Category Archives: pet travel

All Aboard for Dog-Friendly Cruises!

By Annie Manning

These days we’re pampering our pooches more than ever. From luxury dog spas to canine country clubs, they’re certainly getting used to living it up. The indulgence isn’t just reserved for home, however. More and more of us are taking our four-legged friends away on vacation with us, with a Pet Travel Survey announcing that 40% of dog owners intended to take their pooches away with them last year. If that wasn’t enough to get tails wagging, 90% of those asked also admitted they’d alter their plans if it would be beneficial to their dog.

From statistics like these, it’s evident that we love Fido as much as Fido loves us. Taking your dog away on vacation with you can be an extremely rewarding experience, especially if you have a family. What’s more, with 80% of vacationers saying they worry about their dogs being in kennels while they’re away, taking them with you can be a more relaxing experience. But where in the world?

If you’ve thought about going away with your dog, you might have considered a camping vacation, or perhaps somewhere by the beach – but have you ever considered a cruise? With the demand for pet-friendly vacations growing, many hotels and resorts have adapted for pet needs, and surprisingly, so have a few well established cruise liners. Although only one pet-friendly transatlantic liner exists thus far, there are many ferries offering smaller trips for both you and your dog to enjoy – all of which are certainly worthy of a visit during your next vacation.

Cunard Cruise Line

The pinnacle of pet-friendly cruises has to be Cunard Cruises’ flagship, the Queen Mary II. On this luxurious ship of dreams, you’ll find every possible amenity to make sure both you and Fido relax in style. The transatlantic liner indulges both of you right from the get-go, with dogs receiving a complimentary gift pack as soon as the ship sets sail. The gift pack includes toys, dog treats, a Cunard bowl, a portrait of both of you, and just in case your dog forgets who he is among all the luxury – a personalized name tag.

Throughout their stay dogs (and cats!) are treated to the very best in bedding and premium pet food, while a full time kennel master is employed to look after your dog’s every whim when you’re busy relaxing. The level of care and attention is unmatched and 100% tailored to your pets needs. If for example your dog is sociable, it can be arranged for him to play with other pets, or he can shun them in favor of snooty solitude. Playtime and walks occur several times of day (though you can specify otherwise) and visiting times for humans come in blocks of two hours. While you relax, you can be sure your pet is receiving the very of best of care; they’re never left unattended, even at night. Make sure to book ahead however; there are only 12 places reserved for pets, making it something of a VIP (very important pooch) occasion.

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Ten Important Phone Numbers for Pet Parents

By Julia Williams

When it comes to responsible pet ownership, there’s no such thing as being too prepared, or having too much information. We all know how important it is to keep the telephone number for our pet’s veterinarian close at hand. We also need to have the number and location of the nearest emergency vet hospital in case our pet gets sick or injured on weekends or after hours. In addition to those two essential telephone numbers, there are many others a pet owner might need at one time or another.

In an emergency, it’s much better to be prepared and know who to call than to be frantically searching for a phone number. The one thing you do NOT want to do in an emergency is search the internet for phone numbers. This is likely a waste of time because, as I discovered while doing research for this article, much of the information is outdated and the numbers are disconnected. I’ve only included numbers here that I could verify. Some are toll free numbers, but others may incur long distance charges depending upon your phone service. Also note that some may only be staffed Monday through Friday during regular business.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1 888 426 4435
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, you can call this poison control center 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The cost for a poison-related emergency consultation with a veterinarian or toxicologist is $65, which can be billed to your credit card.

Pet Poison Helpline: 1 800 213 6680
This 24-hour animal poison control service for the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean charges a $35 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case.

Spay/USA Helpline: 1 800 248 7729
This national spay/neuter referral service can help you find a low cost clinic in your area. Their mission is to reduce pet overpopulation by making spay/neuter services affordable to everyone who has a cat or a dog. Phone counselors are available M-F from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

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Eight Great Dog-Friendly Cities in America

By Tamara L. Waters

Whether you are planning a permanent move or a vacation, knowing which cities are friendly and welcoming toward your pooch can make things easier for you and Fido. Before you go, it pays to do a little research, and the site has made it easier for you. They’ve  compiled a list of cities in America that are the most dog-friendly, which you can read here

When you’re looking for a city or town that is dog-friendly, you hope to find a number of businesses and attractions that will welcome not only you but also your pet. Whether the businesses allow you to bring your pet shopping or visiting with you, or they simply provide kennels or other amenities to your four-legged friend, being dog-friendly comes in many forms.

