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Archive for September, 2012

September 29, 2012


Click on this image to get to our website. Then click on the image of the website to choose from various fashionable colors.

We are proud to introduce the new Sleepypod pet car seats. This car seat for dogs is perfect for your small furry friend, including cats. It comes in two styles and a variety of colors. But the best part is that it has been crash tested!

The Sleepypod can be used in the car, used in the home as a pet bed, or carried on your shoulder. The Sleepypod air can even be used on an airline (check airline for regulations). The Sleepypod can be safely used with or without a bedliner. Purchase the bedliner separately, or feel free to save a few bucks and just put your dog’s blanket inside.

This product is so well-made and pretty that it makes me wish I had a small dog to use it for. Do you have a small dog? Do you think he or she would like the comfortable and safe Sleepypod pet car seat?

Also choose various colors of the Sleepypod Air.


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Win a $25 Gift Card!

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 28, 2012

Win a $25 Gift Card On Our First Monthly Photo Contest From

Have you traveled somewhere fun with your pet? Share a photo with and enter to win a $25 Visa gift card!

There are three simple steps to win:
1. Like us on Facebook at
2. Follow us on Twitter @naturebydawn.
3. Email a photo of your pet on vacation at Put “October Pet Photo Contest” in the RE section, attach 1 .jpeg image, and tell us about your vacation. 

The contest entry below asks you to tweet about us and leave a blog comment but these two items are not required and do not increase your chances of winning. To win, you must complete the three above steps (exception may be made for those not on Twitter). The winner will be judged by us based on the quality of your image, the aesthetics of the photo, how apparent it is that your dog is at a vacation spot and not at home or near home, and how happy and/or cute your dog looks in the photo. We will allow our definition of vacation to be as simple as a one-day trip such as a hiking expedition or day at the beach.

1. Sorry, US entrants or people with an AE address only. We are not able to mail your gift card outside the US (unless it is an AE address) and if you opt for a $25 discount from our site instead we are not able to ship outside the continental US (unless it is an AE address).
2. One entry per person, even if you have multiple pets. If you don’t win this time, you can enter our next month’s giveaway even if it is the same photo, but the same photo cannot win more than once in a 12 month period.
3. You must like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Please don’t unlike us after the contest. We will have more contests and giveaways, will give discount codes and sales, and share fun and interesting stuff.
4. Contest entry must be received by October 31st, 2012. Winner will be determined November 1st or 2nd (depending on the number of entries) and announced on this blog on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012.
5. Your Like on Facebook and Follow on Twitter must be current at the end of the contest, October 31st, 2012.
6. Since the prize is a gift card, it can be used anywhere that accepts gift cards. Our website accepts gift cards, however, if the item you are purchasing is over $25 the gift card won’t work since you can’t make partial payments on a website. If you are a winner and wish to have $25 off an item from, please let us know so we can send you a discount code instead. The discount code will only be able to be used once and will only be usable for a limited time.
7. The photo must include your pet and should include indications that you are somewhere other than at home or at the local park.
8. Employees of and Nature by Dawn, Inc. are not eligible. 

Terms & Conditions:
1. We will not share your personal information or email address.
2. We will not send spam email or email you for any other reason other than that related to your contest entry.
3. By emailing us your photo, you agree to let us use the photo on our social media sites and for promotional purposes.
4. You understand and accept that the contest is judged subjectively and our winner decision is final.
5. We promise not to judge with favoritism so if you are a regular commenter on our blogs or have purchased from us in the past, don’t mention it in your contest entry because it won’t help.
6. Although we encourage that you travel safe with your dog, it is not required that your photo show your dog traveling safe in order for you to win. Whether you use a pet travel safety device for your dog when he rides in the car is not the subject of this particular contest and so will not increase your chances of winning. We do appreciate that you travel safely with your pet, though! 🙂 Perhaps this will be the subject of a future contest.
7. By entering the contest, you agree to all the rules and terms & conditions.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Today is Train Humane Day!

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 27, 2012

Use positive reinforcement to train your dog instead of harsh dominance methods, shock collars, pinch collars, etc. There are more benefits to humane training than there are to the other methods. Check out today’s blog post on our American Dog Blog about the cons of shock collars by clicking HERE.

For other positive training methods, check out these articles as well:

How to Get Your Dog Used to a Dog Car Harness

Fun Dog Game – Teach Your Dog to Find It

Gentle Leadership Exercises for a Good Dog

Dog Training – What Motivates Your Dog to Learn

Fundamental Dog Training Tips – Lots of TPPC

Clicker Training Your Dog – Is it For You?

Dog Training Tip – The First Command to Teach Your New Dog

How to Keep Your Dog from Chewing

How to Keep Your Dog from Digging

How to Teach Your Dog Not to Jump on You or Others

Teaching Your Dog Not to Beg While You are Eating

Learn more about Train Humane Day by clicking HERE.

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September 26, 2012

Years ago before digital cameras and before Sephi, Maya, and Pierson, it was just me and my dog Smokey. I love the outdoors and he did too. We went on lots of great trips together including a three day hike around Georgetown Lake in Texas. It was just me and my boy all alone out in the wilderness. We literally roughed it. There were no bathrooms, no showers, and no formal campsites. I can’t even begin to tell you what a great time we had. Unfortunately, because it was before digital cameras this is the best photo of him and I on that trip.

Me & my dog Smokey at Georgetown Lake ~1996

I love it when people share photos of their pets. So for the first time ever, going to hold a pet photo contest. The prize is a $25 gift card. Have you and your pet gone on any exciting vacations? Tell us about it. Be sure to come back and visit us this Friday for the contest details or visit our Facebook page at

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September 22, 2012

Fifteen years ago when I bought my first dog seat belt, people laughed at me and rolled their eyes. “Seat belts for dogs, what will they think of next?” But as more and more people see pets as family, fewer people laugh. Pet safety in the car is becoming more common. Heck, New Jersey even made a law about it. People are finally beginning to see the benefits. Even car dealers are starting to promote pet safety features in their vehicles. Car insurance companies are considering it too.

One website that provides car insurance quotes for free wrote a really nice article, “Safe Driving with Dogs“. Their article makes many of the same points which we too try to stress:

* It is not a good idea to allow dogs in the front seat. They stressed it was a bad idea because the dog can be more of a distraction. We’d like to add that it is also not a good idea because passenger side airbags are not safe for dogs.

* Seat belts for dogs to prevent driver distraction.

* Keeping dogs in crates for comfortable traveling.

* Take water and treats for your pets when you travel – especially for long road trips.

* Steps or pet ramps for older dogs can be very helpful.

* Gates, or we call them pet vehicle barriers, are great for keeping dogs in the back seat so they don’t distract the driver.

* Don’t let your dog sit in your lap when you drive.

For more detailed information on this article, click on the link above and learn about safe driving with your dogs. If you protect your vehicle with car insurance, why not protect your beloved pet too?

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September 19, 2012

I recently went to New York for the first time – Manhattan. Unfortunately, I did not take my dogs. I was only there for a few days and I did not want to needlessly subject my dogs to airline flight. They stayed with friends instead.

Even though I did not take my pups, I did take lots of pictures of other dogs. There were two main things I noticed about people and their dogs in Manhattan, New York: 1) People picked up after their dogs. I never once saw a pile of dog poo on the sidewalk. 2) Central Park is a really nice place to take your dog. They don’t have an off-leash area but they have off-leash times in the morning and in the evening on certain days. Do any of my readers live in New York? If not, has anyone visited New York with their dog? I’d love to hear your experience.

In the fast paced life, you can take your dog for a walk, stop at an outdoor cafe for a quick breakfast, and take care of business on your cell phone all at the same time.

Early AM, lots of people headed to Central Park to walk their dogs.

If you think New York is too crowded to have two big dogs, you’re wrong. These two pups enjoy it here.

Lots of open space in Central Park. There is no designated off-leash area but there are off-leash times.

A walk by the lakeside in Central Park.

The biggest dog in New York is Balto. I love this statue!

Central Park is a great place for your dog to get away from the noise of the city. There are lots of nature spots for your dog to check out… lots of squirrels too!

Central Park has a zoo and a children’s petting zoo too. Check out these adorable kids having fun in Central Park.

At the children’s petting zoo, I couldn’t resist my inner-child.

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September 15, 2012

We have recently acquired the new and improved version of the Kurgo dog seat belts. How are these pet car harnesses better? They have metal buckles instead of plastic. Kurgo has done more research into the safety of their products. They have completed more safety tests as well.

The enhanced Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harnesses have undergone three important safety tests:

1. Dynamic static line test,

2. Tensile strength test,

3. Crash testing using a sled test.

The tests show that the enhanced harness can withstand 2,250 pounds of force. This improvement is made in part by the new all-metal nesting buckles. What are nesting buckles? They are similar to the buckles used by rock climbers and linesmen.

Our dog Maya is now wearing the new enhanced Kurgo dog car harness (top photo) and she loves it. It fits her well. She is wearing the red one, but note that currently only has the black one available. To get a discount, feel free to use discount code, petfriend, for 10% off.

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September 12, 2012

My mom and stepdad live in the country out in Missouri so every once in a while we gather up the dogs and make the 5 hour drive for a visit. Welcome to Stiles Haven and thank you for visiting my mom, stepdad, and their beloved pets.



The untamed wild.


The tamed wild – Solo (left) & Rocky (right).


So cute and cuddly!


Pixie with her new baby chicks.


Pixie takes really good care of her family. Pixie is named as such because the other chickens pick on her and pull at her feathers. Well, Pixie has shown them all by being the one to have a happy family.


Sandy is very much like a dog in that she wags her tail when you come to see her and she loves her belly rubbed. BTW, Sandy is about to have kids!


Just look at Sandy’s beautiful smile.


Do you take your dogs for trips out into the country?

For other great Wordless Wednesday posts, visit Blog Paws.

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Driving Miss Daisy Crazy

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 8, 2012

According to, at least 18% of injury car accidents in the US in 2010 were caused by the driver being distracted. Driving while talking or texting on a cell phone is probably one of the biggest driver distractions today. But cell phones are not the only types of driver distractions. Other distractions include playing with the radio or GPS, eating, grooming, or even kids and pets.

If I were Miss Daisy, my Labrador Maya would definitely drive me crazy. You can see how excited she is about riding in the car in this video. Imagine how much worse she would be if she could move around more. But Maya can’t bother me in the car because she is wearing a pet car harness. Yes, she can still whine, but she can’t try to jump in the front seat.

If your dog drives you crazy in the car, consider both your and his safety by keeping him restrained. You can use a pet car harness like Maya or keep him in a crate that is secured with kennel straps. You can also use devices like a pet net or other type of vehicle barrier. There are several pet travel products to choose from. Find one that is right for you and your dog.

Remember, stay safe and don’t let your dog drive you crazy in the car. Don’t talk or text on your cell phone either. It is not just your life at stake. It is your pet’s, other passengers in the car with you, and other people on the road. Does your dog drive you crazy in the car? If so, what have you done or what would you like to do to help him?

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Wordless Wednesday – Dogs & Picnics

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 5, 2012

Summer turning to fall is a great time for a picnic. So fill up the picnic basket and head out for some fun! We had a great picnic this past week. It was my husband and I, our two dogs Maya & Pierson, and four friends. Check out these fun photos.

First, game time. We didn’t have a volleyball so we played badminton instead. This is our friend Sha Sha.

Eating was next. Maya & Pierson don’t usually beg, but we and our friends couldn’t help but to give them a few goodies.

Pierson sitting for some picnic treats. Maya using her trick of giving the big brown puppy eyes to get treats.

Then we go for a walk and do some exploring. Lots of interesting smells!

Then our friend Jinbo takes them for a run.

After such a workout, we all hung out at the watering hole.

We ended the afternoon with a little fun at the playground.

Don’t forget, if you travel anywhere in the car with your dog, be sure they are secured in a dog car seat belt or other pet travel safety device.

For more fun pet photos, check out the great blogs on the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.

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