Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Pet In The Car

We have all done it: left our pet in the car for a few minutes to run into a store and pick something up.

A few minutes on a cool day may not be bad and many times, nothing happens. All you find when you come back is nose prints on the windows. But on hot and sunny days when the temperature is above 75 degrees, the car can warm up faster than you would think and cracking the window doesn’t help. Cracking all the windows doesn’t help.

If the outside temperature is 75 degrees in about 10 minutes the inside of a car can reach 90 degrees!

Cracking the window may let in some air, but the car is like a metal box and the sun, heat, and humidity builds up faster than you think.

Many of us do not have the harness or car seats that are available for dogs, so imagine them peeking around, looking out the windows waiting for you to return, bouncing from the front to the back seats… exerting energy and creating more heat in the car. It can be fatal. Cats should always be kept in carriers when traveling in a car since they are more agile, more likely to get underfoot, and some may be too nervous to roam freely in the car.

Dogs only perspire through their paws and pant. The air that moves through their nasal passages is not enough to release the heat that is building up in their body and around them. Your dog can experience heatstroke in a matter of minutes.

If you can leave your pet at home when you travel unless you absolutely need to bring them somewhere.

Signs of Heatstroke

  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Fever
  • Disoriented and no longer seems to hear you or obey
  • Collapsing

If your pet exhibits any of these signs after being in the yard, out on a long walk, or (we hope you don’t do this) being in the car on a hot day, please call your vet or go to the emergency vet in your area ASAP.

Dogs and cats are part of the family. Let’s make sure they are safe and happy.

Image from SRXAWordOnHealth.com

6 Ways To Tell That Your Pet Likes to Travel

So you’ve made sure to have enough snacks, food, and creature comforts for your pet as your two embark on your trip. You’ve brought along some old toys and the car harness fits your dog perfectly or your cat’s carrier has a fluffy fleece pad in it. Now what?

Well, maybe your pet isn’t the type who likes to travel. Maybe your pet would rather stay home and lounge on the couch, look out the window, and not leave the comfort of home but how would you know? They can’t tell us with words. We can’t always read their body language and sometimes they seem so excited to follow us to the car that it’s easy to think they love trips.

Here’s 6 Ways To Tell If Your Pet Likes Trips

  1. In the car your pet doesn’t try to crawl onto your lap, pant, or cry with anxiety. They may settle down and nap or look out the window.
  2. When arriving at your destination, your pet doesn’t hide under the bed or in their carrier. Instead, your pet explores the new place, sniffing, watching, and listening to the new sounds. They may cautiously approach items and might be on edge but after a thorough inspection, they calm down and relax.
  3. Your pet eats. Some cats will not eat when they are scared and stressed. They will hide and sit in a corner, skipping meals. Some cats might eat at night when it’s very quiet. Dogs may stress eat and get an upset stomach but some may be so nervous and want to stick next to you that they forget to eat.
  4. When taking your dog outside to relieve him/herself the routine should feel the same. If your dog has a pattern of behavior when going potty, it should feel pretty much the same. Cats will use their litter box and the amount of urine and stool will be normal.
  5. All the good mannerisms your pet has at home should be present in a new place. They may be distracted and curious to meet new people, check out new places, but asking your dog to sit or stay should be ingrained. A cat, well, is a cat. But your cat should still come over for some affectionate pets and be ok and not hiding.
  6. Your pet should be about as vocal on vacation as s/he is at home. If your dog is fairly quiet and doesn’t alert bark much, then on a trip your dog may exhibit the same or similar behavior and be relaxed throughout the trip. Your cat should be fairly the same too and not howl or cry out of fear. Pets that are comfortable in their environment will act very much the same as they do at home with the exception of being curious and maybe a little more playful.

Not all pets who like to travel will be exactly the same as they are at home. Some act even better while others get so distracted that they act up. A nervous dog’s body language will have subtle signs like ear placement and bigger signs like their tail between their legs. Cats may sit tightly and watch you but not come over or stretch out in a relaxed state. Their tail may twitch too and ears will be moving around picking up all the sounds. Pets tend to relax after the first night but some may relax right away. A cat I knew loved the car and would hop in, sit in the back and look out the window. Once she got to her vacation spot, she would walk on her leash and harness right into the place like she owned it. It was amazing.

Do your pets like to travel? Share your stories!

Image from Digital Photography School

Subaru Looking To Create A Safer Ride For Pets

Subaru of America announced that they are partnering up with the Center for Pet Safety to make vehicles safer for pets who ride in them. In a crash test using a fake dog, it found that most of the safety restraints on the market today did not safely keep a pet from being hurt.

According to the Center for Pet Safety’s website, the study showed “a 100 percent failure rate.” None of the harnesses were safe enough in a crash test to protect the dogs and the people in the event of an accident.

With funding from Subaru, the Center will move forward to develop standards that can be used to create pet products that are more effective at ensuring the safety of the pets in cars, which is turn, is also safer for us. Dogs can become projectile objects when stopping short or in a collision. Restraining them with the car harnesses on the market now prevents some of that, but according to the tests, your pet may still throttle around the car and could choke or become a missile.

To read more about the new initiative, check out Edmunds.come.

This isn’t the first time Subaru has thought about the welfare of pets. They often sponsor pet events in various cities and adoption drives. They even had a campaign that featured dogs with the tagline, “Once you sit in a Subaru, you’ll stay.”

Image from Tales and Tails

Tips for Summer Getaways With Your Dog

Taking your dog for a hike? Going camping this summer? Great idea! But first, be sure you and your dog are prepared for the upcoming trek. Here are a few tips for taking your dog on a camping trip or summer hike.

6 Tips For Summer Getaways

  1. Expect the Unexpected – Although you can probably expect temperate weather, summer trips can mean unpredictable highs and lows. Be prepared and pack knowingly. Tarps for keeping dry and extra towels are a good idea for any trip; if unexpected rain arrives, you won’t be caught stuck in the rain. The same goes for unexpectedly warm weather as well. And in this case, being stuck on a hike or camping trip with an overheated pet can be far worse than having a soggy doggy.
  2. Overheated Dogs – Each year, pet owners are caught in the terrible position of dealing with an overheated pet. Hot temperatures and not enough water can be a deadly combination. Even if your pet is drinking water it still can result in your dog being overly warm. Be sure to pack plenty of water. In addition to this, keep an eye out for strange behavior coming from your dog. If you’re hot, your dog probably is too. Also, have a place for your dog to rest in the shade and do what you can to help keep your canine cool – he’ll thank you for it later!
  3. Toys, Toys, Toys – Although sand dunes and forest fields provide endless amount of distractions for your dog, bring something for them to play with anyway. As you may know, dogs can get both easily distracted and easily bored with a task. Having a bone on hand for the down time will keep your dogs attention where it should be and not on everything else.
  4. Bring the Leash – Sure, you’re dog is excellent at the dog park or in your back yard off leash but being in a new environment can be distracting. When you travel, be sure to bring your dog’s leash. It will come in handy when your dog decides it wants nothing more than to entertain the family eating dinner nearby, or when they decide to go on a squirrel-chasing escapade.
  5. Don’t Forget the basics – Don’t forget the essentials like dog food, water, and poop bags. Additionally, try to provide some bedding for your pet that he will be comfortable sleeping on. Many traveling dog owners bring a crate to contain all the dog energy when it becomes overbearing at night time, or just a little too much overall.
  6. Identification and Emergency Care – Check those dog tags, updated the microchip information, and carry the # of your vet with you as well as looking up the emergency hospitals that are nearby where you are staying. If your dog gets injured on a hike, becomes ill, or gets lost, it’s best to be ready to tackle them with a prepared and calm attitude. It’s scary enough to have a sick or lost pet, planning can help ease fears a little.

Image from ABC News

6 Essential Items For The Traveling Dog

More and more of us are taking our dogs on vacation with us and why not!? Dogs make great travel companions. They are often excited to watch the world go by in the car and sniff and explore new plants, hydrants, and people. Their enthusiasm can remind us to live in the moment and enjoy the small things.

When traveling with our pups it’s important to make sure we have the right gear so things go as smoothly as possible. This year, before hitting the road, do a little shopping and get your pup the essential gear for a great vacation.

6 Essential Items for Travel With Your Dog

  1. Car Safety – Dogs like to look out the windows and sometimes bounce around the car from seat to seat with excitement. As cute as that is, it can distract us and in the case of stopping short, your dog could get hurt. Invest in a car seat or harness or both to make sure your pup is safe. The Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness comes in several sizes and the Snoozer Half-Bench Booster Seat is a great cushion that allows your pup to see out the windows without having to stand up and perch.
  2. Going for a hike? Your working dog will be happy to help carry some stuff, especially their food, treats, and bowls. Kyjen’s Backpack is a great accessory for dogs who naturally are inclined to work and can take a few pounds off your back. A sturdy backpack ensures that your pet will be able to carry items without it hurting their spine and hips. It’s also great for training and tends to put your dog into a mentality of traveling with a pack which can make hiking a trail easier for you.
  3. BowlsBamboo Collapsible Travel Bowls are perfect for any trip. Instead of trying to fit the big bowls from home into a bag, having ones that become compact and take up little space leaves more room for important things like your dog’s favorite toys!
  4. Speaking of toys, don’t forget to pack a few for your dog. Playtime is essential and if your dog does get a little nervous in new places, having something to chew on and that smells like “home” can help calm those nerves. You can also pack a new one as a reward for being a good pup and help build some confidence as well as distract your dog from the anxiety s/he may be feeling.
  5. A sturdy leash or hands free leash is great for hiking, jogging, and taking walks with your pet. The Buddy Connector connects to your waist, bike, and backpack leaving you hands free and your dog still safely connected to you.
  6. Identification – Check that the information on your dog’s micrchip is up to date but also having a collar with tags that contain your dog’s name and your cell phone number are important. If your dog’s current tags are looking a little worn out, get some new ones made before your big trip! If you’re like me, you may want to make sure the tag doesn’t fall off, Slider Tags slide right onto the collar. There’s no jingling, no keyring that can snag and break, and it’s silent since it doesn’t jangle and jingle against other tags.

What other supplies and gear do you pack when traveling with your pup?
Image from BBC News

Need a Weekend Getaway? Head to Essex Resort!

Hey everyone, you and your dog deserve an end of spring getaway and The Essex Resort and Spa in Essex, VT is making it easy for you.

Top Dog Weekend is their special end of Spring getaway for people and their pups scheduled for the weekend of May 31 to June 2, 2013.

The package deal consists of a pampered weekend of massage, grooming, and fresh baked biscuits for your pup. There’s also a “Yappy Hour” for them on Friday night after checking in. The next day there will be a trip to the park and then all the dogs will be groomed and massaged. For us owners, there is going to be a cooking class where we can learn to make dog biscuits that are healthy and taste great for our furry buddies.

It’s a weekend focused on our loving pets but there is also a spa, gym, and nearby golf course for us humans to enjoy.

The price for the pampered pet getaway is $899 based on double occupancy and includes all weekend activities, the nightly pet fee, and a very special goody bag for your pet. By the time Sunday rolls around, you and your pup will be ready to head back home, relaxed, serene, and recharged. Don’t miss out on this awesome deal!

For more information, check out our page for The Essex Resort and Spa.

Dog Car Sickness & Motion Sickness: Warning Signs & Prevention Tips

You did it! The pet-friendly hotels are booked, the trip is planned, and your car has been packed with enough supplies to keep your pet happy, fed, and feel like it’s a home away from home. Hooray! A trip with your pet and you’re both excited.

Everything has been taken care of except maybe one thing, what if Max gets sick while on the road? What will you do? Can you prevent this?

If you’ve ever been motion sick, you know it feels terrible and can take a while to feel better. Dogs don’t have a way to let us know they are starting to feel funky and they don’t turn that fine, fine shade of olive green that we do. It’s also not easy to keep an eye on him and the road. There are some precautions you can take to help cut down on the occurence of your dog being sick and also some signs to watch for. There is hope. We know how gross it can be and cleaning a car is not easy.

Signs Of Motion Sickness in Dogs

  • Inactivity but not quite the same as “settling down”
  • Listlessness and seeming “down”
  • Uneasiness and nervous
  • Yawning
  • Whining
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting

It’s not easy to distinguish some of these signs from your dog just being a little nervous, tired, or uneasy. Especially if your dog associates the car with trips to vet, nervousness can appear in the form of yawning and whining without sickness following. Some dogs may not show any of these symptoms and may simply vomit without any signs and then lay down and whine.

What Can You Do?

If you’re in the middle of driving and you notice your dog starting to fidget and seem “weird” it could be a good idea to pull over and let him take a small walk for a few minutes. The fresh air and lack of motion can help stop a problem before it starts. Also, make sure the air flow in the car is fresh, keep a window cracked, keep the vents open, and do not smoke in the car.

Other Tips to Help Prevent Motion Sickness

  • Invest in a dog seat belt or carrier and face your dog forward
  • Limit your dog’s food and water before travel and during pit stops
  • Keep air flow going in the car to regulate the pressure from outside the car and inside
  • Try giving your dog a jellybean, as the sugar can limit the nausea
  • Talk to your vet about medications that might help alleviate motion sickness

Don’t forget the first aid kit and other doggie supplies in case your dog gets injured while away. Also, it is a great idea to do some research of the places you are going and find the local 24 Hour Emergency Vet, local pet stores, and other info.

Happy travels!

Image from The Dog Training Secret

9 Ways To Get That Dog Smell Out Of Your Car

One of my friends came back from a two week camping trip with her husband, kids, and their happy go-lucky Chocolate Lab. The trip was great and the dog enjoyed romping and exploring the woods. However, after cleaning all the camping gear out of the car, my friend was telling me about the lingering smell of dog that is in her car. She said it wasn’t too strong before the trip but now it is a mix of that “wet dog” smell and what we both call “Fritos funk,” which is that salty smell dogs tend to get on their paws.

After a long phone conversation, I realized we had swapped and brainstormed ways to remove the dog smell from cars which can also work on any fabric. I also did a search and found this forum and this WikiHow article. I had suggested shaving the dog, putting deodorant on her, and maybe pants but my friend didn’t think I was serious. These tips are more sane compared to my silly ideas.

Here are 9 ways to remove the dog smell from a car:

  1. Shampoo for pet stain and urine removal will thoroughly clean up the source of the smells more than a regular car shampoo. If your dog had an accident in the car, this may be the route you’ll need to go. The enzymatic cleaners made for pet stains breaks down the chemical compounds of pet urine and removes the smells.
  2. Place a small bowl of baking soda in the car overnight to absorb the smells. If the smell is very strong, repeat this a few nights in a row.
  3. Laying bread out on a dish towel will also help absorb the smells. Afterwards, toss the old bread out for the birds to eat.
  4. Charcoal briquets that are crumbled and laid out in the car will absorb smells.
  5. Vodka and water in a spray bottle in equal parts acts as an air freshener. As the solution dries, the alcohol carries off the unwanted odors. Leave the windows open to allow it to dry. Let this completely dry, you don’t want to drive around with your car smelling like a bar!
  6. White vinegar also acts as an odor remover. Mix it with water in equal parts and spray it in the car, when it dries the smells should be gone or at least not as a noticeable.
  7. Carpet cleaner and a wet/dry vac can clean and remove the smells from the fabric of your car. Spray the seats, floorboards, and hatch. Then using a wet/dry vacuum suck it all up.
  8. Steam cleaning the interior will remove the odors, dirt, and debris. Open all the windows when letting it dry out.
  9. If you travel often with your pet, you may want to lay out an old blanket across the seats or dog covers that can be found in pet stores. They protect your interior and prevent odors, dirt, and fur from getting onto the car seats themselves. They are easy to remove and can be tossed into the washing machine.

Do you have tips to remove dog odors from cars? Tell us!

Image from Amazing Creatures

Hotel Travel Tips

Ok, so you found a nice hotel where you and your dog can hang out. The hotel has given your dog a special bed, treats, and and complimentary toys.You’ve brought enough food, made sure to bring proof of vaccinations, and your dog isn’t too weirded out by the new space. Now it’s time to go play and explore.

But what about those moments when you’re not able to bring your pet with you as you go out to do something? What should you do with your furry buddy? Hotels all have policies and conditions about leaving pets in the room alone, make sure you have read it before you head out on your trip. Some will ask for you to bring a crate or kennel carrier and others may have a strict policy that no pet can be left alone in the room.

Here are some tips to make sure your stay at the hotel is comfortable:

1: Follow the pet policy and check it for size restrictions, number of pets, and other rules. Some hotels embrace having pets in the hotel and will have a page or section about their pet policy. Other hotels may have a small mention on their site which means they may not be as open or willing to have pets on a regular basis at their establishment. Call the hotel to make sure and confirm if there is an extra fee for pets.

2: Don’t try to sneak your pet into a hotel. You may be asked to leave and will then have to hustle to find another place to stay.

3: When you need to leave your pet alone in the room, crate her. The cleaning staff may not be expecting to see a dog and you don’t want your pup running through the halls of the hotel while you went to an art exhibit or grabbed lunch. If your dog can’t be left alone in the hotel or doesn’t like being crated, see if there is a doggie daycare nearby or a boarding place where you can drop her off for a few hours.

4: If your dog has an accident, call housekeeping to clean it. Leave it to the pros. Don’t use the towels in the room.

5: If the hotel has a dog walking service, don’t forget to leave a tip.

Dogs At Dollywood? YES!

Who doesn’t like amusement parks? Who doesn’t like road trips? Well, if you’re heading to Dollywood and your four-legged canine buddy is accompanying you, don’t worry, you can leave her at Doggywood while you go play.

Doggywood is a day boarding facility where visitors to Dollywood can leave their dog while enjoying the park. The kennel opens 30 minutes before the park and stays open for 30 minutes after the park closes. Space is limited so reservations are highly recommended and ensure that you have a place for your dog to play, stay, and get some loving while you’re away. There is no overnight boarding, it is only for those who are visiting the park.

The kennel runs are 4 ft by 6ft and there are also cottages which are 6 ft by ft for dogs that need some extra wiggle room or require a little more privacy. Owners provide food, can bring some bedding, and a few toys. Pets must have proof of vaccines and be up to date with them. All dogs must be in good visible health, be ok with strangers, and be old enough to have received their rabies vaccine.

Dollywood is open seasonally from early spring through December and is open from 9am or 10am to 8pm or 10pm depending on the day and event planned. There are plenty of rides to go on like roller coasters, water rides, the dollywood express train, and zip line. You can also take in a free concert, have some awesome bbq food, and catch a movie in 4D.

Dollywood is located at 1198 McCarter Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, TN and is off Interstate 40. To buy tickets, reserve a space at Doggywood, and see what shows and package deals are available, visit Dollywood’s website.

Photo courtesy of Dollywood