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Alcott Adventures Makes Travels with Wisconsin Doggy Safe and Fun! #dogsloveadventure

alcott textWe are coming up on our third summer with Roofus (aka Wisconsin Doggy).  One of the things we love to do with him once the weather warms up is taking him with us when we go geocaching.  We love that it combines the excitement of a scavenger hunt with the fun of a hike.  Most of the places we choose allow dogs and Roofus loves tagging along and exploring along with us.

I’ve always been careful to make sure we have emergency supplies for LJ and I – his inhaler in case of an asthma attack, benadryl in case I get stung by a bee – but what about Roofus? What items should we be bringing along to keep him safe?  Alcott Adventures specializes in products that help with just that dilemma!  I was thrilled to be asked to pick out a few items from their online catalog to review.

Since many of our adventures require a car ride to get to them, I chose the car safety belt first.  One end clips onto Roofus’ collar (like a leash) and the other clips into the seat belt buckle.  It’s quick and easy to hook up and it keeps me from worrying about Roofus roaming all over the car or jumping out when we make a stop.

Roofus now rides safely secured with his own belt.

Roofus now rides safely secured with his own belt.

Next, we choose the cooling bandana.  While it’s hard to imagine now, at some point it is going to get hot again.  I am always worried that Roofus will get overheated since he is a dog and not able to verbally tell us when he is getting too warm.  The cooling bandana allows Roofus to stay cooler during our warm hikes and looks pretty stylish as well!

The cooling bandana is functional and stylish.

The cooling bandana is functional and stylish.

The last item we chose was a first aid kit.  While I always have band-aids and other items that work well for little boys, I never really knew what items I should have on hand in case Roofus was injured.  Alcott’s first aid kit is chock full of everything you might need for your pet, your kids, or even yourself in the event of an injury.  The compact style of the kit makes it perfect for a backpack or car.

first aid kit for dogs

We hope you’ll come back and read more about our adventures in the upcoming weeks!  If you are planning some adventures for yourself and your furry friend, you’ll want to be sure and enter this giveaway for a $25 Alcott Adventures giftcard!

Christmas Present Ideas for Your Furry Friends at Walgreens #HappyAllTheWay #shop #CBias

walgreens pet products pin #shopCB-white-script-400

You probably already know that there are lots of great Christmas present ideas at Walgreens.  But I wonder if maybe you might have forgotten someone important while you were grabbing all of those awesome electronics and tasty treats…  What about your furry, four legged friends?  Does Walgreens have anything for them? Absolutely!

Last year was our first holiday season as dog owners.  We were concerned with how Roofus would interact with the Christmas tree.  Not having had a dog before, we wondered if he would try to eat the ornaments or mistake the tree for his favorite outside spot to relieve himself.  Luckily, he sniffed the tree a few times and moved on. His biggest issue was that the tree replaced his favorite sunbathing spot, but he quickly found a new one.  With all of our careful tree observation, we really didn’t think about including Roofus in the gift giving fun until LJ pointed out (on Christmas eve) that Roofus did not have a stocking.

Oops.

No worries about that this year!  Roofus apparently grabbed the Sunday paper while we were all sleeping in.  After carefully looking through the flyers, he brought over the Walgreens Holiday Catalog for us to look at.

walgreens holiday catalog #shop

Sure enough, there was a whole page of items Roofus seemed pretty partial to.  Not having opposable thumbs, he wasn’t able to circle his favorites, so I figured I’d go take a look at the store and see what might be something he’d like.

walgreens christmas gifts for pets #shop

I headed out to Walgreens and easily found the aisle with the pet gifts.  Not having shopped in the pet supply aisle before, I was pleasantly surprised by all of the products I had to choose from!  Since Roofus can actually be a bit picky, I loved that I could create a unique gift that I knew he would love.

walgreens pet products2 #shop

They had a bunch of doggy “beauty products”.  Since Roofus has sensitive skin, I grabbed some itch relief shampoo and spray.  No more winter itches for my fur baby!!  There were sooo many treats to choose from – dog biscuits and the soft treats he loves.  I liked that where the treats were made was easily found on the packages.

walgreens pet products4 #shop

It was really hard not to over do it – everything looked so tempting!  After selecting a unique pairing of bath items, treats, and toys, I put everything into a gift basket (because Roofus is ALL about presentation!).  I think he will be pleasantly surprised, don’t you?  The best part is that I saved so much money, I was able to get more products to create a second basket for the shelter where we adopted Roofus!!

walgreens pet products10 #shop

And because I am a total sucker, I pulled out one of the toys for Roofus to play with now.  Our dog trainer clued us into the fact that Roofus was needing a bit more challenge in his life – and having food puzzles is a great way to achieve that.  Roofus loved his new toy! (Thanks Walgreens!!)

walgreens pet products #shop

Is Your Dog’s Food Making Him Sick?

wisconsin doggy sleepingJust last week, Roofus was feeling a little under the weather.  I happened to mention this on my personal Facebook page and immediately received a slew of concerned messages from my friends asking about his food.  These messages included links to some rather scary articles about dogs who had become sick after eating dog food items imported from China.

While I was concerned about what might be ailing Roofus, I felt very confident that it was not his food.  I mentioned a while back that we had switched him to Rachael Ray Nutrish® Zero Grain™ dog food.  So why was I so sure that his food was not at the root of whatever was bothering him?  Nutrish dog food is made by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition®. which is the first pet food manufacturing company in the U.S. to receive a Facilities Food Safety audit rating of “Excellent” from the Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level II auditing standard in accordance with the Global Food Safety Initiative.

I will let them explain their triple check system in their own words:

 Ainsworth Triple Check System:

         Because we are so committed to pet food safety, we have instituted The Ainsworth Pet Nutrition Triple Check System™. This system allows us to guarantee the safety of our products from the moment we purchase ingredients to the time we ship our products out the door. The Ainsworth Pet Nutrition Triple Check System is just one of the many fundamental things we do every day to ensure we meet our customers’ expectations of quality and safety.

   Check One – Our Commitment to Ingredient Safety: Check One begins with our long-term relationships with our local and domestic suppliers. Our family’s team of sourcing experts have carefully chosen each and every one of these suppliers because, like us, they take pride in ensuring their ingredients are not only of the highest quality, but also safe for your pet’s overall health and well-being.

   Check Two – Ensuring Product Accuracy: Check Two works across our entire operational system to ensure accuracy. Our team of experienced and dedicated employees continuously monitors and verifies every step of the production process to ensure precise nutrient and ingredient levels. In addition, our internal laboratory scientists test, analyze and monitor the production process to ensure no harmful toxins or contaminates are introduced from unknown or unanticipated sources. They also verify our Guaranteed Analysis to ensure the same consistency, high quality and nutrition levels exists in each and every bag.

   Check Three – Our 48-Hour Hold Before Release: Check Three is the final step we take before allowing any food to leave our facilities. Every product is held in our warehouse for 48 hours until safety testing is complete. This step confirms that there is no salmonella present and that nutritional values are accurate in accordance to regulatory and formula standards.

No worries – Roofus was back to his usual, playful self the following day.  I felt better knowing that, with all of the things that might have been causing him to feel under the weather, I did not have to worry that his food might have been one of them!

Learn more about Rachael Ray’s Nutrish at http://www.NutrishForPets.com.  You can also connect on the official Nutrish Facebook page.

This post was brought to you in sponsored partnership with the brand mentioned within.  As always, all opinions expressed are our own and are not influenced by any compensation. 

Roofus is now a Rachael Ray Fan! Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food Review

nutrish wisconsin doggyWhen Roofus first came to live with us almost two years ago, I did not know much about dogs at all.  I knew I liked them, but I really didn’t know much about training them or even feeding them.  I remembered hearing that you really shouldn’t feed them table food, so I guess at least I had that going for me.

Being the researcher that I am, I of course set out to learn all about our new furry family member and what he needed to be healthy.  We started off by just feeding him the same food he had been eating at the shelter. To be honest, I didn’t know much about the different kinds of food available. I knew there was wet and dry and that was about it.  Right away I noticed a big discrepancy between what was in the pet supply store and at the grocery store, at least price wise.

As I began to learn more about dog food, I learned that some formulations use grain as fillers.  There are quite a few people who don’t think that grain is a good thing to be feeding dogs (as it really isn’t part of their diet “in the wild”).  I know that Roofus has a very delicate digestive system and will throw up if he eats something that doesn’t agree with him.  When we noticed he was having some digestive issues, we looked into grain free food options.  Once we switched him over, things improved quickly.

Last summer, we were introduced to a new option for Roofus.  Rachael Ray worked with a team of pet nutrition experts to create Nutrish® Zero Grain™, a pet food made with simple, natural ingredients that doesn’t contain any grains, glutens or fillers.  We tried out the Turkey and Potato recipe and I will happy to see that first ingredient was turkey!

Rachael-ray-zero-grain

Even better, Roofus loved it.  To prevent any adverse effects, we eased him into it by mixing a small amount with his food and gradually increasing the amount.  The transition was seamless and Roofus really enjoys Nutrish!  One of the things I really love about Nutrish is that I can pick it up when I’m out grocery shopping. That’s right, no more special trips to the store – Nutrish is available at most grocery stores and even Walmart!

I’ll be reporting back again next month to share some more details about Nutrish and let you know how we are doing on it.

Learn more about Racael Ray’s Nutrish at http://www.NutrishForPets.com.  You can also connect on the official Nutrish Facebook page.

This post was brought to you in sponsored partnership with the brand mentioned within.  As always, all opinions expressed are our own and are not influenced by any compensation. 

Is your Milwaukee area dog misbehaving? Ally’s Canine Training will put an end to that!!

Milwaukee area dog trainer Ally's Canine TrainingWhen we first brought Roofus home from the shelter, I immediately signed up for a dog training class at our local pet supply store. I had never owned a dog before and the class was as much for me as it was for Roofus.  We realized pretty quickly that Roofus was either the fastest learner on the planet, or he had come with the basic training already in place.  We left the class feeling more confident about how to provide a happy home for our pooch and relatively sure we had everything under control.

Once I started working more from my home office and needed to be on phone and video calls with clients, I discovered that perhaps I did not have things quite as under control as I thought.  I would be in the middle of a call, and Roofus would start barking at a leaf falling outside my window or the man across the street standing in his own garage.  This got very disruptive pretty quickly and proceeded to get worse when the summer months hit and we had the windows open.

Additionally, LJ has a few friends who are not dog people. As cute as Roofus is, he can be a bit intimidating when he is standing in front of a child, staring them down and barking urgently.  My personal feeling is that he is just trying really hard to say something, but I totally get that it can seem scary.

I finally decided we needed to do something about these behaviors, but didn’t have a clue where to start. I remembered the trainer we had worked with at the pet supply store and also remembered hearing that she had started her own business.  I emailed her and we set up a date for her to come over and assess the situation.  (I loved that she would be coming here, where the problem was happening!)

We’ve had only two sessions with Ally and already we are seeing a huge improvement.  It turns out that Roofus was a little bored watching me type on the computer all day (I can’t imagine why!!) and once I understood more about why dogs bark, it all made sense.  We made a few small tweaks to our daily routine and noticed an immediate improvement in Roofus’ behavior.

We also decided we wanted Roofus to go and sit in his crate when someone was at the front door.  I was pretty skeptical about whether we could pull this one off, but within days, we had him doing it perfectly.  I was amazed!!

Ally has a natural way with dogs.  I’ve seen her get results from the most stubborn of pooches as well as my own pretty friendly dog.  She is trained, but also possesses that ability to understand your dog that cannot be taught.  I also love that she uses positive reinforcement with the dogs. If you are in the Milwaukee area and are in need of help with your dog, no matter how minor or severe the issue is, I would highly recommend Ally’s Canine Training!  

You can connect with Ally by visiting her website, becoming a fan of her Facebook page, and requesting to join her private informational Facebook group, Talkin’ Dogs.

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