Do these before you travel with a pet – checklist

I love traveling, and I love my dog. Sometimes the two just don’t go hand in hand, but I do try to take him with us every chance I get. Before we take off, I do have a checklist that I go through so as to make sure our trip is a good one. First, I make sure that I have a copy of his rabies certification. I have never had to produce it, but it’s nice to know that I have it on hand in case of an emergency. I also go on the Internet and look up locations of vet or emergency services in the area of our destination. Pets are like kids only with 4 legs instead of 2; one never knows when they will become sick or have an accident. Second on my list is checking hotels in the area for their pet policies. The guilt one feels for having to leave a cherished member of the family sleeping in the car can cause a night of restless sleep; take it from one who knows. Next on the list is car prep. We have leather seats in our car, and nothing scares me more than having his claws rip the leather, so I’ve purchased a seat cover for the back seat and a pet barrier for between the front seats. He can put his head over the seat to nudge when he needs something, even if it’s just a little attention, but keeps him in the back when we have to stop the car. Dogs, like kids, should be restrained while traveling in the car...

Pet Swimming Pool Safety

A dip in the pool can be a great way for our four-legged friends to beat the heat this summer! Since we can’t outfit them with water wings, it’s important to teach dogs safe pool manners in order to keep everyone happy and healthy all summer long. Consider the following tips: Step Right Up! Teach your dog only to enter and exit the pool via the steps. This helps prevent human pool guests from unexpectedly becoming victims of a canine cannonball as the dog launches himself in from the side of the pool. More importantly, it cements the idea of the steps in the dog’s head, which helps navigate him back there in order to safely exit the pool. Sadly, many dogs, even accomplished swimmers, have drowned while trying unsuccessfully to claw their way out from the edge of the pool. Swimming Lessons Aren’t Just for People! It’s true! Many dogs benefit from a swimming lesson or two. While all dogs know to instinctively paddle when submerged in water, their initial technique rarely wins them a spot on the Canine Olympic Swim Team! Inexperienced swimmers often concentrate their efforts on using the front legs, forgetting to start-up the rear end! Front-end-only swimming is ineffective and uses a tremendous amount of energy. It results in the dog being near-vertical in the water, with lots of splashing. It looks a lot like our friend, Hooper (see above)! Getting in the pool with the dog and supporting his back end as he swims a short distance is often a great way to prompt him to begin doing more with his back legs....

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