Archive

Monthly Archives: July 2018
6

Pet Industry Trends You Have To See!

 

Boy and girl with German ShepherdWe pet parents love our pets! If you’re reading this blog I’m certain I don’t need to be telling YOU that! We love them to the moon and back.  The way we show that love has changed dramatically over the years. Dogs are more than just “the dog” they are now treated like true members of the family. This comes with a lot of perks for that 4-legged family member!

This shift towards treating your dog like a member of the family often means you treat them more like you would another human. We want to feed them we eat, include them in special events, take them on adventures we humans would enjoy, etc. Because of this, trends are popping up that have never even existed before.

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest and best pet industry trends for dogs!

 

Dog Walking

Of course, dog walking is not new; people have always taken their dogs for walks. But what IS NEW is that dog walking has now become a big business. National franchises like Rover.com have turned the simple act of dog walking into a big-time moneymaker. As of September 2017, IBISWorld projected dog walking services in the United States to reach 1 billion in revenue.

We dog owners love it! We know dogs need exercise but sometimes our schedules just get in the way. It’s super simple to log into Rover.com or their app; give them info about your dog; choose a walk day and time; select your dog walker and voilà … your dog is all set to go for a 30-minute walk.

It took me less than five minutes to input my dog walk information and I was provided with a list of available dog walkers in my area.

Prices are pretty reasonable. In my area, they range from about $15 to $25 per 30-minute walk.

 

 

Dog walking services are not limited to Rover.com. There are other national dog walking and pet sitting companies as well as ones you can find locally in your area.

 

Weddings

Weddings are nothing new but including your dog in your wedding certainly is! For some dog parents, their wedding just wouldn’t be right without including their furry family member.

“A pet plays an important role in a couple’s life and for many pet parents, family festivities would not be complete without their pet’s involvement,” said John D’Ariano, President of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

Dog parents are finding creative ways to customize their wedding to include their dog, such as:

  • Include them in the proposal
  • Have them ask people to save the date
  • Dress them up!
  • Let them play a special role like flower girl or ring bearer

 

 

High-Tech Gadgets

Everything is high-tech today and dog gear and gadgets are no exception! You can find everything from pet tag trackers and GPS collars to automatic ball launchers, programmable feeders, even a specialized dedicated dog shower!

A lot of the gear comes with an app for your smartphone allowing you to track your pet and find them if they run off, or even feed your dog at the precise time even when you are not home.

Dog Cameras

Miss your pup when you are gone? You can check in on them when you’re not home with in-home video, app-controlled, 2-way audio cameras. Some even allow you to interact with your dog by playing laser pointer games or dispensing treats for them! High-tech has definitely gone to the dogs!

 

 

Hemp / CBD

Hemp and CBD products are huge right now not just for humans but for pets, too!

CBD is derived from hemp. It does not contain (THC so your dog will not get high) but it has cannabidiol, which many believe can be helpful or even curative when it comes to many conditions such as cancer, anxiety, pain, nausea, and skin problems.

The more you read about CBD and its helpful properties, it is no wonder that CBD products specifically made for dogs are flying off the shelf!

 

Pet Meal Kits

If your social media feeds are anything like mine you can’t get very far without seeing an ad for a meal delivery service such as Sun Basket, Home Chef, etc. Now while you are scheduling your own home meal delivery, you can now subscribe to meal delivery services for your dog!

With delivery services such as MyOllie.com, NomNomNow.com, and TheFarmersDog.com (just naming a few) you can now have meals freshly prepared by a chef and have them delivered directly to your door- for your dog! They aren’t cheap, but neither are our human meal delivery services. But, you’re getting freshly prepared, pre-portioned meals that you don’t have to make!

 

nomnomnow.com

 

These are just a few of the fun, healing, convenient trends happening so far in 2018 for our four-legged family members. It’s always fun finding the new gadgets or the new trends!

Stay tuned as we watch the year progresses to see what new, amazing products and trends arise!

Lynne and Maui

 

Do you have any of these awesome gadgets?

