Thursday, November 27, 2014

How to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy During Holiday Chaos #FueltheHolidays

Rocco shows Nate one of his favorite tricks, Hide Your Eyes!
This week, we're visiting with family in Chicago.  And, Rocco and I are getting to experience first-hand all the chaotic happy situations we'll be chatting about tomorrow at the #FueltheHolidays Twitter party with our pals at Zuke's. 

While the holidays ARE filled with joy and happiness, and LOTS to be thankful for, they also can be a time of stress and chaos that can be particularly difficult for pets, and children.

Rocco is typically a very social dog and happy in most situations, but this week I've experienced first hand when it's time to pay attention to pet parental instinct, and know when your pup needs a little peace and quiet.

Some tips that came to mind while Rocco was visiting with his human cousin Nate this week:

Keep your dog happy and healthy during holiday chaos

  • Keep your dog focused and happy by continuing with basic training. Performing sits and downs for treats or some basic hand touches will help keep your dog focused on you should offer comfort in their familiarity.
  • Let your dog show off their favorite tricks! In the photo above Rocco gets plenty of treats for doing tricks like Hide Your Eyes, delighting cousin Nate.
  • Rocco and Nate both enjoy box games!
  • Play interactive games. When Nate started to getting a little restless with his own toys, we pulled out a box and played some box games. Both Nate and Rocco are two years old and it turned out they both enjoyed the game. (Funny how kids and dogs at that age respond to the same games! 
  • Keep the routine the same. Help reduce stress by keeping your pup's exercise, feeding and play routine as close to normal as possible. That includes having plenty of healthy treats and chews on hand to reward your pup and keep him occupied.
  • Keep harmful foods, plants and holiday decor out of reach. If you're a guest in someone else's house and you don't have much control over the environment, that might mean keeping your pup tethered to you on a leash.  In our case, I also have to scour the entire environment for harmful pills that might have fallen on the floor.
  • Know when it's time for some peace and quiet.  Nate and Rocco had a terrific time playing, but like most two year olds, when they got tired and too much rowdiness ensued it was time for a little time out. I could tell Rocco had had enough and it was time to give him some space and peace and quiet. We have a crate for Rocco to relax in, and he also feels comfortable in my lap away from all the hustle and bustle.
Rocco and Nate took turns getting in the box!
We all hope you're having a terrific holiday and hope you'll take a little time out on FRIDAY to join us at #FueltheHolidays on Twitter. Start time is noon ET and we'll play for a full 90 minutes! We'd love to hear your tips for keeping pups holiday happy, and of course, there will be plenty of healthy Zuke's treats to win for your own pups! 

RSVP for #FueltheHolidays and you'll be entered for a a chance to win even if you can't make the party. Hope to see you there!

The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and My GBGV Life to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

Happy Thanksgiving from Fido's Freebie Friday #FueltheHolidays

Welcome to another edition of Fido's Freebie Friday (FFF), the weekly giveaway blog hop for all things pet!

As we give thanks this week, we're also busy preparing for the Zuke's #FueltheHolidays Twitter party, which we hope you'll join us at TOMORROW, Friday, Nov. 28!

If you're like us, you're thankful for all the pets and pet-loving folks in your lives, and you care about keeping everyone safe and happy during the holidays.

At #FueltheHolidays, we'll be sharing ideas for a happy and safe holiday season AND, as always, giving away LOTS of awesome prizes! 

Mark your calendar now for the #FueltheHolidays Twitter Party on Nov. 28 so you don't miss out! Head to our RSVP post to learn more and enter for a chance to win some tasty prizes from Zuke's!

Then, check out the selection of this week's giveaways in the Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

Here's how to participate 

The rules for Fido's Freebie Friday are super simple. Here's all you need to know to link up:
  • You have up to 45 characters to describe your prize and include an expiration date
  • Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop is open to posts with prizes for pet products or services, including pet-related or pet-themed items for owners. Use your specific post url to link up.
  • Or simply enter the giveaways that interest you for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!
Fido's Freebie Friday opens each Thursday afternoon for linkups at 4 p.m. ET, and renews each week at the same time with a new listing. Link up anytime during the week!

Happy (s)hopping!

Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. All Things Dog Blog, Doggies and Stuff, DogTipper 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, November 26, 2014

Get Ready to #FueltheHolidays at Zuke's Twitter Party on FRIDAY!

Rocco jumps into the holidays!
Here's your viewing guide for the #FueltheHolidays Twitter Party this Friday, Nov. 28 from noon - 1:30 p.m. ET.  

We hope you'll join us for lots of fun and prizes from Zuke's and great tips on how to keep your pups happy and healthy during this hectic holiday season.

Here's what you need to know to participate and enjoy the fun.

Between now and Friday be sure to:
  1. RSVP for the #FueltheHolidays party. Even if you can’t attend Friday, you can enter to win a pre-party prize package from Zuke's!
  2. Pick out some photos of your dogs to share during the party! Sharing a photo or any kind of engagement will enter you to win prizes!
  3. Bring your own tips for keeping your pup holiday happy. We'd love to hear them. And we'll be sharing ours, too.
  4. Mark your calendar for the Friday party from noon - 1:30 p.m. ET…see you there!

Here’s a look at all the #FueltheHolidays party details:
  • Who:     Sponsored by @ZukesPets
  • What:     Zuke’s #FueltheHolidays Twitter Party
  • When:   Friday, Nov. 28, noon-1:30pm ET / 11am-12:30pm CT / 10am-11:30am MT / 9am-10:30am PT
  • Where:  On Twitter, using hashtag #FueltheHolidays
  • Why:     To share how to keep our pups happy during the holidays and to celebrate with our dogs, @ZukesPets and hosts @EventBarkers @DogTipper @ToDogwithLove
  • Prizes:  $750+ in prizes from Zuke's. Here’s a rundown of all the prizes.

#FueltheHolidays Twitter Party FAQ

How do I participate?

Just head on over to  #FueltheHolidays on Twitter at party time and say hi! Simply participate in the party to be eligible to win prizes. You can engage in conversation or share photos of your pets -- but, whatever you do, be sure you use the #FueltheHolidays hashtag on all your Tweets! The party starts at noon ET and we’ll be opening the doors to greet our guests starting at 11:30 a.m. ET.

To be eligible for the pre-party prize, please enter on the RSVP post.

How will I know if I win?

@EventBarkers will announce winners every 10 minutes. Be sure to follow @EventBarkers so you don’t miss out! If you win, they’ll DM you with prize details after the party.

How do I follow the fun?

If you’ve been to any of our Event Barkers parties, you know they’re fast-paced! We use Hootsuite and open a column for the #FueltheHolidays hashtag. You might want to visit our #FueltheHolidays TweetChat room if you prefer.  Once you’re there, you can Tweet from the party room and you won’t see any non-party Tweets in your stream.

Which accounts should I follow?

Here’s a look the Twitter handles you’ll want to watch for all the action!
  • @EventBarkers — Prize information and giveaway winners
  • @EBParties — Prize details
  • @DogTipper — Will ask fun interactive questions!
  • @ToDogWithLove and @RoccoHavanese -- Will share training tips to keep your pups happy during the holidays AND keep an eye our for some fun pop quizzes from these two, too!
  • @ZukesPets — Will answer your Zuke’s-related questions!

We hope to see you at FRIDAY'S party! Remember: even if you can’t make the party, or you’re not on Twitter, you are eligible to enter the pre-party giveaways. Good luck!

We are working with Zuke's through our partnership in Event Barkers to produce the #FueltheHolidays Twitter party and share product news with our readers. Prizes will be provided and shipped by Zuke's. At To Dog With Love, we only share information we believe in. All opinions expressed herein are our own.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Shopping Organic and a Castor & Pollux Giveaway! #OrganicPet

This post is sponsored by Castor & Pollux and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about ORGANIX, but To Dog With Love only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Castor & Pollux Pet Works is not responsible for the content of this article.

Earlier this month we shared information about the myths and facts of organic and many of you took a survey to help gauge your views on organic.

