Archive for the ‘green pet supplies’ Category

Two Winnahs, One Remindah

It’s an All-Canadian prize sweep here in Shaggy Dog Stories-land! Congrats to Marilyn Klein and Marcus, and to Patti Waddell and Mick for being lucky winnahs of the Kyjen Ginormous Hide-a-Squirrel toys!

Didn’t win? Don’t be blue. The giveaway for the Earth Heart Guard Well spray is still going on, and entries don’t close until tomorrow! Come on and enter — there’s still time!


Review and Giveaway: Earth Heart Guard Well Spray

Welcome to Ragweed Season. If you suffer from pollen-related allergies in the late summer and early fall, you know all about the properties of ragweed and goldenrod. They can make you miserable! You sneeze, your eyes itch and tear up… and all you want is some relief!

Your best friend can suffer from seasonal allergies or from exposure to other environmental irritants ranging from molds to lawn chemicals to dry skin brought on by central heating. These sensitivities can manifest themselves as itching, chewing, licking, hot spots, and the like.

Earth Heart’s Guard Well formula is designed to help give your dog some relief. The spray is formulated (in the USA!) from essential oils of niaouli, ravensare and frankincense in a solution of purified water. It’s safe to use on puppies as young as 8 weeks old (but not recommended for use with cats or birds). You can spray Guard Well on your hands and massage your dog, spray directly onto the skin or coat and brush, or spray onto the dog’s blanket or bedding. According to our friends at Earth Heart, Guard Well can help relieve the itching and other symptoms in up to 90% of dogs affected by minor environmental irritants, bacteria, and so on — and can even help restore healthy balance after long-term use of medications.

Dinah and Badger on Mt. Ossipee in the fall.

We’re very lucky in that neither the humans nor the dogs in our little household suffer from seasonal allergies or environmental sensitivities. This does mean that we haven’t been able to give Guard Well a fair trial here with the Gang of Four, but I tested the spray on myself. The scent is delightful, yet not overpowering. I’ve used it on the old dog’s bedding, too.

Good News for You

Would you like to try some on your dog(s)? Earth Heart is providing Shaggy Dog families a buy-one-get-one-free offer (BOGO!) to help you enjoy a healthier autumn. To redeem the offer, enter the code GuardShaggyDog at check out when you order Guard Well and any other Earth Heart product from the Earth Heart website. Offer expires October 31, 2012.

Want to Win Some?

Thanks to Vicki from Earth Heart, we’re giving away a 2-ounce, BPA-free bottle of Guard Well to one lucky winnah! All you have to do is follow the usual set of Wicked Simple Rules…

Wicked Simple Rules

  1. Go visit Earth Heart on Facebook and Like the fan page — if you haven’t already done so.
  2. We always welcome Likes on the Shaggy Dog Stories fan page.
  3. Come back to the blog and leave a comment. Does anyone in your household suffer from seasonal allergies in the fall? Remember, comments on Facebook, while always appreciated, don’t count as entries.

As usual, the lucky winnah will be chosen at random by comment number, using a number-picking script. If that lucky winnah is you, you’ll be notified by email — and if you’re also a Facebook friend, we’ll try to ping you that way too. No matter which way the good news comes, you need to respond within a week to get your fabulous prize. Otherwise, we will just have to call You Snooze, You Lose on you and give your prize to some other entrant. You know you wouldn’t want that to happen!

Get your comments in by Sunday, September 23.


We Have a Winnah!!

Congratulations to Tom, Kathy, and Nikki Defino from Pennsylvania for being the lucky winnahs of the Earth Heart Buzz Guard giveaway! Apparently the mosquitoes in western PA can get pretty savage, too. We’re hoping that the Buzz Guard helps keep those little monsters away from Nikki!

Now, don’t forget that the BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) promotion continues until September 30, 2012. If you didn’t enter the giveaway and you still want to get rid of those pesky bugs, just order 2 bottles of Buzz Guard from the Earth Heart website. Use the promotion code SHAGGYBUZZ at checkout, and poof! As if by magic, you’ll get that second bottle free!

What? You didn’t win? Don’t feel too bad. We have some fantastic stuff coming up… including the winner of the “What Should We Review Next?” poll!


Review and Giveaway: Buzz Guard Spray from Earth Heart

Here in Maine, the mosquito is often referred to as the State Bird. We don’t have the low-flying-aircraft-style skeeters that they have in NJ, but we do have an abundance of the nasty, quick, tiny ones that reallllly make their presence known when they swoop in and bite you. We’ve had a Mosquito Magnet for years, and some years it’s the only reason we can use our backyard in summer. For times when we’re away from the house, we’ve become connoisseurs of bug repellents for both humans and canines.