Have you tried any of the products or services?

Tell us about your experience and what you think!

 

12

Wellness CORE Grain Free Dog Food Toppers – Simply Shreds with Shredded Real Meat!

 

Wellness is a well-known pet food manufacturer; I think we probably all know their name. I came across them when I was looking for an awesome topper or dog food mixer to share with you today. They have an amazing dog food topper made with delicious, nutritious, whole foods; something we can feel good about feeding our furry family members.

I came across the Wellness CORE line of natural, grain-free toppers, pet foods, and treats. Within this CORE line, they have a product called Simply Shreds. Not to sound weird but they actually sound pretty delicious! They are made with meat or fish, broth, and vegetables.

These delectable little packets of shredded meat and broth are used as a dry dog food mixer (topper) and they are what Maui want to share with you today!

 

Wellness CORE

The Wellness CORE brand is a grain-free, protein-rich product line of foods, toppers, mixers, and treats for cats and dogs. All products in the CORE line are rich in protein and carefully balanced with other quality, natural ingredients to give our pets incredibly nutritious foods, minus any unnecessary, useless fillers. The Wellness Pet Food website states:

“Wellness CORE® is a family of grain-free, natural pet food, treats and toppers that is big on protein and flavor, rooted in the belief that pets love and thrive on hearty animal proteins.”

Simply Shreds

Within the CORE family are the CORE Simply Shreds that can be used as a mixer or topper. Each flavor recipe of Simply Shreds is made with only five natural, whole food ingredients including high-quality, premium shredded meat and diced veggies.

Simply Shreds come in four flavor recipes:

  • Chicken, beef & carrots
  • Chicken, wild salmon & pumpkin
  • Chicken, chicken liver & broccoli
  • Tuna, beef & carrots

Simply Shreds are not intended to be a full meal for your dog. They are intended to be fed on top of or mixed with your dog’s regular food.

 

 

Taking a Look at the Ingredients

Since each recipe only includes five ingredients it will be easy to list each one of them for you here.

  • Chicken, beef & carrots: Chicken, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, beef, carrots
  • Chicken, wild salmon & pumpkin: Chicken, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, salmon, pumpkin
  • Chicken, chicken liver & broccoli: Chicken, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, chicken liver, broccoli
  • Tuna, beef & carrots: Tuna, fish broth, water sufficient for processing, beef, carrots

Pretty straightforward, natural, and nutritious ingredients.

 

Simply Shreds contain NO:

  • meat by-products
  • artificial colors or flavors
  • preservatives
  • wheat, corn, or soy

 

 

Appearance and Texture

The pouches contain a lot of delicious broth. Within the broth, you will find pieces of shredded chicken or flaked pieces fish (depending of course on the chosen recipe). They look like a chicken soup totally loaded with meat and minus the noodles.

This is from WellnessPetFood.com showing you the appearance and texture of one of the Simply Shreds recipes.

 

wellness core simply shreds

 

Calorie Content

These delicious little pouches of protein-rich goodness have only 40-48 calories per pouch – again depending on the recipe! Makes sense as they consist only of protein-rich meat, broth, water, and a vegetable.

 

What Do People Think

Each flavor recipe has a rating of 4.2 or 4.3 out of 5 on Chewy.com!

Wellness core simply shreds chewy reviews

 

109 reviews on Amazon give it 4/5 stars!

Size, Price, and Availability                                                                      

Simply Shreds only come in 2.8-ounce pouches but you must purchase a case of them which contains 12 pouches. You cannot purchase the individual pouches on their own.

Current prices:

Amazon – $18.24 to $20.40 depending on the recipe

Chewy.com – $17.33 to $19.38 depending on the recipe (Autoship prices)

Petco – $21.59 ($20.51 with repeat delivery)

PetSmart – Actually has them available by individual pouches for $1.70 each. This is great if you want to give them a try without having to purchase an entire case! To give you a comparison to the other retailers, this would come out to $20.40 if you were to purchase a case of 12 pouches. They are only available for in-store pickup.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Dogs love it!
  • Quality ingredients

CONS

  • Pouch hard to open
  • Have to scrape the meat out from inside the pouch
  • Price
  • Too much broth, not enough meat (if your dog likes broth this definitely is not a problem!)

