Monday, December 31, 2012

Bring in a Lucky New Year

Almost every culture has a New Year’s tradition where the people eat certain foods (on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day) that are believed to bring good fortune in the new year.  These certain foods represent money and progress.  Foods like greens (such as kale, cabbage or sauerkraut, and collards) represent money, while legumes (like peas, lentils, and beans) represent coins.  Many cultures eat pork or sausages because the pig is symbolic of progress (in that the animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving forward).  Other traditions include eating fish, rice, grapes, and sweet round cakes (like donuts).   And in some cultures it is tradition to leave a little food on your plate to ensure plentiful food throughout the new year.  

Whatever your family New Year’s tradition may be, you can share the tradition with your dog this year – as long as the food is dog friendly, of course.  The following is a fish dinner recipe from Barbara Laino, interviewed in the April/May ’11 issue of The Bark magazine.  This recipe will make 10 1-cup sized meatballs.  

Midsummer Farm Homemade Fish-Based Dog Dinner

Serving Sizes of Raw Meatballs:
• For a large 50-100 pound dog – three to five 1-cup-size meatballs per day
• For a 20-40 pound dog - two or three 1-cup-size meatballs per day
• For a 1-10 pound dog – one to two 1/2-cup-size meatballs per day
*Remember – this is a concentrated and efficient food source and is power packed. You won’t have to feed as much bulk-wise as with a commercial food; most commercial foods have a lot of fillers.

• 2 pounds of Frozen Fish Fillets
• 1-2 cans of Alaskan Wild Pink Salmon
• 1/4 - 1/2 pound of Beef Liver
• 1-3 Eggs (optional)
• 2 cups of Chopped Veggies (can be any combination of carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cooked squash, green beans, cooked yams, apples, berries, kale, spinach). Do NOT use onions or grapes of any kind.
• 5-10 Cloves of Garlic (optional)
• 1/2 cup of Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
• 2 tbsp Honey
• 2 tbsp Dried Parsley
• 2 tbsp Dried Oregano
• 2 tbsp Tumeric Powder
• 2 tbsp Thorvin Kelp Powder
• Optional: 1 cup of cooked oatmeal, barley, or brown rice

Alternate putting frozen (frozen items grind much easier) fish fillets, liver, vegetables, garlic, and seeds through a meat grinder. As you grind into a big bowl, add and mix in the canned salmon, eggs, honey, dried herbs, and powdered kelp.

Keep in a well-sealed container in fridge. Scoop out appropriate amounts for your pet.

If you made a very large batch that is more than can be consumed in about 5 days, roll into meal-sized meatballs and freeze.  Then you can just take out whatever number meatballs you need and defrost them a couple days before you need to feed them. Meatballs will last at least 3 months in the freezer.

Enjoy making this special dinner for your dog and have a safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homemade for the Holidays: Dog Toys

We all know that dog toys can be expensive.  We want the best toys for our dogs, but if you have a rough and rowdy dog, that toy might only last you a week.  All that money spent on the “indestructible” toy, now wasted.  Have you ever considered making your own toy? Maybe your dog does go through toys every week or every month, or maybe you just can’t afford the overpriced toys, or maybe you just want an inexpensive gift for a dog.  Whatever the case, your wallet will appreciate you making your own dog toys. 

Rope Tug Toy

What you’ll need:
            A Tennis Ball (A can of 3 costs approx. $2.50)
            Thread (Dental floss or even a twist-tie will do)
             Masking take
             3 Strand Twisted rope (Approx. $10 for 50ft of rope)
             2 different colored markers
            1 pen or wooden dowel thinner than the rope
             A box cutting knife and a pair of scissors that will cut rope

Because the process of braiding the rope is more easily understood by watching someone else do it, there are no written directions.  For video guided directions, click on this YouTube video on ‘How to make a throwing tug toy’.

Rope Tug Toy Cost
Estimated cost of supplies for 3 toys: $15   Estimated cost per toy: $5
Using all of the rope--Estimated cost of supplies for 15 toys: $35   Estimated cost per toy: $2.33

 Even simpler Rope Tug Toy:  Just buy rope, cut it to the desired length, and knot each end.

 Fleece Tug Toy
The fleece tug toy is much simpler to make and can either be done in a simple braid with knots at each end or into a scoubidou pattern (like lanyard).  Your dog may even find the material more comforting to play with.

What you’ll need:
             1 – 3 ft of Fleece fabric (depending on the size of your dog).  Fleece is on sale this time of year for $5 - $11 a yard.
             A rubberband or clip
              A ruler or measuring tape

*Tip: You can hold the strips between your knees while you braid. 

Because braiding is easier to learn by watching someone else, there are no written directions.  For simple braid directions, click on this YouTube video above for ‘Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary’: How to make a fleece tug toy. For Scoubidou (pronounced like Scooby-Doo) directions, click on this YouTube video below for ‘Homemade Scoubidou Tug’. 

Fleece Tug Toy Cost
Will make 4 – 5 toys.  Estimated cost of supplies (for 3 yards at $5.50 per yard): $17  Estimated cost per toy: $4.25

 Stuff-Less Animal Toy
Have you ever felt ripped off for paying for the skin of a toy? Dog toys without stuffing can easily cost $7 and up, which may leave you wondering what exactly you are paying for.  Children’s stuffed animals are often cheaper than that; and they come with stuffing.

What you’ll need:
             An old stuff animal (if you don’t have one, buy one at Goodwill for $1)
             A needle and thread

Cut a small hole in the lining of the stuffed animal, take out all of the stuffing and sew it back up.  You do not even need to sew it back up if you don’t want to.  My dogs will pull a stuffed animal apart, pull out all of the stuffing and play with the remaining skin which used to resemble an animal.  If you would like Whatever you choose to do, you now have a dog toy without stuffing that didn’t cost $7 or more.
Stuff-less Animal Toy Cost
Estimated cost per toy: $1 -$4

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Could My Dog Eat This?

It would be an understatement to say that keeping a diet is hard.  Learning a new language can be hard.  Being surrounded by all of your favorite foods and not being able to eat any of them is more like slow torture.  

You are probably wondering what this has to do with your dog.  Well, chances are, he may need to go on a diet too; and anyone who has ever tried to kick a habit can tell you that the best way to do it is to have an accountability buddy.  
An accountability buddy is someone who helps you stay on track with your new goals by keeping you responsible for them.  Your four-legged best friend can be that very buddy you need.  Though you may be able to cheat yourself or lie to your friends, you should not be willing to cheat the one creature on this Earth who never speaks ill of you, never judges you, and gives you unconditional love every day of his life.  If you don’t owe it to yourself to make a change, then you owe it to your four-legged best friend.  

How do you make a dog your accountability buddy?  Any nutritionist will tell you, it’s not just about how much you eat but also what you eat that will make the difference.  Smaller portions may be important in your diet but most people are just making poor food choices.  And this is true for people of all sizes.  Just because someone is skinny does not mean they are healthy.  And just because someone is stocky does not mean they are unhealthy.  Everyone is built differently and it isn’t our job to judge ourselves or others by what we see.  It’s our job to make sure the things we put into our bodies are things that will make us feel good, look good, and give us energy to get through our day without large amounts of caffeine. 
This is where your dog comes into play.  Rely on your dog to help you make smart food choices.  Every time you go to eat something ask yourself, “Could my dog eat this?”  While this may be extreme in some cases, the basic principle is a good place to start.  For example, processed sugar is not good for dogs, but they love things with natural sugars, like sweet potato.  Use your dog’s dietary restrictions as your own to help you start making better food choices.  This Holiday season is a great time to start with baby steps.  Using the “Could my dog eat this?” rule, snacking with your dog is an easy way to create better eating habits without going cold turkey.  Instead of bringing home cookies and bon bons, here is a list of snacks you can enjoy with your dog:

Cottage Cheese - Non-fat, low sodium only.

Sweet Potato - Great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber.

Baby Carrots - Contains beta-carotene which helps dogs maintain a healthy coat.

Apples - Great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. NEVER feed your dog the apple seeds, core, leaf, or stem; they are highly toxic!

Green Beans - Good source of vitamin K, manganese, and vitamin C. Good for dogs on a diet since they are low in calories.

Boiled Eggs – Great source of protein, selenium, and riboflavin. Do not feed your dog raw eggs; it is very unhealthy! For dogs on a diet, feed only the egg whites, since all the fat is in the yolk. 

Yogurt -  Good source of calcium and good for the digestive system, if your dog is tolerant of yogurt.  Plain yogurt is best (stay away from artificial flavors, high sugars, and high fat content).

Rice Cakes - Natural or plain, not artificially flavored.

Banana Chips – Great for training treats as well.

Pumpkin – pumpkin puree, canned natural pumpkin (not sweetened), and pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron.  Pumpkin can also help with indigestion, upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, and even weight loss, among other things.

Seaweed – High in mineral content; enhances coat and pigment color, builds energy, enhances immune system, easy to digest, gives thyroid support, and potentially reduces the risk of cancer.  (Check out your local international food store for Asian packaged seaweed chip-like snacks. Do not give your dog Wasabi flavored seaweed snacks!).  

As a reminder, all of these snacks should be given in moderation.  Too much of anything is never a good thing.  If you stick to this, you will begin to form healthier eating habits for you and your dog and you won’t have to buy expensive dog treats to keep your dog happy either.  Good luck and good eats!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cooking for Your Dog

What will your dog be doing this Thanksgiving?  Will he be sunbathing on the back porch as you and your guests gather inside? Will he be chasing the cat around the living room, knocking over plants and lamps?  Or will he be patiently waiting under the dining table for any food scraps that might drop?   Whatever he is doing, this is the time of year to reflect and give thanks for the blessings in our lives, including our four-legged family members.  That faithful companion in the house is truly a blessing, no matter what mischief he may get into or how disobedient he can be at times.  So why not thank him for his service to your family by making him a Thanksgiving feast as well.

 No need to buy an extra turkey and can of yams, this simple recipe from Rachel Ray uses items you’ll be serving for your human Thanksgiving meal.  This recipe also makes two servings so you can save a little for later.  


1 cup shredded roasted turkey meat

¼ cup breadcrumbs

1 large egg, beaten

½ sweet potato--baked, skin discarded and potato coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cranberry sauce


1.     In a medium bowl, combine the turkey and breadcrumbs. Gently mix with your hands, then mix in the egg and sweet potato. 

2.     Shape into two 1/2 inch-thick patties

3.     In a medium skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the patties and cook, turning once, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.

4.     Place the patties on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. 

5.     Top with cranberry sauce and let your dog enjoy!


From our pack to yours, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Heroes Among Us

It’s that time of year again, the time to honor those extraordinary dogs that go above the normal call of dog duty and change the lives of those around them.  Every year a national competition searches for America’s Hero Dogs to compete in eight categories including: Law Enforcement & Arson Dogs, Military Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Guide Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero dogs (for non-working dogs).  Eight finalists are chosen, and of those eight, one dog is chosen to be the American Hero Dog of the year.   

The Hero Dog Awards were created by the American Humane Association to celebrate the dedicated bond between dogs and people.  The awards are presented by Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and broadcast across the country on the Hallmark Channel.  Out of over 350 contestants, the public votes for the winners of each category and the eight finalists are flown to Los Angeles to be awarded at a red carpet event.

The winners were announced on October 6th, but the awards ceremony was just broadcast on the Hallmark Channel last Thursday, November 8th.  

This year’s finalists included:

Daniel - Emerging Hero Dog Award – Daniel was miraculously still wagging his tail after being locked in a gas chamber that killed eighteen other dogs.  The shelter did not have the heart to try putting him down again.  He quickly found a foster home and then a new forever home.

Tabitha – Guide Dog Award – Tabitha helped her owner overcome the shock and depression of losing her sight.  With Tabitha’s help her owner was able adjust to her new situation both mentally and physically which enabled her to finish her undergraduate and graduate studies.

Tatiana II – Hearing Dog Award – When her owner was experiencing a severe asthma attack in the middle of the night, Tatiana raised the alarm, got help, and saved her owner’s life.  She has given her owner back her independence and helped her earn her Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Jynx – Law Enforcement & Arson Dog Award – While trying to execute a warrant, Jynx alerted his handler of the heavily armed suspect in camouflage which was targeting them from a vantage point. Jynx flushed out the suspect but his handler was fatally wounded as the suspect fled.  Jynx tried to drag his handler’s body down the mountain to safety and move another officer to safety as well. Though his handler’s life was lost, Jynx’ actions saved many other officers from the same fate. (Jynx pictured with Bailee Madison at Hero Dog Awards)

Soot – Search and Rescue Dog Award – On a cold December morning, Soot help locate a 78 year-old diabetic hunter who had gotten lost on a remote mountaintop in West Virginia.

