Cats vs. Dogs. It’s an age old rivalry. And yet, sometimes we find ourselves in situations where these two “natural enemies” have to get along. But do they have to hate each other? Can’t the two species live in harmony?

The short answer is, yes. It’s possible. Maybe you’ve been thinking about adding a dog to your cat-friendly household. Or maybe you’re thinking your current dog could use a feline friend. Whatever the circumstance, introducing a dog to a cat isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve broken the introduction process into 4 simple steps. Follow these guidelines, and these two enemies will surely become fast friends!

  1. Keep Them Separate for the First Week

    You might be tempted to let your dog and cat hit the ground running and get used to each other quickly, but this can really backfire. The best way to get a cat used to a new dog or vice versa is to keep them in separate areas of the house for about a week. Separation is key to setting both of them on the right track to friendship.

    Both cats and dogs are very smell driven. Without ever seeing each other, cats and dogs can begin to get used to eachother’s presence simply through smell. There are many successful ways to keep your animals separate. Some pet owners choose to keep their cat in a closed off “sanctuary room” that houses their food, water, litter box, and bedding. Other pet owners put up a sturdy baby gate on the staircase, and keep one pet upstairs and one pet downstairs. No matter what you choose to do, be sure the areas are securely closed off. Also make sure each pet has appropriate access to food, water, bathroom breaks, and still gets plenty of love and affection!

    To encourage your pets to familiarize themselves with each other, you can try a process called “scent swapping.” An easy way to do this is to pet one animal for a while, then without washing your hands, go pet the other. The smell will travel with you, and your pets will be able to familiarize themselves with each other from a distance. Another way to scent swap is by frequently switching bedding between the cat and the dog – without washing it! Sleeping and relaxing on something that smells like the other animal will encourage a relaxing first meeting in the future.

    The Animal Humane Society also suggests feeding the animals on opposite sides of the same door after the first few days. Through the bottom of the door, the animals will be able to smell each other and recognize each other’s presence. Feeding them while the other animal is safely nearby encourages a positive association.

    It’s a good idea to use this separation time to teach or reinforce with your dog some basic commands. When your dog and cat finally meet for the first time, it’s helpful to know that your dog will respond when told to “sit” or “leave it.” This can be beneficial to the safety of both your cat and your dog.

  2. The First Meeting

    If your cat is the new comer to the house, give them a chance to familiarize themselves with the layout of the home. Cats can be very territorial, so let your new feline get to know their new territory! Do this without the dog in the house. Take the dog outside for a couple hours and give the cat free reign of the home. Repeat this process a couple times. If your dog is the new comer, put your cat in a “sanctuary room” for a couple of hours while the dog gets to know the home.

    Once both animals are familiar with the home and are familiar with each other’s scent, it’s time for the big first meeting! Always keep your dog on leash and let your cat come and go as they please. Never keep either of the pets in your arms. This could result in injury! For this first meeting, it can be helpful to have at least two people facilitating the introduction: one person to handle the dog, and one person to observe the cat.

    For this first meeting, treats, toys, and other positive distractions are your best weapon. Give your dog simple commands and reward with treats and praise. If and when your dog is calm and ignores the cat, reward with more treats and plenty of praise. This may take some patience as some dogs tend to be very excited around cats!

    Allow your cat to do as they please. They may hide or they may hiss and spit. Use distractions such as toys to discourage aggressive behavior. Encourage your cat to come out of hiding using treats and affection. But don’t force anything! If the cat wants to leave the room, let them. You don’t want to encourage a potentially aggressive situation.

  3. Repetition and Positive Reinforcement

    It may take many first meetings before your cat and dog get used to each other, but be patient! Positive reinforcement is your friend here. Use lots of treats, toys, and praise. Keep the separation zones set up for each animal so they can be confined to their safe space when you are out of the house. This provides peace of mind for you, your dog, and your cat. Keep these zones ready to go until you are 100% certain they get along well.

    Continue to keep your dog on the leash during these meetings. Look for signs that your dog is calm and reward them for this behavior. If fear and aggression continue to be present, it could be beneficial to restart the introduction process by continuing to keep them separated. During the separation phase, wait until both animals are calm and ignore each other’s presence. Then restart the introductions.

    Sometimes animal aggression can be hard to spot, so keep your eyes peeled. Obvious signs from your dog include growling, baring teeth, lunging, or snapping. Often these actions seem to come out of nowhere, but not if you’re vigilant. If your dog is hyper-focused on the cat and not listening to your commands or calls, this is a sign they may be about to make a bad decision. Move your dog away from the cat before that bad decision gets made!

    Cat aggression is fairly obvious as well. Hissing, spitting, arching of the back, and hair standing on end are all signs the cat is behaving aggressively. And if aggressive behavior does occur, do not reach in with your hands to separate them! You could injure yourself by doing so. Use the dog leash to your advantage and separate them that way. Or use toys and treats to distract the cat.

    Your cat may display other signs of unhappiness as well. If they stop eating, stop drinking water, stop using the litter box, or stop seeking human contact, this is a signal your cat is unhappy. If this behavior does not improve early on, consider seeking the help of a professional animal behaviorist.

    Every dog and every cat is different, so this can take a long time. Patience is key! Remember not to speed this process up. Attempting to force the animals to like each other faster can actually create more problems.

  4. Giving Them Freedom

    Finally! It seems like your dog is ignoring the cat and the cat is able to move throughout the house stress-free. Now is the time to let the leash go.

    But not entirely! Because safety is always top priority, leave your dog’s leash on but don’t hold it. Let it drag behind your dog as they greet the cat on their own terms. If the interaction is calm from both the cat and the dog, wonderful! Keep the leash on your dog for a few more days while you are home. This way, if any aggressive behavior does occur, you can easily grab the leash and remove the dog from the situation.

    This new freedom for both the cat and the dog is when you need to be the most vigilant. The Animal Humane Society recommends keeping the “cat sanctuary” set up at all times if tensions do arise. It’s also important to continue to separate the animals when no one is home. If tension is still present, it may be necessary to repeat the “meet and greet” process while rewarding both animals with treats and praise.

    After a few days of calm behavior, you can remove the leash and allow the two animals free reign of the home. Before you know it, your dog and cat will be the best of friends!

Do you have a cat and dog friendship success story? Let us know!

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With a large frame, thick fur, and striking colors, a Bernese Mountain Dog isn’t an easy dog to miss. But who would want to? This adorable breed has the look and temperament of a true gentle giant. Though they may be quite sweet, and are certainly beautiful to look at, the Bernese Mountain Dog doesn’t rank as high on the popularity list as other sweethearts like the Golden Retriever. Think you might like to know a thing or two about the Bernese Mountain Dog? Read on for our six fun facts about this noble breed.

