Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Dog Food - chewy.com Product Review

This month we received Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula kibble in Turkey Formula from chewy.com. Chewy has mild allergies to mystery ingredients, so I have been buying limited ingredient formulas for him. Some limited ingredient formulas are not limited enough for him and still make his skin extra pink and his ears dirty/itchy, while others make his poop more smelly, and some don't add shine to his coat. We are still searching for the perfect brand, and that led us to try Zignature. 

Chewy was very interested in the food when I pulled it out of the chewy.com box, sniffing it and even licking the bag. He did not stray far at all when I told him to move so I could take pictures of just the product. 

Zignature Limited Ingredient Formulas are free of the most common potential canine allergens of corn, wheat, soy, dairy and chicken. The first ingredient in the Turkey Formula is turkey, followed by turkey meal, so it should be a very meaty meal, very appealing to those carnivorous tastebuds. It also contains nutrient-dense legumes (chickpeas & peas), flaxseed, sunflower oil, and numerous supplements. I would have preferred more natural sources of vitamins and minerals, but I guess that would contradict the limited ingredient-ness.

The kibbles themselves are an average size and appear very oily. Chewy seems to like the smell and taste. I have been trying to transition Chewy to this food VERY slowly because giving him too much at a time kept giving him mushy poops. Yuck. I would guess it has to do with the amount of oil. Since we haven't fully transitioned to Zignature, I can't tell yet if it's a good food for Chewy or not.

Disclaimer: We received a free 4 lb. bag of Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Dog Food in Turkey Formula from chewy.com for review purposes as part of the chewy.com Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Broken Toe Recovery

After 6 weeks since Chewy fractured his toe, he finally has the all clear to run around again! I'm sure six weeks of limited activity felt like a very long time to Chewy. He did a lot of lounging around for most of it, and got plenty of belly rubs and pettings.

Soon he was back to his usual rolling-on-the-couch antics, which technically was not "running."

His limit per bandage was exactly 1 week. He kept ripping up the bandage on the 7th day, and we'd have to get a last minute drop-off appointment at the vet the next day to get it fixed up.

Eventually, around week 3.5, he decided to rip off the whole splint. He ripped off a bunch of leg hair in the process. That must have hurt!

He also pooped out a cotton strip a few days later.

The splint had caused some blisters, and his paw pad started sloughing off in the following days.

But his paw is slowly returning to normal, and we finally went to the park to run around this weekend!

Total vet fees for the broken toe escapade, including an emergency vet visit, 2 sets of x-rays, and 4 bandages: $986.10

Friday, September 29, 2017

Blue Basics Biscuits Limited Ingredient Dog Treats - chewy.com Product Review

We tried Blue Basics Biscuits in Salmon & Potato Recipe, courtesy of chewy.com. They are crunchy biscuits made with limited ingredients, perfect for pups with food sensitivities.

Each biscuit is imprinted with the Blue buffalo logo, and despite the giant picture on the package (labeled with a disclaimer: "Not actual size. Enlarged to show texture."), the treats are actually quite small.

With salmon as the first ingredient, these treats definitely smell fishy. I'm sure Chewy likes them even more for that smell. He loves these treats so much, it took 3 different photo sessions to catch him and a treat in a clear shot. He kept eating them at lightning speed, blatantly ignoring my "wait" commands!

Intense cookie stare
I'm sure Chewy would say "YUM!" if he could!

Disclaimer: We received a free bag of BLUE Basics Biscuits Limited Ingredient Dog Treats in Salmon & Potato Recipe from chewy.com for review purposes as part of the chewy.com Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chewy Fractured a Toe...Chasing a CAT!

A couple of weeks ago, I let Chewy out for his before-bedtime potty, and he spotted a cat in our yard. I am pretty sure Chewy thinks cats are his mortal enemies, so of course he ran after it at top speed! The cat ran off, so Chewy stopped to pee on the grass. He had his hind leg lifted, which he sometimes does even though there's no shrub/object there to mark. But then on the walk back to the house, he kept stopping and licking his foot. I thought maybe he was upset about stepping in mud or something, but while cleaning his feet I noticed his toe was looking and felt funky. So...to the emergency vet we went! Chewy has been going to the 24 hour emergency vet every other year (4 years ago for eating a gross tube sock on a neighbor's lawn, 2 years ago for eating some synthetic suede-looking thing on our street, and both times after hours), so I guess it was keeping up with his pattern.

The vet took some x-rays and found that Chewy had fractured his toe. Dog feet look so funky on x-ray!

After 3 hours at the emergency vet, Chewy got a splint bandaged to his foot and some pain meds.

Ready to go home!
The vet said to keep Chewy from running around, so Chewy was a sulky pup.

Woe is Chewy
One day I came home to find that he had chewed his bandages and presumably ate a piece of the elastic adhesive bandage...all with his cone on! He had managed to force his cone further down his neck so the front of his mouth was out of the cone, free for chewing. So, I put a baby sock to cover up the partially shredded bandages until his vet check-up the next day. The adhesive bandage had been bothering him all week, I think because it was tugging on his leg hair.

I bought him an XL Comfy Cone to make sure those chompers couldn't reach the new bandages. The Comfy Cone is not see-through like the normal ones, so the first time I put it on Chewy, he FROZE. Now that he is more used to it, I think he enjoys the padded aspect. It's like having a pillow all the time! But it makes it harder for him to drink water because instead of being a perfect round cone, it has panels that make it more angular.

With exercise restrictions, what's a pup to do but lounge around with his toys? Not that Chewy really understands that he needs to rest his toe/foot. He has mastered running on 3 legs to get where he wants to go.

Of course, Chewy has not learned his lesson. Another cat walked by our glass doors the other day, and Chewy leaped off the couch to growl at it and keep watch.

ALERT!! Trespassing kitty!!!
The adventures of being a dog parent!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Stella & Chewy's Carnivore Crunch Freeze-Dried Treats - chewy.com Product Review

This month, we received Stella & Chewy's Carnivore Crunch Freeze-Dried Treats in Grass-Fed Beef Recipe from chewy.com.

The original inspiration for the Stella & Chewy's company was a dog named Chewy! Their products focus on providing raw nutrition in safe, easy-to-use formats, ranging from treats to meal mixers to complete dinners.

Stella & Chewy's Carnivore Crunch Freeze-Dried Treats, Beef Recipe
Carnivore Crunch treats contain 98% meat, organs and ground bone, providing that meaty flavor that dogs love. Plus, they contain limited ingredients, great for those pups with sensitive stomachs. The only non-beef ingredients in the beef recipe are pumpkin seeds and tocopherols (for preservation).

Chewy smells something yummy!
At less than 3 calories per treat, they are perfect for Chewy's current predicament. He fractured a toe chasing after a cat, so now he is on exercise limitations and thus needs to be fed less. He's still the same Chewy that loves food, so low-calorie treats are his best option.

Freeze-dried treat nuggets
Despite having "crunch" in the product name, these treats are not crunchy. They have the typical freeze-dried raw nugget consistency, and crumble when you break them apart.

My Chewy loves them!

Disclaimer: We received a free bag of Stella & Chewy's Carnivore Crunch Freeze-Dried Dog Treats in Grass-fed Beef Recipe from chewy.com for review purposes as part of the chewy.com Blogger Program. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions shared above are our own.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Kayaking with Chewy

We bought a kayak this summer! Our town built a kayak launch recently, so I figured we might as well use it. The rental place nearby only allow dogs in the rowboats, not the kayaks (☹), so I got one for me and Chewy.

I went with a foldable kayak because it is light and easy to store. This way I can carry and transport it by myself, seeing as Chewy isn't going to lend a helping paw.

Not sure what this is...
I practiced assembling the kayak on our lawn, and Chewy took to it immediately. He probably didn't know what it was, but hopped right in to claim as his own.

A seat for me!
The moment we launched into the water, Chewy kept rocking the boat. He moved to one side to smell the water and felt the boat tipping, so he quickly moved to the other side, only to tip it that way.  And repeat. I thought for sure we would flip over! But he soon realized that maintaining balance was key, so now he works with me to keep us afloat.

Being a big lap dog, Chewy enjoys sitting on my lap in the kayak, feeling the breeze through his fur, watching the birds/humans on the water, and taking in all the sea smells.

When he's excited he stands up and wags his tail in my face. Not the most pleasant thing...especially when his tail is wet with stinky sea water!

And when he's really excited, he puts his paws up on the deck like a little troublemaker.

But the rest of the time he's a good boy and lies down in the kayak, although sometime he crushes my legs...

Chewy is always enjoying the view while we paddle along. When we pass someone with a fishing pole, he often licks his chops and watches them intensely, so I guess he understands that they're catching food! And, he thinks buoys are very suspicious, especially the big round ones, so he is careful to keep an eye on them.

Big clownfish
Kayaking with Chewy is always a fun adventure!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Eazee by Foolee, Click & Brush Deshedding Tool - Product Review

The #1 complaint people tend to have about golden retrievers is the shedding - the tumblefurs around the house, the constant need for a lint roller, the rogue dog hairs that end up in your mouth. While I think their loving, playful demeanor and cuteness more than make up for the presence of dog hair on everything I own (or don't own), others might not think so. That's where shed control measures come in, including deshedding tools. We have tried a lot of grooming tools designed for removing dead hair, but never found one that worked well for Chewy. But now there is the Eazee deshedding tool made by Foolee, and it works for us!

Eazee by Foolee range of colors (image provided by Matrix Partners)

The Eazee deshedding tool is available in a variety of bright, happy colors, and in small, medium and large sizes. It comes with two interchangeable and reversible plastic combs - one for daily grooming (white) and the other for intense grooming (black). Each comb has smooth, rounded teeth with one side for thick hair and the other for thin hair. The comb is retractable so it can be adjusted for short or long hair, and fully retracts to easily dehair the brush. With so many adjustable elements, it can be used on a wide variety of fur types.

The product packaging makes a lot of claims (safer, gentler, easier to use, more effective, won't scratch skin or pull live hair), and they all seem to hold true! I have run the brush along my own arm, and it does not scratch or leave marks. ✔

Chewy is the type of dog that does NOT enjoy being groomed, and typically puts up a fight when it's time to get a bath, nail trim, or brushed. But he is actually cooperative about 90% of the time when I use the Eazee brush! It does seem to be more comfortable for him than other brushes we have used, and he doesn't run away and hide!

How Chewy feels about being groomed: Pfbt!

For Chewy, the Eazee works best on the "thick" settings. Chewy is a "shed a little every day" kind of Golden instead of the "blow coat once a year" kind, so we never achieve that dramatic second dog made of brushed hair. But, we do get a decent-sized blob of hair, especially if it's been awhile since he was last brushed.

Day 1: Intense brushing comb

Day 2: Daily brushing comb
Day 3+: laziness/forgetfulness kicks in and no more brushing...

The results are definitely noticeable to me, as Chewy's coat feels thinner and only a couple of hairs fly off his body when he shakes. ✔

I like the versatility of the Eazee brush. I can use it on the short setting on Chewy's head where the hairs are shorter, and the long setting for everywhere else.

While the product claims to have anti-static properties, I sometimes still get some static cling. However, I think there is less static when I actually utilize the ejector function, instead of pulling the collected hair off by hand. Regardless, bringing the brushing session outside makes the floating or clingy hairs more tolerable.

Brushing outside

The one real down side is that if the dog's hair is tangled or matted, the Eazee brush yanks instead of detangling. Chewy's long tail hairs often get a little tangled, so I have to go in with my fingers or a comb to gently detangle the hair before brushing.

Overall, Chewy and I really like the Eazee by Foolee, as it works for our needs. It is gentle, yet effective. Hooray!

Disclaimer: We received a free Eazee by Foolee Click & Brush Deshedding Tool from Matrix Partners in exchange for an honest review. We received no monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions expressed above are our own.