How to Run a Successful Dog Rescue Fundraiser

Fundraising is an optimal part of running a dog rescue organization. Funds are required to assist with all aspects of care including, but not limited to, veterinary bills, food, treats, collars, leashes, bowls, grooming, flea, tick, and heartworm medication, shampoo, beds, and toys. Running a successful fundraiser does not have to be stressful. Here are some tips on running a smooth fundraiser for your organization:

  1. Breweries or Wineries

This is a fun and easy way to raise money. Ask the brewery or winery for a portion of each beer, tasting, growler fill, or wine bottle purchased to be donated to your rescue organization. Some breweries and wineries will let you bring dogs to hang out; it is a great way to raise awareness of your organization while sipping on delicious beers or wines. The last fundraiser I ran at a brewery raised over $450 in four hours. We received $2 for each pint purchased during a set time period and had donation cans located throughout the brewery.

  1. Dine to Donate

Many chain restaurants have a dine to donate program where a percentage of the total food purchased is donated to your organization. You may have to show a flyer or a ticket for the donation to count. Most restaurants have application forms online; creating a no-hassle progress for the organizer. The dine to donate fundraisers may not bring in an exorbitant amount of money, but little work is involved besides handing out flyers.

  1. Consultant Events

This is the new wave of fundraising! Companies that sell clothing, essential oils, kitchen utensils, and cosmetics on social media, often have fundraising programs on Facebook! Login to the consultants’ event from the comfort of your own home and shop ‘till you drop. A percentage of all items sold will be donated, and the company may match total proceeds. I have worked with two consultants and we have raised over $500 on Facebook.

  1. Need food?

Many supermarkets will provide food for your fundraising event. Bring in a 501 (c) (3) paper and a letter stating that you are requesting the supermarket to make a food donation. Some stores will offer you a sandwich or cheese platter, while others will provide you with a gift card to select your own items. Make a sign that reads “Help Yourself to (insert food here), Donations Greatly Appreciated & Accepted” and place a donation jar next to the food you have available. This will encourage people to eat, but also remind them to donate to your rescue organization.

  1. Marketing

Give yourself six to eight weeks to adequately promote your event through flyers, word of mouth, and social media. Ask the venue or restaurant if you can distribute marketing materials such as pens, pencils, magnets, business cards, dog waste bags and dispensers, and other dog related items. If you are doing a virtual fundraiser, ask if you can do a giveaway. It is also important that you have a clipboard ready to obtain e-mail signups for future adoption events and fundraisers. If you set up a table, make sure you have appropriate signage and a donation jar. All volunteers should look uniform; t-shirts with your organization would help you to stand out amongst the crowd.

  1. Have fun!

The word fun is in fundraiser for a reason. Mingle with your supporters, bring awareness to dog rescue and your organization, hand out promotional materials, and network to obtain potential adopters, foster parents, and volunteers.

Fundraising is key to making sure a constant flow of funds enters the bank account to meet the needs of the dogs in the organization. Assign one or two fundraising coordinators to start planning your next event today!

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How to Run with your Dog

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. This commission helps sustain running Realm of Vibes. 

I love running with my dog, Bailey. Some people would classify my “running” as a light jog or brisk walk, but we have a lot of fun exercising with one another while getting our Whistle and FitBit activity minutes. Whether you are just starting out with walking or are an avid runner, here are some of my tips for running safely and easily with your canine companion.

1.Get doctor and veterinarian clearance.

It is important to make sure you can physically handle exercise. Schedule a physical and consult your doctor about starting a walking/running program. Bring Fido in for a check-up and get clearance as to how many miles you can walk/run with your dog. Bailey is cleared to run up to 10 miles with me. When I was training for a half marathon, we ran up to 8-9 miles. It’s imperative that you start slow; make sure you do an adequate warm-up for both you and your dog.

2. Know your dog and plan your route.

I prefer running early in the morning, or 60-90 minutes before sunset at a park. I like a clear trail, opposed to running on the street. Some streets in my development don’t have sidewalks, so running with Bailey (or foster) can be dangerous. She also likes to run ahead of me, so that’s why I typically avoid street running. Depending on the season, you want to make sure your dog can handle the temperature. I like to run early or late in the day, especially during the hot summer months.

3. Get your gear!

I don’t know what I would do without my Tuff Mutt – Hands Free Dog Leash. The leash clips around my waist, has a bungee cord with a carbineer that clips to Bailey’s collar or harness. It has a short and large handle so I always have control over her movements. It is also reflective, so we are noticed by pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles on our path.

Tuff Mutt – Hands Free Dog Leash

Hydration is super important, whether you are going on a short or long run. I have a few different tactics for handling both of our water. First, I wear a Hydration Belt. around my waist. I usually fill one with water, and one with a sports drink. If I go on a short run, I bring a Collapsible Dog Bowl for Bailey’s water. Sometimes, I bring a Gulpy Water Dispenser which is a water dispenser. I clip it to my waist with a carabiner or I carry it for added resistance. Whatever you do, make sure you have enough water for both you and your dog and that you take plenty of water breaks!

Hydration Belt

Collapsible Dog Bowl

Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax is my go-to product before a run. It is easy to apply the hypoallergenic, nontoxic wax to Bailey’s paws, which gives a nice protective coating to prevent accidents on the trail. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
4. Add some extras!

I love my Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband. I have been using a FitBit since it came on the market and helps keep me accountable regarding exercise. I like the FitBit Charge 2 because it has a relaxation setting where it prompts you to do 2 minutes of breathing exercises. I also like knowing which heart rate range in which I am exercising.

FitBit Charge 2

Bailey has a Whistle Activity Monitor. This shows how active she is throughout the day. We try to give her at least 60 minutes of daily exercise. It clips around her collar. When we had a pet sitter, we could see how long she was taking her on walks, and I could look at her stats from work to see if she is destroying my home. I think the Whistle is well worth the investment.

Whistle Activity Monitor

Final Thoughts

Running with your dog can be a great form of exercise! I know that after our runs, we both feel great, and get a better night’s sleep. How do you exercise with your dog? Leave a comment to let me know!

Namaste.

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Best Bully Sticks – GIVEAWAY!

*This post contains affiliate links and sponsored items. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission to help support this blog.

Bailey is my two and a half year old rescue dog. We became best friends the day my husband and I adopted her. Bailey is my confidant, my side-kick, my running partner, and my little realm of happiness in this crazy world. There is nothing better than coming home from a long day at work to see her excitement that I am home. I cherish my walks with her every morning and night. Bailey is a beautiful dog; she is energetic, fast, and mobile, which we attribute to her clean diet and exercise routine. Bailey is just like her mom; she LOVES her snacks! Her mom, however, always makes sure that she eats well and gives her the finest of treats.

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Bailey with 2 of the 3 items from BestBullySticks

This week, BestBullySticks was kind enough to send me three items to review:

  • Bully Snack Bar & Training Treats
    • These are beefy treats suitable for dogs of all life stages. These could be broken up easily to be used for training. They are softer and chewy. Approximately 20 treats come in the bag.
    • Price: $6.39 USD
    • Thoughts: This was Bailey’s FAVORITE! She LOVED these! I posted an Instagram video (@realmofvibes) of my princess eating the Bully Snack Bars. I would absolutely purchase these because she scarfed them down! They don’t stand a chance in my house!bullysnack
  • Two – 12″ Thick Odor Free Bully Sticks
    • These sticks are 30-50% wider than BestBullySticks standard bully stick. My husband liked these in comparison to other bully sticks I have purchased because they do not have a horrid smell. Bailey is selective when she decides to indulge in these, but it took her close to two hours to chew from 12″ to 3.” I like that these are free of chemicals, preservatives, and additives. This is a fantastic choice for aggressive chewers.
    • Price: $4.99 USD a stick, but can be less expensive if you enroll in Auto-Ship
    • Thoughts: When Bailey decided to chew on these, she was a very happy dog. She laid on her dog bed like a primadonna and licked and chewed until her hearts content. I would purchase these in the future. The foster dogs would go CRAZY over them and they would be a great time occupier. bully
  • Ear Variety Pack for Dogs
    • This big bag contained 3 lamb ears, 3 pig ears, and 3 cow ears. The lamb and cow ears are lighter in color than the pig ears. These are for light to average chewers and contain no preservatives, additives, chemicals or hormones.
    • Price: $8.99 USD
    • Thoughts: Unfortunately, Bailey only liked the pig ears. She would lick and chew the pig ears instantaneously, but she would just carry around the lamb and cow ears in her mouth and drop them into her toy crate. Now – I donated the lamb and cow ears to the rescue. Dogs are similar to humans in the fact that we don’t like every food option in the world, right? Whatever you do, don’t throw anything out – please donate it to your local shelter. There will be a dog that likes what your dog does not.

ear

BestBullySticks has a lot to offer. Their website is loaded with different bully sticks, dog chews and treats, bones, food, supplies, toys, dental treats. They also have products made in the USA and an extensive sale section. One thing I feel that BestBullySticks could improve upon is the quality of the packaging. The seal doesn’t work well and the Ear Variety pack bag ripped on the side. I wound up putting all of the treats and chews into large freezer bags. On the website, in small fine print, is says to put the treats in the freezer or refrigerator because they don’t contain preservatives. I would make the print bigger on your website and add this to the packaging. I like how all of the treats are 100% natural, approved by the USDA, and 100% digestible. BestBullySticks is located in Richmond, VA. I would absolutely purchase from BestBullySticks in the future. They have so many great products that Bailey would love to try!
BestBullySticks.com

 

BestBullySticks is offering a giveaway to TWO lucky winners. Each winner will receive the three items listed above. Contest begins on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 12:oo AM and will end Friday, April 7, 2017 at 12:00 AM. Contest is open to continental USA residents ages 18 years or older. Winners will be selected through Random.org. The winners have 24 hours to respond via e-mail or another winner will be selected.

ENTER THE BestBullySticks

GIVEAWAY HERE

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Disclaimer: I reviewed items from BestBullySticks in return for a review and posts on social media platforms. All views within are authentic and my own. Have you considered featuring your business or service on Realm of Vibes? Please visit my Collaborate page or e-mail realmofvibesdg@gmail.com to get started.  Always supervise your dog when giving any chew or treat as they can become a choking hazard. 
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Top 5 Products for Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The information within this blog post is not to be taken as medical advice. If your dog has medical issues, please bring them to the veterinarian.

When we rescued Bailey in December 2014, she had Giardia. She had just finished a round of antibiotics, but her stool was still loose and had a very distinct, unpleasant smell. We kept bringing her to the vet; she would go on a round of antibiotics and within a month, she would get Giardia again. We made changes; we would pick up her waste as soon as she went to the bathroom (instead of doing clean-up days a few times a week) and made sure there was no standing water anywhere in our backyard, but low and behold, Giardia would return, rearing its ugly head. I researched a more holistic way to treating Giardia, and wanted to incorporate products into her diet that would help her have optimal joint and dental health, along with a shiny, soft coat. Below are the top five products I use for Bailey and my foster dogs daily:

Kochi Free

This is an herbal product used to boost the immune system, rid microscopic parasites, helps rid the body of free radicals, kills viruses, bacteria, and fungus. Kochi Free can be used to treat Giardia, Coccidian, and Campylobacter. It doesn’t get rid of round, hook, or tape worm. You administer Kochi Free via dropper. I must be honest, I don’t think Bailey likes the taste. She goes straight for the water bowl after I administer Kochi Free. In conjunction with the probiotics below, Kochi Free has helped her remain Giardia free!

FortiFlora Probiotics

One of my friends recommended Purina Fortiflora  probiotics for Bailey’s reoccurring parasites and GI issues. The probiotics come in little sachets that I rip open and sprinkle on top of kibble or wet food. I have been giving Bailey probiotics for over a year and a half. The added microorganisms have made a huge difference with her GI health.

Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil Dog & Cat Supplement

I only use Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats. It is made in the USA from all natural Alaskan salmon. This product provides Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to add shine and softness to Bailey’s coat, and to aide her joint function, immune system and heart health. You pump the oil into kibble or wet food and mix with a spoon. How much you pump into the food varies by weight – directions are on bottle. I have been using this for a few months, and I notice that Bailey sheds less and her coat is much softer. The foster dogs usually come to me malnourished, and the Zesty Paws Salmon Oil helps add good fat to their diet. Zesty Paws Salmon Oil is cost effective for me since I do pump this on to my cat’s dry food as well.

Glucosamine Chondroitin

Bailey is a high-energy dog. Our veterinarian cleared us to run up to ten miles. She can jump four foot fences, and gives my younger foster dogs a run for their money when playing in the backyard. I know that one day she will not be as spry, so I want to do my best to protect her joint health. I have tried numerous glucosamine chondroitin products, but Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews  is the product I wholeheartedly recommend. Yes, it is more expensive than other products, but it works the best. I didn’t notice much of a difference from other products, where when she is on the Dasuquin, she seems to move faster and with greater ease.

Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Water Additive 

A big complaint from most dog owners is bad breath and tartar or decay. Professional dental cleanings are super expensive. Besides brushing Bailey’s teeth and giving her dental chews, I use a water additive to fight plaque and freshen her breath. In the morning, when I re-fill her bowl with fresh water, I add a few drops of water additive to keep her teeth clean and breath fresh. The Tropiclean Pet Water Additive  is cost effective, and I can use this in my cat’s water, too.

Final Thoughts

I always tell people, Bailey is a long term investment. I want her to be happy and healthy. The five products above aren’t time consuming and have made a significant difference in her overall health.

What do you use to keep your dog healthy?

Namaste.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Occupied

*This post contains affiliate links.

When we took Bailey to obedience training, the trainer stressed the importance of keeping her both mentally and physically stimulated for her optimal wellness. Dog owners know that when your dog is bored, destruction occurs…like finding a pillow de-stuffed or chewed coffee table corners. Bailey has a crate with a variety of toys and chews, but the ones listed below are some of my favorite items to keep her and the foster dogs entertained:

Himalayan Chews

The Himalayan yak chews are amazing. I buy the real Himalayan dog chewsthat are sourced from Nepal. (They have a fair-trade agreement with the farmers and are naturally sourced.) These yak chews are very hard, and dogs must soften them with their saliva before chewing a piece off. Bailey and my foster dogs will spend HOURS licking and biting little pieces off of the hard chew. I would strongly recommend these being eaten outside or on a surface that can be cleaned. What I love about Himalayan chews is that there is no waste. When a small piece remains, heat it in the microwave and it becomes a yummy yak puff.

Bully Sticks

The only penis my dog will ever nibble on… I purchase the Redbarn 7-Inch Braided Bully Sticks. I prefer the braided bully sticks since they are more difficult for the dogs to break apart. These are softer and more pliable than the Himalayan chews, but still a tasty treat to occupy Fido. I would have to say that this is Bailey’s favorite treat.

KONG Dog Toy

KONG Toys toys are multi-purpose and a great investment. I sometimes put treats inside (your dog must roll the KONG around to get the treats out), or freeze peanut butter or water for a tasty treat. You can also make mealtime interactive by placing kibble inside the KONG. I appreciate that KONG toys can be easily cleaned and are relatively inexpensive.

Tug-a-Jug

Bailey HATES this toy. She gets SO frustrated; however, my foster dogs usually LOVE the Tug-A-Jug, and often show Bailey how it’s done. Take small treats and put them in the jug. Fido’s job is to tug and manipulate the jug to get the treat. Bailey has turned this toy into a chew toy (she tries to bite through the rope), but the foster dogs are motivated to get the treat. It is a great brain teaser and keeps them mentally stimulated.

Dogit GUMI Dental Dog Toy

Bailey has been a chewer since we rescued her almost three years ago. She has chewed through things that have claimed to be “indestructible,” so I didn’t have high hopes for this toy. The Dogit GUMI Dental Dog Toy surpassed my expectations. She absolutely loved chewing the edges and ripping apart the middle section to get to the plastic part inside. (Pictured is the Floss version, I get the 360 Clean version). On the 360 Clean version, there is a treat pouch that you can freeze for teething puppies or add Fido’s favorite treats for added motivation. Besides keeping her and the foster dogs busy, the GUMI Dental Dog Toy helps floss and remove plaque from her teeth. This toy has provided hours of entertainment!

Final Thoughts

These are my top five items that have helped occupy Bailey and my foster dogs. An occupied dog is a happy dog.

What are your go-to items to keep your dog’s mentally and physically stimulated?

Namaste.

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