Friday, August 23, 2013

Ark Naturals {Flea Flicker! Tick Kicker!} Review

We had a late spring and summer this year, the snow just did not want to leave! We've never had to worry about fleas before (thank goodness), but Jer has been bringing home ticks from loads of lumber the past couple months and my paranoia had finally gotten the best of me. Daily checks just weren't good enough anymore, I needed to be proactive in preventing those nasty buggers from attaching themselves to the chi-chis. Luckily, a recent Facebook giveaway allowed me the opportunity to give Ark Naturals a try!

Ark Naturals was created over 15 years ago in an effort to create an almost non-existent natural pet care line. By using human grade materials, Ark Naturals was able to bring us a pet health care line free of harmful toxins. Every product manufactured is made right here in the USA.

Venus and Ocean received a bottle of flea and tick spray, "Flea Flicker! Tick Kicker!" This spray claims to repel and kill mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks on contact. Since we didn't actually have any at the moment have to worry about killing, we focused on how well this all natural spray worked at repelling. For dogs the directions indicate to spray on their fur until damp avoiding the eyes, face, mouth, and genitals. Then gently rub into their coat. To remain effective you are to reapply the spray once a week during problem seasons.

I found the spray to smell strongly of cloves and peppermint. I active ingredients of the spray are geraniol (from geraniums), eugenol (from cloves), and peppermint. I personally love cloves, so this was quite pleasant for me.  And the peppermint smell was very refreshing. I found myself sniffing my hands after I rubbed it into the girls' coats! I loved that the spray is not oily, it absorbs very well.

We've been using the spray for about three weeks and I have yet to find a tick on the girls. Maybe I should try this stuff out on Jer! HA! Just kidding, of course. But we still haven't been bothered by fleas, and I haven't noticed the girls being bothered by mosquitoes lately either. So far, I would definitely call this an effective product. I am very pleased!

You can find all of Ark Naturals products on their website, along with a list of retailers. You can also connect with Ark Naturals on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, and YouTube.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Flush Puppies Review

Keep that stinky poop out of the trash and put it where it belongs with Flush Puppies! When you're young, you're taught to use the toilet. Heck, even diaper packing warns you to clean and flush diapers into the toilet to reduce diseases, and bacteria in land fills. Even the EPA claims that "flushing pet waste is the best disposal method." So why do people think it's ok to just throw away bags of dog poop?

"It's poop. Flush it."

Flush Puppies are made from PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) making them 100% compostable and flushable. Yes, they really break down in water! If you must throw away your dogs poop, use a BPI certified compostable Flush Puppies bag! Did you know it can take up to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break down in a landfill?

Do your part to keep contamination and parasites to a minimum, and flush your pets waste when possible. Whether you have a septic or sewer system, Flush Puppies is safe! Please use caution, however, if you have been warned against flushing other bio-degradable items (such as wipes) that take a little time before completely breaking down. 

Flush Puppies sent us a pack of 20 bags in a wallet-style holder. This ended up being very convenient to keep in the front pouch of my bag when taking the dogs out and about, and in my pocket at home. Of course the first thing I had to try when I received the bags, was flushing them! Watch the video below to see how they worked!

I would consider the bags to be average sized compared to other bags we have purchased in the past. These do seem thicker than ordinary plastic bags, which is nice, but also to ensure that the bags do not begin breaking down before you get a chance to flush them.
Overall, I am in love with these bags! We've been flushing our dogs' poop for about a year or so now, but I feel so much better now that I'm not tossing a bag in the trash afterwards. Cleaning up after Venus and Ocean has never been any easier for me. I've already informed Jer that I'm ordering more next payday. 

You can purchase Flush Puppies on their website in different packages and quantities on their website. You can also connect with Flush Puppies on Facebook and Twitter. Head on over and tell them "Baby and the Chi's" sent you!

Disclaimer: I was sent the product(s) mentioned in this review to provide my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for this post. Any opinion mentioned in this post is 100% my own.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Best Bully Sticks Review and Giveaway

Pet owners have probably noticed a recent increase in recalls of pet treats and foods. This can be scary and disappointing. A lot of pet owners are on the lookout for new sources of food, treats, and chews that are reliable, healthy, and trustworthy. Well let me tell you, you won't need to worry when you're shopping at Best Bully Sticks.

