Summer is approaching and many of us ate planning some type of vacation. Many of us treat the dog ab part of the family and want to have him together with rest of the pack during vacation period. Unfortunately this kind of vacation requires a lot of planning and preparation to be stress free and relaxing.
Vacation with dog on camp sites:
Before leaving insure that your dog has valid vaccination.
If you are planning to spend vacation in the wilderness you might reserve camping spots. On all biggest camp sides in US and in Canada (provincial camp sides) dogs are welcome but on the leash at all times. Your dog should be leash trained.
Vacation with dog using hotels
If you are planning to travel with stops in the hotels, check hotel pet policy before making reservation. Now days many hotels are accepting pets, but even these might have restrictions for some breeds or sizes.
Traveling by car for vacation with dog
If you are going to travel by car the best idea is to have dog crate trained. Arrange the crate in the car, Line the crate with his blanket add couple of toys or chewy bone (rolled up hide or something similar). Traveling in a crate insures the dog that he has sufficient space. If longer trip is planned allow for the breaks to let your dog to stretch, run and sip some water. For meals you might consider a pick-up and consume it on the picnic area, where your dog can rest as well. If you have to leave your dog for a while in the car remember to park in the shadow and leave open window, as during hot day temperature in the car might rapidly grow up.
Traveling for vacation with dog by airplane:
Some airlines are accepting small size dogs in the cabin. The larger breads have to go in crates as cargo. Check with the airline for costs and crate requirements before purchasing your tickets. Information about airline pet policies may be found on internet. In latest years some airline refused taking large crates. Crate training is a must before travel to avoid anxiety. If travel is long include water supply in crate.
Traveling for vacation with dog – calming your dog anxiety.
A study published by the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association showed that lavender had a positive effect in calming travel induced excitement in dogs. The results showed that when each dog was in the environment of lavender scent, they remained seated the majority of the time, were calmer, and less vocalized than the dogs that traveled without lavender scent.
Here in America where population of pet dogs is very large and growing, all dogs adopted from Humane Society are neutered or must be neutered, as society wants to control numbers of abandoned dogs. These dogs usually were crossbred and they are not considered for future breeding. If you adopted one of these dogs delay neutering or spaying until your dog is fully developed. Neutering or spaying during puppies years might have influence on the hormonal development and it can cause future health problems and injuries. Many statistics show that dogs neutered in early age have more knees and hip injuries cases.
There is a believe among dog owners that untouched dogs are more aggressive, have tendency to mount other dogs, develop testicular cancer, will mark their territories and in case of females unwanted pregnancies and unwanted puppies and in later age uterus infections.
Dog aggression will not change with the neutering, but it can be controlled with proper training. Dogs are mounting other dogs more likely to show their dominance than for the purpose of sex. When untouched dog will meet female in heat he will get excited and will try to mount her, but this is a natural behavior. That is why owners of the untouched females should have escape proved yard and during her heat they should walk her on the leash only and far from off leash areas. Females are in heat only twice a year, so it is not so hard to control them. Marking territory is a normal dog behavior regardless of neutering. All dogs will mark outside every post and tree. Usually dogs are not marking their territory at home. If they do try to do it at home, one word “no” can be sufficient to prevent future marking. I am not an expert in health issues, but avoiding possibility of cancer by cutting out organs is not exactly what we would consider smart in case of humans, so why we are so easy accepting it for dogs. Spaying or neutering is a serious surgical procedure. I would advise to think about it. In the past I have lost one female dog due to veterinarian negligence during this standard procedure. She bled out internally.
My final advice is: If you don’t have to, don’t do it. If you do have to, do it later when dog is above 2 years of age. Avoid neutering if you want to use your dog for hunting or agility
Dog grooming is an important part of your dog’s health. Grooming consists not only of daily care such as brushing, combing and teeth cleaning but also washing, hair clipping and cutting, nail clipping and sometime powdering. Many people consider daily brushing and combing the only grooming that they provide at home. Rest they leave to professional groomers as they feel like it is too much of a mess trying to give a bath to their dog at home and after bath they might have this smell of a wet dog that might be unpleasant for some. Complete grooming doesn’t have to be a struggle if done properly. It can be a bonding time with your dog. Some dogs, when accustomed to grooming from early age, treat this ritual as petting time.
How often should we bath the dog? Some dogs are fine with bathing once a month some can have it even every two weeks. We should not bath dogs on a daily basis. If they get dirty between our regular baths we can use dry shampoo or for white dogs just a corn starch. These absorb odours and stains. The best is to use them outside and let the dog to shake them out.
Provide your dog with nylon collar and leash. Place your dog in the bath tub, tie the leash to the faucet. Use mildly warm water. For each bath we have to wet dog twice: first before applying soap and then to rinse soap out. First wash dog’s body. After last rinse start to wash dog’s head, ears and neck. When washing head protect with hand dog’s eyes from soap and when washing ears, protect the ear channels to net let water get trapped in them. When bath is done first squeeze some water with your hands and then cover your dog with some absorbent towel and rub him briskly. More water you absorb, less water will be shaken out and your dog will get dry faster.
Nail clipping is one of the necessary part of dog grooming task. We should use for it special clippers. Scissors style clippers have a botch cut in the blade to fit the nail. Clip only the ends of your dog’s nail. Cut them at 90 degrees angle to the nail. After clipping nails, you can file them to make their surface smooth. Some people use battery operated filing machines instead of clipping.
A young puppy when brought home for the first time might feel lonely. First time away from his mother and littermates it is a very traumatic experience. Give him food and water and let him to settle. Don’t bother him with hugs, play and don’t keep him a centre of attention during first day. For the night give him a plushy toy and set the loud clock nearby to substitute the mother heartbeat.
Check your house and yard for possible dangers such as electrical cords on the floor, open doors or balconies. Young puppy should be protected against fall, swallowing sharp objects, wondering away the same like a toddler.
It is good to provide your dog with some kind of identification. Dogs that are purchased from the breeders usually have tattoos. Very common are electronic chips implanted by the veterinarians. This can guarantee that your dog can be returned to you when lost.
Every day dog care shall include food and water, exercise suitable for the bread, socialization and grooming. Dog care should also include teeth brushing or regular dental bones, as most of the dogs develop with time a gingivitis.
You should look for the veterinarian that will provide you with the professional dog care. Veterinarian should schedule yearly checkup visits and follow proper immunization schedule.
We have to observe our dog every day behavior to notice any signs of health problem. If our dog is often scratching himself, we should check for fleas and if we find them we should eradicate them. In pet stores are many remedies available.
If we are leaving in the area where deer ticks are present, our daily dog care should include fine tooth combing in search for ticks. If you find one, dab the place with saline solution, iodine or alcohol and then remove the tick with forceps and disinfect the wound.
When you notice bald places on the dog skin, check with the veterinarian as it could be fungal infection that requires medication.
In case of accident or symptoms such as bloating or seizures contact veterinarian immediately.