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. was provided with the products mentioned above at no charge. As always, all opinions are our own.

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Petbrosia custom pet food – as unique as your dog (or cat)

As I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes finding the perfect nutrition for your dog is a matter of eliminating what doesn’t work before settling in on what does work. So, imagine if that process could be sped up by having a custom pet food designed specifically with your dog’s needs in mind? That is exactly what Petbrosia aims to do, and has established the first-ever pet food individually designed for your pet’s unique nutritional needs.

Petbrosia launched this Spring and provides quality custom pet food delivered right to your door for your dog or cat. Because I don’t have cats, I’ll be discussing only the dog food and our experience with the product.

How does Petbrosia work?

The first step is to establish a profile for your dog. You will be asked to enter the breed, age, gender, energy level, weight, allergy information, and then any other information you deem pertinent to your dog’s nutrition or health patterns. Based on the information entered for your dog, a unique blend of food is formulated for your dog’s needs. The blend of food is not created until the order comes in, so you are assured a fresh product.

As you continue to re-order product in the future, Petbrosia keeps an eye on your pet’s age and/or changing health information and can reformulate the nutrition to meet your dog’s changing needs.

Below is an example of the profile for Maddie. The completed profile is printed and sent to you with feeding instructions and caloric information for your order. Click the image to enlarge.

Petbrosia Maddie Example 231x300 Petbrosia custom pet food   as unique as your dog (or cat)

Click the image to enlarge.

The pricing structure for Petbrosia is simple. A ten pound box is $39.99, including delivery, and a twenty pound box is $79.99. The size of your dog and the target feeding amount will determine how long the order will last. Make sure you check out the special DogSplendor discount at the bottom of this post!

What’s in Petbrosia foods?

Because this is a custom product, depending on the blend for your pet, ingredients may vary. Petbrosia lists all the ingredients is uses in their formulations on this page, and all ingredients are sourced in the US. For each formulation, the following is true:

  • The first ingredient is fresh meat – antibiotic and hormone free
  • No chicken or poultry by-product meal
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or gluten
  • No artificial colors or flavors

Our experience

Petbrosia invited us to order a custom blend for both Maddie and Izzie. Because their age, weight, and energy levels are not the same, we got two custom blends.

As expected, the blend for Izzie (who is older with a normal-ish energy level) was higher in protein, and lower in fat. For Maddie (who is younger and high energy), her formulation was slightly lower in protein content than Izzies, but a bit higher in fat content. You can see that their formulations appeared quite similar, but the nutritional data provided showed the composition was different.

 Petbrosia custom pet food   as unique as your dog (or cat)

Prior to trying Petbrosia, both my dogs were each receiving one half cup of dry food twice per day. In the morning their food has raw goat’s milk added to it, and in the evening, their food is supplemented with additional protein and/or canned high protein dog food. The feeding instructions that came with the Petbrosia product suggested Maddie should receive a total of 2.25 cups of food per day and Izzie should receive 2.75 cups of food per day. Because we add additional food (calories) to their dry food, I started off each dog with a little less than one cup of Petbrosia twice per day. While they appeared to really like the product, I think they were not used to the volume of food and didn’t finish their meal. I picked up whatever was not eaten after ten minutes at both feeding times. This continued for a week, indicating to me that my dogs must be used to a smaller amount of food, or that they would have finished it had I not removed it. Let me clarify that the Petbrosia formula could have been left down for the dogs, but the additional ingredients I added were refrigerated and it would not have been safe to let them sit out at room temperature for an extended amount of time.

Poop. Yep, nobody likes to talk about dog poop, but truthfully, this is a measurement of your dog’s diet and nutritional absorption. I’m not a dog nutritionist, but I assumed more volume of food would equal more volume of poop. Turns out I was wrong. Even with the increased volume of food I was giving Maddie and Izzie, their poop volume did not increase, and in fact decreased a bit. This indicates a higher quality of food, and more nutrients being absorbed.

Overall, I think the Petbrosia product is an awesome concept that has not been done before. The idea of getting a unique blend that changes over time with your dog’s changing nutritional needs is brilliant. As a pet parent it can be confusing at times to know if you are giving your pet what it needs nutritionally.

If you would like to try Petbrosia’s unique formulations for your dog (or cat), the cool folks at Petbrosia have given me the following discount to share with DogSplendor readers. Click the link below to go to the Petbrosia website and give it a try!

