Pet Hotels Articles
Things to Bring While Travelling With Your Dog
When you leave for a trip, whether it is business or pleasure, you pack things to travel with that you want and need to feel comfortable. Your pets appreciate the same consideration and travel much better when a few of their personal items make the trip with them.
Food & Treats - there is already enough change happening for your pet when they are out of their element; it is really important to keep your pets diet fairly similar to usual.
Toys - younger dogs and older ones with destructive behaviours can act out when they are away from home and under stress, having familiar toys around can curb their bad behaviours.
Towels - hiking in new areas and making pit stops while on the road can get your pets pretty dirty, so keeping some extra towels for clean-up is always a good idea.
Leash & Collar - different communities have different by-laws, so make sure you have your leash and tages for your pet.
First Aid Kit - a first aid kit with simple supplies can come in handy, giving you piece of mind and what you need to deal with injuries that might take place while travelling. Check out our other article on this page about building a travel first aid kit for your dog.
Proof of Vaccinations - if you have them available it is a good idea to make some copies that you can travel with. Some accommodations will require you to show proof of vaccinations in order to stay at their property.
Blankets - some dogs have a special bed or blanket that they sleep on at home, whenever possible it is a good idea to bring this along
This may not be a complete list for every pet out there, but it is a good start to get you thinking. Taking a little extra time to get you pet set for travel will make the entire vacation experience easier and less stressful for everyone.
A Travel First Aid Kit for Dogs
Your dog could get hurt or sick at any time including when you are travelling. A first aid kit for your dog is easy to put together and gives you the added piece of mind that if something does happen, you can help. The most common types of injuries that dogs suffer while vacationing are minor cuts and scrapes or sprains. It is also possible to pick up mites like ticks or fleas while travelling - especially if you are staying in places that have had other transient animals.
A good pet first aid kit will contain:
- Small / large bandages and gauze
- Tensor Bandages
- A pin or needle
- Plastic bags
- Duct tape
The Polysporin and bandages can take care of cuts and scrapes. Tensor bandages are there for sprains or to immobilise a broken leg. The plastic bad and duct tape can be fashioned as a waterproof sock in the case that there is any injury that should remain dry on the paw.
The needle and lighter can be used to remove ticks should you encounter them. Ticks are small beetle size bugs that bore their heads under the surface of the skin of your dog. They prefer soft fleshy areas like under the belly and in the armpits. Heat the needle with the lighter and place the hot pin on the back of ticks head near your dogs skin. The heat will help the tick to lessen its bite so that you can pull it out and kill it. Make sure you do not rip the tick off your dog - they can release a small amount of poison into your dogs system, and the head of the tick will pop off and remain lodged inside your dogs skin.
The best way to prevent a flea outbreak is to use an annual preventer like Revolution - which prevents several types of worms and fleas. As your dog sheds throughout the year even the shed fur combats latent flea eggs to prevent flea outbreaks.
Hiking - A Great Pet Friendly Activity
Heading outdoors to do some walking or hiking is a very rewarding activity. It is also great exercise that you can enjoy with your dog and will bring you both many benefits. Most communities have designated parkland spaces that are dog friendly. Whether these spaces are on or off-leash, hiking and walking with your dog is fantastic aerobic exercise that is good for your health.
The cardiovascular benefits of hiking apply to both you and your dog. Regular exercise is the key to good health for both you and your dog. Hiking is a perfect cardiovascular activity which can be undertaken by almost everyone. There are lots of different styles of hiking terrain across Canada and it is easy to find trails for beginners, advanced hikers and people with no prior experience. Hiking is an age friendly activity. Hiking is also a great bonding and pack building activity for dogs. There is a lot less stress on your pup when they are outside in a wide open space than when they are cooped up inside in a small room. The outdoors is a perfect place for new dogs to be introduced to each other. If you have the opportunity to head out to a local trail and have neighbours or friends with dogs - it is a nice idea to invite them along so that you can socialize and exercise your dogs and yourselves altogether.
Hiking is an activity that provides variety because there are always new trails to be found and some exploring to do. It is always your choice whether or not you follow the beaten path or head out and find some new territory. Often when heading out with my dogs I will try to find new nooks and crannies within trails we know - I call it treasure hunting. The dogs love checking out all the interesting smells, and I keep myself occupied by picking wildflowers or collecting unique stones.
I have the fortunate opportunity of living in an area with lots of vast wilderness and access to hiking trails. I have also lived in the busy city, and while I have spoken mostly about hiking so far, this can also translate well into city walking. If you live inside the city and have less opportunity to get into rustic trails, you can still provide lots of variety for your dog by choosing new routes often. Add some variety into your walks by always heading in different directions when you leave.
If you are lucky enough to get out every so often for a trail hike, make sure to bring along your camera. It is a perfect chance to catch some great pics of your pets, but also to take a few photos of the beautiful nature around you.
Does Your Dog Have a Great Life?
Take a quick peek through the list below and see how your dogs' life stacks up against the great life criteria that matter to your dog.
Diet Variety - Imagine for a second that you're a dog and your magnificent yet monotonous routine life has but one point of variety - amazing food! Can you imagine eating the exact same meal every day of your life? Diet variety has been shown to improve your dogs' health and can also help canines with dietary issues. Some people will disagree, but introducing raw foods and variety to your dog is good for overall good health and nutrition.
Activity - Exercise is absolutely essential for the health and happiness of your dog. A happy dog with a great life gets lots of activity on a daily basis. Every single day your dog needs a chance to get their heart rate up and to get rid of some of that pent up pet energy. Good cardiovascular health in your dog will mean a longer, happier life for your pup. It also means fewer illnesses and problems along the way (saving you a small fortune in vet bills).
Socialization - This has to do with people and other pets. One thing your dog absolutely loves is attention. The attention can come from people or other dogs, but they equate to different types of socialization. It is important for dogs to interact with other dogs, building patience, spending energy and providing entertainment. It's also important for dogs to interact with people. Dogs need both playful and productive interaction. Playful interaction helps to set boundaries and teaches your dog what they can and can't do with people or especially children. Productive interaction has to do with training; working with your dog on commands and behaviour, giving you control of you animal.
Comfort - The most basic of comforts has to do with shelter, but there are also creature comforts. Creature comforts are the little extras: cushy pillows, a big dog bed, a little blanket. Pampered dogs have possessions of their own like a bed and blanket - much as with little children, some dogs can view these items as a sense of security and can make new places more familiar. Many dogs can feel more comfortable away from home when they have a toy or blanket that they know.
Grooming - Grooming doesn't just help your dog to look good, it helps them to feel good too. Good grooming is part of overall good nutrition and health. Trimmed nails, a clean coat, shiny brushed hair and clean teeth are al important components of grooming. Spoiled dogs may even find themselves in for a whole afternoon of grooming at the local pet spa where you could find services like haircuts and massages.