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27 07, 2021

Have Fun and Stay Safe with These Summer Pet Essentials

By |2021-07-27T07:16:19-06:00July 27th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

With summer in full swing, you may be looking to get out of the house with your pup and partake in some summer activities. Whether you are traveling 10 minutes to a dog park or across the country on a plane, it’s important to have everything your dog needs to have a successful trip. We’ve put together a list of the summer essentials you may want to have to make sure everyone has a good time.

 

  1. Portable Water Bowl: You should always bring water whenever you take your dog out of the house. A portable water bowl is a great option because it saves space and is easy to pack in a bag. There are even some water bottles that convert into a water bowl, like this one.
  2. Cooling Mat: Any type of cooling product is ideal for the summer to prevent your pup from overheating. The cooling mats come in different sizes and do not require refrigeration. These are great to bring along to the beach or on a camping trip to give your pet a great place to cool down.
  3. Life Vest: A life vest is a summer essential for any water pup. The life vest lets you take your dog on a kayak or out in a swimming pool, knowing they’ll be safe when they’re in the water. Even if your dog is an experienced swimmer, it is always better to invest in a good life vest. Some dog supply stores even bundle a life vest with floating toys, like this store.
  4. Travel Towel: A towel might not seem essential, but a towel is a versatile item to keep in your summer dog bag. A towel is great for wiping off your dog’s paws if they end up in mud or water before loading them into your car.
  5. Car Seat Cover: Car seat covers allow your dog to join you on car trips without ruining your car seats. Many seat covers are machine washable and attach easily to the head rests. Dogs can be messy, so you can still bring them along for the ride while protecting your car.
  6. Collapsible Swimming Pool: Swimming pools are both practical and fun for dogs. The water lets the dogs cool off while getting enrichment from the experience. There are many foldable or collapsible pool options which let you take the pool on the go.
  7. Pet Sunscreen: Pet sun care is very important during the summer. Pet sunscreen products come in a balm, spray, or wipe format which makes for easy application. You should not use human sunscreen on dogs, as they can be toxic. Instead, look for dog-specific sunscreen to use for your pet.

 

The list goes on for summer pet essentials, but these should get you started. You may need more specific dog items depending on where you live or what activities you like to do with your dog. Having all that your dog needs because you head out on your next adventure makes sure your dog can have a good time.  Need something else? Check out our pet travel supplies section for more ideas.

 

27 06, 2021

Most Pet-Friendly Vacation Destinations in the United States

By |2021-06-17T09:54:20-06:00June 27th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

With traveling opportunities slowly reopening, you may be starting to plan your next vacation. Whether you adopted a pandemic pup or have a trusty travel companion, we’ve put together a list of the most pet-friendly vacation destinations for your trip. Be sure to reference our guides to each airport’s dog policies.

 

1. Portland and Bend, Oregon

If you and your pup love the great outdoors, Oregon is the place to be. After you land at Portland International Airport, you can spend some time in Portland exploring the outdoor markets, coastal paths, and pet-friendly restaurants. When you’re ready to get out of the city, take a road trip to Bend. National forests and off-leash hiking areas are abounding in Bend. You and your dog are sure to get plenty of exercise and take in the beautiful scenery.

2. Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor is a breath of fresh air for you and your dog. Acadia National Park is one of the most dog-friendly national parks to visit. You can easily spend a few days hiking the various trails in the park. You can also head down to the coast and wander the shops, restaurants, and views of Bar Harbor. Your dog will have no problem joining you as many of the restaurants are dog friendly. Some of the harbor boat tours even let on dogs.

3. Albuquerque, New Mexico

You and your dog can enjoy the sunshine and vibrant social scene in historic Albuquerque. Flying into Albuquerque will help cut down on the commute to your hotel accommodations. If you’re up for a hike, there are many to choose from which let you experience the scenic desert. You can also opt to take in the local art of the city and hit up some of the many brewery patios and outside restaurants with your dog.

 

4. Austin, Texas

Take in the music, BBQ, and everything else Austin has to offer with your pup by your side. Austin is one of the most dog-friendly destinations, many restaurants having water bowls ready and a menu just for dogs. Austin is a very walkable city with dog-friendly parks around the town. You can let your dog cool off in the lake at Red Bud Isle dog park or get some AC in one of the several pet-friendly hotels in the city.

 

5. San Diego, California

Once you and your dog arrive at San Diego Airport, you might have a hard time choosing what to do first. If your dog is not a fan of the beach before visiting San Diego, they will become a fan after going to a dog beach. You and your dog can walk in the sand and even go surfing in the ocean. San Diego has plenty of options for pet-friendly dining after a sun-soaked day. You can also see the beach from higher up, hiking up Cowles Mountain to take in 360-degree views of the city. If you plan well enough, you can even attend some of the dog-centered events San Diego hosts yearly.

