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

PetbrosiaCoupon

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.

NASHAPetbrosiaOpenBoxCollage

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?


do our girls need doll-people dog dolls?

When I was pregnant with my first child, a couple of my friends gave me some lovely gifts in a beautifully-lined wicker basket that was about the size of a laundry basket. I deemed that the toy basket for my newborn son and vowed that he would never have more toys than could fit in that basket. My children would not be spoiled. They would play with blocks and other unbranded toys that would challenge their imaginations and grow their minds.

And then I became an actual parent, not just a hippie fantasy parent.

We outgrew the basket immediately, and soon we couldn’t live without Transformers, Diego, and Superman. Things felt a bit out of control, so I had to draw the line. No guns. Absolutely no guns. Then came friends. And they had guns. Water guns, Nerf guns–you name it. So then, the things in my house that were not guns became guns. Sigh. And then we got a Nerf gun as a gift, and now we have a gun collection and a glass jar full of various ammo.

You might think I have no backbone when it comes to my kids. You might be right.

I do my best to get all of these things from our favorite kids’ consignment store, and my kids swap toys with their friends all the time, so while we consume and consume, we try to be as conscious about it as we can.

I thought all this toy stuff would get even worse with my daughter, but it didn’t. She was surprisingly happy to play with the blocks and Hot Wheels we already had. At four years old, she’s now into anything dress-up, including makeup, jewelry, and tattoos. I’m cool with that. She’s expressing herself by making up all types of scenarios about going to work and being royalty ad being a dancer/rockstar/doctor/teacher. With tattoos and lots of lip gloss.

She has a couple of beloved stuffed animals, but, aside from that, she’s never really been drawn to anything doll-like.

I have never been so happy about that until I saw the commercial for Pinkie Cooper and the Jet Set Pets.

dollpeopledogdolls

toy image source: toysrus.com

I’m not versed enough in child psychology or feminine perspectives to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning article about all of the negatives or positives this toy can do for a child’s self esteem, but I will say that my gut reaction was, “WTF?”

So here we have dogs–no humans–no, dogs! Oh, I don’t know…I’m so confused. They don’t look like dogs or humans. What do I know?

They are dolls targeted toward young girls. They have Barbie-like bodies, fashionable clothes, dog-like heads that are not proportionate to the body…Oh, what am I saying?! How do you make a out-of-proportion dog head proportionate to an out-of-proportion female body. And then there is the hair/ears. I mean, if it’s a dog head, it should have ears, right? But, no. In place of dog ears, we have long, silky hair (oh, and you can switch out the hair with the other dolls, ensuring consumer purchase of the whole collection of dog-people dog dolls).

They seem to have makeup on, don’t they? Does makeup apply well to fur? Because it is a dog head, right?

Okay, so it’s a toy and doesn’t have to be realistic. I’ve often been accused of not being able to let go of my adult brain and go-with-the-fantasy-flow. So I ask myself, what’s my problem with these toys? And why did I tell my daughter “no” before she even had a chance to say she liked them?

Is it the sex part? I mean, these dog-girls are sexy. But then, they have these big baby eyes. So now they’re child-like and sexy at the same time. Why am I semi-okay with Barbies and okay with dog toys, but am having a visceral reaction to these toys? If not the sex part, then maybe it’s the creepy part. They are creepy, right?

What message are we sending…that’s always the question. I’m not claiming to know. But I know that our little girls need not be this sexy, and our dogs need not be this sexy, and they definitely need not be sexy and babyish at the same time. I guess their creative aspect is that they can switch their hair. But what do they do? At least Barbie has a career or two. Maybe the uplifting self-esteem affirming message to our girls in all this is that it’s okay to be sexy even if you have a face like a dog?

If you expected this to be some in-depth psychological study, I’m sorry do disappoint. I have none of the answers. What I feel, however, is that this toy is insulting to dogs and to young girls, and I’m not buying it.


