Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide for Pets

Finding the perfect gift for your pet can be tough! Luckily the Polka Dot Pup elves have been working their paws off locating some of the best pet-friendly gifts on the web so you can save a little time and money.

Check out a few items from Vixen's wish list -

For other great gift ideas, check out these helpful sites -

Google Holiday Shopping, search for pet specific holiday gifts.
Modern Dog Ultimutt Gift Guide, inspired suggestions for all the dogs on your list.
Dogtime Holiday Gift Guide, find the best in eco-friendly, luxury, edible gifts and more.

Have some great pet-friendly gift ideas? Send the word to Santa Paws and his furry four legged elves at

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Greetings from Your Pet

Christmas is just weeks away and it's about time to send out those Holiday cards. Skip the post office this year and check out some of the fun and festive pet eCards on the net.

Adopt a Virtual Pet eCards,
ASPCA eCards,
Critter Carols,
Dog Holiday eCards,
Pet Holiday eCards,
Ugly Pet Sweater Holiday eCards,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is all about great company and even better food. It's also a time to remember that although your dogs pleading puppy eyes are begging you for table scraps, there are a number of items on your table that can be very harmful to your pets.

Food to watch out for:
-Turkey fat
-Bones from fish, meat, or poultry (turkey included)
-Uncooked meat, fish, and poultry
-Raisins and Grapes
-Macadamia nuts
-Uncooked yeast dough
-Rich, fatty foods (gravy or grease)
-Sweets (especially chocolate)
-Secure leftovers and garbage

Healthy Treats:
-Fresh pumpkin can be good for dogs (who knew)? If a dog has constipation or diarrhea, cooked pumpkin is good for them. If dog is over weight, its a great filler to put with their food.
-Thanksgiving-inspired pet treats

For other food facts, check out the links below -
Season's Eatings,
Best Turkey Treats for Dogs,
Dogs and Holidays,
Holiday Safety Tips for Dogs, Doctors Foster and Smith

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern California Fires - Pet Safety

Living in Southern California, you know that when the Santa Ana winds pick up there is the chance for wild fires. Although as residents we prepare ourselves for these disasters, you are never really ready for the devastation fires can cause.

Our hearts go out to the residents affected by the recent outbreak of fires including Sylmar, Corona, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda and Brea. Below please find a compiled list of evacuation sites where you can bring your pets.

Dept. of Animal Services: Horses can be taken to the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center at Foothill Blvd. and Orcas Ave.

Other animals can be taken to Mission Animal Center at 15321 Brand Blvd. in Mission Hills, or to the athletic fields at both high-school evacuation centers.

Orange County (for Corona/Brea/Yorba Linda/Anahiem Hills fires)
Animals can be taken to the Orange County animal shelter at 561 The City Dr., Orange. Horses can be taken to the Rocking T Ranch, at Lakeview Avenue and Bastanchury Road in Yorba Linda.

The Anaheim Fire Department said that horses may be sheltered at:Rancho Del Rio Stables1314 Sandersen Ave., Anaheim (714) 535-3510

For tips on protecting your pets during a fire, please check out Pet Fire Safety.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Polka Dot Pup on Twitter

Polka Dot Pup is on Twitter!

Follow our pet correspondent Vixen as she partakes in her daily routines. What's more fun than living a dogs life?

Check out all the fun at

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween for Pets - Costumes and Shindigs

Halloween Hounds

Alright all you Halloween hounds out there still searching for the perfect pup-friendly costume, Polka Dot Pup has compiled a ghoulish list of gear sure to impress at any pet costume parade or shindig.

Speaking of shindigs, pet costume parties and parades are popping up all over the place. Know about a pet-friendly Halloween event in your area? We want to hear about it! Send the event information to Please submit your events no later than October 29 so that we can get them posted in time for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pet 'Net Adoption Event - Celebrating Pet Adoption Across the Nation

In today's society, too many pets are waiting helplessly in shelters to be adopted. The Humane Society of The United States (HSUS) estimates that 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year. This October, the Pet 'Net Adoption Event is helping to spread the word about adoption in hopes to reduce these numbers. Isn't it about time you considered adoption?

Adopting a pet is a big step but well worth it. You've made the decision to walk into your local shelter and pick out your new best friend for the next 10-15+ years. If only adoption were so easy. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to adopting the perfect pet for you and your family!

One key thing to keep in mind when considering adopting a pet is that they are a full time job. They become part of the family and like children, require lots of attention and love. They are not cheap either. On top of food and everyday essentials, it is really hard to resist all the cute pet products out there on the market. Don't forget about training which helps pets to be better mannered and increases the bond between owner and pet. I mention these topics not to scare potential adopters, but to bring a realization to what it takes to raise a health happy pet.

