Friday, June 24, 2016

Microchip Your Pets For Safety



Keep your pets safe, please microchip!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dog Left Behind




Tuesday, June 21, 2016

BLOGPAWS2016 Here Come The Pet Bloggers!

Wow it feels like yesterday when we were all together in Nashville at BlogPaws2015!  Now here we are, headed to BLOGPAWS2016, the Pet Blogger event of the year, in Phoenix, Arizona!

This will be my third BlogPaws conference and I'm still as excited as I was the first time, only now I'm a bit more knowledgeable about what to expect and how to navigate around the conference.

My BlogPaws2015 experience was  super and I'm so excited for BlogPaws2016!  Networking with the BlogPaws Team, the pet blogging friends I've made, and meeting the sponsors is so much fun and really informative.  There is nothing like meeting everyone in person and spending time together, even if only to chat for a few minutes and exchange business cards.  When you see your blogging friends in person there are hugs, squeals, selfies, laughs, and exchange of blogging stories, tips and ideas. 
Phoebe with one of the reps from Pedigree at BlogPaws2015
When you meet the sponsors you learn even more about the company and what they are looking for in the pet bloggers they work with.  They'll talk about their latest products or upcoming campaigns. They want to get to know us as much as we want to get to know them!  I'm so looking forward to seeing the sponsors whose campaigns I've worked on, and I look forward to meeting some new sponsors as well!

Icy and Phoebe at BlogPaws2015
At this point many blog posts have been shared about the great value of attending a BlogPaws pet bloggers conference, so what I really want to talk about today is the Phoenix weather and traveling to the conference.  That's what seems to be on everyone's mind right now.  It's all over the news that it will reach around 114 degrees in Phoenix the week of the conference and some folks are concerned.  There's also lots of chatter about traveling to the conference with pets, be it a road trip or flying.  So let's talk about it.

Summer in Phoenix is a bitch, I'm not gonna lie about that.  We've lived here for 9 years and honestly for the last several years we leave by end of May for the East coast and don't return until mid September.  However, we've spent a lot of Summers in Phoenix and prior to living here I traveled to Phoenix on business a lot, often in Summer.   Business doesn't stop just because the weather's HOT.

Summer in Phoenix isn't easy on the days where temps reach 110 degrees or more, you have to be more careful and limit time outdoors, especially in the middle of the day, and especially with pets!  Here are my tips for dealing with extreme Phoenix Summer heat:

Limit outdoor activities to sunrise hours or after sunset hours.  Don't plan to walk, hike, horseback ride or bike ride, but if you must do those things please do them only during these hours, especially with your pets!   Even a 30 minute walk in this kind of heat will take a toll on you and your dog.

Always have water with you and keep yourself and your pets hydrated.  Even when driving in the car have some water with you, we always do.  Never, ever leave your dog in the car!  Even left in a car for 5 minutes in this heat can seriously harm your dog, it will heat up dramatically, and lightening fast!

The weather in Phoenix is quite different than in Northern Arizona.  If you want to make a vacation out of your BlogPaws2016 trip to enjoy outdoor activities, head North to Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, or Sedona.  Even Sedona isn't very cool when it's 114 degrees in Phoenix, it will only be around 10-15 degrees cooler up there. However, early morning and evening hikes will be spectacular in Sedona and evenings cool down considerably.  Flagstaff is even cooler and the hiking is wonderful. It's easy to get to these places, just jump on I-17 and head North!  Flagstaff and Sedona are 2 to 3 hours from Phoenix and very dog friendly.  The Grand Canyon is about 4 hours from Phoenix and restricts where dogs can go around the canyon somewhat, but it's so breathtaking and so worth it!  Check out my Pet Travel tab on the blog Home page for travel posts that include Arizona.

Speaking of evenings, when the temperature hits 110+ it doesn't really "cool down" all that much in Phoenix, it's just less hot.  Yeah we have misters that cool the ambient temperature, but when it's this hot it can only help so much.  It will, however, frizz your hair up real good!

As for swimming in extreme Phoenix heat, the pool water feels like warm bathtub water.  It's not cold.  It will be cooler in the deep end of the pool, the water doesn't heat up as much where it's 8 or 10 feet deep.  Another weird thing about swimming in Phoenix is that you don't really cool off when you jump into the water, but due to the dryness of the air you feel the coolness when you get out of the water.  That was so odd to us when we spent our first Summer in Phoenix.  You jump into a pool to cool off, right??  Nope, you'll feel cooler when you get out!

OK, enough about the weather.  Let's talk about getting there.

If you fly with your pet, you'll find nice potty areas around Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, like the "Bone Yard".  Just look for the signs.  The airport is pretty dog friendly, although dogs must remain in their crates when inside.   Make sure you have the required health certificates for your airline!

If you fly your dog in cargo, be aware that the weather has to be acceptable on both ends of your trip for airlines to allow your pet to board.  It can't be above a certain temperature when you take off or land, so this can become an issue on the Phoenix side due to the heat. Contact your airline and make sure they'll allow your pet to travel in cargo that day and have a Plan B if they won't.  I'm not a fan of putting my dog in cargo, I just don't do it.  We either drive or I fly Phoebe in the cabin with me.  Read more about flying with pets in my Tips For Flying With Pets blog post.

This is how we like to roll!  It's a lot easier and more fun to road trip with Icy and Phoebe.  We've had such great adventures during our cross country road trips between Phoenix and New York.  I've compiled a few tips on hotels and rest stops.

Icy loves our road trips!  It's always a fun adventure
My preferred way to drive across the country is to stick close to the Interstates.  I-40 and I-80 are great roads to travel between Arizona and the East coast.  I-81 is good too if you're traveling the Northern route, and it ultimately leads to I-40 around Missouri.  Here are some really good hotels we've stayed at as well as our preferred rest stop areas.

Along the way, I like staying at places that are outside the major cities; they tend to be less expensive and nicer.  I look for hotels about 30 miles outside a major city.  You can do walk-ins when you're traveling, the hotels along Interstates are used to that.  However, it's easier to make reservations a day or more ahead, especially if traveling with pets.  Many hotels run out of pet friendly rooms!

Phoebe in the car, anticipating our next adventure!
Here are some of my favorite dog friendly hotels that we've stayed in across the country, starting with Sedona, Arizona. 

There are two places we love in Sedona, The Hilton and The Lodge at Sedona.  The Hilton is a larger hotel but really nice and very dog friendly.  It's at the Southern part of town.  The Lodge at Sedona is a beautiful B&B that is a bit pricey but great for a weekend.  They're super dog friendly and will even cook eggs for your dog and serve you all together on their lovely patio!  There's a La Quinta in Sedona too, but we haven't stayed there.

In New Mexico, we stay in Albuquerque, approx. 420 miles from Phoenix, at the Comfort Inn & Suites   It's approx. $65.55 per night at the AAA rate +  $25 pet fee, depending on the time of year.  Address is:  5811 Signal Ave. NE, Albuquerque, NM  87113  505-822-1090. 

The roads are so open and the speed limit hits 75 so you can make it from Albuquerque to Phoenix in one day pretty easily.

In Oklahoma we stay in Yukon, just West of Oklahoma City at the Comfort Suites.  It's approx. $90 per night plus $20 pet fee.  Address is : 11424 NW 4th Street, Yukon, OK 73099. 405-577-6500.  It's right off I-40 just outside Oklahoma City.  Exit 143 in the Yukon area has some good places to eat.  The GPS doesn't always work that well in the Oklahoma City/Yukon area, there's been construction for a long time there and it looks like GPS systems haven't caught up to that yet. 

Traveling between New Mexico and Oklahoma on I-40, you travel through the narrowest, most Northern part of Texas.  We stop in Amarillo, TX for lunch or a break.  There are two Starbucks in Amarillo, one at the West end of the town and the other at the East end of town.  We like the one at the West end, it's much nicer and has a dog friendly patio. 

Phoebe relaxing in bed at a really nice La Quinta hotel
There are lots of places to eat in Amarillo, fast food restaurants, a Crackle Barrel and more.  You might want to stop there because between Texas and New Mexico in the West, as well as between Texas and Oklahoma in the East, there's a whole lot of nothing but farmland and rest stops.  Amarillo is a perfect pit stop.
In Arkansas we stay in Conway, outside Little Rock at the La Quinta.  It's approx. $80 per night, no pet fee.  Address is: 2350 Sanders St. Conway, AR 72032.  800-753-3757.  It's a beautiful hotel, recently remodeled.   Conway is a lovely town.  There's a nice Starbucks about 32 miles West of Little Rock at 905 E. Oak St. in Conway.  (I-40 to 64 East to Oak St.)
In Tennessee we stay in Cookville, outside of NashvilleWe stay at the La Quinta Inn & Suites. It's approx. $89 per night, no pet fee.  Address is:  1131 S. Jefferson Ave.  Cookville, TN  38501.  931-520-3800.  This hotel is so nice, and recently remodeled.  Cookville is the nicest town!  The people are so friendly.
Alternatively, you can stay at Music City hotel in Nashville, where BlogPaws2015 was held!  It's more expensive, but it's such a nice hotel.  We would stay there again for sure.
In Virginia we stay in Harrisonburg at the Comfort Inn.  It's a bit pricier at $105 but there's no pet fee.   It's a great hotel with a wonderful pet walk on the property.  Address is: 1440 E. Market St.   Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (off I-81)  540-433-6066.  Several good rest stops in this area between exits 232 and 263.

