Category Archives: review

Dozer’s Dental Chews And Other Great Made In America Dog Products

One of the values that we find in buying American Made products is that there comes with it goodwill of the country. We have an implicit understanding that the products will be high quality and the people making them will stand behind them.

Dozer’s Dental Chews are Made in the USA of eight simple ingredients, but formed in shapes and sizes to help clean your dogs teeth as they chew. The first three ingredients are potato, rice, and chicken. The chew itself is dense but not overly hard like some nylon chews can be. While the small pieces of nylon chews will safely pass through a dogs tract, Dozer’s Chews are made of food(!) so they are a great treat as well.

Dozers Dental Chews

Why we like this:

– Made from food ingredients so they are a fun treat as well!
– Fun and stimulating shapes to interest your dog and clean all areas of their teeth
– Come in a variety of shapes and sizes for all breeds

 

Greenies Dental Chews and Breath Freshener are a household name. They are made in Kansas and came to be because “necessity is the mother of invention“; nothing like it existed! Their classic shape is almost iconic, and they now come in dozens of varieties, shapes, and formulations; perfect for every breed.

Why We Like These: The unique shape and the wide variety of flavors, along with the proven history of this company gives assurance that they deliver a safe and functional product.

King of Pups by King of Pops. This Atlanta-based creator of inspired popsicles also creates a version for dogs! They are made with yogurt, banana, honey, peanut butter, vegetable gums, and natural flavors. They are made with locally sourced ingredients and available by mail order!

 

Why We Like This: King of Pops goes out of their way to model sustainability and local sourcing. They use high quality ingredients and haven’t forgotten the importance of the human-pet bond.

Check out this great dog treat company from Stroudsburg, PA: WhiskerBiscuits makes fun treats for dogs in a variety of flavors and shapes. They are known for their ‘Peanut Butter Poo’, and “The Big Sack” which has a variety of all their products. They also have a subscription service – The Very Important Pet club – “VIP”. Each month you will receive a shipment of their latest flavor!

Whisker Biscuits - The Big Sack

Why We Like This: Subscription services such as these help to support our fellow countrymen, helping them embody the vision of the American Dream, as well as saving us time and money sourcing and buying treats for our canine friends.

Effective Treatments For Dog Ear Infections

While the title of this post isn’t that appealing, ear infections are common for many floppy-ear dog breeds such as shih tzu, poodle, pit bull, cocker spaniel, and Shar Pei.

Infections generally fall into two categories; bacterial, or yeast. WebMD says the main contributing factors of ear infections are: ear mites, excessive hair, moisture or wax, foreign bodies, allergies, and hypothyroidism. Not adequately drying or airing out ears after swimming, or exploring overgrown areas outdoors can expose your dog to the contributing causes of ear infections.

Infected ears can be uncomfortable for your dog, both because of the irritation in their ear canal, but also excessive scratching can cause cuts and increase the redness, as they attempt to scratch the itch away.

From time to time I have had to treat ear infections in my dog at home and found the following to be helpful to treat both kinds. When the non-prescription products don’t work after a few days, then a trip to the vet is necessary. I have found that often my grocery store pharmacy can order pet prescriptions. If you know you have a prescription coming your way from the vet, it is helpful to call the grocery store pharmacy to check their pricing to ensure you don’t overpay at the vet. If your pet prescription requires refills, you might as well save a stop and get them at the same time as your prescriptions (if any), or your groceries!

The five medications I have at home to treat my dogs ear infections are:

Prescription Non-Prescription
Otibiotic Vet’s Best Ear Relief Dry
Otomax VetOrganics EcoEars
Virbac Epi-Otic

Effective medications for treating dog ear infections

 

Otibiotic is made by VetUS (Henry Schein Animal Health) and comes in a 15g tube, with instructions to administer 5 drops in the ear each day, for 14 days. The ingredients are gentamicin sulphate, betamethasone valerate, and clotrimazole and they are mixed in a mineral oil paste. It controls bacteria and fungus, and is an anti-inflammatory. It has the same active ingredients and proportion of ingredients as Otomax, however it is less expensive.

Otomax is made by Merk Animal Health and was the original prescribed product we had received to treat both the bacterial and fungal ear infection. It contains gentamicin sulphate, betamethasone valerate, and clotrimazole, and is mixed with a mineral oil paste to aid in application.

Epi-Otic made by Virbac is a clear rinse that helps remove cellular debris and wax from the ears and contains an anti-irritant. The active ingredients are diethylene glycol monoethyl ether, salicylic acid, and chloroxylenol. It is applied by filling the ear, massaging for 60-90 seconds, then allowing the dog to shake out the excess. After that, a cotton swab should be used to wipe out the remaining, along with any debris or wax that has been loosened. Any following medication should be applied after the Epi-Otic has dried.

EcoEars is a natural product made by VetOrganics in the USA. The ingredients are: deionized water, witch hazel extract, denatured grain alcohol, vegetable glycerin, polysorbate 20 (food grade), boric acid, tea tree oil, ionic silver solution, organic mullein leaf extract, rosemary extract, and fingerroot extract. It is a clear liquid that can be administered directly in to the ear, or for squirmy dogs, a cotton ball can be soaked and the liquid squeezed into the ear.

The VetOrganics website goes into further detail to describe how each of the ingredients work to clear up the infection. I have found that it works well as a maintenance product. The label recommends using it twice per day for 10 days, or longer as necessary; weekly as a maintenance product. I found that the prescription medications show a visible improvement in the appearance of ear cleanliness and smell within hours of applying them.

Finally, Vet’s Best Ear Relief Dry is another natural formula made in the USA (Texas, to be exact) and contains Calendula, Clove Oil, Aloe Vera, Chamomie, Tea Tree Oil, Silica and Echinacea. It too is a white paste that dries to a powder which helps absorb moisture which can cause bacterial and yeast growth. The recommended application is to squeeze into the ear canal and let dry. This should be used before and after bathing or swimming, and can be used regularly as a maintenance product. I find this especially useful after baths because I know there is often water remaining inside Dexter’s floppy ears.

Some of the product links above are affiliate links to the product pages on Amazon.

Top 5 Reasons I Groom My Dog At Home

I used to go to the big box groomer every six weeks to have Dexter washed, cut, and nails clipped, but after some research online, watching some videos, and buying some inexpensive things from Amazon, I was able to successfully start grooming him at home.

Home grooming isn’t “hard” but it does require some preparation and precision. When I first started, I was glad that he didn’t have to go to school like a child, or his friends would make fun of him. It was bad. Over the last year that I have been doing this, my technique has improved, I am able to follow the same grooming process, and the result is a dog who is presentable in public.

Getting to the place where I decided to start grooming my shih tzu at home wasn’t quick. At first I didn’t think I could. I thought that dog grooming was best left up to the people at the pet store. After a while, though, I realized that they didn’t have any fancy equipment that I couldn’t build or buy, and the only thing I needed to invest was time rather than money.

Top Five Reasons I Chose to Groom My Dog At Home Are:

  1. Reduces Stress On My Dog
  2. Be In Control of the Process
  3. Reduced Investment of Time for Me
  4. Cost
  5. Learning A New Skill

Reducing Stress on On My Dog – The biggest motivator for me to look into grooming at home was the stress I could see in Dexter when he returned home. He would run around the house to get caught up on all the smells, then he would pass out from exhaustion. He is a shih-tzu/terrier mix; a high-energy alert dog. He needs to know about every noise that happens, and has big enough burst of energy to continually bark or chase whatever he alerts to, real or imagined. I knew that spending most of a day at the grooming salon was keeping him on edge the entire time. There were so many dogs, people, and sounds that he couldn’t relax.

Be In Control of the Process – While I trust the grooming salon and the pet store completely, my dog is almost like a child to me. He is a member of the family and I want to ensure that I do the best I can to place him in situations where he will be well taken care of. I was fully confident leaving him with them, and had done so for several years, but even then you hear of stories on the news where something happens to a dog in their care. The rational part of my brain says that these stories are the exception, and there are thousands of successful grooming sessions for every one mistake, but I knew that I could eliminate even that small chance by taking over this responsibility.

