kinds of drugs and its side effects

Contest: Win the world’s cutest pet carrier!

I don’t usually do product reviews. They tend to involve food that Frankie can’t eat, because he’s diabetic, and toys that Frankie won’t play with because… well, he’s part terrier. Ask him why he’s a refusenik.

But when I was approached to try the Mommy Bus, I was at first confused — was I being mistaken for a mommy blogger? — and then, after checking out the product, charmed.

In case the picture doesn’t make it obvious, the Mommy Bus is a pet carrier in the shape of a passenger vehicle. The side pockets and the wheels are both zip compartments. The side and front windows are mesh that your pet can breathe through.

Note that I use the word “pet” instead of dog because it’s the perfect size for a cat and, in one picture, the website shows a cat inside. I do wonder how the mesh would hold up to cat claws.

But what finally convinced me that I needed a Mommy Bus for Frankie was the video.

The song was really catchy.  The dogs were adorable. The women — mother and daughter? — and pups all looked like they were having a blast.

And best of all, the video promotes car safety. The Mommy Bus was placed in the back of the car and secured with a seatbelt every time.

I was sold. Read More »

Posted in Pet Products | Tagged , , | 90 Comments

The Dog Poop Chronicles: A Tale of Personal Growth & Waste Disposal

Lately, I’ve had poop on the brain.

That’s not uncommon, metaphorically speaking. My mind is often filled with waste matter. But my preoccupation with actual dog doo began with a couple of recent posts about faux feces products on Doggiestylish.com: The Pooping Dachshund Game and Dog Poo Christmas Decorations.

Then on Saturday night, an Animal Planet show on unique pet products had a segment devoted to the Powerloo dog waste disposal system.

If I had $1000 plus the plumber’s installation fee to spare, I would get one of these.

Why? Because I try to be eco-conscious and realized, after reading about the Powerloo’s benefits, that I’m a serial offal offender.

Here’s what the Environmental Protection Agency says about the dangers of pet waste: Read More »

Posted in Pet Products | Tagged , , , , , , | 40 Comments

And the Winners Are…

Zack N Boo's Kitchen

First — drum roll — the winner of a selection of all natural gourmet dog treats from Zack N Boo’s Kitchen, my contribution to the Holiday Hop for Pets Giveaway. There were so many deserving entries that I was glad I could leave the choice up to the random wisdom of the universe, in the form of Random.org. It decided on comment #29, submitted by Emily S., who wrote, “My dogs, especially the old ones, deserve these treats because they give so much love to the residents at my mom’s nursing home.” Geriatric pups that bring  joy to nursing home residents? How much more deserving can you get?

Well, maybe not more, but other dogs — and their owners — were equally deserving. There’s Clare, my best friend, whose Archie is not long for this world (and who may just get those treats anyway); Trisha, whose dog Dottie lost her buddy, Frieda, and who “is still mourning the hole in her heart and mine”; and, on a more upbeat note, Steve of The Gangs of New Yorkie, the self-described founder of the RTS (Restless Tail Syndrome) support group and the site’s Chief Barking Officer.

All the others who believed their dogs deserved treats because they worked hard, were loyal, wonderful, obedient, adorable, voracious and nondiscriminating… Winners too, to share their lives with such peachy pooches.

And here I am,  reading these witty, touching, sweet and heartfelt tributes… thankful to be part of this winning community.

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5 Ways to Save on Online Dog Purchases

John and Paris and pals

I know Paris Permenter and John Bigley from a past life — no, not the woo woo kind, but the one where I earned my living primarily as a travel writer. Not only are they a great resource for whatever topic and destination they set their minds to (romance! Texas!) but they are also two of the nicest people you could hope to meet, and not in a nauseating way.

So I was very pleased to encounter them again in the dog community, as publishers of the excellent DogTipper.com site. And when I learned that they had written a book that helps dog owners save money, I jumped on it, asking if they’d share a few tips from it on my blog.

I knew they wouldn’t refuse because, as I mentioned, they’re really, really nice.

Without further ado…

***

Whether you’re shopping for holiday goodies or everyday necessities for your dog, online shopping can save both time and money. Instead of spending hours at mall shops or pet specialty stores, letting your (mouse) finger do the walking can realize real savings.

Search price aggregators

Sites like www.pricegrabber.com will do your comparison shopping to help you find the best bargains (and far more quickly than searching on your own). A quick search of this site found over 15,000 dog bed listings, nearly 400 listings for dog bones, and plenty of other pet goodies. Other popular deal aggregators include www.dealslist.com and dealnews.com.

Sign up for rebate programs

Several online programs offer you a percentage rebate for each purchase, and many of these programs feature numerous pet supply stores. For example, MrRebates.com presently offers over 2,000 cash back online stores including PETCO, 1800PetMeds.com, Dog.com, and more. The day we checked, rebates ranged up to 12 percent. Similarly, www.Ebates.com offers over 1,200 online shops (pet-related shops are located under the “Home and Garden” category), offering coupons as well as cash back refunds. Read More »

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Win a Pastry Chef’s Gourmet Dog Treats

As some of you know, I write about food as well as about dogs (though rarely about dog food, because Frankie is diabetic). I’m the Contributing Dining Editor for Tucson Guide and have written food and spirits stories for publications that include Sunset and National Geographic Traveler.

Photo by Scott Rich @ScottRichPics.com

All this to say, I get to hobnob with some terrific local chefs.

So one day I was talking to one of my favorites,  Janos Wilder, and bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t find a good dog sitter. “My pastry chef, Linda Zubel, has gone into the dog sitting business,” Wilder told me. “Why don’t you try her?”

I did. And she was great. She kept in touch with me as much as I could have wanted her to —  a lot — and even managed to outwit Frankie in stubborn terrier mode: When he turned up his nose at breakfast, she got down on the floor and pretended to eat out of his bowl. That got his competitive mojo going.

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that an animal lover who worked for a James Beard- award winning chef should also turn her hand to creating taste temptations for the furred: Zack N Boo’s Kitchen: All Natural Gourmet Pet Treats.

Photo by Scott Rich @ScottRichPics.com

There are four different types of dog treats:

  • “Zack-O-Lantern” Pumpkin treats (pumpkin is healthy for dogs: see Of Pumpkins and Pooches)
  • “More Peanuts, Honey,” Peanut butter treats
  • “Luck-o-the-Irish Setter,” Potato/sweet potato treats
  • “How’s the Liver, Spot?” Beef liver treats

(Pastry! Dogs! Puns! This is a woman after my own heart.)

Linda also makes cat chews but we won’t discuss those here.

What we will discuss is the fact that she has agreed to put together a sampler pack of dog treats — all four yummy varieties — for one lucky contest winner.

Entering is easy. Just tell me in the comments section why your dog deserves these treats. The contest runs from one minute after midnight EST November 18 to 11:59 p.m. EST November 25. The winner — everyone over 18 in the U.S. and Canada is eligible — will be chosen at random. I’ll make the announcement on November 29. Winners will have three days to respond to the notice that they’ve won; after that, it’s on to the next person that the random machine chooses.

And as the logo on the top of this post indicates, I’m not the only one doing a giveaway. All the bloggers listed below are running contests too. So hop around. Enter to win stuff. How awesome is that?

Posted in Pet Products | Tagged , , , | 56 Comments

And the winner of the SleepyPod Air is…

This was tough. It was really, really tough. The abundance of wonderfulness of the entries was such that my co-sponsor, Mary-Alice Pomputius of DogJaunt.com, and I were extremely conflicted.

But in the end, there was one contender that stood out not only for cuteness, and not only for technical skill — both of which it had, in spades — but also for the effort spent to create a website with an inspirational narrative. Here’s a picture of the winner:

Truffle has big dreams (and a fairly large toy bunny)

And here’s the link to the Truffle Wants a SleepyPod site.

The good news: The SleepyPod folks felt our pain and wanted to give the other contributors — as well as all those who have the good taste to read our blogs — the chance to get this great product (see the review here) at a 10% discount. Go to the “purchase” section of the  SleepyPod Air site and insert the following in the “Coupon Code” slot: FTC10. This discount is good until June 30.

And, not to intrude on YourDailyCute’s territory, but if you want an adorableness fix, check out the rest of the contest entries here. (If you’re really busy, make a beeline for the runner up, #15. But don’t tell anyone I revealed that secret information).

