Author Archives: Lynne
Author Archives: Lynne
Bone broth is known to be a healthy food for humans and animals alike.
Bone broth is familiar to us because it is often used in soups. It is made by simmering bones (turkey, chicken, or beef bones are common) in water for an extended amount of time. This releases all of the great flavor and nutrients, including marrow, into the liquid creating a super tasty and delicious broth.
I am totally psyched because as part of the Chewy.com Influencer program we had the opportunity to select Castor & Pollux Pristine free-range turkey broth dog food topper to tell you about! Now we get to share the great healing benefits of bone broth with you!
We always do our reviews just from Maui and Emma's point of view but today you get a two-for-one! One of my cats also gets turkey broth every day for his health. We've been using a different brand broth for Wiley, so we will let you know what he thinks of the Pristine bone broth, too!
The Pristine line of foods is made by Castor & Pullox, a reputable manufacturer and one of the first producers of organic dog foods.
Pristine is their grain-free line of foods and toppers. The grain-free bone broths come in four flavor recipes:
Maui and Emma were not picky about which flavor we chose so I went for the turkey. I figured dogs love any meat and if I selected the turkey recipe, we could use it in Wiley's food as well. Wiley is on a limited ingredient diet and has a lot of digestive issues due to his Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Turkey seems to be less upsetting to his system and bone broth is really good for gut health. Getting the turkey broth recipe, I figured we could give you two reviews for the price of one (oh yeah, these reviews are free)!
We have now used two different brands of turkey broth in our household. Up to this point, we have used Only Natural Pet free-range turkey broth for Wiley. Now we have also tried the Pristine free-range turkey broth.
The Only Natural Pet broth is a much clearer liquid. A little bit more towards what you would see as a broth if you opened up a can of chicken soup for yourself.
The Castor & Pollux Pristine turkey bone broth is a denser looking broth. It is cloudy with what I feel is turkey and bone nutrients. Here's a picture of the broth poured into a separate container. I couldn't quite get the picture to do the color justice. Looking at this bone broth next to my daughter's bottle of Starbucks light vanilla cappuccino, they are very similar in color.
Not saying one is better than the other. Each has their own individual recipes and ingredients and I personally believe both to be high-quality and nutritious.
The turkey bone broth has a very limited and wholesome ingredient list.
This is important to me for both Maui and Wiley as they both have food sensitivities. I need to watch what Wiley eat with a high magnification microscope!
Ingredients in the Pristine turkey bone broth are:
So, not much added to this wholesome turkey broth besides a little bit of seasoning. I love that!
Animals on limited ingredient diets don't need a whole bunch of extra stuff added to their foods. It just means more things that could potentially irritate your pets stomach or digestive system.
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 pet's diet will also increase their fluid intake (which is especially great for cats) and can make their food more enticing to eat.
Gut health is incredibly important since the majority of a dog’s immune system function is located in the intestine.
Incorporating bone broth into your pet's diet can help alleviate these issues, or at least make the symptoms less severe.
Wiley gets bone broth at least twice a day mixed in with his wet food to help alleviate his irritable bowel disease symptoms. While his case is pretty severe, I will definitely say that putting him on a limited ingredient diet as well as giving him turkey bone broth has improved his diarrhea and vomiting dramatically.
We normally mix bone broth in with his wet food so he gets the health benefits from the bone broth as well as additional moisture (extra moisture is always great for cats as they are not avid drinkers).
I was a little leery about trying Wiley on a new brand of turkey broth because he is such a picky eater. To be honest, I anticipated that he would not eat his food with this new broth.
I was pleasantly surprised!
Wiley didn't seem to notice the change from the broth we had been using. Or, if he did notice the difference he definitely still liked it because he cobbled his food right up!
If you have a cat you know they can change their mind at any point in time about what they like and don't like. We have been giving Wiley the Pristine free-range turkey bone broth for about three weeks now and he is still gobbling it up!
This is even more of a surprise to me than his liking it in the first place!
Chewy.com provided this product to us free of charge in exchange for an honest review so I'm definitely going to let you know their price for this high-quality bone broth, but I shopped around the prices for you as well.
The Castor & Pollux Pristine grain-free free-range bone broth it is usually sold by the case. Each case contains 24 - 8.4-ounce containers of broth.
Chewy.com currently sells a case of any of the flavor recipes for $64.56 (save an additional 5% if you put it on AutoShip).
Amazon.com carries the Pristine bone broth for $53 - $64 per case.
You can also find it on Petco.com but the prices are significantly more at about $84 per case.
(Prices subject to change at any time)
You can work bone broth into your pet's diet in a few different ways. You can:
Bone broth can be a healthy, nutritious, and delicious addition to your dog or cat's diet. Maui and Emma love it poured over their dry kibble or alone as a special treat.
The health benefits of bone broth can help alleviate or improve many conditions your pet may have. Primarily it is known to help improve gut health!
Maui, Emma, and Wiley would love to know if you give this bone broth or any other brand bone broth a try!
Did you find the bone broth to help your pet?
Is there a brand you would suggest or maybe a homemade recipe?
Maui and Emma have been after me to let them do another treat review, so here we go!
There are thousands of different kinds of dog treats on the market but not all of them are appropriate for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies or medical conditions that require they be on a limited ingredient diet.
Natural Balance has a full Limited Ingredient Diets (L.I.D.) menu for dogs that consists of dry kibble and wet canned dog foods as well as crunchy and soft dog treats. Maui and Emma's regular dry kibble is actually the Natural Balance L.I.D. lamb meal and brown rice formula dog food.
Last time I brought Maui in for her grooming appointment her groomer commented on how nice Maui's coat is compared to the time before. Wouldn't you know it, I switched Maui and Emma back to the Natural Balance L.I.D. diet a couple months previous. I attribute the improvement in Maui's coat to the Natural Balance dog food.
Based on our experience with the Natural Balance dog food, when we were given the opportunity to do a review on their L.I.D. Grain-free Chewy Bites we jumped at the chance!
Chewy bites are soft delectable treats (direct quote from Maui ).
These morsels of chewy goodness come in three flavor recipes:
Each flavor recipe contains a single animal protein; none of them contain any chicken products. Chicken is one of the main meat proteins that dogs are allergic to, so this is really great news!
There are a lot of great things that make these Limited Ingredient Diet dog treats something special!
These look a bit like an extra skinny Slim Jim cut into pieces. All the pieces are symmetrically round in shape and cut into about 1-2 inch lengths.
If they are a little bit big for your dog you are in luck because these jerky like treats are pretty easy to cut into smaller pieces! This is great for small dogs or to use them as training treats!
The bag indicates each turkey treat is about 8 calories. Some pieces are significantly smaller than others so I'd say 6-8 calories. Cut them into smaller pieces and you have a 2 calorie meaty treat for your dog!
I always stick my nose in the bag when we open some fresh treats and these didn't have a whole lot of smell to them. If you hang out in the bag for a while it kind of starts smelling a little bit like jerky crossed with dog food, but still not too bad.
Did you know that Natural Balance was founded by the actor Dick Van Patten! Pretty cool that such a big-time actor loved dogs so much that he created his own pet food brand!
Sadly Dick Van Patten passed away in 2015 but Natural Balance continues his legacy of believing
that, as members of the family, our dogs and cats deserve the very best.
Mr. Van Patten had a clear mission to see every animal was treated with respect and love. This mission began by creating pet foods based on sound scientific principles & nutritional truths.
Natural Balance does a lot to help out animals and pets in our communities. This makes them pretty special, as well as their foods!
Bring your UPC label from your Natural Balance pet food bag along with its original receipt to a participating non-profit 501 (c)(3) animal rescue organization and that animal rescue can make some money from those UPC symbols!
Nonprofit animal rescues ascended a minimum of 50 UPC codes and they get a check in the mail within eight weeks!
What an easy way for us and Natural Balance to help animal rescues and animals in need!
Qualified non-profit animal rescues can apply twice a year to receive free Natural Balance pet food sample bags to provide to new pet parents adopting their animals!
Free nutritious pet food to new pet owners! What a great way to get new pet ownership off to a great start.
Natural Balance partners with Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization that provides guide dogs to the visually impaired - free of charge. The Natural Balance website really doesn't indicate how they support this organization but by searching the Internet I discovered it is through monetary support. Raising and training any type of service dog is a very expensive endeavor so having the support of a company like Natural Balance can give a service dog non-profit the stability needed to continue their mission.
We know you are all anxiously awaiting an opportunity to get these chewy sticks of jerky goodness, so here it is!
These treats come in a 4-ounce bag, which seems kind of small (that is until the bag is shoved in your face). There are quite a few treat pieces in this bag for its size! I like that they didn't waste a lot of packaging making it seem like a larger bag. The number of treats you get paired with the quality ingredients makes the price of these treats pretty great!
Chewy.com has the turkey recipe for $6.31 ($5.99 if you put them on AutoShip).
(prices subject to change)
Maui and Emma both enjoyed these treats!
Emma goes bonkers for anything that looks like food and goes doubly bonkers for anything that actually is. Needless to say, Emma gobbled these down like they were her last meal.
Maui definitely enjoyed them as well! She seemed to really enjoy the piece that was two stuck together. Her eyes closed a little bit and she really enjoyed chewing on that one! When we were done taste testing the treats I rolled off in my wheelchair, turned around to see her still sitting at attention waiting for more. What a cutie!
Here is Maui and Emma's final review of the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey Chewy Bites:
What does your dog think of Natural Balance?
Have a favorite Natural Balance food or treat?
Let us know your thoughts below in the comments!
Winter can be tough on your dog. Depending on where you live, winter can be downright life-threatening!
We had some Arctic weather up here in Minnesota the last couple weeks which has made me really think about what we should do to protect our dogs when they need to go outside.
Some dogs are better equipped for the cold. Maui has a thick coat and undercoat and she loves the cold weather. Emma is a rat terrier and has very little body mass, a thin coat of fur, and no undercoat. I honestly can see in her eyes how much she dreads going out in the cold to go potty.
No matter how tolerant your dog is of the cold, there is one body part on every single dog that needs protection from the elements and dangers that winter brings - their paws!
Here are some ways to protect your dog during winter!
Paw balm, wax, and cream are all thick substances designed to put on your dog's paws as a protective layer between their pads and the outside winter elements (can also protect in hot weather).
Balms, waxes, and creams are designed to be a protectant, a moisturizer, and to heal your dog's paws they can also be used on other rough, exposed, and/or dry areas. Some can also be used on your dog's nose.
Massaging a layer of paw balm onto your dog's paw pads creates a semi-impermeable layer to protect those paws from anything they come in contact with.
Wax is made with a waxy substance and is designed to be more of a protectant but can also moisturize.
Balms are sometimes made with a waxy substance and sometimes not. They are a good protectant and tend to be better at moisturizing and soothing.
Creams are the thinnest of the three and provide less of a protective layer and are better for moisturizing, soothing, and healing.
When shopping for a paw balm, wax, or cream you want to be sure to select a product that is organic and natural, without any chemicals or ingredients that could be bad for your dog.
Dogs will often lick at whatever you put on their feet so, the more natural the ingredients, the better it will be for your dog.
Choose a product that is "USDA certified organic" so you know if your dog licks it, the ingredients will not be toxic or harmful.
Avoid products with zinc oxide, petroleum, or any other chemical ingredient that you can't pronounce!
Be sure to read through the ingredient list! Organic, natural balms, waxes, and lotions will have an ingredient list you can understand.
If your dog has long fur between their paw pads it is best to trim it down. Use a clipper to trim the fur down so it is even with the paw pads. Cesar Milan mentions that a human beard trimmer with the shortest plastic guard can work well for this purpose (although I have never tried this myself).
This will make it easier to apply the protectant to the paw pads and it will also help alleviate the formation of ice balls between the pads (they stick to the fur).
Apply a thin layer of the balm or wax right before going out for a walk.
When you return from your walk use a warm washcloth to wipe off any salt and chemicals that may have gotten on your dog's paws. If his paws appear to be cracked, dry, or hard apply a bit more balm to them to moisturize.
When shopping for a paw balm, wax, or cream you want to be sure to select a product that is organic and natural, without any chemicals or ingredients that could be bad for your dog.
Want to know exactly what is in the paw balm you're using for your dog? Make your own!
Here is a super simple recipe to make your own paw balm at home.
This recipe indicates to use rapeseed oil. I don't know about you but I've never heard of rapeseed before. A great alternative and something you probably already have at home would be avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
Dog boots and booties are always a great option to keep your dog's paws clean, dry, and safe!
Maui, Emma, and I did a post on some great dog boot and bootie options that you can find here:
Your dog may walk pretty strangely when you first put the boots or booties on their feet but it doesn't take them long to get used to it. I can't help but laugh watching Maui walking her dog booties in the house but once she gets outside and on her walk, it's like she doesn't even know she is wearing them.
I think boots and booties are a great option because you can just quickly put them on and then take them off when you get home. You don't have to worry about anything getting directly on your dog's paws.
I know coats and sweaters are not something to protect your dog's paws but I still felt they are worth mentioning in this article.
Some dogs are just not equipped to be out in the cold for very long. Emma can barely stand it for a couple minutes just to go outside to the bathroom much less be out there long enough to go for a walk.
If this sounds like your dog then giving them a little bit more warmth and protection can make a walk and outdoor time much more pleasurable for them.
This is our Emma wearing her little jacket.
Click on her picture to visit the blog post we wrote about some really great dog coat and sweater options.
Your dog depends on you to keep them safe.
Winter provides a big set of challenges when trying to keep our dogs warm, protected and safe.
We hope you found some ideas in this blog that you can implement to make your dogs outside time a little less hazardous and a lot more fun!
Let it snow,
Do you have a great DIY recipe for paw balm or wax?
Have you tried a brand that you really love?
Share with our community in the comments below!
A dog's paws are not invincible.
Since dogs walk around essentially on their "bare feet" all of the time it's easy to forget that those paws and little pads are not indestructible. They are not like a pair of Nike shoes or hiking boots offering our dogs the ultimate in protection.
We just went through some brutal, brutal cold up here in Minnesota last week. It was actually recommended that people not take their dogs for walks at all on a couple of those Arctic days for a few reasons -
One - it was just too darn cold (for anyone or anything to be outside) and two - a dog's paws could be seriously harmed.
If you care about your dog's paws during these cold winter months, read on!
During the winter there is the cold and extreme weather that can bring harm to your dog and his paws.
In addition to the outside environmental elements, there are other factors that can actually damage your dog's paws.
Here is a list of pup and paw crippling factors to keep in mind when taking your dog out in the winter.
Your dog's paws can be seriously damaged by rough ice and rough terrain.
Dog's paw pads are tough but they are not indestructible. Rough, jagged, and sharp snow and ice can puncture or cut your dog's pads.
Your shoes or winter boots might make it difficult to realize how rough or sharp the snow or ice is that you are walking on so be sure to pay extra close attention when you take your dog out for their walk.
In the winter many roads and sidewalks are treated with deicing salts.
Road salts are composed of chloride mixed with calcium, sodium, potassium, or magnesium. They may also contain other types of salt.
These chemicals can cause your dog's pads to crack, burn, and dry out.
Another danger from road salts (and other deicers) is that your dog might ingest them.
Dogs like to lick their paws and they may do it incessantly if their paws are irritated from salt or deicers; they may even lick your boots. When your dog does this he will swallow the deicing salt. Ingesting small amounts of deicing salt probably won't likely cause severe issues but may cause an upset stomach, diarrhea and/or vomiting. So, still not good for your dog even in small amounts.
Walk your dog on grass or snow to keep their paws off the salty driveways, sidewalks, and roads!
Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) that is used in cars is actually a very deadly poison for dogs. As little as one or 2 teaspoons can be deadly to a small animal.
Unfortunately, it has a sweet taste that appeals to dogs so it's critically important that any ethylene glycol spills are cleaned up IMMEDIATELY!
Propylene glycol is a safer option so you might want to think about switching, but you are unable to control what other people use. Please note that I say safer but something considered "less poisonous" is still poisonous.
Old-fashioned ethylene glycol antifreeze is typically a greenish color. Keep your eyes open when you're out for that walk so your dog will not get their nose into somebody else's spilled or leaked antifreeze.
Snow and ice can get packed between your dog's paw pads and form ice balls between their pads. This is very uncomfortable and often painful for your dog.
If your dog is chewing at their paws after you get home from your walk, ice balls are most likely the reason.
Help your dog get those ice balls out of their foot by feeling around between the paw pads and pulling out the little balls of snow.
A dog's paws do not get as cold as our bare feet would if we were outside in the snow. That is because a dogs fancy anatomy is designed to help keep those paws warm. But, when the weather is extreme or your dog is left outside too long their paws are still definitely susceptible to frostbite!
Frostbite can occur anytime the temperature gets below 32°F (0°C) and the colder it is, the quicker it will happen!
Dogs that love to be outside like the Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, and Siberian Husky can get frostbite. Heck, even sled dogs wear dog boots to protect their paws!
Put a washcloth and shallow bowl with warm water near the door so you can clean your dog’s paws after his walk!
Hypothermia results from extended exposure to cold and can be life-threatening.
Hypothermia will most likely not happen if the two of you just go out for a walk but it can definitely happen if your dog is left outside too long.
Senior dogs, puppies, and dogs with specific diseases, such as thyroid conditions, are more susceptible to cold temperatures. This means they are more prone to getting frostbite and/or hypothermia.
Signs of hypothermia are:
Some dogs have a higher tolerance for cold than others. Maui loves to lay outside when it's cold with her nose to the air like it's the best thing ever! Emma can't stand it and gets extremely cold very quickly.
Think about sitting outside with only a sweatshirt and a nice pair of socks for warmth (and pants of course). If it's too cold for you to sit outside too long like that, don't leave your dog out either.
It's better to be safe and bring them in and to risk their health or life by leaving them out too long.
If you think your dog is suffering from a temperature related illness, quickly get them to a warm dry environment and call your dog's veterinarian.
If you even suspect your dog has ingested a poisonous substance call or bring your dog to your veterinarian immediately!
Maui and Emma want you and your pup to have a fun winter but they also want you to have a safe winter!
Watch the temperature gauge and keep your dog's paws safe and warm.
To protect your dog's paws from the environment, temperatures, and toxic poisonous substances please consider getting a pair of dog boots or booties. They come in many sizes and range from mild protection to all-out rugged doggy boots.
You can check out some great options in our blog post: Protective Dog Winter Boots
You can also find many options listed on Amazon, Chewy.com, online pet stores, and brick-and-mortar pet stores.
With winter love,
Have any favorite dog boots or coats you would like to recommend?
Share your thoughts and stories with other readers in the comments below!
Maui and Emma are ready and willing to try out another new dog treat for you!
I'm interested in this one as well since the flavor recipe is a bit different from the norm. A little excitement in the dog treat arena!
Canidae, a natural pet food company makes grain-free dog treats called Pure Heaven. With a name like that, I might be trying some as well (you know I'm just kidding right?)
Today Maui and Emma will be trying the Pure Heaven bison and butternut squash grain-free biscuits.
Let's jump in and see what it's like to be in Pure Heaven!
Canidae is a small company started and owned by a couple guys that wanted to make healthy nutritious foods for our pets. Scott and John entered the pet industry right out of high school and it has been their passion ever since.
That's good news for all of us!
Their dedication and love for pets has brought about the creation of some pawsome dog and cat foods and treats that are superior to many other brands; offer great nutrition; are made from whole natural foods, and that pets love!
The company is thriving in the small family town of Brownwood Texas where their products are manufactured and packaged.
The Pure line of foods and treats are all grain-free.
Personally I don't see this as a benefit or a detriment when it comes to treats unless your dog has a gluten sensitivity or allergy.
These crunchy rectangles of deliciousness come in three flavor recipes:
They all sound like delicious combinations, something you would make for yourself and put on a fancy dinner plate (you know, I mean the real whole foods ... not the dog treats and foods). Although, I do admit I have never tried bison.
Maui and Emma chose the bison and butternut squash recipe as neither of them have tried bison before today, either!
Obviously these biscuits have bison and butternut squash included as ingredients but let's take a look at what else is in these treats!
Pretty short list of ingredients which is always nice. That means they don't throw a lot of junk in there that your dog doesn't need.
A couple things to note:
Peas, potatoes, and cane molasses rank higher in the list than bison and butternut squash. That means there are more peas, potatoes, and cane molasses in these treats then there is bison and butternut squash.
These treats do contain chicken fat which means if your dog has an allergy or sensitivity to chicken these treats probably wouldn't be a good selection for your dog.
The good thing though is that the list is short and all the ingredients are natural. Even that oh so vague 'natural flavor' says that it is natural (even though we don't know what the natural flavor is).
Watch this video to learn about Canidae produce suppliers and
the quality ingredients that go into Canidae foods and treats.
These biscuits are of a pretty good size - the rectangular shaped treat is around 1 3/4 inches in length.
What's nice about them though is that they are made to be easily broken in half. There's a little indentation in the middle of the treat and they easily snap in half at that spot.
I will be using these more so as training treats so we broke some of ours into even smaller pieces. If they are a little tougher to break for you without the indent, a knife and cutting board work really well.
These dog biscuits are a very crunchy treat.
They are not super hard - they are fairly easy to break at the mark. But, they definitely are a substantial crunch when Maui and Emma are eating them.
Each flavor recipe is a different calorie count:
I have purchased a lot of dog treats in my day and usually the healthier treats made from natural whole ingredients (like these Pure Heaven biscuits) come in small packages.
I was pleasantly surprised when I received these treats to see that they come in a really good sized bag!
The only come in one size, an 11-ounce bag but that bag holds over 30 really good sized treats!
These large bags that contain over 30 nearly 2-inch long healthy treats come at a really great price!
Chewy.com offers the bison & butternut squash recipe for $7.59!
The other two recipes range from $5.18 - $7.59!
(Prices are subject to change. Looks like they are on sale right now so that may change in the future.)
Super wag-credible that you can get dog treats of this quality at such an incredibly reasonable price.
These treats are definitely going on my 'buy again' list!
Both Maui and Emma enjoyed these crunchy dog biscuits!
Knowing that they would be getting a few while I tried to get some good photos we broke them in half at the mark (which was pretty easy).
Maui could've easily handled a whole biscuits but with winter heavy upon us (and lack of activity) she doesn't need the calories. Half a biscuit was definitely a good size for Emma. She couldn't just chomp it up in one bite. She had to set it down and eat the half a biscuit in phases. She could've probably even done with 1/4 of a biscuit.
Here is our final review:
These treats were provided by Chewy.com free of charge in exchange for providing an honest review.
Maui, Emma, and I just want to send out a thank you to all of our readers!
Hard to believe we've been at this blog for almost a year now and we wouldn't be here without your support!
How much do you and your dog love Canidae?
Have you tried these or any other of their products?
With love to hear your thoughts!
Please help us out and give Maui and Emma a share & like!