Visiting Dog Friendly Wineries on Long Island, New York

If you've been reading our blog for awhile, you know that we love taking our dogs just about everywhere with us!  We're always looking for great dog friendly restaurants, dog friendly activities and other destinations that welcome dogs.  We have recently discovered some great Dog Friendly Wineries on Long Island, New York!

Long Island's Wine Country


Yes, Long Island, New York has a Wine Country and it's pretty darn good!  The sandy soil and moderate climate found on Long Island makes it ideal for growing grapes.  Although grapes have been grown and vines sold on Long Island since the late 1600's, according to the Long Island Wine Council the first Long Island Vineyard wasn't planted until 1973.  

Quite a few wineries on Long Island allow dogs! Long Island's wine country, Pet friendly, Dog friendly
Several vineyards on Long Island, NY are dog friendly!
Upon visiting Long Island in 2,000, world renowned Australian viticulturist Dr. Richard Smart said that the soils of Long Island "are among the finest soils for grape growing that I have ever seen in the world"  Wow, that's quite a testament coming from a leading global consultant on viticulture methods!

Dog Friendly Vineyards in Long Island New York's, Wine Country.  Pet Friendly Travel, Dog Friendly Travel
Sandy soil and a moderate maritime climate are ideal for growing grapes that make the delicious wines of Long Island!
As you travel East on Long Island, the Island splits into two sections, the North Fork and the South Fork of the island.  This split begins at the town of Riverhead, about two thirds of the way to the Eastern end of the island.

The North Fork of the island is where most of the wineries are located in towns like Riverhead, Mattituck, Peconic, and Southold.  There are a couple of wineries on the South Fork as well, but the South Fork is better known for the beautiful regions of The Hamptons and Montauk.


Dog Friendly Wineries, North Fork Long Island


We've visited several vineyards on Long Island over the years, but this was the first time we visited wineries on Long Island that allow dogs!  It's the first time, but it will certainly not be the last.  We had a wonderful time at two of Long Island's pet friendly wineries, and so did our dogs, Icy and Phoebe!

For our first winery visits with the dogs we chose Pindar Vineyards  in Peconic and Macari Vineyards in Mattituck.  Visiting two wineries with dogs was plenty for one day.  We wanted to take our time and enjoy the wine and the beauty of the vineyards, and didn't want to tire the dogs out too much.  We'll be heading back out to visit a couple more pet friendly wineries on Long Island in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that!

Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards, Peconic, Long Island NY


Our first stop was Pindar Vineyards in Peconic.  I did a tasting of about 5 different wines (don't worry, the tasting size is super small!) and John had just one glass of wine since he was our driver.  We bought a couple of cheese sticks and a small package of crackers to enjoy along with our wine.

They had a covered patio with lots of shade and a beautiful view of the vineyards.  The gentle, cool breezes off the water were delightful!  I had brought chew sticks for the dogs, but of course we couldn't refuse sharing some of our cheese sticks with them too!


Dog Friendly Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York.  Dog Friendly places on Long Island, Pet friendly places on Long Island.  Wineries on Long Island
We had to share some of our cheese sticks with the dogs.  I mean, who could say No to that face!?
I really like Pindar's green initiatives, one of which is the use of wind in their wine production.  They installed a 156 foot tall Turbine that will power at least 80% of all winery operations.  We applaud their sustainability efforts!

Dog Friendly winery Pindar Vineyards on Long Island New York uses wind in the production of their wine!  Dogs, Pet Friendly, Dog friendly wineries on Long Island
This wind turbine will power at least 80% of wine production at Pindar Vineyards 
There is a beautiful Sunflower Field on the property as well.  You can stroll through the field with a glass of wine in hand, admiring the bright, "happy" flowers.  You can even cut some sunflowers to take home for just a dollar or two per stem.  They provide the clippers, you choose & cut your flowers. 

Pindar Vinyard has a beautiful sunflower field. Sunflowers can be cut and purchased by the stem.

We left Pindar Vineyards with 2 bottles of wine in tow.  A bottle of Pythagoras red wine for my husband and a bottle of Winter White for me.  Delicious!!  


Dog Friendly Macari Vineyards, Mattituck, Long Island NY


Our next stop was Macari Vinyards in Mattituck.  I didn't do another tasting, instead I had a glass of a sparkling Cabernet that I really like and john had a glass of Merlot.

In addition to tasting flights, Macari offers a boxed cheese, cracker, and aged salami snack that you can enjoy with your glass or bottle of wine outside on the patio.  You can also buy these items a la carte.  

There was enough in the boxed "snack" to consider it lunch for two.  There was also enough cheddar cheese and salami left over for a delicious omelette du fromage the next morning!


Enjoying wine and cheese at dog friendly Macari Vineyards, Long Island NY.  Pet friendly winery.  #Dogs
Macari Vineyard offers a la carte or boxed snacks of cheeses, crackers, and aged Italian salami.  Yum!!

We enjoyed one of the boxed snacks with our wine on the covered patio overlooking the vineyard.  It was perfect, sipping wine and snacking on cheese and crackers while looking out over the beautiful vineyard.  The breezes that came off the Long Island Sound were so relaxing, even the dogs were loving the cool breezes!  

We made sure there was plenty of shade and kept the dogs well hydrated.  Of course, we had to share a little of our cheese and salami with the dogs!


Visiting Dog Friendly wineries on Long Island.  Pet friendly Macari vineyards, Long Island NY
Phoebe jumps up to catch a bit of cheese!
The Macari Vineyard started in the 1990's. The Macari farm uses an ecological and holistic approach to growing their grapes.  That includes a field devoted entirely to compost, with a composting program that utilizes a herd of Long Horn Cattle and a couple of horses.  

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Dog friendly wineries, Dogs, Dog Friendly Activities, Pet Friendly, Long Island Wine Country


If you decide to visit wineries on Long Island, New York, there are lots of Long Island Vineyard Tours available.  I like the idea of a tour because you can visit several wineries and participate in wine tastings to your heart's content without having to worry about driving afterwards!  It's probably the safest way to do a wine tasting tour, don't you think?

Have you ever visited a dog friendly Vineyard?  If not, would you like to?  Leave us a comment and let us know, we LOVE hearing from you!


A Simple Trick To Give Your Dog A Pill By Mouth

My dogs don't have to take pet medications very often, especially in pill format.  The occasional need for an antibiotic and their monthly heartworm preventative medication are the only medications my dogs need, thankfully.  However, I wanted to share a creative way to give a dog a pill with food your dog probably already eats.  My cousin's Veterinarian shared this pill giving tip with her and now I'd like to share it with you!

GIVING YOUR DOG A PILL BY MOUTH CAN BE A STRUGGLE


Even if it's infrequent, giving your dog a pill can be a struggle.  You slather it with peanut butter or cream cheese, you hide it in their food, you may even stick it in the very back of their throat or use a "pill dropper", hold their snout closed and tilt their head back trying to get your dog to swallow the pill. 

Even after those stealth pill giving attempts your pet may eat all the peanut butter or cream cheese around it and spit out the pill.  Or your dog might remain stark still while you practically wrestle him to the ground trying to get the pill to the back of his throat, but then find a way to gag or spit the pill out anyway.  Or you think you've hidden the pill in your dog's food but he smells it immediately and refuses to eat at all.

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How to give a dog a pill by making a "Pill Meatball Pocket" using canned dog food.  Pet health, Dog health, How to pill a dog or cat.
Make giving your pet medications in pill form easier!

It's difficult when there's an occasional need to give your dog a pill, but imagine how hard it must be for dogs or cats who need daily medication in pill form long term! 

What's a Dog Mom to do?  

Pill Pockets you buy in the pet store may make it easier but they can be expensive. For ongoing daily pet medication administration of pills that's a lot of extra cost and calories added to your dog's diet.

HOW TO GIVE YOUR DOG A PILL USING A DOG FOOD MEATBALL


My cousin Grace shared a tip with me that her Veterinarian recommended when her pill hating Scottish Terrier needed 10 days of medication.  He suggested making a simple Meatball Pill Pocket using canned dog food she already feeds her dog. 

🐶 Place a can of dog food in the fridge to harden and chill.  Make sure it's a canned food your dog likes to eat, and one you can scoop out and roll into a ball!  It shouldn't be too wet or have gravy in it.

🐶 Scoop out 4 tablespoons of the canned food and roll each one into a ball in your hands, just like making a meatball.  Make 4 of these dog food "meatballs".

🐶 Insert the pill you need to give your dog into the middle of one of the "meatballs".  The other 3 meatballs won't have a pill inside.

🐶 Start by giving your dog one of the meatballs that doesn't have the pill in it.  Then give him a second meatball without the pill inside as soon as he swallows the first meatball.  Make it fun like you're giving your dog a special treat, and praise him!

🐶 As soon as he swallows the second meatball, give your dog the third meatball, which should be the one with the pill inside it.  After scarfing down the first two yummy meatballs and being praised for it, your dog will be anticipating the third yummy meatball and happily gobble it up!

🐶 Finish by giving your dog the last meatball without the pill in it.  That will end your pet medication session on a fun and positive note!

Make giving your pet their pills easier by making a Pill Pocket Meatball  w/ canned dog food.  How to give a dog a pill, Pet medication.
My dog Phoebe thinks Pet Medications are no fun!

This technique can be used for cats as well as dogs.  Just adjust the size of the meatball, making it smaller for small dogs or cats.

BONE APPETIT !!

You may also enjoy some tips on how I handled my allergies living with two cats  and the Dangers of Tick Borne Illnesses to Dogs. 


Have you ever had to give your dog or cat medication in pill form?  Was it easy or did you struggle?  Tell us about it in the comments, and if you have a pill giving tip, please share it!

Having Cats When You Have Allergies

Ever since I was a kid I've loved animals, especially cats and dogs.  Sadly, I found out early on that I'm allergic to cats, but it didn't stopped me from having them!  

When I was growing up in New York, my 3 Uncle's had a deli in the city.  They often had kittens in the back of the store.  Spaying and neutering wasn't a big thing back then and the Uncles didn't mind taking in stray cats.  My Uncles would give the cats scraps of deli meat, a saucer of milk, and one of their many food delivery boxes with a blanket to sleep in.  

Needless to say, this made for excellent lodgings for a kitty that found herself Pregnant In The City!  I'm pretty sure there was a secret network for wayward cats who were in the family way that led them straight to my Uncle's store!

