Archive for the ‘Dog Care Information’ Category

Spoiled but not Spoiled Rotten

August 8, 2014

Big Bone Jones Natural Chews 003

Do people tell you your dogs are spoiled? I hear it so much that I’ve actually told people my dogs are spoiled. But I think the word ‘spoiled’ when referring to our pets can have two different meanings. The Google definition is to “harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent.” I imagine that this is what some people mean when they tell me I spoil my dogs. But when I say it, I simply mean to care for in a generous way. And I think this less harsh (albeit incorrect) definition of spoiled is what most people mean. Here’s why.

By the standards of many non-dog-lovers, it can certainly seem that I go overboard with all the things I do for my dogs. Maya and Pierson have lots of dog toys, nice plush beds, get quality food. They get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation with learning tricks. And I buy lots of dog products to promote their health and safety.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

This kind of treatment is easily perceived as spoiling by those who only get their dogs the basic supplies. But I am not lenient or indulgent with Maya and Pierson.

Spoiling My Dogs with Food?
For one, my dogs are not overfed. They have set meal times and are only fed a certain amount. They get treats ever so often, but I don’t overdo it. Sometimes I give treats to be indulgent. But most other times, Maya and Pierson get treats when we do fun training time.

Spoiling My Dogs by Training Them?
That’s right, I train them. It can’t be called spoiling by the true definition if I’ve taken the time to train my dogs manners. Maya and Pierson don’t get to run amuck. They are not allowed in certain rooms. They sit and stay in certain situations. And they come when called.

I can be lenient (or lazy) when it comes to certain training aspects. I am terrible about being consistent with leash walking habits. While I do cross the street when we see another dog in order to help with Maya and Pierson’s leash reactive behaviors, I do not make it a point to specifically train for modifying leash behaviors on a daily or even weekly basis. Because I still try to be responsible about their behaviors, I do not see this leniency as spoiling my dogs.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 2

Allowing Dogs on the Furniture?
Some people believe that allowing your dogs on the furniture is spoiling them. They say this could lead to certain behavior issues. I’m not going to dispute that here. While Maya and Pierson are not generally allowed on the furniture (a personal preference), I’ve allowed it in the past and on some special occasions. And it certainly hasn’t harmed their character.

Spoiling with Love?
Perhaps allowing my dogs to live in the house where I can pet them every five minutes if I want can seem indulgent. Maybe it is, in a way. But this action does not harm their character. It is actually a benefit for both of us. They get to relax. I get to relax.

Maya Getting Nails Cut

Cutting doggy toenails.

Spoiling with Care?
While I do spend a lot of quality enjoyment time with my dogs, I also do things to them that they do not enjoy. Things like brush their teeth, cut their nails, and comb their hair. Is this spoiling? I think not.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

Spoiling with Lots of Dog Toys?
When I buy Maya and Pierson a bunch of toys it can be perceived as spoiling. I beg to differ, though. Having toys to stimulate the mind and to get exercise is not going to harm their character. It’s going to help it.

Spoiling with Dog Clothes?
If your dog wears cute clothes, people will probably stop and tell your dog in a cooing voice that he’s spoiled. But they certainly couldn’t mean spoiling as in harming their character because how can dog clothes harm their character? Dogs don’t get the uppity attitude that some people can get regarding attire. They don’t think, “OMD, that dog looks like she’s wearing a hand-me-down. What a loser.” Right?

Buying the Best for My Dogs?
Spending money on quality dog food, safety gear, and veterinary care can be seen as spoiling a dog by people who do not do these things for their own pet. But it’s not spoiling them if these things are beneficial.

So if someone tells me I spoil my dogs and they mean I spend a lot of money on them, then yes, I do spoil my dogs. But if someone tells me this and they mean I overdo it to the point of harming my dogs’ characters, then I completely disagree. Maya and Pierson have their faults (who doesn’t). But overall they are very good dogs. Pampered, yes. Spoiled, perhaps by my less harsh definition. Spoiled rotten, no way!

What do you think most people mean whey they say your dog is spoiled?

