Monthly Archives: February 2013

Long Car Trips With Dogs

There are many times when we like to take our dogs along with us when we travel. It saves the expense and anxiety associated with boarding your pet. Many hotels are “pet-friendly” and will do their best to help your pet’s stay be comfortable. The following are some tips to make your travel time a fun time.

– Keep a collar with necessary identification on your dog at all times. Keep the leash handy as well.

– To make the experience a positive one, plan ahead and take your dog for frequent car rides that end up in a positive place, such as the dog park. It is especially helpful if your dog’s only car rides are associated with disliked places such as the vets or dog groomers.

– Plan rest stops every 2 hours for stretch breaks, walks to use up pent energy, drinks of water and to allow your pet to relieve himself. Keep a supply of plastic bags for waste removal.

– Make a list of several veterinary hospitals  that are easily accessible along your route and at your destination. Have your dog’s medical records and health certificate with you as well.

– Provide your pet with favorite toys, dog chews, dog bed, water and food bowls and any medications your pet takes. Having new toys may help to keep your dog occupied and interested along the way. Use dog treats sparingly as these may cause stomach upset with the motion of the car.

– Feed your dog a few hours before the trip to avoid possible car sickness.

– Have a pet kennel or crate to carry your pet if needed and to have at your destination.

– A window boot or dog safety seat will add to your dog’s comfort and safety should you turn or stop suddenly.

– Ask your vet about motion sickness medications or those that can calm a hyperactive dog.

If you follow these suggestions, you and your dog will have a safe and comfortable trip. Happy motoring!

Massage Therapy For Your Pet

Who doesn’t love being totally pampered by a full-body massage? It helps the body to relax and improves physical and mental health.  It releases endorphins which are the chemicals produced by your body that relieve pain and make you feel healthy. Massage for your pet offers the same kinds of benefits as it does for us. In addition to the calming effects, massage has been known to increase circulation, muscle tone and mobility which is important to aging pets. Massage also helps to eliminate toxins and waste from your pet’s body. It can improve behavior and makes a skittish pet feel calmer and more secure.

Pet massage is usually performed by a certified animal massage practitioner who has been trained in animal anatomy and movement. The masseuse will consult with you and observe your pet’s behavior. He will choose a type of massage that is custom designed to your pet’s needs. The massage therapist can give you techniques that you can use at home. These might include a friction-type massage where you take the tips of your fingers and make a circular pattern all over your cat or dog’s  body.  You can adjust the pressure by noting how your pet responds. Smaller dogs and cats need a lighter pressure than larger ones. The average massage usually lasts about 30 minutes, but smaller amounts of time at home will still be of benefit and your pet will love it.

It is always best to check with your vet if your pet has any illnesses or injuries to be sure massage will be appropriate for him. Have fun and know you are giving your pet a loving, healthy, and relaxing treat!