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Keep your pet happy and healthy all summer long

 

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Now that summer is almost officially here (June 21, 2017), many families are anxiously waiting to go on summer vacation as well as do things typically enjoyed during the summer months such as trips to the beach, lazy summer days hanging out by the pool and backyard barbecues with family and friends.

Summer time can also be a fun time for your dog. At the same time the hot summer months can also be very dangerous for your four legged friend.

Here are some great tips to keep in mind all summer long when it comes to your beloved pet.

NEVER, EVER leave your pet in a car. I cannot stress that enough.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A CAR!!!!!!

It can take minutes – literally minutes – for your dog to develop heat stroke and/or suffocate in a car. Do you really want your best friend to SUFFER like that? If you love your pet then you will leave your pet at home.

To give you a gruesome example, on a 78 degree day the interior of your car, parked in the shade, can quickly escalate to 90 degrees. If your car is not parked in the shade the temperature in your car can reach a deadly 168 degrees within minutes. Would YOU want to sit in a hot car that feels like it’s 168 degrees? I don’t think so. Why would you put your dog through that?

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Keep your pet hydrated

There is nothing better on a hot summer day than a cold glass of refreshing water. Most people are aware that they need to keep themselves properly hydrated at all times, most especially in the hot summer months. The same holds true for your pets.

Dogs and cats (and other animals) should have access to fresh water at all times, this is even more critical in the summer months when dehydration can happen rapidly due to the hotter temperatures.

Be sure to pack water and a collapsible water bowl when out on the trails, and have fresh water available whether at the beach or playing in the yard.

When my family and I were going to be away from home for a while I would freeze large chunk of ice and place them in a clean bowl with fresh water. The ice helps to keep the water cold and the melting ice keeps the water supply from being depleted. Our cats especially love it when only small chunk of ice are left in the bowl. They like to hit the ice chunk/chunks around with their paws and make a game out of it.

Hot Weather Safety

Did you know that dogs can get sunburned just like people can. White, light-colored, and thinly coated dogs are particularly prone to sunburn, so be sure to regularly apply a waterproof sunscreen formulated for babies or pets.

Find a shady spot to place a cool mat for your dog whether in your yard, at the beach, or during trail breaks.

In addition you should keep in mind that outside surfaces can heat up quickly in the summer sun and can burn your dog’s footpads. Walk your dog in the morning or evening, or in shaded areas or test surfaces before venturing outside by pressing your hand to the surface for 30 seconds. If it is painful for you, it will also be painful for your dog. Personally, we’d try and keep our dog in the grass as much as possible. We live in a condo complex with only a huge parking lot to walk around. Instead of putting our dog as risk we’d walk him around the condo buildings in the grass.

I love the tip about placing your hand on the concrete to check for hotness. I would have never thought to do that. Great idea!

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Road Trips

When you are taking a road trip with your family and furry friend, make sure to plan out what you are going to feed your pet BEFORE you leave home.

Make sure you have ample food and treats if you are travelling for only a few days. Petcurean’s SPIKE treats are a great on-the-go treat for your dog. You don’t want to cause any digestion issues.

If you’re planning to be traveling for days, weeks or months, you may need to purchase dog food while you are away – many pet food brands offer store locators on their website so that you can plan where to get your dog’s next meal.

Pet Sitters

Sometimes it’s not feasible to bring our pet on vacation with us. If you are lucky you can have a friend, family member or neighbor come in and take care of your pet in your absence. If that is not possible a kennel or professional pet sitter are viable options. Personally I prefer a pet sitter over a kennel. I think it’s better for your pet to be in their own home environment with their own things (bowls, bedding, toys…) then going to a kennel.

Pet sitter are also great for when you have other pets like fish, reptiles and birds.

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Here are two great articles worth reading in regards to choosing and hiring a pet sitter.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Pet Sitter

A Guide to Hiring a Pet Sitter

Pet Friendly Vacation

I have noticed that more and more hotels are becoming “pet friendly.” I think that is wonderful. That means that more pets can join their family on a fun vacation.

When choosing a hotel, campground or RV location be sure to find out their rules for pets. Some have limits to the pets size/weight. Other places might have limits on the number of pets you can have.

Here is a useful article to help you plan your next vacation with your pet – Summer Vacations Can Include the Family Pet.

Do YOU have any great tips when it comes to your pet/pets and the “dog days” of summer (no pun intended… OK… maybe a little. LOL!)? Feel free to tell me about them in the comment section of this post.

PHOTO SOURCE: Dreamstime.com

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Petcurean to bring you these great tips. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted and not influenced in any way. 

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Tips for the Dog Days of Summer

 

For most of the United States, the weather is still approaching the hottest time of the year.  So it’s a great time to get outside and have some fun in the sun – and if you are lucky that means pools, beaches and travelling.  Hopefully you get to bring along your four-legged best friend to add to the frolicking – but keep in mind, our fur babies have special considerations that are important for keeping them safe.

Every Summer we are reminded of important steps to keep our pups cool as the temperature rises, but even more than keeping them cool we have to keep them safe around circumstances that they are not necessary familiar with.  And just because dogs are natural swimmers, there are steps you need to take if you are going to have them in and around water that you might not be aware of.

Here are some of important items to think about to ensure your pup is safe as you embark on Summer fun.

 

Pups in Pools

Some dogs will jump right into a pool with reckless abandon.  However, others may be more timid and need some time to get used to the idea.  Make sure you take the time to acclimate your dog to the idea of a swimming pool which can take up to two weeks.  Here are some tips for making it a better experience for everyone:

  • Introduce your dog to the area around the pool.
  • Never force your dog into the pool.
  • Use treats to lure and encouragement to make it a fun experience.
  • Once your dog is comfortable around the pool, try to lure them onto the first step using a high value treat or favorite toy.
  • The best situation is that your dog makes the decision to come into the pool on their own
  • Allow them to come in and out of the pool on their own accord.
  • Make it FUN & cheer them on!
  • Once your dog is OK in the water, encourage them in further with the high value treat.
  • Be positive and upbeat so they think it’s a game.
  • Make sure you take them in and out where the steps are numerous times so they learn where the exit is.

 

Buddies at the Beach

There’s nothing better than the idea of taking a leisurely stroll along the beach (or running if you are that ambitious) with your dog at your side. But the beach can actually be a little overwhelming for dogs at first and can certainly be laden with some safety concerns.  Here are some of the ways you can have a successful visit to the sand:

  • Keep initial visits to the beach short until they get used to the sand
  • Pay attention to beach dog rules and follow them at all times
  • Keep your dog on a leash for safety and use a favorite toy or high value treat.
  • As soon as those paws hit the sand, deliver the treat to give them that first good impression.
  • Play with them and keep them busy – perhaps a game of fetch. If you don’t give them something to chase they will find something…like birds.
  • As always, remember to cheer them on.

Travelling in the Summer

 

Pooches on Planes

If you happen to be flying this summer and taking your dog along for the ride, make sure to follow these travel tips before your flight:

  • Try to travel in the morning
  • No food or water four hours before departing
  • Multiple potty breaks before getting to the airport
  • Keep the dog on the floor or in a crate safely in the cabin and/or with a seat belt harness

 

Dogs on Boats

If you will be heading out on the water, it’s important to treat your dog just like any other passenger on a boat.  Make sure to keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Use a life jacket for safety, even if your dog knows how to swim
  • Make sure you get them to land to stretch their legs often
  • Have plenty of water available at all times. Fresh water, not lake or ocean water!

 

Canines in Cars

If you are simply taking a road trip, never ever leave your dog in a parked car. It doesn’t matter if it’s just for a few minutes or even parked in a shady area. The temperature in a car can exceed 160 degrees within minutes which is the equivalent of putting your dog in a microwave. When in doubt, leave your loveable pooch at home in the AC. Here is what you should do if you happen to see a dog in a hot car:

  • Take down the car’s make, model and license-plate number.
  • If you can, notify local business or call 311 in NYC
  • Monitor the dog until help arrives

Other Summer Tips

Here are some other quick reminders that will help keep your dog safe in the Summer heat.

 

Keep them Hydrated

Always make sure that your dog has plenty of cool, fresh water available.  If your dog doesn’t stay hydrated they can suffer from heat and kidney damage along with many other health problems. Signs of dehydration:

  • Lethargy
  • Dry gums
  • Sunken, darkened eyes

 

Avoid Fleas and Ticks

Call your vet months before you travel to make sure you’re taking all the preventative measures against fleas and ticks. Prevention is a fraction of the cost of intervention.

Three most common diseases from ticks:

  • Lyme Disease
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Ehrlichiosis

Three most common diseases from fleas

  • Tapeworm
  • Plague
  • Haemobartonellosis

Remember, our dog is as much part of our family as anyone else and deserves the proper care and consideration.  Taking them along on any outing can add to the fun unless you neglect to take the proper steps.

For more information and helpful tips visit www.greatestamericandogtrainers.com.

About the author:

Travis Brorsen is one of the most sought after dog trainers in America today. Travis is Founder and CEO of Greatest American Dog Trainers, and is host of the new Animal Planet show, MY FAT PET, which premiers in Fall 2017.  He is a regular contributor to both Dogster.com and DogingtonPost.com. Travis and his team of trainers at Greatest American Dog Trainers not only provide hands-on training and dog walking to their canine clients and their humans, but are also focused on helping pets become more holistically healthy, fit and happy. In 2008, Travis and his 14-month old, highly energetic and untrained boxer, Presley, won the grueling 12 week CBS’ national dog training competition, Greatest American Dog. As a result of the show, Travis discovered he had a passion to help other dogs and their owners create similar positive learning and relationship building experiences. Today, Travis and his Greatest American Dog Trainers team specializes in basic and advanced obedience, dog health and fitness training, as well as behavioral issues.

 

 

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What is YOUR state’s favorite pet?

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Are you a pet owner? Is your home filled with four legged, furry family members? Or do you prefer things that slither around or fly around on wings?

I can honestly say that I know very few people that don’t own a pet. I think I can count on one hand – with fingers left over – of all the people I know personally who don’t have a pet.

I grew up with pets. At one point we had a horse, two dogs, two cats, two birds, seven hamster and a tank full of fish. That’s a lot of pets. In my adult years the most we had at one time was a dog, five cats and and two huge Goldfish. Currently we just have the five cats and one Goldfish. We plan on getting a Crested Gecko soon.

I cannot imagine a life without our pets. They are an important part of our family. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come home from a rough day at work and needed some “fuzz therapy” (playing or petting our pets). Stroking a cat or playing a good old fashioned game of ball toss with a dog are very therapeutic and a great stress reliever.

When you look around at your neighbors, what pets do they own? Does it seem like many people own the same breed of dog or cat? Do you have a lot of friends who have reptiles?

Trusted Housesitters recently conducted research to discover America’s favorite pets on social media, according to state.

It’s true! America Loves Pets, and certain breeds/varieties seem to be more prevalent in different states than others.

Take for example New York, where I live.

I was surprised to find that Bulldogs are the most popular breed. I would have thought it would have been Pitt Bulls or Rottweilers. The Persian cat as the most popular feline breed also came as a surprise to me.

I checked out a few more states to see how they compared to New York and I was surprised by the results. Here are just a few examples.

I wasn’t surprised that the Chihuahua was the popular dog breed in California. I was very surprised that the Sphynx and Siamese were popular cat breeds in Montana and North Dakota. I was also surprised to see the Corgi as the most popular breed in North Dakota. I would think a more “outdoorsy” dog like a Labrador or Terrier would have been more popular.

I’d love for you to take a moment and think about the state YOU live in. What do you think is the most popular breed of dog and/or cat in your state? What other animals do you think would be popular. Next, visit the this post – Take a trip across the country and discover how much America Loves Pets! – and click on your state to see if your guesses were correct. If not, where you surprised by what you learned? Leave a comment below and let me know if you guessed correctly and/or if you were surprised by the results?

Trusted Housesitters connects people with house sitters and pet sitters across the country. Some people will even sit for FREE!

Trusted Housesitters can help home and pet owners find the right person to watch after their home and/or pet in their area.

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Working with Trusted Housesitters benefits consumers.

  • Find 5-star rated members who will sit for FREE
  • Pets stay happy at home, in their own beds
  • Enjoy peace of mind and save thousands in costs
  • I.D. verification & criminal background checks on sitters

The #1 reason why we never go on vacation (aside from lack of funds) is our pets. When we had our dog Espn we needed someone who was available to take him out to do his “business” and for exercise several times per day. Our neighbors who volunteered to look after our pets were only available to walk our dog twice per day (once in the AM and once in the evening). That was no good enough. He needed to go out several times per day. In addition, with five cats we needed the litter box cleaned out numerous times per day too. When the litter box is not cleaned out one of our cats will take to urinating on the outside of the box.

Leaving our pets at a kennel was never an option. First and foremost the cost would be outrageous. The cheapest place local to us wanted $50 per pet per day. With five cats and a dog that was $300 PER DAY! Not only that, our eldest cat, Velcro, could not handle being in a situation like that. I think it would literally kill him if he had to be put in a cage away from our other cats. In fact, none of our cats would be happy being caged. I’m sure all pets would be better off being in their own home.

Our pets with the exception of our dog Espn who passed away earlier this year. Also not pictured out Goldfish, Fishy.

I know there are plenty of pet sitters available, but I didn’t want to pick out some random name in the phone book to come into my home and care for our pets. I want someone who is reliable, trustworthy and won’t steal from us. I like that Trusted Housesitters does I.D. verification and criminal background checks. I would feel much better leaving our pets in the care of someone who we can trust.

I visited the Trusted Housesitters website and I was surprised to find several available in my area. In fact, I read the profiles and reviews for a few of them and found a lady that I think might work well for us in the future.

I love that the site allows clients to post reviews for each sitter. It’s nice to hear what others have to say. It helps to narrow down choices and find the perfect sitter for you.

If you are interested in finding a pet sitter near you, or perhaps someone to look after your home when you are away, visit TrustedHousesitters.com. If you are interested in becoming a pet or house sitter you can look for interested people near you on the same website.

TrustedHousesitters is also found on social media. You can find all of their links at the bottom of their website.

TrustedHousesitters is also available in other countries (internationally).

What do you think about Trusted Housesitters? Does it sound like a service you need in your life? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Trusted Housesiters to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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What do YOU know about the foods you are feeding your pets?

As a mom I care about the foods I provide and prepare for my family. I strive to offer them the best food options I can. I read labels, I compare brands… you name it, I do it. It makes food shopping take a bit longer than is should, but I feel that it’s worth it.

Take for example orange juice. Many orange juice products are made with oranges sourced from other countries. Now, I’m NOT suggesting there is anything wrong with that, but, other countries have different standards when it comes to food quality and safety.

I’m not only a mom to two children – or should I say “young adults” (our daughter just turned 20!), I’m also a “mom” to five cats (and a Goldfish). Sadly our dog was put to sleep this past February.

I will admit that I never gave their food ingredients, or the source of those ingredients, as much thought as I did “people food,” until our dog became sick. He developed and incurable liver disease.

After his diagnosis I made it a point of checking out the ingredients that were in the foods we served him. I couldn’t pronounce half of the ingredients! I thought I was feeding our dog (and cats) decent foods, but I was proven wrong. In addition, where did those ingredients come from?

When it comes to people food the source of the ingredients should be clearly written on the label, but does that apply to pet food too?

A pet food brand called Petcurean is changing all of that. They make it a point to know the sources of the ingredients of their pet foods, and make sure they hold specific certifications to prove it.

Let’s take a look at their Gather pet food line.

ABOUT GATHER: with the knowledge that consumers are increasingly demanding sustainability, transparency and organic ingredients in their pet food, and scrutinizing more than ever for quality and safety, Petcurean created GATHER. GATHER is a new category of pet food crafted from certified, organic, non-GMO and sustainably produced ingredients. The recipes are perfectly blended and balanced to provide dogs and cats with premium quality, natural nutrition and are free from rendered ingredients.

