Archive | Guest blog

Nap time is ah… great in a TrustyPup Bed

You know the saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie.” Well, in our pet household, nap time is a prized activity among Kona, Cleo and Jeanne, who range in age from two to 14. Sure, we have sofas and beds, but this Terrific Terrier Trio delighted in taking turns snoozing in the comfy Remedy Rest Deluxe Memory Foam Pet Bed made by TrustyPup.

Need evidence? Just check out this series of photos showcasing each dog’s desire to circle, plop and snooze in this bed that features cushions that ease achy joints and conforms to each dog’s shape. Nice!

Other pluses: TrustyPup beds come in various sizes, the covers are machine washable and the beds are not only functional, but eye-appealing as well. With the holidays approaching, treat your favorite canine to one of these beds now available at Walmart, Target, Krogers and online at And learn more by visiting its Facebook Page. It’s nap time!




Sweet Jeanne plops and sprawls in the TrustyPup bed.

Sweet Jeanne plops and sprawls in the TrustyPup bed.

Pet Safety Dog Kona is the first to discover the TrustyPup bed

Pet Safety Dog Kona is the first to discover the TrustyPup bed

Miss Cleo, a young 14-year-old, is deep into dreamland in the TrustyPup bed.

Miss Cleo, a young 14-year-old, is deep into dreamland in the TrustyPup bed.








Maddie patiently waits her turn in the TrustyPup bed occupied by Gracie.


Do Your Dog’s Bites Affect His Bark? Dog Diet and Behavior

Dogs and children benefit by being fed healthy nutritional foods

Dogs and children benefit by being fed healthy nutritional foods

For some people, dogs rank right next to children in the hierarchy of family importance. Depending on your children, your dog may rank higher. You wouldn’t feed your family something you knew was harming them— shouldn’t the same practice apply to our pets? With almost 62 percent of United States’ homes housing a pet (according to the ASPCA), it is obvious that many of us appreciate the companionship offered by animals— and learning about their diet is a good way to show them we care.

The Importance of Diet

We all know that eating right equates to feeling good. When you eat healthier, you have more energy, an improved mood and you experience less illness. Recently, researchers have begun to consider whether the same applies to our furry companions.

Little Research, a Big Problem?

According to a study from Nutritional Research Reviews, little actual work has been done in determining the effects of diet on canine behavior. The authors of the study predict that many problem behaviors in dogs— such as aggression, barking and anxiety— could be addressed through diet.

The study’s authors conclude, though there is little research into canine diet, other animal studies indicate that nutrition does impact behavior. Rats, for instance, were less likely to kill mice if they were given enough tryptophan. With good research, it could be possible to address canine behavior through nutrition.

What We Do Know

The lack of official research has not stopped dog lovers from attempting to create the perfect dog food. The results of these efforts range from all-raw meat diets to vegetarian diets and everything in between. The common thread between all of these diets, though, is the inclusion of high-quality ingredients.

Because there has been no scientific consensus on the perfect dog diet, owners have been forced to experiment. Specialty food manufacturers provide the healthy, happy and long-lived dogs of their customers as evidence of the effectiveness of each diet. This leaves you (the dog owner) with the final decision on what you think is best for your dog.

Avoid the Cheap Stuff

According to Whole Dog Training, an entire host of behavioral problems can often be laid at the feet of cheap commercial dog food. Ingredients such as corn, a cheap protein filler in low-quality dog foods, do not have the necessary nutrients to keep your dog healthy.

What Diet Is Best?

Dogs appear to be pretty versatile omnivores; they just need good quality food. According to Living Green Magazine, the Guinness Book of World Records includes the oldest living dog: a Border Collie that lived for 27 years. The dog was fed a vegan diet with no meat or animal products.

Others argue that feeding a dog (an animal obviously designed to eat at least some meat) a vegetarian diet is ridiculous. Most veterinarians, according to ABC News, would never recommend a vegan diet for dogs.

It appears that there will be no consensus anytime soon on the perfect diet for a healthy, well-behaved pet. You, however, do not necessarily need to seek perfection. Simply doing some research and reading labels on your pet’s food is a great place to start. Provide clean water, plenty of pats on the back and happy trips to the park. Shop at trusted pet stores or websites, and feed them high-quality food for their furry tummies.

