About Pet Blogs United

Pet Blogs United aims to support our fellow pet bloggers by encouraging members to visit other members and leave comments. It’s a great way to find great blogs & new friends.

Pet bloggers are some of the kindest people we’ve come across, so we know that with your help, this site will become a great place for everyone.
We will have a featured blogger every week once we get going and that person will hopefully be showered with comments from our members.

To be a PBU featured blogger, first become a follower through Google Friend Connect (juct click the follow button you always see). Then just send an e-mail to Pet Blogs United. We'll contact you, have you pick some of your favorite posts and feature you when your turn comes up on the list. Pet Blogs United will only feature blogs about, by or for pets & animals.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Helping Dogs With Travel Phobia By Hsin-Yi Cohen

Does your dog drool or vomit in the car? Or does he dread a drive so much that he refuses to get in? Fear not – you’re not alone. There are simple ways to teach your dog to enjoy trips in the car.

Dogs develop a fear of car travel for a number of reasons. The most common is negative associations, particularly when the dog was a puppy. His first experience was probably the traumatic journey from the breeders, pet shop or shelter where he was wrenched from everything familiar, to sit in a “room” that moves strangely, accelerates, stops without warning and throws him from side to side. Not surprisingly, he gets nauseous – and associates feeling sick with car rides. In addition, owners are often advised to keep puppies at home until fully-vaccinated and so may not introduce car rides until well past the crucial socialisation period - plus those that exercise their dogs close to home will probably only take their dogs in the car for “unpleasant” reasons, such as trips to the vet. Dogs can also develop a fear of the car following a road accident.

To help your puppy, it’s important to start socialising him to cars as early as possible. Even if you are not going anywhere, get your puppy used to sitting quietly in the car, first with the engine off, then with it on but stationary. You can feed him tasty treats and praise any calm, quiet behaviour but ignore any whining, crying, jumping around and other excitable behaviours. Most of all, DO NOT comfort and reassure any sign of fear or anxiety – dogs see reassurance as praise and this is guaranteed to create a fearful dog. When your puppy is happily getting into the car and sitting calmly, start going for short (5-10mins) rides down the street and back. Gradually increase the length of rides and include “fun” destinations, such as the local park, a favourite friend’s house or even puppy school, so that he looks forward to car trips.

For adult dogs with car-phobia, the steps are very similar. Even if they have been in cars before, go back to the beginning and start with positive experiences in a stationary car. Feeding their daily meals in the car for a week can do wonders. However, if you’re actually driving anywhere and you have a sensitive passenger, it is best to avoid feeding any food for a few hours before the journey. For dogs that are persistently sick (motion sickness rather than anxiety), consult your vet for medication.

If your fearful dog refuses to get in the car, try enticing him with a very tasty treat (yummy human food he hasn’t had before) or even a ball game. Playing with your dog’s toys in and around your car will help to build positive associations.

People who think that it’s “cool” to let their dogs hang out the window, bounce from seat to seat or even sit in their laps while driving (yes, this has been witnessed!) are simply irresponsible and putting themselves and their dogs in danger. Dogs don’t have to do these things to enjoy car rides and having your dog properly restrained can go a long way towards helping him feel comfortable and secure. This can be in the form of a crate for smaller dogs, a doggie seat-belt or a dog grill for larger dogs at the back. Crates are ideal as dogs love the den-like environment and will feel safer enclosed. If you have a particularly nervous passenger, having a covered crate can help him relax. However, if your dog is not used to crates (or seatbelts), make sure that you gradually acclimatise him to time spent with these devices, using treats to build positive experiences, before you strap him in for a long car ride – otherwise he will simply have a new negative experience in the car.

Happy Driving!

“Hsin-Yi is a freelance writer specialising in pet magazines; she has also had short stories and poetry published and is working on a novel – when she isn’t wiping up slobber from her Great Dane! She is currently living in Australia with her husband, their Great Dane, Honey and their rescue kitty, Muesli. You can follow Honey’s adventures on her blog at http://www.bighoneydog.com/, which features plus-sized doggie adventures, fun photos & videos, as well as dog training tips & information on dogfriendly places, products & services.”

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Hartz Angry Birds Have Landed

Oskar here,


You will not believe what's in the giant package that came to my door!


Only a box full of Hartz's brand new Angry Birds toys!


Angry Birds is the hottest thing this Christmas and I've got them to give away.

Hartz sent us some amazing Angry Birds loot for both cats & dogs, so Chloe, Moe & I are going to give some of these a good hard testing and then we'll be giving some away to you!  A cat pack & a dog pack.

And I didn't even have to wait until Christmas!
 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Check Out Tiny Prints For Your Holiday Cards

We have found another great option for holiday photo cards.

Tiny Prints wanted us to share their holiday collection with you and I found a bunch of designs that I like.

I really like some of the less traditional cards like this one called Peppermint Streamers.



Since we've started participating in pet blogging holiday card exchanges, Oskar gets tons more cards than we do.  Last year I decided to display them hanging around the room on twine with little clothespins that I found at a craft store.  It looked adorable & I'll be doing it again this year.

If you haven't bought your holiday cards yet, take a look around Tiny Prints and see if you like what they have to offer.  I know you'll find something!
*in exchange for this post Tiny Prints is offering me 50 free holiday cards.  The views expressed are my own. 

My Dogs Love Me - Weekly Featured Blogger

Haopee of My Dogs Love Me, gives us some insight as to what it's like to be a dog owner in the Philippines.  She has a true desire to help more dogs in her country:

Street puppies
Only a minority of people here treat their dogs the way you guys do. People here rarely visit the vets unless they have purebred dogs. I, on the other hand, am willing to spend a buck or two just to keep my dogs healthy and it's kinda funny how whenever I go to the animal clinic, my pets are the only street dogs/mongrels being attended to (most of the time).
Buchi, happy without mange
The first time I could proudly call myself a pet owner was when I bought my shih-tzu named Buchi from a breeder. I specifically chose him because he seemed so good and nice compared to his brother which was active and very playful. Little did I know that choosing him was the start of a grueling battle against mange. At first I thought it was dandruff or extreme itching, so I cut his hair because the weather in our place was extremely hot. But he did not get better and I felt helpless. Because he was still a puppy, mange soap was not a suitable treatment. It even came to a point that he was scratching his eyes against his cage which in turn caused corneal ulcer. I called the first vet and asked her what I should do about it and she told me to calm down and just wait for it to heal. Being the panicky owner that I was, I finally decided to go to another vet clinic. They charged me for a medicine that was dropped on his back and an eye ointment. These gave Buchi instant relief.

Twitch
Though this had been a long time ago, it was then I started posting. At first it had been all about Buchi, but now, I realize that pet owners in my country don't have that much knowledge about pets that we only rely on vets to help them.
 
Shark, died of poisoning
Aside from enjoying talking about my doggy experiences, I also hope to help fellow pet lovers with tips which are also applicable in my country for breeds, mongrels and especially street dogs.

Your Dog's Set Of Rules

My Favorite Dog Story: Hachiko

Poisoning- A topic close to my heart because our dog recently died of it


Stop by My Dogs Love Me this week and say hello to Haopee and the gang.

If you're interested in being featured on Pet Blogs United, drop us a line at PBU at comcast dot net.
 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mike Arms Answers Your Questions Part 2

Here are the second half of the questions Mike Arms, President of the amazing Helen Woodward Animal Center & founder of the Iams Home 4 the Holidays program.

Don't forget that for each comment you leave on this post that Iams will donate 10 bowls of food to an orphaned animal!  You can also still comment on the first post if you haven't already & earn another 10 bowls of food.

Confetti

14. How can we make humans understand that just because the cuteness is worn off their pet- it’s wrong to dump them out. We all need to work harder to educate the public at point of adoption that this is a life-long commitment. That this is not something you take home and play with while it’s a puppy or kitten and disregard when it’s older. I feel we don’t do enough of this in the industry, and we really need to start focusing on it. I hope someday, we do not license pets, but license pet owners. They should go through an 8 hour class on what pet parent responsibility is, and not be allowed to get a pet until they’ve achieved this mark.

