Category Archives: travel

Life on the Road with Spirit, a CANIDAE Special Achiever

A few months ago, Linda Cole wrote a great article about Ara Gureghian and his dog Spirit, who have been touring the U.S. together (by motorcycle!) for five years. Ara & Spirit’s inspiring story captured our attention, and I’m happy to report they’re now part of the CANIDAE Special Achievers sponsorship program. We asked Ara to write a guest post for us about their travels, and he graciously agreed.

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What if the video camera had been rolling 24/7 for these past 5 years full time on the road camping with my buddy Spirit? How about if he would do the commentaries? Goggles and helmet on, sitting in his own sidecar, nice four season tent with four motel nights a month, his CANIDAE dog food twice a day for better health than I could wish even for myself, some serious clowning and loving, and teaching me. Yes, Spirit has taught me the true values and priorities of Life. I have not heard a single complaint. He has not stopped glancing at me every 10 seconds while we ride, has not quit wagging his tail – what more can I ask or deserve from such a companion?

It is a funny thing the unfortunate dog-less are missing out throughout this Life of ours, which all too often is thought of as a rehearsal…but trust me, it is not. One Life to live and what better path than with such a mate when on these present occasions we are of each other’s help. I have had the tragedy of losing my only child, my son Lance, just over 7 years ago. Spirit himself had the misfortune of being badly abused for his first year, and while walking through the shelter, when our eyes crossed 3 days before his due send off to the other side, it was a mutual understanding within that split second look, the one imploring to save the other.

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Summer Vacation Tips for Traveling with Dogs

By Suzanne Alicie

The warm weather of summer often has us humans making vacation plans and heading out of town. For those of us who want our canine pals to have a summer vacation with the rest of the family, we have some choices and preparations to make to ensure that it’ll be a safe and fun trip for everyone.

Road Trips

Taking your dog with you on a long road trip can be enjoyable or traumatic, depending upon the dog. For dogs who like to ride and don’t get carsick, it’s a fun thing to go on a road trip. For dogs who don’t like to ride or get carsick, it can be a miserable experience for everyone involved. Be sure to take along a bowl for food and water, a fresh bottle of water and some dry dog food. Also pack paper towels and check with your vet for an anti-nausea remedy. Don’t forget the leash for rest stops and a comfy place for Fido to curl up when he’s tired of looking out the window. Read “What to Pack for a Road Trip with Your Dog” for more tips.

Vacation Rentals

Nearly all places that offer vacation rentals have at least a few properties that are dog friendly. You may have to pay an extra deposit and ensure that your dog has a crate for when you have to leave him at the strange house all alone if you and the family go out. Be sure to bring along his favorite CANIDAE treats to reward him for being such a good dog, and his favorite blankie or bed so that he feels safe and comfy in the vacation home.

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A Pit Bull and a Man on a Journey of Discovery

By Linda Cole

We never know from where or when a friend will come. And sometimes that friend has four legs and needs a friend of his own. Seven years ago, Ara Gureghian lost his 26 year old son, his only child, to cancer. And that crossroad is where a grieving father and a broken down dog named Spirit found each other. Spirit was as much in need of a friend as Ara was. Together, they began a journey of healing and discovery.

When life throws challenges at us, we deal with them in our own ways. For many of us, our pets play a role in helping us get through an emotional or tough period in our lives. Their unconditional love is always constant, and we know our pets won’t judge us unfairly. In our time of need, a pet can be the most stable thing in our lives. Ara didn’t have a pet until a year after his son’s death. He was down to his last $1,000 after spending his life savings trying to heal his son, Lance. We know we have to move on after a devastating loss, but it’s not always easy. For Ara, dealing with his loss set him on a path to try to make sense of things and rediscover what was important to him.

Ara’s chosen profession is as a Gourmet Chef, and after graduating from a culinary school in Switzerland, he immigrated to America to follow his passion for food, cooking and adventure. Life was good until his son died. To heal his broken heart, Ara knew the best way for him to make sense of what had happened was on the open road, so he began to prepare to hit the road with his best friend, Spirit, at his side.

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How to Keep Pets Safe When You Move


By Julia Williams

Moving is one of the most stressful things we humans have to endure. Whether it’s just across town or thousands of miles, moving is no picnic. Oh sure, it can be exciting and fun after the move, when you’re finally settled into your new home. But the actual move, with all the packing, hauling and unpacking? Ugh.

When you add pets into the mix, moving can get downright chaotic. Just like humans, pets get stressed out from the process of moving too. However, there are some things you can do to lessen the tension for all involved, and keep your pets safe during this traumatic time.

Before the Move

Planning ahead is the most important thing you can do to help make this transition go as smoothly as possible. As soon as you know that a move is coming, start making arrangements for your belongings and your pets – and write everything down so you don’t forget something important. If possible, pack up your things a little at a time so your pet’s routine can be kept as normal as possible until moving day arrives.

All cats (and some dogs) will need to be safely confined in a sturdy pet carrier on the day of your move, so buy one beforehand if you don’t already have one. If you have multiple cats, you may need a carrier for each of them. I assumed my two cats, a brother and sister who got along great in my home, would be fine sharing a pet carrier. When I tried to take them to the vet in one carrier, I found out just how wrong I was! Luckily I discovered this before my cross-country move, and thus had separate pet carriers on hand for each of my three cats.

Purchase a new pet ID tag as soon as you know your new address. If you don’t know your new phone number yet, put your cell phone number on it instead. If your pet is micro-chipped, get the information changed before you move.

If you’re traveling by car and will need lodging along the way, plan ahead to be sure there is a pet-friendly hotel or motel room waiting for you. You can find pet-friendly lodging online at a site such as Petswelcome.com, but should also confirm it with your motel directly when you make your reservation.

If your pet doesn’t travel well by car, consult your vet about medication that might help. My friends gave their cat a veterinary-prescribed sedative during and after their move. Although it’s not something I personally would do, your vet can advise you if it’s something you are considering. Your vet can also inform you of any vaccinations or health certificates your pet may need before the move.

Air travel with pets is a little more difficult. Not all airlines accept pets, either in the cabin or cargo hold; those that do have their own pet transportation policies. Contact your airline directly when making travel plans for your pets. Also, the Air Transport Association has comprehensive information online that is a must-read for anyone traveling by air with pets.

During the Move

On moving day, your front door will be open a lot, and people will be constantly coming and going. The safest and least stressful place for your pet during all of this chaos is somewhere off-site. Consider having your pet stay with a trusted friend, the vet or a kennel. They won’t be underfoot, and they won’t get lost outdoors should they slip out unnoticed. Not having them there on moving day is one less thing for you to worry about as well.

If taking your pet off-site is not an option, it’s imperative to confine them to a safe place, such as the bathroom. Place a DO NOT ENTER sign on the door, and be sure friends and movers know that the room is off-limits.

Make your car trip safe for both people and pets. Cats should never be allowed to ride loose in the car – that is just an accident waiting to happen. Cats should always be transported in a sturdy and well-ventilated pet carrier. If your dog will be riding in your car, consider getting them a harness that secures them to the seat. Never let your dog ride loose in the open bed of a pickup truck. Put them in a sturdy crate that’s securely tied down, or on a properly installed cross tether.

After the Move

Take with you (rather than pack in a box) everything your pet will need in your new home: food, water, leash, medications, pet bed, litter box, dishes, and health records. Also, carry a recent photo of your pet in your wallet, in case your pet becomes lost.

You’ll want to get a recommendation from someone you trust for a new veterinarian; in the meantime, know the location of the closest vet and after-hours animal hospital in case of an emergency.

When you get to your new home, it’s best to put your pet in a quiet room with the door closed until everything’s been moved inside. Besides the chaos of moving, your pet now has the stress of being in a strange new place with no familiar smells. Cats especially need to be safely confined indoors for several weeks (more is better), to ensure that they don’t become lost or injured outdoors.

I hope these tips will help keep your four-legged friend safe and sound on your next move.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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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.

Hiking PET’iquette

If you’re anything like me, you prefer the great wide open to the confines of a dog park and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like me, my dogs also prefer to hit the trail. But, there are rules of etiquette in the wilds, just as there are in the city. Here are a few tips to Doggie Pet’iquette on the trail.
Leashes. Always…
Just because you’re in the wild doesn’t mean your dog gets to act like a wild animal. Especially if you live in the West. Out here, we carry guns and most know how to use them. In the west, there is the potential to run across a rattlesnake (which is no fun when you’re two miles into the mountains and have to carry out a 100 lb dog), and if you’re in the East, you could run across lots of other creatures. So keep your pet on a leash at all times. Trust me – they’ll still enjoy their time! All those smells, new sights, fun things to explore… Yeah, they’ll love it even if on a leash.
Size Matters
The rule is, the bigger the dog, the more of an interred threat. As dog servants, we know that this is not always true, but to the layman, they associate a big Rottie with an eminent attack. Now, if you have a friendly Rottie, you can teach the newbies a thing or two, but never force your knowledge on another. Generally people who fear dogs are fairly unreasonable to begin with, so just show how great your Rottie is by having him sit quietly by your side and letting the person pass by you. Don’t let your big dog off leash – ever. You never know when someone will take their friendly bounds as a sign of aggression and react like prey. We’re all instinctual creatures after all.
Keep small pets off the trail. There has been a recent increase in reports of prey animals (cougars, coyotes, even owls and hawks) snatching small pets from the arms of owners on a trailhead. And just for the record, this is due to human encroachment, not increased aggressiveness on the part of wildlife.
Trail Traffic
Traffic on the trailhead (and you should always be on a trailhead), is largely the same as on a sidewalk. Move to the right to let other people and pets pass, keep a wide margin of error between you and other pets (even if your dog isn’t aggressive, others may be), and if you pass someone who is obviously terrified of animals, put your dog in the sit position and let the humans pass.  The rule is, “dog and owner yield right of way to hikers.”
Clean Up
Be sure that you bring along a lot of plastic baggies and a way to pack out waste. Your dog’s waste can seriously impact the delicate ecosystem and even pass along disease or parasites to the wildlife, but it’s also a matter of having respect for the environment. Be sure your dog is well away from water sources before allowing it to eliminate. 
Additional Resources
Photo Credit: Copyright PetsWeekly, 2001
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.