23 December 2013

Choosing the Right Wee Wee Pads!

Ever purchase some wee-wee pads that don't do the job? I can't tell you how many brands I've tried. Some I've bought in bulk to discover that the pad itself is so thin that while I thought I was getting a good deal I'm actually spending more money because instead of putting one or two pads down I'm putting down five or six. I've actually watched brands that claim they are super absorbent and the urine just glides off. Nothing is more fun than lifting a pad to discover it being completely covered in urine on the bottom. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that the opposite plastic lining of these cheap pads actually adhere better to the liquid.

I have two Yorkies who stay home on their own about 8-10 hours a day. Let's face it this is the typical situation for anyone with an indoor dog. I can't afford a dog babysitter or dog walker, so I walk them in the morning when the weather is to their liking. That's another thing with little dogs, I cannot speak for all but mine for sure only step outside when it's above 60 degrees. Living in NJ, that's only about half the year!

I haven't been totally satisfied with my current pads, to be honest I secretly hate them. They are from a company that used to be great but they changed the way they made their pads and now it is super thin and barely quilted. What you see below is me usually piling on 5-6 pads to prevent a spill from underneath. The absorption factor is about zero. I actually saw my dog go on the pad and just watched it glide off. Not only is this annoying but expensive!

I decided to give out this new app that I've been using called Cinch. It's basically an app released by Klout that lets you tap into and ask other members advice. Advice ranges from anything between redecorating your home, gardening, furniture shopping, parenting or raising pets. So long story short, I posted a question on Cinch asking about what were the best wee wee pads. Within minutes another member had replied to my post and she suggested: Poo-Pee-Pads I went on the website and saw that you can actually call for some free samples and I did just that. Well in reality, I actually emailed first but that ended up speaking to the owner of the company. He was really sweet, a retired doctor, and help me identify just what type of pads I needed for the multiple dogs in my home. He sent me two samples which I am eager to tell you about! I actually loved these SO much that I've already placed an order with them.

This pad right here is called the quilted:
Quilted Our new line of quilted pads with extra absorbency and extra fill. Size 17x24 thru 23x36. Compare to national brands and save 25%-35%. Ideal for puppies and dogs up to 100 lbs. Starting at $44.99 for 200 pads – including delivery!

Now if you see closely (and I know it's kinda gross but...) that's an entire day worth of urine, and it didn't run! I know my dogs and I know Bebe peed three times and Jolie peed twice here, which is about correct. Super happy with this pad, it's also long so I didn't have to put down my usual two pads worth.
This pad right here is the elite super awesome pad that actually turned the urine into a gel! It's super fluffy and thick it almost feels like a baby blanket pad.
Premium Maximum absorption- up to 32 ounces these pads are manufactured with and unique gel that converts urine into a gel, eliminating leakage and urine odor for up to 12 hours. Most absorbent pad in the market and ideal for large breeds and those pets with medical issues with excessive or frequent urination.   Starting at $52.99 for 100 pads - including delivery! 

This pad was also after one day at home and here I see that Bebe peed three times and so did Jolie. Bebe is my bigger Yorkie, she's about 11 pounds and pees frequently and heavily. Jolie is my smaller Yorkie at only 4lbs who pees very little and not too often.
The prices of this company are incredible if you actually compare them to the PetSmart and Petco prices. Even the premium pads found on Amazon are usually about $40 per 80-100 pads. That usually doesn't include delivery! I am very satisfied with this company and so I've asked the owner to offer a small discount to my fur friends and their parents! He's agreed to give me $3.00 off by giving the code "prisky" at checkout. Please call them directly to receive the discount. Once again here's the link and their phone number is: 800.365.2839  

I seriously recommend these pads, the proof is in the pictures.

Please comment below with any questions you may have. Till our next blog post friends!

20 December 2013

Tips on Handling Shedding Fur While Staying Sane




www.catchfred.com
We certainly love our dogs, but anyone who says shedding is a lovable characteristic is probably fibbing. It is a well-known fact that certain dog breeds shed more than others; however, if the kind of dog we love leaves a trail of hair through the house, it is not likely to make us ship him or her
off to the pound. Instead, we must resign ourselves to the fact that we have to come up with a solution before we start pulling our own hair out. The following are some dog breeds that are notorious for shedding, and what some pet owners due to combat this problem:

Siberian Huskies were bred for endurance in extreme climates. They have a very soft inner coat and a dense outer coat, and at certain times can shed enough to make it appear as if you added a new area rug to your living room. Although a perfect children's dog and guardian-companion, the Great Pyrenees is another dog that is renowned for its extreme shedding, which occurs every six months.

