Sunday, January 25, 2015

PetSmile Pet Toothpaste Review


So far, we've been doing well with our NYE Resolution to brush Paddy's teeth at least three times a week. While we've been liking the Arm & Hammer Pet Dental Wipes we reviewed previously, we get the sense they're best for in-between more thorough cleanings. To get to the teeth in the back of Paddy's mouth, you also have to stick your finger pretty far back, which is neither a pleasant a experience for me or her.


Fortunately, the folks at PetSmile sent us a sample of their Professional Pet Toothpaste and Pet Toothpaste Applicators to test out and we loved them both!

So, how does PetSmile's toothpaste work? It contains Calprox, which helps to remove the thin laye rod protein buildup on your pet's teeth onto which stains and bacteria adhere. Removing said bacteria helps to keep your pup's mouth bacteria free, leaving it smelling fresher, looking cleaner and hopefully more plaque free.


Paddy really liked the flavor of this toothpaste (beef), which made it a lot easier to even start the cleaning process. The Toothbrush Applicators are also a GAME CHANGER. Not only can you really polish each tooth and get in-between the nooks and cranes of your dog's teeth, but you can also get to those hard to reach spots in the back. Using one hand to gently open her mouth, we could reach the teeth all the way in the back that hardly ever see the light of day! What's even better is the applicators are disposable, so no cleaning out/drying a toothbrush. It literally took us less than 5 minutes to do her full mouth.

The PetSmile Toothbrush Applicators are sold in packs of 50 from their website for $9, while the toothpaste (4.5oz) retails for $25. Though it's on the pricier side, if Paddy is a fan and it makes taking care of her teeth easier, we're down - especially when considering the costs associated with bad doggy dental hygiene.



Disclaimer: We received samples of both of the mentioned products for the purpose of review. For more details about our review policy, please view our disclaimer

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mark & Graham Doggy "Business Bags"

Every dog owner has one. Yep. I'm talking about the iconic bone-shaped bag holder. You've probably got one hanging off of your leash, right?



While we've had ours forever (and are oddly, somewhat attached), two things:

One: We frequently drop it on the floor, which I'm pretty sure our downstairs neighbors hate (sorry...)
Two: It's really not the most chic way to tote your bags.... preferably we'd like one that is a little more subtle about its purpose

Fortunately, for the discerning canine and owner duo, Mark & Graham have an introduced a stylish alternative. Their "Business Bag" is crafted from Italian leather and comes in a variety of colors (our favorite is the orange!). Smaller than a medium Milkbone, it easily clips on and off your leash and can be monogrammed (yay!). While it's a little pricier than the plastic alternative ($39), can you really put a price on style? Well... I guess you can, but we think the cost is worth it :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Arm & Hammer Pet Care Dental Wipes

New year, new resolutions!

As you may remember, we decided to make 2015 our year of dental care. While Paddy has excellent teeth for a small dog of her age, we're 100% committed to keeping it that way. It's no secret that small dogs often require more dental care, and bad dental hygiene can lead to tooth, gum and other health problems. Sooo....


While we're lucky that Paddy pretty much will tolerate a doggy toothbrush, of late we've been loving the Arm & Hammer Dental Wipes we mentioned previously.

  • The sheets are the perfect size for wrapping around a finger, and they're just the right size for a small mouth (it doesn't feel wasteful to use a sheet each time). That said, for bigger dogs you may need to use two. 
  • These wipes don't break the bank - a container of 30 is available on Amazon for $7.99 (and qualifies for Prime shipping!)
  • The wipes do not have a strong smell or leave a noticeable residue

Cleaning Paddy's teeth with these disposable towels is super easy: we literally just wrap it around a finger and go to work, gently rubbing her gums and making sure to give each tooth a quick polish. Don't forget that even though you may not see them all the time, your dog has teeth all the way in the back of their mouth too!



Paddy seems to like the wipes more than the toothbrush, and they are definitely much more convenient, making it easier for us to clean her teeth every 2-3 days. She also doesn't appear to mind the taste which is a good thing!

We're definitely planning on testing out some of the other oral hygiene products on the market this year, so keep your eyes on our blog for the latest and greatest for keeping your dog's smile beautiful! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Petcube Unboxing and Review!

Happy New Year!


Hope you and your family all had a wonderful holiday season!

We spent Christmas in California, which while not snowy and cozy was delightfully warm and sunny.  And while there were lots of presents for Paddy under the tree.... this year's big ticket item was our Petcube (see our pre-review here)! Yes, it finally arrived!

Here's a shot of the package - it's super sleek looking:


Setup was very easy. There is a quick start guide that will walk you through connecting your camera to your home wi-fi network and downloading the app on your phone. You do not need to be connected to wi-fi to access the camera through your smart phone - as long as you have data, you can load the camera.





Size-wise, the camera is not too big/not too small. We have it on a bookshelf across from Paddy's bed so we can keep an eye on her when we're not at home. (Excuse the weird screenshot... but wanted to have some human legs in there for scale! It's also a little dark because the room was dark, it's not the camera.) The sound quality is pretty solid, both from the perspective of what the camera picks up and what it broadcasts. It would be nice to be able to control the speaker volume on the cube though.


The laser pointer, while a cool feature, is not of much interest to Paddy, so we don't expect to use it. That said, it is cool how the laser is operated/guided by the touch screen on your smart phone. We played with it, and the laser is super responsive without much delay (at least when you're on the same wi-fi network).

This is the left hand menu that window-shades when you're dialed into your camera:

Ahh, a much better shot! As you can see the picture is nice and clear/crisp with good lighting. No zoom or pan, so you need to position it exactly where you want it to be.

One big piece of feedback: it would be great if you could setup permissions when sharing access to your Petcube to friends/family/others. For example, while we might want to let our friends turn on the camera, we don't want them to have the ability to play with the laser or the sound. This level of granular permissions may exist, but we are hesitant to share access to our camera without knowing this first.

There are some additional social network/content sharing features that we haven't checked out yet, but it looks like Petcube is trying to build a community for their users which sounds neat.

Overall, we are super in love and happy with our investment! This is a completely finished product that is easy to setup/use, and does exactly what we wanted it to! 

Features we love: 
- Ease of setup and app use
- Two way audio
- Taking photos from the video is really intuitive (literally just double tap the screen)

The Petcube ($199) is available for purchase from their website, and it looks like they'll be rolling out some new products this spring.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a pet camera?

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Resolutions - 2015!

Does this dog look motivated for 2015? 
'tis that time of year again… time to start writing down those resolutions!

2015 is going to be the year of doggy dental hygiene here in our home. While Paddy has very good teeth for a dog of her age, we've decided to get really focused on preventative care. Fortunately for us, she doesn't mind having her teeth brushed - if anything it's really just getting in the habit of doing it 2-3x's a week.

While we do still use a pet toothbrush, we've lately switched over to the Arm & Hammer Dental Wipes for quick in-between cleans. They're nice and small, and you can easily wrap them around a finger.

Our second resolution is to be more vigilant about what we're feeding Paddy. Over the past year we've spent a lot of time looking at ingredient lists and the origins of her treats, and it's kind of scary. We're also not convinced that one-size fits all when it comes to dog food, which is why we've added a custom blend from Purina's JustRight brand to Paddy's diet. Not only do we love the transparency into the ingredients and where it's made, but we also love that we can customize her blend based on her activity level and needs. We're part of their pet blogger program, and really appreciate all of the info they've provided us with about the importance of a healthy diet for your dog or cat.

What are your pet's 2015 pet resolutions?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Plush Luxe Pet Beds

So, how much is too much to spend on a bed for your furry friend? 


We ask this question, because we've got our eye on this super luxe pet bed from Plush. What makes their pet beds different is the "nestable" pillow surface inside that allows Fido to snuggle and adjust everything to his/her liking. (We've all seen our dog do that weird digging/turning/circle thing before settling down for a nap, right?)

Ringing up at $132.95 for the small, it's somewhat of an investment, but we kind of secretly know that Paddy would love it... and we are particularly enamored with the Madeleine, with its sophisticated (but girly) combo of pink and grey.


That said, Paddy has kind of a similar setup now - though by no means as glamorous, which probably cost us less than $20 which seems to be just fine.


I guess our little pup can keep dreaming :)

How much have you spent on your dog's bed? What is the most you would fork out? 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Royal Canin Holiday Pet Food Drive

One of the best parts of the holiday season is that there are so many opportunities to give back! Royal Canin and Banfield Charitable Trust have joined together to help feed hungry pets with their 9th annual holiday pet food drive. From now through December 24th, there are two ways you can participate:

#1: Post on our Social Channels
Share a snapshots of a pet on Royal Canin's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/royalcanin), Twitter @RoyalCanin or Instagram @RoyalCainUS. For each submission, 20 pounds of food will be donated and participants are automatically entered to win a one of twelve prizes from Royal Canin all month long.

#2: Donate through Banfield Charitable Trust/Hospitals
Visit www.banfieldcharitabletrust.org or one of the 870+ Banfield Pet Hospitals to make a food or financial donation to the Meals on Wheels pet food programs. For each monetary donation of $10 or more, KONG® will donate a toy to the pet of a Meals on Wheels client.

Royal Canin is committed to making a 60,000-pound pet food donation this year, so start posting/tweeting/snapping those pics!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dog Gift Guide 2014

Stumped on what to get the very deserving pup in your life? Check out Paddy's 2014 holiday wish list for a little inspiration! At this rate, she's going to need a bigger stocking….

For the four-legged foodie: Peppermint Bark Biscuits from Bocce's Bakery


What could be more delicious than a bag of biscuits from Bocce's Bakery? Featuring all of the wholesome ingredients they're known for, and made in small batches, these treats notes of apples, cranberries and of course, peppermint! $9.50 for a bag, $15.50 for a tin, available from Bocce's Bakery's website. 



The name really says it all. This ultra luxury pet bench features a super soft and fluffy cushion for optimal napping and lounging. $2,975, available from MacKenzie and Childs website



Available in delightful scents like Lavender and Chamomile and "Happy Jasmine," this set contains everything you need to create a day at the spa for the pampered pet in your life. Includes Shampoo/Conditioner, an aromatherapy candle, and an in-between bath spray. Available in a variety of scent sets ($39), and as individual products from PupLife.com

For the technology hound: FitBark Fitness and Activity Tracker


While it doesn't include a GPS, FitBark is a FitBit for your pet. Track and monitor your pup's fitness and activity, measure their progress and behavior against other similar dogs, and get real-time updates sent to your phone via their mobile app. While it has yet to hit shelves, you can pre-order yours now from FitBark's website for $99


For the playful pooch: Walter the Rabbit



There are very few toys in the Barkzilla residence that have stuck around for more than a few weeks. Walter the Rabbit is one of the much loved. Though he has since lost his squeaker, his seams have held up during many hours of tug of war and fetch. Walter and his friends are available for $19.99 from Barker and Meowsky.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pet Travel Tips 2014

This is how we roll: Sleepypod Air and Found My Dog Leash

It seems like more and more dogs are flying the friendly skies these days! Paddy is now officially a member of the canine jet-set and done the cross-country trip twice! Traveling with your pooch for the first time can be a bit harrowing, so we thought we'd share a few tips in the hopes that they'll be helpful for others.

- An airline friendly, comfy carrier is a must. We absolutely swear by our Sleepypod Air (you can find our review here). Not only does it provide excellent ventilation and visibility, but it also comfortably fits under the seat in front of you, even if you're stuck in a middle seat (sighhh). Because Paddy is only around 6.5 lbs, there is also ample room for her to move, stretch and sprawl. The Sleepypod also comfortably fits over the handle of a rolling suitcase, which is extra handy when you're juggling tickets, bags and an ID at the airport.

- Lookup your airport's pet relief areas in advance. We went all 1990's and even printed them out. Seriously, so clutch.

Lookup your airline's pet restrictions/rules/regulations. Fact: if you are flying first class on planes with lie-flat seats, your dog CANNOT sit next to you. This may cause both you and your pup anxiety… thus it's a good idea to check this out in advance.

- Make a reservation for your pet. Most airlines require you to call in advance and make a reservation for your pet as there is a limit to the number of animals allowed in the cabin.

- Treats. We selected some of Paddy's favorites to keep her happy on the journey, just make sure to choose something that does not create a huge mess, or generate a lot of thirst.

- Hydrate. While guzzling water before a 6 hour flight is probably not a great idea, make sure to pack a little travel bowl to help keep your pup comfortable.

Wipes, extra bags, etc. We filled a giant ziplock with extras/backups of things that we may need in case we got delayed. Keep it in your carry on bag.

- Toys and Blanket. The floor of the plane can sometimes get a bit cool, especially if the plane is blasting AC. We packed a little hoodie for Paddy along with one of her favorite blankets, as well as her toy bunny (which she used as a pillow, no joke). Things that smell nice and familiar can be soothing :)

And finally, it never hurts to talk to your vet. If you are nervous about your dog traveling for the first time, or know that they're not fans of the road, your vet may be able to help prescribe something to keep them calm.

How often do you hit the road with your pooch?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fruitables Snowflake Dog Treats & Cloudstar Gingerbread Men!

Nom. It's holiday treat time!

Two of our favorite brands have introduced limited edition special treats to spoil that nice (or naughty) pooch in your life.


We have to admit, we're fascinated by these Vanilla Snowflake Treats from Fruitables. Made with REAL snowflakes from the Rockies, each pouch contains over 300 "sustainably harvested" (haha) snowflakes. Combined with pumpkin granola and yogurt, each crunchy treat has only 9 calories making it a more sensible indulgence.

Here are the folks at Fruitables harvesting their snowflakes!

Fruitables Snowflake Dog Treats from Fruitables on Vimeo.

This season, the folks over at Cloudstar have added Gingerbread as a flavor to their popular Buddy Biscuit line. Available in XXL gingerbread man biscuits, soft & chewy and regular crunchy, Buddy Biscuits are made in the USA and are corn free. We are particularly partial to the giant gingerbread man, which in our opinion would make for an excellent stocking stuffer. 



All treats featured are available from your local pet stores and online from sites like Amazon.com. Does your dog have any favorite holiday treats? 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bocce's Bakery Introduces Sunday Roast Biscuits!

Even though it's not exactly sweater weather in California, we're dreaming of Sundays spent by the fire, cozy knit scarves and the smell of wet leaves. Sigh.


NYC-based Bocce's Bakery's new Sunday Roast biscuits makes us think of all of those things. (It also makes us really miss New York, *sniff*.) These all-natural organic biscuits include 100% USA roasted chicken, fresh rosemary, and carrots in one tasty bone-shaped treat.

Paddy is a huge fan of all of the treats from the Bocce's Bakery line, and we can't wait to get our paws on a bag of these yummies.

Available in 5oz bags ($9.50) or 8oz biscuit tins ($15.50) from the Bocce's Bakery website.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Henri Bendel Dog for Fall 2014

While we're no longer just a quick cab ride away from one of our favorite NYC shops, that doesn't mean we can't window show Henri Bendel online. It's been a while since they've updated their canine line, but it looks like they've made a few additions for fall. Check it out:


Fall showers got you down? Brighten up a rainy day with these adorable City Slicker Packable Rain Coat that packs away into a convenient little zipped pouch. Love the polka dots and stripes! With a zippable little pouch on the back when it's opened up, this coat is functional and fashionable. Too bad it doesn't ever rain here in California…


Perfect for making each meal a fancy affair, this ceramic dog-bone shaped bowl can also double as a treat dish/container. 



And why not ensure that all of your pooch's accessories match by picking up the Sleeping in Stripes dog bed. Featuring Henri Bendel's iconic stripes on one side (and dark brown fabric on the other), it's the right size for a small to medium pup. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

TailMix Grilled Sirloin Burgers - A Review

It is very rare in this household that we finish a bag of treats. It's not that we want to be wasteful (in fact, we often end up sharing the leftovers with our other canine pals), but what it comes down to is our Morkie is a super fussy eater. (My husband claims she gets this from me…. that is up for debate)

However, the ONE treat that never goes turned down are TailMix's Grilled Sirloin Burgers. Grain and gluten free, these treats are basically freeze dried little patties of USDA certified hormone free ground beef sirloin from Washington state. Made in the USA, you can serve them as is, crumble them on top of your pup's food or even rehydrate for a softer texture.

While Paddy is a big fan of the flavor (I swear she can hear the bag open from across the apartment), we love the transparency into what is in these treats. They're also the perfect size for special rewards (a little bit bigger than a quarter, but smaller than a half dollar). We were going to try and take a photo of Paddy with said treat to provide a sense of size… but she was overwhelmed by the deliciousness before we could snap a pic.

Available from national pet stores and online from Chewy.com. One bag lasts us about a month and a half.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kickstarter: Schnuzzle


Kickstarter is one of our favorite things, and we can always rely on it to deliver products we didn't even know we needed to our inbox. Recently, we got pinged about a new project out of Australia called Schnuzzle. Instead of rewarding your pets with treats, pets playing with Schnuzzle get a burst of delicious dog-friendly scent. While we're on the fence about whether this is actually as satisfying as the folks at Schnuzzle suggest…. we like the concept and the way the Schnuzzle looks.



While the project is being driven out of Australia, there is free-shipping for all those backers based in the USA. We also are big fans of the fact that all parts are being made in Australia or the USA. Head over to Kickstarter and check it out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Just Right by Purina


We were recently invited to blog about the latest innovation in pet nutrition from Purina. Introducing, Just Right by Purina - a personalized dog food that combines an owners' first-hand knowledge of their dog and Purina's nutrition research to create the perfect blend to meet your dog's needs. Using information gleaned from specific questions about your dog's age, activity level, health, and body condition, Just Right by Purina then delivers your pooch's custom kibble straight to your front door.

For those pets that have grain or protein sensitivities, owners can also note this- taking the guess work out of what really byproducts could be going into your dog's food.



So, how does it work? It's super simple - head over to JustRightPetFood.com and create a profile for your pet. Next, answer questions about your dog to create your personalized blend, and voila! If you have any questions, Just Right by Purina has live experts on hand via online, chat or email to help.

As a pet parent who pays close attention to what her pup eats, I personally love the idea of knowing what -exactly- is in Paddy's kibble. We love that Paddy's specific needs can also be taken into account, and you can customize each order if necessary (ex. in winter we fight dry skin more frequently). Also, did we mention that all Just Right by Purina custom blends are made in the USA? Yup- in Iowa!


Starting at $24.99 for a 6lb bag (which is on par with the cost of most high-end dry dog food), shipping is included and owners can setup auto-fulfillment.

We are definitely looking forward to checking this out in more detail (as of now I'm traveling on the road for work a lot, so we're not going to mess with Paddy's current diet). What do you think? Is a custom blend of dog food something you'd do for your pup? 

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