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. 


the big, bad world: enter ThunderShirt part 4 (Remington)

RemTS

Remington is a big part of my life. I met him when he was just a puppy, and he’s been sweet and sour ever since. Part Winnie-the-Pooh, part devil, this guy has a big heart that has a tendency to grow anxious in certain situations. His anxiety comes out in the form of destruction. He has actually, truly eaten through a metal crate, and he has eaten most of a wall, and he has torn through a friend’s couch, and some other stuff (we’ll spare him the embarrassment of exposing the full extent of his deeds). His worst enemy: being alone or confined, or worst of all, alone and confined.

His family loves him dearly, so when they embarked on a new canine anxiety-producing adventure, I really wanted to help, both him and them, so I called up my friends at ThunderShirt. They were eager to help me help Remington.

I’ve been helping Remington’s mom open Square Roots Preschool out of her home, so I’m intimately familiar with Remington’s new position: being confined to the master bedroom during school hours. His family set him up for success, yet he still floundered. Here are a few examples of his work since the first day of school:

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Before Remington’s ThunderShirt arrived, his family tried music and a gentle lead,* which kept him busy, but didn’t really seem to reduce his anxiety level:

He eventually just laid down and stared at me, as if to say, “help.”

RemHelpMe

I tried to spend time with him, but school duties called.

Since I’d experienced the success of the ThunderShirt with other dogs, I was very anxious for Remington’s ThunderShirt to arrive. I introduced it slowly, at first, as the directions suggested. We offered up his favorite treats, using his new ThunderShirt as a plate:

He took to it quite nicely, so we tried it on. That’s where we hit a bit of a speed bump. Remington was unsure, so he tugged and pulled and twisted.

RemTSPull

With a bit of calm encouragement and supervision over several days, he has become more comfortable with the idea of the ThunderShirt, and we’re hoping he’ll be able to wear it for all anxious occasions very soon.

It’s looking promising. Isn’t he handsome?RemTSWearing

If you’d like to read more about my experiences with the ThunderShirt, please check out the following:

the big, bad world: enter ThunderShirt part 1 (Rex)

the big, bad world: enter ThunderShirt part 2 (Jack)

the big, bad world: enter ThunderShirt part 3 (making it through the 4th)

Disclaimer: I was provided with a ThunderShirt in exchange for my honest opinion. 

* I do not promote or recommend using a product for a purpose other than for what it was originally intended by it’s manufacturer.


ThunderLeash: the simpler “no pull” solution has become our “no choke” solution

My dog, N.A.S.H.A., totally looks like the anxious type, but she’s cool as a cucumber. Unless a butterfly tries to invade our home, and, then, she goes ballistic. So though I’ve worked with ThunderShirt and done several product reviews, I’ve always given the shirts they send me to clients who can really use them. It’s awesome to be able to that, and I highly recommend the ThunderShirt as a natural remedy for many types of canine anxiety. So when ThunderShirt asked if I’d like to try out their newest product, the ThunderLeash, I was intrigued.

After checking it out online, I knew that N.A.S.H.A. and I would be trying this one, ourselves. The ThunderLeash is described as “the simpler ‘no pull'” solution.

Though only eleven or so pounds and eight years old, when it’s time to go for a walk, N.A.S.H.A. thinks she’s part of the Iditarod. She has other weird habits on a leash, too. Like she won’t go potty on one. So after our walks, she rushes in the house and to the backyard so she can relieve herself. I don’t think ThunderLeash can help with that issue, but I was hopeful it might finally be a solution for N.A.S.H.A.’s constant pulling on a traditional leash.

We’d tried other “no pull” products with little or no success. Our family loves to hike, and we love to take N.A.S.H.A. with us, but sometimes we leave her behind, just because we don’t want to deal with her. She’s too light to pull us along, and even the kids can hold the leash when she’s pulling. Her problem is different. She chokes. Over and over. And over. And over. It’s quite irritating to listen to, and it can’t be healthy for her. Ah…the intelligence of dogs, ever in question.

So here she is, choking and walking in all her glory with her regular leash:

I was pretty excited when our ThunderLeash arrived.

Nicely done!

Goodie! It’s here!

I loved how the instructions were right on the front. So simple!

The ThunderLeash is a full leash, just like it says. It can be used as a regular leash when your dog isn’t pulling, and can quickly be converted while it’s on your dog, should your dog start pulling. The patent-pending “harness slot” allows you to simply wrap the leash around your dog’s torso, just under his “arm pits.”