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Pet Friendly Businesses and Fun Destinations

By Anna Lee

Thinking of going to the beach? Taking a day trip or mini vacation? If you’re wondering what to do with your dog, you will be pleased to know there are many businesses, parks, restaurants, and beaches that welcome your four-legged friend. More and more locations are jumping on the bandwagon too. I guess dog and cat lovers are finally making their wants and needs known, and businesses are listening. Thank you!

Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, Florida

A vacation at the beach sounds good to me. Being able to find a place to let my dog Abby run free would make it that much better. Fort De Soto Park is one of six ‘Paw Playgrounds’ in Pinellas County that are dog friendly. Fort De Soto is a 2 acre fenced park that has 200 yards of soft white sand for your dog to run and play on. Pack yourself a picnic lunch and bring along some CANIDAE Snap-Biscuit® treats for the dog, and enjoy a fun day at the beach! What could be better than that? For more information, including maps and a virtual tour of the dog park check out their website.

Nashville, TN

Traveling to Nashville soon and taking the family dog with you? You won’t be alone. Nashville is going to the dogs, and they don’t have to be country music fans – but it helps! Nashville has a fantastic dog friendly park system, with three dog parks that are open from dawn to dusk. Check out the Nashville Dog Parks by logging onto their website. The site offers lots of information on hours of operation and what they expect from their visitors.

There are also several Nashville restaurants that allow pets to dine with their owners at outside tables. You must realize that Fido can only join you at the outdoor tables, no dogs allowed inside the restaurants. Check out: 12 South Tap Room, Jackson’s Bar and Bistro and Calypso Café at this website.

Don’t hold back on a hotel – book the Lowe’s Vanderbilt Hotel which is not only dog and cat friendly, but offers doggie and kitty room service, plus gifts for your pet! They also have pet sitting and pet walking services available. It is quite an impressive hotel, and the fact that it’s pet friendly is even more impressive to me. Check out their website and decide if you and your pet would like to vacation in the lap of luxury. Photos of the hotel and information on their other amenities can be found here.

Lowe’s also has a pet friendly hotel at their Cornado Bay, CA location where your dog can learn to surf. A night’s lodging and surfing lessons is expensive. At $449 a night they won’t be seeing Abby and me any time in the future!

America’s Favorite Past Time – Baseball

Did you know you can take your dog to the ball field with you, on a specific pet friendly day that is! This event started in 1996 when the White Sox offered the fist “Dog Day” and was an instant success. Some of the festivities include parades, various competitions, vendors with products and services, and many of these events are fundraisers for animal related organizations. The thrill of the day is being able to have you dog sit with you in a special dog section and watch the game! Just a few examples: the Atlanta Braves have “Bark in the Park,” the St. Louis Cardinals have “Pooches in the Ballpark” and the San Francisco Giants have “Dog Days of Summer.” Check with your baseball team’s particular website to find out more about these special dog days.

Vacations no longer mean leaving the dog or cat at home. Doors are opening and it makes me smile to think I could take Abby to a great beach in Florida and a fantastic park in Nashville, or enjoy a ballgame together. What a life!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Pet Airways: the First Airline for Four-Legged Fliers

By Anna Lee

The husband and wife team of Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel’s inspiration to start an airline exclusively for pets came from their own Jack Russell Terrier. She couldn’t fit under the seat in front of them as her carrier was just a tad too big. Zoe, like many other dogs, would have to travel in the cargo hold. This was not a satisfactory solution to them as Zoe is not cargo, she’s their pet. Plus, traveling in the cargo hold can be a dangerous and frightening experience for pets. So Alysa and Dan came up with a solution: their own airline.

On a ‘Pet Airways’ flight, dogs and cats travel in a climate controlled cabin. The aircraft are modified Beech 1900s. The seats and overhead bins have been removed and replaced with crates. Each plane holds approximately 50 pet carriers of different sizes that are secured with Pet Airways “proprietary restraint system.” Your pet is not just shoved inside an airliner and forgotten about. Pets get top flight, first class attention.

The airline currently serves five cities: Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. The owners plan is to expand to 20 additional cities over the next couple of years. Fares are calculated on the size of the carrier required for your pet and the travel time involved, and range from $149 to $299 one way. These flights are in and out of smaller, regional airports.

Your pet can fly on Pet Airways, but you can’t. You will have to take a regular plane ride and expect your dog or cat to take much longer due to the type of planes and the stops they have to make. Your pet’s flight and your flight would be in and out of two different airports, which adds some inconvenience to your schedule.

According to their website, pets are never left unattended, and are taken care of by trained professionals. You drop your pet off in a special lounge area 2 hours prior to departure, although special arrangements can be made if you need to drop the pet off earlier. Pets are put onboard the plane and checked to make sure they are safe and secure. Professionals monitor the pets every 15 minutes. When they arrive at the destination they are given a final potty break and you pick your pet up in the specified lounge area. If you cannot pick up your pet after the flight arrives, arrangements can be made for an overnight stay at a PAWS lodge.

This brand new airline is getting mixed reviews since its initial flight in early July. We all have the right to make our own decisions and choices in life for ourselves and our pets. Pet Airways is not for everyone. Some people love it and some don’t. I personally don’t fly, and I have no reason to fly. My travel is always in a vehicle, where Abby is right in the back of the SUV with us.

With Pet Airways, you do have to turn your pet over to strangers for many hours. Not all cats or dogs would do well under those circumstances due to health reasons. Pet owners must fly on a different, traditional flight. As stated earlier, Pet Airways is rather expensive and the flights are long. If you are considering this service you may want to check with your veterinarian for a professional opinion.

It’s up to you, the responsible pet owner, to decide if Pet Airways is right for you or not. It is an option that is available in a world that is constantly changing and growing. Do your own research, ask for references and explore the option. If you decide it is a service you would like to try, you can get more information on flights, schedules and prices, and make reservations at their website,

Read more articles by Anna Lee

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Dog Park PET’iquette

In the event you missed it, dog parks are growing in popularity. As the recent housing crisis pushes many into smaller homes or apartments, it’s important to ensure that your pets get plenty of exercise. So, for those who are new to the experience, how can you get the most from your daily visits? Here are a few initial tips for you. 
Visit the Dog Park Without Your Dog
Every dog park has it’s own flow and personality, developed largely by those who have been showing up twice a day for the last year. Before you bring your laid-back but very scary looking large breed down for a day of play, be sure you understand the ebb and flow of the park. If you don’t see a larger-breed of dog there, talk to the caretakers and ask their feelings on the subject. This is a great opportunity for educating others on the benefits of allowing their smaller-breed dogs to interact with a larger breed.  Get a feel for the environment and the pack. If you want to play in the pack, you have to make sure it’s a good pack for you. 
Abide by the Rules
Every dog park has different rules (for humans and canines). Familiarize yourself with these rules and follow them. No one likes a person who shows up with a dog off-leash, or showing up without plastic bags to clean up after their pets. If your pet exhibits bad behavior, correct it. Don’t ignore it. 
Never Leave Your Pet
That should go without saying, but unfortunately, some people think that a dog park is their answer to “pup-sitting”. Never leave your pet unattended, not even to use the restroom. A lot can happen in four minutes and whether it’s your dog or another causing an issue, you had better be around to remedy the situation. 
Don’t Be Annoying with Treats
Really, you shouldn’t feed your own at a park either. You never know when another dog will become food-aggressive, or just plain jealous. This includes treats and snacks. Dogs can experience a lot of emotion (and related bad manners) when it comes to food.  Training should have already been done at home, and if you’re there to reinforce the training, go ahead and give Fido a quick treat, but do it quickly and without a big deal.
Be Sociable, Don’t be an Expert
Yes. We understand that you know more about the global history of your Chihuahua than anyone else in the world. We don’t necessarily want to hear it. Sure, you can brag about your dog, as long as you give us equal brag time.  You can be an expert if someone asks, but don’t bring it up if up if we’re talking about our day at work. 
Know When to Leave
When your dog starts showing aggression against someone or another dog, it’s time to walk away. If you sense an argument festering in the fenced area, it’s time to leave. Every animal, like every human, has their own tolerance level and it varies daily. Don’t fall victim to the desire to wear your pup out at the cost of being exiled.
Additional Resources
photo credit: Copyright PetsWeekly, 2005
Stacy Mantle

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.