The winner of our ultimate dog photo contest is Stephanie Milanowski of Grand Rapids, Michigan and her pup, Wally!
Wally (aka The Next Colonel Sanders) is a two-year-old mini Goldendoodle who is goofy, loveable, and “will let you fall asleep hugging him,” says Stephanie. When offered a costume, Wally immediately goes into acting mode.
Per Stephanie, “his cooperation and dedication to the art of acting are admirable! He's incredibly patient when getting dressed or sitting still. He just loves it and jumps right into character, even when he's seated next to a bucket of delicious, crispy fried chicken and a refreshing glass of lemonade!”
Wally's goatee and his expression reminded Stephanie and her husband, Joe, of Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. So she stitched a little white suit coat for Wally with a string tie and lapel pin, topped with 1970's eyeglass frames. From there, Wally jumped right into character!
Congratulations Stephanie, Wally, and family on your winning photo!
The pups are ready for their close-up! We’re pet parents who believe in the healing power of dog photos in our camera roll and their ability to boost our moods. That’s why Vet Naturals is thrilled to announce the launch of our first-ever Ultimate Dog Photo Contest where contestants can flaunt their funniest and most outrageous dog photos of their furry friends for a chance to win $1,000, plus a three month supply of Vet Naturals products!
We’re looking for amusing, meme-worthy photos of your dog. The photo can include crazy eyes, doggy smiles, costumes, props, or funky outfits – you name it! As long as it’s hilarious and sparks joy, it’s eligible.
Either snap a new photo or send us an existing funny photo from your camera roll!
Don’t own a dog? No problem. You can still enter the contest with a photo you took with a family member’s or friend’s dog.
Additionally, applicants must be 18 years or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply.
To enter the contest, contestants MUST FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW to the entry form where you’ll be asked to upload your photo. The page also requests your name and email address, so that we can notify the winner, once one has been selected.
Any contestants who do not complete the entry form by following the below link will not have an official entry into the contest.
For contestants who have a Facebook or Instagram account, please share your dog photo with us either on the Vet Naturals Facebook page or post your photo as an Instagram post, tagging the Vet Naturals Instagram within your post. Spread the word to your social media friends and family about the contest and your entry, so that they can witness your dog’s hysterical photo as well!
The deadline for contest submissions is Friday, April 9, 2021. Contestants will need to submit their dog photos via the below link by that date in order to be considered. After this date, no further entries to the contest will be permitted.
The winner will be announced on Friday April 23, 2021. The winner will receive a $1,000 payment as well as a three month supply of Vet Naturals Hemp & Hips products.
Hemp & Hips provides joint nourishment to help rebuild, support, and maintain healthy joints – even as our dog’s age. This natural relief also makes sure our dog’s joints are protected, keeping them healthy, flexible, and lubricated, while naturally reducing those aches and discomforts.
The rules of the competition and the prize for the winner are as follows:
With the holidays coming up, you might be wondering how to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic to see family. And while flying has proven to be relatively safe during this time, potential travelers are considering road trips—to avoid close proximity with others. So how do you prepare for a winter road trip with your dog? Here are five tactics to take, to ensure a safe ride.
Get the Right Gear
You’ll want to purchase a restraining device for your dog, to keep everyone in the car safe. (If your pup happens to walk up front or get by your feet while you’re driving, you’ll endanger everyone else on the road, too.)
Look for a harness, safety belt, or pet carrier, and introduce your dog to it before you leave. Smaller dogs may love booster seats which double as plush ‘beds,’ and feature an attachment that secures them to your car’s seat belt.
Place new crates or booster seats in your home for a few days before the trip, and let your dog relax with the new items. If you have a safety harness, take a few prep rides before longer travel, and be sure to reward your dog with treats when secured in your car, so they associate all the new items with a positive experience.
Even though your dog will be riding in your warm car, you may want to purchase a sweater or fleece for him to wear during travel. The mercury can drop into the single digits, and not all car heaters can keep up. You’ll also need to stop to take your dog out for potty breaks and something warm can help your pup feel more comfortable for quick trips outside.
Finally, having warm items on hand is essential in case of emergency, and you need to stop for long periods of time. Be sure to place a fleece pad in crates, and have a blanket on hand for your pup. You’ll want a blanket and plenty of warm items for yourself, too, and may even want to invest in a heated blanket (complete with 12-V adaptor) for long drives.
Stretching tight legs can help both you and your dog. (For you, a short walk can help keep you awake. For your dog: It can help keep them calm.) Be sure to take potty breaks every two hours or so, to allow your dog to relieve himself and unwind. Park somewhere off the road (residential areas with sidewalks, hotels with dog-walking areas and parks are safe bets) and take your dog for a short walk.
It’s also a good idea to offer water during this time. Be sure to bring extra bottles and a water dish for your pup.
Your dog may or may not experience travel anxiety, yet even so, it’s always a good idea to maintain a soothing environment within your car. Your pup will not just like it, she’ll want to continue on as your road-trip companion. Bring your dog’s favorite toys and consider filling hollow chew items with frozen yogurt or peanut butter.
You may also want to swap your favorite metal tunes for an audiobook or soothing folk music, depending on how your dog is handling the ride.
Supplement if Needed
Some dogs are simply too nervous for travel, and in these cases, it may be kindest to leave them home with a sitter. If you need to bring an anxious pup on your travels, supplementing with a calming aid could help. Look for ingredients like L-tryptophan (which is the component in turkey that makes you feel sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal), and valerian root. Hemp & Harmony includes calming ingredients along with ginger root, which can help relieve mild nausea. As always, consult your veterinarian before administering any supplements or over-the-counter medications.
When it comes to stress--for better or worse--dogs are just like us. According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, up to 40% of dogs are seen by vets for anxiety disorders. And just as back-to-school season can cause stress for humans, it’s much the same for dogs. In fact, now that many states have been releasing COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions, many Americans are heading back to the office, leaving their four-legged friends at home.
So how do you help your dog cope with separation anxiety? It’s a matter of soothing stress--and even preventing it. Here are six tips to help keep your pup happy at home:
This is something you’ll want to do before anxiety kicks in, though it’s never too late to start. “Encouraging dogs to be independent decreases the likelihood of developing separation anxiety and can also help treat it,” says Leah Cowburn, DVM, a primary care veterinarian for the Last Chance Animal Rescue in Waldorf, Maryland. For starters: “Do not encourage your dog to be overly clingy and always by your side.”
So as much as you love having your dog follow you everywhere--encourage him to stay, and even play alone with toys.
Cowburn suggests signing up for training and socialization classes when your dog is a puppy. You can also bring your dog around new people and pets, or into different environments.This can help your pup build confidence that can translate across multiple situations.
You might be just as happy to see your dog as she is excited to see you, but keep calm when coming home. The same goes for leaving. “Making a big deal about coming and going can cause dogs to be triggered because they’ll learn what to expect,” Dr. Cowburn says. Instead, “prepare for your departure as much as possible while keeping your pet occupied.”
Cowburn suggests investing in enrichment toys to keep your dog mentally engaged. “If possible, try not to let your dog see items he can associate with departure, such as keys, shoes, and your coat,” she says. “And when arriving, act neutral. In some cases, you may have to ignore your dog so he does not associate positive reinforcement with your coming home.”
Exercise is excellent for helping pets beat stress (just as it’s much the same for us). And with dogs, burning off some energy can help them sleep while you’re away. Cowburn suggests making long, brisk walks a morning habit. It can help launch your day in a clear, calm way.
For those of you who run, if your dog is fit enough, enlist him as a partner. The extra exercise can do wonders for your mental and physical health as well.
Give your dog the creature comforts you love. “Soft bedding can help keep your dog comfortable and calm,” Dr. Cowburn says. “White noise or calming music can also be helpful.”
Yours truly can personally vouch for the Jack Johnson channel on Pandora, for successful canine calming. Choose what makes sense for you, and if you want to get really creative, make your pup a special mix.
You’ll also want to make sure your dog’s environment is safe. “If your dog is destructive, ensure there are items that are safe to destroy yet which are not potentially toxic, or which may cause a gastrointestinal blockage if ingested,” Dr. Cowburn says. And that goes for plants, too. Check out this ASPCA list of toxic plants, to help keep your dog safe while you're out.
Choose toys rated for tough chewers, and do not leave out anything that can easily be torn or splintered. If your dog shreds stuffed toys, for example, it’s wise to remove them until you’re home, as they can cause trouble if ingested.
Talk to your vet about your dog's behavior and ask if your pet might be a candidate for supplements. Ingredients like valerian root and tryptophan are known to help calm canine jitters. Your vet can help you determine what may or may not be right for your dog depending on his needs and health. If your pup has been cleared, a product like Vet Naturals Hemp & Harmony can help take the edge off stressful situations for your dog.
“Do not punish your dog if they misbehaved while you were gone,” Dr. Cowburn warns, “as this will create more fear and anxiety around your absences.”
If your dog exhibits anxiety, try to soothe him, and even better, do your best to prevent it. It may require patience on your part, but that’s just part of being a parent, even of the four-legged kind.