15. I am from the other side of the world but I believe there's no boundary to helping animals. We know adoption is the way to go in order to eradicate puppy mills. But in the meanwhile, what happens to those poor puppies in pet stores? Won't they get killed if no one buys them? :( It's really a dilemma. I have found many times, when these pet stores are going out of business because of lack of sales, they find it’s much easier and cheaper just to relinquish the pets to their local animal facilities. And that’s what we need to happen until all these puppy mills are closed and the pet stores become obsolete.

16. There are so many different niche groups when it comes to pet adoption; seniors, special needs, and breed specific all come to mind quickly. Are there any special groups that are particularly near and dear to your heart? I stay focused on major programs like Iams Home 4 the Holidays that encompasses all pets. I rule with my mind over my heart for the purpose of saving as many lives as I can—young, old, disabled, etc. 
Cardinal

17. My question is whether you believe in the concept of a "heart animal" and if so, which of your own pets has earned that distinction? I have to admit that I had one pet that I strongly felt was my soul mate. His name was Trouble and he was a Belgian, Shepard, blend. He stole my heart when he was a puppy. He was closer to me than any living thing in my life. I lost my good friend about 8 years ago, and as I’m now thinking of him, I am overwhelmed with sorrow and the tears are in my eyes. I will love him forever.

18. I wood like to know if yoo've tride dressing cats in kyoot outfits to show them off and make them more adoptable? We don’t dress our adoptable pets, but we do come up with creative marketing ideas to bring more attention. For example, during the Royal Wedding we named two puppies Princess Kate and Prince William and held a ceremony of our own, which brought media attention.

19. What is the single most important piece of advice you can give to people who want to make a difference? If you really care about pets, and totally understand that we were put on this earth to share life with them, we can help by providing them with good homes, or by going down to your local animal facility and giving some of your precious time to help enhance the quality of life for them. Tell friends and neighbors who are interested in bringing a new pet into their home to go down to their local animal facility. Keep in mind, the best adoption is when the pet adopts you. So go down to your local facility and see if the love of your life is waiting there for you.

20. Have you got any connections with animal shelters in the UK? There are more and more homeless animals here due to the economy problem. We work with a handful of animal organizations in the UK, please visit this link to see the complete list. 

Snowboard

22. My question is how do you suggest introducing "newbies" to the rescue community? I would take this as you’re speaking about people getting involved with the rescue community. My best suggestion would be to attend pet conferences, to meet the individuals, see what they’re all about, and explain to them what you’re all about to see if it’s a fit.

23. I would like to provide people the five top reasons they should adopt a homeless dog or cat. What five would you list?

1. You will have someone to tell your troubles to that will not be judgmental.
2. They will keep you company.
3. Having a pet helps in so many ways with health related problems; keeping blood pressure low, etc. 4. They can teach you the true meaning of love.
5. They can teach you the meaning of responsibility.

25. How can we get the point across that humans need to take on responsibilities and get their pets neutered? Education. It’s important that we all work together to educate our peers on the importance of spay and neutering our pets. Four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. animal organizations each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets. Spay/neuter is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation, ensuring that every pet has a family to love them.

26. We’re in the UK but have the same problems with Rescue over here. We wondered what was the breed most commonly found in rescue in the USA? For the last several years, it has been pit bulls.


Butter
 27. What do you think are the most important things that we should be teaching our fosters other than house-training them? It’s very easy to teach the pets we are fostering basic, good manners. To sit, to stay, not to chew on things they’re not supposed to chew on. But most importantly, teach them that the human hands are to be gentle with them, so they understand there is nothing to fear.

