Yesterday, I talked about my favorite pet travel products from Kurgo. Today I am going to share with you other brands of safety products that I love and use.
BERGAN CAR HARNESS
The Bergan brand dog harness did a little better in safety than the Kurgo. I’ve found the Bergan to be easier to adjust the size and the padding to be very comfortable. I think it is as easy to put on as the Kurgo, although it is put on just a little bit differently. And I absolutely love its tether. It is not a loop tether, so my dogs don’t get tangled in it. And it is adjustable so that I can make it short or long. Pierson still wears the Bergan safety harness.
Two drawbacks that people have reported are 1) the chest piece is sometimes a little too long, and 2) it doesn’t have a size to fit teacup sized dogs.
CLICKIT UTILITY SAFETY HARNESS
This is the newest canine safety harness, and it has also been deemed the safest by the Center for Pet Safety. This has been the only seat belt that has been successful at keeping Maya in her seat. It is extremely well-made and I love the padded protection. The only problem I have with it, though, is that I can’t use it in my 1998 car because that car doesn’t have the anchors located between the seat cushions. The ClickIt Utility requires that these anchors be used in order for it to be safe.
Even though the ClickIt Utility is the safest brand, there are several drawbacks. Its safety lies in its restriction. But because of its restriction, dogs can’t move around much when they wear it. If they try, they could get tangled and they could hurt themselves. Another thing people have found is that it is very difficult to adjust the size. And because it requires to be attached at three points, it can be cumbersome to secure your dog in the car.
If you want ultimate safety, this is the product to use. If you want something your dog can move around a bit in or if you want something quick and easy to use, then the ClickIt Utility may not be right for you.
BREEZEGUARD WINDOW SCREENS
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these car window screens. They are very well made, easy to take in an out, and will even allow you to roll your window up and down when they are in place. Even though Maya and Pierson are harnessed in, they can still put their heads out the window. I’ve never felt this to be safe. When I used to allow my dog Sephi to do it, sometimes she’d yelp because something from the road hit her in the face. It could have been something as small as a pebble, but still it hurt. I also worried about her choking herself if I had to make a sudden swerve. The BreezeGuard window screens allow my dogs to sniff the fresh breeze without endangering themselves.
One drawback about these window screens is that they are custom made and will only fit the vehicle year, make, and model they were designed for. They are pricy so if you change vehicles often, this may not be something you want to invest in.
GUARDIAN GEAR CAR SEAT COVERS
I’ve used several different styles of the Guardian Gear car seat covers over the years. I really like the materials and all the fashionable colors and designs they come in. The first one I used was the soft brown paw prints dog car seat cover. Then I used the blue plaid cover. It was also soft and plush. And I currently use the houndstooth designed brown one. Why do I keep switching out? Dog hair sticks to them. I could clean them, but I am lazy. With all the new colors and designs Guardian Gear keeps coming up with, I like being able to switch out.One drawback is that sometimes they don’t fit the seat of the car. Every vehicle has different sizes and shapes of seats so sometimes the cover is too big or too small. And some people have stated the seat belt holes don’t line up with the corner crease and safety belt buckles.
These are my favorite products. If you have smaller dogs, there may be other products that will be better for you. The Kurgo pet car seats, for example. Or the crash tested Sleepypod pet travel carriers. Some people prefer their dogs travel in a pet carrier instead of wearing a dog seat belt. Pet Auto Safety has a lot to choose from so that everyone has the opportunity to find their favorite travel products.
My name is Dawn Ross and I am the owner of Pet Auto Safety. I started this website in 2006 because I have dogs, I love my dogs, and I want to do what is best to keep them safe. One thing I really enjoy about all the pet travel safety products we sell is that I get to try them with my own dogs. Maya and Pierson are my guinea pigs, so to speak. Because of them, I learn more about the items we sell; the ins and outs and the pros and the cons. And over the years, I have found the ones I like the best.
