Festive dog bows: a Chuckle Hounds giveaway!

With the holidays just around the corner, as you strive to make things festive, remember the dog deserves some holiday cheer, also! And adding a festive bow tie or blossom bow to your dog’s collar is the fastest way to take them from “that is sort of a cute dog” to “oh my goodness that is the cutest dog in the history of all dogs ever!”

Chucklehounds1 1024x1024 Festive dog bows: a Chuckle Hounds giveaway!

Chuckle Hounds (love this name!) has an over the top adorable collection of holiday (or every day) bow ties and blossom bows for your dog’s collar that I think you are going to love. They also carry quite a selection of collars and leash sets in cute and whimsical prints.

And because it’s the season of giving, the gracious folks at Chuckle Hounds would like to give away a bow tie or blossom bow of your choice to a lucky winner. All you have to do is enter to win in the Rafflecopter widget below! Prize to be shipped to US residents only. Contest ends midnight PST on Monday, December 9th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The DogSplendor Holiday Gift Guide

At this point there is no avoiding that the holidays are right around the corner. Without a doubt, many discerning dog parents will take the time to buy a present (or two or five) for the favorite furry faces on their list.

So, without further ado, I present the 2013 DogSplendor Holiday Gift Guide – with fun items for dogs and the people who love them. We’re getting this guide out early so you have plenty of time to order.  Make sure you check out the special deals for DogSplendor readers!


DS Holiday Gift Guide Cover The DogSplendor Holiday Gift Guide

Click the image above for the full holiday guide in PDF format, or open the direct link.

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Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!

Is it just me, or when you think of chia seeds do you first think of chia pets? Just me? In truth, it’s certainly a shame to waste this wonder food on a stoneware planter. The benefits of chia seeds as a supplement for humans have been increasing in popularity, but I haven’t seen treats for my dogs that include this superfood…until now.

Lincoln Bark, an exciting natural pet brand out of Chicago, has introduced two new lines of treats for your dog featuring chia seeds!

So, why are chia seeds a wonder food?

 Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!

As you can see, that is a LOT of nutrients packed in those little seeds. Surely your dog would benefit from a treat so healthy. But then the million dollar question becomes: “if it is healthy, will my dog like it?”

Putting healthy treats to the test

Once again, Maddie and Izzie decided to take one for the team and taste test some treats. Lincoln Bark sent us a full sized pouch of the Treat Smart™ treats in the roasted peanut recipe (we also received samples of all the other flavors – chicken liver, wild salmon, and duck and pea). We also got to try the Sweet Little Butterpup™ treats in the pumpkin peanut butter recipe (also available in wild salmon, chicken liver, and oatmeal).

I’ve gotten increasingly picky (even if the dogs haven’t) over what I let them try in terms of treats. Aside from being “powered by chia,” the Lincoln Bark treats are produced from 100% natural human-grade ingredients sourced and baked in the US. The treats also contain no wheat, corn, artificial ingredients, or additives.

 Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!Maddie loves all healthy things, so I had no doubt she would enjoy the Lincoln Bark treats and she did. The above picture is prior to any treats being opened – her least favorite time to take a picture.

 Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!I was a bit surprised by Izzie’s reaction. Of course she loves most treats, but she can tell if you try to trick her into eating something too healthy for her, and she will turn up her nose. But Izzie loved the Treat Smart treats and kept trying to sneak a bit more. I had to explain to her that the feeding guidelines for the Treat Smart treats said that she got one of the soft treats per seven pounds of her body weight. Since she ate about 5 treats, and weighs less than 18 pounds, math clearly isn’t her strong suit. The Sweet Little Butterpup treats didn’t have feeding guidelines, but obviously moderation in accordance with your dog’s eating habits and activity level is always a good idea.

I liked the texture of the soft Treat Smart treats, as they’d be easy to break into smaller pieces for a very small dog (if needed), and they didn’t make crumbs. They seemed super fresh! The Sweet Little Butterpup treats have a harder texture, like a crunchy cookie, but were still a good size for smaller dogs. They had an awesome smell to them, like an oatmeal cookie. Maddie and Izzie gobbled them up, so there wasn’t any time for crumbs.

Both the Treat Smart and Sweet Little Butterpup treats are available via the Lincoln Bark website.

This post has a Disclosure Level of 2. DogSplendor.com was provided with the products mentioned above at no charge. As always, all opinions are our own.

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Form and function – the “not so fast” dog bowl

DogSplendor.com was given the personalized stainless steel “not so fast” dog bowl from dogIDs.com – as always, all opinions and experiences are uniquely our own.

