The dog days of summer are winding down but there's still a few weeks left and plenty of fun to be had. Most of us consider our pets family members and would love nothing more than to include them on our vacations. In order to make it a fun, safe, memorable IN-A-GOOD-WAY vacay, please read the following article from holistic vet Dr. Laura Backer.
Prior to making your vacation plans, honestly evaluate how safe and prepared your pet is for traveling. Perhaps a short trip to a dog-friendly campsite is ideal rather than trying to take an elderly or fearful pup on a long airline flight to a new destination. Or maybe you are interested in a trip that caters to dogs by providing pet-friendly activities and amenities. Read on for some of my favorite destinations to explore. Whatever you're looking for, one of thee very best dog travel resources I have found is: dogfriendly.com This terrific website includes everything you need to plan and enjoy a wonderful vacation with your pet virtually anywhere in the world.
As a pug owner, I am against airplane travel. Flat-nosed dogs have difficulty breathing and can overheat easily. With all the possible issues that can occur on a plane, it's just not worth the stress and possible heartbreak should something happen. If I must fly, I leave Olive with a trusted family member or friend.
As luck would have it, some of my favorite getaways are just short car rides away. Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is a beautiful, relaxing paradise for all of us. We enjoy long walks, popping our dog in the basket and going for bike rides, and then the dog often joins us for al fresco meals. We've brought our dog out golfing, to the driving range or let them nap in the room while we hit the amazing spa or pool.
Although it can be far too sweltering hot during the summer, another favorite dog-friendly destination (November-May) is La Quinta Resort and Spa. I love the beautiful Spanish-architecture and historic grounds. The expansive property features numerous pools, world class golfing, tennis, and spa treatments. There are several quaint restaurants with patio dining and nearby you will find wonderful shopping destinations where everyone is happy to see a well-behaved dog.
If you want to escape the heat, head to the snow. I've have had some fun adventures up in the local mountains. Playing in the snow is a perfect chsnge of pace for my "beach-dog." Even during the summer months, you can get out on the lakes, hike in the great outdoors and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
From the glamour of Bevely Hills, to the beautiful beaches it would be hard to find a better travel destination than right here in my own Southern California backyard. Not many places offer the year-round excitement, diversity and options. The Waterfront Hilton in Surf-City Huntington Beach is a perfect choice. It's extremely dog friendly right down to allowing them poolside. There's the famous dog beach directly across the street and plenty of outdoor dining and shopping where pooch is more than welcome.
After a sunny day playing in the salt water and sand, your pooch can be royally pampered at one of the many pet spas and boutiques. Don't miss Pussy and Pooch on Second Street in Belmont Shore and the new Top Dog Barkery in the new Pacific City Shopping Plaza in Huntington Beach. Although wonderful places to visit year-round, after Labor Day rates go way down as do the crowds.
I have to laugh, but it seems to be my experience that the finer the hotel, the more responsive they are to pets. My dogs receive first-class treatment at many 5-Star resorts, yet they're forbidden from staying at many a budget motel. In addition, I've noticed my canine was definitely cleaner, smarter and better-mannered than most the other guests at these haunts. -Well, RULES are RULES😜!
Should you find yourself in a situation where you want to enjoy an outing or overnight sans dog, I recommend Doggie Day Camp or the PetsHotel at select PetSmart locations. A loving, trained staff offers excellent care at affordable prices and can be readily found throughout the nation.
Try not to feel bad if you don't have the time, budget or adaptability to do a full-blown getaway with your canine, on my Homepage I have listed some fun local events going on. You can have a ball on a free "stay-cation" right in your own neck of the woods. Not from this area? Check your Vet's office, Pet stores or local news for meet-ups and events where you live. Or start your own.
I would 💝💝💝💝 to see your fun getaway photos and to include them on this site. ️
🐾🐾Happy Tails to you!🐾🐾
SAFETY TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH YOUR PET
By Dr. Becker
More than half of U.S. pet owners (56 percent) travel with their pets, as do a sizeable number of those in the U.K. (41 percent).1 Understandably, the biggest concern pet owners have is that their pets will become stressed out, but this can be effectively managed by making the proper preparations.
While it may be tempting to hop in the car, roll down the windows and let your pup happily ride in the front seat, stick his head out the window and travel with his ears blowing in the breeze, these are among the worst choices for your pet's safety.
About the only worse choice would be to travel with your pet loose in the back of a pick-up truck; in the event of an accident, an unrestrained pet is at serious risk of injury.
Pet Car Safety 101: Proper Restraint
You wouldn't allow your children to ride in a vehicle unrestrained, and you shouldn't allow your pet to do so either. In the car, I recommend keeping your dog in a crate, as it is by far the safest method.
