Stop your dog’s barking with a safe alternative – Bark Genie



I love our dog Espn. I love him dearly. I cannot imagine a home without a dog.

Dogs provide unconditional love. They also provide entertainment.

There is a downside to dog ownership from vet and grooming bills, to having to clean up your dog’s waste. To be honest these things don’t bother me or my family. These things are to be expected, even if they can be pricey or gross.

There is one thing about our dog we really don’t care for, but it’s never been THAT much of a problem, until now – his barking.

For some reason our dog Espn will bark NON-STOP when he sees FedEx or UPS outside. He doesn’t bark at the mailman, the flower delivery man, the plumber or others. He seems to pick and choose who to bark at. It’s ALWAYS the FedEx and UPS drivers, and the pizza delivery guy (not the Chinese food delivery guy – go figure).

Sure, it’s annoying. Especially when you are trying to hold a conversation with the delivery person and the dog’s bark is literally echoing and amplifying in the hallway. But we deal with it.

We’ve lived in our condo complex for nearly 20 years (my husband has lived here closer to 25 years). Barking dogs has never been an issue. Suddenly the board posted a notice in all the building that they will now fine dog owners if their dog barks and “disturbs the peace.” Ugh!

Try telling your dog he can no longer bark at the people he’s barked at for the past 7 years, or else we will be fined. He doesn’t understand.

We thought briefly about a bark collar, but I don’t like the idea of shocking our dog every time he barks. It sounds painful and unnecessary.

We also considered a can full of pennies that we would shake every time he barked so that it could condition him not to bark (he wouldn’t like the sound). That would work, but it would also scare our cats and we didn’t want to do that to them.

What other options do we have?

Bark Genie

Thankfully I was sent the solution to our dilemma to review – Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent.

The Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent is small black box that runs on a 9 volt battery (not included). Simply place the device in an area where you dog would bark (or be heard barking). Once it’s turned on and it senses your dog’s barking it will emit a high pitch, ultrasonic sound that only your dog would hear. The sound is not pleasant to hear, so your dog will stop barking. Eventually they will figure it out that whenever they bark they hear this high pitched sound and ideally they will stop barking.

Bark Genie allows you to set the frequency too so that it senses barking from close to the box, or several feet away. There are high, medium and low settings.

We set this up right away for our dog. Whenever he barked we’d notice a red light appear on the device and he would hesitate to bark. He was hearing the ultrasonic sound it sent out. We did not hear a thing.

Thankfully the sound didn’t seem to affect our cats. That was a concern of mine because I didn’t want to scare the cats.

The device worked a little too well. Whatever Espn heard sounded (to him) a lot like the squeaky sounds our television makes just before a storm rolls in. We have satellite service and sometimes when storms roll in the television will squeak and make high pitched noises (from the satellite service being affected by the storm). Usually it stops or the whole television service will shut down temporarily.

Why does this information matter you might be asking? Well you see Espn is TERRIFIED of thunder and lightening. When he hears the television make those sounds he knows a storm is coming and he tries to hide. We’ve had to yank him out from behind my desk (tangled up in cables and wires!), under shelves and other places. Storms scare him REALLY bad. He pants like crazy and shakes really bad.

Bark Genie First Alert for Pets


It took us a while to make the connection, but I believe the Bark Genie is omitting the same kinds of sounds (even though we don’t hear them) making Espn believe a storm is coming. He’s not associating it with barking but rather a bad storm.

In any event he DOES stop barking – except he’s terrified.

Yes! The Bark Genie Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent DOES work to stop our dog from barking in a humane way. The unfortunate thing is that for our dog, the sound triggers his fear of storms. So for that reason we don’t keep the Bark Genie on 24/7. Instead we’ll turn it on when we know something (or someone) will cause him to bark.

The only thing I noticed about the Bark Genie is that sometimes it was triggered by other sounds, not just our dog barking. I’ve noticed the light change (red to green and vice versa) when talking close to the unit. I think it might be sensitive to loud sounds, not just barking. For that reason I kept playing with the settings and moved Bark Genie out of the way of where people would having conversations.

Aside from Espn’s irrational fears of storms, I think the Bark Genie works great and does what it’s supposed to do.

It’s also weatherproof so it can be used outside.

If your dog tends to bark too much, or you are trying to teach a puppy not to bark at inappropriate times, Bark Genie is a great alternative to painful bark collars or scary cans of pennies.

The Bark Genie™ Automatic Ultrasonic Bark Deterrent is made by First Alert.  For more information visit First Alert for Pets at www.FirstAlertforPets.com.



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Febreze, Jane Lynch and Instagram dog star @ToastMeetsWorld want to help you tackle “noseblindness”


Jane Lynch 2-25-15

Do you have pets? We do. We have five cats, a dog and a set of Goldfish.

My home, and family, would not be complete without pets. I grew up with dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, birds and even a horse (my sister had a horse). I love animals so much that I dream of having a farm or an animal rescue site.

I don’t mind the pet hair, pet dander, or the pet products (toys, beds, cat tree…) all around my home. But there is one thing that does worry me – pet odors.

A couple of years ago we had our home on the market. I was so afraid that our home smelled like we had pets – especially the kitty litter smell. I make sure to keep my home clean and tidy, but sometimes you can’t masked odors, most especially those you have gone “noseblind” to.

What is “noseblind?”

#Noseblind Febreze

Noseblind is when your nose is so accustom to a scent/odor that you don’t even realize it.

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and notice that is has it’s own unique scent? It’s a combination of a lot of things (pets, cooking smells, people smells…). The owner might not realize their home has a scent but visitors can.

I think everyone goes noseblind to some degree. For example, I LOVE scents. I love to use scented oils, plugins, candles and the like. When I first use them I love the way they make the room, and my home, smell. But after a few days I don’t smell them anymore. They are working just as well as the first time I lit the candle or inserted the plugin – it’s just that my nose has become used to the scent that I no longer smell it. For this reason I make sure to swap out scents every few days. That way I have something pleasant to smell in my home.

Our "mini-zoo"

Our “mini-zoo”

When we had our home on the market I asked not only real estate agents, but also neighbors, to come into our home and tell me what they smell. My main concern was the litter box. I also worried that our furniture could harbor “wet dog” smell because our dog LOVES to rub up against the furniture dry himself off when he’s wet. Thankfully everyone told me that they couldn’t smell that we had pets at all (yeah me!). They said they wouldn’t even suspect that we had pets if it wasn’t for the big cat tree in the living room, pet beds and the litter box. Oh yeah, and two of our cats acting as the “welcoming committee” and following them around.

I take pride in my home. I try my best to keep it clean. I also use Febreze Fabric Refresher on our furniture, pet beds, bedding and even the curtains. I also use Febreze Air Effects in the air to cover other home smells. I think the Febreze has a lot to do with the fact that people who come in my home don’t smell the pet scents (and other scents) that my family has gone noseblind to.

Last month I attended an event in New York City hosted by Febreze and the ASPCA to discuss how pet owners can go noseblind to their pet’s scents/odors and what can be done about it. The celebrity guest hosts were actress Jane Lynch (Glee, 40 Year Old Virgin, Wreck-It Ralph) and Instagram star Toast (@ToastMeetsWorld). I have never heard of Toast until now. She is SO CUTE!!! I love how her little tongue sticks out.


In addition we also met some beautiful dogs that were currently available for adoption for the ASPCA. I hope by the time this post goes “live” on my site that these amazing dogs have found their “forever homes.”

The event was kicked off a year long effort between Febreze and the ASPCA to help find home for animals in need and to eliminate a significant concern that often prevents people from adopting pet – pet odors.

A recent survey found that 49% of Americans dread visiting homes with pets because of the not-so-pleasant smells. Remember, just because YOU don’t smell the pet odors doesn’t mean that your home doesn’t reap of kitty little box smells and wet dog smell.

Pet odors rank just  below cigarette and garbage as the most offensive odors.

Febreze ASPCA Noseblind

Febreze can help your home be “guest ready” with a variety of products that can quickly eliminate odors and make your guests want to visit. Some of the products Febreze offers are the Air Effects, Fabric Refresher and their Car Vent Clip. After all, pet odors can be lingering in your car too.

I’ve been using all of these Febreze products for years because I know they work well. That was proven to me when we had our home on the market and the real estate agents and potential buyers didn’t smell didn’t smell our “mini-zoo.” Not a day goes by where I don’t use a Febreze product. My cabinet is filled with Febreze products.

 “I’ve always been an animal supporter and I love my dogs dearly but they can be smelly little creatures! They literally spend their days with their faces in other dogs’ behinds,” said Lynch. “While I get used to the smells from my furry four-legged friends, I don’t think my guests want to or should have to. I keep Febreze on hand to help eliminate curious pet odors from my home before opening my door to friends and family.”

I totally agree with Jane. The first thing I want guest to notice is my smiling face – not my cat’s “potty business.”

Here is what else Jane had to say about the subject of noseblindness. Please excuse the horrible quality of the video. The light was behind Jane so she came out too dark.


Febreze products work because they contain proprietary mal-odor elimination technologies, including cyclodextrin, the patented molecule that gives Febreze the ability to truly eliminate odors and replace them with a pleasant scent. In addition, Febreze products also contains pH neutralizers that adjust the pH balance and structure of pungent odors.

As part of this year long partnership with Febreze and the ASPCA, Febreze will be donating “Noseblind Prevention Kits” to pet adopters through participating ASPCA shelters across the country.

“Each year, more than 7 million cats and dogs enter shelters across the country and are in need of loving homes,” said Christina Wyman, director of strategic cause partnerships for the ASPCA. “We thank Febreze for their generous product donation to help new adopters who are welcoming a pet into their family.”

These beautiful dogs are available from adoption from the ASPCA

These beautiful dogs are available from adoption from the ASPCA

Febreze ASPCA

The super adorable Toast was on hand to lend her support. She approves of this wonderful partnership too. She’s so cute! I’m glad that I had the chance to meet her.

The super adorable Toast!

The super adorable Toast!

All of our pets (except one cat) we adopted from the local animal shelter. One cat was a stray kitten we took in. We would never get a pet from the pet store (with the exception of Goldfish, which we have too). As an adoptive pet mom and a huge fan of the Febreze brand I fully support their efforts.

Don’t let pet odors prevent you from adopting a wonderful pet who can bring you and your family many years of unconditional love and friendship. Keep your home and pet clean and use Febreze products to destroy the odors that can offend your guests. In additon, don’t forget about “noseblindness.” Just because YOU don’t smell your pet doesn’t mean that others can’t smell them.

For more information about the Febreze/ASPCA partnership please visit ASPCA.org/Rescue/Febreze.

Please also visit the ASPCA at ASPCA.org. You can also find them on social media.

If you would like more information about Febreze and Febreze products visit Febreze.com.

Before I left the event I had the chance to see the Febreze Noseblind “Dog Car” parked on the road in front of the building. Cool!

Do you feel like you might be noseblind to odors in your home (pet odors or otherwise)? Have you ever visited someone’s home and smelled a very offensive odor? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.



*I have partnered with Febreze to bring your this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. I also received free sample products. 

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NEW Temptations Cat Treat Toy


Snacky Mouse


If you read my blog regularly chances are you know that we have five cats… and a dog… and a pair of Goldfish. I often refer to them as our “mini zoo.” Needless to say we love animals and if we ever won the lottery I would buy a farm (with a lot of farm animals) and/or open up an animal rescue facility.

As most pet owners know it’s important to entertain your furry friend. You should always provide them with plenty of toys and encourage them to get some physical activity in on a daily basis.

Both our cats and our dog have their own toy boxes. It’s true! They are not actually toy boxes, per say. Our dog’s toys are kept in a huge wicker basket and our cats toys are kept in a fabric “box.” Our cats also have a tall cat tree they can climb up and down and a variety of tubes and tunnels.

We like to give our four legged family members treats from time to time. Not too many. Two of our cats are overweight so we try to limit their treats whenever we can.

Temptations treats and snacks are one of the brands that my cats enjoy. Their treats come in a variety of flavors that my cats love including whitefish, turkey, chicken and cheese. They also have treats that flavored like crab and shrimp.

In addition Temptations also have treats to help with tarter control, hairballs and skin/coat.


Temptations has added a new product to their product line – the new Temptations Snacky Mouse.


What is a Snacky Mouse?

A Snacky Mouse is a cute little plastic mouse with a weighed “bottom”. He reminds me of the Weeble Wobble toys I used to play with as a child.

Snacky Mouse is easy to use. Simply open it up and pour in a few Temptations cat treats and close. Then put the Snacky Mouse on the floor and watch your cat (or cats) have fun playing with their new toy and enjoying some yummy treats at the same time.

Snacky Mouse has a few openings in it’s body. As you cat bats the toy around a treat or two will find it’s way out of Snacky Mouse for your cat to eat.

Here are a couple of brief videos of our youngest cat Bella enjoying Snacky Mouse. I apologize in advance for my husband’s feet in the one video. It was dinner time and we were making dinner. In the other video you’ll see our dog Espn coming in for a closer look (Espn would eat all the treats and probably chew up the toy if given the opportunity).



It’s funny how some cats know right away how to play with the toy and get the treats out and other cats take a bit longer to “get it.” Our cat Anakin for example wasn’t exactly sure how to get the treats out. He kept trying to find a way to get them through the openings, not realizing all he had to do was bat it around so it would tip on it’s side and the treat would fall out.

Here is a picture of Anakin with Snacky Mouse (you can’t see it in the picture) as Bella and our other cat Padmé look on.

Temptations Toy

And here is Espn once again trying to gain access to the toy and treats.

Cat Toy

The Snacky Mouse is a cute toy and treat dispenser all in one. So far my cats are loving it – when they can steal a few moments to play with it without Espn lurking about. When not in use I hide it away so that the dog doesn’t get a hold of it. He’s been known to chew up toys before.

Snacky Mouse can be reused again and again and can be filled with your cat’s favorite treats, like Temptations. You can buy the toy at many retail locations. It also comes with a sample size package of Temptations treats so you cat can start enjoying their new toy right away.

For more information about Snacky Mouse and Temptations treats visit www.TemptationsTreats.com. The brand is also found on Facebook and Twitter (links found at the top of their home page).

What do you think about Snacky Mouse? Does it look like something your pets would enjoy?

Does your cat have a favorite Temptations treat?

Temptations Logo


*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Protect your pet’s dental with Greenies


Dog dental health

Did you brush your teeth today? I’d like to think that in this day and age most people know to brush their teeth a bare minimum of once per day (ideally after every meal or at least once in the AM and once before bedtime).

If you don’t take care of your teeth you are aware of what can happen. They can become riddled with cavities and require extensive dental work. If you have ever had to have a root canal you’ll make extra certain to take great care of your teeth. Those are the worse!

When it comes to your pet’s teeth, how often do you brush them?

Yes, that’s right. Your pet’s teeth require brushing just like your teeth too. We found that out the hard way on our last vet visit with our dog.

The groomer normally brushes our dog’s teeth when he gets groomed every 2-3 months. We thought that was enough. We figured with the dog treats he eats that they would help take care of any plaque and tarter build up. We were wrong.

Our dog now has major dental issues. So much so that we have to save up HUNDREDS of dollars to have a dental procedure done to remove the plaque and tarter build up otherwise he can lose his teeth.

I’ve had dogs all my life. This is the first time this has ever happened. None of our other dogs had this issue. Sigh…

Our dog Espn

Our dog Espn

Banfield Vet Dr. Andrea Sanchez has partnered with Greenies dental chews to help raise awareness around the signs of dental disease and how to prevent it, a few tips include:

Check for signs of dental disease: yellow, brown, loose or missing teeth; red or swollen gums; difficulty chewing; discoloration or tartar on teeth; and decreased appetite.

Flip, Check, Treat:

  • Flip your dog’s lip to look for the signs of bad oral health, such as bad breath and tartar build up on teeth.
  • Schedule regular visit to Banfield Pet Hospital or your vet to get teeth checked and professionally cleaned.
  • Treat your dog to GREENIES® dental chews in between teeth cleanings. Dogs love these dental chews, and as you can imagine it’s a lot faster to give a dog a treat than to brush their teeth.

There is a non-invasive way to help care for your pet’s teeth. They are called Greenies. Perhaps you are familiar with them?

Greenies even look like little toothbrushes. I think that is an adorable idea.


Greenies are available in different sizes. Be sure to choose the Greenie based on the size of your dog.

  • TEENIE® Treats: 5-15 lbs./2-7 kg
  • Petite: 15-25 lbs./7-11 kg
  • Regular: 25-50 lbs./11-22 kg
  • Large: 50-100 lbs./22-45 kg
  • Jumbo: More Than 100 lbs./More Than 45 kg

Our dog Espn is about 20 pounds, so he has the Petite Greenies.

There might be other dental chews on the market, but none compare to Greenies. Greenies are the first dental chews approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council and received their Seal of Acceptance. They are also the #1 vet-recommended pet specialty dental chews and treats* (*Among U.S. veterinarians that recommend dental chews and treats for at-home oral care).

Greenie Bag

Greenies also help with bad breath, in addition to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If you ever smelled a dog’s breath before you know why that is equally important. A dog’s breath can smell very foul, especially after they eat.

Greenies are easy to use too. Just give your dog a Greenies treat and let them chew it up and enjoy it as they would any other dog bone/treat. They are safe and easily digestible. Greenies contain highly soluble ingredients which help the chews to break down for easy digestion. They are even more digestible than premium dry dog food.

Greenies are found in pet specialty stores such as PetSmart and coming soon to Petco. Starting this year Greenies is also adding more options for pets and pet owners including flavored Greenies (Freshmint and Bursting Berry) as well as Grain Free varieties. Our dog Espn would LOVE the Bursting Berry flavor. He love fruits.

For more information about Greenies visit www.Greenies.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you ever used Greenies with your pet? How do you tend to your pet’s oral and dental health? Have you ever brushed your pet’s teeth before?

Greenies Logo


*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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PetSmart’s Partners in Pethood



Our furry family members

If you are a pet owner no doubt your pet means the world to you. For many people their pets are very much a part of their family. They are like four-legged children to some degree. Pet parents go so far as to dress their pets up (not just in costumes), include them in family portraits and provide them with products and toys fit for a king (or queen).

I’m one of those parents who treat my pets like mini-humans. I’m not a crazy pet parents, but I do have conversations with my pets (as if they truly understand me), I serve them dinner the same time we sit down for dinner and we allow them to take a seat next to us on the chair or sofa for some quality time together. In fact we gave our love seat to our cats (we have a cover on it to keep hair from ruining the furniture). Our dog has his own sofa – an actual dog bed that looks like a real sofa. It’s really cute.

I know some people who have pets in place of children. The young couple who live near us opted to have a dog first for a few years before venturing into parenthood. They way they treat their dog you’d think he was a child.

Some people go so far as to throw pet weddings and pet birthday parties.

Because of our love of our four legged family members, PetSmart has created a new campaign for pet families – Partners in Pethood!


What is pethood? It’s the idea that you love your pets like your kids – whether they have two legs or four. Like parenthood, pethood is full of ups and downs, funny moments, awkward moments, and rewarding moments, and we’re with you every step of the way. We’re proud to be your partner and expert advisor for everything you need.

You may have seen some of their commercials for this new campaign. They were released the night of the Academy Awards.

Here is one of the comercial spots you might have seen on television (a shortened version). This one cracks me up (and I LOVE the cute puppies!).


You can find more funny videos on the PetSmart Partners in Pethood YouTube Channel.

PetSmart has everything your pet needs to look his/her best, live comfortably and eat well. They also have a plethora of toys for animals of all shapes and sizes.

