Friday, August 14, 2015

American Airlines Announces "Cuddle Class" - A Review

So this has been a CRAZY busy summer, which is why you haven't heard much from us. However, we do have some exciting news we hope to share soon!

In the meantime, while crawling the inter-webs, we stumbled upon this interesting news item -- "American Airlines Announces First Class Cabin for Pets." Of course, we had to further investigate... which we did... only to discover that Paddington has already in fact traveled "Cuddle Class." While it's billed as a luxury way to travel with your pets, in reality, it's a fancy way of saying "FAA rules require us to stow your pet in a storage closet for take off and landing when you travel with a lie flat bed." While that is totally OK, our frustration stems from the fact that we feel like "Cuddle Class" is being billed as something it really isn't.

Courtesy of American Airlines

You may ask, "why are you so fired up about this?" Well... flashback to a trip we did last Thanksgiving where we used miles to fly first class from LAX to JFK. We were surprised to learn that Paddy would have to ride in her carrier in the closet for take off and landing once we boarded the plane. Yep, there was no advance information about this requirements. You're allowed to have an infant in arms for take off and landing... you are not allowed to hold your dog's carrier for safety reasons.

While your pet may not mind being put in a storage closet with a small ventilation window for take off and landing.... they may, like Paddington. She's flown with us several times, and as long as her carrier is near us, she won't make a peep. Put in her a closet... and well, sorry first class cabin... I guess there's a reason they pass out noise canceling headphones? Also, take off and landing, especially if you're flying LAX to JFK or SFO to JFK can mean that your dog is in the "box" or "Cuddle Class" for up to 40 minutes on either end. As soon as preparations begin for take off and landing, your dog goes into the closet.

From what we could discern, the box is neither lit, nor has any air vents. Your pet also cannot see you from the angle of the vents. There was also a crazy amount of static charge - when we got Paddy back, her fur was sticking up on end, and she was definitely not happy.

We also apologized profusely to everyone else in the cabin for disturbing their trip, and felt awful. Needless to say, this requirement also made our travel experience really less enjoyable too as we were stressed out about putting her in and out of "Cuddle Class."

Wait... I have to travel WHERE?! Snapped pre-"Cuddle Class" boxing... 
So... anyway, we apologize for the little bit of a rant, but only felt it fair to share our experience. We are definitely loyal American Airlines passengers, but this new "Cuddle Class" requirement has meant we've taken our business for trans-continental flights to another carrier that will allow Paddy to ride next to our seats. Paddy is truly a mellow dog and used to travel, but we feel awful that "Cuddle Class" stresses her out and also disturbs our fellow passengers.

Would love to hear if anyone else has a similar experience?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Get Your Dog Summer Ready - Tips for Exercise & Diet!

So even though "swimsuit season" isn't a thing for dogs, summer is a great time to get your dog into shape! Just like in humans things like sedentary lifestyle, over-eating, and getting old can all contribute to weight gain in dogs. And just like their human BFFs, losing that weight can be a little tough.

Fortunately, through exercise and eating right, you can help extend your dog's life expectancy by keeping them within weight guidelines for their breed. In addition to feeding your dog the right formula for them, thanks to JustRight by Purina, here are some tips on how to help your pup drop some pounds and get active together!

Do you exercise with your pup? What are your favorite ways to stay healthy?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Three Dog Bakery Ice Cream Biscuits!

Three Dog Bakery is known for the indulgent dog treats, and just in time for summer have introduced a new ice cream themed line of biscuits! While they offer tasty flavors like Rocky Road and Mint Carob Chip, the two that caught our eyes are their Cookie Dough Ice Cream and Neapolitan!

The Cookie Dough contains a mix of vanilla and cookie dough flavored wafers, while the Neapolitan includes carob, strawberry and vanilla! Yum!

Also, how cute is the packaging!?

Available now from the Three Dog Bakery website for $7.99 each.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Things We Love: BarkMade Bouquet Toy

This month's Barkbox brought us May flowers! We cannot get over HOW CUTE this dog-friendly flower bouquet is. Not only has the BarkMade Bouquet provided hours of fun for Paddy (she loved deconstructing it), but the individual flowers are perfect for indoor fetch.

While most of our flowers didn't last long (there have been some casualties), Paddy loved this toy so much we're definitely going to order a second bunch of flowers from the Barkbox store.

One set of flowers sells for $14 and includes four blooms wrapped up in a fabric newspaper.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

JustRight by Purina Discount Code!

Friends, you may have heard us talk about JustRight by Purina before. The leader in customizable dog food, JustRight offers personalized blends designed to meet the needs of your unique dog. Simply tell them about your dog's dietary requirements, preferences and activity level and JustRight will create the right mix for your dog and deliver it straight to your doorstep!

