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Catching a Wave with Your Dog

waves, dogs and you

Dogs love to run and play, including on the beach. However, there are some tips to follow, especially to keep dogs safe. Be sure to know whether or not to have a pet on a leash, times they are allowed on the beach and if there are permits needed.

Pet-Friendly Beaches

Knowing where to take the family, including the dogs, before going, will keep frustrations down.

Wyoming – Morad Park allows dogs to run completely free and swim through the North Platte River.

WisconsinPleasant Prairie Dog Swim at Prairie Springs Park offers a designated water park for dogs along the north shore.

Washington has 40 different beaches that dogs may vacation with the family. However, Richmond Beach Saltwater Park is an entirely off the leash park that allows dogs to swim freely.

UtahWillow Creek Park, Dog Park- This park has a floating deck strictly for dogs to enjoy the water.

Texas – Katy Dog Park was made specifically with dogs in mind. This unique park has dog streams, showers and fountains for pets. There are areas specifically for large and small dogs.

Tennessee provides a dedicated pet-friendly park that allows large and small dogs to run, play and swim safely. Located in Knoxville, PetSafe Dog Park at Tommy Schumpert Park, has something for everyone.

South Carolina has over 15 dog-friendly parks and beach destinations. However, Sullivan’s Island allows pets on the beach off the leash during certain times of the day. Be sure to get a permit for the animal or else they are not allowed.

Oregon offers a lot to the family of pets. With over 20 parks and beaches to choose from, the family dog will have a good time running along the shoreline. However, an off the leash park is hard to come by. One of the few in this state is the Sandy River Delta Trailhead.

Tips for Safety at the Beach

  • Going into the water is fun, however, putting a life vest on the pet, can save its life.
  • Do not let the pets drink salt water. Keep a fresh water supply on hand.
  • Cold water should never be drunk by dogs. Keep it lukewarm to keep digestive problems down.
  • Sunscreen should be applied to nose and ears.
  • Swimming in calm waters keeps dogs out of trouble.

Bring the following to the beach

  • Dog food and water
  • Frisbee
  • Umbrella
  • Towels
  • First aid kit

Do not forget to bring bags to collect feces in once the dog has used the restroom. Be sure to have a dog collar with ID tag on at all times.


Remember, not all dogs can naturally swim. Swimming is a talent that is learned and honed with practice. Before going to the beach, teach every dog how to paddle and to be comfortable in deep waters. Breeds that cannot swim: Shih-Tzus, Daschunds, English and French Bulldogs, Terriers and Pugs.

Dogs have skin issues just as humans do. Therefore, know what causes allergic reactions and how to treat it immediately. Dogs that have terrible allergies: American Hairless Terrier, Chinese Crested, Kerry Blue Terrier, Maltese and Poodle. Make sure that all dogs are thoroughly washed once done playing on the beach.

Getting to the Destination Safely

safe to fly, safe for pet

Leaving an animal alone in a house while the family takes a vacation, could be atrocious. However, taking the animal along can also bring up safety hazards. Therefore, preparing the car and pet for the journey, will ensure safety for all within the car.

Things to Pack in the Car

A person would not forget to pack their toothbrush; the same should go for the essentials for pets. As a general rule, bring the following:

Dog food should be inside a safe travel container. The Container Store offers the Pet Travel-Tainer. Have water readily available. Petsmart offers the e.g. Top Paw Travel Pet Water Bottle in 11 and 22-ounce selections.

Toys are a comfort and time-consuming activity for the pet. Make sure to pack multiple toys to keep the dog happy.

Line the area in which the pet will be traveling in. offers the K&H Pet Products Economy Cargo Cover for Sports Utility Vehicles.

If the pet is going to be riding in the backseat so that luggage can go in the backend, using something similar to a car seat saver, will keep seats from pet hair.

Have a blanket that the animal enjoys as well, to make the ride seem more like home.

Safety Restraints

Loose objects in a car become projectiles when the breaks must be pressed quickly. If the animal is not inside of a carrier, then they need to have a seatbelt or harness on, to properly guard them.

Seat-belts – Using a harness and the car’s seat-belt system, can keep any size dog from going through the window, thrashing about or moving freely. Clickit Utility has been crash-tested and proven to be top of the line of harnesses. However, the best option to get the family pet safely to the destination is a crate.

Safety Tips and Tricks

  • Do not let the pet roam around in the car.
  • The front seat is for humans only.
  • All hands, feet, tails and heads must be inside of the car at all times.
  • Take multiple rest stops. The general rule is that a rest stop is needed, every two hours.
  • Never leave the pet alone in a car. The temperature inside of a vehicle rises quickly. High temperatures can cause dehydration, heatstroke and death.
  • Be prepared for motion sickness and other illnesses along the way.
  • Talk to the veterinarian before leaving; they can assist with preparing a first aid kit with needed medicines.

Take a few test drives before the long haul. The first test should be no more than thirty minutes long. While on the test drive, watch the pets’ behavior, this will be the first line of defense for sickness, anxiety and hyperactivity.

Remember, when traveling, the important thing is to get there safely. Being prepared for the worst can give the pet owner, peace of mind. Plan out what to bring on the trip and recheck to make sure everything is packed the day of the trip.

Treating Travel Anxiety and Car Sickness in Dogs

car sickness and travel anxiety

Traveling has been known to make many people sick; dogs are no different. Anxiety and carsickness happen when the dog is not familiar with their surroundings. Anxiety and carsickness can cause trauma to the family pet if not watched and treated immediately.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety and Carsickness

Knowing how the dog acts, can help its owner realize that something is wrong with them. Watch the dog for any of the following symptoms when traveling:

  • Uncontrollable urination or diarrhea
  • Becomes lethargic or seems to have no ability to move
  • Drooling more than normal
  • Dry heaving or vomiting
  • Pacing and whining
  • Becomes agitated
  • Panting uncontrollably
  • Trembling, even when talked to
  • Tail tucked beneath legs
  • Biting on their legs or tail
  • Out of control behavior

Stop the vehicle as soon as possible after these signs and symptoms start to happen. Making the animal ride for longer than needed will result in a worsening of conditions.

Preventing Anxiety and Carsickness

Training a dog is vital to keeping anxiety and carsickness away. Starting with small steps, teach the animal to enjoy the car ride. The first thing to do is, start by letting the dog roam the car while it is parked. Let the dog freely sniff and search in the back seat or the back end, this will allow for getting acclimated. Do not forget to praise the dog, this allows them to know how well they are doing. Reinforcing good behavior while sitting in the car with a treat, will help the dog realize they are doing a good thing.

After the dog has gotten used to the car, bring in a towel, bowl of food and water as well as the dog’s favorite chew toy. Bringing these items will make the dog feel safe whenever trips are taken. Once all of those items are in the car, put a dog harness on with the seat belt and go for a short drive. The first trip should be somewhere the dog can run afterward.

Backup Plan

Unfortunately, there are times when calming down the pet is hard to without some assistance. The best method to try first is the homeopathic path. Using lavender oil has a calming effect that is used on babies to make them sleep. Rubbing lavender oil on the forehead area lightly while talking to the dog calms them down quickly. More information about homeopathic remedies is located at Dog Naturally. While medicine is highly discouraged, it could be the only route left to take. Speak with a veterinarian about the way the dog acts and the options that can be taken to keep anxiety and carsickness at bay.

Remember, making the animal get into the car without letting them explore can cause problems with their system, causing sickness. Be patient with the dog and treat them as if they are a child, praising them for good behavior. Do not forget to bring along things from home to comfort them.

Parks that Dogs Enjoy

dogs in parks

Being one with nature is animal instinct for dogs. They enjoy roaming about and sniffing around to see what is out there. When booking a family vacation with the dogs, think about taking a walk through the national parks.

A Few Parks Throughout the United States

Alabama – Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail
Follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr. through the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. The trail is open 24 hours a day to visitors with starting points in Selma, Lowndes County and the City of Montgomery. Pets are not allowed in visitor centers or museums, however, along the trail, they must be on a leash at all times.

Colorado – Dinosaur National Monument
Walk where the dinosaurs once roamed, enjoy a thrilling ride along the Yampa River or enjoy a night camping out at Green River. While the monument is open 24 hours a day, heed all park alerts when visiting, some roads may be closed due to inclement weather. Pets are only allowed on the trails of Cold Desert, Plug Hat, Iron Springs Bench Overlook and Echo Park, as long as they are on a leash.

