Archive for the ‘Pet Care’ Category

Purina’s Remarkable “The Puppyhood” Website Preps Puppy Parents; Win a Free Bag of Puppy Chow®

Posted on May 17th, 2015

The Perils & Perks of Nurturing a New or Future Puppy are Made Easier with Videos, Tips, Detailed Expert Information & More!

“Grow Up Right from the First Bite!”

Contest Winners Get Free Purina® Dog Chow®*!

No matter what kind of pup you fancy, no matter what type of bouncing, bounding ball of fur you’ve just acquired, you’ll feel better about the unknowns, the what ifs, and even the planned aspects of raising a pup once you peruse the new Purina® Puppy Chow® website, A seriously interactive and well-thought-PUPPYHOODout help guide, if you will, to assist you and your pup as you “grow” through those sometimes-challenging puppy years, has all the deets you need to heed in order to survive these hectic years.

No, I’m not kidding.

How do I know? I happen to have my own slobbering, barreling, 80-pound, chipmunk-chasing, squirrel-fixated, twig-chomping, stuffing-spitting, English

Mr. Jiminy Cricket

Mr. Jiminy Cricket

Cream Golden Retriever, Mr. Jiminy Cricket.  He is about 1.5 years old, we think… but he is living his puppyhood now, with us, because his breeder (we rescued him from an international training organization, long story), we deduced, didn’t allow him toys, the outdoors, bones, walks, or really too much of anything.

Anyhow,, aka My Puppyhood or The Puppyhood, is the poop and totally has the scoop on a number of things pertinent to pupsand their peeps, too.

When you register (free – just means getting a login), you’ll get access to custom tools that help you raise your pup and you’ll get coupons, special offers and more as they grow. (As an SEO maven, I can’t stress how much I recommend getting a login on this site…) Additionally, when you register, you get a free bag of Puppy Chow®! By joining The Puppyhood owners can create a cool customized learning experience specific to their pup, and, again, take advantage of some really neat tools plus exclusive benefits and coupons.

Here is the who, what, why, where and how.

-Firstly, My Puppyhood is going to give you a hand in ensuring your puppy “grows up right from the first bite.” Purina® Puppy Chow® understands that dogs need different nutrition in their first two years or so; their formula has these specially tailored vitamins and minerals as well as DHA, which is naturally found in mother’s milk and encourages brain development.

-Secondly, there’s an innumerable amount of articles and videos (and even experts available for chat online) in regards to behavior, exercise, nutrition, grooming, health and more! And I don’t mean those run-of-the-mill SEO articles looking for search engine rankings; I am talking about intelligent, well-organized and well-written articles and even videos on things that you might never think you’ll need to research (i.e., puppy allergies).

-There’s also a Trending News area, similar to what you might see on a social media site, filled with Twitter-worthy story gems like “5 Reasons Your Pup is Irreplaceable.” Site shotUnder the “Puppy Planning” tab, Purina® partnered with the nationally renowned Petfinder™ to bring users a truly one-of-a-kind puppy-finding engine: this thing is AWESOME! Folks at Purina® understand the barriers that sometimes prevent people from adopting and hence created a unique way for individuals to get matched with the right dog, the first time. The engine has a Breed Selector, Name Generator (really funny!) and a Prep Checklist; I encourage potential puppy parents to go down this path – it’s highly entertaining and extremely, incredibly useful in assisting those who don’t know exactly what type of dog they want or what’s best for their lifestyle.

-When you register, you’ll get access to Puppy Perks, the Milestone Tracker, and Expert Access as well! These things are as equally impressive as the rest of the website. If you let it track your location, you’ll get recommendations for dog parks, veterinarians, hospitals and grooming services! OMG! Again, I encourage you to register because it makes everything more personalized and fun; you really can’t go wrong on that one.

-Finally, there’s a nice search bar smack in the middle of the page at the top, so if you know what you’re looking for, just type it in!

So I’m so looking forward to using My Puppyhood with Cricket – to find new parks and dog beach parks we can go to in and around Cleveland, to take some of the suggestions in the articles I read (I recommend “Puppy Exercise and Play”), to get some expert advice on his anxiety issue, and to track his progress using the Milestone Tracker.

*Now for further awesomeness. I am doing a giveaway, an easy one, in which you can win one of two prizes that include coupons for the world-famous Purina® Dog Chow®!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post please telling me what your puppy’s name is, why you got him/her, and why you think proper nutrition is important! I will announce two winners on May 30th. First place will receive two coupons for any bag of Dog Chow® formula (valued at $16.50, or one bag, each); second place will receive one coupon valued at $16.50 (one bag), plus a $5 off coupon for any Dog Chow® formula. So get your comment entries in and, if you’d like, for an extra entry you can Tweet me a picture of your puppy at @thoughtsfurpaws! (If you don’t have Twitter, please email to and I will share on Twitter!)

P.S. As I write, Cricket is roaching around on the floor, chewing on two toys while simultaneously eyeing his leash and spying on the cat with one eye. (Doggie ADD?) So yeah, I can’t wait to get some help with his puppyhood!

All opinions herein are those of the Administrator, JL Smith, and her rescue Golden Retriever, Mr. Jiminy Cricket. This post was written in conjunction with Nestle® Purina® Pet Care and the Administrator, and the Administrator is being compensated. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the spread of misinformation.

Tips for Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Posted on April 10th, 2015

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month; Top Tips to Help Your Pet in an Emergency

Emergencies happen – sometimes pets eat the wrong foods, get bitten or cut and have seizures.  But, there are ways to help while you’re getting your pet to the vet.  Here are a few tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to help stabilize your pet:

  • If your pet has been exposed to a toxin, check the label for immediate instructions such as washing its skin with soap and water, or flushing eyes with water.
  • If your pet is having seizures, keep it away from any objects, blanket your pet to keep it warm and call your vet or an emergency vet clinic, or phone the Animal Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4445. They’re available 24/7 and there is a fee for consultation.AVMA
  • If you think your pet has a broken bone, gently lay him or her on a flat surface, or use a blanket as a sling to gently transport your pet to the veterinarian.
  • With cuts, press a clean, thick gauze pad over the wound and press on it until the bleeding stops. If bleeding is severe and on the legs, apply a tourniquet (using a rubber band and gauze) between the wound and the body to slow down the blood flow and get your animal to the vet ASAP.
  • For burns, flush a light burn immediately with lots of water, and if the burn is more severe quickly apply an ice water compress.
  • For choking, if your pet can still breathe, get it to the vet immediately. Look in its mouth with a flashlight and quickly try to get the object out with a tweezer.  If that doesn’t work, place both hands on the side of his or her ribcage and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3 to 4 times while getting to the vet.

What a proper Pet First Aid Kit should include, according to the experts at AVMA:

-Important phone numbers – your numbers, the vet, Poison Control, dog walker, etc.

-Gauze for wrapping wounds

-Nonstick bandages or towels to control bleeding or protect wounds

-Adhesive tape to secure the gauze or bandage *do not use human Band-Aids or adhesive bandages on pets

-Hydrogen peroxide – induces vomiting if ever necessary

-A digital thermometer in case you need to check your pet’s temperature

-Milk of Magnesia to absorb poison if necessary

-An eye dropper to give oral treatments or flush wounds

-A muzzle (in an emergency a rope, necktie, soft cloth, nylon stocking, small towel may be used) – to cover your pet’s head

-A leash – to transport your pet easily

-A stretcher (or board with a blanket) – to transport an injured animal

Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid is not a substitute for professional veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until it receives veterinary treatment.

More pet life-saving tips from the AVMA are available; check them out at!

Blue Dog Bakery’s New Deli Sticks for Dogs Meet the Meat!

Posted on April 9th, 2015

Hold the bone, said Cricket. Savor the flavor, said Brisket! Blue Dog Bakery’s new Deli Sticks for dogs are a major contender for favorite dog treat around here after we were sent a sample to try by the brand last month.

beef deli sticksCricket, the happy-go-lucky Golden, took a whole 2.8 milliseconds to inspect the delicious-smelling meaty variety. He proceeded to immediately chew it. Voraciously. Happily. Like he had just tasted a bit of Heaven disguised as a sausage-roll-looking shapeshifter. He swallowed and immediately walked back to me for another one, just in case, by some small miracle or unknown impending Armageddon, I was willing to give up one more of the moist and meaty doggie delicacies… #pleaseGodletherhaveanother

Brisket the Pit Bull perfectionist didn’t play around with her Blue Dog Bakery meaty-licous dog treat either. I call her my “meat-o-saurus” because she just loves meat! Brisket licked the Deli Stick a few times and rolled it over on the carpet so as to inspect for other flavors or additional smells (oh the possibilities, skunk! Goose poop!), decided there were neither anymore new smells nor flaws, and then, BAM! It was gone! I didn’t even see her sweet sassy lips inhale it! It was just gone! #funniestBrisketmomentever

Brisket and Cricket both followed me around the house for like an hour after they had their first taste of Deli Sticks by Blue Dog Bakery. And here’s why:

  • Deli Sticks are made with human-grade meat
  • They contain no fillers, preservatives, artificial colors or ingredients
  • No corn, wheat or fillers
  • No animal by-products
  • They’re premium, natural dog treats
  • Deli Sticks are all natural and grain-free

Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks are no exception to the company’s objective to produce high-quality treats using high-quality ingredients.

“We wanted to create a new product form that was unlike anything else in the pet section,” said Eric Koppelman, Blue Dog Bakery’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “Our Deli Sticks are made from a high-grade USA beef in a facility that produces products for human consumption. The ingredients and the process is a quality so great you could confidently eat Deli Sticks yourself. We certainly do.”

Blue Dog Bakery has been dedicated to creating all natural, healthy dog treats since 1998. What began with one flavor of dog biscuits 17 years ago has gradually expanded….Blue Dog Bakery’s product portfolio now includes upwards of ten different product varieties for both mass-market grocery stores, and pet specialty retailers. While some of these product forms do contain natural meat flavors, they are 100% vegetarian, according to the company blue dog bakerywebsite.

In January 2015 Blue Dog Bakery launched its first-ever meat-based treat for dogs – all natural and grain free Deli Sticks made with premium USA beef. You can find Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks (and the company’s massive line of other dog treats) at You can save 10% on your first order when you order now!

*You can also get your dog featured on the website! Email your cutest dog photos to for the opportunity to have him posted on With your photo, please include your dog’s name, a Blue Dog Bakery testimonial, your first name only, and your city.

The Deli Sticks retail on-site for around $7 and $10, for a 4.8-ounce and 7.8-ounce pack, respectively. You can also order an 8-pack bag of either dog treat variety, and there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee! You can also find the natural dog treats at major pet retailers for similar pricing.

Cricket and Brisket have a final thought: Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks leave a pooch with nothing to be blue about (unless, of course, you run out! Then you have to send your hooman to get more!)

Four-paws-up! Thanks Blue Dog Bakery!

Alley Cat Allies Offers Winter Safety Tips for Cats as Temperatures Drop Nationwide

Posted on January 30th, 2015

As temperatures have dropped around the country and with more icy, wet, snowy months ahead, Alley Cat Allies (ACA) is offering some helpful winter weather safety tips to those who care for cats in their communities. Winter care for outdoor cats or ferals is vital; its importance cannot be understated.

“Community cats are well-adjusted to living outdoors, but when the temperature plummets, a few extra steps will ensure they stay warm and safe,” said Becky Robinson, president & founder of ACA.

To give community cats in your neighborhood a helping hand during the winter months, Alley Cat Allies recommends the following:

Ally Cat AlliesProvide an outdoor shelter and a refuge from cold and wind.

Shelters are easy and inexpensive to build. You can see do-it-yourself (DIY) examples and photos of winter cat shelters and shelter building plans at—including a “5-minute shelter” made from a Styrofoam cooler. Some manufacturers sell pre-built cat shelters, but even a large plastic storage tub will work with simple modifications.

The shelter should be elevated off the ground and placed in a quiet area. The size of the shelter should depend on the number of cats in the colony. A good-sized shelter offers a space just big enough for three to five cats to huddle—but space should be limited if there is only one cat who needs shelter. The door should be no more than 6 to 8 inches wide to keep out bigger predators. A flap on the door will keep out snow, rain and wind.

Insulate the shelter against moisture as well as cold.

Straw (not hay—they are different!) resists the wet and keeps a homeless cat shelter warm, and it’s the best choice for insulation and bedding. Avoid blankets—they absorb moisture like a sponge.

If you have a shed or garage, give the feral or community cats access during the winter and severe weather. Make sure to remove dangerous antifreeze products, which are lethal when consumed. If you must use these products, use the less-toxic kind made with propylene glycol instead of the highly toxic ethylene glycol. Though propylene glycol is still toxic to cats, it is much less so than conventional antifreeze.

Provide fresh water daily and additional food.

In extremely cold weather, cats require larger food portions and fresh water twice a day to prevent dehydration. Wet food in insulated containers is ideal for wintertime, but extra dry food (which will not freeze) is also fine. Foam insulation can be applied to the hollow underside of a regular plastic feeding dish to slow the freezing of food and water.

Prevent cat dehydration by keeping water drinkable:

  • Use bowls that are deep rather than wide, and place them in a sunny spot.
  • Purchase heated electric bowls (found in many pet shops).
  • Do not put out hot water—it’s counterintuitive, but it freezes faster.
Image Courtesy: Catster

Image Courtesy: Catster

Cats will find shelter, whether you build it for them or they find on their own. But in heavy snowfall, it is important to clear snow away from entrances and exits of shelters so the cats don’t get snowed in.

Avoid salt and other melting products.

Alley Cat Allies does not recommend using salts or chemicals designed to melt snow near homeless cat colonies. These products can be toxic and they also injure cats’ paws. While there are products marketed as “pet safe,” we still recommend using caution.

Check your car before you drive.

