Sometimes, you just need a vacation!
The year has just begun, but the middle of winter persistently surrounds us. Some snowfall here and there, a few 0 degree days, school breaks just around the corner, and now a couple of plane tickets in your hand. Relaxing beaches and adventurous fun are awaiting you and your family - ALL of your family, including the ones with fur!
So what happens next?
Traveling puts everyone to the test, and that will include your pet! New sights, sounds, and people are bound to excite, so be ready to make necessary decisions when introducing your dog to a new environment. Not every relative will be thrilled if you stay over with a stressed and barking dog, and not every dog will be up to hiking and rigorous activity so far away from their comfortable, cozy home.
Choosing the vacation destination is the key to your family's emotional survival - will there be camping and down-to-earth exploration? Beaches and boardwalks? Mountain lodges and lakes?
For your pet, the best destination is one they will be comfortable with and where they can still receive the care they need. Take your desirable vacation and your pet's personality into account, and you're bound to have a great experience together!
Still making a decision? Here are the Top 10 Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations.
Air Travel Preparations
There are many articles out there debating the pros and cons of air travel for pets - it is best to do your research and consult a vet before flying.
Smaller animals may be allowed to fly commercial, in carriers that can fit under the seat, but larger pets will travel in airline-approved crates. Here is a helpful checklist for preparing your pet's kennel and other important steps.
To ease your worries, there are also special pet services that will assist with transport, and can even pick-up your pet at home. Most of these services are domestic, but excellent at guaranteeing your pet travels safely.
Pet Express and Air Animal are two excellent examples of helpful transport companies that provide travel crates, pick-up from home, airline check in, transportation from airport to destination, and more.
Fun In The Sun!
Whether you and your pet look forward to relaxation or non-stop play, being away from home shouldn't interrupt daily routine. When you arrive, allow your pet to explore their new environment. For a smooth transition, regularly scheduled meals and walks are necessary to keep your dog happy, just like at home! Bringing a favorite toy, bone, or anything familiar will also help to comfort them during all the changes.
After this adjustment period, begin your adventures and enjoy a getaway with your best furry friend! Always have a back-up in case your pet cannot accompany you to certain places, such as local kennels or play groups. If you want to avoid downtime, look into any special pet-friendly activities offered in the area. Dog canoeing or kayaking? Canine camp getaways? Competitions or dog sledding? The choice is yours!
No matter what, we wish you a happy and safe trip! Enjoy a great adventure with your buddy, and we'll see you when you return, hopefully with many stories to tell!
Dog owners know the feeling when that first "tumble weed" rolls by, you're in for the fur apocalypse. Sure, we all know dogs have fur, and that fur has to go somewhere, but why does shedding make it seem like you're living with an entire wolf pack instead of just one dog?
Most owners know that double-coated breeds tend to blow their coat seasonally. Usually twice to three times a year. Winter tundra dogs, such as a Siberian Husky, Samoyed, or Akita, come full-fluffed and ready to withstand Northern climates. But double-coated breeds also range from Labradors to Scottish Terriers. Each breed has a unique coat for a purpose, and a seasonal blow of the coat means a turnover of the fine, fluffy hairs that are closest to the skin. This is called the undercoat, this is the fur that sheds. It helps insulate the dog, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The topcoat consists of tougher hair which does not shed, and protects them from the sun's rays and bug bites.
Ok So I Understand That, But Why So Much Of It?
Since shedding is seasonal, pets who spend more time outdoors will have their shedding schedule in-sync with the weather. If your dog spends more time indoors, the warmth of the house can actually cause them to shed more. And yes, that can mean year-round!
Excessive shedding can also be caused by diet, and other nutritional or environmental factors. Stress is another big culprit, for instance if a dog is newly adopted it might mean they need an adjustment period to settle in to their new home.
What Can I Do To Minimize Shedding?
If you already know your dog sheds seasonally, you are a step ahead! Although, it's also important to be aware if your dog's coat cycle is thrown off. Massachusetts was hit hard by the winter of 2015, which also meant delayed shedding. It might take another year for coats to get their rhythm back on track. But if you see the signs of an impending fur-storm, make sure to...
*Brush, brush, brush! You should have a grooming routine, especially when the coat starts blowing. Either several times a week, or even daily. The type of brush will depend on the type of fur.
*Bathing regularly can help loosen the undercoat during shedding season. At the end of a coat blow it will help to stimulate the skin and push out the final hairs.
*Manage where your dog spends their time in the house. Fur everywhere is a hassle, so keeping pets off the furniture or not allowing them in certain rooms will make cleaning more efficient.
*DO NOT SHAVE A DOUBLE-COATED BREED. Many think shaving will eliminate the problem, which is wrong. Double-Coated breeds should never be shaved unless it is due to matting or medical reasons. Dogs need their undercoat to stay warm or cool and to protect their skin. A shaved undercoat will take a long time to grow back completely, if at all. Shaving does not guarantee less shedding, and can damage a dog's natural coat significantly.
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