Prior to having children, my husband and I were proud parents to our three furbabies. Yes, you read that right "furbabies"... our three rescue dogs that cared for and treated as if they were actual children. If you are not a pet owner/lover, then you may think this is weird -- you are not alone, as I remember having people at my work shake their heads when I would talk about them as if they were kids. I can't tell you have many times I had people remind me that they were only animals and really didn't need clothes, special diets, spa days, etc. But, they were like my children, and I still feel that way, even now after giving birth to our two beautiful daughters.
Our furbabies -- Manny (left), Lily (center) and Abby (right)
I have always been a dog lover, and first learned how to take care of animals when my parents bought my brothers and I a Maltese at the pet store when we were in middle school. I still remember the day Toby came home and how much fun he was to play with. I learned the true meaning of unconditional love thanks to our family pet, who lived to be 12 years old. While Toby taught my brothers and I valuable lessons in caring for an animal, as well as responsibility, I also learned early on that buying a pet from a breeder or a pet store may not always be the best idea. Many of these animals have underlying medical conditions that only present themselves after you take them home. This was the case with Toby, as he had a heart condition that needed to be managed his entire life with medicine (which I remember being expensive). The vets told us that they see too many cases of animals being bought from breeders and pet stores, and having medical conditions, which pose problems for owners. Either the medical expenses to treat long-term conditions get too great and a pet has to be put to sleep, or, pet owners give up the dog to a rescue, as they can't financially and emotionally take care of them. Sad, but true. So, I told myself that when I was living on my own that I would get a dog -- not from a pet store or breeder, but from a rescue...and, that is what I did, with the three dogs that my husband and I have owned together.
We knew that by rescuing an animal from a shelter that they would probably have some sort of medical or behavioral issue, thus being the cause for them being put into a shelter. But, we wanted to give an animal a forever home and care for it as if it was our child, as we didn't have any children at the time, and weren't ready to settle down and raise a family. While in college, my husband and I rescued Manny, a Lhasa Apso mix. He was about to be put down as he had aggression issues and couldn't be adopted. He melted our hearts and snuggled close to us when we took him for a walk. We knew then, that he was the one and we would do anything and everything for him. This was really put to the test a few years after having Manny, as he developed bad skin allergies that could only be controlled by medicine prescribed by the vet -- steroids. We really didn't think twice when the vet prescribed the medicine, and only briefly went over the long-term effects of the medicine. All we wanted to do was make sure Manny was comfortable and not itching and with sore anymore.
Manny spent his remaining time on this Earth battling severe skin irritations, that would leave him days on end with a cone on head, or needing me to give him oatmeal baths or apply hydrocortisone cream. The way I would talk about him to friends and family, made him sound like a child who was suffering bad eczema. He wasn't a child in the sense of the word...he was a dog. But, he was my furbaby, and still is in memory.
A few years after we rescued Manny, we rescued Abby a few weeks prior to my cancer treatment in 2008, as I was looking for pet therapy and a friend to bring to my parents' house while I received treatment for 5 months. Manny was staying home with my husband, and providing support to him, but I knew I needed someone to. Abby really was my forever friend and I treated her, just like Manny, as if she were my child. I would dress her, shower her with gifts for her birthday and Christmas, and planned vacations after treatment that were pet friendly.
To celebrate being in remission, we decided to adopt another rescue dog, mainly as a companion for Abby as Manny was getting older and didn't want to run around and play with Abby. We drove two hours away to rescue Lily after hearing a shelter in Western CT had received a truck full of dogs from the South that needed homes, or would have to be put down. When we brought Lily home to meet Abby and Manny, there was an instant bond between the dogs. And, within a few days time, Abby and Lily were inseparable. They would play, eat and sleep together. And, whenever you saw one, the other was following behind.
A year after adopting Abby, who we found out was bred by a breeder who had half the dogs die in the little due to parvo, she started to have seizures. We took her to the vet and they quickly prescribed medicine that she, too, would need to be on the for the rest of her life. I think our love for our pets and being scared for their health, blurred our understanding of the medicine and its potentially dangerous side effects. You wouldn't expect vets to prescribe medicine that could kill your pet...but, that is what happened a few years later when Abby had another seizure that she didn't come out of. We rushed her to the vet and they gave her an injection that paralyzed her. We ended up having to put her down so she would not suffer. That was the most difficult time in my life, as I had felt like I could have and should have done more, and that my forever friend who was by my side day and in and day out during and after my cancer treatment, had to be put down. I vowed from that day forward to be more proactive when it came to the health and wellness of our animals, even if we only had Lily left to care for.
I can't tell you how many times we have taken Lily to the vet and had they suggest medicine for digestive issues or even bad breath. I graciously declined and would look for more natural and holistic treatments, vitamins/supplements. And, over time, I found that these types of products worked much better to help ease problems with our dog's health, without carrying long-term side effects. While we were able to treat some minor health concerns using these types of products, we struggled to get Lily to take them. Either the pills were too big for our 10 lb. Yorkshire/Maltese mix to take, or they smelled or tasted gross and she wasn't having it. I would try to hide the pills or liquid in her food or a treat, but she was smart and knew what we were doing. So, have spent the past few years trying to find reputable products to provide Lily with better overall health and live longer. I was about to give up on the search, until I was contacted by the folks at HardyPet to review their Blue Box, which is filled with an assortment of non-prescription products to improve overall canine health.
More about HardyPet:
"HardyPet was formed in 2004 in response to a growing need for a better solution to improve the health of dogs seen in rescue shelters. The HardyPet Complete formula was first created by a group of pet professionals to address a growing need for a non‐prescription option to treat these dogs in need. Often, dogs arriving in shelters have precious little time for the rehabilitation needed to find a new adoptive home. An emphasis on natural ingredients was the key to our holistic rehabilitation approach and years of research found just the right formula. Today, hundreds of shelters and rescue organizations utilize HardyPet Complete to improve each dog's chances for finding a new loving home. In 2009, HardyPet began to offer the Complete formula to dog owners directly with the hope that overall canine health would improve and shelter populations would decline over time. The primary mission of HardyPet is to eliminate owner surrenders due health conditions that can be prevented through proper canine nutrition."
Due to past experiences with other non-prescription products for dogs that we tried to give Lily to no avail, I was not expecting much with this product offering, to tell you the truth. But, I was willing to try anything, if it would provide Lily with better health. I am so glad I agreed to review the Blue Box by HardyPet, as Lily loves all the products, except for the antler chew, as she had to have her front teeth pulled shortly after we rescued her, due to improper care and being abandoned on the streets in GA, where she had a rough time, until we rescued her and gave her a forever home.
Why, the HardyPet Blue Box Bundle?
The HardyPet Blue Box Bundle offers a complete approach to canine supplementation, at a substantially discounted price. For a dog lover who is just learning about the need for supplementation, this product bundle provides everything they need to get started. Dog owners who currently have nutrition plans for their dogs know how valuable each product in the bundle is to the health of their dog.
Included in the Hardy Pet Blue Box were the following products...
- HardyPet Complete ‐ Made with over 40 pharmaceutical grade ingredients, this combination of holistic natural compounds, amino acids and broad spectrum vitamins provides the essential nutrients all dogs need to achieve optimum health.
- A daily chewable multi‐vitamin most dog's think is a treat, it helps with issues related to skin/coat, digestion, heart health, immune function, and joint health. There is not a more complete canine supplement available.
- HardyPet Canine PRO6 ‐ There are 6 strains of naturally occurring "friendly bacteria" in the canine digestive tract. These bacteria are vital to proper digestion and immune health and are under constant attack from candida yeast and others. Providing your dog with a daily source of the flora they need will help combat yeast overgrowth, balance the pH of the intestinal tract, optimize nutrient absorption, and improve overall immune function. Providing a canine specific probiotic is an important key to every dog's health.
- HardyPet Premium Fish Oil ‐ The health benefits of fish oil for humans has been well known for decades. These same benefits apply to dogs and are even more significant in certain areas of canine health. The Omega‐3's found in fish oil play a large role in how their immune system produces natural anti‐inflammatory compounds, neurological and eye development in young dogs which can affect them later in life, maintaining good heart health, and helping older dogs with a variety of issues. The key to these benefits is using a fish oil with the right EPA/DHA balance for dogs and always giving the proper dosage. There is a limit to the amount of Omega‐3's a dog can have in a day and HardyPet Fish Oil is packaged with a pump that delivers a precise amount each time. Together with the dosage chart on the label, owners are able to deliver the right amount of Omega‐3's every day.
- HardyChews ‐ Keeping a dog mentally sharp and happy is important. There is nothing better than seeing our dogs playing with toys they love. The challenge with many toys is their durability and safety after use. HardyChews are made from natural deer antlers which are naturally shed each year in the wild. These antlers are collected, properly sized, sharp edges removed, sanitized and sealed. Because of the natural toughness of antlers, HardyChews will not splinter and last longer than any synthetic toy. Dogs instinctively love antler chews and will chew and play, day after day.
- HardyPet Bag Clip ‐ Keeping dry dog food fresh is important and something as simple as a bag clip makes a big difference. Our durable bag clip comes with a magnetic backing to attach to a refrigerator or other metal surface when not in use."
Knowing this, I could see that the folks at HardyPet has animals as their main priority, and this made me love the company and their product offering even more.
And, when I saw Lily get excited for their HardyPet Complete and HardyPet Canine PRO6 probiotic, I knew i had finally found a brand I could trust and that would help improve the life of my furbaby, while also treating health issues including digestive and joint problems.
Did you know?...
She had more energy and would play with our girls, and wasn't sleeping as much. It was like she went to bed and woke as a younger pup. It was so refreshing to see her skin and coat looking healthier and shinier, her joints not as stiff allowing her to run around and play, and she wasn't gassy at nigh time (never fun as she would sleep at the end of our bed). I couldn't believe that products like the ones I was sent by HardyPet could have much of a difference on an animal.
Here is a quick video I took with Lily and my daughter Savannah, showing just how much Lily enjoyed the products that are included in the HardyPet Blue Box. You will see in the video that I don't have to break the pills up or try to hide in a food just so she will eat. She even licks the water bowl clean after having her morning water with fish oil in it.
Back when we were giving prescribed medicine to Abby and Manny when they were with us, to treat their ailments, they would become sluggish and lay around. So much for the medicine helping to make them feel better. Being able to compare the states of my other two rescue dogs having to take daily prescription medicine and giving Lily these non-prescription products for better canine health, made me realize that as a pet owner you really have to do your research when it comes to what you give your pet. Vets may not always be right, as many are reluctant to give supplements to treat an ailment or health concern. But, I am a believer as I have seen firsthand how pet supplements made with all natural ingredients, like the ones I was sent by HardyPet, really help to improve a dog's health and allow them to live longer. How could you not try supplements knowing that they were made with natural ingredients that will not cause potential long term side effects like prescribed products?
Being a mom to a furbaby and wanting the best for our little girl, I will continue to use HardyPet products with her.
She loves them and doesn't put up a fight when I try to give them to her, and I love how she is happier and full of energy. I still can't get over the difference a couple weeks and adding pet supplements to our dog's diet can do. If you are the proud owner of a dog and want the best for them and their health, then you will want to check out HardyPet and learn about their growing product offering. I can't stop raving about the products I was sent to review from the Blue Box with family and friends and love hearing them comment about how Lily is looks and acts happier. I am happy to know I am giving her products that were made for animals like her in mind, and that have helped other rescue dogs get adopted. There is not better feeling than that of the unconditional love a pet gives. They shower you with wet kisses and keep you warm when they snuggle, and don't demand anything in return. Why not show them how much they mean to you, but giving them supplements from HardyPet for better canine health?
To learn more about HardyPet, including the items included in the Blue Box I was sent, visit http://www.hardypet.com/ today.
Don't forget to follow HardyPet on their socially media pages to stay up to date on new product additions, news and more:
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in which HardyPet will be compensating me for my time. All views I have shared are mine and mine alone.