Wednesday, March 23

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National Puppy Day with Camp Bow Wow's tips for "New Dog, Now What," "Puppy Proofing 101," Human Habits Pets Dislike" and "How to Select the Right Pet for Your Family"

In 15 years, Camp Bow Wow, the premier pet care franchise, has grown to include over 152 locations across North America, becoming a $93 million brand. In 2016, the company was ranked 204 out of 500 in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 list. The Camp concept provides the highest levels of fun, safety and service for its Campers, and peace of mind for their parents. Dogs romp together in an open-play environment and pricing is all-inclusive.  Since the Broomfield, Colorado-based company started franchising in 2003, Camp Bow Wow has sold more than 152 franchises in 38 states, plus one in Canada, over 41% being women-owned. In August 2014, Camp Bow Wow was acquired by VCA, Inc. (NASDAQ: WOOF), a leading animal healthcare company in the United States and Canada.

The Camp Bow Wow brand family also includes:

  •     Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow premier in-home pet care
  •     Behavior Buddies® premier dog training 

The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation  a non-profit organization dedicated to providing urgent medical care funds to dogs who are either homeless or whose parents cannot afford to pay their veterinary bills.

Camp Bow Wow Avondale
1050 North Fairway Drive Building #111
Avondale, Arizona 85323 
(623) 925-8998

New Dog, Now What?

Introduce family pets in neutral territory If you have other dogs in your family, you want to ensure you allow them to meet on neutral territory first. Bring them to a local park or somewhere away from your home and let them greet each other. Just do short little greetings that give them a positive experience.

Get your dog used to a crate if they haven't already. A crate is not only a safe place for a dog, but it also ensures that you have a place to put them when you have to leave the home. Most dogs love crates because it is a quiet, private space that is all their own, and it keeps them from getting in trouble while you are at work or out of the home. If your dog isn't already crate trained, work with a trainer on how to crate train your dog. When you leave the house, you will want a safe, comfortable place for your new dog to stay so they can't get into the trash and do other bad behaviors while you are gone. Once your dog settles in, you can work to keep your dog out of the crate, but the first six months would be a good target for letting them get adjusted.

Be prepared for some accidents. Even if you have been told your pet is potty trained, they are not potty trained in your house with your schedule. Be prepared for your new dog to have some accidents in the house until they learn. Make sure to take them out on a regular schedule, feed them twice a day around the same time and don't let them roam the house. If you have trouble, you can ask the trainer how to help you.

Give your dog time to get used to their new environment  Dogs can be stressed coming to a new home, so the first couple of weeks they may act shy or not as active. Give the dog some time to settle into their new routine. Don't force them to play if they don't want to, and just give them some good "down time" to relax and get adjusted. Patience is key! 

Be patient and reasonable. We all want that perfect dog that walks into our home. The one that is potty trained, doesn't jump on people and that acts like a total gem. When you bring a new dog in the house, remember that their whole world is changing. It will take them a little bit of time to settle in and with lots of love and patience you will have a furry forever friend!

Pick a Vet and Make an Appointment. Even though your new dog might healthy and have all of its vaccinations, it is important that you make visit the vet in the first couple of weeks of owning your dog. It is important that you create a relationship with a veterinarian and that they are able to get a good baseline on your dog. This includes getting a complete weight, blood work and a health check so when they see your pet again, they will know if there are any changes from their well visit.

Sign Up for a Training Class. It is important to build a good bond and vocabulary with your new dog, so enroll your pet in a training class to help with this. You will want the entire family to attend so they can all learn to communicate with your new four-legged family member in the same way. A basic obedience class where your dog will learn sit, down and other important commands is crucial to starting off on the right paw. Also, make sure that your training class is a reward-based class so you build a positive bond.

Exercise.  Make sure your pet gets at least one 30-minute walk per day, but preferably two. Whether they are a large dog or a small dog, not getting enough exercise will lead to behavior problems like chewing, barking and digging. It is important that they are able to get out excess energy so behavior issues don't start.

