Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stop Fleas In Their Tracks With BRAVECTO #12Bravecto

Few things strike fear in the hearts of pet owners like discovering a Flea Infestation in their home!  Spotting a few fleas on your dog is just the tip of the iceberg.  It usually means there are many more hiding under your dog's fur, and quite possibly in your carpet, pet bedding or furniture.  Fast acting, effective flea prevention is essential to protect your home from a full blown flea infestation.


A few fleas visible on your dog is the tip of the iceberg, there are probably many more hiding in your dog's fur or in your carpet. #12Bravecto @MerckAH  #ad MORE INFO: https://goo.gl/I4K3Xf
Finding a few fleas on your dog usually means there are many more hiding deep in his fur!
There are 4 stages in the Flea Lifecycle: EGG, LARVA, PUPA, and ADULT

A Flea population consist of about 50% eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupae, and 5% adults.  By the time you see fleas on your pet they are already in their most advanced stage of life.   Many more eggs, larvae, and pupae will soon become adult fleas.  This viscous cycle will continue unless you break it with fast acting, effective flea control!

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.   

BRAVECTO® kills fleas and prevents flea infestations.  It starts killing fleas within 2 hours and kills 100% of fleas in 12 hours. 

BRAVECTO provides continuous flea and tick control for 12 weeks* with just 1 tasty chew! 

Dogs love the great outdoors, but so do FLEAS and TICKS! Fight back with BRAVECTO.  #12Bravecto @MerckAH #ad MORE INFO: https://goo.gl/I4K3Xf
Your dog loves the great outdoors, but so do FLEAS and TICKS!
If you consider the 4 stages in the Flea Lifecycle, you can see how easy it is for a flea infestation to occur without proper flea prevention and control.

Stage 1: EGG
The adult female flea lays eggs after having a blood meal from a mammal such as your dog.  Blood is necessary for the adult flea to reproduce.  The eggs are tiny white particles, laid in the dog’s fur in batches of 20 or more eggs.  An adult flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day.

As your pet moves around, eggs drop off and are distributed around the environment.  This is how fleas end up being present not just on your dog but in bedding, carpet, and furniture.

The eggs will hatch in anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks, depending on the temperature.  The warmer it is the faster they'll hatch!

 Stage 2: LARVA
Once the eggs hatch they are in the Larva stage of their lifecycle.    Larvae are approximately 1/8 inch long, white and do not have legs.  They are also blind. 

Larvae feed on the pre-digested dried blood and other organic material passed by adult fleas.  You can sometimes see these tiny black specs (flea poop) on your pet’s fur, commonly known as “flea dirt".

Stage 3: PUPA
At one to three weeks of age the Larvae will pupate, creating silky cocoons leading to the next lifecycle stage, the Pupa stage.  The Pupae remain ensconced and protected in their cocoons, waiting until they sense that a viable host is near before the adult flea will emerge.  They “sense” a host through vibrations, heat, and carbon dioxide  
 
The sticky Cocoons may be buried deep in carpeting, bedding, or in your pet’s fur while they wait to emerge to wreak havoc on your household!

Stage 4: ADULT
Once the adult flea emerges from it's cocoon it must begin feeding very quickly.  Once it feeds, the adults flea will mate and females will begin laying eggs right away.  Adult fleas typically live anywhere from a few weeks to several months and will spend most of their time feeding off your pet's blood and reproducing.

> If you see 10 fleas on your dog, there may likely be 40 or more hiding! 

> With 40 fleas there are probably approximately 80 pupae (cocoons), 280 larvae, and 400 flea eggs hiding in carpet, bedding and furniture!  

That's a LOT of potential adult fleas just waiting for their turn to snack on your dog!

As you can see, the flea lifecycle continues to repeat and can quickly get out of control unless you STOP it with adequate flea prevention and control.  It's important to continue flea prevention and control regularly throughout the year, never missing a dose, to keep fleas under control.

Enjoy the great outdoors, but protect your dog against FLEAS and TICKS with BRAVECTO.  #12Bravecto @MerckAH #ad MORE INFO: https://goo.gl/I4K3Xf
Enjoy the great outdoors, but protect your dog against FLEAS and TICKS with BRAVECTO 
There are a lot of flea and tick control products out there, but only BRAVECTO provides a tasty chew that lasts for up to 12 weeks!*  

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

Take your dog to your Veterinarian and ask for BRAVECTO so you can start extended protection against fleas and ticks now!


Prevent FLEA infestations and control TICKS w/ BRAVECTO.  with BRAVECTO.  #12Bravecto @MerckAH #ad MORE INFO: https://goo.gl/I4K3Xf
Don't let FLEAS and TICKS spoil your outdoor fun!
>>> Follow this Veterinary Product link to Learn more about BRAVECTO (Fluralaner)

* 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.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
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:

Read my earlier post on how BRAVECTO offers extended protection against TICKS as well as FLEAS in one tasty chew!

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: https://intervetus.naccvp.com/product/view/1047512?e=d97b22ed63e734e84c1a5910a9c8f531z1688


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dog Treats: Frozen Pineapple Yogurt Jerky Puppsicles

When the weather is hot, everyone likes a tasty frozen treat.  Dogs are no different, they love a cool refreshing dog treat too!  I made these delicious frozen Pineapple Yogurt Jerky Puppsicles for Icy and Phoebe.


As you can see from the photos, my Puppsicles were a barking mad success with Icy and Phoebe!

Yum!  Icy loves the taste of pineapple and yogurt.  The jerky stick was an extra  tasty surprise at the end!

Like a tiny shark, Phoebe came up & grabbed the entire Puppsicle in her little mouth!
These puppsicles are super easy and fast to make, you only need 3 ingredients!  Here's all you need:

** Canned pineapple chunks preferably in 100% juice.  For one ice cube tray I used half of an 8oz can
** 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.  I use organic yogurt
** Jerky Sticks.  I used Hill's Flexi-Stix Jerky with Real Turkey for this recipe

** You'll also need an ice cube tray and a blender or mixer.

Here's all you need to make delicious frozen Pineapple Yogurt Jerky dog treats!
> Combine the pineapple chunks and about a tablespoon of the juice with the yogurt in a blender (or bowl if you're using a mixer) 



> Blend together on Chop or Pulse. 

> Once combined, pour the mixture into ice cube trays.  Then place a jerky stick in the middle of each tray so it functions as a popsicle stick.  You can break the sticks into various sizes if you want longer or shorter sticks for your Puppsicles. 



Note: If the jerky sticks fall over when you place them in the trays, you can break them into smaller sizes OR you can place the tray into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to stiffen up the mixture and then try placing the sticks in the trays again. 

> Freeze for several hours and voila!  Delicious Pineapple Yogurt Jerky  Puppsicles!




These delicious dog treats were a huge hit with Icy and Phoebe!

Note: Always consult your Veterinarian before introducing  new foods to your pet.

Do you make frozen treats for your pets?  Leave us a comment & tell us about it, we always want to hear from you!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Black and White Sunday Blog Hop

HAPPY SUNDAY!!  During our morning walk the other day I saw this adorable flower pot on a neighbor's porch.  I had to photograph it!



I like this porcelain planter so much I think I'll post it in color on my next Wordless Wednesday blog post!  It's really colorful and pretty.  What do you think about that, Phoebe?  Phoebe??





JOIN US ON THE BLACK AND WHITE SUNDAY BLOG HOP!!



Friday, July 8, 2016

Blogging Tips & Hacks From Expert Bloggers

Whew!  The BlogPaws blogger's conference in Phoenix was a whirlwind of activity!  This was my third conference, and I was just as excited and delighted as I was the first time.  

I wanted to share some of the great information I came away with for those who were unable to attend the BlogPaws conference.  While I can't offer you a total brain dump, I've boiled it down to a few of the tips that resonated most with me from each of the sessions I attended.  I hope you'll find these as helpful as I did!

Bernard Lima-Chavez from DogandHisBoy.com, Kimberly Gauthier from KeepTheTailWagging.com, and Cathy Bennett from GroovyGoldendoodles.com during the Purina Yappy Hour!
Carole Bryant of Fidose of Reality and Maggie Marton of Oh My Dog Blog spoke about Social Media and how to Grow Your Blog

One of the first insights Carol and Maggie shared is that "It's more important that you have an engaged audience than a high number of followers". 
It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers and lose sight of how engaged your audience is.  Good advice!

When you promote a blog post, spread out your shares over 1 to 3 weeks vs. bombarding all your channels with the same message all at once. 
This makes total sense, I hate seeing the exact same message across one person's many channels on the same day!  Don't you?

They also advised to "Schedule your shares out, but respond to readers in real time". 
I don't know about you, but responding quickly to my readers is something I need to work on!

