Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Traveling with a Cat by Plane

Flying with cats is not as hard as it sounds. If your cat can nap, your cat can fly. Learning how to travel with your cat on an airplane helps you to create a safe, predictable, and calm passage for your kitty when the fur flies. Prepare well in advance: For cats that will travel in the cabin, buy an airline-approved airplane pet carrier. The best cat carriers for airplane travel are durably sewn with lots of air vents; a zippered top and side exit door; a soft, removable bottom pad; and several flat internal and external pockets. Resist the temptation to buy a "designer" carrier. The flash draws undesirable attention.
For cats that will travel in cargo, buy a sturdy, airline-approved cargo crate with a good door latch. It should have detachable food and water receptacles. Since cats are small, it is advised that they ride in cabin. Only for multiple cats who will share a container, or irrepressibly vociferous cats, is cargo travel an advisable method.
All carriers should have attachments for paperwork and name tags. Use the airplane pet carrier to transport your cat to various destinations prior to flight. It is best if these destinations terminate simply in a return home, or a visit to a friend the cat likes. If you use the airline carrier to take your cat to the vet, such journeys may engender fear and loathing.
Gradually increase the duration of the time your cat spends in the carrier, taking longer journeys to desirable destinations. Include a toy, but avoid food, because cats generally should not eat on airplane trips. (If your cat must travel in cargo on longer flights, including water may be advisable.)
Keep the carrier open in the house and put enticing cat toys (not treats) in it to make your cat happy to enter it, but never use this carrier as a day crate.

When Booking Flights:

Choose an airline that permits cats and clarify whether your cat will travel in cabin or in cargo. Some airlines restrict cargo flights during some times of the year. Most importantly, when booking, get a locator number for your cat that is associated with your seat number.

Starter Trips:

If an itinerant lifestyle with your cat is part of your plan, take a short flight to a nearby destination as a starter flight. Your cat will learn that the long wait ends in eventual release from the carrier, and will be better prepared for an upcoming long flight.

Food and Meds in Flight:

Feed your cat at least five hours in advance of travel, and avoid giving water within one hour of flight. (Water may be advisable for cats traveling in cargo on long flights.) For cats traveling in cabin, offer ice cubes or a sip of water toward the end of the flight as needed.
If your cat takes meds, schedule the doses according to your travel schedule. Remember that you will have to show up at least an hour before the flight, and once you enter the airport, your cat will be in the carrier.
Unless your vet says otherwise, tranquilizers are not advisable for high altitudes. Train, don't drug, your pet into being a good traveler.

Bladder and Bowels:

Try to keep things calm at home before the flight so your cat uses the litter box normally. Unless your cat is leash-trained, he will not be able to evacuate again until you arrive at the new home or hotel. Most cats do not evacuate while on a leash, and most prefer to use a box.
ALWAYS make sure your cat is secure in the carrier or crate and does not bolt. Keep the door closed until you are in an enclosed space. Cats are very slippery when scared. Your cat should wear an ID collar at all times (minus extra easily-snagged charms and ornaments). If you must take him out, hold extra tight. Traffic around airports is intense and extremely dangerous.

In The Airport Building:

For cats traveling in cargo in a crate, the check-in counter staff will advise you where to deliver your cat for transport. If your cat is flying in cabin, you will carry him through gate security. You must remove him from his carrier and carry him through the metal detectors, allowing his bag to go through the X-ray machine.
NEVER allow your cat to pass through the X-ray machine -- it is not permitted and is highly dangerous.


Make sure your cat's rabies inoculations are up to date and keep a vet's health record in your travel paperwork.

On the Plane:

Slide your carrier under the seat in front. Check on your cat now and then, but avoid exciting him to make him feel he may be let out to play. If your cat is traveling in cargo, check-in staff will advise you where to pick him up after the flight.

For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Thundershirt works!
Traveling with an anxious pup? Thunderstorms making your dog quite scared? We recommend trying out the Thundershirt (endorsed by most veterinarians!)

ThunderShirt's patented design applies a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for over 80% of dogs. No need for training or medication!

Petco 5k9 Pet Event- San Rafael, CA- August 4, 2013

Sunday August 4th, 2013

The San Francisco area Petco 5k9 Walk Run Presented by Purina ProPlan will be held at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael, CA.
5k  - 8:00 am
1mile - 9:00 am
Expo  - 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

The event starts and finishes at  the Marin Center Fairgrounds and Lagoon Park -
10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903.

Print Mail-In Entry Form

Who’s on my team?!
If you a 5k9 team captain you can see your other members by CLICKING HERE.

Refund & Transfer Policies
All participant entries are non-refundable.
Transfers will be allowed up to 14 days prior to an event by clicking HERE.  After that time entry transfers will not be accommodated.

For more info, please visit Petco 5k9.

For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cesar's Answers- Dog scared of air travel

Dog Problem: Dog Terrified of Air Travel
Dear Cesar,
My dog is scared to death of flying on planes, and I'm trying to find a solution that doesn't involve drugging him.
When he was just a year old, we took him on his first flight. It was 5.5 hours long and he did beautifully. He was happy, calm, quiet, and he played with his kong and other people on the flight both going and coming. (He's certified as my Service Dog, so he gets to sit on my lap or on the floor -- he doesn't have to be in a carrier.)
Then, a couple months after that, I took him on a 2.5 hour flight and I expected he would do just as well, but he had a major panic/anxiety attack during the entire flight there and back. There was nothing I could do or say to calm him down or snap him out of it -- he was completely shut down. (I have no fear of flying, BTW, so I know it wasn't my energy he was picking up on.)
I was so gutted by seeing him in such a deep state of distress -- it seemed like his heart was going to stop or something! I travel a lot for both work and leisure, so it's pretty much not an option to stop flying or to leave him at home.
Last summer I took him on a 1-hour flight to San Francisco. I bought him a Thundershirt and Mutt Muffs to see if that would help. It took a little bit of the edge off, but he was still shaking and drooling uncontrollably and he was generally inconsolable.
I've spoken to his holistic vet about this dilemma (and about how I refuse to give him sedatives or other drugs.) I've tried every "natural" remedy I can think of, but nothing has worked thus far.
I have a couple of flights coming up soon, and I'm just trying to see if there's anything else out there that I can try.
Let me know if you have any suggestions.
- Lydia Zaki

Cesar's Tips to Help Dog Overcome Fear of Air Travel
Flying in a plane is an unnatural experience for most dogs. The air pressure alone can affect a dogs’ balance and cause anxiety or uneasiness. While your dog has flown peacefully before, he may be having a reaction now based on a variety of reasons, different smells, sounds, etc. In order to help ease him into the flying experience, I recommend that you try using an association by scent technique with lavender oil.
You can place a drop of lavender oil on your hands and let your dog pick up the scent. It is best to do this in association with pleasant experiences, such as feeding time and before walks. Do this as often as possible prior to the flight, and then once on the plane, allow your dog to smell the lavender scent again. The positive association will allow him to calm down and remain relaxed.
It is also important to keep yourself calm and relaxed during the flight. You may not fear flying, but the anxiety you feel FOR him is also affecting him. Your dog will pick up on your tension and manifest it into his own behavior. Your dog’s anxiety will pass and the flight will end, so it is crucial that you remain calm and assertive throughout.

Read more:

For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pets and Distracted Driving: What You Need to Know

Pets and Distracted Driving: What You Need to Know

Pet Vehicle RestraintsWhen we hear the term “distracted driving,” most of us think of the obvious culprits - eating, putting on makeup, talking on the phone, texting, or rummaging for a dropped object on the car floor.   However, few of us consider the driving distraction leaving our furry friends unsecured can cause.

This fact is underscored by a 2011 Kurgo and AAA survey of people who frequently drive with their pets.  The survey found that, while 64 percent of drivers admitted to engaging in a potentially distracting pet-related activity, and 29 percent admitted to actually being distracted by their pets, a full 84 percent allowed their pets to ride unrestrained.

It’s easy to see how an unrestrained pet could be distracting. An anxious dog may cry uncontrollably, pace, or seek comfort from its owner. A dog or cat who becomes suddenly frightened might jump or run around unpredictably.  A curious dog might burst into the front seat to get a better view of something interesting he spotted from the back window. A small dog or cat might try to burrow under your seat, or worse—into your lap.

In the survey, drivers admitted to doing everything from petting their dogs, carrying them on their laps, to playing with them and even giving them treats while driving. Three percent of drivers admitted to taking photos of their dogs as they drove.

Restraining pets in vehicles isn’t just about pets causing distracted driving. It’s about what can happen during an accident. Unrestrained pets can be seriously injured or killed if they are thrown from a vehicle. Pets carried on drivers’ laps can be crushed by the impact of an airbag. Frightened pets have been known to escape vehicles and run away in shock after accidents. And unsecured pets can actually put everyone in the car in danger; during an accident, a 60-pound dog can suddenly become the equivalent of a 2,700-pound projectile.

