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February 12, 2015

Maya Go-Tech Dog Seat Belt Journey

Are you about the em’bark’ on a journey with your dog? The #DogTravelAdvisor recommends the following safety items you should bring for your best pal:
* If traveling by car, your dog’s seat belt or pet carrier
* ID tags secured on your dog’s collar)
* Vet information
* Emergency contact information
* Photo of your pet
* Pet first aid kit
* Food and water
* Leash
* Blanket
* Your pet’s medication, including Travel Calm or other car sickness remedies

In addition to the above pet safety essentials, here are some non-essential, but probably-a-good-idea-to-bring-anyway, things:
* Toys
* Treats
* Dog bed
* Food and water bowls
* Dog brush
* Poo bags
* Baby wipes (for other doggie messes)
* Lint brush for dog hair clean-up

One time when we traveled, we forgot our dogs’ food! We left it by the door but forgot to put it in our car. Thankfully, we were able to find their regular brand at a store along the way. Have you ever forgotten to bring something when you traveled with your dog?

 

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September 4, 2014

Road Trip with the Dogs to Kansas

I posted a little bit about my road trip with my dogs, Maya and Pierson, on my American Dog Blog, but I thought I would share a few more details here. Namely, what I did to prepare and how we made sure our travel was comfortable and safe.

TO TAKE THE DOGS OR NOT TO TAKE THE DOGS
A few months ago, I made arrangements to see an alternative medicine doctor for my fibromyalgia in Wichita, Kansas. It is a five-and-a-half hour drive so we opted to drive. As always, we had to take the dogs into consideration. Despite living in Iowa for only a short time, we have met people we could trust to care for our dogs if we left. However, my husband couldn’t go and as a female I didn’t want to travel alone. And so I opted to take both dogs with me.

Motel 6 August 2014 Maya & Pierson

ACCOMMODATIONS
I would have two doctor visits on two consecutive days, so we needed a place to stay. The medical office gave me a list of nearby hotels. However, they either didn’t allow pets at all, only allowed pets under 20lbs, or charged over $100+ per night. And so I chose the trusty Motel 6. I knew they were both inexpensive and pet friendly. And after our recent pleasant experience at a Motel 6 in Oklahoma, I hoped the one in Wichita would be the same. I was not disappointed. Check out my reviews of this Motel 6 on my American Dog Blog from both the link above and from the August 29, 2014 post.

> Don’t Leave Dogs Alone in Hotel Room
One thing I did not take into consideration during my stay at Motel 6 is that you are not supposed to leave your pets unattended in the room. I should have made doggie day care arrangements for Maya and Pierson, but didn’t think about it.

Most hotels have this rule about leaving pets and I understand why. When some dogs are left alone, they bark or will do damage to the room. Also, there could be problems when the cleaning staff tries to enter the room. Thankfully, Maya and Pierson are familiar with traveling and do well when left alone in a strange place. Pierson had his no-bark collar on. I also put a do not disturb sign on my door so the cleaning staff would not enter.

Petz on Board Emergency Contact for Pet Travel

PACKING
I won’t tell you everything I packed for myself, but I will tell you I made sure I had plenty of food and drink for the road trip so that I wouldn’t have to run into a convenience store and leave my dogs alone in the car. For Maya and Pierson, I packed enough dog food for two nights, water, their food and water dishes, leashes, dog car harnesses, vet records, pet first aid kit, Petz on Board sign with emergency contact info, dog beds, poo bags, treats, and the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat.

TRAVELING
I opted to take my husband’s car instead of mine. My car is a 1998 model and has been salvaged twice so I don’t want to drive it that far if I don’t have to. I covered the entire back seat of my husband’s car with a sheet and set up the Portable Pet Travel Flat Seat. I also connected the tethers of their dog car harnesses to the seat belt housings. Maya wore the Kurgo Go-Tech and Pierson wore the Ruff Rider Roadie. (Maya usually wears the ClickIt Utility dog seat belt, but it is so restrictive I didn’t want to use this one for such a long journey.)

> Calming and Preventing Car Sickness
About 20 minutes before the trip, I applied Travel Calm from Earth Heart to both Maya and Pierson. Maya needs it because she is so excited in the car and drives me nuts with her happy whining. Pierson sometimes gets car sick and Travel Calm also helps with this.

Both dogs did very well on the drive to Wichita, but Maya was a pesty-poo on the way back home. I’m not sure if she was uncomfortable or what, but the Travel Calm did not work this time. She whined so much that I made several stops thinking perhaps she had to go to the bathroom. She didn’t. In any case, it took much longer for us to get home.

> Don’t Leave Dogs Alone in the Car
I didn’t have to stop for a restroom on the drive to our destination, but I had to stop for myself on the drive back. I hated to leave my dogs in the car, but I had no choice. Pets are not allowed in public restrooms, period. Luckily, I pulled up next to some nice ladies and asked if they could keep a short eye out for my pups. They were happy to oblige. I wouldn’t always trust this tactic, but you gotta do what you gotta do and I like to think that most people are relatively trustworthy.

Have you taken any recent road trips with your dogs? Please leave a comment below. If you’d like to do a guest post on your pet travels, email me. 🙂

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Moving With Our Dogs

Author: MayaAndPierson
April 23, 2014
Moving with Our Dogs Maya & Pierson

What’r all these boxes for? Where’re we goin’? Do they have cookies there?

Yes, we’re moving! Our online website will remain the same, but our home base is moving from Lawrence, Kansas to Des Moines, Iowa. Why, you wonder? My husband is moving for a new job. And since my job is with a virtual online company, I can move with him quite easily. And, of course, we are moving with our dogs too. Moving a family is a challenge, but put dogs in the mix and there are a few more challenges to add to our list. Here is what we’ve encountered so far.

LOOKING FOR A PET FRIENDLY PLACE

Since we have discovered that we are not good home owners when it comes to home repair and routine home maintenance, we’ve decided to rent instead of buy. And finding a pet friendly place to rent has not been easy. Over 80% of the places I called either said no pets or only allowed pets under 25 pounds. Pierson is 50 pounds and Maya is almost 70 pounds. I also found that a lot of places in Des Moines have breed restrictions. Maya is a Lab and Pierson is an Australian Shepherd / Border Collie, so there was no trouble there. But if I still had my Chow mix, Sephi, we might have had more trouble. So unfair, but it is the reality.

We finally found a great house to rent that is very pet friendly. Our landlord is our neighbor and she has a gorgeous Mastiff girl named Bella that she rescued, as well as a cute older Jack Russell. Our landlord is charging neither an extra pet deposit, nor an extra monthly rental fee for the pets. This is different than many of the pet friendly apartment we looked at, who charged an extra $25 per month per pet, plus a non-refundable pet deposit.

PACKING

Some dogs and cats might get stressed from all changes going on with packing. Stuff is being moved around. Boxes are piling up in the corners. Things are getting a good scrubbing. And there is more noise than usual because of all the cleaning and packing. If you have time, get started early and take it slow. Introduce boxes and packing slowly. And try not to change your pet’s normal routine.

Luckily, Maya and Pierson have not been affected at all by the changes. Maya is very curious about what I’m doing and is constantly sticking her nose in the boxes I’m packing. Pierson has been a little more cautious than Maya. Loud noises scare him and he has been a little intimidated when we move big stuff around. But he is doing really well for the most part.

STRANGERS IN AND OUT

Because we need to sell our current home, we have had people in and out of our house doing estimates and repairs. So when strangers come over, I generally put Maya and Pierson outside. I could say, “This is my house and if you want to come in you are going to have to accept the dogs.” But there are two very big reasons why I don’t.

Safety for Visitors

Although Maya and Pierson are friendly, some people are afraid of dogs. Allowing my dogs to approach someone who is afraid of them opens the door to trouble and it is also unkind. Also, despite my efforts to keep Maya from jumping on people, I still have trouble. She just gets so darned excited that she forgets her manners. She’s scratched a friend of ours who came to visit because of her crazy jumping antics. And she has also caused someone to bite their tongue because she jumped up and hit them in the chin.

Perhaps your dogs are better behaved than my Maya when it comes to jumping, but just because your dog doesn’t jump on you, doesn’t mean he won’t jump on strangers. And another thought, just because your dog likes most people doesn’t mean he will like everyone.

Safety for My Dogs

If you have a dog that likes to sneak or squeeze out the door at the first opportunity, then you have to be especially careful about visitors. I believe that it is unfair to expect a visitor to my house to be careful about not letting the dogs out. They don’t know my dogs or what they will do. Yes, visitors should be considerate and take care to close doors behind them. But ultimately my dogs are not their responsibility.

ROAD TRIP

If your dog doesn’t travel much, it will be very helpful if you can get them used to traveling before the big move. Start out by taking them on short road trips. And take them somewhere fun so that they learn the rewards of traveling. If you have a dog that gets car sick, consider a natural pet remedy like Travel Calm, which has ginger to help with car sickness as well as calming ingredients to help with anxiousness.

Don’t forget your pet’s safety when you travel on the road. Thankfully, Maya and Pierson are used to wearing a dog seat belt. If your dog isn’t used to a dog car harness or a traveling crate, be sure to help them get used to these devices as well as used to car rides. Check out these additional tips for helping your dog get used to riding in the car and used to a dog car harness.

Dogs Pet Safety Belts

Maya and Pierson are wearing their dog seat belt harnesses and are ready to go!

SETTLING IN

Letting your dog explore the new place is great. But depending on your pet’s personality, you may want to take it a little slow. Go through one room at a time. Reward them with treats, if needed. Set some of their belongings like toys and bedding in place before they explore in order to help them familiarize themselves to the new surroundings. Supervise them as they explore, especially in the yard area. Your dog might find a hole in the fence that you didn’t see or there may be wild animals living in the yard that you weren’t aware of.

At this moment, I am still in Kansas with Maya and Pierson. They have not yet made the road trip to Iowa or seen their new house. For them, the road trip should be no problem. Maya will have no trouble getting used to her new surroundings. I have no doubt she will be very excited about it. Pierson may be a little more wary about the new place, but he will adjust easily when he sees Maya do it. Our official move date is May 10th.

Have you ever had to move with your pets? Are there some concerns you had that I forgot to mention here? How did your dog adjust to the move?

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Pet Auto Safety Barks and Bytes #2

Author: MayaAndPierson
January 30, 2014

Barks and Bytes Blog Hop

Welcome to another edition of Barks and Bytes where we share comments and questions from other pet lovers about car travel and where we review the events of the week. The Barks and Bytes blog hop is hosted by our friends at Heart Like a Dog and 2 Brown Dawgs.

LAST WEEK BARKS
Carol with Fidose of Reality left a very nice comment, “I want to thank you for having a blog where safety and traveling with dogs is combined into one.”

Thank you, Carol! I know you’re a fan of pet safety in the car. I’ve seen photos of Dexter wearing his dog car harness. 🙂 I’d love to share one of those photos here and on our Facebook and G+ pages. Let me know!

BARKS FROM PETS THAT DON’T LIKE TO RIDE IN THE CAR
Lindsay with That Mutt had a good idea about helping cats ride well in the car, “put him in his carrier and put a towel over it and that has helped calm him down.”

Great idea, Lindsay! Sometimes pets need to look out the window in order to help with motion sickness. But if the issue is anxiety, having them ride in a carrier and covering it with a towel can be very helpful.

Tegan with Leema Kennels Rescue and Blogsaid, “You can also try feeding ginger 30 minutes before travel for travel sickness.”

You’re so smart, Tegan! How much ginger would you say? By the way, ginger is one of the primary ingredients of Travel Calm. Travel Calm is not available everywhere, though. Tegan is in Australia.

Jody with Bark and Swagger said, “Sophie doesn’t line riding in the car, but I think it’s because she took a long journey as a young puppy to get home to us. It was probably scary.”

I agree. Riding in the car for such a long trip probably was scary. All that movement of stopping, turning, and speeding up can be really hard on a puppy tummy. Then there are also the strange sights and smells whizzing by. Poor Sophie. I hope she comes to enjoy car rides someday.

