Giveaways

On the twelfth day of Christmas AND another giveaway!

My doggie gave to me:

12 Yummers Yumming!

12-months-of-dog-biscuits

Eleven Crunchy Carrots

Ten Snorers Sleeping

Nine Surfin’ Santas

Eight Toes a-Twinklin’

Seven Noshes Nibbled

 Six things to lay on

Five faaaavorite things

Four doggie nerds

Three Irish Hounds

Two turtles, Dove

And a cat messing up my new tree!

Thank you to Annette at Biscuits By Lambchop for bringing up the end of this crazy train :) Treats for all tonight!

Speaking of that, for those of you who are still around, I do have another giveaway to bestow upon you:

For the Holiday Hound

I’m giving away two beautiful collars from 2 Hounds Design to keep your pooch stylin’ for the New Year. They are both size medium (13-18 inch) which is by the way the ONLY reason I am giving these away, because they are gorgeous. The blue one is a Martingale and the snowman is a standard collar.

To add to the fun I’m also sending two awesome toys, a Bottle Buddy for all your crinkly noise needs and a Tricky Treater puzzle ball because the dog needs something to do while you clean up all that wrapping paper, right? Approximate retail value of this set: $90.

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You all the know the drill- enter below!

Congratulations to Leslie R., the winner!

Filed: 12 Days of Petmas, Blog, Features, Giveaways, Lifestyle, Pet Gear Tagged: , , , ,

Naughty or Nice Giveaway 1: Motorola WiFi Pet Monitor!

Has your pet been naughty or nice this year? You can find out for sure with the Motorola Scout1B Wifi Pet Monitor. I used a camera like this to verify it was indeed Kekoa and not Brody who was counter surfing while we were out.

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Here’s the description:

This remote Motorola Scout1 Wi-Fi Video PET Monitor camera allows you to monitor your pets from anywhere. Catch live action, record video and take snapshots while controlling the camera with Remote Pan, Tilt and Digital Zoom. Home or away, Motorola’s SCOUT1 gives the comfort of keeping an eye on your pet convenient and fun.

Features: Wi-Fi video camera PC, MAC, Android, & iPhone/ iPad iOS compatible, video compression image snapshot, video recording, remote pan, tilt and zoom, two-way communication, infrared night vision, connect up to four cameras
Includes: Wi-Fi Camera, User’s Guide, Quick Start Guide and Power Adapter
Dimensions: Camera: H 4.0″ x W 3.35″ x D 3.84″, Gross Weight: 0.44 lbs

Infrared night vision! It’s like having your own Predator goggles. Retail value: $299. I’m giving one away, right here, right now. You can enter below, and/or on the pawcurious Facebook page ! See the entry form for all the usual fine print. Good luck!
Congratulations to Jillian C, the winner!

Filed: Giveaways, Lifestyle, Pet Gear Tagged: ,

A Dog’s Holiday Wishlist

One of my favorite holiday traditions is going over to Fox5 News and doing a bit with Rancho Coastal Humane Society talking about the dogs’ holiday wishes (next to being adopted, of course.) Just me, Santa, and a bunch of adorable dogs all doing our best to avoid any sort of Ron Burgundy stereotypes about San Diego programming.  Here’s the segment with the 6 adorable pups. :)

It’s always hard to pick just 6 items, but here is what we presented this year:

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1. The ThunderShirt ThunderCoat

It’s a Thundershirt AND an adorable trenchcoat. ThunderShirts are renowned for their anxiety-reducing gentle pressure, and now they are coupled with a preppy coat or a cable knit sweater for that nervous pup in your life who’s panicking about that big elf shimmying down the chimney as we speak.

 

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2. 2 Hounds Design Dog Collars

2Hounds uses luxe textiles and solid brass hardware to make beautiful collars that are long-lasting, elegant, and sure to impress even the most discerning canine.

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3. Chief Furry Officer Silver Sterling Paw Pendant

CFO makes items for pet lovers ranging from custom iphone covers to diamond paw prints (the designer began with a history in fine jewelry.) The silver sterling pawprint keeps your pup close to your heart (but we already knew that.)

