Monday, November 27, 2017

Making Travel More Enjoyable for Your Dog

Some dogs seem to be full of wanderlust – approaching each new adventure with confidence and gusto. Such dogs are a joy to travel with! However, we are not all so lucky to have canine companions that look forward to leaving the comforts of home.

When our pets dread hitting the road, it can hamper travel and close doors on opportunities to enjoy each other’s company. Whether you have a dog that is already anxious about travel, or you have a puppy that you want to train to enjoy new experiences, this article will explore some techniques to get your buddy in the mood to explore.

1. Associate car rides with good stuff.

Most journeys start in the car. If the only time your pooch gets in the car ends at the vet, then you are reinforcing a negative association with travel, priming your dog to start every trip on a sour note. Let’s face it, no one thinks going to the doctor is very fun, so why would we expect our dogs to look forward to that?

One of the most important things you can do to help your dog appreciate travel is to associate the car with as many positive experiences as you can.

  • Make excuses to take your pal somewhere fun like the dog park or a pet store.
  • Jump in the car and drive around the block with a handful of treats and reward often along the short route before returning home.
  • Practice getting in and out of the car using clicker training to increase their confidence around the car.

2. Add canine adventure to every trip away from home.

When you are on the road, does your furry companion spend most of the time in a crate at the hotel? You can probably imagine this is not the kind of vacation that your fur buddy is going to look forward too.

When you are planning your trip, take some time to research dog friendly activities at your destination. It is particularly helpful to choose a few activities that will give your dog vigorous exercise so they can blow off some of that stress energy and relax back at the hotel.

For your next trip, look for:

  • Nearby dog parks.
  • Hiking trails.
  • Pet stores that welcome visiting pets.
  • Dog friendly restaurants.
  • Dog days at local public swimming pools.
  • Pet friendly attractions.

3. Bring all the comforts of home.

Make sure that you pack with your pup in mind. In particular, think about smells, comforts and favorite toys. When your dog has some familiar things in their environment, it can give them a sense of safety. In addition, be sure to leave some items of your clothing nearby if you have to leave your furry friend alone at the hotel.

Consider packing:

  • At least one blanket or bed your buddy sleeps on.
  • Food and water dishes you use every day.
  • 2-5 favorite toys.
  • The crate if your pal is kennel trained.

4. Keep your own stress levels in check.

One of the most important things you can do to help your canine companion enjoy travel is to bring a good attitude to the experience. Dogs are extremely in tune with the emotional states of their pack leader. If you are bringing stress to the situation, then your pup is going to pick up on that and worry right along with you.

In some cases, this can be a downward spiral where a kind of stress feedback loop can really derail an enjoyable trip. Remember that you are setting the tone. Try to stay present and enjoy the journey for your dog’s sake.

5. Consult professionals if the issues are too severe for you to fix.

There is no harm in seeking help when a problem is beyond your skillset to address. Luckily, there are professionals that can help you with severe cases of pet travel anxiety.

There are two great reasons to start with your vet. The first is that they are able to prescribe safe and effective tranquilizers that can be an effective tool in addressing travel anxiety. Although pills are not a magic permanent solution, they can come in very handy for an emergency situation where travel is imperative.

Second, your veterinarian can probably recommend the right professional dog trainer in your locality. It can sometimes be difficult to find a great trainer that specializes in the kind of issues your dog is having. Your veterinarian can more than likely give you some great leads.

We hope this article has inspired you to help your furry friend get the most out of your travel adventures! Travel anxiety is something that can be addressed so that you and your dog can make the most of exploring new places.

Author Bio

Mat Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of, a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for pet parents everywhere.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Royal Chef at Home by Darren McGrady #Cookbook #Review

The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Darren McGrady, former personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana, has curated and created delicious, easy recipes that will add an elegant touch to any meal without requiring hours of labouring in the kitchen. 

Darren's Easy Seasons is perfect for entertaining no matter what the time of year, including midday lunches and brunches, teas, indoor and outdoor sit-down and buffet dinners, and cocktail parties. The book is also organized by season with events including a Children's Easter Egg Roll, Valentine's Day for Two, a proper Sunday dinner, Christmas open house, and Thanksgiving. 
Darren also provides tips on ingredients, substitutions, and alternatives, making this book an easy but comprehensive "go-to" party-planning resource. Includes "Notes on Entertaining" to help lighten the load and make even the largest celebrations go off without a hitch.

About the Author:

Darren McGrady was personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana and Princes’ William and Harry for fifteen years and has cooked for five US Presidents. He is an author, culinary consultant and public speakers and runs Eating Royally, Fine Dining Catering Company in Dallas, Texas. His first cookbook titled ‘Eating Royally; Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen’ is now in sixth print with all of his advance and royalties donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.

Here are photos of pages from the book:

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
Sounds and looks so good.  I know I will be making them in the near future.

Chipotle, Kale & Turkey Meatballs Soup
Sounds good and looks good. I can't wait to try it.

Roasted Turkey With pan Juices.
I am going to try this for Christmas dinner this year.  


I am not big on cooking. I mean I get by with basic cooking but I usually stick to stuff I already know how to make and that is simple so I usually find cookbooks a little daunting. Needless to say, I was a little hesitant about The Royal Chef at Home but I am happy to tell you that most of the recipes are ones I know I can make and I do have a few I can't wait to try.   

 This book is done with a relaxing combination of talking and cooking. 

I like that most of the recipes are things most people who are not chefs can make the recipes at home and that the recipes are easy to understand.

I do highly recommend this book and I think it would make a great gift for those who love cooking. 

I give this 5 out of 5  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

Ultra HD BLU-RAY™ combo pack,

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight takes place at the turn of the century as America’s continued industrial revolution is to be showcased at a World’s Fair hosted by Gotham City. But while the world prepares to witness the glittery glory of Gotham’s technological advances, there is a killer loose in the city’s darkest shadows. Preying on the city’s women, this killer is as precise as he is cruel. As Police Commissioner James Gordon tries to calm the fears of Gotham’s citizens regarding the butcher called Jack the Ripper, the masked vigilante Batman enacts his own detective work with the help of confident, capable Selina Kyle – to stop the Ripper’s murderous spree. Witness a world in flames as the notorious serial killer’s controlled savagery meets the calculated stealth of the Dark Knight.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Westworld: Season One *Review*

The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Based on the film written by best-selling author Michael Crichton (ER, Jurassic Park films), Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and a reimagined past, the series explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged. 


First off I had heard only of the title of the show and that it is a Science Fiction Western and that right there got me interested because I love Sci-fi and western movies and tv shows so for me it sounded wonderful.

My husband and I start watching this on Blu-ray on Friday and you know what? We couldn't stop watching and ended up binge-watching the entire show on the weekend. 

I love the drama in the show and of course the science fiction aspect and the Western.  The story is great and got my attention from the very first episode.   

Great acting and special effects.

This show is one I know my husband and I will be watching again in the future and we will be making sure to watch season 2 as soon as we can. 

I give Westworld season 1 a 4 out of 5.