Giveaway Item:

  • One (1) –  Sleepypod Critter Kit & Sleepypod Mini Combo kit, value is $124.99, winner chooses one color Sleepypod Mini from the following choices: Jet Black, Chocolate Brown, Strawberry Red, Blossom Pink, Arctic White, or Sky Blue.
  • 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 name for promotional purposes in any media to include the internet, without further payment, notice, review, or approval.

Entry Period:

  • Contest begins: Thursday, May 3 at 12:01 EST
  • Contest ends: Saturday, May 12 at 00:01 EST


  • Entry method:  Rafflecopter
  • 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 Lliability:

  • 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 this blog.

What pet owners should know about keeping a scared dog safe from well-meaning strangers.

By Sophia Yin, DVM

We were on a trip to visit our daughter in California and were really looking forward to the vacation. We had stopped at a rest stop along the way and were walking our 5 year old Labrador Thor, who is a little nervous in new situations. Suddenly someone ran up to hug him because he looks so friendly. It startled him so he bit the guy and then let go and backed away. Needless to say that incident ruined the vacation for us as well as for the person who was bitten.

Have you ever had a similar incident or a near miss while traveling or even in your neighborhood? That is, you have a dog who is very fearful or at least slightly scared when meeting unfamiliar people in your house or neighborhood, but in unfamiliar situations when he’s already uneasy he’s actually scared enough to snap and even bite strangers who approach in an intimidating way?

One problem in this scenario is that, in general, most people don’t know how to politely greet a dog. Instead of asking for your permission and then letting the dog meet them at his own pace, well-wishers approach too quickly, crowd too closely or loom over like a thunderstorm ready to dump its load. Under this pressure some dogs will freeze or shrink, pretending it’s all a bad dream. Others take action—usually a reflex bark or low-level growl. A few successes here and the message is loud and clear: when strangers approach, growl and bark and even bite to keep them away. Pretty soon, your sweet, slightly insecure dog has turned into a mass of defensive rumbling. (To download the How to Greet a Dog poster, go to

Many dog-lovers can’t understand why Fido would be afraid of them when they’re obviously making friendly human gestures. Turn the tables around and the picture becomes clear. Say you’re afraid of spiders and your friend shoves her pet tarantula in your face. If she simultaneously reassures you, “She’s a friendly tarantula. See her amicable expression?” or “She can’t cause harm, she’s just an innocent baby,” would you suddenly feel safe?

No, in fact the only way you could get used to the spider is if you greeted it at your own pace. That means it would have to be on a table or in some locations where you could control your distance from it. Then when you were ready you could gradually approach for a closer look and to even touch it.

The same goes for dogs. All dogs are not outgoing or used to meeting many types of strangers, especially if they were already shy when you adopted them or have not received enough positive experiences with many types of humans. If you walk into a dog’s personal space or even stand and reach out to touch him he may feel threatened or be unsure of your intentions. If however, you stand straight up or crouch down on one knee while looking slightly away, then he can approach and sniff you at his own rate. Once he’s relaxed then you can calmly pet him on the side of the head while watching his body language to see whether he’s still comfortable and enjoying the interaction. If he leans into your petting hand that’s a good sign. If he’s leans away or get’s tense, even worse if his mouth was open and now he holds it closed while he tenses up, then you’re in trouble, he’s very close to biting out of fear. (To learn more about the body language of fear in dogs, download the poster at


Offering treats that the shy Fido can choose to take out of your hand while you’re looking away from him will speed the friendship process and will teach Fido to associate unfamiliar people with good things.   




In general I actually recommend that people with these fearful dogs not let strangers approach and pet them. But rather the owners get one-on-one coaching on how to handle their dog and provide their dog with a positive experience.

When owners rely on untrained greeters, these people may manage to get through the initial greeting with Fido okay but then they make a quick or inappropriate move that scares him into snapping, biting or running away. Like the human who’s fearful of spiders, even when you’re finally comfortable enough to examine and touch the tarantula, if it suddenly moves its mouthparts or waves one of its legs in the air you might jump away out of fright. You have to have positive experiences with the spider in many position and contexts before you feel completely safe around it.

People who are afraid of spiders don’t want one running up to them. The same is true for dogs who are afraid of new people.





So what should you do when you’re traveling with your potentially fearful dog and someone wants to pet him? First, always keep a lookout for potential dog well-wishers. If you see one suddenly head your way, quickly back up away from him in order to get your dog to head towards and focus on you rather than the scary person heading for him. Your movement will also be a cue to the person that they you don’t want them to pet your dog but as an added cue, put your hand out in the universal “halt” sign and simultaneously tell them, “Wait! My dog’s afraid of unfamiliar people especially when they rush or crowd him.” Then, while you are rewarding your dog with treats for sitting and focus on you such that he is learning good things about being around these people, you can ask that they just admire your dog from afar.”

This may sound conservative but it’s the safest way. Many dogs with a history of being fearful and even snapping may be comfortable or at least freeze instead of showing aggression with 9 out of 10 doggie well-wishers, but it’s the 10th that gets the bite. To actually help your dog through his fear around unfamiliar people to the point where people can come up to greet him safely you may need to be coached through the process by an educated behavior professional ( and

For more information on dog body language, fear, and how to greet correctly while making the pet more comfortable:


This is a revised excerpt from How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves by Sophia Yin.

Dr. Sophia Yin is a veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist voted The Bark Magazine’s 100 Best and Brightest. She has an animal behavior web site at



11th Annual Sugar & Champagne Affair

Where: Washington, DC 
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Benefitting: Washington Humane Society
Hosts: Chef Todd and Ellen Gray (Equinox & Watershed Restaurants and Muse at the Corcoran Gallery of Art) 
Information: Sugar and Champagne for more information and to buy tickets
Note: Leashed dogs are welcome and encouraged to attend. NO retractable leashes.

Images courtesy of Washington Humane Society.

The Washington Humane Society’s 11th annual dessert and champagne reception honors local crusaders against animal cruelty: Washington Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement Officers, Animal Control Officers, and Humane Educators. This celebration of all things sugary and sweet, showcases the DC area’s most talented pastry chefs. Enjoy delectable confections complemented by some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. The VIP reception presents an exclusive savory gathering prepared by the finest chefs of the national capital region.

A VIP reception presents an exclusive savory gathering by top chefs of the national capital region to include Equinox, Watershed, Think Food Group, Restaurant Eve, The Source, Brasserie Beck, and Kushi. the VIP event will also offer an exclusive, ultra-premium Scotch Whiskey tasting by Diageo, one of the world’s leading premium drinks businesses with an outstanding collection of alcoholic beverage brands across spirits, beer and wine.

Additional event highlights:

  • Sample sweets and meet contestants from TLC’s hit show Next Great Baker.
  • Watch four-legged guests enjoy fresh fare at the ‘Doggie Bar’ by canine cuisine enthusiasts including The Dog Chef, Kevyn Matthews. Check out his PSA here!
  • Watch demonstrations by the Federal Protective Service K9s.

If you cannot attend the 11th Annual Sugar & Champagne Affair but would like to make a donation only, please click here.


Seven Year Itch

Where: Detroit, MI
Date: Friday, February 3, 2012
Benefitting: Michigan Humane Society
Host: Motorcity Blog and Most People are DJS
Information: Michigan Humane Society for more information 

Live performances by FUR, Phantom Cats, Satori Circus and His Cigarettes, I Love Lightening Bugs, and Legendary Creatures. DJs of the evening will be Mikel O.D. and Cash4Gold.


Haute Hounds and Couture Cats

Where: Atlanta, GA
Date: Monday, February 13, 2012
Benefitting: Atlanta Humane Society
Host: Saks Fifth Avenue
Information: Atlanta Humane Society for more information and to buy tickets

Local fashionistas will showcase the latest styles for this Best of Spring 2012 Fashion Show.  Accompanying the models will be adorable, cuddly members of the Atlanta Humane Society.

In addition to lunch prepared by A Legendary Event, there will have several fabulous raffle items. Saks will be donating a spectacular new designer handbag. After lunch, everyone is invited to shop the afternoon away as 5% of sales will be donated to the Atlanta Humane Society for their spay/neuter initiatives.


From Paris, in Love

Where: Lynchburg, VA
Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Benefitting: Lynchburg Humane Society
Information: Lynchburg Humane Society for more information and where to buy tickets

Do something different this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a fancy shmancy, five course dinner catered by Shoemakers American Grill, dancing to the music of the Mark Miller Band, prizes and gift bags with proceeds benefitting the Lynchburg Humane Society.


Red Lion Hotels, the pet-friendly western United States and Canada hotel chain, offers members of their Red Lions R &R Club rewards program an extra 500 bonus points per stay when bringing a pet. Points may be used toward hotel stays, air miles, or even shopping. Achieve Gold or Platinum-level member status and the $15 per stay pet fees are waived, leaving a little extra for some creature comforts. A fuzzy new toy to cuddle with, perhaps?

Red Lion Hotels 

by Dr. Sasha Gibbons of Just Cats Veterinary Hospital in Stamford, Conn.

With the vast variety of options out there, selecting a carrier can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips to make the process easier.

Start by focusing on the purpose of the carrier: Is it going to be used for an annual veterinary visit? Will you be traveling regularly with your pet? Are you going to be flying with your pet? Answering these questions will help determine the need for a basic carrier, or if you need a carrier with additional features.

Most carriers are composed of one of three materials: cardboard, plastic, or fabric. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Cardboard carriers are the least expensive, but are usually only intended for a brief trip and short-term use, as they do not offer good ventilation and are not very sturdy. If your pet has an accident in the carrier, or the carrier gets damp in storage, it needs to be replaced.
  • Plastic carriers are the most durable, and have unsurpassed longevity. Ventilation is variable depending on the design of the carrier. They are easily cleanable, but they are not very forgiving if your pet gains weight and most are not suitable for airline travel in the cabin.
  • Fabric carriers are usually the most comfortable for the pet, as the majority are plushly-cushioned and well-ventilated. They are flexible for travel and storage, but some are not easy to clean, and they are usually the most costly option.

Now that you have decided the type of carrier that best suits you and your pet’s needs, it is time to determine the size of the carrier you will need. As a general rule of thumb, your pet should have enough room to turn around, and ideally be able to stand (if they are not flying in the plane cabin). Therefore, unless you plan to bring your pet with you to the store, you should have an idea of your pet’s size. The measurements you will need are the length, height, and width of your pet.

Measurements should be taken from the tip of pet’s nose to the base of their tail, from the bottom of their foot resting on the floor to the top of their head while they are standing, and across the widest point of their body (usually the ribs or hips depending on your pet). If you do not have measuring tape handy, you can always cut a piece of string to the exact length and take that with you to the store when you go to look at carriers. This task is usually easier to accomplish on a dog than a cat, since dogs respond to the commands, “Sit” and “Stay.” Cats or uncooperative dogs should be measured when they are either sleeping (and naturally staying still), or when they are eating (and distracted).

Once the basic type and size of carrier is determined, then you can select the color and begin to accessorize.


Dr. Sasha Gibbons is an associate veterinarian at Just Cats Veterinary Hospital and veterinary advisor for Community Cats in Stamford, Conn. You can also find her here:


Our Five Favorite Pet-friendly Destinations in Louisville

by Melissa and Sean Little, owners of Louisville-based Little Eatz: Pet and People Treats (with help from Winston)

Coming to Louisville, Kentucky soon? Bringing your fur-baby along? There’s no need for him or her to stay cooped up in the hotel room all day. Bring your pet along to visit these local pet-friendly destinations.

 Cherokee Park
745 Cochran Hill Road, Louisville, KY 40206

Cherokee Park is a Louisville landmark. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of landscape architecture, it is one of the most beautiful places in Louisville. If you are looking to expend some energy after traveling, this is it! Cherokee Park is an urban oasis.

 Bring your dog for a walk through the hiking and trails make it appoint to enjoy some of the park landmarks. As you enter the park you’ll be greeted by Christensen Fountain, move on to other sites like Big Rock, situated in the Beargrass Creek that winds through much of the park, Hogan’s Fountain, and the picturesque Lover’s Lane.

But by all means, make it a point to take a break at Baringer Hill, or “Dog Hill,” and your pooch will enjoy running into a crowd of four-legged pals.

Photos of Cherokee Park courtesy of Louisville Metro Parks.

 The Paw Zone
1501 Mellwood Ave., Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 690-WOOF

The Paw Zone is the perfect place for your dog to play! Housed in a huge warehouse-like building, The Paw Zone provides socialization and exercise for your pup. They offer all-day passes or you can drop your pup off for just a few hours. On Saturdays, there is a Yappy Hour when you can drop in and play at anytime!

 Les Filles Boutique
Westport Village Shopping Center, 1301 Herr Lane Suite 160, Louisville, KY 40222
(502) 618-4888

Hershey (right) poses with a friend inside Les Filles Boutiques.

Les Filles Boutique is an accessories boutique that specializes in jewelry and handbags. However, the resident pup Hershey has inspired her owners to create “Hershey’s Corner.” Hershey has chosen some of her favorite things—toys, treats, and clothes—to sell. Now, you can bring a pet to Les Filles and shop for yourself and you four-legged friend.

Feeders Supply
14 locations all around Louisville and Southern Indiana

Exterior image of Feeders Supply at 4600 Shelbyville Road in Louisville.

Feeders Supply is Louisville’s local pet store. Your pet(s) are always welcome to join you in-store, and you may even go home with a new friend since most stores have adoption centers right there! Feeders is unique because they include numerous local products, many of which you cannot find at mass market retailers. A trip to Louisville must include a stop at Feeders!

 Bluegrass Brewing Company
3929 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 899-7070

After all that shopping around Louisville, you must be hungry! Bluegrass Brewing Company (better known around town as BBC) is the perfect place for you and your dog to eat. BBC recently opened their patio to the pups! You can even order a meal and dessert for your dog from their “Pound Puppy” menu.


Melissa and Sean Little are the owners of Little Eatz: Pet and People Treats. We make all natural cookies that are meant to be shared with your pup. Check out our treats at: and on Facebook and Twitter.


61 days until the first day of spring. No, it’s a leap year so make that 62 days until spring.

When lazy, sun-dappled vacation days seem far, far away and travel is not an option until … there’s always Dewey, Lewie & Clark, Buster, Pa & Pea, and the rest of the Loose Leashes gang to evoke the feeling of grass between your toes and a slobbery tennis ball in hand.

Feel better now? We do.

Find Ron Schmidt’s photos at Prints are available for purchase in four options ranging from $39 for an unframed print to $165 for a matted, framed, and signed by the photographer print .

There’s also a picture book available of select Ron Schmidt images that are accompanied by his wife Amy ’s witty rhymes. Loose Leashes, the book, is available on Another book is in the works and is scheduled to be released in summer 2013.


We saw these prints on Dog Milk shortly after our winter vacation ended. The images brought smiles to our faces and made us reach for a tennis ball awaiting slobbery affection.


Make Sure your Pet is Safe and Not Left Behind

It’s blizzard season now, soon it will be tornado season, and then hurricane season, and then fire season … if you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household and it is important to be prepared for the unexpected situation.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

If you evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has devoted an entire section on its Ready site towards tailoring a plan for animals and pets. Here, you will find guidelines on planning for pet needs during a disaster, guidelines for larger animals, and where to go for more information.

You are also able to download FEMA’s free brochure on Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies. The information in the brochure was developed in consultation with the American Kennel Club (AKC), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Humane Society of the United States.


Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)


The Dog Milk Team Shares Their Favorite Pet-Friendly Destinations

Dog Milk, a website dedicated to modern dog design, was inspired by founder and editor Jaime Derringer’s love for her two modern pets, Lulu and Beans. Dog Milk is the sister site of Design Milk.

In between discovering new products and sniffing out what’s beyond the chain pet stores, Jaime and the rest of the Dog Milk team (Christine E. Martinez with pet Miles, and Katherine Becker with pets Mingus and Dottie) found time to share their favorite pet-friendly spots, in their respective cities, with Pet Travel Experts.

Jaime Derringer’s Pet-Friendly Philadelphia

Philly isn’t the most dog-friendly place on earth, but we’re not entirely afraid of our four-legged friends. We have tons of pet-friendly hotels including the ultra-chic newish Hotel Palomar (117 South 17th Street; 215-563-5006).

Photo of the Hotel Palomar lobby courtesy of Kimpton Hotels.

And what trip to Philadelphia would be complete without a historical trek through Old City and Independence Mall in a horse-drawn carriage. Yes! They’re pet friendly! These tours leave every 20 minutes and take you all around the most famous sites in the city. Watch out for those cobblestone streets, though—it’s a bumpy ride!

Since this is the home of the Urban Outfitters company, I have to mention that the alternative retail giant allows its employees to bring their pets to work at their headquarters in the Navy Yard. I bet that place is a zoo!

Christine E. Martinez’s Pet-Friendly San Francisco

On any given day, Dolores Park (18th St. & Dolores St.) in San Francisco’s Mission District is crawling with dogs and their hip owners. I love the park’s expansive views of San Francisco, and the fact that my dog gets to run around off leash. Without fail, my dog Miles always finds a playmate to chase until he collapses. He loves an afternoon at Dolores Park more than any other place in the Bay Area, and I love taking home an exhausted pooch.

