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Barks and Bytes #4

Author: MayaAndPierson
February 27, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to the Barks and Bytes blog hop where anything goes. I could talk about anything, but you know where you are so you have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to talk about, right? ;) Barks and Bytes is hosted by two of our favorite dog bloggers, 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

PREVIOUS BARKS AND BYTES

Hawk with BrownDog CBR said, “Hi Y’all! My Human is talking about getting me a longer strap for my car harness. I like the one that goes on the people seat belt ’cause it has some give. On trips I do sit, lay and like to turn around. I’m beyond eating through the restraint. However, I’ve become adept, with either type, unclickin’ the seat belt or strap from the seat! BOL!!! We get where we’re going and when my Human goes to take me out she discovers I’ve freed myself!

Hawk, I have the perfect dog seat belt tether for you. It is the one from Bergan. It doesn’t click into the seat belt exactly, but it does connect to it. It would be highly unlikely that you’d be able to unclick out of it. I also indicated the Angel Guard in a reply. The Angel Guard is designed to keep young children from unbuckling themselves. But it can work for certain dog seat belts too. I would need to see your seat belt tether in order to make sure it will work, though.

Clip the Bergan Tether Between Seat Belt

The Bergan tether clips between the webbing of the seat belt buckle. It can also be clipped onto the latch system located between the rear seat cushions of all vehicles 2001 and later.

Angel Guard to Protect Seat Belt Buckle

The Angel Guard will keep your dog from being able to unclip his seat belt. But it only works for some dog car harness tethers.

Donna with Donna and the Dogs said, “I think it’s great that you share the pros and cons of each product you sell…it certainly makes for easier purchasing!”

Thanks, Donna! I’ve found that telling people everything up front keeps the number of returns down. All the articles out there talking about how the ClickIt Utility is the safest dog car harness out there make people think it is the best. It is a fantastic product, but they get returned a lot because people don’t realize how much some dogs really hate to wear them. Or they get returned because they are so darned difficult to adjust. Telling people these things up front allows them to make informed decisions.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog said, “I see your point about Kurgo, but how does one find out what types of manufacturers a company has hired? For instance, I don’t want to support someone who is funding a sweat shop somewhere that only pays pennies per hour.”

This is an excellent point, Jodi. Keep in mind the quality of the product you are buying. A well-made product like Kurgo requires skilled labor. Unskilled labor is not going to be able to make quality items. Since skilled labor is harder to come by, a manufacturer needs to entice them with higher wages. Another point is that a company with a well-known brand is not going to risk tarnishing their good name by hiring a manufacturer who runs their company like a sweat shop.

GETTING OUT OF A DOG CAR HARNESS

Jodi also said, “Great advice Dawn, I was thinking along the same lines, you can’t just grab a harness and snap your dog into a car and have everything be perfect. Delilah wears a harness sometimes when we walk or train, SO I think she would be more comfortable in the car than Sampson would. Plus she typically just lies down on long car rides. I think it will take some time for Sampson to get used to it, but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

I really think that if Maya hadn’t been wearing a dog car harness since she was a pup, it would be nearly impossible to get her to wear one now. Even though she has been wearing one forever, she is still very unsettled when she wears one. When she was wearing her Kurgo Go-Tech, for example, I had to switch out their loop tether for the Bergan tether because she wouldn’t hold still and would get herself tangled. Thankfully, early and continuous training has made her not-quite-so-impossible.

Lindsay with That Mutt said, “Such helpful advice! The first thing most of us would think of would be to tighten the harness, but you’ve shown us why that’s probably not the best idea.”

A common complaint we get with dog car harnesses is that some dogs can get out of them. So they ask us, “Is there one that is escape proof?” And I say, “I wish!” If I were to claim one to be escape proof, there is most likely someone out there who has a Houdini-dog and will prove me wrong.

Ann with My Pawsitively Pets said, “I never would have thought about this issue with dog seat harnesses before… I’m sure it happens all the time though. I’ve seen plenty of dogs escape from their collar in the past.”

Happens all the time, I’m afraid. We want to keep our dogs safe, but sometimes they don’t make it easy for us. ;)

CONTEST TO WIN A DOG SEAT BELT

There is just one more day to enter a contest to win a dog car harness from us. You can win any of the dog seat belt brands we sell, and we sell the best.

QUICK PET SAFETY TIP

If you have big dogs that like to ride in the car, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo. What I love about it the most is that it gives my two big dogs more room in the back. My back seats are so narrow that Maya especially would be very uncomfortable trying to sit in her dog seat belt without sliding off. Plus, the Backseat Bridge has three safety features to consider: 1) It has a divider to separate the front from the back seat; 2) It covers the floor so that if your dog is not buckled up and you have to stop suddenly, your dog won’t get thrown onto the floor; and 3) If your dog is buckled up but has to use a longer tether because they like to move around a lot, the Backseat Bridge keeps them from getting launched off the seat. Being launched off the seat is what kept some dog car harnesses from getting the top safety rating. Incidentally, the Kurgo dog car hammock has these same features. It has an additional benefit, though, in that it also covers the seat like a seat cover.

Maya Showing Off Her Favorite Pet Travel Products

My big girl Maya has more room in the back seat with the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo.

Tan Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock

The Kurgo Wander Pet Hammock covers the seat, the floor, and the back of the front seats.

That’s all the barking and byting I have to do for now. Leave your barks and bytes below?

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Pet Auto Safety Barks and Bytes #2

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 30, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to another edition of Barks and Bytes where we share comments and questions from other pet lovers about car travel and where we review the events of the week. The Barks and Bytes blog hop is hosted by our friends at Heart Like a Dog and 2 Brown Dawgs.

LAST WEEK BARKS
Carol with Fidose of Reality left a very nice comment, “I want to thank you for having a blog where safety and traveling with dogs is combined into one.”

Thank you, Carol! I know you’re a fan of pet safety in the car. I’ve seen photos of Dexter wearing his dog car harness. :) I’d love to share one of those photos here and on our Facebook and G+ pages. Let me know!

BARKS FROM PETS THAT DON’T LIKE TO RIDE IN THE CAR
Lindsay with That Mutt had a good idea about helping cats ride well in the car, “put him in his carrier and put a towel over it and that has helped calm him down.”

Great idea, Lindsay! Sometimes pets need to look out the window in order to help with motion sickness. But if the issue is anxiety, having them ride in a carrier and covering it with a towel can be very helpful.

Tegan with Leema Kennels Rescue and Blogsaid, “You can also try feeding ginger 30 minutes before travel for travel sickness.”

You’re so smart, Tegan! How much ginger would you say? By the way, ginger is one of the primary ingredients of Travel Calm. Travel Calm is not available everywhere, though. Tegan is in Australia.

Jody with Bark and Swagger said, “Sophie doesn’t line riding in the car, but I think it’s because she took a long journey as a young puppy to get home to us. It was probably scary.”

I agree. Riding in the car for such a long trip probably was scary. All that movement of stopping, turning, and speeding up can be really hard on a puppy tummy. Then there are also the strange sights and smells whizzing by. Poor Sophie. I hope she comes to enjoy car rides someday.

RECENT QUESTION
I had a wonderful conversation through Facebook with someone regarding dog seat belts. She said a friend of hers bought the ClickIt dog seat belt and was not happy with how complicated it was to use. She said the same regarding the AllSafe. Although these two brands are very good for safety, ease of use is another important factor to consider when shopping for the right dog seat belt. Your dog’s comfort is another thing to take into account.

So what dog seat belt combines comfort, ease of use, AND safety? My personal first choice is the Bergan brand. Although, a small handful of people have said it is complicated too. I think it is the very first time you put it on. But once you get it fitted and put it on a few times, it is very simple. Bergan has made a great video to help you through the steps.

