Pets

How to Safely Travel with Your Pets

Safely Traveling With PetsAs a pet owner you may think your trip will be more enjoyable if you can bring Fido along, but, traveling is very stressful for your pets. Before you leave, you should make sure your pet is microchipped and has your information printed on their calendar. Otherwise the type of trip you take will have a heavy influence on your pet care.

Traveling by Plane

You should avoid this type of a trip unless Fido can fit under your seat. However, if this isn’t possible and you must still take Fido with you, make sure you heed these tips for proper pet care:

  • Do your best to book a direct flight whenever possible so it’s less likely Fido gets left on the tarmac or mishandled by baggage personnel during a layover.
  • Buy a USDA-approved shipping crate that’s big enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably. Line it with bedding (e.g. shredded paper or towels) to absorb accidents. Tape a small pouch of dried food outside the crate so Fido can be fed if he gets hungry. Also freeze a small dish or tray of water so it won’t spill but is there for them when they’re thirsty. Never lock the crate because you want airline personnel to be able to open it in case of an emergency. Mark the crate with the words “Live Animal,” and your name, cell phone number, and photo of your pet – carry this same photo with you as well in case Fido escapes from his carrier.

Taking a Road Trip

You can’t expect to just load Fido in your backseat and drive away, especially if you’re driving a long distance or will be gone for a long time. Instead, you should heed these pet care tips to help you prepare for a smooth and safe trip:

  • Take Fido on short drives before spending a lot of time in the car. If you plan to cross state lines, make sure you have his rabies vaccination record with you as some states will want to see this.
  • Use a well-ventilated crate or carrier to keep Fido safe and secure. Make sure it’s big enough for him to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s secure enough that it won’t slide or shift if you stop abruptly. If you don’t use a crate, make sure Fido doesn’t ride with his head outside the window, and stays harnessed in the back seat.
  • Make sure you have food (never feed him in a moving vehicle), bottled water (unfamiliar water can make his stomach uncomfortable), a bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication, first-aid supplies, and any travel documents you need with you. Take along his favorite toy or pillow too as these things will give him a sense of familiarity.
  • Never leave Fido alone in a parked vehicle, especially on a hot day. Even if you have your windows open, your parked vehicle can quickly turn into a furnace and Fido will develop heatstroke. In cold weather, your car acts like a refrigerator in which he could freeze to death if you’re not careful.

Before you Leave Home

Make an appointment with Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care Center for Fido to get a checkup within 10 days of leaving on your trip. This is a great time to make sure his vaccinations are up-to-date and obtain a health certificate. You can also ask about ways to help your pet relax if you suspect they’ll be afraid, anxious or uncomfortable and get other pet care tips.

Picture Credit: Doxieone

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How Music Affects Your Dog

Different Types of Music Affect a Dog's BehaviorMusic has a powerful effect on people – providing us with adrenaline, relaxation, and a boost to our mood. Research shows music also helps people with Parkinson’s disease and those who have suffered from a stroke. All of this is because music stimulates lost neurological deficits. Since dogs have much better hearing than humans, it should come as no surprise that music has a power effect on your pets too.

How Different Genres Impact Your Dog

For quite some time people have known that classical music has a positive effect on pets – calming and soothing them by lowering their heart rate. However, this isn’t the only genre that positively affects them. Researchers believe that reggae and soft rock can be more calming than classical music. They also found that rock made them feel more anxious and agitated because it accelerated their body’s symptoms of nervousness (e.g. shaking). The one genre that seemingly has very little impact on our pets is pop music.

This is probably because pets have an uncanny ability to determine pitch and tone in songs. Of course, we’ve seen this throughout history since most influential artists have their dogs to thank for some of their best work. For instance, Richard Wilhelm Wagner’ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Peps would respond differently to the various melodies he’d play in different keys. This is what led to the concept of matching music to emotions. Then there was Dr. George Robinson Sinclair, the organist at Hereford Cathedral in London. He had a Bulldog named Dan who kept his choir participants in tune by growling at them when they sang out of tune.

How we can use Music to Help our Pets

Pets can’t only help us with music, but we can help them too. Playing music is an effective way to calm them during stressful situations like fireworks or traveling in a vehicle. Some trainers are even playing classical music during training sessions to help them concentrate better. This is because music truly does have a powerful effect on your dog thanks to his advanced hearing anatomy and inherited traits that have led him to have an essential connection to music.

When you don’t know what type of music to play for your dog, simply look at what researchers have discovered. There are even veterinary neurologists like Susan Wagner who have developed albums specifically for our pets today. One of the most popular dog music albums is “Through a Dog’s Ear” by Lisa Spector. Consider playing these when you think your dog may need them.

Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Care Center encourages this link between our pets and the music we play, saying it’s important to use music to help your pets ease their stress. This is just one of the many holistic health treatments they recommend as these treatments are better for your dog. Now that you can see how much they truly do care about your dog, get in touch with them the next time you’re in search of a vet.

Picture Credit: Avi Naim

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