The Irvine Pet Adoption is back for it’s 7th year! As far as we know Irvine Animal Shelter has two of these large Pet Adoption Fairs every year. The summertime event is dubbed the Super Pet Adoption. We actually recall going to one of the first ones with our (at the time) puppy in training, Stetson. Guide Dogs of America even ran a booth back then as I remember meeting up with Sheila and her (at the time) puppy in training Eagan, a Black and Tan Labrador Retriever.
Unfortunately, many years past and GDA did not have a booth at the Irvine Animal Shelter Pet Adoption Fairs, but guess what? You will get a chance again to see Guide Dogs of America and their puppies in training at the 7th Annual Home for the Holidays. I plan on visiting the festivities as well, but I’m not sure yet if Adelle is going to join me…we’ll see…
Puppy for Adoption at last years Pet Adoption
7th Annual Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption Fair
So what is the Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair all about? I think it’s probably one of the largest pet adoptions in Orange County with many southern Califonria rescues and shelters participating. The only one that I know of that rivals it is the America’s Family Pet Expo at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA.
Here are some of the details on this years event:
WHAT: 7th Annual Pet Adoption Fair Home For The Holidays
WHEN: December 8th, 2013, 10am – 3pm
WHERE: Irvine Animal Care Center
6443 Oak Canyon Road,
Irvine, CA 92618
Home for the Holidays was created by the Irvine Animal Care Center seven years ago to bring together rescues and shelters with one shared goal – to find homes for hundreds of homeless animals. Unlike similar pet adoption events, Home for the Holidays takes place in one afternoon at one easy-to-navigate, enclosed location. The Center makes it easy for you to find your new best friend. Last year, more than 250 lives were saved.
This year’s event will take place Sunday, December 8 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Event highlights include: 500+ adoptable dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals, dozens of pet product vendors, 50+ silent auction items, low-cost microchips and free vet and trainer advice.
- More than 500 animals for adoption
- Opportunity Drawings
- Dozens of Pet Product Vendors
- Silent Auction
- Admission $1
- Free Parking
This is a great event even if you’re not looking to adopt, but you’re just an animal lover. It gives everyone a chance to get a few pets and cuddles in as well as make a few donations to your favorite rescues, shelters, and charities. There are also a number of product vendors just in case you were looking for something special for your puppy at home.
…and don’t forget to visit our Guide Dogs of America booth and say hello to our puppies and puppy raisers.
So are you looking to adopt your next puppy or pet? If so, then I highly recommend visiting this years Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption Fair. We’ll be there working on our amateur photography chops.
Do you guys remember the last time we visited the Pet Days event in Orange County? It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but I just took a look back at the archives and we went to the First Pet Days way back in 2008! I bet a lot has changed since then and hopefully it has expanded well beyond the small section it occupied 5 years ago.
Anyhow, we’re going back to the Fall Pet Days and we’ll be there representing Guide Dogs of America! I’m scheduled to be there this Sunday, November 3rd from 9am-12pm. Unfortunately, Adelle will not be joining me (she’s a Canine Support Teams pup). However, I will be working with GDA puppy in training, Duncan.
Here’s Duncan as a puppy (he’s the little guy).
Little Duncan, Big Swagger!
Duncan’s no longer a little guy…he’s probably closer to the size of Swagger (the big guy in the pic).
OC Pet Days
Okay so let’s get to the details about these OC Pet Days…
WHAT: 4th Annual Fall Pet Days
WHEN: November 2nd and 3rd, 2013: 9am-3pm
WHERE: Orange County Fairgrounds
Orange County Market Place
88 Fair Drive – Orange County Fairgrounds,
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Pet Days Features:
- Pet Wellness Information
- Spay and Neuter Information
- Training Tips
- Animal Welfare Education
- Non-Profit Pet Organizations
- Specialty Rescue Groups
- Guest Speakers and Demonstrations
- plus ADOPTIONS
- Family Fun
- Free Face Paintings
- You’ll never find a better friend
Our annual Fall Pet Days are held in conjunction with the weekend swap meet at the OC Fair and Event Center.
Sorry birds or personal pets are not permitted at the OC Marketplace or Fairgrounds.
Here’s the flyer for the 4th Annual Fall Pet Days:
It’s only a few days away so don’t forget to mark your calendars. If you do decide to go don’t forget to stop by our GDA booth and say hello. Duncan and I will be there Sunday from 9am-12pm.
Have you been to one of the past Fall Pet Days at the OC Fairgrounds? If so, what did you think about it? Hopefully we see you guys this weekend!
If you’re like me then you’re probably just getting into the groove of the new year. I’ve been gathering reports, reviewing last years numbers, and setting goals for the coming year, but there’s one problem…I’m doing all of that work for my day job, but not for my blog (I must admit I have thought and gotten a few things down on paper for the blog). Take a peek at A Year In Review.
The Pet Blogger Challenge is the perfect opportunity to focus on some of our accomplishments from last year and set goals for 2013. If you’re interested in participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge then take a look at Amy’s post over at Go Pet Frienldy. Questions are a little different if you’re a first timer or a veteran.
Pet Blogger Challenge III
So let’s get started!
1. How long have you been blogging and provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.
I’ve been writing to the Puppy In Training blog for a little over 5 years. My first blog post was on August 1, 2007 telling the story about how I adopted my first puppy Linus from the animal shelter. Here’s a link to last years Pet Blogger Challenge post.
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
My most important goal was probably the only one I accomplished and that was to “Create and maintain new relationships with other pet bloggers.” Over the past year I had the opportunity to attend 2 pet blogger conferences: BlogPaws and BarkWorld and got to meet many pet blogging friends in person. I also was lucky enough to attend the Paw Print Blogger Summit in Knoxville, TN. Those 3 events were the first times I had ever ventured away from my keyboard to learn more about the Pet Blogosphere!
One experience that I will never forget was winning the PetSmart/BlogPaws Build A Business Blog along with Annette from Snoopy’s Dog Blog. This not only gave me a chance to learn more about social media and internet marketing from the gurus at PetSmart, but also allowed me to speak in front of other pet bloggers at BlogPaws about how I was growing my blog. Definitely a great experience!
Toby enjoyed his PetSmart Doggy Bed
Not only did I get a chance to meet many of my pet blogging idols in person, but I also made a concerted effort to foster relationships with other bloggers by visiting blogs and actively commenting on blog posts. In the past I’ve been more of a lurker, but in 2012 I made it a point to try and add to the discussion.
3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
I’m sad to say that I listed 4 goals at last years Pet Blogger Challenge and only accomplished 1. The good news is I did more to build relationships over the past year then I had in the previous 4+ years of blogging.
4. How often do you post?
I just looked back at my stats and in 2012 I had 174 blog posts. That equates to approximately a post every other day. However, if you look back on the year you’ll see my blogging fluctuates from every day for two months to weeks without a blog post which brings us to the next question.
5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?
As much as I try to stay on a blogging schedule it appears that my blogging style is more of a “as the spirit moves me”. Once again, in 2013 I’m going to try and stick to a blogging schedule…we’ll see if it actually does stick
If you publish on a schedule, why?
I like publishing on schedule because it keeps me accountable. I’m the type of person that finds it very easy to just skip a day of blogging which turns into weeks and could lead to months. I don’t want that happening.
How strict are you about your publishing deadlines?
This past year I ventured into writing some paid content and when it comes to other people’s money I always stick to the publishing deadlines.
What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?
I don’t have a problem with getting inspired. I always have something to write about and I never feel like I’ve covered every topic…maybe in about 20 years!
If you don’t publish on a schedule, why?
I always try to post on schedule, but as I mentioned I sometimes go off schedule. This is usually a problem when one of 2 things get in my way: My day job or life.
How do you think your decision affects your audience?
I’m sure my audience would rather see content on schedule rather than as the spirit moves me, but with other responsibilities in my life I can’t always afford the time for blogging.
How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”
After I click the “Publish” button.
6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs?
I probably spend about 10 hours a week writing to my blog and about 5 hours a week visiting other blogs. However, these numbers shift a lot. Sometimes I spend more time reading blogs then writing. If I have lots of free time I will spend upwards of 40+ hours a week blogging.
Share your tips for staying on top of it all.
My biggest tip for staying on top of it all is to keep a schedule. I did my best when I allocated a block of time every night to my blogging. I plan on getting back to this type of schedule in 2013.
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)? Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
Here’s a look at some of last years numbers which have increased by 32% from the previous year:
Google Analytics Stats 2012 – 174 Blog Posts
I do keep a close eye on my Google Analytics stats, but for me it’s a combination of traffic and comments. First of all, without traffic you will not get any comments. People have to find your content before they can comment. On the other hand you can have a lot of traffic without discussion. One of my favorite parts about blogging is building community. Mine is still small, but I truly enjoy hearing responses from my readers.
Again I think it’s important to have a combination of both. Not every post is there to foster a quality interaction. A cute picture of a puppy on Wordless Wednesday will garner many “aww…cute puppy!” comments, but not a whole lot of quality interaction. On the other hand an in depth post on crate training puppies can spawn a number of quality comments, questions, and discussion.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
Just one!? I probably have about 20 or more! I have categories of issues: Traffic, Monetization, Social Media, Technical, Design, Organization, Time Management, etc. A lot of my questions don’t have clear answers as I’ve asked most of them at the Pet Blogging Conferences. If I only get one then…What do you do to build community around your blog?
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
Unfortunately I only accomplished one of my goals from last year. This year we’re going to strive to do better. Here are 5 goals for 2013:
- Increase and diversify my blog traffic - this blog largely relies on Google for traffic. This past year in particular I really saw how shifts in the Google Algorithm can effect traffic (Good and Bad). My goal is to increase my Referral and Direct Traffic by 100% in 2013.
Traffic Sources 2012
- Increase and diversify revenue – I have a goal this year to raise enough money to cover the cost of our next guide/service dog in training. The cost for a guide dog team is $42,000.
- Increase Guest Blogging – Since I’ve only written a handful of guest posts and accepted only a few others this should be the easiest goal to accomplish. Our goal for the year will be to write at least 12 guest posts and accept at least 12 guest posts. Anyone interested?
- Weekly Newsletter – I’m doing it this year! A weekly newsletter!
- Participate In Forums And Communities – Have you seen that little widget in the BlogPaws sidebar? My goal is to get on the BlogPaws “Top Community Members” Widget.
That’s a wrap! If you’re interested in participating in this years Pet Blogger Challenge make sure you visit Amy over at Go Pet Friendly Blog and follow the instruction for this years challenge. Hope to see you all in the Linky!
So what’s up with you guys? How was 2012? What do you have in store for 2013? I’d love to hear what you have planned for 2013!
Twice a year the Irvine Animal Shelter has a big Pet Adoption Fair and we try to make both events every year. The Super Pet Adoption happens every summer and really is a must see for any pet lover if for no other reason then to see some awesome adoptable pets and make a few donations to your favorite animal rescues.
The second big Irvine Pet Adoption Fair is happening this Sunday from 10am – 3pm. The weather forecast is for PM showers so make sure you arrive at this years pet adoption early so you don’t get wet.
THE EVENT WILL BE HELD RAIN OR SHINE – OVER 500 homeless animals are depending on you to find their forever home. Please don’t let discouraging weather prevent you from visiting us!!!
Irvine Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption Fair
Here are some of the details on this years Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption Fair:
Pet Adoption Fair
WHAT: Home For The Holidays 6th Annual Pet Adoption Fair
WHEN: Sunday, December 2nd 10am – 3pm
WHERE: Irvine Animal Care Center
6443 Oak Canyon Road, Irvine, CA
Here’s the full flyer from for this years Pet Adoption:
Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption
We love going to the pet adoption every year (usually twice a year if we can catch the Super Adoption in the summertime). We do our best to support our local shelters and rescues and in past years we even used to have a Guide Dogs of America booth that we’d volunteer at!
We plan on spending the majority of the day at this years event so we can talk to the many wonderful rescues to see how we might be able to help them with their cause. Our hope is that we can help spread the word with our online presence here on the Puppy In Training website and through our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+.
Here’s a pic of one of the pups we met at last years Home For The Holidays.
If you are involved with an animal shelter or rescue please feel free to contact us through our contact form or by leaving us a comment below. We’d love to hear ideas on how we can help out animal shelters and rescues.
So how about you guys? Are any of our fellow Southern Californians going to join us at this years Home For The Holidays Pet Adoption Fair? If so, what are you most interested in seeing at this years event? If you happen to see us don’t be shy…stop us and say hello!
Wanna bring your dog to BarkWorld? They even had doggy daycare!
October has been a very busy month! I don’t usually travel all that much, but in October I made two trips back east. You already heard about our trip to Knoxville visiting PetSafe. After visiting Knoxville I had a couple weeks off then flew back to Atlanta for the BarkWorld Expo where I had the opportunity to meet fellow pet bloggers, brands, and learned a little more about how to make the Puppy In Training blog more successful.
BarkWorld Expo 2012
So what the heck is BarkWorld and why was I there? From the BarkWorld Expo website:
Founded in 2009, BarkWorld Expo was created by Denise Quashie, Social Media Strategist for Socially Planned. After putting her dog, Frankie Beans, on Twitter she realized there was a large pet loving community using social media; however there was little education being provided at other pet expositions and conferences for this community. Being an award-winning event & social media producer, Denise thought it only made sense to create a conference for this community. With that, she created BarkWorld Expo and has continued to build strong online support for the cause of sharing and educating pet lovers within social media.
Why was I at BarkWorld? If you remember earlier in the year I put together my goal post for 2012. Unfortunately, several of these goals will go unaccomplished, but after attending BarkWorld I know I’ve at least accomplished one of my blogging goals.
Lets quickly revisit those goals for 2012:
- GOAL: 366 Days of Blogging - Unfortunately, this one is not going to happen. We started strong going about 60 days in a row, but technical difficulties really side tracked us.. I did recently read that Jodi Stone over at Heart Like A Dog is approaching her goal of blogging every day for 2 consecutive years! That’s amazing! Congratulations Jodi!
- GOAL: Write 52 Articles For My Autoresponder - I think I got about six articles into the autoresponder, but I’m not too pleased with them and I’m not too sure I want to build the autoresponder anymore…We’ll take another look at this in 2013.
- GOAL: Attend BlogPaws and Barkworld Expo - Mission Accomplished! I was fortunate enough to attend both BlogPaws and BarkWorld Expo this year. Hopefully I can do the same next year.
- GOAL: Write An eBook - This probably won’t happen this year, but I’ve gotten some great ideas after meeting and attending BlogPaws and BarkWorld.
- GOAL: Build A Membership Site - Something I’m still interested in doing, but it probably will not happen in 2012.
- GOAL: 2,000 Facebook “likes” - Achieved! and then some! We currently sit at 9,207 Facebook Likes! We’ve learned a lot about Facebook in the past 10 months and after receiving a credit from Facebook Ads we decided to give their ad program a shot and had brilliant results. We continue to run Facebook Ad Campaigns and also make sure to update our Facebook status on a regular basis. A lot of our current Facebook success can be attributed to our consultations with PetSmart during our Build A Business Blog case study.
- GOAL: 250K Page Views a Month - unless something miraculous happens like an extreme viral moment this is most likely not going to happen in 2012. However, we did have a record month in October with 82,223 visitors and 123,697 total page views according to Google Analytics. Maybe 2013 will be the year we break the 200K mark.
We’ll revisit these goals sometime around the end of this year or beginning of 2013.
Back To BarkWorld
So what did I do at BarkWorld this year? I made sure to arrive early so I could participate in the Social Petworking Offline Speed Dating for Bloggers. I felt very lucky because only a handful of pet bloggers were allowed to participate in this session.
The speed dating session was an excellent experience. Basically I was given a list with times and brand names. We were given the chance to meet with each brand on our list for 6 minutes. If you’re interested in participating in the speed dating session next year make sure you have your elevator pitch prepped and ready to go. The speed dating session was a great chance to meet one-on-one with several brands in a short period of time.
I did want to mention that Flexi far and away exceeded expectations during the speed dating session as they prepared several custom leashes (you can actually go to the Flexi website and design your own myflexi leash) for each pet blogger. Check out the 3 leashes they gave to us:
Custom pics of my pups (Stetson, Derby, and Linus). Also custom Guide Dogs of America Flexi.
We really like using our Flexi leash during training to work on recalls with our puppies, but we don’t use our Flexi as an every day leash because it can be difficult to control a dog with a Flexi. If you’re interested in using a Flexi leash please make sure and read the precautions and warnings on the back of the package.
BarkWorld’s Education Sessions
Check out the 2012 BarkWorld Schedule. There’s a ton to learn at BarkWorld and while this event was very similar to BlogPaws at also had many differences. One thing I did notice about the educations sessions was that BarkWorld was more focused on blog monetization and the blogger/brand relationship. That was great for me because I was very interested in both subjects.
A few sessions that really stuck out for me were
- Showcase your Influence: How To Make The Most Of The Blogger Brand Relationship – This was a great session that brought together 3 professional and gave the perspective from pet blogger, brand, and public relations. As a pet blogger hearing all 3 representatives speak really helped me understand how the relationship between blogger and brand works. I was especially excited and impressed to hear Jaime Derringer from Dog Milk talk about her experiences. Be prepared and be professional when you speak with brand representatives. While many of us like to speak through our pets voice it’s important to make sure you are professional and use your own voice when talking to a brand.
- Navigating The Pet Lifestyle Landscape: How To Attract Readers And Advertisers With The Hottest Trend In Pet Blogging - This session really focused on product reviews. This was of special interest to me not only because of the blogging aspect, but because I’ve been searching for modern home for about 4 years now in particular I’ve been looking for an Eichler home. While I don’t have a cat any of the furniture from Moderncat.net or Dog-Milk.com would look great in my new home. Paid or unpaid product reviews? That was a questions I had…while I haven’t been offering unpaid reviews mainly because I can’t handle the sheer volume of requests this got me thinking about some alternate ways to still offer product reviews at no charge. I think it was actually Amy Burkert that mentioned she receives products, but doesn’t promise reviews and once a year does a best of review for her favorite products…hmmm…
- Finding And Keeping Sponsors – I was very excited for this educational session because I’m currently looking for sponsors for PuppyInTraining.com. Not only that I was particularly interested in hearing Joanne McGonagle from The Tiniest Tiger and Amy Burkert from GoPetFriendly.com speak. I’m sure we are all trying to figure out how much we should be charging for that 300×250 banner ad in the sidebar above the fold. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a straightforward answer, but it was mentioned that you should think of your number then add 10% because as pet bloggers we are undervaluing ourselves.
- Making Of The Madonna Of The Mills – A Labor Of Love – I nearly missed this session, but I’m glad I didn’t. I’d already seen Madonna of the Mills, but after listening to Andy Nibley talk about the movie I was so impressed I wanted to buy several copies of his DVD and give them to my friends. He was very inspirational and it was great listening to him talk about the Madonna of the Mills project and how he got started. I wish he had a few for sale in the back because I definitely would have bought copies for friends and family.
I really enjoyed almost all of the educational sessions and keynotes, but these 4 really stood out in my opinion. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013!
Wanna bring your dog to BarkWorld? They even had doggy daycare!
Meet Pet Brands
I already talked about our speed dating experiences where we got to meet with several pet brands for 6 minutes. However, there’s also the exhibitioners hall where you can meet and find out how major brands like to work with bloggers.
I made several great contacts and I’m hoping to build a solid relationship with several brands I met while at BarkWorld.
Meet Pet Bloggers
One of the best parts about BarkWorld was getting the chance to meet my fellow pet bloggers that I only get to chat with online. Meeting people face to face is very important and every pet blogger I’ve met has always been super nice, encouraging, and supportive.
Are you ever chatting with your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife watching their eyes glaze over as you talk about your blog? Just think of the same situation, but instead of glazed over eyes the person you talk to is super excited, helpful, and experienced similar situations. That’s what it’s like to meet a fellow pet blogger!
I probably learned just as much or more talking to Jessica at You Did What With Your Weiner, Lorie over at Pet Healthcare Gazette, Nancy at LIPetPlace.com, and Stacy over at PetsWeekly as well as many others throughout the weekend. Everyone has very different experiences in the pet blogging world and are willing to share those experiences. It really exciting to hear about the different opportunities such as building Facebook reach, monetizing with banner ads, monetizing newsletter subscribers, and learning about which pet brands are working extensively within the blogging community.
It All Had To End, But What About the Swag?
If you are a pet blogger and you have the means I highly recommend you attend BarkWorld. It’s a great chance to meet your fellow pet bloggers and pet brands face to face. There’s also the education sessions that teach you how to be a better blogger. Finally, everyone is very friendly so it’s a great chance to make new friends…oh by the way did I mention the swag? I only had so much room in my bag, but here’s what I brought home from BarkWorld:
So what about you guys? Are you planning on going to BarkWorld 2013? Have you been to BarkWorld in the past? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.
It was a whirlwind of a weekend and I needed a few days to recover, but today I’m finally back at ye olde keyboard prepping another blog post. Where was I you might be thinking???
Well, a few weeks back I was contacted by PetSafe to take part in their Paw Print Blogger Summit. What the heck is the Paw Print Blogger Summit? I’m glad you asked:
PetSafe® is hosting our first Paw Print Blogger Summit. As a premier pet blogger, you’re invited to spend two days at our headquarters at the foot of the Smoky Mountains in Knoxville, Tennessee. You’ll learn who we are, why we’re passionate about pets, and how our products not only save pets’ lives but enhance their relationship with their owners…[Read More]
Who Are PetSafe?
PetSafe® leads the industry in the development of innovative pet behavior, containment, and lifestyle product solutions. We provide containment systems, bark control solutions, remote trainers, pet doors, treats, toys, and a variety of food, water and waste management systems. We’re headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee but our company spans across the U.S. and 52 international countries – six continents total!
I already knew a little bit about PetSafe when they first contacted me. I recently purchased one of their Patio Door Panels for Stetson and Linus and everyday I walk through my parents house I see the PetSafe logo on the top of their two cat feeders. What I didn’t know was they also owned the Premier brand as well as many other popular pet brands.
One of the 7 PetSafe Dog Parks donated to the city of Knoxville
Also under the PetSafe umbrella:
- Premier Pet Products
- Drinkwell Pet Fountains
- Innotek Training Products
- SportDog Brand
- Invisible Fence
Out here where I live in Irvine, California you’re lucky if you have a yard bigger than the size of a patio. So, I’m not too sure how relevant an Invisible Fence actually is for us, but I have heard the naysayers and know it’s a controversial product along with the Static Shock Collars.
I don’t know too much about Invisible Fences or Static Shock Collars, but when it comes to dog training it’s my goal to learn all I can about all products and training methods and even though PetSafe does make these controversial products I knew that this was a great opportunity to become better educated on dog training techniques using static shock collars and invisible fences.
Needless to say I was super excited to visit Knoxville, Tennessee, the PetSafe Headquarters, and some of the premier pet bloggers from across the country.
PetSafe Paw Print Blogger Summit
I arrived in Knoxville and ran into a few of our BlogPaws friends who were also participating in the weekends festivities. We took a short ride to the hotel then we were whisked away to one of the 7 dog parks PetSafe has donated to the city.
PetSafe Dog Park – I wish we had a dog park this nice!
The dog park was super cool and everything was setup for an awesome dock diving show. I wish we had a dog park like this one complete with a dock built for dogs. I should have brought a better camera because my little Nikkon just wasn’t up to the task. At least you can see the beautiful background…
Yep…that little blurry speck is one of the dock diving dogs…the trees in the back look nice
We got to relax most of the evening taking in the dog park, dock diving, and sitting down for a nice meal as we got to know some of the PetSafe employees and meet with our fellow pet bloggers.
Our second day started off early (super early for me since my brain was still on Pacific Time). We were picked up at our hotels and started our day at the PetSafe headquarters!
A Little Bit More About PetSafe
We had a lot to get through on Day 2. These are some of the hightlights.
I used to love gadgets as a kid. After all who doesn’t want to be an inventor growing up. PetSafe fosters innovation and it was very interesting to hear about how so few ideas actually become products. I didn’t hear the numbers, but I’m sure even less become successful products.
Dog Toys And Gadgets
We got to see tons of dog toys and gadgets. From Drinkwell Fountains to Busy Buddy Toys to Static Shock Collars to almost any dog gadget under the sun. We also got to see some awesome gadgets that aren’t yet on the market! PetSafe has some pretty cool things coming soon to a pet store near you.
CEO Randy Boyd
One of our favorite presentation was hearing Randy Boyd talk about how the company was started. I loved how Mr. Boyd was extremely humble attributing his success to taking a product and basically doing what he already knew how to do which ended up differentiating him from his competitors and ultimately led to his success. Check out this story on Mr Boyd and how he founded PetSafe.
PetSafe Doggy Nap Time
Paw It Forward
Paw It Forward is another awesome way PetSafe gives back to their community. Every week PetSafe has pallets full of returned product. One employee, Joy started the Paw It Forward campaign distributing these products to shelters and rescues in the Knoxville area. Pretty awesome!
Bark For Your Park
Who wouldn’t want an awesome new dog park like the one pictured above? Bark For Your Park is another way PetSafe gives back. To become a finalist for the Bark for Your Park contest, PetSafe encourages communities of pet professionals, owners, shelters, welfare groups, and local civic officials to partner together to help their town win $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park. Any city can win just get your fellow dog lovers to visit the PetSafe website and vote for your city! Here’s a little more information on last years contest: Bark For Your Park.
Corporate philanthropy was definitely one of my favorite things about PetSafe and their dedicated employees. These were two of my favorite community initiatives out of many going on with the PetSafe team.
Static Shock Collar Training Demonstration
I know very little about static shock collars and was interested in actually seeing the device. I went ahead and tested one on myself. The collar I used was adjustable from level 1-15 and here are my thoughts:
- Level 1-3 – I didn’t feel anything
- Level 4-6 – I barely felt a little pulse
- Level 6-9 – It kind of felt like someone was poking me with their finger
- Level 10-11 – A little bit uncomfortable
- Level 12 – It made my fingers involuntarily twitch and was not comfortable at all
- Level 13-15 – I didn’t even try going this high, but I imagine it would not feel good
The static shock collar demonstration involved a Boxer showing how the collars are used in basic obedience. The collar was set to level 1 which as I mentioned earlier I could not even feel. The dog didn’t show any discomfort and did very well with his obedience during the demonstration.
One thing that was stressed and I myself would stress to people is to make sure you are properly trained on how to use a device such as the static shock collar. They can definitely cause more harm then good if used incorrectly.
What do I think about the static shock collar? I definitely lean towards positive reinforcement dog training. Am I against the static shock collar and invisible fences? No. I think both can be effective training tools if used properly. I plan on talking in more detail about this topic and my own dog training philosophy in another blog post.
University of Tennessee Vet School, Mabel, and Water Treadmill
We also got to have a tour of the University of Tennessee Vet School and met the famous Beagle, Mabel. Mabel was left at the shelter because she got too large for her owners. At the time she was turned in to the shelter she weighed 67 lbs! When we visited Mabel had already lost 34 lbs thanks to some of the PetSafe products including the water treadmill. Check out some of her early pictures on her facebook page.
PetSafe Mabel the Beagle walks the water treadmill
PetSafe is a pretty cool company. It’s a pet bloggers dream! As we walked through the office dogs were sleeping under desks or sitting nearby their owners. Emma and Buckley had wrestling matches during our presentations. Drinkwell water fountains on every cubicle corner. And can you believe that there are no private offices? Randy Boyd the CEO sits in a cubicle just like everyone else!
Of course there’s also the corporate philanthropy! I can’t believe all the awesome things PetSafe does for the community. I might have to start working on my resume so I can send it off to PetSafe You guys looking for a Web Manger, Social Media Marketer, Pet Blogger???
Do you use any PetSafe products? If so, what do you think? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
Disclosure: Our trip to the PetSafe Headquarters was sponsored by PetSafe. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.
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