Keeping your pet and human passengers safe and secure is as easy as using the right safety restraint. From pet seatbelts or pet car seats, to crates or front seat pet barriers, there is an option out there that will suit your pet and your vehicle. Taking the time to find it may save you the hassle and danger of driving distracted. It may make trips with your pets more fun and worry-free. And it just may save the life your pet - or your own.

To learn more on properly restraining your pet in a vehicle, click here.
- See more at:

For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cesar's best travel tips

Bringing your dog on vacation with you just adds to the fun and alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you’re on the road. You need to do your homework on dog travel though. Planes and cars aren’t designed with dogs in mind, and you need to know what to expect when you reach your final destination. By planning your dog travel ahead of time, you can make the vacation a truly relaxing time for you and your dog. Here are my best dog travel tips to help make that happen:

Crating your dog for travel

It’s natural to feel bad about crating your dog. After all, you wouldn’t want to be crated. But don’t project your feelings onto your dog. They don’t mind the crate and some even feel safer in one.
  • The most important thing you can do is make sure your dog has been well exercised before he goes in the crate. If he’s burned off his excess energy, he’ll be more inclined to rest.
  • Make sure there’s nothing in the crate that can harm your dog. Leashes and loose collars are especially dangerous items that could present a strangling hazard.
  • Keep your energy positive. Don’t present the crate like it’s a prison. Show the dog the crate and open the door. Don’t shove the dog in the crate. Let him go into the crate on his own. When he’s inside and comfortable, you can close the door. Walk away with good energy and body language. If you affect a sad voice and say things like “Don’t be sad. Mommy and Daddy will be back soon,” your dog is going to think something’s wrong and get anxious.
  • Come back in 15 minutes. This will ease the dog’s separation anxiety next time you crate him. But don’t take him out of the crate. Remember that you’re not projecting that the crate is a bad thing. Just open the door and he can come out when he’s ready. See my training video on how to crate your dog for travel.

Driving with your dog

It’s usually a good idea to crate or harness your dog when riding in the car. You’ll be less distracted while driving which is safer for both of you. It also prevents your dog from becoming a projectile if you have to stop fast, also reducing the chance of injury for both of you. Speaking of projectiles, don’t feed your dog a lot before the trip as they are prone to motion sickness. Don’t feed your dog while you’re moving either. Wait until there’s a break and you can give her a small snack, preferably high in protein. It’s also good to spend a little time playing or walking during the break to get rid of some pent-up energy. And of course, don’t leave your dog in a parked car, especially when it’s warm out. Even with the window cracked open, the car can quickly turn into an oven, and your dog will get dehydrated. See article Dog Is My Co-Pilot (And Other Bad Ideas).

Taking your dog on an airplane

The first thing you need to do is check with the airline for their rules regarding pet travel. Many require a health certificate and may have other rules you haven’t thought of that you don’t want to be surprised with at the airport. Your dog will almost certainly be traveling in a crate and it will probably make everyone’s lives easier if you crate your dog before you enter the chaos of the airport.
As with car travel, it’s smart not to start the trip on a full stomach or bladder (dogs should fast for at least 6 hours before the trip) and to make a pit stop as close to the departure time as possible. However, make sure your dog has access to water—enough to keep hydrated but not full.
If your dog isn’t flying with you in the main cabin, don’t have a big goodbye scene. You’ll only upset your dog. If you’re calm, he’ll be calm.

To medicate or not to medicate your dog

With almost as large a selection of pharmaceuticals as humans, it may be tempting to medicate your dog with a sedative or calmative for the trip. I don’t recommend medicating your dog. You don’t want to start a pattern that ends with a reliance on pills for you or your pet. You possess all the tools to keep your pet calm with your voice, attitude, and body language.

Keeping your dog calm during travel

Make sure you bring your dog’s blankie or his favorite stuffed animal, toy, bone—any item which is familiar to your dog and will comfort and relax him.
For a little extra calm, try rubbing a little lavender oil between your hands and give your pet a little aromatherapy or deep tissue massage at the beginning of your dog’s spine or base of her head.

Staying in a hotel with your dog

As with flying, a little preemptive research is in order. Does the hotel you’re considering even allow pets? Better to find out before you arrive. Pet-welcoming hotels like Best Western will be prepared for your visit, and can even recommend parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly activities. At other hotels, the only thing fit for a dog is the Continental breakfast. It can also be embarrassing if your dog barks or howls in the new room. Don’t inadvertently encourage the barking with affection. Stay calm and assertive and take him out for some exercise to calm him.

Go on a long walk once you reach the hotel

A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state during any long trip. Your dog may growl at strangers and that’s ok. It’s natural for your dog to be a little nervous around new people. She’s out of her element and may growl. This isn’t because she’s being aggressive, but because she’s a little freaked out and needs reassurance that everything’s under control. If you pull her away from the new person, you’re indicating that there is something wrong and she’ll freak out more. Again, be calm and assertive and show your dog that you’ve got it covered.

How to enter the hotel room with your dog

Now you are ready to go to your hotel room. Enter first. Get the dog to stay where he is. Don’t let him wander around or he’ll assume control of the situation. While you are unpacking, showering, or making phone calls, he is waiting. The only one who should move in the environment is you—until you are ready, then you initiate activity. It’s important that your scent is everywhere before the dog settles in.

Exploring a new place

You’re away from home and that means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, and potential food items for your dog. Make sure you’re vigilant wherever you go about what’s around, especially in the area of things your dogs could ingest. Also, especially around the holidays, there may be a lot of lights, decorations, and snout-level treats that can be distracting or dangerous for your pooch. Keep an eye on him and the new place.

Can't bring your dog along?

Find a good substitute pack. In a kennel, your dog should be immediately adopted as a member of the pack. The staff should be able to get your dog focused on what is there for him – and not leave him mourning over the fact that you left. It is a big deal for a dog to detach himself from a pack. The new pack should equal or better the pack he just left. See Finding the Right Doggie Daycare.
Traveling with a dog can be a fun experience for both of you. Just remember to be as prepared as possible wherever you go. The more homework you do on dog travel, the fewer surprises there will be. Don’t forget to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and above all, of course, be calm and assertive. A balanced dog makes the best travel companion.
Happy travels!

Read more:

For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sam's Travel Tips

sam-brown_traveling-with-petsThere's nothing more exciting than knowing that you're going on a vacation. Even a weekend away brings a big smile, that is, until you have to break it to your pet that you're going away -- without him.

These days travelers are saying no to the guilt, the droopy eyes, and the crying and bringing their pets with them.

Here are some pet-friendly travel tips that are sure to make traveling with your pet a good experience for the whole family.

Testing the Waters
 -- Try out day trips and overnighters before taking your pet on a full vacation or a long road trip.
-- Get your pet used to his carrier as early as possible by putting him in it at night; that way he won't associate the carrier solely with trips to the vet.

Traveling by CarDogs love road trips! This is by far the most popular way of traveling with your pet. Here are some rules to live by:
--  Fido can't call shot gun! The air-bag deployment could be dangerous for your dog; don't let her ride in the front seat.
-- There are seatbelts for dogs: keeping your dog loose in the car is a danger to the driver because loose objects can become projectiles in the event of an accident. Just like people, dogs need to wear seat belts.
--  Purchase a harness at your local pet store that attaches to the actual seat belts in your car.
--  Cats should always be in a carrier. Restrain the carrier by pulling a seatbelt over the length of the carrier so it doesn't bounce around.
-- For the well-being of the animal, stop every 2 hours for a bathroom break and a run. It's good to bring a Frisbee or a ball, as well as toys, treats and water.

Air travel
 -- The Humane Society recommends that you do not use air travel unless absolutely necessary.
-- Every airline has different rules about traveling with pets. If your dog is small enough to stand in a carrier that can go under the seat in front of you, you may be able to carry the dog on board, but there are no guarantees.
-- Always call the airline first to make sure they will allow pets on your flight. Since the airline has a very limited number of animals, don't assume there will be enough space.
-- There's a fee to fly your pet, even though they're not taking a seat. Costs are, on average, around $500 round-trip in the cabin.

An Even Better Option
There's an airline JUST FOR PETS. Pet Airways! It's the only airline that flies pets exclusively -- or as they call them, pawsengers.
-- They fly out of smaller, regional airports in a few US cities (NY, Chicago, LA).
-- First Class Experience: You check them in at the Pet Lounge, they board in carriers, and ride in the cabin where they are checked on every 15 minutes
-- Pricing examples: NY to Ft. Lauderdale is $250 each way, NY to Chicago is $99 each way.
-- Frequent Flyer Miles: Pets can earn them on JetBlue, Virgin and Continental.

Airline Tips
--  Cargo Hold: the least-recommended.
--  Take direct flights. Minimize the wear and tear on your pet.
-- Travel on the same flight as your animal.
--  Be aware of temperature extremes. In the fall and winter, travel in the afternoon when temps are at their highest. In summer months, travel in the morning or at night when it's no so hot.

Hotels-- "Pet-friendly" has a very broad definition in the hotel world. Call them directly and ask.
--  What is the charge for bringing a pet?
--  Will there be a cleaning fee that may or may not be refundable?
--  Are there weight restrictions, breed restrictions?
--  May I leave them unattended in the room while I'm gone for the day?

General Travel Tips
--  Make sure pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
-- Have 2 ID tags on your pet's collar: the normal ID tag plus a tag with the information of where you are staying (hotel, friend's address, etc.).
-- Keep an updated photo of your pet in case you do get separated, so you can locate him more easily.
--  Imbedded microchips with all your pet's information are extremely popular with owners that travel consistently with their pet.
For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Making your vehicle the best for your dog

According to AAA 80% of dog lovers take their dogs on the road with them frequently. A dog sticking his head out the window and letting his tongue flap in the air is an iconic American image that stands alongside baseball and apple pie. Dogs love to travel, and we love to travel with them. However, if you are going to take your dog for a ride, you should do so in a vehicle that is comfortable for him and convenient for you.
Dog lovers have made their desire for dog-friendly vehicles known to car manufacturers. Vehicles designed with dogs in mind will have features that a typical car cannot match. Features of a dog-friendly by design car can include a built-in kennel, spill-proof water bowl, stowable ramp and even a cooling system designed with your dog in mind. This type of vehicle is certainly one way to go…
Unfortunately, buying a new dog-friendly vehicle is often too expensive. A simpler solution may be to find a vehicle that suits your dog’s unique needs. Here are some key factors to consider when searching for, or driving, your dogmobile:

The Fur Problem

While some car seat materials resist dog hair better than others, the best way to keep dog hair off of your seats is to groom your dog. Brush your dog’s coat well before you take her for a ride, and brush her hair very well if you are about to take her on a lengthy road trip. Use a vacuum or lint roller to remove dog hair that does find its way onto your seats. You may also buy a dog seat cover to help protect your seats.

Potty Problems

Your dog may forget his potty training on the open road, especially if he is not used to riding in a car. Dog seat covers can help protect your seats from an “accident,” and most are machine-washable. If he does go on the seat, then standard cleaning products can handle the mess, and you should try to always have some in your car. Walking your dog before a car trip (and frequently during longer road trips) can be an extremely helpful preventative measure as well.

Doggy is not Happy…

Although most dogs are calm during car rides, this may not be the case with yours. She may not stop barking, may attempt to jump into your lap while you’re driving, or move wildly around the car interior. You should attempt to correct this behavior through training if possible. If all else fails, consider using a dog carrier, but only as a last resort.

Avoid the Dog Clown Car

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and luckily so do vehicles. Make sure that your chosen vehicle is large enough to comfortably accommodate both your dog and a dog carrier. You will be thankful that you can fit a dog carrier in your car when you need to get your sick dog to the vet immediately. Don’t forget that you can manipulate the seats of your vehicle to create extra space.
Cars designed to be dog-friendly are excellent conveniences for dog lovers, but they are not the only path to a satisfying driving experience with your dog. Take steps that are within your budget to acquire a vehicle that suits your dog, or to modify a vehicle that you already own. It may not have that new car smell, but when your dog sticks her head out the window you will still turn plenty of heads.

From Cesar's website

For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!


Pet Friendly Vail Colorado is up! : - check it out for great places to stay and things to do with your pet... One thing you might want to take a look at is the article on safety with your pet when hiking in the mount...ains - it was a real eye-opener... researched it a lot: .
Want to see the big map and check out all the cities online? it's!
For more info and events, visit Pet Friendly North America!

Monday, July 22, 2013

pet friendly vail colorado

Pet Friendly Vail Colorado is up! : - check it out for great places to stay and things to do with your pet... One thing you might want to take a look at is the article on safety with your pet when hiking in the mountains - it was a real eye-opener... researched it alot.
Want to see the big map and check out all the cities online? it's

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Check out this article "Know the Signs Your Cat May Be Sick" from the Catalyst Council!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

We all know we've seen our animals look like this when it's time to go for a car ride . . . . So be sure to make it worth their while (and yours) by visiting
to our webpages about fun activities, restaurants, and hotels for you and your furry animals!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pet Friendly Phoenix is up!

pet friendly phoenix
Pet friendly phoenix is up! : - check it out for great places to stay and things to do with your pet... HOWEVER you can also use the site if you are NOT bringing a pet - check out the Things To Do page.... and have fun when you are not working in phoenix!
Want to see the big map and check out all the cities online? it's

It's Monday morning -- and we feel just like you . . . so enjoy this wonderful Garfield comic strip!