KURGO BRAND PRODUCTS
Kurgo has a variety of car travel products designed just for dogs. One thing I absolutely love about Kurgo is their quality. All their merchandise is very well made and they have a lifetime warranty against defects. They also have a great repair and replacement policy. If your dog damages the Kurgo cargo cover, for example, or if it simply wears down from use, you can have it repaired or replaced by Kurgo for a nominal fee, plus shipping.
This is my absolute most favorite item from Kurgo. Maya and Pierson are big dogs. And even though they are wearing a dog safety belt, because the seat is so narrow they can still come off it if I have to stop suddenly. The Backseat Bridge keeps this from happening. The other benefit is Maya and Pierson have more room to stretch out for when we take those long road trips.
Tru-Fit and Go-Tech Canine Car Harnesses
Although the Tru-Fit brand did not perform as well in safety as a few other top brands, I still like this product very much. In fact, Maya was wearing the Go-Tech dog safety belt when we were in a minor car accident in July 2013. She was not injured at all. I love the color selections of the Kurgo dog car harnesses, I like how they fit, and I really appreciate how easy they are to put on.
One thing I do not like, however, is the looped tether all their harnesses come with. Maya likes to move around in the car and will get herself tangled in these loop tethers. Thankfully, Kurgo has a direct connect tether that can be purchased separately. One thing about the Go-Techs is that not everyone has found them to fit well. The neck size is not adjustable so it may be too big on some dogs.
Maya likes to go swimming at the dog park. The problem is, on the way back she attracts dirt, which turns into mud. Also, Maya and Pierson shed a lot. This stuff can get all over my car. In order to protect my car, I need to cover the places where my dogs ride. I have a seat cover already, but I want to protect the doors too. The Kurgo door guards are perfect for this. Maya can put her muddy paws on the door all she wants. And the door guards are so easy to put in, as well as to take out.
Other Kurgo products you can use to protect your vehicle interior include the Wander hammocks and the cargo cover. Kurgo also has a nice selection of car seat covers.
This is a list of my favorite Kurgo travel items. But I like a lot of other brands too. Come back tomorrow to see the rest of my list of favorite pet safety products.
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
2013 was a great year, but we want 2014 to be better. Here is what you can expect from Pet Auto Safety.com this year:
* We want to make more funny dog videos of Maya and Pierson in the car. We also want to do some informative videos showing how certain pet travel products work. Many of those videos will also include pros and cons of the products.
* We want to write more informative articles about pet travel, and not just for our blog and not just about products. We are considering guest posts on other blogs, but mostly we want to focus on putting articles up onto websites that are designed specifically for sharing articles and information. Currently, we post articles on Squidoo, Hubs, and Ezine, but we want to branch out to websites that are specific to dogs.
* I’ve joined a group called Women in the Pet Industry Network. I’m hoping this will be a great way to meet and learn from other dog people. I know some of our readers of this blog are members of this group. What do you think of it?
* We’ve changed our business entity from Nature by Dawn, Inc. to Nature by Dawn, LLC. The expenses of running a corporation make sense for a large company but are too burdensome for a small one.
* We are considering whether to open up a new website for outdoor dog gear. After all, many of you traveling with your dogs are going somewhere fun like hiking or swimming. We already have life jackets and back packs on our pet auto safety site. It is just a matter of getting a wider selection and building a new site (not quite as simple as I just made it sound).
* We’re considering whether we should add the AllSafe dog seat belt to our site. It rated very well with the independent crash test study. However, after contacting the manufacturer in Germany, it doesn’t look like it is going to happen.
* I’d like to make a pet car safety infographic, but need some creative ideas.
We have more plans for 2014, but much of it is technical and boring. What do you think so far? Which of these things would interest you the most? Do you know of any pet travel products that you think would make a great addition to our Pet Auto Safety site?
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a pawtastic year!
From a business perspective, 2013 has been a pretty good year for us. There have been some ups and downs, but overall it has been great.
* 2013 started off with the Subaru campaign. It was great fun seeing those cute Subaru dog commercials. The one below is my alltime favorite. And there were some cool prizes given out. This was the first time we had ever done such a campaign. We wouldn’t mind doing more in the future, so long as it is for a dog product we feel is noteworthy.
