If it moves, it dies.
ANYONE who lives with a cat knows that they are creatures of comfort. They also love to be in a snug place that's high above with a good view.
A window-mounted cat bed like the one from Oster offers your cat all these kitty comforts; you only need to provide a big glass window to hang it from.
This no-frills cat bed doesn't take up much space at 12”x22”. Inside the box you will find four heavy-duty suction cups, a durable canvas cover and reversible comfy pad (both machine washable) and a four-piece plastic frame set. A pair of strong plastic strings attached to two of the suction cups help hold the cat bed in place.
ROCK-A-BYE BABY. MetroPets' resident reviewer, Papa Chong, warmed up to the Oster Sunny Seat in no time. We can almost hear him say: "The world is an "oster", go shuck it!"
The Oster Sunny Seat is a no-brainer to assemble and install. It requires no tools and it took us probably 20 minutes tops to put it together, hang it up and invite a cat to try it. Soon, we have a snoozing cat on it who obviously felt very much at home in his new soft cradle by the window.
At least two adult cats can sleep comfortably together in the Oster cat bed which can hold up to 50lbs. It also offers indoor cats a perfect place to watch birds or to wait for you. It is designed to give cats maximum comfort where they could see a slice of nature or the outdoors.
For our review, we decided not to line the canvas with the reversible comfy pad because it doesn't stay in place, especially when a big cat jumps on the bed.
One true test of a good cat product is how quickly a cat enjoys or warms up to it. In this case, our subject, a cat named Chong, immediately fell sound asleep on his brand new Oster Sunny Seat. Chong weighs about 6 kilos. He has since made the Oster Sunny Seat part of his expanded territory.
The Oster Sunny Seat is distributed locally by Pet Discount, Inc. and being retailed in pet shops that may have priced it differently.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
A startup dog food company, Escuin Pet Food Manufacturing, is making a strong pitch for raw feeding with its fresh line of frozen uncooked meat with vegetables and dog treats made from natural ingredients.
Its brand, Natural Goodness Real Food for Dogs, hit the ground running at the start of the year with two ready-to-serve raw dog meals (chicken or beef) and three varieties of dog chews – pumpkin biscuits, chicken strips and sweet potato chips.
Necessity is the mother of invention and for Donna Escuin, a self-taught canine nutrition expert, she built Natural Goodness from the ground up to save her little dog Audrey from obesity due to unhealthy diet.
Back in 2012, Audrey, a Pomeranian that should ideally weigh 2kgs max, tipped the scales at 4kgs. For a year, Audrey would see a vet every three weeks for check-ups and x-ray tests. As the dog got heavier, Donna's purse got lighter.
Fast forward to 2016, Donna not only got her dog healthy again after putting her on a natural diet, she also left the corporate world for the kitchen where she developed her first batch of Natural Goodness products that are “homemade, human grade dog food that the consumers can trust,” she said.
Aside from ground meat of fresh raw chicken or beef, every pack of frozen Natural Goodness Real Food for Dogs contains nutritious and calcium rich meaty bones such as necks, wings, and backs for chicken and ribs, necks, tail for beef. It also contains organ meats like liver and muscle meat such as thighs, tenderloin and hearts. For added nutrition and flavor, a cooled slow-cooked vegetable stew is added to the mix along with fresh eggs, virgin coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, turmeric and malunggay.
“We have four resident testers (two Pomeranians, an Aspin, and a cross-breed) plus dogs of breeder friends who tried our products and they loved them,” said Donna.
A 2-kilo bag of frozen chicken doggie food costs P570, and P710 for beef. Donna gives discounts for bulk orders.
For treats, Natural Goodness' sweet potato chips (with malunggay flakes) and pumpkin biscuits are both priced P120 each for a small bag, and P370 each for a big bag.
A small pack of chicken strips costs P150 while the big pack sells for P450.
The raw meals can be frozen for four months from manufacturing date, while the treats are good for one month when kept in room temperature not exceeding 30ºC, and two months in a refrigerator. She also keeps her products fresh by preparing them based on demand. Most of her initial customers are dog breeders.
Donna arranges meet-ups at BF Homes Parañaque with customers who order the frozen doggie food. The treats, however, can be delivered to customers from Metro Manila for a minimum P60 shipping fee.
A popular local online pet store is interested to carry Natural Goodness products, said Donna, adding that supplying to other retailer pet stores later may be the way to go to give her more time to focus on product development and marketing.
WHAT'S (not) COOKIN'?
With Natural Goodness now in the market, Donna plans to enroll herself in an online course in Australia to formalize her education in canine nutrition to boost her and her products' credibility.
To date, she has relied on her own intensive self-study on raw feeding and advice from veterinarians to come up with her own carefully balanced dog food close to the “natural prey model” of eating that is intrinsic in every dog.
“I came to fall in love with the Biologically Appropriate Feeding method...I kept sharing my recipes in groups on Facebook. The only thing that saddened me was too many people I talked to would say they could not continue the diet because it was too much work. So, in my head I was like, okay I'll do it then,” said Donna.
She believes raw feeding is gaining traction among local pet owners though misconceptions such as how bones will choke dogs or raw meat will turn them into blood-hunting monsters continue to dissuade others from trying it.
Raw feeding advocates like her believe that switching a dog's diet of kibbles to raw food should be second nature.
“All dogs are designed to consume raw so it should be natural for them to love this diet. However, when a dog is too accustomed to over processed kibbles or canned food, it may find it strange at first. If you are feeding cooked, try mixing some raw little by little. However it is not recommended to mix raw to a kibble because these two foods require a different level of acid to be digested and may confuse the dog's digestive system which may lead to upset stomach,” said Donna.
The suggested amount of raw feeding is 3 percent of the dog's ideal weight, but Donna said it is best for a dog owner to first seek a veterinarian's expert opinion before changing a dog's diet and for how much more or less.
“Feeding dogs raw food can start with one meal once a week. One natural meal a week is better than nothing,” she added.
Meanwhile, she plans to move Natural Goodness' kitchen out of her house in the coming months and to open a Natural Goodness store next year.
“We are a very small company—so small that the owner who answers the emails also does the cooking, packing and arranging shipping and meet ups,” Donna revealed.
But she's not complaining because advocating raw feeding and offering alternative dog food is what she really wanted to do ever since she saw how it helped improve her dog Audrey's health.
“I decided to go into this business to spread awareness and knowledge. To be able to offer much better option for pet owners to better care for their loved ones. If there are any Audreys out there suffering, I hope to help them through our product,” said Donna.
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By ALMA J. BUELVA
HOUSE cleaning is more arduous with indoor pets. Cats and dogs, even the short-haired ones, shed regularly, so routine sweeping is necessary or your floor will soon be carpeted with pet hair.
But not everyone has time to always clean after their pets, so your place gets “hairy” before you can pick up the broom and dustpan again. One solution is to use one of these cylindrical robot vacuum cleaners that can sweep your fur littered floor as often as you want.
Online shops offer a wide range of smart vacuum cleaners that can perform cursory sweeping while you do other things. One of the cheapest brands we found online is the Tocool TC-350 Robot Vacuum Cleaner with Remote Control that costs from P2,999 to P3,299 depending on the color.
This little machine is a life saver as it does the sweeping for you, even in hard to reach places such as under your bed, table and cabinets. Plus it gives pets, cats most especially, some moment of entertainment as they follow the vacuum cleaner around.
The Tocool TC-350 Robot Vacuum Cleaner has two side brushes, a sensor and a wheel at the front and back. It has a dirt collector inside the size of a kid's lunch box. Ideally, we prefer a bigger dirt bin but maybe the more expensive brands and models will have it.
It's a hardworking robot that will keep on going around the room and in every nook and cranny as long as its battery allows. The battery fully charges overnight and then it works for a long time.
The remote control lets you direct where the Tocool TC-350 should sweep but it's better to just let it carry on with its task so you can do yours, too. So far, we've not seen it get stuck in a corner or tight spot. After some maneuverings, it always finds a way to set itself free and continue sweeping.
When it's on, this clever sweeper automatically stops working if you pick it up, but instantly resumes when replaced on the floor. Always clean the dirt receptacle, the brushes and the wheels after use as some fur tends to coil around these parts.
We recommend this or any similar type of robot vacuum cleaner to those with free roaming pets inside their homes. This modern appliance helps keep the fur and other dirt on the floor to a minimum at the push of a button. It's truly the little helper that could.
Here's a short clip during the first time our resident cat reviewer took the Tocool TC-350 out for a spin.
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