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?

getting ready to #mixitup with Instinct Raw Boost Mixers #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Instinct® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article. 

As a professional pet sitter and wellness advocate, I completely understand the benefits of feeding my dog a raw diet. But, if I'm being honest, I just don't. It's a pain in the...you know. So I do the best I can with high-quality grain-free dog foods that we feed N.A.S.H.A. in rotation. If I could incorporate raw food into her diet without all the hassle, I definitely would.

Guess what. 

I just found out that I can!

 Getting Ready to #mixitup with Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers–Well Minded.

Getting Ready to #mixitup with Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers–Well Minded.

Nature's Variety® Instinct® is one of our favorite high-quality dry dog foods. We've had it in our rotation for years. I was really excited to learn that they now offer Instinct Raw Boost Mixers, freeze-dried raw mix-ins to compliment and enhance our pets' regular diets. Now we can provide the benefits of a raw diet, minus the intimidation factor. 

what is raw?

Feeding raw is just as it sounds, serving your pet uncooked food. It's traditionally a pretty expensive and labor-intensive process. Nature's Variety explains just what a raw diet provides:

• food is not cooked

• contains pure, whole-food ingredients for optimal nutrient absorbtion

• contains natural enzymes for digestive health

• provides nutrition in its purest form–proteins, vitamins, and minerals are ready for the body to utilize

benefits of feeding raw

So why is it so healthy to feed your pet a raw diet? 

Raw diets are the most natural diet for your pet. A raw diet is nutritious and easily-absorbed into your pet's system. Basically, it's what your pet would eat in the wild, should he not be snuggled up in a cute sweater next to you on the couch right now. As we humans seek out whole foods and steer away from the processed junk we've been consuming, we desire the same nutrient-rich, chemical-free options for our pets. Enter the raw diet.

go get Instinct Raw Boost Mixers–it's easy!

I am super excited to have found Instinct Raw Boost Mixers because now I can incorporate a raw element into N.A.S.H.A.'s diet without the hassle. I just mix it right into her regular food. The fine folks at Nature's Variety have developed high-pressure processing that ensures safety without cooking the food. So it's raw, but in a kibble-like form that is easily mixed into your pet's existing grub. The Instinct Raw Boost Mixers work great with kibble or cans, and you don't even have to add water. What could be easier?

I love that they offer trial sizes. So if you aren't sure about the raw deal, or you're not sure you pooch will dig it (who are we kidding?), you can purchase convenient one-ounce packages. 

 It's great that Instinct offers trial sizes of their Raw Boost Mixers. Someone is lurking in the shadows, eager to see what this new culinary adventure will bring.

It's great that Instinct offers trial sizes of their Raw Boost Mixers. Someone is lurking in the shadows, eager to see what this new culinary adventure will bring.

I found the complete lineup at my local PetSmart®. Since N.A.S.H.A. isn't a great car dog, we usually leave her behind, but my daughter helped me spot what we were looking for on the shelves. She was excited to have found the Instinct Raw Boost Mixers right away. They come in chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb varieties. 

 Some treasure-hunt...even a six-year-old could easily find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers at our local Petsmart.

Some treasure-hunt...even a six-year-old could easily find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers at our local Petsmart.

 It was easy to find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers with the rest of Nature's Variety Instinct lineup at PetSmart.

It was easy to find Instinct Raw Boost Mixers with the rest of Nature's Variety Instinct lineup at PetSmart.

 Decisions, decisions...which bag of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers should we choose?

Decisions, decisions...which bag of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers should we choose?

We're getting ready to mix it up! I received some samples of Instinct Raw Boost Mixers, and N.A.S.H.A. loved them so much that we snagged ourselves a big ol' bag. We're planning to mix them into her food each day, and I can't wait to see the positive changes for myself. I know one thing is for sure: N.A.S.H.A. loves the way they taste! She's super interested in breaking out the big bag. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

If you're ready to take the plunge like we are, now is a great time. Instinct Raw Boost Mixers larger bags are currently 20% off at PetSmart!

 I'd say this is a bit easier than traditional raw diet preparation. 

I'd say this is a bit easier than traditional raw diet preparation. 

Do you feed raw? Or have you tried the Instinct Raw Boost Mixers? I'd love to hear your opinion as we embark on this raw food journey.

Visit Nature's Variety Instinct on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

our @wisdompanel 3.0 canine dna test experience (and a discount for you!) #sponsored

I've speculated about our dog, N.A.S.H.A.'s, breed makeup since we adopted her in 2005. I call her a "mixed terrier" because a majority of her physical and behavioral traits seem terrier-ish to me, but I'm not certain. The only way to really be sure is to have her DNA tested. Yep, doggie DNA. I'm beyond excited that we are finally doing just that. We received a Canine DNA Test from Wisdom Panel. The process was super easy, and I can't wait to find out how accurate my assessment of N.A.S.H.A.'s ancestry is. Wisdom Panel reports that visual identification of a dog's breed(s) is only accurate about 25% of the time. So there's a good chance we'll be surprised!

a canine dna test in 3 easy steps

I am being compensated for helping to spread the word about Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 3.0. Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. All opinions are my own. Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 3.0 is not responsible for the content of this article.

The Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine DNA Test takes just three simple steps.

1. Collect dog's DNA. N.A.S.H.A. is fairly easy-going, but I was surprised that she didn't put up any sort of fight. All I had to do was place the collection swabs between her gum and her cheek and swab for a few seconds. There were two cheek swabs, and she didn't seem to mind at all.

 It just took a gentle touch–no duct tape required ;)–to swab N.A.S.H.A.'s cheek.

It just took a gentle touch–no duct tape required ;)–to swab N.A.S.H.A.'s cheek.

2. Activate online. While I waited for the test swabs to dry completely, I went online and activated our kit by answering just a few basic questions. It only took about three minutes.

 You can see the simple instructions behind our drying swabs.

You can see the simple instructions behind our drying swabs.

3. Mail test. On my way to pick the kids up at school, I dropped by the post office and mailed the kit off. Easy!

The report will come in 2-3 weeks, but in the meantime, I can track the test on the Wisdom Panel web site, just like I can track my UPS package! 

what are the benefits to testing my dog's dna with wisdom panel 3.0?

I wanted to have N.A.S.H.A.'s DNA tested simply because it's fun and I'm curious about her, but there are lots of reasons to have your dog tested:

• Create a better health plan for your pooch. Certain breeds are at higher risk for certain conditions and diseases. Knowing your dog's breed(s) can help you plan and prepare for those possibilities and can provide potentially life-saving information. 

• Determine if your dog has the MDR1 (Multi-Drug Resistance 1) genetic mutation. It is found in some hearing and sighthound breeds, as well as many mixed-breed dogs. The MDR1 gene produces a protein, P-glycoprotien, that is a drug transport pump, playing an important role in limiting drug absorption and distribution. It enhances the excretion of drugs commonly used in dogs, and most often affects the brain. Dogs with the MDR1 mutation may suffer adverse reactions to common drugs. Armed with this knowledge, you can provide a better, safer veterinary experience for your dog.

• Create a behavior plan. If you haven't already botched things up in the pet parenting department (wink), knowing your dog's breed(s) can help create a behavior plan that can reduce or eliminate unwanted behaviors and play to your dog's strengths and instincts. There is a reason why English Bulldogs don't make good jogging partners and why your Border Collie must be mentally challenged to stay out of trouble. 

• Create a nutrition plan. Just as humans have individual dietary needs, dogs do, as well (is your dog jumping on the gluten-free train?). Knowing your dog's genetic background can help determine the best nutrition plan for your pooch, which may improve quality of life and longevity.

• Determine the size of your puppy or appropriate weight of your adult dog. By having your puppy tested, you'll be able to determine the approximate size he'll be as an adult. In addition, knowing your dog's genetic background can help determine your pet's ideal weight.

And to think I just wanted to do it for fun!

where can I get wisdom panel 3.0?

I can't wait to see the Wisdom Panel folks this Saturday, December 5th, at the upcoming Holiday Pet Festival in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona. If you'll be attending, you can have your dog swabbed on-site for the discounted price of $39.99. Or you can purchase a kit to take home for the discounted price of $49.99. That is a sweet deal, as the MSRP is $84.99. If you're not local, you can still get $10 off your online purchase on the Wisdom Panel web site by using code Holidays2015. Perhaps you're looking for that unusual gift to give your dog or dog lover?

Stay tuned to hear about our experience at the Holiday Pet Festival and to find out what N.A.S.H.A.'s mutt make-up is. I can't wait! Maybe she's a pure-bred Saint Bernard!

Visit Wisdom Panel on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Have you had your dog's DNA tested? Were you surprised with the results?

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7 things to think about when hiking with your dog #PinnacleHealthyPets #sponsored

Fall is so close we can almost taste it, and here in Phoenix, AZ, that's a big deal. You leave the cocoon of your air-conditioned home that has sheltered you from the scorching temps and venture out into nature for the first time in months. Every summer, we ask ourselves why we live here, and then paradise comes as the seasons change, and we remember. Our family loves to be active outdoors in the fall, and one of our favorite activities to do together is hiking. We live in the desert foothills, just steps from a maze of fantastic hiking trails. Whether we want to go straight up the mountain or take a leisurely stroll at the base, we have options. Our dog, N.A.S.H.A., loves to hike with us.

 7 Things to Think About When Hiking With Your Dog

7 Things to Think About When Hiking With Your Dog

This post is sponsored by Pinnale and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness about Pinnacle's Newly Formulated Grain Free Dog Food, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pinnacle is not responsible for the content of this article.

Before embarking on a hike, we all fuel our bodies with nutritious food that will sustain our efforts. This is especially important when it comes to N.A.S.H.A. Though large as a lion in spirit, her body is a mere eleven pounds, so I estimate she takes at least eight steps to each of ours when we hike. It's important to us that she eat healthy food without artificial additives. Proper pet nutrition is essential to a healthy, active pooch. 

So what do we feed her?

I'm a big fan of rotational feeding (would you want to eat the same thing every day for years?), so we feed her several types. That being said, it is essential that the food have high quality ingredients. We prefer grain-free varieties with limited ingredients. As with the food I put into my children's bodies, if I can't pronounce it, we don't let the dog consume it. 

Pinnacle® is a great example

Pinnacle-Holistic-Pet-Nutrition

Pinnacle® Pet Food is top-notch. As part of our overall approach to holistic health, Pinnacle fits in beautifully. Why is Pinnacle pet food so great?

 Pinnacle Pet Food is an excellent choice for holistic canine nutrition.

Pinnacle Pet Food is an excellent choice for holistic canine nutrition.

• high-quality ingredients that are great fuel for your pooch such as quinoa, sweet potato, pumpkin, sea kelp, and cottage cheese

• natural, healthy recipes

• high-quality proteins 

• antioxidants that support a healthy immune system

• fiber to promote healthy digestion and stool

• helps with joint health and overall muscle tone (great for those long hikes)

Pinnacle Pet Food is made right in their California plant, which eases my mind. I'm that overprotective doggy mama who stresses about where N.A.S.H.A.'s food comes from. Don't judge. I still kiss my kids in front of their friends, too.

Proper canine nutrition is one of the most important things so sustain N.A.S.H.A. on our fall hikes, but there are several other things to consider when venturing out with your pooch.

top 7 things to think about when hiking with your dog

 We always make sure N.A.S.H.A. gets plenty of water to drink before, during, and after our hikes.

We always make sure N.A.S.H.A. gets plenty of water to drink before, during, and after our hikes.

1. Proper Hydration. It is essential that your dog drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hike. There are collapsable bowls that can fit into your backpack or pocket, and there are even water bottles with built-in bowls or drinking attachments just for dogs.

2. Pause and think of the paws. You have hiking boots, but your dog doesn't. What is the weather like? If it's too hot, your pet's paws may burn. If it's too cold, your pet's paws could freeze. Also, consider the terrain. Paw protection such as booties are a great idea, but may make it difficult for your dog to hike over rocky or uneven surfaces. Make sure nails are properly trimmed, as well. Consider all factors, and always take your pooch's paws into consideration.

3. Always keep your pet leashed. I know, this one is a bummer, but it's so important. Especially when venturing in the great outdoors. You may encounter other dogs on the trail, or your dog may be tempted to stray off the trail after a rabbit or other enticement. No matter how well you think your dog responds to commands, still, use a leash.

4. Patrol the poo. Always bring poo bags on a hike. Biodegradable ones are best. On our local trail, there are a lot of dogs, and most of them poop within minutes of the start of the hike (so we can enjoy carrying their droppings all day, I presume). We often place our poo bags just off the trail so we don't have to hike with them, but can pick them up on the way out. There are also poo carriers your dog can wear, but I think that's kinda mean. In any case, don't be a jerk and leave your dog's poop on the trail.

 Always keep your pet leashed when hiking.

Always keep your pet leashed when hiking.

5. First aid first. You don't think anything will happen, but that's just when something happens. A basic pet first aid kit can be a lifesaver, and many of the items can be used for both humans and dogs. Throw it in your hiking backpack before you depart. 

6. Phone with GPS. I know...the point is to look up from your phone and get in touch with nature, but keep your phone with you in case of emergency. And your phone's GPS can help you if you get lost. Take a couple of selfies with your pooch, while you're at it.

7. Proper Nutrition. I can't stress this one enough. As I mentioned, Pinnacle Pet Food is a great one to try if you are interested in holistic nutrition for your active pooch. Set your dog up for a successful grand adventure by providing him the proper fuel.

 Proper nutrition helps N.A.S.H.A. feel great during our family hikes.

Proper nutrition helps N.A.S.H.A. feel great during our family hikes.

Do you hike with your dog? What outdoor fall adventures do you enjoy together?

Next month we'll be checking out Pinnacle Pet Food in detail and sharing the findings with you, so be sure to check back! 

Connect with Pinnacle on Facebook and Twitter.