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. –

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

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? 

the dogs of tulum

My family and I just returned from the vacation of a lifetime. We traveled to Tulum, Mexico for a special wedding of friends who are family (you know the kind). We saw beautiful beaches, sailed on a catamaran, jumped off a cliff into a cenote, explored ancient costal ruins, and ate exquisite foods. We spent time with each other and met new friends, and my junior pet sitters were ring bearer and flower girl on the big day. 

All the while, I was checking out the dogs. 

I didn't miss out on any of the human fun, mind you, but I just couldn't get enough of the special canines of Tulum.

The Dogs of Tulum–Well Minded

The Dogs of Tulum–Well Minded

If you're wrinkling your brow about where Tulum is, it's about a two-hour drive south of Cancun on the Caribbean side of Mexico.  Map source:

If you're wrinkling your brow about where Tulum is, it's about a two-hour drive south of Cancun on the Caribbean side of Mexico. Map source:

I've advocated before about the importance of leashes, and I'm a firm believer that dogs should be leashed unless in a designated off-leash area. Basically all of Tulum is off-leash, and dogs roam free. And it's fine. They all get along and behave themselves, and their local owners have them under complete control. The dogs are friendly and fun and free, which is basically the definition of the place. We didn't wear shoes for five days. That's just how it is. 

Meet some of my favorite dogs of Tulum.

the ones with the coconuts

We saw these two roaming the beach frequently. They always stuck together, and though they had a lot of room to walk the beach freely, they never strayed too far from their owners, a nice couple just enjoying the beach and their cocktails. The light brown shaggy one reminded me of an over sized N.A.S.H.A. She liked to munch coconut husks, while her brother, the brindle bully mix, loved to play fetch with them. He would bark at tourists walking by, and we'd all pitch in to keep the game going. 

the one at the docks

We walked in as a group, pumped up for our catamaran cruise, and there lay an adorable Scottish Terrier. He didn't pay any attention to us, at first. In fact, we had to step over and around him to get through the entry and onto our boat, but he eventually came around and gave us some love.

the wedding crashers

We kept seeing this pair of yellow labs on the beach with their man. They were playful and casual and friendly, and just a joy to be around. I guess they figured they were part of our group, because they decided to attend the wedding, invite or not. Thankfully, they restrained themselves until the vows were said.

The end.

n.a.s.h.a. trains me with the treat lineup from @VetIQpets #ad

N.A.S.H.A. has me trained. I get up early–4:30 a.m. early–and she kindly gets up with me so I don't have to go it alone. Before I start the coffee pot, I let her out for a few minutes, and then back in, and then I follow her straight to the dog pantry. She knows it's treat time. Typically she only gets that one treat each day, but sometimes when we have a particularly desirable treat in the rotation, she'll request more. At first I didn't realize what it meant when she gave me a dead leg. Was she just being a jokester? After repeated pokes, it became apparent that she was trying to communicate something. Had her water bowl gone dry? Nope. Did she want to play? Nope.

N.A.S.H.A. Trains Me with the Treat Lineup from VetIQ.

N.A.S.H.A. Trains Me with the Treat Lineup from VetIQ.

As a True Science Ambassador, I am being compensated for trying and conveying my opinion about True Science products. Neither True Science or VetIQ is responsible for the content of this article. All opinions expressed are my own.

As I'd head to the pantry, she'd bounce a bit to let me know I was getting warmer. And when I put my hand on the treat bag, she sat down and licked her chops, letting me know I'd figured it out. I'm blaming the VetIQ treats we have in the pantry right now for the recent dead-legs I've been getting. We've been trying Minties Dental Treats and Hip & Joint Soft Chews, which are more of a supplement than a treat, much to N.A.S.H.A.'s disappointment...she can only have a small amount. Both are vet recommended and made in the U.S.A.

what is VetIQ all about?

Their mission: 

VetIQ provides quality medication and supplements for your pet at prices you can afford. We desire to provide the best information possible so that you can make informed decisions for your pet.

I'm all about making informed decisions, especially when it comes to my family's health and the health of our pets. Each VetIQ product is given it's own web site, which is interesting to me. It may seem like overkill, but to those of us who like to be informed, these platforms offer all the facts we need to make good choices.

Hip & Joint from VetIQ


N.A.S.H.A. loves chewy treats, so I figured the Hip & Joint supplements would be a sure thing, and I was right. She loves them. Too bad she only gets half a treat every other day, so says the package, because she'd love a lot more. The supplements help support joint cartilage, help lubricate joints, and help maintain muscle–all important as our dogs age–with glucosamine, creatine, and omega 3s.

"Okay...I'm sitting. Kindly hand over the Hip & Joint."

"Okay...I'm sitting. Kindly hand over the Hip & Joint."

Minties from VetIQ


I figured the Minties dental treats would be a tougher sell, but I was wrong. She loves the Minties, too. We'd tried her on other dental chews in the past with no success, so I was pleasantly surprised. Minties help clean teeth, promote fresh breath with natural ingredients, and help control plaque and tartar. They are wheat free, gluten free, soy free, corn free, and are free of artificial flavors and animal by-products. It's especially important for senior dogs to maintain good dental health, and since N.A.S.H.A. is ten, now, that is important to us. 

"You mean I get more? Guinea pigs have it made!"

"You mean I get more? Guinea pigs have it made!"

Since N.A.S.H.A. enjoys these treats so much, we'll make them part of our regular healthy treat lineup. 

Follow VetIQ on Twitter. Follow Minties on Twitter.

healthy dog treats from brothers complete are a hit #sponsored #giveaway

You know me. I'm always seeking out great dog food and treats to add to our rotation and recommend to my clients and readers. I recently discovered Brothers Complete, a premium line of dog food and treats. Living up to their name, they sent us their complete line to try. It is great to have the opportunity to let N.A.S.H.A. try all of the varieties so we could see which ones she loves best. We started with the treats, naturally.

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. 

brothers complete line of healthy dog treats

Brothers Complete offers both biscuit treats and dehydrated treats. We tried their Turkey Meal Biscuits, Buffalo Meal Biscuits, Venison Meal Biscuits, Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats, and Dehydrated Chicken Treats. 

what makes brothers complete treats so great?

• GMO-, grain-, sugar-, hormone-, and antibiotic-free

• potato-free

• no artificial colors or flavors

• no chemical preservatives

• made in small batches sourced and made in the U.S.A., designed, delivered and stored by Brothers Complete

• packaged in 3 ply foil bags to preserve freshness

This family-run business takes pride in their products and values their customers. Their mission? "The intention we bring to all that we do is to create the highest good for all involved, our customers, our family, and every dog that we feed." And to back up their high quality product, they offer a 100% satisfaction, no-hassle guarantee, so if for some strange reason your dog isn't digging what they're dishing out, you're covered. 

our treat trial

Since we had five high-quality treats to choose from, I thought it would be fun to have a blind taste test. Yes, I realize a blind taste test means that you conceal the product packaging, but since I have not yet taught N.A.S.H.A. to read, I decided that putting the treats in front of their respective bags would be of benefit to you and not skew the results significantly. For the record, I don't recommend you feed your dog (especially if she is only eleven pounds) five treats at once, but since N.A.S.H.A. is an integral part of the trial, I thought it fitting to pay her with a little indulgence.

I put out all of the treats while N.A.S.H.A. drooled and wiggled in my husband's arms. He accused me of animal torture.

The complete lineup of Brothers Complete dog treats, ready to be sampled.

The complete lineup of Brothers Complete dog treats, ready to be sampled.

Though all of the treats are fantastic, I was curious to see what she would do when presented with so many options. Actually, I had a pretty good idea of which one she would go for first. Check out the video to see what happened:

Yup! The dehydrated chicken won out, followed quickly by the turkey biscuit and buffalo biscuit, respectively. She made her way through all of the treats, but, being a dog of very little size, she could only grab one at a time. I'm sure some of you Great Danes out there could handle all five at once!

After predictably selecting the dehydrated chicken first, N.A.S.H.A. went back to check out the other offerings. Her review: YUM!

After predictably selecting the dehydrated chicken first, N.A.S.H.A. went back to check out the other offerings. Her review: YUM!

I'm happy to have found the Brothers Compete treats as a healthy addition to our lineup. I also like to make sure the treats I leave for my pet sitting clients at the end of each service period are high-quality, so we might just share the wealth. Probably. Maybe. 

brothers complete giveaway

We will share the wealth with you, however, whether you are a client or not. Brothers Complete has offered to send one of our lucky readers a 10 lb. bag of dog food of their choice, plus three bags of biscuits (one of each flavor)! Awesome!

I didn't want to inundate you with too much information all at once, so next time we'll try the Brothers Complete Dog Food and let you know what we think. We'll be giving away a great prize pack then, too, so be sure to check back!

Find Brothers Complete on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.