Trial and Error

In the end, the diet that works best for you and your pet will be determined through trial and error. Learn what to avoid and aim for a more wholesome approach. Then sit back and see how it works for your dog.

Question: What do you do to keep your dog healthy and happy? Please share your ideas here.


4 Tips to Cope with Your Dog’s Shedding – Hair, Hair Everywhere!

Many of us love our dogs, but not all the hair they shed. Got a Sir-Shed-a-Lot dog? I can certainly sympathize. My dog, Chipper is the combination of the two most notorious shedding breeds: Golden retriever and Siberian Husky. My vacuum works overtime! But that’s a minor issue because Chipper is a grrr-eat dog.

For tips on how to deal with the hair, hair everywhere in your canine household, please check out the tips from guest blogger Ron Rutherford posted below:

1. Brush Your Pet Daily

One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the amount of shedding is to brush your dog on a daily basis. Brushing your pet helps remove loose fur before it has a chance to rub off and stick to your furniture, carpet, car seat, and everywhere in between. The type of brush depends on the type of dog you have. For instance, a bristle brush works best for shorthaired dogs, a “rake” is best for longhaired pets, and a pin brush is best for those with long, wavy fur. Most pet stores will also carry special brushes designed for dogs with excessive shedding problems, and any clerk should be knowledgeable enough and happy to help you find the right type for your pet.

2. Add Moisture to Your Dog’s Diet

Dogs who lack moisture in their diets are more likely to shed because a meal regimen based solely on dry dog food (especially one that uses lots of fillers) can make for weak fur that breaks off easily. There are many ways you can increase your pet’s moisture intake: melons (cantaloupe and de-seeded watermelon), green beans, and carrots are all healthy snacks that your dog can eat in moderation to help increase the moisture consumption. Many people also feed their dog flax seed oil in order to keep the coat in top condition, but since there is conflicting opinions on this, make sure to check with your veterinarian first.

3. Bathe Your Dog Regularly

Another helpful trick to help keep your dog’s shedding to a minimum is regular bathing; giving your dog a bath helps remove clotted and matted up fur, and there are plenty of anti-shedding shampoos and conditioners to choose from as well. How often you should wash your dog depends on many factors; the breed, the lifestyle (if he spends a lot of time outdoors or loves to roll in dirty or leap in mud puddles), and the skin type all come into play. It’s important to consult your veterinarian first as bathing your dog too often can strip the coat of necessary oils and increase dry, itchy skin.

4. Keep the Vacuum and Lint Roller Handy

While daily brushing, regular grooming, and a healthy diet all help keep your dog’s shedding under control, there is no magic fix, and chances are, you’re going to have some loose fur pop up here and there. Vacuuming your carpet and furniture daily can significantly help with the build-up, and having a lint roller on hand is a must for any pet owner. Try putting down a blanket or a sheet on the couch before you invite your dog up to cuddle with you, and if you’re daring enough to wear black, change right before you head out the door to minimize the amount of time you have to get covered in fur.

Shedding is the one downside to having a dog, but if you’re willing to take the time and make the efforts to minimize the problem, it shouldn’t be anything you can’t handle. Besides, considering the friendship, loyalty, and entertainment your dog gives you on a daily basis, it’s really not that much to ask.

Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for Havahart Wireless, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences.That’s him in the photo with her sweet-but-shedding dog, Winston.




Guest Blogger Jackie Roberts Offers Timely Pet Tips for Busy People

You know the look. The one your dog gives you when you’re leaving for work. That look that says, “You’re leaving?! You’re leaving me here all ALONE?!” Your cat may feel the same way, but she just won’t show it until three in the morning when she expels a hairball.

Either way, the feeling of neglecting your beloved pets is heart wrenching, probably to the point where you feel so guilty, you may spoil them a little more than usual. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but your pets also just deserve good care. Even with a busy schedule, you can spend quality time with your pets, and take care of their needs. Here’s how.

Buy Pet Supplies Online
Think about it. How much time do you spend at the store buying the things you need to take care of your pet? You have to drive there, shop, load everything in the car, and take it home, and unless you were able to take your pet with you, it’s another hour or two she spent at home without you. Instead, do your pet supply shopping online. You can buy food, toys, treats, and even pet meds online, all from the comfort of your home while your kitty purrs contentedly on your lap, and your dog lies at your feet. Most sites even offer free shipping (under certain conditions), but even if you pay for shipping, think of the time and gas it will save you, not to mention the extra time you get with your pets at home.

Multitask Smartly
Set aside an hour or two over the weekend to watch a few TV shows you’ve recorded on your DVR during the week, or put a feel-good movie on. Then settle yourself on the floor with your pet (or the couch, if they’re allowed up there), and give his coat a good brushing. This does a few things. Brushing your dog’s or cat’s coat helps keep it healthy and shiny, reduces shedding, massages the skin to promote healthy hair growth, and best of all, just feels great for your pet! You get relaxation time, and your furry friend gets lots of attention. Win-win!

Take Your Pet to Work
Admittedly, this isn’t an ideal solution for a cat, bird, fish, or exotic pet. But a dog? Your dog would love you more (if that’s even possible) if he could spend the day with you. Many companies are adopting pet-friendly policies. Allowing employees to bring their dogs to work makes them happy, which improves morale, not to mention productivity. Your company doesn’t allow dogs? Talk to your boss or HR manager. Tell them about the benefits (If you didn’t have to rush home to let your dog out, you could work later when needed, right?). And if you manage it, take time out of your workday to walk your four-legged pal. Maybe play a little ball, or just get in some cuddle time. He’ll be much happier, and so will you.

Giving your pets the proper care and enough time out of your busy day is really just about honoring the commitment you made when you got your pet. You know it’s about much more than just feeding them, giving them toys, and hoping they’ll entertain themselves. Sharing your life with a pet can be rewarding on both ends. Your pet is ever-willing to make the effort. Now it’s up to you.

About Jackie Roberts

Jackie is a writer for 1-800-PetMeds, and loves to help and support the pet community. You can find Pet Meds on Twitter or connect with Pet Meds on Facebook.


Best Pet Friendly Inns in New England

Thinking about planning a vacation in New England with your best travel companion — your dog (and the occasional travel-savvy cat)? Well, please check out this savvy advice in a guest post from Noella Delaney. Be sure to share with your pet pals!

Noella writes:

When you are vacationing in New England, stop by these five inns that not only welcome pets, they cater to them! Gone are the days of feeling like a lesser citizen because you have your four legged friend in tow. None of these places will push you into one of the shabby, ground floor smoking rooms just to save a nickel on cleaning. You’ll have all the amenities you expect from quaint northeastern accommodations and also fun extras for your furry friend.

Harraseeket Inn, Freeport, Maine

In this colonial carriage house you’ll be greeted with a cozy fire, plush furnishings and world class dining options. For your pet, there is a welcome pack that includes a cushy bed, a tin of wet food, homemade biscuits, water dish and even complimentary clean up bags. While your pet is romping around the yard, you’ll be glad to know the grass is herbicide free, (the whole property is as green as possible). There is doggy room service available (1/4-pound fresh chicken or beef with sliced pork liver on top—raw or cooked to their liking), but your pet will also be able to join you on the patio of the Broad Arrow Tavern. My favorite part of the deal? The inn donates $5 from the nightly pet fee ($25) to the Coastal Humane Society!

Lazy Dog Inn, Chocorua, New Hampshire

Admittedly pup-centric, this amazing property will be both four and two-legged family members’ favorite retreat! This 1845 built farmhouse boasts the “Doggy Lodge,” a temperature controlled play area, as well as an expansive outdoor run (fenced, of course). There is a convenient dog-wash facility for those muddy days and the staff will even hang with your canine at the property if you have a no-dogs-allowed activity on your itinerary. You’ll love sweet Molly and Meghan, the resident golden retrievers, who will make you feel at home. They call it “A Truly Dog Friendly Bed and Breakfast,” and you’ll agree!

The Paw House Inn, Rutland, Vermont

This inn was just featured on the Travel Channel it’s so great! Tucked in rural Rutland near the popular ski areas, this B & B will treat your pups to plush bedding, homemade treats daily and even an agility course to play on! For humans and dogs alike, there are hiking trails and 120 acres to romp on—even outdoor movie showings! Mario’s Playhouse is a specially designed building where your pet can stay if you need to pop out for a bit. Climate controlled, safe and comfortable, it’s a great home base if you are out of the room. Play time and long walks with the staff are included in your room fee, if you are out on the slopes. This amazing place is so dedicated to pet friendliness; they impose a fee of $10 if you arrive without a pet!

The Inn at Restful Paws, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

This truly unique pet property is on 31 acres in central Massachusetts. “The place where pooches bring their people to relax,” is their motto. Nicely kept grounds with gazebos, wooded walking trails and picnic tables make your time outdoors with your dog a pleasure, but the real treat here is Rosie B’s. This custom designed dogs-only swimming pool is indoors, in ground and treated with special non-toxic, non-chemical purification systems. Your dog will have a blast jumping in after toys or wading around in the beach-style shallow end. If your dog is a real glutton for exercise, there are on-site agility classes too! Your room will come with “accident” cleaning supplies, a plush dog towel, a bean bag bed for the pup and a clever paw-print-proof bed cover for the peoples’ bed too.

Noella Schink is a travel writer from Portland, Maine. She loves to take road trips with her two shih-tzus Brutus and Chloe (they love car rides, too!). She makes her hotel bookings with Excellent Hotels when she’s traveling and always appreciates it when a property accepts both her and her dogs.


Guest Blog from Olga Horvat: Picking the Right Name for Your New Pet

As founder of Four Legged, I am happy to share insights from guest bloggers. With the new year fast approaching, here’s a timely one – especially for all of you who have or will soon adopt a dog, cat or other pet. Olga Horvat, author of Paranormal Pooch, writes:

Experts have estimated that, over a dog’s lifetime, his name will be called over 30,000 times, so a name has to sound right. Words, like thoughts, are a form of energy and vibrate on various frequencies. Picking the right name for a pet can set up the right vibrations for a happy life, while choosing the wrong name can be harmful to the animal, and even to its owner. The scholar and philosopher Jean Houston, in her book, Mystical Dogs, tells about bringing home a new dog and naming him ‘Zeus’, after the Greek god who hurls thunderbolts. That very week, her house was damaged by lightening several times, to the tune of $6,000. “It was evident Zeus was going to live up to his name,” Houston wrote.

I bounced ideas around with my husband, Alex and my daughter, Kathy. We all wanted the puppy to have a distinguished, even royal name, such as ‘Princess Di’, or ‘Princess Grace’. On the other hand, these ladies had short lives (each died in an auto crash); I did not want to associate our dog with such a legacy. Then I thought it would be fun to give her a name after a famous movie dog, such as Lassie, Maya, Nina, Rin Tin Tin, or some other very well-known Hollywood canine. But none of these names pleased me. The ‘perfect dog’ deserves a perfect name.

I kept reading and searching, dreaming up names. There was an interesting historical poodle I read about. In the 17th century, there was Prince Rupert of the Rhine, nephew to King Charles I of England. Prince Rupert owned a white poodle named Boye. Rumor had it that this dog was possessed by a witch’s spirit. Supposedly, the witch, traveling in the form of a dog, ensured the prince’s victory in his battles against the Parliamentarians. Rupert was a commander in Charles’s cavalry, and Boye was always at his side. Throughout the English Civil War, the Parliament feared the dog, claiming it had supernatural powers. Boye was finally killed at the famously ferocious battle of Marston Moor in June of 1644, which was the first major defeat for Prince Rupert and the Royalists. The defeat, coming as it did with Boye’s death, convinced many that the poodle had indeed been possessed.

Well, I definitely did not want my dog associated with witchcraft and supernatural events and bloody battles. I kept digging for the right name.

One night, a phrase just came to me ‘Princess of Swan Lake’. There was a wonderful children’s movie, Barbie of Swan Lake, directed by Owen Hurley, which we had all enjoyed. Princess of Swan Lake was such a subtle and beautiful fairy tale name, a soft and precious title befitting a darling little creature. When Alex and Kathy heard the name, they instantly knew it was just right. We’d finally found the perfect name.

Olga Horvat, MA, author of Paranormal Pooch


Leash Your Fitness Shows You How to REALLY Work Out with Your Dog!

Vote for Leash Your Fitness as Best Bootcamp!

Do you take your dog for a daily walk? While on your walk, do you REALLY bond with your dog? Do you find yourself teaching them new things, working on dog obedience, and mixing up your walks OR are you talking on your cell phone, allowing your dog to pull you all over the place, and walking the same block EVERY day just so that your dog can potty and you can go home?

Working out with your dog should be fun and challenging for both of you. The goal should be a good calorie burn and a tired dog so that they stay out of trouble and don’t get bored and chew up your slippers or bark all day.
You got your dog so that you can have a buddy, right? So why not do fun things with Fido instead of the dreaded walk around the block. Leash your Fitness was created because Dawn Celapino, owner, got her dog, Jack, and fell in love. She NEVER wanted to leave Jack at home because he was so much fun to be around. As a personal trainer, she saw a need and filled it.

If you work all day and then go to the gym or a class after work, your dog is left for an awfully long time alone. Dogs really love their owners and want to be with you so why not include your dog in your workouts and activities? You may ask, why should I pay for a class when I have a gym membership or can walk my dog on my own? Leash Your Fitness classes are structured hour workouts that will give you a full body challenging workout AND tire your dog with physical AND mental challenges.

Your dog will be more tired from the workouts than they will from a dog run or walk because they will be mentally tired from the dog obedience. They may even learn new tricks in class! PLUS, you will be surrounded by dog lovers that share the same passion about their pets, want to lose weight or get fit, and you will be introduced to new exercises and activities that you may not have done otherwise. What other program offers that?

Other boot camp classes still leave you with going home to take care of Fido without offering you contests, hikes, yoga, yappy hour classes, kayaking, surfing and more. Leash Your Fitness mixes it up so you won’t get bored! Who says the only thing you can do with your dog is take them on a run or walk?
If you think that Leash Your Fitness is a good idea, they would LOVE to have your vote so others know that working out with your dog ROCKS!!! Please take a minute and vote for them for BEST BOOTCAMP. They really appreciate it. The contest, sponsored by, permits only one vote per email address, but feel free to have your dog friends vote for them as well. Dog people unite!!!

If you would like to hear what their “regulars” have to say about the Leash Your Fitness program, please visit their testimonials page. Their family will welcome you with open arms!! Hope that you join them today – they will take your dog walks to the next level!


Jack's Blog – Surfing with Your Dog

Here is another wise, informative dog activity article from Dawn Celapino, founder of Leash Your Fitness, and her cool, jock of a Cairn terrier named Jack:

Whoever said you can only have fun with your dog on land has never tried surfing with their dog!  Some dogs don’t want any part of it and others LOVE IT!  This weekend is the 6th annual Loews Surf Dog Competition and Jack has been training for it. He will be up against some very competitive dogs but we are going for fun and to hang with our surf dog friends.  Leash Your Fitness is all about doing different activities with your dogs and surfing is another great way to bond with your dog.

Surfing  is great for your dogs  balance and strength and really fun to watch. (It’s also a great workout for the human.) If your dog is already used to swimming in the waves–they may be ready to try surfing.  If not, you may want to get them used to the waves first by taking them out slowly, throwing the ball for them and just getting them used to the water.   There are a few things that you should know before you try taking your dog out on a board.

1. Salt water can dehydrate your dog so make sure you have plenty of fresh water available for when Fido is done hanging 10.  Don’t allow them to be in the water for extended periods of time and give them little breaks in between playing in the water so that they don’t get a tummy ache. They may get diarrhea from the sand and salt water.

2.  Don’t take them out in the surf without a Canine Floatation Device (life-vest) that fits correctly without slipping off.  When they fall off the board, even though they may be a good swimmer, they may get tumbled or get into a rip current so PLEASE be prepared. Do not go out into the ocean in conditions you’re not comfortable in.

3. Only use a Soft top (foam board) or a special dog surf board for dog surfing.  The dogs can grip much better on them and if it hits them it won’t hurt so bad.  Also, you may want to start with a long board as it is easier to balance on. You can rent boards at your local surf shop-just make sure that Fido doesn’t bite a hole in it! You might also try a boogie board for the very small dogs.

4. Get Fido used to the board on the sand first or at home. At home, feed him on the board. Only give him treats when he gets on the board. The idea is to get them to WANT to be on the board. Show them that it is not going to hurt them–let them jump on it, walk on it, lay on it and just get used to it.  Then take it out in the very shallow water and let them see that it is safe to stand on.

5.  When you think your dog is ready to try surfing–start off in the whitewash.  Don’t take fido out to the big waves for the first several times you go to the beach.  Let him get used to his balance on the board and falling off in the shallow water. When you go out, have one hand on the tail (back) of the board and one under you dogs stomach.  This way as you go out thru the waves you can push down on the tail to go over the top of the wave while holding your dog securely. It also makes it easier to turn around as a wave approaches. Make sure your surf Dog is standing in the back 1/3 of the surfboard. As the wave approaches, slowly start move to get to the same speed as the wave, then let the wave take him. No sudden moves. Remember this is fun! Lots of encouragement and praise! At first they may run to shore but after catching a few waves, or your dog may like it and swim back and jump right back on for round two!

6.  Most all dogs want to run to the front of the board which will cause a nosedive under the wave. It just takes practice to get them to stay in the correct position on the board. Don’t give up.

It takes a little practice to get Fido ready for his first surf competition, you may have to play around with different size boards and techniques as all dogs are different. If your dog is not digging the surf thing, don’t force them to do it. Many dogs do not like falling off and will run to shore. Some may not come back in the water. You want to make it a fun experience for them! If they don’t like it, don’t push it, there are plenty of other activities you can do with your dog!

A special thanks to Peter Noll and his champion surf dog, Nani, of the So Cal Surf Dogs for his input on this blog.

See you in the water!!!


Tips for Camping with Your Dog

Dawn Celapino, founder of Leash Your Fitness, a people-dog workout class, is giving new meaning to the term, pup tent. That’s because she is organizing the third annual LYF weekend camping trip in San Diego County that will include 22 people and 18 dogs!

As founder of Four Legged Life, I am happy to share her latest blog from her site. She and Jack, her cool, athletic Cairn terrier, want to ensure that you play it safe when camping with your dog. Read on!

This weekend the Leash Your Fitness family is going camping! We are really excited as this is our 3rd annual camping trip and the other two were loads of fun!  There are a few things that you should be aware of when taking your dogs camping and we want to share them with you:

1/ Find out where the nearest 24 hour vet is.  You never EXPECT a medical emergency but if your dog gets biten by a rattlesnake or anything else tragic–you want to know where to go and FAST!  Also, take a first aid kit with you for minor accidents.

2/ Are there ticks in the area where you are going and is your dog protected?   Some flea medicines, like Comfortis, do not cover ticks so make sure Fido has coverage.  Know how to get a tick off in case your dog does get one.  There are little devices that you can buy or there are many ways to remove a tick. Whatever you do, DON’T try to burn it off, that isn’t a good idea for your furry friend.

3/ Don’t forget: an extra leash, collar, any dog meds and enough food/ treats.  If your dog has short hair, you may consider a thermal jacket or something to keep him warm.  Also, bring a bed, towel or pillow for your dog to sleep on.  Our dogs are spoiled and used to sleeping in warm houses just like us!

4/ Are dogs allowed on the trails where you are going?  Many state parks do not allow dogs on the trails.  Make sure you check all of the rules before you depart.  There is nothing worse than showing up and not being able to go anywhere because “No dogs allowed” signs are posted.

5/ Preparing your dog is a must:  you may want to put the tent up before you go and do a “practice run” and you don’t want to plan on hiking 6 miles if Fido is only used to walking around the block.   Build up to the trip and it will make it a much better experience for everyone.

Camping with your dog is a lot of fun in the right setting.  Research the area and ask other dog owners if they have camped in the area where you intend to go.  Have fun and let us know about your experience! If you want to check out our pictures from last years trip, click here. Stay tuned for pictures of this years adventure.