2016 Howliday Guide: Five Gifts For Your Dog

Last year, I put together a fantastic gift guide geared towards some of the best gifts for your furry loved ones. I had such a great response, I wanted to curate another gift guide for this holiday season. Our dogs are such an important part of our lives, and I love watching them open their gifts on Christmas morning. Bentley carefully paws through the gifts, while Lambo wants ALL the gifts and often tries to take all the toys and treats to his bed. Either way, most of these will be on their list this Christmas!

Subscription Box

Kai Krates is a monthly subscription box that delivers high quality toys and treats that won’t break the bank. Their expert panel of dogs carefully test each product that goes out to ensure they are the perfect fit for your crate.

This affordable subscription box has two options: Treats & Chews Krate or Toys, Treats and Chews Krate. Every month, a new box full of the best products will be at your doggy door! Want to try? Use the code: breakfastwithbentley and get 10% off your first box!

Dog Bed

Your dog deserves to be comfortable while getting some shut eye. Chewy has a ton of affordable beds and mats that are machine washable and made with soft, luxurious material. Your dog will never want to get out of bed in the morning!

Dog Treats

Christmas is the perfect time to stock up on all of your favorite treats. These Caru Natural Soft n’ Tasty Dog Treats are Bentley’s favorite snack. They are nutritious and delicious!

Caru Wild Boar Treats

Dog Toys

It’s not a Christmas without some toys underneath the Christmas tree! Lambo is a powerful chewer and we have tried a ton of different types of toys to quench this thirst of his. Nylabone has been our favorite; the long-lasting bristles help to clean teeth, freshen breath, and promote oral health with every gnaw or chewing action.

Grooming Products

It’s important to keep your dog so fresh and so clean during these dry and cold winter months. Between the cold and the snow, their coat and paws need a little extra attention. Stock up on shampoo, brushes and paw pads to ensure your dog will be protected this holiday season.Bentley and Lambo Holiday

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

6 Actions Dog Bloggers Can Take To Grow Their Social Following

Dog blogging is fun and quite easy: just post your dog’s life whenever you feel like it. Then, you start looking at other dog bloggers and do what human do best: compare yourself to others. You realize your dog is the most beautiful yet his or her following isn’t taking off.

Eventually, you start looking for actionable tips to boost the engagement of your dog’s social profiles, and grow their following. And then, you find this article.

First, let’s just be clear on one point this article is NOT about. No, this is not an overnight system that will suddenly make you the #1 dog blogger out there. Yes, you will need to work hard and do things differently than what you used to. And lastly, the items aren’t going to track themselves up so you need to do more of what works, and less of what does not.

Fairly simple, right? So, let’s dive into it.

Action 1 – Declutter Your Social Presence

Contrary to popular belief: you don’t have to stay on every new platform. Of course, as soon as a new social network becomes relevant, signup and reserve your nickname on there but no need to scatter your sweat on several platforms and get very little results on each.

The importance of ONE. Target a single social channel and put all your efforts into growing and thriving in it. Only once you’ve managed to grow sufficiently, you can start thinking about the next land to invade.

Dog Blogger Dominate One Platform at a Time

Instagram is usually the first and most appealing platform because of it’s very searchable (hashtags) and you can easily interact with fellow dog bloggers and get the ball rolling. Dog breeders are all about it and it helps them get some eyeballs.

Action 2 — Cross Promote All Your Dog’s Social Profiles

As a human being having a decent Internet connection, I am sure you have one or several personal accounts on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest or even Google+.

This is a goldmine! Make sure you promote your dog’s profile through your personal accounts. You don’t have to be straight to the point (ie. go like my dog’s instagram profile) but you can share pictures or videos you posted on your dog’s timeline, for example.

Action 3 — Outreach Several Times, Every day

Prefer depth over width.

Meaning, before sending a tweet or a comment to another fellow dog blogger, check out their page and see what they like. Don’t just comment generic messages. People have an anti-bullshit radar and you won’t even get a reply.

Set a schedule, perhaps every evening morning and every night, to go on Instagram and find five relevant accounts to connect with. Be genuine and honest in your approach and even if 10% of them reply, you’ll win in the long run.

Don’t ask for something right away, provide value upfront and in due time, you’ll receive more help than you ever expected.

Action 4 — Use The First Mover Advantage

People who invade a platform in the early days have a much larger following. At first, quality profiles are scarce so people follow them all. Then, critical mass is hit by the platform and it becomes much harder to gain some traction.