If you're Allergic to Cats, here are some ways to reduce allergic symptoms
Pregnant Cats In The City somehow managed to make their way to the NY City deli owned by my Uncles!


CAT ALLERGIES BE DARNED


When we visited my grandmother's house, I couldn't wait to stop by the deli, which was around the corner.  Not because I wanted the candy or chips they sold there, or because I wanted a bologna sandwich, but because I was always hopeful there would be kittens in the back! 

After hugging the Uncles the first words out of my mouth were always "Are there any kittens today?"  Many times I was not disappointed.  I would run to the back of the store to find the latest litter of kitties and plop myself down to play with them.  They were largely stray kittens but I was always able pick them up and play with them.  Invariably, I'd leave the deli with bright red, watery itchy eyes.  I didn't care, I was going to play with the kittens anyway and there was nothing anyone could do to stop me!

Back home on Long Island, stray cats often made their way into our yard.  When they did, we set out the welcome mat.  They had food, water, and blankets in a cardboard box to sleep in.  My cat allergies were always present, but again I didn't care.  I wanted to handle the cats and play with them.  I loved them all!


How to reduce Cat allergies.   Pet allergies.
Adorable stray kitten from a litter of cats that ended up at my sister's house.

When I was finally old enough to get a place of my own, one of the first things I did was look for a kitten to adopt!  I unexpectedly ended up with two cats in a one bedroom apartment, wreaking havoc on my allergies.  You can read about my Accidental Pet Adoption here.  It got so bad that I had trouble breathing and ended up with asthma.

I finally had to see a doctor, and in questioning me he realized the cause of my asthma was living in a small apartment with 2 cats.  He strongly urged me to give my cats away.  No Way!!  I told him I already loved both cats to pieces and there was no way in hell I was giving up my feline furbabies.  He shook his head and told me I could end up with asthma for the rest of my life.  "So be it!" I said.  I just had to keep my cats,  Mousey and Maggie, so I  began to research ways to help diminish my pet allergy symptoms.  


HOW I REDUCED MY CAT ALLERGY SYMPTOMS 


Here are the things I did to reduce my allergic symptoms:

🐈 The cats could no longer sleep in my bedroom, it was my "cat free zone"

🐈  I wiped the cats down with wet paper towels daily; sometimes twice a day

🐈  I vacuumed every single day and followed up with a wet mop to keep the dander down. Thankfully I had hardwood floors and not carpeting which helps a lot.

🐈  I dusted every few days using wet cleaning cloths instead of a dry cloth to keep dander and fur down.

🐈 I washed my cats' bedding frequently and kept the litter box super clean.

Following the above steps helped a lot but it wasn't quite enough.  I still suffered with frequent asthmatic symptoms due to pet allergies for several years, but I didn't care, as long as I had my cats.  When Maggie was the only cat left in the considerably larger house I lived in by then, my symptoms lessened a lot.  It was still difficult but quite manageable.  


MORE WAYS TO REDUCE PET ALLERGY SYMPTOMS: 


If I had known about it, there were other things I could have done to help reduce my allergy symptoms to cats as well:

🐈  I should have gotten a clean air machine with a HEPA filter! They weren't as common back then and I didn't know much about them.

🐈  I could have gotten a removable couch cover which can be removed and washed.  If I had drapes I would have washed them regularly. 

🐈  A few companies make pet allergy sprays that act as allergen blockers, although I'm not sure how well they work.  Have you used pet allergen blockers?  If so, did it help?

🐈  Allergy shots and prescription oral allergy medications.  I didn't want to consider allergy shots, I hate needles! But that probably could have helped a lot as well.



What to do if you're allergic to cats but you want one!  Pet allergies, Cat allergies
I was allergic to my cats Maggie and Mousey, but I didn't care!

After all that, was having cats worth going through asthma symptoms and constant daily cleaning?  YOU BET IT WAS!!  The love of a cat is not to be underestimated and I would do it all over again.  I have two dogs now but I look forward to getting another cat in the near future.  Thankfully, I'm not allergic to dogs, just cats!

NOTE:  I'm not a doctor or Veterinarian, I'm just sharing how I handled my allergy to cats. If you're allergic to cats but you really want a cat, you may want to check with your doctor first.

You may also enjoy this post: Stray Cats In The Hood?  TNR 'em!

Do you have pet allergies? If so, how have you handled them?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  We love when you howl back at us!!





Dog Friendly Events That Help Rescue Dogs

I'm always searching for great Dog Events in my area.  A dog friendly event that benefits shelter or rescue animals? Even better!  I was so excited when Carol, from Fidose of Reality, told me about a Dog Friendly Breakfast event near me that would benefit Long Island Bulldog Rescue!  Needless to say, I wanted IN!

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Dog Events That Help Rescue Dogs.  Pet Events. Helping Shelter Dogs.
My dog Phoebe as the "cream" in a Cocker Spaniel Sandwich with Coco and Dexter at a Pet Event to help Bulldogs in need!

DOGS LEND A PAW TO HELP PETS IN NEED


Even though Icy is a Siberian Husky and Phoebe is a Havanese, Maltese mix (we think!), my dogs are always happy to lend a paw to help any animal shelters and rescue pets in need.  I rescued Phoebe from the county animal shelter, where I volunteered when we lived in Phoenix.  Phoebe knows what it's like to be a frightened shelter dog (read her story here!)

There aren't that many Dog Friendly Restaurants on Long Island, so a pet event at a restaurant with a dog friendly patio is a welcome find!  The Refuge, in Melville New York, teamed up with Tito's Vodka to co-sponsor a fabulous dog friendly brunch to help a local Bulldog rescue.

A TRULY WELCOMING PET FRIENDLY RESTAURANT



I love a pet friendly restaurant that is truly dog welcoming!  Dog events, Pet events, Dog friendly,
Phoebe relaxing in Carol's arms at the table.  Coco sittin' pretty in her mom Christine's lap  
A truly welcoming pet friendly restaurant goes out of it's way to show dogs how happy they are to see them!

Dog Friendly Restaurant The Refuge, Melville New York, offered a special dog menu at this wonderful Dog Event to benefit a local dog rescue.
Dog friendly restaurant The Refuge really knows how to welcome the pups! This little guy sure was enjoying his special doggie meal.

Talk about a dog friendly restaurant that really gets it, The Refuge even offered a special doggie menu!  On the menu were steak and brown rice or chicken and brown rice dishes made especially for dogs!  I ordered the chicken and rice for Phoebe.  Coco had the chicken and rice too, and Dexter had the steak and rice.  Our dogs thoroughly enjoyed their dog friendly meals!


Beautiful outdoor patio at The Refuge in Melville, Long Island New York. They co-sponsored a fabulous dog friendly event with Tito's Vodka
The outdoor patio at The Refuge is so nice.  It has a beautiful bar and lots of seating.

MAKING FRIENDS WITH DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE


Phoebe is a bit of a social butterfly, so she enjoyed making friends with many of the other dogs in attendance.  She met Bulldogs, Pomeranians, Schnauzers, and even a white Husky (jealous much, Icy??)!  How cute are these little sweeties!?


Dog Events that help pets in need can be Fun and Rewarding!  Dog friendly Pet events, Dog friendly restaurants in New York, Dogs, Dog Rescue Events
My dog Phoebe made lots of friends at the dog rescue brunch!

Along with a delicious brunch, there were free flowing dog treats and raffle baskets.  One of the baskets was a Tito's Vodka gift basket!  I had visions of hosting a girl's night with fun drinks made with Tito's Vodka, which I love.  I bought $20 worth of raffle tickets and put nearly ALL of them into the Tito's gift basket.  Sadly, I did not win.  My girl's night Tito's Vodka party was not to be.  *SIGH*


Great dog event at The Refuge restaurant on Long Island NY to benefit Bulldog Rescue.  Co-sponsored by Tito's Vodka. Pet friendly events, Dog friendly restaurants
What a great dog friendly event!  Thanks to The Refuge and Tito's Vodka for sponsoring this brunch to benefit Long Island Bulldog Rescue.

Literally, BEST. OMELETTE. EVER. I can't wait to go back to The Refuge for brunch!  

Great dog friendly restaurant in Melville NY, hosted a brunch to benefit a local dog rescue.  Pet friendly events
Delicious omelette at The Refuge brunch to benefit dog rescue

Have you been to, or plan to attend, any Pet Friendly Events this season?  Tell us about it in the comments.  We love hearing about adventures with your pets too!


Bringing Home A New Puppy or Dog

Congratulations on bringing a new puppy or dog into your family!  Whether you've just brought home a new dog or puppy to join your family, there are preparations to make and things to consider before your new furry family member moves into his new home.  This post contains Amazon links. If you access or purchase using this link we may receive a few pennies to help keep this blog going!

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Tips for bringing home a new puppy or dog.  Adding a new dog or puppy to your family
My dog Phoebe, shortly after we adopted her

FAMILY MEMBERS ON THE SAME PAGE


When getting a new puppy or dog, the entire family should be in agreement on where your new canine family member will sleep, who will feed and walk her, and what areas of the home your new dog will be allowed in. 

Does everyone know whether or not the puppy will be allowed on the furniture?  Do the kids think she'll be sleeping in their beds but you plan to have her sleep in her crate?  Are you expecting young children to be responsible for feeding and potty walks? I hope not without close supervision, because that often doesn't work out too well!

If everyone isn't consistent with the new dog's routine and rules of the household, your dog may become confused which can lead to unwanted behavior and make training difficult.


PET SUPPLIES YOU'LL NEED BEFORE BRINGING YOUR NEW PUPPY OR DOG HOME


You don't have to run out out and buy every specialized pet supply item they sell for puppies and dogs.  Before your pup comes home though, you should have the essentials on this New Puppy Checklist ready for your new dog's arrival.

Food appropriate for the age of your puppy or dog
 Food and water bowls
 Dog Bed
 Dog Crate
 Chew Toys
 Collar and Leash
 Dog waste bags (always Scoop your dog's Poop!)
 Pet cleaning supplies ('cause you know they'll be accidents & messes, even with an older dog)
 Pet Brush or comb
 Shampoo for dogs (don't use human shampoo on puppies or dogs!)

You may also want to get a Pet Gate.  You can use a human baby gate or a gate for pets, they're not all that different.  A dog gate helps you contain your dog before giving her the run of the entire house.  I found a gate to be very useful when Icy was a puppy.  It prevented her from chasing the cat and getting into things she shouldn't!

Here's a great deal on a Puppy Starter Kit from Amazon!




PET SAFETY FIRST!


Do a pet safety check in the house.  Puppies and dogs love to chew and they'll chew on anything that catches their eye. Many household items can be dangerous for dogs to chew.  Get down on the floor and peer all around to see what your pup might spot that could catch her attention.  Remove anything that looks dangerous or inappropriately chewable.  Look for things like wires, TV remotes, cell phones, shoes, purses, kids toys, plants (many plants/flowers are toxic to pets!) cords from window blinds or curtains, string, toilet bowl water lines (that's why you never want to lock your dog in a bathroom, you could end up with a flood!), and pretty much anything else that catches her eye!  Empty snack bags can cause suffocation, never leave those lying around.

Needless to say, be sure to lock up all medications and household cleansers.  Child safety locks on lower cabinets containing cleansers or medications are a great idea. Most of those are highly toxic to pets, and if your new dog gets into them it could be disastrous!


INTRODUCING YOUR NEW DOG TO THE FAMILY


Introducing your new puppy or dog to family members and pets who already live in the home should be slow and not chaotic.  If possible, introduce your dogs to the new puppy or dog in a neutral place. Many shelters, rescues, and quality breeders encourage you to bring your current dog in to meet the one you're going to take home, which is a great idea. 

Once you bring your new dog home, don't let the kids or other pets rush at your new pup, that can frighten her!  Let the kids meet her one at a time and tell them to move slowly and speak to the dog softly.  Screaming, squealing kids can be scary to a dog!


Introduce your new puppy or dog to other pets slowly and be patient
Phoebe is extremely mellow and my Siberian Husky, Icy, is super friendly, I think that's why they got along right from the start.
Keep your other pets at a distance at first.  It can be unsettling to them having a new family member join the pack.  I like to introduce pets slowly.  When I bring home new pets or foster dogs I place them in another room before I make the introductions.  I rub a blanket over the new pet to get their scent on it. Then I let my dogs smell it. I give them a treat as they're catching the scent of the new dog so it creates a positive association with the new dog's scent. 

Then I let the dogs sniff each other under the door and give them all some treats.  When I'm ready to open the door and let them see each other I keep them all on leash, about 10 feet away from each other.  I give them all treats as they see each other, provided none of them are growling or barking.  You don't want to encourage or reward growling or barking.  Try to create that positive association.  You may need your significant other or a friend to help you make the introductions and give the treats.

Once they're all calm I'll bring them closer to each other, one at a time, to sniff & greet.  You don't want 2 dogs and 3 cats approaching your new pup all at once, that could be overwhelming!  If anyone displays negative reactions like growling, lunging, or excessive barking, I move them further away from each other, wait until everyone is calm, and try again.  I never yell at them, I keep my voice calm and keep the interactions positive.  

When introducing cats and dogs, follow the same process ensuring the dog stays on a leash and the cat has a place to easily get away from the dog.  A place higher up is usually helpful so the cat feels safe. When I first brought Icy home she couldn't wait to play with my cat Maggie!  She kept trying to continually chase her around at every opportunity and it was pure chaos.  Teaching Icy the Leave It! command is the only thing that saved everyone's sanity!

Sometimes it takes awhile and sometimes they all get along right away, it depends on the pets.  Every dog or cat is an individual. The most important thing is to have patience, lots of patience!

INITIAL VETERINARY VISIT FOR YOUR DOG


Even if the breeder or the animal shelter/rescue you got your pup from has given vaccinations and done an exam, you should schedule a Veterinary appointment.  A thorough wellness check is always a good idea.

Please,  make sure your new puppy or dog has these 2 things right away; Tags with your updated contact information and a Microchip. I can't tell you how much heartbreak I've seen with devastated owners at the animal shelter after losing their dog.  When a dog or cat enters the shelter the first thing staff do is check for a collar and tags and scan the pet for a microchip. 

Frightened pets can slip out of a collar, collars break off or can be removed by well meaning (and sometimes NOT so well meaning) individuals that find your lost pet.  A microchip is the size of a grain of rice.  Injecting the chip is quick and simple.  It's very inexpensive if it's done at an animal shelter and approximately $50 at the Vet.


Tags + Microchip = Pets Get Home Safe  
It's that simple.  Please, Do It!

If your dog hasn't already been spayed or neutered, please get that taken care of as soon as possible.  Talk to your Veterinarian about whether or not your puppy is old enough to be spayed/neutered.  If she's not old enough yet, make the appointment in advance and mark your calendar!

You may want to consider Pet Insurance.  Because of the high cost of Vet care, many pet owners are buying pet insurance.  You never know what might come up in terms of illness or injury.  It's something to think about. 


BONDING WITH YOUR NEW PUPPY OR DOG


Try to bring your new puppy or dog home when you will have at least a few days to spend together.  A new home can be confusing and frightening to a puppy or an older dog.  You don't want to bring a new dog home only to leave her all alone for hours while you go to work. Make sure an adult is present for the first several days at least.  


Bringing your new puppy or dog home. Things to consider when bringing your new dog or puppy home
The joyful day we brought Icy home when she was a puppy
If you can swing it, the best time to bring your new pup home is when you're able to take vacation from work so you will have time to bond with your new furry family member and get her into a daily routine of feeding, pottying, playing and sleeping.



TRAINING YOUR NEW PUPPY OR DOG


Whether your new pooch is a puppy or an adult dog, training is a must.  

Both older dogs and puppies will need potty training. Even if the dog was previously housetrained, they still need to learn when they will be able to potty, where they will potty, who will take them out to potty and at what times.  I recommend frequent potty walks at first to try to establish a routine and learn how often and when your dog needs to do his business.  Icy always poops right after breakfast, but Phoebe won't poop until several hours later.  I've learned when and how often each of them needs to go out and I have it down to a science!

Housetraining a puppy is more work and takes more time.  I recommend googling how to housetrain a puppy and deciding which method works best for you.  

I'll say one thing, you want to start off taking them out on a leash so you can direct your puppy where to potty, even if it's in the yard. You don't want them toileting all over the entire yard, right?  Take them out very frequently, perhaps every hour the first day or two and see when they are most likely to need a potty break.  After eating, sleeping, and playing are the most common times puppies will need a potty break.

I highly recommend using a crate and crate training your puppy or dog.  A crate is such a useful tool.  It's not just a potty training element, it actually functions as a safe place for your dog to call her own.  She won't get stepped on in there, she can retreat to her crate to get away from noise or when guests arrive.  I thought of my dogs' crates as their bedrooms.  We don't need their crate much anymore, over time they've come to prefer just having their own beds in the living room.  A crate should never be used as a punishment, that's just cruel!

I also highly recommend signing both puppies and dogs up for basic obedience training classes.  Puppies in general need much more training than older dogs, but a dog is never too old to train.  Training can re-enforce basic obedience commands and be a great bonding activity. It certainly was great bonding and fun for Icy and I.  

If you don't want to pay for formal training classes, watch some training videos on YouTube or get some books on dog training. Here are some of my favorites:  Dog Training Books by Victoria Stilwell (as seen on Animal Planet);





Dog Training books by Andrea Arden (seen on Animal Planet)



Terra Nova also publishes some good dog breed and dog training books.   

Whichever trainer you choose, make certain they only use positive reinforcement dog training!  Please, no punishment methods of training.

Finally, BE PATIENT!!  A new home is a huge change for any puppy or dog, so please understand they will need your patience, understanding and kindness at all times.  Their world has been turned upside down a bit and they need to figure how things will work in their new home and what you expect of them.  They'll need time to observe & learn the ropes!  

Check out my dog Training Tips tab on the Home page for some dog training tips I've used for Icy and Phoebe.

Should you let your new puppy cry all night in her crate?

Do you have any favorite tips on bringing a new puppy or dog home to share?  Tell us in the comments!

Join us on the PET PARADE BLOG HOP!!


Dogs Travel Safely In The Car With A Dog Travel Safety Harness

We travel with our dogs in the car a LOT.  Whether it's short rides to dog friendly parks and beaches or a cross country road trip with the dogs, traveling safely with our dogs in the car is a priority.  That's why I use a Dog Car Safety Harness that attaches to my car's seatbelt to keep my dogs secure in the car.

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I didn't always use a travel safety harness for my dogs, but I do now!
Although my personal preference is a car safety harness for dogs, there are other ways to keep dogs safe in the car.  Some of my friends like to use a crate in the car for their dogs. Others like to use a pet carrier for dogs while riding in the car.  Whichever pet safety product you choose to use in the car, it will probably work very well as long as it keeps the dog secured.


Some things dog owners should never do when riding in a vehicle with dogs:


🐶 Dogs should never ride in the front seat.  

If there's an accident, a dog or cat can be thrown through the windshield on impact. 

Dogs can also be injured by the impact of an inflating airbag, the one in front of them and possibly even an airbag to the side of the dog. 

It's also possible that a dog can potentially be smothered if a front seat airbag inflates, especially if the dog is small.

Needless to say, pets should never ride on the driver's lap!  That can be a big distraction to the driver, which by default creates a safety issue for the driver, their pet, and others on the road.  As I stated above, the dog can be thrown through the windshield or smothered by an inflating airbag.  I shudder to think what could happen to a dog on the driver's lap in the event of a head-on collision!

🐶 Don't let your dog hang his head out the window of a moving car

Although many dogs love it, dogs should not hang their head out the window of a moving car.   The dog's head could hit another vehicle beside them, or the side mirror of a vehicle next to them.  They could hit their head on a low hanging tree branch, a bicycle rider, or any other object close to the car. 

Dirt and debris can fly into a dog's eyes and could cause injury to the eye. 

Travel Safely in the car with dogs by using a dog travel safety harness that attaches to the car's seat belt.  Dog safety, Pet safety, Cat safety.  Riding in the car with pets.
My eyes are far too preious, not to mention pretty, to get dirt in them by hanging my head out the window!  Also, I don't want to get smacked in the head by a Mack truck.
If the car window is open enough, a dog can jump out.  If they become startled or see something irresistible on the street like a squirrel or cat, they just might jump out the window.  Dog owners who think their dog would never, ever jump out the car window should think again. Shih Tzu Happens, I always say!  Why take the chance of your dog jumping out of a moving car into traffic?!  Perish the thought!

🐶 Never put a dog in an open truck flatbed!

Please, please don't drive with your dog in an open truck bed!  I saw this a lot when we lived in Phoenix and it made me cringe.

I once saw a Siberian Husky puppy riding in an open truck bed with a little girl. The dog's leash appeared to be tied down inside the truck bed but it didn't look like the girl was secured at all.  Even if the girl was secured somehow, that is still a massive NO-NO!  It was all I could do not to scream at the driver through the window and deliver a swift lecture. 

The dangers of a dog in an open truck bed should be obvious.  Even if he's tied down, what will happen to the dog in the event of an accident?!  What if the dog tried to jump out of the truck?  He could very well be pulled under the tires or be dragged along by his leash and strangled.

Dogs should ride safely in the back seat or the rear of the vehicle, and they should be secured either by a dog safety harness, a dog crate, or a pet carrier, with the carrier being secured to the seatbelt and the crate being secured in the rear of the car.

🚗 How does a dog Car Safety Harness work?

A dog travel harness is easy to use.  It goes on the dog just like any other harness but it has an additional loop you can put a seat belt strap through and buckle it to the car's seat belt.

This short video (2 mins) demonstrates how to use a dog car seat belt harness to keep dogs safe in the car. I'm using a dog travel safety harness from Four Paws, which I got on Chewy.com but there are many others out there.  A car safety belt harness for dogs usually works with any car seat belt system.  Attaching a dog safety harness to a seat belt in the car is similar to securing a child safety seat to the car's seat belt.



If you get out of your car, an unsecured dog may panic and jump out!

If you are involved in a car accident, even a minor one, your dog can panic and try to get out of the car when a door is opened.   I'm not about scare tactics, but I think it's important to know the risks of not securing your pet in the car. 

This is the dog safety harness you see in my video.  You can Buy it Now through this Amazon link:


If you make a purchase using this link I may receive a few pennies in return at no extra cost to you. If you do I'm grateful, as sales made through my links can help keep my blog going!


I'll end this post with two disturbing stories.   Not long ago I read about a woman driving with her German Shepherd when they had a minor accident with another car.  When she got out of the car to exchange insurance information with the other driver she didn't close her door fast enough.  Her dog, who was in the back seat, panicked and jumped out of the car into traffic.  He was struck by another car and killed.  The tragic loss of her beautiful dog could have been prevented if the dog was secured in the back seat.

I remember this 2003 story all too well.  A family was traveling on vacation with their beloved Pit Bull mix dog, Patton.  Due to poor communication and a case of mistaken identity, the family was pulled over by police and forced out of the car.  Their sweet, friendly dog wasn't secured in the car and jumped out.  One of the Officers felt "threatened" because of the dog's assumed Pit Bull breed.  He shot and killed their beloved dog.  This story haunts me so much. Every time I think about this family's tragic loss, it makes me sick to my stomach.  Would a nervous police officer feel threatened by Icy, my Siberian Husky?  Perhaps.  

You can read more about the heartbreaking story of this family's loss in my post Fight Breed Discrimination, Not Dogs.  

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To ensure my dogs ride safely in the car we, use a Dog Safety Harness 

All these potential dangers have made me a convert.  I no longer put my dogs in the car without securing them in the back seat.  A few extra minutes is well worth it, their lives are far too precious to take chances with their safety. 

Once your pup is safe in the car take a fun road trip with your dog to one of these fabulous dog friendly destinations!

How do you keep your pet safe while riding in the car?  Leave us a comment and share your car safety tips for pets!

Visit the Most Popular Dog Friendly National and State Parks

As most of you know, we travel a lot with our dogs Icy and Phoebe so we're always on the lookout for the best dog friendly places.  I'm delighted to introduce you to Nichole, my Guest Blogger from DogVills  Nichole is the Editor In Chief at DogVills, a blog about all things dog, including dog training tips, dog health tips, dog news, dog recipes and more.  Nichole loves to travel with her dogs too and she has graciously offered to share some of the Most Popular dog friendly National and State Parks in the U.S.  So, Take it away Nichole!

Take a fabulous trip to Dog Friendly National and State Parks!  Pet friendly, Dog friendly, National Parks that allow dogs, State Parks that allow pets

NICOLE from DOGVILLS:
"I love taking my dogs on outings with me! I’m always looking for places like hotels, restaurants and stores that allow dogs so that I can bring them with me everywhere I go! While I’m used to the challenge of finding indoor spaces that allow pets, I was shocked to discover how difficult it is to find dog-friendly national and state parks!

Did you know that most parks either have very restrictive pet policies or ban them entirely? In some parks, you can’t even drive through the entrance with a dog in the car! Don’t worry, though, we’ve rounded up the top dog-friendly national and state parks in the United States to make planning a vacation with your pooch a little easier!


DOG FRIENDLY NATIONAL PARKS



There are 60 national parks and over 10,300 state parks in the United States.  Together, they spread out across over 18 million acres! While the vast majority of them don’t allow dogs, there are a few that welcome our canine companions! Just remember that even the most dog-friendly national parks have rules about where you can take your dog. Make sure you learn and follow them, so these parks don’t have a reason to ban dogs entirely.

    Acadia National Park- Acadia National Park, established in 1919, is in the state of Maine, just southwest of Bar Harbor. The park sits on 49,075.26 acres and sees approximately 3,509,271 visitors annually. Arcadia National Park features an array of lakes, mountains, shorelines and woodlands.

   Badlands National Park- Badlands National Park, founded in 1978, is found in southwestern South Dakota, near Rapid City. The park sits on 242,755.94 acres and sees approximately 1,054,325 visitors annually. Several movies have been filmed in the Badlands National Park, including the 1990 Dances with Wolves, the 1997 Starship Troopers and the 2007 National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

   Cuyahoga Valley National Park- Cuyahoga Valley National Park, conceived in 2000, is based in northeastern Ohio, along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland. The park sits on 32,572.35 acres and sees approximately 2,226,879 visitors annually. The national park features more than 125 miles of hiking trails, as well as an array of caves, rolling hills, waterfalls and winding rivers.

   Grand Canyon National Park- Grand Canyon National Park, originated in 1919, is set in northwestern Arizona, in Coconino and Mohave counties. The park sits on 1,201,647.03 acres and sees approximately 6,254,238 visitors annually. The park’s main feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge that was carved out by the Colorado River.

   Great Sand Dunes National Park- Great Sand Dunes National Park, founded in 2004, is in south-central Colorado, in Alamosa and Saguache counties. The park sits on 107,341.87 acres and sees approximately 486,935 visitors annually. The national park is home to North America’s tallest sand dunes, reaching heights of 750 feet.

   Mammoth Cave National Park- Mammoth Cave National Park, formed in 1941, is situated in central Kentucky, in Barren, Edmonson and Hart counties. The park sits on 54,011.91 acres and sees approximately 587,853 visitors annually. The park surrounds parts of the Mammoth Caves, the world’s longest cave system, which measures 405 miles in length.

   North Cascades National Park- North Cascades National Park, created in 1968, is positioned in Washington, in Chelan, Skagit and Whatcom counties. The park sits on 504,780.94 acres and sees approximately 30,326 visitors annually. North Cascades National Park features an expansive glacial system, forested valleys, numerous waterways and rugged mountain peaks.

   Shenandoah National Park- Shenandoah National Park, established in 1935, is situated in Virginia, surrounding part of the state’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The park sits on 199,217.77 acres and sees approximately 1,458,874 visitors annually. Shenandoah National Park features some impressive waterfalls, ranging in height from 28 feet to 93 feet.

   Yosemite National Park- Yosemite National Park, founded in 1890 is set in California, in Madera, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties. The park sits on 761,747.50 acres and sees approximately 4,336,890 visitors annually. The world-renowned park is famous for its biological diversity, clear streams, granite cliffs and sequoia groves.

   Zion National Park - Zion National Park, conceived in 1919, is found in southwestern Utah, in Iron, Kane and Washington counties. The park sits on 147,237.02 acres and sees approximately 4,504,812 visitors annually. The park features 4 life zones: coniferous forest, desert, riparian and woodland.


DOG FRIENDLY STATE PARKS



Abilene State Park- Abilene State Park is in Taylor County, Texas. The 529.4-acre park features camping areas, hiking trails, picnic areas and a swimming pool.

Hot Springs State Park- Hot Springs State Park is in Hot Springs County, Wyoming. The 1,108.67-acre park features hot springs that constantly flow at a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Huntington Beach State Park- Huntington Beach State Park is in Georgetown County, South Carolina. The 2,500-acre park is popular for its large sandy beach and countless wild birds.

Itasca State Park- Itasca State Park is in Becker, Clearwater and Hubbard counties, within the state of Minnesota. The 32,690-acre park is home to more than 200 species of wild birds.

Lost Dutchman State Park- Lost Dutchman State Park is in Pinal County, Arizona. The 320-acre park is named after the legendary Lost Dutchman Gold Mines.

Oak Mountain State Park- Oak Mountain State Park is in Shelby County, Alabama. The 9,940-acre park is home to the Alabama Wildlife Center and the Oak Mountain BMX Track.

Tuttle Creek State Park- Tuttle Creek State Park is in the state of Kansas. The 1,200-acre park features an artificial beach, camping sites and nature trails.

Remember, the rules vary at each of these dog-friendly national and state parks, so make sure you take the time to learn them! We want to be considerate pet parents so we don’t ruin the fun for anyone else."

Thank You for sharing all this great pet travel information Nichole! It will be so helpful in planning dog friendly vacations to National and State Parks.  I'm glad you included the point of following the individual rules for each of these parks, as they do vary and most have some restricted access for dogs.  One example is that Grand Canyon National Park allows dogs but they don't allow them to hike down the canyon with you, dogs must remain up on the rim.

I hope you enjoyed Nichole's dog travel post as much as I did. You can read more from Nichole on the DogVills blog.  Happy Trails & Happy Tails!!


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Icy on one of our many trips to dog friendly Sedona, Arizona
You may also like these Icy and Phoebe approved DOG FRIENDLY TRAVEL DESTINATIONS!


Have you been to any of these parks with your pet?  Tell us about it in the comments, we LOVE hearing from you!!