Summer is near, and many pet parents want their four-legged friends to join in on the family fun as they travel for the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. While car travel can be stressful for both you and your pet, a safe and comfortable road trip can be enjoyed by all with some preparation.
Tips to experience a successful trip:
The last thing you want is a sick pet as your travel companion. Schedule a medical check-up with your vet to ensure your furry friend is up-to-date on all vaccinations. A healthy pet equals a healthy start to your road trip.
Before hitting the road, take a trial run to see how your pet reacts. Does he get anxious or car sick? Those are behaviors that should be addressed prior to the big trip.
Invest in a pet restraint. Each year, more than 30,000 vehicle accidents are caused by unrestrained pets in the front seat. Allowing your feline friend to prowl freely or your canine companion to sit in your lap is not only a distraction to you, but it is dangerous to your pet in the event of an accident. Have a pet barrier, pet seat belt or travel crate ready for your road trip and take time before the trip to familiarize your pet with the restraint.
Most dogs enjoy sticking their heads outside the car window, but doing so can cause ear damage and risk of lung infection. They can also be hit by flying road debris. Always keep heads and paws inside the vehicle.
On the day of departure, feed your pet a light meal 3-4 hours prior to travel time. Don’t feed him in a moving vehicle, no matter how long the ride, as this may cause upset stomach and potty accidents.
When packing a bag for your pet, include an ample supply of pet food, favorite toys, collar and leash, bedding, litter box and litter, any necessary medication, and any other items that will make your pet feel at home.
Make frequent pit stops, ideally every 2-3 hours, for a potty break and a bit of exercise. Don’t forget to bring doggy bags to pick up after your pooch! If you’re traveling with your favorite feline, you may opt to place a small litter box somewhere within your vehicle.
During your pit stops, provide your faithful friend with some fresh water. Take along a small cooler with ice cubes, which are easier on your canine companion’s tummy than large amounts of water.
Finally, NEVER leave Fido or Fluffy unattended in a parked vehicle. While you may not have the worry of excessive heat during the winter months, accidents can happen if your pet is left alone. He may get stressed and scared, chew on things that aren’t meant for chewing, and, keep in mind, an animal left alone in a vehicle is an invitation for pet thieves.
Storing your cat or dog’s food in an uncontrolled environment – such as a garage or outdoors – is not recommended.
For dry cat and dog food
Store the food in a cool and dry environment. It is best to store the bag off the floor to reduce potential infestation.
For canned cat and dog food
Prior to opening, store cans in a place where the temperature is between 50-100°F. Do not freeze canned cat or dog food as it can change the texture and taste of the food.
Should I use a plastic storage container for my cat or dog’s food?
Many cat and dog owners like to transfer their cat or dog’s dry food from the bag to another container. Studies by Hill’s® packaging engineers have shown that storage in a variety of plastic containers (garbage cans, zip-to-close bags, garbage or, kitchen bags, rubber/plastic containers, plastic pails, etc.) may impart an odor and taste to dry pet foods that adversely effects the taste of the food. Zip-to-close bags, garbage and similar bags will also not prevent fat from accumulating on the outside of the bag. Storage in clean metal containers (small metal tins, metal garbage cans, etc.) is acceptable. If you do prefer using a storage container, keep the food in the original bag within the container to create an ideal storage location.
Opened cans of cat or dog food should be stored in the fridge to retain moisture, minimize exposure to air and reduce transfer of odors to other food. The best way to store opened cans of cat or dog food is to use a plastic pet food lid that fits the top of the can to prevent moisture loss and transfer of odors. If a plastic lid is not available, plastic wrap also provides a very good moisture, air and odor barrier. Zip-to-close bags provide good moisture barriers but do not provide good oxygen and odor barriers.
Sometimes my pet doesn’t eat everything. How long is my cat or dog’s dry food good once it’s in the bowl? How long are the cans good once opened?