But please… Don’t just wait for the next Snapchat or Periscope to use this tip. Make yourself known using existing and established platforms’ new features and organically reach a whole heap of new followers.

Dog Blogger New Platforms

Live video is huge on Facebook these days and too few people are using it. Same with Instagram Stories, go share several snaps a day! You don’t even need to show your face, this is about your dog!

Action 5 — Collaborate As Much As You Humanly Can

What do rappers and other singers do to grow their fan base? They do collaborations with bigger artists… And you know what? It works.

Buy a bunch of cheap-ish collars, leads or treat pouches and offer some of them to a few fellow dog bloggers. That way, they can organize a free contest and drive followers your way!

Another way to do it that is completely free is to contact dog bloggers at your level to promote each other so both can benefit from this collaboration. Don’t abuse that because you might piss off your current followers; but once every two weeks will be just perfect!

Action 6 — Create a Themed Posting Schedule

A lot of dog bloggers post photos and videos randomly to say the least. They are definitely not following precise guidelines and they don’t even know what will be posted the next day, week or month.

Some days where they have to post, they end up having nothing of interest and post average content. They don’t prepare their content.

Dog Blogger Create Themed Posting Schedule

Instead, you should find a theme for each day. No need for military-like discipline but just a set of broad ideas for each day. For example:

  • Monday is a dog quote (with your dog as background)
  • Tuesday is a homemade dog meal recipe
  • Wednesday is an outdoor photo
  • Thursday is a short video
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday are free

This helps you prepare high-quality content ahead of time and provide your audience with engaging ideas and concepts, contrasting with other bloggers’ random posts.

Take Aways

The essence of this post is to get you to see your dog’s social strategy in a more precise and planified way. To grow a social media following you must put in the work, the planning and the content creation it takes to succeed.

You can do everything hobby-like but don’t expect much results.

Thank you to Lazhar for this informative guest post!

Lazhar is the founder of Breeding Business, a free online magazine discussing ethical dog breeding. Debates, news, in-depth articles, reviews and guides: it is a platform for responsible breeders who love their breed more than they love themselves. You can also find them on Facebook.

Must Love Dogs: Guest Post by Jennifer

I invited Jennifer, from the South in the City, as our second guest post on Lunch with Lambo!

Jennifer and Cooper – welcome to our dog squad!

Hi I’m Jennifer!  You can find me over at South in the City. I blog about my daily adventures in exploring a new city (yes even after almost 2 years its’ still so new), dating, being a dog mamma, my love for wine, and pretty much anything and everything in between. By day, I’m a social worker, navigating the world of therapy. You can also keep up with me on Instagram where I sometimes over post pics of my adorable little Cooper.

Jennifer and Cooper

I’m a single lady! Yes, I just broke out in my most Beyonce-esque dance.  Not only does being single have its own challenges, but being single with a dog presents even more.

  1. First things first; if my dog doesn’t like you, this is not going to work out. I might be (am) pretty obsessed with my dog Cooper and of course I think he’s the cutest thing ever. I am his mama.  So if he doesn’t like someone I’m dating, it doesn’t look good for the guy. And let’s be honest, can you really trust someone if your dog doesn’t like them?
  2. My pup is spoiled. Yes, I realize that’s on me, but honestly I have no shame in it. However, it can interfere in my dating life. For example, if I so choose to have a fella stay the night, well let’s just say it’s a fight to who is sleeping next to me in bed. And nine times out of ten, my dog wins.
  3. Cooper is like my child. He takes just as much energy and attention, in my opinion, as a child would.  This can be both a pro and a con. I can’t just be frivolous with my time and not come home to let him out.  Sometimes I don’t always get to stay out or do certain things because I have to come home and attend to him. On the flip side, it can be an excuse to get out of a horrible date or engagement that I’d prefer to skip.
  4. Not everyone is into dogs. Yes, this is a hard concept for me to fathom, but I’ve realized as a single gal, that some guys I’ve dated are just not into dogs.  There was even one who owned a cat. No offense to those that love cats. I am NOT a cat person. Nor do I find it attractive for a single man to own a cat. I don’t know, it just screams socially awkward!

While owning a dog as a single person has had many difficulties, I wouldn’t trade him for anything.  He snuggles with me at night. He listens to my endless complaining and heartaches about men. He celebrates milestones and all of my daily adventures with me.  He’s been my rock through it all and I love him to pieces. And I mean, how could you not?! That face!!!


Follow Jennifer and Cooper’s adventures:
Instagram// jennk0225
Twitter // @jenniferk0225

12 Ways Having a Dog Has Changed Me: Guest Post by Erin Cusack

I invited Erin, from the Erin Cusack Blog, as our first guest post on Lunch with Lambo! She’s here to talk about the ways in which her dog has changed her life. She loves her dog, Jax, as much as I love my two pups, and it was great to hear another dog owner’s perspective.

Erin and Jax – welcome to our dog squad!

Hi, I’m Erin! I’m an internet marketer by day, blogger and bad-ass by night. Erin Cusack Blog is where you will find my ramblings and unsolicited advice on everything from enhancing your career, to starting a blog, to finding your bliss. I love trying new things and figuring them out as I go- and then telling everyone else how to do them faster and better. You can also find me on Twitter, where I share my thoughts on the daily struggles of adulting.

Erin and Jax

I’ve always liked dogs, but I never understood why people were obsessed with their dogs, referring to them as their furbaby and throwing them birthday parties and stuff. It was a little weird to me. Until last year, when my boyfriend, Dan, and I decided to get a dog. We did months of research- I wanted to make sure with 100% certainty that we were setting ourselves, and our future dog, up for success. I had family dogs growing up, and Dan’s Mom had a dog when he was very young, but we were definitely inexperienced dog owners. After finally agreeing on a breed- Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and a name- Jax, we picked up our little boy from an Amish farm last April. And my life has changed in so many ways since.

  1. Waking up sucks less. Jax is the snuggliest little nugget in the morning. He talks, he gives kisses, he does all kind of cute things. It’s a lovely way to wake up.
  2. I hang out at the dog park, and I love it. I want to shout it out to everyone I know- if you’re ever in a bad mood you just can’t kick, go to the dog park, it’s probably the happiest place on earth.
  3. Milestones are equally happy and sad. Birthdays, puppy school graduation, finally learning how to fetch correctly- I’m so happy my little boy is growing up and learning, but sad at the same time because I want him to be little forever.
  4. I enjoy the great outdoors more. Dogs need to be walked so of course, going outside more was inevitable, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. I live in Pennsylvania and I don’t like the cold and was not looking forward to winter time walking. But it turns out, if you dress appropriately and wear gloves, the cold is mostly bearable. As much as I don’t want to walk sometimes, I could count the number of walks I’ve hated on one hand.
  5. I care more about someone else’s bodily functions than I ever thought possible. Did he pee? Did he poop? Omg he coughed! Was that a burp? Is he going to barf? Why did he barf? These are all very important things.
  6. Watching my boyfriend as a “dad” makes me love him more. As much as typing that out makes me want to barf (I’m so not romantic like that), it’s true. Ok, that’s enough, moving on.
  7. No matter what fun thing I’ve been out doing, I absolutely love coming home. There is nothing like walking in the door and being greeted by someone who is so happy to see you every, single, time. I love walking up our front steps and seeing a little doggie head shaped shadow with pointy ears pressed up against the curtains- there is nothing more inviting than a little wiggly pup greeting.
  8. I understand why having a sick child is the worst feeling ever. Six weeks after we got Jax, my boyfriend went away for 10 days on business. Day 1, Jax got into a box of Raisin Bran (raisins = grapes = no good for puppy).  Twenty-four hours of IV treatment and $700 later, I decided I am never having real children.
  9. I have a whole new respect for dogs and animals in general. There is no way you can tell me that dogs don’t feel emotions or understand what’s going on around them. Our little Jaxy is probably smarter than most (don’t all dog owners say that), but he KNOWS. He knows when we’re leaving, he knows when we’re mad at him, he knows when we’re proud of him, and sometimes I swear he knows what we’re saying.
  10. I never feel home alone. My boyfriend travels for work sometimes, and I used to hate it. I would get nervous and anxious leading up to it. It was too quiet, I felt alone. Not anymore. It’s not weird to talk to yourself when you have a dog listening, right?
  11. I worry more. I’ve always been a worrier. If a co-worker is late to work, I automatically assume they were in a terrible accident and I start checking the traffic reports. HA. Leaving the house has become a battle of making sure doors are locked and anything remotely hazardous has been put away (even though I’m pretty sure Jax just sleeps when we’re gone).
  12. I understand love on a deeper level. I don’t think this requires any more explaining to parents of animals or children. I love my dog.

Leave a comment or visit me on Twitter and tell me:

How has having a dog changed your life?

Do you care as much about your dogs pooping habits as I do?