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Dogs & Football: Giveaway

I’m a huge sports fan! I grew up playing sports and have always really enjoyed watching sports on TV, but football season is my absolute favorite!

As Week 1 of the NFL season comes to a close tomorrow night, I thought it would be fun to host a little giveaway to find out what teams you and your pets root for during the football season!

Bentley wanted to wish me luck as I grabbed my bags to get on the bus for tomorrow’s game

A post shared by Kirk Cousins (@kirk.cousins) on

Photo Courtesy of Kirk Cousins – QB, Washington Redskins

Since my husband and I like different NFL teams (my Oakland Raiders, his San Francisco 49ers), we keep Rooney’s sports fan collars and leashes specific to college football and Notre Dame. Luckily, has both NFL and college football gear and toys for our pets.

By leaving a comment below about who you root for during the football season, you can enter our $10 Gift card giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please keep our friends at in your thoughts and prayers as they brace for Hurricane Irma. To all of our friends who have been affected by the recent hurricanes, please let us know how if and how we can help. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

Disclaimer: I am a Influencer, but My Kid Has Paws only reviews items we believe our readers will enjoy.

Rooney’s 7th Birthday!

Yesterday was Rooney’s 7th Birthday!

I cannot believe that he is already 7! Yesterday, on his 7th Birthday, Rooney graduated from intermediate dog training! We were able to enjoy a mini celebration with the other puppies in his class before class started! (I couldn’t take more photos because I didn’t want to distract from the training class).

Rooney's Birthday

Birthday Celebration Essentials:

Disclaimer: I am a influencer, but I chose to order treats from Chewy for this event for 2 reasons. 1) I saved money, because you can often buy treats at a discounted price 2) I ordered them on Monday and they arrived on Tuesday, so I didn’t have to order too far in advance, but also didn’t have to go to the store. 

Schedule a Photoshoot with Your Pet + A Special Discount!

A while back, we wrote about how Pet-Inspired Art can make your home complete. If you missed that post, you can check it out here.

Today, I would like to share with you Reasons to Schedule a Photoshoot with Your Pet + A Discount for Bay Area Pet Parents!

Schedule a Photoshoot with Your Pet + A Special Discount!

Golden Retriever, Sunny.
Here he struck a handsome field & stream classic pose for PawPawrazzi Pet Photography.

1) Photos are a Forever Keep Sake

When we got married, two of our dogs were already in their senior years and the photos that we have of them from that day hold a very special place in my heart and my home. Senior dogs make incredible pets. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to spend time with your dog in their senior years, you have something very special to look forward to.

While it may seem hard to think about, I think senior pet photography can play an important role in a person’s life. The photos I have of Beige, Rocky, and Maui in my home remind me of the important role they have played in my life.

“A camera is a save button for the minds eye” – Rodger Kingston

Schedule a Photoshoot with Your Pet + A Special Discount!

2) Memories

About a year ago, we had the opportunity to have a photo shoot with Rooney thanks to Pawpawrazzi Pet Photography. Not only are the photos incredibly important to us, but they remind us of a day full of beautiful memories, the trip we took as a family, and Rooney being silly in front of the camera.

3) Live in the Moment

If you are anything like me, you enjoy living a very busy and full life. Which at times leads to overwhelm and general craziness. Photography can help us slow down and live in the moment, even if only for a second.

If you live in the Bay Area and you would like to schedule a photoshoot, Anne Mary from Pawpawrazzi Pet Photography is nice enough to offer an exclusive discount to My Kid Has Paws readers: 30% Off On PawPawrazzi Professional Pet Photography Services & 40% Off All Collections!

You can find more information on how to contact Anne Mary to schedule your photoshoot here

Schedule a Photoshoot with Your Pet + A Special Discount!

Happy Hogan is 13 years young!

Have you had a photoshoot with your pet? How was your experience?

The Benefits of a Pet-Friendly Office – Interview with Dani Kahn from Trupanion

Pet-friendly workplaces are only becoming more and more common. And it’s no wonder considering the amount of time most people spend away from their pets, it makes sense to offer a perk that increases loyalty, productivity, and employee health within an office.

According to a study conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital:

67% of employees and 81% of HRDMs agreed that [pets in the workplace] led to increased productivity; 82% and 91% believe it makes people more loyal to the company; and 86% and 92% say it decreases employees’ stress levels

I am lucky that I work in a pet-friendly office. While I don’t bring Rooney to the office with me everyday, I do have the flexibility to have him with me before and after his doggy daycare sessions. Not only does having a dog at the office decrease my stress, it also improves my daily activity. For example, on days that I take Rooney to the office, I often get 2-3 times the amount of steps as I would get on a normal work day.

Pet-friendly offices are so important for the future of employee and company health, that is why I am so excited to share with you this interview with Dani Kahn, Trupanion’s Pet Director, where we talk all about the importance of pet-friendly offices and how to effectively implement a pet-friendly policy. Enjoy!

Do you think it’s important for a company to be in a pet-friendly area in order to create a pet-friendly work environment?

While a pet-friendly office can be anywhere, Seattle, where Trupanion is based, is very pet-friendly and that definitely adds to the pet-friendly culture in the company.

How can a company begin the process of becoming more pet-friendly?

NOTE to all the startups out there! 

If you are part of the leadership team in your office, it’s important to note that you will have more success with a pet-friendly policy if your company implements a policy from the beginning. Once employees start to bring pets with them to work, it’s difficult to establish rules and guidelines.

How do you manage dog behavior in a large office with so many dogs?

Managing dog behavior in an office as large as Trupanion’s with nearly 300 dogs is a full-time job. To be successful with a program as big as ours, it is imperative all pet owners take personal responsibility for their pets and follow our pet guidelines.

We anticipate certain etiquette for the pets in the office, and although we do not dictate the way team members train their pets, we expect pets to be well-behaved while in the office.

Education is key to success for us as most of our teams have strong animal husbandry skills. Having resources available for team members struggling with a specific issue, along with sharing our own personal successes with training methods, has proven effective time and time again.

Here are some tips for successfully managing a pet-friendly office:

  1. Keep dogs on leash in common areas
  2. Keep lines of communication open – make sure that employees feel comfortable discussing their pet’s behavior with other employees and that people know where they can find more resources.
  3. Educate on pet behavior: This is particularly true for breed specific behaviors. If employees aren’t aware of common herding breed behaviors (whether or not they have a herding breed), this is important information to share with the staff.
  4. Keep in mind that pets are smart and often adjust to a new environment and schedule within 2 weeks of regular visits to the office.

Do you believe that having pets in the office has a positive affect on employees? 

The impact having pets in the office has on employees goes far greater than words can express. Having pets in the office creates a warm inviting environment, reduces stress in everyday work, brings humor to heavy meetings, and eliminates the rush to get home at the end of our day.

Rather than sit in traffic, we go for a walk with several other teammates and their dogs, we can go to the dog park and play, we can stay and do agility classes or show dog training with others in the office.

Americans spend so much of their time in an office and having our best friend and companion right there next to us in the space really makes a difference.

Here are a few other perks of having pets in the office:

  1. While the work that Trupanion does is so important, it can often be an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes people are calling to establish pet insurance with their new puppy, other times people are calling because they have had to save goodbye to their pet. Dogs in the office provides comfort to Trupanion‘s employees.
  2. Pets create an environment that feels like home.
  3. Employees save money on the costs of daycare and dog-walking.
  4. The flexibility associated with a pet-friendly office increases employee retention.

What benefits does Trupanion provide for their employees as part of being a pet-friendly office?

When designing our new office space in Georgetown, pets were one of the top priorities for us. We chose flooring that was slip resistant, anti-fatigue, stain resistant, easily maintainable, and looks professional all in one.

We have two indoor dog lounges for off-leash play, lab services including discounted internal parasite screenings, discounts with local vendors in the pet industry including boarding, grooming, food and travel.

Each team member is provided a Trupanion pet medical insurance policy for a personal pet. In an emergency, the pet emergency response team of licensed vet technicians and a veterinarian on staff can evaluate, and stabilize if needed, to mobilize to the pet to the nearest emergency center.

Other partnerships include pet blood drives, training, first aid and CPR, internal educational programs on pet behavior, service dogs, and multiple other topics available to team members.

Trupanion also has a team of 7 corporate dog walkers that offer a personalized dog walk for each pet every day.

I continue to look for additional benefits to add to our program as team members live all over the Puget Sound and it is important to me to have benefits available in areas close to home for our remote workers to enjoy as well.

A few other features include:

  1. Hooks on employee desks so that dogs aren’t wandering about the office.
  2. Temperament flags: Because every dog is evaluated for behavior and health, the company’s flag system allows other people to know how friendly a dog is, and if they have allergies or medical conditions.
  3. Pet first-aid kits for minor injuries.

What should companies consider before they begin implementing a pet-friendly work environment?

Companies considering implementing a pet-friendly environment should envision the program and determine your policy prior to allowing pets in the office.

Having a thorough policy with clear rules and expectations from the very start will help you create an amazing foundation for the pet behavior in the office. Adding rules as you go with issues that happen are difficult for everyone, and knowing what is acceptable from the start will keep harmony amongst team members as well. Educate your employees with the very basics of human/dog etiquette for the success of the pets and the people.

Who will manage your pet benefit? It is very important to have one designated person managing your program for consistency. My role is part of human resources with support from each team lead to manage our office pets.

Some other questions to consider:

  • What vaccines will you require?
  • What testing will you require for pets if any?
  • Who is responsible for any damage to property or other pets in the office?
  • What resources do you have available for the benefit?
  • Do you have any known limitations or restrictions?
  • Does your floorplan allow for gates to be installed to allow pets to be off-leash in their area but not in shared spaces if there will be restrictions?

For more information please check out Trupanion’s Pet-Friendly Office Checklist.


What is the process for bringing your dog into the office as a Trupanion employee?

All team members at Trupanion attend a New Hire Orientation upon starting with us that includes a 45 minute introduction to Trupanion pets in the office.

After the team member has successfully completed their training, they are able to complete the pet application which includes a signature line from their manager to agree the member is meeting production and able to have a pet in the office. The application includes proof of current vaccinations, a negative fecal in the last 6 months, a liability waiver, and a photo of the pet for the pet management software system so our dog walkers can identify the pet.

The team member is then scheduled for a 30 minute application review meeting with me and we discuss in more detail the expectations of them having a pet in the office and what they can expect from me.

The next step is to have the pet come in for the first day in the office. We meet in a dog lounge where a thorough pet evaluation is completed, including an introduction to a neutral dog, and introductions to any other dogs that will be working in the same area. It is imperative they all meet in a neutral zone to avoid territorial reactions. I issue a temperament flag to each dog in the office that must be worn on the pets leash while in the office at all times. This allows others to know if it is safe to approach or if they should slow down.

All team members work together to aid in the success of each pet in the office. I typically check in with new pets in the office for the next few weeks and certainly in passing to see how everyone has adjusted. If there are questions or concerns, team members are encouraged to reach out to me anytime for help.

I want to thank Dani for taking the time to share this amazing insight with MKHP readers! I assume that if you live in the Seattle area, you are already looking for jobs at Trupanion!

Share in the comments below your thoughts and experiences with a pet-friendly office!

Every Pet Parent’s Best Budgeting Friend – Pet Cost Calculator

While bringing a pet into your home is most definitely a emotional decision, it is also a financial decision. Knowing the costs of caring for a pet are important for budgeting and preventing potential financial predicaments. Unfortunately, the costs of a pet, especially over the course of a year, are difficult to determine.

That’s why today, I am really excited to share with you the Pet Cost Calculator that was created by The Simple Dollar.

Throughout my time spent at the veterinary hospital, it became clear that few people budgeted for their pet’s costs. As a result, the veterinary staff would often get an ear full when we suggested treatment for a sick pet. However, when someone had budgeted for their pet’s expenses, the conversations were stress-free and we were able to provide the optimal treatment.

But how can you possibly prepare yourself for the financial surprises associated with pet parenthood? First, you need to completely understand the costs associated with a pet. Then, you need to analyze the variables of those costs based on the breed and size of the pet you are adopting. And lastly, you need to financial prepare.

Costs Associated with Pet Parenthood  

In my experience, pets will cost the most in their puppy years, and in their senior years.

The Simple Dollar breaks down the costs of pets into a few specific categories. Each of these is dependent upon the size, breed, and age of your dog at the time of the adoption.

  • Acquisition Costs: For example, when we adopted Rooney, his adoption was $200. But as soon as we adopted him we spent another $100-$200 buying supplies.
  • Medical Costs: Throughout Rooney’s time with us, we have paid for the following treatments; slipped-disc, atopy, ear infections and an allergic reaction to a spider.
  • Routine Medical Costs: This category includes vaccines, flea and tick medication, heartworm preventative, dental care, and spay or neuter costs. For Rooney, we probably spend about $200-300 per year on preventative medicine as of now. However, I anticipate this cost going up as Rooney ages and needs more dental care.
  • Grooming Costs: Rooney doesn’t need regular professional grooming, which is great! But, we did get a FURminator to properly groom his undercoat, and Rooney gets soothing shampoos and conditioners due to his sensitive skin and allergies.
  • Food Costs: Rooney eats premium Petcurean dog food, but he doesn’t each much because he is only 30 lbs. If a Lab were to eat the same food Rooney does, the annual cost would be much higher.
  • Equipment Costs: While we immediately knew what to buy Rooney when we adopted him, we have invested in a few other items over the years. For example a new crate, a car seat cover, and a set of stairs.
  • Training Costs: Many people think that training is only for puppies. However, training is a great way to build a strong relationship with your pet AND is excellent mental stimulation for a smart breed like a Corgi.

One category that is a cost for us is daycare. My husband and I both work full-time and since Rooney is a herding breed, he needs above-average exercise during the week.

Every Pet Parent's Best Budgeting Friend - Pet Cost Calculator

How to Financially Prepare – Pet Cost Calculator

Some people might be thinking to themselves,”I will always be surprised by emergencies, so why should I consider a budget in the first place”. If this is your line of thinking, I would argue that budgeting for the above costs associated with your pet will help you better prepare for emergencies. Additionally, there are options that you can invest in as part of your budget that can help mitigate surprises.    

Pet Insurance 

My husband and I signed Rooney up for Trupanion the moment we adopted him. Pet insurance saved us money when Rooney suddenly slipped a disc in his back and for his yearly allergy treatments.

Pet Savings Account

If you choose not to protect your dog with pet insurance, I highly recommend you at least put away a little money each month into a savings account for your pet.

Adopt Don’t Shop

When puppies and kittens get sick and their parents have just spent $5,000 purchasing them, they were often upset to find out they needed to pay for treatment (plus vaccines and a spay/neuter). However, if you adopt a dog or cat (especially one that is over 1 year old), the costs of a spay/neuter and vaccines will often be included in their adoption fee, which in my experience has been anywhere from $100-$300.

Can you afford a pet?

I can’t tell you how much I wish everyone considered the costs of their pets outside of the initial purchase. Because I have seen so many pets re-homed due to finances. If you or a friend are considering bringing a new pet into your home, please use the Pet Cost Calculator to financially prepare.