Del Monte Brands Sponsor Pet Blogger Event

Blog Paws LogoMediaPost reported on DelMonte’s sponsorship of a pet blogger conference, BlogPaws,  April 9-10, 2010 in Columbus Ohio.  The conference is open to all people who blog about pets, whether personally or for a corporation. Del Monte’s Meow Mix cat food and Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food are the presenting  sponsors, and are joined by a host of other pet food, pet product, pet retailer, veterinary, and pet media sponsors.

BlogPaws conference sessions help attendees create successful blogs, covering  branding, search engine optimization, promotions, and  some of the most common pet blog topics, like product reviews and rescue.  You can follow the conference on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

It’s killing me that I entered dog shows on the same dates before I learned about this event – I would love to go!

Purina Petcentric Portal

PetCentric Logo
PetCentric Logo

I recently got my first email from Petcentric with a link to their site, which launched in 2006.  In a 2008 article in Promo Magazine the site is described as a social network, however most of the content is provided by the site’s owner, Purina and select partners, such as Yahoo! Answers (pet section.) There is content galore, including news about pets, pet blogs, pet games,  reviews, a pet service locator and pet photos and videos, which include user-generated content.  The site also has its own Twitter account @petcentric There is very little overt promotion of Purina products, although Purina sponsored events are a rich source of content for the site.  Just further evidence of Purina’s commitment to digital media with this engaging site that supports pet owners interests and in turn the Purina corporate brand identity.

Petco is all over Social Media

Petco Logo
Petco Logo

An article from the San Diego Union Tribune talks about the social media strategies of two area businesses, one of which is Petco.   Petco learned that employees were talking about the company on both Facebook and Twitter and decided to leverage those tools for the brand.  On Facebook, Petco has both a fan page and a group; the group encourages people to become a fan.  Petco also has an official Twitter account a YouTube channel and a blog on their main site; links to their social media accounts appear on the blog page. Not only does Petco use popular social media sites extensively, they also promote a pet-centric online community with through the site.

Dogtime Media’s Save-a-Dog Facebook app

MediaPost reports that Dogtime Media has just launched the Save A Dog Facebook application with the support of Frontline as its exclusive advertiser through September. The application allows users to check out adoptable dogs by breed and location, and then virtually foster, walk, and send dogs to their friends. Points are earned for downloading the app and all virtual interactions with the rescue dogs.

For every 2500 points earned, DogTime will donate the equivalent of one cup of food to, a technology provider which creates online solutions for rescue groups and will use the funds to lower the costs of their services to those groups.  This is the first time I’ve seen an organization looking for volunteers to provide technical services rather than the traditional food, toys and pet supplies for rescue.

A comprehensive campaign is planned utilizing DogTime’s network of advertisers, bloggers, and newsletter subscribers as well as its Twitter stream. Partners Frontline and will also participate in campaign extensions.

A personal criticism of the application’s functionality: The breed selection tool could be better, as my search for Bull Terriers near my zip code yielded hundreds of pit bulls, but I saw no actual “English” type Bull Terriers such as I own. Which reflects the balance of those breeds in rescue, I’m sure, – I just wish the listing “Bull Terrier” was better targeted to match the dogs.  This problem may be limited to breeds with similar names, but it reduces the attractiveness of the app for people who can’t find dogs like the ones they own to send to people who also own those dogs (who happen to make up the majority of my Facebook friends.)

AOL PawNation

MediaPost reports that AOL has just launched a pet portal named  This news comes just shortly after Yahoo! closed its Pets section, integrating that content into its Shine lifestyle section.  Purina, noted as the launch sponsor seems to be the only display advertiser at present, although text ads also appear in some sections. The photo gallery section offers pet owners opportunities to upload their photos for integration into the site.

Smucci Fashion Pet Beds

As promised,  I’m returning to my Detroit Kennel Club vendor interviews with a profile of  Smucci custom pet beds. The owner/artist Debi Kahn was doing interior decorating when she got the idea for making beautiful furniture that doubled as pet furniture. She blogs about her DKC experience and includes some great photos from the event. Some of the inspiration came from her own pets; one of her cats likes to nap in the bowl shaped washbasins in her home, so she created wooden bowl beds for cats.  Debi used some of her own photographs to create the fabric designs used in most of the beds; the photos are transferred to fabrics using a very high quality printing process that retains that photographic quality feel. The wooden bases for the beds have an artistic flair as well. Most have a high fashion modern art look, but one resembles a manger and the accompanying pillow is printed with a design based on a photograph of a slice of straw bale.   Most of the beds unfortunately would probably not withstand the presence of a young Bull Terrier, but I’m sure  many smaller and older pets would enjoy these artful comforts. Wonderful to see another person making pet furniture that fits in to a stylish decor.


A dog-twist on the Twitter phenomenon called #followfriday. Pawluxury, a dog products site that really gets social media launched this new hashtag today. They’ve asked their followers to recognize quality dog-topic tweeters with the hashtag signifier. According to Real Time Trends, it’s been in the top 10 hashtags (#7) today.  I’ll  be checking them out to find interesting new tweeps to follow myself.

#Barkhunt – Twitter contest drives traffic

This past Thursday evening I participated in a Twitter scavenger hunt called Barkhunt (or #Barkhunt, the hashtag in front signifies a common tag to be used to share info on a topic or event.) The event was sponsored by four dog online businesses who tweet (send messages on Twitter), FourLeggedMedia, Best Bully Sticks, Ask Spike Online and Paw Luxury.  Starting at 9 PM EST and lasting for an hour, every five minutes a clue would be given by one of the sponsors related to something on one of the other sponsors’ websites.  All participants were asked to retweet (RT) the clue  and the first one to direct message (DM) the answer to the sponsor relating to the clue won.  It really was fun to participate, although it took me a few rounds to figure out the best strategies for actually finding the answers. HINT: it would help to familiarize oneself with the website structures and where the search box is in advance! I didn’t win anything, but I’m game to try again.  Prizes were what else – dog related items, mostly around $10-$20 in value. In follow up tweets, I learned that Twitter contests are just emerging and have been pretty successful in driving traffic and results for the sponsors. The Barkhunt RT traffic got up to the 3rd or 4th most RT’d post at one point during the contest; pretty impressive!  Especially given that the sponsors tweet about nothing but dog topics – word about the event spread through the sponsors’ dog enthusiast followers who publicized it via RTs to their followers.

Dog Photographer Hub site: MacroMutt

Four Legged Media just launched a site called MacroMutt that promotes local dog photographers, targeted at local dog owners.  They pick the photographers, no pay to play, but they will accept sugesstions. I recommended Irene Morden, and I’ll be sending in others as I think of them. It’s fun to browse even if you’re not looking for a photographer, and I’m sure it will only improve as it grows.  FLM also hosts Barkability, a dog merchandise site which features cool dog products.

Interesting Follower: DogShedding

One really interesting thing about Twitter is checking out my followers.  I’ve been deliberately looking for and tweeting to attract other people interested in dogs, and who should follow me but DogShedding.  DogShedding has only updated their account twice, both times about 12 hours before they started following me.  The Dog Shedding website is pretty intensely focused on – you got it, dog shedding. Non-shedding dogs (in 3 parts) the heaviest shedding dogs (also in 3 parts) how to deal with dog shedding. Everywhere you look, the phrase dog shedding is there.  Browsing the site I saw a number of statements that did not ring true to me, such as that Maltese needed to be bathed daily and you need to brush an Irish Setter “thrice weekly.”  The site was created in WordPress; curiously there’s very little advertising on the home page, but plenty of text ads on the interior pages, some about anti shedding products (I knew I’d see the Furminator!) and also general dog topics like puppies, rescue dogs, and training.