Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Wishes - A Dog's Purpose

Another amazing reason to be Thankful during the Holidays -

A Dog's Purpose

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life, like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long." Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting20when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
  • Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
  • Be always grateful for each new day.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Polka Dot Pup crew!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Calling All Snowboarding Bulldogs!

Polka Dot Pup came across a pet-friendly casting call that we had to share with our readers. Bulldog owners get ready, your pup could appear in this years Rose Parade! Oh, but did we mention they need to know how to snowboard??

The most unique "cattle call" in years takes place 10:30 AM on Friday, November 6th at Natural Balance Pet Foods headquarters in Pacoima, CA, as the West Coast's largest open call for bulldogs will take place. The dogs will get to test their snowboarding skills, and the winners will then go into extensive training in order to snowboard on the world's longest float at this year’s Tournament of Roses® Parade.

The two winning bulldogs will get to show off their skills along with Tillman, the “World’s Fastest Skateboarding Dog” according to The Guinness Book of World Records, as he, his sidekicks Rose, Lyle and two fellow bulldogs snowboard on the world’s longest float at the Tournament of Roses Parade. The 112 foot float will be covered in snow and offer a giant ramp for Tillman and his bulldog friends to snowboard on.

Your favorite talented bulldog can now audition to snowboard down the Natural Balance® Pet Food Float with Tillman and friends on New Year’s Day in the 121st Rose Parade®.

The casting call will be at 10:30 A.M on November 6th. The location is at Natural Balance at: 12924 Pierce Street, Pacoima, CA 91331

To schedule your dog and get priority for the audition process, register your bulldog now and email the following information to
Your name
Your dog’s name and age
Your email address
Phone number(s) where you can be reached
The best time to contact you

You will receive a confirmation by email. If you have not heard from us within 48 hours of emailing, please call 800-829-4493 and ask for Betsy Martin. Print out your confirmation and bring it with you to Natural Balance on the day of the audition.Your bulldog must be well behaved and get along with other dogs and people. Proof of current vaccinations is required. To take a look at the audition information, you can also visit

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pet-Friendly Healthy Holiday Tips - Part of the Pet 'Net Safety Event 2009

The holidays are a time for family, fun and food. Elaborate meals filled with the most tempting of tastes and as the family sits down to eat, it’s hard to ignore those big puppy dog eyes hiding beneath the fancy tablecloth. As responsible pet-owners, we must look past those adorable faces and remember that people food is not always pet-friendly food no matter how hard Fido tries to convince us otherwise.

Lucky for hungry pups around the world, there are foods that are pet and people friendly. When using these foods as treats, always remember that they should be given in small amounts and should not make up a majority of your pets diet. Also keep in mind your pets food allergies. Always consult your veterinary if you have any questions.

  • Potatoes (cooked)
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Grains
  • Yogurt (Plain, non-fat)
The holidays can also be an extremely dangerous time for your pets. With so much going on in your household, be on the lookout for items that should be placed out of reach. Also, instruct guests on what they can and cannot give your pet. Below are a few items to make sure to watch out for. Click here for a full list of ASPCA No No Foods.


  • Alcohol
  • Avocado (leaves, fruit, seeds & bark)
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Yeast Dough
  • Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs &Bones
  • Xylitol (sweetener found in gum, candy, baked goods & toothpaste)
  • Onions, Garlic, Chives
  • Milk
  • Salt (large amounts)

A great way to make your pet feel like part of the family during the holidays is to create your own pet-friendly treats. Find some of Polka Dot Pups favorite fun and tasty snacks for your favorite four legged friend to enjoy!


1 quart chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup long-grain rice
3/4 cup pearl barley
Pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1/3 pound ground turkey or ground turkey breast
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

In a small pot, warm the chicken broth over low heat. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the rice and barley and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the grains with the nutmeg and stir in half of the warm broth. Cook until the broth bubbles, about 5 minutes. Then add the turkey, crumbling it as you drop it into the skillet, and cook until the liquid is absorbed by the grains, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the broth to be fully absorbed before adding more. Cook until the barley is tender, about 18 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Cook over medium heat until just heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Makes 4 Servings, Prep 10 min, Cook 35 min

3 to 3 1/2 lbs of liver, beef or chicken
1 C whole wheat flour
2 C white flour
1/2 C corn meal
1 med shaker of grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with foil, coat with cooking spray, sprinkle lightly with corn meal and set aside. Process liver in food processor or blender until it looks like milk chocolate. Pour into large mixing bowl and blend in the rest of the ingredients. Spread evenly onto cookie sheet (the mixture will be thick) and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. Bake until no pink is left. I usually bake them for about 30 min for one pan and then turn the oven off but leave the brownies inside until they are cool. Cut in pieces and be ready to be loved by your dogs.

3 cups barley flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats or quick oats)
1 tablespoon oat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 1/4 cups peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the milk, peanut butter, molasses until smooth. You can use a mixer, blender or a whisk. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients. Mix, using the dough hook on your mixer. Or, you can mix the ingredients and then knead them by hand. Or, easiest of all, just put everything into your bread maker and let it do the work! Roll the dough out to ¼” thick. Cut into 3” bone shapes with a dog bone cookie cutter. If you want to make larger bones, roll the dough to ½” thick. Or, alternatively, you can use the little 1” dog bone cookie cutter. In this case, roll the dough to 1/8” thick. Bake the bones for 45-60 minutes for the larger bones (less cooking time for the 1” bones) or until they are lightly browned. Turn off the oven and let them finish drying overnight. They should be crisp and firm and not move when you press on them.

October 21, 2009 celebrates the 2nd Annual Pet 'Net Event. Help Polka Dot Pup along with and other pet-friendly sites spread the word about pet safety. Check out more ways to keep your pets safe and happy during the holidays at

Monday, October 19, 2009

Second Annual Pet 'Net Event

Polka Dot Pup along with and 24 other pet sites will be taking part in the Second Annual Pet 'Net Event being held on October 21, 2009 to help shine spotlight on pet safety.

In an effort to heighten awareness about critical issues related to pet safety,, the popular online destination for pet owners and pet enthusiasts from NBC Digital Networks, has organized a consortium of some of the Web’s favorite pet-focused sites to launch the Pet ‘Net Safety Event on Wednesday, October 21.

On this date, each participating site and weblog will highlight content devoted to the important topic of pet safety, with hosting a comprehensive one-page hub ( with links to all of the special coverage.

Help us spread the word of pet safety especially during the holiday session!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dogs Rule Day - An International Holiday for Dogs October 10, 2009

On this fur filled day, pet owners across the world are celebrating Dogs Rule Day, An International Holiday for Dogs brought to you by Pedigree. Created to celebrate your favorite four legged friends and everything special that they bring to your life.

You may ask, how does one celebrate this canine holiday? Check out Pedigrees top 10 ways to spend the day with your doggies -
  • Adopt a dog! What better way to celebrate than with a new best friend. Find more information on Pet Adoption.
  • Give an extra minute of bellyrubs.
  • Play fetch 'til your arm falls off.
  • Make a donation to The PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive, your local shelter, or the dog-loving charity of your choice. You can donate here.
  • Get your dog a gift basket full of snacks and treats.
  • Volunteer at a shelter.
  • Donate a bag of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs to your local shelter.
  • Hold a dog walk/parade to benefit dogs in your town.
  • Give him/her the other half of your sandwich. Just this once.
  • No baths. None.

For more great ways to make your pet feel special on Dog Rules Day (or any day!), visit

Submit your favorite Dog Rules Day moments to

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celebrating National Dog Day

Did you know that Wednesday, August 26 is National Dog Day?

So, what exactly is this annual event? Well it was founded in 2004 by pet lifestyle expert and author Colleen Paige and was created to honor our four legged friends for all that they do. This special day also serves to help the public recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year.

Spend the day celebrating your furry friends and remember the number of animals that help our society every day. Say thank you to your puppy pal with a game of fetch, a tasty dog treat or maybe just a big hug.

For more information on National Dog Day, visit

This National Dog Day, give the gift of adoption. Click here for helpful adoption tips and links.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

AKC Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Congratulations are in order for the The American Kennel Club (AKC) who is proud to be celebrating its 125th Anniversary in 2009. First founded in 1884, only nine breeds where registered at the time compared to the 161 recognized today.

Check out what breeds made the cut in 1884 -

Chesapeake Bay Retriever
English Setter
Gordon Setter
Irish Setter
Clumber Spaniel
Cocker Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniel
Sussex Spaniel

Interesting AKC tidbits:
  • In 1884 the English Cocker Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel were registered as the same breed. They were separated in 1946.

  • The original breeds are all current members of the Sporting Group - dogs bred to help man find and retrieve game.

  • None of the original nine are in today's AKC Top 10 Most Popular Dogs in the US, but the qualities that made them effective hunters, trainability and desire to please, make them ideal family dogs today.

For more information, visit

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Doggie Pool Party

For the water dog in your life, summer is prime time for being poolside. A close friend of Polka Dot Pup, known by the pups as "Aunt Treats", holds an annual doggie swim party during the summer months that is all the ruff. Here are some tips for hosting your own amazing dog-friendly pool party.

1. Invite all your puppy friends (and their owners of course!)
2. Pick up pet-friendly and human treats, because everyone will be hungry after a good swim
3. Doggie proof the backyard, make sure there is nothing lying around that the dogs can get into
4. Have lots of towels on hand!
5. Lay out bowls of fresh water, its not good to drink pool water all day
6. Pack the pool with floating toys that the pups can play with and don't forget the tennis balls (Vixen's favorite!)
7. Have designated "life guards" on hand just to make sure everyone is safe and having a good time
8. And last but not least, have a doggone good time!

Here are just a few shots from this years Aunt Treats Doggie Pool Party -

"The water feels so good!"

"You go you go first...."

Break time

Time to dry off!

Check out more cute pictures of fellow water dogs in the pool!

For more information on throwing a pet-friendly pool party or to share your doggie pool party stories or other pet-friendly events, email

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Take Your Dog to Work Day - June 26, 2009

Alright all you pup professionals out there, did you know that Friday, June 26 is Take Your Dog to Work Day (also known as TYDTWD)? The one day a year where your puppy pal can tag along for the day. So pack up the water bowl and a few doggie treats and head to the office for a pro-pup-tive day! For more information about Take Your Dog to Work Day, go to

In search of a pet-friendly company for your next career move? Check out the Top 5 Dog-Friendly Companies by

Saturday, May 30, 2009

PUPS ON THE WEB - Upside Down Dogs

If you spend as much time on the web as we do, your bound to run across some pretty funny pet sites. If your looking for some mindless entertainment, there is everything from funny pet pics to celebrity pet gossip. One of Polka Dot Pup's favorites, Upside Down Dogs.

If your not familiar with the site, its definitely worth taking a peek. If you couldn't tell by the name, the site consists of pictures of dogs upside down. One can spend hours browsing these adorable mugs, even submit your own pups picture!

Have a favorite pet site that you can't get enough of? Submit your links here!

Monday, May 25, 2009

New iPhone App for Dog Owners - DogiDuty

Nowadays there are iPhone apps for almost anything. Lucky for us pet owners, a new pet-friendly app is now available to help organize our busy lives.

Check out DogiDuty ( This iPhone application allows you to keep your dog walker, spouse or whoever is watching your pet up-to-date with important doggie duties such as if your dog has been fed, if they have taken their walk and other important pup information. All the recipient needs is a regular email account to receive your reports.

This little puppy has it all! Keep an endless list of dogs you duty, displays owner name and pet names, easy to send out reports to family members or your whole list of clients, currently track three pets per owner and it even works with built in iphone address book for easy sending.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Green Pet Products

Celebrating Earth Day has never been so pet-friendly. On April 22, let your pets get in on some earth-friendly fun by providing them with all natural alternatives. Enjoy a number of organic toys, treats and more!

Going Green - Pets

See more of my Going Green - Pets list at ThisNext.

For more green pet-friendly products, check out Top 10 Green Pet Toys from

Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter Puppy Part Two - Return of Spring-Inspired Pet Gear

Spring is a perfect time to find fun and unique pet products. Whether looking for pet-friendly gifts to fill up your pups Easter basket or just looking for some Spring-inspired gear, an assortment of brightly colored goodies are popping up like wild flowers on the web!

Below are a few of Polka Dot Pups favorite Spring-inspired pet products:

Bunny Dog Suit Costume - Trixie + Peanut

Fluff Bun Bun Dog Toy - The Haute Hound

Easter Egg Shaped Gourmet Dog Biscuits - The Barket Pet Boutique

Waterproof Daisy Daze Collar - Dublin Dog

For more great Easter gift ideas, check out my The Easter Puppy list at ThisNext or go to last year's Easter Puppy post.
The Easter Puppy

To submit your favorite pet-friendly Easter products or a funny Easter Puppy moment, click here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

DOG PARK CENTRAL - Simi Valley Welcomes New Dog Park

For all the Southern California dog lovers out there, I have to make note of a brand new dog park in town. Just over the hill from Los Angeles in a little town known as Simi Valley, they have opened their very first, much needed, dog park. This is a very exciting day for us at Polka Dot Pup as Simi Valley is our very own hometown!

Saturday, March 14 marked the opening of the park with a ribbon cutting ceremony and lots of excited pups. Vixen and I, along with our pup pal Abbey, headed down to the park to check it out and were extremely impressed with the large layout and amazing views. The park features separate, fenced play areas for both large and small dogs, a watering station on both sides, and room for pets to run. It is open from dawn to dusk, with seasonal hours posted at the site.

Interested in checking out the Simi Valley Dog Park? The park is located at 2151 Lost Canyons Drive, Simi Valley. For more information on park rules, visit

Want to give a shout-out to a new dog park in your town? Send park information to

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Obama's Pick a Presidential Pooch!

Come April, the Obama family will have a new furry friend in the White House. After months of speculation, they have decided to adopt a Portuguese Water Dog. First lady Michelle Obama spilled the news to People Magazine along with a few potential pet names...Frank and Moose.

So what is it about the Portuguese Water Dog you ask? Rumor has it these fluffy pups have a wonderful temperament. Let's learn a little more about this soon to be First Dog of the United States.

Originating from the coasts of Portugal, this medium-sized breed is prized for its strength, spirit and soundness. Athletic and active, these dogs require vigorous exercise but are very intelligent and respond well to obedience training. For all of you with pet allergies, the Portuguese Water Dog's profuse coat is hypoallergenic. To learn more about Portuguese Water Dog's, visit Check out the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America ( for adoption information.

We want to hear what you think about the Obama's choice for First Dog. Send your thoughts to

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pet-Friendly Valentine's Day Guide

Valentine's Day has gone to the dogs and who better deserving of being lavished with gifts (other than yourself of course!) than your always loving, constant companion pup. Check out a list of Valentine-inspired pet-friendly gift ideas to help you spread the puppy love.

Pet-Friendly Valentine's Day Events -

  • This Valentine's Day, Show Your Love at Petco. Come get a photo taken of your pet and receive a Valentine for that someone special. All pets welcome Saturday, February 14 11am-2pm.

Pet-Friendly Gift Ideas -

Valentine's Day - Doggie Style

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

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fur Hits the Field for Puppy Bowl V

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have walked away with a Super Bowl win but Puppy Bowl V was the game that walked away with our hearts! Returning for its fifth season, Puppy Bowl V kick started this year's extravaganza with "Pepper the Parrot" singing a unique rendition of the National Anthem. An all-star, all adoptable lineup of rambunctious pups than took the field for some fur-raising good times followed by a kitty half-time show. With so many cute pups, it was hard to pick a side. There were some intense romping and rolling with few injuries and a lot of slobber. We all hope that each and every pup finds a loving home!

All of the Puppy Players and Kitty Entertainers came from local Petfinder shelters. Visit Petfinder to browse over 300,000 listings of adoptable pets just waiting for a good home.

To check out clips from Puppy Bowl V and more information about the adorable four legged players, go to

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pet Travel - Heading to the Snow

Though the holiday's may be over, we still have winter! The Polka Dot Pup crew recently put on our long johns and headed for the hills for a little snow dog mischief. Check out some of our favorite moments from the trip.

For more snow dog pics and tips to help keep your pet safe in the cold climate, click here.

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: