Archive for Traveling

Pet Peeve: Pet Does Not Mean Dog

Pet Peeve: Pet Does Not Mean Dog
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Do you have pet peeves? I don’t really have anything I would call a pet peeve because if something bothers me, I try to ignore it and move on. No point in wasting energy on something I probably can’t change. However, lately, one thing is becoming a “pet” peeve for me and that thing is the way people use the word pet when they really mean dog.

Pet Peeve: Pet Does Not Mean DogDon’t get me wrong. I love dogs. I have had many over the years and am a sucker for every dog or puppy I meet. I just don’t currently have one. For me, cats fit my current lifestyle better and that’s what brings me to my pet peeve.

I recently attended the BlogPaws pet blogging conference in Chandler, AZ. I wanted to take my cat, Christy Paws (who is the star of her own blog) with me. I wanted to take her last year when the conference was in Nashville but it just didn’t work out. This year, a photo on her blog was nominated for a Nose-to-Nose Award so I thought it would be especially fun to have her there.

I decided to drive for a couple of reasons, but the main one was that I wanted to stop in Orange County to take care of some business and visit some friends. I decided to stay there two nights in each direction.

What Does Pet Friendly Mean?

I started looking for a pet friendly hotel through gopetfriendly.com. Sounds easy, right? Well, it should be. Their website is packed full of info with a great listing of hotels.

I started calling hotels in the area where I wanted to stay. Go Pet Friendly says pet policies change so to confirm with each hotel.

That’s when the fun began and this pet peeve began taking shape. One after one, even though they claimed to be “pet” friendly, said they do not accept cats. In fact, the only “pets” they accept are dogs. Then why don’t you say you are dog friendly and save those of us with other pets some phone calls? One even went so far as to say they only accept service dogs. Um, excuse me, that’s the law, that’s not even dog friendly.

Have you seen the Trivago ad about the pet friendly hotel and the rabbit convention? That really hit home for me that there are other traveling pets out there.

Pet Peeve: Just what does pet friendly mean?After a few frustrating phone calls to hotels, I contacted a friend who often travels with her cat, and asked her for a recommendation. I called both Red Roof Inn and La Quinta Inns and Suites. I wasn’t happy with the customer service from Red Roof Inn’s general manager so decided on La Quinta Inns and Suites in Santa Ana. They were over the top friendly, helpful and welcoming to all pets.

My Pet Peeve

This trend of pet means dog isn’t limited to pet friendly hotels. I’ve seen pet photo contests that were just for dogs, pet food that is dog food, and pet product suppliers that only have things for dogs.

So, my pet peeve is this: When did pet become synonymous for dog? If you look up synonyms for dog, pet is not one of them. A pet is any domestic or tamed animal or bird that is kept for companionship or pleasure — not just dogs. Using pet when you mean dog can be frustrating and confusing to pet parents of pets other than dogs. It’s OK to say dog when you mean dog.

If you own cats or other pets, have you experienced this? Am I the only one who has noticed or is frustrated by it?


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What’s the Best Way to Identify Your Pet?

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Making Sure Others Can Identify Your Pet Can Save Its Life

Every year, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized at shelters across the United States. The vast majority of these have been picked up as strays and have no identification. Sadly, one in three family pets will get lost during its lifetime, and without identification, around 90 percent will not return home. Many of those euthanized are beloved family members that just couldn’t be found by their owners.

Cats can wear collars with identification tagsPets become “strays” for lots of reasons. Dogs dig out of their yard or jump the fence. Cats and dogs slip out of doors accidentally left open. They may escape from the car during travel. They may simply slip out of their collars during a walk and run off. Many pets get lost on the 4th of July when they become frightened by fireworks.

Responsible pet owners want to be proactive about protecting their four-legged family members. What can you do to identify your pet to make sure your cat or dog doesn’t add to the statistics in local shelters?

Identification Tags

Identification tags can be the best and quickest way for your pet to find its way home. Your pet should wear its collar at all times, not just when walking outdoors or traveling. All too often, pets slip out without their collars because owners think they don’t need them in the house.

Use ID tags to identify your pet

Cat’s should wear a collar with identification too! They need a special breakaway collar made for cats, but it is still the best way to get them returned when they become lost.

As a first level of defense, your pet’s ID tag could mean a quick return home. Be sure your pet ID tag has all the essential information. Your pet’s name IS NOT one of those essential items! Putting your pets name on its tag can even be unsafe – it can make it easier for someone to steal it. Here’s the information you should put on your pet’s tag.

  1. Your phone number is the most important thing on your pet’s tag.
  2. Your name is the second most important so that a caller can be sure they have the right person.
  3. Your city and state will let whoever finds your pet know just how far the animal has traveled and how much additional help it may or may not need beyond simply taking it in and calling the owner.
  4. If your pet requires any special medical attention, it’s extremely important to include it on his ID tag. Some pet owners even include the phrase “Needs Medication” or “Special Medical Needs” on their pet’s tags regardless of whether the animal actually has a health issue or not.

Microchipping to Identify Your Pet

The problem with ID tags is that collars break, they are easily removed by thieves, and owners don’t put them on in the house.

Microchip to help identify your pet

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice

Microchipping can help in these situations. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected just under the skin. The device carries a number, and this number is plugged into a database that includes the name and contact information of a pet’s owner. AVID and HomeAgain are the largest sellers of the microchips. It is critical that you keep your information up-to-date in the database.

But don’t think that because your pet is microchipped it doesn’t need a collar. As effective as these chips are, they are not fool proof and are actually only effective if the pet is taken to a vet or facility that can read the chip to get the information off of it. More and more shelters are able to read the chips but if your pet is found by someone who doesn’t turn it into the shelter, they don’t have the ability to read the chip and may not even know it is there.

Common microchip brands and how to contact them:

Manufacturer Telephone Number Website
24 PetWatch 1-866-597-2424 www.24petwatch.com
AKC 1-800-252-7894 www.akccar.com
AVID 1-800-336-2843 www.avidid.com
Banfield 1-877-567-8738 www.banfield.net
HomeAgain 1-888-466-3242 www.homeagain.com
Bayer ResQ 1-877-738-5465 www.petlink.pet

Helpful Links

How Pet Microchipping Works

Why Microchip Your Pet

Does My Cat Need a Collar?


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Traveling with Your Cat by Car

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Years ago, I traveled between my home in California and one in Nevada. I would be at each home for several weeks at a time so it was a necessity that I take my cat with me. At the time, Hollywood was my only cat so this was an easier, and entirely different, undertaking than it would be today with my five failed fosters.

Traveling with your cat

Yes, she is outdoors. Once she was leash trained, it was easy to teach her to stay in a particular area, always under supervision, of course.

The trip was a long one – about seven hours – so I really didn’t want her in a carrier all that time. I had already trained her to walk on a leash and harness which was the smartest thing I could have done as far as travelling goes. When we stopped at rest stops, she would get out, walk around and take care of business. She rode on a pillow on the console between the seats in front of the air conditioner and was a happy camper. She was a wonderful traveling companion! She wasn’t always the confident traveler but it didn’t take her long to get comfortable. I had a small SUV so I had a back area where I could put her open carrier and a litter box. She would move from the front to her carrier when traffic, especially big semis driving by, would frighten her. This was much preferred by me to her crawling under the driver’s seat! Eventually, even the semis didn’t rattle her and she sat happily beside me for the whole trip. With all the concern over animal safety during an accident now, I don’t know that I would do things quite the same, but we enjoyed our travels together back then and it just wouldn’t have been the same with her confined to her carrier.

Tips for Traveling with Your Cat by Car

  1. Leash and halter train your cat
  2. Get it used to being in the car before the trip
  3. Make sure your cat is accustomed to being confined in its carrier
  4. Be patient and reassuring
  5. Be sure your cat will be welcome everywhere you plan to stop
  6. Be sure your cat has identification and consider microchipping
  7. Never open your car door or window when your cat is unrestrained
  8. Feed at least 3-4 hours before you start your trip
  9. Carry water, bowls and your cat’s regular food
  10. Take along some of your cat’s favorite toys

 


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Traveling with Your Pet — Before You Go

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If you are planning a vacation that includes the family pet (yes, some people travel with their cats and even their pocket pets), there are several things you should do before you go. Proper planning can mean the difference between a fun experience for all involved or a disaster.

Traveling with Your Pet — What You Should Know Before You Go!

 Traveling with your pet? There are some things you should consider before you go that can mean the difference between a fun experience and disaster.

Prepare

Make sure your pet is healthy. A trip to the vet for a check up is recommended. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date, for pets that require them, and you have health records. These ID Tagsrecords are required for airline travel.

Have a strong collar with ID tags. Consider having your dog or cat microchipped for additional protection and bring a photo of your pet with you.

A crate is the best way to keep your pet safe in the car, is required for airline travel and will keep him out of trouble in a hotel room. If your pet is not already crate trained, when you are ready to leave for vacation is not the time to start! Dogs can panic when unexpectedly enclosed in a crate. If you keep it positive and introduce it slowly, the crate can become your pet’s safe haven.

If you are traveling by car, get your pet used to this ahead of time. Many animals are terrified of riding in the car but this fear can be overcome with patient training.

Plan

If you are planning to travel by air, be sure you know the airline’s policy regarding pets. Pets are not allowed on Amtrak or Greyhound buses. Some cruise lines allow pets.

Fishing_Weekend_Vacation_Pickup_Truck_Clipart-01LTTraveling by car is usually the best way to vacation with your pet. You’ll want to plot out your rest stops and plan to stop every 3-4 hours. Knowing where a few veterinary hospitals are along the way is also a good idea and could save your pet’s life if a sudden illness occurs.

Pet-friendly hotels usually do more than just allow pets. (Pet friendly often really means dog friendly so be sure you know your hotel’s specific pet policy.) Many offer lots of special amenities like special dog beds, turndown service (perhaps with a treat on the pillow), dog spa services and doggie day care. Know what amenities are available and what cost is involved. Many hotels charge a non-refundable pet deposit upon arrival, then a daily pet fee. Some even tack on a special cleaning fee. Bottom line, before you choose, do your research.

Many professional pet sitters do in-room sitting at hotels. Some hotels don’t allow you to leave your pet alone in the room. If you find you want to do an activity that isn’t pet-friendly, Pet Sitters International can help you locate a sitter pretty much anywhere you travel!

Traveling with your pet? There are some things you should consider before you go that can mean the difference between a fun experience and disaster.


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