Travel Tips for Your Dog-Guest Blog By Paris Permenter and John Bigley



If the winter weather has you daydreaming about planning a getaway, don’t feel that your fun can’t include Fido! Traveling with your dog can fetch a lifetime of memories without unleashing potential travel problems. The key to successful travel with your dog, like any kind of travel, is to plan and prepare.

Tiki in Car

Tiki in Car

We frequently travel with our large mixed breed dogs, Irie and Tiki. This past year, we put in thousands of miles traveling Texas to research and write our new guidebook on Lone Star State dog travel. Although we had spent 20 years on the road as guidebook writers, this was our first guidebook with our dogs along for the ride. We quickly learned some important lessons:


paris-tiki-irie-beach (1)

Research Your Stops. With two dogs each weighing over 60 pounds, we learned that “dog friendly” doesn’t always translate into “big dog friendly”! We learned to check the weight restrictions as well as breed restrictions. Our Tiki is part American Bulldog; although most hotels would never guess her lineage, we don’t want to support properties that have breed restrictions. If you have a pit bull-type dog, also research breed-specific legislation (BSL) as you plan your journey to make sure your dog’s breed isn’t prohibited at any destinations along the route.




Prepare for Cleanup. Let’s face it: messes happen. We’re always ready with our cleanup kit of paper towels, plenty of poop bags, and a cleaning product like Rug Doctor Spot & Stain Remover. We’re happy to say we’ve never lost a hotel deposit. (And, yes, this included the time Tiki returned to the hotel to vomit after eating a live crab on the beach.) Although your dog’s housetraining may be flawless at home, the scent of previous four-legged guests and other factors may lead to a dog mess.


Travel with Food and Water. Your dog’s food may take up some additional room in the luggage but the trade-off is well worth the space. Traveler’s diarrhea isn’t just a human ailment! If you have an extended trip in one location, consider a food delivery to your hotel or vacation house.


Buckle up. Just as with children, always buckle up furry family members in the car. Both of our dogs wear Kurgo harnesses and are buckled in during our journeys. With the safety harness, we know that they are secure in case of an accident. Also, they’re not distracting us by trying to come up into the front seat during the trip, and, once we stop, we can open the car without worrying about an excited dog jumping out before we’re ready.


Make a Pre-Trip Vet Visit. If you’ll be crossing state lines or flying with your dog, talk with your veterinarian about the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and any other paperwork required by your destination. If your dog isn’t already microchipped, your veterinarian can chip your dog (a quick and easy process) and you can register the microchip number to identify your dog if he should become lost. Not only do we carry our dogs’ microchip numbers but we also carry an extra copy of our dogs’ immunization records.


Play Tag. Even if your dog wears a dog tag, now’s the time to create a second tag with your cell phone number. If you have a high-tech QR tag, you can go into your record to add additional numbers like your hotel, veterinarian, or a family member back home. We also have a Tagg unit, a GPS tag, on our dogs so, in case a dog is ever lost, we can track her on our smartphones.


Plan for Dog Fun. Don’t just bring along your dog on vacation; make your dog a participant in the fun with stops at dog parks, beaches, and lakes along the way. On the road, we plan a quick stop every two hours; not only does it help our dogs burn off energy but it also makes us safer drivers!




Carry the Scent of Home. Whether a blanket, a doggie duvet, or just a plush toy, bring along the scent of home for time on the road and for your hotel stay.


Plan for the Unplanned. Although we always hope we won’t need an emergency veterinarian on a trip, we make a quick online search to compile a list not only of veterinarians but also of boarding facilities at our destination in case we should become ill and need help. Packing a simple dog first aid kit also helps with minor issues along the way.


A little bit of pre-trip planning can help you and your dog have fun on your getaway, enjoying time together in a new environment and bringing home precious memories. After all, that’s what a family vacation is all about, right?




About the Authors: Paris Permenter and John Bigley are professional travel writers and the authors of over 30 travel guidebooks. The husband-wife team recently authored DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs, a full-color guidebook on the most dog-friendly destinations in the Lone Star State. Paris and John publish; Paris also hosts the weekly Dog Travel Experts radio show on Radio Pet Lady Network.



#Astrology Reading-Pisces #Dog and #Libra Mom

FROM DAKOTA’S DEN: I have always enjoyed reading about Astrology and I view it as being entertaining and fun, and by no means use it to predict the future. I just love reading about characteristics of signs and about how compatible they are with other signs, so I was delighted when I was contacted by my new friend Sunny, asking if she could do an astrological reading for Dakota and I.

 You will find her guest post below, enjoy!

Dakota and I march 2011

There is nothing quite like the bond between a pet parent and their pooch! Sometimes, it’s just meant to be when two souls meet — whether they walk on two legs or four. Some beautiful “fur”riendships seem to be written in the stars.

Sometimes it’s fate. Others, it’s just a happy coincidence when a pet parent meets their fur baby. However, once they’re in each other’s lives, there is an unbreakable bond between the two — no matter how many pairs of shoes are chewed up in the process.

Today, we’re going to take a look at how well Caren and her BFF (Best Furiend Forever) Dakota match up in terms of their astrological signs. We’ll take a look at both Caren and Dakota’s individual sun signs, as well as how well they mesh together on the astrological wheel. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Libra: A Lover Not a Fighter

Born on October 20, Caren is a Libra. By nature, Libras are lovers and not fighters — which may have something to do with the fact that the sign’s ruling planet is Venus. Represented in the cosmos by the constellation of The Scales, Libra is able to balance a great many things — home, family, career … or a multi-pet household!  In addition to having a strong sense of fairness, justice, and diplomacy, Libras have the uncanny ability to charm the pants off of anybody — man, woman or (not-so-beastly) beast.

On the flip side, Libras do have some issues with making decisions. Their love of beauty and general joie de vivre can sometimes distract them from the tasks at hand and make coming to a decision  (Hey! Look! A Squirrel!!) difficult. Their relaxed, go-with-the-flow nature — all part of the Libra charm — also makes Libra a bit of a procrastinator.

dakota astrology

Pisces: Sensitive Souls

Dakota was born on February 28, under the astrological sign of Pisces. Pisces are one of the most sensitive signs of the zodiac and have an almost preternatural sense of knowing when something is wrong. They’re good-hearted dreamers who are loyal to a fault. Once a Pisces takes a liking to you, they will go to great lengths to give of themselves for your benefit. (Yes. They may even want to share their favorite squeaky toy with you.)

While thoughtful Pisces can be a great friend, they do get a little lazy and can be a bit of a Debbie Downer  at times. They look for the best in others, but when things go sour, their sensitive nature makes them take any (perceived or real) slight very personally and it can be hard to pull them up out of the dumps afterward.

Dakota kissing me!

Libra / Pisces Compatibility

Libra and Pisces make for a magical pairing. They do have a lot in common. They’re both laid-back individuals who love to take — and enjoy! — life at an even keel. Due to the slightly indecisive nature of both signs, in order for things to get done, one half of the dynamic duo will need to take the lead and call the shots. Libra’s balanced nature can help pull Pisces back from the brink when they get too down-in-the-mouth and Pisces’ strong imaginative streak can add an element of whimsy, play and joy to Libra’s life.

In short: These two signs are made for each other! If you’re wondering how you and your pet match up, feel free to reach out to Psychic Source and find out if the stars are aligned for your furry pals.

“A dog helping humans – how does it get any better than that?” A Guest Post by Janet Roper of Talk2theAnimals

The internet can be a wondrous place, full of all kinds of lovely information that is just waiting to be discovered, explored and enjoyed. Full of humans helping humans, humans helping animals, and yes, animals helping humans.


And as an animal communicator , that last part about the animals helping humans simply gives me warm fuzzy feelings all over.


And so it was one morning as I was scurrying around the ‘net, I ran across a beautiful post here on Dakota’s Den, with the intriguing title “Logan Goes from ‘Rescued’ to ‘Rescuer’.


Originally posted by the Michigan Humane Society (MHS) this post tells the story of how the dog Logan came to MHS as a problem ‘child’ and left to become a dog in training for a rescue dog  for FEMA.


A dog helping humans – how does it get any better than that?


And as host of Talk2theAnimalsRadio  I know a good, heart-warming, tail-thumpin’ story when I see one!

talk2theanimals_ver2_300px (1)

With the help of Dakota and her mom, I was connected to Ryan McTigue in the Marketing Department of MHS, who connected me to Terri Mallet, Animal Enrichment Program Manager, the woman who worked with and trained Logan. Terri realized Logan wasn’t just a rescue dog mischief-maker, but that there was talent, skills and genius behind Logan’s hijinks. Terri believed in Logan.


I hope you will be a part of the Talk2theAnimalsRadio  (click on the name to visit the site in various areas on this blog post!) listening audience on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM CENTRAL when Terri will be a guest on the show talking about the work she and Logan did together, and what an amazing dog he is. Terri will be discussing what it was like to work with this special dog, and why the New Mexico Task Force was chosen as the place for Logan to continue his specialized rescue training.


Talk2theAnimalsRadio got it start at the end of January, 2010, in all places, on Twitter. I was trying to connect with a woman looking for radio show hosts, and she had been trying to connect with me. I didn’t know anything at all about radio or being a radio host, but I suspected my background as a teacher, musician, performer and animal communicator would be helpful, and I didn’t have anything to lose. She and I connected at the Twitter party, and the rest is history.


Talk2theAnimalsRadio is a show about animals, animal communication and the animal-human bond. In the short time it has been on air, it has grown from a 30 minute show every two weeks to its current format of (2) 90 minute shows weekly, reaching an international audience of loyal pet lovers. The show features guests well-known in their area of work with animals and also Talk2theAnimalsRadio Experts, who appear regularly on the show sharing their expertise. Shows are archived and available for download 24/7 both on the show page  and at iTunes


As we say at Talk2theAnimals: We All Do Better When ALL Creatures Do Better. Logan and Terri certainly exemplify that motto for all of us!



Janet Roper is an animal advocate, an internationally known animal communicator, author and host of the popular Talk2theAnimalsRadio show , a show about building the animal-human bond through animal communication. 


Roper has appeared at the Celebrity Gift Mart of the American Music Awards, and has been featured in numerous news articles, magazines and as a guest on various radio shows. A speaker and author, she is a contributing author to the book “Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope” by Linda and Allen Anderson . Her popular e-book, “Listening so Animals Will Talk”, is available to download on the website at  Roper is co-author of the learning animal communication media package “Opening the Door to Animal Communication” She is cheerfully owned and managed by three cats, one dog and one Best Horse.

 Launches Pet Blogger Profile Series, “10 Questions with…” A Guest Post By Meredith Schneider, Manager

FROM DAKOTA’S DEN: It is our pleasure to “mix it up” a bit today, and this Monday, by featuring two guest posts.  I haven’t had a break from blogging in nearly 3 years, and Mom hasn’t had a vacation from blogging in nearly 4 years,  so I decided to help her out by calling in the troops! After all, it isn’t ALL about US! We like to share and promote OTHERS as well, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Pay it forward! Now, enjoy the post from Meredith Schneider, PetPR.comManager! Launches Pet Blogger Profile Series, “10 Questions with…”

By Meredith Schneider, Manager Logo_hi-res  

This month,, the only news distribution service exclusively serving the pet and veterinary marketplace, launched a new pet blogger profile series, “10 Questions with…” on its blog, The Treat Jar. The series kicked off with “10 Questions with Caren Gittleman,” blogger of Dakota’s Den and Cat Chat with Caren & Cody on Tuesday, Sept. 17.


“10 Questions with…” is designed to offer an inside look into the pet industry’s leading bloggers. Bloggers will answer questions about why they started their blog, how often and what types of news they post on their blog, what pet product companies should know about their blog and even which blogs they enjoy reading during their spare time, among many others. developed the “10 Questions with…” pet blogger profile series to help connect businesses to the pet media and pet bloggers that cover their news. Each month, will feature a new blogger in “10 Questions with…” on its blog, The Treat Jar. In addition to the new blogger profile series,’s The Treat Jar also features free resources for pet product companies and service providers, including educational PR/marketing blog posts and free downloadable Training Papers, which offer tips for press release writing and best practices for pet news distribution.’s Newsroom and The Treat Jar can also provide a resource for pet media and bloggers seeking to connect with pet businesses for product reviews and giveaways, interviews and other opportunities.’s mission is to provide cost-effective PR/marketing services to pet and veterinary businesses with limited budgets. Since re-launching under new management in June 2013, has helped spread the news of more than 75 pet businesses, professionals and industry events, such as Pets Best Insurance, Worldwise, Furlocity, BarkWorld and BISSELL, among many others.


Unlike other distribution services, sends your press release directly to journalists, bloggers and media covering pet-related news. Instead of receiving links to their press release reprinted on a number of unrelated media sites,’s customers receive true editorial coverage from industry-specific, targeted media outlets and contacts. The company also shares its news via its social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, reaching thousands of other pet media, businesses and enthusiasts.


To be considered for’s “10 Questions with…” pet blogger profile series or to learn more about and its services, please email Meredith Schneider at or visit


About ( is the only news distribution and editorial service dedicated exclusively to the needs of the pet and veterinary industry. was acquired by Red Barn Enterprises, the parent company of Fetching Communications, in early 2013 and re-launched under new management in June 2013.’s fee-based press release distribution service delivers news directly to pet media, journalists and bloggers, and free press releases can be uploaded to the Newsroom reaching journalists and industry professionals who have opted in to receive the latest pet and veterinary news. offers cost-effective communication tools for pet and veterinary businesses, bringing their news to the media who cover pet-related stories, features and blogs. In addition to its pet news distribution services, also offers editorial services including press release writing, editing and optimization as well as digital press kit development. To learn more about, visit the website at or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.



Get active with your dog with!



Today’s post is by Steve Pelletier, Founder and CEO of  Steve is “owned” by SlimDoggy Jack and Maggie.  Jack and Maggie are two rescue Labrador Retrievers who love to eat, exercise, and, when possible, sneak into the avocado patch for unfettered snacking ;-).   Steve is here today to explain a new initiative, called PetsMove, which is meant to help pet owners address the weight and obesity problem in this country and the world.

We started Slimdoggy after we were able to make a major impact on our rescue dog Jack, who was 105 lbs and on Prozac and Rimydal, and in a shelter for over a year when we adopted him.  Now he is about 80 lbs. and medication free. provides information on canine food and fitness so that people can keep their dogs fit and healthy.  We have also created an iPhone App that lets dog owners track their pet’s activities and feedings and shows the pet owner how much they should be feeding their dog to keep them at a healthy weight.

We have recently partnered up with Dr. Katy Nelson, vet and host of The Pet Show television program in Washington DC on the ABC affiliate, and DogTread, to launch a new website called Petsmove.

Jack Before

jack before

Jack now


jack now



Like the First Lady, Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity awareness program “Let’s Move”, our PetsMove initiative aims to wake up pet owners, get them up off their sofa and get on the MOVE with their pets! We want both the pet owner and their pet to get & stay active, fit and healthy.

  • We know that approximately 60% of pets and their humans have a weight problem in this country.  We estimate that it costs dog owners near $8 billion each year in extra food, medicine, and medical costs because their dog is overweight.  This is a HUGE problem and one that can be so easily reduced with a little knowledge and elbow grease.
  • PetsMove’s goal is to raise awareness of the pet obesity problem while providing education, information and most importantly, incentive to our program participants on keeping their pets fit and healthy.

What is

PetsMove is an ongoing virtual event to encourage people to get active with their pet.  Participants will be able to:

  1. Visit the website to learn about the program and how they can participate.
  2. Track their pet’s fitness progress using the tools on the website and collect “paws” based on their dog’s activity levels. “Paws” collected will be used for prizes and giveaways.
  3. Learn how to create fitness programs for themselves and their pets, how to choose the right food for their pets, and receive pet health tips from our team of experts.
  4. Win prizes each month based on your pet’s activities.
  5. Become a part of the PetsMove Community and share your stories and triumphs with other members.

Why did we create

More than half of all dogs in the US are overweight or obese and there is evidence of the same trend outside the US, as well.  This is a costly problem monetarily, causing added expense in extra food and medical care. Even more importantly, it’s costly in terms of a pet’s longevity; obesity shortens their overall lifespan and quality of life.  Many pet owners simply don’t know how much to feed or how much to exercise their pet to keep them healthy and fit.’s main goal is to help people better understand exactly what is required to keep their pets healthy & fit.

Why should pet owners join

Three reasons: time, money and prizes.

  • Goal number one is to give pet owners more TIME with their pets – a lean dog will live on average 2 years longer than an overweight dog.  Pet owners can use the information learned at PetsMove to get or keep their pet fit and hopefully extend their lifespan.  Who doesn’t want more time with their beloved dog?
  • Goal number two is to save the pet owner  MONEY – overweight dogs cost the owner hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year in extra food, medical care & prescription medication.
  • Goal number three is to have fun!   There will be numerous fun, healthy & useful prizes given away each month to active PetsMove members.  Plus, eligible members could be selected to appear on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy Nelson, on ABC News Channel 8 in Washington DC with their fit and healthy dog.

How do pets benefit from

Keeping pets fit and trim is the single most important thing that a pet parent can do to extend their pet’s  life and improve their quality of life.  And to a pet, spending time with their human is the single most important thing a pet parent can do every day.  So PetsMove is encouraging pet owners to get up, get out and be active with their pets!

Who is behind was started by a group of people who truly care about pet health and are committed to helping to eliminate the pet obesity problem.  The founding Board consists of:

  • Steve Pelletier, CEO, whose App helps dog owners track their pets feeding, activity levels, and weight and Editor of a website chock full of practical articles on canine food and fitness.
  • Dr. Katy Nelson, practicing veterinarian, radio personality, writer, animal health reporter and host of The Pet Show on Washington DC’s ABC affiliate.
  • Krista Wickens, CEO of PetZen Products, creator of DogTread Canine Fitness equipment and the soon to be released virtual canine personal trainer Canine Gym.


Special Announcement

We are accepting video submissions on in order to find a “featured pets mover” who, along with their dog, we will spotlight in the upcoming months.  Winners will receive a personalized fitness program and feeding analysis and will have the chance to be on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy.   Go to for details:


A cause close to our hearts is attempting to educate the public about the importance of spaying/neutering to help avoid unwanted litters, which in turn leads to our current problem of millions of homeless animals.

I am honored to feature a guest post today by Aimee  St Arnaud from Humane Alliance:



When do you think is the best time to spay/neuter a dog? In a recent survey, 72% of people didn’t know or thought they should wait until 6 months. Unfortunately by this time they could have already had a litter! Oops!



50% of litters are accidents and it’s often because of some misconceptions.

Did you know:

–dogs can become pregnant starting around five months of age?

– litter mates can mate (yep it’s true!)  They don’t have the same thoughts about brothers and sisters as humans do.

Check out our video!

-dogs do not need to have one litter before getting fixed. As a matter of fact it’s actually best to have them fixed before their first heat.


Kilo came into an ER clinic with puppies stuck inside the birth canal.  Her guardian could not afford the thousand dollars for an emergency c-section. She, and her puppies, would have died if the ER clinic had not called a local spay/neuter clinic who was able to do an emergency c-section and spay to save the mom’s life and six puppies!  This happens more often than people think.



In addition to risks like this, fixing before the first heat helps cut down on mammary cancers.  Here’s a chart that shows how the risk of this cancer goes way down when you fix before the first heat.



There is a lot of confusion about spay/neuter so Humane Alliance just launched a new campaign at to share the facts that fixing your pet by four months is safe and easy and prevents accidental litters that could end up in overcrowded shelters.


Check out the site for info on where to find low-cost spay/neuter options in your area, take a pledge to get your pet fixed, join in contests to show how cute your fixed dog is, and share fun videos and print and share photos  like these, to  help spread the word.



Would you help us get the word out to your friends and family that the best time to fix your pet is by four months to prevent accidental litters?  There are lots of ways to get involved and the more people sharing the more we can make an impact!


We hope you’ll like and check it out and become part of our Spay Nation!


Thanks to Aimee for being our guest today!

Barks and licks and love,