We’ve been fairly lucky bug-wise this season, thanks to the weird weather. The very dry weather in early spring helped eliminate some of the places where the nasty little buggers breed, and the heavy rains that followed probably washed away what was left. (Mosquito larvae can still stubbornly survive through drought conditions, even if you haven’t had a lot of rain locally — so there’s probably always a reason to worry about the spread of West Nile virus.) Now that we’re experiencing more normal weather in late July, though, the little bastards are coming back.
Read the rest of this entry »


Review and Giveaway: Nordic Naturals Supplements

We were already huge fans of Nordic Naturals‘ award-winning fish oil supplements for dogs, long before the company kindly asked us to review some. Central heating tends to contribute to dry skin in dogs and humans in the wintertime, so we’ve added fish oil to the pups’ dishes for a long while now. Unlike some of the other fish oil supplements we’ve tried, the Nordic Naturals oil smells less like a cat-food factory — which in turn decreases the number of stinky-dog complaints we get from the rest of the household. Adding salmon oil to the dogs’ food resulted in fewer — if any — dry-skin itchies. The old man, in particular, seems to get flaky skin in the winter. Adding the fish oil to his diet helped keep his old hide free of flakes.

Read the rest of this entry »


Review and Giveaway: Earth Heart Travel Calm Natural Remedy Mist

Seamus loves dog sports, but the journey is not his reward.

Famous Seamus has never been a very good car traveler. He absolutely loves doing dog sports and has been a terrific competition buddy, but he just hates riding in the car. He paces around the crate. He whines. He barks at pedestrians and bicycles. He chews on the bars of the crate, even when more tempting things to chew are right in there with him. When a motorcycle passes by, he comes completely unglued. I’ve tried music, singing, talking to him, toys and treats to distract him, issuing training commands to sit and lie down, and even DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) spray. Only that last one has had much of an effect; when I use it, he only barks at motorcycles with chain drives and Harleys. He no longer barks at BMW motorcycles or other bikes with shaft drives. I suppose we’ll take progress wherever we can get it.

We were invited to try a bottle of Earth Heart Travel Calm natural remedy mist, to see if aromatherapy would help with Seamus’s travel issues. Like all of Earth Heart Inc.’s products, Travel Calm is made in the USA from pure essential oils and packaged in BPA-free spray bottles. When I opened the package, I nearly drifted away from the wonderful scent! Travel Calm contains essential oils of bergamot, tangerine, ginger, geranium, marjoram, and ylang ylang. Aromatherapy works well on me, so why not give it a try for Seamus?

I used the Travel Calm mist by spraying it lightly over the faux-fleece bed in my car’s travel crate, but there are multiple ways to use Earth Heart products. You can spray some on cotton balls to use as a sachet of sorts, spray your fingertips and then massage the dog’s ears and abdomen, or spray it on a blanket or the interior of the car. The formula is safe even for use on 8-week-old puppies.

Seamus didn’t turn into a car-riding angel overnight from using the spray, but I can honestly say that his level of anxiety has been ratcheted down by a noticeable degree. He will actually sit in the car during car rides, and he doesn’t drool quite as much. He’s 9; he’ll never be perfectly at home in the car, but any chance we can get to help him feel a little better is a win for everybody. I know I enjoyed traveling with the scent of Travel Calm in the car!

Earth Heart’s other formulas include Canine Calm, which helps dogs through stressful situations such as thunderstorms, grooming, and vet visits, Buzz Guard insect repellent, and Guard Well mist, which helps dogs cope with itching, swelling, or minor illnesses brought on by chemical or environmental irritants, viruses, dry air, or long-term use of medications.

In addition to the products themselves, the newly-redesigned Earth Heart website contains resources on aromatherapy and health, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), and information about Earth Heart’s Nonprofit Partner Program.

Earth Heart products can be found in brick-and-mortar and online stores across the USA and Canada, or you can order from the Earth Heart website.

Current Specials

Earth Heart is offering the following promotion for followers and fans of Shaggy Dog Stories:

To help you and your dog better survive Summer Travel, Earth Heart is offering a special deal for followers of Shaggy Dog Stories.

Assemble your ‘Shaggy Dog Travel Kit’ by selecting 3 or more products from the Earth Heart website. Enter the code ShaggyTravel at checkout to receive your $11.98 discount (that’s one FREE product with your online order of 3 or more products).

Offer good between now and Memorial Day. (Be sure to order by May 15th to guarantee delivery in time for the holiday weekend.)

Want To Win Some?

In addition to a multi-bottle discount that anybody can use, Earth Heart Inc. is letting us give away a bottle of Travel Calm mist! We know there are a lot of friends out there planning vacations and trips to dog shows with new puppies this year (plus some adults like Seamus who just aren’t fans of the car). How about winning a bottle to make the journey easier for your little buddy? All you have to do is follow our Wicked Simple Rules…

Wicked Simple Rules

  1. Go visit the Earth Heart website. You’re welcome to use the special discount code to order while you’re there.
  2. Visit the Earth Heart page on Facebook and give them a Like.
  3. Come on back to this blog and leave a comment. Let us know which Earth Heart formula is your favorite. Just make sure to leave it on the blog. We really enjoy Facebook comments, but they won’t help you enter the giveaway.
  4. We’d never turn down a Like on our Facebook page, either.

As always, we pick the lucky winnah by comment number using a random number picking script, then contact that same lucky winnah by email. If you’re a Facebook friend, you might also get a Facebook message. However you hear about your good fortune, you need to respond within a week, or the “You snooze, you lose” rule will be invoked. Just sayin’.

The website promotion continues until Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day), but contest entries close on Friday, May 18.


Review and Giveaway: Mutt Nose Best Natural Pet Products

Seriously. These products smell good enough to eat! (not that I’ve tried)

In the interests of full disclosure, I’ve had a major bias in favor of Mutt Nose Best long before I asked Jenny (the founder of the company) about doing a review and giveaway. My friends Ashley and Prudence over at Of Cows’ Tails and Chew Toys have been working with Mutt Nose Best, and Pru has even been a celebrity spokesmodel for the company! In addition, I have a particular fondness for local enterprise. The fact that MNB supports Logan’s Legacy, the drive to help my friend Suzan fund the costs for her next service dog, just endears them to me even more. I wish I’d asked MNB sooner; we could have had their wonderful products at the 2011 Beardie National!

Anyway… back to the products. We received a generous sampling of Mutt Nose Best products to try:

Other lines of SPAW products include U. Puppy Dog (hypoallergenic unscented products for puppies) and U. Pumpkin Patch Pup, which makes your dog smell like pumpkin pie. How great is that?! Mutt Nose best also produces a natural healing balm for cracked noses and paw pads, a gentle ear and eye wipes formula complete with ingenious shaped wipes that fit your finger, and naturally shed Maine deer antler chews.

All of Mutt Nose Best’s products are produced from natural and organic ingredients, with as many as possible coming from local producers. The cleaning products are free of sulfates, and everything is produced with an eye to keeping the company’s carbon footprint as small as possible. The shampoos and conditioners come as 22:1 concentrates, so the little 4-ounce bottles of concentrate and the right amount of water will produce over 5 gallons of regular-strength product. Buy your stuff in groomer gallons, and you’ll have a ginormous supply of great stuff at hand. You’ll save a huge amount of money, time, and driving — plus, you’ll be supporting a local Maine company.

We Tried ‘Em

It took us a while to line up enough dirty and smelly dogs (Charlie, our resident archaeologist, was a repeat customer), but we tried each and every product in our Mutt Nose Best CARE package. Every single one smelled HEAVENLY — so much so that I’m not sure I could possibly pick a favorite. The shampoos did a wonderful job of removing the stink from our chosen victims customers. I loved everything about them — the lather, the cleaning efficiency, the kindness to my skin and the dogs’… and did I mention the fragrances?! Ahhhhhhh.

The U. Berry Clean Dog Conditioner did exactly what it was supposed to do — help smooth out tangles — and it also helped to keep down static electricity. Here in Maine in winter, the dry weather often results in accidental zaps to everybody. Keeping the static down is important with dogs as hairy as ours — otherwise, they could end up with this hairstyle…

Normally, the Beardies don’t smell very “doggy,” unless they’ve managed to get into some fragrant kind of trouble. Even Charlie, the old dirt fanatic, smells like clean laundry when he’s been outside in the sunshine. We tried the Eau de Toilet sprays on the dogs anyway, knowing we’d love the scent. It lingers; Badger smelled like blueberry muffins for breakfast for most of the day.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Conclusion

The only other thing I have to say about Mutt Nose Best’s wonderful products is GET THEM NOW. Really. NOW. Not only will you have the fun of using enchanting-smelling, organic, green, safe products on your pups, but you’ll be supporting a terrific local company.

Get Some For Free!

We just happen to be giving away a Premium Gift Package of U. Berry Clean Dog products. You’ll get 4-ounce bottles of the Wild Maine Blueberry Shampoo, Conditioner, and Eau de Toilet Spray, all packed up elegantly inside a Mutt Nose Best logo travel dog bowl!

If you want it, just follow these Wicked Simple Rules…

Wicked Simple Rules

  1. Go visit the Mutt Nose Best website, then come back to this blog and leave a comment about what other product line of theirs you think you’d like best. Make sure you leave your comments on the blog. We adore Facebook comments, but we don’t count them toward entries.
  2. Like Mutt Nose Best on Facebook.
  3. While you’re there, please show a little love for the Shaggy Dog Stories Facebook page.

Entries close on Friday, February 3. Best of luck!


Review and Giveaway: EO Pet Care Products

EO Products' new line of canine care products. You'll love them!

Northern California-based EO Products is a family-owned company that creates Earth-friendly products from the highest grade natural and certified organic materials. EO’s products are all free of dyes and artificial fragrances, and the distinctive blue bottles are made from recycled plastic.

If you shop for soap and shampoo in stores with large “natural and organic” sections or in natural food stores, you’re probably familiar with their personal care and cleaning products in the distinctive blue plastic bottles. EO Products has now expanded the company’s offerings to include a line of high-quality pet care products.

The first thing you should know about EO Products is that EO stands for Essential Oils. Just open up the top of any EO product and inhale, and you’ll immediately understand the difference between essential oils and artificial fragrances. A lot of artificial fragrances end up smelling like old cigarette butts once the top notes have worn off — but these products smell absolutely wonderful, both before and after the bath.

The Big Test

We always seem to pick on 14-year-old Charlie for our shampoo and grooming product tests, but he just makes the selection process so easy. He loves to dig (and sometimes to eat dirt), so his face and feet are often browner than the rest of him. He loves to be wet (whether from rain or ocean), and the only thing he likes better is to be wet and muddy.

Ha! Caught in the act!

Anyway, lucky Chuckie ended up being our test doggie for our sample EO Products. Since I have to bathe him, we might as well use products that are kind to his old coat and skin, as well as to my skin.

I can’t speak for him, since he was less than thrilled about taking part in the experiment, but I absolutely enjoyed giving Charlie the EO Products beauty treatment. The gorgeous lavender fragrance filled the bathroom, the hall, and a goodly part of the house. The Natural Dog shampoo and conditioner worked exactly as expected, and Charlie emerged clean and sweet-smelling (if a bit less than thrilled). The shampoo and conditioner contain aloe, so my hands benefited a little, too. I didn’t need to run for the hand cream once I was done with the rinse cycle.

Charlie’s coat is clipped, so we didn’t really need to use the Natural Dog Groomer spray on him. I did give him a couple of spritzes just to sample the lovely citrus and mint fragrance. A real test would be to use the spray on him to freshen him up and add moisture to his coat in between lavender-scented baths. I’ll try that next, but in the meantime, Charlie looks and smells pretty durn good…

Looking good, Charlie!

On Special This Week!

This week — November 14-20 — EO Products is offering a 50% off sale on these heavenly-smelling, earth-friendly, skin-friendly pet products! You can try the Natural Dog shampoo and conditioner for a mere $5 each, or the grooming spray for a pittance of $4. The Natural Dog grooming gift set, which includes one bottle of each product in a recycled cardboard and paper presentation basket, is only $23.77! If you’re looking around for gifts that any dog owner would appreciate, you can hardly do better than to stock up on all of these items at these prices, plus get free shipping for orders over $35 in the bargain! Heck, even I will be stocking up, and I never start my Christmas shopping early! (Not only that, but I loved the fragrances of the dog products so much that I need to try the people products next!)

How About Free? Is Free a Good Price?

Our test package from EO Products. You could win a basket just like this one!

If you’d really like to try before you buy, we can help. We’re giving away a Natural Dog grooming gift set just like the one we tested. All you have to do is follow the Wicked Simple Rules…

Wicked Simple Rules

  1. Visit the EO Products website and tell me which other EO product you’d like to try. Make sure to leave the comment on the blog. We love and encourage Facebook comments, but they just don’t count toward the prize.
  2. Like EO Products on Facebook. Once you’ve done that, come back to the blog and comment that you did so. This gets you one additional entry.
  3. Follow EO Products on Twitter, and then come on back and comment that you did so. This gets you yet another entry.

We’ve moved to a random number picking program, so I don’t have to hassle my other half for random numbers every time we end a giveaway. This is why it works to your advantage to make separate entries for every comment.

Entries close on Wednesday, November 23.


We Have a Winnah!

Congratulations to Tiffany Doucette of Canton, ME and her Brittany for being the lucky recipients of the All Terrain Products insect repellent and pet shampoo! Because the poor pupster gets covered with black fly bites during the summer, Tiffany chose the pet version of Herbal Armor as well as that heavenly peppermint pet shampoo.

As always, our winner is determined through a completely random drawing by comment number. I ask Greg to pick a number, and he does — and that’s how we get a winner.

Our next terrific giveaway is on its way to us right now, and I have no idea which products are inside. All of you who love all-natural, organic, and green pet products will be happy to see the brand name on the next giveaway, though! Be sure to come back and enter!


Review and a Giveaway: All Terrain Products

It always pleases me to be able to discover and review locally-made products. The All Terrain company is based in Sunapee, NH — not terribly far from here, but close enough to know what it’s like to try enjoying the great outdoors in our area during Mud Season, Blackfly Season, and all of our many other seasons involving bugs and dirt.

Here’s how it all started: A bottle of DEET-based insect repellent leaked inside a hiker’s backpack while he was hiking in Costa Rica. The repellent managed to eat through the backpack and melt the keys on a calculator. Makes one wonder what this stuff is doing on bare skin, doesn’t it?

From that experience discovering the solvent properties of insect repellent, the hiker became inspired to research and develop a greener, kinder type of product: the Herbal Armor insect repellent. All Terrain now offers over 50 natural personal and pet care products ranging from sunscreens and hand sanitizers to the Disney Channel’s Phineas & Ferb line of outdoor products for kids.

Our evaluation package contained these terrific products.

We were invited to try one human product and one pet product: the original Herbal Armor DEET-free insect repellent and the peppermint-scented variety of the Pet Wonder shampoo. Both products are biodegradable and come in environmentally-friendly packaging. The Pet Wonder shampoo even comes in an unscented variety for particularly sensitive dogs and owners.

First, the Shampoo

It didn’t take long for us to get our first guinea pig — er, volunteer to help test the Pet Wonder shampoo. 14-year-old Charlie loves dirt, loves rolling in rotten stuff, and hates it when we don’t think he smells as nice as he thinks he does.

Charlie would have completed the Big Dig on time and under budget.

I can’t say for sure that Charlie enjoyed this bath any more than he has enjoyed any others, but I certainly did! Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap is a staple of our household, and we’re used to that scent — but the sweet clouds of peppermint from the Pet Wonder shampoo might possibly have put old Dr. Bronner to shame. It felt as though we were bathing Charlie in peppermint Life Savers. Of course the shampoo succeeded at its primary task of de-grunging the old mud puppy and leaving his coat clean and shiny… but oh, the smell! I could easily have used the stuff myself. I still might.

According to the bottle, the cleansing power of the shampoo comes from sea salt. Aside from that and peppermint oil, the shampoo also contains olive and tea tree oils and a food-grade caramel coloring (plus purified water, vegetable glycerin, and some other organic compounds).

Next, the Insect Repellent

Herbal Armor is the flagship product of All Terrain, and with good reason: it was awarded Best Gear by National Geographic Adventure in 2006. The citronella oil keeps mosquitoes, deerflies, and other pests at bay. Other active ingredients include oils of cedar, peppermint, lemongrass, and geranium.

My other half, who is an ardent runner/hiker and a longtime connoisseur of insect repellents, spotted the Herbal Armor on my desk and exclaimed, “Hey, that’s good stuff!”. Our medicine cabinet contains at least one container of everything from Ben’s 100 to Deep Woods Off, but Herbal Armor is by far the most pleasant-smelling. If you have to spend all day with a fragrance, it might as well be one you can stand. If your insect repellent contains safe ingredients, you’ll be more inclined to wear it and spritz it on your family. (All Terrain does specify that Herbal Armor should not be used on babies under 6 months of age, however.)

After weeks of nothing but rain, we finally received a brief visit from Old Sol himself. That glimpse of sunshine was all that the local pest population needed to turn the puddles into mosquito factories. In spite of the emerging swarms, I have received only one bite thus far — at a time when I wasn’t wearing repellent. Herbal Armor might possibly get me through the summer!

All Terrain makes special formulations of Herbal Armor for kids and for pets.

Want to Try Some?

We’re giving away a bottle of Pet Wonder shampoo and a 4-ounce pump bottle of Herbal Armor. All you need to do to win is to visit the All Terrain website and comment on which item (other than the ones we’re giving away) would be most useful to you. Next, specify which scent of shampoo you’d like to win (peppermint or unscented) and which formulation of Herbal Armor (adults, kids, or pets).

Please make sure to comment on this blog. Comments on Facebook, while cherished and enjoyed, won’t win you any goodies. The winner will be chosen at random by entry number. We’ll do the drawing on Wednesday, June 8.

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