sized biscuits are perfectly crunchy without the density that could chip a tooth. Two paws up right off that bat! With crunchy comes crumbly so I would caution against trying to halve or otherwise split them. They have a pretty limited ingredient list, too:

    Salmon, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Salt, Calcium Carbonate.

    I promise that Finn has been enjoying these biscuits just as much, if not more than Cooper! Someone is just a bit more excitable when it comes to new treats :) Our dog walker has been supplying both pups with a biscuit after their mid-day stroll and has reported that they gobble them up! And thanks again, Chewy.com, for allowing us to be part of your blogger program!

    Just a note: I have heard from a few sources that Blue Buffalo has had several recalls which, understandably, might give you pause. There were no recalls on these treats at the time of this review. As with anything you feed your dog, I urge you to do your research and check for recalls often. You can even sign up for DogFoodAdvisor.com's recall alert emails so that you are among the first to know of potentially dangerous food and treats. Since recalls are often voluntary, your vet is always a good resource for serious questions and concerns.

    Disclaimer: I received free product from Chewy.com in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed in the blog are my own and were not influenced by any outsider. I did not receive monetary compensation or additional benefits for talking about the product or the company.
    Friday
    Nov142014

    Zuke's Product Review: Zuke's Genuine Jerky Treats

    Earlier this month, Cooper and Finn had the fine privelege of taste-testing the latest in Zuke's line of dog treats: Genuine Jerky! Most of you know by now that my little Finn has a grain allergy so I'm constantly on the hunt for treats that satisfy both of the boys without upsetting any tummies.

    Okay, let's get down to it! We received one bag each of the 3 beef varieties - Original, Teriyaki, Barbecue. Our walks are very reward-based so I typically prep a small bag of treats to take along. The pieces of jerky were a bit too big for steady treating so I tore them into smaller pieces, a relatively easy task. They had the typical slick jerky texture, too, but did not leave my hands greasy or smelly. Speaking of smelly... the boys did wind up with some interesting gas throughout the day ;-P In the end, I would say they enjoyed all 3 of the flavor varieties equally! Have a look at the ingredients lists:

  • ORIGINAL RECIPE: Beef, Brown Sugar, Salt, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavors, Apple Cider Vinegar, Paprika, Celery Powder, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative) 
  • TERIYAKI: Beef, Brown Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavors, Apple Cider Vinegar, Celery Powder, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative)
  • BARBECUE: Beef, Brown Sugar, Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavors, Apple Cider Vinegar, Paprika, Celery Powder, Mixed Tocopherols
  • One con against the jerky would be for dogs with small or few teeth because, well, it's jerky and it can be tough for some to chew. Side note: Zuke's makes other fantastic chewy treats for the little ones!

    Somebody smells the jerky!Finn, sniffing out the Barbecue flavored Genuine Jerky. Cooper must have seen a squirrel, ha."Hi mom! Got any Zuke's for me?"

    "More jerky, please!"

     












     

     

     


    Disclaimer: I received free product from Zuke's in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed in the blog are my own and were not influenced by any outsider. I did not receive monetary compensation or additional benefits for talking about the product or the company.