Posted on May 13, 2013 by Debbie
Photo by Chatblanc1 flickr.com
As vitamins and supplements become more and more popular with humans, it only makes sense that these products would start increasing in popularity for pets, as well. Working for Pawalla, I am lucky to have the the perk of testing out certain products on my animals for free! I have tried a number of different supplements for my gang, such as Omega-3 fish oil, digestive aids and calming supplements and I have to say that I have found them to be quite beneficial. Well, except when they were not - Sensitive Moe gets diarrhea from the oil and Louis can't have fish - but I know people who swear by fish oil for shiny, healthy coats. For me, the digestive aid, called OptaGest, has been extremely helpful for both my dog (remember sensitive Moe) and cats (hairballs) and it also boasts to the strengthen the immune system. But as any good pet parent knows, one must be super careful about what we give our animals. Here is some advice from pets.webmd.com to help when choosing a supplement for your furry one:
- Look for a brand that specializes in one area, or that has commissioned clinical studies of their products.
- Read labels. Know the name of the ingredient you’re looking for, so you won’t be deceived by sound-alikes.
- Look for a lot number on the product, a sign that the company has set up quality control checks.
- Look for a contact number for the company on the label. Call and ask who formulated the product, what expertise they have, and how long the manufacturer has been in business.
- Be wary of claims that sound too good to be true, such as promises to alleviate diseases like parvovirus, cancer, and hip dysplasia.
- Look for certification from an organization that has independently verified a supplement’s contents.
- Be cautious about giving human supplements to dogs. Some products, such as garlic, can be dangerous for dogs.
Pawalla's numerous supplements and vitamins can be found in our shop: Dogs and Cats.
All of the products we carry in our Pawalla shop have been approved by our pet nutritionist but always remember to consult your veterinarian before trying anything new with your pet.
Have you tried vitamins and supplements with your cat or dog? [...]
Posted on April 22, 2013 by Debbie
Moe, George and Louis are all adopted. Getting pets of my own was a big decision and one that was many years in the making. But one thing I knew was that I wanted to get my pets from shelters. As many of you may know, the number of homeless animals in this country is staggering so it just made sense to me to rescue. Even if for some reason you decide not to go this route, you still have to think long and hard about such a major life decision. Here are 10 great questions to ask yourself, courtesy of the ASPCA:
1. Why do you want to adopt a pet?
2. Are you ready to make a long-term commitment?
3. Do you know what kind of pet is right for you?
4. Can you afford to care for your pet's health and safety?
5. Will you be able to spend quality time together?
6. Are you prepared to deal with an animal's health challenges?
7. Are you willing to train your animal companion?
8.. Are you prepared to pet-proof your home?
9. Is your living space adequate for an animal companion?
10. Is your family ready for a pet?
If you answer yes to all of these, chances are you are ready to bring home that special furry friend! You can start researching local shelters, attend adoption events or even foster a shelter pet to get used to the idea of having a new creature in your home and at the same time, help socialize them. Whatever choices you make when adopting a pet, whether you get a Pug from Pug Rescue or a kitten from your local no-kill shelter, know that the love you will receive from them will make all the work worthwhile ;-)
Do you have any other advice on pet adoption?
Posted on April 21, 2013 by Debbie
We had great results from our survey about the Pawalla Shop. Our current Pawalla Box subscribers are more aware of our shop than non-subscribers. For those who do know about the shop, there are a number of factors that have prevented them from purchasing single items but one thing is clear: Shoppers want a wider selection of healthy products in our shop. This is something Pawalla is doing daily - adding more of the same high-quality and all natural food, treats and toys we currently offer to our online shop!
We are happy to know that more than half of our subscribers would recommend our shop to friends but the biggest factor keeping non-subscribers from ordering single items from us is price. Pawalla takes this issue very seriously - we are dedicated to providing our customers with the highest quality dog and cat products at the most reasonable prices. However, the highest quality food for your pets does come at a higher cost, which is something we need to keep in mind. We want to thank everyone for their input and for helping us make Pawalla a superior shopping experience for all pet parents.
