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There’s no doubt that we are full swing into pumpkin season. It’s hard to go into any store without seeing some type of pumpkin spice product. And, while your dog cannot enjoy a yummy PSL (pumpkin spice latte) with you, there are other delicious ways for your dog to enjoy pumpkin this season.

Photo Credit: @thatgoldendoodle

Besides the yummy taste, there are many health benefits for dogs that eat pumpkin. But, before you begin giving your dog some of grandma’s famous pumpkin pie, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Dogs can only eat unsweetened raw or cooked pumpkin. This generally means no human pumpkin snacks.
  • Canned pumpkin is fine – just as long as it’s organic and does not contain any added sugar!
  • Dogs can eat both the seeds and/or flesh of a pumpkin. Keep in mind that pumpkins spoil quickly, be sure to inspect your pumpkin carefully.
  • Always consult your Veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog.

One of the biggest health benefits pumpkin provides is aiding in upset stomach or diarrhea issues. Pumpkin is rich in soluble fiber and also contains vitamins A, E and C. The soluble fiber aids in absorbing the excess water in your dog’s stool. This fiber also serves as a prebiotic for your dog’s intestines and gut lining, which kickstarts the growth of beneficial bacteria while decreasing the harmful bacteria.

Pumpkin can also help to entice your dog to eat his meals if his upset stomach may be keeping him from eating. Simply add 1 – 2 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin to your dog’s meal. When starting out, it’s best to start with a smaller quantity and work your way up.

Hopefully, your dog is happy and healthy! In which case, pumpkin is still a great addition to your dog’s diet. Pumpkin isn’t just for “sick” dogs, there are different ways you can (and should) give your healthy dog pumpkin.

Photo Credit: @arloandjoy

TREATS!

The easiest way to provide your dog with pumpkin is by buying premade treats. During this time of year, there are an abundance of pumpkin dog treats, just as there are for humans. Not a fan of premade treats? Grab a fresh pumpkin and you can make your own dog treats.

Photo Credit: @dalmatiandiy

When making your own fresh pumpkin treats, don’t throw out those seeds. Not only do pumpkin seeds make a great treat for dogs, but they also help aid against worms in your dog’s intestinal tract. Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitin, an amino acid, that stops any worms from progressing and eliminates them.

Photo Credit: @olgainthekitchen

When feeding pumpkin seeds, you will want to get them fresh or untreated. Often, the grocery store pumpkin seeds come pre-salted, which you want to avoid. If your dog doesn’t want to eat them raw, try roasting them with some coconut oil – this will also help to prolong the seeds shelf life. It’s as easy as putting the pumpkin seeds onto a baking sheet and baking them for 10 – 15 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have a picky eater that doesn’t want to eat the pumpkin seeds whole, try grinding them to a salt like texture and sprinkle on your dog’s meal.

DINNER!

If your dog already gets enough treats, try steaming some fresh cut pumpkin and adding it to your dog’s dinner. Cut your pumpkin into small cubes, add some water to your steamer and let your pumpkin cook for about 10 – 12 minutes. Let the pumpkin pieces cool and serve.

Photo Credit: @popped.pomegranate

Whichever way you give your dog pumpkin is up to you! It may take some trial and error to see what your dog prefers. But, you can rest assured that not only is pumpkin safe for your dog – it’s healthy too!

We’d love to hear how you feed pumpkin to your dog. Let us know in the comments below or share a photo of your dog with his pumpkin on our social media pages. Tag us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #Benebone so we can see your pumpkin treats or meals.

Photo Credit: @the_puppy_source

We can finally say that fall is upon us …. Well, at least our calendars say so. As we make our way through the year, now is the time that many of us are trying to exercise our dogs while battling the rain, chilling temperatures and even snow! While the weather may not always be ideal, it is still incredibly important to make sure that your dog gets an ample amount of exercise.

Photo Credit: @braceythedog

Lack of exercise can not only increase your dog’s shirt size, but can also lead to joint discomfort.

To keep your dog not only active, but healthy, don’t let the weather determine if your dog exercises that day. It is just as easy to exercise your dog indoors as it is outdoors. Keeping your dog active throughout the year will not only be beneficial to your dog’s overall weight, but is also a great bonding experience for you and your dog.

Keep these indoor dog exercises in mind next time you look outside and think you can’t take your dog for his daily walk.

Stair Runs

Yup, these are as easy as it sounds! Running up and down the stairs will not only provide cardio exercise for your dog, but will also help to increase your dog’s muscle strength and joints. The pushing off motion that your dog’s back legs use to go up the stairs will help to strengthen his joints and help prevent knee problems in the future. A great way to entice your dog to do stair runs is to stand at the top of the stairs, throw his favorite ball or plushie at the bottom of the stairs and call him to come back up to you once he’s received it. Essentially, you are playing a game of fetch, but with the added exercise of the stair climbs.

 

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Hide and Go Seek!

Hide and go seek is not only a great physical exercise, but provides mental stimulation for your dog as well. Since we are using hide and seek as a exercise, it’s best if you can avoid hiding multiple treats. Instead, try hiding yourself and calling your dog’s name once you’ve hidden.

Photo Credit: @f0xd0g

Tug-Of-War

It doesn’t get much more fun for a dog than playing tug-of-war with his human companion. Tug-of-war is not only is a fun game, but also increases your dog’s endurance and jaw strength. Make sure you take breaks in between rounds, dogs can become overly excited and not realize that they in fact, they do need a break. Not to brag, but our dental chew makes for a great tug-of-war toy. 😉

Photo Credit: @bernadettevcook

Puzzle Games

Just as important as it is to exercise your dog physically, so is offering mental stimulation. Many dogs get their daily dose of mental exercise through outdoor walks simply by sniffing the ground. However, with the change in weather, many dogs do not get to go on their daily walks. Puzzle games will help keep your dog mentally active. Don’t have any puzzle games on hand? Not to worry. You can just as easily provide mental stimulation for your dog with 3 colored (non see through) cups and a treat. Let your dog smell the treat, then hide the treat under a cup. Mix the cups out of order and allow your dog to sniff out the treat.

Photo Credit: @thechurrogram

Obstacle/Agility Course

Putting together an obstacle/agility course in your house is much easier than you think. What does every agility course have? A tunnel. This is where all your online shopping comes in handy. 😉 Remove the top and bottom of any empty cardboard boxes you have and line them up back to back. Voilà, you now have a tunnel for your dog to run through.

 

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Next, you’ll need a jumping obstacle. Grab your broom and line up two chairs next to each other with a gap in the middle. Simply lay the broom across the chairs. This gives your dog a clear point to jump over. If you have a smaller dog or senior dog that cannot jump as high, move your broom onto small canisters, pillows or whatever you deem height appropriate. To make it a little more challenging, add an extra jump using another broom or mop. Back to back jumps will really get your dog’s heart pumping.

Finally, you’ll want to add in some weaving poles. But, how many of us actually have weaving poles in our house? For this, you could easily use those small cones that you may have used for soccer practice if you have kids in the house. For those that don’t, place a few candles lined up in a row. Have a treat in your hand to help guide your dog learn how to “weave” in and out of the obstacles.

 

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The change in weather doesn’t have to hinder your dog’s daily exercise. Fall and winter are when dogs tend to gain the most weight, which can lead to health concerns for your dog. Keep them healthy and happy with these fun indoor activities. We are always on the lookout for other fun and creative indoor exercises. Show us how you exercise your dog during the colder months by leaving a comment below or tagging us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #benebone.

Feature image photo credit: @rambothepuppy

It’s that spooky time of year again ….. Halloween! Time to break out your arts and crafts supplies and get your creative juices flowing. By far, our favorite part of Halloween is seeing all the fun, creative, scary and cute costumes dog parents create.

Regardless of what direction your dog’s Halloween costume takes you in, it’s most important to make sure your dog is safe in his costume. These safety tips below will help assure that both you and your dog have a great night of Halloween fun!

