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Archive for the 'Travel Tips' Category
I seem to feature GoPetFriendly.com a lot. But this is not because I am being paid for it. I genuinely enjoy their website and love how much information they share about pet friendly places. The first time I really noticed them was when they were talking about visiting pet friendly places in or near Austin, Texas. Since this is where I lived for many years, I was really excited to share my pet friendly experience there. I’ve been visiting GoPetFriendly.com’s site ever since.
So today’s post is about one of their recent articles - Go Pet Friendly Training Update. It is about training your dog to ride in the car. In their case, it is their dog Buster who likes to bark in the car. This can be exceedingly distracting. I should know. Maya does something similar. Even though she is wearing her dog seat belt, her continuous whining is very distracting. I am constantly telling her to sit and trying to concentrate on the road and not her.
Don’t get me wrong, her dog car seat belt helps tremendously with reducing the distractions she causes. But with a little more training, it could be perfect… perfectly quiet, that is.
The article from GoPetFriendly.com talked about training her by distracting her with treats. This is a fantastic idea as it helps Buster associate car rides with something fun rather than something to be anxious about. This technique might help Maya as well. Reward with treats when quiet – simple as that.
But I need to take it further. I need to get her used to riding in the car by desensitizing her to car rides. What does that mean? It means taking her in the car a lot more often. But I have to be careful. I don’t want to go to the grocery store and leave her in the car. If I take her for more car rides, I either have to go somewhere that she won’t have to wait for me in the car or I have to go nowhere. Going nowhere means driving around to nowhere in particular. I generally drive around the block.
It seems a bit mean to get Maya’s hopes up that we are going somewhere fun, only to end up back at home with nothing exciting in between. But this is beneficial because she will eventually learn that getting in the car does not necessarily mean going somewhere fun. This can work for dogs like Buster who get stressed about riding in the car. By going on short, simple, frequent car rides, Buster will hopefully realize that going in the car is not a big deal.
Training your dog to ride in the car definitely contributes to safety. It may not be as beneficial as keeping your dog in a dog seat belt, but it certainly helps to reduce driver distractions. And it reduces your dog’s stress as well as your own.
Now that spring is here, I bet you want to be outdoors more. I bet your dog does too. Perhaps now that the sun is shining and the weather is warmer, you and your dog can go somewhere for a nature hike, visit the lake for a picnic or a swim, or go to that dog park you really love but didn’t go before because it was too cold outside and all the way across town. But before you and your dog head out the door, let me make one very important reminder about dogs in cars. And also, let me introduce a new product that is perfect for pet travel in warm weather.
I want to introduce the new pet travel product first. I’m excited about it because I think it is a great pet product for when we travel long distances with the dogs. See, the a/c of my car doesn’t get to the back of the car where Maya and Pierson are as easily as it blasts us in the front. So if I want my dogs to stay cool, I have to wear a coat and have the a/c on full blast. The new product we found is a pet cooling mat and it allows my dogs to stay cooler without me freezing my you-know-what off.
The Slumber Pet cooling mat is very easy to use. Simply put it in the refrigerator to let it cool down. And then take it out for your dog to lie on. Your dog can lie on it directly, or you can put it in their pet bed. Your dog can lie on it inside the house, outside, or in the car for pet travel in warm weather. (If you use the pet cooling mat outside, use it in the shade so that the coolness lasts longer.)
This pet travel product brings me to the point about safety I wanted to make. This product does not mean that you are allowed to leave your dog alone in the car while you run inside to get groceries and such. Never ever ever leave your dog alone in the car. The pet cooling mat can stay cool for long periods, but not if it is exposed to extreme heat (such as the extreme heat that builds up in a car).
Even though the weather is not hot yet, it is warm enough to make the inside of your car hot, even if the windows are down. Don’t believe me? Go to the grocery store in the afternoon when the sun is out on a 60 degree day. I did that yesterday (without my dogs, of course) and by the time I got back to my car 30 minutes later, it was super-hot inside. If Maya or Pierson had been left in there, they might have had a heat stroke.