We've made it past the basics, now it's time to think about what breed or mix would work best in your home. Do some research into what types of dogs or cats are out there and what which might work best for you. Consider size (large dog or small dog), temperament (extremely hyper or mellow), coat (in case of allergies), how well certain breeds do with other animals and people, what does your living situation permit (do you live in an apartment or travel frequently), these are all items that can affect your future pet-human relationship. Check out your local shelter or adoption center and sit down with the staff and ask lots of questions. Don't forget to take your time, this is a big decision.

Meet one of Vixen's very best friend's, Abby. Abby was adopted from a North Carolina shelter.

So you've made your decision, you found your perfect companion and are ready to take him/her home. Now what? Make sure to pet proof your home, pickup anything your new pet might get into. Stock up on pet essentials like an ID tag, collar and leash, a bowl for water and food, dog bed and crate, brush for coat and teeth and tons of toys of course! Set some boundaries, this will help your pet learn the rules around the house. Get to know your pet, figure out their behaviors and habits and help correct and reward them.

One of the most enjoyable steps to adopting a pet is just going out and having fun. The bond you share with your pet is so special. My heart goes out to all of the pets in shelters waiting to find their own family. Help make a difference in a pet's life and they will return the favor with lifelong love and friendship.

To learn more about the Pet 'Net Adoption Event, go to

For more tips on pet adoption and adoption shelters in your area, please visit the sites below:
Pedigree - Adopt a Dog
Pet Adoption Portal
American Kennel Club - Breed Rescue
The Humane Society of The United States
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Celebrating Dog! - Dogs Rule Day 10-11-08

They fetch the paper, wake you up in the morning with licks, can play catch for hours on end, they are your four legged friend, your buddy, your dog! So here's to all the amazing dogs out there, it's about time they got their own holiday. On October 11, 2008 help celebrate the first ever Dogs Rule Day, an international holiday for dogs developed by Pedigree.

Can't wait to get in on the dog loving fun? Check out where you can upload your favorite photos and videos of you and your pet, join the official Dogs Rule Day Facebook and learn how you can help spread the word.

Here are a few ways Polka Dot Pup plans to celebrate:
1. Take a nice long walk or visit our local dog park for a game of fetch.
2. Offer up some extra belly rubs.
3. Visit our local pet store for a special treat of our pets choice.
4. Take some time off for an all dog day where its all about our pets.
5. Adopt a pet or volunteer at a shelter to help any pups in need.

Go to to discover 101 more ways to celebrate Dogs Rule Day.

Once the parties die down, we want to hear how you celebrated! Send your stories and pics to

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Pet Events

My favorite time of the year is upon us. The leaves are changing, there is a slight chill in the's the perfect time to get out there with your pets and enjoy what the season has to offer!

Check out some of the hair raising events coming up in Polka Dot Pup's neck of the woods -

Wag N' Walk
September 27, 2008, 8:00AM
Rancho Simi Community Park, 1765 Royal Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93065
Phone:(805) 579-8047
Event Details: Wag N' Walk is an annual fundraising event and insures quality care for the animals throughout the year. Join and "walk" for a dog or cat! For more information about this event, please visit

Bark for the Cure
October 4, 2008, 8:00am-2:00pm
Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (866)789-3737
Event Details: Bark for the Cure is a series of 5K events taking place across the country to raise money and awareness for canine cancer research. The first leg of the event, Bark for the Cure Los Angeles, kicks off with a 5K Fun Run/Walk and continues with a Canine Celebration immediately following. Dogs and dog lovers who would like to take part in the run/walk can register at To participate, adults are asked to donate $15 per adult and $1 for dogs. Children can join for free. Admission is free for those not in the 5k but wish to participate the canine celebration following the 5k.

October 5, 2008, 10:30 am - 3 pm
1021 Havard Way, EL Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Event Details: Dog demonstrations, dog vendors, rescue groups, prizes and lots of dog-gone fun! Hosted by El Dorado Hills Recreation Dept, just east of Folsom, CA. For more info call Janet at 916-358-3575

PAWED's Furry Friends Walk & Geocache
October 5, 2008, 9 AM to 2 PM
El Dorado Hills Blvd. & St. Andrews Way, El Dorado Hills, CA 95682
Event Details: Participate in the 1 or 2 mile walk around the park for PAWEDs (People for Animal Welfare in El Dorado County) Furry Friends Walk & Geocache. Registration begins at 9 AM and the walk begins at 10 AM ($15/person or $25/family, or preregister online at Funds raised will benefit the PAWEDs Mobile Spay/Neuter & Disaster Response Clinc, the only one in El Dorado County. Immediately following the walk is the EDH CSD's Bark in Community Park, a fun filled FREE event for the entire family which runs from 10:30-3 PM.

