It’s mid-march, and dreams of corned beef and cabbage are floating in people’s heads in advance of St. Patrick’s Day. No one in our household has an ounce of Irish heritage, but we do like drinking beer, so we’ll celebrate the holiday by enjoying a brew or two. While we may not be Irish, we do feel pretty lucky to have been introduced to Tomlyn pet products and adding them into our lineup of items to help with Bean and Yoda. We use so many Tomlyn products each day, our kitchen counter top is lined with their signature green packaging, which was the inspiration for my luck of the Irish Tomlyn post. I wanted to introduce you to what we use regularly and why we continue to choose Tomlyn products over other brands.
I attended Global Pet Expo in March of last year, and shortly after participated in the final BlogPaws conference. Tomlyn had a booth setup at both events and they were on my list of people to speak with each time. If you haven’t heard of Global Pet Expo, imagine multiple football fields lined up end to end filled with people representing pet related brands, such as food, treats, supplies, and toys. It’s huge, overwhelming and exhausting. I walked the equivalent of 5 miles the first day there while visiting with brands.
We received product from Tomlyn (although we've purchased them all many times on our own) in exchange for an honest assessment of our views and experience. We only share products that we have tried and loved and our opinions are our own. This post includes Amazon Affiliate Links. If you click and make a purchase, we will make a commission.
As a Pet Blogger, most brands I spoke with didn’t know how to talk to me at the event, since I wasn’t a “buyer” in the same sense as a pet store may be. Because of this, many brands gave me the cold shoulder, or I spent 15 minutes explaining why working with influencers like bloggers can be valuable for brands to consider and THEN they gave me the cold shoulder. This wasn’t my experience with Tomlyn.
It was the last day of the event, and you could tell all of the brand representatives were pooped. Their voices were strained from talking all day, and their feet were hurting. I approached the folks at Tomlyn and introduced myself. The first person I spoke with was the team’s veterinarian who was there for the event. Of all the brands I spoke with at Global, this was the only brand that understood the value of having a veterinarian present to speak with interested buyers and influencers. She was able to answer my questions regarding Bean’s specific medical concerns (allergies, anxiety, a daily pill regiment, and arthritis). She asked targeted questions about her weight, food, symptoms, and current supplements to her food. Based on her questions and my replies, she was able to make recommendations for products I might want to consider trying that wouldn’t interfere with her medications or any other medical concerns. She was clearly tired, but enthusiastically spent at least 30 minutes speaking with me as if I were the only person in the room.
After my conversation with their Veterinarian, one of Tomlyn’s marketing executives stuffed my bag with products for me to bring home and try with Bean and Yoda. Most brands were stingy with sharing anything, which I understand, getting freebies isn’t the point of attending Global, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t appreciated. I was able to try out a few new products with Bean and Yoda when I got home, which promptly got added to their lineup of Tomlyn goodies to use regularly.
I hope you’re wondering what products from Tomlyn are currently lining our kitchen counters. Here’s a list for you and an explanation for why we are using each.
Pre and Probiotic
Nobody likes loose poo. I think that’s an acceptable assumption on behalf of people and pups. For whatever reason, Bean has always had a sensitive stomach. She would average one or two bouts of upset tummy and poo problems every couple of weeks. We would give her a bland diet and pumpkin until things firmed up, and waited until the next time there was an issue to repeat the cycle. This was neither ideal for Bean, nor was it being proactive in helping to reduce issues before they happened.
The addition of a pre and probiotic started about two years ago, when we noticed that Yoda also had times of upset stomach. Since we clearly weren’t doing what we should for their digestive health, we started researching options. Some pre and probiotic options needed to be refrigerated, some had a short shelf life, and others were incredibly expensive.
It took a few tries with different products, before I gave Tomlyn a whirl. I’m pretty sure it was after speaking with folks from the company at a BlogPaws conference and hearing directly from the source about their product lineup and its benefits.
What I love about Tomlyn’s pre and probiotic is that it is easy to keep and give. It comes in a box with individual packets of the product, which block out any sunlight meaning it has a longer shelf life, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
The recommended serving is ½ of a packet once a day per dog, so I am able to split one pouch between Bean and Yoda and put it in their morning meal. The other thing I really appreciate about this pre and probiotic is that its very reasonably priced. You can buy it from tons of places, including Amazon and it equates to about a quarter per use for a dog the size of Bean or Yoda.
I have not heard of many pet owner tales that go like this: “So, I had to give fluffy a pill twice a day every day for two weeks. I put it in her mouth, and she gulped it down without a hitch. It was the easiest thing ever!”
Nope, not realistic.
This is the way the story goes in our house (or the way it went until pill paste): “Hey, did you give Bean her pills this morning? Well, yeah, I tried, but she spit it out when I wasn’t looking. Then I tried again, and it had already started to dissolve, so she accidentally bit my finger because it tasted bitter. So then I got a new pill and tried again, but I found she had spit it out and hid it in the couch cushions.”
For a pill that costs $2 per dose, which is more than some of my daily medications, that’s a lot of money to be throwing away and it doesn’t even consider the reason why she was taking a pill to begin with (allergies) so the poor thing was just scratching all the time.
We used products to wrap pills from the veterinarian’s office, but they were so expensive for a pack that lasted about a month. That and Bean managed to eat around the pocket and spit out the pill, like a prisoner cheeking her meds. Out of desperation, we tried Tomlyn’s pill paste.
Unlike the other products we tried, the paste can be made to be as large or small as you need to wrap around the pill. You squeeze the pill inside, sealing it, and can either give to your dog as a treat, or plop it in their food. Bean is too smart, and knew we were trying to give her medicine, so it was a hard pass for her when it came to trying to pawn it off as a treat. That said, the pill paste helps to prevent the pill from getting wet in her food and starting to dissolve, so putting it in her morning meal has been a huge success. No forced pill intake, no bitten fingers and I don’t think Bean even realizes she ingested it.
Because you are in control of the amount of pill paste you use, it allows for you to not use more than what you really need. A tub of pill paste lasts Bean a good four to five months, compared to the other product that lasted for about a month.
Everyone in the family gets a multivitamin in the morning. It’s a tradition. Obviously we humans take our multivitamins in gummy form, as we never fully grew up. Bean and Yoda get theirs from Tomlyn, but they think they’re getting a treat just for waking up! Bean gets a multivitamin that is formulated for senior dogs, and includes joint aids like Turmeric. Yoda gets a non-senior version of a multivitamin and has for the past couple of months.
Between the multivitamins and another product that includes glucosamine, we have noticed a significant difference in Bean’s pep and mobility. She was diagnosed with arthritis in her hind legs in the fall of last year which was affecting her walking. Since using the multivitamin, her mobility has returned to normal and she enthusiastically joins us for long walks. She also plays with Yoda and toys, which includes hopping on and off the couch, with ease and enthusiasm.
Relax and Calm Chews
There are a lot of reasons why a dog might be stressed out. Loud noises, new events, being in a different location, being around people the dog doesn’t know, and any other number of things. Last summer, FOR THE ENTIRE SUMMER the streets surrounding our house were under construction. Starting at six in the morning, because the construction workers have no soul, we were woken up by beeping noises of trucks backing up, loud bangs from pipes being dropped unceremoniously on people’s front lawns, workers yelling at each other, and heavy equipment being operated. It was a super stressful time for the dogs. They kept looking out the window, heads tilted, thinking “why is the world ending, and why is it ending right outside our window?” We tried calming options, including thundershirts, music, television distractions, and even a prescription for anxiety from the veterinarian.
On a whim, I purchased the Relax & Calm chews from Tomlyn thinking that it may or may not be snake oil in treat form, but I was willing to try anything at that point. The chews include the ingredient in turkey that makes people content and sleepy on Thanksgiving (tryptophan) along with chamomile, which is something I have in certain teas that help to calm me, and ginger to help with any upset tummies because of nervousness.
When we heard the rumbling sounds of construction equipment starting up, we gave the dogs a chew. Shortly afterwards, everyone seemed a lot more calm. They were still watching the action outside, and aware, but instead of barking and hopping from couch to couch, they were just watching like there was a really interesting show going on outside. They never seemed “out of it” or drowsy, but they did seem a lot more relaxed. We wound up not using the prescription from the vet and having a supply of these chews on hand.
High Calorie Nutritional Gel
Bean didn’t eat. For much of her life on this planet, she would go multiple meals without eating, or only eating a portion of her food. It was frustrating, and kind of scary. We didn’t know what we were doing wrong, and if there was any medical cause for her anorexia. In desperation, I used some High Calorie Nutritional Gel in her food (I actually spread it on the bottom of her bowl before adding her food). She would nose her way to the bottom, lick the gel, and eat some food in the process. It wasn’t ideal, but it was something and it was better than nothing at all. The gel includes vitamins and minerals along with omega 3, 6 and 9. It was like Ensure for dogs in that it helped to give some of the nutrients her tiny body needed.
Fast forward to the present, and she now enthusiastically eats with a food swap over to NomNomNow. Even so, we will still add the gel to her bowl as a fun add in every once and awhile. I also smear some on the side of the tub whenever we are giving the dogs a bath. They are so engaged with licking off the gel, they don’t really realize they’re also getting a bath.
For photos, I will put a splop of the gel on Bean or Yoda’s nose to get them to stick out their tongues. It’s safer than peanut butter, and still gets some pretty awesome results.
Now you know some of the ways we help to keep Bean and Yoda happy and healthy thanks to Tomlyn. I'm sure we'll add additional products as their needs change and I'm thankful for the team at Tomlyn for creating products that are safe, easy to use and affordable.