Traveling with your Pet – Online Directory

A handy online directory of all the info you’ll need when traveling with your pet – either by car or plane!  Everything from articles full of advice to direct links to pet policies at major hotels and airlines.

 

Pet Travel Policies

American Airline

British Airways

Delta 

Southwest

United

US Airways

 

Airlines JUST for dogs

Animalcouriers  (Check out their blog here!)

Pet Airways

 

Pet Friendly Hotels

Doubletree (by Hilton)

InterContinental Hotels Group 

Marriott 

Trump Hotels 

W New York P.A.W.

 

Articles on Pet Travel 

Top Ten Tips for Safe Car Travel with your Pets – ASPCA

Traveling with your Dog – American Kennel Club

Cesars’s Best Dog Travel Tips – Cesar Millan

My Advice for Traveling with your Dog – WAGS & WHISKERS BLOG!

Advertisements

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday WELCOME (#32)

You’ve made it half way through your week!

In a post about heartworm, I mentioned a recent trip to the Houston S.P.C.A.  As many of you readers and friends guessed, my husband and I did not leave empty-handed. I would like to use this Wags & Whiskers Wednesday post to introduce you all to the newest member of our family, Amigo!

Meet Amigo!

This was not a spur of the moment decision (as adopting a dog NEVER should be), but rather a plan that had been forming for a while.  Our beloved Buffy had…and I write this in the most loving sense…become a lazy bum.  Where there once had been endless energy there now was never-ending napping.  A girl who had been eager to start every day was now impossible to drag out of bed.  I don’t think it was depression; I think it was simply a “well, there is nothing better to do” mentality.   My husband and I felt that despite the hours and days our work schedules allowed us to spend at home with Buffy, we just weren’t enough fun.  Give her another dog to play with, though…and she would romp until she dropped.  Hmmm….we thought….she needs a friend.  Enter Amigo. 

Like typical siblings, they always want the same toy at the same time (despite the fact that there are more than enough for both!)

I won’t lie and say it has been totally and 100% easy, but for the most part….the transition has been smooth.  I waited to formally introduce Amigo to my blog readers because…to put it bluntly…I wasn’t sure he would work out.  This 14 pounds of chihuahua mix stole our hearts from the moment we laid eyes on him.  (He was literally the first dog we saw at the shelter, but someone else was taking him out for a “get to know you” walk.  Disappointed, my husband and I assured ourselves we were walking into a building FULL of adorable pups…but there was something about him that we just couldn’t shake.  Luckily, those other people were stupid enough to put him back in his cage!)  From the get-go, we agreed the final decision would be made by Buffy.  If Buffy didn’t like him, he would have to go to back and we would try another pooch.  I was constantly asking “Do you think Buffy likes him?” and “So, are we going to keep him?”

After about a week of asking, my all-knowing, ever-patient, sweetheart of a husband turned to me and said – “Do you really think there was ever a chance that we (and I’ve no doubt Buffy was included in this “we”) would ever take him back to that shelter?”

I wasn’t even fooling myself.  He was exactly right.

And Buffy and her Amigo have been inseparable ever since!

Heartworm – What you need to know

On a recent visit to the S.P.C.A (much, much more about that in posts to come), I noticed quite a few of the poor pups up for adoption had “heartworm positive” stamped on their information sheet. As I heard other prospective parents inquiring just what that meant for them and their future furbaby, I realized that  – despite being the dog expert that I am – I knew relatively little about this common ailment in dogs.

Heartworm (or Dirofilaria immitis if we are going to get scientific about it) is a parasite that spreads through mosquito bites.  The insane thing is…the baby heartworms (microfilariae) cannot grow up to be adult heartworms without passing through a mosquito.  In other words – it doesn’t spread directly from dog to cat or cat to cat…there must be a mosquito buzzing between the two to spread the parasite.  Ironically, once they are finished incubating inside the mosquito and are transmitted to the host, they reside in the pulmonary arterial system (or “around the lungs” for those of us who didn’t do so well in anatomy & physiology class.)  So heartworms actually end up affecting lungs more often than the heart.

One of the scariest things about heartworm is it is virtually impossible to detect without a blood test.  As the worms grow and spread inside the poor animal, they will begin to crowd the heart and lungs and most dogs will develop a cough.  Dogs will become lethargic –  not being able to exercise and play like normal.  Left untreated, heartworms are almost always lethal.

Heartworm is less common, but not unheard of, it cats.  Symptoms of the parasite in kitties are the similar to dogs (lethargy) along with loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea.  There is no treatment for heartworm for cats in the United States, but somehow cats seem to be able to rid themselves of in infection on their own.

Treatment for dogs is a drug, adulticide.  This is an “organic arsenical compound” that is administered through a series of injections and commonly requires hospitalization.

As we all know, preventing heartworms are a lot easier (and WAY cheaper) than treating them.  While some people think that it’s ok to sporadically administer preventative pills (thinking mosquitos don’t buzz around in the cold) or skip the pills all together (thinking they are in a “safe zone”) – this just isn’t the way to go.  Why take a risk with your beloved pooch?  Plus those pills prevent a lot more than just heartowrm…they help keep other intestinal parasites away.  AND – here is the gross part – those intestinal parasites can easily infect people.  (3 to 6 million peeps every year – yuck!)  There is your motivation right there!

The good news?  (As if there is any when you are talking about disgusting worms living inside adorable pooches!)  The S.P.C.A. has already started treatment for all their pups testing heartworm positive.  AND, I heard one knowledgeable volunteer lecturing, they will continue to provide treatment for their pups once they have been adopted out FREE!

Check out the American Heartworm Society for more information.

Wags & Whiskers Wednesday (#22)

Happy midway through the work week!

I recently got around to watching One Nation Under Dog (did NOT like it…but my opinion on that must be saved for another post.)  At the end of the documentary, statistics are thrown out at you (as if you weren’t already depressed enough!)  Only 20% of dogs in American homes come from a shelter.  I have heard this stat before – I find it appalling, heartbreaking, and enraging all at once. (And sad, of course.  Incredibly sad.)  Ironically, the ASPCA estimates 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred.

With these percentages fresh on my mind, I checked Facebook this morning only to find myself gazing upon pictures of pups from my favorite local rescue group, Pup Squad.  (I LOVE them…but my wonderfully high opinion on that must be saved for another post!  In the meantime, check out their website and Facebook page.) One dog especially caught my eye…so I decided to feature him, along with other way-to-adorable-to-not-have-forever-homes pups.  Let them bring a smile to your Wednesday…and if you happen to have a friend without a dog (ok, ok, we know you aren’t actually FRIENDS with people who don’t have dogs…maybe a co-worker?  a neighbor??  crazy uncle???) send them a link to this post to get them headed to a shelter ASAP.

Leo (currently with Pup Squad Cypress) – great with dogs and kids. Look at how friendly and relaxed this guy looks! He is the one that stole my heart…I love a pup with a beard.

Through Atlanta Pit Bull Rescue (One of my Twitter friends – @AtlPitRescue) I found Friends to the Forlorn…which is where I found this guy, Scotty. Oh. My.. Gosh. That ear!!! This 3 year old sweetheart (currently residing in Dallas, GA) needs a forever home STAT!

Here is Betty…who I found while poking around the ASPCA site! Currently being cared for by Mutt and Lab Rescue (in Staten Island, NY), she is “mature” and is good with dogs, people…and even CATS! How did this sweet girl end up in a kill shelter? She is a beautiful lab.

If you are affiliated with a rescue group or shelter and would like us to spotlight your organization or feature a dog or cat in your care that needs a home – please email jessica@wagsandwhiskershouston.com.  We want to help however we can!

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://www.avantlink.com/affiliate_app_confirm.php?mode=js&authResponse=6b4137bde2ed645a4f23d9d818dd557ed2ca0f90″></script&gt;

Military Working Dogs need your HELP!

I have such a respect for the men and women who serve in our country’s armed forces.  Not only can I not imagine what life is like once deployed to far away places – I CANNOT imagine making the sacrifice voluntarily.  They truly are heroes.

Military working dogs (MWD) serve their country as well…except they were never given a choice.  They undergo insane amounts of training, they get shipped off to foreign places, and they see things that most of us cannot even fathom.  Yet somehow the U.S. Department of Defense officially classifies them as “equipment.”  Yes, equipment.

If you are anything like me –  when reading that last sentence, your emotions took over.  You probably wondered how living animals could every be categorized with inanimate objects….how classifying these dogs (who risk their lives) as equipment trivialize their important role in our military.  While all this is true, we (we being those “crazy dog people”) have to think about this practically.  You do not transport dogs the same way as equipment is transported.  It costs more money to get a dog overseas than a pair of boots.  Legislation MUST be passed in our government to protect these dogs and make sure that – once they have loyally served our country – they can get back home easily and safely…and live out the rest of their days enjoying civilian life.

The Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act will change MWD classification from “equipment” to “canine members of the armed forces.”  Federal funds will not be used to cover any additional costs this may incur.

As you can probably imagine, this is not at the top of most of our senator’s to-cosponsor list.  (A big shout out to Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut for sponsoring the legislation!) The ASPCA has made it super easy to show your senators you support U.S. S. 2134 – Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act.  Click here for quick and simple instructions.

Literally one minute of your time will vastly increase the quality of life for thousands of military dogs.

(If you needed another reason to email your senator…look at these pictures of military dogs in action.)