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.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dog Gone New Years Resolutions

2008 has arrived, a perfect time to dig up those resolutions that were forgotten over the past year. What better opportunity to create some pet friendly resolutions that you and your pet will enjoy together? I could think of a few for myself and my pup (take longer walks, head out to the dog park more often)., an online guide for pet travelers and their people, polled visitors to their website about what their top New Year’s pet resolutions would be. Check out what other pet owners are resolving to do in 2008:

10. No Table Scraps: Our four-legged friends won’t be happy about this one. No more people food from the table or placed in the pet bowl, and no more plate licking either.

9. Nail Trims: Keeping pets nails trimmed properly can be a real challenge but 2008 will be a year of fewer toe nails clicking on floors.

8. Disaster Preparedness: It doesn't matter what part of the country you live in., we can all be affected by disasters. Putting together a pet disaster plan and survival kit is the plan for many pet parents in 2008.

7. Brushing Teeth: It’s recommended that you clean your pet’s teeth at least once a week, but not many pet parents do this. Looks like it’s on the “list” now.

6. Healthy Treats: Looks like many of our furry friends will be saying goodbye to processed treats. Many pet parents plan on “treating” their pets to more natural and organic treats.

5. Sit, Stay, Down: Pet obedience and training ranks high in the top pet resolutions for the year. A well behaved pet is also a less stressed pet.

4. Car Safety: We’re very pleased about this one. Pet parents plan to invest in their pet’s safety in 2008. They plan to better secure their pets when traveling by car by using a pet car seat, pet safety belt, travel carrier, or pet barrier.

3. More Road Trips: Whether it’s a trip to Grandma’s house, a visit to the pet store, or a vacation to Hilton Head – pet parent’s resolve to do more of them with their pets.

2. More Bonding Activities: Pet parents have vowed to include their pets in shopping trips, dinners at pet friendly restaurants, and other pet friendly places.

1. More Exercise: Whether it’s walks, runs, fetch, or hikes. Getting Fido and Fluffy moving is the top New Year’s pet resolution.

Check out for other great pet polls as well as dog travel accommodations and resources.

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: