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Archive for March, 2013

March 30, 2013
Maya & Friends @ Dog Park

My dog Maya makes lots of new friends at the dog park.

My Maya loves the snow but she is super-excited that spring is here again. Spring means more trips to the dog park! Before we went for a visit yesterday, I considered some pet safety tips that I needed to keep in mind.

No Food
I considered bringing Maya some goodies for training, but decided against it. If it turned out to be too many dogs there, I didn’t want envious dogs jumping in me and trying to search my pockets. Nor did I want to start a fight, as some dogs may try to fight over food.

No Toys
This same logic applies to toys. Some dogs are possessive of toys so it usually is not a good idea to bring toys for them to fight over. Even though Maya is not possessive, bringing toys might also mean her toys getting stolen.

Maya @ Dog Park with Frisbee

I broke my own rule when I brought a frisbee to the dog park for my dog Maya.

Vaccinations Up to Date
A lot of dogs visit the park, so there is a greater chance of spreading sicknesses. Not only is Maya vaccinated against rabies, distemper, and the parvovirus, but she also has a vaccination for bordetella. Bordetella is not as dangerous as the other, but it is more common.

No Running with Sticks
Maya loves sticks and she always finds one. And I always get so worried. I’ve heard first hand of dogs running with a stick, the stick getting caught in the ground as they run, and the other end of the stick getting jammed into the back of the dog’s throat. Luckily, the dog I heard of this happening to was okay (after hundreds of dollars at the vet), but it could have been far worse. I know our dogs love sticks, but please be careful.

The only dog park in my area is unfenced. Luckily, Maya sticks around close so I don’t worry about her too much. But anything can happen. What if she sees a wild rabbit at the dog park? Will she run after it and out of my sight? Or will her training kick in? Maya is trained well when it comes to the recall, but she’s never been tested to this extent. If you’re not sure how your dog will do, find a fenced dog park. And always work on your dog’s recall. Coming when called should be something you always work on your dog with, even if it seems as though they’ve mastered it.

Maya @ Unfenced Dog Park

The dog park my dog Maya goes to is not fenced. There’s lots of wilderness to explore.

How to Handle Dog Fights
This is a tough one. Our instinct is to step in and break it up. But there are ways to break it up without endangering yourself. Here is a great article at

Watch Your Dog
Watching your dog’s behavior is your responsibility. If your dog looks uncomfortable or showing signs of getting agitated, it is your responsibility to remove your dog from the situation before it gets out of hand. It’s nice meeting other dog people, but don’t let your conversations distract you.

Keep Away from the Gate
If you’re at a fenced dog park, try to stay away from the entrances. There are two reasons for this. One, your dog will be less likely to get out and escape when other people go in and out. Two, consider the state of mind of the other dogs coming in. They are excited and tensions are high. When a dog in that state comes in and is immediately confronted by another dog, it might aggravate the situation. Keep your distance. Let other dogs come in and settle down.

Aggressive Dogs Should Stay Home
You might be wondering why I didn’t mention Pierson going to the dog park. Pierson does not do well around other dogs, so I am not taking any chances. The last thing I want is for some small dog to get hurt or some person to get bitten. You might think that bringing such a dog and keeping him on the leash will help, but it doesn’t. In fact, keeping him on a leash might make him feel even more insecure and make him more aggressive.

Pick up Poop
Dog poop is gross so pick it up. It is not just a common courtesy; it is a safety issue because poop carries bacteria and other germs.

Consider Your Small Children
If you have a small child, be aware of their safety too. Be on the lookout for big or rowdy dogs that might accidentally knock your child down. And be careful of your child being around dogs that are playing. Your child could be accidentally bitten or scratched.

Wear Outdoor Clothes
This isn’t so much as a safety issue as it is a reminder. A dog might jump on you. A dog might accidentally run into you and knock you over. A dog with muddy feet might step on your shoes. A big dog might come along and slobber all over your pants leg as he walks by. Know and expect this, and dress accordingly.

Maya had a great time at the dog park. Being a Lab, the first thing she did was find a body of water (which also happened to be a mud puddle). So we even walked a distance to the river so she could go swimming. At the area of the water, I also had to be careful of garbage. While swimming, Maya found a plastic bottle full of liquid. Unfortunately, trash is common at almost every park. So if you see it, perhaps for pet safety and for the consideration of others you can pick it up like Maya did and throw it away.

What else can you think of for dog park safety? Enjoy the spring weather and be safe!

Maya & Puddle of Mud @ Dog Park

Maya finds a big puddle of mud along one of the dog park nature trails.

Maya Goes for a Swim @ Dog Park

Maya gets to go swimming at the dog park so she can get all the mud washed off.

Maya Meets Dog Swimming @ Dog Park

Maya fetches her frisbee from the water and another dog at the park meets her at the edge.

Maya Finds Someting in the Water

What is that in the water, Maya?

Maya Finds a Bottle in the Water

Look what I found!

Maya Takes Away Garbage

Maya, that’s garbage. We have to go throw it away. Thanks for taking it out of the water.

Maya at Clinton Lake in Lawrence, KS

Maya really likes the stream at the dog park in Lawrence, Kansas. (Part of Clinton Lake)


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March 27, 2013

Dawn with the Notes from Dawn blog has done a review for the Bergan dog seat belt. The Bergan harness was tried on Bobo, a dog in training for Canine Angels. Canine Angels is a great nonprofit organization that rescues dogs from shelters, then trains them to be service dogs for disabled veterans. You must go check out their site and donate! But first, check out these great photos of the handsome Bobo wearing his Bergan dog seat belt:

Bobo holding the Bergan Dog Seat Belt Box

Bobo is in training to be a service dog. Look at how nicely he holds the Bergan box.

Bobo having Bergan Dog Seat Belt Put On

Bobo is being patient as the Bergan dog seat belt is being put on.

Bobo Secured with a Bergan Dog Seat Belt

Bobo is secured in the car.

Bobo wearing the Bergan Dog Seat Belt

Bobo wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Doesn’t he look handsome!?!

Bobo is going to make a great service dog. 🙂

Read the full review at the Notes from Dawn blog. My name is Dawn too, so don’t be confused. This Dawn is a different person and she lives in South Carolina.

Find out more about the great work that Canine Angels does and give them a little donation too.

For more Wordless Wednesday pet photos, check out the blog hop below:


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Where is your favorite dog friendly destination?

Where is your favorite dog friendly destination?

Vote for the Best Pet Friendly City at

Where are some great dog friendly places to visit? Find out at They are currently running a competition where people can vote for their favorite pet friendly travel destination. Rather than have a judge determine the winner, it is us dog lovers who get a say. So go check it out and cast your vote, then keep going back to find out which cities the dog lovers liked best.

The winning cities and towns are now narrowed down to 32 places. Some of those pet friendly places are Park City, UT, Bar Harbor, ME, Seattle, WA, Aspen, CO, Key West, FL, and more! The only two places on this list that I have been to are Portland, OR and Sedona, AZ. Personally, I hope Sedona, AZ wins! It was the best pet travel destination I have ever been to –

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona has a lot of hiking areas that are great for you and your dog.

Where are the pet friendly places you’ve been to? Go cast your vote at today!

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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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Sorry everyone for not doing a full post yesterday for Pet Travel Destination Tuesday. We have been redesigning our retail website, Most of the major redesigning is done now, so take a look and tell us what you think. Does it look better? Is it easier to navigate? Are there things you don’t like? Are there things you would change or improve? Any feedback with constructive criticism would be most welcome!

The second thing I wanted to ramble about was the comments on the March contest giveaway posted on March 8th. One of the ways to enter the contest is to leave a comment under the post and click the Rafflecopter entry saying that you left a comment. Because spammers left over 500 comments the other day (yes over 500!!!), we accidentally deleted all comments made on that day. This means that legitimate comments were accidentally deleted along with the spam comments. However, if you indicated in the Rafflecopter that you left a comment, your entry was still saved in the Rafflecopter and it still counts! So please, if you don’t see your comment know that your contest entry is still there. If you left a comment asking a question, I’m so sorry that we didn’t see it. You can leave a comment again or email us directly at We sincerely apologize for this and thank you so much for stopping by!

One more thing to share… We had some great weather last week. It got into the 70s and even the 80s on March 14th and 15th so I took Maya to the dog park. She had a lot of fun!

Maya Making Friends at Dog Park

Maya is making a lot of new friends at the dog park.

Maya Chasing at the Dog Park

Maya is having a lot of fun chasing and being chased at the dog park.

Funny after this really nice weather, it got cold again. It even snowed yesterday. The weather is as crazy as my Maya!

Well, that’s all I have for now. See you later in the week for Pet Safety Saturday.

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March 19, 2013

Sorry for the last post this week. I am in the process of redesigning the retail website. Let me tell you, it is a lot of work! And I’m not done yet. So I am going to cheat today and send you to a blog that has posted about a great pet friendly pet travel destination – Philadelphia. Visit our friends at Something Wagging This Way Comes to check it out!

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Dogs & Kurgo 2

You might think I’m going to talk about a seat belt for dogs or a pet travel crate, but I’m not. Sure, these things most certainly can help, especially for safety, but a dog that doesn’t ride well in the car is not going to do much better in a restraint. They might try to escape the seat belt (and succeed) or they will absolutely hate riding in the carrier. So what is the number one way to help a dog ride well in the car? Training!

In order to ride well in the car, your dog has to learn how to ride well. This takes time and it can be difficult. I should know. I am still working with my crazy Labrador Maya. It is taking me even longer to teach Maya to ride well in the car because I am not consistent. I know that in order to train Maya, I need to work with her nearly every day. If I can just do that, riding with Maya would be so much more pleasant and less distracting.

There are different reasons why dogs don’t ride well in the car. Sometimes they tend to get car sick, like my Pierson. Sometimes they are really nervous about riding in the car. And some, like Maya, just go absolutely bananas in the car. So how does training help a dog ride well in the car? Visit our website for a great article titled, How to Travel with a Dog in a Car.

Thanks for stopping by! Visit us again next Pet Safety Saturday. 🙂

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March 13, 2013

I love my Maya, but she sure can be a handful. ❤

Maya Angel Devil

My, oh my, oh Maya. I love Maya’s zest for life. And it really shows when she rides in the car. It can be very distracting so I make sure she wears a dog seatbelt. If your dog is crazy, or even nervous, in the car, visit our post from March 8th so you can enter to win a bottle of Travel Calm… and see a video of my crazy Labrador in the car. Also, be sure to check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.


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March 12, 2013

Tulda, Oklahoma skyline

Let me start out by saying that there weren’t many obviously dog friendly places I could find in Tulsa. So why did I choose it to talk about? First, I know one of our commenters is from there and she mentioned it wasn’t very pet friendly, so I wanted to see what I could find. Second, perhaps you are in an area that isn’t known to be pet friendly but you want to take your dog anyway. Perhaps by seeing what seemingly non pet friendly Tulsa has will help you know what to look for in the area you are visiting.

The only obvious places I could find in the Tulsa area that allows dogs are the parks. About 30-40 minutes outside of Tulsa is Claremore Lake Park off of East Blue Starr Drive in Claremore, Oklahoma. This looks like a beautiful park with lots of areas to walk. The Tulsa area also has a few state parks including Walnut Creek State Park and Keystone State Park. As always, dogs are required to be on a leash. If you want to take your dog somewhere off leash, try Biscuit Acres.

How about visiting a doggie store in Tulsa? We found an interesting place called The Dog Dish. It looks like it has a lot of great dog things to shop for and to do. Coming up on March 30th is the Easter Biscuit Hunt. Doesn’t that sound like fun!?!

As far as dog friendly restaurants for people, you will have to call any place that has an outdoor patio to see what they think about dogs. We got word that perhaps the Tropical Smoothie Cafe allows dogs on their outside patio. Doesn’t a tropical smoothie sound delicious? There is a Tropical Smoothie Cafe about 5 minutes from The Dog Dish (The Dog Dish is on E 51st, and the Tropical Smoothie Cafe is just off of E 51st on S 109th East Ave).

If you find yourself living in or visiting a place that doesn’t seem very dog friendly, find out where your parks are. At the very least, you can take your dog for a walk in a park. Also, look for cafes or coffee places with outdoor patios. Be sure to call and ask first before you take your dog.

Another smart thing you can do is call a local pet store, like Petco or Petsmart, and ask employees if they know of any pet friendly places in town. They may also be able to tell you of any upcoming pet events. There are also a number of good website resources for dog friendly places such as and

Have you ever been in Tulsa with your dog? What were some of the places you visited? Tell us your pet travel experience.

And don’t forget… Wherever you travel with your dog, make sure you travel safe! 🙂

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March 9, 2013
Dougie and his dog life jacket.

Our friend Dougie always wears a dog life jacket while on the boat.

I’m starting a new recurring blog posting event called Pet Safety Saturday! On most Saturdays, I will talk about dog car safety. But sometimes I will throw in some other pet safety issues. Like today, I am going to discuss the benefits of dog life jackets.

With spring on the horizon, you may be thinking of taking your dog to the lake for a swim or even boating. I think a life jacket for dogs would be great for either pet activity.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Maya sometimes wears a dog life jacket while out swimming.

While Swimming
My Labrador Maya is a great swimmer. If I let her, she’d swim for hours and hours no matter how tired she got. I am so afraid that she’d wear herself out and drown that sometimes I have her wear a life jacket for dogs. There are other concerns too. Sometimes Maya will overlook the ball I threw and keep swimming. She could accidentally swim too far. Or she could get caught in a river (or ocean) undercurrent and be swept away. So before you take your dog swimming, consider these dangers and have your pets wear dog life jackets.

* Danger of drowning as a result of fatigue.
* Danger of swimming out too far.
* Danger of being swept away by undercurrents.

While Boating
Every person in the boat wears a life jacket, why not the dog? The same reasons a person should wear one in the boat applies for a dog too. Your boat could capsize and you could be left stranded in the middle of a huge body of water or knocked unconscious. You could fall off the boat. If you’re in the water wearing a colorful life jacket, it will be easier for someone to spot you. All of these things apply to your pet while wearing a colorful life jacket for dogs.

* Danger of the boat capsizing.
* Danger of being knocked unconscious after the boat is capsized.
* Danger of falling off the boat.
* Easier to spot your dog in the water if he falls out or is thrown out of the boat.

Be safe and have fun this spring! And come visit us next week on Pet Safety Saturday for another dog safety issue. 🙂

(Above photo of Dougie wearing a life jacket for dogs is courtesy of our friend Joanne in the UK.)

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