The lovable pug is favored by dog owners throughout the world due to its comical and friendly personality. However, regardless of its small size, pugs shed each day and at the same rate year- round. Beagles are also known for their friendliness, but they shed profusely all year as well. Similar to the Siberian husky, they have a dual coat, and the two areas seem to shed at the same time. Retrievers, both Labradors and golden varieties, are also heavy shedders, but who is going to give up such a loyal and intelligent dog?

Unfortunately, nothing will prevent shedding, but grooming is key if you want to maintain a hair free home. Keep in mind that dogs shed their fur no matter what. For this reason, you should make every effort to remove as much hair as possible yourself. This is easily done through consistent brushing. The more loose hair you remove and place in the garbage can where it belongs, the less you will find scattered throughout your house when it falls out naturally.

Additional tips you can use to make life easier for you and your pooch include opting for carpeting rather than vinyl or hardwood flooring. Although this may seem counterproductive, carpeting attracts hair and more or less holds it in place until it can be vacuumed, whereas vinyl or hardwood flooring allows fur to easily waft through your house on the slightest breeze.

You also may wish to consider  leather or faux-leather furniture, as such pieces are much easier to clean than fabrics to which your dog's hair will cling. Additionally, sticky rollers, magnet pet hair removers, and damp sponges are your best friends with regard to eliminating fur. If you use such devices on a regular basis at odd times throughout the day, you'll have less sweeping and vacuuming to do all at once.
Finally, it is always in your best interest to keep your dog's hair trimmed as short as is appropriate for his or her breed. Talk to your groomer for other suggestions, and when you find those piles of hair, don't blame your pooch...blame mother nature.

This post was brought to you by guest blogger Melissa Turner from catchFred.com



About catchFred:
The Go-To Place for All Things Dogs. Dedicated to the health, happiness, and well-being of man’s best friend.


27 November 2013

NJ Represents My Dogs Perfectly!


This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things in my life. One of them is having two wonderful dogs and being able to take them out to places I frequent.

I'm a Jersey girl and happy to be one. There's all sorts of things to do in NJ. You can go to the beach, spend a weekend gambling at a casino, explore the amazing wildlife parks, visit a zoo or a botanical garden, ice skate, bowl, head to a theme park, climb a mountain to ski on, dare to jump out of a plain and sky dive, and much more. With every weekend pretty much planned with some new and exciting event I have searched high and low for dog friendly places. During the work week I have little time to spend with Bebe and Jolie. It's always a rush to leave the door to get to work on time, and than there's going to the gym, and sitting in rush hour traffic, and thinking about dinner, and than getting to bed on time. Bebe and Jolie don't have much play time during the week, so for me it's always been important to do at least one fun outing with them per week. It's important to give them exercise, fresh air, and for them to experience life outside of an apartment.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for being able to spend time with the people who I love and being able to create memories with them. Now, if your a devout pet lover like me, than you know very well that when I say "people" I'm including my fur babies.

Here are some that Bebe and Jolie have had this year, I hope you enjoy them!

Let's start by where you can take your pups to eat? Well around here unless there is outside seating bringing dogs inside is a no go. There are health code violations and fines if animals are in contact or inside premises of a place that serve food. Want to know how I know that? Well because I've tried several times to sneak in my pooch in my purse! Below are some shots of dog friendly restaurants in my area that let you bring your pups and sit in their outside seating area. Check these places out:
Vinhus Restaurant
Sitting outside of Vinhus Restaurant
Enjoying some water that the restaurant owner brought over.
 These shots below are from an Italian restaurant that has year round outside seating, if you and your pooch are bundled up in the winter, feel free to bring them along!


Just another day at the carwash! I recently found this gym of a carwash through a Groupon deal and I am so happy that I did. Not only is the staff excellent and my car looks like it just left the dealership when I bought it but they LOVE dogs! Below is Jolie sitting on their massage chair and than making friends with another customer waiting for her car. What fun!
Fairfield Hand Wash & Detail Center


Below are shots from probably the most random place you would think to bring the dogs to, Home Depot! This is the Totowa location and they are the sweetest. I've never been to a Home Depot with such friendly staff. Bebe and Jolie got so many pets and belly rubs that my shopping excursion of twenty minutes turned into one hour! I definitely wasn't complaining, it was fun to be able to take them out shopping. 
 How cute does little Jolie look in the "kiddie" shopping cart?
 
Every year I hear my friends and co-workers talking about taking their kids pumpkin picking. Well, I don't have kids and haven't jumped on the baby making band wagon just yet. So this year I called ahead and asked if it was ok if I brought my two small dogs to walk around and jump on the hayride. To my surprise they said YES! Below are some wonderful photos that I took at A. Casola Farms. There was a hayride, lots of walking, and pumpkin picking. After all was said and done we were exhausted. A really awesome day!

 Life's better on the beach, but it's even better if you can bring your dog and both be able to dig you paws into the sand! After googling dog beaches in NJ I packed my dogs in the car, put my shades on and headed south for some fun in the sun! The beaches I visited with my dogs was:
Fishermans Cove Conservation Area
I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream! There's an excellent place in Cranford called the Vanilla Bean Creamery. The owner, shown in the picture below allows you to sit with your pet outside year round. Now be sure to ask for a kiddie cup for your canine so you can both enjoy this homemade ice cream!
 What fun is shopping if you can't being your pocket sized friend in your oversized bag along with your Amex? Below was a shopping trip to the Mall at Short Hills turned photo shoot at Henri Bendel
The sales associate was a sweetheart and let my little Jolie test their dog travel kit. We left with great photos and a cashmere sweater. A fun day for her, a painful day to my wallet.
 Let's talk about taking a traditional walk in the park. Well, NJ is filled with awesome parks! The below photo is my absolute favorite park - Verona Park. The park is quite large and offers canoeing and fishing along with a playground. In the warmer months you can see newlyweds taking photos on the grounds. After a long day of walking with my dogs I popped into the lake house to get a popsicle, Jolie clearly wanted one as well...

 Dog events are always happening in NJ. The photo below was a dog run for Second Chance for Animals. Second Chance for Animals is a volunteer group based in Somerset, NJ. They currently assist the Franklin Township Animal shelter by helping to care for the animals and through fundraising and enrichment efforts. They assist the Shelter financially through fundraising activities and also provide assistance with adoptions, animal care, and fostering. It's so important to give back and help other dogs who are homeless or abandoned.
Bebe's birthday is in January, and more often than not it's usually freezing cold and with some snow out on the ground. This year I took her to our favorite dog boutique in Cranford, NJ. It's called Just 4 Pooches Bebe was originally wrapped in a blanket as we walked in the door but than I took it off to reveal her birthday dress! I was able to let her roam around and let her pick her birthday gift. She selected this adorable birthday cake squeaker toy. How appropriate!
Last but not least there are photos to be taken! There's a pretty awesome place in Roselle, NJ called The Barker Lounge and it's basically a doggie daycare, training, grooming, boarding and special events place! They have owner and pet functions like their "Howloween Costume Contest" party and their "Hauliday Party" This adorable photo below was obtained at their holiday party. Seriously the best looking Santa I've ever seen!

If you are ever in the area you should definitely visit these places? Need boarding, feel free to browse through the awesome providers from DogVacay. I've included a link for folk in the area, here.

I hope you enjoyed the blog post, please feel free to ask any questions below. Bebe and Jolie have traveled to lots and lots of places and we try to document each one on our Facebook page! Give us a like here!

22 November 2013

Coprophagy - Why Do Dogs Eat Their Poop and What To Do to Stop It?

My dog ate her poop, and she smeared it everywhere, and then she did it again and again. Bebe is slowly approaching her 11th birthday and she's started to eat her poop. This dog behavior is called coprophagy and it is gross! I've started researching the condition because I obviously want to make it stop at any cost. Turns out that in my research I found that this behavior is quite common; it is more common in puppies but can also happen to dogs later in their lives. For example, Bebe never consumed her feces as a puppy but here we are a decade into her life and she's chowing down on it.


Here Are Some of The Reasons That Dogs Actually Consume Their Own Feces:
1.       Dogs evolved from wolves, back than wolves survived from chowing down on human garbage and human excrement. So if we think about it, dogs eat anything that is laying around that may have nutritional value, including poop!
2.       Malabosorption - Not all coprophagy is normal or risk-free. Dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a form of a malabsorption syndrome may eat their feces in order to try to recover the nutrients that they didn’t absorb in their normal digestions. Coprophagy may develop in a dog that is eating a low quality diet, so if your dog is eating poop and you’re buying the cheapest chow in the store because it’s the one on sale and you have a coupon well perhaps you should try purchasing some higher quality food that has nutrition and nutrients in mind. I personally recommend Rotations Dog Food.
3.       Starvation - Dogs who are starving will also resort to eating their own feces, and yes that sounds gross but have you ever seen the movie 127 hours? Desperate times call for desperate measures!
4.       Habit – ever hear that dogs don’t like to soil their nests or where they lay their head to sleep? Well, for the pups that are crate trained it only takes a few times for an accident to happen. A dog may poop, eat the poop and eliminate the mess that was originally there. Have that happen a few times and poof! A habit is born. A very gross and stinky habit!
Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Poop?
Aside from an upset stomach and a gross tasting kiss and lick from dog to human, coprophagy does not seem to do any harm to most healthy and vaccinated pups.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Poop:
OK, so while the poop may not harm your pup, it’s definitely gross. It smells gross, looks gross, and tastes gross after a kiss from your fellow fur friend and oh yeah, I’m talking from experience. So let’s talk about what you can do to prevent this absolutely disgusting behavior.
  1. See no poop? Eat no poop! Make sure there is no poop laying around, clean up promptly after your pet releases themselves and if you take them outside make sure the grounds are clean!
  1. Firmly tug at leash and speak firm command when dog lures to smell or lick other animals poop. “No that is bad!” or “Leave It!” for example.
What About Taste Deterrents?
I’ve tried every deterrent under the sun. The ones available over the counter and the ones prescribed only by a vet. Bottom line is this, the ones over the counter just don’t work in my experience. My dog actually thought she was getting a treat with the hot sauce and the bitter apple taste deterrent. The problem that I faced with the commercial grade deterrents were that they did not have any effect on feces besides that of that particular dog. For me this was an issue since I have two dogs. I don’t want to feed one chemicals who is not eating her poop just because the other one will eat it. The commercially available taste deterrents that you can give to your dog that are available from your vet are For-bid™ and Deter™. Personally I’ve had wonderful results with the For-bid and really recommend it. Ask your vet if they carry it or contact the company directly to see which vet in your area carries it.
What NOT to Do
  1. Don’t rub your dog’s nose in the poop. I don’t even recommend this when dogs have accidents. Too much time passes and it is not an effective training method. Your dog may become scared of you and after you do this you’re  going to have to wash his/her face.  
  1. As it should go without saying, do not hit your dog, I know that this poop eating habit is unpleasant but please try the above mentioned tactics. Fixing and preventing the issue is far better than adding to it, hitting your dog, even if with a light tap of a newspaper may cause fear and aggression.
Summary
If your dog does eat poop and none of the above methods work, than you should definitely take your dog to the vet and rule out a more serious problem such as an absorption of nutrients problem, parasites, or issues with their pancreas. I hope this blog post helped you with your very stinky situation! Until the next...                                                                                 

31 July 2013

Choosing the Right Groomer

Changing groomers to me is like changing hair stylists. The anxiety, uncertainty, and stress that come along with it is something I could do without. I have recently moved and am sad to no longer be able to visit my dog's groomer of 5+ years. She was absolutely wonderful with my girls, was reasonably priced, and always made them look like superstar diva's leaving the hair salon. Think big bows and fluffed out paws!

I've recently been on the hunt for a good reputable groomer. I've decided that after I read enough reviews on Yelp and ask enough pet lovers in the area I will be able to find a fit for my pooches.
So far I've received three recommendations on groomers in my area. I will be visiting each one and posting an honest review of my experience, cost, customer service, and temperament of my dog before and after.


Here is the first grooming experience we had after our move!

The BEFORE photos:
The AFTER photos:

July 2013
Experience with the groomer #1:
My first new groomer try was with Punk Rock Puppies in Little Falls, NJ. I had communicated with the groomer online and via e-mail after my coworker had recommended her. They met while in line at some store and her pink paw jacket caught her attention. This caused me to go on Yelp to read some reviews, all of which were positive. On the surface and via e-mail the groomer seemed excellent and I was excited to try her out.

She offered a first time customer discount and combined it with a multiple dog discount bringing my grooming for both my dogs to just under $75. I was really pleased with the price.

Location:
There are a few spots in front of the shop and it is bright fuchsia pink, you can't miss it, well actually you can if you're a complete bimbo when it comes to driving like I am. Picture me singing my heart out to Britney Spears and bobbing my head so forcefully that after getting a headache I miss the bright pink paws, and so moving on...

Meeting the Groomer - First Impression

I was taken aback by the initial meet and greet. The groomer wasn't excited, or happy, or cheerful. She was just calm and expressionless and it was a shock to me because in the e-mails she seemed to be the opposite. The energy at the salon wasn't great, the workers didn't seem to be happy. I was hesitant leaving the dogs there for a groom but decided to drive away upon leaving them and giving the place a chance. When I picked up the dogs, I headed towards the back and was firmly told that "we usually don't let customer's back here so as to not upset the other dogs". She wasn't sweet about it, and I thought maybe a sign would work in this situation.

Quality of Cut

The cut on the dogs was good, nothing great. My little one had a bow in her hair and no bandana, while the bigger one had no bow and a bandana. Personally, I like bows on dogs that are females and bandanas on boy dogs. The area on their eyes wasn't cut properly, you're supposed to take a small cuticle scissor and cut around the eye. In addition their were eye boogers, I call them gookies, and that could have easily been removed with a Q-Tip. All in all, I wasn't pleased with the grooming, and I will not be returning.

August 2013
Experience with the groomer #2:

The BEFORE photos

The AFTER photos

My friend, who is also a Yorkie mommy, fitness junkie and blogger like myself recommended Pupcake Grooming in Caldwell, NJ. You can check out her blog which is awesome and has some really cool posts ranging from make-up, cooking recipes, dog tips, and fitness tips at JerseyGirlTalk This place is really small and doesn't have any reviews on Yelp, but my friend is obsessed with her dog just as much as I am so I took her advice and recommendation.

The groomer didn't offer a first time customer discount or a multiple dog discount unlike the first groomer. The price of each groom was $50, which I thought to be a little high. However, my friend did receive a 10% discount for recommending me so I thought that was nice. My total for two grooms came out to $107. There's also a sign right in the front encouraging tipping. I left $20.

Location:
This is a tiny location with a bone on the sign. You can park on the street, metered parking so make sure you have some quarters. The place is actually a barkery and grooming salon and it is very clean inside. I thought the white walls and super clean floor were important to mention, after all you don't want your dog getting washed in a place that needs a wash itself do you?

Meeting the Groomer - First Impression
There are two groomers, both young adult females - sweet and soft spoken. They were nice to me and the dogs. This place is a dog bakery and I was sad that they didn't gift two treats with my first groom.
I was hoping that they would!

Quality of Cut
The cut on the dogs was immaculate. The coat was so soft it felt like a newborn babies blanket. I could not stop petting my two dogs, and I'll tell you I'm sure they did not mind. I asked for a very SPECIFIC cut. Teddy bear paws on my bigger dog and a lion like face on my smaller dog. I requested Bebe's paws to be fluffed out and Jolie's eye's to be cut around as well as to cut her ears and have them tapered looking. ALL WAS DONE TO PERFECTION. My only complaint was that the bows were kind of flimsy and started to run later on in the day, but I will just bring in my own bows next time. I was really satisfied with the groom. I was very pleased with this grooming experience, just wish it was a little cheaper, but I intend on returning.









25 June 2013

Pupcakes & Pawstries - Barkery and Shoppe in Lyons, NJ

Hello everyone,

As you know I love finding interesting and unique dog shops around the tri-state area. A few weeks ago, I was with my boyfriend at the VA Medical Center in Lyons, NJ and after his appointment we decided to venture out into the city. The city itself is very cute and filled with some shops and eateries. We stumbled across this place which I immediately had to stop and go in. I saw the name and was giddy to see what was inside.

This is a really cute dog barkery and store. It's big and has a lot of pretty things to chose from along with healthy and organic food. The owners, Paul and Belinda make the treats which are all very cute.

Specifically what caught my eye was a bucket system they had where you can fill up your pail with treats, and you get to keep it!

For my very fussy eaters, I chose the duck, chicken and lamb treats as pictured below. They are perfect for small and medium sized dogs. They can even be used for bigger dogs as training treats!

They package it up super nicely, I would say this would be a perfect gift for a dog celebrating their birthday or if you would like to gift a pail to a new dog owner!

Here are pictures of my little girls, Bebe and Jolie, munching on their treats from Pupcakes & Pawstries - they really enjoyed it! I have since than returned to pick up some more!

If you are in the New Jersey area, I highly recommend that you check this place out. It's family owned, everyone is REALLY sweet and they offer a cool checkout method where you get a digital receipt to your e-mail.

Check them out here:


11 February 2013

Merrick Dog Food - Power to the Paw!


Everywhere you look nowadays people are becoming more cautious and health conscious about what they eat - as they should. I'm excited to say that the same can be said about many dog food companies. I may not always read the labels on what I eat, but when it comes to my furbabies, I read the labels and I have my phone in hand to research any ingredient I don't recognize just so that I am aware of what it is. But guess what? If I cannot pronounce it and haven't heard of it, I'm not feeding it to my dogs, would you?

For Christmas I purchased a Merrick Holiday Sausage food sampler from our local pet boutique. I had heard of Merrick's product before. I always stop and smile with the names that they give their food. Instead of the usual chicken and rice, or veal titles, Merrick comes up with some awesome names for their yummy recipes. Some of the names include:

  • Gameday Tailgate (How appropriate for football season!)
  • Thanksgiving Day Dinner
  • Grammy's Pot Pie
  • Smothered Comfort
  • Cowboy Cookout


Now something can have a great name but not taste great but my dogs LOVE Merrick pet food! What's not to love about whole foods from local growers that is part of a balanced nutrition?


My dogs are allergic to corn so I'm always on the lookout for good food for them that will provide nutrition but that also tastes good and doesn't sit in the bowl for too long. Merrick Pet Food has NO corn, wheat, soy, gluten, or GMO's! Their food is high in proteins, omega 3s and 6s, glucosamine, antioxidants and chodroitin. It's a pet food revolution and I am happy to have stumbled upon their products at my local pet store. Merrick has 5 key promises that their recipes are built off of. These include:
  1. LOCAL GROWERS, regional, farm fresh ingredients
  2. REAL WHOLE FOODS, pure, nutritious, and delicious
  3. FROM THEIR KITCHEN TO YOURS, cooking and quality under one roof
  4. BALANCED NUTRITION, higher in quality protein
  5. HEALTH YOU CAN SEE, proof that you are what you eat
Merrick uses no ingredients from China, which if you're in the news last year there were several recalls for pet food processed in China that resulted in deaths of many animals. SCARY.

Merrick uses no generic fat sources and no meat by-products. A special bonus? You can read, pronounce, and understand their ingredient list. What does this mean? It means I trust it to feed it to my dogs. Plain and simple.



Food for your pet should be nutritious and act as a fuel, not a filler. I challenge you to go and grab your pets bag of dog food and read the first two ingredients, one is a corn filler isn't it?
Merrick's dry recipes lead with 60-70% meat, poultry and fish ingredients. As it should!


You can expect Merrick's 100% Health Promise by switching your pets food.

  1. 60:20:20 balance = whole health
  2. 70:30 no grain = allergen control
  3. Omega 6 +3 = healthy skin and coat
  4. Antioxidants = digestive health
  5. Glucosamine/Chondroitin = healthy bones and joints

Give Merrick a try, their 100% health promise means that if you and your pet aren't completely satisfied you get your money back!

I urge you to visit this amazing company:

Also take a look at where you can find Merrick by you by clicking here

Till the next blog post fur friends!
Wags and wet nose kisses,
Priscilla, Bebe, and Jolie