Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Dog Product Reviewer (RIP MANNY)

Avanti Press Dog Sympathy Card

Back in May, we said goodbye to one of our beloved dogs of 14 years, Manny.  

My husband and I got Manny while we were in college, and he lived on a long and spoiled :-) life.  He was 21 years old when we had to put him down.  Before we had our two daughters, Manny and our two other rescue dogs were (and still are) like our children.  We would take them on vacation, have their photos done for the holidays, fill the tree with gifts for them, etc.  So, it was only fitting for Manny to have one last hooray before he left us.  A couple weeks before he got really sit, I was sent a few boxes, filled with products for dogs to be reviewed.  It was like Christmas had come early.  One box was filled with wet and dry dog food and treats, while two others contained a pet pad, bark controlling device, a squeakless toy, massager and toothbrush.  As Manny watched me take each item out of the box, he began to have a little bit more pep to his step and came and sat by me, as to ask if all these goodies were his.  

And, thus began my final pet review with our oldest and most loyal dog, Manny.  The first item he tried was the Sunbeam® Pets Microplush Warming Pet Pad .

Sunbeam® Microplush Warming Pet Pad - PetSmart
Unfortunately, I don't have photos of him sleeping on this soothing pet pad.  But, I was able to get a photo of Abby, our youngest (7 years), who began sleeping on the Sunbeam® Pets Microplush Warming Pet Pad after she realized Manny wasn't coming home.  

I think she feels comfort in resting where he once had (even if it was for a short time).  Manny suffered from severe allergies, and in the end was missing most of his hair. This caused him to be cold, even on warm days.  So, prior to receiving this pet pad, I would have to wrap him in towels or blankets I warmed in the dryer.  But, with the Sunbeam® Pets Microplush Warming Pet Pad, providing comforting warmth for him (at any time) was a breeze.  Manny preferred sleeping on this soft, microplush pet pad, and having me keep it on low during his naps.  He seemed to sleep better as a result of staying warm and having the warmth target some of his sore joints.  

Since receiving this sample for review, I went to PetSmart, which this product is sold exclusively, and picked one up for Lily (who is 8 years old), and suffers from arthritis in her back legs and hip.  She loves snuggling on her own pet pad throughout the day.  And, even without the heat, this has become her go-to pet bed.

The next product I reviewed was the Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™.  This is the perfect bark control device for indoors or outdoors.  With small dogs, we deal with constant barking, every time they hear a noise.  This used to aggravate Manny, as he preferred quiet, calm environments in the end, and not having two loud yappers running around him.  The Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™, which runs on batteries, automatically detects barking and emits a high-pitched ultrasonic sound only dogs can hear, up to 50 feet away.  I loved this handheld version, as I could carry it from room to room, and know that the dogs would not bark and bother Manny, or wake the girls.  

I have tried other bark control devices (except the collars), but was disappointed to find that they didn't work.  Some I even spent top dollar, thinking the more money it cost, the better it would work.  So, as I was putting batteries into the Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™, I kept an open mind, not expecting much.  Within minutes of turning this device on, the mailman walked past the window.  Usually the dogs would go crazy, and even ram themselves against the patio glass door.  But, after a few seconds of barking, the Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™ began working and instantly quieted the dogs down. They sat there watching the mailman come to the side down, and didn't let out a bark.  I couldn't believe it!! Where was this device when we had brought Savannah home and the dogs went crazy for a week straight barking at this stranger they didn't know at the time.  

It has been about  a month now since I received this product for review, and use it every day.  I am still working off of the same batteries I initially put it the egg.  When the dogs notice something, they bark 2-3 times, and then are quieted down. It is like magic, in this little portable sonic egg.

The next few items were enjoyed more by Abby, as Manny was too aggressive to let brush his teeth or massage him, and Lily doesn't like vibrating sounds near her.  As pet owners, my husband and I know how important dental care is for dogs.  Like humans, they need to have their teeth brushed, and given chew toys and treats that help remove plaque, to prevent tooth decay or other dental issues.  

 Dental Care System

The Vet Tech Dental Care System from Silvers Tails Senior Pet Products was easy to use and really did get Abby's teeth clean, and kept her breath smelling fresh.  I make a point to brush their teeth at least once a week, as it is hard with two young children to do this every night.  But, when I do, this handy dental gadget makes brushing Abby's teeth a breeze.  The kit came with a month supply of dental cleaning heads and solution.  The textured cleaning heads absorbed tarter build-up food and other debris that was hard to remove with the standard rubber finger toothbrush.  I would follow up every other week with the polishing head, which would seal the enamel surface, for a longer lasting clean.  

Abby was also able to help me review the Hand-Held Massager, also from  Silvers Tails Senior Pet Products
 Hand Held Massager

This massager is great in that it can be used on both cats and dogs.  Abby was diagnosed with unexplained seizures a few years, and has 1-2 episodes a month.  So, we need to always check in on her and make sure she is fine.  After she has a seizure, however, her body is sore and tight for a few days later.  The vet told us we could massage her by hand or pick up a hand-held massager, to help relax her and prevent repeated seizures.  Like the warming pet pad above, I have bough a handful of so-called top of the line hand-held dog massagers, but had to either return or throw out because of poor quality or them being too loud.  

The Silver Tails hand-held massager offered two massage heads, to promote healthy circulation and relief to sore and tired muscles and joints.  With the telescoping handle, both my husband and I were able to hold this massager in our hand, without it slipping around. This was always a negative from other massagers we bought in the past, as they were either too bulky for me to hold, or would shift around in our hand, when the device was turned on.  Again, I have been using this product for about a month now, and make a point to massage Abby 1-2 times a week.  I have noticed a device in the number of seizures she has.  I am hoping that with her feeling more relaxed, that this is helping her condition.  Only time with tell...crossing our fingers!!!

HD Flats Deer

Now what dog review is complete without a fun, squeaky toy for them to play with.  Well, do I have just the right toy for your dog.  The HEAR DOGGY! (from Quaker Pet Group) is a brand new Ultrasonic dog toy.  The squeaker is tuned to a pitch outside of the human audible frequency range.  Thus, dogs can enjoy a "noisy" toy without disturbing their human companions! Out of the three dogs, Abby is the only one who enjoys chew toys and throwing and playing catch with her toys.  She is a fan of stuffed animals, and is loving having Savannah's toys near her.  I need to make a point to keep them away from her, or she would have the couch covered in them, all slobbery and dirty.  

As soon as I gave Abby the HEAR DOGGY! toy, she took it from and went crazy, throwing it all around her.  While she was loving having a new toy, I was enjoying not listening to a high-pitched squeaky sound, like many of her other toys make.  With all the rough play that Abby puts this little stuffed toy through, I am happy to report that even after a month, the squeaker is still intact, and the toy hasn't lost its insides :-)  This ultrasonic dog toy can be purchased online at

  Grill-icious Chicken

If the dogs could talk, they would say that the best part of the review was the food and snack sampling.  I was sent a bag of Grill-icious™ chicken treats.  Because Manny was allergic to beef, I stashed this bag of treats away and would give him one, when I gave the girls their treats with beef.  Manny loved these all-natural chicken treats, that really smelled like chicken.  They were soft enough for him to chew, and were also free of any preservative, byproducts, and gluten.  With all his allergy issues, the last I wanted to have to worry about was him having a reaction to his treats.  But, he loved these, and would always sit patiently waiting for a second treat (which I would give him).  Going forward, I will be picking up more of the Grill-icious™ (by Loving Pets) to give to Abby and Lilly. I can't wait to see what they think of the turkey flavored one.

As for wet and dry food, I was sent a sampling from Evanger's Dog Food.  I am familiar with this brand as Manny loved their whole chicken thighs and roasted drummets wet dog food.  If you have a dog and have never tried this brand of dog food, I would suggest you pick up a can.  Dogs get to enjoy actual chicken drummets and chicken thighs, complete with bones (which are soft and break down).  Manny's favorite was the bones and licking up the tasty, thick gravy.  Even though his whiskers would get dirty and smell after a day or two (if not washed right away), I knew he enjoyed this food, and would serve it to him as a treat.  Daily feedings would cause his already screwing stomach from the prednisone, to become upset and we would be cleaning up accidents around the house.  Again, I hid the few cans of the chicken dog food, and gave to him.  I think this part of the review made his day.  I split the beef flavored can with the girls, who are also fans of Evanger's Dog Food, thanks to Manny introducing it to them.  

Unfortunately, the dry dog food I was sent, pheasant and brown rice, didn't go over well with the three of them.  They all walked by it, sniffed it, and then walked away.  I ended up giving the bag to the local dog shelter, knowing they would have dogs there who would eat it.

So, as you can see, there are many wonderful products available for dog owners, who like to spoil or reward their dogs.  And, for owners with senior pets, the warming pet pad, dental kit and massager really do come in handy.   As I am sitting here typing this review, Abby is snuggling on the pet pad with her HEAR DOGGY! Flats Deer toy.  I want to thank all the vendors who sent me their products for review.  Not only did it makes Manny's final days with us more enjoyable, but our two other rescue dogs, loved being included in my reviews.

To learn more about each of these vendors and where to buy their products, read on for more information.

About Grill-icious™ (by Loving Pets):

Bring the taste of summer to your favorite pooch with Grill-icious™ all natural dog treats (from Loving Pets).  Grill-icious is made with 100% all natural meat (available in beef, chicken, and turkey) and a touch of sweet potato, naturally seared over a hot grill to seal in that juicy flavor dogs love.  Made in the USA with USA farm grown ingredients, they are also free of any preservative, byproducts, and gluten.  Follow on Facebook and Twitter at -- and!/LovingPetsCorp .

About SILVER TAILS™ Senior Pet Products (by Quaker Pet Group):

Recently launched in Petco nationwide, Silver Tails is the first in the industry to develop an entire line of innovations targeting the unique needs of senior pets, who now make up about 50% of the US pet population.   The line includes: Hand-Held Massager, Infrared Hand-Held Massager, Vet Tech™ Dental Care System, Bamboo-Charcoal Mats and Pet Bed Covers, Magnetic Therapy Collars, Bottoms Up™ Harness,  Senior Friendly Chew Toys,  Flavor Enhancing Supplement Powder, and  Senior Wellness Soft Chews.  Don't forget to follow on Facebook --

About the HEAR DOGGY! Ultrasonic Dog Toy: 

A brand new Ultrasonic dog toy.  The squeaker is tuned to a pitch outside of the human audible frequency range.  Thus, dogs can enjoy a "noisy" toy without disturbing their human companions!  Available at online retailers like  

Don't forget to follow on Facebook and Twitter --

About Grain Free Hand-Packed (by Evanger's):

Our Hand-Packed Specialties are processed as to maintain the shape and nutrition of each recipe's  contents - whether it is a whole fish dinner or choice chicken parts supplement. *The cooking process  softens those recipes with bones - making them edible, safe, wholesome and highly digestible.  Our fresh, natural and superior ingredients (no by-products) ensure quality on a human-grade level. 
Made in the USA, in the kitchen of Evanger's.

Don't forget to follow Evanger's on Facebook and Twitter -- ;


Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendors above, in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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