Dog Care

5 Ways to Keep Your Home and Dog Safe

Dogs don’t always cater to human etiquette. They don’t understand that the leftover cheeseburger in the trash can isn’t a snack, and will often rely on their natural instincts (such as barking and even biting) when faced with a situation they perceive to be threatening. Thankfully, there are things you can do to ensure that you live happily and harmoniously with your canine companion and reduce the possibility – and impact – of his behavior.

1. Train early and often. Dogs can be trained to do a number of things that make them a better roommate. For instance, they can be taught to limit barking, go to the bathroom in a specific location, and to cohabitate with other species. The secret to successfully training your dog is to start early, be consistent, and stop rewarding undesirable behavior. Anthrozoologist Dr. John Bradshaw explains to NPR that reprimanding your dog through physical contact isn’t effective, and that your dog will learn acceptable behaviors and reactions through frequent exposure to them.

2. Make his health a priority. Your dog, like every other member of your family, requires regular health care and preventative maintenance. If you happen to notice sudden mood changes, such as aggression, have your puppy checked out by his veterinarian. Your dog’s health and behavior are directly related. An animal that doesn’t feel well is more likely to be short tempered and display his disdain by growling or biting.

3. Teach children how to interact with your dog. Even the most even-tempered dog can only take so much. As soon as you bring your dog home, you should begin talking to your children about how they are to interact with him. Teach your kids never to reach their hand into his food bowl or to startle him while he sleeps. Children should always be gentle with dogs, no matter how much larger or smaller they are than the child. If you want to avoid a disaster, make sure your children know how to recognize their dog’s body language.

4. Lessen messes. Messes are an inherent part of pet ownership. Many aren’t even your dog’s fault. Shedding hair and dander can’t always be eliminated, even with proper bathing and grooming. Make sure you have the right kind of vacuum with multiple attachments to remove hair from even the hardest-to-reach places, and don’t forget to change your home’s air filters regularly. About a quarter of adults in the US don’t change out their filters as often as they should – a big mistake for pet owners, since the same study found that 40 percent of people surveyed found pet hair and dander on their filter the last time they replaced it. Staying ahead of pet-related build-up will protect the health of everyone in your family, including your pooch.

Other issues that can be blamed on your dog, such as trash can contents being scattered on the floor, can be prevented by restricting the dog’s access to unintended food sources. Dogs who show signs of separation anxiety may also display destructive tendencies; the ASPCA notes this could be anything from chewing everything in sight to eliminating his bowels and bladder in inopportune places. HuffPost recently ran a two-part series on how to cure separation anxiety; it’s an interesting read with great advice on how to mitigate behavioral issues associated with being left alone.

5. Keep him safe. One of the best ways to prevent an unfortunate situation is to keep Fido protected with a collar that includes current identification. You’ll also need to maintain a close eye on your companion while outdoors, and seek shelter and shade regularly when you’re outside in the heat. Install a secure fence around your property, which will keep other dogs out while ensuring that yours stays safe at home. Ask your veterinarian about flea, tick, heartworm, and parasite prevention to reduce the chances that your dog will contract a fatal disease.

As much as you want to believe your dog has human traits, the fact of the matter is that he’s an animal. Hundreds of thousands of years of domestication can’t erase his natural instincts. Don’t let a miscommunication between you and your pet end in disaster. Teach your entire family to speak his language and help him understand and acclimate to your home. With patience, planning and preventative actions, your dog can truly be your best friend.

Best, 

Jessica Brody

Why You Should Get a Pet from a Shelter

Would you like to have a cuddly little cat to curl up to you? Or maybe you’d like a sweet little puppy to play with! Animals are remarkable creatures with a lot of love to give. If you like to return love to a deserving animal, please consider adopting from your local humane society.

How do pets end up in shelters?

It’s rarely ever that a pet is relinquished to shelter because something was “wrong” with it. Remember: There are no bad pets, only bad owners. Occasionally, an owner might ask that a pet be re-homed due to moving, allergies or budget constraints. No matter what reason the animal has for being in a shelter, it’s never their fault. They still have a lot of love to give.

Shelter animals are healthy

This is for sure; they’re healthier than they’d be on the street! The first thing a shelter does with an animal in their care is screen for health problems and tries to treat them. The animals at these shelters receive regular veterinary care plus volunteers to make sure they’re free of parasites. Often, the fees for vaccinations and spaying or neutering will be included in the adoption fee.

If you would like a puppy or a kitten

Understandable. Part of the joy of being a pet owner is watching them grow from a tiny puppy or kitten and training them yourself. If this is what you want, then shelters are not in any way hunting for puppies and kittens. If breeding is unchecked, one cat and her offspring could produce 420,000 kittens in seven years! A dog and her offspring with breeding unchecked could have 67,000 puppies in six years! However, do keep in mind the older animals need homes too. If you’d prefer a dog who’s already been trained and is ready to slow down and grow old with you, maybe the older dog is best.

If you would rather have a bunny rabbit….

Then hop right down to your local animal shelter some weeks after Easter. Many people get live rabbits as Easter favors, only to find they’re not up to the full task of caring for such a fragile animal. If you know you’ve got what it takes to care…really care…for a rabbit, you might find some bunny at your local animal shelter. Unfortunately, some people who take in exotic animals like ferrets or guinea pigs and find they’re not up to the task think it will be fine to abandon such an animal. If the animal is lucky, they’ll be found by an animal shelter and given to a competent guardian.

 

Protect Your Pets: Recommended Cat and Dog Vaccination Schedule

Food, water, and a little bit of love. These are the things we strive to give our pets.

But what about taking them to the vet and ensuring they are healthy? Unknown to many people, there are timelines of what shots pets need, based on their age.

Read on to discover more about the recommended vaccination schedules for cats and dogs. You’ll learn what’s best for your pets and how to help them stay healthy no matter what their age.

Knowing the Cat Vaccination Schedule

Cat vaccinations are broken down into different timelines within a cat’s life. This includes:

  • Baby kittens who are under one year old
  • Cats that are young adults, ages 1-5
  • Older cats ages 5-10

With cats, there are some vaccinations they can skip, depending on their lifestyle.

Indoor cats don’t need feline leukemia if they are kept indoors religiously. Although these treatments don’t cause harm to a cat when they are young, there’s no need to subject the animal to them if they don’t go outdoors.

We recommend all cats be given heartworm prevention year round, whether they are indoor or outdoor cats, as this is a mosquito transmitted disease. As well, there is no vaccine available for heartworm prevention.

Use your own judgment when deciding what is best for your pets. Regardless of their lifestyle, all cats need vaccinations to protect against rabies.

Understanding the Dog Vaccination Schedule

Dog vaccinations get a little tricky. Like the cat, they are broken down along the following timeline:

  • Puppy, for the first year of life
  • Young dog, age 1-5
  • Older dog, ages 5-10

Dogs go outside more often than cats since they need walks to relieve themselves. For pet owners that take their mutts to the dog park, there are certain procedures they need to follow to ensure protection.

Rabies is always required for dogs. Owners that don’t get the vaccination and license their dog find themselves at risk for fines.

Studies show that once a dog reaches the older adult phase, they don’t need certain vaccines, such as parvo or bordetella. Always talk to your vet, and look to your dog’s age, health, and lifestyle for cues.

The Needs of Older Pets

Older pets have special needs.

They get tired quickly, have weaker immune systems, and don’t spend as much time outside. A whole list of vaccinations isn’t a necessity for pets once they reach the mark of ten years or older.

Dogs or cats that have cancer, or other diseases that contribute to a weaker immune system don’t need the same vaccinations a healthy puppy would.

Since these dogs aren’t running outdoors as much, and have developed immune systems, vaccinations do they bodies more harm than good. When in doubt, talk with your vet and ask them questions about your dog’s health.

The answers may surprise you, and help you feel comfortable with your decision.

Let Us Help

Taking care of your pets is a lifelong process that goes on until the last day. You don’t have to figure it out alone.

