Traveling With Pets!

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Now that summer is in full swing, this is the time when a lot of families will be taking vacations. And sometimes that means bringing the entire family, pets included. Good planning goes a long way to ensuring a great vacation and if you are bringing the family animals along, it is always important to be prepared.

First off, how are you traveling? Car rides can be easy for most dogs and they generally tolerate them pretty well, but it is always worth it to give them a test run if you aren’t sure, especially if they are new to the family. No problems? You are ready to take off! Get your luggage, start the car and make sure everyone has their seatbelt fastened. Yes, this include your pooch. If they are small, often times they will be fine riding in a dog carrier, which can be easily fastened into a seatbelt. Larger dogs require special harnesses that can still give them some mobility, but will save them in the event of a sudden stop.

Going by air? This can be trickier, since the rules for flying with your dog can vary depending on the airline you fly. For example, some only allows dogs and cats that can fit into a carrier, with no larger dogs allowed. While others will allow large dogs, but only if they are in a kennel and flying with cargo. It is very important to check on this before booking a flight with your pet.

When traveling with your dog, always have food and especially water on-hand. You can buy a collapsible water bowl that works great for cats and dogs and is easily stowed away. On a long road trip? Make sure you stop often enough for your dog to stretch their legs and use the restroom and always keep a leash on them, no matter how well they are trained. They are in a new environment and you can’t always be prepared for how they may react.

On your vacation it is important to be aware of hotels that allow pets, since many of them will also have amenities catering towards pet owners, such as a designated lawn for dogs and waste bags. Best Western, La Quinta Inn and Days Inn are just a few of the more popular hotel chains that accommodate pets, but it is always best to call and head and ask since not every hotel in a chain allows them.

It also helps to be aware of nearby veterinarians in whichever area you are staying. We take for granted that if something happens to us, an ambulance will get us to the nearest hospital, but it is on the pet owner to be prepared in the case of an emergency.

Finally, make sure your vacation itinerary isn’t going consist of leaving your pet alone for long periods of time. Being in a strange place by themselves can result in nervous or even destructive behavior. So if you brought your dog just to save on the cost of a pet hotel and plan to leave him alone for long periods of time, maybe you should consider saving up for a mini-vacation for him as well.

Traveling with your dog may seem like a lot of preparation, but being ready means enjoying a vacation with the entire family, furry relatives and all. We here at Espree hope everyone has a safe summer and enjoys their vacations, pets included.

Dog Overheating and How To Prevent It!

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Summer is upon us. For many, that means vacations, pool parties, BBQ’s and heat. Sunburns, hot cars, sunstroke, dehydration; all the bad things that go along with the summer months. For many, this is a way of life, especially if you live farther south, but no matter where you call home, it is important to be aware that you might not be the only one suffering from the heat. Your pets are also going to need protection from the sun and like us, they too can easily overheat and even die if not properly taken care of.

First off, prevention. Let’s start with the biggest one out there that many people still do and is probably one of the most preventable issues. Never, ever leave your dog in a car, even with the windows cracked. In just 70 degree weather, the interior temperature of a car can reach up to a 104 degrees in half an hour. And that is just typical spring time weather. During the summer, it can climb into the 180’s. Your dog has no way of escaping this kind of heat and can easily overheat and even die if left in a hot car for too long. Don’t take the chance, even for a minute.

If your dog spends a lot of time outside in the yard, make sure they have a shaded place to relax, along with access to a plentiful source of water. In some states where the weather gets up to the 90’s and higher, you might want to consider bringing them inside if they are normally an outside dog.

This goes hand in hand when walking or playing with your dog in hot weather. A lot of them will continue to play and run with their owners simply to please them, not realizing they are close to overheating. Always keep a close eye on their condition at all times.

So let’s say you suspect your pooch of overheating, what are the symptoms and how can you help them? Obviously panting is a big giveaway, so if you notice it is excessive, get them some water and shade immediately. They could also be drooling, acting lethargic and feel hot to the touch. If you suspect your dog is overheating, apply cool (not cold), wet towels to their body. You can also rub alcohol on their paw pads and ears to help draw out excess heat. If your dog doesn’t improve, get them to a veterinarian immediately.

Remember, summer time can be fun for you and your animal family but always be aware of the dangers it brings. If you do bring your dog outside, ensure they always have access to water and shade and never overwork or play with them until they are exhausted. Stay vigilant, stay safe and enjoy the summer with your furry pals.