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!

our Wisdom Panel® 3.0 results are in! and you get a promo code!

We recently submitted a canine DNA test kit to Wisdom Panel®, and I'm here to reveal the semi-surprising results! Why would we want to do a DNA test on our dog? Well there are lots of benefits to doing so, but in our case, we were just really curious about what dog breeds make up N.A.S.H.A. For her whole ten-year life, we've been calling her our "terrier mix," affectionately aka our "terror mix." She looks like a mix of terrier breeds with maybe a dash of Chihuahua. That's what we thought, anyway. 

 Our Wisdom Panel® Canine DNA Test results are in...with surprising results! wellmindedpets.com

Our Wisdom Panel® Canine DNA Test results are in...with surprising results! wellmindedpets.com

our results

It turns out the main breeds that make up N.A.S.H.A. are not terrier breeds at all! Drumroll, please...N.A.S.H.A. is a: CHIHUAHUA, ALASKAN MALAMUTE, AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL MIX.

What the?!

 Would you have guessed this scruffy little girl to be a Chihuahua, Alaskan Malamute, Cocker Spaniel mix?

Would you have guessed this scruffy little girl to be a Chihuahua, Alaskan Malamute, Cocker Spaniel mix?

Chihuahua...okay, sure. But Cocker Spaniel? And the largest reach...Alaskan Malamute? I'll admit, I cracked up for a long time when I read that. It's SO surprising! And truly funny, if you remember how N.A.S.H.A. got her name. My Siberian Husky-obsessed husband named her as an acronym for "Not A Siberian Husky Again." The Husky is very commonly confused with the Malamute due to their similar appearance. I called my husband immediately: "Honey, it turns out she IS sort-of a Husky!" 

But Wisdom Panel doesn't just drop that bomb in your lap and walk away. They go into detail about the characteristics of each breed your dog likely displays and how closely related your dog is to each breed. 

the details of our canine dna test

Considering we've been calling N.A.S.H.A. a mixed terrier for her whole life, we were pretty surprised with the results of her DNA test. The main breeds the test detected were Chihuahua, Alaskan Malamute, and Cocker Spaniel, but she also has a lot of "mixed breed" ancestors, so really, she's a crazy mixed-up mutt, as we expected.

 The results of our Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine DNA Test

The results of our Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine DNA Test

Though the breed composition of the "mixed breed" ancestors is unknown, Wisdom Panel provides a chart that describes what the most likely breed groups are...so cool! It turns out there is some terrier in there, but it's the smallest of the groups. Wow!

 N.A.S.H.A.'s mixed-breed ancestry.

N.A.S.H.A.'s mixed-breed ancestry.

It turns out N.A.S.H.A is likely mostly of the sporting breed variety. I always knew she should have been a circus dog. Perhaps we can teach our old dog some new tricks!

In addition to outlining which breed groups are likely in her mixed-breed ancestry, our report detailed the characteristics of the main breeds in her genetic makeup.

 Chihuahua characteristics.

Chihuahua characteristics.

I suspected N.A.S.H.A. had a bit of Chihuahua in her, and, sure enough, she exhibits quite a few Chihuahua traits. She is super playful, responds well to reward-based training, and is quite a barker (like, if a butterfly threatens to invade our home, all hell breaks loose). Aside from her size (slightly larger than a typical Chihuahua) and curved tail, I don't notice much physical resemblance. 

 Alaskan Malamute characteristics.

Alaskan Malamute characteristics.

N.A.S.H.A. is incredibly smart when it comes to being responsive to commands and routines, which she may get from her Alaskan Malamute ancestry. We should have done some agility training with her! As far as physical resemblance? I don't see it! Just don't tell my husband...let him have his fantasy.

 Cocker spaniel characteristics.

Cocker spaniel characteristics.

Again, the Cocker Spaniel is an energetic, happy breed, like the others. They respond well to reward-based training (YES), and bit defensive (butterfly invasion). I'm thinking her physical traits must come from her mixed breed ancestry, because, again, I just don't see it.

health benefits of a canine dna test

I previously outlined the process and benefits of conducting a canine dna test with Wisdom Panel. Aside from being fun and totally non-invasive, the test provides information about possible health risks and issues, which can be helpful in being proactive about your dog's health.

Through an MDR1 Screening, we discovered that N.A.S.H.A. does not have the MDR1 gene mutation that is common with mixed breed dogs. I believe that because of her mixed heritage, she's not obviously at risk for any major health issues.

 Our MDR1 screening results.

Our MDR1 screening results.

should you perform a dna test on your dog?

Aside from being really fun to find out which breeds your dog decends from, especially if you have a mixed-breed dog, performing a DNA test on your dog can reveal characteristics you may want to be warned about or you may want to play into, such as intelligence or training capability. The test can also reveal health risks you can be proactive about.

Should you want to purchase a Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test for your dog, they are kindly offering our readers $15 OFF with PROMO CODE FF6001807KR

Has your dog taken a canine DNA test? Were you surprised with the results?

what to do if you hit a dog with your car

While traveling on the freeway last week, I witnessed something terrible. I saw a dog get hit by a car, fly up in the air, and then hit by another car. It was incredibly sad to witness, and since I can't imagine the dog survived, I hope that he didn't suffer. One can only speculate about how the heck a dog got onto a multi-lane freeway in the first place. And what should be done? Though my instinct told me to stop to help, I wasn't willing to put myself at risk by attempting to cross such a busy roadway. I called 911 and was directed to animal control, whom I told the approximate location of the dog...it was all I could think to do. So I got to thinking and researching, what should you do if you hit a dog with your car?

 What to do if You Hit a Dog with Your Car–wellmindedpets.com

What to do if You Hit a Dog with Your Car–wellmindedpets.com

Both wild and domestic animals cause accidents on a fairly regular basis. But hitting a person's pet can have different emotional and moral implications, than, say, hitting a pigeon. 

you hit a dog. what should you do?

First thing's first. If you hit a dog, you should stop immediately. If you are on a highway, such as I was, and it would be dangerous to stop suddenly, immediately call 911 to report the incident. You will be put through to animal control.

Once you have stopped, move the dog out of the road, if you can safely do so. There are two reasons for this:

• to prevent further injury to the dog

• to prevent additional accidents from occurring as people swerve to avoid the dog

Always use caution when moving an injured dog. The animal is likely hurt, scared, and in distress, which can cause him to become aggressive. It's best to muzzle the dog in some way. You might loosely tie fabric around the muzzle or put a blanket loosely over the dog, which provides you some protection. 

Once the dog is safely out of harm's way, try to contact the owner. If there is no tag, you can call animal control or transport the dog to the nearest vet. The vet will be able to scan the dog for a microchip to try to identify the owner. 

Keep in mind that even if the dog looks okay, that might not be the case. The dog could be suffering from broken bones or internal injuries not outwardly visible. It is important that any dog that has been hit by a car get medical attention as soon as possible.

if i hit a dog, am i legally responsible?

In almost all cases, the owner of a loose dog is legally responsible. You are, however, required to do everything that is reasonable to help the dog, or you may be cited for animal cruelty, depending on your state's laws.

if i hit a dog, am i financially responsible?  

You are typically not financially responsible when if you hit a dog. It is the dog owner's responsibility to keep the dog under control, and if the dog gets lose and runs into the roadway, the owner is at fault. 

The dog owner's insurance policy will typically cover the cost of repair to your vehicle, and they are responsible for all vet bills. The dog owner may wish to pay out-of-pocket rather than file a claim. If the owner is uncooperative, you would most likely have a case in small claims court.

If the owner of the dog can not be located, your comprehensive coverage should cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle.

In the case of veterinary bills, if the owner can not be identified, the person who brought the dog in may be financially responsible. Be sure to discuss this with the vet so you know what to expect. Most vets will treat a dog in trauma, regardless, but it's best to know your financial responsibility in advance.

the bottom line

It is important to know your legal and financial responsibilities, if you hit a dog with your car. Regardless, I would hope that anyone who hit a dog would do the right thing–everything in their capability to help the dog while keeping themselves safe. 

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. 

why should I buy grain-free dog food? #sponsored

I am being compensated for helping to spread the word about Brothers Complete. Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. All opinions are my own. Brothers Complete is not responsible for the content of this article. 

Many high-quality dog foods are now grain-free or offer grain-free varieties. While not all grains are created equal, these grain-free foods, in general, may be slightly more expensive than their grain-containing counterparts due to the fact that grain is less expensive than meat protein and other natural, nutritious ingredients. But the increase in cost is worth it for two important reasons:

1. Grain-free foods are typically healthier for your dog 

2. The extra money you spend on a high-quality grain-free food will save you in the long run since many costly veterinary treatments can be prevented with a better diet.

And, unless you are buying bottom-of-the-barrel (please say you're not) grocery store brand dog foods, going grain-free isn't really that much more expensive.

 Why should I buy grain-free dog food?–Well Minded

Why should I buy grain-free dog food?–Well Minded

 Brothers Complete is a great high-quality, grain-free option. Plus, the people are awesome–they truly care about your dog. What a concept!

Brothers Complete is a great high-quality, grain-free option. Plus, the people are awesome–they truly care about your dog. What a concept!

We have our dog, N.A.S.H.A., on a rotational diet, which means we feed her a variety of high-quality dog foods on rotation, most of which are grain-free. One of our favorites is Brothers Complete, a high-quality kibble that comes in a variety of protein varieties, including chicken, turkey, lamb, and venison. There are lots of reasons why we love Brothers Complete, one of the main reasons being that they are totally grain-free.

why are grains bad for my dog?

• Dogs do not need carbohydrates to provide glucose to their bodies like humans do. Dogs convert fat into glucose and energy, a process called gluconeogenesis. Gesundheit. Grains in dog foods are unnecessary, taking up space that could be filled by other nutritions ingredients. Grains are used in dog food as cheap fillers.

• Most grain used in dog food is poor quality grain that was rejected from the human food industry. The grain stored in hot silos for several months and can often become contaminated by rodents, insects, grain storage mites, their droppings, and their carcasses. Ewww. As if that isn't bad enough, the heat in the silos often causes growth of fungus and toxins, some of which can be harmful or even fatal.

• Grains contain physic acid. Physic acid binds to essential minerals and eliminates them from your body, so your pooch won't receive all of the benefit of the good nutrients in the food. The soaking process our ancestors used to remove the physic acid from the grain has been eliminated in the name of efficiency. So not only are grains non-essential fillers, they actually detract from the nutrients your pet needs.

• Ingestion of some grains in dogs can cause "leaky gut," a condition that results in increased intestinal permeability. The culprit? Gliadin that triggers the release of the chemical Zonulin. The result? An increase in allergic reactions, skin conditions, and immune dysfunction.

• Processed grains and potatoes have a high glycemic index. Since dogs don't need carbohydrates, their systems react as if they have eaten sugar, causing an insulin spike. Over time, this can cause stress to the pancreas, leading to insulin resistance. The dog's body creates more and more insulin to compensate, which can eventually lead to diabetes.

• Even when potatoes are fresh, they aren't good for dogs. But it gets worse. For optimum freshness, potatoes should be stored in the dark, between 55° and 60° F. Most dog food companies do not keep to these standards. Potatoes that are exposed to light, damaged, or are allowed to get above 65° for too long produce a potent toxin called solanine. 

• Grains and potatoes have high levels of lectins, which are damaging to your dog's overall health for several reasons. Lectins interfere with the absorption of nutrients and protein digestion and can result in anemia and diarrhea. Lectins can also cause leaky gut, immune dysfunction, and inflammation. They can create food sensitivities by causing the immune system to create antibodies against them, hence the increase in dogs with food allergies and sensitivities. Hormone interference caused by lectins can affect your dog's metabolism, possibly contributing to weight gain. And that's not all...they can also cause problems for the intestines, pancreas and liver. Bad news!

if grain is so bad for my dog, why do so many dog foods include it?

One reason: it's cheap. If grain is a main ingredient or even included at all, the dog food is cheaper to produce than a food that does not contain grains. The more grain (like, is it one of the first three ingredients?) in the food, the cheaper it is to make. Large dog food companies can then charge less for their food, appealing to a broader group of pet parents, or can gain a higher profit margin on their food.

To me, that's wrong and creepy. I'd rather pay a little bit more for my food and know that the company I'm purchasing from has N.A.S.H.A.'s best interests at heart. Plus, if I feed her a higher-quality, grain-free food, she'll be healthier, and I'll save on vet bills over time.

But what if your veterinarian recommends a food with grains? 

I urge you to think about who is to profit from that.

Brothers Complete explains it well:

There are many veterinarians and nutritionists who say that dogs should not have a problem eating grain or potato; and there have even been studies designed to prove the same thing. The studies are usually funded by large dog food companies that have a vested interest in convincing veterinarians and the general public that grain and potato is good for dogs, or at least doesn't do them any harm. Given our experience with thousands of dogs over the years, we do not agree with that point of view.

I know, I'm mad, too. But there's something we can do about it.

how can my dog benefit from a grain-free diet?

Brothers Complete, one of our favorite grain-free dog foods states:

 Brothers Complete Dog Food is a great grain-free option. 

Brothers Complete Dog Food is a great grain-free option. 

Years of actual experience operating a dog food store has given us the vantage point of being able to observe the effect of diet on many thousands of dogs over extended periods of time...Many dogs were seemingly fine eating grain- or potato-based dog food when we first met them, but, over the years, if they didn't eliminate grain and potato from their diet, the majority of them eventually did develop problems. Switching them to grain- and potato-free foods quickly eliminated the problems and was further confirmation that grain and potato were primarily responsible for the problems.

Dogs switched to a grain-free diet will typically see dramatic health benefits, including:

• Healthier skin and coat.

• Elimination of allergic reactions in the skin.

• Reduction in systemic inflammation. 

• Healthier immune system.

• Healthier digestive system.

• Better nutrient absorption, resulting in better overall health.

While no food is a miracle cure, switching your pooch to a grain-free diet such as Brothers Complete can help him better deal with any health issues that may arise. Since our dogs are considered family members, it's important to educate ourselves and provide our canine kids the optimum in pet nutrition, setting them up for great health and longevity. 

Visit Brothers Complete on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

Have you switched your dog to a grain-free diet? What health benefits have you noticed? Please share your story so we can learn from your experience!

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY...

A Fresh Take on Kibble with Brothers Complete

Healthy Dog Treats from Brothers Complete are a Hit