You may remember from the report from the Center for Pet Safety, though, that the Bergan brand failed using the 75 pound dog dummy. After speaking with Bergan, they have promised a new version in the large size will be coming out soon. In the meantime, the Ruff Rider Roadie is another great brand. It passed testing at all sizes. It is one of my favorites too, but I do like the padding of the Bergan better.

Pierson in the Car Logo

That’s my boy, Pierson, wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Also pictured is the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo. It gives Pierson more room to stretch out on long road trips and it keeps him from coming off the seat.

INTERVIEW
I have an interview for a radio show today. The interview won’t air until March, so I will keep you posted. It’s hosted by Karen from PetsPage.com and will play on the pet news segment on Kim Power Stilson’s Talk Radio show on SiriusXM. It’s a simple interview, but I’m both excited and scared at the same time!

WAG N GO
There is only a little bit more time and more £ to go to help out Trina with her new product. Please go check out the Wag N Go on Kickstarter.

Wag N Go Bag

QUICK DOG SAFETY TIP
Front passenger side airbags are not safe for pets. If your dog likes to sit in the front seat, check your vehicle specifications to see how much weight will trigger the airbags. Some airbags will only go off if the seat has a certain amount of weight in it. Others will go off regardless of weight. If this is the case, see if the passenger side airbag can be temporarily disabled. And if not, push the seat as far back as possible while your dog is sitting in it.

Generally, we recommend pets sit in the back. But I understand how a dog may want to sit in the front. That would be Maya’s first choice. But Maya would be too much of a distraction. So if your dog needs to sit in the front, don’t let him be a distraction and make sure he is not in danger of the passenger side airbags.

Passenger Side Airbags on Chevy Spark

Passenger side airbags are not safe for children and they are not safe for dogs.

Thank you for visiting us today on the Barks and Bytes. Please feel free to leave us a comment or question below. We will reply with a comment of our own and address it in next week’s Barks and Bytes. If you have a question that you want to ask privately or if you need your question answered right away, please feel free to email us at nature by dawn at aol dot com (spelled out in order to avoid recognition from spam bots).

Thanks Again!
Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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January 27, 2014
Dog Head Out Window Danger

This dog really likes riding in the car. But not all dogs do. (For safety, you should not allow your dog to put his head out the window.)

It seems wherever we go, we see a happy dog with his head out the window, his ears flapping in the wind, and a big doggy grin on his face. Seeing this so often, one would think all dogs love to ride in the car. Sadly, this is not the case. Here are some reasons why a dog may not like riding in the car, along with some possible solutions:

1. Unfamiliarity and/or Anxiety – If a dog doesn’t ride in the vehicle often, it can be a very strange place. The movement, the sounds, and everything moving by at a blur can seem frightening to a dog that is not used to it.

* Let your dog sit in the vehicle without starting it up. Praise with words and treats. Do this often. Once he is comfortable with getting in the vehicle, start taking him on short trips. Also, consider a dog anxiety treatment such as the Thundershirt.

Daffy the Dachshund in the Thundershirt

Daffy the Dachshund in her new Thundershirt!

2. Car Sickness – Some dogs get motion sickness.

* Take short trips that don’t require a lot of stops and turns. If your dog is small, it helps if he can see out the window. Let him ride in a pet car booster seat. Also, consider a pet travel remedy such as Travel Calm in order to help with car motion sickness.

Roxy in a Pet Car Seat

Roxy the Dachshund can see out the window in the Skybox pet car booster seat from Kurgo.

Dog Sissy and Travel Calm

Travel Calm helped Sissy remain calm while her neighbors shot fireworks. It also helps for car sickness and travel anxiety.

3. Destination – If the only time your dog rides in the car is when you have to take him to the vet, it’s no wonder he doesn’t like to ride.

* Take your dog somewhere fun and rewarding. Go to the park, the pet store for treats, or just go to the bank drive-through and ask the teller for a dog biscuit.