Here are some great suggestions you might want to consider.

Because “who are you wearing,” is the most important question, check out some fun attire for both cats and dogs:

Your pet’s smile must be camera ready, so your dogs can freshen up those pearly whites with PEDIGREE® Dentastix Mini Dog Sticks. Not to be left out of the party fun, cats can enjoy Purina® Friskies® Party Mix Cat Treats. My cats are obsessed with Party Mix Cat Treats. They LOVE them!

Serve up the best in the Top Paw® Glitter Dog Bowl.

Present your pet with fun toys such as a Nylabone® DuraChew Hollow Stick Dog ToyKONG® Wild Knots Bear Dog ToyToyShoppe® Flatty Fox Squeaker Dog Toy or Grreat Choice® Dragon Squeaker Dog Toy.

We always shop at PetSmart. We also take our dog to get groomed there so he can look his best.

Just like a little child, our dog knows if he’s a good boy when he goes to get groomed at PetSmart that he’ll get a new toy. He doesn’t like being in the car but he looks forward to leaving PetSmart after he gets groomed because he knows he can play with his new toy as soon as he gets back in the car.

Fur coat

Super cute pink “fur” coat for a dog that PetSmart sent me. Too bad our male dog would not look right wearing it. It’s super soft and totally adorable.

Even if I stop into PetSmart to pick up fish filters or fish food I always check out what is new for dogs and cats and bring home something fun (or yummy) for my “fur babies.”

If  have any questions about any of the products or needs my pets might have I know that the experts at PetSmart are able to help me out. Not too long ago I had to pay a visit to PetSmart to ask the fish associate some questions about our non-fur babies, our fish Fishy and Wishy.

To find a PetSmart location near you visit PetSmart.com. You can also find PetSmart on the various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter…). You can also follow the conversation using the official hashtag #PetParenthood.

Do you have a pet? Do you treat that pet like he/she is a part of your family? What is the craziest (or sweetest) thing you have ever done or experienced as a  pet parent? Feel free to share your stories. I always love to hear from readers – as well as other pet lovers.

PetSmart Logo


*I received a few free pet products in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Valentine’s Day has gone to the dogs…literally!

Espn 2


Are you a dog owner?

If you own a dog chances are your dog is very much a part of your family.

Our dog Espn (pronounced Es-pin) is very much a member of our family (as it our cats and fish). We even go so far as to give him Christmas presents during the holiday season and celebrate is birthday (well, what we assume is his birthday – he was adopted for the local animal shelter).

I know many dog owners who give their pets gifts throughout the year.


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Have you ever given your dog a Valentine’s Day card or gift? After all, Valentine’s Day is for celebrating the ones you love – shouldn’t that include your dog too?

OK… so your dog can’t really read a Valentine’s Day card. That is fine. You can read it to him.

Check out this interesting infographic that touches upon just how love our furry friends are.


Instead of celebrating your love for your four legged best friend on February 14th, why not make February 13th Valentine’s Day for Dogs?

To celebrate Valentine’s Day for Dog why not take your best friend on a special walk or to their favorite dog park? Or maybe you can buy them a new comfy bed, a fun new toy or even spend the day snuggling together.

Don’t forget the treats! Dogs love treats.


The wonderful people at at Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Milo’s Kitchen, and Canine Carry Outs have made it easy for you to celebrate Valentine’s Day for dogs with adorable doggie Valentine’s Day cards that you can download, print out and share with your favorite pooch.

You can find the cute cards here – www.BigHeartPetValentines.com.

Simply print the cards, cut them out and insert your pup’s favorite treats like this…

Valentines for Dogs

How cute! I love this idea and our dog Espn is going to enjoy his special treats. Right now I am keeping them in a container so he doesn’t see them. I’ll give them to him on the 13th.

If you would like to see what others are saying about this special “I love you” day for dogs, check out the hashtag #ValentinesForDogs.

Do you celebrate the holidays with your dog? Have you ever celebrated Valentine’s Day with them? Feel free to share your thoughts.



*I received free product samples in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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