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4. Bottle Buddy dog toy

I never review toys Brody hasn’t personally dragged around the house with great gusto. The Petlinks Bottle Buddy uses recycled plastic bottles to give your pet a toy with a satisfying crackle (and you can replace the bottles when they are worn.) For more aggressive chewers who can’t play with a toy like this, I’m also a huge fan of toys by Bionic.

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5. Kurgo Loft Booster Seat

Got a dog who can’t bear not to look out the window? The Kurgo booster attaches to the car’s seat belt and gives your pet a lift so he or she can see the world passing by. Don’t forget to also use a pet-approved safety harness in conjunction with the booster to make your car ride fun AND safe!

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6. Life is Gruff All Natural Dog Treats

Christmas cookies are a tradition, but dogs don’t do well with sugar cookies, those thumbprints with Hershey’s kisses on them, or really any of the other sugar-laden goodies we devour too much of each year. Life is Gruff makes dog-appropriate, all-natural gourmet treats (with wheat free and sugar free lines as well) so you can enjoy your gingerbread man guilt-free without making your dog miss out on the fun.

Stay Tuned For Giveaways!

I will be giving away several of these items as well as some other great dog goodies over the next few days, kicking off this afternoon with a Motorola Scout1 Wifi Pet Monitor! pPETS-16222233t300x300

Filed: Blog, Features, Giveaways, Lifestyle, Pet Gear Tagged: , , , ,

Back to School Giveaway: Busy Treats Bag

Remember that Staples back to school commercial, the one where the dad was riding a cart around the store to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?” That was me.

The sad, dejected faces dragging around behind him? Not my kids. They like school.

Brody, on the other hand…Brody is sad. He’s lost his summertime playmates to the double whammy of school, plus homework and extracurricular activities. Having me around is OK, but it’s not the same as the kids. And if your dog is anything like mine, he too may be in the doldrums this autumn.

I’m doing what I can- walks when I’m home, extra attention, but it doesn’t negate the fact that he had lots of people around all summer and now he doesn’t. So I turn to the next best thing: distraction. Putting his breakfast in a busy ball, that sort of thing. We’re watching his calories lately, but being mindful of how to compensate his regular food for the addition of a treat here and there I can also work in the occasional mind occupying treat.

In honor of Back to School time and bored dogs everywhere, I’m doing a giveaway this week from Purina Busy, full of all sorts of treats to get your dog’s mind off his downtime. Extra treats = extra walks, win-win for you both.

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The Prize:

An embroidered bag filled with all the goodies you see above: Purina Busy treats for your dog in bunches of flavors, water for you, and poop bags for that walk you just promised you’d do when you get home from school. That should get you through football season, at the least.

To enter:

You can enter by leaving a comment, tweeting, and/or liking the pawcurious page on Facebook. Details are in the widget below. Due to shipping restrictions, this giveaway is US only. Good luck! Giveaway ends on September 11th.

Note: The giveaway prize is provided by Purina.
Filed: Blog, Giveaways, Lifestyle Tagged: ,

Super Special Thursday Giveaway: Canine Cool Hipster VIP Red Carpet Bag!

There are blogs that I like, and blogs that I love. There are blogs that I read and think, wow, this person is the bomb and I love what they are doing and I wish I had done some of that too. Those are rare. Joanne’s is one of them.

The Tiniest Tiger has been a voice for conservation for years. By drawing parallels between our feline friends in the foyer and the majestic cats on the prowl in the wild, Joanne brings home issues that are near and dear to my heart. And because she is smart and stylish as well as awesome, she has designed a really fantastic line of bags that are thoughtfully designed, cute (and I am a hard to please purse person), and, as you know if you’ve been following her blog, in the hands of lots and lots of animal loving celebrities after a second appearance at a major red carpet event- first the Oscars, then the Grammys. She has her act together.

Do you see the swag?

Do you see the BAG? She managed to get it so the dogs are part of the quilting. That is just awesome and I’ve already taken mine to my kids’ school, which was a bad idea because I had to fight off a room full of girls who all tried to rip it off my shoulder. Nice try, ladies. I took aikido for years.