  1. They are One of Four Types of Swiss Mountain Dog

    The Bernese Mountain dog may be the 30th most popular breed in the United States, but it has three other cousins who have deep roots in Switzerland. In fact, the first of these breeds were brought to Switzerland two thousand years ago when Roman soldiers invaded the area. Once they gained popularity in Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Entlebucher Sennenhund, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog were all bred as drovers, draft dogs, and watchdogs for Swiss farmers.

    In Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain Dog is known as the Berner Sennenhund, according to the AKC. All four of the Swiss Mountain Dogs have similar coloring, but the Bernese Mountain Dog is the only one of the four to have thick, long fur.

  2. Cold Weather is their Friend

    With all that thick, gorgeous fur it’s no wonder farmers in the Swiss Alps loved these dogs! Bernese Mountain Dogs thrive in cold climates. Their double coat keeps them warm in the frigid weather. But with so much fur, they have a tendency to shed a quite a bit. Fortunately for any future “Berner” owner, these dogs don’t require much grooming. The AKC recommends just a small amount of daily brushing to get rid of tangles. A daily brushing like this is generally enough to maintain their beautiful fur!

  3. They are Skilled Farm Dogs

    Originally, the Bernese Mountain Dog was bred to be an all-purpose farm dog. And to this day, they still shine in many areas of farm work. In fact, according to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, they are able and willing to do most any task that is sent their way.

    Traditionally, the Bernese Mountain Dog was best known for their drafting abilities – or more commonly called “carting.” The Bernese used to pull carts full of milk products from farms all the way to villages for selling. Today, Berners can still participate in drafting – either on a farm or in a competition! The BMDCA hosts a Draft Test Program for Bernese Mountain Dogs and their owners. These competitions offer up a chance to test out the traditional skills and abilities the Bernese are still so great at.

    Another traditional farming skill that Bernese Mountain Dogs continue to compete in is herding. Though they are not as strongly inclined towards herding as a Border Collie might be, Bernese Mountain Dogs still display strong herding instincts. Many of them were traditionally used to herd cattle, which was very suited to their calm and gentle personalities.

  4. But They Also Excel At Modern Activities

    Did we mention that Bernese Mountain Dogs can do almost any task? Well here is further proof! Not only to Bernese Mountain Dogs continue to perform traditional farming activities, but they compete in modern-day skill competitions as well.

    You may be surprised to learn that one area the Bernese Mountain Dog excels in is agility. Weighing upwards of 100 pounds, you may not expect a Berner to be particularly agile. But as we said, they love to work! The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America states that agility competitions can be exciting for dogs and their handlers who want the challenge of racing against the clock and navigating obstacle courses.

    But not everything a Bernese Mountain Dog participates in is athletic. Many Bernese are being trained as therapy dogs, and excel in this area. Berners are naturally affectionate towards humans, which makes them excellent candidates. The BMDCA encourages anyone who wants to train their Bernese Mountain Dog in therapy work to give their puppy early and frequent socialization. Some Bernese have a tendency towards shyness, and it’s important for a therapy dog to be social with people.

  5. They are Extremely Easy-Going

    With all this talk about how hard-working the Bernese Mountain Dog is, you may think it’s all work and no play for a Bernese owner. Think again! In addition to being strong, “calm” and “good-natured” are two of the chief personality traits the AKC looks for in a well-bred and healthy Bernese.

    Bernese Mountain Dogs love their families. For complete happiness, being near them is all they need. When they are in the home, they tend to be quiet, gentle, and eager to please. And they do well with children! Since they were traditionally bred as drovers, pulling children in carts or wagons is a common (and fun!) activity Berners can do with their family.

    The BMDCA notes that Bernese Mountain Dogs do not do well in isolation. They need to be with their families to remain calm and happy. Without proper training and socialization, a Berner can become stressed or even act out.

  6. Berners Don’t Bark Much

    You might think a loud booming bark might be a common thing to hear from such a large and strong breed. Not so! The Bernese Mountain Dog is actually a relatively quiet breed, and rarely barks or makes noise.

    The AKC notes that to prevent any sort of barking or stress, it’s important to properly exercise your Bernese Mountain Dog. As a working breed, this dog will have a lot of energy. And as a dog of a large size, it’s important to put that energy to good use! Fortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs love to work and love to be outdoors. Hiking, cart pulling, running, or any other physical activity will suit them fine – so long as they are doing it with you!

    The Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America also notes that a Bernese may become noisy or even destructive if left alone for long periods of time. They are very social and attached to their families. For a calm and happy dog, it’s important to spend quality time with them.

Do you know a Bernese Mountain Dog? Do they work? Do they play? Perhaps they do a bit of both! Let us know!

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By now you’ve probably let your pup taste dog ice cream, perhaps taken him for a ride in a doggie stroller or even dressed him up as your favorite character for Halloween. Just when you thought you’ve tried all of the products that have been adapted for dogs, we’ve found four new dog products that until now, we thought only humans could enjoy. Check them out!

  1. Wine for Dogs

    You’ll never have to drink alone again! Apollo Peak, a company that began as a winemaker for cats, has now expanded its repertoire to include wine for dogs. Right now there are two flavors dog owners can choose from: The CharDOGnay and the ZinfanTail.

    But wait…alcohol is bad for dogs right? Absolutely! That’s why all pet-friendly wine made by Apollo Peak contains no alcohol at all. In fact, it doesn’t even contain grapes, a food that is notoriously bad for dogs. If you are considering purchasing a dog-friendly wine made by a different brand, be sure to check the ingredients. You should never feed your dog grapes or alcohol.

    So what is actually in this wine? The wine is made with all-natural ingredients, and the dark coloring of the wine is actually derived from beets. The wine itself has a natural, calming effect on dogs. This is achieved through the use of herbs such as peppermint or chamomile. So while you relax with your human wine, your dog will be relaxing right by your side!

  2. A FitBit for Dogs

    As the company slogan states, “We couldn’t imagine a world where we monitor our own health but not that of our dogs.” Introducing FitBark, the first FitBit equivalent for dogs.

    You’ve probably heard of FitBit, and may even have one yourself. It is essentially a bracelet that tracks your daily activity and monitors your health. Humans can program the FitBit to track the steps they take each day, monitor their heart rate, and even monitor their sleep cycle. Now you can do all that and more for your dog!