Heat is not the only danger of leaving your dog in the car. Someone could steal your dog. Trust me, this happens all the time. People take dogs from cars because they believe you are cruel for leaving them in there, because they want to use your dog as a bait dog, or for a multitude of other unsavory reasons.
Don’t leave your dog vulnerable to theft or to heat stroke. Always make sure someone can stay with your dog in the car, or just leave your dog at home. Plan trips to the park and such separately from your grocery trips and other errands. And don’t forget to bring plenty of water for your dog to drink!
My dogs love to ride in the car! Whenever I go someplace where my dogs are allowed to go too (since I won’t leave them in the car by themselves) I take them with me. So, bank drivethrough, fast food drivethrough, let’s go Maya & Pierson! Even better, let’s go to the dog park or the pet supply store to buy some toys!!!
Speaking of riding in the car, I absolutely love all the hilarious Subaru dog commercials. Did you see the new ones when you watched the Puppy Bowl? I had a teaser for one of the commercials last week. Here is another teaser. Then below that is one of the full commercials. Seriously funny.
I like this one, except the dog should not be sitting in the lap! Where’s your seat belt, miss/mr puppy? At least Grant Weber, the Subaru Salesman, isn’t actually driving with the dog in his lap.
When you watched the Puppy Bowl, did you get a chance to use the IntoNow app which presented Subaru content in conjunction with the show? I did and I liked it a lot, although I did have a bit of trouble figuring out how to use it. Also, because of my phone some of the links on the app did not allow me to use them… like the one for making a dog driver’s license. Fortunately, these are available on Subaru’s Facebook page. I will give it a try soon, then will let you know what I think.
We seldom do paid posts, but when we do it is because we like the content we are being asked to present… in this case, the funny Subaru dog commercials. We’ve posted these commercials a number of times in the past, unpaid, so it isn’t that much of a stretch to have a paid post. This is a paid post, although the text content associated with these videos is all our own.
During vacation periods it can be necessary to take a beloved pet along for the ride. Good pet-sitters can be hard to find, and anyway, a holiday is much more fun in the company of a loyal, furry friend.
Traveling with pets on a long trip need not be too stressful for the animal or the driver, if good planning and preparations are in place. Dogs and cats differ when it comes to road travel, dogs being far more amenable to the whole experience. Dogs seem to enjoy traveling with their owners, so getting them into a car tends not to be a big deal. Cats however, being of an independent nature, are more accustomed to traveling under their own steam and do not take kindly to being transported in a loud, metal box on wheels. Many cats head for the hills at the mere sight of a pet-carrier, so owners need to approach the whole travel issue carefully.
Cat travel tips
It is safer to keep a cat contained in a well-ventilated carrier or crate for the duration of the journey, as a panicked cat leaping around the car’s interior is dangerous. Carriers should be well secured so they do not shift with the motion of the car.
Sticking to a cat’s routine reduces anxiety so keeping meal time regular is important – giving kitty his favorite canned cat food is reassuring while on the move, and the familiar taste is comforting. Heightened stress levels can lead to cats becoming dehydrated more quickly, so regular drinks of water should be offered. Plan frequent rest stops during the journey so that food, water and toilet needs can be taken care of.
Some cats travel better if mildly sedated, and this is something that should be discussed with the animal’s veterinarian in advance.
Dog travel tips
Our canine companions are far more accustomed to joining us on road trips. Whether it’s just around the corner or across country, many dogs simply love the thrill of the open road. However, if the planned journey is a long distance affair, it is wise to take the dog on a few short jaunts beforehand, gradually getting it used to longer trips. Make sure a dog has plenty of room inside its carrier to easily turn around and move about. If they do not respond well to being confined, some canines can be secured using specially designed dog seat belts and pet car booster seats.
As with cats, routine is everything and regular stops for drinks and toilet breaks should be factored in. Packing a few familiar items such as toys or blankets will be comforting for a dog and help him to relax. Remember to take along any medications the dog is on, and carry contact details of his veterinarian just in case. Microchips and identity tags should be in place in case the pooch takes off in unfamiliar surroundings.
Don’t be put off taking a pet companion on a long road trip. With good preparation it can turn in to a positive and fun experience. We miss them so much when they aren’t there – so why not take them along with us?
I’ve tried two new pet travel products recently that I would like to share with you. I purchased both of these products in anticipation of our family trip to Texas. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my husband and I, our two friends, and our two dogs took a road trip from Lawrence, Kansas to Kyle, Texas to visit my family. These two products were to help make our trip better.
Travel Calm by Earth Heart
I purchased Travel Calm from a company called Earth Heart in hopes that it would help keep my Maya from being so excitable during the trip. If you haven’t heard about how my Labrador can be in the car, watch this video of her on You Tube called “Cute Dog Whining in the Car“.
Travel Calm seemed to really work. Maya was relatively quiet the entire trip! There might have been a bit of whining at the very end of the trip when we were almost home, but that was nothing compared to her usual excited whine. Seriously, it was like the Maya in that video and the Maya on the trip to Texas were two different dogs.
I put Travel Calm on Pierson too because the product said it could help with car sickness. Pierson has been known to get sick in the car. But he didn’t get sick at all on this trip. He is good in the vehicle and always calm so it was difficult to tell if the Travel Calm helped him relax or not.
Petz on Board Sign from Extremely Boards
Because of my own delay in purchasing this product, I did not receive it in time for the trip. But I did receive it when we got back home and I did have a chance to try it. It was great! The sign attaches with suction cups. I put it on my car Wednesday, went to a coffee shop drive-through with my dogs, and left the sign on my car overnight. It never fell off but was easy to remove when I took it down the next day. The board is a thin 6″ x 6″ diamond and made of durable plastic.
And just look at the sign. It is not at all extremely boring. Extremely Boards is awesome! Maya & Pierson’s photos on the sign are perfect. You can’t see the bottom of the sign but it lists the phone numbers of emergency contacts for Maya & Pierson. Should we get into a car accident where we have to be rushed to the hospital, emergency personnel have the means to get help for Maya & Pierson too! I really love this product.
Please note, I was not compensated for these reviews in any way. These products are not available on our PetAutoSafety.com website, but I sure would like for them to be.
Fifteen years ago when I bought my first dog seat belt, people laughed at me and rolled their eyes. “Seat belts for dogs, what will they think of next?” But as more and more people see pets as family, fewer people laugh. Pet safety in the car is becoming more common. Heck, New Jersey even made a law about it. People are finally beginning to see the benefits. Even car dealers are starting to promote pet safety features in their vehicles. Car insurance companies are considering it too.
One website that provides car insurance quotes for free wrote a really nice article, “Safe Driving with Dogs“. Their article makes many of the same points which we too try to stress:
* It is not a good idea to allow dogs in the front seat. They stressed it was a bad idea because the dog can be more of a distraction. We’d like to add that it is also not a good idea because passenger side airbags are not safe for dogs.
* Seat belts for dogs to prevent driver distraction.
* Keeping dogs in crates for comfortable traveling.
* Take water and treats for your pets when you travel – especially for long road trips.
* Steps or pet ramps for older dogs can be very helpful.
* Gates, or we call them pet vehicle barriers, are great for keeping dogs in the back seat so they don’t distract the driver.
* Don’t let your dog sit in your lap when you drive.
For more detailed information on this article, click on the link above and learn about safe driving with your dogs. If you protect your vehicle with car insurance, why not protect your beloved pet too?
According to Distraction.gov, at least 18% of injury car accidents in the US in 2010 were caused by the driver being distracted. Driving while talking or texting on a cell phone is probably one of the biggest driver distractions today. But cell phones are not the only types of driver distractions. Other distractions include playing with the radio or GPS, eating, grooming, or even kids and pets.
If I were Miss Daisy, my Labrador Maya would definitely drive me crazy. You can see how excited she is about riding in the car in this video. Imagine how much worse she would be if she could move around more. But Maya can’t bother me in the car because she is wearing a pet car harness. Yes, she can still whine, but she can’t try to jump in the front seat.
If your dog drives you crazy in the car, consider both your and his safety by keeping him restrained. You can use a pet car harness like Maya or keep him in a crate that is secured with kennel straps. You can also use devices like a pet net or other type of vehicle barrier. There are several pet travel products to choose from. Find one that is right for you and your dog.
Remember, stay safe and don’t let your dog drive you crazy in the car. Don’t talk or text on your cell phone either. It is not just your life at stake. It is your pet’s, other passengers in the car with you, and other people on the road. Does your dog drive you crazy in the car? If so, what have you done or what would you like to do to help him?
Watch as Elisabetta Canalis reenacts what it would be like to be locked in a car on a warm day. The windows are down, but it is still evident that it gets very hot in a very short amount of time. This video was presented by PETA and they encourage you to leave your dog at home in the summer unless you are going someplace where your dog doesn’t have to wait for you in the car.
For happier images of dogs, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.
These are a couple of drawings I made for Pet Auto Safety. They are cartoon-like but not funny. I’ve been meaning to draw them for some time. Even though I am an artist, I am not a cartoon artist so these scribbled cartoons are not the best. They do, however, give the message I wanted to make. 1) Don’t let your dog sit on your lap when you drive; 2) Dogs can be a distraction if they are not restrained in the car. You can restrain your dog with dog seatbelts, pet booster seats, and even pet car barriers.
The beautiful spring weather makes this time of year the perfect time to go on vacation. Your dogs would love to go too. But to bring the dogs, it means you will probably need to drive to your destination. Long car trips are not all that comfortable for people. We can’t lay down or stretch our legs. But you can help to make your dog comfortable on long car trips. Whether your vacation spot is a few hours away or several hours away, it is good to be prepared.
Keep Your Dog Cool
Spring does tend to get a little hot. Make sure your dog stays cool. Use the a/c in your car. Or put the windows down for a nice fresh breeze that dogs love. Be sure not to let him put his head out the window, though. This can be dangerous – especially in a sudden stop or emergency car maneuver. Road debris is another danger for a dog with his head out the window. The BreezeGuard window screens are great for allowing your window to be down and your dog to be safe.
Another way to cool your dog is with a Cool-It bandana. Or if it is really hot, you can wrap towels around ice packs for your dog to lie on. Make sure lying on the ice packs is an option. You don’t want to make your dog uncomfortable.
Be sure to bring plenty of water for your dog. Pet travel bowls are a great way to water him in the car or at any of the stops you make.
Give Your Dog Room to Stretch Out
If you have a big dog, the back seat of a car may not be that comfortable. Give him more room to stretch out with the Kurgo Backseat Bridge. This product covers the floor area of the back seat so that your dog has a full stretch of space and so that your dog doesn’t fly forward in a sudden stop. The Kurgo Backseat Bridge also has a flap that covers the center area between seats so that your dog can’t stand on the center console or bother the driver.
If you have an SUV and your plan on keeping your dog in the cargo area, consider the Snoozer cargo liner pet pad. This is especially helpful for older dogs who need a little extra cushioning for their joints.
As always, have your dog wear a canine seat belt or use another pet travel safety product. For the back of the SUV, a good canine seat belt is the one from Pet Buckle. Get the one with a Kwik-Connect Tether because it has a clip which allows you to clip it onto a metal ring, generally in the cargo areas of most SUVs. The Pet Buckle canine seat belt can also be used in the back seat of a car.
Make Frequent Stops
The best thing you can do for both you and your dog is to make frequent stops. Stretch your legs and let your dog stretch his too. You can do this at rest stops, gas stations, scenic routes and other points of interest. Keep your dog on a leash and make sure he is always wearing his collar with tags.
We make at least one really long road trip with our two big dogs every year. Frequent stops are a must. With our car and the two big dogs the Kurgo Backseat Bridge is perfect for us. Our dogs also wear the Bergan canine seat belt. They don’t have the most fun ever on these long trips, but they are comfortable. If they weren’t comfortable, they would have no problem expressing it and so could be a big distraction to whoever is driving. A comfortable dog on a road trip is much more pleasant for everyone.