Friday, August 23, 2013

Halo Healthsome Review

Earlier this month, I received a bag of Halo Healthsome dog treats in Beef and Liver from I am lucky to have the best doggie taste tester in Gigi. She's a girl with a sensitive stomach and is very selective about what she chooses. Also, having five dogs makes it easy to see if a treat will please them all, since they all are very different from each other.

What's Good About This

One thing that stood out on the package was the fact that the biscuits were oven baked. Many biscuits are processed and contain fillers. Healthsome do not. This makes a difference with dogs like my Gigi, who's naturally sensitive to certain treats. They were also easy to break in half for our smaller dogs.

Upon giving this to Gigi, she did her routine sniffing of the biscuits and then proceeded to eat it like usual. It didn't upset her stomach. As for the other dogs, Harry, our Chinese Crested loved it too. Chinese Crested dogs are notorious for having bad teeth. We have to be careful of what we give Harry for treats because of this. He can eat most treats, but not ones similar to bones.

The Final Result

These treats turned out to be very popular with all the dogs. They loved them. I recommend these to dog owners who are looking for a more healthy biscuit than your average commercial fare.

Let's Discuss!

How does your dog like Halo Healthsome?

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Dogs As My Diet Buddies

Last week, reality hit me. I knew I was gaining weight but I never realized how much. Because pounds can be so intimidating, I'm going to share with you the percentage I gained. Sure enough, when I crunched the numbers, it came out to a 14.7 percent increase. With that bump in weight gain, I have reached the heaviest weight I've ever been.

There's been a lot of reasons on why I gained weight. For one, I was working at a job with no job security and really didn't give us a lunch hour. We would go out and bring our lunch back to the desk. In that environment, nervousness becomes a factor of what you put into your mouth.

Another reason is that my living situation has changed with more people and more pets. With the two extra dogs we have living with us, it's harder to take Cookie, Gigi and Homer for a long walk like I did last summer. Our other dog Fancy loves to go on walks with us, and I enjoy taking her. However, with her massive frame and being overweight, she can only last a short time.

I've also been preoccupied with Gigi's bladder stones. Even though she's slowly improving, it's a situation that you constantly have to be watching. You can't let the medication schedule lapse. As I found out when I went to get more medication, I learned that the stones are solidified forms of the bacteria that built up in her bladder. Many times, Gigi just doesn't want to eat.

Yet, these in the end are just excuses. Sometimes, we push aside things until they snowball out of control. That's when you have to take a step back and say no more. Knowing how to lose weight is easy. You just cut your intake of food and increase your exercise. However, when it comes to putting this into action, that's where it gets tricky. Weight gain doesn't happen overnight unless it's a freak thing. You're therefore not going to lose weight that quickly either.

Strategy For Losing Weight With Dogs As Your Diet Buddy

I've been doing this for only a week. I'm working at a place right now that offers a lunch break which is something I enjoy. It gives me time away from the computer and helps me pay more attention to what I'm eating. I also have the option to take the stairs a couple of flights. I find that taking the stairs over the elevator is much more satisfying because you don't have to wait around. It also strengthens your calf muscles.

Now, even though I'm off to a good start, I need to figure out how I can exercise the dogs and myself so that everyone benefits. Dogs, like their human counterparts need to build up to higher activity levels. So what I'm going to do is try to wake up earlier on weekdays, to take the Cookie, Gigi and Homer on longer walks. Fancy likes to sleep in so she won't feel slighted.

When getting home from work, I wait to walk the dogs so their food can digest. It's also a cooler temperature compared to the middle of the day. Instead of taking the dogs on long walks, I'll be able to take them on shorter walks with more frequency. So my plan is to take them once in the morning and two shorter walks in the evening.

On weekends, I plan to take the dogs to the park in the morning. Since I'm always out doing stuff, I feel like at least one good walk is something, until my schedule becomes more regular.

What This Has Taught Me

Even though I have a long road ahead of me, I look at the situation as more of a challenge than a detriment. This is what I've learned:
  • Whatever your eating and activity levels are, it will trickle down to your pets.
  • That there's no quick fix for losing weight, no matter what those ads will tell you.
  • You have to become focused and don't let the naysayers get the better of you.
  • When you truly think healthy you will become healthy.
  • Don't let a couple of splurges sway you from your main goal

I do feel fortunate that I have a great support system that includes family, friends and my pets. As much as I need to lose the excess weight, this whole matter is reinventing itself by helping me to look at it as a challenge instead. Sometimes the hardest things we do in life involve taking the first step.

Let's Discuss!

How do you and your dogs stay healthy?

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Monday, August 5, 2013

John Paul Pet Waterless Shampoo Review

Last week, I received the Pet Grooming Pack from John Paul Pet for review. Living with five dogs, this was an ideal opportunity to test this out. It came as a trio in a delightful little box with handles. One bottle contained shampoo, one bottle contained conditioning spray and then we had a brush which is the most important part of the process. It also said that they test the products on humans first which shows that they don't believe in using animals for testing. If any of you have seen typical animal testing stories, the way many animals are treated can be deplorable.

The Difference Between Waterless Shampoo and Traditional Shampoo

I never really used waterless shampoo until I received this package from John Paul Pet. The method is much different than regular shampooing. Here are the main differences:

  • The shampoo comes out as a foam
  • Instead of using water to rinse, you brush the coat dry

My first part of testing the products was figuring out which dogs to test this product. Cookie and Gigi were out since they have their baths when they go to the groomer. Harry is a Chinese Crested who's hairless. He also has sensitive spots so I was apprehensive about giving him a bath, since his master takes care of things. Homer is the type of dog that runs far, far away when he sees a brush of any kind whether it's a hair brush or tooth brush. In fact, if I can brush Homer with three brush strokes, then that's quite successful. So this left Fancy, our English Mastiff.

Fancy is a good girl for such a big dog. She has no idea how big she is but acts just like a regular dog. She was quite a sport about me applying the foam onto her. She seemed to like it just fine. She went with it.

Then came the brushing. At first, she was a little perplexed wondering why I was doing it. Fancy is a short-haired dog so she's the type that can definitely go without it and look beautiful. She didn't seem to mind. It also removed a lot of her dead hair which will decrease shedding. I had to be careful so I wouldn't brush so hard. It took awhile since Fancy is a big dog but we both hang in there.

After the initial application of shampoo, it's was time for the conditioning. The nice thing about this part is that with the spray it's quick and easy.

The Final Word

Fancy's coat turned out to be soft and silky. I think waterless shampoo is a good alternative to regular shampoo. I feel like this method is a good alternative for those who pets who don't like it wet. It's also a great alternative for cats who usually can't stand baths.

As great as this product is, for dogs like Homer, it may not be the best choice. Also, for dogs with very thin hair or no hair at all, regular pet shampoo may be the more suitable alternative. All in all, this is something to consider for a light maintenance when you need a quick clean in between. If you're looking for an alternative, I highly recommend it.Thanks to the folks at John Paul Pet for making this possible. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit their website.

Let's Discuss!

Please share your funniest moment of bathing your pet below.

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