A big thanks to all who participated, even if you did cause us agita. Oh yes… and will the winner please send the information about the preferred color (sorry, no pink) as well as a mailing address to me or to Mary-Alice. We’ll be sure to forward it to the SleepyPod folks. (To be safe, I’d send the info to Mary-Alice. She already has a SleepyPod Air and Frankie has big dreams, too.)

Also posted in Pet Travel | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Contest: Sleepypod Air Giveaway!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I have not yet attempted to fly with Frankie. He’s not wild about vehicles with motors and he’s diabetic. Just thinking about dealing with his travel stress while having to go through airport security with his needles and Vetsulin, which requires an ice pack, makes me break out in a  cold sweat.

That said, I’ve long had a fixation with luggage. Even before I became a travel writer, I was obsessed with trying to find the lightest, sturdiest, most efficient vehicle for my belongings. That fixation hasn’t abated just because I travel less and because I have a travel averse dog. You never know.

That’s why I’m such an avid reader of Mary-Alice Pomputius’ blog, Dog Jaunt: Traveling with a Small Dog. The oh-so-thorough product reviews on her site satisfy my urges to explore every nuance of a travel item, from every possible angle, including from the perspective of Chloe, the titular small dog.

So when I had a chance to co-sponsor a contest to give away an item of luggage deemed by Dog Jaunt to be close to perfect, I couldn’t resist. Call it a vicarious thrill.  Or a channeling of my Jewish mother for a self-pity fest. (No, that’s okay, you go ahead and have a good time on your trip while I stay home and give my dog injections.)

Hey, why do you think I had to establish this site as a guilt-free zone?

But I digress. Here’s the review that Mary-Alice wrote about the Sleepypod Air pet carrier last week.

Photo by Sleepypod

And there was another thing besides the type and quality of the product that appealed to me about the contest: The rules that Mary-Alice devised for entering.  They involve sending in a picture of the pet toy you would carry with you in the Sleepypod Air. This is what I would bring for Frankie, were I allowed to enter the contest:

Frankie's squeaky carrot

And now I’m turning over this post over to Mary-Alice, who will explain everything you wanted to know about entering the contest in her usual precise detail.

How to Enter

This giveaway is being co-hosted by Dog Jaunt and Will My Dog Hate Me. Feel free to enter from either site! We will give away a Sleepypod Air pet carrier to one lucky reader. The winner will choose their favorite color.

To enter, send us a photo of your dog’s favorite toy or blankie — the one that you’d tuck into your dog’s carrier as you set off on a trip, because you know he loves it best. It can be filthy! It can be tattered! Chloe’s squeaky sheep would turn your stomach, but it’s her lovey and it keeps her company on every trip. If your picture includes both your dog’s favorite comfort toy and your dog, we’ll love it even more!

Using the form below, please send us a link to your photo. If your link is over 100 characters long, please shorten it with bit.ly or tinyURL before pasting it in. In the link title, please include your dog’s name (and if your dog’s toy is too mangled to recognize, a description of what the toy is!). Be sure to fill in your e-mail address so we can contact you if you win. Your e-mail address isn’t shared with anyone, and we will not send you e-mail unless you win. Speaking of email, you’re welcome to submit your entry with a photo attachment to me:  writestf@mac.com.

Deadline

Please post your photo before 11:59PM Pacific Time on Monday, April 12th. Mary-Alice and I will confer and announce the winner on both of our sites on Wednesday, April 14th.

The fine print

Please note that the Air carrier is meant for small pets — cats or dogs under 15 lbs. Chloe is a 13-lb. dog, about 12″ tall at the shoulders, and although she was comfortable, she only just fit in the carrier.

Please, only one photo per person, which can be submitted on either or both sites. Duplicate entries and anonymous entries will be discarded (and, in my case, eaten by Frankie). Please make sure that the e-mail address you send us is valid. The winner must claim the prize within three business days after the date of notification of such prize. A winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified three business days will be considered such winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. To enter, you must be a U.S. resident, age 18 or older. Employees, partners and vendors of Dog Jaunt or Will My Dog Hate Me? and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. We will disqualify any entries that we believe are generated by scripts and other automated technology. All prizes will be awarded. No substitutions including for cash are permitted, except that Dog Jaunt and Will My Dog Hate Me? reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater monetary value for the prize. The winner shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of the prize.

Also posted in Pet Travel | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

And the winner of the FURminator contest is…

It was hairy for a bit at contest headquarters. Although I had several excellent early entries, for a while they stopped coming and I worried that the pool of choices was slim. But a push during the last days garnered a number of premier options. This made my decision a good deal more difficult, which is as it should be. I worry when things seem too easy.

So after a great deal of deliberation, I chose Ida Banon’s “My dog is so hairy that ticks have to use machetes just to get close to her skin.” I was tickled by the image of a vast army of tiny insects hacking their way through a hair jungle.

Thank you all for your entries; to see them, click here. If I can’t get hold of Ida in the next few days I know I have several other great ones to chose from.

And good news: There’s another Win-a-FURminator contest going on at Pet News & Views. Today is the last day, though, so hurry on over there!

Also posted in Dog Grooming | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

How hairy is your dog? Win a FURminator contest

The unsolicited — and wildly enthusiastic — endorsements that I got for the FURminator de-shedding tool in the comments section of several of my grooming posts caught the attention of the folks at the company that manufacturers it. They offered me one of their new, deluxe models, with a sleek ergonomic handle design and FURejector button, to try.

Frankie would be completely bald if I used a FURminator on him so, instead, I’m going to give it away to someone who really needs it.  Someone with a very hairy dog.

How hairy is very hairy? Well, that’s what I’d like to know. The winner of this tool needs to convince me that his or her dog is the most deserving of the FURminator by sending in a comment that completes the following sentence: My dog is so hairy that…

You can tell the truth, but you don’t have to.  For example, “My dog is so hairy that you could blanket the bottom of the Grand Canyon with what she sheds” is a perfectly acceptable answer.

The contest starts today, March 3, and ends at midnight, March 7, Mountain Time. Winners will be announced March 9.

I’ll be out in Portland, OR, checking out local dog facilities — and ok, the city’s amazing restaurants, microbreweries, bookstores… — but I’ll be posting comments daily so as to avoid duplication.

Good luck, all my furry friends!

The legalities:

To enter, you must be a U.S. resident, age 18 or older (sorry, my Canadian pals).  Only one comment per person per giveaway post. Duplicate comments and anonymous comments will be discarded. Please make sure that the email address in your comment form is valid (email addresses are never public). Winners must claim their prize within three business days after the date of notification of such prize. A winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified three business days will be considered a forfeiture of the prize and an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. All bots will be disqualified. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize.

Also posted in Dog Grooming | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Another contest & a product endorsement

I got an email yesterday from a woman named Annie, the web director at Mambo Sprouts, a site that helps promote natural and organic manufacturers. She asked for my help in publicizing a photo contest on my blog. It’s co-sponsored by Wellness Natural Food for Pets and benefits an animal charity. I said yes, so here’s the link.

The reason that I agreed is two-fold: It’s for a good cause. And it was clear that Annie had bothered to look at my blog.

I get a lot of solicitations, most of them from people who have not taken the time to find out what subjects I cover and what my views are. I’m thinking specifically of  one person who has asked me twice to link to a site that sells electric fences for dogs. Anyone who’s spent five minutes on my blog could figure out that I’m opposed to shock collars, electric fences, and all other negative methods of behavior modification.

Annie also asked me if I was interested in doing a product review of any Wellness pet foods. I am generally unable to test anything edible on Frankie, since he is diabetic, but as it happens his diet consists of Wellness Core kibble — high fiber, low fat, grain free — topped with lean meat. I did a lot of research and discovered that the company does not use gross ingredients. Frankie likes the kibble and seems to thrive on it.  So my endorsement of Wellness products — or at least one of them — is honest and heartfelt.

I love Wellness Core!

I love Wellness Core, too!

But in the spirit of the new FCC blogging rules of full disclosure, I can’t leave it at that. You see, I woke up this morning to discover that the bag of Wellness Core had a small hole in it, made by teeny teeth. If that weren’t enough of a giveaway as to the (generic) identity of the perpetrator, there were mouse turds in the drawer where I keep Frankie’s food. Eeek!

So I feel compelled to add: “Wellness. Mice like it too.”

If you still want want me as a spokesperson, Annie, feel free to send me a few bags of Wellness Core. You get what you pay for, and Wellness products are not inexpensive.

Also posted in Dog Health | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments