DOG BOARDING AND TRAVEL TIPS
I always make sure I put the orthopedic pet bed in the back of my truck - (I have a very secure camper top with roll bars) so that Rosie (elderly) & Bear (dysplastic) & Trinka (slipped disc) have somewhere to lay that doesn't hurt. I always take a water bowl, extra leashes, a 5 lb. bag of dry food in a Rubbermaid container with their bowls and their first aid kit. Guess these are kind of a "given". I have some herbal Serene-um (Foster & Smith) to give Trinka before we go because she gets car-sick. Given about 1 hour before departure. They travel in harness so I can quick out & in for going to the bathroom & in case of accidents so I can get a hand on them. I have the potty places well scoped out & always stop at the same ones (we travel usually to one place in the hill country) so they can still smell themselves there at least a little bit. I feel that it helps them do their business more readily because they're more familiar with the place.
Aly gets carsick (usually rather violently) so she doesn't get to eat anything for at least 8 hours before we get in the car if it's just a day drive. If it's longer, I don't know what we'll have to do with her. I imagine we'll just have to feed her in the evenings when she'll have all night to digest. :-) Also, letting her chew on Ice cubes when she seems the sickest seems to help. I have recently found a homeopathic solution to my OWN car sickness (I get carsick worse than Aly does) I take 2-250 mg caplets of Ginger, and it has helped so far. I am allergic to Drammamine, and was reluctant to try it on Aly, but I am going to try the ginger (like a half caplet) next time.
A word of warning: NEVER leave your dog in the car unattended with the keys. There is nothing worse than that sinking feeling you get when you see your car going down the road with your dog at the wheel and all the windows rolled
AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL WITH YOUR DOG - I get a list of hotels along the way from AAA, and look for ones that accept dogs. I always call in advance to make sure that I can get a reservation, and that they will accept dogs that weigh more that 20 lbs. I pack their food in containers that they can not get into, a favorite blanket, a water bowl for the road, water for the road, keep leashes and poop bags handy. I have taken my dogs with me, when I have traveled on business, but that requires A LOT of planning! BOARDING KENNELS / BOARDING YOUR DOG - I always make 2 trips - the first I drop in, without dogs, to check them out. Second trip, I drop in with dogs, to check them out and see how they deal with my dogs. Are the kennels clean? What do they do about sick dogs, will they call my vet, is someone on the premises at all times?, etc. etc. The place must pass "go" for both visits.
When we take our mal traveling he is in the back seat on leash that is connected to the car..that way if there was ever an accident and the car crashed and a door was open he couldn't run out on the road and get hurt.. The leash is a flexi leash and this helps so he doesn't get tangled..he also rides in the back seat so the front seats would stop him from going through the window..he does great back there..
Of course what we take depends on the length of the trip, but I always carry these in the truck: FOOD WATER BOWLS TOWEL (bath size) BLANKET SPARE LEASH (15 OR 30' TRAINER) .. ALWAYS HAVE RABIES & MICROCHIP TAGS ON COLLAR Trips longer than to the park, doggie store or to work and I load up the following: CRATE VACCINATION RECORD/CONTACT INFO > SPARE TOYS> EXTRA "MUNCHIES"> "POLAR" CRATE PAD (we have very HOT summers!)> FIRST AID KIT (this really should be with us on all trips)
AIRPLANE TRAVEL / SHIPPING
Always prepare a note to the pilot letting him know you have a dog or dogs who are to be on his plane and ask that he confirm the loading , prior to take off, and that they are in fact aboard. A good airline and pilot, will hold the plane to allow the loading if within reason. It does work....... If your dog isn't shown on the plane they will stop and found out why.
I always send a little blanket with the travelling puppy, a safe chew toy and a box with registration papers and other relevant information tucked safely into the back of the crate. Putting paper work into a metal tin and sealing well ensures safe arrival of important papers.