    FitBark aims to help dog owners track their pet’s health, and even catch signs of illness early on. With FitBark, a dog owner can get an idea on things such as how much to feed their pup, how much exercise is appropriate for their size and breed, and even monitor their dog’s level of separation anxiety. The FitBark is connected to the dog owner’s phone, allowing for owners to monitor their pets while they are away from them as well.

  3. Dog Sunglasses

    If you’re already thinking of taking the plunge and getting your dog a FitBark, why not get them a nice pair of sunglasses too? After all, all that activity may require some protective eyewear!

    Called “doggles” these dog-friendly goggles actually have multiple uses. Some styles are meant for protection against the sun. Others like this mesh style are more appropriate for keeping out debris. There are also styles which may be suited for the dog who likes fast motorcycles or speed boat rides.

    Whatever the occasion, these doggles are both functional and stylish. So if you and your dog are trying to up your cool factor, consider a pair of these canine sunglasses.

  4. Dog-safe Tattoos

    Generally speaking, tattoos for dogs are not a good idea. A real tattoo hurts to get, and might be extremely painful for your dog to experience. So how can you make a tattoo that’s safe for a dog?

    These dog-safe tattoos by New York pet groomer Jorge Bendersky don’t hurt a bit. In fact, they are just colored stencils on fur! Some even include small jewels that stick to the fur to add a bit of glamor. And on top of that, they only take about 10 minutes to apply! They are colorful, glitzy, and perfectly safe for dogs. The only downside? They can be a little pricey. With a $100 price tag you better be sure your dog isn’t rolling in the mud anytime soon!

    Bendersky uses the finest, non-toxic materials for these glamorous dogs. So even the most skeptical dog owner will know that it’s worth it!

Has your dog been trying out a new product you thought was only for humans? Share it with us!

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No matter how much training you intend to devote to your new puppy, one thing is for sure: you have to potty train them! Accidents in the house are bound to happen, but with the right skills – and a lot of patience – you may be able to avoid experiencing a lot of messes. Here are five expert tips on housetraining your puppy that will help you to be done with bathroom accidents – for good!

  1. Keep a Schedule

    Keeping a potty schedule for a puppy is definitely one of the most crucial aspects of training your new bundle of joy. Your new dog is learning every day what their new life with you is like. Keeping a consistent schedule means your dog will learn what you want from them – and they will learn it fast!

    But how do you know what the schedule should be? The Humane Society of the United States says there is a general rule of thumb for creating a bathroom schedule for puppies. Most puppies can “hold it” for one hour for every month of their age. For example, a brand new puppy will be no more than 8 weeks old, or about 2 months old. This puppy will be able to hold their bladder for approximately two hours before an accident occurs. Once your puppy reaches 3 months of age, they should be able to hold it for 3 hours, and so on until they are adults. Create a bathroom schedule for your dog that works within their capabilities. As your dog gets older, these breaks can be less frequent. You may need to hire a dog walker to provide consistent bathroom breaks if you are not home.

    It’s also important to get your puppy on a consistent feeding schedule. The American Humane Association states that if a dog is eating all day, whenever they want to, this will inevitably mean they will be pooping all day. And pooping all day means more accidents that you have to clean up. Create a schedule and stick to it. Make sure you take your puppy outside for a bathroom break after every meal.

    If you are worried that your dog is either eating too much or too little, consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend the appropriate amount of food for every meal. Expect to feed your puppy Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Adult dogs typically only need to eat Breakfast and Dinner. Your veterinarian will be able to provide a healthy recommendation.

  2. Clean Up Messes Thoroughly

    Dogs are extremely smell motivated. According to the American Humane Association, a dog is much more likely to return to the location of a previous accident if it still smells like urine or feces. Because of this, it’s extremely important to clean up the mess quickly and thoroughly!

    To prevent accidents, supervise your puppy as carefully as possible. If you catch your puppy in the middle of creating a mess in the house, interrupt them! But do so without any aggression or creating fear. The Humane Society of the United States suggests making a startling noise or using a corrective word such as “outside!” This will serve to stop your puppy mid-mess. Immediately bring your puppy outside to finish. Then, praise your puppy for going to the bathroom outdoors.

    If you don’t catch your puppy in the act, do not punish them! The mess has already been made and your dog will not understand why you are angry. It is best to clean up the mess as quickly as possible. Your veterinarian or local pet supply shop will be able to suggest cleaning products that are puppy-safe and will completely eliminate odors and stains.

  3. But Leave Messes Outside!

    So how about those messes outside? If your puppy is using the bathroom in public areas such as dog parks or sidewalks, you should absolutely clean up any solid waste. But if your furry friend is pooping in your private back yard? The American Humane Society actually suggests leaving it right where it is!

    This might seem a little gross, but it can be extremely helpful during the housetraining process. As we mentioned earlier, dogs are smell focused and will return to a bathroom spot over and over again if it smells like urine and feces. Why not use this to your advantage?

    In addition to leaving messes where they are, you can even move an accident to the preferred bathroom corner in your yard. The smell of this recent poop will encourage your puppy to return to that spot the next time they have to go to the bathroom. But don’t worry – you don’t need to have a whole pile of dog poop in your yard while potty training! Once your puppy makes a new mess, simply clean up the previous one. This way your yard doesn’t become an eyesore or a danger-zone for bare feet. And once your dog is fully housetrained, you no longer need to leave anything behind.

  4. Consider Using a Crate

    While every well-intentioned dog owner would like to be there for their puppy 24/7, sometimes this simply isn’t the reality. And when no one is available to supervise their fur-baby, it may be time to consider using a crate.

    For some dog owners, the idea of keeping a dog in a crate seems cruel. But in fact, most dogs come to love their crate. Dogs are den animals, and will naturally gravitate towards small spaces that feel safe – even if they don’t have a crate. Crate training also has additional benefits like getting your dog warmed up to jumping in the car with you to visit a friend or the vet.

    So how can a crate help with housetraining? Well, it may surprise you to learn that dogs are actually very clean animals. Unless they are absolutely desperate, they will not go to the bathroom in their crate area. A safe-feeling and comfortable crate becomes their living space, and just like humans, dogs don’t want messes like that in their living space.

    Keeping your puppy in the crate for extended periods will train them to hold it longer, but don’t push this too far. Your puppy will likely scratch or whine to let you know they are ready to come out of the crate and use the bathroom, so let them out. If you wait too long with the intention of teaching them to hold it in, you will likely have an accident on your hands.

    As your puppy matures, the crate can be an excellent place for your fully grown dog to rest while you are away from the house. Your dog will feel safe while you are gone, and you will have peace of mind knowing that an accident will not occur while you are away.

  5. Plenty of Positive Reinforcement!

    Training a puppy is tough, no matter what skill you are attempting to teach them and potty training is no different. Positive reinforcement might seem like an especially silly thing to do after your dog uses the bathroom, but do it anyway. Let your dog know that you are happy to see them doing the right thing. Reinforcing this message will go a long way during the training process.

    It is also important to stay away from negative reinforcement while potty training. If you continuously punish your dog for performing normal bodily functions, you could end up with a very confused and upset dog. Staying calm, firm, and patient can be difficult sometimes, but keep it up! When done calmly, housebreaking your puppy should only take a few weeks.

  6. How did you housetrain your puppy? Did it go smoothly? Or was it a challenge? Share your stories with us!

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Golden Retrievers are perhaps one of the most recognizable breeds of any dog. Their friendly personality and happy disposition are the standards by which many pets are judged. We see these dogs in movies, on television, working jobs, and of course, living comfortable lives with loving families. But how much do you really know about the Golden Retriever? Check out these 6 facts about one of America’s favorite breeds!

  1. The First Ever Golden Retriever was a Mistake (Sort Of)

    In the early 1800’s, Retrievers were a popular breed in Scotland and England. According to the AKC, this was due to the prevalence of game that could be hunted. Hunting was still a popular way to get meat and a popular sport as well.

    The first Golden Retriever was a small yellow puppy – the only yellow dog in a litter of black Wavy-Coated Retrievers. Though his yellow coloring was a bit unusual, the dog was still purchased in 1865 by a Scotsman named Dudley Marjoribanks, first Lord of Tweedmouth.

    It was Lord Tweedmouth who decided to breed this funny yellow puppy. The puppy, which he named “Nous” was to be bred with a female Tweed Water Spaniel named “Belle” – a breed that is now extinct. According to the Golden Retriever Club of America, Lord Tweedmouth was interested in developing a breed that was well-suited to the Scottish climate.

    Nous and Belle produced two litters and four yellow puppies, which became the foundation for the Golden Retriever as we know it today.

  2. They are Equal Parts Smart and Silly

    Golden Retrievers today are known to have one of the best temperaments of any dog breed. It’s no wonder they are ranked by the AKC as the 3rd most popular dog breed in the United States! The AKC lists friendly, reliable, and trustworthy as the chief traits of the breed. In fact, their personalities are so agreeable, that the official breed standard states that, “quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not in keeping with Golden Retriever character.” In fact, if a Golden Retriever demonstrates these unwanted characteristics in a show ring, that could be grounds for deduction in points!

    Along with their agreeable personality, the Golden Retriever is known for being playful and silly and probably why the AKC refers to them as “the Peter Pan of dogs!” But they aren’t just golden goofballs. These retrievers are naturally very intelligent and eager to please.

  3. But They Still Need Training!

    Just because they have a wonderful personality by nature, doesn’t mean you can forget about training! The AKC cautions that they are an active breed, and need to be given proper exercise and attention. Golden Retrievers are also big people pleasers, and love to have a job to do! Train your Golden on basic commands, and practice them every day. They will love how happy it makes you to see them perform even the simplest of jobs. And it will definitely be a job well done.

    It’s also important to socialize your puppy from the start. Goldens are naturally very adaptable to many situations, but it’s essential to start this from a young age.

  4. They are Pretty Much Good at Almost Everything They Do

    When you think of any job a dog can have, you’ve probably seen a Golden Retriever doing it. Whether it’s search and rescue, hunting, being a therapy dog, or being the guiding eyes for a blind person, Golden Retrievers are excellent at any job they set their mind to. The AKC states that they are incredibly hard workers whose physical strength aids in their ability to perform their duties well.

    Though their capabilities certainly have a lot to do with intelligence, their excellent job performance can also be credited to their amazing adaptability. As the GRCA puts it, a Golden Retriever is “equally comfortable with a hike, swim, romp in the snow, snuggle on the sofa, or taking up most of your bed at night!” Any situation a Golden is presented with they will adapt to comfortably and eagerly – so long as a devoted human is by their side!

  5. Being a Guard Dog is the Exception

    Perhaps the only job a Golden Retriever might be bad at is being a guard dog. After all – they are super friendly! You may not want to trust your Golden Retriever to protect your home.

    Golden Retrievers are first and foremost devoted to their families. If an immediate threat was obvious, they may certainly step in. But when a stranger comes to the door, the typical reaction of a Golden is to bark until the new person comes to greet them. And before you know it, the new person has quickly become a new friend – no matter who they are!

    This is in part due to the fact that Golden Retrievers do not do well alone. It is recommended that Golden Retrievers never be left home alone for more than 7 hours at a time. In fact, for all the positive rankings Golden Retrievers receive on the AKC website, only 53% of owners agree that they do well left alone.

  6. They Have a Face for Fame

    With their wonderful personalities – and good looks too! – it’s no wonder we are constantly seeing Golden Retrievers on the big screen. Movies like Homeward Bound or Air Bud and television shows like Full House all feature lovable Golden Retrievers.

    In fact, one Golden Retriever in particular stole the hearts of America for a time. Buddy was perhaps the most famous Golden Retriever in the United States during the mid 1990’s. Buddy famously played Air Bud in the original “Air Bud” film and also played Comet the dog on the tv show “Full House.” Sadly, Buddy has since passed away. But his legacy lives on in these timeless stories.

Do you have a beloved Golden Retriever in your life? Share a photo or a story with us!

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While some may not admit it, we all spoil our dogs. Whether you slip your pup an extra treat at meal times or let them snuggle in your bed at night, it’s hard to resist giving our dogs the good life. But would you ever paint your dog’s nails? Or dress them up in a bikini? Check out these fun (and maybe a little wacky!) dog accessories some dog owners have fallen in love with. All are safe and fun for dogs. But would you try them? Take a look!

  1. Dog Nail Polish
    Painting your dog’s nails is on the rise – for some dog owners, coloring their dog’s nails is a fun way to express their pup’s glamourous side. Some owners even choose to match their own nails to their dog’s!

    It’s important to note that human nail polish is not safe for dogs. If ingested by a dog, it can be toxic. If you’re interested in painting your dog’s nails, it’s important to buy a canine-friendly brand of nail polish. But don’t worry – they make plenty of colors! Even the well-known nail polish brand OPI is getting in on the game, making their own line of “pawlish” for dogs.

