It’s been quite a while since I dedicated a Friday Five post to dogs. In fact, when I wrote Gifts for Obsessed Pet Parents, Lulu was my only pet. But now we have Flapjack and the amount of things I buy for dogs has more than doubled. Lulu also recently developed some tummy troubles that her vet dubbed “dog IBS” so everything on this list that’s edible has proven to be tummy trouble-proof. But you should always be careful introducing new foods to dogs, especially older dogs.
1. Bramble Plant-Based Pet Food
The girls try Bramble
Just before we moved into our new place, the folks from Bramble reached out to see if Flapjack and Lulu would like to try their new line of plant-based, fresh dog foods. I sent over my new address, and it was the very first package to arrive to the new house. When I opened the tub of The Roost, their favorite flavor, I was shocked to see something that looked like a meal I would eat myself. Grains, fruits, veggies, beans – it even smelled good.
Lulu had just been diagnosed with “tummy trouble” for lack of a better word, so while I let Flapjack go to town on Bramble by the bowlful, I encorporated just a tablespoon at a time into Lulu’s bland diet. She tolerated it really well, and I ended up mixing her prescribed food 1/2 & 1/2 with Bramble.
There’s lots of veterinary science easily Googleable that supports a plant-based diet for dogs, and I personally know several plant-based dogs who have been thriving for years. If you have any questions about the nutritional content of Bramble, it can be found on their site – but of course always consult with your vet when switching your dog’s diet and do whatever is best for your pet’s health.
Bramble Plant-Based Pet Food will be available in the northeast this month (July) and expanding to the east coast, and into the midwest later this year. Pricing will depend on the weight of your dog, but will be comparable to other fresh pet food brands.
2. Because Animals Omega & Probiotic Sprinkles
Right after I heard from Bramble, the folks from Because Animals reached out and I was really starting to feel like a stage mom! They were offering some Noochies, their plant-based pet treats, for the girls to try but when I explained Lulu’s new digestive issues they recommended their Superfood and Probiotic Supplement. Lu’s vet had recommended a probiotic, and I figured a vegan one from a Chicago-based brand would be a pretty good place to start.
I’ve been sprinkling a tiny bit on both dogs’ food each morning (the package has recommended amounts for your dog’s weight, my tinies only need 1/4 – 1/2 tsp). This supplement is meant to support digestion, as well as a healthy coat and in the few weeks we’ve been using it I’ve noticed a marked improvement in both for both dogs. Plus, they both really love it – Lulu won’t eat her food until it’s been sprinkled.
This brand is also developing cultured meat (lab grown) for pet food use, which I think it really incredible, both for herbivores who feel conflicted feeding meat to their animal companions, and simply because raising livestock for food is incredibly taxing on the environment and cultured meat could combat that.
3. Barkbox Treat-free
Our downstairs neighbor at our old apartment had an older Beagle who had poor vision and was scared of squeaky toys, the poor thing. So, she started giving Lulu and Flappy the squeaky toys out of her BarkBox. (BarkBox is a treat and toy subscription box.) When we decided to move I knew I had to get my own subscription because my dogs go totally nuts for new toys. I signed up for a six month subscription, and after entering info about Lulu including her size, play style, toy preferences, etc. her first BarkBox arrived a few weeks later.
I was incredibly impressed with their customer service because after filling out the first survey with the info that Lulu had totally destroyed most of the toys she received in a day, I got a personal email back letting me know they’d send tougher toys next time, as well as a bonus package of replacement toys in the meantime. So, I had a feeling I’d get a response when I contacted them to see if I could get an all-toys box because Lulu can’t eat the treats. And I did! Although they don’t currently offer an all-toys box, they were able to change my subscription to ensure that Lulu got an extra toy in place of the variety of treats they usually send. Now my dogs recognize the box when it arrives each month and lose their tiny little minds.
4. Bluebird Botanicals CBD Oil for Pets
Working from home for all of 2020 was great, except for the part where it caused both my dogs to develop severe separation anxiety. When I worked in the office, they were home alone for 8-10 hours a day with no problem, but now they’re so used to be being around they freak out when I go check the mail. CBD has done wonders for my own anxiety, and Bluebird Botanicals was recommended to me by a food scientist I used to work with so that’s the brand I’ve stuck with.
I put a few drops in the girls’ food about 30 minutes before I plan on leaving the house, or on a day when I know there’s going to be a lot of noise like the 4th of July or scheduled construction. It really seems to help with anxious barking and destructive behavior without making them sleepy or otherwise weird.
5. Earth Rated Dog Wipes
Both my dogs are low to the ground, so they rub all over all kinds of dirt and stinky stuff when they go outside, but it’s not good for their coats to wash them too often. These natural, compostable wipes are the perfect solution. I keep them right by the door, to wipe dirty paws and I use them a few times a week to gently wipe away “dog smell” from their coats. They both think they’re just getting extra pets so they come running when they see the package.