Maya Vet Caption

Actually, Maya loves the vet. She’s weird.

Does your dog like to ride in the car?

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Pet Auto Safety Barks and Bytes #1

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 23, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to the new blog hop, Barks and Bytes, hosted by Linda with 2BrownDawgs and Jodi with Heart Like a Dog. Just about anything goes on this blog hop, so I will cover a variety of pet travel matters – comments, questions, upcoming events, news, tips, and anything else that comes up throughout the week. Here goes round one!

WAG N GO
The Wag N Go created by Trina with WagTheDogUK needs a little more help. Trina is running a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money so that she can put this product into construction. There is only a little time left, so stop by the Wag N Go Kickstarter campaign today and lend a helping paw.

PET CAR SAFETY ARTICLES
I haven’t been posting as many pet travel safety articles on this blog lately. But I haven’t been idle. I’ve written a few informative articles recently. Check them out on Ezine, PetsPage, and Hub Pages:

- Seat Belts for Dogs Make Progress in Safety
- Safety Tips to Keep Your Little Dog Off Your Lap
- Make Traveling with a Cat Easier

RECENT QUESTIONS
The following questions asked this week have been by telephone:

Do you have any of the ClickIt harnesses left?”
Yes, but only a few. As of this moment, we have one extra small in black, one medium in black, and one large in black.

When will you have more ClickIts in stock?”
Sleepypod, the manufacturer of the ClickIts, are hoping to have more in stock by the end of this month. This means we won’t have any more until the first week of February.

How does that Carry-Me pet travel carrier work with the seat belt?”
At the time this question was asked, we did not have a photo showing this crate being secured with a seat belt. We indicated in the product description but no photos. The manufacturer didn’t have any either, which was a bit surprising. So I took the following photo, emailed it to the person who was asking about it, and posted it in the product description of the Carry-Me crates.

Carry-Me Pet Travel Crate Buckled In

How does the kennel straps work?”
This is another product where the manufacturer did not provide enough photos. So again, I took a few to demonstrate:

Kennel Straps to Secure a Pet Travel Carrier

The two very long kennel straps lay on the seat vertically parallel.

Kennel Straps to Secure a Pet Travel Crate

Buckle the seat belt of the car over the kennel straps.

Kennel Straps Securing a Pet Carrier

Set the pet carrier on the seat, and then connect the ends of the carrier straps. Tighten to secure.

NEW VIDEO
Remember our Funny Dogs Car Talk Adventures video starring Maya and Pierson? I promised more funny videos and that promise will be fulfilled around mid-March. I have written a new funny script. The next step is to record more of Maya and Pierson in the car, record the dialogue, and then edit the video.

Need Input
I also want to make some instructional videos. Demonstrating how the kennel straps work would be much better if it was done in a video, don’t you think? However, I don’t want to make the videos too dry and boring. Any ideas how to make the video fun and/or interesting and yet still be informative?

QUICK DOG SAFETY TIP
Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean it is safe to leave your dog alone in the car while you run errands. While in warmer weather, your car traps heat like an oven, in colder weather it traps cold like a refrigerator. And you always have to worry about thieves or even unsavory people who don’t like dogs and will go out of their way to harass them when they think no one is looking. It is probably stressful enough for your dog if you’ve left him alone in unfamiliar surroundings. But then think about how much more stressful it might be if someone walking by purposely teased him.

Thank you for joining us for the very first Barks and Bytes blog hop. This event happens every Thursday so be sure to stop by regularly. You can sign up to subscribe to our blog in the top right column.

Thanks again and have a wonderful day!

Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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Help! My Pet is Locked in the Car!

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 22, 2014
Unlocking the Car

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I would never take my dogs Maya and Pierson anyplace where I had to leave them alone in the car. But as scatter-brained as I can be, it is quite possible I might automatically lock my car with the dogs still inside. With that being said, here is an article written by Elizabeth on behalf of the car insurance company that I have personally been using for over 10 years:

It can be easy to sometimes lock your keys in the car.  Generally, this is more of an annoyance than anything else, but if your pet happens to be inside the car when you accidently lock yourself out, then there is a real problem on your hands.  Roadside assistance is a great way to deal with this issue, because you can use the unlock car service.  Having your pet locked in the car is a very stressful situation, so it’s good to have a plan that you can follow.  Make sure to specifically tell the roadside assistance representative that your pet is locked in the car.  If it is very hot outside, then you may need to take more drastic measures.

While waiting for roadside assistance, monitor your pet closely.  Call their name and check that they are reacting normally.  Also, try not to leave your car unattended if possible.  Once help arrives and your car is unlocked, confirm that your pet still appears to be healthy.  You could even consider bringing your pet to the vet, depending on what the weather was that day and how long your pet was in the car.  Offer your pet water as soon as possible, since they most likely have not had access to it for the duration of being locked in the car.  If it is cold outside, wrap your pet in a blanket and turn the car’s heat up.

Even if you never need to use your roadside assistance club, this program could give you peace of mind.  In addition to roadside assistance, you could also consider bringing a spare key with you.  You may not always remember the spare key, but it would be one more way to help keep your pet safe.

Author Bio: By Elizabeth on behalf of Allstate Motor Club. Visit www.allstatemotorclub.com to learn more about our motor club benefits.

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January 2, 2014

January 2nd, 2014 is National Pet travel Safety Day. To honor this day, we are sharing a wonderful infographic created by GoPetFriendly.com and PetHub.com. Everyone in my family wears a seat belt in the car and my family includes my dogs Maya & Piersons. Be sure to secure your dog in the car too.

Pet Travel Safety Infographic

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Saved by Pet Friendly Motel 6

Author: MayaAndPierson
December 30, 2013

As you may know, we make an annual road trip from Kansas to Texas and back every year for the holiday. This year was particularly adventurous. Did you hear about the ice storm that hit Oklahoma? We experienced it first-hand and Motel 6 was our savior.

We heard an ice storm was coming and had hoped to beat it. Our plan was to get through Oklahoma City before stopping for the night. We had a pet friendly hotel in mind, one we had stayed at before. But travel took longer than we thought and the ice storm hit before we could reach it. For safety reasons, we had to stop a little early.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 001

Our car was too light colored to get a good photo so this is a photo of another car covered with ice during the storm.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 002

Ice coating the brown grass looks like abstract art.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 003

After the ice storm, trees, grass, cars, etc. were coated with over a quarter of of an inch of ice.

Oklahoma Ice Storm 004

This clump of brown grass coated with ice looks like coral under the ocean.

We were nowhere near the normal hotel chains we stay at – Red Roof Inn or Baymont Inn Suites. So I used our GPS to locate nearby hotels and began making phone calls. I must have called 10 places before I finally found a place that was pet friendly with no size or breed limits and didn’t charge extra fees for pets. That place was Motel 6.

I was very reluctant about calling Motel 6 but I was desperate. I remember Motel 6 as being a rundown hotel with smelly rooms. They must have changed their image because that is not at all what I found.

When I called and asked about pets, they immediately said yes without asking about the size, number, or breed. When I asked if they had extra fees for pets, they said no. Thank goodness! I was so happy about finding a hotel that I didn’t care about the condition of the rooms. But lo and behold, when I walked into our room I was amazed.

Maya and Pierson Motel 6 001

Maya and Pierson are so happy about being able to get out of the car and into a nice comfortable motel room.

Maya at Motel 6

Maya relaxes on a blanket I put beside my bed at the Motel 6.

Pierson Motel 6

The floors of this particular Motel 6 were linoleum. I’ve never had a motel room with strictly linoleum floors but it seems like a good idea for pet friendly.

It did not smell at all. Generally, when we stay at the Red Roof Inn or even at the Baymont Inn Suites, the pet friendly rooms smell like cigarette smoke! Even when we ask for a smoke-free room!!! My thinking is they converted their smelly smoke rooms into pet friendly rooms, assuming one stinky smell is like any other. Not so with Motel 6.Our room at the Motel 6 was simple, but nice. We weren’t provided with a coffee pot, an alarm clock, or shampoo. But we had a TV, a dresser, a couple tables, and a very comfortable bed. Since we were just stopping over, we didn’t need anything fancy. We just needed a safe and comfortable place to stay the night.

For under $60 a night, the Motel 6 was quite a bargain! We liked our stay at the Motel 6 in Oklahoma City so much that we stayed at Motel 6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the way back too. It was just as nice. And it didn’t smell either.

Motel 6 literally saved us. Without it, we had nowhere else to go. Who knows what could have happened if we kept trying to drive through that ice storm. Thank you Motel 6! You are our new favorite hotel chain and we will definitely choose you again on our next road trip.

Oklahoma Motel 6 Maya Pierson

Two very happy dogs at the pet friently Motel 6 in Oklahoma City.

Motel 6
12121 N I-35
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 478-4030

Motel 6
12525 East 52nd St. South
Tulsa, OK
(918) 254-1626

This is purely an unsolicited review.

If you want to know more about our trip, check out our Oklahoma! post on AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com. We will also be posting more photos on Wordless Wednesday.

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December 9, 2013
Maya Resting in Car

Are we there yet?

It’s almost time for our annual road trip from Kansas to Texas to visit family. The drive takes about eleven hours. Taking such a long trip with two big dogs requires careful preparation and planning.

Why Do We Drive?

An eleven hour trip sounds intimidating. But when you have two big dogs, visiting family for the holidays doesn’t leave many options. Boarding kennels and pet sitters tend to be booked up this time of year. Flying can be expensive, not to mention a very stressful situation for pets that need to ride in the cargo area of the plane. Winter weather can also prevent your dog from being able to fly.

While driving requires several hours of our vacation to be spent on the road, for us it is the best option. I’m not sad and worried about Maya and Pierson because they’re with me. And the gas expense is less than one flight ticket.

Maya Pierson Cookietown

PREPARING FOR THE TRIP

The Vehicle

Now that we know we are going to drive, we just need to work out the logistics. Is our vehicle in good shape, including the tires? Is a car enough, or should we rent an SUV? Last year we rented an SUV because our friends went with us and four adults and two big dogs just wouldn’t fit in our sedan.

My Dogs in Back of SUV

This is the vehicle we rented last year for our trip to Texas.

This year it is just my husband and I and the two dogs so we can take our car. We’re not taking mine this year, though. We are taking my husband’s. My car is already fitted with all the dog gear, but it is an older model vehicle and I don’t want to risk it breaking down on the way. So before our trip, I need to outfit my husband’s Camry for Maya and Pierson. The first thing it needs is a seat cover. I will also install the Backseat Bridge because it covers the floor and gives my big pups more room to stretch out for the long trip.

Pet Travel Products in My Car

This is my Car. It has the Backseat Bridge to cover the floor, a seat cover, and BreezeGuard window screens on the windows. I’ve also since added car door guards.

Hotel

Will we do the entire drive all in one day, or will we stay overnight at a hotel? Most times, we drive straight through. But this year, we are visiting friends in Tulsa and so will stay in a hotel. To prepare, we need to find a pet friendly hotel in Tulsa and make reservations.

Health & Temperament

Maya and Pierson are in good health and so will be fine on this trip. But depending on your pet, you may want to consider his health before going on your road trip. In addition, think about how much or how little your dog likes to ride in the car. If he doesn’t like to ride, you may need to start getting him used to it now by taking short road trips to somewhere fun. You can also ask your vet about possible pet anxiety treatments you can give him.

Pack

A week before the trip, I compile a packing list. I add to it as things come to mind so that by the day of the trip, I know everything I need to take. For the dogs, I need their food, treats, food and water bowls, water, toys, blankets, beds, leashes, veterinary records, poop bags, their dog seat belts, first aid kit, and I need to make sure their id tags are secure on their collars. Since we are staying in a hotel, I should think about bringing their pet crates too.

Right Before We Leave

Besides checking off the packing list and making sure our vehicle has gas, I also like to administer Travel Calm to both Maya and Pierson. Maya gets excited in the vehicle and the all natural Travel Calm really helped keep her relaxed and quiet on our trip last year. Pierson sometimes gets car sick and Travel Calm helps with that too.

The next thing we do before we go is let the dogs go potty. And the final thing is to make sure our house is secure. If we didn’t already have someone watching our house, we’d be talking to our neighbors to ask them to keep an eye out. We’d also reduce the thermostat and make sure we didn’t leave any unnecessary appliances turned on.

THE ROAD TRIP

When traveling such a long distance, it is a good idea for us and the dogs to make plenty of pit stops. We stop at rest areas or gas stations to stretch our legs or use the restroom. For the dogs, I make sure their leashes are secure before letting them out of the car. It helps that they are already secured in their dog seat belts. All I have to do is attach their leash, then release the buckle that keeps them secured.

When I take them to go potty, I make sure they only go in designated pet areas. And I always pick up after them. If we’re in a public area, I am careful about not imposing my dogs on other people. I keep control of them as much as possible for both their safety and for the sake of others.

While it would probably be much more convenient if we could travel without having to worry about the dogs, I really enjoy taking them. For me, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without my Maya and Pierson. If you’re traveling by car this holiday and taking your best friend with you, consider our preparation plans and apply them for your situation. And send us pictures! :)

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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Follow Up Friday #8

Author: MayaAndPierson
August 23, 2013
My Dog Pierson Eating Sonic Ice Cream

I walked with Pierson to pick up my car from the auto shop and we stopped at Sonic on the way back. Did you know they give out a free sample for your dog?

Time for another edition of Follow Up Friday hosted by HeartLikeADog and SandSpringChesapeakes. Follow Up Friday is where we follow up with the events of the week. So check out what you missed, then go see what our doggy blogging friends are up to with the blog hop below.

Pet Safety Saturday – Outdoor Hiking Safety

I can’t believe I completely forgot to include first aid supplies in my list! Thankfully, all the bloggers talking about first aid this month reminded me and I added it on as an update. Jodi with HeartLikeADog.com suggested other items you should brink hiking – “a flashlight as well as an extra collar and leash.” And she also suggested a pepper blaster. I live in Kansas where the predators are not very big. So it never occurred to me to bring pepper spray. But it sounds like a fantastic idea.

Monday – My Car and Pierson’s Poem

It took forever, but I finally got my car back. I almost had it back last Friday but it died on me as I pulled into my driveway. I couldn’t restart it so had it towed to a repair shop. It was about 3pm so, of course, they didn’t have time to look at it that day. And they were closed on the weekend. They finally had a chance to look at it on Monday and guess what? The car started for them! They even drove it around. They couldn’t find anything wrong with it at all. :P

My car is home now and seems to be doing fine. It’s almost as good as new. Just look at that shiny new bumper! We’re ready to roll for the next pet event. :)

Bumper on Car Fixed

Look at my shiny new bumper!

My Car Bumper Fixed

See how pretty it is?

Also, Pierson’s poo poem was selected as one of the winners for the Bad Poetry Day Contest. If you haven’t seen the poem, go check it out on our other blog. The poem is titled, Roses Aren’t Edible, and is a blogging sensation – 30 comments!!! Apparently you all like poo too. ;)

Pet Travel Destination Tuesday

No comments for the post on Seattle, Washington. But I forgot to mention one made by Lindsay with ThatMutt.com from the previous Tuesday. She says, “Our favorite pet friendly travel destination has always been the north shore area of Lake Superior in Minnesota. We can always find dog friendly trails and cabins or hotels. Plus, lots of places for dogs to go swimming.” This sounds like a lot of fun! Tell us more, Lindsay.

Because I own my own business, I pretty much work it seven days a week and our family seldom gets to do much traveling. So, Lindsay and anyone else who’d like to talk about their favorite pet travel destination, feel free to email me with more information and photos for a guest spot.

Question of the Week

How can I keep my dog from wiggling out of the dog car harness?

This is such a common occurrence that we include a tip sheet with all our pet seat belt orders. The fact is if a dog is not used to wearing a harness and hates to be restricted in the car, he is going to try to wiggle his way out of it. And a very determined dog might just be able to do so. How can you keep him from getting out of it? Not by tightening it. In fact, this may make your dog even more determined to get out of it because it makes him uncomfortable. And if it is too tight, he could hurt himself when he tries to wiggle free.

Is there a brand that is escape-proof? Not that we have found so far, though some are more difficult than others. If anyone ever makes the claim that theirs is escape-proof, I can almost guarantee that some dog somewhere will prove them wrong. For one, consider the design of a dog car harness. With safety in mind, the neck of a pet seat belt has to be wide in order to prevent choking. This means it can’t be snug around the neck like a collar.

So what can you do? Our tip sheet suggests training. If you use a Halti or Gentle Leader on your dog for walking, then you probably already have an idea of what to do to get your dog used to wearing a dog car harness. Check out an article we wrote on HubPages for more extensive training tips.

That’s all for today. Thank you so much everyone for stopping by. If you have any questions on pet travel or on any of our products, just comment below or email me at naturebydawn@aol.com. Also, feel free to share information on photos on your favorite pet travel destination.

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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Dog Pierson K9 Car Fance

Pierson is testing the K9 Car Fence.

“There is no way my dog would wear a dog safety belt.” “My dog will hate it.” “I bought one but my dog chewed it off.” These are some of the reasons why some people aren’t able to secure their dogs in the car. Our pets are not likely to understand why they have to be restrained, especially if they have been previously allowed to move around in the car.

“I have a car, so my dog is too big to fit in a pet travel carrier.” “My dog hates being confined in a crate.” “My dog likes to be able to see out the window.” These are some of the reasons why people can’t use a dog crate when they travel with their pet.

So if your dog won’t wear a dog safety belt or ride in a secured pet travel carrier, how can you help your best friend ride safer? We have recently come across a brand new pet travel product called the K9 Car Fence. This product gives your dog a bit more freedom than a harness or crate, so it doesn’t provide as much safety. But it certainly has some great benefits.

More freedom means your dog is less likely to try to get out of a restraining safety mechanism. The fence provides enough restriction that your dog is less likely to be able to distract the driver. The K9 Car Fence is great for big dogs too (up to 70 pounds). It fits in the front seat or back seat of most vehicles. Your dog can still see out, whether it is to look at you for reassurance or to look out the window at all the exciting stuff going on.

We were sent one of these to try out. That’s Pierson in the above photo in one. I really liked it. It is very well made and seems like it will really work for him. I even think it would work for Maya, although I didn’t try it with her. One thing I did not like about it, however, is that it was a real hassle trying to figure out how to install it. It came with detailed instructions and graphics and there are videos on YouTube, but it was still hard. The good thing is, once it is installed, it can be easily removed and reinstalled with a lot less hassle. Just leave the anchor straps in place and take the fence part out.

Two Dogs K9 Car Fence.

Up to 3 dogs (totalling 70 pounds) can ride in the K9 Car Fence.

I still believe a dog safety belt for my dogs is the safest bet. But if I had a dog that I couldn’t get used to one or couldn’t ride in a pet travel carrier, then I would definitely consider the K9 Car Fence. Go visit our site and check it out. There is the original version and the deluxe version, which also covers the seat like a seat cover. Tell me what you think. Ask questions and we will answer them on the next Follow Up Friday.

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