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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Dawn with Maya and Pierson
Every year we have a dozen holiday tips for pets to share. But since every pet blogger seems to be doing the exact same thing, we thought we’d share their tips with you. After all, how can we possibly top these other great posts?
Fidose of Reality has some great dog travel tips Dog Travel Dos and Don’ts
They also have some great tips on how to make sure holiday visits are comfortable and safe for your pet 8 Ways to Help Your Dog Survive Holiday Visits
My Brown Newfies talks about how to protect your dog’s paws in winter Keeping Pawtstic Paws Protected in Winter
That Mutt talks about giving cats as Christmas presents
And Wag the Dog reminds us of some holiday pet hazards Top 5 Holiday Pet Hazards
What are your holiday traditions and how do you make sure the holidays are both fun and safe for your furry friends?
Maya and Pierson are very special to me. They may not be children, but they are more than just my pets. I don’t just feed them, play with them, and take them to the vet annually or as needed. I also take on other responsible roles such as making sure they eat healthy food, get enough exercise, train them, brush their teeth, clip their toenails, brush out their coat, etc. And I have them wear a dog safety seat belt when they ride in the car.
Some people think this is over-the-top for “just a dog”. But if you’re reading this, then you know that your dog is an integral part of the family. If your four-legged family member doesn’t currently buckle up in the car or isn’t safely restrained in the vehicle in any way, here are some reasons to consider it:
Reduce Driver Distractions
When I brought Maya home for the first time, she didn’t have a dog seatbelt yet. So, on the ride home she kept trying to climb in my lap. It was a big distraction which caused me to run a red light. I got honked at but thankfully did not get into or cause a car accident. But it taught me to always be prepared. Perhaps your dog paces in the car or keeps trying to climb from the back to the front seat or tries to stick his face in your face while you’re driving.
Protect Your Pet
Perhaps your dog rides well in the car and doesn’t distract you in any way. My dog Pierson is like that. He just sits there quietly the whole ride. But what if I have to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way of another car or something in the road? Or worse, what if I get in a car accident? Car accidents or even simple emergency vehicle maneuvers can cause a dog to be ejected from the vehicle or cause serious injury to your dog if they hit the dash or the windshield. A dog isn’t going to understand why your car suddenly went crazy on the road. They are going to be terrified and may try to escape. What then? More often than not, the dog will run as fast as they can to get away from what caused their fear. They could run into traffic or run away and get lost.
I don’t know about you, but if I get in a car accident I prefer not to be struck by a 50+ pound flying projectile (i.e. my dog). I also do not want my dogs to stick their head out the window. Before I realized the danger of this, my dog Sephi did it all the time. But then my vet told me about one of his client’s dog that had to have his eye removed because of flying road debris. When your dog wears a dog safety seat belt, it is more difficult for them to put their head out the window. They can still get the nice breeze, but at least they can’t be hurt from things on the road and they can’t jump or get thrown out of the car.
It’s not yet a law in my state but New Jersey has a law stating that animals inside the vehicle must be restrained. I have no doubt that other states will soon follow. Even states that hesitate to make such a law will have or may already have laws that allow police officers to issue a ticket to anyone who is driving unsafely due to a distraction.
Maya and Pierson do not suffer in the least because they wear a dog seatbelt in the car. They might not be able to move around much or put their heads out the window but trust me when I say they still love to ride. With a little practice and perhaps a little time, your best friend can get used to his safety restraint and love the ride just as much as before.
This post is part of the Pet Blogger Awareness Day for pet travel safety.
We’re posting adorable dogs for Super Dog Sunday. These dogs are up for adoption at Petfinder.com!
He would love an active family to play with and walk with. Lucky loves to play, it is his favorite thing besides being with people. Lucky is a wonderful and sweet boy, young enough to train your way. Find out more about Lucky on Petfinder.com – http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24741696.
He’s also well trained and obedient. His only negative is that he does not do well with new people. We are seeking a new home for him because he is the younger of 2 Vizslas in our household and now that we are empty nesters we cannot give them both the attention they deserve. For more information on Crosby, check him out on Petfinder.com – http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24872323.
When he came to us he had a “cherry eye” that had to be repaired. He has completely recovered and you can’t even tell anything was ever wrong with his eye. We think Lewis might have a problem with his distance sight. He can see, we just aren’t sure how well. When he looks at people at a distance he nevers looks directly at you. He is a beautiful little guy who loves attention and gives little kisses.He is good with other dogs and is fine with cats. Housetraining is going well, he only has a couple of accidents a month now. He loves to play with all dogs, but when it comes to crating, he does best with a female dog. He will do best in an active household and pet parents that don’t mind an active dog. For more info on Louie, visit his profile page on Petfinder.com – http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/14202352?rvp=1.
All these dogs can be found on Petfinder.com. They are being presented here today as part of the Super Dog Sunday even coming up tomorrow. Check out more on this event by clicking the image below:
This article is paraphrased from an article we wrote on our American Dog Blog. It was a good article and worth repeating. Pets are great, but they may not be the best Christmas gifts. Here is why and what you can do instead of giving a puppy or kitten instead:
Picking out a Pet is a Family Event
If you are considering giving your child or loved one a puppy or kitten for Christmas, consider giving a gift certificate or a promise note instead. This way the entire family can get together and decide which pet is perfect for everyone. If done after Christmas, this will also help all the pets which have ended up in the shelter because they were given as gifts and not wanted. This happens more often than you think so waiting until the entire family is ready and can decide together helps both your family and the pets that found themselves homeless.
Picking out a Pet is a Personal Experience
You wouldn’t go pick out someone else’s wedding dress, would you? The puppy or kitten you think is perfect may not be the ideal pet for the person you are picking it out for. Even if that person described every detail about what they want in a pet, it’s like finding the perfect wedding dress – the right pet is chosen based not just on a description but also on emotion. Also, that person may not really be ready for a pet. By giving a promise note instead, they can choose when the time is most right for them. The holidays are already overwhelming. It might be best not to overwhelm things more with a little fur-ball of mischief.
Give a Stuffed Animal with a Promise Note Instead
If you know for a fact that a certain person really wants a puppy or kitten for Christmas, giving a stuffed one along with a promise note instead is a very creative idea. This allows them to pick out a real live pet themselves and you have still given a gift on that very special day.
Give a Donation in Someone’s Name
Now that you know how many pets are abandoned after the holidays because people weren’t really ready for them, you can give homeless pets and a person you care about a gift by donating in their name to a shelter or rescue group. If someone you know lost a pet recently, giving the gift in their pet’s name is an even better idea.
Promise to Volunteer
If a good friend or family member wants a pet but you are concerned a pet may be too much for them to handle, give the gift of agreeing to volunteer at an animal shelter together. This way, the person can see how much work is involved in caring for a pet. They might discover they don’t really want a puppy or kitten after all, or they might find out they are allergic to animals. Also, if the person doesn’t have time to get together with you, this might be a sign that they wouldn’t have time for a puppy or kitten either.
Please don’t buy a pet for Christmas this year. Consider the above alternatives instead and save one of the animals who were given up because someone wasn’t ready.
The Rumpy Dog Blog inspired this post. Blogging is fun but you’re not going to get many visitors if you don’t participate in social media. If you are on the internet, you have probably heard of social media. Social media includes Facebook, My Space, Linked In, Twitter, and more. It also includes photo sharing sites like Flickr, blogs like the one you are reading now, forums, and so on. Blogging is fun. But posting regularly then marketing it with social media can be very time consuming. If you want to work towards having a popular blog, be sure you are blogging about something you love.
My passion is dogs. Because the retail websites in my company are about dogs and cats, I find that the time I spend on social media is much more fun. Visit my social media sites. Follow my pages, like, add to your circle, subscribe, and join the fun!
If you are a social media junkie and post about pets, add your links in our comments and I will follow you in return.
Our Social Media Spots:
Thanks Rumpy Dog for being an inspiration!
I used to give my dogs rawhide bones all the time because they absolutely loved them and I thought it was good for their teeth. But when they ate the whole bone within a matter of minutes, I worried. Should they be eating that much at one time? Even though it is good for their teeth, is it good for their bodies? Rawhide is made from the hide of animals. I couldn’t imagine that it had much nutritional value.
We came across an article recently that spells out the truth about rawhide bones and why you probably should not give them to your dog. Check out this great article by Jon Dakins:
Before I went searching for a puppy, I checked with my apartments to make sure I could have another pet. I also made sure I could fit the expenses of a new pet into my budget. And finally, I needed to make sure I had the time for a new dog. Living in an apartment, I would have to take the dogs out for a walk everyday, even in winter. I would have to be around to keep a puppy from crying and disturbing the neighbors. And I couldn’t very well train a puppy if I didn’t have the time.
Research – Time
Puppies take a lot more time for care and training than a full grown dog. For one thing, a puppy’s bladder is very small so they need to go out every couple of hours or so during the day and probably at least two times during the night. It will take time for a puppy to get used to being away from their family so the first few days and nights may be full of puppy cries. Multiple vet visits will take more time. Unlike a full grown dog who may only need to go to the vet once or twice a year, a puppy will need to visit the vet 3-5 times just in the first 6 months alone. This is for booster shots, de-worming, surgery for spaying or neutering, and general health checkups for your fast-growing pet. Time will also be needed for training. You want to start training right away. If you are not familiar with how to train a puppy, classes may be provided by your local pet store, vet, or humane society. If you have a dog or puppy which is known to be very active, you will need to make sure you have the time to go on regular walks and/or visits to the park.
Research – Money
There are a lot of up-front costs for getting a new puppy. There are the vet visits and shots, dog collars, a leash, spay or neuter cost, puppy food, food and water bowls, and chew toys. You may also want to consider a crate for crate training, a dog bed, a pet ID chip, a dog seat belt or pet car seat for traveling in the car, pet health insurance, and a registration tag from your city. There may also be a pet deposit with your apartments, landlord, or neighborhood association. The monthly fees for pet care include food, annual shots, bi-annual vet visits, heartguard, flea and tick repellent like Advantix, replacement collars and leashes for regular wear and tear, and finally more chew toys and dog treats. Some apartments or neighborhood associations may also charge you a monthly fee for keeping your pet. You may also need money to board your pet or pay a pet sitter for when you travel and can’t take your dog with you.
Research – Living Conditions
Before you get a new dog or puppy, find out from your apartments, landlord, or neighborhood association if you are allowed to have dogs, and if so, if there is a weight limit. If there is a size or weight limit, you want to make sure you get a puppy that you know will not get very big. If you live in an apartment or a house with no yard, you want to consider getting a dog that does not require a lot of exercise or make sure there is a safe place to take your puppy for regular walks. Keep in mind that some breeds do much better when they are outdoors and get a lot of exercise. So be sure to do you research on dog breeds first to make sure the dog you want is suitable for where you live.
Later we will talk about where you can get a new puppy or dog. Check back with us in a few days!
Are you considering getting a puppy? If you have never owned a dog before, it is important that you understand the responsibilities involved in raising a puppy so you will be more prepared to handle what is to come. It may also help some of you realize that perhaps a puppy just isn’t right for you. You may want to consider an older dog instead, or perhaps even a cat. Puppies take a lot of time and patience. There are going to be difficult times and many messes to clean up. But if you are prepared, you and your puppy will be much happier. And eventually the task of taking care of a puppy becomes easier as he learns the routines and rules of the house.
The first step before getting a puppy is to do research. You need to know what breed or breed mix is best for you and your family, whether your living situations can accomodate a pet, and finally, where you are going to get your puppy. Today’s article is about doing the research on what kind of dog or puppy to get. Later in the week we will talk about the other research that is needed. And later still, we will talk about the responsibilites involved in owning a puppy.
Research – What kind of dog or puppy to get
Before you decide on a breed, research dog breeds for their temperament, grooming requirements, and size. This will give you a lot of information on what to expect if you want a purebred dog. Don’t select a certain breed for superficial reasons until you have done your research on the breed and you are certain you can handle the responsibilities involved with that particular breed. You can get information on breeds from books, vets, various rescue groups and shelters, and from online sources such as blogs, articles, and forums. This will also help you learn about certain genetic diseases and health issues that are associated with certain purebreeds. JustDogBreeds.com is an excellent on-line source for getting information about specific breeds.
Most dog breeds can learn to get along with children and other pets, but some breeds tend to get along with them better than others. So if you have children or other pets, researching dog breeds will be very helpful.
You also need to condider if you can handle a dog which requires special grooming. If your dog is going to be mostly indoors, do you care if it is a breed that sheds? Do you want a dog that requires a periodic hair-cut? Will you take the time to periodically brush a long-haired dog?
The size and activity level of the dog your puppy is going to grow into is another thing to consider. You don’t want a large or highly energetic dog if you live in an apartment unless you plan on regularly taking the dog out for exercise. If you have children, the size and energy level of the dog may also be considered. Small children may not be good with a small dog and a large energetic dog may not be good for small children.
If you don’t care if your puppy is a purebred or not, knowing about breeds is still helpful. Sometimes it is easy to tell what sort of breed-mix a puppy is and this could help you in making your decision. Mixed breeds can also be good because your dog will most likely not have the genetic issues involved with purebreeds.
Does your dog love to travel in the car with you? You and your family wear seat belts when riding in the car. Does your pet? If you have not considered it, here are eight important reasons why your dog should wear a dog seat belt:
1. The dog won’t be able to distract the person driving the car. Distractions an be very dangerous to the driver. Some dogs are naturally well-behaved in the vehicle but many dogs have to be trained car-riding decorum. Why not train them in the pet auto seat belt instead?
2. Sudden unexpected stops may prevent the dog from flying forward into the dash, the back seat, or onto the floor. Dog’s noses are very sensitive. Hitting their nose on the dash or back of the seat can be a very painful experience.
3. The dog won’t be able to put their head out the window. Did you know that even a tiny spec of flying debris can do serious damage to the dog’s eyes or nose? Many dogs love to put their heads out the window, but it can be an equally pleasant experience if they are sitting in a pet auto seat belt by an open window. They won’t be able to put their heads out, but they can still get a whiff of the multiple odors zipping by.
4. Not only will the dog not be able to put their head out the window, they won’t be able to get their body out either. Dogs are instinctive creatures and if something catches their attention, such as another dog, a squirrel, or other animal, they may go after it without a thought. Perhaps your dog is too smart to do this, but why take the chance?
5. Many dogs will run or even bite if frightened. What if you and your pet happen to be in a serous auto accident? Your dog is going to be terrified. If there is a means of escape, the dog may get out of the car and run. And where are they most likely to run? It would be a terrible thing to survive an auto accident only to get hit by a car. Even if there is no way for the dog to escape, they may need medical attention. An injured dog may react defensively by tying to bite someone who is actually trying to help them. A dog that is restrained however, is easier to muzzle and therefore, easier to attend to.
6. Did you know that some states are considering pet restraints to be required for dogs traveling in the vehicle? Get ahead by purchasing a pet auto seat belt now. If you wait until your state passes such a law, there will be businesses that will take advantage of the requirement and raise the prices on their products.
7. A pet auto seat belt can actually be quite comfortable once the dog gets used to it. For small dogs, a pet car seat in conjunction with the seat belt can also be extremely comfortable. Dogs can have a difficult time laying down in a seat because of the turning, speeding up, slowing down, and stopping movements of the car. Many dogs can brace themselves better by standing or sitting. With a pet auto seat belt or pet car seat, a dog can stand, sit, or lay down comfortably and not have to worry about bracing themselves against car maneuvers.
8. Last but not least, a pet auto safety belt shows you to be a responsible and caring pet owner as well as a responsible driver. Friends and strangers will be impressed with your thoughtfulness and foresight. They in turn, may consider getting a pet auto seat belt for their own dog. You could be indirectly responsible for saving another dog’s life.
As you can see, all eight reasons are excellent reasons for your dog to wear a pet auto safety belt. Any argument against it are easily outweighed by the examples above. So do what is safe, what is best for you and your pet, and in some states, what is required by law. You and your dog will be all the happier for it.