BlogPaws 2018 Conference Review

I had been waiting to attend the BlogPaws conference for years.  My mom surprised me with tickets for my birthday last year.  Since receiving the gift, I began counting down the days until the conference’s arrival.

My husband and I loaded our tripawd pooch, Penny, into the car and made the four hour journey to Kansas City, Missouri.  Not only was this to be our first BlogPaws, but it was their 10th Anniversary Conference as well.  Penny did a fabulous job traveling.  She slept most of the way there!
We made it to Kansas City, Missouri!
In the three days that followed, we had the privilege of meeting other pet parents and bloggers.  We swapped stories and business cards and of course, snuggles with their fur babies!  I loved getting to meet with representatives from the various brands that were present at the conference.
So much knowledge was contained within every breakout session.  Speaker Elizabeth Keene taught attendees the ins and outs of using Facebook Ads.  I had no idea that I could drill down and see what other pages my followers were viewing.  My husband, Matt, learned about Blogging with Goals with the team from Dragon 360.
I learned how to use the Tailwind app to grow my followers on Instagram.  Melissa Megginson’s presentation was fantastic and provided step-by-step guidance along with other tricks to customizing Tailwind for maximum effect.
One of my favorite sessions was How to Use Instagram Stories to Boost Engagement and Connect with Your Pack.  The speakers Meesha Kauffman, Marika Meeks, Tori Mistick, and Hannah Zulueta were outstanding.  I had never used Instagram stories before attending their lecture.  Now, I use it almost every day.  Their tips were easily attainable and I wish that the session would have been longer.  There is so much to learn!
On Friday, my husband attended The Art of Smartphone Photography.  Being an avid photographer, he was eager to learn new ways to use his phone to capture amazing shots.  Meanwhile, I was attending the Repurpose for Profit:  How to Create a Content Calendar That Can Actually Make You Money given by Abagail Pumphrey and Emylee Williams.  They had so many great ideas on how to multiple the use of my content to other social media channels.
My favorite event was the 1 on 1 sessions.  Attendees could select one speaker to spend 10 minutes with asking any questions about his/her specialty.  I selected Marika Meeks.  She gave me invaluable tips for growing one of my Instagram accounts.  Marika was very friendly and enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge with a fellow pet lover/blogger.
While we were unable to attend the Nose to Nose Awards due to a scheduling conflict with another conference, a BlogPaws worker was nice enough to let us snap a few pics on the red carpet before we had to depart and head to our next destination.
Time for the conference to begin!

Life’s a beach with Chewy.com!

Stealing kisses from Penny at the Merrick booth.

Showing off our newbie ribbon.

Chilling poolside at the Frontline display.

Striking a pose on the BlogPaws red carpet.

We loved getting to see our friends Ashley and Baxter from Wayside Waifs!

It was an honor meeting fellow author Keri Claiborne Boyle!
Penny met a fellow tripawd, Skylar!
We are proud to support Halo and their #HaloFeeditForward campaign.
I donned poop glasses at the Humarian booth.

Did you know that #PetsStayFree at the Red Roof Inn?

We enjoyed a delicious lunch thanks to the folks with Seresto.

Hamming it up with Solid Gold.

Penny loved the food by Weruva.

Penny loved hanging out with the large Whimzees.

Penny got to meet the famous cat, Coco!

Penny needed a quick nap between sessions.

Penny loved meeting Rochelle from the Broke Dog blog.  Her dog, Henry, looks just like Penny!

Getting more snuggles at the Morrison Foundation booth.

The lovely ladies at Whisk and Wag made delicious treats that Penny loved.

Penny begging for more of Tomlyn’s pill paste.

Penny definitely wants the new pop up pool from DOOG.
Penny takes a diva moment on the red carpet.

Penny helped take notes during the sessions.
Penny and I were beyond excited to meet Bruce Wayne and his cloned puppies!
Penny met an adorable Frenchie named Fria!
Penny loved getting hugs from the ladies at the Frontline display.

Jordan from Pets Empower strikes a pose with Penny.

Penny made new friends at the Red Roof Inn booth.

Penny tried every flavor of treat at the Vita Bone booth.

So excited to have shared my book at the Living Room display.
What an awesome conference!  Time to rest.
If you have never attended a BlogPaws conference, you are missing out!  Not only do you get to meet passionate pet people, but you get to connect with the brands in a one-on-one environment.  Plus, you will receive a ridiculous amount of swag!  Our official BlogPaws swag bags were seriously heavy.  Several brands also gave away free products such as the Comfort Zone Calming Vest and Lenny Pads, washable pee pads.
I’m officially hooked on BlogPaws!  I can’t wait to attend the conference next year in sunny Florida.

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BlogPaws 2018 Review

I had been waiting to attend the BlogPaws conference for years.  My mom surprised me with tickets for my birthday last year.  Since receiving the gift, I began counting down the days until the conference’s arrival.

My husband and I loaded our tripawd pooch, Penny, into the car and made the four hour journey to Kansas City, Missouri.  Not only was this to be our first BlogPaws, but it was their 10th Anniversary Conference as well.  Penny did a fabulous job traveling.  She slept most of the way there!

                                                  We made it to Kansas City, Missouri!
In the three days that followed, we had the privilege of meeting other pet parents and bloggers.  We swapped stories and business cards and of course, snuggles with their fur babies!  I loved getting to meet with representatives from the various brands that were present at the conference.
So much knowledge was contained within every breakout session.  Speaker Elizabeth Keene taught attendees the ins and outs of using Facebook Ads.  I had no idea that I could drill down and see what other pages my followers were viewing.  My husband, Matt, learned about Blogging with Goals with the team from Dragon 360.
learned how to use the Tailwind app to grow my followers on Instagram.  Melissa Megginson’s presentation was fantastic and provided step-by-step guidance along with other tricks to customizing Tailwind for maximum effect.
One of my favorite sessions was How to Use Instagram Stories to Boost Engagement and Connect with Your Pack.  The speakers Meesha Kauffman, Marika Meeks, Tori Mistick, and Hannah Zulueta were outstanding.  I had never used Instagram stories before attending their lecture.  Now, I use it almost every day.  Their tips were easily attainable and I wish that the session would have been longer.  There is so much to learn!
On Friday, my husband attended The Art of Smartphone Photography.  Being an avid photographer, he was eager to learn new ways to use his phone to capture amazing shots.  Meanwhile, I was attending the Repurpose for Profit:  How to Create a Content Calendar That Can Actually Make You Money given by Abagail Pumphrey and Emylee Williams.  They had so many great ideas on how to multiple the use of my content to other social media channels.
My favorite event was the 1 on 1 sessions.  Attendees could select one speaker to spend 10 minutes with asking any questions about his/her specialty.  I selected Marika Meeks.  She gave me invaluable tips for growing one of my Instagram accounts.  Marika was very friendly and enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge with a fellow pet lover/blogger.
While we were unable to attend the Nose to Nose Awards due to a scheduling conflict with another conference, a BlogPaws worker was nice enough to let us snap a few pics on the red carpet before we had to depart and head to our next destination.

                                               Time for the conference to begin!

 

                                                     Life’s a beach with Chewy.com!

 

                                       Stealing kisses from Penny at the Merrick booth.

 

                                                     Showing off our newbie ribbon.

 

                                              Chilling poolside at the Frontline display.

 

                                           Striking a pose on the BlogPaws red carpet.

 

                       We loved getting to see our friends Ashley and Baxter from Wayside Waifs!

 

                                  It was an honor meeting fellow author Keri Claiborne Boyle!

 

Penny met a fellow tripawd, Skylar!

 

                         We are proud to support Halo and their #HaloFeeditForward campaign.

 

                                          I donned poop glasses at the Humarian booth.

 

                                    Did you know that #PetsStayFree at the Red Roof Inn?

 

                           We enjoyed a delicious lunch thanks to the folks with Seresto.

 

                                                    Hamming it up with Solid Gold.

 

                                                  Penny loved the food by Weruva.

 

                                     Penny loved hanging out with the large Whimzees.

 

                                             Penny got to meet the famous cat, Coco!

 

                                           Penny needed a quick nap between sessions.

 

Penny and Rochelle BaRoss from The Broke Dog

Penny loved meeting Rochelle from the Broke Dog blog.  Her dog, Henry, looks just like Penny!

 

                                 Getting more snuggles at the Morrison Foundation booth.

 

                       The lovely ladies at Whisk and Wag made delicious treats that Penny loved.

 

                                         Penny begging for more of Tomlyn’s pill paste.

 

                                    Penny definitely wants the new pop up pool from DOOG.

 

                                          Penny takes a diva moment on the red carpet.

 

                                            Penny helped take notes during the sessions.

 

                 Penny and I were beyond excited to meet Bruce Wayne and his cloned puppies!

 

                                        Penny met an adorable Frenchie named Fira!

 

                           Penny loved getting hugs from the ladies at the Frontline display.

 

                                  Jordan from Pets Empower strikes a pose with Penny.

 

Penny with Red Roof Inn Peeps

                                  Penny made new friends at the Red Roof Inn booth.

 

                                 Penny tried every flavor of treat at the Vita Bone booth.

 

                          So excited to have shared my book at the Living Room display.

 

                                            What an awesome conference!  Time to rest.
If you have never attended a BlogPaws conference, you are missing out!  Not only do you get to meet passionate pet people, but you get to connect with the brands in a one-on-one environment.  Plus, you will receive a ridiculous amount of swag!  Our official BlogPaws swag bags were seriously heavy.  Several brands also gave away free products such as the Comfort Zone Calming Vest and Lenny Pads, washable pee pads.
I’m officially hooked on BlogPaws!  I can’t wait to attend the conference next year in sunny Florida.

Packing with Pets

I am beyond excited to be attending my very first BlogPaws conference in Kansas City, Missouri!  We are even taking our tripawd pooch, Penny, along.  She loves to travel.

Being the major organizational planner of the family, I actually started packing last week.  To me, planning ahead is crucial to having a successful and stress-free trip.  There is nothing worse than realizing halfway into the trip that you have forgotten something important.

Below are my top five tips to packing with pets:

1. Invest in a collapsible water dish. Not only will this save room in your suitcase, but the dishes are lightweight and portable making them the perfect solution for both indoor and outdoor use.  Many even come with a carabiner that you can clip onto your dog’s leash or even your belt.  My husband and I are very wary about allowing our pups to drink from communal water bowls.  While I’m sure that those who provide such bowls have the best of intentions, these can quickly become a breeding ground for diseases.  You won’t know how often the bowl is being cleaned or if the other pooches who are partaking are up to date on their vaccinations.  Play it safe and bring your own dish.

2.  Pack enough of your pet’s food to last for the duration of the trip.  Many hotels boast that they offer five star dining for our furry companions.  The problem?  Suddenly switching up a dog’s food can wreak havoc on their tiny tummies.  My husband and I experienced this first hand.  We were changing foods and despite my best efforts, Matt was convinced that if he just started feeding our pack the new food, everything would be fine.  Most of our pups handled the sudden change with ease.  But not our Dachshund, Hope.  I came home from work to find 12 different spots of doggy diarrhea throughout our house.  And this lasted for several days.  If you are looking to change your pet’s food, be sure to slowly mix in the new food with the old over the course of several weeks until you pet’s tummy has had a chance to adjust.  You don’t want to have diarrhea in your car while traveling!

3.  Speaking of poo, don’t forget the poop bags!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen fellow pet parents allow their dogs to poo in a public place and then walk away leaving a very unpleasant surprise for someone else to discover later.  Not only is this rude (and messy to clean up when it gets on your shoes) but it is very unsanitary.  Some pups like to snack on poo.  Imagine what would happen if your dog found a “snack” at a rest stop along your travels.  This could lead to a host of health issues if the pooping pooch is not current on vaccinations as well as heart worm preventatives.  Skip the trip to the animal hospital and pick up that poo.

4.   Don’t forget the pet sunscreen!  Whether you plan to spend most of your time at the beach or on hiking trails, your furry companion is just as susceptible to sunburn as you are.  On both cats and dogs, their snouts as well as their ears are most likely to feel the burn.  My husband and I found a pet sunscreen that comes in stick form, almost like lip balm.  And don’t forget about your pet’s paw pads.  This tender area of the foot can also be scorched by the searing sun.  Beat the heat and enjoy cooling off with a treat.

5.  Always pack a copy of your pet’s most recent medical records.  Some pet-friendly events even make this a requirement in order for your pets to be granted access to the event.  Rabies tags alone are not always deemed as valid proof of your pet’s good health.  Since my husband and I have a rather large pack, I keep two separate binders filled with their medical records:  one for the dogs and one for the cats.  Each section is labeled with the pet’s name so that I can locate the records quickly.  Having a copy of the most recent records on hand will be especially useful if (heaven forbid) your pet should become sick while on the road.  This will save the new vet precious time that would be spend calling your vet’s office for the same information.  Be sure that the records include proof of a health examination as well as rabies and other booster vaccinations.

Safe travels and remember to enjoy the journey!

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Packing with Pets

I am beyond excited to be attending my very first BlogPaws conference in Kansas City, Missouri!  We are even taking our tripawd pooch, Penny, along.  She loves to travel.

Being the major organizational planner of the family, I actually started packing last week.  To me, planning ahead is crucial to having a successful and stress-free trip.  There is nothing worse than realizing halfway into the trip that you have forgotten something important.

Below are my top five tips to packing with pets:

1. Invest in a collapsible water dish. Not only will this save room in your suitcase, but the dishes are lightweight and portable making them the perfect solution for both indoor and outdoor use.  Many even come with a carabiner that you can clip onto your dog’s leash or even your belt.  My husband and I are very wary about allowing our pups to drink from communal water bowls.  While I’m sure that those who provide such bowls have the best of intentions, these can quickly become a breeding ground for diseases.  You won’t know how often the bowl is being cleaned or if the other pooches who are partaking are up to date on their vaccinations.  Play it safe and bring your own dish.

2.  Pack enough of your pet’s food to last for the duration of the trip.  Many hotels boast that they offer five star dining for our furry companions.  The problem?  Suddenly switching up a dog’s food can wreak havoc on their tiny tummies.  My husband and I experienced this first hand.  We were changing foods and despite my best efforts, Matt was convinced that if he just started feeding our pack the new food, everything would be fine.  Most of our pups handled the sudden change with ease.  But not our Dachshund, Hope.  I came home from work to find 12 different spots of doggy diarrhea throughout our house.  And this lasted for several days.  If you are looking to change your pet’s food, be sure to slowly mix in the new food with the old over the course of several weeks until you pet’s tummy has had a chance to adjust.  You don’t want to have diarrhea in your car while traveling!

3.  Speaking of poo, don’t forget the poop bags!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen fellow pet parents allow their dogs to poo in a public place and then walk away leaving a very unpleasant surprise for someone else to discover later.  Not only is this rude (and messy to clean up when it gets on your shoes) but it is very unsanitary.  Some pups like to snack on poo.  Imagine what would happen if your dog found a “snack” at a rest stop along your travels.  This could lead to a host of health issues if the pooping pooch is not current on vaccinations as well as heart worm preventatives.  Skip the trip to the animal hospital and pick up that poo.

4.   Don’t forget the pet sunscreen!  Whether you plan to spend most of your time at the beach or on hiking trails, your furry companion is just as susceptible to sunburn as you are.  On both cats and dogs, their snouts as well as their ears are most likely to feel the burn.  My husband and I found a pet sunscreen that comes in stick form, almost like lip balm.  And don’t forget about your pet’s paw pads.  This tender area of the foot can also be scorched by the searing sun.  Beat the heat and enjoy cooling off with a treat.

5.  Always pack a copy of your pet’s most recent medical records.  Some pet-friendly events even make this a requirement in order for your pets to be granted access to the event.  Rabies tags alone are not always deemed as valid proof of your pet’s good health.  Since my husband and I have a rather large pack, I keep two separate binders filled with their medical records:  one for the dogs and one for the cats.  Each section is labeled with the pet’s name so that I can locate the records quickly.  Having a copy of the most recent records on hand will be especially useful if (heaven forbid) your pet should become sick while on the road.  This will save the new vet precious time that would be spend calling your vet’s office for the same information.  Be sure that the records include proof of a health examination as well as rabies and other booster vaccinations.

Safe travels and remember to enjoy the journey!

Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs Book Review

Ladybug Girl is back in an all new adventure!  In Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs by David Soman and Jacky Davis, Ladybug Girl discovers a group of dogs while walking through the farmer’s market with her mom and trusty sidekick, Bingo.  The dogs belong to a rescue group.  They are all trying to find forever homes.

Ladybug Girl asks her mom if the dogs can come live with them.  But her mom says that having eight dogs would upset Bingo.  Wanting to help, Ladybug Girl decides to call upon her faithful Bug Squad!  Will the gang be able to find homes for the dogs?

I absolutely love this book!  Being an avid animal lover and proud fur mom to five rescue dogs, this story truly touches my heart.  My husband never wants me to go into an animal shelter because he knows that I want to take them all home.  Ladybug Girl and I definitely share a passion for animals!

I also love how Ladybug Girl looks for ways to help even after her mom tells her she can’t adopt the eight dogs.  Many children would not be mature enough to get passed the “no” and seek to find another solution other than adoption.  Not only is Ladybug Girl resourceful, but she is also not afraid to ask for help from her friends.

Soman’s illustrations are gorgeous!  Each dog has a very distinct personality that can easily be seen in their facial expressions.  My favorite is Daisy the Dachshund.  She acts just like my doxie, Hope!  Children will definitely be drawn to this colorful cast of canine characters.

This is a wonderful story that highlights the importance of animal rescue groups and the adoption option.  The book is perfect for animal lovers of all ages and would be a great addition to any humane education class.

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Riley Carson and the Cherokee Caves Book Review

Riley Carson and her best friend, Finn, love going on adventures.  Finn is an avid ghost hunter and Riley has a passion for animals.  Together, they make the ultimate mystery solving duo.

In Riley Carson and the Cherokee Caves by Megan Wargula, Riley and Finn discover a number of deceased dogs that seem to have been abused.  With the death of her dog, Sammy, still fresh on her mind, Riley will do whatever it takes to end the canine cruelty.

The pair believe that there may be some connection to the crimes with the mystical Cherokee Caves.  Legend has it that the Cherokee hid their gold among the complex system of caves when they were forced off of their land.  Locating the caves proves to be much more challenging than expected.

Riley soon discovers that she has a somewhat magical gift that may provide clues to this epic mystery.  Will Finn and Riley ever find the mysterious caves?  Will the dogs of Roswell ever be safe again?

I was hooked on this story from page one!  Wargula’s writing style truly captures the tension and suspense that Riley and Finn face throughout the book.  When I reached the end of each chapter, I kept wanting to read more.

Being an avid animal advocate and proud fur parent to five rescue dogs, I love that Wargula’s book highlights the cruelty of puppy mills.  Many people do not realize where the cute puppies in the pet stores come from.  Their parents are often treated horribly.  One of my own dogs was rescued from a puppy mill.  She was kept in a cage for most of her young life and her leg muscles did not properly develop.  While she is able to walk, she can’t jump.

This is a wonderful story for readers ages 8-12.  The book would also make a wonderful gift for those that work in animal rescue or have a passion for pets.

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