Travel Checklist For Your Pet

Going on a trip with your pet? Don’t forget the following items and things to do before you go:

1: Medication – If your pet is on medicine for an ailment, make sure you have enough of it for the duration of your trip. Pick up refills that your pet will need. Don’t forget the flea, tick, and heartworm meds as well.

2: Kennel or carrier – Some places you stay will require that your dog stay in a carrier or kennel when left alone. The kennel is also a safe way to travel if you aren’t using a dog seat belt.

3: Food and Water bowls – Rest stop areas are good places to give your pet a little drink of water, snack, and a few minutes to stretch. Don’t forget the food, especially if it’s a special prescription diet.

4: Plastic bags, litter box, litter, scoop – Clean up after your pet no matter where you are staying.

5: Bedding – If your pet has its own bed, bring it. It’ll help them relax to have something that smells like home.

6: Vet records – Bring a copy of your pet’s vaccines with you in case you are planning on boarding your pet or the hotel asks for copies.

7: Pet First-Aid Kit – It’s better to be safe and have this on hand in case your buddy gets injured on the trip.

8: Find the number and address of the nearest ER vet where you are staying and keep that information handy.

9: Identification – Check that tags on the collar are fastened tightly, have the microchip ID written down somewhere, and a photo of your pet in case she gets lost while on vacation. Make sure she’s wearing her ID at all times.

10: Make sure your pet is welcome – some hotels welcome pets and some do not. Some states and counties have breed restrictions. If your pet is the breed that is restricted or could look like it, you may have to find an alternative to bringing her along such as boarding or finding a dog sitter. Find out before you go.

Emergency Vets In The Tri-State Area

As much as we hope we never need to use them, it’s good to know where the 24-hour emergency vets are in your area. Your cat or dog could accidentally ingest anything from household cleaners to children’s toys and become extremely ill. Now that summer is here, your dog may be exposed to some dangers that aren’t around during other times of year such as pesticides used in a neighbor’s garden and bug sprays. If you’re vacationing in the tri-state area or taking your best buddy out on day trip, it’s always good to know if there’s a 24-hour vet nearby, just in case.

New York

Animal Medical Center: 24 hour emergency pet care for exotic pets, dogs, cats, and specialized vet services. They have state-of-the-art health care and a reputation for providing excellent customer service as well as excellent animal care. They are located at 510 East 62nd street and can be reached at 212-838-8100. They have been in practice for over 100 years.

New York Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Care: Located in Long Island in Farmingdale, it’s a 24-hour hospital that provides emergency care, specialty treatments, and excellent care. They also have acupuncture and rehabilitative services for pets who need follow up care. They are located at 2233 Broadhollow Road and can be reached at 631-694-3400.

Long Island Veterinary Specialists: Located at 163 South Service Road in Plainview, NY is a 24/7 hospital located off the Long Island Expressway. They offer critical care, emergency care, and radiology. There are over 150 dedicated professionals who offer quality care and use the most current state-of-the-art technology available to helping your pet. They can be reached at 516-501-1700.


Bolton Veterinary Hospital: A 24/7 hospital that provides care for large and small animals. There are two offices, one is an animal clinic for regular checkups and care and the emergency clinic is known as the East of the River Veterinary Emergency Clinic. The same staff work at both locations and provide excellent care. East of the River Veterinary Emergency Clinic is located at 222 Boston Turnpike in Bolton, Ct and can be reached at 860-646-6134.

Connecticut Veterinary Center- West Hartford: A high-tech facility that has staff ready to provide emergency care 24/7. The staff is friendly and the hospital is complete with an in-house lab, surgery suite, and in-house blood bank. They provide daily updates to you if your pet is staying here for treatment and will fax all medical information to your regular vet. They are located at 470 Oakwood Drive in West Hartford, CT and can be reached at 860-233-8564.

New Jersey

Red Bank Veterinary Hospital – Cherry Hill: This emergency hospital is located at 1425 E. Marlton Pike and can be reached at 856-429-4394. They offer 24/7 emergency care and are a committed and dedicated team of specialists and staff. They offer critical care, bereavement counseling, and quality care.

Garden State Veterinary Specialists: This facility has an ICU unit, is open 365 days a year with 24/7 care. They offer extensive services such as an in-house lab, x-ray suites, and acupuncture. They have exceptional support and care for the pets that come through their doors and are committed to providing the best care possible for your pet. They are located at 1 Pine St in Tinton Fall, NJ and can be reached at 732-922-0011.

Photo courtesy of Connecticut Veterinary Center

Traveling to Thailand? Visit The Elephant Sanctuary

Vacations are great. They are a chance to visit a new place, explore new foods, and see historical artifacts and culture that you normally aren’t exposed to or if you are, it’s not as amazing as indulging completely in another country’s mores and norms. If you are looking for a place to go that’s different from your normal 9 to 5 and city living, you may want to consider buying a ticket to Thailand.

Find a friend, boarding facility, or dog walker to take care of your pets. Pay your bills, and have the post office hold your mail. Buy your ticket and start learning about the complex language, customs, and amazing temples that are in Thailand.

Also, visit or volunteer at the elephant sanctuary that is located in the northern province of Chiang Mai. It’s a home for 34 elephants and strives to care for them, educated the public as to the welfare of them, and fight for their conservation.

Volunteering at the sanctuary means you’d get to be hands on with the elephants. You’d bathe them, prepare meals for them, clean, help repair fencings, and get food from the local town for them. You’d also be completely submerged in a beautiful forested mountain area near a river. The sanctuary has received high honors and awards from various organizations including the Smithsonian and the founder was named Hero of the Year by Time Magazine in 2005.

In order to volunteer, you must be at least 18 years old, be able to commit for about 14 days, be able to get the necessary vaccines prior to your trip, and be in good shape to handle walking in rough terrain and being physically active. Bringing some waterproof clothing, good hiking sneakers, and flip flops are highly recommended.

If you’re not sure if you would be ready to volunteer but still want to visit the park and donate, they have tours and overnight stays. For information about volunteering, visiting, or other ways you can help the park, visit their website.

Photo courtesy of Elephant Nature Park

Pet Friendly Temecula Valley

Temecula Valley in Southern California is located within a few hours drive from San Diego and is known for its’ 35,000 acres of beautiful rolling hills and wineries. If you’re looking to getaway Temecula Valley wine country might be the place to go and you can bring your furry friend!

Temecula Valley is gaining notoriety as a pet-friendly place to stay and play. There are many hotels and lodges that allow pets as well as restaurants that allow your pup to sit with you at their outdoor tables. The downtown area is full of shopping, dining, and places to sit and relax.

Some of the wine tasting tours allow dogs on leash to accompany their owners such as Hart Winery, Miramonte, and Robert Renzoni Vineyards. Your dog needs to be well-mannered and on leash at all times and some of the wineries have resident dogs so your dog needs to be socialized and ok around new people and other dogs.
If you’re looking for places to stay, Motel 6 at 41900 Moreno Drive allows pets, Embassy Suites at 29345 Rancho California Road, and La Quinta Inn at 27330 Jefferson Ave all allow pets. But maybe you’re looking to be a little off the beaten path and don’t want to stay in a hotel, there are also RV places and camping grounds that allow pets.

Dining in Temecula Valley will be a cinch with your furry four-legged friend. Front Street Bar and Grill has live music, late night dancing, and allows pups on their patio. Lazy Dog Cafe has food inspired and fused from France, China, Italy, and South America and your dog can sit with you at the outdoor tables along the sidewalk. If you’re in the mood for BBQ, go to Sweet Lumpy’s and sit at the outdoor pet-friendly patio and dig in!

Temecula Valley also has leashed trails for you and your pup to walk and hike, as well as the Red Hawk Community Park where you can play fetch and let your dog run around and meet other dogs. Duck Pond Park, Lake Skinner Recreation Area, and Sam Hicks Park all have areas for you and your dog to walk around, lay in the sun, and play.
It’s also always good to know where the local emergency veterinary clinic is in case of an emergency. Emergency Pet Clinic located at 27443 Jefferson Avenue is open 24 hours on the weekends and evenings during the weekdays. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Temecula Valley can be the perfect weekend getaway being located only 1 hour from Orange County and 1.5 hours from LA to leave the crazy city life and enjoy some good wine, beautiful landscapes, and bonding time with your best friend.

Photo courtesy of Temecula Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau

Health and Safety Tips for Camping With Your Dog

Heading to the great outdoors this summer with your dog? Camping with your best buddy can be fun, a time to bond, and exciting for them. But don’t forget, there are some safety tips you need to keep in mind to keep your dog healthy, safe, and happy while you’re camping. The following tips can help make your trip more enjoyable and less stressful for everyone.

1: Protect your pet by treating him with flea, tick, and heartworm preventative. Let your vet know that you’re going camping and talk about what trends in that region exist and what preventatives are needed for your dog.

2: If your dog isn’t used to long walks from winter, start a routine of walking everyday and increase the distance and time. Hiking and walking through the woods can tire your dog out. If your dog has become a couch potato, camping can wear him out and he won’t have the endurance for several days of hiking. Get him back in shape before the big trip!

3: Pack a pet first aid kit, extra food, portable bowls, and an extra leash, and collar. Camping burns calories, your pet may be more hungry. A long leash or tie out leash can keep your pet near you as you set up the tent, sit and read, or just hang out watching the sunset. A shorter leash is great for walks through the woods. If you and your dog go swimming, a harness can help him move freely and keep her safe.

4: Bring some extra blankets for your dog to sleep on and under. When it’s cold dogs may need to burrow under blankets to stay warm. If you have a pet bed bring a few blankets to cover your pet.

5: Before you go camping, you may want to make a camping bag for your dog to carry on walks. There are a variety of doggie backpacks available at your local pet store. Pack some treats, some food, water, biodegradable poop bags, and first aid kit supplies when hiking. That way if your dog gets a cut you can treat it immediately and if he’s hungry or thirsty, you can give him some rest and a snack and drink. Keeping your pet hydrated is important and it also helps curb him from drinking from a puddle.

6: Plan activities that involve your dog. This can be overlooked but it’s important. If you plan on mountain biking, your dog may not be able to along side you or keep up for the mileage you’re planning to rack up. You can’t tie your dog up at the camp site, it’s not safe. Plan on hikes, swimming, and walks. Your dog will be happy to explore new areas and it’ll be fun for both of you.

7: Clean up after your dog. Any mess you and your dog leave must be cleaned up. Buy biodegradable poop bags and carry them with you at all times.

Photo courtesy of Campist

Pet Friendly Victoria, BC

Heading to Canada this summer for a vacation? If you’re going to Victoria and plan on bringing Rex, you may be looking for a pet friendly place to stay and where you and your pup can hike, eat, and spend time together. Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest. There are a number of beautiful historic buildings to see and the city is nicknamed “The city of gardens.” Don’t forget to check out Chinatown and make sure to take a walk around Beacon Hill.

Where to Stay

Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza is dog friendly with rates starting from $88 a night plus a pet fee of $10. Up to three dogs can stay in a room and is located downtown. All the rooms are climate controlled and have wifi access as well as other amenities such as coffee, tea, newspaper delivery, and a fitness center. There are treats for your pet as well as a designated potty area. For more information call: 250-388-5513.

Huntingdon Hotel and Suites is a country manor-style hotel downtown that allows up to two pets per room for an addition fee of $15 a night. The hotel is near an ice cream shop, Parliament, and the Royal London Wax Museum. The hotel rates start at $61 a night plus the pet fee and has wifi, 24 hour front desk help, laundry services, and other amenities. For more information call: 250-381-3456.

There are also some vacation homes that you can rent that may allow pets, but you must inquire to see if their policy has changed or has any restrictions on size.

What to Do and Where to Eat

De’Lish Cafe is located at 677 St. Patrick St. and is open Tues to Sat from 8am to 5:30pm. It is a dog friendly cafe that serves lattes, croissants, homemade soups, and has some dog treats for your furry friend. It’s near a beach and many walking paths that your dog will love to explore.

High End Dog is a dog bakery located in Chinatown at 532 ½ Fisgard St. that has cakes, cookies, muffins, and other treats for your dog. If your dog needs to be spoiled with yummy treats this is the place to go!

Dallas Road Park is a beautiful area that has an off leash dog park where you may meet many new friends and your dog will enjoy running along the ocean front. Make your way along the Dallas Road walkway and you’ll find yourself eventually in Beacon Hill Park where you can see the world’s tallest totem pole and walk around many ponds, fountains, and beautiful trees. You’ll also see ducks, birds, peacocks, and blue herons.

For another great walk, head over to West Bay Marina and walk the trail along the waterfront to the inner harbor of Victoria. The scenery is breathtaking and you can detour downtown or walk along the beach with your buddy and just relax.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Monkey See, Monkey Bring: Kayabukia Tavern

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, make it a point to head to Utsunomiya and head to a sake house called Kayabukia Tavern. From the outside, it looks like a traditional-style Japanese restaurant. The food is primarily asian comfort food with items such as dumplings, bbq chicken, and various rice dishes to choose from but the waiters are kind of hairy. Well, at least two of them are… because, well, they are macaque monkeys.

The owner of the tavern has two macaque monkeys who work about two hours a day and dress in a shirt and shorts. One monkey delivers you a hot towel while the other one brings you your drinks. Kaoru Otsuka, the owner, did not train his pets to be servers. They watched their owner work and began mimicking his movements. One day, Otsuka gave a towel to one of his monkeys to see if he would deliver it to the right customer and he did! In time, they have become pros and receive tips from the customers in the form of soya beans.

Animal rights regulations do not allow the monkeys to work for more than two hours a day. Otsuka has been working with three more monkeys since this has become a huge draw to his restaurant. If you are hoping to be served by the macaque monkeys, it’s recommended you call ahead to find out their shifts. Don’t worry, they won’t groom you. Just be prepared to give up some of your edamame as a tip and thank you to the macaques.

Heading to China? See the Giant Pandas

If you’re thinking of a trip to China, include a few days in the Sichuan Province, where you can tour beautiful temples, be surrounded by mountains and trees, and tour and volunteer at the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries.

In the mid 1960s, the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda was established at the Wolong Nature Reserve in the Sichuan Province. It is the earliest and largest panda reserve in China and is in the Ming Shan mountain range at the foot of the Tibetan Plateau. The Wolong National Nature Reserve has a reputation for its natural beauty.

Wolong means sleeping dragon and the story behind the name is that a giant dragon came wandering through the valley and fell in love with the beauty of the mountains and trees. The dragon decided to go to sleep and then never woke up.

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries is the home to more than 30% of the world’s highly endangered Giant Pandas and is among the most important sites for the captive breeding of these pandas. Along with the Giant Panda, the sanctuary is a refuge to other endangered species. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries consist of seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks.

The most popular reserve to see and interact with pandas is the Wolong Panda Reserve, with about 150 pandas in its care, however, since the earthquake in 2008, many of the pandas have been staying at a sister site outside of Ya’an City. It is located about 2 hours outside of Chengdu which is in the Sichuan Province. The sister site, Bifengxia Panda Base, is accepting volunteers and actively working to care and preserve the pandas. Many of your panda duties as a volunteer would include feeding pandas, cleaning their enclosures, helping the medical staff, cleaning bamboo, and cleaning pandas.

If you’re not able to volunteer, you can still get a chance to pet, hug, and have a panda sit on your lap for an additional fee upon entering the reserve. Pandas are the rarest of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. Its forest habitat has dwindled and poaching is a problem. The sanctuaries strive to preserve the species, educate the public, and prevent deforestation.

For more information about the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, visit their website.

Atlantic City Hotel Allows Dogs to Stay

Dog lovers who know their best friend can be good luck will be able to bring their furry companion to Atlantic City starting on Feb. 24. Showboat Casino Hotel will become the city’s first dog-friendly casino and will begin accepting reservations online on Feb. 14. There will be 9 rooms offered for you and your tail wagging good luck charm to stay in, and upon checking in, a pet bed, bowls, and treats!

To book a room for you and your dog will cost an extra $40 but during the introductory period, Showboat is waiving the fee and will throw a promotional party on March 3 and will present a donation of $1000 to the Ocean City Humane Society.

For your dog, there will be a relief area at States and Pacific avenues that will be roped off and just for your dog to go potty. Showboat will provide cleanup bags if you need them. Dogs are only allowed in the relief area and the hotel room. They cannot go hit the slots or the bar with you.

Known as Pet Stay, the program that launched pet-friendly hotels in Las Vegas, is working with Showboat and if it is successful, three more hotels may also become dog friendly this year in Atlantic City as well!

So looking for that weekend getaway from the tri-state area? Not sure if you can get a boarding facility to take Fido for your spontaneous weekend trip? Don’t worry! Take him with you and rub his belly for good luck.

Also, February 27 to March 5, 2011 is restaurant week in Atlantic City with prix fixe lunch and dinners for you to indulge in! So play, eat, and take your furry friend on a trip away from the Big Apple.

Hamster Hotel in Nantes, France

Have you ever wondered what life might be like to your little hamster? What the world looks and feels like when running in a wheel? Looking out through a plastic wall to your slightly distorted face?

Well, now you can! There’s a hotel in the french city of Nantes that is designed to feel like a hamster’s habitat, named La Villa Hamster. It’s a unique concept and sure to draw a few quirky travelers as they make their way through France. The suites are hay stacks, the workout room is a giant running wheel, and your meals consist of grain.

The building dates back to the 18th century and the owners created this unusual hotel for those who want to see what it is like to live life as a hamster for a night. Visitors to the hotel receive a hamster mask when they check in and water is dispensed from tubes, similar to the drinking bottles that attach to hamster cages. If you don’t want to sleep in the haystack Hamster Villa, you can opt for a regular bed.

The next time you go to book a hotel after you make plans to visit France on your next vacation think about this hotel. Make your vacation even more adventurous by spending the night as a hamster and think about your own little furry guy and his plastic world of wheels, bubbles, and tubes.