5 Reasons to Try Feeding Your Dog Raw Food

5 Reasons to Try Feeding Your Dog Raw Food

Free Shipping on Balanced Blends Raw Pet Food Thru March 14

This post is sponsored by Balanced Blends.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I wanted to share this special with you!

Free shipping storewide at Balanced BlendsBalanced Blends is offering FREE shipping storewide now through March 14 (minimum order 10lbs). Click here.

The company makes balanced, frozen raw diets for dogs and cats and delivers right to your door.

A great deal on raw

There are two ways you can get a great deal on food from Balanced Blends.

First, the company is offering Free shipping storewide now through March 14. (Minimum order 10 pounds.)

ORDER HERE.

Or, if 10 pounds is too much, you can try a smaller, 2-pound “Starter Pack.” These are just $12 and shipping is free when you use code STARTERPACK. Click here.

Reasons to try feeding your dog raw food

Why feed raw?

You might be thinking, Why raw?

Simply, because real, fresh food is healthier for dogs and cats and a healthier diet will improve their quality of life. A raw diet contains more nutrients than cooked food, and dogs and cats are naturally designed for eating raw meat.

If you give raw feeding a try, you’ll see some of the benefits for yourself!

5 reasons to give raw feeding a try for 30 days

If you’ve ever considered switching your dog to a raw diet, an easy way to go about it is to commit to feeding raw for just 30 days and see how it goes. Just mentally create your own 30-day trial.

When I switched my Lab mix Ace to a raw diet in 2011, I committed to a 90-day raw feeding trial. I said I was going to feed my dog raw for just three months, and after that I could go back to feeding cooked food if I wanted. (Turns out, I prefer to feed him raw but I have switched back and forth a few times to save money.)

Ingredients for Balanced Blends raw food

Here are some reasons to consider feeding your dog raw for 30 days as a test:

1. A 30-day trial is less overwhelming.

A lot of dog owners are interested in feeding their dogs a healthier diet but they feel overwhelmed about the cost and whether or not they should make the food themselves (vs. buying pre-prepared raw food from a company).

Looking at it as a 30-day trial is far less overwhelming. After 30 days you will see the health benefits from the healthier diet and that will help you decide if the trial was worth it. (More on that below.) If not, that’s OK too!

Tip: It’s MUCH easier to start feeding your dog pre-made raw food from a company vs. putting the meals together yourself. That way you don’t have to worry about the meals being balanced, there’s no planning involved and there’s no worry about bacteria. You can always switch to homemade raw once you’re more comfortable (or some sort of combination).

Free shipping storewide at Balanced Blends2. A raw diet is healthier for most pets.

I believe a balanced raw diet is the healthiest way to eat for most dogs and cats, and you can see the benefits for yourself if you try it for just 30 days.

Some of the health benefits of a raw diet for pets include reduced allergies (many pets have allergies to the grains and other ingredients in kibble) and improved digestion since raw food is more natural. When you feed your pet a raw diet, some of the first changes you will notice include healthier teeth and gums, healthier looking skin and coat and less poop!

Other raw feeders also report seeing their older dogs and cats have increased energy and an easier time maintaining a healthy weight.

3. Committing raw food in your budget for 30 days is not so bad.

Cost is the main barrier I hear about for switching to a raw diet, but when you commit to just one month of raw feeding, you can plan it in your budget and then decide if it’s something you’re able to continue long term.

If you have a hard time affording raw food (the case for many people), consider feeding raw once a week or one meal a day or whatever works with your budget. Make it your goal to feed the healthiest food you can afford.

Also remember that a healthier pet means fewer visits to the vet in general and fewer vet bills. No, you can’t control everything but what our pets eat does play a major role in health and quality of life.

Remy with raw food from Balanced Blends

4. You can always go back to feeding cooked food.

It’s OK if you decide raw feeding is just not for you. That’s what a 30-day trial is for!

You can always go back to feeding homecooked or dry dog food. For me, it was much less overwhelming focusing on a short-term trial and then deciding what to do based on how that went.

I decided raw feeding is the way to go, and I think you will too. (I do mix it up with homemade raw, commercial raw and also dry dog food.)

5. Learn as you go.

Pet owners will tell me they are interested in feeding raw but they don’t know enough about it or they need to do more research first. I see that as an excuse! (I know, because I did the same thing.)

Yes, of course it’s good to do some research before changing anything in your dog’s diet. However, you don’t have to spend weeks or months or years preparing. Start with a few articles on my blog and check out the info at Balanced Blends. Most people make raw feeding much more complicated than it needs to be.

We’re all still learning and trying different recipes with our dogs. That’s OK!

Take advantage of specials!

If you decide to give raw feeding a try, now is a good time to take advantage of the special offer through Balanced Blends.

You can get FREE shipping on all orders through March 14 (minimum order of 10 pounds).

Order Balanced Blends with free shipping here.

Or, consider one of the Starter Packs where you get 2 pounds of raw food for $12 and free shipping using code STARTERPACK. Order Here.

I hope this helps you give raw feeding a try for a month, and I’d really love to hear how it goes!

Do you have questions about raw feeding or the special I mentioned?

Just let me know in the comments and I’ll get your questions answered.

Get Your FREE Mutt Sticker, We’re Celebrating 9 Years of Blogging

Get Your FREE Mutt Sticker, We’re Celebrating 9 Years of Blogging

We’re celebrating 9 years of blogging at That Mutt about dog training, dog behavior, exercise and everything DOGS!

That’s more than 1,600 blog posts, over 1 million words published and more than 29,000 comments from you!

To thank our readers for sticking around the blog, we want to send you a FREE “Mutt on Board” window sticker. Yep, we designed a NEW sticker specifically around Mutts!

Click here to claim your FREE sticker!

The free Mutt on Board stickers are 5″ x 5″ vinyl and can stick on a car, window, notebook, dog kennel or anywhere else. (They peel off really easily so they’re safe to put on a car, window or other smooth surface.)

We partnered up with Mighty Paw to have these made just for you. The stickers are totally unique, you can only get them here. These are limited, and we have a few hundred left (once we run out, we run out).

Just click the link below to get YOURS and we’ll drop one in the mail for you this week!

CLICK HERE.

Thanks for following That Mutt. It means a lot to us!

-Lindsay, Ace & Remy

K9 Nature Supplements Review and Coupon Code – Hip & Joint Revita Chews

K9 Nature Supplements Review and Coupon Code – Hip & Joint Revita Chews

K9 Nature Supplements is a company that makes natural supplements for dogs with mostly human grade and organic ingredients.

My senior Lab mix Ace got to try the company’s Hip & Joint Revita Chews to potentially help his sore joints, and we have a chance for your dog to try them too!

This post is sponsored by K9 Nature Supplements.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a combo pack of Hip & Joint Revita Chews and Nature’s Aches Away for your dog. (3 winners!) Click here.

K9 Nature Supplements Review

My thoughts on the Hip & Joint Revita Chews:

My dog Ace has been taking the Hip & Joint Revita Chews for about three weeks. He is an almost 11-year-old black Lab mix and the joints in his back legs are sore and stiff. He does take Carprofen (Rimadyl) every day for managing the pain, and his vet always recommends glucosamine and fish oil supplements as well.

The Hip & Joint Revita Chews from K9 Nature Supplements contain glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids. I believe these ingredients are beneficial to my aging dog. However, I am not able to observe a dramatic difference in how he feels after taking the chews since he is already taking a pain relief medication. He does love the taste and had no trouble taking the chews!

K9 Nature Supplements also suggested Ace could take their natural pain relief product called Nature’s Aches Away along with the hip & joint chews. However, Aches Away would need to be used without Rimadyl, so we chose not to take him off his prescription medication.

There are potential side effects to Rimadyl, so if you’re looking for a more natural option for pain relief, you could look into the Nature’s Aches Away for your dog. The active ingredients in the Aches Away are fish oil, cat’s claw root extract and willow bark extract. (Cats claw is a plant material traditionally used for treating arthritis and more.)

What is the cost?

Hip & Joint Revita Chews

The Hip & Joint Revita Chews come in jars of 60 chewable tablets for $26.99 and the Nature’s Aches Away comes in jars of 55 soft chews for $26.99.

Get an additional 20% off on K9 Nature Supplements with FREE shipping with code THATMUTT20 Click here.

60 chews will last my 70-pound dog 60 days because he takes one per day. Smaller dogs will only need half a tablet per day and dogs larger than Ace will need 2 tablets.

ORDER HERE.

(Code good for one use per customer)

What’s unique about the product?

K9 Nature Supplements was created by scientists who have a passion for natural and holistic health for dogs, according to its website. The company’s supplements are all natural and mostly organic. Of course, there is a time and place for pharmaceuticals, but K9 Nature Supplements is an advocate for holistic and natural healing whenever possible.

K9 Nature Supplements says it only markets products that they themselves would give to their own dogs, ensuring the highest quality, safety and key benefits of each ingredient.

Its supplements are reasonably priced and all orders shipped in the U.S. come with FREE shipping if ordered from their website.

Pros of the Hip & Joint Revita chews:

  • Made in the USA with natural ingredients
  • Could reduce or eliminate your dog’s need for NSAIDs like Rimadyl
  • Contains 375mg glucosamine & 200mg chondroitin per tablet
  • Glucosamine helps repair damaged joints
  • My dog loves the chewable tablets. He thinks they’re treats!
  • One jar lasts my 70-pound dog 60 days
  • Works as a preventative for healthy dogs
  • Contains fish oil for healthier skin & coat health + heart health
  • Free shipping in the U.S.

Cons:

  • Some dogs have allergies to shellfish. Glucosamine, one of the key ingredients, is derived from shellfish. The company recommends Nature’s Aches Away (vs. the Revita chews) for dogs that have sensitives or known allergies to joint supplements.
  • There are other brands that offer higher amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin per dose. However, K9 Nature Supplements said it uses a minimalist approach where each ingredient is scientifically researched to determine the lowest dose that will work in a dog’s body. That way, your dog is not getting too much of any of the ingredients. (If you’re wondering what the best dose is for your dog, it’s always best to consult with a vet.)

Would I buy this product?

Yes, I would buy about three month’s worth of the Hip & Joint chews to try as a longer term trial to see if it helps my senior dog. I believe in the benefits of glucosamine for people and dogs, and I like that this product has limited ingredients since my dog has a lot of allergies.

Would I recommend the product to others?

Yes, if your dog is having joint pain or stiffness or if she is prone to joint problems due to her breed, I would recommend trying this for 60 days to see if you notice a difference. It would also be a good question to ask your vet (but be prepared for your vet to try to sell you whatever glucosamine brand she carries).

Younger dogs can also take the supplement as a preventative.

Use code THATMUTT20 for 20% off your order and FREE shipping. CLICK HERE.

Giveaway – Win a combo pack for your dog!

K9 Nature Supplements is giving away a combo pack of its Hip & Joint Revita Chews and the Nature’s Aches Away to THREE lucky winners in the U.S.

To enter:

Just leave a comment below so I know your dog wants IN on the drawing! Must have a U.S. mailing address to win.

Three winners will be chosen randomly on Friday Feb. 17 and announced in Sunday’s email digest. Sign up for That Mutt’s emails HERE.

Note: Everyone signed up for the $7 level or higher on That Mutt’s Patreon page is automatically entered into ALL giveaways. Sign up HERE.

Would your dog like to try these supplements?

Let me know in the comments!

Natural supplements for dogs from K9 Nature Supplements

Spotless Paw Review and Coupon Code – Dog Paw Cleaning Glove

Spotless Paw Review and Coupon Code – Dog Paw Cleaning Glove

What has your dog stepped in lately?

Have you ever tried to wipe up mud or water from your dog using a standard towel? A towel can barely even soak up water. So frustrating sometimes!

