Archive for the Article Category

Traveling Across Continents for Top Dog Training Advice

The art of dog training is not easily learned. And still, many “dog trainers” operate without any type of license or credentials in the United States.

So, when former Chinese-born Para-Olympian Qin Lian needed to be trained to be a dog trainer in her country, she knew she needed a legitimate dog training expert. That’s when she found Mark “Dogman” Castillero and Pro-Train Innovative here in Vista.

Lian is visually impaired due to brain damage that occurred from lack of oxygen during her birth. She also has limited mobility on the right side of her body. Lian’s Current Guide Dog Candie, a 12-year-old Labrador, was originally trained by Bod Wendler, a mentor and friend of Castillero. Candie was originally trained by Guide Dogs of the Desert with Bob Wendler as the supervisor. And it was Wendler who pointed Lian to Castillero.

Back at home she is a member of the International Lion’s Club and a former instructor at Hadley School of the Blind. Currently, Lian is a home management instructor for the blind.


“I knew I needed an expert to help educate me and I knew that Mark had extensive knowledge of working with guide dogs,” said Lian. “Mark knows dogs very well and he understands the needs of the visually impaired. His personality and experience led me to come across continents to learn from him,” she added.

Lian will use the training she’s received during this recent trip to Pro-Train Innovative to help her work in her home country. She pointed to the affordability of the training she received. She’s so impressed with the training she’s received, that she’s asked Mark to come to Bejing in the Spring for additional training and so that he can host a workshop there.

“I think Mark is such a unique character and I know he can help those who have similar disabilities,” said Lian. “I highly recommend him and am so happy with the education I’ve received while here.” Plus, I got to enjoy the warm San Diego sunshine!

Click here to learn more about Pro-Train Institute, the Official Dog Training Programs Castillero runs in Vista. Or, sign up for his Exclusive One-Day Workshop on February 17, 2017 hosted at the Iconic Deer Park Winery in Escondido. It’s just $149 for a Full-Day of Training. This training is geared toward would-be dog trainers and dog owners who want to learn more about behavior modification for their canines. Space is limited. So sign up now! (Canine welcome with approval from Castillero. Email him for details at




3 Training Tricks for Dogs Who Don’t Like Being Groomed

A well-groomed pup is a joy.

We’re confident many dog owners will agree with us on this one. Having a freshly groomed, silky smooth pet is one of the best parts of being the leader of your own pack. Grooming can be tricky and usually requires some training.

Whether you have your dog professionally groomed or carry out the practice at home, taking the time to ensure your pet is clean and healthy not only means you can enjoy more bedtime cuddles without dirt getting everywhere, but it also means you or your groomer can carry out regular checks for unwanted intruders such as fleas or ticks.

However when it comes to grooming your dog, the process might not always be as straight forward as it should be. It’s just in the nature of some dogs to want to avoid sitting still even for a short period of time, while others may become anxious when you attempt to move them into the unnatural positions that are sometimes required to groom them thoroughly.

If this sounds familiar, check out these top three training tricks for dogs who just aren’t the biggest fans of being groomed.

Have Treats on Hand to Reward Your Dog

Using treats to reward your dog and reinforcing good behavior is one of the oldest tricks in the book, which is exactly why we’ve included it as Number 1 on this list.

Although your pet may not initially enjoy being groomed, when they find out that treats are on offer for behaving in the right way than they will soon start coming round to the idea.

You can start off by simply rewarding your dog for sitting still for extended periods. You can then build upon this behavior and reward your dog when they make it through whole grooming sessions without causing any commotion at all.

Slowly but surely you will begin to notice a stark contrast in how your dog behaves while being groomed and they will start to love being groomed more than you enjoy bathing them.

Use positive reinforcement for best results.

Use Practice Objects to Familiarize Your Dog with Grooming Tools

This might sound like a strange suggestion at first. Why would you want to train your pet with practice objects rather than the real thing? This trick actually has a number of benefits.

Grooming tools come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Not only that, but electric grooming sheers and nail clippers and grinders can also give off some rather strange sounds, which are enough to unsettle some dogs before you’ve even begun trying to groom them.

By using a practice object you can choose an item that will give off no sound at all and can also serve as a gentle yet blunt message that you won’t harm your dog if they flinch quickly or try to get away.

You can begin using the practice item by running it close to your pet’s face and around their paws and coat to see how they react. If your dog gives off no reaction at all you can move on to using the real thing knowing your dog will remain calm.

Keep sessions short in the beginning.

Keep Sessions Short and Slowly Increase Grooming Time

At first you should look to keep the grooming process as short as possible. Even the most boisterous or nervous of dogs will be able to sit for 1-2 minutes at a time.

Although it may be difficult to groom your pet effectively in this time that isn’t the overall goal here. Instead you want to get your pet used to the idea of being groomed and by slowly increasing the length of the grooming sessions each time you can do so without unsettling your pet.

Once they know they have nothing to fear and that no matter how long the grooming session lasts that they will absolutely fine you will start to see a change in their attitude to bath time and may even start to enjoy the process, especially if you keep the treats coming every now and then!

Top 5 Benefits of Using a Dog Kennel

Top 5 Benefits of Using a Dog Kennel

A dog kennel is a shelter or house-like structure for pets that is enclosed with plastic, metal bars or wire mesh.  A dog kennel keeps your dog in confinement and provides him a safe and comfortable place. For dog owners it is really a useful tool and especially for those who don’t have a fenced yard or garden.

There are two types of kennels available on the market right now.

  1. An Indoor Kennel
  2. An Outdoor Kennel

Using both types of kennels has some advantages. Our friends at share the benefits of kenneling your dog. Let’s take a look first the difference between an indoor kennel and an outdoor kennel.

The Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Kennels

Indoor dog kennels tend to be smaller and may be made of wire, plastic or chain link. Whereas outdoor dog kennels are generally larger than indoor dog kennels with enough room for the dog to move around and they are constructed from chain link fencing. Whether you are choosing an indoor or outdoor kennel, you need to ensure that your dog can get enough space to move around while she is inside the kennel. The benefits of using dog kennels are many.

Kennels Provide Enough Room

Dog kennels provide enough room to play or run. Your dog may feel bored or get into mischief in confinement if he doesn’t get enough space for playing. Besides, it is always not possible to keep her on leash. Keeping your dog without leash is not always wise in an unprotected place as he may escape or cause damage.

In that case, a dog kennel gives you the opportunity to keep your furry friend in her own safe place. Your dog can easily play, take rest and sleep inside the kennel. You can store your pet’s essentials like toys, food, water and bed in it.

Kennels Keep Your Dog Safe and Comfortable

A dog kennel provides safe shelter and a comfortable place for dogs. Kennels are enclosed with well-ventilated fencing so that your dog can get enough light and fresh air. It also contains a roof for providing shade to protect your dog from excess heat or rain.

Kennels give protection not only to dogs but also keep other small animals, your family members and neighbors safe from your dog.

Dogs have the tendency of digging soil. If your dog loves to do so then it will be wise to keep him in confinement. Beside this, toxic plants in a garden may sometimes cause harm to pets. In that case, a dog kennel can protect your dog from any kind of harm.

Kennels Are Great for House Training

House training a pet is a hard job. You can make this process much easier by keeping your dog in kennel. Teach her gradually what to do or not to do. Praise him for the right actions and correct him for wrong conduct.

Potty training of pets is also a difficult task. A dog kennel can ease your difficulties. Just slowly educate her. Show your dog a fixed spot where he can poop. Take her every time to that spot to eliminate. He will learn it gradually. Praise or give a treat for doing good and reward her.

Some dogs are aggressive in nature or get into mischief by seeing strangers. To train these kind of dogs a kennel is a must-have tool.

Kennels Are Safe for Traveling

If you want to travel with your furry family member, then using a kennel is ideal. You can easily take him with a portable kennel. You don’t have to use a leash .

Portable kennels are easy to carry and keep your dog safe and protected. You can keep the kennel aside while you are driving. Your trusted canine cannot jump over the road or cannot cause any damage to your car. It is really a wonderful thing for those who love travelling.

Kennels Are Cheaper than Fencing

For your dog’s safety you will want an enclosed area. But, setting fences around the whole yard is very costly. Considering that, a dog kennel can be great alternative for both you and your dog. A dog kennel is much cheaper than fences and much easier to install.

As a dog owner you want to keep your dog’s safety a top priority. A kennel can give your beloved companion safety and comfort during containment.

Consider the construction material of the kennel and select the right size that will fit for your dog. According to your purpose of use, choose the indoor or outdoor kennel. Choose material that is easy to clean. It will give your dog a healthy environment.

Want to share your kennel success story? We’d love to hear from you. Email us a photo or a quick word at about how your kennel has worked for your beloved dog.

Is Cannabidiol a Viable Natural Supplement for Your Dog’s Health?

Is Cannabidiol a Viable Natural Supplement for Your Dog’s Health?

Is CBD right for your dog? Read more about the latest in cannabidiols for dogs.

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a cannabinoid — a compound produced by the cannabis plant. We’ve identified more than a 100 different cannabinoids (113 to be precise) all of which could play an important role in balancing out the neurological, psychological and physical processes inside the bodies of all mammals.

Just to give you a quick background:

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, which is simply a network of cellular receptors and activators, which regulate communication between many processes in our bodies, like pain perception, inflammation, appetite, sleep, anxiety response and a few other.

To stimulate the proper response of these functions, the mammal body produces endocannabinoids, which in turn activate the receptors in charge of each process. Sometimes, however, things don’t work that well and the only way to go is to somehow supplement with cannabinoids and balance out the system.

This can be done in two ways: you can go for either synthetic or natural cannabinoids. Dogman Mark suggests natural to synthetic.

Natural cannabinoids are best when they come from plants and we call those phytocannabinoids. When it comes to phytocannabinoids, there is only one plant that can be used for extracting these compounds and that is cannabis.

Now, cannabis has a lot of cannabinoids, most prominent of which are THC and CBD. THC, as most of you know, is the one that gets people high and has found its use among many medicinal marijuana patients in search for pain relief and an increase in appetite.

Dogs, however, are special in this regard and the only cannabinoid that can be safely used for their health is CBD.

When properly administered, CBD helps dogs boost their appetite, reduces inflammation and allergic reaction and, when combined with behavior modification therapy, helps reduce aggression and other behavioral issues.

This infographic by Greencamp will educate you more on the topic and help you take the first step in improving your dog’s health once and for all.

CBD for dogs

Designing a Dog-Safe Garden

Designing a Dog-Safe Garden

If you have a dog and would like to keep a beautiful garden at the same time, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot achieve this. What is important is that both you and your canine friend can enjoy the benefits of a relaxing and lovely garden without stressing one another. You and your dog need space and a garden is a great place to interact, relax and socialize. For these reasons, it is vital to design a dog-safe garden that will keep your beloved pooch happy and secure. A key component in ensuring you have an animal-friendly garden is dog training for your pet’s cooperation, which is essential in creating a common garden that will benefit you both.

Designate a Pet Area and Train

Happy dog, Happy Owner.


Dog training is important to keep the garden in a good condition. Pets should learn where they can and cannot run. That place should also provide them relief such as shade and a source of water like a small fountain or pond. Train them to do their business in an authorized area. Letting them poop all over the garden is not sanitary and will cause diseases such as giardiasis.
While the garden is a place where your dog should run freely, there might be times when you need to keep Fido on a leash. For example, when applying fertilizer on the lawn, it is best to keep them away to avoid contact with organic residues. You can train your pet to stay still while on a leash in a defined space in the garden. Loose leash walking is also a skill they can learn or you can enroll them at a training school. It is beneficial for you both and makes walks pleasant whenever you go for long strolls along the beach, in the park or the woods if your pet learns to loose leash walk.

Secure Your Yard with a Good Fence

One of the first things to think about when creating a dog-friendly garden is perimeter fencing. A fenced garden makes it easy for you to let your pet roam freely and enjoy the outdoors. Note that some dogs can really jump high and will do it especially if they see something that attracts their attention on the other side of the fence. Check the stability of fences at regular intervals to make sure that your pet won’t be able to leave the premises which can become dangerous especially if you are living on a busy street or area. Of course, if your dog continues to jump the fence it is an indication of a behavior that needs correction and is best to take care of right away.

Jumping fences can be a sign of a behavior issue that needs correction.

Petscape Your Garden

It’s in your dog’s nature to dig and sniff. Unfortunately, there are flowers and plants that are highly toxic to them. This does not mean though that you can’t have blooms in your garden for there are many beautiful ones that won’t harm your pet such as impatiens, asters, marigolds, petunias, and pansies. If you want to plant flowers that you love such as amaryllises, tulips, and lilies that are highly poisonous to pets, do so in a fenced area of the garden, elevated beds, pots or in hanging planters. Go for hardy plants that won’t easily die when your pet tramples on them. Create pathways in the garden and around the perimeter of fences where your pets can move freely. Dogman Mark suggests planning jasmine. Not only is this shrub hearty and easy to maintain and grow, it is very fragrant. This is the ideal combination for a pet-waste area.
Keeping a good balance between your needs and that of your canine friend’s is important for a happy co-existence. By creating a dog-safe garden, you have an outdoor area that is not only welcoming but also a common place where you both can hang out, relax or simply chill.

Creating a pet waste area is a smart move.


Science Proves…Pet Owners Lead Healthier Lives

Science Proves…Pet Owners Lead Healthier Lives
Pet Owners Live Healthier Lives

Give Your Dog a Hug…It’s Good For You! (and for Him)

Pet Owners are Healthier…and Here’s Why!

Have You Hugged Your Dog Lately?

You’ve heard the stories that claim that pets make people healthier and even help them live longer lives, right? But are these stories true and is there any science to back up these claims?

The answer is yes!  People with pets do lead healthier lives in many ways. DogMan Mark Castillero has seen this time and time again in his more than 40 years as a leading specialist in the field of dog training.

“According to numerous studies, pets provide a wide array of health benefits to people, ranging from lowering blood pressure to helping to fight depression,” said Castillero at his facility in beautiful North San Diego County. “The more things you do with your dog, the more you can improve your health.

Castillero suggests that, if  your health permits, check out some fun activities that you and your dog can do together, such as water sports (many dogs love to swim), flyball, playing frisbee; or dog dancing — obedience routines set to music.  There are also favorites such as obedience training, agility, rally and sports geared to your dog’s background, such as herding, hunting, tracking, earthdog activities and the like.


Scientific Research Proving Pet Owners Are Healthier…and Happier

  • With rising healthcare costs, the positive effects of dogs on our overall health and their role in assisting in the work of healthcare professionals continue to be avid areas of scientific study. In this comprehensive guide, our friends at Wiley Pup detail 15 Research-Backed Health Benefits of Having a Dog. Truly, these stats show how dogs are man’s best friend.
  • In a study done at the State University of New York (Buffalo), people suffering from high blood pressure had reduced blood pressure after getting a cat or dog.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that owning a pet can decrease your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels, and your triglyceride levels. Plus, having a pet helps reduce feelings of loneliness. They also state that owning a pet can increase your opportunities for exercise and other outdoor activities as well as your opportunities for socialization.
  • Research suggests that people with pets may be protected from heart disease, according to The National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Workshop “ Health Benefits of Pets.” Their rationale is that the companionship of a pet provides an owner with the kind of “psychological stability” that helps to keep people calm and steady.
    Get Healthy, Hug Your Dog

    Loving Your Pet Can Reduce Blood Pressure and Stress!

