Monday, August 25, 2014

Why Regular Vet Visits Matter for Healthy Pets #GetHealthyHappy

I can't imagine missing an annual checkup, for either me or my dog.  It's just something we've always done and something I automatically schedule each year.

Yet, according to a recent petMD poll, nearly 2 in 10 pet owners hadn't visited their vet for a routine checkup in the past year.

Dr. Ashley Gallagher, vet at the Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C., says that's a big deal… because missing even one yearly exam for your pet is roughly equivalent to you going five years between checkups!

And that means lots of missed opportunities to spot potential problems at their onset, which can help prevent them from getting worse. And while you might be tempted to save some money now by skipping an appointment, regular vet visits can potentially help you save money in the long run.

We enjoy good dog walks and hikes! So it's important that Rocco and I
both stay mobile and healthy! 

That's why we visited our vet right away, when I noticed Rocco had acquired a strange skip in his step. And since we had kept on schedule with our yearly visits, our vet was already familiar with Rocco's normal behavior.

We were able to rule out the need for any surgery thankfully, but we did seek some laser therapy and swim therapy to help keep Rocco in tip top shape for the agility season. 

Rocco enjoys swim therapy to help improve his range of motion

Preventative care and healthy pets


Did you know that emergency and illness vet visits can be $50 - $200 more expensive than a routine visit? The American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owner Survey for 2013-14 found that dog owners reported routine visits average $231, emergency visits $314 and illness visits $364.

Preventative health care may not only help save money, but it can help keep your pets heather for the long haul. Vets can give you advice on proper nutrition to keep your pet at a healthy weight, advice to maintain good dental health and more. 


Enter to win $100 toward a vet checkup!


To help you enjoy the benefits of annual checkups, Hill’s Science Diet is giving away $100 toward a vet checkup, every day for 90 days! Simply go to http://blogp.ws/1w2TSJJ  and fill out the short form with your information and you will be entered for a chance to win.

NOTE: Once you click on the link, above, click on: "This way for healthy, happy dogs" OR "This way for healthy, happy cats". Then, click on the yellow box that says: "Enter to win $100 toward your next vet visit." That will take you to the entry form for the $100 giveaway. 


This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Healthier Pets. Happier Lives.™, but To Dog With Love only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chicago Dog Walk to Oz Park

Last weekend we were visiting family in Chicago and we always like to meet up with our Chicago dog pals while we're there.

We also love traveling to Chicago because it's a great walking city and Rocco and I love our morning walks along the lakefront.

This time we took a different route to meet up with our pals Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dolly the Doxie. 

We planned to meet up at Oz Park, a lovely little city park with a Wizard of Oz theme. Even though the park is fairly close to Lincoln Park, my usual place to walk in Chicago, I had never been there.

And, since it was the weekend of the annual Chicago Air and Water Show (with loads of people and traffic), we knew we'd have to walk there, because driving from my mom's location is out of the question.

The bird's eye view of the air show from my mom's place
It's only a 1.5 mile walk to Oz Park, but still long enough to work up an appetite! We enjoyed watching the air show along the way and cutting through a few neighborhoods we don't typically walk though. We also had the added incentive of meeting up for brunch after our Oz Park walk!

Behind the scenes of our photo shoot at the Dorothy and Toto statue with Sugar, Rocco and Dolly
Rocco's close-up with Toto and the ruby slippers!
Next, the pups posed with the Cowardly Lion!

We took a nice walk around the park and then headed to Chez Moi for brunch. Yum!



Sugar visited with Rocco on our side of the table and Dolly was on the other side. We had a great brunch and visit! Rocco wore a purple hair band in honor of Sugar's purple shoes. Heehee!

We love finding new places to walk AND meet up with pals along the way. It's the best combination! Have you found a new place to walk recently?


The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and My GBGV Life to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fido's Freebie Friday Beats the Heat


Welcome to another edition of Fido's Freebie Friday (FFF), the weekly giveaway blog hop for all things pet!


We had a great time in Chicago last week, and we even got to enjoy a bit of sweater weather. It sure was nice to get a little breather from the Atlanta heat.

Rocco and I enjoyed our early morning lakefront walks -- it was only 60 degrees in the morning and windy, of course! And we met up with our pals Dolly the Doxie and Sugar the Golden Retriever, too!

