How Dogs (and Dog Lovers) Are Helping Out During the COVID-19 Pandemic

To paraphrase a famous saying, “When the going gets ‘ruff,’ the ‘ruff’ get going.” As the world comes together to combat the global pandemic, these pups and canine enthusiasts are stepping up to the challenge and helping out in all kinds of ways. From encouraging social distancing by delivering groceries and wine to providing free temporary housing, these dogs and dog lovers are making a huge difference in their communities.

RVs 4 MDs and RVshare Offer Free Temporary Housing For Healthcare Workers

A Healthcare Worker Stays in an RV With Her Dog.

This healthcare worker is sheltering with her dog in a donated RV. – Photo by Facebook.com/lwrinn

A Facebook group called RVs 4 MDs has connected RV and camper owners with nurses, doctors and staff members across the nation who have been exposed to COVID-19. By providing them with a safe place to stay while isolating, the group has allowed healthcare workers on the front lines to move from spending their nights in tents outside to sleeping comfortably in an RV. RVs 4 MDs is working with the dog-friendly company, RVshare, who has waived all of its fees for the group’s participants in an effort to recruit more RV owners. RVshare also has an RV Relief Program, in which owners can offer their motorhomes to those in need. It’s a unique and crucial way to support healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly to care for coronavirus patients. And they don’t have to leave their furry friends behind.

Sundance the Grocery-Delivering Golden Retriever

Sundance the Golden Retriever Delivers Groceries to His Neighbor.

Sundance also delivers mail to his mom. – Photo by Facebook.com/sundancethegoldenretriever

A Golden Retriever named Sundance has been delivering groceries to his 71-year-old neighbor, Renee Hellman, who is self-quarantining in Manitou Springs, CO. Hellman is especially vulnerable to COVID-19, since she suffers from chronic pulmonary disease. Her longtime neighbor, Karen Eveleth, wanted to help out and trained Sundance to come to her aid. Sundance’s friendly nature (and a few duck jerky treats) motivates him to be a good samaritan and go fetch Ms. Hellman’s shopping list, and then retrieve her groceries and cooked meals.

Medical Detection Dogs Hope to Sniff Out COVID-19

Six Portraits of Medical Detection Dogs Learning to Sniff Out Coronavirus.

These four-legged heroes could potentially save thousands of lives. – Photo by @medicaldetectiondogs

Trainers at Medical Detection Dogs in the United Kingdom believe COVID-19’s effects on the human immune system will produce a unique scent that dogs will be able to detect. The pups might also be able to single out individuals with fevers as a result of the novel coronavirus. And have no fear, the furry heroes will not be exposed to any infected people or materials. Once the dogs are trained, they will be able to detect the smell of ill individuals without having any physical contact. Although the research is still in its earliest phase, if these disease-sniffing canines are successfully trained to detect COVID-19 infection in individuals, they could be placed in airports to screen travelers and help slow the spread of the virus.

Rescuing Pups of COVID-19 Patients in NYC

A Man in Personal Protective Equipment Poses With the Dog of a Covid-19 Patient.

Just one of New York’s real-life masked superheroes. – Photo by Facebook.com/NYCACC

Animal Care Centers of NYC’s officers have saved several pets’ lives whose owners were sick with the novel coronavirus. One poor pup was left home alone when her owner was admitted to the hospital for suspected COVID-19. The woman was so worried about her pet that she was threatening to leave the hospital until Animal Rescue Specialist Feraz was on the case. Wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE), Feraz went and retrieved apartment keys from the concerned pet parent and immediately went to get the unattended canine. He then transferred her to ASPCA for boarding while her dog mom focuses on recovering. The Animal Care Centers of NYC urges pet owners to have a plan for your pets in case you get sick.

If you’re in New York City and have a virus-related pet issue, call the NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline at (877) 204-8821.

Distance Healing and “Paws On Learning” from Surf Dog Ricochet

Surf Dog Ricochet is lending a paw with virtual video conferencing and learning.

“I’m virtually irresistible!” – Photo by Facebook.com/SurfDogRicochet

Surf Dog Ricochet is a bona fide hero. This gnarly canine not only surfs, but is also a licensed therapy dog who has helped kids with special needs, people with disabilities, wounded warriors and veterans with PTSD learn to surf as a form of therapy, assistance, healing and empowerment​.

These days, Ricochet is taking her incredible powers online. Anyone struggling, depressed, scared or overwhelmed by the pandemic can reach out via FaceTime or videoconferencing for virtual canine therapy or distance healing. And to help kids stay entertained in a fun and educational way while they’re at home, Ricochet has introduced “paws on learning.” The free one-on-one sessions include video chats, virtual surfing, reading, dog tricks and more. You can browse and download an activity book and other fun materials here.

Soda Pup the Wine Delivery Dog

A Senior Citizen Pets Soda Pup the Wine Delivery Dog.

Boxer wine. – Photo by Facebook.com/Stone-House-Urban-Winery

In Hagerstown, MD, the owners of Stone House Urban Winery enlisted the help of their 11-year-old brindle Boxer, Soda Pup, to deliver wine to customers and encourage social distancing during the pandemic. He’s been on the scene at the winery for a while, entertaining guests during wine tastings. But now, wearing a special harness backpack, Soda’s dedicated to the important task of wine delivery. Treats as tips are accepted. Oh, and if it’s raining, you may want to delay your pickup. Soda Pup refuses to leave the front porch during wet weather.

Watch Soda in action here:

Divine Canines and Bailey the Therapy Hound Offer Virtual Therapy Visits

A Bassett Hound Offers Virtual Therapy Visits From a Laptop.

Somebody is looking her best for her therapy dog e-visits! – Photo by @baileythetherapyhound

In Austin, TX, one therapy dog organization is now offering virtual visits during the pandemic. Divine Canines is a Central Texas volunteer group with more than a dozen canines who’ve experimented with teletherapy. Bailey the Therapy Hound, a paralyzed Bassett Hound living with IVDD, is one of those pup volunteers taking time to meet with clients via web conferencing. People can schedule their appointments online if they just want to see Bailey, or she can even read them their favorite story. The service has been especially helpful for people who are feeling lonely during this time and for kids who love dogs and need a welcome distraction. Divine Canines believes that live video conferencing will remain in their portfolio of therapy options even after the pandemic, so dogs can continue help anyone who is in need of a little happiness.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as How Dogs (and Dog Lovers) Are Helping Out During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The 8 Best Subscription Boxes Delivered to Your Doggy Door

Subscription services are all the rage these days, with everything from designer clothes to ugly vegetables showing up on doorsteps around the country. They’re wildly popular with canine customers as well. After all, what dog wouldn’t enjoy a monthly surprise packed full of healthy food, unusual treats and inventive toys? To help you pick the right one for your pup, we take a closer look at eight of the best subscription boxes for dogs.

1. BarkBox

A Yorkie Sits Beside Her Barkbox Subscription for Dogs.

“Heaven in box form!” – Photo by @pennythe.yorkie

The grandaddy of canine subscription services, BarkBox is crammed full of customized toys and treats for your pup. Each month, Fido receives a totally unique and customizable box. If he doesn’t like the look or smell of something, you can change the assortment and quantity of everything inside. Select specific toys for your pup’s preference and flavors of snacks by contacting a member of the Happy Team. Where will this month’s theme transport you?

BarkBox monthly subscriptions start at $22.

2. The Farmer’s Dog

Overhead Shot of a Bowl of Food Beside a Pair of White Dog Paws.

“Paws” for thought. – Photo by Facebook.com/thefarmersdog

Brett Podolsky’s pup, Jada, was suffering from stomach problems. Instead of buying veterinarian recommended dog food, he prepared it himself using the same ingredients, only fresh. As if by magic, Jada’s stomach issues were solved and The Farmer’s Dog was born. Get real food, made fresh, straight to your door with a personalized meal plan for your furry foodie.

The Farmer’s Dog plans start at $2 per day.

3. The Dapper Dog Box

Six Goldendoodles Sit on the Porch With Several Dapper Dog Boxes.

“What’s in your box?” – Photo by Facebook.com/TheDapperDogBox

Dogs in bandanas! Now that we have your attention, The Dapper Dog Box is a themed monthly subscription box containing two healthy bags of treats or chews and two adorable toys. What sets this box apart from similar subscriptions is the fabulous bandana inside. When he ventures back outside, Fido can be the talk of the dog park with a designer neckerchief that fits each month’s theme to “paw-fection.” As an added bonus, one dollar from every order goes to helping local rescues.

The Dapper Dog Box monthly box starts at $35.

4. Bark Bright

A Dog Takes a Treat From a Bark Bright Subscription Box.

“Do they make these for humans, too? Asking for a friend.” – Photo by Facebook.com/bright.by.bark

For the equivalent of just one dollar a day, you can rid your household of dodgy doggy breath. Bark Bright contains a month’s supply of dental sticks and a tube of triple enzymatic dental gel. Squeeze the gel onto the wide edge of the delicious chicken dental stick and let your pooch do what she does best, chow down! The stick scrubs debris off the teeth and the enzymes break it down, leading to a fresher mouth and improved dental hygiene.

Bark Bright’s monthly subscription starts at $30.

5. PupBox

A Dog Sits in a Truck Bed With a PupBox Subscription Box.

“Can I open it yet?” – Photo by Facebook.com/PupBox

Puppies are cute, but they can be a real handful if you don’t know what you’re doing. PupBox is here to help. This jam-packed service for puppy parents doesn’t just contain fun and appropriate toys, treats and accessories for your little bundle of fur. It also includes step-by-step training information on everything from chewing on shoes to potty training.

PupBox monthly subscription starts at $29.

6. Super Chewer

A Boston Jumps to Catch a Toy From the Super Chewer Subscription Box.

“Mine!” – Photo by Beth Shoemaker Photography

Brought to you by the makers of BarkBox, Super Chewer is for canines who need something a little more durable. Each month, your pooch will receive two tough toys, two bags of delicious treats and two all-natural meaty chews made in the USA. It also made our list of best gifts for active dogs.

Check out our office dogs, Mac and Bagel, unboxing their March Super Chewer box!

Super Chewer monthly subscriptions start at $29.

7. Grocery Pup

A White Dog Sits Between Bags of Food From the Grocery Pup Subscription Service.

“All for me?” – Photo by Facebook.com/GroceryPupTX

Bringing the magic of sous vide cuisine to your dog’s bowl, Grocery Pup aims to fill your pooch’s belly with fresh, real food. Using only non-GMO veggies and USDA meats, the Austin-based dog food specialists vacuum-seal the food and cook it sous vide for two hours. The process kills pathogens but retains all the nutrients needed for a healthy and balanced diet. The bags of frozen food are then delivered to your door, ready to defrost in 30 minutes.

Grocery Pup’s meal plans start at $22.50 a week.

8. Greenwell Pet

A Puppy Sits Beside a Greenwell Pet Subscription Box.

“Health and wellness is so hot right now.” – Photo by Facebook.com/GreenwellPet

Greenwell Pet offers curated boxes of treats, oils, grooming products and a toy to help your dog lead a long and happy life. Inside, Fido will find at least two CBD products and up to five other items, including goodies made with earth-friendly materials.

Greenwell Pet monthly subscriptions start at $39.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as The 8 Best Subscription Boxes Delivered to Your Doggy Door.

Pet, Flicks and Chill: The 10 Best Dog Movies and Series on Netflix

Draw the curtains, prepare the “pup-corn” and chill with your best friend for movie nights every night. Fido may not be able to enjoy the latest flicks at the local drive-in right now, but he can still be entertained by the biggest four-legged names in the business. This barking selection of unbelievable canine movies and series now streaming on Netflix will leave you laughing, crying and begging for more.

1. Dogs

Zeus is one of the hero dogs featured on Netflix's Dogs.

“Bravo, Zeus!” – Photo by @netflixdogs

Dogs change lives for the better every single day, and this touching series demonstrates just how much they do for us. Delve into the unbreakable bond between canines and their caregivers on this emotional rollercoaster. Learn all about Rory and his doodle pals who can sense seizures; the risky plan to reunite a refugee with his long-lost Husky, Zeus; and how shelter dogs in Costa Rica and America live life before finding a home. Over the six episodes, you’ll laugh, cry and fall completely in love with the four-legged cast of this life-affirming “dogu-series.”

The first season of “Dogs” is available now on Netflix. The streaming service has confirmed that the “pup-ular” show will be returning for a second season.

2. White Fang

White Fang is an animated series now streaming on Netflix.

White Paw! – Photo by Facebook.com/Bidibulproductions

This animated version of Jack London’s classic short story will help ease Fido’s boredom and transport you both on an epic adventure through the early 20th century Canadian Yukon. Directed by Oscar winner Alexandre Espigares “White Fang” tells the story of a wolfdog who must overcome desperate situations and evil villains to find his way from the snowy wilderness to the loving family he’s always longed for. The unique style of animation adopted by the French creators of the film brings the hardy characters to life and paints the poignant classic in vivid detail for Netflix’s audiences.

If you’re a Jack London fan, read our interview with motion capture artist Terry Notary, who played the role of Buck in the recently released family adventure, “The Call of the Wild.”

3. To Be Of Service

A clip from the Netflix Movie "To Be Of Service."

Hero’s best friend. – Photo by Facebook.com/tobeofservicefilm

More than 500,000 American Veterans suffer from PTSD. For many returning soldiers, adjusting to regular life after being in a war zone is an uphill struggle. “To Be Of Service” explores their road to recovery and how dogs can help by walking by their side, completing tasks and providing life-changing service. To the outside world, it’s not always clear that somebody is suffering from PTSD. This emotional movie shows how a soldier’s best friend can help with invisible afflictions, too.

4. Benji

Benji, the classic dog movie, is now available on Netflix.

Have you seen Benji? – Photo by Facebook.com/GenuineBenji

Have you ever imagined Kevin Mcallister with four paws and a scraggly mane? It’s up to Benji, a street dog with a heart of gold, to rescue two of his best friends from kidnappers. Our four-legged protagonist pushes dumpsters as well as boundaries when it comes to saving the day in this stirring story.

5. The Healing Powers of Dude

"The Healing Powers of Dude" tackles a sensitive subject with grace.

Dude, where’s my anxiety? – Photo by Facebook.com/TheHealingPowersofDudeNetflix

Navigating the world of middle school can be overwhelming, especially if you suffer from social anxiety disorder like Noah. Thankfully, scruffy pup and failed service dog Dude is adopted to calm him down, walk by his side and narrate from the canine point of view in “The Healing Powers of Dude.” More sensitive dog lovers may be keen to point out that Dude’s behavior in the show isn’t exactly regular protocol for an emotional support animal, but the bond between the pair makes up for his lack of professionalism. As an added bonus, the humorous special effects bring Noah’s daily struggles to life and make the sensitive topic approachable.

6. Bolt

A clip from the animated movie "Bolt."

Bolt found his fur-ever home. – Photo by Facebook.com/DisneyBolt

Bolt” takes method acting to the next level. The adorable American White Shepherd believes his on-screen role as a heroic superhero is real and has to adapt quickly when he’s lost in the real world without any actual powers. With the help of streetwise alley cat Mittens, Bolt strides out on a coast-to-coast adventure from The Big Apple to Hollywood. This animated adventure is full of laughs provided by Bolt’s attempts at using his non-existent powers and the growing friendship between the pair. This one shouldn’t be missed!

7. The Secret Life of Pets 2

The humans who made "The Secret Life of Pets 2" come to life.

Meet the human cast of “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” – Photo by Facebook.com/SecretLifeOfPets

The Secret Life of Pets answered the question every pet owner has asked himself: what does my pet get up to when I’m not around? The sequel continues the journey deep into the psyche of domesticated animals and their classified lives behind closed doors. Tune in to witness cats teaching dogs how to be cats, cows pretending to be dogs and a bunny rabbit superhero in this fun-filled animated flick from the studio that brought you “Despicable Me” and “Sing.”

8. Pup Star

"Pup Star" is a family-friendly dog movie now on Netflix.

Pups and peeps. – Photo by Facebook.com/pupstarmovie

Singing sensation Tiny the Yorkie is kidnapped. After escaping, she goes on a musical adventure to find home, friends and her true voice. What Pup Star lacks in quality, it makes up for in cringeworthy dog puns. During the movie, kids can sing along, but everybody else may want to bring earplugs. Fans will be pleased to know there are three more “squeak-quels” available on Netflix: Pup Star: Better 2Gether, Pup Star World Tour and Puppy Star Christmas.

9. Patrick

"Patrick" is a dog movie that tells the story of a mischievous Pug.

“I’m pretty fly for a small, wrinkly guy.” – Photo by Facebook.com/PugActually

Patrick” tells the familiar tale of a dog tumbling into a human lap and spinning her life upside down. Sarah has been abandoned by her boyfriend, and she’s feeling pretty down. Enter mischievous Patrick the Pug to become the companion she never knew she needed. The wrinkly faced lead’s “pugly” performance somewhat rescues a plot that’s more fluff than fiber.

10. Russell Madness

"Russell Madness" is a fun dog movie about wrestling.

“Tag me in!” – Photo by Facebook.com/RussellMadness

The one thing that street dog Russell wants more than anything is to find a family who loves him. He’s overjoyed to stumble into the Ferraros, who are in the midst of reviving their grandad’s wrestling organization. Russell has the chops to make it as a canine wrestler, as long as he can stick to the strict training regime set out by his inexplicably primate coach, Hunk. Wrestling fans might get a kick out of “Russell Madness,” but don’t tell your friends at PETA that you’re watching a movie about dog fighting, even if it is in a family comedy.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as Pet, Flicks and Chill: The 10 Best Dog Movies and Series on Netflix.

Armchair Travel With Fido: 12 Virtual Vacations to Take With Your Dog

While you’re at home practicing social distancing with your dog, your wanderlust may be stronger than ever. Fortunately, these stunning pet-friendly hotels and attractions invite you to visit them from the comfort of your couch. Grab some treats and your laptop or mobile device, and snuggle up with your furry friend while you go on a virtual vacation around the globe!

Adventure in the Outdoors

A dog and his human visit Grand Canyon National Park

“One day, I’ll be a Bark Ranger.” – Photo by @katiedidx3

Grand Canyon National Park

The National Park Service does an amazing job with its Grand Canyon National Park virtual tours. Explore Grand Canyon National Park with your dog by your side on the Grand Canyon Archeology Virtual Tour, take an online rafting trip down the Colorado River, or hike to Phantom Ranch without leaving the house. By the time you visit the Grand Canyon with your pup in tow, you’ll feel right at home!

Niagara Falls State Park

Has Fido visited one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world? Leashed dogs are welcome on the trails and paths at Niagara Falls State Park. But you can admire the iconic cascades at any time with this live cam, which shows the view from the Canadian side of the landmark.

U.S. National Arboretum

With more than 400 acres of gardens, the National Arboretum is a pet-friendly oasis in the nation’s capital. While you and your best friend may not be able to visit the Friendship Garden together, you can both settle in and watch for Bald Eagles with the arboretum’s Eagle Cam.

Yellowstone National Park

Plan your next adventure while taking a virtual visit with your pup to Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park. Marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers along trails and main attractions of Yellowstone with the online virtual tours from the NPS. The tours also include additional information about visiting in-person.

For more virtual adventures in the great outdoors, check out The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks by Google Earth.

Attractions

Bring Your Dog on a Pet-Friendly Walking Tour at Mount Vernon.

Ace impersonating his noble pawfathers. – Photo by BringFido

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Dogs are welcome to visit George Washington’s tomb, the stables, the gardens, and dozens of other outdoor areas on the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate year-round. And now they can finally tour the inside of the historic home of George and Martha Washington, located along the Potomac River just 15 miles south of Washington, D.C. The Mount Vernon virtual tour includes interesting and educational anecdotes about the architecture, artwork and technology in the home of America’s first president. It’s sure to pique your interest in planning a real-life visit soon.

San Diego Zoo

Located in dog-friendly Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo is one of the world’s most popular zoos. Animal lovers can visit the zoo virtually via live cams where you and Fido can check out several species like baboons, tigers, polar bears and more. If you’re homeschooling or want to have some fun learning more about animals, the zoo also offers pre-recorded videos and fun arts and crafts activities on its website. If your virtual visit to the zoo inspires you to start planning a real-life adventure to “America’s Finest City,” be sure to check out our Ruff Guide to San Diego before you go.

Volunteer Park Conservatory

This historic greenhouse in Seattle’s dog-friendly Volunteer Park is giving visitors a virtual sneak peek while it is temporarily closed to the public. Bring the lush gardens into your home, get a full dose of plant therapy and learn horticultural tips from the gardeners during the daily tours inside the Victorian glasshouse. The Volunteer Park Conservatory live streams on Instagram each day at 2 p.m. PDT.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Get to know Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, during an online visit to his Charlottesville, VA home. You can tour the estate through a paid live virtual tour or through free, unguided virtual tours in 360-degree panoramas. After you’ve explored the inside via the internet, plan a return visit in the fall to explore the dog-friendly grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello at the peak of autumn foliage color.

Hotels

Two dogs visit The Broadmoor, a pet-friendly hotel in Colorado Springs.

Living the Rocky Mountain high life. – Photo by @ellieandtate

The Broadmoor

Located in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor provides an array of opportunities for you and your pooch to explore the picturesque mountains, streams and canyons that surround the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort. Check out the pet-friendly hotel’s webcams to view live footage of the resort, Cloud Camp at The Broadmoor, and Seven Falls.

San Cassiano Ca Favretto

Visit Venice’s legendary Grand Canal from the balcony of a historic 14th century residence. The pet-friendly San Cassiano Ca Favretto is located in the heart of Italy’s “floating city” and combines old-world luxury with modern amenities. Enjoy the view from its live cam with your morning espresso!

Hotel del Coronado

Just across the bay from San Diego, this beautiful oceanfront hotel lies minutes away from one of the best dog beaches on the West Coast. There are four webcams at the pet-friendly Hotel del Coronado that offer views of the surf, sand and sunshine. Rumor has it that the hotel is haunted, so you may even catch a glimpse of the Beautiful Stranger strolling in front of the webcam!

Sea Crest Beach Hotel

Soak in the sweeping views from Sea Crest Beach Hotel on Old Silver Beach in Cape Cod via its webcam. The dog-friendly hotel boasts a private beach, seasonal water sport rentals, tennis courts, dining and dancing. Daydream about vacationing on the Cape like a Kennedy later this summer while you pet your pup and stare at the waves crashing on your screen.

This post from BringFido originally appeared as Armchair Travel With Fido: 12 Virtual Vacations to Take With Your Dog.