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Traveling With Your Dog: Packing Tips & Road Trip Essentials

Tips for Traveling With a Dog
Bringing your dog along on your road trip will undoubtedly always make any vacation more enjoyable — as long as you do it right! Nobody wants to be unprepared in times of emergency or get halfway to the destination just to realize you left some crucial items on your kitchen counter. Whether you’re traveling with a big dog or a small one, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need to make this road trip with your pup one to remember!

Traveling With Your Dog: A Car Ride Rookie
Our four-legged passengers often have varying feelings about car rides in addition to varying experience levels. Some are ecstatic, bolt out the door and hop in the car as you’re packing it up, then usually refuse to get back out until it’s time to go. Others require some convincing; maybe they’ve had iffy past experiences with vehicles, or perhaps the sound or concept of movement frightens them. Whatever the case, here are some excellent tips for traveling with a dog from our experts at AZPetVet and American Kennel Club that are sure to help make this trip as comfortable (or tolerable) and exciting as possible for everyone in the car.

  • Get your pup used to the car by allowing him to sit in it with you without actually going anywhere, and then follow this up by going for short rides around the block.
  • Avoid car sickness by skipping the meal prior to departure and letting your dog travel on an empty stomach. However, make sure they have access to plenty of water.
  • Be sure to keep the car well ventilated: check that the rear vents are flowing smoothly. If the dog is in a crate, make sure that fresh air is flowing right into it.
  • While your pet may enjoy the wind in their jowls, if you’re going any further than a ride around the block, roll the windows up. Don’t let your pup ride with his head sticking out of an open window, as these high winds can lead to eye injuries, plus you risk your pet jumping out.
  • Never let your dog ride in the bed of an open truck. This is extremely dangerous. If an accident occurs, it could lead to severe injuries.
  • Stop frequently for a good stretch, some much-needed exercise, and potty breaks. Be sure to clean up after your dog!
  • Car rides can be boring for everyone, so instruct your children not to tease or taunt the dog in the car, especially if your pet is already an anxious rider.

Never, ever leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle, especially during the summer months. If you must leave the car, designate another passenger to stay with the dog. See our Summer Safety Blog for more information.

What Do I Need to Travel With My Dog?
As far as necessities you might want to keep in your car; there are a few that you can pick and choose from depending on your dog’s specific needs. Plus, any of these supplies are great whether you’re taking a day trip, long trip, or just packing up for a picnic. Consider throwing these in your car:

1. Camera (capture those moments!)
2. Dog Car Harness
3. Food/Water
4. Adjustable Dog Seat Belt
5. Waterproof Car Seat Covers
6. Dog Bed for Back Seat
7. Spill-Proof/Collapsible Dog Bowl
8. Portable Dog Water Bottle
9. Portable Air Conditioner
10. Cooling Pad
11. Dog Calming Treats
12. Chew Toys
13. Comfy Blankets for Sleep and Warmth
14. Towels
15. Poop Bags /Trash Bag
16. Car Odor Eliminator
17. Paper Towels
18. Dog First Aid Kit
19. Pet ID Info/Medical Records
20. Flea/Tick Medicine

Above all, just remember: You’re on vacation! The process of getting to your destination can be stressful, but pets can pick up on that, so it’s important to remain calm. Your pet will sense that peace and settle easily and be well on the road to becoming a seasoned traveler. Safe travels!

Tick & Flea Prevention for Dogs and Cats

Nothing feels better than scratching an itch, but there’s nothing quite as annoying as an itch that just won’t quit. As a pet owner, you know that fleas and ticks are extremely common. In fact, they are the most common external parasites found in both cats and dogs, so it’s important to treat your pets on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are many different types of pet flea and tick control on the market today. Even better? Many of those options are proven reliable and effective, so you’re guaranteed to find one that perfectly fits your furry friends’ needs.

Types of Pet Flea and Tick Control

There are a number of preventatives available for different needs, from chewables to topical treatments to wearable collars. Some cover just fleas, some cover only ticks, and others are multi-purpose, so it’s essential to thoroughly review the product to ensure it’s the right option for tick and flea prevention for dogs and cats.

Oral
Most chewable options are designed to look and taste like a treat, making it an easy and hassle-free process to administer the meat-flavored tablet when the time comes. One advantage of chewable tablets is the time frame of protection — some can protect pets from various external and internal parasites for up to three months at a time! Additionally, some chewable treatments are available for cats, too!

Topical
There are several different topical solutions available for pet flea and tick control -, all of which require re-application on a monthly basis. Depending on the product, topical treatments are known to cover a range of parasites from fleas and ticks to black-legged ticks, Lone Star ticks, and brown dog ticks, along with internal parasites like roundworm, hookworm, and heartworm. Many reputable topical brands also offer formulas for felines.

Collar
Tick collars typically protect pets from fleas, ticks, lice, and flea larvae for up to eight months. They serve as an excellent alternative for pet owners who struggle with remembering to administer monthly treatments. They are also available for dogs and cats!

Flea and Tick Prevention Tips

According to The Strategist, “performing regular tick checks in addition to whatever preventative treatments you might use, especially if you take your dog hiking, play in areas with lots of tall grass”. It’s also recommended to clear away any dead branches, grass clippings, or piles of leaves. Keeping your grass short and eliminating overgrown vegetation can help reduce the presence of parasites.

Some other preventative measures you can take include:

  • Read the label
    • Never apply medication made for cats to dogs or vice versa unless otherwise stated on the label.
  • Regularly inspect your pet’s coat
    • Examine ears, around the eyes, eyelids, muzzle, paws, between toes, under legs, lips, under tail, near the behind, under the collar.
    • Run your fingers through the pet’s fur and check for any abnormalities that may be an insect hiding or attaching.
  • Learn tick removal
    • The sooner you remove a tick, the less likely your pet will contract a secondary illness.
  • Keep yard mowed and short
    • Remove leaf litter, tall grasses, and brush from your yard.
    • Avoid walking through deep grassy patches as insects can hitch a ride on your clothes and enter your home.
  • Treat all of your pets at the same time
    • This helps prevent cross infestation.
    • Keep pets away from other pets during flea season.
  • Treat environment when treating pet
    • Wash toys, blankets, and bedding in soap and hot water or dispose altogether.
    • Vacuum carpet and sofas and empty vacuum containers outside.

Fleas and ticks are abundant in Arizona, and depending on where you live, they may or may not be a problem, but prevention is always easier than treatment. However, there are only select veterinary-approved products on the market so before administering any type of flea and tick control, you should consult your veterinarian to ensure your pet is receiving proper treatment according to their particular needs.

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking

My Dog Barks Too Much

It’s incredibly common for pet owners to find themselves saying this. Of course, it would be silly to expect a dog never to bark… that’s just like expecting a child never to talk! But just as some children have a lot to say, some dogs do too, and they bark excessively. 

In order to get your dog to stop barking, you must figure out why they’re barking so much in the first place. Once you’ve got a solid understanding, you can take the proper steps to treat the problem. 

Reasons Why My Dog Barks Too Much

Potential Situations

  • Alarm/Fear
  • Protective/Territorial
  • Loneliness/Boredom
  • Greeting/Playtime
  • Attention Seeking
  • Separation Anxiety

Type of Speak

  • Barking – Depending on the pitch and duration, a dog’s bark can indicate an alert, a sign of distress, a friendly greeting, or a way of telling others to stop what they are doing.
  • Howling – Remember, dogs descend from wolves. Howling is typically intended as long-range communication and can convey a variety of things, including guidance, warning, anxiety, and curiosity. 
  • Yelping – Yelping is often a loud, sharp, high-pitched noise and can mean several things, including sudden pain, surprise, or fright.
  • Growling – This will be more of an under-the-breath grumble and typically indicates irritation or displeasure but can also occur during play. The best way to tell is through body language.
  • Whining – While puppies most commonly use this, a lot of dogs will whimper and whine for attention to indicate that they need something, they are upset or stressed, they are in pain, or they’re so excited they just can’t contain themselves.

Train Your Dog to Not Bark

The Humane Society shared six helpful ways to stop dog barking but suggests that while it can be successful, it won’t happen overnight –for best results and to get your dog to stop barking, training and barking behavior practice sessions should be conducted long term.

  1. Remove the motivation: It’s likely your dog gets some kind of reward when they bark. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even do it. Figure out what they get out of it and remove it. Don’t allow your dog to continue the behavior. (i.e., if your dog barks at passersby in the front window, close the curtains or put the dog in another room.)
  1. Ignore the barking: If you believe the barking is for attention, ignore them for as long as it takes them to stop. Don’t acknowledge them – don’t talk to them, touch them, or even look at them, or you are just rewarding them for being so noisy. Once they’ve quieted down, reward them with a treat. Just remember, this method requires patience. (i.e., if your dog is barking while in a crate or gated room, turn your back and ignore them until they stop. Then turn around and praise with a treat.)
  1. Desensitize your dog to the stimulus: Gradually help your dog become accustomed to whatever is causing them to go off. Begin with the stimulus (whatever triggers them) at a distance — far enough away that they don’t bark when they see it. Give them treats, then move the stimulus a little closer. More treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving treats. You want your pup to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things (AKA treats!). (i.e., if your dog barks at other dogs, have a friend with a dog stand out of sight or far away. As they start coming into view, begin giving your dog treats, then stop once they disappear from view.)
  1. Ask for an incompatible behavior: When your dog begins barking, ask them to do something incompatible with the behavior. You teach them to react to the stimuli with something else that inhibits them from barking, like lying down on their bed. (i.e., if someone is at the door, toss a treat onto your dog’s bed and command them “go lay down” or “go to your bed.”)
  1. Keep them tired: A tired dog is a good dog, so make sure your pooch is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise each day. The amount of activity your dog requires will depend on its breed, age, and health.
  2. Contact a professional: If you believe your dog is barking reactively or aggressively to other dogs, strangers, or family members, or if the above tips prove to be unsuccessful, consider reaching out to a certified professional dog trainer for help.

Additionally, the Humane Society recommends pet owners keep these tips in mind when training:

  • Avoid yelling at your dog to be quiet—it just sounds like you’re barking along with them.
  • Keep your training sessions upbeat and positive.
  • Be consistent so as not to confuse your dog. Everyone in the household must also apply the training methods every time your dog barks inappropriately. You can’t let your dog get away with inappropriate barking some of the time but not others.

The sounds our pups make can indicate a lot about how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking, so on one side, it’s important to really listen to what they’re trying to say. On the other, it’s imperative that we learn the different behavior-curbing methods to maintain control over any given situation.

National Hummingbird Day September 5

Fun Hummingbird Information and Facts

They’re magical, colorful, and incredibly fast. With over 300 species, the hummingbird continues to mesmerize individuals with their jewel-toned feathers and lightning-fast speed. Known for the buzzing sound they make when they flutter around, which actually awarded them their name, these incredible birds are native to the New World and can’t be found in the wild anywhere else outside of the Western Hemisphere.

This month on September 5th, we celebrated National Hummingbird Day… what a great opportunity to learn more about this magical bird. For those who are interested in discovering expert tips on how to attract more hummingbirds to your backyard, patio, or balcony, you’ve come to the right place!

Hummingbird Information and Facts

These tiny creatures pack a lot of energy and power into a very small package. As they are widely known for their speed, here are some fast facts and information about hummingbirds to try to match their velocity:

  • The world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, is on average roughly two inches long and weighs in at a whopping 2 grams.
  • These buzzing birds can’t use their feet to walk or hop but they can use them to scoot over on a branch, as well as to clean their feathers.
  • Hummingbirds lay teeny tiny eggs. In fact, they lay the smallest eggs of any species of bird — they can be smaller than a jelly bean!
  • A hummingbird’s beak doesn’t vacuum up nectar. Their tongue actually flicks the nectar up at a rate of 10 to 15 licks per second.
  • The hummingbird can reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour and their wings can flap at roughly 80 beats per second.
  • Although these birds have no sense of smell, their sense of eyesight is impeccable.
  • These talented birds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

Despite their size, there are hundreds of interesting facts and information about hummingbirds. Interested in learning more? Discover more facts about hummingbirds here.

How to Attract More Hummingbirds

Are you looking to draw in more of these alluring birds to your backyard or balcony? Luckily, there are a number of ways to attract more hummingbirds to your outdoor oasis. One simple tactic to utilize is to use a bright red hummingbird feeder. However, you also need to be strategic about where you place the feeder for optimal results. Consider hanging the feeder near a natural perching area that offers shelter, as opposed to out in the open. On top of this, try to place the feeder out of direct sunlight to slow down the fermentation process. Then, to ensure the hummingbirds keep coming back for more, routinely check on the feeder to make sure it never runs out of nectar.

If you want to go above and beyond and you have the space, you can create a hummingbird garden with a variety of their favorite flowers, trees, and shrubs. If you opt to do this, it is recommended that you utilize a number of native plants and flowers in varying colors. When picking out flowers, aim for flowers that have longer, more tubular shapes as these attract hummingbirds the most.

Best Time of Day for Hummingbirds

If you want to have better luck spotting a hummingbird in your backyard, it’s important to know the best time of day for hummingbirds. The best time of day to watch hummingbirds is usually during dawn or dusk or even in the early morning or late afternoon, just before the sun goes down. Although these are their favorite times to eat, hummingbirds can still be spotted throughout the day. For those in the U.S., hummingbirds are more active and common during the spring in April and May as they are migrating north.

With National Hummingbird Day this month, be sure to take a moment to discover all of the fun and interesting information and facts about hummingbirds. Then, if you want to be able to witness some of these magnificent creatures for yourself, consider applying some of these techniques to your backyard, patio, or balcony to attract more hummingbirds to your space.
[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Know the History and What Were Beagles Bred For

A Brief History of Beagles: From Hunters to Family Dogs

With big floppy ears and the signature multi-colored coat — Beagles are just as fun-
loving and sweet as they appear! If you are looking to welcome a new pup into your
family, a Beagle could be an excellent choice. This breed is loving, curious, and
extremely loyal — you’ll never have a dull day with a Beagle in your home.
shutterstock_273373859

What Were Beagles Bred For?

With a short yet sturdy body, this breed is built to be the ultimate hunting
companion. Due to their keen sense of smell, Beagles were originally bred as hound
dogs for hunting small game. Interestingly, the pups were being bred for specific
hunting needs; they were taller in Europe for fox hunting and smaller in the United
States to hunt rabbits.

History of Beagles

The history of the Beagle is not as precise as some other breeds we have profiled.
While ancient Greek documents place Beagle-like dogs as far back as 400 B.C., the
breed, as we know it now, was not formally recognized until the 19th century. During
this time, Beagles were very popular in England, and it wasn’t much longer before
the breed became a favorite in the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC)
started recognizing the Beagle as a breed in 1884. Today, they are a consistently
popular choice for family dogs, appearing regularly on the AKC’s Top Ten Most
Popular Dog Breeds.

Different Beagle Breeds

While there is technically only one breed of Beagle, there are two different varieties
of Beagles that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The only feature that
separates the two varieties is their size. One type stands below 13 inches tall while
the other stands between 13 to 15 inches tall. Other than the slight difference in
height, no other physical or personality traits differ between these two varieties of
Beagles. Both types can — and should — weigh anywhere between 18 and 30 pounds.
Since this breed is susceptible to weight problems in their old age, it’s important
to maintain their activity levels as they age.

Beagles are black, brown, and white in color and are relatively easy to care for in
regards to grooming. A proper brushing once a week will cut down on the amount
of bathing they need unless they are used for hunting. They do, however, need to
have their ears checked frequently to help avoid infections.

Beagle Behavior

Beagles do best in homes that have backyards, allowing them the freedom to
wander around. While all dogs should be microchipped, it’s very important for
Beagles because their mischievous behavior can get the best of them. Beagles
follow their noses, so if they escape the yard, they can wander further from
home in pursuit of whatever scent is enticing them. Do your best to get them
outside and exercising, which should cut down on some of their pent-up energy and
keep them on their best behavior in the house.

Beagles of all ages do well in homes with adults, kids, and other pets. They are at
their best in extremely social settings and typically do not like being left home
alone. If they become bored, they will find things to occupy their time until you
return, which can include chewing shoes and furniture.

Beagles are a smart, curious, and energetic breed that packs a lot of love and
sweetness into a small package. Caution: don’t think there won’t be moments where
you are driven utterly crazy by their mischievous behavior! Please remember —
purebred Beagles are popular and lucrative “products” for puppy mills. There are
many wonderful Beagle rescue organizations and animal advocates working hard to
prevent the puppy mills from mass breeding. Consider adopting from a local Beagle
rescue.