Earlier this summer I traveled more than 3,300 miles in the car with my shih tzu, Jeremiah. We packed a lot of activity into a 10-day excursion, including visiting people I’d not seen in four decades. Despite his start at a puppy mill, Jeremiah is an exceptional traveler! We’ve never put on as many miles on a companion vacation like this, so I wasn’t sure how he would handle the trip. Some dogs don’t do long-distance very well; others love the discovery and newness of such adventures – Jeremiah falls into that category, and I’m grateful.
During our vacation, we visited gravesites of ancestors I never knew as well as those of friends departed much too soon. We met with people I’d not seen since I left my home state of Iowa 41 years ago and those I’ve visited within the past decade. We drove past old homesites, visited camping and picnicking areas I experienced as a child, and met up with people I worked with more than 20 years ago. We spent time at national wildlife refuges and state parks, encountering various wildlife species, and visited historical sites that I’ve wanted to see for years but never had opportunity. All the while, my little four-footed companion either slept soundly in the back seat of the car or spent some time near me in the passenger seat. We stopped for lunches, potty breaks, and walks. Jeremiah was a hit with people wherever he went, helping us to socialize with other travelers as well as with the friends from my past. Even one motel manager struck up several conversations as Jeremiah and I walked in and out of the building.
Pets Help Us Meet New People
Pets bring out the best in many people. They help us connect with one another. Who can resist the cute faces, the sloppy smiles, and the wagging tails or soft purring of such creatures? Whether you travel with a dog or a cat (I encountered one couple doing just that!), animals draw humans to one another – it’s one of their special gifts.
This summer, whether you do a long vacation or a short staycation, consider taking your dog or cat with you. Our animals miss us when we leave them and many, as related above, enjoy the adventure of travel. If your pet is one of those, highly consider taking him/her along. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but you might just make new human connections. And certainly, your adoring pet will enjoy spending that adventurous time with you!
Plan Your Pet-Friendly Vacation
Here are a few things to plan regarding pet travel in the car:
Jeremiah and I had a great time on our summer vacation, and I look forward to many more travels with my buddy!
Read another traveler’s thoughts on vacationing with her pet here:
For more travel tips for vacationing with your pet, visit these websites:
Guest Post by Brittany Wolf
I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger this week! With the hotter weather, dirt, bugs, and such that summer brings, bathing our pets (especially dogs) may be of greater necessity. Brittany Wolf gives us advice regarding this activity, an adventure some dogs just don’t like. I hope you enjoy her post this week!
If your four-legged kid hates to take a bath, it’s likely you don’t enjoy bathing him or her either. We understand how hard it is to convince your dog to take a bath, but it is possible! Yes, you read right. There are several ways which will make dog bathing time wonderful and enticing for both of you.
The irony is, your dog will love playing in the water while splashing all around the home, but when it comes to scrubbing and adding soap, he will find every nook and cranny in which to hide. Here are some tips that will help your dog enjoy his bathing time with little fear or discomfort.
It is important for your dog to enjoy the bathing process. The ideas given can be effective to let your dog get comfortable with the sound of running water. Plus, when you take him to the bathtub, start with small steps. First, get just his feet wet, and then his legs. This will help alleviate any sudden panic attack. It is really okay if you aren’t completely successful the first time because the goal is to make your pooch comfortable with bathing and continue building upon success each time.
Brittany Wolf is a content writer & blogger at Red Dash Media. Apart from blogging frequently at work, she enjoys reading and writing poems in the comfortable space of her home. She also likes trekking with friends when in the mood to explore nature and then post pictures from her adventures on Instagram.
For additional help regarding dogs and bathing, check out these helpful sites:
Veterinarian and pet writer Dr. Marty Becker provides additional hints to successful bath time here:
Find a YouTube video from PetCo about bathing a dog here:
America’s Independence Day is a few days away. Celebrations across the country include fireworks, food, and other fun. This is the time of year when animal shelters receive one the greatest number of stray pets due to the noise, unsecured gates, and doors left open – pets escape from the frenzy and commotion. Some are even stolen from yards or when they are picked up along streets and highways, never to return to their beloved people. Make sure your animals are safe this holiday!
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides a list of potential hazards as well as ideas on how to keep your furry friends safe this July 4th. Some of their thoughts include:
Read the ASPCA’s advice on pet safety during this time of year here:
The American Kennel Club also provides some 4th of July safety tips visit their website here
Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association has compiled a list of pet safety tips for this time of year; visit their website here:
May you and your furry friends enjoy a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!
I will soon be embarking upon a summer vacation – how about you?
Summer officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere last Friday (June 21). Along with the longest day of the year comes warmer temperatures, sunshine mixed with rain, and travel, near and far. My dog Jeremiah often goes with me on extended weekends and longer vacations. Whenever he sees suitcases being packed, he knows something is up (so do the cats, but they are homebodies, so even though they like exploring the luggage, they never worry they will be going along for the ride!)