The Pub (1492 Solano Ave., Albany; 510-525-1900) is a tobacco/beer/wine/coffee shop that looks like a cozy Victorian home. And it’s the most unexpected dog-friendly spot I’ve ever been too! It’s one of the few “anything goes” spots left that I find completely pleasant in every way. I often stop by to read a book or play a board game with friends, and it’s such a treat that my dog Miles gets to join in on the fun. Miles loves to walk around and say hi to adoring patrons that like to giggle at his underbite. I always laugh when he returns to my table with a treat.

Katherine Becker’s Pet-Friendly Asheville

We live in Asheville, North Carolina, a gorgeous, welcoming mountain town that’s one of the dog-friendliest places on the East Coast.

With tons of outdoor fun provided by the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest, Appalachian Trail, and numerous rivers and waterfalls, western North Carolina is any doggy’s paradise—but our downtown and River Arts areas are a doggy dream as well. Most restaurants, breweries (we currently have 12), and shops welcome pups, and on a sunny day you’ll see many dogs enjoying a downtown stroll.

One of our favorite doggy events is Doggies at the Diamond, hosted by our minor-league baseball team, the Asheville Tourists (30 Buchanan Place; 828-258-0428). Twice during the summer, fans are invited to bring their pups to the ballpark, where they can sit in the bleachers and enjoy watching a game, sniffin’ some butts, and maybe even eating a hot dog or two.

Since Asheville is known for being so dog-friendly, many visitors to our fine town bring their pups along when they come to see the sights. The world-famous Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa (290 Macon Ave.; 828-252-2711) now opens its doors to dogs, where pups can enjoy a night of luxury with their owners. Our favorite local vacation spot is Barkwells (290 Lance Road, Mills River; 828-891-8288) which features dog-friendly resort cabins, a fishing pond, mountain views, and eight acres of fenced grounds for dogs to run and play.

All photos of Asheville by Katherine Becker.


Jaime Derringer is founder and editor of Dog Milk, as well as the modern design blog Design Milk which has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Time Out New York, San Francisco Chronicle, Singapore Home & Decor magazine, and Real Simple magazine. Design Milk is one of the Google Engineers’ Staff Picks and a Twitter influencer in Art & Design. 





Christine E. Martinez is a freelance interior designer from Oakland, CA and creator of LAMA designs. She has spent the last several years searching the globe for fantastic products and undiscovered talent.







Katherine Becker wrote and managed the dog blog phetched for a couple of years before joining the Dog Milk team. She lives with her husband and two dogs in the mountains of North Carolina, a locale that provides enough camping, hiking, shopping, good food, and craft beer to keep her more than happy.



Not Every Pet is an Ideal Airline Passenger

by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang of

As more and more pet owners eschew boarding their pets in favor of taking them with them on the road, the issue of travel safety for dogs and cats has become increasingly relevant. For long distances, air travel is still the preferred method for most people, and the good news is thousands of pets travel safely in the skies every day. On the other hand, there are specific instances where travel by air is not the safest choice, and owners should be aware if they have a pet who might be safer on terra firma.

1) Brachycephalic breeds

Any “squishy nosed” dog or cat is particularly at risk during air travel. Think pugs, bulldogs, and Persian cats as an example. These pets often have extra tissue in their sinuses and soft palate that restrict air movement compared to other pets. These animals often have a difficult time dealing with temperature extremes and can easily overheat. Without someone in the cargo hold to see a problem developing, these pets can get into trouble fast.

2) Extreme temperatures

Airlines request “statements of acclimation” from veterinarians on health certificates for a reason: they know pets are susceptible to heat stroke in the summer and hypothermia in the winter. Small pets, young animals, and brachycephalic breeds such as those listed above are particularly prone to problems due to their impaired ability to maintain a normal temperature. Even though cargo holds on planes are temperature controlled, delays on the tarmac can result in a pet sitting in extreme hot or cold for unplanned amounts of time, particularly during layovers.

3) Very stressed pets

Owners often ask about sedation for pets who are heavily stressed by travel. Vets usually do not recommend this, as the risk of respiratory depression outweighs the benefit of the sedation, especially when a pet is unsupervised during air transport. An alternative for these pets is a supervised flight with a company such as Pet Airways, or hiring a transport company who can take the pet by car.

Safe and happy travels!


Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, is a veterinarian and the publisher of the pet-centric website