For dry cat and dog food
Dry food can be left in your cat or dog’s bowl indefinitely if the bowl is kept in an area that is cool, dry, out of direct sunlight and not subject to contamination by insects and vermin. However, we recommend that your cat or dog’s food bowl is washed and filled fresh each day.
For canned cat and dog food
Your pet’s bowl should be emptied of moist or canned food not eaten by your cat or dog within 4 hours if the ambient temperature is above 50°F. Opened cans should be stored in the fridge, at temperatures between 40-45°F, for a maximum of 5-7 days. Any cat or dog food remaining after that time should be thrown out.
How can I tell if an unopened can or bag of cat or dog food is still good?
For dry cat and dog food
The datecode on our plastic bags is located on the left gusset, near the 4 or 5-digit SKU number, toward the bottom of the bag. The datecode on our medium and large bags will be located on the top of the bag, generally the front flap. The example below shows that this bag of pet food is best before April 2010. After April 1, 2010, the unopened bag of pet food should be discarded.
For canned cat and dog food
Please refer to the best before date stamped on the bottom of all canned products. The example below shows that this can of pet food is best before December 2010. After December 1, 2010, the unopened can of pet food should be discarded.
Harnesses, Barriers can protect your pets from injury
There are plenty of ways to travel safely with your dog
Seeing a dog sitting on a driver’s lap or sticking its head out a car window is pretty common when you’re driving down the street.
But while it looks like the dog is having fun, it is incredibly unsafe for both the owner and the dog.
Research from the pet safety advocacy group Bark Buckle UP found that at a speed of only 35 mph, a 60-pound dog that crashes into the windshield, the front seat or another passenger can have an impact equivalent to a 2,700-pound object.
“There are instances of small dogs and cats jumping into the floor well and getting caught behind the brake, preventing the driver from stopping the car,” says Lori Teller, a veterinarian with Meyerland Animal Clinic in Houston. “It is also very unsafe to travel with a pet sitting in the driver’s lap. For one thing, this can be a distraction to the driver. But should there be an accident, the dog will probably be crushed between the driver and the airbag or steering wheel.”
Teller says there are plenty of ways to travel safely with your dog, depending on the size of the dog and the type of vehicle. Small dogs and cats should travel in a carrier. When using a crate or carrier, it is important to make sure that the crate cannot fall over or slide around, potentially injuring the dog during sudden stops or turns.
People with larger vehicles, such as SUVs or minivans, have a couple of choices. Most of these vehicles have tie-downs, which can be used to secure the dog’s crate. Alternatively, dogs could travel in the back of the vehicle, and a pet barrier can be installed. Pet barriers are available in multiple sizes, and some vehicle manufacturers offer barriers as an add-on feature.
Teller says to pay special attention to safety harnesses. Most harnesses are not strong enough to withstand the force of an accident. “Some harnesses won’t prevent a dog from rotating into an abnormal position or keep it from falling off the seat, and the dog ends up twisted in the harness.”
Teller recommends the Sleepypod Clickit Utility harness, which has met safety requirements similar to the tests conducted on infant car seats.
If your dog is a large breed and you have a large vehicle, use the cargo area instead of the backseat. Also, keep your dog inside the vehicle. Dogs who ride “head out the window” style at moderate to high speeds can get dirt and debris in their eyes, ears and nose, Teller says.
Phoenix dog owner and pet sitter Marian Lindholtz has two vehicles that require separate restraints. The back cargo area of her 2010 Honda Element is well-suited for a medium-to-large dog. “The Element can accommodate big dogs as well as crates, and it’s super easy to configure as needed,” Lindholtz says. “It has no carpeting, which makes it super easy to clean.”
For smaller dogs like her Chihuahua, Lindholtz uses a doggie car seat in her 2014 Honda Fit.
The foam-padded seat, which you can buy at most pet stores, attaches to a vehicle’s seat belt and comes with a containment strap to connect to your pet’s harness. The car seat is also elevated so that pets can look out the window.
