Friday, June 26, 2015

Chewy's Guide to Being an Office Dog

Since today is Take Your Dog to Work Day, Chewy would like to share his tips on surviving the office dog life. We have a home office, so pretty much every day is Take Chewy to Work Day, and Chewy considers himself somewhat of an expert on the matter.

Tip #1: Don't leave your tail/tail feathers in the path of wheelie chairs. Ouch!

Chewy keeps his tail safely against the wall, away from evil chairs

Tip #2: Let the humans a point. They need to make money to buy you food, and toys, and treats... A good use of that time is to nap, chew, or even groom your fluff.

Tip # 3: Don't be afraid to express just how bored you are. Maybe someone will take pity and play with you. Or better yet, rub your belly!

Tip #4: Bring over a toy to subtly hint that it's playtime. If they don't get it the first time, bring more!

Tip #5: Rest your head on armrests to get people to pet you. If that doesn't work, jump on their laps. They love that!

Tip #6: Things will get stuck under the copier. It's a fact of office dog life. Just lie there sadly staring under it until someone rescues your toy/chew/treat.

Tip #7: As an office dog, your job is of utmost importance: to keep all the employees happy! Check on them periodically. See if anyone needs to go on walkies or play fetch.

Tip #8: Sometimes visitors are afraid of dogs, and you'll get put behind a baby gate or perhaps in a crate. Work those innocent puppy eyes and waggy tail as best as you can. If that doesn't get them, it's ok. Someone fun will come along eventually!

Hope you all got to enjoy Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How Baby Chicks are like Puppy Chewy, Part 1

Whenever I watch a human baby, I often think, "That's just like puppy Chewy!" Like when the baby does something and everyone goes "Good girl/boy!" or when they start gnawing on everything they can get their hands on. Then when I got baby chicks, I started to think they were like puppy Chewy, too. I guess all babies are pretty similar, no matter what the species! 

Below are some examples of the puppy-chick equivalency.

1. They use their dishes as pillows.

Puppy Chewy would often nap with his chin resting on his bowl, or even with a foot in the water. Baby chicks do the same thing, as they can fall asleep at anytime and anywhere. That is why it's important to have marbles in their water dish so they don't accidentally drown. Here, baby Waffles has settled in for a nap using the brick under the water dish as a pillow.

2. They travel in a box.

Puppy Chewy rode in the car in his travel crate. This kept any puppy messes contained, since he was not yet housebroken. It also kept him safe by preventing him from tumbling all over the car.

My chickens travel around in a big cardboard box. Baby chicks need to eat a lot to grow, and since chickens have fast metabolisms, they are real poop machines! The box contains any in-transit droppings, allows me to move all 6 of them at the same time, and protects them from the hungry jaws of Chewy.

3. They are prone to escape attempts:

Puppy Chewy had a playpen to keep him out of trouble when we weren't nearby, but sometimes he really wanted to play outside of it. He would climb up the sides with a toy in his mouth, all while making whining puppy noises. Don't worry, it was sturdy enough not to topple over under his weight, so no injuries occurred because of this naughty puppy behavior.

Baby chicks like to test their wings and perch on things, so I would often find them sitting on top of their ~30" tall cardboard enclosure. At first they were timid and did not want to stray from the rest of the flock, but eventually some of them started regularly jumping out and exploring.

4. They love shoelaces!

When Chewy was a puppy, he chewed on the strings of one of each of my pairs of shoes with laces. You could tell which one had been chewed on because the laces would be grey instead of white, and the ends would be a little frayed.

The chicks were fascinated by my shoelaces, as well. Since they are a contrasting color to my shoes, they kept pecking at them, trying to figure out if they were food or not.

I never would have thought that chickens could be such entertaining creatures, but they certainly make me laugh everyday!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Caru Natural Stews: Product Review

When shopping for dog food or treats, do you look for human-grade, natural and nutritious ingredients? I often do, and Caru's line of Natural Stews fits those criteria to a T.

Caru Pet Food is a family-owned company inspired by a Golden Retriever named Karu (and I am obviously very partial to Goldens!). Karu's parents began cooking a homemade diet for him in hopes of ending a vicious cycle of ear infections, and their positive results led to the creation of Caru (read the full story here).

Caru Natural Stews are:

  • made with natural ingredients
  • made with real meat sourced from the US (meat is the first ingredient!)
  • made in the US, in USDA-inspected facilities
  • free of grain, wheat, gluten, corn, and soy
  • free of hormones, antibiotics, and animal by-products
  • free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • human grade (but formulated for dogs!)
  • prepared in small batches that are independently tested for safety
  • complete and balanced formulas, fortified with vitamins and minerals

Chewy had a real serious case of the hungry eyes for the stews.

What's this?

Can I eat it?
[[This post will only cover the Natural Stews; we'll review the treats another time]]

There are 4 flavors of Caru Natural Stews: Beef, Chicken, Turkey, and Pork. Each flavor has meat as the first ingredient and contains various nutritious vegetables such as green beans, potatoes, carrots and peas.

We tried all of the flavors except for Turkey. Chewy was very interested before I even opened the cartons, as evidenced by his sniff-sniffing and dopey-smiled "I'm a good boy!" sitting.

Beef! Pork! Chicken! Mmm...

He even tried (unsuccessfully) to take matters into his own paws at one point:

How do I open this?

Despite Chewy's difficulties, the BPA-free Tetra-Pak carton is very easy to open if you've got thumbs. It even has how-to instructions right at the top. You squeeze the corners to make the top pop up, and then rip along the perforations- no scissors needed!

The stews look kind of like chicken pot pie filling. To me, the beef stew has the aroma of a nice beef stew for humans and the chicken stew smells like Progresso chicken noodle soup, but the pork stew reminds me of typical canned pet food (odor-wise). To Chewy, they all smelled great.

Caru stews can be used in various ways, such as:

Kibble topper                                                      Meal/snack                                               Frozen treat

Chewy thinks it is delicious in ALL forms. There is always lots of chop-licking and triple/quadruple-checking that he completely emptied his bowl.

If not using a whole carton of stew at once, the packaging makes it easy to store. You just fold the flaps back down, place it in a ziploc bag to prevent drying out (optional), and put it in the fridge (for up to 3 days). Chewy always volunteers to clean any stew drippage on the outside of the box.

Putting it away? But I want more!

When you take it out of the fridge, it has the appearance of a really saucy meat + veggie dish. I'm sure Chewy would eat it cold if I let him, but I, personally, think cold potatoes are not yummy. A quick pop in the microwave makes it look more like a stew. Be sure to let it cool before serving!

From the fridge                                     After microwaving

When we finish a carton of stew, I let Chewy clean out the box. It's like a bonus treat dispensing toy is included! This can occupy him for awhile because his nose is too wide to get all the way to the bottom, but eventually I rip or cut open the box for him. There isn't a sharp edge on the Tetra-Pak carton like with metal cans, so Chewy can lick it to his puppy heart's content. Once emptied, the cartons can be recycled.

Must get every...last...drop!

Chewy gives 4 enthusiastic paws up for Caru stews. I like that they are made with human-grade, natural ingredients, come in easy-to-use packaging, and can be served in different ways. Chewy thinks they are tasty and smell scrumptious, and appreciates an alternative to dry kibble (I think).

4 happy paws up for Caru stews!

Just a warning... once your dog gets a taste of Caru stews, you'll probably end up with a sight like this in front of you:

More stew please? Pretty please?

Disclaimer: We received one each of Caru Pet Food Company's Real Beef Stew, Real Chicken Stew, and Real Pork Stew in exchange for an honest review. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, and all opinions stated above are our own.