Check under the car before starting it, as cats will sometimes crawl into the engine or hide underneath for warmth. One time I found my own indoor/outdoor cat lying on top of my tire under the wheel well. THANK GOD I looked before I started the car and left. Hence, give the hood of your car a few good taps before you start the engine. Remember that antifreeze is lethal to cats and other animals. Keep it out of reach!

More information about winter safety for outdoor cats can be found at

About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has nearly half a million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities, and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens nationwide. This year, Alley Cat Allies is celebrating 25 years of advocacy. Learn more and get involved now at

Big Heart Pet Brands Offers Big Fall Fun for Pets This Holiday Season

Posted on November 14th, 2014

DIY Pet Projects, Seasonal, Creative Dog Craft Ideas & Videos Help Your Dog Give Thanks


∗Disclosure∗: Post sponsored by lunchbox™, but all opinions herein are those of the Author and Administrator of this blog, JL Smith. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the circulation of misinformation.

I don’t know abou#TreatThePups Dog Treat Gift Ideast you all, but in our fur-baby-run-household, Frankie Fancy-Face is getting on board for his second Thanksgiving (he was only 3 months old his first). And thanks to the kind folks at Walmart, who provide us dog devotees with safe and reliable pet products from Big Heart Pet Brands for #TreatThePups like Milk-Bone™ and more in their stores as well as online, this holiday season will be super furry and fun!

How so?

And what is #TreatThePups?

Dog Treat Gift Ideas

First things first. The first answer will have pet- and craft-lovers everywhere rejoicing – I have some seriously exciting dog craft ideas for Fido, thanks to Big Heart Pet Brands (which, BTW, entirely includes Milk-Bone™, Pup-Peroni® and Milo’s Kitchen®). This tempting and tantalizing trio of treats is ideal for any gifting you might be thinking of doing around this time period of first snows, giving thanks, and enjoying turkey-time and togetherness. BOL! A perfect dog treat basket may be the “Cornucopia of Treats” or the “Thanksgiving Treat Jar” as seen on the Walmart #TreatThePups webpage, or it could include what Frankie and I put together in his basket for Taco, his teeny-tiny doggie best friend who lives across the street. (Sometimes they stare out the windows through the blinds at each other longingly – it’s quite comical!) The homemade dog gift included Frankie’s faves…

Homemade Dog Treat gift

Tie a ribbon around a mason jar of treats with some other special enhancements! Voila!

Taco weighs about 8 pounds soaking wet so we got him itty-bitty things where we could, including the mouth-watering Milk-Bone Mini’s Flavor Snacks®. We also threw in some other must-haves: Milk-Bone Brushing Chews® Daily Dental Treats (these things are imperative for clean canine chompers), Original Beef Flavor Pup-Peroni® ($.50 an ounce = AWESOME!) and finally some Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Grillers Dog Treats (yummo says Husky boss Frankie Four Paws…). We then took a few of each out of the box and put them into separate jars, then tied different color fall ribbons around the different jars of treats. Now Taco has four treat jars! (Okay, he got two and we gave two to other friends!)

Anyhow, with the amazing and mouth-watering variety of affordable treats available from Big Heart Pet Brands, you can make any dog’s day more worthwhile this Thanksgiving (he may need motivation from all the nap-inducing tryptophan in the turkey, BOL!). Plus, all the pet gift items are quite affordable! So who knows? Crafting tasty treats for special furry friends could turn into a new Thanksgiving/fall holiday tradition for you and your dog! Kinda like making Christmas cookies!

What’s the Deal with #TreatThePups?

Frankie Four-Paws, aka Frankie Fancy-Face or Fancy-Face Frank gives four-paws up to Big Heart Pet Brands and Mishka's video!

Frankie Four-Paws, aka Frankie Fancy-Face or Fancy-Face Frank gives four-paws up to Big Heart Pet Brands and Mishka’s video!

#TreatThePups is like the newest pet related hash tag that you need to pay attention to!  Created to nurture the bond between pets and people, the #TreatThePups page on Walmart offers so much for pets and their peeps. You can find the coolest crafts and all kinds of other ideas and fun content to help you include your pet in festivities this fall. Check it out for seasonal, DIY pet project ideas that are and totally reasonable in both effort and expense. (And, of course, rewarding in love and QT.)

On the #TreatThePups page, you can also watch funny videos (I mean, the Husky, c’mon… how cute can you be?) and read about tips and tricks for pet safety around the totally turkey-mongering holiday coming up (aka Thanksgiving). Personally, I found two articles to be helpful: one on pet manners when company is over and one about why dogs and decorations don’t mix.

P.S. for the hoomans, and a secret pee-mail to our canine companions: Frankie Fancy-Face advises that you absolutely watch the funny Husky video on the #TreatThePups page; it’s super cute and will give you a good chuckle. It’s called “Mishka’s Thanksgiving Day.” And he’s not biased. At all…