Archives for April 2022

Chamberlain Hotel West Hollywood

woman with french bulldog at west hollywood hotel

A boutique hotel in the heart of West Hollywood…

When you pull up to the Chamberlain Hotel on it’s tree-lined street, you might feel like you’ve just missed it. This dog-friendly hotel in West Hollywood is tucked away in a residential area for ultimate peace and privacy. 

The highlight of this charming hotel is definitely its location. Get the best of both worlds with its quiet neighborhood, while you’re just steps away from the infamous Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Blvd. Walk to the best restaurants in LA (Nobu, Norah, Laurel Hardware + more) and even a shop for your pet, Healthy Spot, is just down the street.

chamberlain hotel west hollywood front
french bulldog in hotel lobby

Features 115 newly redesigned suites, a rooftop pool and Hollywood glam interiors. The hotel’s tag line is “Live like a local” and it definitely lives up to it. I enjoyed my staycation and had the best sleep ever (thank you, blackout curtains!). It was such a lovely neighborhood to walk Fira around in and super easy to find something to eat. 

Tip: if you live in SoCal like me, take advantage of their California Resident 15% Discount!

white french bulldog hotel bed in robe

fira french bulldog at chamberlain hotel

french bulldog happy hour in lobby

french bulldog and mom in hotel with wine glass

french bulldog being carried

1000 Westmount Dr, West Hollywood CA 90069. One dog (under 25 lbs) is welcome with no additional pet fee!

 

DTLA Dog-Friendly Guide

nikki and french bulldog downtown los angeles row

Is there anywhere to take your dog in downtown Los Angeles?

It may not feel like the most dog-friendly with its high-rise buildings and hustle bustle, but as DTLA is growing, it’s becoming a vivacious city with tons of things to do with your pup.

I find the hip Arts District area to be more dog-friendly, as the vibe is more chill and there is way more space.  Ready to explore downtown LA with your dog?

 

Manuela. Walk into the beautiful Hauser & Wirth (an art gallery featuring contemporary works) and find yourself inside an open-air courtyard and restaurant/bar that is Manuela — a gem in downtown Los Angeles. 907 E 3rd St. 

french bulldog and nikki at dog friendly restaurant in arts district

Wurstküche. A staple in Los Angeles serving Belgian fries and unique sausages — flavors like rattlesnake + rabbit, duck + bacon and mango jalapeno. Don’t worry, you can count on classics like bratwurst, hot Italian and chicken apple sausage. I always order the vegetarian Mexican chipotle — so satisfying, spicy and delish. Plenty of outdoor seating. 800 E 3rd St.

dog at de la nonna pizza

De La Nonna. Ambience. Decor. Pizza. Drinks. That’s all we really need, don’t we? De La Nonna means “from the Grandmother”, and you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to Sicily with their scrumptious square pizzas! Crispy on the bottom + edges and completely doughy + fluffy inside (like focaccia). One of my favorite pizzas ever. 710 E 4th Pl.

Bavel. One of the best upscale Middle-Eastern restaurants you can find in America with a chic outdoor patio. Make sure to reserve a table beforehand — it’s been known to be booked a month in advance! 500 Mateo St. 

dog friendly restaurants dtla

[ photo: LA Eater ]

La Cha Cha Cha. Delicious, modern and stylish dishes from Mexico City! Enjoy a meal with your pup on the rooftop terrace overlooking the city. 812 E 3rd St.

Check out my post: 8 Dog Friendly Restaurants in DTLA

 

Arts District Brewing Company: award-winning brewery with an on-site 15-barrel brewhouse! The space is expansive and plenty of room for your pup on the outdoor patio. 828 Traction Ave.

Weston met a Frenchie friend!

 

french bulldog at dog park

Arts District Dog Park. If you’re in the area and your dog needs a little socializing, check out this spot. It’s not the biggest (or prettiest) but it’s a much-needed spot for the neighborhood. Formed by LARABA and funded by donations, bring your pup on by! You do need to scan the QR code at the gate and sign up with your email (free) to get the door code. 1004 East 4th St.

dogs at grand park los angeles

[ photo: Do LA ]

Grand Park. Los Angeles dog owners looking for a clean dog park in downtown, look no further. This gated off-leash dog park across from City Hall provides benches, a water pump and is also well-lit at night. 233-299 N Spring St.

Dog Drop is a modern and clean doggie daycare with their own line of products. They offer daycare, training and even have pop-ups for dog parents! 905 E 2nd St #110.

pali wine co arts district

[ image: Latino Foodie ]

Pali Wine Co: Independent family owned + operated winery with 5 tasting rooms in Southern California, including Santa Barbara, Lompoc, San Diego, Anaheim, and the newest, in the Arts District! Perfect for a glass of Pinot Noir with your pup. 811 Traction Ave Unit 1A.

Start saving your ideas

shopping in downtown los angeles with dog

[ photo: Hotel Figueroa ]

Fig at 7th: outdoor shopping center located at Figueroa + 7th St. You’ll find stores like Zara, Sephora + Victoria’s Secret. All shops are dog-friendly except Target. You’ll also find restaurants and quick food options, like Mendocino Farms), with plenty of outdoor seating. 735 S Figueroa St.

walking in arts district with dog

Arts District is very walkable! Weston and I walked from the Arts District Dog Park to Dog Drop and the brewery mentioned before. Along Traction Ave and on 3rd St, you’ll find Le Labo, Salt + Straw ice cream, a couple boutiques and more.

bone sweet bone

Bone Sweet Bone offers doggie daycare, grooming and is conveniently located down the street from the Arts District Dog Park. They also have dedicated parking spots and this super cool mural. 435 Molino St.

nikki and french bulldog downtown los angeles row

ROW DTLA is an urban enclave of creative, forward-thinking retailers, restaurants and boutiques. Think super cool Japanese pottery shops, Korean-owned brands (fashion + market goods) , pop-up shops and adorable food spots. You’ll definitely feel like an LA native! 777 S Alameda St.

 

proper downtown review

Proper. Designed by internationally renowned designer Kelly Wearstler, the Proper hotel is a proper feast for the eyes. Filled with art from local artists, this is my top pick in DTLA. $50 pet fee per pet/per stay and 10% of  pet fee is donated to the Best Friends Animal Society. 1100 S Broadway. 

hoxton downtown los angeles review

Hoxton. Right next to the Proper hotel, the Hoxton is brand new and super stylish. Creatives flock here for its rooftop pool, bustling lobby and views. Another perk? Pets stay free! 1060 S. Broadway.

dog friendly hotels downtown los angeles dtla

Nomad. Another beautifully designed hotel in downtown! 1920s building with a sumptuous, grand lobby and gorgeous mezzanine level. Walking distance to restaurants, bars and Whole Foods. Two dogs of any size are welcome for no fee! 649 S Olive St. 

ace hotel downtown los angeles dog friendly

Ace Hotel. Boutique hotel with an industrial, gritty touch. Albeit the small rooms + bathrooms, this is the hotel you want to be at for entertainment. The rooftop bar is always packed and they have a venue with performances and comedy shows, etc. Walking distance to the Orpheum Theatre. $25 per pet/per night. 929 S Broadway. 

 

DIY: Healthy Homemade Dog Food

A yummy do-it-yourself dog food recipe for French Bulldogs

As a parent to two of these bat-eared characters, we know with this breed, our pups can be finicky with food and also prone to food allergies. A lot of dog owners, especially parents of Frenchies like me, turn to recipes for homemade dog food.

Because of that, when Weston was a puppy, I started cooking him food myself because of his super sensitive stomach (aka: vomit central) and he LOVED it. He got leaner, farted less and hardly ever vomited. He also looked forward to his meals and licked his bowl clean — woohoo!

Fira’s the lucky one and has been eating homemade cooked dog food since we brought her home, so she has no idea what kibble is and I’m sure would stick her nose up to it. Weston has become quite the food snob and will only eat cooked foods — I even tried to get them on a raw diet and they refused the raw! Picky pups.

As Weston got older, various companies were founded with cooked, human-grade foods so it’s nice to have options when I don’t have time to cook. We love Pure Dog Food, PetPlate, Just Food For Dogs which are all nutritionally balanced.

A couple years ago, we got Weston and Fira an allergy test — I haven’t even gotten one myself even though I’ve wanted to for years but yep, they got one first. #whocanrelate? I used the Nutriscan Food Allergy test.

Weston didn’t really show too many symptoms (only licked his paws occasionally) but knowing how many French Bulldogs have allergies, it seemed like a logical idea…

WELL, Fira is only allergic to pork but Weston is allergic to chicken, turkey, pork, dairy, white fish, sweet potatoes and a few other things. Hence the need to create our own homemade dog food recipe. We were feeding him almost all of those ingredients on the daily, EEK.

That really limits our choices and he gets bored eating the same thing over and over, so I decided to mix up his feeding regime and do homemade dog food again to alternate. I like to schedule an afternoon to make a HUGE batch and fill up the freezer. It’s easy, promise!

 

Here’s my recipe for homemade dog food:

INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs ground beef (or any protein)
1 cup uncooked millet (or any other whole grain: quinoa, rice, pasta)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
1 squash, shredded
1 apple, chopped
1 tbsp calcium powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

  • I also add in a few heaping tablespoons (follow their serving instructions) of Canine Complete which is a multivitamin supplement containing probiotics, minerals + so much more. I usually add half a scoop directly into their food bowls when it’s serving time. Otherwise, I’m horrible at math and don’t know exactly how much to put in the entire recipe. This supplement added to this dog food recipe should contain everything your Frenchie or also another breed needs, but of course, do your own research as every dog is different. Weston + Fira have had great success with Canine Complete and have never vomited or had any adverse reaction from it.

1. Bring 1 cup of whole grain to boil in a pot of water. I overcook it so that it’s soft and easily digestible. Drain.

2. While that’s boiling, shred/chop the veggies.

3. Cook ground beef with olive oil. Drain excess juices and rinse.

4. Mix everything together! No need to cook the veggies. The cooked meat and whole grain will warm them up a bit.

Olive oil:  Adds healthy fats
Coconut: Healthy fats, aids in digestion, great for skin/coat
Calcium: Bone growth and health
Pumpkin: High source of digestible fiber

Store in containers or Ziplock bags and freeze. Makes enough for around one week of meals for 2 dogs (Fira weighs 14 lbs and Weston weighs 24 pounds).

I feed them twice a day: breakfast and dinner. I feed Fira about a cup per meal and Weston gets a little over a cup of this homemade dog food per meal. 

Thaw out food the night before or microwave and serve! 

 

Disclaimer: use your own judgment and speak to your veterinarian if you have questions/concerns.

 


I Reviewed 9 Dog Bowls To Find The Best for French Bulldogs

french bulldog testing dog bowls

The Best Food Bowls for Frenchies

Okay, so those of you with flat-nosed breeds know how hard it can be finding just the right dog bowl. They’re either too short, too deep, not elevated, not cute, etc., etc.

Not only does Fira have a non-existent snout, she also is the MESSIEST eater. Half of her food ends up on the floor. So, I wanted to look for something with a tray or something that catches the fall-out food. Her bowl would also get tipped over on its side after she finished eating. She is wild.

My criteria for the bowls this time was mainly for Fira. Weston is the quietest, most gentle, delicate eater — he doesn’t spill a drop! Fira is the complicated one. Weston also has a bit of a longer snout than Fira, making it easier for him to reach his food. 

So, Fira needed a bowl that would be suitable for her non-existent snout and easy for clean-up. She needed something that would stay put on the floor and look good in the kitchen.

Here are the 9 bowls I picked up for my Frenchies:

Ono The Good Bowl: When I opened the box for this, I was ooo-ing and aah-ing over the way it was sleekly packaged and just super clean/modern. The bowls are really shallow and wide, so it helps small-snout and squishy-face dogs get into the bowl better. 

The removable silver bowls stay snug in the mat and the best feature of these bowls is that the entire silicone mat stays gripped to the floor so it doesn’t go anywhere

These are perfect for a neat eater (aka- Weston!), but the bowls were too shallow for Fira. The tray around the bowl was littered with fallen food right away.

best bowl for french bulldogs

I originally got this Duo Collapsible Dog Bowl for traveling, but ended up using it as Fira’s dog bowl for awhile! What I love about it is its size (pretty roomy), grip (silicone stays on the floor and doesn’t move around), easy to clean and has that tray for fall-out. Not sure how but it ended up ripping, so we had to throw it out.

Ceramics Raised Bowl: The design of this bowl is really nice and a cool shape. I could see this really as a nice accent piece in a contemporary kitchen. It has a solid weight because of the ceramic and doesn’t move around. It’s meant to be a cat food bowl so it is a bit small and food kept spilling over the edge. 

BTW, this is the silicone mat we use and we don’t let Fira eat without one! It’s a must for clean floors and easy clean-up — not the mention, keeps the bowl in place.

 

testing dog bowl for french bulldogs

Wide Ceramic Dog Bowl: Super pretty dog bowl made of solid ceramic. This one is super wide and is taller at the back, which I thought would work for Fira. I think it was too large and the food got stuck at the back and the top edges. She couldn’t ever finish her meal without me scraping the food back toward the front. So maybe not the best French Bulldog food bowl for Fira. 

But I think if your dog eats dry food or is bigger, this dog bowl is a decent choice!

 

Slow Feeder Bowl: if your dog eats super fast, like Fira does, a dog bowl for fast eaters is a smart option. A slow bowl is great as it forces your French Bulldog to work around the bowl and gives them time to chew and digest — and not inhale their food. Sometimes it feels like some dogs don’t even chew their food!

This one did not work for Weston or Fira at ALL. Fira couldn’t get her little face in and just stared at it confused and frustrated, lol. Fira needs something sturdy so it doesn’t move around and high around the edges so the food doesn’t spill over the sides but not too high where she couldn’t reach. So, I tried a few more dog bowls…

When I was posting about dog bowls on Instagram, I got so many messages raving about this Enhanced Pet Bowl. It’s made for French Bulldog problems like this. Sturdy grip on the bottom, large area for their face to move around and at an angle. 

Stainless steel dog bowls also stay bacteria-free. On a Frenchie Facebook group, I read about someone switching dog bowls to all stainless steel and their French Bulldog’s tear stains completely disappeared!

If you’re looking for a more affordable option that is similar, I found this stainless steel dog bowl and it is also the least expensive on the list — less than 10 bucks!

Some food still spilled over the top — Fira tends to push up the food to the back of the bowl causing it to go over. It still wasn’t the winner. So I kept looking for the best French Bulldog food bowl…

 

Fluff Trough. We gave this a try months ago and I finally got around to sharing it now. Obviously, you can tell by its unique shape, it’s designed for short snout dogs (and regular!) — just like a pig trough, lol. I really like how it’s elevated and the wide size of it. It makes eating meals a bit slower for Fira. She still pushes food up the sides and can’t really reach the top of it (ie: if we put the bowl against the wall), so my solution is putting a wide bowl behind it to catch all fall-out. It’s like she gets two bowls of food! 🙂 

And of course with a silicone mat, so it doesn’t slide around.

 

Tilted Ceramic Dog Bowl with Wooden Stand: This dog bowl is great! Love the slanted feature and Fira had a much better time eating without a huge mess. Elevated bowls are really good for French Bulldogs, as it helps them swallow their food down better without regurgitating it up. This tilted dog bowl also came with silicone grips to stick onto the bottom of the wooden legs — nice! I’d give this a positive 8/10 score.

 

There you have it – the best bowls for French Bulldogs (so far). Hope you enjoyed it! Please share this post with a friend if you found it useful.

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Here’s How To Get Through The Eurotunnel With Your Dog

how to travel with my dog

Traveling with your dog to England when you’re already in Europe

How the hell do you get a dog into England once you’re already in the EU? Are you trying to travel with your dog between Europe and the UK? Answers, below.

Truthfully, the Eurostar passenger train is not dog-friendly. A private car service could cost upwards of $600, and who really wants to deal with renting a car and the hassle of city parking and more? Oh, and there are ferries you can take from France to England, but your dog is not allowed to be with you at your seat. Dogs must stay in a separate “pet area,” which is just a cluster of dirty crates — the thought of the Frenchies down there all alone, or worse, someone stealing them, freeeaked me out. No way. (And the ferry is not cheap, either)

But what about taking your dog through the Eurotunnel? Instead of traveling by passenger train, you can go by car. Makes it way easier to get you and your dog from the EU to the UK. Our brave friend Coco + her frenchie Elle shared with us their journey going through the Eurotunnel (London to Paris) last year via the ferry and on the way back took a ridesharing service called BlablaCar.It’s almost like an Uber but for planned trips.

You can look up rides like Paris to London or Paris to Nice and you can carpool with drivers which ends up being very cost-effective (anywhere from €20-60 one-way and pay for a second seat for the pooch)!

You just need to ask the driver beforehand if they allow dogs.

Perfect! This seemed like the way to go but there were no available rides during my dates. When a ride did pop up, it seemed to get booked right away or wasn’t pet-friendly. After waiting and crossing my fingers for a week, I bit the bullet two days before the trip and decided to go via trains/Folkestone Taxi Co.

From EU to UK with my dogs: Paris to Calais – Eurotunnel – Calais to London 

 

 

First, buy a ticket from Paris to Calais. French trains are dog-friendly (up to two dogs per passenger) as long as your dog is in a bag. If your dog is more than 13 lbs then no bag is necessary — you can walk them on a leash and muzzle.

Find routes on Loco2 and Trainline. Cost: varies; mine was €42 (with a connecting stop) and the ride takes less than an hour. With a connecting stop, it’s a bit longer. It’s €7 for a dog in carrier or half the 2nd class full fare if your dog is over 13 lbs and on a leash.

Book this sooner than later as they book quickly!

This option is way better than traveling on the Eurostar with your dog. Thankfully, Weston didn’t have to wear the muzzle, as I kept it in my bag just in case someone asked for it. Nobody did — in fact, no one even asked to see my ticket or the dogs’ tickets!

 

This is where Folkestone Taxi comes in. You can book their taxi service to ride onto the Eurotunnel and arrive in Folkestone Central Train Station in England. This is the easiest and most comfortable way to bring your dog from the EU to England.

Your pup(s) get to sit with you and you never have to leave the car. They meet you at the Calais station with a sign, help you with your bags and then you settle into the car. They even provided blankets! Cost: £125 + £96 for the Eurotunnel ticket and the ride is thirty-five minutes.

The taxi drives to pet clearance first where you go in and have your pet’s passport + documents looked over. Make sure everything is correct and you have backup papers as they are very strict. There is also a local vet (cash only) nearby in case anything is missing and you need new paperwork or treatments.

traveling with dogs on eurotunnel

Wow, lots of pets!

Then you drive through the Passport Control where they look at your passport, then onto the Eurotunnel shuttle! The car gets turned off and you sit in the car for thirty-five minutes. A good time to charge your phone, have a chat with your friendly driver and give your dog a treat. 🙂 A pretty hassle-free way to travel with your dog to the UK from France.

Once you arrive in Folkestone, you’ll need to book another train to get from Folkestone to London. They run every half hour. Find tickets on National Rail. Cost: on average £20 and takes 55 minutes. Pets travel free (up to two). If you want to to skip the train and continue the ride with Folkestone Taxi, it’s another couple hundred pounds extra but may be worth it if you have a lot of luggage and want to make your journey easier.

 

 

 

All pets entering into the UK need a tapeworm treatment within 5 days of traveling and a pet passport. 

What to bring: your passport, your pet’s passport(s), tickets (mine were all on mobile) + Folkestone keeps a hard copy of your Eurotunnel ticket for you, treats and pet wipes.

 

Did you find this post helpful? You know what to do – please leave a comment!

Want to read more? Check out articles on my How to Fly With Your Dog page or stay connected by following along on Weston and Fira’s travels on Instagram.

 

 


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