The Krew was on a short break while the dog world stopped to take in Westminster, Crufts, and the super clusters, Louisville, Tarheel, Vallejo, New Jersey…. But now, we’re back & ready with more terrific reviews of products we think you can’t live without. Well perhaps you can but they’re cool and fun. During our short break we went off the beaten path and found civilians – the Krew’s nickname for the non-dog show fancier, the John Q Public pup owners and first-time adopters. So many cool people devoted to their dogs, like us, but different, like the rescuer who gets her first terrier and can’t find the right collar so creates her own Fifi-dedicated line. Or the company-owners that donate a percentage of their proceeds to rescues as well; a win for everyone! Inspired by their first-time ownership, dissatisfied by the current product selection or by the lack of a product, and driven by outside-the- box thinking, they go boldly into delivering new solutions or tuned-up solutions. Some are innovative, some redundant, some silly…but they are always creative dog products.
And now, the new, the refined, the unusual…
My Best Friend’s Fork ($24.95)
A fork for dogs? The Krew thought it was crazy too, until we started fostering a tongue-less Stafford and then it made all the sense in the world. This fork was developed by necessity when Inventor Val Arnold was feeding her Rottweiler from a fork he grabbed it from her hand and nearly swallowed it. She decided to design a fork that would prevent that from happening to her or any other table feeding canine owner.
She did her homework. Remarkably, there are a lot of fork swallowing incidents with a substantial number of online x- ray images of Fido’s with forks in their stomachs to prove it (no snopes.com needed, these are the real deal.) Inspired by her own experience and the numbers of “swallowed fork incidents” Ms. Arnold invented the only patented safety food utensil for animals. The fork prongs are short and gentle featuring rounded edges for pets’ mouths. The handle end has a hook to slip your finger into preventing the fork from getting pulled from your hand. Made from food grade stainless steel, My Best Friend’s Fork won’t bend or break with while feeding your pet. Check out Val’s My BFF video here: http://youtu.be/RKGOrvUPT5A
Farm Dog Naturals
Nashville’s Rita Hogan owns Farm Dog Naturals an eco-friendly company that creates effective herbal dog products that are environmentally sound, sustainable and enhance the quality of life for dogs.
SALVATION salve is a healing salve for minor skin irritations, hot spots, topical yeast, crusty noses, inflammation and sore paw pads. This worked for the Krew’s Frenchie’s nose which has a habit of drying in extremely cold or hot weather.
The RESTORE salve is used for wound care, itch relief, flea dermatitis and bug bites and has been used on both my male Staffords to great success, one for his belly after stitches were removed and the other when he decided to rub his belly raw. It stopped all irritation and healed the belly quickly.
RELIEF is a pet urine and eco cleaner that eliminates urine odors and stains. RELIEF’S multi-purpose formula can be used as a spray-and-wipe cleaner that is safe for use on wood, tile, granite, stainless steel and Formica.
RELAX is their stress & anxiety formula, and REJOICE is odor removing smudge sticks. Psst! Insider Tip: White Sage smoke neutralizes pet odors.
Relief Pet Urine & Eco Cleaner $11.99
Salvation Dry Skin & Crusty Nose Salve $15.99
Restore Itch Relief & Wound Care Salve $17.99
Relax Stress & Anxiety Formula $5.99
Rejoice Odor Removing Sage Stick $17.99
The packaging is made in the USA from sustainable/recyclable materials and Farm Dog Naturals supports local and small farmers, with all ingredients made in the United States and any overseas ingredients must be Fair Trade. They never use any ingredients made in China. In July of 2011, Farm Dog Naturals was certified by Green America as a sustainable and environmentally sound small manufacturer and also has the Green People Seal of Approval.
M&J Dog Essentials
Hannah and Mary Louise Shenk of Chicago are the founders of M&J Dog Essentials that has also showcased at our annual AKC International Kennel Club Dog Show. Both are estheticians and one an herbalist which means mad skills for developing great grooming products that treat the whole dog, “Our complete grooming system is designed to benefit a dog’s mind, body and spirit. The blends of oils, extracts and flower essences naturally calm and soothe the dog emotionally and help to restore a healthy balance to the skin and coat.”
The family-run company’s all-natural concoctions feature handpicked ingredients, custom-blended flower essences, subtle scents and the perfect pH balance for dogs to create shiny, luxurious coats and healthy, moisturized skin.
The line features Nutrient Fusion Pre-Bath Treatment ($20), Purely Clean Shampoo & Conditioner ($18) that has been used repeatedly on The Krew, their Show Dog Shine Leave-In Conditioner ($22) is a necessity in the Krew’s onsite dog show bag. Psst Insider Tip: Use Simply Soothed Herbal Rinse ($12) on your itchy pooch. Made like tea, steep in a water-filled container, and then pour over dog. Calms and neutralizes the skin immediately. Love this! New additions to the line include their FreshenUp Collection, a Cleansing Treatment Spray ($22) and Coat Tonic Spray ($17) used to “freshen up” your dog between baths.
The Mommy Bus ($99.99)
The Mommy Bus – a pooch’s personal bus – is one product that has CF in spades. What’s CF? It’s the Krew’s abbreviation for Cuteness Factor. Created by Jersey girl Diane Dellefave for her Yorkie “Little Mannie,” it is the cutest way to transport your little pup after he’s too tuckered to take one more step. An undeniably cute pet carrier!
Easy to use, slip you pet into the top, open the front window and you can stroke his snout. Toters will appreciate that the carrier has sturdy handles and an adjustable shoulder strap, with large outside storage pockets for “pup stuff.” The Mommy Bus, by the way, is only for pets up to fifteen pounds. The Krew wishes we could fit into it but we’re a little more full-figured, we do, however, have small dog friends and know some cats…. So we tested. PSST! Insider Tip: If you’re really jonesing for one, don’t have a small dog, get a cat. It will work for cats too!
The MommyBus also offers a unique doggie collection, MoBu Couture featuring the uber cute tees, hoodies and dog walking wear. I use their mittens that button back becoming fingerless gloves to expose my digits for phone photos and finger wagging.
Dirty Dog ($9.97)
Bonnie Bruderer had adopted her first dog, Ginger, a little mutt of cuteness. And yet, being a germ conscientious mom it gnawed at her what they could be tracking into their household. The long dog walks were wonderful, but what about all the debris and dirt on the streets? Not to mention the feces and urine Ginger was stepping in on occasion. Bonnie constantly was holding, snuggling, loving and sleeping with Ginger. Was that a health risk? Were there products available for easily cleaning dog feet? The answer was “no,”, and the basic products like alcohol or bleach would be toxic to her pup. Inspired, Bonnie developed a fido-friendly antibacterial product for pooch paws.
Dirty Dog Paw Spritz-Antibacterial Spray For Dogs comes in a 3oz bottle, enough for 2 spritzes a day per
paw. Bonnie’s education in Holistic Health, allowed her to create a unique product that is 100% natural made of the finest essential oils that are also dog-safe, have natural antibacterial and healing properties, including a little bit of ginger, a natural antibacterial agent. Now you can walk your pooch, they can lick their paws, spritz when you get home and know you will not transfer what may have been picked up on your latest jaunt!