4 Dog Friendly Spring Break Getaways

Spring Break Getaways

Spring has sprung, so it’s time pack up the dog and take a spring break trip to somewhere far away and wonderful. Before you go, do you have a kennel for your dog? Also, make sure you don’t share these popular road trip snacks with your pooch. And finally, before you reserve that dog friendly hotel room, make sure Fido knows how to behave.

Without further pawdo, here are four dog friendly spring break getaways.

1. Walla Walla, Washington

If you love wine and dogs, then Walla Walla is your kind of town.

Out of 120 wineries, 30 of them welcome wet noses and offer pet friendly amenities. Some of the wineries, like Waterbrook Cellars even encourage dogs to run around their grounds. How pawesome is that?

According to Dog Gone Seattle, it is advisable that you call ahead and let them know you’re coming.

2. Austin, Texas

Long thought of as one of the most dog friendly cities in the U.S., Austin rolls out the red carpet for canines every chance they get.

This is a great spring break for active pet parents. They have many parks, trails and watering holes for you and your dog to play in. And when you get thirsty, Austin has plenty of dog friendly bars for you and your dog to wet your whistles.

3. San Diego, California

Often a rival of Austin for which city is more dog friendly, San Diego has no shortage of beaches, hotels, restaurants and bars that welcome wet noses.

One of the best places to go in San Diego is Ocean Beach Dog Beach. Amada L. wrote on Yelp!, “I come here with my sister and her pup every now and again and I am always impressed to see this place in action. This is literally a haven for dogs and owners alike, giving the dogs the opportunity to run all around the sandy beach into the water, and owners the luxury of not getting yelled at! My sister’s pup loves it! She gets an awesome workout fetching the ball in the water and loves running around and meeting other dogs as well.”

4. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque was named America’s most dog friendly city by priceline.com, and its residents very proud of that – for good reason.

This gorgeous New Mexican city has many dog friendly hotels, restaurants and places to play. One of the most popular dog parks is Tingley Beach. Here you can walk or swim with your pooch.

Michael Vick and Dogs Aiming for New Life

Vick plans to campaign against dog fighting with the Humane Society of the United States. The Virginia resident is still discussing with Humane Society officials how he will spread his message and when he will begin volunteering. Humane Society officials are hopeful that Vick will help expand their anti-dog fighting campaign nationwide. The program operates in two Chicago neighborhoods and one Atlanta neighborhood. Advocates  intervene in matches when appropriate, mediate dog-fighting issues and offer obedience classes as alternatives to the blood sport, said Ann Chynoweth, a Humane Society of the United States spokeswoman.

Vick can share his life story with young urban men to tell them that dogs are not weapons, Chynoweth said. “He said he started to fight dogs when he was 8 years old,” Chynoweth said. “It seems to us if he had a program like this it could have turned him away from the dog fighting which led to dogs being abused and which led to Vick’s arrest.” After the Falcons released him in June, Vick hopes to resume his NFL career. But Vick must prove he is truly regrets his crime before he can return to the league, said Lindsay Rajt, a PETA spokeswoman. PETA officials are calling again on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to require Vick to have a full psychological evaluation – including an MRI and psychological testing – before discussing his reinstatement.

“Unless a trained neurologist is allowed to truly and honestly assess whether or not any remorse that Vick might express is genuine, there’s no way to know whether or not he will stop being a violent person, whether to dogs or to anyone else,” read the PETA statement.

Vick needs to prove he can express empathy and contrition before becoming a role model for young children, Rajt said. The more than 60 dogs seized from Vick’s property – most of them pit bulls – are also seeking a second chance thanks to rescue groups such as Best Friends Animals Society and Bad Rap.

