5 Tips for Taking a Road Trip With Your Pet

With summer behind us, now is the best time to jump in the car and hit the road for an epic weekend road trip. You might not be able to jet away to distant lands, but exploring an undiscovered part of your own country can be a fun way to while away the weekend. Taking your dog along for the ride can be great fun, but there are a few things you need to consider before hitting the road.

A photo by Cam Bowers. unsplash.com/photos/KECL1sCTi9w
Image credit: Cam Bowers

What will be least stressful for your dog?

Some dogs will suffer from awful separation anxiety, so even going away for a weekend and leaving them with a reliable pet sitter or family member will make them very stressed. On the other hand, some dogs don’t respond well to travelling, so taking them on a road trip can be quite stressful. Decide what will be least stressful for your dog before making any big decisions about taking your dog with you.

Safety First

Don’t forget that your dog also needs to belt up, for your safety and for theirs. Your dog needs to be able to move around enough to get comfortable, but not enough that they can climb into the front seat. Make sure your dog is wearing a harness instead of a collar for extra comfort and create a dedicated space on the back seat to keep them comfortable throughout the journey.

Dogs can get motion sickness too!

If you’re familiar with the car sickness, you’ll know how terrible it feels. And you might also be surprised to know your dog can get sick too. Your vet may be able to prescribe some specialist motion sickness pills or a mild sedative to help your pooch snooze through the journey. It’s important not to give your dog a motion sickness pill intended for humans, and you should always test the dosage on a shorter journey to help you and your dog get used to it.

Beware the local flora and fauna

Dogs are notorious for poking their noses it places it shouldn’t be, and this is particularly difficult when you’re in a new and unfamiliar place. If you are walking your dog in a woodland area, keep him on an extendable lead so you can be ready to help him out if he has a run in with the local wildlife. Try not to let him eat unfamiliar berries or drink from standing water, and keep him away from grassy areas where snakes may be lurking! To give you peace of mind when he is off the lead, make sure he is microchipped and that his dog microchip number is registered with a few different microchip registries. This will give you the best chance of being reunited if he darts.

Your dog has luggage, too!

If you’re staying overnight, make sure you bring plenty of food, a familiar blanket and some toys to keep him occupied. Other useful essentials include dog shampoo, a tick remover, plenty of poop scoop bags, a spare collar and lead, first aid kit, a travelling water bowl, and plenty of treats.

How to Find a Reliable Pet Sitter

For those not acquainted with the term, pet sitters are professional individuals who can be hired to take care of your pet in times of need. Quite similar to babysitting and house sitting, this profession has gained a great deal of recognition across the globe, especially among those who lead busy lifestyles and simply can’t seem to find enough time to nurture their pets. Whether it’s an urgent business trip, a vacation or a new job with hectic work hours, a pet sitter is the best solution when it comes to making sure that your pet is well taken care of. Of course, you probably want what’s best for your pet and finding a reliable pet sitter can indeed be a hassle. In order to find a real, qualified professional, make sure to keep these few things in mind.

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Phone-a-Friend

Before you start making any kind of arrangements, first check whether you have a friend or a family member who is willing to take upon the task of taking care of your pet. This is always the best option, as pets generally feel more comfortable with familiar people, rather than strangers, no matter how qualified they are. If this isn’t the case, you can always ask someone reliable to personally recommend a pet sitter. This can save you both the time and energy from going through the hassle of interviewing and finding the perfect sitter for your pet.

Check the References

If it so happens that you find yourself in a situation where you need to hire someone unknown, the best option by far is to opt for professional pet sitter companies or top qualified individuals. This way you can be sure that you’re leaving your pet in safe hands. Of course, no matter how professional and qualified a person is, the best you can do is check their background and references. This can give you a good insight in the previous engagements of the sitter. It’s also important to check whether the said company (or individual) is fully bonded and insured.

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Training and Abilities

Another important aspect of hiring a good pet sitter is getting a good insight into their abilities, completed programs and training. This is a crucial factor that could determine the overall choice of the sitter, as you want to hire someone who is eligible to provide your pet with services and care it deserves. This is especially important if you have an exotic animal species or a pet with special needs.

Establish the Terms

One of the most common mistakes when concluding any kind of business is forgetting to establish the terms of agreement. When it comes to these kinds of arrangements, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you shouldn’t presume anything and that nothing goes without saying. Before you sign the contract or officially hire someone, make sure to establish everything you expect the sitter to do. This involves giving your potential sitter a list of chores, tasks and schedules of how and when your pet needs to eat, sleep, go for a walk, take medication etc.

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Give Them Insight

Lastly, if you wish to get the best possible care for your pet, it will be necessary to provide your sitter with all the essential documents, supplies and information regarding your pet. The list of foods, treats, vitamins and possible medications are indispensable for pet sitting, as well as a list of emergency contacts and veterinary office information.

Once you gather all the needed information about the company or the person you’re planning to hire, make sure to invite them to your house for a short meeting. This will help your sitter get a proper insight in your home and surroundings, but most importantly it will give your pet a chance to get acquainted with its new caretaker.

Tips on Keeping Your Dog Cool and Refreshed During Summer

Hot days can be unbearable for most people. It can get so hot we’d do anything to get some shade and a way to cool off. That heat is no less excruciating for your dog, so don’t forget about them during the summer, as they may need help staying cool. Make sure to provide them with a nice shaded retreat they can go to when the sun becomes unbearably hot.

How Cool Is Your Backyard?

image 6Dogs will look for cool places to lie down and deal with the heat. If you don’t already have such a spot, make one; your dog will be grateful for it. Planting a few trees can be an excellent way to create shade which both you and your dog can share. Move the dog house away from the scorching sun and put it in a place where it is cooler. Also, if you have a detached garage, leave the garage door ajar just enough for your dog to crawl in, it will provide them with some much needed relief.

Install a Doggie Pool

image 9There’s no better way to take your mind off the heat than to take a dip; and your dog will be thinking the same. Unless you want to have the sprinkler turned on all day long, which could leave your lawn soaked and might ruin the grass, it’s better to invest in a dog pool. They’re similar to kiddie pools, except they’re built to withstand dog paws. Not only will it keep your furry friend cool during those hot summer days, it will also provide them with a place to exercise and have fun. Just make sure to change the water frequently, that way it will be nice and fresh for your friend.

Use Ice to Keep Water Cool

image 10During summer, it’s very important to change your dog’s water often to keep them from getting dehydrated. You should frequently check if your dog water bowls need to be refilled; the hot weather can make the water go stale quicker than usual. Help your little friend stay cool by dropping a few ice cubes into their bowls. That will ensure that water is always refreshingly cool. After all, hydration is important for everyone, your dog included.

Give Your Dog a Treat

image 8Dogs deserve to be treated well, especially when hot weather rolls around. You can help them out by putting their favourite treat in the freezer or you can whip up a yummy doggie treat and have it frozen. Homemade frozen dog treats can be a delicious way to help your dog stay cool in the summer, just make sure not to use anything that could upset their tummies. Also, check with your vet if it’s safe to give it to them, you don’t want to have to rush them to the doctor’s office.

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Summer weather can be difficult to deal with; and dogs often have it quite bad. Help them stay hydrated and cool and their gratitude will know no bounds. You can have fun in the sun while trying to stay cooler together, making it an opportunity to spend some time with your beloved pet. It’s imperative to have plenty of water, as it is one of the most efficient cooling aids during summer; both you and your dog are going to need it.

25 Most Popular Dog Breeds and their Health Issues

Today you can choose a dog breed of any form, shape or size. Each breed is also different in terms of character and personality. There are many more factors you need to consider when thinking about your future pet.

However, health issues should also be considered before adopting a dog because different breeds are more prone to specific health problems and a dog owner you must be aware.

Study the infographic below to learn more about your favorite breeds, their potential health risks, and the requirements to keep you future pet healthy! If you want to get more details about each breed then read more here.

Source: DogPsycho.com.

dog breeds and their common health problems

 

The Dangers of Dog Waste

To most, dog waste is just an inconvenient part of being a pet owner. No one enjoys having to pick up after his or her dog, but leaving pet waste unattended in your yard could put you, your family and your pet in danger.

Let’s outline the dangers of pet waste, and why scooping your pets poop is always the best option!

1. Stool Eating

At one point or another, we’ve all witnessed our pets eating their own stool. Dogs are natural scavengers, and while it may be hard to fathom, it’s natural for them to taste the stool they find in your yard. The habit is known as coprophagia and is especially common in young animals.

While the practice is mostly harmless, and usually only requires a begrudgingly clean up, it can be dangerous for your pets. The stool your dog eats can cause stomach aches, vomiting and gastroenteritis. In extreme situations it can cause a parasite to infect your precious pooch.

2. The Deadly Parvovirus

Most dog owners should be aware of parvovirus. This devastating illness can kill dogs in a matter of days and is almost 80% fatal when contracted. The virus is spread easily when your dog comes into contact with contaminated feces, but can also be passed along from dog to dog contact.

Symptoms include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

 

The good news is, there is a vaccination to prevent your puppy from contracting this devastating disease. However, if your dog is behind in shots, parvo can be extremely easy for them to pick up.

3. Worms, Worms, Worms!

Dog waste that has been left out for long periods of time can also affect the lives of humans. When water enters the environment, it can accelerate the bacteria and viruses that live naturally in waste.

Think about all the adorable puppy kisses your dog has given you. Now think about the millions of bacteria that mouth has come into contact with, especially if you have waste in your home environment.

Hookworms, ringworms and tapeworms all thrive in moist environments and can be passed easily with dog to human contact. Children are more likely to contact these parasites, especially if they are playing in the same environment where your dog poops.

Common symptoms of these parasites include:

  • Itchy rashes
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

 

To avoid passing these parasites onto your dog or your family, eliminating your pet’s waste from the living environment is a must.

While picking up poop is hardly glamorous, it is one of the most important aspects of being a responsible pet owner.

Dog waste is the third biggest cause of water contamination in the world, and shockingly, almost half of American dog owners admit that they don’t regularly pick up their dog’s waste.

Time to start scooping!

By: Louise Armstrong

Louise Armstrong is a writer and pet lover based in Houston, Texas. When she’s not working at her regular job, she can be found as the blog author at Scoop Doggie Doo.