Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fluffy +Fido's #FreebieFriday Dog Stars!

Rocco shows Sophie the ropes on his backyard fitness course!
Rocco's practicing being a star because this week he's participating in Purina's program that supports the Leader Dogs for the Blind, a global organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Here's how you can help simply by sharing a cute photo on social media and saying why your dog is a star! Post your photo with hashtag #BHDogShow and tag @Purina, and for every post, Purina will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to the Leader Dogs for the Blind organization! 

Then, catch the re-air of the Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina on Sunday, April 23, on NBC at 1/12 p.m. ET/CT! We're partnering with Purina on this program on social media too.

And speaking of stars, last weekend we had lots of fun at an agility trial where Rocco earned his third SuperQ in USDAA Snooker! What the heck does that mean? It means Rocco was super fast and that we had a blast!

The host club, Sirius Dog Agility, is also where we train. They had this cute backdrop set up for photos!
Now, it's time again for  Fido + Fluffy's  Freebie Friday, the weekly blog hop for pet-related giveaways!



Check out the goodies in the Fido's Freebie Friday giveaways listed below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

If you're a blogger with a pet-related giveaway, be sure to link up! Please link directly to your giveaway, not to your home page. We post a new blog hop every Thursday afternoon at 4 pm ET. 

We hope you enjoy the Fido + Fluffy's Freebie Friday blog hop that we co-host with DogTipper and CatTipper!
Good luck!




Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. DogTipper, CatTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dogwood Sculpture with Fido + Fluffy's #FreebieFriday

Dogwood sculpture Piedmont Park Rocco Havanese
Rocco enjoys the artistry of the new Dogwood sculpture in Piedmont Park
We're lucky to live near Piedmont Park, the largest city park in Atlanta. And on a recent stroll we discovered this new sculpture of a Dogwood tree with the buildings of Midtown Atlanta in the background.

There's always something interesting going on in our park, whether it's a festival or the Saturday morning farmer's market! We plan to head there tomorrow.

Now, it's time again for  Fido + Fluffy's  Freebie Friday, the weekly blog hop for pet-related giveaways!



Check out the goodies in the Fido's Freebie Friday giveaways listed below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

If you're a blogger with a pet-related giveaway, be sure to link up! Please link directly to your giveaway, not to your home page. We post a new blog hop every Thursday afternoon at 4 pm ET. 

We hope you enjoy the Fido + Fluffy's Freebie Friday blog hop that we co-host with DogTipper and CatTipper!
Good luck!




Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. DogTipper, CatTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pet Nutrition: How to Tell the Sizzle From the Steak with Dr. Marty Becker


Dr. Marty Becker pet nutrition
Dr. Marty Becker
This post is sponsored by Purina. All opinions are our own.

We recently had the opportunity to attend a YouTube Live session hosted by one of our favorite veterinarians, Dr. Mary Becker, who helped debunk many of the common myths regarding pets foods and ingredients.  We found his thoughts and tips interesting and eye-opening and hope you do too! 

Read down for some of the highlights and be sure to read all the way to the end for some of the most commonly asked questions about ingredients such as by-products and grains and feeding raw.


Dr. Marty Becker YouTube Live
During our YouTube live session! 

Confused about pet foods?

The whole ingredient thing can be really confusing and it's no wonder. "Some companies are all sizzle and no steak... it's all marketing and packaging to fake people out to spend too much money," said Dr. Becker. "I want manufacturing prowess and nutrition, not marketing!"

Passionate about the importance of good nutrition, Dr. Becker says that with tens of thousands of products out there it's overwhelming for pet parents to choose the right product to fit their pet's unique needs, and a recent survey says that 50 percent of people say it's harder to understand their pet's nutrition than their own. 

Ask your vet

Dr. Becker says, "nobody knows more about nutrition than veterinarians." They can recommend the right food for your pet at their stage in life and for their lifestyle.  Vets should also be able to recommend the best food to fit your shopping lifestyle -- whether you buy your pet food at a grocery store, pet specialty or online.

Help your pet live longer

And speaking of the right food, the top things that are going to contribute to both length and quality of life is putting the right food in a pet's bowl, controlling how much they eat and how much exercise they get. If they stay at their ideal weight they going to live about two years longer, says Dr. Becker, who also points out that 56 percent of America's pets are overweight or obese.

Consider nutrients (and safety and quality), not ingredients

"Don't fall prey to just looking at the ingredient list or a fancy photo on the package," adds Dr. Becker.  "The fancier the package and the crazier the ingredients sound, the more it seems to intrigue people." The manufacturing, safety, quality and nutrients (a complete and balanced diet) are what's important, not the marketing or the fancy package.

Hungry like a wolf?

By-products are certainly one of the hottest topics and Dr. Becker shed some light on this topic as well. "Dogs share almost 98 percent of the DNA of the wolf and if you watch wolves eat, which I've watched several times, you'll see the alpha eats first and he doesn't go for the meaty thigh, he goes right for what we call the by-products, he goes for the heart, the kidney, the liver, the spleen. He goes to the most nutrient rich food sources. So if you had a wolf in a pet store, he'd be telling you your dog wants to eat these things," said Dr. Becker.

Read on for more about  by-products and other myths below.

Dr. Marty Becker Fear Free
Dr. Becker also is the founder of Fear FreeSM, an initiative to help prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them -- including vets, pet parents and pet trainers and other pet professional providers. 


Four dog food myths busted, by Dr. Marty Becker


Myth #1: By-Products are bad for my pet
Truth: By-products are often mischaracterized as low-quality ingredients in pet food when in fact they are commonly used in both human and animal food, and provide valuable nutrients for pets such as protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

In the wild, cats and dogs instinctively eat organs first because they are nutrient-dense and highly palatable, so eating by-products is more natural than most people think. Additionally, by-products can provide more essential nutrients than regular muscle meat (which can be lacking in calcium and Vitamin A) but are naturally provided in by-products from the bones and liver.

Many pet food manufacturers use high-quality by-products such as beef, chicken or pork that may include hearts, livers, kidneys, lungs and spleens and is considered a part of sustainable food sourcing.

Myth #2: I should avoid feeding my pet grains
Truth:
Through decades of nutrition research, we’ve learned that grains produce positive outcomes in dogs and cats. Gram for gram, grains deliver more complete nutrition than the ingredients typically used to
substitute for grains, such as potatoes.

In addition, grains are an excellent source of energy-rich carbohydrates and contain protein and antioxidants, including Vitamin E, and fiber to promote digestibility. Many pet food products are formulated with grains because they provide needed natural nutrients as part of a complete and balanced diet.

Dogs are omnivores in the wild, and you actually want grains in their diet, unless there's a specific food allergy.

Myth #3: I can feed my pet solely a raw diet
Truth:
There are many trends and fads in pet food, such as raw diets. Some people believe pets should eat a raw food diet because it’s allegedly more like what they would eat in the wild. However, raw pet food may not provide all the nutrients a pet needs — and it can sometimes contain dangerous bacteria that is harmful to both the owner and pet when food safety regulations aren’t met.


The FDA maintains a “zero-tolerance” policy for salmonella in pet food because it can pose risks to human health when people who are ‘at risk’ (children, the elderly and individuals with comprised immune systems) come into direct contact with the contaminated pet food so raw diet may not always be the best choice.

It’s important to discuss the pros and cons of a raw diet with your veterinarian, and whether a solely raw diet is appropriate for your pet. If it's commercially available and 100 percent nutritionally balanced and complete then you can certainly consider it,  but I would say you are probably paying too much money.


Myth #4: The quality of pet food solely depends on the type of ingredients in the food
Truth:
The quality and safety of pet food are equally as important as the ingredients themselves. When determining which pet food to purchase pet owners should go directly to the manufacturer’s website to learn more about what safety and quality standards and best practices are being used.


This includes learning about processes for conducting regular safety and quality checks; employing food scientists, pet nutritionists and other veterinary professionals to develop products; and understanding if the manufacturer is operating its own facilities and maintaining in-house testing laboratories.

Pet owners should also look at the manufacturing and ingredient quality standards of the brand to make sure they meet or exceed FDA and AAFCO standards. 


Bottom line? Ask your vet and choose a food that's nutritionally balanced and right for your pet at his or her specific stage in life and lifestyle. And, be sure to do your research! Check out which companies have had pet food recalls and look for those where the quality and safety standards are best in class.  For more information visit petfoodinstitute.org

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Weekend Fun in Watkinsville, Ga. & Fluffy + Fido's #FreebieFriday

Rocco Havanese on the porch at Robinson-Puckett House
I love the texture in this image of Rocco on the porch of the Robinson-Puckett house, circa 1809-1840
Last weekend we head to Watkinsville, Ga., for an agility trial, which was held on the grounds of Oconee Heritage Park. There's a nice arena for doing agility, and as a bonus there are also some pretty walking trails and some historic structures too.

Above, Rocco sits on the porch of the historic Robinson-Puckett house and you can get a full view of the house in the photo below.

Robinson-Puckett House Oconee Heritage Park
Here's a look at the historic house from a distance
Behind the house, we headed out for a short hike after running agility in the arena. We have some nice agility photos too that we'll share at a later date!

hiking trail at Oconee Heritage Park
Heading out on the trail
It sure was a pretty day!

Now, it's time again for  Fido + Fluffy's  Freebie Friday, the weekly blog hop for pet-related giveaways!