ThunderShirt describes it best:

ThunderLeash is the simpler “no pull” solution. The innovative hardware turns a leash into a “no pull” harness instantly. The safe pressure greatly reduces pulling with no need for a harness. Professional dog trainer recommended. 100% satisfaction guarantee.

ThunderLeash will help make walking your dog a hassle free, positive experience for both you and your dog. Dog harnesses can be great tools for many dogs, but not everyone wants to make the effort to get one onto their dog or to have extra stuff to carry around. ThunderLeash is the perfect combination of simplicity and functionality. For those times you just need a standard leash for a quick walk or for times when your dog is well behaved, simply connect the ThunderLeash to your dog’s collar just like any other leash. But for times when pulling might be a problem, simply wrap ThunderLeash around your dog’s torso and slide it into the harness slot. Now whenever your dog pulls, a mild pressure is applied to his torso, and the pulling will quickly cease. Which the ThunderLeash, you will finally be able to walk your dog, instead of being walked by your dog.

ThunderLeashHarnessSlot

Since we already experienced what N.A.S.H.A. does on a regular leash, we jumped right ahead to the harness slot.

If N.A.S.H.A.'s fur wasn't so stylishly wild, you could see the harness slot in action.

If N.A.S.H.A.’s fur wasn’t so stylishly wild, you could see the harness slot in action.

Physics has never been my strong point, but I could tell that the configuration would not encourage pulling, as a traditional harness often does. It is also equipped with a safety stopper (which is hidden by fur) so the harness won’t squeeze too tight.

Here is a photo of an equally-stylish, yet less fuzzy dog so you can actually see what's happening. Photo source: ThunderShirt.

Here is a photo of an equally-stylish, yet less fuzzy dog so you can actually see what’s happening. Photo source: ThunderShirt.

Before we headed out the door, I hooked the clip to N.A.S.H.A.’s collar, then wrapped the leash around her as the directions showed, then easily slipped the leash into the harness slot. Just as easily, N.A.S.H.A. bucked and twisted and–voilá–we were back to the regular leash configuration. Sigh. It was a new sensation for her, so we tried again, and this time she wasn’t so wiggly. So we set off…

Do you hear anything? Me neither! She still pulled, but not as hard, and the best part is that she stopped choking completely. That’s a win for her and a win for our whole family!

The ThunderSeash Web site offers free shipping  and a full refund within forty-five days, if the ThunderLeash doesn’t work out for you, so there’s really no risk.

As the weather cools in Arizona and we’re able to venture out on more hikes, I think N.A.S.H.A. will be able to join us more often! I’m really excited about that.

Disclaimer: ThunderShirt provided me with a ThunderLeash in exchange for my honest opinion. 


we’re finally getting our chew on: C.E.T. chews for dogs from EntirelyPets

EntirelyPetsProductListN.A.S.H.A. has been on a chewing hiatus for a few years, but thanks to some awesome new dental chews we just discovered, she’s back in the game, which is a great thing, because neither she or I is keen on brushing her teeth as regularly as we should. We received a package of C.E.T Home Dental Care Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs from EntirelyPets.com, and we were anxious to tear it open.

Why was N.A.S.H.A. on a chewing hiatus? My sister and her dogs lived with us for a couple of years, and her otherwise-practically-perfect-in-every-way golden retriever had just one flaw: chewie possessiveness/aggression. We had to remove all bone-like substances from the home in order to prevent WWIII and possible slaughter of all things actively chewing. I had not re-introduced dog chews–until now.

I was hopeful that N.A.S.H.A. would take to these new dog chews right away. She did and didn’t. I gave her one, and she immediately hid it (under the shoes in my closet or amongst the “friends” in the littles’ animal basket are top hiding places). That’s a great sign because she only hides things she loves, but I wanted her teeth to get a workout, so I was disappointed. I pulled the bag out again. Opened it. And took out a second chew.

She started jumping around and licking her chops. She could hide one and have one to consume? She didn’t know what to do with herself. But she quickly figured it out.