Best Bully Sticks has been offering 100% natural products since 2007, and only offers Bully Sticks sourced from free-range Brazilian cattle in the United States or South America that are hormone and antibiotic free. More exotic chews are sourced from animals in New Zealand  and Australia. Not only are they safe, but often has sales and discounts as well as free shipping at $129.
What are bully sticks? Bully sticks are bull pizzle that has been dried. They are single ingredient chews that sound great to us humans, but taste great and provide dental benefits and mental stimulation to dogs.

The girls were sent a 2lb Chew Variety Grab Bag to try out. This grab bag is assembled with some or all of the following chews: tripe pieces, gullet strips, small braided bully sticks, small bully sticks, and cow ears. Our bag included 38 small bully sticks, 16 gullet strips, and 2 cow ears. An amazing value for just $23.09!

I knew these would be a hit when I set the bag on the floor and Venus tried to pull it away from me. Both Venus and Ocean trampled me to grab a chew from the bag. These were a good size for both of them, being easy to fit in their mouths. I personally enjoyed the fact that they had very little odor.

The gullet strips were also a big hit. Ocean has a harder time chewing, but the gullet strips are a softer tissue and she had no trouble at all with these. She does well with the bully sticks too, but they do take her quick a bit longer to chew up. One small bully will last Ocean about a week of on and off chewing, while one will last Venus about a day (usually less if she's really in a chewing mood...).

I have to say that we are now life-long customers. Both girls loved this chew variety bag, and at a mere $23 for 56 chews, you just can't beat that price! The quality is great, they are all natural, and safe for my babies.

You can connect with Best Bully Sticks through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +. You can also sign up for their money-saving newsletter!


What are your thoughts on these or other dog chews? Do you have any helpful or critical comments about this review? I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Friday, August 16, 2013

August Pawalla Mini Box Review

This is my second Pawalla monthly pet box review, the first was of their deluxe box. I was excited to try their mini box as I did not need the canned food from the deluxe. The mini box costs $20 per month, and $18 a month if you sign up for a 6 month subscription up front. I was surprised when I got the shipping notice for this box on August 5th, as I assumed that the ship date was around the 15th like last time I had ordered. Upon reading further in their FAQ, however, I found that your ship date depends on when you order.

This is what we received in our August Mini Box:

Scout and Zoe's - Sweet Potato Treats:
Sliced, dehydrated sweet potatoes. I was happy to see something like this in the box! Both the girls seem to really like these. They retail for $9.99 on Pawalla (on sale right now for $6.99) and for $9.99 at Scout and Zoe's.

Locomotion Pet Treats - Honey Apple flavor:
These smell amazing, but they are hard as a rock. Venus just licked them and looked at me. I had to set up a knife on top of them and slam it down to break them into smaller pieces, and it still took her a few minutes to finish the small cookie portions. These were a no-go for Ocean. These are for sale on Pawalla for $7.99 for a 4oz box (on sale now for $5.50) and you can also find them at Locomotion Pet Treats for $5.99 for a 1 pound package.

Beaudacious Bubbles - Herbal formula Shampoo Bar
We actually haven't tried this yet. Unfortunately the smell is so strong it severely burns my sinuses. I had to seal it in a box and put it under my sink. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to ever use it =( Pawalla sells these 2oz bars for $3.50 and Michaels Magical Garden (maker of Beaudacious Bubbles Canine Shampoo) also sells the 2oz bars for $3.50.

Doggles plush mini toys - Slipper & Bone
These are super cute toys, and both Venus and Ocean loved them. Unfortunately Venus was able to puncture the squeaker in both toys within two minutes, so they didn't last long. Neither pup will play with a once-squeaky toy once it's squeaker is gone... So these were a bust. I wish they had sent toys with more durable squeakers. Pawalla doesn't sell these toys on their site as of yet, but you can buy 6 for $18 on (making them $3 a piece).

