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.

Resting_Easy_Kuranda_Dog_and_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–wellmindedpets.com

Pet Sitter Life: Open Door Policy–wellmindedpets.com

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 anywhere...do 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. 

staying fresh with natural grooming wipes from PL360 #giveaway #sponsored

If you read my blog regularly, you remember that we recently discovered a great new natural pet product company called PL360. We had the opportunity to try and review several of their products, and they just sent us their newest great thing, grooming wipes

I received a pack of PL360 Grooming Wipes to try in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. PL360 is not responsible for the content of this article.

 staying fresh with natural grooming wipes from PL360.

staying fresh with natural grooming wipes from PL360.

I regularly use natural face cleansing wipes, and though it's the same concept, I'd never heard of grooming wipes. What a great idea! We can use these on our pets in-between baths or trips to the groomer to help them freshen up. The wipes can be used on dogs, cats, or other small furry animals. You can use them anywhere except the eyes. Super convenient!

are PL360 grooming wipes natural? 

As with all things my family ingests, applies, or even looks at, I inspected the label before giving the wipes a go. I believe firmly that the accumulation of toxins in our bodies is a huge factor in poor health, and I try to avoid toxins as much as possible. The PL360 grooming wipes are entirely plant-based, have no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, toxins, lanolin, soap, or alcohol. Even the mandarin scent is a natural fragrance. They got the all clear from me.

testing them out

N.A.S.H.A. had some friends over, so I asked their parents if they could join in on the fun. I got to try these on three guinea pigs...er...dogs!

 My panel: A trio of guinea pigs...er...lucky dogs.

My panel: A trio of guinea pigs...er...lucky dogs.

BEFORE

N.A.S.H.A.: usual scrappy-looking coat, light doggy odor enhanced by sun basking in 110° heat

Milo: smooth normal coat, neutral odor

Quigley: more oily to the touch than the other two, some doggy odor, but nothing offensive, chronic skin allergies

DURING

N.A.S.H.A.: slightly skeptical, but tolerant, and seemed to enjoy it once she realized the wipes did not have acid from the depths of hell on them. She even let me wipe her paws, and the cloth didn't tear on her nails.

 N.A.S.H.A.

N.A.S.H.A.

Milo: couldn't have cared less. Quigley, however, thought I was attacking Milo and barked at me the whole time, so Milo's relaxing massage left a bit to be desired.

 Milo

Milo

Quigley: thought it was play time while I was rubbing him down...Quigley was squigley, but we got the job done.

 Quigley

Quigley

AFTER

N.A.S.H.A.: shook off, then rubbed herself all over the couch cushions, to my delight, as she does after every bath. Her fur had a light mandarin scent and seemed slightly smoother to me. 

Milo: walked away and took a nap (he's 14, so we have to cut him some slack...this relaxing massage business can be exhausting). He smelled fresh as a ripe mandarin orange.

Quigley: he made sure Milo survived the ordeal, then stared at me for several minutes, making sure I was not going to attack again. He smelled fresh like the others, and his fur seemed a bit less oily. Most importantly, the wipes didn't make him itch, in fact, in the few hours following, he seemed to me to itch and scratch less then he normally does. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

I think the PL360 Grooming Wipes are a safe, convenient way to freshen up your pet in-between baths or grooming visits. Though I don't currently have any small caged animals, I think they would be especially great for rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, and the like. Though they definitely couldn't replace your pet's regular bathing routine, I think they are a great option for daily use. If you have a pet who likes to "get into things" and make a mess, these would be an excellent resource to save your sanity. They would also be great for travel or even routine walks...it's a big, dirty world out there! 

 After barking at me for wiping Milo, Quigley thought better of his rash opinion.

After barking at me for wiping Milo, Quigley thought better of his rash opinion.

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 8, 2015: We found another great use for these wipes! The dingleberry (I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that the PL360 wipes made it much less gory than it would otherwise have been).

Would you like to try the PL360 grooming wipes? You can! We are giving away five packs of wipes to five lucky winners, courtesy of PL360. Pawesome!

whisker fatigue in cats: how you can help

Whisker fatigue. It's a thing. It may not seem like your cat's whiskers are doing much, but they are hard at work all the time. Let's take a look at what whiskers are, what they do, what whisker fatigue is, and how you can help your cat.

  whisker fatigue in cats: how you can help.  Discover the signs of whisker fatigue and learn how you can help your cat.

whisker fatigue in cats: how you can help. Discover the signs of whisker fatigue and learn how you can help your cat.

what are whiskers?

Many people think cat whiskers are cute additions to the face like the whiskers a man grows, or the ones ladies get as they age (not cute), but they aren't. Cat whiskers are actually sensitive touch receptors. They are long and quite stiff and connect to the cat's muscular and nervous systems, more deeply in the cat than their fur. They are more sensitive then fur or human whiskers and provide a cat with information about its surroundings. 

