Friday, January 11, 2013

Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge: Steady On Course

This is the third time that Amy of Go Pet Friendly is organizing the Pet Blogger Challenge. Good opportunity for pet bloggers to get to know each other better, and reflect on our efforts.

Ok! I am a day late! I have an excuse! Seriously!

Let's see how I'll do. I'm no good talking about neither my work or myself.

1. How long have you been blogging and provide a link to your post from last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge so we can refresh our memories.
I actually had to look... Apparently, I have started this blog in 2009. Wow, seriously? There is definitely something fishy going on with space-time continuum. So ... moving on. Oh, a link to my last years challenge.
2. What do you consider the most important goals you set out in last year’s post?
My goals has always been the same - being helpful to fellow dog owners going through health challenges with their dog. To take it a bit further, preventive care, recognizing early symptoms, finding the right veterinarian; those are also all important topics I blog about.
This year I have started a Show Off Your Waistline campaign. I am hoping to raise positive awareness of what our dogs should look like. Who's with me?

3. Have you made progress toward those goals, or have your goals changed over the past year?
Yes, I think there are owners who found helpful information or stories to relate to on my blog. I know people who sought a second opinion because of what they read here, and it really made a difference for their dogs. I think it's the "been there, done that" factor that gives the unique perspective. Just now, hubby's brother is going through serious health challenges with his dog. Our experiences proved life-saving.
My initial goal was to help at least one dog. Being able to help more is what gives my blogging purpose.
4. How often do you post?
I have worked up my way to posting daily.
5. Has your opinion of blogging on a schedule or as the spirit moves you changed?
If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines?
I think posting on a schedule gives one some structure. It's harder to slack that way. The positive thing about a routine is that it becomes part of things and one doesn't have to force themselves to it after a while. It's just what happens.
I might write an article as the spirit moves me, but then I'll incorporate it into the schedule.
I usually post at about the same time but that is mostly because of how my days work out. I'm not too anal about the time of the day I post, as long as it makes it in that day.

What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?
 Ok, ask me this question in about ... I don't know ... five hundred years ...? Blogging about dog health topics, I don't think one could ever run out. I haven't. My main challenge is "what can I write about within the time I have for it." Some topics take a lot of research to do properly. Give me more time and I'll give you thousands of topics.
How do you think your decision affects your audience? 
I think that everybody likes consistency. My audience has a pretty good idea what they can expect and when; I think that's a good thing.
How do you know when a topic is “post-worthy?”
I think knowing this in my niche--dog health issues--is pretty easy. Not every post will be useful to everybody but I'm hoping that every post will be helpful to SOMEBODY.
 6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.
That depends. Sometimes I'm just thankful for guest posts because my work schedule gets too crazy. I'd say I spend about 8 hours a week writing/researching on a good week.
I go through my main twitter list over dinner. That is the important bit--seeing what veterinarians are tweeting about. Then I go over my veterinary blogs reading list. I like to visit other blogs also, but that doesn't always happen.
Staying on top of it? I guess that's all relative ...
7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)? Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?
I like comments and shares as much as anybody. I do realize, though, that with my topics there isn't always much to say about them. What makes me really happy is when people, who's dog is going through the particular health issue, share their dog's story and progress or ask questions about our experience.
8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?
Of course, they cannot lend me time ... and if they could I'm pretty sure I could never pay it back. I would like to ask the pet blogging community to join in, or spread the word about, the Show Off Your Dog's Waistline campaign, though. It is so important that we try to do something about the pet obesity epidemic.
9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?
My goals remain steady on course. The additional one would be to see more thin dogs this year. And perhaps, finally, find a worthy sponsor so I can devote more time to the blog.


  1. I have to admit, I'm new to reading your blog but I really enjoy it! I wanna join in on the show off your waistline thing too! My boy is dieting and trying to lose a few more pounds so on that chart, he's a tweener 3 and 4. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more!

    Bren @ Pibbles & Me

    1. Hi Brenda, thank you so much! I am excited that you're going to join the Show off your Dog's Waistline campaign. The campaign is open for the whole year, so once you have the perfect waist, you can show it off. You can also join in two parts, where you're at now, and then when you reach the goal.

  2. I think you have done a tremendous job establishing yourself as an expert on dog health related concerns. I've been fortunate not to have to go through a lot with my dog but I have learned a lot from reading your blog. I now know I have some great resources to turn to if I ever need help!

    Good luck in finding that sponsor. Your blog is definitely providing an important service and hopefully you will find someone who understands that and who will make a great partner.

    1. Thank you, Kristine. Glad you find my blog useful!

  3. Love love love your blog. I can't tell you how much I love that I follow you. You're a wealth of information and I appreciate all that you're putting out there.

    I was PROUD to show off Sydney's waistline.

    1. Thank you, Kimberly! :-) And Go Sydney! :-)

  4. I could use a little of that extra time you're talking about. My black Lab Stetson loves to eat and we're constantly keeping an eye on his waistline. When we were in Knoxville we met Mabel the Beagle and got to see a demo of her using the water treadmill. It's great to see her running around after losing nearly 40 lbs. I'll see about getting a link back to your Show Off Your Dog's Waistline Campaign.

    Good luck with your goals in 2013!

  5. Thank so much for participating in the Challenge, Jana! You're blog is a fantastic resource and I'm not surprised that you've helped save pets' lives with your writing. I have not forgotten about the "Show Off Your Waistline" challenge, I just haven't gotten a good photo of the boys yet.

    Happy 2013 to you and thanks so much for all you do.

    1. Thank you, Amy.

      Can't wait for your contribution to the Show Off Your Dog's Waistline challenge :-)

  6. If you can be late posting your participation in the challenge, then I can be just as late to stop by and say hi! I have seen the dog waistline bloghop going around and I Just need that extra push to go take some photos. It's a great initiative - I get told my dogs are 'too skinny' all the time, but it's just because people are so used to seeing chubby dogs!

    1. Hi Tegan, thank you for stopping by (better late than never) :-)

      I am excited about your participation in the campaign. Yes, people need to get the RIGHT image of what a dog should look like into their heads.

  7. I love your Show Off Your Dog's Waistline campaign. Felix is dying to show off his new and improved waistline. He just has to remind his Mama to take a picture when the sun is up ;0)

    Even though you're article often don't pertain to a problem my dogs have (and I hope the never do), I still find them really informative and well-written.

    1. Hello to residents of Casa Kolchak! Can't wait to see Felix's waistline! (sunlight does help with taking pictures LOL)

      I'm glad your dogs don't have any of the problems I write about, and I'm glad you're enjoying my blog. If there is anything you'd like to read about, let me know.

      If I know the subject I'll write it, if not I'll find somebody who does to do so.