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Traveling With Pets Tips: A How-To Guide On Vacations With Your Cat Or Dog

Posted on November 15, 2014 | 0 comments

Family vacations are no longer just for two-legged children. According to a study by AAA and Best Western International, more than half of U.S. pet owners take their cats and dogs with them when they travel.

If you’re looking to hit the road or fly the skies with your canine companion or feline friend, we've got tips to make the trip as smooth as possible.

Road trips with Rover

Trial run. Before embarking on a long trip, take some shorter drives to see how your pet responds. Does he get anxious? Car sick?
Buckle up. About 30,000 accidents are caused each year by an unrestrained dog in the front seat, according to the AAA. Pets freely wondering the vehicle aren't only a distraction to the driver, but they're also more likely to be injured in the event of an accident. You can help ensure a safe trip by restraining your furry friend with a pet barrier, pet seat belt, pet car seat or travel crate.
Keep heads and paws inside. Your dog may enjoy sticking his head out the window, but riding this way could cause ear damage or expose your pet to lung infections, according to the ASPCA.
Prepare for the worst. Attach a second tag to your pet's collar that includes the address and phone number of where you'll be staying during your trip. Also, bring your pet's medical records along in case of an emergency.
Pit stops. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises pet owners to stop every two to three hours for your pet to use the bathroom and get some exercise.
Hydrate. The ASPCA recommends keeping a gallon of cold water on hand to ensure your pet stays sufficiently hydrated during the trip.
Don't leave them alone. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows cracked can reach 110 degrees in 10 minutes, which can be deadly. If you'll be visiting a destination where pets aren't allowed, leave them at a pet-friendly hotel — or at home — instead of the car.
For more information, read MNN's auto safety tips for pets.
Flying with Fluffy

Fit to fly. If your pet is very young, very old or not in good health, it's best to leave the critter at home. Also, some breeds don't travel well in cargo, such as snub-nosed dogs like pugs, which are prone to breathing difficulties. Many major airlines no longer allow such breeds to fly in the cargo hold.
Do your research. Regulations and fees vary depending on airlines and whether your pet flies in the cabin or as checked baggage. Be sure to check an airline's history of flying animals. Incidents of pets being lost, injured or dying have increased in recent years. Currently, about 15 major carriers provide monthly incident reports to the DOT, which list pet-related incidents.
Consider a pets-only airline. Pet Airways offers climate-controlled cabins outfitted with individual crates, and a flight attendant checks on the animals every 15 minutes. After landing, pets are given a bathroom break, and can be picked up by their owners at the airline’s Pet Lounge at participating airports.
Pet papers. If you're traveling outside the country, find out what vaccinations your pet will need and if quarantine is required. Consult this database of animal import requirements for more information.
Prepare the carrier. Purchase a kennel that has room for your pet to turn around and stand without hitting its head. If your pet hasn't traveled before, spend some time getting the animal used to being in the carrier. Airlines have different crate dimension requirements, but the USDA requires the following: food and water dishes, "Live Animal" stickers, upright arrows and bedding.
ID tags. Attach contact information to both your pet's collar and its carrier.
Exercise. Before the flight, play with your cat or take your dog for a walk. The more tired your pet is, the more likely it is to sleep during the trip.
Relax. Cesar Millan recommends using lavender oil as an "association scent" to help your pet relaxed while flying. In the weeks before the flight, he suggests putting a drop of oil on your hands at feeding times or before walks. Once onboard, “the positive association will allow him to calm down and remain relaxed.”
For more information, read MNN's top 10 tips for flying with pets.
Other pet travel tips

Consult your veterinarian before embarking on a trip, especially if your pet hasn't traveled before or if you have any health concerns.
Keep a familiar blanket or toy with your pet to help it feel more comfortable during the trip.
If your pet gets nervous when traveling, consider getting a Thundershirt. These snug-fitting shirts target pressure points, and veterinarians often recommend this drug-free option for animals that suffer from anxiety.
Book pet-friendly hotels, and look for destinations where you're allowed to take your canine companion or feline friend. GoPetFriendly.com offers a wealth of information on these topics and can even help you plan your road trip.


Article provided by Huffington Post    

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My Favorite Time of Year

Posted on September 01, 2014 | 0 comments

I just love Fall, the leaves change and the weather gets cooler.  For Houstonians this means we are in the 80's with 80 percent humidity instead of 98 degrees with 100 percent humidity, and the wonderful Fall weather will last approximately 2 days before Winter arrives. The best part is the kids are back in school.  Peace and quiet.  It is amazing how much work I can accomplish without two little shadows following behind me chanting the summer mantra "I'm bored".

Even the pets notice the change in atmosphere.  Charlie the cat we rescued, who is now my grandson's cat, is not so sure how much he likes the quiet.  Being young himself he misses the frenetic activity created by a 10 year old.  He sits by the window and watches for his boy to return and the usual chaos to resume.  Now, Queenie being much older, appreciates the lull in activity.  She has learned to take full advantage of the 6 hours of quiet and usually naps for the entire time.

Fall brings my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.  This is the time of year I get to flex my culinary muscles and my family can savor the fruits of my labor.  OK, who am I kidding.  This is the time of year I spend one week planning the meal, 2 days cooking the meal, the family spends 30 minutes eating the meal and then I spend 2 hours cleaning up from the meal.  Just in time for the family to wakeup from their food induced comas and announce they are hungry again.  This year Thanksgiving falls on the last Thursday of the month.  What this means, is we have only 3 weeks to bake, decorate and purchase everything for the Christmas holiday.  Oh Joy!

Enjoy your Fall.

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