Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hello Darlings!

I realize I have been a very bad blogger recently, and I hope you all have been satiated by checking out our Instagram and contributing posts on Bitches Guide NYC!

But since it is St. Paddy's Day and Holly and I are proud Irish gals (Holly in an honorary sense, though she does look excellent in green), we knew we had to share some photos from the St. Patrick's Day event we attended last weekend at Furry Tails NYC benefiting Social Tees Animal Rescue

With vegan cupcakes and champagne for the humans, clover shaped treats for the pups, and a wacky St. Paddy's Day photo booth with complimentary mini sessions courtesy of Hilarious Hound, the party was the perfect way to celebrate our Irish pride without having to worry about being squished by over-eager (and often over served) parade attendees! A special thanks to Puppy Parties NYC for putting the event together--we had a great time!
Portraits courtesy of Hilarious Hound
Until Next Time, Darlings!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Paw-sitively Fabulous: Breuer Premium Pet Food

I love social media for so many reasons, but the biggest one has got to be that it connects you with people and brands you might otherwise never have met. 

Breuer Premium began following me and my mom since we have mentioned home cooking for our pups in our posts. A New York based company, Breuer Premium has the unique concept of creating the same wholesome, home cooked meals we do for our dogs and delivering them right to your door (genius). Think of a private celeb chef cooking up a gorgeous, all natural meal for your pup that is then delivered fresh to you weekly. That's what I call glamorous!
Currently, Breuer Premium is only available to NYC area pups to ensure freshness, but I can see their concept of making healthy home cooking convenient catching on across the country. I caught up with them to learn more about their incredible idea, their food philosophy, and why they do what they do. 

Little Holly's Big World: As a home cooking pooch-mama myself, I love hearing there are fellow home cooking pet parents out there! What drove you to start cooking for them?

BP: The Breuer Premium Pet Food Company was built out of love for man's best friend.  This is an American story, in support of our beloved animals, our local farmers, and a way of life which focuses on the fundamentals of healthy living.  Few things in life provide greater pleasure than caring for and spending time with our beloved animals.  Our Golden Retriever, George, and our Mini Golden Doodle, Jack, are never far from our sides.  They have been reaping the benefits of the Breuer Premium recipes for years and they are the true inspirations behind creating a larger distribution channel for our food.
The inspirations behind it all! Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.

LHBW: What compelled you to take the home cooking beyond your kitchen to the pups of New York?

BP: The Breuer family has cooked homemade meals for their dogs George and Jack over the past decade.  The recipes that evolved were inspired by the local, seasonal ingredients found at the markets near their farm in Upstate New York.  Discouraged by the global recall of many commercial pet foods in 2007 due to contamination, the Breuer Premium Pet Food Company was founded to help build awareness for the benefits of a fresh, all natural diet.  
Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Have you seen any obvious health benefits since you began home cooking for your own pets?

BP: We are providing dogs with fresh, all natural ingredients free from preservatives, fillers, and animal by-products present in most commercial pet foods. Each Breuer Premium meal contains a carefully selected blend of fruits, vegetables, gluten free carbohydrates and protein helping to alleviate joint stress, reduce inflammation, increase urinary tract health, boost skin & coat condition, promote healthy vision, and freshen breath!  Our mini golden doodle Jack, with his sensitive tummy, has given his full seal of approval for all of the Breuer Premium meals.
Resident taste tester, Jack. Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Breuer Premium goes above and beyond most food manufacturers out there, with an FDA certified kitchen, certified food handlers delivering the food, and holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists monitoring the recipes for optimal health. Why were these additions important to the Breuer philosophy?

BP: Our beloved pets deserve the highest quality of care possible and we believe that this starts with a healthy diet.  The Breuer's and a team of experts, including holistic veterinarians, food scientists, and animal nutritionists built upon the family's homemade recipes to offer products that are not only fresh and all natural, but also nutritionally adequate.  All products are formulated to meet key vitamin and mineral requirements as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  We maintain the highest standards for product development, sourcing and production, which requires a meticulous focus on the quality of our ingredients, our cooking methodology, and adherence to the laws of the NY Department of Agriculture.
Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Where do you source your ingredients from? Do you have any seasonal favorites you like to add to your meals to mix things up?

BP: The Breuer Premium Pet Food Company prides itself on its all natural approach to animal wellness.  We work with local farmers throughout the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas to select only the finest meats, vegetables, and fruit.  Our ingredients are 100% grown and gathered in the USA.  All natural 80/20 ground beef, nutritionally dense, leafy green spinach, and gluten-free, red quinoa seeds are only some of the gluten free superfoods included in our products.  We currently offer Beef & Millet, Turkey & Red Quinoa, and Lamb & Brown Rice meals, and have a number of seasonal products in our pipeline including venison, rabbit and bison.  Yum and stay tuned for updates!

LHBW: Tell us more about your company’s commitment to the ASPCA.

BP: Breuer Premium is proud to support the ASPCA and its mission to save lives.  We are an NYC born & raised brand, focused on supporting our community by sourcing, producing, and delivering locally.  We believe in working with New York based organizations like the ASPCA to promote healthy living and treatment of our furry four legged friends.
Jack thinks eating well while doing good is groovy! Image courtesy of Breuer Premium.
LHBW: Finally, for those looking to make the switch from kibble to holistic, home cooked meals, where do you recommend starting? 

BP: We recommend introducing a new diet slowly so it’s gentle on your dog’s tummy.  If switching from kibble to holistic, we advocate a gradual transition over the course of 7-10 days.  For example, mixing 25% Breuer Premium and 75% kibble for the first three days, 50:50 for three more days, and 75:25 for three final days before serving 100% Breuer Premium.

For more information about how to bring Breuer's Premium to your door, check them out Facebook or Instagram

Until Next Time, Darlings!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Big News!

We are so excited to share that starting this month we will  be Contributing Bitches over at the paw-sitively fabulous Bitches' Guide New York, "the ultimate guide to style, culture, and refined living for discerning dogs (and their humans) in New York City."

For those of you who follow us on Instagram, you may have read that we attended BarkBox's Single's Event last week, so be sure to head over to Bitches' Guide today to get the full scoop on the event (and our outfits)!

Holly's Dress: Baxter Boo, Holly's Bow: c/o Jumping and Jellybean, My top: Piperlime Collection (matching skirt here), My skirt: Space46Boutique

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Paw-sitively Fabulous: Camp Canine Puppy Bowl!

As many of you have probably guessed by now, Holly and I aren’t the types to be into professional sports (unless, of course, you count Bark in the Park). But when we were invited to spend the Super Bowl surrounded by a real-life version of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl, suddenly sports seemed much more exciting!
All geared up for game day the LHBW way! Image courtesy of Camp Canine.
Allow me to explain: every year, while pup parents head off to watch the big game at not-so-pooch- friendly places, Camp Canine NY, an Upper West Side Doggy Daycare, stays open late and throws a TAILgate for pups only. And Holly and I were lucky enough to snag an inside peek!

I arrived at Camp Canine at 5:00pm and was whisked into the main room, fully decked out like a football stadium and complete with pup-friendly pigs in a blanket, pretzels, and football-themed cookies. Team colored bandanas were at the ready, but since Holly and I hail from Colorado and could no sooner support the Seahawks as we could a bunch of cheaters (ok, maybe I do know SOMETHING about football), we were outfitted with an alliance-neutral pink bandana, which, as an added bonus, matched our tutus!
The snack table was the most popular hub of the evening!
Next we stopped by the photo booth, where pooches were brought throughout the evening to pose in their team colors against a festive backdrop. The team at Camp Canine worked a strange voodoo magic on Holly that got her to sit still and pose, and we were rewarded with a cute keepsake photo from the event at the end of the evening!
Holly looking photo booth chic. Image courtesy of Camp Canine.
Then it was time for the real fun to start! The other pups ready to party came out into the main “stadium” room, and charged around with stuffed footballs, helped themselves to some snacks and dog-friendly beer (sometimes without permission!), and got geared up from the game. Holly was nervous at first but eventually joined in on the fun, making friends with several pooches, including Camp Canine staff pups Nacho and Tamale!
The pups in a rare standstill. Image courtesy of Camp Canine.
Holly and fellow shy pup Dashwood bonding. Image courtesy of Camp Canine.
Someone got carried away with the Bowser Beer! Image courtesy of Camp Canine.
By kick off, everyone had eaten and played so much they were all ready to pass out (much like a human Super Bowl party). Holly snoozed in my lap and seemed to be a Chihuahua mix magnet—at one point we had five total in our little area! It would be very dangerous for me to work somewhere like Camp Canine—they were all such sweeties I wanted to take them all home (luckily they already have fur-ever homes that love them, though Camp Canine does have a foster program that many of the pups are graduates of).
Holly with Insta-friend and Camp Canine grad, Nacho!
 We had such a pawsome time getting to know the staff and pooches of Camp Canine NY. I was so impressed by the creative set up for the Super Bowl, and the love and attention the staff lavished on the pups in attendance. Its clear those doggies are excited to be there, and who wouldn’t be! At Camp Canine, every day is the Puppy Bowl!

Until Next Time, Darlings!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Store Spotlight: DOG for DOG

We're back with another Store Spotlight highlighting an inspiring small business that is doing good in the animal community!

DOG for DOG creates high quality, all natural, US made dog food and treats with one mission in mind: to help save homeless animals. For every DOG for DOG item sold, the company donates food to a shelter. Since lack of supplies is often a cause for euthanasia in shelters, DOG for DOG's generous business model not only saves lives, but gives pups a fighting chance to find their fur-ever home.

I was lucky enough to connect with the founder of DOG for DOG, Rocky Kanaka, to learn more about their mission and the amazing work they do. Read on to hear his story, and how you can win one of TWO paw-some DOG for DOG prizes!!

Little Holly's Big World: First thing's first: what compelled you to start a dog food company?

Rocky Kanaka: What compelled me to start DOG for DOG was the overwhelming need to save pets lives.  I started small in a little bakery for dogs called The Dog Bakery.  My staff and customers really got involved in holding adoption events.  What started out as a real win, quickly became discouraging because we could not save enough pets.  It was with that frustration that DOG for DOG was born.  We started hand-making DOG for DOG items in the bakery.  In fact the very first DOG for DOG employee, Kelly Hannaford, made the first treat by hand and customers just loved it!  We were growing fast when my partner and media mogul, Ryan Kavanaugh, got involved and it helped supercharge the company.  Soon after, all kinds of people wanted to be involved from Snoop Dogg to Chelsea Handler to Michael BublĂ©.  But the real success came from our customers.  They deserve all of the credit because they are some of the most loyal, passionate and determined customers I have ever seen.  

LHBW: Tell us more about the one for one model: how does it work when a customer purchases one of your products? 

RK: The amazing thing about our model is just how simple it is; for every DOG for DOG item purchased, we donate food to dogs in need.  If you purchase a bag of our DOGSFOOD or DOGSTREATS we donate that same amount in DOGSFOOD to a dog in need.  And it is the same high quality DOGSFOOD you feed your dog.  We only want the best for your pup and rescue dogs.  Coming soon are toys, beds, and more that also follow that same model.  Buy a toy and we feed a dog!  Even better our model often works on a local level.  In most cases the store where you purchase your DOG for DOG product gives their donation amount to the local rescue in your community.  We are big fans of buy local, give local.
Holly was happy to taste test some of DOG for DOG's amazing products, and even happier they help pups in need!
LHBW: I imagine that using all natural, grain free products and keeping production in the USA is more expensive. Why is it important to you that your food has this level of quality?

RK: I love my dog Flip and only want to feed him all-natural, made in the USA products.  Flip was a puppy that would not stop following me around at one of the first donation drops we did.  I can’t imagine not feeding your family pet and rescue pets the same way because they all deserve proper nutrition.

LHBW: Why is DOGSBUTTER a better snack for my pup than regular peanut butter?

RK: Like all of our products, DOGSBUTTER is all-natural and made in the USA. We work to keep the ingredients in our DOGSBUTTER simple and understandable.  It is a peanut butter specifically formulated for dogs.  With key ingredients being peanuts and flax seed, it is the perfect treat.  In some versions we add coconut to help with skin and coat, and ginger to help with immunity and digestion.  DOGSBUTTER has a very loyal following and for a good reason. Our DOGSBUTTER is manufactured in the USA so you know where it's coming from. Bonus: it's human-grade peanut butter and tastes delicious!

Holly gives DOGSBUTTER four licks for tastiness!
LHBW: Tell us about your own rescue pooch, Flip!

RK: He is the best! He's full of energy and is the most loving puppy I could ask for; he'll make friends with anyone. He loves cuddling, long runs on the beach, and standing over and staring at me in the morning before I wake up. But seriously, he has had such a powerful impact on me, not just as a pet owner, but as an inspiration for going to work everyday.  Flip is the perfect example of the impact saving lives can have.  I met Flip on our first ever donation drop to Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue. He was severely malnourished and after I adopted him, he was diagnosed with distemper and things weren't looking too great.  I refused to give up on him.  Even after the vet recommended calling an end to the treatment.  After a long road to recovery, Flip is a healthy 70lb boxer who can now run almost 5 miles with me. Flip's love and energy is a constant reminder of why I work endless hours and will never give up helping those in need.

Rocky's rescue pooch Flip went from a rough start to being a happy, healthy (and adorable) pooch!
Image courtesy of Rocky Kanaka on Instagram.
LHBW: You have gained a lot of traction with celebs, including having a spot at the TeenChoice gifting suite and getting investments from Snoop Dogg and Chelsea Handler. When you started the company, did you ever imagine it would lead to you hanging with so many A-listers?

RK: It just goes to show that doing the right thing pays off.  It still surprises me when Michael BublĂ© and his wife Luisana call to tell me a great adoption story or when we have a board meeting and Snoop Dogg is arguing with Chelsea Handler on who has rescued more dogs.   What I can’t stress enough is the overwhelming amount of joy you get when you see these A list celebrities roll up their sleeves just like us to do whatever it takes in our mission to help as many pets as we can. 

Snoop Dogg talks saving dogs with Queen Latifah. Video courtesy of DOG for DOG on YouTube

LHBW: For my readers out there who are not in a place financially to adopt, what are other ways they can help out pets in need?

RK: I will be the first to say that every time I am at an adoption event I want to take every one of those pets home with me…but my home is not big enough :).That’s why DOG for DOG has really taken off.  It’s a very simple convenient way to help.  If you are already buying food and treats for your dog you don’t have to do anything extra.  By simply switching to DOG for DOG you make an immediate impact. 

LHBW: Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to do good in the world?

RK: Start now.  You don’t have to wait for the next big idea or spend years putting together the biggest business plan in the world.  In everything you do we can make small efforts that effect big change.  Already have a company?  Dedicate one of your products or offerings that give back.  It’s not about the next big idea that will create the biggest impact; it’s about the one life you can make a big impact in.

I want to thank Rocky Kanaka and DOG for DOG for taking the time to chat with us, and to send such a generous number of goodies, some for us to sample, and some to share with all of you!! In fact, DOG for DOG was so generous we will be giving away not one, but TWO amazing prizes!

First prize: 1 bag of DOG for DOG food, 1 bag of DOG for DOG peanut butter treats, 1 jar of DOGSBUTTER, and 2 DOG for DOG snack bars!

Second prize: 2 DOG for DOG snack bars!

One thing's for sure, with DOG for DOG, all pups are the winner! Enter below for your chance at one of our prizes, and be sure to check out DOG for DOG at your local pet store (find a retailer near you here). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats to Jack F and Meghan C! Check your inboxes for details on your win!

Until Next Time, Darlings!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Emergency Preparedness

While we love to talk about all of the fun parts of being a dog owner here at Little Holly's Big World, the fact of the matter is having a furry pal means the possibility of facing the occasional emergency situation. After TWO such situations cropped up in the past two weeks (don't worry, Holly is fine), I thought I would share our most important tips to be as prepared as possible just in case!

Remember: the best bet is to have a plan.

When something scary happens with your pooch, your brain switches into panic mode, and the most rational thinking does not necessarily happen in that mode. If you already have a plan in place for how to act should something bad happen, then your panic-fogged brain will switch to autopilot, and you can make sure to act quickly to make sure your pup is safe. Here's what we do to make sure that we are prepared for any scenario:

1. Make sure your home is ready in case you aren't there.

Remember when you were little and your mom would leave the list of emergency contacts for the babysitter? I have the same list for my dog walker, as well as stickers in all my exterior windows alerting local fire departments to the presence of a dog in the apartment in the event of the fire. The stickers are available for free as part of an emergency kit from the ASPCA (get yours here).

Also in the kit is a refrigerator magnet with the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435). For less than $100, this 24 hour service will provide access to a veterinarian to consult on your pet's condition and best course of treatment, and be available for any and all follow up questions. If you are unsure about whether something your pet ingested is poisonous, they are a great first step to see if you should visit an emergency vet.

2. Take a first aid course.

One of the best things I have done as a pet parent is to take an animal first aid course. My local VCA Hospital  offered one for a very reasonable fee, and the full day course covered everything from basic wound care to spotting symptoms for dangerous illnesses early. They also provided details on what should go into a pet first aid kit, though the ASPCA has comprehensive kits for both first aid and emergency survival (in the case of a hurricane or other natural disaster).

3. Know the location of your nearest 24 hour emergency vet, and keep their number on speed dial.

It's always best to act quickly when you know your emergency can't be handled at home, and taking the time to look up an address or phone number is just that much longer that you have to wait to get on your way. Having this information stored somewhere accessible (and preferably with you at all times), will keep you prepared to jump right in your car or cab and get there ASAP in the event of an emergency.

4. If your pooch isn't microchipped, run, don't walk, and get it done!

I can't tell you how many stories I have read where a microchip reunited a beloved pet and their owner. Holly was microchipped when I first adopted her (it's standard practice for the Humane Society and many other shelters), but if you are unsure if your pet has been chipped, your vet can do a quick check to see if they feel the chip under your pup's skin. They should repeat this test at your annual check up to make sure it's still in place.

Though I hope you never have to use any of these tips, I know being prepared will give you peace of mind as you're out in the world with your pet. You can never predict when something may come up out of nowhere, but it you know how to react and have a plan in place, you will be able to handle the situation in the absolute best way for both you and your pooch!
Being prepared for a situation will make sure you can enjoy all the fun parts of being a pet parent knowing you have a plan!
Until Next Time, Darlings!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cold Weather Activities for You and Your Pooch

Baby, it's cold outside!!

After coming back from Colorado where it was a balmy -17 degrees, it wasn't exactly exciting to hop back in to 9 degree morning walks. Though we've posted in the past about what to wear when the temps get frigid, I thought I would take a moment to share ways that I tire Holly out when a long walk is just not going to happen.
In Colorado, cold temps meant long naps and cuddle time!

Modified indoor fetch:

Some mornings I want to make sure Holly and I both get a little workout in before I head to work. I will often tune into the super old school 8 minute abs video on YouTube and throw a soft toy for Holly while I'm doing sit ups. She had a tricky time at first figuring out that she had to bring the toy to my head so I could actually grab it to throw, but now that we have it figured out we both have a great time! We make sure to use an extra soft toy like this Wooly Fun ball so we don't wake our downstairs neighbors!
This ball is fun and apartment friendly!

2. Hide and seek:

I learned this nifty game from trainer Sue Chipperton when I was lucky enough to get to interview her. When it's too cold to take her pooches out, Sue taps in to their inner hunter with a game of "hide and seek." Recreating the game is simple: take your pooch's favorite toy or treat, show it to them, then make them do a sit-stay while you go hide the object of fun in another room. When you tell them to "go find it," watch them use their nose to track it down. It's best to start simple--putting the object in a low, easily visible location and making it more and more difficult as the game goes on (Sue's dogs can hunt out their toy on top of a wardrobe!). Using a pup's brain tires them out as much as a walk, so a half hour of hide and seek is sure to have your pup happily snoozing for hours!
Holly's "Mrs. Hedgehog" is a sure fire hide-and-seek success.

When a toy just won't cut it, these amazing Yam treats from our pals at Brindle's always get Holly's nose going!

3. When all else fails, snuggle!

Some days, it's just too cold to do much of anything, so it's just best to stay inside, curl up with some tea and a warm pup, and snuggle the day away. Holly and I enjoyed an evening of snuggles and pampering during last night's Golden Globes, which if you ask me is the perfect way to spend a chilly evening!
A girl's night is just what the weatherman ordered! My red carpet ready lashes are thanks to Covergirl GoBloom mascara, c/o Influenster! I'm sure the Fashion Police would be proud!*
Until Next Time, Darlings!

*disclaimer: I received these products to test courtesy of Influenster and CoverGirl. All opinions are my own. 
Images by Freepik