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!

dna testing catches doggie doo-doo violators

As a professional pet sitter, I make it a point to carry doo-doo cleanup bags, poo bags, excrement exterminators–whatever you like to call them–with me every single time I walk a dog. Most of my clients provide them either tied to a leash or in a nifty little bag holder roll. If not, I have a bunch in my car to use as backup. It is unacceptable to leave dog poop just lying around.

 DNA Testing Catches Doggie Doo-doo Violators.  Sign image source: dogtime.com.

DNA Testing Catches Doggie Doo-doo Violators. Sign image source: dogtime.com.

That being said, it absolutely blows my mind how much dog poop I see when I'm out walking. I don't get it. Are people just lazy? Or do they think there is a magic poop fairy that will come remove the waste for them? 

I notice that this violation occurs mostly in apartment complexes, which further baffles me. Most complexes provide dog poop "stations," complete with bags and trash cans just for this purpose. Some even have hand sanitizer! They couldn't make it any easier for dog owners to keep waste under control, yet, still, there is lays. 

Some apartment complexes are now requiring that resident dogs take a DNA test upon moving in. This is happening mostly in larger cities, where population is most dense. More people = more dogs = more dog poop. Makes sense! This DNA test typically costs the dog owner about $30. If a pile of poop is discovered, it can then be sent to a facility that tests dog poop (yes, there are a handful of companies that specialize in this) such as PooPrints. If the dog owner in violation pops up in the database, the apartment complex charges fees, which can really add up, and typically total about $100 per violation. Fines will often go up for repeat offenders, and eviction is also out on the table. 

PooPrints reports that communities who use their program see a 95% reduction in pet waste! It seems the threat of hefty fines keeps these lazy dog owners in line, for the most part.

What do you think about DNA testing of dog poop? Do you live in a community where this is enacted?

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?

the command only a pet blogger's dog knows

One of the great things about being a pet blogger is that we get to try out the latest and greatest pet products. I'm not gonna lie...getting awesome stuff for free is pretty great. Since I'm all about pet lifestyle and wellness and there are so many great options these days as far as food and treats are concerned, it seems like there's always some new something in the house to enjoy. 

N.A.S.H.A. now assumes (correctly) that every package that comes to the door has her name on it. It's getting to the point where opening a box must be done behind closed doors, because she'll immediately start harassing me for the contents. i.e., staring at me incessantly if I'm sitting and giving me repeated dead-legs if I'm standing. She's a conditioned blog-dog.

Once I'm ready to let her try something, I bring it out and take pictures of her with said fabulous unopened delight. Then we go through the legit trial to make sure she loves it...and I take more pictures over several days.

Then I sit down to write.

There is only so much consumption an eleven-pound dog can take and maintain a healthy figure, so by the time I get to writing, she's possibly over-consumed in the name of photo ops. But if I'm talking about a product we love, I like to have the package in front of me, and I like to look at it, read the information on it, and make sure I know the ins and outs. So while I write, I'm doing the crinkle–that tell-tale sound pet packages make when touched by human hands.

The crinkle is torture.

So I've developed a new command: "Nope. Blog post.

I didn't even realize she was understanding me until recently. I must have been saying it for months and months. Dog-gone, I trained my dog!

 "Nope. Blog post."  Must...combat...the...crinkle. Will play like a wild wolf with my ducky, instead. The struggle is real. –wellmindedpets.com

"Nope. Blog post." Must...combat...the...crinkle. Will play like a wild wolf with my ducky, instead. The struggle is real.–wellmindedpets.com

So instead of getting all excited at the crinkle, N.A.S.H.A. has become conditioned to the command. Sure, she'll look up when she hears the initial crinkle. But when I see her do that, all I have to say is "Nope. Blog post," and she knows she's not getting anything. And then I can pretty much crinkle away while I complete my research. She'll occupy herself or take a nap.

So, fellow pet bloggers, how do your pets fare with the empty promise of the crinkle? 

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.