Puppy Proofing 101

To truly pet-proof your home, you should start by getting down on the floor to see the world the way your pet sees it. This is the best way to spot potential hazards.
Treat your Pet like you would a Child: Active puppies and kittens can easily get into dangerous situations. Use child-safety gates to prevent your pet from getting into trouble.

Take Caution with Wires: Pets can easily injure themselves with electrical wires, and outlets. Secure all electrical cords and outlets and keep your dog in areas of your home where cords cannot be accessed. 

Avoid Plants: Believe it or not, plants can be poisonous for pets. Be cautious when placing flowers around the house where your dog can easily access them.

Candles: Lit candles pose a serious threat to both your dog and your home. Keep your dog away from candles because they can easily be knocked down creating a fire hazard in your home.

Hide the Trash Can: A hyper puppy can easily knock over a trash can and spread garbage and bacteria throughout your home. In addition, dogs can choke on hazardous items so be sure to properly dispose of all garbage and keep it out of your dog's reach.

Utilize a Sofa Cover: To avoid fur on your loveseat, use a seat cover. Look for pet-specific covers that are also hypoallergenic. 

Be Careful with Fruit and Candy Baskets: Grapes (and raisins), chocolate and other numerous treats are actually deadly for dogs. Candy wrappers can also be threatening to your dog. Be sure to throw away all wrappers in a place where your dog can't get to them.

Human Habits that Pets Dislike

There are many things that we, as humans, do to pets that they don't enjoy, and this puts our pets and us at risk for stress and injury:

Hugging: While we may think it's sweet and comforting, pets often feel trapped and scared during hugs, particularly when humans pull pets into their faces. 

Waking them up: Who likes being jolted out of sleep? As dogs age, they can sleep more heavily, and can be startled and react poorly if woken up abruptly. 

Changing their routine: Dogs appreciate routine, and it's difficult for them to have abrupt schedule changes like weekday vs. weekend schedule differences. Changes can cause them to stress and lead to behavior problems like chewing, barking, digging, or other destructive behaviors. Try to keep their schedules consistent: waking up at the same time to take them out, feeding them at the same times with the same diet, and keeping their exercise routine consistent. Routine helps humans out too!

Inconsistent signals: Often humans don't realize they are giving dogs mixed signals about appropriate behavior, and this confuses dogs. If you don't want your dog to jump up on you, then you should never pet them when they jump up. Humans forget this and greet their dogs and pet them for jumping up when they get home from work, while they get mad and reprimand the dog at other times. 

Bringing new people or pets into the house and expecting them to love the newcomers right away: It can be scary to a dog to have strangers enter their household (their safe zone), so introductions should be done outside the house in neutral territory. Slow, calm introductions will help facilitate positive meet and greets! Follow the dog's comfort level and don't force any interactions.

Tips for Choosing the Best Pet for Your Family

Age-Old Wisdom: Be sure your new pet correlates with the ages of those in the household. A good rule of thumb: the new pet should fit the current physical capabilities of the caretakers with a perspective for what the next 10-15 years will bring.

It is not advised to bring a pet five months or younger, or toy-sized, into a home with young children. As young pets like to teethe and play, a young child may risk being bitten by a playful pet or may accidentally injure a toy-sized pet. A better choice for a household with young children is a medium-to-large sized pet over five months of age. 

If there are elderly members in a household, a strong vigorous adolescent pet is not advised. Large breeds also demand more physical upkeep, something that an older person may no longer be fit for. 

Establish the Primary Caretaker: As most families are extremely busy, figuring out who will take care of the new family pet while the others are working, at school or away is a key point to consider. The best decision to make before buying a new pet is to designate a primary caretaker who will be responsible for it when the fray of life picks up. 

A Gift for the Whole Family: Although it is exciting to surprise the family with a new pet for the holidays, the best approach is to bring the family to meet the candidate and gauge how they all interact. Do some research and poll each family member to find out what they are looking for in a new pet so that the pet you choose aligns with the circumstances of the household.

The Price of a New Pet Money: A new pet can go for "free-to-a-good-home" to several thousand dollars. A budget must be set not only for the upfront cost of taking the pet home, but also for immediate follow-up costs like veterinary check-ups, a training crate and pet obedience classes. Also keep in mind that your pet will need to be fed and groomed and will also need chew toys and additional supplies like food bowls, a dog bed, brushes, leashes, etc.  Also keep in mind the necessary chunk of money needed for veterinary emergencies. 

The Price of a New Pet Time & Energy: A new pet will cost the family by ways of time and energy. Various breeds and ages will make different demands, requiring more time in training and daily exercise than others. Any pet will require exercise, training and supervision and any age pet will require commitment from the family to establish house rules and routines.

How to be an Encouraging Sports Parent

Parents put children in sports for many reasons

  •     Grow skills: cooperation, tenacity, team work, resilience, hard work
  •     Exercise: cardio, strength, coordination
  •     Future success: college sport, career?
  •     Parent's Experience
  •     Pleasure: watch children play, grow, learn
  •     Challenge: when children make mistakes or umpires make bad calls
  •     Wish to protect our children from mistakes/failure
  •     Coaching children from the bleachers about what they SHOULD do
  •     Disagree with the coaches decisions
  •     Disagree with the umpire decisions
  •     This creates mischief: Takes child's dignity, self-esteem and gives them the perception to not have confidence in their ability.
  •      Picture this: your child is on stage at the school talent show.  You have practiced with them for hours and days on their performance
  •     Would you EVER call out during the performance to correct a mistake your child made?
  •     Would you EVER call out during the performance if your child's partner made a mistake?
  •     No, never we support children quietly, respectfully and let whatever happens happens.  

    This is what we need to do during sport competitions too:

  •     Encourage, encourage, encourage: remember the root word of encourage is COURAGE!
  •     Go ahead and be vocal about the positive actions you saw
  •     Great swing!
  •     Awesome footwork!
  •     Nice slide!
  •     Amazing dive!
  •     Even if that action does not lead to a successful ending: focus on the positive ACTION

Let your child make corrections during their game. In life, we need to evaluate our actions and make corrections.  Great life lesson
You can coach them at another time about changing their stance or altering their footwork. 
Have faith in your child's coach.  They are human and giving it their best effort.  You can always switch teams next season if this coach is not a good fit for your child.

Have faith in the referees.  They are just humans too.  In life, sometimes we get bad calls and it is HOW we deal with it that makes people successful or not.  Great opportunity to practice!

Let your child experience the sport, learn life lessons and then we can coach them after the game.  Again a great opportunity for us to connect with them, play with them and let them know that they matter more than winning or losing!

Dodie Blomberg
2205 E. Inca St Mesa, AZ 85213
480-213-0341 (off line at the moment)
Teaching Parenting Workshop: Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 in Mesa. for more information

The Wildlife World Zoo

The Wildlife World Zoo is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave. in Litchfield Park.
For more information on all the zoo's exciting attractions and events, call 623-935-WILD or check out their website

Local Love: Retro

One of the coolest furniture companies in Phoenix is called Vintage Industrial Furniture. They are so cool, in fact, their furniture is now a permanent part of the TV show The Big Bang Theory.  Also, Marvel's AGENTS of Shield has used their furniture on TV and Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant is adorned with it. Alec Baldwin has even ordered furniture from them and The Four Seasons in Scottsdale has commissioned them for custom furniture. They also hand-craft some really interesting, early 1900s pieces that would stand out in any home or business. 

For more information visit:

Vintage Industrial, LLC
1301 E. Jackson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034


Baseballism was a youth baseball camp founded by four former college baseball players and teammates with a passion to teach the game the right way. The camp ran strong for two years and focused on the fundamentals of the game as well as the life lessons learned on the diamond. After two years of camp the founders went their separate ways; one became a teacher, one a military lawyer, one a sports sales rep and one a finance manager. Five years later the former teammates restored Baseballism as a premium off the field brand focusing on the class, tradition and history of baseball. Now in a different industry, the roots of the original Baseballism Youth Camp and passion for the game are present in every garment and accessory.

For more information visit these websites:

3961 N. Brown
Scottsdale, AZ 85251