Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's Your Dog's Health #2016PetBloggerChallenge

Hasn't the year gone by quickly? It's time for the annual Pet Blogger Challenge again. Once a year I join my fellow bloggers and talk a little bit about myself and my blog. It's always hard for me because I normally don't talk about myself. I can talk about dogs until the cows come home, I can talk about my work ... there isn't much to say about me. So let's just get to it.

1. How long have you been blogging? And, for anyone who is visiting for the first time, please give a quick description of the subject of your blog.

I always have to go and look this up. I started blogging in May of 2010. It's been a while it seems. The subject of my blog has remained the same through that whole time. I blog about dog health advocacy. Being your dog's health advocate means doing some homework. Starting from finding the right veterinarian, learning how to see signs of things not being right, when to see a veterinarian, understanding basics about health issues your dog might be facing.

Learning to understand our dogs and how to care for them.

2. What is the one thing that you accomplished during 2015, either on your blog or because of it, that made you most proud?

I survived it! That seems a sufficient accomplishment.

I've been very busy with work and barely managing keeping the blog populated. One thing, though, I'm almost finished with my book, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog. It still needs a bit of work but it's mostly there. So I'm pleased with that.

3. Which of your blog posts was YOUR favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

I really couldn't say. Perhaps Wound Care - Scissor-Free Bandaging, because it's my first crude attempt at "how to" post.

I would really like to highlight PT Sue's Physical Therapy Tips series, though, because there is some great information there.

4. A common theme from last year’s challenge was that many of us wanted to increase the size of our audiences. What is one thing you’ve done in the past year that has brought more traffic to your blog?

Honestly? Not a thing. I didn't have time. I write my articles, I read veterinary streams, share information I feel people could use, and that's about it. That's all I have time for.

5. Which of your blog posts got the most traffic this year? Why do you think it was so popular? (Please include a link.)

I highlighted my top ten popular articles of 2015 in an earlier post. The most visited post was Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drinking (Polydipsia). It's not an anomaly, most traffic on my blog goes to this series. I think it's great and encourages me to finish my book because, clearly, there is need for this information out there.

6. What is one blog that you read religiously – other than your own – and what makes you such a devoted reader? (Please include a link.)

I don't read my own blog, I just write it!

There is a number of veterinary blogs I follow religiously. If I had to pick just one, I guess it would be CriticalCareDVM: Because Pets Can Have Specialists Too! It's a relatively new blog with tons of awesome information. But as I said, it's by far not the only one I follow. Dr. Andy Roark has a great blog, though many of the articles are directed towards veterinarians rather than owners. I cannot leave out Dr. Kay's Spot Speaks.

And now I feel bad about all the blogs I didn't mention. I think I'll have to remedy this by making a post listing all veterinary blogs worth reading.

7. What resources do you rely on to enhance your technical, writing, photography, social media, or other skills that improve your blog?

None, again, no time for that. I do believe that reading all the veterinary blogs and information improves my knowledge and therefore my blog content. That's about it.

8. What is the best piece of advice you can offer other bloggers?

I am by no means a blogging expert who could give any advice on blogging. My only advice would be, have something to say and say it. Both are equally important.

9. What is your vision for your blog in 2016? Do you have specific goals?

Having more time for it! Hopefully, I'll finish my book soon, and, hopefully it will sell, buying me some more time for blogging.

10. You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there one blogging challenge you’d like help with, or one aspect of your blog that you’d like input on?

I would like to invite all fellow bloggers to share their dog health issue story. Real-life stories are so helpful for people going through health challenges with their dogs. I also believe they are the best way to get through to people and get them to learn. Real stories have a better chance of getting through to others than just informational articles.

So why don't you guys help me out here?


  1. I love the advice that you're sharing. Too often I hear from people who want to start a blog, but only because they think it's a great way to make passive income. They don't have anything to say.

    1. Thank you, Kimberly, that means a lot to me.

      Not having anything to say is a major problem. I've heard so many presentations, speeches, read articles where the author had nothing to say (and yet they went on about it).

      People should only speak or write when they do have something to say.

  2. I enjoy checking out your blog each week because I'm also very interested in dog health issues. I always learn something here and I wanted to say how much I appreciate your well-researched articles.

    I agree, it's nice reading people's real-life stories about health issues with their pups, even if they're minor issues. We all want our pups to be healthy and happy and it's good to know we're not alone if we're facing a problem with our dogs.

    I'll keep in touch if I have a story to share but thankfully, Haley's doing great right now. I would particularly like to read some stories about general wellness tips and natural remedies.

    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you find my blog useful.

      I'm very happy for you that you don't have any dog illness-related stories to share. I wish I didn't either.

      Very happy Haley's is doing great.

      I will look into getting some general wellness tips and natural remedies articles. The trick about these things is that particularly with holistic or natural approach, one size doesn't really fit all. These things work best when they are customized to an individual dog.

      I'll see what I can come up with, though.

  3. That's some great advice. I feel like a lot of people have something to say (and they want to share it), but never push themselves to start a blog and say it. Best of luck finishing up your book this year.

    1. Thank you, guys. Yeah, both things are important. Having something to say and then actually saying it.