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Hello Benebone fam! This week’s post is coming to you from @emwng. I’ve been a part of the Benebone team (or should I say, Kokoro and Chibi have), shooting content and testing out new products for the past few years.

We’re so grateful to have such a strong community of Benebone-lovin’ pups on Instagram. Today we’re going to share with you some tips on how to take the best photos of your dog!

Master the sit & stay

Teaching your dog a very solid sit and stay will make your life as a photographer much easier. This seems like a no-brainer, but it definitely takes time to achieve. Once your dog has a good “sit,” work on impulse control and teach them to ignore distractions that may come up during a shoot. Throw treats and toys at your pup, suddenly start running away, walk away to where they can’t see you, you name it. Your pup should keep staying until they hear their release command.

This is something we’ve continually worked on over the years with Kokoro and Chibi and is even more essential when you want to take group photos with other dogs.

Teach your dog to bark

We like using the “bark” command to get the dogs to change up their expressions. You can use the “burst” mode to capture your pup’s face as they bark to get some fun expressions out of it!

Know your dogs’ trigger words

One of the things we run into a lot with the pups when we’re photographing them “in the wild” is their ears fold back as they’re listening to all of the things going on around them. I like photographing them when their ears are pointed forward towards the camera — it just looks much cuter!

To get them to point their ears forward, I use some of their favorite words or phrases, such as, “Do you guys want to…” or “Is it time for a treat?”

If I’m lucky, I’ll even get a head tilt out of asking them a question!

Use squeakers and sounds to your advantage

On top of knowing your dogs’ favorite phrases that get them to pay attention to you, you can also keep a squeaker in your pocket or learn how to make animal sounds to get your pup to look your way. This works especially well if you have a dog who is toy motivated.

Our dogs are super food motivated so this sometimes doesn’t work for them, but you know your dog best so use what he loves the most to get his attention throughout your shoots.

Use treats / peanut butter to get funny facial expressions 

This is one of our favorite tricks! Put some peanut butter, yogurt, or honey on your dog’s nose and shoot away with burst mode. You’re bound to get one or two gold gems, trust me. Here are some shots we got just by using peanut butter!

Decide on a consistent style that represents you

This is especially important for establishing your style on Instagram. What is the aesthetic you want to use to tell your story? Is it clean and minimal backgrounds?

Or is it action shots paired with a shallow depth of field?

Sticking to one style and getting some practice will help you improve your photography and editing skills. Maybe one day you want to switch it up and try a new style? Go for it!

Daylight is your friend

We take 99% of our photos during the day in natural light. If we’re at home, we always shoot close to a window. Sunlight is your friend and dogs just shoot amazingly in natural lighting.

This doesn’t mean you can’t use studio lighting, but it’s much trickier to properly light a pup this way. And you just don’t get the same authentic effect as using some regular ol’ light from mother nature.

Stay in the shade

We love a good sunny day, especially here in LA. But whenever we shoot outdoors, standing in the sun can cast some harsh shadows in places you may not want in your photo. We try to look for a shaded area when we’re out and about with the pups and need to grab some outdoor photos.

Play with different angles

This is something that has taken me years to perfect. What unique and different angles could I utilize to make my photography stand out more?

The first simple rule of thumb is to get down to your dog’s height. Make sure you’re eye level with them for the best shots!

Utilize burst mode and video

It’s definitely hard to capture that “it” moment, especially with moving pups and their constantly changing expressions, so use the burst feature on your camera to continuously capture as many frames as possible! That way, you can pick and choose which exact moment you want to share.

Some of the best shots on my Instagram are even frames taken from videos, such as this. Because I had to throw the confetti myself, I wasn’t able to shoot burst photos at the same time, so opted to shoot a video instead. The photo quality won’t be as high if you pull a frame from a video, but for Instagram that isn’t really a problem at all since you’re just posting at 1080 x 1080 px!

Get your dog to smile by running them around

Is your dog looking a little too serious for the type of photo you’re going for? Take their favorite tug toy and play 5-10 minutes of tug with them. Or, run up and down the hallway a few times to get them active and panting. It’s a quick and easy way to get them to open their mouths and look happier for a shoot!

Use the right equipment

When I first started out taking photos of Kokoro, I had a 90mm portrait lens on my camera that I primarily used for taking photos of people. I quickly found out that this was going to require me to back up a lot before being able to frame up a shot. It proved to be near impossible when Kokoro was a puppy and didn’t have a perfect sit stay.

Wide angle lenses will get you closer to the dog so you don’t have to back up as much and so there isn’t as much time for the dog to break their sit stay. We’ve been loving our 24mm f/1.4 lens for wide angle shots and will occasionally switch to our 40mm f/1.8 prime lens when we’re outdoors.

Give your dog lots of treats

Treat photo shoots as training time for them. They have to put in work and follow commands, so they deserve lots and lots of treats and praise for being good dogs. And ultimately, don’t make them do anything they don’t want to do. Make sure you’re both having fun! This will really give you the most authentic photos that tell the story between you and your pup in the end.

Incorporate product creatively!

When photographing your dog and featuring a brand, think about different ways to naturally incorporate the product. There are many options aside from simply placing the product next to your dog.

Think about the natural use of the product! Is there a way that you can tell the story of how you or your dog would use it in one photo? Do you want to feature your dog’s face, whole body, or just paws? Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Think about styling the environment to make it more interesting and purposeful. In these photos shot for Benebone, @bordernerd and @ifitwags used props to help bring more interest to these simple, beautiful photos.

Perhaps you get your pup in motion, moving towards the product to show interest or excitement. Just like how @pavlovthecorgi and @karen.lao did in these shots!

Or this shot of Chibi and Kokoro, up to no good and sneaking their way into a bag of yummy treats:

That does it for our dog photography tips! What tricks do you use when shooting for the gram?

Watch a video on this topic instead!

The holidays are about to be in full swing! This is also the most hectic travel season of the year, with airports and freeways filling up with people and their pets getting home to their loved ones.

Whether you’re planning on spending time with family or taking advantage of some time off with a vacation, traveling with your four-legged family member can definitely be a little stressful. Today, we’re sharing some useful tips for hitting the road with your pup.

Confirm logistics with airlines and hotels early on

Photo by @roolepom

Traveling with a pet requires notifying airlines and hotels ahead of time. If you’re flying with your dog, make sure you check the airline’s pet policies regarding maximum pets allowed in the cabin, the size of the carrier you need, and rules you and your dog have to abide by. Hotels will often charge a pet fee so let them know ahead of time if your pup is coming along with.

Invest in a quality pet crate or carrier

Photo by @designmilkpets

Whether you’re flying or driving, having your pup secured in a crate or carrier is a must. Get them used to their designated safe space by giving them ample time to use the carrier, lay in it, and get their scent in it so that when the big travel days come, they’re already comfortable!

Pack food and water in a portable fashion

Photo by milkyspoon

It can be tricky keeping your pup hydrated on the plane or in the car. Grab a portable pet bowl to make things easy for you and your dog. Make sure they’re getting ample opportunity to hydrate — it can be easy to forget when you’re on the go! Make sure to bring extra of your dog’s food with you just in case. You might not be able to find your brand wherever you are visiting.

Stick as closely to your daily schedule as possilble

Photo by @lennywiththeshoe

Even when you’re traveling, try to keep to your normal schedule as much as you can. Feed your pup and take them for walks as close to their regular times as possible. Dogs are creatures of routine, so this will make traveling easier for them!

Research what’s pet-friendly and what’s not at your destination

Photo by @vanilla.icedream

It’s a good idea to have a rough itinerary of your plans going into your trip. If there are certain activities that are dog-friendly, consider planning them out so that your dog can be a part of the festivities. Dog parks, pet-friendly restaurants, and outdoor activities are a good way to keep them involved during your holiday travels!

Be considerate when traveling with your pup!

Photo by @gus.and.gigi

Traveling with dogs is a privilege, especially with airlines and hotels that allow them to come with. Keep in mind that not everyone in the world is a dog lover. Respect others by keeping control of your dog, making sure they’re on their best behavior, and ensuring their presence isn’t affecting others negatively.

All in all, traveling with your furry bff to your holiday destination can make your holiday merrier and your New Year shine brighter. We hope these travel tips will help make the world a dog-friendlier place as you head out on your four-legged adventures. We’d love to hear your dog travel tips too! Share your tip in our comments below to help fellow dog parents and tag us @mybenebone with #benebone on your holiday travel adventures so we can follow along. 