    As an astute dog owner, you may be a bit skeptical right now. Many dogs won’t sit still to get their nails trimmed, so why would they sit still for nail polish? It takes some patience, but once the dog realizes the polish doesn’t hurt, the process is a breeze! Painting your dog’s nails could end up being a fun bonding experience for you and your dog – and your pup will look great too!

  2. Dog Perfume
    For those dog owners who aren’t keen on that “doggy smell,” puppy perfume could prove to be more useful than fanciful. In fact, some scented sprays are also designed to fight off fleas. Others are designed as a multi-purpose, scented spray, intended to treat your dog’s coat and skin after a bath.

    But spoiling your dog doesn’t have to be practical! And there are plenty of perfume products designed with the glamourous dog in mind. For instance, the brand Pupcake makes several different dog perfumes, all scented to smell like dessert. As if that weren’t enough, each scent is packaged in an adorable bottle!

    As with nail polish, it’s important to only use products that are labeled as dog safe. Human perfume may contain chemicals that could be harmful to dogs if it comes in contact with their skin or is ingested. Only opt for brands that are specifically made for dogs. With this in mind, your dog could be smelling delightful in no time!

  3. Dog Jewelry
    You might have the image of a bedazzled collar in your mind but trust us, this jewelry goes beyond your average collar. While you can certainly aim for practicality and purchase a collar that doubles as a glamorous accessory, some dog owners simply can’t stop there.

    If your dog is a total princess, she’s going to love all the jewelry options she has available to wear. While most of these dazzling products are necklaces, many jewelry items come as a necklace and bracelet set. But what about the little prince in your life? Never fear! Bow ties and neck ties have been made to fit the little dandy in your life.

    While jewelry and colorful ties on dogs can be a lot of fun, it’s important to remember that you should never take dressing up to the extreme. Some dog owners go so far as to get their dog’s ears pierced and even take them to the tattoo parlor. This practice has been banned in New York, but continues to occur elsewhere. There are many who believe this kind of body modification is cruel to animals. As a dog owner, it’s important to keep in mind that tattoos and piercing are painful procedures. Any modification to your pet that isn’t medically necessary should be reconsidered.

  4. Dog Swimsuits
    Our dogs get dressed up in nearly everything else, why not swimsuits as well? In truth, a dog has no need for a swimsuit, and not every dog wants to wear clothes in the first place. But if your dog is the dress-up type, they may love strutting their stuff on the boardwalk in a bikini or swim trunks.

    A swimsuit for dogs should not be confused with a dog life jacket! A swimsuit is simply a fashion accessory that provides plenty of fun, but no safety or protection against drowning. On the other hand, a life jacket that fits your dog is designed to keep them afloat in case they fall off a boat or off the side of a pool. Be sure you know which one you are purchasing – and why!

  5. Have you tried out any of these fashion accessories? Think you might give them a try in the future? Share your stories about spoiling your dog – and maybe share a picture or two as well!

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At face value, the dog park seems like a dream come true. Your dog can run around off-leash, socialize with other dogs, and you hardly have to lift a finger! Amazing, right? Well, not entirely. The dog park can get a little crazy sometimes. With so many excited dogs in one area, accidents are bound to happen. It’s important that dog owners learn proper dog park safety before taking their dog there. Think of it like preparing for the playground with a child. Here are five tips and tricks to arm yourself with before taking the leap and heading to the park with your pup.

      Visit the Vet

      Elementary schools require children to be fully vaccinated to keep all children safe and healthy. The same rule applies to dogs at the dog park! It’s important to keep your dog in top health before playing with a group of dogs.

      The number one thing you can do for your dog’s health is to stay up to date on vaccinations. During your yearly visit to the vet, your veterinarian will update all the necessary shots to maintain your dog’s health. Staying up to date means your pet will not be vulnerable to diseases that could be contracted at the park. This is particularly the case for young puppies, states the Animal Humane Society. Young puppies will not have all of their vaccinations before a certain age and therefore are more susceptible to disease. Until all vaccinations are administered, the dog park is not recommended.

      It’s also important to never take a sick dog to the park – you don’t want to spread illnesses to other dogs! One common and highly infectious virus found in dogs is papillomavirus. Papillomas appear as a wart, most commonly on a dog’s lips and gums. They are usually relatively small and have a rough appearance – almost like the head of cauliflower. These warts are highly contagious to other dogs. Any pup with papilloma virus should stay be kept away from other dogs. It usually takes between one to five months for papilloma to clear. However Papillomas are not contagious to humans or animals that aren’t dogs, so you and your pup can continue life as usual.
      If you suspect your dog may have papilloma, take them to the vet to run a test. The vet will be able to confirm the presence of papilloma and recommend treatment. And until your dog is in the clear, the dog park will have to wait!

      Know Your Dog

      Just like you wouldn’t take a shy friend to a rowdy party, you shouldn’t take your shy or anxious dog to the park. The dog park can be a crazy place. There may be a lot of high energy dogs present, which can be overwhelming for some pups. That’s okay though – there are ways you can build your dog’s confidence.

      One important skill to practice with your dog is coming to you when called. The Animal Humane Society recommends practicing this as often as possible, with positive reinforcement each time your dog does as they are told. When a dog consistently comes when called you have the power to avoid all sorts of potential conflicts at the dog park. It will also make your dog feel safe knowing you are there to set the ground rules.

      If you’re not confident that your dog will feel comfortable around unfamiliar dogs, consider starting with play dates before going to the park. Talk to friends and neighbors and see if they are willing to schedule one with you. You can also enroll your dog in a training class before venturing to the park. This will not only expose your dog to many new friends but will also build a solid relationship between you and your dog. With a good background in basic commands and training skills, you and your dog will already have an edge on safety – and fun – at the park.

      Stay Vigilant

      The dog park is not the appropriate place to set your dog free and completely check out. Socializing with other dog owners is great, but always keep one eye on your dog. It’s important to stay aware of your dog’s body language, as this awareness can prevent accidents.

      This vigilance should begin the moment you enter the park. Often, the gate you enter the park through will become crowded with dogs as you arrive. Other dogs are excited to meet your pet, which is great! But this could quickly become overwhelming. Once you feel that it is safe to do so, let your dog off of its leash. This will allow your dog to communicate with the other dogs without your intervention. It also gives them a chance to run away from the overcrowding if it’s too overwhelming.

      Once inside the dog park, remember the training you and your dog have worked on! To demonstrate to your dog that you are there to keep them safe always remain calm and assertive. Watch how your dog is interacting with the other dogs – and trust your gut. If their behavior looks off, it’s okay to pull your dog away from a situation and give them a chance to calm down. And don’t feel bad about leaving the park earlier than you intended to. It’s always better to leave early than to stay too long and become part of an accident.

      Another reason to stay vigilant is so you can clean up after your dog. Dog parks do not have a cleaning service, so it is your responsibility to clean up after your dog. As a courtesy to other dogs and dog owners, it’s best if you clean it up as quickly as possible. Always bring bags with you in case the dog park does not provide them.

      Don’t Rely on Other Dog Owners

      While you and your dog may have a fantastic training relationship, this may not be true for all dog owners. Some dog owners may be dealing with a brand new dog or a dog who has behavioral issues. On the other hand, some owners may not have an understanding of dog behavior or simply do not care to learn. It’s best to remove your dog from any situation that may seem threatening. Don’t worry about offending another dog owner. Better safe than sorry!

      In a letter to a frustrated fan, Cesar Millan stresses the importance of maintaining a strong and disciplined presence for your dog – even when another owner is not. Continue to intervene in ways that you know are correct based on training you and your dog have gone through together. And who knows – other dog owners may follow your lead!

      Prepare for the Worst

      It’s possible that a fight will break out while you are at the dog park which involves your dog. Don’t panic! The best thing you can do is stay vigilant, calm, and be prepared for this situation to occur.

      Both the Higgins Animal Clinic and the Animal Behavior Associates recommend that dog owners never physically intervene in a dog fight! This means do not reach in and grab your dog by the collar, scruff of the neck, or any other body part in an attempt to break up the fight. This could cause injury to both yourself and the dogs involved. It’s also important not to yell. Though it can be tough to restrain yourself, yelling and shouting can often aggravate the situation.

      A good technique for breaking up a fight is to use a spray bottle full of water. A quick squirt of water on a dog’s head or face (but not in the eyes!) will distract the dog long enough to separate them from the fight. Another good technique is to use a citronella spray or a can of compressed air. The citronella spray will emit an intense smell that is distracting to dogs. The can of compressed air, when sprayed, emits a loud hissing sound that distracts dogs long enough to break up a fight. Consider bringing any of these with you when you go to the dog park.

      It’s also worth bringing a pet first aid kit. Water, bandage wrap, and hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds are simple and effective items to keep with you at all times. For anything serious, always have the number or your local veterinarian or emergency vet saved in your cell phone.

Bonus Tip: HAVE FUN! Don’t forget to smile, play, and have a great time! Remember that the dog park is like a playground. Accidents will happen, but probably not that often. Be fully prepared, and enjoy this special play time with your dog.

Do you go to the dog park with your dog? Thinking of trying it out soon? Share your stories with us!

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Perhaps you’ve seen the famous “Doge Meme” and thought you might like a playful Shiba Inu of your own. With their fox-like appearance, compact size, and spirited personality, this Japanese breed can be hard to resist. But how much do you know about the Shiba Inu? And do you truly think they could be the right dog for you? Check out these six facts about the Shiba Inu that any potential owner or fan of the breed should know!

  1. Shiba Inus are the Number One Most Popular Dog in Japan
    As a distinctly Japanese breed, the Shiba Inu has been popular in Japan for thousands of years. Shibas are just 1 out of 9 “monument breeds” to Japan, and are in fact the oldest of the Japanese breeds. But today, even after increasing popularity in the United States, it remains the number one companion dog in Japan.

    This is partly because they make excellent watchdogs, according to the AKC. In fact, they are so important to the Japanese, that in 1936 the Shiba Inu was named a “precious natural product” through the Cultural Properties Act. This helped the Shiba Inu to gain official recognition throughout the world.

    The Shiba Inu’s name, though certainly Japanese in origin, is something of a mystery. There is no certain answer as to where the name came from exactly. Some believe it received its name because of its skills in navigating through the brushwood. Other stories suggest that the name is meant to suggest its size – since another meaning for the Japanese word “Shiba” is “small.” Regardless, no true evidence has been found as to why the Shiba Inu carries its name to this day.

  2. They Nearly Went Extinct
    Though their popularity spans across centuries in Japan, the Shiba Inu nearly went extinct during World War II. Many dogs perished during bombing raids in that period. Those that did not die during the raids often took sick and died from distemper after the war was over. The National Shiba Club of America states that it was nearly a disaster for the breed. Had it not been for a few devoted breeders, we may never have known the modern day Shiba Inu.

    After the war, breeding programs were established to boost the Shiba Inu population. Shibas from remote areas in Japan were brought to these programs to begin the breeding process. Three distinct bloodlines remained that were being used to re-establish the breed. These were the San In Shiba, the Mino Shiba, and the Shin Shu Shiba. The AKC says that it is from these three distinct bloodlines that we get the Shiba Inu of today.

  3. They are Not Good at Sharing
    Shiba Inu owners will warn you that this dog breed is not for everyone, and their inability to share is one of the reasons why. In fact, the National Shiba Club of America says that “if a Shiba could only utter one word, it would probably be ‘mine.’” The food nearest to a Shiba Inu? It all belongs to them. The dog toys you brought with you to the park? Sharing with other dogs will not be tolerated. And a Shiba Inu’s owner? Well, the dog will often get possessive of their owner as well.

    Sometimes a Shiba Inu can become aggressive if the behavior is left unchecked. It is important for the Shiba Inu to have a well-established training and socialization foundation so these behaviors can be minimized and controlled. When in the presence of other dogs, it’s wise to remove the Shiba’s favorite toys. Shiba Inus might exhibit resource guarding behavior which can lead to aggressive interactions.

    And this “mine” attitude applies to everything in a Shiba Inu owner’s house as well! The bed, the couch, the shoes, the food, and anything the Shiba Inu get it’s mouth on could be in danger. Crate training is strongly encouraged.

  4. Though They are Small, They are Feisty
    The Shiba Inu should remain relatively small throughout its life. The average male Shiba should weigh 23 pounds, and the average female should weigh 17 pounds. Though many small breeds of dog don’t need extensive exercise, the Shiba Inu is not one of them. Size does not stop the fire in this active dog’s spirit.

    The National Shiba Club of America suggests that any traditional walking routine is best for the Shiba Inu. Shiba’s were traditionally bred to be hunting dogs, and will love exploring any neighborhood, big or small, with their owner. For this same reason, a Shiba should never be off leash unless they are in a fenced in area. If a future Shiba owner wishes to let their new dog run free in the yard, fencing is a must.

    The Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue also warns that Shibas will go wherever their nose leads them, sometimes regardless of training. Though a solid training foundation is important for a Shiba, they still may not always listen. This feisty behavior can be quite frustrating, but the true Shiba Inu fan finds it charming and embraces the quirks as part of a lifestyle.

  5. They are “Cat-Like”
    One reason many future dog owners become interested in the Shiba Inu is their cat-like nature. The Shiba is a very clean breed and they can often be found cleaning themselves and each other, similar to a cat. Their cleanliness even extends to their bathroom habits. Shiba Inus tend to be very easy to house train, often becoming house broken in as little as a few days. They even have very little doggie odor, which could be appealing for those who like to keep a fresh and clean household.

    Shibas are also very agile, similar to a feline. While most dogs seem to find themselves in all kinds of silly mishaps, the Shiba is more coordinated giving it a natural resistance to injury. Shibas also have a tendency to perch, similar to the way a cat might. Due to their hunting instinct, it is not uncommon to find a Shiba sitting atop the back of a couch or perched on top of a table, scouting for prey.

  6. The Famous “Menswear Dog” is a Shiba Inu
    “Menswear Dog” is a famous canine that models menswear clothing – human clothing that is! And the breed of Menswear Dog is none other than the Shiba Inu.

    Bodhi is a five-year-old Shiba Inu earning a living as a menswear model. And a hefty living it is! According to Fast Company, Bodhi earns $15,000 a month through various modeling jobs. Those jobs include photo shoots for Coach, Victorinox Swiss Army, Ted Baker, American Apparel, Brooks Brothers, Salvatore Ferragamo, ASOS, Hudson Shoes, Revlon, Todd Snyder, The Tie Bar, Polyvore, and Purina to name a few!

    It’s clear that Bodhi has a natural talent for the modeling industry. In addition to having an adorable face, he is wonderfully capable of sitting still – even with many layers of clothes on. Such talent!

  7. Are there any Shiba Inus in your life? Have any fun stories about their fun and willful personality? Let us know!

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Congratulations! You’ve decided to add a dog to your family. You’ve done your research, purchased all the necessities ahead of time, and are ready for this new challenge. Or are you?

Having a dog in your house – no matter how young or how old – poses plenty of new challenges. And your home itself can present dangers for your new dog. Here are five ways you can dog-proof your home and prepare yourself for the new arrival.

  1. Perform the “All-Fours Inspection”
    From a human’s two-legged, upright view of the world, things can look pretty different than what they look like to a dog. The best way to know what might be appealing – or dangerous! – to your dog is to look at your home from a dog’s perspective. That’s right! It may seem a little silly, but walking around on all-fours throughout your entire home will let you know what changes need to be made.

    Notice what kinds of things are left on the floor at dog-eye level. Does it look like something a dog might want to chew on? Find a way to either cover it or store it at human-level. Look out for plastics that a dog could choke on, medications and chemicals that a dog could accidentally eat, and personal items that are expensive or irreplaceable if chewed on or broken.

    Keep an eye out for anything that could pose a danger to your dog, particularly electrical cords. If possible, keep electrical cords unplugged, so the danger of electrocution is minimized. If an appliance must remain plugged in, cover the wires so a dog cannot chew them or become tangled in them.

    Also take notice of all doors and cabinets. If a dog is curious, they can very easily nose their way through a door to an area they shouldn’t be exploring. The American Humane Association recommends investing in childproof latches on all cabinets. They also recommend blocking up any holes such as floor vents that a curious dog may stick their nose into. This can easily be resolved with a secure grate covering the vent.

  2. Cleaning is Your Friend
    Once you’ve done the all-fours inspection, it’s time to start cleaning – and keep it clean! Adding a dog into the mix is a whole lifestyle change, and a new owner should be prepared to maintain a dog-safe home.

    Start by taking all loose items that are on the floor and low to the ground and moving them to secured cabinets and high shelves. Anything you don’t want broken or chewed on should be put away or placed high above a dog’s reach. This includes toys, shoes, clothing, artwork, and anything else a dog may think is an appealing chew toy.

    One of the most tempting items a dog can get themselves into is food. Always clean up any dirty dishes immediately. Never leave food out where a dog can reach it, even if it’s in a wrapper. The wrapper could be a choking hazard to the dog, even if the food itself is safe to eat. It’s also important to remember that the garbage can smell like a feast to your dog. This Old House recommends taking food waste out of the home as quickly as possible. Covering your trash with a layer of baking soda can also diminish the smell, thus diminishing the temptation. And don’t forget to put a secure lid on the trash can!

    It’s also important to get in the habit of closing doors. The bathroom door should be kept closed at all times so your new dog cannot get into any bath products that could be toxic. Keep cabinet doors in both the kitchen and the bathroom latched – especially cabinets that contain medicine or cleaning supplies that could potentially cause harm. The American Humane Association cautions that no bath, kitchen or medicinal products should even be left out where a dog can reach them.

  3. Should You Re-upholster?
    There are no two-ways about it. No matter what preparations you make, dogs will be dogs – and when they are being dogs, they are being messy. To maintain a clean home – and your own sanity – it might be worth considering getting new fabric for your furniture.

    Because of the messes dogs make, one of the biggest considerations for new upholstery is ease of clean up. Designer Annie Selke told This Old House that using indoor/outdoor fabric on indoor furniture can be a big help with this. Fabrics designed for the outdoors repel moisture and dirt, making cleanup very easy. Many of these fabrics are also stain resistant, leaving no trace of the mess your dog just made. And as more and more homeowners seek both form and function in the furniture, many of the outdoor fabrics have a high-end look that is appealing inside the home as well as out.

    Sometimes cleaning is hard to keep up with, so camouflaging the mess may be more your style. Consider investing in leather furniture with a distressed look. Not only is leather easy to clean, but any scratches from dog nails or teeth will only enhance the distressed finish. Or perhaps excessive fur is more your concern. Some dogs shed so much there is simply no way to keep it all vacuumed up. Fabric with an appealing pattern can do wonders hiding all the fur your dog leaves behind.

  4. Don’t Forget the Garage
    Maybe you aren’t in the garage much, but your dog may find all the things stored in there a little too interesting. Remember to check this area of the house for safety, just like you would any other area of the house.

    First, check that all chemicals and tools are safe and securely out of reach. The American Humane Association reminds us to clean all anti-freeze off of the garage floor, in addition to storing bottles in a safe place. Anti-freeze is very toxic, and one curious lick of the floor could prove deadly. It’s also important to store sharp tools away from where a dog might try to play with them.

    Cesar Millan also tells dog owners to move any rat poisons or other toxins that are meant to kill vermin. These poisons are often flavored and made to entice animals into eating them. Even if your dog never goes into the garage, always keep the garage doors shut so a neighbor’s dog can’t wander in and eat the rat poison.

  5. Consider Yard Safety Too
    It’s tempting to think the outdoors are a safe and natural place for a dog to roam free, but this isn’t always the case. Do an outdoor check to ensure your yard is dog-friendly and safe.

    A common but silent threat could very well be the plants growing in your garden or yard. Not all plants are safe for dogs to eat, and any dog owner who has watched a dog eat grass knows that plants can be hard to resist for a dog. Check out the ASPCA’s list of both toxic and non-toxic plants. It’s important to check all indoor plants as well and be sure they are safe for your dog and other pets to be around.

    The RSPCA of New South Wales recommends setting up both a fence and a shelter for your dog in the yard. Even the most well-behaved dog can get themselves into trouble from time to time, exploring a little too far beyond their home. A sturdy fence prevents your dog from getting lost before the problem can occur. It’s also a good idea to have a shelter for your dog. If your pup gets caught in the rain, snow, or even severe heat, it’s helpful for them to have a place they can go to be safe from the elements.

  6. What have you done to dog-proof your home? Do you have any horror stories from a time when you didn’t do any dog-proofing? Share them with us!

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Feeling the travel bug biting at your heels? Maybe it’s time for you to get away from it all! But packing up and leaving for a week can be difficult for a dog owner. Not every destination is pet-friendly. That’s why we’ve compiled this short list of places you and your dog can visit together. And these four vacation spots may surprise you!

  1. Walt Disney World
    Now this one may truly shock you. Dogs in Walt Disney World? Can it be true? You bet it is! Families can bring their dog their Disney vacation.

    Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL has many options for accommodations inside the theme park. From luxury suites to value hotels, there is no shortage of places for a family to choose. Disney World even has a campground area called Fort Wilderness where families can pitch a tent, hook up an RV, and yes – even bring their dog!

    For families that bring their dog to Disney World, there is a dog daycare facility called Best Friends Pet Care for those who spend the day exploring the theme parks. The daycare even has overnight options! And when you have picked your dog up from daycare, there is an off-leash park for your pup to play in. There are also many on-leash trails in the Fort Wilderness area to take your dog on long walks.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be Disney World without certain ground rules! All dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pet. Dogs also are not allowed in tents or pop-up campers. All dogs must always be on their best behavior. Noise, aggression, or any other behavior that disrupts other guests and warrants a complaint to management will have to be removed to an off-site boarding facility or leave the resort altogether. So be sure your dog is well trained!

  2. Cunard Cruise Ship
    Thinking of taking to the high seas? Has your dog developed that same sense of adventure? No need to leave your pup at home, so long as you are sailing with the Cunard cruise lines.

    Cunard’s ship the Queen Mary II travels between New York City and Southampton and has a comprehensive pet-friendly policy for dog loving guests. 12 roomy kennels are available to dogs who are looking to set sail. These kennels are under the constant supervision of a Kennel Master, who feeds, walks, and cleans up after the dog while you have a chance to relax. Connected to these kennels are walking areas, both indoor and outdoor. These areas allow dog owners to visit with their dogs as often as they would like during their cruise vacation. As if that weren’t enough, each pet receives a complimentary gift package during their travels!

    Of course with only 12 kennels available, booking in advance is highly recommended. All traveling dogs must comply with the Pet Travel Scheme and have their very own pet passport.

  3. Las Vegas
    Las Vegas, NV may be the last place you think of bringing your dog. Between casino nights and bar hopping, you may think there isn’t much room for pet-friendly activities. But you may be surprised at the luxuries that are available to pets – particularly at the hotels.

    For starters, there are more than 75 pet-friendly hotels in the city of Las Vegas. Many of them are extremely reasonably priced at under $150 a night, and some don’t even charge a pet fee! But perhaps you are thinking luxury? Never fear. Hotels such as the Delano, Caesar’s Palace, and the Bellagio all have pet-friendly policies. In one of these luxury hotels, cuddle time with your pup gets taken to a whole new level!

    Caesar’s Palace is one of 8 Las Vegas hotels owned by the Caesar company participating in the PetStay program. At Caesar’s Palace, a mat and food dishes are provided for your dog in the room. All dogs must be in a crate when left alone in the room, but crates can easily be rented through the front desk. And as long as your dog is on a leash, your best friend can walk through designated hotel common areas, taking in the sites with you!

    At the Delano, pet-friendly luxury is taken very seriously. As their website states, “all dogs are treated with the same modern conveniences as their human counterparts.” This includes a special outdoor space for dogs, a dog-friendly menu, and even butler service for the pup! Butler service includes check-ins, walks, and even a bit of pampering for your pet. And if you need a pet sitter? Simply notify that front desk and arrangements will be made.

    The Bellagio is a bit more strict on their dog-friendly policy, but still accommodating to dog owners. Dogs cannot exceed the maximum weight of 40 pounds. Or you may bring two dogs whose combined weight does not exceed 40 pounds. Despite this, dog owners are still given the opportunity to request a dog sitter at any time. And though all dogs are required to be house-trained, the Bellagio staff is very understanding that accidents do happen. If an accident does occur, dog owners can call housekeeping to immediately take care of the mess.

  4. Washington DC
    Don’t expect to be taking your dog to the Smithsonian or on a tour of The White House. But that doesn’t mean our nation’s capital doesn’t have plenty to offer our four-legged friends. For the history buff who can’t stand to leave their dog at home, luckily there are some options.

    You can start by taking your pup on a walk down the National Mall. Though dogs must remain on a leash at all times, there is plenty of space for a long walk, a brisk run, or a lazy day of napping in the sun. And don’t forget to point out the Washington Monument!

    After that, you and your dog can visit the Lincoln Memorial together. Larger dogs will have to view the memorial from a distance, so thankfully the statue is gigantic. But if you have a small dog who can be carried, feel free to bring it up the steps for an up-close and personal look at our 16th president. Dogs are not allowed inside the memorial, but it is still something you can share with your pup.

    If you’re tired of monuments, consider visiting the Smithsonian – the Smithsonian Gardens that is! There are 13 different Smithsonian Gardens to choose from, and only two do not allow pets on the premises. For those of you seeking a wildlife adventure in an urban setting, consider walking your dog through the Urban Bird Habitat. If plant life is more your speed, you and your dog can stroll through Heirloom Garden or the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden. With all of the Smithsonian gardens open year-round, seven days a week, you and your dog are sure to find an adventure in one of them!

Have you taken a vacation with your dog recently? What kinds of adventures did the two of you have? Share them with us!

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