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Taking Your Dog Shopping

Dec 9, 2011

photoThe holidays are swiftly approaching, and what better way to enjoy the season than with your pup? Not everyone enjoys having ole Blue in the backseat while you and the kids are singing some holiday music, but there are those of us who do. So what are some shopping tips for your pup? There are good places to take them, and places you don’t take them during the holiday season.

Pup in the puppy aisle

Fortunately for us pet lovers, there are stores completely dedicated to our four-legged friends. And what better place than to take your dog shopping than their very own shopping area? I’ve seen pups and their people wandering around checking out toys and beds. If you’re thinking about getting them a present this year, let them explore and see if a particular pillow or bed is just right for them.

But, before you do take your pup out for their own shopping time, make sure that they’re in good health and that they’re up to date on their vaccinations. Get them a flea collar or powder them up before you take them out, just in case someone else has a few bugs they want to share with your pup.

For smaller pups, remember that they aren’t always seen. They can get trampled by dog and human alike. If you need to, there are puppy strollers and small pup carriers that will allow Tiny Tim join you as you shop.

At the store

Not all shopping allows your pup to come inside, and for them that means they’ve got to stay in the car. While it might be alright to let your pup chill in the car with the windows down a bit, keep in mind that theft is higher this time of year. The last thing you want is someone breaking your window or trying to squeeze little Frisky out of the car. With the cold weather and the long lines in the market stores, it’s really best not to take your pup shopping with you if they can’t come in.

Careful in the car

Since everybody is going to be out doing a little shopping, that means that there’s bound to be a bit of traffic. Since you never know what to expect, it’s important to make sure your pup stays safe while you’re out on the road, hunting for some last minute presents. First rule: Pups don’t go in the front seat. Air bags are a safety device designed for a seated human, not a canine. Since most new vehicles come with airbags, keep Frisky in the back seat area and away from danger.

Now, focus on keeping your pup stationary in the vehicle. You’ve seen the old movies where the kids are running rampant in the backseat while their mother and father are yelling, trying to get them under control. Same effect with pets, only a mischievous pup might find their way under your pedals or in your lap to distract you during a very dangerous time. The crate is possibly one of the most puppy safe vehicle tools you can find out there. Most have a lock so that they fasten into a vehicles seatbelt to ensure the crate stays in place and the pup stays safe. Another option, particularly for a bigger dog, whose crate might not fit in a car seat, is the puppy safety belts out on the market. They do a fairly good job of keeping your pup in the seat and aren’t uncomfortable as long as you get the right size. If all else fails, and that rascal doesn’t like to stay still or stay in their crate, it would be best to leave them at home where it’s warm and toasty.

As a reminder- the bed of your truck is not a seat. A pup riding in the back can be seriously injured by flying debris, dust and dirt in the air, or during a vehicle accident. If you’re pup is going to be riding with you, keep them seated inside the vehicle until the captain turns off the seatbelt sign.

The holidays are indeed a fun time of the year, and it’s nice to share it with our faithful companions. But, keep in mind that their safety always comes first. Remember that the holidays aren’t just about the shopping, it’s about the people and pups we spend the time with every day of the year.

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