When Tallulah and I traveled with our humans to BlogPaws 2017 a few months ago, we learned about a new app that connects dog lovers with dog-friendly places all over the United States. It’s called Slobbr, and we love the tagline: “Live Life With Your Dog.”
Slobbr allows you to enter a zip code and then find nearby dog-friendly spots. It’s bee
n a little hot and humid unbearably miserable lately here in New Orleans, but I suspect Tallulah and I will be using Slobbr more when the temperatures start to cool . . . in about three months. We also think this would be a great app to use on road trips, and you know we love a road trip.
And here’s the best thing about Slobbr: Every time you use the app or your browser (at Slobbr.com) to check in at one of the suggested dog-friendly establishments, Slobbr will donate a half-cup of kibble to a pre-selected rescue or shelter. This month Wellness is doing the honors and the New Hampshire SPCA is the recipient of that goodness. Our BlogPaws 2017 swag bag just happened to include a bag of Wellness CORE freeze-dried beef treats.
You want to know what’s in these treats? Beef. Just beef. No grains. No artificial flavors. No preservatives. Just 100% freeze-dried beef. Now that’s slobber-worthy. So whether you’re checking out a few dog-friendly spots using the Slobbr app this weekend or enjoying some slobber-worthy treats (or doing both), Tallulah and I wish you good times and good cheer!
Do you have any big plans this weekend?
When we unpacked our BlogPaws 2017 swag bags a few weeks ago, my human mommy noticed a couple of treats containing hemp. This made her curious (it just made me hungry), so she decided to do a little research. Turns out hemp is the hot new thing in pet care. Here’s what you need to know:
HEMP IS NOT MARIJUANA–Hemp and marijuana both come from the same plant–Cannabis sativa–and they both contain two major cannabinoids–THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). But the similarities end there. Marijuana contains higher levels of THC, the psychoactive chemical that causes a “high.” Hemp contains a higher level of CBD, which reduces the psychoactive effects of THC. So, if you humans were thinking about eating hemp dog treats to get a little buzz, forget about it. Hemp treats won’t get your pets high and they won’t get you high either.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF HEMP?–It’s important to note that peer-reviewed research is lacking, so information about the benefits of hemp for dogs is largely anecdotal. That said, the following anecdotal benefits of hemp seed oil for dogs have been suggested:
- strengthens the immune system
- boosts skin and coat health while reducing flaking and shedding
- boosts energy and supports a healthy weight
- supports healthy organ and heart health
- supports healthy brain functions
- acts as an anti-inflammatory
- aids healthy growth and development
- produces positive effects on fertility/reproduction
- reduces anxiety
- lessens the associated side effects of chemotherapy
Enough of Mommy’s type of research, Tallulah and I were ready to do our own sort of science: the taste tests.
First we sampled the Treatibles CBD pumpkin grain-free chews. The ingredients list reads like something you’d find at the finest healthy human bakeries: hemp-derived phytocannabinoids (CBD, CBN, CBG), gluten-free oat flour, pumpkin, peanut butter, organic coconut oil, brown rice flour, apple sauce, organic coconut nectar, organic hemp seed oil, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, xanthan gum, and potato starch. Coconut oil is an antioxidant that is good for our coats and skin; pumpkin helps digestion; and peanut butter has high levels of protein. Plus, the treats are gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. Here’s what the Treatibles website says about the source of the hemp the company uses in its chews:
The non-psychoactive cannabinoids used in our proprietary formula are sourced from hemp grown in Colorado. It is a full plant extract which contains terpenes and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBDA and CBDV. This extract contains no THC.
But best of all, they taste great! They come in two sizes: small-to-medium for dogs up to 50 pounds and large for dogs over 50 pounds. Tallulah and I tasted the small-to-medium Treatibles chews . . . so we could eat a few extras. The Treatibles website offers a store locator. A few specialty pet shops in my area carry the products. You can also use the site to purchase online (a bag of small-to-medium pumpkin chews–roughly 36 Treatibles–is $24; shipping for orders over $40 is free). By the way, Treatibles was established in 2013 and is based in California.
