Giveaway items:

Winner chooses one (1) Little Germs Organics Stay Clean Travel Kit for Cats -OR- one (1) Little Germs Organics Stay Clean Travel Kit for Dogs. Details and the value of each package are outlined below:

Little Germs Organics Stay Clean Travel Kit for Cats

All-Purpose Cleaner – made with grapefruit oil (2 ounces)
Stain and Odor Remover – made with lavender and mint oils (2 ounces)
Cat Litterbox Odor Remover – made with grapefruit oil (2 ounces)
Cat Shampoo and Conditioner – made with lavender oil (2 ounces)
Dishwashing Liquid – made with grapefruit oil (2 ounces)

Total value: $18.99

Little Germs Organics Stay Clean Travel Kit for Dogs

All-Purpose Cleaner – made with grapefruit oil (2 ounces)
Stain and Odor Remover – made with lavender and mint oils (2 ounces)
Dog Urine Odor Remover – made with grapefruit oil (2 ounces)
Dog Shampoo and Conditioner – made with lavender oil (2 ounces)
Dishwashing Liquid – made with grapefruit oil (2 ounces)

Total value: $18.99

No cash or other substitution may be made, except by Sleepypod (“Sponsor”), who reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion.
The winners are responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of a prize.


The Giveaway is sponsored by Sleepypod, 2797 East Foothill Boulevard, Suite 110, Pasadena, CA 91107.

Agreement to Official Rules:

Participation in the Giveaway constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.


No purchase necessary. A purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of winning.
Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia.
You must be 18+ years or older.
Only one entrant per e-mail address per household.
Sleepypod and LaunchLab Inc. employees and their immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members are not eligible.
Subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
Participation in the Giveaway constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these official rules and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Giveaway. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling requirements set fort herein.


Participation in the Giveaway constitutes your consent to Sponsor’s use of your entry image(s) in any media to include the internet, without further payment, notice, review, or approval.


Participation in the Giveaway constitutes your consent to Sponsor’s use of your name for promotional purposes in any media to include the internet, without further payment, notice, review, or approval.

Entry Period:

Contest begins: Friday, December 14 at 9 a.m. EST
Contest ends: Friday, December 21 at 9 a.m. EST


Entry method:
To enter the Giveaway, follow the instructions on the giveaway site. You will automatically receive one giveaway entry by completing the required entry.
In addition, you may earn extra entries for completing the non-required entries.
LIMITATIONS: Multiple entrants are not permitted to share the same e-mail address and/or household. Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different e-mail addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, or misdirected registrations, which will be disqualified. In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to register will be deemed the registrant.


Sponsor will randomly select the potential giveaway winner from all eligible entries through the use of on or around the end date specified for the Giveaway period. The odds of being selected as a potential winner depend on the number of eligible entries received during the entry period.

Winner notification:

Potential winners will be contacted via email and will be asked to provide their full name, age and mailing address within a specified time period.
Winner has seven (7) days to respond to initial winner notification.
If a potential winner does not respond within the timeframe stated in the notification email, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from all entries received during the Entry period.

Requirements of the potential winners:

Except where prohibited, the potential winners may be required to complete and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (the “Affidavit/Release”) within seven (7) days of being notified.
If a potential winner fails to sign and return the Affidavit/Release within the required time period, an alternate entrant will be selected in his/her place in a random drawing of all entries received.

Release and limitations of liability:

By participating in the Giveaway, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Sponsor and its respective subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and each of their respective parent companies and each of such company’s officers, directors, employees, and agents (collectively the “Giveaway Entities”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Giveaway; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) errors in the administration of the Giveaway or the processing of entries; or (e) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Giveaway or receipt of any prize. Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Giveaway Entities’ liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Giveaway, and in no event shall the Giveaway Entities be liable for attorney’s fees. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.

Giveaway results:

Winner results will be posted in the “Giveaways” section of the Pet Travel Experts blog (

A miniature Sleepypod sleigh and three tiny sheep?
Yes, we do believe!
Wishing you and yours all the joys of the season~



Organic cotton balls are good for babies, boo-boos, and a multitude of uses to include feline amusement. A cotton ball is a simple and inexpensive entertainment fix when kitty becomes bored on a trip, made even better because you need only reach into your own toiletry case to find it.




$3.49 for a package of 80 jumbo, organic cotton balls at Walgreens.


One swish of the paw sets a cotton ball aloft and then it’s pure heaven for Flower.



A Holiday Recipe for Successful Dog Travel

by Inger Martens of


Traveling with your dog can be an awesome experience or a trip from hell. Yes, you can create a mellow travel partner. Though this training begins with you actually, not your dog. You just have to know how to create the recipe for success. In some places like Los Angeles you can now get a “dog barking ticket” with fines starting at $250, so it’s best to be prepared before you travel.

Ticket or no ticket, either way, a dog or puppy howling its head off is not nice! When pets travel, anxiety of being left in a new place can lead to a very solvable barking issue. Some pups pick up on owner anxiety, others never learned to be solo in the first place.

Taking your pet with you to visit relatives means traveling and new places and lots of new faces. Going out to catch a movie or a bite may seem innocent enough. Many owners just cross their fingers hoping their dog will be okay for an hour or two. The consequence? Howling, pacing, sometimes shaking, and with some dogs destruction! The truth: all of these would-be behaviors are solvable.

Many aren’t even aware that the “barking behavior” has been developing secretly in their own homes first. It can come out in stereo when traveling. Pre-travel training is a great idea.

Here are a few basic “at home tips” to paws for a minute® and ponder over for a month before you travel.

Make sure a daily walk or a game of fetch is part of the seasoning of the below recipe.

  1. Pay attention to the time of day when you leave your dog in the yard. Late afternoons are when major barking can occur. It’s cooler out and people come home from work and kids from school. Better to do a quick potty break and play fetch until you can go for a walk. I know this is basic advice, but it works.
  2. I am not a fan of bark collars. This type of collar is usually not the solution. Barking is a behavior that can be fixed by adjusting a few things in your daily life and routine with your dog, instead. We want to stop the urge to bark not stifle it.
  3. If you have a window that your dog looks out from all day long (when you’re not home), this behavior may indicate that you need to establish a new area for your dog to hang out while you’re not home. This spot can usually be a temporary space like a den space within your house.
  4. You can easily create a space with a baby gate that allows your dog to see out. Never, ever, shut a dog in a room with the door closed. Shutting a dog in a room creates anxiety for many young dogs; hence the baby gate concept allows them to see out and therefore helps them. After a while, no gate will be needed.
  5. Initially, use a gate when you are home to get your dog used to it. This also allows you to correct any behaviors. Giving your pup something to chew creates a hobby while being gated. Guiding him into the space on a leash provides guidance and alleviates any coaxing and misunderstandings. Once this new space becomes a cozy space you can develop a word such as “wait” which will become his cue to chill out. Music helps a lot too! The triggers of a command and music will indicate to chill out and wait.

Teaching your dog to wait for 20 minutes a day, while you read or hang out and watch television, will introduce a great concept that will help travel and the ability to stay in a hotel, bark free. Now that’s a real present. Happy holidays!


Inger offers her survival guide secrets and quick tips for every aspect of pet ownership at

Celebrity Dog Trainer Inger Martens © 2011


My Five Favorite Pet-friendly Destinations in Los Angeles

by C.J. Arabia, full-time blogger and Animal Advocate

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for the past 20 years and have always had at least one dog. I also volunteer with Animal Advocates Alliance animal rescue and am always looking for pet-friendly places to take my posse of pooches in my town.

Pussy & Pooch
564 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 438-0900

There are a lot of boutique pet stores in Los Angeles but the best is Pussy & Pooch in the downtown area. Pussy and Pooch is a pet store full of stuff you’d normally have to go online to find, but even better, they offer the Pawbar. Pawbar is basically a doggie diner with a daily selection of raw meat meals, simmered stews and meaty bones. Prices range from $3 for a quick snack to $7 for a full-size meal for a larger dog. You can’t go wrong.

Laurel Canyon Dog Park
8620 Mullholland Drive, Studio City, CA 
(818) 769-4415

If you’re in Los Angeles with your pooch you absolutely have to visit the Laurel Canyon Dog Park. Nestled in the hills above Hollywood, this 3-acre dog park is a doggie wonderland. One of the perks, other than this park being off-leash, is that this secluded location attracts lots of celebs. Depending on the day you might get to see a few famous people and their pooches.

D Pet Hotel
1041 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 464-PETS 

If you’re visiting Los Angeles and you are going to be out for the day and can’t take your pooch with you, may I suggest our finest doggie day care: D Pet Hotel. Your dog will get a human-sized and decorated bedroom and a wide screen television where the staff shows all sorts of animal movies for your pet to enjoy. If you have a few dogs, they can all stay in the room together. There are huge play rooms and depending on what your pooch likes he/she can get in a work out and make new friends. There are doggie treadmills, a 6k-square-foot indoor play area, and they offer a full array of doggie delights: body wraps, fur/hair coloring, teeth cleaning, massage, and pedicures. There’s also a vet on call 24/7.

Runyon Canyon Park & Hiking Trail
2001 N. Fuller Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

I’m not gonna lie, there are some steep hills involved here so bring sturdy shoes. The views from Runyon Canyon Park & Hiking Trail are amazing. You can see all the way out to the ocean and all of Los Angeles. Lots of people and lots of dogs. Though there are drinking fountains along this hike, bring plenty of water for you and your pet, especially in the summer months. This hike gets pretty intense but you’ll get some amazing photos and your dog will have a blast.

Birds Café-Bar 
5925 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 465-0175

After a long day of sightseeing, dog parks, and hiking it’s time to unwind with a cocktail, so head on over to Birds Café-Bar in Hollywood. There’s not a pet menu like some places, but they are super dog-friendly and will make anything on the menu for your dog, just ask. They’ll set you up with a cocktail, a water bowl for your pet, and a nice comfy place on the patio. Another great place to spy celebs, but then in Los Angeles, it’s hard to go somewhere and not run into a celeb of some sort.

C.J. Arabia is a full-time blogger and Animal Advocate who lives in Los Angeles. You can read her work here:


We all enjoy being pampered and so do our pets. So when looking for a hotel that pampers your pets as much as yourself, you might want to check out Loews Hotels and their current “Woofie Weekends” package.

The “Woofie Weekends” package includes:

  • Accommodations for one night for pets with their owners
  • A specially made “Wag Your Tail Delight Meal” for your pet delivered to your room
  • Microdry Memory Foam Ultimate Luxury Pet Mat for your pet to use during your stay and for you to take home
  • Loews Loves Pets standard amenities to include bowl, mat, and tags
  • $25 pet cleaning fees waived

The “Woofie Weekends” package is subject to availability at all Loews Hotels in the U.S. and Canada. Additional rules may apply. Offer ends December 31, 2011.

Loews Hotels

Photo taken at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Photo credit: Loews Hotels.


Is it motion sickness or stress that is causing travel-induced nausea?

by Dr. Shelby Neely of Ask the Cat Doctor

If you have ever experienced motion sickness, you know how miserable that can make you feel. Did you know that pets can suffer from similar travel-induced nausea? It’s true, and when it occurs they can become very unhappy and uncomfortable. It doesn’t exactly make your trip to the vet or to your vacation destination pleasant for you, either. The odor, the mess … Yuk!

There is one important difference between motion sickness in our pets and the motion sickness we experience. In the majority of cases, the drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea your pet experiences when traveling is the result of stress, not the actual motion. That’s because many of our pets associate the car or their pet carrier with a trip to the veterinarian, a trip to the kennel, or perhaps a move to a new home.

Before assuming that your pet’s symptoms are directly related to the actual motion of traveling, try to reduce your pet’s anxiety and stress level around travel times. This may enable you to avoid giving an antihistamine medication that can have many side effects.