That being said, it's important to properly restrain the crate in your vehicle as well, so you'll want to choose one with tie-down straps.
Many crate and pet carrier manufacturers claim their products are crash-tested and safe for use in a vehicle, but there are no established test protocols or standards required to make such claims.
Last year, the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) along with Subaru of America, conducted a study that looked into safety of such products and found many are actually unsafe.
The researchers tested pet products, including pet booster seats, according to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard crash conditions for child safety seats. A variety of (simulated) dog breeds in different shapes and sizes were used in the tests.
Many problems were revealed, especially among products that connect to dog collars and harnesses. The collars could choke your dog in an accident and oftentimes the harnesses failed, "resulting in catastrophic failure that could cause serious injury to both the pet and vehicle passengers."
Top-Rated Travel Crates, Harnesses and Carriers While CPS does not recommend the use of any pet travel seats or booster seats, they did recommend several harnesses (one with a CPS certified five-star crash test rating), crates and carriers, each of which has strength-rated anchor straps or worked in connection with vehicles existing LATCH connection systems (used for children's car seats).
While you could technically secure most any crate in your vehicle using elastic or rubber bungee cords, these are not secure enough in an accident, putting your pet at risk of injury.
Keep in mind, also, that putting your pet into a crate, carrier or secure harness is for both their safety and yours. An unrestrained pet can be a distraction to the driver or could crawl under their feet, causing an accident.
In an accident, an unrestrained pet can also turn into a projectile, which is life-threatening for your pet and other passengers, who could be struck by the pet.
You'll want to choose a crate or carrier that fits your pet snugly, with enough room to be comfortable but not excess room (which poses a risk to your pet in an accident). Your pet should then be secured into the back seat or cargo area of the vehicle -- not the front passenger seat.
The top-rated harness had an infinity-loop system that allows it to be safely attached to your vehicle's seatbelt along with an energy-absorbing padded vest. Specifically, CPS identified the following as the safest travel options for pets:3
If that's not an option and you must fly with your pet, it's important to do your homework first. While the pet cargo area on most aircraft is temperature- and pressure-controlled, the conditions can shift widely.
A study by the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science showed that cargo hold temperatures shift by 50 degrees or more during most flights. On half the flights studied, the cargo area reached 85 degrees, which is quite a bit warmer than the temperature in the passenger cabin.
And 15 percent of the time, the cargo hold dropped to a chilly 45 degrees. What may be more dangerous than the cargo hold itself is what happens to your pet before and after boarding. This is the riskiest time for a pet during air travel. Dr. Laurie S. Coger, told USA Today:4
"Most injuries, escapes or deaths occur on the ground … Heat stroke, injuries due to crates being dropped or broken, or other mishaps are most likely during loading and unloading …
The reason many airlines restrict travel during hot or cold times is the lack of climate control while waiting to board the plane.
… Tarmacs can get blazingly hot or dangerously cold, putting a pet sitting in an airline crate at great risk. Some airlines have climate-controlled pet areas where pets are held until they board.
Always ask what an airline's procedures are for pets that are waiting to board, and for when they are unloaded."
If you're planning to put your pet on a plane, be sure he is acclimated to his crate well ahead of time, and think twice before administering a sedative, which may cause potentially dangerous changes in heart rate, function and balance (and should definitely be avoided in dogs with epilepsy or cardiovascular disease).
To help reduce anxiety naturally, consider giving flower essences orally before, during and after travel. Mist the air around your dog's carrier with pet-friendly essential oils a few days before travel.
RV Travel With Pets
Sixty-one percent of RV owners travel with pets; it's one of the great benefits of travelling this way!5However, your pet should be safely restrained, just as in any vehicle — not allowed to roam freely about the interior. You should also be very cautious about leaving your pet in the RV while you go sightseeing. Temperatures can quickly become deadly inside, and even leaving the air conditioning running is not a guarantee, as a power failure would put your pet's life at risk.
If you plan to leave pets in your RV, there are temperature-monitoring devices available that will send a signal to your cell phone if the temperature gets too hot or too cold. To be sure your dog doesn't escape, you'll also want to securely fasten a leash and collar or harness before venturing outdoors. A pet gate can be used as a barrier if you plan to stay in one place and leave the door open.
Finally, if you let your cat roam your RV while you're parked, be sure you know of his whereabouts before extending or retracting a slide-out. If your cat hides in such a spot, he could be seriously injured.
Pack This Before Travelling With Your Pet
No matter what type of travel you're planning, preparing accordingly ahead of time is key (check out the app BringFido for this). Identify ER clinics along the way, and be sure your hotel or campground allows pets and that you've planned for plenty of pit stops along the way. You should pack a bag for your dog too, including items such as: