Under the Seat and Standing Up

dog in plane
Dog owners who are flying with their pups

Traveling tends to be one of the most difficult experiences for pet owners. Among the various ways to travel with your pet, air travel presents the most difficulty. Unfortunately, when you have to get somewhere fast, flying is your best option.

However, there are conditions for flying with a pup that you and every dog owner should consider before scheduling an air travel. Although, you need to remember that these conditions may differ from airline to airline. This is especially true for international regions, such as Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia. Therefore, you need to check with your choice airline for specific information.

9 Useful Tips on Air Travel with Your Dog

1. You need to acquire a health certificate for your dog.

All airlines require an array of different limitations, most of which have a few things in common. The first and most obvious is to have a clean bill of health certification from your veterinarian that was dated within the last thirty days.

2.  You have to consider the weight and size limitations.

Weight restriction for pets is about 10 pounds. This limits the cabin to smaller breeds. Do keep in mind that weight limitation may also include your dog and his kennel. This is often limited to approximately 20 pounds.

Dog carriers must be designed to fit under the seat in front of you. On average, it should be about 9 inches in height and 18 inches across. Virgin America has one of the highest dog weight limits, and reasonable size accommodations. It allows dogs up to twenty pounds to enjoy a cabin flight.

3. Your pup must be able to stand up and turn around in his carrier.

The rule designating your dog’s ability to stand up and move around is to ensure that your pup is comfortable. After all, you wouldn’t like it if you had to travel in a tight sardine can.

4. You need to hand-carry bare essentials for your dog.

Since you are bringing your pup with you, this means that it’ll likely be replacing your carry-on bag. This means you’ll have to check-in any other luggage you have. So, be aware of what you will need during your air trip – including water, food, and potty bags.

5.  There is often an extra cost for bringing your pup into the cabin.

You don’t have to pay extra for your average carry-on bag though. The extra fee varies radically but often ranges from $75 to $150. It is highly recommended that you shop around for the best deal.

6. Airlines may blackout dates for pet travel during the winter months.

This could be done unexpectedly, which means that last-minute plans aren’t always going to work out the way you wanted them to.

Many airlines are working to become more accommodating to pet owners and their furry friends. There are limitations to how much they can handle though. This means that there is a set number of pets per flight for many of these airlines. Jet Blue, for example, only allows four pets per flight. This is yet another reason why a pet owner needs to plan as far ahead as possible to make sure their pup can make the flight.

7. Many flights will not allow dogs to fly to Hawaii. 

Be sure you take into account your destination when you are planning your trip – especially if you’re traveling to another country, such as the UK, Europe, and even Canada. However, Air Canada has a dog-friendly pet policy.

8. Certain breeds are not allowed.

Snub-nosed pups have a difficult time breathing in certain atmospheric pressure. This is probably why they are not allowed. Be sure your pup can handle the flight safely.

9. Don’t forget to check your local and landing airport for dog handling procedures.

There may be certain areas and locations where you’ll need to go or travel through (where you may be able to feed and care for your dog’s needs).

Flying with your pup can be an adventure and a difficult challenge at the same time (unless you properly prepare for it). If you’re traveling with your pup, be sure to call ahead and schedule a flight early enough to ensure you don’t run into any hitches at the airport. Just remember that your dog isn’t an item you can stuff and cram under the seat in front of you. Make sure your dog will fly comfortably so he can enjoy the journey and his time with you.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Traveling for the Holidays

Dog care when traveling this holiday

With the holiday season here, many will be traveling to spend time with their family and friends. Whether you’re flying or driving, you’re probably going to find yourself in new surroundings. So, think about what will be necessary to help keep your dog safe during your holiday travels.

Practical Tips on Traveling with Your Puppy During the Holidays

Keep your pup calm and comfortable

Not all dogs like to travel. Some even get a little confused and distressed about the change. Dogs adore habit. They enjoy waking up in their familiar bed, eating at the same time, and using the same bathroom every day. For this reason, the changes that travel presents can make your dog a little uncomfortable.

During your travels, consider natural sedatives to keep them calm. Of course, always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any medications. It is your primary goal to make sure that your dog stays safe. Some dogs enjoy traveling, but may quickly become anxious and move around the vehicle (pacing) wondering why you aren’t going to the dog park today, which is why you need to make sure they’re secured during the journey.

Buckle your dog up

For dogs that are accustomed to traveling around with you, the use of dog safety belts – preferably ones that latch into the vehicle harness rather than tethering to another portion of the vehicle – is a great place to start. Just be sure that the harness doesn’t chafe them or give them too much room to move (such as allowing them to fall down between the seats and get stuck).

Of course, there’s also your vehicle to consider. Leather seats can be slippery for a dog, presenting an unstable sitting spot for the journey. A mat or a thick towel will help provide them with traction and keep your seat scratch-free.

One of the best ways to keep your dog safe is to put them in their crate, with the added advantage that it gives them a sense of security and familiarity. Unlike when using a safety harness, they can lie down and get comfortable during the trip. Plus they can play with a few toys that won’t fall down between the seats during the drive.

Keep a schedule

During your travels, dogs will still need to potty and eat just like you. Before you leave, feed them and give them plenty of time to take care of their potty business. Avoid feeding them too much while on the road, since safe potty areas won’t always be available.

Because your dog will inevitably need to go at some point, especially on a long trip, choose your potty areas wisely. Stay away from heavy traffic and open parking lots. These areas are commonly filled with debris and dangers, including broken glass and trash (you never know what your dog might pick up or stand on). Before opening any doors, be sure that your dog is on their leash, just in case they spot something that strikes their curiosity. And don’t remove their leash until they are secured in the vehicle again.

Plan an Airline friendly travel

Flying with your dog can be difficult these days, especially with all the rules and regulations. Keep in mind that not all airlines will permit dogs on board. Additionally, certain size and breed restrictions will apply.

Smaller dog breeds can sometimes make it into the cabin with you permitted they are small enough to fit in a crate under the seat. Also, remember that airlines reserve the right to reject any dog that they deem “aggressive” or unfit for air travel. So, before you make any arrangements, check out if your dog will be allowed to join you on the trip.

Prepare your dog for different environmental conditions

One thing to consider, especially during the holiday season, is the variable weather conditions you’ll be facing. While it might be warm and cozy in the car, the outside can be quite different. Snow, rain, and wind are all going to make it a lot cooler, so be sure that you’re ready for the unexpected.

Will your dog be warm when you let them out to potty? Will they stay dry? Some dog snow boots, a sweater, or a rain poncho might be wise additions to your travel kit. Consider where you’re going to be passing through and check weather forecasts when preparing essentials for your dog’s safety on the road.

Safety is the topic when traveling this holiday season, especially for your four-legged companion. The road will always present you with the unexpected, but as long as you and your dog are prepared, the journey is going to be an adventure that you both will remember.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Dog Weight Gain and the Holidays

Dog care this holiday season to avoid overweight

Feasting and food are everywhere during the holidays. Snacks for the on-the-go, the kitchen abuzz with commotion and delicious smells, and even family and friends who may not be aware of house rules (or simply ignore them) can leave your dog licking their lips and eager for that tidbit of food to drop.

The bad thing is that, with all the food and excitement, your dog can end up putting on a few extra pounds too. And while they might beg and whine for a taste of what you (or one of your guests) are eating, it’s important to be careful of what your dog eats during the holiday season.

Three (3) Effective Ways to Keep Your Dog from Gaining Weight During the Holidays

 1. Keep the food rules enforced

Now consider the fact that the holiday season brings friends and family together. Who is allowed to feed them? Be sure that your guests are aware of your dog’s food rules and inform them of the dangers that come with not following the said rules. For example, not everyone is familiar with dogs. They are not aware that there are certain human foods that dogs should never eat. Grapes, chocolate, and onions are a few of them.

There are numerous stories about people treating their neighbor’s dog to a chocolate chip cookie, so the best precaution to take is to simply prohibit anyone else from treating your dog to anything. Be especially careful with young children, since they tend to be easily persuaded by “puppy-dog eyes.”

Most other human food is consumable to a certain degree. The question is: Are they good for your dog? Fried and fatty foods in general should be avoided as treats. Fatty foods are extremely hard on their livers and store very quickly as excess weight. If you must or feel obligated to treat your pup to some holiday specials, fresh vegetables such as carrots or some fruit slices would be a healthy treat to indulge them. Only give your dog something that you have prepared, especially if your dog has allergies.

2. Don’t oversize your dog’s portions and go easy on treats

One of the other issues with the holiday season is that some owners may become a little “generous” with their dog’s food portions. Perhaps they believe that an extra scoop will help keep their dog’s belly satisfied and keep them from wanting to vacuum the carpet under the dining room table. But the truth is that most dogs will always want what you’re eating. It’s best to keep their food portions the same, and rely on a healthy treat as a substitute for an overfilled bowl.

But you should still be careful with your treat delivery. Dog treats are just what their name implies – treats. In excess, they aren’t good for your pup, and are only meant to help train or used as a reward for a special situation. You don’t have to indulge your dogs with treats to help them have a good time.

3. Keep them active

Because the holiday season is a busy one, an unforeseen issue with weight gain is that dogs aren’t getting the exercise they need to keep them fit. Their food portions may have stayed the same, but now they’re not getting the chance to use up what they put in.

So, what are a few ways to keep your dog active during the holidays? You could start by taking them on walks of all types. If you have to go to the mail, take your dog with you. Does your puppy have a playmate you could arrange regular play-dates with? When it comes down to it, it is the responsibility of every pet owner to make sure their dog has the opportunity to get the exercise they need. Take a walk in the evening or even while your turkey is roasting in the oven. Time is there, as long as you’re willing to look for it.

This holiday season brings about much festivity, and your pup is definitely going to want to hang around to catch a few crumbs that fall off the dinner table. As your dog’s owner and protector, you’re responsible for keeping your dog happy and healthy. Dogs don’t have to put on a couple of pounds to prove they had fun during the holiday festivities. As long as you take a few precautions and keep them active, your dog will have fun this holiday season.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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