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Airplane Travel With Your Pets

May 22, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  711 Comments

Prepare Well In Advance:
For small dogs that will travel in-cabin, buy an airline-approved airplane pet carrier. The best carriers for airplane travel are durably-sewn with lots of air vents, a zippered top and side exit door, a soft, removable bottom pad and several flat, internal and external pockets. The best carrier is discreet and light. Resist the temptation to buy a “designer” carrier: the flash draws undesirable attention to the valuable contents and comfort yields to style in most fashion models.

For larger dogs that will travel in cargo, buy a sturdy, airline-approved cargo crate with a good latch on the door. It should have detachable food and water receptacles. Both carriers should have an attachment for paperwork and name tags.

Use the airplane pet carrier to transport your dog to fun destinations prior to flight. Gradually increase the duration of the time in the carrier, taking longer journeys to the fun destination. Include a toy in the carrier, but avoid food since dogs generally should not eat on airplane rides. (Water may be advisable for dogs traveling in cargo on longer flights.)

Keep the bag open in the house and put enticing toys in it to make your dog happy to enter the bag. Never use this carrier as a day crate.

When Booking Flights:
Make sure to choose an airline that permits pets; clarify if your pet will travel in cabin or cargo. Cargo is restricted during some times of the year for some airlines. Most importantly, when booking, obtain a locator number for your dog that is associated with your seat number.

Starter Trips:
If an itinerant lifestyle is part of your plan for your dog, take a short flight of one hour to a nearby destination as a starter flight. Your dog will learn that the long wait ends in a happy walk outside the airport and will be better prepared for an upcoming long flight.

Food And Meds In Flight:
Feed at least 5 hours in advance of travel and avoid water for your dog within 1 hour of flight. (Water may be advisable for dogs traveling in cargo on long flights.) For dogs traveling in cabin, you may offer ice cubes or a sip of water toward the end of the flight as needed. Avoid giving a rawhide chew stick as it could get stuck in your dog’s throat and assistance would be difficult.

If your pet regularly takes meds, schedule the doses according to the travel schedule. Remember that you will have to show up at least an hour before the flight and from the point of entering the airport, your dog will be in the carrier.
Unless your vet says otherwise, tranquilizers are not advisable for high altitudes. Train, don’t drug, your pet into being a good traveler.

In The Airport:
Flying with dogs is less worrisome to airline personnel than security. For dogs traveling in cargo, the check-in counter will advise you where to deliver your dog for transport. For dogs flying in cabin, you will carry him through gate security and you must remove him from his carrier and personally carry him through the metal detectors, allowing his bag to go through the x-ray machine. NEVER allow your dog to pass through the x-ray machine when going to the gates. It is not permitted and is highly dangerous.

When traveling, make sure your dog’s rabies inoculations are up to date and keep a vet’s health record in your travel paperwork. You may not be asked to show it, but you should have it.

On The Plane:
Slide your carrier under the seat in front, check on your dog now and then but avoid exciting him to make him feel he will be let out. For dogs traveling in cargo, you will be advised where to pick him up when you check him in.

Stress of Air Travel: Flying can be stressful for pets just like humans.  Try to take your pets only when it’s necessary.  Best case scenario is to find a great pet sitter in your area and leave your pets at home while you travel.

Choosing a Responsible Loving Pet Sitter

May 15, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  717 Comments

1. Interview a number of possible sitters and companies.
If you are like me, you might hate the whole process of interviewing a possible anything. It’s so worth it in the end.  Soon enough through the process a certain company and pet sitter will start to shine.  That’s when you know it’s right!

2. Ask what training the pet sitter has received.
All sorts of pet lovers are good at taking care of pets, of course. Yet you probably want a pet sitter who has had more actual training than you have had. This may include a Veterinary Technician who is licensed to give shots, help with exams and assist in surgery would be quite a catch. In lieu of that, you’ll really want to make sure the sitter can spot health problems and react accordingly. Maybe, they even have a certificate in pet safety.

3. Ask about previous experience.
What did the sitter like and dislike about these experiences?

4. Ask what services the pet sitting company provides.
Depends on what you want. Do you want your pet to be groomed while you are gone? Do you think it’s important that he spend at lease an hour a day catching frisbees. Do you want a diary of your pet’s ever-changing moods? A pet sitter can do all these things. But you need to find out if your pet sitter will do them.

5. Speaking of contracts, does your pet sitter provide one?
A contract that lists services and fees is good for your peace of mind.

