Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tips To Keep Your Cat Young!

Maintain your cat's health at any age with structured play times and toys that foster their natural instinct to hunt and play at night!

From a young age us 'hoomans' are groomed to be active. In elementary school we are given breaks multiple times throughout the day to expend energy, re-channel our focus, and refuel our bodies. As adults, especially in less active lifestyles and jobs, we are reminded that we need to get up and moving every hour to increase circulation and general cardio health. So it stands to reason that your fur children require no less motivation and attention when it comes to the subject of being active. Many modern cat parents would argue that Fluffy is simply 'too old' or 'never was the playing type,' and that their indoor lifestyle has given them a predisposition to discard nature's hunting tendencies for a more sedentary lifestyle. While some of thee things may be true to an extant, the level of activity your cat requires (at any age) to maintain optimal health does not change.
An active cat is possible at any age, engage your cat's natural instinct of night time activity and need to hunt!
There has been much debate as to whether domestic cats maintain their nocturnal lifestyle when home bound- most studies seem to reveal that, while cats will adapt to their owner's lifestyles, for the most part felines are most energetic and active during the day. If you've ever contemplated putting a night-cam in your living room or bathroom due to midnight crashes and cat-related disturbances, you likely agree.

Now, naturally, you can't uproot your entire sleeping arrangements to occupy your cat overnight, right? What you can do, however, is place toys in strategic places throughout the house to engage them during their nightly hunting excursions. In most cases the toys picky, or 'non playful' cats will respond to are those that look like innocuously misplaced pieces of trash. Consider placing crumpled paper balls or yarn knots at the edge of furniture and hallway corners- Cats are notorious for maintaining boundaries and following the same 'patrol' nightly.
An active cat is possible at any age, engage your cat's natural instinct of night time activity and need to hunt!
If you have a cat that is active during the day, and you are either too busy to take time to engage them- or simply not home, consider placing some plastic cat 'ball' toys in the bathtub or a large box/tub without a lid- cats love the action of its m bouncing and ricocheting. This personal hockey rink of sorts can make for great exercise! Most felines will also respond to the kitten-like instinct of swatting anything that is dangling. You can make a simple and engaging toy for your cat by tying a toy mouse to some old shoelaces or yarn and looping it around a door knob. If you have some elastic string, even better!
An active cat is possible at any age, engage your cat's natural instinct of night time activity and need to hunt!
Idealy, you and your cat will engage in play time and activity more than not. Truffles is forever a kitten, and at 4, still plays just as much (if not more) than her first year. The best way to keep your ct active is to engage them with toys and activities that match their natural instincts in nature. Pay attention to places where your cat seems most active or even causes trouble and inspect the surroundings an involved items. Try to mimic these places and scenarios and you will soon see your cat come to life. Of course, if you have a particularly sedentary or lazy feline you just may have to break out the laser pointer or catnip!

What are your best tips for an active cat? Any favorite toys?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Making Meal Moments With Your Furbabies + #NutrishForCats #Sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Nutrish for Cats. I received a sample of #NutrishForCats to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
Make mealtime moments with Rachael Ray's #NutrishForCats range of simply inspired premium cat food. #MC #Sponsored
Momma Told Me: Feed to fuel, not to feel

I do not have human kids yet, but I am not without children. It is no secret that my love for my pets goes beyond household companion- we share a bond that transcends words to a complex communication of nuzzles and nudges. Truffles, the cat, is our 'oldest,' child but easily the most babied. Even at 5 years she still has the wonderment of a kitten, and the magical disposition of being a runt gives her a miniature cat appeal every guest can't help but fall in love with themselves. And every morning I awake to a nose on my face, a swat at my feel, or a tail in my mouth. If I sleep in especially late (past breakfast) I know I will owe some one-on-one time with the dangly things and noisemakers Truffles so loves to play with.
Make mealtime moments with Rachael Ray's #NutrishForCats range of simply inspired premium cat food. #MC #Sponsored
The unfortunate reality, for most pet parents, is that the lives of felines an canines do not match the expectancy of ourselves, as humans. Because of this regular veterinarian checkups, an active lifestyle, and healthy diet are key to enjoying every single purr and woof our furry friends have to offer. My discretion over what went in Truffles mouth did not stop after the midnight bottle feedings of her kitten-hood. We live in a small condo, and she is an indoor cat, so there are constantly lifestyle challenges for us to work around.
Make mealtime moments with Rachael Ray's #NutrishForCats range of simply inspired premium cat food. #MC #Sponsored
Indoor cats, especially, can be prone to weight issues and joint problems due to poor diet and lack of appetite. Pet parents often assume that a cat's lazy nature is due to aging; when in fact it is most often in part due to a nutrient lacking diet and lack of engagement. Cats by nature, will be more active at night, so try to take advantage of special bonding and play times just before you go to bed, or right after you wake, when cats will be most active. Focusing on feeding your cat a meal that is high in protein (it should be the number 1 ingredient, in fact,) and offers essential amino acids and vitamins like Taurine and Vitamin B. Not only will a nutrient rich cat food help aid digestion for more productive metabolism, but it can improve vision and hart health over the life of your pet.
Make mealtime moments with Rachael Ray's #NutrishForCats range of simply inspired premium cat food. #MC #Sponsored
There are a lot of pet food brands on the market, and most veterinarians will often have a pricey in house brand they are contracted to plug (Blue Diamond pays vets and breeders alike to promote their brands.) If you are going to choose a pet food based on the suggestion of a professional, consider asking if they have any affiliation first, then read some labels of your own. Finding a food that supports your cat's health is important, but you also want a food they will love to eat. That's why Rachael Ray has rolled her 'simple recipes' concept into 6 wholesome varieties of #NutrishForCats dry and wet food.
The Nutrish range of premium cat food aims to remove preservatives and fillers from everyday meals, replacing them with real chicken and salmon as the primary ingredient. There are a lot of things in commercials and pamphlets about this food, but I have my own favorite details. First and foremost, the flavorful recipes, like Real Salmon and Brown Rice or Ocean Fish and Chicken Catch-iatore, are inspired by simply good, real, human meals. I can look at the ingredients (beet pulp, brown rice, yeast) and make an inspired meal of my own that would be equally healthy for me to eat. In fact, I did! Scroll to the bottom of the post to see my Rachael Ray inspired Smoky Maple-Glazed Salmon.
The Nutrish for cats range of dry foods offer extremely easy to chew and eat small kernels that allow Truffles to better digest her food, and (yes) feel like she is eating more. I can even put half a serving with some brown rice and (unseasoned) salmon for a special meal we can enjoy together. She may not know what is in the food she's eating, but she knows her Momma is the bringer of delicious, and we craft countless memories and moments from that. I simply enjoy knowing I am doing my best to keep her adorable face in my bed for as many mornings as I can.

Try out the Rachael Ray #NutrishForCats range today with exclusive money saving coupons!

What Daughter Says: Feel and Fuel at the same time with smart meal decisions for you and your cat.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

5 Helpful Tips To Handle A Pet's Passing

There's no question that pets are family members. Whether they're adopted at birth or painstakingly picked out from the hundreds of deserving lives at a shelter, cats and dogs quickly become a part of our family. When we're children, the hardest part of loving an animal is deciding whether the fields in kitty/doggy heaven are made of butterflies or pet treats. We grieve, and our hearts are inevitably won over by a new ball of fluff some months later. As an adult, tackling the passing of a beloved furry family member can be a tough, and most often unexpected, time. I've prepared a few simple tips to answer the burning questions of this difficult subject, and help ease the process, whether for your family or to help a friend.

1.) Consider death, before life. The hardest time it will ever be to consider the passing of a pet is after the animal has integrated into your family and become a beloved staple. Unfortunately, young or old, a new furry family member means that it's passing is inevitable. While the modern house cat enjoys a hearty 12-15 years of life, and the modern dog (breeds vary) 10-13, animals, like people, can suffer from unexpected illness and injury.

We are fortunate to have the power and resources to prevent extended suffering of an animal in old age or terminal illness, but even those decisions require prior consideration. Much like a human family member it is best to discuss and look into the proper handling of a deceased or severally ill pet far in advance of the situation arising. Considering these circumstances before you adopt or bring a pet into your family will make you more aware of the options during the difficult time, even 10+ years down the line.

2.) Understand what to expect and how to handle it. While you can never be prepared to let go of a family member, knowing more about your pets breed and size will better equip you to handle their passing. Large breed dogs will prove the hardest to handle in situations that are sudden and unexpected. As unpleasant as the topic is, the animal's body will begin to stiffen and become hard to mange in as little as 10 minutes after it's passing. It may be hard to handle your beloved pet in such a manner but steps will need to immediately be taken to avoid further unpleasantness. Educate yourself on safe handling of a passed pet and have the proper supplies packaged in a sort of emergency kit (medical gloves, heavy duty trash bags (x2 or 3), a bog or container, etc).

Be prepared to store your pet's body in a manner that will postpone decomposition, such as in a deep freezer, or have a local veterinarian or pet crematory's number on hand. Much like human handlers, pet crematories will often have an after hours number and can pick up your pet's body in as short as an hour. Expect these services to be additional- if the costs are outside your family's financial budget, the pet may often be brought to a veterinarian for storage up to 3 days. Plan ahead of time and ask these questions long before the services are needed so the process is smoother and you are informed.
3. You have options. For the most part there are 3 scenarios for the end of your pet's life; sudden death at home and burial, sudden death at home and transport to a crematorium, or initiated passing via injection in a veterinarian's office. Ideally a trained professional in vet services will be available to walk you through the handling of a passed pet. If this happens at home, most veterinarian's offices have after hours contacts that will guide you through the steps. Again, planning far ahead is always best as you and your love ones will likely be distraught. If you plan on burying your pet, ensure that it is on your owned private property and in a cardboard or wood vessel a minimum of 3 feet below the surface to prevent scavengers and accidental uncovering.

4. Enlist a friend. It is always a good idea, even at adoption, to have someone outside the family in mind to help handle a pet's passing. Think of this as a furry godparent- anticipate it to be someone near enough to be there in a time of need, but ideally not someone who be connecting directly with your pet throughout the years. It is never easy to cope with and handle the passing of an animal, but having someone there who has pet sit and developed a bond with your animal can be as equally emotionally rough for you and your family. If your animal is a large breed consider someone who will be able to help handle the body in difficult circumstances, while remaining respectful and consoling.

5. Plan a memorial. Especially if you have children who may not be able to comprehend the passing of an animal, but in general a good idea. In most cases your pet will be cremated and you will be give access or the option to obtain your pet's ashes. This may be of note for families with pets 15+ years, though others will wish to hold onto more physical trinkets that represent good memories within the pet's life. You may feel the urge to hold onto everything your pet touched at first but it is always best to cleanse your home of the majority of these items, save those tiny trinkets sooner than later. Having in an in home gathering of your immediate house family members and saying a few words over a good meal can substantially help in the healing of this difficult period.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

How To Set Up A Bio Bubble Aquarium!

Bio Bubble Pet Habitats- Futuristic Homes For Nearly Any Small Pet

Do you remember opening up a gift on Christmas morning; that brand new Malibu Stacy Dream Car you'd asked Santa about all year? Your tiny fingers attempt to tear apart the cardboard packaging, but they just can't seem to manage to break through all of the staples, twist-ties, and tape. Finally your mother spots you and gingerly pries the shiny new toy from your hand with promise she'll be back in just a moment for you to play. But moments turn into minutes, and minutes turn into what seems like hours and days in your adolescent mind. It turns out Momma had forgot to double check if she had extra D batteries and her screwdriver was a tad too big for the tiny plastic screws. Tears began streaming down your face and you secretly vowed never again to let something that looked so cool pull you in with it's promise of simple operation.
The expanding Bio Bubble Aquarium Sleeve.
I'll admit, halfway through my Bio Bubble Aquarium setup I felt similarly frustrated. You may recall that we had set Gary (the Beta fish) up with his 1 Gallon No Clean Aquarium last year. It was a breeze, but it was limited in size and really could only keep a simple Beta fish happy. When I had the chance to experience a state-of-the-art, futuristic looking, new concept in animal habitats, the Bio Bubble, I was immediately romanced by the sleek curves and unlimited possibilities. Suddenly, I had to have more fish. What, exactly makes the Bio Bubble Aquatic so special? A patented expanding sleeve, which hides in the base, turns this fish tank from flawless dome into practical care-taking and cleaning. If you've ever dreamt of having a coffee table that doubles as a fish tank, this is about as close as you will get on a consumer budget!
I had a few frustrations when initially folding through all the tiny 'instructions cards' bundled with each of the aquariums parts. There was an initial Instructions Pamphlet, but most of the phrasing was written deceptively simple. On several occasions I had to go back and watch the demo video on the brand's website to clarify operation. On a few topics I truly had to scratch my head for a few hours before I stumbled upon the answer. I know I'm clearly not the only customer to appear baffled by this wondrous futuristic habitat- there are plenty of reviews complaining about customer error that seems like it could have been avoided. But have no fear, the company is listening and working actively to provide more demonstration videos and specific product warnings to guide users down the right path at initial use. And then you also have me, who is here to point out my foibles and guide you with photos!

(I should note that Bio Bubble does provide customer support by phone, unfortunately, I was not assembling my tank during those hours.)
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Bio Bubble Aquarium InstructionsBio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
You will feel less overwhelmed if you leave accessories and parts in their pre-sealed sleeves until the directions tell you to use them. Be sure that you have picked out a stable surface for your BioBubble prior to set-up. Take special consideration that the aquarium may get up to 30lbs heavy when filled with decorations and water, and that you will need to change the water (25% according to a pet specialist ) once a week. The Bio Bubble also requires 2 plug in outlets for the pump and filter, as well as a third if you wish to use the branded LED light cap. We chose to buy an affordable power strip solely for the aquarium.

Because the Bio Bubble can be transitioned from Aquatic to Avian to Amphibian (and just about anything else) habitat, there will be a bottom 'plug' included with your kit. You do not need this for the aquarium. Instead, remove the filter O-Ring from it's package and carefully smooth the included lube along the O-Ring. Next, insert the O-Ring into the bottom groove, on the inside of the habitat floor. Then place the pre-assembled filter on top of the hole and twist Clockwise to lock it in place.
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Next you will set up your pump. Attach one end of the air pump tubing the bottom of the filter base (from beneath the unit.) You will likely need an extra pair of hands. Next, place the Bio Bubble down and splice the tubing about 2-3" from the base of the unit. Connect the pump valve between the spliced hosing to allow you to turn the aeration (bubbles) on and off without unplugging the pump. You will need to add an air stone or aerator decoration to the filter (from inside the Bio Bubble) prior to adding water and fish. You may use the air pump as is but note it will only dispense large and loud bubbles without an aerator stone to diffuse the bubbles. Smaller bubbles are not only quieter, but also have more surface area and help to keep your aquarium free of nitrate buildup.

Note: The pump included with the Bio Bubble Aquatic is a value, or basic, pump. It is small and very loud. I quickly replaced this pump with a Tetra brand Whisper Pump for about $10. You can easily attach any pump of your choosing to the set up hosing and filtration. Simply disconnect the hosing from the original pump and attach it to your new pump- you can even use the installed valve switch from above!
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
Installing the Dome Gasket is perhaps one of the most important keys to your Bio Bubble Aquatic's success. It is also, arguably, to most frustrating. The instructions were very brief, and 'simple,' as to the point I almost felt stupid as I was wondering why the dome wouldn't close with the latches, when the gasket was  installed. That's because I'd installed it wrong. It took 3 adults to not only figure out that the gasket has a slit on the bottom (skinny) side that needs to be fed along the lip of the dome. It also took the same 3 adults 15 minutes to jimmy the very tight seal gasket around the dome and in place. It is supposed to be a tight fit, so do not feel discouraged if this part of the set-up takes a while. Rest assured, once in place around the entire dome, it will not pop out.
Bio Bubble Aquarium Instructions
You're almost there- Now it's time to install any extras you may have purchased for your Aquarium. Bio Bubble habitats are very versatile and the company makes several expansions and add ones. If you've already purchased your decor for the aquarium be sure to place it inside to get an idea of the space you have left for fish and additional plants/decor. Keep in mind, whether you are using sand or rocks, you will likely be filling the flooring up to the lower lip of the Bio Bubble. You may wish to cover the filter, visibly, with an aerating decoration. There are several rocks and pieces of decor with filter and aeration hookups you can place in the center. Just remember that the filter needs flow and access to water, so your decoration should have multiple 'holes' or outputs for bubbles and water.

Keep in mind that the Bio Bubble will, ultimately, have a domed top. This may impact clearance of decorations, so assemble the tank, without water, before moving forward to ensure everything clears. We received an LED caplight from the brand, which we use on the top of our tank. It rests on the groove/opening where you will be able to feed would fish nightly. Unfortunately, the brand doesn't seem to have addressed aquatic heating as of yet. Pretty much all fish will thrive most in a stable water temperature (typically the type of fish you will fit in this habitat will need 65-75F) water. Currently the only heating solution I can find is to run a fourth cord along the side and place a heating rod in from the top.
Tips for setting up a new aquarium and bringing home new fish.
When you go to the pet store to pick out your fish there are a few things still to consider. Whether going saltwater (more advanced but possible with the Bio Bubble) or freshwater, you will need to prepare and treat your water in advance. All water should be properly filtered with special drops, and left out to reach room temperature as to not shock the fish. Keep in mind the size of your aquarium (which I felt should be written in several more places in brand literature, and much more predominant), in this case 3 gallons. You will need to ask trained staff how big fish will grow- we were advised guppies were the smallest stocked fish that could fit happily in groups more than 2 in this size tank. Also consider species compatibility, and always get one gender of fish (or expect offspring).

Are you ready to see the final result of our Bio Bubble Aquarium? You'll have to tune back in on April 9, at Momma Told Me, when we reveal our aquarium setup, it's inhabitants, and giveaway a Premium Bio Bubble Kit (with accessories) during Blog POP! Spring Fling!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Service For Dogs

Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
As far back as I can remember, I've enjoyed giving much more than receiving. Few aspects of my life illustrate this quite like my love for my pets, which I ultimately consider my four-legged children. When I was a young girl I recall insisting on documenting the birthday of each of our house-cats. My father would print it on our family calendar, and every year I'd make Momma bust out a box of cake mix, and take me to the pet store to buy a special toy. Naturally, when it comes to pets, everything you do for them is a gift; Nora gets excited when we just look her direction to acknowledge her, let alone bust our a bacon flavored chewy. But, sometimes I don't have the time to stop by the pet store each month, or I'm simply bored with the same selection of toys and treats. And, on those occasions, a monthly pet subscription box can be a much welcome treat for myself and my fur-babies.
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
At the end of last year we had the chance to receive a sample box from Pooch Pax, a monthly subscription service designed exclusively for dogs. With three breed size ranges, small, medium, and large, this pet service is a little more flexible than most when it comes to custom building boxes for your pet. They offer a simple structure that enables you to buy one box at a time, or subscribe to several months in advance for a discounted rate. I've heard rumors that there is now a tailoring option for the age of your four-legged child (puppy/senior options), but haven't had a chance to try that out yet. It seems like an especially ingenious concept, since the dietary needs and active levels of dogs vary with their age.
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
Nora is a 5.5lb Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix), and considered a toy size dog, which is typically smaller than most small dog branded products accommodate. This was evident in our Small Pooch Pax box, which featured a few treats that were hard for her to chew, and a Tuffy Ball tennis ball play toy much too big for her jaw. Our Bubba Rose Cheesy Bacon Breakable Training Treat was still almost twice her daily kibble size, when broken by the scoring. I ended up smashing it as a 'topping' for her dinner later in the night, and she really seemed to enjoy it. There was also a container of organic and fresh made Healthy Dog (pumpkin cinnamon) biscuits that seemed to grab Nora's attention right away from the scent. They proved hard for her to chew, but she was also content just licking and gnawing on a biscuit protectively for an hour.
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
Pooch Pax Monthly Subscription Box For Dog Owners
The average Pooch Pax contains 4-6 full size items for your dog, and ours was chocked full of  6; not all of them edible delights. We also received a flash and glow safety light to attach to her color that features a waterproof silicone casing and bright neon color for enhanced visibility. But Nora's favorite non-edible (okay, it's proved edible much to my dismay) surprise was an adorable giraffe squeak toy. Nicknamed 'Raffe' in our home, Nora spend the better part of a month quite literally snuggling with this toy at night, until they seemed to have a disagreement and I came home to stuffing and a war wound in Raffe's leg.

Pooch Pax starts as low as $19 dollars a month, and ships once a month with brand new products hand picked for their unique features and flavors. All of the edible treats we've encountered have been the highest quality, with many natural and even hand made aspects. My only request for the company is that they look into adding a 'Toy Breed' size to their service to accommodate smaller customers, such as Nora. Save $5 on any 6 Month Subscription Plan with discount code: Truffles.