Georgia – Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
The beautiful Chattahoochee River is a site for everyone to see. The park is open 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. Those wanting to see the Island Ford Visitor Contact Station will need to go between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pets are allowed only on the trails while on a short leash.

Louisiana – Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Nothing compares to walking along a battlefield trail in the South. There are six different locations to choose from. However, pets must be attended to at all times. Unfortunately, they are not allowed at the French Quarter Visitor Center in New Orleans.

Pennsylvania – Independence National Historical Park
Enjoying the day filled with historical sites and lots of walking space for dogs. Most buildings are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dogs must be on a leash and are not permitted inside of buildings.

Texas – Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
The United States’ 36th President wanted to make sure that his history was offered to all that wished to know about him. Pet access is very limited, however where they are allowed, they must be on a leash and must be kept away from the buildings in the park.

Virginia – Historic Jamestowne, Colonial National Historical Park
Step inside the national park where John Smith and Pocahontas brought together two different cultures. Pets may visit any place except for the visitor center and the museums as long as they are on a leash.

Nature’s beauty can be seen throughout the United States and most of it, accepts pets. For a complete listing of all parks, visit the National Park Service. Remember, follow all rules and regulations so that no fines are imposed. Lastly, if permits are required, please get them before traversing inside the parks.

Airlines Care about Your Pets

doginmysuitcase flight with pets

Summers can be brutal in many areas, especially in the South. Most airline carriers have taken part in keeping pets safe by implementing pet-safe programs. For example, American Airlines imposes an embargo at 85 degrees Fahrenheit if the animal is checked in or shipped as cargo. Another carrier, Delta Air, provides a Summer Live Animal Program that picks up animals by vans and delivers the animal to the destination area. Airlines impose these embargoes to keep from dehydration, heatstroke and death.

United States Airline Information

Knowing the rules and regulations of an airline carrier can help with planning a trip. Nonetheless, knowing that the airline will keep the family pet safe is the most important thing.

Air Canada – They have restrictions on breeds, when animals can fly and how to ship through cargo.

ExpressJet Airlines- They do not impose an embargo on what animals may fly but they do have strict limits on how many live animals may be shipped as cargo.

Frontier Airlines- This company no longer allows pets to fly as checked baggage or cargo.
US Airways- This company does not allow cargo or check-in pets.

Symptoms and Signs of Heatstroke and Dehydration

The importance of embargoes during summer and extreme winter temperatures are there to keep animals safe. However, even with precautions, things do happen.


  • Panting excessively
  • Tongue is unusually bright red
  • Heart rate is increased- Normal range is between 60 and 140 beats per minute
  • Breathing heavily
  • Thick saliva or vomiting
  • Expression is anxious or panicked
  • Disorientation


  • Excessive urination
  • Very little urination is also a sign
  • Sticky dry gums
  • Skin elasticity- the skin should bounce back to normal, if it does not and sticks up or does not move, then the fluid is too low in the dog’s body
  • Eyes are sunken in
  • LethargicIn

In the Event of Heatstroke and Dehydration

Although most know not to leave any animal in the car or closed spaces during high temperatures, sometimes it is forgotten. Therefore, getting the pet out of sunlight or a hot area, is the first step in cooling the animal down. Cool cloths should be placed upon the head and in the front of the neck immediately to bring the animals’ temperature down. Leave the eyes, nose and mouth area open so that the animal does not panic and can breathe. Keep water running onto the belly of the animal, this will help in cooling down the internal organs. As soon as the pet is cooled off enough that their breathing is not erratic, take them to the veterinarian.Summer’s high heat can cause dehydration quickly. Make sure the animal has fresh, clean water at all times and clean the water bowl daily, so bacteria are not an issue. Do not exercise with the animal in extreme heat of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. When trying to re-hydrate, use Pedialyte mixed with water to provide nutrients lost. Keep the animal in a cool place while transporting to the veterinarian.

Top Tips for Traveling on an Airplane

pet top tips for trips

Traveling can be hard at times, especially if bringing a pet along for the trip. However, planning for the trip can enable smooth sailing along the way. Never leave the house without planning in-depth, how every person including pets will be getting to the final destination.

Tips for Planning the Trip


A Unique Way to Fly

unique to fly doginmysuitcase

Flying with animals can be tricky; however, airlines and the federal agencies that govern the airways, have set rules and regulations to help streamline the process. Keeping to the laws, can ensure that pets are safely transported through the air.

Each airline may set their rules and regulations within reason. Some airlines have even gone as far as setting up frequent pet flyer programs.

Flyer Programs

Jetpaws from JetBlue gives frequent flyers, 300 points per trip that never expire. Virgin Atlantic rewards pets by giving frequent flyers, 1,000 points that help build up to free international flights. Although Continental only gives one point per dollar spent on a pet flying in cargo space, they give customers the ability to track their pet in real time.


The best policy when booking a flight is to call the airline. It is inadvisable to go in blindly, because of the fees and certain restrictions each carrier has set. Below are a few examples of how different the charges can be.
AirTran was bought out by Southwest Airlines. However, they still have their rules for flying with pets that differ from Southwest. Animals are not allowed in the cargo area. The carrier for the pet must be able to fit under the seat, and the animal must not be sick. There is a pet and carrier weight restriction of 40 pounds or less and the fee for the animal is $65 for one-way.

Allegiant – If flying within the mainland of the United States, pets may ride in the cabin with the passenger. Pets are not allowed out of the carrier, and there is a $100 fee for each way.

American Airlines – Each aircraft has its policy, however if a pet is allowed to ride in the cabin, it must be a small pet. The pet must be at least eight weeks old, be sickness free and in a carrier. A charge of $125 for carry-on pets will apply.

Delta – Depending upon the location, a pet to carry on, will cost between $75 and $250. Not all countries are permitted to have a pet in the cabin of the flight.

jetBlue – The pet may ride in the cabin, as long as, the pet carrier and pet does not exceed 20 pounds. There is a $100 one-way fee that is non-refundable.

Southwest – When traveling within the United States, pets may ride in the cabin, but they must be a small cat or dog. There is a $95 one-way fee for all pets.

Remember, call ahead to make sure pets are allowed, get all of the pertinent details so that planning the family vacation can be done without problems. Do not forget to sign up for frequent flyer miles and use them. Lastly, do not hesitate to ask for special accommodations when it comes to a service animal.

Having a Sick Dog is No Fun

not fun with sickness doginmysuitcase

Planning ahead can help when disaster strikes. Whether or not there is an emergency, following emergency protocol can assist in keeping vacations, drama free.

Planning for Sickness

Know where the veterinarians are located- In the event that the family pet gets sick, it is best to know where non-emergency veterinarians are. If a smartphone is available, Google Maps or Scout will come in handy.

Prepare a medical history packet- Include past medical history problems, a list of all medications, primary veterinarian’s phone number, fax number and e-mail, if available. However, do not forget to list any allergies that the dog may have.

Know where the emergency hospitals are in each city – In case of a dire emergency, know where the emergency veterinarian hospitals are located. Having a GPS enabled phone or an actual GPS within the car, will allow for pre-programming destinations. Excellent resources to help with locating veterinarians and emergency hospitals are: American Animal Hospital Association and American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

Have emergency numbers written down – This is different than the medical history records and list. Emergency numbers to have written down are: National Animal Poison Control.

The local pet shelters in case of a human emergency and backup pet sitter information within the city that the family will be staying.


First Aid Kit

Preparing for all kinds of sickness is the best course of action. In any first aid kit for a dog, the following should be included:

Toys- most people would not think of this, but for an animal, a soft teddy bear that they have had for years, can make them feel safe

How to Handle Certain Issues?

Seizures are one of the most common signs of eating poison. However, it could also be a symptom of: liver disease, kidney disease, blood sugar issues, anemia, stroke, encephalitis and brain cancer. The ability to understand that a seizure could be life threatening, will help in knowing what to do.

Broken Bones can be devastating to an animal. Therefore, knowing how to treat and act around the pet, can keep the pet calm and from causing further damage.

Remember, to be prepared and to know how to handle situations, this will cut down on the panic and keep the dog calm. Do not hesitate to call a veterinarian in case of an emergency and know where they are located.

Manners are the be Minded

rules should be considered

Etiquette is key to everything humans do in life; this includes traveling. As a guest at someone’s home, a person would not belch out loud without saying “excuse me” or, at least, showing remorse for the act. The same goes for families with animals. Manners are a must in order to keep civility.

Code of Conduct

Bear in mind, that business do not have to allow pets into their establishment, but some do, be nice to those that allow it. Make sure that the animal is trained, it would be highly rude to allow the animal to run amuck. While all dogs are not service dogs, their code of training is of the highest standard. International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) sets standards for allowing trained animals public access. While most pet owners do go to obedience training with their animals, it is a good rule of thumb to follow some of the manner tips:

The IAADP also encourages owners to test their animal. It is important that the animal knows different sites, people and venues before going out for a trip.

General Rules

Having a set schedule for animals can assist in keeping things orderly. One of the things that sets a dog off quickly is not getting fed on time or being allowed to go to the restroom. It is important that a pet and its owner know the routine. An owner should always pick up after the animal has used the bathroom.

Another general rule to follow is, leash and signage laws within the city the family will be visiting. Many states prohibit animals from running around freely. Therefore, before booking a hotel and setting out on the journey, know all the answers. For example, Minnesota is a state that allows any person to impound any unlicensed dog running around without a leash. While Arizona only requires dogs to be restrained by a leash, in a car, cage or enclosure device near a park or public school. For more information, go to Animallaw.

Speaking of calling ahead, make sure the hotel and place of business that will be used, are pet-friendly. Every hotel has pet policies and can be found on their websites. For example, Holiday Inn Express in Kilgore, TX allows service animals only. However, Even Hotels, another Intercontinental Hotel Groups hotel, requires a $75 deposit to allow service animals only.

One last thing, respect other people’s space, the worst thing is to cause someone with an allergy to pet dander, to go into shock. Do not walk in a location without knowing that pets are allows. Individual stores like Old Navy, Bebe, Free People, Gap, Restoration Hardware, Home Depot and LUSH Cosmetics are pet-friendly. An excellent resource for pet-friendly locations in Canada and worldwide is

Taking a Trip to Canada with Your Dog

Trip to Canada with Your Dog doginsuitcase

Traveling can be a rewarding experience, especially with the animals along for the ride. Canada is a vast country with beautiful destinations and wonderful entertainment. Pet-friendly areas can make the journey to Canada special. Although, certain steps and precautions should be handled before going on the trip.

Crossing the Border

Just as a human needs a passport and proper vaccinations, so does the pet. In general, the dog will need to have a rabies vaccination certificate in English or French, identification of what type of animal it is, date of immunization, trade name, the serial number of licensed vaccine and duration of immunity. The pet will also need a medical certification of health, stating the pet is healthy and has no diseases.

Once at the border, be prepared to show proper papers and to go through an inspection. There are two fees associated with the inspection:

Therefore, if bringing in pet food, be sure that it follows regulations. The Health of Animals Regulations has set the following standards:

Another thing that is wise to know, is the restricted breed list. Ontario and Toronto, Canada does not allow: Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers.

Suggestions of Great Places to Stay in Canada

A family vacation is unique when traveling with a pet. Canada offers many hotels and attractions that are pet-friendly. The country in whole tries to accommodate a family with pets, so that the vacation is enjoyable.

Nova Scotia – Offers multiple hotels that are pet-friendly and two wonderful pets welcomed attractions. Point Pleasant Park is an “off the leash” park, where the pets get to roam freely, while the family gets to enjoy the views of the ocean. When the family is ready to eat, bring the pet along and eat at The Foggy Goggle. They allow pets on the patio as well as provide chew toys.

British Columbia – Another magnificent destination is Victoria. This city has 47 hotels, 12 attractions and 10 restaurants that are pet-friendly. High End Dog, a bakery, which caters to dogs is one stop not to miss on the family adventures. Take a hike at Admiralty Point, which is an easy hiking trail that takes an hour and a half to finish.

Alberta – Offers many attractions for pets throughout the area. For dogs that like to run freely, The Oxbows Off Leash Dog Park, is one of many parks to scour.

No matter where the family decides to head off to in Canada, there are plenty of adventures waiting. More information for a pet-friendly trip to Canada can be found at Just remember to take care of the necessary items like rabies certification and pet kits before heading out of town. Lastly, do not forget to test to make sure the pet can handle the long distance trip.