There are many natural, safe, homeopathic remedies to help reduce pet stress, including herbal supplements like Bach’s Rescue Remedy. You can also use “calming tools” such as playing classical music on your car’s radio. If all else fails, you should consult your veterinarian regarding the possible administration of a mild tranquilizer prior to traveling with your pet.

However, one of the most effective methods is the use of desensitizing techniques. Investing in a Sleepypod 3-in-1 pet bed, pet carrier, and car seat is a great way to get smaller dogs and cats to relax when traveling. Since the Sleepypod carrier is also an attractive, comfy bed, leaving it out in your home for your pets to use on a daily basis will make them feel more comfortable when it’s time to travel in it.

For larger dogs, bringing an article from home, such as a bed or blanket that really belongs to your dog, can help create that same sense of security. Of course, teaching your pet that good things come from trips in the car with treats and toys can help, too!  Also, the use of short trial runs around the block before departing on a longer trip can help also.

The less stressed your pet is during your next car ride, the less likely he or she is to suffer from the symptoms of motion sickness. Of course, there are a few pets that get true motion sickness in spite of being relaxed. For those cases, you should talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate motion sickness medication. However, in all cases, decreasing anxiety with the above tips can do nothing but help!

Question for you:

Has your pet experienced symptoms of motion sickness when traveling? If so, what techniques have you used that have helped?


Dr. Shelby Neely has been a feline veterinarian for over 20 years and is the cat doctor/writer behind the highly successful Ask the Cat Doctor blog.


Fido better watch out, Fifi better not cry, and Snowball better not pout … because Santa Claus is coming to a Kimpton Hotel near you!

Kimpton Hotels is filling its living room lobbies with holiday treats and décor in anticipation of the pet-friendly company’s annual Santa Paws event. Guests traveling with pets and neighborhood friends with pets are invited to bring their cameras and pose with Santa on Saturday, December 10 and/or Sunday December 11 from 2-4 p.m.

According to Kimpton Hotels, “Mostly, we see dogs at Santa Paws which is great. But we want to remind everyone that Kimpton is an inclusive and diverse company. If it can fit through the door, we welcome it for holiday pictures.”

Santa Paws will take place in 18 cities across the country:


by Dr. Nina Mantione, Staff Veterinarian and Underwriting Support of Petplan pet insurance

Best friends make great travel companions. They don’t text while driving, they won’t try to change the radio station and they never complain. Well, rarely, at least.

If you’ve ever traveled with a furry friend before, you probably took a few simple steps to ensure a safe and secure trip; you packed a pet first aid kit, scouted out emergency vets near your destination, and protected your pet from any unexpected accidents or illnesses that might occur with Petplan pet insurance.

But did you pack your pet’s health documents?

Recently an animal rescuer in Wisconsin was fined over $700 because the animal that she imported into Wisconsin did not have documentation from a veterinarian stating that they animal was free of disease and current on vaccinations.

Unbeknownst to many pet parents, dogs and cats who cross state borders are required by the Department of Agriculture to meet certain entry requirements. While every state has different requirements for best friends crossing state borders, most states require one of two things, if not both: a pet health certificate, and a certificate stating that your pet is current on vaccinations, such as rabies.

A pet health certificate, or certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) as it is called by many states, is a document that includes pertinent information about your pet and his health. An example of one can be seen here (pdf). A certificate of Veterinary Inspection typically shows not only your pet’s information (e.g. name, age, if they are microchipped) but also that your pet has received recommended vaccinations, is not showing signs of infectious, contagious or communicable disease, and is healthy for travel. Not every state requires you to be in possession of a CVI when traveling into that state with your pet, but if they do, chances are they also require that it be signed by your veterinarian and relatively current (often within the past 30 days).

Some states, such as California, do not require that dogs and cats have a certificate of veterinary inspection, but they do require that you have documentation supporting your pet’s rabies vaccination. That information can be noted in the health certificate or on a secondary source (such as the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Form #51 Rabies Vaccination Certificate or rabies tag).

To be completely prepared for your pet’s trip, check the specific regulations for each state you will be traveling to at the Department of Agriculture website.

And so before your next trip across state lines, pack a copy of your pet’s health papers in the glove box. Not only will it protect you and your pet from any fines, but should your pet get ill and need emergency care, you will have your pet’s health records ready at hand.


Dr. Nina Mantione is a Staff Veterinarian and Underwriting Support of Petplan Pet Insurance.

This article originally appeared on the Vets for Pets blog of Petplan pet insurance, America’s #1 rated pet health insurance provider. To learn more about Petplan and to get more pet health tips from their blog, visit


Choosing The Right Boarding Facility For Your Dog or Cat

by Inger Martens of

Holiday madness creates stress and excitement for everyone, including our dogs and cats. For some owners, anxiety leading up to travel can create misbehaviors in their animals that sometimes manifests as a self-fulfilling prophecy. As a trainer, I’m all about teaching foresight. Knowing the facts helps create a calm, medication-free experience for you and your pet!

New and seasoned pet owners alike should take the time to assess the kennel or boarding facility with checklist in hand. Sometimes the cost of pet boarding can be as much as your travel ticket. Therefore, I recommend making sure you like the boarding facility and even have a back-up place for future trips.

Getting to know the kennel staff, daily routines, and rules of the facility is essential. The needs of your pet and place need to gel. Visit several kennels in your area in advance and ask for a tour. Most good kennels will comply. Sounds sneaky but a good boarding facility should have nothing to hide, even on spur of the moment drop-ins.

7 essential questions to ask when choosing a boarding kennel:

  1. Is the kennel clean? This sounds like a basic question, but I have found that what you see may not always be what you get. So how do you check? Ask about the kennel’s potty procedures for dogs. This is a great way to find out how they manage things. Ask what time the last potty break takes place in the p.m. and how early in the a.m. The cat people should ask about kitty litter cleaning and any free time in the cat area.
  2. Are the staff members friendly? Some facilities can get defensive when asking valid details. Sure, they will say your pet will have a great time, but they should also be patient with puppy potty questions or senior issues.
  3. Is there an exercise area? This may not be as important as you think. Sure, puppy people should inquire about this option. However, walks are key. A great boarding facility should offer ample, short walks throughout the day. Potty breaks on walks are what’s important and will help to de-stress your pet. Dogs, while being boarded, often want to hold the urge to go to the bathroom, so walks are the “routine” element that stimulate potty breaks, get it?
  4. What is their procedure for sick dogs? Is there an on-staff vet? Going over their procedure adds piece of mind.
  5. Are there any hidden costs? Some kennels will charge extra fees for things you may assume are included in the boarding rate like blankets, play time, outside walks, and administering medications. You may even be charged an additional fee if your dog exceeds a certain weight. (Customarily, bathing is an extra cost. It is wise to schedule grooming for the last day of the kennel stay.)
  6. What are the kennel’s feeding procedures? Is there only a limited variety of kibble? If your dog has a special diet that the kennel does not offer, there will probably be an extra charge for feeding your dog different food. Remember, it is important to feed your dog the same dog food that he gets at home while he is in the kennel. Sudden diet changes could upset his stomach.
  7. Is someone on site around the clock, in case of emergencies? Always ask.

To ease your pre-travel jitters, remember that your dog or cat will experience a great deal of socialization, excitement of new people, walks (for pups), new smells, and being fed. There is rarely a dull moment.

Initially, many dogs and cats may experience stress from being boarded. If kenneled in the right facility, this stress will pass quickly. Here’s a secret tip: make sure the kennel has paneling or an opaque partition for each individual dog run or cat cage, as this will help your dog or cat have an area to relax privately, no matter what age.

A brief kennel stay of a week or so should be fun for dogs, and even cats, and will give you peace of mind, so don’t feel bad.


Inger offers her survival guide secrets and quick tips for every aspect of pet ownership at

Celebrity Dog Trainer Inger Martens © 2011