Friday, June 1, 2018

5 Critical Things People Forget to Take When Hiking with Dogs

Hiking is an amazing way to connect with nature and with your dog. This simple exercise of strolling amidst nature away from the incessant barrage of notifications is gratifying, to say the least. A...

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Retriever Rolls And The PetAction Flea & Tick Collar For Dogs At BJ’s Wholesale Club!

This post is sponsored by BJ’s Wholesale Club. Dog Files is being compensated for helping spread the word about BJ’s Wholesale Club Pet Food.

I was very excited when BJ’s Wholesale Club got in touch with me about checking out some of their great dog products over the coming year. It’s also nice that my local BJ’s is in walking distance to my place!

When I visited BJ’s, I was impressed with the aisle space dedicated to pets. They weren’t kidding around when they said pets are important to them.

For my first trip they asked me to pick out two items for my dog, Remy to try. Being that Remy is not a “playing with a toy” kind of dog, I decided to try two very different things. First up, is something they he loves, but probably doesn’t get enough of.

Remy is closing in on 14 years old of age and, quite frankly, spends a lot of his day sleeping. I needed something that would really light up his interest AND keep him busy for more than the minute or two it takes him to eat some treats and these Retriever Rolls were perfect for that. Just check out how into it Remy seems to be in the video below.

Berkley Jensen Retriever Rolls Dog Chews is part of BJ’s Wholesale Club’s own line of pet products under their private brand name, Berkley Jensen. They are made with 100% U.S. Beef Hides, they last a very long time and also help remove tartar and plaque from your pup’s mouth.

Remy is closing in on 14 years old of age and, quite frankly, spends a lot of his day sleeping. I needed something that would really light up his interest AND keep him busy for more than the minute or two it takes him to eat some treats and these Retriever Rolls were perfect for that. Just check out how into it Remy seems to be in the video below.

Berkley Jensen Retriever Rolls Dog Chews is part of BJ’s Wholesale Club’s own line of pet products under their private brand name, Berkley Jensen. They are made with 100% U.S. Beef Hides, they last a very long time and also help remove tartar and plaque from your pup’s mouth.

For my second product, I went with something a bit different. The PetAction Collar – 6 Month Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs. With the flea & tick season about to get started across the country, I thought this would be a great product to try. And since moving to Florida three years ago, I found out that down here, the flea & tick season is all year round!

Right off the bat, it was great to see I would get two of the collars in one package. Each collar lasts 6 months, so this would last Remy one whole year.

For new pet owners, fleas seem like no big deal, till your dog gets them. They make your pup feel miserable and can cause some very serious issues. The most common is flea bite dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to flea saliva. Sadly, Remy has this and fleas make him miserable.

I believe that tamping down on flea and ticks are a multi-front issue calling for different solutions at different stages, but the best is to either not get them or kill them quickly, so I’m very interested in how the collar works for Remy. Please remember that each dog is different and you should always watch your pup carefully when you try a new flea & tick product to make sure it is working and not causing any issues for your pet.

I will definitely report back over the coming months about how the PetAction Collar is working for the Remster.

Check out the video below for a step by step on how to use the collar with your dog.


This adorable Loofa Dog & Lambchop Plush Toy is available in-club only for $9.99.

Three is always better than one, and this toy set will keep your canine content beyond the holidays. Lamb Chop is soft enough for a game of fetch. Two Loofa Dog toys are great for tug of war, and one can be used as a back scratcher — your pooch will be begging for even more rubs!


Nylabone’s Chew Toy 2-Pack is available in-club only for $12.99.

A busy dog is a good dog, and our new toy assortments offer hours of positive stimulation for your pup at unbeatable savings. They make great gifts for dog lovers, too, so stock up while they last.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Lets You Contribute To Saving Beloved Pets Lets You Contribute To Saving Beloved Pets

Kenn Bell

07 March 2016 is the only pet-dedicated funding platform that allows you to partner with leading veterinary clinics around the country to help save pets in need.

Waggle’s goal is to prevent what veterinarians refer to as “economic euthanasia”—a far-too-common and tragic outcome for many pet owners; this occurs when a pet owner, lacking the money to pay for vet services, must make a heartbreaking decision to let a pet go.

