Archive for the ‘training products’ Category

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: EzyDog Quick-Fit Harness

Famous Seamus, our celebrity model, models the Quick-Fit Harness

Both Badger and Seamus have been taking classes in K-9 Nosework this term. Both have taken to it enthusiastically — after all, they both possess the one piece of equipment every dog needs to succeed in the sport (a nose).

Using a harness isn’t required for training in scent work, but it’s pretty helpful. For the tentative novice dog (including dogs who have been trained not to sniff the ground), using a harness removes the usual feel of a leash for guiding and navigation. It also gives a context to the dog: “When you’re wearing this, it’s OK to sniff.”

Our EzyDog® Quick-Fit™ harness arrived just as Badger was beginning nosework classes — so we were able to road-test it immediately. The harness is made of heavy woven nylon with neoprene lining and a rubber chest plate. It was dirt-simple to fit the harness on Badger, and the chest adjustment fit neatly under the neoprene chest plate. If you plan to use the harness for outdoor activities that involve getting wet, it will dry quickly, and won’t rot if you take it to the beach. Reflective stitching improves visibility if you’re still out when it gets dark.

Here’s a closer-up photo from the EzyDog site showing the important parts of the harness, namely the buckle (which fastens behind the front legs, on the dog’s left side) and the D-ring where the leash attaches…

I used the red one because our test harness is red. These harnesses come in four solid colors and two camo prints.

The EzyFit harness comes in six (count ‘em!) sizes ranging from XXS to XL, so there’s one out there to fit your dog. Just for reference, our model Seamus’s girth measures 28″, so he fits into a size Large. He and Badger are standard-sized Beardies, so you can use them as guidelines. Even better: if the harness you’re trying is the wrong size for your dog, a red tab appears to indicate that you need to try something larger or smaller.

The harnesses aren’t just for walking and tracking, though. Add the optional seat belt restraint, which clips into your car seat belt and onto the harness, and your dog can be safely restrained while riding in the car.

Our harness immediately drew questions from our nosework classmates. It’s sturdy, good-looking, well-made, and easy to put on and take off. In addition, they’re very reasonably priced. The size Large costs $26.00, and you can order it from the EzyDog online store or use the store locator to find a place that carries them. (There were no stores listed in Maine.)

EzyDog guarantees its products for one year against material and workmanship defects. The company also makes several designs of jackets and flotation jackets, backpacks, and other equipment for dogs and dog owners.

You can Like EzyDog on Facebook, too.

A Quick PostScript

EzyDog also sent us the Cujo Leash, which comes with a handle and shock-absorbing stretch material to help cushion your arm against hard pulling from your dog. None of my dogs pull, so we didn’t get any results worth noting. However, I know a brawny young Bouvier whose owner really could use the shock absorption, so we’re planning to take the Cujo Leash up to her house and try it on him. Expect another EzyDog review and adventure story in the future!


Review and Giveaway: Purina ProCare Products

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably remember that 14-year-old Charlie has been having his share of health challenges lately. After recovering from a bout of vestibular disease, the poor old guy also underwent surgery to remove a golf-ball-sized tumor from his neck. He has recovered completely from both issues, and appears to be as healthy and happy as ever. All the same, he reminds us that it just isn’t easy being an old dog sometimes.

Looking good, Charlie!

Another effect of being an old dog is needing to go out more frequently than the younger ones do. Although he can let himself out through the dog door, Charlie is reluctant to navigate the back stairs in the darkness down to the ground (who could blame him?), so he chooses not to go outside at all. I’ve been leaving housetraining pads near the back door in an area that’s easy to clean.

One thing I’ve learned through this development is that not all training pads are created equal. I had been buying large packages of the one available brand at the local big-box store, and have been less than impressed with the quality of the product. Although the pads are big enough and the plastic backing seems solid enough, the big-box pads are a tad short on absorption. There have been mornings where I’ve had to be very, very careful to wrap and pick up a standing puddle on top of the pad that was supposed to absorb it. Older dogs produce a lot more pee than puppies do. This means that owners of older dogs (and large breed puppies) demand more from a training pad than most folks in the target market do.

