Category Archives: review

Tuffy – Ocean Creatures Lobster

If you read a few of the posts here, you will notice that I am on the search for durable toys. While walking around the big box store while Dexter was being groomed, I scoured the toy aisle for a toy that would last. He – a ShihTzu/Terrier Mix (and his new brother – an Australian Shepherd ) are chewers, and they destroy toys like it was their job.

I found the Tuffy Rabbit which lasted a very long time, so I knew I would search for another from this manufacturer. I stumbled upon the Lobster from their Ocean Creatures group.

This toy is made from three layers of material: plastic coating, luggage material, and soft fleece for the exterior. You can feel the weight of the toy; it is substantial considering its size.

Speaking of size, this toy is 4″ high, by 10″ wide, by 15″ long. The only object I had for reference when taking the picture was a dry-erase marker.

Tuffy rates their toys on toughness and uses the “all dog toy category” as a baseline, so a toy with a rating of 1 is a “cheap plush toy”, and 4 is a “sewn nylon toy that claims to be rugged”, 5 is where Tuffy toys enter the rank, and they give the Lobster an 8 which is “long lasting a really durable”. According to Tuffy’s website, the only toys that meed the criteria of 10 (Mega strong, the Tuffest) are basic shapes like bones and circles, and their Octopus and Squid characters. The language of the descriptions on the scale don’t show any hint of objectivity toward other toys, but it gives you a starting point when looking at which Tuffy toy is right for your dog.

The Lobster has two squeakers – one in each of the front claws. Due to the thickness of the material they are enclosed in, they will last longer than the average toy, but are the standard squeaker you find in most toys.

The seams are extra reinforced with webbing, then are stitched around multiple times. There is even cross-stitching across the surfaces of the toy to reinforce it.

The only reason the rabbit (pictured below) failed was because of a lateral seam underneath that came undone, not because of an exterior seam! Once the seam on the rabbit came undone, all stuffing broke loose and it was chaos for a days picking up a lot of stuffing. These toys are crammed to the gills with stuffing. Typically I get stuffing-free toys, and the dogs enjoyed the rabbit shell even after the stuffing was removed.

It has been a few weeks now that the lobster (or “lobsta”, I imagine the dogs pronounce it it with a Boston accent) has been in play and it shows moderate fraying around the claws as the dogs play with the squeakers, but shows no signs of structural damage.

Like the tag says, no toy in indestructible. Be ware of how worn a toy becomes and remove it from play when it could pose a hazard to your pup.

Planet Dog – Orbee-Tough Squeak Ball

With a new puppy in the house, I was looking for a very tough toy; one that can stand up to thousands of chews, stayed fun, and was ‘fetch-able’.

Walking around the grocery store, I found just the thing, the Orbee-Tough Squeak by Planet Dog. This ball has all the characteristics I was looking for, and more.

 

Orbee-Tough Squeak by Planet Dog

It was very quishy so it would be easy on gums and teeth, it had a squeaker (but not overly loud!), it was rated 5 out of 5 in toughness on the packaging, and it was very bouncy and a toy that we can train fetch with. As a bonus, it is Made in the USA, and floats if I ever want to use it on water.

The ball itself is about 3″ in diameter, has a texture similar to an orange, and according to the website, comes in two colors, though the store I bought it in only had one color: orange.

The packaging is easy to remove as it was two, small, plastic hooks (like you would see on a piece of clothing that holds the price and size tag on). The rest of the documentation was a fold-out card made from paper (easily recyclable – one of the core values of Planet Dog).

When I got it home, I gave it a few squishes to make it squeek; tossed it across the floor, and the pup started chasing it right away. He carried it around, and has now ‘claimed it’. He likes following it as I throw it across the room, and it bounces easily, so it catches his attention. When throwing it at the stairs, it bounces back giving him a surprise as it bounces back toward him!

While it is more expensive than other squeaking balls, I like the durability, the Made in the USA quality, the 100% guarantee on it, and the ethics of the company. While it was a bit of a sticker shock at $16.00, the feeling quickly left me as I saw how much fun the dogs were having with it.

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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.