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Preparing for Holiday Boarding

Monday, December 19th, 2011

As many Americans prepare to travel away from home for the holidays, it’s important to take the time to prepare your pup for a boarding stay. We offer this checklist to help you make that experience a positive one for you and your dog.

The Before-boarding Checklist

Take these precautions before you board your pup:

Update vaccinations –  Make sure all vaccinations are current at least a week to 10 days before boarding your dog. Dogs occasionally show symptoms of canine cough or bordatella from the vaccine, and a boarding facility won’t be able to tell the difference between shot-related symptoms and the real illness, explains Boyer.

Check requirements -  Call the boarding facility to inquire what its vaccination requirements are. Bring proof of the vaccinations with you when you arrive at the facility. Some places also require a clean fecal report as proof that your dog doesn’t have worms.

Visit your veterinarian –  Even if a facility doesn’t require a veterinarian’s clearance, it’s a good idea to schedule a checkup for your dog within 30 days of its stay, especially if your dog has chronic ailments or is elderly.

Double-check medication supplies –  Ensure medication supplies are adequate for the stay and bring the prescription in its original container. It’s extremely important that if for any reason your dog has a reaction, or another dog ingests the medication, the staff knows exactly what the prescription is as well as the dosage amount.

Keep up with flea prevention - Almost every facility will require you to treat your dog with a monthly flea preventive. Schedule a treatment just before your dog checks in to the kennel.

Questions to Ask

Steer clear of boarding facilities that don’t offer direct, fully explained answers to all your questions. Here’s what to know:

Can your dog eat its usual food? Dogs may have touchy digestive systems, says Dr. Martinez. Your dog will likely fare better if it can follow its usual diet, so when possible, carefully label its food before boarding.

What treats are given? A facility might serve your dog its usual food but offer unfamiliar treats. Often, treats contain more gluten and byproducts than commercial foods, and some dogs have trouble digesting the goodies.

How will the facility handle health issues? Ask if the kennel has a relationship with a veterinarian or if veterinary technicians are on staff.

Share the Right Information

Your dog is more likely to enjoy a safe, healthy stay if you also keep the boarding facility well informed. Let the kennel know the following:

Special needs –  If your dog is prone to anxiety, aggression or other issues, let the kennel know well in advance. Booking early can ensure that your dog receives the right boarding space.
Your contact info - Share your emergency contact number, along with a local number for someone not traveling with you. Provide contact information for your pet’s veterinarian.

Any allergies - Provide a list of your dog’s potential allergens along with its other known health information.

If your dog hasn’t boarded in a while, it could be good to take Fido for a half day or so of doggie day care in the facility. Reintroducing your pup to the facility will ease stresses during the actual boarding stay. Following this checklist can mean the difference between a positive boarding experience and a bad one.

Tips for Choosing a Pet Stroller

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Spring is here, and nothing is nicer than going for a stroll or jog with your favorite four-legged friend. Dogs, cats, bunnies—even guinea pigs and iguanas—can enjoy being with you in the great outdoors from the safety of their very own stroller.

Pet Gear Expedition Stroller

There are dozens of pet strollers on the market, so choosing the right one can be a challenge. Considering how and where you will want to use your stroller is one of the first things to think about.

Would you like to take your pet with you to the park and stroll on level, paved paths? Or on a window-shopping excursion in a busy shopping area? For the more adventurous, an off-road trek in a wilderness area on uneven terrain might be what you’re interested in.

Do want to walk, jog, or run with your pet stroller? The design and construction of the stroller you choose should fit how and where you want to use it. (more…)

Taking Your Dog for a Ride

Friday, February 4th, 2011

She loves doing "doggy face," but you know it's not safe!

Who loves to ride in the car more than your dog? Are you a responsible dog owner, or are you putting yourself, your family, other drivers, and your dog at risk when you travel with your dog loose in your car? You wouldn’t dream of not putting seat belts on your children, even for a short trip to the grocery store, so why would you do any less for your furry family members?

Did you know that more than 30,000 accidents are caused every year by drivers who are distracted by unrestrained pets in their vehicles? And those are only the ones that were reported. Every one of those accidents could have been prevented by a proper pet restraint system.

Properly securing your pet in your vehicle keeps them safer and prevents them from jumping into your lap or getting under your feet while you are driving, thereby keeping your passengers and other drivers on the road safer, too. It’s also important to restrain your pets in the car to reduce injuries in an accident. You would not want them to be thrown from the car or become a projectile in the car. An air bag can kill a small pet, so don’t risk it! Put them in a hard-sided carrier, or put them in the back seat. (more…)

Fido Friendly Dog Holiday Travel Tips

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

People all across America will be traveling between now and the end of the year to visit family and friends for the holidays. Many of them will travel with pets as part of their family. Successful travel with your dog (just like any kind of travel) requires a little pre-planning. Here are some helpful tips from FIDO Friendly magazine to think about when making your travel plans!

Thanksgiving Pets

Holiday Roads and Traveling with Fido
by Susan Sims and Carol Bryant

Marsing, ID – Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go. No doubt, millions will trek to the abodes of family and friends as the holiday season approaches. Just how many are traveling with Fido this holiday season? released recently the results of its first annual Holiday Pet Travel Survey of more than 7,000 pet owners worldwide, finding that sixty-three percent of pet owners say they travel at least 50 miles with their pets during the holidays.

Leave No Dog Behind® is the FIDO Friendly mantra and getting there safely is of utmost importance. In some states, seatbelts are mandatory for dogs. From a safety perspective, unrestrained pets are responsible for more than 30,000 accidents every year according to the ASPCA.

FIDO Friendly shares a ‘Holiday Road Warrior Survival Guide’ as we take to the highways and byways for holiday gatherings with family and “fur-ends.” (more…)

Best Dog Friendly Hotels

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Dogs and their owners no longer have to ruff it when they hit the road. The Today Show on NBC first ran this report in July, but any time is a good time to travel with your best friend! Here are some of the best pet friendly hotels covered by Travel and Leisure magazine.

Fall is in the air!

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Enjoying a fall day!

As you feel the first cool air of fall, your thoughts may turn to getting in another camping or fishing trip before it gets too cold.

Before setting out, familiarize yourself with the rules regarding pets at your favorite campground. The National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management have different regulations regarding pets in parks, so it is good to know the rules before you go.

Also, be sure that your pet’s immunizations are current and that he has proper ID tags. (more…)

Travel Checklist for your Pet

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

With the last holiday weekend of summer coming up, many pet owners are planning and packing for a family trip, including their pets, of course!

Here is a handy checklist to use when packing up things your pet will need.

Summer Travel with your Pet

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

We want our four-legged friends to enjoy family fun right along with us, but there are some precautions that need to be taken to keep your pets safe when the mercury climbs.

Everyone knows this, but it bears repeating—never leave your pet in a hot car, even if you think it will only be for a few minutes.  Your car acts like a greenhouse, absorbing and trapping the sun’s heat. Temperatures inside a car can reach dangerous levels within a few, short minutes, and leaving windows cracked makes very little difference.

If you like jogging, running, biking, or hiking with your pet, remember that you can dress in cooler clothes to feel cooler, but your pet cannot. A cooling vest like the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler can help you pet stay cool. Plan your exercise times early in the morning or in the cooler evening hours so your pet can join you and still be comfortable.

Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest