Wednesday, September 28, 2016

ZiwiPeak Good-Dog Treats: Lamb Recipe - Product Review

What's this? A package for Chewy? Hooray! [[All packages left at our door are for Chewy, unless proven otherwise]]

A delivery!
This month we received ZiwiPeak 'Good-Dog' Treats Lamb Recipe from Made in New Zealand, the meat is air-dried into jerky to preserve the nutrition in the raw meat. In addition to natural preservatives, there is added parsley for freshening dog breath. The jerky contains NO artificial preservatives, colors, salt, sugar, fillers or grain. Yay!
ZiwiPeak Good-Dog Treats Lamb Recipe
I thought it was funky that on the back of the package, every time it says the word "Treats," it is in quotations. They are 'treats?' Maybe it's a New Zealand thing.  

The treats come in a little 3 oz. package, but there are plenty of treats in there.

Lots of little treats
The treats are small, thin jerky strips. They are easily breakable into even smaller pieces, and with their meatiness they make a great training treat.

Such concentration! Chewy is almost cross-eyed here
Chewy really likes these treats and will sit very nicely whenever I am near the bag in hopes of getting one (or two, or three). I like that they are natural and healthy. As for the breath freshening aspect, I can't say that I've noticed a difference, but who knows!

Do you see the drool droplets on the floor?

Disclaimer: We received a free bag of ZiwiPeak Good-Dog Treats - Lamb Recipe from for review purposes as part of the Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stuffie Naps

Sometimes when Chewy is playing with his toys, he tires himself out so much that he needs to take a nap. I suppose pretending to kill stuffies can be hard work -- there's all that shaking, strutting, chewing, and squeaking involved. Other times, he just gets bored of the toy(s) he's got in his paws/jaws and settles down for some shut-eye. Whatever the cause, it often leads to some pretty adorable sleepy stuffie hugging!

Cow as pillow

Cow huggies

Dreaming of being Air Bud

The puppy pillow

Did you spot Chewy among all the stuffies?

Chewy definitely believes you can never have enough stuffies. Or naps!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends: Beef Recipe - Product Review

This month we received Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends from to test out. The Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends are freeze-dried, raw complete diets. We chose the Beef Recipe for some variety, since so many dog food products are made with chicken (the other option).

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends, Beef Recipe
I like that the packaging actually has a picture of what the food looks like. Most dog foods just have a photo of a dog frolicking in a field or some generic drawing, so it can be nice to know what to expect when you open up a new food. 

The meal blend consists of freeze-dried veggies, fruits, and little meaty nuggets. I like that the fruits and veggies are minimally processed and actually identifiable! The freeze-drying process locks in nutrition and flavor, which is a plus.

Inside the bag
Chewy thought the food smelled delightful and couldn't wait to try it.

Smells yummy!
Chewy looked on in anticipation while I attempted to rehydrate the food.

The serving suggestion says "Crush pieces and wait 10 minutes if full rehydration is desired." I didn't crush the pieces because it seemed counterintuitive - they made them into little nuggets, and now I have to un-nugget them? 

After soaking the uncrushed freeze-dried food for 10 minutes, there was still quite a bit of water left in the dish. I even flipped the nuggets over halfway through so that both sides could get soaked. 

+ 0 minutes                                                                                        + 10 minutes
Chewy didn't mind that there was extra water - he probably likes the fruity/meaty/vegetable-y taste. He happily lapped up everything in his dish every time I gave him some of the Meal Blends.

Hoovering at full speed
The suggested feeding amounts chart on the bag only lists up to a 40 lb dog, which is not so helpful when your dog is much larger than that. Chewy only got to eat it as an addition to his regular meals. If I was to feed Chewy the Meal Blends for entire meals, he'd probably go through an entire 1 lb. bag in a day or less! Considering that, I find the Meal Blends to be NOT cost effective, but of course you often pay a premium for healthier foods!

Overall, Chewy and I were pleased with the Raw Market Meal Blends because of the nutrition, visible whole foods, and taste, but I do not think it is an economical diet for a large dog. For us, it would be more of a treat than an actual meal.

Disclaimer: We received a free bag of Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Market Meal Blends Beef Recipe from for review purposes as part of the Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Can We Go Swimming???

Chewy, like most Golden Retrievers, LOVES water. If we are walking along a shoreline, he starts pulling towards the water in hopes of a foot soak, a refreshing dip, or perhaps a game of fetch. When we get close enough to the water, he looks back with that dopey smile, as if to ask, "Can we go swimming?"

Can we go swimming?

How about here?

Can we go down there?
Sometimes he takes matters into his own hands, and just goes for it:

Oooohh, water...


He always looks super pleased with himself when he manages to get in the water, whether with permission or not!

I smell now, and it's GREAT!

To keep his fur/skin clean and healthy, Chewy usually gets a dreaded bath after swimming, but I think he would say it's still worth it!

I am displeased by this bath.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Natural Balance L.I.T. Jerky Bark: Duck & Potato Formula - Product Review

This month, we received Natural Balance's Limited Ingredient Treats (L.I.T.) Jerky Bark in Duck & Potato Formula from

...when will I get to eat them??

I had purchased Natural Balance L.I.T. Jerky Bark before for a hiking trip so that Chewy would have some energy-providing snacks on the trail, and we liked it. Back then, it looked like normal meat jerky encrusted in powdery [sweet] potato. The one downside was that the powdery crust would come off on my fingers when I touched it, resulting in sticky fingers.

Now, they have a "new and improved formula," and it does not look like your typical jerky. It looks like processed meat product, similar in appearance to hot dogs or spam. While I don't like how unnatural it looks, I do like that it doesn't leave crumbs or sticky residue on my fingers. This makes it even more convenient to break off little pieces for controlled feeding.

Not very jerky-like in appearance

Chewy LOVES the taste of these treats. Every time I tried to get pictures of him eating one, they turned out like this:

*scarf scarf scarf*

The treats are soft and not tough at all, so he can eat an entire strip of jerky bark in just a few seconds! They are definitely not a long-lasting treat for these jaws.


I think these treats smell kind of funky, but Chewy doesn't mind at all. He might even like the scent! I opened the bag to examine the texture while writing this review, and Chewy came over a few minutes later and started sniffing around furiously. He KNEW there was something good to eat around here!

Disclaimer: We received a free bag of Natural Balance L.I.T. Jerky Bark Duck & Potato Formula from for review purposes as part of the Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Coping with the Heat Wave

It has been HOT over here on the East Coast, and weather forecasters are saying the high temps will continue through the end of July! Chewy's preferred temperature range is 60°F and below, so he is rather displeased with this!

The easiest way for Chewy to keep cool is to stay home with the air conditioner on. He likes to lay on the floor tile, hug the metal bar stools, and lounge on the leather couch - all surfaces that are cool to the touch.

Bar stool for Chewy!

Napping on his favorite couch

He goes out to potty just a few feet away from the door and then hurries back in to resume chilling in the air conditioning.

But lounging around at home all day gets boring, and a cooped up pup needs exercise and mental stimulation! So, I try to take him out sometimes, preferably early or late in the day when temperatures are (marginally) cooler, and sticking to shady areas.

Staying hydrated is a top priority in the heat for both humans and pups, so bringing water on every outing is a necessity.

Just gonna stay here by my water bowl!

If we walk along the shoreline, he tries to jump into the stinky bay to escape the heat.


When we get home, I set up his kiddie pool so that he can cool off. Here he is getting poolside beverage service while waiting for the pool to fill:

But instead of walkies, Chewy would much rather travel in the air conditioned car...

...and go shopping!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Purina FortiFlora Canine Probiotic Supplement - Product Review

Sometimes, a new kind of treat or too many treats can cause Chewy to have a bout of mushy or even runny poops. There are various at-home remedies for the occasional diarrhea/soft stools, such as feeding chicken & rice, ground flax seed, or pumpkin puree. Another option is feeding probiotics to help balance out the gastrointestinal system. While humans often eat yogurt as a source of probiotics, it is unclear whether dogs benefit from doing the same. So, there are probiotics made just for dogs!

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets' probiotic supplement is called FortiFlora. It can be purchased without a prescription, but the feeding instructions say to use under veterinary supervision. This is important, as a veterinarian would be more adept at determining whether there is a serious underlying health problem. However, it can seem like overkill to run to the vet every single time your dog gets a case of the runs! Depending on the situation, you might decide to try treating for it at home by feeding probiotics.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Canine Probiotic Supplement
FortiFlora comes in powdered form that is packaged in single serving sachets.

Individually packaged powder packets

One sachet
The feeding instructions say to feed one packet a day. I sprinkle it right over Chewy's dinner, and he eats it all up. Easy peasy! 

The lighter colored powdery stuff = FortiFlora

The powder falls through the kibbles to the bottom of the bowl as he eats, but Chewy is a very thorough eater and will lick his bowl completely clean. He even uses his tongue to transfer a little water from his water bowl and "washes" his food bowl after eating!

Feeding FortiFlora for a couple days got Chewy's poops back to a good firmness, so it was definitely effective! Recently, he had been producing fishy-smelling farts every time he hopped on the couch, which was VERY UNPLEASANT when he wanted to cuddle, but FortiFlora stopped the fishy farts, too! FortiFlora gets paws up from us!

Disclaimer: We received a free box of Purina FortiFlora from for review purposes as part of the Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.