28 05, 2021

COVID-Detecting Dogs Could Reduce Airport Rates of Transmission

By |2021-06-01T08:18:17-06:00May 28th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

A collaborative study between Durham University, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and a group called Medical Detection Dogs might improve the quality of air travel. The researchers have trained dogs to detect positive COVID-19 cases, and the study could have far-reaching implications for frequent fliers and beyond. 

Dogs have an acute sense of smell. Humans have approximately 6 million olfactory receptors in their noses, while dogs can possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors. Dogs also use a part of their brain for smelling that is proportionally 40 times larger than the same part in humans. The discerning noses of disease-sniffing dogs can identify cancer, narcolepsy, and malaria. In a global pandemic, it makes sense to lean on dogs’ superior sense of smell to aid in COVID-19 detection. 

 

What the Study Found

In this Phase 1 Trial, dogs sniffed out COVID-19-19 on masks and other articles of clothing. The dogs were away from identifying false-positives, so they can correctly identify both positive and negative cases. Training took about 6 to 8 weeks. The dogs in the study range in age from 4 to 6 years old, and their breeds are Cocker Spaniel, Labrador, or Golden Retriever. 

COVID-19 carries a specific odor to these dogs’ expert noses. Scientists are still trying to figure out the exact chemical makeup that produces COVID-19’s identifiable smell. The dogs had an 82% to 94% sensitivity rate in their ability to detect the presence of COVID-19, while the specificity rate ranges from 76% to 92%. This specificity measurement indicates whether the dogs could tell if a person did not have COVID-19. The dogs are able to identify COVID-19-positivity even in asymptomatic cases. 

The study’s authors still point to the PCR test as the top COVID-19 detector, but COVID-detecting dogs can be useful in crowded places. Using dogs to screen for COVID-19 at airport terminals could result in a 91% detection rate, and reduce rates of transmission. When a COVID-detecting dog identifies a traveller as COVID-positive, the next courses of action would be quarantine and a PCR test. 

COVID-19-detecting dogs could also act as a visual warning to travelers who might consider traveling while infected. This method of detection could also prevent the need for travelers to quarantine. 

However, spatial conditions could reduce detection rates. The dogs’ ability to identify COVID-19 might suffer depending on how crowded an indoor space is, or if outdoor spaces have increased airflow. Additionally, COVID-detecting dogs have different specificity rates and cannot guarantee universal rates of detection. 

 

What About the Pups?

This COVID-19 detection method does pose a risk to the dogs themselves. Dogs can be infected with SARS-COV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. The illness presents both asymptomatically and to varying levels of infection, just like its symptomatic range in humans. 

The Phase 1 Trial findings should ultimately be considered tentative as the research is still awaiting peer-review. The Phase 2 Trial will test dogs’ abilities to identify COVID-19 in infected people, not just masks and articles of clothing. As results from the Phase 2 Trial become publicly available and applicable, COVID-detecting dogs could change the landscape of airport viral transmission for the better.

19 04, 2021

How to Get Your Newly Adopted Dog Ready for Post-Covid Life

By |2021-04-16T11:03:53-06:00April 19th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

Pandemic pets are one of the brighter points of life with covid. The pandemic brought about a surge in animal adoptions caused by people seeking companionship with a new pet. Unsurprisingly, these newly adopted dogs have brought happiness into their owners’ lives during a very challenging time.

But many dog owners are now facing the reality of leaving their homes (and dogs) to go back to work for the first time in several months. This transition can be rocky, so we put together a guide to get your newly adopted dog ready for a new normal.

 

Establish a Routine for You and Your Dog 

A consistent routine is key to adapting your adopted dog and keeping them happy. You likely already have structured mealtimes, walks, and nap built into your day. However, if these times conflict with your new post-covid schedule, you will need to start getting your dog used to a new schedule.

Trying to impose a new schedule abruptly will likely make your dog stressed. Instead, you should aim to make little changes over a longer period of time. This will help to gradually introduce a new structure. This process could take longer for adopted dogs who have only known one type of daily structure, having their owner in the home all day. In making a new routine, line up play time or walks with when you will be able to give that attention when work picks back up.

 

Preparing Your Dog to Travel 

While you may not be thinking of making any significant travel plans soon, thinking about how to include your newly adopted dog in a trip is a good idea. Similar to establishing a new routine, preparing your dog to travel should be gradual.

For car travel, use positive reinforcement to help your dog feel comfortable. Start with short car rides to get your dog used to getting into and out of the car. Give your dog treats to make them recognize the car as a good place. Over time, your dog should be ready for longer trips.

It’s a bit harder to practice for air travel. All pets on planes require a crate, with the expectation of qualified service animals. You can work to acclimate your dog to their crate at home. This can take time. That said, it’s important your dog can feel comfortable in a crate since they will have to be in a crate throughout the entire flight. Owners will not be able to know how their dog will react on a plane until they have a flight. Any amount of preparation is worthwhile to help your dog find comfort in a stressful environment.

 

Adjusting to a New Normal

We know it is sad to think about leaving your dog at home, especially when you are used to spending the whole day together. Post-covid life will be a big adjustment for both of you. Remember to be patient, stick to a routine, and enjoy the time you do bond.

23 03, 2021

How the Emotional Support Animal Ban May Affect You

By |2021-03-23T10:28:20-06:00March 23rd, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

As vaccinations become more readily available to the American public, the possibility of travel feels attainable. After over a year of varying levels of lockdown, it is also incredibly enticing. However, passengers will not be returning to the same flying environment they left before the pandemic. Many major airlines placed a ban on emotional support animals on planes in 2020 after the Department of Transportation announced emotional support animals would not be considered service animals.

 

The Basics of Emotional Support Animals

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a service animal as a “dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.”

Emotional support animals can provide service and comfort to their owners. This ban has put many owners in a state of desperation. 80% of owners would pay in order to ensure their pets were seated with them instead of in the cargo hold, with just about 20% of owners willing to spend at least $300. Prior to the ban, emotional support animals were ticketed and boarded with their owners. Service dogs are still able to ride with their passengers for free, although some airlines will ask for the service dog’s certification forms.

Passengers and organizations that oppose the presence of emotional support animals point to an 85% increase in incidents involving emotional support animals since 2016. Almost 2 of every 5 flying passengers have been on a flight where an incident involving an emotional support animal occurred. Two notable incidents are a dog biting an American Airlines attendant in 2019 and an emotional support pig defecating in a plane’s cabin in 2014.

 

The State of Flying

This ban affects more than just passengers who have support animals themselves. In fact, 48% of airline customers report they feel happy when seeing an animal on the plane. 10% of people reported reduced anxiety when there is a support animal on the same flight.  On the other hand, 11% of people are annoyed with the presence of support animals, 10% feel increased anxiety, and 9% of passengers have an allergy to animals. Other passengers had a more diplomatic view: 34% of airline customers understand support the ban on emotional support animals, while still wishing customers who need the support could have an alternate option.

Airlines for Americans reports that over one million passengers brought emotional support animals on plane rides in 2019, and 90% of people who tried to certify pets as emotional support animals were successful. This spike in passengers with emotional support animals is a direct result of loosening restrictions, which ultimately might have led to the 2021 ban.

Though that spike likely resulted in exploitation of the emotional support animal system, the ban will place untold strain on passengers who relied on that source of comfort. Unfortunately, the passengers with emotional support animals will not be the only ones suffering. Over half of American passengers prefer flying next to animals than babies or toddlers. The post-pandemic travel boom will offer all passengers a less animal-friendly cabin.

23 02, 2021

When Will Traveling Return to “Normal”?

By |2021-02-23T08:55:41-07:00February 23rd, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

We have been living through the pandemic for roughly a year now. We think it is safe to say that many people are thinking of the days to come, when we can go out in public comfortably. Maybe we’ll even be able to take a vacation. Normally, plans would start taking shape for the next vacation or road trip with your pup a few months out. The pandemic has put those plans on hold, but with the vaccine rollout underway, we might start to see some things return to normal. To give you a bit of a heads up, we wanted to share some information about how the vaccine will affect the traveling and tourism industry in the months and years to come.

 

The Vaccine and Travel Restrictions

The immediate future of traveling by air will likely include a proof of vaccination. As countries continue to vaccinate their citizens, having the vaccine is a safer precaution than simply testing negative for the coronavirus before flying. The pandemic has not greatly impacted traveling with pets. Airlines made a rule change in 2020 that prevents emotional support animals from boarding for free. However, pets, like dogs and cats, can still travel in the cabin for a fee.

Travel restrictions will likely stay in place for the time being until the daily cases decline. You can view a list of state travel limits here. To that end, predicting which airlines will require proof of vaccination is hard. Much of post-COVID-19 travel is, ironically, still up in the air. Travelers should see more clarity within a few months.

 

What Is the Current State of Tourism?

The pandemic halted tourism and hurt many businesses dependent on the industry. The vaccine may represent the hope of returning to normal life, but it may be awhile until tourism is viable again.

Businesses reliant on tourism will have to find ways to adapt their practices to provide safe ways for people to travel and engage with tourism activities.

Even with the vaccine, travelers will likely be cautious to return to pre-COVID-19 tourist behaviors. People might fear large crowds and cramped spaces, which the tourist industry will have to work around. There are several factors to think about in terms of tourism recovery. It will likely take a few years for tourism to regain strength, but eventually, we expect it to come back in full force.

 

Pandemic Vacation Options 

Until more people are vaccinated, air travel will remain very risky. Vacation options, like camping or road trips, remain a good way to have a change of scenery while maintaining social distancing. Plus, driving with your pet is much easier than flying with them – and cheaper, too. Hotels have increased their cleanliness procedures, making them safe places to stay for short-term trips. If you are itching to get away for a small trip, stick to options that allow for responsible practices.

COVID-19 precautions are still very necessary despite the vaccine getting to more people. The vaccine is a huge step to building herd immunity, but that process will take time. You should still avoid non-essential travel until health officials and airlines indicate a reduced risk for travelers. Travel will come back eventually, so patience is key.

 

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