 Form and function   the not so fast dog bowlLet me preface this by saying my dog Izzie has never starved. She has never wanted for food a day in her life. Nobody has ever taken her dog bowl away mid-meal. Yet Izzie eats her food as if someone were going to steal it at any moment, or as if it might be her last meal ever.

At times I thought Izzie eating her food like an over-caffeinated wildebeest was sort of cute. Awww, she loves her food. But in actuality, a dog eating its food very fast can cause life-threatening maladies like bloat to occur. Additionally, when a dog gobbles its food, it gulps an excess of air, which leads to gassiness (and pet parents know what a joy this can be).

I’d heard about slow-feeding type bowls (a bowl which includes a built in obstacle to help slow down the dog’s eating time), but had never gotten around to trying one with Izzie. So when dogIDs.com approached me about their products, including their gorgeous personalized collars and dog ID tags, the product that caught my eye immediately was their “not so fast” bowl. They were gracious enough to send me a personalized bowl laser engraved with Izzie’s name.

 Form and function   the not so fast dog bowlI had Izzie’s new bowl on my door step in no time at all. Spiffy! I’ve ordered personalized products before and they often take an extra long time to ship. That was definitely not the case here. The bowl itself is a heavy satin finish stainless steel, and the laser engraving was nice and deep, not a shallow scratch that passes as engraving with some products online these days.

After washing the bowl, I showed Izzie her new present. I’d like to think she knew it was especially for her, but I think it was me that was more excited, she was just generally curious that it appeared to have to do something with food.

I contemplated taking video of Izzie’s elapsed eating time from her regular bowl, versus her new slow-feed bowl. But you know what? Watching a close up of a dog eating sloppy wet food is not so cute, folks.

However, the result of the extra obstacle in Izzie’s bowl meant a much slower meal for her. This was awesome! At first she looked at me like she was being punished. Food is her thing. She tried to nudge the middle part of the bowl, like she could push it aside. Once she realized that wasn’t happening, she went about the business of eating her food. But at a much more reasonable pace. Which is exactly what I hoped would happen. And now she has a special dog bowl – with both form AND function – from which to enjoy her meals a bit more slowly and safely.

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Dogs, we need to talk about your dog breath…

DogSplendor.com was given a sample of Minties Bones treats for dogs from VetIQ to try with our girls, in exchange for our honest review.

Minties Dogs, we need to talk about your dog breath...As a discerning dog parent, my dogs have had professional vet-performed teeth cleanings, and I even brush their teeth. But you know what? They still have stink dog breath. While not amazingly bad, when they sit on your lap and pant in your face, their dog breath often makes you turn the other way. I’m pretty sure my husband (or any human, for that matter) would have similar breath if he only relied on professional cleanings, occasional brushing, and licked places on his body like our dogs do. Just guessing.

At any rate, I think we’ve all seen treats that claim to help our dog’s teeth and breath. But have you seen what’s in those? Your dog might be better off just chewing its toothbrush.

That is why I was excited to learn about Minties treats for dogs. Minties have a great texture, a pleasant natural peppermint smell, and don’t contain the “icky” ingredients (wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, sugar, salt, gluten, etc.) I avoid giving my dogs. What IS in them? Five natural breath fresheners: peppermint, parsley, fennel, dill, and chlorophyll. Plus, everything is sourced and made in the U.S., and the bones are offered in four sizes (from Tiny to Large) to be best suited to your dog.

But the best part of Minties? My dogs loved them. Not just the “oh, ok, we’ll eat this treat you’re giving us” response I sometimes get, but my dogs stood on their hind legs by the counter where I had the package after our first taste test. Minties will definitely be going into our rotation of specialty treats we buy for our pups.

 Dogs, we need to talk about your dog breath...

Bam, science

I’m not a scientist, but because I had a natural curiosity, I conducted a sniff test study on how long the Minties would freshen both my dogs’ breath. A sniff test you say? Yep, I got all up in the faces of my dogs and smelled their dog breath. Before the Minties treats, not so good, folks, not so good. Directly after the treat? Their breath had a mild peppermint smell. Lovely! Thirty minutes later? Still a mild peppermint smell. Two whole hours later? Still a pleasant mild mint smell! Even later in the day? Well, I started to feel self-conscious about being a person who smells their dogs’ breath and stopped. But I’m telling you, the pepperminty pleasantness in their breath lasted a good long while!

I do want to note that while veterinarian recommended Minties will help clean your pup’s teeth, plus remove plaque and tartar, please consult your veterinarian about care of your specific dog’s teeth, including cleanings and regular maintenance.

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