We are happy to help you and your pet at whatever stage of life they are at.

If you have questions about the dog vaccination schedule or aren’t sure how old your pet is, give us a call. We are here to help, whatever your needs are.

How to Choose the Best Pet Food Brands for Your Pet

We all know how the value of a healthy diet. But maintaining a healthy diet is easier said than done.

That’s especially true when it comes to our pets. There’s no shortage of competition when it comes to the pet food market. In fact, global pet food sales exceeded $75 billion in 2016.

Our pets rely on us to give them quality food. When it comes to your dog or cat, you only want the best.

With so many pet food brands to choose from how do you know which is best? Here are some tips on finding the best options for your pet.

Quality Meat & Protein

One of the most important things to look for in an animal’s food is quality protein from real meat.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends dogs have between 18 and 22 percent protein in their diet. Cats need a similar amount of protein to maintain a healthy diet.

Unfortunately, many pet food brands have become adept at deceiving customers. They indicate that their food contains “meat” without specifying the protein source.

Look for brands that include specific protein labels. Pet food should be high in protein and include multiple types of meat like turkey, lamb, chicken or beef.

Avoid Chemical Preservatives

It’s never too late to change your pet’s diet.

One positive change you can make is to avoid chemical preservatives. Some pet food brands use additives and preservatives that can harm your animal.

Common preservatives you should avoid include Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), and Propylene Glycol (PG). Consuming these preservatives can cause long-term health damage and even lead to cancer.

Another preservative to avoid is Ethoxyquin. It’s an approved food additive used in animal feed that’s also used in pesticides. Long-term consumption can damage your pet’s liver.

Find brands that use natural preservatives and look out for these chemical preservatives.

What are the best pet food brands?

Pet owners are always on the lookout for the best pet food brand. There are a number of high-quality brands. However, it’s hard to call one brand superior.

There are many factors to consider when purchasing pet food. You need to find a food brand that matches your pet’s age, health, and dietary restrictions.

First evaluate whether you have a growing, mature, or senior animal. You should then decide whether your animal needs dry food, wet food, or freeze-dried food. Keep in mind whether your animal needs special food, such as grain-free dog food.

Once you weigh these factors, you should look for brands that come highly recommended by experts. Your local veterinarian should have a few recommendations of good brands for your pet.

You can also look at FDA’s pet food guidelines. Make sure that your preferred brand is in line with their standards.

You want a brand that is safe, reliable and a good fit for your pet. Weigh all of these factors to find the best brand for your animal.

Taking Care of Your Pet

Are you looking for more advice for your pet? We can help. We’re the little vet with a big heart.

Check out our list of services to see how we can help you today.

How to Teach Your Dog to Use a Ball Launcher

Dogs simply adore playing the “fetch” game, and it’s safe to assume that your pet wants you to comply 24-7, every day of the week. They let us “slide” from time to time, but the fact remains that their hunger for games and entertainment is insatiable – this is the reason why weary pet owners look for alternatives.

The best one we could come up with is the “Ball Launcher” – a special, yet quite simple and straightforward device that does precisely what its name implies.

It literally launches balls at different angles and speeds. Some models are capable of shooting multiple balls simultaneously, which is a perfect solution for pet owners who have more than one dog.

Where should you start?

First of all, you’ll need to properly understand the machine before you could share the “knowledge” with your dog. All Ball Launchers are designed to be simple, and operate in a similar, easy-to-use fashion. Note that these contraptions are intended for outside use, so as to avoid the risk of property damage or even harm.

After you’ve grasped the basic mechanisms of your launcher, give it a go and observe the reactions of your dog. Needless to say, most dogs will blindly rush to catch the ball without paying too much regard to who’s thrown (or launched) it.

The test run should prove successful enough to get your dog’s attention, and that’s precisely where the fun starts.

Things you should know before you begin your dog’s training

First of all, every ball launching machine makes a certain dose of noise. In fact, this “noise” serves as a “call to action”, urging your dog to take initiative and educating it that it should be independent in this sphere.

