Grief Support for Pet Loss

Today’s blog isn’t about pet travel.  It’s about resources to help cope with the passing of a pet.

 

We think that anyone who cares enough about a pet to read a blog on tips for taking the stress out of pet travel is the type of person who would feel the loss of a beloved pet very deeply. And PetravelR™ would like to share some online resources that you may find helpful in dealing with your grief.

The first is the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement.  The APLB provides chat rooms staffed by professionally trained volunteers in pet bereavement counseling.  There is one chat room for dealing with your pet’s passing, and another for anticipatory bereavement to help you prepare for the loss of your pet.

Another is a website called Grieving.com, where you can share your feelings about your loss and discuss your bereavement with others.  Grieving.com has a support group devoted entirely to the loss of a pet.

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If you are grieving the loss of a beloved pet, we extend our heartfelt sympathy.   The PetravelR™ family has lost our own pets over the years, and we try to take comfort in the knowledge that we have given them all wonderful homes filled with love and compassion.  And we will always cherish their memory.  Cherish yours, as well.

 

Your friends at PetravelR™

 

Photo of bunnies Atticus and Cassandra by Sam Cox; Other images courtesy of Getty Images.

This Car Seat is for the Birds! (Seriously!)

PetravelR™ has been focusing on pets of the class Mammalia, so today we are blogging about something for our avian friends:  a car seat for birds.feathersmart carseat2We honestly thought that when you travel with your feathered friends, you put them in some kind of portable bird cage.  But apparently some birds who live uncaged with open perches find the whole cage thing to be rather stressful.  This travel seat, which is designed for parrots and similar birds, is made in the USA by FeatherSmart.  It fits over most car seats and comes with a removable feeder cup.  It can also be used over dining chairs or couches.  The seat is made of plastic and wipes clean (with whatever one uses to clean up bird poop, we presume).

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Your cockatoo or grey parrot can enjoy the scenery from a cushioned perch as you roll on down the highway.  He or she can even whistle at the other pretty pets you pass along the way. (We could swear that cockatoo is smiling!)

The “Bird Parrot Car Seat” is available online directly from the manufacturer FeatherSmart, and also from BirdSupplies.com and The Parrot Store.

We don’t have any birds here at PetravelR™.  But we would love to know what our readers with feathered pets think of this travel seat.

Photos of birds on the FeatherSmart Bird Parrot Car Seat from BirdSupplies.Com

Porta-Potty for Pets!

At PetravelR™ we try to keep an eye out for products you might find useful when traveling with your pets.  Our latest find is the Pack ‘N Piddle portable indoor dog potty.

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Although we are relying on only the information available on the Pack ‘N Piddle website, this does strike PetravelR™ as a handy contraption.  (As usual, PetravelR™ receives no remuneration or product samples from the manufacturer or seller.)  Most of the portable dog potties we’ve seen are flat and covered with washable artificial grass.

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Bag-141x141But the Pack ‘N Piddle is like a little private doggy bathroom stall, that folds up into its own carrying case when not in use.  It’s waterproof and washable.  When needed, you just unfold it and lay down a disposable puppy pad inside.

True, it’s only good for small dogs, up to 15 pounds.  But if you have Yorkie, chihuahua, or toy poodle, this could be just the thing for hotel rooms and rest stops.

 

Surf, Sand, and . . . Dogs!

Thinking about a trip to the beach Labor Day weekend for some late summer fun in the sun? Why not include your favorite dog(s) in your plans?  Think of it – the surf, the sand, the frisbee!

Unfortunately, we’ve already missed the annual end-of-summer Pooch Pool Party at Lakeview Park in Nampa, Idaho.

But PetravelR™ has compiled a list of some of the most popular pet-friendly beaches around the United States from USA Today, the Travel Channel, and several state/local tourism and parks and recreation websites.  Whether you’re on the east coast, west coast, or even the Great Lakes, there’s a beach or park that welcomes dogs.

  • Cannon Beach, Oregon
  • Fort Funston Beach, San Francisco, California
  • Carmel Beach City Park, California
  • Arroyo Burro Beach Park, Santa Barbara, California
  • Huntington Dog Beach, California
  • North Beach, Del Mar, California
  • Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago, Illinois
  • Zoll Street Beach, Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Block Island, Rhode Island
  • Wildwoods Beach, New Jersey
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina (Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Cape Hatteras National Seashore)
  • Edisto Beach, South Carolina
  • Fort de Soto Park, Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Dog Beach Park, Fort Myers, Florida

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and PetravelR™ encourages you to check with your state and local park authorities to find out what pet-friendly recreation opportunities are available this weekend near you.

Always check the rules before taking your dog to any of these (or other) beaches.  Some allow dogs to run off-lead, some require all dogs to be leashed, and some have different leash/leash-optional rules depending on the time of year and/or time of day.

And pay attention to all beach caution flags, high-surf advisories, and rip tide warnings for your own safety and the safety of your dog.

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Have a splashing good time!

Your friends at PetravelR™

Sources: USA Today; The Travel Channel; Santa Barbara, CA Parks Division; MonDog.org; West Michigan Tourist Association; Greater Wildwoods (NJ) Tourism Improvement and Development Authority; Outer Banks, NC Visitors Bureau.  “Pooch Pool Party” video by Mandy Mahan; Photo of dogs playing in the surf by Sam Cox; Other photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Traveling With Your Rabbit

The Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society (MCRS) is featured this week on “Adopt a Friend,” so today we’re devoting the PetravelR™ blog to traveling with rabbits.

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Today we’re going to talk about rabbits and car travel.  Rabbits can be easily stressed, and many find the change in environment and the constant motion to be particularly stressful.  You may be planning a long road trip for your upcoming vacation, or just a short drive to the vet for a “well bunny” check-up.  Either way, it’s important to know how to keep your rabbit safe and comfortable in the car.

Rabbit expert Mary E. Cotter of the House Rabbit Society has teamed up with actress, author, and comedian Amy Sedaris to advise you on everything from choosing a pet carrier to taking rabbit rest stops in this very informative video:

 

Hoppy travels (ouch!) from PetravelR™.  And remember – Thursday is the last day to vote for your favorite “BRING ON THE BUNNIES” contestant: Geronimo, Cricket, Lenny, Greyshorts or Harvey, brought to you by the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society.

 

The Massachusetts Puppy Doe Law

PetravelR™ would like to give a big shout out to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, State Senator Bruce Tarr, and State Representatives Bruce Ayers and Kara Kafka – and to everyone who helped pass the Commonwealth’s new animal cruelty law.

Last week, Gov. Patrick signed into law the Protecting Animal Welfare and Society Act (PAWS), also known as the “Puppy Doe Law,” which increases penalties for animal cruelty and makes veterinarians mandatory reporters of animal abuse.  PAWS was introduced by Sen. Tarr in response to a particularly horrific case of aggravated animal cruelty that occurred in the Commonwealth last year.  Under the new law, the maximum sentence for a single count of animal cruelty will be seven years in prison (up from five) and a $5,000 fine (double the current fine).  Those with prior convictions for animal abuse will face a maximum of ten years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

PetravelR™ will not print the details of the case, which you can read in this Sentinel and Enterprise article by Lisa Redmond, and also Alicia Graef’s article on Care2.com.  Suffice it to say, the two-year old dog, who weighed only 18 pounds when she was found and should have weighed about 40 pounds, was so severely abused — tortured — that she had to be euthanized.

Radoslaw Czerkawski has pleaded not guilty to twelve [12] counts of animal cruelty.  Whatever the outcome of the criminal case, we at PetravelR™ would like to think that there is a special ring of Dante’s hell awaiting him.

 

 

Moving Tips from Military OneSource

Military OneSource* offers tips for preparing you and your pet for a move.  As often service members and their families – pets included – relocate, PetravelR™ can tell you that these folks have a lot of experience to draw on!

