Tips Archive

Satisfying the Picky Pooch with Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-dried Raw Foods

If you share a home with a dog who is a picky eater, you undoubtedly understand the hair-pulling challenge of finding canine cuisine that actually motivates them to stand up and take notice when you yell “IT’S FOOD TIME!!

Zazou, my Vizsla, approaches mealtime with great delight and joy, as he vigorously consumes the food in his bowl with great appreciation and verve.  Conversely, Lulu our diminutive mystery mutt approaches mealtime with trepidation as if she’s been instructed to walk the plank or something worse.  Like clockwork, each day I yell “It’s Food Time" and Lulu trudges up to the bowl, gives the bowl a half-hearted sniff, then plops down next to the bowl with an unceremonious ‘plumpf’.

Stella and Chewy's at MuttropolisThis feeding time scenario has repeated itself for as long as I can remember and I have tried quite a  smorgasbord of healthy foods to pique her interest and was beyond thrilled when I discovered Stella & Chewy’s Fresh from the Farm all natural freeze-dried raw chicken patties, which Miss Picky Pooch-Lulu absolutely LOVES!! Mealtime is now truly a cause for celebration, not consternation.

Made from human-grade free-range meats, ground bones, and fresh organic vegetables and containing no preservatives, no chemical, dyes, sugar or salt, these freeze-dried patties can be easily crumbled into your pets kibble to introduce a new and tasty element to your pet’s existing diet, or it can be fed solely as their main course.

Better yet, they’re good ‘fer ya!

What I also like about the Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried products is that they provide all the convenience of a conventional dry food without compromising the nutritional value and proven health benefits of real raw meat.  You can serve the patties as is or rehydrate by adding water. They’re also great for travel, training rewards, and treats.

Starting at $10.99 a bag, you can find Stella and Chewy's at Muttropolis.com

Article reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat at Animalplanet.com

PediPaws Persuasion: The drama of trimming your dogs nails

Zazou sniffs the PediPaws Pet Nail Trimmer

Keeping your pets nails properly trimmed is important for a variety of reasons, including your pets comfort and health, as well as the health of your floors, walls, furniture and whatever else your pets perform their daily tap dance upon. 

Over the years, any and all attempts to trim my dogs nails have been an absolute bust, resulting in nothing short of a spectacular meltdown on behalf of all parties involved. To avoid this drama and mutiny, I’ve instead opted to send the kids to the groomer for their paw-ticures and have washed my hands of the whole situation.

However, given that 2009 marks a major comeback for the Do it Yourselfer, and we’re all looking at ways to save our pennies, I considered bringing their nail trimming service back in-house when I recently spotted the PediPaws pet nail trimmer commercial on TV.

Don't let this loud buzzing stick scare you

Essentially, the PediPaws is a like modified dremmel tool and the instruction manual emphasizes repeatedly the importance of properly introducing the device to your pet and developing positive associations to best acclimate them to the concept of this buzzing and frankly somewhat disturbing device.

As you will see in this week's video, “PediPaw Persuasion,” I tried just about everything from fun car rides, trips to the dog park and taking in our favorite show to get Zazou to cooperate with my attempts to use the PediPaw nail trimmer on him.

Watch the video and see what it took to get Zazou to calm down long enough to let me trim one nail. If you have any tips, tactics or insights for how you’ve managed to trim your pet’s nails, please feel free to pass them along!

ps. Upon further trial, it appears that the PediPaws may be best suited for dogs under 20lbs and  individuals who possess the patience of a saint.

Article Reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley on Animal Planet

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Bottom’s Up for Disabled Doggies with the Bottom’s Up Leash

Bul-001-bul If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing your life with a senior dog, you are intimately aware of the endearing changes that they undergo as they round the bend of life…the graying muzzle, the mellowing of temperament and the periodic senior moments.  However, one of the biggest bummers for the dear old souls is the degradation of their joints, progression of arthritis and other disabilities advanced age can bring. 

Having had both arthritic and disabled senior doggies in my family, I found one of the biggest challenges to be how to comfortably to “sling” their bodies to help them get up, walk and mobilize with more comfort and ease.  Using a towel as a sling just doesn’t do the job, especially if you have a small dog or if you have a male dog….uh, if you catch my drift.