ReadySetGo

N.A.S.H.A. made her opinion clear:

I used C.E.T. Home Dental Care Aquadent Drinking Water Additive a couple of years ago when our Corgi/Chihuahua Kermit, who has since passed, was having some mouth problems and was a bit too far gone for a thorough dental cleaning. I was really pleased with the results, so I felt like I could trust C.E.T. Home Dental Care. But when I looked at the ingredients and noticed “dextrose,” a red flag went up. I did some research and found that, as the package stated, it is “a substrate necessary for the Enzyme System,” which is a fancy way of saying that it’s food for the live enzymes in the product that are helping to clean your dog’s teeth as he chews. So don’t stress. I’ve been accused of being overly-concerned about wellness, and I’m okay with it. There are so many benefits to these chews, and canine dental health is so important. Positives include:

• coated with enzymes

• abrasive surface scrubs teeth

• highly palatable poultry flavor

• removes plaque and tartar

• freshens your dog’s breath (bonus for us dog-kissers)

The chews are digestible, but, as with any pet treat designed for chewing, you should always supervise your dog to be sure choking does not occur. Also be sure to provide access to plenty of fresh drinking water when your dog is chewing, and always.

We haven’t been using the chews long enough to see results in N.A.S.H.A.’s teeth, but almost every review I read on the EntirelyPets Web site stated a remarkable positive difference in dogs’ dental health after using them. For now, I’m very happy to see that N.A.S.H.A. is taking to them, finally getting her teeth and gums a good workout. And she’s happy to take a satisfied siesta after getting her chew on. Always a sign of something good. The only real negative review I could find was about the inconsistent size of the chews, which, to me, means that they are a natural product that didn’t come out of a cookie cutter. That’s a good thing, in my book. And isn’t variety the spice of life? The chews come in small (for dogs under 11 lbs), medium (11-25 lbs), large(26-50 lbs), and x-large (over 51lbs).

EntirelyPets is a vet-operated online retailer that offers a low-price and safe-shopping guarantee. They have the lowest price on the C.E.T. Home Dental Care Enzyme Oral Hygene Chews I could find and provided me with coupon code “ORASPECIAL” to share for a greater discount, $1.50 off single bags or $5.00 off three- and six-packs. Sweet.

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, written on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and I was provided a supply of C.E.T. Home Dental Care Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs from EntirelyPets.com in exchange for my honest opinion. 


Finding Rover: the new app that changes the game for lost dogs

Facial recognition software has played a key role in solving some of the most publicized and critical criminal cases, including the Boston Marathon bombing case that shocked us so recently. Last Tuesday, this technology was released to dog lovers the world over in the form of a free mobile app, Finding Rover. According to a press release out of San Francisco,

More than 10 million pets go missing each year, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Finding Rover’s state-of-the-art facial recognition technology helps reunite more dogs with their owners by enabling anyone to instantly identify a missing dog on the spot by taking a photo on a mobile device.

I spoke to CEO and founder of Finding Rover, John Polimeno, about Finding Rover and the adventure that was its creation. If I could use one word to describe Polimeno, it would be “infectious.” His desire to save every dog is childlike, yet with the use of the most advanced technology available–newly developed just for his vision–will likely come close to getting the job done. “It was a dream I committed myself to,” he beamed. And now it’s happening.

WM: I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this app. As soon as I heard about it, it was downloaded on my iPhone, and I created a profile for my dog. It is amazing, and is really going to change things for lost pets and their families.

Polimeno: I’m really excited too! The app was released on Tuesday at 5 p.m., and we had over 2000 downloads within 24 hours.

WM: That’s fantastic. How did you get the idea for Finding Rover?

Polimeno: Well, my wife, Kristie, and I were sitting at a coffee shop.

(I couldn’t help but think, “of course…isn’t that how all genius ideas begin?”)

Polimeno: We saw a lost dog poster, and we remembered the trauma of losing our own dog. How we drove the kids around and how awful it was. A dog is a beloved family member, and if it goes missing, it can be devastating to everyone involved. We thought that there has to be a better way.

WM: Had you ever created an app before?

Polimeno: (chuckling) No. I was in the construction business, and I was going to retire.

WM: So how did you develop Finding Rover? How long did it take?

Photo courtesy of Finding Rover.

Photo courtesy of Finding Rover.

Polimeno: It took three years to develop. I started by taking the idea to five different facial recognition technology companies around the world. They all said ‘no, we do people.’ So then I took it to universities. At last, University of Utah’s Software Development Center said ‘we do people. It would be really hard to do. But we’ll give it a try, if you’ll fund the research.’ So I funded a year of research. The technology is based on facial recognition software, but was created to work specifically for dogs, and specifically for this app. You can put 100 German Shepherds in the group, and yours will pop up. The software is very complicated.

WM: Wow. To me, dog faces are much harder to distinguish between than human faces.

Polimeno: The software doesn’t know it’s a dog.

WM: When I downloaded the app, I noticed registration on Finding Rover is incredibly simple.

Polimeno: It’s not intrusive. We wanted people to be able to register their dogs and not have to enter in a bunch of personal information. Only when you lose your dog are you asked for your phone number, just so people can contact you. The app is clean, and we want to keep it that way.

WM: This must have been an expensive venture, but the app is free. Will you eventually charge for it so you can recoup your costs?

Polimeno: No. Never. The app will always be free. I haven’t figured out how to recoup costs, and I’m not even thinking about that right now. I just want to help people find their dogs. Maybe there will be sponsorships or something in the future, but right now, the goal is to get 50 million dogs registered. It was just released Tuesday, and people are already finding their dogs. That’s so cool.

WM: That is cool.

Photos courtesy of Finding Rover.

Photos courtesy of Finding Rover.

Polimeno: I want anyone in the world to be able to use it, so it will always be free. Currently, the app is available on iPhone, but there are plans to release an app for Android this year. People who aren’t smart-phone savvy will be able to register on the Web site. It’s all about your dog, and it’s about bringing people together to help each other.

WM: What if I haven’t downloaded Finding Rover, yet, and my dog is lost. Is there anything I can do?

Polimeno: Yes, you can upload a photo that exists in your photo library. Even if the photo isn’t suitable for facial recognition, you can still post any picture of your lost dog for others to view.

He went on to explain that even if you don’t have a dog, you should still have the app. People often hesitate to pick up dogs because they think they might get stuck with them. If you can find the owner on Finding Rover, it makes it convenient to do a good deed. And it goes beyond the individual. Shelters and vets can also use Finding Rover to quickly reunite owners with their lost pets.

WM: So, would you recommend Finding Rover over microchipping?

Polimeno: No, no. Pet owners should do everything they can. Finding Rover is free, and there is a cost with microchipping. That might make a difference to some people. Our goal is to rescue every lost dog.

WM: This is awesome. You have such a fantastic energy.

Polimeno: Well, it’s positive! It’s all about dogs and helping people.

It is positive. And we need positive in this world right now.

Polimeno is genuine. He is so excited to help people find their dogs, he can hardly contain himself.

Photo courtesy of Finding Rover.

Photo courtesy of Finding Rover.

Finding Rover also has some fun features. You can create and/or join a “pack,” a group of dog owners who have something in common. If the shelter from which you adopted your dog has a pack, you can connect with other pet owners who have adopted a dog from the same shelter. Or perhaps your neighborhood or office could have a pack. The app also offers a “tips & tricks” tab, where you can ask and answer canine-related questions. There’s even a place to just post cute photos of your dog. Social media for dog owners. What more do we need? Polimeno explained,

people are turning to niche social media platforms, such as Finding Rover, as a way to communicate with people with similar interests. Finding Rover is for anyone who cares about dogs and wants to make sure they find their way back home, regardless of if they own a dog or not. Our goal is to be an essential part of dog lovers’ day-to-day routine that they can rely on in the event of a missing dog.

My experience with the app has been great. It is easy to register your dog, and Finding Rover even takes the difficulty out of getting that perfect face-front shot. You just align your dog’s eyes with a line on the screen, and if you can’t get your dog to look, just hit the “bark” button, equipped with two sounds sure to get your dog’s attention. Snap! It’s that easy.

I believe that Finding Rover will change the face of the lost-dog problem. And with John Polimeno at the helm, it can’t lose. Download Finding Rover now, and join the community. Share this exciting news with your friends so there are no more lost dogs.