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Recap of Blogpaws 2015


We’ve made it back from a week in Nashville, Tennessee and we’re more exhausted upon our return than when we left! BlogPaws, for those who don’t know, is an organization of pet writers and bloggers who get together to celebrate their work, their pets and to see like-minded individuals. We were able to attend this annual event thanks to a sponsorship from MARS petcare, who sponsored the event.

First, the highlights. PetsWeekly received our first Nose-To-Nose award as “Best Unconventional Blog”! This is a huge honor for us. When we were asked to explain why we had won the best unconventional award, my only thought is because “we value individuality.” While we’re a part of the pack, we don’t feel obligated to follow the pack. That’s not what I said when I accepted it, because I was so surprised we won, but that’s what I meant.

The award came with a $500 donation for the rescue of our choice. This is an unrestricted donation – they can use it for veterinarian bills, feed, or any other item. Since we were nominated for our horse section, I let Katriona (our newest equine writer/specialist) to choose the rescue. She selected Arizona Equine Rescue Organization who devotes themselves to the care and rescue of large animals. They also have a large education component to their rescue, so it fits our mission perfectly!

 A very big “thank you” to BlogPaws and Mars for letting us be there to accept this award!

[note style=”5″ icon=”yes” class=”template-style”]Note: Our trip was sponsored by Mars Pet Care.[/note]

We flew in a day early to tour the new energy-efficient Mars campus in Nashville. This brand new $110 million gold LEED-certified campus serves as their Global Center of Excellence for dry cat and dog food. We’ll be talking about this amazing facility in depth during the next week, so stay tuned! For now, let me just say I’m very impressed with all that they’ve done.

We always learn a lot at Blogpaws. It’s a conference devoted to making us better writers, more creative bloggers, and is designed to give us the opportunity to connect with important brands that are devoted to making the lives of pets better.

The 39,904 square ft.Quality & Innovation Center houses research and development associates working in an office setting, in addition to a state-of-the-art microbiological and analytical laboratory.

• New technologies and products will be developed and produced on a small scale at the 56,589 square ft.Product Development Center before full-scale production is implemented throughout the company’s manufacturing network.

• The 28,461 square ft. Pet Feeding Centeris where the pets will live. It has unique circular kennels where dogs will live in pairs, as well as indoor/outdoor play areas for resident dogs and cats.

• The 10,302 square ft. Learning Center features an interactive learning environment and Mars history museum for guests. The Learning Center also includes space for focus groups, a conference center, workout room and break areas for Associates.

One of the things I’m very excited about is receiving a Wisdom Panel DNA Test kit from Mars. We’ve always wondered what breed Cheiss is (or which breeds make up his DNA) and now we’ll be able to find out. We’ve filled out the information, swabbed his cheeks and sent off the info. The results will take about three weeks, but I think we’ll have a contest to see what you think the results will turn up! Stay tuned!

We spent a lot of time in the exhibits, which featured foods, treats, and fun products. Attending these events helps gives us tips (which we can then relay to you) on how to be better pet parents.

For example, Greenies taught us some quick and easy tips on how to brush your pet’s teeth. We were able to talk to directly to the source of ingredient suppliers for Pedigree and we were able to meet with the CEO of Mars and ask him some very important questions.

Blogpaws also allows plenty of time for socialization, and we sure took advantage of that perk! We even took a night to go into town and see the sites – guess who sang a song to me? Yep, Johnny Cash. (Okay, not the real Johnny Cash, but he looks and sounds just like him!)


We also got to meet some pretty amazing cats. One of them is Sophie. {vineembed align=’right’ url=’https://vine.co/v/ehBtAbdLK6v’viewtype=’postcard’ resolution=’300′ /}https://vine.co/v/ehBtAbdLK6v

Our amazing keynote was a highlight. Peter Shankman kept the large crowd laughing as he discussed the importance of authenticity and giving you guys what you want. We’re going to be putting all of his advice in action this year.

The second day featured a panel entitled, “So, You Want to be a Pet Celebrity” and was hosted by our friends, Sandy Robins, Harrison Forbes and Laura Nativo. They had some fantastic advice and it’s knowledge we’ll be using for a long time. (Tip: The key to success is not being afraid to ask for what you want, and making sure you grab all opportunities as they come up!).

Finally, we were able to spend some quality time with friends, new and old. As you can see, there were plenty of opportunities to socialize and we met hundreds of new friends! t’s one of the best places in the world to meet like-minded folks and we’re so happy that Mars Pet Care was able to sponsor our attendance.

In the end, we had a wonderful time and met some amazing people! We want to thank the amazing and talented team of BlogPaws for bringing together so many of “our people” in one location, the Sheraton in Music City for hosting the event and tolerating over 100 animals in their facility, and Mars Pet Care who made our trip possible.

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