The Most Splendid Beasts of 2021

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A gigantic thank you to all of our customers over the past year. Covid has affected everyone and we really appreciate those who were able to make a commission to help us create this Best of 2021 list. 

We’re very proud of the works we’ve created over the past year and it was difficult to narrow it down to this still quite long list. Consider this just a sample of some of our favorites from throughout the year!

Favorite Shop Designs

We’ll start with some of our favorites that used designs that can be found here in our shop.

Favorite Photo to Painting Recreations

One of our most popular options that we’ve added is our Photo to Painting Recreations. We worked on quite a few of them this year, but here’s a small selection of our favorites.

Favorite Unique Pieces

There are always some pieces that we work on that are a bit more unique. Sometimes in terms of size, sometimes in subject.

the american hotel bar painting cerro gordo

This year, we were honored to be able to work on a unique project for one Brent Underwood. He is currently the owner and sole citizen of the ghost town Cerro Gordo located in California. You can learn more about his story, adventures, and Cerro Gordo on his YouTube channel, Ghost Town Living.

Early on in his days of ownership, there was unfortunately a fire that consumed several buildings. This painting, painted by a former local named Sylvia Winslow, was lost in that fire. It was prominently displayed behind the bar of The American Hotel and was absolutely the centerpiece of the room.

Since then, rebuilding efforts for the hotel have begun. After some painstaking Photoshop work, we were able to recreate the picture from Brent’s videos. Our talented painters then got to work and the result is what you see above. We hope to see it displayed behind the bar of The American Hotel again some day.

This was also our first ever opportunity to paint some domestic pigs!

Of course, we’ll never pass up the chance to paint a Splendid toddler conductor.

We also worked on some glorious and gigantic square paintings! 

Favorite Poker Designs

The poker-playing-pets are always a popular request, and something that we have a lot of experience with too! 

Favorite Custom Pieces

These are always the most difficult to pick. Most of the work we do is from custom requests – and the imagination of people is truly endless. We’ve brought some absolutely outrageous ideas to life and we’re pleased to share them with you in this final medley of masterpieces!

We’ll end with a few of our favorite and golden-framed works. Thanks again to everyone that commissioned a painting from us in 2021. We look forward to creating more masterpieces this year!

As the saying goes, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”. We hope you’ve enjoyed our picks for the Best of 2021. We’ll see you next year for another slew of fantastic paintings!

bay horse and dog horse painting

Horse Paintings

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Horse Paintings

Horse paintings actually weren’t something that came about until several years after the creation of Splendid Beast. Since then however, we’ve made some of the best – and somewhat abstract – horse paintings on the internet!

One of our favorite custom paintings is based off of a famous painting by George Stubbs, who was well known for his horse paintings in the latter half of the 18th century. The featured picture for this blog post, also seen below, based off of “Bay Horse and White Dog”, framed in one of our beautiful golden frames.

bay horse and dog horse painting

This next painting was our very first horse painting – as well as one of our first Photo to Painting Recreations, before we even had the option in our shop!

horse painting photo recreation

Horses tend to be accompanied by others, of course. Sometimes, they need some poker buddies. It can’t be too easy to count chips with hooves.

cats dogs horses playing poker painting

Other times they’re posing with their riders and first place ribbons.

horse with owner painting

Sometimes they’re off in the background, coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress..perhaps with a little help.

Knight and Princess Cats painting

The Abstract Side

Some of our favorite paintings are a bit more on the abstract side. Three legged Pepe, for example, made for an excellent painting subject as Don Quixote along with his horse, Rocinante.

Don Quixote dog painting with horse

This pair of cowboys also made great subjects for their painting. Horse cowboys? Horseboys? Cowhorses? Whatever, here’s a couple of dudes with horse heads sitting on a fence.

Told you so!

Do you know of an excellent equine that needs to be expressed and celebrated with an oil painting? Well, now you know to ask – the horse painting experts..

Us. That’s us. We’re those experts!

So what do you think? Are you ready to move forward with your idea? Click here to email us right now! You can include as much or as little detail as you’d like. Nothing is too far fetched – just let us know what you’re thinking!

Also, be sure to check out our Cat Paintings and Dog Paintings pages in case you need some inspiration.

how fast can dogs run

How Fast Can Dogs Run?

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How Fast Can Dogs Run?

Here Is Everything You Need To Know About A Dog’s Speed

You must have seen a dog run with their tails wagging and their tongues hanging while they try to run as hard as they can with their tiny legs to match your speed and wondered, “How fast can dogs run?”. They sure do look super cute. These creatures are not the fastest ones on earth, but they definitely want to be your running partner whenever you go out. 

Needless to say, every dog runs the way they want to. However, the running speed of a dog depends on their breed and their physical health or sometimes weight, too. Different dogs can run anywhere between 15 to 20 miles per hour. This means they are good at speed and can chase you if they want. 

Here are some fascinating things you should know about a dog’s speed. 

Factors That Affect How Fast Dogs Can Run

Some physical factors help determine how fast you can run. These factors usually include


These factors work in dogs just the way they work in humans. You can’t make an old man run in a park or even in the house. You don’t expect them to. 

Likewise, in dogs, the older the dog, the slower they would be. Or maybe this also depends on how feisty and playful your dog is. Older or adult dogs mainly want to preserve their health by eating little food and limited physical activity. 

Unlike the young ones, adult dogs do not run about the house and stay in their spot until asked to move. 

On the other hand, young dogs love to play and are lively enough to go out and run frantically. They love going on a walk, chasing you, or running alongside you even if they are too big to catch up with you. 


Bits of research show that male dogs run much faster than females dogs. It is associated with muscle strength, aerobic power, and the way a dog’s body is built. 

The same is the case with every other species, where dogs have more stamina and the power to run faster than females. However, there are exceptions, and female lions run faster and are swifter in the running than male lions. 


The size of the dog matters significantly when it comes to how fast a dog can run. Bigger dogs like great danes can make quicker sprints, while the smaller dog breeds like Shih Tzu would struggle a tad more with running at a reasonable speed. 

Hence, the running ability varies amongst breeds. Every breed has its own strengths and weaknesses that determine how fast it can run. 

The endurance of a species is also essential. For example, dogs with smaller faces find it harder to breathe than dogs with more prominent faces because of the shape of their skulls. 

Breathing difficulties become more pronounced during the summer season, and such dogs should not be made to run a lot. 

Activity Level

A dog that loves to run will never get tired of running. In contrast, a lazy dog with no motivation for physical activity would prefer to crash in its favorite spot. 

Therefore, the motivation of every dog is essential to know how much they can run and how fast. You can’t make a clumsy dog sprint, and you can’t tame a lively dog to sit and not run around. Also, you need to make sure you are feeding your dog with high calorie dog food so that your dog’s nutritionals needs are met.


A healthy dog means a healthy lifestyle that facilitates excellent physical health and running. A sick dog can never run as well as a healthy dog. 

Similarly, a dog with congenital problems like hip dysplasia or weak bones will find it harder to run than the general population of dogs of the same breed. 

Congenital anomalies are pretty common in dogs and can’t be ignored when talking about the speed of a dog. 

dogs running together how fast can dogs run

The Fast Dog Breeds

Naturally, the fast ones have longer legs, lean bodies, and incredible muscular strength. These include:

  • Greyhound
  • Saluki
  • Afghan Hound 
  • Vizsla
  • Jack Russell terrier 
  • Dalmatian
  • Borzoi
  • Whippet
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Border Collie
  • German Shepherd 
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Italian Greyhound 

The Slow Dog Breeds

The slower ones with tiny bodies and cuter paws include:

  • Shih Tzu 
  • Pug
  • Old English Mastiff 
  • Toy poodle
  • Bulldog 
  • Basset Hound 

So How Fast Can Dogs Run? Signs To Look For

So, how can you tell if your dog is slower or faster than the rest?

Maybe someday you can make them race with a neighbor’s dog and find out. But there are some ways to tell if your dog is one of the faster ones.

The way they run can tell you a lot. For example, before they are ready to sprint, their posture is associated with how much they prepare themselves because the correct way of running means faster running. 

For instance, when they chase you, they are mainly able to catch you or outrun you. Other times, they may run in a synchronized manner. It means they move their front and back legs together for a faster sprint. 

They may also adjust their bodies to adapt against air resistance by keeping their ears down. 

You Can Train Your Dog To Run Fast

Not all dogs are made to run fast, and you should not push them beyond their limits. However, you can always train your dog, so they should stay in good health and physique. 

First, determine their diet, so they do not overdo their calories. Their lean body is crucial not only for fast running but also for good health. 

On the flip side, you can get yourself proper running gears and remember to start slow. 

how fast can dogs run

Final Thoughts

A dog that runs fast is an excellent workout partner. You can run great distances with them, and they would love to be next to you when you both are outdoors. 

You can’t make a dog with tiny paws take significant steps. Hence, if you want a canine companion who is ready to sprint off with you, you need a physically strong and mentally active breed and feisty. 

This will be a whole lot of fun for your workout routines. 

If you want to know about the latest information about dog food, visit Dog Food Desire. 

If you’re interested in seeing or commissioning a painting of your speedy (or not so speedy) companion, visit our Dog Painting page or email us directly at [email protected].

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Space Cat Art – Paintings in Space!

Space Cat art has basically been a staple of the internet since the internet was a thing. We’ve had a lot of Astronauts blast off from our pet painting shop designs, sometimes with or without a space suit. We’ve also had plenty of custom space designs come through over the years. The end result from all this is, of course, Space Cats! Here we will celebrate and showcase a bit of our favorite Space Cat art that we’ve created.

We recently finished a new Space Cat, @spaceboyirl‘s BonBon! You can see Spaceboy and BonBon live here on

Spaceboy influencer space cat painting

Of course, there’s no shortage of space-y backgrounds for these Space Cats. Here’s another more vintage Space Cat of ours that we call, The Space Cadet.

space cadet pet painting

This next Space Cat-det doesn’t seem very amused to be stuffed into a suit.

space cadet painting

Timeless Splendid Beast Space Cat Art

Space Cat paintings have been produced by us since some of the very earliest days of Splendid Beast. Here are some of our favorite space cats from previous years:

space cat head in space

This Splendid space cat even paid us another visit!

cat with cat painting splendid beast

space painting of cat

cat in space with nebula painting

cat in space paintings

space cats pet painting

Another classic Space Cat from the way back when days of even worse cameras. The amount of detail can still shine through it, though.

space cat art

Unfortunately, some of our earliest Space Cat art wasn’t framed or captured very well on camera. Regardless, this regal space-faring feline remains as our earliest example of a true Space Cat painting. Truly, a cat ahead of his time.

space cat art pet painting

These starry eyed kitties may not quite measure up to brave Félicette, the first cat in space (cat astronaut?), but they still do pretty well! Not many have the nine lives to spare to go into space without a suit.

Ready for your own space cat art? Immortalize your own feline friend from our list of no costume pet painting shop designs! We also have a plethora of costumed designs to pick from too!

Harry Potter Oil Paintings – Wizard dogs, witch cats, and magic, oh my!

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Ever since the early days of Splendid Beast, the world of Hogwarts has been a constant inspiration. Harry Potter oil paintings have been a staple of ours for years now.

Here you’ll find our favorite examples of wizard cats, wizard dogs, witch cats..well you get the picture.

The Potter portrait early years

harry potter dog portrait

This is one of the original Harry Potter portrait requests from way back when. It later turned into our shop design, The Potter. The overall design has since changed only slightly and we now offer the same design for each Hogwarts House.

harry potter cat

Harry Potter cats, Harry Potter dogs, we’ve done them all.

harry potter dog

Our current Harry Potter dog / face of the aforementioned shop design. The Chosen Pup.

ravenclaw painting

Other Hogwarts Houses can be represented in the same design with few design changes needed. The standard Harry Potter portrait can become a Ravenclaw painting with nothing more than a new emblem and some changed colors. The bow is just for witch cat style points.

harry potter cat

A great example showing how we can change up the colors any way you like. A truly glorious and golden-clad Splendid cat wizard for the ages.

