March Pet Events

This weekend there are many pet events scheduled around the country for you and your best buddy to participate in and have a fun filled day. Many of the admission prices go to helping rescue organizations, pet shelters, humane societies, and other animal welfare groups. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, March 2-4, 2012, check out one of these events if you’re near by.

Mardi Growl is taking place in Knoxville, TN at Market Square downtown on March 3, 2012 starting at 9am. Admission is $15 in advance or $20 on the day. It’s the fifth annual Mardi Growl and it is the largest pet parade and festival in Knoxville. There are almost 1000 dogs and their human friends that march and spend the day playing, participating in contests, and hanging out. The parade begins downtown at the Petsafe Dog Park at the corner of Central Ave and Summit Hill. There will be multiple animal rescue groups, pet organizations, and vendors at Market Square. The money raised will benefit the Young-Williams Animal Center.

For more information, visit the Young-Williams Animal Center website.

If you’re in or near Scottsdale, AZ this weekend head to the 3rd Annual Dogathon being held downtown at the Waterfront and Southbridge on March 3, 2012. Dogathon was started as a social and charitable event where dogs can gather and participate in games, contests, and raise awareness for animals that need homes and other causes. There will be games such as putting for pooches (golf game), spa sessions, dog (big group of dog yoga), and different classes where you can learn some new tips and tricks. There are also awards that will be given out for the Best of Show, Best Fashion, Best of Breed, and Amazing Dog Trick. All the money raised will be donated to the ASPCA.

For more information please visit their website.

Raw Food Seminar will be held on March 3, 2012 from 9am to 4pm in Otsego, MN. Admission is $79 and it is an all day educational event about myths, facts, and what best practices we can use when feeding our dogs raw food. Lee Olson, who holds a PhD in Natural Nutrition, will be present and discuss canine digestion and what nutritional supplements can be added to ensure a balanced and healthy diet. She has written several articles regarding best diets for dogs and will discuss myths of what foods are safe for dogs and aren’t, what types of bones can be given to your dog, and what diets can help with bone problems, skin problems, and cancer. The seminar will take place at Dogue Spot which is located at 5600 Queens Ave NE in Suite 200.

For more information please call 763-425-7768.

On the Road

We’re planning a road trip from Connecticut to North Carolina in the next month or so, and we’re taking our two dogs, Lola and Charlie (yes we know about the kid’s show, Charlie and Lola, which is why I reversed their names here). Lola is a 12 1/2 year old Gordon Setter and Charlie (4 years old) is everything else, with long lashes that’ll make most women weep with jealousy.

When Chris and I started, it was so we could find pet-friendly lodgings for ourselves and our pets and other pet owners—and 15 years ago there were only a comparative handful. Now we have almost 35,000 pet-friendly venues throughout the world.

We’re taking our laptop (and smartphones) along so we can always find a pet-friendly hotel on  In addition, we know if there’s a problem with one of the dogs, we can always consult our list of Emergency Vets along the way.

Our final planning will be to consult our Search by Route application on our site. All you have to do is put in your Departure city and your Destination city, and not only will it plot your trip on a map, the pet-friendly hotels will show up along the route. Our first stop will likely be Washington, DC and we’ve already found a number of available pet-friendly hotels there.

But first things first: What do we take with us to make sure our pets are safe and healthy? Here’s a partial list that everyone can use.

  • Identification on their collars, including name and contact numbers.
  • If your pet has a microchip, make sure it’s updated with your current contact information.
  • Medical Records including their current conditions and any medicines you’ll need.
  • If you have a proof of vaccinations (especially Rabies), take that along with you.
  • Collar and leash
  • Crate, if your pet still needs one.
  • Bedding and/or blankets, and towels for those rainy days or swimming in a lake.
  • Combs and brushes and other grooming supplies.
  • Toys (don’t forget that on a long trip, they’re going to get bored.
  • Food (dry and/or canned), along with their bowls. We take a mat along to go underneath the water bowls to keep the floors dry.
  • Dog ramp. Lola has trouble jumping into the back of our SUV, so I have to lift her into it. The ramp we have weighs more than she does so I’m looking for a lightweight one. (Any suggestions?)
  • Water for the car trip. We used to bring water from home when we traveled so they’d have familiar water, but as soon as we reached our destination, they’d jump into the lake, or start sipping from a puddle.
  • Appropriate first-aid kit. We have long-haired dogs so we make sure we have tweezers for those pesky ticks.
  • Don’t forget those monthly items like Heart Guard or Frontline, or whatever other protection you use.

This is just a partial list, and you have to take whatever makes sense for your dog (or cat). Hopefully we’ll have room for our own luggage—although in the last several years we only take carry-ons. (More about that in another blog.)

As we travel, I’ll try to blog about where we are and what we’re doing, and about how the dogs are enjoying the trip.

If you have suggestions about what to take with you when taking a road trip, let us know. We welcome your feedback.

February Pet Events

If you’re looking for some pet events for February, you’ve come to the right place. Some of the events are pet friendly, others are fund raisers for your local shelters and humane organizations, and others are educational. Whatever you choose to do, just know that in some way or another you are helping animals as well as having a good time.

Here’s some cool pet events happening for the rest of the month:

Bedford Heights, OH: Yappy Hour at Camp Bow Wow located at 23380 Aurora Road is scheduled for February 19, 2012 from 2 to 3pm. Admission is free and there will be an informative talk about health care for your dog by vets and other pet professionals. The event is focusing on heart related health issues in purebreds but there will be a question and answer session where you can ask about mixed breeds and health tips to make sure your buddy is healthy and happy. There will be refreshments and if your dog is enrolled in Camp Bow Wow, you can bring her and let her romp while you learn.

For more information call 440-786-3647.

Randolph, NJ: Gals and Their Furry Pals is an event that focuses on the bond between dogs and their female humans. It’s scheduled for February 24, 2012 from 6:30pm to 9pm at Morris K9 Campus located at 1 Aspen Drive. It’s going to be a night of fun for girls and their dogs. Consider this your “girl’s night out” and leave the boys at home. Admission is free and it’s a great way to meet other pet owners, have fun with your pup, and the event benefits Dress for Success Morris County. If you have some dress clothes that you no longer wear, bring them with you and donate them.

For more information cal 973-252-5100 or visit their website.

Orlando, Fl: Wine Tasting Meet and Greet at Woof Gang Bakery located at 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd is scheduled for February 24, 2012 from 6pm to 8pm. Admission is free and you are all invited to spend a relaxing evening tasting wine, socializing, and meeting the staff at Woof Gang. They have a new groomer who will be there who will be happy to answer any questions that you have. Bring your pup for some fun as well.

For more information call 407-363-5550.

Albuquerque, NM: Take A Bite Out Of Pet Population is an event happening on February 28, 2012 at the Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center located at 501 Elizabeth SE. This event is educational and will strive to shine a spotlight on spaying and neutering pets. It’s one of the most humane ways to cut down on the number of homeless pets that are euthanized in shelters. The information available will stress important pet care responsibilities such as yearly vet checks, vaccines, dental care, nail trimming, play times tips and tricks, and more. If you want to get your pet microchipped, it’s only $15.00 at the event.

For more information call 505-764-1164.

I Love Pets Photo Contest

As you may know, February is Pet Parent Month. A month where organizations and us pet owners take some extra time to remember why we own pets, care for them, and love them and all the special things they bring into our lives. Many shelters and organizations have planned special adoption events, educational events, playmates, and more to celebrate the joy of having a pet.

The Mayor’s Alliance of New York is also celebrating by holding a photo contest. From now till February 28, 2012 at 11:59pm, all pet owners can enter the contest. If you live in NYC, you can enter the contest for a chance to win a prize and have your photo seen by other New Yorkers.

To enter all you need to do is submit a photo of your pet or you and your pet with a brief caption. The caption should describe why you think your pet is the quintessential, lovable Little New Yorker. Maybe your cat loves bagels or your dog likes sunning himself in Washington Square Park listening to people play guitar and play chess.

The photos are posted to the Facebook page of the Mayor’s Alliance of New York where you, your friends, and a bunch of people can vote on their favorite ones. The contest ends on February 28, 2012 at 11:59pm EST.

The photos that have received the most votes will be chosen as the winners. The announcement will be posted on the Facebook page. There will be three winners picked with a special article that will appear on the Mayor’s Alliance website and blog in March. The winning photos will also appear on the website’s homepage.

The prize is a I Love NYC pets t-shirt along with the article and your photo on the sites. So come on, enter the contest. Show off and tell everyone why your hamster, cat, bird, fish, or dog is the best Little New Yorker around!

For more details check out the Mayor’s Alliance webpage and Facebook page.

