Chewy Product Review: ACANA Mackerel & Greens Singles

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Ever since trying another variety from our dear friends Jackson and Wally, the boys were stoked to review the ACANA Mackerel & Greens Singles Formula Dog Treats earlier this month. 

With winter weight being a heavy topic for Finn, these limited ingredient delights were perfectly refishing ;) Plus, we're always game for non-GMO, grain-free goodness and we appreciate the benefits of freeze-dried nutrient preservation. To top it off, the Fresh Atlantic Mackerel was caught by a fishery based out of my hometown! The only downside here is stinky breath but the boys were still HUGE fans!

4 paws up!

Ingredients: Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Spinach Greens, Sarsaparilla Root, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative)

Disclaimer: I received a free product in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Chewy.com Blogger Program. 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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Merrick Kitchen Bites Wingalings

In recognition of the holidays, we sampled some festive treats this month! The Merrick Grain-Free Wingalings biscuits are part of their Kitchen Bites line of snacks. The boys taste-tested the Applewood Bacon flavored variety and, as you can see from the pics, they [Finn] couldn't wait! 

These crunchy, chicken-wing-shaped delights are made with real, wholesome ingredients (save the applewood bacon "flavor") and are just the right size for my little guys. The 9-oz bag provides a very generous portion -- enough to fill a treat container that typically lasts us 4-6 weeks! Even though the treats crumble when broken or chewed, they are tasty enough that the Cooper 2000 and Finn XS vacuum up each and every last bit. 


Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas, Organic Cane Molasses, Chicken Fat, Carrots, Apples, Flaxseed, Applewood Bacon Flavor, Gelatin, Mixed Tocopherols (a Preservative), Rosemary, Sage, Thyme


Rating... 4 paws up!

Disclaimer: I received a free product in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Chewy.com Blogger Program. 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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Frisco Poop Bags

A little behind on my blogs..!

August was about practicality – with 2 pups, plentiful poop bags are a must! The Frisco Scented Poop Bags and dispenser delivered on all but 2 critera.

1)  Are the bags large enough?  ………………………………………….. YES! 9x13 inches

2)  Are the bags strong and durable? ………………………………….. YES! Leak-proof and sturdy

3)  Does the scent mask the odor? ……………………………………… YES! Cucumber melon did the trick

4)  Does the dispenser fit on a standard leash? ………………….. YES! Easy to clip on and remove

5)  Does the dispenser hold used (tied) poop bags? ……………. NO :( You win some, you lose some

6)  Are they environmentally-conscious? .................................... NO :( This plastic is not biodegradable

For a total rating of ......... 3 paws up!

 

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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Catit Treat Ball

No, I did not adopt cats..! Yes, I did get the Catit Treat Ball for Cooper and Finn! We always try to have fun with food so I jumped right on the opportunity to add a new game to the mix. Thanks, Chewy.com!

The size of the ball is about that of a tennis ball but it is a hard, fairly heavy duty plastic which I know neither of my boys would destroy. From a durability standpoint, 4 paws up!

The opening is large enough to fit standard kibble with ease. So, to make a more challenging (and amusing) experience, I recommend using larger treats. Think about cutting up bigger chunks of apple, carrot, cheese, or whole green beans. For usability, 3 paws up!

Finn could have cared less about the ball. While he’s fairly competitive for my attention and highly food motivated, he has no interest in chasing toys the way Cooper does. Coop literally went balls to the wall over this, even when filled with kibble! This created a lot of “noise pollution” so I made sure my neighbors on the first floor were out for the few minutes it took him to knock out each and every last bit. From an activity standpoint, 2 paws up!

I’m sure my review would have been a bit different if the subjects were feline but I hope I was able to show you the versatility of the Catit Treat Ball!

Disclaimer: I received a free product in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Chewy.com Blogger Program. 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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Wellness CORE Superfood Protein Bars

From the grain-free line of Wellness, CORE Superfood Protein Bars have markedly healthy ingredients and a chargrilled appearance, for which the side windows on the bag do no justice.

Each Turkey & Duck with Kale bar measured 2-3 inches by 1 inch and they were about the thickness of a cork coaster. Come to think of it, they almost felt like dehydrated cork meat. Can you feel it? To me, they had an off-putting texture. To the boys, they were special "you deserve it" niblets of yum.

Ingredients: Turkey, Peas, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Duck, Cane Molasses, Salt, Broccoli, Carrots, Kale, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Dried Cultured Skim Milk, Rosemary Extract
— brands.wellnesspetfood.com

I have come to the realization that no matter what the description is, I hope (and half expect) all treats to have the same moist, breakable - but not brittle - consistency, to be halved without the use of sharp-edged tools and for my pockets to stay relatively clean of crumbs and debris.. Overall, 2 out of 4 paws up!

 

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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Earthborn Holistic EarthBites

Grain-free, they are; moist, they are not. Our Earthborn Holistic EarthBites Hip & Joint Natural Moist Treats arrived earlier this month courtesy of our favorite procurer of pup treats, Chewy.com. Cousin Zeph received a bag of the Cheese Flavor EarthBites in his welcome gift :) so, naturally, I wanted to give Cooper and Finn a chance to try these out, too! We had high hopes given that Earthborn Holistic is a great brand and the ingredients listed were all legible (lean turkey meal, peas, apples, blueberries, carrots, spinach...) and that's hard to come by sometimes!

As you well know, Cooper chows down on everything but he really gets excited about the very meaty, smelly treats. And Finn had a funny way of eating these, given the extra crumble they presented. They were easy to break, crumbs and all, so I did find that they made a good Kong stuffer. I just chose against bringing these on our walks because my pockets would have been left with lots of "Hip & Joint" residue. I also noticed they had a very faint aroma which made them a bit less enticing than your traditional protein-rich snacks. On the plus side, they were rich in Omega-6 and -3, anti-oxidants, and glucosamine for joint heath and skin care.

All-in-all, 2 out of 4 paws up!

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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Outward Hound Doggy Blocks Spinner Puzzle

This month, we were surprised with a brain game and. just like that, the joys of reviewing are coming back to me! It's also nice to get a little break from the canine equivalent of ice cream and pizza. With a puzzle toy, you can switch up the treats or ditch them all together and go the verbal praise route instead. Another inventive method is to put whole breakfast or dinner portions in for a "don't play with your food" mealtime activity.

Outward Hound's Doggy Blocks Spinner Puzzle Dog Treat Toy was as deluxe as it sounds. The 4 removable blocks with scent-detecting holes can be pawed away or muzzled off revealing [INSERT TREAT OF CHOICE]. Once the first round of fun is done, it's on to a spinning frenzy. More compartments appear and more goodness is discovered! At least, for Cooper. Finn is a little less enthusiastic when it comes to putting his thinking cap on. But then again, who can blame the little dude? He gave it his all back in his dreaded Puppy Mill days and now he gets to rule the roost.

Stay tuned for a Facebook update where I'll post about my new fur-nephew's take on the Doggy Blocks Spinner Puzzle! Something tells me Zephyr will not disappoint :)

 

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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Rolls

Oh, hi there. It's been a little while since my last post but the boys and I are back in the review game! Thanks, Chewy.com :)

In April, we started strong with the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Rolls. The flavor of the month was the Grain-Free Duck Recipe. Firstly, RIP little duck friend. Secondly, thank you for getting the dogs so pumped at treat time! The food roll, while nutritious enough for a standalone meal, is perfect for just about any use. It can be sliced or crumbled in small bits as a flavor boost to bland kibble or it can be cut to size for rewarding all sizes of (adult) dog.

Since I like to food prep in advance of the work week, I get my cutting board, knife and Pyrex dish ready and cube the roll into about 1/4" pieces. This makes readying the boys' Kongs each morning a breeze! I am conscious that the protein (12.0% min), fat (6.0% min) and caloric content in addition to a normal day's food intake might make for a few hefty hounds so I try to cut back on the kibble and use these and all treats sparingly. This way, they can still eat from my plate because I can't turn away those puppy eyes ;)

Tip: Since there are no artificial preservatives and the moisture level is higher than most treats, be sure to keep the opened roll/pieces in the fridge or store the unopened roll at room temp. You can also freeze it before using but "enjoy" by the date stamped to ensure freshness!

 

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.

 

Chewy.com Product Review: I and Love and You Free Ranger Bully Stix

Put down that raw hide and do away with those splintering bones! A nice reward for waiting patiently while I take conference calls from home or have dinner with friends, bully sticks are always popular in the Cusson house. 

This month, Chewy.com sent us a scrumptious 5-pack of 6-inch "I and love and you" Free RangerTM Bully Stix. As 2-pup household, I really prefer even packaging :) It's like the age-old question of why hot dogs are sold in packs of 10 while buns come 8 to a bag! And they were not of the no stink variety -- although that is offered by this brand -- so air circulation was a must. Some of the benefits to treating with bully sticks include: reducing tartar buildup, introducing a single-source protein with no fillers or grain for sensitive tummies, its long chew life and tendon that won't splinter or cause internal bloating like some natural bones and raw hide can. So, as far as bully sticks go, these did not disappoint!

RECALL Alert! Just a week or so after our stix were delivered, "I and love and you" issued a voluntary product recall of their Cow-Boom! Strips because Salmonella was discovered in a routine sample test. I contacted Chewy.com to ensure their were no additional recalls in the works for other products and only after I was assured that the Bully Stix were safe did I allow the boys a taste test. It's so important to stay current on recalls and check expiration dates and storage instructions as many natural pet treats require refrigeration. Stay healthy my friends!

Tip: Bully sticks of any brand might stain your rugs or upholstry; have the pups enjoy them on a hard surface or use a towel as a buffer.

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.

1 Year of Freedom for Finn!

365 days!

365 glorious, fresh air breathing, grass between the paw pads tickling, running, playing, exploring, full belly and snore-filled napping, treat-tasting days that Finn has spent being loved, cared for, freshly groomed and thoroughly doted on.


The backstory...

Finn was a victim of the heartless and cold world of commercial breeding where his little 10-lb body endured 4 1/2 years of fear and discomfort. The puppy mill was located in Arkansas but his heroes hailed from Colorado. Enter, National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR). In June of 2014, the NMDR rescue van full of loving and devoted lifesavers pulled Finn and countless other dogs from several locations around the South and Midwest. This would be the first step in his journey of life. Real life. Not caged, dirty, sick, starved, neglected life.


My trip to Lily's Haven...

After a rewarding and eye-opening volunteer trip in April 2014, I returned in July with my approved adoption application on file. You know, just in case :) I read the profiles of so many of the NMDR-rescued dogs and had a short list which included my beloved Finn. I spent the first day loving on all the pups at Lily's Haven (the NMDR adoption kennel), scooping poop, mopping pee, cleaning laundry and feeding my furry friends. I was quiety evaluating the dogs on my short list - Who will do best with Cooper? Who can fit in the under-seat carrier for the plane ride home? Who really needs me? Alas, my Finn was the one.


What Finn has learned...

How to play

How to cuddle

How to pee and poop outside (for the most part)

How to walk on a leash

How to respond to cues

How to brush his teeth (okay, I help)

That he can trust me

That people are not always bad

That the people in my life will always have open hearts and a gentle touch

That his big brother is crazy

That Cooper is always in charge ;)

That he is loved, SO LOVED

That he will always be safe


What I have learned about Finn..

He's blind in one eye

He has luxating patellas (floating knee caps)

He's allergic to grains

He sometimes eats poop

He has smelly breath (see above)

He is so deserving of the best life

He is perfectly content 95% of the time

He has the softest, velvetiest fur

He LOVES to play

He makes new canine friends very easily (humans, now that's a work in progress)

He prefers stuffed, shakable toys to tennis balls or chewing bones

He could sleep all day.. except for 5:30am. He must be awake at 5:30am

He needs help getting on/off taller couches and beds

He is not a huge fan of nighttime walks (being partly blind and all)

He does not like extreme temperatures (cue the accidents in the house)

Aside from his fear of most men and some new people, he is a pretty courageous little dude

Finn has taught me so much about having patience, understanding and giving back. I want to be an example for others who don't think that adoption is for them. It is for you, I promise. It is for everyone! There are so many dogs, with their own stories and unique personalities. We just have to give them a chance. I'm so lucky that Finn was my chance ♥

Chewy.com Product Review: Wellness TruFood CocoChia Bakes

Salmon and flaxseed and turmeric, oh yum! These delectable Wellness TruFood CocoChia Bakes are chock-full of beneficial ingredients (including Coco for coconut oil and Chia for chia seeds) with none of that artificial junk. They are also grain-free, rich in antioxidants and, at about 1x1/2" or nickel-sized, they are perfectly proportioned for my boys. Chewy.com really nailed it with this month's recommendations.


Being a new product and all, I don't feel that I can really ding Wellness for the packaging but I will say that I hope they look into resealable inserts in the future. These treats are naturally preserved so they should be refrigerated and I prefer to have things all sealed up before entering those preciously chilled chambers.  

Remember to treat sparingly and never replace full meals with treats, no matter how nutritious they appear. And love your pups!

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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Lamb Lung Bites

Chewy.com brought my boys a rare delicacy this month, Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Lamb Lung Bites. These all-natural, grain-free treats are high in protein but boast less than 8 calories per piece – even fewer if you account for the fact that I still break the bites into small bits for my pups. As will all treats, please do not replace entire meals and treat sparingly.

Since the treats are dehydrated, there is no offensive odor. This makes it easy to store a few in my pockets for our adventures around town. It’s always helpful to reward good behavior on the spot. I might be guilty of bribing every now and again, too, but I’m not proud of it!

I realize there wasn’t much for me to review with these 1-ingredient wonders, so I filmed my boys in action. I give you, the Leave It command ^_^

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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Merrick Power Bites

We are so excited to review Merrick Power Bites Real Texas Beef Recipe Grain-Free Soft & Chewy Dog Treats for this month's installment of our chewy.com product review. These are an absolute FAVORITE among the Cusson canines! The bag of treats was decimated well before this post was even drafted.. nom nom nom!

Merrick Power Bites are one of the easiest grab-and-go options for me when I strive for a successful walk around town. Successful is defined in my book as: no pulling, no lunging, no barking, minimal twisting of leashes. The boys love the flavors - we've also tried the Pork and the Turducken varieties - and I love that they don't leave an offensive odor in my pockets or on my hands. These 1/2 inch star-shaped bites are easy for the dogs to chew and digest which is also hugely important. And, at 5 kcal/treat, we don't have to tack on an extra mile just to work off their effects. Take a look at the ingredients; you might think you're reading a people food!

Deboned Beef, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Protein, Potato Starch, Organic Cane Molasses, Vegetable Glycerin, Brown Sugar, Gelatin, Cultured Skim Milk, Sunflower Lecithin, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Natural Smoke Flavor, Carrots, Apples, Blueberries, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Rosemary Extract

What are you waiting for? Treat your pups today :)

 

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.

Product Review: Earth Rated

Here's a review on the other "end" of the spectrum for a change ;) I received this wonderful package of Earth Rated® who not only has the coolest website around, but also supplied me with various poop bags, a dispenser and even the perfect "log" for my dog walker to record each day's "activities".

I'll be honest, I was a bit skeptical about what made a "better" bag since they don't have the most glamorous job and ultimately get tossed within minutes. For years I have been buying the cheapest bags I can but, on occasion, I have paid dearly (-_-;)

I have found the cheapest cost per bag is roughly $.025. For Earth Rated, I noted a cost per bag ranging from $.032 to $.045 depending on which bags you buy, the quantity, and where you buy them. Over the course of a month or even a year, this is a fairly minimal difference. For me, choosing the lowest cost option of Earth Rated bags, I would spend about $45/year or less than $4/month for the 3-4 bags per day that Cooper and Finn require.

Here are some of the pros of Earth Rated:

  • Quick, clean tear from roll 
  • Easy-open
  • Masks odor
  • Durable and strong
  • Recycled materials
  • & they're charitable, too!

 

Disclaimer: I received free product from Earth Rated 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.

Product Review: Max & Ruffy's

Natural organic treats for dogs - that's Max & Ruffy's tagline and it was enough to peak my interest! At the suggestion of a fellow animal advocate and founder of Pawz Ability, I contacted Max & Ruffy's to review their dog treats. Their customer service was second to none and the package of treats was more than I ever expected to receive! 2 full bags of their mini bites (perfect for my boys), 4 sample-sized tasters of their various flavors, and 1 bag from their new, sustainable, "super food" brand Petya.

As with most deliveries, Cooper and Finn went crazy as I opened the package to reveal the goodies. The aroma from the first bag (327 B.C.: Banana & Coconut Flavor) was so divine that I came close to trying one myself. Aside from 2 flavors, all of the varieties I received are grain-free (the Mother Quinoa’s Pumpkin Patch and 24 Carob Gold: Strawberry & Carob Flavor are still free of wheat but use either organic brown rice flour or quinoa so I'll save those for Cooper and his friends). The flavors I have yet to list include:

  • Five-Star Blueberry
  • Powerhouse: Sweet Potato & Alfalfa
  • The Kelp Highway: Butternut Squash & Kelp
  • Tree of Life: Coconut, Molasses & Flax Flavor
  • W.P. Pizza

...mmm! 

The size and texture of the mini bites did not disappoint; really ideal for training treats since they hold their shape and are crunchy enough that Cooper does not try to swallow them whole. For a super cute marketing technique, Max & Ruffy's also included an "original" sized treat in the smaller samples since  1 Original + 4 Mini Bites = 1 ADORABLE PAW PRINT! I would say that giant breeds might be unimpressed with the size of these treats but, when given adequate quantity, I'm sure they would be satisfied overall :)

                                                                                                               nutritious · organic · vegan

                                                                                                               nutritious · organic · vegan

One great surprise in the sample pack was a bag of their new, sustainable dog treats under the Petyapet Products brand. These high-protein, "super food" dog treats are made with - get ready - real crickets! I hesitated as most people would but have heard of this cricket trend taking off in people food, too. Needless to say, the boys LOVE them and I feel good about the thoughtfulness behind their manufacturing. Gotta think about the bigger picture sometimes :) 

I will conclude with a few of Max & Ruffy's promises (trimmed just to fit this page):

...Our dog treats are always prepared using only certified organic, human-grade ingredients.
Our products are always cruelty-free containing no ingredients from animal or human exploitation...
We only use ingredients that have been produced without the use of conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMO grains or irradiation, purchased from companies that use environmentally friendly manufacturing...
We only use whole foods in our dog treat recipes... [no] artificial coloring, flavor enhancers, additives...
We will never use any animal products.
Our pack supports reducing global warming through the adoption of a meat-free diet...
— http://maxandruffys.com/why-max-ruffys/

Disclaimer: I received free product from Max & Ruffy'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.

Chewy.com Product Review: Blue Bones Natural Dental Chews

Dental health for dogs, as for people, starts with a healthy, balanced diet and regular care. Dogs can't brush their own teeth but you can help them out with that (using dog toothpastes ONLY!) and provide them with safe, natural bones to chew which can help reduce tartar buildup. Another fun way to cut through dog breath is with edible dental chews. Not all chews are created equal, so "chews" the one that suits your pup (ha, see what I did there?).  

February was Pet Dental Health Month so naturally I had Cooper test out these Blue Bones Natural Dental Chews as part of our commitment to the chewy.com blogger product reviews. We received a generous package of "Regular" sized bones which are intended for dogs 25-50lbs. Since the Mini and Small would have been better options for Cooper, he got *1/2 Regular. *Next time, he will get a whole one (no more than once a week) because it was challenging for him to leverage just one side of the bone.

Ingredients: Whole Ground Potato, Whole Ground Rice, Water, Vegetable Glycerine, Gelatin, Peas, Carrots (source of Vitamin A), Beet Juice, Sunflower Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Oat Bran, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Chicken Flavor, Blueberries, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal (a source of Chlorophyll), Calcium Carbonate, preserved with Citric Acid, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (a source of Vitamin C), Zinc Propionate, Vitamin E Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine

Cooper had no trouble digesting the bone, it did not leave him with any worse breath, but I don't know that it necessarily improved his breath or the condition of his teeth. Potatoes are the first ingredient and I have read that carbs such as potatoes break down easily into sugars which could actually contribute to a decline in dental health. That being said, I am satisfied with the quality of the ingredients in these dental chews, especially as compared to others on the market. They are also Made in the USA! And Finn did not partake since these bones contain rice and are not a grain-free option for my little guy. Not to worry, I started brushing his teeth a few weeks ago :) (see the  Daily Dog Blog Facebook Page  for a darling video)!

Take care of and LOVE your dogs <3

 

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.

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!

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.

    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.