AIRPLANE TRAVEL / SHIPPING YOUR DOG We have no experience from the shipping end, only from the receiving end. You need to check on flight details, how long will the dog be in transit, quarantine requirements if any, clearances required, if any, processing fees, arrival procedures, where to claim the dog, how long will the dog wait at the airport, etc. These things should be determined way ahead of the dog's arrival.
TRAVEL / VACATION PLANNING TIPS FOR YOUR DOG Fortunately, Neisha is always on the go and does not have any problems traveling in a car. Things we bring are: food and water bowls, water, treats, collar & leash, apples, dog food (meal for x days), 1 towel and dog brush, wet ones (moist towelettes for wiping mal drool on human skin), frisbee, ball, old newspapers and plastic lining (just in case she needs to go)
I recommend going to see the kennel -- without an appointment In theory that's great, but please understand that a small kennel operation is often run by one person - the owner - and we, like you, have to take showers, go to the grocery store or bank, eat meals, and relax. If you drop in and are denied access to the kennel don't just assume the owner doesn't want you to see the kennel. Requiring an appointment for inspection is not a sign the kennel is badly managed - it's just requesting that you observe normal politeness in dealing with the kennel owner. I will always give people a range of time when I will be available for inspection, if they ask me. As for coming at clean-up time, that's okay! My place is never so filthy that a couple of fresh dog droppings would turn you off. I assume you know that dogs defecate, and that we can't make them schedule that. By the way, a universal complaint among us boarding kennel owners is the people who make a reservation and then don't show up. Please, if your plans change after you've reserved a run for your dog, call the kennel to cancel. That way the run is freed up for someone else, and the owner doesn't have to wait all day wondering if you're just late. I've had people be as late as six hours for an appointment, so we have to stick around just in case.
Please, if your plans change after you've reserved a run for your dog, call the kennel to cancel. That way the run is freed up for someone else, and the owner doesn't have to wait all day wondering if you're just late. I've had people be as late as six hours for an appointment, so we have to stick around just in case.
That's inexcusable! Some people take other people's time for granted. It should be like the dentist -- 24-hr advance notice or you get billed for a night or something. On the other side of the coin, we have a kennel near us (the owner is a Sammy breeder) that got written up in the NYTimes a couple years ago as one of Connecticut's best boarding kennels, blah blah. (It's the place I saw dogs in the exercise yard unattended.) These guys got so big for their britches after the article that you had to CHANGE (cancel, shorten or lengthen) a reservation a week in advance, or pay the difference anyway. So, if you came home from a trip a day early, you still had to pay the original time you reserved for your dog -- or if you wanted to stay a day longer, even if you called but less than a week ahead, you had to pay an extra 24-hrs beyond the time the dog was there, if they would agree to keep it at all. Once, I made a reservation & they entered it for the week before the week I said, then when I didn't show up (natch, didn't know they had screwed it up), they tried to bill me for the week anyway. They also started charging a $10 fee if they had to call the dog's vet for any reason. Gives you confidence! I haven't been there in some time -- somehow I doubt they kept enough customers to keep that monkey business up! I got a chuckle out of it.
I also have a few suggestions for folks about boarding: DO A PHYSICAL WALKTHROUGH/INSPECTION OF KENNEL BEFORE BOARDING GET A COPY OF KENNEL POLICY, PRACTICES, PRICES, REFERENCES BRING VACCINATION RECORD - includes bordetella (kennel cough) VETERINARY/EMERGENCY CONTACT INFO - your vet's name, address, phone# YOUR CONTACT INFO - address and phone# where you can be reached DOGGIE ID - current ID, rabies, license, etc on dog collar MISC INFO/SUPPLIES - meds, special foods, favorite toy/chewie, etc
TRAVEL / VACATION PLANNING TIPS
Before sending any dog off on a new adventure, I sleep in an old t shirt. Then, when the dog travels, the t shirt can be used as part of the bedding, and the dog has a familiar smell, at least! Also require puppy buyers to provide a "slept in, smelly old t shirt" a few days before they pick the baby up, so that the baby will feel right at home in their new home.