And now, to celebrate National Pet Week (this week!), JustRight has offered us a special code for Barkzilla readers of 20% off one order!* That's right - now is your chance to try JustRight! Simply use PADDY20 when checking out.

To get started and learn more about JustRight, visit their website. Don't forget, this code is only good through May 24th, 2015!

*Official T&Cs
Offer valid for 20% off one (1) order (up to $68.95) of Just Right® by Purina® through May 24, 2015. Valid on only. For full terms, visit

Disclaimer: We are part of the JustRight pet blogger network but were not compensated directly for this post. For more information, please view our Disclaimer page. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Guide for Dog Lovers

Do you know a #DogMom? Most likely you do! And while Mother's Day is traditionally only for those with human babies, who says the mother of your fur-baby doesn't deserve a little appreciate too? Check out some of our favorite picks for the dog mom in your life (or any mom who love dogs!).

For the Dog Mom Chef:

Hello Cupcake! Cookbook
This is one of our all time favorite cookbooks! Though I am not nearly talented enough to pull off most of these recipes, I love looking at the photos for inspiration. We also did try making the doggie cupcakes and they were much easier than you'd think! Available from Amazon for $11.48  (and with Prime shipping you'll have it easily in time for next Sunday!)

For the Social Media Savvy Dog Mom:

Mark & Graham Chelsea Dog Leashes & Collars
We've talked about how we're kind of obsessed with all things Mark & Graham. Our new favorite gift are their customizable dog leashes and collars. Why not stick your Dog Mom's favorite hashtag on there? (Or even #DogMom... or #Barkzilla, hehe.)

Available from Mark & Graham's website in a variety of colors and sizes starting in the $30 range for collars.

For the Fashionista Savvy Dog Mom:

Helen Ficalora Paw Charm 
The necklace I never take off is from Helen Ficalora. Over the years I've added charms around different milestones, and of course one of my most treasured is this simple 14K gold paw for Paddy. Available from Helen Ficalora's website starting at $105.

For the Hard to Shop for Dog Mom:

Barkbox Monthly Subscription
Each month we always look forward to getting our Barkbox! A curated box of toys and treats, we get so much joy out of Paddy's excitement and we know the Dog Mom in your life will probably be the same. Buy a gift voucher (can be delivered online or printed and put in a card), or even ship a gift box. A 3 month subscription starts at $72. Purchase directly from their website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I and Love and You's Free Range Bully Stix Reviewed

While on the smaller side, our local Whole Foods actually cares a pretty decent range of healthy options for your pup. As we all know, rawhide is a definite doggy no-no in our household. While most grocery stores stock lots of rawhide options, we were super psyched to discover Whole Foods carries "I and Love and You" free range bully stix. We were not super familiar with the brand, but after doing some research decided to pick up a bag on a recent grocery run.

Sourced from free range Brazilian cattle, "I and Love and You's" chews are high in protein and a good way to naturally support dental health (bye bye tartar). They're also easily digestible (which is why we choose bully stix over rawhide), and help promote healthy joints.

Chewing is my day job.
Paddy is a pretty hard core chewer, however these 6" treats will last her at least a few days. These resealable packs contain five chews, and retail for around $18 or $19 dollars (so that's like $3 and change per chew, WHICH is cheaper than our local fancy pet store's free range stix). We are super interested in checking out some of their other products and snacks, and will be keeping an eye out in for them in the future when we venture to the larger Whole Foods in the neighborhood next door.

For more information, check out "I and Love and You's" website or head to your local Whole Foods. Happy snacking!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mark & Graham Dog Travel Bed Review

Christmas in April? Sure, why not! A belated holiday gift for Paddington recently rolled up on our doorstep -- check out this lovely Mark & Graham travel bed from Paddy's cousins Daisy, Penny and Piper!

While not really a bed (think of it as a fold-able woolly blanket), it's perfect for packing on road trips. It is thick enough to provide comfort on a hard surface, but it's definitely more of a throw versus something padded. Made from natural sheep's wool, the outside is made from recycled hemp and organic cotton, and features handles for easy toting.

Perfect for on the road… or the couch. Paddy is a lounging pro!

Available online in two sizes (small and large), starting at $145. Like most Mark & Graham products, the beds can be personalized!

We have to say, so far we've been super impressed by all of Mark & Graham's pet products. Have you checked them out?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pet Earthquake Preparedness

Being new to the West Coast, earthquakes are DEFINITELY not something we had thought much about in the past. This past week we've felt two small quakes, which got us thinking about what our emergency preparedness plan is. Though it is highly unlikely (fingers crossed), that we'll ever need to use it, we're definitely updating Paddington's go-bag. (Side note: don't forget to regularly check your human emergency kit to make sure it's got fresh water, new batteries, etc. Some of that stuff expires!)