Secondly, we’re all aware of the “puppy eyes”, and we encourage you to remain strong, even if your dog literally begs you to do all the work. Actually, the prime reason why you got the launcher is to rid yourself of the hassle of playing with your dog all day long.

Last, but not least, rest assured that every type, race, or breed of a dog is capable of understanding how this machine works. It might take a while, but it’s achievable.

Two best ways to teach your ball how to use a Ball Launcher

Essentially, dogs are pretty smart animals, although their ability to understand certain things depends mostly on their race or breed. If you’re uncertain in any way regarding your dog’s capabilities, we’ll use an average dog as an example.

Most professional “dog whisperers” advise that dogs learn best when taught by the “reward & punishment” methods, but it’s more appropriate to use treats when your dog reacts positively and the “cold shoulder” when it responds negatively. Let’s review the two most popular methods by which your dog will undoubtedly learn how to operate a ball launcher:

Encouragement

The idea of the “encouragement” method is to assure your dog that “he’s a good boy (or girl)” every time the progress is made. You should use treats as positive reinforcement, and any sort of clicker to urge your dog to make a move.

First of all, play some fetch with your dog as a “warm-up”, all the while standing right next to it while it’s turned off. Load the launcher with a ball and wait for your dog to react. After a while (if not instantly), your dog should come straight to the launcher, and if it does, give him a treat.

Secondly, turn the ball launcher, but don’t operate it – instead, wait for the warning signal. Once it’s been rung, encourage your dog to come to you while retaining a positive attitude (smile, yell “yes”, or “good boy”).

Thirdly, load the ball and call your dog. Slowly and cleverly lead him (or her) to the launching button. Repeat the entire process several times, and your dog should be able to operate the machine alone.

Association

If the “encouragement” didn’t yield sufficient results, you should try associating key points in ball launcher’s operation so that your dog could understand the machine, rather than blindly stick to what you dubbed as “right”. This method is better for dogs which have a somewhat questionable grasp on authority.

Again, start by playing fetch while the launcher is off, but stand right next to it. At some point, use the ball to load the launcher instead of fetching it back, but don’t launch it. Pull it out, and throw it to your dog.

Link certain fetching commands you usually give out while fetching to the different steps of the machine’s operation – for instance, once you’ve loaded the machine, give a command with which you begin the fetch game, or give commands like “go fetch” at the exact same moment the machine launches the ball.

It’s imperative that you call your dog right to the machine after trying out this method. Hover above the “launch” button (or lever) for a few minutes with appropriate commands in the background. Repeat the process.

Conclusion

Teaching your dog to fetch back a ball is fairly easy. Essentially, teaching it to play with a ball launcher on its own is quite simple as well, but you’ll have to be really patient in certain cases. Just remember that not all dogs learn at the same rate, but they all do.

Try out the methods we’ve provided, and, in case your dog is stubborn enough to refuse to learn, switch “treats” with a “cold shoulder”. Ignoring your dog will make him (or her) feel as if something bad has been done, and, in the end – the game will have ended if the wrongs haven’t been made right. Either way, stay patient and persistent, and your dog will come around.

7 Pet Safety Tips: Avoid an Emergency This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly, not the season to be panicked.

The holiday celebrations can be a very dangerous time for your furry family members. From decorations to harmful foods, hazards are everywhere.

The last thing you want to worry about is your dog or cat getting sick. You want to enjoy spending time with your family, not rushing your dog or cat for emergency pet care.

Read about these seven pet safety tips to keep your fur babies safe this holiday season.

1. Stick to Pet Food

Pet owners sometimes feel guilty that they’re eating delicious food while their pets look at them with those cute eyes and beg for a treat. You might think, “What’s the harm in giving them just a little?”

For starters, bits of bone in the chicken or turkey leg can get stuck in their throats. Or it may splinter, causing cuts and abrasions inside their digestive tracts.

Other foods are outright toxic. Hopefully, you already know not to give dark chocolate and grapes to dogs. Spices such as sage can cause upset stomachs, while nutmeg can cause seizures to pets.

2. The Folly of Decking the Halls with Holly

Like many foods, some plants used as decorations to create the holiday ambiance are unsafe for pets.

Catwoman famously said that mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it (but a kiss is even deadlier). This applies to regular cats as well.

Holly and the sap of poinsettia can cause vomiting when ingested. Other plants that are toxic when consumed are amaryllis, balsam, and cedar.

3. Hold Onto Your Drinks

Celebrations and drinking go hand in hand. Still, you might want to keep your drinks in your hand.

Alcohol can be very harmful to pets and they might be tempted to take a sip out of an unattended glass. Keep temptation at bay by keeping glasses out of reach.

4. Stranger Danger

Your furry friend will be around lots of unfamiliar faces, from visiting relatives to delivery people. This can cause them to feel anxiety and stress, increasing the likelihood to bite.

It’s probably safer for everyone (especially kids) if you put your pet inside their crates. It’s also easy for your pet to escape with all the people coming and going.

5. Caution: Decoration in Progress

If you could make your pet wear a hardhat, now is the time. Hazardous things for your pet are everywhere during this festive period.

The Christmas tree can topple over and crush your pet if not secured properly. If your pet eats ornaments such as tinsel and glass balls, surgery is the worst consequence. Chewing on electrical cords is another potential threat.

6. Health Is the Best Gift

We love giving and receiving gifts, but you have to be careful if you have pets. The materials used to wrap gifts such as wrapping paper, ribbons, and strings can cause intestinal blockage.

Batteries in toys can cause acid burns. Small batteries can also be easily swallowed and removal may require surgery.

7. Mittens and Kittens

Animals can be very sensitive to temperature changes.

Prepare your pets for the cold weather with winter coats or gear, especially if they’re getting on in age.

Emergency Pet Care Is Available

Sometimes, things happen no matter how careful you are.

For emergency pet care services, you can call or visit us anytime.

How to Choose the Best First Dog for a Family With Kids

Did you know that there are 78 million dogs who have homes in the U.S. today? If you have kids, it’s likely that they have been begging to join the number of dog-loving families.

Of course, as you have probably been telling them, adopting a pet is a big decision. Even when you’ve determined that the time is right to get a dog, choosing the best first dog takes time and research.

Read on for some tips to choosing the perfect pet — and for making sure that your home is perfect for the pet you choose.

Set Some Ground Rules

We’ve all heard stories of kids who swear they’ll feed and water and walk and groom the dog — only to let such responsibilities slide when the latest Xbox game comes out, or when the weather turns inclement.

Establish upfront who will be responsible for each aspect of the dog’s care. If your kids aren’t old enough to help with much more than scooping kibble into the bowl, that’s OK, as long as you’re willing to do the rest.

Some dog breeds are more high-maintenance than others, so it’s important to make sure that their needs will be met before you bring them home.

How Active Is Your Family?

Dogs enjoy human companionship, and some breeds get downright destructive if they’re not given enough attention and company. If your family is on the go more often than not, you might be better off adopting a cat or delaying pet ownership altogether.

Shepherds, retrievers, and collies require a lot of vigorous exercise. That means they’re best suited to families who have a lot of land, or who will commit to regular outings to the dog park.

Apartment or city-home dwellers would do better with dogs that are content to take a quick jaunt around the block and play indoors. Think bulldogs, pugs, Bichon Frises, Shih Tzus, and smaller, toy breeds.

Consider the Temperament

The best first dog for your family will depend on the dog’s temperament — but also on your children’s. Homes with very young kids should choose gentle, protective dogs over those that are aggressive or even overly energetic.

Similarly, rescue dogs with behavioral issues might not be the best choice for families with small children.

Newfoundlands are gentle giants, and Golden Retrievers are also fantastic with kids. Despite their reputation, Pitbulls and pitbull mixes tend to be sweet dogs that do well in families.

Adopting a dog can be a real boon to special-needs children. However, this situation requires extra research, and maybe even a trial period, to ensure that everyone will mesh well together.

Puppies or Older Dogs?

