How To Travel With Dogs

How to travel with Dogs

Our Dogs are part of our family so we try to take them everywhere with us. Millions of people every year take their pets on holiday with them. The more you research this the easier it becomes. There are companies now all over the world that cater for holidays where you can take your pet.

Our Dogs are anxious and get upset if we leave them alone for two hours, never mind two weeks !! I guess we must be doing something right if they want to spend all their time with us ha-ha. Last year we took them to the North of Spain on a road trip. Although I drove over 1000 miles, we managed to stay in fantastic accommodation everywhere and all tailored for Dogs.

We book everything through Booking.com and with the use of the filters on the search system it is easy to adjust for dog friendly hotels.

Link too booking.com
Click on picture above to go to Booking.com

Should You Take Your Dog?

You may want to take your Dog on your travels but there are instances when this is not possible. If your loved one is very old the experience might be quite traumatic for him as he will be away from his usual day to day activities. I would then suggest he is left at home where his routine will be the least disrupted or with a Kennel that he is used to.

If your furry travelling companion is poorly, pregnant, or gets travel sickness easily then it will be better if he stays at home.

What type of activities will you be doing whilst away? If you are planning on spending a couple of weeks visiting theme parks or water parks etc then the last thing you want to do is leave your Dog cooped up in a hotel room. Your Pet needs to feel comfortable and will want to be with you in its new strange surroundings.

So, prior to booking your Dog friendly hotel, make sure you have planned your holiday to fully encompass your loved one in your activities.

Preparing For Your Trip

First of all you need to ask yourself where are you travelling to?

As I mentioned before, we take our pride and joy’s to lots of places within driving distance so our holidays are not great distances. If I visit family in the UK, then my Dogs stay at home with the Wife. They are happy, and she is even happier as I am away ha-ha.

Pre Holiday Checks –

  • Double check you accommodation is pet friendly. Read the small print. I made the mistake once of booking a pet friendly hotel only to turn up and realise it was only pet friendly if you stayed in the grounds in a camper van or tent. Thankfully, they were very accommodating due to the distance we had travelled and the fact they were not busy.
  • What are the local vets out of hours service? Do you have contact numbers?
  • Make sure your pet is fit to travel. Are its vaccinations up to date? Is he micro chipped and are the details up to date?Does he need medication?
  • Do you have a collar with an ID tag attached with correct contact details? This is very important as he is away from his usual safety zones so could stray if not kept an eye on.
  • Are there Dog friendly activities you can do? Remember you must ensure your loved one feels secure.

Hudson and Nelly whilst staying at Hotel Colores, Zahara de Los Atunes, Dog Friendly Hotel

Taking Your Dog Abroad

There are many rules to follow when taking your Dog out of the country. There are different guidelines for Ferry travel and Air Travel. Attached is a guide provided by the RSPCA. Also, attached is a guide to travelling provided by the American Kennel Club. Please bear in mind with the possibility of Brexit many things could change in the future.

The UK Government provides information on taking your Dog overseas and for bringing it to the UK. They also provide the latest information on the process after a possible Brexit.

Hotel Misiana Tarifa Dog Friendly Hotel

Whilst On Holiday With Your Dog

Remember, your loved one is going to be in a strange place with strange surroundings.

Try to keep to the following –

  • Keep walking and food times the same as usual.
  • Try to ensure their diet is the same as at home. Therefore, you can take prepacked food with you if possible. Just because you are on holiday and might be overindulging it doesn’t mean your Dog can too.
  • Don’t leave them alone in strange surrounding as this may cause anxiety.
  • Make sure your Dog is comfortable and can get a good nights rest.
  • Try to take something familiar to your Dog with you. For example, their bed or if that’s impracticable, a blanket they are familiar with.

Hotel Dos Mares Tarifa Dog Friendly Hotel

Conclusion

Whether you are travelling short distances or long haul it is possible to take your furry loved ones with you. It is easier now, than ever before, and by just spending a bit of time researching the possibilities you can ensure a happy holiday for you and your Dog. There is plenty of advice available and if you are leaving the country you MUST follow the guidelines for the country you are visiting.

Happy travelling

If you have any tips or advice you would like to add please drop me a line.

David

amazon.co.uk or amazon.com

amazon.co.uk or amazon.com

Ever since I started this website I have been looking at ways for all of us to save money. It is too easy these days to just go to any website and order what you want. Yes, there are comparison websites, and some work and some are geared to specific companies. I have never been one to spend hour after hour researching different items, where they come from or how I can get the cheapest price. THAT is where I have gone wrong.

Research amazon.co.uk or amazon.com

Did you know that wherever you are in the UK or Europe you can have an amazon.co.uk or an amazon.com account? No, I didn’t either until recently. After researching between the two giants of amazon.co.uk and amazon.com I have realised I could have saved a fortune if I had just sat down for an extra 10 minutes before deciding what to order. How Frustrating !!!!

So, lets take two examples I looked up today. I have gone through the whole process of ordering both items to an address in the UK and you can see for yourself the difference in prices.

Petami Deluxe Pet Carrier

To start with we will visit amazon.co.uk

As you can see this item is priced at £70.53. When you get to the checkout the total is £80.51

So now let’s head over to amazon.com

As you can see this item is priced at $38.99. When you get to the checkout the total is £52.77

As you can see. If you order from amazon.co.uk it is going to cost you £27.74 more !!!! The winner is shopping with amazon.com.

That is one good example. Let’s have a look at another.

Oster Pro 3000I Pet Cordless Clipper

To start with we will visit amazon.co.uk

As you can see this item is priced at £329. When you get to the checkout the total is £329

So now let’s head over to amazon.com

 

 

As you can see this item is priced at $295.83. When you get to the checkout the total is £312.79

That may not seem much of a difference as it is only a saving of £16.21. Also it will take a week longer to get to you, HOWEVER you do get a free 10W Blade which sells for £22 so you are actually saving £38.21.

So as you can see. If you order from amazon.co.uk it is going to cost you £38.21 more !!!! The winner is shopping with amazon.com.

Conclusion

It only takes a small amount of time to shop around to make massive savings. Just by researching amazon.co.uk and amazon.com you can save a fortune.

Once you have started saving money you can start treating yourself and your furry best friend.

amazon.co.uk or amazon.com

Once again, if you have any tips or comments please feel free to drop me a line.

David

How to Choose the Right Dog Food

I firmly believe that your Dog is part of your family therefore deserves the best When I say “the best”, that does not mean your best friend should be sitting down and eating the same food as you This may seem like the easiest option, however, it really is not. Unfortunately Dogs have very different stomachs to us and the wrong kind of food can make your loved one very poorly. The funny thing is, your Dog does not know what is bad for him He will eat anything if it tastes nice to him, he will not know it’s bad, even when you take him to the vet because of an adverse reaction to say a juicy leg of Pork.

How to choose the right Dog food

How to Choose the Right Dog Food

Food is the most important factor in your Dog’s life. He needs to gain everything to ensure his body can cope with the energy required to run in a field or chase a ball. Also, he requires all the nutrients to ensure his body is healthy not only on the outside but internally. Too much or too little can have adverse effects on your Dog’s diet which can ultimately make him poorly.

The choice can be overwhelming as there are so many companies dedicated to producing Dog food. You should never fall into the trap of buying the product with the nicest packaging or the cheapest option There are many factors to take into account before making your purchase.

First you need to decide whether you need wet, dry or raw Dog food. Dry Dog food comes in the form of kibbles, pellets or biscuits Wet food comes with a kind of jelly that Dogs love and raw food is usually frozen with a high meat content

When buying the food it either comes as “complete” or “complementary”. A “complete” food will contain all the nutrients your Dog will need but a “complementary” will require other foods to supplement it.

