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Find how to choose the right dog bowl, pick a pet carrier, make homemade treats and much, much more.

Traveling with Your Dog Abroad (Max the Maltese).

When you plan on traveling with your dog abroad, There are some preparations to do ahead.   Max is one of 3 dogs we adopted along the years. He is the smallest Max the Maltese Traveling Abroadvery spoiled because of his health.  So when it came time to go and visit our family I knew that whatever it takes, Max is coming with us.

With any overseas travel you need to check what the destination country rules are and the airline rules.

Tests and Vaccines

To find our destination demands, I searched the internet and found it to be quite confusing and not clear enough . It’s good to have friends who already went that road and willing to help you. In addition, the vet was a good place to clear things up.

So Max needed his vaccine again, even though he had a few months left before the 3 years ends. Then we had to send to Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine  blood for a special DNA rabies test which they are the only vet laboratory in North America doing it .   After our vet got the results (and they are good) he did a full body checkup and a lot of paperwork!! With all of that, we went to the agriculture office to have them authorize the documents.

All the above need to be done in a limited time frame, and the cost  depends on your destination.

 

In The Airport

We did it all in a month and a half and paid more than the tickets cost. At the airport, on both sides,  we’ve been asked to show the documents, so bring it all with you.

After landing, we had a long walk. It’s not easy if you need to carry luggage in addition to the pet carrier. We also had a wheeled carrier/  backpack.  Bringing it with us was one great decision. We got  OK in places where pets are not allowed, if we kept him in this carrier, he used it to sleep while we were busy with our things, he was covered when it was raining and was very comfy when we needed quick move.

After we landed hubby walked the wheeled carrier and Max enjoyed it very much, but at the same time he was checking to see that I am behind.

Pet Carrier

The next step is checking with the airline’s in-cabin pet carrier rules.  The carrier dimension is quite the same for most airline companies, and it should fit under the sit in-front yours. The best choice is a soft carrier, so you can bend a bit the frame if it’s not a perfect match under the seat.  In addition, you want the bag to be comfortable for your pet. After all, he will be spending the whole time in it. For Max we had his blanket in his carrier and  a sweater ready to put on,  so he’ll be comfy while feeling safe and warm for the very long trip ahead.Max in His New Carrier

 

 

 

 

Packing for Max

1. Documents – Done

2. Carrier – Done

3. Extra Wheeled / backpack – Done

4. His drugs (plus a few extra just to be on the safe side)  – Done

5. His beloved blanket and toy for better chance he’ll stay in the bag and go to sleep – Done

6. Bag of treats – Done

7. Some dry food for the few first days – Done.

8. If you use and weather depends – raincoat / sweater etc. – Done

9. Poop bags – done

10. Toothbrush, shampoo, etc., depends on your visit length.

I am sure I forgot something. That is why I start my list way ahead and each time I remember some new stuff, I’ll add it.

 On The Plane

Max is not use being in a closed carrier, although I let him try it a few Max and Me In The Planetimes during the last month. So the truth is that I was holding him most of the time.  I did have to hide him under the blanket when an attendant was in the area… Shhhh, no telling :)

 

The Destination

Traveling with your dog means you have to go with him anywhere you go, unless of-course you have someone to take care of him when you are going places dogs are not allowed. It was a nice surprise, seating for afternoon coffee,  Max, Hubby and me, and that is what I was served with. (See the image)coffe-doggie

There were places where people don’t like pets. You may feel offended, but you shouldn’t.  The best is to ignore and move on to another place.

Conclusion

It was fun having Max with us. But it also was extra work like walking a lot of stairs up and down for the walks. Finding places to have him when going to a show (or any place where pets are not allowed),  food (did I mention how spoiled he is?  Only cooked by mommy food at home and now mommy pays the price).  But I will do it again next time!!

Easy, Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

homemade dog treatsWe pet owners love to pamper our furry babies, and one of the best ways to do this is to give them treats. But with so many foods and treats been recalled, can we be sure we are feeding our pets real, healthy treats? What options do we have if we want only the best for our dogs? Well, we can make healthy, easy homemade dog treats ourselves.

Hey… don’t run away :) I don’t like cooking very much myself, but these are a breeze. Simply read on and I think you’ll give the idea a second chance.

Different Types of Homemade Dog Treats

Here are three basic ideas for tasty, homemade dog treats that only take a few minutes to make. You can set some aside for a week and freeze the rest. Do as much as you like and add whatever other healthy ingredients your pooch prefers.

1. Chicken Breast Treats

If the breast is too thick, cut it in half. Put on a baking sheet in the oven on medium heat and broil until it’s light brown and dry. Let it cool down before  cutting into pieces of your choice. Keep refrigerated or freeze a portion for next week (or for the whole month).

2. Two-Ingredient Dog Treats

You’ll need whole wheat flour and two jars of pureed baby food. You can replace the flour with spelt, bean flour, rolled oats or whatever you like. Choose baby food like chicken and sweet potato, raspberry, applesauce, peanut butter, etc. Avoid any food with chocolate, raisin, grapes, onion or garlic. You can check the “Do Not Feed” list to see exactly what you should avoid. Combine the two ingredients and add water or flour if needed.

Form a stiff dough and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it to a 1/4 inch thick. Use a knife or a bone shaped cookie cutter (or a flower, or… you get the idea) and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet about half inch from each other. Bake at 350° F for 20 to 30 minutes. After totally cooled, keep in a paper bag (if not they will soften but will still be good to eat).

I used oat roll (1 cup) and whole wheat flour (1 cup). I made three different cookie sizes to fit my three dogs. After 20 minutes, I turned them over for another 10. As stated before, feel free to have some fun with cute shapes for these fancy dog cookies.

To see if my pooches loved the homemade dog treats, check out the image at the top of this post :)

3. Summer Frozen Chicken Cube

Use caned chicken broth (low in sodium) and add minced carrots, parsley, banana and sweet potato. Stir all ingredients together and fill small bowls or ice cubes with the blend. Freeze until solid. You can also use any vegetables/fruits that your dog loves.

Benefits of Homemade Dog Treats

Besides being fun to make and the enjoyment of watching your pet excitedly devour something you made, homemade dog treats have some great advantages:

  • You know exactly what’s in the cookie.

  • You decide on the treat’s size.

  • You can control the dog’s calorie intake.

Search the internet for more ideas, but don’t forget that dogs aren’t supposed to eat everything humans eat, so be careful. Bon Appetit!

Great Tips for Dog Parents

Tips for dog parentsOver the years, I have collected a lot of fun and easy ideas related to maintaining a dog’s health and happiness. Because spring is finally here, I’ve decided to put a few of them in this list of tips for dog parents. Anybody can use these tips without much hassle or a huge time investment. While they all sound great, I have not tried all of them as of yet.

For the Outdoors

1. You know that you need to prevent water from going into your dog’s ears when giving him a bath. Depending on his ear shape, however, this is not always an easy task. So, simply use a shower cap on your dog’s head.

2. The hot weather is almost here, and your Fido loves treats. Why not create a fun one that will keep him busy for a long time? Freeze chicken soup along with bones. Add treats he likes and small dog toys. He’ll have a blast licking the frozen soup, chewing the bones and playing with the toys.

3. Your doggie loves to spend time in the fenced backyard. You need to keep eye on him, though, as this naughty guy always finds ways to squeeze out between the bars. (For some reason he can only do it on his way out haha) To prevent this, attach a stick elongated dog collar a bit larger than the fence spacing. If you want it to be more elegant, check out the Bumpers Collection section of our designer dog collars.

stick_bumper_dog Pink-Blue-Dot-Pet-Bumpers-L-01

4.  All year round in some areas, and especially during summer, ticks are a big problem. Once you find a tick, you have to remove it the right way. Try this tip: use a moistened cotton ball and add a drop of soap. Now, hold it on the tick for a few seconds. The tick should come off easily by sticking to the cotton ball.

For the Indoors

5. We all get sick sometimes, and we all get older. If your pooch has issues with his teeth and can’t chew hard food, or if he is sick and dehydrated, add chicken broth to soften the food or to water to make it tasty.

6. If your dog (like my Tong) eats food like a vacuum and looks like he is choking on it, it’s bad. It can harm his digestive system and cause bloating. Try putting a ball in his bowl that restricts his access and slows his eating. If he is smart enough to remove the ball from his bowl, you can find special dog bowls for fast eaters that have built-in simple obstructions.

Dog Bowl For Fast Eaters
Click the image for more info

7. To remove hair and fur from your furniture and carpet, use wet rubber material like kitchen gloves and go over the area. In no time you’ll have a big stack of hair and a clean sofa. I’ve used this one for years.

8. How long will a new toy last? In my house, around two to five minutes. Any cute plush toy turns into a rag doll in no time and all the filling ends up on the floor. If this happens in your house, you can keep the filling! You can also keep old socks – simply fill the socks with the filling and tie it off. I play tug with my 55 lbs dog, Libby. The sock won’t tear, and if it does, well, we have enough socks at home.

For Animal Lovers

9. If you are an animal lover, you are probably against the suffering caused by archaic tests for cosmetics, personal-care products and household products. If you do not want to buy products that test on animals, but you are not sure what those products are, there is a free app for that. It’s called Bunny Free, and it’s only for iPhone. You can download it here.

Do you have any other good tips for dog parents? Please add it for everybody to read.