Photo by @kelly_bove

Halloween is always a fun and popular time for kids and families to receive lots of chocolate and candy.

Photo: @lokistagram

Unfortunately, this is also a dangerous time for your dog. Chocolate and candy containing xylitol can be deadly for dogs if ingested and should absolutely be avoided. Typically, chocolate ingestion does not pose a deadly threat to your dog, but it can make your dog very sick. Why, you may ask? Chocolate includes a chemical known as theobromine, as well as caffeine.

As much as you try to keep your dog away from those Halloween treats, accidents can happen. Below are some tips for keeping your pup safe from the dangers of those oh-so-sweet human treats.

Photo: @emwng

1. Keep your pup separate from the festivities

Photo: @bordernerd

During the hours of trick-or-treating, it may be best to keep your pup tucked away in his own room or safely crated, so that they are separated from the festivities. Many dogs are not fans of the constant doorbell-ringing and knocking on doors anyway, so your pup may be more comfortable staying in the comfort of his own room.

2. Safely store your Halloween candy

Photo: @bezarchitekta.pl

Make sure you store your Halloween candy safely, whether it’s being given out or you’ve just come back home with a new collection. Dogs can sniff out anything delicious, so it’s important to use a dog-proof container, such as a screw-top jar. Store your Halloween candy in the upper cabinets of your kitchen where your pup cannot reach. If you’ve got a smart pup on your hands, try using kid proof safety locks on your kitchen cabinets.

3. If an accident happens, record notes immediately

If you call or take your dog to the Vet, the first thing they will ask is what your dog ate and how much. This can be a nerve-wracking time, so take a minute to write down exactly what your dog has ingested.

With candy, it can be hard to tell how much was exactly ingested, however, a good idea is to take note of how much is left. For instance, if your dog ate some of your M&M’s, write down if there’s a half bag left, ¾ of the bag left, etc. This will help give your veterinarian a good idea of how much could have been ingested.

4. Know the number to the ASPCA Poison Control

Photo: @yoda.thefrenchie
Photo Credit: ASPCA.org

Unfortunately, not all towns have a 24 hour Emergency Vet Clinic near them. Luckily, the ASPCA offers a poison control phone line that is operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While they may charge a $65 consult fee, this is often less than what an emergency vet trip would cost and they can potentially help you over the phone. Save their number (888) 426-4435 to your phone or put it on your refrigerator so that it’s always handy and available.

The best advice we can give is prevention! We want holidays to be fun and safe for all family members.

Photo: @livlovesleo

If you have any tips or tricks to prevent your dog from raiding the candy cabinet, we would love to hear them. Leave a comment below or show us on social media. Tag us on Instagram and Facebook with #benebone so we don’t miss your post!

Feature image photo credit: House Beautiful

You know the saying ….. TINY but MIGHTY! Just because a dog is pint sized, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a giant desire to chew. And, as you know, size knows no limit when it comes to chewing on your kitchen chair legs, bedroom dresser or your favorite pair of shoes. These tiny but mighty dogs served as our inspiration when designing our new tiny Benebone chew toys. 

We’ve seen many social media pictures of your adorable tiny dogs chewing on our small wishbone and even though our small wishbone is recommended for dogs under 30 pounds, we saw that it was still a little too big for our tiny friends. Give these tiny chewers credit though, for years they’ve made it work and figured out tricks to finding the perfect chewing form with a Benebone that might be slightly too big. 

With all that in mind, we are happy to announce our newest edition to the Benebone family …. the TINY 2-PACK! This perfectly sized 2-pack is ideal for adult dogs under 15 pounds with a hefty chewing addiction. This Tiny 2-Pack delivers the same strength and durability that you’ve come to expect from Benebone.

We’ve packaged our wishbone and dental chew together to give your tiny chewer double the chewing pleasure. 

Our wishbone is a classic, it was the first Benebone product on the market. Our wishbone’s ergonomic shape makes it easy for your tiny dog to easily hold his wishbone and go to town chewing! No thumbs required. 

Our dental chew was our second member of the Benebone family. Our dental chew’s ridged ends help to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean of unwanted tartar buildup. It’s like flossing with bacon …. Every dog’s dream! 

Just like the other members in our Benebone family, our tiny Benebones are made with only 2 ingredients: high quality, durable nylon and food-grade bacon. These tiny Benebones are also proudly manufactured and sourced within the USA! 

We know your tiny dog is anxious to get his paws on our Tiny 2-Pack. You can find our Tiny 2-Pack at your local pet specialty store. If it’s not on the shelves just yet, simply ask a store employee to add it to their next order.

We want to see your tiny chewers in action! Be sure to tag us (@mybenebone) on your Instagram and Facebook posts with #benebone so we don’t miss your tiny chewer.

We all know that puppies explore the world with their mouths. Whether it’s your shoes, the legs of your furniture, or the leaves on the ground outside, they love getting a taste of anything and everything as they grow and learn about the world.

Today, we are so excited to announce the newest addition to the Benebone family… The Puppy Pack!

Our existing line of Benebone chews, whether small or large, have always been suitable for adult dogs.

Because puppies have puppy teeth and need something a little softer to chew on, we sized and formulated our new variety of chew toys with smaller and younger puppies in mind.

While still quite firm and durable, the new puppy 2-pack is made a bit softer, especially for modest chewers and includes a dental chew with teeth-cleaning ridges and an easy-to-grip wishbone. These tiny-sized chew toys are for puppies under 15 lbs.

Because these tiny-sized chews are softer and made especially for puppies, they are a tad less durable.  Be careful not to let adult dogs or other strong chewers go-to-town on them.  Don’t worry, we’ve got a tougher chew for them!  For more, see www.benebone.com/safety.

While a tad softer than our adult line, our puppy are still quite hard and meant to last.  So ensure that your puppy has strong, healthy teeth. If you’re unsure, check with your vet to be safe. As always, please make sure to monitor your pup and ensure they are chewing safely. Check out our When To Replace Guide for guidance on when your Benebone should be tossed out.

Do you have a puppy who’s not quite so tiny?  Stay tuned – we are working on slightly larger puppy products for puppies under 30 lbs.  We expect them to hit the shelves later this year.

No two dogs are always the same size. Dog sizes can vary not only between a Chihuahua and a Labrador Retriever, but they can often vary within the same breed. And, regardless of whether you’ve been eyeing up a cute jacket to help keep your pup warm or are in need of a new harness, it’s important to know how to accurately measure your dog since there is no universal sizing chart for dogs.

Photo Credit: @adventurescruffs

While you generally could order a small for a Chihuahua or a large for a Labrador Retriever, double checking the exact measurements will help to keep your dog from slipping loose out of his harness or avoid trying to squeeze your dog into a shirt that’s just too tight. With so many various dog brands on the market, sizing often varies.

Photo Credit: @chavoandsteele

Measuring your dog is actually easier than you may think. To get the best and most accurate measurement, you’ll want to pick up a tailor’s measuring tape, if you don’t already have one. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just soft enough that you can easily bend it to loop around your dog.

Photo Credit: Jalsa UK

Another option if you don’t have a tailor’s measuring tape, but are pretty crafty and have some string or ribbon in the house and a ruler nearby, you can use that as well. Simply use the string or ribbon as you would the tailor’s tape, then measure the length against the ruler.

Photo Credit: Blitsy

There are 3 main measurements you will want to measure: neck, chest and length.

Photo Credit: Lead the Walk

Neck: 
Measure your dog’s neck at his widest point. Dogs have a sensitive trachea and having a collar or harness that is too tight around a dog’s delicate neck area could cause breathing difficulty or even worse, it could lead to a collapsed trachea.

Chest:
This measurement is sometimes referred to a dog’s “girth” measurement. Again, you will want to measure around your dog’s widest point. The chest area is where your dog’s harness will lay. Too tight of a harness is like wearing pants that are a size too small. Not only do you want your dog to be safe, you want your dog to be comfortable as well.

Length:
To measure your dog’s length, start at the base of your dog’s neck and measure to the end of your dog’s tailbone (not the tail, just the tailbone).

If you have a long dog such as a dachshund or corgi, check around for specially made clothing, as most of the clothing sold in stores will likely be too short for your dog.

Photo Credit: @crusoe_dachshund

If you are ordering clothing or p.j.’s for your dog, you may also want to measure your dog’s legs.