Puppies are irresistible, but they also require a lot of time and effort. They will likely need to be housebroken, crate-trained, and otherwise shown how to live harmoniously with their humans.

If you and your family are willing to put in this effort, great! You will be rewarded with a devoted dog who will grow along with your family.

Adult dogs might require less training, and therefore transition into family life with more ease. Bear in mind, though, that adult rescues could come with behavioral problems. If a dog has been abused in the past, for example, you’ll need to use patience and kindness to teach her that she now has a safe, loving family.

Finding the Best First Dog Takes Time

In the movies, Dad goes to the pet store and picks out the most adorable puppy to bring home. The kids love it, the puppy is easily trained, and everyone lives happily ever after. This scenario does not reflect reality, however.

It may take weeks or even months to find the right pooch. Your dog might need to travel from an out-of-state rescue, or could be in foster care. Teach your children that not every cute pup out there will be the best first dog to adopt.

Unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money to purchase the exact breed you want, it’s important to be somewhat flexible. Most shelter dogs are mixes, so you’re not likely to stumble upon a purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi at the local human society.

Many shelters will send email alerts set to your preferences, or you can put out word that you’re looking for a certain breed or mix. Just know that you can’t waltz into a shelter and expect your perfect pet to be waiting for you.

Speaking of Shelters vs. Breeders…

If you decide to go the breeder route, due diligence is necessary to find one who’s responsible. The American Kennel Club has some tips on choosing a good dog breeder.

Adopting a shelter dog, however, is a good lesson for children. Some 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. shelters each year, and many of those are eventually euthanized because they don’t find homes.

It can be heartbreaking to visit a shelter, especially with children in tow — you’ll want to adopt every dog, cat, bunny and guinea pig there. One tip for finding the best first dog for your family is for Mom and Dad to check out a potential pet by themselves.

If that dog seems like a good fit, then take the kids to visit, or see if you can arrange an in-home visit.

Steer Clear of Pet Stores!

Whatever you do, stay away from puppies for sale in pet stores. Although they may look adorable, they are all too often bred in puppy mills with inhumane conditions. Such animals may come with health problems, too.

The adoption process is a great opportunity to educate your children about animal cruelty, including the irresponsible breeding of puppies in mills.

Congratulations on Your New Family Member!

The days following an adoption are exciting ones. Don’t forget to bring your new canine friend to the vet for an initial checkup, and for spaying or neutering if necessary.

What dog breeds are you considering? Did you grow up with a particular best first dog? Let us know in the comments!

How to Plan a Safe Trip With Your Dog

Are you hoping to take your dog on a cross-country adventure?

Having “man’s best friend” by your side can make any trip better. But traveling can get pretty hairy if you don’t prepare ahead of time.

By taking the right precautions and following the tips outlined in this guide, you can plan a safe trip with your dog that will be “paws-itively” awesome.

How to Plan a Safe Trip with Your Dog

Planning a safe trip with your pup isn’t easy. There’s a lot of things you have to do in advance to make sure your traveling goes smoothly. Here are some key things to do before em-barking!

Contact Your Vet

You should always bring your dog to the vet before going on any long-term trip. It’s important to make sure that all of his or her vaccinations are up to date and that you pick up any prescriptions that they may need. The last thing you want to do is spend your vacation taking care of your sick dog.

Tip: Ask your vet if your dog will need any additional vaccinations depending on where you’re traveling, as there may be different diseases or threats in that area.

Plan the Proper Route

If you want to plan a safe trip with your dog, you need to make sure to map out a dog-friendly route. What’s a dog-friendly route? One that accommodates regular breaks and provides you and your dog with an opportunity to get out of the car and get fresh air.

Tip: Plan to take a 15-30 minute break every 4 hours so that your dog won’t get anxious or restless in the car. You should also try to make some of those stops pet-friendly locations like dog parks.