* We updated the look on our retail site. Pet Auto Safety.com. Our web host did an upgrade forcing us to change our theme, but it really needed a new look anyway. Many aspects of our retail site became much easier when the upgrade took place.
* In July, I was in a minor car accident with my dog Maya. Fortunately, she was wearing her Go-Tech dog car harness and was not hurt at all.
* In August, I had an interview with the Radio Pet Lady. It went well, although I was pretty nervous. Be sure to go take a listen by clicking the red text.
* We only did a few pet events this year, all small and local. There were two Mutt Mixer events held at the Lawrence Humane Society. We also attended Responsible Pet Owner’s Day held at Crystal K9 in Lawrence. And we attended the Dogtoberfest event held at South Park in Lawrence. My dog Maya was attended all events to demonstrate her dog car harness. Pierson couldn’t go because he doesn’t like other dogs.
* I started a pet travel destination series on this blog that didn’t work out. I also did a pet safety Saturday theme. I haven’t done this lately, but I do plan on doing more posts about pet safety in general – not just car safety.
* I’ve made quite a few funny dog memes in 2013. Making captions for the cute looks Maya and Pierson give is great fun.
* We discontinued a few products in 2013. Sadly, the T-Flex pet auto barrier was discontinued by the manufacturer. We’re not sure why because we loved the T-Flex. We also discontinued the Pet Buckle canine seat belt. It was an innovative product when it first came out because it was the only one we knew of that used metal buckles. But other brands have since come out that have been determined to be much safer.
* With that being said, we added several new products in 2013. For seat belts, we added the Ruff Rider Roadie and the ClickIt Utility. Both of these were the top rated in safety during a recent independent study (more on that below). We also added some new Kurgo products, such as the Go-Tech harnesses, the Kurgo towels, and the Kurgo direct connect tether for seat belts. And two new products were added to help dogs who have anxiety when they ride in the car – the Thundershirt for dogs and cats and pet calming tablets from Total Pet Health. And let’s not forget the K9 Car Fence!
* The long awaited report on the crashworthiness of various canine seat belt brands came out in October 2013. The results of this study were a lot more promising than their previous report. The ClickIt Utility was number one, followed by the Ruff Rider Roadie and AllSafe. Bergan did pretty good, too.
* We finally finished our first funny dog video of Maya and Pierson riding in the car. It was quite a learning curve trying to figure out how to use movie editing software. But I had fun doing it and am happy with the resulting videos.
* We had several people share photos of their dogs with us. These guys and gals are all pretty adorable, aren’t they?
Thanks for taking the time to review our 2013 year! Stop by tomorrow to see what our 2014 plans are for Pet Auto Safety.com.
The first episode of Maya and Pierson’s car travel video is finally done! My dogs Maya and Pierson ride in the car while wearing their pet car restraints and have interesting conversations. In this first funny video from Pet Auto Safety, Maya and Pierson talk about why they wear their dog seat belts. I tried to make it a bit humorous so that it isn’t the same old boring lecture. Watch it and tell me what you think.
So, how do you like it? If you enjoyed it, can you do me a favor and give it a thumbs up on YouTube?
Future videos will be less informative and more fun. Hopefully, the next video will not take 7 months to make. If you’d like to know what making this first video entailed, keep reading. It’s a bit dry, so feel free to skip this next part and leave a comment about the video at the end of the post. You can also leave a comment about the video on YouTube. Thanks everyone!
SEVEN MONTHS IN THE MAKING
I purchased a nice camcorder and video editing software at the end of March 2013. My camera is the JVC Evirio and the video editing software is the Movie Edit Pro 2013 from Magix. I started using the camcorder right away, but when I first downloaded the software I was greatly intimidated. How on earth would I figure this program out without someone to teach me? I don’t know about you, but reading the instruction manual did not appeal to me one little bit.
So I procrastinated on learning the video editing software. I wasn’t completely putting off this project, though. I started brainstorming video ideas, writing scripts, and trying to figure out how I was going to get a male Australian accent for Pierson.
