Remember Me Thursday


Today is Remember Me Thursday.

More than 3 million healthy dogs and cats are still killed annually in U.S. shelters.

These dogs and cats never get the chance to go to the loving homes they deserve.

Remember Me Thursday is to honor those dogs and cats who were killed, and those who continue to wait for new families.

Remember Me Thursday - Honoring pets waiting for homes and those who have died waiting

Our cat Beamer was adopted from a shelter. Our cat Scout and Lab mix Ace were also adopted.

My life is better with my pets in it.

I also love my weimaraner puppy. If only every pet were as fortunate as Remy, never knowing a day without love, safety and kindness.

#RememberMeThursday RememberMeThursday.org

Royal Ramps Review – Pet Stairs and Pet Ramps

Royal Ramps Review – Pet Stairs and Pet Ramps

What are Royal Ramps?

Royal Ramps are modern, high-quality pet stairs and ramps designed to help dogs and cats hop on and off the furniture without stress to their joints.

The ramps are made with senior dogs in mind, as well as any pet with joint issues. The company says the ramps can even help prevent future injuries or stress on the joints related to jumping on and off of furniture.

The ramps and stairs range from 7″ tall to 21″ tall.

This review is sponsored by Royal Ramps.

Royal Ramps review

Royal Ramps review - My dog Ace with his Royal Ramp

My thoughts on Royal Ramps:

I am really impressed with the ramps and stairs.

They are made with high-density foam, and the covers are made with furniture-grade upholstery fabric, according to the company. The stair and ramp pieces attach to each other with heavy-duty Velcro.

I love the modern look, and the covers zip on and off. Royal Ramps said the covers are machine washable, and all parts are made in the USA.

My senior Lab mix is 10 years old, and his back legs are stiff due to arthritis. He normally has a hard time jumping onto our bed, and the stairs really do make it easier on him.

Ace is about 70 pounds, and Royal Ramps are sturdy enough for him. He is slow and takes his time.

I can't get over how well the ramp matches our couch!

Ace modeling his Royal Ramp

How much do Royal Ramps cost?

Royal Ramps

Prices start at about $90 for a 7″ step – currently on sale for $76.99. Most people will probably need the 14″ steps, currently on sale for $156.99.

View all products HERE.

Height options include: 7″ tall, 14″ tall or 21″ tall

Color options: platinum gray, charcoal gray, oyster brown and chocolate brown.

What’s unique about the ramps?

I’ve never seen “pet stairs” as modern and nice looking as these. I don't think you'll find better quality anywhere else.

Royal Ramps said its covers are hand sewn in the United States, and the furniture-grade fabric is durable enough to last tens of thousands of uses.

The other factor is how the ramps and stairs can potentially prevent injuries in pets. They're not just for pets with existing joint problems. Royal Ramps has several quotes from veterinarians on its website saying why they recommend the ramps.

What I like about Royal Ramps:

  • They're made with industrial-grade, high-density foam, according to Royal Ramps
  • Washable, zip-on covers
  • Made in the USA
  • Lightweight and easy to move, yet sturdy
  • Covers made with furniture-grade upholstery fabric
  • Helpful for senior dogs like Ace or dogs prone to joint issues
  • Modern colors
  • Sturdy enough for my 70-pound dog

Cons:

  • They may not be sturdy enough for extra-large dogs
  • Depending on the height you need, you might spend $150+ (they are worth the price)

Royal Ramps pet stairs

Would I buy these ramps?

No. My pets are not allowed on our couch because I'm a mean dog mom. They're allowed on our bed occasionally with permission, and that's where the stairs would be most helpful for Ace.

Would I recommend the ramps to others?

Yes. The majority of dog owners allow their dogs on the furniture and it makes sense to have a good-looking ramp to help them up.

Royal Ramps really do make a big difference for Ace, and they are so attractive and modern looking. I highly recommend them if you are in need of pet stairs.

Royal ramps pet ramps

Ordering information

For more information, head on over to RoyalRamps.com.

Remy with the Royal Ramps pet stairs

Giveaway – Win pet stairs or a ramp from Royal Ramps

*The giveaway has ended. winners have been selected.

Royal Ramps and I are giving away the pet stairs (21″ tall) and the pet ramp (21″ tall) you see in my photos. Contest ends at midnight PST on Saturday Oct. 1.

The ramp and stairs are charcoal gray and gently used by my dogs Ace and Remy. (Valued at $339.99 and $291.99 when brand new.)

