2017 Pet Blogger Challenge: Bare All…Again

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We are taking part in the 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge hosted by GoPetFriendly!

This is our 2nd year participating – What a difference a year makes!

Here are the questions for the 2017 Pet Blogger Challenge:

Q. 1 When did you start your blog and, for anyone who is just seeing it for first time, please provide a description of your site. Would you say your blog focuses more on sharing stories with your readers, or providing a resource for your audience?

Technically I started my blog in 2008 but I had issues getting it rolling and life got in the way. So I started it again in late 2015!

My Life With Dogs (PDX) is a blog about health and wellness (with an emphasis on alternative techniques), enrichment ideas for dogs and outdoor tales.

I live with three hounds in the Pacific Northwest – two Doxies and a Beagle/Basset Hound mix. As a Certified Veterinary Technician, I use my knowledge to inform stories on health and wellness topics. I’m not practicing but continuing my education through workshops is a high priority. Readers can expect product reviews, updates on my senior dog and how living with a reactive dog changed my life.

My blog focuses on stories wrapped in education so a resource more than anything.

Q 2. What was your proudest blogging moment of 2016?

My proudest moment was attending BlogPaws for the first time and meeting other bloggers! For the first six months there were so many other bloggers I connected with online but meeting them offline was really awesome. Pulling off a holiday gift guide with five other bloggers and 20+ brands was a TOTAL accomplishment! Thanks to: Sarcastic Dog, The Daily Pip, The Broke Dog, Denise’s Dog Dish and A Dog Walks Into a Bar!

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Q 3. Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

One of my favorites was a post I wrote about what to consider before your dog has surgery. I was overwhelmed when our dog Shermie came back after a lump removal so wanted to share what I learned from the masses!

Q 4. Year after year, one goal that we all seem to share is that we want to reach more people. What one tool did you use or action did you take this year that had the most impact on increasing traffic to your blog?

My channels are so new, I honestly think regular posting on Instagram impacted the growth of that channel. I’m not sure I have any secret sauce tips for folks but I did launch a Facebook page for my blog and most of my blog traffic as far as social goes comes from Facebook so just having that in the mix made a difference for sure.

Q 5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? (Please include a link.) Have you noticed any themes across your most popular posts?

One of my most popular posts was about dental appointments and the importance of AAHA-accredited hospitals.

I’m still trying to determine themes overall but I think education wrapped around real life adventures is what resonates.

Q. 6 What blog do you find most inspirational and how has it influenced your blog? (Please include a link.)

There are so many bloggers I admire, I’m not sure where to begin. I really love DIY and photography focused blogs. I’m drawn to the style of those types of blogs. I also enjoy reading blogs that are polar opposites of mine.

And of course since I feed raw and offer alternative options for pet parents I love: Keep the Tail Wagging!

Q 7. What is one thing your readers don’t know about you or your pets that would surprise them?

In addition to part time freelance writing, I’m also a Certified Vet Tech. I went back to school as an adult and spent 2 long years going back full time to secure that degree. It was HARD to get through the course work but I loved it!

Q 8. What is something you’ve learned this year that could help other bloggers?

Preparing a media kit is a must. Having a few brands that you are super loyal too is a great strategy. I’ve loved building relationships with brands over the year – it’s a lot of fun having that long term strategy in place.

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Q 9. What would you like to accomplish on your blog in 2017?

I’d like to add a section with illustrations I design for apparel – tote bags for example.

In addition, I’m interested in massage for small animals so if I pursue that certification I’d like to incorporate that into my blog too.

Q 10. Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

Yes! What heath and wellness topics would folks be interested in reading about this year?

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Take the Pet Blogger Challenge Jan 7th, 8th and 9th, 2017

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There are 21 Comments

  1. Elaine says:

    I’m so glad you asked about health topics! Since Haley’s getting a little older and we’re nearing the senior years, I would love to know more about alternative and holistic treatments for common ailments.

    I love that you’re thinking about the massage certification too. That’s a therapy type that I don’t hear a lot about but I think would be really beneficial. I think you’re off to a great start in 2017 and I can’t wait to read your upcoming posts!

    • Thank you! Sounds great! So many of us have senior dogs and I spend a lot of time working with our holistic vet on alternative treatments so I’ll start adding that to the mix! I think Acupuncture has literally saved Bruiser — I know that he benefits and feels SO much better after treatments. The Northwest School of Animal Massage has an awesome program so I think this is the year to pull the trigger. More soon!

  2. I didn’t know you started in 2008! I definitely understand about life getting in the way. So happy we connected at BlogPaws and I think we all did an amazing job with the gift guide and giveaway!

    I didn’t know you did illustrations and would love to see you add that to your blog. In terms of health and wellness, more info on natural supplements. I know very little about this topic.

    • It was a super sad blog…. I tried to use an existing template and it just became a low priority 🙂 SO HAPPY we connected at BlogPaws too! How fun was tha giveaway!! I’m taking a new drawing class so I’m hoping that will inspire me to get that moving. Excellent: I’ll add supplements as I spend a lot of time researching herbs and supplements for the dogs so I’m on it. Thank you!

  3. Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge, Christy – and I hope we get to meet off-line when I’m in Portland this year! Your hounds are awesome, and one of the things I’d like to know more about (as I have senior dogs, too) is arthritis. What can we do to help our pups be comfortable in their golden years?

    Happy New Year, and all the best to you in 2017!

    • Thank you so much for hosting! I would LOVE to meet up when you’re here in PDX. I’ll look at your schedule to make sure we hook up. I’m all over arthritis so I’ll look at those topics – and our senior dog has his Acupuncture appointment this week so I’ll write more about that! So nice meeting YOU!

  4. Emma says:

    I had no idea you actually started in 2008, glad you got back to it in 2015! You know we love your nose work posts. Also, I would suggest finishing your newsletter pop up. There is no photo, and it looks very generic. Maybe add a photo or something to make it more appealing. I say that since every time it pops up I think about it but never have said anything.

    • Hi! You should have seen my first blog – it was very loose and all over the place! I love your nosework posts! I’m super bummed – since our “weather” freaks out the entire city my fun match was cancelled this past weekend. I have a UKC (I only do these for practice) is this weekend! We’re trialing in vehicles and exteriors…. it has been awhile! Thank you so much for this advice! I will totally add a photo to make it more appealing. I’ve looked at that pop up for so long – I had pop up fatigue and I will definitely make that change. Thank you!!

    • Hi! I finally changed my pop up — thanks again for that advice. 🙂 Only took three months!

  5. Jan K says:

    I loved learning more about you and the history of your blog. I don’t think I even knew what a blog was back in 2008!
    I don’t think I knew that you feed raw. I’m always interested in learning more about holistic treatments as well, and follow Kimberley more for that type of thing. We don’t really have any alternative options in our area, but I always love learning more anyway.
    I considered learning massage as well, but I’d have to go out of state for training and I’m just not up for that much.!
    Will you be going to BlogPaws this year?

    • Thank you! I cannot wait to get through the blog challenge and read your post! Well my 2008 blog was pretty short lived 🙂 I LOVE Darwins and we’ve been feeding that for years — I also love learning about alternatives like massage and Acupuncture. I’ve learned so much about caring for seniors which I’ll continue to share for sure. The massage piece is a big commitment but the program in WA is distance learning! Let me know and I can send you the link! Unfortunately since it’s so far away this year I’m going to save for the 2018 location. I’d love to meet you in person! Are you going?

      • Jan K says:

        I’d love it if you sent me the link to the massage program – I’d at least like to take a look at it.
        I am going to BlogPaws this year, but probably won’t in 2018. I just don’t see myself going every year, but you never know! I would love to meet you too – maybe someday!

  6. It blows me away that your blog is so new. I feel like it’s been around for a few years. Thank you so much for mentioning me. I teared up and got all cheesy when I saw my blog mentioned. You have no idea how much that means to me.

    I really enjoy your vet tech background and believe that it lends science to a world that is a lot of guesswork and speculation as we have grown into the habit of seeking answers from blogs and social media instead of the professionals.

    • Kimberly – Your blog inspires me every day! You are very brave with the topics you focus on and so well researched. I love that got your nutrition certification as well. I love that you do everything 100% with your stories and posts – I respect that. Thanks so much for writing and covering all the topics that many folks won’t touch. They are all very important and I appreciate you! Thanks so much for your note – I feel like it has been a lot longer than just over a year too! Yea – the guesswork is scary sometimes. Totally agree with you.

  7. I don’t “get out” much these days so this is the first time I’ve seen your new blog design. I love it! I hope we can catch up again next time I come to Portland. I hope to go down and visit my cousin again before spring.

    • Thank you so much!! I just “launched” it last month as it was due time to have a custom design and leave that template/theme. I appreciate your note :). I would LOVE to catch up when you’re in town next so please ping me! I hope you’re well!

  8. Beth says:

    I had no idea your blog was so new! I’d love to learn more about dog massage and see your illustrations.

    I want to start nosework at home with my dogs, but haven’t yet. You and Emma make it sound like such fun.

    As far as health and wellness issues, for the most part, my dogs are pretty healthy, but one does suffer from allergies. I’m always interested in learning ways to help her deal with them. I am pretty sure she has food based one (easy to control) and seasonal/environmental ones which are really tough. I try to pay attention to all the medical posts because I know the information could come in handy later.

    • You will love Nosework! it’s super low tech too so holler if you have any questions! I love your blog — the photography is really outstanding and so inspiring! I’ll try and focus on some posts hones on allergies for sure. I’m with you Shermie has horrible allergies and now year round.

  9. Denise says:

    So you know I love you and your blog. You’ve already made a huge impact on Shasta’s life. I also enjoyed being part of the giveaway with such a terrific group!
    So now, massage therapy for dogs. Yes please. Do you have to be vet tech certified organic could I do it too?

    • I love YOU and yours! I’m so glad we met last year – it feels like I’ve known you way longer. I’m really glad the probiotic is working out. You do not need to be a CVT! BUT you need a vet to refer you… which is great!