resting easy with kuranda dog & cat beds #sponsored

You may not think much about dog beds, but I bet your dog does. Some dogs opt for your favorite spot on the couch, the nearest laundry pile, or your lap, and some dogs are subject to the cold, hard floor or a thinning, dirty, chewed-up former tuffet-of-a-bed. None of these options is great, so I set out to find a better solution. Enter Kuranda Dog & Cat Beds.


This post is sponsored by Kuranda USA. I am being compensated to help create awareness about Kuranda Dog & Cat Beds, but we only share information that we feel is relevant to our readers. Kuranda is not responsible for the content of this article.

It's important for a pet at any age to have a place to call his own–a place of safety and comfort that isn't dominated by the human family members. It becomes even more important for an aging pet to have a place of refuge from the chaos, and it is just as important for them to have a place to rest that eases pressure on their bodies. Though N.A.S.H.A. is one of those dogs that will lay on just about anything, as she's nearing twelve years old, and when I started researching dog beds, I landed on Kuranda. 

what makes kuranda so great?

Kuranda has a unique design that is both durable, comfortable, and easy on the eyes. What makes Kuranda Dog & Cat Beds so great?

• The beds are guaranteed "chew proof." There are no loose edges. So if you have a "bed eater," this might be your solution!

• Easy to clean. The beds are super easy to wipe or hose down, and if you opt for extra padding, it can be removed and tossed in the washing machine.

• They are durable. The beds are made with heavy-duty vinyl and framing, so your dog's bed will last and last, plus, they guarantee all parts for a year!

• There's an option for every dog. Kuranda makes beds for older dogs, destructive dogs, and dogs who like to lounge outdoors.

• They are comfortable. The off-the-ground orthopedic design provides firm, even support that eases pressure on your pet's joints.

• All sizes. Whether you have a teacup pooch or a dog as big as a horse, Kuranda has you covered.

• Satisfaction guaranteed. If your dog doesn't like the bed, you can return it!

our experience with kuranda

When I set out to order N.A.S.H.A. her Kuranda dog bed, I realized that the beds are practically custom made. The Kuranda web site offers options for every need, which may sound intimidating, but they make the process easy. You basically just answer a few questions about what you need in a bed, and, POOF, they recommend the perfect dog bed. The site can recommend the best bed based on breed or needs...pretty awesome.

We soon received our Kuranda Dog Bed and assembled it with ease. It only required about ten minutes (with kid help), a screwdriver, and a wrench. The assembly process solidified in my mind how truly durable these beds are. They are made to last. 

N.A.S.H.A. testing out her Kuranda Dog Bed and settling in (and sharing with her Teddy Bear).

N.A.S.H.A. testing out her Kuranda Dog Bed and settling in (and sharing with her Teddy Bear).

We opted for a fleece pad since N.A.S.H.A. loves to lay on super soft things, so we just strapped that on, and we were good to go! N.A.S.H.A. was immediately curious about the new piece of furniture in the house, and gave it a thorough inspection. I don't think she understood it to be a bed at first, so we had to coax her a bit. Once she understood what it was all about, she was hooked. The Kuranda Dog Bed is attractive enough for us to put in our family room, so she can have her own comfy spot in the part of the house that we most frequent. Though we've only had the bed for a short time, I can tell she'll love it for life.

N.A.S.H.A. loves her Kuranda Dog Bed!

N.A.S.H.A. loves her Kuranda Dog Bed!

kuranda is making life better for shelter dogs

Kuranda is a family-owned company that cares. Through their "Donate a Bed" program, you can purchase a Kuranda pet bed at a discount to donate to your favorite shelter, and they will send your bed directly to the shelter with a message from you. Their mission is to provide durable, comfortable beds to shelter dogs, getting them up off the cold, hard floor. Kruranda Dog & Cat Beds are perfect for shelters because of their durability, the fact that they are easy to clean, and the fact that they are off the ground. Shelters really shouldn't have traditional on-ground pet beds due to sanitary issues. 

enter to win a kuranda pet bed

Through June 14, 2016, you can enter to win your own Kuranda Dog or Cat Bed through their "Fun Fido Files 'Identity Crisis' Photo Contest. Just share a photo of your pet doing something funny or cute...that should be easy, right? 

What's even better? If you use the "shop here" link on the Fido Files page to purchase a Kuranda Dog or Cat Bed, 5% of your purchase will be donated to Service Dog Project, a non-profit organization in Ipswich, Massachusetts, that has donated over 100 Great Danes as service dogs to individuals who have severe balance and mobility limitations. It's a win-win situation!

Visit Kuranda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

We are very happy with our Kuranda Dog bed. If you're looking for a fantastic pet bed, be sure to include Kuranda in your search!

pet sitter life: open door policy

As a professional pet sitter, my integrity is just as important as the care I provide. After all, I'm entering your home when you aren't there and I'm making sure your beloved furry family members are safe, healthy, and happy. Cutting corners is not an option. I employ professional standards that I practice upon each visit. One of these standards is my "open door policy."

Pet Sitter Life: Open Door Policy–

Pet Sitter Life: Open Door Policy–

what is the open door policy?

What is my "open door policy?" 

Any open door remains open, and any closed door remains closed.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is.

why is the open door policy important?

The open door policy is important for two main reasons.

1. Privacy. I respect the privacy of my clients. Any closed door is off limits. During each visit, I patrol all open areas of the home to make sure there haven't been any "accidents" and to make sure everything is safe. If a door is closed, there is no need for me to enter.

2. Safety of the animals. If I open a door, there is a chance the animals in my care would accept the invitation to enter. A sneaky cat could slink in and become trapped without food or water until my next visit. Yikes! The open door policy is especially important in homes with cats. 

are there exceptions to the open door policy?

Cats who like to hide may sneak into an off-limits room if the door is opened.

Cats who like to hide may sneak into an off-limits room if the door is opened.

The only reason I would open a closed door in a client's home is if I suspected an animal was trapped inside.

During my first visit of any service period, I make a mental note of which doors are open and which are closed. When visiting a couple of cats last year, I had a terrible time finding one of them. I looked everywhere, and then it dawned on me that one of the bedrooms that was open the previous day was closed. I opened the door, and out scrambled the cat, straight to the litter box, then quickly to her food and water. Poor thing! She'd somehow gotten into the room and shut the door on herself. I don't know if she'd been trapped for one hour or twenty-four, but she was ready for the bathroom and some nourishment. I called the clients and let them know that she'd trapped herself in the bedroom, and they let me know that it wasn't the first time she'd done it. They were thrilled with my idea to keep the door open with a heavy object, and she didn't become trapped again. 

Just last week, I was sitting for three cats, one of which is super friendly social, and two of which think I am there to skin them alive, so they keep to themselves. I've cared for them regularly for a few years, now, so I know all the hiding places. I checked every one, and couldn't find them anywhere! I sent a text to my client:

"I can't find them you think they may be trapped in a closed room?"

She responded "Oh...they have a new hiding place. Check inside the box spring in the master bedroom."

I pulled up the comforter and saw the entrance where the fabric was torn. I turned on my phone's flashlight, shone it inside, and, sure enough, two pairs of reflective eyes looked back at me. They were safe! Having let the client know that I suspected the cats were trapped, she was able to fill me in on the new hiding spot, so accessing a restricted area was unnecessary.

professional policies

Worrying about doors may seem like overkill, but I believe that this level of detail is required both for my clients' privacy and the safety of the animals in my care. Considering these types of things is what sets a professional apart. I find that my clients appreciate the attention to detail and know that they can trust me to respect their privacy as well as provide excellent pet care. 

the black cat bias

We all know the old wives' tale..."never let a black cat cross your path." But where did that come from? And why shouldn't we?

Do cats bring bad luck? And are they really the last to be adopted? The Black Cat Bias.

Do cats bring bad luck? And are they really the last to be adopted? The Black Cat Bias.

the origin of the bad luck curse

Black cats started to get the shaft in Europe during the middle ages. Most people were paranoid and hysterical about witches and witchcraft during that time. Poor old ladies (with cats, some of which were black), were accused of being witches, and their cats were guilty of witchcraft by association. People started to believe that the black cats were actually the witches who'd transformed themselves, and this notion fueled the Salem witch trials in America. Some believed that a witch could transform herself into a black cat nine times...which is thought to have been the origin of the "cats have nine lives" saying. Still today, black cats are heavily associated with Halloween and spooky goings-on. For many in Western culture, a black cat crossing paths with a human signifies misfortune and death.

Huffington Post recently broke down the bad news about black cats.

bad luck for black cats

• black cats have a very difficult time being adopted

• some shelters offer reduced adoption prices or free spaying and neutering for black cats to encourage adoption

• 13% of Americans are superstitious about a black cat crossing their path

• some organizations and shelters do not allow adoptions of black cats during the month of October for fear of animal cruelty

• a Nevada shelter put on an "Adopt Your Own Mini Panther" campaign to persuade people to adopt black cats, and all 18 black cats they had were adopted

• black cats have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate

black cat fun facts

• there are 22 breeds of cats that can have solid black coats

• the Bombay is the most common black cat breed, a breed also characterized by intelligence, playfulness, and tendency to interact and seek attention

• the percentage of male and female black cats is slightly skewed toward the male gender

• the high melanin pigment in black cats causes most of them to have yellow eyes

• in many other cultures, a black cat is thought to bring good fortune and prosperity

the good news

As awareness is raised about the black cat adoption situation, more and more people are coming to shelters specifically requesting a black cat. Since these animal lovers know the struggle black cats face, they are helping the cause. Pawsome!