And then our Purina ProCare test kit arrived...!

When our test package arrived from the oneCARE Company, I couldn’t wait to open it and compare the Purina ProCare™ Ultra Dry Advanced training pads with the big-box brand…

Big Box Special on the left, Purina ProCare on the right

You probably don’t spend much time scrutinizing the details of pee pads either, but I found some major differences between the two right away. Note on the left that the pad has a thin layer of some tissue-looking stuff on top of the backing, and that the absorbent “tissue” stops short of the edges of the pad. The rightmost pad has a “honeycombed” appearance, and is much thicker. In addition, those “honeycombs” contain super-absorbent gel as well as an odor neutralizer and a puppy attractant. The gel is the same as that used in diapers and feminine products. (The puppy attractant works, too. Badger used one of the pads for target practice.)

We’ve had a chance to use several of the Ultra Dry Advanced training pads since they arrived. I’m glad to report that we no longer have standing puddles on top of the pads in the morning. Be aware that the pads are somewhat likely to tear when wet, so pick them up carefully. These pads aren’t necessarily fragile, but if your dog tries a little “covering” behavior on them — as Charlie did once — they will rip a bit.

You can find the Ultra Dry Advanced training pads at specialty pet retailers (such as Petco) in packs of 10, 30, and 50. Each pack comes in an easy-to-store, easy-to-dispense box.

We absolutely plan to switch to the Ultra Dry Advanced training pads. Farewell to standing puddles!

But That’s Not All!

Our sample kit also included this:

Purina ProCare Carpet & Upholstery Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator.

Purina ProCare Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator comes in multiple formulas: one for hard surfaces, an Oxy Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator, and one for carpets and upholstery. We’ve had a chance to try out the Carpet and Upholstery formula a couple of times.

These cleaners feature pro-enzyme technology, which is a six-enzyme blend designed to eliminate many different types of stains. The dual-action cleaner lifts stains from the surface and cleans the carpet fibers, while the odor eliminator kills odors on contact, thus removing the temptaion to revisit the scene of the crime. The enzymes and bacteria continue to break down deep-set stains and odors until they have been completely eliminated. These cleaners are safe to use on all water-safe surfaces, including carpets, upholstery, pet beds, and litter boxes, and are safe to use around children and pets. The Carpet and Upholstery formula has even been certified by the Carpet & Rug Institute.

One thing I appreciated immediately about the ProCare Carpet and Upholstery Formula is the lack of perfume. Many cleaners add strong fragrances; I’m not sensitive to perfumes, but sometimes the fragrances in cleaners are barely better than the fragrances of the stuff you’re cleaning up. This formula has a more subtle scent, which makes it easy to live with. It works exactly as advertised: it goes to work, it gets rid of the stain and smell, and it left no marks, fade spots, or residue on the carpet. I plan to add an extra bottle to my “just in case” cleanup kit for dog shows.

Need One of Your Own?

Purina ProCare products training pads and carpet upholstery cleaner

Win a 10-pack of training pads and a bottle of cleaner, just like this set.

Do you have a new puppy, or one on the way? How about an older dog (like Charlie), or a new-to-you dog who is still mastering the concepts of housetraining? If any of these situations sound like yours, then enter this giveaway for a chance to get these great products sent right to your door!

You Know the Drill

To win this fabulous kit, just follow these simple rules:

  1. Visit Purina ProCare on the web.
  2. Leave a comment on this blog and let me know why you need the kit to come to your house. Only comments on the blog count as entries. Comments on Facebook, while lots of fun, don’t count.

As always, the lucky winner will be selected at random by comment number. The drawing will take place on Saturday, September 24.

Love your dog? Love your floors, too? Come on and enter!

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