Favorite Products of 2008 – Pet Care

Posted on January 5, 2009 by Allie

I have to say that we’ve tried a lot of new dog products this year.  Like Argo, our new friend, Stella, comes with a sensitive stomach and itchy skin – typical German Shepherd issues, so we avoid corn and wheat and try new foods and treats with caution.  So when we find something that works, we stick with it.  In that vein, last year’s pet favorites are still this year’s.

I’m constantly on the search for the best pet food I can find/afford, and after reading ingredient lists, reviews, recall reports and customer testimonials, I’ve decided that Newman’s Own Organics is still the best for our dogs and cat.  I supplement the dog food with home-cooked turkey, rice, squash, and other dog-safe veggies when possible.

Stella approves of Sam’s Yams as well, and they are my favorite dog pacifier.  When they’re busy chewing on a dried sweet potato, they are such good, quiet dogs. And we got her an EarthDog Hemp Martingale collar too.  Her’s is the Astrid pattern, and it’s really cute.

But of the new pet products we’ve tried, here are my favorites:

  • Newman’s Own Organics Salmon and Sweet Potato Dog Treats – I know, I know.  Me and Newmans, it’s getting old, but these treats are new.  They come in a brown bag, and the treats are bigger than the regular treats with a break line down the center.  While the dogs love the original line of NOO treats, they go nuts for these.
  • Zogoflex Hurley Dog Toy – I spent hours of research time looking for a dog toy that was eco-friendly, made in the USA, and safe for strong chewers.  Made from a material called Zogoflex, the Hurley is recyclable, and “does not contain, nor does any of its components contain any known sources of lead, cadmium, mercury, latex, natural rubber, phthalates, hormones, Bisphenol A, or asbestos.”  Plus, if your dog destroys it, they will send you a new one.  I got one for each dog, but they prefer to play with one together.  Each holds an end and they run around the room with it.  It’s pretty funny.
  • Cesar’s Way By Cesar MilanHowling Hill recommended Cesar Milan to me when Stella was threatening to drive me out of my gourd, and I immediately hit the library.  I know this isn’t a specifically eco-friendly book, but I credit the advice given in the book for the complete positive shift in Stella’s behavior and attitude.  6-8 million dogs and cats end up in shelters every year, often in response to unmanageable behavior problems.  A good long walk (sometimes with a backpack full of beans to wear her out) every morning and a change in my way of approaching Stella made it possible for her to become a positive member of our family.  I love that his methods don’t involve expensive or wasteful supplies.  It’s all about exercise and mindset.
  • Petguard Organics Purrlicious Cat Treats – It’s not all about dogs around here.  We have the world’s pickiest cat when it comes to food.  She won’t even eat tuna fish.  But she loves these treats.  Unfortunately, Stella loves them too, so making sure they get to their intended source is quite the ordeal.  They are made in the USA and carry the USDA Organic seal.

Honorable Mention:

  • Organic Buddy Biscuits – The Sweet Potato Madness flavor is wheat and corn-free.  They didn’t agree with Stella’s belly (although her she enjoyed them very much), but Argo didn’t have an issue with them at all.  The cute gingerbread people shape makes them easy to confuse with people cookies, (I made a point to warn J that they were dog treats when I took them out of their packaging to store them in an airtight jar), but the ingredients are few and simple (and 95% organic), the treats are made in the USA, and all the ingredients are grown in the USA.  I probably won’t buy them again, because it’s hard to have separate treats for both dogs, but if your dog doesn’t have the most senstive stomach the world has ever seen, these might be a good pick for you.

6 Comments +

  1. I’ll have to give these a try. I don’t think any of our local stores sell Newman’s. I do make Lucy’s food often from venison that my dad gets for us and local veggies. She also used to have skin/ear problems from food so she eats Wellness Fish & Sweet Potato and it’s done wonders for her.

    January 5th, 2009 at 10:41 pm
    Comment by Susy
  2. I realize that with a larger dog it’s more costly, but the best food I’ve found is BARF which is Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It’s made of raw chicken, beef, venison or rabbit and is intended to mimic the way dogs ate before we domesticated them. My dogs absolutely love it and why wouldn’t they, its like dropping a steak on the floor every night for them. Schnauzers have the skin/stomach issues as well and while it costs more than I used to pay for dog food, I have more than made up for it with the savings in vet bills. Up until Morgan’s surgery last week I had only spent money at the vet for yearly shots and that is SO worth it to me!

    January 5th, 2009 at 11:55 pm
    Comment by Vanessa
  3. When Jaxsun was alive we fed him Eagle Brand because he had hot spot issues. We gave him lots of turkey, chicken, and beef, not to mention veggies, and his hot spots cleared up. If I were to get another dog I’d go the BARF route because it’s easier, I think, to make up their meals because then I know what’s in them.

    As for treats, I gave him Old Mother Hubbard dog biscuits, specifically these. He adored them. I know they have flour in them but his issue was corn based and not flour based.

    Aside from the Old Mother Hubbards I gave him a cow femur pretty regularly. This kept him busy and sharpened his three canine teeth (he lost one in a dog fight.) I knew what was in the cow femur was and where it came from. And it made him as happy as a … dog with a bone. Have you considered giving Stella and Argo femurs? Also, I gave Jaxsun chicken bones/carcasses often. We’ve been told not to give them to dogs because they’ll choke but have you ever heard of a fox choking on a chicken bone? Jaxsun outweighed fox by about 50 pounds (he was a large Siberian Husky). I figured the rumor about choking dogs was started by the dog food industry and paid it no mind. Never once did he have a problem.

    Thanks for the shout out, by the way. I appreciate the kind words!

    January 6th, 2009 at 1:49 am
    Comment by Howling Hill
  4. I’ve been meaning to try those Sams Yams for Lucydog.

    January 6th, 2009 at 4:48 am
    Comment by The Modern Gal
  5. I recommend a Fur-Zoff for anyone looking for a product that will save you money and remove pet hair from every end of your house. http://furzoff.net

    August 11th, 2009 at 1:03 pm
    Comment by KC
  6. You can’t beat the old fashioned way to keep your cat from getting fur balls….that is to brush them regularly to get the loose fur out of their coat. Not only is it good for their health, your cat will enjoy the grooming time.

    August 11th, 2009 at 9:26 pm
    Comment by Jack Stepongzi

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So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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