We recently worked with one of our favorite black cat clients, Jacopo. If you take a look at this outtake from our time together, you'll see the smart, playful, gorgeous "mini panther" that he is.

Tell me about your black cat!

A back cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere. -Groucho Marx

our d.i.y. cat plate gets licked clean: purina muse® natural cat food is a hit! #mycatmymuse #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyCatMyMuse #CollectiveBias

As you may know, my junior pet sitters are obsessed with crafts, DIY, and anything that makes a giant mess. Me...not so much. I pick up poop all day, so I'm okay with not making a mess at home. When they want to get their inner-Picasso on, I try to find the least invasive-to-my-life project that will also satisfy their artistic yearnings. I'm a great mother in other ways. Swear. So when the junior pet sitters learned that we had the chance to check out a new natural cat food with our favorite black cat, they jumped at the chance to "add a little something special" to the whole she-bang, and it just SCREAMED Halloween! 

Our DIY Cat Plate Gets Licked Clean: Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food is a Hit. #MyCatMyMuse

Our DIY Cat Plate Gets Licked Clean: Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food is a Hit. #MyCatMyMuse

As a professional pet sitter, I'm often asked for pet food recommendations. That means we're always on the prowl for nutritious, natural pet food. I went on a mission to find one of our favorite clients, Jacopo, a new quality food. We love browsing our local PetSmart for the best in pet nutrition because there is such a variety to choose from. When we went with Jacopo in mind, we discovered Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food, sold exclusively at PetSmart. I love exclusivity, but I'm going to fill you in on it, anyway. 'Cause I'm nice like that.

discovering the variety purina muse® natural cat food has to offer

I'm a firm believer in rotational feeding for cats and dogs, so I was on the hunt for a cat food that offered a lot of "recipes" and options. I found Purina Muse, and was totally impressed with the giant array of cans and clear tubs in the cat food section at PetSmart. In fact, I kind-of felt a bit overwhelmed and impressed. Who knew?

Purina Muse Natural Cat Food was easy to find in the cat food aisle of our local PetSmart.

Purina Muse Natural Cat Food was easy to find in the cat food aisle of our local PetSmart.

Purina Muse offers over 30 recipes. What choices! With Purina Muse, you don't have to choose between nutrition and food that tastes great. Your cat can have both when you choose Muse. There were so many wonderful options that I had to reel-it-in and focus. You might benefit from my discipline...the food falls into five main categories, all of which include the essential nutrients cats need to thrive, and most of which are grain-free:

• in chowder (clear tub)

• in broth (clear tub)

• with toppers (clear tub)

• paté (can)

• in gravy (can)

I love that many Purina Muse Natural Cat Food Varieties come in clear tubs so you can see what you're getting.

I love that many Purina Muse Natural Cat Food Varieties come in clear tubs so you can see what you're getting.

My mind was blown when I started to consider the options. I don't know that I've ever seen such a great variety in natural cat food. There was chicken with tomato and carrot, turkey and spinach, sea bass and herring, tuna and tilapia with a baby clam topper, and ocean whitefish with an anchovy topper, just to name a few. Don't tell anyone, but I was getting a bit hungry, myself, just checking out the different options. Perhaps I should have had lunch, first. Never shop hungry. I selected a few different kinds to try so we could find out which would become Jacopo's favorites. I especially love the clear tubs that the broth and chowder varieties come in. You can see right through the package so that you know exactly what you're getting. That works. Oh, and–added bonus points for Purina Muse–the packaging is recyclable.

What's best about Purina Muse?

• all recipes are made with real fish or poultry

• there are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives 

• the recipes are 100% complete and balanced for adult cats

• there are thirty different recipes, twenty-four of which are grain-free

Purina Muse offers a huge variety of grain-free natural nutrition options for your cat. We chose these to try first.

Purina Muse offers a huge variety of grain-free natural nutrition options for your cat. We chose these to try first.

Naturally, we had to design a custom Halloween plate for Jacopo, our classic black cat Halloween muse. Because kids. Because crafts. Once we chose a few varieties for Jacopo to try, we set out to find the supplies we'd need to create our Halloween gift for him. 

diy ceramic cat dish with sharpie embellishment

When my junior pet sitters, Porter and Campbell, were looking to get their creative on, I freaked a little, and then figured it out. They especially love to make things for our clients around the holidays, so something of that genre made sense to satisfy their monstrous craft-craving. I can sometimes be a bit of a disaster when it comes to creating anything too elaborate. When the kids asked me if they could make something Halloween-themed for Jacopo, a simple project a friend told me about came to mind as the perfect option: a ceramic-cat-dish-decorated-with-Sharpie-pens-and-baked-in-the-oven-to-set-the-design. Easy peasy, right? RIGHT? Looking for some support, here!

Let's make this!


Our DIY cat dish required minimal supplies.

Our DIY cat dish required minimal supplies.

THE DISH: In order to avoid whisker fatigue, it is important to provide cats with a shallow food dish. We poked around at a couple of local stores and found the perfect saucer-like, plain white dish at IKEA. It had a smooth surface for the kids to decorate on, was shallow, and was the perfect size. Since they were only a couple of dollars a piece, we purchased a few extras for future creations (or do-overs).

THE SHARPIES: We wanted to create something fun for Jacopo for Halloween, so we chose a simple orange and black color palette. Sharpies come in just about any color you can imagine, so this project would work great for any holiday or occasion. 


Wash and thoroughly dry your dish before decorating. 

Decorate your plate. The only limitation in design is your creativity! In keeping with the Halloween spirit, my son, Porter, created a spooky graveyard scene with a black cat, and my daughter, Campbell, created a jack-o-lantern face. They had a lot of fun embellishing their dishes and added Jacopo's name for that personal touch. BOO!

The junior pet sitters had a blast decorating their cat dishes.

The junior pet sitters had a blast decorating their cat dishes.

After you're done with your masterpiece, let the design dry completely.


After the artists finished their masterpieces, into the oven they went (the plates, not the artists).

After the artists finished their masterpieces, into the oven they went (the plates, not the artists).

By baking the decorated dishes, the Sharpie designs become permanent. There are quite a few suggestions and theories out there regarding Sharpie design and ceramics. What works best is hotly debated by those in the crafting scene. We tried a few different methods (good thing we had extras) and found the way that we achieved the best results:

• put the dish on a baking sheet in a cold oven

• set the oven to 450° and set a timer for 30 minutes

• once the timer goes off, turn the oven off, but leave the dish in the oven until it is completely cool

• once cooled, the plate can be washed (though ours have held up nicely in the dishwasher, you may wish to hand wash, just to be safe)

Trust me, if I can pull this off, you can, too. The kids had a blast decorating their plates with Jacopo in mind.

DIY cat dishes complete...complete with sibling antics.

DIY cat dishes complete...complete with sibling antics.

the taste test

With our Halloween-inspired custom plates in hand, we ventured off to find our muse. We knew just where to go.

As you know, I'm a professional pet sitter, and Jacopo is a pretty awesome cat client of mine. His uplifting personality never fails to put a smile on my face. He's always up for some fun, and he was eager to try Purina Muse® Natural Cat Food.

Purina Muse provided Jacopo with great-tasting natural nutrition he couldn't resist even for a second.

Purina Muse provided Jacopo with great-tasting natural nutrition he couldn't resist even for a second.

Whisker-licking good!

Whisker-licking good!

Jacopo didn't want to miss even a tiny morsel.

Jacopo didn't want to miss even a tiny morsel.

He dug right in to the whitefish with anchovy topper. In fact, he devoured the whole portion, although he'd already eaten breakfast. He licked his plate clean, then looked under and around the plate end even tried to move it to see if there might just be a morsel he left behind. It was quite clear that he gave the taste a paws-up review. I loved introducing him to a healthy, natural food option, and his mom, Lisa, was thrilled, too. We had a great laugh together about how crazy Jacopo was about it. She is eager to let Jacopo try the other varieties, but we decided it best not to stuff him until he popped on the first go-around. I wouldn't be surprised if Lisa switches Jacopo and his siblings over to Purina Muse permanently. Jacopo and Lisa loved the custom plates the kids made, too, though I think Jacopo liked them better with a full plate of food covering the design.

Jacopo cleaned his plate!

Jacopo cleaned his plate!

feed your feline muse a great-tasting, natural food

Natural has never been so delicious. Put Purina Muse to the test with our clean plate guarantee! Be sure to check out all of the thirty varieties at PetSmart and let us know which one is your cat's favorite! 

How is your cat your muse?