Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Natural Balance Pumpkin Dental Chews

This month, we had the pleasure of trying out some awesome Natural Balance Pumpkin Dental Chews from Chewy.com

The Natural Balance Pumpkin Dental Chews are grain free. They don't have the most amazing list of ingredients, but don't have anything horrible, and since these are treats meant to be a small part of the diet, I find them to be high enough quality for that. It helps that Koira absolutely loves them.

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I tortured her a little bit on our walk this past weekend and made her pose with one of the dental chews. Can you see it sitting on her paw? It perfectly blends into the leaves if you aren't looking for it.

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Koira has never been one to look glamorous while eating. She ended up having to break the chew into three pieces and eat each piece by itself, since, as you can see above, the entire chew was too wide to fit in her mouth easily.

Overall, Koira really enjoyed these chews. They are made with decent ingredients. They smell good when you open the package. And they go great as a fall themed treat. I'd certainly consider getting them again.

We were sent this product for free in exchange for our honest review, but weren't compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are our own.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

New Flyball Video

I had a teammate take some video of Koira at practice on the 15th to show the progress of where we are now.

In the video, you can see that we are still doing a drill with her where I am up next to the box. For the first three heats, I reward her right next to the box. The last three, I take off running to reward her in the runback area. (Side tip: Don't try to outrun your dog. You can't.) Koira is still double stepping on the way toward the box in some of these runs. In some, though, single strides all the way. And even the ones that are double stepping are much faster than the double stepping was back in July. Overall, I'm pleased with the progress we've made.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fit Friday: West Paw Zogoflex Air Dash and Glycoflex Plus Giveaway Winner

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This month, I had the pleasure of reviewing the West Paw Zogoflex Air Dash frisbee toy for Chewy.com.

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West Paw is an American company based in Montana who concentrates on making high quality, safe, and durable toys for dogs. The Zogoflex Air Dash is basically a frisbee made out of the Zogoflex material used in many of the West Paw toys.

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The Air Dash is a bit on the heavier side, which takes a bit to adjust to when you first throw it. But it isn't so heavy as to be hard to throw or overly awkward.

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Were Pallo a bit more talented, and the human a bit better at throwing, I am sure that some good air catches could be done with this disc. It isn't what I would use for doing freestyle disc competitions or anything, just due to the weight. But, I think it makes a great all-around play toy for most dogs.

In addition to your normal tosses in a field, the Air Dash floats, so you can use it in the water too.

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The wavy build of this disc is something I really like. On land, it allows the dog to pick it up when it lands right side up without having to scratch and paw at it like with a normal disc. It also makes it more visible in the air, which I think would make it easier for a dog to see for a mid-air catch.

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In water, the wavy design means that the disc floats a little higher in some places, making it easier for a dog swimming to spot it.

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With a little practice, it is easy to get this disc to go where you want it, which makes me think it would be a good toy for dock diving, especially for those humans who have trouble throwing other toys very far, since as a disk it naturally goes farther than different types of toys.

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Overall, I was a big fan of the Air Dash. Even after a full session of play, it had not a single mark from teeth.

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And, Pallo really seemed to enjoy playing with it. He happy retrieved it both on land and in the water, and I think he had a really good time.

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I'd certainly consider purchasing one of these in the future if this one were to get lost, or get a second one for Koira. I would probably go for the Currant color for Koira, though. The Dandelion color (which is here) matches Pallo's lifejacket, and the Currant would match Koira's lifejacket. There is also a third color option, Peacock, if you don't like the Dandelion or Currant. 

And then, what you've all been waiting for: The winner of the Glycoflex Plus giveaway I posted last Friday is Steve McComb, whose two dogs Chaos and Navy could both use a new supplement after a hip surgery on Chaos a few years ago, and Navy with four knee surgeries. I hope they enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fit Friday: Tournament Wrap-Up and Glycoflex Plus Giveaway

Koira in her Back on Track jacket, chilling out after running.

The tournament this past weekend was great. We headed up to Ridgefield, WA for the weekend, staying at a Motel 6 (yay to no pet limits or pet fees) a little bit north in a cute little town. I shared a hotel room with a teammate, which was fun and saved us both some money, which is always great.

My team, Animal House, has a sort of reciprocal relationship with the host club for this weekend, Stumptown. Basically, they own mats for about one ring of the tournament, and we own mats for one ring, so we borrow the mats from the other club in order to have a two ring tournament, and we also send people to help them set up, and they send people to help us set up at our tournament. It is a great arrangement, as it makes things that much easier for both clubs. I went up on Friday (leaving late due to Pallo's seizure the night before, arranging vet visit for this week, picking up meds for Koira, and having a flat tire on the car) to help with set up. You have no idea how much work goes into a tournament until you are part of it.

It was all worth it, though. The tournament, as I said, was pretty great. One of the things I am the most happy with is Koira's performance.

I made sure that Koira got a nice long warm up and a bit of active stretching before every single race. She got to go out to potty, giving her a bit of trotting and movement. We did stretches to each side, bows, sit pretties, waves, and some low tugging, all of which helps get her limber and warm and ready to go. We also made sure to use her Back on Track jacket, which is basically a ceramic infused fabric that is supposed to help keep muscles warm and prevent cramping. Race horses use these jackets, and a lot of the top sport dogs do as well. I don't know that it is any more effective than any other lightweight jacket with the same coverage would be, but since I have it, I use it. I do like how well it covers, with it really getting down to the elbows, down over the hips and butt, and up the neck and down over the chest and belly. This jacket went on as soon as we finished our cool down walk after a race when Koira went back into her crate, and came off right before we went into the ring.

No pictures of my own dogs since I am the one with the camera, but here is a fun one of another dog crossing the finish line.

For our warm ups in the ring, I did the drill I've been doing with Koira, where someone else releases her and I reward her right after her box turn up close. The whole point is to increase her confidence and drive to the box. I couldn't have done it without the help of my own team and the help of other teams as well, especially Stumptown and Fierce Flyers, whose people stepped in when asked and helped out with releasing Koira when my own team didn't have extra people. There is something awesome about a team sport where not only does your own team help support you, but where every person on every team in the region will step up and help when needed. It is something I love about this sport for sure.

But, long story short, Koira rocked it this weekend. She started in all of her races (4 races on Saturday, 5 on Sunday, 4/4 heats both days). My start times weren't amazing, but with the exception of one absurdly early start, we did pretty good. My best start was 0.009 in the first heat of the first race on Sunday. Koira's times back in June and July weren't great- 6.0-6.5 seconds for almost every run. So imagine my happy surprise when she was putting in her previous times of 5.0-5.3 on average, with only a few heats slower, even on Sunday afternoon. She was double striding on the way to the box most of the time, but doing it fast. I hope with more work and longer on the Glycoflex Plus she will go back to single striding the jumps.

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Wyatt, an Aussie who has been with Animal House from the beginning (and on two teams before that) crossing the finish line of his final title earning heat.

Something else that just helped keep the mood up and the energy there all weekend was having Wyatt, one of the founding dogs on Animal House, get his 30k point title, FDGCh, in the first race on Sunday morning. He is such a great dog, and his owner Patty is the "fearless leader" (as I call her to her amusement sometimes) of Animal House. So being part of Wyatt getting such a high title and high achievement really put some jazz into everyone on the team this weekend.

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Team celebration and congratulations after the title heat was completed correcting and in time. It had to be a quick celebration so they could get back to the race, but it was joyous all the same.

So all in all, it was a really great weekend for everyone.

Now, for the giveaway part of this!

As I've posted about before, I signed Koira up for the Glycoflex Plus Challenge by Vetriscience (which you can still sign up for!). Basically, Koira is taking Glycoflex Plus for free for a month. I posted a "before" video of her before we started the supplement. I still need to get an "after" video because I forgot to have someone video at the tournament or at practice last night. But given that her times at this most recent tournament improved 1-1.5 whole seconds (which for those not involved in the sport, this is HUGE, teams often win by the fraction of the second!), I think it is safe to say that the Glycoflex Plus is helping. I plan on keeping Koira on it for the foreseeable future. And sure, some of the improvement is probably from training and drills that we've done in the meantime. But a supplement is just that- it supplements whatever else you are doing. If your dog has hind end weakness, you don't just give a supplement, you also do exercises and activity that will maintain or boost hind end strength. But I am pretty sold on this supplement being a big help.

And, thanks to the generosity of Vetriscience, the makers of Glycoflex, I am able to give away a bag of Glycoflex Plus to one of my readers! This means that if you sign up for the Glycoflex Challenge and get your free bag, you can win a bag that would give you a second month (or more depending on how much your dog needs) of product. Or, if you haven't done the challenge, you can enter this giveaway and win a bag to try, no strings.

For this giveaway, I decided to skip the gadgets and tech used for tracking entries. Instead, I'll track it with comments. Leave a comment here on this blog post. If you don't know what to comment, just tell me why you think your dog would benefit from Glycoflex Plus. But you can comment anything you like. You get one entry for commenting on the blog. If you want to stop over at the Vetriscience website and check it out, stop back by here and leave a comment telling me what other product you are interested in from their lines of human, canine, and feline products and why. Each comment is an entry, up to the total of two per person (one general comment, and one after visiting Vetrisceince). Unfortunately, I do have to restrict this to US shipping addresses only. Winner will be announced next Friday, October 9th.

Disclosure: I was given GlycoFlex Plus product for free in exchange for an honest review and promotion of the Glycoflex Challenge. I was provided with a free product to give away to a reader. The opinions expressed here are entirely our own honest experience with this product.