Photo Credit: @wallythewelshcorgi

Safety Tips

  • Regardless if you are making or buying your dog’s costume, make sure you properly measure your dog and always go slightly larger to account for your dog’s furry fluff. This is most important around your dog’s neck. Always add an extra ½ inch to allow for any fabric to fit loosely around your dog’s neck. Keep your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth free of any fabric to allow him to see, smell and breath properly.
Photo Credit: Blueberry Pet
  • Stay away from sharp objects. This applies to both objects that could potentially hurt your dog and objects attached to your dog’s costume that could potentially hurt others. Keep in mind that dogs are very social and will often run up to another dog or human quickly. Any costume “props” should be made with soft, safe materials.
Photo Credit: @mrangusscottie
  • Check the ingredients of any face or body paint. There are many non-toxic, safe or even water-based paints that you can use safely on your dog. A few days before Halloween, test a small amount of paint on your dog’s fur to make sure your dog doesn’t have any skin irritations to the paint.
Photo Credit: Pugsleys World
  • LED collars can help save your dog’s life! While these might not match your dog’s costume, this safety precaution is highly recommended if you are taking your dog trick-or-treating with your family during the late evening hours. These brightly lit collars help drivers see your furry friend while crossing the street.
Photo Credit: @kees_chiya
  • Just say no to candy! Candy is an absolute no-no for dogs. Many candies are toxic for dogs and can lead to an unwanted ER visit. If you want your dog to partake on the Halloween treat fun, try giving him some fresh fruit such as blueberries. Luckily, your dog won’t know what he’s missing out on.
Photo Credit: @lifewithweenies
  • Make sure your dog’s ID information is up to date! It is important to make sure that your dog is not only microchipped, but also has a current ID tag on his collar or harness.
Photo Credit: @dania_thebeagle

Remember, Halloween can be a scary and confusing time for dogs. You know your dog best and know if a costume isn’t right for him or if he should stay inside during trick-or-treat time.

In hopes of inspiring you to have a fun and safe Halloween, we’ve collected some of our favorite dog costumes of years past. Check out the gallery below to see all the fun dog costumes and make sure you tag our Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter accounts with #benebone so we can see your dog’s costume! Happy Halloween!

 

Finally! The answer to all our stick loving dog friends problems have been solved. With the introduction of our newest family member, The Maplestick, we are helping to put an end to the great debate of “no sticks in the house”. Made from real maplewood and high quality nylon, The Maplestick will help satisfy your dog’s stick chewing obsession without the mess. And, since The Maplestick is available in three sizes: small, medium or large, dogs of all sizes will finally be able to find their perfect sized stick.

If you follow us on any of our social media pages, you may have seen our posts highlighting our new Maplestick but, now, we want to see yours. There’s nothing we love more than seeing our friends happily chewing or hearing how one of our products have helped keep your furry best friend from chewing on your favorite pair of shoes. So, we’ve gathered some of our favorite photos of dogs with their Maplestick for your viewing pleasure.

Does your dog like to chew their Maplestick inside in the cool air conditioning or outside sunbathing under the summer rays? Show us where your dog chews by tagging us in your post with #bbmaplestick on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

*Featured Image: @jaggerdwagger

When you think about your family, if you have a dog, you probably think of your dog as a member of your family and not “just a dog”. There is no scarier feeling than a family member missing and not being able to locate them. But, what if we told you that if your dog goes missing, there is way to double your chances of being reunited with your furry bff! According to Petfinder.com, roughly only 22% of lost dogs that are turned into shelters are reunited with their owners. However, when a dog is microchipped the reunited percentage rate jumps to over 52%! A quick, minor procedure could help reunite you and your dog should your dog ever go missing.

What is a Microchip?

A microchip is exactly what it sounds like. It is a small, tiny transponder about the size of a grain of rice that is encoded with a unique code for your dog and your dog only. No two codes on a microchip are ever the same. This assures dog parents that there will never be any mixups when it comes to your dog. This code is then used to help identify your dog should they ever go missing, stolen or any other unfortunate event.

Photo Credit: My Mini Doxie

Veterinarians, shelters and animal organizations have a “scanner” device, which varies in size and shape, that can be waived over any dog to retrieve the unique code. Once the code is retrieved, the Veterinarian or staff member can then contact the microchip company that in turn contacts the registered dog parent.

Photo Credit: @pawsandclawspetshelter
Photo Credit: @vetmarianam

How is the Microchip Inserted?

A microchip should only ever be inserted by a Veterinarian. Ideally, you should have your regular Veterinarian insert your dog’s microchip. Having your Veterinarian implant your dog’s microchip assures your dog’s safety and you have peace of mind knowing that the microchip being inserted is trustworthy and legit. Another added benefit is that your dog’s microchip number is in your dog’s vet file and it is one less step you have to manage to keep your dog’s records up to date.

Most dogs are usually microchipped at the time of they are spayed or neutered, while the dog is already under anesthesia. However, a dog does not need to be under anesthesia to have a microchip implanted. This is a relatively quick and simple process that at most, can cause some mild discomfort. Having a dog microchipped is much like having your dog vaccinated. Microchips are inserted underneath your dog’s skin between your dog’s shoulder blades with a syringe. Once your Veterinarian has located the desired injection spot, your Veterinarian will then pinch your dog’s skin to help minimize any discomfort and inject the microchip.

Photo Credit: sacurrent.com

While the majority of dogs that receive a microchip have no side effects or experience any downtime, should your dog’s skin or injection site become red or irritated, it is important to contact your Veterinarian immediately.

Once your Veterinarian has implanted your dog’s microchip, you will receive paperwork regarding the company that your dog’s microchip belongs to. Completing this paperwork is of utmost importance and the information it contains is the how you are notified if your dog goes missing and someone finds your dog. If your Veterinarian’s office does not give you a form to complete with your contact information, be sure to ask the front desk staff before you leave the office. Some Veterinarian offices will complete your microchip registration for you, while some may give you a website to visit to complete your microchip registration. It is important to clarify whether you or your Veterinarian’s office will complete the registration so that your contact information is accurate.

What is the Price for a Microchip?

The current average price for your dog to be microchipped is $45.00. This is a one-time fee for the service of inserting the microchip and registering your information with the microchip company. Often, you can also have your dog microchipped at local government vaccine clinics or even at your local shelter for a discounted price. However, don’t forget to copy all the information and give it to your Veterinarian’s office to put into your dog’s file. For $45.00, should your dog ever go missing, you could potentially double your chances of being reunited!

How to Maintain Your Dog’s Microchip

Once your dog has been microchipped, you are set for the dog’s life. Your dog will never need another microchip and this is a lifelong service. However, it is the dog parent’s responsibility to keep his or her contact information up to date. A good idea is to bookmark the website of your dog’s microchipping company. Should your dog go missing, it can often be hard to remember the company of your dog’s microchip during that stressful situation. This will also make it easier for your to keep your contact information current should you move or change your phone number.

Photo Credit: @_miss_maggiemae

If you rescued your dog from a shelter or rescue organization, many times part of the adoption price includes a microchip. In some cases, a dog that has been surrendered may have a microchip that is linked to the previous owner. In these circumstances, call the company that the microchip is registered to and have your current contact information put in place of the previous owner’s.

At your dog’s yearly health exam, ask your Veterinarian to scan your dog’s microchip to make sure everything is working as it should be. A quick scan can help deter any problems that may have risen since your pet was microchipped. For instance, microchips can often migrate through your dog’s body. Most commonly, a microchip will “fall and migrate” around your dog’s underarm. If your dog is small, less than 20 pounds, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, as the microchip scanner will still be able to pickup and read the electric scan. However, if you have a large dog, this could result in someone missing your dog’s microchip when scanned. Having your Veterinarian scan the back shoulder blades of your dog will tell you if your dog’s migrated microchip is still in working use or if you need to take other action. If further action is required, your Veterinarian will discuss your options with you.

Photo Credit: thenerdyvet.com

What to Do if You Find a Missing Pet!

If you find a lost dog without any identifying tags and are able to approach the dog, take the dog to your local Veterinarian or nearby shelter. Any incoming dogs that are not being surrendered by the actual owner are always scanned for a microchip. If you happen to find a dog during non-business hours, pet emergency hospitals are also equipped with a microchip scanner and can even keep the dog overnight in most circumstances. Regardless if you take a stray dog to your regular Veterinarian or emergency pet hospital, there is never a charge to you to perform a microchip scan.

We would love to hear any of your microchipping stories of being reunited with your dog! Comment below or tag us in your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts with #Benebone.

Photo Credit: friendshiphospital.com

You may have seen us comment and mention on social media that we would love to meet all our furry friends and their awesome parents. So, we’ve started taking our social media presence on the road! It’s always exciting to meet our social media friends and introduce ourselves to dog parents that might not yet know about Benebone.

First up was the Baltimore BarkHappy event hosted at Monument City Brewing Company.

If you’re unfamiliar with BarkHappy and their events, they host dog events in various cities throughout the country at local restaurants or bars. While you do need to buy a ticket to attend, a portion of the proceeds will go to a local dog shelter in that area. For the Baltimore events, BarkHappy teams up with the Baltimore County Humane Society.

These meetups are a great way to make new friends, check out local vendors and socialize your dog.

We were lucky to meet and talk with over 40 dogs and their parents. We met dogs as small as yorkies to dogs as large as a Great Dane. We’ve gathered a collection of photos from the event taken by Natalie of Landrum Photography, LLC for your viewing pleasure.

We would love to hear what city you are in and where we should travel to next! Please leave a comment below or tag us on your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook photos with #Benebone showing us where you call home.

 

Besides the classic dog bone, what’s out there that dogs simply cannot resist chewing on?

You guessed it… STICKS!

Image: @maggiethegroodle

Small sticks, large sticks, fat sticks, muddy sticks. It seems that our four-legged best friends have a natural penchant for all things woody. (It’s probably why as puppies, they like to sink their teeth into the wooden legs of our expensive sofas).

Photo Credit: @mrcooperramsey

All dogs have a natural urge to chew. It’s part of their nature as a way to relieve stress and excitement. As puppies, dogs use their mouths to explore the world, learning about everything in front of them with their mouths.

We’ve captured their hearts with our bacon, chicken, and peanut flavored chews. Now we’re introducing a brand new tree-inspired product: the Maplestick!

Just like all of our other Benebone products, our Maplestick is sourced and made right here in the USA! And, of course, we are sticking to our minimal ingredient promise to you. The Maplestick is made with only 2 ingredients: our high quality, durable nylon and real maple wood infused throughout the stick. Not only will The Maplestick satisfy your dog’s desire to chew on wood, but it also helps keep your house clean of those pesky wooden pieces that seem to easily fall off the sticks your dog drags in.

The Maplestick is available in 3 sizes: small (for dogs 30 lbs and under), medium (for dogs 60 lbs and under) and large (for dogs 90 lbs and under).

The Maplestick will be available at most local pet stores and select online retailers. You can also try your luck on our Instagram page where we host weekly giveaways. We hope you are as excited as we are to introduce our latest member of the Benebone family! We would love to see your photos and/or videos of your dog with The Maplestick. Tag us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the #BBMaplestick and we just might share your post.

 

While fireworks may deter dogs from enjoying the 4th of July in the evening, that doesn’t stop dogs from strutting their stuff throughout the day. We couldn’t get over your patriotic pooches that attended pet parades, human parades, cookouts and more.

And, we are proud to remind you that every Benebone that you give your dog is proudly made in the USA! Not only are our Benebones made in the USA, but we also source every ingredient within the US as well!

 

Because we want to keep this 4th of July party going through the weekend, we’ve gathered some of the cutest and most patriotic dog photos for your viewing pleasure. If your dog has decided to extend their holiday weekend, we want to see how they are celebrating. Tag us in your celebration photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #Benebone and we might just share your photo! 🙂

Welcome back to our Instagram 101 Series! Ever hear and wonder what people are talking about when you hear the term “stories” in relation to Instagram? Looking for a way to boost your Instagram account’s engagement? Have a fun photo or video that you want to share, but don’t necessarily want to post it to your main feed? If you’re looking for a fun way to share content, Instagram stories is exactly what you are looking for.

What are Instagram Stories?

Instagram created “stories” to directly compete with it’s visual sharing competitor, Snapchat. Instagram Stories are photos or short video clips that are posted on your account for 24 hours. After 24 hours, your story disappears from your account. You may have seen those circle icon at the top of your home screen. These are other people’s stories. As they upload, you will continue to see them at the top of your page. To watch someone’s story, simply click on the icon. Stories will continuously play and switch to the next user until you close out of the page.

Photo Credit: FonePaw

Why You Should Post Stories?

Stories are a great way to share content that you may not typically share on your mainstream feed. Often, stories are also used to share the “behind the scenes” of your daily adventures, promote products, promote blog posts or even used to alert followers when you put a new post up. There’s no wrong or right way to use stories, use them as you see fit for your account.

How to Post A Story

Posting your first story can often be daunting, but it’s actually just as easy as posting a photo or video onto your Instagram feed. Once you’ve posted a story or two, you’ll be a pro in no time!

To begin, open your Instagram account and make sure you are on the “home” tab, which is located in the bottom left hand corner and looks like a house icon.

Once you’re on your home page, click on the camera icon, which is located in the top left hand corner of your account. This will open the camera on your phone. Instagram allows you to have the option of taking a photo or video and uploading it or you can upload a photo or video from your phone’s gallery that you previously took.

To take a live photo or video, simply tap the large white button at the bottom of your screen for a photo or hold that white button to take a video. Instagram allows your story videos to be 15 seconds or less. If you choose to upload a photo or video that you have previously taken, simply tap the far left box. You will see your latest photo from your phone’s gallery here.

Once you’ve taken your photo or uploaded your content, click the “send to” button and then “share”, followed by “done”. Voila, you’ve created your first story! 🙂

Text, Stickers, Gifs & More!

While you can leave your story as is, but just as you write a caption for your main feed post, you will probably want to write a caption for your story to let your followers know what is going on in your story. Overlaying text on top of  your story is just as easy as posting. Once you’ve taken or selected your photo, tap the “Aa” icon in the upper right hand corner. Here, you will be able to type a short caption and choose your font. In addition to writing a short caption, you can also tag accounts. If you tag an account in your story, your story will automatically be sent to the account you tagged so that they are alerted to your story as well.

A fun way to spruce up the appearance of your stories is by adding stickers and/or gifs. Gifs are moving emojis that can really capture a follower’s attention and add a little humor to your story. Again, once you’ve taken or selected your photo, simply tap the smiling sticker icon in the upper right of your story.

Here, not only can you add emojis and gifs, but you can also add facts such as your location, the time and the temperature. By adding your location, you can attract new followers that are around your area. You can be as precise as adding the exact location of any stores you are at or keep it generic in only adding the city or town that you are in.

Check Your Stats!

Just as you may check your insights for your Instagram posts, checking the insights on your Instagram story may be just as helpful when you are planning your content and/or working with a brand.

To check your insights, when on your home page of Instagram, tap your own story icon. Once your video starts playing or your photo pops up, you should see “seen by” in the lower left hand corner. This is the number of people that have seen your story. Tap “seen by” and a new page opens up.

Here, you can see exactly which accounts have viewed your story. To see deeper insights, simply tap the graph bar icon which will break down your interactions and discovery. Use this insightful tool to help determine which of your stories are most successful.

You can compare stories to see which stories have higher views and engagement. For instance, you may have higher views if you add #cutedog to your story versus just adding #dog. Play around with your hashtags and see what works best for you and your account. However, be sure to check your insights near your stories 24 hour mark. Just as the stories disappear, so will your stories insights.

All in all, Instagram stories, while meant to be an additional feature of Instagram, actually pack a lot of punch. Use stories to your advantage, whether that be showcasing a product you’ve been asked to share, sneak peeks of upcoming posts, sharing of blog posts, behind the scenes, etc. Allow stories to be yet another creative outlet for you to share your visual images with all your friends and followers.

Have any Instagram stories tricks to share? What makes your Instagram stories pop? Let us know in the comments below or share your thoughts with us in an Instagram story of your own. Don’t forget to tag our Instagram account @mybenebone so we see your story.

Just about all of us have seen Disney’s 101 Dalmatians and/or photos of dalmatians sitting proudly atop of a firetruck lending a helping paw. Sure, you may think you know dalmatians, but did you know how friendly, confident and intelligent Dalmatians truly are? One family in Houston, Texas is not only educating fellow dog owners about Dalmatians, but they are also a growing and popular Instagram account: @jackson_the_dalmatian. In this Fan Feature, you’ll get to know more about this beautiful dog breed and we also have Jackson’s Mom, Julie, sharing some of her photography tips!

If you’ve been following Jackson and his brothers, Heath and Bennett over the years, you know Jackson is the star of this handsome trio. If you are new to Jackson’s Instagram account, let us introduce you to the family: Jackson, who is now 3 years old, has lived with his Dad in Texas from the start of his puppy days. Jackson’s brother, Heath is a 4 year old Weimaraner that lived with their Mom, Julie, in Ohio until they moved down to Texas and married Jackson’s Dad.

After they were settled into their new home, Jackson and Heath welcomed a baby brother, Bennett, now a 1 year old Dalmatian.

While it was brotherly love from the start for Jackson and Heath, adding Bennett to the mix was a bit of a transition period for Heath. It took Heath about a month to adjust to having another younger brother in the house. At times throughout the adjustment period, whenever Heath would become agitated with Bennett, Jackson would recognize Heath’s irritability and interject himself in between Heath and Bennett. Yes, Jackson physically inserted himself in between Heath and Bennett! Julie believes that Jackson would do this to not only shield Bennett, but to also signal to Heath to calm down.

When we asked Julie why she decided to start an Instagram account for her dog, Julie said that initially it was set up to keep in touch with Jackson and share his puppy photos while she was still in Ohio and Jackson was in Texas. It was a way for Julie to stay connected to Jackson despite being thousands of miles apart. Instagram also provided Julie with a way to share Jackson’s puppy and growth photos with her family and friends. And while Julie had no plans on becoming Instafamous, she is continuously delighted to watch as Jackson’s following has grown to over 50,000 followers!

Instagram fame is not what keeps Julie motivated to post adorable photos of Jackson and his brothers. According to Julie, the most rewarding part of Instagram has been the connections she’s made with fellow pet parents. Instagram has allowed her to meet dog lovers both internationally and domestically that she would not have met otherwise. Julie and Jackson have also used Instagram as a way to meet local dogs within their Houston community. Setting up local play dates within your community is a great way to socialize your dog and make new friends.

Jackson and his brothers certainly reap the benefits of Julie working from home, as their typical day includes lots of time with Mom, going for walks, playing fetch and swimming in their pool.

And since Julie works from home, she is able to use the natural daylight, which she says is key for Jackson’s fantastic photos. It also helps that Jackson is a natural in front of the camera. Whenever Julie pulls out her phone or the camera, Jackson seems to naturally pose. It also helps that Jackson is highly treat motivated and knows that picture time equals treat time!

But, while Jackson is the ham of the family, Heath and Bennett are a bit camera shy, which is why they aren’t regulars on Jackson’s Instagram account. Since it can be a bit of a challenge to get all 3 boys to cooperate, Julie sprinkles in Heath and Bennett’s appearances occasionally.

For any newbie dog accounts or pet parents looking to take photos of their dog, Julie says that natural light is best to help showcase your dog’s eyes. For Jackson, much of his personality and expression is captured in his eyes. Another helpful hint from Julie is to have lots of treats and squeaky toys on hand to help grab your dog’s attention during photo time.

And yet despite all the love that Jackson receives, there can still be misconceptions about this breed. In the past, Dalmatians have had a reputation of being high strung, untrainable and not the best with kids. However, Julie says that she has never seen any of these qualities in her Dalmatians and that they are nothing but “confident, intelligent and outgoing”. A big part of Jackson’s outgoing personality is, in part, due to Julie socializing Jackson as much as possible with not only other dogs, but other people as well. Julie and her husband take Jackson to as many pet-friendly places as possible. So far, Jackson’s favorite so far seems to be the beach. Galveston Island to be specific.

Sure, Jackson has a lot of energy, but with the right amount of exercise and stimulation, Julie says it’s not unheard of for Jackson to nap the rest of the day away.

So next time you see a Dalmatian, look past all the spots and preconceived notions. These dogs are just as fun and loving as any other breed. Don’t take our word for it, give Jackson and his brothers a follow on their Instagram account to keep up with their adventures. This summer is sure to be packed with swimming and road trips. But, no wet grass. That is where Jackson draws the line! 😉