Customized Harry Potter oil paintings

dumbledore portrait

As time went on, we had customers want their Beast represented by other Potter characters and locations. Albarkus Dumbledog and Fawkes made fantastic subjects for a Dumbledore portrait.

dumbledore portrait

Dumble-Husky made for another amazing addition to the ranks of our Harry Potter oil paintings. You can never have enough wizard dogs, Headmaster wizard dogs, and Dumbledore portraits.

harry potter cats

Sometimes, Harry Potter cats just want to hang out in the Hogwarts library.

harry potter cats

But other times, those Harry Potter cats will fight pixies and lounge around in the Defense Against the Dark Arts room. Still though, you can never have enough witch and wizard cats.

harry potter cat

The term Harry Potter cats can certainly sometimes be taken a bit more literally. Certain freeze-frames of the wizard cat can make for some of the best Harry Potter portraits.

snape portrait

One of our absolute favorites, this Snape portrait along with his doe Patronus. Definitely one of the most Splendid of all the Harry Potter cats..and not a wizard cat you want to cross.

harry potter dog

Of course, it’s tough to beat Harry Potter oil paintings that are also a book cover and include a delicious pun.

When it comes to pet paintings, we’re definitely the ones you want. But then add Harry Potter into the mix? Who else could you ask for?

Send us an email at [email protected] if you’re interested in commissioning your own customized, magical Harry Potter pet portrait. The Potter shop design is available for order at any time.

Want even more pet paintings in your life? Follow our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages to enjoy the newest and best Splendid Beast pet paintings.

5 dogs playing poker painting

Poker Playing Dogs Paintings & more!

Paintings of dogs playing poker have been around for a long time, popularized in the early 1900’s with the recognizable “A Friend in Need” painting…but what about cats playing poker paintings? Or paintings of cats and dogs playing poker together? Or even horses playing poker?

Fortunately, Splendid Beast is here to answer this call. We’ve done everything from solo pets to 8 pets playing poker together!

Here are some Splendid duos to start it off:

two dogs playing cards

2 dogs playing poker together

You’ll quickly begin to see how various additions and changes to these portraits can make them much more personalized.

Customizing the poker playing Beasts

Visits to the Old West (and further) are not out of the question. What better place to find poker playing dogs?

two dogs playing poker in old west saloon

Sometimes those poker playing pets like to dress up for the occasion as well.

dog and cat playing poker

But there’s always room for more poker playing dogs and cats!

3 dogs and a cat gambling and drinking

Sometimes their humans like to join in as well..

owner holding cat playing poker painting

They’re quite the dapper looking group of poker pets.

5 cats playing poker in costume

owner playing poker with his pets

But most of the time, there’s no room for humans! We can really pack in the poker dogs, poker cats, horses?

2 horses, 2 cats, and 2 dogs playing poker5 dogs playing poker painting4 cats and dog playing poker poker playing pets in costume 5 dogs at a table with games and drinks

6 dogs at a table with cards

8 dogs play cards together

Sometimes, a poker dog’s best friend is just 7 more of himself! Because why not?

The OG Splendid poker pets

Here’s a few more of our favorite poker playing dogs and poker playing cats paintings from previous years:

coolidge dogs painting

A Splendid Beast oldie but goldie. Based on the original “A Friend in Need”, this was the first poker dogs painting that we ever made. Not a single one has been the same over the years, so each has their own unique flavor and design changes.

cats playing poker

dogs and cats playing poker

There will never be a shortage of poker playing pets to make paintings out of, so we’ll update this page with new portraits as we create them!

Want your own pet painting depicting a poker battle for the ages? Order your own custom pet painting or pick from our list of template pet paintings! You can also email us with your idea directly by clicking here.

The 7 Best Ways To Honor Your Pet’s Memory

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It’s never easy to say goodbye to a beloved dog or cat. These special creatures spend their lives showering us with unconditional love. It can be absolutely devastating when they leave us to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

To help you get through the difficult period that follows the loss of a beloved animal, make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to grieve. Your pet wasn’t just a dog or a cat, it was a member of your family and one of your best friends. You may also want to find a way to honor your pet’s life and the special bond the two of you shared. If so, the following are seven of the best ways to do that.

1. Have a Memorial Service

Holding a simple memorial service for your pet can provide closure for your grieving family, especially for children. In fact, it’s not unusual for kids to need a goodbye ritual, such as a memorial service.[1]  For some children, it’s a way to let their beloved pets know that while they may be gone, they won’t be forgotten. A memorial ceremony does not need to be elaborate. Just saying a few simple words by your pet’s final resting spot can bring some much-needed peace to everyone’s broken hearts.

2. Dedicate a Space in Your Home to Your Pet’s Memory

Does your house feel empty without your constant companion by your side? Then, set aside a space in your home where you can display something that will remind you of your fur child. Some people, for example, will have a beautiful painting commissioned of their pet and hang it in a place of prominence. Other owners will use their pet’s collar to create a tribute to their beloved dog or cat.

One popular idea? Placing the collar around a pet’s water bowl and repurposing the set as a planter/memorial. Other owners prefer to use the collar to frame a small picture of their pet, which they can hang on a wall.

3. Volunteer or Foster a Pet

If you miss your pet, but are not quite ready to get another dog or cat, consider volunteering in a shelter or fostering a rescue animal. Not only will you be helping a homeless soul in need, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the love of an animal once more.

honor your pets memory

4. Plant a Living Memorial

Pay tribute to your pet’s memory by planting a lovely tree in its honor. This is an especially fitting memorial if you will be burying your pet or its ashes on your property. The tree can serve as a living grave marker and will grow into a beautiful reminder of the bond you once shared with your pet.

5. Create a Memory Book

You probably have plenty of pictures of your pet on your phone or maybe online, but do you have many printed copies? If not, consider creating a beautiful photo book dedicated to the memory of your pet.

6. Keep Your Pet Close to Your Heart

Before your pet passes away, clip a bit of its fur to remember it. You can then place that fur in a locket that you can wear close to your heart.

7. Honor Your Pet With a Public Memorial

Did your dog love to play with tennis balls or was a regular at the local dog park? Then consider donating something that will honor that special side of your pet. For example, if your canine loved to take wild romps at the dog park, leave a water bowl with your pet’s name on it for others to use in the park.

Or you can do what one lady in Scotland did. She left boxes of tennis balls and tug-of-war ropes at several locations around her home. The woman also left a picture of her beloved dog who had passed away, with a note that read, “Please take a treat for your own furry pal, and treasure every minute you have with them. There are never enough.”[2] 

Preserving Our Love

When a pet dies, its body may be gone, but the love that you shared will always be in your heart. These seven tribute acts will also help to preserve the memory of your shared love.

Author bio: Stephanie N. Blahut is Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for Figo Pet Insurance. Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans.

Be sure to check out our shop or send us an email if you’d like to commission a portrait. These are often ordered as memorial pieces and make a great way to remember your pet.



how to get a puppy sleep through the night

Help Your New Puppy Sleep Through the Night

Puppy sleep cycles are much like that of a newborn sleeping in short naps throughout the 24-hour cycle. However, around six to eight weeks your puppy may start sleeping in longer stretches throughout the night. The thing is that your puppy will need comfort, praise, and a little routine to help them not only sleep through the night but sleep soundly enough to not keep you awake. Here are three ways to help your new puppy sleep through the night.

Guest post by Krista Harper

Introduce a white noise machine

There are a lot of noise distractions at night. From neighbors talking loudly and insects chirping to far-off emergency vehicle sirens. You can bet that your new puppy and their seemingly supersonic hearing (unless you are calling them of course) will hear and respond to everything. While this helps your puppy turn into a good guard dog in the future, their ability to hear also keeps them up at night. A white noise machine will provide a blended sound by producing all the frequencies at the same soothing tone. This aids in reducing background noise as well as your puppy’s anxiety over what is making the noise.

Let your puppy sleep with you through the night

Research has shown that when you sleep with your pet you are more prone to have a better night of sleep. Cuddling up with your pet at night provides warmth, comfort, and the security your puppy needs to relax and feel safe. People and puppies are both social creatures and inherently require a degree of affection which is often displayed when touched. So, cuddling with your puppy at night and stroking her fur is a great way to calm her into sleep which should last all night.

how to help your puppy sleep through the night

If you have a puppy that moves around a lot or wags their tail in your face you may need to move your puppy once they are asleep, but typically your puppy will be in a deep enough sleep that moving them won’t wake them.

Go outside before bedtime

Going outside before bedtime helps in two ways. First, playing outside for at least thirty minutes will allow your puppy enough time to go potty before bedtime. This is important because as a puppy your pet is still trying to learn where to go potty. This often results in accidents strewn about the home and potentially in your bed. Relieving their self at night helps your puppy sleep without potty disruptions. Secondly, while your puppy has a ton of energy, it may not last long before they need to replenish their energy stores. Exercise before bed is a great way to exhaust your puppy which will naturally help them to sleep better and deeper.

There are a lot of reasons why a puppy may not sleep through the night. Much of this can be related to natural sleep cycles that create their wake-sleep routine. However, as your puppy ages they will begin to sleep longer and deeper through the night unless there are stimulants such as stress and anxiety, potty breaks, and noise. Trying to reduce these stimulants will help your pet relax during bedtime and be comfortable and secure enough to sleep until morning.

For the opposite end of the spectrum: Do you have an older pet to care for? See our guest blog post here about senior pet care!

traveling with your dog

Fun Activities To Do While Traveling With Pets

Nowadays, dogs are as much a part of the family as anybody else. Therefore, it makes sense to include them in your plans while traveling with pets. At the end of the day, just like you, they also need a break from everyday life. Naturally, you want your 4-legged best friend to have the best of times during the trip. This means that you have to plan out pet-friendly activities that you will engage in while you are away from home.

Before you hit the road, it is vital to make sure you get everything you need to make the trip as comfortable as possible. Sites like can help you pick some of the best harnesses, food, and other essential products for the journey. When you are all set, here are some ideas you can explore when searching for fun activities to enjoy while traveling with pets.

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  1. Walk Around Historic Cities and Towns

Exploring new places with your pet is one of the activities recommended while traveling with pets. It is one of the great ways to bond as you look at buildings and learn about the rich history of various places. It is also convenient because you will be doing this outdoors, hence the issue of the mutt being allowed in will not come up. This is also great because your pet will get some beneficial physical exercise as well while you are walking around.


  1. Teach Your Canine a New Trick

traveling with pets

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This will only be possible if you are close to your pet, say if you are in a car or boat while traveling. Rather than let the mutt get bored before getting to your pet outings destination, it may be time to teach them something new. Remember to always observe safety first regardless of what you are doing to avoid problems.


  1. Feast on a Gourmet Meal

Surprising the taste buds of your dogs is something else you can consider while traveling with pets. Do some research to identify a restaurant you can pull over to that offers gourmet meals for your tail-wagger. If you cannot locate one, you can prepare the meal before you leave. Look up recipes online and make a special meal that mutt will enjoy during pet outings.


  1. Play a Game

If you will be on a long trip, the chances of getting bored on the way are pretty high. You can spice this up by playing games en-route your pet outings. It does not have to be anything complicated just something that will make sure everyone has a good time while traveling. You can even get a new toy that will distract your mutt before you get to the location.


  1. Sing-Along and Dance to Music

activities for dogs while traveling

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This is a practical idea when you are using a car for your pet outings. Blast the radio (but not too loud) and dance and sing along to tunes that you both love. Make sure you talk your travel mate calling it by its name often. This way, it will participate willingly in this going-on. Remember to have breaks often where the mutt can get out of the car to relieve itself and stretch its legs to ensure it is comfortable all through.


  1. Pack Treats

Munching on treats can also be considered a fun past time for dogs when you are on the move. It is something that keeps them occupied doing something that they love. It can keep your mutt still for hours so that you do not even have to worry about entertaining it.



Leaving your dogs behind as you travel can be heart breaking. Hopefully, you have picked up on some exciting activities above you can try out while traveling with pets to have the best of times.


For more information, also see our post about Moving Your Pet to a New Home.

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