Category Archives: grooming

Virbac Enzymatic Toothpaste From

Small dog breeds are more likely to develop periodontal disease than large dogs because the teeth of small dogs are often too large for their mouths, according to veterinary dentistry experts.

After a recent visit to the vet, Dexter was warned about the potential for requiring dental surgery to clean his teeth. This should involve sedation, x-rays, baby teeth extraction, scraping of plaque.

In an effort to prevent him from going through all that, I added this Virbac Enzymatic Toothpaste to am order from

Dexter Virbac Ensymatic Toothpaste and Toothbrush

It has a great Vanilla Mint flavor that keeps his breath fresh. The consistency is a bit like mustard; all it takes is a little squeeze. I use less than a pea-sized amount on the small end of the brush. This tube will last a long time! I had a toothbrush from a visit to the vet and started a nightly brushing.

It took a few times of him tasting the toothpaste, and smelling the toothbrush and feeling it on his gums before he would let me spend time brushing with the paste. Now, he sits on the couch next to me and let’s me brush for a few minutes every night.

Even in the few weeks that we have been brushing, there has been a noticeable improvement in the plaque on this teeth, and the freshness of his breath.

We tried before with some toothpaste from the store, but he didn’t like the bacon or peanut butter flavor. I can’t blame him, however. It did taste like medicated bacon. Thankfully, Dexter took to the Virbac quickly and looks forward to his nightly cleaning.

* I paid full price for this product at and was not compensated for writing this review.
* The Featured Image of this post is HUMUNGA BLING Funny Teeth Rubber Pet Dog Toy Fetch Ball from

Dog on a futon in the sun

Tracking In More Than Love; Keeping A Clean House With Dogs

Today, I was reading through a few articles on cleanliness with dogliness. Aside from the dirty paws that need to, seemingly constantly, be cleaned every time they come in from the outside, what things do dogs bring in with them? Do they bring dangerous things in from outside? Is it safe to let my dog sleep in bed with me?

This article from Popular Science “Dirty Dog: Do Pets Track Bacteria In Your Home” was a great eye opener about what kinds of dirt and bacteria our four legged friends bring with them. Another article: “Sleeping With The Enemy: What You Get From Your Pet“, this one from, tells of the danger of the bacteria your dogs spreads when they sleep with you, and lick your delicious face and feet.

While the article above stopped short of saying “don’t let your dog sleep with you”, they did lay out some precautions, and warned against letting dogs lick you.

What kinds of things can I do to prevent dogs bringing these into my home? Sadly, due to the very nature of bacteria and viruses, it is impossible to sterilize your dog each time they come in, but you can limit the amount of bacteria from entering your home by taking some simple steps; wash your dogs feet, and wipe their coat after a trip outside.

Not only will cleaning them help keep them safe and looking pretty, but it reduces the amount of matter on them for them to leave through the house.

  1. Keep a roll of paper towels close to the most frequently used dog entrances. I prefer Bounty Select-A-Size as it reduces the amount we consume each month. Usually one section will do for each trip.
  2. Wipe your doggy with a cleansing wipe. These disposable wipes have a cleanser in them, like a baby wipe, to help remove dirt and soil but are formulated to keep pads healthy and coats shiny. I keep these Earth Bound Grooming Wipes next to the back door. They come in a resealable container, and 100 to a package so they are always handy.
  3. Partially fill a small plastic container with warm water and wash dirty paws just outside the door. Dry with a cloth or paper towel. Like a mini-spa treatment, this is the most effective way as it completely removes dirt from between toes and tight-knit fur.

Along the lines of #3 above, there are a few more elegant solutions than a container. Products such as The Paw Wash For Dogs, The Paw Plunger, and the Paw Boss are less messy, and have soft filaments inside the help gently remove dirt.

The Paw Wash For Dogs The Paw Plunger The Paw Boss


Kickstarter is a great place to find emerging inventions, and this clever mat (with a concealed treat) encourages your pup to “dig” the treat out, at the same time cleaning their paws. Check out the link to their page below: 


While vastly more expensive, those with the resources and space are building a dedicated dog washing sink inside a laundry area, or outside as part of landscaping. Check out the images below for some inspiration.

15 Good Tips For A Pet Washing Station

Littleton MegaRemodel

I Tried And This Is What Happened

This post was not sponsored by and I received no form of compensation to write this.

I recently received this mailer and thought three things: 1) I’m glad that someone finally has an online store targeted specifically for pet owners with a wide variety of products, 2) I like the idea of saving money on my first order, 3) they advertise fast, free shipping (over $49) – how is that possible. mailer

The problem with pet food is that it comes in very large bags which are inherently expensive to ship. I wanted to see if the prices on the site were going to be higher to compensate for the extra shipping expense. As an FYI, the shipping cost is $4.49 for orders under $49.00, so even if you don’t qualify for free shipping, it is still incredibly reasonable.

I went to their site,, and was surprised at the number of brands of food available! When you select your pet (dog/cat) you get a list on the left to sort by brand, and there are 118 listed, all with multiple varieties! Clearly they have a focus on ensuring you find what you are looking for on their site.

Other categories aren’t as deep, but but have a well curated selection. Even with dog ear cleaners there are several brands to choose from, several sizes, and natural to traditional solutions. Cages, crates, hundreds of treats, bones, toys, dental  products, prescription food, flea collars, brushes and combs, hip supplements; this is a full-line site. I was quickly able to reach the $49 to qualify for free shipping!

That being said, the prices were right in line with Amazon. Curiously, the price for the Vet’s Best Ear Relief  (for itchy and moist ears) was $4.19, exactly the same price as on Amazon. The price for the food was the same price as Amazon and the grocery store, the Kong rope toy was less expensive and the minty treats weren’t available.

I added an 11 pound bag of Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Zero Grain Beef, Potato & Bison dry food to my order. I had looked for this size at the grocery store but they were sold out. On my last grocery trip, I had to get the smaller (more expensive per pound) bag because there was only enough at home for one more meal. had it in stock and I didn’t have to pay a horrendous shipping charge to get this item.


Now comes the incredible part; how quickly I received it. I placed my order at 6:23pm on March 24, received the confirmation email from and a second email from FedEx. I received an email at 2:42 on Friday morning that  my order had shipped, and at 11:17 on Saturday morning the package had arrived!

Just over 40 hours after placing my order, the package was on my doorstep!

box from has arrived

Dexter making sure the package is fit for consumption.


The glorious moment when you open the package to see all the fun things inside!


Rachael Ray Nutrish, toohpaste, new Kong toy, minty treats, and ear cleaner.


Love sitting in the boxes

According to an article in Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, the company has distribution centers in Nevada, Indiana, and Pennsylvania to ensure orders arrive quickly. This was proven in my case!

Of course, when the box arrived Dexter was all about sniffing it out and seeing what was inside. He makes a cameo in the pictures and even enjoyed smelling and sitting in the empty box.

Would I shop again at Yes. Great selection of products, seriously fast shipping, competitive prices, and 24/7 customer service by phone for questions.


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Which Flea & Tick Collar Is Best For You And Your Dog

It was time to replace our dog’s flea and tick collars and I was looking to see if there was anything new in the market. They have been wearing Seresto Flea and Tick Collars for a few years now, and was wondering if there was any new cutting edge innovations these days. I saw an advertisement for the Absorbine Ultra Shield Flea and Tick Collar and set out on a quest to find one.

I like the Seresto Collar for several reasons. First, I can never remember to feed one treat, once a month to my dogs. I would rather do something once and forget about it until the next time, rather than continuously remember to feed treats. Second, I like the friction fit of the collars. They don’t have a buckle (like the Scalibor Flea Collar), snap, or other device that keeps the collar in a fixed position. This is a huge safety concern. While my dogs don’t go unattended, it is peaceful knowing that if they do get trapped by something, the collar will release, freeing them. The PetLock and Absorbine collars both have a similar design.

ultrashield-flea-and-tick-collar-600 IMG_20160320_125400






I visited both of the large “big box” pet stores in the area and both had very prominent displays of the Seresto products, no other collars were available! I asked for assistance, and after some searching, an associate brought me the PetLock Flea and Tick Collar which I purchased. The Seresto collar was priced at $72.99. With the store rewards club membership discount of $10.95, the price paid was $62.94. For the PetLock collar, the price was $54.99. Had I done some research online, there is a $3.00 off coupon on the PetLock website.

The Product Locator on the Absorbine website says they are available at a few smaller (and some independent) pet stores in my area. They are listed on for approximately $19.99.

At first glance, the most notable difference is the effective length of the collars. Seresto is effective up to eight months, and PetLock and Absorbine are both listed as effective for six months.

They are both packaged in a recyclable aluminum tin and when I opened them up, this is what was inside:

Seresto Flea and Tick Collar and PetLock Flea and Tick Collar package contents

Seresto Flea and Tick Collar and PetLock Flea and Tick Collar package contents

The Seresto package includes: the collar, three snap-on reflectors, two reminder stickers to place on your calendar, and the product information brochure.

The PetLock package includes: the collar, and the product information brochure.

Pictured below are the two brochures side by side:

After thoroughly reading both of them, the Seresto brochure is mostly marketing and have several full-color pictures while the PetLock brochure focuses on the basics but both contain the requisite details. How to put on the collar, that they can be used in water (bathing, swimming), the active ingredients, company contact information.

The reflectors in the Seresto package were a nice addition. I haven’t used them on the last two collar applications because I didn’t experience much of a benefit. The only dog regularly walked is a ShihTzu and his fur is too long to make the reflectors useful. Perhaps on a short-haired dog they would be more beneficial.

Similarly, the calendar reminder stickers would be great for those who use paper calendars, but I use whiteboards and simply told my smartphone to set a reminder in 8 months to replace the collar.

The collars are approximately 27 1/2 inches long. They are designed longer so they will wrap around and loop through the friction grips. The instructions tell you to apply the collar so that it will fit over the dogs head and can fit two fingers between the collar and the dogs neck. The remaining collar length can be snipped off with scissors. The PetLock instructions tell you to wrap the unused length in newspaper before discarding it.

The Seresto collar (image below, right) is approximately twice as wide as the PetLock collar (image below, left). Both collars were designated by the manufacturer for Large Dogs.

Both collars are coated in a white powder which is, presumably, a release agent from the mold the collars were cast in. It could also be a preservative to keep the collar flexible while in storage. The instructions say to wipe it away with a damp paper towel.

The premise of the collars are that they contain a pesticide which is slowly released and moves over the coat, protecting against fleas and ticks.

Both collars have different active ingredients, although both are two of the most widely used pesticides:

Brand Active Ingredient
Seresto Imidacloprid, Flumethrin
PetLock Deltamethrin
Absorbine Deltamethrin

A Google search about the safety of these pesticides did not return any concerning study results. Both product brochures recommended thorough hand washing after applying the collars. Although, curiously, the European Seresto brochure said that pets wearing the collar should not sleep in the same bed as their owner, especially children, although that same message is not in the North American brochure.

To wrap this review up, I like the sturdiness of the Seresto collar, the price of the Absorbine collar, the 8-month efficacy of the Seresto collars, and the peace of mind they all give me knowing that my dogs are safe from ticks and fleas for the summer.


Photo credit: anankkml from

Time for a New Dog Groomer?

I’ve set my efforts on finding the best dog groomer for Dexter. He was anxious at his last appointment with all the other dogs around so I’m looking bringing him to a neighbor who has a small grooming operation.

This list was especially helpful from Alissia Wolf. On her blog, she goes into much more detail each of her points:

  • Research groomers in your area.
  • Groomers years and training
  • Groomers shop and attitude

The most important for me is the groomers shop. A well maintained and clean shop means the groomer has passion for what they do, and they pay attention to details.

I have been going to a big box groomer for a long time and have noticed that they don’t pay attention to some details. On our way to the grooming section, quite often dogs have marked at the end of the aisles, there is lots of hair in the corners of the salon waiting area, and spot sweeping is minimal throughout the day.

The store is also full of foreign smells. Dog food, cat food, bird food, fish food, frog food, wet food, dry food, catnip, brands and brands and brands of all of the above, dog toys, lights, barking, children running, adults talking, music, announcements, constant motion. I think it might be overwhelming. A smaller groomer will have a much more relaxing environment.

Also, because they do a large volume, there are constantly other dogs around, and during peak times, there are LOTS of other dogs around. Dexter is friendly and wants attention from everyone so he wiggles and squirms making for extra work for the groomers, and it also increases the stress that he experiences.

After Dexter was house trained he never had a single problem. This past trip to the groomers, he needed relief in the waiting area, in the grooming area, and in the parking lot. He was also going through either extreme stress or excitement while we were going there (constant yawning and looking around at high alert).

i think its time to mix it up and see if he has a more enjoyable experience with a smaller groomer.

Why Do Dogs Yawn?

When bringing my dog to the groomers tonight, he yawned the entire ride there. I wasn’t sure what could be causing it? Tiredness? Stress? Excitement?

The general consensus is that nobody knows. Several blogs I skimmed tonight suggest that it could be for all three reasons above. Based on his demeanor, I would guess excitement in this case. I’m going to try another groomer next time to see if his actions are different and maybe help pinpoint his temperament about hair cuts.

This post from the blog of Bark & Clark details the physical signs of each yawn and what they could mean in human words.