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Let's Go on a Pet-cation!

 

Summer never seems to be long enough to pack in all the activities we want to do. Instead, we have to make the most of the time we have. So, think about including your pets in the summer fun! There are many vacations or stay-cations options your pets can join in, such as a camping trip, road trip or even a visit to a swanky pet-friendly hotel. Once your travel plans are booked, there are a few things you need to do before you leave!

Nala Vet

Vet Visit

Your pet should visit their vet before you leave to update their vaccinations and get any medication they may need during the trip. You can also ask for their records to take with you in case of an emergency.

Bella k9

Identification

If you don’t already, you could also get your pet microchipped while at the vet. Having multiple forms of identification for your pet is recommended in case they lose their tag while hiking on trails or strutting down city streets.

Bergan Car Harness

Training

Some pets love car rides, while others are terrified. So how long your pet will be in the car needs to be factored into the planning of your trip. You can help your pet become more comfortable by starting with smaller car rides and giving them little rewards when they behave properly during the ride.

Beagle Bed

Know your Pet

The breed, age, and temperament of your pet will help you determine what items to bring on your trip. Maybe bring some engaging toys to keep them entertained on the ride, identify how often your pet needs to relieve themselves, and recognize how quickly your pet may overheat along with how long it takes to cool down. You can also bring items that bring them comfort, such as a favorite toy or blanket.

Moses Fetch

Packing

You would think it would be quick and simple to pack everything your pet needs for the trip, but we compiled a list of necessities just in case you left something off yours!

  • Collar, leash, and/or harness: Depending on what you’re planning to do on your trip determines the type of collar, leash, and/or harness you take with you. Make sure to bring multiples of everything for your different plans or in case something gets worn out in all the fun and needs replaced.
  • Reflective items: If your plans include any night adventures, consider getting your pet reflective and/or light up collars and leashes. Lazer Brite® offers various fun and colorful patterns that are reflective and can be seen from up to 600 feet away.
  • Identification items: As previously mentioned, your pet should have identification and even back-up identification. The EZ Change® ID clip makes moving your pet’s identification from collar to collar easier!
  • Food/water & bowls: Treats are also a great idea! To keep your pet strong and energized during your trip and explorations, make sure to bring along bowls to enjoy a quick water break! The Bergan® Travel Bowl is easy to carry and take along for long journeys.
  • Medication/pest protection: Your pet’s health should be consistently maintained so don’t forget their medications. Also bring medical supplies in case your pet gets injured, such as gauze. The Hideaway™ collar should be added to your collection to hold your pet’s flea and tick collar to protect them against any nearby pests.
  • Toys: Keeping your pet engaged and active is important for their health and happiness, so bring along Rascals® Fetch toys to offer your pet all kinds of options to play with in the car, in the woods, in the city and even in water!
  • Tie out: some locations, such as campsites, require you to tie out your pet, so pack any combination of stake and cable that can handle the strength of your pet, like the Titan® Stake and Cable Tie Out Combo.
  • Sleeping supplies: When your pet goes to lie their head down at night, they should also be comfortable. Bring along their bed, blanket, crate, or anything they use for sleeping.
  • Cleaning supplies: Pets make messes and most seem to be masters at finding messes, so bring along cleaning supplies, such as towels and anything to clean up their bathroom messes — like the Bergan® poo bags.
  • Travel supplies: Your pet should also be secured when they get in the car. The Bergan® Auto Harness buckles your pet into their seat to keep them and you safe during car rides. A carrier may be another option to keep your pet safe.
  • Miscellaneous: It all depends on where you’re going! A coat may be necessary for cold climates, while sunblock should be packed for sunny days.

It’s hard to believe that pets require all of these things, but these products will make it an enjoyable trip for the whole family. We converted the previous list into a printable checklist to make getting ready for your summer fun easier!

Pet Packing List

 

Curious as a Cat

Cats seem to have a natural curiosity about them. They’re always sticking their nose in your business and getting into places they don’t belong. You can see them tilt their head and widen their eyes, as if they are about to open up and ask you about life’s greatest mysteries. Sometimes they start meowing and you have to do a double take to make sure they didn’t just speak to you. January 22 is dedicated to taking a second to assess those quizzical looks and answer your cat’s burning questions.

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We’ve brainstormed five questions your cat may have on the tip of his tongue.    

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I know we both like the couch, but I definitely use it more than you do. Why can’t I use my claws on it?

Cats scratch for a variety of reasons, including helping to remove the dead outer layer of their claws and to mark their territory. Scratching is natural for your cat and he should be encouraged to do it in designated places. Deter him from furniture and carpets by using tapes and sprays to train him. Encourage him to use scratching posts, scratch pads and toys made for scratching, like the Turbo Scratcher®. Regularly trimming a cat’s nails will help to decrease scratching damage.

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You’re always leaving me alone to suffer from boredom. What am I supposed to do all day while you’re gone?

It can be difficult to leave your cat home alone and you may wonder what trouble he will cause while you’re out. Providing him with a cat tree or perch that looks out a window will help to keep him occupied throughout the day. Bringing a second cat into your home will give him a buddy he can play with. Keeping toys around for him to play with while you’re away will help to keep him entertained. Toys that can easily be played with on his own will keep him engaged longer. The Mega Turbo™ Scratcher will keep him mentally engaged with a scratch pad on one side, an interactive movable ball on the other and a ball he can bat around the outside track. Puzzles and snacks can help to keep him occupied throughout the day. To challenge your cat you can add the Turbo Treat Ball™, which dispenses snacks if he spins it just right. 

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I would really like to play with the ‘toys’ I can see from the windows. Why won’t you let me explore the outdoors?

The outdoors can be dangerous for a cat. There are larger predators, traffic, diseases, parasites and more to worry about. If you choose to take your cat out make sure you take precautionary measures to protect him. Building a catio, an enclosed safe place, allows him to safely explore a limited portion of the outdoors. He could join the family on evening walks with a good, properly fit harness, leash and a little training. If you do take him outside make sure he is up-to-date on his shots to protect him from diseases and parasites.

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That man in the white coat pokes me. Why do you take me to such a cruel person?

Regular veterinary trips are a crucial part of caring for a cat, no matter how much he hates it. A vet provides vaccinations that will protect him from diseases, like feline leukemia and upper respiratory infections. They may also provide treatments to prevent or treat fleas, ticks, mites and worms. A vet can help walk you through any questions or concerns you may have about your cat and give the best advice for his health.  

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You’re always using that cooing voice and trying to squeeze me, sometimes it holds up dinner. I know I’m cute, but what is that about?

It’s called a purrfect love, and sometimes you just need a little kitty cuddle. 

Training your puppy means a happier, healthier life

By Kelly Diehl, DVM, MS
Science Writer and Researcher
Morris Animal Foundation

OBTIf you and your family have chosen to bring a puppy into your life – congratulations! Dogs bring love and joy to their families, but choosing a puppy is the easy part. The real challenge begins when we bring our furry friends home and they start learning how to be a part of the family. Time spent training your dog from the day he or she comes home is an investment in a beautiful relationship that will last a lifetime.

Having a well-trained dog not only is good for your furniture, your neighbors, your mail carrier and your sanity, it also is beneficial for your dog. Both animal behaviorists and human psychologists recognize the benefits of a close human-animal bond, and positive reinforcement training provides a way for dogs and their human companions to strengthen that bond. An additional benefit is the mental and physical stimulation that training provides for dogs. (Training your dog also can save their life in more ways than one. Multiple studies have shown that behavior problems are one of the primary reasons people relinquish their dog to an animal shelter.)

House training a puppy is essential, but even learning some simple commands such as “sit,” “lie down,” and “stay” can make a positive difference in how a new puppy (or dog) integrates into a household.  Using positive reinforcement is critical; dogs don’t understand hitting or yelling, and often will become more fearful or aggressive with punishment.

In addition to positive reinforcement, most trainers and veterinarians recommend crate training your puppy. Dogs in the wild naturally seek out dens for shelter and protection. A crate gives your puppy a safe space they can retreat to, and that you can use to aid in house training your pup and preventing destructive behavior.

Keeping a consistent schedule, from feeding times to potty breaks, is important for puppies. When you first get your puppy, they need to be taken out frequently to urinate and defecate. Picking a specific area that becomes the designated bathroom and rewarding your puppy as soon as they eliminate are other helpful tips for training. Trainers recommend that you reward your puppy while still outside; don’t wait until you’re back in the house.

There is no getting around the fact that you will need to purchase new gear for your pup. All dogs need a leash and collar, as well as either ceramic or metal food and water bowls. Puppies have a strong instinct to chew, so providing age and size appropriate materials is important. Toys and other play items designed for dogs enrich their environment and provide welcome diversions.

Avoid giving your puppy old, used household items to chew on or play with; dogs are not good at knowing that the old slipper you gave them to play with is different than your expensive Italian stiletto shoes!

From a safety perspective, a well-trained puppy is a safer puppy, particularly around other dogs and people. But even training can’t prevent every incident. Remember to provide your dog with identification just in case the unthinkable happens and your dog is lost. Implanted microchips are the most high-tech options on the market, but even something as simple as a customized dog tag can provide identification. Identification can mean the difference between bringing your dog home and losing it forever.

The companionship dogs provide us is priceless. Bonding with our furry friends through positive training strengthens and enhances that relationship. For dog-training resources, check with your veterinarian, your local humane organization, or visit American Animal Hospital Association’s Healthy Pet for tips and references.

Training with Chain and Nylon Dog Collars

Choosing the right training collar is the secret to an enjoyable training experience.Chain And Nylon Training Dog Collars

Training with chain is a safe, effective tool with proper use. Chain training dog collars offer a great choice for dogs that need the maximum strength that chain offers. They are argon welded and chrome plated for durability. Prong dog collars simulate a natural pinch on the neck from the dog’s mother to correct unwanted behavior. Chain dog leashes are excellent for dogs that tend to chew on nylon leashes. Chain will not tarnish, rust or break but should not be used for tie out. Remember, you are training the dog to react to the crisp sound of the chain.

The Check Training Collar™ has a limited-closure chain combined with a nylon collar and is also available with a convenient buckle.  Nylon training dog collars offer an alternative to chain. Round nylon training collars are perfect for dogs with sensitive skin. The limited-closure No Slip® collars, with and without buckle, are excellent for dogs that easily slip their collar. Nylon collars also provide gentle correction training that is an excellent way to build a relationship with your dog.  They’re an excellent choice for owners that want a wide variety of color and size options.

Make sure to use these products property to maximize the training experience.  Coastal pet offers several training products and demonstrational videos on how to use the products correctly. 

Tips for Bringing Home and Training a New Kitten

Americans own more than 75 million cats, which means 3Kittenblog0 – 37% of US households have at least one cat as a pet (2015 – 2016 APPA National Pet Owner Survey). Making a kitten a member of the family can be a breeze with a few helpful tips.

Kitten Proof Your Home

A kitten is curious and may get into things he isn’t supposed to be in. Make sure small items he can chew and risk choking on are picked up off the floor and put in a proper place out of reach. Keep all cabinets securely closed and check the home for house plants that could be dangerous to a cat. Loose cords should be tied back so he doesn’t trip over or chew them. Create a safe, quiet room where he can be put when unsupervised in the house or go when he feels overwhelmed.

Use a Cat Carrier

When adopting a kitten make sure to bring a cat carrier along. A cat carrier provides a safe place for him during the adoption transition and introduces him to a carrier at a young age. Make the carrier a part of his safe place by leaving the carrier in the safe room as a place to sleep and hide. As he is introduced to new rooms in the home take the carrier as a safe hiding place if something in the room spooks him. Taking him on frequent car rides in a Bergan® Comfort Carrier™, which can be secured in the vehicle with the Seat-Belt Loop™ for safety, can help make future travel and vet visits easier on him.

Litterbox Training

Cats have a natural instinct to bury their waste and should start to use the litterbox on their own. Keep the litterbox in the corner of his safe room so he always knows where to find it. Encourage him to use the litterbox by placing him in the box after meals and using his paw to dig in the litter.

Play

Playtime helps exercise a kitten’s body and mind, and will help to make him part of the family. When at home engage him in play by using a laser light or a toy securely attached to a plastic pole. When no one is home to play with him make sure he has toys he can bat around and interact with on his own. A Turbo Scratcher® allows him to spin the ball and doubles as a scratch pad.

Check out Coastal Pet’s offering of Soft-sided Carriers and cat toys.