There’s no place like home for the holidays! Traveling with your pets can be a very exciting adventure…especially during the winter months. When traveling with pets during this holiday season there are even more things to consider too!
Here are the TOP 5 TRAVEL TIPS for winter-wanderings with your four-legged family:
1. PET EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Anything can happen; especially when having to stop for frequent potty breaks. Having a small first aid kit for your pet that includes things like clean water, a bowl, extra leash, baby wipes to clean off paws, Neosporen-type ointment, gauze squares, paper towels, and tweezers can be helpful in the event of a small accident. Also the addresses and phone numbers for emergency
animal hospitals along your route in the case of a big accident can be very helpful, or at the very least, put your mind at ease.
Making sure you have a current Rabies Certificate and up to date vaccine certificate is very
helpful when crossing state lines; depending on where you are traveling to, an Interstate Health
Certificate or an International Health Certificate may be needed. Certain pet-friendly hotels will
want documents like the Rabies Certificate as well to make sure they are allowing vaccinated
fur-guests into the rooms. Plus in the event that a stop at a vets office is necessary during your
trip, you can present them with Fido’s vaccine history.
3. CRATE OR SEAT BELT
Having your pet sit on your lap or ride ‘shotgun’ with you may seem like a good idea, but slippery conditions can be unpredictable due to the weather changing so quickly during this time of year. Having your pet secure in the car is the best option for their safety (and yours)! A kennel, carrier or pet-specific seat belt is a great way to make sure that they don’t go flying in the event of a car accident or sudden stop.
4. ‘BUSY’ PRODUCTS
Providing toys, chews or treats is a great way to make sure your furry family member is occupied during long trips. Making things like a Kong Pupsicle is a great way to keep Rover busy for a while! (soak their kibble in water, smush it into a Kong toy then freeze- VOILA!). You may want to avoid things like stuffed animals that can be destroyed and ingested since you’ll be driving and unable to keep a continuous eye on them.
5. THE ‘USUAL’
Having your pets everyday items are a must for traveling with them. Food and
water bowls, daily medications, food, collar/harness, leash and ID tags are an
absolute must. Having extra bowls, leashes and collars are a really good idea to
have ‘just-in-case’. Absorbent towels and plastic bags are a staple item during the
winter time- nothings worse than a wet dog and 8 more hours to drive!
The 2016 holiday season is here, and with the festive spirit also comes some special consideration for dog owners (come back next week for Holiday Hazards for Cats).
What would the holidays be without all the tasty treats?! Many people are giving or receiving baked goods during the holidays, which depending on the ingredients can pose a health risk to your fur babies. Most of us know by this point to watch out for chocolate and xylitol, but some others we might not be quite so familiar with are: raw bread dough, grapes, raisins, alcohol, and onions.
- Overindulgence, while often originally well-intentioned, can cause severe gastrointestinal upset that may require your pet to be hospitalized. You can try to prevent this by pre-emptively giving out some of your dog’s treats or dog food to guests to eliminate those fatty, spicy, yummy human foods and bones.
- Holiday plants- poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, lilies, and pine trees- all help to fill the home with bright colors and festive smells during the holiday season. Mistletoe can be very toxic to animals. Poinsettia is a holiday favorite most people falsely think of as being extremely toxic, although it can still be quite irritating to our pet’s GI systems.
- Be sure to check to make sure any water additive for your Christmas tree is pet friendly.
- There are often large numbers of visitors throughout the holiday season, and pets can consume medications that family and friends have brought with them. Dogs can be very curious and suitcases and luggage can be an interesting new thing for them to nose through and many are not above chomping or eating medications.
- People often have their medications with them- sometimes even all the medications mixed together in a bag or a daily pill organizer. Keeping all medications closed in a cabinet can help keep you dog safe. Also, asking visitors take medication in a room separate from the pets can be prudent too- this way if a pill is dropped it can be located again before your dog has a chance to eat it.
- Traveling with a list of your medication’s name, milligrams, and the number of pills you have can be extremely helpful in an emergency ingestion situation.
Finally, ornaments, lights, and electrical cords can be enticing for your four legged friends to play with and/or chew. The dangers associated with your dogs’ playing with these can include: lacerations, electrical shock, and foreign body ingestion.
While you cannot always prevent emergencies from happening, we hope this list helps keep your pets safe and happy during the holidays. It can be very helpful to have your veterinarian’s phone number as well as a local emergency hospital phone number pre-programmed into your phone, so if there is an emergency you are prepared. The veterinarians and veterinary staff here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital in Frederick, MD wish you and your fur babies a happy holiday season!
Since we humans have no tails to wag, our best friends have to look elsewhere for signs we feel happy and friendly. A new study indicates dogs can learn to distinguish a smile, even on the faces of some strangers.
This ability to learn to recognize smiling faces may have been important to the success of dogs living with humans, the researchers noted in their study.
Social animals need to be able to read others’ emotions, and the cues they rely upon vary by species, the researchers said. Among humans, facial expressions are vital cues. Dogs (and wolves) also use facial expressions, such as bared teeth to show aggression, as well as postures to communicate with one another, lead researcher Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University and colleagues write in the July issue of the journal Animal Cognition.
But can dogs distinguish between human expressions? Our furry friends do come into close, daily contact with humans, and even though the faces of humans and dogs have different structures, dogs often respond to visual cues from humans, as pet owners can attest.
The researchers trained nine pet dogs using photos of their owners, who were smiling in some of the photos and looking neutral in the others. The dogs were trained to touch their nose to photos of their owner’s smiling face. Only five of the dogs completed this training.
These dogs were then shown photo pairs of smiling and blank-expression faces of unfamiliar people as well as of their owners. When shown photo pairs of either their owner or a stranger who was the same gender as their owner, the dogs selected the smiling faces more often than would be expected if they were randomly choosing a photo.
Dogs may be picking up on obvious differences in facial features between the smiling and blank faces, such as the exposed teeth associated with smiling, according to the researchers.
Although five dogs may seem like a small sample size, it is common for animal cognition studies like this one, according to Monique Udell, who studies canine cognition and behavior at the University of Florida. Udell wasn’t involved with the study.
“Really what matters is the ability of individual subjects to reach criterion. If even one dog can do it reliably (or in this case five), this suggests that dogs are ‘capable’ of making the discrimination,” she told LiveScience. “That doesn’t necessitate that all dogs will be good at it.”
“We know that dogs are very good at picking up on subtle cues given by humans, but often those involve movement and occur in the presence of the actual person. It is interesting that picture discriminations of this type can be trained in dogs as well,” Udell wrote in an email.
The ability to recognize human facial expressions, as well as other human cues, does not appear to be innate. Rather, the dogs acquire it as they come to associate, say, a smile with a reward, like extra doggie treats or affection, according to Udell.
“This study has shown that dogs that live closely with humans are also able to recognize positive facial expressions, indicating that these dogs have acquired the social skills helpful to survive. The ability to learn to discriminate human facial expressions must have helped dogs to adapt to human society,” Nagasawa’s team concluded in the study.
But the dogs’ recognition abilities had limits. In another test, when the gender of the person in the photos switched, the dogs’ performances dropped.
It is possible that facial expressions differ between men and women or that the dogs’ close relationships with their owners interfered with their ability to recognize smiles on the faces of the opposite gender, the researchers write.
You can follow LiveSciencewriter Wynne Parry on Twitter @Wynne_Parry. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your
face to be pure ecstasy.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by
and nuzzle them gently.
A Dog Poem By: Author Unknown
Why does my dog have all those ridges in the roof of the mouth? Using high speed and x-ray videos, researchers at Harvard have determined that when dogs drink they lift water into their mouth and then use these ridges, really called rugae, to hold the water until they swallow it. For the complete article go to: