Category Archives: K9 approved

VALENTINE’S DAY has gone to the dogs

Valentine’s Day has gone to the dogs…literally!


From coast to coast, which state loves dogs the most?



A special Valentine’s Day survey of U.S. dog parents showed the following:




Post a perfect Valentine’s Day with your pet, or comment on the findings of the infographic and you might just win some doggie treats for your pooch. yummy treats !

by the way, Cici loves these treats, she cannot get enough !!!



How do your dogs help enhance your daily life?

How do your dogs help you become better people?

This year, let’s celebrate our wonderful animal companions by making February 13th Valentine’s Day For Dogs (#valentinesfordogs).

On this day, we make sure we’re also giving our pups the attention they deserve. How? I might take Cici out for a special walk, buy her a fluffy and comfy pet bed, or give her Milo’s Kitchen dog treats.

How will YOU connect with your dog this Valentine’s Day for Dogs?

The good folks at Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Milo’s Kitchen, and Canine Carry Outs have made it easy for you this year with a doggie Valentine’s Day card. Get yours today at

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Filed under contest, dog treats, dogs, four paws up, gifts for your dog, K9 approved, product review, Uncategorized, Valentine's Day

Gold country pet friendly

There is still gold in them THAR hills. When you are looking for a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing getaway, you will definitely want to visit the Courtwood Inn, high on a hill, overlooking the forest and the town of Murphys. It is a new lovely modern and spacious log cabin home with a tennis theme. The pet friendly room is downstairs (the Davis Cup) so that you and your pooch can come and go through the outside patio door.

Each of the five rooms offer Microsilk spa tubs and fantastic views. Our bed was so high, I needed a step stool to get in and out of it. And Innkeeper Chris Parker provided wonderful wines and cheeses for an afternoon refreshment and a delicious fruit parfait with yogurt and Dutch baby egg dish for breakfast.

Cici was very fond of Chris from the start. She slobbered on her and just followed her around to be near her. Of course Chris DID give her lots of attention and a toy and treats.

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Innkeepers Chris and Larry Parker, former tennis instructors, are planning to offer tennis courts and lessons by summer of 201. They also offer wine tours to some of the 23 wineries in the area.

Pet friendly wineries include Twisted Oak, and others.

Pet amenities: a gift basket filled with a toy that Cici chewed up immediately. There were also some gifts for me. A few samples were held for me at the Art on Main store (a necklace) and a spice sample at the Spice Tin. And a collapsible water bottle that can be filled up.

Louise, the K9 Personal shopping Assistant at the Dog Store on Main Street is an extremely gracious, knowledgeable and kind shopkeeper. She fitted Cici with a brand new harness and leash (purple) and we discussed tips on handling dogs (which I will write about in another blog post). She offers a full range of dog items and accessories from food to treats, toys and clothing. She totally believes that dogs are miracles with paws.

You can read more about the inn and/or book your reservation here:

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Filed under California, dog toys, dog travel, dog treats, dog wear, dogs, K9 approved, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging, pet friendly winery, pet travel, travel with dog, Uncategorized

Relaxing Spa in the Desert

If your dog could speak s/he would tell you to Leave the hustle, bustle, traffic, noise and smog behind and bring them to The Dog Spa Resort and Wellness Center for a fun time together. The DogSpa is the pet friendliest place on the planet, never mind Palm Springs and it is for both humans and canines. Talk about dogitude. The place oozes dog friendly vibes. For one thing, dogs go unleash everywhere, there are no pet fees, no restrictions in terms of size, weight and breed, and you can leave the dog in the room if the dog will behave.

That does not mean there are no rules. Guests are reminded not to feed their dogs in public, no treats in common areas, to pick up after their dogs, and to supervise their dogs at all times. The DogSpa is the brainchild of Paula Terifaj, a holistic vet, who knows dogs, knows dog body language and she watches out for any problem dogs. She wants the DogSpa to be a really fun relaxing place for everyone. She also rescues dogs and wants to get the many dogs in shelters adopted into forever homes.

“I wanted to create some place unique, different, a really dog friendly place for people and their four legged family members, to unwind, unplug and relax with fresh air, sunshine and mineral water pools,” she explained. The soothing mineral water is what really attracts people to this area. Year round swimming in a hot springs pool and getting a stress-releasing massage, who could ask for anything more?

Paula bought the intimate hotel in 2009 and spent two years renovating it to her specifications. There is a dog park that is fenced that dogs can enjoy. Dogs Vacation Free here. And if your dog happens to fall into a pool with you, well then, whoopsie. This resort takes dog friendly into a whole other realm.

The point is for you and your dog to share the experience. You do not want to have your dog stuck in some kennel or room while you are away having fun. People benefit from the whole experience and their dogs get to be part of it, too.  Imagine lazy days lying in the sun, swimming in the pool, enjoying the hot tub, and your dog is lying on a towel next to you relaxing, too.

A dog named black lab mix named Jake greeted Cici and I. He was running around the pool with a ball in his mouth that he would not let go of come heck or mineral water. Cici also met one of Paula’s dogs, Brad Pit, a brown beagle and pit bull mix. He was guarding the area between the kitchen and the dog park (a relaxation area). We did not get to meet her other dog, Black Beauty.




We stayed in a luxury Suite 4 (with café kitchen).Cafe Kitchens feature a full sized refrigerator, ice, coffeemaker, microwave, toaster, sink, and dinnerware. There are only six unique rooms including Wellness rooms with purified water, air, magnet beds and so much more.




  • Two hot mineral pools kept at the perfect temperature year around. Large swimming pool at a comfortable 88° F and Jacuzzi at a therapeutic 102° F. Both heated without gas by an underground hot water well.
  • Complimentary health conscious buffet breakfast from 8am until 10am.

If you live in LA or San Diego and want to spend a weekend or vacation and enjoy the mineral hot springs pool in Desert Hot Springs (a few minutes from Palm Springs), then this IS the place to visit. It is only two hours from LA and San Diego and you can bring your pooch(es).


Speaking of dog parks, Paula suggests:

l. Be prepared and be vigilant.

2. Bring a spray bottle of water, know where there is a hose, or bring an air horn or a whistle to use if dogs are not getting along.

3. Be mindful

4. Keep your eyes and ears on your dog at all times.

5. Be aware of the weather. Dogs should NEVER be left along in a hot car and in the summer, the pavement may be too hot for their paws and can burn their pads.

If you are seeking a small intimate healthy environment to do workshops or seminars or retreats, you may be able to rent the entire property for a yoga workshop, a cooking, meditation, or healthy retreat.

Ask for the Double the Fun special as well as a dog spa gift certificate. You and your dog deserve stress-free pampering time!   Click on the link below to find out more.

You can also go shopping with your dog at The River (a dog friendly shopping mall in nearby Palm Desert, yes indeed)…

and there are hiking trails. Click the link below to find out all about the trails, dog park and where to eat with your pooch, too.


There are some other dog parks in the area in case you want to visit (but you will enjoy the one at the Dog Spa Resort more than any of the others, we betcha plus who wants to drive all the way to Palm Desert or Indio when you and your pooch came here to stretch your paws and woof it up !

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Filed under CA, California, dog friendly, dog rescue, dog spa, dog travel, dog treats, dogs, four paws up, holistic vet, K9 approved, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Palm Springs, pet adoption, pet care, pet friendly dining, pet friendly lodging, Uncategorized

Fall is fun

Frost on the car windows and various colored leaves on the trees… that’s right, we finally made it back to Idyllwild and stayed at the Strawberry Creek’s pet friendly Bunkhouse. We’ve never been there before and not stayed in Idyllwild during Fall. The air was cool, crisp and fresh and our cabin was red-flanneled log cabin cozy with a small kitchenette and patio. Every morning, there was a knock on the door and a basket filled with yummy scones, apple juice and multi-grain oatmeal was my breakfast.


Unfortunately, my tummy did not enjoy the elevation and innkeepers Rodney and Ian had to leave due to a family emergency, so Cici got to watch me sleep and moan and groan for a few days. Not much fun for her. She would have much preferred chasing squirrels.




Along the way we discovered an amazing drink at Starbuck’s, something I will try to recreate… hot lemonade with passion flower tea, the best taste sensation EVER.

We also enjoyed a free night at the Red Woof Inn San Diego.


Idyllwild seems to have more pet friendly places than when we visited there a few years ago. And the page with listings are right on the Bunkhouse’s website, here….


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Filed under dog friendly, dog travel, dogs, four paws up, Idyllwild, K9 approved, K9 travel, pet friendly lodging

Doggie Day books

This week was National Dog Day, ok, we missed it by a day or two… well, here are three VERY different doggie books that you just HAVE TO READ if you love doggies… and you might just pick up a few for your fellow doggie friends for the holidays (which are going to be here sooner than your dog can chew up a dog bone).




The exciting and funny / hilarious new Chet and Bernie book, Paw and Order, which you’ve all been waiting with doggie breath to come out so you can read it. Now you can.

Harry Truman once said “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”

Cici and I were very happy to get our paws on the latest (7th in the series) Chet and BernieL book, Paw and Order because we are always up for another hilarious adventure seen thru Chet’s canine eyeballs. The story begins in New Orleans. And Bernie’s Porsche and a trip to a BBQ joint turns into a fiasco with some motorcycle dudes who have big necks.  But no matter, Chet and Bernie are on the case and a team not to be messed with.

The dog-eat-dog world of Washington DC will never be the same after Chet and Bernie’s Little adventure. They could have gone straight home from New Orleans but what fun would that have been? They instead detoured because well, Bernie’s sometime girlfriend Suzie the newspaper reporter is now working at the Washington Post and she is on a BIG story that she cannot talk about. So of course,  Chet sniffs around the capital city and Bernie ends up arrested. An international conspiracy unfolds and Chet encounters a strange new animal, a guinea pig, who holds the fate of the nation in his paws.

Chet and Bernie are always a winning combination. With Chet’s sharp eyes and cool nose and Bernie’s talents, they cannot lose, although it is always suspenseful along the way. Another great read for dog lovers, guinea pig aficionados, and Washington DC insiders and outsiders.

Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park  by Matthew Gilbert

If you have ever visited a dog park and met some strange, weird, quirky, bizarre dog people, then you will relate to this book. It is about an array of dogs and their people who gather at Amory Park, overlooking Boston near Fenway Park.

Matthew Gilbert, a longtime TV critic at The Boston Globe, describes his reluctant trip into the dog park subculture, as the first-time owner of a stubbornly social Yellow Lab puppy named Toby. Like many Americans, he was happily accustomed to the safe distance of TV viewing and cell-phone web surfing, tethered to the digital leash. But the headstrong, play-obsessed Toby pulls him to Amory, and Amory becomes an exhilarating dose of presence for him. The joyous chaos of wrestling dogs and the park’s cast of offbeat dog owners – the “pack of freaks” – gradually draw him into the here and now. At the dog park, the dog owners go off the leash, too.

Meetings at the dog park can be mayhem, chaotic and fun, depending upon  the day. Sort of a daily or weekly canine soap opera. Dogs love/hate one another as do their owners.  When the dogs have disagreements, so do their human companions. And sometimes the human beans are even worse than the dogs when they are off the leash.

This is a very funny, sunny, very right on, portrait of life at the dog park and relationships and encounters between dogs and the dog owners. Dog Parks: Enter at Your Own Risk. Dog parks are not for the faint of heart or skittish. And Gilbert knows right where the fun begins and ends.  His honest and enthusiastic memoir will make you rethink going to the dog park or yearning to find doggie friends and a pack to belong to.


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Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly by Mark Ulriksen is just plain silly. EVERYONE who is ANYONE with a DOG that is KNOWS that Dogs Rule. Of course, my Polka Dot Princess agrees with me on that one. She Rules this household. Of course.  Ulriken has been working for a little publication called The New Yorker, where he has been a regular contributor since 1993. He has achieved more than 40 magazine covers to his credit.   This book offers great illustrations of doggies, and funny lines to go with the images. We were offput by one illustration of what seemed to be a bad stereotype of a bully breed dog. We do not like those stereotypes as you know. Other than that, numerous breeds were represented in hilarious detail. And some of the jokes were VERY funny.  If you live or love a dog, you know how amusing they can be. And this book capitalizes upon canines and their goofyness with refreshing charm and a breath of doggie sunshine. Dogs penchant for stinky things. Dogs and their always sunny disposition (until you are leaving the house).  And you know the rest of their quirks.



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Chewy chewy dog bones

We all know that dogs love to chew on bones (and other items, but we won’t go into that here).  I have given Cici all kinds of chews and bones. I have given her raw bones, frozen, but she would chomp them up and I was always afraid that those large pieces of bones might hurt her. What to do? You gotta give your dog a bone to chew on but you are not supposed to give them cooked bones and raw bones can be hard too. (Pun intended).


How about a healthy alternative…  Mercola dental bones






We have long been a fan of Dr. Joseph Mercola online. The info on his website is quite good, alternatively delicious and healing. And his team includes Dr. Karen Becker, a vet. So, we were delighted to receive these dental bones for Cici’s review. And she LOVES them. She gets one per day and drools whenever I take one out to give it to her. And it is good for me because I know that they are great for her teeth. Win-win. All four paws up and two thumbs up !


Ingredients include: Organic brown rice powder, Tapioca starch, water, natural chicken flavor, Organic Pea powder, Brewers Dried Yeast, Parsley powder, Peppermint oil, Rosemary Oil and Vitamin E.  Gluten-free.


Some info on Dr. Mercola’s website about oral health in dogs:

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), 80% of dogs show oral distress by age 3. It’s one of the most common health issues treated in animal health clinics today.

Dr Becker says in the video that telling you not to brush your dog’s teeth is like telling you to forego brushing and just chew granola. She suggests that our dog’s oral health is VERY important. And that is why it is important to brush your dog’s teeth every day. So these bones are not a substitute for that. (Although I admit am not a big fan of brushing Cici’s teeth).




Here’s a quick checklist to help you start taking better care of your dog’s teeth:

  • Have your dog’s teeth checked and professionally cleaned at your family veterinarian – follow your vet’s advice as far as cleaning regularity
  • Start your dog off with as clean a mouth as possible prior to cleaning or brushing
  • Pickup a soft-bristled tooth brush and toothpaste from your veterinarian – human toothpaste and baking soda may not be good for your dog
  • Brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis – even with regular brushing, your dog may still need occasional professional cleaning
  • In between brushing, find a healthy and tasty chew bone for your dog.

Avoid dog chews with these ingredients:

Here are some of the not-so-natural ingredients you’ll see listed:

  • Gelatin: A potentially toxic animal by-product, created by boiling down various unused parts of animals such as skin, tendon, bone, cartilage and connective tissue.
  • Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate (HSH): Low-carbohydrate artificial sweetener.
  • Soy Protein Isolate: Known allergen, with reduced vitamin, mineral, and protein quality – and increased levels of potential carcinogens.

Mercola Healthy Pets Dog Dental Bones come in two sizes and contain absolutely no corn, soy, gluten, extra fat or sugar, or animal byproducts..

  • Large Size (2.23 oz./63.4g) for dogs 25 pounds and over.
  • Small Size (0.81 oz./22.9g) for dogs from 5 to 25 pounds.

And for puppies, senior dogs and dogs with delicate or missing teeth, Mercola Healthy Pets Gentle Dental Bones (1.43 oz./40.54 g) come in two sizes.

  • Large Size (1.43 oz/40.54g) for adult dogs or puppies 15 pounds and over.
  • Small Size (0.81 oz/22.9g) for adult dogs 5-25 pounds or puppies up to 15 pounds.




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Summer Fun in Doggie Heaven

Enjoying Carmel with your best friend

Canine travelers and their best friends love Carmel for a good reason. It is the epitome of a dog friendly place. Rated #1 dog friendly town in USA. Below are some of the most dog friendly places, events and activities you can enjoy during your stay. And what better time to visit Carmel then during the summer when the living is easy. Temperatures in Carmel year round are in the 50-70’s so if you wanna get away from the heat, Carmel is the place to take your pooch to paradise.

Fun facts about Carmel

Every year around Halloween, the city of Carmel has a dog friendly parade to celebrate the city’s birthday. This year’s bash is their 98th anniversary. The Carmel Chamber of Commerce hosts this event.

Carmel beach

Carmel Beach. Ocean Ave and Scenic Road.  Carmel Beach is a doggie paradise and one of the few leash-free beaches in California. There are 120 parking spaces at the end of Ocean Avenue. It can be a very busy place and chaotic with lots of doggie pals to meet and play with. 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.


Hiking trail and park 

Mission Trail Park

Rio Road and Ladera Drive, Carmel CA  93923

Hiking skill level: Easy


This is Carmel’s largest park at 35 acres, and features 5 miles of well maintained trails.  The trails wind through canyons and hillsides with five different habitats.  Mission Trail Park is a great place to take your dog walking and a wonderful place for bird watching.

There are five park entrances: Rio Road, 11th and Torres, Crespi Avenue and Mountain View Avenue, Martin Road, and 25800 Hatton Road, the location of Flanders Mansion and the Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden.

Mission Trail Park has a forested canyon fed by a small stream, hillside meadows on the east, and views of Carmel Point and the Pacific to the west.

You can also hike with your dog at Garland Ranch Regional Park, just eight miles east on Carmel Valley Road. Waterfall Trail has lots of steps to get Fido good and tired or take Mesa Trail for a leisurely ramble. Dogs can be off leash if they are under voice control and there is plenty to sniff and explore.

Wine tasting

A Taste of Morgan wine tasting room is super dog friendly. It is located at Rio Road at Highway One in the Crossroads Shopping Center.  831.626.3700

Doggie shopping

Diggidy Dog at Carmel Plaza has all the doggies woofing and woofing, about all of the wonderful treats, dog food, toys, fashionwear and more. A place to pamper your spoiled fur brat. Be warned that there is a huge selection of delicious-treats strategically displayed at “K9-level” so keep your pup on a short leash or you’ll wind up wrestling things out of their mouth and then buying them.

Southwest Corner of Ocean Ave. and Mission St.

Carmel, CA 93921     (831) 625-1585

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Don’t Miss

The Fountain of Woof is right across the street (sort of) from Diggidy Dog at Carmel Plaza. Besides all of the shops and places to eat at Carmel Plaza, there are two major shopping centers in Carmel, at the Crossroads and the Barnyard. Many of the shops are dog friendly including The Cheese Shop, Pet Food Express, and others.

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Yappy hour

Doris Day’s Cypress Inn

Lincoln Street, Carmel, CA 93921

(831) 624-3871

Yappy Hour at Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The event is open to the public, locals and visitors alike.

Scenic drive and dining out

Pebble Beach 17 mile drive

  • Carmel: The toll booth is on San Antonio Ave
  • $10 per car
  • walk your dog and dogs are allowed in cars

2700 17 mile drive, pb, ca


At the Inn at Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach, you and your pooch can stay on the patio firepit area outside, have a drink at the bar and eat some goodies

From 5:45 to 6:30 PM, as you watch the sun set, you can also listen to the bagpipers play

 Pet friendly accommodations

Hofsas House

Between 3rd & 4th Ave
on San Carlos Street.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Phone: (831) 624-2745

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38 Bavarian style rooms, some with fireplaces, others with ocean views, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, meeting rooms and yummy fresh continental breakfast. Dogs are welcome in some of the rooms, for a pet fee of $25 per night for one dog, $40 for two. Pet amenities include dog treats and frisbees. Close to all of the shops in Carmel village, in walking distance to everything.


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