Travelling with your dog? Travel tales to get you on the right path

We had been on the road for 12 hours when we arrived in Sedona, Arizona, and had never even stopped to eat. A mistake in the itinerary had taken us far out of our way, and I was completely depleted when my companion and I stumbled into our motel room.

pet travel

Yet she issued no judgements as I sat on the floor, quietly crying from exhaustion while finally eating some pizza from a restaurant next door. She just waited patiently, staring at my food until I offered her one of my crusts.

That’s one of the great joys of travel with dogs. No matter what goes wrong, they’re just content you brought them along.

Fortunately, that’s getting easier. Travelling with pets is on the rise, and the marketplace is adjusting to make room, with a widening selection of pet-friendly lodging, restaurants and activities. Even bringing a dog on a plane is more common and less expensive than it once was, redefining what travel with dogs can look like.

What I’ll remember most about Sedona is spending time with Sophie. But travel with dogs is not as simple as putting them in the car and hitting the road. It takes preparation, planning, and flexibility but – when done correctly – it can lead to wonderful experiences you never could have anticipated.

Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best

Kyle Ferari-Muñoz, a 31-year-old student and political fundraiser, knows a lot about prepping for travel with dogs in mind: he and his husband travel several times a week with 3 of their pups.

‘We travel with the dogs about 90 percent of the time,’ Ferari-Muñoz says. Though Geppetto, Smoochella, Thurmond Goodbright and Ferari-Muñoz have a reliable routine going, a lot of that is due to preparation.

Knowing each airline’s dog policies is essential, as is picking a preferred airline (especially helpful when relying on customer service for support). Ferari-Muñoz also recommends looking up the location of the animal relief areas at the destination airport.

Of course, accidents happen, which is where preparation comes in handy again. Packing a small clean-up kit in your carry-on is the best way to quickly deal with unforeseen messes.

‘It’s important to realize that travel can be stressful – even to pets like mine, who travel with me very frequently – and for every pet owner to know what is right or wrong for their pet,’ Ferari-Muñoz says.

Learning your dog’s likes, dislikes, limits and tolerances before setting out on an adventure will ensure everyone has a good time. Anticipate your dog’s potential sources of stress or calamity and head them off before they occur.

Planning makes perfect

For Ashley Halligan, founder of Pilgrim Magazine, road trips with a canine companion are all about planning as well. ‘I try to route my journey to include as many stops as possible at dog-friendly parks – be it local, state, or national parks,’ she says.

She also advises keeping the car equipped: she stocks treats in her door panel, keeps pillows in the front and back seats, and always has extra water – a must-have for anyone travelling with a dog. Halligan values flexibility. Rather than picking every hotel prior to the trip, she looks up ‘dog-friendly accommodations within a particular area where I’d like to spend more time.’ As an added resource, AAA publishes a thorough book of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

Many hotels also charge nightly pet fees and may not carry be capable of replacing anything dog-related you may have left at home. Planning ahead, even when you’re already travelling, can minimize these pitfalls.

‘One of the major things to consider when travelling with a dog is finding a setting that works for you and for them,’ advises the team from Getaway, a cabin retreat company specializing in dog-friendly accommodations. ‘A dog might not like being at the top floor of a high rise with no outdoor space, even though it feels like a great destination to you.’

Roll with the punches

Halligan has been travelling with her dog, Jack Cousteau, since 2015 and has struck a good balance between spontaneous travel and the ability to care for Jack’s needs. The confluence of the two has resulted in adventure.

‘Having a dog by my side has given me the courage to detour to places that I maybe wouldn’t detour to otherwise,’ she says.

‘From tucked-away places in the Siskiyou National Forest to remote sections of the Yuba River,’ Jack’s presence has taken Halligan places she never would have considered if she had been dog-free.

Ultimately, travel with dogs, like dog ownership in general, requires a certain level of flexibility. When things don’t go according to plan, you may need to make decisions that prioritize your pet’s happiness rather than your own. This could mean stopping more frequently during a road trip, booking a second seat on a plane, or eating somewhere that wouldn’t normally appeal to you just because it’s the only spot in town with outdoor seating.

That trip to Sedona might have been a struggle. But I don’t regret getting to explore a remarkable place with a travel companion who had no qualms with our messed-up itinerary. Planning a vacation around a pet may bring its own set of challenges, but they’re nothing compared to the love a dog can provide on the road.

How I bring my dog with me while travelling the world and working remotely

When I pictured my future, as much as I’d have liked it to include remote Portuguese Islands, a puppy, a surfboard, and a laptop, I’d probably never have come up with that. It looked more like business suits and handshakes… I’m really glad it went in the direction of the puppy and the laptop instead.

How I got my start with remote work

I didn’t start working remotely by choice. This, to me, was a concept I never knew about until one day it happened. I was fresh off an incredible snowboard season in the French Alps (if my family is reading I meant to say finishing my Masters in France), and working at a big firm which, like for most of my classmates, didn’t feel as inspiring as I initially thought. Thinking through things further, I felt a startup position would teach me a lot more.

I had my first startup opportunity in London, England working for PayWithTab out of Google Seedcamp. This was also my first experience working remotely. Independent coffee shops were our clients, which meant that owners were more than happy to have me work from their cafes while we tried getting our idea off the ground.

This allowed me to be super productive, as I was able to lend a hand in-person if our software wasn’t running well. I also kept a good coffee buzz going all day/ every day which had me working and biking from cafe-to-cafe in warp speeds!

I’ve now been working remotely for a total of 3 years, with my last year and a half being at Buffer. It has allowed me to engineer my life in a way that makes me happiest. Whether that is working from coffee shops, working from home while I raise a puppy, or from co-work spaces to meet new people in different cities!

Adding a dog to the mix

I never had a dog of my own before working remotely. I always thought it’d be too tough to take on with a full-time job, especially the puppy stage. Landing a remote job at Buffer definitely spurred my decision to pull the trigger! I remember Danny, my role buddy during my first 60 days, asking me a question during our interview process. It was: “If you started working at Buffer, what would be one of the first things you’d do?”

I didn’t think twice as I blurted out: “Dog… I want Dog.”

Not only are dogs absolute lords, they’ll steer you towards a healthier lifestyle. Physically, they force you to exercise and spend a ton of time in fresh air. Dogs are also good for the heart and naturally get you to socialize more. People love dogs, it’s science.

I’ve always wanted to nomad while working remotely. Introducing a dog into the mix definitely raised some doubts about that ever happening. How would I fly with him? How on earth do you get all the paperwork together to enter another country with a dog? Are there vaccinations?

My guide to travelling with a dog

Nomading with a dog can be done without losing your mind or your dog. If you’re planning on doing it, I’d love to share some pieces of advice that might help!

Crate train your new best friend

People dread the idea of bringing their dog on a plane. If they’re too big, which was the case for Eca, they’ll have to fly in the undercarriage.

But, wait… this is not as bad as it sounds.

The plane’s undercarriage (where animals are stored) is set to the same air pressure and temperature as the cabin where we fly. If you want to compare these conditions to ours in the cabin, dogs get way more leg room as well. Eca’s crate was the equivalent of a king-sized bed.

Crate training them from day one will make this inevitable obstacle painless. I used Cesar Milan’s method and it worked like a charm. Eca was totally relaxed when we arrived at our destination.

Get your timing right with vaccinations and paperwork

This step in getting your dog ready to travel is where I almost blew it. Let’s make sure you don’t do the same.

Firstly, you’re going to want to review the customs laws of the country you’re travelling to. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-stop resource for this, as each country has their own. This step is super important! There are microchips, shots, and forms involved. Some countries won’t allow dogs from certain other countries to enter at all, and others will have a mandatory quarantine. Each country will require you fill out a pet passport for your dog. It sounds cute, but it’s no joke.

Personally, I botched the paperwork and only had it signed by my vet. Upon landing in Azores, customs let me know that the paperwork also had to be signed by another Canadian regulatory body and that what I had wasn’t useful.

They let me know that my dog could be quarantined for 14 days… Luckily Eca was begging for a belly rub as customs debated this. They settled on getting him another rabies shot at the local vet and merrily on my way I went…

…after customs gave Eca a belly rub of course.

Notifying your airline

So, your best friend has all their shots and paperwork ready, and their crate has been solidified as their second home. It’s time to get in touch with your airline to notify them that you’ll be travelling with a dog.

Warning: Don’t skip this! It’ll ensure things go smoothly once your trip comes around. While an airline will transport animals for one flight, that same airline might not for a different – let’s say international-route.

Make sure you are given written confirmation or something official that states that the airline has been notified you’ll be travelling with your dog. I didn’t and I was put on a later flight, prolonging my trip unnecessarily. Luckily Eca’s crate was filled with his favourite things on Earth. More on that coming up!

The trip

You did it. You’re at that glorious moment where you realize this might actually work. Your dog loves their crate, and the vaccinations and paperwork are organized. Now the trip itself is the next challenge. Here are some tips to make it a smooth one!

Fill your dog’s crate with some of your dirty laundry. I know, don’t judge me. But your dog will identify your smell and it will have a calming effect, I promise. Before you fly, make sure to take your dog out for a super rigorous session of exercise. A tired dog is a happy dog, and you’ll want your dog on the brink of collapse for this. In fact, I’ve often been asked if I gave my dog any pills for the flight. In my opinion, sedatives aren’t the best option. Instead, working diligently to properly crate train your animal so they’re nice and calm in the crate (surrounded by your dirty socks), can really pay off.

Accommodation

Make sure your Airbnb or hotel is pet-friendly. I forgot to tell my friends about bringing Eca on this surf trip. Luckily, we snuck him into the hostel, although I was caught by the front desk taking him out late at night. It wasn’t my best moment, but to my surprise, they didn’t send me packing; the fact that it was 1 am worked in my favour! Plus, Eca was asking for another belly rub. As they faced the wall and called their managers, I slipped away to my room and set up shop with Eca on the balcony. I don’t recommend this as a way to go about things, please learn from my mistake on this one!

Going forward

So, despite a few minor hiccups (as expected when it’s your first rodeo a.k.a. first trip with your dog), bringing Eca was totally worth the effort. It went so well, I decided to continue the trip to Lisbon, Portugal and explore the coastline for a few months. In case you’d like to follow along with this adventure, our next stop will be the Canadian Rockies!

(Article source: Various) 

Canine comfort: The cues dogs pick up on to comfort their owners

Have you ever started crying and looked down to find your dog right by your side? Whenever I’m upset, my dog Ralph puts her chin on my knee and looks up into my eyes as if to say, “I’m here for you!”

canine Comfort

It seems like my dog can sense my moods, and wants to comfort me when I feel bad. But how do dogs know when we’re upset? Are they responding to our emotions, our body language, or something else altogether? Read on to learn how dogs know to comfort people.

Do dogs show empathy?

Dogs are sensitive to human behaviour, body language, and emotions. But do dogs feel what we feel? Scientists disagree about whether or not dogs have empathy. Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition (and even their emotions) from their perspective. Think of it as putting yourself in someone else’s mental and emotional shoes.

According to an article in Psychology Today, adult dogs have a mind similar to that of a human toddler, with about the same the mental abilities, vocabulary, and emotional intelligence. Toddlers aren’t quite capable of empathy, so it’s possible dogs aren’t, either. Whether or not they fully empathize with us, there’s no question that dogs react to humans’ emotional states.

Scientific studies support the idea that dogs are sensitive to emotional contagion. Emotional contagion is when an individual responds to the emotions of another without fully understanding what they are feeling. In other words, your dog may not know exactly how you feel, but they know you’re feeling something. They comfort you because they can tell you feel poorly, even if they don’t fully understand how or why. Get a deeper look inside your dog’s mind with The Intelligence of Dogs by Dr. Stanley Coren.

How dogs read our emotions

Anyone who has a dog knows how sensitive they can be. But how do dogs know when people are sad? As it turns out, there a few different ways. Check out the book ‘Inside of a Dog’ by Alexandra Horowitz for more on how dogs understand their world.

  • Facial expressions. A 2015 study found that dogs can distinguish angry and happy expressions in humans. While they may not know exactly what the expressions mean, they can tell the difference.
  • Voice. According to a study conducted at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, dogs have “voice areas” in their brains similar to humans’. “Voice areas” are parts of the brain that process the emotional information carried through sound. In other words, your dog can tell the difference between your happy voice and your depressed voice (and you can tell the difference between their vocalizations, too)!
  • Smell. Dogs have incredible senses of smell, which may help them pick up on biochemical changes related to moods (similar to how some dogs can “smell” illness).
  • Body language. Dogs are very sensitive to how humans hold their body. Your posture, the way you tilt your head, and the way you walk all help your dog determine your mood.

Sensory facts aside, there are still mysteries around how and why dogs comfort humans. Plenty of studies show that dogs react to human emotions, but few have decisively answered the questions of how and why. However, if your dog comforts you when you’re crying, perhaps you don’t need to know the reason why. Just enjoy having a sensitive, loving companion.

How dogs comfort humans

You can probably list off several ways your dog comforts you when you’re feeling blue. In fact, the ways dogs comfort people are not too different from the ways people comfort dogs! Your dog’s reactions to your emotional distress may include:

  • Physical contact. This is probably the most popular method of comfort between dogs and people.
  • Distraction. Some dogs will put a toy in your lap, or nudge you and look to the door to ask for some time outside. Think of it as your dog saying “Hey! Don’t feel sad! Let’s do this fun thing instead!”
  • Exercise. This one isn’t always intentional on your dog’s part, but it’s a proven fact that having a dog keeps you more active. Physical activity eases symptoms of depression and anxiety. So if you’re going through a rough spell, remember to keep walking the dog!
  • “Time out.” Of course, your dog doesn’t lead you to your crate for some alone time. But some dogs, when they sense distressed emotions from a person, know to give you space until you’re ready to be around them again.

The greatest comfort dogs provide is companionship. In fact, “professional” therapy comfort dogs are trained just to sit quietly with people, offering silent, nonjudgmental support.

Why dogs are such effective comforts

So, dogs notice and intentionally respond to our emotions. And we all know what great comforts they can be. But what is it about dogs that is so comforting? According to researchers, one reason dogs are such amazing companions to humans is that they’re not human, themselves.

Human relationships can be complicated by language, expectation, and judgement. But with dogs, the relationship is less complicated. Dogs are simply loyal, loving, and comforting, without demanding anything in return. If you’re going through a hard time, having a completely non-judgemental, non-verbal, loyal companion can be an incredible help.

Of course, every dog is different, and some are more comforting than others. If your dog isn’t the type to come running when you cry, don’t feel bad. Your relationship with your dog is complex and unique. As long as you take care of your dog, they’ll take care of you in their way.

This article only touches the surface of the fascinating world of the dog-human bond. In addition to Stanley Coren and Alexandra Horowitz‘ work, we highly recommend Patricia McConnell’s ‘For the Love of a Dog’ for more insight into the emotional relationships between dogs and people.

(Article source: The Dog People) 

Feline fine: How to keep your indoor cat happy, according to scientists

More people are moving to urban areas, with their pets in tow. Mark Farnworth and Lauren Finka delve deep into how to keep all things warm and fuzzy happy.

indoor cat

By 2030, 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities, while one in three will share their city with at least half a million other inhabitants. With more and more people living in dense urban settings, what does the future hold for pets?

High-rise living might not be ideal for most pets, as outdoor access can be difficult and there may be limited space indoors. For cats in particular, a trend towards indoor lifestyles might restrict how much they’re able to behave normally.

As the domesticated descendants of the African wild cat, cats are obligate carnivores – they need to have a meat-based diet.

Naturally, this requires them to hunt. A study in the US found that pet cats could be killing up to 4 billion birds and up to 21 billion mammals every year.

So housebound cats may be good for wildlife, but how can people ensure their pets thrive indoors? Sadly, scientific research is pretty light on this question. Despite so many of us inviting them into our homes, we know relatively little about how cats handle living inside.

Choosing the right cat

We know that some cats are more suited to being house cats than others, although we need to be careful not to generalise. All cats have individual needs, personalities and preferences. High energy and hyperactive cats, rescued strays with little indoor experience or those that aren’t very friendly towards people aren’t good choices for a life lived entirely indoors.

It’s often assumed that older cats may be a better choice because they’re more sedentary and cats with a previous history of living indoors may also adjust more easily to a new indoor home.

Some cats have diseases, such as feline immunodeficiency virus, that keep them housebound. But this doesn’t mean these groups of cats will all have the right temperament to cope with indoor living.

House cats are prone to obesity and may spend large amounts of time inactive, both physically and mentally. Providing a safe outdoor space for cats could be beneficial for their well-being. Cat-proofing gardens, for example, so they can’t escape, could ensure pets can benefit from the outdoors in a more controlled way. But if this isn’t possible, there’s still much that can be done to improve a cat’s life indoors.

Personal space

Because cats are only considered semi-social, indoor environments may present several situations that they would usually choose to avoid. This can be anything from too much attention and unexpected guests to toddlers and other animals that don’t understand the concept of mutual respect and personal space.

We know cats like boxes, but you can also give them high vantage points to climb to. To do this, you can use a “cat tree”, although an accessible shelf or the top of a wardrobe would work well too.

Cats also need access to quiet rooms and spaces to hide under so they can remove themselves from situations they find stressful. Be mindful though – if your cat spends most of its time hiding, your house may be less cat-friendly than you think. Uncontrolled stress in a cat’s life can lead to illnesses such as idiopathic cystitis.

Predatory behaviour

But what about their need to hunt? Allowing this behaviour is vital, and that includes them being able to look for food as well as finding and eating it. Searching for food usually involves short bursts of activity and long periods of waiting in cats, while the feeding part is also complex, as the cat decides how and where is best to eat.

To recreate this, you can scatter food on the floor or hide it in puzzle feeders. You can even vary where you feed your cat and encourage it to explore and manipulate objects. Getting a cat to move more and eat regular, smaller amounts of food can help reduce the risk of obesity.

Play can also be used to mimic hunting without the need for food. It’s always best to keep bouts of play short, encouraging pouncing and chasing, and using toys which mimic the shape, texture and movement of live prey. You should always end on a positive note and while the cat is enjoying itself, so that future play-times will be anticipated rather than endured.

Brushing up

Like humans, cats like to maintain themselves. Sharp claws are a must for effective climbing and defence, so make sure to provide scratching posts, especially if you want to protect your furniture. In the wild, cats use trees and other objects, not just to maintain their claws but also to leave marks for other cats to follow.

Make sure your cat can comfortably go to the toilet. Use unscented litter that is changed regularly and put the toilet in a discreet place, away from their food and water. For cats, as for us, it’s not a public activity. If your cat is going to the toilet somewhere inappropriate, it may be that they’re unhappy with their toilet arrangements or they may need to be checked by a vet.

Cats are complex and each individual has unique needs. Before you decide whether to have an indoor cat, make sure that it’s a decision the cat would be likely to make too.

(Article source: The Independent) 

On the right paw: Fun dog workout ideas to keep your pet fit

Start the new year fresh with your best buddy by establishing a fun dog workout routine. The workout that’s best for your pet will depend on your dog’s breed, weight, and level of health – and the time you have available.

fit pet

Before you get started with a routine, figure out how much exercise your dog needs and how breed affects their stamina and energy. Read on for some awesome ways to get your dog moving in the new year.

Get swimming

In warm weather, consider some dog-aquatics! A dog-friendly lake or swimming pool might be the perfect place to burn some calories with your pet. There are a few important safety tips to remember when taking your dog swimming.

First, be careful with pools – the chlorine may cause eye, nose, or ear irritation for dogs, so you should always rinse your pet off with clean water after exposure to a chlorinated pool or other potentially irritating water sources.

Second, If you’re taking your dog to a natural water feature, make sure the water is warm enough for your dog to swim. You’ll also want to keep in mind if your dog may need additional safety gear to enjoy their swim safely. Also, watch out for blue-green algae, as natural ponds and lakes can become deadly for dogs when this cyanobacterium is present.

Third, be sure your pet knows how to swim.

Hop on a bike

If you live near natural beauty, try hiking with your dog. Canyons, valleys, mountains, and river trails are all great places to get in some extra workouts when the weather allows. Before you head out on the trail, check that the area allows dogs and is safe for your dog to hike in. It’s best to keep your dog on a leash (and obey signage and park rules). A dog first aid kit, plenty of water, leash, ID tags, and snacks are essential. If you’re hiking in snow or on sharp rocks, consider some dog boots to protect your pet’s feet.

Get agile

Does your dog have a spring in their step? Agility training might be a great way to burn some calories, tone some muscles, and keep a smart pup entertained. There are lots of great ways to get into agility training, and many levels to work with – beginners can start by practising some basic moves at home. With a few simple props, your pet can develop their balance and stamina and challenge their brain. Start slow and offer your dog lots of rewards and praise to make the learning process positive. If your pet shows a knack for agility training, you might try a class or even a competition.

Try nosework

If you’ve got a very active dog with a talented schnoz, consider introducing them to nosework. This activity is generally done as part of a class or training group and can be great for helping an overly excited, anxious, or energetic dog focus and relax.

Practice Yoga

Calmer dogs might enjoy participating in yoga (er, Doga) with their humans. The peaceful flows that calm your nervous system, decrease blood pressure, and help stretch and strengthen muscle groups will do the same for your dog. Depending on your location, you might be able to find a yoga class you can bring your dog to. It’s also easy to get started with your shared practice at home.

Dance the day away!

Fancy feet or not, your dog might be a great candidate for dancing lessons. You can teach them a few simple steps or, if dancing’s in your pet’s blood, go wild with competitive canine freestyle. Dancing is great exercise for your dog, and it’s great for their brain – the concentration required for more complicated dances will test even the most intelligent dogs. Get your paws on the dance-floor!

Try a jog

An oldie but a goodie – the classic jog is great for humans and dogs alike. Get your blood pumping and take your pet out for a dash through the neighbourhood. If you’re working jogging into a new exercise routine, try setting speed or distance goals to help increase your dog’s stamina. Though jogging is awesome for your dog’s health, be sure to check their paws for irritation, avoid running in hot weather, and provide plenty of water. Finally, don’t forget to stop for a sniff!

Fetch, chase, or tug

Stuck inside on a rainy day? You and your dog can get plenty of exercise indoors with a few games up your sleeve. Start with the classic: fetch! Grab your dog’s favourite squeaky toy and find a hallway or open area. If your dog isn’t much into toys, try throwing a treat or a piece of kibble instead. When your dog has fetched all they can fetch, consider a game of chase or tug. Not only will your dog get to have fun playing with you, but they’ll also get in a great workout. Another dog workout option is to use a flirt pole. Built like a giant cat wand toy, flirt poles can give you a rest from fetch while still keeping your dog engaged.

Don’t overdo it!

It might be tempting to plunge in with an ambitious dog workout plan, but remember that moderation and consistency are key to maintaining a healthy routine while working out with your dog. In general, it’s best to start slow to avoid injuring your pet (or yourself). You’ll also want to consider your pet’s age and health, how much time you have to spare, and what you and your dog can reasonably stick to. Get creative and get your dog moving!

(Article source: The Dog People) 

Mutilated kitten wins PDSA pet survivor of the year award

Woody the cat required life-saving surgery for his severe wounds which included a ripped abdomen and severed tail.

Woody

Sky News reports that a kitten whose owner believes it was attacked deliberately and suffered horrendous injuries has been named PDSA Pet Survivor of the Year 2019.

Woody the cat required life-saving surgery for his severe wounds which included a ripped abdomen and severed tail.

He disappeared for several hours one evening last July, and it was only on closer examination that his owner Stephanie Wood and the rest of the family in Battle, East Sussex, discovered his injuries.

Ms Wood said: “It’s been a tough year for Woody and the whole family, but it’s ended on a high by winning this award.

“Thankfully the experience hasn’t changed his personality – he’s such a friendly little cat, and will do anything for a cuddle or a treat. We couldn’t imagine life without him.

“Thanks so much to the team at Sussex Coast Vets, to PDSA for recognising our miracle kitten, and to everyone who donated towards his care and voted for him to win.”

Woody, a “precious companion” for Ms Wood’s son, who has autism, was taken to the private practice where he spent eight days in intensive care.

He was kept on strict cage rest for three weeks and wore a special medi-jacket to protect his wounds.

Woody needed further surgery due to an infection, but he seemed determined to survive.

Ms Wood, who crowdfunded Woody’s £5,000 treatment, reported the matter to police and it was investigated as a case of animal mutilation.

“We’d heard of other cats in the area having similar wounds, it was awful to think someone might’ve done this deliberately,” she said.

A PDSA spokeswoman said: “When he disappeared for several hours one evening, his family became worried. Later on he suddenly jumped through the living room window, but just sat on the sofa quietly and was eerily calm.

“Stephanie noticed immediately there was something wrong with his paw, but it wasn’t until they went to check him that they noticed his other horrific injuries.

“First they realised that most of his tail was missing, but the stump wasn’t bleeding, it was as if the wound had been cauterised.

“Then they noticed a deep slash on his tummy – and were horrified when they realised they could see his insides. They rushed him straight to the vet, terrified that this was the end for little Woody.”

She added: “Finally, after months of recovery and rehabilitation he’s back to his normal cheeky self, and doesn’t seem to be bothered by his missing tail.”

(Story source: Sky News) 

My 12 year old senior dog lost his mobility. Here’s everything I tried and what finally worked.

I have a 12 year old chihuahua that has been having back, knee, and hip issues. Over the past year or so he has lost his mobility tremendously.

Cbd Oil

He got to where he could barely make it out the door to go potty without his back legs collapsing. (It is only about a 2 inch drop.) He would yelp when I would pick him up.

We took him to a chiropractor and found out that he has two vertebrae that are trying to fuse together in his back. He also has arthritis in his right knee and from overcompensating his left side of his body, his left hip is going out also. We did 6 sessions of laser therapy and it helped temporarily.

Pain meds were turning him into a zombie which I feel is no way or quality of life. I was determined to find something else to make him comfortable.

I heard about CBD oil and decided to do the research needed to find the right kind. After a few days of research, I kept going back to the “I Heart Dogs” page and finally decided to try out the Cannanine brand.

Specifically because this brand really broke down their product and what is the safest, most effective CBD oils, I chose them. They hide nothing from you.

The website really helps you to understand what you are looking for in a good CBD oil and HOW it works.

My dog started using the oils, and by the second day of it, I could see such a difference in him! He has now been on it for almost a month and he just takes 0.25 ml once a day and he prances around like a puppy again.

He plays with his toys again and he interacts with my other dogs. It really has been such a turn-around for him! It is so great to see him up and out of his bed again. I cannot praise this company enough but I do hope this review helps others out!

(Story source: I Heart Dogs) 

City introduces programmes to make life better for street dogs

The city of Soledad de Graciano Sanchez, Mexico is taking steps to ensure the health and well-being of it’s animals in 2019. And not just the pets kept in homes, but the strays that wander its streets, too!

Street Dogs

I Heart Dogs reports that according to local officials, there are an estimated 300,000 stray dogs roaming the city that are in need of basic care. Instead of looking the other way, the city government is working hand-in-hand with it’s dog-loving citizens to provide for these homeless dogs.

One of the first initiatives taken by the city this year is a program called “ComeDog.” Together with the local citizens’ response group Respuesta Ciudadana, City Hall placed 15 food dispensers in public areas where dogs with empty bellies can find a free meal and clean water. The dispensers are made of simple PVC pipe and filled with dry food donated mostly by the people of the city. Respuesta Ciudadana will be in charge of making sure the dispensers are filled regularly and offering a friendly hand to the dogs they meet there.

Mayor Gilberto Hernandez Villafuente stressed the importance of the cooperation of the people in providing a safe, caring environment for strays:

“Today I realize how many people appreciate this program, we have been congratulated by different means and, well, I am going to ask you to participate and help us to have a very successful refuge.”

The city has also introduced an ambulance that will offer care to both street dogs and local pets. Unveiled just last week, Ambudog is Mexico’s first ambulance dedicated to the care of animals. Veterinarians with Ambudog are offering free healthcare to the city’s cats and dogs, whether they live in a home or wander the streets.

This includes vaccinations and spay/neuter services that will hopefully put an end to pet homelessness in the future. Hoping to end the spread of deadly diseases among street dogs, Dolores Elisa García Román, Director of Municipal Services Soledad de Graciano Sánchez says:

“There is an infectious picture when the puppy is born and if a month and a half is not vaccinated mainly by distemper or parvo virus, there is a contagion, both in people and animals, then this ambulance will be taken to all the suburbs to attend to all the puppies.”

These two programs are only the beginning of a trend that officials in Soledad de Graciano Sanchez hope will eventually lead to a brighter future for Mexico’s dogs. Ideally all these dogs will be provided with shelter, food, and love in the near future – each in a home of their own!

Other cities in Mexico are already considering following Soledad’s example by introducing similar programs to work for the benefit of their homeless animals.

(Story source: I Heart Dogs) 

Llama drama: Alpacas called Ant and Dec left in Travelodge car park after owners forgot them

The couple, who had displayed the llama-like animals at an August show, left them in a trailer while going shopping.

llamas

They were then heading home from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks, when Travelodge staff alerted them.

The sheepish owners collected the pets eight hours after leaving.

Travelodge spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed said: “They had been into town and had some lunch and were some 30 miles down the motorway when they realised what they’d done.

“Staff had to keep a close eye on the alpacas to make sure they were OK throughout the afternoon.”

Other lost property at the chain’s 571 hotels last year included an Aston Martin car, a 65-year-old bonsai tree and a gingerbread village.

A cat show enthusiast staying in Stirling realised she had forgotten her Persian chinchilla cat, Angel, 50 miles into her car journey.

And dedicated staff at London City Travelodge rushed to Heathrow Airport to reunite a customer with his Tiffany engagement ring he had placed in his pillowcase.

Shakila said: “With nearly 19 million customers annually, we do get a range of interesting items left behind. In the rush valuable things are forgotten.

The most common items customers forget include laptops, tablets, e-readers and phones – and their chargers.

(Story source: The Sun) 

Pet dog Ted is such good pals with family cat Stovie he helped look after her kittens

The unlikely friends are so close owner Tracey Goodall says they think they’re brother and sister.

ted and stovie

The Daily Record reports that Ted, a seven-year-old cockapoo, and three-year-old black and white puss Stovie are so compatible they make it seem like canines and felines have always got on.

Owner Tracey Goodall, 54, captures the duo’s shenanigans on camera – melting the hearts of her friends and family. Tracey – a support worker who lives with her partner Kim, 54 – adopted Ted when he was just 18 months old.

His friendly, sociable personality meant he craved the company of a little pal, so two years ago Tracey brought home cat Stovie . She was worried they might not get on, but the pair quickly became firm friends.

Stovie has spent so much time with Ted that she’s actually starting to think and behave just “like a dog”. She can even sit on command when she wants treats, and can be seen showing off her stunts.

Tracey, from Oldmendrum, in Aberdeenshire, said: “Our friends and family love them to bits too and they’re always looking for more videos and pics of them! “Stovie and Ted are completely inseparable – they genuinely think they are brother and sister. “They are both just part of the family now.”

The energetic pair cause chaos in Tracey’s house, but she said it’s “hard to be angry at them” – especially when they cuddle up together on the sofa. The mum-of-one said: “Stovie and Ted are basically attached at the hip, doing everything together. “When Ted goes out with us for a walk, Stovie usually follows, but if it’s too far she will hide somewhere and jump out on him on the way back.”

Last year, Stovie broke three bones in her foot and had to be on cage-rest for six weeks. She could only leave her cage for a cuddle with Tracey once a day, and Ted was sure to never miss out.

Tracey said: “Ted really missed her as kept going over to the cage and Stovie would stick her good paw out the cage and touch his. “It was very sweet, but a bit sad at the same time to see them separated like that.”

When Stovie had a litter of kittens two years ago, Ted took it upon himself to become their secondary carer, sharing their bed and comforting the little balls of fur.

“Ted was so good with them that we called him dad! Whenever she left them, he was right in there with them,” Tracey said. “When they started to try and climb out of their box he would nudge them back in with his nose.”

Tracey added: “Ted is very protective of Stovie. “A friend’s dog tried to chase her and he intercepted, growling at the dog. But if me and Kim are playing with Stovie and she tries to bite us, he will put her back in her place. “They’re very cute together.”

(Story source: Daily Record) 

Boy used pocket money to feed stray dogs, opened a no-kill animal shelter at age 9

While many of us love watching heartwarming “animal rescue” stories, actually saving an animal may not be as easy as it looks.

stray dogs

With so many unfortunate animals out there, we may ask ourselves, “What would I do if I saw a creature in distress?”

This is an inspiring story about a kind boy named Ken Amante, from the Philippines, who was not scared or disgusted by the sight of mangy-looking stray dogs. Instead, he saw an opportunity to help those unfortunate animals. As he began to help them more often, Ken’s parents became curious about where their little child was going every day.

Ken used to fill up his backpack with food he bought using his pocket money before taking off. One day in 2014, his father decided to follow him to see what his son was up to. To his astonishment, he discovered his son was feeding stray dogs.

Some of the dogs were just skin and bones. Ken named two young puppies Brownie and Whitey. He assumed one bigger dog, named Blackie, to be their mother. The three animals were covered in gaping sores and had mange, a disease dogs get when all their hair falls out.

The dogs accepted all of the food Ken brought them, though they kept at a distance at first.

Ken’s dad took photos of his kindhearted son feeding the stray dogs and posted them on Imgur. They quickly went viral. The boy’s kind actions got more attention, and people started reaching out to help. Donations from all over the world began to pour in.

Speaking to HNGN via video conference, Ken said: “Actually, I always loved animals, even when I was young. I was fond of them even when I was small. My parents told me that before I could even talk, I was already sleeping with my dad’s cat, Hajime-kun. Hajime-kun is 14 now, and he’s still here.”

Although Ken was only 9 at the time, his dream to open a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter was fulfilled. Using the donations he received, the boy established “The Happy Animals Club,” the first shelter of its kind in the Davao region of the Philippines, on March 31, 2014.

“I came up with the idea for the Happy Animals Club when I was thinking that there may be more kill shelters than actual shelters for animals,” he said, according to Metro. “I want to save as many of those dogs as I can from being killed for no reason.”

The family had managed to rent a plot of 10,000 square feet and secure it all round. Ken insisted on stocking only imported dog and cat food. Cats too were welcomed, as well as other animals that were in need of care.

The trio Ken had nursed back to health were the very first ones he took in the shelter. Whitey, Brownie, and Blackie were given medical attention and a safe home. Their sores soon healed, and their fur grew back.

The Happy Animals Club is still running today. “Since 2014, we’ve rescued more than 100 starving and sick animals, and provided countless meals to hungry strays,” its website states. As the number of animals increases, more volunteers and donations would be required.

Ken had never imagined in his wildest dreams that his simple act of kindness would take off as it did. He is living proof that caring does pay off, and sometimes it is good to let one’s heart lead the way.

(Story source: The Epoch Times)