Category Archives: review

Top Automated Pet Feeders

Take the stress out of routine pet feedings with these top automated pet feeders! Open the box, pop in some batteries, pour in your bulk dry food, set when your feeds should occur, and you’re good to go!

Check out my write-up here about what you should look for in a “store ‘n feed” dispenser, and start your search here:

1. PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder

2. Petnet SmartFeeder

3. Crown Majestic Diamond Series V3

4. Home Intuition Portion Control 6-Meal Feeder

5. OxGord Automatic Electronic Timer Programmable Dog Feeder for Large to Small Dogs

6. Aspen Pet Lebistro Programmable Food Dispenser

7. Feed and Go Automatic Pet Feeder with Built In Webcam

8. PYRUS Automatic Electric Pet Dry Food Feeder with LCD Display

9. BABADIO Automatic Pet Feeder with Remote Controller

10. topPets Large Automatic Pet Feeder with Programmable Portion Control

11. GemPet SmartFeeder, Automatic Pet Feeder controlled With Your iPhone, Andriod

12. HoneyGuaridan A26 Automatic Electronic Pet Feeder with Voice Reminding and Programmable Timer

13. PetPal WiFi Automatic Pet Feeder

14. Animal Planet Programmable Electronic Pet Feeder

15. QPets 10 Lbs Automatic Programmable Pet Feeder

Be sure to leave your comments below with the pet feeder you use, and any helpful advice for fellow readers.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links which, when you buy something, provide this site with a small percentage of your purchase; this is at no cost to you.

Chewy.com shipping cartons leaving the distribution center with dog food and toys

Why I keep ordering from Chewy.com

Last week I came home to another pleasant surprise, my recent Chewy.com order!

As you can see from the picture below, we were all excited that it had arrived! Read more of our experience below!

Two dogs, a sheltie and shihtzu, smelling food and treats in a box from chewy.com

This is a repeat order from this great company. I browsed the site looking for a brand of food that wasn’t offered in the grocery store. Both dogs were getting picky, and it was time to change their food, but I had tried all the brands in the store and wanted to try something new.

After checking out the wide variety of brands available, I settled on a 5-pound bag of Nutro Adult (Lamb and Rice), a bag of Zukes Mini Naturals Roasted Chicken training treats, and a bag of Blue brand Blue Bits training treats.

They have a free shipping offer when your order reaches $49.00, but my order did not pass it. The shipping charge was only $4.95, less than if I had used a local delivery company to go to the pet store for me. The low shipping charge was surprising given that I had a giant bag of food. Regardless of how big your order is, or how many pounds of food you buy, your shipping charge for orders under $49.00 is $4.95. Shipping for orders over $49 is free!

Checkout was nice and easy, and I got a fancy postcard from them last year for being a customer! Its easy to get lost on Amazon with their extremely wide selection of products, but browsing Chewy.com was nice and easy because of their highly focused, curated, selection makes it nice and easy.

There are even helpful videos to give you more information about your favorite brands.

On the desktop site, hover over “Shop by Pet”, hover over the type of pet (dog, cat, bird, reptile, horse), and you will see the headings, Food, Treats and Supplies. It’s like the site knows me, and answers my questions of “how do I find” before I ask it.

The AutoShip selection gives you a 5-10% discount when you sign up to have products shipped to you on a regular basis. No need to “remember to buy dog food” because- it comes to you!

Will I be buying again? The answer is yes!

UPDATE: I just learned that Chewy.com has a philanthropic effort called the Chewy.com Rescue and Shelter Network. It is open to all registered non-profit organizations that specialize in assisting pets in need. Joining the Rescue Network is free, and gives non-profit organizations access to programs providing donations and fundraising opportunities. Check out their About Us page for the details!

Thoughts on America’s VetDogs Soft & Moist Dog Treats

One thing my dogs go crazy for are the America’s VetDogs Soft&Moist Dog Treats by the company Bil-Jac. These treats are irresistible to the dogs. When they hear the bag rustling, they come running.

The size of the treats is approximately a dime with the main ingredient being chicken. No fillers at all in this product, and is a product of the USA.

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While I don’t have any family in service, I like that a portion of the sales go to support our veterans (Thank you for your service!) and to help unite them with service dogs.

More information on what America’s Vet Dogs does can be found at this link to their website.

They connect veterans with Service, Hearing, Guide, PTSD, Seizure Response, and Military Faculty dogs. The website is chock full of stories on how matches they have made benefit lives every day.

Check for these treats at your local grocery store, use the product locator on the website, and check out their social media feeds linked below.

https://www.facebook.com/AmericasVetDogs/

https://twitter.com/americasvetdogs

https://www.linkedin.com/company/america’s-vetdogs

https://www.youtube.com/user/AmericasVetDogs

https://www.instagram.com/americasvetdogs/

Virbac Enzymatic Toothpaste From Chewy.com

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. peteducation.com

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 Chewy.com.

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.

Notes:
* I paid full price for this product at Chewy.com 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 Bonanza.com

Walking Dog With A Flexi Leash

Flexi Is The Gold Standard of Leashes

I have put thousands of miles on my shoes and with my dog, Dexter. He is a runner and often pulls at the leash. We are usually stay in the neighborhood, following the same path, but there are times were I want to give him more freedom, and times when he needs to stay close to me.

The blue Flexi Classic Compact below is my first one. It has seen lots of wear and tear, and is holding up well. A few cosmetic blemishes from being dropped, and wet, and pulled; but it is still going strong.

Flexi Leash blue and black

It has a good, solid retracting mechanism which continues to operate like it did Day One.

The retractable tape (it comes in two types; tape or cord) on my leashes is 5m (16 feet) when fully extended. They come in longer lengths up to 8m (26 feet).

There are several after-market accessories that are generic in nature and designed to fit on the Flexi models. A package of poop bags came with a clip on dispenser, and browsing Etsy, you can find several people who make various attachments.

Flexi makes several accessories specifically designed for their leashes including a LED light, container called a “Multi Box” for bags or treats, a flashing LED leash section, a “soft stop” attachment which is an elasticized section before the clip which allows some reflex so eliminate the jolt with a sudden leash lock, and a “duo belt” which allows you to attach two dogs to the leash. The flashing LED, soft stop, and duo belt are only available on their Vario line.

The most useful feature of the leash I have is the locking mechanism. During our walks I only allow him to be a few feet in front of me. I want him to know I control the situation, and it keeps him out of peoples yards. When neighbors pass with their dogs, I can shorten and lock the leash to keep him close, and when we are in our yard I can let the leash go to its full length so he can explore and still be under control.

Yard work is more fun with the dogs outside. Locking the leash at full length, then wrapping it around a deck pole lets the dogs enjoy the air and freedom to move. The alternative is a yard stake and line, but couldn’t be left on the lawn due to the lawn cutting service, and the cord was one more thing to store somewhere.

The next upgrade will be to get their Neon model with reflective coating. Walking in the evening works best as the neighbors dogs are inside and don’t become a distraction. Click the image to check it out on Amazon. (This is an affiliate link. If you choose to buy, a small percentage of the purchase comes back to me to help pay the costs of this blog. It doesn’t cost you more, and this post is my honest review).

Flexi's Neon Cord Leash

Flexi’s Neon Cord Leash

This is a nice upgrade, but Flexi has leash housings for everyone; including leather wrapped, adorned in Swarovski Elements, and several ‘blinged out’ versions with designs such as a butterfly on the side.

There are a few imitators out there, selling replica leashes with the same features, but I’m a stickler for tradition; “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The German design and engineering show in this quality leash.

There are several warnings on the packaging and that I learned from practice. Be careful when you release the lock. If there isn’t any resistance on the leash, the metal connector will come flying back at you. Be sure that you have control of both ends of the leash before you unlock it. The warnings also indicate something about a cutting hazard. I would imagine if it is wrapped around your finger or body part, it could cut skin as it retracts. Neither of these have been an issue for me during use.

I Tried Chewy.com And This Is What Happened

This post was not sponsored by Chewy.com 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.

IMG_20160327_120422IMG_20160327_120429chewy.com 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, www.chewy.com, 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. Chewy.com 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 Chewy.com 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 chewy.com has arrived

Dexter making sure the package is fit for consumption.

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

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

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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 Chewy.com? 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 Horse.com 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 freedigitalphotos.net