Whiskers are located on either side of the cats nose and upper lip, above each eye (shorter), and also on their jaw line and the backs of their front legs. Aside from being cute, they perform important functions.

what do whiskers do?

 A cat's sensitive whiskers help him in many ways, including playing.

A cat's sensitive whiskers help him in many ways, including playing.

Whiskers provide cats with important information about their surroundings. The end of each whisker contains a receptor that sends sensory signals to the nervous system and brain. These receptors are very sensitive to small changes in the environment and help the cat determine if it can fit into a tight space, respond to vibrations (helpful for hunting prey, or more commonly for our indoor domestic cats, in times of play), and measure distance. All of this, together, helps them with balance, which is why cats are so agile and "always land on their feet." 

Some people think that trimming or cutting off their cat's whiskers is a part of grooming. Please don't! Without these important sensory receptors, cats can become disoriented, which can cause them great stress and fear. Whiskers shed and grow back naturally. It's best to let nature take its course. 

what is whisker fatigue?

Since a cat's whiskers are so sensitive, if they are constantly stimulated, the cat may experience whisker fatigue or whisker stress. The most common way this occurs is if the cat is forced to eat out of a straight- and/or high-sided bowl. When the cat puts his face into the bowl to consume his dinner, the whiskers repeatedly touch the sides, which, at the least, can be annoying to the cat, and in extreme cases can be quite painful. 

what are the signs of whisker fatigue?

Some common signs of whisker fatigue are:

• the cat leaves food in the bowl, but is still hungry

• the cat pulls food out of their bowl with their mouth or paw, then places it on the floor and eats it off the floor (this can get messy)

• food aggression toward other animals in the house

• standing by the bowl before eating for a period of time, pacing around the bowl, or being hesitant to eat, though hungry

how can you help?

Even if you don't see signs of whisker fatigue in your cat, it's best to get rid of any straight-sided or high-sided bowls that stimulate the whiskers. The best way to help is to make sure your cat has a shallow bowl. Though a saucer will work, there are some spectacularly-designed cat bowls that are made specifically with sensitive whiskers in mind. 

 Could your cat be suffering from whisker fatigue?

Could your cat be suffering from whisker fatigue?

I sometimes see signs of whisker fatigue in cats whom I pet sit for, and thought it's always a bit awkward to correct a client when I see that care for their pets could be improved, I try to gently let them know that the bowl they have chosen may be contributing to the undesirable behavior they are seeing. Typically pet parents notice and become frustrated when their cats remove food from bowls and create a mess to clean up. I like to try to suggest specific bowls they might try.

Our friends over at Sweet Purrfections recently reviewed the Whisker Free Stress Dish from Trendy Pet. Their gorgeous Persian cats Brulee and Truffle struggle with whisker fatigue that is compounded by their breed-specific short (flatter) faces. Though there are a variety of well-designed–even quite stylish–options out there, the dish they prefer is an excellent option and well worth checking out. Their review is great, and you'll get to see pictures of her gorgeous cats if you head over there to check it out. 

Have you seen signs of whisker fatigue in your cat? Which cat bowl does your cat like best? 

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the aspca reminds us about summer safety for pets: the top 5 summer hazards

With good reason, we often focus our pet safety efforts around 4th of July celebrations. The threat is real, as more pets go missing on that day of the year than any other. They flee because they are frightened and don't understand the loud noises from fireworks and the like. In addition to Independence Day dangers, summer, as a whole, can be a dangerous time for pets, so there are other summer hazards we need to consider. The ASPCA has created an infographic outlining the top five. 

 The ASPCA reminds us of the top five summer hazards for pets. Please keep your pets safe this season!

The ASPCA reminds us of the top five summer hazards for pets. Please keep your pets safe this season!

consider your particular climate and protect your pets from summer hazards

Here in Phoenix, Arizona, where temps commonly reach over 110° throughout the summer, we take special care to make sure our pets are safe. Though the extreme heat may seem more hazardous to our pets (and it can be if we don't take precautions), sometimes I think the extreme heat is a benefit. We don't mess around. There is NO QUESTION that our pets should not be left in a car or stand on concrete that can burn your skin off in a matter of seconds. Responsible pet owners keep their pets indoors, keep them well hydrated, and keep them protected.

In other regions, where it gets hot, but to a lesser degree, pets may be in even more danger. We may not think it's hazardous to keep Fido outside for an all-day celebration in 85° weather, but, in reality, he can become distressed and dehydrated quickly.

It's important to be mindful of your particular climate and know how it will affect your pets. Take all necessary precautions, as your pets are depending on you. 

How do you keep your pets safe during the summer?