Honest Reviews

Honest reviews from dog owners who have bought and tried products.
We don't get paid by anyone for these reviews, but if you see your product here, we're open to getting freebies... just sayin.


Aerodawg

While I hope you never need one, at least you now know of an aerosol chamber that actually works!

Recently one of our Gimpy Dogs members needed to administer aerosol medication to her pup and purchased an Aerodawg Canine Aerosol Chamber from Amazon.

Click link to go to manufacturer's site
Sarah L writes:

"I don't know that there are many people on here with dogs who have respiratory issues, but I ordered this last week and it is perfect. I was afraid it would be flimsy, but it is just as sturdy as the one I have for myself and the seal around the inhaler is snug. A little desensitization training, lots of treats, and Bandit is getting used to it quite quickly.

Bandit has COPD and recently got kennel cough, which has been difficult to deal with.  Thankfully the inhaler is helping a lot.

The directions are easy to follow, but it is exactly like a chamber for a human to use.  The inhaler goes in one end and the mask goes over the dog's nose or nose and mouth.  You depress the inhaler and hold the mask in place for 6 or 7 breaths.




There are pills you can give that help open the airways, but they do not act quickly and can't really be only used as needed.  This stops the coughing fit within just a minute or two.  I am asthmatic, so I know how quickly an inhaler works and thought it was a better choice long-term for Bandit."

Because it is a sturdy, medical grade aerosol chamber, we are giving this item 4-paws up.

It can be purchased from Amazon and comes in different sizes.


Duralactin

If you own older dogs, you are probably always on the look out for supplements that may give those creaky old bones some relief.

There are a lot of supplements out there, most contain Glucosamine and/or Chondroitin, but a friend of mine happened to be looking at a product called Duralactin.

Click here to go to their site

I hadn't hear a lot about it, so I asked on my Gimpydogs Facebook group to see if anyone had tried it, and of course a few had!

As with all supplements, some may work for your pup, and some may not, so the view expressed here are from people that have used it, and have had success.  Your experience may vary.

Janine L writes:

"When our Pepper was declining with spinal stenosis, her vet at the time suggested Duralactin.  I just thought they were trying to selling me something else.   But in speaking with their receptionist who had a very old poodle that could barely walk and now was walking thanks to Duralactin, I said I would think about it.

I went home and ordered it on line.  It took several weeks to work, but she started to show improvement and after several months she was moving a lot better.  We had her on it for years.  She was 16 when we had to euthanize her.

It is a milk product, so dogs who can't handle milk products won't be able to use it.  It smells great, vanilla flavored.   Pepper loved it."

Karen K writes:

"I used this for Dave when he was very senior.  It seemed to help.  I was able to give it to him because unlike so many other products, it was safe to "mix" with his other drugs.  Also, as it was at a stage where it was hard to get him to eat, he liked them.  Frankly, the chewable tablets smell like really good vanilla ice cream."

We're going to give it a 4-paws up based on user experience.  It seems to help, it's tasty, and it doesn't appear to cause any harm.

Duralactin is available from Chewy.com


EZWhelp Fab Whelping System

We were asked by EZWhelp to review one of their new FAB Whelping boxes.  Our goal is to bring honest reviews based on buying and using the actual product, but since I don’t have any “expecting” dogs, I reached out to a reputable non-profit that raises and trains service dogs.  One of the people in their breeding program agreed to provide a review and in return EZWhelp gave this person a discount on the FAB system.



Overview of the FAB System Whelping Box:

Designed for professional breeders, the system is totally modular, expandable, and easy to clean, fold up, and store.  The box itself replaces the tried and true “kiddie swimming pool” that most breeders use for their litters.  Additional components can be purchased to add on to the system include an internal rail, add on room (for when the puppies can get out of the box, but you don’t want them running loose), even a corner seat, as well as other components.

Review by the breeder:

The FAB Whelping box and pen were very easy to set up.  I put the whole system together without looking at the instructions, except for the cloth sides, which did require guidance from the instructions.  The instructions themselves were easy to understand, and in large print, which was very helpful during the setup process.

We love the height of the pen for stepping over as opposed to using 2-3 foot tall puppy fences to contain the puppies.  There have been so many times where I’ve had my hands full, and been sleep deprived and nearly tripped and fell while stepping over the puppy fences.  Additionally, the FAB system is well-made with heavy gauge metal, so there’s no worry about puppies knocking over the pen, like there is with puppy fences or baby gates.

We appreciate the easy-to-open gate that only requires one hand to open and close.  While it is closed, it contains the puppies and mother, but it can be left open to allow entrance and exit of the mother, and the puppies when they are big enough to get out on their own.  The gate can be left open, and is designed so that once opened, a puppy can’t become trapped or stuck behind the gate.

We love how seamlessly the whelping pen and the additional pen go together.  We may purchase another pen to give us the ability to have an add on pen for the waste pads and additional play area.  We also like the weight and sturdiness of the corner seat, and will be ordering another seat since we can use it for shelves when we are in the pen to keep items we need out of their reach.



The whelping pads are of good quality (Editor note: please see our extensive review of the whelping pads when used as senior dog incontinence pads.  If they can withstand 60lb old huskies, then puppies will not be a problem)

Unlike a kiddie pool, the FAB simply lays flat for storage with just a pull of the long pin, which we LOVE.  We are looking into finding a Rubbermaid™ storage box that the system will fit into for storage and keep it dust and dirt free until the next use.  It would be nice if EZWhelp carried such a storage box in the future.

Overview of Review

The breeder’s only listed con was that a baby pool wouldn’t fit in the box structure, and she felt that it may be difficult for others to move away from the “tried and true” use of them.

The breeder is expecting a litter of puppies in a few weeks and plans on using only the EZWhelp FAB system for this litter and provide additional insight on her experiences.




This review will be updated once we get her feedback.

24 October 2016

The EZWhelp FAB box, now with puppies!


Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner

Remember when I was reviewing all of the Bissell spot cleaners and bemoaned the lack of other manufacturers jumping into a pretty lucrative and much needed spot cleaner market?

Well, look who threw their hat in the ring.


Known for their high end (and very heavy) professional rental machines, Rug Doctor seems to be going into a more affordable home version of their popular steam cleaning equipment.  Will the downsize (and lower price) affect its cleaning capability?

The timing couldn't be more perfect, as the Bissell SpotClean Pro that was pretty amazing, died a horrible death from a severed suction hose only a year into using it (I swear I don't beat these things, or swing it by the hose, or do anything other than suck up foul dog mess) but the general time of death for these things seems to run about a year.

I happened to find the Rug Doctor Spot Cleaner on Amazon and bought it... along with a two-year warranty... just in case.

Right off the bat, who designs the containers?  Most people are only born with two hands, so creating containers that don't stand up on their own makes filling with water, pouring the cleaner in, then screwing the top on a task that even circus performers would have difficulty with.  The clean water/soap container is pretty large, holds a lot.  The dirty water container has two holes at the top, so don't tip it when you walk to dump it out.  Let me repeat that in bold DON'T TIP THE DIRTY WATER CONTAINER IN ANY DIRECTION WHEN WALKING THROUGH THE HOUSE TO DUMP IT.

The bottom of the dirty water container unscrews for easy cleaning.  The instructions say you can stick your whole hand in there... if you have small hands.  I have small hands... I'm not sticking my hand in there, so use a bottle brush to scrub it out (and make sure you store that someplace else so you don't wash your bottles and glasses out with it... euw).

There are two "on" switches.  The top switch turns the suction on.  The switch on the wand turns on the little massaging brushes that will massage the ick out of your carpet.  You use the wand like any other spot remover wand, squeeze to spray, slowly back up to suck.  For dog people, the massaging brushes really do pull up that fur!

For convenience, the machine has a handle to carry it, but it also has wheels and a telescoping handle (like for luggage) to drag it around if you can't carry it.  The cord is pretty long, and the wand and hose loop around the handles easily and stay in the cradle nicely.

I've used it for new "spills" and it only takes one or two swipes to suck everything up.  I've used it on more set in stains and it takes a few more swipes to get it up, but overall it does a great job spraying and sucking up the liquids.  I'm using the Bubba's Steam Cleaner fluid in it.

If I had a choice between the Bissell SpotPro and the rug doctor, I would probably go for the Rug Doctor, even though the SpotPro had better flat bottom containers.  Of course, if the hose rips or it dies in a year, I may change my mind.  Cost is about the same for both, so I guess I have to wait to see just how long it lasts for a full review, but right now, based on the pros and cons, I'd still give it:

4 Paws up.


Bubba's Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner

Having puppies and then senior dogs has its challenges and those challenges come in the form of bodily functions.

Whether housebreaking a young pup, or dealing with senior dogs who forget their training, just can't hold it, or have mobility and/or memory issues, there will be lots of cleanup involved.

Most of the urine removers on the market require you to apply it and let it set until it dries.  That's not a problem, but if you read the fine print, it warns you to keep your pet off the wet spot until it dries.  That's a problem!  You don't want something bad for them just sitting there for hours and hours, so it's not the best solution in the world.

Another problem is that typically you have to spray the solution on.  That gets tiring (hand crampy, cranky, half the time the solution starts spurting out of somewhere it isn't supposed to spurt) and in my experience, a lot of these solutions smell worse than the problem its supposed to solve.

Now what?

Here's what!
Bubba's Rowdy Friends
Bubba's Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner 

Oh sure, I was dubious about this having spent a ton of money on other steam cleaning liquids that merely masked the smell with another smell, so I shelled out some bucks and got it from Amazon.

It comes in a 32 oz bottle and I figured "how long can that last" but actually you only put in 1-3 oz (3 for those really bad smells, stains, and ick) and steam clean like normal.  This product is like those others where you need to let it dry on its own, but hey, you're steam cleaning, so of course the carpet will be somewhat damp when you are done, so that's fine and dandy.  Even better, the only warning on the bottle is to not let children drink the solution.  You and your pets can walk on the wet spots without fear of injury or illness, just don't chug the bottle.

It has a smell, but its not overly flowery, or overly chemical laden and the aroma fades quickly.... along with the stink you are trying to remove.

It's not like a normal carpet shampoo, so don't expect any foam, but it does clean, it does remove most stains, and most importantly it removes the stink.

You can also use it in Spot Bots and the soon to be reviewed Rug Doctor spot cleaner for quick clean up.

I also purchased the Pet Stain and Odor Terminator spray to use on pee pads.  Once the dog pees on the pad, you spray the Terminator on the pee pad, then throw it in the wash.  It helps remove the smell, get rid of stains, and when used with your regular washer detergent, your incontinence pads come out clean and fresh smelling.

Use the Pet Stain and Odor Terminator when you first discover the accident, then follow up with the Super Steamer Carpet Cleaner, and your house will smell great.

I highly recommend the Bubba products, and give them both 4 paws!



Bissell SpotBot

Yes, yes, it's another Bissell review.  Well, if the other companies made a device to clean up pet gunk, we'd review it, but I haven't even seen anything by another company that claims to be "just for pets" like the Bissell products, so those companies are totally missing out on a lot of customers.  (if you have a device you want reviewed, then send me your review... I dare you).

Anyway, the husband loves the concept of anything that will remove pet ick without actually dealing with it, so the obvious choice was the SpotBot.



This unit allows you to clean nasty messes in two ways: set it and forget it, or use the wand.

The tanks are a pretty good size, but the clean water tank is large enough to do about 2 cycles with the "Surface Stain" setting, and 1 cycle of the "Set Stain" setting.  There's actually some cleaning liquid left after 1 "Set Stain" setting, which drives my OCD crazy.

You fill up the clean water tank with water and then with cleaning solution.  This product only uses the small cleaner fluid.  NEVER use the full size cleaning fluid in this.  Husband destroyed a Little Green Steam Cleaner by putting the full size cleaning fluid it in, which foams more and we had a LGSM that had foam coming out of everywhere, including the motor... it wasn't pretty, but it was funny.

Once you have water and cleaner in the clean water tank you simply plop it on the spot in question, plug it in and select the surface stain or set stain button and walk away.  Little brushes start scrubbing the area and dispensing cleaning liquid, sucking it up and rinsing as it goes.  The surface stain setting takes about a minute or so, the set stain takes longer and uses a lot more cleaning liquid.  Once it is done, it beeps to let you know it's done.

We had an older model that would beep forever if you didn't hit the "Stop" button.  While it is handy to be reminded about it, the non-stop beeping made you want to beat it with a ball bat.  The newer models only beep twice.  It is a three beep... wait... three beep reminder.  I'm guessing too many were beaten with ball bats, but from a capitalist point of view... more sales.

Once it is done, you dump out the waste container and you are done.

The bad things about it:

It has a little rubber gasket in the waste container that you have to clean each time.  If you don't, then dirt and waste and gunk build up and before you know it, it will start to leak.  If it leaks, you'll have to clean up nasty stuff where the the container sits and it doesn't suck as much water up.  Also, the tanks don't have flat bottoms so you have to hold them to fill them and clean them.  The gunk tank only has a small opening, so it's difficult to clean entirely, you have to fill it with hot water and swish it around... and when you do that, make sure the gasket stays on or you'll have another mess to suck up.

It does seem to not suck up the water very well.  It leaves a perfectly round wet spot where it was working.  You can actually use it, then use the onboard brush and suck up more water.  The older one didn't do that, but the newer model seems not to have the same mighty suction power to it.

The onboard brush is lacking.  It uses the same hose, which means there is residue in it when you unhook it, so you're probably going to get ick on your hands.  It does have a handy little storage spot onboard for the wand, so it's easy to find.  You click the brush on the end of the hose and select the hose button and you can spray cleaner and suck up the mess.  It doesn't seem like it has as much power as the Little Green or the SpotClean Pro.

Overall, if you're looking for a cleaner that you can plop down and it does the job for you, this is a good item.  Just know that it will leave a damp round spot, and the gasket needs to be cleaned.

I'm giving it three paws because it does the job, it's handy that you can just leave it and go about your business until its done, but it's not perfect.


Bissell SpotClean Pro

Update: The unit lasted about a year before the plastic tube ripped in half.  The replacement hose attachment cost almost as much as a new unit, so it went into the trash.  Based on its "life span" we've revised the review down to three paws.

When you have pets, you have accidents in the house.  Happens with kids and adults too, so having a handy, portable steam cleaner is probably a must in all homes, and a necessity in pet homes.

We've reviewed the Little Green Steam Machine, and will be reviewing the SpotBot soon.

This review is for the Bissell SpotClean Pro and compare it to the Little Green Steam Machine.

I just wanted to throw in that we seem to be reviewing a lot of Bissell products and no, we aren't receiving kickbacks (although if they want to throw in some free liquid, hey, we're all about that), it's just that the other companies really don't have spot cleaners, and if they do, they are REALLY expensive.

Now that we've covered that, while my husband likes the convenience of the SpotBot (set it and walk away while it does its thing) I prefer having more control over cleaning up an accident.

Who hasn't had a dog pee and walk?  Or firehose diarrhea with a mad dash through the house.  No, it's not something you'd admit to at a party or anything, but I can see you nodding your head.

Cleaning that up with a SpotBot would take FOREVER.

So I was all about to buy a Little Green Steam Machine (had one years ago until it finally gave up the ghost, that's when we bought the spot bot), when I happened upon the SpotClean Pro.

Ok, I'm interrupting again because I can hear all of you say "but.... but... the SpotBot has a hose and spray attachment thing so you can use it like the LGSM or SCP".  Yes, but it's a pain in the butt and I don't think it works well at all.  The suction isn't as good, you get the funk on your hands while you're putting the hose away too.  Now stop interrupting me!

The SCP claims to be a "pro" version.  Ok, that sounds impressive.  When I hear "pro" I'm thinking this thing would suck a gopher out of its hole.  Ya know what?  I'm pretty sure it could (but don't do this at home, the gophers aren't amused).



The tanks are absolutely HUGE compared to the LGSM and the best part... they sit flat!  This is a huge deal when you are filling them.  The LGSM tanks you have to hold to fill.  Yes, yes, first world problems, but I can just imagine you getting all angry as you stand there and fill the tanks, then your hands get a bit of the cleaner on them and get slippery, then you try to screw the tank cap on them... don't curse, I warned you.

Another bonus is that the dump tank where all of the ick goes into, the lid opens up and there's a large mouth to dump the ick out and actually get in there and clean it out if you need to.  With the LGSM there's only a small hole in the opening, so easy to dump out, but if you need to clean it, that means shoving a bottle brush or something in there and trying to swish it around... oh, and did I mention that you'll have to hold it to do that?  Yep, because the bottom isn't flat... but the SCP has a flat bottom.  Easy clean up without holding it.  You can even shove your whole arm in there (if you have reasonably sized arms).

Does it suck?  Heck yeah it sucks!  It is loud, but no louder than the LGSM but it sucks up a lot more gunk.  I noticed that it has a small tube inside the hose.  the LGSM I had back in the day didn't have that little tube in it, so all of the gunk was sucked into the hose... and tended to drip back down when you turned it off.  Don't know if they fixed that or not, but that seems to make the unit less stinky and have more suction power.

One thing I don't like is that the air vent seems to pick up the stench of the drain container.  If you don't clean that out once in a while, you'll get a lovely aroma of funk filling your house.  You can stop that from happening by just spraying the cleaner liquid on the spot and then sucking it up, or by keeping your drain container pristine clean. UPDATE: The fool proof way to keep the funk from blowing out is to dump it, rinse it, then spray some Febreze in the tank and put the lid on.

The hose is pretty long, the power cord is very long.  It comes with two types of wands (there isn't a storage spot on the SCP to store the one not in use, which is aways an issue in my house because I put them someplace and can never find them).

This unit takes the liquid for the large steam cleaners, and it only takes a little bit of that fluid.

So, you can add a lot of cleaner for multiple jobs without having to fill it up all the time.  The tanks have flat bottoms, making it easy to clean, fill, dump.  The hose is long, the cord is long, it's pretty lightweight.

The SCP is about $40 more than a LGSM, but honestly, it is worth it.  Just the flat bottom large tanks alone make it worth spending more, and the extra suction and the fact that you seem to spend less time dealing with filling, dumping, and using it.

I give the Bissell SpotClean Pro 3 paws up based on its life span of a year.