The Spotless Paw is a paw cleaning glove made of super absorbent microfiber. The company says the glove can absorb 600% of its weight in water and dirt and after using the glove I believe it!

I would even recommend keeping a glove in your car to wipe paws after dog hikes or trips to the beach/lake.

This review is sponsored by Spotless Paw. Use code THATMUTT17 for 20% off a Spotless Paw & free shipping. Click here.

Spotless Paw review and coupon code

My thoughts on the Spotless Paw:

It’s awesome!

The Spotless Paw is a six-fingered paw cleaning glove (so you can wear it on either hand) made with microfiber and perfect for wiping wet, muddy paws. The fact that it’s a glove makes it easy to gently clean between a dog’s toes and under the nails.

This winter has been especially rainy for us here in San Diego (I know, so rough, right?), so we’ve had lots of opportunities to put the Spotless Paw glove to use in our doorway and quickly wipe the dogs’ paws.

I have a 70-pound black Lab mix (who seems to attract dirt) and a 55-pound weimaraner. We’re out for potty breaks 4 times per day (per dog) plus at least two real walks every single day rain or shine. We’re from North Dakota so we’re not afraid of the “elements.”

My husband and I love taking our dogs to the local trails (shared with horses and mountain bikers) which can be super muddy this time of year so the Spotless Paw is a nice product to keep in the car. Also, when it’s dry and dusty around here (in the summer), the Spotless Paw glove will be used for “dusting” and wiping the dirt off our dogs after a hike.

What is the cost of a glove?

Use code THATMUTT17 for 20% off (normally $24.95) and FREE shipping on the Spotless Paw. Click here.

ORDER HERE.

What’s unique about the product?

The Spotless Paw glove is made from the highest-quality microfiber material so it can hold 600% of its weight in dirt and water, according to the company. The glove’s fabric creates microscopic “hooks” that attract and hold dirt, water, mud and grime like a magnet.

Obviously the product’s main purpose is to reduce the filth tracked into your home or car! But it can also work for:

  • Drying a dog’s coat after a walk in the rain.
  • Drying a dog after a bath. It absorbs a TON of water and dries quickly.
  • Wiping the inside of your car.
  • Wiping up drool (Ace!) or spilled water around a bowl (Remy!)
  • Drying the water/mud “sprayed” onto the floor and walls when a dog decides to shake off.
  • Wiping/drying camping gear.

Another note: My wiggly young weimaraner likes to bite at towels and at my hands (very annoying!), so using a glove to wipe his paws is so much easier than a towel! Paw cleaning doesn’t turn into an aggressive game of tug! I also know some dogs try to run away when they see a towel, but a glove might not seem so “bad” to them.

I also want to mention the company offers top customer service. I’ve spoken with the owner Scott over the phone and he will quickly answer any questions you have.

Pros of the Spotless Paw:

  • Microfiber material absorbs mud and water really well
  • Safe to put in the washer and dryer (don’t use fabric softener though)
  • The six fingers of the glove help you clean between your dog’s toes and around the nails
  • Comes with a handle so it can hang on a doorknob or hook
  • Dries quickly
  • Works for dogs of all sizes and breeds
  • Can be used on other pets too like horses or cats

Cons:

  • It’s light in color so looks dirty right away. I’d prefer a darker color.
  • If you have multiple dogs or if you plan on using this every day it would be handy to have two or three gloves. At least one per hand!

Would I buy this product?

Yes. It’s a great product and does its job well. Order here.

As a dog walker, I often struggled with how to quickly and effectively clean a dog’s paws after a rainy walk. The Spotless Paw works so much better than a towel, and it also works for quickly wiping up the “sprayed” water on the floor and walls from a dog shaking off.

You could even use the glove for wiping the inside of your car.

Spotless Paw review

Would I recommend the glove to others?

Yes. It’s a high-quality product that does what it’s meant to do.

Do you hike with your dog? Camp with your dog? Walk him every day rain or shine? Absolutely, this is a great product I would recommend, especially if you live in areas with mud, rain or snow.

And like I said above, I would also recommend this for dog walkers and pet sitters because you need a way to clean your clients’ dogs. The Spotless Paw is small and easy to stuff in a bag or keep in your car.

Spotless Paw coupon code

Spotless Paw has created a unique coupon code for readers of That Mutt. Use code THATMUTT17 for 20% off a Spotless Paw glove and FREE shipping. Click here.

Which one of your pets could use a Spotless Paw glove?

Let us know in the comments!

If you order a glove, share a picture of your dog using hashtag #spotlesspaw and also let us know if you have any questions about the product. We’ll get them answered for you!

 

How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

How to Teach Your Dog to Come When Called

I’m planning on writing a post about each of my dog Remy’s training issues.

You can see the full list HERE. I’ll add links as I write the posts. (And I’m sure I’ll add to the list, too!)

Which bring’s me to today’s focus: Coming when called. Also called “the recall” in the dog training world.

In Remy’s defense, Josh and I have not put in much effort on teaching him to come when called so he’s not all that great at it.

I know it’s best not to call your dog unless you’re 100% sure you can enforce it. So, I’ve been letting Remy off leash and then I wait for him to come to me on his own or I just go get him! Not exactly ideal.

So anyway, it’s time we focus on this very important command. How are the rest of you doing with this one? Any struggles or suggestions to share with the rest of us?

How to teach your dog to come when called

I follow these strict rules:

  • Only say the command once. And I do use my dog’s name. So it’s, “Remy! Come!”
  • Do not call your dog unless you are 99% sure he will obey or that you can reinforce it instantly by “reeling him in.”
  • “Come!” means “Come to me and sit in front of me.” (It doesn’t mean “crash into me” or “nip at me as you run by” or “dance around me just out of reach!”)

How to teach your dog to come

1. Set your dog (and you) up for success.

Start with the easy stuff.

I call Remy indoors in boring situations where I’m the most exciting thing so of course he’s going to come when I call him. For example, if we’re sitting in my home office and I call him, he listens. There’s nothing else going on. Good boy!

Another “easy” scenario you can set up at home is to toss a treat, let your dog go get it and then call him and give another treat.

If your dog loves walks, call him before his walk. Loves to eat? Call him before you feed him.

And if he doesn’t get too excited and start biting and jumping (like Remy does) you can make a game of calling your dog back and forth between you and a family member down the hall.

See my post: 10 ways to get your dog to come when called

2. Use a leash and treats and increase the challenge very slightly.

When you have a leash on your dog, you know you can reinforce it when you all him. So call him once and then “reel him in” if he doesn’t come on his own. Then lots of praise!

If your dog is on a leash, you can start practicing “come!” with some mild distractions like outside on a walk or perhaps in your backyard.

Tip: Use highly valued treats when working on the recall. If your dog gets a real meatball every time you call him, don’t you think he’s going to have a pretty good recall? I normally don’t use a lot of treats with Remy because he gets too excited, but I use them for coming when called.

Another tip: I don’t tell my dog to “stay” and then call him because it encourages him to break from stay. Remy is still young and needs to work on a solid STAY command. If you want to leave your dog and then call him, I recommend you use a “wait” command. This is great for sports like agility too.

How to teach your dog to come when called

3. Buy a long leash about 25 feet long.

I just bought a 30-foot lead for Remy. I went with the Mendota brand, and I highly recommend it. I plan to use this for calling Remy outside in random areas so we can work on a little distance but I’ll still be able to somewhat prevent him from running off.

30-ft dog lead

Make sure to wear gloves so you don’t burn your hands. Even better, just step on the leash vs. grabbing it. Also, it’s best to remove prong collars for this exercise in case your dog hits the end of the leash hard.

Over the weekend Josh and I took Remy to a park and practiced calling him back and forth between us while he wore the long lead. Remy had a blast! He thought this was a fun game, we were the ultimate rewards and he got some good exercise too!

Tip: Don’t do this for too long or the dog might get bored or distracted. We probably practiced this for about 4 minutes. We stopped while we were all still having fun. Good choice.

Another tip: A retractable leash can work pretty well for this too if you have a mellow dog, a puppy or a small dog. It would be dangerous to use one for my powerful weimaraner, though. That would be like reeling in a tiger with a yo-yo. Someone would get hurt.

4. Practice! Practice! Practice!

The key is setting your dog up for success by not making the distractions too difficult at first.

The mistake many of us make is we expect too much too quickly. Instead, we should v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y over several weeks, months and years increase the level of difficulty only as our dogs are successful. So that means lots of practice in “easy” scenarios first. Every day.

For example, with Remy, I can call him indoors and he’ll pretty much always listen. Outside at the fenced dog park he’ll come when called if there are no other dog around and if I’m holding treats. If he’s on a leash outside, he’ll pretty much always come when called.

But, it’s too challenging for Remy right now to come when called off leash in most scenarios unless the distractions are very mild (no other dogs around, we’re in a fairly ordinary place, etc.) or if I’m holding a high-value reward such as hot dogs or a squeaky toy!

It’s about knowing your dog and challenging them ever so slightly but also making sure you’re both successful.

See my post: 5 mistakes people make when calling their dogs

Other tips for teaching your dog to come when called:

  • Don’t call your dog for “bad” things like putting him in his kennel, trimming his nails or leaving the dog park. Instead, just go get him or wait for him to come to you.
  • Sometimes the best reward is more freedom, not praise or a treat. Call him, then let him go back to playing or sniffing.
  • Make a game of it – Hide in another room or run from your dog so you are the prize.
  • Practice for 5 minutes at least a few times per week. No need to work longer than that or the dog gets bored.
  • Sign up for an obedience class, either a beginning level if that’s where you’re at or a more advanced class.

What about really ‘stubborn’ dogs?

I don’t know that there are “stubborn” dogs but maybe just dogs that are very driven to follow their nose or to hunt. And then there’s dogs that just love other dogs so much! And another problem is when dogs don’t get a lot of off-leash freedom they don’t want to return because the fun ends!

For problems like not coming when called around distractions like other dogs, squirrels, a dead bird, etc., what it comes down to is a solid foundation. Start from the beginning and if he comes 99% of the time without distractions, start adding mild distractions. Work up to slightly higher distractions, then medium, etc. And really up the reward any time you increase the challenge. Use hot dogs, pieces of real meat, that squeaky toy that makes him nuts, whatever it might be!

Heck, sometimes, it’s worth it to let him have that freaking dead bird or to go back to chasing that rabbit or whatever it might be if he actually came to you! Sometimes it’s worth it! (Yes, I know there are risks. You pick your battles.)

What about an e-collar?

I personally have not used an e-collar with a remote for teaching a dog to come when called, but I do have one we might decide to use for Remy. (I’m not sure yet.) We are going to be doing some hunting with him and his recall needs to be rock solid.

Do not think of a shock or e-collar as a punishment but more of a quick “tap, tap” like “Hey! I’m over here! Remember me?” You also have to remember to work within your dog’s abilities. Just because he has an e-collar on, you still have to remember he can only handle certain distractions. Don’t challenge him too much. It’s not fair.

So what I would do with the e-collar is call your dog once. “Remy, come!” If he comes, great! Lots of praise. “Wooo!” If not, give one “tap, tap” with the vibration mode or low correction mode to get his attention. Then lots of praise when he moves towards you. It’s probably best to have him on a long leash (25 ft) when you first practice this. The e-collar is actually a lot like a firm but gentle tug on the leash to get his attention.

Tip: Have your dog wear the e-collar for part of the day a week before you even turn the thing on. That way he’s used to wearing it and won’t associate a vibration or correction from the collar. Also, try the collar on your own skin before you put it on your dog so you understand the level of intensity. I always try it on the underside of my wrist.

So those are my suggestions for teaching your dog to come when called.

What tips would you add to this list. What’s worked for your dog? Or do you have any questions?

Let us know in the comments! Always helpful to hear from others as we could all use some feedback at times. Clearly Remy and I could use some help too!

Page 4 of 297« First...23456...102030...Last »