Pet Events for February 4, 2012

There are a lot of events being planned for the month of February in different cities. The first weekend of February is packed with events alone! If you’re near any of these cities, consider checking out one of the following and bring the family:

Dog Bowl is a free event being held on February 4, 2012 from 10am to 3pm in Hollywood, Florida at Ty Park located at 3300 North Park Road. It’s an all day event where your dog can play games and win prizes. There will be bobbing for hot dogs, a race, and contests such as Best Dressed Dog and Owner/Dog Look Alike. If you have been working with your dog towards earning the Canine Good Citizen certificate and feel ready, you can sign up for the test and take it at Dog Bowl. There will also be vendors, rescue groups, and food for you and your pup. For more information call 954-646-3876.

If you’re in Santa Clara, Ca on February 4, 2012, go to the Bay Area Pet Expo! It’s free and runs from 10am to 6pm at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds Expo Hall located at 344 Tully Road. Aside from demonstrations of obedience, agility, and training for tv shows and movies, Shorty will be there. You know, Shorty from the show on Animal Planet, ‘Pit Boss.’ There will be over 200 exhibitors on hand, rescue groups, and vendors selling the latest and greatest pet products. If your pet is a bit of a ham, enter her in one of the contests that will be going on during the day like the costume contest, talent contest, and many others. Banfield Pet Hospital will also be there with over 300+ animals who are looking for forever homes. For more information call 855-PET-EXPO.

The 4th Annual Florida Week for the Animals starts on February 4th and runs till February 12, 2012. Animal World USA is sponsoring the week long event and it will promote and highlight the importance that animals play in our daily lives. The statewide event will strive to build awareness, celebrate pets, and bring together communities on behalf of animals. Educators, advocates, shelters, rescue groups, sanctuaries, businesses, and many more are planning community activities such as pet adoption festivals, wildlife activities, educational events, pet fairs, and other events. The week is a unique opportunity to change the life of a homeless pet, learn how deeply intertwined we are to our environment, and what we can do to preserve, promote, and help all animals. For more information call 877-454-0807 or visit the website at

Image courtesy of Bay Area Pet Expo

More January Pet Events

The new year belongs to dogs! There are plenty of fun events to go to with your family that are aimed to help educate and provide fun for you and your furry buddy. If you are wondering what to do, check out some of these pet friendly events. If you’re not near any of these cities, check with your local humane society to see if there’s something happening in your town that your whole family can head to and spend a day having fun, eating some good food, and wearing out your pup!

Camp Bow Wow is hosting a Yappy Hour on January 22 from 2pm to 3pm in Bedford Heights, Ohio at 23380 Aurora Road and admission is free. There will be a talk from Dr. Banta, a veterinarian, about health issues for your dog. The topic’s focus is winter pet care with a question and answer section that will follow. It’s free but call to make a reservation because space is limited. If your dog is enrolled in Camp Bow Wow feel free to bring him! For more information call 440-786-3647.

If you’re in Westminster, Colorado and haven’t had a chance to update your cat or dog’s vaccines and haven’t microchipped him, here’s your chance. On January 22 from 12pm to 3pm the Foothills Animal Shelter will be offering low-cost vaccines, microchips, and dog licenses. You don’t need to make an appointment but please keep in mind that they only accept checks and cash. The event will be held at Murdoch’s at 9150 Wadsworth Blvd. Most of the vaccines will cost about $15 and the microchip will be about $35. For more information please call 303-278-7575.

The 11th Annual World of Pets Expo is being held on January 27 to January 29 in Timonium, Maryland. There will be hundreds of pet products for sale, businesses with booths set up to show you what they do, who they are, and how they care for pets, and plenty of interactive exhibits. Seminars will be scheduled throughout the whole weekend for you to attend and you’ll be able to see some demonstrations by trainers and dogs. For your kids, there is a petting zoo, face painting, and plenty of places to hang out and get some good food. Parking is free and there will be cats, dogs, birds, fish, and reptiles for you to see and learn about. For more information call 800-882-9894.

Photo courtesy of Camp Bow Wow

January Pet Events

Whew the holidays are over and it’s time to take down the decorations and throw out that tree. If you’re looking for things to do with your pup that are fun, educational, and strengthen the bond between you and her, check some of the events happening around the country. It’ll keep you both out of the cold weather and will be enjoyable for everyone.

If you live near Hollywood, Florida and have always been curious about how dogs and their owners learn how to dance, then head to the Canine Musical Freestyle Seminar at the VFW Post located at 814 S Dixie Hwy on January 14 and 15. The seminar is from 9am to 4pm both days and it’s $125 for the two day workshop. You’ll learn if the music selection is right for your dog, the ins and outs of freestyle, how to make the rewards truly rewarding, and composing routines among more. There is a 15 person/dog team limit and you must call first before attending. For info or reservations call 954-829-3274.

