The Danger of Transporting Pets

Bringing a new dog or cat into your home is a time of discovery and joy; that is unless the discovery centers on pet illness.

In the past, most pets were obtained from local sources (i.e. nearby shelters or breeders) and therefore tended to only have diseases that were common to the area.  These days, however, some breeders will send their puppies or kittens hundreds or thousands of miles to their new owners or to pet shops.  Animals in shelters may also have traveled great distances.  This is especially true in parts of the country, like the Northeast, that have managed to gain better control of the animal over-population problem.  Animals are now often transported from facilities that are overflowing to those that have available space in another part of the country.

While this is obviously beneficial for the animals that would otherwise have been euthanized, it can occasionally present some problems for their new owners.  If your new pet becomes sick, it is now quite possible that the illness may be something that your local veterinarian does not see on a regular basis.

So, what can owners do to protect their new pets?  Try to find out your pet’s travel history and pass it along to your veterinarian.  This information can be a life-saver by helping your vet determine whether any screening tests should be run. Background info is also extremely helpful in producing a quick diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment and pet medications can be administered in the unfortunate event that your pet does fall ill.

Survey Shows Most Dogs are Riding Unrestrained in the Car

A recent survey done by the American Automobile Association reveals that the majority of dog owners leave their dogs unrestrained while traveling by car.  Listed below are some of study’s other findings:

•52% of those surveyed say that they have pet their dog while driving

•18% have reached into the backseat to interact with their dog while driving

•17% have allowed their dog to sit on their lap while driving

•13% have given their dog a treat while driving

•3% have taken a picture of their dog while driving

These are scary statistics because distracted drivers are more likely to cause an accident than drivers that are concentrating on the road. If an accident does occur, an unrestrained pet can be a danger to you and your passengers. At only 30 mph, a dog weighing just 10 lbs. can exert 300 lbs. of pressure if an accident occurs. At the same speed, an 80 lb. dog can exert up to 2400 lbs. of pressure. Properly restraining you dog with a seat belt or a car seat specifically designed for canines makes a car trip with your pooch safer for everyone involved. If you’re concerned about your dog having anxiety if not riding on your lap or immediately next to you- begin with short car rides with a restraining device before taking a long trip. Dogs with car anxiety may also benefit from a natural stress reducer like HomeoPet travel anxiety drops.

Road Trip Tips For Your Pet

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy!  Are you planning a road trip with your pet?  As much fun as it can be to bring Fido along, sometimes it can be difficult.  Here are a couple pet-friendly road trip tips to help you and your pet’s vacation be a little more enjoyable.

Get your pet used to the car first.  For many pets, the only time they ride in a car is when they are going to the vet and it may not be the happiest association.  Try taking your dog for a ride to the park or to a different place for a walk.  Be sure to restrain your pet so they are not a distraction while you are driving and they don’t get hurt in case of a sudden stop.   Securing your pet in a crate or harness is the best way to prevent distractions and keep them safe.  Be sure to familiarize your pet with his crate before your first trip.

Pets can get car sick just like people.  To minimize the risk of car sickness, refrain from feeding your pet for a few hours prior to your trip.  If your pet gets anxious or motion sick there are several over-the- counter medications available at vetdepot, such as Anxiety Drops that may be helpful.  Cerenia is also an effective prescription medication that your veterinarian may recommend.  The more familiar and comfortable your pet is with the car the more fun everyone will have!