You can also buy foods that are designed for different age groups, different breeds and for those with allergies

Things to remember:-

  • Low quality foods tend to contain byproducts, additives, cereals, preservatives and artificial colours.
  • If the first three ingredients of the food are corn, soy, wheat or byproducts, then the chances are this is low quality food that will not give your Dog the nutrients he requires.
  • If within the first three products there is a good meat source and the list is short there is a better chance it is good quality. Also, if the food is naturally preserved then this should contain everything your Dog needs.
  • Read the labels carefully. Look for specifically named meat or fish and avoid byproducts.
  • If you have a very lethargic Dog that does not get much exercise, then refrain from giving him a high performance diet as this will cause him serious discomfort. High simple carbohydrate diets can lead to obesity.
  • Rotate between different brands. Transition between the brands gradually. A balanced diet requires variety.
  • High-temperature processing destroys essential nutrients. Try to stay as close as possible to organic and natural ingredients.
  • A multi vitamin or mineral supplement can also help.
  • You want your Dog to have a happy and long life, so, ensuring he has a healthy diet free from artificial additives etc should go a long way to helping him achieve this.

How to choose the right dog food

How to Deal with a Fussy Dog

If your Dog is a fussy eater then you will need to change his diet gradually. (Do remember they are very clever!!). It is a good idea to buy small packets of food to try out on him and try a few different brands until you find one he enjoys. Be aware though, if his diet changes and he starts to lose weight then you must go to the vet for a check up.

Raw Meat, Wet or Dry Food

You need to find a good quality product that your Dog likes. There are so many choices to choose from and the best way to find out which is best is by trial and error. Don’t listen to your friends who swear on this or swear on that as every Dog is different.

Some Dogs adapt really well to raw food while others become constipated. Some people feed a mixture of dry food and raw meat, or wet and dry food, whilst others cook meat for them. Our two Dogs love cooked meat. Nelly is a furry dustbin that can eat anything, raw or cooked, and it will have absolutely no effect on her whatsoever. Hudson on the other hand is far more delicate. He gets diarrhoea very easily so he only gets meat as a treat.

The Important Ingredients

  • Nutrients – Your Dog needs a wide range of nutrients for a healthy life. These range from Macro-nutrients, like protein and fat, which dog’s need in large quantities to micro-nutrients that are needed in smaller amounts but are just as important.
  • Fat / Oils – These serve essential functions. They promote healthy skin and hair. The fat provides twice the energy of protein or carbohydrates. Essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6) cannot be made by your Dog so must be obtained from food. These control inflammation, blood clotting and brain development. Too little can lead to health problems. Some oils when taken in moderation can be beneficial for Dogs and some foods have them added. Common supplement oils include fish, evening primrose, borage oil and rosemary oil.
  • Fibre – These have been much debate in the past as to whether a Dog needs Fibre in his diet. The growing consensus is that it can be very beneficial. Fibre provides zero calories and passes through the digestive system pretty much unchanged. It does however act like a sponge and absorbs less water from the colon. It will also help to soak up any diarrhoea so producing a firm stool. It also helps in the reverse. Too little water in the colon causing constipation, then the fibre will gather water from surrounding tissues to help resolve the problem. Fibre is also a pro-biotic. This means it provides a medium and a food source for “friendly” intestinal bacteria. These bacteria help the digestion of food and keep away harmful bugs.
  • Protein – Protein is essential for healthy skin and muscle tissue growth and repair. It is also the key ingredient in hair and nails. Within Dog’s it is also an important energy source. Protein comes in many forms and the most important for Dog’s is through meat and fish. In important fact to take into account is that some cheaper brands substitute meat for lower grade protein sources such as soya meal, maize gluten, potato protein and vegetable protein. These are harder for your Dog to digest and can lead to dietary intolerance.
  • Minerals / Ash – Ash is often misunderstood in the terms of Dog food. Ash is simply the measure of the mineral content of the food. The calorific content of the food is calculated by incinerating all the carbohydrates, fat, and protein. This leaves only the minerals. The energy released is measured and is known as the ash content. Dogs need a wide variety of minerals to stay fit and healthy. These are the most important:
    • Calcium – Necessary for bone formation, teeth, muscle contractions and nerve transmissions.
    • Phosphorus – This is required for skeletal structure, DNA, RNA structure, energy metabolism.
    • Magnesium – This is needed to allow enzymes to function, nerve cell membrane interface and hormone secretions.
    • Potassium – required for healthy nerve function, enzyme reactions, energy metabolism.
    • Iron – Integral part of haemoglobin; enzymes in respiration and energy metabolism.
    • Copper – Connective tissue; iron metabolism, blood cell formation and defence against oxidation.
    • Zinc – Enzyme function; protein and carbohydrate metabolism; skin function and wound healing.
    • Manganese – Enzyme reactions; bone development, cartilage formation; neurological function and metabolism.
    • Selenium – Important in the immune system and protection against oxidation.
  • Vitamins – Vitamins are essential for keeping your Dog fit and healthy. These need to be taken in through diet due to the fact your Dog’s body cannot produce sufficient quantities. There are currently thirteen known vitamins that are crucial.
    • Vitamin A – Necessary for growth, vision, foetal development and healthy skin and coat.
    • Vitamin B – (X8) These are primarily involved in metabolising and deriving energy from the food you eat.
    • Vitamin C – Vital for the immune system.
    • Vitamin D – Important during skeletal development and absorbing calcium in the intestine.
    • Vitamin E – Defence against oxidative damage.
    • Vitamin K – This is involved in assisting blood clotting and bone development.

How to choose the best dog food

How Much to Feed

It is just as important to feed your Dog the right amount of food as it is to choose the right Dog food. If I kept filling our Dog’s bowls full of food every time they emptied them they would soon be overweight and unable to do their daily walks. Dogs will just eat and eat as they do not have knowledge of diets and weight maintenance. There are plenty of guidelines on how much food you should be giving your loved ones. The information is also found on the sides of dog Food packaging. If you are unsure speak to your vet and try to weigh your Dog regularly. This will also help you keep an eye on his weight so you can tell if you are over or under feeding him.

When to Feed

Once you have chosen the correct amount of food to feed him then you can divide this up how you see fit. Vets advise against just once a day as your Dog can become bloated and suffer from Gastric Torsion. This can be potentially life threatening so its best to feed him 2 – 3 times a day. Dog’s love consistency so once you have food a good schedule stick to it. I’m sure if you forget a meal time your loved one will remind you ha-ha.

Conclusion

It can be a minefield trying to choose the best Dog food for your loved ones. Try to choose the best quality you can afford and always check the labels for percentage of meat quantity. There should be between 20 – 30% protein in Dry foods and between 5-8% in Wet.

Please see some best choices available on Amazon.co.uk. Don’t forget you can order from Amazon.com, you may get a better deal.

As usual, if you have any comments please drop me a line.

David

Review of “On Paws Sleep Well Lounger”

On Paws Sleep Well Lounger

Review of On Paws Sleep Well Lounger – Excellent quality and value for money. The perfect bed for your Dog.

If you are looking for a bed that is made of great quality material and is value for money then you can’t go wrong with the “On Paws” range of bedding. My particular favourite is the “Sleep Well Lounger”. It can be ordered in various sizes depending on the size of your Dog and will look good in any area of your house. It is a Premium Quality Pet Bed and I believe far better quality than some more expensive beds.

Review of On Paws Sleep Well Lounger

Product: On Paws”Sleep Well Lounger” Dog Bed Brown, Size S (50 x 40 cm) Teflon Protected, Machine Washable, Detachable Covers (5 Sizes & Choice of Colours available)

Price: £29.99 & Free Delivery in the UK  

Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.co.uk

Weight: 1.1 Kg (Shipping Weight 1.1Kg)

Package Dimensions 56 x 41 x 9 cm

Special Features: Teflon Coated to help repel water, oil and stains.  

My Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Review of On Paws Sleep Well Lounger

 

On Paws Sleep Well Lounger Overview

On Paws recently launched a range of beds for your Dog which offer premium quality, comfortable and durability at an affordable price. They have sourced the best quality materials for the exterior and interior fill.

The Sleep Well Lounger has seven removable cushions for easy washing and ensures no clumping of the fill after wash. The rectangular shape allows your pet to spread out and relax in comfort and style. The elegant style looks great in any position in the house.

The beds come in 5 sizes for your Dog, Puppy and even cats and kittens. They are fully washable at 30 degrees and are water, wind, oil and urine resistant due to the Teflon Coating. The soft lining ensures your loved one will have a restful sleep. The cushion is removable and reversible should you wish to use it on the go. The inner lining can be reversed from the soft comfortable lining to the water resistant Teflon coated lining for those wet muddy days.

It is important to choose the right size for your dog. Please see below the sizing chart.

Main Features:

  • Premium Quality. The Sleep Well Lounger comes in 5 sizes to best suit your pet whatever their size. The bed ensures your pet has a luxurious restful sleep.
  • The outer cover is made from a high quality, extremely durable polyester / nylon fabric which is then DuPont Teflon coated to help repel water, oil and stains. The exterior walls are reinforced with premium quality fill for extra comfort and “snugness”.
  • The inner is made from super soft padding to ensure your pet feels comfortable and snug.
  • The bed is fully washable with reversible / removable covers for easier washing.
  • The base has an anti-slip mesh to prevent slipping on smooth surfaces.

Conclusion

What more could your best friend need? A great bed designed to last and be used in all conditions. I believe this is a fantastic all-rounder that comes very reasonable price.

A good idea is also check our Amazon.com. Even though it is in the US you can get really good deals and great rates of postage.

Don’t forget, if you have any comments or feedback please feel free to drop me a line.

David

How to Choose the Right Dog Breed for You

Choosing the right dog for you

Choosing the right breed for you and your family is as important as making the decision to have a Dog. There are lots of decisions to be made apart from the obvious ones. It is not just a case of “do I buy a pure breed?” or “do I rescue one from a shelter?”. You also need to know if YOU are ready to own a Dog. Below is lots of information on how to choose the right dog breed for you.

Questions You Will Need to Ask Yourself

  • Have you made a choice of pet that will fit in with your lifestyle?- When you become a Dog owner there are many adjustments you may need to make in your life. For instance do you have children? Do you have other pets? Does anyone in the family suffer from allergies? How much time have you to walk your Dog? All the questions need to be answered before making the decision.
  • Do I have the finances required to look after a Dog?-There are many financial decisions to make. For example if you buy a pure breed from a Reputable Breeder it can cost between £500 – £2000 for your pet. Never buy from a back street breeder. A cheaper option is to buy from a Shelter or Resue Centre. There, you will pay a low fee which usually includes vaccinations and having him chipped. You are also likely to receive a Dog that is mixed with many breeds. This is very advantageous for health reasons. On a personal front we had a beautiful Miniature Schnauzer called Nessa that was a pure breed. She suffered from skin conditions most of her adult life bless her. Both the Dogs we have now were rescued from a shelter and they are healthy and fantastic Dogs.Choosing the right dog for you
  • Other expenses – Medications, Microchipping, Vaccinations, Grooming, Teeth Cleaning, Flea Treatment, Leads and Collars and a massive expense is food bowls and FOOD.

One Size Does Not Fit All

You may have a good idea of the kind of Dog you want. However, will that size of Dog fit into your lifestyle? Will it fit into your home?

If you live in a Flat it’s probably not the best idea to bring home a huge Dog. Large Dogs need more space to move around. If they are happy then they wag their tails like mad. Not so good if it’s in a small area as furniture, belongings, and even children can get damaged in the excitement. One advantage of a larger Dog is that they don’t normally need as much exercise as small hyper Dogs, that need to be worn out. However, they do need more attention and the food bill will be considerably greater than a small one.

Small Dogs are more vulnerable and delicate. They can be stepped on or mishandled. Be Always careful around small children as they can think your Dog is a toy. I have seen it with my own eyes, small Dogs getting very stressed due to manhandling by children. Smaller Dogs can be much more sensitive than larger ones. They get cold quicker in colder climates, so be ready to wrap them up or have your room temperature set to warm. Training is an important factor as the smaller ones can get a “Tough Dog” attitude to compensate for their small size. I must say my Nelly, the Miniature Poodle, believes she is a Great Dane ha-ha.

If you live in the countryside think about where your Dog will be spending most of its time. A small Pomeranian covered in dirt, bugs, bits of tree and shrubs is going to be a nightmare to groom.

Choosing the right dog for you

Activities and Training

It is quite obvious that different breeds require different amounts of exercise. It does not matter which breed you have, ALL Dogs require routine exercise. You must be able to commit to this. If this is difficult then choose a Dog with a lower exercise threshold like a French Bulldog. If you are looking for a running companion with lots of agility, then you will be more suited to a Border Collie. Our Hudson is a cross between all sorts of breeds and I have never known him to tire.

You must be able to adjust the amount of exercise your Dog is getting. It is far too easy, to fall into the trap of having lots of enthusiasm for exercise throughout long summer days. However, when the winter comes, do not start to neglect the amount of exercise your Dog is getting. If for instance, your Dog starts to bark constantly and starts destroying you home or garden, then there is a high possibility he or she needs more exercise.

You will need to take into account whether your new best friend will require Training. This can be a great benefit yo yourself, your neighbours and the local Dog Community. You can take your Dog to obedience classes and socialisation training. We used to take our Nessa to agility classes which was so much fun for us and for her.

Dog Training is also available through lots of online forums and there are many books dedicated to this.

Physical Appearance

The way your Dog looks has a lot to do with his Grooming needs. All Dogs need basic grooming, but some a lot more than others. If you have a long haired Dog then this will require more daily maintenance and a trip to the Groomer’s more often. Short haired smooth coated Dogs tend to be shredders which will mean you will have to clean up more often. Remember, if they are shredders then they will not be accepted very well by those people with allergies. It is always a good idea to buy some basic grooming tools to help reduce shredding, and for keeping your loved one looking great.

Choosing the right dog for you

Something else to think about, Dogs with long ears tend to get infections easier. They require frequent cleaning so it’s a good idea to choose a Groomer that does this every time they groom your Dog. In addition, some types of Dogs constantly drool. If you own a Bloodhound, Mastiff or similar Dog, then it’s a good idea to carry a “slobber cloth” around with you.

 

Age

If you decide on a Puppy then for the first six months you will need to dedicate a lot of time to training. There will be accidents in the house and there is a possibility items will get chewed. Patience is a must, and given time the problems will become ironed out and your Pup should become house-trained.

An Adult Dog can be an excellent choice. Once you meet him you will be able to judge his temperament and possibly his energy levels. You know he will not grow anymore, so that get’s rid of some uncertainty. Just because he is an adult it doesn’t mean he is properly trained. He maybe partly trained, so will just need a little bit of further training on getting home. Our Hudson was three when we got him. Although shy at first, it didn’t take him very long to settle into our home life. He was fully house-trained so that was a blessing.

Older Dogs should not be forgotten. These can make amazing friends and companions. They are less likely to need lots of exercise but may need attention in other ways. You must remember they might not last many years and are more likely to develop health problems. However, they still need a home like every other Dog. If you can accept this, then adopting an older Dog is a wonderful compassionate thing to do.Rescue Dog

Conclusion

As you can tell there are lots of things to take into consideration when getting a Dog. Making the right choice is crucial. There are far too many Dog Shelters with thousands of Dogs needing a good home. You must make sure that you and your family are ready for the commitment and that it is not just a stage you are going through because your young son or daughter wants a puppy.

Reading up on different characteristics of different breeds is a must when understanding what you are likely to go through when choosing that breed. Please see below my top five books available on Amazon.co.uk

If you have any questions or tips you would like to share, please do not hesitate in dropping me a line.

David