Tag: Zara Lewis

Day Trips with our Dogs

Another fabulous guest post from Zara.

As many of you will recall I published a guest post from Zara on May 29th under the title of Please, always adopt a dog first!

It had an incredible number of viewings and many, many lovely comments. All of which I fed back to Zara.

So what a thrill to have another article from Zara. Trust me, you will love it!


Nine Things to Bring on a Day Trip with Your Puppy

by Zara Lewis, June 1st, 2018

Taking a day trip is an adventure for both you and your pet. So while you are planning where to go and what to bring on the trip, you have to think about your dog’s needs as well. You can’t just grab your car keys and leash if you want to stay for a whole day. In order for your dog to be happy, safe and healthy, you need a special dog-day trip-bag where you can put everything your pet needs. Take a look at these essentials for a day trip with your dog.

1. Toys

Your dog will love to run in nature, but it can be more entertaining for them if you bring their toys on the trip. When dogs get nervous, familiar smells and chew toys can calm them down. This will help you keep your puppy busy while you’re on the go, so bring your dog’s favourite toy and let it enjoy the day.

2. Water bowl

Whether you’re going to the beach, a restaurant or on an afternoon hike, you should always have a water bowl in your bag. Maybe your dog is used to drinking water from your hometown so you will need a bottle of cold water and the bowl that the dog uses. You should consider putting the bottle in a lunch cooler if it’s too hot outside.

3. Food

Make sure that you bring food that doesn’t upset your dog’s stomach. Thus, give your pet high-quality food that is easy to prepare. With this in mind, you should bring dry puppy food on the trip because it’s easy to store, and a large plastic bin will keep the food fresh and safe from insects and rodents. Moreover, some dry foods are specially formulated and shaped to clean the teeth as the dog chews them. It’s definitely more practical than canned dog food.

4. Collar and leash

A foreign territory brings unique smells that are so hard to resist, so you should definitely bring a comfortable harness for your puppy. It’s easier to grab the dog if it tries to run far away from you and you will be sure that the dog is safe if leashed. Also, don’t forget the poop bags, as you will definitely need them!

5. Safety equipment

Yes, seat belts for pets exist! And they are very useful for two reasons – your dog won’t be running around the car, and you won’t be distracted while driving. Whether your dog rides in a crate, canine booster seat or in its harness, you will know that both you and your dog are safe and secured.

6. Seat Covers and Towels

Don’t let the dirt ruin your trip. You never know if it’s going to rain, or if your dog will jump into the river, so you will need an old towel for cleaning up. Next, you have to think about your car. Protect your seats with covers and blankets so that you can wash them if your dog brings the dirt into the car. The pup will be running all day so you can expect that to happen.

7. Your puppy’s blanket or pillow

To make sure your dog is more comfortable while at unfamiliar locations, you should consider bringing something that belongs to them. This is a way of making them feel at home but it will also protect the furniture. Your aim is to make sure that your dog stays calm and relaxed in new situations.

8. Current identification tags

In case your dog gets lost, you should always have up-to-date information on their ID tag. That way the person who finds them has all the necessary information such as your phone number, address, or information about the hotel where you’re staying.

9. Camera

Imagine how much fun your dog will have in nature! Make sure that you have these memories captured and bring a camera with you so you can share these precious moments with your friends and family.

Now you are prepared for an adventure with your dog. You can relax because you have thought of everything. Your dog will love these trips, so you can take a look at this list every time you travel with them and make sure that you’re prepared for every situation. Even the shortest day trip or weekend getaway can be memorable, so let the adventure begin.


Perhaps I might add this to Zara’s most informative post. Namely that when you are safely back from your successful dog adventure you might consider writing it up as a guest post for this place.

Travel safely!

Please, always adopt a dog first!

This wonderful guest post from Zara Lewis adds real weight to the title.

There is no doubt in my mind that hundreds of you good people out there love and care for dogs that were first seen in a dog shelter or rescue centre.

But at the same time, inevitably, there are those who want to learn more about adopting a dog.

Zara Lewis has written another guest post that is a real help to those who are uncertain as to how to care for a newly-adopted dog.


Five Tips on Making Your Adopted Dog Feel at Home

by Zara Lewis, May 24th, 2018

Adopting a dog is one of the noblest and most rewarding decisions you can make. With dog shelters filled to the brim with pooches in need of a loving home, there is really no reason to support the inhumane ways of the puppy mill industry; instead, welcoming a shelter dog into your family will save not one, but two lives.

However, sometimes welcoming an adopted dog into your home can seem like a daunting task. How do you banish their fears of abandonment, their anxiety, and the instilled behavioral patterns that define them yet are unsuited for domesticated life? How do you truly make them feel at home, loved, and most importantly, safe? Here to answer these questions are the five tips that will make this transition as pleasant and rewarding as possible.

Set the stage for the pooch

First things first, there’s a lot to be done before your pooch actually arrives at what will be their new, loving home. You want to make sure you have covered all the basics, from deciding where the dog will sleep and eat, all the way to buying a sizable crate and all of the necessities your new furry friend might need.

This includes getting in touch with a trusted veterinarian and making an appointment for the following day. You can never be too careful, no matter how trustworthy the shelter staff are. For the time being, you will want to roll up all of your carpets so that the dog gets used to walking around the house (they tend to stick to carpets when confronted by sleek surfaces), and don’t forget to buy a leash, plenty of toys, and most importantly, dog treats for those long training sessions ahead.

Let them explore the place one day at a time

One of the biggest mistakes new dog owners inadvertently make is letting their new companion explore the new surroundings freely the minute they bring them home. Although completely understandable and very nice of you to want to make your new dog feel welcome, this is a common mistake that will result in plenty of pee stains on the floor you’ll have to scrub out.

Moreover, you might even frighten the pooch, so you want to let them familiarize themselves with the surroundings gradually. It’s always an excellent idea to buy a crate so that they can have their “safe space”, and explore the household one day at a time.

Banish anxiety and set some ground rules

Being adopted is a thrilling, wonderful, joyous experience for a dog, but it’s also a traumatic one. More often than not, your new pooch will come with some emotional baggage you will want to eliminate as soon as possible to avoid behavioral issues induced by anxiety, stress, and fear. It’s also never a bad idea to let a professional lend a helping hand. In Australia, for instance, dog training is sort of a must among homeowners.

In the Land Down Under, adopting a dog is a serious matter involving thorough preparation and planning, and professional dog training in Sydney and across the country is readily available to all homeowners looking to instill positive habits in their new dog, and banish their fears. Remember, dogs ,above all, require firm but loving guidance in order to find their place in the pack, and feel like a part of the family.

Let them have their personal space

It often seems as if dogs haven’t the faintest idea what personal space is, as attested to by thousands of pet videos circling the web; but in fact, they do. And they cherish their personal space very much. Your new furry compadre needs time to heal, to reflect on their past experiences, and take in this new scenario they’re in. Needless to say, this is a stressful time for them and although they require plenty of time and attention, it’s important to recognize the moments when peace and quiet are all they need.

Make your dog feel loved and safe

Finally, this is not the time to be going through other important chapters in your life. This is the time you want to devote solely to the upbringing of your new pooch, so if you’re having personal issues you need to resolve, do it before you get a dog. Remember that they need your undivided attention and lots of it.

You will be spending plenty of time quietly stroking their back to make them feel safe, playing with them to develop a trusting bond, and plenty of time teaching them to behave. This requires patience and positivity, so make sure you’re ready and willing to take on this beautiful responsibility.

There is an ideal dog out there for you. And while a purebred dog would make an amazing lifelong companion as well, there is not quite a feeling as magnificent and rewarding as adopting a shelter dog. With these essential tips, you will have no problem making your new best friend feel right at home.

Zara Lewis

Zara is a contributing editor at Ripped.me and a contributor at TheWellnessInsider


What a fabulous post. Thank you, Zara. (And let me close by saying that out of our six dogs, five have been rescued in one form or another!)


Doggie Aromas!

Dogs! We love them to pieces but sometimes they do smell a tad!

Zara Lewis has provided two previous guest posts for you good people and both of them were well received. Very well received!

So here is Zara’s third. My intuition is that will similarly go down well with all you good people out there!


8 Tips for Keeping a Dog-Friendly Home Clean and Odor-Free

The love and affection that you give your dog and that it gives back to you makes the whole relationship truly fulfilling. But it wouldn’t be lying if we said that taking care of a pet dog and keeping a clean and tidy home at the same time does requires quite a bit of effort and energy. Here are some of the most practical tips on how to confront your four-legged companion’s gift to create a mess.

1 – Brush and bathe regularly

One of the most effective ways in which you can avoid finding your pooch’s hair in your soup, ears, sock drawers, or anywhere else in your home is to brush its coat on a daily basis, preferably somewhere outside. Besides keeping a neater appearance, you will prevent tons of hair piling up in the furthest, least accessible corners and areas of your rooms.

Make sure your pet also gets a good bath whenever it needs to. The frequency depends on its coat—dogs with more oily coats may need a bath as often as once a week, while for others, it is usually no more than once a month.

2 – Keep those paws clean

Whenever you and your pooch return from a walk, thoroughly wipe its paws with a damp towel or baby wipes. That way, no mud or dirt will be spread around, and maintaining the hygiene of the whole place will be even easier.

3 – Teach your dog where to do its business

Don’t let your precious one do its business wherever and whenever it feels like doing it. It may seem like something implied and silly to even mention, but some dog owners still do disregard this advice. Train your pooch to poop or pee outside, or only at specific places in your home if it’s left alone for a longer period of time—for example, in a litter box. Even when it does happen that he or she simply can’t control it, clean the mess right away.

4 – Maintain hygiene in all rooms

Ok, this one is somewhat obvious—keep your vacuum cleaner, duster, and mop close. No matter how much hair you manage to brush off your friend, some of it will inevitably sneak its way into your surroundings. Cleaning and dusting all the surfaces in your home will significantly reduce the amount of hair lying around, but also dander, dirt, and bacteria.

5 – Wash your dog’s food bowls

Not only can the remains from your dog’s previous meals get stuck in there and start smelling pretty bad, dirty bowls and dishes can be a breeding ground for masses of bacteria. That is why you should wash them at least once a day to prevent any minor or major consequences. After all, you do it with your plates, don’t you? Same thing.

6 – Be aware of the air you breathe

Living with dogs, we quickly get used to their smell and stop noticing the unpleasant odor that they may occasionally leave behind. But your guests certainly notice. You can tackle this problem by airing all the rooms regularly, along with lighting scented candles or sticks, or using high-quality air fresheners.

An even more effective solution than scented candles and sticks would be to equip yourself with an air purifier. If you’re looking for a top-notch product with more long-lasting benefits, turn to a mold air purifier by Oransi. It contains a HEPA filter which, besides removing the unpleasant odor, keeps the air even fresher, and gets rid of dust, dander, mold, and allergens floating round your room. A highly recommendable option for people with pets.

7 – Define your pooch’s territory

If you have the luxury of living in a bigger house or apartment, set boundaries or determine the space where your pet can roam freely. For example, allow him or her to enjoy the first floor of the house, and make the second floor a ‘humans only’ area. Also, determine a specific space or object for them to sleep on, like a cushion or a cozy blanket that will always remain in the same spot.

8 – Lint rollers are your friends

Lint removers are a really convenient way of keeping your furniture, as well as your clothes, hair and dander-free. It only takes a minute and requires minimal effort. Moreover, you can use them on any kind of textile. So, in case you haven’t got one, you might want to consider changing that.

Remember that keeping a clean and odor-free home primarily means keeping you and your beloved pet healthy and happy.


Let me repeat Zara’s opening sentence: “The love and affection that you give your dog and that it gives back to you makes the whole relationship truly fulfilling.” No question at all about that!

But I would word it in a more gutsy manner ( and this is in no way a criticism of Zara) especially as the coming-home greeting that Jean and I had from our dogs just last Friday is still fresh in my mind.

Pure unconditional love is very rare between humans as opposed to true love that, thankfully, is common. Our dogs offer us unconditional love. Pure, total, perfect unconditional love!

Real Learning from Dogs – for our Children!

Another wonderful guest post from Zara Lewis.

Back on March 13th, Zara published her first guest post in this place. It was called Dogs and allergies and was very well received by many if not most of you.

So what a pleasure it was to receive a further email and material from Zara last Friday.

Here it is for all you good people!


How Your Family Pooch Can Teach Your Youngsters Responsibility

by Zara Lewis, March 30th 2018

It’s easy to confuse pure obedience with true responsibility, simply because the former serves as the stepping stone, while the latter is a mindset that takes years to build. We as parents make choices every day that affect how well this mindset develops in our kids, but one of the best, most seamless ways for them to succeed is by nurturing their relationship with your family doggo.

With a four-legged friend by their side, kids tend to assume the role of a leader, a friend, and a caregiver with greater ease. Although it comes with its own set of parenting challenges, teaching your kids responsibility with your little fuzzy buddy is a rewarding experience that will enrich your kids’ childhood and help you be a better parent, as well!

Building healthy habits

From regular vet check-ups, vaccines, feeding on a schedule, and taking them for walks every day, your kids will quickly realize that only a healthy dog will be a happy dog. I know that some kids will be eager to split their chocolate cake with their furry pal, but when you explain to them that such a diet can be very harmful, they will be much more careful when choosing the right dog food.
When they’re young, they won’t perceive those walks and frisbee throws as exercise, but if they start embracing this lifestyle so early, they will be much more likely to stay active throughout their adulthood, too.

Learning about boundaries
No matter how in love your youngsters may be with their pet, they often don’t understand that dogs have moods, too. That means they won’t always be in the mood to be hugged, or that dogs won’t put up with having their tail pulled all the time.

The sooner they understand to respect the needs and wants of their pets, your kids will appreciate the meaning of personal preferences even in life. They will learn how to recognize certain body language signals that they are about to cross a line and transfer that knowledge to their hooman friends as well.


Mastering discipline

Just like that birthday cake is almost too irresistible not to be shared with your pooch, it’s no surprise that many kids want to take their dogs everywhere and share absolutely everything with them. My own little boy wanted to share his bed with our dog, Joey, and even though this is perfectly fine from time to time, making it into a habit wasn’t the best option for either of them.

So, we got a Snooza bed for Joey and placed it in our son’s bedroom and explained that it’s best for each of them to have their own space, since they both grow very fast. Plus, once I told my son that the cleaning of his room will be much more difficult if his bed was filled with dog hair, he immediately changed his mind!


Handling suitable tasks

Overburdening your kids with too many difficult chores is as bad as not giving them enough opportunities to be responsible. It’s best to discern how much your youngsters can handle depending on their age. For example, toddlers can tell you if their water bowl is empty or if they caught the little rascal in the potty act.

Older kids can share the entire feeding, grooming, and walking routine with you, depending on their school responsibilities and other chores. In fact, older kids can even help you train the dog by teaching them various tricks, and playing sessions are beneficial both for your kids and the dog, as they’ll help them grow stronger, and build their bond over time.

Fostering independence

Sometimes the homework will pile up and perhaps the flu season will kick in, so you’ll feel the need to spare your kids the trouble of caring for your pet. Even though it’s perfectly fine to help them manage their chores and take over a portion until they are well enough, they shouldn’t suddenly let you take over for good.
Moreover, encourage your kids to pitch in, no matter how little, with their birthday savings or their pocket money when buying dog food, or getting new chew toys. This is yet another way of sharing and learning to become more autonomous even financially with their pets.

The cycle of learning and teaching
While we’re on the subject of sharing, some kids perceive their pooch as another toy at first, or even as a chore you’ve added to their “unwanted” list. This is especially common among very young kids, and it becomes essential for parents to help them cope with these responsibilities by gradually introducing new ones.
Talk to them, see if they would actually like to take charge of a particular activity such as feeding or walking, while you share other responsibilities with them. Explain why these actions are important for keeping your pooch happy and healthy, and they will be much more likely to take on more responsibilities over time.

Finally, don’t forget to be a true role model while your kids are still in the learning stages of caring for your family pet. They will make mistakes, but they should look up to you for better behavioral patterns, and it’s your duty to be the caregiver you’d want your kids to become for your pooch.


You do know if Zara carries on like this I shall hang up my keyboard and just savour Zara’s writings!!

Dogs and allergies

Again and again I feel so privileged to be writing this blog!

For so many reasons! But the top reasons are that I feel part of an enormous family of dog lovers and that so frequently I am approached by a person who has valuable information to share with me and you.

Such as it was when back last September in came an email from Zara Lewis.

Hi Paul,
As you probably already know, all the pet stories you are sharing are super interesting and, most importantly, super useful to the entire community of us, pet parents.
Professionally, I am a regular contributor at highstylife.com magazine, while personally I am very interested in pet topics, as I am a proud mom of two + one. I say “+one” because I can hardly separate my foster dog from my children 😀

I have no book to publish, but I was wondering if you are willing to add guest content to your blog. Here you can check my style and previous posts:


Here are some topic suggestions that I believe can be useful for your community:

-Teaching your child responsibility with animals
-The Latest Trends in Pet Care
Looking forward to your response.
Regards from me & furry Joey,


You will not be surprised to hear me say that I replied to Zara saying that I would be delighted to receive an essay from her.

The weeks slipped by, as they do, but on the 6th March Zara sent the following.

It’s a wonderful essay!


Dog Allergies 101: What Are the Most Common Ones & What to Do About Them

by Zara Lewis, March 6th, 2018.

Allergies are a very common ailment, so it’s not unusual for your dog to have one. Even though people have the ability to describe the symptoms to the last detail, dogs tend to show different ones, so it’s very important for us to know and recognize them. Unless you have some kind of a super dog breed, your four-legged friend might start developing certain allergies. This mostly happens because their bodies mistakenly believe a certain type of food is bad for them, or they use it too much or too often, so their immune system responds by releasing antibodies that can cause serious problems. Take a look at the most common symptoms and allergens:

What could the symptoms be?

So before starting with the most common allergens, it’s very important to know what the most common symptoms of food allergies in dogs are. So, if you happen to notice that your dog is experiencing one of the following, make sure to get them checked by a vet as it’s very probable they have a certain food allergy:

  • Itching
  • Poor fur quality
  • Nausea
  • Obsessive Licking
  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Chronic gas
  • Chronic ear inflammation

What are the most common allergens?

It’s a well-known fact that eggs (more specifically egg yolks) are very rich in protein, so your dog can easily become allergic to them. On the positive side, avoiding eggs is not difficult; just make sure to check dog food labels to see if there’s any danger for your four-legged friend. Even though one of the most common symptoms of this type of allergy in your dog is the appearance of bald spots, egg allergy can manifest in other ways as well.

Beef, chicken and lamb
Beef is also known to have high amounts of protein, which means that your dog can become intolerant to this kind of meat as well. This usually happens if you’ve been feeding your dog a certain type of food for a very long time, so your dog becomes intolerant or allergic to that specific food. Due to this reason, beef allergies are very common, as most dog foods contain this type of meat. The same rule applies to chicken as well. Dog foods are most commonly made of beef and chicken, so it would be best to feed your dog with all possible meats – beef, pork, chicken and lamb, and rotate them as much as you can. On the other hand, lamb is very often regarded as a ‘safe haven’ for dogs with meat allergies. However, if you don’t pay attention to rotating your dog’s diet, your dog can also become allergic to lamb.

Another thing that most types of dog food contain is grains, which means that this is also one of the most common allergens. If you happen to notice itchy and dry skin or hair loss, make sure to check if your dog is allergic to grain. Mind that finding completely grain-free food can be quite tricky, so there might be a chance you have to cook everything by yourself. Luckily, for all those who don’t have the time to do this daily, there are certain products that can help with that, such as the grain-free line of Ivory Coat dog food. Always check your dog – if they’re allergic to grain, the sooner you discover it, the better.

Dairy products

It’s not only people who can be lactose intolerant – dogs can be as well. This means they are not allowed to eat or drink any dairy products, such as cheese or milk. Otherwise, they’ll end up with gas problems, diarrhoea and vomiting. As far as dairy products are concerned, there is one tricky thing you need to pay attention to – a dog can actually develop an allergy towards them, so it’s crucial for you to be able to tell the allergy apart from the intolerance. If you notice itchiness or redness on your dog, make sure to have it checked by the vet as soon as possible. If it’s only diarrhoea or vomiting, it’s probably only intolerance, but a check-up won’t hurt.
There’s an ongoing debate whether soy is good for your dog or not, but it’s definitely true that soy food is very common. Soy can cause many health problems that can be more serious than simple allergies, including reproductive and growth problems, and diseases of the liver. Furthermore, soy is the second most genetically modified crop that is grown, so it would be the most advisable to avoid this product.

It’s not for nothing that they say dogs are people’s best friends. And we treat our best friends nicely, don’t we? This is why we should all (especially if we’re the owners) make sure to treat them the best we can. The first step is making sure our little furry friends are not allergic to anything, and discovering this quickly won’t make only our lives easier, but those of our dogs as well.


Great email from Zara! Great guest essay with great pictures and loads and loads of valuable advice, and great links to other websites.

You see why I like running this blog!!