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Review of Our Newest Dog Backpacks

Author: MayaAndPierson
July 29, 2014

When you travel with your best friend, you go places, right? If nature trails are one of your favorite destinations, we’ve got a great selection of dog backpacks. There is the Kurgo Wander Pack, the Guardian Gear camouflage pack, and the Outward Hound Excursion packs. Our dog Maya has used Kurgo brand and both Maya and Pierson have recently been able to try out the Outward Hound brand. Here’s what we thought of these great products:

Kurgo Wander Back Pack for Dogs

Maya sometimes wears her Kurgo Wander back pack for dogs when she goes hiking.

Kurgo Wander Backpack for Dogs

This backpack for dogs is a one-size-fits-all. Well, it doesn’t quite fit all sizes. It is really meant for medium and large dogs, but not necessarily small ones or really big ones. As you can see in the above photo, the Kurgo Wander Pack fits my Labrador Retriever Maya very well. I love Kurgo brand products because they are very well made. In fact, they have a lifetime warranty and a great repair and replacement policy. If Maya were to tear her backpack or get it too dirty to clean, I can send it to Kurgo and pay just $10.00 to get it repaired or replaced. This option does not expire.

Pierson in Dog Backpack from Outward Hound

Pierson just got this new backpack and has had a chance to use it once.

Outward Hound Excursion Dog Packs

Outward Hound makes a lot of inexpensive pet travel and outdoor products. They are actually fairly well made for the price. The Excursion backpacks for dogs comes in multiple sizes. This way, even smaller and very big dogs can wear them. I love how they have inner pockets inside the packs. It helps keep some items separate. For example, I can put my keys in one smaller pocket and not worry about Maya’s slobbery dog toy getting it sticky!

Camouflage Dog Backpack on Retriever

Guardian Gear Camouflage Pack

Maya and Pierson haven’t tried this one on yet, but it looks like it has the same quality as the Outward Hound. It seems to have more space in the pouches too. This is great for bigger hardcore hiking dogs! The only issue with this camouflage dog backpack is that we only have it in one size – medium – and only in limited quantities. So get one today before they run out!

Maya and Pierson have only had a little opportunity to use their newest packs. We just moved to Des Moines and have not yet discovered all the hiking places. But we will be looking around and doing a lot of walking this summer. What about you? What are some great hiking places you like to take your dog?

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The Best Summer Dog Gear

Author: MayaAndPierson
July 22, 2014

Pierson in Dog Backpack from Outward Hound

Even though spring was late in coming this year, there is still time to enjoy the outdoors with your best friend. Bond while boating, have a happy time while hiking, and enjoy a romp at the river. When you go, don’t forget these great pet travel supplies and outdoor dog gear:

Maya Go-Tech Pet Seat Belts

-Dog Car Harness – When you go somewhere with your dog, make sure his trip is safe. If your dog won’t wear a pet seat belt, consider a pet travel crate.

Dog Pierson Collapsible Dog Bowl

-Water and a Pet Travel Bowl

-Walking Harness – The Kurgo Go-Tech Maya is wearing above works as both a car safety belt and a walking harness. It is perfect for the car and for an outdoor hike.


-Dog Toys

-Backpack for Dogs – Your dog can carry his own water, pet travel bowl, and toys with his very own dog pack, just like Pierson is doing in the top photo.

Dougie's Dog Life Jacket

-Dog Life Jacket – This is great for dogs that like to go swimming. Rip tides, fast water, and waves can be unexpectedly sweep your dog away or under. Make sure he stays afloat with a life vest. And a pet life jacket should definitely be worn when your dog is on a boat, just like our pal Dougie from the UK.

Cooling Dog Collar - Pink

Pet Cooling Products – Consider a cooling collar or cooling pet mat if your dog is going to be outdoors for a long period. Make sure he can get shade as well.

Maya and Dog First Aid Kit

-Pet First Aid Kit – Never go anywhere without a first aid kit for both you and your family as well as your dog. The Kurgo first aid kit can fit right in your glove box. It includes a first aid guide in order to help with various situations such as heat stroke, animal bites, and CPR instructions. We also have very comprehensive pet first aid kits.

Be proactive in the safety of all your family members, including the furry ones. And have a fantastic summer!

