Category Archives: Pets

Gluten Free Dog Food Review & Giveaway

Oh yeah, we’ve all heard about the health benefits of going gluten free… now why on earth would be treat our selves so much better than we’d treat our dogs? After all they are our Fur Babies aren’t they, and being a true member of our families like they are don’t they need consideration to, when it comes to their diets? Well, it seems to me that those clever people over at Rachael Ray Nutrish are keeping our Fur Babies in mind when they come up with the new recipes for the Dog food.

I have had the good fortune in the past to have had my dogs help me review Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet dog food, which BTW is one of only 2 types of wet dog food that my dogs can eat without getting their sensitive little tummies upset. Yay, nothing like “taking the risk” with a new food back when I posted that review, and being rewarded with finding a brand of dog food that I could trust for my dogs. No diarrhea and no throwing up, no need to wash the house of the dogs as a result of their participating in a review for my blog. 🙂Zero Grain Dog food picture of bag, food in dog dish & ingredients like turkey

Fortune smiled upon me once again as I was invited to try the newest product by Rachael Ray Nutrish, the new Zero Grain Dry Dog Food! And just like the Nutrish Wet Dog food proceeds from every bag benefit Rachael’s Rescue, which is an Organization that helps animals in need, including rescue dogs like my dog “Tiny” (you will often hear me call him “Tiny Dog”, as that has sort of became my nickname for him).

My (Mariah) Zero Grain Creation with grains and a red circle with line through it in red beans
Okay so red beans are not a grain, but I wanted something red to get the no grains idea across. lol

For my review, I am concentrating on the fact that this food is gluten free, however, there are other great qualities in the Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain, the most obvious one is that it doesn’t contain grains. It also doesn’t contain, fillers, by-products, artificial preservatives, colors or artificial flavors. Nutrish Zero Grain is made up of all natural products, the flavor is “Turkey and Potato Recipe” with:

Real Turkey (The first ingredient in the recipe, the turkeys are U.S. Farm Raised), Turkey Meal (contains amino acids and B vitamins), Whole Potatoes, peas and Tapioca, Beet Pulp, Whole Flaxseed and poultry fat.

Our Experience With Nutrish Zero Grain

The Dogs Interest in the food:

Mariah's Zero Grain CreationI had started my dogs eating the dog food just the week before my husband’s heart surgery. I watched as my dogs sniffed the unopened bag and begged at the table when they saw the bag. To my opening the package… and pouring it into their enclosed dog food container and again watching the dogs showing more than their usual casual interest in the food as they danced around the food container. I set the, now empty, bag on the kitchen floor and went to work around the house and on the blog… suddenly I heard strange noises in the kitchen, as I walked into the kitchen I caught my oldest dog trying to insert his whole body into the bag as he was licking it out! “Wow,” I thought, “Rachael Ray Nutrish has done it again, I can’t wait to have my dogs try this dog food.”

Sure enough, I decided that, though it wasn’t their meal time, to open up their dog food container and give them each a few tastes from my hands of the dog food. Well they munched it up and asked for more, which I had to deny them… and as I mentioned this excitement to my husband, he explained that this is not something to truly get too excited about yet, as the dogs probably just loved the fact that this was being hand fed to them and that alone my be why they enjoyed it so much, especially my Tiny Dog who is such a picky eater.

Tiny Dog eating Nutrish Zero Grain
Tiny Dog chowing down on Nutrish Zero Grain
Mr Peanut eating nutrish zero grain
Mr. Peanut Chowing down on his Nutrish Zero Grain

Okay, dinner time came, and I got to see Tiny Dog Dance for his food for the first time in a long time and gobble up the food so fast that it was incredible. What a great reaction from the picky eater of mine! Well, still not the true test… we have to see if the excitement mellows with time after eating it meal after meal.

Weeks later and Tiny Dog is still not doing his usual walking away from the dish, staring at it from a distance (only to keep the older dog, Mr. Peanut) from eating his food (Mr Peanut, my long haired Dachshund is a piggy and will eat anything and everything) or taking a bite or two in his mouth and hauling it off to his dog bed and nibbling. Tiny Dog used to refuse to eat unless he was terribly hungry. Now Tiny Dog continues, weeks later, to dance for his meal and eat it in record time, no nibbling on the food, no hauling off only a bit or two at a time to his bed, but eating his whole bowl of dog food with no hesitation.

Tiny Dog looking at me happy with his eating Nutrish Zero Grain, he's one happy dog
Tiny Dog Asking for more Nutrish Zero Grain hes one happy dog

What We Noticed about Switching Foods:

With most products out there, my husband and I found that we had noticed switching their brand or flavor caused terrible tummy problems from throwing up to diarrhea.  With Nutrish Zero Grain we were pleased to see that this problem didn’t exist at all.

The Doggie Deposits on the Lawn:

If your dogs are like mine, and do what we here at home call the “walk and squat” where they cannot/do not stay in one place to leave their deposits, it can be very difficult picking up the lawn. It was bad enough when we were living in an apartment needing to bring multiple bags with us, or deal with walking with an open bag that already had deposits in it. Now that we are in a home we get lazy about cleaning up the back yard and so the weekly clean up can be a pain, as we play hide and seek with the doggie deposits. I hate to admit it, I had cleaned up the deposits the week before my husband’s surgery, then tons of appointments have kept us running around a lot and now it’s been 2 weeks since his surgery, I finally cleaned up yesterday. I had to do less clean up with the old “pooper scooper,” as a result of this dog food… Yay!

Mr Peanut licking his lips after eating Nutrish Zero Grain
I caught a picture of Mr. Peanut licking his lips after eating his Nutrish Zero Grain

Digestive System:

Also I have noticed no tummy upsets with Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain, I am not dealing with a dog that is so intense that he will not let me sleep at night as he has a sick feeling tummy or diarrhea. And I have not noticed any of the gagging that came with their upset tummies… even if it didn’t result in the dogs throwing up, I was getting this achy old body up and running them to the linoleum floor out to the outside so they can throw up where I could easily clean up… now I get to sit and relax so much more! 🙂

My Thoughts on Gluten Free Dog Food (Gluten and My Dogs):

Reading up on Gluten Free Diets, and watching Dr. Oz (thanks Mom, now my DVR is full of his shows… I have notes to take on most shows, sheesh…) I understand that we, people, can be allergic to Gluten and looking up information online… I see that dogs too can be allergic to gluten. The side effects that I remember from my research are bloated tummies, upset tummies and more digestive problems (from constipation to diarrhea ect). I feel that both of my dogs must have a problem with Gluten and I am so pleased to have been introduced to this new product as it has helped to take care of so many of the problems that I’ve had with my dogs. And as a result of what we’ve experienced, here at home, we will be purchasing this product from now on.

picture of my heart napkin holder next to Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food loose on table top
Honestly, I love what this dog food has done for me, my dogs and that it has helped us in so many ways. Thank you Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain for letting me review this great product, you’ve won us over!

In Conclusion, what do I think of Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain?

The lawn is easier to pick up now! I have already found nice sized bags of Zero Grain at Walmart (and it’s cheaper than Iams). And I have found that I can relax a little more as I don’t need to deal with my dogs having digestive problems as a result of their new food.

Rachael Ray hugging a dog, for Rachaels RescueI can honestly recommend this to anyone wanting less clean up, less digestion problems with their dogs, better nutrition for their dogs and a product that can be found easily at the store. Additionally, I love the fact that proceeds from each bag of Nutrish go to Rachael’s Rescue, an organization that helps animals in need. Having a rescue dog, I greatly appreciate the fact that this organization is doing so much to help out animals. 🙂

You can find out more at The Nutrish Website and while you are there, click on the link on the right hand side (top of the page) entitled “Switch to Nutrish” and request a coupon for their dog food like I did… and I saved $4 off my Nutrish Zero Grain Dog food for my Gluten Free Dog Food.

Here is your chance to win a 6lb bag of Nutrish Zero Grain for your (or a friends) Dog! U.S. Entries only please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Mariah Lockwood personally reviewed this product. I received Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food for this review. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return.. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by Nutrish and me.

Wordless Wednesday – Dog Costume Spider

Dog Costume, The Best Costume I’ve ever seen! I laughed so hard (so hard I almost wet myself), I have dogs and could just imagine the scene, as described in the story with the picture…I had to share this… okay, into wordless mode now! lol ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Halloween Dog Spider Costume, so funny to come home to this running up to greet you... omg too funny!
Great Dog Costume, the Spider Costume looks real! I am going to make this for my dogs!

Shutter Island Author Offers Reward for his Dog.


Tessa Dennis Lehane's Missing BeagleI saw this cute little beagle on the TV while, working on the About Me page for the blog. I just had to post this in hopes that this beloved dog will be returned to Dennis Lehane, the author of many award winning books like, Shutter Island (also made into a Movie in 2010), Mystic River and A Drink Before War.

The Dog:

Her name is Tessa, she’s a Black, Tan and White Beagle. She wasn’t wearing her name tag at the time of her getting loose, she is however Micro-Chipped. According to The Washington Post Article that I found online, Mr. Lehane says that his dog is, “smart, fast and immeasurably sweet.” And a recent message on his facebook page, Mr. Lehane wrote: “has been roaming through the wilds of Coolidge Corner for the last 24 hours. It’s possible she’s staying in some good Samaritan’s home right now or has tucked herself away on a porch.”

The Reward!

The person that finds and returns his Dog will have a Character named after him in his new book.

Date and Location where the dog was lost:

Monday in Brookline Massachusetts, where the dog jumped the fence at Mr. Lehanes home.

How to Collect your Reward:

According to the 5 sources online that read you can leave a message on Mr. Lehane’s Facebook page

Here is hoping that this beautiful dog is returned to Mr. Lehane in no time at all, I can’t imagine the concern they must have for her well being and going without their beloved dog during the Holiday Season.  Good Luck Mr. Lehane!

Organic Dog Food, that worked for my Dogs Sensitive Tummies – Review

Snapshot from my video of Tiny Dancing for his dinner
My dog, Tiny does his “Snoopy Dance” for his dinner. (catch the dance in my video near the end of the post)

You probably know by now (or could easily guess) that my fur babies love it when I get a chance to review dog products on the blog. And this one is no different and their little tummies are very happy with the Newman’s Own Organics Premium Pet Food products that we were asked to review.Newman's Own Organics Dog Food Bag in Adult Dog Formula

My two pups have picky tummies and they can be picky eaters too… we’ve found some dog foods that they will not touch and we had to give it away to neighbors, though we were half tempted to throw it away. We found others that they would eat and later throw up, and yet some others that upset their tummies and we’d end up cleaning the floors and butt fur repeatedly as a result of their eating those Dog Foods or Dog Treats. And I thought a sick man was needy (oh darling husband, you know I AM NOT talking about you. *wink*), ladies some of you know what I mean… but have a dog with a sick tummy (at least my 2 tiny dogs) and they want complete and uninterrupted attention, take your attention away from them for a moment and they are not happy with you and those pups get pushy, panicked and moan a lot in complaint.

It’s a balancing act when your pets have sensitive tummies like mine do. And the recent problems that arose with products coming in from China, I started to wonder, should I make homemade dog food? Being the careful skeptic that I am, I did massive amounts of research on homemade dog foods and after much copying and printing recipes, I found a glitch in the idea. I really shouldn’t make homemade dog foods, there seems to be a lot of science in creating the products that meet your dogs nutritional needs. There are specialty ingredients that you really must go out and purchase to add to a dogs food in order to properly balance the nutritional value of any homemade food, and still a lot of calculations to be met. Human foods do not meet our dogs nutritional needs. Not only that but in the end not only is it a lot more expensive, but, even though our dogs are worth it, it is after all a lot of work. I tell you what I decided to do, after all that research I found that not only do we have to worry about nutrition for our dogs but it is highly recommended to go with Organic products for the dogs. When your little fur babies are so precious to us, lets take care of their bodies by using only the best for them, so I’ve considered going organic for them for quite some time, though I had not taken the leap yet, not until trying Newman’s Own Organics.Dog Foods and Treats from Newmans Own Organics

I received a nice box of goodies for my boys and some coupons too, from Newman’s Own Organics.

I received :

2 Large Cans: Chicken & Brown Rice Formula and the other was Organic Beef

2 Small Cans: Turkey and Brown Rice Formula and the other in Turkey & Chicken Formula

A 1 ½ lbs Bag: Adult Dog formula, made with Organic Grains & Vegetables

2 resealable Bags of Dog treats: Premium Dog Treats in Size Small, Flavor Peanut Butter and the other is Snack Sticks for Dogs in Chicken & Rice Formula

Newman's Own Organics Dog Snacks Packages in PeanutButter and in Chicken and Rice

We’ve fed our pups these perfect sized little hearts before from Newman’s Own Organics (the Premium Dog Treats, small in Peanut Butte Flavor), we found these to be one of the most perfect sized treats for our boys. These Peanut Butter Hearts, are just right for training treats as well as those random treats during the day, great for small dogs like mine. I love these for my dogs and they seem to enjoy them and always ask for more.

These little hearts are 1 inch wide, 1/4 inch thick.

Heart Shaped Dog Treats Measures 1 inch wide on my rulerThe treat I have never picked up before, for my fur babies are the Snack Sticks for Dogs, in Chicken & Rice Recipe, these are long lean sticks about , easy to break up to split between my two dogs as they are not too hard. They love these too.

These little sticks are about 4 1/2 inches long.

Dog Treat Stick measures 4 and a half inches long

I generally feed my 2 little boys dry dog food and use the moist dog foods for special occasions, part of the reason is their sensitive tummies and it’s hard to find moist dog food formulas that agree with their stomachs. I have found about a year back, that a friend sent me a care package with some of Newman’s Own Organics Moist Dog foods in it, she knew my dogs couldn’t stomach most moist dog foods and she had faith that the dog food she’s been feeding her boy and girl (Fur Kids of course, lol) would do the trick with my 2 boys. Sure enough, no upset tummies, no doggy accidents to clean up and 2 happy puppies, one of which even dances for this dinner! So cute!

And there was no problem with the usual progression from one dry dog food to another, if you don’t know usually you should gradually introduce new dog foods, to your dogs in progression, keep the old dog food and slowly increase the % of the new dog food in the mix to introduce the new food to your dog. I usually do this with the dry dog foods starting out at about 1/3 and increasing over 3 days to 100% of the new food, this helps to keep the dogs from getting an upset tummy from the new product. I didn’t do this with my 1 ½ lb bag of dry dog food from Newman’s Own Organics, having tried their soft foods on the dogs previously I had a feeling that they would have no problem digesting the dry food either and I was right. No problems for my two little boys at all switching straight to the new food, they love it and Tiny Dog dances for his dinner for this one as well as the soft foods they make.

Newmans Own Organics Small Moist Dog Food CansI love the Newman’s Own Organics, both people food and the dog foods, they take good care of our little family with Organic ingredients and tummy friendly foods for my Fur Babies. Thank you Newman’s Own Organics for sharing your wonderful products with me and my happy little Fur Babies! You have won our hearts and our brand loyalty with your tasty original & organic recipes for all your fantastic products.

Not a problem with Newman’s Own Organics Dog Food and Treats, they not only joyfully eat the food but there have been no ill effects from eating it, and of course no clean up… happy me & happy pups!

Disclaimer: Mariah Lockwood personally reviewed this product for this review. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return.. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by Newman’s Own Organics and me.

Treating the Fur Kids to SmartSticks & SmartChips Dog Treats – a Review & Giveaway

SmartBones Logo w tagline 1c blackHi all, this is one of those reviews that my Fur Kids (Mr. Peanut and Tiny Dog) love their Mommy to do. I received a lovely email invite to review the brand new products by PetMatrix, the makers of SmartBones. The new addition to their line are both SmartSticks and SmartChips. Both the SmartChips and the SmartSticks come in Chicken and Peanut Butter Flavors, both flavors are my dogs favorites and they come in 5 pack and 10 pack bags.SmartChipsSmartSticks

Have you not heard of SmartBones before? Here is a video,their video doesn’t include the new additions to their line, but it gives you an idea about the products.

I was so happy to hear that not only did this company give their customers more options in their line following the popularity of their SmartBones, but that these are fortified with vitamins and minerals and are 99.2% digestible. Did you know that rawhide treats are even the highest quality of Dog foods are only 85% digestible, nice to know that they developed something even more digestible for our dogs… hey less waste to pick up in the yard then too. 🙂

Mariahs Packages & Produts SmartChips SmartSticksI swear sometimes that men and dogs are alike and think of their tummies almost all the time, I always love the idea of trying to find a treat that is easy on me that I can feed to either my husband or my dogs, so I was pleased as punch to have these treats to feed to my boys. Okay so my “big boy” (husband) didn’t eat these, but he can wait on a special snack/treat for human boys for that review. Lol

I am dealing with an old Dachshund who not only has not only a sensitive tummy but I deal with trying to keep the old dogs weight down too. So I have plenty of carrots on hand for him to eat, but a tasty treat that has some nutrition to it, has to be good and chewy (so they can work their jaws and keep of any plaque build up) and must behave with his tummy for me to be happy. This I feel is also a nice change of pace, once a day for both of my Fur kids, yes even my dogs get jealous of each other and I have to feed them the same things.

I have to say that when I received my bag of SmartSticks and a bag of SmartChips for my dogs I loved the size of the bags… the size of the treats are a little bigger than I’d usually choose for them, especially with an older small dog like Peanut who can put on weight easily. But if you’ve been searching around for chews to help your dogs teeth, like I have, you will know it’s rare to find them in smaller sizes.

Mariah's Tiny Dog Eating Chicken SmartChipI was pleased that when I opened the bags, I didn’t find myself gaging like some treats that I had been giving them would do to me. As a matter of fact I love the smell of the peanut butter flavored treats. Lol I almost made myself a peanut butter sandwich after I opened up the that bag, I tell you it smelled pretty darn good, even to me. And the Chicken doesn’t make me gag either… both a plus that I wouldn’t have worried too much about in a review, other then perhaps holding my breath every time I fed the dogs the product and every time I ziplock sealed the bag shut. Lol Amazing though to find a dog treat that meets all my needs including one that surprised me, my not gagging for once.

The treats smell so good that both dogs came running in from the other room to check out what I was doing, the first time I opened one of the bags, it was the Peanut Butter flavor. Tiny Dog jumps up and moans excitedly everytime I reach for these, and he does his little doggie dance. A few times both the dogs have even managed to be quite vocal about their treats with soft cries of joy whenever I’d reach for the bag. It just makes me laugh and smile as I watch them work eagerly on their treats each day, I have remembered to write on my shopping list that I need to pick more of these up as we ran out the other day. The dogs have the old bag of the old chewy treats to snack on for now and I am back at holding my breath as I open and close the bag… oh how I already miss not gagging over the smell of their SmartChips and SmartSticks treats!

SmartChips in Chicken and Peanut Butter FlavorI don’t have much more to say about these treats, the problem is that the dogs don’t help me with their reviews, but the dogs excitement and their love for these special treats is quite noticeable and to me that speaks volumes, since I haven’t seen a down side to them myself.

SmartSticks in Peanut Butter and Chicken FlavorAs for me, I will put is as simply as possible in conclusion: The SmartChips and SmartSticks seem to be an excellent treat for my dogs (who have sensitive tummies), the smell of the treats didn’t make me gag, the results the next day or so didn’t leave a runny mess on my floors, I am happy and the dogs seem very happy. The product is ample in size (and I think that it would be a great size for a big dog), the SmartChips and SmartSticks give my two lap dogs plenty of nice chewing time and giving me a break from them sitting on my achy hips for a while, giving me a break from trying to work around the dogs online. 🙂 I love the fact that it has nutrition in the chews as well as helping keep the plaque down.

Tiny - Mariah's Little Min-Pin dog Tiny Dog says “Thank you so much for letting Mommy do the review!”
Mr Peanut, Mariah's Long haired Dapple Dachshund Mr. Peanut Says: “Oh yes, Thank you so very much for that and for my snacks!”

The only problem I had was that I received packages with 5 SmartSticks and 5 SmartChips (one of peanut butter and the other chicken flavored) and at the end the dogs were not happy as I had to feed one the Peanut Butter and the other Chicken… we had a bit of a fight here. Seems I will have to make sure to have an even number of these when I pick some up for my boys, so we don’t have to deal with a fight again. I saw online that they have 10 packs as well as the 5 packs so next time at the pet store, I will seek out the 10 packs of each for them.
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Disclaimer: Mariah Lockwood personally reviewed this product. I received samples of SmartChips and SmartSticks for this product review. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return.. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by SmartBones and Me.