After months of planning (and with trying to figure out how to use video editing software) our first new funny dogs video is finally here. This video stars the cutest dogs EVER, Maya & Pierson. Join them on their adventures in the car as they talk about various things. Sometimes the topic is educational information about pet travel safety and sometimes it is just fun funny stuff. Here is a very short preview video showing you what you can expect.
Please share and give our funny dogs video a thumbs up on YouTube.
The first full length video of episode 1 will be coming very very soon, possibly this weekend.
Thanks and enjoy!
Dawn with Maya & Pierson
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. ❤ ❤ ❤
Surprisingly, we didn’t have too many questions on pet travel safety during these past couple of weeks. Everyone must be out having some great summer fun. I know we are!
We did have two great questions, though:
1. “Does my dog have to sit down when he wears it?” Kathy asked us this question when she called us last week. And she is referring to the dog seat belts. The answer is no. Your dog can also lie down while wearing it. Depending on the length of the tether, your dog can also stand up while wearing it. My Maya is almost always standing when she wears her pet car harness.
I should also inform you that the Center for Pet Safety has determined that the shorter the tether, the better. A long tether means your dog will get tossed around more in an emergency car maneuver or car accident. I try to keep Maya’s tether as short as possible, but she is the kind of dog that can’t sit still. I have to balance her safety with her comfort, so I keep her tether a little longer than I keep Pierson’s.
2. “Do you ship outside the US?” Sorry, but generally no. There are three main reasons for this. First, our website is not set up to charge the extra fees involved in shipping outside the US. Even some places in Canada can cost twice as much to ship. The second reason is because of import fees. Import fees are what you pay to your country’s customs before you can pick up the package. This makes the over-all cost for the products much more expensive. The third reason we don’t ship outside the US is because it is difficult to honor the return policy. Since international shipping fees can be high and the paperwork sometimes complicated, it makes it difficult for someone to return a product. And our return policy states that any returns for reasons other than a product defect do not get refunded for shipping.
I do have a contact in the UK for the Bergan pet car harness brand. Her name is Joanne and she is the owner of FleeceDogHarnesses.co.uk. Joanne and I have been supporting each other’s businesses for years. In fact, she was the one who first informed me of the Bergan dog seat belts! And if you go check out her site, you will find pictures of my dogs Sephi and Maya at the very top.
Do you have any questions about pet travel safety? Please comment on this blog, comment on our Facebook page, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
This post is part of the Follow Up Friday blog hop hosted by Heart Like a Dog. Please check out some other great dog bloggers below:
We’re joining Follow Up Friday to answer some questions people had on pet travel safety. The questions are not just from this blog, but also from our Facebook page, phone calls, and emails.
Sugar from SugarTheGoldenRetriever.com asked if a pet car barrier really was safe. It is safe for you, but not necessarily safe for your pet. It is safe for you because it keeps your pet from distracting you while you drive. However, there is a type of pet car barrier that may have one small safety feature for your pet. That is the pet hammock. The pet hammock not only blocks the center console area of your car in order to keep your dog in the back, it also covers the floor of the car. So let’s say your dog is in the back seat and not restrained in any way. When you stop suddenly, or even crash into something, what happens to your dog? She flies forward. If the floor is covered, she won’t get thrown on the floor. My vet told me about a dog that was thrown onto the floor in a sudden stop, and the poor dog’s leg was badly broken.
On Facebook, I posted the review from one of our giveaway winners who got to try out the Travel Calm. Someone asked if the calming affect would work on a dog that was reactive towards other dogs. Pierson is leash reactive so I gave it a try. It did not work for this situation.
On Facebook, when I posted the above photo, someone asked how Maya was secured in the car. She’s wearing a Kurgo dog car harness that is tethered to a metal cargo ring in the back.
A phone call from a customer asked which dog car harness brand is the best. Sorry, I do not know the answer to that one. Each manufacturer claims they are the best. The manufacturers of the dog seat belts we sell have provided me with links to their testing information and I have found that Bergan provides the most thorough information with is V9DT standards. Kurgo has not only done crash testing… twice… but they are also consulting with the Center for Pet Safety for more safety information. Ruff Rider and Bergan are too. You can see more about the Center for Pet Safety on our post tomorow.
That same customer asked which dog car harness brand do I prefer. This is my opinion and my opinion only. But I find the Bergan and the Kurgo very comparable. Pierson wears the Bergan and Maya wears the Kurgo. I don’t like Kurgo’s loop tether, but the loop tether is probably the best because it is the shortest. The Center for Pet Safety says the shorter the tether, the better.
Another customer asked about the safety of pet travel carriers. These are a safe way to travel if the pet carrier is secured in the car (say with kennel straps or some other means). Soft crates are a bad idea unless they have been specifically crash tested. The only crash tested soft pet carrier we are aware of is the Sleepypod (pictured above) and this is for cats or very small dogs only. They don’t make big pet travel carriers. Otherwise, use a hard plastic crate. You want the crate large enough for your dog to be comfortable in (perhaps use the airline specifications for size). But you don’t want the crate too large because the larger they are for your dog, the more your dog would get tossed around inside in the event of a car accident.
These are just some of the recent questions people have asked about our products. If you have any questions, please comment or email us at email@example.com.
By the way, we are so excited about winning the Versatile Blogger Award from Hawk at BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com. This is a PAWSOME honor! Since today’s post is so long, we will tell you more about this award next week, perhaps after the Pet Travel Tuesday post. So stop by and see us again. And thanks, Hawk!
Maya and Pierson are very special to me. They may not be children, but they are more than just my pets. I don’t just feed them, play with them, and take them to the vet annually or as needed. I also take on other responsible roles such as making sure they eat healthy food, get enough exercise, train them, brush their teeth, clip their toenails, brush out their coat, etc. And I have them wear a dog safety seat belt when they ride in the car.
Some people think this is over-the-top for “just a dog”. But if you’re reading this, then you know that your dog is an integral part of the family. If your four-legged family member doesn’t currently buckle up in the car or isn’t safely restrained in the vehicle in any way, here are some reasons to consider it:
Reduce Driver Distractions
When I brought Maya home for the first time, she didn’t have a dog seatbelt yet. So, on the ride home she kept trying to climb in my lap. It was a big distraction which caused me to run a red light. I got honked at but thankfully did not get into or cause a car accident. But it taught me to always be prepared. Perhaps your dog paces in the car or keeps trying to climb from the back to the front seat or tries to stick his face in your face while you’re driving.
Protect Your Pet
Perhaps your dog rides well in the car and doesn’t distract you in any way. My dog Pierson is like that. He just sits there quietly the whole ride. But what if I have to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way of another car or something in the road? Or worse, what if I get in a car accident? Car accidents or even simple emergency vehicle maneuvers can cause a dog to be ejected from the vehicle or cause serious injury to your dog if they hit the dash or the windshield. A dog isn’t going to understand why your car suddenly went crazy on the road. They are going to be terrified and may try to escape. What then? More often than not, the dog will run as fast as they can to get away from what caused their fear. They could run into traffic or run away and get lost.
I don’t know about you, but if I get in a car accident I prefer not to be struck by a 50+ pound flying projectile (i.e. my dog). I also do not want my dogs to stick their head out the window. Before I realized the danger of this, my dog Sephi did it all the time. But then my vet told me about one of his client’s dog that had to have his eye removed because of flying road debris. When your dog wears a dog safety seat belt, it is more difficult for them to put their head out the window. They can still get the nice breeze, but at least they can’t be hurt from things on the road and they can’t jump or get thrown out of the car.
It’s not yet a law in my state but New Jersey has a law stating that animals inside the vehicle must be restrained. I have no doubt that other states will soon follow. Even states that hesitate to make such a law will have or may already have laws that allow police officers to issue a ticket to anyone who is driving unsafely due to a distraction.
Maya and Pierson do not suffer in the least because they wear a dog seatbelt in the car. They might not be able to move around much or put their heads out the window but trust me when I say they still love to ride. With a little practice and perhaps a little time, your best friend can get used to his safety restraint and love the ride just as much as before.
This post is part of the Pet Blogger Awareness Day for pet travel safety.
Summer turning to fall is a great time for a picnic. So fill up the picnic basket and head out for some fun! We had a great picnic this past week. It was my husband and I, our two dogs Maya & Pierson, and four friends. Check out these fun photos.
Don’t forget, if you travel anywhere in the car with your dog, be sure they are secured in a dog car seat belt or other pet travel safety device.
For more fun pet photos, check out the great blogs on the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.
We have to share some great links for pet travel safety. AAA and Kurgo did a great survey from pet owners who travel with their pets. One of these pet travel statistics indicate that 29% of these pet owners admitted to being distracted by their pet while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 20% of injury car accidents in 2009 were a result of distracted driving. And only 16% of the pet owners who travel with their dogs in the car use some form of pet travel safety product. For their very well-presented pet travel statistics report from AAA and Kurgo, visit Kurgo’s 2011 Survey Sheet. A portion of this sheet is shown above.
Another well-presented pet travel statistics report is from GoPetFriendly.com. Their survey reports that 60% of pet owners traveled with their pets in 2010. 22% of those traveled with their pets on a monthly basis in 2011. A portion of their report is show below. For the entire report, visit the GoPetFriendlyBlog.com.
Do you take your dog for rides in the car? Tell us about your vacation with your pet and how you practice pet travel safety.
This article is a shorter version of the article we wrote on another blog (for the full story, visit the American Dog Blog). But we have added a bit about pet travel safety. Some of the things you can do with your dog this spring can be done at your own home in your own backyard, while others you would need to take your dog in the car. If you go do a dog park or visit some pet-friendly attractions, make sure your dog is wearing a dog car harness or using another pet travel safety product.
Fun Things to Do with Your Dog at Home
- Play fetch with a ball or frisbee
- Play Soccer
- Practice agility
- Play hide-and-seek
- Play in the sprinkler
- Refresh on training such as heel or other fun stuff
- Train to jump through a hoola-hoop or go up or over a bar
- Fun Things to Do with Your Dog Away from Home
- Go to the Dog park
- Go to a lake for swimming
- Hike on some nature trails
- Have lunch at a restaurant with an outdoor patio (ask if pets permitted first)
- Visit pet-friendly attractions such as a botanical garden
- Visit the pet store or any other pet-friendly businesses
There is so much to do when the weather is nice so get out there and have fun!
We recently discovered a new informational website which promotes pet travel safety. Perhaps you have seen them, dogs hanging out the window of a car, sitting on the driver’s lap, or riding in the back of a pickup? The dogs get our attention because they are cute, right? But the situation they are in is not safe.
Paws to Click.com is working to change our perception on pet travel by helping us to recognize unsafe situations. By putting your pet in a pet travel safety restraint, you are helping to protect your pet in the event of a car accident, just like wearing a seat belt helps to protect us. But restraining your pet in the car not only protects your pet, it protects you and the passengers as well.
According to their website, unrestrained pets cause 30,000 car accidents each year. How? By being a distraction to the driver. Certainly someone driving a car can’t help but to be distracted by the poodle in their lap. And some dogs, like my Labrador, are hyper in the car and can be a distraction when they stand on the center console and pant in the driver’s ear.
Another way that a pet travel safety restraint protects the driver and passengers is by preventing your pets from being a deadly projectile. In the event of a car accident, even a small dog can cause serious injury or even death to the person he is thrown into.
If you protect your pet in the car with a pet travel safety restraint such as a dog car harness or secured pet travel crate, join the Paws to Click movement today by joining their website and signing their pledge today. Learn about their V9DT durability standard for pet travel safety. It costs you nothing but can save the thing you hold most dear – your family.
AAA has done a pet travel safety survey in conjunction with Kurgo pet products. Since we sell Kurgo’s products, we decided to share the interesting pet travel safety information with you. This survey was done by interviewing 1,000 dog owners who travel with their pets.
But first, let’s share some scientific study information regarding unrestrained pets in the car. A dog weighing 10 pounds will exert about 500 pounds of force in a 50 mph car accident. Likewise, an 80 pound dog will exert about 2,400 pounds of force in a 30 mph car accident. Knowing this information, why do only 160 people out of the 1,000 asked use some form of pet restraint for their dogs in the car?
According to the pet travel safety survey conducted by AAA, about 42% of the 840 people who do not use a pet restraint said they didn’t think their dog needed a pet restraint since they were calm in the car. 39% said that they never considered a pet restraint for their dog. 29% of the people said they didn’t think their dog would need it since they only go on short trips. And the remaining people said they wanted to let their dog put their head out the window, a restraint is too much trouble, they want their dog to have fun in the car, or they want to be able to hold their dog.
About 560 of these same 1,000 people said they travel with their dog at least once per month. And approximately 290 of them admitted that their pets were sometimes a distraction in the car. With a pet restraint, your dog is less likely to be a distraction and he will be less likely to become a dangerous projectile. The various pet restraint types to consider are dog car harnesses, secured pet travel crate, car seat for dogs, and pet barriers.
This is just a small sample of the information gathered in the pet travel safety survey conducted by AAA. For more information, visit the AAA Newsroom.