CERTIFICATIONS: Pet food certifications are used in the food industry to provide information to consumers about the way in which a food is produced. Certifications are developed by governments or independent organizations which establish the certification’s ‘standards’. These are the documents that describe the criteria a food producer must meet in order to become certified. To become certified, food producers must undergo a highly detailed audit by an accredited company that determines whether the certification standard is being met. The certification cannot be used by the food producer until the auditor determines that all of the relevant criteria on the standard are fulfilled. To maintain certification, most certification bodies require an annual re-certification audit.

Many certifications have been developed for the food industry, each having its own unique set of standards. GATHER™ dog and cat recipes have received three different food certifications to provide transparency about the ingredients that have been carefully selected for these diets: Organic, Vegan, Marine Stewardship Council. Find out more here.

FARMER/PRODUCER PROFILES:

  • GATHER Wild Ocean & Free Acres: At Petcurean, we’re always thinking and talking about pet nutrition, formulations and ingredients for our premium-quality pet foods. We’ve been excited by all the benefits of krill, and are excited to include it in two of our new GATHER recipes; Free Acres ™ and Wild Ocean™ for dogs. Our producer partner is Aker Biomarine, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (Aker Biomarine’s extraordinary sustainability practices were critical in our decision to partner with them). The krill we use in GATHER is fished from the oceans surrounding Antarctica, using proprietary Eco-Harvesting™ technology. This prevents by-catch (fish and animals other than krill) and brings the live krill onto the ship where it is processed immediately to ensure maximum freshness.
  • GATHER Wild Ocean: Catching cod by longline is one of the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable methods of fishing used today. A particular school of cod can be located, identified, and brought on board, without the damage to the ocean floor associated with some net fishing. Individually-hooked fish are handled carefully, and the minimal by-catch of fish other than cod are released, live. These are just a few of the reasons we chose Alaskan Leader Fisheries LLC to supply us with their Alaskan Leader® brand cod for our GATHER Wild Ocean Recipe. Alaskan Leader, family founded and family run (just like Petcurean), operates out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The fish they provide us for GATHER Wild Ocean is the same Alaskan cod that’s sold in supermarkets and served in fine restaurants. 

Alaskan Leader Fisheries LLC is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. The MSC Fisheries Standard is designed to assess if a fishery is managed for protection against overfishing, habitat damage, and pollution. It was developed in consultation with scientists, the fishing industry, and conservation groups and reflects the most up-to-date understanding of internationally-accepted fisheries science and best practice management.

Alaskan Cod is the single source fish protein we use in Wild Ocean; it provides dogs with an excellent source of high-quality protein, is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, and is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, specifically niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium. The catch is so accurately targeted and recorded, that we can track the cod in a package of Wild Ocean right back to the day the cod was caught, which Alaskan Leader vessel caught it, and where it was caught.

  • GATHER Endless Valley & Free Acres: Farmer Direct is a farming co-operative based in Saskatchewan, Canada. Their 60+ strong family farms grow certified organic oil seeds, oats, lentils, beans, wheats, ancient grains and peas to the Canadian Organic Regulation, USDA National Organic Program and the European Union Organic Standards. The farmer-owners in the cooperative have been stewards of the land for generations. In fact, a number of the families have been farming the same land for over a century and were practicing organic agricultural techniques before organic certification was even available.

Naturally, we were drawn to Farmer Direct Co-Op as our supplier of the organic peas for our Endless Valley and Free Acres recipes. Their sustainability practices include rebuilding the soil through proper crop rotations, preventing topsoil erosion with cover crops, protecting shared waterways and air by never using toxic herbicides and pesticides, and honoring a farmer’s right to independence by never using genetically engineered seeds.

Peas are a nutrient-rich, environmentally-friendly ingredient that contain a variety of compounds to support health and are an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, and many essential vitamins and minerals. They provide most of the essential amino acids required by dogs and cats. Peas contain insoluble fiber, soluble fiber, and resistant starch, which all provide benefits for the digestive system. Peas also contain compounds known for their antioxidant properties that may protect dogs and cats against various diseases such as cancer. Also, a diet with peas as the primary source of carbohydrates has been shown to lower insulin levels in obese dogs.

  • GATHER FREE ACRES: When we were creating our new GATHER Free Acres recipes for dogs and cats, we wanted to have certified organic chicken as a primary protein source. Our search for the ideal partner took us across North America. We spoke to many producers, inspected their farms and finally decided on a family-owned and operated company in Northern Indiana known as Miller Poultry, who’ve been around since 1942.The folks at Miller provide us with a reliable, consistent source of USDA certified organic, free-run chickens that are raised in smaller flocks on Amish family farms.

These “broiler quality” chickens are fed an all-vegetable, antibiotic-free diet with no animal by-products, animal fats or artificial coloring. They also have access to the outdoors and three living enhancements that include things to perch on, hide behind and run through. Miller Poultry strictly adheres to the humane treatment policies defined by the Whole Foods animal welfare spokesperson, Temple Grandin. They don’t de-beak their chicks and use both male and female chickens. We were very pleased to hear that Miller has invested heavily in “Where Food Comes From”, a program that allows them to trace every bird to the specific farm where it was raised. And although chicken production is a water-intense process, they capture and treat all the water they use in the harvesting process, and then spray it on croplands surrounding their plant.

This remarkable-quality organic chicken with USDA/MOSA/BRC/GAP certifications is the single source poultry protein we use in our GATHER Free Acres recipes for dogs and cats. It’s a perfect meat source, in that it’s a high-quality protein which supplies all essential amino acids; it’s a source of omega 6 fatty acids and a source of essential vitamins and minerals, in particular niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

WOW!!! Who knew there was much that went into the creation of pet food.

I love that Petcurean’s Gather line has such high standards. Not only that, I appreciate that they have standards when it comes to the humane treatment of the animals sourced for their pet food (especially the chicken). As an animal lover it makes me feel good knowing that the poultry used in my pet’s food were treated properly and humanely.

What you serve your pet is more than just some slop in a dish or kibble in a bowl. It’s your pets source of nutrition. It helps to keep your pet happy and healthy.

If you are a pet parent who cares about what they serve to their pets, then become a label reader. Learn more about the ingredients in your pet’s food. Go one step further and learn about how those ingredients are sourced.

If you would like to learn more about Petcurean, their GATHER line or other pet food lines, visit Petcurean.com. They brand is also found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website. There is also a store locator on their website as well, so that you can find a Petcurean retailer near you.

Are you a pet parent? Do you read the labels on your pet’s food? After reading this post are you going to learn more about how your pet’s food ingredients are sourced?

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Pecurean to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

** Photos sourced from Dreamstime.com.

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A Dog’s Purpose – Now available on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD (giveaway ends 5/14/17)

 

I am a HUGE animal lover. I love animals in all shapes and sizes. I have great compassion for animals too. I can’t even watch those commercials on television about abused and neglected animals. The moment I hear them come on TV I change the channel promptly.

Just the other day I was driving to work when I noticed a squirrel in the middle of the road that had been hit by a car. It was still moving. I wanted to stop and help it but I was late for work and the poor little squirrel was in a really bad (blind) turn on a dangerous road. There was no place to pull over and even if I found a place I risked getting hit by a car.

ALL DAY I was sick to my stomach and worried about the squirrel. So much so I wanted to cry!

Later that day I drove home that way and looked for him. I didn’t see him so I hope (and pray!) that means he was able to get up and run away.

Anyway…

A few months ago the film A Dog’s Purpose was in theaters. I wanted to see the movie because I love dogs, but seeing as how our dog was very sick (we had to put him to sleep), I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to handle that film emotionally. For that reason I never saw it in the theater. I didn’t want to cry hysterically in front of strangers.

Our dog Espn who passed away February 2017.

A Dog’s Purpose is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. I received a copy of the the film a few days ago. With a box of tissues in hand (seriously… a whole box!) I popped the movie in to watch it.

A Dog’s Purpose is about the life of a dog. He starts off as a puppy who is given the name Bailey. He escapes from a puppy mill and is taken in by a young boy named Ethan.

Bailey and Ethan are the best of friends and Bailey is with him until he passes away (MAJOR tissue moment). But that is not the end of Bailey. Bailey is reincarnated into another dog. And then another dog. And then another dog.

The film follows Bailey (just one of his names) as he is reborn as a different dog (and even a different gender) who touches the life of humans throughout each life.

In the end, the dog that was once Bailey comes full circle. I don’t want to give away too much detail. You’ll just have to pick up the movie and watch it for yourself.

Did I cry watching this film? YES! Some tears were sad tears. Other tears were happy tears. In my defense I’m a very sensitive person to begin with. I cry at commercials, so that should tell you something.

ALL of the dogs in this film were super adorable. If you are a dog lover you’ll definitely appreciate that about the film.

I thought it was a lovely, heart warming film that highlighted just how amazing, wonderful and beautiful dogs are and how special they are to us as humans. I know from my own experience with dogs I have owned and lost over the years, each one brought something very special to our lives and we’ll cherish their memories forever.

I also have the book A Dog’s Purpose. The film was based on the book written by W. Bruce Cameron. I haven’t finished the book yet. I’d say I’m a little less than halfway through it.

There are few differences between the book and the movie. Take for example how we (the reader/viewer) get to know Bailey. In the movie we know the pup as Bailey from the beginning. He escaped from a puppy mill and is taken in by Ethan and his family. In the book Bailey starts out as a stray pup named Toby. The books gives more of a backstory about Toby’s sad life before he became Bailey. In fact, Toby’s life is very sad and heart-breaking. I appreciate that he film makers didn’t start off with Toby’s story. I wouldn’t have been able to watch that.

In the movie Bailey helps Ethan meet his love of his life. Bailey runs up to Hannah and puts his nose up her skirt. Embarrassed, Ethan approached Hannah and apologizes for his dog’s actions. The pair end up hanging out with one another at the fair, which is the start of their relationship. In the book Ethan and Hannah meet much differently. In the book Hannah and Ethan meet when Hannah brings over some brownies to Ethan’s grandparents while he is visiting with them for the summer.

There is a character in the book/film named Todd. In the book Todd is much different then he was in the film. In the book Todd is a truly horrible person and does horrific things – things I am glad we didn’t need to see play out in the movie.

There are bonus features on the Blu-ray/DVD. Normally I watch the bonus features, but I was unable to this time around. I plan on watching them in the near future. Bonus features include:

• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes
• Lights, Camera, Woof! – A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.
• A Writer’s Purpose – Learn the story behind W. Bruce Cameron’s beloved best-selling novel.

If you would like to learn more about this film you can visit the official movie website. You can also check out the film on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag is #ADogsPurposeMovie.

Below is the trailer for your enjoyment.

 

I have a wonderful giveaway for a lucky reader. One winner will receive A Dog’s Purpose on Blu-ray/DVD as well as a copy of the book.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on May 14, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win this prize package – OR – tell me about a special dog in your life.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a screener copy of the film to review and a copy of the book to read/review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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New Pet Trends from the Global Pet Expo 2017

 

As a blogger I learn about a lot of expos and fairs that take place across the country to promote new products, devices and businesses. To date I have not attended any, but every year there are a few that I really want to attend.

Some of the ones I wish I could attend are the New York International Auto Show, Toy Fair and one that comes to town every now and then that has to do with chocolate and candy.

As a pet owner, I am also interested in what is new in the pet world including pet foods, pet accessories and pet toys.

The Global Pet Expo was held last month in Florida. That is too far for me to travel, but I am fortunate to be sent information about some new trends for 2017.

Limited Ingredient Diets:

Our dog Espn (pronounced Es-Pin) had a very sensitive stomach. Even the slightest change in his dog food would upset his stomach and cause him to have diarrhea. He had long hair – long hair and diarrhea are NOT a good combination.

When researching the different pet food available, I found some that had limited ingredients – exactly the type of food that our dog needed. He didn’t need any unnecessarily ingredients. No animal does.

If you look at a lot of popular pet foods you’ll find that they contain foods with added growth hormones, by-product, artificial preservatives and a variety of ingredients I cannot pronounce.

We, as human, don’t want to eat that kind of “garbage,” so why would we feed it to our beloved pets?

Thank goodness for brands like Petcurean. Their GO! by Petcurean line is a complete, nutrient-packed food with zero added growth hormones, by-products, or artificial preservatives, offering a single source of meat protein with as few ingredients as possible to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats.

GO! is ideal for pet owners are looking for limited ingredient diets which can greatly reduce the chance of food sensitivity in their dog or cat.

GO! is available in 3 solutions-based categories for dogs and cats with issues: Grain Free recipes, Limited Ingredient Diet recipes, and Preventative Care recipes.

I tend to feed our cats grain free foods. In the wild cats do not eat grains, so why do grains show up in their food? That never made any sense to me.

GO! by Petcurean has special formulas for protein-rich, lower carb diets and one that is nutrient-packed and nutritionist-recommended to provide dogs with the preventative care they need to stay strong and healthy for life.

For more information about GO! by Petcurean visit Petcurean.com. You can select “dog” or “cat” from the top menu to find the various foods that are available, including the GO! line mentioned in this post.

You can also find the brand on social media. All of the links are found on the bottom of their website. There is also a store locator on their site so you can find a retailer near you that sells GO! and other Petcurean products.

Our cats LOVE toys.

Pet Tech:

If you aren’t familiar with the term “pet tech,” expect that to change. This year at Global Pet Expo there were a growing number of pet products that integrate technology in a variety of ways including activity trackers and video monitors and interactive toys. From the Flitter cat toy, which has an automatic teaser toy with two plastic dragonflies that fly around and around, enticing cats to catch them, to iFetch, an automatic ball launcher that provides endless fun for your pooch – interactive toys are a great option for pet owners on the go or with extra active pets.

I have seen some of thee high tech products first hand. They are amazing! Long gone are the days of your cat chasing around a ball of yarn or your dog chewing on a rawhide bone as entertainment. These new techie toys make it an exciting time to be a pet.

If our dog was still alive, and we had a yard, I would buy him the iFetch ball launcher in a heartbeat. He would have loved it.

We also have a toy for our cats that has not one, but two red laser lights that come from it. They lights move around randomly. It’s a lot of fun for more than one cat. Our cats play with it at least once a day.

Transparency & Clean labels:

As I mentioned earlier in this post, we, as humans, don’t want to consume “junk,” so why are we feeding it to our pets?

Many people take the time to read the labels on the foods that they eat, but how many of those same people take the time to read the labels on their pets foods?

If you have a pet I ask that you take a moment to read the ingredients on their food the next time you feed them. You’ll be shocked at what you find.

As Millennials increasingly expect sustainability, transparency and organic ingredients in their food, more consumers seek to feed their pets with the same standards of quality and excellence that they choose for themselves.

Pet health is certainly trending. Because of this you can expect to see an increase in products with fewer ingredients, less preservatives, and certifications in the years to come. Petcurean’s GATHER pet food line is crafted from certified, organic, non-GMO and sustainably produced ingredients. Each recipe is free from rendered or genetically engineered ingredients and features a single source, fresh and dehydrated primary protein.

You can find more info about Petcurean’s GATHER product line on their website as well.

I really like that Petcurean is going “above and beyond” when it comes to creating quality pet foods – long before it was considered “trendy” to do so.

Our cat Anakin hanging out on the balcony trying to find some relief from the heat.

Pet Cooling Products:

I cannot stand the heat and humidity of summer. Summer is my LEAST favorite season out of all of them (yes, I prefer Winter over Summer).

I’m miserable when it’s hot and humid out. I know my pets are too.

Our cats love it when I put ice cubes in their water dish. I guess licking the ice and drinking the cold water helps to cool them off.

I’m always trying to find ways to help our pets to find relief from the heat.

Now there are several pet cooling mats, apparel, and bedding products showcased this year’s expo that are designed to keep your pet cool during the hot summer months. Scruffs Cool Dog Mat is filled with a non-toxic gel that keeps the self-cooling mat typically 5-10 degrees cooler than room temperature. Gen7Pets Cool-Air Cot pet bed combines portable convenience, outdoor durability, and pet-friendly comfort perfect for camping or the backyard.

I’m certainly going to check them out to see what they have for our cats.

These are just a few of the hot trends at the 2017 Pet Expo.

What do YOU think is trending when it comes to the pet industry? Is there something you would love to see that hasn’t come around yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Petcurean to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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