Whether it’s vacation, the holidays or work, we hate leaving our dog behind when we travel. Are you nervous dropping him at a kennel or even a dog hotel? Now there’s another option where the dog sitter comes to you – Rover.com.

rover.com home pageRover.com is a nationwide site of 25,000 sitter profiles where you can search and find the perfect fit for you and your dog. Co-founder Greg Gottesman thought of the idea after a bad experience at a high-end kennel where his dog, Ruby Tuesday, was injured. He thought his dog would have been more comfortable in his own environment.

“He and his team pitched the idea for Rover.com at the 2011 Startup Weekend in Seattle and won top prize,” Rover.com CEO Aaron Easterly says.

If you’re worried about having a stranger in your home, rest assured Rover thoroughly checks out its sitters.

Just call it Biggest Loser: Pet Edition. One Bay Area vet clinic is launching a weight-loss contest for your dog or cat, and it’s free!

weight loss challenge
Dr. Kristina Hansson came up with the weight-loss challenge to help overweight patients like the cat pictured here.

Cornerstone Integrative Veterinary Hospital in Marin County was inspired to start this weight-loss challenge due to a startling trend in pet ownership: roughly 50 percent of our furry friends are now overweight, which is leading to a number of health issues.

“Most don’t realize their pets are overweight, they just think they are a bit chubby,” Cornerstone owner Dr. Kristina Hansson says. “But when explained all the problems associated with obesity, they tend to take it very seriously.”

To enter the contest, schedule a free consultation with the office in September, where they will assess your pet and do a weigh-in. All overweight cats and dogs are eligible and the winner will receive a one-year wellness plan valued at over $2,000.

black dogs project It’s time to adopt a new furry family member and you head to the shelter to meet the available dogs. Wide-eyed pups wag their tails furiously while they wait in their crates, hoping for a second look and a forever home. You decide on the perfect dog for your family but feel a little sad for the ones left behind. What if you knew some of those dogs are passed by more often than others, and they tend to be the ones with dark coats?

That’s the sad reality photographer Fred Levy learned about one day at his local Boston-area dog park while chatting up another park-goer. It’s a phenomenon that’s been dubbed Black Dog Syndrome (BDS); black dogs tend to sit in the shelter up to four times longer than their lighter-haired counterparts. It couldn’t be true, he thought.

Whether it’s after the dog park, while running errands, or on a long road trip, dogs are left in the car everyday. Leaving your dog unattended for any amount of time can be dangerous—even deadly.

It doesn’t even have to be that hot for the temperature inside the car to reach dangerous levels for your pooch—even at a comfortable 72° outside, your car will reach 106° in 30 minutes.

Thank you to all who came out to support NorCal GSP Rescue at this year’s Woof & Wine at McGrail Vineyards in Livermore. Several thousand dollars were raised to help GSP’s in need around the Bay Area. It was a beautiful setting at McGrail Vineyards; if you’ve never been, you have to check it out! They have a great shaded patio adjacent to the tasting room. GSP event 12More than 100 people came out to support the event and plenty of four-legged friends joined in on the fun, including Yellow Dog!

GSP event 15GSP event 16

yellow dog wearing a thundershirtWe’ve already detailed how the ThunderShirt works but if you’re planning on using the shirt for the first time this 4th of July, make sure you know how you should act when fireworks go off.

Did you know you shouldn’t yell at your dog for barking? ThunderShirt offers some training tips on their website to use with the shirt.

We also consulted The Pooch Coach, trainer Beverly Ulbrich, for tips on dealing with 4th of July noises. Here’s what she suggests:

More than 15,000 animals were adopted nationwide during this year’s Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, and roughly 5,000 of those pets were adopted right here in the Bay Area.

Now we’re bringing you some of the local adoption stories!

maddie's days success story 1Here is Papi with new mommy Lara on the beach! Papi was all smiles after finding his new forever home Saturday. Papi ended up back in the shelter after his first owner developed Alzheimer’s and had to move into a home. Lara says he’s already very well-trained, loves fetch, treats and meeting new people. Papi came from the NorCal Poodle Rescue, an East Bay organization that rescues more than 100 poodles each year.

By: Kyle McKay, Guest Writer

Everyone is unique. We each have our own likes, dislikes, personality and comfort zone.

Dogs also have these character traits but sometimes, it’s hard to remember that when meeting a dog for the first time.

dog showing fear
Sometimes dogs get spooked and need space from humans and/or other dogs. Usually a tail tuck or a dog hiding behind its owner are clues the dog needs space.

Some canine companions are incredibly friendly. They’ll run to you with a furiously wagging tail, practically begging you to pet them and play with them. This scenario is often a default expectation among most people when encountering an unfamiliar dog in public.

But it’s important to know this is not always the case. And even if your dog is friendly, that doesn’t mean every dog the two of your encounter will be, too.

Just like humans, some dogs need a little more space than what people expect. A dog may be a bit skittish and leery around new animals or people. But how do you know when this is the case?