 Petbrosia custom pet food   as unique as your dog (or cat)

This post has a Disclosure Level of 2. DogSplendor was provided with two ten pound boxes of Petbrosia dog food that were specially formulated for Maddie and Izzie. Any reviews are based on our experience and honest opinion.

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Dogswell Jerky Bars – a low glycemic dog treat

When given the opportunity to try new treats, my two dogs are always game. Always game. And although they would eat practically anything, I stay pretty conscious of what I give them for treats and how those treats fit into their normally healthy diet. That said, Dogswell Jerky Bars are a high protein, low glycemic treat you can feel good about. They advertise their bars contain 85% animal protein, 15% good stuff (fruits and veggies), and 0% bad stuff (corn, wheat, soy).

We tried the following two combinations:

  • Dogswell® HAPPYHIPS Jerky Bars™ Turkey & Veggies
  • Dogswell® VITALITY Jerky Bars™ Salmon & Veggies

The bars have a texture similar to a protein bar, are about two inches square, and can be broken in smaller pieces, or given to your pet whole, depending on your dog’s size. I gave my dogs a whole bar and they broke them in to pieces on their own. From the picture below, you can see the healthy ingredients in the bars.

 Dogswell Jerky Bars   a low glycemic dog treat

Low glycemic?

Because the bars contain high protein and no potato, corn, rice, etc. they are considered low glycemic. I’ve seen human foods referred to as low glycemic, but not really pet foods. What is the benefit of low glycemic foods for your pet?

“The Glycemic Impact™ of a canine and/or feline food is extremely important in their lifespan and health status…High Glycemic pet foods, and High Glycemic diets high in sugars and carbohydrates accelerate the aging process, reduce lifespan, exacerbate cancer, diabetes, and other disease states.— Glycemic Research Institute, Pet Food Division

In addition, the Dogswell jerky bars are made from carefully crafted recipes that feature:

  • real ingredients such as peas, carrots, and spinach
  • natural with added vitamins and zinc
  • no grains, corn, wheat, soy, or potatoes
  • antioxidants from apples, cranberries, and flaxseed to support immunity
  • single source, high quality proteins

Our review

As you can see, Maddie was quite fond of the treats. As I tried to snap a few pictures, she tried to help herself to the open bag of turkey and veggie bars. Later when I would put the bag on the counter, she sat by the counter for a bit, which I’m thinking is a sign that she enjoyed her treats immensely, as she was not starving.

 Dogswell Jerky Bars   a low glycemic dog treat

From my perspective, as a discerning dog parent, I was happy to see that these were low glycemic, high protein and not chock full of empty carbohydrates. Additionally, the turkey and salmon products we tried have ingredients 100% sourced in the U.S., which gives me an added sense of comfort when choosing a pet food product.

You can purchase Dogswell treats from many trusted retailers both online and locally. Please check out the Dogswell webpage for more information on various combinations of nutritious treats for your pup!

This post has a Disclosure Level of 2. Products were provided to for our own use and for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are our own.

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Immortalize your pup(s) on canvas prints! Review & Giveaway

As a splendid dog parent, we all know you have a gazillion images of your pet on your phone. Don’t even try to deny it. Sometimes the photos are just so darn good that making it your phone’s home screen image and sharing it on Facebook aren’t nearly enough. It’s time to put that picture, or even multiple pictures, on canvas prints.

I was recently given the opportunity to review a service, Printcopia, that easily takes your online images and converts them in to canvas prints. I chose to submit one of my favorite photos of my girls to be printed on an 8″ by 10″ wrapped canvas.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the final product!

 Immortalize your pup(s) on canvas prints! Review & Giveaway

The photo to canvas process

Printcopia’s canvas print designer online feature has four steps and was very easy to use.

1) First you choose a size. There are nine pre-set canvas sizes, or you may choose a custom size canvas. There are also two canvas thickness options, which refer to the depth of the side borders of the canvas.

2) Next you choose an image. You may upload an image from your computer, or you can pull a picture directly from your Instagram or Facebook account. You can then adjust the image until it fits as you would like on the canvas size you choose.

3) The next step is to choose a style. This refers to choosing how you want the side border to look. It can be a mirror image of your photo, your photo can extend on to your side borders (which we opted for), or you can pick a color to be on the side borders.

4) The last option is to choose some optional extras like having a black and white or sepia color finish, or having Princopia do a bit of image retouching for you.

Each step of the way you get the option to make fine tuned adjustments to your photo positioning to make it look its best with the options you’ve chosen.

The giveway

We would like to share our love of this fun service with DogSplendor readers by giving away one 8″ x 10″ canvas print (retail value $56.78). Please note the print may only be shipped within the continental U.S.

We will be using Rafflecopter to facilitate the giveaway and a random entrant will be chosen from eligible entrants at midnight Pacific Time on Saturday, March 30, 2013. The winner will be notified by mail by noon on March 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As part of the Rafflecopter entry options, you may follow Printcopia on Facebook. They seem to always be having fantastic deals, and offer other photo/printing options other than canvas prints, so I highly recommend this option! Since I was very pleased with the service from Printcopia, I also wanted to give a quick shout out to their sister sites for car magnets, banners, and bandit/yard signs.

This post has a Disclosure Level of 4.

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Protect your pet in style – PetHub review and giveaway!

Did you know that in the US alone, a beloved pet goes missing every three seconds? I know most of us have a “that would never happen to my pet” attitude, but in all seriousness, what is your plan to protect your pet so that he or she would make it back home to you safe and sound?

My previous not-so-thorough method

For each of my dogs, I had a little tag with my home phone number (that we never answer, by the way). Oh yeah, and I only put those tags on the dogs when we went to the dog park or to the pet sitter because with the three tags (ID tag, rabies tag and license tag) together, the clinking jingling noise was too annoying in the house. And the best part? If the dogs decided to dart out the front door at the evil (their words, not mine) UPS man, this method of mine left them without any identification, without any protection.

But what if all the data about your pet could be contained in one “super” tag? Does that have your attention? It definitely had mine.

 Protect your pet in style   PetHub review and giveaway!

What do you mean we weren’t really protected before?

Enter PetHub, a Seattle-area company founded in 2010 that has raised the bar on the way we protect our pets – in a high-tech convenient way. PetHub tags (which are available in an array of styles – more on that later!) each include a QR code unique to your pet that may be scanned by a smartphone to reveal as much or as little data about your pet as you choose. The free online profile that can be created on PetHub’s website lets you enter your pet’s license information, vaccines, medical conditions, medical providers, and more. All with a toll-free 24/7 found pet hotline. What’s not to love? And for a cost that is still less than microchipping services, you can add additional protection for your pet via PetHub’s Silver and Gold Protection Programs, that add features above the free service like an “Amber Alert” Pet Recovery Database, email notifications with GPS mapping, and even emergency medical coverage (Gold level).

So, now that you’re on board with a great way to protect your pet, let’s talk style. If you peruse the PetHub shop, you’ll see there are options ranging from basic to personalized and adorable! My girls (ok, mostly me) were thrilled when we were given the opportunity to sample the brand new offering of Personalized Sofa City Sweetheart tags.

 Protect your pet in style   PetHub review and giveaway!

For Maddie “Garden Party” (left) & for Izzie “Modern Dots” (right)

I’d seen cute identification tags for dogs before, but since we weren’t really using the ones we had, why bother, right? But now with PetHub, my dogs are protected with tags they wear 24/7, tags that do the job of our 3 previous tags (and more!), plus they look adorable in the process.

We ordered the Personalized Sofa City Sweetheart tags in a round shape, but they are also available in a square shape. The tags have a nice weight to them – well made, but not too heavy for a smaller dog. I think the tag size is just perfect for my dogs, both of which weigh under 20 pounds.

 Protect your pet in style   PetHub review and giveaway!

Izzie rocking her new Sofa City Sweetheart tag.

 Protect your pet in style   PetHub review and giveaway!

Ever so innocent Maddie with her new Sofa City Sweetheart tag.

And now the part you’ve all been waiting for…

giveaway time 300x163 Protect your pet in style   PetHub review and giveaway!

The great folks at PetHub are allowing me to give away five QR code tags to five lucky pets (we love all pets here at DogSplendor, so even cats are eligible!).

 Protect your pet in style   PetHub review and giveaway!

4 out of 5 of the giveaway tags (Sofa City Sweetheart tag not shown)

The five giveaways are as follows (enter as many giveaways as you’d like, as often as you’d like):

  • GRAND PRIZE: 1 Personalized Sofa City Sweethearts Tag – your choice of pattern from 13 designs (see them all here), personalized with the name of your pet!
  • 1 Platinum Edition Red Dingo QR Tag – Pink Skull Design
  • 1 Platinum Edition Red Dingo QR Tag – Black Paw Design
  • 1 PetHub Basic ID Tag with Toll-Free Number – Black with Yellow Paw Design
  • 1 PetHub Premium Digital Tag with Toll-Free Number – Fetch Dog Orange

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post has a Disclosure Level of 4.

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