RECENT QUESTION
I had a wonderful conversation through Facebook with someone regarding dog seat belts. She said a friend of hers bought the ClickIt dog seat belt and was not happy with how complicated it was to use. She said the same regarding the AllSafe. Although these two brands are very good for safety, ease of use is another important factor to consider when shopping for the right dog seat belt. Your dog’s comfort is another thing to take into account.

So what dog seat belt combines comfort, ease of use, AND safety? My personal first choice is the Bergan brand. Although, a small handful of people have said it is complicated too. I think it is the very first time you put it on. But once you get it fitted and put it on a few times, it is very simple. Bergan has made a great video to help you through the steps.

You may remember from the report from the Center for Pet Safety, though, that the Bergan brand failed using the 75 pound dog dummy. After speaking with Bergan, they have promised a new version in the large size will be coming out soon. In the meantime, the Ruff Rider Roadie is another great brand. It passed testing at all sizes. It is one of my favorites too, but I do like the padding of the Bergan better.

Pierson in the Car Logo

That’s my boy, Pierson, wearing the Bergan dog seat belt. Also pictured is the Backseat Bridge from Kurgo. It gives Pierson more room to stretch out on long road trips and it keeps him from coming off the seat.

INTERVIEW
I have an interview for a radio show today. The interview won’t air until March, so I will keep you posted. It’s hosted by Karen from PetsPage.com and will play on the pet news segment on Kim Power Stilson’s Talk Radio show on SiriusXM. It’s a simple interview, but I’m both excited and scared at the same time!

WAG N GO
There is only a little bit more time and more £ to go to help out Trina with her new product. Please go check out the Wag N Go on Kickstarter.

Wag N Go Bag

QUICK DOG SAFETY TIP
Front passenger side airbags are not safe for pets. If your dog likes to sit in the front seat, check your vehicle specifications to see how much weight will trigger the airbags. Some airbags will only go off if the seat has a certain amount of weight in it. Others will go off regardless of weight. If this is the case, see if the passenger side airbag can be temporarily disabled. And if not, push the seat as far back as possible while your dog is sitting in it.

Generally, we recommend pets sit in the back. But I understand how a dog may want to sit in the front. That would be Maya’s first choice. But Maya would be too much of a distraction. So if your dog needs to sit in the front, don’t let him be a distraction and make sure he is not in danger of the passenger side airbags.

Passenger Side Airbags on Chevy Spark

Passenger side airbags are not safe for children and they are not safe for dogs.

Thank you for visiting us today on the Barks and Bytes. Please feel free to leave us a comment or question below. We will reply with a comment of our own and address it in next week’s Barks and Bytes. If you have a question that you want to ask privately or if you need your question answered right away, please feel free to email us at nature by dawn at aol dot com (spelled out in order to avoid recognition from spam bots).

Thanks Again!
Dawn with Maya and Pierson

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January 27, 2014
Dog Head Out Window Danger

This dog really likes riding in the car. But not all dogs do. (For safety, you should not allow your dog to put his head out the window.)

It seems wherever we go, we see a happy dog with his head out the window, his ears flapping in the wind, and a big doggy grin on his face. Seeing this so often, one would think all dogs love to ride in the car. Sadly, this is not the case. Here are some reasons why a dog may not like riding in the car, along with some possible solutions:

1. Unfamiliarity and/or Anxiety – If a dog doesn’t ride in the vehicle often, it can be a very strange place. The movement, the sounds, and everything moving by at a blur can seem frightening to a dog that is not used to it.

* Let your dog sit in the vehicle without starting it up. Praise with words and treats. Do this often. Once he is comfortable with getting in the vehicle, start taking him on short trips. Also, consider a dog anxiety treatment such as the Thundershirt.

Daffy the Dachshund in the Thundershirt

Daffy the Dachshund in her new Thundershirt!

2. Car Sickness – Some dogs get motion sickness.

* Take short trips that don’t require a lot of stops and turns. If your dog is small, it helps if he can see out the window. Let him ride in a pet car booster seat. Also, consider a pet travel remedy such as Travel Calm in order to help with car motion sickness.

Roxy in a Pet Car Seat

Roxy the Dachshund can see out the window in the Skybox pet car booster seat from Kurgo.

Dog Sissy and Travel Calm

Travel Calm helped Sissy remain calm while her neighbors shot fireworks. It also helps for car sickness and travel anxiety.

3. Destination – If the only time your dog rides in the car is when you have to take him to the vet, it’s no wonder he doesn’t like to ride.

* Take your dog somewhere fun and rewarding. Go to the park, the pet store for treats, or just go to the bank drive-through and ask the teller for a dog biscuit.

Maya Vet Caption

Actually, Maya loves the vet. She’s weird.

Does your dog like to ride in the car?

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December 9, 2013
Maya Resting in Car

Are we there yet?

It’s almost time for our annual road trip from Kansas to Texas to visit family. The drive takes about eleven hours. Taking such a long trip with two big dogs requires careful preparation and planning.

Why Do We Drive?

An eleven hour trip sounds intimidating. But when you have two big dogs, visiting family for the holidays doesn’t leave many options. Boarding kennels and pet sitters tend to be booked up this time of year. Flying can be expensive, not to mention a very stressful situation for pets that need to ride in the cargo area of the plane. Winter weather can also prevent your dog from being able to fly.

While driving requires several hours of our vacation to be spent on the road, for us it is the best option. I’m not sad and worried about Maya and Pierson because they’re with me. And the gas expense is less than one flight ticket.

Maya Pierson Cookietown

PREPARING FOR THE TRIP

The Vehicle

Now that we know we are going to drive, we just need to work out the logistics. Is our vehicle in good shape, including the tires? Is a car enough, or should we rent an SUV? Last year we rented an SUV because our friends went with us and four adults and two big dogs just wouldn’t fit in our sedan.

My Dogs in Back of SUV

This is the vehicle we rented last year for our trip to Texas.

This year it is just my husband and I and the two dogs so we can take our car. We’re not taking mine this year, though. We are taking my husband’s. My car is already fitted with all the dog gear, but it is an older model vehicle and I don’t want to risk it breaking down on the way. So before our trip, I need to outfit my husband’s Camry for Maya and Pierson. The first thing it needs is a seat cover. I will also install the Backseat Bridge because it covers the floor and gives my big pups more room to stretch out for the long trip.

Pet Travel Products in My Car

This is my Car. It has the Backseat Bridge to cover the floor, a seat cover, and BreezeGuard window screens on the windows. I’ve also since added car door guards.

Hotel

Will we do the entire drive all in one day, or will we stay overnight at a hotel? Most times, we drive straight through. But this year, we are visiting friends in Tulsa and so will stay in a hotel. To prepare, we need to find a pet friendly hotel in Tulsa and make reservations.

Health & Temperament

Maya and Pierson are in good health and so will be fine on this trip. But depending on your pet, you may want to consider his health before going on your road trip. In addition, think about how much or how little your dog likes to ride in the car. If he doesn’t like to ride, you may need to start getting him used to it now by taking short road trips to somewhere fun. You can also ask your vet about possible pet anxiety treatments you can give him.

Pack

A week before the trip, I compile a packing list. I add to it as things come to mind so that by the day of the trip, I know everything I need to take. For the dogs, I need their food, treats, food and water bowls, water, toys, blankets, beds, leashes, veterinary records, poop bags, their dog seat belts, first aid kit, and I need to make sure their id tags are secure on their collars. Since we are staying in a hotel, I should think about bringing their pet crates too.

Right Before We Leave

Besides checking off the packing list and making sure our vehicle has gas, I also like to administer Travel Calm to both Maya and Pierson. Maya gets excited in the vehicle and the all natural Travel Calm really helped keep her relaxed and quiet on our trip last year. Pierson sometimes gets car sick and Travel Calm helps with that too.

The next thing we do before we go is let the dogs go potty. And the final thing is to make sure our house is secure. If we didn’t already have someone watching our house, we’d be talking to our neighbors to ask them to keep an eye out. We’d also reduce the thermostat and make sure we didn’t leave any unnecessary appliances turned on.

THE ROAD TRIP

When traveling such a long distance, it is a good idea for us and the dogs to make plenty of pit stops. We stop at rest areas or gas stations to stretch our legs or use the restroom. For the dogs, I make sure their leashes are secure before letting them out of the car. It helps that they are already secured in their dog seat belts. All I have to do is attach their leash, then release the buckle that keeps them secured.

When I take them to go potty, I make sure they only go in designated pet areas. And I always pick up after them. If we’re in a public area, I am careful about not imposing my dogs on other people. I keep control of them as much as possible for both their safety and for the sake of others.

While it would probably be much more convenient if we could travel without having to worry about the dogs, I really enjoy taking them. For me, the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without my Maya and Pierson. If you’re traveling by car this holiday and taking your best friend with you, consider our preparation plans and apply them for your situation. And send us pictures! 🙂

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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Follow Up Friday #12

Author: MayaAndPierson
September 20, 2013

Follow Up Friday Banner Logo

It’s time for another edition of Follow Up Friday where we recap the past week’s activities. This edition is hosted by Heart Like a Dog and 2 Brown Dawgs.

Comments from Follow Up Friday #11

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog saw someone driving while their dog had his whole upper body hanging out the window. How scary, Jodi! I hate it when I see something like that. 🙁

Oz the Terrier says, “Oh I so want one of the Clickits by Sleepypod. I don’t think we have the best harness for safety in the car at the moment…but we are trying.” Something is better than nothing, Oz so your efforts are pawsome! I think what I am going to do after we get the Sleepypod ClickIt is give one away. So keep an eye out!

By the way, I don’t think the Sleepypod ClickIt will make it on the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) report coming in October. It is too new so I doubt CPS has had a chance to test it. But Sleepypod has tested it. And the ClickIt was designed based on testing results from CPS.

We Life in a Flat says, “If we don’t let kids stick their heads out of the car window, why should we let dogs” Good point. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks of their dogs as family. Those of us that do, though, sometimes fall victim to the “It won’t happen to me” mentality.

Upcoming Pet Events

Sue with Talking-Dogs says she adopted her first dog at the Lawrence Humane Society (LHS). How pawsome is that!?! After Sephi passed on, my husband and I looked through the LHS for a new family member. All the dogs there were wonderful and well cared for. But none of them clicked. I ended up finding a stray (Pierson) instead. Excellent bargain, don’t you think?

Pierson January 10, 2012

This photo was taken on the day I brought Pierson to his new home. He was a scared pup. He was also thin and full of fleas and ticks. He doesn’t look thin. It’s all the hair. It was January 10, 2012 when I got him.

In regards to pet events, our first one this fall is coming up on Sunday. The event is outdoors and thankfully it looks like the weather is going to hold up. I’ll be sure to post photos the following Wednesday for Wordless Wednesday.

Pet Travel Destination Tuesday

Donna and the Dogs says “I try to take mine out places too, but like you, only if I don’t need to leave them unattended. Especially my Lab, Toby, and my Vizlsa, Medi, because I’m afraid someone will steal them.” That’s something else to think about besides the heat. Someone could steal your dog. Even if you live in a nice neighborhood, do you really trust that some unsavory person isn’t visiting your nice town and looking for some easy pickings? I also worry about people who don’t like dogs and what they will do to tease my dog if I am not there to watch them.

Lindsay with That Mutt says, “There is a dog bakery near us, and I am thinking about taking Ace there this week just for an excuse to get him a treat.” Sounds fun. I bet Ace will love it. I forgot to mention dog boutiques in my list. Maya has been to Lucky Paws Bakery in downtown Lawrence a number of times. There also used to be a place called The Dog House that we frequented.

Lucky Paws Bakery 002

Maya and other dogs at the Lucky Paws Bakery located in Downtown Lawrence.

Buster & Pierson at The Dog House

Pierson met Buster at The Dog House. Pierson looks happy, but really, he is not happy that Buster is getting attention.

Mollie with Mollies Dog Treats says, “Mommy takes me with her but we never had ice cream this summer.. must make a note.” Hurry Mollie, before it’s too cold for ice cream. 🙂

Gizmo with Terrier Torrent says, “Gizmo loves car rides, even if it’s just a quick errand…he’s totally comfy in the car, which does make things easy.” Good job, Gizmo! Maya loves car rides too but she is so totally not easy to deal with in the car. Have you all seen this video?

Imagine this for the first 15 to 20 minutes of our annual road trip to Texas. She calms down eventually, but starts up all over again every time we make a pit stop. She is wearing her seat belt in this video but I have to keep the tether long so she won’t get tangled when she tries to move around. A shorter tether is safer, but Maya is a good example of how optimum safety is not always possible.

I discovered a new product last year that helped Maya with her excitement. The product is Travel Calm and it works well for nervous dogs too. The only time Maya whined on the last trip was when she recognized we were pulling into my parent’s neighborhood. After that trip, I made arrangements with the company that makes it to sell some on my own site.

Jodi with Heart Like a Dog says, “I sure hope they seek certification, I for one would be far more likely to purchase one that had been certified over one that had not. It might give a manufacturer an edge over a competitor.” It certainly will. I can’t imagine any company not wanting to get certification. If they choose not to, it will make me wonder if they have something to hide. The certification process is still a while away, though. First is their report in October. Then they will start working on a certification process.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Gotta go and write a post for tomorrow, then pack up my stuff for the pet event this Sunday. I hope you all have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Dawn with Maya & Pierson

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August 17, 2013
Kurgo Wander Back Pack for Dogs

Maya sometimes wears her Kurgo Wander back pack for dogs when she goes hiking.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be relatively inactive in the summer because it is so darned hot. I still take the dogs out for walks in the morning or evenings, but nature hikes are no fun in the summer. So now that the weather is getting cooler, I’m excited about taking the dogs on an outdoor hiking expedition again.

Here are some outdoor hiking safety factors I think about for Maya and Pierson:

Leashes or Harnesses

I admit, I don’t always keep Maya on a leash when we hike. Maya is very good at staying by my side and has a very good recall. Pierson, on the other hand, has never been off leash except in our backyard. So I don’t trust him to come when he is called if he sees an animal to chase. Know your dogs. If you are not sure if they will come to you in various scenarios, then keep them on a leash. Also, be considerate to other people when hiking in areas frequented by others. Some people don’t like dogs and are even afraid of them. Furthermore, some hiking trails are also frequented by bicyclists or people riding horses. Loose dogs do not always get along well with bicycles and horses.

Dog Tags

Maya and Pierson always wear their collar and tags. Plus, they are both microchipped. Even though I am confident in Maya’s recall and that I have a good grip on Pierson’s leash, the unexpected could happen. What if there is a loud noise that scares them? It might catch me unawares and make me lose my grip on their leash when they bolt. It’s unlikely but if the worst does happen, at least you have a better chance of being reunited with your best friend.

Wild Animals

Beware of wild animals. Small animals like rabbits and squirrels can be very tempting for your dog to chase. Your dog getting lost because he chased an animal is not the only concern. There are many harmful wild animals to watch out for such as alligators (BrownDogCBR has to look out for these), porcupines, poisonous snakes, skunks, raccoons, etc. By the way, another good reason to keep your dog on a leash is so that they don’t eat wild animal feces. Raccoon poop, for one, can be infected with worms or even canine distemper.

Plants & Biting Insects Harmful to Dogs

Some plants can be harmful for your dog too. Look out for poison ivy and poison oak. Also beware of thorned plants. Biting insects are what bothers me the most on our outdoor hiking adventures. Ticks here are really bad. We also need to be aware of mosquitos and fleas. My dogs use Frontline, but this only kills fleas and ticks when they get on the dog. It doesn’t prevent the little blood-suckers from getting on them in the first place. As a repellant, I am considering a new product from Earth Heart called Buzz Guard. Earth Heart is the same company that makes the Travel Calm that I use for Maya when she rides in the car.

Pet Water Safety – To Swim

If you are hiking near water and plan on letting your dog swim, consider a dog life jacket. Also, know the dangerous aquatic wild animals native to your area such as water moccasin snakes or alligators.

Maya and her dog life jacket.

Maya at Clinton Lake wearing her dog life jacket.

Pet Water Safety – To Drink

Water safety also includes making sure both you and your dog have plenty of fresh cool water to drink. If you can help it, don’t let your dog drink from the lake or river water. It can contain bacteria and parasites that will make your dog sick. I like using the Kurgo collapsible dog water bowl when I go hiking with the dogs. We also won the Frosty Paws travel pack sometime back and it has a fantastic dog water bottle.

Dog Pierson Collapsible Dog Bowl

My dog Pierson is drinking from the Kurgo collapsible dog bowl.

Dog Travel Safety

Don’t forget to travel to your hiking destination in safety. Seat belts for dogs, pet travel carriers, or our new K9 Car Fence, are just a few of the options available to ensure your best friend is kept just as safe as every other member of your family.

Conclusion

I like to take Maya and Pierson to Clinton Lake. The Mutt Run off-leash dog park is nearby and even has a place for Maya to swim. And there are a lot of secluded trails around the lake for me to take my dog-aggressive fluffhead Pierson.

Maya Meets Dog Swimming @ Dog Park

This is one of the rivers that feed into Clinton Lake. This particular area is part of the Mutt Run off-leash dog park.

 

I hope I covered everything. Can you think of any other outdoor hiking safety tips? Where do you like to take your dog hiking?

 

Update – First Aid Kit

After reading another blog post on first aid supplies, I realized I didn’t have a first aid kit on my list. Shame, shame! It is a good idea to have one with supplies for both you and your pet when you go hiking. A complete list of ideal first aid supplies can be found on KeepTheTailWagging.com. Thanks Kimberly, for your great post and reminder. 🙂

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Travel Calm Review for Fireworks

Author: MayaAndPierson
June 27, 2013
Travel Calm from Earth Heart

Travel Calm, a dog anxiety treatment to help traveling pets.

Travel Calm is a great product that helps dogs who are anxious about riding in the car. It helps dogs like my Labrador Maya who is super-excited about riding in the car. And it helps dogs that are nervous about riding in the car. But riding in the car is not the only stressful situation where Travel Calm can help. Here’s what Danielle has to say about it:

“Hello!

    It’s been a while since I won your giveaway but we recently had the opportunity to use the travel calm that I won on your blog.  I have to say that I did not use it when traveling but found an even better use for it.  We have neighbors that are very inconsiderate and shoot off fireworks at all hours of the night.  My Sissy is very scared of them and she feels it necessary to be as close to me as possible…if she could get in my skin, I think she would!  I didn’t have anything to help calm her down so I tried some of the travel calm.  Let me tell you, it worked like a dream!  She stopped shaking and laid down next to me and was just content.  About 10 minutes later, she crawled over to her spot on the couch, got comfortable and fell asleep.  I have used it a few times since and it works great!  Thank you so much.  I have enclosed a picture.
Danielle M”
Dog Sissy and Travel Calm

Travel Calm helped Sissy remain calm while her neighbors shot fireworks.

I’m so happy that Sissy is doing so well despite the fireworks! We only have a little time and limited supply of Travel Calm left. Get yours today or tomorrow and we can ship you a bottle via USPS first class, which takes about 3 business days. If you wait until the weekend, we can ship first thing Monday, but it may or may not arrive by Wednesday, July 3rd.

Please don’t use this product as a way to take your dog with you when you go to see fireworks. Please leave your dog at home, inside, and safe during the festivities.

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March 13, 2013

I love my Maya, but she sure can be a handful. ❤

Maya Angel Devil

My, oh my, oh Maya. I love Maya’s zest for life. And it really shows when she rides in the car. It can be very distracting so I make sure she wears a dog seatbelt. If your dog is crazy, or even nervous, in the car, visit our post from March 8th so you can enter to win a bottle of Travel Calm… and see a video of my crazy Labrador in the car. Also, be sure to check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.

 

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