Top Travel Tips for Dogs and Their Owners

Are you and your pooch planning a special getaway together? Adventures with your four-legged friend can be big fun for you both so long as you take a little time to make plans with your favorite sidekick in mind. Read on for how to ensure that both you and your dog can make the most of every moment next time you hit the road.  

Destination Unknown?

When you’re ready to explore fresh territories with your canine companion, think about choosing a destination agreeable to you both. For instance, a chilly mountain trek could be the perfect fit if your furry friend is a cold weather lover. For dogs that love water, a vacation centered around swimming and boating could be a dream come true. Dogs with flat faces, on the other hand, generally do best with low-energy activities and mild temperatures. 

Meshing climate and activities can help you get started on choosing the perfect spot for your next getaway. Also, search out dog-friendly locations that fit your anticipated plans. There are many places that don’t welcome dogs, so a little research can go a long way to ensuring your adventures are successful. For example, you might think all the national parks are the same as far as pet policies, but some are more dog-friendly than others. Along those same lines, some beaches welcome dogs and some don’t, or if an urban adventure is calling your name, certain cities are particularly accommodating to canine companions.  

Gear Up for Fun

Getting to and from your destination can be half the fun so long as you’re outfitted for success.  Car trips are more bearable with appropriate travel gear, such as a seat cover, travel bowls, and a restraint to keep your dog safely in his seat. Also, think about other accessories that will make experiences more comfortable. If trails or tents are part of your travel plans, your pooch can tote his own supplies with a well-chosen backpack, although there is a surprising variety, so read reviews to select the best one for your dog. Swimming and other water-oriented outings might require a doggy life jacket, and some dogs require coats for cold temps or cooling vests for heat. Thoughtful accessories can equate to delightful fun and less chance for misadventures.  

Safe Travels

For safety’s sake, include some dog-oriented first aid supplies in your travel gear in case there’s an incident. Similarly, your dog should wear an up-to-date, easy-to-read ID tag on the chance he slips away, and make a trip to the vet to ensure your dog’s vaccinations are current. If your dog has any special medical conditions, bring along copies of pertinent records, and research the veterinary clinic or hospital closest to your destination. You can use this search tool to help. Bring your dog’s prescription medications along as needed, and if your pooch is on a special diet, pack enough for your trip plus a bit extra in case you experience delays.  

Where Shall We Dine?

Whether you’re looking for opportunities to stop on the way to and from your destination, or weaving some Fido-friendly events together in your travel agenda, eateries that accept furry companions can ease some of your traveling angst. Many outdoor cafes are dog-friendly, and some chain restaurants allow pets as well. So you, your dog, and other diners all have a good time, Food & Wine suggests brushing up on your pooch’s table manners. And last but not least, when it comes to keeping things enjoyable for everyone, remember to pick up after your pooch.

Planning and preparation can make a world of difference when you’re taking a trip with your dog. Choose a hospitable destination, invest in the appropriate gear, and think about ways you can ensure your getaway is safe and fun for everyone. You and your furry traveling companion are sure to enjoy the vacation of your dreams, thanks to your thoughtful planning.

Travel Tips for Dogs and Their Owners

What’s The Most Important Information to Have On Your Dog’s ID Tag?

Equipping your dog with a highly readable, sturdy, id tag is your first line of defense in your precious pet’s recovery. With so little space and so much important stuff to put in it, what’s the smartest and most necessary information to help your dog get back home if found by strangers? Well, the question varies somewhat with the lifestyle you and your dog lead along with the setting or settings in which you live.

Avoid using up the real estate on a tag with cutesy sayings like “Help, I’m lost”, “Call my Mommy”, or “My name is …”. Useless information crowds the letters and makes everything else on the tag smaller and harder to read. Also, know that using all capital letters will require more room, thus making the letters smaller (less readable) to fit on their lines. Use upper and lower case letters for optimum readability.

Name

Typically id tags begin with a dog’s name. Knowing a dog’s name can help a stranger keep your dog in close proximity when initially found. 90% of dog owners use the first line of a dog’s tag for his or her dog’s name. Owners wary of dog stealing in their locale leave off names. Consider this if you are aware of such issues taking place where you live.

Phone numbers

Phone numbers are next in order of placement. Land lines and cell phone numbers are both great.  If you are out looking for your dog and someone calls your cell phone, you’ll know the dog has been found instantly! Messages left on your land line may not be discovered until you return home. Make sure your phone numbers are easily readable by using hyphens or dots to separate the numbers.

Address

Next, consider your address. Include a house number and street before you think about trying to fit the town and state. Abbreviate when possible. There is no need to use a zip code if you have listed your town and state. However, if your town and state has too many letters, you may elect to just use your zip code.

Microchips

Microchip information, including numbers, may be important to you. ” Microchip” or “Microchip#” followed by the number on the next line are both good. This is definitely a personal call. Remember that microchips must be scanned by a vet and will take longer and considerable more time to identify you as the dog’s owner. Strangers finding your dog need to have an easy reunite with you. They should not be expected to have to hunt you down, driving around the county or neighborhood for a scan to find you. The longer your dog is away from you, the more likely and prone they may be to accidents or injury.

Medical

Also, consider the medical needs of your dog if he or she has any. “Needs Meds” is a common line. “Service Dog” can be listed as well.

Getting your dog home safely and quickly is the number one goal of any dog id tag. Provide good samaritans with the easiest, most readable information you can and you will be on the road to a speedy recovery and a most happy day when your beloved friend returns home.

 

Keeping Your Home Spotless with Pets: 
Tips for Dog Owners

As many pet owners know, it can be difficult to keep a house spotless every day. Even the most well-behaved and well-groomed animal can leave little messes behind, from excess hair to mud from his paws. It can be downright exhausting to maintain everything — especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Fortunately, there are ways you can keep your home spotless while allowing your pup to stay comfortable and safe. From protecting your furniture to buying inexpensive cleaning supplies, you don’t have to drop a ton of money to keep your home clean and stain-free.

Look for Money-Saving Opportunities

There are plenty of ways to save money when buying cleaning supplies. A great place to start is by checking out sales and weekly ads from stores like Amazon and Target where you can find everything you need for cleaning your home. You can also look for Walmart promo codes for cashback opportunities online, or clip coupons for in-store savings.

A little extra research can point you toward where the discounts can be used; some may be in- store only, while others will be a better deal online. Consider also signing up for subscriptions to make sure you always have cleaning supplies handy.

Cover Your Furniture

If your pet tends to spend time on your furniture, you can use an old sheet or towel to cover his favorite areas so that dander and excess hair won’t stick to the upholstery. When guests come over, you can whip the sheet off and throw it in the wash without worrying about whether they’ll leave with pet hair on their clothing. And by using something you already have lying around the house, you’ll save a little bit of money.

You can also make your furniture less desirable by not eating near it; dogs have a wonderful sense of smell, and any crumbs that make their way into the seams of your couch will definitely be enticing to him. Providing your pup with a soft, clean bed will also help him steer clear of your furniture. Put it in a temperature-controlled spot and give him an old blanket to snuggle with.

Keep Your Pet Clean and Well-Groomed

One of the best ways to ensure your home stays clean is to keep your pet bathed and well- groomed, especially if he has long hair. You can do the grooming yourself at home to save money; just make sure you’re comfortable with cutting his nails with the proper tools; otherwise, you need to have a professional do it. Bathing, brushing, and keeping long hair trimmed will make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your floors spotless.

Use Simple Household Items

One major issue many pet owners have is an ever-present dog smell; even if your pet is clean, most dogs have a very distinct odor that can rub off on your carpets and furniture — and you. One budget-friendly way around this is to use baking soda on the carpet before you vacuum, and use hot water and lemon juice for tile. Vinegar and water can also be a great cleaner, and you can get tons of uses for under a dollar.

Keeping your home spotless when you have pets can be a big job, and the maintenance can become stressful if you don’t have a good plan. Think about the best ways to keep your floors and furniture stain-free without busting your budget, and look online for deals before you buy.

Caring for your first pet is a big responsibility, but it is much easier with the proper preparations. First, it’s important to select the right pet (and breed, if applicable). Next, you must prepare your home for your pet and properly acclimate him so you can bond. Let’s see what you need to make those plans.

Which Pet Is Right for You?

This depends on what you want from a pet. If you want a pet with little care that can provide some entertainment, then fish are your best option. However, if you are looking for companionship, you’ll probably want a dog or a cat. But there are other factors you should consider before you make your final decision, such as:

  • How much time do you plan on spending with your pet? Dogs require more maintenance than most pets, including training. If you don’t have the time for this, you might want to get a less taxing pet. 
  • What is your budget? Pets require food, gear, possibly habitats, and vet visits. Larger pets require vaccinations and annual check-ups and can be costly if they get sick or injured. How big is your home? Even if you get a fish tank, you’ll need the structure to support its weight. Dogs might require a fence in your backyard to stay safe. Read this post at The Guardian about choosing the right-sized pet for your home.
  • Pets can be messy. Prepare yourself and your home by investing in pet-specific cleaning supplies and products to protect your carpets and floors. A good vacuum is an absolute must for controlling fur and dander from cats and dogs. Be sure to check online reviews before you buy. 
  • Who will care for your pet when you’re away? If you are gone for long hours due to a busy work schedule, you may need to hire a dog walker. If you’re unable to take your dog with you on a vacation or business trip, consider boarding your dog at a reputable facility.
  • Finally, find out if the people you live with are allergic to any pets so you know which to avoid. 

Bringing Your Pet Home: Acclimating and Bonding

If you bring home a dog, be sure to purchase a sturdy id tag for them to wear right away. They may be frightened in the beginning and should they follow their nose or bolt you have some protection. Silver Paw Pet Tags make a great, super durable tag.

Before you bring home a larger pet, you want to make sure that he or she will be safe, particularly if it’s a kitten or puppy. Look for dangers like broken glass, small items, or places they can get stuck throughout your home. Make sure there is no way for him to get lost. You should also decide if you want there to be “off limits” areas for your pet.

Cats are very sensitive to new surroundings, and they may “disappear” for long periods of time. Petfinder has several ideas for acclimating your cat during the first 30 days, including providing him with an area of his own so he can feel safe and comfortable. Kittens will nestle in your hair and purr, so you may find yourself with a few sleepless nights when you bring one home. Not to worry; they are just bonding with you.

Bonding might take a little longer with an older dog or a rescue than a puppy, because they may be nervous about a new home. Shelter dogs can take six to eight weeks to settle in. Understanding his needs is critical. This free canine body language tip sheet from the ASPCA can help you learn how your dog communicates.

Bringing home your first pet is exciting. However, you need to take several things into consideration beforehand, including living arrangements/space requirements, allergies, and the amount of time you have to spend with your new friend. However, with careful selection and a bit of planning, this can be the start of a wonderful relationship.

I’ve had a few dogs over the years. They were loved with all my heart and soul. I’ve never had a dog who really took their time, without any major ailments like cancer, to leave this world. I’ve never cared for a loved one who seriously needed help caring for themselves for an extended time. I know now, it is painful, for them and for me.

My Ruby, the Silver Paw pup, is fourteen, has crippling arthritis in her front paws, and dysplasia on all four ends. She is a survivor, an old soul from way back. Over the last few years I’ve battled her ulcerated paws, lameness, loss of hearing, and eye sight. Each passing ailment a reminder that life does not go on forever. I love her so dearly, want to help with every step she takes, because that is what I feel she has given to me, but it is hard.

Once, such a joyful little wigglebutt character, Ruby, our champion field tester, tromped through every field, forest, ravine, and wild place, but now just sleeps in her bed, oblivious to much of life around her. Everything requires so much effort; getting in and out of the car, up and down from bed, going up and down stairs, and even waking up! I don’t want to be sad but I see the changes happening more quickly.

I miss this joyful dog and cherish the glimpses when she returns briefly before our short, slow walks and dinner times. I watch for the moments when there is real excitement in her eyes and it comes through in her body. I guess that when there is less and less of that excitement she’ll be telling us it is her time to let go. Is that how it happens and how will I possibly say goodbye to my loving, stubborn, relentless, and faithful girl, Ruby? Will it be her doing to decide?

When you love someone so much, it is so terribly hard. I know there will be more joyful dogs, but none just like this one.