 

Tasty Ending

These brothy, meaty packets are delicious boosts of moisture and protein for your dog! They are made with only high quality, nutritious ingredients and are super low in calories.

Wellness CORE grain-free real meat pet food toppers are a great addition to your dog’s regular diet. The meaty goodness can jazz up that regular kibble once in a while to make it something extra special!

 

Enjoy the broth!

Lynne and Maui

Have you tried these? Tell us what you doggo thinks of them!

 


 

12

Rachael Ray Dog Treats! Delish Nutrish Turkey Burger Bites!

 

It is summertime, time for grilling burgers! The sun is warm, the grass is green, and the grill is primed and ready. We are enjoying the taste of summer, why should our pups miss out? They don’t have to if you have some Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Burger Bites handy! These treats are made with real meat and absolutely no meat by-products.

Maui and I have a brand-new bag of Rachael Ray’s Turkey Burger Bites to taste test and check out for you here today. The turkey recipe Burger Bites are fairly new to the scene, so we are going to check them out.

 

What Makes Them Special

There is a lot about these super chewy little turkey Burger Bites that make them special. Let’s hit the important points.

 

Ingredients

The number one ingredient in these turkey burger bites is U.S. farm-raised turkey! The complete ingredient list for these turkey Burger Bites is:

  • Raw whole turkeyTurkey
  • Dried potatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Salt
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Sorbic acid (natural preservative)
  • Natural smoke flavor
  • Caramel color
  • Citric acid (natural preservative)
  • Mixed tocopherols (natural preservative)
  • Rosemary extract

If you are curious about the purpose of any of these ingredients the Nutrish website offers an ingredient lookup tool so you can learn about each and every ingredient. Knowledge is power! Click the photo to check it out!

 

Rachael ray ingredient search tool

 

Turkey is less commonly used in dog foods and treats so if you have a dog with food sensitivities these might be less likely to cause a flare-up.

 

 

Source of Ingredients

Ingredients used in Nutrish products are never sourced from China. Not to say products from China aren’t good, but there have been links in the past to poor quality ingredients from China being used in pet foods and treats. This has caused people to be sensitive to ingredients from China being used in pet products.

U.S. farm-raised meat is the number one ingredient in both the turkey and beef Burger Bite recipes.

Ingredients are not only sourced in the U.S. but treats are also cooked in the U.S.

 

Appearance & Texture

I’m just going to get it right on out there and admit that one of the additional reasons these Burger Bites are special is because they’re so darn cute. They look like little tiny turkey burgers; they even have the little grill lines on them (but what would you expect from a world-famous chef, the burgers have to look right!) Okay, the grill lines are kind of a fluff thing. The dogs don’t care if the grill lines are there but it makes the treats more appealing to the human eye!

These burger bites are super soft! This texture will make them a breeze to break into smaller pieces for smaller dogs or for training. I believe the extreme soft texture of these treats will also make them easier to eat for dogs with dental problems or few teeth.

 

Helping Shelter Animals

Not only are the treats special, but Rachael Ray has grown her business to be special as well. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of a Nutrish product is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation which helps shelter animals in need. As of March 2018, The Rachael Ray Foundation has donated over $27 million to animal charities and organizations that help animals.

Rachael Ray Foundation

Nutrish-tional Information

Each little turkey burger bite contains about 21 kcal. These treats are a pretty decent size so a higher calorie count is expected. Keep an eye on how many you feed, these extra calories can add up fast!

Crude protein minimum – 13%

Crude fat minimum – 11%

Crude fiber maximum – 3%

Moisture maximum – 25%

 

Deals, Coupons, Discounts!

Visit Rachael Ray’s website and you will find a bunch of Rachael Ray Nutrish coupons to help you save  $ ! There is a list of coupon options for you to choose from. You do have to fill out your name, address, email, etc. type of information and then you will be directed to coupons for you to print. Nice deals!

 

Size, Cost and Where to Buy Them

Both the turkey and beef flavor Burger Bites can be purchased in a 3-ounce bag or a 12-ounce bag.

It appears that you can order directly from the Rachael Ray website but when you click to order it just sends you to a different store site such as Walmart or Chewy.com.

The Nutrish website indicates they are available online from Amazon, Chewy, Jet, PetSmart, Target, and Walmart.

 

 

Current Prices

Amazon.com:     3 oz. not for sale individually but if you want 8 – 3 oz. packages the cost is $23.92; 12 oz. bag $10.99

Chewy.com:       3 oz. $2.99 ($2.84 with Autoship); 12 oz. $10.99 ($10.44 with Autoship)

PetSmart:            3 oz. $4.49; 12 oz. $12.99 (save 5% on both prices with in-store pickup)

Maui golden retriever with Rachael Ray dog treatsTarget:                 12 oz. $9.99. Target’s website was confusing. The picture indicates turkey burger bites but the description, highlights, and details discuss the beef burger bites. Not sure what you will get from here if you order.

Walmart:             3 oz. $3.85 – only beef

 

Final Verdict

When I handed Maui the bag to hold for a photo she was more interested in trying to chew it open than sit still. Maui absolutely devoured these treats! You should’ve seen the smile on her face!

After about 10 minutes or so she must’ve decided that she needed more because she started actually barking at me. Manners don’t usually get that bad unless she REEEALLLY wants what I have.

Let us know what your dog thinks of the Rachael Ray Nutrish Grain Free Turkey Burger Bites! Does your dog love them as much as Maui does?

 

Happy grilling,

Lynne and Maui

P.S. These treats were provided free through the Chewy.com Influencer Program in exchange for an honest review and opinions of the product.

Do you like the Rachael Ray dog food product line?

Tell us about your experiences!

 

8

What are the Health Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs?

 

We were at the pet store the other day picking up some cat food (yes, we have four cats in our family, too) and some dog treats. While looking at the dog treats I noticed bone broth on a shelf nearby.

Bone brothI know bone broth is supposed to be really good for us humans but I had never thought about it for our pets. At that moment, bone broth became our next blogging topic.

… Now that I look my statement “bone broth is supposed to be really good for us humans” I realize I don’t really know why it is supposed to be good for us – and our pets.

Let’s explore what bone broth is; the benefits of bone broth for dogs (and cats); and some great brands that make quality bone broth for your dog.

If you like to cook, I’ll also share how to make a healthy bone broth at home!

 

What Is Bone Broth?

I think we all know that broth, in general, is a clear flavored liquid, like as in a soup. Bone broth is made by simmering bones in water for an extended period of time. During that time awesome flavors and nutrients, including the marrow seep into the water creating a delicious, flavorful liquid.

Primal Pet Foods make their bone broth for pets by slowly simmering bones, tendons, meat, ligaments, and the feet of an animal. They then transfer the nourishing benefits into a liquid consisting of gelatin, minerals, and essential amino acids.

Other companies may not include the extra elements of the animal but only simmer the bones.

 

Making beef bone broth

 

What Are the Benefits?

People swear by the benefits of bone broth. Primal Pet Foods indicates bone broth can aid in detoxifying the liver and ridding the body of toxins; adds collagen to a pet’s diet, and can heal and seal a pet’s gut.

Bone broth is known for creating a better environment for healthy gut flora and increasing absorption of nutrients. This makes sense, as collagen just on its own is known to decrease inflammation and support digestive health.

Adding bone broth to your pets’ diet will also increase their fluid intake and can make their food more enticing for them to eat.

 

 

Gut Health

Gut health is incredibly important since the majority of a dog’s immune system function is located in the intestine. Just like for us, poor gut health can bring on a ton of elements such as:

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • vomiting
  • digestive upset
  • redness on the skin
  • hotspots
  • joint pain
  • excessive shedding

 

Great Bone Broth Options for Your Pet

In researching bone broth for this post I learned there are several brands available out on the market. I put together for you a list of four great bone broth options from companies that make their broth from wholesome, natural real meats and such as. There are of course other companies that make some great broth, but these are common brands that you should be able to find easily at pet food stores or online retailers.

 

Primal bone brothPrimal Pet Foods

Primal Pet Foods makes bone broth recipes including beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. As mentioned above, their bone broths are simmered not only with the animal bones, but meat, tendons, ligaments, and feet as well. Each recipe is also simmered with delicious organic vegetables and spices such as squash, bok choy, carrots, celery, parsley, cilantro, ginger, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar.

All of Primal’s pet foods are made from editable-grade ingredients; this means the ingredients are good enough for us humans to eat.

 

 

Only Natural Pet

Only Natural Pet offers 100% human quality beef, chicken, and turkey bone broth.

The chicken and turkey broths are made from free-range poultry and the beef broth is made from grass-fed beef.

Their broths are also simmered with whole vegetables and fruit such as apples, kale, carrots, parsley, chia, and/or turmeric. Each broth is made in the USA from U.S. sourced ingredients.

 

The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen has a line of dehydrated bone broth including beef, chicken, and turkey flavors.

Their products are made in the USA; contain no preservatives or by-products, and are made from non-genetically modified ingredients. These dehydrated bone broths are made from (beef, chicken, or turkey) broth and meat of the same source. Recipes may also include dehydrated lentil, kale, parsley, pumpkin, sweet potato, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and/or cinnamon.

A definite benefit to buying dehydrated bone broth is easier storage conditions and a longer-lasting product life once opened.

 

 

Homemade

These three brands are awesome options for purchasing bone broth made out of high quality, organic, nutritious ingredients but if you are a DIYer you can make your own bone broth at home!

Here’s a great video from a veterinarian describing how you can make your own bone broth for your pet. You can, of course, use a different type of bone and add or take away ingredients as you wish, but this is a really great basic recipe for making nutritious bone broth.

 

 

How to Serve It

Bone broth can be served warm or cold (never hot) either by placing some broth in a bowl or by pouring a bit of broth over your dog’s regular food. Follow the feeding guidelines on the bone broth package regarding how much to give your dog.

Please remember that bone broth is only a supplement to your dog’s regular diet and is not meant to replace their regular food.

 

Have you given your pet bone broth or made it for yourself and seen some health improvements?

Share your experience with us!

Woof,

Lynne and Maui

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8

What can dogs drink? Learn the Dangers of Drinking Lake Water

 

It’s warm outside, maybe even hot where you live. Everyone’s enjoying outdoor summer activities, including your dog! Everyone gets to go to the park, camping, hiking, to the lake, to the beach … but with all of this outside activity, it is important to think about the water your dog drinks.

When you are out hiking and come across a puddle, stream, or river, or are at the lake house down by the water your dog will naturally want to drink that water. But, did you know that drinking from those types of water sources can be very bad for your dog! There are dangers lurking in outdoor water sources that can make your dog (and maybe even you) very sick!

 

What’s the Problem?

Dogs will pretty much eat and drink just about anything and everything but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. Outdoor sources of water can have organisms like parasites, bacteria, toxic algae, or even chemical runoff that can be very detrimental (even deadly) to your dog.

Once a dog is infected with parasites some of them can even be transferred to humans.  That means once your dog is infected, you could become infected too.

 

Microscopic Protozoan Parasites

A protozoan is a microscopic single-celled organism such as a sporozoan, ciliate, flagellate, or amoeba. There are different kinds of protozoa and they can be found in just about every possible habitat. These little creatures are way too small for us to see with the human eye.

Giardia and Cryptosporidium are protozoans commonly ingested by drinking from outdoor sources of water such as rivers and lakes. These little buggers get into the gastrointestinal system and can cause:

  • stomach upset
  • weakness/exhaustion
  • severe diarrhea and vomiting
  • intestinal bleeding
  • weight loss
  • lethargy

Healthy dogs can often have these parasites with no symptoms but if a pet is ill, has an underlying medical condition, or is older these protozoans can be pretty dangerous.

 

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Blue-Green Algae

Blooms of blue-green algae in lakes and ponds is a definite red flag! This algae is toxic to dogs and can be deadly! Blue-green algae is a microscopic bacteria often found in freshwater streams, ponds, and lakes. These bacteria can produce toxins that can affect mammals that drink the water (that means humans, dogs, livestock, etc.).

When blue-green algae is in bloom the water kind of looks blue-green in color or like pea soup. It can also look like there is green or blue paint on the surface of the water. Wind often blows these floating algae towards shore making it easily accessible to dogs and people.

 

 

The Pet Poison Helpline indicates concentrations of the blue-green algae vary throughout the year but it is most abundant during hot weather times mid to late summer and in nutrient-rich water.

Not all blue-green algae are toxic but it is impossible to tell without laboratory testing. For this reason, it is best to consider all blue-green algae as potentially toxic and to stay away!

For some animals, a very small exposure such as just a few multiples of blue-green algae contaminated water could result in fatal poisoning!

Symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black, tarry, lady stool
  • Pale mucous membranes, jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Neurological issues
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive secretions (salivating, lactating, etc.)
  • Blue discoloration of mucous membranes and skin
  • Death

 

Bacteria

Various types of bacteria can be lurking in outdoor water sources contaminated with feces. These strains of bacteria include Salmonella, E. coli, Leptospira, and Campylobacter.

Mild cases of infection some of these bacteria can result in diarrhea but others could be more severe.

Leptospirosis, caused by Leptospira bacteria lurks in muddy, stagnant and/or slow-moving waters. Animals such as raccoons, opossums, skunks, rats, and mice are common carriers of this bacteria. The organism is shed in the urine of these animals and contaminates the water and soil near these water sources.

The organism is transmitted when other animals (or humans) come in contact with the contaminated soil or water. If a dog becomes infected it will then bring this bacteria home, shedding the bacteria in its urine – potentially leading to infection of members of your family.

If the infection is not caught soon enough, it can cause kidney and/or liver damage and death.

There is a leptospirosis vaccine for dogs. If you live in an environment where your dog is at higher risk or live a lifestyle where there is a higher likelihood of your dog becoming acted talk to your veterinarian about this vaccination.

E. coli can also be transmitted from pet/animal to human and vice versa.

 

Microscopic view of E. coli

Schistosomiasis

The hot Southern states have the Heterobilharzia americana flatworm to watch out for – mainly in muddy or swampy areas and bayous.

When a dog is in contaminated freshwater this flatworm can penetrate the dog’s skin and will then migrate through the lungs (possibly causing hemorrhage) and then to the liver. After maturing into the adult form in the liver, the parasite migrates to the rectum, bladder, liver, intestines, and/or veins that carry blood from the intestines to the spleen, lungs, and liver.

Sick Labrador retrieverSymptoms of infection are often hard to distinguish from other diseases but include:

  • Diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Anemia

The organism cannot live in humans but can cause a skin rash commonly known as swimmers itch.

 

Hazardous Chemicals

We, humans, are using chemicals on everything. It’s inevitable that these chemicals runoff into puddles, lakes, rivers, etc. Some of these chemicals such as pesticides can be incredibly dangerous as they build up in a body over it.

 

Bring Fresh Water

Summer is a time of fun and outdoor activities but it is important to be aware of the water your dog drinks. With the microscopic monsters potentially lurking in outdoor water sources, the best idea is to just bring some fresh water for your dog to drink. You can grab one of your traveling coffee cups, a bottle of water from the fridge or any sort of covered container to put water in. This way you don’t need to worry if your dog will have fresh water to drink.

There are also many drinking canisters and vessels made especially for dogs.

 


 

Here’s to safe water fun!

Lynne and Maui

 

Has your dog ever gotten sick from drinking contaminated water?

Share your experience in the comments below.

 

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