Having an air-conditioned car is important, as dogs can easily suffer heatstroke. In Arizona, where Lindholtz lives, temperatures can top 100 degrees. “We never drive them anywhere if the AC doesn’t work,” she says.
When you get to your destination, always leash your dogs before letting them out of the car. Grab a firm hold of the leash when the cargo door opens. Unharnessed dogs could easily run away if overly excited and get lost in an unfamiliar place.
Does your dog love the winter or would she rather cuddle up on the couch under a cozy blanket? Either way, you should be prepared to protect her when she ventures out into the elements. Winter care tips for your dog are important to keep her safe this season.
Many dog owners live with the misconception that because their pets have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans. This isn’t necessarily the case. Like us, these fur-coated creatures are used to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can be as hard on them as it is on us humans. Whatever your viewpoint on winter, one thing remains certain: it’s a time when our beloved pets need a little extra care.
We have 15 winter care tips to keep in mind as you explore the winter landscape with your faithful four-legged friend.
Preventing Winter Health Risks
First … let’s talk about two serious cold weather conditions that you should take care to prevent.
Frostbite begins when the dog’s body gets cold. The body automatically pulls blood from the extremities to the center of the body to stay warm. The dog’s ears, paws or tail can get so cold that ice crystals can form in the tissue and damage it. The tricky thing to remember about frostbite is that it’s not immediately obvious. Watch for signs of pale or grey skin; the skin may also turn hard and cold. As frostbitten areas warm, they can be extremely painful. Severely frostbitten skin will eventually turn black and slough off.
A second serious winter weather concern is hypothermia. This occurs when a dog spends too much time in the cold, gets wet in cold temperatures or when dogs with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, the dog will shiver and her ears and feet may grow cold. As hypothermia progresses, she may show signs of depression, lethargy and weakness. As the condition worsens, her muscles will stiffen, her heart and breathing rates slow down, and she will not respond to stimuli. Severe hypothermia is life threatening.
Protecting your dog from frostbite and hypothermia is essential, so learn how to recognize the signs that your dog needs to come indoors to warm up.
Is your dog cold?
If it’s too cold for you to stand at the door without your coat, it’s probably too cold for your dog too, so pay attention to her behavior while she’s outdoors.
If you notice your dog whining, shivering or appearing anxious, or she stops playing and seems to be looking for places to burrow, then it’s time to bring her in.
15 Ways to Protect Your Dog in Winter
1. Let’s talk temperature!
Some dog breeds are blessed with thick fur that keeps them warm naturally, even in very cold temperatures, but dogs with thin coats may need to wear a sweater or coat when out for winter walks. A good coat should reach from the neck to the base of the tail and also protect the belly. But remember that coats will not prevent frostbite on the ears, feet or tail … so even with a cozy coat, don’t keep your short haired dog out too long in freezing temperatures.
2. Go outside when the sun shines
If your dog feels the cold, try to walk her in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D. Play fetch with toys, not sticks, which can cause choking and other injuries. So, if your dog likes to chew and chase, pack a Frisbee, ball or other safe toy and play together in the sun.
Related: Is your dog getting enough sunshine?
Limit outdoor time in winter
Your family pet may love to spend time outdoors but in winter even the furriest dog can get cold. Ears, paws and tails are all susceptible to frostbite. Take your dog out frequently for walks, exercise and play … but when the temperature drops, don’t leave him outdoors for long periods of time. A good rule is to go out with him and when you’re ready to come in, he probably will be too. If he’s outside in your yard by himself, check often to make sure he’s not showing signs of feeling cold.
4. Cozy bedding
In addition to limiting your dog’s time outdoors on cold days, don’t let your pooch sleep on a cold floor in winter. Choosing the right bedding is vital to ensure your dog stays warm. Warm blankets can create a snug environment; raised beds can keep your dog off cold tiles or concrete, and heated pet beds can help keep the stiffness out of aging joints. Place your dog’s bed in a warm spot away from drafts, cold tile or uncarpeted floors, preferably in a favorite spot where she sleeps every day so that the area doesn’t feel unfamiliar.