How to Deal With Your Dog’s Destructive Behavior

March 13, 2014

Puppy biting shoe

As you may have suspected from my previous post, I am taking a bit of a break from blogging in order to spend time with my mom. So what I have here is a great and informative article written by Helen Cole:

It’s normal for dogs to chew, says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. When chewing becomes destructive, however, you must control the behavior to keep your pet safe and your belongings intact. Learn more about why your dog chews to prevent this inappropriate use of teeth:

Reasons for Destructive Chewing and How to Prevent It

Dogs chew for a variety of reasons. Puppies do so while they are teething to relieve pain and help adult teeth break through, according to the Humane Society of the U.S. By providing your puppy with an appropriate chew toy, you help her feel better while also teaching what what is appropriate to chew. Anytime her teeth get too close to a furniture leg or other off-limits item, interrupt with a loud noise, such as a clap, then offer an appropriate toy and provide praise when she takes it.

Kong offers a line of chew toys for puppies. They feature soft rubber and are freezable to provide numbing relief. You can find these products at pet supply stores.

A poorly trained puppy can grow into a destructive chewer. That being said, certain circumstances can cause even a well-trained adult dog to chew. They include:

  • Medical issue — A poor diet or intestinal parasite can lead to pica, an abnormal desire to eat substances not normally eaten, which can be mistaken for inappropriate chewing, veterinarian Dr. Kristy Conn points out. She also states that gastrointestinal problems can cause nausea, which can trigger chewing as a way to cope. She recommends seeing your vet to rule out such issues.
  • Separation anxiety — If, in addition to destructive chewing, your dog whines, barks, paces and forgets his housetraining when you are away, the cause may be separation anxiety, according to the ASPCA. The organization offers a lengthy description of this behavioral problem as well as ways to deal with it.
  • Boredom — If you rule out a medical issue and separation anxiety, simple boredom could be the cause. Try upping the physical and mental stimulation you give your animal. Add another walk to your daily routine or hit the dog park for off-leash play with other dogs. Food and treat puzzle toys engage a dog’s mind. Nina Ottosson toys, for example, require your dog to use his mind — plus nose and paw — to get a treat.

No matter the reason for destructive chewing, you must control both your dog’s behavior and access to items you don’t want chewed. Move what you can out of reach and spray taste deterrent on what you can’t, such as furniture. Crate your dog when you cannot provide supervision.

If you catch inappropriate chewing in the act, the Humane Society recommends the same actions as given for puppies. Never punish after the fact, as your dog cannot associate the correction with something done even a few minutes ago.

A Separate Issue: Fabric Sucking and Licking

If your dog doesn’t chew but instead sucks and licks on your fabric furniture, the above advice works as well. Instead of using a taste deterrent spray, which could stain the fabric, invest in removable covers for your furniture. Wayfair.com, for example, sells machine-washable futon covers that are easily replaced.

Back to me, Dawn. I have been lucky these past several years in that I’ve had very little problems with Maya and Pierson chewing on things they are not supposed to. The last time I had issues with a chewing dog was with Sephi in 2002 when the little devil dog chewed up all my bibles! What are some crazy experiences you’ve had with your dog chewing?

Pierson is Terrified of the Vet

February 17, 2014
Pierson Head Down Looking Up

Is it time to go to the vet again?

My poor Pierson has a vet appointment tomorrow. Don’t worry, it is nothing bad. It is just time for one of his vaccines and his annual checkup. So why poor Pierson? Because he is absolutely terrified of the vet. At his last appointment, he peed all over the place. Pierson can be skittish at times, but this was the only time he’s been so terrified that he peed. What happened to my poor baby boy to make him so scared?

When I first got Pierson he was nervous at the vet, but not terrified. He did just fine on that very first day I caught him and took him in for a checkup. Three days later I took him to the emergency pet hospital because he had a severe bloody nose. He had to stay overnight. And while I doubt the experience was pleasant for him, he was not terrified when he went to the vet a couple weeks later for booster vaccines. Nor was he when he went another couple weeks later to be neutered.

It was probably a combination of all these vet visits that made last year’s annual checkup visit so terrifying. So I vowed to do some things to make Pierson’s experience more pleasant this year:

Travel Calm, Maya, and Me

Travel Calm helps keep Maya from acting so excitedly on car rides.

Canine Calming Remedy
I have a product called Travel Calm, which I use for Maya when we take long road trips. Maya gets excited in the car and this stuff helps her to relax. Travel Calm is an all-natural product from Earth Heart. It contains bergamot, lavender, tangerine, and other calming ingredients. Earth Heart also makes a product called Canine Calm. It is the same thing as Travel Calm but Travel Calm also contains ginger to help with car sickness. Pierson doesn’t really need the ginger, but it won’t hurt him either and I don’t have any of the Canine Calm.

Pierson Wearing the Thundershirt 003

Doesn’t Pierson look comfortable in his Thundershirt?

Pet Anxiety Shirt
Another product I have is the Thundershirt. I’ve tried it on Pierson before and loved how it fit. But for him, his anxiety about the vet was just too strong. However, with a combination of the Thudershirt, Travel Calm, and the below methods, I believe this shirt will make a positive difference for him.

Visit the Vet Regularly
For the past couple of days I have been taking Pierson to the vet for a visit. He doesn’t go to get a checkup or anything. He just goes so that he can hang out for a bit. Even though Pierson is just stopping by to say hi, the staff has been very helpful. If they have a moment or two, they come and introduce themselves to Pierson while at the same time bribing him with tasty treats.

Take Maya
Sometimes when Pierson is afraid of something but my dog Maya isn’t, Pierson calms down. Maya absolutely loves going to the vet so I will take both her and Pierson at the same time. Perhaps her attitude about the vet will help influence his attitude.

New Vet?
I don’t know if these few visits are enough to help, but I’m hoping so. I’m also thinking of having the new doctor check on Pierson. The two doctors at this office that Maya and Pierson usually see are males. But they have a new doctor who is female. I’m interested in seeing if this can make a difference. We’re going to the same vet office, but seeing a different doctor. If all this doesn’t make a difference, next year I may have to try a new veterinary office.

Wish us luck! I will try to follow up later this week to tell you how his vet appointment went. Let’s keep our paws crossed and hope for the best.

Time For Dooty Duties

September 23, 2013

Scoop That Poop Logo

Do you pick up your dog’s feces? I do, every single day. It never fails that when I take Maya & Pierson for a walk, one of them takes a crap. Even if I let them outside in our backyard beforehand, there is just something about taking a dump in someone else’s yard that pleases them.

Even if I don’t take them out for a walk, I still pick up daily from our backyard. I used to do it once a week, but then I got the notorious poop-eater, Pierson. Pierson only eats Maya’s stool, so I have Maya on a poop schedule and pick up her excrement immediately twice a day… three times if she decides to go on the walk too. Honestly! You’d think I overfeed my dogs with all the turds they churn out.

Here is what Pierson has to say about dog droppings:

Scoop That Poop Campaign 1

Scoop That Poop Campaign 2

I forgot to get a photo of Maya taking a poo. Since she is on a schedule, I won’t have a chance again until this evening.

And here is the scoop on poop brought to you by Sugar the Golden Retriever and Dogster:

Scoop That Poop Infographic

Also, check out the ScoopThatPoopCampaign and a video from Sugar:

How many synonyms for dog waste did you see in this post?

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Trimming Long Haired Dog Paws

August 10, 2013
Pierson's Fuzzy Paws 1

Should the hair on these paws be trimmed?

Pamela from Something Wagging mentioned on her blog how she keeps the hair on Honey’s paws trimmed so she doesn’t slip on the wooden floors. I never thought about this as a reason to trim the hair on my dog’s paws. I knew keeping them trimmed was good in winter so ice doesn’t get ice stuck between the toes. Since I kept a close eye on Pierson’s paws this past winter, I never bothered with the trimming. Now I am beginning to second guess this choice.

Websites all over state a number of reasons why the hair between dogs’ paws should be trimmed:

* Prevent the hair on the paws from matting and being uncomfortable.

* Prevent debris from getting caught in the hair and making your dog uncomfortable.

* Dogs sweat through their paws, so removing hair helps this process.

* Muddy days outside are less likely to lead to muddy paws inside.

* Increase traction, such as when walking on wooden floors.

A couple websites mentioned how the first two above listed items are more important if a dog spends a lot of time outdoors. The first three reasons might not apply to a dog that is primarily indoors. However, the last two certainly do.

Several reasons I haven’t considered trimming Pierson’s paws are as follows:

The hair must be there for a reason, I thought. In fact, Arctic Wolves have long hair in between the toes of their paws. It helps protect them in cold weather. Obviously, Pierson is not subjected to weather that cold. He is an indoor dog. But if ice balling up in the paws was an issue, why isn’t it an issue with Arctic Wolves?

Pierson's Fuzzy Paws 3

The funny way the hair sticks up between Pierson’s toes makes me smile.

My other reason is purely selfish. I play with my dogs’ paws all the time because they are so darned cute. And I’ve never noticed any issues with them, such as dirt or other stuff getting lodged in. Pierson has the most adorable, fuzzy, healthy, spotted paws.

Pierson's Paw in Heart

Seriously, look how cute Pieson’s paw is!

I’ve also wondered if perhaps the hair provides protection from walking on hot pavement. We rarely walk on hot pavement, generally only when we have to cross the street on our walks.

The final reason is because the hair seems to protect Pierson’s paws from biting insects. We have a really bad chigger problem this year. Maya is getting bitten badly, especially between the toes. Apparently, chiggers like tight places. Pierson gets bit too, but not like Maya. I wonder if the excess hair protects him.

Maybe I should have Pierson wear purple shoes like the ones Sugar the Golden Retriever wears, but in blue instead of purple. :)

So what do you think? Should I trim Pierson’s paws or do you think they are okay just the way they are? Do you trim the hair between your dog’s paws?

Low Maintenance Dogs?

June 1, 2013

Want a dog that is relatively easy to care for? One that doesn’t require regular brushing, grooming, exercise, or other kinds of regular attention? Are there such dogs? I found some:

Stuffed Dogs

The Lowest of the Low Maintenance Dogs

LOL! Seriously, though. Even low maintenance dogs are work. Sure, some are more work than others. But they still require daily attention and care. Here is a list of the normal regular tasks that I do for Maya and Pierson:

Daily

  • Feed twice a day – Some dogs do well at being fed once a day while others, especially younger dogs, need fed at least three times a day. Consult your veterinarian for the proper feeding schedule and amounts. Some estimated feeding instructions on dog food bags are inaccurate.
  • Give plenty of water – I always make sure their water bowl is full of fresh water.
  • Potty time – I let Maya and Pierson outside several times throughout the day.
  • Pick up poop from the yard – Sometimes you can get away with doing this ever-other-day or even once a week, but for optimal health (and so Pierson won’t eat Maya’s poo), I do this every day.
  • Walk – Every dog needs exercise. How much varies per dog. Some dogs need more vigorous exercise, like running, while others just need a short jaunt. Maya and Pierson each walk about a mile or so almost every day (except in winter when I tend to get lazy).
  • Play – How often and how long varies per dog. Pierson has dog agility equipment in the back yard. He doesn’t use it on his own. I direct him to it and it is both playing and dog training. Both Maya and Pierson get bored with play after about 15 minutes or so.
  • Brush teeth – I never had to do this every day until I got Pierson the poop-eater. Some dogs who are good chewers can get away with a weekly brushing with a dog tooth brush and toothpaste.
  • Dog Training – Regular training is always a good idea, no matter how low maintenance the dog is. I do a short session of 3 minutes or more of dog tricks or obedience in order to keep the things I taught them fresh in their minds.
  • Wash food and water bowls.
  • Pet and cuddle.
Pull No More dog harness

I take the dogs for a walk almost every day.

Maya Yellow Ball 1

Maya will jump to try to catch this yellow ball, but it is too big so it bounces off her nose. She loves the game, nonetheless.

Pierson Makes it Through the Agility Tunnel

Pierson goes through the dog agility tunnel.

Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Brush your dog’s teeth so they look healthy like Maya’s.

Me and Maya on the Porch Swing

Maya’s not usually allowed on the furniture in the house, but I always let her cuddle with me on the outside porch swing.

Weekly

  • Brush hair – In spring, Maya and Pierson need this done daily with de-shedding dog brushes. Some dogs may require more brushing while others may not require any.
  • Cut nails
  • Check ears and eyes – Clean as needed. Maya sometimes gets goo in her eyes. Pierson tends to get gunk built up in his ears.
My Dog Pierson Shedding

Springtime means more use of the de-shedding dog brush.

Maya Getting Nails Cut

Maya lies on the porch quietly and calmly as I cut her toenails. We’ve been doing this almost every week since she was a puppy.

Monthly

  • Give a bath – Additional grooming may be needed for dogs that need haircuts, such as the some non-shedding varieties.
  • Wash dog beds
  • Give medications – I give my dogs monthly Heartgard and flea and tick preventions. Some people have found more natural remedies to prevent against heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other pests.
Pierson Towel

A wet Pierson after a bath. In summer, I give the dogs a bath outside. In winter, we go to Pawsh Wash.

Maya & Pierson on Dog Bed

It is probably time to wash the dog beds and blankets again.

Annually

  • Visit the veterinarian for an annual checkup – Additional visits during the year may be needed for unexpected health issues.
  • Travel – My husband and I travel at least twice a year. When we do, we either take the dogs with us or find someone to take care of them while we are gone. When they travel with us, it is by car and they wear their dog seat belts.
Maya Pierson SUV Dog Seat Belts

Maya & Pierson ride in the back of the SUV for our trip from Kansas to Texas. Both are wearing dog seat belts.

These are things all dogs need. So if you don’t have a dog, you want a dog, but want one that doesn’t require much responsibility, then look this list over carefully. If you feel you can’t provide one of them, then consider the kind of low maintenance dogs in the photo at the top of the page. Real dogs require real work. Fortunately, the rewards are infinite.

Did I forget anything? What regular tasks do you do for your pets?

***Added later… Rumpy Dog asked an excellent question. The purpose of my article was not to point out all the things you should be doing. I do not intend to criticize anyone who might do things differently. How I choose to care for Maya and Pierson are not intended to be held up as an ideal. I am not perfect. The purpose of this article is to show people who are considering getting a dog and people who are looking specifically for low maintenance dogs that there is still a lot of work that goes into caring for a dog. It is very sad when someone buys or adopts a dog, then gives them up later because the dog is more work than they expected. See my reply to Rumpy Dog below.

Thanks Rumpy for asking this question. :)

Emerging from Rescue Dog to Family Dog

April 6, 2013
Pierson Rolling in the Grass

Happy Rescued Boy, PIerson.

This post is appropriate for spring as it is an article about growth. It is a story about the development of a rescue dog into a loved and cherished family dog.

I’ve been in contact with a new friend lately about her new rescue dog. And her story made me think about when I first got Pierson. He was so shy and nervous back then. I assumed I would have a calm and quiet dog on my hands. But then over the course of a few weeks, Pierson came out of his shell. He is a different dog today than he was back then. Here are his experiences and some things you can expect when you rescue a dog.

Shy to Outgoing
Pierson is still shy around strangers, but even that shyness is relatively mild compared to the shyness he expressed when he first came home. After spending time socializing him, he now allows most people to pet him. I don’t think he will ever be outgoing because of his breed tendencies. But it may be different with other rescued dogs. You might start out with a very shy dog and end up with one that absolutely loves to meet new people.

Unsure to Confident
When Pierson first came home, his walk was slow and deliberate. His tail was held low and his eyes were constantly on the lookout for a way to escape in case things went wrong. Today, he prances around with his tail held high. He knows this is his home and we are his family and he is completely at ease. When we go out, he is still confident because he knows I will take care of him.

Quiet to Loud
This may not be the case with all dogs, but it is definitely the case with Pierson. It was a couple weeks before I heard him bark. Now, not only does he bark (at every little thing), but he howls with excitement too. You should see him in the morning at feeding time. He wags his tail so hard that his cute little fluffy butt wiggles, he spins around in circles, and then he promptly sits and howls. It is the cutest thing!

Calm to Playful
I remember trying to play with Pierson after only having him for a couple of days. He didn’t understand that it was a game and still wasn’t too sure about me. The first time he ever played, it was with Maya. After a couple of weeks, he started to play with me too. I imagine my laughter when I tried to play with him scared him at first. Now he associates laughter with good things and we play and laugh all the time.

I use laughter now as a way to put him at ease. When Pierson heard a loud noise while we were out the other day, he got really scared. I purposely laughed at him playfully because the loud noise was nothing to be frightened of. He immediately calmed down.

Behavior Issues
Pierson developed a few behavior issues as he got more comfortable. When he first came here, he was too nervous to come out of his corner to do naughty things. But as Pierson got more comfortable going about the house, he started chewing on things, putting his paws on the counter, and digging holes in the yard. Expect some of these same things to happen when you rescue a dog. Remember, they don’t know what is right and wrong yet. As they come out of their shell, they will be investigating their new surroundings more often and may sometimes do things you don’t want them to do.

Pierson's Rescue on Facebook

Pierson’s rescue documented on my Facebook Timeline in January 2012. (Sorry it’s blurry. I don’t know how to make it sharp like the larger image file is.)

Watching Pierson slowly come out of his shell has been a wonderful and rewarding experience. I love Pierson so much and am very proud of the dog he has become. A rescue dog requires time, patience, and training, but that dog is worth every effort. Pierson’s rescue story sort of reminds me of The Ugly Duckling story. Has your dog emerged from an ugly duckling into a swan?

 

 

How Do We Support Animal Welfare?

January 28, 2013

Rumpy's Challenge

I’m joining Rumpydog’s Animal Welfare Challenge today to talk about how my family supports animal welfare. We do it in a number of small ways:

The biggest way that we support animal welfare is by being selective about the kinds of foods and products we buy. For instance, we only buy cage-free humanely raised chicken and eggs. If we buy other meats such as beef or pork, we carefully select by the same method as with chicken. We don’t buy cow milk, we buy almond milk. Other dairies such as cottage cheese, sour cream, etc. are a little more difficult and very expensive to get as humanely raised so we limit this stuff as much as possible.

We are also careful about the hygiene products we buy, although I am not as well educated in this matter as others might be.

It is not as easy to find dog food made from humanely raised meat. When it is more readily available and not too expensive for us, we will definitely switch.

Another way I support animal welfare is by talking about my dogs. By talking about them, where I got them and how I raise them, I am indirectly educating people about the importance of proper pet care. I do it indirectly because people don’t like it when they are told that they are doing something that might be considered wrong (or not doing as well as they could). They are more apt to listen if they are presented with information in a positive way and nothing is more positive than talking about Maya and Pierson.

When I talk about Maya and Pierson, the main question that people ask is where I got them. Maya is a purebred so I think many people assume I got her from a breeder. And Pierson is so exotic-looking that some people think he is a designer breed. Whether Maya originally came from a breeder or not is unknown. I adopted her. Whether Pierson was an attempt at a designer dog or just an accidental farm dog is also unknown. I rescued him. I have never purchased a dog in my life unless you count adoption fees.

I also talk about how I care for Maya and Pierson. They eat healthy food, they are indoor dogs, and they are trained mostly using positive reinforcement. I also brush their teeth, clip their nails, and make sure they visit the vet annually and as needed. I also have them wear their tags and they are microchipped. Oh yeah, they are also spayed and neutered.

We also support animal welfare groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, and our local animal shelter. We will occasionally support smaller and more local groups, but as Rumpy pointed out it can sometimes be difficult to tell how much the smaller groups are really helping.

There are probably other ways that our family helps, but I can’t think of any more at the moment. Thank you, Rumpy for inviting us to this challenge. Have a wonderful Monday!

Wordless Wednesday – Practicing Pet Safety

January 2, 2013

I remember working in the corporate world and noticing that I had more pictures of my dogs on my desk than other people had of their children or grandchildren. So I wouldn’t be surprised if some people thought of me as the crazy dog lady. I don’t have kids so my dogs are my family (for years, it was just Sephi and I). And as such, I take care of them as well as, and sometimes better than, I take care of myself. Here are some photos to prove it:

We all eat healthy. Maya & Pierson get a good quality dog food in measured portions.

