Monday, August 18, 2014

August Chewy.com Review

This month, Chewy sent us a big bag of Merrick Kitchen Bites Brauts-n-Tots Grain-Free Biscuits Dog Treats to try out!  I have tried (well, Sully had tried) Merrick's canned food offerings before and they sure have unique flavors!  These flavors from their dry and canned food lines are recreated in their biscuits.  

The ingredients in these biscuits are really simple:

Deboned Beef, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas, Organic Cane Molasses, Canola Oil, Carrots, Apples, Flaxseed, Cumin, Gelatin, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Rosemary

No grains, no fish, so they are Dot-safe!  I have been using them as a little goodie when the dogs come running in from the back yard and also as a little bedtime snack when they go in their crates.  Broken in half, they also made a great toenail time snack (the dogs get a treat every so often while I'm dremeling their nails.)  They like them a lot.  In our dog's scale of tasty dry biscuits, I would say they rank above Hill's Ideal Balance Oven-Baked Naturals with Lamb & Apricots Dog Treats but below EVO Wild Cravings Red Meat Formula Dog Treats.  I'm not sure anything can top the Wild Cravings line, but both dogs agree these Merrick biscuits are darn tasty and worth buying!

Disclosure: Chewy.com provided me with one package of treats to review.  I was not compensated in any other way and the opinions are all mine and the dogs.

We are participating in Sugar and Kol's Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop!
 
 

Friday, August 15, 2014

More Innovations in Pet Products

Continuing our coverage of new products this year, Dog Products also won awards in several other categories at Global Pet Expo 2014.


Second Place in the Boutique Category
Wobble Ball Enrichment Dog Toy
 It's a Kong Wobbler.  But with more pieces.  This is cute, way too cute (and fragile) to be a dog toy.  I am not a fan of hard plastic toys for dogs.  Noisy, scratch easily and you won't be able to see the dog and his pumpkin inside for all the slobber, floor dirt and boogers.








Best In Show in the Natural Pet Category
Carob Chip Cookie Mix by Puppy Cake



Cake and cookie mixes for dogs!  Love the idea, convenient and makes it easy to have a dog party without a trip to the specialty bakery.  But once you look at the ingredients, you will agree that $6.99 is a little steep.  This mix makes 18 dog cookies!!  That's almost 40 cents per 2-inch cookie.




















Winners in the Point-Of-Sale category for their in-store displays were:


Best In Show
4pets ProLine

A competitor of the Variocage









 

















Anyone seen this in stores?  It looks like a really fun, interactive display, for the humans at least!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Innovations in Pet Products

The 2014 Global Pet Expo gave out awards for new products in several different categories.  In the Dog category, the winner were:



Best In Show
DOGSFOOD 
You buy a bag of DogForDog DOGSFOOD and they donate an equal product to various animal shelters and rescue groups.  DogForDog, the company that also brings you BOGSBUTTER, $10 per jar peanut butter.  For dogs.  There are several other companies that do this, BogoBowl seems to be quite popular. 









Second Place
iFetch
You've seen the videos of the dachshund playing fetch by himself with the homemade sling-shot machine.  Well this is the $99.95 version spawned from a Kickstarter campaign.


Third Place
K-9 Kannon Mini 
 Another ball-throwing device?  Yes.  And poor reviews say this one does not launch the ball as far as a chuck-it.  I thought perhaps there was a market for this with people with mobility limitations but it still requires quite a bit of arm use.

BOUTIQUE
Best In Show
biOrb AIR Terrarium
Reef One
Booth 1243 
Second PlaceWobble Ball Enrichment Dog Toy
P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You)
Booth 727 
Third PlaceAstoria Cat Scratcher
Architect Pets
Booth 4344
- See more at: http://globalpetexpo.org/press/pressrelease_detail.asp?id=134#sthash.qkBuLpqW.dpuf
BOUTIQUE
Best In Show
biOrb AIR Terrarium
Reef One
Booth 1243 
Second PlaceWobble Ball Enrichment Dog Toy
P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You)
Booth 727 
Third PlaceAstoria Cat Scratcher
Architect Pets
Booth 4344
- See more at: http://globalpetexpo.org/press/pressrelease_detail.asp?id=134#sthash.qkBuLpqW.dpufV
BOUTIQUE
Best In Show
biOrb AIR Terrarium
Reef One
Booth 1243 
Second PlaceWobble Ball Enrichment Dog Toy
P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You)
Booth 727 
Third PlaceAstoria Cat Scratcher
Architect Pets
Booth 4344
- See more at: http://globalpetexpo.org/press/pressrelease_detail.asp?id=134#sthash.qkBuLpqW.dpuf
New Products Showcase Winners

Monday, August 11, 2014

Innovations in Pet Products

We LOVE new products and we're gearing up for this years Total Pet Expo by reviewing some of the most innovative products from the past year.  First up, let's see what fun products won at last year's Total Pet Expo.

Innovation Gold Medal Winner
Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Snoop puzzle ball
 This toy (shown with bones in the orange one and a 2.5” Orbee-Tuff® ball (not included) in the blue one) has a deep crevice  around the opening to keep treats concealed.  While I like that this toy is non-toxic, recyclable and 100% guaranteed, I don't like that it is not rated for durability.  The website says "
This toy is intended for puzzle-play, not chewing, so it is not rated on our Durability scale."  In my book, a toy that you are going to stuff with treats may possibly some heavy chewing.  Having interacted with this toy before, it is very squishy and would NOT hold up in our house.

Innovation Silver Medal Winner
Krocodile® – Pill Splitter and Crusher
 Krocodile Pill Splitter and Crusher
Not sure I would pay $40 for a pill splitter when they are less than $10 at the pharmacy.  A "unique" draw to this one is that they offer Kroc Belly pouches for use when crushing to eliminate cross-contamination if you are crushing multiple Rx with the same device.

Krocodile® – Pill Splitter and Crusher
Krocodile® – Pill Splitter and Crusher

Friday, August 1, 2014

Taco's Incident

Does Taco look sad in this picture?  That's because he ripped up his paw out in the yard and had to have stitches!  He has been a really good boy about the whole thing.  He does wear an e-collar when we aren't around to supervise but most of the time he is leaving it alone.  This picture shows his foot bandaged up, but the bandages came off today and he gets his stitches out in a week or so.

I would like to eliminate the chance of this happening again but I still can't decide what he tore his paw on.  Maybe a jagged piece of fence?  Maybe one of the large branches we have down in the backyard?  I hope he lost interest in whatever it was after this happens so it doesn't happen again!

We have been leash-walking him so he doesn't get rambunctious and re-injure it before it heals, keeping him contained in the house and watching him like a hawk.  We had to skip Beginner Novice class this week but we still got in some stay and attention work at home, to keep his brain working!  He's a little mopey but not limping so paws crossed he will heal quickly and be back to normal soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chewy Product Testing for July

Chewy again gave us a new variety of treats to try out this month! And this time it was a treat EVERYONE could share!  We tested out Blue Wilderness Chicken & Duck Grain-Free Cat Treats.  That's right, cat treats.  I love using cat treats as dog training treats because they are so small!  And because these are grain free, both dogs could enjoy.

First up, the cat got to try them out.  He is very picky but I thought this flavor and the fact that they are soft and moist would entice him.  I called him and told him to sit, which he did.  Then held the treat up for him to bat at and then eat off the floor.  (He doesn't like to eat from your hand.)  Not happening.  He batted it from my hand but did not even taste it.  One sniff and he was done, apparently he only like fish-flavored treats.  (Probably because Dot is allergic to fish and he knows he won't have to share!)

The dogs were a different story.  Both of them LOVED the cat treats.  Dot seemed to like them a little bit more than Taco, who I'd say would put them above string cheese but below hot dogs.  The only complaint I had was that the tan color blended in with most flooring so it was hard to use them as a training treats for things like 2x2 weaves where I want to toss the treat out for the dog to get.  White string cheese or dark treats like jerky work best for that, depending on the floor color.

They were a little greasy in my hand when I squeezed them but didn't leave a mess in my pocket, always a plus!  I would by these at the pet supply store as a quick treat option.  No cutting like string cheese or cooked chicken, and they come in a handy resealable pouch!

Disclosure: Chewy.com provided me with one package of treats to review.  I was not compensated in any other way and the opinions are all mine and the dogs.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Corgi Rescue Auction

While I don't currently have a Corgi, the name of the blog IS Corgipants and Corgis are still near and dear to my heart!  Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Rescue is having an online auction to benefit their organization and I have donated one of my custom-made Corgi costumes.

 Over the years I've made lots of different Corgi crafts to donate to charity auctions. One of the most popular is the Corgi butt pin!  These are polymer clay which is then painted.
Mike helped me create this shirt, which was a fundraiser at one point for Lakeshore. It's also available in a Pembroke only and a Cardigan only version.
This purse has a warp-around Corgi. I stole the idea from a Dachshund purse I saw!
These two wall hangings were made using this Sharon Malec applique pattern. I should do another in black -headed tri to hang in my own house!
I did a few more polymer clay items, like these bracelets. I made the corgi beads and the little bone and paw print dangles using clay.
And these, believe it or not, are pens. You pop off their little butts and they are ball point pens! These are made by disassembling the pen, creating the body around the pen tube, then putting it back together after it's baked.

I also did a few paper crafts using hand-but silhouettes, like this framed scrapbook page. It's got all the FRAP phrases from this post on it.
These are notecards, simple but fun.
And this last one is a post-it note holder for your desk made from a plexiglass photo holder.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breed Specific Terminology

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but who likes posts without pictures?  This is Dot earlier this month, taking first in a Rally class.)
Does your breed have terminology all it's own?  I'm kind of obsessed with the strange code that different breed aficionados have for behaviors, colors and characteristics they find unique to their breed.  Being a Corgi person, we'll start with a Corgi term

Frap - This is a common word in the world of Corgis and also Scotties, frapping is when a dog races around excitedly, spinning and turning circles and figure eights at top speed for no reason at all.  This activity is also called hucklebutting in Bull Terriers.  Here's a blog post I wrote about it!

Trancing- A really strange activity performed by Bull Terriers and sighthounds, the dog rubs it's body against low-hanging tree limbs, blankets or curtains and starts moving in slow motion.  More info here

Twizzle- The twizzle is the bit at the end of a Lab's tail that should be twisted together to form a tight spike.

Fluffies- Another Corgi term, this describes a coat of extreme length with exaggerated feathering on ears, chest, legs and feet, underparts and hindquarters.  This is also in Rottweiler term!

Blenheim- This is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel term for red and white coloring.

Landseer- The Newfoundland term for black and white.

Harlequin- The Great Dane term for white with black patches.

So, does your breed have a weird term for something they do, a color pattern or a certain physical trait?
I linked up to Ruckus' Thoughtless Thursday because this post has been a draft for YEARS because I wanted to find more examples, but decided "What the heck, this list will never be as long as I want so I'll just post it now!"
Ruckus the American Eskimo Dog Blog

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Occupying Canine Minds-DogTV Review

When you leave the house, how do you occupy your dogs while you're away?  Some dogs are happy to sleep, watch squirrels and keep themselves content.  But others need to be left with tasks and toys to keep them busy and out of trouble.  While we don't have separation anxiety issues, I like to know that when I leave them alone, our dogs are having a good time and aren't getting their noses where they don't belong.  I alternately crate them and leave them free in the house so that they are comfortable with both, handy for when they need to be boarded or if they get injured and need to be crated for longer periods.

There are a lot of complicated food-dispensing toys on the market today but I find Kongs are still a proven (and safe) way to keep a dog working at a puzzle.  Some toys I've seen have hard plastic parts, parts that can come unscrewed or unhinged, and I would NOT leave those toys with a dog home alone.  I feel safe leaving a treat-filled Kong out while I leave the house, especially now that we have the new radiopaque Blue Kongs!  For a short session, peanut butter works fine, but if I want to occupy a dog for a longer period, I will mix dry kibble and mashed banana together, stuff it into the Kong and freeze it.

We also tried out DogTV.  This is a TV station designed for dogs, which they say is "scientifically developed to provide the right company for dogs when left alone."  Both of our dogs were unimpressed.  Some of the "programs" included caterpillars crawling across the screen to a background of classical music and children's giggles, video of a dog on the beach with water noises and children saying "good dog", canyon views and children's voices accompanied by classical music and video of butterflies with classical music and windchime noises.  It reminded me a little of Baby Einstein DVDs (which have been debunked as helping your little one's development) in the way stimulating visuals were combined with classical music.  I gathered that some of the segments were meant to be soothing while others were meant to engage and intrigue the dog, the theory being that the more lively shots keep the dog's attention while the more relaxing videos help calm the dog.  As I said, both of our dogs were less interested in DOGTV than I have seen them in human TV at times.  But maybe that's the point.  You wouldn't want a dog excited and anxious listening to howling dogs and chasing cat videos all day, that would make for just as much anxiety as the seperation anxiety DogTV purports to help alleviate.  Maybe our dogs weren't affected because they don't need what DogTV is offering.  Bottom line, we canceled our subscription.