Once I finally had these things ready, I started playing with the video editing software. I learned by playing with it, and only referred to the manual when there was something specific I really wanted to do but couldn’t figure out how. The first two videos I made with this software are of me drawing the dog Mos and of my dog Maya playing in a public pool.
The next snag in making the Pet Auto Safety video was how to mount the camera in the car. After trying various methods, I finally found a decent car camera mount. The video was now underway. Maya and Pierson wore their pet car restraints and cooperated very well as I drove around town with the video camera set to record. Now that I think I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing, I believe Episode 2 will take a lot less time to make. Perhaps I can have it ready in January or February. I’d say sooner, except the holidays may hold me back.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my video!
Dawn with Maya & Pierson
My lovable happy Labrador Maya turned six this month! If you don’t know Maya, she is our Pet Auto Safety CEC (Chief Executive Cuteness). You may have seen her in some of our product photos and reviews on both this blog and our retail website, Pet Auto Safety.com. Read more about her and see many more photos of her on my personal dog blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com. In the meantime, here are a few recent photos of Maya hard at work:
Here is Maya from this morning. Still a puppy!
Also, if you have a chance, go vote for Maya’s photo in a calendar contest on HeartLikeADog. Visit and vote daily! It would be a great birthday present.
For more great pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below:;)
Time for another edition of Follow Up Friday hosted by HeartLikeADog and SandSpringChesapeakes. Follow Up Friday is where we follow up with the events of the week. So check out what you missed, then go see what our doggy blogging friends are up to with the blog hop below.
Pet Safety Saturday – Outdoor Hiking Safety
I can’t believe I completely forgot to include first aid supplies in my list! Thankfully, all the bloggers talking about first aid this month reminded me and I added it on as an update. Jodi with HeartLikeADog.com suggested other items you should brink hiking – “a flashlight as well as an extra collar and leash.” And she also suggested a pepper blaster. I live in Kansas where the predators are not very big. So it never occurred to me to bring pepper spray. But it sounds like a fantastic idea.
Monday – My Car and Pierson’s Poem
It took forever, but I finally got my car back. I almost had it back last Friday but it died on me as I pulled into my driveway. I couldn’t restart it so had it towed to a repair shop. It was about 3pm so, of course, they didn’t have time to look at it that day. And they were closed on the weekend. They finally had a chance to look at it on Monday and guess what? The car started for them! They even drove it around. They couldn’t find anything wrong with it at all.
My car is home now and seems to be doing fine. It’s almost as good as new. Just look at that shiny new bumper! We’re ready to roll for the next pet event.
Also, Pierson’s poo poem was selected as one of the winners for the Bad Poetry Day Contest. If you haven’t seen the poem, go check it out on our other blog. The poem is titled, Roses Aren’t Edible, and is a blogging sensation – 30 comments!!! Apparently you all like poo too.
Pet Travel Destination Tuesday
No comments for the post on Seattle, Washington. But I forgot to mention one made by Lindsay with ThatMutt.com from the previous Tuesday. She says, “Our favorite pet friendly travel destination has always been the north shore area of Lake Superior in Minnesota. We can always find dog friendly trails and cabins or hotels. Plus, lots of places for dogs to go swimming.” This sounds like a lot of fun! Tell us more, Lindsay.
Because I own my own business, I pretty much work it seven days a week and our family seldom gets to do much traveling. So, Lindsay and anyone else who’d like to talk about their favorite pet travel destination, feel free to email me with more information and photos for a guest spot.
Question of the Week
How can I keep my dog from wiggling out of the dog car harness?
This is such a common occurrence that we include a tip sheet with all our pet seat belt orders. The fact is if a dog is not used to wearing a harness and hates to be restricted in the car, he is going to try to wiggle his way out of it. And a very determined dog might just be able to do so. How can you keep him from getting out of it? Not by tightening it. In fact, this may make your dog even more determined to get out of it because it makes him uncomfortable. And if it is too tight, he could hurt himself when he tries to wiggle free.
Is there a brand that is escape-proof? Not that we have found so far, though some are more difficult than others. If anyone ever makes the claim that theirs is escape-proof, I can almost guarantee that some dog somewhere will prove them wrong. For one, consider the design of a dog car harness. With safety in mind, the neck of a pet seat belt has to be wide in order to prevent choking. This means it can’t be snug around the neck like a collar.
So what can you do? Our tip sheet suggests training. If you use a Halti or Gentle Leader on your dog for walking, then you probably already have an idea of what to do to get your dog used to wearing a dog car harness. Check out an article we wrote on HubPages for more extensive training tips.
That’s all for today. Thank you so much everyone for stopping by. If you have any questions on pet travel or on any of our products, just comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, feel free to share information on photos on your favorite pet travel destination.
Dawn with Maya & Pierson
There weren’t as many questions this week so I’m going to talk about other stuff that has happened on my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com, and things happening for us on other dog websites.
My Dog Pierson is to be on a Calendar!
I’m so happy that my dog Pierson is to be featured in the That Mutt calendar! Thank you to everyone who saw my post on Facebook and voted.
That Mutt Talks about Pet Auto Safety
Lindsay with That Mutt also talked about pet auto safety on one of her blog posts. Go check it out – Do Dogs Need Seat Belts? The article is well thought out and covers pros and cons. Feel free to comment.
Dogs Trapped in Cars After Accidents?
One of the questions Lindsay asked me prior to her post threw me off. She said she knew some people who were concerned about a pet car harness or pet travel carrier causing a dog to get trapped in the vehicle in a car accident. Can you believe that in all my years of running this business, no one has ever brought this up before?
Certainly, it can happen. I think this was a concern when seat belts for people first came out. But after years and years of research, statistics have shown that this risk is small and the likelihood of a seat belt saving a life is much greater.
If anything, I would be concerned about an unrestrained dog escaping from the vehicle after an accident. I get Google alerts for dogs in car accidents on a regular basis and so see a lot of news stories about dogs that went missing because they escaped the vehicle and ran off in terror. Think about it, after a car accident your dog is likely to be completely freaked out. His instinct is going to be to get as far away from the terrifying situation as quickly as possible. When a dog runs in terror, he runs blindly. This means he could run into the street, cause another car accident, and possibly get struck and killed by another vehicle.
Here’s a story with a happy ending. The video automatically plays, so I’m sorry about that. I don’t know how to keep it from doing that.
I understand we all have our different fears. The thing about a car accident is that it is unpredictable. You never know when you will be in a collision, let alone what kind of collision. What may be perfect for one situation may not be for another. Just consider the odds. While the above situation happens all the time, heroes like this aren’t always around to help.
SleepyPod’s New ClickIt Pet Car Harness
Sleepypod is coming out with the new ClickIt pet car harness soon and this design is also based on recommendations from the Center for Pet Safety! They are going to be expensive, but worth it. Keep posted here on this blog and I will let you know as soon as they are available.
My Interview with the Radio Pet Lady
I had an interview about pet auto safety on the Radio Pet Lady Dog Travel Experts show. Paris with Dog Tipper was there too! The show aired last night but will be archived at this link soon. Be sure to check it out. I think Gizmo with Terrier Torrent will be interviewed next week to talk about the fun of geocaching.
Bad Poetry Day
Hop on over to the AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com for Pierson’s Bad Poetry Day contest entry. Seriously, it will make you laugh! Maya will feature her bad poetry tomorrow.
Where is the Pet Auto Safety Car?
As you may have read, Maya and I were in a rear end collision on July 25th. It was bad enough that the insurance company considered my car as totaled, but not bad enough to cause serious injury. Even though the car is considered totaled, I am working with the repair shop to still have it fixed. Hopefully, they can get used parts instead of new and be able to fix it for the check amount the insurance company gave me. But as of today, I still don’t have my car back!!!
How is it that a car can be considered totaled for just a fender bender? First of all, it is a Ford. That should be enough explanation, but in case you’re wanting more… My car is a 1998. Why in the heck would I want to keep such an old car? Believe it or not, it only has 87,000 miles on it and it is still running well. Also, it was more than just the bumper that was damaged. It turns out the frame is bent too, and other stuff.
K9 Car Fence
A lot of you commented on what a great idea the K9 Car Fence is. Pierson didn’t think so, but I thought it was brilliant too! I wish I had thought of it.
Questions or Comments?
As always, if you have any questions about pet travel, feel free to ask them by commenting below or by emailing me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you!
Join the Blog Hop
Thank you for stopping by and reading my long-winded post today! Follow Up Friday is hosted by Heart Like a Dog and co-hosted by Flea with JonesNaturalChews so be sure to go check them out. Other dog blogs participating in Follow Up Friday can be found in the blog hop links below.
One of our favorite bloggers, All Things Dog Blog, hosts a blog hop every Monday called Mutt Monday. A blog hop is where other bloggers get to share their posts under the blog hop topic. This Monday, we are joining the blog hop for Mutt Monday and the topic is “A Day in the Life of a Pet Blogger”. Would you like to know what it is like to run an online business and blog?
First off, let me explain what Nature by Dawn, Inc. is. My name is Dawn and I started Nature by Dawn, Inc. in 2006 with my art website, Nature by Dawn.com. I also started Pet Auto Safety.com in 2006. Today, my company Nature by Dawn, Inc. consists of a few retail sites, a couple informational sites, two blogs, and several social media sites. Pet Auto Safety.com is my primary focus. My dogs have been wearing canine seat belts for over 15 years and I am passionate and knowledgeable about pet travel safety.
Over the past seven years, I have learned a lot about running an online business. Let me tell you, it is not easy. But I love what I do so it is fun. Every Sunday, I start out by putting together a to-do list for the week. I have daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and ongoing projects.
The first thing I do every morning is fill orders. Sometimes this is quick and sometimes it takes half the morning. Then I look at my to-do list. Daily tasks include writing at least one blog post, checking emails, perusing the internet for pet news, reading and commenting on other dog blogs, and seeing what my doggie friends are up to on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and others. These daily tasks take up most of my day.
Weekly tasks include checking and analyzing the visitor and other stats for my websites, checking and entering specific blog hops, making sure my own blog posts posted properly, and coming up with blog topics for the following week.
Monthly tasks include entering all business sales and expenses into my accounting program, completing the accounting statements, re-submitting my products to Google Merchant and other similar shopping sites, verifying inventory count, ordering more inventory, and adding new product information if I find new products I’d like to sell.
Ongoing projects are generally SEO activities. SEO is search engine optimization. I have to constantly make sure I am keeping up with Google and Yahoo search guidelines. I modify my website as needed (which is often and can be very time consuming). Other SEO activities include submitting my website to directories and writing articles for Ezine and other article sites.
Another project I want to do very soon is make car travel videos with Maya and Pierson. They are going to be funny videos… at least I hope I can make them funny. I have someone who is going to do the Australian voice for Pierson. I will probably do Maya’s voice. They will be riding in the back of the car and having silly conversations. I hope to have the first video done before the end of August.
In between all these tasks, I have the opportunity to take Maya and Pierson for a walk, play with them, and perhaps do a little fun dog training.
I do most of these things myself, but I do get help from my family. And I have a couple of friends that help out from time to time. One such friend is Joanne. Joanne lives in the UK and she runs Fleece Dog Harnesses.co.uk. Joanne has helped me a lot with the SEO stuff and she is currently helping me with a new website for outdoor dog gear (website coming soon). Carrie with All Things Dog Blog has also been a great help to me on the social media side. I also have great relationships with some of my suppliers. The team at Kurgo and Bergan are fantastic. Susan with The Pet Net Brand is pawsome. And Sue with Mutt Managers for the Breeze Guard Window Screens is amazing.
I also have quite a few pet forum members and pet bloggers out there to thank for mentions and reviews. I love the cato- and dogo-sphere world and am very thankful to be a part of this wonderful community. ❤ ❤ ❤