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giving Petbrosia a try (and a coupon for you!)

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kibble image source: Petbrosia

When I first heard that there was a custom pet food on the market, I thought it was genius idea. Petbrosia is self-described as “the first and only pet food designed for your pet’s unique nutritional needs.” Interesting! I wanted to check it out. So when they contacted me about giving their food a try, I was super excited.

The first thing I wanted to check out was their ingredient list. Regardless of how custom the food is, if they aren’t starting out with quality ingredients, what’s the point? I was pleased to learn that Petbrosia uses the “highest-quality, all-natural ingredients grown and raised by farmers across America” and that there are no “unnecessary additives and cheap fillers.” They use real meat rather than a “by-product meal.” And one of my favorite features…no artificial colors or preservatives.

What about grains? Petbrosia has grains. The good kind. The first ingredient is always meat, but the food contains brown rice (how much depends on your pet’s custom blend). They also use nutrient-rich sweet potatoes as a source of carbohydrates. There is no corn, wheat, soy, or gluten. Petbrosia’s states: “Our quality carbohydrates provide a balanced glycemic index with a lower impact on blood sugar levels.” I, personally, see the benefits of a food that includes high-quality grains as well as a grain-free food, so I alternate N.A.S.H.A. between the two and am happy to find this food. She has a stomach of steel, so I’m able to transition her rather quickly. You know your dog best…grain or grain-free is a personal choice. High quality is the non-negotiable, in my book.

In addition to high-quality ingredients, Petbrosia foods contain essential minerals such as iron and zinc that help your pet’s immune system, skin, coat, and overall growth and health. Petbrosia explains, “since dogs and cats can often have difficulty absorbing some minerals, we’ve included chelated minerals, organic forms of minerals that are easier to absorb.” What more? custom vitamins and supplements based on your pet’s needs, and every Petbrosia diet contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health, important for all life stages.

Digestive health is getting a lot of attention these days, and Petbrosia makes sure dogs and cats are taken care of. Petbrosia blends contain probiotics, the good bacteria that helps the digestive and immune system, and prebiotics, which promote the growth of good bacteria in the colon.

In addition, Petbrosia diets contain omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids that are believed to lower your pet’s risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis–chronic diseases–and improve skin and coat. DHA-rich menhaden fish oil is also included in every diet, which supports brain health.

Whew! Sounds pretty awesome, right? So how does it work?

It’s so easy! All you have to do is answer a few questions about your pet. They ask about breed, weight, age, activity level, allergies, astrological sign (just kiddin’), etc. Petbrosia states

We use patented algorithms to craft a truly unique blend of food customized to your pet’s unique nutritional needs and lifestyle…Our customization process uses your pet’s profile to ensure optimal percentages of protein, carbohydrates, and fats are included in their diet. We also use your pet’s information to keep their diet appropriate for their level of activity, tailored to their health needs, and allergen-free…Based on our research and your input, we’ll update the blend based on the naturally changing nutritional needs of your maturing pet. We’ve studied how aging can influnce feeding for different breeds of pets and apply our insights, to ensure your pet’s Petbrosia diet can continue to serve them for a lifetime.

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When our first box of Petbrosia arrived, N.A.S.H.A. and I were very excited. Whenever a package comes to the door, she barks her head off in true terrier fashion, then wags and wags her tail, in hopes that it might be something for her. It usually is.

The box was nicely and distinctively designed, and the food came in a 10-pound interior bag, labeled with the ingredients in N.A.S.H.A.’s custom blend. The ingredients:

deboned chicken (free-run, antibiotic and hormone-free), brown rice, chicken meal, potato powder, pea starch, pea protein, chicken fat, dried cooked navy beans, dried cooked chick peas, sweet potato, dried egg product, dicalcium phosphate, natural chicken flavor, sun cured alfalfa, menhaden fish oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, carrots, natural antioxidant, blueberries, dried kelp, cranberries, dried apple, chicory root (prebiotic), chondroitin, glucosamine, taurine, chelated minerals (zinc proteinate, calcium carbonate, iron proteinate, potassium chloride, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, calcium panthothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), probiotics (dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus, acidophilus fermentation product, dried aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried trichonderma longibranchiatum fermentation extract, dried bacillus subtilis fermentation extract).

Nothing harmful, and it’s U.S. made, so I felt safe giving it a try. N.A.S.H.A. just thought it smelled good and didn’t much care about what was in it.

What I like about Petbrosia’s ingredients is that they have real meat as the main ingredient and main protein, and they don’t use artificial colors or preservatives. I also like that the supplements N.A.S.H.A. needs are already right in her food, as well as prebiotics and proboitics.

Along with the bag of food, Petbrosia included a “Customized Petbrosia Blend Overview,” which was pretty awesome and made me wish I’d uploaded a picture of N.A.S.H.A. onto the Web site when I’d placed our first order (alas, she had to deal with the generic gravatar on her printout–bad mommy!) The overview listed all of her stats and provided feeding instructions. As an eight-year-old, eleven-pound mixed terrier with moderate activity level, her Target Nutrition was listed as follows:

BlendOverview

AMOUNT PER SERVING:

moisture (min), 4.81%

dry matter (min), 95.19%

protein (min), 33.31%

fat (min), 17.4%

fiber (min), 2.18%

calorie content, 278.73 Kcal/cup

It is recommended based on N.A.S.H.A.’s stats that I feed her 1.75 cups per day, which is about twice as much as I feed her on her current grain-free food, but that’s to be expected. Since Petbrosia’s kibble is also less dense than traditional kibble so that all life stages can enjoy it, that may be another reason why I am recommended to feed her a bit more than I do with other foods. This is something Petbrosia explains clearly on their Web site. N.A.S.H.A. didn’t complain about the possibility of getting more food.

TopSecretSo what did she think? N.A.S.H.A. is super picky about treats, but as far as food goes, she eats to live rather than lives to eat. We should all be so disciplined. She also has an eating ritual, which she closely adhered to the first time she tried Petbrosia. First, she smelled new food in her bowl. Then she looked at me. Then she smelled it again. Then she circled around the table. That’s my signal to “get lost.” She likes to eat in private because she hides some of her meal for later. She’s a little OCD, but that’s one of the many reasons we love her.

So I pretended to “get lost” and then watched her raise her front paw near the bowl, replace it on the ground, and then take three–exactly three–kibbles onto the playroom rug. She then walked back to the bowl, smelled the remaining contents, and then returned to the displaced kibble on the playroom rug, at which time, she crunched them up. That means she liked it!

She hid a few bits of kibble around the play room for later so my kids can say “N.A.–S.H.A.!, not again!” I think she likes the attention. Then she returned to the bowl and consumed the whole thing. Woo-hoo! Liking-it: confirmed.

N.A.S.H.A. has been eating her custom Petbrosia blend for about a month, now, and she still loves it. (Her cousin, Darby loves it, too, because he’s always trying to steal it.) And her coat is shiny (as shiny as a rat’s nest can get), and she has plenty of energy to meet her daily grind. I will definitely keep Petbrosia in our rotation of high-quality foods.

Petbrosia has both dog and cat food custom blends and allows you to order one box at a time or offers an auto-ship option for added convenience. Your food just comes to your doorstep, and you don’t even have to think about it!

Petbrosia is offering our readers an exclusive coupon–25% off! (New customers only.) To take advantage of this awesome offer, enter coupon code RWMP225 when placing your online order.

And have fun! It’s a pretty cool process. Just don’t forget to upload your pet’s picture to make the experience even better! Come back and let me know what you think!

Petbrosia provided me with an order of custom dog food in exchange for my honest opinion. Petbrosia is an affiliate partner of Well Minded, which means, if you order using the coupon code provided, we’ll be extra excited because Petbrosia will pay us a little somethin’ in exchange for referring new customers, which helps cover the cost of running this blog. Cool. huh?


using melaleuca oil for natural pet first aid

Melaleuca (alternifolia) essential oil, aka tea tree oil, is a staple in our family’s medicine cabinet for the pets as well as the humans. I use it primarily for its antiseptic purposes, but it also benefits the skin, in general, and supports immunity. Best of all, it is completely natural and highly effective, which, in my book, makes it a much better choice than traditional over-the-counter topical medications. I don’t know what I’d do without it!

One challenge in treating pets with topical solutions is that if they can reach it, they’ll lick it. And it feels like they can reach just about every part of their bodies. You know what I mean?

Melaleuca oil is a great fix for this problem because it won’t harm them if they lick the  treated area. It also tends to “soak in” and stay where is is supposed to, so even if your pooch or kitty decides to take matters into his own paws…er…tongue, the treatment can still be effective.

Though melaleuca oil is a natural way to heal and care for pets, it is strong, so it usually needs to be diluted. Any carrier oil will work, but I would highly recommend coconut oil for it’s lightness and innate benefits to the skin. Some applications recommend another type of carrier oil, such as olive oil or jojoba oil.

Always be sure to test a small area of your pet’s skin with a highly diluted mixture to be sure he is not sensitive to melaleuca oil. Cats tend to be more sensitive to it than dogs, so start testing felines with a very diluted mixture.

The following solutions can be used as a guideline:

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So how can melaleuca oil help your dog or cat?

Arthritis: Though your arthritic animal should be evaluated by a veterinarian, you may be able to provide some immediate relief by combining 1-2 drops of melaleuca oil with 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil. Gently massage the affected area, and, if your pet will tolerate it, apply a heating pad (on low setting to prevent burning). You can also use this method for minor sprains.

Cuts and minor skin abrasions: Melaleuca oil can be applied (“Recommended Melaleuca Oil Dilutions for Pets”) 2-3 times a day directly to the wound to aid in healing. This also helps prevent infection. If the wound has already become infected, keep applying the oil for seven days.  Alternatively, your pet’s wound can be bathed with an antiseptic wash. Just add 2-3 drops of melaleuca oil mixed with 3 drops of the carrier oil. Add to a warm bowl of water and stir well. The wash can be applied with a cotton ball twice a day.

Flea repellant: Mix 3-5 drops of melaleuca oil with 1 1/2 cup of carrier oil (jojoba is recommended so that it doubles as a coat conditioner). Store the mixture in a dark glass container in a cool place. In between bathing, sprinkle a few drops over the coat, especially around the neck and either comb through or sponge over the fur.

Dermatitis: Small areas of dermatitis can be treated with the solution mixture recommended above, (“Recommended Melaleuca Oil Dilutions for Pets”).

Ear infection: Mix 1-2 drops of melaleuca oil with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Warm the mixture (be sure it’s just warm…not hot), and, using a dropper, apply 1-2 drops inside the ear (do not insert the dropper in the animal’s ear). Massage the affected ear, and try not to let your pet shake his head, or the drops may come out. Do this twice a day until the infection is gone.

Ear mites: Mix 1-2 drops of melaleuca oil with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Using a cotton ball, apply a couple of drops by wiping the inside of the ear. This can be done once a week for ear mite prevention, if you pet is prone to ear mites.

Hot spots: Hot spots can be effectively treated with the solution mixture recommended above, (“Recommended Melaleuca Oil Dilutions for Pets”).

Insect bites & stings: If a stinger is present, carefully remove it. Apply the solution mixture recommended above (“Recommended Melaleuca Oil Dilutions for Pets”) with a cotton swab.

Mange or rash: Apply the solution mixture recommended above (“Recommended Melaleuca Oil Dilutions for Pets”). This will help with itching and inflammation. Apply twice a day.

Matted coat: Should your pet’s coat become matted, which can often happen in animals with long, fine hair, wet the matted hair with 1 drop of melaleuca oil mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil. Rub the solution into the matted area and try to de-matt with a comb. Try to gently pull the matt away from the skin so it can be cut without creating a bald spot or damaging the skin.

Mouth sore: Combine 3-6 drops of Melaleuca oil with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and warm water. Apply directly to the sore for faster healing and to alleviate pain. This is most effectively done with your finger, in my opinion.

Warts: If your animal tolerates diluted melaleuca oil, you can apply 1-2 drops of straight oil directly on a wart with a cotton swab. This can help with pain and itching, if it is present. This can be done for several weeks…patience is required. Some types of warts will not respond to melaleuca oil, but if the wart is bothersome, it’s certainly worth a try.

High-quality Melaleuca oil is available from most reputable herbalists and natural health stores, and anywhere quality essential oils are sold. I purchase the highest-quality T36-C5 oil from Melaleuca, the wellness company, where excellent discounts can be had with a preferred customer membership. Many of the recipes I use regularly come from R.M. Barry’s Melaleuca: The Wellness Guide.

Though I don’t shun traditional medicine completely, holistic healing is the first route I take for my family, including my pets. Melaleuca oil is at the foundation of our methods, and is something I recommend to my friends and pet sitting clients with confidence.

How have you used Melaleuca oil to help heal your pets?

On the second Wednesday of each month, I contribute an article on holistic pet care at Hybrid Rasta Mama, a fantastic blog that offers information and insights on conscious parenting, natural living, holistic health, real food, and coconut oil. This post was featured last month.

Please visit me there today to read ThunderShirt Helps Dogs Find Anxiety Relief the Natural Way. Leave me some love! XO

Disclaimer: This article is not meant as a substitution for veterinary care or professional holistic animal care. Please consult your veterinarian or pet care health professional before embarking on any new treatment plan.

 


10 reasons to go grain-free for your dog with #DiamondNaturals

10ReasonsToGoGrainFreeAs with just about everything these days, whether or not to put your dog on a grain-free diet is hotly debated, as is every argument within the debate. We should feel lucky that we have so many high-quality options when it comes to providing nourishment for our canine family members. Though there are many options out there, and you should always choose a diet for your dog based on your dog’s individual needs, providing a high-quality, grain-free diet like Diamond Naturals Grain Free is an excellent option for most dogs.

Here are the top ten reasons to go grain-free:

1. A grain-free diet is more closely associated with a canine’s natural diet. Before being domesticated, dogs ate a protein-centric diet composed almost entirely of meat. The little grain they did eat mostly came from the stomach contents of the animals the consumed. Going grain-free is only natural.

2. Your dog will have more energy. Protein is the main source of energy for dogs. Since they tend to turn their noses up at tofu and beans, your best bet may be to maximize their protein intake with a meat-based diet. A diet that includes low-quality grains (fillers) won’t really provide your pooch with the energy he needs since it will mostly come out as waste. It echoes the way humans consume. If we eat a low-quality, high-carbohydrate diet, we stay hungry and we don’t have the energy we need to get through the day. And it comes out as waste.

3. Your dog will shed less and have a healthier coat. Consuming low-quality grains on a regular basis does not provide your dog with the proper oils and nutrients she needs to maintain healthy skin and coat. Healthy coats are shiny and stick with your dog, mostly. We all shed some, but think about how one of the first signs of human malnutrition is brittle, breaking hair and hair loss. Same with dogs. The easy-to-digest animal fats in grain-free dog foods such as Diamond Naturals include the necessary oil to your dog’s diet that is key to a healthy coat.

4. Dogs on a grain-free diet have fewer allergies. Most canine allergies are associated with the grains in dog food. A grain-free diet is usually the best choice for an allergic pooch, and is, in my opinion, the first thing a dog owner should try before subjecting their dog to allergy medications and bold lifestyle changes.

5. Dogs on a grain-free diet enjoy better health. Consuming low-quality grains that are included in low-quality foods are of no benefit to your animal. The dog foods that include these fillers often include other harmful ingredients such as chemical preservatives and artificial colors. Your dog definitely doesn’t need those! These types of chemical additives are linked to cancer, liver problems, joint degeneration, and a whole host of other health issues. Most grain-free foods are high-quality. You can be fairly certain that when the grains come out, so does the other junk. Dogs on a grain-free diet might enjoy more energy, fewer allergies, better weight management, and a healthier digestive system.

6. Dogs on a grain-free diet have better breath. Nutrition has a huge impact on dental health, both for humans and dogs. If your pooch is eating a high-quality grain-free diet, odds are, he will enjoy better dental health. If his teeth aren’t rotting, his breath will be better, of course.

7. Grain-free dog foods are thought to be more easily digested. Some argue that dogs simply can’t digest grains. I believe that this can be partially true. High-quality grains can add fiber to your dog’s diet, which can be beneficial. Not to get too personal, but we all know that some of the things we eat come out just as they went in (I’m not the only one, right?). That’s okay. We may not be gaining nutrition, but we are gaining fiber. The problem? Most undigestible material in dog food is low-quality. They need a bit of high-quality fiber. So if you feed your dog a grain-free diet and feel that she needs more fiber, try pumpkin!

8. Dogs on a grain-free diet produce less poop. It’s true. It really is. I know–first hand–because I alternate my dog between high-quality grains and grain-free foods. And I pick up her poop. It’s smaller and less frequent when she’s going grain-free. This theory is reinforced by the animals I see as a professional pet sitter. Dogs on high-quality grain-free diets poop less. And toot less. They use more of what’s in the food to help their bodies go, so less waste comes out. Does Walter the Farting Dog live in your house? Try going grain-free, and I’ll betcha things will get better.

9. The poop produced stinks less. One of the most glamorous parts of my job is scooping the treasures left by my sweet canine clients. I have become somewhat of an excrement expert and can confidently tell you that the poop produced by my clients on a heavily-processed, low-quality diet filled with grain fillers such as corn, gluten, or wheat flour have gaggy-stink poop that can be smelled for miles when the wind picks up. Even if the pet owner hasn’t revealed the brand of food they feed their dog, I can almost always tell if it’s one of the worst. Kinda like when you eat Taco Bell and then the next day…well, you get the idea.

10. Dogs on a grain-free diet consume less food. For sure. They get more energy from the food they are eating, so they consume less. I have personally tested this theory when I switch my dog from high-quality grain foods to grain-free. She eats WAY less on the grain-free food. I feed her a small amount twice a day, and she’s good to go. Sometimes she doesn’t even eat it all. When she’s on the food that includes grain, even though it’s high-quality, she eats more and begs for snacks between meals. A grain-free diet can help with weight management AND finances because our pooches consume less. For tips on how to find an affordable, grain-free food, please check out grain-free dog food that doesn’t break the bank.

DiamondNaturals850x315IIDiamond Naturals Grain Free has three high-protein grain-free choices. Beef & Sweet Potato, Chicken & Sweet Potato, and Whitefish & Sweet Potato. Real beef, chicken, and fish protein sources not only provide your dog with the energy he needs, but are a natural source of amino acids. And the sweet potato provides complex carbohydrates so your dog can keep his energy level up throughout the day. The fruits and vegetables in each variety are a great source of antioxidants and fiber for optimal health.

Going grain-free with a food like Diamond Naturals Grain Free is an excellent choice for most dogs. Have you gone grain-free? Tell me your experiences! But let’s not go all congress on me, okay? I’ve had about enough of that, regardless of which side you’re on.

Connect with Diamond Naturals Grain Free on Facebook.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Diamond Naturals as part of the Blog Paws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Diamond Naturals Grain Free dog food, but well minded word only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Diamond Naturals is not responsible for the content of this article. 


grain-free dog food that doesn’t break the bank

HTFAffordGrainFreeDogFood

Regardless of our financial situation, we all want the best for our pets, especially when it comes to health and nutrition.

Grain-free dog food is associated with high-quality pet food, and high-quality pet food is associated with a high price tag. With few exceptions, buying a ten-pound bag of high-quality grain-free dog food will be more expensive than buying a bag of “chow kibble chemical nuggets.” On the other hand, savings on vet bills and the likelihood that your dog will consume less food if it is nutrient-rich can really add up, which can completely offset the extra expense.

So let’s assume you’re ready to switch your dog to a high-quality grain-free food. And let’s also consider that you’re concerned about the cost. I get that. Our family is on a budget, and I can say with confidence that I save money by feeding N.A.S.H.A. a high-quality, mostly grain-free diet. If you’re, too, making this choice, then how can you find what you’re looking for at a price your family can afford? There are so many great options in terms of food and in terms of where to buy that food, so where do you start?

Let’s start with the food, itself. And, for the sake of argument (and so this essay doesn’t become War and Peace), let’s look hard at one high-quality grain-free food: Diamond Naturals Grain-Free. This food is a great one to look at because it has the fiber that some grain-free foods are criticized for lacking, has high-quality ingredients, and it’s also priced fairly in the market of options. They offer three varieties, perfect for rotation-feeding: Beef & Sweet Potato, Chicken & Sweet Potato, and Whitefish & Sweet Potato.

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Diamond Naturals Grain-Free describes their food as:

Everything your dog needs for good health and nothing he doesn’t.