Halle is the first Michael Vick dog to be adopted from Best Friends Animal Society, according to the group’s Web site. The black pit bull with floppy ears celebrated the finalization of her adoption Saturday after living with her foster family for six months. Halle will be a pal to another pit bull, Tacoma, at her forever home.  Another Vick dog, Handsome Dan, lives with a foster family and is doing well. Other Vick dogs are recovering at the Best Friends sanctuary, said John Polis, the organization’s spokesman. Best Friends took in 22 of the toughest cases, with some of the dogs displaying animal aggression. The Vick dogs at the Best Friend sanctuary were featured in a special episode of the National Geographic show “Dog Town.” Dogs that are not adoptable will stay at the sanctuary.

“The dogs had to learn what toys were, what treats were, what all the basics are,” Polis said. “They never had attention. They’re under-socialized but they’ve seen lots of improvement.” Bad Rap recently posted updates on 10 dogs who were adopted, in foster homes and earned Canine Good Citizen and American Temperament Test Society titles. One dog, Jonny Justice, is thriving in his forever home and is a therapy dog for a children’s literacy program. The successes of Best Friends and Bad Rap prove not all canines rescued from dog fighting rings are beyond psychological repair.

“As we suspected, dogs from fighting backgrounds can be evaluated as individuals,” Polis said. “They can take tiny steps toward improvement with good training and a lot of love.” When the Vick dogs were first discovered, national organizations such as the Humane Society and PETA were adamant the canines had to be euthanized because of their brutal past, Polis said. But authorities and rescue groups made the move to evaluate the animals to see if they can be rehabilitated. PETA officials did comment that the dogs would most likely be euthanized because they were raised for fighting and may be ticking time bombs, Rajt said. The Vick dogs were raised for fighting and lived in conditions where their kennel mates were shot, electrocuted, and drowned, Rajt said. Often it’s not possible to re-socialize animals exposed to that type of violence, she said.

Chynoweth said not everyone can adopt a dog from a fighting background and more than 600,000 adoptable pit bulls are in shelters waiting for homes. The Humane Society of the United States met with animal control agencies, rescue groups and other organizations to hammer out a new policy for dogs seized from fighting rings. Now fighting canines will be evaluated for their ability to be rehabilitated.

“Animals should be treated as individuals,” Chynoweth said. The new policy will help victims seized in a mutli-state dog fighting ring that spanned Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Authorities rescued 407 dogs in the early July bust. The Vick case raised awareness about dog fighting. The Humane Society has a new program that awards $5,000 to anyone who gives tips that lead to arrests and convictions in dog fighting. The football star’s plight also shed light on the enormity of dog fighting, Rajt said. “It is estimated there are 40,000 professional dog fighters,” Rajt said. “How many animals are there for every dog fighter? It’s horrifying; we still have a long way to go.”

Connecticut Bill Tries to Keep Puppy Mill Puppies Out

Pet store puppies

Pet stores in Connecticut whose dogs come from puppy mills may be facing the music today, when Connecticut politicians gather for a hearing in the Joint Environment Committee to discuss Senate Bill Number 397.

The bill, which was introduced earlier this month and was quickly sent to hearing, pays special attention to the importation of “sick puppies into the state.” Those importing animals into the state are already required to have a “certificate of origin” that details where the animals came from. What SB 397 would then do is require that the Commisioner of Agriculture give a report that assesses the efficacy of those certificates in reducing the number of animals coming into the state from puppy mills. Previous legislation also requires that pet shop owners use these certificates of origin to inform buyers of whether or not their pet came from a puppy mill. The commissioner would include in his report the effectiveness of the certificates in enforcing this part of the law as well.

The bill would also require that the commisioner’s report include “any information the commissioner deems relevant concerning sources, other than puppy mills, of sick dogs imported into this state.”

Connecticut’s SB 397 has found strong opposition from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), which sent out a “Pet Alert” to its supporters, urging them to take action against the bill. In the memo, PIJAC points to the controversial use of the term “sick dog” in this piece of legislation, suggesting that more animals brought into the state for adoption (abandoned “adoptable” animals) bring more “disease” to the state than dogs from supposed puppy mills.

“SB 397 inappropriately focuses on pet store puppies, which constitute a small minority of the dogs sold in Connecticut,” PIJAC describes in its memo. “The bill completely ignores dogs brought in for adoption, which are a greater risk of disease. Any assessment of ‘sick dogs’ should encompass all dogs, regardless of their source.” Though PIJAC points the finger at adoptable dogs in its memo, they fail to include sources for the statistics they cite in support of their claims.


This is the newest bill in a chain of potential laws hoping to put a halt to puppy mills. Just recently, Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell signed Senate Bill 499 into law. Termed the “Puppy Lemon Law,” SB 499 will “improve the state’s ‘puppy lemon law’ by increasing the allowable reimbursement to pet purchasers who have bought sick animals and must assume often substantial veterinary costs,” writes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). This is just one of the many provisions that are a part of this newly-signed bill.

Many anti-puppy mill supporters hope that SB 397, and bills like the one that passed in West Hollywood earlier this year, become more and more of a trend. In the meantime, the state of Connecticut continues to zero-in on those pet stores that are potentially selling puppy mill puppies. Just last week, pet store True Breeders, which recently opened on Route 7 in Branchville, was shut down for allegedly selling a puppy for $1,600 that passed away from parvovirus.

Holiday Safety Tips for Dogs

Tis the season not only to be jolly, but to also make sure your dog is safe from holiday hazards.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers the following tips to ensure your pooch has a safe holiday season.

  •   Stick as closely as possible to your normal routine. Try not to vary your dog’s feeding, walking and playtime schedule.
  •   Don’t feed your dog scraps from the table. Cookies and pies, macaroni salads and stuffing, potato chips and fancy hors d’oeuvres are inappropriate foods for dogs and may make them sick.
  •   If you host a party, remember that some guests may be uncomfortable around dogs. Your dog may, in turn, be uncomfortable or frightened around a large group of unfamiliar people. You may want to confine him in a crate or a room that will not be used by guests. Otherwise, keep him by your side, or with another family member, to keep him from getting into trouble or underfoot.
  •   No matter how fun the party gets, never give your dog alcohol.
  •   Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog can’t reach.
  •   Do not put lights on the lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn your dog.
  •   Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.
  •   Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog’s feet or mouth.
  •   Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach them.
  •   Keep other ornaments off the lower branches; if your dog chews or eats an ornament, he can be made sick by the materials or paint.
  •   Both live and artificial tree needles are sharp and indigestible. Keep your tree blocked off (with a playpen or other “fence”) or in a room that isn’t accessible to your dog.
  •   Tinsel can be dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.
  •   Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail.
  •   Review canine holiday gifts for safety. Small plastic toys or bones may pose choking hazards.
  •   Your dog may want to investigate wrapped packages; keep them out of reach.

16 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Dog


You may already think you already know all there is to know about dogs, but here are 16 amazing facts about your favorite pet that may surprise you!

Did you know:

  1. A dog’s sense of smell can be 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than that of humans.
  2. Dogs have three eyelids — their third eyelid helps to lubricate their eyes and is called the nictitating membrane (also known as the haw). Ever wonder why it looks like your dog’s eyes are rolling back into his head? That’s actually his third eyelid closing.
  3. When a dog curls up into a ball to sleep, it is actually an instinct to protect his vital organs from potential predators.
  4. Smiling at a dog may be interpreted as a sign of aggression, as it looks as though you are baring your teeth.
  5. Dalmatian puppies are born completely white. They develop their distinctive spots as they grow older.
  6. Dogs drink water by bending their tongue and using it as a little cup.
  7. Although we humans love cozying up to our dogs whenever possible, snuggling can make dogs feel vulnerable, as they interpret a limb being positioned over them as a sign of dominance.
  8. Dogs can see in color. Contrary to the belief that dogs can only see in black and white, tests have shown that dogs can also see various shades of yellows, blues and grays.
  9. Having a wet nose is vital for dogs as it helps them to determine the direction that a certain smell is coming from.
  10. Dogs have lived with humans for approximately 14,000 years — almost twice as long as cats have!
  11. Greyhounds are actually blue. The name comes from a mistranslation from the German term “Greishund.” Although it looks like “grey hound” in English, it actually translates as “ancient dog.”
  12. Dogs can understand approximately 250 different words or hand gestures. It has also been suggested that they have the mathematical ability to count up to five in their heads.
  13. The average dog can reach speeds of about 19 mph. Greyhounds, however, can reach up to 45 mph.
  14. Dogs are born blind and deaf, but some grow up to be able to see in the dark (due to the tapetum lucidum membrane found in their eyes) and hear sounds from up to four times farther away than any human could hear.
  15. Dogs experience rapid eye movement (REM) when they’re sleeping, just like humans – which means they can dream! You’ve probably spotted your canine fidgeting or even barking in her sleep before; these are all signs that she is probably dreaming.
  16. At the end of the Beatles song “A Day in the Life,” Paul McCartney included a high-pitched whistle that can only be heard by dogs. He did so for the benefit of his own dog.


Thin Hair and Fair Skin

Protect our pooches from sunburn

Even though summer has come late for some parts of the country, by now most of us have experienced a few scorchers. Just as we need to be aware of our pet’s potential for getting overheated, we also need to remember to protect our pooches from sunburn.

Thin-haired and fair-skinned breeds such as Bull Terriers, Boxers, Dalmations and Whippets are especially vulnerable, but all dogs have areas on their bodies where hair is sparse, such as the abdomen, hind legs and the areas surrounding their noses. Prevention is the best approach for avoiding the affects of prolonged and excessive sun exposure.

Find some shade for outside activities and stay inside between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to prevent sunburn as well as overheating on those really hot days. Not only will your pooch thank you for avoiding discomfort, but you’ll also be protecting him or her from increased susceptibility to diseases related to excessive sun exposure.

Chronic sun damage, also called canine solar dermatitis, can set the stage for later development of neoplasms associated with squamous and basal cell carcinomas.

When sun exposure can’t be avoided, consider covering your dog with a t-shirt or a specially designed canine sun suit. Sunscreen lotions are another option for reducing the risk of damage, but check with your vet first for a product recommendation that won’t irritate your pet’s skin or be toxic if she or he should lick it off.

How To Protect Your Dog from Swine Flu

Swine flu (H1N1)

With the stunning news last week that the swine flu (H1N1) has sickened 22 million Americans and resulted in 3,900 U.S. deaths – over three times more than the 1,200 originally reported – people are taking all necessary precautions to avoid this virus. But are you protecting your dog as well?

Companion animals are susceptible to the H1N1 virus, according to a report last dog-face-mask month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although no dogs have contracted the virus so far (the H3N8 canine influenza virus is not related to swine flu), it has been confirmed in one cat. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported that the 13-year-old indoor feline acquired the virus through close contact with its ill human family members. The cat and its humans have all recovered.

This case illustrates how different H1N1 is from typical viruses – pets don’t normally get sick with human influenza. “There has never been a report of human seasonal influenza affecting cats or dogs,” Dr. Julie Levy, director of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Florida, told Time.com.

While pets can get H1N1 from humans, there are currently no reports of humans getting the virus from their pets. According to Dr. Ann Garvey, state public-health vet at the Iowa Department of Public Health, “No cases of influenza of any kind in pets – including cases of bird flu – are known to have moved from animals into people. And even among the animals, the virus does not appear to spread easily, which may further suggest that pets are not ideal reservoirs for influenza.”

To help prevent your dog from getting swine flu, the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health recommend taking the following precautions:

  • Make sure your dog has a healthy diet, drinks plenty of water and takes vitamins and supplements.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • To avoid spreading your germs, cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm instead of your hand.
  • If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, minimize contact with your dog until 24 hours after your fever is gone. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises against boarding your dog, since Fido may have already been exposed to the virus by the time you start showing symptoms, and putting him in another environment could cause additional stress.
  • The H1N1 vaccine – as well as all other human influenza vaccines – is not appropriate for non-human species and should not be given to your dog, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

The cat diagnosed with H1N1 was lethargic, lacked an appetite and appeared to have trouble breathing. If your dog shows similar symptoms, take him to the vet.

Popular Dog Landmarks

Dog Destinations


Now that you’ve had a chance to visit our first three popular dog landmarks, what’s a pooch to do?

Not to worry, we have three more popular dog destinations where you and your dog can learn a bit more about these famous dogs and the roles they played in history. If you’re headed to Montana, Alaska or Scotland, be sure to stop by these popular landmarks and have your pooch take some photos with a few famous four-legged friends.

Old Shep – Cemetery Road, Fort Benton, Mont.

In 1936, according to roadsideamerica.com, “a sheep herder fell ill and headed to Ft. Benton for treatment. His dog, Shep, came along. When the herder died a few days later, his body was crated up and sent back east to relatives. Shep followed the box to the Ft. Benton train depot, and watched nervously as his master was put on board and taken away. ”What happened next is reminiscent of Hachiko, another faithful pooch who waited for his pet dad at a train station.

As Shep faithfully waited at the station, he became a fixture, greeting the four trains that arrived each day. Old Shep was even featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” two years into his vigil.

Sadly, on January 12, 1942, Shep in his old age had become deaf and and failed to hear a train until it was too late. He slipped on an icy rail while trying to get away. Old Shep was buried on a bluff that overlooks the train depot. His burial site features a wooden cutout of him and stones that spell out “Shep.” In 1994, the town unveiled a bronze statue of Shep with his front paws on a train rail.

Old Shep is known in Fort Benton as its “Forever Faithful” Sheepdog.

A deaf Bull Terrier named Patsy Ann was born in Portland, Ore., in 1929 and ended up in Juneau as a pup.

According to patsyann.com, “Patsy Ann was stone deaf (from birth), but she somehow “heard” the whistles of approaching ships — long before they came into sight — and headed at a fast trot for the wharf. She was never wrong. In fact, on one memorable occasion, a crowd was given erroneous information and gathered at the wrong dock. Patsy Ann gazed at the crowd for a long moment, then turned and trotted to the correct dock.” You can check here more information for wireless dog fence reviews.

With no real place to call home, Patsy Ann would hang out in the Longshoreman’s Hall, where she was free to run through the open alleys.

In 1934, the mayor dubbed Patsy Ann “Official Greeter of Juneau, Alaska.”

She died peacefully on March 30, 1942. The next day she was lowered in a tiny coffin into Gastineau channel, which she had constantly watched over. A statue was commissioned by the “Friends of Patsy Ann” 50 years after her death and installed on the wharf so she could continue to greet visitors. The bronze sculpture included dog hair clippings from all over the world “symbolically uniting the spirit of dogs everywhere,” patsyann.com states.

 Greyfriars BobbyCandlemakers Row, Edinburgh, Scotland

A 6-month-old Skye Terrier named Bobby was the faithful police dog of a constable named John Gray that mourned his master for 14 years until his own death in 1872.

After their rounds, Gray would walk Bobby to a coffee house at Greyfriars Place in Edinburgh. They had a favorite seat and watched the owner’s wife go in and out of the back room where she did the cooking.

Tragically, in November 1857, Gray developed tuberculosis and a few months later passed away with Bobby by his feet. Bobby had made several friends who continued to watch over him and feed him in the years after his dog dad’s death and until his own death at 16 years old.

According to greyfriarsbobby.co.uk, a granite fountain was donated by Baroness Angela Georgia Burdett-Coutts to the city of Edinburgh in Bobby’s honor a year after his death. The inscription reads: “A tribute to the affectionate fidelity of Greyfriars Bobby. In 1858 this faithful dog followed the remains of his master to Greyfriars Churchyard and lingered near the spot until his death in 1872.”