Perhaps you would like one for yourself. You could wear it majestically, like HRH King Brody:

Dignified despite his yellow flower no-stink collar, which I love and refuse to take off him.

Or you could keep it for yourself, as I did. Either way, we have one Canine Cool Hipster to give away today in honor of this auspicious product launch. You’ll be stylin’ just like the VIPS on the red carpet, since your bag will come with all the same extras!

All you have to do in order to enter is leave a comment- perhaps a caption of what Brody is thinking, if you’re stuck for ideas and join the Rafflecopter giveaway. To make it easy on the shipping this one is US only. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are multiple sites giving these away, so feel free to enter them all!

 

Filed: Be The Change, Blog, Giveaways, Lifestyle Tagged: ,

Giveaway Tuesday: Low Odor Bully Sticks from Doggyloot

Welcome to Giveaway Tuesday, where we offer you the chance to win a cool prize for your favorite spoiled pets. Today, we have a 10-Pack of Low Odor Bully Sticks From Doggyloot. (This prize is not affected by the current recall. I checked.)

I’m already in a lot of trouble from flash sites: Gilt, the Clymb, just to name a few. A good deal is pretty irresistible. And now there’s a new pet flash site to suck up your disposable income: Doggyloot is a flash sales site where you can discover new dog treats, chews, toys and other essentials at up to 75% off retail price. Plus there’s free shipping on every order.

Here are the details on our PAWsome giveaway:

1. PRIZE: One winner will get a pack of 10 six-inch low-odor bully sticks from doggyloot – a $42 value! You know those things are expensive, so the winner’s going to be one happy pup.

2. ENTRY: All you have to do to enter is join doggyloot through this link: https://doggyloot.com/pawcurious-giveaway-0912 and leave a comment below that you entered. You’ll then have access to their exclusive, members-only deals – they run great new products every day!

3. WINNER: Content closes on Tuesday. We’ll choose one winner and announce it on Wednesday, October 3nd. Good luck!This contest is only available to new doggyloot members, but we’d love to hear about your favorite doggyloot products below. I like the Vetericyn, myself.

Filed: Giveaways, Lifestyle Tagged: , ,

Giveaway Tuesday: $50 Petco Gift card from Coupon Cabin!

I admit, with no shame, that I’m an online shopping fanatic. Amazon, Zappos, you name it, I love it. It’s so much easier that driving to the mall, finding a spot, trying to find what you want, learning it’s out of stock, blah blah blah.

Of course, the other fun thing about online shopping is indulging that competitive “who’s got the best price” itch and finding something, anything, to type into that “Promotional Code” box. Free shipping. 10% off. I’ll take whatever you got.

I can’t bring myself to hit “place order” without at least checking if someone, somewhere, has a little coupon code. It’s funny, because I was never a coupon clipper of actual paper coupons. Too much work, finding scissors, sorting the ones you want, keeping them in a baggie, nope, don’t do it. If it sounds lazy, it is. I know this. But doing a quick online scan and hitting cut and paste- that’s my speed. CouponCabin, one of my go-tos for that ever welcome Valid Code, estimates the average code takes 90 seconds to obtain on their site.

We can shop for anyone and anything online these days, including our pets. Petco has teamed up with CouponCabin to offer oodles of offers to save on everything from cat trees to ferret food, and to draw your attention to that fact, they are also offering one $50 Petco gift card to one lucky pawcurious reader.

So let’s  look at what they are saying here, that the average user saves $32. That’s a couple tubes of Advantage, or a bag of good food from one of their super premium lines, or a big bag of that awesome Cat Attract litter that got Apollo to stop his inappropriate elimination. Good stuff. Stuff I use. Stuff you could use, even if you don’t win the gift card. Viva la online coupons!

To enter, just leave a comment below as to what you would buy with a $50 Petco card and then click enter on Rafflecopter. Aquarium plants? A Halloween hotdog costume? Inquiring minds want to know.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Typical Required Statement of Disclosure:
I received no compensation for this post and the opinion stated here is that of my own. I was not influenced in any way. By entering this promotion, each participant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries and their respective representatives, officers, directors, shareholders, agents and employees from and against any injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions or liability of any kind resulting from or arising from participation in this promotion.
or, TLDR: No one paid me for this and you won’t sue anyone if you use the coupon to buy pigs ears and your dog gets pancreatitis from it. No one here told you to do that.
Filed: Blog, Giveaways, Lifestyle, Pet Gear Tagged: , ,

Giveaway Tuesday: Designer dog beds from PetDreams.com!

Brody’s dog bed was turning into a sad and sorry thing, a tattered vestige that much like Linus’s blanket, he didn’t want to part with despite its obvious state of despair. I’d try to hide it, and he would go drag it out of the closet and back to the bedroom. Every time I thought about throwing it out, he’d follow me with such a concerned look that I couldn’t bring myself to toss it, despite it being a bed only in the most academic of senses by this point.

So when PetDreams.com, a manufacturer of really nice dog beds, offered me a bed to review in conjunction with a giveaway, I said, “Great!” As much as I like doing giveaways for you all, I have been backing off on product reviews because we just don’t need much at this point. But dog beds, well, there is something we could use.

I was so excited when the bed arrived: a sage green plush Ortho-Bliss memory foam bed. When he was younger and still sleeping in his crate, Brody got a small hygroma from lying on a crate pad that wasn’t quite plush enough; it was shortly after that we switched to fluffier beds. Compared to his current bed, this is a Cadillac.

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I actually sat on it for a few minutes myself to see if it was really as dense and springy as it felt. It actually feels just like a Tempur-Pedic and is much heavier than the usual egg shell pads I’ve felt in the past. Considering how much time Brody’s spent sprawled out on my memory foam mattress, I figured, this might finally be the ticket to getting him away from that old bed.

He certainly seemed enthused. He immediately came over to investigate as I spread it out in the living room.

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Koa, whose bed is still in working order due to her propensity to just flop on the carpet next to the kids’ beds, seemed disinterested. That is, until she got a closer look. Did someone say memory foam?

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Poor Brody never had a chance. Old labs win every time. Guess this means I have to buy another.

But you, lucky readers, have not one but TWO chances to win your very own awesome bed that will inspire envy from the household. Pet Dreams is offering two winners the choice of the following best sellers from the site:

S, L or XL  PURPLE BUMPER BED
S SAGE BUMPER BED
S SEA FOAM CRATEWEAR SET
S DENIM SLEEPEEZ
S or M or XXL KHAKI CRATEWEAR
S DENIM SLEEPEEZ
L PLUSH BLUE CRATEWEAR
XS HUNTER GREEN SLEEPEEZ
XL HUNTER GREEN CRATEWEAR

Lots of ways to enter, starting by leaving a comment as to who in your house would like to win the bed. For the most chances, like Pet Dreams on Facebook and follow them on Twitter! Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Filed: Blog, Giveaways, Lifestyle, Pet Gear, Reviews Tagged: , , ,

Giveaway Tuesday: Goo Gut Rescue!

I think many of you will remember the post and giveaway we did a few months back with Healthy Goo, a product designed to help pets with allergic disease. The response was great and it’s clear there is a huge need for more options for people to manage their pet’s allergic disease.

With their success, the people at Goo are busily developing new products to help pets live long and well. I’m happy today to have another giveaway and share a little about the latest product, Goo Gut Rescue.

I’m not sure we’ll ever know everything there is to know about how the body works, but we’re getting there. In recent years, people have become increasingly aware of the many roles the gut plays in so many aspects of health. It’s more than just a semipermeable tube through which food and water are absorbed; the small and large intestines are incredibly sophisticated organs that can take a decent amount of abuse, but when they’re thrown off kilter, it’s no fun.

We do lots of things to try and throw them off course. We eat high fat foods that overwork the pancreas and end up with nasty GI inflammation as a result.  We eat weird chemicals that the body doesn’t always know what to do with. We take antibiotics to deal with an infection, and kill off all the healthy bacteria that keep the gut working properly.

Over the last few years, there have been an increasing number or products hitting the market to fill the demand for a probiotic for dogs. The old “give them some probiotic yogurt” recommendation, which for a while was the best we had to offer, isn’t the best choice since a dog’s gut flora is quite different from that of a human, and in my experience clients using a product designed specifically for dogs have experienced better results.

A happy gut is a hungry gut, at least if you're a retriever.

Goo Gut Rescue, developed by board certified veterinary dermatologist Dr. Kristin Holm, is a supplement designed to help dogs with a compromised GI tract, such as those on a course of antibiotics, NSAIDs, or those who have been ill recently, to return to a more healthy state.

Ingredients: Let me sum up. Goo Gut Rescue combines probiotics, prebiotics, and an array of fatty acid supplements in a peanut butter vehicle to help restore and maintain GI health. It also contains low levels of common food allergens to build tolerance to these problem antigens- similar to the desensitization we do with environmental allergens, but with dietary products.

There’s lots of great information on the Goo website about the philosophy and the development of Goo Gut Rescue- it’s definitely worth reading for a good background on the product and the FAQs address some of the most common questions.

It’s Giveaway Time!

Do you have a dog that you think could benefit from Goo Gut Rescue? We are giving away TWO Goo Gut Rescues to lucky pawcurious readers!

To enter:

1. Leave a comment below as to why your dog could use Goo Gut Rescue.

2. Make sure you officially enter the contest using the Rafflecopter widget. The additional ways to get entries are optional.

3. US only for this one, please!

Coupon code and a Goo donation with every order!

In addition, if you order a Goo Gut Rescue using the promo code DrV$5GOO you not only get $5 off your order, but the folks at Goo will also donate $10 to the Escondido Humane Society! win-win for everyone.

Note: As a supplement, Goo Gut Rescue is not a prescription item. However, both I and the people at Goo recommend talking to your vet before using any supplement, particularly if your pet is on medications or has a medical condition.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Filed: Blog, Giveaways, Health, Lifestyle Tagged: , ,

Giveaway Tuesday: End Cat Boredom!

Easier said than done, right? How do you motivate a couch catato to get their keister off the ottoman and go run around? If you have a surefire trick, well, patent it, because the rest of us have to keep trying new things.

Friskies is on a mission to help with their “End Cat Boredom” campaign, which albeit tongue in cheek addresses a real issue. In support of the campaign, they are offering some Boredom Buster kits, and by some I mean FIFTY, to you guys. Which is awesome, right?

The kits include the following:

A sample of Friskies Party Mix, which is like that Chex mix I can’s stop eating, but for cats:

AND a Zoomer puzzle feeder for you to hide the treats in, so they can feel like they are hunting and all of that predatory stuff that gets them going:

So! Get that sloth off the couch and chasing treats! I’m going to make it easy:

First 25 comments here get one. Just leave a comment, whatever you want. THEN EMAIL ME YOUR SHIPPING INFO WITH THE SUBJECT “Friskies” and make sure you tell me who you are in the comments so I can track them. And that’s it!

I will also have 25 to give away on Facebook this afternoon. Yaay!

Filed: Giveaways Tagged: , ,

Giveaway: Lele Pets Gift Certificate!

OK, what’s today, the 19th? So as you read this, I should be at the base of Mt. Meru, walking through rain forests, passing a massive fig tree, and looking out for marauding buffalo. I won’t be gasping for air and retching from altitude sickness for two more days. Regardless, I am there are you are here, and to thank you for checking in I have a wonderful giveaway today from LeLe Pets!

If you’re an addict like I am to sites like Gilt or the Clymb, you know these daily deal sites can be seriously addictive, especially if they actually carry things you want. I’ve been on the LeLe Pets site, and my wallet weeps. They carry names you know like Kyjen, Unleashed Life, and more. One lucky reader will win a $25 coupon code: Here’s their info:

LeLePets is a members-only daily deals site dedicated exclusively to our pets. New sales launches daily, Monday-Friday, at 12PM EST. Through its 72 hour sales, LeLePets offers a curated selection of high quality and design inspired pet products at up to 70% off! Our mission is to share our passion for the animals we love and all things design. 1% of annual net sales are donated to the ASPCA.

LeLePets Fact Sheet:

What is LeLePets?

LeLePets is the first members-only daily deals site dedicated exclusively to our pets. Through its exclusive 72 hour sales, LeLePets offers hand-selected, design inspired high-quality products to its members. Our core mission is to share our passion for the animals we love and all things design.

How does LeLePets work?

LeLePets, the exclusive site for pet enthusiasts and online shoppers, launches daily sales at 12PM EST and lasts 72 hours. Membership to the site is free. Once a member of the LeLePets community, you are given full access to daily deals featuring high quality and unique pet goods. The carefully chosen items are discounted up to 70% off. All sales featured are a on a first come, first serve basis as supplies are usually limited due to the steep discounts we offer… so shop early, stay late.

LeLePets and the community

An initiative close to our heart is giving back to the community. LeLePets donates 1 percent of its annual net sales to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). LeLePets is strongly against animal cruelty and are committed to being part of the solutions.

About our members

Our members are extremely passionate about their favorite family member and reside throughout the 50 states. Our followers are avid online shoppers and share a passion for design inspired pet items. Additionally, our members are checking back daily to see what new products we’re featuring.

How did LeLePets get started?

Founded by two pet lovers, owners and best friends, Tiffany Leung and Joyce Lerman came up with the concept of LeLePets. They realized there was a missing piece in the flash sale world and that our dogs, cats, birds, horses and other animal family members were not being offered the type of discounts on design inspired pet products that we were seeing for ourselves. The duo, with backgrounds in design and e-commerce, launched LeLePets in response. What’s their secret to success? Tiffany’s determination to search for design orientated pet products while Joyce seeks the most affordable prices allows LeLePets to offer you one of kind products at affordable prices.

To check out LeLe pets on the web, visit:
LeLePets.com
LeLePets on Facebook
LeLePets on Twitter

To enter, just leave a comment with what you would use the voucher for! (Note: To enter the website you do need to create a free account.) I think the bowtie sale is already closed, but dangit if I hadn’t been trying for months to find one for Brody.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Filed: Blog, Giveaways, Lifestyle, Pet Gear Tagged: ,

All tests are not created equal: Inside Natura Part 3 (and a giveaway)

As long as the internet continues to be a depthless repository of the past, an endless attic of antiquity where people can dredge up whatever photo or story they want from previous years and turn it into whatever they wish, Procter and Gamble will struggle with the PETA/Iams cruelty video from a decade ago. Peta continues to drag it out every few months because, well, it gets well meaning people to send them money, despite the fact that it was inaccurate at best, and no longer relevant at worst.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I really would love you to read the piece I wrote for Good Dog magazine last year, because it goes into the history of animal testing in pet food and how P&G has changed so very much since that time. I’ll get back to this in a bit, but I wanted to mention it because today I’m talking about animal testing and the Natura tour. The bottom line is, despite what was or is rumored to be, companies can and should aspire to develop foods the way P&G Pet Care does.

Animal Testing: Then and now

Natura, which as you likely know was acquired by P&G two years ago, has always incorporated animal testing into their product development. In order to really get how this all works, you need to understand a few things about animal testing in the pet food industry:

1. Animal feeding trials are considered the ‘gold standard’ in determining whether or not a food will perform in the market. You can formulate a food to AAFCO standards to meet certain minimum requirements, and it’s very likely the dog will grow and be in decent health, but at the end of the day until you put that food in front of a dog or cat, you really don’t know how it will taste, how the flavors will work, how their coat will look, how well they will digest it, that sort of thing.

2. Invasive testing- I’m talking about anything involving a scalpel or even a needle- is no longer considered a necessary part of the process. Procter & Gamble and Hills, both of which I have toured, have an explicit policy  prohibiting invasive testing in animals, and Royal Canin/Mars and Purina, which I have not toured, also have similar statements as part of their animal care policy.

What does that mean? Animals who participate in non invasive trials have only certain types of data they can provide: do they like the food. How is stool quality. How is the pet’s weight. What is happening to urine pH. How is their coat. How are their teeth. The days of euthanizing a dog at a year old to evaluate their joint cartilage are long gone.

Animal Care Post-Acquisition

So this is the question I get over and over from interested consumers who send me off to these tours with a list of concerns to address: How well, exactly, does a test animal live? And the answer is, it depends.

A company can still contract out their research to a third party facility. To be honest, I don’t know what it’s like for those animals. I haven’t been there. I’m sure they meet the minimums of the Animal Welfare Act, but beyond that- well, invite me for a tour and I’ll let you know. All living arrangements are not created equal.

Until the acquisition, Natura tested their food in two situations: at the Natura Health and Nutrition Center in Fremont, Nebraska, an on-site facility where dogs and cats live, and at an outside facility with whom they contracted for longer studies. The dogs in Fremont were mostly rescues, who came to live there after being relinquished by their owners. I met two of them while I was in Fremont, a beautiful pair of smooth collies who were playing fetch with one of the employees as part of their daily activity.

Natura came under a lot of scrutiny after the P&G acquisition, but the across-the-board reaction from the employees, who were just as if not more skeptical than everyone else about how this would shake out, was this: the dogs have benefitted from it. As soon as the acquisition happened, the animal testing process was subject to the P&G Animal Care policy, arguably the best in the industry. Under this policy, animal research can take place at only one of three places:

  • the in house facility itself, either the Natura Health and Nutrition Center or the Iams Pet Health and Nutrition Center in Lewisburg, Ohio;
  • in people’s homes as part of a clinical research study- owned pets like yours and mine- about 70% of the research animals at P&G fall into this category;
  • places where pets live as part of their job, such as Canine Companions for Independence.

So the outside facility was, well, out. They also stopped bringing in rescue animals for testing, which may surprise you, but bear with me. It’s a good thing. Here’s the deal:

An animal who has been used to living in a home environment may not adjust right away, or at all, to a group living environment. You can provide group housing and enrichment and exercise, but at the end of the day it’s still a big adjustment. Under P&G’s policy, which I’ve written about previously, dogs are acquired as puppies from breeders and intensely socialized fron day one to live in a group setting, with the eventual goal of transitioning to a home at about 6 years of age. This program, developed by a behaviorist with the emotional well-being of the dogs in mind, results in happier dogs with less stress, which means better results for all involved.

The folks in charge of the facility at Natura have recently started working with a new group of dogs who had just completed training in Ohio, and they all admitted with some surprise that this has been a really good change for them. That’s right, things got better post-acquisition.

Life as a Natura Test Dog

So I don’t really know what life is like for a test dog at some companies, but for the 35 dogs at Natura it’s this: I get up, I eat, I hang out with my kennel mate, I get group play time outside, I get individual time with a person, I get trained about how to live in a house with vacuum cleaners and doorbells, I get regular veterinary care, someone collects my poop when I’m not looking, and then I get adopted. And that is pretty much it.

The Fremont Health and Nutrition Center is undergoing renovations this year, to make the kennels even more dog-friendly and provide the space for a full-time on-site veterinarian. The kennels are specifically designed to provide hiding areas, places to look out and see what’s going on, vertical space, and easy outside access. They are also improving the group housing facility for the 24 cats to incorporate outside access for the felines. When this is completed, they also plan to get accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory and Animal Care, a voluntary certification that goes way above and beyond the minimum standards put forth by the Animal Welfare Act. Most facilities don’t do this. It’s a very good thing.

We all want what is best for our pets, and at the same time we (hopefully) want to know that the products we choose are developed in an ethical and humane manner. I’m very glad to see companies being proactive in their animal welfare protocols and continuing to improve year after year; and happy to give credit where credit is due to a company who is doing things the right way. Even a big company.

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So there you go. Still have a post on the manufacturing plant to write- I was waiting on the picture with the giant probe, and it’s totally worth the wait, by the by.

I’m happy to feed Natura. If you would like to try it, I have a coupon for one bag of any size dog or cat food from the Natura line (Evo, Innova, California Natural, Karma, and HealthWise) that I will be giving away this week- you know the drill! Details are below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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