Welcome to another edition of Barks and Bytes where we share comments and questions from other pet lovers about car travel and where we review the events of the week. The Barks and Bytes blog hop is hosted by our friends at Heart Like a Dog and 2 Brown Dawgs.
LAST WEEK BARKS
Carol with Fidose of Reality left a very nice comment, “I want to thank you for having a blog where safety and traveling with dogs is combined into one.”
Thank you, Carol! I know you’re a fan of pet safety in the car. I’ve seen photos of Dexter wearing his dog car harness. I’d love to share one of those photos here and on our Facebook and G+ pages. Let me know!
BARKS FROM PETS THAT DON’T LIKE TO RIDE IN THE CAR
Lindsay with That Mutt had a good idea about helping cats ride well in the car, “put him in his carrier and put a towel over it and that has helped calm him down.”
Great idea, Lindsay! Sometimes pets need to look out the window in order to help with motion sickness. But if the issue is anxiety, having them ride in a carrier and covering it with a towel can be very helpful.
Tegan with Leema Kennels Rescue and Blogsaid, “You can also try feeding ginger 30 minutes before travel for travel sickness.”
You’re so smart, Tegan! How much ginger would you say? By the way, ginger is one of the primary ingredients of Travel Calm. Travel Calm is not available everywhere, though. Tegan is in Australia.
Jody with Bark and Swagger said, “Sophie doesn’t line riding in the car, but I think it’s because she took a long journey as a young puppy to get home to us. It was probably scary.”
I agree. Riding in the car for such a long trip probably was scary. All that movement of stopping, turning, and speeding up can be really hard on a puppy tummy. Then there are also the strange sights and smells whizzing by. Poor Sophie. I hope she comes to enjoy car rides someday.
I had a wonderful conversation through Facebook with someone regarding dog seat belts. She said a friend of hers bought the ClickIt dog seat belt and was not happy with how complicated it was to use. She said the same regarding the AllSafe. Although these two brands are very good for safety, ease of use is another important factor to consider when shopping for the right dog seat belt. Your dog’s comfort is another thing to take into account.
So what dog seat belt combines comfort, ease of use, AND safety? My personal first choice is the Bergan brand. Although, a small handful of people have said it is complicated too. I think it is the very first time you put it on. But once you get it fitted and put it on a few times, it is very simple. Bergan has made a great video to help you through the steps.
You may remember from the report from the Center for Pet Safety, though, that the Bergan brand failed using the 75 pound dog dummy. After speaking with Bergan, they have promised a new version in the large size will be coming out soon. In the meantime, the Ruff Rider Roadie is another great brand. It passed testing at all sizes. It is one of my favorites too, but I do like the padding of the Bergan better.
I have an interview for a radio show today. The interview won’t air until March, so I will keep you posted. It’s hosted by Karen from PetsPage.com and will play on the pet news segment on Kim Power Stilson’s Talk Radio show on SiriusXM. It’s a simple interview, but I’m both excited and scared at the same time!
WAG N GO
There is only a little bit more time and more £ to go to help out Trina with her new product. Please go check out the Wag N Go on Kickstarter.
QUICK DOG SAFETY TIP
Front passenger side airbags are not safe for pets. If your dog likes to sit in the front seat, check your vehicle specifications to see how much weight will trigger the airbags. Some airbags will only go off if the seat has a certain amount of weight in it. Others will go off regardless of weight. If this is the case, see if the passenger side airbag can be temporarily disabled. And if not, push the seat as far back as possible while your dog is sitting in it.
Generally, we recommend pets sit in the back. But I understand how a dog may want to sit in the front. That would be Maya’s first choice. But Maya would be too much of a distraction. So if your dog needs to sit in the front, don’t let him be a distraction and make sure he is not in danger of the passenger side airbags.
Thank you for visiting us today on the Barks and Bytes. Please feel free to leave us a comment or question below. We will reply with a comment of our own and address it in next week’s Barks and Bytes. If you have a question that you want to ask privately or if you need your question answered right away, please feel free to email us at nature by dawn at aol dot com (spelled out in order to avoid recognition from spam bots).
Dawn with Maya and Pierson
Wow, is this the third Friday of the new year already? Time goes by too quickly. Welcome to another edition of the Follow Up Friday blog hop hosted by Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. This is actually the second follow up of the year since we did the pet blogger challenge last week. Rather than cover two weeks of follow up, though, let’s just start with the fun pet blogger challenge.
PET BLOGGER CHALLENGE
Pamela with Something Wagging said, “OMD! You can write a blog post in an hour!” Glogirly said something similar, “I’m also very impressed that you can write a blog post in an hour!”
Okay, let me clarify. Yes, it does only take me an hour to actually write a post. But when you add research time into it and the time it takes to not only take photos but to edit them as well, I actually spend a good two hours or more on some posts. Plus, if you add all the time I spend procrastinating…
Also, I want to thank everyone who complimented me and my blog on the pet blogger’s challenge. The feedback you’ve given encourages me to keep on posting. Thanks to the challenge, I’ve also found some new fun pet blogs to follow.
A LOOK BACK AT 2013
Ann with Pawsitively Pets mentioned how nervous she is about trying new things outside of blogging, such as a radio show or her own video.
I get that way too. In fact, I bought my video camera and software in February 2013, but I didn’t actually get the video done until November. Part of it was because I was trying to learn the software, but part of it was also because I was nervous. I kept procrastinating because I was afraid my idea was stupid and no one would like it. But you know what? The video may not have lived up to my best expectations, but it didn’t come close to meeting my worst fears either. So just jump on in! I promise, it won’t be as bad as you think it will. And you might even realize you really enjoy it.
NEW FOR 2014
A couple of you suggested I could do a guest post about safety on your blog. I’d absolutely love to! Email me at naturebydawn at gmail dot com to give me an idea of what your readers would like and let’s work something out. Yay! Thank you for helping me and for spreading the word about safety in the car for our furry loved ones.
WORDLESS WEDNESDAY SAFETY MESSAGE
Aimee with Irresistible Pets said, “My Chihuahua Chuy always wants to sit in my lap and whines like crazy when we put him in his seat. I guess I should have started doing that when he was a puppy!”
Good news, Aimee. It’s not too late to modify his behavior. In fact, I wrote an article about this very topic on another blog. Go check it out on Pets Page – Tips to Keep Your Little Dog Off Your Lap.
That’s a wrap! Thank you everyone for stopping by. And thank you again for the compliments and comments left on last week’s pet blogger challenge. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that 2014 continues to get better and better for you. Be sure to check out the other great pet bloggers in the blog hop below.
Dawn with Maya and Pierson
I saw the cutest photo from one of my Facebook friends and asked if I could copy it and share. At the time, I meant to add a funny caption. I didn’t realize he was actually driving this way! I thought the photo was taken when he was parked, but I see blurry background. I hope the person who let me share this photo will understand why I added a safety message rather than a funny caption.
A dog allowed to ride in your lap while you drive might seem pretty darned cute, but it is as cute as it is dangerous. I know the person in this photo knows this and I know this is not an activity usually allowed. So please, no criticizing comments. This safety message is only intended to bring about awareness. Thank you Facebook friend (who shall remain anonymous) for letting me use the photo.
For more cute (and much safer) pet photos check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.
Happy New Year!
Before we bring in the new year, I want to take a look back at how we spent our holiday.
It was a long drive from Kansas to Texas and back. But it was great to see family again this holiday. We had a great time visiting my parents, seeing my brother and sister and my sister’s kids. You can see those photos of our visit on our other blog through the Wordless Wednesday blog hop hosted by Blog Paws. But first, check out these photos from our road trip:
Hello everyone! I hope you all are looking forward to the upcoming holiday. I know I am. We’re heading out to Texas later today. Maya and Pierson are excited about the car ride. They love having their seat belts put on because they know they’re getting to go somewhere fun. The problem is they think we’re going to the park, pet store, or somewhere close by. Their excitement won’t last when they realize it is going to be a long long drive. We will be staying in Oklahoma City overnight at a pet friendly hotel in order to break up the eleven hour drive. So what are you doing this holiday?
I wasn’t initially going to write a Follow Up Friday post this week. But all your wonderful comments on the Meet the Bloggers blog hop inspired me. My packing is done, so why not. Let’s follow up! Thank you to Jodi with Heart Like a Dog for hosting this blog hop.
Last Week’s Follow Up Friday
Donna and the Dogs says, “Great follow up. It WAS fun going on a road trip, [referring to her two day trip to Florida] and surprisingly, Leah and Medi were really well behaved…both in the car..and in the hotels we stopped in going there and back.”
Other than Maya whining for the first 10 to 15 minutes, she and Pierson do really well too.
Hawk with Brown Dog CBR and Linda with 2 Brown Dawgs love Maya’s facial expression. Jodi with Heart Like a Dog says Maya looks sad. She’s actually rather bored. I love how expressive she can be, just like a Lab to put on those sad puppy-eyes. I mean seriously, just look at this pathetically cute face:
Seat Cover Contest
Congratulations to Jason D! He chose the tan paw print cover for the back seat.
How to Adjust the ClickIt Utility
Roxy the Traveling Dog says, “The hardest part I had with Torrey was all her fur. Once I got it done though, it’s good to go. I gave her a hair cut, I think i better adjust it again. I do love this harness though.“
LOL! – one of the many facets of having a dog with long hair. When Pierson’s winter coat fills out, I may need to do a little adjusting too.
Meet the Bloggers
Thank you for all the wonderful comments! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about you too. It’s so nice getting to know you better. I feel like our community is even closer than before. We have a lot more in common than just our fur pals.
A couple of you mentioned about how busy I must be with being both an artist and a writer, on top of being a blogger. Yes, I am busy. I like to be busy. But there is not enough time in the world to do all the things I want to do. Besides, I’m an artist. I have to be “in the mood” to do certain things. This means the art and writing are often set aside until an inspiration hits me.
I’ve done four pieced of art work this year, which is more than I’ve been doing since I started PetAutoSafety.com in 2006. And my novels were actually written a decade ago. I’ve written since then, but not nearly as often or as much as I used to. I really want to get back into it. I have another great novel I’ve been working on that is about 1/5 complete.
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews asked if I would eat head cheese. Yes I would. I don’t care what it is made from. I love food almost as much as Maya and Pierson and am willing to try anything at least once. I can’t wait to try some of your Polish food when we stop by on our way back from Texas.
Well, gotta go! I still have a little packing left to do before we go. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you all have a relaxing Friday, a great weekend, and a joyous holiday.
To see what other pet bloggers are up to, be sure to check them out on the Follow Up Friday blog hop below:
A Face Behind the Pet Car Safety Lady
Hi! My name is Dawn Ross. I generally put Maya & Pierson in front of the camera when I talk about pet car safety. But thanks to an idea from Amy with GoPetFriendly.com, perhaps I should tell you more about me. There are four things I love to talk about the most… Maya, Pierson, my husband, and myself!
What’s your favorite non-animal related book?
I love the world of fantasy with dragons, knights, wizards, and castles. My all-time favorite fantasy novels are the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.
What’s your favorite non-animal related movie?
Action/adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, and Disney movies are what I like best. Trying to choose one movie is very difficult, so I will choose one from each of my three favorite genres. Action/adventure – Indiana Jones. Then again, I could watch the Transformers movies over and over again. Sci-fi/fantasy – Star Wars or perhaps Lord of the Rings. Disney – I absolutely loved Tangled.
What’s your favorite non-animal related food?
Cheese. I love cheese. Any kind of cheese will do. Cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cheese cake, goat cheese, Munster, Havarti, gouda, brie, parmesan, cottage cheese, okay maybe not blue cheese.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that? I used to do a lot of crafts. I enjoyed beading. At one time, I was even making my own beads out of rolled up paper. I also like to use plastic canvas. Plastic canvas can be cut into shapes. You can then thread designs on it using yarn, and then sew the shapes together to make something three dimensional.
Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
1. Drawing – If you follow my American Dog Blog, then you probably already know I am an artist. I love to draw nature and animals. In fact, I have a website dedicated just for my artwork at NatureByDawn.com.
2. Reading – I love to read about ancient history. Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient China, Greece, Rome, the Dark Ages, Renaissance, etc.
3. Writing – My love for history led me to a love for mythology, which in turn led me to a love for fantasy. In fact, I have written three fantasy novels, “The Third Dragon”, “The Raven’s Fire”, and “The Dragon & The Lion”. As is common in fantasy, these three novels encompass a trilogy I call “The Dukarian Legacy”. Each book has its own story that can stand on its own. But the characters are all the same throughout and there is a grander tale tell. You can buy my books on Amazon in either paperback or e-book version. I also have another blog for my writing, although I haven’t updated it in some time. Still, you can read a couple of my short fantasy stories there along with some of my writing and publishing tips.
What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?
Now, back to talking about my dogs. Dogs really are my passion. I’ve had dogs my entire life and cannot imagine life without them. My dogs bring me more joy than the three things mentioned above combined. Regardless, there are still things about my dogs that drive me nuts. For one, I would love to travel the world. I’d love to see the ancient Greek temples and other things I’ve read about in my love for history. But my dogs make it difficult for me to do these things. Let’s be truly honest, though, it is also lack of time and money that keep me from being able to travel.
Another thing that drives me nuts about the dogs is all the shedding. You’d think that because I’ve had dogs my entire life I’d be used to it. And to be sure, I am probably more used to it than most other people. But it still drives me nuts.
I also dislike having to stand outside in adverse weather waiting to pick up Maya’s poop so Pierson doesn’t eat it. I don’t like the fact that Pierson is dog aggressive, that Maya still pulls on a leash despite six years of training, how Pierson barks at everything, and that Maya knows she is not supposed to jump on people but does it anyway.
Despite all those things, they pale in comparison to the joys Maya and Pierson bring me. I love playing with them, cuddling with them, training them to do fun tricks, taking them for walks, taking them shopping, and so on.
If you didn’t have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?
I would still choose dogs. I like cats okay, but prefer dogs. I’ve never had the same breed or breed mix twice, so I suppose I would choose a breed or breed mix I haven’t had before. I tend to prefer medium to large dog breeds, so whatever I choose probably won’t be a toy breed. But I don’t always choose the dog I want. Sometimes they choose me.
Have I talked about myself enough yet? Are you bored now? Well, perhaps it is time to read about other dog bloggers. Check out this blog hop below to read about some of my favorite dog, cat, bunny, and bird people:
I have had a lot of great questions and comments about dog seat belts this week, so let’s jump right in with the recap.
LAST WEEK’S FOLLOW UP
Jodi with Heart Like a Dog asked how to determine the correct size of pet car harness to get. Each brand has a different method, which can make things kind of confusing. So the first thing to do is determine which brand to get.
The Bergan makes it easy to determine what size is needed. All you need to know is the weight of your dog. Kurgo, too, can go by weight, but knowing your dog’s chest measurement also helps. The Ruff Rider Roadie also needs the chest measurement.
Measure your dog’s chest by wrapping a tape measure around the biggest part of his chest. Use the two-finger rule, which means put two fingers under the measure when you do this. The measurement is also called the girth. Maya’s girth is 31 inches. According to Kurgo’s measurement guidelines, Maya would need a large which fits dogs with a girth between 24 and 34 inches. According to the Ruff Rider Roadie, she’d need a medium 2.
The ClickIt Utility pet car harness requires a different measurement. You have to measure both your dog’s neck and chest in a figure 8. Here’s a video with detailed instructions – Sizing for ClickIt Utility dog seat belts.
Flea with Dog Treat Web for Jones Natural Chews compared the use of a pet car harness to when seat belt laws for people first became mandatory. It took a lot of persuasion (and threats of getting a ticket) to convince people to wear them. Today, it still takes some convincing. Perhaps someday, we will all see the benefits for ourselves and our family, including our pets.
Hawk with Brown Dog CBR said, “I need a longer tether for my harness. I prefer my crate, but my size or rather the crate’s size prevents it fitting into the car. I HATE the harness and seat belt! It always get all twisted whenever I need to lay down. The harness fits perfectly, but the tether is WAY too short to allow any movement.” With the recent research that determined all dog seat belts may not be as safe as we like, a lot of people are considering pet travel crates. But you’re right, Hawk. This is not easy to do for big dogs. There is no way Maya and Pierson’s dog crate will fit in my car. Speaking of tangling in the tethers, the brand I’ve found the best is the Bergan tether. It is sold separately so that you don’t have to buy the whole harness. Kurgo also has a direct connect tether – Replacement Tethers for harnesses.
Regarding the importance of picking up your dog’s poop when traveling, Roxy with Roxy the Traveling Dog says, “Very true, because we are always traveling, I have bags in the truck, in my purse, sometimes in my pocket. I always pick up the poop.” Me too! I have poop bags in the car and in all my coat pockets. I don’t carry around a purse so my cell phone, driver’s license, and credit cards are always in my pants pockets, along with a few poop bags.
Sugar with Sugar the Golden Retriever noted about how some parks are beginning to restrict dogs to certain areas. This is because people aren’t picking up after their dogs. So it is very important that we show how responsible we can be when it comes to our furry best friends.
FUNNY DOGS CAR TALK ADVENTURES
The first episode of Maya and Pierson’s car travel video is finally finished! If you missed it, check it out below.
Be sure to give it a thumbs up on YouTube! Maya, Pierson, and I would love it if you’d share it too.
Snoopy with Snoopy’s Dog Blog said, “I loved the video!! It was very informative, but in a cool and fun way – great job! Looking forward to the next videos – Maybe Maya and Pierson will be getting and Oscar for their performances?”
Thanks so much, Snoopy! They might not get an Oscar, but they got a lot of treats for cooperating so well. When Maya said, “Huh?” in the video, it was because I said the word “cookie”. And Pierson really does need bribing sometimes when it comes to getting in the car.
I have a bunch of figurines left over from another website I used to run for animal figurines, so I thought I would give some away. Sorry I’m not giving away something as exciting as pet travel supplies this time. But I will in December, I promise! In the meantime, there is still a chance to win a cute dog figurine. If you’re not interested in one for yourself, it might make a good gift. Or if your shelter or rescue group does auctions to raise money, you can give it to them. The contest is open until the end of the month.
Well, that’s all I have for this week. Thanks for stopping by! And thank you to Jodi and Donna for hosting the Follow Up Friday blog hop!
Dawn with Maya & Pierson
Welcome to the Scoop that Poop blog hop hosted by Sugar the Golden Retriever. I can’t tell you enough about how important it is to pick up after your dog. This is especially important when you travel with them. Why? Because you want there to be more dog friendly places, right? Parks, rest stops, and hotels are going to be more open about allowing dogs if we pick up after them.
So the next time you travel with your dog, take poop patrol very seriously. Pick up your dog’s poo. If you see someone else’s dog left a little present in the grass or on the sidewalk, it would be really pawsome if you picked that up too. Yes, it is gross. But it is also easy to do.
Join the Scoop that Poop campaign and check out the poop patrol blog hop below.
I really hoped to have the preview video for pet auto safety ready today, but I’m having a little trouble with some voice editing. I truly hope to have the preview video ready tomorrow, then perhaps episode 1 by Friday.
Since I don’t have the preview video ready yet, how about some funny dog memes of Maya & Pierson?
For more Wordless Wednesday pet photos, check out the blog hop below:
For the past several months, Maya, Pierson, and I have been working really hard on a fun new dog car adventure video. And we’re almost done! Here are some images from the upcoming video:
These and other cute cartoons are in the video too:
Stop by our blog again soon to see a video preview and the finished video of Episode 1!
For more great photos from pet lovers across the web, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below: