Friday, November 10, 2017

Bliss and Seven's Adventure in Dog Friendly Carmel-by-the-Sea!

Carmel, Dog Heaven On Earth Carmel-by-the-Sea lives up to its reputation as the #1 Dog-Friendly Town in America. Hotels, shops, and restaurants roll out the red carpet for dogs and their guardians and the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea offers many places — beaches, trails, and tourist attractions — where dogs can frolic. Water bowls, dog treats, and biodegradable bags are the typical amenities you'll find around town, plus high-end services like massages, doggy turn downs, surf lessons and yappy hour.

Dog-Friendly Hotels, B&Bs, and Inns
Bliss and Seven's adventure in the Northern California town couldn't have been better. Carmel has 25 pet-friendly hotels, B&Bs, and inns. You'll find no neon, national chains or conventioneers here—just folks who are similarly experiencing the unique rejuvenation Carmel provides. Sitting amidst oceans of flowers and Cypress, and bathed in Pacific breezes, the village's hotels and inns provide an unparalleled sense of discovery.

We stayed at the Carmel Country Inn known as Carmel's most pet-friendly Bed & Breakfast. Situated on the edge of the quiet village, Bliss appreciated the cozy yet spacious accommodations, especially the fireplace because it gets chilly at night. Seven liked the easy access to fun!

Dog-Friendly Restaurants
Many restaurants in Carmel will seat canine companions with their guardians on outside patios as well as a few indoor locations. "Yappy Hour" and a doggie room service menu are offered at co-owner Doris Day's Cypress Inn. We ate at the Village Corner Bistro, a Carmel landmark and dining favorite of locals for more than 60 years. Let me tell you, the bread alone is to die for! We also enjoyed a gourmet meal at Grasings Coastal Cuisine and got to meet Chef Kurt who has worked in some of the finest restaurants in the world (and his food tastes like it!). At Porta Bella Carmel, we dined on the picturesque flagstone patio while a waiter entertained us with his beautiful tenor voice.

Scenic Path & Carmel Beach
Scenic Road meanders along the curve of Carmel beach and offers a packed dirt path alongside for joggers, on-leash dog walkers, and sightseers. Spanning from Carmel Beach to Carmel River Beach, the Scenic Road path offers some of the area's most incredible views of Carmel Point, Point Lobos State Reserve, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and Carmel's famous Cypress trees and white-sand beach. Dogs are allowed off-leash on Carmel beach, however, they must be under the voice control of their owners. Canine visitors at Carmel beach can romp along the surf and frolic with one another on the sand which is a highlight of most doggie trips to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Mission Trails Park Mission Trail Park encompasses 37 acres of California Coastal native vegetation, with meadows, dense Monterey Pine forest and a grove of Oak trees. There are two entrances to the park: one east of downtown on Mountainview Avenue and the other on Rio Road across the street from the Carmel Mission. Dogs can be off-leash but must be under voice control and follow all of the rules.

Some shops in the Carmel Business District have miniature hitching posts outside while others invite well-behaved dogs to accompany their owners inside. Bliss and Seven love to shop!

The Carmel Plaza has a drinking fountain just for dogs, called the Fountain of Woof. Don't miss Diggidy Dog, an enormous pet boutique that offers nearly anything you would ever think of buying for your dog or cat. They have an entire room full of pet beds of all shapes and sizes, and an almost ridiculous selection of collars, leashes and pet clothing. There's even a small grassy spot just outside the front doors where dogs can relieve themselves. Seven got a beautiful new collar there, Bliss got a special dog treat.

Doggie Services
While in town, Bliss and Seven got the royal treatment at Suds & Sizzors, the area's most elegant grooming retreat. Both Bliss and Seven never looked, or smelled so good!

We also had a session with dog therapist A. Herman, an intuitive healer and animal communicator. She's known for balancing dogs (and other four-leggeds) physically, emotionally, and energetically. She recommended we try some Well Scents custom and specialty aromatherapy blends. Well Scents products are made from the highest quality available natural aromatherapy ingredients. They are specifically formulated for safe daily use on horses, dogs, cats, and people.