Though dogs have adapted to a domesticated, omnivorous diet over the centuries, a protein-based diet free of grains more closely mimics their ancestral beginnings. Dogs are able to digest grains, but their bodies don’t break down grains as efficiently as they do proteins and fats. This is why a diet free of grains and made with limited protein sources is an excellent option for all dogs, but especially those with food sensitivities.

Regardless of whether you serve your dog a grain-free diet or not, you want to make sure that the first ingredient in the food is a protein, so you want to avoid a grain-BASED food. How do you know? A grain should not be the first ingredient, and you should avoid low-quality grains, such as corn, gluten, or wheat flour.

So what about Diamond Naturals Grain-Free? Their Web site explains:

The first ingredient in every formula of Diamond Naturals Grain-Free is animal-sourced protein from trusted sources, for superior taste and nutrition. Sweet potatoes provide complete carbohydrates for all-day energy, while fruits and vegetables add powerful natural antioxidants for optimal health and vitality.

Diamond Naturals Grain-Free is by no means your only grain-free or quality dog food option, but it is a great example of what to look for.

So where can you get it, and is it affordable?

We’re lucky these days that we have so many options, not just in terms of what we purchase, but also in terms of where we purchase it and what we pay for it. If you’re willing to put in a little bit of leg-work, you’ll be able to find the food you want to feed your dog at a most reasonable price, and don’t forget to look for online codes or local store coupons for additional savings.

I first look to small local stores because I like to support my local community, and, as a small business owner, I choose first to support other local small businesses. One thing I’ve discovered about my local small pet store is that they are quite knowledgeable and willing to work with me. They haven’t hired the teen-thing who is willing to work for minimum wage (no offense to teen-things who are willing to work for minimum wage…I have one! But I wouldn’t want him advising me on dog food choices), but they hire people who, through experience, education, or both, know what the heck they are talking about and truly want to help you find the food that works best for you and your dog. You can ask them tons of questions, and they can give you options that will be most beneficial for your dog and won’t put a strain on your pocketbook. I have also found that my local pet store is willing to provide me with samples. I get some snack-size pouches of recommended food, and I can analyze the ingredients and let my pooch do a good old fashioned taste-test. I mean, even if I purchase the best food ever made, it does no good if my dog won’t eat it! Local small businesses often offer discounts or coupons in local papers, on line, or even if you just ask, so give it a shot!

If all else fails, I hop online. I love online shopping. I can stay in my pjs, and I almost always feel like I get a great deal, because, literally, the retail world is at my fingertips. You can almost always find a coupon or code for a discount. The only disadvantage is that you’re usually not shopping local that way, and you usually don’t get that personal experience that can be so valuable, especially when the well-being of your pet is the question. What you get in exchange, that can be equally valuable, is a ton of anonymous (raw and truthful) product reviews. When I shop online, I rely on reviews. And I’m rarely dissatisfied with my purchase because I read them and take them to heart.

So let’s go back to our example, Diamond Naturals Grain-Free. Lucky for me, they have a “where to buy” function on their Web site, so I can check out whether or not there’s a local store that offers it. Sweet! I found two local pet stores–within three miles of my home–who offer Diamond Naturals Grain-Free. One offered me a $3 coupon just for signing up for their loyalty club!

But let’s pretend my local stores didn’t offer Diamond Naturals Grain-Free…

I’d then look online. Diamond Naturals Grain-Free offers a function on their Web site that points you to online retailers who carry the formula. You may be loyal to a particular online retailer who offers you incentives to shop with them. Ask if they carry Diamond Naturals Grain-Free, and see if they will give you a discount if you purchase your dog food of choice from them. You can find some crazy deals online!

tips for finding the affordable grain-free food that is right for your dog:

• utilize the personal experience and expertise of your local pet stores

• ask local pet stores if they can give you samples of the foods you are considering

• ask your local pet store if they offer loyalty discounts or coupons

• do online price comparisons and read reviews (reading reviews can be helpful even if you take your business offline)

• search for online coupon codes if you make your purchase on a Web site

• ask online retailers at which you frequently shop if they carry and will offer a discount on the food you’d like to purchase

Finding a suitable high-quality grain-free dog food that is affordable will be simple, when you know what to look for and where to go. When we’re on a budget, we often have to be resourceful about purchasing what our family needs at an affordable price. Our dogs are family, so it stands to reason that finding a high-quality grain-free option that fits into our budget like the one from Diamond Naturals is a no-brainer!

