Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: How To Get Ahead in Business With Office Cat

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How To Get Ahead in Business with Office Cat, A Meownagement Guide to Purrfessional Success may be just the book every budding executive needs. After all, who better than a cat to tell us how to manage time and control people?  We cat owners are a well-trained lot.

The book is divided into section for ease of use by the prospective executive, starting appropriately with: So You Want to Be a Success.  Moving on to Part Two: How to Get People Under Your Paw (and keep them there).  Let's face it, no one is better at doing this than cats They have to down to an art form. Part Three is Purr-Sonnel which include the importance of good staff. Part Four is High Furrnance and Other Minor Matters. Okay, minor to a cat, more major to those of us who buy their good. Part Five is Shrimp, Shrimp, Shrimp! Work Should Be Fun.  This is, of course, followed by a quiz.

There is the requisite Foreword, Catknowledgments and other books by Office Cat. Who knew that a ginger cat would have a list of successful books on a par with mine? Well, he did claw his way to the top.

There are worth tips for every executive wannabe.

Authors Ariana Klepac and Pete Smith obviously know their  cats and are well-grained assistants in the business world.  Obviously well-versed in the operation of various can openers - a critical job-requirement. 

This funny business guide for cat lovers would make the perfect gift for that would-be achiever i  your live. Or just a fun read for you.

Published by Smith Street Books in Australia: ISBN 978-1-92-541812-5  This delightful book is being released in October 2016.  $14.95 U.S. Hardcover, 112 pages with 55 color illustrations. The book is distributed in the U.S. by Rizzoli in New York.

You can pre-order now at Amazon:

It will make the perfect gift for every working cat owner.

NOTE: I receive no compensation for this review. I merely received a review copy of the book so I could read it before reviewing it. The opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Adventures in Wand-erland

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Photos, except for the one of Paris, are courtesy of
Chasity Rader, Ceylon's Wander-Land
I'm sure the title of this post has you wondering. Wonder no more. Ceylon's Wand-erland is the most remarkable assortment of hand-made cat teaser wands I've ever seen. Each is individual and so exquisite that if I didn't have a cat, I would buy several to put in a large vase in the living room as an accent piece. I was looking for a toy that a young cat could play with by herself the would still have the enjoyment of a wand toy. I have a collection of wonderful interactive toys but when my new little Chartreux, Paris, was sent by her breeder, Nancy Dionne, out West, she was 16 months old the first weekend in June. she walked out of her crate full of confidence and more energy that I could have imagined. Because Chartreux don't mature until they are 3 years old, I had a lively kitten in an adult-size body. One person with an interactive toy is not nearly enough to keep her busy. Neither are all of the other interactive toys I have for environmental enrichment. One more toy was needed. I stumbled across Ceylon's Wanderland in my search and found a form of heaven! I immediately set about finding the creator of such amazing toys. When I found Chasity Rader on Facebook, I immediately told her how much I loved my toys, that I had to buy one that could be tied onto something for solo play and would she let me interview her?!  She graciously agreed and sent me samples to test, including the coveted tie-on toy which became an immediate hit with Paris, as you can see.
Photo of Paris by the author

I began creating and bringing my designs to life in Feb. 2015, due to my longing of wanting to change my daily life, to reach a dream of mine, and to improve my family's welfare. It began with the simplest goal: to utilize my imagination to make a handful of teaser toys for myself and some friends. I had spent approximately 15 years showing cats, and I had amassed an impressive collection toys over the years. However, they never quite reached my personal expectations. I did not find them to be quality of toys I wanted; I desired durability and beauty that would last. None were ever as refined as I felt they could be. I had developed ideas for designs in my head for years, but I had yet to discover someone who had ever put my imaginative ideas to work. So, I decided to design and create my own toys in MY vision to achieve the happiness and dream I had been wanting. My teaser toys are designed with flair using only the best Swarovski, Swarovski Elements and other fine Austrian Crystals and cruelty free feathers. 

Yes, actually. I recall a memory of myself being in kindergarten, and I had proudly been drawing my own half-moon with a smile and a I remember my teacher making a really big deal of my artistry and creativity of my moons, because it was unusual for someone of such a young age to have such a mature and beautiful outlook. I have been an artist all my life – I have spent my life drawing, painting, writing poetry. My passion very much lies in creative outlets of expression. I aspire to create an individual masterpiece with a touch of personal flare in each teaser toy. 