We also did a doggie photo shoot at the beach with Liz from Lovedog & Company. She took the fantastic shot on the top of this blog of Bliss and Seven on the rock in Carmel. Liz's photographic style is soulful and uncluttered with a modern aesthetic. Her photographs reveal the nuances of her subjects; tell big stories through small details, in short, Liz's pictures still or moving, speak louder than words. She's available for private commissions, but also concentrates her efforts on projects for animal rescue.

For the safety of all dogs and visitors, please note that dogs must have a current license, up-to-date vaccinations, respond to voice command and be in visual control. Dogs under four months of age are not permitted as their shots and vaccines are not effectual yet. Owners are responsible for pets at all times. Dogs may be off-leash on Carmel Beach and Mission Trails Park.

Bliss and Seven can't wait to get back to Carmel. I can't either! Woof!!!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

9 Tips for Taking Epic Road Trips With Your Dog

Bliss and Seven love to go everywhere with me. If you're like me and are planning to bring your dog with you on vacation, make it an epic adventure by following these 9 tips on traveling with your dog:

          1) Plan your route
Make sure your schedule includes time for regular potty breaks and time to stretch between destinations. Experts suggest you take a 15 to 30 minute break every 4 hours. You can also make very long trips more enjoyable for both of you if you plan stops at locations with pet-friendly attractions, even if it’s just a nice dog park.
2)    Get a weather report
Be prepared for issues like rain that could slow your travel, and also avoid potential natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Take the weather into consideration when packing for your dog. If it’s colder than she’s used to, you may need to pack some warm clothing for her, too.
3)    Book pet-friendly accommodations
Now that you have your route planned, you need to plan for lodging. Not all hotels accept pets, and even campsites often have restrictions. Contact individual hotels in advance to find out their pet policies, including breed restrictions, rules, and possible fees. Pet-friendly accommodations can be found at
4)    Arrange for dog care at your destination
If you are attending an event where dogs aren’t allowed, such as a wedding or graduation, locate a daycare or boarding service. Don’t leave your dog unattended in a hotel room. The unfamiliar environment can cause your dog more anxiety than at home, so you want to ensure he’s being cared for by professionals. Go to DogVacay for info and use this code for $10 off your reservation: Blissdog
5)    Crate your dog
The safest way for dogs to travel in a car is in a safety-certified, crash-tested crate. It will also provide a comfortable, safe, and familiar place for your dog to sleep in at the hotel, motel, or other accommodation.
6)    Pack a bag for your dog
Consider all the places you will visit along the way when packing. Items you may need include:
·       Food and food bowl
·       Water, water bottle, and bowl
·       Treats
·       Toys for chewing and fetching
·       Medications
·       Protective clothing
·       Dog-safe insect repellent and sunscreen
·       Blanket and dog towel
·       Brush and shampoo
·       Flea comb and tick remover
·       Poop bags
7)    Update your dog’s ID
Mke sure your dog has his or her ID on them. If the number on his tag is your home phone number, this could be very difficult. If needed, make an ID just for the trip, listing not just your cell phone number but an additional emergency number for a friend or family member in the area.
8)    Prepare your dog for the trip
Many dogs suffer from car sickness, so it’s best to feed your dog a few hours before you get in the car. Before you head out, take a nice, long walk, so she’s ready to rest and relax for the trip. Also, get a copy of your dog’s medical records and extra meds, just in case your trip is delayed. And take the time to program your phone with contact information, including the address, for a 24/7 emergency dog vet at your destination.
9)    Maintain your routine
It’s not possible to do everything exactly as you would at home, but the more you remain consistent, the better. Once you reach your destination, feed and walk your dog on the same schedule you would at home. If you can, increase the walk time to help him get rid of the extra excitement and anxiety of the trip.

You’ve taken the time to prepare, so now just kick back, have fun, and enjoy the time together! Woof!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bliss Loves Dog Friendly Oxnard!

In a recent blog, Bliss wrote about her Staycation at Silver Strand Beach. For those of you who don't live in the area, she wants you to know that Oxnard is the perfect place to visit with your four-legged family member. 
Here's why:
Pet-friendly hotels in Oxnard
One of the first things you’ll want to book for your Oxnard vacation is a hotel. Many have a designated pet wing where you and your buddy can stay. All of the hotels charge an additional fee to accommodate your pet, so be sure to add it to your budget.
Hotels that welcome pets in Oxnard include:

Pet-approved activities in Oxnard

Here’s a look at some of the great fur-friendly activities you can take advantage of during your stay:
  • College Park Dog Park

It’s a pet-lovers paradise at College Park Dog Park. The park offers two areas for small and large dogs and has plenty of agility equipment spread throughout. There’s a great shaded area with benches for the owners and a pet bathing station to wash off the day’s festivities.
The park is fairly large, so if you’re headed to the dog park enter via Raiders Way and make a left right under the bridge.
  • Head to the beach

Want to take your dog to the beach for a little fun-in-the-sun? After all, they enjoy a little sand between their toes too. When you’re ready to walk along Oxnard’s ocean side, you have a choice of several dog-friendly beaches.
You can visit Oxnard Beach Park anytime with your dog as long as it’s on a leash. At Hollywood Beach, you can let your dog roam free before 9am and after 5pm, and, as Bliss has already reported,  Silver Strand Beach allows dogs on a leash before 9am and after 5pm.
  • Grab a bite to eat

Oxnard has five dog-friendly restaurants in the city. What better place to take your dog than The Lazy Dog Café? This dog-themed restaurant has locations across California, Nevada and Texas and offers seating for both humans and pets.
Sea Fresh Channel IslandsChina Square, a Bliss favorite especially on Sundays, Toppers Pizza and The Waterside Restaurant and Wine Bar all have pet-friendly patio seating too.
  • Enjoy some retail therapy

There are a handful of pet stores where you can take your pets in Oxnard too. Your cat or dog can mingle with other pets while you pick up a few treats or extra food for the trip.
Take your dog or cat through Pet Food Express, where there’s a DIY dog-bathing station that owners rave about.
PetSmart is another hot spot for pet-people. Since you’re on vacation, treat your pet to a little spa treatment with a bubble bath and nail clipping.
Oxnard is a pampering paradise, where both humans and pets can bask in the sun, make new friends and enjoy stunning ocean views. For more help planning your Oxnard vacation, download the visitor’s guide.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Have You Seen IKEA's New Pet Collection?

IKEA just-announced its new LURVIG collection of dog and cat products, all Bliss approved!

LURVIG means "hairy" in Swedish, BTW. Here are some Bliss faves:

Forget that regular old dog bed. This one has a bona fide frame that raises it up from the floor and can also be used upside down for more height.
Then, choose from an array of different cushions to complement your décor. At $7.99 to $19.99 depending on the size, you can order a bunch.
This "cat/dog bed" is actually an animal Fulton! Bliss says get one for each room of the house.

The cat house is practical and cute and slips right into the KALLAX shelf unit.

For the pooch that loves propping his head up on a pillow like Bliss.

This dog blanket will look great on your couch, and you and your guests will appreciate how it leaves the other cushions dog-hair-free.

Forget the ugly scratching post and protect your furniture at the same time by wrapping the legs with this LURVIG scratching mat. Even better—it's only $5.99.

A kitty hangout that's also a chic side table? Yes, please. (It's actually a cat house on legs.)

It's not like you can't get a dog bowl at any pet store, home improvement store, Target, Walmart, and on and on. But the nicer ones can be pricey. These bowls are metal, and also have a non-slip bottom, for just $2.99!

Bliss also likes IKEA's new collection of leashes, harnesses, and collars, which are affordable, come in a range of sizes and are made of a reflective material. 
What do you think of Ikea's Lurvig collection? Woof!