As always, check out the selection of this week's giveaways in the Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

Here's how to participate

The rules for Fido's Freebie Friday are super simple. Here's all you need to know to link up:
  • You have up to 45 characters to describe your prize and include an expiration date
  • Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop is open to posts with prizes for pet products or services, including pet-related or pet-themed items for owners. Use your specific post url to link up.
  • Or simply enter the giveaways that interest you for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!
Fido's Freebie Friday opens each Thursday afternoon for linkups at 4 p.m. ET, and renews each week at the same time with a new listing. Link up anytime during the week!

For more information, you can check out the help page. Your hosts are All Things Dog BlogDogTipper and To Dog With Love.

Happy (s)hopping!




Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. All Things Dog Blog, Doggies and Stuff, DogTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.

Friday, August 15, 2014

How to Kayak With Your Dog

Rocco and I at the end of our trip, just a little waterlogged!
This past weekend Rocco and I went kayaking and it was the first time for both of us.

We met up with our pal Raychel and her pup Poppy, both who are seasoned kayakers. But as it turns out, even experienced kayakers can run into a bit of trouble. So it's important to know what to do if you do face the unexpected or capsize your kayak.

We met at Appalachian Outfitters near Dahlonega, Ga, where we rented a pair of sit-on-top kayaks. I was told these are the easiest to manage for beginner kayakers. There's more room for your dog and they are less "tippy" too.

Raychel and Poppy at the start of our trip… and still dry!
I've canoed before, which also helped a lot. I found paddling and steering (and staying out of trouble) very similar to canoeing.

It had rained A LOT the night before, so even though we were doing an easy 6-mile trip down the Chestatee, the water was high and it was running faster than usual.

That meant, paying extra special attention when we got to two areas where there were Class 1 rapids. We passed through those areas easily, but did take on quite a bit of water.

What we didn't expect was a big tree that had fallen across the entire river.  When we finished our trip, we learned that the tree must have fallen the night before. Even the folks at the outfitters didn't know about it.

Here's the tree we had to pass under
I passed through the one area where there seemed to be the most room (just to the right of center). I had to duck and push away branches, but Rocco and I both made it through without a scratch. Unfortunately, Raychel had a little fight with a larger part of the tree and her kayak tipped over. She and Poppy recovered quickly and they were fine, but Raychel lost her phone (with lots of great photos) in the process.

Even in spite of the rough waters and mishap, we had a great time and Rocco seemed to love riding on the front of the kayak.

Rocco got a great workout just balancing on the front of the kayak
He jumped off the side of the kayak pretty early in the trip and I let him swim alongside the boat for just a few minutes. He was wearing a lifejacket with a handle on it, so it was easy to keep him close by and safe.

After Rocco's little swim!
Here are a few more tips and things I learned from our kayak outing:
  1. Make sure your pup has a good life vest that fits. Our Kyjen dog life vest has a handle on top which made it really easy for me to grab hold of Rocco when he decided to take a swim off the side of the kayak.
  2. Attach a leash to your dog's life vest so he can't get too far away from you. I kept the end of the leash either on my wrist or around my foot.
  3. Bring fresh drinking water for both you and your pup and a collapsible travel bowl comes in handy too.
  4. Keep your phone in a waterproof phone holder like the FRIEQ Waterproof Case. It allows you to take photos while the phone is safe and dry inside its case.
  5. Bring a little snack for both you and your pup and keep it in a dry sack. You can count on getting pretty wet, so pack towels (you can keep these in the car) and a dry change of clothing so you'll be comfortable on the ride home.
  6. After you're done with your adventure, rinse off your pup with some fresh water. We brought a one gallon container of fresh water for each pup. 
  7. And don't forget the sunscreen for both you and your pup, especially if your dog has very short hair or is hairless (even in spots). Be sure to make sure you have sunscreen that is safe for dogs.
Here we are on the slower part of the river!



Have you kayaked with your dog? And if you have more tips, please share in the comments below!

The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and My GBGV Life to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fido's Freebie Friday Gets Windy!


Welcome to another edition of Fido's Freebie Friday (FFF), the weekly giveaway blog hop for all things pet!


This week we're heading to Chicago for family birthday celebrations and we'll get to meet up with our Chicago bloggie pals too! Of course, Rocco is coming with me so we'll get in plenty of good walks along the lakefront.

When you get a breather this week, check out the selection of this week's giveaways in the Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

Here's how to participate

The rules for Fido's Freebie Friday are super simple. Here's all you need to know to link up:
  • You have up to 45 characters to describe your prize and include an expiration date
  • Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop is open to posts with prizes for pet products or services, including pet-related or pet-themed items for owners. Use your specific post url to link up.
  • Or simply enter the giveaways that interest you for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!
Fido's Freebie Friday opens each Thursday afternoon for linkups at 4 p.m. ET, and renews each week at the same time with a new listing. Link up anytime during the week!

For more information, you can check out the help page. Your hosts are All Things Dog BlogDogTipper and To Dog With Love.

Happy (s)hopping!



Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. All Things Dog Blog, Doggies and Stuff, DogTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.

Friday, August 8, 2014

What If You Could Take Your Dog to the Gym?

Envy enjoys some K9 Fit Club time in a class at Canine PhD in Atlanta
If you could take your dog to the gym with you, do you think you'd be more apt to go… or go more often?

That's the idea behind K9 Fit Club, one of the newest ways for people and their pups to get and stay fit and healthy together.

Most dogs are always ready to go on an adventure with their people, making them the greatest motivator to get you up and off the sofa.

And for those pups who would rather sit on the sofa with you, it's possible they may need a little more exercise and healthy living too.

More than 50 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese and two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese. That amounts to a lot of lbs that can be lost if pups and peeps would help each other out and get up and get moving together!

That's a big reason why I went through the training to get certified as a K9 Fit Club instructor.  Lucky for me, at a time in my life when it was getting really easy to pack on the pounds and blame it on just getting old, I had young pup Rocco ready to go at a moments notice.

With the help of better nutrition (skipping the fast food) and more exercise, I'm back at my fighting weight, have more energy and building back the muscle I had before I had shoulder surgery a few years back.

Walking lunges are much more fun with a dog by your side, and you never know when they'll surprise you
and pop up into your arms like Rocco did here! 

And now, I'd like to help other folks and dogs meet their fitness goals and have fun while doing it!

Want to see what it's all about? Take a look at some of these K9 Fit Club regulars working out at the club that started it all in the Chicago area.



At the classes I'm teaching now in the Atlanta area, we use a combination of human and dog exercise equipment like steps, hand weights, FitPaws balance discs and K9FITbones.  We weave through cones, do agility jumps for the dogs and get in some strength and core training too, all to fun motivating music with your pup by your side.

The programs and training for K9 Fit Club were developed by a team of veterinarians, physicians, psychologists, personal trainers and dog trainers. And working out with your dog can help you do more than just lose weight. Pets can improve our health by helping lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety and boost immunity.

If you're in the Atlanta area and want to know more about taking a K9 Fit Club class, fill out our short form and I'll contact you with more info.

If you're in a different city, check out the list of certified trainers for a K9 Fit Club trainer near you.

Would you work out or go to the gym  more often if you could bring your dog with you? Let us know in the comments below.

The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and My GBGV Life to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.





Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fido's Freebie Friday Gets Cooking!


Welcome to another edition of Fido's Freebie Friday (FFF), the weekly giveaway blog hop for all things pet!

The delicious dish I made at the Kroger cooking challenge, made with
lots of the same nutritious ingredients that make up Abound pet food
Earlier this week, we shared our Kroger Cooking Challenge -- a super fun blogger event we attended where we learned about a new line of ultra-premium pet food available at Kroger. Check out the post and giveaway and you might win some new Abound food and treats for your pet.

Then, check out the selection of this week's giveaways in the Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop below. You can enter them all or add your own! We make it easy by linking them up all in one place.

Here's how to participate

The rules for Fido's Freebie Friday are super simple. Here's all you need to know to link up:
  • You have up to 45 characters to describe your prize and include an expiration date
  • Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop is open to posts with prizes for pet products or services, including pet-related or pet-themed items for owners. Use your specific post url to link up.
  • Or simply enter the giveaways that interest you for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!
Fido's Freebie Friday opens each Thursday afternoon for linkups at 4 p.m. ET, and renews each week at the same time with a new listing. Link up anytime during the week!

For more information, you can check out the help page. Your hosts are All Things Dog BlogDogTipper and To Dog With Love.

Happy (s)hopping!



Individual rules of entry and guidelines for winning may apply to each listing. All Things Dog Blog, Doggies and Stuff, DogTipper and To Dog With Love take no responsibility for the legality of the rules governing the listings on other sites and giveaways that are posted here. We simply provide this forum as a gathering place for pet products to be offered. Fulfillment of each giveaway is done by the blog conducting the giveaway, not by the hosts of this giveaway hop; please contact the giveaway host with any questions regarding a giveaway or giveaway prize.

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