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January 20, 2014

Wag N Go Bag

I am super-excited about a new product coming out called the Wag N Go. It is a dog travel kit designed by one of our favorite dog blogging friends in the UK, Trina (blogger) came up with the idea when she was visiting New York with her adorable Beagle, Maggie. It started out as just an idea, but with a lot of research and work, it grew into a real and useful product for people who like to travel with their dogs.

I haven’t had a chance to see this Wag N Go product in person yet, but it looks spectacular. Just look at all the stuff that comes with it – a pop-out water bowl, a snuggly blanket, and two air tight food storage bowls. And the best part is all of this stuff can be carried in one handy case.

Wag N Go Bag Contents

I can imagine how easy it would be for me to take this with me when I take Maya to the dog park. See, our dog park is pretty big. It is not fenced and it has a ton of trails for Maya and I to explore. The Wag N Go would be great for taking along some water for Maya and perhaps even a snack. And when we get to the water front where Maya could spend all day, I can just pull out the blanket and take a break. I could also use the blanket to dry Maya off so that she doesn’t track dirt into mud as we hike our way back to the car.

The Wag N Go is not available for sale yet. When it does become available, not only do I want one for myself but I also want to make them available on our retail site. (Can you believe we don’t currently have a dog travel kit available? We have several other types of pet travel supplies, but no carrying case.)

When will the Wag N Go be ready to buy, you ask? Sometime around March 2014. But not until the product project has enough funding. It is currently running in a Kickstarter campaign and needs a total of £7,000 to get started. As of January 20th, it has a little over £1,000 and needs your help. By funding this product, not only will you be helping Trina, an innovative entrepreneur, get her first product idea off the ground, but you will also get a little something in return. What it is you receive will depend on how much you contribute.

You can contribute as little as £1 in return for product updates. £14 will get you a treat bag. Other gifts include a doggie gift box, a Wag N Go bag, the entire Wag N Go kit, and more. Visit the Kickstarter page to find out more details. And for those of you in the US like me, you can contribute in US dollars as well. Just don’t forget the conversion rate. And don’t forget that there may be a little extra fee for shipping your item from the UK to the US.

Please, go visit the Wag N Go Kickstarter campaign and lend Trina a helping paw!

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September 11, 2013

Paw Print Dog Seat Covers

Pet Car Seat Covers to Protect Your Car from Your Dog

No, seat covers don’t protect your dog but they can help protect your car. Do you have a dog that drools? Do you want to take your dog for a swim at the lake but hate the idea of wet muddy paws all over your seat cushions? Is your dog a big shedder? Do not despair! Adorable paw print dog seat covers are here.

The Black, Gray, Brown, or Tan Dog Seat Covers Are Embroidered with Paw Prints

Paw print pet car seat covers come in more cool colors than ever – black, charcoal gray, brown, and tan. Bench or single seat covers are also available. (We don’t have the tan ones on our site yet, though.) The best part about these covers is that they have embroidered paw prints on them. The paw prints are stitched on, not ironed on or painted on. Stitched.

Soft & Machine Washable
The material on these covers is so soft. They are slightly padded to add to the comfort of the velvety material. They are machine washable, but you would need to lay flat to dry. I made the mistake of putting the brown paw print one Sephi and Maya had in the dryer. It didn’t ruin it for use, but the cover didn’t look as good anymore.

Fits Most Seats
These dog seat covers will fit the seats of most standard sized vehicles. For the bench seats, there are four corner straps and several clips that can be used to fit the cover to the car. For the bucket seats, there are two corner straps on the bottom and one strap to go around the head rest at the top. There are also a few clips to help with securing the cover in place.

Lifetime Guarantee!
Guardian Gear is the brand of these dog seat covers. And now Guardian Gear offers a lifetime guarantee on their seat covers! This means they are built to last. But if they break at any time during normal use, you can get a replacement at no charge.

My favorite color is the charcoal. It’s perfect for Maya and Pierson. You can’t see Pierson’s hair much on this color. You can still see Maya’s blond hair, but not as much as you would see it on the black or the brown! Which color is your favorite?

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July 10, 2013

When we purchased some Outward Hound products (a Kyjen company) for Pet Auto and for our new site eDogLifeJacket (coming soon), I also ordered an extra item for Maya and Pierson. That was the Invincible Gecko (from Kyjen), which I read about on Gizmo’s Terrier Torrent blog.

Dog Maya Invincibles Gecko Toy

You can’t hear it, but Maya is squeaking away at her dog toy!

Pierson Kyjen Invincibles Gecko Dog Toy

Pierson is squeaking away at his new Kyjen dog toy too.

Invincibles Gecko Dog Toy and Maya

Maya gets into all sorts of wierd positions when she plays with her dog toys.

Maya is a chewer so I’m always excited about trying out dog toys that say they are invincible. I must say, this gecko dog toy is holding up very well. Not only has she not torn it to bits, but the squeaker still works too. Oftentimes, when squeakers in dog toys get a hole punctured in it from sharp doggy teeth, it stops working. But not this squeaker! Both the toy and its stuffings are invincible!!!

We didn’t buy any invincible gecko’s for resale on our Pet Auto website. But you can get them on Amazon. Stop by our Amazon a-store for yours.

To check out a video I did of me drawing Mos the dog, visit my blog. Also, for more great Wordless Wednesday pet photos, check out the blog hop below:

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March 23, 2013
A Dog Gate in the Volvo XC70

The pet barrier of the Volvo XC70 can include a steel cargo compartment separator so that your dog can’t jump out when the tailgate is open.

We recently read a blog post on Fidose of about the top ten pet safe vehicles, which they got from a 2009 report from Some of the pet safe features included climate control in the back area, side curtain airbags, anchor points so you can secure your pet or pet’s carrier, custom-installed crash-tested pet barriers, and so on. (Most of these features sound great but a few made little sense in regards to ‘pet safety’, such as extra storage compartments for your pet’s things and extra cargo space in the back for large dogs.) Check out these articles and read more details about the features of the top ten pet safe vehicles. Whether or not these really are the best are really dependent on your needs. If you are looking to buy a new (or used) vehicle, consider how important the following features are:

Custom-Installed Crash Tested Pet Barrier
This is, by far, my favorite feature. Most of the pet barriers we sell are strong and designed to stay in place, but they stay in place with pressure mounts while the pet barrier in the Volvo XC70 is bolted in. Plus it has been crash tested along with the vehicle itself!

The Volvo XC70 with a Pet Barrier Installed

This dog rides in the cargo area of the Volvo XC70 where the pet barrier is bolted in for superior security.

Metal Anchor Points in the Cargo Area of an SUV
This one is very important to me since my dogs wear seat belts. After looking at a few SUVs I was really surprised that most did not have any anchor points or cargo rings. And most of those few that did were plastic, not metal. One salesman tried to tell me that the plastic cargo ring was really strong. Strong enough to hold a 70lb dog in a car accident? I think not. Without metal cargo rings, I have to find a way to connect my dogs’ seat belt tethers to the seat belt housing from the back cargo area.

Climate Control in the Back Area of the Car or SUV
This is another fantastic feature. I remember renting an SUV for a trip with our dogs once and the a/c froze us in the front while the dogs in the back were very warm. This is one reason our retail website will soon be selling pet cooling pads. It is a temporary solution until one can buy a vehicle that has decent climate control in the back area of the car or SUV.

Curtain Side Airbags
The front passenger side airbags are not safe for dogs, but curtain side airbags might be helpful in a car accident.

Plenty of Room for Large Dogs or Large Dog Crates
This feature is not as important if you have small dogs. But if you have big dogs like me, space is definitely important. And if I decide to have my dogs ride in a secured pet crate rather than wear seat belts, I will need even more room. Big dogs need bigger dog crates.

Rearview Camera so You Can Make Sure You Don’t Hit Your Dog When Backing Up
This is one of the features mentioned in the top 10. However, I just don’t see the importance for pet safety. I see the benefit. I don’t want to back up and hit an animal or a person. But I live in the suburbs so neither my dogs nor my neighbor’s dogs are out running around. Safety issue in general – yes; specifically as a pet safety issue – not really.

Privacy Glass to Help Limit Extreme Temperatures in the Vehicle
This can be helpful for long road trips, especially if your vehicle doesn’t have climate control in the back. But for everyday driving, it is probably not a big deal for pet safety. For one, I don’t want anyone to think that just because the windows are tinted that you can leave the dog unattended in the car. It will still get hot in your car in warm weather no matter how dark your windows are tinted. I, personally, see tinted windows more as a deterrent against thieves than as a pet safety benefit.

Disable Passenger Side Airbags
If you have a small dog that you want to ride in the front seat with you, you want to make sure the passenger side airbags are not going to go off in a car accident if your dog is sitting there. Front passenger side airbags are not safe for dogs. Find out if the vehicle you are going to purchase is designed so that the airbags only go off if there is a certain amount of weight in the seat, or if the airbags can be disabled.

These are the major features I saw in the top ten list of pet safe vehicles. Aesthetic things you might also want to consider are the interior and whether there is enough storage space for your dog’s things. Are there any other features you can think of for pet safe vehicles?

(Above images courtesy of

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February 22, 2013

Maya wearing the Kumfy Koatz

As an appreciation for our running of the Super Dog Sunday to benefit the Petfinder Foundation, Maya was given a Kumfy Koatz to try and review. Kumfy Koatz is a dog harness that has an ice or heat pack insert so that you dog can maintain optimum body temperatures in extreme weather. What does this mean? It means your dog can play in the snow longer when the insert is heated or your dog can play in the summer sun longer when the insert is frozen.

We found this product especially interesting for pet car travel. We never recommend you leave your dog in the car so we thought the product would be better for a road trip. For example, let’s say the a/c in your car doesn’t get to the back cargo area as well as it gets to those passengers riding in the front. If your road trip is in summer, perhaps the Kumfy Koatz can help keep your pet cool without the other passengers being blasted with ice cold air. The same logic can be applied to winter travel. Please note, however, that the heating or cooling will only be effective for about an hour.

But using the Kumfy Koatz for car travel is not the only use. My dog Maya got to try hers outside in the snow. Some of these photos are from the snow we had a week or two ago where we only had one inch. And some of these photos are from our huge snow storm yesterday. We got nearly a foot of fluffy white snow!

Maya in her Kumfy Koatz Maya in her Kumfy Koatz and Pierson Maya Playing in the Snow Wearing Kumfy Koatz Maya playing in the snow while wearing Kumfy Koatz My Labrador wearing Kumfy Koatz Maya wearing Kumfy Koatz

Maya is a Labrador and Labradors tend to have thick skin which helps keep them warm in cool weather so Maya seldom ever gets cold, especially since she is mostly an indoor dog in winter. For Maya, this product would be more beneficial to use in hot weather. While she is still mostly an indoor dog, she loves to play outdoors and will play and play no matter how hot or tired she gets. With the Kumfy Koatz dog harness, Maya will be able to hang out at the dog park for a much longer period.

Every dog is different. Just because Maya would use this product better in the summer doesn’t mean this product wouldn’t be great for another dog in winter. My sister has a medium-sized dog with really short hair and thin skin who would really love to wear the Kumfy Koatz in winter.

Overall, we really liked this product. It is well made and the large size fit Maya perfectly. The insert is a non-toxic gel-pack that can be put in the microwave or the freezer. And it is reusable. The gel-pack is easy to remove and to insert into harness. It was probably the easiest harness to put on and adjust… easier than putting on Maya’s dog car harness.

But I do have one criticism about the product – The weight of the insert made the harness sag at the bottom underneath Maya’s chest. Even when I fit the harness perfectly, it still sagged a little. And the more Maya moved, the more it sagged and had to be readjusted. Perhaps if the insert is frozen for warm weather use, the gel-pack insert will be stiffer and will somewhat prevent this problem. We won’t really know until we get to try it out next season.

We were given a free product to review but we are not being paid for this review. Our review is 100% our own opinion. The only thing we are required to put in this review as an exchange for the free product is the following paragraph:

“The outside layer of fabric on the Kumfy Koatz warming and cooling harnesses has recently been changed to a mesh fabric, available in numerous colors. Other than the fabric change, the product remains the same. The Kumfy Pax pouch slides easily into its pocket in the chest of the harness to help your dog’s inner core organs warm or cool as needed. Your dog can now spend more time outdoors in Winter cold or Summer heat. To learn more, follow the Kumfy Tailz Facebook page, follow on Twitter, or visit their website to see the new fabrics. Our giveaway will offer a neoprene version of the Kumfy Koatz to one lucky winner. If you prefer a sure thing to an entry, simply visit the website to select and order your preference of color in the mesh fabric.”

Colors available are red, black, and blue but color choices of the winner are limited.

To win the Kumfy Koatz for your dog, enter the Rafflecopter below. The contest starts today and ends Sunday, March 3rd 11:59PM EST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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February 20, 2013

Maya wearing Kumfy Koatz

What is Kumfy Koatz? Here is a picture of Maya wearing one. She can spend more time playing in the cold snow with this on. Find out more on Friday when we give a full review… and a giveaway!

In the meantime, check out these other great dog blogs on the Wordless Wednesday blog hop:

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Super Fun Puppy Bowl IX App & Subaru

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 31, 2013

Dog Tested. Dog Approved.™

You’ve seen those funny and cute Subaru dog commercials, haven’t you? You know, the dogs driving a subaru to go camping and skiing, or driving a Subaru to the grocery store only to have a cat driving another Subaru steal their parking spot (that’s my favorite). Well, Subaru has more great commercials for you. And this year, they are associated with the Puppy Bowl IX.

There are four new commercials that we are aware of. And this year, it’s not just about the dogs. Grant Weber, is a human Subaru Canine Sales Associate who specializes in selling the Subaru to dogs. He makes an appearance in a most of the commercials but our favorite is the one with the dogs Toby and Keys getting ready for a tailgate party:

We just love this Subaru commercial:

If you have never seen the Puppy Bowl before, it is a MUST SEE for dog lovers. Imagine a bunch of cute adoptable puppies on a mini football field romping around and having a good time. You can watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet on February 3rd, 3pm p/e time.

Want to make watching the Puppy Bowl an even better experience? Download this app on your tablet or mobile phone:

The app can be downloaded now but won’t activate until the start of the Puppy Bowl. Watch the Puppy Bowl in unison with your app, see additional cuteness content, and interact with the show! The app also brings in new hilarious Subaru Dog tested. Dog approved.™ commercials.

Remember, you can download the app now but it only becomes available at 3pm e/p on February 3rd. If you miss that airing, Animal Planet replays the show throughout the rest of the day.

This post is sponsored by Subaru, Dog Tested. Dog Approved™ campaign. Yes, we here at are being compensated for this post. But please note that we agreed with this arrangement because we love that Subaru goes out of their way to be dog friendly, because we love their hilarious dog commercials, because we love the adoptable dogs in the Puppy Bowl, and because we love the message of the Puppy Bowl. I personally, can’t wait to use this app myself on February 3rd!

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We hear a lot from other dog-lovers about how their dogs hate riding in the car. They whine, pant, and want to pace. We want pet auto safety but it can be difficult if the dog is too nervous to sit still in his dog seatbelt. What can we do to help these poor dogs that get nervous in the car? One product we discovered recently is a mist spray called Travel Calm. But there is another product that is even more popular and better known. It is the Thunder shirt.

How Does the Thundershirt Work?
Studies have shown that it improves the behavior of 80% of dogs in stressful situations. This does mean that it might not work for your dog, but the chances are good that it will. For the 20% it doesn’t work for, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee. Shipping refund is not included but for $6, it is worth a try. It has worked for thousands of dogs all over the world. It might help your dog too.

This is a Lab like my Maya, but this photo is not of Maya.

The Thunder shirt for dogs works by putting gentle pressure on your dog. Scientific studies and common applications of pressure for certain situations have shown that this sort of gentle pressure has a good calming effect. They believe pressure works by encouraging the body to release calming endorphins. Consider a baby that calms down after being wrapped in swaddling. Also, some people with autism use pressure techniques to help them through stressful situations.

What About Cats?
We all know cats have to ride in the car sometimes too. And we also know that most cats really really hate the experience. So we have Thunder shirts for cats too!

My Labrador Maya gets excited in the car. She exhibits some of the characteristics of nervousness (panting, pacing, whining), but it is excitement. The Thundershirt did not work to help with Maya’s excitement.

Pierson had to go to the vet yesterday for his annual shots. He is terrified of the vet and the last time he went, he peed on himself. Trust me when I say this is very unusual for him. So this time when he went I had him wear his Thundershirt. He did great in it.

Here is another dog that did well in the Thunder shirt.

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