The Bottom’s Up Leash to the Rescue

Developed by Watson’s Pet Company, the Bottom’s Up Leash was inspired by their Sheep Dog named "Watson" who at 15 years old suffered from arthritis and hip dysplasia.  His condition prevented the use of his hind legs and seriously hindered his mobility and comfort. Watson’s “parents” resolved to find a way to walk his best friend and enhance his quality of life…thus, a product idea was born!

The Bottom's Up Leash can help arthritic, post-surgical or otherwise disabled dogs move more comfortably and works by supporting a portion of the dogs hind legs while they walk, or attempt to go up or down stairs. Unlike a towel under the belly, the Bottom’s Up Leash allows your dog to eliminate without putting pressure on their bladder or stomach and keeps you from having to stoop over…bonus!

Fits Dog Booty’s of all Sizes

The Bottom’s Up Leash is adjustable in size and will fit any dog between 15 and 125 pounds and non-chafing neoprene pads are included that fit over the leg loops to add to the overall comfort.

You can find the Bottom’s Up Leash at Muttropolis.

Reprint courtesy of The Daily Treat at Animalplanet.com

Reducing your Pet’s Carbon Pawprint

The concept of "Earth Day" is a bit of a misnomer, because we should all do our part to recycle and Lola Go Green Tee re-purpose every day of the year. What I'm getting at is not unlike the concept of "Mother's Day." We all know mommy-dearest would appreciate regular acknowledgment of the living hell we put her through as unruly teenagers, not just a once annual admission offered up each May.

However, Earth Day is a wonderful way to raise awareness of the simple ways we can reduce our carbon foot and pawprints. To that end, I will honor Earth Day this year by reducing my consumption of plastic: Instead of picking up Zazou and Lulu's 'deposits' in the backyard with a plastic grocery bag, I will instead fling them into my neighbor's yard with a shovel.

Reducing your pet's carbon pawprint is now easier than ever, as an increasing number of pet product manufacturers have discovered creative ways to re-purpose and recycle materials. Here are some faves:

Muttropolis Biodegradable Poop Bags

1. Bio-degradable Business Bags
Reduce your pet's carbon poo-print with Biodegradable Business Bags made from real corn.They biodegrade completely in 45 days and become fertilizer. Fertilizer for what, I do not know. Available at muttropolis.com

Muttropolis Eco Mats2. Eco Nap Fleece Pet Mats
These smart and colorful mats are made in the USA with 85% of the fabric comprised of post consumer recycled plastic, better known as the soda-pop bottles. In fact, this line of eco-products will divert over 25 tons of plastics from landfills a year. Available at muttropolis.com

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3. The Cheeky Chaise
Constructed with extra durable corrugated cardboard, the Cheeky Chaise is made with all-natural materials and 35% minimum recycled content. The adhesives used in the chaise are non-toxic materials. Sprinkle it with catnip and let the fun begin! More information available at muttropolis.com

Collars

4. Recycled Eco Dog Collars
Made with 100% recycled nylon webbing and polyester ribbon for a truly green pet product. Made in the USA by muttropolis.com

5. Re-purpose Your Pet's Hand-me Downs
Do you have pet accessories or pet supplies you're no longer using? Most shelters gladly welcome your donation of gently used dog or cat toys, collars, leashes, beds, bowls and the like. Simply locate an animal shelter or rescue organization near you at Petfinder.com and do your part to recycle and help a great cause.

Article reprinted permission of Animalplanet.com and the The Daily Treat with Janet McCulley.

Seemingly benign “people food” & plants can be poisonous for pets.

With various dangers lurking in corners and cabinets, our kitchen and backyards can be a minefield of poisons for our pets, especially with the Easter season (plants) and planned egg hunts just around the corner. The ASPCA Animal Poison
Control Center
handles thousands of cases every year involving
pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which involve everyday
household products. Don’t leave it up to Fido or Fluffy to keep
themselves safe from the Easter festivities and consider keeping them away from your annual Easter Egg Hunt…those plastic eggs filled with Chocolate are an accident waiting to happen!

While fruits are a healthy choice for adults, it is not necessarily true for the four legged members of our families, depending upon the fruit. According to recent studies, grapes and raisins top the list of EasterPug
the ten most common plants that poison pets.

The top ten list includes:
1. Grapes and Raisins
2. Mushrooms
3. Marijuana (…you don't say?)
4. Lily (..mind those Easter Lilies!)
5. Walnuts
6. Onion
7. Sage Palm
8. Macadamia Nuts
9. Azalea
10. Hydrangea (another popular Easter plant)

For more information on keeping your pet safe from harmful foods, plants and the surprising danger of common household substances, visit the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

If your resident Fido or Fluffy absolutely must sink their teeth into a fruit or vegetable, may we suggest a Muttropolis Squeaky Carrot Patch Pal (above) 
for their enjoyment…..

Just Chew It: Beating Bowser Boredom with the Bouncy Bone Dog Toy

Many of us have learned the hard way that a bored dog can be not only hazardous to your furniture, but also to your favorite sling backs and quite possibly your neighbor’s aural threshold for excessive barking.

With all of us working long hours to ensure recession-resilience, our beloved four-legged family members may be engaging a bit more me-time than they’d prefer.

The Bouncy Bone Dog Toy to the Rescue

Muttropolis Bouncy Bone Dog Toy
My frenetic 2-year old Vizsla Zazou, at left, needs a daily outlet for his energy or its curtains for him. Literally. He will be all up in the curtains when we’re not home. Regular exercise and mental stimulation and interactive play with the newly discovered Bouncy Bone treat dispensing dog toy have all helped to manage his home alone mania without breaking the bank.

Starting at $5 for the small size, the super tough and durable Bouncy Bone is composed of a durable nylon bone, a rubber ball and replaceable, long lasting Gnawhide® treats. The toy easily unscrews to load treats and clean. Unlike other dog toys that can often have a life-span of approximately 3 minutes, the Bouncy Bone is now going on three months and its still got lots of Bounce left! Better yet, it is Veterinarian approved!

Check out the video below of Zazou and the Bouncy Bone Dog Toy in action. (Please ignore the fact that the camera-girl was having a seasonal allergy "episode" that day!)

Find more videos like this on Muttropolis Online Pet Park

The Eat Better Bowl vs. Jackson, the dog that never loses suction.

Jackson froWhenever I have the pleasure of babysitting Muttropolis office-mate "Jackson," at left,  a goofy mystery mutt who’s never met a dry, tasteless article of clothing that he doesn’t want to personally sample, I am amazed at how fast that dog can hoover his food! He truly approaches every meal as if it were his last or as if he’s perhaps hoarding said food in anticipation of an apocalyptic event that will eliminate all food sources.

It all seems quite unhealthy. In fact, according to some veterinarians, ‘vacuuming’ of food may result in a myriad of physical and behavioral problems including bloating, overeating and vomiting.

Over the last year, I’ve become increasing alarmed with watching Jackson ingest his food in such a ghastly manner, so I chose to take matters into my own hands and discovered a new product called the6113-DEFAULT-m Eat Better Bowl. A simple concept, the Eat Better Bowl was born out of the need to help slow down those dogs that indeed do inhale, like Jackson. According to the manufacturer, its “unique 
revolutionary design is a result of deep thought and research” and it is designed with a small, wishbone shaped ‘obstacle’ within the basin of the bowl, which slows down your pets food intake. 

We put the Eat Better Bowl and Jackson to the test and we were able to slow down his consumption by a whole ELEVEN 
SECONDS. Hey, we’ll take it!

If your dog has a drinking problem, try the companion Drink Better Bowl which we'll review next time!

Tips for when the Mercury Dips.

Muttropolis Cold Weather TipsBaby, its Cold Outside: Tips for when the Mercury Dips.

Winter can be a season of bitter cold and the healthiest pets are those who are taken out often for exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Thanks to the ASPCA, the following tips will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.

1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

2. Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm.
Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears a collar and ID tag.

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3. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs & stomach when he comes in out of the snow or ice.
He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

4. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat provides more 4546-DEFAULT-m
warmth.
When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a dog coat or dog sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

5. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

6. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

7. Give them extra calories. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, healthy treats, particularly protein, to keep him—and his fur—in tip-top shape.

8. Avoid anti-freeze & other coolants. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.

6022-DEFAULT-m9. Make sure water bowls are not frozen. Check bowls periodically throughout the day and consider using plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

10. Make sure your companion has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from drafts. A cozy dog bed or cat bed with a warm blanket is a good idea.

Rolling with the Oldies

Frankie & Woofie in their Pet Strollers
Truth be told, when Dog and Pet Strollers first rolled off the assembly line 10+ years ago, many of us rolled our eyes and grimly wondered what the world was coming to. As purists, we believed that dogs and cats were intended to walk, not roll.

It wasn’t until I nearly lost all blood circulation in my arm whilst carrying a tired Chihuahua Dachsund mix around a local art fair for an hour that I realized the brilliance of a pet stroller. Or until a fellow Muttropolitan HQ staffer realized that her aging and slightly blind Pug, Winston, nicknamed “Dubya”, simply couldn’t make it down the beach anymore, his little legs were too arthritic…but the stroller gave him a whole new leash on life.

I had the pleasure of running into the parents of Woofie and Frankie at our Doga Yoga event last week and their senior pups were happy as clams in their stroller, cruising up and down the Solana Beach Cedros Avenue Design District, engaging in activities that otherwise would have been difficult.

Dog and Pet Strollers are a great way to allow older or disabled pets to get out and about and connect with the world …not to mention that we pet parents feel good about including them on outings that perhaps otherwise would not be possible.  As well, they provide a great way for runners, joggers or power walkers to include their small pet in their workouts!

Let the good times roll!

Cruise Control: Safety first when hitting the road with Rover.

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We have all heard of the program called "Click It or Ticket". Law enforcement agencies are now cracking down on automobile drivers and passengers who do not wear seat belts.

The same is true for pets riding in a car in over 50% of the states. You can be fined for not having your pet in some type of restraint system while riding in the family car. According to a recent study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) something like 30,000 accidents a year are caused by dogs in the front seats.

In fact, California Assemblyman Bill Maze (R-Visalia) introduced a bill
against driving with lap dogs after a car passed him with two large canines hanging
out a window and a third in the driver’s lap.

There are 69.1 million U.S. households with pets and 84% of families
travel with a pet in their automobile, according to the American Pet Product Association. Under Maze’s bill, drivers
caught with a pet in their lap would face fines ranging from $35 to
nearly $150. Other states are following suit and are introducing additional "distracted driver" legislation which will include pets.

Legislation aside, there are many important reasons that Muttropolis believes you need to secure your pet with a pet safety harness or car seat when you hit the road with Rover. Here are the top six:

Reason Number 1: The primary reason is the safety of your pet in case of an accident or even a sudden stop. In an auto accident a pet in a car traveling 30 mph will hit an object ten inches in front of them such as the windshield at 1,200 pounds per square inch. If you have ever slammed on your brakes and had your dog come flying forward, you understand how easily your pet can be injured or even killed

Reason Number 2:
Having your pet in a safety harness can prevent driver distraction. A pet that is moving about in the car is the 3rd worst in-car distraction according to a recent AAA study

Reason Number 3:
In an accident, a dog can be thrown with hundreds or even thousands of pounds of force into other occupants of the vehicle, easily causing life-threatening injuries. A good pet safety harness system will help minimize this danger.

Reason Number 4: A pet safety harness makes it easier for rescue workers and EMT’s to help in the event of an accident.  A dog that has been in an accident is likely to be shocked, confused, injured, and protective. It does not understand what has happened and may attack people or rescue workers indiscriminately.

Reason Number 5: A pet safety harness can prevent runaways! Even well behaved dogs can have their moments of "distraction". Far from home or on vacation is the worst place to lose your dog. Dogs can also get injured or killed jumping from even a slow moving vehicle.

Reason Number 6: Convenience. A pet safety harness eliminates the worry of your pet escaping every time a window or door is opened! This also means you may be able to leave some windows open for ventilation.

It only takes a few minutes to insure your pet’s safety by buckling them in a harness or a car seat. Accidents do happen, and you owe it to your pet to protect them against possible injury. Your family will thank you, and so will your pet.

Some factoids in the story were printed with permission of Pettravel.com

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