Overall, I just wasn't impressed with this box. I cancelled my subscription for now. I just feel that a monthly subscription of treats and toys would be of better value if I set $20 aside and forced myself to pick out my own new treats and toys that we've never tried before. Maybe I'll subscribe again in the future, or perhaps just try the deluxe box again, as that seemed like a better value. Hopefully this months' BarkBox is less disappointing.

Did you receive a Pawalla box this month? Do you have any comments or concerns regarding the issues I've stated above? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!

DISCLAIMER: I purchased the product(s) mentioned in this post with my own personal money. We were not offered monetary compensation for review, and our opinion is 100% our own.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sick Baby

 Poor Gabe had a fever of 102.1 Sunday night he was so sad! I wouldn't be happy being sick either, but I had to try very hard not to cry for my baby. I hate seeing him so miserable! Luckily by the next morning he had a very mild fever and was acting like his regular self.

Gabe has only really been sick one other time, and that was two years ago. That's pretty good compared to how often I was sick when I was little, but I still wish it would just never happen!

Anyone have any tips to help soothe a sick baby that I can keep in mind for (the inevitable) next time? Maybe someone else has a sick baby right now and is as frantic as I was? **oops** Yeah, I was a frantic mama...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thundershirt Review

Imagine, if you will, being able to calm your anxious and stressed dog without medication or special training. Now, stop imagining, and open your eyes to the Thundershirt!

Thundershirt was created in 2009, and has been using it's "calming hug" to bring peace and relief to pets and their owners all over the world.

Here's how it works:
ThunderShirt uses gentle hugging to calm your dog or cat. With its patented design, ThunderShirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs and cats if they are anxious, fearful or overexcited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs and cats show significant improvement in symptoms when using ThunderShirt. ThunderShirt is already helping hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats around the world and is recommended by thousands of veterinarians and trainers. How does ThunderShirt work? Experts believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system, possibly by releasing a calming hormone like endorphins. Using pressure to relieve anxiety in people and animals has been a common practice for years.

Besides offering the Thundershirt to both dogs and cats, Thunderworks now offers additional products to calm and soothe your pets:

The ThunderLeash: An anti-pull leash solution.

The ThunderToy: Using distraction to help prevent destructive behavior.

The ThunderTreat: Fits inside the ThunderToy to help hold your pets' attention. Contains calming chamomile and lavender.

Calming Caps: Filter your dogs vision to reduce visual anxiety triggers.

We recieved an xxs ThunderShirt for our dog, Ocean. Ocean suffers from separation anxiety and still experiences stress from being in a new home with new owners. *Just in case you are new to our blog, Ocean is almost 6 years old and was owned by a breeder. She spent about five years having puppies, and when the breeder was finished with her, she came into our lives. She is adjusting slowly, but our family is still new to her.* She is clingy when I am home with her, so she gets lots of cuddles and attention, but she cries when I have to leave. I know this is hard on her, so I wanted to do whatever I could to ensure she was as calm as possible when she does need to be left home with Venus.

We tried the Thundershirt out a few times while I was home and it did take a short while for Ocean to adjust to the tightness of the wrap. Not just the wrap honestly, but Ocean isn't used to clothing in general. She is getting more comfortable, since I have a nasty fetish with buying clothing for my dogs (oops!), but she did fight me at first when I had tried to put the wrap on her.

My first impression, I was a little skeptical. She honestly seemed so nervous about having a shirt on, I thought this would just bring on a new form of anxiety in place of her fear of being left alone. After the first initial trials around the house, however, she seemed to really calm down. The Thundershirt is a very soft and smooth jersey knit fabric, and it seems like it would feel like a soft hug that doesn't go away. I noticed while Ocean was wearing the wrap she would quickly find a spot to lie down and relax. While I wish this calming effect would allow her to roam and play with Venus without worrying, I am pleased that it helps her sleep instead of cry and try to scratch the door and potentially hurt herself.

Overall, I would recommend the Thundershirt to a pet-parent who's dog or cat suffers from anxiety, fear, or stress. While it is not a cure, I did notice an improvement in emotion and behavior while Ocean wore the wrap.

You can purchase a Thundershirt for your pet for $39.95 on their website; and connect with Thunderworks on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.