Sunday, March 30, 2014

DIY Dogmom

One of my biggest goals is to no longer support companies that conduct animal testing, and by animal testing I’m talking beagles. It sounds like it would be fairly simple to switch until you realize these companies are the same ones that make most of our everyday products. I’ve had to change my shampoo, perfume, toothpaste, lotion, and lots of other essential products. I have completely made the switch in my bathroom now it’s time to tackle my cleaning products.

Buying natural products was my solution for the bathroom, but it costs me a pretty penny. Luckily, I’m a minimalist when it comes to those products so a little bit goes a long way but cleaning is another story. Between two dogs and a foster cat, I end up doing about 8 loads of laundry a week. I also clean everything all the time. Simply buying all natural, more expensive products in this area will cost me more than a pretty penny, it will cost me an arm and a leg. So I've decided to take a different approach, I’m making these products myself.

I decided to start with the easiest, laundry detergent. It’s only a few ingredients: Borax, washing soda, baking soda, and bar soap. The hardest part was grating the bar of soap which really wasn’t hard at all. I actually kind of enjoyed the process and it gave me a new project. I’ve also made my own dish washing detergent, glass cleaner, disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner. I’ve probably spent about $25 for all of the products and there’s still plenty of everything left to make a lot more in the months to come. So not only am I getting rid of harmful chemicals and ending my support of SC Johnson and others who test on animals, I’m also saving money and feeling pretty proud of my domestic self.

Have you ever made your own products? Was it a success? Did you do it for any of the reasons I’ve made the switch? We’d love to hear about any other DIY dogmom or dads out there!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beckham’s Big Weekend

This was a HUGE weekend for Beckham. He had not one but two meet and greets with potential adopters. The first family we met with was Saturday night. Mom, Dad, and their two sons ages 15 and 11 struck me as handy, hardworking people. They recently lost their dog of old age and their current dog was so depressed she had stopped eating. They promised the boys a cat would be their next family pet as long as the cat was dog friendly, cue Beckham! I also appreciated the fact that they had their eye on Beckham for months now, but waited until the right time to meet him. Oh, and did I mention they have chickens! Outside of course, out of Beckham’s hunting way but I just thought it was neat. The family hung out with Beckham for about an hour and then we were on our way back home. After we left, they did fill out an adoption application but the next day Milwaukee Pets Alive received an email stating the family did not think Beckham was the right fit for them.

Next up was Sunday and another family interested in our handsome devil. This family was smaller by one person and consisted of Mom, Boyfriend, and 4-year-old. This time we decided Beckham was not the right fit for them. They already have a dominate, male cat in the home and we believe he would not mesh well with Sir Beckham. Even if they were to tolerate each other we want Beckham to go to a home where he will have buddies like Mister and Missy.

As I wrote at the beginning of the month, I really feel like March is Beckham’s time to finally put down roots and find his forever home. He’s such a sweetie who deserves a family who will love him unconditionally and we want to continue to save lives. It would be impossible for me to be committed to the No-Kill movement and adopt Beckham. Moving is once again in my future and it will still be a few years before I can settle into a house so taking Beckham and two dogs to and from a variety of apartments is just too difficult. Let’s hope Beckham goes home this month! Fingers crossed and of course we’ll make sure to keep you posted.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sales and Labels

It’s time for our second product review! This time, Missy and Mister tried out Nutri Source Pure Vita grain free dog food. Pure Vita promises a lot of words that don’t actually mean anything to me as a consumer. Words like “superior” nutrition for dogs or “pure and natural holistic” pet foods. What is important to me is that it is grain free and has a single source of protein. The dogs actually tried several different flavors including turkey, bison, and salmon. The dogs had never had bison before so I actually thought it would be their favorite but I was wrong; Salmon won the flavor challenge. A few times Missy actually seemed to lick her lips in anticipation of the food, which isn't something she always does. They actually seemed to like bison the least, so I’ll have to keep that in mind when checking out other flavors in the future. It seems as though Missy favors fish in general.

Although the Pure Vita was a single source of protein which is why I am assuming the vendors pushing it at the expo told me it was limited ingredient, its’ really not. There are a TON of ingredients on the label, not all of which I understood. I’d say I knew what about 75% of them were and the other 15% I didn't really have a clue. No thumbs up from me. For other dogs, lots of ingredients wouldn't be a problem but it isn't good for Missy’s stomach. It definitely did better than dog food with grains in it, but didn't give Missy the coloring or consistency of poop her normal dog food does or the other brand we tried earlier. So I’d say two paws down from Missy and Mister as well.

So will I be making the switch? Not in this case. I am sure this dog food could be a good brand for another dog but it’s not right for us. I’ll give you an example: Experts rave about Blue Buffalo dog food, how it’s top of the line and rich with nutrition. Our vet specifically told me to stay away from it because for Missy it had too many ingredients. So I’m not knocking the product completely, it just won’t be a purchase for us, ever.

Remember, I’m just a dogmom, not a paid blogger or expert of any kind. This was just our experience with Pure Vita. Does your dog have any kind of special food allergies or something like Missy’s diet? Do you know of a good product we should try out? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you!

Operation Beckham

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is Beckham is officially the longest foster cat in the program now that Toby has been adopted. I took Beckham in on May 30th and nine months later the poor guy is still making trips back and forth to adoption events every Sunday. The good news is now that Beckham is top cat Milwaukee Pets Alive will launch a new push to get him into his forever home sooner rather than later.

It’s hard to believe Beckham hasn’t been adopted yet. He’s a cool, confident kitty who loves to sunbathe, take long baths, and play with Mister and Missy. He also enjoys napping with or without a dog. He’s affectionate on his own terms and enjoys a good petting or brushing from me. It did take Beckham a while to bond with me but now I wake up on the couch with him sleeping in my lap. It’s funny to go to sleep with two dogs holding you down and wake up with a cat strategically placed on top of you too. Because he does seem to be so bonded with the dogs, I think he would definitely do best in a home with other animals. Not sure if he would do great with kids, many older ones who will give him his space but still want to play with him. Although, it’s worth noting, other than the vacuum I have yet to find anything that truly fazes him.

Needless to say Beckham is pretty much the coolest cat. It’s heartbreaking that he’s been overlooked by potential adopters for months. But I just have a feeling that March will be his month. So join us and be a part of operation Beckham. Help this well deserving cat find his forever home by telling his story and sharing his picture. He is quite handsome isn't he?