  • Pets have also been found to reduce stress. According to the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in the UK, pet owners have been found to be able to handle stressful situations better than non-pet owners. Even walking with your dog can make you feel better and calm you down.
  • People with pets go to the doctor less often, according to the National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Workshop “Health Benefits of Pets.”
  • Pets are great at helping people fight off depression, especially for seniors. People who are depressed or lonely can greatly benefit from having a pet. Pets keep people active and they offer unconditional love.  They provide feelings of security and companionship.  They can often give someone an interest in life when they have lost interest in most other things.
  • Exercising with your pet is a great way to get exercise yourself. Even if you simply take your dog for a walk it means that you are getting out and about. This can increase muscle tone, heart and cardiovascular fitness and improve your mood.  Just a little exercise can help you keep your weight down, too, which can help you live longer.

So, from a health point of view, it’s absolutely true that owning a pet, including a dog, can make you healthier.  Take a moment to give your dog a hug and thank him for making you a healthier person.


5 Basic Commands Every German Shepherd Dog Needs To Learn

Originally, German Shepherds (or GSDs) were bred to protect herds and dwell in packs. These traits make them naturally dominant. They love being in charge. Still, they are one  of the smartest dog breeds around and are quick to learn new tricks. Regardless, you should not wait too long to start your training. The older your GSD gets, the harder it is for you to teach him new tricks. Start your training as early as when they are two-months old.

5 Basic Commands You Can Teach Your German ShepherdTeaching your dog the command “COME”

This command will help you get your dog to come to you, even if something else has caught his attention. It is also the stepping stone for other communication between the two of you.

Step 1 : Always start this training indoors. Wait until he is playing with his toys and then call out his name. When he responds by looking at you, show him his favorite treat and urge him to come get it by saying the command “come.”
Step 2 : When he comes, shower him with praises and giving him his treat. This way he will learn the positive association of responding to your commands.
Step 3 : If he does not come willingly, gently tug on his leash and repeat the word “come” while showing him his treat. Do not be excessively forceful or harsh on your dog when teaching him this command. Be patient enough, and try different treats until he can respond to your command. Give him a treat whenever he responds positively
Step 4 : Take your training outdoors after two days of training and repeat the exercise.
Step 5: Keep escalating the training by increasing the distance between you and your dog and repeat the exercise until he can understand the command “come” without the need of a treat.

This is one of the most important commands you will ever teach your GSD as it can help keep him out of trouble.

Training Your German Shepherd to “SIT”

This is a crucial command that will assist your dog to become well-mannered and obedient.

Step 1 : Wait for your dog to stand or sit in front of you. Hold his favorite treat in your hand and then flash it before his eye and make sure he sees it. This should get him excited and grab his attention.
Step 2 : Slowly hover the hand holding the treat over his head towards his rear side. All the while, ensure the treat stays in line with his nose so that he can sniff the treat to fuel his excitement.
Step 3 : Your dog will automatically drop his rear to the floor in a sitting position to maintain eye-contact with his favorite treat. Once, his behind hits the floor, hand him the treat and praise him for a good job.
Step 4 : Do not use the word “sit” at this level. Instead, practice this exercise until he can sit on seeing the treat on your hand. Only introduce the word “sit” after a few days of practicing.
Step 5 : Have the treat in your hand and then use the word sit. If he is not able to respond by sitting on the ground, gently press his coup down and then repeat the command. Do not reward him with the treat until he can respond to the command. Keep practicing until your dog can sit even without treats.

Teaching Your dog the command “DOWN”

This command is handy in helping your dog calm down especially when it is agitated by a new site or sound.

Step 1: Wait until your GSD is seated, and then place a treat between your thumb and index finger. Move your hand close enough to his face so that he can see and sniff his favorite snack.
Step 2: Next, move the treat towards the floor while preventing him from getting up from his sitting position. Use the word “down” as you prevent him from getting up.
Step 3 : Also use the command “down” when he tries to get a hold of the treat while lying down.
Step 4 : As soon as he stops trying to reach for the treat and is completely rested, pat him affectionately and praise him so that he can know that you are pleased. Give him the treat.
Step 5 : Repeat this exercise until he can respond to the command even without a treat.

Training Your Dog the Command “LEAVE IT”

This command is particularly helpful when trying to get your dog to let go of something. Some GSD puppies resort to destructive behaviors like chewing and biting on household items. This command will come in handy during such times.

Step 1 : Start your training by holding a treat and calling your dog by his name. Wait for him to come for the treat and then drop it on the floor.
Step 2 : When he tries to get the treat, place your hand over it and in a firm voice say “leave it”. Following this command, pick up the treat and pull your arm away. Wait a few minutes and then repeat the same exercise. Always be firm and clear when commanding it to “leave it.”
Step 3 : Repeat the exercise until your dog can respond to “leave it” without you having to place your hand over the treat. If he responds positively, reward him with the treat.

Training Your Dog to Respond to the Command “STAY”

This command will help you to stop your dog from chasing after your neighbor’s cats or squirrels.

Step 1 : Before you start teaching this command, make sure he understands the command down.
Step 2 : Now, teach him to stay in the “down” position with his palm over his head, when you say “stay!”
Step 3 : Maintain eye contact when you deliver this command during the time you want him to stay put. Repeat the command if he tries to get up or lift his head. If he obeys, give him a treat and praise him to let him know that you are happy he is following your command.
Step 4 : Repeat this exercise, while gradually increasing the time of the “stay”.


The foundation of training is based on correction and rewarding. Always use a firm “No!” when correcting your GSD. Do not yell or involve physical punishment such as spanking. Also, it is important to note that most female dogs may seem reluctant to training during a German shepherd pregnancy. Avoid pushing them too hard during this period. Reward your dog with tasty dog biscuits, their favorite toy to play with or shower him with praises such as “Good dog!” in a happy voice.

About the Author of this Article

June is the founder of TobysBone, where she shares her passion for writing and love for dogs. She wants to help you deal with your dog’s behavior issues, grooming and health needs, and proper training. Through her blog, you can find informative and reliable posts, tips and tricks, and a lot of interesting reads that will help you maintain a close bond with your furry companion.

Travel and Finding the Right Caregiver For Your Pet

Travel and Finding the Right Caregiver For Your Pet

Rover, Rover…send your best pet sitter over!

You have travel plans and you’re wondering who will take care of my pet? Owning a dog should not limit your travel opportunities. And we know that many pet owners hate to leave their beloved family members behind. Entrusting your dog to the care of a stranger is always a challenge–you want what’s best for your dog, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

That’s where comes in. The site is filled with wonderful, pet-loving sitters and dog-walkers who are thoroughly vetted by the site. There’s no shortage of affordable, high-quality care in your area! Here’s how to ensure a perfect fit, and create the best possible experience for your pet.

 Define Your Needs

What helps your pets thrive? Think back to past experiences with strangers, or times that you’ve been away. Is your dog happiest in her own home? Nervous with new people? Does she get along with other pups? What unique care requirements does your pet have? If you have any concerns that you hope a sitter would address, write them down.

This “dream list” could include experience caring for senior dogs, or a sitter who’s highly active in order to keep up with your energetic puppy. What are your non-negotiables? Know where you might be willing to compromise, and what areas are paramount to your pet’s happiness.

Let’s get practical…how do you know who’s right for your pet?

Search Rover’s Site

If you’re looking for a sitter for specific dates, you can narrow your search with those parameters. Otherwise, browse as many local sitters or dog-walkers as you can to cast a wide net. Which sitters already have reviews from other owners? Start reading through profiles to get to know your options.

Now, compare what you find with your list. Contact sitters who look promising, and ask questions if you need more detail. The important thing is finding someone who’s adaptable, motivated, reliable, attentive to your pets, and conscientious about instructions.

Let’s get acquainted.

Do a Meet & Greet

Found a sitter who’s interested? Great! Set up an initial meeting. You’ll get a sense of who they are, and you can watch them interact with your pet. It’s a bit like a first date: You’ll discover whether there’s chemistry! Does their personality match up with your pet’s needs? Ask any questions that will help you make the final decision. You can also go for a walk together, or watch the sitter play with your pets. Look for a connection that helps put your pet at ease, as well as confidence and great communication skills.

Not sure about this one? Meet another candidate. Whoever you choose to hire, you want to trust them completely and feel comfortable leaving your pet in their care. You might even tweak your list based on a meeting that didn’t go as you hoped. There are plenty of caregivers available, and you want to feel great about your choice. Once you find the right person, you’ll be able to hire them often–and get a better sense of what makes a great sitter, should you ever embark on the search again. Your perfect sitter is out there!

Written by Nat Smith, community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.


Traveling With Your Pet: What You Need for Day Trips and Extended Vacations

Traveling With Your Pet: What You Need for Day Trips and Extended Vacations

Many pet parents love to travel and oftentimes want to take their pets with them wherever they go. Whether this is a trip to the beach or a week-long tour of a far away city, there are specific things you will want to bring with you to ensure your trip with your pet goes well.

Alexandra Seagal shares important considerations when traveling with your pet; what you need for day trips and extended vacations.

Before You Leave

Pets can make holiday travel more memorable!

When you travel with a pet, there are many things you have to keep in mind, so before you leave your home, prepare your pooch with this checklist;

  • Reservations – if you will need a hotel room, be sure to make reservations in advance and also that the hotel is pet-friendly. You may also want to inquire if there is a mini-fridge in case you are bringing wet or raw food.
  • Veterinarian visit – many countries will require your pet to have a current health and vaccination record. Ask for a copy of these from your veterinarian. If your dog or cat is need of vaccinations, these should be done, as well.
  • Medications – if your pet is on medications, be sure you have enough to last you past the duration of your vacation. Having extra meds will ensure your animal is protected in case you can’t get back on time, or you lose some.
  • Flying with pet’s policy – before you hit the airport, be sure you know the airline’s policy on pets and follow their guidelines. Printing these out will ensure you have written copy for reference.


Packing a Carry-on Bag

Our pets “know” when we are starting to pack for a trip.

If you are traveling by airplane with your dog in the cabin, you will want to pack a carry-on bag just for Fido. These items should include;

  • Food – depending on the duration of the flight (and how well your dog’s stomach is handling the flight) you may want to have a couple of meals worth of food with you.
  • Water & Bowl – fill a water bottle (after you pass airport security) to rehydrate your dog when the flight is over. Use a collapsible bowl to save space.
  • Leash & Harness – for relief areas.
  • Poop bags
  • Extra treats – may need these to get your dog back into his carrier.
  • Prescription meds – these are safer in your carry-on then in your luggage
  • Doggy documents – vaccination records and health certificate
  • Picture of your dog – just in case the unimaginable happens, and your dog escapes or goes missing.
  • Handheld fan – a practical way to keep your pet from overheating.


Packing For Your Pooch

Having everything you need for your dog on a day trip or vacation will prepare you for most circumstances. When you’re packing for your pooch, be sure to include the following items;

  • Extra leash, harness or collar
  • Make sure ID tags are secure
  • Pet First Aid Kit
  • Food and bottled water
  • Collapsible bowls
  • Dog carrier (with extra pads) or harness and seat belt clip for the car
  • Towel or seat cover for protection of both a hot seat and doggy emissions
  • Window shade
  • Pet wipes
  • Windex wipes – more so if you are renting a car and need to tidy up the nose prints.
  • Doggy wearables – sweaters, life jacket, raincoat, booties, etc.
  • Treats, chews, and food
  • Loose bedding such as pet blankets and extra towels
  • Pet’s favorite toys
  • Grooming supplies – brush, comb, nail clippers, shampoo, etc.
  • Paper towels
  • Lint brush – more for you
  • Poop bags
  • Extra zipper-closure baggies


Packing for a Cat

Purrfect Preparation makes all the difference.

Although most of the items above do apply to our feline friends, there are still a few extras that you will want to include when packing for a cat;

  • Cat bed
  • Litter box, cat litter, and litter scoop
  • Calm down spray such as Feliway to help de-stress your cat
  • Portable cat scratcher – the ones that use corrugated cardboard work well
  • Hairball remedy

Be Pet-Ready When Traveling

One of the worst things in life is being unprepared. When it comes to traveling with your dog or cat, it’s better to over-pack rather than to leave out an item that may be necessary down the road (literally).

Follow these checklists to be pet-ready when traveling. Fido and Fluffy will be happy you did.

5 Tips For Finding the Right Dog Fit For Your Family

5 Tips For Finding the Right Dog Fit For Your Family

Choosing the right dog is important for both owner and canine. We all know that dogs are loyal, offer unconditional love and are awesome for families. A canine companion can teach children responsibility, trust, respect, and compassion.

However, that doesn’t mean every dog is right for everyone. Guest blogger, Alexandra Seagal of writes about the top considerations for finding Fido. Dogs have personalities and quirks just like we do, so before you adopt a puppy or adult dog based on how cute he looks on the other side of the kennel door, we’ve dug up 5 tips on finding the right dog fit for your family.

Begging the question: Which dog breed is right for you?

Tip #1 – Ask Yourself “Why?”

Owning a dog is a responsibility that should not be entered into lightly. This animal will be a part of your family unit for the duration of its lifetime, so ask yourself the question of why you want a dog. Is he for;
-Playmate for the children
-Special activity, ie. hunting or therapy work
-Home security

Knowing the reasons, you want a pooch in the first place can help narrow down your decision process. For example, you most likely wouldn’t get a Shih Tzu for hunting, but he will make a good companion or even therapy dog.

Tip #2 – How Much Time Do You Have For the Dog?

Most of us live busy lives. Between careers, family and hobbies/leisure activities, our days can be pretty full. Before you bring home a puppy or adult canine, you will want to ask yourself (realistically) how much time can you invest into the dog?

Exercise, grooming, and training (if a puppy) is going to take up the most of your time. Some breeds like a Beagle or Jack Russell Terrier are going to need around 2 to 3 hours of exercise each day, while the Great Dane is happy with a daily stroll around the block.

When it comes to grooming, a Husky is going to need a lot more care than the wash-and-wear Schipperke. Know your limits, so both you and your dog won’t suffer from your time constraints.

Dog allergies can be mild or severe…take note before you decide!

Tip #3 – Allergies?

Allergies are an important area to keep in mind when finding the right dog fit. Although no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, some breeds are better for those that suffer from this itchy condition.

Poodles and the Havanese breeds are two that have been known to be suitable for those folks that suffer from certain types of dog allergies. This may be because they do not shed, while other breeds like the Dalmatian shed all year around.

Tip #4 – How Much Money Can Be Dedicated to the Dog?

Owning a dog is a lifetime investment.

Most of us are on a budget, so fitting Fido into that budget plan is a must-do. The first year of your puppy’s life is going to be the most expensive. With vaccinations, worming, health checks, spaying/neutering, crate, toys and food you can expect the bill to be around $1,000.

After the first year, these costs will go down some from the initial, but you still have to feed the dog and have yearly vet visits.

Logically, you are going to spend less on a Chihuahua than you would on Mastiff (size does make a difference). Knowing your budget for the dog will keep you in the black and your furry companion happy and healthy.

Tip #5 – What Breed is Right for the Family?

Don’t claim “the dog ate it”. Do your own research and be thorough.

This last question may be the one that takes the longest to answer, especially if you are looking for a purebred canine. Some breeds are just more family-orientated than others.

Take the Golden or Labrador Retrievers, these dogs are known for being great family pooches. They are kind, gentle and love being around kids. However, the Chow Chow can be a bit quick to bite and headstrong, so a person with experience with dogs would be more suitable for this breed.

Do Your Homework

Asking yourself the above questions is a great start to finding the right dog for your family; however, it doesn’t stop there. Do your research and homework into each breed you are interested in, paying particularly close attention to its personality traits.


Once you have narrowed down your list, search for a reputable breeder or rescue group to visit. Avoid any “breeder” that won’t let you see the parents or has many litters each year. These can be signs of a puppy mill where the female dogs are continuously caged and used as breeders. Getting your perfect match may take some time and effort on your part, but having a canine companion that fits into your family? That’s priceless!

Need help training your dog? Make sure you give Pro-Train a call at 760-749-0897. Under the leadership of legendary dog trainer, Mark “Dogman” Castillero, you and your pet can start off on the right path!







Page 1 of 41234