28. Do you think my idea can help generate more donations? I created the first all-encompassing 'breed' for mutts, the GenChan®. It's trademarked and all that stuff. GenChan is a humorous acronym for the genetically challenged dog. GenChans can get their Pedigree/Medigree papers, GenChan accessories and human garb. All the stuff purebreds have except for GenChan mutts and mixes! There's a lot more to this but from 30,000 feet do you think we may have something new here to help raise donations? I encourage all new types of promotions and sometimes things need to be modified, based on the public’s response. Here we know that calling our pets “blends” instead of “mixed breeds” has really started to make a difference. Keep up the great work.

P.S. If you want to know more about why I do what I do, just go to our website and you can read my story.

I want to say a huge thank you to the amazing Mike Arms for taking time out of his busy schedule to spend with us.  Of course another thank you to Iams for donating 10 bowls for every question asked & 10 bowls for each comment here and on the first post.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We want to wish everyone in the Pet Blogs United family a safe, loving & pet filled Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mike Arms Answers Your Questions!

Mike Arms, founder of Iams Home 4 the Holidays compaign and president of the Helen Woodward Animal Center took all the questions Pet Blogs United readers posted last month & answered most of them.  There were a few health-related questions that he wasn't able to answer, but here are the first 13 that he did answer.


By the way, by asking 39 questions, Pet Blogs United readers have raised a total of 390 bowls of food so far for the questions.  Now we have the opportunity to earn 10 more bowls of food for each comment left on this post & tomorrow's post.

1. How did you come up with the idea behind the creation of Iams Home 4 the Holidays? I am proud to say that I've spent over four decades as an animal welfare advocate. When I joined the staff at Helen Woodward Animal Center in 1999, I was all too familiar with the pet homelessness epidemic and I wanted to do whatever I could to help find orphaned animals loving, forever homes. In an effort to encourage families to adopt from a shelter or a rescue organization, I created an adoption drive and quickly brought Iams on board to help bring greater awareness to the cause. Thirteen years later, the Iams Home 4 the Holidays program is still going incredibly strong.

Parka

2. Do you know if IAMS is sponsoring a similar drive in Australia? We have lots of homeless animals here, too. Yes, we work with nearly 50 animal organizations in Australia, to see a complete list please visit the following link: http://www.animalcenter.org/home4theholidays/shelter_map.aspx

3. Any advice for getting people to be more open to adopting older or special needs animals? Older dogs generally have some training, both in obedience and manners. Older dogs can also learn quickly what’s expected of them to gain and keep your love and attention. As for special needs animals, with a health assessment before adoption, one can take appropriate measures to address them and help with improvement. In general, all dogs are in need of lots of love and attention.

4. What’s the best way to get an adopted shelter dog used to your home when you leave for work? I live in a condo with an open concept (not really rooms to close off except the bedroom) and am looking at various small dog breeds that might work well in this situation. The best way to acclimate your new dog to your home is to establish a specific area for them. You can also try crate training them – it will help with potty training and will provide your dog a safe, comfortable place they can call their own.

Tessie

5. Any advice on ways to help animals displaced because of the economy and foreclosure crisis. I know this is a tough question, but so many animals are losing their homes and families. If you are having trouble keeping your pet, it’s always best to ask friends, family and your community before giving them away. People are always willing to help. If you can’t afford to adopt in the first place, but really want a pet, you can always volunteer to temporarily foster a pet, or donate your time or money to a local animal organization.

6. I just read on the HWAC site the amazing story of how you came to be an advocate for animal welfare. Can you tell us a little about what you did immediately before creating HWAC, what led you to where you are today and perhaps one or two of the most valuable insights you've learned from your years helping the animals who need it most?  First I need to say, I did not create Helen Woodward Animal Center. It was a wonderful, best kept secret, that needed someone to help it grow and become a world leader. Prior to coming here, I spent twenty years at North Shore Animal League of America, and two years as a consultant for animal welfare. The most valuable insight that I have learned is to think with your mind, rather than your heart when running your organization. The pets already have my heart; I can only help them by using my intelligence to get them into quality homes as quickly as possible.

7. How did you get involved in your work and do you have pets of your own at home? I seriously got involved after a little dog put purpose into my life. I have 3 dogs and 1 cat at home, and any of us that have pets know that our dogs welcome us home, and our cats allow us to come home.

8. If someone is unable to foster or adopt, but still wants to help, what is the best way to do that? That’s a good question … even if you’re not able to adopt a pet, there are still plenty of ways you can get involved to help homeless animals. You’ll definitely want to visit facebook.com/iams and “Like” the page itself, various messages, photos, videos, etc. posted and in return Iams will donate up to 100 meals per “Like” or comment to feed orphaned animals. The page also has information about becoming a volunteer, look into making a donation to help pets or learn about other ways you can help.

Sleigh

9. Can you tell us what your favourite memory (animal related) is? Going back to that day on the street in the Bronx, when that little dog gave me purpose, will be the day that I never forget. Many of us go through life doing good things and being good at our jobs. I feel I am one of the blessed few that feels they have a purpose for being on this earth.

10. I would like to ask Mike if -- in his early years in the trenches of actually saving and fostering and re-homing, etc. the animals – did he ever get attached to any of them? Did he ever want to keep them for his own? I run into this a lot... You know there are so many times that we fall in love with animals. It could be the way they looked at us today, it could be the way they crawled up on our laps, it could be the way they snuggled our face, licked our hand, licked our cheek, all of these reasons, and many others, are the reason I fall in love with pets. But I know if I had too many, I could not give them the individual attention they deserve. So I need to work to get them into quality homes as quickly as possible. That’s what they deserve.

11. I could never do your job, if for no other reason than I would just get too emotionally overwrought. How do you (and those who work with you) keep going without completely burning out? We stay focused, and I encourage every day, to stay focused on the good we achieve. We stay focused on the purpose of why we are here. We work hard, but we never forget the reason for us being here, and we work as a team to achieve our goals.

Candle

12. I am wondering if Mike is a cat person or a dog person? I do not want my cat to read my answer. I find my dogs more loving and my cat more aloof. I am a total pet person.

13. What do you think are some ideas to help eradicate back yard breeding, puppy mills, and to show uneducated people that adoption is the way to go? The most important step is to speak out and show people the problems with puppy mills and back yard breeding. A great action to help eradicate this type of breeding is by joining your local animal organization. This will not only help educate people about back yard breeding and puppy mills, but it will also help push pet adoption.


Don't forget to leave your comments to earn more bowls of food donated by Iams for orphaned pets.  10 bowls per comment!  And come back tomorrow to read part two of Mike Arms answering your questions.

* All pet featured on this post are available for adoption for the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Along Came Rupert - New Blogger Alert



Today we are glad to introduce you to ...Along Came Rupert.


"Rupert is a 16 week old miniature schnauzer who loves to play with his fuzzy skunk, do tricks for treats, and sing along with opera (or any other high-octave style of music). He was the only male born in a litter of three, on August 2, 2011, and is a very smart puppy that already knows a number of commands. He has a lot of character, loves people, and is very interested in every other dog we pass or see. He's doing very well so far with some of the more obvious puppy behaviors -- house training, crate training, and walking -- and we couldn't be happier with the little dog he's turning out to be.

The adventure with Rupert all began one day when Melinda suggested to Andre that they start looking for a new addition to their little family -- a dog! As animal lovers, the two both agreed that bringing a dog into their quaint apartment life would truly make their home complete. Setting upon their search, Melinda and Andre explored all options -- shelters, rescue organizations, re-homing options, and local reputable breeders. After lots of research, lots of decision making, and more than a little bit of heartbreak (with a foster dog that unfortunately didn't work out), Rupert was found!


After instantly falling in love, Melinda and Andre decided that they would chronicle their new life with Rupert as a way to keep their family and friends updated on his progress and their lives together. They had become inspired by the numerous engaging pet blogs that they began to follow when their search for a new family member had begun months before, and decided that a blog was a great way to showcase Rupert -- as well as a way to join a dynamic online community of pet bloggers.

Now after only 2 months, Melinda and Andre are loving the blogging experience that they have already acquired and the many people who they have had the benefit to interact with. They are also enjoying every day with their new puppy, and are eagerly documenting their experiences with Rupert to share with readers. One day, they were just a regular couple living a regular life. The next... along came Rupert! And they haven't looked back since."


You have to know we have a soft spot in our hearts for black miniature schnauzers, so please stop by ...Along Came Rupert and tell them Oskar sent you!
  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Please Read ~ Giveaway Problem

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We are having some technical difficulties!

I tried using a tool called Rafflecopter to host last week's Gift Guide giveaways, but there seem to be some problems.

Currently the Rafflecopter form for the Pet Convincer is on the H.L. Whitingham post & the Pet Convincer post has no Rafflecopter form.

I had sincerely hoped that this would make giveaways easier, and maybe it does, it could be that I used it incorrectly.

Whatever the case, if you had any trouble entering any of the thre contests last week leave me a comment here on this post.

The three contests were, ZooBorns Cats Book, Pet Convincer, or H. L. Whitingham Collar & Lead.

I'm so sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
 

Friday, November 18, 2011

ClumperDumper Review Holiday Gift Guide Pick

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The ClumperDumper is a great way to change your cat's litter box without the usual hassle and mess.

You just insert the ClumperDumper into a container, dump the used cat litter into the ClumperDumper, and remove the ClumperDumper and dump the clumps.


The ClumperDumper is sized to fit into a Tidy Cat litter container, but you can use an empty litter box or whatever else is convenient for you.

It's easy to use, and I prefer this "sifting" method as opposed to being hunched over the litter box scooping out poop.

It's really a great idea and very simple to use.  Whoever is in charge of scooping poop at your house will thank you if you get them a ClumperDumper this holiday season :)
 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

H. L. Whitingham Collar & Lead Set Review & Giveaway Holiday Gift Guide Pick

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Today we have a beautiful review & giveaway for any dog lover, a high quality, beautiful collar and lead set from H. L. Whitingham.


We requested the Buchanan collar and lead for Oskar and it's perfect, the colors really stands out nicely from his fur.


I have to tell you though, the real story behind these collars & leads are the quality, the craftsmanship, and the fact that they are made in the USA.




This is a Christmas Day set, a dress to impress set, and one that I'm sure you will own for many years.

One lucky Pet Blogs United reader is going to win an H. L. Whitingham MacGregor plaid collar & lead set.  Just like Oskar's, but in the pattern shown below.


It will be just stunning for the holidays. 

I feel like this is kind of a short post, but there is just nothing left to say.  Beautifully made, detailed and even packaged carefully, H. L. Whitingham products are just spectacular.

To enter the contest you only have to do the first task in the Rafflecopter.  The others are just for bonus entries.  We don't want anyone to think they are excluded if they aren't on Twitter :)  And like the others, this giveawy is open world wide!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quick Release Dog Backpack From Kyjen Holiday Gift Guide Pick Review

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Sorry this is late in getting posted, Blogger has been a bear these last couple of day :(

Today I'm glad to show you the the Quick Release Dog Backpack from Kyjen.  I originally got a medium for Oskar, but he needed a small, so measure carefully.  I can't tell you how much I love this pack.  I think he looks ridiculously cute in it & it's really functional.


It's really easy to adjust & put on with one strap around the neck and two around the chest/abdomen. 

A nice feature of this pack is that each place where there is a plastic latch, there is also a little padded circle of material between Oskar & the latch so it can't rub or pull fur.  You can see it in the photos below.



With 2 zippered packs & 2 mesh exterior pockets for wet items, the dog can really carry some stuff in this. 


Other cool features include reflective accents for high visibility, clips for harness and keys and my person favorite the ability to remove the weight of the pack without removing all of the clips.

Velcro keeps the top layer on & is easily removable for breaks.


Leaving only the lighweight body & straps and actually removing the "saddle bag" portion that carries the weight.


The Quick Release Dog Backpack from Kyjan is really cool and Oskar actually seemes to have a little extra bounce in his step when he wears it.

This is a great gift for any family who likes long walks or long hikes with their dog.  Kyjen also has really cool dog puzzles, toys and some really unique items, so check 'em out for your holiday goodies!


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