To enter:

Just leave a comment below or use the Rafflecopter form below for additional entries. It will ask for your name and email for verification.

I'll choose two winners at random Oct. 1 and announce them in That Mutt's newsletter.  Must have a mailing address in the contiguous U.S. to win.

Would your dog or cat benefit from a ramp?

Switching Your Dog to a Raw Diet – What to Expect

Switching Your Dog to a Raw Diet – What to Expect

Want to get started feeding your dog raw food? Download your 10 easy raw dog food recipes HERE.

When I switched my dog Ace a raw diet in 2011 I had so many concerns about how it would go.

I knew a raw diet of fresh, real food made sense for a dog and I’d been researching it for a couple of years (years!). But still … all the negative talk from some vets and the myths out there had me worried.

Fast forward five years and I’ve introduced my younger dog to raw food.

I had zero concerns this time around. Zero.

I’ve learned a lot, so I thought I’d share the basics on some minor changes you might notice when switching your dog to a raw diet.

Balanced Blends is a sponsor of That Mutt. The company makes complete and balanced raw diets for dogs and cats.

Switching your dog to a raw diet – what to expect

Switching your dog to a raw diet - what to expect

Switching your dog to a raw diet – what to expect


Nothing! Sorry to break it to you, but chances are good you won’t notice any dramatic differences.

I remember pretty much hovering over Ace as he ate his first couple of raw meals and then watching him pretty close afterwards. I was worried he would get sick from the raw meat. He didn’t.

With Ace, I mixed his commercial raw dog food with his dry food for about a week for a slow transition. This is what most raw dog food brands, including Balanced Blends, will recommend.

Over the long term, you might start to notice:

  • Your dog is a healthier weight
  • He has more defined muscles
  • His coat is healthier, less shedding, less dandruff
  • Fewer allergies, less itchy skin and fewer ear infections
  • Less poop! It’s true.
  • Increased excitement around meals!

Of course, switching a dog to a raw diet is no magic “cure” for all health issues. But feeding your dog a healthy, fresh diet of real food will obviously make most dogs healthier in general from the inside out. That’s what’s most important, even if you can’t tell right away by looking at your dog.

During the initial transition, you might notice some slight changes:

1. Picky eaters. Your pet won’t eat the raw food. Most dogs practically inhale their raw food! Cats … they’re more likely to be difficult.

If you have a dog who is hesitant to try the raw food, definitely go with a slow transition, mixing her usual dry food or cooked food with the raw.

For picky cats, one tip from Balanced Blends is to start with canned food and then slowly add in small amounts of raw food. Also stop “free feeding” your cat and offer food at 2 or 3 specific mealtimes per day. (Pick up the food between meals.)

Note that my cats do not seem to have this problem. Little thieves!

2. Mild upset tummy. Your dog could get an upset tummy during the transition. This is common for dogs that have not had a lot of variety in their diets and then suddenly you mix it up. For them, a slow transition to the new food is probably best. (Same thing can happen when you switch from one dry dog food brand to another.)

If one of my dogs gets an upset stomach, I usually just fast them for a meal or two and then slowly introduce food again, starting with a smaller meal. I also feed them plain, canned pumpkin because it helps with diarrhea.

3. A detox period. If your dog has eaten a kibble diet his whole life, he might go through a bit of a detox, especially if he’s an older dog. Some signs of this could include looser stools, “runny” eyes or even more shedding than usual. I noticed all of these things during my older dog Ace's initial transition.

Feeding your cat a raw diet

4. Throwing up/regurgitation. This is normal, and it shouldn’t happen often if you’re feeding a ground, commercial raw diet. Your dog might throw up if he eats the food too fast, especially if he’s had a lot of water or if he’s running around shortly afterwards. It doesn’t mean he’s sick, just enthusiastic!

If you feed a homemade raw diet that includes raw bones or large chunks of meat, your dog might occasionally regurgitate those pieces, chomp them up a bit more and then re-eat them! This is normal. Gross, but normal. It will probably only happen occasionally, if at all.

5. You’ll get surprised reactions from friends. The idea of feeding a pet a raw diet is still new and surprising to the average person. You might get a few reactions from friends and family along the lines of, “You feed him RAW meat?” But it makes sense to most people when they stop and actually think about it. Dogs and cats are meant to eat meat!

Pre-made raw food is so helpful when you’re first starting

When you’re first switching your dog or cat to a raw diet, I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to start out with a pre-made, commercial food like Balanced Blends.

It takes away so much stress because you don’t have to run around buying and mixing all sorts of ingredients. You can just trust the meals are nutritionally balanced, the food is safe and since it’s ground you don’t have to worry about feeding raw bones.

Then, you can always switch to a homemade diet later on when you're more comfortable.

Balanced Blends raw dog food coupon code

Balanced Blends is a new company that makes complete and balanced raw meals for dogs and cats. The meals are frozen and delivered to your door.

The company is offering a “starter pack” offer for those interested in trying raw feeding. You can get 2 pounds of raw food for just $12 and FREE SHIPPING when you use code STARTERPACK.

LEARN MORE HERE.

Balanced Blends Raw Dog Food Review

Balanced Blends raw diets

 

Get Your Dog to Drop Socks and Other Items

Today I'm going to share how to get your dog to drop socks or other items. 

My puppy Remy likes to steal socks and run off with them for attention. I'm working on “drop” with Remy every day in short sessions to hopefully make the command automatic. If not, I might have the worst “bird dog” ever!

Thankfully, he doesn’t become possessive of the socks. He wants to carry them and tease me but will let me open his mouth and take them back.

This post is sponsored by Green Bark Gummies treats.

How to get your dog to drop socks and other items

The one time Remy became possessive:

We had one “incident” where Remy took a shower loofah, and when I went to grab it he became possessive.

He clamped down on that loofah like his life depended on it. He ignored “drop” and prying his mouth open was out of the question. I was worried he would swallow the loofah or bite. Thankfully, he didn’t do either.

He finally did drop it when I went to get some food and my husband tried to take the loofah with a more playful approach. (I believe my tension triggered the possessiveness initially.)

We haven’t had an issue since, but I’ve made a point to work on “drop” every day with treats because the last thing I want is a possessive dog.

How to get your dog to drop socks and other items:

1. Select some highly valued treats.

Find something your dog is willing to work for! The treats I use are called Green Bark Gummies. These are small, soft treats you can easily tear in half. They come in duck or chicken & fish flavors and my dogs seem to find them really motivating.

2. Plan multiple, short training sessions each day.

Ask your dog to drop different lower-valued toys in exchange for a treat. Hold the treat to his nose and say “drop” in a happy voice. When he drops the item, give him a treat, take the item and then give the item back.

Repeat 3 or 4 times, and then quit while you’re ahead.

As your dog gets the idea, you can work on getting him to drop higher-valued items like bully sticks or rawhides. Right now, we've been working a lot with the Kong.

3. If your dog likes to play fetch or tug:

  • Ask your dog to “drop” when playing fetch. Hold the treat right up to his nose. When he drops, give him the treat. Then throw the toy. Repeat 3 or 4 times. End with giving him a few treats and putting the toy away. If your dog won't drop the toy, try different types of treats or perhaps start out with a lower-valued toy.
  • Ask your dog to “drop” when playing tug of war. Hold the treat right up to his nose. When he drops, give him the treat. Then continue playing. Repeat 3 or 4 times. End with giving him a few treats and putting the toy away.

Remy-with-his-toy-compressor-1

These above tips also come in handy if you have a dog with a ball obsession. Right, Ace?

4. Be aware of your energy and how it affects your dog.

My puppy responds better to a happy, positive tone where “drop” is a fun game. Sometimes tension or aggression from the human can create possessive aggression in dogs.

I'm not saying this will be an issue for all dogs, but I do notice my puppy is more successful if I keep the situation fun and light.

5. Keep small items picked up.

Obviously, to get your dog to drop socks and other items, it's best if you can prevent your dog from stealing items in the first place! Pick up laundry or close bedroom doors, use baby gates, etc. Try to view the room from your puppy’s point of view and put away items he might find tempting.

6. Randomly surprise your puppy.

When he’s randomly playing with a toy by himself, just tell him “drop” and then hold a treat to his nose. Then let him go back to playing. He won’t believe his luck!

7. Randomly drop socks or other items.

Walk by your dog and drop a sock or some other item he likes to steal but be prepared to guide his nose away with a treat. Tell him what a good boy he is, give another treat, then put the item away. Repeat a few times.

You can use the “leave it” command here if you’d like. Block your dog from taking the item, say “leave it” and reward with a treat.

Other tips:

    • It’s generally best to keep dog toys picked up. Bring them out a few at a time so you control the toys, and rotate which ones you use. On the other hand, you might want to keep a toy or two out to keep your dog interested in toys vs. other items like socks or shoes. It's about finding the right balance.
    • Carry a few treats in your pockets. That way you’re always ready for a quick training session when opportunities occur in “real life.” He picks up a sock? You say drop and you have your treats ready.
    • Sometimes it’s worth it to reward the dog by letting him keep the original item. Even if it’s disgusting! For example, Remy picked up an orange peel off the sidewalk but dropped it when I asked. I rewarded him by letting him have the orange peel! He ate it. No big deal.

remy-with-his-green-bark-gummies

  • In emergencies, ring the doorbell. If your dog has something potentially dangerous and you can't get him to drop it, try ringing the doorbell. This will likely get your dog's attention and he might drop whatever he has. Also try opening the dog treat cupboard. Peanut butter on a spoon is another good bribe.

My list is not perfect!

What would you change or add?

Related posts:

Does your dog really know Leave It?

How to stop a dog from guarding his owner

Green Bark Gummies Dog Treat Giveaway – 10 Winners

Green Bark Gummies Dog Treat Giveaway – 10 Winners

Note: This review is sponsored by Green Bark Gummies and Pipeline Pet Products. Click here.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a bag of treats for your dog (10 winners).

What are Green Bark Gummies?

Green Bark Gummies are healthy, grain-free dog treats.

The treats are soft and about the size of a nickel. They are shaped as little bears and look similar to Teddy Grahams crackers if you remember those!

Green Bark Gummies

Remy with his Green Bark Gummies treats

My thoughts on Green Bark Gummies:

Green Bark Gummies treatsI’ve been using these treats for about two years because almost all dogs find them motivating. They work well for keeping the attention of my puppy. I was hiking with him off leash yesterday and we came across a rattlesnake on the trail. Needless to say, I was so happy we had our treats along!

I also have a senior dog who likes to pretend he can't hear me … he's suddenly able to hear whenever I have treats! Weird. 🙂

Green Bark Gummies come in a couple varieties including:

  • Skin & Coat (duck or chicken & fish)
  • Health & Vitality (duck)
  • Hip & Joint (chicken & fish)

You might remember my past review of Green Bark Gummies. Today's new post is to remind you about these awesome treats and to introduce them to my new readers.

[quote_center]I’ve been using these treats for about two years because almost all dogs find them motivating.[/quote_center]

How much do they cost?

Green Bark Gummies are available online at Pipeline Pet Products for $4.99 per 4-ounce bag. This is a really good deal! I don’t know where else you can find such high-quality treats for that price.

ORDER HERE

What’s unique about the treats?

The key to Green Bark Gummies is its patented “NutriCHIA” ingredient, according to the company. NutriCHIA is a sprouted chia ingrained with three types of Omega-3 fatty acids in a bioavailable form. This is easily absorbed with no need for the body to convert it.

Ace with Green Bark Gummies treats

Chia delivers all the good oils that salmon delivers without heavy metals or contaminants, according to Green Bark Gummies. It is also rich in calcium, iron and antioxidants.

Green Bark GummiesPros of Green Bark Gummies treats:

[check_list]

  • No corn, wheat, soy, by-products or artificial colors
  • No added sugar
  • Most dogs find them highly motivating!
  • Healthy ingredients
  • Soft and easy to tear for training
  • GREAT value. These are high-quality treats.

[/check_list]

Cons:

  • I suppose they are a little smelly (can be a good thing!)
  • Might be a tiny bit greasy if you keep them in your pocket, but not bad.
  • They’re a little too small for stuffing into a large Kong toy. They fall right out.

Green Bark Gummies

Would I buy Green Bark Gummies?

YES. These are my go-to treats. We were out of treats recently, and Green Bark Gummies was my top choice for ordering more. I like to use them for training, and they are affordable and healthy.

Remy with Green Bark Gummies

Would I recommend the treats to others?

Yes, as training treats. That’s because they are a good value, healthy, soft and most dogs find them motivating. They are not the best for stuffing into Kong toys (too small) but they'd work well in food-dispensing toys that are designed for dry dog food.

They are available here.

Giveaway – Enter to win a bag of Green Bark Gummies (10 winners)

Green Bark Gummies is giving away a bag of treats to 10 lucky readers of That Mutt.

To enter:

Leave a comment below that lets me know you are interested in the treats. (Must have a U.S. mailing address to win). To leave a comment, just list your name and email (your email will not be shown). No need to list a website when it asks for one.

I will choose 10 winners at random on Thursday Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. pst. Winners will be notified by email Friday morning.

Green Bark Gummies logo

Would your dog like to win a bag of Green Bark Gummies?

Let me know in the comments!

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