Running with your pet

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better running partner than your canine companion. He’s never late, doesn’t complain, always keeps pace and bursts with excitement at the sight of your running shoes. But running or jogging with your dog comes with its own set of precautions and requires a bit of know-how to ensure your pooch is up for the challenge. A dog that exercises regularly is a happy dog, but it’s important to ensure your pet is healthy enough for the rigors of the road. Before you head out, take your dog to his regular veterinarian for a check-up. Once you get the go-ahead from the doggie doctor, begin conditioning him for distance running. Start with fast daily walks and short jogs and gradually increase the distance and pace as he becomes more conditioned to the activity. It’s helpful for your dog to have mastered some basic obedience commands before beginning to run regularly. Commands such as “stop” and “heel” will help you stay in control and keep both of you focused on the run. Specialty, hands-free leashes are great for the experienced runner/dog duo. Don’t take any chances; always keep your dog on a leash when running. If you like to run after dark, make sure your dog has a reflective leash. It will keep both of you safe from traffic and other nighttime hazards. Once you hit the pavement, your dog will need to stay hydrated, so make sure you pack enough water for the both of you. Many breeds, especially the excessively fluffy, overheat easily, so it’s important to keep an eye on your dog...

How to Select the Right Pet Carrier

No matter what kind of companion animal you have, at some point they’ll need to be transported somewhere. And no matter whether it’s to another city or just down the road, for safety’s sake they should always be put in a pet carrier unless they are restrained in a dog car seat or vehicle pet safety harness. Not many years ago, the types of carriers available were very limited — usually just pet crates. But not so now. As pet travel has become more popular, pet product manufacturers have begun to offer many styles and types of pet carriers for just about any occasion. With a little research and knowing the size of your pet, you can find which carrier is the right fit for your pet travel needs. Remember that size matters. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s in an enclosed space, your pet should be able to stand up and turn around, unless it’s a pet carrier you wear that holds your pet close to your body or it’s a purse-style carrier. You should choose one based on the size of your pet and the carrier’s dimensions. When measuring your pet, this pet sizing chart may be helpful in determining the length and height of your pet. To save you some time and effort in selecting the right pet carrier, here are examples of what’s available and how they can best work for you. Pet Crates All-metal crates come in many sizes, and some are even collapsible. They are useful in the house and, if not too big, can fit inside a car. If you need to take...

Riding in a car with your dog

Who doesn’t know at least one dog who instantly rockets himself into a fit of excitement upon hearing his owners mention going for a R. I. D. E.? For many dogs, the car is the magic portal to everything fun: the park, the pet store or the hole in the wall where the French fries come from. (Oh c’mon… like you’ve never been to a drive thru with your dog in the car?) As a trainer, one of my greatest pleasures is seeing dog owners venture out to experience life with their dogs in tow. Including your dog in outings, whether something routine like a trip to the bank or a weekend mini vacation, is a great bonding experience and an excellent opportunity to sneak in valuable urban socialization and training. However, when taking Rover along for the ride, it’s important to follow a few safety tips: Buckle Up that Pup! Most people would never dream of letting a toddler travel unsecured in a vehicle, but sadly, it happens to dogs all the time. Experts estimate that nearly 98 percent of pets travel unrestrained. This shocking statistic presents a variety of dangers for both pets and people. The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that 25 percent of all accidents are the result of driver distraction. Dogs riding loose in cars can quickly become a dangerous distraction as they roam about the vehicle. In the event of an accident, unrestrained animals pose several potentially life-threatening problems. The non-profit group Bark Buckle Up, estimates that during a collision at 40 mph, a 25lb dog can cause an impact equal to 1,000...

Are you travelling with pets? Here’s some tips

1. Start Early. If you’re planning to take your pet with you on trips in the car, start early when the pet is young to get used to the routine. Short jaunts across town and back or easy day trips will get your pet used to the ride. A carsick pet can make the trip miserable for everyone. 2. Take time to prepare. Before you travel with your pet, check with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is physically able to make the trip. Some senior, pregnant or physically impaired dogs and cats do not travel well. Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current, and be sure to bring along any immunization records if you are traveling interstate or out of the country. Your pet will feel more comfortable before the trip if you take the time to bathe (dogs), brush and groom him. Be sure to bring along cleaning supplies in case of mishaps to avoid having to search out a place to purchase them at the last minute. An upholstery protector, such as a waterproof backseat hammock or waterproof bench seat cover will make clean-ups easier in case your pet does get sick or has an accident. A pet first-aid kit is an essential item to pack when venturing out and should contain things such as antiseptic cream, assorted bandages, tweezers, eye drops, gauge, tape and the like. You should familiarize yourself with the items in the kit and know how to use them. Phone numbers for your pet’s vet, and emergency pet hospitals in the areas where you plan to travel should be taken along. A travel tag on your pet’s collar will help someone...