Photo Credit: @lazyoneinc

Leg Length:
Start in between your dog’s shoulder blades and measure down to the top of your dog’s paws. If you’d prefer to measure your dog’s back legs, begin at the center of your dog’s tailbone and measure to the top of your dog’s back paws.

Generally, you should omit at least ½ inch to allow ample space between the length of your dog’s clothing and the top of his paws to keep your dog from slipping while your dog is walking or running.

Photo Credit: @robinventures

Obviously, if your dog is a puppy, you’ll need to remeasure him as he grows. If your dog is an adult, it’s a good idea to measure him twice a year: winter and summer. Dogs, like humans, tend to be less active in the winter months, which can lead to a little extra fluff.

We’d love to see your dog’s latest fashion outfits, collars or harnesses. Tag us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with #benebone and we may just share your photo.

Happy 2019! With the new year often comes resolutions geared towards wellness and improvement for ourselves. This year, did you make any resolutions with your pups? 

Our team is gearing up for a new year’s cleaning of sorts for the four-legged members of our families. Check out these tips for refreshing your dog’s toy bin so they can kick off the year with a clean start! 

1. Make keep, donate, and purge piles

Source: Bark

Sort your toys so you can make room for new ones! It’s important to keep an eye on the lifespan of your toy. Depending on what it’s made of, if it’s past its prime, it can even be dangerous for your pup. 

Protip: Check out our When To Replace guide to see if your Benebone needs a toss!

2. Give dirty toys a wash

Source: Pinterest

Only toss plastic, rubber, or nylon toys into a dishwasher if the manufacturer has specifically stated that it’s safe to do so. Hand washing is always a safe bet, but be sure to fully rinse the toy of antibacterial soap. Try using a toothbrush for hard to reach crevices. Rope toys made of only rope can be disinfected with a quick soak and minute in the microwave. Plush toys can be placed in a laundry bag or tied up pillowcase to be washed in the washing machine. Air dry the toys rather than sticking them into a heated dryer.

3. Replace your toy bins 

Source: Pretty Fluffy

If necessary, get a new toy bin for your pup! Try and find something low and wide so your dog has easy access to his favorite toys. Even something with open sides like a wire basket might be good so they can easily pick out what they want to play with. Give a DIY project a try if you want to personalize the bin for your pup  — Pretty Fluffy has a great guide here

4. Add a play rug to the toy bin

Source: Remodelista

Dogs love rugs. It gives them traction when they’re ripping their favorite toy to shreds, and it’s also the perfect place for them to get a good back rub in. Consider adding a rug to your dog’s toy bin area to create a little space perfect for them to hang out in.

5. Organize your pup’s toys

Source: @girlplusbulldogs

Perhaps you have one toy bin for plushies, one bin for puzzle games, and one for Benebones of course! No guarantees your pup will stick with your organization system, but it’s worth a shot 😉 

Have any other tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment or message us on @mybenebone social! 

It’s that time of year again. With a new year comes new resolutions!  Have you considered making a difference for good in 2019? Maybe you’ve made previous resolutions of donating to help dogs in need, but it just didn’t work out as you hoped? We’ve got 8 ways for you to help dogs all throughout 2019.

Photo Credit: @teddy.takesthecity

The first step is to find a cause that is important to you! The cause you support should be something that is truly important to you or close to your heart. This will help keep your resolution alive and well even into the later months of September and October.

Next, you’ll want to figure out exactly how or what you want to donate. This can be the part of the resolution that often trips people up, so we’ve put together a list of ways you can make an impact on a dog in need’s life.

1. Monetary Donations

If you’ve hit the lottery and are able to donate large portions of money to your favorite dog charity or shelter, go for it! Unfortunately, despite our tries, most of us are not lottery winning millionaires, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make monetary donations.

There are many ways to make monetary donations – the easiest is to go to your charity’s website and make a one-time donation. To help keep your resolution going throughout the year, many charities make it easy for your to setup a monthly recurring donation.

Photo Credit: @rambothepuppy

Another great way to make monetary donations that directly impact your fellow community members is to check your local Veterinarian’s office for a emergency fund. These funds are often labeled as “Frank’s Fund, Lucky’s Kisses”, etc. Any monetary donations added to the jar are put into a fund for fellow client’s unexpected emergencies. No one expects to have an emergency, but payment is still due at time of service at most Veterinarian offices and this fund helps families in need that may be either low income or hard on their luck.

2. Recycle, Reuse!

Dog shelters are always in need of many items you probably have laying around your house or in storage. A hot item always in need are blankets or towels. Maybe you’ve been saving old Winnie the Pooh blankets from your childhood? While Winnie the Pooh may not work in your guest room, dog shelters will happily welcome your old blankets and/or towels. Dogs are easy to please and don’t care if the blanket you donate is themed. All that matters is that the blanket is comfy, not ripped and doesn’t have any holes. These blankets and towels help keep shelter dogs warm and cozy while waiting for their forever home.

Photo Credit: @spcatexas

3. Your Time!

There’s no greater gift you can give a dog shelter than your time! Dog shelters rely on the kind hearts of their neighbors to help keep the dogs happy while in their care. Often, dog shelters are functioning solely on donations so unfortunately, it is not in the budget to have a large staff, even though a large staff is often necessary.

Dog shelters are always in need of dedicated dog walkers. As we learned from our MD SPCA shelter visit, becoming a volunteer dog walker takes many hours of training.  If you’re looking to volunteer, but might not have as much spare time as needed for dog walkers, ask you local shelter if you can volunteer at an upcoming event or fundraiser. Also, an even more fun way to volunteer is to be a dog cuddler! These volunteers come in and spend time with the dogs in their run. You can read the dog a book, tell him about your day or simply just snuggle with him. 

4. Toy & Food Donations!

Despite many shelters having trained dog walkers that volunteer on their own time to come in and walk the dogs outside, dogs are still left in a run for hours on end. Toys not only help keep dogs busy, but toys can be a great exercise for their minds as well. Before you buy or donate toys, check with your local dog shelter. Dog shelters will often have a wish list of toys that are best suited for the dogs in their care. And, while you might not see Benebone on a wish list, if your shelter lists “chew toys”, you can be sure that they will welcome Benebones! (Fun Fact: Benebone sends over 50 donation boxes a month to various US dog shelters and organizations. Keep an eye on our Instagram account for shelter donation giveaways to nominate your favorite non-profit or let us know in the comments below who we should send a box to next.)

Photo Credit: @narps2015

Many dog shelters run a food bank, which is solely dependent on donations. Food banks help low income, homeless or families having short-term financial hardship to feed their dog. Since these food banks do not have access to refrigerators or freezers, the food donated often has to be a dry kibble. Again, you’ll want to check with your local dog shelter to see which brand of food they ask you to donate.

Photo Credit: @lextasyy

5. Foster A Dog!

Maybe it’s not the right time for you to adopt a dog, but have you considered fostering a dog? Many dog shelters are sadly overcrowded or certain dogs may have medical issues which prevent them from staying at the shelter. That’s when dog shelters look to the community for vital help. Fostering helps dog shelters take in and care for more dogs than possible on site. Another benefit to dog fostering is that you can set the parameters for which kind of dog you want to help foster. Maybe you’re on a puppy high and have the time needed to devote to only fostering puppies.

Photo Credit: @furbabyfostermom

Or, maybe, you have a soft spot for anxious seniors. Either way, fostering gives you a unique opportunity to help dogs of diverse backgrounds in which you may have never had the opportunity to interact with.

Photo Credit: @socialteesnyc

6. Participate In Events!

Attending a fundraiser events is probably the easiest and social way to support your local dog shelter. Visit your dog shelter’s website or Facebook page and take a look at their upcoming events. Typically for these events, you will have to purchase a ticket to attend, however, all the proceeds go back to helping the shelter. It’s a win-win: you and your dog get to mingle with other local pups and the shelter raises funds to continue helping dogs in need.

Photo Credit: Petbacker

7. Put Your Talents to Work!

Do you have an Instagram account for your dog? With that, comes dog photography experience. Whether you’re a professional photographer or a novice, lend your talent to your local dog shelter. One of the toughest battles for shelter dogs is getting a good photo online. Let’s be honest, many of us look online for adoptable dogs. Much like human dating apps, dogs need to have their best paw forward and this is where you come in. Lend your talents to help shelter dogs get adopted. It can be something as little as finding a better background within the shelter to take the dog’s photograph to bringing in a light kit to help brighten up your subject’s cuteness.