I majored in Graphic Design at Purdue University, and that is where my creativity form changed into something not so much physical, but digital. I got hired for my first business card design job while I was still a student in college for a breeder that showed miniature poodles. That was immediately followed by a breeder of English and French Angora rabbits. These incredible opportunities are how I began to work with animal lovers while exercising my love for art and using my individual expression. And it didn't stop there - when I finished college, I became a graphic designer for independent breeders while staying at home to care for my baby daughter. Graphic designing was my world that I adored and dreamed about because of the connection and passion that I share for animals, as well. It gave me the opportunity to meet people also involved in the animal world, and designing for them was the chance of a lifetime. When I designed something for my clients that they fell head-over-heels for, I would become so overwhelmed with pride and joy. I have used my talents for years to bring smiles to my clients and their beloved pets which was what led me into the CFA World, where teaser toys entered my life. 


I was in the cat show world (CFA) for 15+ years. After spending some time away from the show world and apart from dear friends I had made over the years, it began to make my heart ache. I left the show world due to grief. I had missed it, and every day I grieved over the loss of a very beloved cat of mine. And with each day, I felt a longing for a connection for a part of the world I had been so familiar with. Taking time away and regrouping myself, I was able to tap into my creative spirit once again. It's uncanny how loss of life and temporarily veering off your path can lead to finding yourself once again and giving life new direction. I felt inspired to actually begin to change my life and to give myself new energy, connection, inspiration, and drive. After I created my first designs and sent my gifts out to friends, their feedback began to pour in, and then their friends wanted some. A chain reaction began as more and more strangers wanted a taste of what Ceylon's Wand-erland has to offer.

I love to create multipurpose toys the most. Although I truly do love my simple designs, for example my Snow Wand, it only serves one sort of titillation. You are left with only the aesthetic of visual stimulation. So in my more complex designs, I offer more functionality and stimulation for the cats. And really, it is all about bonding and playtime with your cats. A happy home is an owner and their cat expressing their playful nature with one another and loving every moment they spend. I live for the challenge of creativity and innovation. For every successful design that I get to bring my customers, there is a painstaking process as well as a multitude of failures behind them. 

These are the Laser Toys


Without a doubt! I don't want to create something beautiful that will only last for a short period of time. That defeats one of my main purposes for doing this. I create various designs for all cats and breeds needs and in each stage of their life. Along with the durability that I put into my wands, I keep in mind the health and welfare of the cats themselves. For example, my hand-spun tinsel tops are meant to stretch and snap if a claw is snagged or tangled. It is meant to happen so swiftly and pain-free, your cat will not even know it happened. In addition to my tinsel tops, I use a mylar material that is as thin as a human hair. Therefore, there are no sharp edges in case any strands will be accidentally ingested like Christmas tinsel does. You will have no need to stress over the well being of your cat with the safe materials I use to create my wands. 

My newest venture is called 'Mermaid Thyme.' It's an all natural, Organic bath bomb brand that will be available on Etsy in the near future. I have always been a bathing goddess, myself. I infuse essential oils and other all- natural products for a beautiful, hand-molded rose shape. I love experimenting with new scents and creating a safe product to share with others. 


Thank you and that makes me giggle. I have a etsy shop located at And my web site which has the most photos of my created anywhere on the internet. 

My Personal FaceBook Chasiy Rader 

Wand-erland FaceBook Group page 

Aside from my Personal shops, I'm fortunate enough to have a loving team standing beside me with their own personal love for all things Wand-erland. 

1) Adilah Roose is the woman to contact in Asia for your Wand-erland needs. She is also the only source in the world for the Masmera teaser toy. 

2) Australians have the lovely Wand-erland Australia team of Julie Lawrence & Amanda Herde for your Wand-erland source. and their web site Amamda Herde 

3) Julie Lawrence 

4) Wand-erland Europe is home of Mette Lambert. She covers many countries in Europe and is the best contact to order your Wand-erland designer cat teaser toys. Wanderland Europe with Mette Lambert 

 5)Donna Waskiewicz is your Vending source in the USA. Colorado is her home base and she travels to surrounding areas. Donna Waskiewicz 

I love my job. My favorite part about creating my Wand-erland handmade designer cat toys are the photos, videos, and e-mails I receive from the happy families and felines. I am so fortunate to have such strong connections with so many people around the world, and I certainly do not take it for granted. Most businesses out there don't get to see the end results of their creations, and I am fortunate enough to receive such blessings. Feedback is crucial to me. Before I release a design available for purchase, I generally send them to breeder friends, pet-owner friends, donations, and to cat judges. I do this to ensure my toys are thoroughly tested and to see if revisions must be made. I have no shortage of volunteers to test my teaser toys, and I truly love and appreciate them all. I'm forever going to be the lady with glue stuck to my hands, glitter in my hair and cat fuzzies on my cloths. I couldn't be happier to share my polished up cat teaser toys with you.

NOTE: The opinions in this blog post are mine alone. I received no monetary compensation for this blog post. I only received sample items to test. Paris thoroughly approves of them!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Smart Bones

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Photo by Lisette Brodey

Dog owners have been looking for a healthy treat to replace rawhide. Rawhide, aside from being messy, has proven fatal to some dogs. Finding a good substitute and not having to worry about the ingredients that might be problematic. For years now, owners have been wary of anything made in China and that seems pretty common among rawhide products. When I was invited to test Smart Bones, I turned to author Lisette Brodey for this product. Her rescue dog, Bentley, is the light of her life and a pretty popular little guy around the neighborhood. The product was sent directly to her.  Here's her review:

When I was asked to review this product, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I’d never heard of the product, but I had long wished for its existence. My dog, Bentley, like most dogs, loves to chew. But rawhide is not good for dogs and I didn’t want him to have any of it, not even for a special treat. Several times, at the pet store, I looked for a product that would provide the same chewing pleasure without the unhealthy qualities. But I could’t find anything. SMART BONES (vegetable and chicken chews) is just what I needed.

When I gave Bentley the first one, you can see he was delighted to have it. As he often does with special treats, he takes possession of them for a long time before he consumes them.

When it was time to go for a walk, even after I put his harness on, Bentley was “standing watch” over his “bone.”
Photo by Lisette Brodey

After we got home, an hour or so later, he finally got down to the business of enjoying the chew, finishing every last bit of it.

I’m so happy this product exists. For me, it’s not an everyday snack choice, though it might be for some. I will use this product as a special treat, and most importantly, as something to keep him occupied when we are not at home (which isn’t that often.) Just having something healthy to chew like this, in my opinion, really helps a dog like mine who does suffer from a bit of separation anxiety.
Photo by Lisette Brodey

This product has brought lots of happiness to Bentley and to me. I would definitely encourage dog owners to give it a try.

Thanks to Lisette Brodey and her boy, Bentley for their candid review of Smart Bones.

Smart Bones are made by PetMatrix and can be purchased at Walmart, Petsmart and Petco

Website: where you will find a list of flavors and a new stick coming in September as well as another style. Surf around the site for more information on how Smart Bones are made and their concern for safety.

Walmart, Petsmart, Petco,

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lladro Porcelain Has Gone to The Dogs (and cats)!

Bulldog with Lollipop, The Third Piece in a New Series

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Lladro is Spain's pre-eminent porcelain collectibles creator. I remember falling in love with their pieces when I was a little girl. It was distinctive and it seemed as if I could spot it a mile away. Each design originates with the sculptor. whose original sketch is then molded into clay or plasticine, using his hands, tools, and imagination. Now they have turned their talents to dog collectables (and some cats!) The world of pets is, frankly, one of its favorite themes. The sizes are proportionately accurate and there is a certain playfulness to this new collection. Additionally, each dog sits on a hand-knitted mat, made just for the occasion.

Interestingly, once the model is finished, it's broken down into various fragments which are then reproduced in plaster. The next step is to etch on each surface of the plaster all the ornamental patterns and motifs which the sculptor conceived in the initial sketch. This phase is when the expression of the face, motifs, the relief work on clothing and floral compositions all come to life. These fragments will be reproduced in porcelains in molds in a fascinating process. The living material of white liquid porcelain then sets and gives life to the pieces in a magical puzzle that the brand's artists will put back together.
Chihuahua with Marshmallows

Once the piece has been reconstructed, expert hands take over the process and begin the decoration. The first step in this phase is the choice of decorative technique best suited to each element. Dissolved colors, paint paste, luster.  Can you begin to imagine a palette with 4000 different tonalities?!  It exits at Lladro. In close collaboration with the laboratory, the artists experiment with the variety of color tones called for in the particular model, their densities, saturation, textures, nuances and, if required, they often create specific colors expressly for the pieces.  As Rosé Lladro clarifies, "..for us creativity, experimentation and research are everyday challenges." Later the artists paint the pieces with a steady hand, bringing to life the expression of facial features and delicately outlining the tiniest detail.  It has also to be decided whether the pieces will be matte or glazed, because glazed pieces require a layer of varnish before being fired in the kiln.

And, finally, the moment of truth: the test of fire.  Back in the 1960's Lladro pioneered a system of single firing, leaving behind the second and even third firing still being used by other companies. In the kiln, the piece is subjected to a temperature of around 1300 degrees Celsius (2599 degrees Fahrenheit) for a whole day and the chemical reactions that take place define the final colors of the piece. On the other hand, because it loses water, the size of the piece is reduced around 15% during the firing. Ensuring that this reduction in size is uniform, and that the piece does not suffer in any way is one of the biggest miracles that takes place at Lladro. Porcelain is alive and it is in the kiln when each piece is put to the test.
Jack Russell with Licorice

Lladro's reputation is based on quality, in never disappointing, in never lowering they goals. As Rosé Lladro explains, "we could not conceive of working any other way than to the maximum quality, because it is part of our DNA." The highest standards of quality are also applied in the packaging, adapting to the individual features of each piece in order to ensure that it reaches its final destination in perfect condition.


List of dogs (and cats) in this collection:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: Lindy & Co. Gourmet Dog Treats

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Fuzzy the Taste Tester 

Lindy & Co. Gourmet Dog Treats was created by Daybreak which is a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter, outreach programs, traditional housing and other vital services to Dayton, Ohio's homeless, transient youth population. This means that you are not only treating your dog but you are helping kids in need of assistance. Dogs and cats aren't the only ones who end up in the streets; so do kids who have been kicked out of their home. 100% of the profits go directly to Daybreak, funding emergency shelter, housing and for over 500 homeless teens and young adults each year.

The wide assortment of flavors come in everything from Vegetarian to Gluten-Free to combos like Peanut Butter Bacon. 

One of my product testers, Gary Rhode, agreed to put the treats to the test with his shelter rescue dog, Fuzzy.  An assortment of cookie flavors were duly sent to Fuzzy for his "opinion."  Here is Gary's report.

"Fuzzy was trying to peel one of the treat bags open. So far, he's tried three of the flavors: Honey and Oats, Peanut Butter Cookie and the Carrot Cake Cookie. He's looking forward to trying all of the flavors!

"I like the fact that they are made from healthy ingredients and the packaging is people-friendly." I must interject and say that Gary has a problem with his hands so this is a huge advantage for him.  "It would grab my attention in a store. I like the name. Lindy's Bakery sounds like a very nice place! It sounds like a specialty company for dogs.

"Fuzzy is an equal-opportunity lover but regarding these treats, he loved the three we sampled. If he could have had a knife and fork, he would have had it for dinner! He loved the three. The pictures and the video speak for themselves. He loved the packaging, the ingredients and could not wait for the next training session!"

Gary had his hands full trying to juggle the camera and take each picture before Fuzzy devoured the treats!

"This is like the Rolls Royce, Mazarati or Tessler of dog treats!," he added.

Below is a video of Fuzzy and Lindy & Co. Gourmet Dog Treats:


Don't forget to check the Lindy & Company Gourmet Dog Treats' website: 

All photos of Fuzzy taste testing Lindy & Company Gourmet Dog Treats were taken by his owner and our reviewer, Gary Rhode, who owns the copyright to them, and may not be used without his written permission.

Monday, August 1, 2016

New Wellness Aid for Cat Owners: Pretty Litter

Alana by Claire Clayton

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I'm a huge proponent of Wellness for pets. It's a medical concept that moved from human medicine to veterinary medicine. If you keep your pet healthy with regular check-ups, plenty of fresh water, good food and exercise as well as knowing the signals to look for to tell if your pet isn't feeling well, you can find problems sooner, before they become progressed, and take you pet to the veterinarian.  Cats, unlike most dogs, are incredibly stoic and masterful at hiding illness. 

There is a new litter on the market that will help you keep even better tabs on your feline companion.

Photo Courtesy of Nancy Ross

Pretty Litter changes color when your cat urinates if there is a possible illness brewing. This product came about out of a terrible loss of a beloved companion.

Daniel Rotman, the CEO of Pretty Litter lost his little orange tabby to an illness.  "It was one of the toughest thing to go through. She was my family member and she was healthy until she began to show aggressive signs of illness," Rotman told me.  "Many cat owners relate to this; cats hide illness until the symptoms begin to show through odd behavior." 

"I wanted to create a tool to empower cat owners, to have another tool to monitor their cat's health before the illness spirals out of control."

From this came a litter that is made using a safe silica microgels that turns color if there is a sign of illness. The litter itself is yellow, so it matches the color of urine. Once the cat urinates in the box, if the urine turns color (and one of four, indicating possibly illnesses), watch your cat for 24 to 48 hours. If the urine continues to turn color, take your cat to your veterinarian. The reason for the wait and monitoring your cat during that time is that a new food, a change in the environment, or if the cat is stressed, can cause the urine to change color. You want to be sure that this is a consistent change. If you have more than one cat and see a color change, isolate them and give each a separate litterbox so you can tell which one might be having the problem.
Photo of Tribble Courtesy of Frank Incremona

Scoop the feces out of the box as soon as you can each day, allowing the litter to drop back into the box. Cat's often urinate in the same section of the box. There is no need to scoop out the pretty litter whether or not it has turned color. Just mix the litter through the box so there will be different litter in each part of the box. Pretty Litter does not have to be scooped because it doesn't clump and isn't meant to. The urine is captured by the little pieces of silica that may, or may not, turn color. The color does not escape so even if your cat tracks a piece of litter out of the box and it lands on your carpet, it won't stain. It's safe to use and eco-friendly. Here's look at the colors and what they can mean:

Pretty Litter color changes may indicate a host of potential health issues.
Orange or Brown: detection of bilirubin which may indicate liver issues such as bile duct obstruction (cholestasis), gallstones, liver inflammation or pancreatitis.
Red: detection of blood which may indicate Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder (FLUTD), Crystals (Crystalluria) or Interstitial Cystitis. In rarer cases it can also mean bladder cancer, an internal injury, poison ingestion, and/or if it's a female cat over four months old who hasn't been spayed, she may be in heat.
Blue: high alkaline which may indicate either FLUTD, Struvite Crystal formations or kidney issues.
Green: abnormal acidity which may indicate either FLUTD, calcium oxalate crystals, urinary blockage in males or kidney issues.
Any color other than a golden yellow or olive green may mean you need to take your cat to your Veterinarian. 
Clearly this can be a game changer for cat owners. A three-pound bag will last for a month How? You're not throwing out clumped urine. Nor does this litter smell. It doesn't require artificial additives to keep it odor-free all month. While it can be purchased in stores, it can also be purchased online, either by the single bag to try it (you'll need to buy 2 bags and use a bag-and-a-half for a large litterbox) or order autoship which can be cancelled at any time. Information is on the website under FAQ's.
Pretty litter is growing by double-digit percentages every month and is now expanding to Asia, Canada and Australia.
Want to know more?  Here's a video to show you more. And check out both the video introduction and the FAQ's on the website


NOTE: I was sent a bag of Pretty Litter to test.  I received no monetary compensation for this post. I share it for information only.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Chronic Kidney Disease

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Dr. Roberta Relford

One thing both dog and cat owners need to be aware of is chronic kidney disease. It occurs in both species. Catching it early is optimum, of course. To that end, IDEXX, one of the most trustworthy laboratories in the county, has created a new test specifically designed to discover the disesase.

Roberta Relford, DVM, Ph.D, DACVIM, DAVCP, Division President and Chief Researcher was the main researcher for the development of the test. Dr. Relford is the Division Vice President of Pathology, Internal Medicine, and Strategic Operations IDEXX Reference Laboratories. She graduated from Auburn University in 1982 and was a small-animal practitioner for 4 years. She obtained an MS in pathology at Mississippi State University and a PhD in pathology from Texas A&M University, where she also pursued a residency in small-animal internal medicine. Dr. Relford is board-certified in internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and in clinical pathology by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. She lectures on topics including clinical pathology, internal medicine, infectious diseases, cytology, and platelet disorders.

Dr. Relford was the main researcher who helped develop the SDMA test and she is the CMO at IDEXX Laboratories.

Chronic kidney disease is a leading cause of suffering and death in cats and dogs. In fact, one in three cats and one in ten dogs will develop some form of kidney disease over their lifetime. Unfortunately, by the time veterinarians typically diagnose it, at least 75% of kidney function has already been permanently lost.

Thanks to a breakthrough kidney function test, veterinarians have detected the disease earlier in thousands of cats and dogs since the test was made commercially available in July. SDMA is identifying over two times the number of pets with early CKD than traditional methods. In other words, without the SDMA test, one out of every two cats and dogs with early stage CKD would have been missed by traditional testing methods.

The SDMA test can potentially add years to pets’ lives, and Roberta Relford, DVM, MS, PhD,  speaks to the impact of the test as well as the technology behind it and the importance of screening your pets earlier than veterinarians were able to do before.

Dr. Relford agreed to be interviewed in order to share this discovery with PerPETuallySpeaking’s readers:

1.    Briefly, what is chronic kidney disease? I know that it kills far too many companions.

Chronic kidney disease is the leading cause of suffering and death in cats. In their lifetime, 1 in 3 cats and 1 in 10 dogs will develop the disease. As pets get older, the likelihood they will develop kidney disease increases. In fact, more than half of cats over age 15 are afflicted. Until recently, veterinarians could not detect kidney disease until very late stages, when the kidneys have lost most of their function permanently. At this point, effective treatment options are limited.

The sooner the disease is caught, however, the better – early identification and proper adjustments in diet and treatment may help your pet to live longer and have a better quality of life.

Chronic kidney disease compromises the kidneys’ ability to maintain fluid balance in the body; produce certain hormones; regulate many electrolytes in the body; and excrete waste products via urine. Signs of chronic kidney disease can include weight loss, increased urination and thirst, vomiting and decreased appetite. However, dogs and cats may show no signs of illness until the disease is advanced.

2.    IDEXX SDMA™ is the gold standard. How long has this new test been in development?

The test arrived on the market following an extensive pilot launch involving over 600 veterinary practices and after eight years of research and clinical studies that culminated in the publication of 27 peer-reviewed scientific and clinical publications to date.

3.    Are all veterinarians using it now or are some still using the old test?

The IDEXX SDMA test is available to all veterinarians in the U.S., Canada and Europe. This is fantastic news because the test can detect kidney disease when much of a pet’s kidney function is still intact. This gives you and your veterinarian the chance to take action and give your pet the best shot for a healthy, happy, long life even with kidney disease.

4.    Can owners ask for this test to be run?

Pet owners should feel empowered to ask for the IDEXX SDMA test to be run at your pet’s regular checkup. Today, 2 in 5 veterinarians in the U.S. are already including IDEXX SDMA in their routine testing, at no added cost. If your veterinarian is not offering the test, you may ask him or her to send your pet’s samples to IDEXX’s Reference Laboratories.

5.    Is there anything you would like to say?

What heart disease is to humans, kidney disease is to pets – a leading cause of suffering and death. Now, the IDEXX SDMA kidney screening test gives pet parents and their veterinarians the chance to take action and give their pet the best shot at the happiest, longest life possible – even with kidney disease.

This is why keeping up with your pet’s regular checkups and asking your vet for the IDEXX SDMA screening is so vital.

For more information on IDEXX SDMA and kidney disease in pets, visit