Archive for Brands

26 Sep 2012

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

3 Comments Chew Toys, Kyjen, Puzzle Toys

Rating: (1/5)
The Kyjen folks sent me a new toy for the dogs to try out recently; Seamsters, The First Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy, by Dog Games Puzzle Toys™.  Touted to be a “Rewarding Long-Lasting Boredom Buster”, I thought this could be a great toy for my dogs.

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

The package states:

  • Restitchable for repeatable fun
  • Stands up to the toughest chewers
  • Cleans teeth and strengthens gums

It also claims that it is “a toy that’s meant to be ‘destroyed.’” Basically it’s a two piece rubber bone “stitched” together with rawhide stips.  The package comes with two refills for the rawhide stitching.  The bone is hollow so you can also add some kibble to the bone when you restitch it for added interest and fun.

When I gave it to the dogs, Moxie was all over it, and quickly carried off to keep it all to herself.  Cassie wanted that toy too, but Moxie was not feeling very generous.  She worked at the bone for over an hour, happily chomping away at the rawhide stitching and had a great time with it till she had all the stitching off, and the bone was opened up.  After that, she let Cassie take one half of the bone, once the “good stuff” was gone!  She’s nice like that!

Seamsters Rawhide and Rubber Puzzle Toy

Seamsters Bone is not very durable

Within MINUTES of Cassie having the rubber bone to play with, she had chomped right through it and started tearing bits of rubber off the edges. NO!  I was really excited about this toy and not at all expecting it to be destroyed in one night.  But there is was, in pieces on the carpet.  Moxie also had started to pull off pieces from the other half of the bone.

I took the bone away, much to their disappointment. The next day, I tried restitching what was left of the bone, just to get a complete review of the toy…

Soak the rawhide to restitch the bone together

The rawhide refills need to be soaked in warm water for a few minutes to soften them up.  Then you can put some kibble or treats in the middle of the bone, and stitch it up.  I was expecting this to be a messy/slimy process, but it wasn’t slippery at all.  I’m not seamstress, but I got the job done.  Would I want to do this often?  Probably not, even if the toy was more durable.  But it wasn’t the slimy icky project I was anticipating. Once the stitching is complete, you let the rawhide dry and stiffen up before giving it to the dog.

I did want to give Cassie a go at the toy, so the next day I let her have the bone to play with just until the rawhide was gone.  And I watched her like a hawk so I could take away the bone part as soon as she got it pulled apart.  After that, the toy got thrown out.

It’s very disappointing that the rubber part of the bone isn’t at all durable.  The toy itself is a good idea, but I can’t recommend it for enthusiastic chewers.  If your dog is not much of a chewer, it might work out, but do keep a close eye on it for signs of damage.  You can buy it here.

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02 Jun 2012

FURminator FUR Dry

No Comments FURminator, Great Dog Products, Ruff Toy Recommended

Original Rating: (5/5)
Updated Rating: (3.5/5)*

Bleh!  A Rainy Saturday. I’d rather be outside in the garden… or on the boat… or walking!  But here we are stuck inside with a dismal weather forecast.  Oh, well, the house needs a good scrubbing after a week of heavy pollen dust coating EVERYTHING!  But I’m taking a few minutes from cleaning to tell you about one of our favorite new dog products, FURminator FUR Dry towel.  These are GREAT!  No more dripping dogs in the house!

The FURminator FUR Dry is a microfiber towel that your dog can wear like a robe.  It is super absorbent, and stays put on the dog, by way of velcro tabs to attach under the belly, and a velcro sinch belt to snuggle the robe so the dog is well covered top and bottom.  The only exposed areas are the head and feet.  When the dog shakes, no more water everywhere!  Both Cassie and Moxie dry much faster than with towel drying alone, and it’s a lot less work (although I still give them a towel dry afterwards just because they love their rubdowns so much).

Cassie in my winter jacket

Cassie wearing my winter jacket after getting wet and chilled at the beach

We first tried this towel for Cassie, because she gets so cold after winter beach trips.  I wanted a jacket to leave in the car for her so we can wrap her up after she goes swimming in the frigid water. Moxie dries quickly, but Cassie can stay wet for a long time, and she gets very cold.  I’ve actually had to give her my jacket before when she starts to shiver in the car, so I was looking for a wearable jacket that would wick her dry and warm her up.

The FUR Dry works so great, we got one for Moxie too.  Now these towels are used ALL the time.  They go on after the dogs get hosed off from being in the pool or at the beach, after bathing, on the boat, and after they get soaked in the rain, like today.

Such a simple idea, but very useful.  We think they are adorable too… Mike says they look like Jedi Nights.  I think they look like classic smoking jackets, very dapper!  Yes, they sort of look like a snuggy too, but MY dogs are too cool for Snuggies!

To put them on, you just position the towel over the head, and run your dog’s tail through the hole on the top section.  This holds the towel in place.  You can then adjust the velcro strip to fit under the belly.  Then pull the bottom section up and over the back and sinch up the strap for a nice snug fit.  Even with a wiggly dog like Moxie, it’s pretty easy to get them on without getting soaked yourself.   We leave them on for a few minutes and when we take them off, the moisture is all in the towel and the dogs are mostly dry.

FURminator FUR Dry

Cassie modelling her dapper “Smoking Jacket”… very Noel Coward!

If you are ordering online, the important measurement to know is the length from your dog’s neck to the base of the tail…  get a towel that is long enough for a comfortable fit here, and the rest of the towel is very adjustable.  Don’t necessarily go by the dog breeds listed on the description/label, especially if you have a mixed breed.  We had to return Moxie’s for a larger size, so base it on that length measurement.  Both dogs are wearing the Large size, even though there is 20 pounds difference between them.

One thing we learned though is to wash the towels with like colors.  We now have some accidentally blue dog towels from washing them with the FUR Dry towels.Oops!

So if you have a water baby or two, give these towels a try.  We are mighty glad we found them.

*Note: We have downgraded our durability rating for the Furminator FUR Dry Towel, because after a few months of use, the velcro straps stopped holding. Because of this, the towels tend to hang and drag on the floor, which creates a trip hazard for the dogs… we found out the hard way when Moxie almost fell down the stairs when her towel’s velcro didn’t hold tight. I have tried to contact the company (the website has no email address, so we messaged them via Facebook, but never heard back from them. How disappointing!

14 Oct 2011

Busy Buddy Twist ‘n Treat by Premier

2 Comments Other, Puzzle Toys, Rubber Toys

Durability Rating: (5/5)
Looking out the window on this rainy, muddy day, it’s hard to believe just a few weeks ago we were trying to stay cool in the summer heat.  Was it just me, or did the summer speed by even faster than usual? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at this, since the first half of the summer was spent training for the Boston Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk (which by the way was an AMAZING experience!).  The event was in late July on the hottest weekend of the summer, with temperatures above 100!

Cassie and Moxie were, of course, my training partners, walking with me during the months of training in the rainy spring and early summer. I doubt I would have gotten in nearly as many training miles if not for their company, enthusiasm and spirit!

Cassie and Moxie in their gear

Once the walk was over, we turned our attention to quality sailing time… culminating in our 11 day sailing trip to Portland, Maine. Of course, the dogs came with us, and are wonderful boat dogs.

Before leaving on our trip, we visited the pet supply store to stock up on essentials, and to pick out some fun toys to keep them occupied on the boat when us humans wanted to get off the boat for a dinner on the town.

We chose the Busy Buddy Twist n’ Treat by Premier.  This is a rubber toy that holds small treats, and can be adjusted to control how fast the treats are dispensed.  The shape of the toy gives it an off-balance rocking motion when dropped or tossed.  Our hope was that the toy would keep them occupied, but calm so they wouldn’t be stressed when we left them alone inside the boat.  It was a great choice, as evidenced by the contented silence below the decks as we snuck away for dinner!

The Busy Buddy folks suggest their Premier Buddy Berries Dog Treats and Premier Buddy Oh’s Dog Treats to use with the toy.  We didn’t find either of these in stock, but it was easy to find small treats to use.  Kibble would also work well in this toy. Just play around with the size of the opening to adjust to the treats you choose. Very small treats will fall out too fast, so size up to what works for you. The label also suggests using peanut butter or cheese bits, but we thought that might get too messy on the boat.

Cassie and Moxie on Finesse

As you can see from the photo above, the toy got a lot of use during and after the trip.  It does show bite marks, but nothing major.  We notice that this toy is pretty much ignored as a toy unless we add treats to it, which makes sense.

This toy is great for keeping a dog occupied when company comes to the door, to help calm separation anxiety, or even to slow down a fast eater.  Be warned that the Busy Buddy will get slobbery!

All in all we had a great trip — that is until Hurricane Katya decided to churn up the seas and make things rather rough on our journey home.  Luckily my dogs are much braver than I am, and handled the heavy seas well.  We all got to wear our foul weather gear and life jackets for several days, and there is nothing better than cuddling with a warm dog in the v-berth after a stressful day on the water.  Good girls!

Want to give it a try with your dog?  You can purchase this toy in our online store in the Puzzle Toy section, or go directly to Amazon.com with one of the links below.  Have fun!

 
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15 Sep 2011

Hard Core Fire Hose by Kyjen

No Comments Kyjen, Pool Toys, Ruff Toy Recommended

Durability Rating: (5/5)

The Hard Core Fire Hose Tug ‘n Fetch by Kyjen is one tough toy! We’ve been using it as a pool toss all summer now, and it remains almost unscathed, despite frequent exposure to harsh chlorine, sun and dog teeth.

The bumper is made of super tough fire hose material, with additional reinforcement at the seams. The bumper itself is about 16″ long by 4″ wide and is heavy enough to toss easily to the middle of the pool. It also has an attached bungee webbing handle that provides a bit more swing to the toss, and is also great for playing tug, and for hanging up to dry. We have a magnolia tree we decorate each day with dripping pool toys to dry.

Both dogs love to fetch and retrieve this bumper from the pool, and then play a fierce sounding game of tug with it, before it gets returned for another throw.  The bungee handle is a bit stretched out after a season of use, but other than that, there are no signs of wear on the toy.  Nice!

In a previous post, I reviewed the Ripstop Training Dummy by Zanies which has been going strong for about 3 years now (wow!) but is finally showing signs of wear in the ripstop fabric and the styrofoam core. We certainly got our money’s worth from that toy and will buy it again.

The Hard Core Fire Hose toy seems to be stuffed with stuffing fluff, based on the feel when I squeeze it, so time will tell if it can make it to three years.  Even so, we are extremely pleased with the quality and durability of this toy after one season of play, and are happy to recommend it for all your water babies out there.

We used to bring bumpers to the beach, but learned the hard way that there’s no guarantee it will be retrieved once the dog has had enough.  Cassie suddenly decided she was tired, cold and DONE one afternoon, and we sadly watched a previous bumper wash out to sea and make its way toward Plum Island.  Hopefully another dog got a great new gift from the sea!  So, after that learning experience, I wouldn’t bring this to the beach for fear of it washing away with the current.  A nice free stick will do just fine!

Moxie loved this toy so much, we used it to entice her to finally jump in at the edge of the pool, instead of running to the steps.  We were mighty proud of this accomplishment, and give the Fire Hose toy credit for giving her the inspiration.  Cassie (the show-off) likes to perform swan dives from the diving board and catch the toy as she hits the water.  It’s mighty impressive.  She is available for birthday parties and barmitsvahs. :)

Note that this toy is meant to be an interactive toy, not a chew toy.  We have left this toy by the pool, but I wouldn’t recommend leaving it out as a chew toy… we’ll put this toy away for the winter {sigh} when the pool is closed up, and look forward to using it again next year.

If you’d like to purchase this toy or any other recommended toy from this site, head on over to our Amazon shop, and check out our Pool Toy selection.
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29 Jun 2011

Invincibles Snake by Kyjen

2 Comments Kyjen, Stuffies, Tugg Toys

Durability Rating: (3/5)

Before I had a dog of my own, I loved buying dog toys for my sister’s two German Shepherds.  They loved their toys and I loved to spoil them when I visited.  The toys they loved the best were LOUD ones.  Once, I found an awesome stuffed monkey that made a terribly loud monkey scream that went on and on for about 10 seconds. Eeeeeyah! Eeeeeeeeyah! It reminded me of those old Tarzan movies. The dogs went crazy for it!  And OH, my sister HATED me.

The Invincibles Snake from Kyjen reminds me of that toy.  This is 6 squeaker and one rattle, stuffing-free snake, which is great for playing tug, shaking and tossing.

As you can tell by the video, this toy is LOUD! Cassie went bonkers for it… so much we had to take it away from her when we needed a little peace and quiet.

The Kyjen Company states “our stuffing-less Invincibles™ keep squeaking, even after being punctured. No more short-lived squeakers! If you want to get more bang for your buck, buy a longer-lasting toy!”

That statement is a bit deceiving in my opinion. It gives the impression that it is a tougher than average toy, but I can’t say that was our experience. Although I did appreciate that there wasn’t a trail of stuffing left throughout the house, the toy did get chewed on, and the giant squeakers pulled out and torn. They were certainly not “invincible” at our house. Yes, I’m sure they still squeaked when punctured, but that doesn’t mean they are truly invincible.

The squeakers were not invincible

Not that I’m complaining, mind you! After listening to the cacophony of squeaking for a week or so, I was truly relieved when the squeakers started breaking down. Ah, quiet! The toy is now about two months old, and still a favorite, although now it is blissfully silent, devoid of squeakers and rattles… it just lies there… like a snake in the grass. My favorite kind of snake!

Bottom line: This toy didn’t quite hold up to its “Invincible” name, but it’s the type of toy that you’re sort of happier after it’s “killed”. And if you are a dog aunt, this makes a great dog gift. The dogs will LOVE you for it, but you won’t have to listen to all that noise once you go home. Besides, once the squeakers die out, your relatives will surely forgive you!

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