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Archive for May, 2013

May 29, 2013

I’ve been in a creative mood lately and have taken a few photos of Maya & Pierson and added some captions. If you like them, Pin and share!

Are We There Yet Dogs

Maya Pierson Vet Captions

Maya Vet CaptionHere are a couple that are not pet travel related, but I think are my funniest memes yet:

Sporting Dog Caption

Pierson Belly Rub Caption

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

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May 28, 2013

Carmel is the Ultimate Pet Travel Destination

Labrador at Carmel Beach

No, that’s not my Maya in the photo above. I wish it was. I think she’d really like to visit the beach in Carmel, California. I bet your dog would too. Carmel, California was voted Best City for Pet Travelers by‘s readers in 2013. Here’s why.

Check out how much fun these dogs (and people) are having at Carmel City Beach where dogs are allowed off-leash.

Garland Ranch Regional Park looks like a great place to take a nature walk. Check out this video of a beautiful dog named Lilly at Garland Ranch Regional Park.

Didn’t get in enough walking? Take your dog on a two hour walking tour through gardens, cottages, and more with the Carmel Walks walking tour.

There are also a lot of fun places to shop in Carmel. Several shops at the Carmel Village shopping area along Ocean Avenue are pet friendly. The PortaBella restaurant has a dog friendly outdoor patio on Ocean Avenue. There are a number of other restaurants in Carmel that have dog friendly outdoor patios, such as Cafe Stravaganza, Forge in the Forest, Plaza Linda, and Flaherty’s Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar.

After all that walking, relax with a nice glass of wine at Taste Morgan.  This is a winery where well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome.

Oh, we forgot to mention pet friendly accommodations. There are a number of them in Carmel, California. The Lodge at Pebble Beach is the only pet friendly accommodation we found on that doesn’t charge any additional pet fees.

I don’t think I’ve covered everything there is to do with your dog in Carmel. If you want to know more, check out and If you’ve already been to Carmel with your dog, tell us about it. Or tell us your favorite pet travel destination. Don’t forget, wherever you travel, be sure your best friend travels safe.



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May 25, 2013
Dogs Pet Safety Belts

My dogs Maya and Pierson in the back seat of my car wearing their pet safety belts for both my safety and theirs.

My dog Pierson is great in the car. He sits so quietly in the back seat that I could almost forget he is there. If he were your dog, you might think, “Well, he doesn’t need a seat belt then.” But I think he still does. He may not be a distraction, but his safety is important to me. There is another reason to consider restraining your dog in the car. The following are three major points I’d like to make about pet safety belts:

Not all dogs behave in the car like my Pierson does. My Labrador Maya is crazy in the car. I do mean CRAZY! She loves it so much that she can hardly control herself. If she wasn’t wearing a dog seat belt, she’d be all over the place. Dogs like my Maya really can be a dangerous distraction and they really can cause car accidents. Don’t believe me? Here are some Real Life Examples.

Also, a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham who studied drivers 70 and over found that those driving with their dogs were 50% more likely to get into a car accident. That article can be read on SpotNews in Alabama. I bet it is true for other age groups as well.

If you consider a safety tested dog seat belt brand, your dog could be better off with their restraint than they would be without. Pet safety belts may prevent your dog from being thrown about the car, into other passengers, onto the floor, or through the windshield. A dog wearing a restraint won’t be able to run from the scene. And it will be easier for medical personnel to help a restrained pet.

New Jersey has made it the law that pets be restrained in the car. I was recently asked about this dog seat belt law in New Jersey. The question was whether a dog had to wear a seat belt or if a pet travel crate was okay for dogs riding in the car. Here is a quote directly from the New Jersey State Legislature regarding the law – “The driver of a passenger automobile shall secure or cause to be secured in an appropriately sized, properly adjusted, and fastened seat belt restraint system, any non-crated domestic dog or cat that is being transported in the vehicle.”

Trying to interpret laws can sometimes be difficult, but the wording ‘any non-crated domestic dog or cat’ tells me that if your pet is crated in the car, the law doesn’t apply. But if the pet is not crated, he must wear a dog seat belt.

It may not be law in your state yet, but you can be ticketed for unsafe driving in any state. So if your dog is acting crazy in the car or if your driving seems to be affected by the fact that you have a dog in your lap, you could be fined.

If your dog won’t wear a dog seat belt, then consider securing them in a pet travel crate. Or try some of our training tips to get your dog used to wearing the car restraint. Our training tips can be found on an article we wrote – Getting Your Dog Used to a Dog Car Harness.

I know our dogs love to stick their heads out the car window and they may even seem depressed when they suddenly find themselves confined in a dog seat belt. But it is important that we do what is best for them, and for ourselves. Protect your best friend, just as you do for yourself and your children.

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May 22, 2013

Duncan’s dad shared a wonderful photo of Duncan wearing his new Bergan dog car harness. Don’t you just love that sweet face! And what a beautiful color Duncan’s coat is.

Duncan Bergan Dog Car Harness

Duncan is ready to ride in his new Bergan dog car harness.

Duncan’s owner had this to say, “We drove 910 miles on Friday and he was great.  He did manage to slip out of the front of the harness twice but I don’t think I had it tight enough.”

Yes, that can happen. Unfortunately, the tighter you make the harness, the more likely a dog will try to get out of it. And if you make it too tight, the dog could hurt himself trying to get out of it. Duncan’s owner believes Duncan will not try to get out of it once he gets used to it. That’s right. It just takes a little practice.

Thank you, Duncan’s dad for sharing!!! 🙂

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

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May 21, 2013

I had a chance to visit New York City for the first time last year. Since I couldn’t take my dogs on that trip, I thought I would share a blog post about pet friendly New York by our favorite Beagle, Maggie, at WagTheDogUK.

Here are some photos of dogs that I took while I was in Manhattan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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


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Cooling Dog Collar - Pink

Maya Wearing a Cooling Dog Collar

I love playing outside with my dogs, Maya and Pierson. And my dogs enjoy being outside. But the weather is warming up amazingly fast so I need to be aware of the effect that heat may have on my dogs. After doing a little research, here are some things I’ve found to help my dogs with pet safety under the sun.

The best way to avoid heat exhaustion or a heat stroke is to take preventative action.

* Don’t leave your dog in the car!
* Don’t leave your dog outside without shade and cool water.
* Be careful about overdoing the play, walks, and runs.
* Take cool-down breaks.
* Avoid concrete. Dark pavements get very hot.
* Use a cooling harness, cooling dog collar, or a cooling mat.
* Make sure your dog is able to pant (no muzzles).

Sometimes we get so carried away with our fun, we may not be aware that heat exhaustion is coming on. Here are some things to look out for:

* Excessive and/or heavy panting.
* Excessive drool.
* Bright red tongue.
* Lack of coordination, disorientation, and/or unable to stand.
* Vomiting.
* Diarrhea.

The above symptoms are the beginning stages of heat exhaustion. If left unnoticed or disregarded, the symptoms could progress into a deadly heat stroke. Your dog could collapse and go into shock or have seizures. Get them to the veterinarian immediately.

For mild symptoms, get your dog cooled down by trying some of the following methods.

* Move inside to the a/c.
* Move your dog to the shade.
* Allow your dog to lie down in cool water (not ice water).
* Hose your dog down in cool water.
* Put your wet dog in front of a fan.
* Put cool water on his feet.
* Allow him to drink cool water; or if he won’t, put cool water on his tongue.
* Give him ice cubes to lick.
* Put ice packs on his groin area.

If the symptoms of heat exhaustion do not go away within 10 minutes or so, take them to the veterinarian.  You may even want to call your veterinarian while you are trying to cool your dog down. Your vet can give you more ideas and can advise you on whether you need to bring your dog in.

Remember, prevention is the best remedy. Be aware of the signs so that you can treat your dog before the symptoms get deadly. And be aware when you see other dogs. Someone else at the park may not know to look out for heat exhaustion in their dog and may miss the signs. You could help prevent a disaster.

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May 14, 2013

Florida Beach

The beautiful weather we have been having lately really makes me want to go to the beach. I’ve been to the west coast and to beaches in Texas, but never to the east coast. There are a lot of nice beaches to the east. But one that stands out as a great vacation spot is Key West in Florida.
According to US News Travel, the best time to visit Key West is between March and May. The weather is relatively mild and it is the off-travel season, which makes hotel rates and other attractions less expensive. So what is there to do in Key West? Lots!
The first thing you need when visiting Key West is pet friendly accommodations. Choose between dog friendly hotels, vacation homes, or RV parks. Be sure to call your stay of choice in advance to verify their pet friendly regulations. Some may charge extra fees or have weight limits.
You can’t go to the Florida Keys without doing a little snorkeling, boating, or fishing. Thankfully, some boat tours are pet friendly! Check out this cool video from Lazy Dog Outfitters:

After a day of boating, do some leisurely shopping along Duval Street. Many of the shops are pet friendly. Have lunch at an outdoor cafe such as Louie’s Backyard. Louie’s Backyard is right on the beach. And next to it is a dog beach! Check out this video:

Still want more stuff to do? Go visit the Key West Tropical Forest and Garden. Then visit the pet friendly Key West Aquarium. I’ve called them and confirmed that friendly dogs on leashes are more than welcome to visit the aquarium. Here is a video of the things you can see there:

Other attractions include the Dry Tortugas National Park and the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Another dog park is the Higgs Beach dog park. And other dog friendly outdoor restaurants include the Six-Toed Cat, Harpoon Harry’s, Old Town Mexican Cafe, and Dante’s.
Our two primary resources for this edition of Pet Travel Destination Tuesday is and Have you been to Key West? I bet you have much better photos than we do. Please feel free to share and tell us your favorite pet travel distnation. And don’t forget, wherever you travel with your pet be sure they travel safe!

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May 11, 2013

Emma in the Snoozer Lookout Pet Carseat

Imagine your best little friend riding at your side without being a distraction. The window is down, the breeze is flowing in, and your dog’s nose is to the wind. If you have a pet 30 pounds or less, then he can greatly benefit from a pet carseat. Safety is an obvious benefit and there are two aspects of safety to consider. Plus, there are two other benefits of dog car seats.

The first safety aspect of a pet carseat is that your dog is tethered in and can’t distract the driver. The second aspect is that since your dog is tethered in, he won’t fly forward into the dash or onto the floor in a sudden stop.

Most dog car seats come with a tether. The tether is to be attached to your pet’s harness, not his collar. For ultimate safety, use a dog car harness in conjunction with the safety seat instead of a regular walking harness.

The Sleepypods do not have tethers but this is because your dog (or even your cat) is enclosed inside of it. This pet carseat is then secured in the vehicle with the safety belt of the vehicle. Sleepypods have also had crash testing.

Important note regarding pets riding in the front:  Front passenger side airbags are not safe for dogs. Some airbags are designed to always deploy in the event of a front or rear end car accident while others will not deploy if there is not enough weight in the seat. So be sure to check your vehicle specifications regarding how the airbags work.

With all the turning and stopping you have to do, wouldn’t it be a more comfortable ride for your little dog if he didn’t have to continuously brace himself? Imagine making a quick stop, and instead of your pet sliding off onto the floor, he slides forward into the partition of his safety seat instead. The Snoozer and Lookouts have the most cushioning.

Some pet safety booster seats allow your furry friend to look out the car window. Sometimes, being able to see out the window can help with car sickness. Looking out the window is also a fun activity. Keep your pal entertained so that he doesn’t pester you.

Most dog car seats are for small dogs, 30 pounds and under. But there is at least one for larger dogs and that is the Full Bench Lookout Perch from Snoozer. Snoozer has a number of other different styles for smaller dogs, including the Lookout series and console seats. Sleepypods are for smaller dogs and even cats. There is also the Skybox and other booster seats from Kurgo. Check them all out and keep your best friend safe in the car.

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May 8, 2013

Our contest winner for the month of April has shared a photo of her Dachshund dog Daffy with her new prize.

Daffy the Dachshund in the Thundershirt

Daffy the Dachshund in her new Thundershirt!

Isn’t Daffy absolutely adorable!?! I just love that look on her face. It’s like she’s saying, “You seriously expect me to wear this… in public?” LOL!

The prize was actually a Bergan pet car barrier, but we saw in the comments that Daffy’s mom Amy made and thought perhaps she could use another prize instead. In Amy’s comments, she said her dogs rode in crates and that they bark and whine in the car. Since they are already riding safely in crates and can’t get to the front seats, what use is a pet car barrier? Perhaps the Thundershirt will help keep her dogs calm and quiet when they ride in the car.

Important note:  Our winner Amy did not ask us to exchange the prize. It was an offer that we made. In general, the prize in the contest is the one that is given away. It is solely at our discretion to offer an exchange for another product of comparable value. This month’s contest giveaway will likely be a dog car harness. If there is a different prize that you’d like to win, please let us know in comments here. We will be hosting the giveaway soon, so stop by again soon! 🙂

For other great pet photos, visit the blog hop below. Be sure to specifically check out the one of Pierson’s New Agility Kit. That’s my boy and he is showing off his new agility skills.

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Milwaukee Skyline

Thanks to Midwest Pet Bloggers on Facebook, our next pet travel destination is in Wisconsin. It was a tossup between Milwaukee and Madison, but since they are only an hour-and-a-half drive apart from each other, why not talk about both?

Both cities have a number of pet friendly hotels. Be sure to call the hotel you’re considering in advance to make sure they take all sized pets and whether or not they charge extra fees for pets. Some dog friendly hotels are friendlier than others.

I love nature walks and there are a number of state parks near Madison and Milwaukee. There is the Lake Kegonsa state park, Blue Mound state park, Governor Nelson state park, and, one that I find interesting for historical reasons, Aztalan state park. Aztalan state park features an earthwork mound constructed by the Mississippian culture about 900 years ago. More in Wikipedia.

Pets on leashes are welcome to the Wisconsin state parks. But if you prefer your dog be allowed to run off-leash, Madison has several off-leash dog parks. Milwaukee has a few too, but Madison seems to rule as far as off-leash dog parks go. There is the Brittingham dog park, Quann dog park, Token Creek pet exercise area, Viking park pet exercise area, Sun Prairie pet exercise area, Sycamore dog park, and still more in Madison. Milwaukee has Muttland Meadows, Brookfield dog park, and a couple of others.

After all that walking around, you’re going to want to stop for a bite to eat. how about stopping by a restaurant with an outdoor patio? Some of these restaurants with outdoor patios are pet friendly. A few in Madison are the Mermaid Cafe, Capital Brewery, Marigold Kitchen, and Hawk’s Bar and Grill. A few in Milwaukee are the Apollo Cafe, Beans & Barley, Crazy Water, Mimma’s, Brewed Cafe, The Palomino, Milwaukee Waterfront Deli, and the Community Bark Dog Wash & Coffee Bar. These are just a few. You can find more on the resource links listed below.

After a nice lunch break, you can do more sightseeing. Visit the capitol building in Madison. The grounds are pet friendly so long as you pick up after your pet and make sure he stays on a leash. There is also a pet friendly botanical garden at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In Milwaukee, there are a few pet friendly boat rentals and tours. Check out Blue Max Charters, Milwaukee Boat Line, and Juneau Park Paddleboats. You can also walk along the Milwaukee Riverwalk.

Not all the places in this video are pet friendly. But as you can see, there is a lot to do here! Neither you nor your dog will get bored. I’ve only listed a few things. But you can find more fun dog friendly things to do with your best friend by checking out and Also, check out a review of Milwaukee from Ty and Buster from Remember, wherever you travel with your pet, be sure to travel safe and use a dog car safety device.

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