Louie, the Jones Natural Chews Frenchie says "These gals are brilliant!"
They suggested that bloggers "Attach your latest blog post in your email signature".  They also suggested we "Work your email list and send your key posts to subscribers (don't bombard them with all of your posts, be selective)"
Great ideas!

I was happy to hear them say it was ok to "Update older posts and photos, but keep the URL and title the same, and promote these posts".
I always felt like once my posts were out there, they were done, no take-backs!  After hearing that I went into an older post added an Update and a new photo.  Then I tweeted it out a few times over the weekend, as it was relevant to pets getting lost over 4th of July weekend.

Some great advice was to "Reference (by tagging and mentioning) people whose radar you want to be on".
I love this tip, in fact I have something in mind I'll be trying out very soon.  I'll blog about the result, so stay tuned!

Another good tip:  "Don't use the same photos on every channel, use different photos for different channels".
Sometimes it's hard to get enough of a good collection of photos for a blog post and social shares, but no one wants to see the same photo all over the place.

Group photo at the BlogPaws pet blogger's conference

Lea Ann Germinder gave the Shout About It! presentation on Publicity, Marketing & PR Books, Blogs & Causes

Lea Ann suggested that we "Include a video or pictures on all your pitches for blog posts, books, etc."
That's a great idea, and one I took to heart when I contacted a brand following the BlogPaws conference.  I added a photo of my beautiful Husky in my pitch to them, something I normally don't do.  They responded, right away, that they would like to work with me on a campaign for their products!  Hmmm.....

Lea Ann talked about LinkedIn, something many bloggers don't pay a whole lot of attention to.  She pointed out that "Executive decision makers use LinkedIn as their social media".  She advised bloggers to use LinkedIn to search for decision makers and connect with them.
I will add that bit of advice to my repertoire for sure!

Tenacious Little Terrier's  Mr. N  poses for adoring fans during a conference Yappy Hour!
Interestingly, she pointed out that Snapchat's demographic is 16 - 24 yr. olds and LinkedIn's demographic is 35 - 44 yr olds.
If you're looking to target Millennials, you might want to add Snapchat as a social media channel, or at least put it on your radar.

Lea Ann also said that "Instagram is great for the pet world", and that "Even the Westminster dog show is on Instagram!"
I definitely plan to spend more time growing my Instagram account!

Another important thing she stressed was the importance of mixing up pet hashtags with non-pet hashtags
That's a really good point.  I blog a lot about pet travel, so I'll start incorporating more general travel hashtags, not just #pets or #pettravel.  I'll also start looking for more parenting hashtags, as parents are the decision makers in the purchase of pet products and family vacation planning.

The adorable Pierre of Barking From The Bayou takes a break among all the conference excitement!

Bernard Lima-Chavez of Dog and His Boy & Amanda Yantos of Dog Mom Days  talked about blogging From Starting Out to Cashing Out!

I knew I'd pick up a lot of great information from Bernard and Amanda.  These are two bloggers who have come very far in a relatively short period of time in the blogging world.

A great tip from Bernard and Amanda was to "Identify blog posts that bring a lot of traffic to your site and write more posts that are similar"
This is a great strategy.  Link these posts together for an even greater impact.

Bernard advised us to "Watermark all your photos and never use stock photos in a sponsored post!"
Fortunately, I don't use stock photos, at least I haven't  had to yet!  I'll keep this advice in mind though.  Brands are looking not only for your audience, but for your authentic voice and your pets in their sponsored posts.

One of my favorite happy, smiling photos of my Husky, Icy.
Another tip was to "Show happy pets in sponsored posts, don't use dark or dreary photos, unattractive staging or scared pets.   Be sure to show the product and product packaging in your post."
It's not always easy to get my dogs to "smile", especially Phoebe, she's kind of a serious girl where treats are involved!  I once read an article that suggested a short play session or walk with your dog just before a photo session.  They'll usually pant afterwards, which makes them look like a "smiling, happy dog".

Always on the Best Dressed list, Coco of Coco, the Couture Cat gives us all a lesson on how to Rock the red carpet!
Amanda shared that "For an easy, inexpensive photo background, she uses colorful or holiday fabrics from the craft store".
In this photo I used a large patriotic bandana as a backdrop for a photo with Phoebe and it worked well.  I am so running to the craft store for fabric remnants to use as backdrops for my photos!



OK, this next one really hit home for me.  If you haven't experienced it yet, you will as your blog grows.  Many of us are often asked to write for a brand's publication, such as a newsletter or magazine without any compensation.

There may be times when doing so is worth writing a free post.  To help you decide, they suggested we "Ask the brand how they will share what you've written and ask them for the stats on How they will share, How many times will they share it and on What channels?  Find out more about their audience as well; the number of followers and their demographics."
I've come up against this dilemma several times with the promise of "exposure" vs. compensation it I write for a publication or brand.  I've chosen not to write for free because I feel like I'd be sharing the content I write for them more than they will, and they'll end up benefitting from traffic I bring to them.  

There are some publications that request frequent original content from bloggers for no compensation at all.  I normally decline such invitations, however this is a great way of looking at it!  I'll ask these suggested questions next time the situation presents itself.  If they can't provide me with solid numbers, in writing, I will pass, but who knows?  I just might find a viable opportunity!

I have more tips and hacks to share with you from the conference, but I'm going to stop at this point.  It's a lot of great advice to digest!  Visit  us again next week when I'll be back with Part 2 of the BlogPaws conference blogging tips and hacks that resonated most with me.  I hope you've enjoyed reading this and found some helpful tips to grown your own blog!

Thank you to all the great BlogPaws Conference speakers - you all ROCKED the conference!!

BlogPaws conferences serve up a smorgasbord of Networking and Learning!


I've already purchased my BlogPaws conference ticket for next year, have you?  I hope to see all of you next May in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for BlogPaws2017!

Visit my Pinterest board FOR BLOGGERS for lots more helpful tips and advice for bloggers.  I've compiled some great information from social media and blogging experts!  Let's follow each other on Pinterest.

JOIN US ON THE PET PARADE BLOG HOP!!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dogs Can't Wait To Get Their Paws on THIS stuff

Icy and Phoebe couldn't wait to get their paws on my BlogPaws conference Swag Bag!  Thanks to all the generous BlogPaws sponsors who gave us all these wonderful pet products to try out!

My dogs anxiously wait to sample goodies from my #BlogPaws swag bag
These goodies look lip smackin' good!


Swag from the #BlogPaws pet blogger's conference!
As usual Icy's got her snout buried deep in the treat basket!
Whenever you're ready mama, I'll be sittin' right here real patient!

I see a few of these goodies have gotten your attention, Icy!
I finally had to let them sample some of the goods.  Happy Pups!!


Stay tuned!  Later this week, I'll be sharing some of the blogger tips and hacks from the BlogPaws blogger's conference that resonated most with me, as I work to grow & develop my blog.  I think you're gonna love these Pearls of Wisdom for bloggers!

JOIN US ON THE BLOGPAWS WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!
 
 



Friday, July 1, 2016

July 4th Strikes Terror in Many Pets, Here's What To Do!

4th of July weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for animal shelters.  Many pets act unpredictably out of fear.  That's one reason why an enormous number of pets get lost over July 4th weekend and shelters fill up

Nooooo Fireworks, please!
Virtually nothing bothers little Phoebe.  Icy on the other hand, is terrified of thunder and fireworks!  July 4th is just days away.  If your dog is anything like Icy, you're already creating a plan of action to avoid your dog going Bonkers over the fireworks.  K9 of Mine wants to help! 

Here's a wonderful Info-Graphic the folks at K9 Of Mine sent me to share with all of you. Download it, Print it out & tape it to the fridge, Pin it, Tweet it, and Share it with other parents of dogs in the I HATE FIREWORKS club!


THANKS TO K9 OF MINE FOR THIS WONDERFUL PET SAFETY INFO GRAPHIC!


Poor Icy, she's a total train wreck during fireworks.  Me?  Yawn!
If your pet, or the pet of someone you know gets lost over 4th of July weekend, follow these tips to Act Now and Get Them Back Home!

Are your pets afraid of Fireworks?  How will you keep them safe over 4th of July weekend?  Leave us a comment and share!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Lazy Dog's Club

I had a lot of work to do today, but I decided to blow it off and just relax in the yard.  Ever have one of those days?


HAPPY WORDLESS WEDNESDAY!
FOURTH of JULY is this weekend!  It's picnic and BBQ time for most, but it's also one of the busiest times of year at animal shelters, because Shelters Fill Up Over 4th of July weekend.  Please keep Pet Safety top of mind this weekend!

SO many pets get lost over July 4th weekend!  If your pet gets lost, follow these tips to Act Now and Get Them Back Home!

JOIN US ON THE WORDLESS WEDNESDAY BLOG HOP!!