Next we tried True Leaf Pet’s True Hemp chews in the health support for dogs formula. (Seriously, this photo part is so tedious. When does the tasting start?) These treats contain ground hemp seed, hemp oil, DHA (an Omega 3 source derived from whole-cell algae that supports cognitive health), polyphenols and pomegranate, salmon, buckwheat flour, yellow pea flour, sunflower seed oil, blackstrap molasses, vegetable glycerin, natural fish flavor, citric acid, and mixed tocopherols. The back of the bag lists the following benefits of hemp:
- one of nature’s most balanced and richest sources of fatty acids
- contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 in an optimal 3:1 ratio
- one of the few plants containing GLA (gamma linolenic acid, known to fight cancer, reduce joint pain, and improve skin and coat)
- naturally supports the body’s response to inflammation
- contains tocopherols, a natural antioxidant
I don’t know about the back of that bag, but Tallulah and I can certainly attest to the tasty nature of what’s inside the bag. The True Leaf pet website offers a store locator option. Sadly, there are no retailers near my house, but my sleuthing human mommy did find their hip-and-joint and calming chews on Amazon for less than $19. You can also order directly from the website. The Canadian company is a division of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., which was established in 2013 for humans. True Leaf Pet was started in 2015 and here’s what the website says about the source of its hemp:
The hemp used in our proprietary formula is grown in Ontario, Canada. This extract contains no THC and in non-psychoactive.
Tallulah and I are pretty excited about the new treats we’ve discovered, and our human mommy is equally excited to have discovered the health benefits of hemp. If you’d like to read more, she suggests the following sources:
- FAQ: What You Need to Know About Hemp and Dogs from Veterinary Practice News
- The Benefits of Hemp See Oil for Dogs! from K9 Instinct
- Hemp for Dogs: Should You Use It? from Dogs Naturally
- Benefits of Hemp for Dogs from Keep the Tail Wagging
Do my new little puppy friends remind you of anyone? Maybe this will help jog your memory.
That’s right. They’re the stuffed version of that cute puppy that sang the Bayer K9 Advantix commercial. Keeping bugs off of dogs and cats is pretty important business, but now the good people at Bayer are involved in something that’s even more important.
It’s called the Pet and Women’s Safety (PAWS) Act. The PAWS Act is bicameral (that means U.S. House and Senate) and bipartisan (that means Democrats and Republicans) legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by violence against their pets. The act expands existing federal domestic violence protections to include threats or acts of violence against a victim’s pet, and provides grant funding to programs that offer shelter and housing assistance for domestic violence victims with pets. The bill also requires the full amount of the victim’s losses for purposes of restitution in domestic violence and stalking offenses to include any costs incurred for veterinary services relating to physical care for the victim’s pet. Here are a few important statistics for you:
- 71% of pet-owning women entering emergency shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed, or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims.
- 48% of domestic violence survivors report they are unable to escape their abusers because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.
- Fewer than 5% of domestic violence shelters across the country accept pets.
So what can you do to change those statistics? You can start by clicking here to learn more about the PAWS Act and why it’s so important. And then take the next step by writing to your U.S. representatives to urge them to support the PAWS Act. It’s simple. Just click here and scroll down to fill in the information. You don’t even need to know who your representatives are (although you should). The form does all the work for you.
My humans learned about the PAWS Act when we attended the BlogPaws 2017 conference. That’s when my human mommy wrote to our representatives using the form. The results were a little mixed. Representative Cedric Richmond responded quickly, but his obvious form letter was all about this year’s congressional budget and spending process . . . not one mention of or reference to the PAWS Act. At least Senator Bill Cassidy’s letter referenced the actual act and called it “important,” before he said that it’s been referred to a committee on which he doesn’t serve. And from Senator John Kennedy . . . well, Mommy has yet to hear from our junior senator. But she’s not giving up, and I hope you won’t either.
We’ve covered some pretty serious stuff today. I don’t often write about serious things, but this is important. At the BlogPaws conference, Mommy met a lady who had to make the difficult choice to stay in an abusive situation or go to a shelter but leave her pets behind. You can imagine how important her pets were to her. As she said, they were all she had. Fortunately, she found a local shelter that accepts pets. Not all victims of abuse and their pets are as lucky. I hope you’ll take just a few minutes to learn more about the PAWS Act and to take action to protect victims of domestic abuse and their pets across the United States. It’s important.
Remember when I told you about all the stuff that filled our chariot on the road to BlogPaws 2017? Well, on the way home, we had to find a little additional room for these huge duffle bags overflowing with all kinds of fabulous swag. Everyone attending the BlogPaws conference received a swag bag of goodies specifically selected for dogs, cats, or both. Because both of my humans were officially registered, Tallulah and I came home with two bags . . . filled with dog items, of course.
Those two bags sat on top of the dryer in our laundry room for
way too long
Wow, the haul was somewhat overwhelming. We’ve set aside a few things that we think you might like to know about. Look for more on that in the next couple of months . . .
. . . but Mommy and I delivered most of the items to our friends at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). ARNO is a nonprofit, grassroots, volunteer organization founded after Hurricane Katrina. ARNO operates a no-kill triage shelter and has found homes for more than 8,300 companion animals. We can’t think of a better place to paw the BlogPaws love forward.
We also delivered a bag of super yummy and healthy food from The Naked Dog. Here’s a little background info from The Naked Dog website:
In 2014, Marco and Bere Giannini started The Naked Dog with the mission of helping pet parents access only the healthiest products for their pets. Within the next three years, The Naked Dog family grew to 11 retail locations in Southern California and built a group of pet parents dedicated to their grain-free, gluten-free in-house pet food and treat brand, Naked. In 2017, The Naked Dog Box was founded to help broaden the reach of this healthy mission, allowing pet parents across the nation to get Naked with its bi-monthly pet food subscription service. Marco, Bere, and the whole Naked Dog family are proud to have kept their Naked Promise: higher quality pet food and fair prices, available to all.
My friend Emma from My GBGV Life wrote an excellent review of The Naked Dog food and subscription service. I hope you’ll click here to read more. As you can see from the picture above, Tallulah was a little unsure about parting with The Naked Dog food, but I explained to her that the dogs at ARNO would really, really appreciate the donation. I think she understood.
BlogPaws is all about sharing the love and improving the lives of animals. I’m so happy that I could paw it forward by delivering treats, toys, and food to the dogs at Animal Rescue New Orleans. Even with my new shades, I see a bright and shiny future for my shelter friends.
All work and no play can make Golden Retrievers a little stir crazy, so I cannot begin to tell you how excited Tallulah and I were the evening that we snuck away from the business of BlogPaws 2017 to feel the sand between our toes and frolic in the surf on Myrtle Beach.
It was my second time to visit the beach (you can read about my 2014 Florida beach trip and Great Golden Gathering here and here), but it was Tallulah’s first time. My little sister is definitely a beach girl. (It’s not surprising. Her Golden grandmother, Katie, is from Lakewood Golden Retrievers in Melbourne, Florida. My humans and I actually met Katie on our Florida beach visit almost three years ago. At the time, we had absolutely no idea that Tallulah would join our family one day. Life can be funny that way. But I digress.) My human mommy says that if we’d dropped Tallulah’s leash at Myrtle Beach, she would have swum to Cuba. Luckily Daddy kept a tight grip.
If you have four paws and a tail, there are a few of things that you need to know about visiting Myrtle Beach. Animals are not allowed on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 1 to Labor Day. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and–I know all of my friends know this, but some people need to be reminded–please pick up after your pets. Humans go to the beach to feel the sand between their toes . . . not something else. 😉 And for the humans who will be joining their pets at Myrtle Beach, there is plenty of paid parking at little lots all along the beach. My humans learned the hard way, however, that the meters do not take American Express and they do not accept $20 bills, so Daddy had to run across the street to get change. Trust me . . . it was worth it.
Our beach visit was quick, but we’ll cherish the memory forever and ever. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the sea breeze blowing through my hair and my feet sinking into the soft sand. It was magical. Wishing you a magical weekend that creates moments and memories that last forever. Cheers!
There are a whole lot of great things about a BlogPaws conference, but the greatest in my book has to be the people and pets you meet. They’re all so super nice. Way back in March, my human mommy started counting down the days until she’d meet my dear friend Bear’s mom. We fell in love with Bear when we discovered his Love always, Bear blog, and it shattered my mommy’s heart the day Bear crossed the Rainbow Bridge. When our mommies finally met last month, it was as if they’d been friends forever. I guess Goldens just have a way of connecting people. That’s Bear’s mom on the right holding his sister Rosy.
Rosy writes a blog called Rosy Reports and, as Rosy would say, it’s fab. So fab that she was a finalist for not one but two BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Awards. Tallulah and I were honored to pose with her before the big awards dinner, and we were beyond thrilled that Mommy finally got to hug Bear’s mom and we finally got to meet his fabulous sister Rosy.
Photo from Rosy’s Twitter @PrincessRosyRue
We were crushed when another Golden friend, Sugar, crossed the Rainbow Bridge just a couple of months before the BlogPaws conference. How fitting that our friends Sugar and Bear were side-by-side when the 2017 conference Honor Flags were displayed.
Photo from Golden Woofs: Sugar the Golden Retriever Blog
That’s Sugar’s mom holding stuffed Goldie at the conference. (Mommy and Sugar’s mom were so busy hugging every time they saw each other that silly Mommy didn’t think about getting a photo.) I’m so super happy to report that just as soon as Sugar’s mom and dad got home from BlogPaws 2017 they welcomed a new Golden Retriever into their home and into their hearts. His name is Koru Bear and you can click here to see how incredibly handsome he is.
Keeping with the Golden theme, meet Honey and her mom. Sweet doesn’t even begin to describe these two. They’re like the best cupcake ever piled high with the richest icing you’ve ever eaten and covered with sprinkles. Yep, that sweet. Honey’s mom blogs at Something Wagging This Way Comes and–get this–they live on a sailboat. It was such a thrill to meet them, and we cannot wait to follow their nautical adventures.
Now I don’t want you to think we only hung out with Golden Retrievers and their humans while we were at BlogPaws 2017. We also met Leroy from My Brown Newfies. Leroy’s mom probably thought my human mommy was a crazy stalker when she leapt from the car and dashed toward Leroy the minute we got to the conference hotel. But, I mean really, who doesn’t love a big handsome hairy guy who drools?
And mommy wasn’t the only one with a BlogPaws 2017 crush. My little sister Tallulah fell in love with Echo from A Girl & Her Husky. Yep, my little sister was that woman who goes to an out-of-town business conference and has a fling. You can’t really blame her. Echo was pretty sharp in his red carpet attire. I guess what happens at BlogPaws stays at BlogPaws . . . wink, wink.
Finally meet Lucy with the Underbite, an adorable Chihuahua-Pug mix who had the time of her life strutting her stuff on the red carpet with Rosy. Lucy and her mom work with DogWatch Hidden Fences, a conference exhibitor, and Lucy has the most adorable Instagram account. Check her out here. I could go on and on about all the amazing people and pets we met at BlogPaws 2017, but I have a better idea. Why don’t you make plans to attend BlogPaws 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri? I promise you’ll meet a whole lot of super nice people and pets.
My humans attended a lot of educational sessions while we were all at BlogPaws 2017. Usually my human daddy and I went to one session while my human mommy and Tallulah went to another. The humans learned about things like creating engaging content, search engine optimization, and analytics. (I know that stuff is important, but it sort of sounds like “blah, blah, and blah” to me.) While the humans took notes and attempted to fill their heads with knowledge, Tallulah and I caught up on our sleep under the conference room tables.
There was one educational session that my humans decided was so important they should attend it together: Dr. Julie Buzby’s “All Hands on Dog: Ten Touches That Could Save Your Dog’s Life.” And I think it’s so important that I’m sharing it with you today. Now I’m pretty sure most of you humans pet your dogs every day . . . several times a day . . . often not even knowing you’re doing it. Speaking for all the dogs out there, let me tell you how unbelievably happy that makes us. But what if just once a week you could pet us in a pattern that would help you to detect changes in our bodies? It just takes a few minutes, and it could lead to an early diagnosis by your veterinarian and better treatment results. So let’s get started. (By the way, I assisted Dr. Buzby as her model while my human daddy held me and my human mommy took pictures. Dr. Buzby, my daddy, and I were excellent. Mommy may need to repeat one of those photography sessions she attended, but you’ll get the picture. Haha . . . get the picture . . . get it?)
TOUCH 1: BODY CONDITION SCORING/WEIGHT
Start with opening strokes all over your dog’s body. Initially, you’re just petting your dog and bonding with him or her. Pretty easy, right? I mean, you do this all the time. Then move on to more purposeful petting. First check for rib cover. Run your hands over your dog’s rib cage. How much fat is over your dog’s ribs? Next look at your dog from the side and touch him or her along the chest and back toward the waist. Does your dog have a nice racehorse tuck? See how my body tapers up from my ribs to my waist? That’s what you’re looking for. Finally, look at and touch your dog from above. You want your dog’s waist to taper in. According to Dr. Buzby, proper weight is the number one thing you can do to extend your dog’s life, so these opening touches are pretty important.
TOUCH 2: SKIN & COAT (AND EXTERNAL PARASITES)
Now move to your dog’s back half where fleas like to congregate. Beginning at the base of the tail, flip your dog’s hair back against the grain and check the skin, working your way toward the head. You’re not only looking for fleas, you’re also looking for flea dirt . . . a nice way to say flea poo. If you’re not sure what flea dirt looks like, click here. Check under your dog’s inner back legs too. That’s another favorite spot for fleas.
TOUCH 3: LUMPS & LYMPH NODES
Run your hands all over your dog’s body checking for any lumps. Pay particular attention to the lymph nodes and check for any swelling. Lymph nodes are located in the neck, under the jowls or lower jaw bone, around the shoulders, at the back of the legs, close to the joints of the legs, and in the groin area. (A quick online check will result in quite a few drawings and photos showing where a dog’s lymph nodes are located.) You might feel something that doesn’t feel quite right to you. Make an appointment with your veterinarian. At best, it’s nothing and you now have a baseline for your weekly assessments. At worst, you’ve detected something that you might not otherwise have noticed until much later.
TOUCH 4: EARS
Here you get to use two additional human senses: sight and smell. Flip your dog’s ears back and have a look. They should be clean. Now have a little sniff. A foul odor could indicate an ear infection.
TOUCH 5: EYES
According to Dr. Buzby, eye problems can turn into emergencies very quickly. Eyes should be clear and without discharge.
TOUCH 6: MOUTH (LIPS, GUMS, AND TEETH)
A main objective behind getting to know your dog’s body through the weekly 10 touches is establishing your dog’s baselines. For instance, if your dog’s eyes look one way from week to week, you’ll notice immediately when there’s a change. Dr. Buzby says that normal gum color is the most important baseline to know in your dog. Press on your dog’s gum. When you remove your finger, the spot you pressed should be a little light but return to its original color immediately. Check your dog’s teeth for plaque buildup. (You should be brushing your dog’s teeth daily. Mommy had to admit that she doesn’t do this. Shame on her,) Also check for cracked or broken teeth, which can lead to infections and abscesses. Dr. Buzby pointed out the following rule of thumb when if comes to chew toys for dogs: “If an object is too hard for you to comfortably slap it against your leg, it’s too hard for your dog to chew.”
TOUCH 7: LEGS, PAWS & NAILS
Feel for symmetry in your dog’s legs. Check your dog’s paws for any sores on the pads or between the toes. Also check for discoloration of the hair on your dog’s feet, an indication of licking that might be caused by allergies. Make sure your dog’s nails are short. “Dog’s nails were not designed to be talons,” Dr. Buzby says. Long nails impact gait and posture, which can lead to further problems.
TOUCH 8: ABDOMEN & BELLY
Get to know the general shape of your dog’s belly so you can recognize when it’s not normal. Also be aware of the general firmness of your dog’s belly.
TOUCH 9: CHEST (HEART & LUNGS)
Get to know your dog’s normal heart rate and rhythm. Run the flat of our hand on the left side of your dog’s chest to feel the beats.
TOUCH 10: UNDER THE TAIL
Now hold on just one minute. I’ve been a pretty good sport up to this point. I’ve let you see Dr. Buzby’s hands all over by body, but a girl has her limits. I mean some things ought to be private, right? So without graphic pictures, it’s time to cover Touch 10: Under the Tail. Check for swelling and growths around the anus. If your dog is a female, check the area around her vulva for any discoloration.
Dr. Buzby says that it’s important to remember that you are your dog’s voice. Your veterinarian may see your dog just once or twice a year, but you’re with your dog every day. If you get in the habit of practicing these 10 touches once a week, a change in your dog will jump out at you immediately. Your job is to detect that change in your dog and then turn to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Remember: Early detection leads to the best results.
Dr. Julie Buzby graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and began her career caring for dogs, cats, and horses. To augment her Western training, she earned certification by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 1998 and by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2002.
As an integrative veterinarian, Dr. Buzby seeks to integrate the best of Western medicine, alternative therapies, and creative tools for maximum wellness in her patients. She has a special interest in preserving mobility and quality of life for senior dogs and proudly serves on the Advisory Board of the Grey Muzzle Organization.
In 2012, Julie founded Dr. Buzby’s Innovations, with the mission of helping people help their dogs. ToeGrips, the company’s flagship product, offer a natural alternative to dog boots and dog socks on hardwood floors. They have helped dogs regain confident mobility in over 50 countries around the world. In 2016, the company evolved into “Dr. Buzby’s”, a brand focused on educating and empowering people who care about the best care possible for their dogs.
As an accidental entrepreneur, Julie has spoken at such venues as BarkWorld Expo, the Southeast Veterinary Conference, the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) Rounds, the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association annual conference, and BlogPaws.
Check out the Buzby Bark and Dr. Buzby’s innovative dog health products at www.toegrips.com.