I launched Keep the Tail Wagging six years ago as an outlet for my love of two littermate puppies and changed the focus of my blog to raw feeding in April 2014 when I realized that I wasn't the only one who was struggling with DIY raw feeding.  Thanks to you, Keep the Tail Wagging® has grown into a growing blog about raw feeding.

I don't just blog about raw feeding, I'm learning about raw feeding and thanks to the community, I've grown from premade raw and base mixes to DIY raw.  I've expanded my dogs' diet to include whole raw.  And this year, I'm excited to learn how to analyze my dogs' diet.  But it's not all about me and in order for me to stay on top of the game with my blog, I asked for feedback on what you'd like to learn and 200 people (let's hope for more next time) responded.

While recent studies have shown that the number of pet ownership by Millenials is growing while the number of pet ownership by Baby Boomers is decreasing, this change isn't reflected in Keep the Tail Wagging® readers.

  • 25-34 14%
  • 35-44 14%
  • 45-54 28%
  • Over 54 41%
  • United States 80%
  • United Kingdom 6%
  • Canada 6%
  • Australia 3%
  • Other 5%

I confirmed this with my blog's analytics and most of my readers do reside in the United States.

Your feedback to your feedback, I've made some changes to my blog that I'm really excited about and will allow me to expand in different areas:

I'll be reducing the number of times I publish each week.  I used to publish a new blog post 4-5 days a week; now it'll be 2-3 days a week.  This gives me more time to make videos and write my second book.

I'll be sharing more raw feeding recipes for dogs.  I'll continue to post recipes on EasyRawDogFoodRecipes.com, on this blog, you'll also see recipes for treats and DIY products with essential oils.

Check out this groovy graphic that I made that shares all the other things I learned about Keep the Tail Wagging® readers.

8th Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

 

Each year, the website Go Pet Friendly, a travel blog for dog lovers, hosts a challenge for pet bloggers and this will be my sixth time participating.  I get a kick out of answering the questions and hope to inspire more people to blog about their passion.

For those who may be visiting your blog for the first time, how long have you been blogging and what is your main topic?

Keep the Tail Wagging® is a personal blog about feeding a raw food diet to dogs.  Raw feeding is an attempt to replicate a species appropriate diet of a grey wolf, the ancestor of today's domesticated dogs, and typically includes 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% offal (secreting organs like kidneys, spleen, and pancreas).  Some raw feeders also add supplements, fermented or pureed vegetables and fruit, and eggs, healthy fats, and raw goats milk and kefir.

What was your proudest blogging moment of 2017?

My proudest moment was publishing my first “real” book.  On August 31, 2017, I published A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs, which is available in paperback and for Kindle.  It's a book that shares what I've learned over my first four years as a raw feeder.  I've sold over 600 copies and have some great reviews on Amazon.  This is a dream come true for me, something I've wanted to do since I was a kid, and now that I've achieved this dream, I'm excitedly working on my second book.

Which of your blog posts was your favorite this year and why? (Please include a link.)

My favorite blog post this year is a toss-up between 7 Reasons Why Psychology Today Knows Dick About Raw Feeding and Trust Me, I'm a Raw Feeder.  Both blog posts were responses to blatant misinformation about raw feeding being promoted by respected outlets.  This is a huge pet peeve of mine and I try to respond to provide a balanced narrative of a species appropriate diet.  The Trust Me, I'm a Raw Feeder article was read live on a Las Vegas radio program.

In terms of your blog, how do you measure success?

Years ago, someone told me to work hard until I no longer have to introduce myself and I realized recently that this is how I measure my success.  I know that my blog's reach and influence is growing because more people are being referred to my blog and Facebook group, more people are recommending my book, and I'm getting more invitations to speak at events.  I also track my analytics and set traffic (visitor) goals for my blog; when I reach each goal, I have a party with the dogs.

In what ways has your blog changed during 2017?

Keep the Tail Wagging® is a business and no longer a hobby.  My blog is an LLC and trademarked.  And thanks to the film Pet Fooled, traffic to my blog has increased by 50%, my raw feeding group has over 7,000 members, and I connect with raw feeders and brands around the world.  In 2017, I connected with many amazing people in the raw feeding community and we're working together to educate pet lovers about a species appropriate diet and it's been a rush.

What was the biggest blogging challenge you overcame in 2017, and what did you learn that could help other bloggers?

In 2017, I finally developed a thick skin and stopped caring about what strangers thought about me or my blog.  I learned to treat my blog like I treat my home.  I would never tolerate anyone treating me badly in my home and I no longer tolerate it on my blog or social media pages.  Read more: Serendipitous Saturday | Proper Care and Feeding of Trolls

When things get hard, what keeps you blogging?

When things get hard and I'm considering throwing in the towel, I'll receive an email or message from someone who learned something from my blog or my book.  It's in that moment that I realize that I'm not doing this to please my critics, I'm paying forward the help others gave to me when I transitioned my dogs to raw feeding.

Looking forward to 2018, what are you hoping to accomplish on your blog?

This year, I plan to write a book, plan an online conference about raw feeding or pet blogging, and build my blog to reach 500,000 pageviews by June and 1,000,000 pageviews by December.  I also want to meet Oprah Winfrey (she's a dog lover and raw feeder).  Some of my goals are lofty and will take some work and I'm planning to give it my best.

In addition to what you’d like to accomplish, is here one specific skill you’d like to improve or master this year?

With more people joining the raw feeding community, I'm hearing from more pet lovers who want to share their experiences through blogging.  I would love to learn how to create a community for bloggers who promote a fresh food diet for pets.  Through this, I want to learn more about video editing.  In 2017, I began making more videos with friends and interviewing leaders in the raw feeding community.  I'm still learning the ins and outs of video editing and have been watching YouTube videos to learn how to work with iMovie.  It's a lot of fun.  I want to use my YouTube channel to jumpstart a community of fresh food bloggers.

Now it’s your turn! You have the attention of the pet blogging community – is there a question you’d like answered, or an aspect of your blog that you’d like input on? Share it here, and we’ll answer you in the comments!

My only message for the pet blogging community is that I challenge you to be the voice of pet lovers and not the voice of brands.  The more I learn about the ingredients in pet food, the more surprised I am that pet bloggers would accept money to perpetuate misinformation.  Just because a kibble brand adds freeze-dried meat to their kibble doesn't magically convert kibble into raw dog food.  When a brand blatantly lies about not using fillers when one of the main ingredients is “dried bakery products,” we owe it to pet lovers to give them a warning.  Don't make the mistake I made years ago and accept money to promote a brand that is created a bad product for pets.  We owe it to the animals we love to do better.

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