Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Holiday Pet Photo Contest!

And the winner is.....

 Congratulations to Toby and Kitty for winning our Swag Bag full of Southern Wag goodies! We are tailoring your prize pack just for you!
I would like to give an honorable mention to all of our contestants. I loved each and every photo submission. Please email us your mailing address because we would like to send prizes to y'all as well!


 Sadie and Riley

Bonnie and Clyde
Thank you again for making this fun! Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

PCSing with Puppies! (and Kitties)

Here is a picture of my Goldens and two Cats waiting to board the plan in Narita, Japan.

If yall don't already know we are a military family that is on the move every three years. My husband is a Chief in the US Navy and he has been in the military for over 11 years. We have moved as a family two times so far. We started in Texas then went to Guam and from Guam we are now in Japan. If there is one thing I have learned from Moving with pets it is: You always have to have a plan A, B, C and maybe even a plan D.

We brought our two cats from Texas to Guam which was tricky since Guam is a rabies free zone. Then we got our two dogs in Guam and all 4 of them went to Japan with us which is also a rabies free zone. The hardest thing about moving from Guam to Japan was the language barrier. Although, we all made it there were a few bumps in between.

I would like to share some advice with fellow military families about PCSing overseas with your pets. The first thing to do is START EARLY!! If you are fortunate enough to have a vet on base you should start there. The base vet in Texas as well as Guam had websites, print outs and good information to help you start the process.
You will want to check the rabies status of your next overseas duty station. Places such as: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, Ireland, Taiwan, Hawaii, Guam, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand are all rabies free zones and will require some sort of quarantine procedure before your pet can go home with you. Some places allow for an "at home" quarantine stay IF you have all the requirements met.

To find more information on your next overseas duty stations policies you can go online to their website. They will usually have policies for PCSing with your pets posted. You can also check the host countries Department of Agriculture site for more information and requirements. Good resources to use are also your Sponsor, your Ombudsman, your Fleet and Family Center, as well as your base vet clinic.

Some of the things that are required for pet travel are: (please note this is not specific to any region, this is just a general idea of what is expected in some places)
  • FAVN - Follow the link for more information on the FAVN test. This information is provided by Kansas State University. Click here for FAVN Information
  • Microchip
  • Health Certificate, this will be provided by a veterinarian. It usually is valid for 10 days of travel. It is best to get health certificates done a day or so before travel just in case you get held up along your journey. The idea is NOT to let your health certificate expire before you reach your final destination.
  • Currently up to date vaccines
  • Proof of recent external parasite prevention application. This is usually Frontline, Advantix, etc.
Again, these are just a few general requirements for some rabies free duty stations. You will need to look up the requirements for each host country since they all vary in some way.

Once you get your plane tickets you will want to make reservations for your pet with that airline. Just in case you need one more thing to think about in this crazy process you want to make sure your pet has somewhere to stay once they land. Check with your new duty station or your sponsor to see what boarding facilities or quarantine facilities are available in the area. You want to ensure you make a reservation especially during peak PCSing times or the holidays.

The easier part of your journey is making sure you have the proper kennel or crate for your pet to travel safely. Also, to make sure you and your pet are prepared to make your journey.
You will find that when traveling your pet is required to have an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crate. Click on the link below to be taken to the IATA site for traveling with pets. IATA Information Each airline has specific requirements in addition to the IATA so check with your airline to ensure you meet their requirements as well.

We all want our pets to be safe and comfortable when they travel so here are a few things you can do to make travel on your pet a little easier.
  • If your pet is not used to being in a kennel slowly introduce it to them. Set it out in the house for a few days and let them get used to it. You can place it by their food bowl or their bed to create a positive association with the kennel and food or their happy place. Once your pet gets comfortable with the kennel being around you can try to put their food inside the kennel. Place it in the doorway at first then SLOWLY move the bowl into the kennel. This process can take weeks or even months depending on how comfortable your pet is with the kennel. You can also leave the top and door off the kennel and place a bed in there or the food bowl. This can also create a positive association. If this does not work there are many more tips and tricks you can try but remember make the kennel a positive thing. Never shove or force your pet into a kennel. This causes anxiety for the pet and makes it a negative experience.
  • On the day of travel put blankets, towels or sheets in the kennel that smell familiar to your pet.
  • Reduce the amount of food the day before travel and allow for access to the litter box or potty area before travel.
  • Take your dog on a long walk or get out your cats favorite toy for some play time before travel.  If you pet is mentally and physically exercised before being kenneled it should make your pet less tense or anxious.
  • Lastly, sedation of pets is highly discouraged before travel. The IATA has more information on this or you can speak to your veterinarian.
On the day BEFORE travel make sure you have all the required documents attached to their kennel. You will also want to keep copies of their record on you as well as copies of all necessary paperwork such as health certificates, rabies certificates and entry permits.
Don't forget to pack extra food for travel as well as frozen water bottle for them as well.

PCSing with pets should not be difficult but you want to ensure you cross all your T's and dot all your I's. You can never ask too many questions and you can never not have enough information on your host country and their policies. Good luck in your new advneture and always make sure you have a back up plan!

Friday, September 28, 2012

How to make a Dog Bowl Cake

In our previous blog we showed you our dog bowl cake we made for our first birthday. If you are interested in how to make a doggie cake of your own here are some simple instructions on how to do so.
I started out with simple ingredients:
I bought two boxes of cake mix, two cans of icing, Cocoa Puffs, and an aluminum dog bowl.
First, make sure to grease by dog bowl ahead of time so you can pop the cake out nice and easy! I used a non-stick cooking spray.
Second, I mixed the TWO boxes of cake batter and poured them into the bowl. I set the oven according to the cake mix box but increased the baking time so the cake would cook all the way through. I am not sure how long it baked for exactly but I kept an eye on it and once the top started to brown up a bit too much I laid a piece of foil across it to keep it from burning.
 Once your cake is done set it on a cooling rack. Make sure the cake is cooled all the way before you turn it out of the pan. Then I used a knife to cut the cake in half. Hopefully, your cake will look like this.
You can see on the left the cake is turned out of the pan and on the right it is cut in half. My cake is not cut perfectly but that is ok because you are going to put icing between the two layers so if they are not perfectly symmetrical it will all work out in the end with the icing.
So you are going to want to put the bottom layer back into the dog bowl and ice the top of that layer. Then you are going to put the top layer back on and ice the top of that. You are going to want a bit of a thicker layer on the top so you can add the Cocoa Puffs and make sure they stick on there well. I only used about a can and a half of icing. I am sure you can make the most of 1 can but icing is just too good to be skimped on so I opened his equally delicious friend!
NOW, for the fun part. The kid in me wanted jut to pour the box of cereal on top of the cake and see how it turned out, but then my OCD kicked in and I "had" to place each and every piece of cereal on there one at a time to ensure a good outcome! Take your pick. If you do decide to dump the box let me know how that turns out-- I am still curious!
So once you start to put all the cereal on you are almost done. All you need to do now is decide if you want to leave room for candles or a cake topper. I did not have either so I went ahead and filled it up with the Cocoa Puffs. So it looks like this:
 And there you have it!

Please note: this cake is for human consumption only.




Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy First Birthday Southern Wag!

Last weekend we celebrated one whole year of being in business. We celebrated with some close friends at the dog park and had lots of  fun. We had about 30 dogs total plus their families and friends.
In case you missed the party here is how we celebrated our very first year with some very special friends.We started off the afternoon by decorating the table. We made sure we had puppy treats and people treats to share. I made three different types of dog treats to share. I made Carob Cookies, Cranberry Balls and Peanut Butter Bites. By the end of the afternoon there was nothing left but the bottom of the bowl the treats came in. Everyone took them home to share with their puppies. We also had hand made braided rope bones, and tennis balls to share with everyone.
We did not forget about our two legged friends though. We made sure to make some puppy chow to share, as well as paw print themed cake balls. The cake balls got a little warm out int he Guam sun by they were delicious anyways.
To top off the afternoon we had a "Dog Food Cake!" I made this cake for the occasion and it was by far the funnest thing to make for our event.
I would like to thank our friends Sandra Lynn Photography for taking lots of beautiful pictures at our party. I would also like to thanks Maryann from 31 gifts for donating a gift certificate for our raffle, as well as Ashley from Sweet Temptations for her help with the cake pops. And last but not least my friend Trina who was there to help cut, staple, and haul everything to and from the party.
Thank you to each one of you for all your help and support. I would like to also thank all of our guests who came and supported us and who made our 1 year anniversary such a hit!
Now for pictures of all the fun! If you are interested in how I made certain things please contact me. I will post a separate blog just for the Dog Food Cake.
Here are a few pictures taken by Sandra Lynn Photography:

Aww!! Puppy Love!

This looks like this years Christmas card!

Someone has a tennis ball!

Ami Lee and her crew having fun!
For more pictures by Sandra Lynn Photography click on the link below!
Here are some more pictures of the goodies and treats we had to share with everyone!
Here is our table all set up. On this end are the people treats!! There is the Dog Food Cake and Cake Pops.

We brought Tennis Balls, Braided Rope Bones, and other assorted toys for everyone to play with and take home!

Here is another view of the Dog Food Cake! I added the vinyl decorations on the outside of the bowl.

Here is a view of our cake pops!

Another view of the party table.

Our raffle basket. Includes Treats, a rope bone, tennis balls, a travel bowl, our Muddy Paws
shampoo and lastly a $30 gift certificate!
You can see we set out plenty of poeple treats but we also brought lots of puppy treats!!




Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hi everyone! Welcome to the Southern Wag blog! To celebrate our first year in business are launching our new blog.
First, I would like to thank Tasha from My Cute Lobster Design for helping us design our new blog site! We are beyond excited to be able to connect with you in a new way!
This blog will be a way for you to find out about our current sales, the latest Southern Wag news, and a place to view new merchandise! We will also feature recipes, crafts as well as other goodies for you pet lovers!
Thanks for joining us for our very first blog! Stay tuned for more fun and excitement!!