Product Review – Fido Pet Tag Silencers

Product Review – Fido Pet Tag Silencers
by Kasi

All I have to say about this product is, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE???”

I’ve never been really into tag silencers. The type that I generally find at stores are only somewhat effective (a far cry from ‘silent’), difficult to get on and off, and just generally not worth the charge. The ones I’ve found made by private sellers are generally the type you hang off the collar and look too large for the dogs that are wearing them; effective, but to me, not visually appealing.

When I stumbled across the design of the Fido Pet Tag Silencers, I was curious. They have both the hanging type, and a design that wraps around the collar. They also come with a ‘100% no noise’ guarantee, are available in multiple colors, multiple sizes, and offer two different types of material depending on your preference (leather or neoprene).

Fido Tag Silencers

The first thing I notice when I put them on my dogs was how quiet it was. While that may sound like a pretty ‘duh’ moment, it really demonstrated to me just how much noise their tags had been making, even with the typical tag silencers on them. Huge difference. I’d also been a little hesitant about getting rid of the somewhat comforting jingle of being able to hear the three of them moving about the house; thus, it was very surprising to me that I could quite literally feel my body relax a bit. If that’s the way it affected me, I can only imagine how much the dogs appreciate the difference!

Tatanka’s wraparound style tag silencer

To my pleasant surprise, the dogs haven’t bothered them at all (I used the wrap around design for my kids) – no chewing, no sniffing at their ‘siblings’ collars, nothing. Very smooth transition.

This is what one of our giveaway winners (she has a small dog and a large dog) had to say about them:

D: “I can’t believe how much of a difference they make. I honestly didn’t think I would like them, but holy cow, I love it. They’re amazing.”

One of our winners, showing off his wraparound silencer!

All three of my dogs have been wearing them for a few weeks now, and they’re holding up great so far! The leather seems to be more durable than the neoprene (again, a bit of a ‘duh’ moment, but also important to know if you have a rough and tumble dog), but they’re also quite a bit snugger than the neoprene, which can prevent some tags from fitting (happened with one of the tags on my dogs – it fit comfortably inside a neoprene sleeve of the same size). They also hold multiple tags, which is a huge benefit in my case – they’ve got quite the collection of information around their necks!

You’re looking at spending a bit more than you would with other silencers, but in comparing the effectiveness, there’s no competition. These keep the tags safe from wear, your dog’s fur safe from discoloration, and absolutely silence that jingle.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Disclosure: I received KONG products in exchange for sharing the product with my guests and writing a product review. No other form of compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Product Review – KONG Core Strength Bone

Product Review – KONG Core Strength Bone
by Kasi

My dogs aren’t huge fans of most chew bones. They get bored quickly, or they gnaw little pieces off and I have to take them away. When I gave them the KONG Core Strength Bone, I did not have high hopes. To my pleasant surprise, it completely blew me out of the water!

This bone is designed to be chewed on, and it didn’t let me down. The outer surface of the toy is covered in very firm rubber, which I would imagine is far more pleasant to gnaw on than hard plastic. It is, however, softer than nylon – so I expected that they would destroy it with relative speed. Instead, it has held up remarkably well (even against Charlie ‘The Mouth’). Even after letting all three of them chew on it as much as they want, there is nearly negligible damage done to the toy.

Rather than being a completely smooth toy, there are bumps and ridges which add to the enrichment and provide multiple surface options for your pup to pick from. The bone shape lets them maneuver it easily, and find an angle that works well for them.

While it is not as versatile as the KONG Originals, which are able to double as treat dispensers, it is definitely an enjoyable toy that was able to capture and hold the attention of my chewers.

At an average price of roughly $12, this has proven to be an affordable, engaging, and durable toy for all three of my kiddos.

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5

Disclosure: I received KONG products in exchange for sharing the product with my guests and writing a product review. No other form of compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

A Top List: A Few Items EVERY Dog Owner Should Have

A Top List: A Few Items EVERY Dog Owner Should Have
by Kasi

There are plenty of items I’ve purchased as a dog owner that I would recommend to others; every once in a while, though, I stumble across a product that makes me go, “Oh man, how did I ever live without you?” This is a quick list and brief summary of a few of those items.

First up: Kirkland (Costco brand) Large Round Dog Beds.

These things are amazing. I’ve literally never met a dog that doesn’t like them (although I’m sure they exist). The covers are machine washable and slip easily off and on. They’re sturdy enough that you can vacuum them. The beds are 42” in diameter – big enough that even my wolf-hybrid was able to curl up on one. They don’t mash down too much with time – I’ve had mine for a few years, and they still do a solid job protecting the joints of my 75+ lb Akita/Rottie mix when she flops down on them. Best of all? They’re always under $50. (I’ve seen $27-$45 based on store location.)

Next in line: Fun Feeder Slow Feeding Dog Bowls by Outward Hound

Eating too fast is dangerous, even for our dogs. This slows my piggy eaters down, which means not only do they reap the health benefits, but gives me a few extra minutes of quiet. 😉 The bowls also engage their brains as they have to figure out how best to get at their meals, which means that they get the added mental stimulation (I like to swap the bowls around every once in a while so that they don’t get too used to a particular one). The high quality plastic is dishwasher safe, and tough enough to stand up well against overly-excited eaters. Cost? Somewhere between $12-$20.

Final item for today’s piece: KONG Original by KONG

These toys are just solid fun for everyone. They come in all levels of durability (puppy, senior, standard, extreme, etc.) and size. They’re pretty close to indestructible. They’re versatile – toss it, kick it, put a treat inside it, or just hand it over for the dog to use it as a chew toy. They’re just a great all-around buy, and have so many uses that I’d be hard pressed to think of a better ‘overall’ toy.

Disclosure: No form of compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Best Vest For Your Service Dog

The Best Vest For Your Service Dog
by Kasi

Everyone’s service dogs perform different tasks; this makes it tough to narrow down which vest will be the right fit for your dog.  The vests I’m mentioning here do not address dogs who may be assisting with balance, as not all vests are designed to work with all stability handles.


Before I continue, I’d also like to mention a few things in case there is any confusion:

1) An ESA (Emotional Service Animal) is not the same as a Service Dog.  They do not have the same public access rights under the law, and should not be entering any establishment that does not allow pets.

2) A Service Dog must be able to perform two tasks which directly mitigate the effects of your disease.  If your dog is reactive/aggressive, barks for reasons other than to ‘alert’ to a medical issue, or eliminates/defecates inside, they are not qualified to be a Service Dog.  The owner of the establishment has the legal right to require your dog to leave the premises.

3) It is a crime to present a pet as a Service Dog.  Don’t do it. Bad form.

Other questions regarding Service Dogs can be answered at the following link: ADA Rules&Regulations for Service Dogs


Alright! Now, moving on, here are my picks for ‘best vests’ based on my own experience.

For Puppies and/or Lightweight wear: Vests from Raspberry Field.

These vests are made of durable, lightweight material and come in a variety of colors, sizes, and designs.  You can pick what type of patches you want on them, where you want it, etc. They’re great for summer wear, and they’re light enough that they make good ‘training vests’ for puppies as they acclimate to the feel of having something on. I found the pockets to be pretty useless except for very small items, but if you’re travelling light, they’re good for things like ID’s and maybe a couple treats.

For Bargain Pricing: Vests from Industrial Puppy.

If what you’re looking for is a solid vest at a steal of a price, this is it.  They come in a few different colors, allow the animal to be clearly marked, and they’re reasonably rugged.  You can add ‘saddle bag’ attachments to allow you to carry a variety of different items, and the bags will be clearly marked as well (they do make the dog a bit ‘wider’ though, so allow time for the dog to get used to the new space requirements when walking down aisles, etc.).  The only real drawback to these vests is that they don’t have much room for any added patches – just enough space for the ‘SERVICE DOG’ strips.

For Long Term Wear: Vests from Active Dogs.

You’re looking at paying substantially more when you’re going with an Active Dogs vest, but you’re also getting quality that will last.  Tatanka (my Service Dog) has worn his Active Dogs vest nearly every day for a year and a half, and it still looks nearly as good as it did when we first got it.  Lots of space for added patches, easy off and on for the dog, an abundant selection of colors and styles, and excellent quality materials.

Disclosure: No form of compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

BullyMake Box – Product Review: Kiss Me Lips and Spunky Pup Snack&Chew Antler

BullyMake Box – Product Review: Kiss Me Lips and Spunky Pup Snack&Chew Antler
by Kasi

As usual, BullyMake is a brand that I highly recommend – particularly because of the guarantee on their products.

One of the BullyMake items that was won in our Facebook ( give-away was the Kiss Me Lips – and our winner got to see that guarantee in action.  While the toy itself is reinforced, it is a soft toy, and her dog made quick work of it. I contacted the company to let them know, and within 24 hours, they were sending a different, stronger toy out for her.  While this is a guarantee available to all their customers, this lady was the winner of a give-away (not a customer), and they still took action to get her a replacement item that would work better for her dog. While the toy itself wasn’t suited for her pup, I give the company five stars for going above and beyond in their response.

Another winner received the Spunky Pup Snack and Chew Antler (supplied by BullyMake) – and this toy greatly exceeded expectations.

Brutus is a 130 lb American Bulldog; not only is it difficult to find engaging toys in the right size range for him, those that are large enough are often still not durable enough.  This is what our winner had to say:

“Brutus was immediately interested; I let him have it for about 30 minutes and it’s still about 90% intact! This is a very good product. Even given his size, I have no doubt that he didn’t apply enough of a bite to break the snack portion away from the nylon portion – what ever they use to secure the two together is amazing adhesive.  I’m pretty stoked. Thank you for letting him be your test subject.”

Brutus takes his product testing very seriously…

Overall Score: 5 out of 5

Disclosure: I received BullyMake products in exchange for sharing the product with my guests and writing a product review. No other form of compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Product Review – KONG Original (Extreme Chewer version) and KONG Tiltz

Product Review – KONG Original (Extreme Chewer version) and KONG Tiltz
by Kasi

KONG has long been one of my favorite brands; you always know what you’re getting, and the quality has always matched my needs (from puppies, to small breeds, to extreme chewers, whatever I’ve had). It used to be hard to find anything but the KONG originals; now they have such a huge selection that you can walk into nearly any store and find precisely what you’re looking for. (A huge selection is available online as well, but given the number of choices, I like to go to the store and check them out in person.)

The KONG original comes in multiple strengths – the one I’m reviewing is the ‘Extreme’ version (if you walk into a store, it’s the black one. ;))

Right off the bat I’ll tell you, I give both toys five out of five.

It’s very durable and specifically designed to be chewed– it held up to Charlie, Destroyer of Everything! While no toy is absolutely indestructible, and your dog’s needs will vary, this toy is about as close as I’ve found.


It’s also bouncy, great for fetch, and you can fill it with treats or give it to them empty (albeit filling it with something generally keeps the dog’s attention longer). It has three different sized chewing areas, which both allows the dog to find their preferred angle and provides additional enrichment. There are zero rough edges, it has enough flex that I’m not concerned about my dogs’ teeth, and it’s just overall an incredibly solid design. Their prices vary according to size and location of purchase, and, they’re very reasonably priced for the quality you’re getting.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

The KONG Tiltz, on the other hand, is remarkably durable for a treat dispensing toy but not designed for chewing.

This ‘cerebral’ activity requires your furry kiddo to think quite a bit more. You fill it with treats or kibble, and let your dog rock it and bat it around for a while to get it to dispense a few. It has a few openings, which allows it to continue to work even as the amount of reward available diminishes, and also helps your dog be able to smell and see what it’s working for (which holds attention better).

While it isn’t designed to be chewed on, it is however very robust. The one I got is a size large, and it’s pretty massive, which is excellent for the snout of my dogs to be able to reach the treat when it’s dispensed. It’s weighted on the bottom to help prevent those heavy paws and forceful noses from accidentally flipping it over, but not so heavy as to stop the rocking motion.

It’s rugged enough to have no issues when my Akita/Rottweiler mix decided to pick it up in her mouth (cheater!), and it kept everyone happy until I decided it was time to put it away – at which point they sat and stared at it for several minutes.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Disclosure: I received KONG products in exchange for sharing the product with my guests and writing a product review. No other form of compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

BullyMake Box – Product Review: HeartThrob and XOXO

BullyMake Box Toy Review – Heartthrob toy and XOXO toy

by Kasi

As part of the February BullyMake Box, both the Heartthrob and XOXO toys were included; one I used as part of a give-away, the other I kept to review with my own dogs. Both toys are made in the USA, and can be reordered from the BullyMake Shop.

The XOXO is a heart shaped nylon chew, scented to smell like some sort of candy, and with raised X’s and O’s to make for an engaging texture while chewing. While they were excited at first, my group does what they typically do with nylon chews – they play with it for a little while, then they get bored and meander off. That said, it held up very nicely against aggressive chewing, and if your dog is a nylon-lover, I venture to say they would have a blast with it. High quality, and a generally solid nylon chew, just not a lot of engagement from my pups.

“Hmm, what’s this?”

. . .

Not bad for a day’s work!

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Heartthrob is a firm rubber shaped heart with ridges for gripping and enrichment, as well as an area that you can fill with goodies or peanut butter should you choose to. This was one of the items won in the give-away, and it ended up going to a home that has nine Laboradors, a Chihuahua, and a Great Dane – needless to say, it got tested VERY thoroughly! When I checked back with the winners, our conversation went like this:

Me: So, did the dogs like it?
P: They love it.
PT: Stella loves it so much that she stole it, hid it, and plays with it when the other dogs aren’t looking.
Me: And it’s holding up?
PT: Not a scratch on it. So far, so good.
Me: If you saw it in the store, would you purchase it?
P: Absolutely.
Me: So, BullyMake Box something you’d look into getting for your dogs?
PT: -nods- Definitely.

Winner Rating: 5 out of 5.

Disclosure: I received one box in exchange for sharing the product with my guests and writing a product review.  No other form of compensation was received for this company review. All opinions are 100% my own.

BullyMake Boxes – Company Review

BullyMake Boxes – Company Review

by Kasi

BullyMake Boxes are some of my favorite ‘surprise’ item boxes around due to their affordable pricing, quality toys, and (my personal favorite) their guarantee on the toys they send.

The boxes are specifically designed for heavy chewers and they send a variety so that your orders can be tailored depending on what works best for yours; you’ll get heavy duty rubber, nylon, rope, and reinforced ‘soft’ toys (almost always with crinkle-noise filling, so no messy cleanup!) None of the items I’ve ever received have had small parts or squeakers, and while I have had my kiddos destroy a few of the toys, all items are backed with the guarantee that if your dog breaks an item within two weeks, they will send you a different, stronger replacement toy! Their customer service has always been top-notch for me, and the replacement toys get sent out right away.

Each box is set up based on your dog’s size, weight, and type of chewing (moderate, heavy, ultra). They’re also happy to take notes on what kind of toys are regularly broken by your pets so that you can avoid receiving them in the future (ie: “No rope toys,” etc.). When you sign up, you can indicate that you need special boxes if you have dogs with allergies – you can request treat free boxes, and they’ll send you toys only (this is what I do). This sets them apart from other boxed services which immediately send out a standard box, then wait for you to adjust your future orders.

I’ve never had issues getting a hold of their customer service, I’ve never had a mix-up on boxes, and their shipments come at the same time every month. Each box is different, so my dogs never get bored playing with the same thing. You can also go onto their website and reorder toys that your dogs specifically enjoyed, if you find a few that they absolutely love!

As far as affordability goes, they’re a great deal for what you’re getting. A standard box comes with two to three toys and three to four types of treats; a one month subscription (the most expensive) is $39, which works out to roughly $6.50 per item. A ‘toys only’ box generally has four toys in it, so that comes out to roughly $10 per item (which makes sense, toys are almost always more expensive than treats when you go to buy them at the store). I don’t know about you, but toys for my heavy chewers are almost always $14+ apiece, which would work out to $56 for four, with no guarantee that they’ll last. Shipping is always free, and the toys are guaranteed; there are some months I’ve ended up with six toys for the same $39 – that’s what really makes it an amazing buy, for me.

Overall Score: 5 out of 5

Disclosure: No form of compensation was received for this company review. I received one box in exchange for sharing the product with my guests and writing a product review (coming soon). All opinions are 100% my own.

Product Review – Bionic Bone (Orange, Large)

Product Revew – Bionic Bone (Orange)
By Kasi

The Bionic Bone was received as part of a gift – it’s a brand (Bionic, sold by Outward Hound) I’ve seen around both online and in stores, but never paid much attention to. For some reason, it just didn’t seem like it would be all that durable or interesting to the dogs, and I figured I’d just stick with brands I already knew.  It was a great opportunity, then, to give it a shot when it was given to me!

Orange Bionic Bone (Large)

This particular bone is designed to be multifaceted; it can be used as a chew toy on its own, filled with a treat like peanut butter, frozen, used to play fetch with, etc. It also floats! (This isn’t a big deal for my dogs – they run for the hills at the sight of water – but I know several Labradors that consider it an amazing selling point.)  It’s lead, BPA, and phthalate free, and dishwasher safe.  They call it ‘65% stronger’, but I don’t know what it’s supposed to be ‘stronger than’.  It also comes in three sizes (the one I’m holding is a large), and multiple colors.

Given that my dogs have such sensitive stomachs, I’m always hesitant to stuff a toy with any type of treat; instead, I gave it to them as-is and hoped for the best.  The novelty factor attracted all three dogs, but after a few minutes, only Charlie was interested.  He, however, was very interested.  While the other two haven’t touched it much, Charlie enjoys it both for prolonged chewing sessions and for playing fetch with.  He particularly seems to enjoy that, because of the shape, it has erractic bounces when it hits the ground rather than a ball (which is relatively predictable).

Over the past few months, it’s held up very well.

For engagement, I’m tempted to give it a score of 3.25 out of 5, given that it only really clicked with one of the dogs – it was a big hit with the one though!

For durability, I give it a 4.75 out of 5 – remarkable!

Overall score, then, works out to 4 out of 5.  It may be hit or miss enjoyment depending on your dog, but the strength and overall quality of the product are excellent.

Disclosure: No form of compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.