To ensure that you're pet-prepared for any emergency situations, check out this list from the ASPCA. They've got a great checklist of items you should put in your pup's emergency kit.

You can also purchase pre-made kits online- here are some examples of what's out there:

QuakeKare offers an Ultimate Deluxe Dog Survival Kit that contains enough supplies for up to to dogs. Included is emergency food, water, lighting, first-aid, sanitation and shelter supplies for your pet. Available online (and on sale) for $79.95.

The Mayday DogGone It Kit comes in a large bucket (which may be slightly less storage friendly, but having a big container could be helpful in an emergency!), and has a 5-year shelf life. It contains food, first-aid, and all of the supplies you'd need to help keep your dog safe and sound. Available online for $54.99 from Hayneedle.

This kit from contains a super impressive first-aid kit (75 pieces) and comes in sizes that are small, medium and large dog friendly. Though it includes less fun stuff to keep your dog entertained, we like it for being so straight-forward and just containing the essentials (important if you're on the move). Available online from their website for $54.99.

Stay safe and prepared!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hipster Dogs Rejoice!

Urban Outfitters is now the purveyor of a good number of products for the stylish, yet laid back, canine. While checking out their site, we recently stumbled upon a rather eclectic, and expensive, selection of products for the discerning dog. Though we haven't shopped at Urban Outfitters since our university years, we are definitely excited to see them branch out and curious to see whether they'll continue to expand their offerings.

Does your dog need a tent? Well, you're in luck! Urban Outfitters actually has several dog tent designs for you to choose from. While they will set you back almost two Benjamins - these American-made, handcrafted tents, come in a variety of fabrics, including denim.

Growler Goods Saguaro Dog Tent ($178)

Any camping inclined canine is going to need a coat - fortunately, Urban Outfitters also carries Billy Wolf jackets. Waterproof on one side, these reversible coats are available in several lumberjack friendly patterns. We're particularly partial to the Elliot which definitely screams "Americana."

Billy Wolf Camp Dog Coat ($70)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Earth Rated Lavender Bags - A Review

The other day while walking, we found ourselves trying to calculate just how many poop bags we've used over the last eight or so years. When you consider that each walk uses at least one, the number is staggering! Fortunately, the great folks at Earth Rated Products have a way to make picking up after your pup less stinky and also more environmentally friendly.

This past week they sent us some of their lovely lavender scented poop bags to check out. While we weren't sure if scented bags were going to make a difference, the jury is in: they definitely do! What's particularly nice about Earth Rated's lavender bags is that the scent is not over powering, it's subtle and just enough to cover any nasty smells without being too much.

In addition to smelling nice, Earth Rated's bags are also environmentally friendly - which, when you start thinking about how many bags a day you're using is actually very important. The corn-based bags are 100% non-plastic, and the inner rolls are made from recycled material. Even though the bags aren't plastic, they offer nice protection from the stuff you're picking up and don't feel like they're going to tear or break (seriously, one of our worst fears).

Interestingly, Paddy is also apparently a big fan of the lavender, and tried abscond with a box of bags before we could even open them! 

Earth Rated also sent us one of their bag holders which features a clasp that makes it much easier to get the dispenser on/off a leash (let's be real, Paddy has many leashes that she likes to show off). We haven't tried fitting their bags into our older holder yet, but from our eyeballing it looks like they should be compatible.

To buy your own Earth Rated scented or unscented bags and dispenser, visit their website to locate a store near you or online. A quick check on Amazon shows that their products eligible for Prime (yay!) and also are very reasonably priced: $6.99 for 120 bags, i.e. a two month supply if you use two bags a day.

Overall, we're now big fans of Earth Rated, not only are their products great but we love their mission statement and company ethos. And knowing how easy it is to restock (yay Amazon Prime), we will definitely be ordering up when our current supply runs out.

Disclaimer: We received samples from Earth Rated for the purpose of review. For more information on our review policy, please view our disclaimer page. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Smart Cookie Custom Dog Treats

Over the past year we've received lots of emails about personalized dog food blends that are tailored to your pooch's specific dietary needs. And now it looks like that trend is moving into the treat market! Smart Cookie, which is based out of Colorado, lets you choose the your pup's favorite protein, carb and fruit/veggie and combines them into handmade, freshly baked cookies. Made and sourced in the USA, and all of Smart Cookie's ingredients are human-grade, and include doggy favorites like salmon, flax seed, quinoa, green beans and blueberries. They contain no wheat, no corn, no soy, no by-products and are free of preservatives.

To get started, head to their website to get started customizing your dog's own custom treats. If you're feeling overwhelmed, they've also got some pre-created cookies to select from. Each 9oz box (roughly 50 treats) costs $10, which seems very reasonably priced to us.

Have you gotten on the custom dog food/treat band wagon?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Peeps Easter Dog Toys

This year Peeps has treats for your pup's Easter basket that won't break the bank!

While they're probably not the sturdiest of chew toys (Paddy would probably shred one of those poor bunnies in a hot second), these bunnies and chicks are pretty darn cute. Each toy is around 3-4" inches tall, and probably be most appropriate for small to medium sized dogs. And, at $2.99 each, they're the perfect basket stuffer.

If you've also got a kitty to Easter shop for, Peeps has rolled out a feline line of toys as well! Available from the Peeps website.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mark & Graham Chelsea Leash

Mark & Graham is fast becoming one of our favorite brands when it comes to chic, reasonably priced dog accessories. We got an email earlier this week introducing their Chelsea Leash, which comes in two sizes (small and large), and a variety of colors. Each leash can be monogrammed/personalized, and we are particularly partial to the like the idea of doing a hashtag… maybe #barkistas?

Crafted from woven jacquard webbing, these leashes also feature a detachable key-ring, which is SO SMART. While I'm sure other folks out there have figured away to tackle the house keys while walking thing… for us #thestruggleisreal. In an ideal world we'd buy this leash, get a second set of keys made, and never worry again about juggling keys or accidentally locking ourselves out when walking Paddy.

Obviously we are partial to the pink and green.

Available for purchase from Mark & Graham ($36 - small, $38 - large).

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An Interview with Cesar Millan, Star of Cesar 911

Big news!! We recently had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with dog behavioral expert Cesar Millan- yes, THE DOG WHISPERER. While we are huge fans of his shows, we have been DYING to ask him about how to try and solve some of Paddington's occasional problems. With the second season of Cesar's Nat Geo WILD show Cesar 911 premiers on Friday, February 27th, we were thrilled that Cesar could take some time to share his advice with us.

It's not something we often talk about on this blog, but Paddy is NOT a huge walker - we can be literally walking down the street and she'll stop in her tracks and refuse to move forward. We've tried bringing treats and all kinds of tricks, but once she stops... she's not going anywhere. Since we've also seen other small dogs do this while out, we asked Cesar for his advice as to what might be going on.

Question: Our dog while walking on a leash will sometimes stop in the middle of the sidewalk for no reason at all. We've tried to figure out why this happens (more often than not we're alone - there aren't any other people/cars/animals around), and would love some tips for making walking a more enjoyable experience for our dog. 

The first thing to look at is your dog’s body language when she freezes. Is she focused intently on something and alert? Then she has probably noticed something that you can’t see or hear — remember, a dog’s main sense organ is its nose, and they can detect dogs, people, or other animals that are too far away for you to see. If this is why she is freezing, then you should be able to easily redirect her attention and get her moving again.

However, if when she freezes she shows signs of fear, like hunched posture, tail between the legs, and shaking, then she has made some association with something in the area and a bad experience. It’s important when a dog freezes in fear to not try to force them to move forward but also to not try to comfort them with affection. Before you can rehabilitate the behavior, though, you will need to figure out what it is in the environment that is making her do this. Has she ever had a traumatic experience on the walk, for example?

Finally, if Paddy is showing neither alertness nor fear but still stops on the walk, have your vet check her out to see whether there are any physical issues causing the behavior.

Our second question actually was inspired by the fact we often tune into Cesar's show on Nat Geo WILD. While it's great that Paddy has amazing vision, she often will start barking when she spies another dog or animal on TV. Thus, we asked Cesar for some tips on how to discourage her from doing this and allow us to watch Cesar 911 in peace.

Question: Our dog will occasionally bark at the television. How do we get her to stop? 

Immediate correction when the behavior happens, and consistency in providing it. If your dog is showing an unwanted behavior, you have to give the correction every time, and you have to do it as soon as the dog starts the behavior. You also need to be aware of how the behavior developed. A lot of times, a dog will do something like bark at a cat on TV and, the first few times, the humans find it funny, so they’ll laugh and talk to the dog. Unfortunately, when you do this, you’re telling the dog, “Keep doing that,” until it becomes an annoying misbehavior. That’s why, when you start working to eliminate the behavior, you have to be consistent and patient, because now you’re trying to teach the dog to not do something that you originally taught it unintentionally.

Hopefully you found this advice as helpful as well. A huge, special thank you to Cesar for sharing his insight and tips! 

For even more great pieces of advice and amazing stories make sure to tune into Cesar 911 on Fridays at 9/8 Central. Nat Geo is also running a 2-hour special that was filed at the Palms Casino Resort as part of Cesar's world tour - Cesar Millan Viva Las Vegas!, which will be airing on Friday, February 20th at 9/8 Central.

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