As a person living with chronic illness, any product that passes the test and makes my life a bit easier is a winner in my book. My pets are a big part of my life with chronic illness, but some of the day-to-day pet related activities are not very chronic babe friendly. Over the past few years, I have searched for pet products and supplies that make being a disabled pet owner just a bit easier and here are my top 5 picks:
1) Woofle Scoopstick
This wonderful little device from England allows me to scoop up the poop standing upright. No more bending over! No more poop escaping from the poop bags and onto my hands! You have to visit their website and check out their video that shows how this little stick works: click here to view Woofle video. I can't say that I understand the physics behind it; all I know is that it really does work! I ordered this through their website and they now have a distributor in the U.S.
2. Tidy Cats Breeze
I seem to have started right with the poop! But let's face it, when you feed your pets, things automatically come out the other end! Pottying is much more of a task than feeding and the litter box is the epitome of potty problems. Enter the Breeze with its pad that catches urine, trapping the liquid and odors and only needs to be changed ONCE a week---yeah! The only more frequent maintenance is scooping out the poops, which is a much easier job with this little box. A full demonstration can be found at the Tidy Cats website site: click here to view the Breeze demonstation. My cat Ra, who is a super picky litter box afficiando LOVES this litter box because it is so ODOR FREE.
3) Premier Easy Walk Harness
When I adopted Brunswick, I kept my health challenges in mind which lead me to adopt a small dog. Well, who knew a small dog, only 16 pounds, could pull your arm out of the socket! Our PetsMart trainer Ashley explained that leashing pulling is part of the sled dog legacy and one of the best ways to defeat the behavior is the use of an Easy Walk Harness. Now, if Brunswick pulls when we walk, he gets flipped around to face me. A few times of this, and Brunswick has learned to stop pulling so he can keep walking forward, which is his reward. Now that Theodor is in Puppy Training, he gets his own Easy Walk Harness too.
4. The Orvis Three Dog Night Pet-Proof Coverlet
I admit it, we let all our pets on the bed; that's two cats and two dogs. One little accident and all the animals are off the bed and all the linens are in the wash machine. For a chronic babe, laundry is one of the many chores that have now become a physical challenge. But with the Orvis Three Dog Night Pet-Proof Coverlet protecting the bed, the pet mess never makes it to the linens and only the coverlet needs to be washed. The second picture gives details on how the coverlet is constructed, making it waterproof (dirt-proof and pet hair proof too.) It is a bit pricey, but Orvis does occasionally have sales and Internet promotional coupons. After the last time the cat barfed on the bed at 5:15 am in the morning, it didn't matter how much the pet-proof coverlet cost compared to the hassle of stripping the bed and having to put everything in the washer at that hour of the morning!
5. Halo Vita-Mineral Mix
Back in the 1990's, I bought a book called the The New Natural Cat
A Complete Guide for Finicky Owners by Anitra Frazier with Norma Eckroate. In the book, she had a recipe for a Vita-Mineral Mix to make to add to canned cat food that put back essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that were lost in the cooking and canning process. I took the time to find all the ingredients and started adding it to my cats' food. Within weeks, their fur was softer and shinier, they had fewer hairballs (my cats have always refused to take hairball remedies) and they acted more playful. This mix was a winner, even though it was quite a chore to run to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and the local health food store to find all the ingredients. It was easier and less expensive to follow Anitra's suggestion to use a high quality canned cat food and the Vita-Mineral Mix than switching them to a raw food diet.
Once I started living with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, making Vita-Mineral Mix was something I had to give up. Then one day, while shopping at Drugstore.com, I saw Halo VitaGlo Vita-Mineral Mix and the description indicating that this was the same formula developed by Anitra Frazier. That, the fact that it was on sale, that Drugstore.com offers free SuperSaver shipping on orders of $49 or more and I was sold. Now the cats and the dogs get this mix with their high quality canned food and enjoy the benefits of thick, full, shiny, healthy coats and improved digestion and nutrition. Plus I get the benefit of fewer trips to the vet (and fewer vet bills) to address health problems. Saving money, healthy pets, and pre-mixed convenience delivered free to your door can't be beat.