Jeremiah doesn’t worry either – he LOVES car rides! I’m blessed to have a dog who curls up in the back seat and sleeps during road trips. Jeremiah doesn’t mind travel, including long distance trips. Last year it was Oregon, to visit the Pacific Coast and to meet up with family for a reunion. This year it’s Iowa, meeting up with former classmates for a mini high school reunion (not everyone can be there at the same time, but the ones I will share time with, I’ll be grateful to see!)
Many of us plan summer trips, whether those are outdoor outings like camping or visiting large cities and staying in specialty hotels. Some of us want our pets to accompany us on those trips. There are several helpful websites for those traveling with pets, whether that travel takes you by car or in an RV. There are also websites for locating pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, and activities.
Below you will find a few helpful sites if you’re traveling this summer with your pet:
A Resource Guide for Pet Safety While Riding in a Car:
A Guide to RV’ing With Your Pet:
A Resource Guide to Traveling by Air with Your Pet:
A Website About Chain Restaurants That Allow Dogs:
A Website That Lists Pet-Friendly Accommodations, Restaurants, and Activities:
A Blog/Guide to Road-Tripping with Your Pet:
Check out these resource guides and websites before you embark on your next excursion with your beloved furry companion. And remember to NOT leave your pet in the car during these hotter days!
The third week of June is known at Take Your Pet to Work Week, developed by Pet Sitters International, the creators of Take Your Dog to Work Day. Researchers have proven the companionship and comfort derived from pets benefit people physically and emotionally. Therefore, many companies now allow workers to bring furry friends to the office, even if only one day a year.
A list of the top 10 businesses that are pet-friendly comes out each year; here is a link to this year’s companies that allow pets at the office: https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/our-community/wellness-blog/americas-10-most-pet-friendly-companies-2019. Another list, created by Rover.com, can be found here: https://www.rover.com/blog/best-dog-friendly-companies/.
Two companies found on both lists are Amazon and Trupanion, both based in Seattle. That city was voted the most dog-friendly city in America earlier this year.
Whether you live in Seattle or not, take advantage of this special week. This Friday, June 21, is Take Your Dog to Work Day, and there’s still time to ask the boss if your Fido or Fluffy can accompany you to the office. My pets Bailey, Murphy, and Jeremiah and I will be thinking of you on Friday as we spend time together in my home office while I polish up some articles and continue editing my novel!
No matter where you are, honor the faithfulness of your furry friend by being faithful to spend time with him or her, not just this week but always!
We humans take pride in our residences. We clean, we mow, we paint, we cook, we garden, we tinker. Some find these endeavors painful, others challenging, and still others enjoyable. Whatever your thoughts are about cleaning house, planting and maintaining gardens, tidying up the garage, or trimming the yard, keep in mind some of the items we use for those jobs can help our dogs and cats.
Throughout our homes, garages, and yards there are hazards. Below are six toxins found around our homes that are harmful to dogs and cats:
Securing these items, whether on shelf, behind a locked door, or fenced off, will help prevent dire illness, even death, of your furry friends.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) maintains an extensive list of pet toxins. They also service a pet poison hotline; that number is (888) 426-4435. And, they provide a mobile app.
As summer arrives and we spend more time sprucing up our homes, yards, garages, and outbuildings, may we keep in mind the safety of our beloved animals.
Schools are dismissing, temperatures are rising, and the sun is shining, combining to chorus that summer is here! If you’re looking for a companion to share the longer days, warm nights, and great adventures that come with this season, look no further than your local animal shelter or rescue.
Adopting a four-legged friend can add fun to your summer! Hiking, camping, basking in the warm of your patio or deck, relaxing with an engaging book, beach combing, traveling to a state or national park or seashore, visiting family and friends – all of these adventures can be even more enjoyable with a dog or cat at your side (or on your lap!). The soft purrings from a feline friend; the excited woofs from a new canine companion, the joys of running, playing fetch, wading in water, or simply relishing the quiet of your own back yard, all with a new-found buddy, adds flavor of contentment and joy to summer season.
June is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. Cat or dog, rabbit, hamster, horse, whatever animal delights you and adds joy, love, and friendship to your life, take to the internet and find that perfect companion for yourself and/or your family. Millions of dogs and cats are housed in animal shelters every year in America, and thousands more are cared for by volunteer foster families helping animal rescue groups. Horses, birds, rabbits, and other creatures also go into rescue; therefore, a person has a plethora of animals from which to choose.
Before adopting any animal, however, keep these tips in mind:
For resources and further information about adopting a pet, visit these websites:
Even if adoption of a pet is not an option for you at this time, there are many ways you can help homeless animals – find a valuable resource with a list of ideas here:
Enjoy your summer with your furry friend or by helping animals in need at your local rescue or shelter!
Last week, I highlighted some of the pesky pests that can harm our pets. With summer on its way and our anticipation of spending more time outdoors, I thought it good to focus on one of the most prevalent tick diseases that affects both people and pets: Lyme disease.
Lyme disease in humans
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease in humans are reported annually by health departments in each state and the District of Columbia. However, the CDC believes as many as 10x that number (or 300,000) could actually be infected.
The most prevalent areas for this illness are the New England and Mid-Atlantic states as well as the Upper Northern area of America, including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. However, nearly every state has had at least one case in recent years.
Black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are the culprits of infecting someone with Lyme disease. Symptoms of this illness include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis.
Lyme disease in pets
This bacterial disease gets into the bloodstream through the bite and attachment of a tick. The bacteria often travels to various parts of the body, causing problems in organs, joints and other areas.
Veterinarians recommend pet owners check their pets for ticks every time the animals are outdoors and remove the tiny, pesky creatures as soon as they are found. Preventative care is also advised. There are many anti-tick products available, so please talk with your veterinarian about the best choice for the area in which you live.
According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), symptoms of the disease in pets include fever, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, loss of appetite, and lameness. Our animals, however, may not show symptoms for two to five months.
Veterinarian use two different blood tests to confirm Lyme disease. Treatment for the illness includes use of antibiotics for at least 30 days. Some experts believe 50 to 75 percent of dogs in New England test positive for Lyme disease.
Although Lyme disease is not common in cats, if they roam outdoors for any length of time in tick-infested areas, felines can become infected if ticks are not removed. Lameness is a common symptom cat owners may notice, but sometimes cats don’t exhibit problems if they are infected.
Can people get Lyme disease from their pets?
According to the CDC, “Although dogs and cats can get Lyme disease, there is no evidence that they spread the disease directly to their owners. However, pets can bring infected ticks into your home or yard. Consider protecting your pet, and possibly yourself, through the use of tick control products for animals.”
There are other illnesses spread by ticks to humans and animals, depending on the area where they live and the type of ticks that inhabit those areas.
These are serious diseases for people and animals. Therefore, do your best to protect your beloved furry friends and yourself this summer from blood-sucking, disease-bearing ticks!
As warmer, wetter weather of spring wiggles its way into the season of summer, pet parents need to be more wary of the pesky pests that can harm our beloved pets. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes carry diseases that are not only harmful, but can be deadly.
These tiny creatures are believed to be the most common external parasite found on dogs and cats – and they can invade your home if not controlled. Fleas cause itching and are known to be the most common cause of pet skin disease. According to Web MD, though tiny, these irritating pests can eat 15 times their own weight in blood, causing anemia in a dog or cat. Fleas can also cause tapeworms. Therefore, keeping these little pesky critters at bay is well worth the time and investment.
There are many types of ticks found in the United States. Although some are more confined to specific regions of the country, the Centers for Disease Control notes the spread of ticks is increasing. Different species cause different diseases. For example, the brown dog tick, which is found throughout the country, causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, to which humans are susceptible, and the black-legged tick causes Lyme disease, which also affects humans. Our pets can also become sick from these and other tick-borne diseases. Check yourself and your dog thoroughly for these blood-sucking critters anytime you’ve been outside and learn to remove ticks properly to protect yourself and your furry friend.
Mosquitoes also transmit diseases, some of which are deadly. One of the worst for our pets, especially dogs, is heartworm. Your dog may be infected but shows no symptoms at first. Cough and fatigue are the first notable signs. This disease, once discovered, is difficult to combat and some dogs don’t survive. Therefore, prevention is critical to keep your furry friend safe. West Nile Virus is another terrible disease animals and people can contract from mosquitoes. Fur provides some protection from mosquitoes, but ears and noses are vulnerable. Living and spending time near a water source makes you and your furry friend more susceptible to swarms of these tiny pests.
Protection from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes is critical to keeping your pet safe and healthy. You can purchase preventive products from your vet directly or from a local pet supply store. You can find a good resource on such products here:
You may also want to consult the Pet MD website for more information on fleas and ticks, which includes a Flea and Tick Survival Guide: http://www.petmd.com/flea-tick-survival-guide#.
Spring and summer bring more outdoor activities for both people and their pets; those seasons also birth the onslaught of the tiny critters that seek the fur and skin of both human and animal. Therefore, take the needed precautions to protect yourself and your pet to better enjoy these warmer months.
With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching, the onset of summer is soon to follow. The holiday weekend and upcoming outdoor season often lead to outdoor cooking and eating.
From gas and charcoal grills to picnics in the park, the enjoyment of cooking and eating outdoors is not lost on people or their pets. Sizzling steaks and burgers, hotdogs over the campfire, and fresh fruits and veggies on the table make everyone’s mouths water … including those belonging to our furry friends.
However, before you step out during the next few weeks to fire up the flames, here are five tips to keep your beloved four-footed companion safe during outdoor cooking ventures:
Enjoy the onset of summer and spending time outside but remember these tips to have a good, less worrisome time when it comes to outdoor cooking and pet safety. See more on the infographic below, created by Petfinder.com.