4th Annual Nuts for Mutts - The Walk
October 19, 2008, Starts 8:30 AM
Shepard Stadium, Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA
Event Details: Dog lovers and their best friends will unite when the 4th Annual Nuts for Mutts - The Walk returns to Shepard Stadium at Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills on Sunday, October 19. This fun-filled family event features a 5K walk-a-thon through the rolling hills of Pierce College, overlooking the San Fernando Valley. Route highlights will include "pawzstations" with plenty of water, food and fun for pets of all kinds and their human partners as they walk to benefit nonprofit animal rescue group, New Leash on Life. A pre-walk breakfast will greet the walkers when registration opens at 8:30 a.m., and a post-walk award ceremony will immediately follow, where the top fundraiser will be awarded a cruise to the Caribbean for two. Attendees will also enjoy live music and a dog-friendly fair. Funds raised from Nuts for Mutts - The Walk will help support New Leash on Life's education, rehabilitation and adoption programs, including Lend a Paw. The Lend a Paw program rescues and trains homeless animals as Social/Therapy dogs to enhance the lives of people in need, visiting hospitals and care centers to offer healing, love and acceptance. To register and start signing up your walk sponsors, visit or call (661) 255-0097.

For more pet friendly events in and around California and the US, please visit Do you know of an event in your area? We want to hear about it, please send the event information to

Sunday, September 21, 2008

POLKA DOT PRODUCT PICK - Ashley & Co. Designer Jewelry for Pet Lovers

Ashley & Co. Designer Jewelry for Pet Lovers
Product Review by Becca Plummer

At Polka Dot Pup, our objective is to scan the Internet for anything and everything pet. One of our toughest challenges is locating quality products perfect for every pet lover. Lucky for us we sniffed out Ashley & Co. whose designer jewelry proves to be top breed.

Wrapped in a small black box with paw ribbon accent, Vixen and I unwrapped a Sterling Silver Pet Collar Charm and matching Paw Print Tag Bracelet from the Ashley & Co. Amanda Collection. Vixen, whom many may call a tomboy dog, was delighted to be dolled up with a little bit of collar bling. The 5/8 inch large pet collar charm was the perfect size for a larger dog and the teardrop lobster clasp allowed for easy attachment to her collar. I was equally excited about the matching Paw Print Bracelet. The cable chain bracelet with charm was light weight and offers a simplistic design that allows you to wear the piece as an accessory to almost any outfit. The jewelry duo is a huge hit when Vixen and I hit the dog park, a definite great gift idea for any pet lover or pet in the family.

Ashley & Co. designer Vanessa Wensing is a veterinarian turned jewelry designer who designs her jewelry collections after animals that have touched her life and the lives of people around her. Her designs have a simple, elegant flare and are crafted from precious metals. One of the greatest gifts of purchasing one of the Ashley & Co. pieces is a portion of the proceeds will go towards benefiting nonprofits supporting animals in need.

To learn more about Ashley & Co. Jewelry, please visit

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pets On The Tube - Rescue Dog Rock

Two little pups named LuLu and Lolly are making a lot of noise but in a good way with their world's first doggy rock music video! Created to call attention to the amazing work the Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) has been doing to reunite pets and humans after the devastating Hurricane Katrina, it's a sure hit with all the dogs out there (and humans like it too!)

To learn more about LuLu and Lolly, visit

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Breed: Golden Retriever
Location: Simi Valley, California
Age: 9 years old
Bailey loves the summer family trips to Tahoe, CA. Her favorite past time, standing guard on the beaches keeping an eye out for pets who are breaking the law.

If you would like your pet to be Polka Dot Pup of the Month, please send an email with a picture of your pet and a short description about what they love and any funny facts to The winner will appear in a posting on Polka Dot Pup, the everything dog blog!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Hour Gone to the Dogs

Alright all you party animals, how about an event that blends cocktails with Cocker Spaniels? Instead of leaving your pup at home, have them tag along for a new trend in pet/owner socializing called Doggie Happy Hour.

Hotel Monaco Alexandria in historic Old Town Alexandria, VA offers pet lovers the oppurtunity to enjoy a drink and chat with other dog owners in the area. While owners get a chance to enjoy delicous drinks, the pets are welcome to complimentary gourmet doggie snacks and plenty of fresh water bowls.

To learn more about Hotel Monaco Alexandria's World Famous Doggie Happy Hour, visit If you are heading to the DC area, check out Hotel Monaco Alexandria for dog friendly room rates.

Not in the Washington DC area? Create your own Doggie Happy Hour at home with these great products.

Dog's Guide to Wine and Dine

See more of my Dog's Guide to Wine and Dine list at ThisNext.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ah Chee Wawa! Chihuahua Fever Hits Hollywood

Ah Chee Wawa!

These little dogs have come a long way from first hitting it big as the famous face for Taco Bell. Since than these pups have been stealing the hearts of animal lovers everywhere with their tini tiny features and large personalities.

On October 3, 2008, these pocket pooches will be taking the next big step towards worldwide dog domination with the Disney film Beverly Hills Chihuahua. With names like Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia and George Lopez lending their vocals to these part animal part digitally generated pups, this film is sure to bring in packs of pup loving fans.

I am on the ropes regarding the storyline. This film does not follow the life of a normal house pet, instead you tag along with Chloe who is a pampered Chihuahua from Beverly Hills who somehow finds herself in the mean streets of Mexico.