Buy the Right Travel Crate for Your Dog

Even if your dog is a “good boy”, you’ll need the right crate to plan your safe trip. A crate is a great way to keep your dog safe and is a must-have if you plan on visiting other people or leaving him or her alone. Here are some features your dog crate needs to have safe travels:

  • It should be big enough so your dog can stand, turn around, and lie down
  • It should be durable with handle and grips
  • It should have a leak-proof bottom with an absorbent material
  • It should have ventilation on either side
  • A label with your name, address, and phone number
  • A plush mat, a water bottle, and your dog’s favorite toys.

If you’re unsure of what size to get, go with a bigger size so that you know your dog can fit inside the crate comfortably.

Prepare Proper Identification for Your Dog

While you may not want to even think about planning for your dog getting loose, it’s a possible reality you need to prepare for. If your dog ever gets loose or runs away, you can increase the chances of finding him or her by following these identification tips:

  • Buy a sturdy leash and a collar that has their name, your name, your address, and proof of a rabies shot
  • Consider getting a micro-chip for your dog
  • Bring a recent picture of your dog with you

By preparing these things, you’ll have a much easier chance of finding your dog!

Review Best Practices for Driving with a Dog

Not all dogs love traveling in the car. And even those that do may not love every minute of it. Here are some things to consider and practice before you leave to make sure you have a safe trip.

  • Get your dog used to being in the car by taking him on short trips often
  • Train your dog to not lean outside of the car window or keep them rolled up
  • Pay attention the sounds and behaviors your dog exhibits when they’re restless or have to use the bathroom
  • Never leave your dog unattended in the car, especially in the heat
  • Never let your dog travel in the back of a truck

By following these best practices you’ll be sure to have a safe trip with your dog.

Book Pet-Friendly Accommodations

One of the most important parts of planning a safe trip for you and your dog is picking safe, pet-friendly housing. Not all hotels accept pets, and plenty of campsites have an anti-pet policy as well.

Before you leave, you should contact hotels in advance to find out their pet policies, and if they have breed restrictions, rules, and possible fees. This is important as lodging availability may impact or dictate your final route.

Arrange Dog Care for Your Final Destination

A safe trip is about more than traveling, it’s also about your final destination! If you’re attending an event like a wedding or graduation that will keep you from your dog for a while, you need to find a daycare or boarding service for him or her.

Leaving your dog alone in an unfamiliar environment can increase anxiety for him or her. You want to make sure your dog is left in the hands of qualified professionals, so plan for this kind of care before leaving.

Tip: If you’re unsure of where to keep your dog, ask friends and family at your final destination for any local recommendations.

Pack the Ultimate Doggie Bag

If you’re going on a road trip with your dog, you’ll want to make sure you pack a dog bag with everything they may need for the trip. Here are some must-have items you need to have for your furry friend:

  • Food
  • Food bowl
  • Leash
  • Toys
  • Any medication/prescriptions
  • Protective clothing
  • Dog-safe insect repellent
  • Flea comb and tick remover
  • Poop bags

Make sure you don’t forget the most important thing of all: dog treats!

Final Thoughts on Planning a Safe Trip With Your Dog

The key to a truly unforgettable trip with your dog is planning ahead to make sure everything goes smoothly! By following these tips, you’ll be able to plan a truly purr-fect trip that you and your dog will be sure to love!

Have you traveled with a dog? Are there any tips or tricks we missed? Let us know in the comments!

How to Kennel Train a Puppy at Night

When you bring a puppy into your family, one of the first things you need to do is begin housetraining. You want your puppy to be comfortable at home and avoid accidents. Learn how to kennel train a puppy at night.

Kennel or crate training your puppy will ensure that it doesn’t damage part of your home while you’re out. Puppies are curious and can cause a mess if they’re left on their own.

Kennel training is just one part of the training process.

For more puppy training tips, read on then check out this post.

Why You Should Kennel Train a Puppy

You may also see this referred to as crate training. This form of training will get your puppy comfortable with the crate in your home.

Puppies and young dogs can get in a lot of trouble. They might make a mess on the floor or chew on things you need. Kennel training will prevent them causing more damage.

You want your puppy to feel comfortable in the crate. Think of the crate as the dog’s den. Your puppy will want to go into it to relax and sleep because it’s a safe, comfortable space.

Kennel training can also help if you plan on traveling with your dog. This form of training is even recommended by veterinarians.

How to Kennel Train a Puppy at Night

First, ensure that you don’t use the crate as a punishment for your puppy. If you use it as punishment, your puppy will become afraid of it and refuse to go in.

You should also get a crate that will grow with your puppy. Rather than replacing the kennel over time, get one that will fit your dog’s full-grown size. Use dividers to make the space smaller and more comfortable for your puppy.

As this will be your dog’s main sleeping space, get a comfortable dog bed to place inside. You can even give it a toy or two so your puppy isn’t bored inside the crate.

Giving your puppy treats when it goes into the crate will also reinforce that it isn’t punishment. This will give your dog a positive reason to go in on its own.

Setting your puppy in the kennel at night will get it used to sleeping in its own space. To make it more comfortable, you should leave the crate near your bed.

However, you should not leave a puppy younger than eight weeks in a crate for more than three hours. Anytime you use the crate, keep a consistent schedule.

Before leaving your puppy in the crate all night, let it relax and nap inside for shorter periods during the day. Begin with 10 minutes at a time and work your way up to longer times. This will help your puppy get used to the crate.

Don’t leave a puppy in a crate for too long though. Set your puppy in the kennel just before you go to sleep and let it out early in the morning. Leaving a dog in a crate too long can lead to accidents or cause the dog to not want to enter the crate again.

Keeping a Puppy Happy in a Crate

Once you know how to kennel train a puppy at night, other training activities will be easier.

While you get your puppy settled in its crate, you can check out our puppy care package to keep your dog healthy.

5 Reasons Why Dogs Make Good Pets

Ever heard the saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend”?

Dogs are beloved by people everywhere as their preferred furry companion.

Never had a dog and wondering what the fuss is about?

This article will break down 5 reasons why dogs make good pets and why you should go adopt a pup today.

1) Dogs Watch Your Back

One of the most practical perks of having a dog is that they’ll guard your home and your loved ones.Home invaders are far less likely to intrude on your home if they hear or see a dog present.

Dogs will bark anytime anyone tries to enter your home which will alert you to the danger and warn the intruder to back off.

You’ll sleep better at night knowing your furry friend has their ears perked up and listening for any signs of danger.

2) Dogs Will Keep You Active

Having a dog is good for your health as they absolutely must get exercise.

Take your dog on a daily walk or jog so that you can both get your heart rates up and de-stress.

Walking just 20 minutes a day with your pup can reduce your risk of heart disease by 8 percent.

3) Dogs Bring You Friends

Our society has become wary of talking to strangers in public. If you have a dog in your hand walking next to you, that fear totally goes away.

You’ll start to notice that everyone wants to talk to your dog and pet him as well as ask you questions about him.

People love dogs. There are plenty of meet up groups available online for people who have the same dog breed.

Take your pup to one of these meetup groups and both you and your pup will make new fur-ever friends.

4) A Dog Can Make You Feel Less Alone

One of the reasons why dogs make good pets is because they help with loneliness.

There are times in life where we aren’t surrounded by lots of friends and family members.

During these times, having a dog as a companion can be very comforting.

Dogs love being around their owners and love to please them. You’ll always have your dog to cuddle with, eat dinner with, or head to a dog-friendly bar.

You’ll discover quickly that your dog will become your most loyal friend.

5) Dogs Relieve Stress

Petting a dog is proven to be good for relieving anxiety.

Your dog doesn’t have to be a licensed therapy dog to bring you these benefits.

Petting your dog increases feelings of contentment and relaxation. Unlike most cats, dogs love the affection and attention of petting.

These are the Reasons Why Dogs Make Good Pets

We hope this article convinced you to add a new dog to your life.

The best way to get a new dog is through adopting one who’s in need of a good home.

Make sure your pup is up to date on his shots and that he’s well taken care of.

If you ever have a problem with your dog’s health and want to contact us, please do so here.