5. Protect your dog from heaters
Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. Avoid space heaters and install baseboard radiator covers to avoid your pet getting burned. Fireplaces also pose a major threat so please make sure you have a pet proof system to keep your heat-seeking pal out of harm’s way!
Dry and cold weather can do a number on your pet’s skin. Help prevent dry, flaky skin by adding a skin and coat supplement to her food. Coconut oil is a good natural moisturizer that can help keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy. If you find your pet’s paws, ears or tail are dry or cracking, you can also apply coconut oil topically as needed.
Related: Coconut oil has a ton of other great health benefits too!
7. No overfeeding please!
Although dogs may need an extra layer in winter, make sure it comes from a coat and not a layer of fat. Cold temperatures may even bring on lazy behavior and the need for fewer calories. Be attentive to your dog’s activity level and adjust her calories accordingly. A high quality, whole foods, preferably raw meat based diet will help ensure a healthy coat and good energy for the cold winter months.
8. Keep your dog hydrated
Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in winter as summer. Although many dogs eat snow, it’s not an adequate substitute for fresh water. If your dog spends time outdoors in your yard, make sure she has access to a water bowl, check it often and break ice that forms on top.
9. Groom your dog
Your dog needs a clean, well-groomed coat to keep her properly insulated. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors. After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly, especially before allowing her outside.
10. Paw care is a must
Just as we tend to develop foot cracks in winter, dogs can also suffer from cracked pads. If your dog has furry feet, trim the hair that grows between her pads to prevent ice buildup between the pads. Winter salt on city sidewalks can also burn your dog’s pads and is toxic, so after walks around the neighborhood, rinse or wipe your dog’s paws to remove any salt – you don’t want her licking it off. If your dog shows signs of discomfort when walking outside on frozen or salted surfaces, consider using dog booties to protect her paws.
11. Snow removal
Snow can be a lot of fun but it can also be dangerous for your dog. Snow piled near fences offers your dog escape routes that even well-trained dogs often can’t resist. When you clear snow in your yard, pile it away from fences to prevent your dog from climbing over. Snow and ice often accumulate on rooftops and if the sun is out or as temperatures rise, this accumulation can slide and injure your dog. If you can’t clear the snow from the roof, keep your dog away from the roof overhang to prevent injury.
12. Watch where your dog plays
Although your dog is likely having a great time outdoors, take frequent indoor breaks for water and warming and don’t ever stay out too long. If you’re walking or playing in unfamiliar areas, keep your dog close. It’s easy for her to venture onto unsafe surfaces such as frozen ponds or lakes. These may be covered in snow and not easily visible.
13. Avoid exposure to toxins
With winter comes antifreeze. Antifreeze tastes sweet and dogs (as well as some children!) will readily lick or drink it. Antifreeze is extremely toxic and just a small amount can be fatal. Keep your dog out of the garage and off the driveway where she may encounter antifreeze or other harmful chemicals.
Related: Help prevent exposure to antifreeze and protect your dog.
14. NEVER leave your dog unattended in the car, no matter what the season
Just as cars can get dangerously hot in summer, freezing cold temperatures are equally dangerous for your dog in winter. Leaving the car running involves additional risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning if the car is parked in a garage. Leave your dog at home when you go out to run errands.
15. Special care for seniors
Cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in dogs, particularly arthritis. It’s very important to maintain an exercise regimen with your arthritic dog, but be mindful of slippery surfaces and make sure your dog has a warm soft rest area to recuperate after activity. If you don’t already give your senior dog a natural joint supplement to lubricate the joints and ease the discomfort of arthritis, you may want to consider adding one in winter. Just like people, dogs are more susceptible to other illnesses during winter weather.
Harsh winter weather brings a wide variety of concerns to responsible dog owners. Bitter cold, numbing wetness or biting winds can cause discomfort for that special dog in your life. Paying special attention to your loyal friend’s wellbeing during the winter season will insure that you both enjoy the season to the fullest.
Keep these winter care tips in mind and enjoy everything winter has to offer. And don’t forget that winter cuddles with your canine buddy are a great way for everybody to keep warm!
There’s nothing worse than taking your dog on a fun-filled, wilderness adventure, only to realize (after the fact) that your soggy, soiled and smelly pup will ruin your car seats. It only takes one incident like this to convince you that you must invest in a dog car seat cover! Read our reviews of the best car seat covers for dogs so you can save your car and your sanity.
Some dogs will claw, chew and rip through anything they can, including cheaply made dog car seat covers. That’s why the most important features we considered in picking our best car seat covers for dogs were quality, durability and waterproofing. If you’ve ever had a cheap, flimsy cover that soaks your seats, you know what we mean! With that said, we did take pricing into consideration for our budget-conscious readers.
It keeps dogs comfortably positioned in the car while minimizing the frequency of removing dog hairs from the seats and car surfaces. This product comes in two sizes and colors of black, gray and tan. The material used is rated 190 GSM 3 layer construction, which measures the density, quality and weight of the material.
100% waterproof is very important for this seat cover, you can’t imagine what happens when dog pee or kids throw up.
When you go out for road trip or Camping outside, you must get mess up when the dogs get wet or get all the mud or sand when you go back home to camp site, A well make dog suv cargo liner cover is badly needed at this time. you can keep your cargo area clean, only thing you need to do is clean the cargo covers, instead of clean your cars. If you need this click the pics below, you will find what you need a 4 Star rating Amazon choice products for you.
The winter is coming , and the weather is becoming colder and colder. Ensuring that your dogs get enough exercise throughout the year is crucial to their health. Here we present seven useful tips to make sure that you are giving your dog enough exercise throughout the winter.
1. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Your pup’s exercise requirements will differ by age, size, breed and diet, but most veterinarians will agree that a dog needs daily exercise, broken up into two or three sessions, totaling no less than 45 minutes a day. An exercise session can be anything from a brisk walk to a game of catch or a hard run but it should try to incorporate both physical and mental stimulation, as well as a bathroom break.
2. PUT ON YOUR FUR
Put yourself in your dog’s winter booties. If you had a thick layer of fur, you wouldn’t mind spending an extra ten minutes rolling in the snow. Always dress to be as warm as your pooch and keep moving along with them. In this way you will both be at a similar temperature and you will be more likely to want to go in at the same time.
3. THE RIGHT APPAREL IS KEY
Choosing the right clothing and gear is important for both you and your dog. Avoid slipping on ice with a good pair of winter boots, and get a matching pair of booties for your dog to help keep their paws safe and comfy. Likewise, having some unique winter toys on hand can increase the fun factor. Imagine playing fetch with a heavy ball in the snow – one throw and it’s game over. Choose a bright colored or glow-in-the-dark Frisbee that won’t sink into snow.
4. MAKE YOUR ‘DOG CHORES’ PART OF YOUR ‘LIFE CHORES’
Exercise is as crucial for your health as it is for your dogs. Don’t come home from the gym dreading your evening dog walk. Instead develop a manageable winter workout to do with your dog. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are great exercises you can share with your dog, but snowball fights and sledding are also healthy pursuits your dog and family will love to get together for.
5. LEARN A NEW SPORT
You have probably heard of dog sledding but have you ever heard of skijoring? Skijoring is a variation on dog-sledding where all your dog has to pull is you, on skis. Dog sledding can be a fun and humane sport if you know what you’re doing but skijoring requires much less equipment and a lighter load which means it can be more suitable for someone who is running only one or two dogs. As with all dog-pulling activities you have to have the right leash to avoid straining your pooch.
6. DIET FOR A DARKER DAY
New studies in canine medicine suggest dogs are as susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as humans. The best way to fight winter blues is with lots of exercise and a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin D. If your dog doesn’t feel like going out even when you snap on the leash and start shaking the treats bag it may mean they are suffering from SAD and they could benefit from a multi-vitamin and the use of a sun lamp for a few mid-day hours.
7. BRING THE PLAY INSIDE
If all else fails and you must stay in, don’t let that be an excuse not to show your dog love and attention with active indoor games. Race up and down the stairs, try some tug of war, or practice some Dog Yoga. There are so many great ways to interact with your dog.
The cold days will come but, for your dog’s health and yours, try to stay active and keep having fun.
Every season is beautiful in its own special way. The burst of flowers in spring, memories of the beach during summer, the colors of fall, and now, as winter arrives, we await the snow dusted pine trees of a frosty morning. Our dogs love every season as well, racing through flowers, leaves or snow with equal vigor.
Halloween is just around the corner and everyone is gearing up for a fun-filled evening. We look forward to seeing kids at the door in costumes, ringing the bell and asking for treats. Although Halloween is exciting time for most of us, it can be a confusing and stressful experience for pets. Follow these tips to ensure your pets – and trick-or-treaters – stay happy and healthy this Halloween:
Treats Should Be Pet-Friendly
Keep all that tempting candy away from your pets. Sugar is no better for our pets than it is for us. Additionally, chocolate can be dangerous, and even fatal, for both dogs and cats. Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) can kill a dog – even in very small amounts.
A special Halloween treat that you
r pet can have is pumpkin! Resist the urge to share the candy and give them some roasted pumpkin instead.
Tricks Can Be Dangerous For Loose Pets
Unfortunately, there are people who do vicious things to animals on Halloween, including injuring, stealing, and killing pets. Keep your pets inside and not in your yard on Halloween night. We recommend that even your outdoor cats be kept inside for a few days before and after the holiday. Black cats are especially vulnerable, but any pet can be a target.
Keep Pets Away from the Front Door
Consider putting your pet in a room with the door closed and a few toys to keep them occupied on Halloween night. Lots of cute trick-or-treaters means your front door will open often, making it easy for your pet to sneak out and wander off while you’re distracted. Additionally, some pets can become anxious with all those weirdly dressed strangers and the doorbell constantly ringing. A few hours in a secure room can keep them safe and happy, and you from worry.
In the event your pet does get out, make sure you’ve made it easy for someone to identify them and contact you. They should wear a collar with current ID tags and be micro chipped.
Watch for Fire Hazards
While pumpkin is a tasty treat, a lighted jack-o’-lantern is a safety hazard. Pets can get excited and easily knock it over and start a fire. Kittens and cats can be particularly curious about new decorations and get burned or singed by open flames.
Some Pets Don’t Like Costumes
If you want to dress up your dog or cat, make sure they don’t mind wearing a costume. Let them wear it for short durations for a few days leading up to Halloween so they get used to it. Never dress your pet in anything flammable or with any pieces that could be easily chewed off. Make sure the costume doesn’t constrict your pet’s ability to see, breathe, bark, meow, hear, or move.
INNX has created something for OCD’s like me! This cargo liner fits well on my compact SUV just like the photo shown on Amazon. I like that I don’t have to worry much putting products that might spill on my sort-of-new vehicle. It’s made from washable (probably not machine-wash) and waterproof material. It has velcro underneath the four corners so it stays on place. There’s a velcro too on the sides but you have the option to not put it if you don’t want sticking stuff on your car just as I do. Good thing it includes 2 cords and I found the spot where I can kind of “attach” it. There’s a pocket at the mid-section although there’s a tendency it will sag if you put heavy stuff on it. Overall, I am happy with it. I’m going to start looking for a similar item that would fit a van’s “trunk”. #innxproducts