Holly – Service Dog Award – Being a seizure alert and response service dog, Holly has saved her owner’s life on several occasions and has helped her owner live a full life despite her seizures.  Holly has also helped her owner give back to the community by raising thousands of dollars each year for various charities and by going to elementary schools to teach children about service dogs. (Holly pictured with owner and Betty White at Hero Dog Awards)

Stella – Therapy Dog Award -   Stella gives love, hope, stimulation, and motivation to people with significant intellectual, medical, and physical disabilities.

And while each finalist is deserving in his or her own right, the 2012 Hero Dog Award goes to the Military Dog finalist, Gabe.  Gabe served in Iraq where he completed over 210 combat missions with 26 finds of explosives and weapons.  When he wasn’t on a mission he was visiting wounded men in the hospital and children in elementary schools.   Gabe retired in 2009, highly decorated, with over 40 awards and coins of excellence for his work, including the American Kennel Club Heroic Military Working Dog Award in 2008.  After becoming the runner up for the American Humane Association Military Working Dog category for the 2011 Hero Dog Awards, Gabe can now add his title of 2012 Hero Dog to his list of achievements. 

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Hero Dog Awards.  And thank you to all the of the dogs out there who love us unconditionally, never give up on us, enrich our lives, and make us better people.  

For more information on the Hero Dog Awards and how to get involved, check out the Hero Dog Awards website 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Celebrating Howl’oween


There has never been a shortage of things to do for children at Halloween time, but each year brings new opportunities for furry children of the four-legged kind to participate in the fun.  This year brings lots of costume contests, trick-or-treating, and parades across Southern California to be enjoyed by humans and pups alike.

This Weekend

Howling Halloween in the Park
Bring the kids and dogs down to Fountain Valley this Sunday, October 21st, 2012 for a little trick-or-treating in the park.  The event will have costume contests, including Best Kid Costume, Best Dog Costume, Best Kid and Dog Costume Combo, and Best Family Costume. With games, food, drinks and more, your family is bound to have a good time.  The fun starts at 12 noon and continues until 5:00 p.m. at the Fountain Valley Recreation and Sports Park located at 16400 Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley. For more information, check out the Desperate Paws of Orange County Dog Club website.

Next Weekend

Dog Daze at the Corona Crossings
Corona will be having a quiet Halloween celebration for the dogs on Saturday, October 27th, 2012 from 5p.m. to 7p.m. The costume contests (which can be signed up for from 4:00 -4:45p.m.) will include Best Dog Costume and Best Dog and Human Costume Combo.  Participants will also get a chance to strut down the red carpet and check out the tail waggin’ booth sponsored by Petco. The event will take place by the large water fountain in front of Edwards Stadium 18 Theatre located at 2650 Tuscany Street in Corona. For a flyer, check out the Corona Crossings event page.

Paws on the Promenade Spooktacular
Temecula will be celebrating howl’oween this year to raise money for the areas local animal shelter Animal Friends of the Valley. The event will include a fundraiser walk (pet parade) and costume contest where participants are asked to donate at least $25.  The costume contest categories will include Best Costume, Best Dog and Human Look-A-Like Costume, Best Celebrity Look-A-Like Costume, and Best Float (stroller or wagons only).  The shelter is also in serious need of canned food and are welcoming all donations at the event.  Those who cannot participate are still encouraged to donate through the Animal Friends of the Valley website.

12th Annual Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade
The biggest howl’oween event in California will be held Sunday, October 28th, 2012 in Long Beach.  Last year over 500 costumed dogs and a few hundred kids registered and walked in the world famous parade seen by over 3,000 dogless gawkers.  The event raised $13,000 for the non-profit Community Action Team (CAT), which Haute Dog is a part of.  The money raised goes toward spay/neuter programs, adoption and rescue groups, Operation Santa Paws (bringing toys and blankets to shelter animals), and other Long Beach service projects.
The fair will take place from 12:30p.m. – 4:30p.m. with plenty to see and do such as vendors, pet adoption, bobbing for weenies, a treat stacking contest, bulldog kissing booth, huge pumpkin drops, and more.   The parade will begin at 2:30p.m. and last for about an hour.  The costume contests will include Best Dog Costume, Best Person Costume, Best Group, and Best Float (non-motorized, limit 4’ wide).  Gawkers are encouraged to bring a chair.  The event will be held at the Livingston Park located at 4900 E. Livingston Drive at Park Avenue in Belmont Shores, Long Beach.  For more information check out the Haute Dog website.

With all of the events taking place these next two weeks, you and your dog will not be short of things to do.  Have a fun and safe howl’oween, and please be sure to keep all candy out of reach from your pet.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Surf's Up Pup!

It’s that time of year again, when the boards get waxed, the rash guards come out, and the sunscreen put on, as Orange County’s best surfers ride some waves.  But you won’t find Kelly Slater or Sunny Garcia at this world-famous event because this surf competition is for dogs only.

This world famous surf competition is in its fourth year running and getting bigger every year. From fashion shows to expos and spanning over 3-days, there is a wide variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy, and plenty of time to enjoy it.  While the additional festivities will take place at various locations, the actual surf competition will take place at the Huntington Dog Beach (at PCH and Goldenwest Street), with this year’s title sponsored by GreenDog Naturals.
The weekend kicks off tonight, Friday, September 28th, with a little bit of schmoozing at 6 p.m. at The Shorebreak Hotel, located at 500 Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.  Here the Opening Ceremony will be conducted followed by Yappy Hour which will both be hosted by The Shorebreak Hotel.  At 6:30 p.m. the Dog is Beachin’ fashion show, hosted by Dog is Good, will begin.  A $10 donation is suggested at the door and raffle tickets will also be available for sale.
On Saturday, September 29th, the festivities will continue at The Strand on 5th, located at 155 5th Street in Huntington Beach.  Starting at 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. is the Pets Love Toys 2-Day Expo. In between that expo, at noon, the Surf City Dog Spaw Canine Costume Contest and Owner Look-a-Like Contest will begin.  Anyone is welcome to enter the contest for a $20 entry fee paid on site.  And finally, at 1 p.m., keep a look out for the Super Smiley Flash Mob 4 Pet Adoption. They won’t be hard to find but they could be easily missed, so be sure to get there before 1 p.m.
The Pets Love Toys Expo will continue on Sunday, September 30th, from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. but the real fun starts at 9 a.m. when the surf competition begins.  Divided by weight and judged by their ability to stay on their boards while riding a wave, dogs will compete in a series of heats to determine who will move on to the finals later that day.  At 12 p.m., after the heats have ended, the bravest dogs will hop on their boards once again in hopes of setting a new world record for the Longest Wave Surfed by a Dog.  The current record holder for the Guinness Book of World Records Longest Wave Surfed by a Dog (in open water) belongs to Abbey Girl, who surfed for a whole 60 meters (196ft. 10.2 in.) in the 2011 Surf City Surf Dog competition.  Following the attempts to break the world record, the surf finals will begin at 12:30 p.m., after which, the weekend will conclude with The Shorebreak Awards and Closing Ceremony held at The Shorebreak Hotel at 2:15 p.m.  
It’s going to be a wet and wild weekend in Huntington Beach so grab the dog, some sunblock, and your camera because you’re not going to want to miss it!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

13 Weeks of Summer: Week 11


As summer winds down there are only 3 more weeks to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Each week will include a new idea, dog event, or activity for you and your dog to try.  Don’t be afraid to try something new and encourage your friends to join you.

Road Trip!
Labor Day signifies the end of summer for most people since you get one last holiday weekend before school starts (although, these days school has already started for most).  Why not take advantage of the extra day off of work and school and take a trip with the whole family, dog included. 

While there are a number of places you could go, why not try the very dog-friendly South Lake Tahoe? Located about 2 hours east of Sacramento, California and 1 ½ hours southwest of Reno, Nevada, South Lake Tahoe offers beautiful scenery and plenty to do during your stay. 

No matter what kind of trip you prefer to have there are plenty of lodging options, be it a hotel room, a lake-side cabin, or even just a campground spot.  For a list of campgrounds and a few resorts where you and your dog are more than welcome, check out  Or for private cabin rentals check out
You could easily take a trip to Tahoe and not have time to experience everything the beautiful city has to offer.  With over 9 trails and 4 dog-friendly beaches, you could easily spend your weekend just enjoying the landscape.  Bring your boat or your bike to enjoy the city on another level by land or by lake.  If you want a little more adventure you can go kayaking, parasailing, skiing, rafting or simply just go fishing all weekend.  Grab a bite to eat at one of the city’s dog-friendly restaurants like Colombo’s Burgers A-Go-Go or Getaway CafĂ©.  Or course, this is just the summer fun.  You can go back in winter and hit the slopes with your dog as well.  For a list of restaurants, trails, beaches, and ski trails (for your future winter trip) check out petslovetahoe.comFor recreational options and rental information, check out
However you choose to enjoy the Labor Day weekend with your dog, be sure to make safe decisions for you and the whole family.  When on the water everyone should be sure to wear a life jacket, dog included.  Even the strongest swimmers can get disoriented or may temporarily be unable to swim.  Bring plenty of water and sunblock for you and your dog as well.  Your dog can’t exactly tell you when he is overwhelmed by the heat.  Sun poisoning and dehydration are serious dangers when enjoying the lake, especially during these peak summer months.  For more information, check out the articles: Traveling Safely with your Dog by car, Traveling Safely with your Dog by boat, and Heat Stroke in Dogs parts 1 & 2.

Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!     

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

13 Weeks of Summer: Week 9

Now that summer is officially here it’s time to get out of the house and make the most of these three short months.  Each week will include a new idea, dog event, or activity for you and your dog to try.  Don’t be afraid to try something new and encourage your friends to join you.

This Week, Walk for a Cause

You and your pup can give back to the community and help those in need simply by going for a walk.  Yes, it’s as easy as that.  So get the leash, the poop bags, and some water for you both and head out to Long Beach or Costa Mesa this weekend to participate in the “Walk for Pet Preparedness” or “Bark for Life” (or both).  It’s a great way to support a good cause while bonding with your best friend. 

Walk for Pet Preparedness

SoCal Animal Response Team (SCART) will be hosting their 1st Annual Pet Fair in the Park on Sunday, August 19th, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  The event is being held at the Long Beach Marine Stadium located at 5255 Paoli Way in Long Beach.   
“SCART is a Southern California based animal disaster response team whose goals are to educate the public in disaster preparedness for their families and pets and, to provide assistance to animals affected by a disaster.”-  Because SCART is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, it completely relies on donations to fund the education, rescue work, and other services they provide on a local and national level in the event of a disaster. 

“Walk for pet Preparedness” welcomes dogs of all shapes and sizes to walk around the long Beach Marine Stadium in an effort to help raise much needed funds for SCART.  Registration is $20 per dog or $30 for 2 dogs and all proceeds go to support SoCal Animal Response Team (SCART).  The pet fair will also feature Avid Microchipping for $20 (includes microchip registration), low-cost dog and cat vaccinations, local animal rescues, pet-related vendors, Agility Dog demo, opportunity drawings, and more.  There will be great information on disaster preparedness as it relates to pets and Long Beach Red Cross will have an ERV, CPR demo and blood pressure testing. This is a great family event which will even have a puppet show for the kids!  So get ready to have a fun day with your family and dog(s) and learn more about disaster preparedness for your family and pets.

To register for the “Walk for Pet Preparedness” go online to, or simply register the day of.  The walk begins at 9 a.m.

 Bark for Life of Orange County

The annual Bark for Life of Orange County will be held this Sunday, August 19th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the TeWinkle Park located at 970 Arlington Dr. in Costa Mesa.

“The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer.” –

·         Approximately 1 out of every 3 women in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetime.

·         Almost 1 of every 2 men in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetime.

·         1 out of every 9 dogs in the U.S. dies of cancer each year.

·         Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease.

By supporting or participating in Bark for Life, you help the American Cancer Society raise much-needed funds and awareness to help save lives and reach their ultimate goal, which is to “create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”  If you were to donate to the American Cancer Society you would be providing support to cancer patients and their families in the community.  With the proper funding, the American Cancer Society will be able to offer a broad range of essential programs and services at no cost to the recipient. To donate, log on to

The Bark for Life welcomes dogs from all walks of life to join in the fight against cancer.  Online pre-registration is $25 per dog or it will be $30 per dog the day of the event.  Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the event kicks off with the walk at 10 a.m.  There is plenty of fun to be had after the walk including doggy contests, pet-related vendors, food, adoptions, demonstrations, agility course by ‘Intelligent Agility’, and more.  Participants are also welcome to bring pop-up canopies, chairs, and blankets to set up in the picnic area. 

For more information, or to pre-register your dog, log on to

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

13 Weeks of Summer: Week 8

Now that summer is officially here it’s time to get out of the house and make the most of these three short months.  Each week will include a new idea, dog event, or activity for you and your dog to try.  Don’t be afraid to try something new and encourage your friends to join you.

This Week, Go to the Market

The Fullerton Market is a favorite among locals, and rightly so.  Operating weekly, the market offers fresh produce, prepared foods, arts and crafts, jewelry, novelty and gift items, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and a beer garden.  

This Thursday, August 9th, you and your dog can experience the renowned market for yourself as the Fullerton Museum Center Association hosts Dog Days at the Fullerton Market.

Dog Days at the Fullerton Market is a great opportunity to not only get a taste of the Fullerton Market but also to join in the camaraderie of the dog community, giving you the chance to interact with other dog lovers and dogs alike.  You and your dog can join in the fun of one of the dog contests, like loudest bark or fastest eater, or simply enjoy a short dog show.  Whatever you decide to do, this special dog market will feature many dog-related vendors and activities to make sure you and your dog have a good time.   

The fun takes place this Thursday, August 9th, 2012 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Downtown Fullerton Plaza located at 125 E. Wilshire Ave., in Fullerton.   

Thursday, August 2, 2012

13 Weeks of Summer: Week 7

Now that summer is officially here it’s time to get out of the house and make the most of these three short months.  Each week will include a new idea, dog event, or activity for you and your dog to try.  Don’t be afraid to try something new and encourage your friends to join you.

This Week, Cruise along the Santa Ana River

When’s the last time you went out to enjoy a nice bike ride? The Inland Empire and Orange County have made it possible for their communities to enjoy the Santa Ana River by putting bike trails along it, from the mountains to the coast.  It’s a great way to get the family out of the house and enjoying the outdoors together with your dog.  

Where to go…. 

One great bike trail you can enjoy with your dog is the Riverside Santa Ana River trail.  This trail starts at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains and connects several local parks as it follows the river through Riverside.  Two of the parks along this trail are Fairmont Park and Carlson Dog Park, which are great starting and stopping points for your bike trip.  For more information on the Santa Ana River trail, and Riverside’s plans to connect the trails leading to the Pacific Ocean, check out Riverside’s Parks & Recreation webpage.

If you were up to the task, you could bike from Featherly Regional Park, (off Green River) in Corona, to Huntington Beach, following the Santa Ana River for a cool 30 miles.  But it’s likely you and your dog are not ready for that marathon of a bike ride just yet.  The trail has plenty of starting and stopping points along the way so you can decide how long you want to ride for.  Just remember, when deciding how far to ride, that you will most likely need to ride back the same distance you came, so be sure to save some energy.  Some great starting and stopping points through Orange County are Featherly Regional Park, Yorba Regional Park, Lincoln (off the 57, just past Rio Vista), and Fairview Park just to name a few. 

For all Santa Ana River Trail maps and a complete list of starting/stopping points, as well as picnic and rest areas along the trail, check out the  You may want to print out a map for the trail you wish to explore because there are many times when you need to cross a bridge to the other side of the river to continue on the trail.

There are also great bike trails along the coast at every beach.  Just pick a beach, find the trail (usually just before the sand), and bike to your heart’s content while you soak in the sun and enjoy the salty sea air blowing through your hair.

Don’t have a bike? No problem!
The City of Anaheim has partnered up with Bike Nation to introduce a new bike share program! It works as “a self-serve kiosk rental system where individuals can rent and return a bicycle anywhere within a network of stations within the City of Anaheim” – Anahiem Magazine. This first year of the program will be a trial run so there are limited rental stations as of yet, but you can find one of the bike rental kiosks at the Anaheim Metrolink Station, which is in close proximity to the Santa Ana River Trail.  For more information on this program visit or

Before you go….

Biking with your dog can be a very positive experience for both of you.  If your dog has never gone walking next to a bike, be sure to introduce him slowly (and with treats if need be) so he has a positive association with the bike.  Once he is comfortable around the bike, take your dog out on a couple of short biking trips (around the block is good) so he gets a chance see how to cooperate with the bike and also to toughen up the pads of his feet.  If a dog doesn’t have tough foot pads they will most likely get torn walking or running alongside a bike for too long. 

During these hot summer days, its best to go biking in the morning before 11 a.m. or in the evening after 6 p.m. You don’t want a heat stroke for you or your dog.  Put on sunscreen (your dog may need some too), bring plenty of water for you and your dog, and pack a light snack.

Walking or running alongside a bike is not for every dog so you should take your dog’s physical health, size, and age into consideration before deciding to bike with him.  Also, biking with your dog should be done with great caution when around cars, pedestrians, or other dogs and bikers.  Remember to always put safety first!