Is it believable? I live an hour away from Hollywood and while it's not far from the truth (I have witnessed dressed up pups being rolled down the streets in strollers), the film definitely will appeal to Disney's younger viewers.

Click Beverly Hills Chihuahua to check out more about the film.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pets On The Tube - Greatest American Dog

Barking mad could be the description for some of the cast on the new reality pet show Greatest American Dog. I caught my first glimpse of the pup friendly show that features dog and owner teams living and competing together in the chance to win a $250,000 cash prize and the title of GREATEST AMERICAN DOG.

The competitions maybe a little wacky (does passing an agility test really make your pet the Greatest American Dog and having an actual dog house the owners have to stay in?) but the full of personality pets leave you wanting more. A few personal favorites right off the bat, Tillman the Bulldog from Oxnard CA and Elvis the Russell Terrier from New York City.

To check out Greatest American Dog, tune into CBS on Thursdays, 8pm et/pt or visit their website at You can also meet the dogs at

Do you love the show, have a team you are pulling for? We would love to hear about it! Send us your feedback at

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pups and Their Celeb Look-a-Likes

Every think your pet reminds you of someone or have you ever heard the phrase "pets look like their owners"? The pet loving people at put together a compelling list of pups and their celeb look-a-likes. The really cool thing is the pup pics are all from fans of the site. So, if you think your pet is the dog version of Britney Spears you can send in a picture and have it added to their slide show.

What do you think?
Here at Polka Dot Pup, our puppy correspondent Vixen has been linked with a number of look-a-like celebs. Tell us who you think her celeb look-a-like is and we will post the best match!

To check out the full list of Pet Celebrity Look-a-Likes, visit

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Pet Travel Gear

Summer is finally here, the kids are out of school and it's time to hit the road!

The Polka Dot Pup crew is packed and ready to head up to Tahoe for a pet filled camping adventure but before shoving off we pulled together some of our pets favorite camping essentials. Who knew pet travel could be so easy!

See more of my Pet Travel Gear list at ThisNext.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Product Review:
The Pooch IQ Test

What you Get:
  • 1 Pooch IQ Testing Booklet with 15 Exercises, Scoring Key, and Detailed IQ Explanations
  • 1 Extra Tuff Rubber Cone Toy
  • 1 5-Piece Plush Dog Puzzle
  • 1 Big & Furry Squeaky Bone
  • 1 Super-Bouncy Ball
  • 1 Hide-a-Treat Testing Toy
  • 1 Midnight Black Face Mask
  • 3 Colorful Plastic Pup-Cups

Is your dog the head of the pack or the dunce of the litter? The Pooch IQ Test puts your pets intelligence level to the test with some hair raising exercises. Did someone say pup quiz?

When Vixen and I received our Pooch IQ Test in the mail, we were presently surprised to find a carry bag filled with goodies! We eagerly pulled out the Testing Booklet and began our 15 exercises that tested Vixen on her Learning for experience, Short-term memory, Persistence, Ability to see similarities, Problem-Solving skills, Reasoning skills, Instinctive intelligence and Obedience intelligence. Each exercise includes easy to follow descriptions, steps to follow, materials and scoring instructions. After you've made it through all 15 quizzes and all the scoring is complete, you tally up your pups points and check out their IQ description. Although it was a few days process, Vixen made it through with flying colors! So what was Vixen's final score? It looks like we have our very own Polka Dot Pup "Top of the Class" on our hands. She scored a 141 out of 150!

I love the fact that this kit came with so many cool toys that Vixen can use over and over, she particular loves the purple bone plush squeaker toy! Do be aware though that you may not make it through all of the quizzes in one sitting, some of the exercises are quicker to test than others and a few require extra materials than what is provided. The one reason I really "dig" this product is you really get a chance to play with your dog and learn more about them. No matter what their score, each pup deserves an A+ in my book.

To learn more about Pooch IQ, visit

Friday, May 30, 2008

PET EVENTS - June 2008

Summer is almost here and with the warm weather come a ton of amazingly entertaining dog friendly events. So grab the leash and go have some fun with your pup!

Sunday June 1, 2008

TIME: 8:30am-5:30pm
LOCATION: Pierce College - Shepard Stadium, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91371
TICKET PRICE: Adults $10, Kids 12 - 3 are $5, Kids under 3 are free and Dogs are $5
INFO: Nuts for Mutts is an annual dog show and pet fair celebrating the best of the mutt. Hosted by Kim Basinger, Nuts for Mutts is a series of competitions showcasing common but incredible dogs. These mixed breed dogs strut their stuff in front of a panel of celebrity judges in categories such as “Fastest Mutt,” “Most Ear-resistible Ears,” and “Most Toy/Ball Crazy” in order to compete for the prestigious “Best in Show.” All friendly dogs welcome even if they are not competing!

* This event is right in Polka Dot Pups neck of the woods so come and watch our corespondent Vixen strut her stuff! To learn more about Nuts for Mutts, visit

Saturday June 28, 2008

LOCATION: 4000 Coronado Bay Road, Coronado, California 92118
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Optional surfing lessons by the Coronado Surfing Academy for less experienced canines
11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Heat One: Small Surf Dogs (40 pounds and under)11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Heat Two: Large Surf Dogs (41 pounds and over)
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Heat Three: Tandem Surfing for Surf Dogs & Owners
1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Furry fashion show with doggie couture by Lucky Dog Boutique
1:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. Awards ceremony
COMPETITION FEES: $45 for Heats One & Two, $50 for Heat Three (if registered by June 27). Attendance is free. All proceeds will be donated.
To register for the event, fill out the registration form

* You can't beat this surf side event! Enjoy the sun and surf, puppy portraits, mutt massages, goody bags and a variety of burgers, dogs and snacks prepared by the talented Chefs of Loews. All proceeds will benefit Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s Good Neighbor Council. To learn more about Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition, go to Loews Surf Dog.

Do you have a pet friendly event in your area? We would love to hear about it! Please send the event info to

Pet Inspired Father's Day Guide

Feline and Fido Father's Day Guide

On June 15th, pets everywhere will be wagging their tails double time to celebrate Father's Day! Doggie dads sure deserve it because who is more dedicated to playing hard, sneaking treats and going for long drives with the windows down?

That's why Polka Dot Pup has compiled an assortment of pet inspired gifts that pups can give to their pa's to let them know their the best darn buddies around!

See more of my Feline and Fido Father's Day Guide list at ThisNext.

Monday, May 12, 2008

PET EVENTS - Paws in Motion

If you are in the LA area this weekend why not stop by the Paws in Motion event for a FREE dog mobility screening?

Bring your pet down and for FREE you can participate in activities such as the "One Paw After The Other" Exam, "Pawsitive Stretching" Technique Classes and "Watch Our Paws Go" Rehabilitation Demonstrations.

Whether your pet is a young pup or a senior that thinks their a pup, this is a great way to spend quality time with your dog and learn important ways to keep your pet healthy inside and out. Oh and did I mention this event is FREE to attend and you get a FREE
mini-evaluation and CARE-package? Just thought I would throw it out there.

DATE: Saturday, May 17th, 2008
TIME: 8am-1pm
LOCATION: California Animal Rehabilitation
3200 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 998-2273
Onsite parking is free!

To learn more about the event and the CARE organization, visit -

KTLA 5 Morning News - Paws in Motion Event

Cal Animal Rehab

Do you have an exciting and educational pet event coming up in your area? We would love to hear about it and post a link for our Polka Dot Pup readers! Please send your pup friendly events to

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dog Mom's Mother's Day Guide

Dog Mom's Mother's Day Guide

Celebrate the Dog Mom in your life on May 11th because Dog Mom's are some of the best around!

Ever wonder what pets love the most about their Dog Mom's? Polka Dot Pups very own doggie correspondent Vixen did a puppy poll for the results.

Dog Moms.....
1. Feed our bellies with the very best din din
2. Are the queens of cuddles
3. Can't resist giving treats or purchasing cute pet toys
4. Turn all the heads at the dog park
5. Love going on dog friendly adventures
6. Always provide the latest gossip in our dog talks
7. Can never stay mad no matter what
8. Always have endless amounts of kisses
9. Make great pillows
10. Love us unconditionally

So cheers to all the amazing dog mom's out there!

See more of my Dog Mom's Mother's Day Guide list at ThisNext.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PETS IN THE NEWS - Dog and Sheep Unlikely Pair

They say opposites attract! This unlikely duo have been hitting headlines all around town and I just can't get enough.

Maggie the dog and Daisy the sheep took their relationship on the road and were spotted wandering near a freeway off-ramp in Granada Hills CA where a kindhearted passer by stopped and gave them a lift. The twosome have now been reunited with their owners and their heart warming tale has touched the hearts of animal lovers everywhere. Hey Animal Planet, how about a Maggie and Daisy reality series??

To check out more about this unlikely duo, check out the

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

America's Family Pet Expo Makes a Splash in the OC

Looking to beat the heat this weekend (newscasters are calling for mid to high 90's in So. Cal)? Try heading down to Costa Mesa for America's Family Pet Expo. Come join pet lovers from all over and check out tons of product booths featuring what's new in pet products for 2008 along with pet entertainment like Gibson, the worlds tallest dog and Splash Dogs (just to name a few of Polka Dot Pups favorites).

Only drawback to the event, you are not allowed to bring your pets but with all the goodies you are sure to find and bring home, I'm sure Fido won't mind.

HOURS: Friday(10AM-6PM), Saturday (10AM-7PM), Sunday (10AM-6PM)

LOCATION: OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

PRICING: General Admission - $12.00 (get a $2 discount at, Seniors 60 & over - $10.00, Children 6-12 - $6.00, 5 yrs. and under - Free!

Not located in California? No worries, America's Family Pet Expo will be heading to Southwest Michigan in Fall 2008.

For more info on the Pet Expo, check out the following helpful sites -

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Doggie Name Game

Ever wonder what's in a name? Well, Veterinary Pet Insurance has released it's findings for the top male and female dog names. Calculated from the names of insured dogs in their database, the top names have determined one major thing. Gone are the days of "Fluffy" and "Beauford", 2008 is all about dogs of the human kind (or at least their names).

In today's world, pets are becoming more and more a part of the family. And why not, pets offer companionship and comfort that most of us look for in this crazy world. The big question is, does this new role effect how you name your new furry friend? Check out the top doggie names to see if your pet name made the list.

For a fun quiz, make a list of the number of dogs you know that have these names and send your stats to We will blog the results to see what names stand supreme with the Polka Dot Pup viewers.

Top Female Dog Names
1. Bella
2. Molly
3. Lucy
4. Maggie
5. Daisy
6. Sophie
7. Sadie
8. Chloe
9. Bailey
10. Lola

Top Male Dog Names
1. Max
2. Buddy
3. Rocky
4. Bailey
5. Jake
6. Charlie
7. Jack
8. Toby
9. Cody
10. Buster

Want to learn more about the new evolution in dog names? Check out the USA Today article Names for dogs miss the Spot

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Easter Puppy


The Easter Bunny has arrived at the Polka Dot Pup digs. Check out some of the Easter-inspired gifts he left behind.

The Easter Puppy
See more of my The Easter Puppy list at ThisNext.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Irish Dog Breeds 101

The day of green is upon us. Time to celebrate St. Patrick by decking ourselves out in green attire (to keep from getting pinched of course!) and gathering with friends at the local pub for a pint or two.

There are many things that I love about St. Patrick's Day and Ireland in general. The tales of leprechauns and the dream of finding that big pot of gold, delicious dishes passed down from generation to generation like corn beef hash and cabbage (yum!), lovely lucky clovers and of course who can forget all of the amazing varieties of canines that come from this land of rolling green hills.

Below is a quick reference guide to some of Ireland's finest breeds -

Irish Terrier
Irish Setter
Irish Red and White Setter
Irish Wolfhound
Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier
Kerry Beagle

For more information on the dog breeds listed above (history / characteristics / breeder information), please check out the following sites -, The American Kennel Club Celebrates These Irish Dog Breeds, Irish Dog Breeds

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Pets

St. Patrick's Day Pets

Let your pet go green this St. Patty's Day!

Polka Dot Pup has searched high and low and located some lucky charms. From clover collars to shamrock treats, your pup will be feeling the luck of the Irish all year long.

Know of a great green product that we left off the list? Drop us a bone at

See more of my St. Patrick's Day Pets list at ThisNext.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dogs In the News

Dog Saved by Marine Gets Permanent Home

Having a brother who served in the Army, I have always considered the men and women in the armed forces as hero's. A recent story circulating in the news really shows another side of what is going on in Iraq and how our troops are not only trying to protect people but also animals.

Marine Maj. Brian Dennis, stationed along the Syria-Iraq border, befriended a male German shepherd-border collie mix while on patrol whom he named "Nubs" after learning that someone had cut the dogs ears.

Constant runs-ins between the two created a deep bound which only deepened when Dennis found Nubbs near death and helped him recover. Military policy does not allow pets in war zones so Dennis decided to send the pup to his home base in San Diego. With the help of his Iraq interpreter and family and friends, he raised $3,500 to get the dog from Amman, Jordon to San Diego where colleagues will be watching over and training Nubs until Dennis's safe return.

This is such an inspiring story about how these two found each other in the middle of a war zone.
Get the Full Story Here

Have an inspiring pet story that you would like the world to hear about? Share it with Polka Dot Pup and it maybe featured in our "Dogs in the News" segment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hollywood Hounds and the Celebs that Love Them!

Hey, it's tough being a celebipup. Alright, so maybe all the pampering and gourmet and designer goodies wouldn't be so bad but all the puparratzi would sure drive me up the wall.

I always love a little sneak peek into the celeb lifestyle and who knew, stars love pets too! Lucky for us, AOL Music put together a gallery of celebrities and their dogs. Check it out and see what you and your pup might have in common with Ashley Simpson and her American Bulldog or Nicole Richie and her Pomeranian.

Dream big pups, you never know when you might be the next Hollywood Hound!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Valentine's Day - Doggie Style

Valentine's Day is 3 days away!

Us here at Polka Dot Pup have been gearing up for this love inspired holiday because whether single or taken, there is always a special someone to celebrate. Someone who is always there for you, gives you all the attention you desire and more and always brings you gifts such as a slobbery squeaky toy or tennis ball. If this sounds like your significant other than you might want to rethink that relationship....I'm taking about your favorite four legged friend, your constant canine company of course!

Whether you are the ultimate pet lover ready to deck your dog out on V-Day or you thought it might be fun to pick up a little something for your pet, I have put a list together of some of Polka Dot Pup's favorite Valentine's Day finds. From chocolate covered strawberry squeaky toys to pet friendly chocolates, there is a pup perfect Valentine's Day gift idea for everyone....

Valentine's Day - Doggie Style

With Love,

Polka Dot Pup

See more of my Valentine's Day - Doggie Style list at ThisNext.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


DIVINE CANINE: The Monks' Way to a Happy, Obedient Dog
Author: The Monks of New Skete

The Monks of New Skete are a rare breed when it comes to dog training. Based in Cambridge, New York, the monks from this Eastern Orthodox monastic community are known for their breeding of German Shepherds and are sought after for dog behavior dilemmas.

Divine Canine is their third book in a line of best sellers such as How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend and The Art of Raising a Puppy. I found the book to be a great hands on guide to tackling some common canine behavior issues. The reader gets to follow Brother Christopher through the training process of nine different dogs such as the bull-headed Bulldog Hugo or the dog with two faces, a Rottweiler mix named Boomer, all with diverse behavior problems. The imagery and stories within the pages of the book really allow you dive into the subject matter and get a first hand look into the Monks' training techniques.

I love the fact that this book is so easy to follow, each training session outlines the bio's for each dog, insight into their unruly behaviors and step-by-step descriptions on how they overcome their obstacles. Along with the training guidelines, the book offers amazing images, Q&A for commonly asked pet owner questions and quotes from the Monks themselves.

Polka Dot Pup recommends this book as a great guide for new pet owners or as a useful tool for someone who is looking to finesse or enforce the five essential obedience commands (sit, heel, stay, down and come) and enhance the bond between themselves and their pet.

To get more information on The Monks of New Skete and Divine Canine, go to You can also catch the Monks in action in their new series Divine Canine: With the Monks of New Skete, premiering on Animal Planet on April 18th at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Polka Dot Pup Product Rating -

Written by Becca Plummer/Polka Dot Pup

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Milk-Bone is Turning 100!

Is your pup a Milk-boneaholic? Well it's time to celebrate 100 years (that would be 700 in doggie years, bow-wow!) of these pupalicious treats.

To bring in the big 1-0-0, Del Monte Pet Products is giving dogs across the country the chance to win a $100,000 contract to serve as the first-ever Milk-Bone 100th Anniversary SpokesDog, plus a digital camera. I don't know about you but I know a certain dog who could buy a lot of bones with that prize money.

All you have to do is visit the brands website,, and submit an image or video of your favorite moment with your pet. You have until September 18, 2008 to submit your entries so go out there and create great pup and parent moments you will treasure forever!

If you think the celebration stops there, check out some of the other amazing activities Milk-Bone will be a part of this year -

· Milk-Bone® Gives Back to its Canine Heroes: Milk-Bone® is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a special donation through the Milk-Bone® Canine Heroesprogram, a longstanding, national outreach program that provides canine assistance service dogs to individuals with physical disabilities, as well as police dogs for law enforcement organizations. This year Milk-Bone® will make a donation of $1 million to provide more than 100 dogs to the Milk-Bone® Canine Heroes program, as well as a significant donation of Milk-Bone® product to canine assistance programs across the country.

· Milk-Bone® Hosts a 100th Anniversary Celebration in the Big Apple: The Milk-Bone® brand is conducting a paw-ful of activities including a star-studded anniversary celebration event to be held in New York City, the birthplace of Milk-Bone®, later this year.

· Milk-Bone® Hits the Road to Celebrate with its Four-Legged Friends: Kicking-off this spring, the Make A Milk-Bone Moment™ contest mobile tour will be stopping in 14 cities, nationwide, to bring the 100th Anniversary celebration to the brand’s four-legged fans. In addition to giving four-legged friends and pet parents an unforgettable opportunity to interact, play and create new Milk-Bone Moments™, as well as enjoy free product samples, the tour will give pet parents and their dogs an opportunity to enter the Make A Milk-Bone Moment™ Contest.

To enter the
Make a Milk-Bone Moment contest or to get more info on Milk-Bones (their history and how they can keep the veterinarian away), go to

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Dogs - Polka Dot Pup Heads to the Snow

With all of the SoCal rainy weather we have been getting in the last few weeks, our Polka Dot Pup crew was inspired to hit the road and head to the snow.

For our main mascot Vixen, this was her first ever trip. Although she has an obsession with water (being a Lab and all), we weren't exactly sure how she would react to this white fluffy stuff.
We should have known! As soon as that pup step outside, she was in snow dog heaven. She couldn't get enough of that white powder and spent hours romping around and hunting for animals in the brush.

The snow is definitely a great place to spend some owner-pup bonding time this winter but remember to stay safe, the cold weather can take a toll on your furry friends. Check out some great Cold Weather Tips from Kennel and Dog Magazine -

Heating Up Chilly Dogs
Cold Weather Tips to Keep Pets Warm

By Bernadine Cruz, DVM
Provided by Pfizer

Do provide proper shelter:

Do provide indoor dogs with a warm sleeping area away from drafts.

Do use caution around bodies of water. Keep pets away from rivers, ponds and lakes as they begin to freeze. Continue to use caution even when the water appears completely frozen.

Do keep hair around paw pads trimmed. Less hair will help keep paws free of ice and snow, which can quickly ball up between footpads and create uncomfortable walking conditions for pets.

Do check paw pads for small cuts and cracks. Consider dog boots for dogs that react negatively to walking on ice and snow - especially dogs that react to snow removal products.

Do clean your dog's paws after walks to remove salt and snow removal chemicals, which can be toxic to pets.

Do check your dog's ears, tail and feet for frostbite. Just as dogs are sensitive to hot summer sidewalks, cold winter walkways may cause pain or contribute to frostbite. A dog that continually lifts individual legs off the ground during a winter walk may feel the effects of frostbite. Frostbitten skin may appear red or gray. If you suspect frostbite, wrap your dog's feet in a blanket or towels to gradually warm them and contact your veterinarian.

Do provide the proper type and amount of food for the season. Dogs housed outdoors and dogs that participate in strenuous outdoor activities may require additional food during colder weather. On the other hand, indoor dogs that exercise less frequently in colder months may need less food.

Do provide adequate fresh, unfrozen water. If your dog lives outside, consider investing in a heated water bowl. Indoor dogs also may require more water to combat dry winter air.

Do invest in a pet sweater for shorthaired breeds. Watch for telltale signs that your pet is cold. Like us, pets will shiver in response to being chilled.

Do keep puppies and older dogs indoors except for short periods of time. As with humans, young and old dogs are more susceptible to the effects of the cold.

Do keep dogs on a leash - especially during bad weather or snowstorms when they can lose their ability to find their way by smell.

Do pay attention to snow removal. Avoid piling snow near fences and creating an escape route for curious pets.

Do keep identification tags updated in the event your dog runs away.

Do clean up antifreeze spills immediately. Many dogs like the sweet smell and taste and, unfortunately, even very small amounts can be lethal to them. If you suspect that your dog has ingested antifreeze, take your dog to your veterinarian immediately. There may be time for Antizol-Vet, an anti-freeze antidote, to help your dog. Also consider using an animal-friendly anti-freeze.

Do maintain your pet's grooming schedule. Regular brushing keeps your dog's coat supple and prepared for the cold. However, when you bathe your pet, be sure to dry his coat thoroughly before allowing him outside.

Do visit your veterinarian for a checkup before the cold weather strikes. Cold weather may exacerbate certain conditions, such as arthritis. Sudden changes in the weather or drops in temperature may affect pets suffering from osteoarthritis.

Don't suddenly house an indoor dog outdoors. Dogs require a month or more (as seasons change) to become accustomed to lower winter temperatures.

Don't keep your dog outside in all conditions. Pay attention to the thermometer. If it dips too far below freezing, it's too cold for any dog - even those accustomed to being outside.

Don't treat all dogs alike. While some breeds such as Alaskan malamutes or huskies may be able to spend long periods out of doors in cold weather, other breeds such as greyhounds or Dobermans to not have the same protective fur.

Don't leave pets alone in cars during cold weather months. When the engine is off, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold.

For more pets tips, check out

Do you have a pup that loves the snow? We want to hear about it! Send your snow dog story along with an attached image to and it may be featured in our "Snow Dogs" series.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Puppy Bowl IV

The pups hit the field February 3rd at 3pm for Animal Planet's fourth annual Puppy Bowl. Get a group of your favorite four legged friends together and catch the game during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl. For the first time ever, this hair raising event will be featured in HDTV so you catch every adorable puppy play as clear as can be.

Check out Animal Plant and vote for your favorite puppy player. The site also features a great guide to creating the perfect Puppy Bowl party, pup related games and tons of cute pooch pics.

The great thing about this program (other than the fact that it is just too cute) is that a number of the puppies featured in Puppy Bowl IV will come from the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, Md., Homeward Tails Rescue and other Washington, D.C. area shelters and if you are interested in adopting your own adorable pup, Animal Planet features a link to for finding adoptable pets.

If you can't catch the show at 3pm, Animal Planet will be replaying the program at 6pm and 9pm as well as on February 4th at 12am.

To get more information about Puppy Bowl IV, visit Animal Planet

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Walking the Dog - Product Guide

As January rolls along, have you been keeping your New Year's resolutions?? For those of you who promised their pooches more trips out and about (like myself), I have come up with a list of products that will help inspire any dog walker!

Walking the Dog: Gifts for your dog walker

Here's to keeping 2008 active, Happy Walking!

See more of my Walking the Dog: Gifts for your dog walker list at ThisNext.

Products on Polka Dot Pup

Interested in seeing your dog products blogged about on Polka Dot Pup? Would you like to put Vixen to the test with your products in a chance to have them featured in our Polka Dot Product Pick Segment?

For information on how to send product samples, please contact us at: