Why It Is a Good Idea to Trim Your Indoor Cat’s Claws

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Do you have an indoor cat who never goes out except on a leash or in a crate with you? If yes, you might have been wondering if trimming your cat’s claws is a good idea. There are a lot of conflicting articles online about trimming claws, and it can get quite confusing to make a decision. Here’s the how and why of cat claw trimming.

Why trim your cat’s claws at all

  • Avoid cuts and infections: If your cat plays a lot with you ends up swiping your arms, legs or other body parts while playing, it might be a good idea to trim your kitty’s claws. If your cat has a habit of kneading you, it is possible that its claws are out frequently and causing you pain. It is best to trim your cat’s claws every few weeks in such cases to avoid getting hurt playing or snuggling with your cat.
  • Avoid ingrown claws: Some indoor cats do not have a lot of surfaces to scratch, which leads to ingrown claws at times. Ingrown claws refers to claws that turn inward and grow into the pads in your cat’s paws. This can be extremely painful and can cause infections and wounds on the paws. If your cat has ingrown claws, it is best to let your vet trim the claws and show you how to avoid it going forward.
  • Avoid damage to furniture: If your cat has a habit of scratching your furniture and has sharp claws, it can cause a lot of damage to all your household furniture. It can also cause your clothes to have pulled threads when your cat kneads you or plays with you. To avoid such damage, you can clip the sharp ends of your cat’s claws every few weeks.

How to trim your cat’s claws

  • Do it quick. Most cats do not have the patience to be held down and sit in one spot while you trim their claws. It is important to get it done as quickly as you can before your cat starts squirming and trying to get away.
  • Use proper nail clippers to trim claws. This ensures there are no injuries or awkward cuts. Your nail clippers will work perfectly fine on cats if you do not want to buy clippers meant specifically for claws.
  • Ensure your kitty is relaxed. A squirming, annoyed cat means you risk injury while trimming claws. Get your cat comfortable before you start clipping.

Trimming claws is a good idea only if your cat stay exclusively indoors. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, it is best to leave the claws as is as they need sharp claws for climbing and self-defense. Outdoor cats should never have trimmed claws as they need it for survival.

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Can Your Cat Cause You to Behave Strangely?

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Cats are adorable creatures. They bring us so much comfort and joy by just being themselves. Unlike dogs, cats aren’t as friendly or even playful. Most of the time, they may even seem closed off and distant. But we know they love us all the same.

A recent study has shown that the term ‘crazy cat lady,’ might actually have some truth behind it. According to science, it’s not the owners’ fault at all. It all has to do with the cat in the picture. Apparently, cats can cause strange human behavior. Posting pictures of your cat on Instagram doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is influencing your actions. However, there is a protozoan which can be found in your cat’s stool, known as Toxoplasma gondii, which can influence your actions.

Not all cats have this ‘Toxo’ in their stool. If you have a cat that doesn’t venture outside for much, you have virtually nothing to worry about. Your indoor cat has no way of picking up the toxo. If you have a curious outdoor cat, then she might dig in the garden and chase her own prey, all of which can expose her to toxo.

How does your cat pass on the toxo to you?
As you know, cats are clean creatures. They won’t go anywhere near the litter box if it’s not up to their standard. If you clean the litter box and forget to wash your hands, there is a good chance that you’ve acquired the toxo from your cat’s stool. You could also get the toxo from handling and eating uncooked meat. The symptoms are usually too mild to detect until severe.

How does your cat have control over your brain?
The toxo found in cat stools can actually make your brain loopy. It’s not as though these cats are deliberately controlling your mind. Toxo contains an enzyme which is responsible for creating dopamine. People who have an increased level of dopamine in their system are at risk of being overly impulsive. Some are even reported to have schizophrenic episodes. While posting pictures of your cats on Instagram and Facebook is not seen as crazy, hoarding hundreds of cats might be. There have been cases where every time a cat is taken away from a cat hoarder, they just go out and get more to replace those that have been taken away.

Although all cat ladies are not crazy, enough of them are to have created a blatant stereotype. Unmarried women have always been associated with cats, from back in the 1700s. The unmarried women were not allowed to work during those times so they stayed with their relatives, becoming dependent on them. They were seen as lonely women who just had themselves and their cats for company, hence the stereotype.

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30 Days with Vero

Any social media influencer knows how challenging it is to keep up with the all the changes that social media companies implement. Social media, by nature, is never static and always evolving- and our use of the various platforms must evolve too.

Sometimes these changes can be exciting and sometimes they can be frustrating, but all the tweaks, new features and changes that are hurled our way mean that using social media to promote our content or our brand is never, ever boring!

Enter the new(ish) kid on the block: Vero!

Though Vero has been around for a while, in the past few months it has really taken off. Social media influencers, artists and others have been jumping on board to check out all the hype. But what sets Vero apart from all the other social media options? And is it worth investigating and trying out?

Since social media influencers can’t be everywhere at the same time- at least not successfully- these are important questions. When I first learned about Vero and then saw many in my online communities joining and using Vero to promote their work, I had to try it for myself and I set out on a 30-day trial.

Here are some takeaways from my 30 days with Vero that, hopefully, will help you gain a broader understanding of Vero, what sets it apart from other platforms and also help you decide if Vero is right for you!

So, What is Vero?

Vero has been described as the best of Facebook with the best of Instagram but with no algorithm. In my 30 days of using Vero, I think this sums up Vero perfectly. Here are some key highlights that make Vero standout and worth considering.

The name Vero is based on the Latin word, vērus, meaning ”truth”.

How Is Vero Like Facebook?

Easily Share Lots of Different Types of Content. With Vero, you can share many kinds of content! You can share each of the following types of content with your followers:

  • Photos/ Videos
  • Clickable Links to Written Content, i.e. a blog post you are promoting
  • Music you are listening to or like
  • Television or Movies you want to share information or your opinion about. You can label each one as:
    • Watching
    • Watched
    • Want to Watch
    • Recommended
    • Don’t Recommend
  • Books that you want to share information or your opinion about. You can label each one as:
    • Reading
    • Want to Read
    • Recommended
    • Don’t Recommend

Vero- CREATE POST Screenshot
NOTE: With music, television/ movies and books, if you click the share, an option is provided to listen to the music or purchase the music, television show, movie or book- directly from the Vero mobile app! I use iOS, so for me it defaults to iTunes or iBooks. I suspect that if you use Android and the Google Play store, your option will be to listen or purchase through Google Play.

  • Clickable Links
    Just like with Facebook, when you share links on Vero, they are clickable. This is fantastic for social media influencers who are promoting blog posts or other written content, especially on a visual platform such as Vero, since each click drives traffic to your blog post! Image options for your blog post or article share are pulled from the blog post or article itself and you can select which image will be used.
  • Content Captions
    You can add a caption to any share to communicate additional messaging or information to your audience and increase engagement- whether that is a like, a comment or a click to your blog!
  • Edit Your Content
    Once you have shared something to Vero, you have the ability to easily edit the caption to correct a typo, a dreaded or unfortunate “auto-correct” or tweak the messaging itself.
  • Defining Your Relationship with Other Users
    In addition to following someone, you can define a relationship, known as a “connection” on Vero, with that person. Connection options include “acquaintance”, “friend” or “close friend”. Unlike Facebook, the process of categorizing your connections is very clear, easy and intuitive, and it’s extremely easy to change that relationship at any time.


  • When Sharing Content, You Can Easily Define the Audience
    When posting any content on Vero, one of the steps that you must do before sharing is defining who can see your content. This is very easily done by choosing from 4 buttons: followers, acquaintances, friends and close friends. To get your content in front of the most people, you will, generally speaking, select all 4 buttons.

    NOTE: It is possible to follow others without defining a connection, and others can do the same. That is why you will see a difference in the number of connections and followers you or others have.


 How Vero is Like Instagram

  • Vero is a Visual Platform
    Like Instagram, high-quality, engaging photos are key to grab your followers attention…and encourage engagement. Just like on Instagram, it’s important to make sure you create great photos that support your branding.
  • Your Feed is a Stream of Tiled Content
    If you use or are familiar with Instagram and how content is delivered to you, Vero will seem very familiar. All content in your feed is a series of tiles, much like Instagram. For some key differences between Vero and Instagram, please see the How is Vero Different and Unique? section below.
  • Hashtags!
    Just like with Instagram, you can strategically use hashtags to label your content. Hashtags are searchable, so not only can others find your content based on the hashtags you have used, you too can search and find content you are interested in.
  • Tag Other Users
    Just like with Instagram (and Facebook for that matter), you can tag other users in your content.

How is Vero Different and Unique?

  •  There is NO algorithm!
    When you look at your Vero feed, you are seeing all of the content of all the people you follow or have connections with in chronological order. Think Instagram…before they decided that they know you and your interests better than you do!
  • You Must Use the Mobile App
    Unlike Facebook, and Instagram to a lesser extent, you cannot share, access or engage in any Vero content from your desktop using a web browser.
  • Vero Supports Square, Horizontal and Vertical images!
    When sharing photos directly to Vero, you can use the best sized photo for your visual content. The only exception to this (that I’ve noticed) is that when sharing a blog post or other written content, the images are automatically resized to horizontal images. So choose your images strategically for the best viewer experience!


  • Set Featured Content on Your Profile
    You can set any content you share to be featured on your profile. With all content appearing chronologically on everyone’s feed, this is a great way to call out any content you definitely want to be seen or are especially proud of.
  • The Content You Have Shared is Categorized on Your Profile
    Depending on the type of content you are sharing, it is automatically categorized on your profile. This makes it easier for other people to find specific types of content that you have shared. The categories are:
    • All
    • Featured
    • Photos
    • Videos
    • Music
    • Places
    • Movies/TV
    • Links
    • Books
  • The first million plus users have free access to Vero for life.
    Initially, Vero offered a “free for life” option for the first one million users. The demand was so high that Vero quickly surpassed one million users and has temporarily extended this “free for life” offer. (More on the future of free-for-life access below). If you think that Vero is something that you will incorporate into your social media strategy or just want to try it, whether that is now or in the future, go ahead and download it now! If you don’t use it, fine, but at least you have it for free when or if you want to use it!
  • No ads. Vero is an ad-free platform focused on the goal of “enhancing your life, not detracting from it.” By (eventually) employing a subscription-based model, Vero will remain free of ads and, importantly, its users will remain its customers, not a product to sell to advertisers or a third-party. This means that Vero is accountable to you, the user, not an advertiser!
  • Monitor Your Time Using the App.
    Vero makes it easy to monitor the time you spend using the app so that, in the words of Vero, “As an advertising free platform, we don’t view addiction to our service as a measure of success. We want Vero to enhance your life, not detract from it.”

    “Vero is proud to be the first social network to show users how much time they are spending on the platform. We hope this information will help you keep Vero a positive experience that adds value to your life instead of detracting from it.”

    You can easily enable Usage Info in the app Settings.

The Challenges:

  • When you first sign up for Vero, you will have zero followers or friends. This means that you have to create a following and friends from scratch. Searching for people you know is one way to begin to create a following. Another way to find content that interests you and aligns with your content (and the people who create it) or to meet new friends is to follow hashtags. A third way is to look at who is following or has made connections with people who are sharing content similar to yours and begin to follow them. Creating a following on Vero takes time, strategy and commitment- the same as it does on any social media platform.
  • Like all social media, you have to be social. It’s not enough to just follow or add someone as a connection. You have to engage in their content regularly and you will begin to see your following and engagement increase!
  • Though Vero has well over 1 million users, this doesn’t compare to the tens and hundreds of millions of people using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat or Tumblr. For me, this is both a benefit and a challenge. With fewer users and less content, it is easier to get your photos, blog posts or other shares to stand out on a less crowded platform. It’s easier to break through the noise and be heard! At the same time, with fewer users there are fewer people listening. Ultimately, I think it’s a trade-off and each influencer has to decide what aligns best with their strategy.

The Unknown

Though Vero is currently free and does not require a subscription, Vero has clearly stated that this will change at some point. They have not indicated when a subscription-based model will be implemented or what the cost of a subscription will be. This is one reason I encourage people to take advantage of the current “free-for life’ option. If you use Vero, great! You got it for free. If you try it and decide it’s not for you, the experiment didn’t cost you anything out of pocket!

Will influencers be willing to pay for a subscription to use the ad-free Vero platform? Only time will tell, and a key factor in many people’s minds will be: Are the benefits worth the subscription? 

In addition to his role as the BlogPaws Campaign Manager, Bernard Lima-Chavez is a street art lover, deaf dog pet parent, blogger and freelance writer. He shares his life with with deaf dogs, two hearing dogs and a whole bunch of cats. You can find him at The Graffiti Dog and on Instagram at @thegraffitdog.

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5 Diseases That Pets Can Get from People

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The Internet is flooded with infections and diseases that pets can give humans and how you can avoid contracting these infections. There are vaccinations and other medications available to protect you and keep you healthy while you care for your pet. However, did you know that you can also make your pet seriously ill?

Diseases and infections your pet can get from you and your friends

  • Ringworm: This is a misnomer, as the infection is caused by a fungus and not a worm. It is a skin infection that is common in both animals and humans. This is one of the few infections that can be passed both ways; you can get ringworm infections from your pet and can also infect your pet with this fungal infection. When you are being treated for ringworm, it is best to stay away from your pet to avoid such a situation.
  • Tuberculosis: Although the transmission is difficult and relatively rare, your pet can be infected with tuberculosis if you have the infection. Often, when a pet shows signs of tuberculosis, the owners are checked for undiagnosed tuberculosis infections.
  • Salmonella: Animals, including pets, usually contract this infection from food. Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning and related symptoms. However, pets can also get this infection from being in contact with humans who are infected. If you suspect food poisoning or salmonella infection it is best to keep stay away from your pet till your recover to avoid passing on the infection.
  • Mumps: This is a viral infection that most people today are vaccinated against. However, if you ever come down with mumps, which causes headache, fever, and swelling of salivary glands, ensure that you stay away from your pet. This is probably the most recent discovery of transmission of diseases from humans to animals. The United Kingdom had over 200 cases of such infections among pets, mainly dogs, in the beginning of 2017.
  • Flu or influenza: This is a relatively recent discovery, most types of flu cannot be transmitted by humans to their pets. However, in 2009, doctors diagnosed a pet cat with H1N1 virus. The lady who owned the cat was admitted with an H1N1 infection and, while doctors were treating her, her cat died of pneumonia caused by the same virus. Since then, other pets such as ferrets and dogs have been infected with this virus through contact with humans. Pets display symptoms similar to humans from this virus and may not survive if not treated in time. If you suspect you have the flu, it is best to isolate yourself from your pet till you recover completely.

These are some of the infections that are known to infect animals in contact with infected humans. If you are unwell with anything contagious, it is best to stay away from your pet till your recover.

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BlogPaws Speaker Series: Making A Brand Swipe Right

Welcome to our weekly BlogPaws speaker series in preparation of the 2018 BlogPaws Conference in Kansas City, MO. Each week, we feature a different speaker so that you can get to know them and learn what their session is all about. Be sure to also tune into our weekly Facebook Live on Wednesdays at 4pm EST on the BlogPaws Facebook page. If you can’t attend live, no worries! You can always catch the replay at any time on Facebook or right here on this post.

Say Hello to Jenny Guy from Mediavine

This week the spotlight is on BlogPaws speaker Jenny Guy from Mediavine. Jenny Guy is the Marketing Associate for Mediavine Publisher Network. She’s well-versed in all forms of digital marketing, specializing in the growth of influencer marketing, affiliate programming, branding and creative copywriting. She’s a native Okie who loves to read and watch Top Chef ad nauseum. She has an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of Arkansas and in her previous life, taught theater courses to college students and toured nationally in a children’s musical.

Jenny’s session, Making A Brand Swipe Right: Get The Relationship You Need With the Brands You Deserve, takes place on Thursday, April 19, at 2:30pm. You can sign up for her session on our interactive agenda.

Want to work with bigger brands with longer and more lucrative contracts? Get a step-by-step guide from an experienced brand representative and Mediavine Marketing Associate, Jenny Guy. We’ll cover everything from site auditing from a brand’s perspective to drafting the perfect pitch and everything in between. Plus, tips for once you’ve landed the deal. Takeaways include:
  • What brands are looking at when they visit a site.
  • Researching a brand.
  • Crafting a pitch.
  • Brand expectations and exceeding them.

Facebook Live: Watch the Replay Here!

In case you missed it, catch the Facebook Live interview here with Jenny Guy and Aimee Beltran.

Aimee Beltran is the Director of Community Education for BlogPaws. She also writes two blogs, Irresistible Icing and Irresistible Pets with her Chihuahua, Chuy. Aimee is passionate about her mission, “create an irresistible life you can’t resist!” She loves anything with glitter, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.

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4 Lessons Every Pet Parent Should Learn to Help Give Their Dog a Healthy Life

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If you have a dog at home, you probably have a loving relationship with your canine friend. Many people consider their pets to be part of the family and look after them the way they would care for family. However, you may unknowingly be reducing your pooch’s lifespan or causing avoidable health problems. Want to know more? Read on!

4 life lessons to keep your dog healthy

  • Daily exercise and weight watch: Dogs are energetic animals and need physical activity to stay healthy. It is, therefore, important to ensure regular exercise for your dog. Exercise can include running around off-leash, playing with other dogs, taking long walks or runs with you, or playing with Frisbees and other toys. A note of caution here is that different breeds of dogs need different amount and intensity of exercise, so understand your dog’s requirements to ensure you do not over-exert your dog. Regular exercise also ensures that your dog stays at a healthy weight and avoids obesity and related problems.
  • Balanced diet fit for a dog: A balanced dirt for a dog looks a lot different from a human balanced dirt understand that your dog requires a different kind of nutrition and plan your pooch’s meals accordingly. Dog diets should be heavy on proteins and light on carbohydrates, while ensuring there is a good amount of vitamins and other micro-nutrients in the daily food. Avoid feeding your dog scraps from your plate or any food meant for humans. Consuming human food can lead to a variety of health problems in dogs.
  • Regular de-worming and check-ups: Dogs need to be checked regularly to spot hidden health issues so that they can be treated and cured on time. Dogs are also susceptible to worms, fleas, and ticks, all of which need to be treated in tie to avoid complications. Skipping vet visits or not vaccinating your dog against known and preventable infections can cause a lot of health problems and even early death of your pooch.
  • No secondhand smoke exposure: Just like humans, cigarettes are bad for dogs, inhaling secondhand cigarette smoke while you smoke can cause a multitude of health problems in your dog, including respiratory issues and cancer. The ideal solution is to quit smoking altogether. If this is not a viable option, ensure that you avoid smoking around your dog to ensure there is no secondhand smoke to affect your dog.

Remember these basics about caring for your dog. Loving them is one thing, but ensuring that love does not interfere with keeping them healthy is another. Keep your dog’s health and well-being in mind at all times, so you do all that is required to keep your pooch healthy and happy for a long time.

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All You Need to Know about Parvovirus Combination Vaccine for Dogs

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When you get a new dog, especially if it is a puppy, your vet will tell you about all the vaccination shots your dog will need. If you’ve had a dog for a few years, you will be familiar with the yearly and other vaccination shots that your vet gives your dog. Are you confused with some of the names of vaccinations given to your dogs? Are you wondering what the parvovirus combination vaccine, a very common shot given to dogs, is?

What is the parvovirus combination vaccine for dogs?

The parvovirus combination vaccine is a single vaccination shot given to your dog that contains a mixture of various vaccines. The combination vaccine is known by many acronyms—DHPPV, DA2PPV, DHPP, DA2PP, among others.

This is what the letters in the acronyms stand for and the infection against which they protect your dog:

  • D or canine distemper: This is a viral infection with a kill ate of almost 50 percent, which means almost 50 percent of the dogs that get infected with this virus do not survive. The infection causes problems with the brain and nervous system, digestive system, and respiratory system in dogs.
  • H or hepatitis: The combination vaccine protects your dog against two kinds of hepatitis infections, adenovirus-1 and canine adenovirus-2. The H is, therefore, replaced by A2 in some of the acronyms for the two kinds of adenovirus. Adenovirus-1 causes a highly infectious strain of hepatitis in dogs and severely affects the functioning of the liver. Canine adenovirus-2 causes respiratory issues in dogs, and is commonly known as kennel cough. It is highly infectious.
  • P or parvovirus: A parvovirus infection is deadly for dogs, with over 90 percent of infected dogs not surviving if not treated in time. There is no known cure for this infection, and vaccination is the only way to avoid the infection. Parvovirus attacks the immune system and digestive system in dogs that are not vaccinated against parvovirus.
  • P or parainfluenza: This is a viral infection seen in dogs that are not vaccinated. It is a mild infection that affects breathing.

Some combination vaccines may also include or be combined with vaccines against other infections such as rabies, leptospirosis, and bordotella. You can check with your vet about the kind of vaccination shots being given to your dog.

Why you should vaccinate your dog with the parvovirus combination vaccine

The infections for which a combination vaccine is used are avoidable infections that have no cure. If your dog contracts any of these infections, there is only treatment and supportive care available. Therefore, these combination vaccine shots are crucial for your dog to remain healthy and avoid deadly infections at every age.

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How to Come Up With Pet Blog Post Ideas Blog Hop

Whether you have a pet blog for a hobby or as a business, knowing how to come up with pet blog post ideas can be a challenge. In honor of this week’s blog hop, here are 10 ways you can develop ideas to produce evergreen content that will keep your readers coming back for more:

Pet blog post ideas

1. Bookmark the BlogPaws 2018 Pet-Related Holidays and Themes: Bookmark this post, refer back to it, and save it for a year’s worth of 2018 pet-related holidays and themes to blog about and share on social media. Remember to put your own blog niche’s spin on the holiday(s). For example, if it’s National Cat Day and you are a general cat blogger, consider a post on litter box training, plan in advance, promote early, and then jump aboard the appropriate hashtag the day of the holiday.

2. Turn Back the Hands of Time: Share a historical perspective. When did cat litter first hit the scene? What mistakes were made along the way? When did ferrets become popular as pets? Great historical blog posts can perform well.

3. Frequently Asked Questions: Read through social media replies to your posts across platforms. What blog comments seem to present themselves time and again? Start gathering a list of all the questions and pain points received by your readers. These make for awesome blog post. Each question can likely be turned into a topic for your core audience.

4. Searches Related To: This is a favorite; head on over to Google, and type in “searches related to” for a treasure trove of what people are searching on with regards to a specific topic.

5. Pet Mental Health: No matter what pet(s) you blog about, the mental health and well being of that species always makes for good blog fodder.

6. Pet Supplies: This topic lends itself nicely to an affiliate post wherein you monetize. Compare and contrast. Use links as you are able for monetization without impeding the natural flow of the text. Looking for ways to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing? Attend my session on Affiliate Marketing at the BlogPaws 2018 Conference in April.

7. Newsmaker Pets: What are the pets in your niche doing in the headlines, whether locally, nationally, or internationally? Blog about it! Be sure to appropriately backlink.

8. Blog History: Not all of your blog followers have been with you since day one, and thanks to this fab idea from Dash Kitten (Marjorie Dawson), do a history of your blog post and loop in your best content! Great idea, Marjorie. Check out The History of Dash Kitten.

9. Poll Your Readers: Whether a blog post or a short post on social media, try polling your readers with a topic of interest.

10. Interview Pet Parents: Interview some of your regular readers on a topic. Share their tips and what works for them.

BONUS: Here are 10 more ways to generate blog post ideas.

The Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

BlogPaws offers year-round interaction, activity, community and more to learn, earn, and connect. Visit and leave comments on other blogs to make some new buddies and maybe some new followers. You can add the button to your post and/or to your blog sidebar, either by cutting and pasting the image or using the HTML code below. Need help? Here it is:

How to Join a Blog Hop – BlogPaws Tutorial Video: Step by step help to get you started:

Carol Bryant is the Marketing and Social Media Manager for BlogPaws and runs her own blog, Fidose of Reality and its fundraising arm, Wigglebutt Warriors. When not busy playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Dexter, she stays far away from cooking. Her trademark is her mantra and is tattooed on her arm: My Heart Beats Dog.®

Image: il21/Shutterstock

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