Archives for July 2018

Review: Whisk & Wag Peanut Butter & Berry Treat Mix

homemade treats for dogs

Baking dog treats with the pups!

One of my favorite things to do when I have the time is to be in the kitchen with Fira waiting at my feet. Weston is always unbothered and saunters away to his bed but Fira is like my barnacle and her eyes are ever gleaming with anticipation.

I didn’t have time to make homemade dog food for them but I did try a new cookie recipe!

Whisk & Wag is a new brand of ready-to-bake dog treats with natural, real ingredients. It comes in a cute clear jar with the treat mix and just add water

Well, actually a bit of vegetable/canola oil too. I threw it in a bowl, mixed it into dough with my hands, pressed it flat and used a little cookie cutter to make bite-size bone-shaped treats for the pups. Easy! This makes it super convenient to make healthy treats for the dogs but fast — minus the preservatives. 

The newly released flavor Peanut Butter & Berry is made with only eight ingredients and is full of antioxidants from the cranberries + blueberries and high in protein from the dog-friendly yeast and peanut butter. 

 

healthy homemade dog treat recipes

Ready to go in the oven!

I made a selection of bone-shaped treats and mini balls for Weston + Fira to enjoy. They have a nice crunch and are light and compact. I did some training with these treats and the pups just loved ’em!

Weston’s bag of tricks: sit, down, stay, roll, jump, paw shake, spin.

Fira: sit.

Did you know August 1st is DOGust?

DOGust 1st celebrates the universal birthday for shelter dogs! Whisk & Wag will be donating $1 for every jar of Peanut Butter & Berry sold through Amazon for the entire month of August to a local non-profit called My Furry Valentine.

The perfect reason to shop for some treats with yummy new flavors for your dog and bake together. My kitchen smells delicious!

 

 

[ Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Whisk & Wag. Where's The Frenchie received product for our honest review and experience. Where's The Frenchie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and this post does incorporate affiliate links. ]

The Most Instagrammable Spots: Flower Edition

french bulldog flowers

[ Written by Coco Quill]

 

Domesticated dogs are several generations removed from being descended from wolves. As a result, dogs’ survival skills have changed and lead to a rise in working the camera as their greatest skill of all. (Disclaimer: after eating, cuddling and of course, farting.) Combining the natural instincts to survive and love of nature, the modern dog owner turns to capture the bond between dogs and flowers.

Instagram is a great tool for visually capturing the fleeting flower seasons. Nothing elicits an “ah” faster than the combination of flowers and the dogs who romp in them. Even dogs who retain their wolf-like looks know how to strike a pose.

Tulip season by @goldilocksandthewolf is pure magic.

dog and tulips

 

Cherry Blossoms come out to dot formerly dull landscapes with beautiful pink hues, announcing to all the harsh winters that proceed them, are gone. The most classic sign Spring is in full effect being @theobonaparte’s annual flower perfect T, derp optional pose:

cute french bulldog flowers

Modeling Simba in The Lion King, over his wolf descendants, Theo’s looking out over his domain as King of Spring, is hopeful and joyous.

 

When taking inspo from other classics, make sure to do what is suitable for your dog’s personality. While exact replications can be fun to try (see the #fluffchallenge), getting a slightly different variation is what makes a photo memorable. 

french bulldog in flowers

That lil tongue though. @grrlgenius_

You’ve probably noticed an onslaught of flower displays in urban settings and taken photos with them. ‘What’s more alluring than an old car now used as a giant flower pot?’ you think, as you practice your favorite Insta poses next to one.

But where did it all begin?

Well, hold on ‘grammers because it is stoked in tradition. Instagram has brought the spotlight on a very English tradition: the annual Royal Chelsea Flower Show.  


Each year, the RHS has a theme. Local businesses dressed up their shops around Chelsea to enter. London loves to put on a big show when it comes to flowers. Sketch LDN (another Gram must), hires flower designers to cover their interiors, including the infamous pod loo.

 

With Instagram’s saturation for bloggers seeking out the best looking food to photograph — not necessarily eat more than three bites — sprung up Peggy Porschen’s Bakery’s gorgeous flower archway over the entrance to their corner cafe. In the last three years — Queen of all basic cafes — where the cakes and drinks are bland but extremely photogenic, Peggy Porschen’s Bakery has reigned supreme. A queue forms every day to get a shot at the most instagrammed spot in London.

@yisyi_

The Instagram gold mine that is Peggy Porschen’s has inspired other flower-covered storefronts worldwide because if there’s ever a marketing tool that works, it is going to be replicated.

Here are a few spots in town, who did it with style.

nikki-star-wtfrenchie

@wtfrenchie

The Sanderson Hotel’s flower swing chair has become so popular, it has the hashtag #LoveLPRose

french bulldog phone booth

This shot of Milly, of @frenchie_fryz combines the iconic red phone boxes of London with the flower theme.

best instagram spots in london

Here’s Elle at the same spot to illustrate again having your own take and vision of a spot that is popular.

This year we skipped the Sloane Square in Chelsea, home of the RHS Flower Show. Instead, we enjoyed London’s oldest (1963 is so vintage, ammiright?) private members’ club, Annabel’s flower covered building. Named after dog lover Lady Annabel Van Tempest-Stewart, the club will turn away those who are in violation of the dress code, even if you’re Queen Bey.

All of you budding fashionistas will know that the name Derek Blasberg is synonymous with fashion. He oversaw the new dress code which forbids exposed nipples, matching couple outfits and anything you’d wear to a gym. How to spot a basic bish? Posing outside Annabel’s in athleisure wear.

french bulldog in london

The new location for Annabel’s saw the entire building covered in flowers which let us embrace everything we love about London putting on a show, while also being haughty.

 

Now, every princess needs her throne, surrounded by flowers, and nothing thrills Elle more than one with people-watching like The Ivy in Chelsea. Dogs are welcome outside and who doesn’t want to lap up all that shopping haven, Kings Road, offers for commentary?

Babes, before you go any further: we never advocate putting your dog’s health and safety at risk to get a shot. If there’s a shot that is not working, remember — there’s a limited amount of time they will pose. Make it fun and involve a few members or your wolfpack if you have to, like we did below for this shot I had in mind in front of Dominique Ansel’s London Bakery. Both Elle and I love watermelon.

Caution: the seeds are made of chocolate, yum but not for dogs to eat. The watermelon is filled with soft serve watermelon ice cream — a total delight! The bakery is full of truly mouth-watering delights, as well as being gram-worthy and is only half a block from Peggy Porschen’s.

french bulldog watermelon

 

Getting out of the city for countryside adventures is a great way to bond with your dog and get a fresh perspective on life. Lavender season is mid-June through September. Mayfield Lavender Fields allows well-behaved dogs and owners (pick up your dog’s poop so you don’t ruin it for others) and a plethora of people posing in the fields which is almost as amazing as the shots you will get.

french bulldog lavender

A friend offered to photoshop out the lady in red behind Elle, but that was what makes this photo for me. It’s such a crossover acknowledgement of owning your ridiculousness and loving it in others too.

What It’s Really Like Traveling for 2 Months with 2 Dogs

How to travel long-term with two dogs.

french bulldogs walking on street

We traveled for two months with two dogs…

Traveling abroad by yourself can be hectic, let alone with a friend or partner with the amount of travel logistics and planning. Our total trip was from LA to Boston, to NYC, then France, over to England (two separate trips), and then NYC and back to LA with my hubs. Now add two dogs to the mix and OMG. You really have to know what you’re doing when  traveling long-term with two dogs.

A lot can go wrong.

Let’s start from the beginning. We set out on this trip with one homebase in mind: Paris. We rented a beautiful furnished apartment from a friend for six weeks and knew this was where we would unload our luggage + clothes, make the dogs feel comfortable and then arrange mini-trips from there. If you’re traveling long-term with your dogs, an AirBnB would be best versus a hotel, especially so you have your own kitchen!

It’s nice to be able to have a place to “live” so you have somewhere to leave your belongings, a kitchen to cook in (I definitely had to resort to cooking homemade dog food majority of the time as the dog food selection in Europe is lacking!) and a safe place the dogs could feel at home in. This way, traveling long-term with two dogs becomes wayyyy easier. 

But what else? Dive into more tips on how to take on two months abroad with two dogs:


Your Dog’s Necessities Aren’t The Same When You Travel Abroad Long-Term

Wherever we travel abroad long-term, we make sure to find a recommended vet nearby and most importantly: food. We did ship some frozen food overnight to London but little did we know, it would get held up in Customs and then thrown out — an expensive mistake. 

In California, we’re quite spoiled with a huge selection of human-grade and raw dog foods. In France, not so much. I ended up cooking dog food and mixing it with some Lily’s Kitchen wet food or kibble (we did find an Italian-brand kibble that was as close to natural as possible). When we went to Paris with Fira previously, I packed some freeze-dried raw foods which worked in a pinch. 

When you take your pups abroad long-term, be sure to spend some time in advance researching the nearest vet in the area you’re staying in. You might want to look at reviews, which can help give you an idea if the office has an English-speaking staff, too. 

Pet Passports + Paperwork While Traveling Long-term with Two Dogs

Fira already had her French passport from last year but this was Weston’s first time to Europe, so I had to get all of his international health certificates + USDA stamps. I slip all their paperwork and passport(s) into a laptop sleeve so it’s handy in one place.

passport for my dog

Break Up The Flights Into Shorter Segments, If Possible

The Los Angeles to Paris flight is 11 hours, compared to 7 hours from NYC to Paris. Because it’s such a long journey to Paris from LA, we always stop in NYC and do a pizza stop, of course. Not only is it easier on the pups, it’s a must for us (humans), too! 

Read this post for more travel hacks while traveling with your dog.

 

What To Do When Your Dog Gets Sick Traveling Abroad Long Term

The LAST THING you want to happen is your dog getting sick while you’re traveling abroad! Unfortunately, Fira had some issues vomiting from a raw venison marrow bone. We think that was the catalyst — we can’t be 100% sure but that was the only “new” thing that was introduced to her during our trip.

Weston and Fira only chew Nylabones or Benebones at home. She choked on some of her vomit which also went into her lungs = a bad case of aspiration pneumonia. So scary when you’re far away from home and traveling with two dogs.

We rushed her to an emergency vet in London as it was midnight. She ended up staying hooked up to IVs for four nights. It was terrifying and we don’t even want to think about what could have happened if we weren’t able to get to the vet on time. We’ve never seen her so weak.

It’s scary when you go to a brand new vet who doesn’t know the history of your dog, especially if you have a sensitive breed like French bulldogs. We had a rough time sleeping and went straight back to see Fira bright and early in the morning, all while waiting for our vet back home to wake up on the West Coast! The time change can really get you. Our vet was AMAZING and took control of the entire situation which was SO comforting.

Since Fira had to stay monitored for several days, that changed our travel plans slightly and we ended up staying in England longer than planned.

If you’re traveling long-term with one or more dogs, Let your primary vet know you will be out of the country before you leave.

I definitely recommend not trying any new dog toys or foods in a new country. You just never know how your pup will react. Pack your pup’s favorite toys from home. 

 

So, a whole lot of vet bills later… 

Metros, Taxis or Ubers with dogs? My experience taking public transit with our two pups in France:

If you’re traveling long term with two dogs, it’s likely you’ll have to take an Uber or taxi more than once. Here’s a tip: Dogs in cars in France is definitely a THING. Meaning, not a good thing. I would say 90% of the Ubers or taxis denied us, even when we tried to talk to them.

That is, if we had a chance to talk to them — many Uber drivers took one look at us with the dogs, shook their heads “no” and just kept driving. It started to get a bit comical.

But because of that, I had anxiety about calling an Uber and avoided it as much as I could. I got used to taking the metros with both dogs which is an easier and economical way to travel anyway. 

Metros in France don’t mind pups on leashes. If you’re taking the train, dogs must be in a carrier bag. If your dog weighs more than 13 lbs, on leash is okay as long as they have a muzzle on. I know.

Ridiculous, but of course I bought a muzzle and brought it with me in case anyone ever asked to see it. At ticketing, one woman did ask so I’m glad I got one.

Too much to travel long term with two dogs? Need a pet sitter?

I just discovered Trusted House Sitters. I haven’t had to use them yet but it looks like they have great reviews. There is a large trusted database of people who can watch your pup and house-sit while you’re traveling! A great way to keep your pups safe if you’re looking to travel abroad for a while.

Always assume the worst, be prepared to be stopped and have all required documents, materials etc. when you travel with your pup!

The Good Thing: Mini trips with your two pups!

Getting from Paris to London isn’t exactly the easiest, but it is possible. We made the trip twice. I recommend taking the journey by private car (use the Folkestone Taxi service) the whole way. Expensive but worth it. More details in my blog post on the whole experience here.

We wanted to do more trips with both dogs around Europe, like Provence and the South of France, but we just got so busy and were so surprised how quickly six weeks flew by!

french bulldogs at the buckingham palace
french bulldogs walking in paris

Being able to travel long term with your two dogs is definitely a privilege and not everyone around you is going to be happy about it. I try to make sure rules are followed and that we are not in the way or inconveniencing anyone.

Overall, we had an amazing, unforgettable trip. With two dogs, it’s two times the trouble at times but two times the fun. 🙂 Everything costs a lot more than you think, sometimes a bit more stress and time but it was worth every penny. 

If you have more questions about traveling for two months with two dogs, leave a comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram!

 

dog carrier fur

 

DISCLOSURE: 

[ Where's The Frenchie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and does incorporate affiliate links. ]

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