More than half of you think it's important to choose organic for both your kids and your pets, and so do we. So today we're going to share a bit more about the organic foods we choose and how we're eating right to stay healthy and active!

Our journey to eat and feel better

I talk a lot about healthy, active living here AND about all the fun activities Rocco and I do together.  But at the start of this year, I had put on a few pounds and I didn't have a lot of energy.

I knew I needed to start eating better so I made a conscious effort to eliminate the junk and processed foods from my diet, and I started to learn more about eating organic.

At about the same time, I was introduced to Castor & Pollux and its ORGANIX brand. I loved the idea of a pet food that had USDA organic certification and was free of pesticides and chemicals, just like many of the foods I was trying to eat.

Good food and treats for me and Rocco!

Shopping organic

Now when I go grocery shopping, I try to choose foods that are healthy for both me and Rocco.

One of my favorite human treats is whipping up a smoothie in my NutriBullet. So on a recent shopping trip I picked up some of the organic spinach and kale blend that I love to mix with bananas and organic pears or apples and some coconut water.  I also like to keep some organic frozen berries on hand as a yummy smoothie ingredient.

Eating foods like these has helped give me more energy, and the excess pounds have melted off too, making it much easier and much more fun for me to keep up with Rocco!

And since what's good for me is also good for Rocco, I picked up a bag of ORGANIX Small Breed Adult dog food on a recent visit to my local Whole Foods.

Just like the other ORGANIX varieties of dry food, the Small Breed formula lists organic free-range chicken as the #1 ingredient with organic brown rice, fresh organic fruit and vegetable purées for natural sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

The difference in the Small Breed formula is that the pieces of kibble are smaller, and since I'll sometimes use kibble as treats, that means I can treat Rocco more often for fewer calories. 

I also picked up some of the ORGANIX grain-free canned food. We had already tried ORGANIX Butcher and Bushel canned food and Rocco LOVES it. So when we got home, we put the foods to the test.

I send Rocco to his "table" (the blue bed in the background) before each meal, then release him to his food bowl. Rocco dove right in and didn't come up for air until he licked the bowl clean! 

Above, right you can see the kibble close up with a bit of the canned food as a topper. He LOVES both the dry and canned food! 

We also picked up a can of the ORGANIX Butcher and Bushel since I know Rocco is crazy for it.  

Rocco goes crazy for ORGANIX Butcher and Bushel
 Chicken Wing and Thigh dinner
There is a difference in the texture -- the ORGANIX canned is more like a paté while the Butcher and Bushel is more like a stew -- but both are certified USDA Organic with organic meats and veggies and Rocco loves them equally!

We like the idea of healthy treats too, and Rocco also flips for ORGANIX Jerky Chip cookies!

Rocco keeps his head in the game... and in the bag!
To find Castor & Pollux near you, use this store locator.

Enter the ORGANIX giveaway!

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below to win some awesome prizes from Castor & Pollux.
  • One grand prize winner will receive one year of ORGANIX for one cat or dog (winner's choice).
  • One first place winner will receive a $100 prize pack for a cat or dog.
The giveaway will be live from 11/24 - 12/5/14 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Open to U.S. residents only. Void where prohibited. 18+ to enter, no purchase necessary. Winner will have 24 hours to respond before prize is forfeited.

Good luck!

Monday, November 24, 2014

#FueltheHolidays with healthy Zuke's Treats!

We're busy getting ready for the #FueltheHolidays Twitter party with Zuke's pets on November 28, and Rocco is having a great time getting involved in the preparations.

That's because preparing for #FueltheHolidays means trying out a terrific selection of yummy Zuke's treats including Lil' Links, Genuine Jerky, Mini Naturals, Z-Filets and Z-Bones! These are all part of #FueltheHolidays prize packs we're giving away -- a value of $750 in all. To join in the fun, and a chance to win, don't forget to head over to our RSVP post for all the details.

