Win a Free Night at Motel 6!

There’s only one thing better than hitting the road with your pet–and that’s not paying for it! The nice people at Motel 6 know this and have offered Petswelcome travelers a free night at one of their motels.

All you have to do to be eligible is create a Petswelcome Passport account. There’s no cost and you will be able to enjoy the benefits membership has to offer, including planning a trip with driving directions and pet-friendly hotels along the way and then being able to save it for access anytime.

You’ll then be entered in a drawing to win one free night at a Motel 6 of your choice (we have 12 nights available!). We like to think of it as the ideal break from a busy life. The perfect respite. Or, as our copywriter, a poodle name Hemingway, calls it, The Paws that Refreshes. Whatever you want to call it, we know you (and your pet) will surely have a wonderful time.

Click here for more details

Need a Weekend Getaway? Head to Essex Resort!

Hey everyone, you and your dog deserve an end of spring getaway and The Essex Resort and Spa in Essex, VT is making it easy for you.

Top Dog Weekend is their special end of Spring getaway for people and their pups scheduled for the weekend of May 31 to June 2, 2013.

The package deal consists of a pampered weekend of massage, grooming, and fresh baked biscuits for your pup. There’s also a “Yappy Hour” for them on Friday night after checking in. The next day there will be a trip to the park and then all the dogs will be groomed and massaged. For us owners, there is going to be a cooking class where we can learn to make dog biscuits that are healthy and taste great for our furry buddies.

It’s a weekend focused on our loving pets but there is also a spa, gym, and nearby golf course for us humans to enjoy.

The price for the pampered pet getaway is $899 based on double occupancy and includes all weekend activities, the nightly pet fee, and a very special goody bag for your pet. By the time Sunday rolls around, you and your pup will be ready to head back home, relaxed, serene, and recharged. Don’t miss out on this awesome deal!

For more information, check out our page for The Essex Resort and Spa.

Spring Travel with Pets

Spring is a great time to plan weekend getaways in the United States. The weather warms up and you can still find places to ski but also places to camp, hike, and be outside. With the holidays that come around in spring, the kids have some weeks off from school which can make planning vacations easy and set in stone.

Spring is also an excellent time to take a trip that includes the family pet, especially if they love being out in warmer weather that’s not too hot and not too cold.

No matter what the weather’s like outside your window right now, there’s no reason you can’t start dreaming – and planning – for your next adventure. And that’s where we come in. Here are some pet travel tips for the winter, plus links to articles we’ve written about pet-related events in the US during the winter months like pet parades, photos with Santa, and other fun spring events.

Spring Pet Travel Tips

Planning ahead can reduce stress and save time. Don’t forget the following items before you head out:

  1. Medication – make sure you have enough of it for the duration of your time away from home. Pick up refills for your pet before you head out.
  2. Kennels and carriers – some places require that your pet be in a carrier or crate when left alone. A kennel is also a safe way to travel for your pet. Airlines have size restrictions for kennels that can travel in cabin. Check about restrictions and policies of the airline before booking.
  3. Never leave your pet in the car – the air in the car doesn’t circulate and the temperature can drop or rise within minutes to a point where it can become life threatening.
  4. Rest stop areas mean everyone gets a break – take your dog out for a walk, offer some water and a snack. If you’re going to be there for a while, play a little to burn off any pent up energy.
  5. Identification – make sure the tags on your pet’s collar are up to date and fastened securely to the collar.
  6. Vet records – bring a copy of your pet’s vaccines. Hotels and vacation rentals often ask for proof of your pet’s vaccines.
  7. Find the local emergency vet – know before you go where the emergency vet is in the area you are staying in case your pet becomes injured. It saves a lot of stress and time in the event that your pet needs immediate medical attention.
  8. Spring means that some of those annoying parasites are starting to come back, protect your pets with heartworm pills and flea and tick medications. Talk to your vet about the proper dosages and any other preventatives you may need depending on where you are traveling to.

Spring Pet Events in the USA

Please note that these lists aren’t comprehensive – yet! – so if you know of an event for dogs, cats, horses, parrots, guinea pigs or anything else that you think should be added to our lists, please let us know!

Image from Upphotos.net

Do you LIKE PetsWelcome on Facebook?

Those of you reading this article on PetsWelcome are, in all likelihood, subscribers to our newsletter. That’s great, because it’s the easiest way to keep up with the new things we publish here on the PetsWelcome blog. But even though there’s a Facebook box on the website and in the newsletters, you may not realize that there are good reasons to connect with PetsWelcome on Facebook, too.

Here are five reasons you should LIKE PetsWelcome on Facebook, if you haven’t done so already.

1. There’s more stuff on Facebook than the blog.

We always make sure that the latest articles from the PetsWelcome blog get posted to our Facebook page, but that’s far from the only thing we post there. We put a variety of animal-related tidbits on our Facebook page – including funny pet photos, inspiring stories of pets and their people, and animal news items that sometimes make us laugh or cry. You’ll find one or two new posts on PetsWelcome during the week, but we’re posting on Facebook every day – so clicking the LIKE button on our page will give you a daily dose of animal goodness.

2. Time-sensitive information goes on Facebook.

We monitor the news for announcements about pet food recalls and other time-sensitive information, but we don’t often put those things on the blog. Why? Because by the time you got the newsletter (or found the article by searching online), it may well be out of date – and that’s not useful to anyone. To be in the loop on time-sensitive issues that may be critical to your pet’s health, follow our Facebook page.

3. You can connect with other traveling animal lovers.

Reading the posts on the PetsWelcome blog is great, but it’s a very one-way street – we write articles, and you read them. Sometimes you comment on them, yes, but on Facebook the conversation is much more dynamic. Not only do you get to react to what we’re saying and posting, you get to interact with other people in the PetsWelcome community. You’ll find funny comments, questions about pet travel, and photos that fans have posted.

4. Sharing is caring.

Building on the point above, we’re always excited to get notes from PetsWelcome community members on Facebook, and to see photos of their pets as they travel. (Sometimes we even offer thank you gifts for that kind of sharing, we love it so much.) The bottom line is that we don’t want Facebook to simply be us talking at you – we want you to share your pet travel experiences with us, too. And if you like PetsWelcome’s Facebook page, why not share it with your pet-loving friends, too?

5. You’re on Facebook anyway, right?

Let’s face it – most of us spend at least a little time on Facebook every day anyway, so why not add PetsWelcome to your day in a place where you already know you’re spending time?

So, do you LIKE PetsWelcome now?

PetsWelcome Pet Portrait Contest Winner (Plus a New Contest)

Do you remember the Pet Portrait Contest we ran on PetsWelcome earlier this year? Anyone who submitted a fun pet-friendly place to our “Fun & Cool Places” list was entered, and the prize was a painted portrait of your pet. Well, we’re happy to announce the winner of that contest, and reveal the lovely portrait.

Congratulations to Kishia F. from Theodore, AL!

Here’s the portrait of her dog, Harper. Isn’t it gorgeous?

When she saw the finished painting, Kishia said, “Thank you so much for this beautiful gift. It will bring me joy for many years even after my Harper leaves me.”

We’re excited to have given Kishia this lasting memento of Harper, but we’re not done yet. PetsWelcome is running another Pet Portrait Contest through December 1. All you need to do is suggest a fun place that allows pets and add it to PetsWelcome’s list of “Fun & Cool Places.” It could be a park, a bar, a bookstore – even a pet event. The only restriction is that it can’t be a hotel or lodging.

We will randomly draw a winner on December 2nd, so get your entry in now! This custom memento would make a great holiday gift for your favorite pet lover (which just might happen to be you!). Just go to our “Win a Portrait of Your Pet” page for details. And good luck!

11 Hilarious Animal Tumblrs

It’s no secret we love our pets. On our desks at work we have pictures of our families, which includes pets. On our smartphones we have pictures of our pets and some of us pose as our pets on twitter. We aren’t the only ones. There are plenty of others out there who love cats, dogs, rabbits, and other animals – and, as we all know, you can pretty much find anything on the internet these days.

And we mean anything.

Tumblr is one of the easiest sites to use to set up a blog, and many of the people using Tumblr are doing so with animal-related themes. There are plenty of Tumblrs full of gorgeous animal photos, but the ones we love best are the silly animal Tumblrs – the ones that make us snort-laugh at our desks, so that coworkers in nearby cubicles question what exactly we’re doing.

With that in mind, we wanted to share some of our favorite funny animal Tumblrs. You can click on the title of each Tumblr below to go to the actual site. And please let us know if we’re missing your favorite animal Tumblr on our list!

Note that some of these do use profanity in the text, so if you’re concerned about what’s appearing on your screen while you’re at work, perhaps you’ll want to save these gems for when you get home.

The Cat Scan

For anyone who ever used a scanner to capture more than just documents, this Tumblr is for you. It is, as the title suggests, images of cats sitting on scanners. The results are predictably adorable and amusing. What’s more, you can even submit your own feline’s posterior, provided you can get Fluffy to sit still on the scanner long enough.

Animals With Stuffed Animals

As mentioned, you can find anything on the internet. Case in point? This Tumblr is nothing more than photos of animals with stuffed animals. And that simple premise turns out to be an utter delight. Who knew?

Animals in People Clothes

For a long time there have been pictures of pets wearing t-shirts, hats, and socks. This blog has taken on the great task of collecting these photos and putting them in one place for us all. It also shows just how silly we are with our pets.

The Fluffington Post

Yes, it looks like a news site – but it’s not. It’s one part Onion, one part Cute Overload. And from what we know about math, that equals a zillion parts awesome.

Animals Talking in All Caps

Again, this is a Tumblr where the title tells you almost everything you need to know – except for how astonishingly funny it is. (Warning – this one routinely contains profanity.)

Cat Versus Human

Cat owners undersand other cat owners. Which means that when one cat owner also happens to be a talented artist and cartoonist, the results are hilariously on point for anyone who fears it’s really the cats who own us.

OCD: Obsessive Corgi Disorder

Honestly, who doesn’t have OCD, if that’s what it stands for? Clearly, even Queen Elizabeth suffers from this condition!

Dogs in Top Hats

Yep, it’s just what the title says – photos of dogs in top hats. What more do you need, really?

Painfully Cute

Some of these photos are just plain adorable, but others are downright silly. Either way, we’ll take it.

Ca$hcats

Let’s face it, cats have attitude. So it’s only natural that lots of people apparently photograph their felines with enormous piles of money. Let’s not think about where aforementioned piles come from, shall we?

Tommy the Pomeranian

Not only do countless people use Tumblr to post photos of animals, the folks at Tumblr HQ have their very own intern – Tommy the Pomeranian – with his very own Tumblr.

Hug This! Shiba Inu Squishable Kickstarter (ends August 9)

It’s no secret we love dogs. We also love toys, gadgets, and companies that promote greener ways to care for our pets. We also love fun, silly things like big plushy stuffed animals that resemble our beloved pets and other animals we find adorable. There are so many cute stuffed animals that resemble our cats, dogs, and birds but there hasn’t been one that looks quite like a shiba inu, till now. 

A company based in NYC, called Squishable, is looking for funding to make a big, huggable Shiba Inu. For those of us who are not familiar with Shibas, they are a japanese breed who bear a resemblance to foxes. In fact, many people have commented that Shibas look like they are half fox. Shibas are one of the older breeds dating back to 3 B.C. 

Shibas are not happy-go-lucky like their relatives the lab or easy going. They are a non-sporting breed but are very tenacious, steadfast, stubborn, and independent. Imagine a cat in dog’s clothing and that’s a Shiba Inu. However, they are awfully cute and very loyal and loving to their pack or family and will be affectionate to others who have “earned” their respect. For a Shiba owner, this means that hugging or cuddling their dog may not always be a possibility or it may bring out the “Shiba Scream.” The scream is hair-raising and someone in your building might call 911 thinking there’s an emergency. Believe me, I know. 

But back to the Squishable Shiba Inu. A few months ago Squishable had a contest of what dog breed would make a great squishable. The Corgi (they are cute too!) won but votes for the Shiba were not that far behind. With this in mind, the company has decided to create a Shiba Inu squishable but they need some help. Squishable has started a Kickstarter project to raise the money needed to produce the Shiba Inu Squishable. There are several levels of donations that the public can choose from when donating and if the project reaches its goal, all those who donated will be notified and their credit cards will be charged. 

>> Note that this Kickstarter has already reached its goal, so it’ll be fully funded, but you can still get in on the donations and rewards before the deadline of August 9, 2012. But hurry if you want to contribute!

Donations start at $7 but you can give as much as you want. Each level of donations has specific “thank you” gifts that the company will send you, such as the Shiba Inu Squishable, some other squishables, and if you donate the highest level you’ll get to meet the employees and hang out with them for an afternoon. 

For more information about the Shiba Inu Squishable and the company, check out their kickstarter page. If you’re curious what other creatures they have made, take a look at their website. They have a squishable kitty. The panda is my personal favorite. What’s yours? 

Share A Pic, Save A Pet

If you have a Facebook profile, there’s an app that you might be interested in. No, it’s not a game or weird mush of generate questions that will flood your timeline.

It’s an application that can save a pet’s life and all you have to do is donate your Facebook profile page to share and showcase animals looking for new homes.

The application was created by the non-profit, PetSmart Charities, and is powered by the Adopt-A-Pet.com group. It links with your information and geographical location and alerts those you are connected to on FB to adoptable pets in the community.

How Does It Work?

1: To use it, simply go to the application, http://apps.facebook.com/shareapic-saveapet/ and enter your zip code.

2: You’ll then be asked to select 10 adoptable pets to showcase on your profile by breed, color, size, and gender.

3: The database is nationwide and will find animals in your area that need new homes. Your profile will then show pictures of local pets available for adoption and links to the local rescue and shelters that have them.

4: The pictures are shared on your wall and appear in your friends’ timeline.

You will still have all the information and status updates that you previously had. This application does not change your wall but just adds these pets to your posts. If you’re unsure if you want to flood your friends’ timelines with this information, you can set it up, test it out, and see how you feel about it. If you find it too intrusive, you can uninstall it. However, you may want to try it out for a few days and see if any of your Facebook connections pass the information on, comment, or adopt one!

It’s an easy way to raise awareness for homeless pets, a great way to volunteer without having to play with your schedule, and an easy way to celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week. There are millions of pets who need new homes and every little bit of exposure helps them be one step closer to finding their forever home.

Petswelcome to Bribe Visitors (with Great Prizes)!

It works for unscrupulous politicians . Which is a tautology.  Which is the opposite of an oxymoron. So why not for petswelcome.com?

OK. He liked pets, too. Or said he did. But that's where our similarity ends. Really.

What we’re trying to say is that we’re desperate for people to like us. Not for any financial gain, of course. No way. Just because, well, we’re needy and insecure. Also, because we like seeing people and their pets have a good time. And that’s what our Wonderful Westminster Weekend Giveaway is all about: You having a fantastic experience that involves pets. In this case dogs. Lots of them. At the 135th Annual Westminster  Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It just happens to fall on Valentine’s Day to make it even more extra special. So bring your partner along and have a romantic time and drink some champagne. Because champagne is also part of the give-away. Besides giving you tickets to both days of the Dog Show, we’ll also be giving you tickets to an after-show champagne celebration being thrown by Take The Lead (www.takethelead.org).

Competing at Westminster.

And that’s not all. You’ll also be staying on us for 3 nights at one of the nicest hotels in New York: 70 Park Avenue: A Kimpton Hotel. They are very luxurious and very pet-friendly. We can’t think of a better combination. And, oh, yeah. We’re also sending you to the William Secord Gallery which is having a special art exhibition and sale of 19th-century dog paintings to coincide with the Westminster Show. And we’re going to give you a $400 stipend to cover your transportation to New York City so you can choose the method of travel that works best for you. Or you can hitchhike and spend it once you get here. That’s what we’d do. But we’re cheap. And needy.

The beautiful lobby of 70 Park Avenue.

Which brings us back to this give-away. All you have to do to enter is fill out a form at https://www.petswelcome.com/articles/westminster-weekend-promotion. Nothing else. You don’t have to purchase Petswelcome.com stock or contribute to our pension plans or wrap money in tin foil and stick it in the lunch meat drawer of our office mini-fridge. We’re not saying not to do this. But you don’t have to. Nope. You just need to take 5 seconds and fill out a form.

Hey, this is our first bribe. Next time we’ll make you do something. Or profit from it. Or whatever it is bribes are supposed to achieve. In the meantime, though, we’ll take great pleasure in you having a wonderful time!