Photo Credit: @amandastrozeskiphotos

8. Drive or Fly Dogs In Need!

As dog shelters become progressive and mobile, the need to transport dogs has greatly increased. Shelters have begun broadening their reach beyond their state lines and have also began partnering with shelters in various states to help combat overcrowding.

It’s becoming more frequent for dog shelters to ask volunteers to help transport dogs to another state, across the country or even from other countries. While private pilots often donate their time and expertise to fly dogs from one shelter to another, everyday citizens can also volunteer to help fly a dog in need. Often, a rescue may be in dire need to save a dog at a high kill facility. However, in order to save the dog’s life, they need someone to fly the dog to the rescue’s home state. Many of these dogs cannot fly in cargo and rely on someone traveling to help transport them in the cabin safely.  

Photo Credit: @humanerescue

If you’re someone who likes road trips, consider helping a dog shelter by driving their newly adopted dogs to their new forever home. While this can be a long distance drive, this added benefit to dog adoption has helped save more dogs than originally possible when limiting adoptions to local residents only.

Photo Credit: @jenn_ziesk

Ultimately, there’s no wrong way to help shelter dogs in need. This year let’s resolve to help give back to dogs who give us so much unconditional love and support! We would love to hear how you help dogs in need. Leave us a comment below or tag us in your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts with #benebone.

Every year, deciding on gifts for your loved ones can end up being a head scratcher. Thankfully, dog people all have one thing in common: we love a good trinket that reminds us of our favorite four-legged family member.

Today we’re sharing some stocking stuffer ideas for the dog lovers in your life. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something in here that “Santa” will get for you, too 😉 

1. Customizable Rope Leash

Source: Amazon

Chic and functional, this gift will be useful for any of your friends with a dog. Pick from a variety of colors to make the perfect customized combination.

2. Portable Dog Bowl Water Bottle

Source: Uncommon Goods

This nifty contraption doubles as a water bottle AND a bowl. Thanks to gravity, it won’t spill when you’re on the go as the water is released into the bowl for your dog only when you squeeze the bottle. A great gift for the dog lover in your life who loves hiking or taking their pup with them on adventures.

3. Personalized Dog Plushy

Source: Etsy

All you need is a photo of your BFF’s dog for this cute personalized gift to light up their holiday. 

4. Dog Wine Charms

Source: World Market

For the friend who just wants to drink wine and cuddle with their dog all day. These charms are super handy for ensuring guests don’t confuse their glasses at the next doggy playdate get-together.

5. Dog Massager

Source: PetWell

If you know anyone who spends more money pampering their dog than themselves, gift them this therapeutic Dual Point Dog Massager. Perfect for alleviating muscle tension and stiffness that our four-legged friends experience from romping in the backyard all day.

6. Dog Tail Hooks

Source: Grandin Road

Because who doesn’t love looking at dog butts all day? These Dog Tail Hooks are the cheekiest way to organize your leashes, collars, harnesses, car keys, or outerwear. 

7. 2019 Dog Shaming Calendar

Source: Barnes & Nobles

Who doesn’t love a good chuckle on a daily basis? These hilarious dog shaming photos are sure to get you through all of 2019, one day at a time.

8. Scented Candle

Source: Etsy

Great if your friend has an especially gassy dog. These rich, fruity candles will fill the room with pleasant aromas (and cover up some of those inevitable nasty odors that come with living with a pup)!

9. Custom Dog Socks

Source: Photo Socks

So you never have to be apart from your dog. Just look down to be reminded of how much of a good boy (or girl) they are!

10. Bad Dog Wisdom Tumblers

Source: Uncommon Goods

A fetching set of tumblers featuring Fido teaching his owners a few new tricks.

11. “Tell Your Dog I Said Hi” hat

Source: We Rate Dogs

It’s official, dad hats are in. This minimally designed hat tells others what’s really on your mind. Dogs. All day. Every day.

12. Custom Photo Book

Source: @emwng

Print some favorite memories in this custom photo book for a well designed and sentimental gift, available in both hardcover and softcover. 

Featured image via @theredmavrador

For most people, the term “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” refers to the holiday season. For us dog lovers, we often refer to the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as puppy season! The holiday season is often the time of year when a new furry member is introduced into the family. Not only are people bringing puppies home, but there is also an increase in dog shelter adoptions. We encourage you to help make a shelter dog’s holiday extra special this year.

Regardless if you are bringing home a 8 week old puppy or 10 year old “young at heart” pup, you’ll want to find a Veterinarian that you can take him to for checkups or illness. While your dog may be healthy now, you don’t want to be rushing around trying to find a Veterinarian if he were to suddenly become ill. It is important to find a Veterinarian that is not just close to you based on location, but someone who you are comfortable with. After all, you and your Veterinarian will be making important health decisions for your dog. We put together these 5 must ask questions when interviewing Veterinarians, so that you can be sure you find the perfect match.

1. Where did you attend veterinary school?

This is a basic question that any pet parent should be asking. This gives you insight into your Veterinarian’s education. This is also a good way to inquire about any continuing education that your Veterinarian may participate in and his surgery experience. Not all Veterinarians perform surgeries outside of routine spay and neuters.

Photo Credit: @skylakeanimalhospital

2. How many doctors are in the practice?

It is important to not only know how many Veterinarians are in the practice, but also who they are. There may be times when your Veterinarian is out of the office and you will need to see another Veterinarian within the practice.

In addition to knowing who the other staff Veterinarians in the practice are, it is a good idea to inquire about any services they may or may not perform and if they see emergency cases when your Veterinarian is out of the office.

3. What are your payment options/package deals?

It’s good to know if your Veterinarian’s office offers any type of payment plans or if payment is due up front. This can help you to prepare for unexpected Vet bills.

And while most practices require payment at the time of service, many practices offer puppy and/or senior packages. Puppies require frequent veterinary care, which leads to higher than normal veterinary bills. To offset this expense, many practices offer puppy packages, which give you discounts on exams during your puppies vaccination series and/or bundled vaccine pricing.

As for our “young at heart” senior dogs, many practices will offer discounts on certain days for senior dogs or offer a senior package that mimics the puppy discount package with discounts on annual exams and testing. It’s just as important for your senior dog to have routine blood work tests as it is for a young dog.

Photo Credit: @drscrewloose_toy

Photo Credit: @drscrewloose_toy

4. Who do you recommend during off hours/emergencies?

More than likely, your Veterinarian’s office is not open 24/7, 365 days a year. In addition to asking who your Veterinarian recommends in case of an emergency, ask if his practice has a magnet for the 24/7 pet hospital that he recommends for your home. While it may be unsightly, keep this magnet on the side of your refrigerator in case of emergency or better yet, add the animal hospital as a contact in your phone so you can easily access it. It can be hard to remember the name of an animal hospital that you do not regularly go to during a stressful emergency.

Along with this, you should inquire about overnight stays if your dog needs to have surgery at your Veterinarian’s office. Not all practices have staff members that stay overnight. This may require you to transport your dog to a nearby pet hospital for overnight monitoring.

Photo Credit: Blue Pearl Vet

5. Does your practice offer an on-site pharmacy?

Most of the time, it’s ideal for you to get any prescriptions your dog may need while your at your Veterinarian’s office. Ask your Veterinarian if they are able to give you same day prescriptions for any medications they may prescribe to your dog.

Photo Credit: Rolesville Pet Care

A cheaper alternative to buying your medications from your Veterinarian’s office for non-emergency prescriptions is to ask your Veterinarian for a written script for any prescribed medications. You can have your dog’s prescription filled at your local pharmacy. Unfortunately, you can’t use your insurance to fill these medications but they are often much cheaper than your Veterinarian’s office.

These are the basic starting point questions to help you decide which Veterinarian you are most comfortable seeing. Keep in mind that this person will be helping you care for and prolong the life of your dog, so you may want to go into further detail when interviewing for a new Veterinarian. (i.e. vaccine protocols, raw food stance or anything else that may be important to you as a dog parent!)  And don’t be shy, ask your fellow neighbors or local social media dog parents who they recommend.

Photo Credit: @drdanthevet

What are some of the questions you asked your Veterinarian when you first met or how did you decide on the Veterinarian that you are currently seeing? We’d love for you to share with other dog parents by leaving a comment below or tagging us on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter posts with #benebone!

Featured Image: @dr.evanantin