Check out the goodies in the Fido's Freebie Friday giveaways listed below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

If you're a blogger with a pet-related giveaway, be sure to link up! Please link directly to your giveaway, not to your home page. We post a new blog hop every Thursday afternoon at 4 pm ET. 

We hope you enjoy the Fido + Fluffy's Freebie Friday blog hop that we co-host with DogTipper and CatTipper!
Good luck!




Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. DogTipper, CatTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.
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Friday, March 31, 2017

Fido + Fluffy's Freebie Friday Gets Agile, Again!

Havanese agility AKC Rocco
Rocco flys over a jump at an AKC agility trial in Atlanta
Rocco shows off his aerodynamics at an agility trial a few weeks ago! We'll be back at it again this weekend, heading to a trial in Watkinsville, Ga. 

This week we also had the chance to participate in a video chat with Dr. Marty Becker. Stay tuned for more on that in the next week or two. We have lots of great info to share to help demystify the whole dog food ingredient thing, and we also learned about Dr. Becker's Fear Free initiative.

Maybe everyone else already knows about it, but it was new to me, and it's terrific. It's all about helping to reduce the fear, stress, and anxiety pets experience when they visit the veterinarian, and for pets in animal shelters and in everyday life, too. We'll share more on that too in upcoming months.

Now, it's time again for  Fido + Fluffy's  Freebie Friday, the weekly blog hop for pet-related giveaways!



Check out the goodies in the Fido's Freebie Friday giveaways listed below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

If you're a blogger with a pet-related giveaway, be sure to link up! Please link directly to your giveaway, not to your home page. We post a new blog hop every Thursday afternoon at 4 pm ET. 

We hope you enjoy the Fido + Fluffy's Freebie Friday blog hop that we co-host with DogTipper and CatTipper!
Good luck!




Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. DogTipper, CatTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Who Cleaned Up at #SimpleSolution Twitter Party!


We had so much fun at today's Event Barkers #SimpleSolution Twitter party, full of great cleaning tips for pet parents and prizes from Simple Solution! We co-hosted the event along with DogTipper and CatTipper, and if you missed it, we've got some great ways you can still take advantage of all the great info that was shared!

During the party, we shared a 40 percent off coupon code that’s valid only through Thursday! Use coupon code SpringClean40 for 40 percent off AND free shipping! The coupon expires at 12:30 pm ET on Thursday so shop SimpleSolution.com now!


We also shared a great new e-book from Simple Solution that we think we solve many of your special cleaning problems in your pet household. Be sure to download your free copy of “Top Tips for Getting Tough on Pet Stains and Odors: A Step by Step Guide to Cleaning Tough Pet Messes” — and get your spring cleaning started!



Rocco Havanese Simple Solution
Rocco gives Simple Solution a high paw!
Rocco says, "Simple Solution makes clean up fast so you can enjoy more time outside!"

List of #SimpleSolution Winners

Congratulations to all our winners! Simple Solution will be shipping the prize packs to you directly. Happy spring cleaning, everyone!
  • Pre-party winner: @MariasMusings
  • Prize 1 winner: @abbynaverysmom
  • Prize 2 winner: @Middlefairy
  • Prize 3 winner: @joell51868 
  • Prize 4 winner: @LoriLeal1
  • Prize 5 winner: @coralrae21
  • Grand prize winner: @ESSEXMA
This party was sponsored by Simple Solution. All prizes will be fulfilled and shipped by Simple Solution.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fluffy + Fido's Freebie Friday Gets Ready for #SimpleSolution Twitter Party


We've been busy this week preparing for the #SimpleSolution Twitter party sponsored by Simple Solution! We hope you'll join us for this Event Barkers Twitter party on Wednesday, March 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET, featuring over $450 in prizes for pet parents.

Whether your worst cleaning nightmare is odors or stains -- or both -- there will be plenty of tips for every type of cleaning challenge!

Be sure to RSVP for the party for a chance to win the pre-party prize -- a prize pack of terrific Simple Solution products valued at $100! Hope to see you at the #SimpleSolution Twitter party along with our co-hosts @DogTipper@CatTipper@EventBarkers and sponsor @Simple_Solution.

Now, it's time again for  Fido + Fluffy's  Freebie Friday, the weekly blog hop for pet-related giveaways!



Check out the goodies in the Fido's Freebie Friday giveaways listed below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

If you're a blogger with a pet-related giveaway, be sure to link up! Please link directly to your giveaway, not to your home page. We post a new blog hop every Thursday afternoon at 4 pm ET. 

We hope you enjoy the Fido + Fluffy's Freebie Friday blog hop that we co-host with DogTipper and CatTipper!
Good luck!




Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. DogTipper, CatTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.