Monday, May 19, 2008

Holiday Weekend

With Memorial Day weekend almost here I am excited to see all of my dog friends that I haven’t seen since spring break. We have a few of the usual daycare gang staying over and a bunch of new doggies to play with. For all those dogs that aren’t lucky enough to enjoy a poochie vacation with us, here’s a couple tips for dogs on the road.

1. Get to the vet. Before a road trip is a good time to take your dog for that overdue visit to the veterinarian.

2. Tags aren't just for luggage. Your dog should always have a sturdy collar with home address and telephone number on a tag.

3. Pack — and plan — for your dog. Just like you, dog like the comforts of home: their own bedding, toys, brush, even their own dishes. And of course, don't forget the pooper scoopers.

4. Use some restraint. Just as humans need seatbelts, animals need some form of safety restraint when in the car. Before you open the car door, even for a second, make sure the leash is on him and that you have a firm grasp. If not you might find yourself chasing your dog through an unknown environment — or worse — traffic.

5. Dogs love trucks, but…. Dogs love trucks; it's true, if you must put a dog in the bed, get a crate made especially for that purpose — and tie it down tight.

6. Animals get car sick, too. Some people get car sick; so do some animals. If this sounds like your dog, give him a light meal a few hours before you leave and feed him minimally during the drive. Offer him small amounts of water periodically in the hours before the trip. If you can, take along ice cubes, which are easier on your dog than gulping down large amounts of water. (They'll also keep him busy.) If your dog isn't accustomed to car travel or to a carrier, break him in gradually, well in advance of the trip, by taking short trips and using lots of praise.

7. No doggy in the window. Dogs absolutely love to stick their heads out the window and smell the air as it rushes by. Though it's sad to deprive them of this enjoyment, many dogs are injured when road debris or insects fly into their eyes, nostrils or windpipe.

8. Skip the hot dog. Your dog or can't tell you if he's feeling hot or cold, so be aware of the temperature.

9. Take frequent breaks. A dog's legs need to be stretched just like yours do — perhaps twice as much. Your dog also needs water, exercise and potty breaks at regular interval.

10. Take a walk. When you arrive, take a long walk to scope out the territory and allow fido to mark his.

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