5 Dog Travel Tips for Bringing Your Canine Pals on Vacation


Want to bring your pets on vacation with you? If you have dogs, use these dog travel tips to make their trips as smooth as yours.

In 2017, Americans spent over $6 billion on pet services like grooming and boarding. But what if you’d rather take your pet with you on your next trip?

If so, you’re not alone. Many people would rather bring their dogs on vacation instead of leaving them with someone else.

But before you do, make sure that you follow these dog travel tips to ensure your vacation is enjoyable for both you and your pet.

Get a Vet Checkup

Before your trip, take your dog to the vet for a health checkup and make sure all their vaccinations are up-to-date.

If you plan on flying with your pet, you’ll need to have updated vet records. Make sure to set an appointment well before your trip.

Airlines have different restrictions on pet travel, so do your research beforehand to make your trip as smooth as possible. The CDC website has more information regarding airline pet travel.

Have the Right Size Crate

Dog crates are the safest method for transporting your pet in the car. Not only do crates keep your dog from distracting the driver, but it also protects them in the event of an accident.

Make sure you have the right size crate for your dog. They should have plenty of room to stand and turn around.

The type of crate you should get depends on the size and breed of your dog. For instance, check out this article on choosing the best French Bulldog crate.

Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone in the Car

When traveling with a dog, it’s important to make frequent stops. Some rest areas have dog-walking areas where you can let them exercise and relieve themselves.

Never leave your dog alone in the car when you make pit stops. Cars can heat up quickly, especially in the summer.

Instead, travel with a companion. This allows one person to take a break and use the restroom while the other stays with your dog.

When Flying, Choose the Cabin

If possible, see if your dog can fly with you in the cabin. You’ll pay an extra fee, but your dog will be more comfortable. When flying with a large dog, you may have to fly them as cargo.

Airlines have different restrictions on pet travel, so contact your airline beforehand with questions or concerns. Make reservations for your dog early, because only so many animals are permitted per flight.

Have Updated Identification on Hand

Make sure you use a collar with updated identification information such as your contact number and address. Test collars to make sure they won’t get stuck in the carrier or crate during travel.

It’s also a good idea to have your travel address or emergency contact information on your dog’s tags or crate. You can write this information on travel stickers meant for crates.

Follow These Dog Travel Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Happy

No matter how you plan to travel, make sure your pet is as happy and comfortable as you are. Follow these dog travel tips to prepare you and your dog for your upcoming vacation.

Now that you know how to travel with a dog, you can go ahead and book those tickets or pack your bags.

Looking for more articles like this one? Keep an eye on our blog for helpful tips like this, entertainment news, and much more.

Don’t forget your pet this holiday season


Do you have pets? Do you buy them gifts for the holiday?

I have to admit that I am a “crazy cat lady.” I did buy gifts for our cats for Christmas (as I always do). I did give them their gifts early. It’s hard to keep anything smelling like cat nip under the Christmas tree because they will tear through all the gifts until they find it. Not only that, I love seeing out cats happy and playing with toys.

I also used to buy toys for our dog and our Goldfish. I think everyone – even animals – deserve special treats and gifts for the holidays.

If you would like to include your beloved pet in the holiday festivities, consider putting some gifts under the tree for them. Even better, why not give them their own Christmas stocking. Since we have five cats (almost six, our newest family member is on “medical leave” at the moment), it would be hard for them to each have their own stocking. So they just share a super cute stocking with a cat on it.

The brand Petmate has a lot of fun toys for your feline friend. One of my favorite is the Fat Cat line of toys. We own several of them. Not only do our cats love to play with them, but their whimsical and zany images are fun to look at too.

The Hipster Kickers are funny looking. I love how cute they are. Our cats love to play with them. They grab them with their front paws and kick at them with the back paws. Thank goodness they are made out of a durable canvas-like material.

To make the toys even more fun for cats, they are filled with catnip. If you own cats, you know how crazy they get for catnip.

Our cat Emma enjoying some fun Fat Cat “kicker” toys from Petmate.

Another fun toy (a little too much fun if you ask me) is the Zippy Mouse.

The adorable little Zippy Mouse replicates the movement of a real mouse. It literally zips around and changes direction. Just when your cat thinks they’ve got it, Zippy Mouse moves a different way.

This toy is not only a lot of fun for the cat (even funner for humans to watch them play with it), but it also activates a cat’s natural hunting instincts.

Initially our cats were a bit put off by this toy. They didn’t quite know what to make of it. Once they figured it out, they had a blast chasing it all over the place.

The mouse moves by a human pulling back on it and letting it go. That is the only downside. In order to get it to zip about, a person has to set it in motion.

I refer to this toy in the past tense because I have no clue where it is. It’s somewhere in our home. Most likely under the fridge, stove or couch. I have not seen it in a while.

The little Zippy Mouse looks like this.

You don’t have to spend a fortune during the holiday season like you would on a person, but I do think that pets DO appreciate being thought of too.

These are just a couple of examples of Petmate toys for your cat. They also have plenty of toys for dogs and other critters as well.

Now might be a great time to “gift” your pet a new carrier too, so they can ride in comfort and style on their next vet visit.

For more information on these and other Petmate products, visit Petmate.com. The brand can also be found on Facebook (Petmate) and Twitter (@PetmateProducts).

Are you giving your pet a gift this holiday season? If so, what are you giving him/her this year?


*I received free sample products to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Getting Your Family And Your Household Ready For A Dog


Getting a dog is such an exciting step to take in life. Of course, whether it’s just for you or you’re planning on getting a family pet, you need to make sure you’re ready to take responsibility for this new addition to your household. Many people underestimate the demanding nature of owning a dog, so you need to ensure that you’re ready for this aspect of being a dog owner. Having your own canine pal is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires work. They’re loving pets, but they’re not the most independent pets. Unlike cats, for instance, dogs require a lot of attention. We’ll talk about that and other important aspects of dog ownership in this article. Here are some ways in which you should start getting your family and your household ready for a dog.

Create a warm and welcoming living environment.

If you want to get your family and your household ready for a dog, then you need to create a warm and welcoming living environment. Your home might be very comfy and suitable for the needs of your family, but you have to appreciate that a dog will have different needs. In much the same way as a family preparing for a baby, you have to make some changes to your property. You need to dog-proof your home, in other words. Make sure kitchen crockery and cleaning products are always out of reach, for example.

You should create a play area for your dog so they have a place that they can get messy. Obviously, they need a cozy bed to call their own, too. Be prepared for your puppy to be apprehensive when they’re first introduced to your household. You have to help them settle; let them accustom to their surroundings gently. Make sure you’re kind to them by avoiding telling them off if they seem stressed or unhappy, at first. Obviously, you need to train them by ensuring they don’t eat couch cushions or break things, to give a couple of examples, but you need to get the balance right. You don’t want them to feel uncomfortable in their own home.

Research the diet they’ll need.

Make sure you also research the diet they’ll need before you introduce them to your home. You might have done plenty of research on healthy eating habits for dogs, but your specific breed of dog will have specific dietary requirements, too. Plus, you should shop around for the best possible options. Not every brand of dog food is healthy, after all. You might want to check out Healthy Chews for some chew sticks that would be good for your puppy. You want to make sure that your dog has the healthiest possible snacks in their diet. Make sure you talk to the seller before buying a dog to make sure you know of any specific dietary requirements.

Prepare to switch up your daily routine for them.

You should also prepare to switch up your daily routine for them. Owning a dog is a full-time job, so you have to be prepared for the big changes to your lifestyle. For instance, they need a lot of exercise, so you’ll need to be able to squeeze walks into your daily routine. Of course, that’s good news for the well being of you and your family members. And, if you’re getting a puppy, then you’ll need to be prepared for the possibility of sleepless nights. Like newborn babies, dogs cry a lot when they’re young. The hard work is worth it, of course. You might have to change your life to cater to the needs of your new puppy, but they’ll change your life for the better.

Confused? Dogs Are Good or Bad For Your Kid


Dogs and kids are almost inseparable. Undoubtedly, dogs are great companions and in most families, dogs have become a compassionate friend for everyone. A dog is both an entertaining and affectionate pet. A good dog plays a significant role in the life of every family member. It’s not only a protector but also a friend, a teacher, a companion and an entertainer. However, you may be confused, is a dog good for your kid or not. This is particularly with health concerns including allergies when a dog sheds its hair. Well, here is the truth on pupped.

A dog is good for your kid because;

It Is a Friend

It is a great friend. Kids love to play and so are dogs. A dog, therefore, provides true friendship and companionship for your kid when playing indoors or outdoors. With regular interaction with the dog, your kid learns and develops great social skills as they play with other kids in the neighborhood. With a dog, your kid will not be lonely or depressed.

It Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle

A dog can play actively most of the day with your kid. As they chase, play and run around, your kid gets active, learns different motor skills and bonds with the dog during regular walks. With a routine, you will realize that your kid becomes less interested in playing on the computer screen or watching TV better part of the day. You only need to supervise them or you can watch as the two play for safety reasons.

Furthermore, having a dog around helps your kid to develop a stronger immunity system. Your child will not be prone to asthma and other allergens compared to kids who grow up without a dog around.

For Protection

A dog also protects your kid. Whenever you are away, a dog offers protection against intruders, bullies and violent brawls in the neighborhood.  Remember, you can train your dog on who is family, friends and who is a stranger. It can notify you whenever there is a stranger within. Similarly, when there are possible threats, for example when there is a snake around, a dog will help protect your child.

Some dogs can be trained to detect allergies and diseases. This is crucial in helping your child to stay safe and free of allergies.

Growth and Development

A dog also plays a vital role in the growth and development of your kid. There are different skills that your child can learn from a dog. This includes motor skills, leadership skills and much more. As a child learns to take care of a dog or to lead it to a safer play environment, the child understands and values what it means to be in control.

What’s more, your kid can improve learning and reading skills, social skills and social development. This is because a dog loves kindness, loyalty and trust.

Your kid can also become creative by regularly playing with a dog. Most kids love to dress or bathe their pets. As kids pamper pets, they enhance the creative skills that also help them to stay organized and neat.

Emotional Development

A dog also helps in the emotional development of your kid. In the company of a dog, a kid feels loved, appreciated, wanted and important. With that, your kid also learns to appreciate and love others including siblings and kids from the neighborhood. This further boosts self-esteem because your child will engage in many pet-oriented activities for self-confidence, affection, a sense of responsibility, passion and commitment.

It has been proven that kids who have dogs at home also learn to empathize with others. As your child cares for a dog, it also becomes easy to take into account how others feel.

Peace of Mind

When playing with a dog, kids enjoy some peace of mind. Dogs are naturally loving and they know how to comfort and cuddle. Certain breeds are trained to help provide comfort when your child feels agitated. A short playful interaction with the dog in the evening soothes your kid, helps him to relax, reduces anxiety and promotes quality sleep at night. Remember, when the mind of your little one is excited, relaxed and at peace, it also translates to good mental health.

If a child has undergone trauma in the past, a dog can enhance the recovery process. As a dog cuddles and plays, your child will not have more memories of a traumatic experience. More memories will be created based on fun and playful moments with the dog.

A Better Way to Address Behavioral Problems

A dog is always a better pet and an excellent way to help address various behavioral problems in kids. If your child is hyperactive, aggressive or is easily aggravated by others, you can use a dog to address such issues. A dog can calm your child including kids with special needs. The dog helps your child to process feelings and understand what is going on around them.

Therefore, a dog is good for your kids.

Your Complete Guide to Walking a Cat: The Whys and Hows


Is it really possible or necessary to walk your cat? Yes, your cat can get a lot out of it. Learn the benefits of walking a cat in this guide.

Cats are the second most popular pets in the USA. In fact, in 2017 there were an enormous 95.6 million cats living in homes across America. It’s not hard to see why. Cats make great companions and are a lot less demanding to look after than dogs. They can live comfortably in large houses or in tiny apartments. And they’re great to curl up with at the end of a long day.

But, while cats are known for their independent spirit, cat walking is becoming increasingly popular. This is a great way to spend quality time with your pet and explore your neighborhood. Not familiar with the ins and outs of walking a cat? Then you’re in the right place. Read on to find out everything you need to know about taking your cat for a walk and exactly why they’ll love it.

Get Ready to Reap the Benefits of Cat Walking

Not convinced that cat walking is for you? Well just wait to hear about some of the benefits it could have for your kitty. Taking your cat for a walk outside is a great way to boost its confidence and encourage it to explore its surroundings. This is particularly helpful for young cats or cats that have come from rescue centers. It’s an important way to support your cat’s development and help them get the most out of their lives.

But it’s also an important part of keeping them healthy. Getting fresh air and exercise is a great way to help your cat stay in shape and avoid problems such as arthritis later in life. It can also help to relieve any feelings of stress or boredom that your cat may experience cooped up in your apartment. Taking them for a walk on a cat harness and leash will keep them safe while they do this. 

Outdoor cats have a much lower life expectancy than indoor cats. This is because they are often allowed to roam free, which leaves them vulnerable to catfights or car accidents. If you take them out on a leash, they can avoid this danger and enjoy the outside world – it’s a win-win. Finally, starting to use a harness can be a great way to retrain an outdoor cat for an indoor lifestyle. It creates gentle limitations that can help ease them into this. But finding the best cat harness is key to ensuring you have success walking your cat. So let’s look at some of our top tips for walking your cat.

Make Sure They’re Comfortable

If your cat isn’t comfortable in their harness then they simply won’t want to wear it. This is why it’s important to take the time to find a high-quality harness for your cat. You want a harness that will distribute pressure across your cat’s body if the cat pulls against it. This is why a lot of owners opt for full-body harnesses rather than leashes that clip onto a collar. This will make your cat feel more secure and stop them from choking if they try to pull away. 

Do some research into the right size of harness for your cat. You may find that harness shopping in person is easier than buying one online so you can get the perfect fit. A smaller cat will need a special kitten harness. The last thing you want is a harness that your cat can wriggle out of. If you do choose to buy online then why not consider a harness with adjustable straps? This means you can tailor it exactly to fit your cat. But be careful with the type of buckle you go for. 

A thread-through or Velcro strap buckle may become loose over time and this means your cat could escape the harness. Opting for a clip buckle or pin buckle will keep the straps securely in place. Before you try putting your harness on your cat, make sure it is calm. Wrestling your cat into its harness will not get things off to a good start. Putting their harness on near their food bowl will give them a positive association with it. And once you get them into it, be sure to reward them with a treat. This will mean they look forward to putting the harness on in the future.

Try Walking a Cat Inside First

Before you take your cat for its first walk outside, test their harness out inside. There are a few reasons why this is an important step in walking your cat for the first time. It’s important for them to get used to the harness before they go outside. This will make for a smoother walking experience. The last thing you want is to be carrying a cross cat home from the park.

Let them walk around your home wearing the harness and leash without you holding it for a while. This will help them get used to the feeling of the harness. Then you can start holding the end of the leash and walking them around. Make sure you give them plenty of treats while doing this. They will soon learn that walking on a leash is a fun experience.

Trying out your leash inside is also an important way to make sure that the harness fits them properly. Putting a harness on for five minutes won’t guarantee that your cat can’t wriggle free of it. If you let them wander around it in, you’ll soon spot any problems with the fit. It’s much safer to spot these in the comfort of your own home than out of the street. 

Start Small

Once you know that your cat is comfortable in its harness then you can try it outdoors. Don’t panic if your cat suddenly seems to dislike the harness again. Wearing a harness outside is a new experience, compared to wearing one inside. For cats who are used to roaming free outside, this can be especially confusing. This is why it’s important not to be overly-ambitious with your first walk. A successful walk to the end of your street around the block is much better than a disastrous five-mile hike with your cat.

Starting small also means that if your cat reacts badly, it will be easy for you to get them home. Taking a friend with you to carry a cat carrier in case this happens can be really useful. And don’t forget to stock up on the treats.

If you have a disastrous first walk, don’t be too upset. One of the most important things is when it comes to training is persistence. Try to keep up with the training and stick to a regular schedule. For example, if you plan to go for a walk every day then you should do this every day. Your cat will soon get used to this and you’ll be amazed at how much difference just a week’s walking can make.

A Cat Leash Won’t Suit Every Cat

Unfortunately, not every cat will take to the leash. As an owner, this can be a really frustrating moment but it’s important to listen to your pet and accept what they want. Often it is difficult to identify why a cat doesn’t take to wearing a leash. If your cat suffers from any sort of skin condition they may find that their leash irritates this. Others may find that the leash is uncomfortable on their fur. Doing your research into the best leash for your cat can help prevent this.

When researching, pay attention to user comments and look for leashes specifically designed for your breed of cat. This will give you the best chance of success. If you have a rescue can then there may be a huge number of reasons why they resist the leash. Or your cat may simply be a free spirit. Unfortunately, there is only so much training you can do. To keep your cat happy, it’s important to acknowledge when enough is enough. On the plus side, there are lots of fun alternatives for giving your cat valuable outdoor time.

Explore Your Options

If your cat is keen to roam free then you have lots of options for finding them a safe space to do just that.

If you have an outdoor space at home then look at enclosing this so your cat can explore freely. Even a tiny terrace can become an exciting catio for your pet. And you can have loads of fun kitting this out to keep your cat entertained.

If you live in the city and are short on space, have a look for cat play zones. This is a great way for your cat to meet other animals and for you to connect with fellow owners. For a creative way to get them there, check out cat bags and strollers so they can travel in style.

Walking a cat opens up a world of opportunities for owners to exercise their pets. But it’s also a great way to strengthen your bond with your pet. 

Why Get a Dog? 7 Reasons It’s the Right Choice For Your Family


Looking to expand your family? Click here to learn why getting a dog is an amazing idea.

Are you thinking about adding a four-legged family member to your home? You’re not alone, as 44% of households own at least one dog.  Pets help teach little ones about love, companionship, and new responsibilities. Yet, getting a dog is a big transition for the home. So, it’s important to be sure the family is ready and well-prepared. So, wondering why get a dog?

Here are 7 reasons it’s the right choice for your family. 

1. Dogs Make Families Happier

One of the top reasons to get a dog is to increase happiness in the home. Dogs provide tons of mental health benefits for both parents and children. Owning a dog can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. They promote relaxation and comfort, lessening symptoms of stress. Petting a dog releases feel-good hormones to help stabilize one’s mood.

This includes oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. Dogs also offer companionship and unconditional love to help battle loneliness or sadness. Dogs can even help a family cope during tough times of transition. This includes moving to a new home, a parent getting a new job, or the loss of a loved one. Children often take these life changes harder than adults. So, a dog can help make for a smoother and less emotional transition. 

2. Dogs Make Families Healthier

Families with dogs tend to be more active, which impacts their health. Exercise becomes part of a routine for dog owners. This includes daily walks or jogs around a local park. These physical activities decrease the risk of obesity, heart disease, and other conditions. Studies show that pet owners may even live longer than those who don’t own a dog. 

Pet owners also tend to have a lower BMI. They are better at recovering from an illness as well. Many families who own pets take their dog to the park to play fetch or frisbee. They bring their dogs along for outdoor activities, like hiking and swimming. Pet owners are also likely to spend more time outdoors in the fresh air than inside watching TV. Owning a dog helps babies and children to boost their immune system as well. It lowers their risk of developing asthma, eczema, and other allergies.  

Our daughter and our dog Espn walking in some deep snow after a blizzard.

3. Dogs Teach New Responsibilities

Getting a dog teaches a new sense of responsibility and commitment. This is great for children of all ages as they can help to care for the dog. Have kids help out with feeding and walking the dog when they are old enough. They can even learn to groom the dog later on as well. Pet ownership can strengthen a child’s leadership skills, as they feel in charge of the dog. This teaches them to be kind to pets and shows affection. It even boosts their self-confidence as well. Children can also help to train the dog. They can work to teach it basic commands, like sit and stay. Having a dog helps children learn to adapt well to a routine and stick to healthy habits. 

4. Dogs Handle High-Energy Kids Well

Many dog breeds are high-energy, especially when they are puppies. Dogs love playing and running around with children. This is good for both the kids and the dog to get their energy out. It encourages outdoor play and sparks the imagination. Kids will enjoy throwing balls and sticks around the backyard for the dog. This form of energetic play is one of the main reasons many families wonder, why get a dog? English lab puppies are one of the best breeds for a fun and energetic family dog. 

5. Dogs Make Families Feel Safer

Dogs are highly loyal to their family members and offer a sense of protection. They will bark or growl to alert the family of any potential threat to the home. This helps families sleep better at night, knowing they have a dog on guard. Dogs can even detect certain toxins or hazards in the home. They may be able to notice a leaking pipe or mold growth. They can also alert you if there are pests in the home. Always watch the dog for any strange changes in their behavior. This could signal something is wrong in the home. 

6. Dogs Promote Socialization


Buying or adopting a dog enhances social skills and development for children. The kids will talk to the dog and engage with them on a daily basis. They will bond with the dog, working to create a special relationship with them. Socialization also occurs when you take the dog to a pet-friendly park. Here you will meet other dog owners and kids can make new friends. You’ll also socialize more when walking the dog around the neighborhood. The family will interact with neighbors who want to come and pet the dog. 

7. Dogs Do Well with Special Needs 

Dogs have also shown to help children with special needs. They can make a big difference in their lives by offering extra protection and therapy. Dogs can help children with epilepsy, autism, and Asperger’s. These benefits can come from service or therapy dogs, as well as household pets. A dog can even help children to overcome emotional or behavioral problems. They can soothe an angry or overwhelmed child. Dogs can alert the parents if a family member is experiencing a problem as well. 

It’s normal for many families to wonder why get a dog and are we ready for this? As dogs are a big commitment and take lots of responsibility from all family members. Yet, owning a dog can enhance your family’s life, bringing more health and happiness. Dogs make us more active, stress-free, and social. They also protect us and provide us with unconditional love. Looking for more great advice on enhancing your family life? Connect with me on social for all the latest tips.