Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Episode 43: Bringing Together Pets and Food with Melissa Gundersen of Proud Dog Mom. On this episode, I’m talking to a TV news anchor turned dog mom blogger and cookbook author! It’s amazing what she’s accomplished in just 3 years since since starting her site. We talk about how she’s been able to get it all done, from photos to recipes and more with the help of her favorite apps and tools – make sure you listen until the end to see what those are!
I also want to welcome all the new listeners to the show! I’ve been seeing your screenshots on Instagram stories and loving it! I want to ask you a quick favor that would make a huge impact for my show. Please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review for Wear Wag Repeat. I promise it only takes a few minutes but it will help me grow my audience and make an impact with more dog moms! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive into the episode!
Melissa Gundersen is a former television news reporter, dog lover, and founder of the hit blog ProudDogMom.com. Her passion for pooches started nearly 3 decades ago. Growing up, Melissa was an active member of her regional Poodle Club of America and developed a close network of groomers, trainers, veterinarians, product developers, and more. Today, she spends her days interviewing various dog experts and sharing the latest canine must-knows with fellow dog moms around the globe. She’s also a proud author of the dog treat cookbook, Proud Dog Chef: Tail-Wagging Good Treat Recipes.
(00:29) Introducing Melissa Gundersen of Proud Dog Mom
(05:34) What inspired Melissa to start a dog blog
(10:20) How Melissa’s newsroom experience helps her with her blog
(12:23) Tips for people interested in interviewing
(14:45) Why Melissa wrote a dog cookbook
(19:44) How to publish your own book
(22:32) What recipes you’ll find in Melissa’s cookbook
(28:14) What tools Melissa uses in her business daily
TORI: What inspired you to start a dog blog?
Melissa: I didn’t go into the pet industry at all actually. After I went to college I went right into the news industry as a news reporter and anchor for several years. I wanted to transition out of the newsroom so I became a blogger. I started learning all about the online world and social media and how to build websites and all that stuff. And I was visiting my mom one day, turned to her and said, “Let’s start a dog blog.” It was so random. I wanted to share the resources and also interview our current veterinarians and trainers.
TORI: How does your TV news experience help you with your blog?
Melissa: So one obviously is interviewing, right? So when you’re in news you’re interviewing people all day, and you have to really be curious. Another way is storytelling. I wrote a lot in news because you’re writing all of the new scripts that you’re presenting on air, but then also putting on the station’s website. So I learned a lot just about different storytelling, writing wise and how to structure things. It’s definitely helped me be able to articulate more challenging topics and structure them to be more understandable.
TORI: What made you want to write a dog treat cookbook?
Melissa: Before we even started the blog, we had had a couple of health scares in our family with dog treats and dog food. I think for anybody who’s ever had any sort of health scare that was a direct result of something that they fed their dog, it’s an immediate reaction of, “What the heck am I actually giving them what’s in the treats?” So my mom and I started creating treats with ingredients we knew were healthy for dogs. We went on this two year journey of writing a book and since I worked, it was such a slow process because I had to do it in the time that I wasn’t working.
TORI: What’s the process of getting a book like your’s published?
Melissa: We did work with a company to help us with the formatting. I had the idea of what I wanted and we had a nice camera that we were able to use. I’m also very fortunate that one of my best friends is a photographer who stood by me, well virtually stood by me really on Skype because she’s in Philly. I’m not going to label myself a photographer, but I wanted really badly to make this book. Not that there are not other dog treat cookbooks out there, but what I wanted when I envisioned our book was a really gorgeous piece of art. Almost like a human cookbook.
TORI: What type of recipes and info can people find inside of the Proud Dog Chef cookbook?
Melissa: So there are pupcakes which are like breakfast muffins. It’s like a very boring, like healthy muffin and there have definitely been times when I have eaten them, like with a little bit of cream cheese. It’s good. There’s a recipe in my book for carrot spice pupcakes. It really tastes just like a pumpkin spice cake. I mean they can’t have a pumpkin spice paste but, but it’s with ingredients that they can have like carrot versus pumpkin and those things are fantastic.
TORI: What are some of your favorite tools that help you run your blog, social media and business?
Melissa: So I have a couple that I really rely on daily. Trello is something that I can’t get through the day without using because I put all of my to do lists on there. I’m definitely one of those people that is super hyper organized. So if it’s not on the list, I won’t really remember to do it. You can color code and all that fancy stuff in Trello. Then there’s another website called Grammarly. When I write, I’m very conscious of my grammar and I’m really great at it. But if you ever have questions about if your comma is in the right place or apostrophes, Grammarly flags everything. So that is another great tool that I use when I’m writing all of my blog posts.
FIND PROUD DOG MOM:
CHECK OUT THE SHOP!
SUBSCRIBE AND REVIEW
If you love what you hear and want to support my efforts to shine a light on more creative dog moms, please leave a review for my show on iTunes*. For every review, I give Lucy an extra special treat… how could you deny her?! *If you’re on a computer, open the link then click View in iTunes to write a review.
You can also see all the episodes on the Podcast page of my site.