The Woof Gang Bakery is opening on January 14, 2012 and is celebrating their grand opening by giving a gift of free treats for a year to the first 20 dogs who walk through the door! The bakery will start their first day at 9am and they are excited. It’s a natural and health food store for your pets with wheat-free and grain-free foods and treats as well as hypo-allergenic options and collars and leashes for sale. Check out the new shop located at 4421 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, North Carolina in the North Hills Shopping Center. They are opening next to the Panera food shop and Bonefish Grill. Woof Gang also offers full service and self-service bathing for your pups. So if you’re ever in need of washing all that mud and grit off your dog after a morning at the dog park, this is the place to go!

Does your dog love hockey as much as you do? Then bring her to the game on January 15. Pucks and Paws is being held at the DCU Center at 50 Foster Street in Worcester, MA from 3pm to 7pm. Watch the Worcester Sharks play Syracuse and enjoy a night with your pup and other dog lovers. To buy tickets call 508-929-0500.

In Del Mar, California there is a 5K course that you and you dog can walk, run, and wag your way around that benefits the Petco Foundation. It’s on January 15, 2012 and starts at 8am. Admission and sign up is $19 or if you feel like donating more, they’d love it. The event will have a 5K oe 1 mile course and also events throughout the day along with a pet fitness expo for you to participate in and learn how to improve the health of your pet and yourself. For more information call 760-635-1795.

Image courtesy of Woof Gang Bakery

Dog Parks in Las Vegas

If you’ve just moved to Las Vegas, Nevada or passing through with your best friend don’t forget to check out some of the casinos and places to eat. But, more importantly, don’t forget to let your dog burn off some energy. Spending a few hours in a crate or in the hotel room can mean that your pup might be bored or nap while you’re out. Take her for a walk, jog, and give her some TLC. If she’s itching to romp, there are several dog parks in Las Vegas where she can run around and make some new friends. Always bring a bag to clean up after her and make sure she has all her ID tags on her collar.

Acacia Dog Park is located in Henderson, NV at South Gibson Road and Las Palmas Entrada. It’s open from 7am to 10pm and dogs are allowed off leash in the dog run. In other parts of the park, your dog must be on leash. They ask that you don’t allow your dog to dig holes and to clean up after you dog. It’s not a huge dog run but it’s a well-maintained run and there are plenty of friendly dogs that call this run their second home.

All American Dog Park is at 121 East Sunset Road in Las Vegas and is located inside of a 45 acre community park that you can hike around with your pup before or after a game of fetch and frisbee in the dog run. The dog run is fenced in so your pup can run off leash. They ask that your dog be sociable, up to date on vaccines, and under control of the owner at all times. This helps to avoid tension between dogs, jumping up or bugging other owners, and helps keep everything peaceful. When your dog is not in the dog run, please keep her on leash. There are a few grills, picnic tables, and huge grass fields where you can spend an afternoon hanging out and relaxing. Don’t forget to bring a snack and some water for your pup so she isn’t starving and thirsty after making new friends in the dog park.

Barkin’ Basin Dog Park is in Wayne Bunker Park at Alexander Road and Tenaya Way. It is a 7.75 acre park that has 3 fenced in dog runs. One is for smaller dogs or low energy dogs, one is for bigger dogs, and one is for older or shyer dogs. If your dog is a bit shy when meeting new dogs, one of the other 2 fenced areas might be great to get her used to the smells, energy levels, and layout of the runs and also make your trip more enjoyable. There are also benches, lights, drinking fountains, and water spigots. Your dog must be leashed when she’s not in the designated dog runs.

Desert Breeze Dog Run is located at 8425 West Spring Mountain Road in Las Vegas and is fully fenced in with benches, trash cans, and water. There are 3 dog runs available here as well so you and your dog can find the one that best fits her energy level and social level. The park is located about 5 miles west of downtown Las Vegas and is surrounded by the Desert Breeze County Park. After some running and fun has been had, take a stroll through the park. There are paths for jogging, a skate park, and lots of fields where you can watch people playing soccer, tennis, and a playground. The dog park is open everyday from 6am to 11pm. Don’t forget to bring a bag to clean up after your dog.

Molasky Park has a dog run that is fenced in and open from 6am to 11pm. It’s located at 1065 East Twain Ave in Las Vegas and has trash cans and a water fountain. Bring a bag to clean up after your dog and keep your dog leashed when not in the fenced off areas. This park has 3 dog runs and if you need to potty, there are portable restrooms available nearby. Bring a bowl for your dog to drink some water out of after she’s done playing and don’t worry about getting too much sun, there are shaded areas under trees and a gazebo to hang out under.

NYC Pet Events

New York City is the city that never sleeps and also seems to be the city that loves their pets! There’s only a few days left in 2011 and this weekend is going to be a big celebration of ringing in 2012. So aside from the parties, silly hats, and counting down as the big ball drops, how are you celebrating New Year’s with your pets? Well, how about heading out to a pet event with you and family on Saturday or Sunday and if you have some vacation time, check out some of the other events that are kicking off the new year.

If you’re in the TriBeca area of Manhattan, head over to Petco over on 157 Chambers Street and enter your stunning pet in the TriBarka Winter Fashion Show! They will be music, free pictures, and food for everyone. Your pet can strut his stuff in his best outfit down the catwalk. Sign up anytime before the show, on December 31, 2011 from 1:30 to 2:30pm. It will be a fun afternoon of seeing the outrageous and stylish outfits people have for their pets.

Unleashed at Petco is also hosting a baby photo contest. Bring in a photo on January 1, 2012 of your new puppy, kitty, bird, snake, or human baby. They will put the picture up on their display board and announce a winner on January 30, 2012. The winner will receive a $25.00 gift card to the Petco and a basket full of treats. While you are there, why not check out the Pet Adoption Sunday event from 12pm to 4pm. Every Sunday during the month of January pets will be available for adoption in the store. Bring your family and see if there is a furry friend that catches your eye and wins your heart!

Every Monday starting January 2, 2012 during the month of January, there is going to be a Model Monday at the Petco in Brooklyn at 81 Seventh Avenue. Stop by any Monday and bring your pet dressed up in her diva wear. Show off her winter fashion and you can receive a free photograph of your furry fashionista. If your pet is really working the runaway and makes a hit with everyone, the photo might even make it onto their wall of fame!

If you’re located in the upper east side of Manhattan and have a young pup that needs to burn some energy, take her to the Free Puppy Play Time on January 4, 2012 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. It’s a Wednesday event that happens weekly and helps your new pup learn to socialize in a safe environment with other puppies. It’s important to get them socialized and help them learn how to play, read body language, and become well-mannered pups. There is an in-house trainer that will also answer pet training tips you have and give advice if your pup isn’t quite sure how to play nicely with the other furballs.

Hiking Trails in Canada

There are some great hiking trails in Canada that you and your pup can explore together. Sure, it’s cold but if you have a few days off and your dog has been getting cabin fever, it might be a good idea to head out for a short hike and burn some energy, get some fresh air, and bond. Remember to pack a bag with some snacks for both of you, a portable water bowl, water bottle, and to watch your dog for signs of fatigue and finding it too cold or too much to hike. If you need to, make it a short walk and head back home.

Muskoseepi Park
If you’re in Alberta, there’s a great trail in Muskoseepi Park located at 100 Avenue and 105 Street in Grand Prairie. You can walk through the wilderness of Bear Creek Valley and have a picnic and relax after a few miles of walking around. It’s not a big park and there is even a museum nearby where you and the family could learn about the history of Grand Prairie. Your dog needs to be on a leash at all times while on the walking trails.

Ottawa has a few nice dog parks with hiking trails. Bruce Pit is worth checking out if you’re wondering where to take your buddy. It’s located at 175 Cedarview Rd in Ottawa and is an off-leash trail and park where you dog can sniff, dig, run, and walk till he just can’t! It’s a great place to burn some energy and take in some nature.

Eldred King Woodlands is in Toronto where Yonge St and Eagle St meet and has beautiful trails in the wilderness where you and your dog can hike. The trails are well paved and wide. Bring some snacks and you might get tired. There’s also a pond where your pup can take a dive after a long hike to cool off. It might not be warm enough right now in December to swim but this could be a wonderful hike in the spring and summer.

In Manitoba, Canada there is the Brandon Hills Wildlife Conservation Area located off Highway 10, south of the city of Brandon. There is a trail that you can explore with your dog on or off leash and it has three loops if you need to make the hike shorter than it’s 3 hour route. Depending on the season you will likely run into deer, moose, and maybe even a black bear. Mostly you’ll see squirrels and birds, so bring your binoculars if you want to try and figure out what birds are up in those trees.

If you’re in Carberry, Canada head down to Highway 5 and Spruce Woods Provincial Park. There are trails that head through small prairie deserts that are filled with giant sand dunes. A lot of the trail is fragile so your dog must be on leash to prevent hurting the ecosystem. Don’t forget to check out the Devil’s Punch Bowl.

Photo Courtesy of Muskoseepi Park.