Also, I can control the how he looks at the end. Rather than describing the look I want to the groomer then leaving it to them, then potentially having to stay later to have them fix any issues, By doing it myself I could cut his fur to the length I desired the first time. If his tail wasn’t coming out correctly, or his face was too long, I could fix it on the spot as I went. I could control which shampoo was used, I could control the length of the grooming session, I could control the environment, I could control the final look. I wouldn’t have a problem going back to a groomer, but I also like being able to pick and decide each step of the way as well.

Reducing My Investment of Time – The pet store grooming salon is about a 15 minute drive from my house. Not only would I have to drive there and back once to get Dexter to them, but also there and back again to pick him up. Give the amount of time it takes for them to complete the wash & groom process, and the comparative amount of time it takes me to do errands in that same area, it involved a lot of driving. Literally, I would spend an hour of the day just driving to and from the groomer. On top of that, I would be tied to my phone waiting for their call that he was ready. He could be ready at 4pm, he could be ready at 6pm depending on a lot of factors (drop off time, the number of other dogs, etc…). I might be in the middle of a project at that time. I could be just not in the mood to go back out for him; the timing was just unpredictable. In the time it took me to drive to drop him off and pick him up, plus the uncertainty of when he would be done, I would rather schedule my own time and invest an hour to an hour and a half to do it myself.

Cost – Cost is certainly a factor in any decision. Looking at prices around me, some of the national chains pricing ranges from $29 – $131 for a bath and cut. Exact pricing depends on the size and breed, but even a small, easy to groom dog requiring grooming every 6 weeks would need eight sessions per year at $30, so the yearly cost would be $240. I will list below what I use. Most of them are one-time expenses, and they add up to less that $250, so there is an immediate savings. Granted, some of what you are paying for is the training and experience the groomers have, but with enough practice I feel confident that grooming your dog of any breed at home is attainable.

Learning a New Skill – Last, I am a curious person by nature. I like to know how things work and I like to build my skill level wherever possible. Taking up the challenge to learn about dog grooming was something that fascinated me, and that I took with and ran. Do I feel like I would want to do this for other people’s dogs? No. Would I ever consider leaving my job and doing this full-time? No. What I do have, though, is the satisfaction of not knowing anything about this, and becoming okay at it. And continually improving!

Below I will list the supplies I use when grooming my dog at home. Following that I will link to some videos from Wahl that demonstrate how you can groom many dog breeds yourself.

Bath:
FreshWave Dog Shampoo
AquaPaw – hand-held pet shower
Soggy Doggy Towel
Andis hair dryer (use the Low setting)

Grooming:
My DIY Grooming Table
Scissor set from Amazon
Wahl Pro-Series Pet Clippers – Read my review here

(The Wahl set comes with a pair of scissors and a plastic comb, but both are of okay quality. I opted to buy a separate set of scissors because it included stainless steel scissors, and a stainless steel comb)

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Dexter with his FreshWave shampoo and the AquaPaw connected to the shower.

These videos from Wahl are clearly from decades past, but the techniques they demonstrate are time-tested.

 

This is the video the designer of the AquaPaw produced when it was first introduced to demonstrate its use.

Dog Toys (And More!) Made In The USA

Last article featured mostly dog treats and food Made In America, but this time In this we look at some durable toys and durable products that your dog will love.

Not only will these products improve the lives of your puppy, but when you buy American, you support our domestic economy. Keeping money here helps create and maintain jobs in our communities. It helps fund schools and has a ripple effect because the money you spend to buy the product is spent again in a community close to home; by the men and women building and creating the things your dog loves. Not only will these products give your dog a warm heart, but yours too!

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff BallsThese ultra-durable balls are made of non-toxic, 100% recyclable materials right here in the USA. The company even offers a guarantee if your dog destroys it. I can say that after several years of owning one of these, that it takes a lot of abuse and still looks brand new. It has an incredible bounce to it too, so it will keep your pup really engaged while playing. Check out some of their holiday themed balls as well!

American Mutt – American Mutt has a wide assortment of products all Made in America. They are one of the few companies I have seen that makes a dog bed 100% in the USA. Check out their CoreBlu bed which is Waterproof, Fungal-proof, and has an incredible 5 Year Warranty! With that commitment, you know the company and employees put care and attention into what they make. There are several styles of bed to choose from, including a bolster bed that is raised off the floor!

SaltSox – Protect your pups paws from summer heat, dirty sidewalks, hot sand and much more. The built-in heat barrier reflects radiant surface heat and the breathable mesh fabric allows for natural cooling. Perfect for when the temperatures soar! Check out their versions for temperatures both hot (LavaSox) and cold (SaltSox). Both varieties are made in Chicago, IL! The bottom of the sock even has a grippy sole to improve traction indoors and out. This is the perfect gift for dog lovers who live in cities, or the suburbs where regular walking on pavement and snow can cause injury.

AquaComb – This innovative tool is made in Sarasota, Florida. It connects to a hose (garden or otherwise) and the patent-pending fingers direct water beneath even the thickest of dog coats to help deep clean dirt and dander. The fingers come in two lengths for short and longer coats, so there is one that is perfect for your pet. It comes in four models as well, made specifically for dogs, made for grooming horses, and models for cleaning pool and spa filters. This product is great for 4-H clubs and others who spend lots of time washing dogs, grooming horses or ponies.

Top Subscription Services For Dogs

Subscription boxes are not just for humans. You can also get monthly deliveries of treats and toys for your furry friends. One of the best-known boxes of this type is BarkBox, which contains dog chews, treats, and dog toys. BarkBox is one of the most famous and well-known dog subscription box around. Each month, they deliver four to five toys, treats and, occasionally, hygiene products or bonus items for dog owners and their pets.

Each bark box contains about four or five items, which are not similar from month to month. When you register, you enter your puppy’s weight to get items of the right size for your pup, and if there is an item that your dog does not like, you can replace it for free. They also have options for adding additional toys, selecting an option for toys for heavy chewers, and gifting boxes if you want to treat another special dog!

If you are thinking of the best way to spoil your furry friend with an awesome gift and treats bundle, think of a subscription service to keep the gifts coming month after month! Before making a choice, check out the following benefits of having subscriptions services.

For most people, the great advantage of subscription boxes is the fun factor. Dog owners who talked about why they choose subscription boxes say they enjoy the suspense of looking forward to each month’s box, and speculating what it will contain. Also waiting for that box each month without knowing what it is, creates an adrenaline rush, kind of like getting a birthday gift every month.

Convenience: Having the items delivered consistently every month can save you shopping time. For example, due to my busy schedule, I make use of subscription service to get my dog food and other pet grooming items on the monthly schedule. That way, I don’t have to take time out of my tight schedule for running around town from store to store.

Custom Picked Items: With a lot of subscription boxes, the items you receive each month are chosen specifically for your dog, according to your dog particular needs and preferences. This can be major benefits for dog owners who have difficulty finding what they like in stores or who just don’t enjoy shopping. For many owners knowing the items were chosen just for them increases the excitement of opening a new box. And getting these select goodies makes people’s feel unique and also boosts their self-esteem.

Potential Savings: Having treats shipped to you in a subscription box is often cheaper than buying each of these items individually. Some subscription services offer a 5% discount on all items sent from them. Other subscription services provide even greater savings.

Quality Products: For example, according to BarkBox, all boxes are free of wheat, corn, and soybeans, and they also makes special allergy-friendly canine boxes for pooches who are allergic to chicken, beef, and turkey. All of BarkBox’s treats are Made in the USA!

For more information, check out the links to some great subscription services below!

BarkBox – Check out RetailMeNot for current BarkBox savings codes

Pooch Perks – Treats Made in the USA with fun-themed toys!

Big Paw Treat Club – Nearly a pound of freshly baked treats with Free Shipping! 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month subscriptions available; or order individually by the bag. Use code BIGPAW15 for 15% off your order!

PawPack – by TheGiftBox.com – From their website: “Each month, we deliver the highest quality, premium selections of all natural treats and chews made with real meat and wholesome ingredients, along with irresistible tough, long lasting toys for those pups that love to chew!”

BullyMake – BullyMake is specifically designed for dogs who are power chewers. In fact, BullyMake offers a 14-day guarantee. If you dog destroys a toy they send within 14 days of receiving it, they will replace it! Buy one box at a time, or a subscription of up to 12 months to keep the toys arriving!

 

Best Movies Featuring Dogs

Recently Variety a slideshow titled “The Best Movie Dogs of All Time“. It was prompted by the release of the movie “Dog Days” and features twenty of the best appearances by dogs in movies through the years.

I will save you a ton of clicking and put the top 10 here, but following that I will list a few recent movies that I feel should have made the cut.

10. Buddy in “Air Bud” (1997)
9. Beethoven (1992)
8. Arthur from “Beginners” (2010)
7. The Beast in “The Sandlot” (1993)
6. Old Yeller (1957)
5. Flealick from “Babe: Pig In The City” (1998)
4. Marley in “Marley and Me” (2008)
3. Toto in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
2. Lassie in “Lassie Come Home” (1943)
1. “Benji” (1974)

I would like to add a few movies to this list to make it a little more current.

Bailey (Bailey, Bailey) from A Dogs Purpose (2017). While this wasn’t reviewed well by the Rotten Tomatoes critics, it definitely tugged at the heartstrings of the audience. In parts it was a hard movie to watch as it deals with the passing of “Bailey” several times as he comes back in a new incarnation, but because it was handled in a tasteful way, we were able to connect to the main storyline. Even though Bailey is played by several dogs, the ‘spirit of Bailey’ narrates the movie and brings us along on this journey.

Max from Max (2015) is another recent movie where the dog takes center stage. IMDB describes the movie as “A Malinois dog that helped American Marines in Afghanistan returns to the United States and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience.” Not only did it resonate with audiences, but provided the foundation for a sequel.

Because of the bond humans have with dogs in real life, it is no surprise that we can connect with canine-led stories in the movies. While a lot of movies are based on conjecture (us creating a story based on what we want to see rather than what dogs actually may be thinking or doing), they are inspirational and bring out the hope in all of us.

One agency that certifies that “No Animals Were Harmed” in the filming of these movies is the American Human Association, through their Humane Hollywood initiative. When you see their logo and the “No Animals Were Harmed” tagline in the credits of the movie you just enjoyed, you can know that the animals shown in the movie were treated fairly and safely during their time on and off set.

Easy Options For Fresh Dog Treats

I like to spoil my dogs with homemade dog treats from time to time. The ability to choose, and know, what ingredients go in to what they are eating puts my mind at ease. Losing all the additives and preservatives makes me feel like I am in taking responsibility for my dogs health.

The kitchen isn’t a strange place to me, and I have some baking skills, so whipping up a batch of treats in an afternoon is fun and relaxing, although with so many things on the ‘To Do” list, finding time can be difficult.

One of my favorite discoveries in the last few months has been Big Paw Treat Club. I pay full price for the shipments I receive. They are a dog treat subscription service which sends out one package of freshly made homemade dog treats right to your door each month. You can also order individual bags without a subscription. This ‘Treat Of The Month Club” ensures your pantry is always stocked!

Having the option to either bake my own – based on recipes I find online, or have them shipped to my door is a great option for when I feel like being adventurous in the kitchen, and the times that I’m not!

The most recent shipment was for Beef Barkers which are Grain Free, made with tapioca flour, and have flax and parsley. My dogs absolutely devoured these! I was able to find this recipe online for a similar treat from Kelly at her Primally Inspired blog.

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Each shipment from the treat club comes packaged nicely and with care. I know that if even half the thought that went into the packaging and presentation goes into the baking of the treats, that they will be absolutely delicious.

Do you like to bake your own treats? Or do you prefer to have them made for you?

This post is part of a Blog Hop! Check out the other blogs in the Wordless Wednesday Hop here:

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