Connect with Diamond Naturals on Facebook.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Diamond Naturals. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Diamond Naturals Grain Free dog food, but well minded word only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Diamond Naturals is not responsible for the content of this article.


keeping an “intelligent busy” pup out of trouble

Do you have a naughty busy pup on your hands?

As a professional pet sitter, I’ve pretty much seen them in all varieties. There are different kinds of busy. Some can be constructive, but most are either destructive or dangerous, however innocent. This weekend I’m caring for a busy pup. I’ve been taking care of him for over a year, so I’m on to his antics, as is his family, and they have taken precautions. The special thing about this busy pup is that he’s “intelligent busy,” which is the most dangerous and destructive kind of all.

I think intelligence is universally valued. But there are cases where taking care of a being with brains is a real challenge, especially when their brains are bigger than their judgement. Take my four-year-old daughter, for example.

On second thought, let’s not go there, now.

Let’s take the aforementioned pup, instead. He is one of the most loving creatures I’ve met. Lots of pounds bigger than a lap dog, lap dog. YouknowwhatImean? He whines if your hand is not in contact with his body 100% of the time, and he only breaks contact if he has to eat, drink, or relieve himself, all of which he does with lightening speed so that he can get back in your lap. And crush you.

He’s fun and fantastic, though. And his attempts to outsmart his family are in check after lots of trial and error. Think Fort Knox.

Here are some examples of how this family protects themselves from their “intelligent busy” pup:

ImageWhat lengthy measures have you taken to protect your home, your belongings, and your pup (from himself), from your busy pup?


stuff to stuff in a KONG®

KONG

One of the most versatile dog treats I know is a stuffed KONG®. What miracles can this wonder bring?

• Occupies a bored dog while you are away.

• Calms a hyper or anxious dog.

• Rewards a good dog.

• Exercises the tongue and jaw and induces sleep after physical exertion.

• Can be used to help administer medicine.

• Helps exercise the mind of a thoughtful dog.

• It’s a fun, playful way to get a treat.

• Provides a dog who likes to chew with an outlet.

• Virtually indestructible for tough guys.

• Just the right size. They come in all sizes.

• You can create your own healthy stuffing…you’re in control of what goes in.

The majority of dog treats are highly processed and quite unhealthy for your pooch. There are some great ones out there, but they are few and far between. Just as a healthy, homemade snack is typically better for our kids than something out of a package, a healthy, homemade snack is usually better for your dog. Get creative with what you put in your KONG®. You know what your dog loves, so go with it! Here are some ideas to spark your imagination:

• Peanut butter (natural, organic is best…they don’t need added sugar) plain or mixed with small crunchy treats

• Frozen peanut butter (just as tasty, but lasts longer)

• Frozen plain yogurt

• Frozen peanut butter and plain yogurt swirl

• Add banana to any of the above (just a couple of slices)

• Frozen low sodium beef broth (with or without crunchy treats): this one is tricky because you have to seal the ends while it freezes…duct tape usually works

• Frozen vegetable broth with green beans, carrots, peas, etc. inside

• Any number of small, homemade, crunchy biscuits

As with any treat or at any time, always be sure your dog has plenty of fresh water…especially if he’s eating peanut butter. You know how that can be!

What is your pooch’s favorite KONG® recipe?


natural pet care: keep your eyes peeled on Hybrid Rasta Mama!

HRMWhen I heard that Hybrid Rasta Mama was looking for a writer to contribute posts about natural pet care, I had a feeling it would be right up my alley. So while I acted all cool on the outside, on the inside, I was stretching my hand in the air screaming “pick me! Pick me!” Well, guess what?

She picked me!

I’m super excited and honored to be starting as a contributor on Hybrid Rasta Mama. Our ideas align in so many ways. She’s a wealth of knowledge that I know I will benefit from (and of course pass along to you). The Hybrid Rasta Mama blog is all about “conscious parenting, natural living, holistic health, real foods, and more.”

I’m just tickled to be helping her add a natural pet care facet to her amazing body of work. Please check out her site, especially on the second Wednesday of each month when I’ll be featured. Come visit me there!