Take the following precautions to ensure that your pet can be easily identified should you become separated (very good ideas, all, even if you and your pet are not planning a move):

  • IMG_4081Put an ID tag on your pet. Your pet’s tag should include its name, your cell phone number and another emergency contact number. If you list your home address and phone number, these will become obsolete during a move.
  • Microchip your pet. Dogs and cats (and rabbits, BTW) can be identified through an identification number on a microchip that has been inserted under their skin by a veterinarian. Many overseas destinations require that pets have microchips with a number that matches the number on the health certificate.
  • Photograph your pet. Having a pet photo when you travel can help others identify your pet.

Military OneSource also has recommendations to help acclimate your pet to traveling before moving day:

  •  Traveling in the car – You can help to get a pet accustomed to riding in the car by introducing the car slowly. At first, you might reward your pet for just getting in the car. Then, take your pet on short drives to places the animal might enjoy, like a dog park. If you discover your pet gets carsick, talk to your veterinarian about medication.
  • Being happy in a crate – Chances are that at some point in your move, a crate will keep your pet and others safe. If your pet is not used to being in a crate, introduce the crate slowly. Leave the door open and put a little treat inside. Eventually your pet will get used to going in the crate and may even prefer to sleep there. (Note: Crates for airline travel must meet specific requirements.).
  • Eliminating on cue – Since you can’t explain to pets how long they may have to wait before going to the bathroom, this behavior can make traveling much easier for all concerned. Pick a phrase (“get busy” or “go potty,” for example) to say when your pet is ready to eliminate. Praise your pet when he’s done and give him a treat. Soon he will connect the command to the behavior. [PetravelR™ SpokesBunny Nora can tell you that this would not work for a rabbit!]

Finally, to make moving day a little less stressful, Military OneSource suggests that you ask a friend to care for your pet that day. It will be less stressful your pet and for you, too.

 

Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, Guard and Reserve Component members, and their families. Information includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationship, grief, spouse employment and education, parenting and childhood, and much more.

Visit MCRS on Adopt a Friend!

PetravelR™ is very happy to launch our new “Adopt a Friend” feature with the Minnesota   Companion Rabbit Society (MCRS).

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Every week,  PetravelR™ will feature stories and adoptable pets from a different organization that is working to find great forever homes for companion animals.  This week, the Rabbit     Revolution (aka Rabbits vs. Cats) has come to the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society, and you can vote for your favorite “BRING ON THE BUNNIES” contestant: Geronimo, Cricket, Lenny, Greyshorts or Harvey.

While you’re there, take a look at Bert & Ernie and the other bunnies available for adoption, and learn about how you can support MCRS’s mission.

 PetravelR™ urges you to support your local shelters and rescues by adopting, volunteering, and donating. And remember that spaying and neutering helps reduce overpopulation and makes your pets better family members. 

Spot the RV Cat

We’ve been writing about dogs and rabbits for the past few days, so we thought it was time to give cats some time on PetravelR™.  We found a cute website about Spot, the RV cat and thought you might enjoy reading about his motorhome adventures.

RV cat photo 2Spot and his human companions (aka chauffeurs) have some advice for traveling with your cats in an RV or camper, entitled “How to Travel With Cats While Maintaining Your Sanity.”  I don’t know about the humans, but Spot seems to be enjoying life on the road just fine.

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We particularly like Spot’s “Humans, Here Are My Top 10 Tips On How To Travel With A Cat.” We at PetravelR™ are convinced that these tips were really written by a feline, because only a cat would tell you how to lay claim to 87% of a back seat that’s shared with an 80-pound dog.

For Traveling Dogs: TurboPUP Bars

TurboPUP_PeanutButter2014_BothSizesIf you travel, camp, or hike with your dog, check out TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bars, the     perfect, portable dog food.  They are grain-free and made from 100% American-sourced ingredients.  Available in two flavors, TurboPUP Bars have added vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s, and “are designed to fuel your dog on any adventure.”

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TurboPUP’s founder and CEO, Kristina Guerrero, is a former U.S. Air Force pilot whose rescue dog Dunkan was the inspiration for TurboPUP K9 Bars. TurboPUP believes in making a difference, and   donates 5% of their profits to non-profit organizations that support veterans and canine causes