6. Can your pet sitting company provide references?
You really want a pet sitting company who can prove that their sitters have satisfied customers before they got to you.

7. Does your pet even like your pet sitter?
All the training in the world would not forestall a bad match here. You don’t want to set your pet up on a blind date.

8. Is your pet sitter’s company licensed, bonded and insured?
This would cover many dire contingencies.

9. How many other pets is your pet-sitter currently sitting for?
A full dance card, so to speak, means less special attention for your pet.

10. Is your pet sitter asking you as many questions as you are asking them?
If the pet sitter doesn’t seem especially curious about your pets, that’s a red flag!

Is Your Dog Friendly?

May 8, 2012   //   by admin   //   Dogs, Pet care  //  705 Comments

As someone who takes many dogs, including my own to dog parks, this used to be the question on my mind when walking through the gate. Now, I realize I’ve been asking myself the wrong question all along. The real question is, are these responsible pet owners at this dog park?

First, I am not alone as a dog owner who does not want every rambunctious dog to tackle my pal when we’re entering the dog park. Yet, so many pet owners are not paying attention to their dogs but rather talking with other people in the park, on their cell phones or taking a nap on the bench!

Once inside the park, this is a time for owners to be on heightened awareness, watching their dogs interactions and controlling their misbehavior. Unfortunately, more times than not, dog owners with a dog who has over rambunctious, bordering aggressive behavior is either distracted or in denial that their dog is about to create a bad situation.

There seems to be more distracted people with poorly socialized dogs who lose control of (or make no effort to control) their pets. These people, who often have a cup of coffee in one hand and a cellphone in the other (and a leash in none), chase haplessly after their dogs who run to greet, tackle, or pick a fight with another dog. Occasionally, as the chase or attack occurs, the people yell their dog’s name and, in turn, the words “My dog is friendly!”  Ha!  Really people?

By this time, it’s usually too late. The next thing you know, people are scrambling to damage control and often times sadly, a dog gets seriously hurt. Sometimes, even people who try to stop the attacks.

Just this weekend, at one of the so called “friendly dog parks”, I witnessed an owner with a highly charged and aggressive dog, sitting and chatting with someone while his dog went after and attacked 3 different dogs. I watched him sit on the bench, laughing at this, like it was amusing instead of frightful.

One by one, pet owners leashed their dogs and left the park. As I did the same, I looked back to see the wrong person and dog still inside the dog park.

Come on pet owners, show a little respect and awareness. A dog park is a place to bring social dogs. Not aggressive dogs. Dog parks are a place where the dogs get to play and interact, not the owners. Owners, you’re there to make sure all dogs have a great experience playing, socializing and exercising. Do it for yourself on your own time!

What is your dog saying without really saying it!

Mar 3, 2012   //   by admin   //   Pet care  //  1,207 Comments

Nearly 90 percent of dogs communicate silently. Vocalizations and bites represent only 10 percent of their language. So, how do you know what your dog is saying in his silence?

Here are some common signals and their meaning:

Turning the head away: Peaceful intentions. Avoiding possible conflict. Prevents eye contact, which most dogs find threatening.

Lip licking: Peaceful intentions. Calms a social group, eases tension. But it also may precede a bite from a fearful dog.

Yawning: Stress reducer. Commonly observed at the veterinarian’s office or at the groomer.

Tail positions: Up means confidence. Down signals a relaxed or submissive state. Between legs means fear. Wagging with entire body signals joy. Wagging without the body indicates stress, interest or excitement.

Raised hackles: The dog feels threatened or is overstimulated.

Shivering: Fear, tension or overstimulated.

Paw lift: Forward weight distribution signals a friendly state or begging. Rear weight distribution could indicate fear or distrust.

Closed mouth: Precedes bite. Helps gain scent, conveys seriousness.
Open mouth: Relaxed.
Grimace: Tense jaw muscles with mouth pulled back at corners exposing canines or all teeth signals fear, excitement or aggression.
Whale eye (whites of eyes visible, dilated pupils): Conveys fear or aggression.

Presenting stomach: Laying squarely on back with paws over center of chest signals submission or trust. On side, lifting one hind leg indicates fear, apprehension or fearful submission.

Sneeze: During or after enjoyable activity signals happiness.

Bowing: Means the dog is playful.

Breathing: Through stomach signals a relaxed state. Through chest indicates excitment or stress.

Sniffing ground: This is a calming signal that shows peaceful intent, relief of stress or an attempt to gain a scent.

Freezing: Signals the dog is contemplating a fight or flight.

Drooling: During the presence of food means the dog is hungry. During stressful situations signals fear and, for dogs that suffer car-sickness, often precedes vomiting.

Clean Water For All Pets

Jan 24, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  296 Comments

Do you ever ask yourself how much water your pet should be drinking a day? Probably not!  We generally fill their bowl up in the morning and go about the day. Your pet may not be getting enough hydration, especially if  the bowl is empty two hours later, but no ones home the rest of the day!  Here’s some factors to think about to make sure your pet is getting properly hydrated and ways to easily achieve it.

The size of your pet is important.   A 90 pound dog will need far more water during the day than a 20 pound one.  The food your pet is eating will affect the amount of water they need. Is the food wet or dry, what is the sodium content, are some ingredients going to make them more thirsty than others.  All good questions to ask yourself!

How about your pets age.  Younger dogs and cats need more water than senior dogs. More active breeds will drink more than lap dogs.   Climate plays an important role in how much a dog or cat needs hydrating.  The temperatures inside your home can also be an important factor.   Also, is your cat or dog on medications that make them loose more of their bodies water weight.

It’s so important for your pet to stay hydrated all day long. Like humans, they will easily dehydrate if left without water for too long.  Here’s some tips to remember.

If you’re crate training or leave your pet shut off from the rest of the house while at work or out for long periods, make sure to leave them with clean fresh water at all times.  Make sure the bowl is large enough to last throughout the day.  Or use an automatic water dispensing bowl.

Change the water bowl frequently and clean the bowls out daily.  Find out what material the pets bowl is made of to determine how clean it stays.  Our pets will stay healthier with clean fresh water in their bowls!

Remember when hiking with your dog to take along enough water for them to drink. A package of ice cubes work great to make sure the water is fresh throughout the day. You can even drop a few in their bowl during the day to keep the water full and clean.

A Sweet Treat or Garden Clutter?

Jul 25, 2011   //   by admin   //   Pet care  //  246 Comments

It’s Mesquite bean season and who knew those obnoxious pods that end up cluttering our yards can be a healthy and sweet treat that our pets may love!

Seems unusual but it’s nothing new, the American Indians used the mesquites nutritious pods as an important food resource rich in sugar and protein and the plant was even said to have medicinal and ritual uses as well.  It only makes sense that our furry friends would love them too, right?  After all, Dogs were created to eat things in the wild and they are just another natural food.

The mesquite beans are a good source of fiber for your pet and also make a sweet tasting treat. Of course that does not mean they should be your pets primary diet, but it’s sure good to know that you don’t need to worry when they chew one up on your afternoon walk or eat a few while they are out romping in the yard, right?    Some pets eat the whole pod, others only chew the pods and some will pick them apart just to get the beans inside.  Azmira dog food made in Tucson even uses the mesquite beans as part of their dog food formula!

If you are not familiar with the Mesquite tree, the Mesquite beans grow on desert trees and hang in clusters that turn from green to white when they are ripe.  Inside those pods are very sweet-coated beans.  Humans and Dogs alike can chew on the pods to extract flavor or just eat the beans inside the pod.

While most of our pets will pick them up on their own, if you decide to scoop up some for your own enjoyment or to save for future pet treats, here are a few tips: Pick the pods right off the tree when ripe or, if you are taking ones that have already fallen to the ground, make sure you choose those that are clear of contaminates such as pet urine or pesticides.  Rinse off the dust and remove any green stems that may be before serving to your pets.  To save them for later, make sure they are nice and dry and store them in Baggies for future snack attacks!

Los Angeles Dog and Cat Owners called to action for training tips on camera with Animal Behaviorist

May 29, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  617 Comments

FremantleMedia Group is looking for pet owners of cats or dogs to appear in a non-broadcast pilot featuring an Animal behaviorist.  They have contacted Manymutts Pet Care with this request.  Would any of our clients be interested in potentially putting themselves forward if they fit the following criteria:

Did your dog or cat used to be your best friend but recently something has changed?  Are you unable to train them or control their behavior?  Is your pet suddenly ripping your home or family apart?  If so, we may be able to help.

We are looking for devoted cat or dog owners whose pets are experiencing behavioral or emotional problems for an upcoming not for boradcast pilot.  If chosen, you will get to work closely with an experienced Animal Communicator to assess and advise you and your troublesome four legged friend to bring harmony back to your household.

If this sounds like just the thing you need and you are living in Los Angeles and are willing to be on camera, please respond by sending your name, contact details and story about your pet to  attn: Tracy Jean