Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish
Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

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Best Friends Pet Care : The Dog Dish

Tag Archives: safety

Know Before you Go: Tips for a Safe and Happy Road Trip with your Pet

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Many pets love a road trip almost as much as their parents. But before you load up Rover and head off into the distance, make sure you’re thoroughly prepared for a long car trip with your pet. We’ve compiled some comprehensive, road-tested tips on what to do before you go, as well as how to manage along the way.

 

Prepping for your Trip

 

  • Get a Healthy Start:  There’s no guarantee your pet won’t get sick during travel. But you can make sure he’s as healthy as possible before you head out. This means a quick trip to the vet for a thorough checkup. Your vet can also ensure that your pet is well enough for travel, up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations, and has a full supply of any medications he made need.

  • If you’re planning to travel across state lines, you’ll need to ask your veterinarian to provide you with a health certificate for your pet. A number of states do require them; even if the state you’re headed to doesn’t, you may have to pass through states that do. If you plan to travel from the U.S. to Canada with your pet, you’ll need to have a veterinarian certificate on hand that clearly identifies your pet and certifies that he has been vaccinated against rabies at some point within the previous 36 months. Be sure to contact the government of any Canadian province you plan to visit – each province has its own pet requirements and regulations.

  • Plan for Securing your Pet:  Have a plan in place for keeping your pet safely, securely and comfortably restrained in your vehicle during the trip.  This is a critical part of pet travel that many pet parents fail to take seriously enough. Tragically, hundreds of pets are injured or even killed each year because their caretakers allowed them to roam free in a vehicle.  There’s also the very real possibility that a roaming pet could distract a driver, causing an accident that leads to property damage, injury, or even death for the vehicle’s occupants. There are a number of great pet restraint products available on the market, including vehicle pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats, and pet travel crates.  Whichever method you choose, it’s important that you help your pet adapt to it – at his pace – in the weeks or months before traveling. Doing so will ensure that he’s as comfortable as he is safe.

  • Temporary ID Tag:  This is an important, though often overlooked pet travel tip. Unfortunately, pets do occasionally run off during travel. But if you’re well-prepared, that story doesn’t have to have a sad ending.  Bringing a temporary identification tag and a current photo of your pet on your trip can help facilitate his safe return.  Secure the temporary ID tag to your pet’s collar alongside his permanent tag. Make sure to include the address and phone number of your accommodations, as well as your cell phone number and an email address so that you can be easily reached in more than one way.  It is also recommended to microchip your pet.  A current photo of your pet will make it much easier for others to clearly identify him so they can help you find him.

  • Packing Essentials:  Always pack an ample supply of your pet’s food.  Don’t depend on stopping along the way or at your final destination to grab some food at a local supermarket or pet store. Your pet’s specific brand of food may not be available at every locale, and introducing your pet to a new brand of food during travel can be problematic. Aside from food, be sure to provide your pet with plenty of water to drink throughout the trip.

    Other essentials on your packing list should include collapsible travel food and water bowls; comfortable bedding; litter and a litter box; a leash; a collar with appropriate tags; a few favorite toys; some basic grooming supplies; a first-aid kit for pets, and any medications your pet might need.

  • Book Your Pet Friendly Accommodations:  If you’re planning a long road trip that requires one or more en-route overnight hotel stays, you’ll need to secure pet friendly accommodations before you travel. Map out your trip, find the most convenient locations to spend the night, and arrange for lodging ahead of time. To make the process much easier, TripsWithPets.com’s Search By Route option allows you to input your starting and final destinations, and find pet friendly accommodations along your preferred route.

  • Medical Records:  Medical emergencies can happen, and it’s best to be prepared. Be sure to bring your pet’s medical records, along with your vet’s contact information, in case he or she is needed for consultation.

Hitting the Road

 

  • Keep All Heads Inside the Window:  For many pets, riding with their heads out the window is the best part of any road trip. While it may be enjoyable, it’s an unsafe thing to do, as your pet can easily be injured by passing objects or flying debris.  Also, NEVER allow your pet to ride in the back of a pickup truck. It’s highly dangerous, and it’s even illegal in some states.

  • Stop Frequently:  Providing frequent potty and exercise breaks is essential for your pet’s comfort. Most rest stops have areas designated areas for walking pets. Be sure to restrict your pet to these areas when you suspect he needs to potty. Bring your own clean-up bags, and always pick up after your pet. Any time your pet is outside your vehicle, make sure he’s on a leash and wearing a collar that features both permanent and temporary travel ID tags.

  • Provide Adequate Hydration:  During pit stops, make sure you provide your pet with abundant fresh water to keep him cool and hydrated.  Occasionally, travel can cause stomach upset in pets. Using ice cubes for hydration can be easier on your pet’s stomach than large amounts of water.

  • Monitor Food Intake:  Try to keep feeding to a minimum as you travel – it’s easier on pet stomachs and keeps them more comfortable. Feed your pet his regular pet food, and don’t give in to the temptation of sharing your burger, pizza or nachos with your pet (this decision is fun at the time, but never ends well).

  • Don’t Leave Them Alone:  Never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle. While it’s a common thing to do, it’s actually very dangerous – on warm days, the temperature in your vehicle can reach 120 degrees within minutes – even with the windows cracked open. In addition, animals left alone in vehicles are an easy target for thieves.

  • Use Restraints Wisely:  Keep your pet safely restrained in your vehicle.  Pet safety harnesses, pet travel kennels, vehicle pet barriers, and pet car seat are popular and effective ways to keep your pet safe on the road.  Not only do they prevent injury, they prevent accidents by minimizing distractions for the driver. Note that, whatever method you choose, the back seat is always the safest spot in the car for your pet.

    Safety harnesses function much like seatbelts.  While these devices are comfortable for most pets, you may want to help your pet adjust to his by having him wear it a few times outside the vehicle before your trip.  If you choose to use a travel kennel, be sure it is very stable inside the vehicle, and well ventilated so that your pet gets plenty of air. Vehicle barriers are a popular choice among pet parents, especially if they have larger pets. Those with smaller pets might consider a pet car seat, which is secured in the back seat with a seat belt features a safety harness that secures your pet. Pet car seats also help boost little guys and gals up so they can see out the window.

  • Keep Him Safe and Comfy:  Anyone who has ever been on a road trip knows that keeping comfortable in the car is a high priority. The same is true for your pet. Their seat and safety restraint should be comfortable for them – you may even want to invest in an especially cozy pet car seat for the trip. Also, bringing along favorite blankets and cuddly toys is always helpful.

 

Road trips with your pet should be exciting and fun adventures. Following these tips will ensure that your pet’s safety, comfort and security are taken care of, so that the two of you are free to have fun, wherever the road might lead you.

 

TripsWithPets.com is the premier online pet friendly travel guide — providing online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada.  When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets.com for detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities.  TripsWithPets.com also features airline & car rental pet policies, pet friendly activities, a user-friendly search-by-route option, as well as pet travel gear. For more information, please visit http://www.tripswithpets.com


Tags: Cats, Dogs, Pet advice, Pet Safety, Pet travel, Pet Vacation, Pets and road trips, Pets and trips, Safety, Tips

Heartworm Prevention: A Primer for Every Pet Parent

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As a responsible pet parent, you know that you are supposed to keep your fur babies on heartworm preventive, but have you ever wondered why it is so important? What would happen if you didn’t? What if your pet has heartworms – what now?

We believe that information is power and there is A LOT of information on this dreaded disease. Over the next 3 posts, we will cover:

  • An overview of the heartworm lifecycle and how prevention fits into disrupting it
  • How the worms cause signs of illness and what the most accurate tests are for diagnosis
  • What are the safest strategies for treatment

Overview of heartworm biology

So what are heartworms anyway? Heartworms are really just that, worms that live in heart of a dog or cat. But how do they get there?

By now you know that mosquitos are the way these little buggers get into our pets. Mosquitos can carry heartworm larvae (microscopic baby worms called microfilaria) which can enter into the bloodstream of a dog or cat when they are bitten by a mosquito. These larvae whoosh around in the bloodstream for about 6 months, getting bigger and bigger until they can’t fit in the small blood vessels anymore. This is when they essentially get stuck in the heart or, in the case of cats, in the large blood vessels in the lungs.

Once they are in the heart or lungs as adults, male and female worms start making babies (more microfilariae!) which also go out and whoosh around the entire blood stream. Adult heartworms can live for 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2 or 3 years in cats! This means that every mosquito season can potentially lead to higher and higher numbers of worms living in your pet.  As this cycle of reproduction goes on over months to years, the adult worms are continuously causing damage to the inside of the heart. In the case of cats, the problems are even more severe since the worms are actually in the lungs.

Pets with microfilariae circulating around in their bloodstream also pose a risk for other pets in the area as well by serving as a reservoir. Mosquitos can bite an infected dog, then carry the microfilariae to another dog and the cycle continues.

How does heartworm prevention work?

This is the part where you come in. The monthly medications that you give your dog or cat to prevent heartworm disease works by killing the baby larvae and microfilariae that may have gotten in via the dreaded mosquito bite. Every month you give the medication, you are potentially killing off a new round of invaders before they have the chance to grow into adult worms and cause disease.

This is why monthly heartworm preventive is critical in areas where there is any mosquito activity. According the recommendations from the American Heartworm Society, the safest option for prevention is for pets to be on heartworm prevention year round.

Our next post cover the basics of how the infection actually makes your dog or cat sick and what are the most accurate way of confirming a diagnosis. Stay tuned…

Tags: Ask the Vet, Cats, Dogs, Health, Pet advice, Pet health, Pet info, Safety, Vet

Protect Your Family Pets From Holiday Hazards

Waiting for Santa

It may be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it can also be the most dangerous for your pet. Holiday decorations and festive foods can put your pet at risk, so take precautions to prevent holiday mishaps.

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Tags: Cats, Dogs, Health, Holidays, Safety
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