We all eat healthy. Maya & Pierson get a good quality dog food in measured portions.

I feed my dogs twice a day so that they don’t eat a large amount at one time. Eating too much at once can cause bloat, which can be deadly for dogs, especially big dogs. One thing I would like to try is a slow pet feeder dog bowl.

Pull No More dog harness

I decided to stop using retractable leads since it made Maya’s walking habits worse and because I heard a horrible story about a dog getting struck by a car because he tried to run across the street after another dog. The owner did not lock the retractable lead quickly enough. :(

Pierson has a rabies tag, the Home Again tag with his microchip number, and his id tag with my phone number.

Pierson has a rabies tag, the Home Again tag with his microchip number, and his id tag with my phone number.

Maya is wearing her Kurgo Tru-Fit dog car harness.

Maya is wearing her Kurgo Tru-Fit dog car harness.

I make sure the fenced yard is kept repaired and any dug holes are filled up.

I make sure the fenced yard is kept repaired and any dug holes are filled up.

Dougie Wearing His Dog Life Jacket

Dougie wears a dog life jacket when he is out on the water. Dougie is not my dog. Maya has one, but I don’t have a picture of her wearing it. Pierson has yet to go swimming so he doesn’t have one yet.

I keep these in my car along with pet identification cards with vet info, a blanket, water, and extra leashes.

I keep these in my car along with pet identification cards with vet info, a blanket, water, and extra leashes.

This sign goes on my car window whenever my dogs ride with me in the car. It has their photo and emergency contact information.

This sign goes on my car window whenever my dogs ride with me in the car. It has their photo and emergency contact information.

Dog toys that I know my dogs will chew to pieces are kept picked up and can only be played with under supervision.

Dog toys that I know my dogs will chew to pieces are kept picked up and can only be played with under supervision.

After I heard about a dog running with a stick in his mouth and the stick getting jammed into the back of his throat, I try really hard not to let Maya play with sticks.

After I heard about a dog running with a stick in his mouth and the stick getting jammed into the back of his throat, I try really hard not to let Maya play with sticks.

The first thing I do after a snow is shovel and de-ice the steps. These steps are the only way my dogs can get to the fenced yard and I don't want them to slip. Warm water is used when they get inside to remove the salt.

The first thing I do after a snow is shovel and de-ice the steps. These steps are the only way my dogs can get to the fenced yard and I don’t want them to slip. Warm water is used when they get inside to remove the salt.

How do you practice pet safety? Am I missing anything important?

For more Wordless Wednesday pet photos, check out our Pet Auto Safety Blog for the blog hop.

Holiday Traveling with Pets – Packing for the Trip

November 17, 2012

Sephi and Maya asleep in the back seat of the car on one of our road trips to Texas.

Are you going out of town this holiday season? Are you taking your pets with you? Don’t forget all the important things your pet needs for the trip.

- Leash, if your pet is a dog
– Collar with tags (make sure tags are up to date; have tags even if your pet is microchipped)
– Water
– Pet food
– Pet food & water bowls
Pet waste bags for dogs/ litter and litter box for cats
– Pet blanket or bed
– Veterinary information (including vet contact info and vaccine information)
– Pet First Aid Booklet (we have one from Blue Pearl)
– Pet toys (optional)
Dog car harness, pet travel crate, or pet car seat if traveling by car
– Airline approved pet travel crate if traveling by airplane
– Meds (if applicable)

If your pet tends to get nervous during travel or get car sick, ask your vet if there is anything you can give them for the trip. I am trying a product called Travel Calm since Pierson is known to get car sick. I am hoping the Travel calm will also help keep Maya from getting so excitable as she tends to do when she rides in the car.

If your trip is a long one, be sure you pick up your dog’s poo at rest stops or anywhere else you stop. Take plenty of rest stops, especially if you have a hyper pet like my Maya. We are driving from Kansas to Texas this Thanksgiving. Check out our other blog, PetAutoSafetyBlog.com, for what we are doing to prep for such a long road trip.

Where are you going for the holidays? Is there anything that you bring for your pet that I might have forgotten to list?


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