At #FueltheHolidays we'll be chatting about how to have a happy pup during the holidays. And for us that means having plenty of healthy treats on hand as well as continued training (Rocco thinks that's fun!), exercise and outdoor adventures (we both think that's fun!), interactive toys, love and attention, and some quality time for rest.

Bring your questions, photos and your own tips for keeping your pups happy during the holidays. We'd love to hear and see them!

A little more about our Zuke's Prizes!

We love that Zuke's treats are made in the USA and that they contain lots of healthy wholefood ingredients that help keep Rocco running faster and jumping higher!

Lil' Links are Rocco's newest obsession and we're both loving them for high-value treating during training.

"Can I have the entire bag, please?!!"
What I love about Zuke's Lil' Links 
  • They are grain-free with real meat, apples, potatoes, carrots and antioxidant-rich herb like rosemary, turmeric & sage
  • No artificial colors, flavors or added animal fat.
  • Each Lil' Link is about 15 calories, and I can pinch off tiny little pieces to give Rocco LOTS of rewards from just one Link without adding too many calories.
  • Rocco goes crazy for these!
What Rocco loves about Zuke's Lil' Links
  • They smell amazing.
  • They are tender, moist and delicious! 
  • They come in tasty Rabbit, Chicken, Duck and Pork for lots of variety and goodness.
  • When I get them out, it means we're going to do something fun! 
We recently reviewed a few other Zuke's treats in our prize packs and you can read about more about these on those posts:
Genuine Jerky Fuels Rocco
Z-Filets and Z-Bones

"Let's see what else we have here to nom on!"
We've also used Mini Naturals for YEARS! With flavors like Wild Rabbit, Pork, Duck, Salmon, Peanut Butter and Chicken and wholefood antioxidants,  there are plenty of quality protein options, many of them great for dogs with allergies. And, because these are less than 3.5 calories per treat, they're a great choice for a reward while keeping your pup fit, trim and happy!

Ready for #FueltheHolidays?

Before now and Friday, be sure to:
  1. RSVP for the #FueltheHolidays party. Even if you can’t attend on Friday, you can enter to win a pre-party prize from Zuke's!
  2. Pick out a photo of your dog to share during the party, bring your questions and happy dog holiday tips, too! Sharing a photo or any kind of engagement will enter you to win prizes!
  3. Mark your calendar for the Friday, November 28 party from noon - 1:30 pm ET…see you there!

We are working with Zuke's through our partnership in Event Barkers to produce this Twitter party 
and share product news with our readers. Prizes will be provided and shipped by Zuke’s. At To Dog With Love, we only share information we believe in. All opinions expressed herein are our own.

Friday, November 21, 2014

You Deserve a Neato Robot Vacuum! (& Giveaway) #neatobestpetvacuum

A few weeks back you may remember we told you all about the Neato Robot Vacuum, a really cool way to keep your house clean without ever lifting a finger!

Today we have an equally cool opportunity for you... a chance to win a Neato for your very own! That's like getting your own personal robot to do all your vacuuming for you. How cool is that?

Read all the way to enter for a chance to win a Neato Botvac 85, a $599 value! Wow!

Five Nifty Things That Make Neato Neat-o

  1. Neato Robot Vacuums are recognized for their smart navigation, powerful suction, design features and brushes to clean hard to reach spots.
  2. They work particularly well for pet hair and dirt across a variety of flooring surfaces.
  3. Industry experts have consistently reviewed Neato Robot Vacuums as "Best for Pets".  See what the folks at CNET and DailyTekk have to say.
  4. Neato Botvision navigation allows the vacuum to navigate around objects, into tight corners, under beds and across multi-surface areas (from carpet to hardwood). Cool fact: This laser-guided navigation is the same technology used in the Google driverless car.
  5. Neato Robot Vacuums are automatic and can be scheduled by time to run daily, have no winding cords and are bagless. Cool fact: Neato Robot Vacuums can pick up dust and dirt particles up to .3 microns, which places them the top tier of performance for ALL vacuums that specialize in allergen and pet cleanup. 

Check out this Shed Solutions Guide

(We bet you'll learn something!)