Posted on April 15, 2013 by Debbie
Do you want to know why he smells so lovely? It's because of Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy! If you are not familiar with their products, you should be! Our customer survey about these soothing products had interesting results and the people that tried their Freshening & Shining Spray clearly loved it! But one thing is clear from the results is that we need to get the word out! According to Gerrard Larriett's website and Aromatherapy.com, Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. It is used for everything from pain relief and mood enhancement to increased cognitive function. And as Holistic Health News reports, pets can enjoy the therapeutic effects of aromatherapy as much as humans can! Aside from making them smell great, essential oils also serve many practical functions such as boosting your pet's immune system, fighting off bacteria and viruses, as well as repelling harmful insects.
Available in three signature aromatherapy scents, Happy Jasmine, Balancing Rose and Relaxing Wildwoods, their products are natural, paraben-free and made in the USA. And their Treatment Experience packages make perfect gifts for the pet lover in your life. They come with an Aromatherapy Deodorizing Soy Candle, Aromatherapy Shampoo & Conditioner and an Aromatherapy Freshening & Shining Spray, all in an adorable Logo Tote Bag.
Posted on April 11, 2013 by Debbie
The results of last week's treat survey were quite interesting. We were mainly curious about what type of pets people had, what type of treats they buy their pets and where they buy them. The majority of the people who took the survey had dogs, though many people also had both dogs and cats, which was unexpected. Biscuit treats were the clear favorite, followed closely by the jerky type and chicken and beef beat out all the other flavors.
We also learned that most of you feed your pet treats 1-2 times a day. But the most surprising results were from the "Where do you buy treats" question: As shown by the chart, 36.6% of you buy from places other than the major pet suppliers and boutiques. Feed stores, grocery stores and mass retailers like Walmart and Target were the most popular places to buy treats. The smallest percentage of people shopped for treats online, and that was something we did not expect. One thing that was very clear is that people are most concerned about the healthiness of their pet's treats and that's where Pawalla comes in. The treats we offer are all approved by our pet nutritionist so you never have to worry about the quality of the products we sell.
And Pawalla's online shop is so easy to order from! We offer a variety of both biscuit and jerky treats in all the flavors you love. Primal Pet Foods and Lucky Pet are just two of the nutritious treat brands we carry at www.pawalla.com/shop.html. So pick some up today!
Btw, if you let us know what you think of our findings in the comments below, you will earn Pawalla points towards discounts off your purchases!
Posted on April 9, 2013 by Debbie
Wouldn't it be great if your dog could walk itself? Since that is never going to happen, it is fortunate that some brilliant person invented the job of dog walker. I know it doesn't sound like a real job (trust me, it is the most fun I ever had "working") but for the true professionals, it is a serious business. Having been both a dog walker and a client, I feel that I have a particular insight into this world. Since this will be an important new relationship for your pup, here are some guidelines to follow when choosing your dog’s new friend:
1) The company should be licensed, insured and bonded.
There are a lot of individuals out there who claim they are professional, experienced walkers and may charge you an amazingly low price but they are not worth it if they don’t have insurance. I have heard many horror stories and even if you think nothing will happen, knowing that you are covered will give the assurance you need.
2) Find out how many dogs are walked at one time.
Some walkers are handling six or eight dogs, while others are walking as many as fifteen (I stare at these people in amazement on the street since I never walked more than two at a time)! The more dogs there are in a group, the higher chance for there is for conflict, injury or a lost dog. This also makes it impossible for someone to give your pooch individual attention. Your dog deserves to be one of few rather than one of many. Continue Reading
Posted on March 21, 2013 by Debbie
Although brushing your pet's teeth is highly veterinary recommended, I will admit that mostly, I do not do it. Moe, who really does not seem to mind, gets a brushing every few months because I basically forget to do it (bad mama). And the cat's teeth? Why, they have never gotten close to being brushed by me. Even cutting their nails is a two person job, due to the fact that George turns wild and makes a low-growling noise like a demon and Louis is just too squiggly. And since I am by myself much of the time, I always get injured so brushing their teeth kind of scares me. And yet, I know how important it is, because pets do get plaque, tartar, and gingivitis — all of which can cause foul breath and tooth problems. And, of course, poor dental health can lead to infections that can travel to your pet's heart, causing major problems and even death. That seems like a pretty good incentive to brush their teeth! This should have been my New Year's resolution. Okay, it is now my April resolution.
There are a number of breath enhancing and dental health treats on the market, which are great, but somehow this does not seem like it is enough. The AAHA (The Standard in Veterinary Medicine) gives this
advice on how to brush both dog's and cat's teeth. I'm totally going to do it.
How about you? Do you brush your pet's teeth and if so, what advice do you have on making it as painless as possible?
Posted on March 20, 2013 by Debbie
Both George and Louis are meowers. However, George is selective with his vocalizations and strangely, though he is super loud, he never bothers me in the evening or during the night. Louis, on the other hand, when he is not being adorable, is beyond annoying. His little baby cries go on all evening (the musical accompaniment to his knocking stuff off the counter). He seems to be aware of how irritating he is and will stare at you and mew until you can't take it anymore. Why does he torture me so?
If you are suffering as I am, there are some options for relief. After ruling out any medical issues, the next step is realizing that the fuzzy dude is probably bored. Mr. Jackson Galaxy (of My Cat From Hell fame) tells us that the cat’s natural activity cycle is “hunt, eat, groom, sleep.” So, play with your cat for 10-15 minutes before bed and then feed him a small portion of his daily food. Now you’ve provided your cat with a satisfactory hunting cycle: he’s "killed" something and then eats. Then he will groom himself and fall asleep. That sounds great! Will try that as soon as I finish work, cooking for Bean, putting her to bed and then watching Walking Dead, Good Wife, Face Off and a House re-run :) . Seriously, I am going to do this!
Now, if your kitty is keeping you awake at night, shut the door. This one I actually do and it has made a huge difference :) I also used to set an automatic feeder until Louis started breaking into to it but he has not resorted to throwing himself against the door. Yet.
Will let you know how it goes but it the mean time, I shall have to accept that along with the cuteness, comes irritation . ...Not that different from humans, I suppose :)
Please comment below if your cat's meowing drives you nuts.
Posted on March 8, 2013 by Debbie
If anyone has any experience with a shelter animal, you know that anxiety often comes with the package, as cute as the package may be. Even though dogs don’t have a memory, per se, they obviously are affected by what has happened to them in the past and fears of all sorts of everyday things can arise. With my Moe, he had a number of random fears, including shopping carts, strollers and storms to name a few. Experience and time seemed to eliminate some of his issues but his anxiety during thunderstorms continued. He would pace back and forth and jump on and off the bed until the storm subsided. No amount of soothing or cuddling or distractions helped. Finally, about a month after we adopted him, a neighbor of mine had a dog that had the same problem and recommended the storm suit, a device known today as the Thunder Shirt, but six years ago no one had ever heard of it. I found the one website that carried it and ordered one immediately.The idea is that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system, which has been proven in autistic children, as well as livestock going to slaughter (ugh). I was slightly skeptical but open to the possibility since nothing else had worked. When it arrived, I took it from the box and held it up; it looked like a little blue dog bathing suit. Moe did not have any idea what he was in for. He is the type of dog that does not enjoy baths or grooming but he goes along with it, albeit with a look of panic on his face. The directions on the product said to put it on the dog before a storm to get him used to wearing it. So, poor Moe had to suffer the humiliation of the storm suit for an hour or so, his fluffy black fur protruding out from the elastic sides with no clue how silly he looked. But he did it and that was that. Continue Reading
Posted on March 6, 2013 by Debbie
I do not cook for my pets. That being said, I have toyed with the idea from time to time but since I am a vegetarian, the thought of serving raw or even preparing meat in my kitchen makes me uncomfortable. Moe the dog has a sensitive system and has never done well with wet food. I occasionally put a few dollops in his high-quality kibble, which he really loves but aside from some freeze-dried beef treats and jerky (and stolen PB&J), he basically eats the same thing everyday. How can I incorporate some fresh or home-cooked food into his diet, without giving up the convenience of dry food?
Here's how! After reading this great interview with Barbara Laino, I feel confident that I can do exactly that. Barbara is a certified holistic health counselor and teaches classes on making nutritious food (for people and pets). She says that if you are not ready (or willing) to convert to a totally home-cooked diet for your pup, even adding carrots, a whole egg or canned salmon to a good kibble can have great heath benefits. The article also provides a link to some recipes, if you are feeling adventurous. If I didn't have a kid to cook for, I might try one of them but then again, who am I kidding? As much a Moe and George and Lou would love them, I don't see myself grinding up raw chicken necks anytime soon :)
Do you cook for your pets, and if so, what do you serve them?
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