Love's and Pilot gas stations are our two favorite gas/rest stops along I-40 and other interstates.  Most of them are really clean, nice, and have lots of beverages and snacks for purchase.  Many of them have grassy potty areas and food as well.  We cheer when  Love's or Pilot come into view on the highway!

Lovely patch of trees at the Oklahoma Welcome Center on I-40
The Oklahoma Welcome Center, at approx. exit 6 or 7, is a great rest stop with an enclosed dog run in it!  We love this rest stop and so do the dogs, it's our favorite rest stop on the entire trip.

Dog run at the Oklahoma Welcome Center on I-40
BEWARE: The first rest stop in Texas, right after the New Mexico border is Awful!  It's especially bad for pets, keep going for awhile and stop off at the next rest area.  It's dingy and the grass always has spindly things that dogs step on and get caught in their toes. 

There's a great Love's at exit 96, a few miles East of Amarillo.

You can read more detailed Tips On Road Tripping With Dogs, on my blog post.

I hope you find a few helpful gems in the post.  I wish I'd gotten it out sooner but you know, Shih Tzu happens!  Maybe it will be more helpful on the way home from the conference.

If you're attending BlogPaws2016, please leave a comment below!  I look forward to seeing many of you in Phoenix!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Extended Flea & Tick Protection In A Tasty Chew #12Bravecto

We love the great outdoors, and so do our dogs!  We like nothing better than taking our dogs on outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, or going to beach.  They love to run through bushes, swim in lakes & ponds, hunt for critters in tall grass, and roll around in wet sand by the ocean.

Now there's an easier way to protect your dog from fleas and ticks
Icy loves to lay in tall grasses but she's not alone in the grass, pesky fleas and ticks also love tall grass!
With all that time outdoors comes the threat of fleas and ticks, they’re unavoidable!  Whether your dogs have outdoor adventures far from home or right in your own backyard, flea prevention and tick control is important for their health and safety! 

This post is sponsored by BRAVECTO® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share information about BRAVECTO.  But we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Neither Intervet Inc., nor Merck & Co Inc., are responsible for the content of this article and have not written, reviewed, or edited it in any fashion. For more information about BRAVECTO please click here.  

It's important to make sure our dogs are protected from fleas and ticks year round.  Using a messy, oily topical treatment every month isn't very convenient.  It's no fun having to make the dog sit still while you clumsily apply it without getting it all over your hands, either!  There's got to be a better way to protect our dogs from fleas and ticks, right?  Now there is!

BRAVECTO is a tasty chew that provides up to 12 weeks of protection against fleas and ticks* 
BRAVECTO starts killing fleas within 2 hours and kills 100% of fleas in 12 hours!

BRAVECTO is FDA approved and is only available from your Veterinarian or Veterinary Clinic

BRAVECTO is easy and convenient to use.  Just 1 tasty chew provides up to 12 weeks of flea and tick protection*  That's nearly 3 times longer than monthly treatments!

There are a lot of flea and tick control products out there, but only BRAVECTO provides a tasty oral chew that lasts for up to 12 weeks!*  

* BRAVECTO  kills fleas, prevents flea infestations, and kills ticks (black-legged tick or "deer tick", American dog tick and brown dog tick) for 12 weeks.  It also kills lone star ticks for 8 weeks.

BRAVECTO  is only available by prescription.  Visit your Veterinarian so you can start extended flea and tick protection for your dog right away!

*** Follow this Veterinary Product link to Learn more about BRAVECTO (Fluralaner)

Extended Flea & Tick Protection for dogs in a tasty chew?  Yes, Please!
Icy loves to hike, and swim in the creek in Sedona, AZ.  So do pesky fleas & ticks!
I’m really excited about the extended flea and tick control  BRAVECTO chews provide!   I was happy to learn that BRAVECTO  is made by Merck, one of the largest and most trusted pharmaceutical companies in the world. 

Most of us know that Merck Pharmaceutical produces medications that improve the health and well being of people, but did you know that Merck is also a global leader in the research, development, and manufacturing of veterinary medicines?   
We all want to be diligent about the health of our pets, using products that are safe for them is vitally important.  It gives me peace of mind to know that BRAVECTO is made by Merck.  It's FDA approved (for dogs over 6 months) and Vet recommended.  I have confidence that BRAVECTO is not only effective, it's also safe to use on my dogs!
Extended Flea & Tick protection in a tasty chew that lasts up to 12 weeks!
Hiking is one of our favorite activities to do with our dogs.  Flea & tick protection is a must!
The fact that BRAVECTO comes in a tasty chew, is fast acting, and only needs to be administered every 3 months is a huge convenience.  Compared to a messy topical treatment that needs to be applied every month, I think it’s a big improvement in controlling fleas and ticks!
If you're wondering "How can I get rid of fleas?", ask your Veterinarian about BRAVECTO, the tasty chew that offers up to 12 week protection against fleas and ticks.  Or, click here to locate a Veterinarian that can provide BRAVECTO.

Sign Up for My Pet Rewards and SAVE money while protecting your dog from fleas and ticks.  Register for Savings here.

The most common adverse reactions recorded in clinical trials of BRAVECTO  were vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, polydipsia, and flatulence.  BRAVECTO  has not been shown to be effective for 12 weeks' duration in puppies less than 6 months of age.   BRAVECTO  is not effective against lone star ticks beyond 8 weeks after dosing.

Connect with BRAVECTO  on Facebook and Twitter:

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published. However, it remains the responsibility of the readers to familiarize themselves with the product information contained on the USA product label or package. More product information is available here

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pet Safety At The Beach

On a warm and sunny Summer day, what's more fun than a day at the beach with your dog? 

Beach Safety tips for pets
A beautiful day at the Montauk Lighthouse beach, but Watch Out! there could be dangerous breakers ahead!
Dogs love to frolic along the seashore with their faithful humans at their side.  Along with all the exciting stuff to discover along the shore are dangers to watch out for!

During a beautiful romp along the dog friendly beach at the Montauk Lighthouse, we discovered one such shoreline danger.  FISHING HOOKS!!

Keep your pets safe at the beach
My husband and my dog found a dangerous stray length of fishing line with a two pronged hook and weight attached
As my husband and my Husky, Icy, romped along the shore they discovered this length of fishing line.  Attached to the fishing line was a two pronged hook and a weight. YIKES!!  If Icy had spotted it first, it might have been tragic.

Stray fishing line & hooks are a danger to pets at the beach
This two pronged fishing hook had a wad of kelp stuck to it
In many beach communities, boating and fishing are favorite pastimes.  Fishermen often have to cut their fishing lines when they get snagged on something.  If they don't retrieve those cut lines and hooks, they frequently end up getting washed up on the shore.  This creates a danger to both people and pets.  Imagine a fishing hook getting lodged in your dog's mouth - OUCH!!  Your wonderful beach day will end up with an emergency Vet visit.

Next time you take your dog out for a fun day at the beach, be on the lookout for stray fishing lines and hooks!

Check out these important Pet Beach Safety Tips as well!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Road Trippin' With Pets

I've been helping Mom plan some exciting Summer road trips.
Road Tripping With Pets!
It's exhausting work!!
I also helped Mom put together these Tips for a Successful Road Trip With Dogs and these tips if you're Flying With Pets by Air.

How about you, are you planning any travel with your pets this Summer?  Leave a comment & tell us about it!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Knick Knack Paddy Whack, Why I Won't Give My Dog A Bone


We often hear how dangerous rawhide can be for dogs.  If the dog swallows a sizable piece of rawhide it can get stuck in their esophagus, intestines, or elsewhere along their digestive tract.  There is also the potential for bacterial contamination due to the processing of many rawhide products.

My dogs love rawhide and cooked bones, but both of these can pose a danger to them
Icy and Phoebe are eagerly anticipating the leftovers from our steak dinner
Likewise, we're told not to give our dogs cooked steak bones or chicken bones.  Cooked bones are more brittle, increasing the risk of the bones splintering or getting stuck in their esophagus, windpipe, intestines, or stomach.  Dogs can choke on these bones if they swallow a large piece.  Pieces of the bone can potentially splinter inside the dogs body and puncture holes along their intestine or in their stomach.  

I've often given my dogs leftover bones on the rare occasions we have steak for dinner.  I monitor them closely and take the bones away after they've picked them clean of meat.  I thought that was okay.  I thought I was being cautious enough.  That is, until a very scary incident occurred one night after one of our steak dinners.

Cooked bones pose a threat to dogs.  They can get stuck or splinter and cause punctures.
Cooked bones can pose a danger to dogs.  They can splinter or get stuck in their throat or along the intestinal tract.
We had given Icy and Phoebe our leftover prime rib dinner bones.  They were in doggie heaven as they chewed & chomped away on their bones, picking them clean of all traces of meat.  I kept a close eye on them and took the bones away after the meat was picked clean. 

Later that night I heard Icy gagging and she threw up.  Upon close inspection, I found that she had regurgitated the small piece of bone pictured here.  My heart stopped for a second.  What if she had choked on that piece of bone?  What if that piece of bone got stuck in her intestine and caused a puncture?? 

I was shocked, I thought I was monitoring them so closely.  Apparently not.  I'm grateful Icy threw that jagged piece of bone up, rather than have it get stuck in somewhere in her body.  That could have been tragic.

So that's why,  Knick Knack Paddy Whack, I'll never give my dogs a cooked bone again!  And neither should you - learn from my mistake.