Did you know that dogs have about 60,000 hairs per square inch and cats have 130,000 hairs per square inch? Even for a small pet that doesn't shed much, that's an awful lot of hair to keep up with. So the nice folks at Neato have made this handy Shed Solutions Guide available to you.  See if your dog or cat is one of the "notorious shedders" and find out what you can do about it!

Enter to Win a Neato Botvac 85 vacuum!

Here's your chance to win a Neato Botvac 85, valued at $599! The sweepstakes closes December 2, 2014 at 9 p.m.  EST.  Enter by adding your name and email address to the giveaway widget below. 

Then, tell us in the comments below why you deserve a Neato for the holidays! 

Good luck!

Want to learn more about Neato? Join #BlogPawsChat on Twitter on 12/2 from 8 - 10 p.m. ET to chat with the folks at Neato!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Dogs #PetHealthAwareness

This post is sponsored by BlogPaws. I am being compensated to support Pet Health Awareness Month with an educational post, but To Dog With Love only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article.

Physical therapy has helped ensure that Rocco can safely
run faster and jump higher! 
Today we're participating in the BlogPaws Pet Health Awareness Blog Hop as well our regularly scheduled Fit Dog Friday Blog Hop. Earlier this year, I noticed a strange skip in Rocco's step that led us down a path of visits with our regular vet, with an orthopedic vet and physical therapy.

I'm happy to report that Rocco is in tip top shape, and I thought it would be helpful to share the benefits of the physical therapy treatments he received.

The Road to Physical Therapy

First we wanted to rule out anything serious that might cause an even greater injury. The skip worried me that he might have a luxating patella, and since earlier this year he was getting ready to compete in agility, I didn't want to do anything that would cause more harm.

So off we went to our regular vet, who didn't see anything definitive and referred us to an orthopedist. The orthopedic vet examined Rocco and reported that his patellas were sound, thankfully, but he thought the skip could be due to a muscle pull, possibly iliopsoas. He referred us to a rehab clinic for further evaluation.

Visiting the Rehabilitation Vet Clinic

Rocco enjoys the benefits of laser therapy to reduce inflammation
After a gait evaluation and some more poking, prodding and stretching, the rehab vet ruled out iliposoas (again thankfully since that can require a lengthy recovery period), but she did find some tenderness in his groin area and in his left, front shoulder.

She recommended stretching exercises and strength training for Rocco's rear and front legs and laser therapy to help reduce the inflammation in those areas. Rocco had six laser treatments, which he didn't mind at all... except for the part where he had to wear the protective eyewear!

The clinic we went to also has a therapy pool to help patients regain strength and range of motion in their limbs. Since Rocco was still reluctant to fully extend his left front leg, the vet also recommended swim therapy.

The therapy pool is heated and a vet tech was always in the pool with Rocco. They also can turn on a current to increase resistance when the dog is ready. Rocco seemed to enjoy the swim therapy and it did seem to loosen him up and help his range of motion. It also was a good cardio workout for him!

Here's look at Rocco swimming against the current!

Follow up to Physical Therapy

Rocco's finished his course of physical therapy, but we still do regular stretching and strength and balance training at home using our K9FITBone and other Fit Paws equipment.  In addition, cross training -- walking, hiking, running games in our backyard, tricks, intervals, etc. -- as well as agility training will help keep Rocco happy, healthy and injury free.

My goal is to keep Rocco healthy for the long haul, which includes all these things plus proper nutrition, keeping him at a healthy weight and regular vet visits.

As far as the skip goes, it's still there, but it doesn't seem to bother Rocco a bit and it certainly hasn't affected his agility performance. We're chalking it up to  a unique trait from the line of Cuban Havanese that Rocco comes from! 

Last weekend Rocco nabbed three Qs, a new title in USDAA P1 Standard
and four first-place finishes!
Physical therapy can help all types of dogs -- performance dogs, senior dogs, dogs recovering from surgery -- regain their mobility and strength AND get back to their active, normal lives!

Have you done physical therapy with your dog? What kinds of treatments did your pup receive?

The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and My GBGV Life to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.