As a pet owner with an old dog, I know how much this can affect a person or family and I’m hopeful this will be able to help many, many pets and their families.


As the only pet-dedicated funding platform that partners with leading veterinary clinics around the country, Waggle’s “eyes and ears” are the veterinarians. When faced with a case that a practice might otherwise have to turn away for lack of funds, the point-of-contact person at the practice will determine a candidate’s eligibility for Waggle assistance and guide the pet owner to the Waggle Web site, with both the veterinarian and the client completing and submitting a questionnaire. The case and a photo will be posted on the web site for public viewing and veterinary hospitals and pet guardians will also be able to share it among friends and colleagues in their own community and on social media, as well. Waggle’s trusted guarantee assures that the case has been vetted and verifed.

“A half-million pets in the US are put down annually for lack of financial resources for treatment”

In a perfect world, donations will cover the entire treatment. But for the foreseeable future, Waggle is maintaining a cap on each case at $2,000 (a figure determined to be realistically typical by the veterinary members of Waggle’s advisory committee). Waggle guarantees that 100% of the donations earmarked for a particular case will go to that individual animal’s care, with the money being sent directly to the veterinary hospital, providing total transparency.

Waggle is currently aligned with mostly large-scale, multi-outlet veterinary practices throughout the United States and Canada, in order to reach the greatest number of potential clients right out of the gate. However, Waggle expects to collaborate with individual veterinarians who operate major facilities, and ultimately Waggle hopes to provide funding to small, “mom-and-pop” veterinary practices and to select animal shelters, as well.

“Waggle guarantees that 100% of the donations earmarked for a particular case will go to that individual animal’s care”

Below are three of the first pets that need help on Just click on the individual photos to read their story and get involved with helping them.

Help Greta


Help Miss MuffeT


Help Kousa


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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

5 Tips When Caring For A Pitbull.

Pitbulls are famous for their energy and strength and are well-regarded by true-blue Pitbull-lovers for their unique character and disposition as well as an athletic and chiseled body. Pitbull owners profess to having pets that are exceptionally easy to train and very loyal to their families. However, not everyone will have an easy time training a Pitbull. This breed of dog requires as much care and affection including proper training and excellent nutrition as any other breed. The key is to start early, train your pitbull pup and use your knowledge of your pitbull’s needs and personality to build a good and loving relationship.

Important Pointers
Regarding Pitbull Care

Build Good Relationships

Pitbulls love interacting with people and are not shy when they meet new folks. These dogs are a bunch of joy and you can always use their boundless energy to build good relationships with them. One of the keys to building good relationships is to allow your dog to socialize with others, other pooches and people together so that it can build good relationships. Socialization is the most important step to raising a well-balanced dog, and it has to be done correctly, in a controlled manner. This means, allowing interaction but only in an environment that is supervised and familiar, like at home or at the garden.

Ensure Great Care by a Veterinarian

Pitbulls require the right care to promote good health and prevent diseases that are very common in this breed. First and foremost, make sure that your pet has all the vaccinations necessary and that it is de-wormed and checked for fleas as well as ticks. A dog that is well taken care of is happier and healthier. Spaying or neutering your pitbull is also an important step that will help promote a well-rounded nature.

Allow a Lot of Exercise

Pitbulls are very solid and muscular dogs that have a lot of innate energy and enthusiasm. Exercise is important in dissipating all that energy stored in the dog’s body. So you need to make sure your pooch is getting enough. Taking them out for a run for about 60 minutes every day not only satisfies your dog’s need for exercise; it also helps enhance its bond with you. You can also go out for walks or play games or you can simply give them space to run around or move at home.

Watch Their Health

Feeding your dog properly is key to making sure it remains healthy and lean. Obese pitbulls will experience strain on the muscles, organs, and joints. The breed is also at risk of cataracts and hip dysplasia, and regular check-ups can monitor these and other possible conditions.

Your pitbull will require the right balance between protein and vitamins to keep it healthy. However, allergies to carbohydrates like grains and wheat can develop. At best, opt for high-grade food that is fresh and have no artificial flavors on it.

Start Training as Soon as Possible

The temperament and personality of Pitbulls require obedience training to be started as early as possible, preferably while it is still a puppy. Focus on training your dog to obey your commands. To accomplish this, use positive reinforcement methods because this breed will be eager to please you.

 Pitbulls are strong and, thus, require good training and more meticulous care and attention. Take your time and invest positive energy to take good and proper care of your puppy. This is the key to raising a loving and well-balanced Pitbull.

Be sure to check out My Pet Needs That for all your pet needs!

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

5 Essential Things to Include in a Pet Travel Kit

Traveling with your pet is a great experience. It is an opportunity to spend quality time with each other and have fun seeing new places. However, it is something that you have to prepare for because...

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Ivory Tickling (or, How to Induce a Massive Pianic Attack)

How many email accounts do you have? Because I have enough to choke six horses. And the passwords they rode in on. I can’t keep up with them. I’m drowning in emails. And social media accounts. And texts.

Calgon! Take me awayyyyy! Do they even still make Calgon?

We are so much alike, you and I. Busy busy busy, working ourselves up into anxious blobs of lather. I mean, what are we doing with our lives?! Let’s make a promise to ourselves that we will calm the hell down and focus on what life is really about: peace, love and chocolate lava cakes, am I right???

Until two days ago, I had never been to the Harris Center in Folsom and holy smokes, it’s gorgeous. Acoustically gorgeous, anyway, all curved panels from floor to ceiling to diffuse unwanted sound waves and whatever other sound design terminology my husband was craning his neck to see and going on about before the Jim Brickman Joyful Christmas concert started.

Oh! And speaking of Jim Brickman, I met him before the show. (By the way, in order to avoid getting arrested by the blogging police, I must disclose that I received complimentary tickets and a CD/DVD.)

I thought of questions to ask him just for you guys, and I didn’t want to ask anything stupid, like, “Where do you get your inspiration?”, because I hear artists hate that question. And I didn’t want to ask, “So what’s it like working with [Five for Fighting/Martina McBride/Kermit the Frog/etc.]”. Because, BORRRRRRING!!! Everyone has asked him that already.

I walk up to him, say hello, and put out my hand which he shakes. Crap! Should I not have done that? I mean, he’s a pianist for chrissakes! His hands are his bread and butter. He is like a brain surgeon for hammers and strings. He can’t be shaking a bunch of hands before a concert! What if I had a vice-like grip? What was I thinking???

Great, so I’m off to a wonderful start. How much time do I have? Oh jeez, there’s a line behind me. My heart begins to race and my well-thought out plan explodes like a pressurized can of snakes. What should I ask, what should I ask, what should I ask?

Do I go for funny? Is he in a funny mood? Or is he in some pre-concert headspace? Should I be serious like some professional? Do I ask just one question? Can I get away with two?

My husband is off to the side capturing it all on my cell phone. But do I take even half a second to introduce him? No. Because I am the Hillary Swank of bloggers. So that would be faux pas #2.

I introduce myself and surprisingly he says, “Yes. You have a blog.”

I have a blog! He knows I have a blog! Woo hoo! I tell him the name of my blog because:

A. sometimes people laugh when I say it out loud, and

B. when I put a goat in his hands later, it will make at least a modicum of sense later. Maybe.

So what do you ask a multi-platinum artist who has collaborated with the likes of Kenny Rogers and Carly Simon, has no doubt agreed to thousands of interviews, and has been asked every question in the Universal Journalism Interview database? Plus, he has no idea who you are and for all he knows, you’re some weirdo blogger who has come to create an excruciatingly awkward moment 30 minutes before he takes the stage.

“Do you know who Puddles Pity Party is?” I hear myself blurt out.

“No,” he says.

Dang. What a stupid question. I feel like the idiot who has already blown her first wish with the genie asking for a million bucks only to have many, many, herds of deer suddenly show up on my lawn. Why would he know who Puddles Pity Party is, anyway? He’s a songwriter/pianist/radio show host. Not a whole lot in common with a clown who covers pop songs. Ugh.

I want to make some absurd remark (because once I get rolling on the awkward bus, I like to ride it to the end of the line) about how he must have ladies throwing their underwear on stage because, he is a bit on the attractive side, and I’d heard he had a loyal following of women of a certain age so, you know, it could be a compliment and humorous, killing two birds with one stone sort of thing.

And speaking of female fans, I would like to coin a phrase right here, right now:

Brick Chicks.

You know how Chris Pine has his Pine Nuts? And Benedict Cumberbatch has his Cumber Bitches? Jim Brickman now has Brick Chicks, thanks to me.

But I probably shouldn’t say anything about panties on stage here at the meet & greet. I don’t want to get kicked off the bus before it even pulls away from the curb.

“So, um, I hear your biggest demographic is middle-aged women?” Don’t say panties on stage. Don’t say panties on stage. Don’t say panties on stage.

“No,” he says, “actually my audience is varied.”

Dang. Well of course it’s varied. Weddings all over the world incorporate his music. He’s America’s Most Romantic Pianist in the World. Couples make babies with him playing softly in the background. Massage therapists create tranquil atmospheres in low-lit, incense-filled rooms. About a bazillion young aspiring musicians want to learn how to play like him.

Jim Brickman Folsom

Me trying not to say “panties on stage” to Jim Brickman.


Now I feel like the idiot who has blown her second wish asking the genie to take away all the deer (who are now eating all the acorns and pooping everywhere).

I’ve lost count of the faux pas by now. I feel the people behind me sending their “ok-lady-wrap-it-up” vibes, so I desperately try for one last attempt at journalism.

“So, do you receive a lot of gifts from fans?”

“Yes,” he says.

Yay! A Yes! Woo hoo! Now follow it up! Don’t be stupid! Don’t say panties on stage!

“What’s the craziest gift you ever got?”

He didn’t even hesitate. “A live dove.”

I decide to quit on a positive note and introduce him to Lacy, the Nanny Goats in Panties mascot. And I ask if he will hold her while I get a photo with him. No risk of hand injury since she’s plush. Plus I’ve told everyone I know on social media that this was my goal for the evening. And thank the ebony and ivory gods, he said yes again.

Jim Brickman Folsom

Then out in the lobby, I meet Reggie. A REAL Jim Brickman fan. Like a for-the-last-twenty-plus-years Jim Brickman fan. He may even have Brickmania, if I can coin another phrase.

When Reggie heard Brickman’s “The Gift” in 1997, it so resonated with him that he ran out and bought the sheet music so he could play it himself (for me it was “Rainbow Connection”, but we aren’t talking about me right now, are we.) And then when Brickman’s next album came out, Reggie bought the sheet music for that. And Brickman kept making albums and Reggie kept buying sheet music. Reggie has been to at least eight Jim Brickman concerts.

“I’ve read his book,” Reggie told me, “and I believe in what he says about how stress is such a big deal in our society. It’s through his music that I find peace and comfort.”

Playing Brickman’s music is like therapy for him. It helps him relax. And he spreads the Brickman gospel to all his friends who will listen. He got a bunch of stuff signed at the Meet & Greet.

“But I’m going to give them as gifts,” he said.

He plans to send them to friends and other aspiring piano players because he believes the music should be shared and hopes it inspires others the way it inspired him.

The way “The Gift” inspired him twenty-one years ago. (See what I did there? He’s sharing gifts? Jim Brickman has a song called The Gift? It’s a whole play on words…oh never mind)

Me and Reggie

Anyway, the concert was awesome to say the least. Brickman’s banter between songs is my kinda witty and none of that overacting garbage. Nice and subtle. And his performance was energetic yet intimate. And his talking voice is different, lower, than his singing voice. Like Barry White one minute, Adam Levine the next. And his solo dueling pianos bit? You have to see it to appreciate it.

I’d tell you more, but I’m already blowing surprises that were part of the enjoyment for me and I’d smack you if you had told me this ahead of time.

His next tour kicks off this month in Hawaii. You can track down his whereabouts on the Jim Brickman Tour Page.

Or check out his Joyful Christmas CD/DVD. He has released approximately eleventy million CDs, but maybe you can start with “The Gift”, like Reggie did and be struck by some Brickmania of your own.

Then draw yourself a Calgon bath, pop on some Jim Brickman and breathe.

Jim Brickman Joyful Christmas CD DVD

This one’s mine. Get yer own!


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